"Trigon, can you project the path my brother's ship took?" Wren asked.
"Extrapolating now Master Wren. "It appears that he has withdrawn much deeper into this unknown area of space." The A.I. Trigon replied.
"Alright, I want as much speed as you can make. This energy trail won't last forever. Then again," Wren stopped as she thought about it. "The trail should have dissipated before now, check to see if it was manufactured."
"I have adjusted sensors, running Particle Detector now. I should have results soon Master Wren." Trigon said.
"Alright in the meantime keep all sensors up, I don't want any surprises while we are out here. I'm afraid it wouldn't turn out very good for us," Wren said.
"Compliance Master Wren," Trigon said. All sensors operating at one hundred percent. "
"Good, if you need me, I'll be in the training room, I want the parameters set as before." Wren held up a hand, "as you saw before, your fears weren't really founded in fact."
"As you wish Master Wren, though, I will keep an eye on you to ensure you do not receive any injuries." Trigon said.
Wren nodded as she left, a moment later she entered her training room. Seconds later the training drone appeared.
A wry smile came to her lips as she assumed a defensive position. A half hour later the fifth drone she was facing managed to get a hit in on her.
A brief moment of anger flashed through her, just as suddenly, the drone was a pile of slag in front of her. It was at that moment that Wren noticed that she was growing hotter.
A look down showed that her body was starting to glow red. Shit, she thought, it's pretty much like last time. Great, I am hours away from the masters and this happens.
I wouldn't say that, came a voice from inside.
"Master Flugret?" Wren said out loud, "how are you here I thought that you couldn’t exist off the planet for long."
Well, Flugret's voice came again, my being cannot. What you are hearing, is a piece of myself that I have, sent with you in your mind. We have not exercised this for a very long time, I was the last to.
"Master?" A startled Wren asked, "This won't endanger you, will it? I do not wish to be that which might destroy a master."
No little Wren, came the voice of Flugret. In fact, it may allow me to exist in solid form longer. For now, I need you to gain control again, as you are right now, your control is still low. One might say that when you grow angry, you have no control. It was thought that if one or more of us place a part of us with you, we could help.
Wren was nodding her head almost feeling foolish, he was in her not outside.
"So that was what all of you were doing, I had thought I heard voices inside when all of you touched my head. So, can the pieces of you keep me from overloading?" Wren asked.
Yes, with a bit of us all here we should be able to adjust your mind. Came the thoughts of the first master. It is our hope that with this adjustment that you will be able to maintain control yourself soon.
In almost all things you have a measurable amount of control, that is except your anger. This is what we need you to work on, it makes you many times more powerful. The draw back to this though is that it can also burn out your brain. As of yet, you cannot take the huge power surge that you produce.
"So, what, I am a living bomb when I grow mad? Great!" Wren said throwing her hands up.
That is why we have all contributed a piece of ourselves to help train you. We, should also be able to keep you more balanced while your control grows.
Wren was about to comment when Trigon's voice interrupted her. "Master Wren? I have concluded my analysis; the energy trail does indeed appear to be manufactured. Might I suggest that we proceed with extreme caution?"
"Thank you ,Trigon, I was afraid that my brother was laying a trap. Bring up shields to maximum, all weapons open and charged, if it comes to it, I will hurt his ass." Wren hissed.
Trigon paused a moment then continued, "I will endeavor to help you accomplish this master Wren."
A smile, a true smile lit up Wren's features as she nodded, "I know you will Trigon, I know you will. Well, since we know that it is a trap, let's turn it back against my brother, shall we?"
"Yes, master Wren," Trigon said.
"I want you to trace the trail as far ahead as you can. Thomas and the forces that the has, still seem unable to pierce our cloak. I suggest that you, find a way to modulate the frequencies of it. I want to be prepared, in case they are able to detect us at the frequency, we are using now." Wren instructed.
"Compliance Wren, starting now." Trigon replied.
