I bolted upright from the sound of Delphinus’ voice.
“We’re going to be in Enceladus’ atmosphere soon. Get up.”
Lainie and I got up and headed to where my sister was. Del had gotten me a broadsword and Lainie her bow and quiver.
“Do you think we’ll need these right away?” I asked Del, gesturing to the weapons.
She shrugged. “Anything could happen. It’s better to be prepared.”
I nodded and sat in the chair. Lainie sat in hers and we started our descent into Enceladus.
The ride was extremely bumpy. I had to keep my teeth clenched in order for them not to chatter. But I had to give Del credit. I didn’t know how to fly a spaceship and she was doing it like it was no big deal.
Lainie had her eyes closed. I suspected she didn’t like airplane rides too much either. The jerky ride was the worst right when we entered Enceladus’ atmosphere.
“Sorry!” Delphinus shouted over the turbulence. “Almost through.”
It was noticeably calmer when we passed through the atmosphere.
I closed my eyes for the landing, wishing I could hold Lainie’s hand.
We landed smoothly, much to my delight. And Lainie’s. And probably Del’s.
Lainie exhaled a sigh of relief. We all unbuckled our seat belts and grabbed our weapons. We made our way to the air lock. Thankfully, when we stepped out of the ship, there was nothing hostile waiting for us.
I breathed in the air of my home world. Smelly, I thought. I looked around. The planet was dark and cold, as always. Out the corner of my eye, I saw Lainie shiver. I had forgotten she wasn’t used to the balmy forty degrees my planet maintained. It never got above sixty and if it ever did, we would be in trouble. When I first arrived on Earth, the sun was too hot on my Enceladian skin. I’d been burned. I knew how Lainie felt.
“Here, love. Take my coat.” I handed it to her.
“Well, no one has tried to murder us. I take that as a good sign,” Delphinus commented. “Let’s fly to the palace.”
I grabbed Lainie by the waist and spread my wings. Del had given me one of her shirts so I didn’t ruin mine unfurling my wings. We took to the sky.
As we flew, I could see our forest that was made up of fake green trees. I next spotted the Planet Square, like our city capitol. It had been rebuilt since last year when the war had destroyed it. We passed over the sectors. The T Division which was telekinesis, seemed to have no lights on in any of the houses. It must have been nighttime. We could never really tell what time it was because we had no sun. We used morning, dawn, day, evening and night. We passed over all the other divisions too. They seemed peaceful. Hopefully the people had recovered from the coup last year.
I noticed the numerous small rivers and creeks streamed throughout the surface. Enceladus had streams flowing all over. The water was icy cold but normal for our planet. They were our main water source.
I watched Lainie as she took it all in. She saw Enceladus from above last year too but I suspected she was watching me fall out of the sky then.
We landed at the palace and I had a sour feeling in my stomach. The same feeling I always got when I had to come back to this place. So many bad memories.
A guard greeted us and bowed. “Princesses Delphinus, Princess Amelia. How were your travels?” He spoke in Enceladian.
“Good. Thank you, Aesop,” Del said.
“I will take you to the throne room to see the King and Queen.”
For a minute, I blanked on who the King was. I almost panicked thinking that Orion was alive. I then remembered that Cassiopeia got married a few months ago to one of her guards, John.
If it was anyone but Cass ruling, no one would have let her marry a “lowly” guard. If any of Vela’s council was still alive, they would’ve let Cass know what a mistake she was making.
I eyed the double staircase that led to my old room as we followed Aesop to the throne room. He held the door open for us and bowed again.
Cassiopeia was sitting in her throne, looking content and holding her silver scepter adorned with a blue gem. She had on a long sparkling green gown with a red robe. The crown atop her head brought the regal air up five notches.
“Amelia, Lainie. How was your trip? Nïx,”she nodded to Del, saying “sister” as a greeting.
“It was okay,” I answered. “Good to see you.” I smiled. “Both,” I added when I noticed John standing next to her throne.
“There was a bit of a mishap,” Delphinus said quietly. “We went into the wormhole too early and had to ditch the living pod sooner than expected.”
