Author : J.R.Blackwell, Staff Writer

Lucias XI, the Star Prince, son of Byron II, the Merchant King, threw open the double doors to the marble war room. His demeanor was fierce, his face chiseled, displaying no emotion. His wiry body was tense, coiled. He pointed as he stomped into the room, his heels clicking against the marble.

“Minister Holt, please explain the meaning of this!” He waved his hand, and in his palm there appeared a miniature version of the emerald robed Minister.

Holt’s voice was smooth in the recording. “The Prince has, not a wife, but a monster, their union an abomination-” The Prince closed his palm, his breath coming hard.

Holt bowed. “Has the Parliament revoked the freedom of safe expression act, my Lord? ”

“I expect that my enemies will attack my personal life Minister, but from my friends-”

“Nothing of your life is personal my Lord, nothing.”

“My marriage was a public arrangement, my enjoyment of my wife’s company is private.”

“Not when that enjoyment endangers your life!”

The Prince whirled, turning to the assembled Generals. “You are dismissed. Minister Holt and I are about to have words.” The Generals filed out. The Prince calmed his breathing, his gloved hand unclenching slowly. A strand of purple hair, royal purple, the symbol of his royalty fell over his hazel eyes. Tall and slim, he stood a foot taller than Holt.

The Prince looked down at the Minster through thick violet lashes. “Xixor would never hurt me.”

“There is scar on your chest, your Excellency, that says otherwise.”

“An accident.”

“Your life cannot afford accident, my lord. You are a precious resource, a finely tuned genetic triumph, your code idealized to the standards we require, as was your father and thousand mothers. Nobility obliges my Lord; you are not allowed to play dice with your life. I have only said aloud what the populace already mutters. You did not see what we saw lord, for you were unconscious, but the four world saw your limp, bleeding body in the arms of a black oily beast, claws streaked with your blood, that’s what the people saw, and we must answer to their concerns.”

“My wife, Minister. She is my wife.”

“An alien monster.”

“I won’t hear your xenophobia.”

“Then you will not hear the words of your people.”

“I married her so there would be understanding between our people and hers.”

“The understanding, my Lord, is that she will someday eat you. You, who we have worked so hard to design.”

The Star Prince leaned against the wall, his head resting against the marble. “I love her Holt.” He ran a hand across his chest. “What she did, that was how she shows her affection toward me. I was built to be a prince of reason, of diplomacy.”

Holt hung his head. “We built you too well.”

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