"It is over, brother." Kandra said as several guards placed the Delcron in restraints. The Delcron struggled then saw that it was useless. "We again have allies, as you can see," Kandra pointed to the two huge ships. "They are far more powerful than we are."
"You are deluding yourself if you think that, they will actually aid us." The restrained Delcron sneered at Kandra.
"I know enough, enough to know that, they are far more honorable than you will ever be." Here Kandra pointed to the view screen showing the hundreds of destroyed ships in orbit. "That is a sign of a coward, attacking without even a chance to die with honor. I should behead you, here and now for your treachery."
The, restrained Delcron again sneered, "so like you brother, to do this with no hon..."
"No," started Kandra, "I have decided to behead you before the people, to let them see just how foul you are."
The restrained Delcron's face showed shock, then a look of contempt returned. "What do you know of honor? You, who left your people alone as well as home world undefended!"
"Not undefended 'til you destroyed the home fleet. You treacherous piece of filth! You care not for the empire, as is evident by the destruction." Kandra said between clenched teeth.
"So, it will be that way, Good! I Kattra, challenge you for the throne. By family, by law, by the throne, you cannot deny me this. After I take your head and your heart, all will know what I already do, that you are unfit for the throne. I can therefore deny that you were ever related to me as if I do now." Kattra spit out.
Kandra's eyes flared as a low growl issued from his throat. "I accept your challenge, that way I can finally blot out the disgrace of the family."
"It shall be me that restores this family's honor. Afterwards we will blow these new allies away with our superior fleet." Kattra sneered.
Kandra was about to speak then realized the folly of speaking in anger. "You are far more arrogant than I at first thought. We are nothing to these new allies. I among many, saw them decimate almost half a Creagon battle fleet with ease. One should be better forewarned before one can make claims as you have."
"Bah! Our own ships can do this as well," Kattra hissed out.
"True enough brother, though not within a minute." Kandra replied. Kattra's eyes flared wide a moment as Kandra replayed the recent battle. "Do not think you can just walk in and take the empire."
"It matters not, I will ascend the throne of our world. I have more connections than you'll ever know." Kattra again sneered.
"Perhaps, though as I am sure you learned, having an empire and ruling an empire, are two different things. From what I have seen? The empire wouldn't have lasted a year if that under you." Kandra calmly stated. "To make sure you do not... forget our ceremony, you will remain here, 'til it is time."
Kattra began to struggle more, "you cannot do this!"
"Oh, but I can, I am still the rightful Emperor 'til I am defeated. Having made this challenge, you will remain to complete it." Kandra said.
"Have no fear you great buffon, I will be there and I will prevail. I will show all of the kingdom that, I am the rightful ruler of this realm!" Kattra again spit out.
"We Shall see brother, take him to a cell, he is to be treated well. If any harm comes to him, ANY harm, those responsible will be severely punished!" Kandra growled.
The guards on the bridge quickly bowed as Kattra was taken away. All could hear him nearly screaming in protest, along with a great many threats.
Kandra turned back to the view screen that held the visage of Thomas. Thomas face held a wide smile at the drama he'd just viewed.
"It's with regret that I had to involve our allies in this internal affair." Kandra said.
Thomas nodded, then slightly bowed, "As you said, it is far different ruling a kingdom, than having one. As my own emperor has said it can at times be more than frustrating."
Kandra nodded his head, "so your emperor is learning quickly. It is good that he is far smarter than I thought he was at first." Thomas's face changed to anger at this comment. "Relax friend, I meant no offence, the fact that he is as smart as he is shows promise."
Thomas visibly relaxed, the others and I have been through far too much with him. We owe him our lives many times over, so we are highly devoted to him."
Kandra saw the sincerity and look of fierce devotion on Thomas face. He hadn't seen anything like that since his father was alive.
"It is good to have such loyalty from those around you." Kandra said feeling a moment of jealously.
Jimison hit the wall at an accelerated speed, Difina quickly hitting the wall next to him. They were breathing hard as they both growled at their master Kimon. No matter how much faster they got, they still hadn't been able to get a hit in.
