Fruitless Vanity

by Phoenix Rafael

This document is licensed under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada license, available at

Disclaimer: If it is illegal to read this where you are, then don't read it. This story is completely fictional. Any similarities to any persons or events, past or present is purely coincidental. This story contains homosexual themes, along with a sci-fi/fantasy storyline.

December, 2010

Chapter #3 -- The Trial

Scott had sex with Leslie a few hours earlier, and was still satisfied. He was relaxing in bed, having woke up a few minutes earlier. Leslie had snuck into his room in the middle of the night.

Still Scott had to get up. So after his shower, he put on his dress uniform. The trial for the members of Rebel 44 would start today, and he had to testify. He found breakfast in his room when he came out of the bathroom. It was a simple meal of fresh fruit, yogurt, and tea to drink.

Once Scott finished his breakfast, he found himself in the throne room, in place for the trial. The Pharaoh Cynthia II and Queen Royal had just entered. The seven caught members of Rebel 44 were on their knees, with their Nestor nearby.

In the Royal Court, the presumption is of guilt, and the accused must prove their innocence. The sentence is announced at the beginning of the trial, and the trial shows how they came to that conclusion. A Nestor is like a lawyer, and helps convince the accused to plead guilty. The judges (when not the Pharaoh and Queen) were called an Archon. The prosecution was called the Conservator.

"Members of Rebel 44. You have been found guilty of the charges of conspiring to overthrow the lawful government, one count of high treason, fifty counts conspiracy to commit murder, ten counts of capital murder, one count of kidnapping the Crown Prince, one count of kidnapping a member of the Imperial Guard, and five counts of unlawful destruction. The sentence is death! How do you plead?" the Pharaoh said with confidence.

The Nestor stepped forward. "They plead not guilty, Your Majesties."

An all out search had again begun. Despite the trial being expedient, Tyler went missing a few hours after it concluded. Scott wondered how anyone could be kidnapped this often in the span of one week.

Scott was working at a work station in the command post, alongside Major Simloin. The two of them were wondering how to rescue Tyler this time. Last time was an accident, which probably wouldn't be repeated.

"Do we suspect Rebel 44 of taking him again?"

Major Simloin looked over at Scott. "It is the most likely conclusion. They probably don't approve of their comrades being executed."

Scott sighed. "Is there any way we can track him?"

Colonel Viv Jake appeared in the doorway of the command centre, and Scott was quickly at attention. "Ma'am."

Viv smiled to her friend. "At ease. From what I'm told, technically you outrank me at the moment, so no need for snapping to attention."

Scott smiled to his friend and introduced her to Major Simloin. "We're having a tough time finding the Crown Prince."

Viv hmmed, "Back when I headed his protection detail, I seem to recall that all members of the royal family had a chip embedded, to both track them, and to prevent anyone from creating a clone, or issuing false orders."

Scott raised a brow, "Why would the Pharaoh have not told us about that?"

Viv thought about it for a moment. "Perhaps she doesn't know. It is automatically done at birth. Standing orders from Pharaoh Keith I."

Scott gave this some thought as well, "but where do we get the info on the chip so we can track it?"

Viv ah-ha'd at that. "From the Royal Physician."

Gabriel Coll had been the Royal Physician for almost 20 years. At 50, it was the only job he had since graduating from residency. And he was darned good at his job. He looked after all the members of the Royal Family, and was loyal.

Gabriel was working in his office when Scott Harrison and Vic Jake entered the medical centre. Gabriel offered both of them a smile when they entered his office.

"Yes, how can I help you?"

Scott returned the smile. "Doctor Coll, I am Major Harrison, and this is Colonel Viv Jake. We're investigating the disappearance of the Crown Prince."

Gabriel nodded a little, "and you want to know about the chip."

Scott nodded as well, "Yes, exactly. Colonel Jake thought the Pharaoh and Queen didn't know about it."

Gabriel nodded again, "That is true. If they ask I tell them, but by practice the Royal Physician doesn't usually tell the Pharaoh or the Queen, to prevent this security measure from being widely advertised and possibly exploited."

At that Viv had to agree. "I understand that rationale. But we need a way to track the Crown Prince's chip."

Gabriel handed over a crystal drive. "Here's the information. It is triple encoded, and if you enter the password wrong even once, everything on it will be destroyed."

At that Scott had to look amazed. He wasn't sure what sort of security was around the information. But he took the crystal drive. "We'll keep it safe."

