Chapter 77





Aaron hugged Fred as he looked up at the monitor where his son was displayed; you could tell the embryo was a child now.  Glancing over his shoulder he noticed, besides Donny and Ru who were staring at the plasma in awe, half the Clan was in the incubatory checking up on their unborn sons.  Grinning, Aaron made his way out of the med bay and almost ran into Colin and Friedrich who were standing blocking the door.



“We saw the joining last night, we wanted to be the first to say we’re next,” Colin stared at Aaron as he skidded to a halt so he did not run into them.



Tilting his head and running the words back through his mind, Aaron grinned, “You do, do you?” Chuckling as his lovers tried to come out of the med bay and stopped behind him to see what was going on, “I haven’t checked my email, so I don’t know if you are the first,” smiling in glee at the two, “Though I have to doubt it.”  Seeing the serious expression on Friedrich’s face and the amused one on Colin’s he moved so his lovers could move around him, “The only thing I need to know is if you want to go full ritual like you saw last night, or you want it to be quiet and just the three of us?”



Colin frowned as he thought about what Aaron said, but Friedrich, ever the practical one, asked before his lover could, “Is there a difference?”



Shaking his head as he moved towards the gestalt point so he could get hug patrol out of the way, he spotted Ryan rubbing the sleep out of his eyes as he walked with his brothers to the gestalt point so they could get chores out of the way. “There really is no difference, the ritual is more for sharing with friends and family, the bond created is the same either way.  It all depends on how much of a production you want to make it.  Some people want it to be a private affair, so only the people you saw last night as part of the ritual are included, and some only want the bond created so it is the officiator and them.”



Friedrich looked at Colin after he nudged him in the ribs, seeing the expression that said you ask him he sighed, “And if we did this, created the joining bond, would it keep us from adding a third to our marriage?”



Smiling slyly Aaron kept his laughter in check, “Not at all, when we created the Beastmaster clan we joined five of them one after another.  So, to answer your question, if Thomas decided to join us and you decide to bring him into your marriage as a third it would not be a problem.”



Colin laughed, he should have known Aaron would pick up on who they were talking about, then he had a thought, “What makes this different than a simple marriage?  I know I saw energy coming out of Darren and Pavel, and then it joined, but why not go the simple route of a simple marriage?”



“There is one major benefit of the joining,” Aaron leaned up against the bench by the gestalt point, “it will increase your gifts by one level.  For an example, if one person was a class two teleport and the other was a class three, after the merging the class three would be a class two also.  The downside is, if the person was a class four to start with while the other was a class two, he would only get a boost making him a class three.  The joining lets you share your gifts and makes you stronger…” Aaron trailed off as he watched his lovers round up the youngsters and port out. “The unfortunate thing is…I had hoped that by being a prime my lovers would get a boost, but the limit seems to be class two, no matter how powerful either of us are. If you are not a class one to begin with, no matter how powerful those being joined are, the lower class person increasing by one class seems to top out at class two.”  Shaking his head Aaron pushed off the wall, “If both of you want to do this I need to know if you want public or private.  If it is private we can take care of it when I come back for lunch, if you want to go the full route we can do it later tonight after you chose those you want to stand with you.”



Colin looked at Friedrich, “I’ll get back to you, as I think we want to talk about it first.  I’ll let you know before you leave for whichever office you plan to hide at today.”



Friedrich had an idea of what Colin wanted to talk about, looking at Aaron who was looking amused he asked, “Does the ceremony have to happen here on Altare Prime? Can we have it elsewhere?”



“There is no reason you have to have it here if you’re wanting Thomas to attend or some others.  We can hold it on Earth if you want, or we can move the ceremony one of the empty worlds.” Aaron shrugged, “Location is only as important as you want it to be.  Today I plan to go to Sol Station for a few hours before going to Proxima.”



Colin reached out and grasped Aaron’s arm and squeezed it quickly, “Thank you Aaron for understanding.  I’ll let you know what we decided shortly, or Friedrich will when you go to Sol Station.”



Nodding with a grin, Aaron ported to the carrier park in the city to get hug duty started so he could find time to ride thunder for a little bit this morning with Mark’s crew. Marc and his crew planned to round up yet another herd for culling so they could make steers out of this year’s crop of calves.





Aaron had just sat down behind his desk when Friedrich walked through his door, “Your Majesty, Colin and I have come to a decision.” Seeing Aaron look up from his terminal and smile at him he sat down, “we have decided to wait,.  We’re taking Thomas out to dinner Saturday night, so we plan to explore possibilities since Edward will be safely tucked away off Earth for the weekend.”



Aaron grinned before chuckling, “Honestly I hope the three of you hit it off, Thomas is due for something good to happen in his life.” Thinking about it he decided it was not breaking any confidence, “You do know he was burned pretty badly in a previous relationship?  His lover dumped him because he wanted to sire children instead of adopting or going the route of using a surrogate.”




“I knew he had a lover that did not work out, but I didn’t know why they broke up.”  Friedrich frowned, “Sounds like his old lover was looking for an excuse really.”  Shrugging as he stood up, “Well, he won’t have to worry about that with us, if he wants a son it is pretty easy.  In fact Colin and I held off creating our son because of how fast things were moving back on Earth, but we decided after the joining, the very next day, we are visiting the incubatory…I can’t wait to tell the truth.”



“Good news all around then,” Aaron grinned as he activated all the plasma screens around the desk area so he could get a quick update before digging into the work he needed to get to.  “If I need to go anywhere this weekend I’ll grab one of the other teams, but I wasn’t planning on going anywhere.  So enjoy your weekend off.”  Aaron waved Friedrich away with a grin before he twisted in his chair to look at the far right plasma.



Edward and Toshi stopped in the doorway to Aaron’s office, blocking the door so the rest of the colony coalition could not enter.  Aaron was staring at the plasma with a furious expression on his face.  Taking one more step into the room, Edward glanced around Toshi so he could see if he was able to read whatever was making Aaron look that way.  Though he was not feeling any anger coming off his lover, still the face was enough to tell them something was not right, so he must be holding his emotions under tight control.



Leaning back in his chair with a sigh, Aaron rubbed his eyes.  It was too early in the morning to deal with this shit, he thought.  “You might as well come in, Edward.  Blocking the door is not going to keep my wrath from breaking free, you know.”



Glancing at Toshi to see if he was going to be the first to enter, Edward walked into the room making for one of the couches.  His grandmother and father, along with the rest of the coalition, followed him in and quietly found a seat where they waited until Aaron said something, well anything really.



Knowing the five world leaders were present did not stop Aaron from thinking about what he had read in Aiden’s report.  Glancing over to where Edward was sitting he made a come here motion with his finger. “Edward, a moment of your time please.  I want you to read something, then give me your opinion.”  Rubbing his eyes as Edward moved over and sat on the edge of his desk and started to read the report, he felt the anger rise in his lover.



