Lost Empire
Chapter 52

0001 - Tempro
0003 - Conner
0097 - Ace - Zimmel
0098 - Lucy
0101 - Shelby (mother ship) - Derrick
0125 - Lars
0200 - Ellen
0301 - Rodrick
0403 - Johnathon
0667 - Marco - Brown
0778 - Jan
0798 - Celeste - Shelby (human)
0908 - Tara - Mara
0999 - Zan
1000 - Sherry - Lucie (for the moment)

Derrick was pacing the deck as Tempro scanned Shelly for what had to be at least the fortieth time. What was taking so damn long Derrick thought? Tempro had the most advanced medical center in this time. Shaking his head he strode out of the med bay heading to where his poor Shelby was.

Sighing he stared at the mess that was Shelby. She had sacrificed many of her systems to save Gunter and Shelly. Bowing his head he began to whisper a prayer that she was able to regen herself. As tears started to fall from his eyes, Tempro appeared next to him. Shaking his head he still hadn’t seen Tempro.

Tempro could see the pain on Derrick’s face. Shaking his own he too felt bad that his sister had to sacrifice as much as she did. He was still waiting when Derrick suddenly noticed the hologram standing there. Wiping his eyes he nodded, “anything to report Tempro?”

“Not much sire. Sergeants Norman and Jimison are still maintaining a low profile. They are on the opposite end of the quarters’ area until such time as you give the all clear.” Tempro replied.

Derrick nodded dragging his mind from the thoughts that were occupying all his attention. “Good it might be quite a shock to them to see their dead friends still alive. Have you been able to detect anything with the girl Shelly?”

“That’s the odd thing sire. It appears as if the condition is NORMAL for her.” A slightly shocked Tempro told Derrick.

“Normal? How in the hell can a deadly condition, one likely to kill her be normal? I take it you are still running tests?” Derrick asked.

Tempro nodded knowing what Derrick’s next question would be. “Yes I am running the last test that you programmed in a few hours ago.”

Derrick nodded as he looked at the readings on Shelby. Turning he saw what he thought was a look of fear on Tempro’s face. Sighing Derrick asked. “Alright out with it. How bad is it? Can she recover or are we going to lose her?”

Tempro looked at Derrick as fresh tears fell from his eyes. “I am afraid I don’t know. It is like she was completely removed from the system. I can find almost nothing of her! She is in regen though I am getting no personality activity.” Almost all of this was said in a whisper.

Derrick nodded looking at Shelby. The fact that she was in regen meant that some part of her was there. The thing is as Tempro said he’d not detected any personality activity. Even if she had retreated into her brain box they should get some reading. It was like Tempro had said like most of her had been erased or hidden ... Hidden?

Derrick’s face lit up as he reached out to the data input board. Typing as fast as he could, Tempro watched Derrick as he continued non-stop for a full half hour. Finally finished Derrick hit the send button. Tempro’s face went from curiosity to outright shock then a smile crept across his face. “I am implementing everything now sire.”

A mere five minutes later a message started to scroll across the display screen.

{Thank you Derrick. I was hoping you remembered the hide aways that you showed me}Came Shelby’s message.

{I am so sorry Shelby, I should have been better prepared before I did this. I saw that you had started the regen cycle. Are you going to be able to regen everything?}Derrick wrote back.

{No. I am trapped in the safe areas. There is no clear path to my brain box. Without a clear path I am afraid I might not be able to regain control either.}Shelby wrote back.

Derrick cursed as he nodded. “Tempro can you shut parts of her regen down?”

Tempro was quiet a few moments then replied. “I believe I can though I am unsure if I will be able to restart them again.”

“We’ll have to try. I need to get in there, as you know the regen matrix kills any living tissue that it comes into contact with.” As Derrick went through Shelby’s plans at almost blurry speed he stopped then nodded. “This is the path I will need in order to repair what she can’t”

Tempro’s mouth dropped open, “SIRE! As close to the matrix generator as you have to get, that might also kill you. Plus THAT, I will not be able to restart if it shuts down. Only sister can start hers. I can do almost anything to aid her but that.”

