“You protect him too much. He should be held accountable for his actions.” Magdalena let her son talk, and was silent for a few minutes.
It was uncomfortable for Jordan to stand there, with his back to his mother. She had her eyes closed, but was facing him. Her expression looked almost pained, but it did nothing compared to what her words did. “Promise me that you will not kill Blake, Jordan. That is all I ask.” Kill Blake? He hadn’t even considered anything like that. Blake was his brother. He couldn’t kill his own brother, that would be murder and Jordan was not a murderer. “If that is what you want, Mother.” He was almost offended
that had been said.
“Mom,…” Jordan added after a moment, giving her a questioning look, “Why would you think that I’d do something like that to Blake? He’s my brother.”
“Your position will call for a lot from you, Jordan, like it did your father.” Magdalena started slowly. “He did a lot under pressure of the position to prove himself at his Ascension.” Her voice dropped. She was going to tell him something that she hadn’t told any of the kids and had been wiped from their history due to how scandalous it was.
“Jordan,… did you know that your father had a brother? Four sisters and one brother. You know your Aunts, they’re all inquisitors and minor judges, but the brother, his name was Mikael. He was your grandfather’s secret. You never knew your grandfather, but he was a good man. Unfortunately, he passed away from a heart attack shortly after Mila was born. There is no record of Mikael ever being born. There are no pictures of him. Nothing. It was all erased and he never left the cathedral. Do you know why, Jordan?”
Jordan blinked, unbelieving at what he was hearing, “I think I know,…”
“Yes,…” Magdalena sighed, “Mikael was an impurity. He was weak. He didn’t have any talents at all and to belong to the Priade family and not have any of the gifts of the family was unheard of, but your grandfather loved him and would not see him killed. He thought he’d keep him safe in the cathedral forever and nobody knew except the family. The skeleton in the Priade closet. I knew Mikael and we were friends. He was only a teenager, the youngest brother in the family, but he was a pleasant boy to talk to and he used to spend all of his time in the garden. He was amazing with the plants, with a tender touch and care that more of us could benefit from. When your father became Judge,… that night, he thought he had to prove immediately that he was going to be a just and fair judge and he would be impartial.” Magdalena stared at the floor, as though not really there speaking to Jordan.
“That night, he had the Inquisitors go to the Cathedral and bring Mikael to the ascension ceremony. They were rough on the boy,.. and I will not forget the look on his face as Donovon,… his own brother stepped down from the throne and executed him. Mikael had no idea he was going to die. He didn’t even get to say goodbye to anyone. His last words to his brother, ‘What did I do to you?”
Your father told me that later, and was really torn up about it. But he thought he had to do it. He has lived with that his entire reign. You’ll have many decisions to make in your life as a Judge, Jordan,… but I advise you to not battle your brothers and sisters. They may not agree with you, but you know that none of them would ever do anything against you. We are all family and we all have to live with what happens to each of us and Jordan,… you know as well as I do that if you try to kill Blake, he will defend himself and you won’t live through it. Don’t aggravate him. I’ll handle him. He has no desire for your
position, we all know that, but he’s still very sensitive to the fact that Donovon never even acknowledged the fact or was even truthful with him about his position.
It was wrong of your father to have the Final Will orders for Blake’s life be made open only upon his death. I didn’t even know what he had written down. Blake’s not going to be happy about it, but he will have to follow them. He can’t remain in New America.”
Jordan nodded slowly, “Yes,…”
“I’ll leave you to think about it,” Magdalena backed slowly to the door. “I need to prepare for tonight’s ceremony as well.”
“Yes,…” Jordan was a little shocked at the news he’d never heard of and considered it. If it had been him in that situation, would he have executed his own younger brother?