Lost Empire 16 - 20

Discussion in 'Non-Erotic Fiction Story Forum' started by Pars001, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Pars001

    Pars001 #1 Knight Writer

    Chapter 16

    It had been almost twelve hours and Mary had been following the progress of Rear Admiral Joseph Hartwell. After sending him to Abrir Oculta Providence to retrieve Derrick's family she could only wait. Checking in on Derrick every few minutes there still hadn't been any improvement. Not really one to worry that much Mary was actually hoping that his family would jar his memory. It was far too dangerous to try most of the other remedies that had been prescribed. It appeared that while increasing his intellect and cognitive abilities Derrick's head set process had also loosened his tight grip on the present, hence only a slight knock had rendered him with no memory.

    Mary was just hoping that the jar of seeing his family would be sufficient enough to bring him back. Finally she saw that the Rear Admiral had left Abrir Oculta heading toward the imperial planet. Opening a channel Mary needed a progress report, "Rear Admiral," she started slightly startling the bridge crew, "Did you have any problems?"

    "Uh no, by the way what do I call you?" Hartwell asked Mary.

    "At present my current title is imperial advisor and head law holder. Also I am at an emergency contingency 'til such time as the emperor releases me from it. This means I will do everything within my power to protect the imperial planet and the emperor." Sighing at the confused look on Hartwell's face she said, "Just call me advisor Mary, it's about as close as most will get to my full title."

    Hartwell nodded making note of it, "We have both Sherry O'Toma and Milley O'Toma aboard. We should arrive in ten hours."

    "Unacceptable. Shelby, please transport the ranger ship here. Shelby should have you here in a minute or so," Mary advised Hartwell.

    Looking out a huge, sleek, black skinned ship flashed in directly above them, emitted an eerie beam then they both flashed and were in the vicinity of the imperial planet. Most of the bridge crew was staring opened mouth at the view screen. The science officer walked up to Hartwell with a look of surprise and want on his face, "Sir according to the stellar readings we just crossed over half of the galaxy in five seconds! OMG! I want one of those!"

    Hartwell chuckled a moment his self in awe, "You and me both Anders, you and me both." He said almost in a whisper. Suddenly there was a commotion in the passageway connecting the bridge to the rest of the ship.

    "I don't care what he said, I want to see that idiot NOW!" Sighing, Hartwell knew the sound of Milley O'Toma's voice anywhere. She might be old but she was still as feisty as she was when she was younger. Pushing her way onto the bridge she stood next to Hartwell's chair with her arms crossed. "So when are we due to get there?" She asked before she looked at the view screen. "Is that the imperial world? I knew that the Rangers had fast ships but this is..." Milley's mouth dropped open when a three mile long ship came into view. "OMG!" She was whispering, falling to her knees, "I thought he was telling stories, they are real then the rest of it has to be true also!"

    Hartwell looked at her strange what was she talking about? "Ma'am?" Hartwell asked her, "What are you talking about?"

    "That," she whispered in awe, "it is just as my husband described it, I just thought it was one of his wild stories."

    "You know what it is?" Hartwell asked her a little shaken now.

    "Yes," she said never taking her eyes off the sight before her, "it is an Elite Imperial Guardian, all these years I humored him and he was actually speaking the truth!"

    Shelby couldn't resist and appeared on the Ranger ship's bridge, "it is good that someone remembered us!" she said as she smiled at Milley. Then she was gone as the Ranger ship's holograph equipment wasn't that good.

    "What was that?" Milley asked.

    "That was a hologram of the Artificial Intelligence personality on board the ship you see there I believe." Hartwell tried to explain to her, as well as the rest of the bridge crew that were listening with rapt attention.

    "Artificial Intelligence? Personality? What in the hell are you talking about?" Milley said finally starting to come to her senses.

    "When I met the emperor, he told me he had four of these ships at his command. Derrick was helping him, though he, nor I knew who the man was." Hartwell told her.

    Milley O'Toma could only shake her head Derrick was helping the new emperor? Remembering back before her husband had been found dead, she was starting to remember quite a bit. What was it he had told her numerous times? AH! That he, their son and Derrick were descended from the imperial line. It was still a bit of a shock for her to take, wait they were descended, that meant...

    Leaning close to Hartwell she whispered, "Derrick is the emperor isn't he?" Hartwell's eyes grew wide then looking around he gave her a look as if to tell her not to ask again. Nodding, she thought for a few moments before she spoke again. "So when will we know about Derrick?" She asked.

    "Well...," Hartwell started.

    Suddenly the voice of Mary was heard, "Ah! Good! You're participation is greatly appreciated, please have the two females on the bridge so I can effect a transfer."

    Snapping her head up Milley growled at the voice, "I have a name, I am going nowhere without an explanation, especially with one as rude as you!"

    "I apologize Mrs. O'Toma but you and Derrick's mother are required as soon as possible to be with him." Mary found it extremely distasteful and disrespectful to say the emperor's first name, but in order to keep up the charade she felt he would want her to. Milley's face was suddenly worried hearing Mary's words.

    "I'll get Sherry and call you when we are ready, I just hope Derrick isn't injured too bad." Milley said as she ran from the bridge to get Sherry. Almost running to their room Miley grabbed a confused Sherry. "We have to hurry; the voice said that we needed to be there with Derrick as soon as possible. I am worried that he was harmed far more than these idiots in the Rangers told us"

    "My god, Derrick has survived so much and now they and you tell me he is on an alien looking ship? It took both of us so long nursing him back to health, I'm hurrying Milley!" Sherry O'Toma said, as Milley grabbed her arm and started pulling her with more strength than Sherry thought Milley had.

    Arriving back on the bridge Milley and Sherry nodded to Hartwell, "Advisor Mary, they are both here on the bridge," Hartwell spoke into the communicator.

    "I wonder how..." Milley started, "long we'll have ... to wa ... what the hell!!??"

    "Welcome aboard," A blonde, green eyed, slender woman smiled as they both stared at her. "I am EIG-0101F though I was ordered to go by the name given me. If it is more appealing to you, please call me Shelby, Derrick insists that we use our names we were given. Actually I prefer the name also more than my EIG designation."

    "Obviously Derrick has been extremely busy since we last saw him," Milley told a wide eyed and gaping mouthed Sherry.

    Finally finding her voice a slightly trembling Sherry looked at Shelby, "Just where are we?"

    Shelby smiled even wider and her face softened, "You are on board me, well the ship; you see the ship and I are one."

    "We were told you are an Artificial Intelligence personality," Sherry said.

    "Yes I am, though I and the ship are integrated in a way. Hmmm think of it like this I am the brain, the ship is my body does that help?" Shelby smiled sweetly. Sherry shook her head looking at Shelby as if the hologram was crazy.

    "Enough of this," Milley said, "Where is Derrick? From what we heard earlier we are worried that he is injured far more than we were told. I demand to see my grandson immediately!"

    "Yes of course Mrs. O'Toma, please follow me or would you rather go via the IMT?" Shelby asked.

    "If that is the there, then here in a few seconds, I think I'll pass unless I have no choice." Milley told a still smiling Shelby. Shelby started to walk towards a door that slowly slid open, from the other side they could faintly hear a slightly distressed Derrick's voice.

    "I don't care what your orders are! I want out of this contraption! You said I wasn't a prisoner; let me out of here NOW!" Came Derrick's voice.

    Milley shook her head as did Sherry, yes that was Derrick, same temper and all. Walking a little further they finally rounded a corner. There on a steel table was Derrick with a myriad of machines trying to tend to him.

    "You always were a stubborn one weren't you Derrick," Milley said as she watched Derrick struggle with trying to fight off the machines.

    "I am not stubborn gram, I am just tired...," an opened mouthed Derrick started at the two people that had entered the room. "Gram?" Derrick started an amazed look on his face. "Mother? Oh my god! Is it really you two? I'm so confused I don't know where I am or what any of this is, god it's good to see a face that I know!"

    "You sure you know us Derrick? I have heard that a person with amnesia can think they know but are only seeing flashes of memory." Milley told Derrick.

    "No Gram, I remember you and mother I remember you getting me and trying to tend me after the beating I took," Derrick told Milley. "Beyond that everything fades to nothing."

    Mary who had been watching looked over the now updated readings; good, the jar of seeing them had opened part of the blocked memory. Sighing, Mary thought now to bring the rest of it out before they went on too far. Accessing all of her medical records she started painstakingly going through them all again trying to find the right treatment.

    Shelby was greatly encouraged when she saw that Derrick's readings were starting to align back to what they had been before the incident. Although Shelby was somewhat confused as to why just seeing his relatives had caused this to accrue. Derrick was looking around the room trying to figure out exactly what was what but still for the life of him nothing but the table looked familiar. Looking further he saw that a young blonde, green eyed woman was watching everything that was going on, why did she look so familiar also? Derrick thought the young blonde was gorgeous but the harder he tried to remember the more that his head ached. Finally laying back a groan escaping his lips, Shelby told his grandmother and mother they needed to let him rest. Besides Shelby thought she'd like to talk to them alone anyway.

    "I feel that you both want answers," Shelby told them after they were alone.

    "Yes, first off how in the hell has this injury happened to my grandson!" Milley O'Toma almost shouted at a startled Shelby.

    "I assure I was taking every precaution that I could, but as we both know Derrick isn't the greatest listener in the universe." Shelby shot back at her.

    "Huh as advanced as you are you could have prevented it!" Milley snapped at Shelby.

    "I tried Mrs. O'Toma," Shelby replied tears now starting to fall from her eyes, "I tried my best to protect him but he is so stubborn Mary has had to shock him before to get him to rest. Believe me Mrs. O'Toma I want nothing to ever harm Derrick, never." This last was almost a whisper as Shelby couldn't see that straight from the tears.

    "Oh my god you really are alive and you're in love with Derrick!" Sherry O'Toma said suddenly her eyes wide as the realization hit her. "Just how long have you been in love with him?"

    Shelby actually blushed as she struggled to answer Sherry's question, "I'm not sure, I think it was just after Derrick opened up more of my emotions, he always puts us machines before his self."

    "Humph! Yep! That sounds like our Derrick, alright young la ... whatever you are, what can we do to help?" Milley O'Toma told Shelby. "We'll do what we can but we aren't medically trained, we're at a complete loss with this."

    "According to Mary, she was the voice you heard before I brought you on board me. Just seeing you, has already started to straighten out his brain readings, unfortunately all the memories he has at the moment are up 'til he was beaten outside the base."

    "Ho ... how did you know about that?" Sherry asked Shelby.

    "I have been in his mind a few times to try and help him, though at the moment I am afraid that his reaction to me being there might do far more damage than help. So we are trying a few less painful and intrusive ways to snap him back to us. As I said your presence has already awakened quite a few of his memories." Shelby explained.

    "Uh huh, why do I feel that you are hiding something from us?" Milley asked Shelby.

    Sighing Shelby had never met a human as perceptive as Milley O'Toma, in a way it was refreshing but also in was frightening. Milley O'Toma was a formidable woman and Shelby felt that even Mary might find her hard to talk around. Mary had been listening the whole time and had come to almost the same conclusions as Shelby, now she could see why the emperor was as strong as he was.

    "What she hasn't said," Mary said suddenly appearing next to Shelby, "Is that if these methods we are trying don't work we will have to delve back into his mind, this is dangerous. It appears now that the experiment he used on himself to increase his knowledge also weakened his grasp on the present. Almost like with his war stress only far deeper, and many times more dangerous to bring him out of. If this isn't done right we could not only lose him but the A.I. that goes in."

    Sighing Milley nodded her understanding, as was Sherry both had tears in their eyes Derrick was the last male of the family. They both knew as did Mary and Shelby that if he was lost all was lost.

    "All right let's start on these methods; we need him back if this galaxy is ever going to be civilized again, as it is right now I wouldn't give you too awful much for it."

    Mary appeared on board Tempro a few moments later, looking over all that had happened so far; she sighed as the first twenty attempts had been dismal failures. "Tempro are you getting any closer to finding why they fail before even half maturation?"

    Tempro sighed, he hadn't like reactivating the equipment after so long, he could still hear the cries and screams of the failures all those centuries ago. "No mother I haven't as of yet I am still seeing no pattern of success or failure. I have gone back to the records of those first experiments, even as far as they went I have as of yet to detect any pattern that will aid in any of this."

    "Please continue, try living tissue as a template this time all the sample that you have, record all. Transfer all data you have so far, it is possible that you may have overlooked something." Mary advised Tempro.

    "Yes mother but I don't think I can go much further than where I have, I will advise you as soon as I have something." Tempro told Mary.

