Jupiter Ascending – Legality: Part I
Kalique Abrasax, the middle child and only daughter of the most powerful woman she has ever known stood in front of an oval viewing area and watched the black sky. She wore a long piercing silver gown that moved like water around her body. She preferred to live on her life station rather than a planet. She didn't trust a planet's safety. After all, she knew very well what could happen. A powerful unknown entity with technology far greater than her own could send that planet to its end. Her brothers were haughty and believed no alien would dare harm them, but she knew better.
Petrix, her loyal servant, walked into Kalique's room and stood by the door. The room's automated security system announced Petrix's presence to Kalique. Kalique smiled and was about to greet her friend, until she heard an unwelcomed announcement.
"Titus Abrasax, welcome…" the system said plainly.
Kalique quickly changed her facial expression to remove any sign of emotion before she turned around to face her brother with a cautious smile. Her brother waited for her to come closer to her. She walked down the steps that flowed like water, but solidified under her feet. Titus' look's smile was more of a sneer. He knew something. As handsome as he was, he couldn't hide the ugliness inside him. Kalique looked over at Petrix. Petrix quickly averted her gaze and asked Kalique if Kalique wanted to speak privately with her brother. What had that bastard said to her, what had he done? Kalique gracefully waved her hand to dismiss Petrix from the room. She had to keep up appearances in front of her brother. Any show of mercy would be her downfall.
Titus looked back and waited for Petrix to leave. He was paranoid because he never fostered loyalty among his servants or house. Kalique pitied her brother. Without his money and power, his followers would kill him and feed him to the nearest rabbit rabid beast they could find.
"You honor me brother with your presence," said Kalique tightly.
"You honor me sister with your company," said Titus with a more genuine tone and humble half bow.
"What do you want?"
He smiled again and glared up at her.
"I came here out of concern."
Her heart beat jumped out of place for just a moment. That should not be possible. It made her more frightened and she lightly rubbed her neck to calm herself. He stood up and looked at her.
"Oh, stop, if I had nefarious plans, I would not have greeted you in your home."
"I'd like something to drink."
He casually walked to her large refreshment cylinder and as he waved his hand in front of it, it turnedit turned with his hand movements. The drinks went from cloudy white bottles, to purple bottles to clear bottles. He stopped the cylinder, took a bottle from the shelf, opened it and took a sip.
"Earth truly has the best liquids," he said.
He looked down at the bottle.
"What is this called again," he asked.
"Water," she said.
"Oh, yes, water. So delicious and surprisingly refreshing…"
He was genuinely amazed by the water he was drinking. She knew if she showed impatience again, she would just have to deal with him longer, so she waited. After he continued to lightly sip and look down at the miracle drink he was ingesting, she decided to stoop to his level. She knew exactly how to push his buttons as much as he knew how to push hers. She walked away, sat on red lounge chair, tapped a button on her silver bracelet and a large screen appeared in front of her. An Earth sitcom played. She laughed. He stopped looking at the bottle and looked over at her. Did she dare ignore him?
He threw the bottle down on the floor. A small amount of liquid and broken pieces of the bottle hit the floor. She looked over at him, frowned and returned back to watching the show. She laughed again. She thought she heard him snarl. He was quite petulant.
"I am ready to speak now," he said with restraint.
"Are you," she asked without looking at him.
She pressed the button on her bracelet and the screen disappeared.
"This concerns your new friend, Jupiter."
She stood up slowly. What was Titus planning to do to her new mother?
CainCainee sat next to Jupiter at Aleksa's long wooden dining room table. Her whole family was there to see Jupiter's mystery man. The table had various Russian dishes like shashlik, cucumber and radish salad, piroshki and black bread. There was enough food to feed all twelve people at the table. Their nicest dinner plates and cups were used for the adults and the two children ate from bowls to make it easier for them to eat their food without causing a mess.
