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0001 - Tempro
0003 - Conner- Thomas
0097 - Ace - Zimmel
0098 - Lucy
0101 - Shelby (mother ship) - Lucie
0125 - Lars
0200 - Ellen
0301 - Rodrick
0403 - Johnathon
0667 - Marco - Brown
0778 - Jan
0798 - Celeste - Shelby (human)
0908 - Tara - Mara
Ungrown - unnumbered
3 - onboard Tempro awaiting Shelby
0999 - Zan - Also lost
1000 - Sherry - lost at the moment
Derrick’s head snapped up as the intruder alarm started to warble. Damn it he thought I finally get to have a little peace and some other race has to interfere. Shaking his head Derrick had Mary pull up all the information on the invaders.
ALMOST A DAY BEFORE
Lucie was still a little in shock from the quick transfer to Ace. Still she had to find the ship that she was certain was Sherry. ‘Oh please,’ she thought, ‘you have to be Sherry.’ Straining she could barely hear the thoughts of the ship now even as close as they were now.
“We’re very close Ace,” Lucie said as fresh tears started anew from her eyes. “It’s so hard to hear her.”
They traveled a few more minutes when Sherry suddenly was yelling to stop. Her eyes were wide as she started to nod her head.
Zimmel had been watching her and the instrument boards like a hawk. Though he’d read that there had really been no advanced warning of the Tendrax Fleet. He studied the readings harder trying to discern anything that would give away the enemy.
“She’s in front of us though I’m not quite sure where. Ace can you...” Lucie started.
“I have the brain box two degrees astern Prime Lucie. Prime should I bring it on board?” Ace said sounding hopeful.
“NO! You know the procedure the emperor mandated we follow. Start the first of the four batteries of testing.” Zimmel told Ace whose face was now crestfallen though still happy they had located a brain box.
“I have started the first set Prime. All four sets should take two and a half hours to complete.” Ace informed both of them.
“Four sets? I only remember three. When was this last set added?” Lucie asked of Zimmel.
“Just after you left we were contacted with the parameters for it. We’ve been through it; it searches for more invasive programs that could have possibly gotten through. With this new race of tech hoarders the emperor thought it was an advantage we would need.” Zimmel explained.
Lucie was nodding though a lot of what Zimmel had just said was a bit beyond her. “Well, as long as it works.”
Two hours later Ace had just started on the fourth set when Zimmel noticed a slight warping of the stars. Almost like a heat wave you could see on a hot day warping what things looked like as it passed.
“Ace, change frequencies of the shields, and the engines now! Double shielding of the Trans-warp.” Zimmel was shouting as the shimmering of space in front of them started to increase. “I want a shield around the brain box. Notify the emperor we are going to have company.”
Ace was doing everything that Zimmel had ordered, and then advised him that their communication wasn’t getting through.
“Damn it! I was afraid of that. Increase the shields; keep rotating the frequencies ‘til you are finished with the box.” Zimmel ordered.
“Compliance Prime,” Ace responded as he kept at what he was doing. “I am reading that they are trying to blanket us with ripalon energy. The new frequencies are holding though they seem to be adapting to that as well. Fifteen minutes ‘til completion. I have already removed twenty programs that do not belong.”
“Good, I was afraid they might try something like this.” Zimmel said as he monitored the approaching fleet. Shit he thought they have far more than they did the first time they hit Sherry. Even as he watched he saw space in front of them start to rapidly fill up with Tendrax ships.
“The box is clear, now bringing it on board.” Ace said even as the Tendrax opened fire.
“I suggest we depart now!” Lucie said to which Zimmel nodded to Ace.
“Warning, Warning! Unable to shift to trans-warp Tendrax blasts increasing in intensity. Now...” Ace was saying when several of the ships that were in front of them exploded.
“What in the hell was that?” Zimmel asked as he searched for the source of the destruction. “Never mind, get us the hell out of here!”
“Going to full Hyper-drive, prime.” Ace said starting to move out even as twenty more ships exploded behind them.
Turning they were moving away watching as the Tendrax started to give chase. Then they suddenly stopped when another fifteen ships exploded. This time though, they all thought they saw an EIG ship moving past the destruction field.
Then, they were in a tractor beam, entering Trans-warp, all be it for a second and a half. “Sorry Ace, Prime Zimmel that’s all I have for now. I thought it would recharge faster, mother told me one minute though I believe I sustained more damage. I’m afraid it will take two minutes, I’m also afraid they might get very close before that.”
