Derrick was fighting to open his eyes ugh! He felt like he'd been kicked a few times and possibly run over. For some strange reason he felt he needed to be mad at Mary when he woke up but for the life of him he couldn't seem to remember why.
It was at that moment he noticed that he was far more tired than he usually was.Mary and Shelby went over his readings again, the nanomites were working at 100% to boost his energy levels. Mary was starting to worry a bit that she and Shelby had performed the procedure far too soon.
Problem was Mary had done it many times and had never had a subject not come out better or quickly. Shelby was half tempted to delve back in, the kiss Derrick had given her had held a lot more meaning to her than the last. Touching her lips again she watched as Mary ran through several scenarios trying to figure out why Derrick hadn't awoken yet. Mary wasn't blind to the fact that Shelby was far more worried about Derrick than a mere A.I. should be.
Softly Mary examined Shelby's circuits hmmm interesting Shelby was far more alive than Mary had at first thought.
Reaching out she found that the others were at 8% they had almost independent mobility. Shocked a moment Mary looked at Derrick in a new light. So the emperor was a far more trusting soul than any of the previous emperor's. Shaking her head she contacted Tempro she had to do something for him, something that hadn't been attempted in well over 900 years. It had been almost a day and a half when Derrick jerked awake.
What the hell was he doing on the bunk, the last thing he remembered was. smirking he knew she'd go a long ways to protecting him but this was a little far even for her. Stretching out his 6'2'' frame Derrick rubbed the scar on his leg, he needed to finish up so he could get things going. The addition of 2 more ships would most definitely be an added power advantage when he started to go against the nobles. They'd enjoyed free reign for far too long and needed to be brought to heel, smiling Derrick felt he was the perfect one for the job.
He needed to get this fleet back in shape first, and then he could start to think about looking into the many injustices he'd heard of. Shelby appeared at his side a moment later, "feeling a lot better Derrick?" She asked her almost ever present smile on her face. Thinking a moment Derrick chose his words carefully, "Yes I do Shelby though I think I could have done without the shock treatment," Derrick chuckled. "I am sorry Derrick; it was the only way she could get you to listen to her.
You had pushed yourself past the point of exhaustion, she felt under the mandates she had no other choice." Shelby explained. Sighing Derrick knew she was right but there were times, he had no choice himself, but to push like that. He had accomplished many a great thing with him doing that.
Anyway I look at it, I think Mary needs to take a look at the record of the many things I have done. Just because I am exhausted does it mean that I am in any type of danger. "Shelby, have you." Derrick started. "Yes Derrick, she has been hooked to my generators for 4 days, now she should emerge in almost an hour. Derrick?" Shelby asked excited. "Is something wrong Shelby?" Derrick asked. Shelby was silent only a moment then rushed her answer, "I have determined that this is Zan's wing mate, 1000, is it possible to have him answer her when she awakens?" Derrick thought a moment this was a welcome bit of news from what he'd read the two wing mates acted better together than they had when he was linked to the ships.
"I think that would be an excellent idea, they have after all been apart a very long time. Have." A moment later Zan's hologram appeared beside Shelby, "you wished to see me sire?" He said as he bowed.
"It appears that we have located your wing mate, I wish for you to be here when she awakens, I hope that I am there though. This new device I am testing may further help with problems like you had on your fin. As a matter of fact your problem may have helped to furnish the idea for the solution." Derrick told the now shocked but proud image.
"Thank you sire I think she will appreciate it also. I know it was a shock when I heard you and not a more familiar voice, sorry sire I don't mean to insult." Zan apologized "It's fine considering the shock of suddenly being alive again." Derrick told him. Shelby appeared, "Sorry to interrupt but it is Rear Admiral Hartwell." She advised Derrick. "Open the channel let's see him and let him see my eyes again." Derrick told her.
"Channel open, all adjustments made Derrick." Shelby replied. "I say again to the emperor, we have retrieved the president and his ship. Please advise as to action to take." Derrick heard Hartwell's voice.
