tagSci-Fi & FantasyEmpire of a Thousand Universes Ch. 06

Empire of a Thousand Universes Ch. 06

byDetectiveSpecialist©

House Kleet

The servants had been up for hours when he barged into the mansion and while in the kitchen, he grabbed a sausage from the food laid out for breakfast, and then wrapped it in a huge hunk of bread. He then made for the formal part of the house.

His mind wasn't really on food, but this was his usual practice of hit and run eating. He like to eat, he just didn't see the necessity of sitting down to do it.

Passing many a servant, and several of his father's men, he made for the East wing of the centuries old house. While talking to Caprice he wasn't overly concerned with the time, but now as he got closer to his destination, an urgency started to come over him.

It was in a newer more modern section of the house that he descended a few flights of stairs and came upon a steel door, which in turn started to open as he came within a certain distance. He waited until it had opened enough and then squeeze through, squirming in, then nearly running down the hall before entering the huge situation room.

His father and Uncle were already there, along with a few junior officers, standing near a huge hologram depicting a star system. The hologram, which was at least a dozen feet in width, took up most of the large and otherwise empty room.

Four planets circled the star, but they were only background. The buzz of many lights were encircling the second planet, and that was what the men in the room were concentrating on. Each individual light was small, but there were thousands of them.

"You're late," his father barked, and with that, his Uncle made a knowing snort.

"Did I miss anything?"

"Not yet," his Uncle said in a fit of pique, looking like he just rolled out of bed. His hair was unkempt, the cheeks of his face were unshaven, and his attire looked distinctly like bed clothes.

"Good," Heinrich said ignoring his Uncle's bad humor. "Did the invasion start?"

"Just starting now. Five more minutes and you would have been AWOL," said his father, who was dressed considerably more appropriate. Apparently, he wasn't going to let up on his son's tardiness. Heinrich chalked it all up to the revelations from the previous night. He'll get over it, Heinrich hoped.

"Where are the siege frigates?" Heinrich asked.

"Just finishing the jump from the adjacent universe. They aren't needed yet and they aren't scheduled to rendezvous for some time," his father, Adolph said shaking his head impatiently.

"But they are key to the invasion. They should be up with the Dreadnoughts and the Battle Cruisers, where they can be protected. Strung out in the rear, they would be easy pickings if some enemy strike craft get through."

"They won't be getting through," his Uncle Wolfgang said pointing to the hologram. "Our interceptors and Corvettes are making mincemeat out of their guard ships. It won't be long before all their defenses are down, but you're right, the siege frigates should be brought up faster, and maybe with an escort."

"Make a note of it Klaus," Adolph barked at one of his men. "The siege frigates should make their jump with the Dreadnoughts and Cruisers like my son said."

"Yes, sir," Klaus said and continued his concentration on the invasion.

At the resolution they were watching, the strike craft were little more than bright lights in front of their exhaust trail, but the bigger ships, the frigates, dreadnaughts, and battle cruisers, could be seen in greater detail, all of them a dark yellow with red markings, the colors of the Kleet Space-Navy.

The colors, of course, along with the lights, were an augmentation so as to be seen in the hologram, but in reality, they would be pitch black to avoid detection, and even the vapor trails wouldn't be seen by the naked eye.

The whole scenario was beautiful, with the Kleet yellow and red ships attacking the enemies blue and green ships. All of it disguised the fact that these ships were locked in mortal combat, weapons blazing, shields and hulls cracking, it was a combat where only the victor survived.

Heinrich most liked the big yellow dreadnoughts with their cannons booming. To him, that was the real battle. What the strike craft did was only a necessary sideshow before the real action.

"Okay, tighten in on the dreadnoughts," Wolfgang said as the big ships of their invasion force took their positions in orbit around the main planet.

"See, we shouldn't have to wait for the siege frigates," Heinrich pushed his point, which had already been conceded. "The enemy has nothing that can match up to our big ships, and their guard units, though fast, are just outnumbered."

"Okay, Heinrich, you've proved your point," his father admitted. "Enough. This is why we do this."

