Simon’s War (Part 4)

PART 4.

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:

Sam Seleste is dead. General Trope’s resurgent forces were headed straight for Seleste. In order to inspire the people of his empire, Simon Seleste showed everyone a clip of his mother, the former Queen. Inspired by the Queen’s possible return, Seleste mobilized. Sam took a fleet into a strange cosmic cloud but was killed. Now Seleste is in flames as Trope’s forces destroy everything in their path.

 

Simon’s reign as king has been short but brutal. Until now, we’ve only heard of the swiftness and nastiness Simon ruled with while King of Seleste. Today, a deviation from the main story as we go back to a little bit after Simon was made king. And we get a glimpse of just why his sisters decided to leave him, and the Empire, behind.

 

 

 

Simon hadn’t been sleeping well. He couldn’t remember when he last slept. And space travel didn’t help. Time was a foreign concept in space. He sat at the desk on his royal ship going through documents. Reading and learning. it was a lot like breathing for Simon. Whenever mother came home from anything, be it a big battle, or a simple meeting, Simon was all ears. He missed his mother. It had only been about a year since her untimely death but her absence had been felt immediately. And Simon was left the kingdom by himself. His sisters, Sam and Sarah were both long gone. Each on different paths. Simon hadn’t looked for them, and he didn’t want to. Desertion of the royal throne was punishable by death. And if Simon found his sisters, he wasn’t sure how he would react. Better they stay hidden, living their disgusting new lives.

Simon calmed his mind though and circled back to his mother. Her stories. And to be quite honest, most of them bored him. The stuffiness, the lack of transparency, nothing about the royal life appealed to him.

But power did. And not power for power’s sake. No, Simon loved being able to have the final say on decisions. Especially life-altering, galaxy-changing decisions. It was a responsibility he didn’t take lightly. And it was why he didn’t sleep much. Today, he was focused on what to do about a possible revolution on a neighboring planet. A small farming planet that didn’t even have a name, just some letters and numbers. LGC-847. It was a planet that had given his mother trouble in the past. He remembered a rebellion she told him about over some sort of religious debate. But ever since her death, they had fallen in line. Today though, Simon received news that a Seleste soldier was killed by local rebels. And not just killed. The soldier was gutted, and his innards displayed in the town square for all to see. And to make matters worse? No one had since cleaned it up. There was disrespect in killing the soldier yes, but leaving his remains for all to see? Simon knew this act of treason couldn’t stand, so he boarded his ship to deal with the matter at once, personally. But he hadn’t slept since.

How to handle the matter though? Simon was reading on everything that had happened to this little planet since his mother died. And there wasn’t much to read. Nor was there much information about a rebel group forming.

Is it possible that my spies have failed here? Simon could think of at least three men he assigned to this pathetic place. Spies helped keep order in the Empire. Chaos was always bound to appear, sometimes out of nowhere, but spies helped control the flow of information. It limited chaos and kept it on a leash. Simon had thousands of them scattered across the planets of the Empire. And he knew each of them by name.

He tried to contact each of the spies. There were protocols in place so the spies could instantly answer Simon, even if they were in public. Simon knew all the coded language. He expected to here something.

Minutes passed. Nothing. Not even static from their receivers. Everything had been completely shut off.

And Simon knew that meant one thing. The spies were the ones leading this rebellion. Or worse, trying to protect it.

But Simon didn’t take them for fools. Well, fools for trying to outrun the Empire yes, but other than that they were clever. They must have known by not communicating, Simon would take their silence for treason. And such an act couldn’t be ignored. So why do it? Simon’s brain went crazy for only a few seconds until he realized the reason. They want him to come to the planet. Trap him. Set him up.

Simon got up from his chair. Anger flowed through his body. The audacity of these men. The nerve. Simon clenched his fists and let out a massive scream. He then started hitting his desk, and then the wall. He continued screaming. At first his screams were low, like a person who had stubbed their toe. But soon it turned primal. Loud, bellowing yells that Simon could feel in his chest. He was proud of his knowledge and his astute mind. But Simon couldn’t help marvel at his penchant for violence. And he loved every second of it.

It didn’t take long for the only other person on the ship to wake up. Simon could hear light footsteps behind him. They were followed by a quiet voice. A voice that usually brought joy to Simon, but right now it brought annoyance.

“What are you doing?” Koll asked. He was naked. And beautiful. Simon wanted to take him in the bedroom and kiss him until he couldn’t feel his lips.

But that’s not what Simon did. Instead he charged at Koll, raised his fist and landed a punch directly on Koll’s cheek. Immediately, Koll fell to the ground. Cowering in fear. His face was already swollen.

“How many times do I have to tell you,” Simon said. “Don’t interrupt me when I’m working!”

Koll was crying and started to scramble to the wall for balance. Simon wanted to hug him and caress him until the end of time. But all he could feel was the anger.

“Nothing to say?! You had plenty to say a few seconds ago!”

“Please, Simon. Stop!”

