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High Priestess Ayesha, Eight Hours Later

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If they ever find out who’s done this, Ayesha is planning to wipe the whole of their race out. None of these nonsensical half-measures that have left the rest of the Sovereign race still alive and at a loss on how to proceed. At least now, however, everyone who needs to has figured out that the best course of action is to gather together, make a proper assessment of who was alive and who was dead, and work out a plan for replacing all losses in the most efficient manner possible. Unintended deaths do happen sometimes, after all, despite their efforts to avoid them. This is on a larger scale than they’ve ever dealt with before, but they’re not without precedent.

The other surviving members of the Council shouldn’t have needed to figure that out. They should’ve just gotten up and gotten themselves assembled as soon as the High Priestess had given the order. But noone’s behaving as they’re supposed to right now.

Not even Ayesha herself; it took her far too long to give it. Too much time spent in a dumbfounded stupor, overwhelmed by what had happened to their carefully crafted community. But she's past that now.

Unfortunately her chambermaid is among the dead, and she is not perhaps at her best looking when she enters the unsettlingly empty Council Chamber. Most of the surviving members are seated already, though Odara gets seated last, a moment or so after Ayesha does; the High Priestess believes her sector was hit particularly hard.

Normally, of course, everyone will have briefed themselves on the data. These are not normal circumstances, so after the standard greetings, Ayesha says, “I will start with the numbers I have, the facts of this catastrophic loss we are now facing. We have lost 40% of our population, as well as 49.7% of our birthing pods. Also 50.2% of our crops, and 60.34% of our livestock. I am afraid we will have to have people take on tasks they were not meant for, at least for a few months or even years.” To her surprise, there are no protests. Everyone does appreciate how dire the situation truly is.

“There is, however, a way we can faster restore our community to the perfection it ought to be, in fact, to increase that perfection.”

“You wish to replace all the lost birthing pods with ones of your new design,” says Hiro, the member of the Council who has always been opposed to Adam. They have not been lucky enough to lose him.

“If we have the resources available. I do not have all the numbers there yet, but I know we can do so for at least 30% of them. From them we can shape individuals who will do more, and faster, and better. Those of you who have been involved in Adam’s education will know what having so many more like him with us will accomplish.”

The members of the Council are looking warily at each other. Scared, of course, that they would be replaced. Even those of them that don’t have enough years left for that.

Ayesha doesn’t have the patience for any of that on this day. She’s often let the Council give their advice, and even make the decisions when it was proper for them to, but this is one she’s now made a very long time ago, and she is not passing up this chance to finally get it implemented, especially when they can do with it most.

She raises her voice only a little as she says, “Remember your places, and understand I am not asking for your permission for this. This is what we must do to recover ourselves, as well as what we ought to have already done to better ourselves, and it is what we will do.”

There has been a moment of worry, that in these extreme circumstances, that their response might be to reject all they have not already lost. They can still override her, if they’re willing to go far enough.

But she sees each one of them quail before her glare, and she knows that they will instead cling to the pillar of her authority. There will be some discussion, over some more immediate practical matters, in this meeting. But Ayesha is now comfortably certain she will get everything she wants.