The Cimalian Princess: Rebellion
by AJ Marks
Ewa watched in shock as Carl slumped forward, a red stain spreading out from his chest before looking over at Anthony. The man stood there with an equal shock as a red stain spread out covering his chest, looking down before slumping down as well.
In the silence Ewa tried to figure out what happened. Her husband had been shot, but so had three others including Anthony. She also realized that about a half dozen or so people held crude PRGs in their hands and had fired.
She ran to Carl, turning him over, his eyes wide but unseeing. She felt tears trickle down her cheek at the realization her husband had been killed by people she had once considered friends and allies. Standing up in the silent room she allowed her rage to take over, glaring at Frank who held a PRG in his hand.
“So, this is what you want?” she yelled at the group. “We’re killing each other instead of working together for a better future. Meia was right, you are all weak fools controlled by the Emperor.”
She took several steps towards the remaining two leaders, both of whom pointed their PRGs at her.
“What? Now I’m somehow a threat to you? One small, unarmed, grieving woman is such a threat to you that you’ll kill me,” Ewa screamed at them. The fact they both took a step backwards made her feel slightly better, more empowered. “Come on, kill me as well. I’m such a threat to you have to kill anyone. Sounds more like how the Emperor works than people fighting for freedom.”
Ewa stared at the two men who were part of the proclaimed leadership of the resistance waiting for something. Anthony lay on the ground not far away, dead, and the remaining two appeared to have little control of the situation. She realized Carl had been right, as had Meia about the leadership. They were controlled by the Emperor.
“Ewa, there are better ways than the way you are thinking of, we don’t want bloodshed,” one of the two finally said to her, speaking up for the first time.
“Don’t want bloodshed?” Ewa said, glaring at the man who dared make the comment. He cowered slightly under her stare and she advanced on him a bit. “No bloodshed you say, you sure have a strange way of showing that. What were you going to do, blame me, or perhaps kill me as well and place our bodies as if we killed each other? Perhaps you would even blame the Alliance for this as well. Don’t you get it, you killed him!”
“You are going to unnecessarily expose us to the Emperor,” the first one said sounding a bit nervous.
“Expose you, how can I do that when you’re already reporting back to him. He’ll probably give you a raise with this, after all you got rid of two people who don’t believe the official story of what went on. Well I don’t, I saw Brad, talked to him, and he has since joined up with the Alliance, and Meia,” Ewa said to him and the others.
“That’s impossible, if he had come back he’d talk to us, meet with us,” Frank replied back to her. She turned and looked at him than the others.
“And if he thought the resistance leaders reported to the Emperor, would he come back?” Ewa said pointing at the leaders. She partly wondered why the leaders hadn’t just killed her yet but she continued on. “He would go to someone who might actually help. You do realize you are not the only resistance group on the planet.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” the first leader asked.
“Simple, the Emperor isn’t as all-knowing as he claims to be,” Ewa said. “Already events are in motion regardless of what we do here. Change is coming whether we do anything or not. Are you going to be part of it, or against it?”
There is was, the gauntlet had been tossed down, and she saw it in their eyes.
“Not all change is for the best,” the leader said.
“I know, look at what change cost me here,” Ewa said, pointing sadly to Carl’s body. “I thought you were friends, allies, but I know more now, change happened, and I should have known better. We should have resisted before leaving the apartment.” Here she glanced over at Frank, who had the decency to flinch at her glare. “I think you had better make up your minds quickly about what side you’re going to be on. Continue to be the Emperor’s puppets and dream about change, or do something to make your life, or the life of your children better. I won’t let Carl’s death be in vain.”
Meia replied to the knock at her office door looking up to see someone who probably needed some sleep, Randy. He made his way into the office and sat down wearily.
“You look tired,” she said before he could say anything.
“I am, not getting enough sleep at the moment,” Randy replied back to her. “Seems like every time I head to my quarters something comes up, like for now. I was headed to get a nap when Hans tells me we got a communications from Greg.”
“Oh,” Meia said perking up wondering what happened now. “What does he say?”
“He’s made contact with a couple of groups, but from what he’s said everything is loosely organized at best, and some don’t even talk to each other,” Randy replied.
“I thought so, it might be a bit of a problem,” Meia replied running a hand though her hair.
“Maybe, but I might also force everyone to start working together instead of that class system,” Randy said. “In the long run such cooperation is good.”
“If they work together,” Meia replied back to him knowing how the classes could be with each other. “It depends on how much my uncle knows and who is under his control. If too many are under his control this entire thing could stall and we could walk into a trap.”
“I think that won’t matter too much, we’ll be ready for anything, and your uncle doesn’t know what forces you have at your disposal,” Randy said back to her.
“I won’t risk the lives of the fleet needlessly,” Meia replied back to him.
“And you won’t have to, this will work,” Randy replied with confidence. “I’m sure of it.”
Meia didn’t reply back and instead found herself looking into Randy’s eyes. Somewhere a memory came to her, those same eyes and a sudden impulse which she felt she had acted on. Running her hands though her hair she suddenly looked away feeling awkward.
“An old Earth saying, but penny for your thoughts?” Randy said.
“Penny?” Meia asked unsure what that was.
