The Cimalian Princess: Rebellion
by AJ Marks
Emperor Henry went back over the reports on the screen in front of him updating him on what the resistance and other such groups were doing lately. It also had the official reports of what security knew about the resistance after the latest rounds of interrogations. There was nothing there which he already didn’t know about how Meia escaped. A woman named Trina helped who had been part of the resistance. When she brought Meia to the resistance it was in his hands.
It appeared his niece recognized who had been in control of the resistance, something she should not have been able to do. Thinking like this on her own meant she was becoming a bigger threat to his plans. He figured she would be like her father, who never figured anything out either.
“Emperor, a message for you,” an aide said bowing at the interruption.
“Put it though,” Henry said, wondering who might be falling at this time of day. The screen switched allowing someone from intelligence to appear. “This better be good,” Henry said.
“Sire, I believe we’ve received word of something you want to know about,” the man replied. “Word is something strange is going on within the Alliance military and political structures.”
“Really? And what might that be?” Henry asked waiting to hear this.
“Reports are that Meia’s been rounding up support for an invasion of Cimalius with the Alliance’s help,” the man replied back.
“Interesting, but this only helps me out even more. Perhaps is time for another attack, yes, push up the schedule. I want another attack with a few days, this time we’ll target,” he paused to look at a different set of figures. “Make it Gamel, its an apartment complex in sector eighty-five, we can blame the Alliance again for this.”
“By your command sire,” the man replied back before the screen went dark.
“Dangerous times and risky plans lead to failure at the weakest points,” a child-like voice said in a sing-song tone.
“Don’t you have some toys to play with, or someone else to bother?” Henry replied back annoyed with the child.
“Already played with them,” she stated.
Henry looked on at the shadows watching as a child’s figure appeared. She might be only five-years old but this clone of Meia was someone he had already passed off as his daughter and heir to the throne.
“I’d be careful if I were you, you can still be replaced,” Henry said to her. “I’m sure they have enough material to create another clone if needed.”
“Of course, but change me too much and others will question it,” she replied back with a laugh and retreating back into the shadows. “Ah, poor papa, pushed himself into a corner he has. The spider and fly are going to dance one day, is your web complex enough?”
Henry started to reply before realizing she had disappeared once more. He gave some thought to making another clone, this time one which wasn’t so intelligent, or losing some of these skills she seemed to process. He had forgotten that a young Meia did the same things at the academy. Either way he would have to do something about her, soon.
Meia noticed a few more glances in her direction as she walked the corridors of the Akagi. So far few had protested to any of her suggestions to make the crew more like a Cimalian culture. She disliked the class system her people used, and hoped it would cause confusion to anyone who tried to spy on the fleet. Making another turn she found herself on the hangar, not quite where she wanted to go but made her way over to her fighter anyways.
“Meia, how are you doing?” a voice asked, causing her to turn to see Ben walking towards her.
“Is stressed too weak a term,” Meia replied back giving him a smile.
“I think stress is a strong enough term to use,” Ben answered now standing beside her. “But doesn’t answer my question lass, how are you doing?”
Meia looked back at him, seeing his dark eyes look back at her with concern.
“Realistically, really, really stressed,” Meia said with a sigh. “I mean I feel like I’m the only thing holding all of this together. It’s like a giant roller coaster that I can’t get off of and I’m hoping its complete.”
“Thought so, but things will get better after a while, things settle down to a more manageable speed,” Ben said. “A bit like being a mechanic, at first everything’s overwhelming. What part goes where, what should be loose, tightened, filled, half-filled and so on and so forth. But once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.”
“Aer you saying I should allow my second nature, that I’m a natural leader?” Meia asked, unsure if Ben and the others thought that way about her.
“Nah, but don’t be afraid of your mistakes, its how we learn,” Ben said to her.
“Your mistakes usually don’t cost thousands of people their lives,” Meia said feeling the weight of the words.
“No, but if I don’t do something right it can cost one person their life,” Ben replied. “In a way I’m not as lucky as you are, if that happens I have no one else to even blame as all decision are on me. Either I fixed it or I didn’t, a lot less grey and more black and white.”
Meia listened as she walked around her fighter inspecting it. She knew in the back of her mind what Ben said was true, but her heart was telling her something else.
“I’m not sure about that, it only makes things difficult because I don’t’ have a correct path, or an instruction manual for what I’m going to do,” Meia replied back to him. “I can’t go back and retighten something if it appears it might fail. I have one chance to get things right.”
“Thought you weren’t a philosopher, but you only reaffirmed why so many think you can be a great leader,” Ben said placing a hand on her shoulder. “Stop trying to be something you’re not and be yourself.”
