0001 - Tempro
0003 - Conner
0097 - Ace
0101 - Shelby (mother ship)
0125 - Lars
0200 - Ellen
0301 - Rodrick
0403 - Johnathon
0667 - Marco
0778 - Jan
0798 - Celeste
0908 - Tara
0999 - Zan
1000 - Sherry
0098 - Lucy
Derrick was feeling like crap, it was his fault all his fault. He just had to push the limits of the re-gen and he’d almost gotten all the ships destroyed! Shaking his head he was starting to feel as if he really wasn’t the best choice for this job.
Mary looked on as she felt Derrick slipping further and further into depression. The victory they had just won was the greatest since the fleet was created; though it seemed that nothing of that was getting through to the emperor. Looking over at Shelby, Mary could see that she was worried also.
“Derrick,” Shelby asked, “anything I can do?”
With a heavy sigh Derrick told her, “No Shelby there’s not really anything, especially after today. I could have destroyed the fleet, ended the empire even as it is just starting to re-emerge again. No, I don’t think there’s much of anything that anyone can do for me.” Slumping in his chair Derrick sadly shook his head at the data in front of him. How could he have been so damn stupid, so impatient!
Mary shook her head also; this was bad, really bad. She’d seen the crippling effect that this type of mood could have on the emperor before. Then a thin smile crossed her lips, then again she hadn’t had the resources then that she did now.
Kimison had just finished with the final psychological tests on the grand she as he and Rayburn were starting to call her. “I am seeing no adverse psychological effects of the transfer.” Kimison was telling Rayburn.
“I figured as much when I saw the readings earlier. What I am more worried about is her stability now that she is a living human. I mean her personality is over a thousand years old. It would seem a living entity even a living mechanical entity would experience some type of instability.” Rayburn replied.
Kimison sighed deeply, “Look you ass the readings don’t lie...” Kimison started to yell.
“True they don’t but we are dealing with humanity something that was and is ALWAYS unpredictable! God get over yourself!” Rayburn yelled back.
“Really, why couldn’t you just ask,” came a soft feminine voice from behind them.
Suddenly quiet both men turned slowly to stare at the blonde 5’ 8’’ woman. She was standing there with her arms crossed her green eyes wide at their bouts of anger at each other.
Both men bowed low, “I’m sorry our spat awoke you your highness.”
“Spat? No gentlemen it sounded like the beginning of a war. As long as you two were friends and you still fight like enemies. If I was still in my digital form I’d have shocked the both of you. Well at least ‘til you both listened to me. I still might after I and Derrick are together.” The slender woman told them.
Both men looked at each other, did they really sound that bad? Here they thought the commander had been joking about that. Here she had detected it after a few weeks! “I apologize your highness! We have been like this the entire time we served together. The commander said it was our strongest and weakest point.” Rayburn said.
“I’ve wondered a few times about why we go on like we do. I’ll be da ... uh, darned why we do. As the commander once said we both appear to be rival brothers. In a way that is spot on ... Though...” Kimison started.
“ENOUGH! How close are we? I seem to have memories almost to three weeks ago. Then they stop abruptly.” The woman was saying.
“That’s because it’s when I copied you for your body,” came another female voice from behind them.
The woman whirled to face Mary, “Mother! I have missed you! How is our Derrick?”
Mary’s face was suddenly grim, “It isn’t looking to good my daughter. The emperor has fallen into a mood of severe despondency and dejection. I know not what to do. Unlike you, I am unable to affect him and his moods.” Turning toward Kimison and Rayburn she stated, “we need her soon, please hurry as fast as you can. If the emperor continues like he is the empire might not survive a month!”
“We should be ready very soon Mary!” Kimison said his eyes wide at the news.
“Good,” Mary said, “also,” one electrode came out of the wall then a weak charge was hitting both men. “You both have done exemplary work.” Both men stared at Mary with a heated look. “Don’t make me regret not having given you a bigger shock. Consider this a small reward!”
“Thumb reeward!” Rayburn said through half numb lips.
“Yeah weally!” Kimison tried to shout.
“As I said do not make me regret not giving you a full shock!” Mary stated then was gone.
Tempro appeared a moment later, “I told you that she was going to dislike the two of you fighting!” Shaking his head Tempro smiled at both of them. “You might want to...”
“Shut the hell up Tempro!” Kimison shouted as he flexed his hands. “She wasn’t lying it really was a light shock!”
Rayburn sat up also flexing his hands and arms. “Huh. You think she’s gotten soft on us?”