Derrick smiled as he remembered crawling through most of Shelby when they were further in the past. Then with a smirk Derrick told Tempro, “I guess I’ll have to hurry as fast as I can then.”

A shocked Tempro only nodded. “I’m not sure if I can really allow this sire.” Tempro said.

Derrick whirled staring at Tempro. “If I don’t do this then everything will have been for nothing. I, no WE, have to save her!”

Tempro hung his head then nodded yes. “Yes, I know sire. Please remember you are just as important as we are. Without you there really isn’t much for us.”

Derrick still had a hard time believing he was that important. “Sorry Tempro, I still having a hard time getting my head around being that important. I was a soldier, now a pilot. I commanded men into countless missions. There were missions that now seem unimportant though still deadly.” Suddenly Derrick’s face took on a serious look. “I suggest you not try to stop me. Though there are orders I could give you.”

“No sire, you won’t have to do that. Though you are as important as she is. I also know that at this moment you are also the only one who can help her.” Tempro replied.

Derrick eyed Tempro as he moved closer to Shelby. “Alright Tempro affect shut down of all the areas I outlined before.”

Tempro nodded as he started to shut down only that which Derrick wanted off. Taking a deep breath he nodded to Tempro and a moment later was flashed into Shelby. Turning to the access port Derrick could see the hair on his arm stand up. Looking around he could see the whole sale destruction everywhere.

Opening the access port he started to make his way toward the heart of what was Shelby. A chime sounded from his com making him look at it.

{A little further Derrick. The conduit in front of you is completely severed. This is the first of several that I need repaired in order to regain my box.}Came Shelby’s message.

Activating a switch Derrick thought, watching as his thoughts were typed in. {Alright Shelby going as fast as I can}He replied as he started to reconnect everything he could.

{Good Derrick please hurry. If the regen is off for too long I might not be able to restart it!}Shelby messaged.

Derrick’s eyes went wide when he read this. Pushing onward he started to work as fast as he could. Finally almost an hour later Derrick was near a junction near Shelby’s brain box.

{Alright Shelby I am right outside your brain box area.}Derrick’s message said.

{Connect it as fast as you can Derrick. The pathway is temporary at best. Complete one pathway here I should be able to evacuate to my box activating a complete regen.}Came Shelby’s reply.

Derrick started repairing everything he could as fast as he could. {I think I have enough for you Shelby.}Derrick messaged.

{Good you need to get out of here so Tempro can remove you. I have to get there and start everything, please hurry Derrick!}Came Shelby’s frantic message.

Derrick moved to the access panel putting his shoulder into it. To his shock the panel refused to move! Already he could feel his skin start to crawl from the approaching matrix energy. Pressing a button on his comp Derrick shouted, “Need some help Tempro! Only got a minute or two then I am dead!”

“Running control program now sire. Sister’s systems are different than any of the rest of us it may take a moment.” Tempro replied.

“I suggest you damn sure hurry! I can already feel the matrix energy approaching! I...” Derrick started as the panel suddenly popped open with Derrick falling on his ass!

“I need you a little further from Shelby’s brain box. Please hurry sire!” Tempro said.

Running as best he could Derrick reached the far wall as the regen matrix started to creep closer to him. A moment later a flash appeared in the med bay. A spasming Derrick was left deposited on the floor.

Tempro appeared warning everyone to not touch Derrick, then robot arms put Derrick into the bio-bed. Derrick’s eyes opened wide then with a groan, seeing where he was, promptly passed out.

Mita and Shelly ran to where Derrick was their eyes wide with the amount of convulsions he was having. Shelly looked over at Tempro. “Mister see through man? Is the nice man going to be ok? Daddy would be upset if he was hurt.”

Tempro was about to explain then stopped short remembering the last time. He had explained as she had requested as he might Derrick, Kimison, or Rayburn. This seemed to subsequently commence the strange cycle of advanced knowledge and pain within her brain. It reminded Tempro of instances with Derrick and Shelby. A sudden thought occurred to Tempro that prompted him to start another series of scans on Shelly. Looking in on both Derrick and Shelly Tempro nodded it might be the answer after all.

