The Price of Peace

by Ka Hmnd

Copyright© 2017 by Ka Hmnd

Science Fiction Story: The price of peace was the forced or arranged marriage between a prince who wanted to be a soldier and a princess raised to rule. War had brought more than fighting. The prince suspected merchants and senior military on both sides of using it to make credits. When he brought his suspicions out into the open with the princess and her father, he triggers attacks. Only they made a mistake and missed and now it is his turn.

Caution: This Science Fiction Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa   Consensual   .

I was the youngest son with six sisters older than me. We had been at war for two years, mostly it was just skirmishes. I do not think either side had really wanted war, they just had not been smart enough or brave enough to avoid or stop it. My mother was the empress and my oldest sister would follow her.

The empire of Mist was not really that large but it did have a thriving economy. I was on my way into the fleet just as soon as I finished the academy. I should say I had been before I was summoned home. My sisters were married or had already taken a consort. I was sixteen and I had an attitude.

I ignored the guard and the body man as I grabbed my own float and started off the shuttle. Of course the guards hurried to catch up as I entered the starport and headed to the slide walk. Four men in fancy suits moved to intercept me and I ignored them too. They finally caught up and one cleared his throat, “sir we are here to...”

I closed my eyes, “tell one of the aids or give whatever you have to them.”

They fell back and when I walked out the door I saw the line of vehicles. I shook my head and knew I could not escape. I grinned at a thought and let the float go and walked between two vehicles and flagged down a public hack. I shoved the guards back as I got in, “the palace.”

I leaned back as I remembered my mother’s words again, “you are my son Michael and you will do as I tell you!”

I had objected and pleaded and it still came out the same. The old emperor was in bad health and his heir and granddaughter was my age and without a consort or a match. To seal the surrender I was going to marry her. In my mind I was going to be a prisoner and what I wanted with my life was gone. The public hack slowed and stopped at the large gate into the palace complex.

I paid and got out and walked to the guards, “I am Michael Henry William Sinclair. I am here to see the emperor.”

They looked at each other and one moved to look at a comp before looking at me. I sighed, “can you get it done a little faster before the damn leaches catch up?”

The guard looked at me and then grinned, “sure.”

Two minutes and I was being escorted through the huge palace. Finally the guard entered a large outer office and a woman opened the inner door, “his highness prince...”

I snorted as I walked passed her, “just call me mud.”

There were several people in the room and the old man behind the desk frowned. I walked straight to the desk and ignored everyone except him, “I am going to be blunt. I did not want to come or marry your granddaughter. I had plans for my life and they are dead now. This forced marriage is crap and we both know it.”

He sat back and his lips turned up in a slight smile as the people in the room gasped and whispered. I turned as the door opened and a girl my age walked in. I stared and could not look away as she slowed and our eyes met. I do not know how long we stood or even what was said. I woke as she took another step and glanced passed me.

She cleared her throat, “I still do not like this grandfather. I do not want some power grabbing prince telling me what I should do. I...”

I grinned, “do you like sex?”

She blushed as our eyes met, “I am promised.”

I snorted, “you mean we are being chained to each other. What I want to know is do you like sex?”

Her eyes widened, “you are the prince.”

I waited and she blushed and shrugged, “yes.”

I smiled, “that is one. Do you like adventure? Flying or subsurface swimming?”

She grinned, “diving and reef swimming.”

I nodded, “two. How about hunting? I do stalking and tree hunts but with a single shot vid camera.”

She started to frown and then grinned, “you take vids?”

I shrugged, “my rule is I can only take one vid picture.”

She smiled and shook her head, “I never tried that. I free climb.”

I grinned, “that is three. Do you like holo vids?”

I glanced at all the people leaving and looked at her as she nodded, “some of them.”

I nodded, “music?”

She nodded again and I looked passed the emperor and finally sighed, “okay.”

It was more to myself and I reached out to touch her cheek, “I am Michael. I am not here to rule or tell you how. I would not even know where to start.”

She blushed again, “and you asked about sex because?”

I reddened, “I do not wish to hide having sex. If you enjoy it and are willing...”

The emperor chuckled, “he means he was hoping you would be his sex toy.”

She giggled and looked from him to me, “we can see.”

