0001 - Tempro
0003 - Conner- Thomas
0097 - Ace - Zimmel
0098 - Lucy
0101 - Shelby (mother ship) - Derrick
0125 - Lars
0200 - Ellen
0301 - Rodrick
0403 - Johnathon
0667 - Marco - Brown
0778 - Jan
0798 - Celeste - Shelby (human)
0908 - Tara - Mara
0999 - Zan
1000 - Sherry - Lucie (for the moment)
Risen's evil smile was covering his face as he started the generators to this hidden stronghold. Let the bastard come this time! He had more than enough weapons and shields here to hold out a hell of a lot longer than any thought.
Watching as the new leader of the sect took up a position of authority over all his men. Finally the Duke thought someone who had a vested interest in ending the fake as he did. For some strange feeling he had a warm feeling about this one, maybe this one could get things done unlike the last one.
A beeping alerted the Duke that the sensors were coming on line and they were getting excellent positions on all the ships in orbit. Smiling the Duke had wanted to take one of the ships then sighed, better to just destroy all of them.
The new leader of the sect shook his head; this little piss ant was seriously pissing him off though he had learned to shut the hell up. It was about the only OTHER thing that was keeping the idiot alive. The sect was his now no one else's. He intended to make it a power in the realm again no matter what!
Shaking his head he still couldn't believe the original leader had been beaten as easily as he had. Especially by the one that was now that was buried deep within the Ranger's prisons. What an idiot the new leader thought. If they had waited a few more months this would have been so easy. No the idiot had to rush forward getting the sect almost destroyed.
Pointing the new leader indicated the ships. "are we high enough on the shields for them to no longer penetrate?"
"Running calculations now sir." A young tech said as he started to go through all the readings. "Almost there sir. This facility is well guarded with significant shield power to resist all that they can send. Though I am working on increasing them with that device you brought with you."
"Good with it we can hold them off far longer than they think we can. Inform me when we are past the danger point. As long as we stay hidden 'til
then we should be good." The new leader said. "Is that extent of the power you have or is there more?" The leader asked of the Duke.
"Oh there's more if we need it believe me." The Duke replied.
The new leader looked at the Duke a moment not really sure if he could believe the man or not.
Lucie was still trying to clear the tears from her eyes as she and Sherry entered the trans-warp. "All I can tell is that he is near the galactic edge. He was so very weak I'm not sure. Please Sherry we have to hurry!"
"Arriving now prime." Sherry said though Lucie hadn't noticed still listening intensely to the voice only she could hear. A moment later they broke into normal space Lucie still listening as hard as she could.
"Straight ahead Sherry I can hear him. My god he's so weak! Keep going, are you detecting anything yet?" Lucie asked.
"Nothing as of yet. Now switching to the second set of parameters the emperor set up. Nothing yet searching." Came Sherry's response.
"The voice is barely stronger," Turning Lucie was staring out past the edge of the galaxy. "I think we need to go further out."
Sherry nodded as she started out of the galaxy moving faster the further she went. "Still nothing I... wait I am picking up residual metal of what appears to be an EIG! Now adjusting course to intercept!" A now excited Sherry was saying.
"You got a reading on it yet? The voice is growing weaker we have to hurry. I am afraid it is going into shut down!" Lucie was almost yelling with worry in her voice. "remember when we find it not too close 'til we know for sure."
Sherry was nodding as she was concentrating on the task at hand. "Still searching, pinpointing all readings. Found it!" Sherry said as there was a whoosh then they appeared within twenty thousand kilometers of the brain box.
Sighing Lucie looked over to Sherry a huge look of relief on her face. "Thank goodness we found it. I... Yes, we are here to get you. Yes, we are scanning. I see, we will do all we can, rest now."
Sherry looked at Lucie feeling proud that she had been able to help rescue three of her brothers and sisters. A moment later Sherry got a little worried seeing the concern on Lucie's face. "Is everything well prime Lucie?" Sherry asked.