“Bloody Fucking Hell!” Edward snapped out as he got to the section of the report dealing with stories of abuse directed at the students at a large number of public schools in England.  Some of the things that had been done to the students crossed the line into pure torture.



“Edward…” Victoria admonished before trailing off as her grandson rounded on her, the cold fury in his face and the fire of retribution in his eyes frightened her.  Not only that, she caught a ghost of something swirling around him for the briefest moment.  It couldn’t be, could it?  She knew he had been made Alteran but surely that did not include the ability of being a dragon lord…did it?



“This is not going to happen, not in my country!” Edward snarled as he logged into the terminal while looking around the room for the various pickups to chose one as he was one step away from connecting to the news media in his country.



Placing a hand on Edward’s so he could not touch the final sequence activating the connection, Aaron looked at him, “What are you planning, Edward? Before you go and break into every news agencies’ broadcast in England…what do you plan to do?”



“I plan to castrate the bunch of them,” Edward spat out in anger, “but for now I will settle for declaring a two week holiday while we send in the Shaolin to mind fuck every single teacher, and weed out every one of those creatures that consider torture a valid punishment.”



Grasping Edward’s hand as he looked sideways at the coalition and Edward’s grandmother and father who were very shocked at his language, Aaron sighed, “If you do this, Edward, it would constitute as your ordeal.  You gave your word to your Grandmother to avoid that until your son was born, and I have to tell you if you follow thru you will be breaking your word.”



“But…” Edward trailed off as he looked at the screen and then back to Aaron before glancing over to the couch, only to find his grandmother had moved next to him so she could read the report herself.



Patting Edward’s hand, Victoria stared at the damning evidence on the screen and shook in fury, “It will be taken care of, Edward…But I shall be the one doing the ordering around.  Before you go and finish the connection to the media, please connect me to General Strathmore and Commissioner Williams of Scotland Yard.”



Erasing the connection, Edward re-entered several long numbers before pointing to the side wall, “The pickup is located under the blinking light, grandmother.”



“General Strathmore here.”



“Scotland Yard, Commissioner’s office.”



“’Hold one moment for Queen Victoria, gentleman.  Please get commissioner Williams on the line,” Edward barked out, still not happy with not being able to handle it himself, but resigned to his fate as long as the situation was taken care of.



“Commissioner Williams here, your Highness.”



“Gentlemen, We are with King Aaron Stranton in his office.  We have read one of the many reports his people have compiled for his attention, reports that expand on what is going on in our school systems.” Victoria’s voice went cold and deadly, “Reports that clearly document abuse of our young people, abuse that in more than half a dozen districts has crossed the line into torture according to the tenets of the Geneva Convention.”



“Gentleman,” Victoria glared at the pickup, “We are highly displeased and hereby order the armed forces along with Scotland Yard to secure every school in the country.  The staff will be held for telepathic verification and, if need be, a trial shall take place. School shall be canceled for the next fortnight and, when it reopens for the students, a new day will have dawned.  One that does not torture and abuse our citizens; one that actually, for once, teaches the skills and knowledge our young people need.”



“Your Highness, when do you wish this to happen?”  General Strathmore wished he had one of the video systems in his office.  Her majesty sounded positively frightening; he made a mental note to have that taken care of first thing after lunch.



“As much as We wish this to happen immediately I know I need to give you time.  I shall be here at least another hour.  Once I return to the palace I shall go on television and make the announcement.” Victoria turned to see if Edward agreed and saw he was still scowling.  She held her gaze on him until he slowly nodded his head.  “Gentlemen, at one p.m. sharp I shall go on national television and make my statement.  At exactly five minutes after one I expect those schools to be locked down and the staff moved to the auditoriums for scanning.”



“Of course, your Majesty,” General Strathmore’s voice sounded like he was saluting while the quiet and efficient tone from the Commissioner of Scotland Yard acknowledged her order before the connection was closed.



Looking over her shoulder at Aaron as she turned around Victoria tilted her head, “That makes the presumption you will release the Shaolin or other telepaths to help sort this out.”



“I’m sure I can round up enough volunteers to help sort this mess out,” Aaron nodded as he moved over to where the others were sitting, “So what brings you to my realm this morning?”



Jens looked over at Morimoto before glancing around to the other three.  It seemed they were going to leave it up to him, but as soon as he started to speak James leaned forward and started. “Well, it is a simple matter really.  Well, not so much simple as…” James trailed off before coming right out with it, “We want to know what would be involved in building and manning our own space ships, for exploration and so forth?”



Aaron hid his grin as he felt Edward’s shock at the question, seems he had been kept out of the loop.  Leaning back in the love seat he looked out the wall down at the Earth, “I have been expecting this question for a while now.  There are several different layers to that simple question; first off before we even discuss the project all of you are contemplating I need to touch on the simple fact that is hiding in the back of your minds. Even if you factor out that we are not quite like you…the human race is not alone in the universe.”



James stared at Aaron for several moments taking in what he said before glancing out of the corner of his eye at everyone else.  He noticed right away Edward did not look surprised at all.  He had to wonder what other secrets Edward knew that he had not shared.  He would have to sit down later and see what he could find out, “You’re right, we most likely thought it was a possibility.”



“Can you share what you know about this race?” Morimoto looked at Aaron thoughtfully as he asked this.  It would change the world once more, he thought.



Activating the terminal built into the coffee table Aaron brought up the images of the Kathat.  “Unlike the fictional character of Carnoids, the real Kathat might look the same and act similar to the emotionless logic machines that we are familiar with from the books and movies, but we need to be clear they are not the same.  In fact, from what we have found out, the books and movies most likely are based on an early exploration team being stranded on Earth before they were rescued.”  Watching their faces carefully, he added one last tidbit, “Unlike what is portrayed in the movies, interbreeding with humans in not possible without genetic engineering the Kathat first.”



Victoria was openly staring at Aaron after the last statement, but it was President Gorbivonovich that actually asked the question on her mind, “Is there some significance that you attach to being able to interbreed with a race?”  He had left off saying that Aaron had said it was possible if they tinkered with the aliens’ genetics; that would require some careful thought.



Picking up on the Russian’s thoughts Aaron hid his smirk, “A holdover from the times before we perfected the artificial wombs.  We rated the differing races we met on the ability to interbreed with them. Those we could interbreed with we considered more intelligent.  Very early in our history we sought the answer to the creation of life so we would not need to use others to have sons, once that was accomplished, as a race, we flourished at an exponential rate.”  Seeing he had derailed the Russian’s thoughts for now he went back to the briefing he had planned to give them in a few days, “Actually the treaty with the Kathat Nest Mothers was finalized yesterday afternoon, so I would expect trade to start shortly.”



Jens stared at the image for a moment, “I think we have gotten off track somewhat. This is going to take a few days to settle into our minds before we can respond properly. but I realized something just now,” looking back at Aaron, “I know you have an empire of sixty five worlds, but where is Earth in relation to the Empire.”



