Time: three days after Victoria
The slightly obnoxious honk of a dodo crossed from the garden into the house. Ariel raised her head just in time to see the small girl tapping a little insecure over the grass following the silly bird. Arms in a dove-grey sweater stretched out for keeping balance and small bare feet digging with tiny pink toes into the muddy earth, the child appeared very much like the dodo she was chasing after. Her wide curious eyes glowed in a face filled with enthusiasm and laughter.
Three days ago it had been darkened with hurt. Ariel shuddered and looked down at her hands folded tightly in her lap.
Another honk told her the dodo had underestimated his chaser's speed. With concern she watched the little girl hugging the fat, squirming bird, worried for a moment that the child might get hurt. She's got nothing to fear, Ariel berated herself. The bird had stopped squirming. It's black button eyes under the ridiculous bald head blinked in awkward amazement into the child's wide green ones shot with violet. Dodo on the other hand...
Ariel's thoughts halted. It was so easy to kill with powers like her's when being careless. Only three days ago, she'd been sure there wasn't anyone able to kill intentionally with psionics - besides the truely mad ones of course - but then...
Then she'd touched Victoria's mind.
Victoria, who had killed - swift, hard, cold beyond mercy, and totally sane - to defend her daughter. The little girl with the fluffy yet silky red hair who clumsily petted the bewitched dodo.
...are you sad?... a childish mind voice whispered in her head inside Ariel's perfectly maintained shields, radiating compassion and cheerfulness at the sensation of the soft dodo feathers under her clumsy fingers.
Ariel started. Incredible power.