Lost Empire
Chapter 9

Laughing Derrick read all the reports that came in, the commander of the ship that had fired on them screaming that they were an ancient evil that needed to be destroyed. Leave it to be said that the man, was placed in a restrictive jacket and holding cell. After Shelby detected the change in scan designed to specifically to detect them, Derrick became very interested in the man responsible for it.

"Shelby," Derrick started, "can you link with the Ranger computer, obtain onboard video files?"

"Yes Derrick it shouldn't be too hard, considering it is just an advanced computer," she responded.

"Jump to hyper-space then I want all the feed during the time that we were scanned and the scan changed. I want to see just who we are dealing with." Derrick said, thinking it might be an older officer trying to make advancement.

A few moments later Derrick watched as a young officer discovered them, then notified his commander, was brushed off, then continued on. Hmmm Derrick thought I like his work ethic, much like mine had I not been like that I'd have never developed the living metal detection system. Then a thought hit Derrick, I do need more human operators for the ships hmmm nice idea just needed a way to implement it.

Shelby interrupted his musings a moment later, "I also have his service record with the Rangers he is an exceptional young officer, he is ensign Mack Baron quite distinguished at the academy, very high marks, very intelligent," Shelby remarked.

"Good I want you to file his name away we need to keep an eye on this as he might prove a danger later on," Derrick told her. Really need to have Shelby go through all the files and see just who might be a danger to all of us. "Status of trans-warp re-gen," Derrick asked after they had successfully jumped to hyper-space.

"All systems are reporting green at the moment I need 5 minutes 25 seconds for restart then we should be able to jump," Shelby reported.

Derrick nodded he was more than anxious to get to the rest of the ships, as they had less than half their defensive capabilities. "Alright Shelby, just make sure you have no more circuits that need replacing before you do jump I don't want to stall out half way there and possibly become unstable unable to reintegrate into normal space."

"Yes Derrick, I have been running diagnostics on all the systems for almost an hour, I encountered a few problems but have had sufficient time to correct them. 3 minutes 10 seconds 'til safe trans-warp, as of yet Conner hasn't reported detection by any outside source, though he is seriously limited only able to detect a half light year distance from his position. I am afraid they might be attacked without me there to help defend them." Shelby sadly stated. "1 minute 30 seconds to activation of trans-warp."

Derrick was still looking over the readings for several plans and systems that existed on the ships and a few he wanted to add that would make them far more defensible.

"Trans-warp ready Derrick, tri-angling their position, commencing." Shelby stated.

A now familiar whine started behind Derrick, hmm he thought still odd sounding, then they were across the galaxy within a few seconds. Derrick immediately recognized the old abandoned ship yard, as he'd been here on numerous occasions.

"Shelby stand down trans-warp, something isn't right, the wind up before transit sounds off, please check all your Critela particle emitters, I believe the problem may lie there." Derrick advised her.

"Yes Derrick, running diagnostic on that system now." She was silent for a few minutes then reported back to Derrick.

"Derrick!," she shouted excited, "I found that using the Critela particles to accelerate the re-gen of the generators has seriously weakened the containment of the particles. Almost all of the particles being released are somewhat tainted and cause an adverse amount of strain on the trans-warp engines. It would be advisable to wait at least a day before I attempt to use my trans-warp again. This should allow sufficient time for the system to flush and replenish."

Derrick was nodding the whole time going through this new information, he'd overlooked the possible dangers because of the urgency of the situation.

"Conner using this new information how long 'til your trans-warp capable? Derrick asked.

"Sadly Primary, it will be another day and 12 hours as the strain ruptured the Critela chamber most of that will be purge and re-gen. My hyper drive is still off-line for at least 2 days 19 hours." Conner advised.

"Feel proud Conner you performed exceptionally well, your bothers, and sister are safe because of you." Derrick told him. "Lucy?"

