Let the Broken Eyes Perservere

- 18th February - People's’ Palace - Late Morning -

Stella's expression fell at the young lady's words. All of this and it had slipped right under her nose. Her eyes looked to the doors and her mind filled with thousands of thoughts. Just how many had suffered? How many are suffering at this moment? Had this happened to Jessy? The disappearance, the bruises, the distant gaze, the Red Crew rescue... Christ. The children, the fragile life blood of the future, and already she had failed them in safety.

You blame yourself too much.

"No, I don't blame myself enough," she thought, and blinked her staring away, looking back to Diana and her little disk again, ignoring the dog that struck a childish fear into her chest.

"These... atrocities will be dealt with accordingly, only adding to the endless list of Elesian crimes that must be corrected," Stella rubbed her chin in thought.
She sighed. The girl had a head and heart of steel and would not take no for an answer. "If you wish, Ms. Montclaire, you may join the Delegation when they leave, but know the risk, and know it well." Her gaze fell upon Westley once more.
"If you say you'll take her under your wing then let her be another one of your vast responsibilities that you'll do your best to carry out."
Stella's expression hardened almost, though, she could never whole-heartedly threaten someone she loved who, as it appeared in a baffling manner, didn't seem to reciprocate any longer. The last blood Corbet knew, just as she, if he botched this the Council would have him shredded down to nothing no matter her interference, given she had simple mercy on him any longer.

"Thank you," Diana nodded and looked to him. "I'm sure there will be little room for mistak--"

He cleared his throat to interrupt, "There will be no room for mistakes. I fully understand, Councilor."

Do you? At all?

This was always about more than the Elesian Accord, more than simple trade. This was about their entire being. Survival. Integrity. Freedom. What little was left. If Diana did have something inside her valuable to them, she could use her as a bartering chip if need be. But putting a young girl's life on the line for a shot at the treaty? Not the Stella way. The Dusk way, but not hers. Even with the little power she held against the Sky City surely they could reach agreement before having to fall back on that risk. The Montclaire girl was their last resort if she was even as special and useful as she claimed. And if the girl was willing to risk her own life for participating in the Delve rescue, Stella didn't know whether or not to compliment her bravery or shame her naivety projected toward the situation. The true importance of the things at hand were beyond Diana, as predicted. It was better for her to stay out of the crossfire, God-forbid things run awry.
However, her claims about what had been done were special to the Councilor. The experimentation, the unrecognizable, hollow body with glassy eyes staring back in a way they never had before in the mirror glass. They pierced right through, asking you who you were and why it even mattered at all. Ever since her recovery, Stella saw those same eyes every day, though only in recent times was she beginning to claim it. Her dignity and volition had begun to blossom from a dainty bud.

"You say the mirror is lying to you, that whenever you gaze into those beading browns all you see is nothing. It is someone else's void completely. But most importantly, that is not at all what you see now. You see Serenity, Tate, and the good man that was your father. You want them back more than you've wanted them in an entire lifetime. It is that urgency and spirit, I'm afraid, that may bring you trouble, Diana. But trouble is not quite what you fear, is it? Nonetheless, tread lightly where you go but always keep even the most broken eyes open." She looked to the two guards standing aside the room. "Assist Diana and the Delegation with whatever they require." She commanded

There was much to think about and very minimal time. A hurricane of revelation and she hadn't quite grasped it in full. Of course, later it would only flood her instincts and emotions the ways it always did. Perhaps the sacrifice one makes to be a leader is their own mentality or the entire stability of it. She'd already done that when choosing to be the head of a sad, sickly sore called Dusk and decided to stand against the flowering, floating fuck-offs of Elesium. She and the city could only hope this negotiation went well and if hope wasn't enough, for her prayer might suffice. With a near future of Graymire and the Delve in hand, bringing the Sky City into her palm --into justice and off their high horses-- would be irrefutable. Truly, if she couldn't pull this off, who could?
A good thought.

A daunting one that would only prove more harrowing than presumed.

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