Lost Empire
Chapter 24

0001 - Tempro

0003 - Conner

0097 - Ace 0999 - Zan

0098 - Lucy(un-grown)

0101 -Shelby (mothership)

0798 - Celeste

0999 - Zan

1000 - Sherry

Though he was only a very minor noble, Baron John Talbert was scared. He was still wondering why he’d been singled out by the Rangers and the Emperor. Shaking he remembered the execution of the Republic President a most horrid way to die. His mouth dropping agape, he really started to shake, what had he done. He’d sworn loyalty to the man a hell of a lot better man than the repulsive president was. Putting his head back proudly he knew he hadn’t done anything therefore he had nothing to fear.

Derrick watched the man in the small room as the range of emotions ran the gauntlet on his face. Ah! There it was! The realization that he had not done anything and therefore knew that he was innocent. Derrick smiled he was glad he’d guessed right about the man, now to see if the man was game for what Derrick had in mind. Taking a deep breath Derrick knew this was a risk but he’d already had the man scanned more than a few times. Opening the door Derrick stepped in.

The Baron had just sat back when another door opened, in walked a rather plain man over 6 feet tall. A slight limp to his step, and a fierce look on his face. Taking a deep breath Derrick started, “Hello Baron, I am the official interrogator, Emderto, for the emperor. It appears that you have been found guilty of trying to poison the new emperor; this of course if you are found guilty, carries the maximum death penalty the most painful that can be found. Now then how do you plea?”

Shocked a moment the Baron looked at the man as if he was crazy, “Sir I cannot make a plea for something that I have not done. I am more than willing to take a truth scan if necessary, though it will show that I am loyal to Emperor O’Toma.”

“I asked how you plea not a lecture, now...” Derrick started.

“Look if you are going to kill me, so be it, but it will be killing an innocent man so if this is all that you have to say then, be gone.” The Baron said, with an irritated look on his face.

Derrick nodded it was as he hoped the man would answer. “Mary?” Derrick asked.

Mary appeared a moment later, “Yes Sire?” this of course had the Baron staring at Derrick with his mouth hanging open.

“Your analysis,” Derrick asked then chuckled when he saw that the Baron was staring even harder at him.

“All speech patterns indicate that he was truthful, also I detected that he was irritated that you were questioning him as you were. Everything indicates that the Baron has all the qualities that you were in search of,” Mary responded.

“Good,” Derrick said as he stood and walked to the door, “Hartwell come in please.”

Baron Talbert still hadn’t spoken a word to this point still in shock that this man was indeed the emperor.

Joseph Hartwell walked in stopping in front of Derrick. “Is he all that you were hoping he was Sire,” Hartwell asked.

Derrick nodded then started to grin wider as did Hartwell, “I believe so, though I still have to ask the man about the plan.” Derrick answered.

Suddenly they heard the Baron clear his throat, “Not wanting to interrupt you Sire, but I am sitting right here you know.” Derrick and Hartwell turned toward the man with huge smiles on their faces; yes he would do most certainly!

A steady tone brought the man out of his comatose state, though just barely. Looking at the readings he could see that he was still half a parsec from the rim, good, it wouldn’t be long now. According to his chronometer he’d been traveling almost two days now, almost in range enough to start transmitting. Setting the coordinates for the next two jumps the man lapsed again into a near death state.

Derrick had been going over all the reports that were coming in, so far the sect hadn’t made any moves yet.

“Derrick,” came Shelby’s voice a moment later.

Worried a moment Derrick turned to his wrist com, “I’m here Shelby is everything alright?”

“Yes I thought you might want a report on the upgrades you made to the re-gen cycles. It appears as you said, that the growth of the ships has increased, I am monitoring all readings as you instructed. As of yet I haven’t detected any problems. Also the energy change seems to help bring emergence about two days sooner. I’d say that 0097 should be conscious tomorrow instead of three days. I wanted to tell you thank you, as do all my children.” Shelby told a grinning Derrick, he’d hoped that what he’d found about the growth patterns had held out.

“Shelby you and all the ships as I have said before, are more like people than all of those I deal with on a daily basis. I feel that this is nothing compared to what all of you have given me.” Derrick told a now also grinning Shelby. “Let me know before he emerges, I want to be there.”

“Of course Derrick I would never leave you out of this!” Shelby replied.

Nodding Derrick went back to all the reports, from what he could see the High Commander had already cleared out the command center. Now it seemed he wanted to go after those that were on every ship, nodding Derrick thought that might be a good idea. Taking out a pen Derrick started to make notes then had Mary call the High commander.

“High Commander, I got your communiqué, I wholly agree, start as soon as you can with command clear I am sure things are going far better for you.” Derrick told the man.

“Yes, afterward it seems that orders aren’t questioned even half as much as before. Do you have any suggestions Sire?” The man asked.

“Hmmm now that you mention it yes, first I’d like you to... , “ Derrick went on describing more changes that had the older man’s eyebrows raising, but he nodded agreement.

Kimison jerked awake an hour later onboard Tempro, “What!? Where in the hell am I?”

A 25-30 year old, short cropped blonde hair, medium build man, with a smooth face appeared in front of him. “I apologize, Corporal Kimison, for you being brought here this way but it is of extreme importance!”

Kimison looked at the hologram of the man through narrowed eyes, “Look buddy I don’t know who the hell you are and as for your apology you can shove...”

“Really Corporal Kimison there is no need for such expletives!” Mary said appearing a few moments later.

Kimison was starting to back away from the hologram of Mary, “Don’t know what I have done, but I’d think the emperor would notice if I disappeared!”

