Chapter 12 Summary
In the royal palace, Prince Kai stands outside of a glass quarantine wall and looks in at his dying father. The emperor only has a few days left to live. Torin, his adviser, says hesitantly that it is time to start preparing Kai to become emperor. Kai refuses; he is not ready. He decides to go down to the research facility and ask whether Dr. Erland has made any progress.
In the elevators on their way to see Dr. Erland, Kai and Torin meet a woman named Sybil Mira. As always, Kai shivers when he sees her. She is a Lunar—a person from the moon. Lunars are greedy, cynical people who use their mysterious mind control powers to get whatever they want.
Sybil Mira is a representative of the Lunar queen, Levana. Queen Levana has a tense relationship with Kai’s kingdom, as with the other countries of Earth. Before the emperor contracted letumosis, Queen Levana offered a peace treaty, on the condition that he marry her and make her empress of the Eastern Commonwealth. He refused.
Gravely, Sybil Mira explains that Queen Levana understands that the emperor is no longer healthy enough to accept her offer. Now she wants to marry Kai. This offer appalls Kai, who cannot maintain his usual courtly politeness. He refuses flatly to marry Queen Levana, and he stalks away.
When they are out of Sybil Mira’s earshot, Kai and Torin discuss their options. Kai points out that it would be dangerous to marry a Lunar, especially the ruthless Queen Levana. In such a position of power, she would use her mind control abilities to enslave Kai’s people. Torin agrees, but they both know that Kai has few options. Letumosis and a poor economy have placed the Eastern Commonwealth in a weak position.
Kai wishes aloud that he were already married. If he were, Queen Levana could not make her awful demand. Torin jokes dryly that Kai may meet a beautiful girl at the upcoming ball, fall in love with...
(The entire section is 516 words.)