Simon’s War (Part 3)

PART 3. 

Mystic Man is Isaac Eckspo. He has a plethora of powers including superhuman strength, durability, flight, energy projection, and teleportation. He can teleport to any place in our known universe. Everywhere except one.

The Crab Nebula is known amongst humanity. Long thought to be the remnants of a supernova, no one, not even Mystic Man, know what truly lies inside this beautiful space cloud.

Today, you will learn of a secret, powerful society within the Milky Way galaxy. One that has watched, grown, and flourished in the past thousand years. But as with all societies, they’ve reached a crossroads. A moment in time is upon them, and for the first time ever, witness the epic tale of a family divided. An empire in turmoil. And it all started with Mystic Man.

 

LAST TIME: King Simon Seleste was reunited with his sisters. There’s the rebel, Sam and the pious, Sarah. It was an awkward and somewhat painful reunion but the siblings reconciled. Just as they were about to decide what to do next about Seleste, a ship crashed into the temple. And it was no other than Tom Morris, legendary human pilot who was long thought dead.

 

 

Sam Seleste never cared for the royal life. Her sister, Sarah, was always trying to find something wrong with it. She probably liked it, was just searching for a reason not to. And Simon, well Simon loved every moment of the fakeness. Loved every piece of expensive jewelry, every terrible ceremony, all of it. Not her though. Sam simply hated Seleste and the facade her people tried to hide behind.

As a royal, she got access to everything that happened in the empire. And not just what news channels would circulate, but everything. It didn’t take long for Sam to learn of the true horrors her mother, father, and fathers before them had committed. And the more research she did, she found out that they weren’t unlike other rulers around the galaxy. From Leesh, to the idiots on Earth, all rulers were the same.

So, Sam decided to leave. It obviously wasn’t a decision her mother agreed with, but Queen Selene hardly seemed to care at the time. Sam tried to meet and discuss it with her mother amicably one day.

“You always did seem to be preoccupied. Perhaps it’s for the best.”

Sam hadn’t intended on becoming a full-blown rebel when she decided to leave her family. She really just needed to find herself. But when he mother said that, with such contempt, with such emptiness, without a care in the world, Sam only had to think. She thought if her mother could be so cold to her, after all these years, then imagine how her mother felt about her subjects. Random people on the street. And like any true sociopathic queen she told herself otherwise. Constantly reminding herself of how she loved her people, her empire.

It was in that moment that Sam Seleste decided to take the fight to her mother, wherever she ended up going. And at first, it went well. Sam started out on neighboring planets. Word got around of a royal family member defecting and people were lining up from Seleste to the edge of the universe to help Sam. Some were sick and twisted in their hatred of Selene and the Empire. But after many months abroad, Sam did find a group of loyal allies. They weren’t bloodthirsty, ravenous fiends who hungered for violence. They truly believed in something. A free, equal galaxy where one empire didn’t control resources. Sam hated the royal life, sure. But she soon found out, amongst her rebel peers, that she simply craved friendship. Craved companionship. It wasn’t an abnormal craving. It was just something she never had or experienced before. It was something Selene didn’t value.

 

One day, while living in the slums of Seleste, Sam met someone. She hadn’t been to her home planet in nearly a year. Now, she was here helping a local group organize a robbery of one of Selene’s trading posts. But to do so, she needed to go undercover and gain the respect of the people who lived closest to the post, so they would trust her when it was time to mobilize. All was going well. That was, until Sam saw one of her targets.

The goal was simple. Her target was the last line of defense when it came to the trading post. Respected figure throughout the area. If Sam could convince her of the mission, then the target could mobilize the entire slum to help Sam and her rebels take the resources and spread them throughout this part of the city. But when Sam saw this woman, she didn’t want to lie to her, or scare her.

She wanted to hold her. She wanted to lie next to the target while they talked of silly dreams like owning their own planet or having children. She wanted to kiss her.

For the first time in her life, Sam was scared. Timid. Didn’t know what to do or how to act. That’s when the target, the beautiful, graceful target approached her. A smile on her face, and fruit in her hand.

“You look hungry,” she said.

“I look better than you,” Sam said.

