The Adhara Academy Chronicles 2


Lorraine Leydon was the first person in the long illustrious history of the Academy to ever be removed as the Student Council President for any reason other than ill health or injury, and whilst her removal was just another of the many things Lorraine was fated to be remembered in history for, it created an issue for the other students.

After the victory party at Rumpton Court Palace, Ta-Shra arrived back at the dormitory apartment she shared with Lorraine in the early hours of the morning. She had driven back to the school in one of Adhara’s self-driving cars with her brother and their friends, before parting company with them in the hall and heading off to her dormitory to make some pretence of going to sleep.

Ta-Shra hadn’t expected to find Lorraine at home. Despite what Tiger-Lily had said about Lorraine being expelled, Ta-Shra couldn’t bring herself to believe the process had been that quick and thus had assumed Lorraine would either be in the hospital having her wrists healed or at her family’s residence, Lampriform Manor, waiting for a decision from the school governors. Both of Ta-Shra’s guesses had been wrong. When she got back to the dormitory, she found Lorraine’s belonging missing. All that was left was a note from Deputy Headmaster Alejandro, confirming what Lorraine had been expelled from Adhara Academy, just as Tiger-Lily had told her earlier.

Ta-Shra sighed heavily and slumping down on her bed, she looked around at the strangely empty room in vague disbelief. Most of the furnishings had belonged to Lorraine, who had shared her things with the significantly poorer Ta-Shra as if they were really best friends. Ta-Shra slapped her hands to her cheeks as if to wake herself up from her stupor and slid her Com-D out of her pocket. If Lorraine hadn’t revealed her true feeling during the trial, she would have gone on believing the lies, but now she’d discovered the truth, she would just have to get on with life. Being simultaneously one of the top ranked princesses in the Alliance and also one of the poorest, Ta-Shra had learned not to dwell on things.

Lorraine’s expulsion would create a power vacuum at the school. Something had to be done to fix it. The members of the Student Council were voted into their positions by their fellow students and Lorraine’s betrayal and subsequent removal meant that another vote would probably be required. The question was if every seat on the council should be up for grabs or if the vacant seat should be the only one voted on, as usually happened when a student graduated from the high school section of the Academy.

Ta-Shra sent out a message to the remaining members of the Student Council notifying them of a meeting before assembly later that morning. From her fourteen years of experience at the Academy, Ta-Shra knew that no one on the council was safe after what had come out at the trial, but she had worked too hard in her position as the second chair to lose it all now. She would do everything in her power to hang on to her position in the council.

With a heavy sign Ta-Shra got up and went to the bathroom to wash off what she thought of as the grim of betrayal. With the cares of the day washed away she felt better and quickly changing into the pyjamas her nanny-bot had laid out for her, laid down in bed and tried to get a couple of hours of sleep before the busy day ahead.

“I don’t think we should give the students the option of voting for all twelve seats,” Ta-Shra said, looking around the table at the other ten students. As per the notice she has sent out the night before, the remaining council members had gathered in the Student Council chamber directly after breakfast, ready to discuss the fall out from the trial.

In Lorraine’s absence Ta-Shra had automatically become the acting-President and would remain in that role until a consensus could be reached about how the council would proceed going forward. ‘It’s standard for students to vote in a few replacements. According to the historian’s report, there’s never been an instance when the entire council has been reselected. We probably shouldn’t set a new precedent now,’ she said.

“Aren’t you just afraid that you wouldn’t be voted back in?” Pigfoot, the council’s fifth chair asked. ‘You were friends with Lorraine, and both last night and this morning I heard the rumours that have started up about you. I’m sure you’ve heard them too. The students are saying that you couldn’t possibly have been friends with two backstabbing freaks like Lorraine and Panilla if you were as innocent as you appear to be. Your reputation has taken a big hit, Ta-Shra.’

Ta-Shra sighed, she had heard the rumours during breakfast and then on her way to the council room. Students weren’t exactly speaking quietly as they expressed their opinions in the hallways or great hall. From what Ta-Shra had overheard, very few students believed that she had been oblivious to first Panilla and then Lorraine’s evil machinations. How, after all, could a Devall be the lesser evil? Ta-Shra had even heard talk that claimed she was the one who had influenced her two friends. The use of her mesmeric powers during the trial was being given as an example of how she could have made Lorraine do anything she wanted and then caused the girl to insult her so that she seemed sympathetic.

In a way it made perfect sense to believe that she could have tried to gaslight her way to sympathy. That was what evil people were supposed to do after all and her father was the ruler of Duat so…?

“I’ll admit I’m worried about my own seat,” Ta-Shra said looking around at her colleagues, “I’m afraid because there’s a serious chance we could all end up losing our places. If we’re all removed, it won’t only be Lorraine who goes down in the history books as an anarchist. Ever since it was revealed that Vinod read someone’s mind without permission, there have been calls for him to be removed from the council. The fact that we knew about what he did but didn’t do anything about it makes us all appear complicit. None of us came out of that trial with our reputations intact.’

All eyes turned to Vinod. He had volunteered to defend Bishop during his trial, but this had backfired spectacularly when Lorraine had revealed his unsolicited reading of someone’s mind which went directly against the Alliance’s rule. Vinod shuffled uncomfortably in his seat but didn’t say anything. If Sandwich hadn’t been there to take over, his blunder could have cost Bishop the trial and with it his reputation. As it was Vinod’s own reputation was circling the drain and that didn’t include the possibility of him being investigated criminally.

“That’s true,” Heftier sighed, shaking his head with a bemused expression. “I’ve even heard whispers that Bishop should be removed from the council because he fancied Primrose. There are a few people at the school who see Bishop fancying anyone as a betrayal.”

As a Bim, Heftier would never understand fanatics. At first, he had assumed that the naysayers were upset on behalf of Bishop’s betrothed his relative, Lavender, but after a little digging Heftier had discovered that it was nothing of the sort. The people were upset because they felt Bishop belonged to his fans. His betrothal to Lavender was inevitable and did not reflect any particular interest in the girl on Bishop’s behalf. In short it was excusable. Having a romantic interest in someone else was not.

A rare expression of displeasure passed over Bishop’s face and he shifted himself in his seat. He had worked hard in his role as a member of the student council and he resented the way the actions of others had impacted him but that was life and not only he, but every person present had come to Adhara Academy to receive training for when they would later be the rulers of their respective societies.

Thanks to his years at the school, Bishop knew that if they backed down now and allowed the rumours to bother them enough to concede, it would have more of an impact on their lives than merely being removed from a school council. Each of member of the student council that wasn’t voted back into their position could kiss goodbye to any hope of a future position of power in the Alliance if they allowed themselves to be voted out of power at this initial stage.

Bishop wasn’t going to allow the evil machinations of two girls who had crushes on him to ruin all his years of hard work and the hopes of his family for his future. Clenching the muscles in his jaw as he spoke he said, “We’ll hold an election for Lorraine’s seat and that’s it. We’ll have to announce Lorraine’s expulsion at morning assembly in a few minutes so we can announce the election of a new council member than too.”

Ta-Shra nodded, but did not openly express her gratitude to Bishop for his decisive statement. Even if there were one of two fanatics who had now turned against Bishop for his supposed betrayal, he had won his trial and remained so popular that his word would carry a lot of weight with the rest of the student body. If he said that only one place on the council was up for grabs, most students probably wouldn’t object. That meant that not only Bishop but also she and Vinod would be able to continue their tenure until they graduated, just as she had hoped all along.


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