I’m the first to admit that I’m a horrible apocalypse survivor, and that I probably should not be left on my own because, as it has been pointed out by my “good friend” Cole, I don’t have a lot of skills. You, on the other hand, seemed to be blessed with many talents. Whereas I am more like a rolly-polly bug, you are a blooming butterfly. (Like my analogy there?). Who do you tribute your strength to? Did you always grow up with confidence or was it something you learned to embrace because you had to?
I learned a lot from both of my parents, who were pretty determined to teach me EVERYTHING. So, from my mom I learned computer and hacking skills. Most useful. From my dad I learned strategy and planning. I didn't learn a lot of physical combat, which would have been nice to have on hand, but I did get a pretty good skill set to keep me from dying. Oh, and I learned to fly an airplane from my dad, obviously. It is our shared love above all else. It's what I miss the most. Flying with him.
As far as my confidence goes, I guess it came with learning how to do what I do, you know? All the drills and training growing up kind of required that I be bold and confident and make decisions in critical moments. Would I have this confidence without that training? I'm not sure. I guess I'll never know.
I think one of the things that make us similar and sets us apart from other teenage girls our age is the fact that we actually liked and got along with our parents. I’m sure you’ve had your ups and your downs with your folks just like I have (who kid hasn’t?), but I’m really impressed, if not a little envious, of the kind of relationship you had with your mom and dad. I would love to hear more about them and how they raised you to be as confident as you are. Here’s your time to pay tribute to them. Only if you feel up to it, of course.
I was always closer to my dad. I think because of our shared love of flying. My mom and I were sometimes too much alike and rubbed each other the wrong way, but I still love her, of course. And she taught me so much about computers and hacking (and how not to get caught) that it brought us closer. My house was always a place of learning. My parents always pushed themselves to be better at whatever they did, and that rubbed off on me. Because I was homeschooled my whole life, I never really spent time around other kids, other than Jax, so I never really had anything to compare my life to. It seemed normal enough to me, though the internet and television proved me wrong on that. We read a lot, played chess on rainy nights by the fire, baked cookies, did normal family stuff. (That part is kind of normal, right? If you take out the random emergency drills in the middle of cookie baking?)
I knew through it all my parents loved me. It's helped, in the wake of everything, as lies are exposed and truth still eludes me, I hold on to that knowledge. Whatever else, they loved me. I can't let go of that.
I think in both of our circumstances, one terrible horrific night forced us to change and become someone we never imagined we could become. Where my change was subtle and took time, yours what quite the metamorphosis. What was your first clue that something about yourself was different? Were you scared at all by it? How have you embraced these changes?
I knew when I woke up surrounded by my own blood that something was different. I should have died. I shouldn't have still been alive. And when I grabbed that soldier and made him do those things, just with my mind? It freaked me out. I didn't have time to really think it through in that moment. Too much happened. I'd lost too much and was going numb from the grief. But now that things are settling down, I can look back and see those moments more clearly.
It built from there. When I realized the full truth of what I'd become, I felt a mix of awe and fear and panic and… okay, I have to be honest here, some excitement. It's not all bad, even if I'd been raised to believe it was. At the core, though, I've been raised to roll with the punches. To have a mind like water, not concrete. I think that's made it easier for me to embrace the changes, because all of my training has been about embracing the changes and working with what is real and not trying to work from a reality I just wished existed. But is there still some fear and panic? Yes. Most definitely yes.
You obviously have a lot of feelings for Jax, and he is the only person left from your “previous” life, so why not tell him about the changes you have faced? Why not confide in him? What’s keeping you from holding back?
It's complicated. Like, REALLY complicated. There was a time I thought I would never keep a secret from Jax. But I also thought he would never keep a secret from me. Turns out you never really know who someone is, even if you've grown up with them your whole life. He kept so much from me, and even now, I know he's holding back. I don't know why. Maybe it's habit. Maybe it's required because of his ranking in the Teutonic Knights. Maybe he thinks he's still protecting me. Whatever it is, my gut instinct is to keep some things hidden from him. I have to protect myself. I'm all I have left.
So what did you know before that night your parents were attacked and your life was torn apart? Did you know some of the history beforehand, or was it all a shock to you? How were you able to take in all the changes and all the “newness” that you were suddenly thrown into?
I knew that there was once a Nephilim War and they were wiped out. I'd seen videos and heard talk. I knew that Angels were considered myth by some, sacred by others. I of course knew about the Four Orders. Everyone does, though they are so shrouded in mystery that few know what exactly they do or what secrets they hold. But they are the elite, the highest of the high in politics, military and religion. But I knew of these things the way you 'know' what's happening in another country, you know? It's there in your mind as a thing, but it doesn't truly impact your daily life in any concrete way. So finding out my parents were part of the Knights Templar and that I'd been born into this crazy world of mystery and politics was definitely a shock.
But finding out the Nephilim were still alive. That nearly killed me.
And how about your grandpa? What do you think of him and his sudden appearance in your life? He seems very wise and as though he does love you, but are you being cautious or is he someone you feel you can trust?
Right now, I can't trust anyone but myself. I love that I still have blood family here. But I don't know what his motivations are, or why he wants me at Castle V. Until I understand more, I'm being cautious with everyone.
In this new world of yours and with all the changes and with everything you’re facing as you’re trying to find your place in it, how do you know you can trust someone? It seems like there is an awful lot of corruption and old school ideas taking place that I would be a bit nervous to take anyone at their word. Are you nervous at all?
Very nervous. As I said before, I don't trust anyone right now. I've never lived like this, constantly holding my secrets close to me, questioning the motivates of everyone around me, but I know I have to now if I want to survive. My parents taught me well, even if it all seemed like a game at the time. They taught me to trust my gut, to do what it takes to survive, and to use my head. I won't forget their lessons.
When my mother was killed, I know it was hard for me to have faith in anything. I really struggled with her death and I know both my dad and brother did too. I at least had time to process it. You have not, not really. It was as if you were thrown into the deep side of the pool, so you weren’t hardly given time to grieve. What is it that keeps you from losing it and giving in to the pain of such a loss?
Survival. I know that my parents both died to save me, and I won't let that sacrifice be in vain. I almost gave in to the despair that night, but then it would have all been for nothing and I can't do that to their memory. So I have to be strong. I have to hold on. I have to do what it takes to find out the truth and avenge them. Until then, I don't have time to grieve.
I know your story is just beginning, and I’m excited to see what kind of butt-kicking you are going to do next. So what kinds of things should I be expecting from you? What’s your next move?
I'm kind of winging it. But basically, I need to infiltrate the Four Orders and find out the truth about my parents. I guess that means I'm going to school at Castle V. I also need to get the rebels organized and figure out what our objectives are. That means working with Zorin. I have to admit that isn't all bad. I don't trust him, but I'm learning a lot from him about my new powers. And above all, I have to keep my true identity a secret from everyone if I want to survive.
And lastly, when are you and Jax going to kiss? Do tell!
Ha! I wish I knew. I have a feeling he might not even be my first kiss at this point. Isn't it crazy after all I've done and been through, that I haven't even kissed a boy? My life is nuts.
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