Chapter 67

   

 

 

 

                                

 

Hug patrol over, Aaron ported over to the Beastmaster compound so he could check up on them one last time as after today Donny and his new clan could be considered fully moved in. Walking through the dining area he spotted several people working in the flight greenhouse and entered through the double screened doors.  Seeing Donny and Ru working in the far corner he made his way over smiling. Stopping to greet happy clan members sporting their new tattoos with pride, “Hello Donny, Ru…I see you retrieved your birds, how did they take the trip?”

 

 

“Greetings Prime,” Donny smiled as he turned around and snickered at Aaron’s expression, “I know Aaron,” chuckling Donny smiled as he hugged Aaron, “I actually need you to put on your Prime’s hat though, or should it be the King’s crown,” Donny grinned as he pointed to all the empty perches and cages they had installed. “We need to find some chicks or eggs so we can build up our aviary. The problem is no one wants to sell to us, and most of the species we want to use are protected.”

 

 

Aaron leaned against the wall of the cage and wondered about using the artificial wombs, “I might have an idea, the question is could we get access to enough birds to take cell samples from them…” Thinking about it for a moment longer, “I have a meeting with the leaders involved in colonization this afternoon around one, why don’t the two of you come with me and we’ll see if I can get the cooperation from the world leaders to harvest some cells, and we’ll hatch our own chicks.” Aaron considered what all would be involved, “I’ll just need to know what size eggs we need, then get some fertile ones and replace the embryos with the ones we create from the cell samples. Once I train someone up it won’t take long to replace a couple of hundred embryos.”

 

 

Donny and Ru kissed Aaron’s cheeks in glee before Donny looked at Ru with a smirk, “Clan leathers all around, our first official outing as Beastmasters.”

 

 

“Glad to be of help, how goes the rabbit breeding project so you have food for you birds?” Aaron pulled out his P.A.D.D. and brought up the information about the procedure he needed to do to replace the embryos, it did not look too difficult.

 

 

“Mark sent over information to that Gen Corp place, we should be able to pick up breeding stock this week,” Ru smiled as he closed the run door and moved away from his hawk, “Until then he has given us culls from the quail project.  He said to let you know he would be buying up a large amount of breeding stock, building the barns on Mirkwood to start with, and then we could have our own hutches here so we have live ones on hand.”

 

 

“I’ve not had fried rabbit in a long time or, better yet, Hasenpfeffer,” Aaron mused as he thought about tweaking the recipe or better yet one of the South American dishes, rabbit with coconut, “I need to go eat something or my brain is going to keep going into recipe mode,” Aaron groaned before hugging both teens, “Meet me in my office at quarter past one and we’ll get some answers to the problem you’re having.” Waving back at several people who saw him and waved at him Aaron ported out, back to the Clan compound and food.

 

 

Taking his full plate over to one of the free tables Aaron activated the terminal function and brought up the embryo exchange data and started reading through, brushing up on the procedure.  Smiling he looked up at his lovers as they kissed him good morning, but kept looking down and reading the information until Kevin frustrated by Aaron’s actions started reading over Aaron’s shoulder and pathed Mark asking him what the information he was reading meant, since it had Aaron so distracted.

 

 

Leaving his food Mark rushed over and stared at the tabletop before breaking the silence and Aaron’s musings, “Where the hell did that come from and where is it so I can read up on it and practice? This would solve a lot of problems of being able to get adequate breeding stock of certain varieties of poultry.”

 

 

Looking up Aaron blinked as he refocused and then replayed what Mark asked him, grinning he traced several commands on the terminal, “I released the information to your tutor program.” Stretching his neck Aaron tapped the tabletop near the active terminal, “Donny and Ru brought a problem to my attention this morning, they can’t get their hands on any of the eagles or hawks they want as no one is willing to sell any to us, so I thought about using our technology to create our own breeding flocks, setting their aviary up so they can breed all the animals in house.” Chuckling, Aaron cheated and glanced at the steam table and ported seconds directly to his plate, “I invited them to come to Sol Station and my meeting with the world leaders so we can get permission to harvest cells from the birds they want to use; they plan to come to the meeting dressed in uniform, using this as their first official outing, so it should be interesting.”

 

 

Kevin snorted as he sat down with his plate, “Interesting is putting it mildly, I think I want to come along to watch.” Glancing out of the corner of his eye at Aaron, “You do know it’s your fault their uniform is leather don’t you?  Donny and some of the others watched you ride in that hot leather outfit of yours.”

 

 

Grinning Aaron nodded, “Well I know Fred will be there this morning, feel free to come with me, or  watch it from here, I’ll turn the recorders on.”

 

 

Mark looked at the information on the terminal and understanding it, which surprised him, “How come I not only understand what this is all about, but I went from high school to college in weeks?  It can’t be all because of the way we are being taught?”

 

 

Seeing that Mark’s question gained everyone’s attention Aaron thought for a moment and then remembered he had not told them everything he had found out in the system Core, “The simple answer is genetics.” Placing his empty glass down Aaron looked around, “I forgot all about some of the things I learned in the Core, being too intent on finding out why we, all of a sudden, could convert energy to plasma and cause it to take shape in dragon form.  Aaron 1.0 tweaked the Alteran genetics somewhat, he wanted to give a helping hand to all those we rescued so they could quickly catch up and grab for their dreams; one of the things he did was to increase the intelligence and cognition aspects of our genome.  I think you will find if you look at the tutor logs for all of our people that they are flying through the lessons at an incredible rate.” Seeing the prospectives listening he sighed, “Some of what you are going to hear is considered Clan secrets.” Seeing Edward was confused he stared at him; he would have to alter him tonight, the time of waiting was over.  Sending a message to Tim on a tight band he told him that as soon as they were finished he needed to show Edward the racial secrets, then this afternoon they would re-sequence him or, if he could not handle it, remove his memory of what he heard.

 

 

“We truly are a separate and distinct species.  While we can interbreed with the humans on Earth, we’re no longer human, not anymore, 1.0 designed us that way.” Aaron saw Tim move over and whisper in Edward’s ear and the two of them get up and go towards Tim’s rooms, that would make it easier, “Our gifts are tied into the gene clusters that determine if we are gay or not;  if you don’t have them you cannot access our gifts.  What most people don’t know, and I never knew until I went to the Core and asked, was that there are other things he tied into the genetics of our race; increased cognition and intelligence is one, though he tweaked it more than a bit to include a photographic memory when he tied Clan specific gifts to the Clan genome set.  The ability to pass knowledge on how to use Clan specific traits and gifts during sex was another, that’s why most of you know how to take energy and kinetically transform it into plasma at the instinctive level and it will always take the shape of a dragon.  He used to amuse the kids by bringing mythical creatures to life in plasma; his favorite one to create was a dragon.”

 

 

“This is one of the reasons you do not allow sex outside the Clan, this sharing of knowledge at a new level,” Rolph looked surprised as he looked around the room and noticed very few looked surprised.

 

 

“One of them,” Aaron agreed, “You won’t suddenly come out of the bio-tube and re-sequencing as a genius, but over two weeks your brain in a sense wakes up, a slow process so it is not as noticeable. One other thing;  the Clan modifications were taken one step further, to tell the truth I never did let the Core finish telling me all the Clan specific traits we have I was too distracted by the ability to manipulate plasma tied to our emotions…like anger, to pay attention or let that damn Jeeves program rattle on.”

 

 

Spotting Kevin over to one side Aaron stared at him for a moment, “Kevin, is there a way to merge Corry with Jeeves and get rid of the annoying thing; it is not as interactive as it could or should be, and truthfully I would prefer no hologram, not to mention the fake accent.”

 

 

Chuckling Kevin smirked evilly, “I’ll look into it sometime soon and let you know.”

 

 

 

 

Tim sat Edward down on the edge of his bed and moved over to the terminal after logging in he faced Edward, “I know you are more than slightly confused, especially with what you’ve overheard in bits and pieces.  Aaron told me to let you view the racial secrets as he plans to bring you back after your meeting and place you in one of the bio-tubes for re-sequencing. You would normally see this after you’ve been altered…” Tim trailed off as he looked at the terminal options and saw the racial history section as locked out, confused he scrolled through different options before breaking down and pathing Aaron, “Aaron, I can’t find the option to let me show Edward the secrets; it’s there but locked out, do you know why?”

