Chapter 83



Looking around the area outside the cave, Craig let all his senses search for anything out of the ordinary. Spotting a small bird landing in a tree not too far away he clenched his fist as he mumbled under his breath, “Please let this work…let this work…” Sighing in relief when his mind made contact with the bird, he looked through the birds eyes searching for any sign of his father or Tony’s father’s forces. Not seeing any movement he let the connection break as he slumped slightly against the wall of the cave while his trembling arm wiped the sweat from his brow. Catching his breath he took off while cursing his father to all seven levels of hell.

As he jogged at a distance eating pace through the trees Craig’s mind wandered, just like it had every time he fell asleep after the confrontation. His mother had warned him, several times in fact, to hide his ability to take over animals. Thinking back to the day he took control of the bear so it would leave his Tony alone, he still could not think of what he could have done to keep the secret. That was the day his father first looked at him with a strange considering look. While he thought he had successfully played it off as the bear leaving on its own, he now knew his father only said it had to have been God looking out for the two of them.

It was the day the Alteran’s had invaded America and their gifts were plastered all over the Television channels that his father confronted him. Of course, his father was crowing in pleasure at having one of those advanced humans as a son. Then again, Tony’s father, the High Bishop of the religious order he and Tony along with their brothers planned to leave as soon as they hit sixteen, well he turned bat shit crazy. He decided that Craig was a gift from his god to bless them in their holy work. The worst thing was that between his father and the good Bishop they planned out a breeding program with him as the main stud. Of course, they never understood he abhorred the thought of getting all the eligible females pregnant. For heaven’s sake, some of them were still only twelve years old.

Then came the confrontation, the day he made it clear he was gay. Instead of the blowup and disownment he and his mother expected, his father and the Bishop only grinned like madmen. He knew deep down something horrible was about to happen as they led him to his bedroom and he saw Tony and Tony’s brother Micky, naked as the day they were born, tied up spread eagle with a young girl, the Bishops daughter, laying down between Micky’s spread legs; and she was naked also.

The words still rang in his ears as his father told him he could suck off Tony to get all aroused, then he could fuck the girl while sucking on the boy tool of Tony’s brother. This way, his father explained, he could function to get the girl pregnant. Of course, the threats of being drugged and raped if he did not follow his father’s orders to “have fun” which he heard as they walked out of the room while rapidly bantering back and forth a long list of girls, and maybe a few more boys so his son would not get bored with the Bishop’s two, shut his mind down.

It was only when his mother had cut down Tony and his brother before shaking him did he come back to reality. Catching the sob that wanted to escape he shook his head, he needed to be strong and focused on the here and now, not the past. Otherwise his mother’s sacrifice would be in vain. Anger coursing through him, giving him strength to push into his second wind as he remembered the scream and gunshot as they escaped into the woods. His father had killed his mother for disobeying his orders.


Sparing a glance at the side plasma showing the status of the Rhawbar and the Mizhine system, Aaron shook his head. After several months he still had no clue on how to deal with the survivors, or anything about them really. Andrew had done a fantastic job on bringing the planet back to life; it now matched those dimensions that the Mizhine home world occupied that never had intelligent life develop on them. Glancing back at the stream of information he should be reading he pushed the glimmer of an idea back into the recesses of his mind for now.

Tyler stared at Aaron for several moments before walking into Aaron’s office with Tim right behind him. “Hey Aaron, do you have a minute? We might have something brewing back on Earth that you should know about before it has a chance to get out of hand.”

Smiling at two of his lovers, Aaron frowned at Tyler’s words before gesturing to the chairs in front of his desk. Taking a deep breath he shut off the plasma feeds so he could give them his full attention. “I’m almost afraid to ask, afraid to say what now?”

Tracing his log in code on top of Aaron’s desk before taking the offered seat Tyler smiled, “Well, it’s not bad yet. More like when I told you that we were taking in too much money without putting enough back into the world’s economy.” Nodding his head towards Tim he added, “But when you take into account some of the feelings and rumors some of my people are reporting back, along with what Tim’s people have started to dig up, it might be a problem down the road.”

“A problem that we hope you can head off before it ever becomes a headache,” Tim grinned as he pulled his legs under him so he could be comfortable.

Sitting back in his chair Aaron stared at the two for a moment before praying that they were right. “Alright…So who wants to go first?”

“I will,” Tyler told him, “you need to hear my information first before Tim’s so our conclusions make sense.” Staring out the wall at Proxima as he collected his thoughts, Tyler turned back to Aaron, “working with all the major world banks has given me a clearer picture of the world’s economy. To the point my earlier prediction of crashing the world’s economy was understated.”

Worried, Aaron frowned as he thought back to the conversation he and Tyler had a while ago. “We never did come up with a clear plan on how to make sure we invested enough into the Earth economy to keep it stable. So how long do we have before we are in trouble?”

