Lost Empire
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 2000 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 2000 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 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 200 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 100 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.

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