 

 

Aaron looked up as he put his shorts on, free balling it as he had banished every set of underwear to the recycler section of the replicators, “Tim?…Well Shit, I forgot for a moment that Edward is not Alteran, the system must have picked up unaltered DNA in the room…FUCK…” Aaron ported into Tim’s bedroom and grabbed Edward, pulled power and ported him to Sol Station, his office, startling both Tim and Edward. “I’ll explain in a minute, Edward.  Someone will be here shortly with your clothes, I need to go back and reset something before the hunter seekers rip the compound apart looking for you….how stupid can I get,” he muttered as he ported out after pulling from the gestalt.

 

 

Arriving in the Core, Aaron micro ported to the platform, “Identify…”

 

 

“Identity confirmed…Aaron Stranton…Prime of Clan Stranton…King of the Alteran Empire…leader of Humanity…”

 

 

Shaking his head at another change in his titles, he would have Kevin have a long talk with the Core later, “Disengage…Intruder sensor report…Clan compound…Ignore response protocols…”

 

 

“Termination sequence disengaged…Hunter Seekers recalled…”

 

 

“FUCK…how stupid can I be to forget something that vital,” Aaron swore as he sat down and rubbed his head, “Tim, can you send someone with some of Edward’s clothes to Sol Station?  I kind of left him naked in my office to come back to reset the hunter seekers that were dispatched to kill Edward when the system scanned the occupants of your room as you tried to view the racial secrets.”

 

 

Tim stared into space for a moment trying to figure out why it mattered then realized, “Oh…we really screwed up on that, didn’t we! I’ll bring some of his clothes to your office.”

 

 

Pulling power from the gestalt, Aaron ported back to his office and smiled at Edward who had moved to the couch.  Sliding over the back so he could spoon up behind Edward he sighed, “Sorry Edward, I forgot that you have not been altered yet, or the fact that the scan would ignore the masking device on your wrist setting the security system after you.” Glad he had ported out of his shorts Aaron reached down and slid a finger between Edward’s cheeks.

 

 

“If you are ready we will re-sequence you as soon as the meeting and interview is over, then you can learn our races secrets and finally make sense of what you’ve heard in bits and pieces,” Aaron slid a finger inside Edward and whispered in his ear, “We have time for you to shag me and quick shower before we have to be dressed; or we can just shower, get dressed and cuddle.”

 

 

Turning to face Aaron, Edward kissed him, “I’m not sure I’ve anything left after this morning,” grinning he looked into Aaron’s smiling face, “I left part of me in Richard, Andrew, Pat and I think Kenny and Doug shared a drink,” reaching down and caressing the hard willie he found Edward thought he might still be up for a shag or two.  Seeing the bottle of lube in Aaron’s hands he gently took it from him and lubed Aaron up before turning back, “I do think I might like you inside me right now, it’s been at least a day since anyone has been inside me, I spent all day yesterday on top.”

 

 

Lifting Edward’s leg to open his cheeks slightly Aaron slid slowly past the tight inner ring, waiting for Edward to move back when  he was ready Aaron started to thrust in and out, the sounds of flesh slapping flesh was louder than the quiet moans of pleasure from Edward.

 

 

Tim ported into Aaron’s office with clothes for both Aaron and Edward and immediately heard the sounds of sex; moving over to the couch and placing the pile on the corner of the table he smiled as he grew stiff and moved forward, well within reach of Edwards mouth.  Once Edward spotted Tim he did his best to swallow Tim’s hard willie. Edward was really good at this, he thought, as he stiffened a few minutes later and filled his eager mouth.  Kneeling down in front of Edward’s crotch, Tim took a good look at the small puddle in front of the leaking erection and decided to do his part in keeping the rest of the couch dry by licking the tip of Edward’s cock before slipping it past his lips.

 

 

Feeling Edward spasm around his shaft Aaron let himself go and shot his load deep inside him, knowing that they did not have time to do things properly he stopped moving and hugged Edward close to him so he could slowly go limp and be expelled when Edward’s body was ready. “So, Edward, you never answered me; are you ready to become Alteran, to join us in all things?”

 

 

Edward was quiet for a few minutes as he thought about it, feeling Aaron start to go limp he squeezed his butt tightly and felt him slip out, smiling he rolled over so he could face Aaron, “We need to shower…and truthfully I want nothing more than to join you, but all of a sudden I’m scared.”

 

 

Tim helped Edward stand so they could take a shower together, picking up the bundle of clothes he led the way to the shower, “Why are you scared?”

 

 

“I am afraid that when it comes time to face my ordeal I will let my dark side rule and it will not be justice just revenge or worse,” Edward said quietly as he felt Aaron sandwich him between Tim and Aaron’s body as they entered the shower.

 

 

“Then we will make sure that until then we will help you deal with your dark side and, when the time does come, you do know you never have to go through with it to belong, or by yourself,” Aaron whispered as he soaped Edward’s back while Tim did his front.

 

 

Sighing as he stared down at the hard cock that would not go away Tim looked at Aaron who smiled back and nodded as he turned holding onto Edward so he could have access to his butt. Grinning in relief Tim grabbed the lube from the shelf and made sure he was nice and slick before slowly sliding into his lover as Edward chuckled.

 

 

Seeing Tim enter Aaron, Edward chuckled, “Satyrs, all of you!”

 

 

Grinning through his frantic thrusting Tim picked up the pace until he buried himself deep inside Aaron as his load left his body, coming down slightly, “Just think shortly you will be one of those Satyrs you keep teasing us about.”

 

 

“I know,” Edward grinned, “And just think I won’t be tired out like I am now after a measly six times.”

 

 

Reaching around Aaron hefted Edward’s ball sack and felt them, they were pretty empty he thought, “It will be grand being able to truly not shag you into unconsciousness, I look forward to that happening.

 

 

Kissing Aaron, Edward smiled, “You’re not the only one.  Andrew already warned me about ‘THE NEED’ hitting and how I’d likely cum about a dozen times before being able to think of things other than sex.  He told me he plans for my first and last load to be inside him when the time comes.”

 

 

Slipping out of Aaron, Tim grinned, “Sounds very hot, so are you okay with doing this, this afternoon?”

 

 

“I think so,” Edward paused as the water started to rinse their bodies before the drying cycle started, “Waiting any longer will just drive me crazy with worry, or bonkers trying to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together that I have overheard you lot talking about.”

 

 

“I’m truly sorry about that Edward, but I think we all think of you as belonging to us in every way possible and we forget ourselves,” Aaron apologized to be interrupted by the hug and kiss from Edward.

 

 

Hugging Aaron and kissing him Edward smiled, “That is the nicest thing you could ever say to me.  It shows me how all of you feel about me; so let me get dressed and get through this damn interview so you can undress me and place me in one of those lovely bio-tubes of yours.”

 

 

Dry now, Aaron smiled as Tim passed out their clothes and went over to the cupboard looking for a set that would fit him, getting dressed Aaron slipped his shirt into his shorts before buttoning them up, slipping his deck shoes on he looked on last time in the mirror before grinning as he went around the partition and into his office. Opening his door he settled behind his desk as Kevin and Fred walked in with smirks on their faces, “I’m almost afraid to ask.”

 

 

Pointing to Edward and Tim coming out of the bathroom Kevin grinned, “I think Edward should be nice and relaxed for the interview.  We wanted to warn you that everyone is waiting for you in the lounge.”

 

 

Fred nodded, “I’ll go talk to the Shaolin healers.  I think the prospective healers and families are being ported up to the park, we should be ready for you to talk to them in an hour. Tyler said something about coming over to talk to the five leaders and your governors about costs of some of our services while you were busy, that way you didn’t need to cover it.  He suggested we use the conference room that way when the reporters are here we can still work without having to move.” Fred smiled as he got his greeting kiss and hug, even though he had one a short time before.  Glancing Edward’s way he tilted his head and examined him, “So this afternoon you’re ours, right?”

