Lost Empire
Chapter 22

In a dark room no actual light escaping the recess of the place, a man was awaiting the part of his personality that was being returned today. With the knowledge they would gain they should be able to end this idiot that was claiming to be the rightful Emperor. The other man in the room though unhappy had followed the orders of the sect’s leader, shaking slightly the man thought to go against the leader was to invite death. They had received word that the agent had retrieved the information from their patsy, obviously she hadn’t been able to get close to the man. They’d have heard something by now or the woman would be dead either way they’d have the information soon.

The man was extremely eager to get part of his mind back he was their best and knew it. This had caused a severe rift with the rest of the sect; many had hoped that he would fail soon so many could advance in the ranks. A few minutes later the agent appeared at the door a huge smile on his shadowy face. Nodding the agent withdrew, he wanted no part of this the reintegrating of a piece of personality it was painful, more than his training included.

The first man put the strange device on the machine in the room. Scanning it he smiled it was all here good he’d missed that part of his self for a while now. Laying back the man looked to the second man and nodded, starting the machine the second man stood back to wait ‘til all was done.

Within moments of the machine’s humming starting the first man began to scream. The second man had expected this and partly covered his ears, five minutes later the man was still screaming though this was an entirely different type of sound. Looking closer the second man saw that there was blood oozing from the first man’s ears and mouth. Shutting down the machine the man hit the alarm. Within seconds the leader and several others were in the room.

Giving his report of what he’d seen the leader was nodding. Turning to go, they all stopped short when the bleeding man on the cot sat up.

“I want to thank you for leading me to your sect. Attempting to assassinate the emperor carries a death penalty. I know that you are well within the planet, as yet my weapons can’t quite destroy a world, but I am working on it. Know that I will not allow you to carry out your plan; I know almost all except for who ordered it. I will have the name of the Noble soon though. Enjoy what time you have left I am coming for you.” Came the voice of Derrick, then the man started to gag, vomit then exhaled his last breath. So the second man thought this man was far more dangerous than they at first thought, good killing him would really be a pleasure now!

Several alarms were going off back on board Shelby, “Do we have a location Shelby?” Derrick asked.

“It appears that the signal stopped on an outer rim world, good place to hide actually. The plant was extracted and a human mind was accessed then they tried to download it into the human. I am no longer reading any activity in the human’s brain or body; I’d say they are affectively dead Derrick.” Shelby reported.

Derrick was looking over all the readings he was receiving as of yet they didn’t seem to be taking his threat seriously. “Shelby, trans-warp there now!” Within seconds they were in orbit of the afore mentioned world. “Connect me with the sect, this is the emperor you tried to kill me once I intend to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’ll give you a day to disband then...”

Suddenly there was a crackle and a shrill voice was screaming at them, “This is a peaceful world you have no right to threaten us!”

Growling a moment Derrick replied, “I don’t have time to play games with you, you have a day to disband then I destroy everything on the surface. As I said attempting to assassinate the emperor is a death penalty, this world is harboring the sect but I am being merciful stay and die, leave and you might live to a ripe old age.”

Again there was screaming this time several voices.

“Shelby, I think they don’t believe me, target the closet power plant. I believe that is the one on the north side of the largest city, give them a few minutes to evacuate it then destroy it.” Derrick told a now smiling Shelby.

This time there was even more screaming then all was quiet, “I am reading massive evacuation from the plant, almost clear. Starting bombardment”

Inside the planet the sect leader cursed, the man moved extremely fast, at this rate those on the surface would give up the sect in no time. Behind the leader the other man from the room of the failed personality retrieval smiled, the leader was scared, pulling a knife he sliced the leader’s throat.

Staring into the dying mans eyes those present heard him say, “You are a disgrace to us all, we will never give up! This ass will die at our hands!” As the body hit the floor the man looked at those that were staring at him. “We are relocating! Get everything you can out! Go now or you’re next!” Smiling the man thought, we will see emperor we will see!