"Sir," Klaus interrupted. "The siege frigates are under attack."

"What? How? Where?" Barked Adolph, but his son only smirked. They had been concentrating so much on the battle before them, that they forgot about the siege frigates, which had been slowly rumbling into place.

"Apparently there was a hidden airbase on the fourth planet. They are sending out interceptors, corvettes, and ion frigates."

"The siege frigates will be wiped out," Wolfgang said wild-eyed. "Can we send them reinforcements."

"The big ships won't get there in time, and all of our strike craft are engaged," Klaus answered without any emotion.

"This is ridiculous," barked Adolph. "According to the Baku agreement, the Triestes aren't allowed anything larger than a corvette. How did they get ion frigates?"

"They must have built them clandestinely," laughed Heinrich. "Our best intelligence shows the possibility of a secret base. We've had our suspicions about their fourth planet. What is it called, Klaus?"

"Graz, sir."

"Graz, right. They've always had a huge mining operation on Graz, and they have all the necessary raw materials there. It wouldn't be a huge leap to set up a base in one of the old mines."

"A big enough fleet of ion frigates, protected by strike craft, could hold off any invasion," Wolfgang added.

"Right," Heinrich agreed. "Even start an invasion of their own."

"Heinrich, this is preposterous," Adolph said looking pissed. "Why wasn't I told of this?"

"It's only speculation sir, but speculation based on solid intelligence."

"Okay, Klaus, stop the simulation," Adolph said clearly agitated.

"Why?" Heinrich asked.

"It's unnecessary. You rigged the results."

"We should still see this through," Heinrich continued.

"Why?" Wolfgang said agreeing with his brother. "You knew full well that without those siege frigates, our landing craft would be decimated by their terrestrial defenses."

"We could still bombard with the dreadnoughts and cruisers?"

"It's all bull shit," Wolfgang mocked. "Anyone can rig a simulation. Let it play out, and we can run the numbers later. That way we can see the real results of the battle before this fictitious base came into play. The rest of all this is fantasy."

"Have we been able to find this so called, 'Secret Base," Adolph said not impressed.

"I've tried, sir, but all our attempts prove negative."

"That's because it's not there," Wolfgang snorted. "They wouldn't risk violating the treaty. They have too much to lose."

"They have too much to lose if they didn't violate the treaty," Heinrich shot back. "What do you think, that they are blind to our intentions?"

"Then why haven't your operatives found anything," Adolph asked.

"The planet is huge, sir. It's the largest terrestrial planet in the quadrant, five times larger than Trieste."

"Okay, Klaus," Adolph said frustrated. "Run the simulation, but we don't have to see it. Send me the results later."

"Yes, sir."

"I still think we should see how the dreadnoughts and cruisers do against their planetary defenses," Heinrich entreated.

"It wouldn't be as effective," Heinrich's father admonished him. "We need to talk about this so-called secret base. I don't think it exists, but if it does, and we could find proof, it could be a diplomatic coup."

"It doesn't exist," Wolfgang said annoyed at this ploy. "The boy is clutching at straws. How many generals have lost a battle by overestimating his opponents strength?"

"And how many have lost not knowing his opponents strength?" Heinrich countered.

"It's all bullshit, anyhow. And besides, the Empress would never agree to us attacking Trieste."

"In that, I can agree, father," Heinrich nodded. "It would look like an imperialistic land grab, which it is."

"Who's to say the Empress will have anything to say about it? There's a new Emperor now, and my sources believe that his mother will do anything to usurp the Empress. She's already calling herself the Empress Regent."

"I can't believe you rigged the simulation," Wolfgang said shaking his head at the boy. "It's just like you."

"I had no input into this simulation, what so ever. Isn't that right, Klaus?"

"Yes, sir. It was randomly generated by the computer."

"Then where did it get all this crap about a secret base?" His uncle asked.

"Oh, I don't know, maybe it got the information from all the intelligence reports my office has been churning out, that's more than I can say for the people who make the decisions around here."

"Quiet, the two of you. I'll take all of this under advisement," Adolph said breaking the impasse. "Let's go have some breakfast, and we'll get to the bottom of this secret base. Klaus, finish up, will you?"