The target laughed a bit. She was taller than Sam, but Sam was clearly more defined. They had the same skin tone, light blue. Sam’s hair was short, and she couldn’t remember the last time she washed it. The target’s hair was braided. It looked dirty, because everyone’s hair did here, but there was beauty in it.

“Hardly,” the target said. “I know who you are.”

Sam just stood there for a moment. The rebel in her thought she should kill the woman. Maybe she was a spy? Maybe Selene had been watching her this entire time?

The target’s face relaxed though and she started to laugh.

“I’m poor, not stupid,” she said. “Would take a lot for me to not notice the great Sam Seleste.”

There was sarcasm in her tone.

Sam wasn’t interested in this dance. Too many times in the past, who she was, in a given moment, had been tested because of her past. Some didn’t think she had it in her to be a rebel. About a year ago, Sam would have taken this woman and slit her throat. Today though, because she had learned from her mistakes, and because this woman was that damn beautiful, she decided to let it go. She started to walk away.

“I didn’t mean it like that,” the target said. “I just meant, I know why you’re here and I want to help. You don’t have to convince me. We all want to help.”

Sam turned around and stood there for a moment. She was in the “town square” if you could even call it that. What was usually the loudest place on all of planet Seleste was silent. Everyone just staring at Sam and the target.

“What is this?” Sam asked.

“A revolution? The second coming? Call it whatever you want,” the target said.

Sam looked around and noticed her allies in the crowd. They looked as confused as she did.

“Just know that we have faith in you. No need for games, or tricks.”

The target waved her hand in the air, and the noise resumed, as if it never stopped. People were bumping into each other. Two boys even resumed their fight over a piece of bread. The target then moved closer to Sam and grabbed her hand.

“No more secrets.”

Sam wanted to pull away. But she didn’t.

“No more secrets,” Sam said smiling.

 

NOW:

 

“Well fuck me, it is Tom Morris?”

“Sam, must you always be so vulgar?”

“Must you always have that stick up your ass?”

“Shut up, he’s waking up.”

Simon wasn’t in the mood to hear his siblings’ nonsense. Because in front of them, was in fact Tom Morris. Legendary pilot from their mother’s fleet. One of the many lost on that day three years ago to the purple cloud. And he was awake.

“Wh—where am I? What’s happening?”

“Shh, you’re on Seleste. My name is Simon. Do you remember me?”

Tom Morris didn’t look like he knew what species he was, yet alone Simon’s name. But, as bad as he looked, Tom nodded. He stood up slowly.

When he got to his feet, Sam was about to say something, but Simon gestured for her to stop. Simon wanted Tom to explore a bit. Wanted him to get a feel for his surroundings. And that’s what Tom did. Simon knew he didn’t have much time. The people would have questions about what happened. And his enemies could use it as an opportunity to attack. Still, he wanted Tom to adjust on his own.

After a few minutes, Tom spoke.

“The Queen is alive,” Tom said.

Sam rolled her eyes and walked back over to the steps by the throne.

“What do you mean? We all know what happened that day against Trope,” Simon said.

“You don’t,” Tom said. “Your mother is alive. And so is the whole fleet. Inside that purple cloud. I don’t know how I escaped, but I did.”

Tom stumbled back over to his ship.

“I remember him differently,” Sarah whispered to Simon.

“Yeah, he used to act like an idiot,” Sam said. “Always goofing off and what not. Liked him better then.”

“Well, being trapped in a cosmic cloud changes your perspective,” Tom said sourly. “I’m injured, not deaf.”

Tom began tapping commands on his ship. A video of Queen Selene appeared on the small video monitor. Tom typed in a few more commands, and the video became life-size. The Queen began to speak.

“I know you some of you have lost hope. But I ask that you stay strong in this turbulent time. Most of you are probably running low on food and have started to ration the rest. Stay vigilant. We are working day and night to figure out a way out of this nightmare. It will all end soon. The Seleste Empire lives on.”

The video turned off.

“That was last week,” Tom said.

Simon could hardly believe it. Not only was his mother alive, she was as committed as she ever had been. There wasn’t an ounce of fear in her voice.

