Wren still had an almost evil smile on her face as she looked at the shattered, lifeless planet. Now four of the six traitorous races were gone. She felt like she could hear the earth's souls of the billions killed sigh in satisfied relief.
"How much damage did we inflict on my brother's ship," Wren asked.
"All readings from the encounter indicate that they had lost thirty percent of their power output. Their shields were down almost fifty percent, their hyper - drive was also at half power," Trigon said.
"Good," Wren almost purred. "Then we shouldn't have too hard of a time, tracking his traitorous ass."
"Unfortunately, I am afraid that we might. Long range tracking is still somewhat blind from the four shatter bombs," Trigon told her.
"I thought that we had overcome that after the last time," Wren said.
"As I told you, master Wren, the sheer amount of high radiation, is still playing havoc with any shielding. The new material I put in place only reduced interference by ten percent. Still too much for the sensors to overcome," Trigon said.
Wren sighed, still it was a good day. She still had to find any colonies and outposts that the Jutrocs had. She was also sure that they had asked the arrogant Zetcrons for help. Another evil smile lit up her face. Yes, that race gone, would definitely make the universe a much better place.
"For now, let my coward of an ass brother run. Now, I want a wide search for any and all signatures of the Jutrocs. If you even get a blip of them, I want to know. By the end of the day, I want all of them dead." Wren said.
"Yes, Master Wren, commencing search now. Will you be training 'til such time as I locate any?" Trigon asked.
"Possibly later, for now I have to talk to the pieces of the Masters that are in me," Wren said as she sighed. "I have a feeling that this conversation isn't going to be very pleasant."
Less than a minute later, Wren sat waiting for the voices she knew would be berating her.
Really little Wren came the thoughts of Flugret. Was it absolutely necessary to destroy everyone?
Master, as I tried to explain, I made a vow, took an oath, to find and completely destroy them. In not doing so, it opens the way for others to think that my race was a weak Empire. It sends a message that says to the effect, come kill us, we are weak, we won't fight back. No, I am sending out a message that we will respond in kind. Returned Wren's thoughts.
Little Wren came the first master's thoughts. Revenge can be useful but...
Revenge?! No first, Master, this goes far beyond revenge. Over four billion souls are crying out for justice, not revenge. The six races tried to eradicate the human race. They weren't prepared for just how fierce the small earth force would fight. As I remember, the six races lost over a trillion ships, almost half. No not revenge, justice.
There was a gasp from all the parts of the Masters, as well as Wren. The memories of her younger sister, Hellena Dreese Tenagram, seemed to be ripping through her mind. Then also the memories of her mother, memories that attempted to debilitate her further.
The seemingly fresh memories made her sad only a moment before the raging, seething anger filled Wren. Her father's forced marriage to that bitch and whore of a stepmother.
The rage started to climb higher, Wren didn't notice that her entire person was glowing a glaring red. Thomas! Hailed as a hero for years, now not only was IT alive, he was the biggest traitor to earth.
Wren? Two voices were calling her, one within the other near her head. "Wren?" Came Trigon's voice.
"What!" Wren tried to shout though her voice came out as a weak whisper.
"You have to calm down as the Masters taught you. Your energy output has increased to almost ten times what it was. Your external temperature has also started to rise. I am reading a temperature of 51.6667°C (125°F), you must bring it down before you burn up," Trigon said.
A shocked Wren looked at the wall as she started to release as much of her anger as she could. Trigon was right. She could feel the heat rolling off her in waves. Slowly she felt the heat start to lessen.
Less than a few moments later, the same alarm that she'd heard a few hours ago went off. Amazingly, Wren's power and the heat dissipated within seconds.
"I am detecting ten planets that have the life signs of the Jutrocs on them. I am also detecting life signs of the Zetcrons on five of the planets," Trigon said.
"Good, it'll save me the trouble of hunting down a few of their outposts," Wren said as another evil-looking smile came to her face. "Charge all weapons, how many shatter bombs have you made?"
"I have two. I have been working on the Thermic missiles you designed. Though not as powerful as the shatter bombs, they are still capable of reaching 2760°C (5000°F)," Trigon said.
