The Cimalian Princess: Rebellion
by AJ Marks
Meia sat silently pushing the food around the plate with her fork. The meal seemed less appetizing after the recent information came back to them and the knowledge of what she had to do. The thought of it made her stomach roll slightly.
She jumped slightly when a plate was set down beside her. Looking up she saw Randy sitting down next to her and returning her gaze with a worried one.
“Everything okay?” he asked sitting down and looking at her plate of food.
Meia briefly debated with herself about telling Randy what was bothering her before deciding to say anything. “Not really,” she finally said answering the question, watching as he looked on waiting patiently for her to continue. “Its about my uncle, and the fact I have to face him. It terrifies me.”
She looked back down at her food then at Randy after he was silent for several seconds.
“Is this because of everything he’s done to you?” Randy asked. Meia paused to think about the question. Sure a lot had happened lately but this felt different.
“No, something I’ve had all my life, can’t really rationalize it at all. I’ve always been afraid of him. I thought everyone had that reaction but now I think it was just me,” Meia said.
“Interesting, it might be what he wanted, you afraid of him,” Randy replied back to her.
“What do you mean?” Meia asked.
“Well, what better way to control someone than using fear, and from what I’ve been able to learn of your uncle he uses that very well,” Randy replied back to her.
She took some time to consider the statement. True, her uncle seemed to use fear more than anyone else, and her memories of him were altered by him when was younger. He created memories in her and possibly a sense of fear in case she learned who she was. A safe guard he thought he had over her no matter what she did. He probably couldn’t trust the drugs forever so a backup plan, something he would do against her.
“He seems to have planned my life out very carefully,” Meia said.
“Yep, except for one thing,” Randy said.
Meia frowned wondered what he might mean. She knew nothing that he might not have expected from her, including the fear which still seemed to control her. He even managed to control her memories.
He forgot about others, like Olin,” Randy stated.
Meia blinked, Olin, the green –haired Beta who had been jealous of her abilities leading him to try to eliminate her. Instead he had given her to the Alliance where everything changed, her uncle had way less control. One act her uncle had not counted on, a twist of fate due to the fact her fighter ejected her into the hangar. And Randy, and the crew of the Akagi who accepted her as one of their own.
“He did change everything,” Meia said realizing the truth.
“And now you’re surrounded by people who like you, people who call you a friend and will support you on this quest,” Randy said.
“My quest?” Meia said a bit startled by the use of such a word.
“Yeah, if you succeed you will probably end the war and new possibilities ay open up between the Cimalian Empire and the Alliance,” Randy said. “Even Greg thought so, he was under the impression that many Alphas were not in favor of the war. Many might not even want to fight the Alliance, but develop the Cimalian Empire and take their rightful place in the universe.”
Meia gave that consideration, knowing Alphas wanted money and power, or from what she could recall. They enjoyed it, a bit like the rich in the Alliance. A natural divide in a society. It might be true they feared an invasion of the Alliance, a new power which could displace their spot in the Empire.
“I guess my being here makes me uncontrollable to my uncle,” Meia finally said. She was in a spot her uncle had trouble reaching. Did he know of her plans or was he in the dark?
“The way I see it, the longer you’re away from his poison the stronger you will grow,” Randy said. “And that probably scares him to death.”
They fell into a silence as Randy ate and she continued to push her food around in deep thought. Randy made it all sound so easy, grow stronger, support, but she understood the end of the mission would be the hardest, facing her uncle. She figured once things started everything else would go automatically and nothing she did could stop it. She and everyone else would be along for the ride.
“Well, don’t play with your food for too long,” randy said standing up. She looked up to see he was holding his tray. He stepped towards her placing a hand on her shoulder. “When the time comes I know you’ll have the strength to do what needs to be done.”
With that he walked off to put his tray up, but Meia felt the warmness of someone believing in her curl around her. She felt is she could bottle up this feeling for later she might actually stand a chance against her uncle. Deciding she had been there long enough and she should head to eh hangar to see how her squadron was shaping up, perhaps run a simulation against John, a friendly competition.
With a sense of purpose she left the cafeteria headed to the hangar.
Greg sat listening to Dave give his reports. So far Carl had been willing to help a lot more than their mysterious contact had been. Greg noticed a slight hesitation when Dave was speaking about that person making Greg wonder if some sort of threat had been made.
“In short, Carl’s not sure who he can trust, but thinks he can get in touch with a few people in the resistance who are not controlled by the Emperor,” Dave replied back to him.
“I see, did he say when he would be able to inform us if he has anyone?” Greg asked.
“No, he thought it might take a couple of days, until then I suggest no contact with them, it might raise suspicions,” Dave said, Greg nodded agreeing with him. “Um, this palace contact, she’s starting to worry me. She almost knows too much.”
“True, but her information has yet to be wrong,” Greg stated giving it some thought. “The Emperor is consumed about Meia.”