Nodding, Tyler smiled at Aaron when he remembered the conversation, “To tell the truth it’s too hard to predict right now. There are too many variables to even give you a good guess.” Scrunching his face up as he tried to think how to explain he shrugged, “we have, in a sense, turned the world upside down and then, to top it off, threw so much new technology and information at them they can’t ease into it.”

“So many new businesses are being created by those who are taking advantage of all the new technology, while a large number of industries are closing up shop as redundant.” Tyler paused as he stared at Aaron, “and that is the problem. So many people are suddenly finding themselves without an income that they are foundering before getting back on their feet, re-entering the workforce and rebuilding their lives.”

“Okay,” Aaron sounded lost as he looked at Tyler. “I guess I’m not seeing a problem really, not if there are still enough jobs for the people to find something new to do.”

“The problem is,” Tim interrupted before Tyler could continue, “that during this time there are a lot of harsh feeling and unrest. Not enough yet to cause riots or more organized attacks against the changes, but it could if we don’t head it off.”

Leaning back in his chair Aaron swiveled back and forth as he thought about it.

Watching Aaron think Tyler leaned forward, “I have an idea to hopefully short circuit what my teams have been seeing and hearing as they go around to the banks and install the ID booths.” Once Aaron stopped moving and sat back up looking at him, “We need to hire people before they lose their jobs or their companies have a chance to go under. Not only will we start to put the money we are taking in back in circulation, but we will be seen as the good guys during the transition.”

“I would have thought that one of the territorial governors would have brought this to my attention before now,” Aaron tapped a search string into his terminal to see if he had just missed that bit of information.

“Using our territory’s is a not a good judge of things,” Tim shifted in his seat as he got Aaron’s attention. “We seized control and not only replaced the government but we forced the change to happen at our pace without cost. The rest of the world never had that advantage.”

“Maybe,” Aaron hesitated. “I’m not sure I’m convinced about that. The question is what jobs could we fill, because the way we do things we pretty much made most manual jobs obsolete.” Tapping his desk in thought he shook his head, “Not only that but some of the jobs we could hire out, but then we would have to deal with businesses and employees in different countries under different laws and rules. The other governments are the ones that should be doing that type of hiring.”

“While you are thinking about that news,” Tim stated, “my security people have been hearing rumors of unrest. And I think it ties into Tyler’s observations, at least partially. A lot of people are pissed off they are getting left behind because of all the new technology being unleashed. Most of those that are truly pissed, that might cause us problems, are those who ran or owned the companies the new tech is putting out of business; and they are the ones that still have some wealth to create situations to discredit us.”

Tapping his finger on his desk, Aaron just could not come up with a solution that would not cause more trust issues with those in power he was working with. “For now all we can do is monitor the situation. Our spook squads still have not found the reason why Mexico and all the countries south have all of a sudden become isolationist either.” Shaking his head as he stared at the blank plasma, “I’ll bring it to the attention of the coalition to see if they have any ideas on how to ease the transition for their people.”

“Truthfully though, I really don’t see us creating useless positions just so we can hold off the collapse of the world’s economy,” Aaron shrugged as he looked over at Tyler. “This is going to come back to bite me in the ass I’m sure, but truth be told, they are not my people so they are on their own. With everything we are making available to the people of Earth, if they can’t or won’t take the initiative to better themselves…well, they have their own governments to help them out, so they should look to them for help not me.” Holding his hand up Aaron sighed in frustration as Tyler opened his mouth, “But I do agree that we should invest some of our cash back into the world market. Only it has to be for valid products or services, not just so we can bolster a failing system to keep it running at the status quo.”

“Bloody…” Tyler chuckled before slumping down in the chair. “I was hoping you had some ideas, because frankly I am out of ideas that were not a blatant handout.”

“Besides, what we are doing right now in skimming off the best of the best, I can’t think of anything Earth has to offer us anymore.” Aaron tilted his head in thought, “No, we can be open for suggestions but it is up to the world leaders to fix this problem, or come up with products or services for us to buy. If they want our money they have to put in the effort to earn it.” Looking down at Proxima and thinking about all those they had to rescue because of parents not doing the right thing Aaron shook his head, “No, Tyler, no more handouts. I’ve more than done my part. I’ve activated the damn Omega protocols twice for those people…I’m through!”

Tyler, glancing at Tim who had a strange expression on his face, was about to ask something when Tim beat him to it. “Aaron, are you alright? The way you are acting, if I did not know for a fact you shagged half of us this morning I would swear you needed shagged badly or a vacation.”

“Not really,” Aaron sighed as he brought up the report he had read this morning. “I am trying to come to terms with some new Intel that crossed my desk this morning. The former Soviet bloc countries, well some of them, are in the same situation that Russia was before we went in and rescued all the homeless kids and put them through…”

Twisting around in his seat Tim quickly read through the reports and frowned; the more he read the more he saw exactly what was bothering Aaron. It seemed lately for every step forward they took two steps back. Shaking his head he stared at the ceiling as he talked things over with Pete and Kevin. After several minutes he nodded before looking back at Aaron, “Maybe we are going about this the wrong way? I know the first thing you thought of was the Omega protocol, but what if we went in and actively recruited instead.” Smirking evilly, Tim rubbed his hands together. “After all, isn’t that what we planned to do in the old U.S. before it went poof?”

