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Mika's Art

Table Of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Mika’s Art
  • Other books by this author

Mika’s Art

(A Power Colors Short Tale)

Talee

This is a work of fiction.  All of the characters, organizations and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously

Copyright 2015 by Talee

First Edition: December 2015

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.  This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people.  If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient.  If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Shakespir.com and purchase your own copy.  Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Acknowledgements

 

Thanks to all those who have supported my efforts by reading my books and especially those who provided reviews encouraging others to read my books.  I write for you, and am happy that you find my works entertaining.

This book is dedicated to all who struggle to find their way in the world.  Remember great things happen in everyone’s life, the key is to make the most of them when they come.

 

Mika’s Art

 

Mika smiled and looked up from her pottery wheel as the door to her small gallery opened.  It was her mother bringing her a hot meal.

“Hi mom.  Let me guess, lentil soup with sausage and a wedge of Plox cheese.”

Her mother smiled and nodded.

“Why are you always trying to fatten me up mother?  You know it never works.”

“You will waste completely away if I don’t do something.  I swear you would just play with you clay and paints and never pause to eat if I didn’t come over here and make you.”

“Mom, you know I am making a good living off of my art.  Why do you insist on calling it play?”

Her mother laughed out loud making Mika smile in spite of herself.

“Because it gets a rise out of you.  I am very proud of your work, and you know it.  I admit, I don’t understand it all, but clearly you have a unique and valuable talent.”

“Okay, okay.  I will eat the soup and cheese.  You don’t have to lay it on that thick.  Aren’t you here a little early today?  I thought you were working on that new grain variant that can grow without soil?”

Then she felt her father approaching.

“Dad is coming too?  What’s up?”

“Just clean up and have some soup.  We wanted to talk to you for a bit, and you never come home when we are awake anymore.”

Seconds later her father entered the gallery too and joined her mother who was setting out a meal for three at the table Mika kept at the back of the gallery.

“Hi sweetheart, how is your day going?”

Mika knew they were not here to share a meal with her, but pressing the issue would not bring them to the point any quicker.  She stopped the wheel and wrapped her clay in wet rags then went to the refresh unit to clean up before the meal.

Dad took off time from the transport factory and mom slipped away from her research in the middle of the day.  There is definitely something wrong.  Mom feels a little stressed, but dad is all business.  What could it be that would be important enough for them to take time off, but not bad (because they do not feel happy) enough to have them worried.

Mika grabbed the pad she kept by the refresh station for that purpose and began free handing.  A couple seconds later she was looking at the expressionless face of a young man about her age, and she had the distinct impression the face was lifeless.

Who are you, and why would your passing be reason for my parents to take time away from their important careers?

The face looked vaguely familiar, but Mika could not place it.  Must be some distant relative or something.  Probably someone she had met when she was very young.

Mika shrugged her shoulders and headed for the table.  She would know soon enough.

“Ah, there you are.  Come taste this soup your mother brought.  It is the recipe her mother used to convince me that I would not starve if I married her.”

“Oh stop it dear.  You knew very well that would not be the case.  I don’t seem to remember you even asking about food at the time.  You were more interested in how many children I would give you and such things.”

Then it clicked.  The man in her drawing was the man they had arranged for her to marry.

“My betrothed is dead.  What happened?”

“Damn, how do you do that girl?  Honey did you spill the beans before I got here?”

“No dear, I did not.  You know Mika has always been able to figure things out before we explained them to her.

Yes, Mika.  I am sorry, we got the notice from his parents about an hour and a half ago.  He was at their home when a transport carrying toxic chemicals failed and dumped its load nearby.  He was gone within seconds.”

“We were planning to bring him here at the end of this month to set the date for your marriage.  I am sorry Mika, we should have done that years ago, but he was not fully settled into his career until recently.”

Mika was stunned to realize she was not devastated as she was supposed to be.  Something inside her was relieved that she would not have to deal with this popular young man realizing how poorly his parents had done in choosing a wife for him.  She had never been good at social mingling and he was a budding politician that her parents seemed to think would ascend to the high council at some point.

