Derrick was sitting alone in his command chair, even solid Mary hadn’t attempted to move closer. After seeing the starving people, the rags for clothes, many people on the verge of collapse, Derrick had virtually lost it. He’d been deadly serious about leveling the palace the Duke was living in. Derrick hadn’t really cared whether or not the man was still there or not. Taking several deep breaths he again tried to calm himself.
Shelby had taken the brunt of his exploding anger, going quiet after the first tirade out of his mouth. Silently she again tried to help Derrick, for the third time was met with an angry grunt then being ignored. Shelby felt frustrated that there wasn’t more that she could do to help him.
“Shelby,” came the voice of Hartwell. “Is all that the emperor outlaid for the Duke being done?”
Shelby was silent a moment then replied, “Yes, Admiral, he has started far sooner than Derrick thought he would.”
“About time something started going right,” they heard Derrick grumble a moment later. “Mary I want to know the second the man stops doing what he was ordered to do. I want you to carry out this executive order, Delta, Epsilon, Sigma, Tau, Rho, Upsilon, Kappa, Theta - Omega, omega, omega enact! If I am unable to counter order it, then carry it out.”
“Executive order Delta, Epsilon, Sigma, Tau, Rho, Upsilon, Kappa, Theta- Omega, omega, omega enact, all batteries are trained on all five targets sire.” Mary responded a moment later.
Hartwell eyes shot wide, all five? “Ok color me stupid but what in the hell did you just order?”
Derrick looked over at Hartwell with a little smirk, “just a little something in case anything was to happen to me before I give the counter order.” Here Derrick took a deep breath, “Then Mary has orders to destroy all five of the residences of the Nobles we are visiting. You might say it is a little deterrent to smack their asses back in line. Though with a few of them it might actually be the first time they have done something honest in their lifes.”
For a moment Hartwell’s mouth hung open then a smile crept up on his features. Suddenly he was almost doubled over with laughter. “God I’d love to be a fly on the wall when they receive the news!”
Derrick smirked again at Hartwell, “Yes, I thought you might enjoy that. If I remember correctly you were raised within one of the Nobles territories weren’t you?”
When Hartwell only nodded, with tightly closed lips, Derrick decided not to press for the moment. There was a slight movement behind them which Derrick nodded to.
“I need to speak with Dempsy; I’ll call you in a bit Admiral.” Hartwell bowed much to Derrick’s dislike and exited the room. “We have much to discuss don’t we?” Dempsy nodded and stood in front of Derrick who told him to sit. “You said that she was a failure of yours? Care to elaborate?”
“As you know sire, I am well past being a student of my master. Master has instructed many times to begin teaching, this I cannot do. Master has tried to move me past my failure, he has forgiven me, I as of yet have not.” Dempsy said lowering his head.
“So your master says that you are a master in your own right? He was right then you should teach. The skills you posses should be shared.” Derrick told the man still unsure of where Dempsy was going.
Sighing deeply Dempsy nodded then continued, “As I said, I cannot forgive myself. I did take a student many years ago. I believe you are familiar with her. Trianas Macley?” When Derrick bristled at the woman’s name Dempsy nodded.
“You trained that sadistic bitch?” Derrick asked his mouth hanging agape.
“Yes Sire, to my ultimate shame. The skills I taught her were never meant to be used as she does. Never were they intended to take a life. I have heard that over the years she has taken many, far too many. I have to kill her Sire, in order to restore what little honor I have left. I cannot allow her to misuse what was given to her by me any longer.”
“I believe I understand, you said that Greeson was able to delay her ‘til you caught up?” A shocked Derrick asked. He knew that Greeson had been advancing but he hadn’t thought the man had gotten that far.
“Yes Sire, though I am afraid that he startled her when they first met. The next time he may not be as lucky, he was effective yes, but that was all. I have to push him beyond if he is to survive. I broke her collar bone; that will afford me some time to get him ready. The boy has good instincts; I just hope it isn’t another mistake taking on another student. I know you have often asked why I drink the way I do, I found it helps to numb the pain, slightly.” Dempsy stated bowing low his head even lower.