He sat back in the chair thinking about the young woman he met not long ago. Her eyes were so much like her father’s. He wondered how so many didn’t see the connections before.
“Um, you all right?” Dave asked, his voice full of worry.
“Fine, just thinking about Prince Boris,” Greg answered. “Haven’t thought about him in a while, at least not the fun side. It was after his death that I asked for a change in careers, of course I wasn’t that young anymore but still had a lot of years left to be a fighter pilot, or even career military. But, I found it became a chore.”
Greg never noticed Meia in the training classes, then again Alphas and Betas were separate from the lower classes so he would have trained different people in the academy.
“Now, what other news do you have?” Greg asked hoping to get to their palace contact.
“Out contact thinks she can get Meia into the palace without being seen,” Dave said.
Greg thought about that for a few seconds before realizing he needed to put a false trail for the Emperor regarding Meia. He knew she wouldn’t come down until it was time, it was also safer that way. He then realized he had another mission to undertake and realized only one person could really pull it off, Jayne.
Go see Jayne, I have a mission for her,” Greg said. “I need her to w ear a blue wig down in the Epsilon sector for a bit, have a few people spot her then leave.”
“Blue wig?” Dave asked confused.
“Yes, with the Emperor’s fixation on Meia any distraction will help us out,” Greg said. “Also, don’t tell anyone that Meia isn’t on the planet’s surface.”
“All right, when should she do this?”
“As quickly as possible, if we’re going to make our move we need everyone looking in other directions,” Greg said to him.
He watched Dave nod before heading back out of his office. He sat for several minutes before deciding to get out of the house as well and headed to the door. “Liam, I’m out for a bit.”
“Yes sir, shall I tell others you are out walking?” Liam asked from his spot near the dining room table.
“Yes, I don’t know when I’ll be back either,” Greg said, getting a reply from Liam and heading out of the house. He walk outside and thought about an old friend, someone he hadn’t talked to in years. Making a decision he turned and headed in that direction wondering if his friend would even talk to him after so long.
Meia glanced up at the incoming fighters knowing things were about to get interesting.
“Listen up squadron, stay with your wimgmen, don’t overextend yourself, and get ready to engage,” Meia said, looking around for her target. He would out here somewhere probably looking for her as well.
The squadron engaged with lasers criss crossing space even as lined one up and fired before moving on to the next target. Her warning light went off causing her to instinctively turn her fighter.
A quick maneuver and she realized who she was facing off against. She twisted and turned returning fire causing him to evade her shots. She hoped her own fighter could handle themselves as she faced off against this enemy.
She watched the enemy fighter closely seeing it begin a maneuver and recognized it. Turning she avoided another shot before returning fire causing the pilot to break his maneuver. She turned once more feeling the battle was about to climax, one would win the other lose.
The enemy fighter turned and slide in space, a maneuver she knew about. She used a quick burst of speed and slide her fighter sideways as well, pressing the trigger and not waiting for the targeting computer. She watched with some satisfaction as the fighter exploded.
Taking a few seconds to look around she relaxed a bit.
“Simulation ended,” the computer said causing the space to be replaced by the green color of the cockpit screen. Taking off the helmet she exited the simulator along with the rest of her squadron. She looked up to see John walking towards her along with a tech with a pad in his hand.
“Have to remember that one,” John said to her. ‘”That makes it what, ten to one that you’ve beaten me now.”
“Nope, nine one and one,” Meia replied seeing a frown on his face. “I count that first fight as a draw.”
“Not too sure about that one, you had me on the run,” John replied.
“I do, if I had one you wouldn’t be here, if you had won I wouldn’t be here,” Meia said logically.
“I think you’re being nice to me,” John said with a smile.
“Nice, wait until next time, I won’t go so easy on you,” Meia said.
“Easy, then I guess I’ll have to take this to the next level,” John bantered back.
“When this show of one-up-man-ship is over can we see our results?” a pilot said interrupting them. Meia recognized him as a pilot in John’s squadron.
“Yeah, and we are we going to get cool call signs, we had them over on the Hood,” Another said.
Meia looked back at John for an answer there. For her call signs were the squadron number so she looked at John for leadership here.
“I didn’t think ‘rascals’ would go over too well,” John said a slight grin on his face at the name.
“Oh, I don’t know,” one pilot replied.
“We could have the ‘rascals’ and ‘blue royals’,” another pilot said, who Meia recognized as Terry.
“Interesting,” John replied obviously thinking about it. “I might be able to convince Kim about the Blue Royals, but Rascals I’m not too sure about.”
Meia felt slightly out of the loop and decided to wait until after the meeting to ask John about it. Turning her attention to the results she noticed she had two kills, a few more had higher kills but that was because she had spent most of the engagement against John.
Overall her squad did very well considering John’s squad had more experienced pilots. With the debriefing over she watched everyone head out of the room.
End part 18