Johnathon Hartwell and Derrick O’Toma were on the exercise mat facing each other. Lucie Hartwell, Shelby, Mary 2, and 1 were all standing on the side. A worried look was on Lucie’s face.
“Why can’t you stop them? This is complete insanity! They could kill each other! Mary you have to prevent this!” Lucie was pleading with Mary.
“Under mandates, rules and orders that the emperor gave me I cannot interfere unless death becomes an issue. I am sorry Miss Lucie but there is nothing I can do.” An upset but immobile Mary was saying.
“Well I can damn sure...” Lucie started. An arm restrained Lucie as she was starting to move forward. “What!? Let me go! I have to stop this insanity.”
“No young one this is something that none of us can stop. Neither would any of those here try. This has to happen or there may never be trust between them again.” Dempsy advised Lucie.
“Why? This is stupid! Do you both hear me? Stupid I say! Fine! Beat the hell out of each other! I have far more important things to do!” With that Lucie Hartwell whirled and marched out of the room.
Hartwell and Derrick both looked at Dempsy, sighing he threw up his arms. “Babysitting! You bring me here then have me babysitting? If either of you weren’t my friends I MIGHT be the one doing the beating!” Turning with a grunt of disgust Dempsy went after the young woman grumbling.
Both men nodded, smiling then turned back toward each other.
“I really hope you are ready to have your ass kicked! This was my mission to fail or succeed. It’s about time you learned to keep your nose out of private business!” Hartwell growled at Derrick.
“Ha! I doubt highly that you can get a punch in! As soon as you learn that EVERYONE is my subject then perhaps your stubborn ass will start to listen!” Derrick snapped back at Johnathon.
For the first few minutes the men only threw jabs testing their reach and reactions of their opponent. A minute later Derrick scored a glancing blow off the side of Johnathon’s face.
Shaking his head Johnathon stated, “Not bad but you’re going to have to do a lot better than that!” Swinging a false round house, Johnathon caught Derrick with a surprise punch square in the stomach. Doubling over Derrick barely avoided an upper cut from Johnathon.
It was perhaps 45 minutes later that both men were about to drop. Both had bloody lips, Derrick had a black eye, Johnathon’s nose was sitting at an odd angle. Still both men refused to yield to the other.
“Damn it,” panted Johnathon, “I don’t remember you being this tough!”
Derrick smiled then replied, “You’ve just gotten soft Johnathon!”
“You are so full of shit!” Johnathon spit as he rushed Derrick. Smiling Derrick caught the man with a jab then an uppercut that clipped Johnathon’s jaw. “Ah shit!” Johnathon said as he stumbled then fell flat on his face!
“I told you! You’ve gotten soft!” Derrick almost shouted. “Carp,” Derrick said to his self, “think I have too!” Derrick shook his head as his legs felt like rubber, and then he also went down face first on the mat!
Finally able to move forward Mary ordered, “Get both of them to the med bay! Really sire! We have a battle tomorrow and you have to do something like this!” Mary was shaking her head her hands on her hips. She thought that she had been right. This emperor was going to keep her on her toes; that was for sure!
Thomas was having a meeting with the other three Captains. “It appears that the emperor is going to be unable to be with us for a short time. It seems he and the Admiral had a fight.”
“Damn it! I missed it!” Zimmel almost shouted. “Tell us sir who won?”
Thomas had a smirk on his face, “It was close the commander took him out but just barely, I remember ... uh hum! I called this meeting to make sure we are all ready. I want to play the last brilliant battle the emperor had with these invaders.”
Captain Brown and his ship Marco, Captain Zimmel and his ship Ace watched the last time Derrick had faced them. Captain Mara was watching on a view screen on board her ship.
“Damn it,” she suddenly shouted as she bashed her hand against the inside of the holo-projector.
Smiling widely Thomas asked, “You need a hand Captain?”
“NO!” Mara almost shouted back at him. “I’m just having trouble replacing the holo circuits that’s all. Apparently my ship over extended the power usage for the projector and fried quite a few circuits.” There was a sudden electric spark, and then Mara was cursing. “SHIT! I thought you turned all the damn power off! You’re trying to Kill me aren’t you!? NO! I said all the power to the system! No, not your circuits, god, listen to me!”
