The Cimalian Princess: Clone
by AJ Marks
Randy remained in the meeting room to see what his father, and the others, had to say to him. He felt he already knew what fleet command wanted and prepared himself for the question.
“Thanks for staying Randy,” Randy heard Hayes say and he turned towards the admiral waiting. “I think we’re all in agreement on who should be in command of this mission. We can’t think of anyone with more experience in dealing with the Cimalian than you and your staff, what do you say Admiral?”
Randy looked over the group, not rushing any decisions. No one else said anything, everyone waiting for his answer. He also knew Hayes was correct, he did know a lot about the Cimalian Empire, probably more than most.
“I’ll accept the mission on the condition I have some control of what’s going on. I don’t’ need me, my staff, or any of the ships under my command handcuffed by a politician at a critical moment,” Randy replied recalling how the politicians worked recently to make everything more dangerous.
“We might be able to do that, but you’ll have to accept some responsibility for diplomacy with the Cimalian Empire,” Hayes stated.
“I can accept that,” Randy replied, with Meia he felt he might have an advantage with diplomacy compared to someone else. “What I meant is if it fails and they attack, I don’t’ want to have my order delated because some diplomat wants to make a name for himself of is working for the Cimalian Empire.”
“We all understand that risk Randy,” his father stated. “However, this mission might keep another invasion from happening, it’s something we must do to help protect the Alliance.”
“I’ll do my best,” Randy replied knowing where they were coming from. “At what point can I consider them a threat?”
He watched them all shift a bit uncomfortably at the question before his father finally spoke up. “We’ll trust your experience and abilities to know the difference.”
Randy looked on as the meeting seemed to be over as every agreed with his father before Jack continued on.
“We all agree that you’re the best for this mission, from what you’ve told us Meia wouldn’t trust anyone back in the Cimalian Empire, and we do need her for any diplomacy to understand their point of view,” Jack said to him. Randy still felt unsure about diplomacy and if it would actually work.
“I’ll give it everything I’ve got,” Randy finally replied.
“I know you will,” Jack said. “Now, what type of timeline should we expect?”
“I think we should head out while we still know where the Cimalian Empire is,” Randy said, not sure he wanted to head out so soon, but knew if they could move so quickly they could move again.
“Then I’ll notify the captains of the Warspite and Hood to make ready,” Jack said.
Randy glanced over at Kim, Yvette and Nall, seeing no questions there and each expressed determination and confidence in Randy’s leadership. He only hoped he lived up to their expectations.
“We’ll head up and prepare our ships as well, and I’ll take the Eagle and Valiant,” Randy said, trying to take as may experience people as possible in case things went wrong later on.
Mia walked off the shuttle into the hanger of the Akagi quickly spotting a few people she recognized from Meia’s memories. She made her way to an older man watching him take a double look at her.
“Ah, I see you changed your hair back,” the man said when Mia got in hearing range.
“Yeah, decided being a blonde wasn’t me,” Mia said running her hand through her hair.
“Well, I think you look normal again,” the man stated to her.
“Thanks, I think,” Mia said frowning at the statement. “Well, checking to see how things are doing, I’ll probably be back later on after dropping by my quarters.”
No problem, you’re fighter will be here,” the man replied back to her.
Mia nodded before continuing on her way towards the elevator. Explaining her hair went easier than she expected. The only problem could come from things Ann had done. She felt the stares upon her as she continued on but continued towards her goal. She hoped Ann did nothing to destroy the reputation Meia had among the people of the Alliance, she needed those connections to destroy the Alliance.
Upon reaching her quarters she entered seeing things were mostly where she expected them to be. She guessed Ann spent little time in the quarters and hoped it would be a good thing. The last thing Mia needed was to have to explain her attitude lately.
Slipping into a new flight suit she headed out to the mess hall to grab something to eat before anything else happened.
Meia remained motionless waiting to see what happened next after pretending to eat the food they gave her. She had nothing to lose by playing the game to discovering an opportunity to escape, that was her goal now.
A clink indicated someone at the door before the sound of the door opening and footsteps entering the cell. Barely opening her eyes she watched the guards and their unconcerned attitude, she knew her abilities could knock them out, but once out of the cell she had no idea how things were laid out.
“Hey, come on, let’s get her up and out of here quickly, you know the boss doesn’t like us to waste much time,” one guard stated.
“Ah, she’s going nowhere, and drugged so she can’t do anything, what are you concerned with?” the second one stated.
“Yeah, well you’re a beta,” the first guard said, giving Meia some information and explaining the attitude of them. She figured the first guard to be a lower rank. “And I don’t want to be any longer than need be.”
“Fine,” the second said. “Not like she can do anything for the next couple of hours.”
Meia felt herself lifted and placed on a table. She needed as much information as possible if she was to escape and what they had planned for her. They led her out of the room and she watched seeing the point where it appeared security was weakest and saw no cameras but several doors, which could lead anywhere.
