Derrick was still in shock, what in the hell was going on? Reaching out again Derrick touched Mary's arm, again snatching his hand back. Sitting there a minute Derrick's face showed his confusion then a wide smile lit up his face. "Shelby, has anyone had access to access to my brain amplifier?" Derrick asked expecting her to tell him that someone had. "No Derrick all data on it is still in secure files within my mainframe, I haven't detected any incursion into any of those." Shelby reported a few moments later to an astonished Derrick.
Derrick nodded thinking a moment, "Alright how did they do it? They're smart, a hell of a lot smarter than I was. I also know for a fact that neither had ever had access to technology this advanced. I need to talk to them right now." Derrick ordered. There was a momentary pause, and then holograms of both Kimison and Rayburn popped up. Both bowed, "Yes Sire you wanted us?" "Uh huh." Derrick mumbled as he looked at both of them. "So you recalled my brain amplifier I see." A smirking Derrick told an opened mouth Rayburn.
"So both of you are on board Tempro, no," Derrick said raising a hand to stop Rayburn's denial. "I'm not mad though I should be!" Derrick looked over at first, a wide eyed, and then laughing his ass off Hartwell said, "Still sticking your noses into everything huh?" "Really I don't see what's so damn funny!" Derrick said a little frustrated that things were starting to progress without him.
"What else have you two got?" Derrick asked still a little steamed. "Well," Kimison started, a huge smile brightening up his face. "There is this, a triple output particle beam weapon; I'd say the destructive force is close to three times the normal particle beams on board the ships. It works better with the power amplifier and stabilizer.
Problem is I'm still getting a massive amount of feedback causing it to overload." "Have you tried a regulator? That would limit the amount of power into the firing chamber when the feedback starts." Derrick said a suddenly serious look on his face, as he told Kimison who had a startled look on his face.
"So I take it you only had Tempro to download? Not bad, you have actually made advances that will go a long way. Ok, what else?" Kimison was still startled as he started to write with a flurry. Rayburn nodded holding up another small piece of metal slightly larger than the shield emitter. "I started this right after the shield emitter. It is a micro IMT though with all the refinements we have had to make I'm not sure any more.
Cutting down on the weight has helped but the power output if still far too high for the micro-generator." Derrick looked over the plans that Rayburn was showing him. Yes, what they had accomplished was indeed a hell of a lot more help to him than they realized. Still looking over the plans a look of clarity lit up Derrick's eyes, "I think I see the flaw in your design Rayburn," Derrick told him. "If you reroute the power through a smaller version of the re-doubler, then I think it will work.
At present what kind of range does it have?" Rayburn smiled the idea that Derrick had given him already had his mind working toward a solution. "At present because of the drain it has only worked to a thousand meters. With the idea you have given me though I think we may be able to extend it to a few miles." A now broadly smiling Rayburn said. Derrick nodded he had thought so too. "I have to say very good work; I also give you permission to access the library of either Zan or Sherry.
Be careful I know you both want to help, but." "Yes I know Sire," Rayburn replied. "We both know of you training your mind to take more information than almost anyone we have seen. Taking all of Tempro damn near fried Kimison's mind, then again he forgot a few safety guards." Derrick nodded then signed off.
Looking at the solid hologram of Mary he sighed, great a solid holographic babysitter! Sitting up he saw that Greeson had finally progressed past the sixth level and was steadily gaining in the seventh.
Damn Derrick thought he keeps this up I'll have to make him an officer. I just hope he isn't like Dempsy and turn it down every time. Snapping his fingers Derrick shook his head, Shelby's programs were good, but Dempsy was far better of a teacher. If he's sober enough Derrick thought with a smile. Calling Hartwell, Derrick described his idea to him, with a broad smile Hartwell agreed. Dempsy was nursing a hell of a hangover. Holy shit the device that Shelby had given him made the sweetest, most potent liquor he'd ever tasted!
Sighing as he looked at the half full bottle next to his bed he had to report soon. Damn it he wished his head would clear faster. He'd just gotten to engineering when the 'special' communicator went off. "Yes Sire, not too good right now hung over as hell." Dempsy said into it. "I don't give a crap!