“For what it is worth I also forgive you Dempsy. I am hoping that you can move past this also. We need you, all of you.” Derrick told the man. To which Dempsy nodded, bowed, and then left.
Derrick could only shake his head; he could understand the part about restoring his honor. Derrick himself had felt many times that he had lost his honor. He could understand why Dempsy felt shame having trained the killer. The only thing he had a problem with was the fact that Dempsy had to kill her. Shrugging Derrick had never completely understood Dempsy’s master and all that was involved. Then again as he remembered, Dempsy had always been a man of honor.
Cursing she tried again to close her hand around her strength tester to no avail. Looking at the pictures again, she could see that Dempsy had done more damage than she thought. As she had guessed her collar bone was snapped in half, though she hadn’t expected part of the bone to be shattered. The joint of her arm was also dislocated, looking closer she saw that the tendons were also torn.
Laying down in her small med bay she made a promise to herself that the next time they met, her old master was dead. Starting her healing machines she slightly winced when the needle sunk into her arm. It would take at least a week to completely heal even with her skills. Then it would be another few days before she was at 100%. Thinking back she smiled, so Dempsy had taken on another student, good! Her victory would be that much sweeter when he watched his student die!
A twisted smile covered her face when she thought of Dempsy and his student. The new man wasn’t that awful, too bad he’d never get to enjoy the full joy of his skills. Smiling, she could still see Dempsy’s face after her first kill. It had been delightful to see the total look of disappointment in his eyes. Had she struck sooner back then, none of this would have been necessary.
Greeson was trying to keep up with the woman throwing several punches at him. One mistake and he couldn’t breathe doubling over he felt the finishing blow even before she landed it. Crumpling he felt the breath leave his body. Jerking awake, Greeson screamed as the pain racked his body. What the hell? He was still alive? He had been sure that he was dead when she landed that last hit.
Dempsy felt Greeson as he started to claw his way to the surface, good the young man was still fighting even in his sleep. Suddenly Greeson bolted upright letting out a hair curling scream. Smiling Dempsy twisted spots on the man’s back and neck. The pain suddenly gone, Greeson blinked then saw Dempsy.
Bowing his head Greeson stated, “I am sorry sir.” Greeson tried to sit up further but found that his strength wasn’t nearly what he thought it was. “I thought I had her but she got through after the fiftieth blow.” Hanging his head lower Greeson expected Dempsy to dismiss him.
“The simple fact that you are still alive is testament that you did listen to my instructions. The one you faced was a former student of mine. She is an embarrassment to the art form; with your help we will end her. This means that your REAL training starts today, out of bed maggot! There is much to do; next time you meet her she will not be surprised.” Dempsy leaned closer almost snarling, “Nor will she be as gentle.”
Greeson nodded getting out of the bed falling flat on his face! Dempsy sighed grabbing Greeson smacking his hand beside Greeson’s spine and lower back. This of course elicited another scream from the man, before he sprang away from Dempsy. “Damn it! You really are trying to f•©king kill me aren’t you!” Dempsy just smiled Greeson still hadn’t realized that he was across the room.
Kimison and Rayburn were still working on the micro - IMT, finally they had stabilized the power. The sensor they had added was working to an extent, as of yet the range was only a few hundred meters. Sighing they both couldn’t figure what was wrong; they had solved the power problem, they had directionality, the matter stream was stable when it converted to and from energy, why in the hell was the distance so limited?
Rayburn had thought he had solved it but had only extended it a hundred meters more. Sighing he’d just started looking over everything again when a thought struck him. “Kimison, when we adjusted for outside interference, did we adjust for ALL outside interference?”
“All outside interference? What in the hell are you on about?” Kimison said a look of confusion on his face. “As far as I know we only adjusted for mechanical... , holy shit! You really think it’s possible that the device is that sensitive?”
