The Cimalian Princess: Rebellion
by AJ Marks
Randy looked over the reports of the ships in the fleet. So far he had three battle-cruisers, the Bismarck and newly repaired Hood to go along with the Akagi, three cruisers, including the new Eagle and two older ships, the Ajax and Babylon and six destroyers and two scout ships. It made fourteen ships in all under his command, the largest force he had yet commanded.
The latest reports from HQ were worded strange, something to do with keeping communications to a minimum making him wonder what his father had planned this time. He wasn’t sure he wanted to know either considering Amy Barnes had been mentioned. The chime interrupted any further thoughts.
“Enter,” he said, still looking at the reports, hearing soft footsteps which indicated only one person had entered his office. He looked up not surprised to see Meia there. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
He watched her sit down not saying anything which caused him to worry if something had happened.
“Everything all right? No one giving you trouble?” Randy asked hoping for a reply and that it wasn’t someone on board upset with her new position in the fleet.
“I’m not sure,” Meia finally said quietly. “I feel that people should be questioning this, questioning everything that we’re doing yet they seem to accept it all.”
“Ah, well I think you’re not seeing this like they are, to them it’s a mission to perform,” Randy answered. “A lot of our new recruits came from Serria, Vernada and New Zeus, and add them to the veterans on board who already know you and feel comfortable with you, I actually expected you to receive a lot more teasing. Something I discouraged.”
“You did?” Meia replied looking up at him and he wasn’t sure if she was grateful or angry with him.
“I figured you had enough to deal with without the crew giving you a hard time over all of this,” Randy replied to her. “He felt slightly relieved when her face didn’t reflect anger back at him. “I know the type of stunts pilots can pull and I didn’t want you to walk into that and feel uncomfortable, that’s all.”
“He can be that way, and I guess I half expected it and when nothing happened I thought it was unusual,” Meia replied back to him. “Made it seem like the crew was too willing to accept what was going on.”
“Nope, believe me some are angry about it,” Randy said thinking about some of the reports he had received lately over the ‘suggestions’. “But, they are in the military, and we’re trying to being back military command structure. It’ll take a while but we’re getting there, and if it wasn’t’ this way I’m not sure I’d even be an admiral. For years we had a lackadaisical approach to everything.”
“No, you put the best people in position who showed the most skill and put them in the right position, even if you are young,’ Meia replied to him.
“Youngest ever,” he said pausing. “Hey, I’m supposed to building your confidence up not the other way around.” He watched as she smiled. “Guess we share a similar fate, command at a young age.”
“You do realize I’ll need a lot of support to pull this off,” Meia said, focusing on her situation.
Randy froze for a second pondering that thought. She would need a lot of support, and probably better quarters as well. “Ah, hadn’t given that much thought until now. I’ll have to look it over and see what I can do, and talk to the tech group, make it look like you have command access and such.”
He realized Meia hadn’t thought of that at all by the look on her face. She was probably more concerned with other functions and the end game.
“You should also get a better uniform,” Randy said, seeing her look down at her uniform.
“I like this uniform,” she replied back to him. I’ll accept the patch, but I’m trying to go in and change things, not keep everything the same,” Meia said with conviction.
Randy considered what Meia said. True, she did want to go in with change, yet he knew where they were also going.
“You still need something to indicate your position, nice clothes,” Randy replied back watching her think about that.
“Maybe, but I’m still a fighter pilot,” Meia replied.
“Fair enough,” he replied, knowing he won a small victory, but he also realized he had to consider more than her position as Empress. Meia wanted change and to do that she had to lead by example.
“So, when do we leave?” Meia asked.
“Still loading last minute supplies, which has been harder than I anticipated and add in some strange agenda which dad won’t tell me about, ugh,” Randy replied thinking about the message he receive only a few minutes ago. “He might be trying to distance himself from the fleet for some reason.”
“Other than what is in the plan?”
“Yeah, and it probably has something to do with Amy Barnes,” Randy stated recalling the information.
“She doesn’t seem to be one who likes to sit on the sideline watching,” Meia said.
“No, she’s also been outspoken all her life and will stand up for what she believes,” Randy said. “It’s one thing which is great, and bad, about her. She and her dad had a huge public argument years ago which resulted in him losing support and she left to Vernada.”
“What was it over?”
Randy had to think back. “Oh yeah, she slept with the President’s daughters, caused a bit of a stir.”
“Daughters, as in more than one?” Meia asked, raising her eyebrow in question.
“Yep, both of them, at the same time, and got caught by the press,” Randy said. “Normally it wouldn’t be a problem, but, well, its politics and both at the same time is what really caused the commotion.”
“Cimalian politics are not like that,” Meia said. “They are very strict outside the Cimal family, and inside I bet there are all types of skeletons hidden in the closet.”
“I bet,” Randy said as another report beeped on his screen. “Well, according to this we should be ready by the end of the day. You hungry?”
“Starving now that you mention it,” Meia replied.
“Come on, let’s grab something to eat, these reports can wait a bit,” Randy said. “I think the mess hall is serving pasta and soup.”