She thought of trying to escape now, but she wanted more information. She could try on the way back, the guards might have their guard down even more closer to the cell.
Entering the room it seemed like a laboratory to her with several people walking around. She spotted a familiar face finally recognizing Trina, who sat at a computer not looking in her direction.
“Well, let’s get this over with again,” someone said. “I need another batch of samples people, let’s be quick.”
Meia felt herself lifted off the gurney and onto another table hearing people walk all around the table and the gurney rolled away. She had no idea what this laboratory did, and hoped once she got away she could talk to Trina about it.
The hum of the computers indicated someone was working on something.
Jezic walked into the throne room, a place he found himself going to more and more often with another message for the emperor. The message seemed to have come from within the Alliance, probably one of the emperor’s spies but why it came through Jezic’s office he hoped to find out.
His footsteps echoed in the room even as he spotted the emperor sitting nearby watching Jezic approach.
“Emperor, a message sent for you,” Jezic said handing the datapad over as the emperor read over the message and a small smile appeared confusing Jezic.
“Good, very good,” Henry laughed. Jezic waited knowing he had yet to be dismissed and figured the emperor wanted more from him as he looked up. “Everything is going according to plan, is the 1st CF in position?”
“Admiral Wambu is awaiting orders,” Jezic replied.
“Good,” Henry replied. Jezic was not sure what the emperor planned but knew better than to disobey a direct order even as another question came to him.
“What about the 2nd and 3rd CFs? Jezic asked waiting for their orders.
“Tell Admiral Floyd of the 2nd CF to prepare to attack Pacifica on my orders,” Henry said surprising JEzic.
“Pacifica, isn’t that dangerous, attacking the headquarters for the Alliance fleet will not be easy,” Jezic replied knowing the planet had a lot of defenses.
“I am aware of that but with the other plans most of the Alliance battle-cruisers will have been destroyed by then,” Henry said. Jezic managed to hide his shock but worried about any losses to his own fleets, any losses would jeopardize his ability to defend Cimalius from attack.
“Then I should move the 2nd fleet into a different position, we should send fleets out without clear knowledge of the enemy defenses, especially if their engines overheat,” Jezic stated.
“Very well, use your descreation, but be quick as my agents tell me the time to attack draws close. Place the 3rd CF twenty minutes jump from Cimalius,” Henry ordered.
“By your will emperor,” Jezic replied with a bow and turned to leave.
“One more thing before I forget, I think after this mission I’ll have a reward for you,” Henry said.
“A reward, for me emperor?” Jezic replied back surprised but pleased. He had more than enough to live a comfortable life and had little else he required.
“Yes, a reward, Meia,” Henry said.
The name burned within Jezic, the single biggest reason for his largest failure. Revenge against her would be very sweet indeed after her role in stopping the invasion of the Alliance.
“You see, our agents finally captured her and she’s scheduled for execution, well one is,” Henry said chuckling a bit as Jezic caught on to what the emperor said.
“A clone?” Jezic said.
“Yes, the public execution will be, but I think a more fitting end to my dear ‘niece’ would be at the hands of those she betrayed the most,” Henry stated.
“I won’t be in trouble for harming an Alpha Superior?” Jezic asked wanting to know nothing would happen, usually the punishment for anything he had in mind was death.
“Make no mistake, she is no Alpha Superior,” Henry replied sharply, rising slightly to face Jezic.
“Of course emperor, forgive my slight,” Jezic said as the emperor seemed to regain himself.
“There is nothing to forgive my friend,” Henry said “you are only watching out for yourself as always, but remember Meia isn’t anything but an Epsilon, nothing more and nothing else.”
“Very well emperor, I shall look forward to it,” Jezic replied with the knowledge that he indeed looked forward to having his revenge on Meia and he would wait as long as needed to gain it.
“Then go and carry out your orders,” Henry said.
“By your will emperor,” Jezic said, bowing and this time leaving the room. He had work to do in reposition the fleets to prepare for the emperor’s grand plan.
Trina snuck peeks over at Meia while making sure no one else saw her and she thought she noticed something different this time about the young woman on the table. Trina had a hard time figuring it out until she noticed a look the woman had when she thought no one else was looking at her.
In that brief unguarded look Trina saw so much more than anyone else before coming to a startling realization, Meia was not drugged this time. How she managed it, or the guards forgot Trina did not know, but knew she would have to move quickly in case Meia made a move.
Trina continued her work to make sure no one caught her slacking off, a sure way to get a punishment. She had a feeling Meia was looking for a way to escape, which meant only one real spot for escape where the cameras were missing, a sore spot with the head of the department and constant bickering between him and security who talked so loudly everyone knew about it.
The question Trina had did Meia know about that security problem? If she didn’t how could Trina get that information to her? Perhaps she could cause some sort of security disruption?
She figured she had about an hour to come up with a distraction, after which everything would become automatic. She would help Meia, that much was certain and the rest, it would depend on how things unfurled.
End part 19