They both moved into defensive positions, though Jimison could swear that for the briefest moment he'd seen a smile on their master's face.
Kimon had indeed smiled for a second, not only had they listened, they were no longer slow. Then again, he thought, they were barely challenging him. True they were far more deadly than they were a week ago they still needed more.
"So," Kimon started, "it appears that I won't have to kill you after all. Though as slow as you are still moving, I am not seeing that much hope either."
"We are sorry master we are doing all we can to learn, is there any other lessons we need that would help?" Jimison said as he bowed to the floor.
"Hmmm, perhaps, what I said before still applies. What I think the both of you need to do, reach out further. Feel for more than movement, also heat, the sound of a heartbeat, the smell of sweat. Feel for the energy that you have, far different than that of your opponent. Go rest think on this, we have little time left before your joining, then your departure." Kimon replied.
Both bowed as they departed the training room, Kimon pulled a comp a moment later. Setting it on the floor he activated it.
A moment later a hologram of Derrick appeared. "They are finally starting to advance into the higher forms of the art. I am not sure if they will be where I want them to be in two weeks. They are more deadly now, though they will need far more if they are to survive."
"You're telling me you will need more time? Not sure if I can get it for you, a few days yes, another week? Not sure if we can get that, especially since her not returning could cause civil unrest on her planet." Derrick replied.
Kimon sighed, "I will do my best sire, it will help though I may have to go to them. Without the full training they may not survive that long."
Derrick nodded, "do all that you can, they may surprise you. Hell, as I remember Greeson did."
Hartwell could only shake his head at the further readings Johnathon had displayed. The more he saw the angrier he got. Were the males of Bee's planet so afraid of the females, that they did this? What in the hell had they been thinking? Dominance was one thing, this? This seemed to be an extreme form of slow death and torture.
It was taking all Hartwell had not to growl nor hit and beat upon something. Shaking his head, Hartwell knew that Bee would grow more afraid if he lost his temper.
Fortunately, Hartwell was watching Bee when she started to slightly shudder. Even before several alarms went off as Johnathon appeared next to the bio-bed.
"I am reading an adverse reaction to the built-up chemicals within her blood stream. I am also reading a type of partial immunity, one that is rapidly failing at the moment." Johnathon said.
"Is there anything that you can do?" Hartwell asked.
"The counter measures I injected her with, added to that though," Johnathon was saying when Bee, started to scream as her body started to convulse.
"Damnit Johnathon! Fucking do something!" Hartwell shouted.
"I am administering more of the counter measure, though much more than this may kill her. So far the reaction is slowing though she is still in danger." Johnathon answered.
"I thought you said that this would work!" Hartwell shouted feeling completely powerless. He looked closer at Bee even as her body was still shaking.
Bee's face turned toward Hartwell, "I am sorry My Lord that I wasn't stronger, please do not punish my sister and the others."
"Bee, I would never do that to them or you. I thought you knew that by now." Hartwell said.
"I am sorry My Lord, it takes a very long time for us to trust, as you say anyone. Even more so a male, especially one that we feel so deeply for." Bee said as she screamed again, her back lifting off the bio-bed, then she went limp as she lost consciousness.
Johnathon issued a sigh as he nodded to Hartwell. "All her biological readings are returning to normal. I have all medical records from mother and my brothers and sisters searching for a cure. It does appear that we have a partial though we will need a complete cure."
"I my go out on my own and show the males of her planet, what true punishment is. I may be a civilian soon at the rate I am going." Hartwell growled out.
Johnathon could only stare at Hartwell after this statement. Surely the Emperor would allow them to stop her planet's mistreatment without so much violence. Then again, as the A.I. had seen, with the many centuries, it might be the only thing that might work.
Hartwell watched closely as Johnathon worked at break-neck speed to heal Bee. "I hope that you can help her Johnathon, I would feel lost if you can't. I am starting to have feelings for her, more than I thought I ever would."