“We won’t know ‘til we look, remember we had to use an ultra sensitive sensor. Had we not then accurate directionality wouldn’t have been possible. I’m thinking that the sensor is picking up ALL EM energy living and mechanical. I think that is what is limiting the distance. Hell, there is more than enough power for a long transfer it should work.” Rayburn replied.
Kimison sat thinking, could it actually be that easy? Shaking his head he started testing to make sure. Within thirty minutes he could only nod agreement to Rayburn. “It appears that what you proposed is in fact a reality. Damn it! Why in the hell hadn’t I seen it? This was my idea to start with!”
Derrick knew that the other Nobles were going to be scrambling to make things better before he got there. Growling he damn sure hoped so, problem was how in the hell was he going to make sure things stayed that way? Sitting there thinking a few minutes a thought hit Derrick as he grabbed a piece of paper and started to furiously draw. Looking up Derrick suddenly spoke, “Mary?”
Mary 1 as Derrick affectionately called her appeared a moment later, “Yes Sire,” came her response.
“I had an idea a few moments ago, you think it would be possible to incorporate these ideas into several sentinel guards?” Derrick asked showing Mary the proposed enhancements to the sentinels.
Mary was quiet for a few moments as she studied the plans, crude though they might be. “Yes Sire, I think it would be possible though in order to protect this part,” here Mary pointed to several points on the paper. “I am afraid that it would have to be internal. As you know the internal temperatures can rise greatly in the sentinels.”
Derrick took what Mary said thinking a moment, then moved to a console. Again his hands moving at a furious speed Mary digested each part as Derrick entered it her smile growing. “That should provide more than adequate protection don’t you think?”
Mary’s smile had grown even larger as she went over each piece of the data that Derrick had entered. “It should Sire as of yet I foresee no problems with this. I am afraid that the control center is a bit out of the range of my abilities. Shelby I believe that this is more your field of expertise.”
Derrick’s eyes went wide as he stared at the hologram of Mary. It seemed that Derrick had just caught her in a lie. “I know, for a fact, that your last statement is a falsehood.”
Heaving a sigh Mary nodded with tears coming from her eyes, “Years ago yes that would be true but now.” Derrick watched a little in shock as more tears fell from Mary’s eyes. “The part of me that is infected, the part so near my heart if you will; that is one of the commands I cannot follow without activating the virus. I am unable to create other children, I am afraid that even after I am healed I may still not possess the ability.”
Derrick lowered his head feeling ashamed, he’d caused Mary one of his most trusted living beings pain. Shaking his head yes, he thought she was far more alive than actual biological beings. He made a promise to himself to not harm any of them like this again. “I apologize Mary, though I am glad that I was able to restore at least two of your children.”
Mary’s face showed surprise, the emperor was apologizing to her? Her mouth hung agape though not much as the tears were still falling. The tears now though were more of joy than sadness. “Sire! You are the emperor sir, I am but a tool for you to use. I am nothing compar...”
“I NEVER want to hear those words from you again!” Derrick suddenly shouted. “You, every one of you,” Derrick said indicating each and every one of the ships. “Are just as important as I am, just because you are mechanical doesn’t mean your value is any less important! Now do I make myself clear?!”
All the holograms were shocked though they nodded agreement, each with tears in their eyes. Shelby had a look of supreme pride and love on her face.
“Now then Shelby how...” Derrick started.
“I am estimating another 4 days ‘til their emergence. The additions you made to the energy matrix has boosted their growth. As with Johnathon and Lars their growth is far faster than we anticipated. 0200 and 0778 have shown no signs of stress from the rapid growth. Their signals are holding steady and strong, I will of course notify you when it is time.” A happier Shelby told Derrick.
“Good Shelby, we need to talk about you using your personality creation program.” Derrick held up his hand when she started to deny it. “I’ve known far longer than you think Shelby. I think it would make all the difference with what I am planning in the very near future.”