"Hello again Rear Admiral, I am glad you called. Under imperial law and mandates he would normally stand trial but as you have read, as I know you have brushed up on imperial law. The attempted assassination of the emperor carries an immediate death sentence which I am sorry to say I have been lax in carrying out. Please advise your high command and your command that I will make an appearance on the imperial world to carry out said execution in 2 days. Until such time, could the Rangers please imprison him?
At the moment I am on the other side of the galaxy." "Thank you sire for clearing that up.
Now as to the crew of the ship and his assistant?" Hartwell asked. "Truth scan them all; if they didn't know about the missile let them go, but they are to be grounded a year. As for the assistant I am sure there is more than meets the eye with that one, hold him for now." Derrick said.
"Thank you sire," Hartwell said with a wink, "I'll let you know as soon as I receive word from both." Derrick laughed, so little Joey had impressed them it seemed good, though they might not be as pleased if they knew that Little Joey and the emperor were good friends.
Then again they just might be terrified.
Derrick tried to sit up and suddenly realized that he was indeed weaker than he'd at first thought. "Derrick!" Shelby shouted as Derrick nearly fell to the floor. "You could at least wait for me to be there to catch you when you hit the floor!" she said as she chuckled. Derrick's head snapped up damn!
That was sarcasm!
Chuckling to himself a moment, he felt better that meant that her circuits were closer to being free than he at first thought. "So you're turning into a smart ass now huh?" Derrick said as Shelby began to giggle. "I thought you liked me like this," she said slyly. Man Derrick thought I think I created a monster, but a monster I wouldn't give anything for.
"Shelby, the explosives that are attached to the brain box we are at present trying to restore. Query, I know that the boxes are supposed to be indestructible, but at present can the force of the explosives harm the case in any way?" "Scanning now; it appears that the case is in fact totally intact.
Though the charges are attached to the exterior, I am not reading enough force to damage the box, though I am afraid it would be sufficient to devastate a ship from the inside." Shelby told him.
Derrick nodded taking a few more readings, "Is it possible to use IMT to place my enhancers in the correct positions?" "At present it would prove to be difficult to place them in precise position, given the present movement.
Plus without precise coordinates it might prove to be an unsound risk." Shelby reported. Derrick sat back a few more minutes to allow his head to clear. There had to be a way to position them without blowing himself or a ship to pieces. "How long." "I would say that she should be aware in a few hours, her case was untouched and her energy is still at full." Shelby advised Derrick. "Good, Shelby, do you really think it is advisable to have Zan answer her when she awakes?
I am afraid that he might become emotionally unable to perform when we need him the most." Derrick asked her. "I believe that this would go farther to promote his self value than you think, plus as stated before it would be better to hear a voice one has heard before. As the emperor it could be a little overwhelming to hear the emperor's voice when one first awakens, some might even see it as a punishment." Shelby told him. "Hmm I see your point, alright since we now have a more enhanced system for finding them, it might, as you say, prove beneficial.
The simple fact that we found two more EIG's this fast is most advantageous and give me much hope for finding them," here Derrick's voice broke from the pain he still felt, "and Lucy." Shelby nodded as fresh tears began to fall from her eyes, she was extremely grateful that she'd heard Derrick that day months ago. "I have also been thinking about the problem of the enhancers, Query, is it possible to stop the movement of the box without physically touching it?" Derrick asked.
Shelby was quiet only a moment then her eyes opened wide, "I believe it is Derrick, the same tow beam I used on the pirates could be adjusted to slow and stop the motion of the case. I do believe that it would only require lessening the power of the beam to ensure that nothing is crushed or damaged." Derrick's eyes grew wide as he went through the beam specifications it was more than feasible, "Shelby." "I began changes to the system a few moments ago I estimate it will take another 45 minutes 34 seconds to recalibrate to the specifications you are needing." Shelby said again answering before Derrick could even ask.
Shaking his head he should have known she wasn't going to stop just from him asking. "Now all I have to do is figure a way of delivering the enhancers around the case without blowing everything up." Derrick said more to his self than Shelby.
