seraphis

Is there something more that I can’t see?
But your ways are different they call out to me
No matter what I do you always stay the same
And I will have the choice to say
There is more to this life I am living

There is more
There is more

And even amidst the struggle of finding the man
That you have called me to be
Your love reminds me
That though I am broken I am still standing
I am still screaming!

okay guys so i just watched jupiter ascending and it’s GREAT I LOVE IT A LOT

and i just keep thinking of that moment when caine crashes the wedding, gun out, and goes, “may i kill him?”

and jupiter presses her hand on the book, waits until the ring is executed, until she is the legal wife of titus, and says, “you may.”

caine shoots titus dead, doesn’t hesitate. jupiter looks over all the synthetic droids, away from the blood pooling beneath titus’s cooling body, and says, “i am your queen now. your lord is dead.” and they are used to power struggles, used to loss, so they get on their knees and bow.

everything that was titus’s is now hers, and she’s read the laws pertaining to marriage in the code of conduct, and she’s a smart girl. she’s good with legalese, she has the aegis take her back to the hall of titles first thing. her husband is pronounced dead, and she flashes her executed ring and receives an amendment to her seal. “reclaiming your empire, my lady?” the old man asks her this time, wary of her in a way he hadn’t been before. she’s still in her wedding dress, because what way to make a statement. “something like that,” she answers.

then the missive comes from balem, and she turns to caine. “will you fight for me?” she asks him. she already knows the answer.

“till my last breath, majesty,” he says, bowed low before her.

she half smiles, “good. stay here.” because this isn’t a fight she can win with murder, not this time. so she goes in, alone, to save her family. she plays the simpering, scared bride, which isn’t hard because she’s actually terrified. she spins a lie, says caine killed titus on his own, she tried to stop him, but he wouldn’t listen to him. how animal. how savage. it’s what she gets for trusting a splice. and he’s off balance enough to listen. tries to persuade her - she can keep the rest of titus’s planets, just give balem back the earth, and they can live in piece. just sign here, darling girl, to abdicate. and jupiter bats those pretty eyes and slams balems hand down on the tablet, reordering the names on the contract with a few flicks of her fingers. “you’ve been a bad boy while i was away,” she says, watching that madness flicker to life in his eyes, baiting him as if she were seraphi, and watches in satisfaction as the seal goes in place and balem unwillingly abdicates his throne to her.

“you work for me now,” she tells the strange lizard people. balem attacks her, but the biggest one intercepts, pinning balem to the ground by his throat. they are loyal to the one with the power, and now that’s jupiter.

“should i kill him, my lady?” he asks, and chicanery’s eyes are wide and pleading, fingers twitching to help his fallen lord.

“no,” she sits on balem’s throne. her throne. “imprison him. i want him guarded constantly.”

and jupiter jones, the reoccurance of serpahi abrasax is now easily the most powerful being in the multiverse. next she has the aegis take her to kalique, and jupiter finds her in that hall with the shrine to her mother. “have you come to kill me too?” she asks, voice hollow. “there’s no need for subterfuge or manipulation with me. upon my death, all i have will go to you as the last remaining abrasax.” she laughs and shakes her head, “i should have known. mother was always - she did so love her power.”

“i’m not your mother,” she says, “and my name is jupiter jones.”

“i suppose forty one thousand years is long enough,” kalique continues, “its been a - a good life, miss jones. i’ve enjoyed it, i think.”

“i’m not here to kill you,” she says, coming to stand besides the woman who is, genetically speaking, her daughter. “i’m not here to take your planets, or your wealth.”

she blinks, “why not?”

“because you didn’t try and use me and hurt me,” she says, “you wanted me to have the earth so balem wouldn’t - fair enough. but that’s it. that was your only play.”

“i loved my mother,” kalique looks back at her statue, “i loved my mother, and we didn’t get along, but i was hoping - hoping that maybe - you are her, you know,” her eyes slide back to jupiter, “every bit of your genetic code is identical to hers. our dna would still name me your daughter.”