"Yes, sir."

"Are you coming with us, Uncle," Heinrich said smirking as him and his father made for the door. "Or are you just going back to bed? Seeing that you're still dressed in your pajamas."

"I'll have you know, I once eviscerated a man in my shorts," his uncle snarled.

"How he got in there, we'll never know," Adolph said, and the two old men laughed. Heinrich just stood there shaking his head at the two old men and their stupid old joke.

House of Trieste

Trieste, whether you're talking about the star, the planet, or the whole system since they were all named Trieste, was extremely unique. It was unique in that it was so analogous to our Earth, and its star, the Sun.

Trieste, the star, was about the same size as the Sun, and about the same age. The planet was just slightly larger than Earth, and its orbit was just slightly farther away from its star than Earth is to the Sun.

Trieste, the planet, had two moons instead of one, but their combined mass was approximately eight-tenths the size of our Moon, and so they kept the planet's rotation true, like two gyroscopes spinning in space, though they tended to cancel-out each other's tidal pull.

Not that it mattered, since eons ago the planet had been found almost devoid of water. It seemed most of the water-bearing asteroids which would have brought it water eons ago were sucked up by its two big brother planets; Graz which was the fourth planet, and its twin, Trento, the first planet. Udine, the third terrestrial planet, was more like a planetoid, and maybe even once a moon of Graz that had spun off into its own orbit a billion years before.

There were two gas giants in the system, but they were of little concern, except for Sezano whose hydrogen atmosphere was siphoned off to make water for Trieste.

The fact that Trieste was, for all intents and purposes, found without water actually made it perfect. It could then be terra-formed without the question of whether or not it could have ever sustained life. For it seemed, that throughout the multiverse the old maxim had proven true; no water meant no life.

Throughout that night, Paolo had watched the setting of one of their moons, Muad Dib, and the rise of the other, Keeth. He had testified before the Senate committee investigating the Doefol ship, though he left out the part about the crew being human, and then he stayed while his father addressed the populations of the four terrestrial planets.

He had eaten crappy catered food, drank too much coffee, and was left wanting for a glass of wine or two, and then after that, the comfort of his own bed. Being that he was in his sister's bed the night before and hadn't slept much, he was almost asleep when the limo dropped his father and him off in front of the Mansion.

"I know you are tired," Benito said to his son as they entered the house. "But do you want a glass of wine before you go to bed? It'll take the edge off."

"Yeah, that actually sounds good," Paolo said nodding to his father.

"What do you think is the story with that Deofol ship?" Paolo asked to start the conversation.

"I don't know. I don't want to think about it now. I need to clear my head or I'll never get to sleep."

"Okay, father."

"I was very proud of you today, not only in action but also in how you handled yourself with that Senate Committee."

"Thanks, I guess."

"You reminded me of your grandfather."

"I never met him."

"That's because he died before you were born."

"What was he like?"

"Much like you, gregarious, quite humorous, but serious when it was the time to be serious. I see how you are with Genevieve."

"Genevieve? How am I with Genevieve."

"Like a true big brother. I can see the love between you two."

"It's that evident?"

"Yes. It makes me feel good knowing how well you two are getting along. I was afraid about your relationship."

"Why?"

"I don't know. I was just worried."

"Things are great between us."

"Good. Good. Though I know how you will miss her when she marries that Kleet idiot."

"We're not still going through with that, are we?"

"Why, because of the Emperor? I see no reason for it to change."

"He's dead. Who would care about who marries who?"

"Adolph Kleet will care, that's who. He wants his hands on Trieste one way or another."

"I don't know why this is still a concern, especially since the capital will be in serious turmoil. That old Empress is not going to relinquish power so easily, and she won't be so tolerant of the Kleets. Not like the old Emperor."

"You think she'll try to eliminate the new Emperor?"

"I think she will fight to keep hold of what power she has. Playing second fiddle to the son of a concubine will not sit well with her. You mark my words, father."

"No. I agree with you," the Duke said and eyed his son with admiration. "You impress me every day. I have no doubt that you will make a great Duke."