A soft laughing behind them drew both of them to the woman in the room with them. “Have both of you forgotten? This is my mother we are dealing with! She NEVER grows soft it was that you both have done far better than she thought you might. As she said it was a type of reward,” here the blonde patted both men on the arms. “Don’t try to read more into it than there is. With mother what you see is basically what you get, unless she is ordered to be different. That doesn’t happen often.”
Rayburn shook his head, “I usually forget that you have almost a thousand years on us. Well your knowledge anyway.”
“No not really, I have all the personality of her, some of her knowledge but not all of it. Thanks to you both solving the problem of this process I am alive now. I think we need to hurry and finish, if Derrick is as bad as mother says then he needs me more now than ever!” The green eyed blonde said.
Both with a huge smile nodded to her, “As far as I see you are ready.” Kimison stated. “Rayburn thinks that we need more tests.”
Rayburn sighed he was afraid that Kimison was going to be like this. “Yes a few tests, according to everything so far the transfer has taken. I damn sure aim to make sure, that and that you are stable. I’d say another five tests, a mental stress test, and a physical stress test. I need a more detailed scan of all your organs. I need to make sure that the aging process is in fact normal, many of the past failures accrued when it remained at an accelerated rate. The last,” Here Rayburn sighed but remained silent.
“You have to make sure I can have children. I take it that’s why the sudden silence. Sergeant if I remember right you were a medical student for two years weren’t you?” The blonde woman stated.
Rayburn’s eyes snapped up, “How did you find that out! Those records were sealed! No one was supposed to know especially after what happened.” Rayburn whispered shaken and with a distraught look on his face as he fell to his knees.
“I’m so sorry Sergeant; it wasn’t your fault, after all this time you have to know that.” The woman replied.
Shaking his head Rayburn stood and stared at Kimison whose mouth was hanging open. “I always wondered why you were so good at field dressing and battlefield medicine.” Kimison said.
“This goes nowhere else! I am not proud of what happened.” Rayburn held up his hand to quiet both the woman and Kimison. “I know it wasn’t my fault but I still feel responsible. Let’s move past this ok? Yes your highness, I need to make sure you can have children. I have to ask permission; THAT was what was so hard.”
“I understand Sergeant believe me I do. So how long do you think it will take?” The blonde asked.
Sighing Rayburn thought a moment then stated, “No more than three days I hope. As a matter of fact while we were talking I was conducting one of them. Tempro were the results what I was expecting?”
Tempro had been quiet the whole time though at mention of his name sprang into the conversation. “I think the results far exceed what you were expecting, Sergeant Rayburn.”
His eyes opening wide Rayburn ran to the monitor. Then they opened wider when he saw the percentage. “Holy crap!” Was all Kimison could hear as he ran to the monitor also.
Looking on Kimison’s eyes also went wide, “This has to be a misprint. Tempro confirm that these are the correct findings.”
“Checking, yes sir, they are correct.” Tempro came back a moment later.
“There is no freaking way!” Kimison said as he started another set of scans on the woman that was behind him. After another ten minutes Kimison stepped back from the console. Holy sh ... crap! I still say there is no way!”
Rayburn was looking over Kimison’s shoulder with a smile. “Looks about right from what I have been seeing. THAT was why I said we need more testing.”
Kimison turned and nodded to Rayburn. “I apologize; I can definitely see why you wanted to wait. She might be normal mentally but physically!” Kimison just shook his head.
“I’ve been trying to measure just how far she is. So far I am estimating 35-40%, quite amazing I think. Hypothetically, she’ll need less food, water, and air. In turn she should produce less waste. Her likelihood of most diseases would decrease. She should be smarter, stronger and live longer. Essentially, she is entirely more efficient. If all this holds out I’d say she is damn near perfect, well as far as her bodily processes.” Rayburn told a gaping mouthed Kimison.
“So you mean to tell me she is on a par with the commander?” Kimison said, and then a sly smile crossed his lips. “Yeah, I’d say she is perfect for him! Damn sure give him a run for his money that’s for sure!”
There was a giggling behind them as they turned and the subject of their talk was standing behind them. “Oh I most definitely am going to do that. So that’s one down and four to go. A good start to finishing this, besides,” here the blonde woman pointed to the results. “As you can see my cerebral pathways are unobstructed. There were no signs of mental stress the whole time you both were discussing me.”
Rayburn and Kimison’s mouths dropped open. “Ok it appears I was right in part, her learning has already accelerated.”
“As you both can see, with the added percentage of chemical reactions within my body, it takes stress far better than most. So I think that’s two of your questions out of the way.” The woman said her green eyes flashing.
