Derrick was still in shock, what in the hell was going on? Reaching out again Derrick touched Mary’s arm, again snatching his hand back. Sitting there a minute Derrick’s face showed his confusion then a wide smile lit up his face.
“Shelby, has anyone had access to access to my brain amplifier?” Derrick asked expecting her to tell him that someone had.
“No Derrick all data on it is still in secure files within my mainframe, I haven’t detected any incursion into any of those.” Shelby reported a few moments later to an astonished Derrick.
Derrick nodded thinking a moment, “Alright how did they do it? They’re smart, a hell of a lot smarter than I was. I also know for a fact that neither had ever had access to technology this advanced. I need to talk to them right now.” Derrick ordered.
There was a momentary pause, and then holograms of both Kimison and Rayburn popped up. Both bowed, “Yes Sire you wanted us?”
“Uh huh.” Derrick mumbled as he looked at both of them. “So you recalled my brain amplifier I see.” A smirking Derrick told an opened mouth Rayburn. “So both of you are on board Tempro, no,” Derrick said raising a hand to stop Rayburn’s denial. “I’m not mad though I should be!”
Derrick looked over at first, a wide eyed, and then laughing his ass off Hartwell said, “Still sticking your noses into everything huh?”
“Really I don’t see what’s so damn funny!” Derrick said a little frustrated that things were starting to progress without him. “What else have you two got?” Derrick asked still a little steamed.
“Well,” Kimison started, a huge smile brightening up his face. “There is this, a triple output particle beam weapon; I’d say the destructive force is close to three times the normal particle beams on board the ships. It works better with the power amplifier and stabilizer. Problem is I’m still getting a massive amount of feedback causing it to overload.”
“Have you tried a regulator? That would limit the amount of power into the firing chamber when the feedback starts.” Derrick said a suddenly serious look on his face, as he told Kimison who had a startled look on his face. “So I take it you only had Tempro to download? Not bad, you have actually made advances that will go a long way. Ok, what else?”
Kimison was still startled as he started to write with a flurry. Rayburn nodded holding up another small piece of metal slightly larger than the shield emitter. “I started this right after the shield emitter. It is a micro IMT though with all the refinements we have had to make I’m not sure any more. Cutting down on the weight has helped but the power output if still far too high for the micro-generator.”
Derrick looked over the plans that Rayburn was showing him. Yes, what they had accomplished was indeed a hell of a lot more help to him than they realized. Still looking over the plans a look of clarity lit up Derrick’s eyes, “I think I see the flaw in your design Rayburn,” Derrick told him. “If you reroute the power through a smaller version of the re-doubler, then I think it will work. At present what kind of range does it have?”
Rayburn smiled the idea that Derrick had given him already had his mind working toward a solution. “At present because of the drain it has only worked to a thousand meters. With the idea you have given me though I think we may be able to extend it to a few miles.” A now broadly smiling Rayburn said.
Derrick nodded he had thought so too. “I have to say very good work; I also give you permission to access the library of either Zan or Sherry. Be careful I know you both want to help, but...”
“Yes I know Sire,” Rayburn replied. “We both know of you training your mind to take more information than almost anyone we have seen. Taking all of Tempro damn near fried Kimison’s mind, then again he forgot a few safety guards.”
Derrick nodded then signed off. Looking at the solid hologram of Mary he sighed, great a solid holographic babysitter!
Sitting up he saw that Greeson had finally progressed past the sixth level and was steadily gaining in the seventh. Damn Derrick thought he keeps this up I’ll have to make him an officer. I just hope he isn’t like Dempsy and turn it down every time. Snapping his fingers Derrick shook his head, Shelby’s programs were good, but Dempsy was far better of a teacher. If he’s sober enough Derrick thought with a smile. Calling Hartwell, Derrick described his idea to him, with a broad smile Hartwell agreed.
Dempsy was nursing a hell of a hangover. Holy shit the device that Shelby had given him made the sweetest, most potent liquor he’d ever tasted! Sighing as he looked at the half full bottle next to his bed he had to report soon. Damn it he wished his head would clear faster. He’d just gotten to engineering when the ‘special’ communicator went off.
