The Cimalian Princess: Clone
by AJ Marks
“We have a traitor from the empire here,” Meia heard her duplicate say.
She stood there facing off against her fake, ready for anything when she was attacked. Meia instinctively ducked, normally rolling right back up, but planting her right foot she heard a crack along with shooting pain up and down her leg. Her right leg buckled causing her to fall to the ground giving her opponent the advantage and a blow to the head left her feeling stunned.
She thought she heard yelling, including Randy saying stop, but she was had to quickly clear her head and managed to avoid a kick only by reflex and training. Lying on her back the attacker had the advantage, and the fact her right ankle was probably broken allowed her to only dodge, barely.
“The emperor will finally be rid of you,” the other Meia stated, starting a killing blow.
Meia heard the words, and knew she could not avoid the blow this time and it would take a miracle for her to survive. Her attacker suddenly stopped, her face changed from one of victory to confusion as the blow never landed. Instead her attacker slumped down, falling onto her already injured leg causing her cry out.
Two men came over lifting the body off her leg as Meia finally looked around again, spotting Randy not far away looking not at her, but beyond her into the hanger. She turned to see Ben standing there with a pistol in his hand as she realized he had been the one to shoot the other Meia.
She spotted Doctor Tommy Leaver heading over to her and for the first time allowed a small smile on her face.
“Hey doc,” Meia said to him, was he took a second to look back at her before smiling.
“Well, this will be an interesting story for sure, I can’t wait,” Tommy said, checking on the other Meia.
Meia looked over at Randy approached with some hesitation and saw the confusion in his eyes as he looked on. He seemed torn between despair and concern.
“Ben, you better have a good explanation about this?” Randy said looking over as Ben walked over and the doctor started to examine her leg.
“Its simple admiral, the woman I show wasn’t Meia, and I think we all know that,” Ben said stopping close by and surrendering his pistol to one of the guards.
“And you know this how?” Randy asked.
“The real Meia wouldn’t have started that fight, we both know that,” Ben stated.
“She did against her uncle, Senator Agnes,” Randy replied back to him, and Meia knew he had a valid point there, the rage upon learning what happened had spilled over back then.
“She also had a good reason, here there was no reason, only chaos,” Ben stated. “And for Meia to use a death blow on an opponent in this situation, no, she was someone else, I’m positive.”
“You better be right,” Randy said.
“Randy,” Meia said only to have the doctor ‘tsk’ at her leg’s condition.
“What,” Randy said looking down at her.
“Can we talk about this when my leg feels better, and I wash my hair, I don’t like being a blonde,” Meia said.
Those words seemed to get to Randy and she watched as he seemed to come to his senses.
“And then we can talk, and figure out where to eat when we get back,” Meia said, watching as Randy suddenly looked up.
“Get back, hold on,” Randy said leaving the hanger quickly.
Meia looked around as everyone seemed confused by what he said.
“We’re still in the middle of a battle,” Aaron finally said. The explanation seemed to make everyone realize what had happened before all of this. Now as Meia listened she realized the engine sound was different, the normal low pitched whine, but a higher pitch of when it was traveling through hyperspace. So they had managed to escape.
“She need to go to medlab, along with a few others,” Tommy said looking at Aaron.
“Fine, take a few guards,” Aaron replied, as Ben picked up Meia.
“Welcome back little one,” Ben said as they left the hanger headed to the medlab to fix her leg.
Randy made his way quickly to the bridge glad that the ship appeared to still be intact and he felt no impacts from any weapons fire. He reached the bridge, scanning the bridge and the crew for any indication that anything might be wrong but saw no one with panic. He spotted Kim and made his way over to where Kim stood, looking back at him, waiting.
“Everything all right?” Randy asked first.
“Yeah, went into hyperspace about five minutes ago, had most of the fighters land in beta bay due to what was going on in alpha. It was a squeeze, but they managed,” Kim said. “We’ll have to shuttle the fighters around to Alpha bay when we drop out of hyperspace.”
“I see,” Randy said taking it all in. “Then I guess I rushed up here for nothing. What about the rest of the fleet?”
“All indications are all ships left in time,” Kim replied back to him.
“Good, then I want a full report of damage when we arrive, including any of the other ships, anything I should be aware of,” Randy said.
“Sir, what happened on the hanger deck?” Hans asked speaking up and Randy figured it was the question on everyone’s mind on the bridge.
“I’m not sure,” Randy replied truthfully, he still had a hard time wrapping his mind around it all. “I have a feeling we’ll learn a lot more in the next couple of hours. Until then, let’s not spread rumors about things.”
He looked at everyone making sure they understood what he said. He did not want rumors spreading around which were probably false when no one even knew the truth yet. Making his way back off the bridge he decided to head down and see if the other men on the shuttle might know something which could reveal the truth behind the mystery of the situation.
“Yo, skip, what’s going on around here?” Randy heard John say as they spotted each other.
