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“Your presence is wanted in Central Control, ma’am.” One of the Lieutenants approached her, speaking. She glanced back at Solar to make sure her and the co-pilot were in good hands. Assured, she followed the man in uniform from the hangar.
The Melenian was built like the Corinthian – what she could remember of it. A maze of halls, several hangar bays, much ammunitions storage – it was made for war. And by the looks of things, they’d just gotten pulled into one.
Central Control was a flurry of activity – lower ranking men and women rushed to every consol of controls and radars, checking this and that. There were three levels of controls, and on the lowest part in the center of the room, were the higher ranked officers, gathered around a large round consol – a holographic map of the solar system was projected in the middle of the table. Amelia glanced at each of them, but none were the face she wanted to see. Sighing, she took the set of spiral stairs down to the lever they were one, finally speaking.
“I was told someone wanted to see me?” She announced and all three looked up at her, halting in their plans.
"Good evening Ms. Reynolds. Am I to understand you piloted a transport Airship while its pilot performed several jumps to get civilians here safely?” One of them asked. Amelia frowned slightly.
“I did, Admiral Williams.” She replied. “It was on my orders that the civilians were to be transported here.” She continued. Admiral Ian Williams looked at her with mild curiosity – he’d always been a rather good friend to James and herself, but she hadn’t spoken to him in ages. Nearly a year, it had been. The two behind Ian were watching her too – Captain Allen and Commander Flint.
“Well done then, Ms.” Captain Allen said. “That will be all. I assume you’ll be heading to Commander White’s quarters now?”
Amelia nodded, turning, silently leaving the Central Control, exiting up the stairs and down a long hallway. She knew her way around the ship like the back of her hand by now, she let her mind wander as she walked.
When she reached her fiancé’s quarters, he wasn’t waiting for her like she’d assumed he would be. Probably getting some pilots in line, she thought with a slight smile, flopping down on the couch in his room, propping her feet up on the coffee table. It’d been a long day, one that she wanted to forget. But somewhere deep down, Amelia had a feeling there would be many days like the present day to come. If the R.A.C.O.D.s had truly returned, then it either meant they were going to fight until one side was extinct, or they would flee and hope to the Unnamed God the R.A.C.O.D.s didn’t follow. Letting out a deep sigh, she shifted and was suddenly about to fall asleep.
Moments later, however, there was a sharp knock on the door.
“Come in.” She yawned, surprised when Ian entered, looking rather ragged with his dark hair sticking in every direction, streaked gray with unneeded stress at a young age – he could pass for someone nearing fifty if he wanted, but in reality, he has just turned thirty-three.
“Can I help you Admiral?” She asked. He seemed to be hesitating about something.
“Its about James.
His tough exterior gone for a moment, Amelia could see the pain written across his face. Her chest constricted, stomach rolling. No. . . .
“What about him?” She asked carefully, voice wavering.
“He was out taking the Cobra ships against the R.A.C.O.D. squadron, and his team did a rather good job at getting rid of them, except one.” He paused. “James took it upon himself to get rid of the last one – I’ll spare you the details, but he couldn’t hit the raider. Knowing it would return to report our location to the Flagships, he wrecked the Cobra he was flying into the raider.” He hesitated. “He’s dead.”
Amelia knew it was coming, but it felt like a sharp slap in the face. Her stomach plummeted, heart feeling like someone had ripped it right down the center. The tears came before she could stop them, rolling down her cheeks. James had been her reason for existing since she’d met him, and now he was gone. A part of her instantly felt missing.
Ian stood there awkwardly for a moment, until Amelia suddenly screamed, clutching her hand, appearing to be in pain.
“My hand! Ouch!" She hissed between clenched teeth, holding it so her palm was facing toward him so he could see. The sun symbol of the Planets and of the Presidential office was on her hand, as if it had just been burned there with a hot iron because of the red glow it gave off. It remained there a moment more before turning into a pale scar.
“You know what that means, don’t you Admiral?” She suddenly asked calmly, very evenly as tears rolled down her reddened cheeks.
“Yes.” He replied quietly, suddenly pale. “I guess I should find a priest and get everyone in the conference room?”
She nodded. He gave a slight nod himself, leaving. Amelia stared at the scar now on her palm, using her other hand to wipe tears away. Today was easily labeled the worst day of her life – the Planets were being attacked, her fiancé was dead, and she was about to be sworn in as the new President of the Planets.