0001 - Tempro
0003 - Conner
0097 - Ace
0098 - Lucy
0101 - Shelby (mother ship)
0125 - Lars
0200 - Ellen
0301 - Rodrick
0403 - Johnathon
0667 - Marco
0778 - Jan
0798 - Celeste
0908 - Tara
0999 - Zan
1000 - Sherry
Duke Risen’s eyes went wide as he read the report from the spy he’d planted in Tauntoff’s court. The bastard fake to the throne of the Empire had more lives and luck than he could believe. Pacing he knew that the man was going to come after him next. Smiling the Duke thought it was time to bring out the REALLY big guns. Let the bastard do anything after he blew those ships away! Laughing the Duke started to shout orders.
Greeson groaned as he looked around the med bay. So many hurt, too many dead he was still finding it hard to believe that all of them had been proud to serve under him. Then there was what the Emperor had said that he understood. Plus the fact that the man thought he’d done a good job! Grimacing when he felt the needle slide into his arm he guessed he’d have to wait.
Mara had been released from med bay not long after everyone had left for the planet. Going to her room she sat and listened to the reports of the battle as they came in. It was a few hours later as she made her way to the med bay a look of worry on her face. She’d heard the reports of the five that were dead. More than a third were injured some severely. When the A.I. of the ship wouldn’t reveal any of the names she grew even more worried.
As she rounded a corner she saw the Colonel that had been training Greeson. Almost at a run she quickly gained on him.
“Colonel!? Colonel!” She shouted as she overtook him. As he turned she saw that he’d been injured. “Why aren’t you in the med bay?” He might have more years on her but they were of the same rank, so she felt she could demand.
“I will be soon young lady, at the moment there are more seriously injured in there.” Dempsy told the worried woman.
“I heard that five were lost, well over a third were badly injured. So yours isn’t that bad I take it? Funny but the odd angle you arm is at suggests that you might be in pain. Apparently though, you aren’t.” A surprised Mara said.
“No, I am trained in pressure points. Certain spots on the body can be pressed to stop or numb pain. It can mean the difference between life and death. If there is no pain, then the one who is injured won’t lose consciousness. As you know slipping into a coma isn’t always the easiest thing to come back from.” Dempsy told her.
Sighing a moment she was about to ask when Dempsy continued. “Yes young one, he is still alive though I am afraid that he may be here a few days. He is very courageous; he sacrificed quite a bit to ensure that an evil was extinguished. An evil I am afraid I helped to make.” Here Dempsy hung his head. His master had said that after she was gone he would still have to live with her death. He just didn’t think it was going to be this hard.
Mara could see that something was tearing the older man up inside. Reaching out she put her arms around a startled Dempsy. “It is always hard to lose someone, even the worry stays with you. Losing father was hard on me but his life inspired me to do and be more.” Releasing him she stepped back, “Father always said you were like a rock, unfeeling. I’m so glad that he was wrong.” With that she turned and headed into the med bay leaving a startled and shocked Dempsy standing in the hallway.
Since he was considered one of the badly injured Greeson was made to sit while he was examined. After the medication was injected into his arm he sat back and waited. It seemed only a few minutes later that Mara strolled into the med bay looking around. Locking her eyes on him she quickly came to his side.
“I was scared you were among the dead.” She whispered as she gingerly touched the sling that his arm was in. “I’m very pleased to see that you are still alive.”
Greeson nodded though was quiet a few more moments. “I just feel bad that they died. I still think I could have done more to save them. I...”
Mara reached up and locked her lips on Greeson’s effectively shutting him up. “You listen to me right now!” Mara said as soon as they both came up for air. “This is a risk that is always there in a war, remember this is a war. As I heard the Emperor told you more would have been lost had you not had them pull back when you did. Now stop this self doubt, or you’re going to have me to fight next! Believe me I won’t lose!”
Greeson threw his one good hand up in surrender, looking at her closer. Then he nodded his head yes, he had no doubt she would win! Sighing Greeson nodded, “Everyone has been telling me I was a great commander. They died because of me Mara. Me!”
Greeson’s face was suddenly rocked from the slap that Mara delivered. “This is to stop this instant! If you ever wish to see me again it stops here and now. Don’t you dare make light of this! They died believing in you and you only! Don’t you dare disgrace their memory feeling that you killed them!”
Greeson rubbed his face looking at Mara in astonishment, well that and the fact she’d knocked him on his ass! “Damn it Mara! I am not about to make light of what they did. To me, they are the heroes, not me. I just did my duty, that’s all.”
Mara looked as if she were about to slap the taste out of Greeson’s mouth again with her hands on her hips. “Yes that’s it!” She said looking up. “Did you ever think that they considered themselves to be the same exact thing? That perhaps you were a hero to them?”
Greeson blinked a few times as he took this new information in. He was a hero to them? “No,” Greeson said in a whisper. “I never thought that they might consider themselves as the same thing.” Looking up suddenly Greeson kissed Mara, as well as he could with one arm. “Thank you, I see it now, truly I do!”
Mara smirked a second, then told him, “I have to go. Another briefing or something. I was told that the Emperor wished to see me. I’m afraid he might punish me for what I did. I don’t know, I hope it isn’t bad news.” Kissing Greeson she skipped out of the room.
A ranger in the next bed caught his attention. “You are so lucky sir.”
“Me? How do you figure that?” Greeson asked.
“With a girlfriend like that you get a relationship and training all in one!” A slow smile started to spread across his face as he then started to laugh with the young ranger.
