The Aftermath 3 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jim was falling, damn you'd think they'd have a meal on this flight, spinning Jim looked at what he thought was the bottom or down. He could hear his sisters and brother screaming for him to save them, try as he might he wasn't getting any closer.
Groaning his arms hurt, what the hell had he run into? Jim was a little disorientated he was seeing people he knew but they seemed to be ignoring him and it was really starting to piss him off. Reaching out Jim saw Amber leaning over him or rather his body, huh? his body? Try as he might he couldn't touch her now he was really pissed off what the hell was going on? It had been a week since Jim and Mary had stopped the invasion of the Krong, a week of horror for both Amber and Mary.
Jim should be dead from all the injuries he'd sustained, the doctors worked feverishly trying to save him. At times it seemed his body was straining to reach something, though what, no one seemed to know. Amber refused to leave his side as did Mary, still cursing under her breath that she'd listened to him in the first place.
The empire, though they knew that the Krong had been at the borders poised to attack, didn't know how they had been defeated only that the empress was at the bed side of someone that had aided in that defeat. A week after they'd brought him in Jim groaned trying to get out of bed, nearly falling out of the bio bed. Amber had been asleep along with Mary when Jim started to struggle to get lose from the bed. "Bout time you woke your lazy ass up," Mary smirked, "You do realize I am pissed at you, I don't like owing people and I especially don't like owing you, you dick!" With that Mary turned and stormed out of the room.
Jim just stared after her wondering what crawled up her ass? Amber grasped his face kissing him long and deep.
"I'm glad I didn't have to resurrect you, I really didn't want to have to kill you," she whisped tears of joy flowing freely from her eyes. "Amber? Where the hell are we? Why the fuck can't I move?" The irritation apparent in his voice, "the last thing I remember was telling Mary to get to the safe room, then waking up here." Sighing Amber had been afraid of this, the doctor's said that some of his memory might be repressed, blocking out pain and stressful moments."I'm still alive so I assume that the new tech that I integrated into the station's systems actually held out," Jim murmured to his self more than any one else.
"The station, were they able to save it? Please tell me that at least one reactor remained online." Amber just shook her head leave it to Jim to worry about his tech. "Yes, the station survived had it not been for the fact that I had been on the station for so long, we might never have found you in time.
Since 4 of the reactors eventually came back online Dickie won't allow anyone on board especially after we removed you. Once the second reactor restarted (amazing in itself) it followed us back home" Jim breathed a sigh of relief. "Good," touching near his ear Jim spoke, "Dickie status report." "Severe structural damage through out station, auto repair has managed to secure structural integrity around main control and habitats.
4 reactors are non operable, it appears the last blast fused crucial circuits causing cascade failure throughout the outer 4, The extra sheilding interior of the second ring saved the last 4 as you predicted, protocal 4 was instigated as soon as her lordship and you were off the ship I then plotted a course here after the second reactor was active again.
Internal repairs are proceeding but slowly without the other 4 reactors, at present rate it will take a year before the station is space worthy." Jim looked over everything that Dickie sent to his neural link, Jim knew it'd take a week to repair the circuits, to get the station back up and running to full capacity, now to just get out of here.
Amber rushed forward to grab Jim when he almost fell trying to get out of the bio bed, "Damnit Jim! You trying to actually die? you're going to need at least a week to heal!" Amber's green eyes flashed with brief anger. "I need to get to the station, my bio beds make these look like toys, remember you were healed alot faster there than you would have been here," Jim said almost pleading, "Amber, I can't sit here a week I HAVE to get the station back online, there are more dangers out there that the empire needs to be protected from." Amber wasn't too sure, shaking her red hair from her face she couldn't really remember that much before she woke up in the med bay of the station.
