The Cimalian Princess: Rebellion
by AJ Marks
Fifteen minutes later Randy made his way into the hangar after stopping at Meia’s quarters and the rec room just to be sure. He hoped to find her here or end up asking people if they spotted her recently. Looking around he spotted the normal group working, including Ben, Jean and the rest of the crew working hard around one fighter. Unable to see Meia he made his way over hoping Ben had seen her around. At the moment Ben had his head inside a fighter so Randy doubted he knew who was standing beside him when he knocked on the fighter hull to get his attention.
“Be right out,” Ben called out. “Just putting this damn nut back on. Come on ya squirrely thing.”
Randy waited patiently ass Ben finished his work and extracted himself from the fighter, wiping his hands before turning towards Randy.
“Beg’in your pardon sir, didn’t know it was you. Thought it might be one of the other pilots,” Ben stated, turning to a grab and rag and finished cleaning his hands.
“No worries, but, uh, have you seen Meia lately?” Randy asked.
“Sure did, was over looking at her fighter a few minutes ago, seemed really lost in thought. No one upset her did they,” Ben asked.
Randy was slightly surprised by the protective tone Ben used but refocused. “No, at least not that I know of, but her attitude is why I’m looking for her. I’ll try her fighter, maybe she’s still over there and just can’t see her.”
Ben nodded as Randy moved away and headed to Meia’s fighter. He saw no one around and wondered where else he might go looking when she walked around from the other side. He took in her appearance and noticed the faraway look in her eyes before approaching her.
“Hey,” he said softly, watching for her reaction. “Everything all right?”
“I’m not sure,” Meia said after several seconds, standing and looking at the fighter.
“Want to talk about it? My mom always says that works,” Randy said giving her a smile relieved when she at least smiled back at him.
“Do you really want to know?”
Randy took a moment to look Meia over for several seconds before answering. “Yeah, I do.”
“It’s something I haven’t given much thought to until today. I never knew my grandparents, or even if I had any aunts or uncles. I only knew my father died when I was young and my mother died while I was in the academy. About the only memory I have of my mother is when I was young, she was crying,” Meia said and Randy heard the hurt and sorrow in her voice.
He remained silent realizing there was a bit more as Meia was looking down.
“I can remember her talking to someone at the door of the apartment, she didn’t know I snuck into the living room and overheard the conversation. It never meant anything to me until recently, my uncle was ordering someone killed because of something she said to a friend,” Meia said. “He had no problems with killing anyone I might know, family or otherwise. How many died because of me?”
Randy stood not really expecting all of that when he went in search of her. She was struggling with family, a family she never knew because of an insane uncle of hers. He felt glad he never had that type of family, but stepped forward and enveloped Meia in a hug.
“They threatened my mother and left her crying. I walked up to her and asked her what was wrong, she said nothing and gave me a smile,” Meia said. “Said I was too young to understand.”
Randy kept his arms around her trying desperately to think of something which might help. “I think you’re uncle’s a lunatic,” he finally said.
“Really?”Meia said, not looking up at him. “He always seems to be one step ahead of me, like I can’t get a break. Every time I think I’ve got him I remember something like this.”
“Your uncle took on a child, seems like that all he can do, intimidate those around him and anyone who dares stand up he has someone else kill. He then blames the Alliance because he knows the truth would be devastating,” Randy said to her. “I know there isn’t a simple answer, or even an easy one, but my mom and dad think very highly of you. Especially my mom, she asks about you all the time.”
He felt her body stiffen and slightly relax at his words and hoped he said something right. His mind wondered to her uncle and the type of power he wielded to get away with such atrocities towards his people. They remained silent for several more seconds.
“Heard anything from the scouting party?” Meia finally asked taking a step back and looking up at him.
“Nothing yet, still waiting,” Randy replied. “It might take a couple of days before we actually hear anything,” Randy said to her.
“Yeah, he has to find a contact, then convince them to come up here, if they can, and then do it all without being seen or intercepted. It’s a lot to do and hope for,” Meia stated.
“I’m sure they can do it, we have to give them time to get it all done,” Randy said, knowing he would give them a few more days before becoming actually worried about the mission.
“I hope you’re right, but I fear my uncle won’t wait for our plans to form.”
Randy realized Meia was right about that, they had little time to get anything done. If only they knew what his plans were it might make things easier.
Greg waited for Dave to settle into the chair, Liam asked if they needed anything before leaving the room and closing the door. Dave appeared unsettled to Greg and he hoped it meant there was some news.
“I take it you spoke to our informant?” Greg asked waiting for eh answer.