Touching several sections of the terminal Aaron brought up a star map on the plasma and labeled the Earth’s Sun, “The Earth lies just off of the center of my Empire.  Being our home planet too we spread out from here in a circular pattern to ensure the home world was and  continues remains safe.”



Woo stared at the plasma silently counting yellow triangles. There looked to be one hundred and nineteen of them and sixty seven blue circles and thirty blue dots.  The question was which were accurate representations of Aaron’s Empire.  Looking at the others he saw they too were counting, “Which color represents worlds in the Empire?”



“Blue represent systems that have been explored but have no life bearing planets, they have been marked mainly for resources they could provide. The ones in blue circles have been fully mapped for their resources.”  Aaron stared at the terminal a moment and, not seeing any names next to the planets, saw the single red area, three large systems near enough to hide the true location of Altare Prime.  “The red area is off limits, our new home world has so many protections around it that no vessel not crewed by Alterans would be destroyed before it got close to entering those systems.”  Tilting his head he smiled, “I have no problem with showing you this map as the numbers and names will mean nothing to your scientists right now. The ones in yellow are the planets in my Empire, and while there are more than sixty five, including ones still undergoing testing, some of them are life bearing but not suitable for colonization.  They never passed the testing phase, so while we might be able to visit some of them, it is best to do so only in full containment environments, or hidden as the primitive life forms go about becoming sentient.”



“It looks like the area nearest to us has been picked over rather well,” James muttered as he stared at the plasma screen.



Chuckling, Aaron got all their attention, “Not really, that represents about a third of the worlds in the immediate area, think of a globe.  What you are seeing here is a 2 dimensional representation of globular space.” Sitting back, Aaron thought about the initial question, “Going back to your initial question about building your own fleet of interstellar vessels…the first thing you have to remember is that while Earth is near the center of my Empire, and while my Kingdom originated here, I could, but I won’t confine you to this world. So if you wish to build ships and explore, feel free.”



Face going emotionless as the others grinned Aaron met each of their eyes, “As long as you keep in mind that aggression against my Empire will not be tolerated, I will not let petty squabbles and war leave Earth.”



“I think we can all agree that is more than sensible,” Woo smiled as he looked at Jens starring at his P.A.D.D.



Picking up several thoughts floating around the group, Aaron grinned, “Alright, let’s try things this way. Most of our ships use the new metal I introduced to the British, Ionosin.  You may buy up as much of this metal as you wish to build your vessels down below on Earth, you then can even build your own shipyards to build larger vessels in orbit.  We can, of course, be hired to port any vessel or section you want into near Earth orbit, even the crews to build your shipyards.”



“Are you going to use the same fee schedule you do now for transporting cargo?” Jens looked up from his P.A.D.D. long enough to see Aaron nod.



“I see no reason why not,” Aaron felt the disappointment from Morimoto. “I might even be convinced, once you have built a ship, to take the design and build the next ones for you.”  Holding his hand up at the sudden smile on Morimoto’s face, “I have to be very clear here.   If you build a ship that works I, more than likely, can be contracted to have my shipyard build your fleet for you, but only once I have a fully functioning prototype to use as a template for the assemblers.  I will NOT build the prototype for you, or even modify it.  What I will do is allow your engineers access to Proxima Academy so they might learn what they need to know to build that first prototype.”



Gorbivonovich looked thoughtful, “To make sure I am clear on what you have told us;” he waited until he had Aaron’s attention before continuing. “You will allow our engineers to study at your academy so they will know what to build, then we must build the first vessels and test them so they are what we want.  Only then will you be agreeable to allow your facilities to be hired to build more of the ships for us.”



“You have been more than fair with the costs of all your wonderful technology, including your medical treatments to those needing it the most,” Victoria was staring at her grandson, “The question is, once we build this fleet and are ready to go out and explore and trade with other worlds…how do we navigate so we don’t get lost, or go where we are not invited?”



“The ‘traders’ series by the same author that Donny is so fond of, Love. Edward sent to Aaron as he searched for his brother’s mind.  Finding him he grinned as without thinking about it he looked up and to the side causing everyone to stop and stare in anticipation when they saw Aaron close his eyes.



Andrew placed the tutor on hold, glad he was not taking one of his exams as his brother apologized for interrupting him.  After an explanation, and seeing the memory of what had happened so far, he pushed back away from the tutor, “A space academy with certification requirements.  Earth has something like that now for ocean going vessels.  If you really think about it, we can expand it…Hmm, let me pull up the books from the library and read through them real quick, maybe get with Derrick so he can build us the academy.”



Have him build it on Proxima, Love,” Aaron sent a kiss down the link. “Contact everyone else to let them know about the idea.  Ask Xon and Pete to come up with training scenarios.  I’ll contact Chris and Joe to put together some instructors for the academy, after all they are doing their own version of the academy already.  They can put the younger plebes through one central school, then advance our people out.”



Blinking as he opened his eyes after the meld dissolved, Aaron smiled as everyone had eager expectant expressions on their faces and it was directed at the two of them.  “Since there is time before your first prototype will be finished we shall build a Space Academy on Proxima.  If you think about it, what I am going to propose is already standard operating procedure for Earth Maritime vessels.  The Space Academy will function as a place those wishing to crew and travel the galaxy will study at, so they can achieve certification in their chosen fields.”



“I like it,” Gorbivonovich grinned, “Da, you are right we all have agreements to honor something similar, like the Maritime Codes.  Why not agree to this on the galactic level?”  Frowning as he thought of something he looked around, “We should require those undergoing certification to pass telepathic scan so evil doers do not gain control of space vessels.” He was thinking back to the group of business leaders that had tortured and killed one of the Beastmasters.  How much harder it would have been if they had escaped to another world.  The outcome would have been disastrous if the Alteran people did not have targets to take their anger out on.


“There must be a cost associated with allowing our people into your academy.  After all everything in life comes at a cost,” Jens wondered exactly how expensive the schooling and certification would be.



“True, but it won’t be anything that is not affordable.  I’ll get together with Tyler to work out a fair and reasonable cost.”  Aaron tilted his head so he could look at Toshi who had been quiet and watchful, to see if he could pick up on what he was thinking. “It is very strange trying to come up with costs associated with our day to day activities.  I never even considered that anyone would want to attend our schools, let alone our higher academy.  Education is underwritten to my citizens completely, no matter what they want to do, or how many doctorates they wish to pursue.”



Ton walked in smiling as he thought about what he and his cousin were going to do for the rest of the day.  Seeing the crowd of people in Aaron’s office and spotting his uncle the Emperor, his smile broadened, “Uncle Morimoto, I didn’t know you were coming with Toshi today.  Did you want to come with us?”



Morimoto glanced over at Aaron who smiled back with a slight nod telling him it was okay and looked at his nephew who was radiating happiness that even he could feel.  It seems the Clan not only agreed with him but helped let him truly shine, “What are the two of you planning to do today?  I think I would be honored to go with you.”