Shelby herself had been trying to think of something, the mere fact that she could do this was a shock in its self. Though the fact that she might actually be able to help thrilled her to know end. On board Tempro several machines were running at the present moment, "Mary, mother I am not so sure of this.
I do not want the new emperor to become angry with me when he finds out what we are trying to do. You know it was banned after so many failed attempts that ended with horrible results." Tempro almost begged of Mary. "Tempro," Mary started, "for all he has done, for all that you and I know he can accomplish he will need this, he will need her." "I realize this, all of this, but we both know it is wrong and in the words of the human race immoral." Tempro again was almost pleading with Mary.
"If we don't even attempt this then we are no better than the masses that were the Republic. Do YOU want to see the most glorious empire reduced to that?!" Mary questioned Tempro. "No, but we have to proceed with more than extreme care, if it appears to have failed we need to terminate, finishing that form would be cruel and I know you are not that mother. Please don't make me go through that again the last time was almost too much for me and the crew, remember we lost half after the first failed set." Tempro told Mary.
"I remember," Mary whispered hearing the screams and agony. Derrick had been sitting at his desk for several hours trying to come up with a solution to the problem. Laying his head on the desk he began to go back through everything that had happened to him over the last 6 or so months. The meeting of Shelby, finding that the detection system that so many had called useless could actually find the ships.
The battles to protect the galaxy, the losses and near losses, the love, and trust he felt from and for the ships and their A.I.'s. Then there had been the two strange messages from his, he guessed, future self the second most profound. The first though had something in it that still seemed to bug Derrick if it really was his future self then yeah it made sense, what was it?
Derrick had almost fallen asleep when he heard part of the first message again: 'Rest the answer will come, it always does, and it's always that simple.' Snapping his head up Derrick was shocked at the simple things he'd been thinking of my god, was it really that simple?
Leaping from the desk Derrick went running to the command deck. "Shelby! I may have an answer!" Derrick was screaming as he entered the command deck. Once again Shelby was shocked she hadn't expected to see Derrick for a while longer. "Shelby!" Derrick yelled again. "I'm here Derrick is everything alright?" A worried Shelby asked him. "I may have an answer; remember the thruster pack I used when I removed the device from Zan's fin?" Derrick questioned her.
At first she only nodded then her eyes flew wide, "Under the mandates I am afraid that Mary and I cannot allow you to place yourself in danger like that again." Shelby sternly told him.
Derrick drew back a moment, God! She was completely serious! "No I have something far less dangerous than that, I also do not wish to be in that position again. I was thinking of a mini thruster pack on each enhancer that could be maneuvered into place, with you controlling them in should prove a far better way to place them." "Hmmmm this plan has much merit," Mary said behind Derrick making him jump a bit.
Both Mary and Shelby giggled when Derrick had to sit a moment to calm down. "I calculate that this plan has a 95.6% completion chance. This plan I find far more acceptable than the last that involved you risking your life." Mary told him after a few minutes.
"Though I believe that we will have to increase the fuel that it carries and add 3 more burn tubes." Derrick started checking all the specifications and started to add the additional equipment, the whole time Mary watched closely as did Shelby. Finally finished Derrick sat back more than pleased by the design he'd come up with. Mary's head was nodding at the design she was more impressed by the emperor's detail to the design. "I believe you're right Mary these extra tubes will give us more stopping force, plus I think the extra weight might actually be easier to calculate fuel wise." Derrick told her.
"Production has already started on them Derrick," Shelby told him sweetly. "We need to stop the box and mark where it is, I have a promise to Zan to keep," Derrick stated.
"Oh you're right Derrick she should be emerging very soon, you also have that execution tomorrow," she reminded him. Though the look on her face let him know she wasn't that pleased about it, she knew it was necessary. Derrick could see that it was upsetting her but he knew that he had to do this he just hoped that she realized it also.
