The Cimalian Princess: Invasion
by AJ Marks
Randy walked into the cafeteria holding Meia’s hand. To him if felt natural to have her beside him, but he felt a slight bit of tension in her movements. He had the feeling it had more to do with the fact of what had happened then them being together. The cafeteria wasn’t as crowded as it normally would be as many people were on duty or resting waiting for the word to move out.
“I think you’ll enjoy this meal,” Randy said looking at the food. “A good ol’ fashion hamburger.”
“Admiral, how can se serve you today,” the server behind the counter asked as Randy and Meia came up.
“I’ll have a cheeseburger, double, and I think a single regular hamburger for her,” Randy replied. “I hope you don’t mind,” he said to Meia.”
He watched as Meia glanced at the food then back at him. “I’ve never had one, so I guess I trust you,” she said. He watched as she smiled a bit.
“Good,” Randy replied as the food came out. He took the tray as they walked over to an empty table. He watched as she took her first bite to see how’d she react.
“It’s good,” Meia said.
“A simple favorite of a lot of people,” Randy replied. “Just take meat, put it between two slices of bread and presto. You can personalize it as well. I like cheese, others like BBQ sauce, or for a kick buffalo sauce.”
“Buffalo sauce,” Meia asked.
“Makes it spicy,” Randy said.
“I see,” Meia said.
Randy’s communicator chose that moment to interrupt them.
“Admiral White, this is the bridge,” Randy heard Kim’s voice say.
“Captain,” Randy said. He flashed an apologetic smile towards Meia as he answered it. “What’s going on?”
“We just picked up a Cimalian scout ship buzzing the system at high speed,” Kim replied.
Randy felt himself chilled by those words. If a scout ship went by the system there were few reasons for it. One meant that an enemy fleet was heading their way.
“Put the fleet on alert,” Randy said. “I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
He glanced down at his burger wondering why it seemed that everything always seemed to interrupt a meal. He almost got up when he noticed Meia looking at him.
“It seems that the Cimalians are on their way here,” she said to him.
“That’s my thought, and it does seem strange that the senator’s visit was to end only a few minutes ago,” Randy said. He thought about that for a few seconds but there wasn’t anything he could do now. “I need for you to do something.”
“All right,” Meia replied.
“Find John and tell him what’s going on. We need to get ready quickly,” Randy said.
“I can do that,” Meia said. They got up and walked towards the door.
“Good,” he said then stopped just outside the cafeteria where they’d be going in different directions. “Be careful, and good luck in the enemy attacks.”
“You too,” she replies then surprised him by quickly giving him a hug and kiss. Randy watched a bit stunned as she walked away.
“Bridge,” he mumbled to himself as he remembered where he had to be going. He really hoped they both survived.
Meia stepped onto the elevator to head to the pilot’s room hoping that John would be there. She thought about her actions, which had surprised her a bit. She hoped that Randy had taken them the right way, if not things might really get complicated. Of course if battle happened she didn’t know what would happen, that’s probably why she had gone though with it.
The elevator stopped as she walked out still thinking about Randy. She bumped into someone and looked up to see John’s face.
“Sorry Meia,” John said. “What’s up?”
“Huh, oh, I need to tell you something,” Meia said.
“Well, you can tell me on the way down to the hangar. Ben notified me that he wanted update me about a fighter,” John said.
Meia followed him back onto the elevator one more. This time heading to the hanger as the door closed in silence.
“So?” John asked.
“Oh right, the bridge reported a Cimalian scout ship in the sector,” Meia stated. She watched as John turned towards her for a second not saying anything.
“Great,” John said. “I guess the pilots need to be assembled.”
The doors opened allowing them access to the hanger.
“Meia, can you tell Ben to get the fighters ready for combat. I’ll gather up the pilots. Also tell him that whatever it is with the fighter to go ahead and do it unless it takes it out of combat readiness” John asked her.
“Sure,” Meia said. At least the mechanics didn’t look at her strangely as some of the pilots did. She watched as John turned and walked back onto the elevator and the door closed. Now she had to find Ben, tell him the news. Looking around she noticed the mechanics all over the deck working on various fighters. Finding the man in question and walking towards him. She just walked up to him when he turned around and jumped.
“Dang girl, we need to put a bell on you, give me a heart attack,” Ben said smiling. “Where’d you learn that anyways?”
“My academy days, I snuck around a lot when I was younger,” Meia replied. “John asked me here. A couple of things, one with the fighter, or fighters in question, go on ahead and do it.”
“I figured that, wonder why he didn’t tell me himself,” Ben mused.
“Well, a Cimalian scout ship just went thought the system. John also asked for you to get the fighters ready for combat,” Meia told him.
She watched as Ben stopped what he’d been doing and looked at her. “A Cimalian scout ship, that’s news,” he said. He turned and gave a whistle that pierced though the air of the hanger. Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked towards them. “Listen up, we need to fuel and arm all manned fighters, now!”