“We’re heading over to Proxima.  I need to meet up with those we have rescued for hug patrol, someone from the Clan has been walking and moving through the city so they know they are safe, and it does not hurt that we explain the strange technology, or what is expected of them.  Which is not a lot really, other than be the best they can be.  I’m taking quad Zeta in the lower city.”  Looking at Aaron he quickly sent, “I know you will be there shortly to start physicals, but Kevin told me that he and Fred have been talking to some of the youngsters.  You need to seriously consider altering those under thirteen.”



Aaron stared at Ton for a moment before tapping with one hand on the terminal and looking down at the figures of those under thirteen.  Comparing the too large number of those rescued so far with the three planets his people had spread to he frowned in thought.  Glancing over at Edward it seemed he was in agreement.  Clan meeting at lunch time, we have some things that need to be discussed before I make a decision,” Aaron broadcast to the whole Clan before blanking the terminal and logging off.  There was nothing else he needed to do here and he was needed on Proxima.



“Ton is right that I need to make my way to Proxima to start helping with the physicals on those we rescued.  If you would like to get a firsthand look at the planet feel free to join us.   I think it will also help you to understand the resources I am allowing your people to use for your project if you take a tour of the academy.”  Aaron smiled as he saw Victoria whisper to James to go along as she needed to get ready to handle the impending detainment of the nation’s school staff.



Woo watched his companions stand, eager to step foot on another world.  Standing he bowed slightly, “I would be honored to visit the place of learning for your people.”  Following Aaron closely as they walked out of the office, Woo glanced back at Victoria as he left the office to see she was rather angered, what the youngsters called being pissed.  He hoped she did not find too many victims to take her anger out on.  Entering the room they arrived in, he noticed they were being shepherded to one of the carriers.  Touching the surface of the carrier he was intrigued at the metallic sound from his rap on the see-through domed wall, “This is metal!!”



The door sealing with a hiss, Aaron turned away from the console as he started to draw energy from the floor plate.  Grinning, he answered the shocked leader, “Yes it is. The metal is Ionosin.  In its unadultered state it is clear, it is when we add pigments to it that it becomes opaque.”



“Incredible…” James whispered as he watched his son walk over to stand next to Aaron.  He blinked as bright sunlight flooded the carrier as it settled into the cradle in the center of a city square, streams and waterfalls all around.



Jens stared in shock as one of his childhood fantasies became reality.  Leaving the confines of the carrier he walked over to the edge of the stream and gazed out across the city, seeing all the waterfalls cascading around them, “Waterfall City…I never thought I would ever see the book come to life.”



Aaron stopped and blinked as he processed Jens’ words, mind flashing back to the books being mentioned then the television series he sighed, “So that was why this place looked and felt so familiar.”



Grinning, Edward nudged Aaron in the side, “You know we had a bet on, wondering how long it would be before you finally realized why this place was so familiar.”  Chuckling he danced out of the way of the playful swat directed at his backside, “You have to admit, Love, it is a rare treat to be one up on you.”



Toshi watched his cousin sneak up behind Edward and capture his arms as he moved behind him, blocking his escape from Aaron so he could move in and tickled him.  He was slightly jealous as he watched how open and playful all of them were, then he was more jealous when Aaron kissed both of them.  He felt the passion of the kiss standing all the way over where he was.  Telling himself this was what he was striving for, he killed his jealousy and grinned, the green eyed danger would not take hold in his mind, that was not the way to earn his place.  He was shocked when all three of them stopped playing to stare at him.  They gave him a small smile and nod before they broke up and his cousin came back over to where they were standing.



“Those that want to explore the city go with Ton, and those that would like to see firsthand our Academy, Edward will take you over there.”  Aaron grinned as he looked around and saw the eyes peaking and spying on them from above.  “Enjoy your tour, I need to get over to the med bay and help out.”



Leaving the others to Ton and Edward, he walked down the path towards the central med bay smiling as the architecture finally became clear where it originated.  He had to wonder what other surprises Derrick had up his sleeve.  Stopping on one of the bridges crossing the many streams, Aaron gazed out across the city staring at the duplicate of the one he was standing in off in the distance, his mind telling him that the convergence of water where the second city was built was not there last time he visited this world.  Sensing a presence hesitating at the foot of the bridge, Aaron turned his head and smiled at the young teen he saw standing nervously shuffling his feet.  “I don’t bite, you know.”  Laughing at the shocked look on the teen’s face Aaron waved him over, “Come on over.”  Watching out of the corner of his eye as the teen slowly approached, he went back to looking over the city, “Proxima is a close second in beauty to Altare Prime…So…What do you want to talk about?”



Seeing the expression on the teen’s face, Aaron smiled, “Your body language is practically screaming you want to talk about something, one doesn’t need to be a telepath to know you wanted to talk to me.”



Brandon sighed as he carefully moved over to the railing near the man who was able to make anything happen it seemed.  Taking a deep breath and letting it out he was glad he had the chance to soak in a hot shower last night and have clean clothes, otherwise he would be embarrassed to even get close to this man. “You’re right, your Majesty, I do have a question to ask you…” waiting until the King turned sideways to face him he gulped in nervousness again before finding his voice, “I’ve heard things, you see.  Things that make me believe I have a chance at making something of myself.”  Not finding disdain or rejection, only acceptance and curiosity, he blurted out, “I want to go into space, be captain of a starship like on the telly.”



Aaron stared at the teen for a moment, “Have you had your physical yet?”  Wanting to laugh at the confusion on the teen’s face Aaron motioned him over, “I was on my way to the med bay to start giving all of you your physicals, so why don’t we talk on the way, and if you’ve not had your physical yet we can talk while I am doing that.” Getting a curt short nod back Aaron beckoned him to his side and pulled him into a hug, hugging him until he relaxed from the instant stiffness.  Aaron sighed, so much to overcome he thought.



Leading the teen into the med bay, Aaron pointed to one of the bio-beds, “Hop up, lay back and relax, this won’t hurt a bit, just take anywhere from fifteen minutes to half an  hour depending on what problems are discovered.”  Activating the scan, Aaron pulled one of the stools over and sat facing the teen, “Your dream of going into space is one that is certainly one of many that are open to you now.”



Brandon frowned, “But I thought I have to be gay to make my dreams come true,” looking around and seeing no one around he lowered his voice, “While me and my mates have done stuff, and I’ve really enjoyed it, I’m not sure if I am gay or not.”



Nodding his head Aaron looked away for a moment, “I think most lads your age have at least done something with a mate, so to speak, even if it is only show and tell.  It is a normal part of growing up.” Staring at Brandon as he considered his words Aaron glanced at the lower corner of the plasma, two green clusters so far; maybe the talk of being converted would be a moot point. “One of the things I am scanning for is your genetic profile, this will also tell me if you are gay or not.”  Seeing the frightened stare Aaron smiled, “Don’t worry, even if you are not gay you can still realize your dreams.”



