Chapter Two of The Obsession.

She could barely remember the former king, but she knew enough modern history that the colonies dispersed before killing each other in a series of small wars. It was knowledge that felt natural to her. She was in enough battles, recalling in distant psychological experience, to warrant the existential solipsistic dread that when she held the sword, she was the only one that mattered in anyone’s eyes.

Including her father’s.

Chapter One of The Obsession.

At her feet, she found something joyful. The horizon cleared and she too sat on the ground. Her gaze locked with Mischa.

“I didn’t think we’d see each other again.”

“Given what you do? It was likely,” Mischa was hoarse, hesitating to move from the ground. The glow suppressed Oktavia’s features, in which the illusion was consolable that she was safe. Her head rolled to the side, almost touching the robot’s knee.

“The Obsession” (Chapter 1 via Kindle Vella).

“Did you think I’d forget you, my Mischa?” Somehow, her voice didn’t falter into emotion, yet her chest sunk as she looked into the human’s eyes. She swallowed. Focus. Oktavia, in her dark moment, squeezed tightly before dropping Mischa to the ground.

At her feet, she found something joyful. The horizon cleared and she too sat on the ground. Her gaze locked with Mischa.

“I didn’t think we’d see each other again.”