Randy waited a bit for John to catch up at the elevator. “Not sure what you mean John,” Randy said wondering what rumors were already spreading throughout the ship.
“I’m hearing a rumor that Ben shot Meia, but he really didn’t shoot her, it doesn’t make any sense. So come on, what’s the truth?” John asked as the elevator doors closed.
“Well, it seems that what you said actually sums it up, I think,” Randy said, still unsure about it all himself. He was a bit dismayed that the rumors were already circulating.
“Now you’re not making any sense,” John replied back.
“I’m trying to figure it all out,” Randy stated. The elevator stopped allowing him off and headed towards the hanger with John right behind him. His friend’s curiosity probably got the better of him right now even as Randy made his way towards Aaron.
“Admiral,” Aaron said as Randy approached.
“They all in there?’ Randy asked motioning towards a small area where the guards were.
“Yes sir, they have given us no problems,” Aaron replied back to him.
Randy nodded then waited for the guards to move aside to allow him to enter the room. Inside were four men who watched his approach in silence, and he recognized the look from so many others from the Cimalian Empire they had captured. Sitting down he looked over at the other two were sitting down as well.
“I’m Admiral Randy White, and this is John,” Randy said introducing them both and earning a slight glare from john at the lack of titles. Randy wanted to keep somethings a secret as he did not yet know who they were talking to and he wanted more information
“Markus, and this is Zachery,” the man sitting said, introducing the other man sitting as well.
“Perhaps you can help us out, I’m trying to figure out what exactly happened here,” Randy said hoping they would talk.
“We don’t know much either,” the man replied. “We’re only helping Meia get transport off the planet, or at least that was the original plan but she changed it, persuaded us to come along as well. Not sure it was worth it.”
“Seems like she is like that,” Randy said before he even realized what he said. Something inside him told him that Meia was the real one, but it raised more questions than any answer he had, and some he didn’t want to think about. “What do you of the other Meia?”
“Don’t know nothing, we’re Gamma class citizens, the government doesn’t tell us anything if they don’t want to. Even the rebellion doesn’t tell us much, we’re slowly trying to gain a better tomorrow with more freedom,” Markus said back to him.
Randy nodded in understanding, but gain some information as well, there was a rebellion going on in the Cimalian Empire. The problem was if they succeeded what type of leadership would take over, it could even be worse.
He knew who he would have to talk to next and figure out the answers he really needed.
Jezic made his way into the Emperor’s throne room knowing the information he had wouldn’t be received well by the Emperor. Everything had failed somehow, including the Alliance knew where they were, not that it was a large problem, but the fact Meia managed to escape posed a larger and bigger threat. He wondered what type of reaction he would receive from the Emperor, or if he already knew.
He made his way in seeing the Emperor behind his desk, looking up at him.
“What happened?” Henry asked.
“The Alliance fleet managed to escape, they were ready for a quick escape,” Jezic said. “It also appears the rebels attacked a different port allowing Meia to escape.”
“WHAT!” Henry shouted making Jezic wince and wait a few seconds before answering the question he knew the Emperor had.
“It appears the rebels attacked a Delta port instead of the Gamma port like we had been told,” Jezic said having put it all together now that things were done. “The rebels escaped in the shuttle and managed to board one of the Alliance battle-cruisers which came at the same time.”
“Yes, I thought I heard Meia talking during the battle, but why didn’t the 1st and 3rd CFs destroy that ship and the Alliance fleet?” Henry asked.
“It appears the Alliance commander, an Admiral Randy White, is a good leader as well. He must have hyperspaced in from a short distance away allowing their ships to quickly recharge their engines allowing for a quick escape. By the time the 3rd CF arrived the Alliance fleet left, he must have ordered a retreat the moment he spotted the 1st CF incoming,” Jezic replied. “In fact, it seems that the Alliance fleet was waiting for Meia to board, almost as if they knew the Meia on board their ship was a clone.”
“It doesn’t matter, we’ll still have our execution, it will make people believing her harder if she comes back,” Henry replied stroking his chin. “Is there any word on how she managed to escape?”
“It appears she didn’t eat the drug when they took her to the room, and the guards failed to make sure she was properly drugged before removing her from the room,” Jezic said having talked to the security commander. “They think she had been planning this for a while with the help of another employee who allowed her to escape.”
“Another employee helped her?”
“Yes sir, her name is Trina, I have her file right here,” Jezic stated, handing the file over to the Emperor.
He watched as Henry’s face went red at the information before he seemed to calm down slightly.
“Have the 2nd CF patrol the planet, destroy any ship which even makes contact, no questions,” Henry said.
“By your will,” Jezic said, bowing to carry out the order. He felt it was a bit too late, something they should have done some time ago. The 1st CF should have been waiting for this Alliance fleet, not hiding, it would have been in position to destroy Meia before reaching the Alliance, instead it took precious time to reach Cimalius.
He knew what he was planning next, war.
End part 27