Jupiter Ascending – Legality Part II

The law is absolute

Tandoris stood in the records room of the Arkane Council's space station as he wore his large blue robe that was etched with moving silver stitches and recited the ten tenets of the Arkane Council. He had been on the council for 102 years and was next in line to act as the head inquisitor of the Arkane Council. His age showed. Many men and women have died before having an actual chance to practice the law. He was terrified of the charges he was tasked to bring against an Abrasax, but he did not show it. He spent the past week focusing on the legality of the charges and the gathering evidence.

Tandoris pressed a button on his silver bracelet and a screen appeared. He asked the system to retrieve all files on the former matriarch of the Abrasax household. A picture of her appeared on the screen. She was a beautiful woman, but her eyes hinted at her true nature. She hid her menace well. Out of curiosity, he asked the system to show more images of her. He looked through numerous images and saw her eyes dim in her later years. Her youth and beauty could not be denied, but her eyes showed a different story. He heard of the matriarch, many of the elders of the Arkane Council feared her. No one from the primary families would even think to bring a charge against her. Her voice was calm, deep and deliberate. Everything she said sounded like a command.

He returned his attention to the task at hand and asked the system to pull up her financial records, the ones he had access to. Some things were still off limits to them, personal accounts were exempt from audits due to the implied nature of the account. The matriarch earned every cent and she maximized every crop's potential. Nothing was harvested without a financial gain. She was even known to gamble. As others invested in less inhabited planets or lush environments, the matriarch was willing to invest in developing a planets potential. His eyes widened. Earth was severely overpopulated. That was Balem's fault. He was too frugal and unimaginative in his dealings; most of his inheritance had declined since he had taken over ownership of his mother's crops. He smiled to himself. They were a judiciary body, not a capital firm. What Balem lacked in financial know how, he made up for in cruelty and harsh management. The universe feared Balem and that was enough to keep him in power.

As he looked at the Jupiter's current financial records, he was beginning to understand why Jupiterwas being sanctioned. She had done nothing. He looked at the planet's population and environmental metrics; nothing had been done since Balem's death. He blinked at the screen. Jupiter's management skills were staggeringly lacking. His case was forming for him. Jupiter was not capable of ushering her new inheritance. She must be removed. He asked the system to pull up an image of Jupiter. It was a picture of an Earth's driver's license. She had a smile on her face, but her eyes looked weary and warm. Jupiter was a fighter. He would make sure to not underestimate her during these affairs.

Jupiter walked into Caine's guest quarters wearing a fitted sky blue gown with a slant top. She wore clipped bangs that framed her forehead and a long wavy pony tail that was placed at the top of her head. The long wavy curls cascaded down the middle of her back. Caine wore only pants as he knelt on his hands and knees and looked as if he was writhing in pain.

"Caine…" she said as she rushed towards him.

He put his hand up and looked at her, his eyes dilated for a moment. His fangs extended back into place. His chemical treatment had worn off. She stood in place and watched as Caine changed back into his true form. Caine tried not to groan as his female watched. He knew it would hurt her. Changing back was more painful due to his slight body mass increase and his other genetic enhancements. As his back began to bubble, his wings began to push out. He couldn't hold back his cry. He yelled. She put her hands in front of her mouth and tears fell down her eyes.

Caine growled. His wings sprouted as if they had been freed from a cage and sweat covered his body. After his transformation was completed, he laid on the floor and closed his eyes. His wings flopped down towards his back. The floor underneath him cooled and offered his hot skin some relief. He was beginning to appreciate Kalique's hospitality. Jupiter rushed towards him, sat down and hugged him from behind. She just stayed there. She felt him breathing steadily so she knew he was alive. She didn't have the heart to wake him.

He sacrificed his well being for her again. If she'd known he would have went through such pain, she would not have asked him to do it. She planned to yell at him when he was strong enough to take it. Now she had to figure out how to explain Caine's absence to her family. He turned his head towards her, his eyes were still closed. She leaned her head on his back; he sniffed the air and faintly smiled. She remained quiet; he needed to regain his strength.

Jupiter took this time to think about their plan. Jupiter was exposed to a side she never seen in Kalique. Kalique was truly an Abrasax. She did not use her influence to harm others, but she would not hesitate to use her resources to protect herself or the ones she cared about.