“He should be alright soon, just a shock to his system.” Tempro told the girl hoping it was enough.

“Oh good! I was worried he was hurt bad. Are you almost done testing me Mister see through man?” Shelly asked.

With a sigh Tempro replied, “Yes Miss Shelly we’re almost done.”

“Empress?” Kimison stated. “It does concern her.”

“I know Corporal though I don’t want to get her hopes up just to dash them. No, I refuse to do that to her. She’s been through far too much. As I said,” here she looked at Kimison and Rayburn. “I want to make absolutely sure before we breathe a word of this.” Both men stood at attention, “Yes ma’am, not a word.”

“How has your work on the transfer been going?” Shelby asked. Kimison and Rayburn could only stare at each other with their mouths open. “You two really think you could get away with anything without me knowing? Please! Derrick told me about both of you and your escapades in the past.” Leaning closer she added, “I am also adept at using shock treatment too.”

Both men looked at her with shock then nodded. The Empress was far more shrewd in many things than the Emperor. It might be a good thing that they remember this in the future!

“At present we have a basis for the transfer program; although I’m afraid that preliminary tests are showing dismal failure. Apparently we are going too fast or slow crashing the program. At present we are modulating the data entry to gauge what we will need to do.” Rayburn explained.

“So apparently the data needs to be loaded a certain way, at a certain rate?” Shelby asked.

Rayburn could only nod as he and Kimison could only stare at each other. By god! She was just as precise as Derrick! It would take a hell of a lot of sneakiness to get anything past her!

Shelby nodded with a small smile on her face as she watched both of the men’s mouth drop open. “Celeste?” The tall, fiery redhead appeared a moment later beside Shelby. “Please review all data that you have on the transfer of personalities to an AI. See if there is a set formula to this.”

“Yes Empress I have already started. Though at present I can’t remember anything like that within the parameters that you have asked for.” Celeste answered.

Shelby thought a moment then stated, “Look under primary Imperial personality installation.”

The hologram of Celeste bowed, “starting on new parameters now Empress.” Then with a large smile the redhead vanished.

“There gentlemen, hopefully Celeste will find something of use for you both.” Shelby told both of the men.

Kimison and Rayburn both bowed. “We thank you Empress. Anything that you might find to help speed the process will be a god send!” Kimison told her.

“Good, I’m glad you both were finally discouraged from any more tries to time travel. It’s bad enough that two of our ships and the Emperor are back in time.” Sighing the Empress shook her head. “I just want them back. I had just started to get to know Derrick as a human.” Turning toward both men she continued. “I would damn sure like to continue forward on that aspect.”

Both men nodded as they saw the longing that was in the Empress’s eyes. They both made a promise to their selves that they would do all that they could to make that happen.

Joseph Hartwell had been going through readings for over an hour now. Nodding he was sure of it. Marking a spot on the topographical map of the Duke’s planet he continued to go over the information. A moment later there was a knock at his quarter’s door. Opening it he was greatly surprised to find his sister standing there.

Putting her hands on her hips she stated, “Well!? Are you going to invite me in or are we going to have a private conversation in the hallway where all can hear?”

Sputtering a moment Joseph moved quickly out of the way to allow her in. “I thought with your tirade earlier today you wanted nothing to do with me.”

Slapping his chest with a playful laugh she told him, “I thought I had lost you.” Here her face turned serious as she whispered, “I thought I would never see you again. You were my hero getting away from home and the Duke’s people. At first it was great, and then a few years later, the money started to disappear. First we lost papa then mother was suddenly gone.”

Joseph held his sister tight as the memories started to overtake her, tears dominating her eyes. “I’m sorry I didn’t keep an eye on things closer. That son of a bitch obviously kept all mail from the family from leaving also. I never knew, and then I heard the entire family was gone. I was almost killed that day I was in such shock. Had it not been for the commander, I might have been.”

Lucie Hartwell trembled as her brother held her tightly, feeling the rage that was coursing through him. “I’m just glad you are still alive.” A smirk came to her face as she looked up at Joseph. “I’d really hate to have to bring you back just so I could kick your ass.”

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