“Yeah, and they were as cryptic as ever,” Dave replied back to him, something Greg already expected.
Greg merely nodded, their mysterious contact had a way of saying things which took some time to figure out, as if they were leading them in a certain direction. He was cautious of the informant as he knew so little of them yet they always spoke the truth.
“She made mention of Meia, does that name sound familiar to you?” Dave finally said.
“Meia,” Greg said trying to recall the name. “It does sound slightly familiar now that you mention it, but where have I heard that name?”
He recalled all the past events hoping to jog his memory on the name wondering how far back he needed to go. He seemed to recall something recent, a name he heard a couple of his friends talking about.
“Of course, the Epsilon pilot, the one who was supposedly responsible for the Alliance beating back the invasion,” Greg said snapping his fingers. “I didn’t fully believe it, one person doing so much.”
“One pilot? And a lowly Epsilon?” Dave said, and Greg heard the bias in his voice towards the lower classes despite what he said. The biases were hard to erase.
“Yeah, it was s sticking point to me,” Greg said. “A simple pilot, and an Epsilon at that which is why it was only a rumor among the upper classes.”
“I was under the impression that Epsilons were unable to think like that for themselves, their culture has made them unable to actually do such things, the ultimate loyal class of people,” Dave said.
“A load of rubbish spewed out by our educational system,” Greg replied still thinking about all he had heard. It seemed like there was something lese there as well, something very important. He had figure it out, perhaps it was something they didn’t talk about or spread rumors about.
“Wait a moment, I recall overhearing at work something, didn’t think anything of it because it was a group of Gammas, but they mentioned a pilot and the rightful heir to the throne,” Dave said casually.
Greg’s head snapped over towards Dave as he put several pieces together. Could it really be something so simple, something he had missed simply due to other factors?
“What? You think she is the rightful heir or something, they were Gammas talking,” Dave said.
“It’s possible, what did our contact say about Meia?” Greg asked.
“Only that she’s back,” Dave replied.
“I think it’s time we make contact with that resistance group,” Greg said knowing it was a risk, but he had to find out the truth and they would have a better lead than they did. However it also could expose them to the Emperor.
“That’s suicide Greg, we all know the Emperor controls that group,” Dave said.
“Yea, but I’m hoping he’s not in total control,” Greg said. “Meia would have lived among the lower classes and we have to find her before the Emperor does or else nothing will change.”
Jezic turned in his chair to face the screen and froze. There on the screen was the Emperor waiting for him, someone had not informed him that the Emperor was there.
“Admiral, I’ve learned that another shuttle managed to penetrate our defenses, is that true?” the Emperor asked.
“Yes sir, I was going over the data now. We had not expected the scout ship to drop out of hyperspace so close to the planet,”Jezic stated. “I’ve been going over trying to rotate our forces to make sure the Alliance cannot determine our strength.”
“Its not the Alliance military strength which concerns me admiral, its Meia,” The emperor replied, his tone short Jezic noticed. “If she managed to stir up her little rebellion the military will be needed to crush any uprisings, which would delay any other plans.”
Jezic understood what the implications of such a rebellion meant. Of course there hadn’t been a real rebellion in almost a hundred and fifty years now. The ‘Gamma Revolt’ of 1248 which started shortly after Tylin had overthrown his uncle, Wyaln, who had killed their older brother. Jezic wondered if history was now working to repeat itself, or if something different would happen this time which no one expected.
“I have the enforcers out looking for her now,” the Emperor said. “And any rebellious group have already been informed of what actions to take should Meia show up.”
“Do not worry Emperor, if she tries to escape we will be ready,” Jezic said, wondering if he really could do this. A planet was large object to guard and with limited ships it really was almost impossible to do.
“If she escapes the surface, follow her,” the Emperor said surprising Jezic. “She had helpers, we need to know where they are. If she returns I want to know where and arrest her at once. Destroying her in space will not satisfy me admiral, do not fail me.”
The screen went dark before Jezic could even reply back and now he had a new mission to undertake. It actually made things a bit easier for him for the planet patrols. However this new mission still made for problems with his original mission.
He thought back to the original assault on Pacifica and wondered if Olin, the hot-headed pilot who attacked Meia, knew how much trouble he had started with his Beta pride. In a way he wished the green-haired pilot was still alive so he could punish him for his actions. Because his action Meia had now become a thorn in their plans.
He looked back over the reports and decided to contact Admirals Floyd and Ammari to let them know of the changes in the patrols. Also to inform them of what to do next time an Alliance ship appeared. They wouldn’t like it but the orders came straight from the Emperor himself. Now all he could do is wait to see what the next move might be.
End part 12