Blue Star of Namiya Chapter 1, Part 1
(This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or the publisher.)
Blue Star of Namiya
By Stephan James Cox
Chapter 1: Captain of Her Heart
Funny how everything changes for me
Memories take me away
Each time I open the door to my room
Where I must stay in all day
I don't want to be here
I am much too tired
So I close my eyes and snap!
I am with you
We are on vacation
You and me together
Lying in the sunshine...
I TRAVEL TO ROMANTIS
I TRAVEL TO ROMANTIS
Where nothing bout the blue sky
Will tell me that the time flies
I TRAVEL TO ROMANTIS
Every time I think of you
You've given me my life back
I travel to Romantis
---"Travel to Romantis" by Ace of Base
July 24, 1997
Somewhere over the King Trevor Forest, Namiya
For two years Duke Merkurius Freon and the Freon Duchy ruled with an iron fist over the former Benevolent Kingdom of Namiya, an island nation in the mid-Atlantic roughly the size of Los Angeles County just a three-and-a-half-hour flight from New York. For days already the rebellion of Namiyan citizens and former Royal Guard, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Guard members fought heartily against the Duchy and have now already stormed and occupied the former Royal Palace. Duke Merkurius Freon was somehow able to escape in his SAAB Viggen fighter from a small airfield but he didn't get too far before a Namiyan Freedom Force pilot in a Dassault Mirage III jet fighter intercepted it.
"Give it up, Freon, you are finished." the pilot of the NFF fighter radioed to Merkurius.
Merkurius Freon was a man who had the foreboding appearance and presence of a professional wrestler with hair shaved to the scalp and a scar across his face that was somewhat concealed by his breathing mask. Merkurius felt he had nothing to lose and maybe if he flew fast enough he could make it to Gander and try to acquire political asylum in Canada since relations between Freon and the US have been hostile
"You cannot stop me!" Merkurius hissed. "I will meet up with my brother in Canada and we will reclaim what is rightfully ours! Sieg Freon!"
The pilot of the NFF Mirage was a handsome young man with soft brown hair combed to the side hidden under his pilot's helmet and a smooth face with a creamy complexion hidden by his breathing mask. All that could be seen of his face were his beautiful hazel eyes. His name was Mack Genius, and at the age of 23 he was a lieutenant in the air corps of the Namiyan Freedom Force. Already he has shot down many Freonic fighters and led many air strikes; now he has a bead on Merkurius Freon.
"The only way out of Namiya is through me, Freon." Mack said. "On behalf of the people of Namiya I place you under arrest. Either you turn your plane to King Jash Airfield or I shoot you down."
"Bah!" Merkurius cursed. He was prepared for this sort of thing. Although all he really needed was a drop tank with extra fuel to get him to Canada, he also had a couple missiles and plenty of cannon rounds ready for a fight with either the Namiyan Freedom Force or any other aerial force. "You don't scare me, Namiyan swine!" Merkurius then flicked a switch and dropped his drop tank from the belly of his jet. "I will be the one who shoots you down!" Merkurius then deployed the air brakes and let Mack speed ahead of him.
Merkurius now had Mack in his sights. He then had a radar lock on the Mirage. Merkurius fired a missile and Mack could hear the missile warning alarm. Mack pulled up on the stick and yelled "FAIR NAMIYA!!!" as he evaded the missile. Mack then gunned the throttle and turned on his tape player which had Erasure's "I Say I Say I Say" in it cued to "Run to the Sun" before starting into a dogfight with Merkurius.
For the first time in my life
I'm up to run away
It's not a choice
That I make easily
Mack gnashed his teeth as he struggled to get Merkurius in his sights but Merkurius was also a skilled fighter jock. Out of futility Mack launched a few cannon rounds and missed.
It's not that I'm ashamed
To face the light of day
It's really just a case
Merkurius managed to break off from Mack and get behind him. Merkurius fired a missile but missed. He then got up closer behind Mack and fired some cannon rounds, a few hitting the wings. "Damn!" Mack yelled.
Oh, I know it ain't easy
I know it ain't easy
I know it ain't easy
To see the truth
So run the sun
Here's one for the road
And my God's love go with you
My tears are starting to show
Merkurius was now ahead of Mack's fighter. Mack almost had Merkurius in his sights until he had a radar lock on him.
"In the name of God and the Queen I smite thee!" Mack called out as he hit the missile release trigger and sent a missile flying towards Merkurius's SAAB Viggen. It impacted on his plane and caused a great explosion over the King Trevor Forest, killing Merkurius. Mack then took off his breathing mask as he turned his plane toward King Jash Airfield, breathing a deep breath
"Ladies and gentlemen," Mack said over the radio. "People of Namiya, the evil that has plagued us for two years has been annulled. Now is the time to rejoice and reform our great nation. Notify Princess Namiya in New York that we have succeeded." He then took another deep breath and sang "Fair Namiya. Our joyous kingdom proud. Reach for the sky and raise your voices loud..."
