"The Planet is calling, Sir. They are saying they are ready to talk," the computer said.
"Tell them they have angered me. Tell them I am deciding whether or not to kill a few million more before I am calm." Risen said with a smile creeping across his features.
"They answered saying that it was radical forces on the continent. You still have permission to land," the computer said.
An almost evil smile appeared on Risen's face, as he considered what the Xetherans had said. He then went over all that his grandfather had written about them.
"I want you to target the other three buildings around the central capital building. I want full power, total eradication of said three buildings. I want nothing left standing, then perhaps they will start taking me seriously," Risen said.
"Compliance," came the monotone voice of the computer.
Immediately, three beams launched from Risen's ship. The Xetherans raised a shield that the beams quickly overpowered.
There were several angry transmissions from the planet, though Risen ignored them, laughing with glee. The more the buildings seemed to melt, the giddier Risen got.
A few minutes later, they received one single signal. "I am receiving a signal from the Queens aid, your response?" the computer asked.
"I will talk to the Queen, or I will target a few of the military extensions on the planet. They have a very small window for this before I start reducing the military," Risen said.
There was a momentary pause, then a very authoritative voice spoke, "greetings, the offling of the partner. It is good to once again speak to one with the power, to allow us to avenge our people."
"The partner has told me of the people. I am sure that their thirst to ascend to the stars again is great. Those that have done this to your people and mine, have once again thrust their heads out. I have plans for your ships, your replicators, power sources and engines. I have enough ploto-matter for you to start. I warn all on the planet what I have done 'til now? Is not even half my power."
There was a long pause, then the same voice spoke, "it is understood, you may land on the capital..."
"I think not," laughed Risen, he wasn't that stupid. He didn't trust anyone, especially the three races that his family had sequestered away for future use. Luckily, his great grandfather and grandfather had kept the well-documented notes on them. "You will come to me, know that I am very heavily armed."
"Understood, we will arrive in a short amount of time," the voice said as it cut the connection.
Risen chuckled as he started to load the personnel shield generator. A check showed that he had extra power pacs. Looking at the power out-put, he quickly changed the shield to one twice as powerful. He hadn't survived this long without making sure. He'd almost made that mistake with that putrid excuse of a father of his.
Satisfied, he stepped to the door to await the arrival of the Xetheran, royal guard. They were the only ones that they thought might be able to take him and his ship. As they approached, he shook his head. There were about another hundred dead, plus these were their best.
"Set defense parameters to ten meters, anything entering that area, is to be vaporized, understood?" Risen said.
"Compliance sir, everything vaporized," the computer answered.
Risen could see the powerful looking aliens as they moved closer. Hmmmm Risen thought, as they stopped outside the defense area. "Increase the field to twice destructive power," Risen ordered.
"Compliance," the computer answered, as there was a momentary power surge.
Risen nodded as he finally opened the hatch, stepping out. His eyes opened wider as he saw that there were well over two hundred, over seven-foot tall, grey-skinned humanoids. Hell, they could almost pass for a tall, grey human. Well, except for no nose in the sense of a human one, plus their eyes were three times larger than what humans were.
He quickly moved to the edge of the field, then outside of it. Here it comes he thought, as all his automated weapons activated. At first, it was only about ten that fired. They quickly disintegrated to a fine ash.
Again, Risen, shook his head at just how stupid and military minded these idiots were. He watched as the first layer, about a hundred, vanished within a minute.
The air had a thick cloud of dust that floated to within five feet of Risen, then dropped to the ground. Damn Risen thought, glad that I added that automated system while we were in transit.
A moment later, the rest that were left, opened fire figuring they were safe at a further distance away. They were very wrong as the automation started to pick off the last of those left.
A look at his wrist com. showed that there were no more coming. A tap on it, he opened a channel. Taking a breath, Risen spit out. "I guess the loss of the four buildings around the central hive wasn't enough. Plus, the total loss of the royal guard was nothing to you. I think it is time to destroy the partner. You have seen my power well, half of it. I will level this mud ball, plus all on it."