Kalique informed Jupiter of how she should speak and her demeanor. Everyone in the Arkane Council were beneath her and feared her. Jupiter needed to play on their fears to keep them distracted. The review could be done in hours or take days depending on how Jupiter handled the first few moments of her interaction in court. Jupiter nodded her head. She had a few fights under her belt from school. A lot of girls didn't like her. To this day she didn't know why. She had neither the time nor the patience to care about such things, even in the fifth grade.

You must act as though you are willing to do anything to keep your inheritance.

Your name Abrasax will be enough to carry you, but you still have to reinforce your power.

Was this how Kalique survived her two brothers for all these years? What had Kalique done to show her strength over the years? How many people has she had killed? How many crops has she harvested?

Jupiter mentally shook away the thought. Kalique was necessary to her for now. After the case closed, she planned to learn as much as she could from Kalique, independently study about her role as a crop holder and what she could do to prolong the lives of her stocks. She would not harvest a single person as long as she maintained control over her planets. Jupiter planned to scare whoever she needed to make sure she kept her home and her other worlds safe from destruction. Her other worlds? She lifted her head; that thought shocked her. She was begging to claim ownership of her inheritance. Kalique would be proud, but Jupiter was simply nauseous.

Caine's eyes began to flutter open. Jupiter moved her hands and scooted back slightly to give him some room. He slowly sat up; his wings extended and knocked her back. She laughed. He was horrified. He quickly turned and leaned over her. She couldn't stop laughing. She held her right hand over her eye. He had a worried look on his face.

"Did I hurt you," he asked.

"Yes," she said while laughing.

"I'm sorry, let me see."

He gently pulled her hand away from her eye. Her eye was closed, but there were no signs of visible damage. He asked her to open her eye. She shook her head and said she didn't want to. He growled and asked her calmly again to open her eye. Her eye lid struggled a bit, but she was able to open her eye. She looked at him.

"See, I'm fine," she said.

His body began to realize he was half leaning over a beautiful woman's body that was in a tight dress. Thankfully, the pain from his transformation kept his other function at bay. He would look like a complete barbarian if his loins swelled for her after looking so vulnerable. He looked into her eyes; her eyes looked into his as if he was her prey. Clearly, she didn't heed appropriate behavior. As he began to back away from her further, she raised her head to kiss him. He bent his head towards her to kiss her.

Caine was surprised by how long she kept kissing him. Soon after he didn't much care why. Jupiter released him and fell back down on the ground.

"That was all I wanted," she said.

He smiled at her, jumped to his feet and put his hand out towards her to help her up. She raised her hand to him and he gently pulled her up as she stood. She couldn't stop staring at him. He was beginning feel unnerved by it. She had a different look in her eyes. She looked at him as if she wanted to know everything about him in one glance. He lowered his eyes for a moment and his body stiffened at his response. She blinked and gently rubbed his muscled arm.

"What's wrong," she asked.

Did she not know what she was doing? What she was becoming?

"Nothing is wrong. Are you well," he asked.

"I am, I guess. I hate that I have to dress like this…"

She looked down at her over the top appearance. He admired how the dress fitted her form and did not readily agree with her. The hair was a bit much, but this wardrobe did fit the part she was aiming to play. He knew she wanted to keep her planet safe and he planned to do whatever he needed to do to make sure she achieved that goal.

"You look as you should be. You are a queen."

She rolled her eyes and blew a small puff of air out of her closed lips. In that moment he knew Jupiter was still there. He still could not ignore what he saw before. She was changing. The longer she learned about her inheritance, the more involved she would need to become in her business dealings.

Jupiter looked down at his body again.

"I am not just flesh, Jupiter."

"I know," she said in a whiney tone.

He squinted his eyes at her. She widened her eyes and did her best to appear oblivious to his insinuations.

Kalique looked out into space as she stood in her meeting room and listened to her accounts keeper, Rovanis, discuss Jupiter's state of affairs. The room was large and mainly silver. One of the walls was malleable. She was able to reshape the wall into anything she pleased with her hands. One wall had a large image of a yellow and orange liquid substance that frequently changed colors. The image covered most of the wall. The image slowly changed from orange to purple and from yellow to sky blue.

Rovanis was a short, round bald man that replaced his right thumb and fore finger with cybernetic enhancements to keep up with the fashion trend of the time. Rovanis was very proud of his small enhancements. Kalique thought they were cheap and tacky, but it did not detract from Rovanis' genius.