Mind racing as hundreds of scenarios flew through his head, Aaron finally nodded slowly as a grin grew on his face. “I did plan that, didn’t I?” Glancing up at the plasma he quickly tapped out orders before sending the emails off, “And we have more than enough people now to carry it off safely.” Relieved of the ethical dilemma he had been wrestling with Aaron looked back at Tyler. “Still, what I said stands. I don’t think we should just hire people because we need to put our money back into circulation. Why don’t you get with Edward, and maybe Ton, and see what they can come up with for valid, needed, things we can buy. Maybe even go so far as to come up with some low interest loans for those that want to start off some new businesses.”

Nodding slowly Tyler thought out loud, “I think we can do that. Gear the loans to those that want to take advantage of the technology being released to create new products and such.” Grinning as the idea gelled in his mind he waggled his eyebrows, “Now that is out of the way, can we revisit the shagging from this morning and my lack of being shagged silly?”


Panting in exhaustion Fred carefully pulled the teacher off his temple. Now that the simulations were over he slumped down on the exam bed, hands shaking in fatigue.

Kevin smiled as he brought over a box of the energy donuts along with one of the energy drinks. After setting them next to Fred he gently took the teacher from Fred’s shaking hands. Once it was back in its case he offered the drink to his lover, “Here Fred, you looked wiped out.” Grinning as he looked up at the plasma he sat next to Fred and offered him pieces of the donut, “So… why the crash session with the teacher?”

Feeling his energy return to him Fred smiled at Kevin, “I needed to be what Aaron asked me to be this morning.”

Frowning in confusion Kevin stared long and hard at his lover before saying anything, “Aaron is not like that. What did he ask you to take on this morning?” He was trying to come up with a reason Fred would push himself so hard knowing Aaron would not ask… “You do know Aaron would not ever ask you to do something, or be something, you are not… right?”

Nodding slowly as he grabbed his third donut Fred slumped for a moment, “I know.” Clearing his throat he whispered out, “I didn’t feel up to being ready for the position he gave me… even when he told me I was more than ready. Even Theo agreed with Aaron.”

Slightly worried, Kevin moved behind Fred and started to knead his shoulders to get him to relax, all the while trying to think about why Fred would be worried that Aaron felt he was ready to be in charge of one of their hospitals. “Fred, what position did Aaron ask you to fill this morning?”

Eyes closed as he felt those wonderful fingers kneading cramped muscles, Fred dreamily answered, “He asked me to take over the chief medical officer position.”

Glancing at Fred with a frown Kevin tried to figure out why Fred felt he was not ready, “I would say congratulations, and that I know you have worked hard in a very short time to achieve being a doctor. But I think I’m missing something here, especially if Theo thinks you’re ready and you look like you went several rounds with a Sumo wrestler.”

Shaking his head Fred looked up and backwards, showing he was scared, “You don’t understand! He did not give me one of the hospitals… he gave me all of them, empire wide.”

Hands freezing mid motion Kevin realized part of Aaron’s bad mood this morning was from giving up his dream for good. “Fred, Aaron trusts you, he knows you are ready… so do I. After all, it’s not like you have to have all the answers or treat every patient by yourself.” Feeling hints of unease and fear rolling around Fred, Kevin sent out waves of comfort and confidence in Fred’s skills.

Feeling better Fred opened his eyes looking up at the upside down serene face of one of his lovers and smiled, “I think I am beginning to believe I’m ready now.”

Carefully shaking his head in amusement so not to tarnish any of Fred’s hard won confidence, Kevin snorted, “You know most of us that have used the teacher spread it out over several days, not all at once like you just did.”

Grinning tiredly Fred chuckled, “I did not have as much to catch up with…” Silence reigned as a shocked look came across his face and his body went stiff as he realized something. “I did not have to learn that much to bring me up to speed.” Hugging Kevin’s arms tight to his chest in a loud voice he stated, “I did not have that much to learn.”

Chuckling, Kevin pulled Fred into a hug as he shook his head as his hands slipped down to Fred’s crotch, “For not having the faith in yourself that we do I think you need to be named bottom and I am going to be first.”


Toweling dry after shagging Tyler four times in a row, Aaron grinned as Tyler shuffled towards the door in a daze. Dressing slowly as he gathered his thoughts, he made his way back into his office long enough to send out several emails to the coalition government along with his territorial governors setting up a meeting for that afternoon to see what they could come up with to try to forestall the world financial meltdown that Tyler told him was approaching. Glancing at the clock he ported to his office on Earth station just in time for the meeting with Otto and the rest of his military staff.

Spotting that Chris and Joe had commandeered one of the tables and were in deep discussion with Otto, Aaron sat in his chair behind his desk and pulled up the reports that had started to come in from the spook squads he had sent into Mexico. “Otto, if you would start with the reports from your spooks. Did they find out why Mexico and South America have gone silent?”