“I’m sorry to bring such bad news to you in the middle of your day.  Why don’t you take the rest of the day off and go home?  I have to get back to my research team, but I promise I will come home early today.”

“Yes, Mika.  That is a good idea, go home and rest.  I will get the new transport line going and come home early too.”

“You guys know I am better off with my art.  I have always been able to find peace in my work.  I’ll stay here, and you don’t need to come home early, I will be okay.”

She felt the relief in her mother as she said that they did not need to come home early, and her father’s stress reduced as well.

“Are you sure sweetheart?  I mean I know you have a real ability to shut the universe out when you are working on a piece of art, but what happens when you finish it?”

“I will be fine dad.  Please let me do what I know will work for me.”

“Okay.”

Her parents each took a couple more sips of their soup and then hugged her and rushed back to their jobs.

Maybe that’s why I’m not good with people.  My parents aren’t good with people either.  Not even with me.

Mika sighed and went back to her pottery wheel, carefully removed the damp cloth and started to work once more.  This had started as a vase, but her hands would not cooperate and she eventually stopped the wheel and let her hands go to work.

Two hours later, Mika sat there staring at the beautiful young woman she had formed.  The woman was clearly very fit and strong, but the face was somehow sad yet powerful.  She had shoulder length hair, a button nose and full lips.  But the eyes, yes the eyes they were something even in the sculpture.  Large and round and seemingly all knowing.  This was a woman of power and position, clearly.  But also one who had experienced great sorrow.

Mika shivered and set the sculpture to bake.  Clearly this meant something, every time her hands took over it meant something.  Perhaps this woman was part of the party from the solar system council that was supposed to meet her this year.

Mika shrugged and went back to her list of orders. 

I still have to make those vases for the city council chambers, but I think I need something more interesting to work on for a bit.  Something challenging to take my mind off that sculpture.

She saw the recycle bin filled with the lunch containers and remembered that her parents had visited.  Why was it she had so easily forgotten the death of her betrothed?  She should feel at least some sense of loss, but there was nothing there.  Actually, that was not entirely true.  She examined the emotion and realized it was… relief… How could she feel relief at a time like this?

Mika suddenly felt very guilty as she realized she had not wanted to marry the man, not just because it was an arranged marriage, or because he was one of the in crowd while she had always been an outcast.  No, it was more basic, she did not want to be tied down.  She still believed that there was something more for her than getting married to a politician and spending the rest of her days watching what she said and did to avoid causing him problems.

There was something important she needed to do in her life.  She had no illusions of finding a love marriage; in fact her mother was probably already scouring the planet looking for an appropriate match for her.  Likely she would be married off to some older man with a successful business.  But for now, she was free and untethered the way she needed to be.  She needed to be able to go when the opportunity came to fulfil her destiny.

[_Ah, there.  The portrait for the city high councilor.  _]

[_That would be a challenge.  _]The woman wanted her to take 15 years off her age while leaving the portrait very recognizable.  That would be a challenge indeed.

Mika pulled down the vid unit and queued the images she had taken of the high councilor.  Then she put a canvas on the easel and gathered her paints. 

All the tension went out of her body and mind as she felt the comforting focus slip into place.  It should be done this way, with this tilt to the head….

…Mika dragged herself out of the sleep station.  She could swear she had just closed her eyes when the alarm went off.  She checked the comp unit indicator though and it clearly showed she had gotten a full 3 hours of sleep.

She made her way over to the food station and dialed up a hot caf.  This would be a long day.  Then she pushed herself through her early day rituals and dialed up a second caf with a quick portable meal as she headed back for her gallery.  There would be customers there to pick up their orders shortly.

As Mika activated the store opening routine, she could see the streets already filling up with shoppers.  She quickly gathered the orders that were scheduled for pick up today and double checked to make sure she did not have clay in her hair or paint on her face or smock before gathering her paints and returning to the portrait she had worked late into the sleep period yesterday.