Staring up at the ceiling for a moment, Aaron grinned when he felt Brandon touch his hand and squeeze it gently before the teen moved his arm back to his side, “Of course, the most advanced technology is only available to the Alteran people.  I came from a meeting this morning with the five world leaders that the media call the coalition.  They wanted to talk about being allowed to build their own space fleets and explore the galaxy.”  Smiling at the stunned expression on the teen’s face Aaron moved closer as he noticed four clusters were green, “One of the things that came from that meeting was my decision to build a space academy here on Proxima, a place where people could go to get their certification papers that would allow them to work, or be part of a crew, in space. Once you have finished your education here you can transfer over and earn your journeyman’s certificate and try for a spot on one of the many fleet vessels those from Earth will be building or one of the mixed species vessels, when they get around to being built.”



“I thought we were alone in the universe, at least that is what my old priest used to drum into our heads every Sunday,” Brandon blushed as he realized he had interrupted the King.



“Let’s see if I can say this in the way I want to, without making the issue more confusing.”  Aaron smiled as he watched the plasma blink red in several sections, problems that would need to be corrected it seemed from his harsh life before being rescued.  “My people are Alteran, I think if you have watched any news broadcast about my people you will have a slight idea about us.”



Seeing the stare directed his way Brandon picked his head up off the pillow, “You mean like only having blokes in your race and your ability to have babies with each other?”



“That is one of them.”  Aaron chuckled, falling back to the history they created about their race, “You’re right, we are all male, and one of the things speculated on,” seeing the confusion he switched to, “one of the things people have been talking about to try to see if it was true or not,” seeing the grin that Brandon understood, “is the fact that although our people originated on Earth alongside yours, we are a separate species.  In the past we could and did interbreed with yours so we could produce sons, one of the things that is not really known outside our people is that if we would get a female pregnant our genetics would overwrite certain parts of human genetics, and the offspring would always be male and Alteran.”



“Okay...” Brandon trailed off, “how does that go with being alone in the universe?”



Grinning, “Well, by itself I guess it doesn’t, except to tell…make you understand we are not truly human, not like you.  We are a separate race, a separate species.”  Aaron watched him closely, and when the news sunk in and comprehension hit Brandon he told him, “So if we are a separate race or species the statement by your priest is in error. In fact there are more races in the universe than we have met or will meet.  If you hang around the academy long enough you will see some of the Kathat with your own eyes more than likely.”



Wide eyed, Brandon was giving off waves of curiosity and excitement.  Breathlessly he whispered, “What do they look like?”



Laughing, Aaron stared at the plasma as the sections flashing red increased.  His laughter stopped as he stared at all the damage and tried to think of the best way to fix all of it, short of a bio-tube session.   Glancing down he saw all eight clusters were green.  Sighing in relief he looked back at Brandon, “Well if I told you one of their ships crash landed in the early sixties and several of their people were not only sighted but they made movies from the writer’s descriptions…”



Brandon scrunched up his face in concentration as he tried to figure out the clue.  Unfortunately he never did get to watch much of the telly growing up, his hiding place from his father was the town library. His head snapped up when he heard the King tell him, “Think of the Carnoids and the Confederation series and movies.”



“I wouldn’t call them Carnoids though, as the Kathat are a very different race than the fiction the writer created around them.  I think it was his way of telling the world that you were not alone, to get your people ready and willing to sit down in friendship when the time came you finally did meet them again.” Aaron looked at Brandon, “Now we have gotten a little bit off topic…I have good news, bad news and news I’m not sure how you are going to feel about it once I explain it to you.”



Seeing the nervous teen was back again Aaron sighed, “Good news, the scan is done so your physical is over with.”  Getting a wary nod and feeling despair from Brandon he quickly placed a comforting hand on Brandon’s arm, “the slightly bad news is the scan found several problems we need to address.” Sensing the teen’s distress Aaron squeezed his arm, “Everything we found is easily fixed, so try not to worry.  Our medical technology has been all over the news and the telly, as you call it, for a while now so you know how easy it is for us to fix minor problems.”



Once Brandon settled down Aaron released his grip and sat back.  “The last bit of news I’m not sure how you will take, though it does open up doors for your dream you never hoped for before.”  Looking at the plasma Aaron motioned for Brandon to sit up and turn to look, “Look over at the screen for a moment so I can show you what I am talking about.”



Pointing to the lower left hand corner of the plasma, “There are a total of eight clusters we scan for to tell us if a person was born being gay,” Aaron trailed off as Brandon frowned as he stared at the screen.



“So all eight of those are green,” Brandon sighed, “So I’m bent then…” voice going to a whisper, “I always wondered.”  Staring for several moments longer as he decided how he felt about the news he shrugged, “You said this opened doors, how so?”



He is taking it better than I thought, Aaron was slightly surprised.  “Well, one of the things we can do if the person is gay is to make them like us, to make them Alteran.  If you chose to be altered the universe can become your playground, so to speak.  Besides the fact that all of our advanced equipment responds only to our DNA signature, well, becoming one of us means you gain our gifts, our abilities.”



“What about all the problems you need to fix?” Brandon stared at the blinking red warnings as he tried to stall so he could think about it.



“Easily fixed whether you want to become like us or not.” Aaron tapped Brandon’s name into the terminal before saving the scan.  “We can fix it now, or while we alter you.  Plus it is not something that is life threatening, you certainly can take a day or two to think over things before we fix what is wrong.  A good portion of the problems the scan uncovered have to do with how you grew up, not always getting enough food at the right times, or the time you spent on the street.”



Seeing the silent tears running down Brandon’s face Aaron moved over behind him and hugged him tight.  “The first thing you have to remember is it is not your fault,” he whispered as he stared over Brandon’s shoulder at the teen’s image in the plasma.  “You survived, and now you have the chance to live your dreams.  That part of your life is over, no matter what.  You are safe now and with a day and a half in one of our bio-tubes you will be as good as new, your body will be as it should be.  The only thing will be your mind will not be changed; your experiences will not be erased, but you can either let this be something that strengthens you or breaks you…I vote for your experience making you stronger myself.”



Chuckling, Brandon shook his head as he relaxed into the strong arms around him, “Do it. Your right,” Brandon twisted around so he was facing Aaron on the bed, “I can let this get me down or make me stronger, I’ll be damned if I let that bloody wanker win.  I just wish there was a way so I don’t look like the bastard after I get out of the treatment tube.”



Aaron tasted Brandon’s emotions carefully before slowly replying, “There is a way to change that if it is what you truly want…”



Brandon jumped off the bio-bed and pulled Aaron to his feet, blushing after he did because he was being awful familiar with his Majesty when he shouldn’t be. “Please, can we start now?”



Sighing, Aaron led Brandon across the hall and pointed to one of the bio-tubes ringing the wall, “Strip down and slip inside the bio-tube.  There is a shelf under the bio-tube where you can put your clothes. I’ll bring up your DNA scan and you can choose how to change your looks.”





