PART THREE: THE SELKIES’ INDEPENDENCE DAY
Princess Iara struggled to accept the ruling rendered by the Council for all Undine races that had determined to disallow the integration of the Selkie race. Avery’s firm, reassuring hand helped steel Iara for the actions she would take succeeding the verdict.
“Princess Iara, it is also the recommendation of this special council that you seek further psychiatric treatment. The DoD of Timeline D-3 has been kind enough to provide the names of the best psychiatric facilities in their timeline or, if you would prefer, those present in this Timeline,” the Queen-Sage Denise stated.
Iara blinked several times as she absorbed everything and after the staying silent for a few moments, turned to face Avery who nodded encouragingly at her.
“Your majesty, before this council, following the verdict rendered by this special seating, I wish to officially rescind myself from my royal status as a Princess,” Iara declared.
There were gasps and murmurs all round but her family appeared too stunned to speak.
“I also wish to officially declare myself as a Selkie and further submit that I am willing to suffer a similar fate as my people,”
Iara turned to face the Protectors in the room and she dramatically raised her arms up in surrender stating, “Good Protectors, kindly arrest me as I am now officially a Selkie,”
“Stop it, Iara! This is absolute madness and further proof that Prince Rian has brainwashed you! Are you going to throw your whole life away because of him?” her father, Prince Consort, Basil chided.
“The simple answer to your question, your highness is, yes. For Prince Rian, I am willing to throw my whole life away. Our bond is irrevocable and I am more than willing to forsake everything for it,” she stated.
“Princess Iara, this is most disconcerting. I urge you to take the advice of your family and submit yourself to a mental health facility,” Sage Zariya stated worriedly.
“With all due respect, your holiness, I decline from any further assessments, mental or otherwise especially if they are going to be conducted by the DoD. I do not make these pronouncements lightly and I have every intention to follow through on them to the bitter end, that is all,” Iara stated. She bowed to the Queen-Sage and before both she and Avery left the room to further murmurs and gasps. They then safely teleported away from the meeting venue and to a safe location back in Timeline D-3.
When safely in Avery’s modest apartment’s den, they met up with the PR firm representatives Iara had hired and they had a lengthy discussion concerning Iara’s next moves. They were later joined by representatives from the Golden Knights Agency that Iara had contracted to provide security to her for the duration of the next phase of her plans.
News spread quickly that Iara had rescinded herself as a Princess and declared herself a Selkie and upon the advice of the contracted PR Firm, she used the press coming her way to launch a campaign to free the Selkies.
News stations clamored to secure an exclusive interview with her to explain what had prompted her actions and Iara was selective of which stations she agreed to do interviews with. During the interviews, she had the opportunity to carefully construct the image she wanted associated with herself and the Selkies by extension.
The image of star-crossed lovers from Alternate Realities being torn apart because of the Xenophobia of the Undine ruling class was easy to imprint upon the common public and it inspired the frenzy that Iara had hoped it would and soon, the Free the Selkie movement grew in numbers. The public’s trust in the DoD was negatively impacted as support for the Selkie grew. Increasing pressure grew to a degree that even the government was involved who in turn pressured the DoD to release the Seal-folk from captivity.
Many Magical Realm countries welcomed the Selkie to join them but after much deliberation and consultation with Avery, Iara decided that Amana was the best option as the Island Country was known to have the best climate where the Seal-folk could thrive.
On the day of the Selkies’ release, which was on Thursday, 21st October 2077 in Timeline D-3, Iara presented herself in person to the D-3’s DoD headquarters followed by a crowd of frenzied reporters. A livestream provided coverage of the former Princess’ majestic walk into the HQ in a sweeping, floor- length aquamarine colored gown complete with enchanted, glistening lazurite scales and the accompanying imitation dragon-hide scaled boots.
Director Pheonix Port was there to welcome her courteously and took her directly to where she found the Selkies waiting for her. They embraced her and thanked her for all her lobbying efforts to free them.
Iara was then led into the chamber where Prince Rian was suspended in a translucent tank. Iara ran up to the tank and observed the suspended body of Prince Rian in awe. He was in his Seal form and appeared worn out but he was a beautiful creature to behold all the same with a glistening coat of black fur and Iara breathlessly stared at him before subconsciously caressing the tank with her fingers.
A few minutes later, bubbles began to rise in the tank as Prince Rian’s form subconsciously floated towards Iara’s fingers. His short paw touched the glass lightly and there was a collective “aw” from those live-streaming the event. Iara smiled and touched the glass where Prince Rian’s fingers were.
“At long last we meet, my love,” Iara stated. She closed her eyes and rested her temple on the glass.
”I still believed this to be a dream but I know in my heart of hearts that I could never have imagined such a perfect creature as you. I am sorry I couldn’t wait a moment longer; I know you may not be ready to fully embrace this world but I beg you, please, wake up,”
A few moments of silence passed when the world watched Prince Rian’s tank keenly and with bated breath before he slowly but surely opened his eyes and stared directly at Iara to awed gasps from all gathered. After a while, a hole opened up at the tank’s bottom draining all the water in the tank. Prince Rian then transformed into his humanoid form. Once the tank had been completely drained of water, the sides collapsed allowing access to the tank.
Iara rushed to merrily embrace him and he responded in kind, holding her close to his side, burying his face in her hair as he held her. He then opened his eyes, scanning the room keenly. Rian smiled brightly upon seeing the other Selkies and they reverently bowed before their Prince. Rian then observed the strangers in the room including the Protectors present and the reporters live-streaming the event, hesitating when his eyes settled on Director Port. Rian quickly looked away upon realizing that he was staring at Director Port for too long. He then let go of Iara and thanked her for everything she had done for him even as he was handed over clothes and given a changing room so he could make a statement once he was fully clothed.
Once fully clothed, he returned to the room that had once held him captive to address the crowds gathered in the room. Reporters were flabbergasted that Rian could address them in fluent English which he credited Iara for having taught him.
He once more thanked everyone who had seen to the actualization of his and the Selkies’ freedom and answered a few more questions before he, Iara and the other Selkies were whisked away to safety by the Golden Knights Agency. They spent the better part of that evening feasting upon various fish-based cuisine at a famous restaurant recommended by Avery before securely being teleported to the Golden Knights HQ, where they met up with Avery in the privacy of her father’s office.
They chatted with Avery for a while about their incredible journey to the Timeline and Avery patiently listened to the Selkies without interrupting them. Once they had completed their tale, Avery once more welcomed them to the Reality that would then be their new home.
“Thank you, Lady Avery Alison for everything you have done for my Iara and our people. I will be eternally grateful to you,”
“Think nothing of it, your highness,” Avery stated with a respectful bow.
“I vow to return the favor and you can count on mine and my people’s support whenever you require it,” the Prince stated.
“I appreciate it, your highness and shall hold you to your word,” Avery stated.
“As a sign of my good faith of our newly found partnership, my lady ,I wish to express my concern at something that has burdened my mind all day… Of course, I did not wish to worry you with baseless speculations, but I find it pertinent to let you know that leader of our captives, Pheonix, I believe his name was, well… there is something disconcerting about him. I fear that he is a very dangerous man although I cannot quite put my finger on why I feel so strongly about this. If I were you, I would be careful in any dealings I have with him,”
TO BE CONTINUED…
What threat does Director Pheonix Port pose or is Prince Rian merely paranoid about the leader of the DoD in Timeline D-3? Stay tuned to find out! Links to previous parts are listed below. EnEnj