    "Good, remember Tempro we are doing this for him, there has never been a human, emperor or not that has ever shown the concern and care that he has. He more than deserves this and as I said before, he will need her when the time comes." Mary told Tempro; though he didn't really approve of it he knew that Mary had a point, a very valid point.

    Shelby watched over Derrick in his drug induced sleep she was more than tempted to delve in, as she remembered him saying he always seemed to remember her being there for him. How could this time be any different? Then she also remembered Mary's warning that to delve in might cause far more damage than good. It was all so confusing to her now with all the emotions she was feeling it shouldn't be that hard to decide should it? Watching a few minutes more, she finally decided that if she ceased to exist it was far better than continuing on without Derrick. Looking over the readings a final time she reached out and again entered Derrick's mind.

    Looking around, she at first couldn't see anything all that different though as she started to go deeper she could see where the brain was starting to heal. Concentrating on the areas that held all that was Derrick she hoped that she could find an answer and a way to bring him back. The closer she got to what essentially was Derrick the stranger it appeared to get. Finally she reached what she knew was him, unlike before there was no chaos, no Derrick nothing. Strange she thought the last time there had at least been a trace of him, now it was almost as if all that was him was erased. Sure there were a lot older memories but nothing newer than ten to fifteen years ago.

    Painstakingly Shelby started to look everywhere for even a hint of Derrick. Sighing after a while she sat wondering what she was going to do when a voice startled her out of her thoughts.

    "Hello," a young voice quietly said to her. "Who are you?"

    Turning she saw a young slender boy with sandy blonde hair, he was holding a book of mathematics. "Oh hello, I am Shelby I'm looking for Derrick O'Toma."

    The young boy's eyes grew wide then lit up, "That's me Ma'am, but I don't remember ever meeting as pretty a lady like you before."

    Shelby's eyes grew wide also; she knew that there would be obstacles but nothing like this! Looking around further Shelby began to see doors that before had been hidden. "I am very pleased to meet you Mr. O'Toma," Shelby told the boy gaining a wide smile on his face. "Are you all alone here?"

    "No Ma'am, there are a lot of other Derricks here also, oh," here the boy's face dropped, "You're probably looking for one of the other Derricks, an 'older' one." Dejectedly the boy hung his head.

    Grasping the boy's face she tilted it up toward her own, "No actually, I am looking for all of the Derricks," smiling when the boys face lit up again.

    "Yes Ma'am, though there aren't as many as there used to be, seems something happened one day and a lot of the newer Derricks couldn't get out of their rooms. One of the older Derricks said that they were trapped like most of them had been 'til a little while ago." The now widely smiling young boy said.

    As her eyes scanned all the doors, more than half were open, she walked to the first that was closed and pulled on it. At first there was nothing not a sound, and then suddenly the door slipped and flew open knocking Shelby on her butt. The Derrick that walked out wasn't her Derrick but he was a lot closer than a lot of those she'd seen coming here. The Derrick from the room looked out blinking then extended a hand to help Shelby up.

    "Captain O'Toma at your service finished flight school yesterday," Leaning close he whispered, "You ever want a long ride alone in space I'm your man."

    Walking away he went to join the others, shaking her head she moved to the next door, by the thirtieth door Shelby felt weary. Grasping the knob she struggled with it more than the others, it took several minutes to finally get it to move. Finally opened enough, the Derrick inside slipped out and the door suddenly moved with ease. Shelby was more than exhausted; strange she thought I am a machine I don't get tired.

    The Derrick she'd just released knelt beside where Shelby had sat, "E? What are you doing here? I thought we were waiting for the emergence of 0999 has something gone wrong?" Shelby was trying to tell Derrick what had happened with him, the blow to the head, the loss of memory, her disobeying her mother to try and rescue him.

    "I am afraid that I may have done and gone too far, my love, just a chance to see more of the new you makes this sacrifice worth it," Shelby said as she lapsed into unconsciousness.

    Jerking awake Derrick looked around the med bay, why in the hell was he in the med bay? Why were over half the systems dark? Getting up Derrick started to shout, "I don't know if you can hear me I need to talk to the mother of the living A.I. of this ship."

    A moment later Mary shimmered into view, "Yes Sire?" she said then noticed that well over half the systems of the ship were dark. "Sire what has she done? More to the point where has she gone?" This was not good without Shelby any hopes of restoration of the fleet was impossible.

    "She was in and still is in here," Derrick said pointing to his head, "she was attempting to open the sections of my brain, trying to reintegrate all of the mes, I can actually remember her and the ship 0999 now but she is unconscious."

    Mary's face took on a worried look; this was an extremely dangerous move on her part. Shelby's data could be lost, absorbed, and rejected by Derrick's brain; it could mean not only the loss of the emperor but Shelby, Mary's daughter. Sighing, she should have known that Shelby would have tried to do something like this, she'd seen the looks that Shelby had shared with him.

    "I am afraid I am also going to have to go in, this is extremely dangerous Derrick, though she has released more of your mind, I still feel it is weak." Mary tried to explain to him. "There is a chance that we may lose one of you, I cannot allow that to happen to you. Though she is my daughter she too knew the risks doing this."

    "Look I don't have any memory of you yet, but I know that all mothers fight for their children. You have to fight for her, as will I, do what you can but you have to save her." Derrick looked directly into Mary's eyes and quietly asked, "Please?"

    Mary was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion though the mandates forbid it she couldn't ignore the fact of what her daughter had felt so strong about this man. The fact that her daughter had risked her very existence to bring back the man she loved spoke volumes to Mary. Nodding to Derrick, tears in her eyes for the love they shared, Mary induced sleep with Derrick again and gently delved into his mind. It was worse than she thought the deeper she went the more damage she was starting to see. Finally reaching the room of his memories and self, Mary started to assess all that was wrong.

    Looking at all the doors Mary could see the thirty that Shelby had opened, then Mary saw why Shelby was so weak. Sighing Mary could see the increasing amount of energy she expended each time to open the doors. Shaking her head she thought she had known how much Shelby loved the man but this went far beyond anything she'd thought possible. True Shelby had increased the energy of his mind to the point that he now had a fifty percent better chance of full recovery. In the process though, she had used up all the energy that she'd stored up to delve into his mind.

    Near the last door Shelby had opened Mary finally found Shelby, a worried Derrick holding her head in his lap. Mary knelt next to them placing a hand on Shelby, she had far less energy than Shelby but Mary was hoping that she wouldn't need that much. Looking in Mary saw much to her shock that Shelby had tried to use all her energy to bring him back. Again this was a shock to her it was obvious that this man was far more unique than she at first had thought. Slowly she could feel Shelby's energy start to increase Mary just hoped that when she awakened that she wouldn't refuse to go.

    Shelby was so tired a strange thing for her, when Derrick called her E her heart soared. Bending down he looked at her and asked if all was alright. All she could think of was, "I am afraid that I may have done and gone too far, my love, just a chance to see more of the new you makes this sacrifice worth it." Then the world went dark it was a strange first for her 'so she thought this is what death is like,' there was no light, no sound, just a warm peace that she couldn't explain. 'Finally I feel I have done something to justify my existence.' It seemed she'd just gotten there when she felt something start to tug her back toward the light. She didn't want to go back not if it meant Derrick had to take her place. Fighting she tried to reject and push everything that came at her. Finally it overwhelmed her and she started to close in on the light.

    Mary could feel Shelby's levels starting to rise, good, she was afraid she didn't have enough energy to save her. "I can feel her, she's stronger you have to get her to leave, if she stays she'll expire Derrick." Derrick nodded his head as he could feel that there was more to the woman on his lap than met the eye. It just escaped him each time he tried to bring it to the surface.

    "I'll do my best IF she'll listen," Derrick told Mary as Shelby started to stir.

    "Derrick?" Shelby weakly asked, "Are you alright?"

    "Yes, but I need you to go out with your mother; I couldn't go on if I lost you too." Derrick told a now smiling Shelby.

    "Alright but I will be watching you closely, my love," Shelby said as she kissed Derrick deeply and passionately, surprising not only him and Mary but Shelby herself. Rising Shelby, Derrick, and Mary headed for the surface, none of them heard a half dozen or more doors open far below them.
     
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  2. Pars001

    Pars001 #1 Knight Writer

    Chapter 17

    Derrick jerked awake, ah Christ his head hurt, the light was so bright, ugh! Looking around he could see that E had integrated back into the system. Sitting up a thought filled his mind, E? Why in the hell had he just called Shelby E? Then again where in the world was she? She never left his side, then the memories started to flood his mind, looking at the chronometer he did a double take, huh? It seemed that he was missing a few months, though he could slowly feel the memories starting to open up. Sitting there a few moments he was glad he was getting his memories back that is 'til the memory of what Lucy had done and sacrificed flooded his mind and the tears started to flow.

    Nodding his head at the memories he again pledged that he would find her. Looking at the Chronometer again he saw that he only had a month missing, then the pain started as the first time he'd used the head set hit him. What the hell was going on? It was like doors were being opened flooding his mind at an accelerated rate.

    "SHELBY! Oh god!" Derrick almost screamed, where in the hell was she? Both Shelby and Mary appeared looking at Derrick with huge concern in their eyes. "My god my mind is going to tear it's self to pieces! You have to knock me out 'til they are all one! Hurry I can feel the pressure starting to increase!"

    Shelby looked at Mary who nodded then watched as Shelby administered a drug to render Derrick unconscious. "Thank you," he said as he once again faded into the blackness. Both Mary and Shelby started to monitor his Alpha and Beta waves. Though both were mostly normal, Mary was a little concerned about the overabundance of Theta waves. "It appears that the emperor's subconscious is trying to fully integrate all the memories back into his conscious mind. I am just hoping that the stress that he was feeling won't damage his already fragile hold on reality."

    "What are you advising Mary?" Shelby asked, not really sure that she was going to like the answer that Mary gave her.

    "I can't see much that we can do 'til he awakens again though I suggest we keep him out 'til such time as the reading in the Theta range is more normal." Mary told Shelby. "I am also afraid that we may have to delve back into his mind, though I know it is necessary at times I still find it distasteful."

    Shelby could only stare at Mary, being in his mind being with HIM, to Shelby was the most intimate that she could think of. Yes she could see where Mary was coming from but without this close personal contact, Shelby felt for sure that they would have lost Derrick more than a few times. Thinking a moment Shelby finally came to the conclusion that to Mary, Derrick was her master and unless he told her that she could, Mary would do nothing to interfere with what made him Derrick. Unlike Mary though, Shelby wanted to be in every facet of his life.

    It was several hours later when Derrick issued a groan, Mary could see that his readings were finally starting to stabilize. Though this was the first good sign she'd seen since all this had started, she had Shelby standing by with another injection in case he once again started to experience the pain.

    As Derrick opened his eyes he laid still a moment, the last time he'd jerked awake he'd been restrained by the bio-bed. God he hated the damn thing, yes it was useful and saved lives but he still hated being restrained in it. Looking around he felt the last of his memories slip into place, I really needed to look into the headset, I have obviously upset the balance in my mind if a simple knock like this affected me this severely. Groaning as he slowly sat up Shelby and Mary both looked on with questioning looks.

    "How are you feeling Sire? Mary asked afraid that he might still be suffering the effects of the memory loss.

    "Much better Mary thank you, I need the status of the prisoner." Derrick said all business as he started to sort through everything that had happened the last few days. "Shelby I also need the status of 1000 and the other case that was the initial cause of this."

    Mary smiled ah! The emperor was back! "Yes Sire, the prisoner is still in the custody of the Rangers on board Rear Admiral Hartwell's ship."

    "Very good contact Hartwell in an hour and tell them to have the prisoner ready tomorrow at 0800 hours," Derrick ordered.

    "Yes sire, it will be as you command." Mary said a sense of pride swelling in her.

    "1000 should be ready to emerge into space in four days," Shelby informed Derrick. "I have connected up to the other brain case, it appears to be 0798. I have also started the program to clear her of re-growing the explosive unit that was attached to her brain box. If you care to inspect her she is in bay two, I should be able to start her re-gen in another day."

    Derrick was nodding this was good news a little over two weeks from now they should be a force of six ships, with a chance of adding more. Sighing Derrick felt tired, still, with everything that had happened the last few days he was surprised he had as much energy as he did. Derrick sat for a moment longer then remembered his mother and grandmother were on board, he had to admit that had been a stroke of genius that Mary had.

    "If either of you need me, I will be with my family, I take it you put them in my quarters?" Derrick asked.

    "Yes Derrick, though I am afraid that Milley O'Toma is the most opinionated female I have ever seen. If I had to say she is a female version of you, bright, strong and intelligent though not as much as you." Shelby told Derrick which drew a soft chuckle from him. *"Better not tell her that,"* Derrick thought drawing a smile from Shelby.

