Season Two. The crew of the Verdandi is back, and in between fighting a war, they'll have to fend off bounty hunters, knights, and cyborgs out for revenge. If you thought things got tense last tim...
"Start training the reserves," Hamad brought his gaze up from the figures he looked at in a largely unreadable number list to the untrained eye. "We need more fully trained soldiers to stay at home and keep a good defense up. We can't leave that to the rookies," the prince finished speaking to his military aid, a young officer by the name of Meinalt.
"Yes sir," the officer saluted his prince before heading off to report Hamad's wishes to those in charge of the training facilities and the reserve soldiers who had been conscripted almost a year ago now.
Once Meinalt left his office, Hamad returned to his ornate desk in the center of the room and took a seat. He set down the papers Meinalt had brought him that he'd scanned over only moments ago and sighed. Turning his gaze outside to see the Hrimth skyline, Hamad briefly remembered the last time he saw Ryan in his office. That was several months ago, with the mafia don's demise being the much more recent and more painful event that bothered Prince Gen, as it had only occurred a mere three weeks ago.
As much as Hamad wanted revenge on the mercenary who killed Ryan, he wanted to simply forget about the whole ordeal. Suddenly he found his father pushing faster and faster for their conquest campaign to begin, and Hamad was busier than ever administrating the nation. Despite the fact that his father was the emperor, Hamad was the one who really ran the country, and he'd done so since his mother died eleven years ago.
Hamad was brought out of his reverie when he heard the door to his office slowly opening. He looked up to see another young officer, Schultz, who worked in the palace. "Your Highness," he addressed the prince, "the Emperor wishes to see you immediately."
"Thank you Schultz," Hamad replied. "Tell him I will be there momentarily." With that, the young officer nodded and headed out, making sure to close the door when he left.
Hamad sighed. He wasn't ready for another lecture from his father about how important the Taydran conquest was-that he already knew. Hamad reluctantly rose and headed out of his office, making his way down the main hall and farther into the interior of the palace.
In a few moments, Hamad found himself at the guarded doors to his father's study where he spent most of the day. Once the guards recognized the prince they let him in immediately, and upon entering Hamad spoke. "You wished to see me, my Emperor?"
Duo Gen turned around to see his son bowing before him. "You do not need to address me so," he spat rather annoyed. "I am your father before I am your emperor."
Hamad rose, his green eyes locked with his father's. "Yes, of course my Emperor."
Duo Gen dismissed the retort of Hamad as he glanced around the room to his guards and other attendants. "You may all leave. This is my son and I wish to have a moment to speak to him in private."
All of the other Taydrans in the room nodded to their emperor and obeyed, leaving the room briskly so that the Emperor and his son, Prince Gen, may have their moment of peace. Hamad stood and stared at his father with a hardened gaze. He never liked being summoned by his father, and having all of the attendants and servants leave the room indicated that this wasn't going to be quick.
Once the last few guards left and closed all of the doors, Duo spoke. "Hamad, there is no reason for this hostility you harbor towards me," he moved closer to his son as he spoke.
"What hostility, father?" Hamad tried to play ignorant with his father. As innocent as he may have seemed standing next to mafia don Ryan Rieve, he was actually far more cryptic and capable than most realized.
"Hamad," Duo began, ignoring his son's last comment, "tell me, how are the preparations for our glorious campaign coming along?"
"We need more fully trained troops to defend home," Hamad answered earnestly. "We will also need more soldiers to keep stationed at each nation we take, at least until the people comply with our annexation of their territories," he finished briskly.
"That will not be necessary," Duo Gen answered, with a hint of laughter in his voice. "We simply need enough soldiers to take the territories, not keep them."
Hamad's eyes narrowed as confusion started to settle in over his brain. "What do you mean? If we do not station troops in the land we take, we will never be able to keep them-the people will simply revolt and we will be back to square one," the prince voiced his concerns for what seemed like a crackpot idea on his father's part.
"My son," Duo Gen approached his offspring, "I think you misunderstand what we are trying to accomplish here."
"Then please enlighten me, oh Exalted One," Hamad tried to hide his sarcasm, but failed miserably. Luckily for him his father was too lost in thought to notice.
"We are on the noblest of all campaigns, Hamad," Emperor Gen addressed his son by his name now. He looked to the window for a moment, pausing from his speech before he turned to face Hamad once more. "Our goal is the only true goal in the universe; the mightiest and noblest of them all!"
'Only true goal in the universe...?' Hamad thought with intrigue. He'd always thought his father had gone a little insane when his mother died, but now he was beginning to be sure of it. Hamad gave his father a confused look before the Emperor continued.
"You appear confused, my son," Duo noted. "Shall I elaborate upon my meaning for you?" he asked in an almost sarcastic tone.
"Please do," Hamad replied briskly, almost waiting for his father to say something completely off the wall with the way he seemed to maniacally happy.
"Since its inception, the universe has been in a balance," Duo motioned dramatically with his arms, as if trying to pull his definition from the sky. "That is," he turned to Hamad, "until intelligent life came along." Hamad's annoyed visage quickly turned into deep confusion mixed with worry, but as he opened his mouth to speak, Emperor Gen continued. "/That/ is what is wrong with the universe-all of those who inhabit it and try to bend it to their will!"
"Father, what are you-?" Hamad tried to question his father but was cut off.
"It is our duty to cleanse the universe of all intelligent life, my son. And then," Duo's gaze seemed to float erratically on the air around him, "the balance will be restored."