“i know,” jupiter says softly, “and i can’t let this - this monstrosity of an industry continue.”

“if you stop it, which you certainly have the power to do, you will destroy the economy of the multiverse, and people will wage intergalactic wars over it. the number of people that will die is - unimaginable,” kalique answers honestly.

“I know,” she answers, “and i don’t want to do that. i want to change it.”

“jupiter?”

“don’t you think this has been a bit of a waste, the way you’ve been harvesting people?” she asks, “you’ll get what, eight billion lives out of earth? what if you could pluck people from the jaws of death - they live a natural normal life, die as fate allows, grow old or dont - and at the last moment, we snatch them back and harvest them.”

“the technology to accomplish that is -” kalique blinks, then frowns, “theoretically possible, i suppose. but it would take so much longer to implement. not all people are suitable for the formula.”

“yes,” jupiter allows, “but consider this - every one hundred years or so, you gain a couple billion lives. a natural resource that never ends.” it hurts jupiter to talk of people this way, but its the only middle ground she can think of. people have to die. it’s not natural to live ninety one thousand years. a normal life for her people, peace for the universe she’s found herself a royal in. its not a pretty line she’s walking, but it’s a fair one. a bearable one.

kalique looks at her and almost smiles, and this is the beginning of how jupiter jones and kalique abrasax take over the whole damn universe, for better or worse.

3

Seraphi Abrasax - bringer of life and death, queen, businesswoman and sexy space mom.

(These shots are actually from a new Gemfields commercial starring Mila, but they match my mental image of Seraphi Abrasax so perfectly I couldn’t help but use them as such. These images are basically what I imagine haunting Balem on a daily basis for thousands of years, literally driving him mad.)

Hogwarts House Headcanons

Jupiter Jones: Hufflepuff. She’s loyal to her family, unafraid of toil, and most importantly interested in the greater good because it’s the greater good: she’s willing to sacrifice everything, including her life and the lives of her family, because it’s the right thing to do. And she doesn’t make that decision recklessly or to show off, which a Gryffindor might have.

Caine Wise: Harry Potter-style Gryffindor, in that he has an obvious Saving People Thing. Only a Gryffindor would go through a fleet of Warhammers AND a planetary storm just because he thought it was the right thing. And he totally has the Gryffindor sense of showing off: there’s no reason to carry her bridal style out a window to your waiting ship, Caine.

Balem Abrasax: Percy Weasley-style Gryffindor. He’s relentlessly ambitious, which might have made him a good Slytherin, except he makes rash decisions (like planning to harvest Earth) that actively hurt his ambitions out of spite. Brave, yes, but not terribly cunning.

Kalique Abrasax: Slytherin. Out of the three, she’s the only one to actually gain from Jupiter’s Ascent, largely because she knows how to manipulate people without setting herself up for failure later (which Titus and Balem fail to do).

Titus Abrasax: Slytherin. He doesn’t have any ambition except to have fun, though he does try to be cunning. Unfortunately, he’s more of a “born into wealth” kind of Slytherin: like Draco Malfoy, he’s more comfortable letting other people do his dirty work, and isn’t terribly clever.

Seraphi Abrasax: We have no way of knowing what her personality was (because everything we hear of her is from unreliable narrators), but I’m going to go with Ravenclaw because of her fascination with Earth, not for its wealth but for its beauty. I can only assume “beauty” means “having a rich abundance of fascinating new things to study.”

Stinger Apini: Ravenclaw. He has an extensive academic understanding of the universe, but is also intelligent in a kinetic/technical way and is deeply insightful about people’s motivations.

Kiza Apini: Hufflepuff. She’s kind and generous and, I think, more focused on making sure her dad isn’t worrying about her than she is about herself and her health.

Diomika Tsing: Classic Gryffindor, in that she is willing to bend the rules for the sake of the greater good (“However, off the record…”). Her crew are probably also mostly Gryffindors, in that they are brave and loyal to her.