 

 

“Yes,” Edward sounded breathless as he grinned like a fool.

 

 

“Good, I can’t wait until you are truly ours in all ways,” Fred walked over and kissed him deeply before moving back slightly, arms still around Edward he looked into his eyes, “I should warn you we plan to see if we can’t drain you dry after your altered, we have a bet going to see how many times you can cum before you stop shooting your load. I picked twenty one, so don’t disappoint me love.”

 

 

Aaron chuckled at Edward’s dazed expression before moving into the hall, “Okay I’m going to escort the group to my conference room; if you want to go through and set up we’ll be there in a minute.”

 

 

Chuckling Aaron walked down the hall and reached the visitors lounge and smiled in greeting, “Welcome, it is good to see all of you again, and today we are going to move the meeting to my conference room so when the vultures, I mean reporters, show up you can still get some work done while we go play nice.”

 

 

Victoria laughed softly, “Why Aaron, one would think you don’t have much use for the media.”

 

 

“Well then you would be about right, our way is so much easier, we just record it all and post it to the system.  If someone wants to know they pull it up.” Aaron shrugged as he waved for them to follow him, “Bill, Clyde, good of you to join us, being territories you missed a large amount of the negotiations but I know you’ve been kept abreast.  Paul, if you fall behind or get confused with what is going on let us know so we can get you up to speed;  being the administrator for the Kingdom’s new holdings, those states we seized as prizes of war, well I can see how you might be a bit behind.”

 

 

Paul laughed, “It’s a good thing my other half, Half, is so good with administrative duties,” Paul smirked remembering some of the religious leaders’ expressions when they were introduced as the administrators for the new section of the Kingdom.

 

 

Picking up on Paul’s thoughts Aaron smiled. It was a glorious day, he thought, when the religious right was proven so wrong and found themselves out of power and influence, and running for another state.

 

 

Waving everyone to a seat Aaron sat on the small loveseat in front of the plasma, “I think I am not going to tempt that outsider god called Murphy by mentioning schedules and time in the same sentence,” Aaron grinned at the laughs as he sat back and looked at the plasma “Fred told me he would be ready for me to show up in about an hour to talk to the healer candidates;  until then I have one item to ask about and will leave the rest of the time to go over anything you feel we need to cover before Tyler gets here to talk about services and pricing.”

 

 

Glancing out the side window Aaron thought how to best word what he wanted, “A situation was brought to my attention this morning, and before anyone becomes worried, I have a solution that is more than fair.” Aaron smiled as Donny and Ru walked through the door with their pups at their sides, following them were the other three Clan members also with their pups.

 

 

Donny smiled as he noticed the shocked looks on the dignitaries’ faces as he and his clan walked into Aaron’s office, smiling and nodding at Aaron, “Prime.”

 

 

“Ah Beastmaster…right on time; I was just getting to the part of the conversation where I would tell our guests about your denial of gaining access to predatory birds,” Aaron wanted to smirk at the expression of wonder on Chairman Woo’s face, but he held off, “As I was saying the Beastmaster here told me this morning that all attempts to purchase hawk or eagle chicks has been denied and he asked me if I had a solution, which I do.” Smiling at Victoria’s curiosity and several of the others thoughts of confusion, “By now our medical technology has firmly set in your minds, and the fact we have and use incubators to have children.  What I propose is this…”

 

 

Aaron activated the terminal and changed the plasma to show the hatcheries, “What I am proposing is to use our technology to harvest cells from healthy birds held in your national or private zoos.  We will then create embryos and hatch our own chicks and Ru, and several of the other Beastmasters, will raise our own breeding stock for our future needs.”

 

 

Bill looked at Aaron in confusion; his brother was the director of the San Francisco zoo and they were working intensely to breed several bald eagle pairs to help increase the population in the wild, “Are you telling me you can take some cells and create fertile eggs? How many eggs can you create at once?”

 

 

“Yes I am,” Aaron thought about it a moment longer as he picked up excitement from Bill and several others, “it’s a painless procedure to take samples from the birds, though it might be a little more involved taking sperm samples from them, but even then we will be able to get two types of samples from them, both for egg production and sperm.  Hmm… from one extraction of the donor cells we should easily get fifty fertile eggs for hatching, and using our hatching chambers we should have an almost one hundred percent hatching rate.  One of the things we won’t have to deal with is the buildup of toxic chemicals as we will implant the embryo into a turkey, or other appropriately sized, egg.”

 

 

“Can you do this for any animal, including those needing something like your female analogs to gestate?” Jens asked with a grin, he remembered all too well the overheard conversation about ‘The Talk’.

 

 

Replacing the image on the plasma with one of several artificial wombs showing both unborn calves and pigs inside he smiled, “Yes, it is a simple matter as you can see.  Some of our artificial wombs are used to bring in prized livestock bloodlines to our herds.”

 

 

“So, many species on the verge of being lost, we…you could take cells and build up and replace what was lost through greed,” Gorbivonovich muttered as he looked up at the screen, “Is this one of the services that will be available to us?”

 

 

Looking over at Donny, Aaron smiled, “I’m sure Tyler would be happy to negotiate the services of the Beastmasters for you.” Feeling the surprise and shock Aaron brushed his mind against Donny’s, “I think this falls under your jurisdiction, wild animals and all. And to tell the truth, it is an excellent way to expand your members and have the support staff you will need.”

 

 

Pleased Donny smiled and stood taller, “Thank you Aaron, I’ll post a message on the system as soon as we get back about some of the new projects, and this one.”

 

 

Woo looked at Ru, his eyes narrowing in concentration, “Grand Nephew, I am intrigued by the symbol on your temple, can you explain?” Seeing Ru stiffen and look at his Majesty for permission after looking at his clan leader, Woo nodded as Ru no longer acknowledged his right to rule…as it should be he thought, as he leaned back.

 

 

“This mark, cannot be counterfeited. This is the symbol of my clan, it marks me as a Beastmaster,” Ru pointed to the symbol on the leather shirt he wore, “This symbol denotes which beasts I am teamed with.” Ru left off eagle, dog and horse in his explanation as he broadcast his thoughts.

 

 

 Woo looked around and noticed the medallion on several of the clan members’ necks had the house symbol of a dragon holding a crown; spotting the signet on Aaron’s hand of the dragon wearing a crown he remembered the Shaolin with his two tattoos.

 

 

Jens had a thought, he was not sure Rolph’s parents would be pleased to see him sporting a tattoo, “Do all clans tattoo the clan symbol on their body?”

 

 

Picking up on the man’s thoughts Aaron grinned, “No, in fact my Clan uses a medallion; ours is a medallion on a chain that cannot be removed.  Each clan chooses how they wish to wear their symbol, either a tattoo or medallion only the Clan leader can place or remove .  If it is a tattoo to be inscribed in their skin then the location is chosen to where is can be quickly visible.”

 

 

Morimoto glanced at Ru before thinking back, “The Shaolin have two tattoos; can one assume the clan tattoo is the one of the tiger? Which means the one of the dragon…” Eyes widening as he remembered that day, he whispered, “The left hand of the dragon.”

 

 

“Yes indeed,” Aaron glanced back at the dignitaries, “To get back on track, I will agree to offering twenty newly hatched chicks for every fifty chicks hatched, for the rights of our teams to collect genetic and cell samples from the birds of prey.  The Beastmasters will visit each Zoo that agrees to this, collect the samples, and return the chicks after they are hatched and certified healthy.”

 

 

“I think that is very fair,” Victoria smiled as she watched her counterparts nod in agreement.

 

 

I will train all five of you in collecting samples with the equipment, and both Mark and I will help you create the embryos until you find your own people,” Aaron pathed, the message caused all five Beastmasters to smile.

 

 

“Thank you Prime,” Donny slightly bowed his head as he motioned with his hand for Dante to touch him before porting out to the park so Dante could visit a bush. A moment later his four lovers and their pups ported out following him.

 

 

“Back to the Immigration plans before I have to leave,” Aaron smiled as Tyler walked into the room holding a box of chips.

