Epilogue: So You Want to be a Mord'Kitten…

"Think they're talking about you, or the Southerners?" Rega whispered.

Gracie didn't look away from the figures of her mother, Lord and Lady Rahl, and the old wizard. "Both, I expect," she murmured back. "They've thrown the Ambassador in the dungeon—something about dip-lo-mat-ic immunity…"

"Why do you want to be a Mord'Sith, anyway?" Rega asked, looking at Gracie. "You've said yourself, that hair is really not practical."

Gracie knew her friend was trying to make light of the situation. Most people would condemn her immediately—a request to join the Sisters of the Agiel was so rare that even the other Mord'Sith eyed her askance, since Denna. They probably thought she was possessed.

Besides, the general assumption was that Lord Rahl, although willing to accept the service of the current Mord'Sith, would disapprove greatly of creating any more. If he allowed this, the Southerners wouldn't be the only ones calling him a barbarian.

Gracie shrugged, trying to think of a flippant response. She couldn't very well explain how being at Denna's nonexistent mercy had made her feel—her need to stop that from ever happening again. "I..." she said, hesitantly. Then she looked at Shadow, willing her to understand. "I don't want to be helpless," she said. "I need to be as strong as I can—to fight back. You—and the rest of your family—it's different. You're already a living weapon."

Rega shuddered. "I would give anything not to have my power," she whispered.

Gracie glared at her. "Snap out of it, Shadow," she said sternly. "If it weren't for your power, we'd both be dead—or worse. You're strong; get used to it."

Rega smiled tremulously. "I'm not the strong one, Golden Girl." She looked back at where Aunt Cara, Mother, Father, and Zedd spoke in hushed tones. No doubt they discussed politics, treaties, wars, prophecies…and Gracie. Who, Rega knew, was going to get her way. She always did. "You are."