"I'm not sure," Lucie said as her brow was still furrowed deep in thought. "He told me that there were several deadly things attached to him. Explosive, mechanical and biological. It appears that someone or something has gone to a lot of trouble to make his retrieval as hard as possible. Can you disarm them?"
Sherry's face was also showing concern then anger as she started to scan her brother. "It is most vile the amount of explosives they have covered him with. Working now to disarm and dislodge all of them. I am at ninety five percent, there all explosives are gone. Now working on the mechanical." Sighing Sherry nodded. "It appears that this will take far longer to do. May I suggest you rest 'til I am finished with them?"
Lucie breathed a sigh of relief when Sherry told her that the explosives were gone. Then again the other two concerns were worrying her a bit. "Alright though I want to know the second that they are gone."
"Of course prime you will be the absolute first I notify." Sherry said with a smile even though she still wasn't catching what the EIG was calling her. Sherry sighed it made her feel so much better to have a prime even if she might only be a temporary one.
Lucie nodded as she lay down; she just hoped that all she was doing did on this mission to render the aid she was hoping it did. Closing her eyes she started to dream of her family.
It was almost two hours later that a steady beeping tone tore Lucie from the pleasant dream that she was having. "Prime?" She heard Sherry say.
"Yes Sherry? You have a status report?" Lucie asked as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes.
"Yes Prime," Sherry continued on. "I have managed to remove all the mechanical devices and traps from brother's brain box. I was about to begin the removal of all the bio-logical contaminants. I awoke you to receive permission to do this as you hadn't ordered me as of yet."
A little confused Lucie nodded, even as free as the A.I.s were they were still somewhat of a slave to the orders that they needed to receive. Shaking her head she had to agree with Uncle Derry, the old programmers and Techs were as paranoid as she thought she'd ever seen.
"Yes," Lucie said to Sherry. "Start as soon as you can, I want to get him hooked to a power source as soon as possible. The sooner the better. I just hope that the emperor and your mother are back when we return."
"I was wondering about that myself Prime," Sherry replied. "I just received word that the emperor has returned though mother it appears has sustained damage." With a sigh Sherry continue, "It appears it will be another five days 'til such time as mother will be able to take over the re-gen process."
Lucie's eyes went wide in shock, "she is the strongest of all of you, and she is still damaged? My god." Lucie thought to herself, "what in the hell happened while the emperor was gone?"
Sherry's head was shaking as she went through the small amount of information that she'd received. "I'm not that sure Prime as not much information was revealed to me. I am sure when we return that more will be forthcoming."
"I hope so," Lucie stated as she watched Sherry start to irradiate the brain box to make it safer. "Will this take long Sherry? I am kind of anxious to return."
"As am I Prime, I find I am missing my Zan greatly." Sherry said a small sad look on her face. Bowing to Lucie Sherry continued, "I have to thank you Prime, were it not for you I don't think I could have done what I did to make my Zan as proud of me as he is."
Shocked a moment Lucie told the hologram, "I only did what I thought would help you Sherry. I saw that you were so unsure; I only wanted to help you. Even though I at first refused to believe it, you are most definitely alive. I realize that now, you were just un-experienced." With a slight smile, Lucie continued, "I intend to make sure that you get a chance it that."
A shocked look came to Sherry's eyes as a few tears came to then also. Mouthing a thank you Sherry went back to work on her bother.
Derrick was going over all the data that had been supplied to him. Damn it he missed Shelby right now, the A.I. knew him far better than anyone or anything except for the human Shelby. Sitting there he was going over everything again when he received a message from Hartwell.
"Open a channel Tempro," Derrick told the hologram a moment later. "How can I help you Admiral?" Derrick said a small smile on his lips. Yeah, he knew what the man wanted though at this point; Derrick wasn't all that sure that the man had been punished enough.
"Sire," Hartwell said as the hologram of the man bowed to the floor in front of Derrick. This of course elicited a soft groan from the Emperor. "I was told to inform you that I have started the search for mine and Lucie's brother and Uncle. I believe I have isolated where they are though at the present time I am afraid that no one can really get to them."