 

 

 

 

Getting up as Tyler started by introducing some of the services they would hire out for, such as teleportation of people and objects, including mail, to the new colony worlds Aaron stopped at the door, “Tyler, we touched briefly on hiring the Beastmasters to work with creating and restocking endangered species.  I’m sure after they explain what they want you will be able to eventually work up a fee schedule,” Smiling at Edward and James, “I’ll meet both of you in my office for the interview in an hour.”

 

 

Winking at Kevin and Edward before walking out into the hall Aaron thought about Fred and where he was before porting over to the park.  Appearing a short distance away Aaron stood and watched the crowd listening to Fred talk, and catching sight of Lady and Dante chasing each other, he grinned as he felt one of his lovers approach, “Hello Love, Hey Donny.”

 

 

“I’ve seen you do that before it and it still amazes me,” Donny looked at Aaron in awe.

 

 

Grinning as he pulled Damien into a kiss Aaron looked over at Donny, “Do something for me; I want you to think about Ru and tell me what he is doing right now.”

 

 

Without thinking about it Donny fired off, “Ru is talking to Matt down at…” eyes wide in shock Donny thought about Running Bear and knew he was talking to three new recruits over in the med bay, “How?”

 

 

“It’s your bond,” Aaron smiled at Donny before pulling him into a hug, “You will always know where your lovers are at all times, and they will always know where you are.  After you talk with some of your new clan mind to mind, and you learn to let your mind wander, you can start freaking people out like I do.”

 

 

Donny laughed wondering how long it would take to learn to do that and thinking about the pranks he could pull, “When we left the conference room Damien pulled me into your office so I would not forget to post the new job postings to the system; I never did give it much thought about support staff beyond finding a vet and healer.” Staring into Aaron’s eyes Donny smiled, “Thank you for making my dream come true, even beyond my wildest dreams.”

 

 

“Your more than welcome Donny, I can’t wait until you are fully running as a clan and I can send your people out on training missions to some of the other worlds in our empire.  I expect I will be more than impressed.  Which leads me to this,” Aaron pulled a small chip case out of his pocket, “I modified the list of areas your clan will cover this morning after we were asked about the conservation aspect.  Now I’m not telling you that you have to adopt this, but as I was going over this some of the things I added made sense; things like having all your people trained in first aid to the medic level, for both people and animals.”  Handing the chip over Aaron smiled, “it made sense to me if your clan was going to be used in search and rescue, that it probably might be a good idea to be able to administer stabilizing treatment to those you are rescuing. The biggest change is in the new section added about conservation of species. I included my thoughts from the conversation this morning; it probably will need to be fleshed out some, and we will have to find a place to build your new facility.”

 

 

Donny was slightly confused, “New facility?” before it sank in, if they were going to be asked to bring species back from the edge of extinction they would need a place to do it, “Oh…Can we just build it under the compound, deep underground, we can port in and out and not worry about any of the animals escaping into Middle Earth?”

 

 

“That might make things easier all around,” Aaron thought before hugging Donny one more time, “if you need help designing the facility ask Derrick to help. After it is designed he is the one who will program the replicators to build it for you.  Now, I better go over and talk to the colony healers.”

 

 

Making his way over to the front near Fred, Aaron smiled as he pulled him into a hug before addressing the crowd, “I’ve thought about the best way to hold classes for all of you so you can get used to the new technology you will use, and learn about the new laws you will be living under.  For the most part everything is common sense.  I’m sure you will find the classes on our laws interesting; I want to make sure you know what our laws are. As, unlike some of the other countries that kept passing laws and no one knew what was the law or not until they were arrested, our laws never change.” Gazing out at the crowd Aaron grinned, “I’m sure most of you have already made the choice on which of the new worlds you want to move to; well, starting tomorrow, you’ll show up at nine in the morning with your families and be ported to the station orbiting the planet you will be moving to.  I thought it might be nice to have your lessons in the system you will eventually be living in.”

 

 

Glancing down at Fred as he pathed him what he planned to do next which included a tour of the med bays Aaron kissed the top of his head, “Fred is going to take you on a tour of the med bays next, after that he will take you to the transfer bays so you can familiarize yourselves with the carriers and the safety procedures.  Starting tomorrow they are what you are going to use as you travel back and forth to Sol Station from the station at your soon to be new home.”

 

 

Seeing the excitement in their faces Aaron chuckled, spotting a large group of youngsters with a few young teens walk into the park he noticed right away the limiters on their wrists, “I’m going to leave you in Fred’s capable hands, he will show you the med bay and then match you up with the healers who will be training you on our equipment.” Moving off to one side Aaron waited for the group to leave on their tour, head tilted to the side as he tasted the broadcast thoughts from the nervous teens.

 

 

Motioning them over he smiled as he sat down on the ground so he could be comfortable, “Hello, I think you are looking for me; why don’t you sit down and we can talk.” Sending out comfort at the nervous teens and youngsters he quickly counted heads and saw about thirty in this group and he wondered what was bothering them.

 

 

Seeing the lost expression on their faces Aaron tried to break the ice pointed to the clear ceiling and the distant red planet, “How do you guys like being in space so far?”

 

 

“It is a wonder to be here Prime.”

 

 

Uh oh, Aaron thought, something was not right here.  He actively skimmed their surface thoughts looking for answers, and he found they were those who could be considered Lost Ones; those that did not fit in as they were raised like Ichiro.  He stiffened as he made the connection.  They had been raised like Ichiro had been, their lives completely ordered and controlled.  Seeing the hopeful expressions on their faces Aaron felt like crying, holding it in he asked, “I take it you don’t feel a connection with the Shaolin? How about any siblings, do any of you have brothers that can look after you?”

 

 

Watching all of them shake their heads no Aaron’s hope died.  Glancing over at Damien and Donny who had come back after making the circuit of the park as they talked, he smiled as Lady and Dante saw him on the ground and took off in play attack mode eager to get their bellies rubbed.  Lap full of excited puppies, Aaron tried to think of a solution that would work; scratching and rubbing bellies he was not finding one that was working, “Colin…” Aaron concentrated as he pathed for his head mind healer.

 

 

Damien grinned as he saw lady and Dante mock attack Aaron as he sat on the ground with a group of youngsters.  Giggling as the two puppies fell all over themselves, literally, to be first to get their bellies rubbed he nudged Donny, “I swear those two act like Aaron is the best thing next to a chew toy.”

 

 

“I wonder if it is because he is a prime that he has a closer connection to the teams, even the ones he never met before seem to want his attention as if they crave it,” Donny smiled as he pointed to the group of youngsters and teens, “just like them.”

 

 

“What do you mean…” Damien trailed off as he looked at the faces of the group sitting around Aaron and their lost and hopeful expression, “Oh Shit…” reaching out with his mind he brushed near Aaron’s and found him deep in a mental conversation. Stopping near the edge of the group Damien smiled down at the teen, “Hello, did you come to talk to Aaron about something?”

 

 

Looking up and seeing the Clan medallion and the strange symbol on the other boys temple he smiled, “He is our prime; we have come to find out what he wants us to do; we are his now.”

 

 

Damien looked at the confused look on Donny’s face and sent his mind looking for Pete, not finding him he searched and found Kevin instead, “Kevin what are we going to do with thirty more Ichiro’s?”

 

 

Kevin stopped midstride, foot still in the air as he looked off to the side in the direction of the park causing everyone to notice him, and Tyler to go silent as he stared and reached out with his mind to see who was contacting Kevin with news that could cause him to freeze. “WHAT…” Kevin screamed in his mind, “What do you mean thirty more Ichiro’s; like he is now or before Aaron fixed his brain?”

 

 

Letting Kevin look through his eyes Damien shrugged mentally, “If I had to guess I would say like Ichiro was before Aaron fixed him.”

 

 

Kevin looked at Tyler with horror on his face, as he pulled energy from the gestalt and sent a message to Pete to get the Clan to the Sol Station Park as quickly as he could, “Something has come up Clan related and we need to leave for a few minutes, if you will excuse us we’ll return shortly and continue.”