"How many are you going to need Shelby? I thought three in order to triangulate the exact position of the box." Derrick asked her. "At first I thought of that but we need a fourth to ensure that the readings are even more exact," Shelby advised him. "Alright we need to stop the box and then get back there, I realize that it is far more difficult to put your hologram elsewhere at such great distances." Derrick told her, not seeing her smile at the consideration he was showing for Zan and his wing mate.
"Moving into position Derrick," Shelby reported as Derrick watched Shelby maneuver. Barely much distance from it, Shelby emitted the energy tow beam though at a lower power setting. A minute later Shelby reported that the box was now stationary and there were no changes in the signals she was reading from the devices. Breathing a sigh of relief, Derrick had her set up a small beacon to find the area again faster.
"Alright Shelby we haven't that much time I believe she is about to emerge?" Derrick questioned her. "Yes derrick it shouldn't be that long now." Shelby replied. Derrick sat back as the now familiar whine of the trans-warp sounded, then they were back at the Imperial planet they were quickly joined by Zan and Conner. Both male holograms appeared on board Shelby, "There has been no new activity from the Republic fleet, other than those that left.
We have been watching everything 'til further orders sire." They both reported. "Alright standby, Tempro I want you in place behind us I know your defenses aren't as good but you can still be a good deterrent." Derrick told them. It wasn't even a half hour later when an alarm went off, "I am detecting her imminent emergence." Shelby advised as they all waited.
A few moments later the speakers let off static, then they heard a low then louder female voice. "Hello? Is there anyone there?" The scared sounding voice said. "Hello 1000, starting to feel better my wing mate?" Zan said.
"0999 you are still functioning," came the excited voice. Chuckling Zan told the voice, "In a way I have, I am also here with the new emperor. He is extremely pleased that you are going to be functioning again soon." "Please excuse me sire, it is such good news to know my wing mate is still whole!" the voice explained.
"That is fine 1000 grow and become whole again, there are still enemies of the empire out there; we need you as well as you other brothers and sisters." Derrick told her. "Yes sire I will serve to the best of my ability for you." The excited voice told Derrick. "Alright I don't want to separate what there is of this fleet again if possible.
We are all going to retrieve the other brain box, Shelby supply the coordinates. We jump in 5 minutes, Mary advise me of any changes with the Republic fleet, we'll be back before time for the execution. Oh yes, did you locate the imperial boring sand worms?" Derrick asked Mary. My, my, Mary thought so the man had really pissed the emperor off, the boring worms were the most painful and slow way to die, it usually took a day and once they were in a person they were as good as dead.
"Yes sire, I had to cut the number down to 20 though we had well over 100, as I thought you didn't want the execution over that quick. They are ready and standing by shall I have the rangers bring him?" Mary smiled sweetly.
"Yes, I also want this shown to almost all, I want them to know the price for betrayal." Derrick told her looking over the specifications of the enhancers again.
"'til tomorrow Mary." Three minutes later all four of the ships jumped, Mary watched them as they crossed the galaxy. With a smile she started to clear an area for the execution in the courtyard, checking the imperial worms, and lastly preparing everything that the emperor might want while he was here.
Sighing she knew now that this one wasn't going to be a sit around and rule man, the problems she could see coming, well she would just have to up her security. Reaching deep inside the palace she started the sentry production line, goodness it hadn't run in two centuries, but she'd kept it like new.
Smiling she knew that it would take a while but in two hours she'd have 20 new sentries, not a lot yet but by tomorrow she could have well over 200, a small but still powerful force.
The ships emerged not that far from the beacon that Derrick had Shelby leave behind. Looking around Derrick could see that the box hadn't moved.
Having the others keep watch Derrick had Shelby deploy the first, slowly moving it into position, for many tense minutes Derrick tracked the enhancer 'til it was finally stationary.
For the next hour Derrick watched nervous as each moved into position. "Shelby, are we getting any drift or movement of any kind," Derrick asked. "Nothing at present Derrick, I should be able to use the IMT in a few moments." Shelby answered Derrick. Derrick nodded watching as the last enhancer moved into place.
