I Love You and You Love Me. The Wedding of Kixi and Mako Jhasmin.

Finally, peace. The combined forces of the Zhann Alliance commanded by none other than Kixi Rajki's alter ego Kay Blade, stand victorious against the once powerful government of President Drex. Toppled & defeated, along with its main protagonist, the corporate giant Skycom, the United Systems of Sol is on the verge of forming a new government.

With Mako in the running for the presidency as Chief of State all but a formality, & humanity's role as a space fairing nation set in concrete by the Zhann Alliance, not all however is what one would have one seemingly believe.

A new war is looming on the horizon, one much different than humanity is yet to ever have faced, inevitably bringing tough new challenges that will await both Kixi & Mako in their new pivotal roles. However, with peace at least a temporary reality for now, & the turbulent turmoil of old long past them, the fresh beginnings sees the opportunity for Kixi & longtime fiancée Mako Jhasmin finally marry in a grand ceremony.

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Author's note

Professional published eBook version can be found here. Available in ePub, Kindle and PDF. ISBN: 9780463160930. This book is part of Smashwords' "Premium Catalog": the book has been approved to ship to retailers that Smashwords works with.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/841438

AA

10. Chapter 6

Chapter 6.

 

At a few minutes past midday...

 

She was shaking, Mako Jhasmin Zaneca was actually shaking. Her dark mixed orbs stared as she watched the projections show up on the screen. There was still hope and there was still time. However the recent predicted projection for both the representatives of the Americas and Europa provinces were showing her opponent, Mr Alex Sanchez to be winning. With the Venusian province soon to make their projection, the black haired woman could not help but feel that all hope was lost – but didn't I, Kay Blade commit treason against the state to ensure her victory? Something dramatic, and in her favour had to happen she modestly pondered.

Despite this being an internal affair, the news desk continued to talk about what each candidate needed in order to become president, however to my fiancée it seemed like a noise in the far away distance. It was only when I placed a gentle hand on her shoulder, that Jhasmin managed to snap out of the thoughts of defeat and hear the noise around her more clearly, the blur in her eyes fading. Her brown eyes adjusted more to the screen as the result from the Americas province came in.

The screen turned to the brunette news reporter and political researcher, Nadira Tabak from the SBM Network. Eleven provinces of red amongst five blue provinces for Jhasmin. Luckily though, Jhasmin had already won the Asia Majoris and Zerentia 3 provinces, where internal support there had been winning smaller minor provinces, meaning that Jhasmin was still very much in the presidential race.

“Okay, so we now have the results from the Americas and we will soon also have Terra Australis province. Now Terra Australis has been known to predict a substantial amount of information, primarily due to the fact that Sol's capital, Celestia City is situated on that very same province, and with it many minor provinces and their assigned senators. The result of Terra Australis no doubt will be crucial to the direction that this internal election will go, so all eyes are definitely being focused on that province, as well as Lüna District and the Martian province also being ones to look out for, with the most votes outside of the Earth provinces of fifty four. Oh, and they have been, to much surprise, supporting the newbie and largely unknown Mako Jhasmin Zaneca who until now has only been known to work as an Information Technology expert for Zed's Performance & Auto Care Centre. If she wins and becomes president, this will not only be a dramatic change to her lifestyle, but a huge change in the direction of her career.”

The screen behind the reporter changed to internal votes from the Mining and Outer Planetary provinces, which only countered for a tiny portion of the overall votes. Jhasmin sighed in frustration, wanting to know the final outcome. Even though she had an eerie feeling regarding how some of the voting results had come about, she wanted to know and get it over with.

“But I want us to take a look at the overall vote before we announce Afrika province. You can see that even though the overall vote does not count, as the candidate needs to win a majority to claim each province and then claim the most provinces as preferred leader, that Ms. Zaneca is very much in the lead with nearly 200 more votes. So Afrika, I can confirm the projection was won by… Ms. Zaneca.”

Jhasmin's heart stopped. Did she just hear that right? The reporter carried on talking, the room erupted into cheer, and I congratulated her. But all Jhasmin heard was silence, her mouth fell agape. Jhasmin was in the lead. Slowly the province faded and my voice, the voice of her love came into focus as the blur that accompanied it, which had been coming and going through the hour drifted away. She turned her head slightly to look back at me where I was sitting behind her. I had the biggest smile plastered across my entire face.

"You're in the lead." The pride in my voice was unmistakeable. A deep curve on my lips made the world stop around her. A smile that brought back a million memories in a split second. The precious dimple on my face that crinkled skipped a beat. I had a smile that made her feel happy about being alive, and it was the visual of that pride. Her laminar flesh flowed in the contrails of my touch.

After one of the longest hours of our lives that I could recall to date, the confirmation of the Europa, Venusian and Terra Australis provinces came in. The reporters made their announcement as the densely populated province of Europa came through. If she got this, Jhasmin would win with 87 senatorial votes. She shook as she waited for the result. If she didn't get this, the results of Venusian and Terra Australis would be imperative. Yet, they, especially the crucial Terra Australis, were predicted to go in favour of Alex Sanchez. However if I had really played my cards correctly with General Dekker and his cohorts from Skycom Corporation, there would be an unexpected shock surprise at any given moment.

“We can confirm that the Europa province has gone in favour of Alex Sanchez.”

Tears filled Jhasmin's eyes as the reporter said those words. Despite what I had said to her in terms of the treason that I had committed, she couldn't help but feel that she now had no hope of winning. She felt like the air had been taken out of her lungs as she suffocated. She had to get out of the room, and out of the building.

"I have to leave." Jhasmin whispered in a beg to me as she stood.

Following that, she didn't hear which province it was, she didn't want to know, as the reporter announced it. What she did hear though, didn't only make Jhasmin's eyes widen, as she turned her body around in disbelief, but also many others too were stunned in disbelief.

“Which means that newbie candidate Ms Zaneca has gone past the 150 vote mark. Mako Jhasmin Zaneca will be the new President of the United Systems of Sol.”

"We did it." I whispered more to myself than the people in the room, trying ever so hard to wipe the devilish grin from my face. I heard the people around me clapping and celebrating the victory, as the screen went to show the live reaction from people all around the star system, as well as senators that had either supported Jhasmin or Alex. Although it was all trivial now, Jhasmin had actually won.