Tapping a few commands onto the table top Otto changed the plasma behind him to show the map they had been working on. “Well, we know that the Mexican government has no clue what is going on. Too many different departments giving out conflicting orders; even their President has no clue what is going on. The one main thing though is that all the government officials are telling everyone to keep their heads down when it comes to the old U.S. and dealing with us.” Turning around so he could point to the map, Otto tilted his head as he considered his next words, “Of course, Brazil, highlighted in green up there, has been buying and reselling our new computers and technology like crazy. So far they have been using the money they have earned to clean up their own back yard; helping to get some of the homeless off the street and turn around some of the local corrupt politicians and police force.”

Looking over his shoulder, seeing he had Aaron’s attention, he nodded as he pointed at the map. “So far, out of all the countries south of the old U.S. border, they are the only ones to keep in constant contact with us and are asking for advice. I think they plan to approach us at some point to join the colonization effort, but my people feel they are waiting until they have cleaned up their country and brought their people around before contacting us.”

Staring at the map as he let his mind wander back to the meeting he had with the Brazilians. Aaron nodded his head slowly as he tapped some notes into the system. “I’ll offer to send in some teams to recruit from the groups of street kids; maybe we can get some of the kids off the street and hopefully into a better life. At least we can get those that don’t want to join us moved to Proxima so they can start their lives over again; this time hopefully for the better.” Eyes frozen to the map as a sudden thought invaded his mind, Aaron scowled, “There are not a lot of records from the previous timeline, and the memories the previous me left are very spotty at best.”

Standing so he could move closer to the map he nodded, “from the few memories I have of the fall of the old U.S. to the Army of God, I have to wonder at how quickly several of the countries south of the U.S border fell to the invading forces.”

“You think they were infiltrated well in advance of the invasion?” Otto sat back as he thought about possibilities. Bringing up the locations of the Army of God bases they had destroyed at the start of the war he overlaid them on the map.

Nodding his head, Aaron saw that two bases he had destroyed that were not in the old U.S.. “I guess it was too much to think that we got them all.” Staring at the blinking locations, the one in Mexico, the other deep inside Canada, Aaron turned towards Otto. “I want all your teams, not just the spooks, investigating those two areas. I have a feeling most of the people will have relocated. I want those remnant forces tracked down and captured.” Shaking his head as he massaged the bridge of his nose, “We need to neutralize all of them before they catch their breath and start up a guerrilla war we will spend years trying to put down unless I take drastic action.”

Moving so he could sit down across from the group, Aaron had to wonder if the cancer that was the Army of God went deeper than anyone from the previous timeline really knew. “So, anything else I should know about happening militarily on Earth?”

“Well…” Friedrich interrupted as he walked into the office. “Even though Saudi Arabia seems to be handling the integration of the five Middle Eastern Countries we sent back to the stone age, I feel we should send in some teams to check up on them. I would have thought by now they would have asked for our teams to rebuild some of the infrastructure.”

“To see if their reports of everything going smoothly are real instead of a paper dream?” Otto nodded as he made several notes after seeing Aaron nod in agreement.

“Friedrich?” Aaron questioned as the head of his security stood in the door. Tilting his head as he tried to taste any emotions being given off he wondered what was up.

“Clan Beastmaster mobilized two teams for some type of rescue down on Earth several minutes ago,” Friedrich walked through the door after giving his news. “I was wondering if we should put the military forces on alert, or at least in a more ready status?”

“That should be something we make standard operating procedure, Aaron.” Otto pulled his P.A.D.D. out of his pocket and made some notes before firing off an email to the officer of the day to scramble the ready Eagles.

Not bothering to even think about it Aaron nodded in agreement, “I’ll inform the clans later today that any and all rescues on Earth must include putting the Earth side military on alert. That way if things start to go sour they can call for immediate backup.” Making several notes Aaron nodded his thanks towards Friedrich who nodded back before leaving.

“Before we get to Joe and his reports; Chris, how is the academy and the students doing so far?” Aaron asked, curious to hear some firsthand information for a change.

Grinning, Chris tapped a few commands on the table top changing the plasmas, “Actually everything is going smoothly. The first class compromising mostly Coalition military personnel are ready to graduate. Those graduates will be the ones that will be part of the space police force, responsible for policing near Earth orbit and acting as inspection crews for cargo and such. We’ve finished mapping out the classes for the certification program for the merchant fleet the coalition nations want to run. We will be ready to accept those holding current certification as students a week from Monday. After the first four month semester is over we will be ready for those wanting to get their certifications for the first time.”

Highlighting one of the columns with the data from the design lab usage Chris tapped his finger on his leg, mimicking Aaron slightly. “At the rate the designers are going we should be able to certify almost all of the active duty merchant mariners before the first Earth built vessel floats out of the docking arms. By making the whole merchant service program a three year degree for those just starting out, we should be graduating the first graduates just as the Earth services will be needing manpower.”