Wren released a sigh as she shut down the training session. All the voices of the masters had been quite distracting, finally she'd asked them for quiet. Then again that was far easier said than done.
Esmeralda had been fit to be tied, why the audacity of Wren to disobey then leave. In her anger she had nearly ordered the execution of all the captains of her ships. She'd also considered riding herself of all the executive officers.
She had stopped suddenly realizing that, she'd have to appoint new officers. No, it was better to rid herself of them when they were back at home. Yes, it would be a far better example to execute them, in front of their families, it would be far more memorable that way.
With that she turned back toward the view screen. These defenses of Ceti-5 were far stronger than she at first thought. In particular, was the fact that, there were a hell of a lot more rotations of the shield harmonics than they knew. Esmeralda was surprised and shocked when she saw this fact.
A look of anger came to her face, she knew there was more to the masters than she thought. They were a hell of a lot more than even she had thought they were.
She touched a button, "for now, I want all ships to continue to break the shields. I doubt they can last out against the full power of the Imperial fleet."
A few seconds later the second shield they'd reached flared.
Flugret shook his head when he saw the empress's fleet, renew their attack against the planet's defenses.
Several balls of energy appeared behind Flugret. "Have they any chance?" A voice came from one of the balls.
"No, not really, they still don't realize that we are sending a direct opposite energy pulse against their efforts." Flugret said. "In order to get through they will need a greater amount of energy than they are using."
"Good, still we have not survived this long not being careful. Continue to watch them, make adjustments as you see fit." Another ball of energy said.
"It will be as you say. I will advise you if anything changes." Flugret said as he bowed.
With that he turned and left the room. At another section of wall he passed his hand over it in an intricate pattern. A moment later the wall slid open revealing an extremely advanced shield array control.
A quick check showed that the Empress's ships, weren't even half the way through, the second shield. A small smile came to his lips, you'd think after all these centuries, all the attacking races would have learned.
Flugret nodded as he saw the shield array's power drop 1 percent. Placing his hand on the array panel it phased to energy, which a small amount entered the control panel. Again, Flugret nodded as the array energy jumped to a hundred percent.
Flugret smiled as he turned, then returned to the hallway. That should keep them another few days he thought. Now he needed to prepare for the confrontation that he knew was coming.
Wren was covered in a fine sheen of sweat; she'd been at it a little while now. The thing was though her anger had hardly lessened the whole time.
She had thought that by now, they would have some news or a distant location on her brother. Obviously , the cloak that his ship had was better than she thought. She began to type on the panel in the training room at a furious pace.
"Compliance master Wren, I am incorporating the new parameters now. This may indeed, enable the sensors to detect the ship." Trigon said.
"Any new readings on the energy trail that we are following?" Wren asked.
"As you deduced, it does appear to be some sort of trap. Though as of this moment, I still have insufficient data to correlate an answer." Trigon answered.
Wren was deep in thought as she took in Trigon's answer. "I imagine, with all the time he has been here, he has a hell of a lot of back-up. We caught them unaware last time, this time they are expecting us."
Wren thought a few more minutes as she went over her weapons readings.
"Do you need me to make more of the thermic missiles? After your suggestions last time, I believe I have a basis for a micro A.I. for them. I am afraid though that they will be limited in the number of operations that they can do." Trigon said.
"I was expecting that, considering the size of the payload each is carrying. At least they will be far more efficient that just a heat seeking missile. How many do you have?" Wren asked.
"Given the limited space we have to store them, only ten thousand slightly more than the last time we met them." Trigon said.
"Alright that will have to do, with any luck they will be as stupid as the last bunch, clumped together." Wren said. "Keep a watch, as far in as we are I expect to start seeing some sign of them soon."
"I am scanning all frequencies; all sensors are at full. All new parameters are loaded, I am detecting something on the extreme edge of long-range sensors. At present, we aren't close enough to discern clearly, what it is." Trigon said.
Thomas was still mad about his mother telling him how to run things out here. Like he'd told her, she'd have nothing nor be anything if it weren't for him. Hell, he thought, he ought to not answer her the next time.