Everyone ate in silence. CainCaine felt out of place and very uncomfortable; it visibly showed as heas he slightly slouched in the chair. Jupiter squeezed his hand that was placed under the table for a moment to comfort him and pulled her hand away. He had suffered through chemical reconditioning to look human for forty eight hours. Right now he looked like a human version of himself with dark eyebrows and dyed blond hair. The men in the room laughed at him when he first walked in beside Jupiter. He would have to do this every time Jupiter and he visited her mother's home. Jupiter said that once they saw him, her family would stop asking questions and they could date in peace. He didn't like the term dating. He thought they were more than that. A few months after Earth was saved, she began to pull away from him and he did not know why. Between Jupiter's work and education, they rarely had time for each other. His insecurities were getting the best of him. Maybe, he was just an interesting pet to her and now that she had claimed her birthright, she didn't care for him anymore.
CainCaine was dressed in a navy blue shirt, black slacks and black dress shoes. Everyone else was in casual attire, including Jupiter. She wore a black tank top, black wide leg pants and black heeled boots. He felt inappropriately dressed. Jupiter said that it would help him make a good first impression. He reluctantly agreed and has now regretted that decision. He looked over at Aleksa, ; she gave him an approving smile. He smiled back. Jupiter had been right. Damn her.
Everyone ate their food in silence.
"So, CainCaine…what do you do," asked Aleksa.
"I work in private security," said CainCaine.
"Oh, well that explains the physique then," said Aleksa.
"Mom,"!" said Jupiter.
Aleksa finishes taking a sip of her drink.
"What did I say," asked Aleska Aleksa innocently.
"Wait, so how did you two meet," asked Jupiter's cousin, Vladie.
CainCainee CainCaine coughed.
"Excuse me…" said CainCaineeCainCaine.
Everyone at the table waited for CainCainee's CainCaine's answer.
"At Applebee's," said CainCaineeCainCaine.
"Oh, that's nice…" said AleskaAleksa.
"Huh"?" said Vladie.
Vladie was not buying it, but decided not to upset Aleska Aleksa by prying further.
Jupiter gave Vladie a dark look. Vladie made a face at her and kept eating.
"Well, we're glad to finally meet you," said AleskaAleksa. "Jupiter, how's school?"
For once Jupiter was glad to be the topic of discussion. Jupiter talked about going to community college. She liked her classes, but hated learning things she already learned in high school. She was twenty year old freshman and felt ten years older in all of her classes. Everyone at the table laughed. After the laughing died down, her mother firmly told her that she planned to see her grades every semester. She squirmed in her chair and lowered her head.
"Yes, ma'am," said Jupiter.
One of the kids at the table mocked Jupiter.
"Yes, ma'am," said one of her little cousins.
Everyone laughed again. Jupiter missed this. She had forgotten how simple and innocent her life was before she received her inheritance. It was a burden that grew heavy around her neck each day and CainCainee CainCaine was starting to become a reminder that burden. With all they went through. She knew it wasn't over. Someone was going to come for her again. Someone was going to come for Earth. CainCaine could smell her fear. He leaned towards her ear and asked her if she was okay. She blinked, stared at him like she seen him for the first time and said she was fine. He didn't like that look.
"Is everything alright," asked Aleksa.
Jupiter smiled and returned her attention back to the dinner table.
"I'm fine, I'm just tired…"
Aleksa knew something was wrong. Her daughter seemed more stressed lately. She could only imagine how hard it must be to work and go to school. She knew that all too well, but she could see that Jupiter and CainCaine were good for each other. She'd pry if she need to, but for now she'd trust that her daughter would find her way as she always had.
Jupiter was a just about to speak when blue streams of light covered everyone at the dinner table but except she and CainCaine who sat at the table. Jupiter stood up and yelled for her mother. It was happening again. CainCaine growled and stood up. Jupiter looked up at him. CainCaine wished he could shed his human form, but it was impossible. He was weaker in this state, but still a formidable fighter. He'd protect her with his last breath.
"What's happening," asked Jupiter.
"I don't know," he said.
He moved to stand in front of her. He wished he could smell what was coming. Right now they were too far away for him to smell them. Their transport has to be near the house. He just couldn't sense who was coming for them. He glanced over at Aleksa and a few of the other family members, they all were frozen in time, but there were no visible signs of stress. This meant the visitor was cautious, but not cruel.