Thinking about the teens in the families immigrating off Earth, Aaron had to wonder, “How many of those immigrating to the colonies have applied to the space services program?”

Glancing down at his notes Chris shook his head. “None of them. On the other hand we’ve gotten hundreds of inquiries on what it takes to be accepted to the Alteran University, but you really need to ask whoever you put in charge of the University about that.”

Aaron frowned as he nodded slowly, “I’ll do that just as soon as I figure out who to put in charge. So far I’ve been acting as advisor to all the students because they have all been Alteran. Now that we are going to accept outsiders I probably should put someone in charge officially.” Thinking about it he mused, “I wonder who has been taking care of answering all those emails though. I’ve not had a single one hit my inbox.”

Glancing up at Xon and Tim as they walked in, “Do either of you know who has been handling the emails asking about our university?”

Blinking, Tim looked thoughtful for a moment, “Last time I looked Andrew was handling that… why?”

“Because I was wondering if any of the teens from those immigrating to one of our worlds have shown an interest in space travel or joining our fleet crews.” Aaron tilted his head as he studied the two trying to figure out what was up. Motioning for them to join him he looked at Joe, “You’ve got three major searches underway Joe; anything new?”

“Well,” Joe leaned back into the chair as he thought about it. “As you know we’ve traced back all the Mizhine colony worlds. What little we found we turned over to Rolph so he could translate it for us. Whatever those Reptoids truly are, they’ve had a scorched earth policy after they’ve wiped all animal life from their target world, so that has been a major stumbling block on finding out anything.” Looking at Aaron he frowned, “One of the things I would have expected to find would have been damaged or partial ships due to the war. We’ve found none of those, as if they also made sure to remove anything that would lead to who or where they are. Personally I would feel better about the Kathat if we had a picture of the Reptoids to go by.”

Xon sat up abruptly at the comment, frowning in thought he went over what he knew of the Kathat people. “While I can say the Kathat do look slightly reptilian,” he started slowly, “I know for a fact that they are indeed mammalian in nature.” Shaking his head slowly, “I know of no race from the dimension I was trapped in that dined on living prey. Even from amongst all those carnivorous species that were space faring, none…” trailing off he stared at Aaron in thought. The question was, dared he bring it up, then again he dared not. “Aaron,” swallowing hastily he asked, “How sure are you that all the Scree were destroyed?”

“Very,” Aaron told him stonily not bothering to explain further.

Swallowing loudly Joe looked at Chris to see if he had any idea what or who the Scree were before changing the subject. “Onto the search for the Seeders home world,” shifting his eyes back towards Aaron, “I am beginning to think the Seeders are not native to this galaxy. So far all we’ve found from tracing back the trajectory of the distress beacon from the ship we intercepted has been one old partially built station. When we approached it, it also sent out a message missile. My people are tracing it back, but all indications so far are that it was heading for the galactic edge.”

“That’s disturbing in more ways than one,” Aaron mused as he thought about what he had been told. “On the other hand if I was trying to hide an operation like this, I would probably place the main base somewhere like the galactic edge to keep the enemy from finding me.”

Hearing what sounded like someone falling into the wall coming from the hallway, Aaron turned and stared at the door to his office. It did not take long to see a thin blond teen stumble into the wall opposite of his door.

“Help…” was whispered before the teen fell into the wall as his eyes rolled back showing only the whites.

Before the teen had fully collapsed Aaron had ported himself from behind his desk to be in the right spot to catch the teen before his head hit the floor. Seeing the teen’s eyes roll back as he started to tremble Aaron mumbled out the problem, “Precog…” Reaching out gently with his mind Aaron found himself pulled into a nightmare.

All around him smoke rose into the air as the ground heaved and buildings collapsed from the earthquake. Spotting the tropical foliage Aaron did his best to try to figure out just where this vision was taking place. Seeing a sign in the distance he zeroed in on the city limit sign, Bataan. Feeling the ground give a tremendous heave he glanced over his shoulder at the rumbling growl only to see the mountain in the distance collapse in a huge spray of water. An uncomfortable few minutes later he found himself floating above the island as the last outcropping slid beneath the waves causing a huge wave to spiral out. Watching helplessly, Aaron shook his head in horror as the wave transformed into a monstrous tidal wave several hundred feet tall and growing.

The scene suddenly changed. Aaron found himself riding on top of the largest and fiercest tidal wave he ever contemplated as it approached the coast of a large landmass. Japan, his horrified mind told him as he watched it destroy everything without warning, going as far as several hundred miles inland from the coast. With the scene changing once more he saw Hong Kong right before the tidal wave destroyed the Chinese controlled island nation. Horrified as once more the scene changed, he yanked his mind away before he saw the total destruction of the Hawaiian Island chain. Horror was rolling off him as he slumped against the wall. He stared at the teen as his body continued its seizures as the Precog dreams continued. Shaking his head he ported the med kit from his office and slapping the temple sensor to the teen’s head he quickly activated the soma unit and dialed it to its highest setting. Blinking back tears he looked up, “Winds protect him… he’s a prime level Precog.”