"Yes Primary, I will require another 2 days, 21 hours, 31 minutes 'til I am hyper-drive and trans-warp-drive capable. Light shield at 65% and holding steady," Lucy stated proudly.

"Thank you Lucy, don't try to rush, Shelby and I found that doing it right if far better than hurrying." Derrick said.

"I am afraid Primary that I am still without almost all power I still need 4 days 23 hours, 43 minutes 34 seconds of re-gen on my engines. The rest power wise I have 55% power from my generators my light shield is at 45%, is it true that you have spoken to the palace A.I.?" Zan asked.

Looking over at Shelby he should have known that she wouldn't have been able to keep her mouth shut. Sighing Derrick decided that he might as well as get this over with. A moment later four holograms were staring at him.

"Yes, I have talked to Mary, the palace A.I. I have recited the first half of the royal code, as of a few hours ago I am at all access except imperial," here all of the holograms smiled each bowing low to him.

"My lord we are all proud to serve you, the ideas you have incorporated in us will go far for us to protect the empire again." Zan stated after looking at Shelby and getting a nod from her.

Sighing Derrick thought it's going to be a while for that. "I am glad that you are proud to serve me, but please remember at the moment there is no empire. I am working on a way to resurrect it, though it will take a lot more than I have right now, much more."

All the holograms again bowed, "if you are the next emperor as it appears you are, we all pledge our lives to you. We live and die for you our lord, nothing will be too little for us to do." Zan and Lucy stated.

"You are the reason we were created, protecting and serving you is our duty," Conner stated.

"Thank you all but we have a hell of a lot of work before I can ascend the throne and rule." Derrick said though a great many ideas were starting to flood his mind. "Alright, first order of business is to have all of you repaired. I want all systems that aren't in use to be shut down, I want all power reduced to almost non-existent levels. I know this area of space and know that there is a pirate nest not too far from here. I don't want to lose any of you to them, they would strip your A.I. programs along with the ship though I know most of them would die taking you." Derrick instructed them all. The care that he was showing them all had tears in the eyes of each hologram before they vanished back to their respective ships.

"Shelby I need status on 0001," Derrick said suddenly changing subjects.

"If I may," 0001 stated breaking into the conversation, "I am at 50% growth, I have completed one energy producer and have a second coming on line in a matter of minutes. This should facilitate faster re-gen though I have need of at least one of the last 5..."

"Last 5? just how many do you have?" Derrick asked.

"I'm sorry sire, I possess 8 in total. It is essential for much of the equipment that I carry. I wish to tell you of them but 'til your status as imperial is clear I cannot. Though I can tell you that I still have a message for you no matter what." 0001 replied.

"Why can you not tell me now?" Derrick asked thinking this was odd even for these ships.

"It was how I was instructed to do it," 0001 said.

"Do you know who left this message?" Derrick asked getting a little annoyed that something for him was being withheld.

"No, Primary all I know is this was ordered and the royal code was added. I was told not to give it to you 'til I am complete. I was also told to bring you on board under certain conditions, and only then deliver the message." 0001 answered.

Sighing Derrick could see that he wasn't going to get anywhere when they had an order they followed them to the letter. "Alright, I want as much protection for... 0001 do you have a name or were you destroyed before one was given?" Derrick asked.

"For a very short time I was called Tempro, though I am not sure why." 0001 said.

"I like it." Derrick said, "It is only fair that you also have a name, as do your brothers and sisters."

"I thank you sire, this is a gift I cannot begin to thank you enough." Tempro replied Derrick thought he could hear a tearful voice coming from the ship. "I will endeavor to make you proud of me." This time Derrick was sure he could hear Tempro crying.

Derrick just shook his head there were times that he really didn't get what the hell was going on with the ships.