"Are they alright," she asked.
"They should be fine," he said.
He didn't want to go into what was happening to her family. They were being stilled. None of their senses or even their cells would be affected by what was about to occur.
"Show yourself," CainCaine commanded.
Kalique seemed to appear behind Jupiter.
"I'm sorry to…" said Kalique.
Jupiter jumped, turned around and punched Kalique in the face. A rush of pain consumed her face as she bowed her head and held her nose. She started to cry. She lifted her head and her bruised nose quickly began to heal.
"Well, that was unpleasant," said Kalique
"Kalique, what are you doing here," asked Jupiter. "Did you do this?"
"I had to act quickly. You family is not harmed."
"What has happened," asked CainCaine.
Kalique grimaced slightly. CainCaine was still by Jupiter's side. She did not approve of Jupiter's choice of mate. Genetically enhanced soldiers were not viable breeders. His DNA was perfect for him, but his genetic material was not as viable for copulation.
"I was informed of a summons, they plan to convene in two days," said Kalique.
"What does this have to do with me," Jupiter asked.
Kalique's eyes filled with pity. Jupiter knew she was not going to like Kalique's answer.
"A rival family has asked the Arkane Council to inquire about the state of your business affairs," said Kalique.
Jupiter was being judged.
Jupiter and CainCaine both sat down in their seat. She looked over at each family member. She hated that her family was put in danger again. She closed her eyes. CainCaine picked up his fork as he did before to make sure nothing looked out of place.
"Kalique, I'm ready," said Jupiter.
The blue beams lifted and everyone went back to what they were doing before.
"Well, it's only a few years. I promise it will go by like that," said Aleksa.
"I hope so…" said Jupiter.
Jupiter and CainCaine sat next to each other while strapped in a chair on a Kalique's small transport ship. They glided up undetected towards Kalique's space ship. Kalique sat in a seat across from them. The co-pilot, Pank, sat in the cock pit and flew the transport up towards the space ship. He was a quiet man that preferred to keep to himself and focus on his work.
"We are about to break though the atmosphere, there will be a slight bump on the way," said Pank to his passengers.
Jupiter held CainCaine's hand. She looked down at it. His human hand felt smooth. She didn't much like it because it wasn't him. She looked at him for a moment and looked away. CainCaine squeezed her hand. The transport jumped violently and jerked side to side.
"Sorry," yelled Pank. "That was more was more than a bump."
"Clearly," said Kalique. She was a little embarrassed.
"It's fine," said Jupiter to Kalique.
Prank tried to make up for the bump by docking the transport to Kalique travel ship as smoothly as possible. He was successful. The straps on the chair removed themselves. Kalique stood first. Jupiter and CainCaine stood. Prank stayed in his seat to make sure the transport would be ready for its next trip.
"This way, please," said Kalique.
Jupiter noticed Kalique's sliver gown for the first time.
"Is that dress moving"?!" asked Jupiter.
Kalique looked down at her dress and smiled.
"Yes, it is. It took me ages to get one. It was hand crafted by a Lexian, do you like it?"
"It's nice," Jupiter said politely.
It was gorgeous, but the moving fabric creeped Jupiter out. Kalique was too happy to notice that Jupiter was slightly horrified by the gown.
Jupiter walked through a long terminal towards a silver door. The door opened once Kalique stood in front of it.
"Allow two entries," said Kalique.
"Confirmed, two entries," said an automated voice.
Kalique walked into her travel ship, Jupiter and CainCaine followed after her. The room was small and filled with large guns around the walls.
"Kalique Abrasax," said Kalique.
An automated voice verified Kalique's identity by repeating a recording of Kalique's voice.
"Verified, welcome Kalique Abrasax," said an automated voice.
Nothing happened. Jupiter knew that was a good thing.
"Are those weapons," asked Jupiter.
"Of course," said Kalique. "Many have died here."
Jupiter was shocked and speechless. Jupiter looked back at CainCaine. CainCaine gave her a 'why are you shocked by that' look.
Kalique walked towards another door.
"Many…" Jupiter whispered to CainCaine.
"Yes, why are you surprised by that," asked CainCaine.