She never could get over the sheer ability of the flight crews as they all switched their tasks. People went quickly to other fighters sitting in the launch bays. Others quickly went over to the fuel supply while others headed to the armory to arm the fighters.
“Why hasn’t the captain informed us yet,” Ben asked turning to Meia.
“He’s headed to the bridge to evaluate the situation and sent me to warn John, who sent me to tell you,” Meia explained.
Ben laughed a bit at that causing Meia to frown a bit. “Oh, well, it’s just we have half a billion credits in communications and we’re sending couriers to get the message out. I’d send you over the other hanger but I think I’ll use the communicator instead, thanks.”
Meia had to admit, the idea did seem funny to her as well. She walked back to the elevator to head to the briefing room to find out what the situation was. Part of her felt relieved she didn’t have to worry about being the leader and making the decisions. She walked into the briefing room as most of the pilots were already there.
“I see you’re here,” a male voice said. She looked over to see the same man who had accused her earlier standing there. They had also briefly fought as well as she finally recalled his name, Victor.
“Just trying to help out,” Meia said.
“More like stab us in the back,” Victor replied walking towards her. “I reviewed how you came on board.”
“I was shot at by one of my own pilots,” Meia said.
The fact that Meia already knew took Victor back a bit.
“It was probably Olin, he wanted power, and was probably the second in command of the fighter groups. He made no quiet threat to me either,” Meia replied.
“Maybe you’re a traitor, what guarantee do we have you won’t do that to us?” Victor asked.
“”The same that I don’t fire on you,” John’s voice boomed thought the room. “Now, everyone sit down!”
Meia glanced around but found a spot further away from Victor. She wondered what had happened to Olin, did he become the squadron leader of the fleet? What fleet was on the way, the 1st, 3rd or some combination of fleets? Was the Kitakim still in one piece?
John’s voice droned on around her but she barely heard any of it. Her mind instead seemed to rushing with different plans, way to end the war. She was an Alpha Supreme.
Randy glanced over at the battle scanner giving the image in a three-dimensional detail allowing him a better look at the situation. He had heard from John and the pilots were ready. They had full combat patrols going with each patrol going only half the normal time to avoid the patrol funning low on fuel. Next he had to figure out how to meet the enemy, who he figured was headed towards him. One thing he wouldn’t keep his fleet where it was.
“Admiral, Bismarck has reported its arrived at its position,” Yvette said.
Randy silently nodded his head as he still thought about it. He’d sent the Bismarck towards some nearby asteroids. “What about the Victorious?”
“Scanner’s indicate it’s reached the second planet in the system and ready to hyperspace back,” the reply came back.
Randy glanced at the scattering of the fleet. He’d broken up the fleet to make it seem as if there weren’t as many ships when the Cimalians arrived. He could only hope they made it back in time. He’d also placed the Victorious’ fighters on the planet’s surface so the fighters wouldn’t be so outnumbered.
“Admiral, Bismarck reports enemy hyperspace ships entering system. Arrival in five minutes,” Hans said.
“Red alert,” Randy said.
“Incoming message from President Winerich,” Hans said.
Randy groaned at that comment. He thought it was a bit strange that the President seemed to be calling at this time. “Put it thought Hans,” Randy replied. He glanced down at his screen to see the President’s face appear. “Mr. President?”
“Admiral, Senator Agnes hadn’t reported back from his tour of your ship, we need to know where he is,” Eric said.
“Then I suggest you contact HQ sir,” Randy said. Part of him felt bad for lying but he didn’t have time for the upcoming argument with the Cimalian fleet approaching within minutes.
“I will admiral, and I’ll be very interested to hear what the senator has to say,” the President said. The screen went black as Kim announced how time remained.
“Fighters,” Randy asked.
He watched as Yvette looked down to see before replying. “All ready sir,” she said.
“Launch fighters,” Randy ordered. “Have the fighters from the planet’s surface wait until the enemy has arrived before launching.”
Yvette relayed the info down to the waiting pilots on the planet’s surface. Hans was relaying orders to the rest of the fleet as the Cimalian fleet closed in.
Glancing at the scanner Randy saw the fighters form into formations ready for the upcoming attack. The combat patrol had landed already going though the procedure to refuel. Randy didn’t want any of his pilots at a disadvantage in this battle.
“Is there an indication of how many,” Randy asked. He figured that they were now close enough to at least ID some of the ships.
“Approximately two dozen or so admiral, with at least three battle-cruisers,” Yvette replied.
Randy knew that the odds didn’t look that good, but he hoped that luck would be on his side in this battle. He somehow had the feeling that this battle would decide everything.
“Any estimate of where the enemy ships will drop out of hyperspace,” Randy asked. He still had a couple of minutes as he looked around the bridge. His crew seemed poised with battle looming. There was no panic in any face as they all quietly went about their duties allowing those who needed to talk to be heard.
“I’ll put it on the scanner,” Yvette said.
Randy watched as the scanner put the information on the screen. He didn’t have much he could do as his ships were already in position. Anything else would require more time, that he didn’t have.