 

 

Edward watched Tyler and Kevin port out; frowning in thought he wondered what happened now.  At least they did not look pissed, and glancing at the monitors he saw they were still showing the information Tyler was going over so it did not look like another attack.

 

 

Finished discussing options with Colin, Aaron needed to talk to Derrick and focusing on him felt him looking at him.  Opening his eyes he noticed that his lovers had gathered and were staring between the youngsters and teens and him. Reaching out he linked with each of them so he could show them what he had found out and what Colin and he had discussed.

 

 

Thinking of the compound floor plan Derrick pointed out, “I can build another hall like ours on the other side of the greenhouse.  I can connect the entry to the greenhouse which connects to the compound near the visitors lodge.  Maybe Darren and a few of the prospectives can help us take care of them until you and Colin can see how much of their brains you can reconfigure.”

 

 

I think I can finally understand how in the other timeline they could field an army when they took over; if they spent a generation raising kids to be like this they had an instant obedient army of followers that would not hesitate to do what was ordered,” Tim sighed as he looked at Pete and Kevin, “I always wondered how they could have so many fanatical followers that couldn’t be reasoned with, according to the racial histories.”

 

 

Just think how many more there could have been if Aaron 1.0 did not arrange all those accidents!  Look at them;  most of them are young, only maybe five with limiters, most of the others are youngsters,” Kevin sighed as he felt Aaron’s sadness. “Derrick can build them a safe place to live with bedrooms and such; we’ll eventually be able to help them, the younger ones will be easier to raise up and get over their brainwashing I think.”

 

 

Kenny had been walking and moving between the youngsters reading them with his empathy, staring at Aaron he smiled, “If we treat them as our sons, be the fathers they should have had, they will heal and be happy without you having to change their brains.”

 

 

Aaron blinked several times in thought as he looked at Kenny wondering if he had to worry about the precog gift showing up in him.  Looking at the rest of his lovers he felt their minds thinking about what Kenny told them.  He watched the group of youngsters fidgeting nervously; they felt like they were afraid to hope, yearning for fathers to love them. All this Kenny picked up and shared with the rest of them and Aaron looked at each of his lovers in turn and waited for their vote, even though he knew what they would say, their minds linked as they were.

 

 

The last one to agree, Aaron finally nodded as he looked at the youngsters, “The Clan is in agreement, you are to be our sons and we shall be fathers to all of you and show you the love you yearn for.  If you need to pack anything now is the time to do it.  You will be going home shortly,” eyes going over to David and Xon before settling on Derrick, “Derrick, if you would expand the dining area first, then if you open up the file named expansion one in the replicator suite you will find the plans to expand off of our hall.  These are the plans I’ve been playing around with as eventually I was going to build the new section once our children were older.  Set the replicators to build those; if we are going to bring them in as our sons they need to be closer than at the other end of the compound.”

 

 

“I will need volunteers to help with supper tonight; I’ll probably do pizza as that will be the easiest thing I guess,” Aaron sighed as he stood up and brushed his shorts off. Kissing Kevin he went around and kissed his lovers before working through the lost ones; their new sons, lost no more, hugging each of them he kissed their foreheads and felt their minds screaming out in joy. Ending back at Kevin, Aaron shook his head, “I need to get the vultures out of the way, they should be on station by now to do background footage most likely.  I’ll get this over with as quick as I can, pop Edward into a bio-tube here on station and come home.”

 

 

“It’ll be alright, Aaron, Kenny’s gift of empathy has been spot on so far. I think with some positive reinforcement it will turn out alright in the end,” Laughing as he hugged Aaron one more time, “I always wondered why there was that big empty section across from the dining hall. Now I know, you planned to build another section and fill it with our kids. You horny…horny Satyr you,” giggling he danced out of Aaron’s reach as he shooed him away with his hands to get on with the interview.

 

 

Shaking his head Aaron watched his lovers move in amongst the youngsters talking to them before following Tyler out of the park.

 

 

Deep in thought Aaron made his way to his office.  Hearing voices he peaked in and saw several people setting up equipment and continued to the conference room.

 

 

Victoria seeing Aaron walk in distracted asked, “I hope the problem was not something that is going to cause you more problems, Aaron,” they had briefly discussed possibilities after both Kevin and Tyler had left, but as no alarms had sounded they relaxed hoping it was something minor.

 

 

Glancing around the room Aaron smiled and shook his head, “I don’t think so, nothing earth shattering at any rate; just a minor housing problem that reared its head that we needed to get on top of immediately.  Edward, James, the reporters are setting up next door; shall we make our way over and get this over with?” Grinning he looked behind him and then whispered, “The sooner we get this over with the sooner the vultures are off my station.”

 

 

Edward laughed as he stood up and smoothed out his pants and glanced over at his father with a smile on his face, “Right you are, I have to agree with you in private; in public, of course, I have no idea who you could be referring to.”

 

 

Chuckling James stood and moved to the door where Aaron was standing, “Why Edward, already taking after the politicians; that was positively perfect double speak.”

 

 

Aaron laughed as Edward frowned trying to decide if he had been insulted; deciding he had, he glared at his father for a moment before wiping the expression off his face as they entered Aaron’s office.

 

 

Taking the middle chair Aaron stared at the Earth for a moment before sitting down, it would make a good backdrop he thought.  Glancing at the Shaolin around the room he wondered when the reporters would finally show up.  He only had to wait a few minutes before Friedrich escorted a group of four reporters, including Hilde, into his office, “Good morning,” Aaron greeted them while inwardly he sighed, all he needed was four of them asking questions.

 

 

“Thank you, your Majesty, for inviting us up and for allowing us to transmit this Earthside,” Hilde took one of the chairs across from them, “Are there any ground rules you wish us to follow?”

 

 

Surprised, Aaron noticed the other three reporters hastily cover up their dismay, “I appreciate you asking me that, Hilde,” he looked up for a moment, “I think as long as the questions are respectful, and if you do stray into an area I am not willing to answer any of the questions about I can at least tell you the reason why, but I would ask that you then drop it and move on… Oh, and let’s try to be very careful on the personal questions;  while my people have a different definition of privacy than outsiders do we do value our personal privacy.”

 

 

“I can understand that Sir,” Hilde smiled as her fellow reporters sat down and pulled out their notebooks, already filled with questions, “Can I ask if you’ve heard the news on the vote yet?”

 

 

An easy one Aaron thought, a good way to start off, “I have, and to say I’m surprised is an understatement.  I would ask how you determined how many of those eligible have voted?”

 

 

“It was easier than you would think.  Using the postal registry and the school registry we were able to identify ninety percent of the population,” Hilde smiled, “it helped that we used the polling places already set up to cross reference the records.”

 

 

Brushing up against Edwards mind Aaron asked, “Is that doable? would you get accurate data that way?”

 

 

Thinking about it real hard Edward answered that under the old regime it was more than doable, if the crown had not taken back control they soon would have been living in a police state.

 

 

“I see…” Aaron nodded as he thought, “Which brings us to this point in time then; Edward and I have been in talks ever since you started this voting, we have even discussed children and how we create them.”

 

 

“I thought you would just collect some cells and do in-vitro and implant it into your female analogs?”

 

 

Aaron stared at the camera man that made that comment a moment, “Just like you would outside our Kingdom, a son is created by an act of love, physical love.  While we may use different techniques than you would, naturally, a child should still be created through an act of love.” Seeing the man blush and hide behind the camera Aaron silently chalked one up from his side.

 

 

“I guess we really should be asking if you are agreeable to it, Prince Edward,” Hilde slowly asked, “I know both your brother and cousin have married into his Majesty’s Clan; Prince Andrew’s marriage securing our right to colonize the universe with the other countries.”

 

 

“In a way I could understand your hesitation, your family has already given so much, and here we are asking you to go and give up so much more,” the only male reporter commented, he felt funny with Hilde’s demands on the crown.