Chicanery Night: Ravenclaw. Intelligent and cunning, but more on the intelligence side than the cunning side: notice he tells Balem if things are inadvisable because the facts say so, but doesn’t seem to gain anything personally.

Famulus: Slytherin. The actually cunning kind of Slytherin. There is no way you can convince me that she isn’t the one running the entirety of Titus’ business operations and skimming off the top because he’s too busy having zero-G space orgies to focus on anything.

Malidictes: Ravenclaw. He’s an owl Splice, ffs.

Razo & Ibis: Slytherin. They sell to the highest bidder and are only loyal to each other. 

The Bolotnikovs: Muggles, all of them, though I’m going to guess that if they had magic, Vladie would be the Slytherin in a family of Hufflepuffs.

Maximillian Jones: Ravenclaw. Freezing to death for the pursuit of knowledge? Naming your child after a planet? DYING to protect a telescope? NERD.

2

Perhaps the best thing about the famous scream of “GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” is the way it comes completely out of nowhere. The gif’d shots are sequential (I haven’t skipped a frame), but whereas he’s all calm and chill in the top one he’s a screeching piss-baby in the bottom one.

Also, this is basically a toddler tantrum thrown by a 50,000-year-old man. I’m amazed Seraphi got past the terrible twos, let alone the terrible twenties, the terrible two hundreds, the terrible two thousands, the terrible twenty-thousands, etc., etc.

Enmeshed Parent and Child

the parent gets their needs met by their child instead of getting them met by asking other adults. Parent doesn’t let child grow up and any small movement towards independence is seen as an attack by the parent.  

of course there are moments of retaliation at such an injustice that the child doesn’t understand why they are angry.

The drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller
The Narcissistic family: diagnosis and treatment

Okay this got… sort of out of control and took on a rambly craziness of its own, but here it is, the high school au funtimes:

So we start off with Jupiter, who is of course the normal high school girl in the not-so-normal high school who just wants to, you know, do normal teenage stuff and have a normal teenage existence and hopefully get good grades and maybe go to a few parties and maybe get a nice boyfriend, or something, alright, but she soon comes head to head with the Abrasaxes, teenage royalty a bizarre group of kids who are the children of Seraphi Abrasax, an incredibly famous local business tycoon. Seraphi has three kids, each a year apart (Jupiter wonders what she was thinking having three kids back to back like that, as do many others, especially since Seraphi Abrasax never seems to age, like, ever, and it freaks everyone in town out a little bit), and nobody knows who their father is, not even the Abrasax kids, who are afraid to ask and frankly, don’t really care because when you have a mom like Seraphi a second parent just doesn’t seem that important.

First is Balem, a senior and on track to become valedictorian. Anyone who might have challenged him in this title gave up the fight in kindergarten probably because it is just so obviously going to go to Balem. He’s super intense, and Jupiter while doesn’t have many run ins with him initially, the whole school talks about Balem constantly, and there’s all kinds of crazy rumors about him that Jupiter is just plain scared to even consider the majority of.  He’s president of half a dozen clubs, and actually shows up to all the meetings, much to the surprise of everyone really, including the teachers, because Balem has a way of making people think his entire continued existence is both a true gift to everyone and also an incredible effort on his part, which can be said about the majority of teenagers, but Balem manages to turn such histrionics into true art form. He’s also on the tennis team for some reason, which is just…weird, for everyone involved, and he’s not even captain, he just seems to really enjoy being able to play and scream at the same time.  When Seraphi doesn’t attend his matches he throws a fit, though this is usually done in private and is only known about to a select few, but of course someone (probably Titus) started a rumor about it years ago, so now very very brave students occasionally whisper “mommy’s boy” behind his back.

