The Cimalian Princess: Invasion
by AJ Marks
Randy watched from his scanner as everything seemed to stop except for one battle between two fighters. He knew other battles were going on but he had the feeling that this battle would be won, or lost with the outcome of the battle that Meia was engaged in.
“The Bismarck had arrived,” Kim said.
“Its to proceed to target,” Randy said not looking up.
“John and Malak are moving to intercept two missiles,” Yvette said.
Randy acknowledged the report as Meia and the Cimalian pilot, Olin, engaged each other. They seemed to be testing each other as they circled each other. Olin’s voice then crackled though the bridge.
“Once I kill you I reach the rank of blue. Then everyone will know just how weak you were.”
“Then everyone knows how you got your command, all talk and no follow though,” Meia replied. “You think you’re so great, but you’re just a Beta.”
“At least I know my place, and I will show you yours.”
Randy was sure that Meia had been taunting Olin. Perhaps getting him distracted, make a mistake. He turned Kim to get a report of the rest of the fleet.
“Destroyer Narvin destroyed, the cruiser Fitch is reporting heaving losses,” Kim replied.
“Nothing yet,” Kim replied. “Any orders?”
“No, this battle is won and lost here,” he said pointing at the screen where Meia and Olin were fighting.
Jezic heard the conversation between Olin and Meia as had the rest of the bridge crew. At the moment his confidence in Olin surviving had dwindled rapidly. Meia had one of the highest abilities in the fleet. If it hadn’t been for her low Epsilon class ranking she’d have been flight leader for the entire Cimalian Fleet. Now because of a mistake by the leadership Meia now was fighting them.
“Admiral, we have a problem,” Diern said quietly to him.
“What is it,” Jezic asked. The last thing he wanted was something else to go wrong.
“In private,” Diern said.
Jezic huffed a bit then walked over to an area where they wouldn’t be overheard.
“We have a report that the mechanics in hangar one have rebelled.”
“What! Fine, take a squad and kill them all,” Jezic ordered.
The captain stood for a second before turning to head off the bridge to quickly carry out the order.
He wouldn’t lose this battle because a few mechanics rebelled. He would win this battle.
Meia turned her fighter again keeping Olin from getting behind her. The superior maneuverability of the Alliance fighter meant she had an advantage over Olin. She also knew that the battle would be a test of skill and luck.
‘I will live,’ had become her mantra during the battle as the two fighters twisted and turned to gain the upper hand. Olin had taken a few shots as she had. She also understood that a lucky shot could end this battle. And lady luck had no friends.
She watched as a few rounds flew past her canopy. Her fighter already turned away as it slammed her into her seat as she turned hard. The fighter now seemed to be straining past it limits allowing Meia to take a few shots of her own. Olin spun his fighter as lady luck allowed him to avoid the fire.
“Your good, but not that good. Now its time to die,” Olin half screamed at her.
She watched knowing that Olin would be trying another practiced maneuver to get behind her once more. A quick acceleration followed by a high degree one hundred and eight reverse turn. She watched as his fighter began the thrust, or at least as much as the Wolf fighter would allow. Olin began his turn. She waited a heartbeat longer as time slowed down.
The fighter turned slowly as Meia turned the controls of her own fighter. It began turning towards Olin’s fighter. Ignoring the immense pressure of the forces trying to slam her into her seat she kept a firm grip on her controls. She willed herself to remain conscious blinking away stars focusing in on once point as both fighters faced each other.
Meia looked right at the cockpit of Olin’s fighter. She could see his green hair, and his blue eyes looking right back at her. The hatred and anger burned into her as the two fighters seemed to hang in space for an eternity.
Both fighters fired, each pilot wanting the kill. One shot went wide, another hit true as one fighter exploded.
Meia let out a breath as her fighter went clear of the debris. She calmed herself knowing that only one battle had been won, another would just begin.
Jezic’s fist pounded on the table surface causing everyone to jump. Olin had failed him, not that it had been a surprise but he hoped the universe still held some luck for him.
“Tell all fighters, target Meia and destroy her at once. The one who does becomes a blue,” Jezic ordered.
“At once sir,” the communications officer said.
Jezic turned watching the rest of the crew. Captain Diern walked back in after taking care of his orders. No other crewmen dared to look at him. That suited him fine, the last thing he wanted to do was explain his orders to lower class citizens. They also didn’t need to know that Meia was telling the truth. He’d take the heat from the Emperor, but had a feeling he wouldn’t mind.
Randy sat back into his chair feeling relieved when he noticed who won the battle. he felt as if a great weight had lifted and he’d been shown the end result.
“Continue firing,” Kim’s voice said breaking Randy out of his musings. He realized the fight still raged.
“Admiral, there’s something strange on the scanner,” Yvette said.