It was nearly complete, just a bit of touch up here and a little feathering around the cuff where it rested on the Fean.

There, that’s perfect.

Mika went over to her comp unit and sent the order ready notification to the high councilor.  Surprisingly she got a very prompt response.  The councilor herself would be right over to pick it up.

Then the proximity notifier sounded letting her know one of her customers was near and she quickly removed the painting apron and went to her counter, arriving just as the young man entered.  He smiled graciously and walked over to the counter as she set the box containing his new battle warriors game pieces on the counter.

“Is this them?”

He anxiously reached for the box as she nodded, and he was lost to her for a couple minutes as he lovingly examined each of the creatures individually.

“They are wonderful!  They guys were right, you are better than a 3d printer.  I’ve never seen such fine detail, and the Srin Master, he looks like….me.  It’s awesome.”

“I’m pleased to have been honored with your order sir.  If you are happy with the work, please tell your friends.”

“Oh, I will.  Don’t worry about that.  In fact we have tournament starting tonight, I will unveil this new set then.  Thank you!”

The young man pressed his thumb to the screen and the payment registered, then he carefully rewrapped each piece placed them back in the box and left still talking about how wonderful they were.

That always works with these guys.  Put their face on the piece the talk the most about and they go away feeling like they are the Srin Master, or Fleet Commander, or whatever.

Mika smiled to herself, he had not even batted an eye at the price, too excited about showing his prized new pieces to his friends.  Likely she would receive four or five more orders in the next week.

A few minutes later she hear the commotion on the street as security guards cleared the walkway for someone important.  That would be the high councilor.  Mika straightened her smock and thought for the briefest moment that she should have taken the time to put on some makeup today.  How was she to know the high councilor would be so quick to respond?

The security service came in holding their portable threat detectors and scanned the whole gallery.  She had to jump a couple of times to rescue things that got bumped as the team did their job with great enthusiasm.

Finally the gallery was declared clear and the High Councilor was escorted in.  Mika bowed her head as her mother had taught her and greeted the visitor with respect.

“Good Day, Ma’am.  Welcome to my gallery, I am truly honored that you have come personally.”

“Yes, yes.  I am pleased to be here.  Where is the portrait, I would like to see it.  Hopefully it is as good as I was told it would be.  The High Councilor’s daughter is coming tomorrow and I would like to have this on display when she visits.”

“Yes, ma’am, it is right over here.”

Mika was startled when the security team moved immediately to intercept her as she stepped toward the high councilor.

“Let her past.  Let her past.  Damn, do you really think she is a threat to me?”

The security team moved out of her way, but stayed between her and the high councilor as she went over to unveil the painting she had positioned to have the perfect lighting.

“I’m sorry ma’am.  I should have given your team warning that I would have to cross the room to unveil the painting.

Here it is.”

As she spoke she flipped the veil back and revealed the portrait.

She heard a very quick intake of breath. Then…

“Secure her!”

Mika felt a security guard grasp her hands and pull them behind her. He was strong and knew what he was doing and in less than a second, she was helpless with her arms secured behind her back as she was forced to lean backward barely maintaining her balance.

“What is the matter?  What did I do wrong?”

“Who told you?”

“What?”

“Watch your tongue, you know who you are speaking to.”

The security guard twisted her arms as he spoke to her, and she winced in pain.

“Sorry ma’am.  Who told me what? … Ma’am”

“Who told you about the Fean, of course?  No one is supposed to know about that trip yet.  I could lose my opportunity to impress.”

Mika was shocked into complete silence. She searched her memory, but she already knew the answer.  There was no indication of a Fean in any of the information she had been given.  This was that unfathomable knowing that came on her sometimes when she worked with her art.

“The high councilor asked you a question.  I suggest you answer her and damn quickly.”

Mika gasped as the guard twisted her arm once again as he spoke to her.

“Please forgive me ma’am.  No one told me anything, it was just an animal I had seen in a vid that I thought would add life to the portrait.”