Kalique is a junior and is smooth, cool, fashionable, pretty much everything you’d expect from Queen Bee of the school.  She was captain of the cheerleading squad in middle school but now sees such pursuits as beneath her, so she captains the swim team in high school and there’s few weird rumors about her liking to swim in the school pool in the nude, but there’s yet to be any substantial proof of this. She’s dated quite a few people, but nobody seems to be good enough Kalique Abrasax, plus she’s growing annoyed by the fact that her and Titus have dated more and more of the same people (Balem doesn’t date, as he thinks it’s a waste of time, though there are a couple of students who are inexplicably–the tragedy of human existence is sometimes impossible to understand, after all–deeply in love with him.)  Unlike her older brother Kalique is not entirely academically gifted, though she seems to breeze through her classes with a bored sort of ease, and ends up as Jupiter’s physics lab partner.  For the first entire half the year Kalique gets Jupiter to do all the work without Jupiter even realizing it, though when she does she is Pissed and tells Kalique off, which is crazy because nobody ever tells Kalique Abrasax anything, even some of the teachers have a mild sort of unease about assigning her homework.

Titus Abrasax as a sophomore has somehow managed to rule the school in a way that even his brother and sister don’t.  He’s dated, like, everyone, like Jupiter is pretty sure everyone in the school has had some sort of romantic involvement with Titus Abrasax at some point, even that Caine guy, who we will get to next.  How he has managed this in such a short period of time is unknown; everyone is fairly certain he attends most of his classes, and he never seems to get detentions for any absences or tardies he might have accrued while chasing his next target, though it is possible that Balem and Kalique have been quietly covering up for him (the siblings relationship is, unsurprisingly, incredibly complicated and unknowable and impossible to understand, and Jupiter doesn’t want to begin to try, but they seem to look out for each other, at least when other, lesser beings are involved). Titus doesn't do extracurricular activities, probably because making out with the entire school is a full time job, but someone overheard Balem telling him that if he doesn’t pick out something that he can put on his college application soon Seraphi is going to disown him, which is an exaggeration–probably.

And then there is Caine, who is just a mess, really.  Jupiter meets him one day when she’s fed up with this school and its Abrasax family freak show, and being sixteen-year-old Jupiter Jones, finds his oddities endearing, but I’m gonna be straight with you guys: Caine is a tragically typical piece of teenage work. The first notable thing about Caine is his size, because he looks like a full grown man in high school, and not just any full grown man, a really well put together full grown man, which will certainly work to his advantage later in life, but surrounded by a bunch of still-growing teens, he looks a little odd and out of place, and people seem to naturally gravitate away from him because of that. Second is the eye liner, because wow, Caine wears a lot of eye liner, like Balem and Titus have been known to raid Kalique’s make up drawer, but by virtue of being Cool Rich Kids they pull it off flawlessly (by teenage standards), and more importantly, without anybody saying anything.  For Caine, it unfortunately only labels him as more of a freak, and for people who knew him in elementary school there’s the uncomfortable memory of when he liked to bite people constantly, so that doesn’t really help his reputation either.  He also roller blades to school, and he doesn’t even live that close, like he should probably take the bus, but no, Caine Wise wakes up at 5am every morning just so he can roller blade to school, which immediately disqualifies him from being able to cozy in with the weird skater punks, because honestly, nobody should like skating that much.

And so Caine is a weird loner and Jupiter is tired of doing Kalique’s homework, knowingly or not, and they spend their time trying to figure out how to they can mess with the Abrasaxes as much as possible, and of course, because Caine is a simple creature of simple pleasures, teaching Jupiter how to skate. Jupiter gets an internship working for Seraphi, or, more accurately, sort of accidentally starts working at Abrasax Industries one day when she shows up for a study session with Kalique (because really, that girl is going to contribute something to this lab partnership one day, even if Jupiter has to nearly stalk her) and everybody starts to assume that she’s Seraphi–which again, Jupiter thinks, is really weird, how does the Abrasaxes’ mom manage to be confused with a teenager. She is hired by Madame Abrasax herself because she thinks Jupiter “has good potential” after watching her finally get fed up with telling everyone she’s not really Seraphi and starts ordering them around.  This, of course, messes with all three Abrasaxes’ heads terribly, but especially Balem’s, who begins to think that Jupiter is moving in on his territory (”what does that even mean?” Jupiter asks Caine repeatedly) and so Balem and Jupiter start going head to head on a number of issues, which is really annoying, especially since Jupiter hasn’t yet completely worked out the whole “Kalique uses me as a free ride to an A in physics” thing, nor has she gotten Titus to stop hitting on me I look like your mom dude that’s gross (Titus, somehow, doesn’t see it).  Balem, who somehow finds time to work at Abrasax Industries after school even between studying, being president of everything, and reasonably good at tennis, tries to force Jupiter out of her job, and Jupiter, who didn’t particularly care about the job at first, finds herself not wanting to give into Balem, and that she actually has begun to enjoy Seraphi’s line of work– whatever the hell that is, she’s still not totally sure but it makes her feel better that Balem doesn’t seem to completely know either.