    *"I'll remember that Derrick, I don't want to upset her again."* Shelby looked away almost ashamed that Derrick had been hurt, the fact that Milley O'toma had pointed this out hadn't helped either.

    "You upset her?" Derrick asked then thinking a moment then told her, "I am sorry Shelby, Gram is extremely protective of me after what happened to me at the base."

    "It's alright Derrick in a way she was right I should have made you restrain yourself before using the IMT. Oh yeah that's another thing she really wants no part of," Shelby informed Derrick.

    Again Derrick could almost see the look on her face when Shelby had brought her and his mother on board. Chuckling again Derrick nodded to Shelby as he headed to his quarters. As the doors slid open Derrick tried not to laugh, not to chuckle but the lost look on his grandmother and mother's faces was almost comical.

    "Derrick!" Both of them shouted as they rushed to him and started to inspect almost every inch of his body especially his head.

    "How are you feeling my boy?" His grandmother asked still looking over his head.

    "A whole lot better than I was," he replied as he hugged both of them. "Had it not been for Shelby I might not be here."

    "What!!?" his mother said, "but it was her fault!"

    "Well." Derrick started, "yes and no. I had her so busy as I was myself I never took into account the explosive amount of force that had been attached to the box. Shelby went into my mind and found me. She used what little energy she had to open up some of the border memories, after that it was a cascading effect." Both his mother and grandmother were staring at him with confused looks. Sighing he remembered his intelligence had been heightened.

    "Ok to put it simply, I was blocked. Shelby attached to my head and entered my dream. Once she was there she used her energy to clear the blockage away but during the process she almost used up her energy. She was willing to die to save me Grams, please don't be too hard on her ok?" Derrick asked her.

    Sighing, the older woman could only shake her head for a few minutes, "I really don't see how the A.I. of the ship being in love with you helps to continue the line. Son you are the direct descendant of the imperial line, all these years I humored your grandfather thinking it was a wild tale of his. I loved that man with all my heart or I'd never have listened; now I regret that I didn't believe him, after all love can only go so far."

    Derrick remembered all the times that he and she had listened to him when he had visited, then when they had all moved into a larger house. Derrick had loved his Grandfather fiercely and had listened to everything that the man had said with rapt attention. Smiling Derrick was glad that he had, all the codes that he'd known all the commands that he knew. Derrick at times could almost swear that his Grandfather had actually been inside the palace.

    Suddenly a thought lit up Derrick's mind, "Grams? Did Grandfather ever mention being inside the palace?"

    The older woman's face was drawn in concentration for a few moments, "He never said that he was inside the palace but one day 30 or 40 years ago he came home excited about a communication he'd had. Though he never went into it that much he did keep repeating, I finally got through to her, but she said I wasn't right." Derrick's Grandmother could only shake her head at Derrick. "I never did understand what he meant by it."

    Derrick was going over everything that he'd just been told, "Mary!" He suddenly shouted.

    A hologram of an older, petite slightly graying woman appeared in front of Derrick and the two women. "Yes Sire I am here."

    Derrick's Grandmother and mother's mouths hung open as they both stared at the visage, "Who are you?" Sherry O'Toma asked suddenly taken aback.

    "Mother, Gram, this is Mary she is the palace A.I., she is the one in control of all the palace systems. Now then Mary, Query." Derrick explained.

    "I am ready Sire," Mary replied.

    "Possibly 30 to 40 years ago were you contacted briefly by another O'Toma that also claimed to be a descendant of the Imperial line?" Derrick asked.

    "Searching records, yes sire I did receive an initial communication with the afore named individual. I also tested his Deoxyribonucleic acid to confirm his claim, though he had the proper codes at the time, the analysis only showed a fifty eight point nine percent chance of him being directly in line for the throne. As per mandates therefore I could not accept his claim his sequences were not of a high enough ratio to merit taking his claim as serious." Mary rattled off.

    "I see, thank you; I need you to open up a room in the palace I and my family will be there tomorrow, for a short time. I am also going to need you to assign permanent guards to both of them, though the reason cannot be known to anyone." Derrick instructed Mary.

    "It will be as you command Sire," Mary said bowing to Derrick.

    Mary then turned toward his Mother and Grandmother, "It is my honor to also meet the Imperial mother and Imperial Grandmother." Mary said as she also bowed to an now blushing Milley and an embarrassed Sherry O'Toma. Mary then turned her face toward Derrick, "I have had the palace ready awaiting your arrival for over three weeks now Sire. I await you're arrival and the chance to welcome you back home." With that Mary's gray hair shook as she bowed to all three of them again and vanished.

    "OK," an opened mouthed and slightly shocked Milley said a moment later, "this will definitely take some getting used to. Wow," was her next reaction, "I'm royalty now." She said as a wide smile spread across her face.

    Derrick had a smile on his face gauging the reaction of his Grandmother, though the still shocked look on his Mother's face was starting to worry him a bit. "Mother?" He asked, "all you alright? I know it's a lot to take in but..."

    "I..." Sherry O'Toma started, "You..." letting out a sigh she collapsed into a nearby chair, her still young features somewhat strained. Then she lowered her face into her hands sobbing.

    Concerned Derrick rushed forward to try and find out what was wrong. "Mother? What's wrong? Are you hurt?" Derrick was even more concerned as she started to sob even harder the tears now coming freely.

    "Oh ... oh my god Derrick!" Sherry O'Toma said as she threw her arms around his neck holding him close sobbing into his shoulder. "We almost lost you before and now this! Every nasty, evil, vile underhanded fiend out there will be trying to take your life now! It took me and your Gram a month to heal you! You were so close to dying so many times I can't lose you again like that Derrick! I can't do it Derrick it almost killed me last time!"

    Derrick could only look at his Mother with compassion he'd never heard any of this, after his father had been found dead Sherry O'Toma had devoted her life to her son. Looking over at his Grandmother he could see the tears escaping her eyes also.

    Sighing Derrick could see their point of view, truly he could, but he also knew he had to keep going as the throne had been vacant too long, the empire was in chaos and it deserved to return to its formal glory. Holding his mother close he tried to reassure her as much as he could telling her that he'd listen to any ideas she and his Gram had to keep him safe. Sniffing Sherry looked up through the tears and saw that Derrick was more determined than she'd ever seen him.

    Sighing Sherry O'Toma looked closer and saw something in Derrick's eyes she'd never seen before, doing a double take she looked deeper. Not only seeing the love he had for her and his Gram but more, much more, her eyes opened wide this was a look that went deep with a confidence that she'd not seen there before.

    Shaking her head affirmative she told him, "If it keeps you safe and alive I will but so many I am thinking of seem unreal. I have heard of many things, many dangerous cults out there that do not wish for the return of the empire. Your father told me of them, I still have all the information he gathered, I still believe to this day it is what got him killed. Please Derrick, if they are true, what he told me of them they will stop at nothing to stop you. Please, my son be careful."

    Here Sherry O'Toma held him tighter, her blonde hair falling over his shoulder her slender body still shaking from her fear. Again Derrick was shocked he'd never heard any of this he would have to go over what his father had gathered to better guard against those opposed to the empire.

    Derrick looked at his Gram; she too had a worried look on her face and said, "You realize that once you reveal just who you are, they will come after you. I have seen some of that information, there are assassins out there with technology I have never heard of, though," here Milley looked around the room and then waved her arm around indicating the whole ship. "I see that you also have technology than I have never seen nor heard of, I just hope that yours is far better than theirs."

    Derrick looked at the last of the family he had left, the concern that they both were showing for him. Yeah, he had to admit he sure as hell hoped that his was far better also, as dying wasn't something he was prepared to do for quite a while. "I don't know yet Gram, I'll have to see what father gathered first before I can make a determination of that. I'm looking to stay alive for quite a while, as I said I want your input, you might think it ridiculous but I want to hear it ok?" Derrick looked at both them, they could see that he was serious deadly serious. Both were shaking their heads yes, they could see that Derrick meant every word.

    Leaving them instructions on what to do in certain conditions Derrick hugged them both before he left for the control room. While he was walking Shelby appeared next to him and walked with him. Stopping a moment Shelby lowered her head, "Derrick? I am so sorry, that you were hurt. Can you forgive me?" Shelby's eyes were tear filled as Derrick looked over to her.

    "Forgive you?" He asked as he stopped also, "Shelby, there is nothing to forgive you for. It was as much my fault as it was yours."

    "No Derrick," she replied, "I am responsible for keeping you safe when you are on me, I ... I failed, I am surprised that you still wish to be partnered with me." Derrick could see that this was tearing Shelby up, though he didn't blame her it was obvious that she blamed herself, nodding he knew how she felt now that he thought about it.

    "Shelby," Derrick finally said after thinking of a proper answer, "I feel safer with you than I do with any other; the bond that we have forged is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Please continue to protect me; I will endeavor to do things less dangerous. Will that make you feel better?" Derrick finally said waiting with trepidation.

    "If you can do that, I will do everything I can to ensure you aren't hurt again." Shelby replied though she still had tears in her eyes she was finally smiling making Derrick feel a whole lot better.

    Entering the control room Derrick had just sat when the communicator at his side went off. Shaking his head he wondered what was wrong now. Clicking it on he heard Hartwell's voice, "Emperor Sir? Are you there Sire?" A small smile played over Derrick's lips he could hear the hesitation in Hartwell's voice.

    "Shelby distortion please," Derrick told her then answered the call. "I am here Rear Admiral, is all well?"

    "Yes Sire," came the reply, "I was just wondering are you in need of us to be present at the execution, uh ... for security purposes."

    Derrick tried to not laugh, Hartwell just wanted to be there to see the inside of the palace. Derrick couldn't blame him after all; no one had been in there in over two hundred years. "I am considering having a few Rangers as security, thank you Rear Admiral. I'll contact you soon with an answer."

    "Thank you Sire," Hartwell replied then switched off.

    Derrick started going over all the reports for the few days he'd been out, hhmmmmm quite a few of the nobles still hadn't replied. Sighing Derrick could see that they thought they would get special treatment just for their station, they were about to get an extremely rude awakening. Moving on he began to piece together a strategy when Mary appeared in front of him.

    "Sire, you have a communication from the highest noble." She told him a slight angry look on her face.

    "Alright Mary, let's hear it."

    Derrick replied. There was a soft crackle then Derrick heard, "To the bastard who claims to be the emperor, we of the noble confederation rebuke your claim as such. Further more if President Maury is executed tomorrow we will declare war upon you. Furthermore..."

    "Mary, find where that is coming from. I want you to charge all long distance energy weapons. I think it is time that we finally up the ante on the nobles. Also open a channel to them." Mary nodded then clear air sounded as Mary nodded again. "I suggest Duke Risen that you rethink what you have just said, as a matter of fact I highly suggest it. You really don't want to go against me on this."

    The Duke laughed snapping back, "You are nothing but a bastard, give up this ridiculous campaign!"

    "Mary, target all power generators where the duke is, "I suggest you have all personnel leave the facilities you have in one minute." Derrick told the man through clenched teeth, "After that their deaths are on your head!"

    "You wouldn't dare!" The man growled back at Derrick.

    "Fifty seconds," Derrick advised the man. Suddenly the man was screaming to evacuate the power centers. "Good, fire Mary when they are clear. Remember Duke, with me or you no longer exist."

    "All clear Derrick firing now," Mary told Derrick there were a multitude of screaming voices then all was quiet. Sighing Derrick looked over the readings almost all power on the Duke's planet was non-existent. "You think it will convince them Mary?" Derrick asked.

    "I don't know Sire, but I hope that the fact that you chose not to destroy them paints them a clear enough picture. Though I am afraid that knowing the Duke and the way he and his family are, you are going to have nothing but trouble from him." Mary advised Derrick who could only nod yes; he felt almost the same thing from the man.

    "Sire I am receiving communications from several of the nobles now. It appears that eight, now ten are swearing allegiance to you they say that they will pledge everything they have to you. Hmmm it appears that your display has shaken many of them and their loyalties."

    Derrick was nodding looking over all the pledges he was a little surprised that they had flipped as fast as they had. Looking over the Duke's planet he suddenly saw five streaks come from the planet. "Mary, identify these energy signatures," Derrick told her pointing to the five streaks of light escaping the planet.

    "Analyzing, it appears to be five compact ships equipped with an earlier model of the trans-warp drive, they should arrive in 30 seconds." Mary advised him. "I suggest protective shields and cover."

    "All ships defensive positions around the perimeter of us, shields to full, light screens to full." Derrick ordered. "All ships status."

    "All systems ready, weapons charged, light screen up" both Zan and Conner replied.

    "We will protect you and Shelby," Zan advised.

