What happened when Sarah was kidnapped as a baby?

Warning! If you haven’t read The Reign yet STOP READING NOW! What is written below is a HUGE, MINDBLOWING SPOILER!

 

Below I have written the events that led up to Sarah being kidnapped when she was a baby. It should explain everything, but feel free to send me a question if there’s something I’ve forgotten to explain.

 

Darnell and Misilina were encouraged to marry, but that didn’t mean that they didn’t love each other. In fact, they were very much in love. Darnell was a little cross and crusty, but he was a sensitive man, and his sweet wife brought out his softer side. He was gentle with her and they were a loving couple in private, although Darnell still kept his public persona aloof and abrupt. He found it easier that way.

Darnell had trouble with physical intimacy with his wife because he found that kind of thing embarrassing. However, because of the love he felt for her, he was able to consummate their marriage with relative ease and continued to sleep with her. The problems didn’t arise for a couple of years when it became clear that Misilina was not falling pregnant.

Tests were conducted and it was discovered that the problem was Darnell’s. He had the Verindonian equivalent of a low sperm cell count. The doctors didn’t think it would be too difficult to overcome and began doing all they could to help the couple.

Things similar to IVF are available on Verindon for the common people but the elite rarely use them because of the dangers of errors being made which could lead to children who don’t have the correct paternity. IVF is forbidden for the Overlord for this reason, as is cloning. The danger of something being slipped in accidentally is too great.

This attitude is ironic considering how hard it is to prove paternity at all, as it requires a dangerous and painful deep scan to identify the parentage of an individual. As affairs are rife in the upper classes, many illegitimate children have been born to the elite and some have even sat on the throne of Verindon. However, most couples who indulge in affairs will have one or two children with their bond partner first so that they can inherit the estate and illegitimate children can be given a lesser inheritance.

The doctors began to chart Darnell and Misilina’s health and peak times of fertility and recommended the best times for them to have sex. Darnell found it all mortifying and had increasing difficulty coping with it. It didn’t help that, because having an heir was a succession issue, the High Council knew all about it and were following the couple’s progress. They tried to be supportive, but this usually consisted of them making suggestive remarks to Darnell when they knew he was due to have sex with his wife. If you can imagine Letz doing something like that, you can probably understand why Darnell was so embarrassed!

One night Darnell’s encounter with Misilina was so specifically timed that it was an item on the agenda of a council meeting. Darnell loved council meetings.  He enjoyed political battles and discussions, and to see his own private affairs written down as an item on the agenda horrified him. It didn’t help that the other councillors kept referring to it and were their usual encouraging selves when Darnell left to go and do his duty. When he left he felt thoroughly humiliated, and by the time he got to his wife’s chamber he was furious.

Misilina, of course, was expecting him. Her ladies in waiting weren’t with her, as they always had the night off when she was expecting a visit from Darnell. Her five pronged guard was still with her, but they remained in the dressing room, rarely going into the bedchamber itself except to check it for danger twice a day.

Misilina had dressed in her sexiest lingerie and was waiting for him, greeting him shyly when he arrived. However, Darnell needed to take out his anger and humiliation on someone and chose his wife. No sooner had she come up to him he said that he couldn’t do it, and started blaming her for the fact that they couldn’t have children, saying that it was her fault and that she was unworthy of him.

Misilina had the same self esteem issues as Sarah, and had, all along, secretly been blaming herself for the problem anyway. Hearing her husband lay the blame at her door confirmed, in her mind, what she had always felt was true. She began begging him for forgiveness, crying and telling him she could do better.

Her submission fed Darnell’s unjust treatment of her and he grew haughty and told her that he didn’t want anything more to do with her. He left the room and went to the Palace library for about half an hour before returning to the council meeting as though everything had gone according to plan.