I was straight to her side in an instant as I took my fiancée out of my thoughts and gave her the biggest hug. Jhasmin responded in a heartbeat as she wrapped her dainty arms around my torso, with me wrapping mine around her sides.

"Congrats." I whispered into her hair, as my head rested above Jhasmin's shoulder, the woman in my embrace mimicking me, as her head rested against mine.


Forty five minutes later...


"Where the hell have you been?" Jenson's eyes were watery and furious, his melon of a head shiny with the patina of nerves and authority.

"You'll have plenty of time to mess around with your soon to be bride later." He said glaring non approvingly at me and then turned back to Jhasmin.

"Get your butt into makeup. No waiting Mako Jhasmin— now!" Ironically he screamed at the girl who'd just become the president elect, yet he could if he wanted to. Jenson, assigned to the president as her administrator by the senate was actually more than that. He would now assume the role as personal assistant and vice president, and despite his apparent arrogance and abruptness, having him as a part of her presidential team was a definite blessing in disguise. With a list longer than a Leonard Cohen song in terms of experience in politics and public sector relations, without him, and Jhasmin's soon to be announced personal secretary and aide, her presidency would be nothing short of disastrous given her overall complete absence of experience as a politician.

“Do her standing so Kixi can mic her. Kixi, get a mic on her five minutes ago. Move it along dammit, this is the System Capital, and people are expecting you to address them and do a live interview before them. You're now the figure that represents this entire nation, therefore you need to be ready promptly for things whenever they are scheduled. No one should have to put up with any unnecessary crap such as being unpunctual.”

Jhasmin stared at him frozen, stunned by his outburst. Yet that ultimately did not do her any good.

"What the hell about public speech and live holo network feeds do you not understand Ms President Elect? As your assigned administrator, it's my nuts in a sling if you're not ready, and if you botch up your first ever appearance before the people.

Under normal circumstances, and were it directed at another person, the tirade might have rattled even the most experienced of people. But as I mic'ed Jhasmin up, I wasn't listening anyway, therefore Jenson's magnificent spew, even if they were having some effect on Jhasmin, were at the very best wasted on me. My thoughts were elsewhere – on the wedding, I just wanted it to be tomorrow already.

Miyuki who was also present, tucked tissues into the collar of Jhasmin's draped dress, before applying some sort of oil controlling facial fluid onto her face to give her a gleaming matte finish appearance. "How you look and present yourself is a big deal, Mako— you should pretend to give a damn, you know," she whispered.

Jhasmin shrugged. "I'm not here to make his life easier. Are you finished?"

"Mako, just because Kixi isn't all that fond of him, doesn't mean you have to copy. You'll need Jenson's experience and expertise if you are to succeed in your role as president." Miyuki's expression hardened as she frowned.

“I guess so Miyuki—”

"You don't guess so little sis, you will cease with all hostilities towards him immediately, irrespective to what or how your to be wife decides to behave." Miyuki immediately cut in, a line appearing between her brows.

Jhasmin simply nodded while Miyuki surveyed Jhasmin's face as she finished sponging her forehead. "You'll do. Better sit down and let them test that collar of your dress— what the hell made you wear it?"

Jhasmin looked down at herself. "Crap. Oh, well. It's supposed to be my lucky colour."

"Won't be much luck involved if you look like a floating head against the back drop of the Presidential Palace once all the cameras are pointing at you during your historical speech and interview," Miyuki grinned, grabbing the tissues away from her neckline.

"I am a floating head today," Jhasmin muttered.

Ignoring both Miyuki and I, Jenson directed his urgent attention to Jhasmin. "Everybody knows you're getting married tomorrow, and that you're eager to get out of here and concentrate on tomorrow's other big day for you, but before that, we just need you—"

"Yeah I get it, I need to address the nation and all with a speech now that I'm the new president elect." Jhasmin quickly finished off the sentence for him faking a smile.

"That's it! You're going face to face with the people, and you're also going to go on live holofeeds that will be broadcasted to every inhabited area in the Sol System, as well as the Sajnen Confederate. You'll also answer every biased question against you." Jenson blinked a few times.

"Does that mean...?" Jhasmin nodded.

"Yes! You're going to be interviewed by Nadira Tabak. Now, where did I put those important notes?" He picked up his comm pad and started skimming his hands through the air, going through the holographic pages that floated directly in front of him.

Jhasmin looked back to the window and sighed, "I'm not prepared for this. How am I going to answer, what will I—"

“Don't worry, we got your back Jhasmin." Jenson's mouth curved into a smile as he grinned. "We have about twenty or so minutes so you'll be briefed in a moment. Also I'll be able to relay some information to things, plus answers to questions that you haven't prepared for yet through your little headset that Kixi has already put under your ear.”

“Welcome to life as leader of an entire star system young lady." Said Miyuki running a hand through the back of Jhasmin's long hair in a way that she had grown to recognise as a comforting habit from her elder. She however addressed Jhasmin in a tone that was both stern and conversational. "You'll get used to it soon enough.”

"Right, of course." Jhasmin at the same time scratched the back of her own head, questioning if she actually had a policy on anything. Everything in her mind seemed to be focused elsewhere for now. With her wedding day tomorrow, the timing for being chosen to lead the United Systems of Sol as a nation couldn't have come at a worse time.

Jhasmin was a moderate person in nature, who came across timid, yet could talk on and on once she got started. Her expectations were reasonable. She didn't expect everyone to like her, or agree with her, especially given that until now, she had been an absolute nobody, and a complete unknown. She wasn't going to soapbox the issue about the previous tyrannical government either. Short of the fascist dictatorship ways which had been eliminated, she couldn't guarantee her ideas were any better than anything out there already. But she would know – would feel – if it was working. She could shift course easily, and would unlike the previous rulers, listen to the needs of the citizens of Sol. Although the thought of it being enough for the people did cross her mind. Ultimately her aim would be to sell herself on flexibility to try new ideas, and become a symbol for the people – a symbol of hope - a symbol for the future. In the midst of her pensive state, and not that Miyuki wasn't caring in any way, but a more familiar loving hand in her hair broke her out of her thoughts.

