The Palace Guard II
Well, you guys asked for a sequel, so here it is! I hope you like this one!
Synopsis: Sarah and Silver's son Jed is all grown up and has a dream of becoming a sky captain, but there are steps in training that he has to accomplish. First, he has to leave Montressor and travel to Earth to be a palace guard, monitored and tutored by his half-brother Lieutenant James Hawkins. Things go pretty well—he's a guard in a grand palace, and Princess Liliana may have feelings for him. But one day, on his day off, he chases down a mermaid in the surf and said mermaid transforms him into a merman. He's taken to Atlantica, and finds that even King Triton's trident can't change him back! Stuck, he becomes a palace guard in the sea palace, and, while trying to adjust to sea life, and while dealing with Ariel's elder sister's daughter's hopeless love for him, he is helping locate this mystery magical mermaid with the Aqua Corps. She is his only hope of going back to his normal self again.
Is he prepared to go to a whole different world? Yes, his half-brother has been there for nearly twenty years and has loved it. But could he? He is so accustomed to Montressor and how the planet is… could he throw himself into another planet that is so vastly different from the one he has spent his last eighteen years on, and has been the only planet that he has stepped foot on? He may have to get used to hopping to other planets since he wants to be a captain of a ship someday, and his first stop in getting there is to become a palace guard on Earth and learn fundamental skills.
A palace guard where Jim currently is, on Earth. Sure he is apprehensive because he hasn't ever been on another planet before, but also, according to what Jim has told him, there are only human life forms on Earth, aside from the animals that they have. There are no aliens whatsoever. His father, the Legendary Long John Silver, was the only alien to ever step foot on earth. How would people react to seeing an actual alien? Well, half-alien since his mother is human.
Jed sighed as he leaned against the balcony, his arms folded over it, and stared out at the vast canyon that the Benbow Inn could easily fall into if it weren't for the sturdy wooden beams keeping the building up. Maybe it won't be so bad. His sister-in-law was a mermaid—a creature that's half fish, half human. Maybe he'll be accepted since there are already half-human creatures on the planet. Given, King Eric, Jim's best friend, decreed that the merpeople and humans stop their communication with each other since people were drowning when trying to dive down to Atlantica in hopes to find the merpeople, and the people on Earth haven't seen a mermaid in over a decade… but still. They know mermaids exist.
But he's no mermaid. He's a cross between a human and an alien.
Maybe he's just worrying too much. But who wouldn't be when they're about to start a whole new chapter to their life? Plus, he really wants to see Jim again. He hasn't seen him since he last visited Montressor with Ariel and their five children—yes five—about six years ago. Their youngest was a baby then, so that child would be around seven, or close to it. Their oldest is Melody, a beautiful chestnut-haired girl just three months older than himself. It's odd, having a niece that's older than him, even it's by a few months. She's a young woman now, when she was only about twelve the last time he saw her.
He shouldn't worry. If things get out of hand, then Lieutenant James Hawkins will step in. He's had enough experience, and can tackle through any problem that faces him. That determination won him the title of Lieutenant, as well as won the heart of Ariel, his wife.
Yes, it will all be fine.
Jed's heart jumped when he heard the doors to the balcony open. He turned to see his mother Sarah walk onto the balcony and stand next to him. Her brown hair was up in a bun as to not get in the way when she is tending to her guests in the dining hall, and her face was beautiful, yet worn from all the years of running the Benbow Inn, and wrinkled with age, mainly near her mouth and eyes. He gave her a loving smile. "Hey, mom."
"Jed, I was looking for you. I thought you would be in your room, preparing to leave. I noticed that you haven't packed one article of clothing. I hope you know that you leave in two days!"
"I'm aware, I'm just... procrastinating."
His mother is very intuitive, and could guess what he was thinking or feeling at the drop of a hat. Of course, she had a lot of practice with Jim, so with Jed, it came all the more easily. She brushed his wavy brown bangs gently, which eased him a little. "You're weary about leaving, aren't you, sweetheart?"