“And you have no idea how you escaped?” Simon asked.

Tom shook his head no.

“I wish I had answers. One moment, I’m near death in my ship, just praying that I die quickly and that it’s painless. And the next, I’m flying back down to Seleste. And now I’m here.”

“Our mother’s alive,” Sarah said quietly.

“What should we do?” Simon asked the room. There was nothing but silence.

“I’m serious,” Simon said. “I don’t know what to do here. I need your help.”

“I say nothing, let her die,” Sam said.

“How dare you speak of the Queen like that?” Tom said.

“Oh yeah, you haven’t been around in a while. Let me get you reacquainted. I’m a ‘terrorist’ now, Sarah’s gone loopy for religion, and Simon here is a boy playing king.”

“Oh, and I almost forgot. Simon also thinks I’ll help him after he murdered the love of my life.”

Everyone’s attention shifted to Simon. He said nothing.

“Thought I forgot, didn’t you?” Sam asked. “Killed her in cold blood, like she was some sort of animal.”

“I didn’t mean for Audria to get hurt. I only wan—”

“Don’t speak her name. Don’t ever speak her name!”

Koll decided to speak up.

“We have more pressing matters to attend to anyway, my king.”

“Isn’t that rich? I will cut off your valuables so you can never pleasure my brother again, you little troll. Don’t you ever interrupt me again.” Sam said as she grabbed Koll by the neck.

“You won’t harm Koll, Sam. Because he’s right. While this development with mother is—interesting, we came here today to figure out how to save Seleste. Not how to get our mother out of a cosmic cloud.”

“There is no stopping it. This is what the universe wants,” Sarah said.

“Nonsense.”

“She may be right, my king. I just received word that Trope’s new forces have launched their fleet. Bigger and more powerful than the one your mother fought that day,” Koll said.

“We’ll destroy them all the same,” Tom Morris said boldly.

Sam laughed as she continued to educate Tom on the state of Planet Seleste.

“Remember how I said I’m a ‘terrorist’? I’m one of the good ones. The bad ones are everywhere. Corrupting this planet like a virus. Simon couldn’t gather enough men to fight even if he wanted to.”

Tom looked at Simon.

“It’s true,” Simon said.

Simon sighed and began pacing around the throne room.

“We don’t have time for this,” he said. “We must act. What’s the timeline on when Trope’s resurgent army will be here?”

“About a year,” Koll said.

“Then, we’ll try to do both. Save mother and repel the attack.”

“You’re insane,” Sarah said.

“No, I’m not. We can do it if we can regain favor with the citizens on that planet. And the only way that can happen is if we tell them mother is alive. Play them that message. Let them know there is hope.”

“That won’t stop the rebellion from within though,” Sarah said.

“I know, but it will get some people on our side. Meanwhile, Koll will assemble the finest minds he can find, and we’re going to build a ship to go into that cloud, and rescue mother. And we’re going to do it right as Trope’s army arrives.”

“You plan on using mother as some symbolic gesture? To give people the courage to keep fighting, by bringing her back during the fighting?” Sarah asked.

“Exactly.”

“So, you don’t care if mother lives or dies,” Sarah asked.

“I guess not. Like I said before Tom crash-landed here, I just want people safe.”

“I can get behind that,” Sam said. “Send me into the cloud.”

“It’s settled then. Until then, we work to maintain the peace.”

Simon walked over to Sam.

“I can’t take back the orders I gave that day,” Simon started to say.

“Don’t—”

“Listen. But I know what she meant to you. And I can’t know that feeling or begin to understand. I don’t know what I would do if something happened to Koll. But I need you to rally your people. We need everyone we can get if this is going to work.”

Tears were running down Sam’s face. It was like, for a moment, she forgot where she was. This entire time she had been in her brother’s throne room, she had a wall up. Now, she just let her emotions overcome her, and fell into Simon’s arms. Sarah then walked behind her and embraced her sister. It was the first time in a long time that Simon held both of his sisters.

“I’m sorry,” Simon whispered. “I’m so sorry.”