    "Tempro trans-warp behind the moon, await further orders." Derrick ordered.

    "Moving now Sire," Tempro said as it vanished.

    A moment later a small opening or tear in space opened directly in front of Shelby.

    The speaker crackled then the voice of the Duke was heard, "Alright bastard! Let's see how you like dealing with real power!" Then the man laughed more like a maniacal mad man than a Duke. Firing, all five ships blasts harmlessly bounced off the shields.

    "Conner, Zan, nullify!" Derrick yelled, then again as when they had in their last battle with the aliens, strange yellow beams shot out from both of the ships. Striking the five ships they all went dark.

    A moment later the Duke shrill voice was screaming, "What have you done!?? These are priceless gifts to my family from the emperor! You have no right!"

    "WRONG!" Derrick yelled, "I have every right I am the rightful emperor, the sooner you accept it the sooner things will go smoother for you. As it is right now, you are an enemy of the empire and will be dealt with as such!" With that Derrick switched off a smile on his face, let the moron stew a while might help his attitude. "Shelby how..." Derrick started.

    "I estimate they have five hours of air, and power then I believe that their systems will start to fail." Shelby advised Derrick a slight smile on her face.

    "Good notify me when four hours and thirty minutes have passed." Derrick smiled as he went back to reading.
     
  3. Pars001

    Pars001 #1 Knight Writer

    Chapter 18

    Derrick was enjoying his time to read, the communication station had been going off for almost two hours now. Good he thought let the idiots worry maybe next time they would think and look before they attacked a superior force. "Derrick," Shelby said tentatively not really wanting to disturb him. He'd been in such a good mood since his memory had returned she really didn't want to ruin that.

    "Yes Shelby?" Derrick answered, "Is it time already?"

    "Yes, though I am sure you know that they have been calling almost the whole time. The little I have heard the Duke person has been demanding you stand down and surrender." Shelby couldn't conceal the wide smile she had. "I think the Duke is acting more like a child than a noble." She giggled.

    "I believe it is because no one has ever had the position or the power to put him in his place. At this moment I am feeling that he isn't going to like his new place very well." Sighing Derrick really wasn't in the mood to listen to the wailing and threatening of this man. "Alright Zan, Conner restore life support and stabilizers, Shelby let me know when they are ready to negotiate in civilized tones. I'll be in the work room." With that Derrick walked out Shelby with a wide smile on her face along with Zan and Conner.

    On board the lead ship the Lysium, larger than the other four, Duke Roger Risen was fuming, how dare that bastard disable the ships and leave them here! A true ruler would have blown them out of existence. What had gone wrong? His grandfather had assured him that the small crafts had enough power to destroy any threats. Hmmm the man thought maybe I should have waited a little longer before I killed the bastard all those years ago.

    The man had been a wealth of information, damn shame he'd been so eager to take the Dukedom that he'd killed most of his family as fast as he had. Still there had to be something he could do to soothe over the ruffled feathers he caused 'til he could plunge a poisoned dagger into the bastard's heart. Ah! The thought brought a smile to his face to kill the emperor that was a feat he was so looking forward to!

    At four and a half hours a strange beam shot out of nowhere and suddenly all five ships had power, and were able to stabilize their position in space. Hmmm so the man wasn't a barbarian after all, damn it! It would have been so much easier to discredit him had he stayed an uncaring, unfeeling ass. So the Duke thought; I am dealing with one with a fairly decent amount of intelligence, possibly even a match to my own. Ok this was going to take far more planning on his part. Smiling evilly, the Duke withdrew to his rooms to plot the downfall of the man who had been named emperor, finally a challenge worthy of my mind he thought as the door sealed shut.

    A few hours later, Shelby appeared behind Derrick in the library, "Derrick? She asked then went on, "I believe that the Duke wishes to discuss a peaceful solution."

    Derrick turned to look at Shelby a worried look on her face. "What's wrong Shelby, you looked worried."

    "I have been analyzing all the communications from the Duke. Before now all of his statements rang so true, but now I am detecting nothing but untruths from him. He said he wants to meet you in person, but I do not trust him at all. Please Derrick I fear that this man intends you nothing but trouble and I am afraid he wants to take your life." Shelby pleaded with Derrick.

    Mary appeared adding, "I am also detecting these untruths sire though in the past the Risen family were true supporters of the empire I feel that this Duke is not. There are far too many rumors of him killing his family to gain power, to discount. I advise against meeting with him, or for that matter revealing who you truly are 'til you are in the palace. Then I will have the full force of the palace to protect you. I have well over two thousand sentries in place with more being built as we speak."

    "Thank you both; I have no intention of meeting this man alone ever, or without protection. Mary, have you been able to retrieve the records my mother spoke of?" Derrick asked her.

    "Yes Sire; I also had the sentry that found them scan them in case they were destroyed before it returned. I have found them to be most enlightening and there are a few concerns that you will have to address Sire." Mary advised him.

    "Good I want them up and available here in my work station, if they are too extensive I may have to use the head set, yes I know," Derrick said raising his hand to stop Mary and Shelby before they started to object. "I have already made adjustments to it and believe that the next time will strengthen instead of weaken."

    Both Shelby and Mary were nodding though Derrick was expecting this next bit, "we both will need to see these adjustments before you use it Sire," Mary interjected. Derrick could only nod as he pulled up the plans with the new adjustments he'd implemented. It only took moments for both of the holograms to smile. "It appears that you have not only fixed the problem but have made it possible for your mind to take twice as much more, excellent Sire!"

    "Well I'm glad that you both agree; I am quite capable you know there are times that you both worry a bit much." Derrick replied to both of the A.I.'s.

    "I am sorry Sire but these mandates were enacted for a reason and I cannot go against orders that are almost as old as I am." Mary smiled sweetly, making Derrick highly suspicious.

    "Do you have all safeguards in place Mary? I know you told me you had over two thousand sentries ready, but will they be enough with those factions out there with advanced tech?" Derrick asked Mary.

    "As stated before Sire, this is one of the issues that we need to address. At present they are more than sufficient for almost all of the factions, though there are two that I am afraid whose tech renders the sentries ineffective." Mary informed Derrick.

    "Display for me," Derrick said looking over the info that Mary supplied. "Hmmmm yes, I see what you are saying Mary, here are a few suggestions I have to counter their tech." With that Mary and Derrick launched into a long conversation for the next two hours 'til Derrick and Mary were both well satisfied. "Alright Mary," Derrick said with a huge sigh, "I and my family will be ready for transport soon."

    "Yes Sire!" Mary said a huge smile on her face finally there would be living beings in the palace again! "All is ready for your and their arrival sire." Mary stated as she bowed low an even bigger smile on her face.

    Derrick went to his room almost grimacing, he'd heard what his gram had said before about the IMT, and unfortunately it was the only way to get to the Palace at the present time. Sighing before he stepped in, I might as well get this over with, he thought.

    "Hello mother, Gram," he started a huge smile on his face. "We are about to go to the Palace."

    Milley O'Toma looked up when Derrick stepped in, her eyes narrowing when she saw the wide grin that Derrick was wearing. "Alright boy, what aren't you telling us?" She stated.

    Derrick had been afraid of this, his Gram had always been sharp and quick to catch on whenever someone was hiding something or lying. Taking a deep breath he was hoping she didn't fight him too much on this, "We have to use the IMT Grams." Derrick told her, "it's the only way we can get into the palace right now, I know you don't like it but it's safe I have used it myself."

    Milley and Sherry O'Toma were looking at Derrick with looks of disbelief on their faces. "Well maybe it's fine for you but I prefer the old fashioned way! Why can't we go down in a ship?" Milley asked him.

    "I don't mind Derrick though I do have a few fears, staying here it's so sterile, I just can't get used to it." Sherry O'Toma said.

    Shaking her head Milley looked at her daughter-in-law, "Always like you Sherry, you act timid but you aren't!"

    "Please Grams," Derrick asked, "as I said it is the only way to the palace right now, I want you both there when I have to reveal who I am to everyone. I'm going to need you both for support, you are the only family I have, please Grams." Derrick pleaded.

    Drawing a heavy breath Milley nodded her head yes, "For you Derrick I will do this I won't like it in the least but I'll do it. Just don't ask me to do it that often, not 'til I am used to it, say in about 100 years?" This last comment drew a laugh from Derrick and a wide eyed stare from Sherry.

    "Thank you Grams, Mother; I am afraid that you both will have to stay in the palace 'til it is safer. From what I have seen of father's research there are at least two factions out there that I am concerned about. It is as you feared Grams they do posses tech that is comparable to ours, though I already have Mary advancing ours as we speak." Derrick informed both of them. "Get what you want to take with you we have to go soon ok?"

    "Alright Derrick I'll be ready soon," Sherry told him.

    Milley just shook her head, "We have to go as soon as possible, she has nothing with her really and yet she's still not ready to go. "God woman are you that scared?"

    "It's ok Grams," Derrick told the older woman, "It took me a bit after I first came on board, give her a few minutes ok?"

    "Oh alright," Milley told Derrick as she rolled her eyes.

    "Mother, just follow the corridor to the end when you are ready ok?" Derrick informed his mother.

    "I'll be along in a bit Derrick," Sherry told him as she sat in the nearest chair.

    Derrick nodded though he really wasn't that sure about leaving his mother alone, he was soon leading his Grams to the control room. "I'm glad that you agreed to this Gram," he told her.

    "As I said before don't expect me to do this that much, still not too keen on the idea of moving through space as energy, might leave something behind so, not really a fan of it." Milley told him bringing a wide smile to his face.

    It was perhaps an hour later when Sherry O'Toma appeared at the doorway leading to the corridor from the control room. "I guess I am about as ready as I am going to be." She told Derrick.

    "Shelby, I want you to keep a link to me, if you have a situation call me. I have worked a few improvements into your system." Derrick told Shelby.

    "Yes Derrick I will, please don't be gone long, we have just found each other, now is not the time to get seperated." Shelby informed him.

    "Alright Mary we are ready," Derrick told the palace guardian. Within seconds they were standing in a huge room with a throne like chair at one end.

    "Welcome home Sire, you are the first to stand in the throne room for over two hundred years. I also wish to welcome the Imperial Mother and Imperial Grandmother." Mary said bowing low to all three of them; Milley O'Toma was of course, loving the attention.

    "Mary," Milley stated, "do you have rooms prepared for us?"

    "But of course your Ladyship, we have a room for both of you, Uh, your Ladyship are you well Ma'am?" Mary said a concerned look on her face as she looked at a pale Sherry O'Toma.

    "I'm not sure, Sherry replied, "this is a little over whelming. The mere fact that I am a royal seems strange enough in its self. I think I need to lie down a bit, can you tell me where my room is I'm sure I can find my wa..."

    "Nonsense ma'am," Mary said as a flat transport pulled up next to Sherry. "This will convey you to your room; do you have need of a doctor? I can call one from the city if you wish."

    "No, but thank you Mary, I feel I just need to lie down a bit." Sherry told Mary as she sat on the flat surface and it immediately conformed to her shape to make her as comfortable as possible.

    "It is my pleasure Imperial Mother, please rest well, shall I call you at any certain time?" Mary asked

    "No, if I need anything how do I call you?" Sherry asked.

    "You just have to call out and I will hear you I am attuned to all three of you now for anything that you will need. As I said just call." Mary replied as Sherry nodded then was whisked away to her room. Looking at Milley Mary asked, "Does the Imperial Grandmother wish to rest also?"

    "No, but I would like to take a tour of this place, if that wouldn't distract you from your duties," Milley told Mary.

    "No not at all, it would be a pleasure to guide you through the palace." Mary informed Milley. To which Milley smiled and nodded her head as she started to walk off with the image of Mary.

    A moment later another image of Mary appeared. "All is ready for your inspection Sire," Mary said as she bowed low to Derrick. "I have the crown ready for the coronation later today or tomorrow if you wish Sire. I'm afraid that in order to open the palace defense field, you will have to go through this formality. Plus I am sure that it will convince many of the other nobles that haven't pledged yet to sway more to your side."

    Derrick was only nodding as he started to look over all the preparations that Mary had done according to the plans that they had discussed earlier. "I see that you've had to replace a few of the bore worms," Derrick commented when he read over that part of the report.

    "Yes Sire, when the planned execution was delayed they had to be replaced, after they are taken out of stasis they can only live a few days before they expire without feeding. It is almost impossible to put them back into stasis when they also haven't fed. Luckily as I stated before we have well over one hundred of them. Sire? I need a decision on your coronation, I know you'd rather put it off but I feel it would prove to be advantageous not only to you but for your position with the nobles." Mary touted off.