Randy stood and followed Meia out the door heading to the mess hall deck.
Jack looked at the final reports seeing the fleet had finally taken off and he now had to play the waiting game. He had a feeling the press would find out about the disappearance of the fleet and could only hope it took some time.
“Admiral,” Chad said interrupting Jack. He looked up to see his aide standing there waiting. “Your shuttle is here to take you to Corestar.”
“Corestar?” Jack asked in confusion before realizing he forgot. “That’s today?”
“Yes sir, your wife already sent your luggage over,” he replied to him with a slight smirk.
“Okay, let me finish this up,” Jack replied quickly going through the memos before shutting down his computer and grabbing his handheld computer. “How much time do I have, and any new questions from the President?”
“Fifteen minutes and nothing new sir,” Chad replied back to him.
“Very well, and I got your recommendation and approved it,” Jack stated absently. “Sally should do very well, provided she can resist Amy’s charms.
Jack thought he noticed another smirk on Chad’s face but said nothing about it and hoped to learn more later on. Setting aside some files and stuffing a few more into a briefcase along with the computer and wondered how they had still not gone paperless in all this time, stood and headed out the door.
“Which ship is taking me there?” Jack asked.
“The Musashi,” Chad replied.
“I see,” Jack stated recalling the Musashi which was an older battle-cruiser of the same class of the victorious which he had been a pilot on so many years ago. “Keep me informed of all developments, you can use Sally to inform me of anything regarding the Strike Fleet, don’t want to risk the official channel yet.”
“Yes sir,” chad said as they made their way towards the landing pad.
Stepping outside he was surprised the rain had stopped at the moment and the sun was shining through the clouds. He looked up and saw gathering clouds in the distance. He knew he would be gone before the storm arrive and hoped it was not an indication of how his meeting with the president would go as he boarded the shuttle.
Meia sat down at her new desk looking over the surface wondering what she would do with so much room. She never had a desk before, or even an office space which probably accounted for the reason it was so bare at the moment. She had no idea what to put into an office.
A knock at the door cause her to look up to see John standing there with a smirk on his face.
“Ya know, I never thought of you as a bare walls type of girl,” he stated looking around at the walls and back at her.
Meia looked around the office before replying. “Nope, looks a lot like my quarters.”
“How depressing, is this how they looked on your last ship?” he asked.
“Never had a lot, wasn’t something the lower classes could strive for. Only the upper classes could afford to have anything lavish where they lived,” Meia answered thinking about it. “Aside from normal things, like a fridge, stove, bed, we didn’t have much to buy.”
“Ugh, can’t imagine living like that,” John said to her.
“I guess when you’re part of it and its all you’ve know you don’t realize you’re missing anything,” Meia replied honestly giving it a bit of thought. “I spent the first five years with my mom, then grew up in schools or on board warships learning to fly. I never had anything.”
“I suppose,” John said sitting down in the chair.
“Though, I doubt you came here to talk decorations, I’ve seen your office,” Meia replied recalling the colors he used.
“Touché,” John replied, adding in a slightly hurt look in her direction. “But you’re right, didn’t come here to talk about that, it’s about squadron two twelve. I think we’re all assuming you’re going to take over but you’ve never said yes or no.”
“I’ve thought about it,” Meia replied still looking over everything. “It would give me a reason to have this desk, and something to really do.”
“Well, it was an old squadron officer’s desk, so you’re not really displacing anyone on board,” John said to her. “I could get the squad to decorate it for you?”
Meia scratched her nose before answering no.
“They would have fun,” John said.
“I’m sure some would, but the skulls and crossbones isn’t my thing,” Meia replied back to him. “I need my office to look dignified, not like a squadron leader.”
“Ah yes, all hail Empress Meia,” he said with a slight bow. “Whoops, sorry, promised the skip I wouldn’t do that sort of thing, but it did have a nice ring.”
“I think we both have some pull with the skipper,” Meia relied back to him watching as John took a double take causing her to laugh at the look on his face.
“Oh, I think it’s safe to say your fair game now,” John replied back to her. “Be sure to tell Randy that when something happens.”
“We talked earlier today about that,” Meia replied starting to say something else when the engine pitch suddenly changed.
“There’s the jump engines,” John stated, something they both knew.
It meant that she had to start acting like a leader, and not just a squad leader. Her nervousness increased with the increasing pitch of the engines the only difference when the ship jumped her nerves failed to go down.
“Looks like you could do with a shot,” John said.
Meia’s eyes went wide with what he said, she had never heard of that.
“Of vodka,” he said clarify his meaning. “It can help you calm your nerves.”
“Oh, thought you meant something else,” Meia said thinking about what it might mean in the Cimalian Empire. “Never mind, best not to go there.”
“Did you actually think I mean shooting something? Thought you knew me better than that,” John said but Meia remained quiet. “Come on, let’s get you out in front of your subjects and show them how the empress takes a shot.”
“Um, okay,” Meia said, wondering what type of drink this was but followed John out of the room.
End part 7