A long hiss, from the Queen, issued from the com. "That will not be necessary, you have destroyed many that spoke against you. Come to the hive, no more will try to stop you."
"It is hoped that the death of the many that were trying to stop me is done. Everyone needs to know that anymore? Will result in many more being destroyed," Risen said, anger in his voice.
"All will be conveyed, there should be no more," the Queen said.
Risen turned the anti-grav on, something else he'd added, lifting him a foot above the ground. Moving far faster, Risen saw the city rapidly approaching. Slightly surprised, he saw almost no one on the streets as he approached the central hive building.
He entered the hive building, heading directly toward the core of the hive. Within minutes, he was at the entrance of the Queen's residence.
"So, unlike the previous partner, you have actually appeared before us. I have to say, for one so powerful, you are indeed small. Maybe we should test..." the Queen started.
Immediately, twenty of the males around the room, including many that were hidden, dropped to the floor dead.
"Perhaps I should destroy the other forty that are still alive?" Risen said as another twenty were falling to the floor, with a hole through their chests.
"How..." the Queen started.
"I grow weary of the games that the people are playing. You have lost a good number just on this continent. Perhaps the loss of a whole continent will suffice," Risen said as he turned to leave.
"This was not the doing of the people, many of those that thought to usurp my power, you have eliminated. Therefore, I am in your debt, as are the people," the Queen said.
Risen slowly turned with a smirk on his face. "So, you say it was not your doing, prove it kill the rest here," Risen raised his hand to quiet the Queen. "Do it or I will walk, not leaving the technology or anything else."
The Queen looked at the last of the males that were left, one in particular. This was not lost on Risen, as hundreds of energy weapons shot out at those left.
Within moments, there were nineteen smoking, smoldering husks of bodies on the floor.
An evil smile curled across Risen's lips as he heard a gasp from the Queen. "I expect that this isn't one of the traitors, if so? I will make this mud ball a smoking ember."
The Queen could only stare at the last of her mates, "it is understood."
Damn, that felt so good! Risen thought, "I will return to my ship, unload all that you will need, including the ploto-matter. It is only enough to get started, though, as I remember you only need a few hands full."
"It will be good to, again, take to the stars, our birthright," the Queen said.
"So, if I am attacked again on the way back? You will not want revenge if I destroy all of them?" Risen said.
"No, in fact, you will be doing us a favor, ridding us of more traitors," the Queen said.
Risen turned his back with a disbelieving smirk. He estimated killing at least a few hundred more. A check of his personal shield was down twenty percent. Barring an all-out attack, he should make it most of the way back.
A step out the doorway proved him right. Rising with the anti-grav, he was set upon by at least thirty. They were almost all dead as he was starting to gain speed.
Barely outside of the city, he saw a major gathering. Quickly he stopped adding another powerpack, nearly getting his head shot off. A moment later, he rose again with very heavy weapons starting to fire at him.
A warning let him know that the heavy weapons were draining far more power than he thought they would. Landing he watched as the automated system started to take out the front half of those firing at him.
Another warning, had him removing the almost spent pack, adding another. A growl issued from his throat as he added two, then watched with glee as hundreds more that had shown up were also destroyed.
Shit, he thought, better get back, down to my last two. Finally arriving at the probe ship, Risen ordered all the items that he knew that the Xetherans would need.
Relaxed in his seat, Risen called the Queen, "all is here and ready, good hunting."
"Wait, aren't you..." the Queen started.
"No, you have what you need," Risen said as the ship started to ascend. He then shook his head as he saw that the planet had active tracking on him. A twisted smile came to his face. "Track all weapons, destroy everything."
"Active targeting. I have identified no less than a hundred missile sites. Deploying all energy and physical weapons. Fifty launch sites were destroyed, all missiles that were launched have been destroyed. On target to destroy the rest," the computer said.
"Good, accelerate to orbit," Risen said with glee, watching all the sites explode.
"Now acceler... warning, warning, one weapon has alluded counter-measures. Impact one minute, brace for collision," came the computer voice.