Caine, meanwhile, is wanted by, like, every sports team in school, mostly because he’s so huge (seriously, was he held back? everyone asks, once the weird eye liner skating kid starts popping up on everyone’s radar now that he’s involved with Jupiter Jones, that girl who looks like the Abrasax lady and Balem loathes (also the only one who won’t date Titus, which the rest of the school is relieved by because they too realize how obviously creepy it is.)) The coaches at school have actually always wanted Caine on their various teams, probably since he showed up as a 6′ freshman, but Caine has this inferiority complex a mile wide and believes nobody wants him, for anything, ever, and all these guys trying to recruit him are just doing it as some sort of elaborate, long running joke.  It is only after ending up in Vice Principal Tsing’s office for getting into fights with that motorcycle chick and her gang (”I have no idea what their problem with me is!” and Tsing sighs, because indeed, she too has no idea what those kids’ problem is with anyone) that she finally manages to begin to make Caine think he is actually worth something, and recommends him to Coach Stinger, who coaches the hockey team.  Caine only has a minor moment of horror before Jupiter and Coach Stinger manage to convince him that ice skating can be just as much fun as roller skating, and this way you get to run into people, which Caine admittedly loves, because he’s sort of a scrappy guy at heart (he may have said some things to egg on motorcycle chick and her gang, which Tsing realized and decided to attempt to channel into something more productive) plus he really loves the way Jupiter looks at him when he’s in his hockey gear.

By the end of the year Balem has graduated, to the relief of pretty much everyone, and gone off to college, but he still comes back on holidays to scream about how Jupiter is stealing his rightful position at the company. Kalique still hasn’t lifted a finger to help in physics labs, but Jupiter gets a better grade in the class than her so she decides to count it as a victory. Titus hasn’t gotten Jupiter to date him yet, and has started to take it sort of weirdly, like, why does everyone think it’s so gross that he wants to date her? Caine has lost three teeth but is incredibly happy, not to mention can finally apply eye liner much nicer, thanks to Jupiter’s tutelage. Jupiter doesn’t think she has much of a future at Abrasax Industries, and Seraphi has mused over selling it before her kids can takeover, as they, she thinks, are far better suited for other professions, but she is also concerned about what this company is doing to her, and what it might do to them, but Jupiter, oblivious to all this, just wants to hang out with her hot awesome boyfriend.  And on that note, I haven’t really gotten into the nitty gritty details of Jupiter and Caine’s courtship, but it’s probably too painful to consider for very long, as while Jupiter is a girl who generally knows how to go after what she wants, Caine’s transformation into a guy who skates even more now, just on ice, and hits people for sport instead is really only small step in a better direction, and it probably took considerable effort on Jupiter’s part to get him to come around to the whole idea, even if he too was crazily into her.

The Economics of Time and the Will of Seraphi Abrasax

Some things I would love to see explored.  This is less meta and more a wish list for fanfic and impossible extra $200 million space movies.

One of fireofspring’s wonderful meta posts reminds usthat TIME is considered the most valuable resource in the JA universe.  It’s fascinating to think about, because wemere mortals aren’t used to thinking of time as something that can be bought or sold or controlled in any truly significant way.  It’s pretty obvious that time is meant to be analogous to energy (on Earth), and that Regenex is analogous to oil - that is, Regenex is the dominant way of trading in “more time,” and that the economy is built around it.  I’ll bet you there are “solar power” and “wind farm” analogs in the JA universe that are all about alternate ways of producing more time without the use of Regenex.   