"The count you have of them?" Wren asked.
"At present I have almost four hundred. If the readings are correct, it will take at least fifty. That should produce enough heat to eradicate the atmosphere. We have enough for eight of the ten planets, though I am in the process of making more," Trigon said.
"How long to reach the first?" Wren asked.
"Fifteen minutes trans - warp, an hour and a half by hyper - drive," Trigon replied.
Wren stood there thinking a few moments. Fast, wasn't always good, especially since they didn't have sufficient weapons. "Hyper - drive, we need enough to finish the job. Besides, you might find more as we are getting there. Then we are definitely going to need more weapons. After I am sure we have enough, then we'll trans - warp to the others."
"Now entering hyper - drive," Trion said.
"I..." Wren started, then swayed a bit. "Think I need rest, feeling a bit weak."
Trigon sighed in relief as Wren left the bridge. "I hope that she recovers quickly," came her father's voice.
"From what I have seen, she appears to recover faster each time," came her mother's voice.
Far from the planet Ceti - 5, Esmeralda's demeanor was growing darker and darker. Where in the hell was that pathetic fool? It had been twenty hours since she'd spoken to him. She had a mind to order his execution for the latest failure.
An hour later, Esmeralda was mad enough to bite someone's throat open. She'd started to reach for a young bridge officer, when her chief scientist called.
"Empress, we have managed to reverse engineer their first three shields. Also, their tactics, might I suggest that all ships remain with their shields up? We have detected..." the man started.
A moment later there was a titanic explosion as a ship not far from hers vanished.
"What in the hell was that?" Esmeralda shouted. "All ships' shields keep them up! I take it, that was what you were trying to warn me of?!"
"Yes Empress, we have managed to pierce their shields, they have weapons far stronger than all the ships together. We have determined how to shut the first shield down, plus we are close on the second," the male said.
"Good!" Esmeralda said as a purely evil smile crossed her lips. "The sooner all of those pathetic, weak-minded fools are destroyed the better."
"I am working on that as diligently as I can, my Empress," the chief scientist said.
"Ha! You better be, I'd hate to eradicate you and your entire team," Esmeralda said with a truly wicked smile that grew broader when she saw the man swallow quickly. Ah, Esmeralda thought she so loved the look of fear on their faces. I'll have to reward him, she thought. What torture could I bring out? Hmmm, perhaps a good flogging. Yes, that would do.
Esmeralda turned then left the command deck. An almost palatable wave of relief swept over everyone. She strode quickly down the hallway to a heavy and thick security door. The eight guards snapped to attention as soon as she was in sight.
The Empress passed them as if they didn't exist, the door opening at her approach. She turned to watch as the door quickly closed. Reaching out, she activated all the electronics and physical safeguards. With a turn, she touched another panel, smiling when she saw that she was indeed isolated.
Esmeralda then sat in the huge, plush throne seat in the center of the room. A touch of another panel brought up an array of thousands of controls. The only ones that weren't working were the ones she'd installed on that little bitch's ship.
Another evil smile lit up her face, she had enjoyed torturing the men that had failed her there. Such pleasure there that it had taken several weeks for them to succumb to death. It was too bad that there weren't more that were as tough as those men were.
With a sigh she remembered the terror and screams of the men with fond pleasure. Shaking her head, she remembered the reason she was there.
She pressed several buttons then waited as the powerful com. came alive. "Thomas, what progress have you made? I need a damn report."
A minute later, the holo-gram of her son appeared, "what the hell are you bothering me about, mother!" Thomas said with a sneer.
"You should remember who you are talking to, I..." Esmeralda started anger in her voice.
"Can it Mummy, I don't have time to correct your pathetic ass," Thomas said with a smile. His mother's face screwed up into a mask of anger. "Remember it was me that got you to where you are. It was I that found the allies, I that led the attack. It will be me that kills that little bitch of a stepsister, so get on with it."
Esmeralda held her temper. Unfortunately, her son was right, not that she liked the fact. "How is it going killing her?" She asked.
