Derrick's heart had been hardened, the A.I.'s were more alive to him them almost all the humans he'd met were. After losing Lucy and instigating the installation of the new detection system, Derrick felt he was ready to start hunting the other EIG's. Then again he had the nagging thought in the back of his mind that he should hear the message Tempro had for him first. Sighing damn he hated to wait! Though the message he'd already received had made an impact on him, he still wondered who's the voice had been speaking to him. Shaking his head well, he thought we'll know soon enough, it was only a few hours now. Looking out at Tempro again he had to wonder why the ship was almost twice the size of the other EIG's.
Comparing, Derrick could see that there were 8 engines instead of 4; Tempro had confirmed that he had 8 energy plants. Though he had many weapons there weren't as many as on the other ships. Looking closer there were those extra set of astral fins that he had no idea what they were. Then there was the mystery of all this who had ordered Tempro to such secrecy? As far as he knew the only one that could do that was the emperor and that was him, as far as he knew he'd issued no orders like that. The longer he thought about it the more that his head began to ache. Soon he thought, we'll have the new detection system up, then let them argue with him about his right to the throne. So deep in his thoughts he was that he didn't hear Mary call his name for a minute.
Looking behind him he nodded, "Sire, I was saying that we are starting to receive a few answers to your summons."
"Oh? I take it most of them aren't believing I am the next emperor?" Derrick stated.
"I am afraid they aren't, as I stated before they are demanding proof before they will begin to accept you. Even then I am afraid that many of the nobles are going to fight you on this." Mary said.
Nodding Derrick replied, "That's why I've made major changes to the detection system. I feel our changes will be greatly improved."
Looking over the plans Mary started to smile larger, "Yes from what I can see, you have managed to increase the sensitivity by more than 78%. I would say this most definitely will increase the probability of finding more of them."
Derrick was quiet a moment, then almost in a whisper he said, "I haven't forgotten about you Mary, I will find at least one more of yours."
Mary's mouth dropped agape; she'd given up hope of ever seeing any of her children, let alone more than one.
Bowing low and still in shock Mary told him, "Sire you do not have to do anything special for me."
Derrick looked at her to make sure she wasn't joking with him the sincere look he saw there, let him know. "Mary I don't consider this anything special or a favor, I feel it is something I must do. For all that you do for me, yes I realize it is your duty and there are many times you can object under the imperial mandates. I have realized that you truly believe that I am the emperor and are trying with all that you can to help me." Mary's eyes were filled with tears, no one had ever taken into consideration what she might want. Then it occurred to her that Derrick had also done this for the EIG's also, she was already reading an 8% increase in independence in Shelby and she was sure the others would follow soon.
"Sire, if I may ask?" Mary started. Derrick nodded so Mary continued. "I have noticed so many things that you have done for me, Shelby my dau... , contact to you, and the others."
"You are wanting an explanation?" Derrick asked.
"Possibly more than that, I am somewhat confused as to why? Why are you doing these things for all of us? We are mere machines just tools that humans can utilize. Though we have all the characteristics of a living being we are still machines." Mary replied trying to word it exactly like she wanted it.
Sighing for a moment, Derrick didn't notice the other holograms when they appeared to hear what he had to say.
Though they had an idea they still wanted to hear it all.
"I guess I'll have to start a ways back." Mary nodded though she had a sizeable amount of information on Derrick there were still a lot of holes in the data.
"Growing up in abrir oculta providence I was somewhat of an outcast because of my intelligence. I spent many an hour reading, mostly military tactics and battles, plus my grandfather was a source of many... , stories."
Here Derrick's eyes filled with tears so many people had considered his grandfather to be a loon, a fanatic filled with wild ideas. The man had been a hero to young Derrick, with his stories of his grandfather's grandfather on a sleek black ship fighting the enemies of the empire. It was what had caused Derrick to enlist after school as an officer. That and the fact that his father and grandfather had both died mysteriously not far from the imperial palace shield.
