Lost Empire
Chapter 19

Derrick kept watch over Kimison as Mary started his treatment. Derrick knew all too well what was needed to break the hold that all the fear and pain held on him. She was barely into the start of the procedure when Derrick felt him tense up; looking up a moment later she motioned me close.

"I am afraid that I have need of your help sire his mind is as strong as yours it will require two energies to break the hold of the paranoia that has a hold on him." I nodded as I moved closer, "Lie down over there Sire, remember while you are inside that nothing is real and can hurt you. The images you see are just that and only the memories of his mind."

"I will do my best Mary," lying down Derrick closed his eyes and was suddenly standing above the abyss that was Kimison's mind.

"Alright we are starting down," Mary told him as they started to descend. All around there was nothing but chaos Derrick had a feeling that his mind had been almost as bad, but somehow he'd kept a better handle on it. Mary touched his arm and pointed to a spot where the chaos was nonexistent. Landing, Derrick looked around recognizing where they were, it had been one of the worst missions that they had been on.

Suddenly there was a shout and Derrick and Mary turned to see a wild looking, red eyed glowing 8 foot tall something that Derrick could only describe it as a beast. "So you've come back you son of a bitch," the deep voice of it snarled. "Good I need something to carve the hell up, seeing as you're the one that put us in this hell!" With that the figure lunged at Derrick with what looked to be a 4 foot bayonet. Slashing at Derrick the creature that was sounding more and more like Kimison started to roar in anger when the weapon only went through him.

Calmly Derrick just smiled at him, "What in the hell are you smiling at, you ass wipe! After I kill you all this will be safe then you can't take away the only safe place he has! Die! You have to die!"

Mary could only stare at Derrick by doing nothing he was in fact helping more than she thought he could have. Nodding to Derrick, he grabbed Kimison's arms as Mary began to slow the chaos. "NO! NO! STOP! He'll have nowhere to hide when those assholes at the veteran's center start to hurt him again! Stop it now! I'll kill you, I'll kill you all! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!" With that almost all the Chaos was close to stopping and reassembling into more ordered thoughts. Mary nodded to Derrick who let the beast loose now that now looked more like Kimison. Falling to the area beneath their feet Kimison looked up at Derrick. "Commander? Are you really here or is this another nightmare?" Reaching out Kimison touched Derrick's arm then grabbed him. "By god you really are here! I don't know what you and she have done, but I feel almost normal."

"I told you we had a way to help you, I have been through it also, so I know." Derrick said tears in his eyes Kimison was starting to look more and more like Derrick thought he should. "We'll see you out there," Derrick said a moment later when Mary had motioned for them to go up.

"Alright commander." Kimison said as all three of them started to rise to the surface.

Derrick opened his eyes, Mary was standing over him, "I am glad that the decision to take you was the correct one," she stated.

"I am also glad that you did; I owe that man far too much to let him suffer another day. Thank you Mary, will you need me for the second part?" Derrick asked her.

"I am not sure Sire but I will let you know before I go back in so that you are able to assist," Mary replied.

Kimison opened his eyes shaking his head, and then a startled look came across his face. "You both were really in there! My god almost all the horrible dreams and visions are gone!" Getting up he came to Derrick and grasped his hand shaking it vigorously, "You need me commander I'm yours!" Derrick smiled, well that was three of the five he just had to get the other two to complete this part of the plan.

Mary was soon showing Kimison to his room, Mary was smiling hugely finally there was actual life back in the palace though if the Emperor didn't open the defense grid they might be the only life here. Appearing in front of Derrick she bowed low preparing to ask him again about his coronation, "Sire we still need to discuss about your being crowned. I feel that it truly would solidify your position with not only the people but with the nobles." Mary let out a little sigh when it appeared that Derrick was flagrantly ignoring her. "Sire I know you wish to put it off but as I said it is the only way that you can lower the defense grid."

"I know," Derrick said he'd been going through all the information in his head. Everything has a loop hole, he just had to find it, even if he had to try and download the entire imperial library. He felt he'd lucked out with the override code, hell he'd been afraid that it wouldn't work. Withdrawing deeper into his thoughts there had to be something.