Thomas started to laugh, "so far, the bitch has let me copy one of her shields," reaching out, Thomas pressed several buttons. "They are a clever design, somewhat stronger than ours. That's the readings I got, simple really."
Esmeralda's eyes were wide in shock, they were all Thomas said and more it appeared. She looked closer at Thomas, noticing the apparent damage. "What in the hell happened?"
"Unfortunately, there was a price for gaining that information. The bitch had a counter to what we did, going to be a few hours before we are back up. Oh yeah, that bitch found the helper race we used, she took out the entire planet. God it was beautiful! I mean they were all dead in less than an hour, the planet a dead dust ball," Thomas said with an almost dreamy look on his face.
"HEY!" Esmeralda yelled, breaking Thomas out of his pleasurable daydream. "Don't go starting to like that bitch!"
"Like?!? Oh no, I want her dead, I want to strangle the last of her life from her body. To watch as she struggles, the last light of life as it leaves her body," Thomas said. A look of almost orgasmic pleasure passed over his face, a shiver, convulsing his body.
"Good, I thought I had lost you for a few moments. You have always been my best, if not my most outspoken helper, I..." Esmeralda started.
"Helper!? Should I remind again, just who and what I am? I haven't done this for YOU, MOTHER!" Thomas spit out sarcastically. It was for us. Don't think you can throw me away like so many others. I have more than a few contingency plans if you do," here Thomas leaned close to the holo-graphic projector. "I guarantee, you won't survive, some but not all of them."
Esmeralda smiled, that was more like it! Thomas always got better when he was this angry.
"Alright, I'll leave you to it, kill the bitch a few times for us son," Esmeralda said with a broad smile.
"Yeah, whatever, quit bothering me," Thomas said as he slapped the com connection closed.
Esmeralda sat back with a shivering sigh. Ah, it was turning out to be a better day than she thought.
Flugret turned to see the reactions of the rest of the Masters. "As you thought first, Master, they have gained false confidence. The primary shields Wren has on her ship are formable, they are more than fallible."
"Yes," came the voice of the first Master. "You also have to remember that she based quite a bit off our technology.
"That is also true though she has as of yet to use any of the advanced tech. We all know that no one has been able to copy any of that," The second Master said.
"As well as that, this race is far different than almost all that we have faced before," the first Master said. "We may have to put the old safeguards in place, like we did almost a thousand years ago."
"Now then, we need to keep as long a vigil on Wren as we can. I'm not sure if any of you felt it. Wren started to lose control again. Thankfully, our slivers, her new control, something stopped it. If she keeps this up though, we may lose her before she returns," Flugret said.
"Also, I'm not sure if any of you have noticed, all of us have been out far longer than before," the first Master said. Here he turned to the two masters that Wren had touched. "I'm sure that the two of you can maintain the solid form much easier than before."
Both masters were startled. Yes, they now realized that being solid now was indeed far easier.
The first master turned to master Flugret, "as we have always known we each have abilities that the others don't. We are indeed fortunate that you were able to pass the fifth level when you did. You are the youngest of us that remains. Watch carefully, your abilities are more than needed."
Flugret bowed to the first Master. None of them had ever given him this type of praise. Deep in thought for a moment, he nodded. He would need to meditate, think upon this more.
"I will endeavor to do as you say first, Master," Flugret said, with a deep bow.
The first Master nodded as he turned away from Flugret. He was indeed young, at only eight hundred years. He had just managed to pass the fifth level, converting to energy, when disaster hit.
Sadness filled the first master as he remembered so many of the people that hadn't managed to convert. He had watched the plague as it swiftly passed over the entire planet in a day. So many deaths, back then they were able to leave for a short time. The memories came faster as he remembered the race that had brought the plague.
A small sigh escaped his lips, the race hadn't meant to, nor were they aware that they had brought it. The same race that Wren was a part of, their destroyers and saviors at the same time.
The first master moved to the huge life sphere. They all use it to maintain themselves when they convert back to energy. At the moment, only half of them were out. He reached out to touch the sphere, suddenly jerking his hand back, when a soft voice came to me. "I am far stronger, my mate," the voice said as an orb of energy slipped from the sphere.