"Alright but, I and Mary go with you, you will listen to me or I swear that I'll turn Dickie against you and don't doubt that I can't," Amber said her emerald eyes flashing again, the irritation apparent on her face, though she trusted him he was pushing it right now. Looking at the display again Jim was deep in thought for a moment, "Dickie, status of the DMTM." "One device is operational, though at present levels of power consumption, I will only be able to move 1 at a time," it replied in monotone.
"and bio bed 1 in the med bay?" Jim said. "At present it is 75% operational, it will be slow to heal you but faster than the present equipment capacity," Dickie answered. Looking at Amber Jim sighed, "Ok I agree but I have to work some each day on the circuits or we may never get the station back online all the way." nodding Amber called Mary as they prepared to go.
Explaining to Mary just what they were going to do she smiled, "As if you could keep Jim away from the machines, from what he told me this is all he has of his family now," Jim looked at Amber and quickly shook his head no, the action not lost on the ever alert Mary, she let it pass for now. A week later the station was almost at full capacity, after Jim got the fith reactor going things went alot faster. Amber ran the empire from the station a few, very few of her personel guard were brought aboard, Jim allowed them extremely limited access to a little of the station.
As Dickie predicted once the reactors were back online Jim healed a hell of a lot faster than he had in the imperial infirmary. He allowed Mary and Amber to assisst him which though she didn't know everything he'd done to improve the station, Mary knew what the systems were, as she'd helped to develop many of them. Though they'd had a definitive victory, Jim wasn't that sure the Krong were truly gone completely, he had to make sure no one else was going to die from these filthy bastards.
Finally all systems back on except for the cloak, Jim started to work on a way to put his fears to rest. For days Jim worked with the two women to integrate his mind scanner into the ships systems. Jim smiled when it was finally ready to go, from what he'd seen there wouldn't be mind slaves to the krong if they were truly all dead.
Starting with the palace first Jim was pleased that there weren't any there, moving out ward in ever increasing circles Jim tried to be patient hoping that they'd really gotten all of them. Sighing Jim knew from the last time that the Krong were insect like, there could be colonies of them out there waiting to pounce at anytime, he had to make sure they were gone for good. Moving slowly Jim made sure not to miss anyone, 5 miles out from the palace he found the first.
Pointing the DMTM at the man they "pulled" him on board (Jim and Mary had it retrieving as well as pushing now.) Securing him quickly Jim got the extractor and removed the Krong, as he was afraid there was a colony hidden just outside of the boundry of the empire. Jim destroyed the Krong and searched for more, Mary was pissed off she'd hoped that they were gone for good, 12 hours of battle was a bit much.
It had taken everything she had to last, then to almost lose Jim? You're damn right she was pissed. Jim smiled when he heard her hiss, like she always did when she was mad. Amber was also seething they wanted the death of all her people especially Jim? She wanted to exterminate them all right now. After finding 5 more from the same planet, Jim was shocked when he found another from another planet, this one alot closer within the empire.
Returning all 6 of the people, Jim set out not caring if anyone said a thing, it was only a 2 day journey at light speed. Approaching the planet Jim was prepared for them to come out after them, when there were no ships Jim did a planetary scan and found that the Krong here had no ships, smiling Jim activated the planet killer and watched as the planet started to crack then explode, Jim smiled wider, good, it was at full capacity again. the next one would take a week to get to. The whole week they traveled Jim and Mary worked the shields finally increasing them to twice what they'd been in the last battle.
They'd protected 2 of the four reactors on the outer ring with more shielding, they managed to get power consumption down 50% more, they'd just gotten the weapons a 25% power increase, when they arrived a day outside the empire boundry, at the next planet. This time they sent ships, though compared to the last battle this was over in an hour, as was the planet. Retreating back to empire space they made their way back to the home empire planet. After arriving Mary and Amber went planet side while Jim started to scan the planet again.
Only 2 hours into it Jim was pissed when he found a group of 10 in another city. Damnit! Removing all of them Jim was pissed it appeared they were from 5 different planets, shit! one was only a few hours away!
