I often wonder if my mother can hear me. If she knows my thoughts. I’ve always wondered that, but if she can read my mind at all she has never tipped her hand. She wouldn’t want to hear what I’m thinking now if she could.
I didn’t realize just how furious I am with her until I explained my past to my comrades. My ability. She was the one that found it, Mother. She was the one that helped me control it.
Syltra na Tetrarch, Beacon of the Second Order. My mother.
She could have stopped this, you know? She could have kept them from throwing me out of the Old Empire. She could have stopped my exile from ever happening. Then again, your father could have stopped it as well.
Few people know how influential my mother is within the Tetrarch, and even the wider world beyond that. Her station is in the Second Order of the Tetrarch, but you might think she belonged among the First. Her word carries so much weight. Whether that is because of the force of her personality or the authority of the Beacon, I do not know.
What I do know is that she was a force that I could barely reckon with. Syltra na Tetrarch is not a woman to be taken lightly. ‘Serious.’ That was the word I always associated with her. ‘Strict.’
She was harder than my father, harder than most of my instructors at the scourge. She pushed me. Every day of my life she pushed me to go farther, work harder, and be better.
And then she kicked me out of her order and out of the country that she called home. What kind of mother does things like that? What kind of person invests so heavily in someone only to cast them out at the first opportunity?
They all turned their backs on me so quickly. The only person to weep at my sentence was father, but he has always been one to weep. For a moment I hoped your father would reach out, would bridge the gaps that were forming, but he remained silent. He let them splinter into rifts.
I will never forget that silence. It stretched for minutes. It stretches to me even now; the stillness devoid of peace that only abandonment can create.
Gods I hate this jungle.
And the godsdamned leeches. I hadn’t mentioned them but damn it all if they aren’t everywhere in this rain-soaked nightmare.
Will you fill that silence if I come back? If I return, and hand this account of my life to you, will you at least give it a fair reading? I know I will ask you to. I know you will want to, deep within yourself. But will you?
If I don’t drown in this rain. If I’m not eaten by filthy cannibals. If I don’t wake up in the maws of some giant snake, or under the swords of a band of slavers. Would you take me back?