One Year Later
Minato was lying on a futon in one of the ship's observation domes. The dome was made of a material that was as clear as glass but twenty times stronger than steel. Lying here you got the illusion that you were on the deck of the ship out in space. The first time he'd ever entered this room he'd yelped and jumped back through the door expecting to be sucked out. Now it was one of his favorite places on this whole cavernous ship. Before him was the Earth, slowly turning. At the moment he was looking at the North and South American continents, if he stayed here Europe and western coast of Africa would come into view in about a couple hours. About every seven hour they circled the earth in a never ending orbit.
Kusano snuggled a little closer to him beneath the blankets. The first time it had felt a little weird for him, but she had wanted it very badly. Now she was as much his wife as any of the others. She smiled up at him with those big green eyes of hers, even now the innocent little girl he'd first met in an M.B.I. lab could still be seen there.
"What are you thinking Minato-kun?"
"I'm wondering when any of us will walk down there again," he looked at her questioningly. "Don't you want to feel the grass beneath your feet? A soft breeze in your hair?"
"Sure," she said with an innocent grin. "But only if I can feel your hand holding mine at the same time."
He gave her a light kiss. "If it weren't for you and the others I wouldn't be able to do this at all." He reached for a pack of cigarettes to help him enjoy the afterglow. Before he could get them Kusano deftly snatched them away. "Hey!"
"You know I hate it when you smoke," she said and threw them all the way across the room. The hit the earth and bounced off. "Your kisses taste like cigarettes."
He grinned at her. "You'll get used to it, the others did." That was one of the small advantages of having multiple wives. Getting to play the, 'but my other wives are okay with it' card.
She gave him an unhappy pout. "Well I hate it; it's not healthy for you either!"
He shrugged. "They won't kill me." People had probably been saying that since the first time a pipe was filled with dried tobacco. Too often they'd been wrong. In his case though… "With the medical facilities we have even if I got cancer, so what?" With the technology available it was child's play to find and remove any cancerous cells in his body. They literally had the ability to cure all disease.
Thinking about that didn't make him as happy as it should have. "It's not fair you know, I don't have to worry about getting sick. But there are people on Earth, millions of them, dying of cancer and other diseases right this minute."
She nodded sympathetically. "I know you want to help them Minato-kun, I do too. But it's like you always say, once you open Pandora's Box you won't be able to close it again."
"This whole ship is Pandora's Box," he muttered. "A ship filled with miracles that can do anything, but it can't do everything."
The facilities on board could indeed cure any disease… for the handful who could receive treatment. Who would decide that? Did the rich get help while everyone else suffered? The talented? Employees of M.B.I.? Whoever he chose 99.9999% would feel they were being denied treatment that could save them.
And they would be right.
The problem was the technology was too damn far advanced to be released. The exact same machines that could cure diseases could also be used for genetic engineering and to run horrific experiments or create biological weapons that would make anthrax look like a summer cold. The same went for so much of the rest of the technology. Antimatter plants could make coal, oil, nuclear, and all other power sources obsolete. They could also create explosions equivalent to hydrogen bombs either by accident or deliberate sabotage.
Minato didn't trust people to use these things responsibly. Maybe someday that would change, maybe, but for now he was very careful what technologies and medicines he allowed out into the public.
"Minato-kun?" Kazehana's voice seemed to call from all around him. "You wanted to know when the first broadcast from China began."
"Thanks Kazehana-chan," he spoke in a regular voice. "I'll be right there." He gave Kusano another kiss that made her wings appear and then tossed aside the blanket to start getting dressed.
Seeing their time alone was over she got up as well and started putting her clothes on too. "Why do you even want to hear this broadcast? You know what they're going to say."
"I guess I want to see how bad it is."