"I have noticed that your respiration, heart rate, pulse all seem to accelerate when you are near, Bee as you call her. As you said you have feelings for her, I have seen this before. I believe that the humanoids at that time said they were in love. Are you in this love prime?" Johnathon asked.
Hartwell sighed, "I'm not sure Johnathon, never been in love so, I am not sure. Thing is though, I need to find out before I get myself killed." Neither noticed the slight smile on Bee's face.
Oni was starting to grow slightly irritated. Kimon, had left moments after Mara Callie had entered the room. The only problem was that the longer Oni had tried to get Callie and Greeson to speak the less they did.
Here it was hours later, they were no closer to a resolution than they were when they started. A small growl issued from her throat as she looked at Callie and Greeson.
"I believe that I now see my intended's frustration with his students. I see that, I am going to have to go about this differently." Oni said. Deep in thought a few moments Oni finally nodded. "I believe I have a solution for this situation."
"A solution?" Greeson said.
"Yes, Gakusei of my mate. It is obvious that you have a great hatred for this female. You are my mate's greatest Gakusei, therefore I suggest that you kill her now, so you can continue training." Oni said calmly.
"Kill me? I'm not so sure the Emperor would like that. I am one of his general's daughters, also a ship captain of one of his ships. I..." Callie was saying shock in her voice.
Oni was waving her hand in a dismissive manner, "It matters not, we need the great student back. Since the both of you refuse to talk, to end this emotional conflict, you should end her therefore the conflict."
Greeson's mouth dropped open as he could only stare at Oni, then at an even more astonished Callie.
"Well?" Oni breathed out, "what are you waiting for? We need the Gakusei, not a useless Orokamono (idiot)."
The look of shock, then growing anger on Greeson's face, had Oni hiding her smile.
"NO! I refuse! I did not learn the art to kill one who does not merit nor deserve it." Greeson growled.
Oni gave a half-hearted sigh, "fine then I will end her. We cannot have a Orokamono dishonoring the art nor the clan. In this way we can regain face, I am sure that the exalted one will forgive this. After all, we are at war at the moment, in war there are sacrifices that must be made."
Oni flipped up, then rapidly advanced upon Callie. Again, she hid a smile as Greeson moved even faster to block her way. "I cannot permit this," Greeson growled out.
"Ha! You have no choice, move so that we can regain the great Gakusei of my mate, restore honor." Oni said calmly. "As I said, it is obvious that you harbor great hate for the female. Once she is no more you can return to your training."
Oni went to move past Greeson, only to be blocked again, then Greeson attacked. Oni nodded as, she saw that her plan was starting to work.
Callie could only watch as the both of them vanished. Slowly she tried to creep to the door, only to have a loud thud land in front of her. She'd only managed to move two feet, when there was a loud thud. Both Greeson and Oni appeared flying in opposite directions.
They both bounced off the walls towards each other, both stopping short in front of each other.
"So, why should I allow her to live? What possible reason can you have to stop me?" Oni said to Greeson this time her voice heavy with anger. "Not those pitiful reasons you gave before, the real reason, now, or I will continue."
"I can not allow it, I love..." Greeson started then stopped a look of extreme surprise on his face.
A curious look came to Oni's features, "you love... what?"
"I...I...I love," here he turned toward Callie. "I love you." Surprise turned to shock on Greeson's face as he tried to move to Callie. Try as hard as he could Greeson found he couldn't move a muscle. Greeson's head lowered as he almost whispered, "I lost control, when I thought that she only cared for the image of what I am, not who I am. I thought that she only wanted to use me, control me, destroy who I am."
Oni looked toward Callie who had a look of horror on her face. "You thought that I was trying to control you? What I said about deciding, that was me, I decided that you were the only one that I wanted. I am sorry you thought, that I had decided for you with no thought to what you wanted. I had hoped that it was me, I was so glad when YOU said that you wanted me."
Greeson was nodding still in thought then his head snapped toward Oni as a smile started to grow on his face. "Well, it took you long enough. You are very much like your master, so good at the art, so slow with life." Oni said with a wide smile, "though if you tell him I will deny any word of this conversation."
