Ebony stood on the raised platform looking down at the person kneeling before her. Her mind filled with disgust, wonder and anger. She couldn't let that show though. She summoned the boy to stand. She recognized him from the Demon Dog tribe. She narrowed her eyes at him slightly. She checked for her guards on either side other. The boy had guts to risk coming into the streets to get to the hotel, especially when there was a war raging in the city. She raised her hand, giving permission to speak.

"I am from the Demon Dogs, milady. I have information on the rebel forces plans."

Ebony sneered down at the boy. He could be only a little younger than she, and already he was corrupt. She walked down the steps separating them, and the boy, automatically, kneeled before her.

"You would betray your tribe to me?"

The boy nodded. She leaned down lifting his head with her fingers so that he was staring right at her.

"I want nothing to do with you...willing to betray your family, your friends. You jump at the first chance to win. You have no loyalties to me. You fight for yourself, joining the team that looks at the best start. If I fall, you would go back to the Demon Dogs, just have you had just done to them. I have no tolerance for betrayal. I have no tolerance for rats. I can not stand people like you. You should always stick to what you believe in. it's foolish to change with the tides. You're a traitor to your people for even coming here, but go. I never want to see you again. I would have you killed but I would rather you suffer your tribe's wrath."

He jumped up and ran out of the room, guards walking after him. The head advisor walked down to her.

"Do you think it was wise to let him go? He could have helped us."

"Like I told him I have no tolerance for betrayal. Loyalty is the most important thing you can have. People like him make me sick."

She turned leaving to her chambers. "your majesty, have you ever been betrayed?' She halted, and mentally shuddered at the memories.

'Are you loyal to me? Will you ever betray me?" she heard a reply from behind her, "then you have nothing to worry about."

She walked on though the dark corridor. All the while one image was suffocating her mind, one face. Jay.

Ebony walked into her room. It was sad and dark but it suited her. All her clothes were black and red, as always. She walked up to her mirror gazing back sat herself. She was frightened by what she saw. She saw a broken, weak girl, the Mallrat girl, the old girl. She grew frustrated that she could look weak again. If she thought she looked weak, others would notice too. Unconsciously she rubbed her wrists but yelling angrily. She threw an extra sheet over the mirror, hiding her Mallrat image from her.

With a sigh of relief, she fell on her bed. But behind closed eyes, mischievous images and nightmares filled her dreams. Memories made her restless, because in her mind she knew she still wasn't any better off. Ebony got up out of a restless sleep, as usual.

The guards were used to this by now. Normally she would go to bed at 10:00 but later get up at 12 or 2 in the morning. It was strange that she could still function like this for so long, but no one stopped her. Actually hardly anyone ever stopped her from doing anything. She was the queen, also called Lady Foxfire. She hated the past and that she couldn't run from it...but she would try. Ebony had thought that once she was queen she could be happy, but she wasn't. Instead she had become worse. Ebony self-consciously rubbed her wrists. Another thing she hardly ever did was eat. She found that she was hardly ever hungry, but she found nothing wrong with it. Foxfire thought that she was a decent ruler. In fact many people were pleased with her but not everyone. Some, of course, thought that she was secretly planning to bring the Technos back. She cringed at the thought. That was the last thing she wanted. There were also the rebels, who had a grudge against her. They thought they had scared her, because she hardly ever went outside, but they were wrong. She was just too weak to go anywhere but her palace. Some of the Mallrats were among the rebels but most were long gone. Most of them had moved far away, split up into other tribes. Not that she cared. As far as she knew, they were all dead. At least that's what the reports said, but she didn't care either way. She was just glad that they were out of her life, gone.

Ebony walked around the hotel for what seemed like hours and it probably was until she bumped into a guard. She recognized her as Gina. Gina had been an orphan but had been taken in as a new guard. She was very loyal, mainly because she had nowhere else to go. She actually reminded Ebony of herself before...well before the virus. She seemed so carefree although Ebony wondered whether she, herself, had ever been care free...probably not.

"Lady Foxfire, you have a visitor. He demands to speak to you but refused to name, only that you will know him," she said bowing deeply.

"Does he seem important?" Foxfire asked with a hint of curiosity.

"No...but he is persistent. He has been here for hours demanding counsel with you. We can't get him to leave."

"Very well. I will see him but give me a minute or two," she said dismissing Gina with a wave of her hand.

Ebony slowly made her way towards the main hall where the visitor would be. Danger and curiosity filled her along with anticipation. But doubt crossed Ebony that it would be anyone worth her seeing. As she neared, she heard a far off voice, shouting with what was clearly a guard. The voice seemed tired and angry and as she stepped closer she realized who the voice belong to, the only person other than Jay that she could say she might have ever cared for. And as she neared she couldn't help but wonder why he was here after so long.