“Yes Sire, not too good right now hung over as hell.” Dempsy said into it.
“I don’t give a crap! Get your ass ready! I am transferring you to the emperor’s command ship. Damn it! I said step up sergeant!” Hartwell’s voice was barking out orders over the communicator.
“Damn it sir!” Dempsy was whispering into the communicator. “You promised you wouldn’t bring that up! I’m happy being a lowly crewman!”
“That doesn’t matter now, you are here by promoted to Second Lieutenant, now get your ass ready your ride will be there in a moment!” Hartwell said a wide smile on his face.
“WHAT!!??? I don’t...” Dempsy started.
“I said that doesn’t matter! The emperor needs you in an officer capacity. Now be ready or Thomas is going to take you like you are.” Hartwell interrupted.
In a low voice Hartwell and Derrick could hear Dempsy complaining, “Christ busting my head and balls when I am hung over I never disturbed them...”
“What was that Lieutenant?” Derrick’s voice suddenly came from the communicator. Startled Dempsy straightened up, “nothing Sire I’ll be ready.”
Derrick was again about to fall out of his chair he’d always got a kick out of the man. Suddenly serious Derrick told Hartwell, “I damn sure hope he can teach them at least half of what he knows. Then again I think that Greeson might actually provide a challenge to Dempsy.”
“He might but Dempsy has continued to train, I believe he went back to his master to learn more recently. He just might surprise you Sire.” Hartwell said hoping that Dempsy was as good as he thought the man was.
Dempsy had barely managed to gather up everything in his bag when several alarms went off. Running Dempsy made the bridge just as Thomas made contact. “I was sent by the emperor to retrieve newly promoted Lieutenant Dempsy. Ah there he is!” With that Dempsy was suddenly standing in another of those ships.
“Glad to see you could join us Lieutenant!” Thomas said behind him. Dempsy could only nod as he lovingly ran his hands over several of the panels that were part of Conner.
“It is just as beautiful as I remember it!” Dempsy was whispering. Thomas could only roll his eyes.
Conner appeared a moment later, “I thank you sir, it has been a very long time since someone appreciated my systems. I dare say you are the first since the emperor was here.” Again all Dempsy could do was nod as he stared at more and more of what was Conner.
“Thank you,” Thomas heard Dempsy whisper.
“You’re welcome I think.” Thomas said with a wide smile.
Dempsy shook his head then looked at the command seat. “Is that you sir?” he said.
“Cut the sir crap I am just plan Thomas now. Alright Conner trans-warp!” There was a familiar whine then they were coming up on the other three ships. “Sire we’re back with him.” Thomas reported with a smile. “Though I think he is in love with all the systems here.”
There was a minute of chuckles then they heard, “Alright Shelby.” Dempsy blinked, then again as he looked at Derrick and Hartwell.
Screwing up his face a moment Dempsy stated, “Look Sire I appreciate the promotion but I liked where and what I am. I really have to protest...”
Derrick got a suddenly serious face and pointed at Dempsy. “I don’t care; I need you as an officer for this mission. Afterward if you want to be busted down, then that can be arranged also. Though you might reconsider after you see the pay raise you get.”
Dempsy was shaking his head. He really didn’t give a crap about the money; to him it was duty and nothing else. (Then again, he smiled; a hell of a lot of booze helped also.)
“Mission? What can I do that you would need me for? I love tech true but Kimison and Rayburn have always been better at it than me. If you remember, I failed strategy and tactics in officer’s school that was why they kicked me out.” Dempsy smiled, well that plus the fact that he’d taken a few of the other officers daughters out. They had all been drinking and end up semi-nude in one of the girls apartments.
“I’m no good at command that is both you and the admiral here. I am no pilot like Thomas, what can I possibly offer that you would need?” Dempsy replied becoming more and more confused.
Derrick smiled, “Shelby robotic sparring partner, level 11, safeties off, set to kill!”
Dempsy looked at Derrick and Hartwell like they had lost their minds, “Let’s see if you’re as good as I have heard you are.” Hartwell said then smiled.