Misilina became a wreck when he left, thinking that she had just lost her husband. She wept inconsolably in her greeting room, with only her five pronged guard looking on, and they were at a loss of how to help her, as they weren’t familiar with dealing with these kinds of emotions. They talked amongst themselves about what they could do, but weren’t sure. They were about to send for the ladies in waiting when Misilina grabbed her wrap and headed for the door. They followed her.

Misilina went to the Eastern Terrace balcony, overlooking the garden, where she frequently went when she had something on her mind. At first the guard thought that she might calm in this familiar setting, but she continued to walk backwards and forwards, saying things that they knew she shouldn’t be saying where anyone could hear her. Again, they started to wonder what they should do.

Suddenly Misilina jumped up on the balcony railing, as if to throw herself off. She would never have been able to do it – not only were her guard there to stop her, there was a forcefield around the balcony – but she had become frantic and tried anyway. The guard pulled her down and begged her to go back to her quarters.

Now, at that time, passing through the Palace on his way to the High Command, was a high standing agent named Mendolin. Mendolin was regularly in charge of organising Misilina’s security at special events, and was often the leader of her special guarding squad on those occasions, much as Keridan was for Sarah. Misilina liked strong, capable men, as they made her feel safe, and she had always liked Mendolin because he was kind and joked with her.

Mendolin had a couple of things in common with Keridan, in that he thought he was in full control of his emotions. He, like Keridan, was wrong about that. He had grown very fond of Misilina, thinking that she was beautiful and a sweet, caring lady, and was unknowingly in love with her, although his love was nothing like as deep as Keridan’s for Sarah. He had no idea that he felt anything for Misilina beyond admiration for her in her role as consort.

As he passed through the Palace Mendolin heard the commotion on the balcony and came to see what the problem was. He was shocked to see Misilina so upset, and her guard, who were relieved to see Mendolin, explained what had happened. Mendolin joined them in entreating Misilina to return to her chambers and she agreed to do so.

However, when she arrived, Misilina returned to her pacing and muttering, unable to get over what had happened. The guards and Mendolin were uncertain about what to do, especially since she was talking loudly about the problems with Darnell and they were all embarrassed by that.

Finally, Mendolin suggested that the guards wait outside the main door to Misilina’s quarters until he had calmed her down. This was definitely not something they should have been doing. They were supposed to stay in the same room as Misilina at all times unless she was relieving herself, bathing or sleeping in her bedchamber – the safety of the consort might have been compromised – but they thought it was the right course of action, and Mendolin was their superior, so they obeyed, relieved at the thought that Mendolin would take care of it.

There was no thought of anything untoward in Mendolin’s mind when he told them to wait outside. His only thought at this point was to try and settle Misilina down.

He went into the greeting room, where she was pacing, and tried to settle her, while the guards waited on the other side of the main door to her quarters, with it closed (that door is soundproof, as are the walls of her bedchamber). Mendolin followed Misilina and tried to talk to her, but she was beyond reason, and eventually went into her chamber and threw herself on the bed, sobbing.

Now, Mendolin loved her, although he didn’t realise it, and he was unable to let her lie there crying, even though a male agent is forbidden to go into the sleeping quarters of someone of Misilina’s rank and sex unless her life is in danger. But he couldn’t bear the sight of her there like that, so he went in and sat on the edge of the bed, trying to comfort her. She needed to be comforted at that point and sobbed in his arms.

I’m sure you can guess what happened next. She was still in her sexy lingerie, and she looked so beautiful and fragile to Mendolin that he couldn’t resist her. She needed to feel that she was attractive to a man at that point, and Mendolin had always made her feel safe. Before they knew what had happened they had made love.

Misilina fell asleep afterwards, but Mendolin was instantly aware of what he had done, got up straight away, dressed and closed the door of the bedchamber behind him. Then he went out to the guards and told them that the Lady Misilina had gone to sleep in her bedchamber. They were relieved that he had resolved the situation and went inside to take up their normal places around the dressing room without hesitation. Mendolin went home, trying to forget what he’d just done.