One Day Later
"...On land and sea, no matter where we are. We rest our lives on the crown and on the star. With hope in our hearts, and the future in our hands, God bless and keep the Queen and our land. God bless and keep the Queen and our land."
In the great hall of the Royal Palace, still marred with bullet wounds and blood stains, a grand ceremony was being held in honor of Mack Genius and the other heroes of the war. It was also to be the coronation of Princess Namiya IV to succeed King Jash and Queen Namiya III, killed in the Freonic Revolution, as the new ruling monarch.
Mack stood on a platform, his handsome face in full view, wearing a white formal uniform that was used by officers in the Royal Namiyan Air Guard before the Freonic Revolution among other uniformed heroes from the Air Guard, Guard, and Navy along with some other formally-dressed civilian war heroes. He stood tall at 6-foot-1, regal in all his glory as a Namiyan hero. Mack wasn't a born Namiyan, though. He was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Long Beach, California and Seattle; not coming to Namiya until 1994 on the day of the Freonic Revolution when a cruise ship he was on with his friends just happened to be at the cruise terminal in the harbor town of Port Astra. Mack tried to escape the island with his friends on a US Embassy evacuation flight but he was separated from them in the confusion and missed the flight...a flight that was unfortunately shot down by a Freonic fighter.
None of the passengers survived, including Mack's friends whom he knew from high school all the way through airline pilot training. Stranded on this strange island at the age of 21 his prodigious flying skills and love for aviation got Mack enlisted in the Namiyan Freedom Force's air corps. Ever since he has been fighting like a dog in the hopes of maybe having a new home and a new life. Now he stood proudly in front of many people, ready to receive his accolade.
Some royal fanfare played. In walked a beautiful teenage girl with long flowing auburn hair under a diamond tiara, blue sapphire eyes, an angelic face and a near-perfect body which wore a breathtaking pink gown with a sheathed ceremonial sword at her waist. She was Princess Namiya IV, fresh from her exile in New York. She had just turned 16 a couple days ago so she was just beginning to blossom as a young woman; the jovial look on her face was a sign that she was happy that her parents' death was avenged and her kingdom had been regained by the selfless and tireless efforts of the Namiyan people. Princess Namiya sighed as she walked down the red carpet to the front of the applauding audience.
Prime Minister D'amour, a fine, upstanding man in his late twenties wearing a tuxedo, was waiting with a sword sheathed and hanging from his side. Princess Namiya stood facing him. "Fall to your knees, Princess Namiya..." Prime Minister D'amour said to her. Princess Namiya kneeled down on the platform. The Prime Minister unsheathed his sword and held it in the air before tapping each of Princess Namiya's shoulders with it. "And arise...Queen Namiya of the Benevolent Kingdom of Namiya!" he then said as the crowd cheered. Queen Namiya rose to her feet and moved on to the awards ceremony.
Queen Namiya took some medals from the Prime Minister and approached Mack Genius. When she stood in front of him she noticed he was a bit taller than her. Even in heels Queen Namiya stood no taller than five-foot-four. She looked up at his face and then locked eyes with him. Queen Namiya felt a great surge throughout her body, as if some divine force was saying that this young man could be her one true love. She then looked into his eyes and found that, even though Mack was a brave young man, he still yearned to love and felt pain, the pain of losing his best friends and the pain of having so much blood on his hands, pain that could be alleviated with a gentle love.
"Your majesty," Prime Minister D'amour said, derailing Queen Namiya's train of thought. "May we please get on with the ceremony?"
"Oh, I'm sorry." Queen Namiya said apologetically before officially saying "Lieutenant Mackenzie Arthur Genius, on behalf of the people of Namiya I bestow upon you the Royal Namiyan Medal of Honor and the Royal Namiyan Air Guard Distinguished Flying Cross for your meritorious service in the Namiyan Liberation including the termination of Duke Merkurius Freon." Queen Namiya proceeded to pin the medals on Mack's chest but his sheer handsomeness threw her off causing her to prick him. Mack cringed slightly. "I'm sorry, Lieutenant." Queen Namiya then said as tried to right things.
"It's okay." Mack replied.
"Don't speak to the queen during a ceremony." another war hero standing next to him whispered to him, obviously more of a Namiyan citizen than Mack. "It's not proper decorum."
"Okay." Mack replied.
"Lieutenant Genius, please fall to one knee." Queen Namiya ordered. Mack followed the order and got down on one knee. " Queen Namiya then unsheathed her sword and held it in the air. But before she could tap his shoulders Prime Minister D'amour ran up to her.
"Your majesty," Prime Minister D'amour said to her. "I regret to inform you, but you cannot knight this young man."
"Why not?" Queen Namiya replied.
"He is not a Namiyan citizen." Prime Minister D'amour answered. "The Royal Constitution states that to be knighted one must be of Namiyan citizenship."
Queen Namiya sheathed her sword.
