Queen Uno sat on her throne, holding a champagne glass of wine between her fingers. Delicately with her chin rested on one hand, she watched the wine twirl around in the glass. She did not have much of a taste for the forbidden fruit, but she did enjoy a glass every now and again. She yawned then noticed a vassal standing before her throne; he patiently waited for her desire to hear his message. But he would have to wait longer; she looked away from him to all the people standing around her court. Her children stood towards the front of the crowd staring at her along with the rest of the nobles. The grand doors opened, and two guards dragged Calypso in, walking up the steps to her throne, and tossing him to her feet. She leaned down into his face, as he sat up. Calypso jumped back stumbling down the stairs, into the aisle then bowed low to the floor in front of her. She slammed down her wine; the crystal glass fractured and almost shattered with the impact. Her scowling face softened into a smile. “Now that you’re here you will wait your turn to be addressed.” Calypso gulped, moving to the side. She waved the vassal up to her, and he stepped forward bowing to her. “Read me the news... but only what’s important. I just don’t think I can handle any more deaths.” Uno said thinking about her half-brother, Dawn.
“Well, I’m afraid that… that is all I have to report.” The vassal gulped and started to close his scroll.
“Oh, go on.” She waved her hand.
“Yes, your majesty! [Contents Removed Spoiler] the Head of the Tau School and Safe-house was shot down by a royal guard who sacrificed himself in the line of duty to save his fellow guards.”
“Then we must send something nice to his family, who did he kill again?”
“[Contents Removed Spoiler].”
“Hum... I recognize the name. I used to know her a long time ago. One of those resistance fighters...” She said thoughtfully winding her index finger around the edge of the wine glass. “What else?”
“The woman who killed the officer was killed by the gas chamber, [Contents Removed Spoiler].” He read from the scroll.
“Hum... what a shame, my brother cared so much about her safety. If only she had not killed that officer I’m certain I could have spared her.” She yawned then waved the vassal along. She stared into space for a while thinking to herself, while the court watched her. Her tiara lay slanted on her head, as she leaned back into her throne. Gaudy jewels dotted her neck and twinkled against the light of the crystal chandeliers above. She tapped her finger to her chin, and leaned back in her cushion, her gown hanging loosely on her thin frame.
“Um... mother...” Calypso started to say, but her head snapped sharply towards him.
“You do not speak, until you are spoken to!” She tossed the glass at him, spilling wine on his white trousers. She laughed. “Oops guess we’ll have to burn another pair of clothes.” She stood up from her throne and crossed the room over to him. He stood perfectly erect, while she encircled him like a vulture over dying prey. “I don’t know why you’ve been so rebellious lately.” She flung his ponytail over his shoulder, and laughed in his face. “Then again, I guess you are used to being insubordinate, huh?” She leaned onto his shoulder, and played with the glasses over his eyes. He would not and could not look at her; he stared straight ahead at the throne. She crossed in front of him to meet his eyes. “My dear boy, why did you leave the colony? Have I not made a perfect home for you here?”
“Well...” Calypso started to say.
“Please, son, you must understand, everything I did was for you and your siblings. All of them are submissive so why can’t you be? Isn’t that right, Taro? I have you eating out of my hand like a puppy.” She laughed, as Taro glared at her. “Why can’t you be like a puppy, Calypso? My weird little son…” She pinched his cheeks in her hands. “You have no chance of ever ruling… I would have expected this from Taro, but not you. I guess he hasn’t got the guts.” She laughed at Taro, passing by him and grazing his face with her fan. “Why hate me? I expect your brother to, he’s so close to ruling he can taste it. He probably wants me dead.” She laughed at Taro staring him in the eye.
“I don’t.” Calypso shouted.
“Don’t what, my boy?” Uno turned away from Taro. “Want me to die?”
“I don’t hate you...” He said and adjusted his glasses.
“You’re alone then.” She frowned and returned to her seat. She rubbed her hand over the gold trimmed armrest, glaring at him. “I just have to know. Is it true what you did?”
“Just tell me!”
“I didn’t mean...”
“I need to hear it from your own lips!” She shouted, the room resounding with the echo of her screech.
“I married [Contents Removed Spoiler].” He bit his lip.
“Not Australis anymore, now is it? Now she’s a Borealis. Thank you so much, for messing up the lineage. Our family only marries inside the Sigma Clan, another Borealis, or royalty. Marriages with a… a demon such as your... wife are annulled immediately.” Uno yelled.
“You can’t! I’m old enough to decide for myself!” Calypso said. “During the time I was away, I turned of age to decide who I want to marry. I’m old enough to make my own decisions.”
“You’re only old enough to disobey me and the family you were wrongly brought into. I always knew you were the black sheep that would mess up everything. I should have done as my ancestors and buried you under the castle when I knew you were different! You and no one else who is in this castle can think unless I order it! Haven’t you understood that? Now I have a half-blood vampire for a daughter in law.” She wrinkled up her nose. “Not for long I won’t. We have many means to dispose of such unwanted necessities.” She laughed, fanning herself off.
“You don’t touch a hair on her head!” He pointed his finger at her.
“Or what…?” She chuckled. “You’ll do what? Will Calypso, the black sheep who always has his head in the clouds actually stand up for himself? I guess we’re starting to see your real self, the one that deliberately defied me by marrying my enemy!”