“Derrick I am detecting several trans-warp engines! It appears they have a type of light screen also!” Shelby advised Derrick.

Nodding Derrick pushed several buttons, “Conner! Sherry! Zan! I need all of you here!” Within seconds there were four ships around the planet. “I want all of the signatures stopped and captured! If they resist and you have no choice then you are free to blow them the hell out of existence!” All four of the holograms were grinning at Derrick.

The new leader spat when he saw three more of the ships appear, so the man wasn’t as stupid as he thought, good it’ll be that much better when he personally gutted the bastard! Directing all the ships at once he had them all jumping at the same time even with four times the ships the emperor couldn’t track all of them. “It is time NOW!” he ordered as all thirty-three ships left the planet and jumped at the same time, well half of them did, sixteen of them were suddenly without power.

As the rest jumped the new leader cursed they had gotten one of the better ships, sighing they had the plans making more wouldn’t be a problem. Looking at the readings he could see that for now they were outclassed but not for long if he had anything to say about it!

Mary smiled unknown to the new leader she’d heard almost all he’d said before they jumped. The emperor might not be able to but she had no such problem. Of the remaining ships she saw that sixteen of those headed to another outer rim world. The seventeenth seemed to be taking a different route hmm interesting she thought.

Tempro was extremely pleased with his self so far the experiments were proceeding with hardly any

problems. It was a good thing that mother had noticed the slight differences in the readings from all of the previous experiments. Sighing he had been afraid that he’d never succeed for her, just as it had been all of those centuries ago. Looking at the present subject this was the farthest that he’d ever gotten time and maturation wise. Now if the time exposure worked he might actually have a template to work with.

Mary appeared a few moments later behind Tempro, “you reported you are having very favorable results?” She asked.

“Yes mother, all indications are that the present subject has shown no rejection or tissue failure as of yet. I was about to start time exposure to test whether or not the subject can survive full maturation.” Tempro told Mary smiling when he saw that his mother was actually happy, he had to succeed if the emperor had changed her this much. He decided then and there he’d never stop ‘til he finally had the answer to the problem.

Mary watched as Tempro started the time exposure, this would be a true test to see if the subject could be subjected to the time aging and survive. So far things were going good Mary could see that Tempro had worked nonstop at it trying to perfect the process. Mary was glad that she’d gotten the idea from the emperor about subtracting the personality then growing them. Finally after 10 centuries they were closer to finishing the process than they had ever been.

Derrick watched as each of the sixteen ships was brought into the bays, there they were locked down enough he knew that they weren’t going anywhere ‘til he let them out. Already he had several ideas on how to extract the information he wanted, though it might take a little bit of time on Mary’s part to implement the machinery they needed. That and the fact that they were basically asleep ‘til he let them up, they needed to increase the scans to different wave lengths before they even started to question them though.

“Mary we are heading back soon I need you to adjust several of your scans.” as Mary appeared before Derrick.

“Yes Sire, please input all data and I will commence on all upgrades.” Mary replied as she watched Derrick step to a console and begin to type at an almost blinding speed. Mary smiled as she began to implement the changes as fast as Derrick input them. Interesting she thought the wave length ranges were extreme to say the least but if the emperor wanted them then she had no doubt there was a good reason.

Several minutes later Derrick stepped back not sure if he’d gotten all of the ranges that he wanted but at least now they were more onto the sects energy areas than they were. “Mary were you...”

“Yes Sire I tracked all of the other ships to another outer rim world though one ship broke off and headed in another direction. I am afraid that it headed to abrir oculta; I still have several guardians there. They are equipped with the new light shield so I am more certain they will not be detected as easily as before.” Mary told him stopping his comment short.