The first Master fell to his knees as the orb slowly, very slowly, solidified. A few moments later, a female Ceti breathed in a deep breath.
"I know I cannot stay long. Does this mean that she has been found?" The female asked.
The first Master spoke in a low, "Yes, the prophecy is being fulfilled, she is already past the fifth as a solid."
"Soon my mate, I and the other females will be free, then the Ceti race will live again. We need to make her as strong as possible. If she passes before, we are released, all is lost," the female said.
"We are working on it, my mate. The fact that you are here now is a testament to just how powerful she is. Her sacrifice will not be in vain," the first Master said.
Flugret had been standing outside the sphere room catching almost all that had been said. He was shocked to see a female of his race. He had been told that they had all perished almost two hundred years ago. That and the fact that the female was the first master's mate hit him rather hard.
There was no way he could let Wren sacrifice herself in this way. There had to be something that he could do, but what? If he did manage to stop this, then wasn't he a traitor to his people? He needed to meditate to think on this. There had to be a solution that would work for both.
Little did Flugret know that Wren, with all that had happened to her, wasn't about to throw her life away as easily as all the Masters thought she would.
Wren was pulled out her thoughts of the past thirty minutes later. "Master Wren?" Came the voice of Trigon. "I have a total of five hundred thermic missiles."
An almost sinister smile rose on Wren's lips, "activate all missiles, trans - warp, now!"
Ten minutes later, they were in orbit around the planet. The com. immediately beeped, "Unidentified ship, we are prepared to discuss terms of our sur..." a voice started.
"Terms hmmm, let's see, I'll give you the same terms you and the other warmongers did, fire two over the northern continent," Wren said as a lot of screaming and shouting came from the com.
Wren watched the readings as the two missiles ignited a small area of the atmosphere. Wren flipped a switch as the ship vanished. She then started to destroy what little space force the colony had.
"Know that today I give you the same mercy you gave the four billion you destroyed. Fire the other forty-eight," Wren said with a satisfied smile.
She watched as the planet's atmosphere was destroyed, the heat set the ground and water a flame.
"Take us to next keep making the thermic missiles and the shatter bombs," Wren said.
For the next three hours, Wren destroyed the next eight planets. "This next planet is the last planet I am detecting any Jutroc life signs on. I would say that the planet is ninety-eight percent Zetcron."
A very broad smile came to Wren's face, "so we finally get to destroy a large group of those arrogant asses," Wren said. "Have you managed to replace any of the thermic missiles?"
"I have managed to produce another hundred, though I continue to produce more. Supplies are getting low, Master Wren, we will need to replenish if we are to continue," Trigon said. "I am also detecting what appears to be a rather large fleet surrounding the planet. It also appears that they are attempting to evacuate the planet."
"Trans - warp now! We can't allow any of them to escape justice," Wren yelled.
The ship jumped into the spatial rift that appeared in front of them.
"I want stealth as soon as we emerge," Wren said. Five minutes later, they emerged near a blue grey world. "Open fire on the fleet, get as close as you can, then destroy the ships trying to lift."
At first, it was an absolute slaughter. No less than a hundred ships were lost in the first minute. A minute later, ten ships on the surface exploded.
Wren was closing in to wreck more havoc, when a ship actually hit her ship with an energy weapon. This, of course, caused the stealth to start to flicker.
Angered even more, Wren felt the power within her, and her temperature rise rapidly. Shit! She thought, looking away from the view screen, she didn't see most of the ships in front of her shatter like China.
To make matters worse, her brother's ship appeared a moment later, firing at her. Trying to remain calm, Wren slapped half of the thermic missile launchers.
"Get us out of here!" Wren shouted as her shields dropped to ninety percent.
A rift opened in front of the ship as it slipped into it. The only problem was their ship exited a mere two minutes later. "How far did we get?" Wren asked.
"Two hours by hyper - space. I am afraid it will take four hours for me to repair the trans - warp. Plus, their ships are faster in hyper - space than us," Trigon said.
"Go to hyper - space. Hopefully it will gain us some time," Wren said as she dragged out her toolbox.