Night fell and the desert air grew cold. Thayer had refused to give me a definitive answer earlier. The decision was to be made, not only by her but by her people also.
Rook arrived at our tent with an invitation to share a drink with Thayer, Indra respectfully accepted. I was nervous, maybe it was still the shock of finding out Lexa had a twin. I had to remind myself that Thayer was not Lexa as the echos of familiar emotions surfaced.
We walked across the desert to a large tent. Upon entering, there was about twenty grounders inside all drinking, shouting, fighting and laughing. There was a sense of freedom here, a hedonistic life unbound by rules. Before I knew it Rook thrust a cup into my hand, filled with strong liquor. I looked at it cautiously. "Drink or it will be viewed as an insult," warned Indra.
I took a mouthful and swallowed it quickly, it tasted strong. Rook led us over to a large table where Thayer sat watching her people enjoy the frivolity of the night. As we approached Thayer never once took her eyes off me. The intensity of her glare made me even more nervous. "How do you like our fire water, Wanheda?" She grinned.
"Its good. Strong, but good," I answered, trying my best to be cautious over my words.
Thayer nodded and drank her drink in one go. She refilled her cup and added more to mine. I thanked her and drank it down.
She continued to look into the crowd, "Those men and women you see here are all outcasts for one reason or another. We don't fit with what our Clans expected of us. Trikovakru, The Shadow People live a hard life but it's on our terms. We're family." She spoke with pride, wanting me to understand the importance of her life with her people.
It made me even more curious of Thayers history. But I knew there was too much a stake for me not to press the matter at hand. "I understand, but all of this here, you, your people, all of us are on borrowed time."
Thayer finished her drink and stood from her chair. Apprehension washed over me again as she spoke, "Walk with me, Wanheda."
I could feel the effect of the alcohol as the cold air hit me, but I kept my composure. I walked by Thayers side to the edge of the camp. The moon was full, it's silver glow highlighting the ripples of the sand.
We stood for a while looking out before Thayer spoke, "I love the silence out here. There's a sense of peace about the desert. I stood here with Lexa once, she always felt like a weight had been lifted come nightfall. No more duties or responsibilities. Just the person she use to be." Thayers sorrow could be heard in her voice. I felt it too and felt honoured she would share with me.
I returned the gesture, "Lexa was more than just The Commander, she was my home." My lip quivered as I thought of her. I wanted Thayer to know I wasn't here just out of duty, I was here for Lexa also.
She turned to me, "You loved her?"
I knodded back, "Yes and I couldn't save her. It haunts me every night." I held back my tears with all of my strength.
"I'm sorry you lost her, I'm sorry for both of us. Lexa was a warrior, she deserved a better death, my sister was worth more."
I could tell she struggled to mourn just as I did. "Then understand I need to do what it takes for us to survive our fate, to keep Lexa's legacy alive. It's all I have left of her." There was a sense of desperation in my voice, I hoped Thayer would understand and not veiw it as weakness.
"The world my sister lived in, the politics, the constant shifting of power is not my world, Wanheda. Here I'm free. I chose this life away from The Capital, away from the conclave and the endless fight for that damn throne. It wasn't a bullet that killed Lexa, it was Polis and this legacy you speak of."
My hopes of Thayer returning to Polis with me seemed to be fading, "Maybe, but if I can't find a way to move forward then your freedom won't be worth a thing. The only thing we will face is death."
Silence remained as we continued to look out into the night. Our hearts were heavy as we remembered the warrior woman we had lost, but we stood together, united in what she meant to us ♾
YOU ARE READING
After the fall of The City of Light, Clarke delivers a dark message of impending doom from ALIE. Political unrest looms in Polis at a time when the clans should be working together. A new Commander must ascend to bring order. Indra holds a secret th...