"Jupiter has not actively made a decision on anything. The crops on two of her planets are nearly ready for harvest and she has not placed one order to her manufacturer. Her manufacturing facilities are under producing by twenty percent and there are possible signs of embezzlement," said Rovanis.

Kalique turned towards him and looked at him. He became frightened.

"I am not certain about the embezzlement. I only have only glanced at her records," he said.

"If you were on the Arkane Council, what would all of this mean to you," she asked.

She looked up at the screen that showed various numbers changing before their eyes. Accounts were not her specialty, but she was educated as all her siblings were. Even she could see that Jupiter showed no real effort to manage her crops. If she was a true Abrasax she would have requested a sanction herself. Kalique suddenly realized how the Arkane Council was summoned. A primary family member had to have suggested this audit. She balled her hands into fist. Rovanis looked down at her hands and heard her knuckles crack. She stared out towards nothing in particular. Rovanis silently begged for his life. He had never felt unsafe around Kalique before, but today, she had seemed anxious during their entire meeting.

"If I have done something to offend…" he said.

She looked at him and raised her hand to silence him. She did not need unnecessary groveling. She had no time to be gracious with him.

"You've done well, please kept this meeting between us," she said.

"Of course."

Her eyes told him that any slip of the tongue would cost him his life. He bowed and backed out of the room.

Titus stood in front of ten beautiful women, three would be sent away. Three women were human, the rest were from other planets. Each woman had a similar look. They were thin, toned and had high cheekbones. Where they differ was their skin. Some women's skin was smooth. Two women were from the dark planet. Their skin seemed to glow and one could see the blood in their veins circulate throughout their body. One woman had rough lizard like skin and white eyes. One woman had purple skin and black eyes. She was known to have violent tastes, choosing her amongst the other women would not be wise. Another pair of women stood taller than him and had tanned skin and the last set of women were from a recently acquired planet the women looked human, but their tongues extended out like serpents. He could only imagine what they could do with them. The planet's conditions were harsh so he would be using a lot of his resources to develop it for crop growth.

Titus stood in front of them wearing a fitted pair of blank pants. His bare feet took a few casual steps towards them. Women were the greatest creation on earth.

"Who will join me today," he said.

The woman all looked at him. None seemed anxious. He loved that about the women he chose. He did not want a woman to cower before him in this instance. He wanted a strong woman that desired him as much as he desired her. One of the human female's gaze faltered. He decided she would be leaving. He had two more to dismiss.

He walked closer to the line of women and sniffed one of the glowing women's pony tail. She closed her eyes at his touch. He liked that, she would stay. Just when he was about to start his fun, his sister walked into his room. The system announced her presence.

"Kalique Abrasax," said the system.

Titus was shocked. How did she get here so fast and how dare she interrupt him.

"Why are you here," he asked.

Kalique was not intimated by his glare in the slightest.

"Please leave us," said Kalique without making backwards glance towards the women behind her.

The women bowed and left the room. Titus wanted to run towards his sister and choke her.

"I was surprised to see how close you were to this orbit," she said. "My scouts found you in less time it took me to dress this morning. Why are you so close to my station?"

He would not confess anything. She had no evidence against him. She was only trying to see how he reacted to her questions. He placed his hands in the pockets and looked at her as if he had no idea what she was trying to say. She simply stared and waited for him to speak. Unlike before she would not play his game. She would stand there all night if it was required of her.

"What are you waiting for me to say, sister?"

"Sister…"

He rarely used that word. She learned as children that Titus used the word to manipulate sympathy from her. She frequently protected him from mother or any other punishment he deserved. She partly blamed herself for the spoiled monster he had become.

"I do not have time to play games, brother."

He frowned at the use of the word brother. He hated when his own tactics were used against him.

"I assure you my intensions are…"

Before he could finish speaking, she rushed towards him, grabbed his neck and choked him and released him. He fell to the ground. He felt his neck and saw blood on his fingertips. She had dug her nails into him.

"You, bitch!"

She was not moved or hurt by the word at all. He suddenly began to feel weak. She had drugged him. He fell back and began to convulse. His eyes rolled in the back of his head. She looked down at him. Her voice sounded loud and nearly unbearable as she spoke. He tried to move his hands to cover his ears, but he could no longer control his body.

"I know you called the Arkane Council," she said coldly.

He groaned. The pain was nearly unbearable. He felt his heart beat rapidly and his blood violently push through his veins.