“And old currency from Earth, not sure from what, but basically a polite way to ask what you are thinking,” Randy replied back to her.
“Oh, um, I’m not sure you really want to know,” Meia finally said, feeling her cheeks heat up a bit.
“Well now, with a blush like that I really do want to know,” Randy replied back, leaning back in the seat and looking at her.
“Hmm, nope, sorry, nothing else comes to mind except bugging a lovely young lady down the hall from my office,” Randy replied back to her.
“Then go bug her,” Meia bantered back.
“Okay, oh, what do you know, I’m in her office already,” Randy stated looking at the four walls in the office.
“Ha-ha, very funny,” Meia replied.
“I thought it was, but I think I can guess of something which might make you blush, if you actually remembered it,” Randy said to her.
“Um,” Meia said, rubbing her face slightly before sneaking a peak back at Randy. He appeared quite at ease with what happened when she was drunk, of course she didn’t remember it. Then again, she didn’t remember much of that night, but there was a feeling that she seemed to have. “Guess I don’t really recall, at least not any actions. I’ve learned a few things that day.”
“One important one, never trust John to give you a drink,” Randy replied with a smile.
“There’s that, but I’ve also learned a bit more about your drinks,” Meia replied. “I’m never having vodka again.”
Randy laughed. “I guess its an acquired taste then. Of course its also better to drink on a full stomach, it slows the absorption of alcohol into your system, or something like that.”
“If you say so, but I think I’ll go with the not trusting John with my drinks,” Meia replied back to him.
“You could do that, but drinking can also do come other things,” Randy said.
Yeah, it causes you to make a fool of yourself,” Meia replied back unable to believe she actually did some of the things she heard. “I can’t believe some of the stuff I did.”
“Second thoughts?” Randy asked, causing Meia to look up at him.
She wondered if she did have second thoughts, and if the feelings she was having for him. She had resisted him for a while and the thought of even taking their relationship to the next level frightened her. She wondered if she would ever have the courage to make a move.
“I guess with everything going on, a relationship, especially with an Alliance admiral, might only make things look bad,” Meia said.
“Maybe, but I have a great shoulder to lean on if needed,” Randy said, standing and stretching and heading to the door. “Remember, I’ll still be here when this is over, then we can really talk.”
Meia watched as he left leaving her slightly confused by it all. She had been raised to only think about fighters, piloting them, and tactics in them. Now she was slowly trying to come to grips with being a leader as well. She felt unsure about even starting a relationship with anyone. It wasn’t fair to Randy she knew, he was someone who she found herself attracted to before recalling something.
She had kiss him, or tried it seems. She had the intent of kissing him but couldn’t recall much after that impulse action and felt slightly mortified by the action. Then went over Randy’s words and realized something, he didn’t seem upset or anything by it. She groaned realizing she had given herself one more thing to worry about.
Perhaps Randy was right about this, there would be time when everything was over. But did she have that time? She would either be dead, or Empress of the Empire and would she have time then?
She suddenly wished for simpler times when she only had to worry about jumping into the fighter and the enemy in front of her. Now her actions affected not only herself, but perhaps millions of people. She only hoped she was ready for what was to come.
JEzic turned to the screen waiting for the update to the situation. Admiral Wambu who was now commander of the 2nd CF appeared. The 2nd CF had responsibility for the defense of Cimalius II and everything had been quiet since that last attempt to pilot shuttled down and they were picked up. Jezic looked over the placement of the warships around the planet and nodded.
“Very good admiral,” Jezic said.
“Thank you sir,” Wambu replied back. “Their last tactic was different, they are learning from us.”
“Yes, we have to assume we’re constantly scanned by their patrol ships, however it seems we’re pushing them back,” Jezic replied.
“Ever since the 2nd CF started patrols the Alliance hasn’t been able to get close,” Wambu replied.
Jezic noticed a bit of pride in the man’s voice before asking his next question. “And the shuttles which landed?”
“The 2nd CF was not in position yet to defend the planet. That situation has been taken care of,” Wambu replied back.
“You should hope so,” Jezic said, turning his attention to an urgent communications. “We’ll continue this later.”
Without waiting for an answer he switched the screen to see the enforcer’s commander looking back at him. Jezic could not remember the man’s name but waited.
“Admiral, I was told to report to you any sightings of Meia,” he said.
“Yes,” Jezic said, wondering what happened.
“My enforcers saw someone fitting her description in the Epsilon zone, but we lost sight of her upon entering a building, like she just disappeared,” the commander said.
Jezic nodded knowing the details of her training. He know how slippery Meia could be. Her elite training to escape Alliance capture could also be used against them as well.
“Very well, I’ll notify the Emperor, continue to keep a close watch out for her. She might also change her hair color to avoid standing out,” Jezic said. “You have the picture of her as a blonde?”
“Yes sir, I’ll be sure to get it to all commands.”
“So that, I’ll wait for any new news,” Jezic replied wondering how the Emperor would take such news.
Ending the conversation he now had to inform the Emperor. He was unsure how he would react as he had become erratic when it came to Meia. For some reason he still wanted her captured instead of killed on sight as Jezic would have ordered. For now he would obey the Emperor.
End part 21