“I don’t believe that for a second.  Bring her back to the chambers; I want to know what else she knows about.  We must find the breach before the party from Fleron arrives.”

Mika felt her hear sink.  They meant to arrest her because she put a fean in the portrait.

“Take that, and I want a search of the gallery.  Find out how she knew about this.”

“Ma’am, please.  I didn’t know about anything.  It is just a mistake.”

“Shut her up.  No knowing who might have this place tapped.”

Mika felt something crack into the back of her head just before everything went black.

…”Ma’am, with all due respect, we need to make her disappear.  If she knows the Lady Seala, she will report our treatment of her.”

“No, we have done nothing but question her so far.  Make sure it stays that way.  IF she knows Lady Seala, then we will have her healed and apologize.  Lest you forget, the Lady has a real talent for discovering the truth in things and I would not be eliminated over this.”

“Yes ma’am”

Mika was very confused, and her head was sore, but she could see the two having the discussion.  The one facing her was the high councilor’s body guard who had threatened her and presumably given her the sore head.  The other could not be mistaken even if Mika had not been able to see her.  That was the high councilor.  The question was who were they talking about?  Mika tried to move very slowly and quietly to look around the room.  It would be important to be associated with someone who knew the Lady Seala.  There was really no other hope of surviving this mess.

She managed to turn her head so she could see another wall and some very scary equipment arranged in front of it.  But there was no one there.

“Damn!  She’s awake.”

Mika felt something slam into the back of her head and again fell into unconsciousness.

…Mika felt a warm comforting presence as she became aware again.  This time she kept her eyes closed though as memory flooded in.  This was a trick, she was a prisoner of the high councilor and would be put to death after they finished torturing her.  It was well known that nobody returned home once the high councilor took them away.

“Ma’am, please remember that I came to your aid and laid the healing on you.  I was not part of the misuse you received at the hands of the high councilor.  Tell the Lady Seala I’m just a country healer and I had no part in this.”

Mika knew that voice wasn’t natural because she could hear the high councilor talking in the background and it didn’t interfere with the clarity.  The voice was clearly female and felt old but she could not decide how she knew that.

This had to be that mind speak she had heard that masters could do.  She thought carefully about how to respond and then concentrated on what she wanted to say in response if the person was speaking to her.

“I don’t know who you are, but if you are speaking to me, I thank you for your aid.  If I survive to speak to the Lady I will tell her of your assistance.  Can you help me to survive long enough to do so?”

[_“Thank you ma’am.  I don’t know if I can help or not, but I don’t think the high councilor will let you be killed until she knows for sure if the Lady is going to ask after you.  _]

The Lady is supposed come down in a couple of hours, that’s why they let me come here and help you.”

Mika felt her heart drop as she heard that.  There was no way the Lady Seala would ask about her, she had never met the woman, didn’t even know what she looked like.

Well, maybe she could bluff, if she knew how they came to believe she knew the Lady.

“How did they determine that I knew the Lady?”

[_“Oh, sorry.  That’s right they knocked you out before they searched your place.  They found the sculpture you did of the Lady.  That really scared the high councilor of course.  _]

When did the Lady sit for that?  Never mind, I should not be nosey.”

Mika almost gave herself away.  The sculpture!  She knew it meant something when she did it but Lady Seala?  Did that mean she really would meet the woman?

“Lady Seala will not be happy that I was so careless.  Thank you again for helping me.  I will need you to do one more thing.”

“Yes ma’am.  Anything.”

“Does the high councilor know you can mind speak?”

“No!  She would never trust me if she knew that.  She thinks that gives you the ability to read minds and she has a lot of secrets.”

Mika had heard that the one came with the other too.  It made sense since this woman clearly didn’t know that she had no relationship with Lady Seala.

“Tell her you felt the presence of someone greater with the talent than you and act really scared.  I will take it from there.”

“Why? …Oh… yes ma’am.” 

Mika could almost feel the woman smile.