On the bridge his other wives were already waiting. Kazehana was in the command chair, her hand resting on the globe that gave her control over the ship. Her belly was really big; she would be giving birth in the next couple of weeks. Akizu had a noticeable bulge as well, she was five months along. Haihane wasn't showing yet. When he thought about the children who would be born here he felt guilty. In some ways they would have an ideal existence. They would never want for any material item. They had an endless supply of food, water, and energy. There were machines on board that could construct anything from a doll to a dress made for the latest Paris fashion. The children would be loved and treasured and would have a huge family to play with and watch out for them. They would never know prejudice or hatred or want.
On the other hand they would never go to the beach or to the park or to an amusement park. They would never go to a school or make friends who were not family members. Could he really deny his children that? Then again would any of his children ever be safe if they did go to Earth?
They wouldn't ever be in China.
The broadcast image of the Chinese Premier appeared on the display screen. Hung Tso was a stately trim figure in his early 60's. He was a hard core socialist who'd made a name for himself suppressing the revolts in Nanking back in 2014. The fact he's been selected as Premier was a clear sign of China's defiance.
The man spoke slowly from a prepared statement in Chinese. The computer put a japans translation alongside as he spoke.
"Today marks the one year anniversary of the criminal attack perpetrated on the People's Republic of China. It was one year ago that the so called World President Sahashi Minato launched an unprovoked assault on the military forces this nation had placed in space as a protective shield. And of course one day later came the criminal and unwarranted destruction of our great capitol of Beijing. Two million innocent lives were lost to this blood thirsty man who claims to rule the whole of this world. Since that time there have been other unprovoked and unnecessary attacks made on sovereign Chinese soil. Our people have also suffered due to the unjust trade sanctions imposed upon us by the so-called world government. Though nearly all other nations have submitted to his demands China will never do so. Sahashi Minato is a war criminal guilty of causing the deaths of more than two million innocent Chinese citizens. We shall never submit to be ruled by such a monster. China stands firmly on the side of freedom and human rights. Thank you."
As the image disappeared everyone turned their eyes to Minato. He reached into his pocket for a smoke before remembering Ku-chan had tossed them. "I don't think they like me very much," he said with a shrug.
"They left a few things out," Kusano said quickly. "Like how the rest of the world is on your side."
"Or the fact that they had a sekirei imprisoned for more than a year after kidnapping her," Kazehana said.
"Yeah! Or that those other attacks were all on nuclear facilities and weapons," Benitsubasa said.
"He didn't say that all those people died because they wouldn't let them evacuate," Haihane said.
That was true. After making his announcement the Chinese government had cleared out of the capitol. But they had sent troops to close the city borders to keep the ordinary citizens from leaving. They had gambled he would not be willing to kill so many in order to carry out a threat.
They'd lost, but it had been the ordinary people who had suffered for it.
All the other countries had agreed to his demands, though they maintained their own governments. In New York the UN functioned as a World Government under his dictates, their orders had to be obeyed and their laws followed. No one was allowed to travel to China or to conduct business with them. The world wide sanctions were not only ruining China's economy they were causing widespread hunger. There were reports of riots and demonstrations in the rural areas where people were beginning to starve.
He could have annihilated their entire military from space and ordered the rest of the world's forces to invade and occupy them. But he hadn't wanted to do that, he'd chosen the slower route of starving them into submission or else causing a revolution.
How many people would die before China agreed to join his camp? Half a million? A million? Two? He shook his head. There were no easy answers.
He would just have to keep doing what he had to.
On earth people went about their daily lives.
Miya was busy making dinner when two little girls, twin three year olds, burst into the kitchen being chased by a little girl with red hair waving some handcuffs in the air shouting she was a police woman. Miya sighed. "Hanayo, Hanako, no running in the house please. Mako where did you find those?"
The little girl turned to her. "I found them in mommies' room auntie Miya."
I'll have to have a word with Matsu again about leaving things like this out. "That's not a toy, please give it to me." Miya held out her hand. Mako obediently placed the handcuffs in them. "That's a good girl, now please tell your mother and father that dinner is almost ready."
