We walked through the empty, echoing corridors of my family’s manor. I watched the Is flow by the manicured gardens where my ancestors had walked and dined. Through the wide windows of the manor’s upper levels, I looked for the shape of mountains in the distance, beyond the ivory teeth of the Capital’s broken walls. I wanted to go home.
I used to dream of the heart our masters would give me; spend my days sketching rough cordiform shapes in the corners of Father's quota sheets and the backs of letters Mother sent from the front. I was sure all the other girls back at the Roost already had their hearts, that the Volant had carved each of them for a special purpose just as they'd carved my Mother, my Father, everyone but me.