The Cimalian Princess: Rebellion
by AJ Marks
Meia acknowledged John’s good luck and turned her fighter towards the planet. This was the part she felt most nervous about, the upcoming battle on the ground. The battle she fought in space was easy compared to this upcoming battle.
Moving her fighter into atmosphere she felt it jerk slightly as she encountered air resistance. Her ride down would get bumpier but noticed there were no storms going on in her descent. She spotted the signal which would identify where she needed to go set up by the resistance, or so she hoped.
Flames erupted around her as she slowed down for atmospheric flight, not the high speed of space as it would rip the ship apart. The temperature inside stayed cool thanks to the shields of the Wolf II fighter.
“Blue one to shuttle group,” Meia said.
“Shuttle group here, heading towards the landing spot and will secure the area,” the reply came back to her.
“Understood, heading down now, will meet you shortly,” Meia replied wondering how things were going down there, and what she really should do once she arrived there.
Randy listened to the battle though the communications, waiting for one message.
“Admiral, Meia’s fighter has now entered the atmosphere as well behind the shuttles,” Kim said to him.
Randy nodded knowing that the first part had been achieved, getting Meia and the group to the planet’s atmosphere. The next part was landing on the surface and his fleet now had the job of delaying the Cimalian military or defeat it.
“Order the Bismarck to head to sector sixteen and engage the carrier,” Randy said.
The order was relay even as he braced from the impact of the Xeno missiles launched from a battle-cruiser further away. He looked to see the layout of the enemy fleet and his.
“Have Hood engage the other battle-cruiser, high priority on the Xeno missile launchers,” Randy ordered.
“Bomber groups heading in on attack runs on the Warspite,” Aaron said.
Randy watched as the bombers closed on and hoped the defensive systems on the Warspite could take the challenge. There were no fighter squadrons in range to take on the bombers in time.
“Communications from one of the shuttles, it was damage and will be forced to land in a different area,” Hans said.
Randy nodded knowing that fifty men were now either lost before the ground combat began or were in an area which they could not help. Either way Meia’s force was now shorthanded.
“Sir, shuttle group two is ready, shall I give them the okay?” Kim asked.
Randy glanced at the current situation of the battle. All over fighter groups were engaged with their opposite but the path to the planet’s surface was currently too risky for shuttles.
“Negative, we need a clearer path,” Randy said. “If they left now they’d be flying right into a combat zone, inform shuttle group one of the situation.”
He watched as Hans relayed the message and tried to figure out what they could do to clear the path. After Meia and her group descended the path became clogged with fighters. He could risk the men but he wouldn’t waste their lives in a reckless move. He would place his trust in John and the fighters to clear the path.
Meia climbed out of her fighter and looked around spotting only three shuttles instead of four, hoping they only had some problems and were not destroyed on the descent down to the surface. Either way it meant they were now fifty men short for their assault on the palace. She made her way over to the commander of the group who appeared waiting for her.
“Lost one shuttle on the way down, engine failure. Don’t know about its condition or men, or even where it landed as we can’t raise it,” the man said to her.
She took a breath wanting to send men to find the shuttle but knowing she didn’t have the manpower to do so.
“I’ve got scouts heading towards the palace even as we secure the landing site,” he continued updating her.
“Thank you captain,” Meia said.
“Um, there is one thing, with fewer men it will be harder to defend this position,” he said to her.
“As you saying we should abandon the area?” Meia asked, fi they did that then she would have to join them.
“Yes ma’am, we can leave a few, but securing the area will be difficult,” he said.
Meia had to give that some thought before finally coming up with a reply. “Lead on then.”
“Squad six, you’re with Meia, make sure nothing happens to her,” the captain said to a young man who gave a salute.
The group moved out even as the squad formed a ring around Meia as she crept along silently with the group using her skills to remain quiet. They moved forward before coming to halt and the commander came back to her.
“There appears to be fighting up ahead, we don’t know who is who,” he said to her as another person tapped him on the shoulder.
“Sir, General Porkins says reinforcement are delayed due to the battle in space, they can’t provide a clear path and the admiral isn’t sure when they will arrive.”
“Hades,” the commander said then looked at Meia. “Its your call, we’re up to it, but looks like we’ll be it.”
Meia looked around at the men knowing it was up to her as they waited for her decision. She had no idea how this battle would go, or how they would make the final destination. They might get a few more from the resistance depending on how many they were able to organize. It would be easy to wait for reinforcements but she had a feeling Enforcers were already on their way. They could not hold this position forever, and she had no idea how the battle would unfold in space.
“We go,” Meia finally said making up her mind.
“You heard the lady, we go,” the commander said looking around at the group. “Third squad, left flank, seventh, right, second squad rear, the rest with me, move out.”
Each squad quickly moved to their position as the men fanned out once more and headed onward. Shooting up ahead caused her to flinch and look around but saw nothing. The others appeared tense but no one jumped at every little noise.
