The Cimalian Princess: Rebellion
by AJ Marks
Jack went up to the bridge of the Musashi having been summoned by the captain despite the fact he was on the way to the hangar to head to the surface. Jack noticed the bridge crew appeared calm at the moment so there was no invasion going on as he crossed over to the communications console.
“This report just came in from HQ for you admiral,” the captain said moving slightly for Jack to see.
He noticed the message came from Chad making him wonder what had happened now as his aide wouldn’t send anything unless it was necessary. He brought up the message and quickly scanned it though getting a funny feeling in his gut once more. Standing up straight he paused to think before making any orders.
“Get me Admiral Hayes,” Jack said waiting a few moments before the screen flashed over to show Mark’s face on the screen.
“Admiral White, what can I do for you?” Mark asked.
“We might have a problem,” Jack said. “The Strike Fleet might have been spotted, I don’t know much else.” He watched as Mark understood what the message meant. The Cimalians spotting it could mean a lot of things and he briefly considered the idea of recalling the fleet.
“You think the Cimalians’ in invade?” Mark asked.
“I don’t know, but I think we need to be on the defensive just in case,” Jack replied. “They know where the fleet is, and perhaps what our defensives are so be careful.”
“I’ll put the First Fleet on alert status then,” Mark said.
“Hmm, I’m not sure that’s wise,” Jack said thinking about the situation. “We put the fleet on alert and that will get the media’s attention and the senators become more aggressive in their push to find out what’s going on.”
“True, but is there anything else we can really do?” Mark replied back. “The fleet has to be warned to prevent unneeded casualties, and counter quickly any attack they send our way.”
Jack ran a hand though his hair as he considered the different possibilities which presented themselves. He had too many variables to consider and not enough information to make a reasonable estimate on a course of action. “Give an alert to strengthen patrols, I’ll alert the Second Fleet as well, but try not to arouse any suspicion of increased activity. We don’t need the media or government snooping around even more.”
“I’ll try admiral, but I can’t guarantee anything.”
“I understand,’ Jack replied back before ending the conversation. He turned to the bridge crew, many of whom were listening in before making an announcement. “That conversation is considered classified at the moment, do not go around talking, it could cost people their lives.”
Jack looked at several crewmembers, many of whom nodded their heads before heading off the bridge with the captain right behind him. He waited until they boarded the elevator before saying anything.
“I’m not sure about that order admiral,” he said to Jack.
“It’s necessary at the moment,” Jack replied. “If they find the Strike Fleet and where it is, it could prolong the war even more than it is and jeopardize any lasting peace.”
“There are a lot of people who won’t see it that way, they’ll wonder why we’re not talking with them,” the captain replied back t him.
“Remember when the Cimalian’s invaded, we tried talking then or at least Mark did and the result was they attacked his fleet. Many barely survived,” Jack replied.
“I know, doesn’t mean I have to like such orders,” the captain replied back to him.
“No, but that’s the point of war isn’t it,” Jack said back as the elevator reached its destination.
“I know, just don’t like war.”
“I doubt many actually do,” Jack said as the door opened allowing him to exit and headed to the shuttle.
He really hoped things settled in the next couple of days allowing him some time to look over all the information he had received lately. Reaching the shuttle with the captain beside him Jack turned to face him.
“Keep the Musashi on alert, I have no idea what might happen in the next couple of days. Keep everything fueled and supplied as we don’t know if you’ll be needed someone within the Alliance rather quickly,” Jack said to him.
“I will admiral,” the captain said giving him a salute.
Jack nodded and returned the salute before heading on board the shuttle which would head to the surface. He hoped that the rains had let up for the moment to allow a smoother flight down to the surface.
Randy remained on the bridge of the Akagi knowing he was disrupting the natural flow of the ships activities, but he couldn’t help himself. He wanted to be here in case something happened which needed his attention. The alarm caused everyone to look over waiting to see what happened.
“Contact, Cimalian ship heading towards the fleet, thirty seconds,” Aaron said.
Randy felt a sinking feeling at that but knew what to order as things were already set up. “Red alert, inform all ships to open fire the moment it comes in range.”
“Admiral?” Kim asked.
“Destroy the scout ship, we don’t need the Cimal intelligence to know what the makeup of our force is,” Randy said to them.
“Shields up,” Toni ordered.
Randy looked over to see Hans relaying the message tot eh rest of the fleet and hoped everyone else knew what was at stake here. The alarms sounded and he could imagine the crew racing to their battlestations.
“Captain, Rugrats and Blue Royals are asking for launch permission,” Aaron said.
“Negative, tell them to hold, there isn’t time,” Kim replied back.
“Forward plasma beams charged and ready,” Toni said indicating the main heavy weapons of the battle-cruiser.
“Fire when in range,” Randy said giving the order.
He waited a few seconds until the forward batteries of the ship opened up anad reports of damage started coming in even as the Warspite opened up as well. The Hood and Bismarck were on the other side of the planet and hoped that by dividing his force any scout ship would only see two battle-cruisers, not four. It was a dangerous gamble to keep the enemy the dark over the true size of his force.