“Enemy missile launchers are the top priority,” Randy ordered. Perhaps it was the most important order he’d given yet. With the elimination of each missile launcher the chance of surviving increased.
“One minute,” Kim’s voice said echoing across the bridge and the fleet.
Randy stood on the bridge having done all he could. The pieces had been moved, and orders given.
“Relay orders to Victorious and Bismarck.”
Admiral Jezic glanced at the scanner as the fleet approached the target planet. The scout ship had gone by the system not long ago. The captain had reported a substantial fleet around the planet, which he didn’t see now. The fleet was supposed to have consisted of four battle-cruisers, but he only noticed two. He wondered if whatever plan High Command had didn’t work. The enemy fleet was supposed to have remained there.
The one thing he was sure of, failure wouldn’t be tolerated this time for anyone. He quickly noticed where the enemy fleet was stationed, not that it mattered to him he’d be able to defeat this fleet.
“All ships ready to engage,” Diern reported to him.
“All ships are to open fire the moment we exit hyperspace,” Jezic ordered. “No enemy ship is to leave. Target engines first.”
“By your will admiral,” Diern said relaying the orders thought the rest of the fleet.
“Thirty seconds until contact,” Jezic heard the countdown.
Once this battle was over there’d be nothing would stand in the way of the Cimalian Empire conquering the Alliance. He adjusted his eye patch one last time as he looked over the bridge. Everyone knew their place, their duty, and he, he would be known in the Cimalian archives for all history as the admiral who began the invasion and the admiral who ended the Alliance resistance. Another glorious battle would be his.
Meia adjusted the helmet of the Wolf fighter one more time as her fighter swung down for launch. She had been one of the last to launch, aside from the patrol who had just landed. Ben and his crew had worked hard arming her fighter with missiles. The Wolf fighter had a bay for missiles but decreased fuel available for the fighter.
Meia had insisted with Ben who finally relented and armed her fighter with two missiles. The fuel didn’t concern her but if her plan worked it could help the Alliance more than anything else. She knew doing so would go against orders from a superior but she knew this would be needed.
“155, launch,” the controller said as the clamps on her fighter released causing a momentary shudder as the engines came to life and her fighter exited the battle-cruiser.
She quickly formed up with the rest her squadron. They headed towards the assigned position.
“All right boys and girls, form up, protect your wing-mate and above all come home safely,” John said. “Our target is sector T, one battle-cruiser might appear there, our target, the enemy missile launchers.”
“Got your five,” a pilot named Malak said. Meia watched as he lined up with her allowing her to take the lead. She hadn’t been expecting that, but felt relieved anyways as the ten fighters of the squadron headed to their assigned sector.
“Just follow me in,” Meia said to Malak. She only hoped that Malak didn’t get in trouble for what she would do.
“Cimalian warships exiting hyperspace,” John’s voice said as several large warships suddenly seemed to appeared in front of them. One battle-cruiser appeared a bit closer than any of the pilots were expecting. “Engage!”
Meia turned her fighter a bit as she lined up a different target than had been ordered.
“Ah, Meia, what’re you doing,” Malak asked.
“Just follow,” Meia said as she waited for the computer to indicate a lock. A beeping noise indicated that the computer was attempting to gain the lock.
“We’ve got incoming fighters,” Malak said. Meia had noticed several fighters already launching from the hanger bay but ignored them.
A high-pitched buzz indicated a solid lock on her target. Pressing the trigger two missiles streaked away from her fighter. Pulling away from the battle-cruiser she watched as the missiles struck their target on the battle-cruiser. Flame erupted out of the hanger as both missiles detonated inside the battle-cruiser’s hanger. Shrapnel penetrated two Vengeance fighters in the process of launching causing them to spin out of control before exploding.
Meia knew that the hanger had been disabled and fewer fighters to worry about. The battle-cruiser, like the Alliance equivalents though, had two hangers. She also understood that her attack had killed many lower class citizens who worked in the hanger.
“Three enemy fighters on our tail,” Malak said.
“Got it,” Meia answered. “Tight turns, keep up and we’ll lose them.”
“Just try and lose me ma’am,” Malak said.
A slight grin came to her face at that as she threw her fighter into a hard turn. The flight suit and her training allowed her to keep consciousness though the turn. She noticed Malak had attempted to keep up but managed to remain somewhat in position but wasn’t in any firing position as Meia was.
Pressing the trigger she watched as one Cimalian fighter exploded. Malak opened fire getting the second enemy fighter leaving the third quickly turning away to find another target.
“All commands, missile launch,” the report came in from the Akagi.
She took a quick look around on her scanner noticing the slight hesitant image of the missiles as the scanners tried to lock on.
“Malak, cover me, we’re going in,” she said turning her fighter for the missiles.
“I hope you know what you’re doing, ’cause I don’t see them,” Malak said.
“They’re there,” Meia replied. She pushed her engines beyond the limit hoping to reach the missiles in time.
End Chapter 21
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