Kalique walked into her large travel suite. Jupiter was surprised how much it looked like Kalique's home only smaller. Streams of water flowed in the center of the room. Jupiter could not tell where the water was coming from, but it was beautiful. Jupiter put her hand through the water, it turned blue. When she pulled her hand away from the water, it was dry. Jupiter was still amazed by their alien technology. So much of the technology was given to beauty. Kalique stood by a wall, she raised her hand and a large viewing window appeared.
"Please have a seat," said" said Kalique.
Jupiter remembered why she was there.
"I prefer to stand," said Jupiter.
CainCaine moved to stand closer to Jupiter.
"Very well," said Kalique. "How much do you know about the Arkane Council?"
Jupiter knew what Kalique was doing. Kalique was testing Jupiter's knowledge about Kalique's culture and laws. Jupiter made sure to learn as much as she could on her own because she did not entirely trust her adopted heirs. Part of her felt guilty about not trusting Kalique, but Jupiter had to put her family and Earth first. Kalique still profited from harvesting planets. Until Kalique stopped, Jupiter would have to keep her allay ally at a distance.
"The Arkane Council is an independent group of officials that the primary families have empowered to inquire and sanction the primary families' business dealings if an extreme violation or circumstance has occurred," said Jupiter.
Kalique was impressed.
"Well, I see you have been accessing our public log," said Kalique. "Do you know how often the Arkane Council has actually sanctioned a primary family member?"
Jupiter assumed it was not often.
"No," said Jupiter.
"It happened once 226 years ago when a new family acquired or shall we say murdered a rival family for their crops."
"The previous family was dead and there was no one to officially to contest the new family's ownership. However, a slightly more powerful family did influence the Arkane Council to convene to access the validity of their new family's newly acquired holdings."
"What happened to the family?"
Jupiter didn't care about the murdering thieves, but she did care about the Arkane Council's decision on this case. If this Arkane Council was powerful enough to take her birthright away, then the Earth would be lost.
"They lost everything and the Arkane Council split the shares of the newly acquired planets amongst the remaining primary families. One family received a larger portion than the others. The planets were divided legally and that decision was absolute."
"I'd like to sit down now," said Jupiter.
Jupiter walked absently towards a chair and sat down. She leaned to the side and covered her face with her hand.
"They're going to try to take my inheritance from me," Jupiter said through her hand.
Kalique walked toward Jupiter, kneeled in front of Jupiter and gently took Jupiter's hand.
"We are not going to let that happen," said Kalique.
Jupiter removed her hand from her face and looked into Kalique's eyes. Kalique smiled at Jupiter. Kalique either really believed Jupiter had a chance or Kalique was supremely naïve.
"The Arkane Council can only sanction me for one of three things, illegal seizure of property, misappropriation or…" said Jupiter
"Mental incompetence," said Kalique. "They're going to try to prove that you are unfit to manage your inheritance," said Kalique.
So I'm crazy for not wanting to kill billions of people, Jupiter thought. Jupiter looked back at Kalique. She was morbidly curious about what Kalique thought about this summons. Did Kalique think Jupiter was crazy? Was Kalique just being nice to Jupiter because Jupiter looked like Kalique's mother? Jupiter needed Kalique to help her understand the new life she was thrust into, but Jupiter honestly didn't know where Kalique's loyalty lied. Kalique at most was only helping a friend; Kalique didn't care about Earth the same way Jupiter did.
"What do I need to do," Jupiter asked Kalique.
"We need to remind them of who they are trying to betray. You are one of the most powerful heirs of the Abrasax."
Jupiter was floored.
"How the hell do I do that?"
Kalique's facial expression became cold and determined as Kalique stood up and put out her hand towards Jupiter.
"Come with me," said Kalique.
Jupiter was hesitant to give Kalique her hand. Kalique has never looked so fierce before. Kalique was willing to do what she needed to do to keep her crops. Jupiter needed to learn to do the same. Once Jupiter took Kalique's hand, Jupiter, wouldJupiter would have to fully accept her position as a crop holder. Only she alone had the right to do with Earth as she saw fit. That meant she had to be willing to appear as though she could harvest her own planet as soon as it was viable to do so. Jupiter took Kalique's hand and stood up.
