Kristian half-smiled. "This would be the sister who doesn't exist?"
"I believe that she does."
"Kieran - Katrina Stone died in childbirth, and the child was stillborn."
"That's what the Council says. They're lying."
"Why would they?"
Kieran gestured at him in disgust. "Why wouldn't they? Think who you're talking about, Kristian!"
Donna stepped in. "Kieran's hot-headed, but he does have a point in this. I've recently been given some... new information from Jason."
"New to me. Jason and Tessa have known for some time, apparently. Do you remember that immense flare of power we all felt about five years ago? Not long before the Purges? We theorized at the time that it was some action by the Council. It seems that it was Julia awakening to her power."
"Julia," Kristian murmured.
"Her name. The Lishaya's name," Kieran said quietly.
"How did she survive?"
"Her mother didn't die in childbirth. She got enough of her power back to plant the illusion in the minds of the Council, and escaped with Julia... left Julia with friends, and went on alone. Julia's foster parents died when she was very young, and she went into state care. Until she awakened."
Donna sighed. “Jason and Tessa, working together, managed to triangulate Julia’s position at the time of the… power surge, we’ll call it. When Jason sent a team in to investigate… they found that this… this power surge… had killed Julia’s foster family. Both parents, and the other three children in the house, were found dead of massive cerebral hemorrhages. The psychometrists Jason sent in were able to confirm that the deaths were indeed caused by an immense psychic backlash. Their theory was that Julia had been … threatened, in some way. Something strong enough to completely awaken her latent power to its full extent. They also felt very strongly that Julia had no control over her powers at the time – she was simply lashing out. Unfortunately, theories are all we have – as Julia was missing from the crime scene and has not been seen, or felt, since. Jason wished us to keep in mind two things. Firstly, that although Julia is to be presumed extremely dangerous, his belief is that she did not intend to commit murder that night… And secondly, due to the very fact that she was able to kill five people with a single, unrefined blast of psychic energy – and shield so strongly afterward that not one of us has been able to trace her power signature – he feels that Julia is almost certainly our Lishaya. He feels that no one else could be that strong.”
Kristian leaned forward. "And you want us to go after this girl?"
"I want to find our Lishaya," Kieran said steadily.
"And an untrained girl capable of killing a house full of people in one careless moment - that's better for the city than what we have now?"
"Better than Alanna and her Hounds? Hell yes!"
"Alanna will leave you alone if you just swear fealty. This girl could kill you without noticing."
"So you just want to stay complacent and kiss Alanna's ass?"
"If it's that or threaten my House's very existence?"
"This is not about you and your House, Kristian! This is about what's right."
"Child... I do not fight unless I know I will win. That is responsibility."
"That is cowardice."
"Stop!" Halloran stood, towering over them both. "Just put it to a vote already, okay?"
"Halloran," Kieran pled. "You understand, right?"
"She killed my brother for not kneeling, Kier."
"The solution is not kneeling ourselves. "It's replacing her with the true Lishaya."
"You saying I did wrong?"
"No. Under the circumstances, you did right. But we can change the circumstances."
"All right," Donna said. "Let's vote."
Gyah. This took the entire half hour. My arms ache. I go stretch now.
We're still at $2,548.60! Let's see if we can push it to $3,000!
Remember, every dollar facilitates one phone call to RAINN's hotline.