Misilina woke up not long after he’d left, feeling bitterly ashamed for cheating on her husband. She dressed quickly in her normal night attire, but she was not alone for long. Soon Darnell came back to her chamber. He was mortified by what he had done to her and had returned to apologise as soon as the council meeting was over. He begged her forgiveness for saying those things to her, declaring that it was all his fault, not hers. Of course, she quickly forgave him, and he was anxious to stay with her to make up for what had happened earlier, and she wasn’t about to refuse him. So he spent a passionate night with her.

Misilina was no fool. As soon as she discovered she was pregnant she was sure it was not Darnell’s child. There was no way he could have been responsible for her pregnancy when he had never had any success before and she had slept with another man at the best time for her to conceive.

She tried to contact Mendolin but at first, he refused to respond. Although he loved her, he was, in essence, a shallow and self absorbed man, and was more concerned for himself than her. He hoped that the situation would go away. It wasn’t until Misilina’s messages grew more agitated that he worried she would confess what had happened to her husband and he knew what would happen to them then.

He considered doing something to make her have a miscarriage, but Misilina wouldn’t hear of it, and Mendolin worried that, if he did it without her knowledge, she would guess what he had done and tell everyone. So he suggested that they wait until the baby was born and then test her DNA and see what that revealed. He also tracked down all the members of the guard who had been guarding Misilina on the night he had slept with her and made sure they were sent off on dangerous missions. All five of them were dead by the time Sarah was born.

He did a deep scan on himself. It was difficult and dangerous for him to do that, but he was interested to see if he could cope with the pain. He was pleased that he was able to pull it off successfully without anyone finding out.

Once Sarah was born the general scan of her cells was entered into the system automatically. Mendolin had enough computer skills to hack into the system and extract the scan, then he used his deep scan to see if it unlocked Sarah’s general scan. Of course it did. Sarah was his child.

Once this was confirmed he began working out what to do. He knew that Sarah would have to be removed from Verindon or any planet that knew about the Vendel. If Sarah had just been the illegitimate child of another Verindal it wouldn’t have been necessary to hide her away, but because she was the child of a Vendel Mendolin knew there was a good chance that she would be able to go into the Safety Zone, which would identify immediately to which race she belonged if she was on a planet that had business with Verindon. So he had to ensure that Sarah was sent to a planet where, even if she did zone, no one on Verindon would ever hear of it.

He chose Earth because its inhabitants were similar to native Verindonians and it was relatively peaceful, not to mention far away and with no knowledge of Verindon. He knew perfectly well that if Sarah ever went zonal on Earth and its inhabitants found out they’d probably lock her up and experiment on her, but it was the best option that gave her some protection, while providing him with all the protection required to keep him safe. Although he cared about Sarah, he did not care enough to risk himself. He told Misilina the planet she was being taken to was “as safe as any” for her. This was close to the truth, and Mendolin was a skilled enough liar to make it appear true, so Misilina did not pick up on it, even though her own lie detecting talent was quite good.

Mendolin had had contact with Korviki a few times when on various missions. He knew her race had a strong maternal edge, and that because of Korviki’s lifestyle she was unlikely to ever have children of her own. He was sure that she would be happy spending a few years on a remote planet having the experience of raising a child, especially if he paid her well. His agreement with her was always that she would only stay there for five years (leaving when Sarah turned seven), then she would be allowed to pull out and would receive the final payment. In truth, he was planning to murder her. Mendolin never left loose ends.

Mendolin plotted Sarah’s kidnap to the second. Misilina never knew when it was going to occur, only that it would. Mendolin used the secret passage to enter Misilina’s chambers (where Sarah slept) one day when Misilina was out at a function. He murdered Sarah’s guard and her nanny. Before entering he distorted the cameras that recorded footage from outside Misilina’s quarters, making sure it looked like it had been done by an enemy who had come from outside and had entered that way to steal the child. In reality it was to cover up the fact that no one had used that entrance at the time of the kidnapping, although he did go out there at one stage to murder the guards at the door.