Meia glanced around the hangar bay but said nothing. She felt Ben’s hand squeeze her shoulder before the pressure lifted. She remained still for several seconds before looking up only to see Ben was walking to another fighter. She realized many things he said were true, the only problem was she didn’t know who she was.
Looking down at her hands she wondered how her life might be if her father had lived. Would she have been trained for position of Empress? Would she have a brother or sister like her uncle, and what type of mother would had have had? Would she still have been a fighter pilot, and would she want to change Cimalian society so much? What did her father think?
So many question and no answers, though thinking about her family caused her to think of her uncle. During the fight she seemed to recall him saying her father was weak, and he also mentioned her mother. Did her uncle consider her father unfit to rule? If he really thought that way why did he wait? What caused him to hold off on taking over for so long? Why wait until she was born.
“They key to that is here somewhere,” Meia mumbled to herself. She knew the only reason why she was still alive. Was the answer because he needed an heir to the throne? Why didn’t’ he clone himself? Maybe that was a bit to egotistical for even him.
Not finding any answers in the hangar bay she decided to head to the bridge and see if any progress had been made in the fleet.
Greg closed the door making sure Liam wasn’t anywhere nearby. He trusted his servant but this information could get him killed if anyone knew and reported him. Opening the file he sorted through the documents for one bit of information he hoped would help him.
His source said something about Prince Boris’ death didn’t make sense. Now looking thought the piles of information about the death he seemed to find nothing that seemed to confirm what he had been told. Leaning back he looked it over again realizing it seemed almost perfect and stopped at that thought. Maybe that was it, the death was too perfect as he noticed something else.
“Hmm, now this is interesting,” he said to himself picking up a small article he never noticed before and he almost missed it in the mess of articles.
Reading through the article didn’t take long and he found himself sitting back in his chair musing at what he read. An Epsilon class apartment complex had been destroyed, but what caught his attention was the fact it had been near a spot where he and Boris had been stationed several times while as pilots on the Illustrious.
The article brought up some strange conversations his friend shared with him. He looked over the list of who had been killed hoping to find some line between everything. Even the most complex web had links that people were not to find.
He looked though the articles coming across the death of Empress Terresa and Emperor Aaron, who had died young, at the age of sixty-eight which was unusual considering he emperors usually lived to over a hundred and ten. Scanning the article he found nothing of interest and started to put it down when he spotted something. He looked over both articles side by side now.
“Son of a gun,” he said, slapping the table with his palm. “It’s right here!”
Greg’s mind swirled with what he might do next and who to even inform of this information. The other question was who would even believe him? He needed to get back in touch with his contact again, which meant he would have to send Dave once more.
“Liam to the study,” Greg said, pushing the button for his servant and unlocking the door. He only had to wait a few seconds before the tall servant entered the room.
“You rang sir?” Liam asked bowing to him.
“I need for you to go get Master Dave, tell him it important and that I have something for him,” Greg said.
“Yes sir,” Liam replied, not questioning the order but walking out to carry it out.
Once Liam left Greg turned back to the news articles once more focusing in on the first one which had caught his eye. Why did this apartment complex seem so important? He’d been thought eh list of names kills several times and none of them seemed familiar to him. Rubbing his neck and eyes he stood and stretched trying to solve the problem.
The door opened causing him to look up slightly startled when Dave and Liam came into the room. he never realized how long he had been starting at the articles and almost forty minutes had passed.
“Do you require anything else sir?” Liam asked.
“No, thank you, I’ll be having supper at the normal time,” Greg said, waiting until Liam had left before heading over to lock the door.
“You found something?” Dave asked watching Greg’s actions.
“I think so, but I’m not sure,” Greg said picking up an article and handing it over to Dave. “Read this and see if you notice anything.”
He watched Dave read through the two articles then look back up in confusion.
“What am I supposed to be looking for?”
“I didn’t think you’d find it the first time though, read it again and pay attention to the small details,” Greg replied to him.
“Okay, a wasted effort but I will,” Dave replied, reading though the articles once more at a slower pace. “I’m not seeing it,” he said frustrated and tossing down the articles.
“They both died of the exact same causes,” Greg said to him.
“Uh, you can’t be thinking what I think you’re thinking,” Dave said, stopping for a second. “That makes little sense, but you think,” he trailed off.
“Yep, good old Emperor Henry had something to do with it,” Greg said to him.
“Thinking this is dangerous if someone were to find out,” Dave said with a slight shudder at that thought.
“I know, but the evidence is right there, and its not the first time Alpha Supremes’ had a problem,” Greg said seeing Dave show some shock at that. “Anyways, I need something else.”
Greg sat back, and then informed him what he wanted Dave to do.
End part 6