He pursed his lips together, not surprised that she figured it out quickly, as he knew she would. "I guess I am. I mean, I've never left Montressor, and I'll literally be the only half-human, half-alien on the planet. I mean, I know the people know that fish-humans exist, but…" He let out a breath. "And I guess I'm nervous about really starting the process of eventually becoming a captain. I mean, really starting it. Given, I'm just going to be a palace guard, but that's just the first step in my training."
Sarah nodded, and brushed his bands away again. "This will be a great adventure and opportunity for you, Jed, and a great start to the rest of your life. I think you have nothing to worry about as far as being accepted by everyone. You know Jim, Ariel, their children, Eric and his family, as well as the other guards are all excited that you're coming. And I think once you get into your duties and focus on them, everything will become better."
She wrapped an arm around his broad shoulders—he inherited that from his father, as well as his ears that stick out from his brown locks on the top of his head, and his courser skin and larger nose. Other than that, he looks like a human, with human hands and feet, and he has his mother's eyes and smile. He's also tall, standing several inches taller than his mother, and has a bit more of a build like his father.
"Starting something new is always daunting, for everyone. Just get in there and do your best," his mother said, and he smirked.
"Right. I'm just nervous. Maybe a bite to eat would help calm my nerves?"
She smacked his arm. "After you do some packing. Your father's arriving tomorrow, and if he sees that you're not packed he's going to give you a lecture about putting things off."
His father works as a teacher at the Interstellar Academy, and has been doing that longer than Jed's been alive, but right now, he is off traveling to the military bases around the planet to give lectures to the men there and train them in combat, manning a solar ship, and so forth. From being a teacher for nearly twenty years, he knew how to lecture and teach lessons. As Jed grew up, his father was always teaching him one lesson or another when he comes home after work, and Jed has loved those moments when his father took all his time outside of the academy to teach him, give him advice about life and be in his company. Those have always been fond memories for him, bonding and spending time with his father. It's something he wants to do with his future children.
But when Jed does something wrong, those fatherly lectures become intimidating, and can last at least thirty minutes, if he's lucky. "Yeah, yeah, I know. Okay, I'll start packing."
Mother and son left the balcony and Jed went on into his room that was a floor below the one that the balcony is on. He pulled out his suitcase and set it on his bed, and opened it. He stared at it for a moment, and his heart began pounding.
It's really going to happen. He's really going to leaveMontressor. He's scared out of his wits, but… he is oh so excited.
Jed's heart pounded like a drum in his chest as he stood in General Flughoust's office at the Interstellar Academy, and the older General was getting out the portal by which Jed will walk onto Earth. And according to the rock man, he's going to be stepping onto sand, the same beach that Jim walked onto when he first came to Earth, and when he returned for that war with Ursula. That sea witch has long been forgotten, according to Jim, and as far as anyone was concerned, there isn't any other sea creature that possesses magical abilities, other than King Triton.
"Jed, calm yourself," Silver said to his son as he sat next to him. "You're tremblin' like a reed, you are."
Jed cleared his throat as General Flughoust got out the globe that is the portal. "Sorry, dad... I'm just nervous."
"What's there to be nervous 'bout? Have I taught you nothin'?"
"Yes, I know you taught me to be brave, but I'm going to a whole other planet when I've never been to one before."
"And it's a great planet, it is. When Jimbo and I went to defeat Ursula in that war, I stepped onto the sands of that beach and felt that there was somethin' special 'bout the place. You're lucky to be goin' there, you are."
Jed smirked as his father smacked him on the back for reassurance. General Flughoust stood tall and proper, his rocky hands clasped behind his back. "Are you ready, Mr. Silver?"
"Yes, Sir," Jed said, and then stood up, as well as the other Mr. Silver. "I'm ready."
