My father was a bastard and I never knew my mother. All my life I scrounged for food or clothing or anything else I wanted. My father was an addict and a drunk who barely knew I was there unless he wanted to torment someone or someone to beat on. I was ten when my life changed and I almost died.
My father and a couple of his friends were into stealing and selling exotic drugs and one was called Mind's Eye. It was a designer drug that temporarily expanded or allowed the person to use more or in a few cases all of their mind's ability. The problem was it was addictive and required higher doses each time it was used.
They were drunk and really high and wanted to experiment. I was in my room while they had a sports vid on. I guess I was hiding but it did not work since I was still in the house. My father crushed a whole bottle of the drug. They mixed it with another drug that was designed to genetically bond chemicals to the DNA.
I glanced at the door when it began to open and came to my feet as they came in. After that it was a fight and struggle which was not much since I was only ten. They tied me up and carried me into the living area and then my father injected me. It was only seconds before it started to effect me.
I began to convulse as my eyes rolled up. They laughed as they sat and talked and watched the game. I spasmed and convulsed for an hour before I went still. I was still there two hours later when another friend and his girl came over. While he ignored me she acted and pulled me out and took me to a hospital.
Of course she did not stay and only dumped me out of the vehicle before speeding away. The doctors did not know what was wrong but suspected drugs and tried to give me a suppressant. What happened next scared them bad. Everything in the room either burst into flames or was thrown around the room.
That chased them out and left me alone. A specialist was called and a few hours later she walked in and to the bed. I do not remember her touch but I do remember her words, "listen to me young one. We can not help if you do not allow it."
Her voice was gentle and it almost sounded like she felt sorry for speaking to me. I still refused to allow the doctors to inject me but she stayed and it was another day before I opened my eyes and focus on her. A constable had gone to my father and had arrested him and the others when they walked into all the drugs.
The woman stayed with me over the next few days as objects would suddenly start to float or fly. I started more than one thing on fire and once pointed at rations I was eating and it was struck by lightning. Mary took me away and into the mountains where she lived. She gave me a home and taught me how to control my mind.
She made me learn in a school and raised me as if I were her own child. I was eighteen when I applied to the imperial guard academy. Mary had managed to get me three recommendations and I was accepted into the academy. Two years and I graduated and became a second lieutenant in the white guard.
At that time the fleet marine regiments were divided into elements of color. White, yellow, red, blue ... every primary colors plus a few extra. It was a year before I was promoted and sent to Kline and the high station. Each platoon would rotate six months in stasis and six months on duty doing patrols and interdiction.
The first six months was just routine patrols and ship inspections. After we woke the other platoon it was our turn to go into stasis. I was cautious and put a couple of safeguards in place. First I connected the station solar skin power feed as a backup to my stasis capsule and battle suit. Next I created an interrupter switch with a tiny dim amber light fed from the capsule.
If the light went out the stasis tube would wake me and shut down. I had no idea how long it would really be before I woke. I had my battle suit AI feed training to me through a remote neural head net. It was supposed to be real time general education setting, martial arts and new weapons that were coming out as well as leadership training.
Two months after we went into stasis was when the plague struck the Kline system. Within another two months ninety percent of the people were dead and the rest were evacuated under quarantine. They had shut down the high station reactor and the air was vented to space. That killed my platoon and I was left in stasis and the dark with only a tiny amber light.
The power from the solar skin of the station still fed power to my stasis tube and my battle suit. Time crept by and I was declared missing and presumed dead. Of course since my battle suit was still connected and siphoning training programs that changed things. It reactivated my status the next time it selected a new subject.
When my time in grade as a lieutenant was maxed out the fleet accounting AI made a inquiry and then since I was still active, it automatically promoted me. Over the decades that happened several times until I reached the rank of colonel. Only the emperor of Ren could promote me to a higher rank.
Decades went by and then centuries and finally two hundred and thirty seven years after I went into stasis the tiny light went out. My eyes opened and I stared through the clear cover of the stasis capsule. The entire stasis bay was completely black and the cover was not moving or opening.
That was wrong and I started to use the manul release before I stopped, "why would the cover remain closed?"
I tried to create a tiny flame outside the capsule and strained before I stopped, "that is not right."