Thomas started to chuckle drawing a chilling death like stare from Mara. “I’m sorry Captain I seem to remember a few problems like this at first also.”
Conner appeared a moment later, “Yes and as I recall, it was your lack of patience that caused most of it!”
Thomas turned to stare at Conner, with a growl he replied, “Shut up Conner. We were the first to bond for the emperor; I thought it important that we moved as quickly as possible!”
Conner sighed, “You really don’t lie that well prime.”
Shaking his head with a smile Thomas repeated, “Shut up Conner!”
“Yes prime,” Conner said though he also had a smile on his face.
“So it appears that I am not the only one who is or was anxious to get started.” Looking up Mara said, “I’ve cleared well over 70% of the damage start re-gen on them. Good how long? What!? Ten hours! We go into battle in twelve! You need to get it done sooner. No! Within reason just get it done! That’s a lot better!”
Again Thomas was chuckling; both Brown and Zimmel were looking uncomfortable. The more that Callie complained the more uncomfortable they got. “So you both will be ready ahead of time?” Thomas asked.
“Yes, even if I have to get out and push!” Callie told him causing all of them to start laughing.
“Alright I want all of you to rest; I’m hoping the emperor will be around before we have to leave. Though I understand why he did it, I have to admit this really wasn’t that good of a time to pull a stunt like this.” Thomas said with a heavy sigh.
“I’ll try sir but with all the damage I may be up for a while.” Callie replied.
Thomas’s face screwed up into a mask of anger then he said, “Alright but, if you and your ship aren’t 100% tomorrow than I will NOT allow either of you to go into the battle. Do I make myself clear? I have full authority over the fleet as both the fleet commander and the emperor are unconscious.” Thomas shook his head with a smirk; they both would probably be up his ass in a few hours.
Callie nodded, “We will be you’ll see ... NO! I said get the holo-projectors up first! Argh! Listen to me...” Callie was saying as she clicked off.
Thomas just shook his head again; those two would be a force to be reckoned with if they got more unified. Be a real damn shame to lose either of them, he’d seen her scans, hell she was faster than him. I just hope the veiled threat I made is what makes the difference.
It was about 3 hours later when Derrick jerked awake then regretted it. Damn it his head was pounding! Looking over he saw that Hartwell was still asleep. Smirking a bit he slowly sat up then tried to get out of the bio-bed. That was the key word, tried. “Mary, Shelby?” Derrick called.
“Yes your lordship?” Mary asked a moment later when she appeared.
“Why am I incapacitated?” Derrick said not really willing to test the strength of the bio-bed again.
“Under all mandates your health and that of your second require that you both stay ‘til the bio-bed scanners release you.” Mary replied a smile crossing her face.
“Well I’ll be damned! You’re actually enjoying keeping me here aren’t you?” Derrick said then lay back down. “Alright, how long?”
An even bigger smile crossed her face as Mary stated, “It shouldn’t more than six hours, Sire.”
Sighing Derrick nodded, “I need all the information on the Creagons you have; I still have a battle to plan. I may be confined to bed but I am still in command. I need a line to all my Captains.”
“Yes Derrick,” Shelby said. “All four are here though it appears that Captain Callie has no holo system. I am detecting that her ship has burned many holo systems components that are at present in re-gen.”
Derrick looked over the specs from Callie’s ship and nodded. Looking up he stated, “I suggest that you increase your re-gen or I will also keep you out of the battle. That is unless you are afraid now?” Derrick cringed a bit from the shouting thoughts he received. “Good I am glad we are in agreement. As I said I suggest you increase re-gen, by what I see you can be done in an hour not three. Now then get it done or you WILL be back here when the battle starts. Good I am glad we understand each other.”
Callie was startled when almost every ounce of power to spare, was suddenly diverted to the re-gen process. Smiling she guessed that someone had found a way to motivate her ship even more than she had.