"You are messing up your hair, right before you go out to talk to your people. That will not do, darling. Now is not the time to question yourself. It does not suit you." Jhasmin looked at the owner of the hand and smiled, her cheeks turned pink as I gazed directly at her.

“You. Standing there," Jenson whispered to me, but it was the kind of whisper that was really just a scream with the volume knob twisted to the left. "You will walk to the right of the President Elect as she walks out to the balcony to meet the people. You will maintain a distance of about half a metre to her rear side as you walk.”

I nodded my understanding, not daring to agitate the man further.

Jhasmin ambled toward the large glass sliding doors that exited to the Palace's main terraced balcony, but her eyes were still focused on the holographic pages from the comm device she was holding in her left hand. Someone leaned over to her, straightening the collar of her one piece draped dress, and dragged the coil of her earpiece discreetly under her hair.

“Five minutes," an unfamiliar voice belonging to Ben Stratton, who would be Jhasmin's aide, but was yet formally to be introduced to her, announced in her ear. "Mako Jhasmin, one of your primary focuses will be addressing the issue on the nation's debt, as well as our revised stance on our relations with known non human cultures. Are you good?”

Jhasmin nodded her head. "Okay, but just give the guys in control a level check, because they can't read nods."

I looking up craning my head in Jhasmin's direction, grinning. "I'm a happy hungry hippo," I said randomly. "Jenson's got anal warts and a suspicious rash where no suspicious rash should ever be. Call his partner if he has one, and tell her to start the antibiotics."

"Kixi cut it out— now's not an appropriate time and I need him!" Jhasmin said, her expression hardening as she chewed on her bottom lip.

"Okaaaaaay my apologies." I responded, rolling my eyes and making it more than obvious that I wasn't really sorry.

Ben's voice drifted into my ear with an unappreciative tone. "You're so immature Kixi. You need learn to behave appropriately, like a proper First Lady should. Grow up!" He said.

The prompter built into Jhasmin's tiny almost unnoticeable eye piece shimmered to life with bright red text materialising into her vision. The neat little device would allow her to read and recite information out that Ben would give her, without others more so knowing it were the case. Immediately following, she then tapped on several virtual buttons on her comm pad, effectively turning it off, handing it over to me seeing that she wasn't going to require it anymore. "Hey, Ben? So we're going with addressing, national debt, our stance on foreign policy, I'm guessing anything to do with weapons too. These are topics I'll be asked questions to... right?"

"Correct. There's also gonna be a mentioning of the Zhann Alliance and Kay Blade slotted in somewhere, mostly during the foreign policy topic. Oh, and don't freak out about the bit regarding Cerberus' younger daughter and her connection to Kay Blade when it comes onto your prompter. It's all legit, so just say it as it reads when the question is asked." Ben, oblivious to the fact that Jhasmin was eM Blade, and part of the now legendary team known as KnM Blade, failed to notice her simper. Jhasmin clearly knew he had been referring to Paige Langley, Cerberus' younger daughter, who had defected to our resistance cause, and had played her own part in helping to topple the rule of the former President Drex's Skycom Corporation backed government.

“Who's responsible for the input on the prompter? They misspelled Cerberus' name twice, which doesn't seem like an accident. How difficult is it to spell Cerberus, I mean I know she was horrid and all, but?”

“Gee, I don't know, Mako— probably less difficult than it is to say it," Ben answered her with calm sarcasm. "Quit clowning around. It's almost time to face the waiting crowd Ms President Elect.”

Although this would be Jhasmin's first time in front of a public crowd and system wide holofeed, it most definitely wasn't for me. As an ex Formula Zero race driver, and a one time System Champion, I had done this and experienced the scrutiny that went with it on countless occasions. However today would be far different though. For starters this was something far bigger than anything in the high speed world of racing that I had experienced. Secondly it would be the very first time for Jhasmin, who would be the one whom all the attention would be centred upon. She was about to stand at what unarguably was the most important stand on the entire planet. Simply put, the broadcast not only would it be transmitted across the entire star system, but would be later repackaged and fed to networks across other star systems most notably the Sajnen Confederate, as the official word from the President of the United Systems of Sol.

“Oh and your personal secretary should be with you at any moment now," came Ben's voice again through Jhasmin's headset. "She'll be accompanying you on the balcony as well.”

Both Jhasmin and I, as well as Jenson who had been standing only a couple of metres behind us turned at the arrival of the newcomer. Dressed in a black silk dress, she approached from a side door, a fair lady maybe in her mid twenties, she had long blonde hair that brought out her clean face, she wore crimson red lipstick which sent a clear message to the room that she was the most important person in the room short of the President Elect. She slowly walked over to Jhasmin, all eyes now focusing on her. She stretched out her hand introducing herself as Leah Harris, confirming that she would be Jhasmin's personal secretary. In turn she also stretched out a warm welcoming handshake to me, and as she did, I noticed her golden hair drape down softly, curling along the ends, her eyes brownish in colour standing out. She looked stunning, her smile never fading.

"Thirty seconds until you walk out onto the Palace's balcony," Ben's voice told Jhasmin. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath for one last time before she set her feet into motion in the direction of the balcony. She turned to glance at me one last time, more wanting me to give her one final comforting nod of approval to boost her morale, in which I humbly did.

President Elect Jhasmin, I the First Lady to be, as well as the President's Secretary Leah Harris, walked out first, to face the awaiting masses gathered around the Presidential Palace. Following at a steady pace behind us, Vice President Elect Jenson, along with news presenter Nadira, took up their positions on the balcony relative to that of where Jhasmin stood.

Set apart from the rest of the Federal District in Celestia City, the Presidential Palace was located in its own low rise district known as the Presidential Precinct. Dotted by statues and small parks, the Precinct was bisected by the Processional Way, a long road which terminated at a ceremonial staircase that led into the Palace's entrance hall. Crowned by five statues, all of warriors of grand significance, the main entrance was decorated with twelve massive pylons, adorned with the depictions of the United Systems of Sol founding leaders from centuries now long past.

The sound was deafening. The roar of the crowd filled all our ears as Jhasmin spread out her arms before the flocks of people gathered below her, their voices loudest, declaring their love and adoration for President Jhasmin – a far cry from the president of old, now all but a distant memory.