First things first though. He had to kill that detestable step sister of his. The mere fact that she had embarrassed him, had him wanting to kill her more, it was almost a fever he was feeling. He had to kill her, she was the last, thing, that stood in his family's way.
The file he pulled up on his step father, brought a truly evil smile to his face. The old man was good, damn good that was for sure. They had lost close to five thousand troops trying to take him alone.
Thomas shook his head, he knew the man was dangerous though, he hadn't thought that dangerous. Adjusting the viewer, a bit, he got a real time picture of where the man was being held. Another evil smile came to Thomas's face, call him useless? Well old man, we'd see who was useless after all this, that was for sure!
A faint blip caught his attention on the long-range sensors, he wasn't sure that should be her considering she had that damn drive. He had to have it, then no one would oppose him nor his mother, if he let her live that is.
A flip of a switch, opened a channel to the other thousands of ships, he had waiting behind the planet behind him.
"I have a contact entering the system, do not, I repeat do not, engage or show that you are here 'til ordered to." Thomas growled into the com. "If you mess this up, I will personally execute you AND your entire family!"
There were suddenly thousands of replies of yes, lord sir! Another evil smile crossed Thomas mouth, respect, that was what it was about. It didn't matter that he had to kill a few thousand of them, though, it was entertaining.
"I want all batteries trained on the distortion that is rapidly approaching. By whatever gods you have if you miss, I guarantee I will NOT!" Thomas growled, there were immediately thousands of confirmations.
Ah! Thomas thought, it was so good to have slaves that actually listened.
It was at that moment that Thomas noticed that the distortion was starting to slow. Enraged Thomas took the head of the nearest of his entire alien crew.
"Damn it! If I find that one of you putrid asses have alerted her, I will slowly kill the entire crew!" Thomas raged.
Wren started to slow as soon as she reached the bridge. Looking at the screen, she could see her brother's ship, though no back-up. No, she thought, that wasn't like him at all. The planet behind him seemed a perfect trap for him to spring on her.
"Trigon, open a channel, I see what he's doing." Wren said.
"So, you really think I am that stupid? I am sure you have been following all my exploits. You know, all the funds that I collected. The funds that you squandered? Really Thomas, I thought you were far better than that. I guess, after I destroy all those ships you have hidden and you, I'll go after YOUR mother. Lord knows that the bitch isn't my mother." Wren sneered.
Thomas's anger was starting to reach the boiling point. How dare that bitch of a half-sister, talk about Empress Esmeralda, like that. She was the greatest ruler Earth had ever had. Especially after she fooled ALL the planet and the Emperor like she had.
A thoughtful smile crossed his lips, then again, she had him to carry out her orders. Carry out them he had, no one had suspected the six full fleets that attack. He had to admit they had fought unlike any race he'd ever seen.
Hell, for a while he thought they might actually destroy enough to make a difference. The two trillion ships that had attacked, were actually about half of what he and his new allies had had.
The eradication of two of the races had surprised him. He knew that the Emperor was a grand tactician, though not as good as he showed when those two were eliminated.
Then there was the destruction of the third race. He still couldn't believe that Wren had done than alone. The sheer amount of power required was astronomical.
Then again, he thought, she had decimated well over half of those that were with him. Shaking his head, he thought a few more moments then nodded. If, she had a weapon that powerful, it would be good to err on the side of caution.
Not trusting to send vocal orders, Thomas started to type at a furious pace. His face twisted into a sinister smile, there, let the bitch escape that.
"What? You afraid I'll detect where you are?" Wren's voice came from the speakers. "Please I have known for almost an hour now, helps when you have great equipment. Not that obviously, second rate trash your fleet has, well that and their leader." With that Wren started to laugh, an almost hysterical laugh.
Still Thomas kept quiet in case Wren was lying. In the back of his mind though, Thomas was sure she wasn't. Also, he really couldn't do anything 'til she was in optimum firing range.