“Ma’am.  She is coming to.  But ma’am, I felt someone with a lot more skill than I have working with me when I did the healing.

May I go, ma’am?  I don’t want to be here when whoever it was helping me gets here.”

“What?  Are you sure?”

“Yes ma’am.  May I go ma’am, please.”

Mika almost smiled the woman was indeed playing the part she wanted her to play.  She hoped that the woman was smart enough to disappear after this.  The high councilor would be after both their hides when she learned about the hoax.

Time to push the issue and see if she couldn’t bluff her way out of here.

“Where am I?”

Mika pushed herself up to a sitting position and was surprised to note that the bindings she had felt on her hands and feet earlier appeared not to be present any more.

She looked around and noted that she was clearly in a different room.  This was someone’s sleep station.  There near the door was an older woman in the dress of a small town healer.

She did not pause but kept sweeping the room with her eyes.  When her eyes landed on the high councilor and the statue she was holding, she stopped.

“Ma’am, with all due respect.  That is not yours.  Lady Seala plans to come by and pick that up when she comes here for a visit any day now.  Please may I have it back?”

Now there was fear in the high councilor’s eyes.  Mika could only hope that it was great enough to get her out of here.  A tiny spark of hope was beginning to form.

But then the eyes cleared and the fear was replaced by something else. 

“Even Lady Seala would not dare to touch a sitting First Seat without evidence.  Make sure there is none.”

“Yes ma’am”

The guard looked at her and smiled and Mika felt a shiver run down her spine.  Then she heard the sick thunk as the high councilor struck the old woman in the head with the sculpture of Lady Seala.  She then casually tossed it on the floor next to the woman.

“Put that with her.  If she is ever discovered, it will provide evidence of a murder she committed.  And get rid of this one too.”

“Yes ma’am”

The guard pulled a small device from his pocket and pointed it at her.  Mika had never seen one before but had heard them described and was certain this was a blaster.  She was about to die.

“Not yet.  Not here.  Take her out of here before you do that, I do not want any evidence that she died here in my place.”

The guard slipped the device back into his pocket and walked toward her with a face completely void of expression.  Mika was confident she was no more safe now with the blaster put away.  She got to her feet and retreated keeping the sleep station between her and the guard.  He snarled and suddenly he was standing on top of the sleep station coming at her with intent.

Mika dove for the door which was just closing behind the high councilor.  She hit something slick and slid instead into the wall slamming against something soft at the same time.  That was it, the door slid closed and there was no escape.

Mika put her back against the wall and turned to face the guard who somehow had not already reached her.

He was standing completely still in a leaping position just out of reach, and Mika.  Why did he not pounce?  He could not possibly believe she was any match for him.

Then she saw the shimmering against the opposite wall and a woman appeared.  It was the woman in her sculpture.  Lady Seala was here, but how, and why?

“Get up Mika.  Come over here.  He will not harm you I promise.”

Mika could not take her eyes off the beautiful young woman, or was she young?  She carried herself with absolute confidence, and Mika could feel the strength in her.  Those large turquoise eyes were nearly expressionless only the movement of her shoulder length auburn hair gave Mika confidence the woman was actually present and not just a hologram.

Mika did as she was told and pushed herself to her feet slipping past the guard who still did not move at all.  As she moved closer, the Lady reached out a hand to her.

“Take my hand; I am going to take you to my ship for safety.  Then I will deal with this one.”

“Yes ma’am.”

Mika reached out and took the offered hand and was reassured by the strong warm grip that closed on her hand.  Then her sight blurred and the room faded then was replaced by a dramatically different room.  It was approximately the same size as the sleep station had been, but this room was clearly someone’s office.

“Mika, I’m sorry I had to cut it so close.  All other options would have resulted in more deaths and my father’s reputation would have been damaged on this planet.

The refresh station is through the door to the right.  The doors here have been coded to respond to your presence.  There is a clean jump suit in the refresh station that should fit you.  And the food regenerator over here will respond to you as well.  Please make yourself at home, but do not leave this suite until I return and we have a chance to speak.  Do you understand?”