Calling Mary and Amber Jim told them he'd found more 5 more. Having repaired 2 of the 3 broken DMTM's the women were back in no time though Amber was still unsure, she didn't really like going through things. Arriving only an hour later they met no resistance, Jim cracked the planet with ease.
Two more days they arrived at the second planet Meeting no resistance they were about to shoot when a world ship appeared from behind the palnet along with a few thousand fighter beetle shaped ships. Cusrsing Jim knew that even with the improvements they were still a little vulnerable especially against a massive world ship. "Dickie deploy vapor drops all along the front lines," Jim ordered.
"Compliance," Dickie quiped back. "Vapor dops!
those are dangerous Jim!" Amber yelled. "It's ok, Amber we used them in the big battle they were a huge help," Mary replied. "No! you don't realize vapor drops utilize the most unstable explosive in the empire, if you found a way to stabilize it I would like to know how," Amber told Jim. Just nodding Jim watched as the first wave disappeared in a brilliant flash of light. "Alright, deploy guns shields and arm turrets, let's go girls time to exterminate some bugs," Jim said a huge smile on his face.
Two guns were more than enough to handle them but the additional gun helped them dish out destruction alot faster. Destoying the world ship's engines Jim pushed it with a small energy beam towards the planet. They all watched as the satisfying explosion wrecked half the planet, Jim took out the rest moments later. Sighing Jim told them it'd be a week before they got to the next planet, it was 2 days past the empire boundry. Jim was starting to wonder if they'd ever be free of this race, "Maybe you should declare war on them" Jim said, "that way it'd be with the people's blessing." Amber thought for a while, "the only way we could do that would be to reveal who you really are Jim." "NO!
I will sacrifice almost everything but that, there has to be another way," Jim growled. "None that I can see Jim, besides I think the people deserve to know who saved them," Amber said a little surprised at the stout refusal he gave. "Maybe one day but not now, for now he is dead and will remain that way," Jim said looking straight at Amber shaking his head no again, this once again noticed by Mary. What the fuck is he hiding now? Thought Mary.
Almost a week later they were closing in on the planet, they'd seen no ships or sign of the Krong the whole way. Approaching the planet they were met by thousands of ships again, though this time they got readings of humans on the planet, What the fuck? Sighing Jim wiped the ships out in short order, radioing the planet a human voice came through.
"who the fuck do you think you are? You destroyed our whole planetary defense squad," the voice screamed. "You mean you are With the Krong?" snarled Jim "Of course, we have been for years." the man answered incredulously.
"I'll give all humans an hour to leave the planet then I'll destroy it," Jim snapped back. For 30 minutes they called then it was quiet, then the massive exodus began, ships of every description began to flee the planet.
Jim didn't care, as they struggled to leave, Jim gave them extra time, finally no more ships were leavingpowering up the planet killer, Jim made short work of the planet. The women also thought that the humans living with Krong Had they lost their minds. The next planet was a day away and they made their way without incident.
Jim had no doubts in his mind to the guilt of the krong, though Mary and Amber were starting to wonder how those humans could have possibly forged an alliance with the Krong.
Again as they pulled into orbit Jim could see that there were almost as many humans as there were Krong, Jim was wondering for a moment but only a moment before he reached for the comp."Krong planet, you have 1 hour to release all humans from the planet, know this no matter what, I will destroy you." Mary and Amber were still having doubts, but Jim had dealt with the Krong far longer than anyone alive, to him they were the apogee of evil.
Not wanting to mistrust the man who'd saved her life Amber was torn as was Mary, a killer in her own right.
A moment later a crackling of his com snatched his attention away from the planet killer charge reading. "Empire ship," the strange bug like creature clicked at Jim, "we are holding no humans here they are free to leave when ever they wish, though many have stated they won't leave no matter what tyrant trys to force them to leave." "There are no tyrants here, only justice for the death of the bravest family in the empire, their deaths made the empire strong enough to protect our boundries from the unmerciful march of the Krong empire," Amber spit at the figure on the screen.
