I was in the throne room waiting for everyone to get there. I had already put my dress on and checked my makeup. Talia had found me and out on some red lipstick very sensually. It made me feel things I’d felt with Lainie.
I was the first one ready so I waited alone and tried not to think about Lainie. About her hair and her lips and her eyes.
“Princess Amelia, may I say you look lovely,” John said. He had just walked in and he finally looked like a king who could hold his position. He wore a black blazer with gold trimmings and an extravagant red robe that looked heavy. He looked very regal and mighty in it. His gold crown sat atop his brown haired head perfectly.
“Thank you. You look very handsome yourself. Your Majesty.”
John let out a laugh. “We haven’t really gotten a chance to speak since you’ve been here. How have you been doing?” he asked.
“Well, not great I suppose. How are you?”
“I’ve been better, Princess. We all have.”
Then Caelum walked in with an air of complete confidence. Next to Cal, John seemed like a scared servant. Cal was wearing a royal navy blazer with silver trimming.
Next, Delphinus arrived. She had on a gorgeous one shouldered indigo gown. It widened at the end like a mermaid’s tail.
“You look great, Del,” I told her.
“Thanks, you too.” She held her arms in front of her stomach, self-consciously.
Suddenly, a woman came in to the throne room with four guards behind her. “The Princes and Princesses must have their crowns,” she said.
The four guards opened the boxes they were carrying and inside were our crowns. I hadn’t had to wear a crown in nearly a decade. I wasn’t overly thrilled about keeping it on my head all night.
Del and I grabbed ours. I stared at mine hard before putting it on. It was an intricate design of all shapes and sizes of diamonds, all silver. It really was beautiful but nothing compared to Cassiopeia’s crown. Either of hers.
Caelum and Lynx’s crowns were gold and a miniature version of the King’s with different colored jewels.
Cassiopeia stepped into the throne room. She looked perfect. Her gown was pink and poufy. It showed her curves without meaning to. Her crown, the one she wore for special occasions, had been recently polished. It was a golden frame with diamonds less valuable than the one she wore around the palace. It was also much smaller. But nonetheless gorgeous.
Only the royal family had diamonds because of how hard they were to mine for. Nearly impossible on our planet.
John greeted her with a kiss on her cheek.
“Now we’re only waiting for Lynx, yes?” Cass asked.
As if he heard his name, Lynx came sauntering in to the throne room. He was wearing a dark purple tux. Without touching his suit, I knew it was suede. Suede from a young vüŵ. Lynx took his crown from the guard and fit it snugly on his head without messing up his gelled hair.
The guards disappeared along with the woman.
“Lainie’s with Alexander?” I asked Lynx.
He nodded but it seemed like he didn’t hear me. He was too busy straightening his suit and picking stray hairs off of it.
“No one has any weapons, right? SE won’t let you in their base if you do,” said Cass. Everyone muttered no’s and she continued. “All we have is our magic. I’m hoping nothing goes wrong tonight. Don’t pick any fights. Are we ready?”
We headed outside to walk to the spacecraft dock. There were five guards going with us to the Space Enforcement base. It would take us two hours to get to the base near Saturn.
We got to the dock and there was a ship waiting for us.
“Sĉôt. I forgot. My suit is going to get wrinkled on this stupid ship,” Lynx swore.
I couldn’t help but laugh.
He spun around and glared at me. “This is no joke, Amelia,” he said sternly.
That only made me laugh harder. Finally he cracked a smile then slowly laughed with me. It was a nice moment. Laughing with my brother.
Then it was our turn to board the ship and we sobered up.
We arrived at the SE base and it was enormous. I had never been to one of their bases and neither had Lynx or Delphinus. It was amazing. The silver of the ship seemed to gleam in the middle of space. There were other small crafts flying about the large ship, maneuvering around like a school of fish. I spotted doors and hatches and markings. There was “Space Enforcement Saturn Base” etched in the side of the ship in bold letters and under that was SE’s flag.