(x)

In this framework, your wealth correlates directly to how many “extra lives” you can buy. Maledictes even uses the phrase when speaking to Kalique about the bounty hunters.  “They want another life – we can give it to them.”  Thus, the inheritance that you leave to your children correlates directly to how many years of extra life you leave them…and isn’t that a chilling thought?  Wills have long been indicators of how favorably the deceased viewed you, but to have a will be a direct statement of how much longer they want you to live?  

Seraphi left Balem the largest and most valuable inheritance.  In practical terms, that means the most fruitful planets and the biggest Regenex refinery on Jupiter (theorizing here).  In emotional terms…this would make it appear to everyone that Seraphi wanted Balem to live the longest.  Now THERE’S drama for you.  And her three direct children are only her PRIMARY heirs.  What about secondary heirs?  Tertiary?  How much time could Seraphi Abrasax have bought, and how much time did she leave to each one of her beneficiaries?  

And I don’t believe for a second that Seraphi didn’t have something else going on.  She was a 91,000 year old matriarch of an empire based on genocide; this is not a person that lets her children have what she built easily.  The LEGAL statement might have left Balem the most time, but the children are still squabbling about who Mommy loved the most an unknown amount of time after her death. Seraphi had the brains to play her children off against each other – probably through the affection she exhibited, certainly through their inheritances, maybe even through the amount of time she left between each of their births.  She gave each of them a weapon against the other two.  

My theory is that Seraphi left Balem the biggest monetary advantage, Titus with the most “emotional” ground (she must have given him the most cooing and coddling while alive), and Kalique with the most valuable of all – her ability to scheme ahead.   If you look at the way each of the siblings reacted to Jupiter, it’s clear that Kalique has the most brains of the lot.   Kalique gets what neither Titus nor Balem could quite manage – Jupiter’s trust and willing cooperation.  “She’s on our side!” Jupiter exclaims to Caine when he comes flying in.  Boom – Kalique has the heir to Seraphi’s estate on her side, and is in an ideal position to play Jupiter as a puppet for the Regenex empire.  And notice her quick save when she learns about the Aegis – “I was going to take you myself,” she sighs to Jupiter, signaling yet again that she is a legitimate ally and a friend.  Kalique probably didn’t have any plans of the sort, but Jupiter definitely regards her in a friendlier light than, say, Titus or Balem.  

(x)

Now WHY did Seraphi leave her children so bitter and competitive?  Wouldn’t a united House Abrasax be much better for dominating the market?  She had thousands of years to raise them, to forge them into a single fighting force for the empire.  Hmmmm…wasn’t Seraphi the one who hated her life?  The one who was “affected” by the harvests?  The one that…maybe…wanted to stop this whole ugly cycle of genocide for Regenex?  And what better way to do that than to engineer a gradual take-down of one of the cornerstones of the market from the inside?

House Abrasax needs a historical-drama TV show. In space.  

My other JAsc posts: 

On the Utility of Space Bees: why honeybee splices make sense in space

Caine Wise Headcanons and Thoughts Part 1/?

Space Angel Werewolves and Food Issues: Caine Wise Headcanons Pt. 2/?

Entitled to What?  Thoughts on the Royalty of Jupiter Ascending

Papa Abrasax

Ok, so I have so many questions about this family of delightful trash monsters, but my biggest one at the moment is…. what’s the deal with the Abrasaxes’ dad?

Do they have a father? Does one NEED a father in this universe or is reproduction possible without one?

If they did have one, why isn’t he around now? Did Balem kill him in a fit of Oedipal rage? Did Seraphi kill him? Did he kill himself rather than deal with his trash monster children anymore?

Did he turn into an owl and fly away back to the Goblin City?

Like, what’s the deal?