CainCainee's eyes widened, he did not expect Jupiter to completely align herself with an Abrasax.
"I should leave to your duties," said CainCaine.
CainCaine bowed for a moment. Jupiter looked at CainCaine as if she forgotten he was in the room. CainCaine noticed the look and was wounded by it.
"I will go," he said and walked out of the room quickly.
Kalique gripped Jupiter's hand.
"Let him go, I will have someone look after him," said Kalique.
Jupiter looked down at Kalique's hand. Kalique released Jupiter's hand.
"It is not wise to show too much affection towards their kind. It will appear…worrisome," said Kalique.
Now Jupiter had another stupid issue to deal with. Jupiter was not going to let CainCaine think that she was dismissing him. During the summons she would act the part, but she was not going to ignore her man on Kalique's ship.
After Kalique saw Jupiter calm down, Kalique began to give Jupiter an education about the history of their known universe and the primary families. All civilization started from primitive roots. Abrasax was one of the first of their species to desire growth and change. Three other families: Silu, Katos and Duro had similar potential. Jupiter didn't believe that bull for one moment, but she knew she needed to know their version of history to appear like a true Abrasax. As civilization expanded, their planet was overdeveloped and required them to explore other worlds. During their exploration, they learned of various species, all of which were less developed than them. As the Abrasax fostered education and growth, soon they ran into the same issue of overpopulation on their new planet.
The last planet the primary families lived before the immortal age was home to a primitive people called the Lotai. Due to the Lotai's lack of technology, the primary families decided to keep themselves hidden from the native people through cloaking devices and living in territories that were not inhabited by them. Once day, Maro Abrasax and her two lovers, Udo Silu and Maxius Duro , from two of the primary families stumbled upon a ritual taking place. It looked as if the whole tribe surrounded two large flat rocks. The primary families had never seen so many Lotai before. An elder woman stood in front of the two large rocks with her hands raised.
Udo wanted to leave, as he was scared of breaking the rules. Maro and Maxius wanted to stay. Udo didn't want to appear more cowardly than Maxius and decided to stay as well. All three cloaked themselves and walked closer to the event before them.
An old man, who was clearly a fierce warrior back in his youth walked proudly to one of the large rocks and lied down on it. Maro smiled, she hoped this was going to be a blood sacrifice. She always wanted to witness one. Udo cringed silently, he was sure this man was going to be killed in front of them. It was such a waste. Maxius waited patiently for the blood to be spilt and held Maro's hand. Maro squeezed his hand. Udo shook his head.
A younger man, held a young boy in his arms. The boy seemed weak and could barely hold his eyes open. The young man laid the boy on the large rock beside the old man. Maro gasped. The child was too young! What were they going to do?
The older woman raised her hands and yelled. The rest of the tribe yelled and began rocking side to side. The older woman walked up to the old warrior that lied laid on the rock. She raised her hand. Her nails were two inches long and thick. She bent down and whispered in the man's ear. He nodded she put her one over the man's eyes, he become tense, but did not struggle. She stuck her nails into his chest. He groaned in pain. His skin grew pale blue, as his skin changed, she slit the man's throat. The man did not bleed blood, but a clear liquid. She let the liquid fall into her hand. She carefully walked to the boy and poured the liquid into the boy's mouth. The boy drank the fluid. Maro and the others wereothers were horrified. The boy jerked for a moment and sat up with renewed strength. The tribe cheered. Maro and the others had just witnessed the unfathomable,unfathomable; these primitives were able to transfer life!
Jupiter could imagine the rest. The primary families captured the elder woman and did whatever they needed to do to figure out what chemicals were used to create their product and started selling it to the highest bidder. After that was established, they worked on manufacturing planets of crops to meet their needs. As Jupiter listened to Kalique's version of the story, Jupiter's theories were confirmed.