We docked and stood in the airlock until a Space Enforcement agent opened it for us. But the interesting thing was, his skin was blue. “Ah, Queen Cassiopeia, King John and the royal family of Enceladus. My name is Agent Justin Brock. Call me Justin. I am the head of the Saturn SE base. It is a pleasure to meet you all.” He shook all of our hands, holding mine just a minute too long and a bit too hard. He probably heard about what my dark side did last year.
“This way to the ballroom.” As we were walking, I stared at Justin, trying to figure out what planet he was from. In my head, I scanned all the books I had read on Enceladus. I couldn’t remember where blue skinned, pointy eared, yellow eyed creatures were from.
Space Enforcement was made up of races from nearly every planet in the universe. Or at least this universe. And obviously not all species looked like humans. The aliens that humans dreamed of and wrote about and watched on television most likely existed. There was even a few Enceladians who worked for SE on this base.
Justin took us past the control room, which I glanced in and was shocked at how gigantic it was. He took us past the cafeteria and living quarters.
“Has Queen Amara shown up?” Cassiopeia asked Justin.
He shook his head sadly. “But the night isn’t over yet.”
Finally, we made it to the ballroom. All but one of the guards we had brought stayed outside the room. The ballroom wasn’t as big as I was expecting. There were more tables than room to dance. SE had probably thought there wouldn’t be much dancing tonight. But there was Earth-like music playing.
“Make yourselves at home. There’s food and drinks,” Justin said and walked away.
There was only a few other people in the ballroom. They looked like SE agents.
“So what do we do now?” Delphinus asked.
“Now I guess we wait,” Cass said and gestured for everyone to sit.
But Del, instead of sitting, went straight to the buffet and loaded a plate with food.
Twenty minutes later, both Lynx and I got some food and drinks. The food was of random delicacies from a bunch of different planets. There was stuff from Enceladus and Tethys mainly. The drink was in a champagne flute and bubbling. Lynx immediately downed it but I was unsure. After seeing that he didn’t die, I drank it too. It was good. It tasted like white wine from Earth. My favorite.
Another ten minutes later, Justin came back into the ballroom. “A ship has just pulled in to our dock. It’s a Tethys craft.” He left without saying anymore.
Cassiopeia stood up. “Okay, this is it. I am going to convince Queen Amara to put the treaty back in effect. I don’t want any of you screwing it up. So don’t be near us after you meet her.”
We all agreed and stood. We waited nervously for Queen Amara. I couldn’t believe she had actually showed.
But who walked in with Justin wasn’t Amara. It was some young girl. She was pale and had wild purple hair, which was in pigtails. There were dark markings all over her body, like tattoos. She wasn’t wearing a ball gown. She was hardly wearing anything at all. The only thing covering her was a thin black leotard that showed her hips and an ample amount of cleavage. She wore a type of fur shall that looked like a dead animal along with thigh high boots.
“Royal family of Enceladus, this is Princess Drea of Tethys,” Justin said.
Princess? That meant she was Amara’s daughter. I had no clue she had a daughter. By the look on John and Cass’ faces, they knew she existed. But my other siblings were in the same boat as me.
“Hello, I am Queen Cassiopeia, this is King John and my siblings. It is a pleasure to meet you, Princess.”
The Princess just smiled and nodded. Her eyes seemed to be actively changing colors.
“Is your mother, Queen Amara, joining us?”
Princess Drea squealed. “Oooh food!” Her voice was loud and high-pitched. She ran over to the buffet table.
Cass motioned for us to stay where we were while she spoke to Drea.
“Princess Drea, we would really like to speak to Queen Amara. We don’t want a war. I wasn’t the one who cancelled the peace treaty.”
“Oh, who cares who did it?” said the Princess with her mouth full.
“It was King Orion before he died. But I want to put in back in place. That’s why I was hoping your mother would be here. Is she coming?”