"You foolish coward… what did you plan to accomplish?"

With each jolt of pain, felt closer to death and it terrified him. Death was still possible for him and he did not want to die.

"Don't worry, I'm not going to kill you brother. I only want to make sure you understand me."

She timed this perfectly. His body slowly began to return to normal. Whatever chemical she used was temporary and most likely untraceable. Well played, he thought. His breathing returned to normal. She leaned down towards him; he flinched slightly and did not look at her.

"Look at me," she said.

He looked at her.

"I am capable of more than you can possibly imagine. If you do something like this again, I will kill you and make sure you are not even a memory."

She stood and looked down at him one more time before leaving the room. He felt the small cuts on his neck begin to heal. He yelled out in rage. He also knew to never cross her again.

Tandoris sat across from his partner, Griana, at a dinner table in a small restaurant that was stationed above their home planet. The room was dimly lit and only ten tables were placed throughout the room. Male and female servers wore the same long silver top that was tied together by a large yellow ribbon. They walked around barefoot to illustrate the cleanliness of the floors.

Tandoris noticed that Griana had barely touched her food, but her hand was lightly caressing her fourth glass of an intoxicating substance. Tandoris did not like personal confrontation so he focused on the supremely cooked drak meat and soft sloka side dish in front of him. Sloka was a small orange dish that was peppered with complimentary spices. Without the spices, it would have been nearly unbearable to eat.

Griana had offered to pay for the entire meal which a pleasant surprise, but still made him a bit weary. She had planned to do something and he was beginning to think the worse. After he took a last bite of his drak meat, he placed his knife and fork down on the table and whipped his mouth with the napkin that lied on his lap. He placed the napkin on the table and looked at his woman.

"It must have been hard to order a seat here. How were you able to do it on such short notice?"

She stared at him for a moment. He was trained to read people, he never used it in his personal life, but tonight he didn't readily trust her. He would know if she was lying to him.

"I asked as soon as you accepted the call from the council," she said.

That made him pause. She had already made a decision about something. What was her decision?

"Oh," he said.

Griana hated what she was about to do, but her uncle was an elder on the Arkane Council and she needed to head his advice. Jupiter may be a simple human, but she was tied to the Abrasax family. There could be consequences for this sanction and any ties to Tandoris could harm her and her family. Tandoris must walk this path alone.

"My family has asked me to visit them in the Dilaris system. I leave tonight."

Tandoris remained calm. He may be misunderstanding what Griana was saying. A family trip was normal and he knew she liked to travel. Her status gave her that privilege. He was surprised that she was telling him hours before her trip. That was not something people who shared a life together did to each other. Her words sounded normal, but her actions seemed abrupt and very reactionary. What was she reacting to?

"How long do you plan to stay with them?"

She took sip of her liquid.

"I plan to stay there for some time. I have also moved my things."

In that moment, all of his questions were answered. She was leaving him. He wanted to slam his hand on the table, but he settled for squeezing his napkin in his hand. He glanced around the room. Everyone else seemed to be enjoying themselves.

"Do you think that is necessary?"

"Yes, I do. I need to protect myself."

"From what…" he harshly whispered. His composure was being pulled like an unraveling string.

She wanted to reach for his hand to comfort him. She truly loved him, but she did not want to give him false hope.

"This is a sanctioned event by the primary families. They cannot…they cannot retaliate without forfeiting their crops. They would not do that," he said.

She looked at him like a child who was telling a story he thought was true.

"No one has ever challenged an Abrasax. I need this time to myself. If you will not have me, then I understand. I will not return to you."

She moved to leave. He grabbed her hand. He did not want her to leave. She sat back down. He held her hand a few moments longer. They stretched their fingers so they could clasp their hand together. She put her head down and placed her other hand over her eyes to keep from crying. He let go of her hand and knew that would be the last time he would be able to touch her again.

Jupiter and Kalique sat down in Kalique's travel ship. Caine was not there. Kalique advised Caine to stay on her life station. He would be protected and treated as a high guest. Jupiter wanted Caine to come with her and was about to protest when Caine graciously agreed with Kalique. He kissed her and told her that he would wait for her. It was times like this that made her hate her entitlement.