Mary sighed this family was going to be the greatest Imperial family ever and here she smirked they were also going to be the most active and hardest to guard. Sending a signal she again started the sentry making production line. She was going to definitely going to have her hands full with all of them. Derrick sat at the foot of the throne sighing he couldn't find a solution to the problem.

"Mary I need you to call Hartwell I need to talk to him before we go any further." Derrick told her finally breaking out of his rumination. Nodding she called him.

The wall in front of Derrick lit up as the sight of the bridge of Hartwell's ship was revealed.

"Rear Admiral, I have concerns; is it possible for you to consult with me for a short time?" Derrick asked him.

A wide smile crossed his face then was quickly gone, "Yes your lordship I always have time for you."

"Good, Mary, transport." Derrick told her.

"What you..." Hartwell started, "right now?" He finished a second later, standing in front of Derrick.

They both could hear the many gasps of his bridge crew they still weren't used to it yet. "Captain Multry, avoid any incidents I will be back on board soon." Hartwell told him.

"Yes sir," a moment later the same man held up a communiqué. "Sir we have just received this from command you are advised to render any and all aid to the Emperor that you can."

"Thank you, send a confirmation of reception of the message, I'll keep you informed of what we will be doing in a few hours." Hartwell ordered the man.

"Yes sir," the man said snapping off a salute.

Hartwell's mouth was hanging open as he took in the throne room he'd dreamed of being here all his life but never as the friend of the Emperor. Moving around Hartwell reached out to touch everything he could as if he was scared that it would vanish at any moment. Derrick could only smirk he'd remembered little Joey telling him years ago that he wished that some day he could actually see the Imperial palace. Walking back to Derrick he hesitated a moment then asked, "You mean to tell me that all of this belongs to you?"

Derrick thought a moment then replied, "No actually it belongs to the people they are allowing me to use it while I am ruler." Derrick told a shocked then huge smiling Hartwell.

"Now you really are starting to sound like a true ruler of the people. If I have a chance I will let all know what was said here," bowing low Hartwell stood with a proud look on his face. "I am proud to have been your friend all these years Sire, very proud."

Rolling his eyes Derrick thought I might as well get used to this; they all are going to be doing it before too long. "The reason I asked you here is that I am going to need a detail for later." Sighing exasperatingly he looked at an even happier Hartwell, "it appears that I have to be crowned, though I do not want to, it seems I have to."

Starting to laugh Hartwell was hardly able to contain himself. Derrick looked at him like he was crazy, "I fail to see what in the hell is so damn funny Joey!" Derrick growled at the man.

Sucking in a huge lungful of air Hartwell looked at his friend, "Well Sire if that is the most difficult thing you have going right now, I'd say you're damn lucky!" Again Hartwell started to laugh.

As Derrick continued to stare at the man he realized that the man was correct and started to chuckle with him. "Damn but you aren't always right little Joey, but unfortunately I am still going to have to go through with it."

Suddenly sobering up and getting quiet Hartwell told him, "Sire I am at your disposal as are any of my men."

"That's good to know but I think you should know exactly what you are up against," Derrick told him holding up copies of his father's files that he'd only just discovered a day or so ago.

Hartwell's eyes got big as he started to read, then he started to nod, "Yes we've known of these cults for a while but have never had anything solid on them to eliminate them. I think that this information could go very far towards that end."

"I believe that this is what got him killed and not some accident that just randomly happened. I also believe that it was almost the same for my grandfather though father was a bit sneakier with his probing." Derrick informed his friend.

"As I said this information will go far to start the end of their cults, many of the proofs here will indeed spell the end for several of the cult leaders. Besides I don't think they really want to go to war with the Rangers, advanced tech or not." Hartwell advised Derrick after a few minutes. "Though I am afraid if they really do have spies as indicated here it may prove difficult."

"I need to get Thomas and Rayburn onboard with us, at present I found Rayburn, but as you indicated he is as isolated as you said. As for Thomas he has effectively disappeared," here Derrick smirked, "though Mary has become quite adept at finding people and things."