She bit her lip nervously, watching, waiting. Then gritting her teeth she realised that now she was truly in the midst of it all, with every single eye and camera trained on her. She plastered the biggest smile onto her face, once again waving to the ecstatic crowd below, exchanged a light hearted laugh with me as we waited for the audience to quieten down.

Then, just as all had seemed to have died down, Jhasmin, the President Elect of the United Systems of Sol began to speak. Her speech boomed over the crowd, strident timbre of the voice, cacophony of applause and cheering, whooping, hollering, clapping, stamping of feet, palpable excitement buzzed through the charged air, infectious grins, strangers shaking hands, patting one another on the back, spontaneous outpouring of emotion.

"Citizens of the United Systems of Sol, it is a great honour and privilege for me to be speaking to you from the Presidential Palace in Celestia City." ­

The speech the President Elect of the United Systems of Sol was about to make was without precedent, and recordings of the historic moment would be seen in classrooms on all planets and settlements within the Sol system and human civilisations beyond, for as long as there would be human civilisations.

“My fellow citizens of Sol, and to all citizens within the furthermost reaches of our galaxy," announced the woman of average height, but yet elegant. She was in her early twenties, with not even a strand of grey hair contained in her rich dark natural black hair. She was by far the youngest president in the history of the USS. Her piercing light brown eyes gazed outward toward the crowd below and into the many cameras as she spoke.

“I understand that my being chosen to lead humanity's nation was not elected by you, the people. However given the extreme nature of recent events, it would not have been possible to run any election campaign in such little time frame. Therefore all current senators from all corners of our vast civilisation have instead casted their vote. The majority have favoured me, because they believe me capable of moving forward our great nation from the ashes of oppression and tyranny of the former. Thus they have vested this power to me, in which moving forward to the second of January of next year, my government will take charge when I am officially sworn in, and take over from the interim government. But please rest assured my good people of Sol and beyond. You are the people, and unlike the former rulers in which my new government supersedes, we are a democracy, and a true republic. In one year's time a proper real election will be held, one where you will choose and elect your leader, your president, instead of the senate. I and my government therefore have a year of long hard work, to make a difference, and give you all what the former rulers lacked. It is my hope that I would have made the differences you all desire in the positive hope to be reelected by you, the people."

Shots of the president elect’s now recognisable, still-smooth face were interspersed with the images on huge holo screens throughout Celestia City, the planet, the hundreds of ships that looked like fireflies with their wide rear engines in contrast to the many large orbiting platforms in and around Earth's orbit, and the other many settlements beyond the realm of Earth.

Jhasmin wasn't one to be known for loving attention, yet she would have to learn to get used to it quickly. Despite it being early in the afternoon, she shifted under the glare of the artificial lights as cameras surrounded her at all angles.

She looked to the side, where I was standing with her comm pad still in my hand, watching as news presenter Nadira Tabak slid straight past me and prepared to begin the live interview. If she was nervous, she was hiding it with a surprisingly straight face. She was so focused on watching me that she didn't realise the interview was starting.

Upon realising and seeing Nadira standing virtually half a metre in front of her, Jhasmin let out a soft chuckle, smiled at her and shook the news presenter's warm welcoming hand. After a few minutes in between the screams of delight from the live crowd below, Nadira finally managed to get a word in, as the deafening sound of the crowd died down to an almost silence, allowing for her to start the interview.

"Thank you for taking the time for addressing and speaking with us today, Ms. Zaneca." Jhasmin blinked out of her trance, overwhelmed at thought that an entire star system now stood still, with all their eyes concentrated solely on her. She looked over, and gave Ms. Tabak a thousand watt smile.

"Well, of course! What else would I be doing?" She blinked a few times before smiling again.

"I hope you don't mind that I start off with the obvious question on everyone's mind. From the moment you first appeared on holofeed and were announced as one of the candidates to succeed from the ashes of the once disliked by many, President Drex's tyrannical government, you said that you are the United Systems of Sol. Can you explain how, or exactly a person can be the personification of an entire star system?" Jhasmin grinned. She should have expected that to be an issue.

"It's kinda hard to explain, really. When there are a people with a national identity, in this case the identity of humanity's nation, we appear. As long as people identify with that nationality, we continue to exist. I'm pretty sure, sitting here with me now, you can feel this is true as crazy as it may sound coming from anyone else." She nodded, and as soon as she had asked her first question, Jhasmin expected what followed.

"Why would a personification want to lead their own nation?" Jhasmin's smile fell slightly.

"Because I'm sick, Nadira. A nation's health is tied to its economy, its military, and its people. So, when the economy is lagging, the military is stretched too thin, and the people are losing faith in their nation, the nation of humanity's birth. I feel all of it. Medicine doesn't work for us like it does for other people." She nodded slowly.

“Alright then. I suppose that would be a good way to lead into the next question. You're a new face to the world of politics Jhasmin, from what I'm gathering you don't have a qualification in politics? You're an I.T. expect, would I be correct in saying that?”

“Actually Nadira I do have a qualification, even if it's academic. I studied both politics and technology. I've been in the I.T scene for ages, and don't get me wrong, I love what I do with a passion and am good at it, but as a growing child, I had always dreamt of being a leader. From early childhood until most recent times, I've watched how the now former government operated— tyrannical in nature— in every way actually. If I could change that, and be one for the people, be loved and looked upon, our civilisation of humanity would prosper so much more. Now I finally get my chance to do this— to try and make things right— and make humanity great not just within itself, but ultimately at a galactic scale.”

"So you believe that with your right winged government that you'll be great at getting people inspired, motivated, and working for you. But what are they working for? Do you have a policy? On anything?" Jhasmin smiled, hoping she would be convincing as texts of data and information flowed rapidly through the tiny unnoticeable eye piece attached to her left eye.

"Of course I do! I mean, you can't just run on pretty words. You need substance behind them. There will be mostly new policies on everything. This is primarily due to the fact that my government is vastly different to the previous, and we're virtually starting from scratch here. I know what works and what doesn't, because I've lived through every hardship this nation has faced. I'm not in this to please my sponsors. I don't have special interests to cater to. I'm saving myself and my people." Jhasmin nodded, shifting her position.

