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Chapter Six: Conclusion

Scully No sooner had the trial ended than Scully rose and left the stage. He hurried backstage to the dressing room he had been using for the duration of the trial and changing out of his judge’s attire, he quickly washed and changed into his street clothes. Scully left the Imperial Duatian Hall by a staff exit and hopped into the self-drive car he had instructed his valet to have waiting. Scully drove directly to Adhara Academy where he showed his Blessed Ancestor’s pass and was admitted to the grounds. Usually, classes would have been over for the day, but Scully knew that Bishop’s trial meant that all the students would have been in their classrooms watching the proceedings instead of taking lessons. Given the explosive and sometimes vulgar revelations that had been made, the teachers would probably have felt the need to put everything into context and explain what it all meant, particularly to the younger students. In short, his grandson would still be in the building. Scully aligh

Quinn and The Quasars: Chapter Seven

 


An Adhara Space Station Serialised Story

Read from the beginning here: Chapter One

Read the previous chapter here: Chapter Six

“Of all the staff of the Pearl Palace, I would never have guessed that your wife was the one who let that stalker in here.” Kailani said, giving Mr Lee a hard look.

“My wife?” Mr Lee asked incredulously as he leapt from his seat. “No, there must be some mistake. That can’t be true!”

All eyes turned to the Tokkian as he adamantly pleaded his wife's case. "My wife is an honest woman, she would never allow someone like Tigre Stripes to enter your home after all you've done for us," he insisted, turning to Junn beseechingly.

After Lee Jae-Seong had become the Quasars’ manager he had not so subtly mentioned that his family was very large and he was trying to put all of his fourteen children through school on Cygni, the second most exclusive, civilian inhabited space-station in the Alliance. Quinn had taken the hint and after consulting her mother had been able to offer Mr Lee's wife a position in the royal household. That had been several years ago, now the self same woman was accused of letting a stalker onto the grounds of the Pearl Palace, the Zanni Royal Family’s residence on Adhara Space Station.

Junn pressed a button on the desk and spoke a command, “Send Kim Ji-Eun up immediately,” he snapped as he ordered Mr Lee’s wife to be sent for. On Tokki as on many Alliance worlds, it was traditional for a woman to keep her maiden name when she got married “Let’s see what your wife has to say.”

A mixture of expressions from annoyance to fear crossed Mr Lee’s face before he finally said, “It seems quite unfair that my wife’s reputation is being called into question on the say so of some amateur schoolgirl detectives. My wife and I have worked hard for this family for several years and now not only is my wife being referred to as a servant but she is being used as a scapegoat to clear your sister’s name.”

“Your wife is a servant,” Indigo replied incredulously, “She works in the service of Quinn and Junn’s family. What’s wrong with that?”

“My cousin, Princess Asta of Niefleheim is a servant to the Bim Royal Family,” Ran said narrowing her eyes. “I hadn’t realised before but you’re quite the snob aren’t you?”

Mr Lee chose not to reply to Ran’s question instead turning back to Junn he pleaded with the young man one last time, “Please don’t do this. My wife couldn’t possibly have done anything wrong.”

Junn smiled and for a moment his face took on the cold, dark menacing glare that came straight out of the Varunian abyss, “If your wife has done nothing wrong there shouldn’t be anything for her to worry about, should there?” the young man asked.

Just as Junn had finished speaking, Mr Lee’s wife was shown into the room. Kim Ji-Eun was taller than her husband standing just a few inches over four feet tall, a remnant of her partial Moldwarpian heritage along with her hair that was maintained a light blue tint. The Tokkian woman had a worried expression on her face that she did her best to conceal as she walked into the room and stood before Junn without so much as a glance in her husband’s direction.

“What’s your connection with the murder that my sister has been accused of?” Junn demanded barely waiting for Ms Kim to finish bowing before he began questioning her.

“None, your highness,” the woman replied with a sharp shake of her head. “I have no connection with the man whatsoever and I didn’t kill him nor know who did.”

“I see,” Junn said, nodding his head slowly, “So then why did you help him to gain access to the grounds?”

Ms Kim gasped and took an involuntary step backwards, but before she could give an answer, her husband rushed to her side and grabbed hold of her arm. “Don’t say anything my dear. You haven’t done anything wrong. They’re just trying to close ranks and blame you for the murder Quinn undoubtedly committed.”

A deadly silence filled the room as everyone except Ms Kim stared at Mr Lee in amazement. Not only was this the second or third time that the Quasars’ manager had stated that Quinn was probably the killer but he seemed determined not to let his wife talk.

Indigo wished that she had not had so much to drink earlier, her brain was still foggy and as a result, she was struggling to make sense of the situation. All Indigo knew was there had to be more to her manager’s behaviour than his wife having let the murder victim onto the grounds, something which could always be explained away as a mistake. Kim Ji-Eun had to be more involved with the dead man Tigre Stripes than she had thought and the way Mr Lee was behaving meant that he was involved as well. “I think you should wait outside,” Indigo said gesturing towards the door.

“I most certainly will not, you damned drunk! Why don’t you wait outside and leave me to defend my wife?” Mr Lee snapped turned on Indigo with a snare.

Ran stood up, walked over to where Mr Lee was standing and taking hold of him by the collar, dragged him kicking and screaming out of the room. “Unhand me you frozen were-beast,” was the last exclamation they heard before the door closed behind Ran.

