"To be a monarch is to follow God's most sacred mission of gracing and dignifying the earth. To be a noble or a monarch is to give the people an ideal to strive for and to bring forth hope and honor in their every day lives."
The words sound in my head once more. I remember the words of cousin Edwin when he spoke to the press after Uncle Rory died when the plague came. And he repeated them when Uncle Peter died. But Mum wouldn't take the throne, and she refused to believe that Mike, or Davis, or I were destined for it. And at times, it makes me upset that she didn't because I think that so much could have been avoided had she just played as a faithful daughter and met what her country expected her to do.
But moments later, I always remember the press photos of cousin Vil laying beside Uncle David and Grandmama, dying in the rubble of an attack from a Thiran terrorist and I miss him and hate that I dared to think such a thing.
I know that she's only ever wanted to keep us safe, protect us, but she's gone now, just like Papa. The bombs took her, and the earth took him. I still don't know why I never heard them, the voices of the woods, was never tempted by their lies, their deceit. Sometimes, though, I wonder if it was a mercy on the ones that died in the bombs or were taken by the voices. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. But I know that I'm meant to be here. I know my destiny. I've seen it.
Tonight, like every other night, I'm here by the cliff's edge to meet someone that's more than a friend. Humboldt Gilmore is the kindest, most, most loving guy I've ever known. Each night, he holds me, brushes back my hair, whispers in my ear that it's going to be okay. I've told him what I've seen, what I know, and he wants to be there with me, every step of the way.
I haven't told anyone, but I have the Sight. My namesake told me that when we were in the Lair, and she tried to comfort me after I mournfully lamented the ones we'd lost, the ones we'd failed to save. And I'd known it already by then and hadn't told a soul. I'm afraid to tell anyone because I don't want to be used like they've used people with the Sight before. Taken advantage of them. Forced them to see and prophesy (with an eye sound). They've done it before. With Phineas, with my ancestors, with other famous seers. But I don't want to be like them. I don't want to be famous.
But, really, I don't have a choice.
I'll be queen one day, whether I like it or not. My brothers would destroy our family. My cousins cannot keep up with the workload. My adopted aunt and uncles aren't Dragonhearts and would be stopped at every step. And Lamarr... After Grandfather and Grandmama pass, he will keep to himself for many years. We'll see him, of course, but the world will forget about him in time, and he will be reluctant to leave his shell.
I look out over the valley, at what we've built, at how far we've come. I see the houses of stone and wood and clay with thatched rooves, the great oaks, birches, sycamores, and willows growing in the beyond. The river flows peacefully to the west, the first stars already twinkling in its cool blue waters. Patches of moss litter the mountainside as I look for Humboldt, waiting for him to leave his small home with the Stiltons and come to me with his lantern. I've brought bread, cheese, and a little cold chicken and wine as I always do, and he'll bring a blanket and two pillows. And we'll rest here on the cliff, high above the valley floor, unbothered.
I wish we could stay there forever sometimes. It's the closest we could ever get to a date, really, since there's no way to really go into the cities anymore. Not yet, at least. I know things will change, I've seen that, too. Grandfather will again sit on his throne, his kingdom stretching over all of the earth. He will, over time, start to split his kingdom up again and put the lands into the care of good, strong people, people that can be trusted to do what is right for both their nations and he world.
Even if politics seem to become hateful or harsh once more, there won't be another war until after I'm gone, and my children's children are gone. The world will be at peace for many years and it will be careful and cautious before any wars break out. The rules will be different a hundred years from now, and never again will the nigh on apocalyptic state of our people be seen again until we leave this world for another one, a world that I think will be better off than this one as we would know how to care for it.
I think about cousin Edward's words again and try to understand what he meant. If to be a monarch is a gift from God to the people, I will do my best to carry out my duties-- not as a queen, nor as an overlord, but as a servant of God. I will be a servant and advisor to my people when the time comes, and if the people look up to me, let it be because they think I am a good person and not because they think I'm "all of that and more."
It's my hope, my dream, my prayer that I will leave this world better than it was when I came into it. That my children, and my children's children will do the same. That they will learn from my mistakes, and from the mistakes of my ancestors. That they will make this world a greater, safer, nobler world. I don't know if that will happen. I haven't seen it yet. But I know that Humboldt and I will be happy together because I have seen that.
I've seen a lot of things, or my name is not Sinestra Whitestar-Dragonheart. And I know I'll see a lot more.