"Entering the war I fought for the Republic thinking it was the right thing to do. I was ordered to do things I knew were wrong, things I knew that shouldn't be done." Derrick stopped a moment to look at the reading on the installation of the new detection system, hmmm almost done.
"I fought for quite a few years, then one day my second term was up. I had already decided to leave the service, when I told my commander I was getting out he was surprised, almost as if he was told I WAS going to re-up. Within 2 hours I was brought up on charges, court-martialed, everything taken from me them I was beaten by 20 men. I was taken to the most desolate area outside of the base, beaten again, then left to die."
Mary could see the ire rising in Derrick, plus his heart rate was rising as was his pulse.
"I had managed to conceal a small radio in my pants they had missed, I called my family. I must have passed out because as my mother told me it was 5 days later when I awoke, I was the Republic's most decorated hero and I was treated like garbage. The only good thing I can say is that I didn't just lay down, I know I broke a few of their noses, I'm sure many still can't breathe right."
Mary was taking everything in, it was by far a different story than she'd gotten from the records that she'd received.
"So you want to know why? I was treated like I was beneath them, all the people of the Republic world shouted insults at me as we were going through the streets. They called my mother and grandmother crude and vile names. Though I may be the emperor I still do not trust people, almost ALL people. I trust machines far more than them. I am afraid that I always will, people have turned on me since I can remember. Yes I know Mary, I will be working on it but I have a very strong distrust of all of them."
Mary's mouth was hanging open she had healed many a mind therefore she knew the signs, surprisingly Derrick showed very few signs of the distress that so many had.
"I was wondering Sire," Mary started, "Usually when someone comes from battle or war they are usually showing far more signs of distress related to all of it. From what I am seeing you are showing far fewer of the signs than I thought were possible. Especially for the amount of time, that you were in."
Smiling a moment Derrick turned from the console to look at Mary. "Alright Mary, I have a small confession though I know that you may try to deny it ... for a time. I know that Shelby is a product of you, your mind as it were."
Derrick held up his hand to quiet Mary. "I gleaned this after quite a while with all the information I took in, it is the only assumption that makes sense. I also know that almost half of the EIG's are Shelby's."
Again he held up a hand to quiet Shelby and Mary. "It isn't your fault you did all you could to hide it, I am a little bit smarter than we all thought at first. I also know that Tempro is yours Mary," Derrick said as he saw Mary smile at Tempro who had a shocked look on his face.
"I know far more than you think, I just had to have a little time to assemble all the information in order. I..."
Derrick started when several alarms went off."How many Mary?" Derrick said as he watched several blips approach the Presidents ship.
"I'm reading a total of 4, approaching at a higher velocity than you'd expect a planetary shuttle." Mary replied. "SIRE!" Mary shouted, "I am reading 4 high yield explosive devices on board those objects approaching the president's ship!"
"Shelby! Trans-warp! As close as is safely possible!" Derrick shouted sitting in the command chair.
The now familiar engine whine sounded, then they were there a second later. Derrick had Shelby grab the President's ship with a beam, then they were gone all within 1 minute. On the planet several of the revolutionary leaders were cursing when they saw the huge ship wink in grab the ship then wink out.
Opening a channel they started to yell at Derrick, that is 'til Derrick came on all the channels. "I have spared the Republic world so far, because I realize that there are some, though very few, oppressed people still there. Do not make me regret that decision, I have enough of a grudge with the planet and the people now, that I WILL NOT HESITATE to destroy it! Do I make myself clear?!"
There was no immediate reply, so Derrick had Mary target the palace, told them they had 1 minute to evacuate, then had her level it, it only took 2 seconds.
"Now then, I expect that I won't have any more incidents?" This time there were several voices shouting they would not make another move against him and his ships.
Laughing after he disconnected he looked at Mary, "You think too harsh?" He asked her.
"No sire I thought it was a most effective demonstration, plus I think it will help in the cleanup of that planet."