As each of the primary families grew in power, civil war broke out among them. During this war, low level criminals were beginning to exploit the primary families' lack of focus. Kalique's mother was the first to notice the new threat and convinced the others to cease fire so they could stabilize their legitimate businesses. As the dust settled, the primary families realized how foolish they had been. The Arkane Council was formed to give the primary families an independent judicial systemjudicial system to which all business owners adhered to. Their decision was final and retaliation was not tolerated. Civil war has not occurred since.
` Kalique stressed the importance of the Arkane Council's summons. If they ruled in Jupiter's favor, she would never be contested again. Jupiter was relived to here that. She also knew that winning the Arkane Council'sArkane Council's favor was not going to be easy. Someone started this mess; someone thought Jupiter was weak and could be scared easily. She wasn't, if she could survive alien attacks, she could survive a courtroom. She just had to know what she was dealing with.
CainCaine was greeted by one of Kalique's male servants in the hallway. CainCaine was not in the mood to speak with anyone, but also didn't know where he was supposed to go so he was mildly grateful that the man found him. The man guided him to a nearby guest space. The man stood by the door until CainCaine walked into the room. The door shut behind CainCaine and the man walked away.
CainCaine looked around the room, it had the minimal requirements. He was grateful for the room,room; he was not a creature that needed extravagance. He had a large pad to sleep on that was near the back of the room and a large sliver substance machine that housed food and drinks. He walked over to the large pad, lied laid down and closed his eyes. He couldn't stop thinking about Jupiter. He heard the door open and close. He opened his eyes and saw Jupiter standing by the door.
"Is it okay if stay here with you?," asked Jupiter.
He stood up.
"Your majesty," he said.
"May I stay with you," ?" she asked again.
CainCaine needed to know where he stood with her. He would accept his position gladly, but he had to know his place with her.
"Do you think that is wise," ?" he asked.
She walked up to him and stood in front of him.
"I can't wait to see your beautiful face again," she said as she touched the side of his face.
He leaned his head into her hand. They both knew tonight would be one of their last night together. He hated that he was not in his true form to make love to her fully. She kissed him, he kissed her back and they fell on the pad together.
CainCaine woke up naked and alone. He looked over and saw that Jupiter had already began her transformation from a kind hearted human to a cold Abrasax crop holder. CainCaine growled at the thought. He was previously imprisoned by an Abrasax, Titus, who thought he was better than others. Titus was cruel toward CainCaine, as CainCaine was his favorite pet. CainCaine refused to let Titus turn him into an animal. He was sentient and he was not going to let a spoiled aristocrat take his dignity away from him. As a soldier in training, CainCaine learned his place quickly and the importance of respect. It kept him alive. Many of his peers have lost themselves to their enhanced natures or gotten killed by confronting those in power. CainCaine refused to let that happen to him. Some of his fellow soldiers would call him weak, but he made a choice long ago to survive. Until Jupiter, people like Titus and the wrongs he faced were nothing. Now that he was loved, he had a stronger desire to live and a lower tolerance for undue cruelty. If CainCainee CainCaine sees Titus again, he may try to kill Titus.
Jupiter stood in beautiful red dress with a large red rose pin that held her hair up in an extravagant bun. Kalique and her personal designer, Franper stood in front of Jupiter. She was given bright red lip covering. She refused to wear red mascara. Jupiter had to come clean and tell Kalique that she did not want to wear a fluid sequence dress like Kalique wore earlier. Kalique was hurt for a moment.
"She looks just like the images I've seen of your mother," said Franper.
"I know, it's uncanny, but we have to make sure that she is seen as Jupiter with slight nod toward my mother. It will make her appear unsettling," said Kalique.
"Thanks…" said Jupiter in a dry tone.
Franper and Kalique faced each other, talked about Jupiter's look and other long term design ideas as if Jupiter was not there. Jupiter let them speak amongst themselves. She was new to this culture and thought it was important to listen to their advice. So far, Kalique and Franper have not been overbearing, yet.
"I think this will do for today," Kalique said to no one in particular.
Kalique looked at Jupiter.
"Are you ready," Kalique asked.
"Yes," said Jupiter.
"What is your name?"
Jupiter straightened her posture; she thought only of her birthright and her will to protect it.
"My name is Jupiter Jones Abrasax," she said confidently.