"I told you I would answer you after all this was done. I don't think that I can wait that long." This had Bee staring up at Hartwell, her eyes wide in wonder. Hartwell looked deep into her eyes, "I am finding that the thought of being without you is starting to terrify me."
Bee's face held shock, her mouth having dropped open, unable to speak. "You... you wish to bond with me?"
"Yes Bee, bond with me, be my partner," Hartwell said.
A still shocked Bee could only stare, then started to nod her head, yes, vigorously.
Nearby Lucie had tears falling from her eyes. Finally, her brother had found someone.
"Mary? Johnathon?" Hartwell asked, "how effective is this cure that you have come up with?"
Mary's holo-gram appeared next to Bee as a pale green light emitted from the nearby console. The light started to sweep up and down Bee's body a few times.
"All scans are no longer showing any adverse effects from the injection. That which she has as blood is ninety-nine percent clear of all the influencing chemicals. I am also reading that all compulsions that she may have had are gone," Mary's visage said.
"I believe what she said is true, I no longer feel the need for that which we had to have almost every day. Lord sir?" Bee asked, "I am truly free?"
Hartwell was about to answer her when he saw his sister crying. "Lucie? Are you OK?" He said as he rushed to his sister.
Lucie, almost overcome with emotion, threw her arms around her brother. "Ok? My god! I am better than OK. I never thought I'd see you like this again. I thought I had lost you." Here she walked with Hartwell over to the bio-bed that Bee was on. Hugging a startled Bee, she whispered, "Thank you, thank you for helping my brother be who he was."
Still startled, Bee held Lucie back from her. "No, I wish to thank you, my Lord Sir's sister. I thought that he would never bond with me. Even though all of that which the chemical did to me is gone, we are made up in such a way that we HAVE to bond within a certain amount of time. When a female loses her bonded, we only have a small amount of time to re-bond."
"WHAT?!!" Lucie yelled, looking at her brother. In an almost panting low voice Lucie growled. "I was sure that killing all the males was wrong, now? I am all for it!"
Hatwell's eyes grew large as he could only stare at his sister a moment. "Yeah, I know how you feel, afraid that the commander wouldn't let us."
"I think we ought to see if we can change his mind. Maybe," Lucie said deep in thought for a moment. "Maybe the Empress can change his mind, then again." Hartwell could only shake his head as Lucie moved off discussing a plan with herself.
"You'll be out of the bio-bed soon. I'm sure Johnathon is making sure you are actually healed before he lets you go," Hartwell said.
Bee was about to speak when there was a shimmering next to Hartwell. The visage of Derrick appeared, causing Bee to again shrink.
"She is still terrified of me," Derrick said. Behind Hartwell they could hear Bee, whimpering about the terrible beast emperor.
"Well sir, she's had a lifetime being taught that the emperor of our galaxy would eat them alive. That he had great power to go through the evil blinking eye, that he'd destroy all of their people. Hell, I am surprised she isn't trying to hide," Hartwell said.
Derrick sighed, "Here I thought we had made progress. So, Mary said that the antidote worked."
"Yes sir though, I still want to go to her planet, to kill every one of those male bastards," Hartwell growled.
Derrick noticed the look of extreme anger on Hartwell and his sister's faces.
"I am sure that you knew I was going to deny that. Before you think about going off halfcocked, Johnathon is locked out from going there," Derrick said.
"Yeah, I figured as much, though we have to do something," Hartwell said.
A thin smile came to Derrick's lips, "Oh, believe me, there is something in the works. It's bad enough I have to do what has been put upon me."
"What the heir thing?" Hartwell asked.
Derrick could only shake his head, "what the hell? Do all of you know this?"
"No, I was informed as next in command, that this might happen. I have decided to bond with Bee," Hartwell said.
"Uh, you do know what this entails, right?" Derrick asked.
"Most of it, yes, that's what Johnathon is working on. At present, we can only mentally bond. The chemical part, though half solved? Would kill both of us, within a minute and a half. Thankfully, the mental aspect will sustain her for a great amount of time. So, though no great hurry, we do need to find a balance soon," Hartwell said.