Trianas quickly switched her light screen on as she came out of trans-warp, a wicked smile spreading across her face. Ah! That bastard of an ex-husband of hers was on the planet also. Reaching for her weapon’s control she stopped when another alarm went off. So! The son of a bitch had increased his shields also.
Running through all the information she was receiving another wicked smile lit up her face. So he wasn’t as pathetic as she thought he would be. Ah! This day was getting better and better!
“Computer based upon readings, query can this ship’s weapons pierce the shields of the sect ship on the planet?” Trianas asked.
“Working,” came the monotone voice of her computer. “Analysis complete. At present the weapons of this ship could pierce the shields. Though it is estimated that it would take approximately 31 minutes, 33 seconds. This is given that the shield power does not increase or a reprisal upon this vessel.”
The biggest true smile she’d had in quite some time appeared on her face. Ummmm she thought so the imbecile listened after all. This was going to be interesting very interesting indeed. “Computer plot...” Trianas started when the ship was rocked by a powerful explosion. “Damage report!”
“Minor damage to secondary shields, light shield reduced to 50% effectiveness. Evasive procedures already enacted. I estimate that we will be out of range within 1 minute 45 seconds.” The computer informed her.
Alexander started to curse when he saw that Trianas had moved out of range of his ships guns. “Damn it!” He shouted as the man in front of him blocked the thirty hits that he threw. Relieved when the leader moved off the man knew he’d lucked out. “Orders leader?” The same man asked.
“Find that disgusting bitch! She failed the sect! She failed the assignment! The worse though is that she failed me! For that she will pay with her life!” Alexander snarled back at the man. “If it is possible we will lift off and blow her ass out of the damn sky! Go!” The leader said as he swung again at the man who was already retreating.
Soon Alexander thought, soon I’ll have your dead carcass at my feet to spit on! Threaten to kill me will you? I think not!
It was five hours later in the med bay. Both men had been awake for several hours though not actually talking to each other. “Damn it Mary, Shelby I need out of here! A moment later both men were released Derrick nodding to Hartwell then flashing out.
Appearing on the command deck Derrick sat in the command chair. Looking at both Mary 2, and Shelby, Derrick nodded then activated a switch on the chair.
“All ships I am reading the Creagons within an hour of the galactic edge. On my mark we will all head there. You and your ship are ready I take it Captain Callie?” Derrick asked the hologram of her.
“Yes Sire, all repairs were finished an hour ago.” Callie told him.
“Good, Captain Thomas, I am assigning Lars and Ellen to your group. Captain Brown I am assigning Rodrick and Johnathon to your group. Captain Zimmel I am assigning Jan and Celeste to your group. Captain Mara I am assigning wing mates Zan and Sherry to your group.”
“Thank you sire,” they all replied.
“All ships that are assigned I want all of you to link up with the primary prime in your group. I will be back a parsec monitoring the battle. I am apparently no longer allowed to participate in the battles.” Here Derrick sighed then continued. “Be well, protect this empire. I want everyone to return, no unnecessary tactics do I make myself clear?”
“Yes Sire!” They all shouted as they saluted.
“Alright, all ships report!” Derrick said. “All systems ready,” came the group with Thomas.
“All weapons charged and ready,” came Brown’s group.
“All checks completed,” came Zimmel’s group.
“Everything ready, power at full,” came Callie’s group.
“Good on my mark 3, 2, 1, trans-warp,” Derrick replied.
Thirteen ships flashed out, twelve appearing 30 seconds later at the galactic edge.
“Ignore the alarms going off. We already know they are here, as I am sure they are aware of us by now!” Derrick told all of them. “They should be here soon, positions!” All the ships lined up in a straight line as a few minutes later the first wave of the Creagons appeared.
Derrick smiled, he’d studied these creatures, and they almost always expected their enemy to attack head on. Hmmm he thought that was an idea! “All ships release a salvo at the approaching wave of ships!”
Even as he watched at least a hundred ships disappeared. Nodding his head it seemed the increase in power was working well. Even as he watched another hundred or more ships were destroyed in a second salvo.
“Alright I think they are softened up. Position A!” Derrick told them.