 

 

Falling back on the conversation he had with Aaron last night Edward sighed, “Am I comfortable with this, well it does not bother me really, not all that much. But what you do not realize is some of the cultural aspects that this would entail,” Edward glanced at Hilde and was pleased she was embarrassed. “One of the things we take for granted in our society is the option of divorce.  In Alteran society there is no divorce…ever!  There would also be no sex outside of marriage to the Clan; being surrounded by telepaths sort of precludes one from getting away with that quirk that some people indulge in.”

 

 

“Not to mention that, if I were to marry into the Clan, steps would need to be taken to make sure my throne is not absorbed by the Alteran throne,” Edward sighed as he looked at Hilde, “Though there have been talks of creating a son between the two of us, thus ensuring the continuation of my line, and garnering the ties most people want so we as a people can get the benefits of those close ties.”

 

 

“I am not sure I understand,” Tillie glanced at Edward, “Are you saying if you would marry into the Clan we would become part of the Alteran kingdom?”

 

 

“If we are not careful on how we approach this, that is if it does happen, it could be a possibility if we rush into things,” James interjected, “Aaron…His Majesty has given us some relief as we are in talks about doing this, and he has agreed to release the personal shields to our constables.  But, make no mistake, if this does happen it will be after careful consideration and planning.”

 

 

“Should parents fear that those you have healed in the beginning may lose their sons like Richard’s parents lost him to you after being healed?”

 

 

“Whatever gave you that idea,” Aaron looked scandalized, “Richard asked to join us! The other children that were healed are not under any obligation.”

 

 

“I can truthfully say that my cousin, Richard, wanted what was offered by Aaron and his people; the life they live and the possibility of doing what he always dreamed of.  Heavens, he’s stepped foot on dozens of planets that we could only dream about.  What young child has not lain in the backyard gazing up at the stars and dreaming about what it would be like to explore those planets?  Well, for Richard, he does not have to imagine it anymore; he is living that dream, and I am happy for him,” Edward was forceful as he stared at the reporter.

 

 

 Ruddy gazed at his colleagues, “Dozens?”

 

 

“Being King of an Empire of sixty five worlds in not some fancy wishful title,” Aaron looked at the man, “Not only that, there are twenty seven more worlds under testing.  When they all eventually pass it will mean my Empire has a total of ninety two worlds, and that does not take into consideration that we are discovering more.”

 

 

Seeing her fellows were stunned Hilde asked, “I understand Betty Wilder will be broadcasting from one of the new colony worlds, and you are somehow going to broadcast this live; my question is, how is this possible?”

 

 

“Well, the short answer is that we have real time communications with all planets in the empire by means of stable hyper spatial rifts. Hmmm, let’s see if I can make this easier on you, if I told you we travel on our ships by folding space. The ability to say travel the length of a rope from one end to the other by folding, or bringing the two ends together, and what was light years apart is now centimeters apart. We do this by controlled hyper spatial travel, or folding of space; we also communicate this way.” Aaron chuckled, “I’ve gone and used two terms your physicists have kept separate and built different complex equations and theories around; in truth you can’t fold space without traveling through hyperspace.”

 

 

Leaning forward and staring in the camera Aaron smiled, “Some of them will call me a liar, others will say it is impossible and I’m deliberately confusing the issue; to answer those scientists I have this to say, build your own star drive and prove me wrong!  Mine works, and has for well over three hundred years.”

 

 

“If I can ask, if you are opening these five planets up for us to colonize, how many do you have that are awaiting colonists?” Ruddy asked.

 

 

“These five worlds, Wolf 359, Ross 248, Procyon, Ross 128 and Wolf 287 have all passed their tests in the past five years as habitable and ready to colonize; they are part of the ten recent planets released from the testing phase, as far as the others, well, they all have my citizens living on them.” Aaron side stepped the question neatly.

 

 

“Do your people have a new capital planet, and if so where is it located?” Hilde looked down at her notes, “That would explain so much, especially your comments when the Iraqi government attacked you.”

 

 

“No non-Alteran will ever set foot in our new capital system; the defenses we have emplaced will automatically destroy anything that gets within several light years of our system. As far as where it is located, I will not tell anyone that; frankly it is none of your business,” Aaron stared at her voice cold as ice.

 

 

Ruddy saw his Majesty’s temper flash and quickly asked, “I understand a young German schoolboy was taken on a tour of the Reliant I believe it is called.  How did that come about?”

 

 

Allowing the distraction Aaron smiled at the reporter, “I, of course, had several hundred reporters email me with requests for a tour and their reasons but the one that stood out was a single thirteen year old that emailed me asking for permission to visit the Reliant. He explained that his father had worked in the aerospace industry until his accident.  It had been his father’s dream to go into space and he wished to bring a video recorder and record his trip so he could show his father what he had always dreamed about in the hopes he would find some happiness. The ship’s captain even asked for permission for a trip outside this system and he visited Sigma Alpha Seven with the lad.”

 

 

“I understand you offered the father a chance at one of your hospital to have the nerve damage repaired,” Ruddy smiled as he mentioned this.

 

 

“I did,” Aaron smiled, “but he is a stubborn man.  He told me that until all the children that are waiting for treatment in his country have had a chance to be healed he will wait.  He said he can wait a year or so, after all, he told me he had gotten used to being in the wheelchair.”

 

 

“I also understand the family has been reluctant to share the recording with the press  Is there any way we might see it?  What I am really asking is, do you have your own copy we may see?” Ruddy asked eager to get his hands on the tape.

 

 

“As far as the lad and his family sharing the tape, that is up to them.  I understand he only did this trip for his dad, so I would hope people would respect their rights to keep it private,” Aaron warned.

 

 

Edward leaned forward, towards Aaron, “Is that the world Kenny showed us, with those green monkey flying things he called them?”

 

 

“I don’t know why he is so fascinated with those insects, but yes, that is the world,” Aaron told him smiling at the shocked looked on the reporters’ faces.

 

 

Hilde fearing they were getting off track asked, “Prince Edward are you contemplating marrying into his Majesty’s Clan?”

 

 

Edward sighed and glanced at Aaron out of the corner of his eye, “I am considering it; the possibilities that would open for me personally, besides what would open up for my people, are very attractive and worth considering.”

 

 

“And which way are you leaning right now, Prince Edward?” one of the other female reports asked as she looked at her notebook, “And would you consider perhaps siring a child our way with a girl before you would join with one of his Majesty’s family members?”

 

 

“I am leaning towards joining the Clan,” Edward sighed as he looked at the woman, “And no, I would not have a child out of wedlock. One, the church would not allow it, and for the other, Alteran law would not allow it.  If I had a child by a girl, it automatically excludes me from consideration; it is considered an automatic assumption of intent of marriage in their Kingdom to have a child with someone.”

 

 

“Surely you could ask his Majesty for a special dispensation,” the woman asked slyly as she looked at Aaron.

 

 

“The law is the law and I will not undermine the very fabric of our family structure,” Aaron stared at the woman and decided she was fair game and skimmed her thoughts. Not liking what he found there he glanced at Edward; he would have to warn him that she, along with a few others, were planning on a way to get a sperm sample from him.

 

 

“The world was riveted to their television sets last week as you invaded and destroyed the United States; can you tell us what led to the invasion? I realize several things had been hinted at”

 

 

Aaron had wondered if someone would ask this type of question, “The first thing you have to realize is that at the time I demanded the unconditional surrender of the United States Government it had already been replaced, though at the time I did not know that it had already happened.  A religious government that was intolerant to everyone but those few that professed their beliefs, their strict definition of what was right.  Everyone else was to be cleansed, in their words.  But their actions told everyone that cleansing was death; even the president’s wife was part of that shadow government. They had already tried to assassinate me twice by that time, to gain control of our technology.”

 

 

“They had secret hidden bases and labs, and in several of these labs they had developed bio-weapons that if released, once combined, would have mutated and killed off everything that breathed; and this super virus would not have been destroyed by the hard vacuum of space,” Aaron sighed as he stared at the camera, “I had two choices when I was confronted with the proof and video of their tests on human subjects. I could either destroy every lab and base, and demand the surrender of the U.S. government so I could go in and ferret out every man, woman and child that belonged to this Army of God and the shadow government, or I could cause the sun in this system to go super nova and sterilize this system so that plague could never leave your planet.”

