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Emotions were unwanted, toxic, elements that made you unworthy of living to serve your queen. This was what Joshua had been taught to believe.

Emotions were powerful, and they brought both pleasure and pain, and made life worth living, made it something beyond mere servitude. This was what Joshua had learned.


Anna was his queen and Joshua outwardly served her, doing her bidding even when it pained him. Lisa was his queen in his heart, for she was the promise of a future where emotions would be cherished and they could live in harmony with the people of Earth.

Lisa told him he was brave and it made his heart sing. Bravery wasn't something his people understood; soldiers were bred to act regardless of their safety, and others were indoctrinated to put Anna's desires above all else, even their own lives.

Joshua did what he could to further the interests of the Fifth Column, knowing if he was discovered it would mean his death – but it wasn't brave because he had no choice. He couldn't lose his emotions and if he was found to have them, he'd be killed, so he might as well go down fighting. Yet for Lisa to recognise his actions as bravery made them seem more heroic and he was glad.


Erica had accomplished the vital mission, buying the resistance movement the time they so desperately needed. Anna's eggs were gone, and there was hope once more. Yet he couldn't risk Erica's life, nor risk Lisa being implicated. These women were the lynchpins that would hold the Fifth Column together and lead them to victory. Joshua remembered Georgie Sutton and his sacrifice; how could he do any less than offer himself for the cause.

Erica hesitated, indecision flickering on her features. Emotions made things less cut and dried; the very thing they were fighting for was the one thing that might bring them down. Yet she was no ordinary woman. Erica knew what they were fighting for and against, she was a trained officer of the law, and she'd killed before. She made it quick, at least, Joshua thought, as the bullets tore through him, sending him into darkness.


"Welcome back," Marcus said, and Joshua felt a wave of both relief and despair, not knowing if he'd been brought back to what humans might call heaven, or what might be hell.