“Yes ma’am.  Thank you ma’am.”

Mika felt a gentle touch on her shoulder as the woman released her hand but when she turned in response there was no one there.

She looked around, but she already knew she was alone.  Lady Seala was off to deal with the guard.  Mika shivered. 

Then she saw her sleeve and noticed the dark red stain on it and the smudges on her hand.  It was blood.  And she shivered again, that poor woman.  The high councilor had killed her with no second thought just to eliminate any potential witnesses.

Mika pushed herself toward the door Lady Seala had indicated would lead to a refresh station.  As she neared, the door slid open and lighting came on in the refresh station it revealed.  It was a small refresh station, but well-appointed and very clean.  Mika went in and quickly removed her soiled clothing dropping them in the dispose unit.  She would never be able to wear those clothes again without remembering the poor woman who had died because she helped Mika.

Then she stepped into the refresh station and ran through three full cycles before she could convince herself that the blood was all gone. When she stepped out, a hidden drawer came out revealing under clothing and a jump suite like the ones she had seen in the vids of the great starships.  They were all exactly her size and when she had put them on, she looked in the mirror and was surprised at how good the jump suit looked on her.  Another hidden drawer opened revealing foot ware and she was somehow not surprised when it also fit her perfectly.

Mika went back out to the office and made her way over to the food regenerator.  Suddenly she realized how hungry she really was.  When she thought about it, she realized she had not had anything to eat since very early in the day, but then she had no idea how late in the day it was now.

She looked at the menu and was astonished at the large variety of food available.  There were things on the menu she had never even heard of.  But nothing had a price on it and that made her very nervous.  After searching for some time for prices, she finally selected a soup that was typically the least expensive thing on the menu in the restaurants and dialed it up.  It would not be very filling, but should hold her over until she could get back to her gallery where she had a collection of energy restoring meal packs.

The soup was delivered and she sipped it slowly to try to convince her body that it was consuming more than it was.  When the soup was gone, her stomach was still rumbling, but she knew it would calm as soon as she got her mind focused on something else. 

She walked over to the desk and was amazed to find her sketch tablet and pencils laying there.  She flipped it open to be certain and sure enough there were the sketches she remembered doing on that pad.

Her stomach rumbled again and she flipped to an empty page and took up a pencil.  Her focus came immediately and her hand began to fly across the page as all memories and concerns fled the way they always did when she started working.

Sometime later, Mika was startled when she heard a sweet voice speak from just behind her.  There was no question that was Lady Seala.

Mika lay her pencil down and tried to rise to pay her respects.

“Stay seated.  You and I will be good friends, and no formalities are required between friends.

I am Seala, daughter of the high councilor RinTorl, and First Lady SalLia.  But you already know that.

You are Mika, a precognitive artist and future master of the Miir order. I too have some talent for precognition, and I would love the opportunity to help you develop yours, along with your natural telepathy and several other skills I know you will master.

But we are to be friends, so I cannot take you on as an apprentice, but I know several good masters who would happily take you as their apprentice if you would like.”

Mika was shocked into silence.  Lady Seala wanted to be her friend, and was offering to teach her to be a master, or at least help her become one.  What was it she called her?  A precognitive artist?  That fit, it explained how she was able to do sketches to figure out whatever she needed to work through. 

There was silence in the room.  Lady Seala was waiting for her to speak.  Mika went through her memory and searched for the right words to respond with.

“Ma’am.  Thank you very much for your timely aid.  I would be honored to be given the chance to learn the mastery, and would be even more honored to be considered your friend.”

“Good, it is settled then.  Just one thing, I need to tell you.

You will not be able to return to your home for a very long time, and you will unfortunately never see your parents again.  Please forgive me for choosing that path for you, but there is no other way to have you live and the high councilor remain in her seat, for now.  It is unfortunate that she must live yet a while longer, she is despicable.  If she did not play such a key role in the planet’s support of the coming struggle, I would have ended her time today.”