"Then let's start with one of the most important issues today, the economy. What is your stance on it?" Jhasmin's heart dropped into her stomach at the question.

"Well, it sucks obviously. Like I just said, that's why I'm doing this." Nadira stared at Jhasmin for a moment before reiterating.

"Yes, but, what are your plans on how to improve it? Do you think it's possible?" Nadira waved a hand of dismissal.

"If you look at useless monarchies of centuries gone by, monarchies that were constitutional and had virtually no power and were there merely for symbolic reasons. People of those nations were able to support them for just one credit per person per year. Using a similar approach or concept, I think we can close a trillion credit deficit in a couple of years." Nadira's head tilted down slightly as she stared at Jhasmin.

"Are you suggesting that we tax the hard working citizens of Sol who have long suffered enough under the neglect of the previous government for trillions of credits?" Nadira balked.

"What? Where do you even get something like that from what I said? It's no wonder no one knows what is going on anymore." Jhasmin raised a brow.

"Pardon? Could you explain that?" Nadira smirked.

"Gladly. I made a statement, which you then picked a word or two out of, twisted the meaning of after taking it out of context, and threw it back at me as though I had said it. Now, someone watching this is going to think I said we should just tax the masses, when in fact it was nothing more than media sensationalism taking advantage of the fact that the public relies on you for information. You'll replay that clip over and over until it's drilled into their minds, that I want to tax them until they are creditless, when the words never came through these lips of mine." Jhasmin scowled a bit, shifting her legs and stance slightly.

"Ms. Zaneca, I can't help but feel you are now blaming the media for all of this nation's problems." Nadira shrugged.

"I wouldn't say that it was all of the media. It's a little conceited to presume you have that much power, don't you think?" Jhasmin cleared her throat, adjusting her standing position again.

"Regardless, you still haven't given a definitive policy on anything. Are you planning to sit in the Presidential Palace and collect half a million credits a year to do nothing?" Nadira rubbed her chin thoughtfully.

"Is that what the President is supposed to earn. I wonder who decided on that sum, as I'm sure that wasn't what President Drex was making before me. Although it's trivial if you ask me. Honestly, I was thinking of turning down my salary. I mean, I know eventually I'll have to take it, but what I'm saying is that I'm not in it for the money. I'm here for the people and for the progression of our species as a space faring culture. So yeah, I don't need the money. Certainly not that much." Jhasmin frowned, raising a brow.

"Right… but that still doesn't— how about foreign policy? The previous President had made great advances in our interstellar relations. Can you maintain this trend?" Nadira grinned.

Jhasmin's normally calm and pleasant demeanor slowly changed at the mention of the question, her face contorted in an all consuming anger, her nostrils flared, her eyes flashed and closed into slits, her mouth quivered and drooled. "No they had not!" The words came spewing into space like a volcano releasing its pent up emotions into the darkness.

"That statement seems to have irritated you Ms. President Elect. Looks like you've suddenly blown a fuse? Care to explain?" Nadira's face lit up at Jhasmin's sudden and unexpected antagonising reaction.

“Yes." Jhasmin answered her hands closing into fists. "The only foreign relations the former Drex government had, if any was with the Sajnen Confederate— a human civilisation. Any relationship with alien civilisations was discouraged and outlawed. The Drex's government policy on aliens was by far too restraining, virtually non existent, and essentially halting the accelerated advancement of our own society. We can learn much from them and they from us.”

"Will acceptance of alien races among us eventually lead to their integration amongst our own worlds? How do you think the general populace will react to this?" Nadira said raising a curious brow, knowing exactly where this was headed.

“If it's done slowly, and planned carefully I believe it will work. The people need to be educated over the concept, and need to be given the opportunity to give their input over such delicate matters. If we find that people are reluctant and unreceptive to aliens, then we wouldn't go ahead with any such projects of immigration." Jhasmin declared but did so with extreme caution. "However I personally think it's inevitable that it will happen, and whilst it's foreseen that a large group of people will oppose it at first, given time and education, I believe many opinions will inevitably change.”

"How will polices as far as dealing and negotiating with alien cultures go?

“It's not a new thing for us. Effectively our triumph over the dark forces of Drex's government was achieved by dealing and negotiating with alien races. Essentially that is what the Zhann Alliance is. So in essence half the work is already done— and much of it hard work. What we must do now is build on those ties and further strengthen relationships.”

"What if people fear an invasion? Are you prepared to deal with that?" Nadira pointed out the obvious not sounding overly optimistic.

"Yes that's a natural reaction. If and when aliens are eventually allowed to settle on any of our worlds etc, it will be minimum. Likewise humans would be invited to settle on alien worlds too. In time we will strengthen ties, make alliances stronger as well as forge new ones. With our united combined efforts, it will make us stronger and far less vulnerable in the event of any real threat, were it to ever arise." Awe transformed Jhasmin's face, her eyes gleamed proud of her statement, knowing that the previous government would never have been open to any such negotiations.

"Just quickly, on that topic of the Zhann Alliance, well more so on its leader Kay Blade and her side kicks eM Blade and Asuka Blade. None have hardly shown themselves since the defeat of the Drex government and Skycom Corporation, nor have they come out with their true identities. Well, that is in that case with Kay and eM Blade. Are you aware of anything that we are not?" Nadira asked with a sincere and serious look, while at the same time ran her fingers through her hair to straighten it.

“I've never spoken with Kay Blade before. In actual fact like everyone else, I haven't seen her or heard a word from her since her speech of triumph over a month ago. However the Zhann Alliance has been part of the USS's interim government. I believe that finding her will not present any issues in itself, and yes, we do plan to negotiate with her, given that we strongly believe her usefulness and strengths will be most valuable on the military side of things. As for her team partners or whatever you want to refer to them as, I may meet eM Blade and Asuka Blade eventually, but in all honesty they will have little or no influence on our government's proceedings or affairs.”

Jhasmin did extremely well to not give away any signs of deceit that she herself was eM Blade with the former mentioning of myself as Kay Blade, whilst I stood silently to the right of Nadira who was asking the questions. Jhasmin did not once flinch at the mentioning of any of the names associated with KnM Blade, herself included, keeping a serious straight face the whole time during her explanation regarding the matter.

