A new beginning
She had to go through with it. Somehow, some way she had to find the courage to do what was needed. What she was destined to do; what she was born to do.
“Ma’am? Madam…it is time.”
But how? How was she supposed to say goodbye to all of this? How was she supposed to say goodbye to Richard, Natalie, little Baby Em…oh, how her heart ached just thinking of sweet Baby Em. Those innocent violet eyes, so loving, so trusting…and that was why she was here, why she had to go through with it. If she wanted to save Baby Em and all those she loved, if she wanted to save the lives of everybody, all those who have been and all those who will be. If she wanted this world to continue existing, she would have to do what she was destined to do all her life. And now it was time.
“Yes, Ronald dearest. It is time”
Jocelyn lifted her long white thin gown and walked towards the doors, stopping at the threshold she took a last glance at her room and out through the large domed windows at a dying world.
“Which balcony will I greet the people from, The Royal balcony or the temple one?”
She raised an inquisitive eyebrow at her mentor as she glided past him. Her features serene, a fixed half smile upon her lips, large solemn green eyes scanning the hallway up and down, always alert and prepared for the unexpected, but for those who didn’t know her as well as he, forever calm and serene, like a proper queen ought to appear.
“The one at the temple, my Lady,” Roland replied and held out his left arm to let her take the lead down the hallway, then followed five paces behind, taking up his queen’s suit scanning the surroundings for potential danger.
She was Roland’s beloved queen Jocelyn, had been his charge and student for almost three centuries, oh how his heart bled for her, she knew. Even though others could not see it, it was there in his eyes, the pain, and the guilt. She knew he was able to see the telltales of her crying, because no amount of makeup could hide it from him. For centuries of unrest, warfare and biological disasters, he had tried. He had always known; she believed he had known from the day he laid eyes on her, that she was different and in some ways special. That destiny, no, destinies, flowed around and about her. History waiting to happen, or never to happen at all. He had prepared her for this, although for 3 whole centuries now, he had worked for this never to happen, for this day never to take place. He had failed. As he had told her he would, but just could not accept. He still couldn’t, but with this last development, there could be no other way. He at least did accept that he had failed. Deep down she knew he still firmly believed there was another way, but they had failed to find it. And for this reason, he had asked her to kill him, had begged her actually. He, the Master of History and his Queen’s Master of Protocols, the always correct and seemingly cold hearted man of proper protocol, traditions and reason, had begged on his knees, sniveling like a little boy who’d been caught stealing from the kitchens. Begged to be killed, to be allowed to die and never having to experience what was about to happen.
Jocelyn stood before the balcony entrance; she inhaled deeply, blew out air and stepped through. An avalanche of sound cascaded against her senses, people cheering and then as the deafening cacophony of cheers ebbed out, singing began. Softly at first until the song was all there was, all she heard, all anybody could hear. She was glad she didn’t have to speak; she doubted she was able to get anything coherent past the lump in her throat. She let her gaze take it all in; her castle, her city - the last of her once so large peaceful, prosperous world, her people, her daughter. She turned her gaze slightly and there on the balcony next to the one she was standing in was her Baby Em, the future Queen and protector of the world. Emilie, whose violet eyes reminded Jocelyn of Em’s father, Luke - the love of her life. He had given his life so that Jocelyn could live and Em be born. She felt a shiver coming and swallowed hard to stop the tears threatening to start flowing. She took another deep breath and quickly turned her gaze the other way, catching sight of Roland from the corner of her eye. Roland, her protector, mentor and the closest thing to a father she had ever known. She raised her hand in salute and turned towards her Master of Protocol. No words were necessary; they had already said all that was needed to be said. She knew this was just as hard for him as it was for her, if not worse. After all, he was the one who had to continue on after she was gone. He had told her he had failed, begged her to let him die, but she could not allow that. She needed him to continue living, to continue being for Baby Em, what he had been to her. Prepare her for what was to one day come. Continue searching for another way, another solution.
The crowd had turned silent now. Everybody waiting, some in terror and fear, some with hope, but nobody uttered a single word.
Jocelyn held her arms out slightly and two maids caught her gown as she let it slide off her shoulders, she rested her hand lightly on Roland’s shoulder as she slipped out of her golden slippers, then she walked up the steps to the dais built so that it looked as if it was hanging in the air above the people. On the dais was the huge bronze gate. She walked naked to the left side of the huge circular bronze sculpture to where two bronze arms nestled a crystal ball in their bronze hands. As she pressed her right hand over the ball, the sphere between the frames of the gate cracked as if thousands of lightning bolts were trapped within. She turned and faced them all one last time, and then with a bow she turned and walked through.
Roland watched and thought his heart would literally break apart. Then everything turned white. He could see nothing but white, there was nothing but white noise in his ears, then colors whirled past and with a loud “pop” he was back on the balcony. The dais with the gate was gone, his queen was gone. He turned around and with tears streaming down his face he looked out upon a world in full bloom, a new world in late spring. As he stood watching, the cheers from the people around rose up again. Their Queen had done it; she had saved them all and given birth to a new world full of life and hope. He looked down and there was Baby Em wobbling towards him, giggling in her usual way. Bending down catching her before she fell, he lifted her up in his arms
“There you are, My Queen,” he said solemnly pointing his finger towards the blooming new world “A new beginning, given to us all by your mother’s sacrifice. Let us do our best to prevent you from ever having to do the same, shall we?”
The otherwise giggling toddler watched him with big serious eyes, then nodded once and gave the kind old man a hug.