"Oh." Queen Namiya said disappointedly as she sheathed her sword. "I see. I am sorry, Lieutenant." Mack then stood up. But before Queen Namiya moved on she said "If it's any consolation...I understand you are a skilled aviator." She looked into Mack's deep hazel eyes and felt her heart racing. He was just so handsome, almost princely. Queen Namiya felt a deep affection for the young pilot who seemed like something out of a modern fairy tale or maybe even a Japanese comic book. "I would like you to be one of my private royal pilots. Do you accept?"
Mack felt it was a great way to start his new life as a Namiyan citizen instead of the American man struggling to get by, trying to make it through airline pilot training while driving limousines to pay the bills and still have some money left over to eat and keep his sanity. Mack got back down on his knee and said "Yes, your highness. I accept the position."
"Very well, then." Queen Namiya said as she once again unsheathed her sword and tapped him on the shoulders with it. "Arise, Mackenzie Genius, aeronautical captain by royal appointment and a full citizen of the Benevolent Kingdom of Namiya." Mack stood back up as Queen Namiya sheathed her sword. The audience applauded as Queen Namiya moved on to the next hero.
But from then on with the Queen in his work-a-day life Mack could not get her out of his head. Queen Namiya was such a gentle queen, a very soft-spoken girl yet no- nonsense and take-charge because of her responsibilities to the nation of many and to the world. And most of all Queen Namiya was just a teenager. Mack knew that in America teenage girls have a lot to worry about such as looks, boyfriends, homework, parents, social standing and how her prom night goes. With that Mack knew that those worries and concerns were trivial compared to what Queen Namiya goes through. As time went on and as he transported her to foreign countries Mack got to admire Queen Namiya as a ruler and as a young woman but never as a person because he never got to know her that way.
But all my change and the tide may turn...
July 23, 1999 Two years later
Namiyan Royal Palace, Namiya City
Queen Namiya, who just turned 18 today, sat in front of her large vanity mirror in her sleeping chamber wearing a nightgown and brushing her long, pretty hair. She sighed as she thought of Mack Genius just like she has for the last two years. On her vanity was an open scrapbook that had clippings on Mack, the man of her affections, from the Time& Newsweek articles on the Namiyan Liberation of 1996 to the ads for Royal Namiyan Airlines, Mack's employer by trade, with his likeness on them, even the Royal Namiyan Herald's article on the terrible auto accident he was in last year that had him in traction for weeks. Queen Namiya softly whispered Mack's name. She felt she had lots of opportunities to approach Mack and get to know him better but Queen Namiya thought that he thought that someone like himself, a mere pilot, would be too petty for her. Mack Genius wasn't exactly a prince nor was he prince material and besides, if her father and mother were alive Queen Namiya probably would be forbidden to see him. Queen Namiya sighed once again as she brushed her hair some more.
Prime Minister D'amour, now a man of age 30 yet not looking a day older than 25 with his black hair combed to the sides, walked down the hallway to Queen Namiya's room. Ever since the Liberation Prime Minister D'amour has been a loyal subject and advisor to the queen and, to some extent, even a friend. The Prime Minister passed by the armed, uniformed guards and walked into the Queen's room.
"Good morning, your majesty." Prime Minister D'amour said to the Queen.
"Good morning, Prime Minister." Queen Namiya said without turning since she could see him in the mirror.
Prime Minister D'amour walked up to the vanity.
"Let me be the first to wish you a happy birthday." the Prime Minister then said.
"Well, you aren't the first, really." Queen Namiya said. "I just got a call from the daughter of the President of the United States. She's a really sweet girl."
"Yes, of course." Prime Minister D'amour said. "Well, you're 18 now. You're a young woman and I think it's now time to make some important choices. You know there are Freonist sympathizers around the world and they would just love to have something happen to you. That means you need to get married and maybe even bear a child or else Namiya will fall into the wrong hands."
"I understand that." Queen Namiya said.
"You know we have been searching for many suitors from around the world. Have you chosen one to be the King of Namiya?"
"No. I don't like any of them. They're all so full of themselves and only want to be with me because of status. I want someone who's sweet and down to Earth, not like these guys you've chosen like that Japanese businessman or that Italian athlete or even that American software tycoon."
"I didn't see anything wrong with them. So do you have someone in mind?"
Queen Namiya took a Royal Namiyan Airlines ad with Captain Genius' picture on it and showed it to Prime Minister D'amour. "This man." she said. "Captain Mack Genius. I know he's just my pilot but I've been having these feelings for him. I want him to be my next suitor."
"Honestly, your highness..." Prime Minister D'amour said disdainfully as he took the ad. "He may be a pilot with our international airline and he may be your royal pilot but in actuality he is still just a commoner. And a foreigner at that. Why are you still hung up on this young man?"
"Must we go through the same conversation, D'amour?" Queen Namiya said out of frustration as she turned around to face Prime Minister D'amour. "I don't care about what you think of this person. I have yet to get to know him anyway so I won't make my final decision on my suitor until I fully know Captain Genius. And how could you not like him? He has done a great service for our nation, especially by killing Merkurius Freon."
"Well, my queen, ultimately it is your decision."
"I have invited him to my Birthday/Liberation Day ball tomorrow night. I hope to see him then."