"Why? Are you going somewhere?"

"No one lives forever, Paolo."

Paolo walked the stairs up to his room. Because he was so tired, the two glasses of wine had more effect on him than they normally would have. Still, he was far from drunk.

He was tall and powerfully built, but not necessarily athletic. Many of the boys at the games proved quicker and more agile than he, but he had used his brains along with his physique, so he was able to even the odds and made a good showing.

He was also handsome, though not inordinately so. If you had to categorize him, he was better looking than most, but no Adonis. Still, his dark hair and eyes could elicit a few stares from the young girls.

No, it wasn't his looks or his athletic abilities, but his clever, quiet, mature personality that won what admirers he had. He was a favorite of the teachers at his school and became a student leader when the prejudices ran against him. Being a Trieste in the Palace didn't win him many favors.

He walked down the second-floor hall, past Genevieve's room, and though he hesitated there, he had no intention of waking her. It was well past two in the morning, and this house had a habit of shutting down early.

The first thing he noticed upon entering his room, was that a light was on. Maybe the servants had left it on knowing he would be coming home late. But then when he got to his bed, shedding his clothes as soon as he got through the door, he spied a large lump under his covers, and long black hair was coming out the top of his comforter.

He sniffed the air, and sure enough he could smell the slight scent of her perfume. She was an idiot, he mused, though he was thrilled that she was there.

He slid under the covers naked, hoping to give her a start, but when he felt her body, she was naked too. That surprised and excited him.

He slid up next to her and felt his cock against her warm skin, which was growing harder every second.

"Mmmmph," she said. She remained asleep, but still, she wrapped her body around him. He was in a coitus position before he knew it.

"Gen?"

"Mmmm," was all she said.

"Gen?"

"Paolo," she said waking instantly and immediately clutching at him. "You're here."

"Yes. What are you doing here."

"Don't be angry. I had to wait for you to come home. I don't know what I would have done if I had lost you today." She immediately started to kiss his face incessantly.

"You had to wait in my bed, naked?"

"I thought that would be a nice surprise. No?" She stopped kissing him, alarmed by his reproach.

"I love it, but it's too dangerous."

"I don't care. I realized today after I found out you were almost killed, that I don't care who knows about us."

"That's very reassuring, yet overly dramatic. I wasn't in any danger of being killed today."

"That Deofol ship didn't almost kill you?"

"I think you've been listening to the servants, again. No, that didn't happen. As a matter of fact," he said taking his eyes off of his beautiful sister for the first time. "They didn't shoot at us at all. And I don't remember the gunships reporting any exchange of fire."

"What are you talking about?"

"The Deofol ship, it didn't fire its guns once, not at us, not at the gunships. I'll have to check on that in the morning."

"What do you want to do in the meantime?" Genevieve said drawing him in with her legs even tighter.

"Oh gods, Gen."

"What?"

"Would you be mad if I just went to sleep? I can't keep my eyes open, even with the woman I love naked beside me in bed."

"You love me?"

"Shut up, Gen, and go to sleep."

"I can't now. You just said you loved me."

"Gen," he said as he felt his sister use her legs to pull him closer, he could actually feel his cock against her pussy.

"You don't want me?"

"Of course I do. You make this too hard."

"I hope I make you hard."

He didn't resist when she pulled him on top of her, his dick sliding along her slit. Now, as he lay atop of her, it would have only taken a little adjustment for him to be in her.

"We said we wouldn't."

"I don't want to wait for some day. I don't want to regret not ever having you. Just put it in a little."

The only reason he had the will to resist her at all, and he wasn't resisting too much as he slid his cock up and down the outside of her labia, was because he was so tired. She was so beautiful, and he wanted her so much, that he could have come by just grinding up and down her slit.

"And what happens when the Kleets draw and quarter you because you're not a virgin?"

"I'm not going to the Kleets. The Emperor is dead, didn't you hear?" She tried to wiggle her body up so that the head of his dick would enter her.

He was about to...about to succumb to her temptation and fuck his sister when he heard the alarm.

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