Aaron sighed as he sat down in his conference room and looked out the wall towards Proxima, “Fred and Kevin were right. Well, enough of those rescued had at least four clusters positive he had to wonder if the humans had a way to sense the difference in their children.  He was wondering if that was the reason for the way they had been treated.  Deep down he knew it was more the matter of the parents being scum than any special mysterious ability the human race had.  Feeling several of his lovers walking towards the conference room well before he heard their excited voices, Aaron turned away and buried his anger over the children’s treatment deep behind his mental barriers and smiled in greeting as his lovers started to arrive.



Fifteen minutes later Aaron wanted to laugh at the confused looks from several of his guests he had invited to the Clan meeting.   Donny was talking quietly with Shaolin Tao while Adrian looked completely baffled. “Now that we are all here I want to thank the three of you for joining us in one of our Clan Meetings.  I think Adrian is the only one that might need an explanation of what the term clan seal means.”  Smiling at Adrian, he wanted to fall over laughing at the uncomfortable waves rolling off of him, “Relax, will you…Now what you need to know is that anything that we state is under clan seal means that you may not discuss or share it with anyone not of clans.  Specifically the Shaolin elders or the Beastmaster council are the only ones that you can discuss what you learn during the meeting.  Of course, you can discuss it with any of my Clan at any time.”



Adrian looked around and seeing the expressions on Donny’s and Tao’s faces, it looked like they thought this was not something to be worried about at all.  He gave a slow careful nod after thinking about it and realizing he was just being asked to keep the discussion secret from any of the people not in the room so he relaxed back into the couch.



Aaron smiled one more time at Adrian before sitting back and closing his eyes, “Ton relayed a message from Kevin and Fred that they felt I should alter everyone that we have rescued that has not entered puberty yet.  I’ve spent the better part of the past three hours helping give the youngsters their physicals and talking to them.  So, before each of you give us an update from your areas, let’s talk about the youngsters we rescued from England.  What I decide here today is how we will treat all the youngsters we rescue from now on. Fred…Kevin, do you want to go first and tell me why you recommended the youngsters be altered?”



Fred looked over at Kevin and nodded for him to start since he was the one who had found the statistics.  Kevin frowned in thought as he cleared his throat, “Well, after Fred made a comment to me about the number of teens he had scanned being either Bi or Gay, I sat down at the central desk and pulled up the records and started to look through them in real time comparing the fast track genetic scans.”   Looking over at Aaron, Kevin tapped a few commands on the tabletop terminal so what he found could be seen by everybody, “I really don’t think anyone has thought of making the comparison that I did.”



Pointing up at the plasma Kevin stood so he could point out each line as he referenced it. "I noticed something, the first thing I saw this morning was that not a single person we scanned over the past two days had less than four positives in the gene clusters defining sexuality.  That really floored me so I started playing around with the data and noticed something else,” pointing to the next set of figures after scrolling the data on the plasma Kevin heard and felt the shock from his lovers.  “It seems the older the teens and youngsters we rescued are, the more they are apt to be bi or gay.   I have to wonder if it is because Britain and Europe are older as far as the human race go and more accepting so those with the gene clusters stayed there, or if it is something else, like the fact if the person is truly straight they tend to end up off the street and into loving homes.”



“Or the fact that the parents that have the tendency of being gay or bi genetically leaves them open to abusing their children more than parents without any of the clusters coming back positive,” Fred offered the disturbing theory.



“Way too disturbing Fred,” Mark shivered; he did not want to even contemplate that scenario.



“I think Mark is right.  If we went down that road and found that a certain number of the clusters coming back positive predisposes one to being violent to their children, it could cause a lot more problems than it solves,” Aaron looked around the room, “As such the theory is herby Clan sealed…that said if you can start to gather the data and make sure it is filed in the Clan Secret section of Corey for me, we can revisit this later when no one else is around.”  He had quickly sent that to only his lovers on a side channel and smiled as they each nodded slightly, knowing it was outwardly dropped yet it would be secretly investigated by Kevin.



Pointing up to the plasma Aaron brought everyone’s attention back to the main topic, “Is the fact that most of the youngsters have at least four clusters positive the reason you recommend that they be altered?”



Fred stood up and tapped a few commands into the terminal, “Only one of the supporting reasons really.”  Pointing to the new data being displayed on the youngsters’ general health, “We are going to have to schedule med bay time for ninety percent of those we rescued, one of the thoughts being bandied around is why not use that time to also convert them.  It would increase their overall health and recuperation later on.”  Looking over at Aaron to see if he was done reading the screen, he changed the display so the next report he had put together was now up, “There are two very good reasons in my mind though. The first being most of these youngsters’ cannot function on their own, even lightly supervised.  Mentally all of them have been so downtrodden for most of their life they need the extra boost that is tied in with being Alteran to catch up to where they should be mentally, physically and academically.”



Sitting down on Kevin’s lap Fred looked over at Aaron, “Frankly I think those seven and under should be altered automatically.   We are going to need to raise them from the most formative years into adulthood and it would be cruel to raise them around our own youngsters, yet they would always be outsiders, never being able to do even a quarter of what our youngsters can do.”



“I can see the need for that, and would agree with the Dragon Lord,” Tau looked over at Aaron to see he was thinking about what was said.  As he listened in to the rest of the Great Dragon’s mates he realized that the meeting was not to convince the Great One to do one thing or another, but to bring up all possible points as he felt the decision was already made.  His conclusion was validated when the Great Dragon spoke again.



“I had already decided that those eight and under would be altered and placed with our people,” Looking over at Adrian, Aaron smiled, “In fact, Adrian make a note that any we rescue that are eight and under we will alter them before they leave the med bay on Sol Station.  Those females that we rescue will be offered for adoption with those moving to the colonies, or placed here on Proxima in the Crèches so they can chase their dreams.  How many young females are we talking …” Aaron had queried the system as he was talking and stared at the numbers, “Is this right…it can’t be right can it?”



Moving over so he could look down at the terminal Adrian nodded his head, “Those numbers are correct, for some reason in western culture it is the boys that are easily disposable compared to the eastern cultures.  Here three percent of all of the rescues are female.  The other thing we noticed is that most of the CPS workers are female and more apt to pull the females from bad homes and foster them out than the boys.”  Adrian returned to his seat and shrugged at the questioning looks he was getting from Edward and his brother, “In a way it is interesting to know how CPS workers differ from country to country.  Edward,” Adrian stared back at the frown, “it is not good or bad per se.  In the old United States the CPS workers there worked under the assumption that all children should be taken away from any parent they were called in to question.  It had gotten so bad that it was very apparent that CPS had the attitude that all parents did not deserve to have kids; that only the state could be trusted to raise children.”