"It's grand that you are now 18." Prime Minister D'amour mused. "If only your parents were alive to see this. Anyway, you do know that the day after you have to fly to New York so that you may address the United Nations on Monday, right?"
"I am aware of that."
"Since you are scheduled to leave in the morning you have a full day to do what you may in New York. Perhaps you can make a date with Captain Genius."
"Splendid idea. I just might do that."
Later that night
Captain Mack Genius, who came home from a flight from Europe today, slept soundly in his double bed inside his apartment overlooking Namiya Beach after taking some medicine to re-adjust his circadian rhythm. Fully involved in a dream, Mack moaned softly.
Mack stood wearing his airline pilot's uniform in the middle of Times Square in New York with all it's usual hustle and bustle. Above the sounds of traffic he could hear a female voice softly call his name. Mack turned to find Queen Namiya wearing her pink dress standing near the entrance to the subway station. "Mack." she softly said once more. "Come to me, Mack." He walked to where she stood but as he came closer Mack could hear footfalls behind him. Mack turned around to find a man in a trenchcoat with his face hidden by a surgical mask and welding goggles running toward the Queen and carrying an assault rifle on his shoulder. The man pushed Mack down onto the ground, pointed his rifle at the Queen and shot her three times in the chest and midsection, causing her to stagger and then fall onto her stomach.
Mack stood back up as the man ran away and found Queen Namiya trying to get back up. She was on her hands and knees, bleeding from her entry and exit wounds.
"Mack!" Queen Namiya cried in agony as she reached out for him. She was already starting to cough up blood, the blood coming out of her mouth was a gruesome sight indeed. Mack came up to Queen Namiya, stood her up and took her in his arms.
"It's okay, your majesty." Mack said. "I'm here. I'll get you to a doctor at once." Queen Namiya did not respond, instead she coughed up more blood and slumped over on his shoulder, falling unconscious. Mack started to breathe heavily as he laid Queen Namiya down on the ground. Down on his knees, he screamed to the heavens on high....
"NAMIYAAAAA!!!" Mack screamed as he woke up with a start and sat up on his bed. He then started to breathe heavily as something lying next to him in bed stirred.
"What?" a female voice next to him said. A fetching young woman sat up in the bed next to him. It was Mack's latest girlfriend Rianne Peterson, a red-haired, fair-skinned flight attendant for Royal Namiyan Airlines who works in his cabin crew. "What's the matter, honey?" Rianne said as she wrapped her arms around him and laid him back down. "Did you have a bad dream?"
"Damn right I did." Mack replied. "It's that same one, the one with the Queen getting shot. I've been having it a lot the past few nights."
Rianne started to play with Mack's hair.
"Oh, don't worry, baby." she cooed. "It's just a dream."
"I'm not psychic but..." Mack said hesitantly. "At the rate I keep having this dream I wonder if someone actually WILL assassinate the Queen."
"You worry too much, Mack." Rianne then said as she gently kissed him on the cheek. "You're too hung up on this Queen thing, I guess you get that being her pilot. But don't worry, she has her elite Royal Guard that'll make sure nothing happens to her." She then turned onto her back and said. "I understand you're going to that big Queen's Birthday/Liberation Day ball tomorrow. I'd love to go with you but I don't have a dress and I have to work tomorrow anyway. Say hi to the Queen for me, though."
"Yeah, the Queen, yeah." Mack said as his breathing relaxed.. He then took a deep breath before he got up out of his bed and walked out of his bedroom into his kitchen wearing a t-shirt that had the word "L-1011" on it and a pair of happy-face boxers.
After opening the refrigerator Mack took out his carton of expensive Namiyan milk, opened it, and took a swig.
He sighed and thought `That dream about the Queen. Why? Maybe I've just got this bad feeling something's gonna happen to her. Am I going crazy? Pilots aren't supposed to be crazy. But after the last four years how could I not be crazy? My buddies were killed by the Freonists and then I did all that killing in the name of Namiya. At least this job and the women in my life have kept me from going nuts.'
He then drank some more milk.
`But what does it all mean?' Mack then thought. `The dream...my life...everything involving me in Namiya. Is this what fate intended for me? If I were back in America I would be a right-seater for some regional carrier. But look at me now. I'm 25 and I'm a full-fledged airline captain as far as this rinky-dink wannabe Monaco country is concerned. Screw this, I'm going to bed.'
Mack put the milk carton back in the fridge and went back into his bedroom. As he laid on the bed and worked his way under the covers he noticed that Rianne had gone back to sleep. Mack sighed as he laid his head on his pillow and closed his eyes.
`I wonder what kind of dreams you have, Queen Namiya?' he thought as he drifted off.
Queen Namiya was already asleep in her chamber in the Royal Palace, wearing a different nightgown than the one she woke up in this morning. She softly moaned before sleepily saying "Mack." as she too was caught up in a dream...