Mika’s head was spinning again.  Never return home?  Never see her parents again?  How could that be?  But she knew it was true as soon as Lady Seala spoke the words.

“Yes ma’am.  I understand.”

“Please stop calling me ma’am.  If we are to be friends, you must call me by my name.  It is Seala.  Not Lady Seala, not Master Seala, just Seala.”

“Yes ma…. Seala.  I’m sorry; it will take some time for me to adjust.  But if that is what you want, I will call you by your name.”

“Good, now let’s look at those sketches, I could not see them in my visions, but am positive they are important.”

Mika’s head was once again spinning.  Jesul the Lady Seala moved from topic to topic quickly.

She looked down at her sketch pad and realized she had completed a sketch of a tall lean man with freckles standing in a field with his arms in the air facing the sun with ribbons of color flowing around him.  He seemed to be declaring victory, but over what was unclear.

“Ah yes.  I have seen that too.  I think that is dad declaring victory once the witch hunters are vanquished.  What else do you have here?”

That was when Mika realized she had used up nearly the entire sketch pad.  She flipped to the previous page and felt Seala lean in close as they looked at a scene of mass destruction.

“There we go.  I have not seen that before, tell me what you get from this?”

Mika struggled at first staring at the drawing with fear.  Then her mind cleared and the focus she usually felt when drawing came over her.  Words started tumbling out of her mouth and she was astonished at the detail she was providing.

“I knew you would be a great asset.”

“How is that being an asset, I just predicted the loss of thousands of lives.  Unless you plan to try to change the future, this is just a matter of knowing that many people will die here.  I’m sorry, I don’t see the benefit.”

“I understand.  Here, let me explain.  By knowing that we win this battle, but lose some key people to the retreating witch hunters, we can be certain to prepare those people properly to protect or simply be unaware of key secrets.  Moreover we can plan to recover them quickly.  Since we know now that witch hunters escape, we can calculate where they would go and plan to intercept them.

It is horrid to see the price we will pay for this victory, but the details you provided, give me information that can be used to potentially shorten the war and save lives later.

Do you understand?”

The reality of the weight of command sank in and Mika saw the pain in Seala’s eyes as she spoke of the loss of life, but there was also an iron determination as she focused on what could be used from the details to shorten the war.

“Yes, I understand.  Thank you.”

“Please, let’s look at the next sketch.”

Mika turned the page and saw another scene of mass destruction.  She focused and began explaining the sketch.  This time she tried to listen to her own words and pick out the pieces of information that might be useful in preparing for the next battle, or taking advantage of what could be learned here.

No witch hunters escaped this battle.  Fifty of their ships surrendered, and a high ranking member of the witch hunter military was taken prisoner.  The price was high, but there was reason for optimism having captured one so high up in the military. 

When she finished telling Seala about the battle and the results the sketch foretold, questions began flowing as well.

“Seala, have you seen this one?  What do we learn from the military leader?”

“I believe I have seen some connected events.  We interrogate the military leader and learn of a deployment of their military that was a surprise to our leadership.  But before we can get more details, he succeeds in taking his own life.  The ships are retrofitted and used in other battles to get forces close to the witch hunter battle wings before we attack with our full force.  Many lives are saved by using those ships and others we capture.”

Seala discussed detail after detail with Mika patiently answering her questions and pointing her to the key details she had missed.  They spent many hours going through the sketches before Seala called stop to the reviews so they could eat and tend to other pressing matters.

Seala dialed up two full meals on the food regenerator along with some restorative drinks.  As she did so she made another of those confusing topic changes.

“I noticed earlier that you had only eaten soup.  I don’t have anything against soup, but it will not provide the level of energy that you will need as we start your training in the mastery.  I recommend you eat healthy, but full meals going forward.

We will find the right master for you to study under when we get back to Fleron, but that will be several months, so I thought I would start you with some martial arts and initial power colors training at lunar rise tomorrow.   Then we can take a tour of the ship and get you introduced to the key people here so you don’t feel too alone while I go back planet side and finish my business here.