I thought of my battle suit across from me and reached out and touched a spot inside it. Bright light exploded towards me and I blinked as I tried to adjust. I looked around to see a few things floating in the bay and hissed. I looked at the battle suit as I thought of a power failure. The bay did not have gravity or oxygen but the capsule did.
I used my mind and talent and the suit shifted and the power lines disconnected. It walked to me and I tried to imagine and remember where the capsule locks and lines where. First I closed the power and oxygen lines and disconnected them and then unlocked the capsule. The suit lifted the capsule and turned it slowly.
I could see into the one next to mine and one look was all I needed to know my man was dead. The suit carried me towards the hatch and the airlock. I had to use my mind to open the hatch manually and then close it behind me. I switched on the emergency oxygen supply and the airlock air gauge slowly started to move.
The capsule opened and I took a breath of stale air before stepping out. I let the capsule lean against the wall and removed my clothes from inside the battle suit. I dressed and looked at the inner airlock door. The outer gauge reading was showing vacuum and not oxygen. I put the battle suit on before sucking the air out of the airlock.
Like the inner hatch I had to manually open the outer hatch and stepped into the dead station. I frowned as I looked around before I headed towards the control room. All I could think of was the station had been hit and the hull was breached somewhere. I had to manually open all the hatches before I reached the silent and dark control room.
I looked around and moved to the engineering console. It took awhile to reroute the solar skin power and then the other consoles came alive. I needed to know what happened and moved to the command chair and accessed the log. That was when I found out about the plague and the date.
It stunned me at first but the need to survive was still strong. Automated grav buoys beyond the heliopause were sending out constant quarantine warnings and blocked all comms. That made me think and then start to search the station. I found one patrol ship still docked but dead and airless.
The huge station water tank was full but frozen which could provide air. In the station stores area I found cases of rations. I was a little surprised the station fuel containment cells were still working and managed to fill the patrol ship's tanks. Next I heated the water tank and used a separation unit to pump air to the ship after sealing it.
I used a triple containment bio filter on everything I put into the ship. I moved more than enough rations into the ship and then I started another search of the station. That was when I found Cara, she was an artificial squirrel monkey someone had ordered and never started up. I checked her and scanned her carefully before I took her to the ship.
I stripped out of my suit in the ship airlock and set it aside. I carried Cara with me to the bridge and set her down. I caressed her and reached in to start her. She shifted and her eyes opened and she looked up and into mine. I caresses her tiny cheek, "your name is Cara."
I opened a ration and fed her and carried her to one of the bunks and slept. When I woke I began working on the ship. I placed command and control runs from engineering to the bridge. I moved consoles and set up holo interfaces around the command chair. It took three days to finish and Cara stayed with me and kept me company.
When I finished I started the ship reactor and undocked. I slowly moved away from the station and headed for the heliopause. It was going to be a long trip to Ren since the patrol ship only had skip engines and not a jump engine. Holo interfaces were around and above the command chair as I piloted the ship and set our course.
Mostly it was the AI that was giving me updates and skip information. A day and we slipped passed the warning grav buoys and into deep space. Every twenty hours I took a break to sleep and clean up. Days went past and then weeks until a month later when I skipped out to see a lot of ships on the heliopause of Ren.
I looked at the scan as the comm finally came to life, "unknown ship this is Ren security and customs. State your identity and origins."
I opened the comm as I reached up to caress Cara, "this is the White Guard patrol craft Archer."
It was a minute before they answered and I finally had the traffic pattern around the large station, "unknown craft we do not have a White Guard listed. Say your origins."
I sighed and answered, "this is Ren Fleet White Guard patrol craft Archer out of Kline high station."
A few moments later they answered, "unknown ship we have no White Guard listed and Kline is a dead and gal quarantined system."
I growled as I opened the comm, "are you an idiot? I am Lieutenant Knight of the White Guard. I was assigned to Kline high station for smuggling interdiction. This ship is a fleet patrol craft named Archer. Look in your damn ship list under inactive vessels and wake up the officer in charge."
It was several minutes before they came back, "Archer this is Admiral Sidney. Prepare for boarders."