Hamad struggled to find the words. "You cannot mean-"
"Ours is a noble mission, my son-to save the universe from what is has become!" the Emperor of Taydr turned and shouted to his son. Duo took several steps closer to Hamad, and once he was mere centimeters from his son, he spoke in a much more subdued voice. "We must annihilate everything." Duo paused, and stared into his son's eyes, giving Hamad a sickening feeling in his gut at the realization that his father was serious.
"First, we start with the Federation, or what it used to be" Duo spun around and walked towards the window, speaking much louder now. "Once we finish here, we will have enough new followers and resources to take on the Empire, LOKI, and even the Republic!" Duo stopped once he reached the windowed-wall of his study, gazing out over the skyline of Hrimth. "But we will do it," he spoke as if reflecting, "because we are right."
Hamad was frozen in place, unable to believe or even digest what his father just revealed. Thoughts of disbelief and disgust whirled through his mind like a tornado, and he was unable to hold onto any of them long enough to express those thoughts through his mouth-which was probably a good thing. "Oh, by the way-" Duo faced his son once more from across the room. "Have General Hinden move the forces on Ceva, immediately. They will be privileged enough to be the first." With that, Duo Gen returned to staring at the skyline of his city, admiring its beauty in the destruction that would one day be wrought upon it.
"Ah, yes, my Emperor," Hamad sputtered out before swiftly leaving his father's chamber.
Once outside the doors to the emperor's study, Hamad started to panic. H-he wants to... he wants to...! He could hardly grasp any thoughts that fled into and from his mind as he tried to calm his shaking hands and deep breathing. He's insane! /Hamad mentally confirmed, especially after this most recent encounter with his rather reclusive father. /What do I do?! Before Hamad could answer his own question, he looked down the hall to his right to see that General Hinden was heading straight toward him. Hamad stood up and took a few deep breaths, pasted a placid look on his face, and strode to meet the general of the Taydran military.
"Hello Your Highness," Hinden saluted the prince. "I was just coming to see you."
"Oh, really," Hamad internally breathed a sigh of relief. "What a coincidence, as I was going to see you as well," Hamad lied with a slight laugh, as the fib worked pretty well for the moment.
"I needed to talk to you about our military strategy," Hinden continued, motioning to the files he carried with him.
"Yes, I was just speaking to the Emperor about that," Hamad replied. "It appears that we will not be sending any time soon." Hamad figured that since Hinden rarely ever saw the Emperor, and typically listened to Hamad since he acted as the leader of the nation, he wouldn't bother to talk to Emperor Gen directly. And as long as he didn't talk to Hamad's father directly, the Prince's lie would be safe.
"Oh..." Hinden expressed his surprise. "I thought we were going to start the attack on Ceva fairly soon?"
"We will," Hamad raised a hand and reassured the general, "it is only that at this moment we are low on fully trained troops to defend Taydr. You know, should Ceva try and attack us directly in retaliation."
"I was just mentioning this to the other generals, before I received your message from Meinalt, of course," Hinden replied as a smile started to spread across his face. "It is good to know that you agree with me, Your Highness. Now," Hinden reached for his telepad and opened up a document on the small portable screen, "about the reserves-"
"Yes," Hamad interrupted him, "about the reserves. How long will it take for them to be fully trained as regulars?"
"Two months," Hinden answered, "but if we were to cut their training short by elimination portions they most likely would not need, I'd say-"
"There is no rush, General," Prince Gen reassured him. "Give the soldiers their full training. The people of Taydr deserve it."
Hinden paused in thought before replying. "You are right. Two months is not that much of a delay. I will go and tell the other generals."
"Thank you, Karral," Hamad placed a hand on the shoulder of the general as he used his first name. "Your advice is invaluable."
"As is yours, Your Highness." With a quick bow, the general turned and was on his way once again.
Two months... Hamad mulled over the slight amount of time he'd managed to buy himself. If he acted quickly, there was a good chance he might be able to usurp his father's rule and stop the massacre his psychotic emperor had planned. Hamad turned and walked rather quickly back to his office. If he was to come up with a plan, he couldn't afford to delay-two months meant nothing in the world of politics.
Yep, that's the prologue. Hopefully this time around the chapters will be short and sweet.
For the uninitiated, Illumination: Second Wind is the sequel to my first mega-fic, /Illumination/. Yes, the story is about Trunks and his adventures through the universe, but be forewarned that there ARE a lot of original characters in this fic. I do promise, however, that DBZ will play a larger role in this fic, as in the previous one it was kind of set on the backburner. Anyway, don't feel that you have to read the first fic before you jump into this one (you can if you want, but I'm warning you... it's long and pretty slow at the beginning).
Those of you who are back for round two-Thank you! You don't know how much it means to me to know that somebody out there enjoys this little pet project of mine, heh. This time around I'm going with a slightly different format, and all author's notes will be at the end of chapters, just like this. I hope this sequel doesn't disappoint, and with some of the ideas I have planned, I have a good feeling that it won't. And trust me, one of the big 'twists' is coming up within the first four chapters! So please, sit back, and enjoy!
Also, you can check out my website at (illumination . atspace . com, without the spaces), where I house artwork, notes about the fic, rants, questions, etc. Also, I have my artwork stored www . mediaminer . org if any of you are interested in seeing what some of the characters look like. Keep in mind though, that their new designs for the new season haven't been posted yet-I don't have a scanner so please bear with me for the time being. Okay, I think that's enough of me talking, so that's all for now.