    Derrick nodded as he thought a moment, "Contact rear Admiral Hartwell, I want him and as many of his men present for it." Smiling wide a minute Derrick stated, "Little Joey wanted a chance to see the palace this ought to be a reasonable excuse for him and as many of the crew as he can send."

    Mary's eyes went wide a minute, "I will have to go through all of their records before I can allow any of them within the confines of the shield Sire." Sighing Derrick nodded.

    "That is everyone except Hartwell and Dempsy correct?" Derrick asked a moment later.

    "Yes Sire, I had already gone through theirs when they first came aboard Shelby. I have also checked those of your other compatriots Thomas, Rayburn, and Kimison. I have already started the process to have Kimison brought here. Not to worry Sire I have assessed their diagnosis of him or rather their misdiagnosis of him." Mary informed Derrick, this last bit snapping Derrick head up suddenly.

    "They said there was nothing they could do for him," Derrick whispered the anger apparent on his face. "I owe that man my life more than a few times, anything we can do for him Mary I want done you understand me?"

    Mary's face went serious for a few moments as she replied, "Yes Sire, his condition is easily curable though I am afraid it will take at least two days, I am sorry that it will take so long."

    "Long?" Derrick said, "Mary to the people now that in its self is a miracle! Alright, but I want him here as soon as possible. Can Shelby go and bring him back sooner?"

    Mary was quiet a moment as she went over all the data that she'd received in the last two hours concerning the man in question. "I believe it is possible, though I am unsure of how the man will react to no one being there on the ship I am afraid it is part of the paranoia complex that he has."

    "I have to go Mary, I was his commander I am one of the few people he might not react to violently. Besides I feel I owe him that much, contact the ship and tell them we'll be there to get him in an hour." Derrick told Mary.

    "I am sorry sire but I cannot under the mand..." Mary started.

    "Mary, input command code, Chi-01, Omega-01, Mu-01, Mu-01, Alpha-01, Nu=01, Delta-01 command transfer confirm." Derrick ordered.

    Mary suddenly froze, "Chi-01, Omega-01, Mu-01, Mu-01, Alpha-01, Nu=01, Delta-01 command transfer confirmed," no one since the very first Emperor had given her the override code, every command she now had was his. Smiling Mary knew that finally there was someone actually worthy of being the Emperor. "Sire? Shall I go to primary emergency? Given the nature of the next two days?"

    Derrick thought only a moment, "For now stay at secondary, I may change that after I return. I want you to carry on as if you still have command, inform me when you have finished with the records, and are ready to begin transfers."

    Mary bowed then a thought came to her.

    "Yes Sire I will inform both of them of your departure and when you return." Mary told Derrick as he nodded.

    "Shelby, we need to depart as soon as I am onboard." Derrick told her through the link at his wrist.

    "I'm ready Derrick, Mary has already given me the coordinates for the pick-up." Shelby replied.

    "Shelby transport," Derrick said then vanished.

    Mary was left to stare a moment she was actually at a momentary loss then she went into action, 'til the emperor returned she was in charge. Plus she needed to finish going through the records of all the men on Rear Admiral Hartwell's ship. A moment later she watched as Shelby jumped to trans-warp, ah they shouldn't be long now.

    Sherry O'Toma had fallen asleep it had been a rough trip for her, not used to a lot of people as she was a solitary person not nearly as outgoing as Milley O'Toma. She awoke with a start the room was strange, the odors were also or rather the absence of them. Looking around she sat up, "uh ... Mary is it?" She quietly said.

    Mary appeared a moment later, "Yes Imperial Mother how can I serve you?"

    "Has Milley returned from her tour yet? I was thinking we needed to eat we haven't had any real food since earlier today. Can you ask her?" Mary said feeling a little strange talking to a see through image it was almost like talking to a 3-d vid except this one actually answered you.

    "Yes Imperial Mother she has returned to her room, I have connected you to her room. Just speak she can hear you." Mary happily told her.

    "Milley? Are you hungry? I think I can make us something to eat in the...," Sherry started.

    "I am afraid Imperial Mother and Grandmother that we have a chef. I will be retrieving her and her staff momentarily. Please just tell me what it is you would like prepared, and I will inform the chef." Mary told both of them with a wide smile, though she could see with Milley that they might have a slight problem.

    "I have been cooking for well over forty years and I'm not about to give that up to a youngster who has learned to cook in a school, no, I trust no one else with my food any way." Milley said with a raised voice the anger apparent on her face.

    Mary had been afraid of this, the woman was more opinionated than the first Imperial mother, shaking her head Mary remembered all that she'd gone through with that one. Sighing she'd have to try something different as she had with the very first Imperial mother. Though she wasn't sure what she'd find a solution to this one, however she always did.

    Onboard Shelby, Derrick watched as they entered trans-warp and emerged half way across the galaxy. Not too far ahead of them a small transport was waiting Derrick shook his head this had to stop the ship was in obvious need of repair. He could see that the engines were damaged the astral fins either broken or missing. How in the hell did it manage to maneuver? "Shelby, open a channel, distortion. To the one commanding this piece of floating space junk, I want Kimison ready to transport in one minute stand him in an open area."

    Derrick watched as Kimison was moved to an open area then everyone back away. "Alright Shelby," A moment later a man almost as tall as Derrick blinked his eyes and looked around.

    "Where in the hell am I," asked the bewildered man, looking around he saw a human shape in the darkness. "Who's there?" Derrick moved forward a slight smirk on his face, "Commander?" the man said his mouth hanging open, "uh... is this yours?" He asked.

    "Yes it is, Corporal." Derrick said trying to hide a smile when the man snapped to attention. "Relax, I have come to offer you a job, though," Derrick paused looking the man up and down hid dirty clothes shabby hair and full beard. "It will depend upon three conditions."

    "Hell! Only three?! Count me in I ... wait a minute what conditions?" The smiling man stated.

    "Well...," Derrick started, "First off we get you cleaned up and looking more human."

    "Ok that's no problem. The second?" The man said eyeing Derrick closely.

    "You accept the treatment for your PTSD that I can provide." Derrick said. Kimison stood there and started to laugh.

    "Not sure if you know this commander but there is no treatment, though one day who knows?" Kimison said as he continued to laugh 'til he caught sight of Derrick's face. "Shit! You're serious aren't you? Look I know you think you are..."

    "Shut up Kimison and give me a yes or no answer. I have a treatment, it works and it's yours that's the deal. So yes or no? Simple." Derrick told the man a deadly serious look on his face the whole time.

    "Christ you're really serious! Hell YES! Plus if it gets me out of that hell hole, then I'm in!" Laughing the man saluted Derrick then did a little dance. Well he was dancing 'til he saw Shelby. Dropping to his knees he could only stare, "Dear god in heaven, I'm not quite ready to go just yet but thank you for the lovely vision of heaven."

    Shelby's eyes opened wide looking at the man, "I am not a part of heaven sir." she told the man.

    "You sure?" Kimison said causing Shelby to giggle, "Cause you look like I would imagine the angels would!" Causing Shelby to giggle even harder and Derrick to roll his eyes.

    "Derrick we are receiving a message from the transport. The captain seems to be using some very colorful words." Shelby reported.

    "Oh yeah that would be old fuzzy face Benson. You remember him don't you commander? We beat his company every time we went against him." Kimison spit out. "He's been a real bastard the whole trip here."

    Growling Derrick looked at Shelby, who nodded. "Hello Captain Benson, I suggest that you take your piece of junk out of here before I use it for target practice!" Shelby had brought up the onboard video on the other ship.

    "Who the hell is this I can't let you leave with the prisoner 'til..." Benson started.

    "PRISONER!! Just for that I should blow the shit out of you AND your ship. This man was a war hero you say another word other than that and you'll be limping home. In case you haven't noticed I have well over two thousand weapons trained on your ship. Wanna guess who'd win a fire fight?" Derrick and Kimison both started to chuckle when they saw the man lose control of his bladder. "Good boy Benson, by the way this is the new emperor you have been talking to I WILL remember this incident in the future." On the screen the man slowly nodded afraid to move from the yellow puddle he was sitting in.

    "Bye Benson!" Kimison yelled to add insult to injury.

    "Alright Shelby take us back." Derrick told her as the transport very slowly moved away.

    Kimison watched with interest as there was a whining behind them and then the ship was in another place. "Holy shit!" He yelled when he realized where they were. "Half the galaxy in only a few seconds? Christ man where can I get one of these?"

    A smile lit up Derrick's face, "well..."

    "You have more than ONE!! Oh my god! Who are you? Where has the man I knew gone? You're not really him are you? I know! I'm still in that damn hospital bed! NO! Get away you bastards I'll kill you all!" Kimison shouted huddling in a corner looking every which way.

    Sighing Derrick walked to him and yelled, "Stand up Corporal! Damn it! Stand up!" Kimison looked at Derrick and sighed out in relief, "I thought you all were dead sorry commander I freaked a bit." Derrick nodded to Shelby as he back away and Shelby shocked the man, a curious look came into his eyes as he slumped in the chair. We need to get him fixed up and soon Derrick thought. Looking out he saw that they'd arrived at the Imperial planet. Smiling, he picked up Kimison and called Mary.
     
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  4. Pars001

    Pars001 #1 Knight Writer

    Chapter 19

    Derrick kept watch over Kimison as Mary started his treatment. Derrick knew all too well what was needed to break the hold that all the fear and pain held on him. She was barely into the start of the procedure when Derrick felt him tense up; looking up a moment later she motioned me close.

    "I am afraid that I have need of your help sire his mind is as strong as yours it will require two energies to break the hold of the paranoia that has a hold on him." I nodded as I moved closer, "Lie down over there Sire, remember while you are inside that nothing is real and can hurt you. The images you see are just that and only the memories of his mind."

    "I will do my best Mary," lying down Derrick closed his eyes and was suddenly standing above the abyss that was Kimison's mind.

    "Alright we are starting down," Mary told him as they started to descend. All around there was nothing but chaos Derrick had a feeling that his mind had been almost as bad, but somehow he'd kept a better handle on it. Mary touched his arm and pointed to a spot where the chaos was nonexistent. Landing, Derrick looked around recognizing where they were, it had been one of the worst missions that they had been on.

    Suddenly there was a shout and Derrick and Mary turned to see a wild looking, red eyed glowing eight foot tall something that Derrick could only describe it as a beast. "So you've come back you son of a bitch," the deep voice of it snarled. "Good I need something to carve the hell up, seeing as you're the one that put us in this hell!" With that the figure lunged at Derrick with what looked to be a four foot bayonet. Slashing at Derrick the creature that was sounding more and more like Kimison started to roar in anger when the weapon only went through him.

    Calmly Derrick just smiled at him, "What in the hell are you smiling at, you ass wipe! After I kill you all this will be safe then you can't take away the only safe place he has! Die! You have to die!"

    Mary could only stare at Derrick by doing nothing he was in fact helping more than she thought he could have. Nodding to Derrick, he grabbed Kimison's arms as Mary began to slow the chaos. "NO! NO! STOP! He'll have nowhere to hide when those assholes at the veteran's center start to hurt him again! Stop it now! I'll kill you, I'll kill you all! NOOOOOOOOOO!!"

    With that almost all the Chaos was close to stopping and reassembling into more ordered thoughts. Mary nodded to Derrick who let the beast loose now that now looked more like Kimison. Falling to the area beneath their feet Kimison looked up at Derrick. "Commander? Are you really here or is this another nightmare?" Reaching out Kimison touched Derrick's arm then grabbed him. "By god you really are here! I don't know what you and she have done, but I feel almost normal."

    "I told you we had a way to help you, I have been through it also, so I know." Derrick said tears in his eyes Kimison was starting to look more and more like Derrick thought he should. "We'll see you out there," Derrick said a moment later when Mary had motioned for them to go up.

    "Alright commander." Kimison said as all three of them started to rise to the surface.

    Derrick opened his eyes, Mary was standing over him, "I am glad that the decision to take you was the correct one," she stated.

    "I am also glad that you did; I owe that man far too much to let him suffer another day. Thank you Mary, will you need me for the second part?" Derrick asked her.

    "I am not sure Sire but I will let you know before I go back in so that you are able to assist," Mary replied.

    Kimison opened his eyes shaking his head, and then a startled look came across his face. "You both were really in there! My god almost all the horrible dreams and visions are gone!" Getting up he came to Derrick and grasped his hand shaking it vigorously, "You need me commander I'm yours!" Derrick smiled, well that was three of the five he just had to get the other two to complete this part of the plan.

    Mary was soon showing Kimison to his room, Mary was smiling hugely finally there was actual life back in the palace though if the Emperor didn't open the defense grid they might be the only life here. Appearing in front of Derrick she bowed low preparing to ask him again about his coronation, "Sire we still need to discuss about your being crowned. I feel that it truly would solidify your position with not only the people but with the nobles." Mary let out a little sigh when it appeared that Derrick was flagrantly ignoring her. "Sire I know you wish to put it off but as I said it is the only way that you can lower the defense grid."