Get your ass ready! I am transferring you to the emperor's command ship. Damn it! I said step up sergeant!" Hartwell's voice was barking out orders over the communicator. "Damn it sir!" Dempsy was whispering into the communicator. "You promised you wouldn't bring that up! I'm happy being a lowly crewman!" "That doesn't matter now, you are here by promoted to Second Lieutenant, now get your ass ready your ride will be there in a moment!" Hartwell said a wide smile on his face.
"WHAT!!??? I don't." Dempsy started. "I said that doesn't matter! The emperor needs you in an officer capacity. Now be ready or Thomas is going to take you like you are." Hartwell interrupted.
In a low voice Hartwell and Derrick could hear Dempsy complaining, "Christ busting my head and balls when I am hung over I never disturbed them." "What was that Lieutenant?" Derrick's voice suddenly came from the communicator. Startled Dempsy straightened up, "nothing Sire I'll be ready." Derrick was again about to fall out of his chair he'd always got a kick out of the man.
Suddenly serious Derrick told Hartwell, "I damn sure hope he can teach them at least half of what he knows.
Then again I think that Greeson might actually provide a challenge to Dempsy." "He might but Dempsy has continued to train, I believe he went back to his master to learn more recently. He just might surprise you Sire." Hartwell said hoping that Dempsy was as good as he thought the man was.
Dempsy had barely managed to gather up everything in his bag when several alarms went off. Running Dempsy made the bridge just as Thomas made contact. "I was sent by the emperor to retrieve newly promoted Lieutenant Dempsy.
Ah there he is!" With that Dempsy was suddenly standing in another of those ships. "Glad to see you could join us Lieutenant!" Thomas said behind him. Dempsy could only nod as he lovingly ran his hands over several of the panels that were part of Conner. "It is just as beautiful as I remember it!" Dempsy was whispering.
Thomas could only roll his eyes. Conner appeared a moment later, "I thank you sir, it has been a very long time since someone appreciated my systems. I dare say you are the first since the emperor was here." Again all Dempsy could do was nod as he stared at more and more of what was Conner. "Thank you," Thomas heard Dempsy whisper. "You're welcome I think." Thomas said with a wide smile. Dempsy shook his head then looked at the command seat.
"Is that you sir?" he said. "Cut the sir crap I am just plan Thomas now. Alright Conner trans-warp!" There was a familiar whine then they were coming up on the other three ships.
"Sire we're back with him." Thomas reported with a smile. "Though I think he is in love with all the systems here." There was a minute of chuckles then they heard, "Alright Shelby." Dempsy blinked, then again as he looked at Derrick and Hartwell.
Screwing up his face a moment Dempsy stated, "Look Sire I appreciate the promotion but I liked where and what I am. I really have to protest." Derrick got a suddenly serious face and pointed at Dempsy. "I don't care; I need you as an officer for this mission. Afterward if you want to be busted down, then that can be arranged also.
Though you might reconsider after you see the pay raise you get." Dempsy was shaking his head. He really didn't give a crap about the money; to him it was duty and nothing else. (Then again, he smiled; a hell of a lot of booze helped also.) "Mission? What can I do that you would need me for? I love tech true but Kimison and Rayburn have always been better at it than me. If you remember, I failed strategy and tactics in officer's school that was why they kicked me out." Dempsy smiled, well that plus the fact that he'd taken a few of the other officers daughters out.
They had all been drinking and end up semi-nude in one of the girls apartments. "I'm no good at command that is both you and the admiral here. I am no pilot like Thomas, what can I possibly offer that you would need?" Dempsy replied becoming more and more confused. Derrick smiled, "Shelby robotic sparring partner, level 11, safeties off, set to kill!" Dempsy looked at Derrick and Hartwell like they had lost their minds, "Let's see if you're as good as I have heard you are." Hartwell said then smiled.
