Preparing for battle

Lydia's nose tingled with the scent of blood as she lowered her head ever so slightly, swiftly using her wool sleeve to erase the evidence before anyone could notice. Leading her small mutant army, she pressed forward, the mission ahead complex and multi-faceted.

First, she would orchestrate the attack on the state capitol, a decisive strike to seize control. Then, with state officials in captivity, one of her mutant soldiers would broadcast her offer to the president on national television. Lydia's terms were clear: the release of the state officials in exchange for the freedom of all mutants. Her objective was simple—equality, the same rights afforded to any human, even if it meant a mass relocation of mutants to a distant island.

However, despite her resolve, doubts crept in. The recent display of power, resulting in the gruesome death of Sophia's assailant, had taken a drastic physical toll on Lydia. It was the most power she had ever channeled, and her young body struggled to contain it. She knew she had stopped just in time; pushing further might have cost her life.

Johnathan stifled a yawn and glanced around the room, searching for a distraction. That's when he noticed Khunara flashing him a kind smile. He couldn't help but smile back, admiring the way her coffee-brown eyes seemed to sparkle in the light as her lips curled upward. Leaning against the nearest wall, he crossed his arms and silently watched her work.

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