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Rebekah's Key

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There are tears in Mike’s eyes when their daughter stands on the floor of the Chamber of Steadholders, the former Burdette Sword in her hands. Honor had been wearing her original Key when they had executed her, so at best it was being kept as a trophy by StateSec - it had taken Benjamin’s explicit permission to have a replacement forged for Rebekah. Mike hadn’t realised quite how important the actual physical keys were. That they were, in fact, still the keys to a Steading, albeit that they were now the physical form of the Steading’s cryptographics. That was a well kept secret though, so few non-Steadholders were aware of that fact. She’d still gotten Harrington Steading’s cryptographics switched at the earliest opportunity.

Rebekah is young to do this, but she hadn’t had the heart to stop her. Not that she’s entirely sure she could have; not when she’s well aware that Honor did a similar thing at a similar age. She doubted many of the other cadets that had attended Saganami Island at the same time as the two of them realised that Honor had only barely been old enough to attend the Academy when she’d entered as a freshman. She hadn’t realised that Honor was so much younger that most of them until she’d seen the birthday message the younger woman had been sent by one of her Beowulfan cousins. She’d found herself strangely protective of her after that, especially once some of the male cadets had started to notice Honor, although it wasn’t until the Young incident that she’d realised quite how protective she’d become of her.

At least Grayson’s laws mean that she and Howard would be Rebekah’s Regents until she was either married or she had turned twenty-five. Howard had taught Honor how to rule a Steading, and Mike had been Beth’s company in Caitrin’s lessons. Between them, teaching her and Honor’s precocious, brilliant daughter how to manage Honor’s half of their holdings in less than ten years would be easy. In contrast, Beth had had less than three T-years to learn everything she had to, and though she struggled, her cousin had, in the end, managed brilliantly.

She just had to swallow her desire for revenge until Rebekah was able to stand on her own two feet.