Queen Namiya's dream also placed her in New York. In this dream she dreamt she was in a hansom cab carriage going around Central Park. She was wearing a stunning gown and when she looked to the seat next to her, she found Captain Mack Genius wearing a different pilot's uniform, this one signifying him not as a pilot for Royal Namiyan Airlines but as her private pilot. This uniform was much more formal than most, complete with a gold braid hanging from his shoulder and his Royal Namiyan war medals on his chest above his pilot's wings.
Queen Namiya was ecstatic to see him as he said "Salutations, my queen."
"Hello, Captain!" Queen Namiya happily said as she scooted over and hugged him. "I'm so glad to see you."
"As am I, my queen." Mack said as she took his hand.
"Oh, Captain...I hardly get to know you. I want to know...what are you like? What are your hopes? Your dreams? Your fears? Why did you so valiantly fight for my country?"
"You'll find out in due time, my queen. If you really want to get to know me, don't be afraid. And you can call me Mack."
"Okay, Mack. And you may call me Namiya if you wish."
She then closed her eyes.
"And if you could...could please grace my lips with your kiss?"
"Yes, Namiya." Mack said as he and Queen moved toward each other for a kiss. But before their lips could come in sweet contact with each other Queen Namiya woke up in a cold sweat.
Queen Namiya sat up over the edge of her bed wiping the sweat off her brow with her nightgown sleeve.
"Mack." she then said before standing up and saying "Tomorrow, Mack Genius...starting tomorrow I will make you my suitor."
July 24, 1999
"It's a festive scene here in Namiya City and all throughout the island as citizens celebrate the anniversary of their liberation from the Freon Duchy. Partying, reveling, and all sorts of assorted gaiety line the streets here in Namiya City. Meanwhile at the Royal Palace, Queen Namiya is preparing for her exclusive and jovial invitation-only ball and of course there will be a fireworks display above the Royal Palace right at the stroke of midnight. Despite the celebration the Royal Police wants everyone to keep in mind that moderation is to be adhered to on this Liberation Night and that any offenders to the public drunkenness and driving while intoxicated statutes will be dealt with accordingly. Reporting live for Namiya National Broadcasting, this is Hope Radford."
Captain Mack Genius was in his bathroom, almost fully dressed in his royal pilot's uniform save for the unbuttoned collar, looking in the mirror above the sink as Amber's "This Is Your Night" played from his stereo, barely heard over the sound of a helicopter outside.
This is your night
Dancing free until the morning light
Together forever cuz this is your night
And everything is gonna be all right
"That's right, baby!" Mack said in response to the song. "This is my night. My night to show them I'm not just some lackey pilot." Mack then splashed some cologne from a bottle onto his hand and rubbed the handsome-smelling liquid into his neck.
"Hey," Mack then said. "I might get lucky with the Queen...while she's still alive. Ah, what do I have to worry about? It's Liberation Day! I helped make this day happen!"
Mack chuckled as he fastened the round Asian-style collar of his pilot's uniform. He then struck a pose in front of the mirror and said "Je t'aime, mon amour." right when he heard his doorbell ring.
Mack turned off his stereo and went to the door. When he opened it he found an Asian man similarly dressed as him.
"Good evening to you, Captain." the man said.
"Oh, hey, Galford." Mack said to the man. The man was First Officer Galford Chan, Mack's royal co-pilot. "What brings you here?"
"The Queen has sent me to transport you to the palace." Galford said officially.
"Really?" Mack said in surprise. "I was just gonna come in my Alfa Romeo but okay. But what about that horrendous Liberation Day traffic? And why didn't she send her chauffeur?"
"Look outside, Captain." Galford said as he motioned toward the beach.
Mack looked out the door to find a waiting Bell Jet Ranger helicopter with it's rotors spinning.
"Your ride, Captain. Since we've got time before the ball I can take you for a little flight over Namiya City."
Moments later Mack and Galford, wearing radio headsets, were in the helicopter flying over Namiya City with Galford at the controls and Mack sitting next to him. "I'm gonna let you in on a little secret." Galford said over the intercom through the headphones.
"Word around the palace is that Queen Namiya has feelings for you."
"Really? How can you tell?"
"Servants have been overhearing conversations between the Queen and Prime Minister D'amour. All I can say to you is that you should be extra nice to Queen Namiya. You do know how to dance, don't you? She loves to dance."
"I've seen Strictly Ballroom and those Dance Sport telecasts. Seriously, though, I know how to ballroom dance. At the least that royal pilot charm school they put us through taught me a few things."
"Indeed it did." Galford concurred. "Gotta warn ya, though...these royal balls are nothing like the club scene on Blue Star Drive. Very prim, very proper, translation--very boring. Of course there's big-shots there and it wouldn't hurt to shmooze. Watch out if you're with the Queen, though. The paparazzi and the gossip columnists may get the wrong idea."
"I just hope Queen Namiya makes it through the night."
"Dude, why are you so worried about the Queen these days?"
"I've been having this dream. This dream where Queen Namiya gets killed."
"You aren't one of those damned Freonists, are you? You aren't WISHING for the Queen to be dead, right?"
