Prompt 191-Motherly Quality

Write about the most important quality any mother should have.

Lara panted on her knees in the soft grass of the courtyard. Her arms trembled and she struggled to get back to her feet. The artificial sun of the Dome beat down on the Heroes training yard, feeling hot despite the rigorously regulated atmosphere. She lifted her head to see how her opponent was faring. Gabriel was not sweating. Gabriel never sweat.

“Is that all you have in you today Miss Hayes?” his melodic voice taunted her. He stood at ease a dozen paces away from her. Dammit. She would never get used to being thrown like a sack of potatoes. “I suppose you really don’t have what it takes to go up against a true Hero, Chimera or no.”

She gritted her teeth and dug her nails into the dirt. She could never overpower him with strength. His own was supernatural. “Careful Gabes, that one has claws.” Fela’s voice held a touch of smugness. She had faith in Lara’s abilities even when Lara doubted herself. And she didn’t particularly like Gabriel’s arrogance. “You’ll never see her coming.”

It was a subtle reminder to Lara. You’re faster than he is. All his strength would be useless if he couldn’t catch her. She pushed herself off her knees and sprinted headlong at him. His smug grin faltered as she leapt to the side to avoid his grapple. He swung his leg to catch her hip but only caught air. She jumped away and ran around behind him.

Speed wasn’t her only advantage, of course. She had her Reading and Moving. If she could just focus on one or the other, she could take him down. Predicting his moves would be child’s play with her telepathy. She hesitated at the thought of using her poor Reading skills.

Gabriel closed in on her in that moment of hesitation. He threw a fist at her sternum. She barely had time to bring her arms up to protect against the blow and she was sent sprawling across the courtyard once more. A chorus of “ooh’s” and “ouch’s” arose from the spectators as she skidded to a stop on her back several yards away. Lara heard Fela sigh.

“See? Even the Great Chimera has her limits.” He laughed as she struggled to sit up.

That annoyed her more than the pain. “Of course I have limits,” she spat. “I have more limits than any of you.” She never claimed to be better than any of the other Kin. Just because she had manifested more than one affinity it didn’t mean she was inherently stronger than the others. It actually made her weaker in comparison. She would never have the amount of control other Movers or Readers had any more than she could win a footrace against an Agile Hero or a fistfight with a Strong Hero. Still, she had a trick or two up her sleeve.

Gabriel frowned at her. He folded his arms across his chest. “Don’t make excuses for your failure. We all have to make do with the gifts we are given and adapt accordingly.”

“You know what? You’re absolutely right.” She smirked and Moved him, sending him flying into the pond.

“Yes! I told you!” Fela whooped from the fence as Gabriel came sputtering out of the water. Some of the bystanders went to help him as she leapt over to help Lara sit up. “That was brilliant,” she beamed.

“I thought we were working on Hero training,” Gabriel coughed. His voice was stern but his face betrayed his pride.

Lara nursed a sore shoulder. “I’m not Strong like you. I can’t fight you on level ground so I have to work with what I’ve got. And right now, that’s Moving you away from me.”

“And into water,” he muttered. “Smart.”

“That’s probably enough for one afternoon,” Fela announced. Lara was grateful for her presence. She wasn’t sure she could go another round, even with her Moving. Gabriel was not a small man, and she had Moved him a significant distance. Katja would be impressed with her improvement.

Fela helped Lara to her feet and led her inside to the medical wing of the College. Ark had condoned her sparring sessions, but insisted she be treated by his doctors before she would be allowed to go home. Some were Kin with minor affinities, but most were researchers. They told her they loved her visits, but she was certain they were just interested in the data they got off her.

“I can’t believe he went all out against you like that,” Fela grumbled as they made their way down the hall. “That punch could have killed you if you hadn’t managed to block it.”

Lara gripped her wrist tighter to stem the pain. “He would have pulled back if I hadn’t brought my arms up.” She had managed to Read that in the split second she defended herself. Gabriel was a fighter, but he wasn’t unnecessarily cruel.

“Still,” Fela snarled. “I’m going to give him a piece of my mind tonight.”

Lara held back a chuckle as she pictured that family dinner. Fela was roughly twelve years her senior, but she reminded Lara a lot of her mom. Patient, kind, a fierce protector. Picturing Fela in a motherly role immediately put the image of Gabriel as a father into her mind. Lara had never known her own father, but picturing Gabriel trying to raise children cracked her up.

“Oh dear, I think he may have cracked your head when you landed.” Fela couldn’t understand her sudden outburst.

“It’s not that,” she assured the older woman. “I was just imagining him with kids.”

Fela’s face pinked. “Ok you definitely have a concussion.”

Lara giggled the rest of the way to the medical wing.

Notes: I couldn’t think of a good way to wrap this up so I guess it’s just going to end there. I suppose this isn’t so much about answering the prompt as it is about adding characters to this world I’ve created. I hadn’t written Lara’s story in a while and initially when I saw “mother” in the prompt, I thought I’d go with Mika and Ali since they have a fairly complicated mother-daughter relationship. But I’d done two of last week’s posts in that universe so I decided to go with one of my other characters, one I really want to build on more.

The more I write of this story the more biblical references I try to incorporate. It’s taking the shape of a Genesis retelling so I keep looking for ways to bring in things to build on that and when I was trying to come up with a name for the Hero she’s sparring against I decided I wanted to go with an archangel. Gabriel is kind of an obvious one, “God is my Strength,” but Fela is another. It’s a shortened version of Rafela, which is a feminized Raphael (“God Heals”). It also didn’t occur to me right away but the head of the College is a Sage named Arcadios and I call him Ark for short and now I have archangels… Ark’s angels… heh. We’ll see if I keep them going forward. It was a fun little prompt anyway.

Now it’s your turn! What is the numero uno motherly quality you can think of? I think patience is the utmost virtue anyone can have, especially a parent. Maybe you value something else! That’s totally okay! Just get your thoughts down on paper (or screen). Keep that big ol muscle between your ears working!

Happy Tuesday! Have a great night! See you tomorrow!

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