“We could fight, brother Zan.” Ace said eagerly.
“Not with our systems as down as they are. I am in re-gen this whole time I might be able to get it down more though I am not too hopeful.” Zan advised them.
Zan tried his best to not look in Lucie’s direction as he was reporting. “How long ‘til we reach the Galactic edge?” Zimmel asked worry apparent on his face.
“Even with the Trans-warp bursts I estimate almost a day. I am also unable to contact the emperor, Mother or Mary. I am hoping that the closer we get the more likely we will be able to get through.” A now worried Zan was replying.
It was almost a day later that they breached the edge of the Galaxy. Zan had been trying to take readings the whole time. Not sure he’d done a count of the opposing fleet several times. The number he got was grim indeed.
“I have tried to do an accurate count of the fleet. It is proving difficult as it seems many ships are phasing in and out of visible spectrum. I believe they are numbering in the tens of thousands.” Zan relayed still not happy at the overwhelming odds.
Zimmel was shaking his head as he watched the following fleet. “They must be desperate if they are committing this many ships.” Zimmel replied staring at the huge fleet that was following them.
“Desperate or they just love war.” Lucie said speaking up.
Zimmel was again nodding his head, the observation did make sense. Then again he thought, ‘Why were they desperate? Was it because they had discovered what Zan had?’ Zimmel didn’t really know though he wished he had more of an idea as to their real intentions.
Mary appeared before Derrick when she and he couldn’t raise the ships. “What in the hell is going on?” Derrick asked Mary when she told him she couldn’t reach them either.
“It appears that the opposing force has a dampening effect on communications. I have not seen something like this in centuries.” Mary Relayed to Derrick
“We’re you able to defeat it then?” Derrick asked.
“Yes sire. I sent high energy bursts that temporarily penetrated the dampening field. Though I am afraid that the effect only lasted a short time.” A worried Mary told Derrick.
Derrick was nodding as he was running this information through his mind. Turning to Mary he asked, “Have you had any further word from Shelby and Lucy?”
“Yes sire. They were already within the galaxy boundaries at last check in. Neither of them have Trans-Warp capabilities. They last said they all had full hyper-drive, though they are still days from the Imperial planet.” Mary reported.
“Damn it!” Derrick shouted slamming his fist into the wall drawing a horrified look from Mary. Then dropping his head he reached over clicking on the communication panel. “Johnathon? Where are you?” Derrick growled.
A soft crackle issued then Hartwell responded, “Whoa sire. Who took a piss in your bed this morning?”
“I’m not in the mood for this banter today, WHERE, the hell, are you!?” Derrick almost shouted trying to keep a tight rein on his anger.
After a short sigh Johnathon replied, “I’m back with the fleet. Do you need...” He started.
“No. I need you to take one of the ships. Go and get Shelby and Lucy. Get them back here as soon as possible. In the mean time, I need to light a fire under Kimison and Rayburn’s asses. This defenselessness in the face of an enemy is staring to chafe at my ass. As you remember I really can’t tolerate that very long.”
Hartwell was nodding, he very well remembered as he was the one the commander had, had an issue with. Shuddering he asked, “Sir? It doesn’t matter what ship?”
Derrick’s head snapped up as his eyes narrowed studying Hartwell’s face. Nodding he stated, “I have a suggestion though I was going to let you decide.”
“A suggestion? Which ... You were really going to suggest I take THAT ship?!” Hartwell stopped a moment as he considered it a then saw Derrick smiling. “Alright, I’ll take a chance; I just hope having a ship missing doesn’t let that bastard get away.”
“I don’t think he could with only two ships there. The bad thing is we may have to pull them out to face this new threat. I’m not really happy about this as I know you aren’t either. So far I am just thinking about it ‘til we have more info.” Derrick informed Hartwell.
A grimace came to Hartwell’s face as he thought of the Baron getting away. No he thought, that wasn’t about to happen. The grimace dissolved into a look of anger as he tried to calm before he called the ship.
Even as he finished speaking he was suddenly on board the ship. Shaking his head he had to remember that the ships always did this to facilitate things faster.
A tall, slender, teen male with jet black hair appeared in front of Hartwell. “I await your orders Admiral prime.” The hologram stated.
Hartwell nodded as he took the command seat. “We have a mission to bring back your mother and sister Lucy. The emperor wishes us to do this will all haste. Contact them; let them know we will be there shortly. Also I need all information we have on the Tendrax to date.”