“Is he going to be alright?” Tim whispered as he reached Aaron’s side

Deciding to activate the fleet medical fail safe plan he had come up with, Joe activated the pickup, “Reliant, set condition Medical Red.” Moving to the hallway and seeing the teen still trembling even with the soma unit on he sent the image of the hallway to his second in command. “Your majesty… Aaron.” Seeing he had his attention he nodded, “The Reliant stands ready to place the young man in the buffers.”

Blinking several times as he processed what had been said Aaron finally stood up and nodded, “That probably will work. Once you transport him to the buffers, I want the Reliant to make an emergency port to Nightingale Station to pick up Fred. He should be there for another hour as he planned to give all the university professors and scientists their physicals to make sure they have not been exposed to something nasty. Once you have him on board I want you to port the Reliant to a dead system before you release…” Giving the blond a sideways look he shook his head. “I have no clue who he is, but once you release him he should settle down being far enough away from the disaster that triggered his Precog episode.” Turning away when the teen disappeared in a shower of photons from the transporter system, Aaron motioned for Joe to wait one more moment. “I need to know as soon as possible how much notice he gets from his… visions.” Aaron twisted the word out in distaste.

“I understand, Aaron,” Joe softly told him as he quickly gazed out the window before porting out.

“Now the Important question,” Aaron started to ask as he turned around to see the coalition leaders he had invited over walking towards them. “Where the hell is Bataan?”

Glancing back at his father in confusion, Toshi answered the question. “Bataan is in the Philippines. Why? Is there something happening there that we might be able to handle for you?”

Trying to remember where the Philippines actually were, Aaron motioned the group to follow him as he walked down the hall to the situation room. Glancing at the lone Shaolin scanning through the screens for anything out of the ordinary in the system he went to the central desk and logged in. Bringing up Earth’s map he searched the screen for the Philippines. After zooming in he saw how close it was to Altare Minor and his Earth side kingdom. Not good, he thought… not good at all.

“Aaron?” James sent his mother a confused look. Seeing she had no clue he looked around the room and noticed the only ones that seemed to be agitated were those that followed Aaron out of his office.

Filled with dread, Aaron turned to look at Xon. “Xon…” Please let the answer be hardly used, he prayed. Shaking his head he took a deep breath before trying again, this time his voice steady. “Xon, how much of the Rhawbar’s capacity have we used?”

Startled out of his thoughts, Xon stared at Aaron and felt the unease rolling off him. Nodding slowly he glanced at the map, “Twenty percent. We’ve barely used his full capacity… Aaron, what did you see?”

Letting out the breath he was holding Aaron nodded.

Tim, feeling a sudden sense of relief coming from Aaron, started to put the clues together. Walking over to the doorway he tapped his release code into the panel and glanced back over his shoulder at Aaron who nodded when he looked his way. Whatever the Precog had seen had horrified Aaron, and by the looks of the map and his question just then to Xon it looked like they needed to mount a huge rescue. Placing his hand in the opening he waited as the core system identified him allowing a panel to slide to one side. Pushing the button he shivered as the room was plunged into blue as Empire wide every station and vessel was sent the signal to go to battle stations.

Staring at the extremely frightened group from Earth, Aaron activated one of the secondary alarms causing the red lights over the door to start flashing.

Feeling relief when she saw the red lights start flashing, just as like they had the night Aaron went into Russia to rescue those thrown away by their parents, the street kids, Victoria calmed down now that she knew they were not going to war. Then she stiffened as Aaron strode into the circle of light that suddenly appeared and started speaking.

“All ships, all stations… Disaster stations!” Turning slightly so he was able to watch those from the coalition, he hoped they held it together for their people’s sake. “Fifteen minutes ago a Prime level Precog suffered breakthrough.”

Seeing the shocked and horrified looks on all of Aaron’s people, James whispered to the Shaolin he was standing next to, “Why is everyone so upset to learn that?”

Whispering in horror as he gazed down and prayed for the young man’s safety, the Shaolin answered, “All who have gone through such a prime breakthrough of that gift have died at the end of the vision.”

Clenching her fist to her chest as the horror of the Shaolin’s words registered, Victoria let a few tears fall as she listened to Aaron.

“The precognitive vision started with the complete sinking of the Philippines. All I was able to see as I tried to search his mind was the ground shaking so hard that it fractured as it fell into the ocean. The resulting tidal wave generated from this disaster raced across the ocean destroying everything in its path. Japan… Hong Kong, North and South America, all suffered devastation several hundred miles inland from the ocean. The Hawaiian territories, along with all the other island nations in the path of the tidal wave were wiped out of existence.”