As they traveled, Kalique tested Jupiter's knowledge of their public records. Jupiter was even more confident than before. Kalique smiled at her. Jupiter was like a little sister to her. Kalique only had one correction to make. Kalique straightened her posture. Jupiter noticed Kalique's movement and imitated it. Kalique said it was important to show her confidence and strength at all time. Jupiter was a little worried about remembering to keep her posture straight. She wasn't that woman, but she had to be for this trial.

The pilot announced that they were close to the rendezvous. Jupiter reached for Kalique's hand and held it tight. Kalique squeezed Jupiter's hand tight to reassure Jupiter. Humans could be so loving, like children. Jupiter released her hand.

"Remember, who you are. You will be the most powerful person in that room," said Kalique.

Jupiter nodded her head. It was time to play the part. Billions of lives depended on her. Her family depended on her. She had to prove herself today. The straps on their chairs removed themselves from their bodies. Jupiter and Kalique stood. Jupiter wore a silver dress that sparkled in certain forms of light and had her hair wrapped in a large bun. Kalique wore a simple purple gown to not overshadow Jupiter.

The ship stopped in front of a larger ship. This ship was the location of the sanction. All seven of the elders of the Arkane Council and the council's representative, Tandoris, would be in attendance. Jupiter and Kalique were the only ones allowed from Jupiter's party. Kalique would be her associate representative if the occasion demanded Kalique's assistance.

Kalique's ship connected a walkway to the Arkane Council's ship. Kalique and Jupiter walked on the walkway and were greeted by a young man. He must be a student of law. Such men and women started early and some never succeeded in becoming a full member of the Arkane Council. He bowed at them.

"Thank you for coming," he said.

Jupiter looked down at him coldly and did not respond. The young man waited a moment more and straightened his posture. Kalique smiled inside.

Jupiter and Kalique walked in silence as the young man walked them to the court. Jupiter was beginning to feel her stomach twist inside her. She focused on making it stop by the time she entered the room. Thankfully, she was able to gain control. Kalique did not look at Jupiter once. Kalique could not be overly protective of Jupiter anymore; that would make Jupiter look helpless. Jupiter did not need to add any more accusations against her. The young man stopped in front of the closed metal door. The door would open when the Arkane Council ordered it to open. The young man left. The door opened seconds later.

Jupiter walked in the room with her head held high and made sure to look every elder in the eye. Tandoris was ignored. Tandoris stood in the middle of the room. The room was surprisingly plain. The room was circular and chairs for the elders surrounded the room. A silver table and two chairs were placed in front of a group of elders. Jupiter would be on display the entire time.

"I am told my inheritance has been called into question…" said Jupiter.

"Not your heritance…" said Tandoris.

"I was not finished speaking," said Jupiter. She gave Tandoris a pointed look.

Even Kalique cowered slightly by her tone.

"I understand my rights. You have decided to question my judgment."

Jupiter looked at the silver table with two chairs.

"Is this where I sit," asked Jupiter.

Tandoris simply stared at her for a moment like a scared child pretending to be brave.

"Yes, your majesty," said Tandoris.

Jupiter walked to one of the chairs and sat down with her posture straight and confident. No one would know how terrified she was at the moment.

"I will discuss my findings and then her majesty will be questioned and allowed to offer a rebuttal," said Tandoris to the room. "Halt record."

The Arkane Council only recorded the introduction and final decision of the sanction to authenticate the review. Due to the sensitive nature of the primary families' business dealings, the actual event was never recorded.

"Jupiter Jones Abrasax, you have been called here out of concern for your business dealings. Currently, there have been no substantial records of you managing your crops. One planet in particular should have been prepared for harvest, but no orders were placed and no mercenaries were dispatched. According to my findings, this lack of action will cost you a 20% loss in revenue over the next twelve years."

Jupiter simply listens to Tandoris' nonsense and tries not to show her discomfort in hearing this man talk about harvesting people's lives as if she was an owner of a Twinkie Factory. Tandoris took his time speaking again, he wanted to gauge her reaction, she knew the elder council members were watching her as well.

"Do you think we're monsters?"

Jupiter knew not to respond.

"After all, the Arkane Council is funded by the primary families. It was the best way to support the council's growth. Every elder council member is as immortal as any primary family member."

Jupiter's eyes widened slightly. Now she understood why the Arkane Council cared so much about her profits and losses. Tandoris noticed her look.

"As a resident of a planet marked for harvest, it is not hard to believe that you may feel conflicted about the new burden that has been place on you."