Wren was doing her best to not laugh again. Even she, with far less military training, could see what he was trying to do.
Well, she thought, we'll see soon if the precautions she took paid off. Wren started to hit several buttons as she drew within two kilometers of Thomas's ship.
Immediately upon stopping, four missiles streaked away from Wren's ship.
Shields at full!" Thomas yelled as tracking showed the missiles striking, then the ship shook. "Return fire!" Thomas kept yelling, then his mouth dropped open as his weapons were having no effect on Wren's ship'
"What's wrong you traitorous piece of filth? Ship seems to not be working? Might help if you scan for damage before you try to launch an offence." Wren sneered.
Thomas started to say something then hit several switches. "You will pay for that you little bitch!" Thomas growled as a small smile came to his lips. Besides I think you're about to be far too busy to worry about me!"
Wren sighed as wave after wave of attack ships came around both sides of the planet below them. She reached out to fire more weapons at Thomas's ship, then cursed when the asshole was already out of range, Hmm she thought, his shield emitters and jump engine control, were in different places.
"Alright, light 'em up Trigon, don't let them get too close though." Wren said.
"I will do the best that I can, Master Wren.
Wren shook her head; she still had no idea why Trigon had started that.
A look at the advancing ships showed that they were going to run out far short of the total fleet. A small smile lit up her face as she started to type at a furious pace. "Instructions understood Master Wren."
A few moments later there were several large explosions, then several more that grew in intensity.
"If they have any brains at all that ought to slow them down a bit." Wren said with a wry grin. A grin that rapidly evaporated as the attack ships, kept flying into destruction. "Damn, here I thought the Wablongs were morons."
"Master Wren," Trigon broke in a moment later, "Thermic missile supply is less than fifty percent. I have a small supply of photonic missiles. Do you wish to deploy them?"
Wren's head snapped up, "exactly how many do you have? Even with the extreme heat of the thermics, the photonic can do three times the damage. Plus, you know it takes longer to make them." Wren sighed as she thought. "Keep them in reserve, they could help us escape if the shit hits the fan."
"Uh, yes Master Wren, reading more than half the fleet is destroyed. Thermics reaching twenty percent, beginning to evacuates the area." Trigon said.
"Get us as close to where my brother's ship is. How much damage did our first salvo cause?" Wren asked.
"I am reading a power loss of over forty percent; shields are still near full. It appears that his regular engines are operating at full capacity, though his jump engines are not at full." Trigon said.
"Can we catch them; with the horde we have following us?" Wren asked.
"Given the fact that we have used a substantial amount of power in this attack, it is possible. I do suggest though, that we limit our action to as little as we can." Trigon added.
"Damn, so, no chance to really blow his ass out the sky I take it?" Wren asked.
"No master Wren I am afraid not." Trigon said.
"Well, hell, way to blow a really good day all to hell, Trigon." Wren said.
"Though I am unsure as to how to take that, I do the best that I can Master Wren." Trigon said.
Wren nodded as she looked at the readouts. "Well, I guess I'll have to take what I can. Any chance of getting any more speed out of the sub-light?" Wren asked.
"I have added all the power that I can. Also, you said to warn you when the containment field dropped any." Trigon warned.
"Shit!" Wren said as she grabbed a strangely configured weapon.
The black oozing liquid slowly seeped out of the small vial it had been in. Ah it thought, they were in space. It could feel the throbbing of the engines, though, there was most definitely something different about them. Moving further back into the ship it received a shock, what?! Transwarp energy? No then that meant... A blue energy beam engulfed Temprotron as it screamed.
"What? You really thought that I'd give you a chance to get lose on another planet?" Wren said with a smile even as the ship pitched violently. "Trigon report!" Wren yelled.
"Your brother's ship, managed to get a shot through, no damage though." Trigon reported.
"Shit! Fire two photonic missiles. Let him know we're damn series!" Wren growled as two slightly larger missiles streaked from her ship.