Seeing Chairman Woo reach over to support Morimoto as his legs gave out briefly, Aaron continued. “All ships… I want every ship that has a working buffer in the Earth system as soon as you can port there. Captain Yeager, bring the Rhawbar to full readiness and make your way to Earth orbit.” Seeing the Captain nod from one of the screens he linked with his lovers, “Derrick… I need you to get all of your RS ships to Earth and start creating the energy shield pylons we used to protect the science stations on Vree. I want you to enlarge the ones we placed around planet side stations to keep the biggest of the Dinosaurs out. Hopefully when they are activated they can divert the wave before it has a chance to make landfall.”

“Kevin,” Aaron nodded at the relieved look on Morimoto’s face before turning to face the monitor showing the Clan hall and his Lovers. “Kevin I need you to enter the Core and activate the siege shields around the Kingdom’s islands on Earth.”

“Eighteen hours…” as one of the fast scouts entered the system the telepathic massage was sent.

Looking up at the ceiling as he felt several minds scream out “eighteen hours”, the people changing as each one mentally screamed the message towards him he nodded before sending back, “I hear you… Thank you.” Watching the scout port out, knowing they were heading towards Earth now that they had passed on their message, Aaron sighed. They had time, not much mind you, but maybe enough. “Eighteen hours… We have around eighteen hours before whatever is going to happen to the Philippines begins. Let’s make the most of the time we have.” Closing his eyes as he took a deep breath, “Command teams, meet me on Sol Station in the situation room in half an hour.”

Ignoring the command staff saluting him as they broke the connection to get on with their orders Aaron made his way over to the coalition group. “Not the discussion I was planning on today.” Sighing as he rubbed his face he looked at Morimoto and Woo, “We will do everything we possibly can to protect your people from this disaster.” Waving the group towards the door he fell in step as they started towards the transfer bay, “If it’s not one emergency lately it’s another.”

“What do you mean, Aaron?” Victoria asked as she made her way next to Aaron.

“I originally called all of you here to talk about ways to keep the Earth’s economy from crashing.” Aaron answered as he entered the transfer bay and led the group to the carrier


No sooner had Joe settled back in the command chair as the Reliant entered the Nightingale system than Fred appeared next to him on the bridge.

Not giving Joe a chance to say anything, Fred reached over and logged in to the Reliant’s computer core using the Clan override code, “Identify … Fred Stranton of Clan Stranton,” he started, “Chief Medical Officer of the Kingdom and Empire of Altare.” Looking over at Joe who was confused then shocked when the computer responded verbally for the first time.


“Activate Lazarus,” Fred spoke authoritatively to hide his unease, “Protocol Lazarus Alpha One.”

“What the…” Joe muttered as he rose from his chair. Looking at the forward monitors at the red swirling void instead of Nightingale station, he slowly turned to Fred with a questioning look.

Seeing the question in Joe’s face, and sensing the underling unease from the rest of the bridge crew, Fred explained with a sigh now that they had time. “Because of the possibility of one of our sons being born with the Precog gift, and because most of our sons will be high level TEEPs, if not all of them being Primes, we had to come up with some way to stabilize a Prime Precog during their first breakthrough… vision I suppose you could call it.” Seeing everyone paying close attention to his explanation, Fred leaned back against the arm of the command chair and tried to relax. “One of the protocols we came up with was, or is, the Lazarus shift. What it does is to shift the ship into a sub dimensional hyper plane, one that there is no possible life existing except those on the ship. That way it should allow us to break the uncontrolled cycle of visions that the Precog is experiencing without triggering another. The second half of the protocol activates a dampening field over a section of the ship’s med bay that shuts down our gifts while inside the field. “

“I notice you mentioned ‘should’ instead of ‘does’, Fred,” Joe had sat back down as his stomach started to give him that nervous dropping sensation.

Shrugging, Fred straightened up so he could get to the med bay, “It’s not like we’ve had a Prime Level Precog to test our theories and treatments out on. So the best we can do is to hope that one of the different treatment plans we have come up with work; that way we do not have to do the unthinkable and burn out his gifts.”

Joe stared in horror at Fred’s parting words before shivering at the thought of having his gifts taken away. Even though he had been born human the thought of losing what he now had scared the hell out of him.

Several minutes later found Fred standing outside the med bay deep in thought; he hoped what they came up with to save a Prime Precog worked and he did not have to order the Core to butcher the teen’s genetics just to save his life and sanity. Taking a deep breath he marched into the Med bay, stopping next to the Bio-bed that had a glowing green shield around it. Pushing the nervousness he was feeling to the darkest back corner of his mind he stood tall, “Core access Activate… Verify Lazarus Alpha One.”

“Lazarus Alpha One verified,” the computer voice carried through the Med Bay. “Alpha One initiated at twelve thirteen hours, Altare Prime.”

“Initiate patient retrieval,” Fred ordered as he watched the teenage Prime appear on the bed in front of him. Reaching out with a touch of kinesis he stripped the teen quickly while emplacing the chest sensor at the same time. Staring at the monitors as they lit up he took in the information scrolling across the screen. He waited for the section on brain chemistry to start disgorging its information before taking the next step and disengaging the soma unit. “Initiate Lockdown Baker One.”