Again Derrick looked over his headset project, sighing he knew that if he was going to bring the empire back he was going to need all the ships. Then again some were lost in other places and despite what they said there was no way to be absolutely certain that the brain cases really were indestructible. With the passing days Derrick had watched the new ship take shape. Christ this thing was a monster and here he'd thought that Shelby and the others were large. It was barely over half grown and it was already over three miles long, plus the fact that many of the now apparent differences were showing. Many of its stellar and astral fins were of a totally different configuration.

The next day Derrick had Shelby contact Mary in the Palace, tuning to the extremely high frequency Shelby opened communications, "Palace A.I., this is EIG-0101F code alpha-339, beta-229, delta-119, gamma-009, omega-stop. Primary Derrick wished to speak with you again."

It was only a moment later that Mary answered as she had been waiting for this call, "EIG-0101F code alpha-339, beta-229, delta-119, gamma-009, omega-stop, confirmed, I am ready Shelby."

Derrick again stepped up, "Mary I was told to do this a specific way therefore let me repeat the first section before I recite the second."

"Please proceed," An excited Mary said.

"Mary, I am Derrick O'Toma descendant of Thomas Tomalley, Alpha-010A beta-020b, delta-030d, gamma-030ga, Omega-050oo2, confirm." Derrick said.

"Derrick O'Toma, Alpha-010A beta-020b, delta-030d, gamma-040ga, Omega-050oo2, confirmed. Section 1 complete, I await section 2 confirmation."

Derrick took a deep breath this was going to be hard, this part of the code his grandfather had told him was obscenely long. "Section 2 is as follows Omega-Delta-Delta, Mu-Alpha-Nu, Iota, Alpha-Mu, Alpha-010A, Gamma-020g, Epsilon-030e, Eta-040et, Iota050i, Lambda-060l, Nu-070n, Omicron-a, Omega-b, transfer confirm." Derrick breathed a sigh of relief he was sure he would screw up the code before he finished now he had to just wait for Mary to confirm it.

A moment later a hologram of a petite slightly older woman, with slightly gray hair but a killer figure appeared in front of Derrick. The rest of the holograms appeared behind Derrick each of them awaiting the findings of Mary.

"Derrick O'Toma," Mary started, "section 2, Omega-Delta-Delta, Mu-Alpha-Nu, Iota, Alpha-Mu, Alpha-010A, Gamma-020g, Epsilon-030e, Eta-040et, Iota050i, Lambda-060l, Nu-070n, Omicron-a, Omega-b, transfer confirmed."

Here Mary and all four of the ship holograms bowed to Derrick, "Please I feel uncomfortable," Derrick said.

Nodding Mary and the others stood, "Derrick O'Toma, we the palace control now recognize you as the rightful ruler of the empire, such as it is."

"Sire," Zan said as he again bowed, "might you give us missions that we may help you to reclaim the empire? We all realize that there is much work to do, we are eager to begin to restore you to your rightful place at the head of the empire."

"As will I, as your control, you have control over much of everything and can use it whenever you so choose. You simply have to ask and I can most probably make it so. Though you do control almost all currency through manipulation of many cleverly placed investments, you would still have to claim them however, therein lies the problem. I have all the proof that is needed sire but getting others to believe is another thing. As I said you control a vast fortune many hundreds of times larger than your predecessors I am sure that it wouldn't be hard to hire an army to start taking the empire back."

Derrick was nodding through all of this several plans forming in his mind. It just felt that he didn't have enough knowledge looking at his headset he knew what he had to do.

"Alright Mary, I want you to keep gathering all the evidence that you can against all the republic leaders we will move soon to take the Republic down. Now then did you find the sabotage?" Derrick asked.

"Yes Sire. I found a total of 153 sections with both programs I had. Unfortunately I was only able to remove 142 the last 11 are in prime sections of my personality and planetary control." Mary sadly reported, "I am sorry sire, I failed in the task you set for me."

Derrick looked at Shelby and moments later a disc appeared in his hand, "This is a program I developed years ago to help purge and remove any malicious programs I found within my computers. The new section is something I worked on to help the ships."

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