"Yes auntie!" The girl hurried back out after her 'cousins.'
"Seo!!" Miya could hear Hikari's voice reverberating though the Inn. "You lazy bum! Why don't you get a job like any responsible father would?"
"Why?" Seo's lazy voice replied. "Miya won't ever let us starve or throw us out. Why should I bother?"
"Don't you have any pride?" Hikari screeched.
"Nope," he said with a laugh.
The next sound she heard was the crackle of electricity followed by Seo's shouts of pain.
"He really is scum," Miya muttered to herself. She stepped out the back entrance to look at her other residents.
Number 95, Kuno and her husband Haruka were playing with their five year old. She had once been his sekirei, but when her crest was removed it could not be restored again. When they kissed wings of light did not appear and she could not use a norito even if she wanted to. She no longer shared the physical connection to him she once had. But it really didn't seem to matter. After she and the other captured sekirei were freed she'd sought out Haruka and stayed at his side ever since. They loved each other and were husband and wife now even if they were no longer sekirei and ashikabi.
Sighing she thought about former residents. Her heart still ached for poor Uzume. She wished the girl had been given a better fate. She thought about a couple other former residents and her heart ached some more, though for a different reason.
"Homura! It is your turn to change the diapers!" Tsukiumi said loudly.
Homura sighed. "I'm coming dear."
After Tsukiumi had been released she had gone back to the Inn just long enough to tell Seo that if he ever so much as looked at her again she would kill him. She had then announced she would never allow any damn monkey to violate her.
That had been fine until she decided she wanted to have sex.
He'd woken up with a start to find Tsukiumi in his room in a pink nightgown. "Tsukiumi what the hell are you doing? If Miya catches you in here…"
She had looked vulnerable in that moment for the first time he'd ever known her. Her cheeks had turned pink and she had the most adorable little girl look on her face. "Homura would you… would you like to take me into your warm embrace?" She'd taken his hand and placed it on her large and supple breast.
Once that happened what followed was only natural. (He was a man after all, 100%!)
And then a couple weeks later…
"Homura you bastard!! I'm pregnant!" Tsukiumi had screamed.
"What?" He'd cried out. "But we only did it once!"
"Your seed is strong then," Tsukiumi had glared at him and started grinding her teeth. "You are going to take responsibility, right?!"
They'd gotten married and moved into a two bedroom house in the suburbs. Fortunately M.B.I. was still providing all the first generation sekirei unlimited funds. So Homura had gone from a club host and guardian of sekirei to a stay at home dad.
Life was cruel sometimes.
Shiina was staring up at the night sky from his bedroom window.
"Are you thinking about your imouto again?" His wife asked as she approached him.
He nodded. "Yes, I'm just hoping she's all right."
Yukari put her arms around his slim waist and planted a kiss on his cheek. They had met through M.B.I. following her graduation. It had been love, or maybe lust, at first sight. "You can call her or email her whenever you want. It's not like you don't get to talk to her all the time."
The ship's communications systems made contacting them easy.
"I know," he said. "But I'd like to see her face to face again one day."
"I'm sure you will… one day," his wife told him. "But for tight now…" she had an evil gleam in her eye.
Shiina saw it and knew what was coming. "I'm feeling tired tonight."
Not caring Yukari threw him down on the bed. "Ravish me!" She shouted and jumped on top of him as he whimpered.
Takami was looking at the design for the new M.B.I. shuttle that would be completed within six months. It was specifically designed to be able to dock with the sekirei ship. There was no way she or her mom were going to settle for just seeing Minato's children on a screen. Besides, having to deal with all these slimy politicians all the time (as Minato's voice on earth as it were) she had a few choice things to say to him. She might even have to beat him.
Leaning back in her seat she lit a cigarette and blew out some smoke. "My son, President and ruler of the world. Damn it; am I great mom or what?"