    "I know," Derrick said he'd been going through all the information in his head. Everything has a loop hole, he just had to find it, even if he had to try and download the entire imperial library. He felt he'd lucked out with the override code, hell he'd been afraid that it wouldn't work. Withdrawing deeper into his thoughts there had to be something.

    Mary sighed this family was going to be the greatest Imperial family ever and here she smirked they were also going to be the most active and hardest to guard. Sending a signal she again started the sentry making production line. She was going to definitely going to have her hands full with all of them. Derrick sat at the foot of the throne sighing he couldn't find a solution to the problem.

    "Mary I need you to call Hartwell I need to talk to him before we go any further." Derrick told her finally breaking out of his rumination. Nodding she called him.

    The wall in front of Derrick lit up as the sight of the bridge of Hartwell's ship was revealed.

    "Rear Admiral, I have concerns; is it possible for you to consult with me for a short time?" Derrick asked him.

    A wide smile crossed his face then was quickly gone, "Yes your lordship I always have time for you."

    "Good, Mary, transport." Derrick told her.

    "What you..." Hartwell started, "right now?" He finished a second later, standing in front of Derrick.

    They both could hear the many gasps of his bridge crew they still weren't used to it yet. "Captain Multry, avoid any incidents I will be back on board soon." Hartwell told him.

    "Yes sir," a moment later the same man held up a communiqué. "Sir we have just received this from command you are advised to render any and all aid to the Emperor that you can."

    "Thank you, send a confirmation of reception of the message, I'll keep you informed of what we will be doing in a few hours." Hartwell ordered the man.

    "Yes sir," the man said snapping off a salute.

    Hartwell's mouth was hanging open as he took in the throne room he'd dreamed of being here all his life but never as the friend of the Emperor. Moving around Hartwell reached out to touch everything he could as if he was scared that it would vanish at any moment. Derrick could only smirk he'd remembered little Joey telling him years ago that he wished that some day he could actually see the Imperial palace. Walking back to Derrick he hesitated a moment then asked, "You mean to tell me that all of this belongs to you?"

    Derrick thought a moment then replied, "No actually it belongs to the people they are allowing me to use it while I am ruler." Derrick told a shocked then huge smiling Hartwell.

    "Now you really are starting to sound like a true ruler of the people. If I have a chance I will let all know what was said here," bowing low Hartwell stood with a proud look on his face. "I am proud to have been your friend all these years Sire, very proud."

    Rolling his eyes Derrick thought I might as well get used to this; they all are going to be doing it before too long. "The reason I asked you here is that I am going to need a detail for later." Sighing exasperatingly he looked at an even happier Hartwell, "it appears that I have to be crowned, though I do not want to, it seems I have to."

    Starting to laugh Hartwell was hardly able to contain himself. Derrick looked at him like he was crazy, "I fail to see what in the hell is so damn funny Joey!" Derrick growled at the man.

    Sucking in a huge lungful of air Hartwell looked at his friend, "Well Sire if that is the most difficult thing you have going right now, I'd say you're damn lucky!" Again Hartwell started to laugh.

    As Derrick continued to stare at the man he realized that the man was correct and started to chuckle with him. "Damn but you aren't always right little Joey, but unfortunately I am still going to have to go through with it."

    Suddenly sobering up and getting quiet Hartwell told him, "Sire I am at your disposal as are any of my men."

    "That's good to know but I think you should know exactly what you are up against," Derrick told him holding up copies of his father's files that he'd only just discovered a day or so ago.

    Hartwell's eyes got big as he started to read, then he started to nod, "Yes we've known of these cults for a while but have never had anything solid on them to eliminate them. I think that this information could go very far towards that end."

    "I believe that this is what got him killed and not some accident that just randomly happened. I also believe that it was almost the same for my grandfather though father was a bit sneakier with his probing." Derrick informed his friend.

    "As I said this information will go far to start the end of their cults, many of the proofs here will indeed spell the end for several of the cult leaders. Besides I don't think they really want to go to war with the Rangers, advanced tech or not." Hartwell advised Derrick after a few minutes. "Though I am afraid if they really do have spies as indicated here it may prove difficult."

    "I need to get Thomas and Rayburn onboard with us, at present I found Rayburn, but as you indicated he is as isolated as you said. As for Thomas he has effectively disappeared," here Derrick smirked, "though Mary has become quite adept at finding people and things."

    Hartwell had been nodding when he looked up, "Rayburn would be a good asset, but I am afraid that he truly wants to be isolated. I remember the last time I talked to him; he'd told me that he had become disillusioned with society and most people. When he heard that no one was able to find you having literally disappeared, he removed himself to the outer rim."

    "Well getting there won't be that bad of a problem, though I am afraid that he might not believe that it is me. Wasn't he also suffering from extreme PTSD?" Derrick asked Hartwell a concerned look in his eyes.

    "As I said the last time I saw him a few months ago he was doing well apparently the isolation is extremely calming to him. I do remember though that when we were on approach to his planet he was issuing several warnings. His tech isn't as advanced as yours but he has succeeded in advancing what he has to a high level."

    Derrick nodded taking this all in Rayburn had been their tech advisor and a very good one at that. Derrick knew that even with the added intelligence he had it was possible to miss something; Rayburn had been the best at finding problems before they developed.

    "I need you to supply Mary with all the names of the men you can assign to us while I am crowned. Mary I want as quick a check on them as possible, override any system that does not wish to comply." Derrick ordered her.

    With a huge smile Mary replied, "It will be as you command Sire," turning to Hartwell. "I await the names of all those you indicate Rear Admiral."

    _____________________

    In orbit, The Lysium was finally under her own power, the Duke had finally emerged from his chambers after hours of plotting. Yes he thought this would be a most delicious game of cat and mouse, with the duke taking the prize at the end. His crew stayed as far away from him as they could, they'd seen him in as happy a mood as he was in before. It bore no goodwill toward anyone to get close and upset that mood. The cook had the man's food ready as fast as he could; good thing the man almost always wanted the same thing. Already the Duke thought everything was in motion he'd already contacted the two groups that had high end tech. Smiling evilly he knew they'd get the job done after all, they hadn't failed before, he saw no reason why they should now.

    Several systems further out closer to the Galactic rim, a dark shadowy man smiled at the communiqué. So they had a new emperor, this Duke Risen was willing to pay their price to remove the man. Smiling he saw that there was almost no information on the man, no matter he liked mysteries more than almost anything. A runner was standing by to take all that the man had to the leader; he would be the one to assign an assassin to rid the Galaxy of the man. More excited than he'd been in quite a long time, the shadowy man hoped that it was him. A job this big would bring ultimate satisfaction to him and make him feel like his life was complete.

    Derrick and Hartwell had been pouring over the list of men and women that were aboard his ship (it seemed another wouldn't arrive for another day). Hartwell had smiled at this, good, he thought no one else to horn in on any of this. "I believe that is all that we can spare after your coronation," Hartwell told Derrick. "Anymore might render the ship useless though you do have ninety percent of the crew."

    "Mary run all backgrounds, if there is the slightest wrinkle I want to know about it no matter how small." Derrick ordered her after they were finished with their discussion.

    "Yes Sire, running all now." Mary replied as she reached out to multiple computer systems to confirm or deny information that were soon pouring in.

    Within minutes she had cleared half the crew as she thought she might, and then she ran across one that she was not sure of at all. Still she kept at it soon finding another five that were more than questionable. "Sire I have completed the list of ALL crew members," she stated a mere ten minutes later. "I have six members that are in question; one I believe is a spy for one of the anti-throne sects."

    Derrick and Hartwell's heads snapped up at this news, "Display please," Derrick told her. Derrick and Hartwell went over the information for all six quickly dismissing four of the other five, and then they were reviewing the sixth. "Mary is there a test to discover whether or not this one is in fact a spy?"

    Mary was quiet a few moments, as she searched her data base, "Yes Sire there is, but I am afraid that it can be fatal. If the person is indeed a conditioned spy the test could produce a ripple effect that would spread 'til almost all memory is erased. In the past any of the two sects that were questioned died within minutes of their mind shields being broken. I have refined it in the last five hundred years but the results still aren't that favorable for survival. I am sorry Sire but given the few times I have performed the procedure I still have insufficient data to correlate an effective treatment."

    "Let me see your results and readings during your questioning sessions Mary, I might have a few improvements that you could incorporate." As Derrick started to go through the data, he started seeing parts of the older programming viruses that Mary had been infected with to destroy all her living circuits. Derrick worked the keyboard with almost inhuman speed typing at a blinding pace. Finally an hour later he was looking over all the work he'd just finished, Hartwell had backed away not wishing to interfere and the simple fact that he'd never seen anyone type that fast.

    "I think I have it patched enough for you to better work it," Derrick told Mary who had been following Derrick's work as he had progressed. From what she was seeing the viruses she had were designed for her to actually kill the spies rather than question then. Now though as she smiled her probing would do nothing but yield staggering results that should prove more than useful. "I believe we are more than ready if and when they try again; I think they are in for a very rude awakening." Derrick laughed as he started to flip several switches.

    "How would you like to proceed with this one?" Mary asked Derrick a few minutes later.

    "I'll decide after I am crowned. Two things that unfortunately have to happen today, one we ARE executing that bastard Maury; that is happening no matter what, and as publically as possible. Two, I will be crowned afterward not as a celebration of that slime ball's death but a promise of life, it will be at that time I will reveal who I am and not before, is that clear Mary?" Derrick asked.

    "Yes your lordship, as you know you will then be able to lower and raise the palace defense grid as you want afterward. Unless it is an emergency then I can instantly raise them, as stated before, your life takes precedence over everything," almost in a whisper Mary added, "This includes the life of this unit."

    Derrick whipped around to stare at Mary after she'd uttered these words, "I do not appreciate your levity in this matter Mary!" Derrick quickly told her.

    "I am only speaking the truth your lordship, it is all that I can do, as that the way that I was made," Mary said, her head bowed tears slowly beginning to fall from her eyes.

    "I," Derrick started, "do not intend for you to be put into a situation like that, you do understand that without you and the others I would never have accepted this position." When Mary only nodded her eyes wide at what Derrick had said, Derrick continued, "I intend for you to last long after I am gone." The tears were falling harder now no one, no Emperor had ever given her, her children or their children the consideration that this man did.

    "Mary, how close are we to being ready for all of this?" Derrick said though he really didn't like to kill, this was the one time he really had no qualms about it.

    "I estimate that we have at least three hours before the execution, then depending how soon afterward we can have the coronation within minutes. Do you feel we need to make an announcement about everything Sire?" Mary asked him, she could see the emperor was still somewhat upset about everything she just wished there was more she could do.

    "I think a warning ... I mean an announcement would be prudent in this case. I want you to reach all that you can, let all know that as of today the empire begins again. If they wish to join then they will need to swear allegiance to the empire and all the other kingdoms within it. If they desire to stand against us then," here Derrick paused, then a grim look shadowed his face, "then that also will be dealt with swiftly and fairly."

    Mary nodded then vanished to begin the preparations for the execution and the eventual crowning of the new emperor. Derrick was sitting at the foot of the throne again when the link on his wrist chimed. "Yes Shelby, do we have a problem?"

    "No Derrick I thought you'd want to know that 1000 is ready for space with only three days to go before her re-gen reaches completion." Shelby advised Derrick.

    "Good, I need to speak to her as soon as she has full cerebral activity, how is 0798's progress?" Derrick inquired.

    "I just started her re-gen a few minutes ago; she should be ready in at least a week." Shelby told Derrick a wide smile on her face. "Derrick I know you still blame yourself for Lucy but we will find her and she will be given a hero status among us all. She has struggled for years to feel she was a true EIG, what she did," here Shelby lowered her face and voice, "will not be forgotten by any of us, especially me. She overcame so much to reach the point she did, she did it all for you Derrick and only you."

    "Yes I know Shelby, I WON'T let anyone forget what she did and we will find her." Derrick replied trying to keep the tears from his voice.

    Two and a half hours later Derrick was standing inside the protected outer courtyard. Twenty small containers were arranged in a semi-circle around a post that had been driven into the ground in the center. Derrick had several of the Rangers bringing the man to the post after securing the snarling, spitting, and cursing man they beat a hasty retreat. Derrick, who had been there the whole time wearing a mask, was awaiting the time for this to start. Right before Mary was to go public Derrick walked to the edge of the courtyard.