Is there anything you would like me to gather from your gallery while I’m there?”

Mika had to scramble to get her mind around what had just been said before answering the question.

“You will be going to my gallery?”

“Yes, after all, you told the high councilor that I would be going by to pick up the sculpture.  I told her last night that I wanted to make a side trip to pick up a gift I had commissioned for my father.

I am quite interested to see if she tries to get the sculpture back into the gallery, or stages a robbery or something.  Either way it will give me an opportunity to show displeasure at her inability to control things in her own capital.”

Mika could feel the hatred Seala had for the high councilor.  She would not want to have someone like the Lady Seala as an enemy.

“I’m sorry I involved you in a lie.  I was trying to bluff my way out of her dungeon.”

“You did the right thing, just with the wrong person.  You could not have known she was that evil.  The day will come when she will regret her treatment of you and others.  I have foreseen it and take pleasure in remembering the day.

Unfortunately, for now, her influence is critical to plans we have in place.

Is there anything you wish me to gather while I’m there?”

Mika thought for a moment, there was not much there that could not be replaced.  But she did have one set of brushes her father had given her when she opened the shop.  It would be nice to have those to remember him by if she was never to see him again.

“There is a set of brushes I keep in the drawer nearest the painting easel.  They are rolled up in a tanned Llonk skin case.  My father gave them to me, and it would be nice to have those.

Everything else can be replaced and I know we cannot take anything that would be missed or we might raise suspicion.”

Seala lost focus for a moment, then smiled and nodded.

“Your brushes are still there, I will retrieve them for you. Now get some rest, the next few lunars will be very busy.”

With that she smiled and then walked directly for the door not looking back.

Mika sat down once more and tried to stop her head from spinning.  She should feel despair at learning that she would never see her parents again, and that her life of quiet art studio vendor were over forever.  But for some unknown reason, she felt calm and confident.  This was exactly how it was supposed to be, and she was doing exactly what she was supposed to do.  It made no sense, but she was certain that was true.

Moreover, she knew Seala was someone she would get along with well.  It would take some getting used to, but she was certain the Lady was correct in her statement that they would become friends.  Strange how things worked out even when everything in her world was turned upside down, she still ended up where she was supposed to be doing what she was supposed to do.

 

 

Other books by this author

[* *]

Current Power Colors Tales:

P’Hilz Story               Available now

The K’Jin Mission     Available now

K’Jin Released         Available now

Alla’s Path                Coming Soon

 

Current books in the Power Colors Saga:

[_ _]

Torl’s Journey              Book 1 in the series

Rebuilding a Legacy    Book 2 in the series

End of an Era               Book 3 in the series

Seala’s Burden            Book 4 in the series

_Taarl and the Fools _

[_   Game                        Coming Soon_]

 

Power Colors Short Tales

Master Mixer Sslasl

Sslasl and the Mastery

Mika’s Art

Zaable’s Destiny

[+ +]

[+General Reference                             +]

[_ _]

All Things Real            A reference to the people and places in the Power Colors books.

Barth Reality               A reference to the people and places in the Barth Novels

 


Mika's Art

Raised in the inner city where her father was an engineer in a transport factory, and her mother was a genetic scientist working on new strains of crops that would eventually be grown in environments that were less desirable for human habitation. Mika had always struggled with the social scene. She was, however, exceptionally talented with pencils and paints and recently had developed a knack for forming clay as well. It was in her art that she found peace and acceptance. When her parents told her that the boy to whom she had been promised had been killed in an industrial accident near his home, she was shamed to realize she was relieved. The thought of being married to someone who might be in the cool crowd had always been a concern for her. She knew that she would never find a love marriage, and likely her mother would find some older man with a successful business to marry her off to. But for now, she was free and untethered.

  • Author: Talee
  • Published: 2015-12-31 08:20:07
  • Words: 7212
Mika's Art Mika's Art