Dempsy was suddenly in a more defensive position. The robot charged with almost blazing speed, then just as suddenly was laying in three pieces at Dempsy’s feet. “Damn that was slow!” Dempsy said as he looked at the mess at his feet. Suddenly a moment of clarity lit up his face. “So you wish for me to protect you Sire? It would be an honor!”
Both Derrick and Hartwell were grinning from ear to ear. “Well something like that. How do you feel about teaching?” Derrick said his smile growing by the second.
A dark, brooding female figure, moved through the shadows as she advanced through the Taiolan sect. Disgusting she thought, moving like a breeze deeper into the complex. In the main room she watched as the new leader gave orders. Waiting her chance she struck with an almost unimagined speed. The leader smiled as he blocked all 105 of the deadly strikes the woman threw at him.
“Ah! Good I see that you have kept up with your skills.” The leader’s mouth twisted into an evil smile.
A low, almost whispering voice answered, “I told you if you ever contacted me, it had better be worth my time. Either way I may kill you anyway. You are a bastard, I no longer work for nor do I owe the sect anything. My time is far more valuable than yours!”
Sighing, the leader nodded, she had been their best assassin when he was nearing completion of his training. “I take it you have heard of the new emperor?” When the woman only nodded the leader continued. “We have been paid a substantial fortune to rid the galaxy of him. It has been said that the man has plans to remove both assassin sects. He has already seriously hurt several of the pirate clans.”
“What do I care if they rid the galaxy of you? You and the other sect often interfere with my plans.” The woman’s whispering voice drifted through the air.
“You know the new emperor is Derrick O’Toma?” The leader told her another evil smile crossing his lips.
A hiss not unlike nails on a chalk board issued from her lips. “You have an agreement, for this bastard no fee, this one time only.” Moving far swifter than he thought she could she had a thin blade to his throat. Then the leader felt a pin prick near his genitals. “Remember and never bother me again!” With that she was gone like smoke before a stiff breeze.
The leader smiled then wiped the thin line of blood from his neck. Nodding his head yes, she would kill the bastard she had a blood oath against him as much as the leader did. Thinking of the woman he remembered back to the war, he’d been so close to ending his half brother and his smart ass friend. Then there was that bastard O’Toma, the leader had almost gotten his revenge when the son of a bitch stepped in.
The day the leader had been arrested his wife had left him spitting in his face. She’d promised to kill him after she had the revenge their dead son deserved. Ah! Sweet memories the leader thought, just seeing his wife again had helped to refuel his hatred of O’Toma that much more.
Dempsy sighed as he stood in the center of the room, starting his katas. This whole thing smelled fishy as he blocked and flung two bodies to the ground. Really he thought what in the hell did he expect. Dodging a kick and putting another four on the mat. A freaking Lieutenant! Damn the commander to hell! Why couldn’t he just be a plain crewman? This time he actually had to stop his Katas hmmm Dempsy thought this one has a lot of potential!
With a loud thud Greeson hit the mat extremely hard. Holy shit! Who was this man? He moved a lot like his teacher. Springing up Greeson prepared to attack again when the man wagged his finger at him then shook his head. A startled look filled Greeson’s eyes as his legs started to wobble then he fell to the floor.
Derrick and Hartwell cringed as they watched Dempsy put the man to the mat the first time. Though the second time they both were in pain when Greeson hit the floor. Derrick breathed a sigh of relief when Dempsy pressed a knuckle into Greeson’s back. Derrick was thinking stay down son, and then shook his head when Greeson fell forward into Dempsy’s arms. Sighing Dempsy moved to the gasping Greeson’s back and lightly pressed a knuckle into a spot on the man’s back. The man nodded to Dempsy and again tried to regain his feet. Sighing Dempsy just stood there, ‘damn this is a tough one, ‘ he thought. Then he nodded as the man fell forward into Dempsy’s arms. Well I tried to warn him Dempsy thought.
Kimison and Rayburn had already started on the ideas that Derrick had given them. With any luck they’d have the micro IMT ready after the emperor left the first nobles place. Kimison felt bad that he and Rayburn had abandoned the project that Mary had wanted them to work on. Though he realized that it was of the upmost importance, they wouldn’t be much good if they were both dead.