Derrick's eyes shot up as he waited for an explanation. When none was forth coming Derrick sighed, "alright I'll bite. Why in the hell can no one really get to them?"
"I was monitoring the area that I was sure they were in when I picked up strange energy readings. It appears that a very powerful defense screen is now covering the area. It also appears that they may have a power redoubler. Though as to how I am unsure." Hartwell conveyed.
Derrick was nodding at this new information. Damn it with a redoubler they might hold out far longer than Derrick was willing to wait. "Exceptional work Admiral, this will help a great deal when we finally go in after them." Sighing Derrick waited to see if Hartwell would say more. "What no asking to be restored to duty?"
"No Sire." Hartwell replied sadly. "I was wrong in what I did. I accept the punishment that you have meted out. Besides as my sister would say it is undignified to beg."
Derrick was impressed to say the least, hell this Hartwell he was starting to really like. Thinking a moment Derrick nodded. "By the way where is your sister? I almost expected her to give me a report when I got back."
"I'm not sure sir," Hartwell replied. "I found her wandering the halls talking to the air, when I tried to talk to her she started to cry then took off for the control room. I was right behind her when she was shouting that she had 'heard' another one. The Empress said Sherry now then she winked out. I guess she's out there after another one of the boxes."
Derrick was nodding then his eyes went wide! Another one? That made three, I hope we can keep them alive long enough for Shelby to start their re-gens. "Thank you Admiral, I will be reinstating you soon enough though for now keep on this."
Hartwell nodded then clicked off. Shaking his head he was surprised he had no regret not asking the Emperor to be reinstated. Nodding he had to admit his sister was having a damn good effect on him. Smiling he nodded again he was liking it too! Damn he'd missed her as well as the rest of them.
Kimison and Rayburn were both chomping at the bit to get back aboard Tempro. They both just hoped that the brain box was still secure so they could start renewed action on it. They really needed the other the other 'parent' brain box as they were starting to call Shelby and the other. The simple fact that they could get twice as many ships back twice as fast would really help the commander.
Shelby sighed as she watched both of the men that had helped her as much as they had. She could feel that they were both anxious to get back on board Tempro to continue their experiments on the old Gregor brain box. She couldn't blame them; though they were soldiers, they were first and foremost scientists.
A moment later Derrick's hologram appeared before her, "are you alright?" A worried Derrick asked her as soon as he saw her.
"For now I am, now that you are back, though I am afraid that we have a problem with Rayburn and Kimison." Shelby relayed to Derrick.
Nodding he replied, "I had forgotten that were in the middle of trying to restore the other 'parent' brain box." Derrick waited a moment as the two men in question appeared beside the Empress. "I take it the both of you are ready to resume you duties on board?" When both men vigorously nodded, Derrick held up his hand.
Both men looked at each other and groaned he wasn't? Oh shit he was. "Sir before you do this we are both happy at our present rank do you have..." Rayburn started.
"As I told Dempsy get used to it! I need the both you at a rank where the others will listen to the both of you. Now then step forward Sergeant
Steven Rayburn, Corporal Jordan Kimison." A moment later two silver oak leaves appeared in each of the men's hands. "You are both hereby promoted to the rank of Commander head of all science divisions for the empire." Both men were about to protest when Derrick cut them off. "Not a word or I'll make you full Captains!"
Both men gulped nodding as they quickly pinned the oak leaves on their shoulders. Derrick looked at Shelby as he winked.
"Alright Tempro bring them onboard I am sure they have work that they wish to complete." Derrick said, and then both men were standing beside Derrick. They were quickly congratulated by their four long thought to be dead friends. This of course was making Kimison and Rayburn uncomfortable as all four of their friends we saluting them. Groaning they moved as quickly out of the command center back to the work shop area to start on the brain box again.
Both sighed as they looked at the officer insignia on their shoulders. Well they both thought at least he hadn't made them primes, then again they both thought with narrowed eyes the sneaky ass might!