Mendolin had, to all intents and purposes, left the planet on personal business the day before the kidnapping (agents of senior rank are allowed to have business interests on other planets. The higher your rank the more freedom you are allowed). He returned in secret to carry out Sarah’s kidnap, and left clues to implicate Crazaan. But Crazaan had changed his plans that day and had a watertight alibi for the time Sarah disappeared. People still blamed him, assuming he had hired someone to do the job, but as no real evidence could be found, there was no way he could be charged with the crime.

Mendolin took Sarah to a squad of women for hire who had been commissioned to take her to Earth. Korviki went to Earth shortly after using Persuasion (a drug frequently used throughout the Seven Systems to make people do what they might not otherwise do) to make David Fenhardt fall in love with her and agree to a whirlwind marriage and eventually an adoption. The hired women posed as government officials and worked under Korviki’s instruction. She had already set up the necessary paperwork and computer records to make Sarah look like a native up for adoption, should anyone come looking for her.

It all went off without a hitch, and the squad of women for hire returned to Mendolin for their final payment. He promptly murdered them.

So Mendolin kept paying Korviki, who stayed with David Fenhardt and Sarah and played ‘house’. For the first year or two she didn’t mind it, but after that she started to get a little bored, and occasionally went off on a ‘business trip’, where she went back into space and did a brief job just to keep herself amused.

Because the lifespan of her species is about two hundred years, as far as she was concerned five years with Sarah wasn’t that long, but she found keeping the charade up with David Fenhardt was difficult.

When Sarah was about to turn five Mendolin agreed to a mission that would take him near Earth. He had business in another system, he told the Agency, so after the mission was completed they agreed to let him deal with his business on a solo trip before returning. He intended to murder Korviki, sure that the native family that Sarah was with would keep her and raise her without Korviki. However, he was killed while on the mission, so never carried out his plan to kill her.

Korviki noticed the following month that her payments from Mendolin had ceased. She thought he’d either reneged on their deal or died himself, and there was no way she was staying where she was without more money. She knew that David Fenhardt would care for Sarah, so although she cared about her, she had no hesitation in walking away. She waited until after Sarah’s fifth birthday before leaving, making sure she researched on TV the best things to say to Sarah the night before she left, so that Sarah would not feel abandoned or unloved.

Korviki knew that Sarah was Misilina’s child, and was sure she was illegitimate, but it never occurred to her that Mendolin was Sarah’s father. She knew he was an agent, even though she’d never known his real name, as he’d always used an alias with her. In their dealings with each other she’d never seen anything in him that had showed he would ever have a lapse of control, or any kind of emotional attachment to anyone other than himself. This made Korviki sure that Sarah was not the child of an agent, either. Mendolin would never help an agent who had betrayed his position by getting the Overlord’s consort pregnant. Korviki was sure that Sarah’s real father was some undesirable person and Misilina was afraid that they would realise because Darnell was unable to conceive a child himself, so Korviki believed Misilina sent Sarah away to protect herself.

After Sarah was taken, Misilina cried frequently and was often hysterical. Although she knew that her daughter couldn’t return to Verindon because it was too dangerous for her and she also knew that Mendolin knew more or less where Sarah was, she still always appeared enthusiastic when anyone mentioned progress in finding Sarah, as her desire for having her daughter back was real, although she knew deep down it could never happen.

When Mendolin died it was the last straw for Misilina. When she discovered signs that she was in the early stages of a deadly disease (similar to cancer) she did nothing to stop it spreading, thereby allowing herself to die from it when Sarah was about seven years old.

Korviki was aware when Sarah returned to Verindon, and watched her with interest. She still felt a maternal pull towards the only child she’d ever felt was hers, so when she discovered some agents were plotting against Sarah she came to warn her. Unfortunately, she overestimated her abilities, assuming that she was too clever to be outwitted by agents. She was wrong.