"Krong?" A baffled human voice spoke for the first time, "We aren't Krong, though this is their empire we really aren't part of it." Scoffing Jim looked at the screen with intense hatred, "As I said you have an hour, then this planet will cease to exsist." The man on the screen only bowed and nodded, "though you do not consider us to be, I will say if it is the will of whatever higher power you have that today our world ends," here the man sighed, " then we will accept that it is also the will of our higher power.
Thank you, for at least talking to us." With that the man closed his comp. Jim just sat there, they weren't even trying to flee, there was no activity on the planet to evacuate. What the hell and this human spouting religious zealot nonsense to him. Amber though, wasn't confused looking at Mary she leaned close and whispered in her ear, confused only a minute Mary's eyes grew large. Both of the women advanced on Jim, looking up at them they could see the war that was taking place in his mind, the conflicting emotions playing across his face.
"Jim.," Amber started. "I don't want to hear it," he growled out, "They are a merciless race." "Jim, I want to talk to them," holding up her hand Jim knew better than to argue though his anger was trying it's best to win out. "I know how you feel, it's the same feelings I had when my family was killed. Let me talk to them, hell I know your tech can detect whether or not they are lying or under control. As your Empress I want you to do this for me," her eyes pleading with him caused his to soften, cursing under his breath he knew she'd won for now, damnit he was always a sucker for her idealistic ways of peace.
Sighing Jim got up and Amber sat in the vacated seat, opening up the comp she contacted the man again. "To the man who spoke to the empire ship before, I wish a parley." "I would also like a parley with you, can you come here?" the man asked, the hope in his voice apparent. "No, that wouldn't be possible, but with your permission we can bring you here, if that is acceptable?" Amber breathed out.
Jim was growling at Amber, he didn't want any of the Krong lover's on board. Leaning back, Amber kissed Jim quickly quieting him. Sighing Jim thought he had to get a handle on this, he was almost like putty in Amber's hands.
Smiling as sweet as she could at him, she knew she had to keep Jim calm, with the increased power of the station he could wipe out more than just these people. The man on the screen was deep into discussion with the bug like alien, both, clicking and hissing at each other.
Finally after 10 minutes the man turned and spoke to Amber, "I will agree as long as my counterpart is also allowed to accompany me." "OH HELL NO!" Jim quickly yelled at the man on the screen, he was bad enough but to allow one of the bug creatures on board no way!
Amber went to a steaming mad and furious Jim, leaning close she started to whisper in his ear with an occasional NO! coming from Jim.
Finally half an hour later, Amber told the man that they'd be ready in an hour. Growling Jim was mad enough to chew nails, what the fuck did she think she was doing?
This was his family's station not the empire's, punching the wall Jim walked out, Mary and Amber gasping at the large indentation he'd left in the wall. Fuming Jim was of half a mind to just destroy the planet remotely, that'd fix her wagon, sighing Jim knew he couldn't do that but to allow them here?
Walking as swiftly as he could he shut every door he came to, setting up scramblers and nullifiers Jim was starting to feel a little but only a little better. Almost an hour later Jim, Mary and Amber walked into the cargo bay. Though not sure of this, Jim was alot more confident that now, no one but possibly Mary could hack, copy or use his tech. At the appointed time Jim activated the DMTM and both the man and bug creature appeared, the looks on their faces were almost comical and would have been had Jim not been as untrusting as he was.
Sitting at a table in the center of the room Jim remained by the door watching readings he was taking constantly. Hardly listening he only picked up snipetts of the conversation, that they weren't part of the Krong only got a derogatory grunt from Jim.
Still not trusting them, Jim increased the shield around Amber, sighing she looked at him and only nodded. After an hour Amber and the 2 guests stood, "Now that you have convinced me the Empress of the empire," here she sighed, "you have to convince my head of security." Here she pointed to Jim, the man nodded the bug creature did a semi bow, what the fuck was this?
