Toriv thought about Jenia, reaching out for a familiar comforting presence. What he felt was icy fear and raw, searing pain that did not originate with him. Well, maybe, in a very tenuous sense of effects and causes, his behaviors were in the mix. She was sad, at a loss for self-comforting, depressed over their loss, over feeling that her life was going nowhere, over not being good enough.
Not fully aware of her surroundings in the immediate here and now in a sometimes unruly neighborhood, she was ill-prepared to protect herself. There were too many of them, too muscularly advantaged. She blasted out fear, rage, warnings of danger, but they were already too angry, keyed up, lost in chaos, to much care about the added pain her mind impinged on theirs. Later they would remember, talk about that weird witchy bitch, add to the rumors. Maybe, had she been trained, or even experienced in broadcasting her energy and imagery, they might have been dissuaded, turned away from prey too difficult for easy pickings. Instead, she had been trained, even pre-birth, in restraint, staying hidden, meek acceptance.
Sira felt her sister’s agonized screaming, found Jenia torn, bleeding, battered, trying to drag herself home. Reag felt Sira’s screaming and came running; they carried Jenia home, tended to her wounds.
When Jenia realized she had conceived a child, despite her family’s very real concerns for her, and her realistic concerns for herself, she knew she wanted the child in her life. It was a clear, fierce bond even before this baby was much more than an idea. Sira, after her initial worry, completely supported her sister. Soon this new child became another layer of their family life.
As the child slowly yet inexorably grew within Jenia, an idea was slowly growing to obsess Sira, teasing her in reverie long before it was consciously formed. She wanted to, believed she could, get elected to the City Council. In a very small way this was tied up in her desire for her people to have more power, a basis for respect that would allow them to be openly who they were. After all of her years of experience in hiding this part of herself from the official world, she didn’t actually believe her efforts would get them there. Much more immediately importantly, she wanted to help to shape a better set of policies, better governance, for all the people she felt she could represent responsibly. She wanted to help empower an active citizenry, to help create a better city with so much less fear and hatred. She wanted to clean out the ugly emotions permeating too many squalid city streets so nobody need have their lives overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness, oppression, helpless rage. Sira had always been the responsible one, smart, strong, brave, caring, reliable. She had early on taken charge of sweet, dreamy Jenia, seeing how hopeless their parents seemed to be. To a large degree these sisters had formed each other, raised each other to be as they had become. They each felt strengthened, encouraged, by the other.