Simon didn’t stop. A few punches later and Koll had bruises on his legs, arms, and a cut above his nose. Blood poured onto the floor. That was when Simon snapped out of it.

“Koll, please. Please forgive me. I—I didn’t mean to.”

Koll looked embarrassed. Maybe it was because he was bleeding. Maybe it was because he was naked. Or maybe a combination of both. But his eyes were just as gentle as they were before. He looked up at Simon and spoke the same words he always did, whenever Simon hit him. Whenever Simon apologized.

“Yes, my king.”

Simon helped Koll to his feet. They went into the bathroom together and rinsed off. Within minutes, Koll was bandaged up and headed back to bed. Simon politely asked him not to bother him again. Koll didn’t and Simon was able to focus on the spies once more. Their treachery angered him again. He clenched his fists again. And he began punching the wall and his desk, yet again.

Koll didn’t come out this time.

A few minutes later and Simon was exhausted. But he had clarity. A king, especially the King of Seleste, must be swift. They must act and not hesitate when someone is a true threat to their power. So, Simon decided to make an example of the small planet.

He tapped a few commands on his desk and the schematics of a machine appeared in front of him. But this wasn’t an ordinary machine. This was a weapon. A weapon no bigger than his royal ship, but capable of destroying planets. Instantly heating a planets core to maximum, forcing the planet to explode. Planets with different structures were a bit of a task, but this planet was simple.

The best part about this weapon was it could travel at light-speed. And it was completely undetectable. No one knew about its existence except Simon. His mother was the one who built it and she killed all the workers the moment it was done. But Simon had never needed to use it before. Until now. He checked the readings on the weapon. Then he typed in the coordinates for the planet and in moments it was there. Simon couldn’t believe he almost gave those barbarians the privilege of seeing him in person. This was much more effective. He pressed one final button and waited for the fireworks.

What was beautiful about this weapon was how instant it was. Efficient too. The people on the planet would see the flash of green light in the sky for only a moment. And then, they would cease to exist. As the weapon fired, Simon turned his back, a smile on his face. When he faced his desk again, looking through the camera of the weapon, the planet was gone.

But—Simon wasn’t happy. He didn’t feel like a message was sent. Sure, some would hear about this but most would never hear a whisper. Simon wanted to make a move that would remind everyone who Seleste was.

“Computer, show me target: Audria,” Simon said.

An image of a tall, blue woman appeared in front of him. She was standing in an alley, talking to someone. Simon was getting video feed from one of his spies. His loyal spies. Audria had been a pain in his side for a while now. Simon knew this woman was the love of his sister, Sam’s, life but a statement needed to be made. Simon also knew that Sam had no idea that he had eyes on Audria. Nor did anyone in the terrorist organization. Taking out a group of insurgents light years away was one thing. But killing one in broad daylight on Seleste would be remembered. It would be talked about.

“Kill her,” Simon said.

The spy began moving through the alley, following Audria. He was waiting for the right moment. Waiting for Simon’s orders.

“When she gets to the town square,” Simon said. “Thank you for your service.”

“The Seleste Empire lives on,” the spy whispered. Simon felt a wave of pride rush over him.

“Lives on,” he said as he beat his chest. His heart rate had finally calmed down and he stopped sweating. The spy was close to Audria now. In the corner of the display, Simon could see Sam.

Simon wasn’t cold. He wasn’t unfeeling. At the first sight of his sister, he remembered their youth. He remembered how they played together and how tough she was. Sam was never one to show emotion, she always talked about how emotion was for the weak. Simon never agreed. As they got older, they got into philosophical debates about the place emotion has in the soul. Of course, Sarah disagreed with both of them, so the conversations never ended. That was when things stopped being simple, Simon thought. When everything became complicated.

Still, he had a right to protect his people. And Sam, more importantly, Audria was fundamentally against that. The spy was less than two feet away from her now.

It all seemed to happen at light-speed. The spy pulled his blaster out from his back pocket. One shot, and a blue laser went directly through Audria’s head. Her face exploded and almost nothing remained. Her lifeless body fell to the ground as people in the slum began screaming. It was pure chaos. On the camera, Simon could see the horror on Sam’s face. That horror quickly turned into anger. She charged at the spy with hatred in her eyes.

When she got close enough, Simon heard the last words the spy spoke.

“King Simon sends his regards.”

The spy fired a laser through his head and the camera fell to the ground. Amidst the chaos, Sam walked up to the body of the spy slowly. Simon was still watching. Time felt to have stood still. Simon then tapped his desk and the display went away. The silence of his ship comforted him. Then, he slowly stood up out of his chair and walked to the doorway, where Koll had just been, bleeding, scared for his life.

Simon sighed, and rubbed his hands through his white hair.

A yawn came from his mouth.

“Finally,” Simon said quietly.

He slowly limped his way back to bed where Koll was sound asleep. He undressed, check the ship’s readings one more time, then laid in bed next to the love of his life. He was asleep within minutes. For the first time in a long time, Simon Seleste was able to sleep.

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