“We also understand or have learnt that Asuka Blade is Paige Langley, or the youngest daughter of the late Cerberus and younger sibling of Kristy Langley, the former and current leaders of the now ousted Skysec or security force of Skycom Corporation. Is this true, and if so can you explain this?”

“First and foremost I must say that Paige Langley is no threat or spy. In fact more than reliable sources suggest that Cerberus who we all know was the former director of Skysec Security was slain, but contrary to what most were lead to believe, the slaying was not at the hands of Kay Blade. It was in fact executed by Paige assisted by Kay Blade. Paige insisted on carry out the execution of her twisted mother to prove her defection beyond any doubt, ultimately joining KnM Blade and assuming the alias of Asuka Blade.”

“And how did you come across this information Ms. President Elect?”

“Why that's easy Ms. Tabak. Insiders within the Zhann Alliance confirmed it.”

“Ah I see now, that would make sense since Kay Blade is the known leader of the Zhann Alliance, and her personal action team so to speak is known as KnM Blade. Therefore given the interim government you'll succeed is practically in itself the Zhann Alliance, then I would assume that for now your source is accurate enough Ms. President Elect. Perhaps over time both Kay and eM Blade will reveal their true identities as well?”

"Yes perhaps." Jhasmin responded in a tone indifferent than before. Yet telepathically her message stating that it indefinitely would not be happening anytime in the foreseeable future entered into my thoughts. Maintaining a solid straight face of my own, telepathically I subtly agreed with her.

"Okay then, so back to foreign policies. Let's discuss the current status with human civilisations not part of the USS." Nadira said, satisfied with the response regarding KnM Blade and subsequently moving on.

“Well, of course! You're obviously referring to the Sajnen Confederate in the Alpha Centauri A System which due to their dislike toward Skycom Corporation's tyranny, eventually lead them to join the Zhann Alliance and assist in toppling the previous government. Now with the former government and Skycom out of the picture, and our free democratic government being born from the efforts of the Zhann Alliance, I would say that it would give us a great working relationship with the Sajnen Confederate. As I mentioned earlier with the known alien races, because of the Zhann Alliance, a lot of the hard work has already been done.”

“Well, to be sure, the United Systems of Sol has always had some relations with the Sajnen Confederate, primarily due to the fact that both are human civilisations. But what about the known alien civilisation of the Za'ha'meon from the planet Arkhass in the Wolf 359 System? I assume it is them you intend to eventually open our borders to? How do you plan to deal with them?”

Jhasmin simply shook her head, smiling. "Yes I was referring to the Za'ha'meon earlier on, but don't concern yourselves with them."

"The Zhann Alliance right?" Nadira interjected.

"Correct, therefore the current working relationship with the Za'ha'meon is self explanatory. We are in actual fact great friends with them!" Jhasmin proudly proclaimed.

“And last but not least regarding foreign policy. The predominantly human organisation that has its headquarters on the the Sajnen capital in Hedstaden Sajna on Terra Prime in the Alpha Centauri A System known as the Züncålazin Order. How are relations with—”

“Perfect Nadira," Jhasmin decided to cut her off mid sentence this time plastering a huge grin on her face. "Kay Blade, the leader of the Zhann Alliance is one of them.”

As subtle as her emotions were when she said it, Jhasmin's tone was nothing short of conceited, just knowing, and feeling how ecstatic I had felt at the precise moment her words had come out of her mouth. I simply wondered in awe at how the many before us would have reacted if they knew that I the First Lady was also the heroic Kay Blade.

Nadira simply smiled lob sidedly, not really knowing what to say, and then brought a hand down on her head. "Well then," she eventually finally said, "I think that concludes the topic on foreign policies."

“So now going back to the economy," Nadira said while walking around Jhasmin, and this time wrapping an arm around her shoulders as if she were some sort of close buddy. "We have quite a big deficit. What are you going to do to help reduce it?”

Jhasmin rubbed her forehead promoting Nadira to take her arm away from her shoulder and take a step backwards. "Well, of course everyone is concerned with the state of the economy. It's just another reason why I decided to run for office. When our economy is ailing, we get sick. I've been sick for a long time now. Behold the wonders of makeup and charisma!" Jhasmin grinned as the crowd applauded and chuckled. "But seriously, I think that what we have to do is encourage businesses that did not want to operate under Drex's oppressing government to come back to Sol, instead of further driving them away and promoting the outsourcing of work. And I think people have to realise that money doesn't come out of nowhere. Everyone wants the government to provide this, that and the other thing, but no one wants to give any money for it to happen. So instead we run up these huge debts that we have to pay off. I'm not saying I'm raising taxes to astronomical proportions, though I'm sure that the media will spin it that way— right Nadira? Once we can figure out how to balance the national budget, the provinces will follow suit, I'm sure. If not, at least our slate will be cleared to dig in our heels and help you address it. I don't want to leave anyone hanging."

Jhasmin stretched both her arms and hand out to the crowd below as if wanting to embrace them all in a huge imaginary hug. "We are the United Systems of Sol. United we stand, divided we fall. I really believe that. One province's problems aren't their own. They are everyone's. The Martian Province for example, won't be forgotten because another province has a company offering a bit more money for my personal use."

Jhasmin sighed, slouching a bit as she thought, before looking up again. "Well this is very much it for now. You've all met your new president now. I'll give a quick introduction to the others." Pointing to each of us, she formally announced us in turn.

"This is a Kixi Rajki, a familiar face to many racing fans with her being a former Formula Zero driver and System Champion. Tomorrow we're getting married meaning she'll be my wife and First Lady. Over here we have my administrator and Vice President Jenson Amauri, and this lovely looking blonde over here is my Secretary Leah Harris. Oh and last but not least, this handsome man here is my Aide, Ben Stratton," who had finished with sending her overflows of information to her prompter and came to join us on the balcony. A quick round of applause from the crowd followed, along with cheers and whistles, which quickly died down once Nadira began to speak again.

“Just a few more questions before we leave you. We understand that you're actually getting married tomorrow, oh and congratulations for that too. As you have already mentioned yourself, you'll be marrying your long time partner, the ex Formula Zero race driver and one time System Champion Kixi Rajki who is standing right beside you?”