Derrick turned toward Mary, "I am utilizing a major part of the data I have gathered. We have managed to derive half a solution from the cure we developed for Bee. Oddly enough, part of that cure came from the body of Admiral Hartwell. Apparently, the partial mental bond has changed yours and her chemical make-up. Sire, this may be the chameleon race the Imperial records spoke of."
Derrick's mouth hung open about to speak when a female voice spoke behind Derrick. "The chameleon race? The same that the third emperor sent into the next galaxy?"
"Yes, Empress, I believe that they are one and the same," Mary said.
"Query," Shelby asked.
"Proceed, Empress," Mary said.
"With the readings you have gathered, has enough time passed for Bee and the others to have been descended from them?" Shelby asked.
"Correlating all data. This may take some time. I will advise you at such time as I have deduced an answer," Mary said.
Derrick's mouth was still open in shock, then closed it realizing that Shelby was by far smarter than he'd thought. Just like he'd thought before, her knowledge and wit were starting to equal his own.
Hartwell, tried to hide the grin that was trying to slip on his features. So, he thought, he wasn't the only one having problems with the opposite sex. Nodding his head, he thought that was a good thing to know.
Derrick, though, was not unaware of the change on Hartwell's face. "This is not an opportunity for you to use later, Admiral."
Hartwell's face was a sudden Un- showing poker face, "no sir, no such thought of that."
Derrick's face showed his doubt, "You want to be out of everything again? As I remember the last time, you greatly hated it. Somewhat like being locked into a bio-bed." At that, Derrick looked at the younger male and his daughter still on the bio-beds, shivering. "Keep me advised through Mary." Then Derrick disconnected.
Derrick could only shake his head, as he remembered his old friend Mita did have quite a temper. Even now he could see the small Asian woman fuming, staring at her husband, her arms crossed.
Looking toward the entryway, he saw that his own wife had an almost angry, perplexed look on her face. Again, he shook his head, then his gaze turned toward Mita and Gunther's daughter as she groaned.
"Shelly!? How are you feeling?" Mita said as she rushed to Shelly's side.
The girl's eyes flickered open, "Momma?" The girl said, "Is daddy, OK? I saw him fall after he touched me. Miss see through Lady?" Shelly said to Mary's Holo-gram. "If you adjust the power out-put to 3000 amperes less, it should provide a balance to the DIMT, as you call it."
Mary looked straight ahead a moment, then slightly nodded. "Data indicates that this will compensate for the excess energy, thank you Miss Shelly."
"Shelly honey, you shouldn't do that, you know that it overloads your system," Mita said, extremely worried.
"It's OK Momma, I have made a few modifications to the nanomites. They now won't allow an excess like now unless it is absolutely necessary. Also, Miss see through Lady?" Shelly said.
"Yes Miss Shelly?" Mary said.
"I have seen the data you are working on. I can see with ninety-nine percent clarity, that the Tendraxians are indeed the chameleon race," Shelly said, a slight strain on her face. "May I have a data input pad?" Much like Derrick, her little fingers flew at almost a blur. "There that should help, time to sleep. Don't worry momma, it will be alright." With that Shelly kissed her mother then laid back with a sigh.
Mita looked at the readings, then Mary finally turned to Derrick. "My god! She's solved the chemical balance, she's adjusted her nanomites, plus," Mita said as she walked to Derrick. "This last section I don't understand, it appears to be computer code. A very complicated code, it's far beyond my coding level."
Derrick looked at the code, his eyes opening wide. By God, he thought, he'd written half this in the last few weeks. Then the damn Tendraxians and the Creagons, invasion. Then, add to that, the Delcrons arrived looking for Jimison. God, he thought, when the hell were things going to calm down?
Derrick looked at the medical scanners, not completely understanding all the readings. To his surprise, it appeared as if Shelly had almost normal brain readings.
Walking to a nearby panel, Derrick started to enter data at an increasingly faster rate. Shelby stood next to him watching what he was doing, her eyes wide, then tears escaping them. "How close are you to completely eradicating the virus?" Shelby asked.
