DIVA: Royals #1

deucexm deucexm at gmail.com
Sun Mar 26 11:16:59 PDT 2017

While I attempt to work on my existing projects in the DiVerse, I've cooked up 
yet another new thing in the meantime - a prequel of sorts (to something else 
most of you haven't read, natch), a more outlandish and wild and star-studded, 
haha, adventure of sorts.  And I do love to share stories, so here's the start 
of yet another tale!

Royals: A DiVerse Alpha Chronicle
by Colin Stokes


The Star Queen never truly slept, not any more.  When starlight becomes a part of
you, sleep becomes unnecessary.

She soared through space, untethered from her physical form, and swept her gaze
across the worlds around her.  Some in shadow, some in the light of the golden star
burning at the heart of the system.  All of them hers, marked with the stardust
only those of the royal line could see.

But what use was a world - seven worlds, countless satellites - when she herself
was incomplete?  Without the Star King, her wings barely had the strength to carry
her out to the edge of her domain and back.  If only he would return, and fill the
void in her heart; return to her, and to their children...

A tugging sensation let the Queen know it was time to return, and she relaxed and
let herself fall out of the starry sky.  Shedding aetherial feathers like falling
snow, she spiraled towards her home - the Star City, the Ship of Dreams: Celeste.

The Queen opened her eyes, and she was back in the throne room.  (Physically, she
had never left.)  This time she was not alone; Myria, her personal attendant and
constant companion these last years, was standing there in her traditional white
servant's robe.  She could tell the pale lady was upset even before she opened her

"My Queen..."

The Star Queen rose from her shimmering silver throne immediately, smoothing out
her glittering sky-blue dress and retying the sidebows.  "What has happened, Myria?
 What troubles you so?"

"The children, my Queen - they have gone missing from their rooms again."

The Queen smiled wryly.  "Ah..."  They were much like their father in that regard. 
Always so curious, eager to explore, to see for themselves.  Perhaps she gave them
too much leeway sometimes, but...

"But this time they left a message!"  Myria offered a luminous green crystal, and
the Queen stepped forward to take it in hand.  This was out of the ordinary indeed;
usually they would be off without a word, and then back.

'Mother,' Princess Vanessa's bold voice sounded in her head - the crystal
recognizing her as the intended recipient, and shining brightly as it played for
her and her alone - 'we're going to the temple grounds to ask for a favor.  Please
don't try to stop us.'

The Queen's eyebrow arched.

'It was my idea,' the somewhat more courteous voice of her son, Prince Jack,
sounded after a short pause.  'If you must lay blame on someone, lay it on me.  But
I think it will be for the best.'

The Queen's other eyebrow arched as well, giving her a very surprised look for a
moment as the crystal's glow faded.  "Well then.  How long ago did you find this?"

"... two hours, my Queen," Myria admitted.  "I would have told you earlier, but you
were... indisposed."

Such was the price of her little vacations.  The Queen let out a soft sigh.  "Oh,
my childen.  So young and so sure of yourselves."  She turned back to her throne,
and snatched the Meteoric Queenstaff from its holding bracket, striking the butt
end heavily against the floor to activate it.  Three tiny red gems popped out of
the golden pot at the head of the Queenstaff, starting to orbit it with a quiet
hum, and the Queen nodded in satisfaction.  Only one thing remained.  "Myria."

"Yes, my Queen?"

"Should the Star King return while I am away, please let him know..."  The tall
lady paused.  "Let him know I am... retrieving the children from the temple
grounds.  Those words, precisely."

"Y-yes, my Queen!"  Myria didn't think the King's return very likely, and the Queen
knew it; Myria knew she knew it, and the Queen knew Myria would never bring the
topic up (not since the first time, anyway).  Despite their difference of opinions,
they had a shared understanding; the Queen treasured it.  She had so little to
share, recently.

And so the Star Queen raised the Queenstaff, and sang a single note of absolute
purity, her eyes closed, starlight tears dripping from their corners.  The orbiting
gems resonated, echoing the note, louder and louder as the golden pot shone with a
brilliance that grew and grew until it forced Myria to hide her eyes.

And then the pure note was cut off in a howling gale, and when Myria looked again,
the Queen was gone.


The temple grounds gleamed beautifully, the individual altars and buildings lit
only by the starscape overhead.  Most citizens of the kingdom were still asleep at
this hour, and even those that were awake wouldn't step onto the grounds this
early, while the liquid starlight still trickled down pillars and pooled in various
indentations.  It was a raw and wild sort of energy, the stuff of stars.

The vacant grounds were ideal for the young Prince and Princess, the latter leading
the way as they dashed across the expanses and hid behind corners, glancing around
for signs of anyone trying to stop them, but finding no one.

"You needn't hurry /quite/ so much, I think," Prince Jack managed breathlessly
during a short pause, one hand on the nearest wall to support himself.  "I'm sure
Mother trusts our judgment."

"Yes, well, I prefer not to take chances," Princess Vanessa returned with a slight
grin.  "And who knows when we'll get a chance like this again?  Come on, come on!"

Jack had to admit his sister had a point, as he did his best to keep up with her. 
The gods were known to grant favors somewhat inconsistently, but had a tendency to
be better listeners when the conditions were just right.  And right now they were
just about perfect; not only was starlight dripping everywhere, but all three moons
were overhead too, and even the Warden's Wheel was in full view, its glorious
golden rings and spokes glittering as it spun.

"Here we are!" Vanessa exclaimed, after several more minutes of weaving through the
stone and starmetal architecture.  "The Temple of Desire."

Jack caught his breath as best he could, and looked up at the massive arch, then in
at the statue of a lady with arms outstretched, an orb in one hand and a warhammer
in the other.  "... This isn't something you can take back once it's done, you
know," he began with a little sigh.  "I know it means a lot to you, but will you at
least take a moment to-"

"Done and done," Vanessa nearly snapped back, then stopped herself, smiling.  "Oh,
brother of mine.  I've already given this plenty of thought!  You worry too much."

"And /you/, dear sister, worry entirely too little," Jack returned, and leaned over
to give her forehead a kiss.  "But I suppose it can't be helped.  That's why we're
here, after all."

Vanessa beamed.  "Yep!"

And hand in hand, the two of them crossed the threshold of the Temple of Desire,
the starmetal inside taking on a golden hue under their sandals.

Outside, a whispering wind sounded as the Star Queen materialized in a burst of
aetherial feathers that melted away in an instant, like snow falling too close to a
fire.  She looked at the Prince and Princess's backs through the thickening golden
haze, and let out a heavy sigh.  "Oh, my children.  I cannot help you now.  I do
trust you, but there are many things you do not yet know..."  She gazed up at the
arch, and leaned against the outer wall of the temple.

"May She have mercy on you in your inexperience."

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