Randy glanced at the scanner in front of him to see for himself. He didn’t have to wait long to see what she had seen. Every fighter in the area seemed to be heading towards Meia.
“Get me John,” Randy said knowing that Hans was working quickly.
“Yo, what’s up skipper,” John’s voice said.
“Every Cimalian fighter is heading towards Meia,” Randy replied.
“I’ll let her know, and we better bring in others to help out,” John said. “It might also be to our advantage.”
“Do what you have to,” Randy ordered. The only thing he really wanted was the fight over and his people to survive, especially Meia.
Randy glanced at the scanner noticing that the arrival of the Bismarck seemed to have even up the odds some. His fleet still seemed to be at a disadvantage but he could work with this. The missiles from the Cimalian battle-cruisers had trailed off. That meant either they had run out or the launchers had been destroyed.
“Repair time on the plasma beams,” Randy asked.
“Damage control is working on it admiral,” Kim replied to him.
He tried to will the weapons into working but that didn’t work. The main weapons of the Akagi were offline in the most important battle of the war. He hoped the hard lasers could inflict enough damage to the enemy, but even then almost half had been disabled. The only consolation he could take was the enemy ship seemed to have just as much damage as the Akagi.
He noticed that the battle around Meia seemed to intensify as more fighters arrived.
Meia turned her fighter into a wild turn as weapons fire streaked by her fighter from what appeared to be all angles. Her luck seemed to hold for a few seconds longer. More fighters from both sides seemed to be approaching. John had given her a warning then ordered in several squadrons into the sector.
Her first thought had been fight back, but that had been squashed quickly. The other Alliance fighters were being ignored allowing them to destroy the Cimalian fighter with ease.
“Too easy,” one said.
“Its like shooting fish in a barrel,” another said.
Meia wasn’t exactly sure what that meant but assumed it to be a good thing. The Alliance fighters dwindled the numbers against her quickly as she continued avoiding the fire.
“An old friend calling Meia, come in,” a voice said. The suddenness and recognition shocked Meia.
“Hecus,” Meia asked in shock. She recovered in time to turn her fighter away from another burst of fire.
“One and only, now what’s this about you being an Alpha Supreme,” Hecus asked.
“Long story,” Meia replied.
“And Olin, he’s dead,” Hecus asked.
“Strange question to be asking, but yes,” Meia replied. She wondered where Hecus was going with this.
“Can’t say I’ll miss the man, not pleasant to work with,” Hecus said. “But we not have a plan.”
“Plan, what’s that supposed to mean,” Meia asked. Part of her hoped it meant what she thought it meant.
“Now don’t worry about that little lady, just survive,” Hecus replied.
“Your friends give wonder advice,” John said.
“Hey, mechanics, gotta love ‘em,” Meia replied. She smiled a bit at that. Turning her fighter once more as another Cimalian fighter exploded.
Hecus turned watching as the sounds of approaching footsteps caught everyone’s attention. He understood what would happen next as several armed guards walked into the hangar.
“By order of the admiral you are to be eliminated for your crimes against the Cimalian Empire,” the lead guard said.
“Why, for questioning our place in society,” Hecus replied. “You’re probably a Beta, never had to worry about what’s going to happen to you. This military is built on the backs of the Gammas and Epsilons. We’re the ones who’ve strained to keep it running, on track, moving forward and what thanks to we get. We’re considered disposable by the higher ups, we’ll its over. We’ve got a new leader, one who understands.”
“That pilot, an Epsilon. She’s lying to you, forced to do so by the Alliance,” the guard replied raising his weapon.
“Then why is the admiral so worried about her. He sent every fighter in the area to kill her. No this war is over cause we say it is,” Hecus said. “Do it!”
The Kitakim rocked as an explosion ripped though the inside of the ship. The hangar erupted in shouts and gunfire as chaos erupted onboard the ship.
Jezic managed to remain standing as the battle-cruiser rocked. He turned to the captain waiting for an explanation of what had been hit. He watched as the captain looked at the screen. He readjusted the eye patch while he waited giving it a tap.
“It came from the hangar, we’ve lost contact with the guards,” Diern replied.
Jezic gritted his teeth in frustration as the captain listed what all the explosion had damaged. It had originated in the hangar, but damaged several systems. With a battle going on in space against the largest Alliance fleet, a victory here would allow the Cimalian invasion to proceed without any problem. Now he had what appeared to be a revolt on his own ship.
“Engine room is no longer reporting, power is dropping off. We can’t maintain weapons fire,” Diern said.
“Hades, we’ve come all this way and tasted victory,” Jezic ground out. His frustration at the situation began boiling over. “I won’t allow a kid to undo my glory. She shouldn’t have learned her history! I want her destroyed NOW!”
