The Cimalian Princess: Rebellion
by AJ Marks
Meia glanced across the table over to where Randy said. She knew he had other duties other than making sure she was all right. However the fact he was sitting here felt a bit reassuring to her. She still felt a bit raw after everything she had gone though. She was positive her uncle had killed her family, father, mother and any other family members she might have had and more.
“It’s strange,” Meia finally said. “I guess I knew all along but I never thought about my father growing up, or even if he had any family. The only person I knew was my mother and I avoided talking about it to others in my class as family is important to them, unlike in the upper classes. I’d mumble that they were dead and didn’t want to talk about it. I guess I didn’t want to think about it.”
“I’ve got a sister who I don’t see much of, and a father who was away most of the time when I grew up. I never understood why he was gone so often, but now I understand. Military life has a lot of demands on it even if we were not the most disciplined military,” Randy said.
“Sometimes I wished I had a sibling, now I’m glad I don’t,” Meia replied knowing how much more complex that would make things. “It would only add another problem to this puzzle.”
“There is one thing which always bothered me,” Randy said. “Why didn’t he just adopt you instead of all of this?”
“I don’t know, sometimes I wish he had,” Meia said knowing how it would have simplified things. “I guess I’ll ask him when I finally face him. Until then I only have speculation about his motives.”
“I think you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for,” Randy finally stated causing eia to glance up at him as he continued on. “I mean, look at you, you lost your father before you were born, your mother when you were five, not to mention your grandparents and any aunts and uncles you never knew about if any. Add to that two uncles who tried to kill you, one even tried to kidnap you and use you. I’d have gone crazy after all of that.”
“Maybe I already am,” Meia confessed.
“Nah, John, he’s crazy, you appear normal,” Randy replied quickly.
The statement caused Meia to smile a bit knowing that John did act a bit crazy at times.
“I don’t think I’m ever trusting him to give me another drink as long as we live,” Meia finally said recalling the ‘drink’ he gave her.
“Good advice,” Randy said. “Gave me this gree stuff one day, tasted all right, but boy, blew my senses right away. In fact that’s where I got my tattoo.”
Meia’s eyes rose at that statement. “You have a tattoo? Where? What did you get?”
Her curiosity rose at the fact Randy seemed to blush slightly.
“Come on, you can tell me, I’m sure John already knows about it,” Meia replied prodding him with the knowledge she would get it from John.
“It’s nothing major, just a, well, small looking elf-girl sitting on a fighter on my upper arm,” Randy said.
“Gotta be something more than that for you to blush,” Meia said hearing Randy groan.
“All right, she’s nude, but very well done,” Randy said. “And the position, well it’s not something to be showing kids.”
Meia grinned at Randy’s discomfort at the tattoo. “You don’t remember getting it do you?”
“Nope, woke up with a sore arm the next morning, but at least its nothing compared to what john got that night,” Randy said suddenly grinning way too much. “Got a tattoo which says ‘iss me beautiful’ on his butt.”
Meia covered her mouth so she wouldn’t laugh too loudly.
“He couldn’t sit down comfortably for several days,” Randy replied still grinning. “Last time I ever saw that stuff, and he was a bit more careful in what he drank, never got another tattoo. Does the Cimalian Empire have anything like that?”
Meia gave it some thought before answering. “Something like it, but its used more for identifying someone for a crime or something. A few have one, mostly saw hotshots having one, or others who were trying to show something off for some reason,” Meia replied. “And they were generally part of the upper class, most lower class who got one had done a crime, easy identification.”
“Doesn’t sound pleasant,” Randy replied back.
“The more severe criminals get marked on their face. Murder, serial offenses, they are marked so everyone can identify them later on,” Meia said. “You really don’t want to be left alone with someone who had killed multiple times for no reason.”
“Thought they might just be killed,” Randy said.
“It all depends on your social class, if you’re an Alpha you can almost always get away with it, unless there were a lot of witnesses and depending on who the crime was against. Against an Epsilon, the Alpha would get away with it, another Alpha, it depends,” Meia answered. “Most crimes, like theft and such, are punishable to by electro-whip.”
“You’ve mentioned that several times, what is it,” Randy asked.
Meia flexed her back in reflex of the painful memories it brought back before answering. “It’s a cruel device which inflicts pain but doesn’t do any physical damage. Many think the Alliance invented the device and use it on their own people even more than they use it in the Cimalian Empire.”
“We might have developed the technology, after all the Empire had contact with the Alliance for a while now. Someone here could have developed the technology and never done anything with it,” Randy replied logically, something Meia hadn’t considered.
“How long are we prepared to wait?” she finally asked, changing the subject.
“However long it takes, or until we run out of supplies, one or the other,” Randy replied.
“We can’t fight on low supplied, and what if the Empire attacks the Alliance, my uncle wont’ wait for us to make a move,” Meia said watching as Randy nodded in acknowledgement of that fact.