Freezing in mid-stretch, Branden remembered the vision he had fallen into. The question was… opening his eyes so he could look around he noticed he was in a Med bay. The real question he asked when he spotted someone staring at him was, “How come I’m not dead?”

“Excuse me,” Fred had expected a lot of questions that could be asked, but not that one.

Sitting up, Branden noticed he was in some sort of yellow green light. Taking in the sight of the Clan medallion on the other teen’s neck he shook his head, “Sorry about that.” Shrugging his shoulders he realized the other could not possibly know the family history so he explained. “I come from a long line of Seers, and we all die early.” Seeing the frown on the others face he shrugged; he might as well explain before he kicked the bucket. “My family’s gift of seeing activates when we are around eight. Once it activates each vision is greater and more detailed than the previous one. We know that at one point we will have a killing vision; one so powerful and terrible that our body shuts down after our minds turn to mush.” Shivering as he grabbed himself for comfort Branden felt the cold hand of death on him. “Just like the one I was having when whatever the King did to interrupt it…” Eyes unfocused as he let his mind roam he whispered, “At least my line does not end with me, but my sons…”

Blinking back the images the other was broadcasting Fred pulled a chair over so he could sit down. The other’s mind was racing so fast the images were jumbled and in pieces.

Coming out of the shock of being alive, Branden got a hold of himself; he needed to make the other understand, for his sons’ sake. “I want you to use me in whatever experiments you need to do so my sons will not have their lives cut short like all of my family has in the past.” Seeing the others shock he waved his arm around the bed, “I’m not a fool. I see that you have me in some strange containment field, but I bet if I walked outside it the vision would once more take hold of me and finish killing me.” Holding up a hand to interrupt the others assurances, which he knew would do no good in the long run, “Eighteen hours. My visions always happen within eighteen hours.”

Getting up and tapping a few commands into the information screen on the next bed over Fred activated the com to the bridge. “Joe, I’ve released the Screaming Eagles from the Lazarus protocols. Once they leave the Reliant they will fold back into normal space. I need you to send a pilot with a message to Aaron. Tell him the Precog’s vision will happen in the next eighteen hours.”

“Right away, Fred,” Joe’s voice replied over the speakers.

Branden finished pulling out his P.A.D.D. and keyed in the information where his sons were located. Placing it on the foot of the bed he pointed to it when the other teen… no, Fred, turned around. “My unborn sons are in the incubatory on Earth: Incubatory Seven Nine back on Altair. I’ve listed the names I would like my sons to go by, and all the family history including my personal journals so they can get to know me. Everything I could think of to let my sons know about their heritage is on that P.A.D.D. I would appreciate it if you would see to it they get it when they are old enough.” Finished, he lay back down in defeat and closed his eyes. His eyes flew open at the venom being directed at him a moment later.

“How dare you give up,” Fred spit out as his eyes flashed in anger. “It might take me running through several of the protocols we came up with to get you through your first breakthrough, but I am not going to allow you to give up!”


Walking quickly into the situation room, Aaron’s eyes glanced over the fully staffed stations. With a nod he looked up to the screens above and stared as he saw several screens with Derrick’s RS Ships hard at work creating the Shield Pylons around the islands of Hawaii. Facing another screen he nodded as he saw the pylons being created around the coast of Australia and Japan. Completing his circle he saw the main screen had a simulation of the disaster caused by the sinking of the Philippines on it. Staring at the disastrous ring of water as it spread across the map, he noticed the danger would be averted in the Asian Countries shortly. However the French Polynesian Islands and the area surrounding them still needed the shield pylons created. “How soon until the RS ships complete the protections around the primary targets and shift to secondary objectives?”

Changing the icon around Japan to blue meaning the shield was active, Derrick gave his squadron of RS builders orders to head for their secondary target before answering Aaron. “At the current rate of construction, a little over forty minutes until we can divert the RS Ships to the secondary building sites.”

Nodding his head and sending Derrick a mental thank you along with the image of a kiss, Aaron turned back to the plasma with the simulation running on it and stared at it. Something was not right about it, the simulation was coming nowhere near the destruction the vision showed him. The tidal wave should have lost most of its power by the time it reached California, yet he remembered that in the vision not only had it reached the Californian coast, but it had wiped out everything in its path until it reached the Death Valley State Park sign. Moving to his desk he reset the simulation so it showed the devastation from the vision, not the cause. Once the damage parameters had been filled out Aaron re-ran the simulation in the hopes of finding the starting point and how big ground zero truly was.

This time the simulation program running on the display did not stop with the Tidal wave hitting land, This time it ran through the logical conclusion which stunned everyone. Whatever set off this disaster did not stop at just sinking the Philippines. No, the secondary shock waves set off fault lines across the world causing devastation to over half the world.

“Saints protect us,” Victoria stammered as she saw the simulation unfold.

Aaron let his shoulders slump as the weight of the true disaster hit him. He reached out to touch Pete, who had come into the room moments ago, to link mind to mind trying to come up with a plan to stop the disaster from spreading.