Derrick watched the both of his old compatriots as they moved back to their area. Derrick shook his head why in the hell was everyone so dead set against being an officer? Sighing then again he thought he hadn't really wanted the rank of Emperor. Shaking his head he guessed it served him right.
Shelby sighed she already missed both of the men though she knew it was better for them to be where they
were. They had already started to become bored with nothing really to do onboard. If she didn't have all the duties she had, she might be right there with them as well.
Dempsy had Greeson going through the last of the drills. Finally the man was moving as Dempsy had been trying to get him to. Sighing Dempsy nodded as he had Greeson go through his cool down exercises.
"You are finally becoming more than a useless punching bag; I can finally train some myself that you are less worthless than you were." Dempsy told a now meditating Greeson.
Finally satisfied Dempsy walked to Callie who had been there the whole time. "I am sorry it took as long as it did. We have had to make up for lost training. The injuries that we both sustained kept us idle too long. Please enjoy your time with him." Dempsy was about to move off when he stopped, bowing to Callie. "I am proud to call you friend young miss. I feel good and great things are about to open for you. Try to keep an open mind."
Callie could only look at Dempsy with an almost lost look. What in the hell was this man on about? "Thank you sir, I think. Though I know you have your reasons for what you said I will do what I can to keep an open mind."
Dempsy smiled as he bowed to her again. "Good soon I hope that all of this will be over so that the both of you can start a life together. As I said before I can see that the both of you will have beautiful children."
Callie was blushing at the Coronel's words, children? She and Greeson hadn't done a thing but kiss and here he was talking about children. Shaking her head she just couldn't figure the Colonel out most of the time. Watching Greeson she knew it would be another hour before he'd be able to leave.
Might as well do something constructive she thought. [Tara? Are you any better?] Mara Callie asked.
[Yes prime, I am almost out of re-gen. I am anxious to be back on patrol with you. I am also glad that you made it. We took so much damage I was afraid that I might have lost you.] Came Tara's thoughts.
[I still feel badly that I put the both of us in such danger. I almost got you destroyed AGAIN! I really don't want to put you in that position again.] Mara replied.
[Prime, it is the duty of all EIGs to do all that we can for the Empire and the Emperor. I have to admit this emperor is by far the most fascinating one I have ever had the pleasure to serve.] Tara said.
Mara was nodding then stopped herself, [that is very true, he seems to care more for all of you ships than he does for a lot of the people under him. Well most of them. I wish father was here to see all that the both us have achieved. He was more than a hero to me he was my inspiration for almost all I did. I miss him dearly.]
[It is sad that you hardly knew him. From all that you have said of him he was a human to feel very proud of.] Tara replied.
[I have to go, I hope that we are together again soon, Tara.] Mara told her ship.
[I am also hoping for the same thing my prime be well 'til then.] Tara said then was quiet.
Greeson had been done for a short time as he was watching Mara. The faraway look confirmed to him that she was talking to her ship. Waiting a bit longer made no difference to him just to have her here was more than enough for the moment.
Mara's eyes suddenly snapped up as she felt a set of eyes on her. Looking toward Greeson she saw that he was intensely watching her. For some strange reason this gave her an extremely warm feeling all over her body.
Standing up she moved toward Greeson as he suddenly flipped up into a standing position. "Sorry you had to wait," Mara said as soon as she reached Greeson. "I thought I would talk to Tara while I waited on you David." Mara replied.
Greeson nodded, "I know that's why I waited. I have seen the danger of trying to come between a ship and it's prime. I know that like me your duty comes first. I therefore can wait as I saw that you did also. Colonel gave me the rest of today and tomorrow off. He said something about the two of us needed time together, he also said something about children." Shaking his head Greeson continued, "I really can't figure that man out."
Mara also nodded as she agreed with Greeson. "I was thinking the same exact thing only a short while ago. He is a strange one though I can feel he also has a very deep sense of duty."