“True, but moving your fleets weakens your defenses, and with our fleet gone rogue it might increase the chance of an attack, something my father already considered,” Randy said.
“Admiral, incoming message from Captain Russell for you,” Hans’ voice said interrupting any further conversation.
“Put him through,” Randy stated.
Meia waited and was able to listen in on the conversation as Russell reported in.
“Admiral, reporting in with an update. We were successful in dropping Brad off on the planet’s surface. However, long range scans indicate the Cimalian Empire has tightened its defenses,” Russell stated.
“Not surprising, but we might only get one crack at this plan,” Randy said even as Meia had a thought.
“They might think I’m on the planet’s surface,” Meia said speaking up. “I don’t know if that’s good or bad news for Brad. It would mean an increase in patrols around where he is, but it would also mean they are looking for someone else. IF that’s the case it allows us some room to operate, and I expect the shuttle to either be guarded or destroyed on sight.”
“There might still be another shuttle on the surface of the planet,” Randy said, as Meia recalled the landing on the planet when she went down before the entire clone problem.
“I have the transponder number for that shuttle,” Russell said.
“Good, keep it in mind,” Randy said. “Any idea when the pick-up will occur?”
“We’ve scheduled two different tries, the first is in six hours, the next twenty-four hours after that,” Russell replied. “After that he’s on his own.”
“Very well, report back in seven hours,” Randy said.
Meia sat back watching Randy for several seconds as he went about giving commands and orders to different groups after the conversation. She could tell he had become comfortable with the situation where she had to stop and consider such orders. She questioned every decision she made, was it right or wrong? She pushed the thought from her mind and sat back waiting.
“So, when are you on patrol?” Randy asked finishing up his orders and looking back at her.
“My squad has patrol in a couple of hours,” Meia replied recalling how the patrols were set up.
“Good, for now we wait seven hours and hope for the best,” Randy said to her.
“Hope and pray for a good outcome,” Meia said knowing all she could do now was wait.
Brad swung around at the sound of the door, a bit anxious at what might happen next. Relief flooded though him at the sight of Carl as he made his way into the room.
“So, anything I can use to tell Meia about?” Brad asked looking at a strange look on Carl’s face, something between hope and failure. He had a feeling something strange had happened.
“Maybe, I got a strange call,” Carl finally said. “It was from someone who normally would never contact me.”
Brad frowned, wondering what had happened in the short time Carl had been away.
“A Beta met with me outside of work,” Carl said.
Brad’s eyebrows rose at that statement. It normally never happened, a Beta and a Gamma, the classes were too far apart for such a meeting.
“He said his name was Dave, and he works for another group, headed by a few Alphas. I’m a bit skeptical about that, but he knew things, especially about Meia and wanted to meet her,” Carl said as Brad considered the words as well. “I never mentioned her name, but he knew her and seemed to think she was on the planet’s surface, is that true?”
Brad considered the information, and knew hiding the truth would do nothing. “No, we considered that too dangerous.”
“Hmm, then they might be working on the last time she was here,” Carl said.
“Possible,” Brad said. “It might be meaningful for me to meet with him. My first contact time is coming up,” he said looking at the watch which had two countdowns on it. He currently had less than six hours before the first try. “If we do anything we need to do it now.”
“I thought you might say that,” Carl said. “Here’s the address, I can’t go with you on this one, but tell him Carl sent you.”
“He’s expecting me, not Meia, right?” Brad said anxiously, knowing the last thing he needed was for this contact to expect someone else and not even meet with him.
“Yeah, told him we were being cautious,” Carl said. “Ask to see Greg, he’ll have the information.”
I better get going,” he said looking down at eth address and almost choking at it. “Goddess, this is in the Alpha part of town.”
“Good luck,” Carl said. “I’ll deny seeing or relaying any information.”
“I know,” Brad said heading to the door. “Stay safe, I’ll try to be in touch.”
Brad left the room hoping for a good meeting.
Greg waited hoping that someone with a contact with Meia would meet up with him. He had received word from his other contacts that they might try to contact him, a risky move which could end up in his arrest and execution if the Emperor got wind of this.
He almost jumped upon hearing the doorbell and waited, listening. He heard a male voice tell Liam he wished to speak with Greg. He composed himself and waited as Liam appeared in the study.
“Sorry to interrupt you sir, there is a man out here wishing to speak with you, asked for you by name,” Liam said.
“Send him in, “Greg stated, watching as a few seconds later a man walked into the room in his late twenties, early thirties with brown hair before looking back at Liam. “Thank you Liam,” Greg said watching his servant bow before retreating away from the room. Greg turned towards the man his mind already looking things over.
The man appeared nervous, probably as nervous as Greg felt and hoping the man wasn’t part of some sting. He half expected Enforcers to barge into the room. Instead he motioned for the man to sit.
“So, you know Meia?”
End part 13