Ton, feeling how upset Edward was, moved over and hugged him, “In the eastern countries the opposite of what happened in your country is true.  The females are the unwanted ones and the males are the ones most protected and cherished.  Everyone wishes for a boy in the Eastern countries so they may take care of the parents when they get older.  Over here I have noticed that parents wish for a little girl more often than not.”



“The question still remains why you feel I should expand those being altered up to the point of entering puberty?” Aaron was still struggling with that issue.   The fact that almost all the teens they rescued would be eligible for alteration was still rolling around in his mind, but at least they should be old enough to make the decision for themselves.



“Well, a good third of them have younger brothers that we are going to alter, so it would be easier to keep the family together if we altered them at the same time,” Ton told them as he read the information on the plasma.



“Frankly…” Adrian started, then cringed as everyone looked at him, “Frankly, from a pure logistics standpoint, anyone under the age of fourteen down below is not ready to live by themselves yet. They’re just not, and that takes resources away from where they need to be.  It would be so much easier if they were Alteran, our brains are wired differently it seems and we are ready for independence much earlier than the regular humans are.  Maybe it is the way we all had to survive or were raised.  The other thing to consider is that the rest of the world will soon find out about what happened in England and some of those other governments are going to request we go in and rescue the street kids from their countries like we did for Britain.  So the question is, where we put all of them?  Proxima is really set up like a college campus which means the students need to be somewhat independent.”



Seeing Aaron frown, Elder Tau leaned forward, “If I may be so bold, Great Dragon,” he waited until Aaron looked over at him.  “So far the reasons are pragmatic and practical, but there is one reason not brought up yet for making the youngsters one of us…No matter how you word it, in the end it all comes down to the same thing. They would have far better lives and be happier if they were like us than if we left them separate.  They would be able to live their lives fully and, as you say, chase their dreams and grab them, holding on tight as they realized their true potential.  Even the females that we rescue, if they wish to live exclusively with other females, can be relocated to the planet you set aside so they had a new home.  Or they may wish to stay on Proxima and eventually go off to one of the colonies.”



Aaron stared at the Shaolin elder very surprised by his emotional plea, “I will consider it.  While I’m doing that let’s start with reports…Mark how goes the farms and livestock?”



Looking over at Aaron who looked lost in thought, “Well, all of our facilities on Middle Earth are almost at full production.  We have a little ways to go yet for poultry, but I have spent the last few mornings doing embryo transfer of some of our breeding stock, so once they hatch out we will be up to where you want us to be with our breeding stock…”Mark trailed off as he thought about what he needed to say. “We are on track, I think, with my original estimates of being fully self sufficient…” seeing Aaron stare at him questioningly Mark frowned in thought before blushing slightly, “Oh, I almost forgot, our new dairy is up and running smoothly.  The automated milking barn works like a wonder, Pete, so much so that we copied the designs to the facilities we built over on Banard.  The dairy herd, I would think, would be up to where we need it to be in another month; right now we have more than enough milk to do things like ice cream and butter along with plenty for drinking.  Cheese is still a ways off until the herds are brought up to the numbers we need; maybe another six months before our first homemade cheeses hit the table, and only if we can find some people that know how to make cheese or program and build the facilities to make cheese.”



Pete perked up hearing about another project and grinned, “You get me the information and videos to look at, and I’ll build you an automated cheese making plant.”



Aaron grinned and shook his head before looking over at Brian.



“Well,” Brian grinned, “Actually, our farms are supplying not only us but all the stations, along with Banard and our kingdom back on Earth with all the vegetables and fruit we could ever want.  The only problem I am finding so far is trying to come up with new ideas for the extra produce  There are only so many bottles of ketchup and jars of pickles we can use from what we are making.”



“Ship it to the colony worlds and sell it if you need to so it does not go to waste,” Aaron grinned as he looked at Tommy.



“We’re good too, everything is at full production.” Tommy pulled Igor and Ivan over from where they were hiding and nudged Ivan whispering to him it was his turn.



Blushing fire engine red, Ivan stammered a few times as he threw glances over his shoulder at Tommy before sighing, “You are evil, my friend, evil,” he whispered before looking back at Aaron.  “The fishing boat Pete designed is a wonder.  We are able to tune the capture fields to specific fish and then by size, leaving those large enough to breed and too small to harvest behind.” Shaking his head in wonder he smiled, “I have never worked on a vessel such as this.  We can harvest the fish and the machines fillet them and flash freeze and package them while at sea.  Instead of throwing the waste overboard it is held until we dock where it is transferred for processing for fish meal for Tommy’s farm…It is a wonder.”



Aaron hid his grin as he looked at the shy Russian, “Pete’s wonderful toy aside, do you need another ship built or are you able to keep up with the one ship you are using now?”



“Nyet…” Ivan blushed again, “no, we do not need another.  I only go fishing twice a week as it is, just enough to harvest what we cannot farm easily.”



Aaron grinned, “Thank you, Ivan.  Let me know if you need to increase the fleet or you need more help. I’m sure there are plenty of youngsters that want to help you, all you have to do is post a note to the system.”  Looking at Pete for a moment Aaron tilted his head, “How hard would it be to build a couple of pleasure boats, the kind we can use to take the youngsters fishing for fun?”



Perking up Ivan beamed, “Yes…Yes, we can take all those that wish for a day at sea fishing and having fun.”



Pulling out his P.A.D.D. and scrolling to some of his pet projects Pete grinned as he looked at his reworked version of the deep submersible from the television show.  If they were going to build pleasure boats then they would need a coast guard, and he could build another one of his toys.



Aaron caught a flash of emotion and glee from his techie lover and looked at him eyes narrowed, “I think my simple question just sparked something I’m not sure I want to know about.”



Laughing Pete grinned as he placed the picture on the plasma, “At least it won’t be your problem, more like Tim’s.  If we are going to do pleasure craft we need a coast guard type service, and this baby will do the job nicely.”



Aaron stared at the plasma and shook his head sadly, “Pete...Pete…Pete, no more television for you, at least until you can steal a design and make it look like the original, not something like the deep submersible meets Godzilla and got stomped on.”  Laughing at Pete’s indignant expression he shook his head, “I’m not even going to ask.  I’ll leave it for you to explain to Tim why it looks like someone sat on it.”



Eyes laughing at his lover Aaron looked over at the grinning duo, “Derrick, David, how about on your end?”



“The good news is that all the stations are built and I have all my RS ships where I can use them at a moment’s notice.”  Derrick grinned mischievously, “Want to see the design I came up with for the space academy?”



Groaning and laughing at the same time, “Just tell me one thing,” Aaron looked up, “Am I going to have trouble remembering where you pulled this design from like the one for the city you built with all the waterfalls.   It bugged me for days not knowing where I knew the city from.”



“You might,” Derrick laughed, “but I found this picture on the net and did my design around that.” Smirking at Aaron’s groans he looked down at his P.A.D.D. “For the most part the colonization project is on schedule, we are not having the slightest problem with keeping ahead of the colonists.”