 

 

The reporters were stunned and Aaron drove his point home and hoped people would listen and consider his words, “Before I met Edward and his family my choice would not have been the one I did take!” Sitting back Aaron waited until the reporters asked a question, he was already tired of this and wanted it over and the female captured and drained of information.

 

 

Hilde looked at Edward and felt ashamed that her own agenda had pushed them to this; she had let her emotions over her brother’s death cloud her judgment.  They had already given so much and she demanded more; she would apologize later, she owed Edward a heartfelt apology. Sensing that any more questions would have to be jump started from their end Hilde asked, “You mentioned that the shield technology would be released, do you have a date in mind?”

 

 

“Currently Palace security is being upgraded to the same standards of our own security forces,” Aaron smiled at her shock, “After they have completed their training we will let them train the rest of the forces and start to release the shielding technology to your police forces” thinking about it and comparing dates, “Sometime in the next ten days I would think, it all depends on how quickly palace security finishes their training.”

 

 

“Does that have to do with the attack on Prince Andrew?  Is that why you are upgrading the security around the royal family,” the reporter that had not asked anything yet asked.

 

 

“Yes,” Aaron replied as he turned to look at her, not bothering to elaborate further.

 

 

“I was wondering something,” Ruddy asked as smiled as his Majesty looked his way, “with the obvious advanced technology at your disposal it is clear that you advanced at a faster rate than the rest of the world; is there a reason for this?”

 

 

“I suppose there is,” Aaron sat back in his chair and thought about the best way to say this, “I suppose if I told you that a few weeks ago I listened to voice recordings that are over four thousand years old it might give you an idea.  We developed a technological civilization a long time before those of you outside our kingdom did  It was not until the rest of the world started to make war on each other that we looked to the stars, and leaving the world of our birth.  I believe the first of our probes left the Earth about the times of the crusades; we knew what was coming and prepared.”

 

 

Thinking about it Ruddy quickly asked, “Then you must have records on the normal cycle of weather? Can you tell us which of the differing scientific groups are correct when it comes to the debate surrounding global warming?”

 

 

Aaron looked at the man for a minute and skimmed his thoughts and found out he normally was a science reporter, “None of them.” Seeing he was going to interrupt Aaron raised a hand, “Let me start off by saying first off there has not been a rise in global water temperatures, so that theory is out.  Then we have the theory of the damaged ozone layer and the greenhouse effect; those are both valid points but both of them do not fit in with the observed phenomena with the glaciers. We are actually entering a cooling cycle as far as global cycles go.  Let me ask you this in return to see if you can come to the correct conclusion; what happens if you place salt on ice?”

 

 

“Excuse me,” Ruddy sat back and looked at his Majesty, “I am not sure I understand fully what that has to do with global warming or the glaciers breaking up?”

 

 

“Edward?” Aaron asked causing him to lean forward.

 

 

“Well we use salt to melt ice all the time, we place it on our roads and around our buildings in winter time,” Edward was curious where this was going himself.

 

 

“Correct, and if I told you the glaciers breaking up were caused by increased salinity around the arctic,” Aaron told him ignoring the reporters.

 

 

“I can understand that,” Edward looked at Aaron as he thought about what had been said so far, “So the question remains what is causing the ocean to get saltier causing the ice to break up so the water can equalize?” Edward mused, “I’m not sure what could cause that though.”

 

 

“And if I told you the average person has forty liters of water in their body, just over ten gallons? This is not salt water, mind you, but fresh water,” Aaron told him and saw the realization set in.

 

 

“Oh bugger,” Edward swore as he looked at his father to see if he had figured it out yet.

 

 

“I don’t follow, not really.  What do those two things have in common that would affect the global warming debate?” Ruddy was confused.

 

 

“Because,” Edward looked at him, “there is no global warming…the cause of the glaciers melting is overpopulation.  If each person born and reaching adult size takes forty liters of fresh water out of the environment until death, then the ocean gets saltier as there is less fresh water returning to it.”

 

 

Horrified as the realization dawned on him Ruddy looked over at his Majesty, “But if we allow people to leave the planet we lose the water forever.”

 

 

“Well considering that I have access to a frozen pure water source off world, not really,” Aaron smirked, “Granted, once immigration starts, I will have to increase the semi-annual deposits to a more frequent rate.”

 

 

Glaring at the camera, “I would look unfavorably on any group or government that advocated drastic population control by the artificial means of shortening a person’s lifespan,” Aaron looked at the reporters, “We’ve strayed from the original line of questioning.”

 

 

Aaron silently groaned as the next hour seemed to drag on.  Finally he sat back as the female reporter he had been actively skimming her thoughts asked a leading question, “Edward, how do you think all your past girlfriends are going to feel if you marry into his Majesty’s clan? They will feel pretty betrayed, don’t you think?”

 

 

Edward blinked and frowned, “I’ve never had a girlfriend; in fact I’ve never dated, so I am unsure where you even got that idea.”

 

 

“Oh come on, Prince Edward, everyone knows of your exploits, after all it has been in the papers for years,” she oozed sweetness.

 

 

“You’re crossing the line,” Aaron frowned before glaring at her, “as a telepath I can tell you he is not lying when he tells you he has never dated or had a girlfriend; unlike you when you mention his girlfriends.  Most people know not to believe in the crap that is printed, not all of it is accurate.”

 

 

“But we have the pictures of our dear Edward in compromising positions,” she returned the glare, intent on stopping the possibility of a marriage between the two; there was no way she would accept the Prince marrying a male.

 

 

Skimming her thoughts Aaron felt how upset Edward was becoming, “Well, it is too bad that we both know they are fakes, isn’t it?  You want the possibility of marriage between the two kingdoms to fail; the question is why?” he asked as he pushed at her mind slightly.

 

 

“Because his Holiness, the Pope, condemns the union,” she sat up feeling free to talk for some reason, “he has issued a warning that what you do is an abomination before the eyes of god, and all that associate with you are sinners in the eyes of god and are going to hell.”

 

 

“You do know Edward and his family are not catholic; what gives your Pope the right to dictate to those not of your faith or church?” Aaron watched as the two reporters sitting next to her got up and moved away, as if sitting next to her would taint them somehow.

 

 

“He is our spiritual leader," She looked at him, “Soon others will learn that they are following sinners and will flock to the true faith.” Blinking as she suddenly paled, “what did you do to me? You put something in the air to make me speak freely.”

 

 

“Afraid it was all you,” Aaron sighed as he looked at the camera, “I just invaded and destroyed a country because religious extremists took over and planned to kill off anyone that did not follow their one true faith.  I think I have shown I have no problem doing that, and will not hesitate to take out Rome and the Vatican…this interview is over.” Aaron stood up, “Why is it every time I turn around some religion is calling my people abominations or calling for the death of others? Why can’t they let others believe what they want and live and let live?”

 

 

Friedrich waited until Aaron finished his statement before motioning the cameras to be turned off as his men moved in to take control of the woman; they planned to get her off the station as fast as possible.

 

 

“You have to believe me, your Majesty, we did not know about Sarah.  We had no idea she was that fanatical,” Hilde pleaded.

 

 

“I don’t hold any of you responsible,” Aaron sighed, “I just wish all of you would learn to let others do as they please if they are not bothering anyone else or hurting anyone.”

 

 

Aaron watched as it was a somber group that left his office. Finally, Aaron walked over to his desk and entered a few notes for the spook squad to follow up on and logging out of the system he motioned Edward and his father to follow him out.  Leading them to the situation room Aaron made sure the pickups were off, “That could have gone better,” Sighing he looked at Edward, “I was going to warn you I picked up on her intention to trick you or steal sperm from you to inseminate a girl, now though…”

 

 

“Mother is going to be furious,” James looked at his son who looked beyond angry.

 

 

Maybe it was time to wait, “Edward, the choice is yours you know; do you want to be altered like I suggested today or wait?” Aaron sat on one of the desks and waited as Edward thought things over.

 

 

“I was looking forward to being altered today, but I think I need to wait until the weekend so the two days I’m gone won’t be missed,” Edward cursed, “Bloody Arses, why won’t they leave me the hell alone.”