Greeson bowed low, "I would not dishonor you nor master Kimon."
Oni smiled slightly as she moved toward Callie, who was backing away from her as fast as she could.
"I am not going to harm you, I only did that to bring out the real Greeson. I had to get the real one to the front so that he could regain control." Oni said as she stopped still seeing a look of fear on Callie's face. With a sigh she backed up then nodded to Greeson.
Greeson nodded back then moved to Callie, whispering in her ear.
Derrick was relaxing, possibly the first time he'd been able to since not long after all this started. Mary's plan to update the Ranger fleet was going far better and faster than he hoped.
Even as his body relaxed, he was still expecting all hell to break loose. He'd actually fallen asleep for an hour when all the coms. went off at the same time. A sigh left his lips as he stared at the Holo-grams of Mary, Thomas, Hartwell, his Gram, Dempsey, Oni and both Shelbys.
"Alright, Thomas you first." Derrick's slightly frustrated voice said.
"It appears that we stopped a coup by Emperor Kandra's brother. Should I still observe or get involved?" Thomas asked.
Derrick looked over the data Thomas sent, nodded then said, "you can help though I suggest that you display as little power as you can unless asked. Only to assist not destroy."
"Thank you, sir," Thomas responded then his Holo-gram vanished.
Derrick then turned toward his Gram, "Grams? Is everything all right?"
"I think you need to see your mother soon. I am afraid that she thinks that you blame her for what happened." She said.
"Yes, Gram I'll speak to her..." Derrick started.
"No, you need to see her personally, this isn't something that you can just talk to her about. She needs you son, more than you realize." The Holo-gram of Milley O'Toma said.
Derrick's eyes opened wide as he realized what his Grams was saying. "I will go as soon as I finish with all here Grams."
"Thank you, son." His Grams said, then her Holo-gram vanished.
Derrick then focused on Kimon; I take it you need more time still? "
"Yes sire, though I was thinking, perhaps a day or two off to let her go home then return? It might put a damper on the civil unrest, especially if she can explain." Kimon said to which Derrick was nodding.
"I'll bring it up with Emperor Kandra as soon as I can. It appears he just stopped a coup of his empire, that and he was challenged." Derrick said as Kimon nodded then his Holo-gram vanished.
"I take it everything went well?" Derrick asked Oni.
"Yes sire, they are both better, especially Greeson." Oni reported.
"Good, again you have honored us and your clan with this service to the empire." Derrick replied.
"Thank you sire, father will be pleased." Oni said as then her Holo vanished.
This time Derrick turned to both the ship Shelby and Mary's holo-grams. "You have everything ready for the Rangers." Derrick watched as they both nodded, though noticed a perplexed look on Mary's face. "What’s wrong Mary?
"The newest area that has been opened; I have been getting anomalous readings from just past the new area. I wasn't going to say anything 'til I had more data, then I remembered you said to report anything odd. I am continuing to gather data; I am doing as you ordered." Mary said.
Derrick looked over the data so far then nodded, "keep on it Mary, let me know. I am sorry I have had you so busy Shelby."
Ship Shelby smiled, "I am glad that I can be as useful as I have been Derrick. I will inform you when the next emerges."
"I thank the both of you, I depend on you two greatly." Derrick said, both Holo-grams smiling then they vanished.
Derrick turned with a heavy sigh; he'd seen the look of extreme anger on Hartwell's face. "You want to attack the Tendraxians, you have since you found Bee. You do remember that a hell of a lot of them were destroyed by the thermic missiles, right?"
Hartwell took a deep breath trying to calm "that was only the ones here. There are still a bunch of the morons on the planet. They need, NO! They have to be punished!"
Derrick was about to say something when he saw all the data that Hartwell had gathered. "What the hell?! They actually did this to the female population?" Derrick's face twisted into a look of rage. Taking a deep breath Derrick shook his head. "I know you want revenge, but if you do this, are you any better than them?"