    "You have been a bastard president for this supposed Republic far too long." Removing his mask the ex-President's mouth dropped open in shock as he stared at Derrick, a man he'd been told was dead many years ago.

    "No you son of a bitch! You're dead; I was told they beat you to death! NO you're a ghost! Get away from me!" Smiling Derrick reattached the mask and activated the security around the post. Moving to a window Derrick nodded to Mary who started the broadcast.

    "Citizens of the now defunct Republic we are here to witness the execution of the criminal known as President Maury. His list of crimes is indeed long, but in a shortened form there is evidence of genocide, starving whole planets, untold war crimes but the worst is the attempted murder of the emperor, the attempted destruction of the Imperial planet, the last is the near death of over half of the galaxy. This last was more than enough to order his death. The imperial sentence? Death by the Imperial sand bore worms. Execution to begin immediately!" Derrick moved back as all the containers next to Maury opened. Six, foot long, and an inch around, furry looking red worms slowly crept from their containers.

    Maury started to laugh at the fuzzy worms 'til all twenty turned and quickly advanced boring into his arms, legs, neck, and back. Though he was grimacing, once Maury started to scream and beg, Derrick stood stead fast. Derrick knew that first the worms would sever the man's spinal cord rendering him unable to walk or crawl away. Then they would take their time consuming each organ of the body saving the heart, lungs, and brain for last.

    As he watched Derrick could see the worms starting to bore toward the organ that they wanted to start feasting on first. Though the man had passed out a few times he always seemed to pop back up a few minutes later as the boring increased the pain in a new area.

    If he remembered right the brain would literally explode from the pressure the worms caused in the man's cranium. Though not that humane of a death it was quite effective, as the saying went about the worms, once they're in it's the end. It took another hour before the man began to scream even louder, and then his whole head exploded.

    "I apologize to those citizens that found this to be vile but it was necessary to give some justice to all the families of the millions that this... thing has caused such great pain." Derrick told everyone still watching. "I did not want to be crowned after such a horrific execution but I find that I must in order to start bringing order and rule back to the Galaxy. Please know that as Emperor I was not happy doing this."

    Walking back to the throne room Derrick sighed this was the last moment he would have as plain Derrick O'Toma. Advancing upon the throne he stood beside it waiting for Mary to appear.

    "To the citizens of the old Republic, I am Mary the law holder and palace security AI. I was empowered by the very first Emperor Angelius (Gregor) with the power to crown he who bears all the genetic markers. He who has the codes and commands the imperial fleet such as it is at the moment. The man before me is a man of the people an emperor not that far removed from the first emperor. He is the first in over two hundred years to display all the qualities. Sire? Are you ready to assume the duties as ruler and protector of Empire, and do you at this time reveal who the emperor is with full knowledge that you rule for the people?" Mary stated in an official voice.

    "I do Mary," a very nervous Derrick replied.

    "Please Sire remove the mask and show the Empire the face of its new ruler." Mary said as she had to suppress a smile.

    Almost all of the Rangers present gasped when Derrick removed his mask revealing his identity. Derrick smirked as he could hear several of them whisper that they knew him or knew of him.

    Mary waved her hand as a sword and a crown appeared, "By the power invested in me by the mandates written by the first emperor," here she touched each shoulder with the sword. "I dub you Emperor O'Toma the first, ruler of the galactic empire. Please arise Emperor O'Toma and receive the crown of the empire." With a slight smile Mary lowered the crown via mechanical arms upon Derrick's head. "Please be seated Sire," Mary advised him as she turned toward the all that were watching. "It is done! Long live the Emperor, long live the Empire!"

    All the Rangers in the room, Hartwell included, bowed, and repeated what Mary had just said. Hartwell advanced and bowed to a now sighing Derrick, "Sire Ranger command has advised me to swear allegiance to you as do I and my men, also to tell you that all of the Ranger force is now at your disposal."

    "Thank you Rear Admiral Hartwell, I accept yours and your command's gracious offer of allegiance. I will do all in my power to ensure that the Empire will be a shining beacon of freedom from such beasts as the one we executed today." Derrick told Hartwell, a little smirk on Derrick's lips.
     
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  5. Pars001

    Pars001 #1 Knight Writer

    Chapter 20

    Derrick wasn't happy, not happy at all, he needed to get out of here and get things done. All this pomp and crap was starting to wear really thin on his patience. He'd just released part of the shield around the palace but wasn't ready to completely yet. He felt that there were still far too many threats out there to let his guard down yet. Mary on the other hand was thrilled to no ends to have human bodies within the confines of the palace again, after over two hundred years. Hartwell and many of his men were walking around still in a somewhat of a fog.

    Derrick pulled Hartwell aside a few hours later, "What did your command say about all the proof that we provided them?"

    "That's the thing," Hartwell answered, "after I relayed most of it, they told me to maintain radio blackout. I guess they are also afraid that command has been inundated with spies. I had always thought that command was the one place that wouldn't have spies," here Hartwell shrugged, "guess I was wrong."

    "I was afraid of that; these bastards have had quite a bit of time to infiltrate the ranks. I had Mary relay a message to the top officers about the tests that we have designed. I'll let them know the results as soon as we test it out on that one crew member." Derrick told him, though he was still afraid that this test was going to be as terminal as those in the past had been.

    Sighing Hartwell wasn't all that happy about having a spy on board, though the thought of losing a crew member didn't appeal to him either. "So..., how are you suggesting that we handle this?" Hartwell asked Derrick.

    Thinking, Derrick was at a loss a moment, "Hmm," he said then an idea started to form. Motioning for Hartwell Derrick started, "I got an idea, first we'll bring her here then..."

    1st specialist Ensign Callie stared at the huge room that she was in. What a complete waste of space and money she thought walking around the throne room. Shaking her head she didn't even know why she'd been picked for this assignment; she was a tech specialist not a soldier. Sighing she'd have to get with the Rear Admiral later about re-assignment. Walking further in she saw a tall man with sandy blond hair and dark brown eyes greeting everyone that was passing through.

    Stopping suddenly she reached into her pocket to make sure that the weapon was there. Smiling she walked toward the man a determined gait now to her step. Looking up at the approaching female Derrick smiled and extended his hand toward her. "I want to personally thank you for your...," Derrick started.

    Callie pulled the weapon from her pocket and fired at Derrick laughing as she stated, "Die you imposter to the throne, the nobles will never let you rule!" Then to her horror the beam of the weapon passed through the Emperor striking the ground where he was standing. Swiftly a syringe appeared at her neck as she slumped to the ground the surprise still on her face.

    Derrick appeared a moment later, "Take her to the interrogation room I'll be there in a few minutes, I want you there also Hartwell, we need to record all of this." There was a flourish of activity while the young woman was transported to the aforementioned room. Derrick watched as Mary attached several restraints and began scanning the woman looking for everything she could.

    Amazingly her old scans had found nothing, but the new ones that Derrick had suggested were beginning to find all manner of hidden weapons, poisons, and powerful micro explosives. Shaking his head Derrick saw that several more scans that he'd added to Mary's repertoire of tests still hadn't been used. Again as Mary started over Derrick's eyes grew wider as the hidden arsenal began to steadily grow.

    A few minutes later Derrick nodded when the last of the hidden weapons were taken off. Shaking his head Derrick knew he had his work cut out for him. Nodding to Mary, Derrick stepped to another projector and literally vanished only to appear across the room moments later. Nodding again Derrick watched as Mary administered another injection. With a groan the young woman's eyes fluttered open.

    "Rear Admiral, what is going on," came Callie's startled question.

    "Well you tried to assassinate the Emperor, for one. We also know that you are working for one of the two factions that wish to eliminate the emperor." Hartwell told her a slight growl to his voice. Derrick smiled then nodded to Mary who started an odd green beam on the woman's head.

    At first nothing happened then the woman's face twisted into a sadistic smile. A different voice soon erupted from her mouth. "So your pathetic, ancient tech detected me after all, so this will be an actual challenge after all. Hello you mechanical bitch!" The voice shouted at Mary. "I know that nothing will phase you, at least not 'til she is dead."

    "As you suspected sire, the programs would have had me administer a lethal amount of radiation. All levels are constant, you may proceed my lord." Mary told Derrick a moment later.

    "HA! Enjoy your little victory! I have... WHAT!!??? You discovered all of them it is not possible! You have not had the time to..." Looking at Derrick the woman's face twisted into rage. "You will learn nothing I have been conditioned well beyond your level of..."

    "Who ordered the execution? Taiolan or Shiolan? You will answer me now or suffer pain unlike any you have ever known. We can extract you and simply drain what we want from you, but I figure you'd rather die this way." Derrick told the voice coming from the young woman.

    "You wouldn't dare, even if you had the capability," the voice spit back at Derrick.

    "Oh we have it and more," here Derrick sighed and nodded to Mary. A large arm came out of the wall with a set of ancient headphone looking apparatus attached to it. Nodding again the arm descended and barely touched them to the woman's head.

    The voice began to laugh, "You haven't the guts to..." Derrick sighed and nodded to Mary, as the current began to flow through the equipment an eerie scream began to issue from the woman's mouth. "NO! NO! It's not possible stop! You're killing me!"

    Smiling Derrick said, "Like it matters you're dead any way you look at it, so you going to talk?"

    The woman's face twisted into another mask of rage as she spit at Derrick. "Go to hell you undeserving Republic scum!"

    "Fine have it your way, oh by the way you will be returned to your soul core. Well in a way all the pain that you feel in death will. Well, enjoy, I will." Derrick told the voice then moved off as the woman's hand produced another weapon and fired at him. Again the beam passed through Derrick, "Tsk, tsk, so sloppy, alright Mary no more."

    Mary nodded with a little smile on her lips as current again flowed through the equipment. This time the voice screamed even louder for a few minutes then was gone, Callie's body finally free relaxed. Derrick looked at the part of the personality that they had captured; hell of a way to start a reign as Emperor he thought.

    "Alright Mary," Derrick said as the hologram of him disappeared and he reappeared across the room near the door. "Begin extracting all that you can before it expires."

    "I have already begun as I felt that we would not have much time. I will display all that I retrieve as soon as the process is finished." Mary told Derrick with a small smile on her face.

    Pulling a small blue disk from a protector in his pocket Derrick slipped it into a nearby slot. "Mary program rho, epsilon, psi, alpha, iota, rho enact and enable." "Yes Sire I am... Sire? Is this the finish of it?" Mary asked startled.

    "No I am afraid that it will only destroy about another ten percent of the program, I estimate that we have eradicated eighty seven percent of it now." Derrick told her.

    "No Sire I estimate that eighty six point ninety seven percent of it is gone now, time to destruction has been delayed another two years. The remainder of the program will reach my core in another ten years. Considering that you came up with another twelve percent in only months, I now believe that you will completely clear me soon." Large tears were falling from Mary's eyes, "Thank you sire, you have given this unit a chance to exist again." Here Mary bowed low to Derrick as did the others in the room. Hartwell was winking at Derrick causing him to shake his head in frustration.

    "Mary is there any way that we can prepare her so that they can't use her again like this? She is a fine officer and I'd hate for the Rangers to lose her." Derrick asked Mary a few moments later as he looked down on the young woman.

    "I believe that the program you were working on earlier just might work, though I could go in and strengthen her mind. I am afraid that it would take a few days though." Mary told Derrick as he had started to go over the data they had so far.

    "Here Mary," Derrick said as he stepped to the console and started typing at blinding speed again. Those in the room backed up a considerable distance as they all watched Derrick with open mouths. Hartwell just smiled he'd seen this before so really nothing new to him.

    A few minutes later Derrick stepped back waiting for Mary to assimilate all that he'd just added. "Yes Sire," came Mary's reply as she started to incorporate all of the new program Derrick had just written. "Going over all scans now, I am picking up anomalous energy readings right before the weapon was pulled. Yes sire I believe I can boost her mind to the point that she can resist them without trying. Though I must caution Sire, they will know that she was aided."

    Derrick thought on that a moment, he'd not really expected them to tell that she'd been helped but then again how many of their agents were ever caught? Stepping back to the console Derrick started to type for several moments then stepped back. "I think that might help to hide it, not the best but I think it will work. At least 'til it's too late for the soul source and all of what's left is reabsorbed."

    Mary was looking over the new data that Derrick had entered, yes it was possible an actual challenge for her. Smiling, she was starting to believe that this man would be the greatest Emperor of all, though he still had to get the rest of the Empire to fall in line.

    1st specialist Ensign Callie awoke an hour later with an enormous headache. Trying to rise off the soft cot ... no wait she was in a bed?! What in the hell was going on? Groaning she again attempted to sit up, holding her head feeling as if the world was spinning. Looking beside the bed she saw an older looking woman with grey hair watching her.