“After getting the idea of letting the colonists use live time video from several SE110s we were able to double the colonist moving through the centers.” David grinned as he kissed Derrick’s cheek, “Actually it worked better than I thought it would,” looking over at Derrick and then Adrian, “Housing wise we are fine.  If most of those we rescued move to Banard or Prime we can easily take the several days while they undergo alterations to build the apartments and housing needed for them.”



“Okay,” Aaron looked over at Xon, “While I am thinking about it, Xon, I would like you to move the shipyard in Earth’s orbit to Banard.  Since so many of the youngsters have and will be moving there I plan to fortify it just like Centauri system is, so I need the shipyard and half a dozen of the RS series ships there by Monday so I can start building the defenses.”  Seeing him nod, Aaron looked around the room for his next victim before turning back to Xon, “Anything to report on the space end, or your talks with Sesek?”



Xon looked at Rolph and smiled, “Rolph has been tasked with the day to day talks with Sesek so he will be in a better position to relay his information.” Xon looked at Aaron, “I have found in the Core information on the searcher program you mentioned.  Even with our technology it will take almost four months to build.”



Pete dropped his P.A.D.D. in shock as he looked at the picture on the plasma, the sound of it bouncing off the table top stilled the room, “Just how big is the searcher?” untitled.bmp



Xon looked between Aaron and Pete, uncomfortable with answering the question with others in the room, “You could use one of the command ships as a shuttle; in fact you can park an even dozen on the secondary shuttle deck and still have room left over.”



Mark stared at Xon after seeing Pete’s shock, not seeing anything but a stone cold emotionless mask he turned to Aaron and demanded, “What the hell do we need with something like that? Are you wanting to build it because we are letting humanity into space, outside of our control?”



Aaron sighed as he lowered his head into his hands, “No…Humanity or the Kathat for that matter will never be a danger to us again. Anything they build using our technology gives us total control over it…even to the point of mentally ordering it to blow up.” Looking up at the picture on the screen he felt Mark relax, “That ship is designed for two things, and its primary mission is to act as a dimensional escape boat.  It can dock with each of our stations and between it and all of our ships we could evacuate almost two billion people if need be.”



Hands trembling, Kenny slipped of his chair and made his way over to Aaron and lifted his chin up gently, being more serious that he ever was he asked, “Is it because of the reset, or is something else bothering you?”



Looking into the far too serious face, Aaron sighed, “The reset made me re-think and rescind the order for dimensional travel and exploration. Finding out we were not alone in the universe makes me nervous.  The Galactica is overdue.  I sent them to the coordinates.…” Sitting up Aaron looked out the window, “So many of the science fiction movies and books seem to be coming true.   We found a version of the Carnoids, nothing like was portrayed in the movies or books.  In fact the Kathat are more war like and brutal in their efficiency for killing…”



Tim pulled up the Galactica’s log and motioned for Pete and Kevin to come over to see if they knew what movie universe had Aaron so freaked out.  Pete stared at the coordinates and frowned deep in thought, this is the system he had sent Anton to on Aaron’s orders.  He was really starting to get more than a little worried, after all they were sent because of the modifications he had made to Anton’s ship, “Mizhine…we are more than a match for the Mizhine and their ships.”



“And the Ancients or the Shadow fleets?” Aaron did not turn around as he asked that, “One of the things the Searcher can do is transport whole planets across dimensions. Now, I could be freaking out over nothing, being paranoid about a silly show that is mostly fantasy…but two things are bothering me.  One, all of you subconsciously or consciously started to develop skills and technology after the reset that would keep our people safe if we faced a viral attack like the one that caused the reset.  The other is how many of those fantasy novels and shows turned out to be true.  Our sons…The sons of the Clan, and our youngsters will be protected at all costs.”



Jumping to his feet, Aaron turned around to face his lovers and the head of the other two clans, “Xon, start building the Searcher…Adrian, I have made my decision.  All those we rescue that have not entered puberty will become Alteran. All those in puberty will be offered the chance to become like us.  I’ll be damned if I let the humans keep doing what they are doing to their children; if they don’t want them they are ours.”  Energy crackling as all the stress and anger he had kept in check started to break free Aaron transformed into his Dragon form, his voice gravely and growling out as what looked like smoke snorted out of his mouth as he spoke, “I never asked to be King…but I accepted it and I will be damned if I allow the humans to continue as they are.  The final solution is back on the table, no more second chances.”  With those damming words Aaron ported out leaving behind a group of very stunned people.



“What the hell just happened?” Edward looked around the room and all the stunned faces of his lovers.



Pete moved over to Aaron’s desk slowly, the smell of brimstone was strong and he tilted his head to the side and searched for their lover, the anchor to their world.  “He is at the training ground destroying several mountains in rage.”  Looking back at Kevin he motioned him over, “Can you bring up all the reports Aaron was reading this morning?  Something he read seems to have triggered the release of all the stress and anger he has been carrying around since that day…” he trailed off as he glanced over at Donny and saw he was pale and frightened.  Quickly going over to him he hugged him close as his lovers started to search the office and system to see what set off Aaron’s anger.



Adrian sighed as he looked over his shoulder at the information flashing past, “Most of what you are looking at my teams sent Aaron last night. If it is what I read, while disturbing, I don’t think it would cause him to lose control.”



Tau looked around the room and shook his head, “You truly do not know what is wrong?”  Seeing he had the Clans’ attention he stared off into space as he stood, “The Great One is in need of a vacation, he has been going from one emergency and disaster right into the next without break.”  Staring at each of them he sighed, “All of you are guilty of the same single minded purpose of serving our people.  While we respect and love you for it, it makes it hard for you to see, truly see, what is before your eyes.”  Snorting in amusement as he looked at the sheepish expressions, “Go home, start what the Great One asked, then go home and stay there or go somewhere no one can find you. Clan Shaolin will fill in for the next week, unless war is declared we will handle things so all of you may get the much needed break you need.”



Donny grinned as he wiggled out of the hug, “Clan Beastmaster, of course, will help.  Tau is right.  With everything Aaron does for us, and always putting everyone before his needs…just like all of you.  We’ll handle all the farms and chore duty so I don’t want to see a single one of you outside the compound, or I’ll sic Titus on you.”  Donny glared with his hands in his hips as he swiveled his head around the room so he could glare at each of them, then he giggled as they stared back at him in surprise.



Not bothering to hold it back any longer Adrian broke out into laughter as he walked over and logged Kevin out of the terminal.  “I agree, we can hold down the fort long enough for all of you to recharge your batteries.   Go collect Aaron and go home and shag him silly.”



Slowly slipping his P.A.D.D. back into its pouch Pete stood and moved over to Kenny and grinned, “If you are sure…”



“We are sure, Dragon Lord, go enjoy your time off.”  Tau smiled as he moved around the room turning off all the equipment.  When he finished and turned around Donny and Adrian were the only two left in the room. “Shall we call our brethren and meet once more on Centauri station so we can divide the duties up between us?”