Enceladus 3: The Heat

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Chapter Five

I woke up sweating. I had another dream I was ruling the planet with Satan. Lovely. Again, it felt as real as kissing Talia last night.

Talia. With that, my darkened mood cleared up. Talia and I had kissed last night. I started to ponder what that would mean for our relationship.

I dressed in a blazer but then decided against it. It had to be fifty degrees already. It worried me to no end. Hopefully freezing the core today would bring down the heat.

The second I stepped out of my door, I heard chaos.

I ran downstairs and stopped at the infirmary. That was where the chaos was coming from. I peered in and saw at least eight elderly people in cots.

I spotted Dr. Jones, the palace doctor. “Doctor, what’s going on?”

“Princess Amelia.” He didn’t look at me. He was checking a man’s pulse. “Some of our elders have fallen ill to the heat.”

That couldn’t be good.

I spent around a half hour helping around the infirmary before Constable Asger found me. “Princess Amelia, the Queen is getting ready to freeze the planet. She would like your help.”

I nodded and followed him outside to the planet courtyard. The courtyard was just a large fake grassy square. We had no cement on Enceladus. For walkways, we just used stones.

Apparently the courtyard was where the center of our planet was. There were at least one hundred Enceladians gathered around Cassiopeia. Among them, I saw Jae. I also saw one of my ex-girlfriends, Bea. She was standing with another woman who was presumably her wife. She and I dated in 1958. I was glad she hadn’t died in the war. Unlike Alessa.

Forty.

Cass was speaking, “. . . putting our collective abilities together all at once to freeze the core. We will all have to be considerably close in a tight circle.”

The citizens and I moved according to Cass’s and the two scientists’ orders. Soon, we were in a circle.

“I will count down from five and we will use our water, in the form of ice. Five . . .” The thing about Enceladian numbers was, “four, three . . .” they were just English numbers. No one really had any theories about why. “Two, one.”

I concentrated all the power I had into the spot that was marked with a red X. All one hundred of the citizens did the same. And it was cold.

I didn’t know how long we did that for. I was pulled out of my daze when Cassiopeia shouted for everyone to stop.

When I did, I was exhausted. I realized that I hadn’t eaten anything yet.

“Great job, everyone. Dr. Udom says that our temperature is already dropping!”

Everyone cheered. Even I clapped but looking out at the people made me think of that dreadful number.

Awesome, I hadn’t even eaten breakfast and my appetite was spoiled. I fought the urge to be sick. I had only thrown up once in my entire life and that was while I was on Earth. Now, I felt, would be the second time.

“Go home, everybody. Get some rest. We will all meet in two hours to talk over what this means for our planet,” Cass said.

“Your Majesty,” Dr. Udom or Wainwright, I didn’t know, pulled Cass and John aside with a concerned look on his face.

I couldn’t stick around to see what was wrong.

I knew I wouldn’t make it to my room so I flew right to the forest. I emptied my empty stomach and cried.

When the crying cleared up, I was so angry, fire came to my palms. I shot it at a tree and immediately realized what I did. I used water to put it out.

I sat on the ground in the forest. Seeing my father yesterday obviously really got to me. It shook me enough to lose last night’s dinner. Last time I was dark I wasn’t as aware of the terror I felt which was why it was so much worse now.

I thought of the prophecy Dagfinn, Enceladus’ scribe, found. It said that I would either be the death or the savior of the entire universe. The death or the savior. That was a lot of responsibility either way. Death. Death. Death.

Forty.

I sighed and finger-combed my hair. Even though I was sweating, I felt the difference in the temperature.

“Princess?”

I jumped up, my wings popping out. It was only Jaeel. “Jae. Hello.”

This close, I realized he didn’t look like he was doing so well. His cheeks were a little sunken in and he had lost some weight. His skin had also lost some color. “It’s good to see you.” He had lost Alexander and decades before that, he had accidentally killed his parents. He had no one now.

“You too. How have you been?” He looked so similar to Alexander. Only Alex was taller and more muscular. They had the same black hair. Really, I looked more like them than my own siblings.

“I’ve been better. He died an honorable death; protecting your brother and our planet. I’m positive there’s no other way he would’ve gone out. I’ll be okay,” he said. “How is Prince Lynx?”

I grimaced. Lynx blamed himself for Alexander dying by protecting him. He certainly didn’t think it honorable. “I’m not going to lie, he’s nearly like my other brother.” Caelum—in a coma.

His face scrunched up. “And has there been any change in Prince Caelum?”

I shook my head.

“What about you, Amelia? You don’t seem to be doing too well.” He motioned to my stomach acid on the ground. Yikes.

“I’ll be okay,” I said, repeating what he did. He knew I was lying. I knew he was lying. “I’m glad you found me though. I was wondering if you’d be up to helping me with my new ability.”

“Yes,” he said eagerly. “I would definitely be up to that.”

I laughed. “Maybe we could meet tomorrow. I’m really exhausted now.”

“Me too.” He cracked a smile.

“Take care, Jae.” Then I hugged him. He didn’t hesitate in hugging me back. I suspected that no one had hugged him and said they were sorry for his loss. Everyone had lost someone. Possibly someone I killed. Forty.

We broke apart and he flew to his sector.

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