Jed watched as the globe turned into a blue sphere filled little white dots on the inside of it. He gulped as he clutched his suitcase. This is it. He's really leaving. He took in and let out a massive breath as the General touched a speck and a door opened in front of him. His mouth dropped open in awe as he suddenly felt and smelled a cool, salty sea breeze. He gulped.
"Off ya go, now, son," Silver said and Jed met his father's eyes. As a last goodbye, he embraced his large father. The alien man wrapped his arms around him and patted him on the back a couple of times. "Make me proud, ya hear? And say hello to Jimbo and the family for me."
"I will. I'll miss ya, dad."
He stayed in an embrace with his father for a few more seconds and then let go. Silver patted Jed's shoulder once again, and then Jed turned to face the door. He was lucky that his father worked for the academy and was able to ask permission to use this portal. After he and Jim feel that he has served a good term as a palace guard, and has learned some crucial skills, he's going to come back home and apply for the Interstellar Academy. So he can't goof this up—that's another reason why he's so nervous.
"Are you going or not, Mr. Silver?" General Flughoust asked, and Jed got back to the task at hand. He took a breath.
"Yes. I'm going."
He looked back once more at his father, and then he walked through the door and was hit with more of that sea breeze. A few seconds passed, and he door disappeared behind him, and he felt his boots sinking into the dry sand. The sun beat down on him, and he looked around. He faced the sea, and the sun made the surface of it glitter.
"Wow…" he mused. "So this is Earth, huh?"
Jed turned at the sound of his name and saw a man in a tan uniform running to him in the sand, grinning. Once up to Jed, he bombarded him in a large and tight hug. Jed hugged his half-brother back. "Jim! Wow, it's so great to see you!"
The two men hugged, and Jed suddenly felt his anxiousness and nervousness drain out of him. "It's great to see you, too!" Jim said and brought Jed out in front of him, holding him by the shoulders. "Whoa, look at you! You're a man! You're taller than me now!"
"Yeah, and you're an old man. You have gray hair on the sides."
"Please, don't remind me. Ariel loves it, though."
As if that were her cue, Jed spotted a woman with stark red hair running down the beach, with five others in two, and all five were different heights, with the tallest being a young woman. Jed stepped out of his brother's hold and met the rest of the family. Ariel came up to him, beaming. She wrapped him in a hug suddenly.
"Jed, oh, how great it is to see you. We've been so excited!"
He patted her back, over her pink dress. "It's great to see you, too, Ariel. I missed all of you."
He let her go and looked at the person right next to her. He recognized her instantly. "Long time no see, Mel."
The brunette that had a tint of red in her hair smacked his arm, like she did when they were younger. "Hey, it's Melody. I don't go by that kiddy name anymore. And speaking of differences, you grew like a whole foot!" She stood up to him and leveled her head to his chest. "Whoa, you're a whole head taller than me! Well, I'm older than you, so that cancels that out."
"Only by three months, Mel." He snickered. "Sorry—Melody. That's going to be a hard habit to break."
She laughed at that, and a young man came up to him. He had stark red hair like his mother, and it waved all over his head and went just passed his ears. "Long time no see, Uncle Jed."
His eyes widened when he figured out who this was. "Wow, you've changed, Nathan."
"Yeah, six years will do that to ya. The last time I saw you, I was only ten, and you were twelve."
Jed remembered being buddy-buddy with Melody and Nathan since they were all around the same age, with Nathan being two years younger than Jed and Melody. They got into mischief around the Benbow in, and drove Sarah up the wall. One time, they were punished by washing a day's worth of dishes in the kitchen, and Melody's younger brother Adam was literally pointing and laughing at them. That made Sarah have him help as well. The two younger siblings after that, two girls, were far too young to be mocking them.
"So, you're our Uncle Jed, huh?" asked Adam, who went to Ariel's chin. He would be around… nine years old now?
"I sure am. But just call me Jed, okay? All of you."
"Noted," said Adam and Nathan at the same time. The two youngest came up to Jed, and the both looked around similar ages. Ariel put a hand the girl with red hair like her.