Hartwell had been nodding when he looked up, "Rayburn would be a good asset, but I am afraid that he truly wants to be isolated. I remember the last time I talked to him; he'd told me that he had become disillusioned with society and most people. When he heard that no one was able to find you having literally disappeared, he removed himself to the outer rim."

"Well getting there won't be that bad of a problem, though I am afraid that he might not believe that it is me. Wasn't he also suffering from extreme PTSD?" Derrick asked Hartwell a concerned look in his eyes.

"As I said the last time I saw him a few months ago he was doing well apparently the isolation is extremely calming to him. I do remember though that when we were on approach to his planet he was issuing several warnings. His tech isn't as advanced as yours but he has succeeded in advancing what he has to a high level."

Derrick nodded taking this all in Rayburn had been their tech advisor and a very good one at that. Derrick knew that even with the added intelligence he had it was possible to miss something; Rayburn had been the best at finding problems before they developed.

"I need you to supply Mary with all the names of the men you can assign to us while I am crowned. Mary I want as quick a check on them as possible, override any system that does not wish to comply." Derrick ordered her.

With a huge smile Mary replied, "It will be as you command Sire," turning to Hartwell. "I await the names of all those you indicate Rear Admiral."

In orbit, The Lysium was finally under her own power, the Duke had finally emerged from his chambers after hours of plotting. Yes he thought this would be a most delicious game of cat and mouse, with the duke taking the prize at the end. His crew stayed as far away from him as they could, they'd seen him in as happy a mood as he was in before. It bore no goodwill toward anyone to get close and upset that mood. The cook had the man's food ready as fast as he could; good thing the man almost always wanted the same thing. Already the Duke thought everything was in motion he'd already contacted the two groups that had high end tech. Smiling evilly he knew they'd get the job done after all, they hadn't failed before, he saw no reason why they should now.

Several systems further out closer to the Galactic rim, a dark shadowy man smiled at the communiqué. So they had a new emperor, this Duke Risen was willing to pay their price to remove the man. Smiling he saw that there was almost no information on the man, no matter he liked mysteries more than almost anything. A runner was standing by to take all that the man had to the leader; he would be the one to assign an assassin to rid the Galaxy of the man. More excited than he'd been in quite a long time, the shadowy man hoped that it was him. A job this big would bring ultimate satisfaction to him and make him feel like his life was complete.

Derrick and Hartwell had been pouring over the list of men and women that were aboard his ship (it seemed another wouldn't arrive for another day). Hartwell had smiled at this, good, he thought no one else to horn in on any of this. "I believe that is all that we can spare after your coronation," Hartwell told Derrick. "Anymore might render the ship useless though you do have 90% of the crew."

"Mary run all backgrounds, if there is the slightest wrinkle I want to know about it no matter how small." Derrick ordered her after they were finished with their discussion.

"Yes Sire, running all now." Mary replied as she reached out to multiple computer systems to confirm or deny information that were soon pouring in.

Within minutes she had cleared half the crew as she thought she might, and then she ran across one that she was not sure of at all. Still she kept at it soon finding another five that were more than questionable. "Sire I have completed the list of ALL crew members," she stated a mere ten minutes later. "I have six members that are in question; one I believe is a spy for one of the anti-throne sects."

Derrick and Hartwell's heads snapped up at this news, "Display please," Derrick told her. Derrick and Hartwell went over the information for all six quickly dismissing four of the other five, and then they were reviewing the sixth. "Mary is there a test to discover whether or not this one is in fact a spy?"

Mary was quiet a few moments, as she searched her data base, "Yes Sire there is, but I am afraid that it can be fatal. If the person is indeed a conditioned spy the test could produce a ripple effect that would spread 'til almost all memory is erased. In the past any of the two sects that were questioned died within minutes of their mind shields being broken. I have refined it in the last 500 years but the results still aren't that favorable for survival. I am sorry Sire but given the few times I have performed the procedure I still have insufficient data to correlate an effective treatment."

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