“Compliance, Admiral Prime. We shall be departing in two minutes. All information is now on the command chair readout screen.” The Hologram told Hartwell as they started to move away from the rest of the fleet and the planet. “One minute sir.”
Hartwell was nodding not really paying attention to the teen, reading the reports. A minute later Hartwell looked up as he heard a now familiar wind up, then a whoosh as they entered Trans-warp. A minute, twenty seconds later they emerged not far from a stopped Shelby and Lucy.
“It is good to see you again Johnathon.” Shelby’s holo-gram appeared, saying as soon as Johnathon stopped before them. “Derrick informed us that you were coming to get us back faster Admiral.”
“Yes he did. He also stressed that I was to return with you as soon as possible.” Hartwell informed both of the ships.
Shelby looked a little afraid a moment as she asked, “Is it that bad Admiral?”
“I’m not really sure. The readings we are getting are spotty at best. Though from what little I can discern, they have a rather large force headed this way.” Hartwell shook his head if they had more ships he felt they had a chance. With the few they had, he wasn’t that sure. He just hoped that Kimison and Rayburn came up with a hell of a lot more to this problem.
“We are prepared Admiral as soon as the two of you are.” Shelby informed him.
Hartwell nodded as he broke out of his deep thoughts and worries.
“Now hooking up to the both of you. Tractor has the both of you, now going to Trans-warp.” Johnathon advised as space began to ripple in front of him, and then he started forward into the rift that was open.
Less than two minutes later space began to ripple and boil not far from orbit of the Imperial planet. Johnathon then emerged with both ships in tow.
Letting them go Shelby appeared on the command deck in front of Hartwell. “We thank you for bringing us home Admiral.” Hartwell nodded to both of the holograms then there was a wind up as Johnathon vanished into another rift.
A moment later Shelby had a curious look cross her face when Tempro called her. “Yes, we are here Tempro, can we help you?”
Both Kimison and Rayburn’s Holograms appeared on the command deck of Shelby. “We need to examine the both of you. You are the first ships that survived their attack AND are here. We both have several theories of how Zan was immune to most of their ripalon energy.”
Shelby and Lucy both looked at each other than looked back at both men nodding vehemently. “Anything we can do to help you to achieve defeat of this enemy.” Shelby replied.
Both men smiled as they both suddenly appeared on Shelby running a myriad of instruments over her sub-light, hyper-drive and Trans-warp engines, and generators. Nodding, they both vanished appearing on Lucy doing the same exact readings and tests.
Both men looked up from the readings suddenly smiling bigger. “Thank you, both of you.” They said then vanished back on board Tempro.
Both Shelby and Lucy looked at each other confused then shrugged as they settled into their re-gens.
Less than a minute later Derrick’s visage appeared before both men. “Well? Did you get the results that you were hoping for?”
Both men looked up at the emperor huge smiles on their faces as the nodded vigorously. “It appears that what we felt at first about Zan’s immunity was right. The only problem we are having is recreating how he did it. So far the power constraints are far beyond even the redoubler’s capabilities.”
Derrick appeared deep in thought for a few moments. He was suddenly disturbed when they heard Shelby’s voice call him for a fitting. “Not right now! We have another race bent on invading us again! If I remember right you once talked about a modulator helping to keep the increase stable, almost to the point of implosion.”
Both men were nodding yes, “Though sire getting the redoubler that high is extremely dangerous. I know you don’t want to put any of the ships in that much danger.” Kimison said both his fists clenched as he delivered the information. Then he whispered, neither do I; ever!”
Derrick nodded completely agreeing then pointed a finger at both men. “Then I suggest that the both of you find an answer to this problem. OR, do I need to have the both of you brought here so I can kick the shit out of both of you?”
Both men swallowed hard as they both shook their heads. “Good! I’m glad we have an understanding. Now get it done, or I might get pissed at the both of you. Believe me you DO NOT want me pissed at you!” Looking back over his shoulder he added, “ESPECIALLY right now!” With that Derrick clicked off sitting down shaking his head.
A com signal let him now Hartwell was calling. “Sire,” Hartwell said as soon as Derrick appeared to him. “I am on the way back to the Baron’s planet. I’m hoping to locate my Brother and Uncle. I believe I may have a bearing on where they are. Only problem is I think they are close to where the Baron is hold up. I’ll let you know as soon as I do.”