“My mother would never be caught dead at an SE base. That’s why I’m here.” She drained a glass of wine and grabbed another. “This is so good.”
“Okay,” Cass said. This little girl was testing her patience. “How about we sit and do some negotiating?”
Drea shrugged and filled her plate so full, things were falling off. She sat across from Cass.
Cass began. “We don’t want to go to war with Tethys. We don’t want Tethians or Enceladians to die.”
“Mhm,” was all Drea said.
“Is there any way we could contact Queen Amara? Maybe set up a conference call?”
“Look,” Drea began, wiping her mouth. “My mommy dearest is not going to sign another treaty. She is not going to meet with you either.”
“Then why are you here?”
“Well, that is the smartest question you’ve asked all night, Majesty. It’s simple really. I’m here to tell you we’re coming in two days.”
Cassiopeia shot out of her seat so fast that her crown almost fell off her head. Her hands curled into fists and she looked ready to blast Drea out of existence. “There must be some way-”
Drea stood also. “Listen, Queen-y. Nothing you say is going to change our minds. We love war. We crave it. It’s in the blood of our people. In our hearts. We’re looking forward to destroying you all.”
“You know what, you little-” Caelum was interrupted by John.
Caelum actually listened to John and closed his mouth.
“Oooh, you’re cute,” Drea said to Cal. “Maybe I’ll spare you and keep you as a trophy.”
Cal was so mad, his face began to turn red.
“Now, I suppose I should be going. Oh, blue-man!” she sang.
Justin walked back into the ballroom. I hadn’t noticed he’d left.
“Take me back to my ship,” she ordered Justin.
“Two days. Ta-ta now!” She waved and followed Justin out.
“Šĉôt,” said Cass.
The ride back to Enceladus was painfully silent. The tension was tangible.
Once we got back and flew to the palace, all Cassiopeia said was, “In the morning, we’ll train.” Then she and John went to their chambers.
Delphinus, Caelum, Lynx and I quietly walked up the stairs to our respective rooms. Although we walked together, no one said anything. Not even a simple “goodnight”.
As I walked past the library door, someone came out and ran into me.
“Oh! I am so sorry.”
I helped picked up the books she had dropped before I realized who it was. “Bea?”
Her bright green eyes lit up. “Amelia!” She hugged me.
Bea was an ex-girlfriend of mine. We dated for a year in 1958, a year after Alessa and I broke up.
“It’s so good to see you,” she said in Enceladian.
“You too. How are you, Bea?”
“I’m amazing. I actually just got married.”
Now I was jealous. Sure she was older than me but I had never dated anyone for more than two years. “That is so awesome! Congratulations. Who’s the lucky lady?”
“Her name is Denai. She’s lovely. We now own a clothing shop in the Vela division.” She brushed her brown hair out of her face with her free hand.
“I’m so happy for you, Bea. I’ll have to visit.”
“Thanks, Amelia. Well, I should get going. Maybe we can catch up after the . . .” She stopped.
After the war. “I’d love to.”
Bea said goodbye and we parted ways.
I opened my door and was shocked when I saw Lainie on my bed, waiting.
“What are you doing here?” I closed the door.
“I wanted to know what happened.”
“Lynx could have told you.”
“I just wanted to know you were okay.”
“It’s late. You should be sleeping.” It was the middle of the night.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
“I’m fine,” I replied.
I went behind my folding screen and unzipped my dress. As I did, I felt my breath return to me. It was more metaphorical than physical.
“I just wanted to know you were okay,” she repeated.
Even though I couldn’t see her, I saw her shadow. She came closer to the folding screen. I panicked. I was naked. I held my dress in front of me.
“I wanted to see you.” She didn’t come behind the screen but she put her hand up against it.
I mirrored her and put my hand against hers. “I’m sorry,” I whispered.
“I know,” she whispered back. She leaned away from the screen, taking her hand. “I should go. I’ll let you sleep.” She walked away and out of my room.