Dempsy was suddenly in a more defensive position. The robot charged with almost blazing speed, then just as suddenly was laying in three pieces at Dempsy's feet.
"Damn that was slow!" Dempsy said as he looked at the mess at his feet. Suddenly a moment of clarity lit up his face. "So you wish for me to protect you Sire? It would be an honor!" Both Derrick and Hartwell were grinning from ear to ear. "Well something like that.
How do you feel about teaching?" Derrick said his smile growing by the second. A dark, brooding female figure, moved through the shadows as she advanced through the Taiolan sect.
Disgusting she thought, moving like a breeze deeper into the complex. In the main room she watched as the new leader gave orders. Waiting her chance she struck with an almost unimagined speed. The leader smiled as he blocked all 105 of the deadly strikes the woman threw at him.
"Ah! Good I see that you have kept up with your skills." The leader's mouth twisted into an evil smile. A low, almost whispering voice answered, "I told you if you ever contacted me, it had better be worth my time.
Either way I may kill you anyway. You are a bastard, I no longer work for nor do I owe the sect anything. My time is far more valuable than yours!" Sighing, the leader nodded, she had been their best assassin when he was nearing completion of his training. "I take it you have heard of the new emperor?" When the woman only nodded the leader continued. "We have been paid a substantial fortune to rid the galaxy of him.
It has been said that the man has plans to remove both assassin sects. He has already seriously hurt several of the pirate clans." "What do I care if they rid the galaxy of you? You and the other sect often interfere with my plans." The woman's whispering voice drifted through the air. "You know the new emperor is Derrick O'Toma?" The leader told her another evil smile crossing his lips. A hiss not unlike nails on a chalk board issued from her lips. "You have an agreement, for this bastard no fee, this one time only." Moving far swifter than he thought she could she had a thin blade to his throat.
Then the leader felt a pin prick near his genitals. "Remember and never bother me again!" With that she was gone like smoke before a stiff breeze. The leader smiled then wiped the thin line of blood from his neck. Nodding his head yes, she would kill the bastard she had a blood oath against him as much as the leader did. Thinking of the woman he remembered back to the war, he'd been so close to ending his half brother and his smart ass friend.
Then there was that bastard O'Toma, the leader had almost gotten his revenge when the son of a bitch stepped in. The day the leader had been arrested his wife had left him spitting in his face. She'd promised to kill him after she had the revenge their dead son deserved. Ah! Sweet memories the leader thought, just seeing his wife again had helped to refuel his hatred of O'Toma that much more.
Dempsy sighed as he stood in the center of the room, starting his katas. This whole thing smelled fishy as he blocked and flung two bodies to the ground. Really he thought what in the hell did he expect. Dodging a kick and putting another four on the mat. A freaking Lieutenant! Damn the commander to hell! Why couldn't he just be a plain crewman? This time he actually had to stop his Katas hmmm Dempsy thought this one has a lot of potential!
With a loud thud Greeson hit the mat extremely hard. Holy shit! Who was this man? He moved a lot like his teacher. Springing up Greeson prepared to attack again when the man wagged his finger at him then shook his head. A startled look filled Greeson's eyes as his legs started to wobble then he fell to the floor. Derrick and Hartwell cringed as they watched Dempsy put the man to the mat the first time.
Though the second time they both were in pain when Greeson hit the floor. Derrick breathed a sigh of relief when Dempsy pressed a knuckle into Greeson's back.
Derrick was thinking stay down son, and then shook his head when Greeson fell forward into Dempsy's arms. Sighing Dempsy moved to the gasping Greeson's back and lightly pressed a knuckle into a spot on the man's back. The man nodded to Dempsy and again tried to regain his feet. Sighing Dempsy just stood there, 'damn this is a tough one,' he thought. Then he nodded as the man fell forward into Dempsy's arms.
Well I tried to warn him Dempsy thought. Kimison and Rayburn had already started on the ideas that Derrick had given them.
With any luck they'd have the micro IMT ready after the emperor left the first nobles place. Kimison felt bad that he and Rayburn had abandoned the project that Mary had wanted them to work on.