Two hours and we were having dinner, just us, the ambassador and her father. Plus his advisors and his Sky Marshal and a few distinguished guests. One made a rude remark about us and the war and I looked down the table. I glanced at the emperor, “you think the war was all our fault?”

He sat back and sighed, “it does...”

I gestured and sat back, “let me give you a history lesson. Before the war started the cargo ship Craig’s Hope was reported missing in deep space. They missed their arrival date at their next port.”

The emperor cleared his throat which I ignored, “almost a year later it turned up outside one of your systems beyond the heliopause. What happened next was so stupid I would have fired all the fleet officer involved on both sides. Sure my mother made threats and they were taken out of context just as you made answers we took the same way.”

I shook my head, “what gets me is it took three month for the ship to reach the point where your fleet destroyed it. What I want to know was why? No one ... not from your side or mine even thought to board the ship? The first thing your and our custom inspectors do is board a ship entering a system.”

I looked at the emperor, “so the ship was unresponsive. Your fleet deemed it a threat but you were not notified for two weeks? A full fleet stayed with the ship and not one officer thought to send a boarding party across? My mother, her advisors and her military never considered sending a courier to board the ship?”

They were looking at each other and I looked at their Sky Marshal, “the destruction of the ship was unnecessary. So you destroyed the ship and we both declared war. So why did neither side attack? Not one system was attacked by either side. The only engagements were in deep space and as far as I can determine by accident.”

I looked at the emperor again, “I do not know about your empire but I am ours and I think the only ones to profit were the damn merchants. The prices for everything increased anywhere from ten to one hundred times or even more. What is worse, the quality of new equipment or parts dropped until they were sub standard.”

He nodded and looked at his Sky Marshal as the ambassador looked at me and cleared his throat, “that will be enough young...”

I growled, “shut up. You are one of the profiteers that made billions.”

I shook my head and looked at Alexandra who was grinning as she spoke, “want to be our imperial material inspector?”

I snorted as I stood, “your military suppliers would not like that.”

I held out my hand and she stood and slipped hers into mine, “where are we going?”

I smiled, “to see if you enjoy sex as much as I.”

Everyone gasped and started talking as I led her out and her guards fell in behind us. I glanced back at the royal commander that was the head of her guards, “where is the darkest place on the palace grounds?”

He looked at me hard and finally cleared his throat, “the outer gardens beyond the north wall.”

I nodded, “that is where we are going.”

I looked at Alexandra, “have you ever laid in the dark and watched the stars?”

She was blushing and blinked, “no.”

By the time we reached the garden she had my jacket around her. Her guards whispered and the commander cleared his throat, “you are carrying a weapon.”

I nodded, “with two extra magazines. I am also wearing a body screen.”

I turned and pulled Alexandra into a small grassy area. I pulled her down and laid back, “look at the stars.”

She shifted and moved closer and put her head on my shoulder, “this is how you find out if I like sex?”

I grinned in the dark, “no but it made all those nosy ... people talk.”

The commander chuckled and she giggled and I relaxed, “looking at the stars in the dark relaxes me. They seem to beckon and call out like some will-o-wisp.”

Alexandra sighed, “they are pretty.”

We lay there for almost an hour before the guards jerked up and we heard firing in the distance. I turned my head and looked at the commander, “what?”

He gestured, “we need to get the princess back to the palace.”

I sat and then stood, “what is going on?”

He looked around the empty and dark garden, “we have a major attack on the royal wing.”

Alexandra gasped, “grandfather?”

He shook his head, “in his study and safe.”

I frowned, “everyone knows he works late. Why would they...”

I looked at Alexandra and pulled her back, “they are after you.”

I looked around, “any reports of attackers outside the palace?”

The commander growled, “no.”

I nodded and pulled my pistol, “then we stay here.”

I gestured to bushes, “in there.”

A minute and we were hidden and in the middle of the bushes. The commander whispered reports and then the night was shattered by a huge explosion. I shifted as I held Alexandra, “what happened?”

The commander’s face was white, “they blew out the princess’s suite and the ones on each side, above and below.”

I nodded, “so they are after her. Is the emperor okay?”

He grinned, “he is livid”

I smiled and squeezed her hand, “so either someone is upset that we went to have sex or...”

She growled, “no. They were after you.”

I looked at her, “in your room?”

She nodded, “your little speech hit close to the mark. Grandfather and I have been talking since the war ended. You were more right than you knew. The officers in Ring should have boarded that ship. Most are now out of the fleet and working for large merchant cartels.”