I snorted as I opened the comm, "admiral this ship is from Kline which was and is under quarantine. Any boarders will remain until Ren medical personal have cleared it and them."
It was five minutes before he came back, "follow the guide and dock where traffic control directs you. Do not leave your ship or attempt to enter the system."
Thirty minutes later I stood after docking and Cara leaped to my shoulder as I left the bridge. She pressed against my neck and crooned and I reached up to give her a caress. Three people came through the airlock. Two held rifles and pointed them at me and the third was a smug captain.
They were wearing battle suits with cleared face plates so I was not worried they could be infected, "I am the only one aboard."
I looked at the open airlock and the hatch slid closed and sealed. The captain spun and then looked at me, "who ... how did you do that?"
I shook my head as I turned to head back to the bridge, "if you had bothered to look up my record you would know I am a talent."
They followed and he kept trying to draw my attention to the men with rifles. I sat and turned the command chair, "I have taken blood and bio samples every week since I woke from stasis. The medical personal will need to test them as well as air samples. I have left the ship's oxygen lines disconnected from the station so it is still safe."
I gestured to the hatch, "I have left all inner hatches open so you have access."
He looked back and finally gestured, "search the ship."
I was there for a month while medical personal and a few fleet officers came aboard. The medical personal tested everything and the fleet officers debriefed me. Of course they kept repeating the same questions which was very annoying. At least they did until the fleet disbursement officer found my record and the unlisted orders promoting me to full colonel.
That was a shock but after that the other officers walked softly and spoke politely. Of course I was having trouble getting my back pay until the emperor stepped in. He paid me out of his own funds and I never even knew who he was or that he was aware of me. Once I and the ship were cleared I headed into the system with orders to report to the fleet command station.
I had to look that up since there had been no fleet command station when I had left the system. My first thought was to go home but first I had to go through a lot of paperwork. I was also requested at the palace to meet with the emperor. Since my date of rank was well beyond the limit he would have to decide what to do with me.
Cara was welcome company but I was beginning to feel the passing of time. Everyone I had known was gone and even their families were unknown to me. Mary and all her other adopted children were long dead and no one even remembered who she had been. When I reached the fleet command station a girl in her late teens met me at the airlock.
She was almost familiar as she smiled at me, "colonel Knight?"
I nodded and she glanced at Cara before looking at me, "I am Mia Stone. I was asked to accompany you while you were here."
I sighed, "I really do not need..."
She reached out and touched my temple, "they think you can read minds and I am here to watch you."
I blinked because she had said it in my mind, "you are a telepath."
She nodded and turned and slipped a arm through mine, "actually I wanted to ask you questions."
I shook my head, "about before I went into stasis."
She squeezed my arm, "about my great great grandmother."
I looked at her, "I do not..."
She reached up to lift Cara onto her hand, "her name was Mary and she was an empath. She taught gifted children and according to the records she adopted you."
I had stopped walking as I looked at her, "Mary never told me she had a child."
She smiled, "I believe her daughter left because Mary did not approve of the man she was with. Of course great grandmother was right and her daughter did return with three children."
I turned to start walking slowly, "I never knew."
She walked with me, "the records do not say how strong her gift was."
I snorted, "empathy is or can be very persuasive regardless of how strong."
I looked at her, "I did not think anyone knew who she was. I could not even find out about the other adopted children."
Mia smiled, "I have copies of all the records if you want."
I nodded and she turned in at a hatch and I checked in with a sour faced enlisted man. He grumped a lot as I sat to do paperwork, including turning in several years worth of leave. After I was done I started to leave and Mia fell in, "you are scheduled for a shuttle down in an hour."
I looked at her and smiled, "and are you coming with me?"
She grinned, "I am a civilian contractor so yeah I am."
I had to return to the patrol ship to get all my things before I left. Mia led me through the station and since I was the senior ranking officer I boarded the shuttle first. She sat back but kept looking at me, "you do not see the emperor until tomorrow."
I nodded as I looked out the tiny window and played with Cara, "I thought I would take a walk and breath real air before sleeping."
She grinned, "how about sharing a room so I can fuck you?"
That was blunt and straight to the point and my cock got hard as I looked at her, "you want sex with me?"