“Bit different than flying, eh lieutenant?” the closest to her said.
“Yeah,” Meia replied nodding her head in agreement.
“We were like you on the way down, but now, this is our environment,” he said to her as they moved on. Meia tried to stay out of the way as much as possible.
“Sir, getting some resistance on the flanks, but forward is clear,” Meia heard the report come into the commander.
“Keep an eye out for traps, but proceed,” the commander replied.
“Any sign of the resistance?” Meia asked gaining some courage to ask the question.
“Sorry, nothing yet.”
Meia swallowed at the news knowing it could mean many things, one of which her uncle planned a lot of this and they were walking into a trap. She kicked herself for now waiting for the reinforcements but for now all they could do was go forward.
They moved along forward where she could hear even more PRG fire, and it seemed to be heavy fighting up ahead.
“Captain, scouts reporting in, there’s a firefight up ahead between locals, the palace guards and a group of armed men who called themselves Enforcers approaching from that direction,” the man said pointing in a direction opposite from the firefight.
“The Enforcers are on the Emperor’s side, the locals are probably the resistance,” Meia said quickly.
“All right, squad six will engage the Enforcers, the rest will engage the palace guards,” the captain said.
Meia moved along keeping out of sight, something she felt more comfortable with even as the commotion grew louder. She watched as a few others moved ahead and then Brad came running back towards her with some important information.
“We’ve met up with the group led by Greg,” Dave said. “They are up ahead in the firefight.”
“All right, we’ll have a few squads go and join them,” the commander said.
“See if Greg and came back here, we need to know what is going on and how we’re going to get into the palace,” Meia said.
Dave nodded as men moved out and forward but Meia, her squad and the commander all stayed behind hearing the fight almost intensify but Dave returned with Greg.
“You’re early,” Greg stated looking around at the men around her.
“We had a slight problem, had to leave ahead of plans,” Meia replied to him. “What’s the situation?”
“Fighting started a few minutes ago, but the palace is already on alert, guess it’s a good thing your fleet showed up early then,” Greg said. “Some of the palace guards are supposed to be friendly, but so far haven’t had any luck there.”
Meia still felt skeptical about that but said nothing at the moment. Palace guards would be friendly when they were all loyal to her uncle. He wouldn’t run the risk of having someone who might turn on him be so close to him.
“We have a breakthrough,” the commander said, who had been paying attention to the battle. “Move out.”
The group started running before Meia even had a chance to think about what was going on. She felt slightly foolish for running straight into the palace but the fighting continued as the men caught others unware that a breakthrough had been achieved. A few calls for medics rang out and she noticed a few people being treated but they continued forward. Around the next corner was another group of guards as they looked on Greg seemed to spot something.
“Blue patch, that’s what our contact said would be willing to help us,” Greg said as Meia looked over to see the patch in question.
“Are you sure?” the commander asked.
“Yeah, I’ll make contact,” Greg said moving forward to talk with the guards.
“Take someone with you,” Meia said as a few others stepped forward and made their way forward with Greg.
“I’m with the resistance group, are you the guards we were told about?” she heard Greg ask.
“Yes,” a voice said, but not from the guards, but a female voice Meia thought she recognized.
“Our contact, didn’t expect to hear you here,” Greg stated.
“Why not, I’ve planned this all along.”
Randy watched the scanner again as the Cimalian battle-cruisers moved into the pathway which would shuttle would take to the planet. Things seemed to be getting worse.
“Why is it I don’t like the feeling of this?” Randy said more to himself than anyone else around him.
“Of what sir? Aaron said, hearing the question.
“This fight, everything, their deliberately blocking our path to the planet, almost as if,” Randy stopped as a sudden thought. “Oh goddess, this isn’t good.”
He looked over to see the rest of the bridge crew looking at him.
“What do you mean, we appear to be winning,” Kim stated.
“For now, but as Meia said, the real battle is on the planet’s surface, as long as we can’t reinforce the troops down there they have the advantage,” Randy said to them. “Its like they knew what we’d be doing.”
“You mean they knew our plan?” Toni said not looking up from the weapons console.
“Basically, yes, that’s what I’m saying,” Randy said. “And they might be down on the planet with Meia at the moment. Can we get a message through to the troops down there?”
“Sorry sir, we’re currently being jammed by the enemy fleet,” Hans said. “Started up a few minutes ago after mentioning we couldn’t send reinforcements down.”
“Hades,” Randy swore looking around.
“Incoming fleet in hyperspace, probably the one which tracked us down earlier,” Toni said. “Be here in almost twenty minutes.”
Randy knew things now looked bleak as the Cimalian fleet approached. There was still a lot of battle to undertake and he could abandon the planet and Meia but he hoped she could end this battle quickly.
“Tell the Hood to follow us, we’re engaging that battle-cruiser and destroying it now,” Randy said giving a new order. “Cruiser squad take up flanking positions on either side, we’re going straight at them.”
End part 28