I wanted to hold her. The need to offer comfort and support was strong enough to make my chest and arms ache. And yet I knew that, if I made only one move towards her, she would bolt. I took a deep breath and thought of clear mountain skies.
"You should go", I told her.
"Yes." She didn't move.
"Are you afraid of me?"
"No." Her eyes gazed into mine.
"You should be", I told her. "I'm one of those strange and dangerous men that you told me about. Probably more strange and dangerous than most."
"I know about men like you." She smiled. "You won't harm me."
"What's your name?"
"Don't trust me, Moire. Don't trust anyone, not even yourself. This war isn't over yet. Maybe it's only just beginning."
"You don't want to hurt me."
"You're right. I don't. But in this war a lot of people did a lot of deeply terrible things that they never wanted to do. Remember that."
She sat there for a while, as if lost in thought. Then she seemed to come to a decision.
"Thank you", she said. With that she got up and left, locking the door of my cell behind her. As I heard the sound of her footsteps disappear into the distance I sank back on my bunk, cursing my stupidity.
I folded my hands behind my head and thought of Rhiana. She had been twenty when we married and she would be forty-four today. In my visions I always saw her as she had been before the war, of course. I wondered whether I would even recognise her if I were to meet her again.
"Congratulations, you've passed the test". Jarvik was standing in the corridor outside my cell. I hadn't heard him coming.
"Thank you". It seemed the right thing to say.
"Moire's tougher than you think, you know."
"Somehow I doubt that", I said. "She should be somewhere safe."
"There is nowhere safe. You ought to know that by now."
Jarvik was leaning against the wall opposite my cell, his hands in his pockets. "So, the question is, are you with us or against us?"
"What do you mean?"
He repeated the question.
"I'm not at liberty to say."
I thought about that for a while.
"Moire has a gift, doesn't she? My guess would be that she's able to read people's emotions."
"Why do you ask?"
"She seemed to think that she knew me. And so do you. You seem so sure of who and what I am, and why it would be worthwhile to have me on your side. But you're both wrong. Moire doesn't know all those things, Jarvik. These gifts don't work that way. She's reading her own hopes and fears as much as anything else."
"Thanks", he said. "I'll keep that in mind."
He looked at me. "Are you going to answer my question?"
"I'm sorry", I said.
He straightened and stepped away from the wall. "Think about it", he said. "I'll have someone bring you some food, and I'll be back later." With that he left.
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