“You might be right there, you just might be right!” Greeson said as he thought of everything that had happened over the last few months. Nodding his head more the young ranger was right he was far luckier than he had at first thought.
Mary was still unsure as she watched over both Kimison and Rayburn. They both seemed to be going through the motions with work. In reality Kimison hadn’t achieved a thing since the day that Rayburn had left. There was also the fact that neither of the men had eaten in the last few days. Now she was really starting to worry. She knew that it was only a matter of time before they passed out from lack of food.
It was almost as if an electric surge had occurred within her system as a new plan began to form. Yes! It could work though she’d have to see what the Emperor had to say about it. Appearing near the Emperor and Empress, Mary voiced her concerns about both of the men.
“I knew that they were stubborn to a fault I saw that while they were working on me. I didn’t think that they were so stubborn that they might actually starve themselves to death! Derrick we have to do something!” Shelby told him.
Derrick sat for a while deep in thought trying to see a way out of this situation. As Shelby and Mary both had said even he hadn’t foreseen both of them being so pig headed. Derrick hadn’t thought that they’d rather starve than admit that they were wrong. Shaking his head he sat for a while longer when suddenly a plan started to take root.
“Alright Mary, here’s what I think that you ought to do. Do not in any way, shape or form let them know what is going on or we might be back at the same spot.” Derrick told her as he started to outlay what he’d thought of only moments ago.
Mary’s mouth was hanging open as she listened to what he wanted her to do. It did seem a bit extreme though Shelby was nodding her agreement the whole time. Half an hour later they were finished as Derrick told her that he wanted her to implement the plan immediately. Nodding her assent she left appearing back with both of the men as they continued to pretend they were working.
It was the next day that Kimison started to feel light headed. Shaking his head he tried to continue on feeling weaker and weaker. Finally he took a step toward his bed rack watching as the world spun and he went down. Shaking her head she really didn’t like this idea though the Emperor assured her it was about the only way.
Appearing in the work space that Rayburn was in Mary started to act like the Emperor had told her to. “Sergeant Rayburn?” Mary started sounding a little afraid.
The tone of her voice snapped his head up as he saw that Mary was wearing a worried expression. “I’m here Mary is something wrong?”
“I know that you transferred here but you are the closest at the moment. The Emperor won’t be able to send anyone as they are still recovering after the battle on the Earl’s planet.” Mary said as she bit her lip as the emperor had suggested.
“What’s going on Mary?” Rayburn asked Mary didn’t get emotional unless something was seriously wrong.
“I know you didn’t want to hear about him but ... Never mind Sergeant I am sure it will be fine.” Mary said as she turned her head a more worried look on her face.
Now Rayburn was really starting to get worried. “Tell me Mary, what in the hell is going on?”
“I always monitor you, Corporal Kimison and the Emperor and Empress. It’s just that...” Here Mary stopped again biting her lip.
“For god’s sake spit it the hell out Mary!” Rayburn said a flash of irritation in his voice.
“Well it’s just that Kimison has stopped responding to Tempro and me. I checked on him and he appears to be asleep on the deck. His vitals are low so I thought he was just a sleep. Then I tried to wake him and nothing. I am just worried neither Tempro nor myself can get him awake. Neither of us can transport him to the med bay from where he is. As I said you are the only one that is available though, you requested to not be near him.”
Mary turned away again as she let Rayburn think about it. “So you think he is asleep? Knowing him he drank last night.”
“I’m sure Sergeant, I’m sorry I bothered you.” Mary said as she turned to go.
“Wait!” Rayburn shouted as Mary stopped. “Just how low were his vitals? May I see please?”
Mary nodded as a screen appeared in front of him. Rayburn quickly scanned through the readings then his head snapped up. “Mary! These readings aren’t low they’re dangerously low! I am seeming severe dehydration. Lack of protein and several other minerals! Take me to where he is Mary!” Rayburn told her.
“Sir! You requested to not be near him. I cannot go against your request!” Mary protested.
“Mary take me to him! If we wait too long he’ll be dead then we both will have a problem!” Rayburn shouted.
Mary nodded as she flashed Rayburn into the passageway near where Kimison was, running he was soon pulling the man to the med-bay.
“You idiot,” Rayburn shouted at Kimison. “Are you trying to kill yourself?”
Opening his eyes a moment Kimison looked with shock at Rayburn. “Damn I must be near dead if I am seeing your ugly puss!” Kimison breathed out.
“Not yet but it appears that you are trying to get there as fast as possible!” Rayburn said with a grimace as Kimison tried to sit up only to fall back.
“Damn this sucks!” Kimison said as he fought to keep his eyes open. “You are finally here and I’m dreaming the whole thing!”
“You won’t think that after I kick your ass you little shit!” Rayburn said threatening.
“Damn, this sounds almost real,” Kimison said then sighed his eyes closing.
Rayburn shook his head as started the bio-bed with Kimison in it. “You stupid, stupid son of a bitch!” Rayburn said then felt his own legs start to shake. It was in that moment that he realized he hadn’t eaten in the last few days himself! Dropping into the seat in the galley a few moments later he attacked his food with a gusto he hadn’t known he had.
Onboard Shelby Derrick and live Shelby both nodded, when Mary appeared. “I told you it would work.” Derrick told her pointing to the screen as she was shaking her head.
“Yes Sire I can see that. May I make a request for in the future?” Mary tentatively asked.
“Of course Mary, you know you can ask me anything. I may not always have an answer for you but you can still ask.” Derrick told her.