“No!” Someone from the court yelled. Everyone spun around to see who dared speak out of turn. Pluto stood in the doors, the light from the stained glass windows striking a brilliant shine onto his dark hair. “You should learn from his courage. He did something you could never do!” Pluto shouted. Uno stared at him, without a word. Her facial expression softened and she stood from the throne. During all the confusion with Priestess Pax, Uno did not have a chance to meet with him that day or even see him except at a distance. Now, there he stood, like he had in her dreams and memories. He had grown older in their years away from each other, but so had she. Age had formed him into a gallant and handsome older man. He looked exactly how she had imagined he would. In this silence while she stared at him, the court expected for her to explode and to demand his imprisonment or execution. Lifting up her arms to him, she felt as if she could embrace Pluto once again. Oh, how she wanted to run to him and forget everyone else? With all the eyes on her, she broke out of her trance and sat back down on the throne.
“Pluto…” She said gently. “What are you doing barging in here? I am not to meet with you… You have lost, or have you not heard the news that your friends are all dead?”
“I know what happened, but I’m still here.” Pluto said as he approached the throne. Her heart fluttered with every step towards her. “Why haven’t you killed me Uno, I was the leader of the organization against you.” He walked up beside Calypso.
“What?” Uno said turning her face away to hide the tears forming in her eyes. “I never had plans to do anything with you except the negotiations with you and the priestess. Wherever the priestess is now, I’m certain peace for the citizens is the least of her worries now.”
“That’s no excuse.” Pluto said. “I have resisted you up until now and so I am just as guilty as any of the others; you’re letting a resistance fighter roam freely around your castle…”
“Be quiet, I can have you killed any time I want.” She swallowed the knot in her throat.
“Then why haven’t you?” Pluto asked. The queen fell silent, and the court began to whisper. Uno bit her lip looking around at them all. “I’ll tell you why. It’s for the same reason you are jealous of the marriage between Calypso and Styx.”
“You’re senile.” She laughed nervously. “I can have anyone I want, why would I be jealous of my son married to that albino demon!”
“Can you really have whomever you want?” Pluto said and stepped passed Calypso and closer to her. “Not everyone agrees with you Uno, and you know it. You’re afraid of people like me; that’s why you keep me out. You think because the negotiations have been delayed, and my resistance shredded that I will join you on your path of destruction across the colonies. Well, I’ll tell you now, I’ll never agree with what you are doing.”
“But Pluto…” Uno asked holding her hand out to him as he approached her. She pulled her hand back to her chest. “Then why did you come here?”
“Because I was hoping for a compromise… Something that I always wanted from you… I don’t know why you can’t compromise… everything has to be the way you want it to be. Even about us...” He stopped in front of the steps leading to her throne. The people in the court began to whisper, and Uno looked around, standing from her seat.
“Stop…!” She said to them. There was never an ‘us’...” She started down the stairs towards him.
“Do you deny me, in front of the people?” Pluto asked her as she stopped in front of him. “The plans we had together? I never wanted it to go as far as it did, but you insisted. You have charm Queen Uno, to manipulate the heart of a weaker male. The prince was mad for you. You could have had anyone in this kingdom, though you chose me.” He grabbed her hand and started to kiss it. Hesitantly, she snatched her hand away, slapping him across the face. She trembled from anger, and took a moment to steady her breathing.
“Guards…” She said nearly in tears. “Have this delirious man removed from my court!” She commanded while staring at Pluto.
The guards rushed around him, fighting to pull him from the room. “Why don’t you tell the truth, Uno? About what really happened to the king! What we really had together! What I lost my whole life over! How we truly feel about each other! Maybe even, the real reason why Calypso and Styx shouldn’t be married…” The room fell silent waiting for the response of the queen. Her lip quivered, and she turned her back on the court, heading up the stairs. She leaned over on the armrests, breathing sporadically.
“You could have been a happy man...” She whispered to herself as if she spoke to Pluto. “But you insist on being difficult. If we ever could have had something together... never more...” With her back to the congregation, she played with the lion’s head carved into armrest. “Have him thrown in the dungeon, where he’ll rot with his children...” She said just loud enough for them to hear. The guards started to pull him from the room, and he struggled against them while crying out for her. The Delta Soldiers who worked for the queen had many of the same dark powers as Pluto and they easily subdued him. “Wait!” She held her hand up for them to stop. Pluto and the court held their breath as they waited for her next command. Would she admit to something or would she release him? “Bring his daughter up... I want to see the newlyweds done away with together... Kill his son on the spot; I don’t want him to have company down there...” A twinkle of hatred sparkled in her eyes. She had always hated Krono and Styx because they were a remnant of Orcus, Pluto’s wife and a woman she had always abhorred. The guards waited with her final commands for Pluto. “Take him away.” She said.
“Uno…!” Pluto shouted. “Don’t do this! You know this isn’t right! Just take me!” He cried in vein as they pulled him from the room. Silence overtook the hall again, and the people stood motionless afraid to budge in front of her.
“Guards…” She growled. They clicked their heels together, slamming the doors shut to the grand room. They raced into the aisle pointing guns and swords at the people in the court. They all screamed, and huddled among each other. Valaro grabbed her two younger siblings, and Taro started walking towards her, but a guard cut him off. She leaned up from her chair, still facing away from. “If any of you take what you heard in this room and tell to anyone... you will die...” She grabbed up another glass of wine from an attendant and started to sip slowly. She leaned her elbow on her armrest and her head fell into the palm of her hand. Without looking at anyone in particular, she whispered, “Get the hell out...” The guards shoved the people through the opened doors, with screams and cries as they stampeded from the room. Once the room emptied out, she curled her knees under her chin, tears rolling from her cheeks onto her gown. She took the last sip of her wine and let the glass roll from her hands and down to the ground.
“What is wrong with you?” Taro shouted and tried to run back into the room; he cared not for the soldiers with swords pushing him back from the room.
She stared into space, gripping onto her head and trembling in her seat. “I don’t know…” She whispered to herself.