The bridge fell silent for several long heartbeats. The dim sound of the engines was all that could be heard as everyone now looked at him. The admiral’s words had echoed though the bridge and many were educated enough to understand what had been said.
“Well, whatever power we have to the weapons use them to destroy her,” Jezic said watching as nothing happened.
“Ah, admiral, if that’s the case then we’re committing an act punishable by death,” one crewmember said. They knew that to strike out at an Alpha Supreme was a death sentence. All their lives they’d been trained, forced to follow the chain of command, starting with the Alpha Supremes. Now that very foundation was being challenged by the one on the ship who’d upheld it with an iron fist.
“Meia has gone crazy telling lies to anyone who will listen. The Alliance has warped her against the Cimalian Empire. She’s killed several pilots in combat,” Jezic said quickly.
“Since Olin she’s been the target, and she hasn’t destroyed any other fighter,” one replied.
“So, it’s a mutiny then, all right,” Jezic said. a single shot rang out on the deck as Jezic pulled his handgun out. The scanner operator slumped forward then to the ground. “Anyone else have a death wish, then get back to work.
The captain stood next to the admiral waiting for the crew to return to work. Jezic watched as the captain walked over to a consol.
“How long has this been on,” he yelled. Jezic looked over to see what the captain was talking about and froze. The internal communicator was lit. His entire conversation had been transmitted though the ship.
“It seems I’m surrounded by traitors,” he said firing another shot. “Fine I’ll take care of you all then.”
Randy watched his scanner not wanting to miss what might happen next. The fighting around Meia’s fighter had been intense but the enemy seemed to be losing the battle. With so many focused in her it had allowed the Alliance pilots almost easy pickings. It had also allowed Randy to vector off some fighters to help the destroyers now that the enemy fighters were no longer a concern.
“Admiral, this is strange,” Yvette said. He glanced up looking at her before she continued. “The enemy battle-cruiser has stopped firing. Their weapon systems are still functional, and engine power is still good.”
Randy looked down at his screen then up at the large screen that showed a visual of the battle. The battle-cruiser stood there silent.
“What’s going on,” he asked more to himself than anyone else.
“Other ships are reporting the same thing happening. What should I tell them,” Kim said.
Randy glanced down then back up before making a decision.
“Target just ships that are still firing on us, but keep an eye on the silent ships,” Randy ordered.
“Understood admiral,” Kim replied turning to Hans who relayed the order to the rest of the fleet.
A part of Randy wondered if what Meia had said made a difference. Were the ships that we’re not firing part of a ploy to get him to lower his defenses? Would the ships suddenly start attacking again? He made a mental note to watch how close the enemy ships came.
“Meia is returning to the Akagi to refuel,” Yvette said.
“Good news, what about the other fighters,” Randy asked.
“We’re starting to refuel squadron 116, but the enemy fighters seemed to have broken off. Only a few are left,” she replied.
“Good,” Randy said. That meant at least one part of the battle going in his favor. Then another thought came to him. “Have Meia come to the bridge instead of heading back out again.”
He watched as Yvette relayed his order to the hangar. He had a gut feeling that he’d need Meia here on the bridge more than in her fighter. He also need information, information that he knew only Meia might be able to answer.
“Randy, you wanted to speak with me,” Meia said walking onto the bridge a minute later.
He glanced at her, so different than when he first knew her. She seemed to have a confidence now that radiated from her.
“Ah, yeah, any idea what’s going on,” Randy said waving his arm to the screen where the Cimalian battle-cruiser was shown sitting there doing nothing.
“It might have to do with my conversation with Hecus,” Meia said. “He’s a mechanic on board the Kitakim.”
“That battle-cruiser,” Meia said pointing to the screen. “The same battle-cruiser I served aboard for three years. Hecus is the lead mechanic, a Gamma class citizen who oversees the fifty fighters on board the ship.”
Randy listened as Meia told him that information. It seemed to flow out easily now, no hesitation at all.
“What’s changed, yesterday you wouldn’t have told just that much without more questions,” Randy asked.
“That senator,” Meia replied. Randy heard the ice tone in her voice.
“Would it help you to know he’s dead,” Randy asked.
“Hope it was painful,” Meia replied surprising Randy a bit.
“Any idea as to what we do now,” Randy asked deciding to switch the subject.
“Nothing, its their battle now,” Meia said.
Randy watched as she turned towards the screen. He wondered if things were really like that. He thought there had to be something they could do, some way they might be able to help.
“We can only help later on, they have to do this on their own,” Meia replied.
Randy turned as more reports of Cimalian ships falling silent came in. The Warspite even had a report that a Cimalian fighter wished to land on their hangar. This wasn’t how he pictured the battle going. He wondered where the battle would go from here.
End chapter 23
Comment below or send to AJMarks01@aol.com