    "Who are you?" Callie asked a moment later.

    "I am Mary; I am the palace A.I. or rather a holographic representation of the A.I." Mary smiled at the woman sweetly.

    "Ok, am I a prisoner? I remember walking into the throne room then I saw the Emperor. I felt such rage then an almost giddiness at the thought of killing him then nothing 'til I awoke here. What in the hell is going on?" The wide eyed and almost panicked woman said. She'd remembered the execution and was afraid that she was next in line for the same.

    "No, you are not a prisoner; you were under the influence of one of the sects. One sect that wishes to remove the Emperor before he can enact laws to rid the galaxy of them." Mary told the now shaking woman.

    "What is to become of me? If I am not to be executed, then what punishment will I face?" The shaking woman asked having backed into a corner truly afraid that she'd never again see the light of day.

    "I was instructed... perhaps I should let the Emperor explain." Mary told the woman.

    A moment later a hologram of the same tall, sandy blond hair and dark brown eyed man she'd seen before appeared. "Hello Callie, I am Emperor Derrick O'Toma. If you are willing we have a mission that I think you would be extremely interested in."

    "Me? Why me? I am nothing a nobody." Callie asked, "Oh sorry," she said to Mary. "I forgot that it is..."

    "A hologram?" A wide smiling Derrick finished for her causing her mouth to drop open. "True due to ... uh circumstances and several hundred protocols, I cannot be there at this moment but trust me this is interactive. You see you are a hologram to me also." Callie was only nodding, her wonderment at the hologram grabbing almost all her attention.

    "Anyway we have a mission that I feel will send a message to the sects. I will not send you without your consent but they will find you and try to extract what they put in your head. Oh don't worry it is gone we scan you once an hour to ensure it is truly gone. The thing is if there is nothing to take out they will kill you. So young lady are you up for it?" When Callie just shook her head Derrick said, "Ok rest and we'll talk later ok?" Again all Callie could do was nod.

    "Are you in need of a meal?" Mary asked, "We have a very fine chef who can make whatever you request to get your strength back."

    Callie smiled slyly, she was damn near famished and the hologram DID say that she could have whatever she wanted.

    Derrick sat a moment thinking of a way out of here, ah! He thought, "Mary I am going to the fleet it is almost time for the next ship's emergence." Mary nodded and sighed it was going to be a full time job watching this one. "Shelby." Derrick said into the com at his wrist, "time to emergence?"

    "I'd say that she should be finished within a few hours Derrick," Shelby replied elated that Derrick had called her.

    "Alright IMT," within seconds Derrick was on the bridge. All the ship holograms appeared, "I called all of you here because we need to start adding to the fleet. Zan I want you to stand guard over 1000, I know that you will guard her far better than any other."

    "I thank you Sire, I will do the best I can," Zan told Derrick bowing low.

    "Conner I need you to accompany Shelby and I to the outer rim, I want you to be scanning for the signals I have given you while we are there, alright?" Derrick told Conner who looked at Shelby then smiled.

    "Yes your lordship, it is an honor." Conner replied bowing low.

    "Tempro I need you to stay here and provide support for Zan only if it is necessary." Derrick ordered.

    "Yes Sire, I will endeavor to help protect them both if necessary." Tempro said proud and bowing.

    "Alright we need to go and get this done." Derrick told them, "Shelby, transmit the coordinates to Conner."

    "At once Derrick," Shelby told him, then there was the familiar wind up of the engine then they were gone. Sighing Mary tracked them all the way across the galaxy. Shaking her head she knew she was in for a truly epic reign by Derrick O'Toma.

    Shelby and Conner exited the Trans-warp within the vicinity of a galactic rim system. "Shelby can you detect any life out here?" Derrick asked her.

    "Beginning scans now, the third and last world of this system has an area I am having difficulty penetrating." Shelby replied a few moments later. "Switching energy now, I am getting readings though something is starting to modulate the shields. I believe that we have been detected Derrick." A moment later a blast hit the shields effectively rocking the ship.

    "Shelby, Conner, damage report!" Derrick yelled.

    "No damage, no direct hit sire," Conner told him.

    "No structural damage, the blast had insufficient energy to cause any damage." Turning toward Derrick Shelby advised, "I believe that it was only a warning. As the blast was fired I detected where it came from I estimate that those firing at us haven't much more power than what we just witnessed. An effective warning to say the least Derrick, orders on how to proceed?"

    Derrick looked at the readings a moment then replied, "Open a channel Shelby let me talk to who is down there, maybe we can give a little warning of our own."

    Shelby nodded turning away then told Derrick, "All ready Derrick."

    "To the unknown assailants, this is Emperor O'Toma please be advised you are firing upon a superior force. I advise you to..." Derrick had started.

    Suddenly Derrick speech was interrupted, "I advise YOU, Emperor, or whomever you are to move on, this is restricted space and I will use deadly force to defend it." The voice shouted at them.

    Derrick smiled still the same hot head he was back then, shoot first, and screw whatever was next. "So Rayb still as much a hot head as you used to be huh?"

    "I said mov... huh? What was that last? Could swear you called me...," Derrick had been trying to lock onto Rayburn the moment he contacted him. Shelby looked at Derrick and nodded, a moment later the man was in front of Derrick, "that damnable word... Ray..b. What the hell is this!! Where am I?" Looking around the man spotted Derrick laughing in the command chair. "COMMANDER!!?? Oh my god you're still alive!!" Running up the man embraced Derrick in a fierce hug. "Damn it sir! We were all told that you were dead!"

    Shelby appeared a moment later advising Derrick, "Derrick I am detecting a massive build up of energy from his residence I am afraid that it will go critical if no action is taken."

    Rayburn's mouth dropped open as he walked around the hologram of Shelby, "My god a projection within a self contained system of a three-dimensional image! It is absolutely beautiful!"

    Shelby giggled, "He is as tech advanced as the last one Derrick, though this one is better mannered. Uh Derrick suggestions as to our current problem?"

    "Can you effect a shutdown of the systems?" Derrick asked her.

    "NO! You can't do a shut down; it will cause a massive power feedback destroying half of the planet. Just decrease the input power to the 5 central nodes; that should render the system in standby mode." Rayburn advised.

    "Thank you sir I would have discovered that fact 2.3 seconds too late." Shelby told the startled man.

    "My god man," Rayburn told Derrick, "a fully sentient, anatomically perfect, cybernetic advanced artificial intelligence." Rayburn fell to his knees, and then looked up at Derrick. "Uh sir? Could I like stay here for an extended period of time? At least 'til I expire?"

    Laughing Derrick patted the man on the back, "I felt quite the same way Rayburn, though I must caution against trying to pry too far."

    "Why so sir?" Rayburn asked still staring at the hologram of Shelby.

    "They don't like anyone probing too far in their memory circuits they can provide quite a nasty shock." Derrick told the man with a smile. Rayburn look up at Derrick again shocked that Derrick had understood all that he'd just said.

    "Are you sure you are Commander O'Toma? He never seemed to understand what I was talking about before." Rayburn told Derrick, sighing Derrick took the man to his experiment that had almost killed him.

    "Ah! I see you have incorporated a human cyber download station," looking over the system Rayburn shook his head mumbling to his self. "Seven buffers yes, sync capacitors, overload drain good, good." Then Rayburn stopped and looked at Derrick, "My god sir! You have no backup in case of primary failure! You are one lucky son of a..." Looking at Shelby, Rayburn swallowed, "... gun sir. This could have cut out and took you with it!"

    Derrick was startled a moment then began to smile, damn he was glad that Rayburn was on board he hadn't said so yet but Derrick knew he was with them.

    "So," Derrick began, "can I count on you? I need a trouble shooter like you in the new Empire."

    Rayburn stared at Derrick for the longest time then tears began to slowly fall from his eyes. "Sir I have had such a hard time since I got out, no one has wanted me or to have me around. Are you sure you want as big of a... messed up old soldier like me? They said I have a type of delayed PTSD it isn't like what most have." Here the man sighed, "I can become extremely violent, are you really sure sir?"

    Derrick had been smiling the whole time, "Well, you remember how bad Kimison was? With all the trouble he had when he got out. Then they sent him to that hell hole. We got him out and he, for better choice of words is a hell of a lot better. I think we can help you without much problem, Mary?"

    A moment later the hologram of Mary appeared, "Yes Sire?"

    "I need you to scan Rayburn here, tell me if his condition is curable." Derrick told the hologram.

    Rayburn's mouth dropped open, "You ha...ha...have two of them? It's not possible. NO!!" Grabbing a nearby pipe Derrick had been using a few days before, he was soon advancing upon Derrick.

    "Sergeant!" Derrick yelled at the man. For a moment the man looked as if he recognized Derrick then roared and started to advance again. Suddenly a stream of electricity hit the man whose face registered shock then he slumped to the deck.

    "Really, your Lordship you have to stop putting yourself in these situations!" Mary told Derrick shaking her finger at him as if she would a child. "Sire it is extremely difficult to protect you if you are out here so much."

    "Just scan Rayburn and see if we can repair the damage that was done by the war." Derrick advised her.

    A small rectangular shaped light panel detached from the console. Emitting an eerie green beam that swept back and forth across the man's head. A few minutes later the light panel retreated, "I have finished Sire. It appears that this man has a high state of resistance to all that is affecting him. He is curable but it will take at least three treatments. I am sorry Sire, but his higher resistance requires that I go slower."

    Derrick smiled, "As I told you with Kimison, Mary, there is no need to apologize, the simple fact that these men can be healed is in its self a small miracle."

    "No Sire, no miracle just a science that seems to have been lost over the centuries that the empire has been laying dormant." Mary told Derrick watching him to gauge his reaction.

    "We really need to bring the empire back to what it was Mary. We have to or everything that all the emperors worked for will be for nothing." Derrick said suddenly noticing that Mary was watching him as closely as she was. "What is wrong Mary?"

    "You," Mary started, "embody all that the first emperor did. I am so very proud to be able to serve another man as great as he was Sire."

    "Uh, thank you Mary but it is just how I feel, what I feel is right. This Empire survived for over eight hundred years only to be destroyed by petty greed and jealously. All the things I was taught to not be." Derrick told her as his mind drifted back to the past for a few minutes.

    On board Tempro the short cropped blond hair, medium build man, with a smooth face was worried. So far none of the experiments had yielded any successes as of yet. He was pacing back and forth his mother Mary wasn't going to be happy he'd tried all 100,000 tissue samples that he had, nothing had worked. They had all failed each almost as horrible as the last, even terminating them as early as he had, still had caused a bit of instability with him.

    Mary appeared a few moments later noticing immediately that her son Tempro was starting to experience a slight break down in his programming. Sighing she walked to him and embraced Tempro, "I am so sorry my son, I did not mean to cause you such pain. I know that the experiments all failed but I have gone over all the data and I think I am beginning to see a pattern."

    Tempro was surprised then slowly melted into the embrace of Mary then the tears started. "I am so sorry mother that I have failed so much. A pattern mother?" Nodding Mary outlined what she'd seen from all the samples so far. Tempro also nodded finally seeing why they had started to fail.

    Mary stood by watching as Tempro started again armed with the new knowledge. He had gotten twice as far before there was any sign of failure. Smiling this time he'd watched all the indicators and was actually starting to see where he needed to go. Smiling he thanked Mary it made things a whole lot easier when the body had no real consciousness or even the beginning of a personality. Smiling Mary figured now maybe they had a chance to succeed; unfortunately they would have to have Derrick or hmmmm maybe this new compatriot of the Emperor.

    Shelby and Conner emerged near the moon of the Imperial world. Derrick was preparing to go back to the palace when Zan called.

    "Yes Zan is everything alright?" Derrick said.

    "Yes Sire, I thought you would like to know my wing mate is ready." Zan told Derrick excited.

    "Very well, 1000?" Derrick asked of the newest addition to the fleet.

    "Yes Sire," A young, slender, long straight brown haired teen appeared in front of Derrick bowing Low. She was of course stark naked, stifling the urge to smile (it was nice yes but he really had to talk to all the A.I.'s about appearing naked).

    "I'm not sure if you were told of this but I insist that all the ship's A.I.'s go by the name that they were given." Derrick instructed the new hologram.

    Still bowing the young teen nodded, "Yes Sire it will be so."

    "So please what was the name that you were called." Derrick smiled pleased that this was going as well as it was.

    Shyly at first the teen looked up smiling she stated, "I was named Sherry Sire."

    Derrick's mouth dropped agape, holy crap he hadn't expected this!
     
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  6. Lo Ro

    Lo Ro Well-Known Member

    another great set cant wait to read more!!!!
     
  7. Scottmaster

    Scottmaster Well-Known Member

    wow geeking out on this story