"No. Of course not. I love this country too much, it's been home to me ever since I was stranded here. But every night I'd watch Queen Namiya just get killed. I'd even wake up screaming. Awkwardly enough Rianne from the airline was spending the night with me last night when I had that dream again."
"Oooh!" Galford twitted. "Rianne! Have you two, well, uh, you know?"
"No, we haven't." Mack answered vehemently. "So what should I do about these Queen dreams?"
"See a shrink. Hey, you're rich enough, you can see Dr. Kisaragi, that famous therapist!"
"Well, I remember seeing somewhere that dreams are a product of unresolved emotion. Maybe I have these feelings for the Queen."
"Yeah, you and a whole bunch of other horny and frustrated dudes. Queen Namiya is young and beautiful, what kind of guy would NOT want her?"
"A Freonist?" Mack joked.
"Good point." Galford said as he flew the helicopter toward the Royal Palace.
The Royal Palace was in sight.
"Here we are, Casa de Namiya! You ready, man?" Galford said
"Just like I said in the Freedom Force..." Mack replied. "A pilot is bo rn ready."
The helicopter landed on the Royal Palace's heliport and dropped off Mack before it flew off. He was led by two formally-uniformed Royal Guardsmen into the palace and to the ballroom. When Mack entered, the page announced his arrival.
Mack saw that the scene was just as Galford put it, very prim, very proper, with formally-dressed guests sipping drinks and socializing, some were even dancing with one another on the dance floor in the middle of the room to some soft music provided by a chamber orchestra.
"May I get you a drink, Captain?" Mack heard a female voice said to him.
He turned to find a pretty young woman in a blue satin gown, smiling as she said "Anything at all?"
"I'll have a Pepsi, please." Mack answered. Since he is a pilot who always needs to keep his wits about him, Mack abstained from alcohol. The woman then walked off.
"Well, if it isn't the young hero of the Liberation." Mack heard another voice say. He turned to find that this time it was Prime Minister D'amour, dressed in a tuxedo with a sword hanging from his waist. "The young man who dealt the coup de grace to Merkurius Freon and his Duchy. You look so proud in that uniform and with that saber hanging from your waist."
"Oh, it's you, D'amour." Mack said indifferently. Although they hardly see each other often Mack and Prime Minister D'amour aren't necessarily on good terms ever since D'amour barred Mack's knighthood two years ago. "And how are you this evening?"
"I am terrific, actually." Prime Minister D'amour said as he combed through his dark hair with his fingers. "So tell me, Captain...back in America, when you were the big man on the pilot academy campus, have any girls had any affections for you?"
"They were all physical. Why do you ask?"
"I ask because for some reason our fair Queen has affections for a young man." Prime Minister D'amour answered. "He's both a commoner and a foreigner and he likes to fly airplanes. Lives in an apartment on Namiya Beach, drives an Alfa Romeo, likes dance music, is a real hit with the flight attendant set. Do you know anyone like that?"
"Just what are you getting at, D'amour?"
"You, young Mackenzie Genius." Prime Minister D'amour said with a sly smile. "To put it in lay terms, Queen Namiya has a major crush on you."
"Oh really?" Mack replied. "Why does it concern you, D'amour?"
"Ever since her parents were killed, the Queen has been like a sister to me. I've been her only family and I don't want anything to happen to her. My officers and I have been searching the world for the perfect man to be Queen Namiya's future husband and frankly, Captain, you are not on that list. I think you are scum. Coming from America and holing yourself up here. Maybe you weren't some cruise ship castaway. Maybe you're some vagabond runaway who somehow slipped through Customs' cracks and found adventure when the Freonists took over.
"Maybe you're no different than a lot of these lecherous men who see Queen Namiya as a mere sexual object that is subject to some deluded fantasy. Maybe you're really a Freonist in Namiyan's clothing and you want to ASSASSINATE the Queen! What are you, really!?"
"Listen, Prime Minister...This is the first I've heard about the Queen liking me. And it is true, I was stranded here when that US Embassy flight was shot down by a Freonic fighter and I had no choice but to stay and fight for my new home. I am not a pervert and I am definitely NOT a Freonist. Now may I suggest pulling that stick from out of your ass and relaxing a bit?"
The young woman in the blue dress then approached Mack with a tray that had a glass of iced Pepsi in it.
"Your Pepsi, sir." the young woman said.
"Thank you." Mack replied as he took the cola before she walked off.
Mack then took a sip and said to the Prime Minister "I'm nothing to be afraid of, D'amour. It's just your paranoia getting in the way of your rationale. If all goes well, Queen Namiya can either see that I'm a nice guy, possibly the man of her dreams, or she'll see that her and I aren't meant to be. Now please, it's Liberation Day. You should have some respect for an old war hero."
"You miserable toad." Prime Minister D'amour snarled. "I could have you arrested, even EXECUTED, if you even lay ONE HAND on the Queen!"
"You're barking up the wrong tree, D'amour." Mack said as he turned and walked away.
Mack sipped his Pepsi as he walked along the tables that lined the perimeter of the dance floor.