 

For the next year, the tension in the air of Planet Seleste was palpable. But so was the hope. Simon played the recording of his mother, and it resonated with the people of the Seleste Empire. More than he thought it would. Instantly, support for the throne came back, and Simon was able to regain some control over his kingdom. There were still attempts at his life, and other political things he had to take care of, but the plan was working.

Koll did as he was told and brought together the most brilliant minds he could find. In almost no time, they had developed a ship they believed could withstand the energy of the cloud, and guide Selene’s fleet back to Seleste. Tom Morris’ ship was key. They studied the energy readings from his ship to build the exterior of the new ones. They also determined that Tom was able to escape the cloud because of his ship’s unique design. So they copied it and made each one just as awkward and weird as the next. In the short year, they managed to produce over twenty-one ships. Twenty ships for Sam to command.

On the eve of Trope’s anticipated arrival, Simon stood on the balcony of his temple. He watched as Sam’s new ships launched into the sky. For too long, Simon had focused on the corruption within his kingdom. He couldn’t focus on anything, and when he did, it was only the ugliness. Tonight however, he noticed the beauty of his planet. His and his sibling’s efforts had worked and as those ships left the atmosphere, Seleste was united. Simon felt Koll’s gentle touch around his waist. He was then greeted with a kiss.

“I thought you were sleeping,” Simon said quietly.

Koll kissed his neck again.

“I couldn’t miss this,” Koll said. “Return to glory for the Empire.”

Simon smiled. He couldn’t tell if Koll was being generous or not. He didn’t care, he just wanted to kiss him.

“Back to bed at once,” Simon said jokingly.

“Yes, my king,” Koll said bowing away from Simon.

A bit later, Simon and Koll were laying in bed, when an alert rang throughout the temple.

“It’s Sam,” Simon said. He waked over to the nearest wall. He tapped the wall, and a display of Sam’s ships appeared.

Sam’s fleet was close to the cosmic cloud. Another alert popped up and Simon noticed that Trope’s new army were close as well. Simon ordered his fleet to man their stations. He also ordered his ground troops to prepare for battle. If everything went well, they wouldn’t be needed. It was all up to Sam now.

Her fleet entered the cloud.

Silence.

Nothing.

Simon put his head down. They had failed.

“We’re still here, brother. It worked!”

Simon had never been so happy to hear Sam’s voice.

“Had me worried there,” Simon said. “Now find mother, Trope’s forces are almost here.”

There was a good amount of static, and if Sam was responding, Simon didn’t hear it.

“What’s happening?” Koll asked.

“I—I don’t know,” Simon said. “It looks like, the cloud is—it’s shrinking.”

It was. Shrinking at a tremendous pace. Sam’s words were coming in completely scattered now. Simon could tell that she was terrified.

“Help—Simon—dying—-death!”

“Hold on, Sam! Get out of there!”

 

In that purple cloud, Sam Seleste knew she was dying. The purple cloud was sucking the life out her crew. One by one she saw their ships evaporate into nothing. And she could feel the pressure of the cloud taking her life as well. Sam looked around. Maybe she could see her mother, Simon, somebody. Surely somebody had to be coming to rescue them. This was all part of the plan. But no, the pressure had gotten worse and she could see her skin start to disappear. The cloud was closing in on her. Sam smiled as she thought of her life. How she didn’t conform to her mother and father’s wishes. Lived how she wanted. Loved who she wanted.

“Audria,” Sam said weakly. “I’m coming, my love. I’m coming.”

 

Trope’s men had entered the atmosphere. Planet Seleste was no longer safe. Lasers and bombs fell like rain. There was nowhere to hide. Simon could only watch as his empire crumbled.

 

END PART 3.

 

Things seem to have gotten worse in Seleste. Simon is going to need to pull it together in order to save his people. But this isn’t the first time Simon’s people have faced extinction. In Part 4, we deviate from the main story to take a look at Simon early in his reign. He was cold, calculated, driven. Everything a King should be.

I really hope you are enjoying this story. I mentioned before but it’s going to be my longest yet and I hope you’re here for the long haul. If you like the story, make sure to like, follow the blog and follow me on Twitter @peacelovecomics I’m always open to talk. Until next time!!

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