Gabriel look to Scott, "Delete the information from the drive when you are done. I don't need it back."

Scott got this really creepy feeling after Gabriel made the request, but he agreed to do it nonetheless.

Scott sighed again. "How is it despite having the information on the chip, that we still cannot find him?"

Viv looked over to Scott. "It's a big planet. If we want it to go faster, we'd have to issue scanners to all local law enforcement, with the frequency and that's an even bigger security issue."

Scott rubbed the temples of his eyes for a moment "What is it about this kid" Scott started to confide in Viv, "that makes people want to both kill him, and protect him?"

"What do you mean?" Viv asked as she looked at the readout on her console.

"He berates me for sleeping as he calls it with the help, and all I can manage to do it say sorry, or something lame." Scott sighed again and looked at the blinking information.

Viv shrugged. "Perhaps you need a vacation."

Scott laughed at that a little. "Perhaps, but it seems we have some information."

The security team Scott lead arrived at the open field. It was so open it made Texas look like a rain forrest. There was no where for miles around anyone could hide, but this is where the signal for the chip had said Tyler was.

Using handheld scanners, the security team searched the area looking for a clue.

"Major Harrison, you should come over here" said one of the Privates. Scott walked over and looked at the information on the scanner. He then reached down, picking up the chip.

Viv walked over and looked to Scott.

"They removed his chip, Viv. This is bad, so very, very bad." Scott was angry now. They had a security leak, and this puts Tyler's life at even more jeopardy.

"But who knew about the chip?" Viv looked to Scott.

"You, me, Dr. Coll, a few security personnel, Leslie Woods. We could narrow it down, but it's also possible someone simply overheard us." Scott put his scanner away, and the chip in an evidence bag.

"We'd better return to the palace" Scott continued, "we have to report this to Queen Royal. It's simply too big."

Royal maintained his calm while Scott and Viv gave him their report. General Chambers was also sitting in on the meeting.

"We're simply not sure where the leak is, but I have already ordered a priority one investigation" Scott said, taking a drink of his water. A priority one investigation meant that this investigation took precedence over all others.

"I can see why a kidnapper would want to remove the chip" General Chambers said. "Now we can't track Tyler. But very few people knew about it."

Scott nodded. "Leslie Woods thinks it is one of the security personnel, since one of the Royal Guard was already killed and impersonated, she thinks that this could be the case again since we never thought they culprit would do it again, assuming that it is the same person."

"So what do you suggest we do from here, Major" Queen Royal asked of the man.

"Name a new heir."

"What?" Royal could not believe Scott had just suggested that.

"Name a new heir, and implant two chips. One where they expect it, and another where they don't. See if they get kidnapped. It might just save Tyler." Scott explained.

"Or it might get him killed since he'd no longer be useful, Major" General Chambers rebutted.

"What do you suggest then, sir?" Scott asked, frustrated.

General Chambers took a drink of his whiskey. "Stay the course, find out who our spy is. They might know where Tyler is."

"And they may not. At least if we plan for someone to be kidnapped, we could be prepared and can track them a lot easier." Scott argued.

"And who would you have volunteer for this, Major?" The Queen asked.

"I would volunteer for this myself, Your Majesty."

Skylan was quietly colouring on the floor of Scott's room when he returned. Scott couldn't help but blink, wondering what the young prince was doing here.

"Skylan, are you lost?" Scott asked, weary and tired.

"Nope" the young boy looked up to Scott, gave him an innocent smile, and then went back to colouring.

"Then why are you here?" Scott asked.

"To tell you to abandon your plan." Skylan said.

"I'm sorry?" Scott scratched his head, sitting down on the edge of a chair.

"It's pretty much a state secret, Scott" the boy stood up and walked over to Scott, "but I'm psychic. The Gods tell me things clearly. So perhaps more of a clairvoyant, I know this plan of yours will fail."

Scott blinked, and Skylan got up and sat in his lap. "If you do this, both you and Tyler will die. It is very sure. There cannot be any other outcome. And I love my brother, and I love you, Scott." The boy hugged Scott.

Scott was shocked, but hugged Skylan back. "Alright, so what do you suggest?"

"Focus on finding the spy. They will know where Tyler is, and he should return unharmed. But that is not certain as the paths are more murky." Skylan replied.

Scott sighed, and relented. "Alright, I'll do that. Is that the only reason you came to see me?"

The boy shook his head. "Nope. I wanted to spend some time with you."