"This is Adele," Ariel said. "She's seven year old." She put a hand on the other's shoulder, a girl with brown hair. "And this is Marie. She's six years old."
"Wow, the last time I saw the two of you, you were both tiny." He leaned down to their eye level and gave them a friendly smile. "I'm your Uncle Jed. I'm looking forward to getting to know both of you."
"I'm looking forward to it, too," said Adele and pointed to his head. "I like your ears."
"Me, too!" agreed Marie.
He smiled at their innocence. "Thank you. Yeah, I look a bit different than people you see here. Feel my hand." Both girls did so, and they giggled when they felt his rough skin. "Feels different than you mom's and dad's skin, huh?"
"Yeah, it does," Adele said. "That's so neat!"
Jed grinned, loving that his family likes him already. He stood up straight and faced Jim. "So, where's Eric and his family?"
"In the castle," Jim said. "C'mon. He's dying to meet you."
The family walked on up the beach and then entered a luscious garden that was in the back of the palace, and Jed took in the trees, bushes and colorful flowers. They all walked up the path that led to the castle, and Jed looked up at it in awe. He's going to working in this place for the next however long he and Jim decide that he's going to be here. He knew that it would be for at least a year.
They all walked up steps to a veranda, and Jed noticed Melody walking next to him, along with Nathan. Nathan came over and patted him on the shoulder. "I couldn't wait for you to come. I've been pretty much bouncing off the walls."
"Me, too," Melody said. "I was just so excited to have you come here and stay at the palace. Honestly, it's a great place to live. Everyone's friendly—like the staff, the guards, and the Royal Family."
"We're all pretty much a huge family," Nathan said.
That gave Jed a whole lot of comfort. He's heard good things about the palace and the people in it before, but to hear it again from people who actually live in it calmed his nerves a little. And those nerves turned to excitement when the family walking into the massive building. They walked into a large corridor that had a shiny wooden floor, staircases that wound up to the next floor on either side, and the large windows brought in a lot of sunlight, making the shiny wood gleam.
"Wow…" he muttered.
"Hey, look who's here!" came a booming voice, and in came a man who looked around Jim's age, and had black raven hair with flecks of white on the sides near his ears. He held his arms out like a bird. "Jed, it's so great to finally meet you."
"Yes, it's so great to meet you, too, Your Majesty." He bowed.
The king laughed and patted him on the back. "Hey, you're Jim's little brother—just call me Eric."
"As you wish," Jed said, and brought himself back up. He noticed two people come out from the hallway that Eric had just walked out of. It was a woman who looked around Eric's and Jim's age, and who looked like Ariel, but with brown hair. The young woman who was with her made Jed's heart jump. As she and the woman came up to them, he noticed that she had raven black hair like Eric, half of which was tied up, but the other half flowed down to her elbows. Her eyes were a chocolate brown, and gleamed as she smiled in greeting.
What a beautiful girl!
"Hello, you must be Jed," said the woman and she took Jed's hand. "We have heard so much about you from Lieutenant Hawkins here. I'm Queen Alana, but you may call me Alana. I'm Ariel's sister."
Jed knew she looked like Ariel! He also knew that King Eric married a mermaid princess just like Jim. "It is very nice to meet you, Your Majesty. I mean Alana."
"Thank you," she said. She indicated the young woman. "And this is Eric's and my daughter Liliana."
She came up to Jed, and he felt his neck fill with heat at her beauty and curvy form that showed as she wore a light purple dress. "Hello, it's so great to meet you, Jed."
She put out her hand, and Jed stared at it for a moment. He's never taken a woman's hand before, other than his mother's, but that doesn't even count. Of course he's met young woman on Montressor, but he's always been shy about talking to them. And a couple of those women were the few humans that were on Montressor.
He took Liliana's hand and instantly noticed how soft it was. Her eyes widened for a moment, and he knew that she felt the roughness of his skin. He discreetly pulled away his hand. "And it is an honor to meet you, Princess."
