Summary: Firebird Trilogy — A servitor of Carradee's expresses in writing what she can never do aloud.

Rating: (conservative) PG

Author's Note: Finally, I'm posting this! Hurrah! Enjoy:)

Requested Reviewing Rules: Don't blaspheme or swear, but do critique, and do put a smiley after jokes. Thank you.

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Thirteen years ago, today, I was born.

…So what?

It's odd, all the fuss that's thrown over the days on which the nobles' mothers gave birth. Her Majesty doesn't even get her own birthday celebrated—it's the same day every year, regardless of on what day the current queen was born. The Queen's Birthday is probably the biggest soirée of the year for the nobles. Everyone else gets older without anyone batting an eye. Are all planets like this? Are all cultures like ours?

I hunch over my recall pad as I write this. Glimpses around keep lookout for others. If someone was to read this…

That mustn't happen.

But I cannot keep it in. It must come out, so I release it in the only way I can that others will not find.

…That is, should not.

If they do, I will undoubtedly lose my last-generation servitor standing; and, in all likelihood, my life.

My ears perk at someone mentioning my name, Rami. I soon return my attention to the pad. It is naught but the usual. Whispers about me clutter the kitchens. They are not certain if I am mute or stupid.

It is neither. I am mute by choice and smart enough to know that you cannot know who will twist something you say to earn a higher place at your expense.

I never have cared much for speaking.

As for intelligence, I learned more quickly than many my age… not that it gained me, a mere servitor, any benefit. It's actually to my detriment, for those known to be quick-minded are expected to rebel, almost. Or so it seems. I daren't ask such a blatant question aloud—yet another question plaguing me to which I cannot give voice. I mustn't, daren't; can't. The fear near suffocates me, sometimes.

Everyone tells me Netaia is so much better than the rest of the Whorl… I look around me, at the generations punished for an ancestor's sin, at the gruesome executions of the actual offenders, and I cannot help but think that there must be a better way.

The thought that no one might have that better way frightens me. With how stern Netaia is, how terrible is everyone else?