Though he realized that it was of the upmost importance, they wouldn't be much good if they were both dead. Rayburn made more adjustments then started the micro-generator again slowly he started to add power. This time the micro re-doubler kicked in half way through the cycle. 'Good,' Rayburn thought, 'about time,' then he noticed that the power was starting to climb far higher than he'd set it for. Grabbing the IMT he was just starting to shut it down when the damn thing activated!
Appearing outside the ship's hull, Rayburn hit his micro shield, he just hoped Tempro was tracking him this trick only gave him a minute at the most before the air in the shield was gone. Kimison had been working on the modulator when he heard the micro INT and generator power up. Running he arrived just in time to see Rayburn vanish.
"Tempro I need a position on him now!" "He is outside, oh dear, his shield is rendering the IMT ineffective!" Tempro told Kimison. "How close is he to a hatch?" Kimison yelled.
"He's beside the one in front you now!" Tempro replied. Tying a rope to his waist Kimison yanked the hatch open and lunged for Rayburn. As the pressure from the ship blew him out, Kimison remotely shut down of the shield. A moment later they were both lying on the deck Tempro having closed the hatch. Both gasping for breath Kimison looked at Rayburn, "You have to be the luckiest ass in the universe!
Next time just let the piece of shit go! You're trying to get yourself killed aren't you? Plus you're trying to take me with you, you ass!" "You know I can't do that!" Rayburn gasped out.
"It was the only working model we have!" Kimison got to his feet helping Rayburn to stand. "No more of this ok? I need you to complete these things." Rayburn smiled this was the nearest they had been in years, not since the man's half brother had tried to kill them.
They were about a day out from the first of the noble's territories when Shelby called Derrick. "Yes Shelby is everything alright?" Derrick asked her.
"I think I have a problem I've never had before," she told Derrick. "A problem? What's wrong? The ships are ok aren't they?" A worried Derrick asked Shelby. "They are fine Derrick but it appears that they BOTH are going to emerge at almost the same time. I've never had this happen before; I believe it is being so close to me that has caused this.
I am afraid that someone will have to stay with them 'till they are ready." An astonished Shelby told Derrick. A hologram of Conner and Thomas appeared a moment later.
"Sire we could transport them back to the Imperial planet. We could also bring Marco back with us if he is ready." Derrick sat back it was a tempting idea; he knew that with Conner at full power he could easily transport both of them.
"Alright, but I need the both of you back here as fast as possible. No playing there and back." "Yes Sire we will do as you order." Both of the holograms said with a smile. "Another hour Sire." Shelby answered before Derrick could even get the question out this time. "Thank you Shelby notify right before." Derrick told her as he turned back toward the view screen. Greeson finally stirred from the deep unconscious state he'd been in.
"Ugh damn," he groaned out, "what the hell hit me?" Looking up he saw Dempsy sitting on the floor in meditation. Finally righting himself Greeson sat back against the wall, while trying to not look anywhere but at Dempsy as the room began to spin lightly. Pulling himself together Greeson also started to meditate. "Good," Greeson heard Dempsy say, "so you were taught properly. Tomorrow we start on you actually learning. I'm not sure what you and the others had in mind. It is never a good idea to attack someone with no inkling as to who or what they are first." "I apologize for the offense sir," Greeson said a moment later.
"We were all told to attack you with everything we had. I didn't think that was a good idea, it's why I waited longer." Dempsy nodded so this one wasn't as stupid as he had thought at first, good.
Teaching this one might actually yield someone worthy of learning what Dempsy knew. Smiling Dempsy thought damn it! I just wish this damn hangover didn't last so long! "Derrick," Shelby said snapping him out of his thoughts about his coming meetings with the nobles.
"Yes Shelby, is it time?" Derrick asked. "Yes it is, Derrick They will be ready for space almost an hour after they emerge.
This is unprecedented you have found a way to get my children back faster. Thank you Derrick," Shelby said as she appeared huge tears falling from her eyes.