 

 

“I’m sorry Edward,” Aaron sighed as he moved over and hugged him, “we’ll wait as long as it takes; just make sure Thomas is warned about the attempt,” he looked at James as he said that. Once he nodded Aaron pulled Edward tight again.  After a few minutes Aaron looked at Edward, “shall we go back and see if they have been confused by Tyler and his gross national product explanations yet?”

 

 

Chuckling Edward gave Aaron a tired smile and a hug back before moving to the door, making his way back to the conference room.

 

 

 

Aaron sighed as he and Tyler ported to his office on Centauri Station.  Pete and Xon had done a good job of recreating an identical counterpart of his office on Sol Station on each of the other stations.  Smiling after kissing Tyler one more time at his accomplishments today, they ported down to the compound.  He had just enough time to make the dough for the pizza’s he planned to cook tonight.

 

 

Ichiro, spotting Aaron walk into the kitchen, quickly rushed over so he could help him. He had watched in amazement when the MRB’s floated into the compound and enlarged the kitchen, and then created the new door into the new wing.   Seeing his prime over at the mixer he moved closer, “May I assist you, Prime?”

 

 

Dumping the bag of flour into the big mixing bowl Aaron smiled at the offer, “Of course you can, Ichiro.  Why don’t you measure out the warm water for me and mix the block of yeast into it?” Adding the other dry ingredients into the bowl Aaron turned the beater on slow and added the oil, and when Ichiro finished, he poured the mixture into the flour, watching the forming dough to see if it needed more water.

 

 

Handing the measuring pitcher back Aaron smiled, “Grab another two blocks of yeast; once this batch is finished I’ll let you cut it into the right sizes so it can rise while I start the next batch.” Feeling the pleasure rolling off Ichiro, Aaron waited until the dough pulled together before turning the mixer off and rolling the mixing bowl over to the end of the table and into the lift arms.  He hit the button to lift it up to the table top and swung the edge of the bowl so it dumped the dough onto the table, “Okay Ichiro, I think we’ll do sheet pans tonight so measure out forty two ounces of dough per pan if you would; after you’ve filled the pans we can slide the pan filled rack into the proofer.”

 

 

Going back and grabbing another sack of flour Aaron left Ichiro to dough cutting duty, “Hello Loves,” Aaron dumped the flour into the bowl as Pat and Damien walked in to help.

 

 

“What should we do?” Pat asked as he grinned before sneaking a kiss from Aaron, ducking under the flour covered hands reaching for him.

 

 

“How about you guys get the sauce ready for me,” Aaron smiled as he kissed Damien and smirked as he walked away with a white streak in his hair.

 

 

Half an hour later Aaron had a production line going as more of his lovers had come into the kitchen to help him create the pizzas.  They made quick work of the twenty five full sheet pizzas as Aaron slid them into the ovens as each was finished. “Thanks guys, this made it a lot easier on me. How are the youngsters settling in?”

 

 

“The new wing is really cool looking, but we don’t know how to help them decorate their rooms; they acted all lost and stuff,” Kenny told him as he washed his hands, and then grinned as he felt someone grab his butt.

 

 

“So, did you assigned them rooms and get a list of who they are and their ages,” Aaron washed down the stainless steel table; finished he sighed as he shrugged out of his clothes and ported them to his closet and the laundry bag.

 

 

“The youngest are seven and the oldest are thirteen,” Kevin entered sniffing, “I have a list in the system for you to look at.  I thought we could run them through placement testing tomorrow and go from there.” Remembering the question Aaron asked as he came in looking for him, “the teens we put on the second floor, well anyone entering puberty that is; there are a couple of twelve year olds in the bunch.”

 

 

Hugging Aaron and kissing him Kevin grinned, “Right after we got home with all of them Foma took one look and moved over to the youngsters wing; he took one of the ground floor bedrooms so he could be closer to the youngsters if they need him.”

 

 

Aaron stopped and stared at Kevin for a moment before pulling the pizza cutter out of one of the drawers; pulling the first of the pizzas out of the oven Aaron sliced it before placing it in the warmer just as Kevin brought him the next one. “Hello Donny, what brings you here? Would you like to stay for supper, its pizza?”

 

 

“Well, my clan and I have come on search,” Donny grinned as he watched Aaron cut the pizza up.

 

 

Gazing at Donny for a moment Aaron thought about what he said and what he could be… "Ah someone has been reading another of those popular series of books.”

 

 

Giggling Donny nodded, “But it wasn’t me, one of the replies I got back from the posting I did on the system referred to us searching, and after it was explained it made sense of what Dante and a couple of the other pups were doing.  They were searching among the new kids for recruits; several of those that you’ve brought home with you have sat and watched us every day we’ve been on station, and they stare from the sidelines with longing on their faces.” Donny moved over so Aaron could place the first of the many pizzas through the slot on the wall and into the steam table, “We also brought over some of the youngster’s cousins; you called them the lost ones, well ten of them are found, and several more of them have homes with us.”

 

 

Kevin gently took the pizza cutter from Aaron and pushed him towards the door, “I’ll finish this; you go see about the youngsters.”

 

 

Giving Kevin a kiss in thanks Aaron walked out of the kitchen and noticed all the extra people around the new youngsters.  He also noticed several of the Beastmaster clan were there with their animals.  Ru had even had brought his Eagle along with Fang, and one of the panthers was moving through the kids.  More than slightly surprised he watched the panther cub gently butt one of the youngsters over towards his Alteran team leader.  “Donny, the bonded seem to know who they are looking for; is this something you did or is it all them?”

 

 

Donny smiled, “It’s all them, they are looking for a spark I guess.  I’m still linked with Dante and I get an impression of what he sees in them.  He is hunting a burst of joy as he touches them, then I tell him to bring them over to us.” Looking at Aaron he was not able to read what he was thinking, “We had Colin come over and talk to us.  We know what we are getting into and he promised to help us with them.  He told us you did not think they were Ukeru, just brainwashed and needing positive reinforcement to bloom,” pointing at several of the teens Donny smiled, “I can’t think of a better way to get them to come out of their shells and bloom than those smiles as they work with Fang and Dante than to make them Beastmasters.”

 

 

Letting his mind wander over and touch those interacting with the animals Aaron had to agree, “It seems your right…do you have enough pups or even cubs?” Aaron saw two of the youngsters were playing with the panther with smiles on their faces.

 

 

“We will after tomorrow morning; the panthers are the hard ones.  For the pups we’ll need to go shopping,” Donny grinned before looking over at Aaron, “Do you know how weird it is having a clan card and finding the balance is that high?”

 

 

Chuckling Aaron yelled out, “Pizza’s ready, come get as much as you can eat,” watching the Clan move in with some of the youngsters and noticing several that had come to collect their cousins stay back and move over to the side he smiled, “There’s more than enough for everyone to eat so come get some…do you want to stay or are you going to gather your new recruits and leave,” Aaron hugged Donny close as he felt Donny shake his head no.

 

 

“Afraid not, we have a big dinner planned.  We wanted the new guys to feel welcome,” Donny hugged Aaron back, more confident when his plan to take some of the youngsters from the Clan was not shot down.

 

 

“You’re going to make a wonderful clan leader Donny, and a good father too…as far as the clan card goes, that is to buy things for the clan.  As you take on more missions part of all the money collected will go into the clan’s accounts and the rest to the clan member who is earning it.  It’s a way to make your clan self sufficient,” Aaron kissed Donny’s cheek as he spotted Foma leading some of the youngest ones to the food line, “I’ll make sure everyone that you brought over gets back home.  All your new recruits had nothing when they came here, so go on and take them home and get them fed.  Stop by in the morning and I think some of us will want to go with you when you go pup shopping; a few Newfie’s around here might be a good thing now that we have youngsters.”

 

 

Donny gave Aaron another hug and whistled shrilly as he moved off towards the compound arch.

 

 

Aaron watched Donny and the others herd the group of eleven towards the exit, noticing a lot of smiles on the youngsters’ faces he was extremely pleased with what Donny’s clan had done.