Both ended their conversation then started to move off out of the training room. Dempsy sighed as he watched the both of them leave. He had missed the companionship of a woman for a very long time. Now? He shrugged; there really wasn't anyone out there for him anymore. Shaking his head he put down thoughts of his old master's daughter that the man had tried to hook Dempsy up with.
As his mind went back to the last time he'd seen the both of them he remembered his master's cryptic last message. "You should always know my student that you are always welcome here. Though the next time we meet I expect that we will be equals. Young Masuta all will be here for you when you finally decide that you are far more than you are."
Shaking his head he'd thought over that for years. He was still no closer to an answer than he was when he started on all this. You'd think with all the knowledge he'd gain he'd have some inkling as to what the man had meant. Sighing Dempsy moved to the wall comm.
Dempsy waited a moment before a hologram of Derrick appeared. Bowing all the way to the floor he heard Derrick groan, "Sire I have to report."
Derrick's eyes opened as he waited for Dempsy to continue. "We have a need to hurry with the meet between the two of them. As I understand it she is going back to duty onboard her ship tomorrow. Before this happens sire, may I suggest that you arrange for this to happen."
Derrick let out a long sigh as he realized that Dempsy was more than right. "I thought you left her with Greeson. I would think that this would interfere with whatever plans that you have for the both of them."
"Perhaps," Dempsy said as several things rolled about in his mind. "I believe I have an idea. If it works then I believe all will be forgiven." Here Dempsy looked up at Derrick. "On all sides of this situation."
Derrick nodded trying to figure out just what the man was up to. Shaking his head it was getting harder to read the man lately. Hell the thing is Derrick knew the man far more than most. had all of this really changed the man that much? He wasn't about to want to lose as good a friend as Dempsy had become.
"Alright, what are you needing?" Derrick asked looking intensely at Dempsy.
"You need to have him report here then I think I can take it from there." Dempsy told derrick.
Nodding Derrick was still at a loss though he thought he might see a small inkling of where the man was going with this.
It was several hours later that Sergeant first class, Daniel Norman was reporting to the Empress on the command deck. Shocked a moment the man bowed to Shelby as a thin smile crossed her lips. Derrick had informed her earlier what was going to happen. She was more than happy to facilitate what was going to happen.
"Daniel Norman, the emperor was otherwise engaged in other activities for the empire. He has therefore advised me that you have been promoted to the rank of full bird Colonel for the ground forces. This is for meritorious service that you provided the emperor whilst he was bringing the rest of you back from un huh... the dead."
Daniel's face was in shock as Shelby pinned the both of the bird insignia to his shoulders. "I... but... I only..." Was all that the man could get out.
"Also the Emperor told me to advise you that if you protest he wiould make you a general." Here Shelby held up a pair of single stars. Daniel snapped his mouth shut as he bowed to Shelby.
Gulping he could only say, "I thank you Empress."
Walking out Daniel was making his way to his temporary quarters when he passed by the dining area. A laugh gave him pause from inside as he stopped retracing his steps. Looking inside he saw a few people there though no one that he really recognized. Sighing, shaking his head he started to with draw when he heard a happy laugh again.
Mara was having a great time with Greeson he was by far more entertaining than she thought he would be. Looking up she felt a presence. Then a strange man's head appeared in the door way. Looking closer she he was a full Colonel! Then she looked away though for some reason the man looked familiar to her.
Racking her brain, Greeson said something that had her laughing again. Suddenly the man was looking in again looking at all there. Why does he look so... Mara's mouth dropped open as Greeson's head snapped up then toward the man that she was staring at. Looking between the both of them Greeson stayed quiet to see what was going on.
Mara was doing a double then a triple take at the man that was just standing there scanning the crowd. Suddenly tears started to fall as she numbly stood advancing toward the man. "Father?" Mara stretched her hand out afraid almost to touch the man afraid that if she did he'd vanish as if he was made of smoke.
Daniel could only stare at the woman who was approaching him. She'd called him father? "Mara? Oh my god! Is it really you?" He said as she collapsed in his arms tears flowing freely.