"Thank you so much, I truly know now that had I not found you and you me." Here Shelby lowered he eyes and voice, "I know I would no longer exist." Shocked Derrick could only stare at her, "For all you have done for me Shelby, I feel I have done so little to repay you.
So I have to say thank you to you also." Hartwell had tears in his eyes; the emperor was the greatest man he'd ever known on and off the battle field. The simple fact that the man was as humble as he was spoke volumes.
Hartwell shook his head, the man just didn't realize all the good he'd done, and all that he was it seemed destined to do.
"I am detecting rapid increase in the cognitive functioning of both 0125 and 0403," Shelby advised. There was a crackling then a male voice came over the loud speaker.
"Mother? Is that you I feel?" Came at first, a tentative voice. "Yes son welcome back, you are in an improved re-gen with one of you brothers." Shelby started. "Oh mother!" came another male voice, "I thought to never hear you again!" "0403?" Came the first male voice.
"0125? So they got you also," came the sad voice. "I am on a mission with the new emperor. Before he has your brother, Conner take you to the Imperial planet, he will wish to speak to you." Shelby informed them. "The emperor," they both said a sense of awe in their voices. "You will find that this emperor is far different than any other we have known. Sleep for an hour then you can emerge into space." Shelby lovingly told them. "Yes mother, thank you," voices said then were quiet.
"That was beautiful," Hartwell said tears in his eyes. This was the first time he'd ever seen the ship emergences. Derrick went back to reading up on the five major Nobles that they were going to be visiting first. In particular was the Duke Risen, Derrick already knew the man was a traitor he just had to have solid proof.
Looking behind him he could see that the now solid hologram of Mary was watching his every move. 'Damn,' he thought, 'the damn thing even followed him even when he took to relieve himself. Damn,' he thought, 'I knew when I went into this I wouldn't have a lot of privacy but I didn't think I wouldn't have any!' At Ranger headquarters a tall, thin female was bent over a computer console.
A device was hooked to the side enabling her to extract almost anything she wanted. Almost anything, the encryption she kept running into was unlike anything she'd ever seen. Sighing she had enough to start. Walking out she walked past several of the techs who didn't give her a second look. Cradling the data disc she smiled, soon bastard you will pay for the death of my son!
Derrick's communicator went off a few minutes later. "Emperor are you busy at the moment?" Came the voice of the Ranger High Commander. "No High Commander, I will always have time for you." Derrick told the man whose eyes opened wide in shock. "We have detected a break into the Ranger central data center. When we checked the video feeds there was nothing unusual. At present we are at a loss." The man reported. "What was accessed?" Derrick asked though he had an idea he already knew. "It appears that all information on you was accessed sire, on anyone that might have spoken, interacted, or actually seen you.
This is a serious breach; I'm just glad that you planted all that false information in the data base." The older man reported.
"Thank you high commander, please keep me informed." Clicking off Derrick thought, 'so that ass is at a dead end. He's trying to get all he can on me and others that have been near me.' Smiling, 'good,' Derrick thought 'the false information should lead whomever he sent into the open soon.' "Derrick, it's time." Shelby said. "My sons, the emperor wishes to speak you before you emerge into space." Shelby informed both of the ships. Two holograms appeared on Shelby in front of Derrick and bowed.
One, a tall, slender blonde teen, the other a young man barely out of his teens with jet dark hair. "Yes Sire?" They both stated. "As I have told all ships after emergence, I require that they go by the name that they were given or were allowed to choose.
I therefore ask you both for yours or if you wish to be given one." Derrick asked of both the holographic males. "Yes Sire." the blonde 0125 started, "I was known as Lars I was told it was a proud name, it was also the name of my first crew commander." Derrick nodded making note glad that the man would be remembered. Turning toward the jet black haired teen Derrick asked, "And you 0403?" Suddenly standing proud and tall the young man answered, "I was called Johnathon for a few years.
I was told that I was allowed to keep it by supplemental crews later on." Derrick had a wide grin on his face as he looked over at Hartwell. Hartwell had a shocked look on his face, which of course had Derrick again about to fall out of the command chair laughing.