“Disappeared?! You really think that is the purpose of bringing you here. Please, Corporal Kimison we are far beyond the barbaric practice of making people disappear. This is a highly important mission that requires you and the knowledge you possess, though I think we should bring Sergeant Rayburn into this also.”

Kimison’s face showed shock then he was angry, “What?! You don’t think I am good enough that you have to have that asshole in on it also?”

“No, you are more of a scientific architect your ideas rival the emperor’s. Sergeant Rayburn is more of a fine tuner to the ideas you have, you both are a superior combination when you work together.” Mary told an almost believing Kimison. “I’m not convinced that we can work together without the emperor being there.” Kimison told Mary who had noticed this odd behavior from the two.

“This vital mission is for the emperor, we cannot tell him though as of yet. We are just starting to have positive progress on it. Now please for the sake of the empire and the emperor’s continued good health we have to complete this!” Mary said. Kimison shook his head it almost sounded like Mary was begging him. Huh he thought the commander had been right these A.I.’s were more human sounding than he at first thought.

Sighing Kimison thought for a few minutes then made a decision, “Alright if, and I mean IF you can get Sarge on board then I am more than ready to lend my assistance. One thing you ought to know about him though, he won’t be swayed as easily as I was.”

Mary was nodding at everything that Kimison was saying; that was easy. She had to figure out a way to determine when these men were joking or not, they were nothing like the emperor that was for sure. “Alright Corporal Kimison how about now? As I have heard humans say there is no time like the present a very wise saying.”

Kimison was about to voice a concern when there was a flash of light and Rayburn was standing on the other side of the room. “What the hell is this shit?” Rayburn was shouting when he caught sight of Kimison sitting near the hologram of Mary.

“I have asked you both here to help assist my son and me in a mission...” Mary started.

“Work with that worthless piece of shit?!” Rayburn yelled.

Kimison looked at Mary, “See told you stubborn to a fault he’s...”

“Stubborn? Me? You’re a fine one to talk there is no way...” Rayburn was saying as both men were moving slowly toward each other with balled up fists.

There was a quick flash of light then both men looked at Mary with a shock on their faces. “That was only a minor shock. Please do not give me cause to administer a more severe amount of voltage. Both men nodded then fell to the floor unable to get their legs to work.

“Wow Mary you really are serious if you are willing to administer shocks. Alright, alright I’ll listen.” Rayburn said as he tried to curl his now numb legs in a better position.

It was then that both Mary and Tempro began to go through the processes that they had worked on for centuries. Finally finished Mary and Tempro could see that both the men hadn’t gotten but about half of what they had been told.

“I was afraid of this,” Mary said. “I do have a solution but there are consequences of taking these actions.” Looking at Rayburn she asked, “You saw the download device the emperor created.” When Rayburn nodded Mary continued, “I wish you to recreate it, it is obvious that we need to expand your knowledge and capacity for learning. Though you should know that I will take steps to insure that neither of you will attempt to overthrow the emperor. Now then that being said, Sergeant Rayburn, can you recreate it?”

Rayburn thought for a few minutes he had seen the device up close, he had seen how it worked, and all the safety measures that were needed to install. There was only one part he was unsure of but that could be solved easily. “I believe I can yes, though the hardware application I will have to leave to Kimison. If I give you the specifications you think you could reproduce it?” Rayburn asked Kimison then drew a few parts of the apparatus.

Kimison looked it over then nodded, “it looks easy enough, though the capacitors might need to be higher, and the insulators might need to be thicker. Rayburn nodded open mouthed as he’d also thought that.

“Now the bigger question,” Mary stated after they started to work together. “Just how long will it take to build?”

“If you can get or have all the parts then possibly three days, then we’d need at least a week to test it to make sure it won’t fry our brains. Nine to ten days we should know, sooner if the first series of tests go well.” Kimison said with Rayburn nodding his agreement.

“Please both of you get started as soon as possible give me a list of all you need you will have it within an hour. Though the security of the palace and the emperor is our top priority, this is almost as important, please remember that. Now Tempro provide them with what information you have on the transfer, it appears as good a place as any to start.

Both men nodded then went back to designing the device that they would need. Sighing Mary then smiled well that was the first hurdle, now the second would depend on whether or not they could actually duplicate the device the emperor had made.

Derrick was bored out of his mind, he’d made his self a promise that he wouldn’t stay on planet this long but damn it there was so much to do! Finally with a disgusted grunt he got up and walked out of the room. In the main throne room a new contingent of Rangers that had been rotated in snapped to attention as Derrick passed a sour look on his face.

A young Corporal turned to his Sergeant after Derrick had passed, “Looks like the emperor is about to leave again.”

The Sergeant nodded, “I know, that’s when we have to be on guard even more, remember that sect is still out there wanting the emperor’s life. Now would be their most opportune time to get in here and plant explosives, poisons or assassins. Remember all of you they will think nothing of taking your life, therefore I want you to show them the same disregard for their lives.”

All of the men were nodding as they listened to the Sergeant, special training had been begun to ensure that they were ready. Again all of the men snapped to attention as Derrick walked back into the throne room muttering to himself. They could all hear snippets of phrases, overdue work, unfinished projects, and the one that had most of them smiling later about tons of paperwork.

Derrick sighed as he paced back and forth in his work room, he had to get out of here he’d been working for the last two days to try and catch up on all the concerns of the empire. 200 years of nothing being done had indeed piled up to a monstrous amount of paperwork that he still had to really make a dent in. True for the last two days he’d managed to get a hundred years caught up but really! The last 100 years had been three times as bad as the first 100. Derrick groaned he had a small mountain of paperwork done that Mary was already acting on if not a hundred years too late.

Sighing Derrick was about to sit down and attack the stack again when his wrist com went off. “Yes Shelby, has the energy upgrades we made have any effect at all?”

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