She gave him a dazzling smile. "Please, call me Liliana. Everyone else does, aside form the workers in the palace, and the people in the kingdom."
Jed's mouth quirked up at the side. "As you wish."
The two stood there for a moment, staring at each other, and Jed loved that he noticed she fair cheeks gain color. When he heard someone clear their throat, he looked away from the most beautiful girl he has ever seen and looked to Jim. He said, "Well, Jed, it's time to have you come to my office and get you started with guard duty."
"Right," Jed said, and made a side-glance at Liliana on impulse. "Lead the way, Lieutenant."
The two men left the family group, and they were soon walking through a long hallway that was a window on one side, showing a view of the green garden and the sparkling blue sea beyond. He found himself saying, "I think I'm gonna like this place."
Jim chuckled. "Does it have something to do with the princess?"
Jed's started and looked the sly glance Jim was giving him. "I mean just in all, I think I'm going to like here. Before I came, you should've seen me. I was shaking with nervousness at going to a different planet for the first time. I was afraid that I wouldn't accepted since I'm part alien and I look different, and I was nervous with starting guard duty."
"Well, you don't have to be worried about not being accepted since everyone already loves you, and as for guard duty, it can actually get pretty boring, standing by the throne room doors hour after hour. But getting out into the kingdom to play bodyguard for a member of the royalty is pretty fun, and there may be battles now and then with countries who decide to see who's the better country."
Jed's pulse rose. "Battles? Seriously?"
"Yes, but those are rare. It has only happened two times in the nineteen years I've been a lieutenant. But you'll get your battling practice out in the gardens. It's a new little program I started after the war with Ursula." His features turned grim. "We lost a lot of good men that day. I just want them to be prepared for anything that the world throws at us."
"Is it like a class?"
"A bit. You are practice swordsman skills, combat with guns, weapon-less attack moves, and so on. The men love it, actually."
"I'm looking forward to it."
They descended stairs and came to a set of double doors. They came into an office that had a lot of space memorabilia, as well as decorations from the ocean. Jim went around and sat in his desk and indicated the chair in front of the desk. Jed sat down. "So I'm dying to ask how mom and dad are." Jim said, a gleam in his eyes.
"They're doing great. Dad's still working at the Interstellar Academy, and mom's still running the inn as usual. B.E.N.'s the cook and dishwasher, and he's loving that to pieces. Dad says hi and that he misses you, and mom does as well. She gave me a tight hug and said to give one to you for her."
Jim smiled. "Man, I miss them, too. I wish I could get back to Montressor more often, but my jobs has rooted me here. I love it, but I miss my family, my hometown and planet."
"I guess I shouldn't complain, then, since I'm going to be here only a short period of time."
Jim nodded. "And speaking of that, your room won't be where all the other guards rooms would be—we're giving you one of the normal castle rooms."
"What? You don't have to do that. I want to be just like everyone else. If the other men find out that you gave me special treatment just because I'm your brother, I'll be harassed."
Jim thought about that for a moment. "You're right. We'll find you a room as soon as we can. And while we do that…" He stood up and pulled a uniform off of a coat hanger hooked to the wall. "Try this on for size. I had to guess your size, so hopefully it fits. If not, we'll find you something else." Jed stood up and Jim handed him the dark blue uniform. Jim said seriously and authoritatively, "You are to wear that uniform at all times, other than when you're sleeping and on your free day which will be once a week. There is no other excuse for you not to wear it, understood?"
"And that brings me to something else," Jim said. "When we're with each other, you can call me Jim, but when we are around the other guards, the royals, and the kingdom's people, you will address me as 'Sir' or 'Lieutenant Hawkins.' Understood?"
Jed smirked. His brother really does take this seriously. "Yes, Sir."
"Good. Now, let's find you a room, shall we?"
The both left the office and Jed held his uniform. He stared at it for a moment, taking it, as well as the palace, in. He's really a palace guard now, on a different planet. Wow, what kind of thing did he get himself into?