It's been a few days, so I'll have to catch up.
Aunt Midnight said her goodbyes to Tori and Topaz, John and Damon, Alex and Ted, and even William - but she was only able to give Edward and Rose light kisses on their foreheads as they were already fast asleep. With Eomer strapped to her front, we made our way to the docks and boarded the El Tívu. Aunt Midnight had a long conversation with Mr Patrick Reilly, before he gathered his crew and decided to set sail. She led me down to the guest cabin and we settled in for the night.
“Aunt Midnight?” I had asked her, “Is there anything I should expect, when we get to Normandy?”
“Like what?” she replied.
“I don't know. Anything.”
“Well, it's probably going to be cold when we get there. Or wet. Or both. So you should wrap up as much as you can. And expect a lot of shouting. And the smell of armpit.”
I remember laughing at the last part.
Today was a bright day, and I saw Aunt Midnight pacing the upper deck with Eomer in her arms. She was reading a sheet of paper. She has the quirk of calling him Clay now... I didn't know if it's a lasting one though, so I think I'll continue to refer to him as Eomer. There have been a lot of thoughts buzzing in my head... I decided to throw them to Aunt Midnight so she could help sort them out.
“Can I ask you something?” I said.
“Top deck can be dangerous, Kenny, be careful,” she murmured, engrossed in reading her note.
“What is it?” she said, looking up.
“Can I ask you something?”
“That has got to be the most redundant question anyone can ever ask.”
I gave her a bored look.
She scoffed, “What is it?”
“What do the Chess Pieces want?”
“They're nihilists. They want the end of the world.”
“It's... complicated,” Aunt Midnight sighed, “The Chess Pieces weren't always this way, or of this thought. They're an offshoot from a different group.”
“And what were they called? Checkers?”
“The Chess Pieces initially were anarchists. They believed that leadership, that leaving the decisions of the greater populace to a minority would only lead to tyranny - and so they fought in the name of removing all leaders and politicians, in the name of anarchy. Essentially, they fought for freedom.”
“No. Any form of government is seen as tyrannical in Chess Piece eyes. But then a... philosopher of that faction proposed a new ideal. Personally, I believe he meant well, but... He stated that true freedom could never be attained in this life, this world - and such things can only exist after death. I believe that he meant to instill some sort of order, but the Chess Piece power-heads understood this in a different light. They now believe that since true freedom cannot be achieved in the confines of this life - they would hasten death where they could and the end of times if it was forthcoming - in order to truly liberate everyone.”
“That is... really dark.”
“Most things are.”
“You don't agree with it, do you?”
“I can see where they're coming from, I guess, but no. I don't believe freedom is the cure to all the world's problems, so I've never really seen a point in supporting it. Besides, every man standing behind the banner of freedom seems to have ulterior motives and they seem to forget that freedom by definition is limitless, while this world and everything in it certainly has a limit, a line.”
“So, if you don't believe it... How come you don't stop Queenie from being with them?”
“I'm allowed to believe what I'm allowed to believe. She should be allowed too.”
“But it's wrong.”
“Right and wrong are perceptions. Subjective. What's right for me and what's right for Queenie are two different things - regardless of which is true or not. Only Queenie can decide what's right for her.”
“So, you're not mad at her? For being a Chess Piece?”
“Anger isn't logical. And I wasn't angry at her for being a Chess Piece. I was angry at her because I suspected she had something to do with your uncle's murder.”
“But you're not happy with it.”
“Not particularly, no. But it's not really my place to be happy or sad about Queenie's decisions.”
“...What about Annabeth?”
“What about her?”
“What do the Sons of the Sword believe?”
“In hoarding ancient relics to 'save the world from itself'. Or at least, that's what Cortés is saying. It sounds like some self-righteous bullshit to me.”
“Is that what that paper is?”
Aunt Midnight nodded, shaking the page, “He's helping me. Ish. And finding information on Mr Kenobi.”
“You trust him?”
“Fear can run to places loyalty can hope to reach.”
“So... What do you think it's about?”
“Well, if the idea was to hide these relics from the world, the Sons of the Sword wouldn't be using them. If you ask me, I think it's about power. I think they do intend to use these relics for their own gain, but only until they've managed to capture or destroy what's left of them. Why leave things unfinished for rivals to screw things up, after all?”
“Like... world domination?”
“Something like that. Though, these are just speculations, not solid facts.”
“But you're still going to go after them?”
“If the Sons of the Sword want to take over the world, that's their business. But I won't give them the chance to make it happen with Thomas's map.”