Alyias even now, in the final moments of the glorious empire which she had served her entire adult life, was calm. Her serene exterior hardly ever cracked in times in stress, and this was no different than any other. That is not to say she was without emotion, far from it. She was first and foremost a woman, and although not being attached emotionally to any man, she was a caring mother. Regardless of the fact that the little boy she watched, quietly sleeping in his bed chamber was a secret to the state and even his father.

Maybe the man suspected their affairs had produced something even more scandalous, but they were just that, vague suspicions. It was better off, she told herself many an uncertain time. A love child would surely destroy the man's career and fledgling marriage. And there would be absolutely no gain to her or the child, nothing but strife, ending in perhaps her own embarrassing court martial.

Her midnight blue eyes were perhaps a little mistier than she would have preferred, but the flood gates held as she stepped into the dim moon light which flooded the little one's play area. It was night in the Roman city of Alexandra then, and having long ago dismissed her sisters whom cared lovingly for the boy, she regarded the child of four with the warm gaze only a mother could bestow.

She was an impressive woman, Alyias. And like those whom belonged to her generation, her skin was milky white and unblemished. It seemed to glow faintly in the quiet lunar light, surely a product of her Avaria heritage. And that tall, powerful frame was that of a palace guard, built over decades of disciplined training. Still clinging to femininity as she was, she retained the long, straight hair which matched her eyes, given to her by her mother's mother. It comforted her immensely, and she cared for that long ago established link to her home genome almost as much as she did her body and spirit. Even now, after a long night of fending off inner city rioters, it was neat and kept in place with a silver barrette, baring the insignia of a long ago passed civilization, a double shield upon either side of a small sphere and two companions.

Having signed off duty hours ago, she had shed those sophisticated Roman armor and arms immediately. Now dressed in the simple civilian clothing she'd require in the coming day or two, she still had an air of a high ranking military official about her. Tough, knowledgeable and authoritative. But that was something, sadly she could not change. She was not a large public figure head like some of her treacherous peers, so she hoped, maybe even prayed that when word of her deeds finally, if ever broke to the public she'd be spared crucifixion before her new empire embraced her.

Despite the sacrifices required of her, she welcomed being a key factor in the oncoming destruction of the empire which she had since fought for. Her life did not matter in the big picture, she was assured years ago. Only the mission was crucial, and if the mission required her to sacrifice herself, well then so be it.

Her bare feet quietly approached the fast asleep young one, stopping perhaps to regard a misplaced toy, but eventually she found herself at his bedside. Adorable as he was, she admired the strong facial features of his father. A sharp jaw line, a broad forehead, cobalt blue hair clinging to his childish cheeks. And maybe a little of herself lingering in there as well, although submissive in the presence of the over powering genes males of this subspecies possessed. His father was, despite being loyal to his empire as she was to her opposing cause, a caring man capable of the most tender of touch. Alyias found herself wondering if her through and through Roman lover would survive the initial bombardment.

Maybe he would, and as unlikely as the chance would be, maybe she'd see the guardsman again sometime in the future. But by then, her allegiance would be changed and the man would likely be out for her blood. Nevertheless, thinking of him fondly now with those fierce, but naive eyes she couldn't help but wonder how things may have turned out if he hadn't rejected her the way he did. But their relationship was doomed from the very beginning, being his superior as she was.

She would have liked to write it off as nothing more than gaining the trust of the enemy, but this child defied that. She didn't hold any real emotion for the man, but maybe she was capable of it given a different situation. But, oh, how she loved the boy she smiled warmly at. Running her finger tips lightly over his bare cheek.

The flood gates began to give a little, but she held strong. She mustn't break down now, not so close. She could afford to wallow in her tasks while she awaited the Keeper soldiers, but not now. So, gathering all the strength available to her, she did the one decent thing she could muster. She picked up one of the child's discarded pillows, and pushed it securely over his serene, beautiful little face.

The strong arms of a military professional held it down tightly as little arms scratched at her and muffled cries assaulted her pained ears. But it was the love of a mother that kept it firmly in place. No, this world would be far too cruel to the boy because of her foolish choices.

The flood gates broke open, and midnight blue streamed down her milky cheeks, face twisted in an expression of anguish as little legs kicked wildly and pudgy fingers weakly clawed at the backs of her hands. All she could offer to ease the child was her beautifully strong voice, almost a whisper.

"Shh, sleep now, Lucius. Sleep..."

And after long dreadful moments, her hands bleeding and her heart broken, the child did at last, eyes and mouth open, forever twisted in horrible agony.


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