The Cimalian Princess: Clone
by AJ Marks
Admiral Jack White walked slowly with his wife, Mary, towards a new restaurant which opened near the base. Randy and Meia would join them for dinner much to the delight of Mary. She had taken Meia under her wing.
“So, how are things going at work?’ Mark asked.
“Oh, fine so far, nothing new to report though,” Jack said, wishing he actually had something to say.
“I guess that’s good news then,” she replied back to him.
Jack gave that some thought, but he would like to know where the Cimalians had gone. He did not think that an entire civilization could simply disappear without a trace. Scout ships had been sent and so far nothing, now they were sending ships into areas close by where they could go.
He turned into the restaurant instantly spotting Meia. Her blue hair made her stand out wherever she went. Sure a few teenagers colored their hair, but they hardly ever wore a flight uniform with their hair color. It was that combination which usually gathered the most attention.
“Well, I’ll be,” Mary exclaimed. “Meia’s wearing something other than her flight uniform.”
Jack glanced over finally able to see more than the top of her head. He had to admit, she appeared quite feminine tonight. She wore a dress and had her hair pulled back into a ponytail. He looked over seeing his son also in civilian clothes, a bit unusual for him.
“I guess they wanted to be more comfortable,” Jack said. He wore his admiral’s uniform, and proudly. After the invasion many had come up to him to say their thanks. They all called it a war, but few seemed to realize the war still was going on.
“Good evening sir, do you have a reservation tonight?’ the host asked.
“Yes, we’re joining another group here, the White reservation for four,” Mary answered.
“Of course,” he replied after looking down at the list. “This way please.”
Jack followed behind his wife as they were lead to the table with Randy and Meia.
“Randy, Meia,” Mary said. “It’s so good to see you two. I know that you’re awfully busy out there, but it’s nice to see you from time to time.”
“Mom, we saw you over the weekend.” Randy said.
“I know dear, but that’s a long time for a mother,” Mary replied back to him, not batting an eye.
Jack grinned knowing Randy wouldn’t win this argument. Jack knew from experience that Mary would continue talking long after he stopped. He looked over at Randy, giving a discreet nod before turning towards Meia. She seemed content watching the verbal battle between Randy and his mother. The waitress interrupted anything further, taking their order and disappearing in the back.
“So, I hear you’ve been testing the new fighter?” jack asked, looking over at Meia.
“Yes sir, the additional engine power for vectoring thrust makes them superior to the Vengeance fighter of the empire,” Meia replied.
“I see,” Jack said rubbing his chin. Meia’s casual se of ‘empire’ to mean the Cimalians bothered him at first, but after some thought realized a lifetime of use could not be undone in such a short time. She had gained their trust not by words, but by actions.
“Hmm, looks like the results of the election are coming in,” Randy said, looking up at the TV screen in one corner.
Jack twisted in his seat to see for himself. The government set up special elections after it came out that many had been part of the Cimalian Empire. He could not recall such a demand for action on the government. Jack had been approached by members of the Radicals to run but declined.
“I see Able Sauer is the current leader,” Mary said.
“He would do well,” Jack replied knowing the man.
“Things are changing it seems,” Randy replied. Jack had to agree considering everything which happened in the past couple of months.
“Have you settled in?” Mary asked, looking over at Meia.
“I still have moment where I have to remember where I am, and who I am now,” Meia replied.
“I’m glad to have you as part of my crew,” Randy said honestly.
“You know, we tried to recreate the crash, and the odds that you would survive, well, we had a hard time getting the computers to come up with a way for you to survive,’ Jack said, knowing they ahd tried for a month before getting a very small chance to survive.
“I guess truth is stranger than fiction at times,” Mary said.
They were interrupted by the waitress returning with their food, setting down several plates and silence lapsed for a few seconds as everyone tasted their food.
“Good choice mom,” Randy finally said.
“I knew everyone would enjoy it, how about you Meia dear,” Mary asked, looking over at the younger woman.
“It’s good,” Meia replied.
“How’s the Akagi coming along?” Jack asked, knowing he could look at the reports, but wanted to hear it straight from the captain, his son.
“Completed, doing a shakedown now. Well give those Cimalians a run now,” Randy answered.
“That’s good, because this war is only paused for now,” Meia said quietly to them.
Jack nodded his head already knowing that. The fact Meia echoed his thought only reinforced what he believed about the war despite what some said. He look down as his communicator buzzed. Reaching out he activated it watching as Chad’s face appeared on the screen.
“Sorry to disturb you admiral, but intelligence has something for you,” Chad said to him.
“I’ll be right there then,” Jack said, wondering if this would b the information he had been expecting for a couple of weeks now.
“Need me to go with you?” Randy asked.
“No, whatever this is will have to go through intelligence first before you get involved, finish talking with your mother,” Jack said, giving Mary a kiss and headed back to the base to find out what happened.