Caelum suddenly came out of a side room I knew as a restroom. “Delphinus. I told you what to do,” he chastised. Then the two of them got into a heated argument in Enceladian.
I ignored them and stepped closer to Cass. “Have you heard anything from Queen Amara?”
She shook her head. “Absolutely nothing. Neither has SE. I am becoming increasingly worried. I fear she is coming for us soon. Our people need to be ready for a war. Amara will bring her entire population. While it’s only forty percent more, they’re all highly trained.”
Forty percent sounds like a lot, Cass.
“SE agents are preparing a flight to Tethys as we speak,” said John. He wasn’t wearing his crown. It was extremely clear Cass was in charge no matter who was king.
“We need to train our people and let them know of the imminent threat of war if they don’t already know.” I knew Cass wouldn’t want to panic the people but it was for the best.
“They don’t know yet.”
I sighed. “Well, maybe hold a Hall meeting. They deserve to know.”
She nodded heavy heartedly.
“Can the people use all of their abilities?” Lainie asked Cass.
“Yes, that was the second law to go. But with some restrictions. The citizens can practice each ability but only in their own home. They may only use one ability at a time in public, whichever they want. And they are allowed to pick the division in which they live. I have renamed all the sectors. I named one Vela,” she said cautiously, knowing I didn’t have a strong relationship with our mother. But Cass made the right choice. The citizens had hated Orion but adored Vela.
“And the rest?” I inquired.
“The rest are Saturn, ëôp and Greek.”
Ëôp meant moon. The names were awfully random but I let my question die on my tongue and instead said, “Cal should start training the citizens. We don’t know when Tethys will attack,” I said.
Caelum stopped arguing with Delphinus when he heard his name. “You want me to train our weak kôô—what’s the English word for that?”
“Ass,” Lainie offered proudly. She knew the basics of our language. And curse words.
Caelum looked mildly impressed. “Thank you. You want me to train our weak ass citizens? I barely had enough patience to train Delphinus when she was young. These people know nothing of fighting.”
“They fought last year after the coup,” Lainie pointed out.
“Those were only the assassins. They had no doubt been training for months. The rest of the citizens pathetically hid until Amy sucked the life out of them,” Cal said.
“Hey, I didn’t kill anyone!” I protested before I could really think about it. I did kill people last year. It still ate me up at night.
“It would take minimum of a year to train them.” Cal really did not want to do this. It was obvious.
“As the Queen, I am ordering you to train our citizens,” Cassiopeia calmly but loudly demanded. The voice of a queen.
Caelum grumbled but said no more. He hated that Cass was Queen. He wanted the crown more than she did but she was two years older and therefore it was her right.
“You’ll start in the morning after I hold a meeting.”
He bowed towards Cass and John and left without another word.
“You all are,” I said.
Cass glared at me. But it was a glare I’d never gotten from her before. It was a sisterly glare that playfully said, “Oh stop”. I was taken aback by it.
“Now, we should all get some rest. Amelia, are you fine with your old room?” Cass asked.
I nodded. I didn’t really know if I was. We all said goodnight and I walked with Lainie up to my room. She yawned wide.
“Long day, huh?” I asked, opening the door to my room.
I desperately hoped I didn’t have another letter from Vela waiting for me like last year. But of course, there was no letter.
I looked in my dresser and saw no clothing. I didn’t know who would’ve gotten rid of my clothes.
Lainie gasped at the closet. “I would kill for this closet.” All of my clothes were in there. She strode in and gaped at all the ball gowns. “Have you worn all of these?” She played with a silver one that had a slit up the thigh.
I nodded. There were too many gowns to count. I had been to many balls and had no desire to go to any more.
“I just want to play dress-up!” She squealed like a child. It was adorable.
“Maybe some other time, hun.” I would love to see her try on all my dresses. I knew she would look better in all of them than I did. “But right now we should sleep.”
Lainie yawned again. “Do you have anything I can wear to bed?”
I searched in my closet and found some shorts and tank tops for us to change into. We climbed into bed and snuggled in.