"Ah, there's my junior ace." Mack heard a woman say.
He turned to find another woman in a different blue satin ball gown, this one in her early 30s with brown hair and striking grey eyes. Her name was Nikki Metzger, a former Air Guard and Freedom Force lieutenant who is now the President & CEO of Royal Namiyan Airlines. "I see you're having the same difficulties with D'amour." she then said. Mack and Nikki see each other once or twice a month and they share a friendly, albeit sometimes professional, relationship. It was Nikki who hastily drafted Mack into the Freedom Force's air corps in 1994 even though he was more of a transport pilot than a fighter jock.
"Yeah, the Prime Minister's always had something against me." Mack said. "This time he feels threatened that I might become the next King of Namiya."
"You're kidding!" Nikki said happily. "Where'd you hear that?"
"Word's been getting around. I haven't even met the Queen, though. And then there's those dreams I've been having..."
"You're still having those dreams? Those dreams about harm coming to Queen Namiya? I told you to get some help for that."
"Nah, I'm fine." Mack said before sarcastically saying "Sometimes I need to wake up screaming."
"Well I've arranged a consultation with Dr. Kisaragi for this Tuesday at three." Nikki said. "You may not know it, kid, but I've always worried about you despite our seemingly professional relationship. From the first moment you took flight with the Freedom Force to your first airline flight to New York right up to these dreams you've been having.
"You've accomplished so much for a person your age and now I'm worried that you'll go nuts and throw it all away. You're a great kid, you have a great future in Namiya. You're the darling of the aviation community seeing how at 25 you're already an international airline captain while other people your age are still right-seating with the regionals. And from what I understand the cabin attendants all love and adore you. My point is please don't make me worry about you and get yourself checked out about those dreams. I'd hate to see you lose it all."
"Don't worry, Nikki." Mack said reassuredly. "I'm the only one who should worry about me. And maybe I will accomplish even more if all goes right between the Queen and I."
"Announcing the arrival of Her Majesty Queen Namiya IV!" the page called out.
Everyone looked to the door. When it opened in walked Queen Namiya wearing a white ball gown and a tiara. As she walked she looked like she had something on her mind. Queen Namiya sighed, hoping Captain Genius got his invitation. She stopped in the middle of the dance floor.
`Damn, she's beautiful!' Mack thought as he took another sip of his Pepsi.
"Hey, you wanna be King of Namiya, don't you?" Nikki said to him. "Go get her, tiger!" Mack set down his Pepsi and walked up to the queen.
Mack stopped in front of the Queen, took a deep breath, and asked "May I have this dance, your majesty?" Queen Namiya turned to look at him.
`It's him!' Queen Namiya thought as she looked at Mack's face, enamored by his good looks and princely charm. `It really is him. What am I to say?'
"I will stand here until I get an answer, my queen." Mack then said.
"Yes, Captain." Queen Namiya said softly. Some waltz music started to play. Queen Namiya and Captain Mack Genius started to waltz with each other.
"Damn him!" Prime Minister D'amour said disdainfully as he watched the Queen and the pilot dance along with the other onlookers around the floor.
Mack danced the waltz as best he could while still keeping a hold on Queen Namiya. Queen Namiya's steps were very graceful, even more so since she didn't wear high heels like she used to after hearing how they can wreak havoc on a woman's lower body.
"You're a very good dancer, Captain." Queen Namiya said.
"Thanks." Mack said with a smile. "You're not so bad yourself."
"I wanna tell you something." Queen Namiya then said. "I've had dreams about you."
"I've had dreams about you myself." Mack said nervously.
"Do you believe in fate?" Queen Namiya asked as they continued dancing. "Do you believe in destiny? Do you believe in love, Captain?"
"Yeah, I do." Mack replied. Queen Namiya then dreamily puckered her lips and drew toward Mack for a kiss. Mack moved closer and bent down slightly to kiss Queen Namiya but then they were separated by Prime Minister D'amour's blade.
"That's close enough, Captain!" Prime Minister D'amour said indignantly as he held his sword between their faces.
"D'amour, what the hell is your problem?" Mack said as he let go of Queen Namiya while the music stopped..
"Yes, Prime Minister, what is wrong?" Queen Namiya added. "What reason do you see fit to draw your blade?"
"Your majesty, I will not let this heathen violate you." Prime Minister D'amour said as he held his sword near his waist.
"Like I said, D'amour," Mack responded. "You're barking up the wrong tree."
"You are the one who's a filthy dog, Genius!"
"Please, stop this bickering at once." Queen Namiya said.
"Stay out of this, your majesty." Prime Minister D'amour said to the Queen before turning back to Mack and saying "Captain Mackenzie Arthur Genius, I challenge you to a duel."
"What?" Mack said.
"You heard me, swine! Be a man and draw your blade to me."
"Stop this right now!" Queen Namiya then said. "There shall be no bloodshed in the Royal Palace!"
"I am not going to fight you, D'amour." Mack said firmly. Prime Minister D'amour responded by taking the blade to Mack's shirt and cutting his right epaulet.