Derrick was afraid of that those that had survived were trying to get whatever they could on him and his family. Too bad for them that he had all of them with him well except for Thomas and obviously Thomas was a master at hiding. Smirking and nodding Derrick remembered Thomas with all his camouflage. Smiling bigger a sudden thought hit Derrick camouflage! That had to be it! Thomas was hidden, “Mary I want you to access all records of the salvage company that I worked for. Look for any employee that seems out of place like they are older than they seem they should be; any anomalies like that should raise a red flag.” Derrick instructed her.

Mary nodded, “staring to reanalyze records now.” A few minutes later Mary replied, “I am detecting two such red flags as you put it Sire. The first is a very old man whose records indicate that he has been with the company for well over 20 years. The times that are in his records do not coincide with the information that is available. The other appears to be a young man but the pictures of him indicate a much older man.”

Derrick looked over the records still not able to tell if either might be Thomas. It was obvious that Thomas had damn near perfected his camouflage since he got out. “Alright Mary see if you can get a location on either of them, we need to find Thomas as soon as we can. I have a feeling that we aren’t the only ones who is looking for him right now.”

“Searching now, I have the first man on a return trip to the company from a near deep space run. The other appears to be not far from where you originally were found by Shelby.” Mary informed Derrick.

“Bring up all information you have on the second man,” Derrick told Mary. Looking over the records carefully yes, he could see that something wasn’t quite right; the records didn’t match up to what the readings were telling him. It had to be Thomas! Unless you looked very close, there really wasn’t any way to actually tell the difference in the records or that they might have been altered.

“Shelby, scan the area where we first met. See if you can still detect the ship like mine that we saved back then.” Derrick ordered of Shelby.

“Yes Derrick, scanning the area now, detecting a signal half a parsec away from the last position (a parsec is 19 trillion miles so half = 9.5 trillion miles) it appears as if the ship is still salvaging. You must have great patience Derrick this is a very slow job that you had.” Shelby stated.

“It wasn’t the patience; it was a chance to be alone it helped with the PTSD greatly.” Derrick informed her.

“I see; do you wish to communicate to this individual? I have the coordinates locked in we could be there in a matter of seconds.” Shelby said.

Derrick was nodding they could yes, but he had to make sure it was Thomas before they flew off to the other side of the galaxy. “Open a channel to the ship I have to make sure, no sense going if it isn’t him after all.”

“Channel open Derrick,” Shelby reported.

“To the salvage ship, aren’t you the one I saved from the pirates all those months ago?” Derrick asked.

There was a momentary pause then a voice Derrick was sure he recognized came back over the loud speakers. “Well hello pardner! Ya never did let me thank you fer savin’ my bacon back then! Got a question who in the heck are ya?”

Derrick smiled a moment now to find if this was Thomas or not, “I thought you’d have recognized my voice by now Tom T.” The more the man talked the more Derrick was sure it was Thomas. Looking over at Shelby she nodded then the engines whined.

“Recognize your voice now how in the ... holy crap what in the hell is that!!??” Derrick had to smile as they pulled next to the salvage craft. “Hey whoever you are, alert the Rangers I need help! The biggest damn ship I’ve ever seen just appeared out of nowhere!” The panicked voice of the man replied.

“It’s ok that’s just us Tom T.,” Derrick told the man.

“You!!? Huh!? Where in the hell did you get a war ship like that? That appears to be ... Tom T? Alright who in the hell is this?” Came the man’s voice.

“Uh huh I thought it was you Tom T. You always did hide real damn well. What say you come on board and we can talk?” Derrick told the man.

“Look buddy I don’t know you from Adam ok? Give me some time and...” the man was saying.

Derrick nodded to Shelby and the man was standing in front of Derrick and Hartwell who to this moment had been trying not to laugh. “ ... then we ... can ... talk? What in the hell? Where am I?” Looking around the man spotted Hartwell, snapping off a salute. “Sorry Lieutenant didn’t know it was you.”

Smiling Hartwell nodded, then nodded toward Derrick, “It wasn’t me believe me it was the emperor who pulled you here Thomas.”

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