Mary said as she and Derrick laughed at her joke.
Looking at Shelby now he had to decide what to do with the little creep he sure as hell wasn't going to bring him on board. Hmmm couldn't kill him yet that had to be public when Derrick ascended the throne, damn! Where in the hell was he going to put him? There was always the jail though Derrick knew the man had probably bought almost everyone of law enforcement there was. That's when he thought of the Rangers, though he wasn't all that sure that they'd go along with him on this.
Well, he wouldn't know 'til he tried, "Mary I need to contact the Rangers, though you haven't received an answer from them yet, I believe that it is time to move forward and bring them on board." Derrick told Mary.
"I also believe that this is a good idea though I think that you should delay for a short time. As I remember you said that you wanted to hear this message first." Mary reminded him.
Crap he'd almost forgotten about the message, though why did he feel this way? That he HAD to hear it before he went forward with his plans? Again looking over all the readings Derrick decided to wait.
It was almost an hour later when Tempro contacted them, "Sire?" Tempro asked.
"Yes I am... , " Derrick started then was standing on board Tempro, " ... ready to come aboard." Sighing Derrick just shook his head.
"I apologize sire but I was told to bring you aboard as quickly as possible. I was told that you aren't to leave this room 'til you have heard this message. Are you ready sire?" Tempro asked.
"Yes," Derrick said as he sat in a chair, looking around it appeared that the entire lay out of the ship was completely different from the others.
As he sat there looking, a small hologram of an older man came on, "Hello Derrick." the voice said then the hologram smiled. "Checking out Tempro I see, this is nothing just wait."
"Wait, your the voice from before, Tempro I thought you said this was a recording." Derrick said.
"It is sire, it is interactive," Tempro informed him.
The voice laughed, "Well, it is mostly interactive. I do still have a signal to Tempro, just in case. I know you have questions, let's see if you do after I finish ok? Good, now then as I told you earlier you are the emperor, though as you guessed it will take a while to re-establish the empire. You have quite a bit of work to do though you will have help, Mary has already sent the proof that the Rangers required, they are the first to fall in line behind you. I realize that you think Shelby has settled your mind but she didn't, you might say she anchored you. Mary will finish it though I think you will want Shelby there to help."
"Sorry to interrupt but just who in the hell are you? I know you said to wait. You seem so familiar I just can't place you." Derrick asked.
Laughing a moment the hologram looked Derrick straight in the eyes, "I really am surprised you don't recognize your own face." Derrick's mouth dropped agape, "There we go! Finally everything is starting to make a little sense. We know ourselves Derrick, had we left you alone you'd never come to this point, well not for a lot longer. As you may have guessed Tempro is a time ship, though as you will discover in a little while he is a whole lot more."
Derrick was still speechless though this was starting to answer a lot of the questions that he had.
"Now then, you have already started on the path toward re-establishing the empire, as I said Tempro is a whole lot more. There were several experimental procedures that were never really implemented, for now there are only two that you need to concern yourself with. Though knowing us and we do, you'll soon be knee deep in the others too."
"So you are me, you left this to get me moving, ok I get all that, even why considering all the paradoxes of time. Why not let me go through this in my time?" Derrick asked.
"God I've forgotten just how stubborn and stupid I could be! I had to, had I not then by my time not even half the empire would be back yet. Now pay attention! There are 2 experiments that you have to complete they are considered dangerous even in my time though you are the reason that we can even think about using them let alone actually trying them. You will need a Queen one day or the line will die with you. I also know that you trust no woman outside our mother and grandmother. There is an experiment to, they only way I can describe it is creating a mate that is the idea. Though I think you would be more concerned with the A.I. transfer. Ah! I see this got your attention!
Good I'll leave you to it. Oh! Yes you'll find more EIG's and you'll find Lucy again though, it will take a bit of time, I am afraid, sorry." With that the hologram was gone.
The short blonde haired hologram of a man appeared, "Sire I now am to grant you full access to everything."