The Cimalian Princess: Invasion
by AJ Marks
Jack walked quickly into the cafeteria looking for the one person he hoped would be able to help him. Scanning the tables he noticed her talking with one of his staff. Even from here he could tell she was playing the injured person routine, and the staff member seemed to be buying it. Shaking his head he walked over to where they were.
“Ahem,” he said interrupting them.
“Admiral,” Amy said looking over at him. “Any news?”
“You might say that,” Jack said looking over at Amy’s companion. He noticed as Amy got the tone and look.
“I’ll talk to you later then,” she said.
“Count on it,” the reply came.
Jack looked on as Amy watched the woman walk away before turning back to him.
“All right, what happened,” she asked.
“How about the fact that Senator Agnes has actually been working for the Cimalians all along,” Jack said to her. He watched as her face showed shock at the news then thought about it for a few seconds.
“Well, at first, I’d say shocked, but now, not so much,” Amy said. “It explains a lot though. How’d you find out about it?”
Jack relayed an abbreviated version of the story to her allowing her time to think. After he’d finished he had a feeling that she’d thought of something that might be useful.
“I think I should tell my father first,” Amy said. “We don’t get along very well but I know I can trust him.”
Jack nodded his head wishing that Greg was still alive for this. He’d have enjoyed taking down the senator a lot. Another thought came to him wondering if the senator had anything to do with Greg’s death. Getting his attention back to Amy he realized he’d have to get something set up.
“I’ll get Chad to get the senator for you then,” Jack said reaching for his communicator.
“Is there anything else I should know about,” Amy asked.
Jack thought about that but couldn’t think of anything else and shook his head. He then continued activating the communicator.
“Admiral,” Chad’s voice said.
“Get Senator Barnes on the line, we need to talk to him,” Jack said. He waited for the reply then put the communicator back.
“The only sticking point I can see is this Meia. You said you met her,” Amy asked.
“Yep, nice kid,” Jack said. “She sticks out though, blue hair.”
“I see, and Senator Agnes is locked up on the brig on the Akagi,” she said as Jack nodded his head yes. “You know, I think I’m going to enjoy this.”
“Admiral, the senator’s office said he’ll be out of a meeting and to call back in twenty minutes,” Chad’s voice said.
“Thanks Chad,” Jack replied looking over at Amy.
“That should be just enough time then,” Amy said. Jack watched as Amy watched another person walk by. He could see that her reputation hadn’t been exaggerated.
Meia flopped down on her bed still trying to understand everything she’d learned. Her father had been Boris Cimal, an Alpha Supreme. She had learned from her mother that her father had been a loving, caring man. That description differed from most in the Cimal family. They were ruthless, uncaring about others and felt that they were almost gods and should be worshipped by the rest of the people. And Admiral Jezic had killed her mother and then they had lied about it to her. For years she harbored a wasted hate on the Alliance when they didn’t even know about the Cimalian Empire.
The door chimed interrupting her thoughts. Part of her didn’t want a guest, but another part of her wanted to talk to someone. “Come in,” she finally said as the door opened allowing John to walk in.
“Hey, how are you,” John asked. Meia watched as he walked in and sat down at the table across from the bed. “Randy’s worried about you but couldn’t get away, so he asked me to come by.”
“He’s been handed an enemy of high class, though it appears not as high as me,” Meia replied.
“I don’t understand that,” John said. “Those classes, Epsilon, alpha and all of them what do they mean?”
“Well, Alpha supreme citizens are descendents of Charles Cimal, the first ruler of the Cimalian Empire. When your born you take the class of your father unless you’re an Alpha Supreme, which takes precedence. Alphas are the ruling class, making up the rest of the government, high commanders, and leadership roles. Betas are those who make up the next level, many are officers in the military and such. Deltas make up most of the ships crews and soldiers. Gammas make up shock soldiers and highly trained mechanics and laborers. Epsilons however are generally slave labor, the lowest of society and the worst jobs that no one else wants, or are too dangerous for others,” Meia answered. She wondered what her life would have been like if her father had survived.
“Sounds a bit like out society, except we use money to divide the classes,” John replied.
“But you can move up or down within your system regardless of where you’re born,” Meia said. “In the Cimalian system you stay where you’re born, you can’t change your position.”
“So how’d you get into a leadership role?” John asked.
“My skills and abilities, but even then everything I did was subject to strict observations from High Command. Many times my orders were overruled, which resulted in failure and punishment for me for failure to carry out the orders,” Meia said.
“Sounds like fun,” John said, his sarcastic tone carrying to Meia.
“Only if you like pain,” Meia replied. “Its something the upper classes enjoy handing out thought the electrowhip.”
“Randy asked me about that, but what is it,” John asked.