"I am seeing excellent tone, all pattern enhancers online, no trace of the explosives patterns are showing. When you are ready Shelby," Derrick advised her.
"Commencing," Shelby started. "Shelby wait, I want all ships to go to full shields, I need a ship to standby in front of Shelby 'til her shields are up." Derrick ordered. "I will be happy to assist," Conner said a moment later. "Alright Shelby I want your shields up as fast and as soon as you can." Derrick told her. "I will Derrick," Shelby said with a smile. "Commencing again." For a few moments there was hardly a sound then there was a titanic explosion, from what Derrick could see Shelby barely got her shields up in time, Derrick in the mean time almost bounced off the hull before he ended up on the deck.
It took a few moments for the area to clear then Derrick tried to pick his self off the deck. It was a moment before he realized that his arm was bent at an odd angle, just before the pain set in and the world turned black.
Derrick thought he heard Shelby scream out, "My god Derrick I was only joking about letting me be there if you fell, DERRICK!" Derrick could only smile as he fell, crap! This was going to mess up his whole week, he thought he felt something catch him.
Thudding onto something soft he tried to smile again, ah Shelby good girl he thought. Shelby and Mary were scared Derrick's readings weren't that good. Shelby was blaming herself for not telling Derrick to secure himself before the blast, Mary was blaming herself for not having been there as she usually was.
They were both worried that the nanomites wouldn't be able to heal him fast enough and it seemed that they were in decline. "Shelby," Mary said after another vial appeared on the table next to Derrick, "Please inject this into him they are a stronger updated version, they should effect repairs to his system faster." Shelby had been trying to stanch the flow of blood from Derrick's head, watched as the new nanomites sped through his system.
Several hours later Derrick groaned as he was finally starting to come around. Opening his eyes he blinked as he looked around at the sterile white room, strange he thought. Mary and Shelby both appeared before him, "Are you feeling better sire," Mary asked him. Derrick could only stare at her with an almost blank stare, " I know this is an odd question because you both obviously know me but uh .
just who the hell are you two?" Both Shelby and Mary's mouths dropped open, they knew from the readings that he had banged his head rather hard but they hadn't expected this. "Do you recognize anything in this room?" Mary asked. "No not really, what was it you called me? Sire? Is that my name?" Derrick asked.
"No," Shelby replied, "Your name is Derrick O'Toma the kindest, bravest and most stubborn man I have ever met!" Derrick smiled that little half smile that under normal circumstances she would have loved to see.
Now though she was nothing but worried, looking at her mother Shelby hoped that Mary had answers to all this. Mary was trying to not panic she'd seen this type of amnesia and in most cases it took another hard knock to the head to straighten the mind out. She was afraid though in this case that another knock to his head might paralyze Derrick. That she was not prepared to do to him.
Sighing Mary went through all the types of remedies for amnesia, knowing that no matter what, anything might trigger a resurgence of memory. Well she thought might as well try the easiest ones first. Rear Admiral Joseph Hartwell had just sat down to eat when the special communicator Derrick had given him went off. "Yes Sire? I am not alone at the moment." A feminine voice came back at him he believed it was the woman from the palace.
"I suggest you get alone NOW Rear Admiral, we have a situation!" Walking to his cabin Hartwell was starting to become worried. "Alright I'm alone, what's wrong?" Hartwell asked Mary.
"The emperor has suffered an injury that caused a deficit in memory caused by a hard concussion of his cranium." Mary told a now confused Hartwell. "Hang on a minute," he told Mary, reaching over he opened a channel and called Dempsy saying it was about their friend, he made record time to Hartwell's quarters.
"Dempsy I can't understand what she is saying. "Nodding Dempsy had her repeat what she'd said, after a minute of questions Demspy told Hartwell about Derrick. "What can we do to help?" Hartwell asked. "I need you to get his family and bring them to the imperial planet, tell them he is not well and needs to see them, also bring the president. We'll get through this one way or another." Mary said as she switched off.