I hissed and pulled my comm, “call mom.”

Alexandra hissed but I ignored her and it was not long before the starcomm was completed. My mother growled, “Michael? Thank god. We had reports of an attempt on the princess and you were last seen...”

I cleared my throat, “I am still with her and it was more than an attempt on her. I want you to do a full vid link with her grandfather. They suspect the war was started deliberately like I have been trying to tell you. I told them at dinner and suddenly someone decides to attack...”

She snorted, “the princess...”

I coughed, “I uh ... I made them think we were going to her room to...”

I blushed, “to have sex.”

There was a pause and she chuckled, “and where did you go?”

I looked at Alexandra and kept blushing, “out in a garden to look at the stars.”

She giggled and my mother laughed and then sighed, “I will tighten our security and make the call. Find a cozy room and take the girl to bed.”

She disconnected and I smiled as I looked at a dozen royal guards moving down the walk. I frowned when I saw one with a plasma arc and reached out to stop the commander from standing. I was to late and spun and pulled the princess up and after me, “ENEMY!”

I ran and pulled her behind me as the world behind us exploded in weapons being fired. I only went as far as a drainage ditch and helped Alexandra into it. I spun as five guards ran out of the night. They were headed toward the rear of the commander and his men. I shifted as I lifted my weapon and fired. One went down and the others slowed and I shot a second one.

As they began to react I shot a third and the last two dove for the ground. Dumb if you are in the open and I shot a fourth through the neck and body. The last rolled and leaped to his feet and turned to escape and I shot him in the lower spine. He went down screaming and I dropped into the ditch with Alexandra, “how did they find you?”

She snorted, “they probable tracked your comm.”

I reddened, “it was supposed to be encrypted.”

She kissed my cheek as heavier firing broke out, “but you turned it on and that let them track you.”

I sighed, “great.”

There was a huge flare and the night exploded and became as bright as day. A dozen Mist fleet combat shuttles dropped a thousand men while mini guns ripped the attackers apart. I held Alexandra under me until someone cleared their throat. I looked up and the commander shook his head, “you can come out now.”

I stood and pulled her up, “I wounded one of them.”

Alexandra patted my chest, “next time we try that without clothes.”

I blushed as I looked from her to the commander. He chuckled and turned, “time to go see your grandfather.”

He was more than a little worried and she ran into his arms. I looked at the other people in the room before I looked at our ambassador, “send my things to the palace.”

He opened his mouth and I growled, “do what I tell you or I will kill you. You are one of the few people I do not trust that thought they knew where I was. I will have our imperial intel advisor conduct an investigation. If I find out you were involved no one and nothing will keep you alive.”

His face went white, “you do not have the authority.”

I took a step and grabbed his shirt, “while I am still a prince of our empire I have both the authority and the responsibility.”

I backed him into the wall and searched him and pulled out his comm and comp and then another comm. He struggled, “that is private!”

I stepped back and looked at both comms before I turned, “commander?”

He was by the door and lifted an eyebrow, “yes?”

I smiled, “would you be so kind as to contact the embassy and request major Stone? She will probably be close to the palace by now.”

He nodded and I looked at the ambassador, “you are relieved until my mother and I have spoken.”

He glared, “we will see who die...”

I kicked into his groin, “and now you will wait in a cell for threatening a member of the royal family.”

He folded and fell and I glanced at the commander, “are his guards outside?”

He grinned, “and yours.”

I snorted but gestured, “tell mine to come in and have your people take his guards weapons.”

He nodded but glanced to the general of the royal guards beside the emperor. He nodded and the commander turned and gestured. A moment later six unhappy guards walked in and I pointed at the ambassador, “the ambassador is under arrest for threatening my life. He is not to see or speak with anyone until my mother decides what to do.”

They nodded and one moved to the glaring ambassador. I caught one as they moved towards the door, “have my things sent to the palace.”

He nodded and followed the others out. I turned to one side where a quiet man was leaning against the wall, “Mr Armbruster I need to see the body screen plans your people acquired last month.”

He looked at the emperor, “that is not possible.”

I sighed, “they were stolen from us remember? Do you honestly think a mere lieutenant in supply had access to plans for the royal guards?”

He straightened, “you fed them to us.”

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