“A device meant to inflict maximum pain with no physical damage,” Meia replied. “The higher class didn’t like punishing people then having to wait for them to heal so they could continue their jobs.”
“Nice,” John said.
“So, what’ll happen to ‘my uncle’,” Meia asked.
“I don’t know,” John said. “They don’t’ tell pilots such things, unless you’re on the bridge. I know Randy was going to talk with his dad about it, but after that I don’t’ know.”
“I always thought I would only be a pilot, wanting revenge against the Alliance for killing my mother, and now,” Meia trailed off in thought looking down. What exactly was she now? She glanced back up noticing that John was waiting for her to continue. “Now, I don’t know.”
“You’re a valuable part of your crew,” John said.
Meia nodded her head. Somewhere she felt a sense of belonging at long last. They wanted her to stay and considered her part of the crew, or at least some did.
“We’re having a meeting in half an hour to discuss what the scout crews found,” John said as he got up and walked to the door.
“I’ll be there then,” Meia said. She watched as he walked out, seemed to stop briefly then continue on his way. She had turned her back to the door but felt someone standing there. Turning around she noticed Randy standing in the doorway.
“Oh, um, hi,” she said.
“Hey, I, um, well I was wondering how you were doing,” Randy said. She watched as he seemed to fidget on his feet waiting for her reply before he continued on. “I mean, well, finding out such things can’t be easy on a person and thought if you need to talk about it then well, I’ll listen.”
“I thought you were talking with your dad?” Meia replied.
“Was, but he’d call back with any ideas about the senator,” Randy replied.
“Yeah, I think he’s going to ask someone else for political advice, it shall be interesting,” Randy said.
“Your friend or the advice?”
“Ah, both,” Randy said.
Meia wasn’t sure what Randy meant. Instead of saying anything she continued watching Randy to see if he’d clarify his wording.
“Ah, well her name is Amy Barnes, a daughter of a senator, and a bit of a loose cannon,” Randy said. “She’s caused more than one scandal by her actions. She chases anything with two legs, male or female. After a few romps with other senators’ sons and daughters, and a few public occasions she and her father had a fight. Of course it also didn’t help that she was very outspoken with her views, which she usually was right on as well, that doesn’t’ go over well with politicians. Well after her father lost some of his power because of her actions they agreed to split. She left for an outer colony and stayed out of the public eye allowing her father to try and regain some of his power.”
“I see,” Meia said, but part of her didn’t understand. Such things would’ve never been tolerated in Cimalian society. “So she can help?”
“Yeah, she might have a wild reputation but she’s also known as honest, and straightforward. That’ll help us out for sure,” Randy said. “Would you like to grab something to eat?”
Meia thought about that for a second as Randy shifted from foot to foot waiting for her reply. She realized he seemed nervous about the question, or the answer.
“Sure,” she finally replied. She noticed his apparent relief at her answer. She had a feeling that being with a friend would be good for her.
Jezic glanced over at the monitor waiting for the results. The newly formed 1st CF, under his command, was now fully operational. The latest report from Sierra indicated that the fleet that was his target was still there. He wondered about that considering it had moved quickly lately. He also had orders on when to strike. His fleet could be there in less than two hours.
He outnumbered the enemy fleet as he now had almost twice the firepower he previously had. He also had an idea as to how the enemy worked. It seemed that the enemy had learned that it took fifteen clicks for the Xeno missiles to arm. He’d already talked with the other battle-cruiser captains telling them to ignore the closer enemy battle-cruiser and instead fire the missiles at ones in the range outside of fifteen clicks.
“Admiral,” Captain Diern’s voice said. “Everything’s ready.”
Jezic glanced down at the time. If he left now then he’d get there on time. “Tell the fleet to move out then. And remember, failure isn’t an option,” he told the captain.
“By your will admiral,” Diern said.
Jezic looked at the scanner watching as the fleet powered up. The whine of the hyperspace engines reached a fever pitch then stopped as the ship went into hyperspace. They had to destroy this enemy fleet, otherwise the entire operation would be in danger of failing.
Olin walked onto the hanger deck wanting to make sure that the mechanics were doing their job. He felt that they had to be watched all the time, after all they were Gamma and Epsilon class citizens, they didn’t know any better. They should be thankful that he’d spent the time making sure they were doing their job correctly. After all this was for the good of the empire. Last time he’d been down on the hangar one of the mechanics had rushed his job, Olin had been quick to punish laziness as both the mechanic and Hecus were punished for it.
He looked around noticing that everyone seemed to be afraid of him. That brought a smile to his face as he thought about that. The people needed to be afraid of their superiors it made for a better work environment and less mistakes when they were punished for them.
“Well, I hope everything will be ready,” Olin said walking up next to Hecus.
“We’re working around the clock to make sure,” Hecus said in a toneless voice.