The scout ship suffered damage as it shields quickly failed followed by the first hull breach. Randy wondered if the scout ship was pushing to get more information to send back or if there was something about the scout ship’s design or orders that it didn’t run right away.
“Reactor going critical,’ Aaron said.
“Target eliminated,” Toni said a few seconds later.
“Notify Meia and have her meet me in my office right away,” Randy said. He had a feeling they had run out of time now that the Cimalian Empire knew where they were.
Jezic quickly activated the screen as the urgent message came in from one of the scout ships. Scanning through the report he noticed it abruptly ended which could only mean the ship had been destroyed. He looked on seeing that it had found an Alliance fleet and turned to the tactical map to see what the situation was before looking the report ack over.
“Hmm, two Alliance battle-cruisers located here,” he said to himself pointing to the spot on the screen even as some people on the bridge of the Cimal looked on. “We know the main Alliance fleets are at Corestar and Pacifica with other ships scattered throughout the Alliance Space. With what we know of those fleets it leave two battle-cruisers unaccounted for as one is at Pacifica acting as a transport for their fleet admiral.”
“Admrial, we have a report of one of the battle-cruisers sill in dock,” one of the officers said to him.
“Yes, the Hood, severely damaged during the invasion,” Jezic stated recalling the report. “However, there are conflicting reports about her from the dock. At the moment it makes two unconfirmed, one for sure, that we don’t know where they are.”
Jazic gave it some thought before deciding to inform the Emperor of this latest bit in intelligence. He would want to know they had found some Alliance ships. Sending off the communications to the Emperor he didn’t have to wait long before the Emperor’s face appeared, looking like he had been awakened, and he realized he called the Emperor in the middle of the night.
“This had better be good,” Henry said not wasting words.
“It is sire,” Jezic stated. “I sent two scout ships in the direction of the signal.”
“You did what?” Henry replied, now looking awake.
Jezic took a breath knowing the Emperor’s temper but continued on hoping he’d forgive him. “I ordered to patrol ships to scout in the direction, and one reported back upon finding an Alliance fleet, including two battle-cruisers less than a two hour jump from Cialius.”
He watched the Emperor’s face go from annoyed to thoughtful in a split second.
“Two battle-cruisers you say?” Henry asked.
“Yes sire,” Jezic answered wondering what the Emperor was thinking.
“Are the 2nd and 3rd CFs in position?” Henry asked.
“They are, only waiting orders to begin the operation,” Jezic replied.
“Tell them to begin at once, and have a portion of the 1st CF deal with the Alliance fleet nearby as well,” Henry said. “By this time tomorrow we’ll have crushed the military of the Alliance.”
The screen went dark before Jezic could even start to protest the orders. With a sigh he relayed the message to the rest of the fleet knowing it would take several hours before everything went into motion, but once it did there was nothing he could do to stop it.
Meia knocked on the door to Randy’s office, waiting a few seconds before he granted her permission. He appeared slightly down to Meia causing to wonder what else had happened.
“We have a problem,” Randy said to her. “The Cimalian military knows we’re here.”
Meia froze having expected that after the alert, but it was still a bit of a shock to hear such a thing.
“We’re not ready,” Meia finally said seeing him nod.
“I know, but I have to assume they are coming whether we want it or not,’ Randy said. “We’re expecting a call from Greg in a couple of hours, but we might not have that much time. I think we have to move regardless of how ready they are.”
“This could be a disaster,” Meia said frantically trying to think of something they could do. “We could pull back for a moment.”
“No, that delay will only allow your uncle to solidify his own plans, and any power he lost in the failed invasion,” Randy replied back to her.
Meia knew Randy spoke the truth, something she didn’t want to admit. Her uncle now seemed to be forcing the plan forward.
“I guess we don’t have a choice, we should get ready,” Meia stated.
“I’ll call for a meeting between all pilots,” Randy said.
Meia nodded as she was dismissed and walked out right into John who had been waiting outside.
“So, what’s going on?” John asked looking down at her.
“We’re going in ahead of schedule,” Meia replied back to him.
“Is that wise?” John asked, something she asked herself.
“We have to go if we want to succeed,” Meia said. “If my uncle knows we’re here he won’t hesitate to attack us so we’ll have to move fast. We’ll have to focus our attack on the palace only, no secondary missions. Anything else might encounter resistance we don’t want or need, and pull resources we need elsewhere.”
“So, this is going to be it then, all or nothing,” John stated.
“Yep, in a couple of hours we’ll know,” Meia said, feeling nervous at that idea. “We have about two hours before they get here if they moved quickly.”
“If they are at Cimalius, they could be closer as well,” John replied.
Meia knew John spoke a truth, but at the same time she had her own plans to make.
“Come on, let’s go inform the others,” Meia stated, as they headed down the corridor.
End part 24