The bastard was right. Her new found power was a burden, but she was the only one that had her planet's interest at heart. She also didn't plan to sacrifice her other worlds either. If she could give this to anyone else she would, but that was not an option. Jupiter simply stared at him. A primary family member would not be bothered by a young council member's assumptions.

Tandoris moved his head to speak to everyone in the room.

"I believe it would be best for Jupiter's assets to be divided amongst the primary families and that the Abrasax family share ownership of the most profitable inhabited planet."

Jupiter stood up. Kalique looked up at Jupiter.

"Is there something you like to say, your majesty," asked Tandoris.

"I thought you were finished," said Jupiter.

Tandoris was in fact finished. He passed his judgment, but it was up to the elder council to approve it. Tandoris raised his hand, motioned towards the center of the room and bowed slightly. Jupiter walked to the center of the room.

Tandoris began his questioning. He first asked her name and where she was born. He asked her to state the planet of her birth. She answered his question. So far, she had no overt reactions to his question. She knew he was trying to give her a false sense of peace. Tandoris asked her about her relationship with Caine. She answered, sexual. She and Caine knew the truth and that was what mattered most.

Tandoris asked specific questions about the planets she owned. She answered every question with confidence. She knew her crops well now. She even knew the number of people she now employed. That took some time, she also did not agree with some of Balem's choices. Some of the mercenaries were cold blooded murders and she planned to deal with them as soon as she was done with this mess. Kalique offered to have them killed, but Jupiter wanted to find another way. Kalique was disappointed by Jupiter. Jupiter didn't care.

"Do you plan to harvest planet Earth eventually," asked Tandoris.

"Yes," said Jupiter. She lied without blinking, but her cold matter of fact tone even frightened her.

Tandoris blinked, she had even convinced him.

"When do you plan to do so?"

Jupiter smiled.

"The planet Earth has one of the best climates for crop development. The environment manages itself well, for the most part. Yet, every time my crops are ready to be harvested a disaster happens. Now, I may be new at this, but harvesting 30% under my initial investment would not be a prudent business decision," said Jupiter.

Tandoris swallowed. He did not expect that answer.

"What of the planet you neglected…"

"It will be done in time. The loss will not be as large as you say; I can recoup my losses in less than three years."

She pulled that number out of her ass, but the look on Tandoris face showed that she made a good guess. She also heard murmurings around her. She was placing doubt in the elder council's minds.

"I am new to all this, but I assure you I am learning fast," said.

She turned to look around the room.

"Think of who you're dealing with. I am an heir of the maternal Abrasax line; the very woman that placed you in these positions. There are always consequences for every action. Breaking up a sanctioned primary family members' product can devastate your own. People will not accept what an unfair decision. If you do this, you will forfeit your legitimacy and you will destroy yourselves in the process."

Tandoris was shocked. Where had this woman come from? How was she able to say such things? He began to lightly perspire.

"You're just playing a part," said Tandoris.

Jupiter simply looked at him. She'd won.

"No one believes for a second you would do anything to your birthplace!"

"That's enough," yelled Korma, a high elder council member. "Start record."

Tandoris and Jupiter looked Korma who was standing.

"I vote that this sanction be dismissed from the record," said Korma.

Tandoris felt light headed.

"Are there any objections," asked Korma.

Jupiter and Kalique heard an unanimous "no" from the elder council members. Jupiter acted as if she was not surprised.

"Gentleman…" said Jupiter.

Jupiter and Kalique left the room without giving a backwards glance to the Arkane Council.

Tandoris watched the door shut behind them and turned to face the men and women that set him up for a grand fall. He knew he would not survive the day.

Kalique and Jupiter walked through the main entrance of Kalique's life ship and Jupiter immediately fell on her knees and began breathing hard. Kalique knelt down beside her and rubbed Jupiter's back.

"You did well," said Kalique.

"It's not over is it," said Jupiter.

"There will be other obstacles. Since the Arkane Council dismissed the case, they can legally put you on trial again, but they wouldn't dare do it."

Jupiter looked up at Kalique.

"They can," asked Jupiter.

"Don't give them a reason to," said Kalique.

"Help me," pleaded Jupiter.

"Stand up," said Kalique.

Kalique helped Jupiter up. Kalique gently put a strand of Jupiter's hair back in its place.

"I am here for you, but you have to listen to my advice. You will not be able to save everyone, but we can keep Earth safe."

Jupiter looked at Kalique.

"Do we have an agreement?"