“Well, just so your people don’t make any more mistakes,” Olin said. “It wouldn’t look good for you if more problems were found.”
“It’ll all work,” Hecus replied.
“Consider this you one and only warning then. If any pilot loses their life because of a mechanics mistake your and their life is forfeit. No mechanic’s life is worth a pilot’s life,” Olin said. He turned leaving the mechanics to their duty knowing that his voice had carried throughout the hanger. He didn’t care what they thought as long as his own agenda was carried out. He only wished he’d been able to get Meia in trouble and punish her as well.
“Arrogant bastard,” one mechanic said to Hecus after Olin left.
“Sometimes I wish Meia was still here. At least she understood our job,” Hecus said. “Well, make sure that these fighters are a hundred and ten percent ready.”
A few of the others grumbled but knew better. Hecus turned and went back to work wondering how long he had until Olin carried out his threats. The pilot seemed to hate the lower class no matter what they did.
He thought about going to the captain or the admiral but figured Olin’s word would carry more weight considering how the man was a higher class citizen. Then even if the admiral or captain did agree, it’d probably make things worse for them later on. He had a feeling that many of them wouldn’t last long anymore.
Jack turned at the sound of the door watching as Amy hobbled into the room. He’d been able to get in touch with the senator’s office and was waiting for final word from the senator himself.
“So, any ideas,” Jack asked Amy.
“Just one, offensive as always,” Amy said taking a seat nearby.
“Blunt, guess I should’ve figured,” Jack replied.
“Well, it’s worked for me for years and I find sometimes it can be harder to disprove,” Amy said to him.
“Or more trouble,” Jack mumbled under his breath.
“Oh, but it’s much more fun,” Amy replied. Jack could see the smile forming on her face at the thought of what was about to happen.
“Admiral, Senator Barnes is now on the line,” Chad said.
“Put it though,” Jack said. He noticed Amy had gotten up and walked over to where Jack was.
“Senator, glad you can take some time to talk with us,” Jack said as the senator’s face appeared.
“Well, things are always changing admiral, oh, Amy,” Barnes said stopping his conversation at the sight of his daughter.
“It’s good to see you to dad,” Amy said.
“Well, yes, I was worried about you after Hesslius,” Barnes said. “Is there another problem? You’re not going to start trouble for me again?”
“Actually, it’s worse than that,” Amy said.
Jack watched as the senator’s face went pale a bit. He didn’t know what to expect to happen next.
“Another conspiracy,” Barnes finally asked.
“Its deeper and more threatening than any conspiracy senator,” Jack said.
“An enemy spy, no agent, has been uncovered,” Amy said.
“An enemy agent, this should be good,” Barnes said.
“It appears that Senator Agnes is an agent for the Cimalian Empire,” Amy said to him. Jack waited for the familiar outburst denying the allegation.
“So the senator is working for the Cimalian Empire,” Barnes said rubbing his chin.
“Actually, he’s not working for them, he is one of them,” Amy said clarifying what she’d said.
“And how’d you find this out,” Barnes asked. “After all I doubt he just willingly told you.”
“Actually in a way, he did,” Jack said. “He ran into someone he wasn’t expecting.”
“He ran into someone?” Barnes asked. Jack could hear the disbelief in the senator’s voice.
“Well, we captured an enemy pilot and under a secret program she remained on the Akagi. When the senator went on his tour he ran into her. Seems that they are blood related,” Jack said.
“This is going to be interesting. I suppose that you’re going to run with this information?” He said
“Oh yeah,” Amy said. “In fact we’ve already got the governor of Hesslius, and Sierra on board. They know that the Cimalian invasion is real no matter what the rest of the government says.”
“And you’re sure about this information,” Barnes asked.
“So much so that we’re willing to go public with it,” Amy replied. “In fact I’ve already called for the press conference in two hours.”
“I see then I’m going to be preparing a response then,” Barnes said.
“I have one thing that might help,” Jack said. “A file of everything we know.”
“That should help then,” Barnes replied. “I hope you’re telling the truth. If not, I’m committing political suicide.”
“This is the truth, and people deserve to know,” Jack said.
He watched as Barnes checked his watch for the time then looked back at them. “Well, I’ve got things to do, my staff’s going to be busy.”
“That’s the spirit dad, this should be fun,” Amy said.
Jack could see that the senator wasn’t sure about that but signed off anyways. He watched as Amy then hobbled out of the room leaving the command center in silence.
“Did she say this will be fun,” Chad said being the first to recover his voice.
“Yep, this should be a rollercoaster for sure,” Jack said. He got up as his stomach rumbled. “I’m going to grab a quick bit to eat, let me know if anything else happens.”
“Yes sir,” Chad replied as Jack left the room.
End Chapter 20
Comment below or send to AJMarks01@aol.com