“Oh my I-Am!” Kailani exclaimed, “I can’t believe Mr Lee behaved like that. I hope Ran’s explaining to him that his service’s will no longer be required.

Silence filled the room as Ms Kim stood in front of the desk where Junn was seated. The woman had not protested when her husband was dragged out of the room, in fact she had not made a sound.

A few moment later the door opened and Kailani walked back into the room. All eyes turned to watch as she walked silently back to the seat she had recently vacated and sat down, arranging her skirts with an air of disinterest at the curiosity of the onlookers. “Now that our former manager has been dealt with,” Ran said when she satisfied with her skirt, “Perhaps you would be so kind as to explain why you let Tigre Stripes onto the grounds here.”

Kim Ji-Eun swallowed hard, she opened her mouth as if to speak but no words came out. Next to the desk where she was still standing, with her hand resting comfortingly on Junn’s shoulder, Kailani let out a sigh, “Just admit it,” the Lilitian said. “You’ve got nothing left to lose at this point. You must realise that your husband has lost his job and even if by some miracle you’re innocent, his little outburst has cost you yours as well. At the very least you might as well save yourself the trouble of being interrogated by the security forces when we eventually have to hand you over.”

In the middle of the room, standing alone with her head hung low, the Tokkian woman’s breathing became uneven as she tried to fight back tears. “I didn’t let Tigre Stripes in,” she sobbed.

Junn rose from his seat and walking around the desk, knelt in front Kim Ji-Eun so that his face was closer to her level. “Don’t cry,” he said reassuringly, “No matter what happens, I promise that I’ll ask my mother to take care of your children.”

“Hold on Junn, you can’t go making those kinds of promises,” Indigo exclaimed. “Mr Lee told us that he’s got sixteen children at present and two more on the way in a few months.”

“Is this true?” Junn asked looking down at Kim Ji-Eun’s lower abdomen. “I don’t remember my mother mentioning anything about this,” he said with some confusion as he rose to his feet. “You can’t have told my mother about your condition.”

Kim Ji-Eun looked up at Junn desperately, “Please, your highness, for the sake of my eighteen children, you have to believe me,” she pleaded grabbing hold of one of the teenager’s hands and squeezing it fiercely. “I had no idea that Princess Quinn was planning to kill that man when I let him into the grounds.”

Junn felt an overwhelming urge to tear his hand violently out of the woman’s grasp but remembering her condition and her size he resisted it. Instead he asked, “So you admit it? You did in fact help that man to get access to the grounds?”

Kim Ji-Eun released her grip on Junn’s hand and rubbing her belly, she nodded her head slowly and hesitantly.

“Why?” Indigo demanded. “Why, would you let a man you must have known was stalking, harassing and stealing from your mistress into her home?”

“Because he had a note from Princess Quinn on his Com-D asking for him to meet her here.” Kim Ji-Eun muttered, her head lowered so that she avoided the gazes of Quinn’s friends and family.

“Don’t tell me you just took his word for it?” Kailani said incredulously. “You had to have known that the message was fake.”

Kim Ji-Eun nodded, “That’s what I thought as well. At first anyway,” she explained. “When Mr Stripes approached me outside of the palace, I assumed he was trying to trick me in order to gain entrance so that he could steal more of the princess’ belongings or worse. I asked him to allow me to examine his Com-D and he did. I had a look at the message and was shocked to see that it came from the princess’ personal Com-D ID code.

I still didn’t believe it was really from Princess Quinn. The chances of that seemed remote, so I tried to contact the princess and her maid, Mina but none of my calls were answered. Finally I sent a message directly to Princess Quinn asking her to confirm that the message Mr Stripes had was from her. A few minutes later I received a reply confirming that it was and ordering me to let the man into the palace. A second message told me that no matter what I was not inform anyone and that’s what I tried to do. I’m just a servant here. I don’t have a right to question my employers.” the woman said hanging her head even lower.

A silence flooded the room as Kim Ji-Eun finished speaking. Her attitude to her social situation was markedly different to her husband’s, so much so that coupled with the outlandish tale of receiving instructions from Quinn to allow the murdered man into her palace, it seemed suspicious. “Surely you don’t expect us to just take your word for this?” Indigo inquired at last.

Kim Ji-Eun shook her head, “No, no. I have proof. I only ask for the sake of my children that you review it,” she said pulling her Com-D out and quickly retrieving the relevant information.

Indigo snatched the Com-D Ms Kim’s hands and held it up to her eyes, trying to read the information on the tiny screen designed with Tokkians and other smaller than average races in mind. When she was finished examining the call and message logs she handed the phone to Ran so that she could do the same.

“Those logs could be faked.” Ran said as she tossed the Com-D to Junn. “You could have done all of this to cover your tracks. You let that man into the palace for some reason and now you’re trying to frame Quinn for murder.”

Ms Kim looked at Ran with a terrified expression on her face, “Please believe me, those call logs are genuine. I have no reason to lie about this,” she insisted. “Besides I wasn’t alone when this happened. There was another servant with me when Tigre Stripes approached me,” she said and Indigo thought she saw the slightest trace of a smile passing over the woman’s lips.

Read the next chapter: Chapter Eight

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