Snippet #2

The Malinais' Decision

       This is the 34th Chapter of TED: UIH. Here, Malinai Mars and her husband, Saul, must choose between two scenarios. Freedom for themselves and death for their subjects, or an eternity under the thumb of a dictator and survival for the few of their race that remain...

Chapter Thirty-Four

       Low voices murmured deep within the Palace Kenedias. Malinai Mars swept her long hair back, having brushed it out of its normal position, a thick braid extending across her head, and down the left side of her body. Saul stroked the soft waves absentmindedly, his eyes straying around their chambers.
       “My love, do you remember the place where we met those young women, on Earth?” Saul asked reaching down to remove his boots.
       “Yes, Saul,”Mars replied, fluffing her bangs. She turned from the mirror,”Why?”
       He kept his eyes upon his task, the knots were complicated,”It was beautiful, was it not?”
       “Yes. It did remind me of the mountain valley we created to abide in.” She again faced the mirror, removing her earrings gingerly and placing them in a small elaborately carved wooden casket. “Are you homesick, husband?”
       Saul nodded vaguely, moving from the main room into a washroom. Over the sound of running water he spoke. “I suppose I am. I would like to revisit that place.”
       “Oh Saul, it is not the same home we left. Even as we speak the terrible quakes rip apart the surface and our volcanoes erupt incessantly.”
       "That is not what I meant.”
       Mars continued to brush her hair, awaiting his elaboration. A moment later he emerged from the bathroom, a robe around his body. Mars wound her long hair into a twisted roll at the nape of her neck and fastened it with a red ribbon. She turned off her vanity light and crossed the room a thin, maroon robe flowing behind her. She climbed into bed beside Saul and leaned her head against his shoulder. He reached over, turning off the lights. In the darkness, their weapons gleamed, hanging on the opposite wall.
       “Saul,”Mars whispered, her voice low and soft,”What did you mean?”
       He hesitated before answering. “Jupiter hasn’t the terrain that I appriciate.”
       “Yes. Iren and his bride were poorly advised in the fine art of terrain formation.”
       “Perhaps they enjoy such a vastly limited topographic land. Do you recall the Giddile Campgrounds. Just beyond the reaches of Kryss, they were-” Mars silenced her husband with a finger over his lips.
       “Let’s not think about our past home, we’ll never go back.”
       “But the wooded hill, behind the river, on Gaea’s terrene, reminded me of that place. I want to see it again.”
       Mars considered, dropping her voice still lower,”Iren would never allow it.”
       “Iren is not our leader.”
       “He is though, if we try to escape his grasp, what will happen to the few remaining Martians? He will slaughter them.”
       “There are only four or five clans left, all small in number. We can take them with us.”
       “Gaea would forbid our presence on her planet.”
       “We would not interact with her beings. Few abide in the forest, and those who do we can avoid. Please, my love, consider my wishes. I realize that yours is the final word, but I believe we can be happier elsewhere. Away from Iren.”
       Saul nodded as Mars considered his request briefly.
       “I don’t mind helping Iren, if it will end with our world restored.”
       “And if Merkus fails?”
       “I have faith in the fuzzy-one.”
       “Malinai Mars, if we leave, to live on Earth, and Merkus does create this Genesis sphere, our planet will be restored as the others are revived, and we can return home.”
       Mars considered. “Saul. Your arguements are convincing. Yet I fear Iren’s wrath. He will only unleash more attacks on the third planet if were are there. Can we justify helping Gaea defend her planet?”
       “Our own survival.”
       “Yes,”Mars nodded, “We can leave Jupiter, and live on the planet Earth. We will depart tomorrow, stealing away in the night... We cannot take our people.”
       “They are happy here.”
       Mars closed her eyes. “For now.”
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