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Prince of the Deadlands

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Starting in 2040, Earth began to colonize Mars under the guise of being an extension of the ISS. They cut the travel time between planets down to days and built deep man-made chasms into the Martian rock called Apertures to house their expanding population. They covered them with enormous glass domes to seal in oxygen and light, connected topside by a system of rails, usually for maintenance or space flight prep. Within the rock of the planet were security checkpoints that allowed movement between. Each Aperture was the equivalent of an Earth city, and none were more glorious than Mars’ capital, Halisca

However, by 2090, tensions were already running hot between the two planets. Martians were tired of being bossed around by their big blue sister when they had children who had never even set foot on Earth growing stronger by the day. Some scholars were sniffing the air and saying, ‘Ahhh revolution’, while others called them the true illegal aliens. Despite hostilities, there was a significant platform, ‘Freedom for Mars! Freedom for Luna! All humans were humans!'-- despite how much they loved to enslave one another.

Park Jimin was born in 2074 on Olympus Mons, Halisca, Mars, Sol , to Park Seungmin and Park Eunyoung, Governor and wife of Halisca. His father always told him to be proud of such patronage, as their society was based on elevation--the lesser at the bottom, and the elites at the top. And there was nowhere higher than the highest peak in the solar system. 

His life on the mountain was arguably perfect: he was engaged to a beautiful girl whose family owned half of Phobos, he attended the best institution on Mars (MaHU), and had had the same best friend since birth. What he didn’t know was that on a random day in 2083, his destiny would be set in motion, and more than just the fate of his mountain would rest on his shoulders. 

 

⟢⟡⟣

 

Park Eunyoung was a small woman, frail in a way from sustained use. She laid her holopad on their kitchen table with shaky hands, ignoring their Sim when she asked what was the matter. This wasn’t something to be emotional about, people died all the time. 

“She went peacefully,” her appa had said through his tears, the hiccups of his brothers and sister around him. “She lived a very good life.” His hologram flickered every few seconds, distorting the look of misery on his face. Holo communication between planets was still a work in progress, more like video messages as opposed to connected calls. It takes somewhere between five and ten minutes to send a transmission, meaning she was already late to the funeral.

Seungmin never allowed her to talk about it, but sometimes when no one was around Eunyoung would pull the memory out and smile at the discrepancy of it all: Her grandmother was Russian, one of her uncles was African, her Aunt, South American. They were one big mishmash of cultures brought together by a small woman and her love and desire for family. Her grandmother couldn't give birth, so she'd adopted instead.

Eunyoung buried her face in her hands to try and hold back the tears. Her husband would never forgive her if she was anything other than perfect for their press conference later, but for just a moment, perhaps she could grieve--
The automatic swish of the main door snapped her up, and she braced for a long second, holding her breath just in case. But it wasn’t--it wasn’t him. Her son, Jimin came bounding down the hallway, satchel slapping against his hip as he ran.

“Mom!” He grinned when he found her at the table. By then she’d had enough time to compose herself, scrubbing her face and smiling warmly as he ran up and threw his arms around her neck. It nearly broke her heart. “Yongbae invited me over tonight. Can I go?” 

“Of course, sweetheart.” She said thickly, holding him just a little bit longer to try and keep some of his warmth for herself. 

“Are you okay?” He asked when he pulled back, black bangs falling over his forehead. He was going to be short like her, and so so cute. 

“I’m fine,” She lied, putting on the smile she knew would fool anyone...anyone but him. Mainly because he sported that same smile himself. Jimin pursed his lips into a pout and squinted, eyes disappeared as he tried to make out whatever puzzle it was that she would hide from him. She couldn’t help but chuckle, giving in. The sadness always hurt less when her baby was around. “It’s just...your great grandmother died today.

“Oh,” Jimin breathed, as light as someone who didn’t understand the concept, “she was really old.” 

“Yah!” Eunyoung flicked him on the nose, “She was very wise.”

“I think you’re wise, momma!” He shot her a dashing grin, hugging her neck again. Before she could even begin to disagree, he detached and jogged towards his room. Ahh yes, staying at Yongbae’s. It would give her a small reprieve, one she could use to pray, she supposed. Before he got there though, Jimin turned back and cocked his head to the side. “I can’t remember her name, what was it?” The past tense hit Eunyoung squarely in the chest, but she swallowed down the hurt and masked it with a sad smile. 

“Jupiter. Jupiter Jones.”