"You know that I am pissed as hell, though," here Hartwell took another breath. "I know that she would hate me. We have to do something before the females die from this."
Derrick sighed as he nodded yes, "we will without destroying what's left of the male population. Though I think that a taste of their own medicine might be appropriate in time."
Hartwell nodded then sighed, "we are working on a complete cure, at the moment we are half way there."
"Good, keep me posted." Derrick said, then Hartwell's Holo vanished.
The quiet in the room was almost deafening, Derrick had started to relax when there was a throat clearing noise. Derrick looked over to the Empress. "Sorry Shelby, all this going on along with the war."
"I believe I understand most of it. I have a request from Mita, as well as myself. It appears that Sherry misses her uncle Derry. The Empress misses her Emperor, you do realize that we will have to try to produce an heir soon. I know, I know who has the time, though if we don't soon, Mary might lock the both us out." Empress Shelby said.
Derrick's head snapped up to stare at Shelby, "I am the Emperor he wouldn't do that."
"I wouldn't be so sure about that. Did you see anything in the mandates that the first Emperor set down?" Shelby asked.
Derrick was deep in thought a moment as his mind raced over the huge document that Emperor Gregor set down. A few moments later, Derrick, started to curse as he passed over the phrase that Shelby was referring to.
Derrick turned toward Shelby his eyes wide as he started to read through the mandate. A moment later Derrick nodded, "she could though with us at war much of this particular mandate is cancelled." He sighed as he continued, "it does appear though that my movements and action s are severely limited."
Mary appeared a moment later, "I do hope that you realize that, until there is an heir; I cannot allow you to be in harm's way. The introduction of an Empress, to be by your side, does indeed change the rules." Mary said.
Derrick threw his arms up in surrender, great now Mary was going to be watching everything he did.
It was two days later when Kattra was brought to an open room. He was already dressed in full gear. Across from him another door to the room opened Emperor Kandra walking out also in full battle gear.
The same chancellor that Kandra had threatened before stood in the center of the room. Both the males walked up to stand to each side of the chancellor.
The chancellor raised his arms for quiet. "This is a personal battle, in the tradition set down through the ages. The victor will be the Emperor, the loser another, dead body on the deck. In this contest both combatants have a sword, two daggers, their armor and their claws. We will start after I check their weapons."
The chancellor walked to Kandra withdrew his weapons, smelled and touched them, then replaced them. The chancellor then went to Kattra who slightly growled when the male removed his weapons. Unlike with Kandra though, the male only briefly inspected the weapons then replaced them.
The chancellor stepped away then raised a hand, "begin."
Kattra smiled evilly as he led off with a mighty overhead strike that Kandra easily deflected. Kattra smiled wider as he swept his sword back, all the while drawing a dagger attempting to cut Kandra's arm.
"So brother, you cannot when a fair fight you are that desperate?" Kandra growled as Kattra tried a diagonal cut up from the left. Again, Kandra growled as he avoided another swipe from Kattra's knife.
"I will take the throne by any means possible," Kattra growled back.
They went at it for another half hour Kandra, barely missing being sliced several times. A small smile came to his lips as he saw that indeed, his brother was growing exhausted, as well as sloppy with his attacks.
Again, his brother made several swiping attacks, attacks that Kandra side stepped, the last brushing close to his skin. This had Kattra laughing with almost insane glee.
"Soon he who claims to be my brother, this will be over and you? You will be dead at my paws." Kattra hissed.
Kandra only grunted as a plan formed then he nodded, the thing was though would his brother fall for it?
Kandra rushed a surprised Kattra who deflected a downward diagonal strike, then twisted back with his sword. He went for a killing decapitating blow, only to stop short with a gasp as Kandra's sword pushed through his chest.
Blood started to flow from his mouth as he growled at Kandra then spit at him. "Enjoy while you can, my followers will have your head in little time."
Kandra sneered as he yanked his sword free with a sad look. "Not in this life time brother," he said as he watched Kattra's body fall.