The beauty of the garden was deeply diminished by the memory of the destruction that Sephira carried with her. The young mage recalled the carnage in the trials after when she had volunteered to help rescue survivors. Not too long ago this had been a place marked by death, somehow though Faith had managed to wipe that all away and gift Scalvoris with something beautiful in its place. The woman had a true gift in the ability to take something unspeakable and transform it into a symbol of hope.
Her footsteps clinked lightly on the stepping stones as she and the other half dozen Elements rounded the glass sculpture to look upon the names of those who had died. The Rupturer gave pause as she came upon the section that listed the names of all the volunteers. There her name was to the left and in the middle of everyone else’s. Shame instantly blossomed within her. Her named didn’t deserve to be on that wall, regardless of what volunteer work she had done.
Sephira had played an undeniable part in the deaths here. It was a memory that played over and over within her mind every trial. The sound of the portal ripping open as her Spark reveled in its new strength. Then the thunder of the roof cracking and crumbling while she and the others races to escape. Over four hundred lives had been lost that night and she had been one of those to blame.
The mage bit her lip for a moment, freezing for a handful of trills until one of the Element’s behind her touched her arm and snapped her out of the daze.
“Sorry.” She whispered before moving on.
Finally the time came for people to come forward and speak and the Elements waited in silence as Rynata came forward to offer her condolences and remark on the hard work of those that had made all this happen. It was a good speech; honest and sincere with few needless frills.
Sephira herself was no public speaker but the Elements had asked her to say a few works to-trial about plans for the future along with an apology from the military themselves. She had readily agreed even if standing up and giving a speech was something she despised. Once Rynata had finished speaking Sephira and the other half dozen Elements with a representative from each branch came to stand at the forefront of the group. Their faces were solemn and resigned.
The mage took a deep steadying breath before beginning her speech.
“This place.” She said whilst gesturing lightly at the garden around them. “It speaks to the strength of the people of this island. You should all feel an enormous amount of pride for what has been achieved here.” The woman tensed faintly as memories came flooding back.
“Your strength has gotten us through those terrible times, but ours...” she nodded toward herself and the other Elements behind her. “Failed you...that night.
Sephira’s knuckles turned white as she curled her hands into fists to keep herself from losing her ridged sense of self control. She could sense her Rupturing Spark flinching at the touch of her chaotic emotions.
“The Elements failed to see what was coming, and we failed in protecting you.” Her voice wavered faintly as she paused for a moment to shore up the weak points in her mind. She couldn't have her Spark interfering at a moment like this.
Sephira’s voice grew firmer as she continued; her eyes hardening.
“But we will take heart in your strength, and we shall strive to show such resilience as we move into the future.“
The soldiers behind the Special Assistant seemed to straighten up and stand a little prouder.
“And we will never fail you again.”
Sephira meant those words. She had spent enough time on the sidelines rather than taking the lead. The Elements had failed Scalvoris in the past, but never again.