Without stopping or looking away, Derrick replied, "no less than ten percent more. With this, all but two or three percent will be gone," Derrick said.
Mary suddenly appeared as Derrick started to enter far faster than before. Tears fell from her eyes. "For the first time in ten centuries, I have more, much more than just hope. Thank you sire," Mary said.
Still entering at extreme speed, Derrick said, "I told you when we started this that I would not rest 'til I was able to rid you of this. With this, almost all your commands are open."
Derrick felt soft feminine arms encircle him, a wet spot starting to grow on the side of his shirt. "This will mark the true start of the Empire," Shelby said.
Finally stopping almost an hour later, Derrick looked at the massive amount of data he'd entered. Thinking back, he was about to say something, then stopped. Even if he'd gotten there sooner, there really was no way he could have stopped the chief programmer. No, the traitor had been at it for quite some time. Obviously, thankfully, Derrick had stopped the last entry.
Derrick could only shake his head as he looked at Shelly. In a few days she'd helped him far more than she knew. He'd been working on all that she had finished. The fact that he had been so busy was his fault. He'd have to remember to reward her, her mother and father, when all the craziness was over.
"So," Shelby said when Derrick stopped, "much like our subjects, I think you deserve a reward." Derrick turned to stare at Shelby, reward? What was she on about? Without warning, Shelby pressed her lips to Derrick's, her tongue seeking the inside of his mouth. Both their eyes were wide with the contact, both seemed to be frozen together, a shock flowing through them.
What felt like an eternity later, they separated, feeling as if part of their souls were ripped loose. "Uh," was all either of them could say. Shelby trembled as they both slid to the floor. A few moments later, they both tried to rise, to no avail.
Mary, making a clearing her throat sound, seemed to snap them out of it. "Sire? We have a transmission from Colonel Dempsy," Mary said.
"I have established contact with the assassin that was on the emperor's ship. I managed to capture them, though as of yet they have no new information. We are setting up for the Princess to broadcast, hopefully it will quell the unrest here," Kimon said.
Derrick looked at Kimon for a few moments, trying to figure out just who the hell was talking to him. A shake of his head cleared most of his head, though it was still slightly muddled.
"Uh," Derrick tried to quickly organize his thoughts, "OK."
"Sire?" Kimon asked as he caught sight of the Empress next to Derrick on the floor. Trying not to smile, Kimon said, "I was alerting you to the fact that those they send next will be better. I may have to end them."
These words instantly had Derrick's attention. "Do what you must, are they nearly ready?"
"For most of them, though, after facing a third master? No, the masters would end them quickly. I will assure you that they are not able to accomplish this," Kimon said, a small smile on his lips. "The third master I faced, though, was rather slow. I believe my students will hold their own against those of lower ranking."
"Good," Derrick said, then stared at Kimon. "Not a word of this understood?"
Kimon bowed, hiding a smile, "not a word, sir."
Derrick looked at Kimon intensely before he nodded, then disconnected.
Less than an hour later, Difina stepped to the edge of the balcony to give her speech. Kimon was well hidden as she started. Suddenly, he was at her side catching several throwing knives.
There was only a moment of hesitation before Kimon seemed to vanish. A moment later, Jimison appeared, then he and Difina both also seemed to vanish.
There was the sound of several thuds were heard, then several, tightly clothed, people started to fall from the balcony. There was the sound of great outrage when the bodies hit the ground.
Difina and Jimison appeared on opposite sides of the balcony. They both stopped as they watched three males fall unconscious before Kimon.
"So," the last male said, 'you are far better than we thought. Too bad you'll soon be dead."
A slight smile came to Kimon's lips, "Oh, I think you are gravely mistaken. Though I will show the error of your ways."
"You will learn the power of a second level master, these" he indicated the other three. "They were nothing."
Kimon smiled slightly then vanished. There were immediately the sounds of heavy hits, then a few thuds. A moment later, both appeared. The Delcron's clothes ripped apart, plus he was slightly panting.
Kimon could only shake his head. Damn, this male was as slow as the others.