"Yes." Jhasmin said with a huge sweet smile, putting a hand behind my lower back, joy tugging at the corners of her lips, as if invisible elves were playing tug-of-war.

I simultaneously followed suit with a proud smile covering my own face, as I then draped my arm across her waist. Her whole face lit up as anticipated.

“Kixi rocks my world. She inspires me and is the most supportive person I'd ever known. In fact she used to love telling me that one day I'd be president. Of course initially I never took it seriously, but Kixi really believed in me and most certainly played her part in helping me realise this dream today. Thank you Kixi, I love you with all my heart.”

Words were not necessary. I simply nodded my head in appreciation, with my body language simply doing the rest of the talking. The feeling of butterflies in my stomach flapped their wings to the beat of my heart. An incontrollable heat rushed to my face just looking at my beautiful Jhasmin standing before the masses and expressing her love and gratitude toward me. Right at this present moment I had the feeling of a thousand kisses on my lips, even though it never actually happened. The feeling of her wanting to express her love for me, but not being able to look me into my eyes simply because of this being an official presidential speech. She was overcome with the feeling of love as was I, and the entire star system and beyond would know it all the same.

“Excellent Ms. Zaneca, and congratulations to both of you." Nadira said looking briefly in my direction. "We all hope your wedding day is full of much happiness and memories that will last you a lifetime.”

Both our hearts punding like a thousond drums as adrenaline rushed through our bodies like we were being tranformed into new beings. The reaction of the crowds of people below now seemed like an enormous party in the streets, all gathered together celebrating, singing, and chanting Mako Jhasmin's name.

"Can you answer us one final question before we conclude this wonderful occasion," boomed Nadira's voice into Jhasmin's head once the cheering and chanting below finally died down again.

“What is the state of our military and defence, and will money continue to be spent on it, advancing it and so forth?”

“Yes of course. For the interest of national security, there will be no compromise in this area. We will continue to fund and maintain our current operations. We will also re-analyse the budget and look at ways to increase the level of spending in the coming months. I can also assure you that we will not be cutting costs here. Although we want to strengthen our ties with other star systems and alien cultures, we don't wanna fall prey on their reliance. It will be my duty as your leader to ensure that that never happens.”

"Thank you kindly Ms. President Elect, and many thanks to the rest of your team for taking the time to speak before us all today. Proceedings are now concluded." Said Nadira as she signalled for all the live holofeeds to end. However the people below continued to wave and cheer for some time still.

The feeling was exhilarating. My whole body was experiencing crucial anxiety. It was like a dream come true. For the love of my life, the one I would be marrying to have become the leader of what was humanity's birth place of our glorious civilisation. I kept pinching myself assuring that it was for real.

The crowd again chanted, "Mako Jhasmin!" I thought I was going to faint. It was absolutely overwhelming now. The crowd grew intense. It was obvious from their continuous cheers that they loved their new president.

I felt tears of joy tricking down my cheeks. This day was without comprehension a magical one, and it was worth every moment.

During this time, Jhasmin along with myself and the others on the balcony continued to wave to the flocks of people below. We all had the look of downright satisfaction on our faces. We then slowly made our way back into the Palace, as the crowd slowly died down and the people slowly dispersed.

However it wasn't quite finished just yet. Once inside, Jhasmin was instantly surrounded by a group of well wishers. She shook hands and accepted hugs, noting who most of her admirers were. Then I pushed my way in to give her a hug and a kiss. Followed by Ben, who limited himself to a hug, then spent several minutes schmoozing with the congressmen and women, and seemed reluctant to leave when Leah dragged him away.

Miyuki remained on the periphery, engrossed in conversation with a senator who kept flitting his gaze around as if he was speaking of some great secret; diverting Miyuki's attention away from all covert attempts Jhasmin made to attract her into her circle. But just before she turned to leave, their gazes met for a second and she gave her a megawatt smile.

Seeing me alone for a moment, given all the attention was being focussed on Jhasmin, Jenson finally got a moment to approach me in person, or at least it seemed that way, as he was walking in my direction.

"You're still cocky and arrogant aren't you," Jenson couldn't help muttering as he wandered by. I tilted my head in his direction, trying to make up my mind whether or not it was worth the effort to pay him back with his own coin, but after a minute I just shrugged my shoulders again as he walked on.

'He's so bald,' I thought to my myself plastering a massive smirk across my face.

“Hey, Ms. Rajki," yelled Jenson turning back around and walking back in my direction. "You almost looked like a girl tonight. You know, kinda doable. Half of us are beginning to change our minds about you.”

“Oh, I hope it's the right half," I answered. "Pretty much whichever half you're not in would be the right half, you donkey.”

"You haven't changed a single bit Kixi. But who am I kidding believing I'd expect more from you. You were a foul mouth as a racing driver, it's a pity you're now the First Lady. I reckon Jhasmin could do a lot better than you." The statement was as offensive and as insulting as one could come. Yet I kept my cool and simply grinned at him.

“What? You're actually grinning Kixi? Then I guess we both know it's the truth.”

“Nuh not really Jenson Baldielocks. I'd insult you in your native tongue, but I don't speak imbecile.”

“Keep talking about my tongue, Ms. Rajki— you know you want it.”

"Yeah whatever dude." I scoffed. "For starters I only do women. Secondly, we're done talking. Ms. President and I are getting married tomorrow, which will make her Mrs. President and I officially the First Lady. So ta-ra see you bye." I said shooing him away.

"Sure, honey, whatever you say." Came back Jenson's response, prompting me to roll my eyes as I tried to get a grip on my irritation and simply swivelled around and walked away.

It was now definitely time to leave, and finally we were allowed to do just that. Catching back up with Jhasmin, I wrapped one arm around her, while linking the other through Miyuki's who was still present. We then left the main chamber of the Presidential Palace together. The interim government would still be in charge for the time being, so we all switched off, thinking only of tomorrow's big all important day, the wedding of both Mako Jhasmin and I.


Some fifteen minutes later...


