Continued from here part 1
Kanto Shuttle dock, Io
Ben stood with his parents and sister as they waited on the shuttle to take them to the ship that would carry them to Earth. While he stood, a short stocky man in an ill fitting suit walked into Ben causing both to drop their carry on bags. The man gruffly shoved Ben out of his way as he gathered up his things.
Ben became indignant and looked to be readying for a fight when his father placed a hand on his shoulder, "Relax, picking a fight with that man won't end well for you."
Ben glared at his father, "Wei would've knocked him out already."
His father shrugged, "Wei's parents are soldiers of Ganymede and built for combat. You're a noble and made to think and see. In fact you've been a bit lax in your training and I think now is as good a time as any to test yourself."
Ben gave an annoyed sigh, "Fine."
He stepped back from the crowd and closed his eyes while he took a deep breath. As he opened his eyes everything seemed to slow down. He took in every detail surrounding him. He looked to the man who'd bumped him and noted small devices planted on his boots and then looked to the papers strewn on the floor and saw them to be unfavorable budget reports. The man was under a great deal of stress.
Ben's father looked down to him, "What did you learn?"
"The man is a cloud miner from Jupiter, and he's in a bad mood. I figure if he's capable of toting heavy mining equipment while dealing with the gravity of the big planet means he could break me in half."
His father gave a nod, "And how did you figure this out?"
"He's got gravity enhancers on his boots so he can walk normally here, the suit doesn't fit properly because he doesn't wear it often and hasn't been to a tailor since he bought it. He's in a bad mood because his platforms are under preforming and he's being called back to Earth to explain it according to the memos."
His father looked back to him while he spoke, "And how do we know he's from Jupiter and not Saturn or Uranus?"
"Because Jupiter is the only place that still uses paper for anything important."
His father patted him on the head, "That'll do."
Cara then looked back, "Did you notice the shuttle arrived?"
2 days later, Olympus Monds University, Mars
General Feng Shun stood next to the recruitment officer from the school as he spoke, "It is an honor that your son is considering our school, in fact we've had an eye on him for quite some time."
The General nodded, "My son is quite fond of your sky ball team, he hopes to join it."
The recruiter grinned a bit, "Most of our current team roster hails from Ganymede as well, your home as you know, has quite the reputation for producing some of the best athletes in the empire along with the best soldiers."
The general rolled his eyes at the attempt at flattery, "I was told there would be a game today."
The recruiter nodded, "Oh yes, right this way sir."
The General and Wei walked along the campus into the large stadium. As they took their seats the field took on a green glow as the players entered. The referee stepped to the middle as the teams lined up on either side. He then tossed the ball into the air followed by two players launching themselves off the ground after it. The player from Olympus Monds kicked it off toward his team as the other just missed his attempt.
Another player ran up the wall to catch it and then launched himself toward the goal. He gained impressive distance but was tackled out of the air. Wei was excited to see the game get underway but his father looked on stoically as he commented on the tackle, "He could have avoided that, when you're on the team remember to always pay attention to your flanks."
Wei gave a nod, "Yes, Sir."
Sims Green House, Venus
David walked around the grounds as he waited for his father. He felt good bathed in the natural sunlight of his home world. He loved his school on Io but its cold stone and reflected sun light was hard on his plant like physiology. As he walked he'd almost forgotten where he was when a familiar voice came from behind, "Do I know you, boy?"
He turned to see his Grandfather, "Quit playing senile old man, stopped working once you took root."
His Grandfather stood rooted to the ground with bark coming up his legs, "I worried I'd be a full tree before you returned."
David looked down the line of former house masters like his father and his grandfather before him to see a stark reminder of his destiny as part of this grove. His Grandfather knew the look well, "I felt the same as you when I used to walk by here, but its not so bad to become a tree. You could do far worse than a nice spot in the sun and warm soil between your toes."
David gave a sigh, "Always look on the bright side."
His Grandfather grinned, "Because that's where things grow best."
Imperial Flagship Sang, Near Pluto
Admiral Harjo walked along the halls of his ship as Ig Locke and the Imperial Envoy followed along his tour. He stopped and grabbed the Envoy's arm as he reached for a door, "That isn't part of the tour."
"Our guest was promised....."
Harjo cut him off, "He was promised a tour of the ship, I was not told he'd have any access to sensitive areas and unless I receive orders from the Empress herself, that area is off limits."
The Envoy looked nervously to Ig Locke who gave a polite nod, "It isn't a problem, I completely understand the need to keep some things away from prying eyes."
Harjo eyed the Ambassador suspiciously as he noticed what he took to be annoyance in his voice.
A few decks below Lieutenant Achen was showing some of the Mawg guards to the dinning hall. He looked them over as he waited for the elevator to stop, "So, you have a name big guy?"
The Mawg looked down, "Mawg have no spoken names."
"Suppose that saves time on introductions."
The Mawg who stood behind him gave a glare, "Mawg have no need of small talk."
Achen looked him over before dryly stating, "Well, there's a shock."
As the doors slid open the Mawg noticed a Ka Zal engineer who was on a tour of the ship and bowed low. Achen thought it odd that they did this but the engineer paid them no heed, "Why do you bow, is he someone important?"
The Mawg stood as one spoke, "A Mawg must always lower his head in the presence of the masters."
Achen sighed, a bit annoyed at himself that he'd just now realized they were a slave race.
Ice Palace of Europa
Empress Durnin readied her things to return to Earth. She looked to her servant, "Prepare the place for the tourist experience. When our visitors arrive I want them to believe they've seen everything. The lower levels are to remain sealed. Understood?"
The servant nodded.
Her Adviser had a curious expression, "Are you sure now is the time to return to the Capital? It may seem rude to our guest to put off your meeting."
She looked to him, "My Father taught me that when you're meeting a potential threat, its best to meet him where your power can't be questioned."
Her Adviser gritted his teeth as he gave a short bow, "Far be it from me to question the wisdom of the man who quelled the Martian rebellion."
The Empress clenched her fist at his mention of the rebellion which caused the adviser to change the subject, "Your ship is in the air and a shuttle is waiting to take you to it."
She inhaled deeply, "Very well, I'll make my way immediately."
Australian Coast, Earth.
Ben watches from the beach as his mother attempts to teach Cara to surf. On the water Cara stared down at the water, "How exactly do you consider this fun? There aren't even any waves."
Her mother gave a wary look, "Perhaps your father should start testing you."
Cara shrugged, "Alright fine, I'll give it a look."
Her mother waited for a moment before her daughter nonchalantly explained, "We're going to get one tiny wave then the water will level out and be calm the rest of the day. The sharks that are coming with the wave won't be."
Her mother gave her a wide eyed look as she finished, "Maybe dad should quiz you."
Several hours later Ben's father walked in their beach house to see his wife reading, "No more surfing today?"
"It was a bust, but that daughter of ours is impressive."
He took a seat next to her, "Her teachers tell me her foresight is among the best they've seen. Ben is still struggling in that area."
"He's fine and comparing him to Cara is unfair. You said it yourself, she's exceptional. Ben has his own gifts."
(To be continued)