Meia watched as Randy’s father left. She felt glad that many felt as she did, the war was not over and they were taking the threat seriously. As long as her uncle remained Emperor the Cimalia Empire would threaten them.
“You really should dress up more often Maia, you look lovely tonight,” Mary said, interrupting Meia’s thoughts.
She looked over at Mary, then Randy who seemed to become very interested in his meal before Meia replied back. “Um, thank you. I haven’t been in a dress for years. Everything in the empire is geared towards the military.”
“Such a waste,” Mary said, turning to the two of them. “Now, let’s hear what’s been going on the last couple of days.”
Meia went back to her meal while listening to Randy answer his mother’s questions. Thankfully no questions were about the two of them. Meia knew the older woman thought they would go well together, but Meia did not feel ready for a relationship yet not when she had so many personal questions unanswered.
“So, what are you brooding about?” Mark asked. Meia looked up to see Mary looking at her.
“Um, nothing much,” Meia finally asked, wondering if she could get away with that answer.
“Dear, that face said more than nothing,” Mary said indicating she knew more as always. Meia began to wonder if the woman would read minds.
“Well, I guess everything,” Meia finally said. “My family, my past, seems like my entire life has been built upon a lie and drugs, but for what?”
“Well, the universe only reveals it’s answered on its terms. When the time is right you’ll receive your answers,” Mary replied to her.
“Is this another one of your predictions mom?” Randy asked.
“No, a simple observation from someone my age,” Mary replied with a smile to them.
Meia knew Randy’s mother had some ability to understand things beyond the normal, and some even said she could predict the future. Meia didn’t know if she believed in the future anymore. She watched as Randy’s communicator went off.
“Admiral White,” Randy answered.
“Randy, I need you to get back to the Akagi and prepare for a new mission,” she heard Randy’s father say. “We might have their position.”
The news created some excitement in Meia, a mixed of emotions pouring though her. Excited that the empire had been found, and yet dread at the fact it meant she might have to face her uncle.
“All right, be right there,” Randy said, looking over at his mom. “Sorry mom, but-“
“Something has come up, I understand. I’ve been married to your father for years,” she said to him. “Come back safely.”
Meia watched as the statement caught Randy off guard for a second. He paused looking as if he wanted to say something before giving her a kiss and looking over at Meia.
“I’ll walk your mom home and meet you back on board,” Meia said, knowing that any departures would take time.
“All right, if we need you I’ll have you paged,” Randy stated, then left the two of them alone in the restaurant.
The waitress returned with the check, which Mary paid for before they slowly made their way outside into the night. The night air had chilled slightly, different than on board a ship where the temperature remained almost constant. They passed a group of teenagers who stopped and looked at Meia.
“Are you that ace fighter pilot with blue hair?” one asked.
“Um, yeah,” Meia replied, unsure about that.
“Cool, I want to dye mine blue, but don’t think they can get it as dark as yours,” the girl replied
“Have you tried the Swamp and Asteroids over at Brairy?” Mary asked.
“No, do they do a good job?” another teenager asked.
“My daughter mentioned it as a good place,” Mary said.
“Okay, thanks,” the girl replied as the group continued on down the road talking about dying their hair.
“Seems you’re a bit of an inspiration to the younger crowd,” Mary said. “The kids today want to dye their hair again. Imitation is a form of flattery. Of course I’ve seen pink and green as well as blue.”
“I guess that’s not too bad, they could be saying other things about me,” Meia said, recalling the trials. She expected to be locked up as a soldier of the enemy, or even worse but she managed to emerge as a star. Her hair color had become a symbol among the younger people.
“So, what was your natural color?” Mary asked.
Meia had to think about that for a few seconds. “Blonde with a reddish tinge,” she finally replied. Her hair not had a blue tinge to it when she underwent the genetic modification. It was not noticeable in general unless she really looked, or didn’t shave certain areas of her body.
“It’s amazing what we can do with genetics these days,” Mary said, as they continued to walk before reaching the tram.
Taking that close to the base before heading to Mary’s house. There was something comforting about just walking with the older woman. Perhaps it had to do with the fact she treated her as a daughter, something she had not had in years, since her own mother was killed.
They stopped at the doorway to the house, and Mary turned looking very serious at Meia. “Trouble is coming child, be ready and be strong. Trust your instincts, they have served you well, they will again.”
“Um, all right,” Meia replied, a bit startled by the strength in Mary’s voice when she spoke and looked down at her feet. When she looked back up Mary’s expression had changed back into the kind motherly face.
“Now, you have a good night and I’ll see you later,” Mary said to her.
“You too,” Meia replied, turning to make her way back to the base. She pondered Mary’s words, wondering what the older woman might mean. What type of trouble was coming?
End part 1