"And I will not let you near the Queen."
"Look, D'amour. I understand you have some jealousy issues but please, violence is not the answer."
"Spare me your babble, knave!" Prime Minister D'amour said as he held the sword to Mack's throat. "Now either you fight or I make you fight."
"Ontarius, please!" Queen Namiya cried, calling Prime Minister D'amour by his first name. "You're making an ass of yourself!"
"All right." Mack said as he drew his saber. "If it's what I must do."
"Mack!" Queen Namiya then cried. "I forbid you to do this."
"Maybe you should do as her majesty says, Captain." Prime Minister D'amour said slyly. "I must warn you I was All-Namiyan Fencing Champion in high school. And you come from a country that thinks fencing is a `gay' sport."
"Step back, your majesty." Mack said to Queen Namiya as he and Prime Minister D'amour crossed swords. Prime Minister D'amour sneered as Mack smiled before they started to fight with each other. Mack and Prime Minister D'amour thrust and parried but neither landed a single stab or slice.
"You're pretty good for someone who doesn't fence." Prime Minister D'amour commented.
"I get it from movies." Mack said as he blocked a few more attacks from Prime Minister D'amour.
"Ha! That's America for you! All embroiled in it's Hollywood culture, hardly civilized like we fair Namiyans."
"Are you a royal chef? Because you keep feeding me soup."
Mack then slashed a skillful slash...skillful enough to hit Prime Minister D'amour in the face. Prime Minister D'amour yelped in pain as he dropped his sword and fell to his knees. He put his hand on his face where he felt the pain. When Prime Minister D'amour took his hand off his face he noticed that his hand had a good amount of blood on it.
"Damn you, Genius!" Prime Minister D'amour yelled. "You cut my face! You cut my beautiful face! Damn you to hell, you Yankee pig!"
"Guards, seize the Prime Minister!" Queen Namiya called out before two guards came and handcuffed Prime Minister D'amour before promptly escorting him out of the room.
Queen Namiya then walked up to Mack who had already sheathed his sword. "I'm sorry, Captain." she then said.
Mack walked away.
"Wait, where are you going?"
Mack continued to walk and Queen Namiya continued to follow until they were out of the room.
Mack walked down the corridor in the palace.
"Captain, please..." Queen Namiya said. "Tell me where you're going."
"Back to my apartment." Mack said. "I'm tired."
"Don't go, Mack." Queen Namiya then cried.
"Getting informal on me there, aren't you, your majesty?" Mack replied.
"I'm sorry. At least stay so the Royal Police can file their report. I'm sorry this all happened. But I'll remember dancing with you forever. I actually wished...we would stay in that dance forever."
"Look, your majesty, I'm gonna fly you to New York tomorrow, you can see me then. Right now, I'm tired."
"You want me to arrange for a driver to take you home?" Queen Namiya offered. "It's the least I could do."
"Yeah, sure." Mack answered.
"This is the NNB 11 o'clock Report, I am Hope Radford, Sora Bradley has the night off. Although police officials made their usual round of arrests in Namiya City and all throughout the island it has been a rather peaceful Liberation Day and we are less than an hour away from the fireworks display above the Royal Palace which will go on as scheduled despite a disturbance during the Queen's Birthday/Liberation Day ball. In that disturbance Prime Minister Ontarius D'amour was arrested after provoking a sword fight with another party guest. Prime Minister D'amour had to be treated by royal doctors for a gash on his face sustained in the incident before being sent to the Namiya City Detention Hall. In other news..."
Mack found himself in New York City again. In Times Square. The same place he was standing before. He heard the Queen call out to him. And he saw her get shot again. It all ended the same...Queen Namiya dies in Mack Genius's arms and Mack wakes up screaming.
"NAMIYAAAAA!!!" Mack screamed as he woke up.
"SHUT UP!" his neighbor in the next unit yelled through the wall. This time on Mack's bed there was no one to comfort him, Rianne Peterson decided to stay at her own apartment this time.
"God..." Mack said as he sat up in the bed. "Every so often I'd get a series of bad dreams. But what are dreams anyway? Am I really going crazy? Maybe Dr. Kisaragi has the answers."
Mack then sighed and lied down. He then mentally replayed the dance with Queen Namiya in his head.
`Man, that was beautiful.' Mack then thought. `And she was beautiful. I wonder if I should get to know her better? She is so hard to approach, though. I guess I got lucky tonight.
`But what would've happened if I really kissed her? What if D'amour didn't freak out? What would it be like kissing a queen? A beautiful and young queen at that? Is it any more special than kissing a common person? Just as long as there's love between us.
`But does she love me? And more importantly....do I love her? What about Rianne? Dammit, I wouldn't have this problem if I stayed and took care of Amber instead of going on that cruise. I probably would still be with Amber instead of being this wigged-out pilot in a strange land. Ah, forget it, Genius. Go to bed.' Mack then turned over and tried to go to sleep.
For more info and the rest of the story...
C&C welcome (except for any comments against self-insertion if you find any).