Equinox: The return to Earth

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A ray of sunshine

A sudden boisterous ruckus on the other side of his heavy wooden door distracted him, causing his grip on the weapon to ease off, a mere micro second before he had fired it.

Jason quickly drew the weapon away from his forehead and returned it to the side table while straining to hear what was going on. The voices had toned down in volume just as suddenly as they had flared up, making it difficult to understand the heated conversation which was still ongoing but in a muted tone, now. He could distinctly make out a male and a female voice arguing.

Something fell to the floor with a heavy thud startling him, followed by the altercation reaching another crescendo before toning down again. Jason guessed that the arguing couple must have knocked down the marble statue which stood on a pedestal in the hallway a few metres from his door.

“I hope they didn’t break it!” he thought to himself in annoyance.

Jason tried to use his mind reading ability to figure out who was responsible for the disturbance, but his head just ached, so he quickly gave up on that idea.

He remembered posting a guard outside as he didn’t want to be disturbed, so he figured that someone must have tried to get into his room causing the commotion.

“But who would dare?” he wondered, “And why?”

As if in answer to his question, he heard the sound of a key fumbling in the lock followed by his door knob turning. Much to his surprise, the door opened silently, just a little, allowing a hooded figure who was dressed all in black to squeeze through. The mysterious figure quickly closed and locked the door again once inside.

Recovering from his surprise, Jason instinctively reached for the weapon which he had put down on the side table just moments before. Quick as a flash he had the weapon trained on the hooded intruder, just as the figure turned to face him.

“Who are you? What do you want?” he managed in a hoarse voice, trying to sound threatening.

“Jason, it’s me! Don’t shoot!” came the reply.

The woman’s voice was very familiar. She remover her hood revealing her dark brown sparkling eyes and jet black, shoulder length hair. He forced his eyes to focus on her face as she approached the bed.

“Eve!”

His tired mind had finally recognised her.

“But why are you here?” he asked. “I could have shot you!”

Eve didn’t reply. Instead, she climbed onto the four poster bed and sat herself crossed legged, in front of him.

“You don’t need this,” she whispered to him, coaxing the weapon out of his hand and moving it out of his reach. She then hugged him tightly.

He returned the hug, embracing her firmly, with all his strength, while sobbing uncontrollably.

“Everything is going to be ok,” she reassured him.

Jason King was the personification of power and intelligence to all those who had come to know him. He inspired those who had heard of him while tales of his greatness were told far and wide. He was widely respected by his peers, even back on Earth, for his mental prowess.

The haggard looking man with bloodshot red, teary eyes sitting on the bed tightly embracing Dr. Eve Lomax was in stark contrast to his powerful persona. Here was a broken man. Not a great or powerful man. Not a King. Just a man in the depths of despair.

He suddenly felt disgusted at himself for allowing Eve to see him in a moment of weakness and pulled away from her.

“The kingdom needs you, Jason,” she said, “And so do I.”

He looked at her and nodded, managing a ghost of a smile.

“You have to be strong for everyone. It’s what Jasmine would have wanted,” Eve continued.

Jason wiped away the wetness from his cheeks with the back of his hand, took in a deep breath and composed himself.

“I’m sorry that you got to see me in this state,” he replied. “I must look terrible!”

“Never, Your Majesty,” she smiled back her familiar warm, contagious smile. “The long hair suits you, but you really need to shave!”

They both laughed and it felt majestic, like a ray of warm, golden sunshine breaking through dark storm clouds. He began to feel like himself again after the longest time.

“Now, let’s get you cleaned up and take care of your wounds,” she continued.

He agreed and she helped him into the bathroom.

“How did my guard let you in?” Jason asked, suddenly remembering the ruckus from earlier.

“He’s probably still sleeping soundly from the hypodermic I managed to administer,” she replied with a twinkle in her eyes. “We can deal with him later.”

Jason emerged from the bathroom about an hour later, feeling brand new. The hot shower and shave had refreshed his body and soul. He felt alive once again; ready to take on the universe.

He glanced at his reflection in the mirror admiring his slender, muscular physique, the result of the many hours spent in the gym. Jason was shorter than most people but not excessively so, and now that his face and head were clean shaven once again he appeared much younger than his actual age.

There was much to be done, and he was going to start by reassuring his people that their Princess had not perished in vain.

He knew that he would have the support of all the people of Carac for an offensive against the Earth. It was time to avenge his beloved Jasmine and teach the arrogant United Earth Government a lesson they would never forget.

He would need a new flagship as the Equinox had been completely destroyed in the attack that had claimed his wife. The Equinox B which he could already picture in his mind was going to be the largest, fastest, and technologically most advanced ship ever created in the known universe.

“Wow!” exclaimed Eve, startling him from his thoughts. “Now this is the Jason King I remember!”

“Thank you, Dr Eve Lomax,” he responded, bowing slightly. “Thank you for walking in when you did and altering the course of history.”

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