You look absolutely stunning." I murmured to Jhasmin. I guided her with a hand to the small of her back towards the secure hover-limo waiting to take us, as well as my best friend Kajtia and her man Chris who'd actually been with us the whole time for support. Jak Zed, my former employer from ZRT Racing, and also former boss under the alias of Jarvis when I as Kay Blade had worked under him for the Arjian Resistance Cell before forming the Zhann Alliance, had also been present for support.

They awaited us, as Jhasmin, Miyuki and I approached the rest of the awaiting reception. We smiled politely as holographers pressed around us, vying to get the best vids.

"I don't feel stunning. More like stunned. I hate these things." Jhasmin muttered through gritted teeth, her words in stark contrast to the fake smile plastered on her face.

"Trust me," I chuckled as we settled into the hover-limo and the doors closed, granting us a temporary reprieve before the reception. "You are the most stunning female present and everybody's jealous that I am your escort for the evening."

"I'm jealous." Chris interjected with a smirk.

"As am I," agreed Kajtia.

"Me, too."

"Me three." Chimed in the others present, nodding vigorously.

"I'm jealous you get to wear that gorgeous outfit while I'm stuck with this straightjacket," moaned Kajtia, fidgeting uncomfortably in the tight black turtleneck and long white jacket of her dress clothing.

"Hmm, I think we can fix that," teased Chris, leering so suggestively that Jak and the rest burst into laughter.

"Well, I must confess," Jhasmin twinkled. "I think the lot of you look stunning. I think all of Celestia City is jealous of my good fortune to be surrounded by the most handsome men and women of the United Systems of Sol."

"Hey," I growled, looking severely at the rest of the group. "No one is surrounding you today except me ­which I plan on doing at the earliest opportunity."

"Oi! Mind your manners, Kixi." Jhasmin playfully smacked my arm as I demonstrated I meant what I said by wrapping my arms possessively around her and pulling her close. "Besides, we must not be rude to our friends— our family."

Beside her, Jak clicked. "Please do not concern yourself with us, Mako Jhasmin Zaneca. We believe you have more than earned your private time with your beloved, and of course it will be your wedding day tomorrow too."

Jhasmin blushed at that comment and I waggled my eyebrows at her. "Beloved, eh? I like that," I said as I squeezed her even tighter.

Jak revelled in the obvious happiness of both Jhasmin and I as the hover-limo arrived at a group of large apartment complexes. Jak himself, strict and tough on us at times, was more than just a former boss – he without little doubt was a fatherly figure, for both of us.

"Both of you complete each other. You're such a romantic couple." He praised himself with inner joy as we all departed the hover-limo, said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.


Several more minutes later...


Jhasmin and I sat silently, alone in an automated hovercab heading toward our own apartment located in a different district of Celestia City. We refused a security escort from this point on, although once Jhasmin's presidency officially began, she would have to start getting used to it, with no option to refuse such security escorts, as well as us moving into the Presidential Palace. I guess our apartment would still be there for times when we would need time out with one another, and would require an escape haven.

We had made a quick escape from the reception following the announcement of Jhasmin's presidency, trying to maintain as low a profile as possible. The holo­news reporters were unrelenting, though, and with the amount of holo­cams that had been at the reception, images of Jhasmin and her speech and interview had already hit all corners of human influenced space.

I struggled to pull my attention back to the beautiful raven­-haired woman by my side.

"Life's never going to be dull with you, is it?" Jhasmin asked, the corner of her mouth quirking upwards.

Jhasmin appreciated all ongoing support I had given her, there was no question about it. I reached out and entwined my fingers in a lock of her hair that floated in front of me. "Have I told you how glad I am that you're here with me?"

"Here in the cab?" Jhasmin squirmed next to me suggestively.

"Here in this cab, here in this city, here in my arms." I enveloped her in an embrace as I leaned into her and pressed my lips to hers.

"Kixi Rajki, I've told you before and I'll tell you again. You are the most amazing woman I have ever met, and there is no place I would rather be than here with you."

"Ahh, but you've met Jenson Amauri now. Are you sure about that? I hear he's single." I teased.

"He's also a bald melon head and a man." Jhasmin snorted with a smile before she drew back and stroked my lips with her thumb to stop the retort she knew was coming. "And not only is he not a woman, he's not you."

Our mouths met, opening instantly to taste each other in an intense moment of shared hunger that did nothing to sate our desire. As she felt the pressure build and her body ached to feel more of my touch, Jhasmin leaned back against the door in an unspoken invitation. I stretched my body over hers, one hand trailing up her leg. She arched her hips and clenched her fingers in my hair as she matched my ardour, touch for touch, passion for passion.

Jhasmin gasped as my kisses moved down her neck, finding a favourable spot just above her collarbone. Her hands moved down my back, tugging at the blouse tucked so neatly into my pants and trembling in sensual pleasure as she touched the warmth of my body. She let out an encouraging moan as my hands fumbled for an opening in the upper part of her dress, and I splayed my hand across her flat stomach.

"Touch me," she pleaded and I instantly complied, moving my hands higher to cup her breast and lowering my mouth to suckle the tip through the fabric. Jhasmin threw her head back, simultaneously adjusting her thigh to rub me most intimately, seeking the evidence that I was enjoying this as much as she was.

"We have arrived at your destination," a recorded voice droned as the automated hovercab stopped at the hangar housing of our own apartment complex. "USS Regulations forbid copulation in public places. Please remove yourselves to a private location."

Both Jhasmin and I froze in shock at the sudden disruption in our activity. I lifted my head and blinked. Together we burst out laughing and didn't stop until we were out of the cab and standing at the door to our quarters. As we embraced, I reached up and tweaked her nose. "Well, I guess we got a few things tonight before our big day tomorrow."

Jhasmin's eyes widened in dismay. "Yeah but tomorrow feels like it's so far away. We're not done yet!"

"We're not?" My face was a mask of innocence.

Jhasmin knew immediately that I was simply toying with her. She grabbed me by both wrists of my arms, and pulled me into our apartment quarters. "If I recall correctly, there is still some time before we both go out tonight one last time before we are married." She paused to close the door, then stepped back and started to unbutton her draped dress. "I'd say there is time for us to you know... jiggle jiggle a little beforehand. That is, if you're up for it."

"Oh, I'm up for it," I chuckled as I followed her up into our bedroom. "I am most definitely up for it." ­­

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