Kimison looked at Rayburn with a huge smile, “I swear she’s as smart as he is.”
“No my dear Corporal Kimison, he has as large if not more capacity for information as I now do. Hmmmm,” the woman said a moment later as she was suddenly lost in thought. “That might explain quite a few things. We’ll have to see later. So you only have three tests to do. Tempro?”
“Yes, Empress.” Tempro said as he appeared and bowed.
“I want you to run a full bio-molecular scan on me. We need to find out if the rate of decay within my body’s cells is constant. I have seen the results of all the failures and I have a few fears myself. If it is constant then we are good, if not I think I have enough knowledge to help you finally correct it, for the next time; though I also may be able to arrest it in this body.” The Empress said.
It was a full five days later when Derrick received a call from Shelby. “Derrick I have set all the re-gen modes back to where they were before. I was able to disconnect from Tara she is still weak but over half of her structural damage is repaired. I was finally able to get her into standby mode.”
Derrick perked up at this, it was the biggest reaction that she had seen in almost a weak. “She was the only one that you had to connect to?” Derrick asked.
“Yes Derrick, Lars, Ellen and Jan only had minor structural damage but enough to hamper their effectiveness. Marco had a cascading failure in his engines. I examined all data as you suggested and made the power corrections. None of these effects should happen again. Johnathon, Conner, Celeste, Roderick, and Ace were able to correct their errors and damage. They should be ready in a few hours. Zan and Sherry were in the best shape apparently having her wing mate there made more of a difference than we at first thought.” Shelby told Derrick.
“So how many are ready to go right this minute?” Derrick asked bitterly.
Shelby pulled back from Derrick a moment which made him wrench at the look of fear on her face. Whispering Shelby stated, “Five Derrick, six if you include me, seven with Tempro, sire,” Shelby said as she bowed low.
Derrick’s face grimaced as he watched the one who had loved him almost the whole time, back away. “I’m sorry Shelby. Forgive me, I made a promise I would watch after all of you. Here it was my damn impatience that nearly got all your children destroyed again!”
“No Derrick! They felt more pride in this battle than they have had in a long time. You have to know they don’t blame you!” Shelby told him tears appearing in her eyes.
Sighing Derrick replied, “That’s the problem they won’t ever blame me. They should! I put them, the galaxy, hell YOU in the greatest danger! Had I waited they would have been far stronger as they are now growing. I shouldn’t have made mistakes like this, not with them. Remember I told you they are far more alive to me than any human is. I still hold to that. I need to be alone Shelby ok?”
Shelby blinked out and appeared outside the room. Though she was never completely gone she wasn’t completely in the room with him neither. Tears were pouring from her eyes, Derrick was so distant now. How did humans survive this pain she was feeling?
Mary appeared beside Shelby a moment later, “I take it the emperor’s no better?”
“No mother. I thought he was finally coming out of it when I gave him the report. Perhaps for a few moments I saw my old Derrick then just as suddenly it was gone. The empire is doomed if we can’t do something!” Shelby told Mary as Mary held her.
A wry smile crossed her lips as she whispered into Shelby’s ear. Shelby’s head snapped up as her mouth dropped agape. Mary nodded then they both were smiling. Yes the emperor was in for a big surprise!
Kimison and Rayburn had been working almost nonstop the first three days finishing up. The fourth day they were passed out, and then they were up on the fifth day. Kimison yawned as he got off the cot, ‘crap his head had felt like mush when he’d laid down.’
Grabbing a drink he saw a flashing light on the communication panel. “Tempro? TEMPRO!” Kimison yelled.
“Yes sir, you bellowed rather loudly?” Tempro said when he appeared,
“What in the hell is this?” Kimison said indicating the flashing light on the console.
“A message was received yesterday that’s all. It appears to have been from one of the two savage companies you had me contact.” Tempro said very calmly.
“WHAT!? Why in the hell didn’t you wake me up!? I thought you knew how important this was to me!” Kimison said his voice starting to rise.
Tempro began to back away as Kimison was advancing upon him. “Yo ... you told me not to wake you for anything sir! I apologize if I disobeyed your orders prime sir.”
Kimison pulled up short, ““Prime? Why in the hell did you call me that? I am a ground pounder; I’m no fly guy, no fleet lackey. If anything I am a scientist-soldier no more, no less.”
“I’m sorry sir; you and your fellow scientist-doctor both fit the description of a prime. Well at least a prime for me,” Tempro said as he drew back a bit expecting Kimison to get violent.