"Sir, we have followed you since you entered this space to say that you have hurt the defences of the Krong empire in this sector would be an understatement. The 4 or 5 planets that you destroyed were their main detection system. Without it they will be blind if they come back here. The Empress told us of the battle against the Krong empire," sighing he wasn't sure how Jim would recat to what he had to say, "What you did is unprecedented, the ruling clan has been the same for a very long time.
This is the first time a clan went against an enemy and was almost totaly destroyed." "Alright, so what has this to do with us and you?" Jim sneered out he really didn't like this man or the alien with him.
"We just wanted you to know that they weren't the only clan out there, they were the strongest, problem is there are worse clans out there than them." The man waited for Jim's reaction, hoping that Jim might be on their side. "You want me to believe that there are different sects of bugs here?" Jim laughed, "The bugs always have a hierarchy with a queen and king that they ALL follow, I have been in the minds of several of them and," here he paused to get the words right, "I have seen no sign of different sects, so don't expect me to believe you for even one second." The creature with the man, eye's grew wide, in shock, Jim supposed and rapidly began to click and hiss at the man.
The man's eyes also got large, "did you understand what the thoughts were?" The shocked man asked. Jim looked at the man like he was an idiot, "of course, I have the tech to discern what they were thinking and saying as a matter of fact." The creature with the man looked at Jim and started to click differently, "can you now understand me?" Jim looked at it and backed away.
"What the hell is this?" pulling his plama pistol he pointed it directly at the bug's head, "try to get in my head again and it's the end of you I am far stronger than you think." Amber stepped up and looked at Jim a little afraid, "Jim what the hell was that?" Looking at Amber he asked, "what do you mean?" "Jim, you were clicking and hissing like they do but it sounded different," Amber said her lip trembling.
Pressing the pistol harder into the bug's head Jim growled, "you have a minute to explain, then it won't matter cause your head will painting this room." The bug nodded explaining through the man that it was something that their race did when they first met another race, many, many ages ago. The proceedure had been lost for a very long time, the race was called the creca, the sect that Jim and Mary had destroyed was the Krong. They were bloody, merciless conquerors intent on taking every thing that could to make them more powerful, obviously they had wanted their empire, especially after an advance fleet had been totaly destroyed years ago.
This is what caught their attention, though they are gone as we said there are worse threats out there." "Wait, any time I touched the mind of another creature like you I could have picked up their language?" Laughing a moment Jim thought that he'd touched the minds of 3 others but try for the life of him he couldn't pull the language out of his head.
The bug creature was only nodding but had stopped talking, he was looking at Jim as if he were a sacred icon or god, it was making Jim extremely uncomfortable. After agreeing to not destroy their world, the Empress made a pact with them to be allies. Leaving, Jim still had a few more planets to destroty, plus a few that he'd gotten from the people on the planet.
They were about a day from the planet Jim and Mary working on improving the DMTM when there was a proximity alarm. Jerking up Jim and Mary headed to the command center, almost as soon as they arrived there was a buzzing and another bug like creature appeared on the screen. "We demand you surrender to us the Krang, you destroyed our allies the Krong, as you can see, you are vastly outnumbered, surrender now and we'll make you death as quick as possible," the bug creature said.
Laughing Jim engaged the other 6 reactors, brought shields up to full and destroyed hundreds of ships with one blast. The alien wore a look of shock (at least it looked like shock to Jim). Turning it started to scream orders Jim's head hurt for a second then he could understand everything!
Damnit! Through playing with these idiots Jim activated all the planet killers watching as almost the entire fleet vanished. The few left tried to dive at the station and were gone just as fast.
Sighing Jim knew they were in for a possibly long fight, and here his head was an alien translator, great at least he'd be fun at parties. Holy Crap! TO BE CONTINUED