The Terrible Secret

The Bodhisattva of Attika.
There is a Terrible Secret about the Immaculate women in the Sun Towers. Under the rule of the 999th Emperor Incarnate, their lives are not their own. This is a difficult thing to learn for our young heroine . . .
Sapphire walked to the nursery. She stood at the door listening, the silence dreadful. There should have been children here now as the Magnificent Orb settled to a soft afternoon glow. A feeling of guilt crept into her soul. The feeling made her want to run from the nursery, screaming. She remained there, forced herself to hear the silence and what it meant. Deep inside she feared she was complicit in the infertility that had fallen on Immaculate women. She heard Carnelian’s petulant voice and how he had laid the seeds of guilt, “It’s your fault there are no more children.” He was thirteen years old then. And later at sixteen, he had taken on the demeaning tone of his father and said, “Our Lord Emperor won’t allow any Immaculates to have children and it’s all because of you. Why were you born?” Though what he said was hurtful, she had seen how Malachite treated his wife and his daughter. He did not even have the decency to hide it. Carnelian had learned his lessons well.