Chapter 84 



“Nuclear Detonation detected,” one of the Shaolin yelled bringing Aaron out of the link with Pete.

Snapping his head around to look at the Shaolin who announced that disturbing bit of news, Aaron missed the glare Pete sent towards the Coalition group, “I thought we…” Shaking his head he moved towards the monitors, “Place the detonation epicenter on the central screen please.”

Hands flying across the terminal, Pete started to input coordinates to target in their hastily thought up plan to relieve stress along the fault lines.

Eyes narrowed in thought as he stared at the display, Aaron frantically tried to figure out how in the name of the Winds that single nuclear detonation could cause the wholesale destruction of half the world the vision had shown him. Not coming up with anything he had a sudden crazy thought on how to deal with the massive tidal wave at least. Looking over to the Shaolin manning the Ready Response station he thought out his idea aloud. “I want all of our Screaming Eagles to be positioned in the path of the Tidal wave. Make sure they are far enough away from the shields Derrick is erecting…” Looking back at the map he tilted his head as he thought about what he wanted them to do. “I want the wave itself targeted. If we fire off several of the planet busters into the bottom of the wave, the part where the water is being forced upwards…” Moving closer to the Shaolin, Aaron thought it just might work. “If my crazy idea works the detonation of our missiles will disperse the movement of the wave and hopefully kill it before it gets near to the energy shields.”

“Prime,” Tau called out as he looked over the shoulder of one of his clansman, “the detonation that was detected is puzzling.” Gesturing for his clansman to overlay the information on the main monitor he moved around the desk. Standing next to Aaron he pointed up at the blinking icon and the wave effect that was being shown. “The detonation is causing quite a few secondary quakes as the sudden release of pressure at ground zero ripples outward. While several orders of magnitude above the quakes that normally visit this region every millennium, these quakes still lack the intensity that would cause the devastation both the precog and the simulation showed.”

Frowning in thought Pete stared at the monitor as he tried to think what it would take to purposely cause the disaster they had seen. Digging deeper into his memory he tried to remember where that vague idea he read had come… Snapping his head up he started to input commands on his P.A.D.D. as he brought up a scanned image of the detonation site. “Xon, can you get one of the SE110s closer to the ocean bottom at the point where the bomb went off? I want to see if the bomb blew a hole in the crust allowing the magma layer to spill out.”

Snapping his head around to look at Pete, Aaron flashed back to one of the movies he had watched years ago, back when he was still human. Staring at the image of the Earth’s crust he noticed how thin it looked at what would be considered ground zero. “Is one detonation point enough to cause a fracture line to split, enough to open a moving fracture line into the magma layer?”

Re-running the simulation on his P.A.D.D., Tau changed the variables to see if the cause of the disaster could be attributed to what the young Dragon Lord was proposing. Staring in horror at the simulation that was now blinking the word VERIFIED, and the three red pulsing dots showing where the crust had to be breached for the simulation to run true, he quickly overrode the main screen with the new simulation.

Feeling the horror roll off Tau, Aaron started to turn so he could ask what he had found when the main screen blanked out for a second and a new simulation started to play out to its logical conclusion. Eyes narrowing in rage as he looked around the room, he finally settled on looking at the coalition group and their horror filled faces. “This is not a natural disaster… It’s not even manmade, an accident… This is a deliberate act to destroy most of the Earth.”

‘Get a hold of yourself’, Brayden scolded himself as he stood trembling in the hallway outside the situation room on Sol Station. Hands turning white from the strain he was putting on them, he unclenched his fists and he shook himself to get his emotions under control. Taking a deep breath he walked into the situation room and glanced up at the screen to see Screaming Eagles being deployed along the Tidal waves projected path. Shaking his head in frustration, the plan seemed a good one but was seriously flawed. “Excuse me for interrupting, your Majesty.”

Turning around Aaron saw a trembling teen and wondered what now. Hopefully it was not another one of those cursed precognition visions torturing one of his people once again.

Seeing all eyes on him Brayden winced as he took a hesitant step forward. Trembling hand pointing up at the monitor, he gulped before saying what had brought him out of his self imposed exile after his father had castrated him. “The plan of using missiles is flawed and won’t work.” Wanting to curl up as he wilted under the King’s gaze he suddenly felt a wave of comfort embrace him.

Remembering finally that this lad was one of his Clan’s early rescues, and flashing back to his injuries and reports from the mind healers, Aaron had to give it to the teen, he was making a wonderful breakthrough… even if he did look like he was ready to fall apart and run at the first word. Sending out waves of comfort and caring he smiled as the teen relaxed, “Brayden, I’m not sure I understand.”

Feeling awed and yet something more, it almost felt like he was wanted and valued, Brayden stood up straight and gave a shy smile as he answered. “Before…” gulping as he squashed down the fear of that day… Shaking he pushed the memory away as this was too important. “I was studying to be an oceanographer before that day.” Rushing over as he saw his King open his arms as if wanting to hug him, he fell into the embrace and really relaxed.

Embracing the teen who had made an almost miraculous turnaround, Aaron smiled down at the top of Brayden’s head as he hugged him. Giving him a minute to get a hold of himself he turned slightly so they were both facing the monitors as he asked, “I have no clue on how to deal with a tidal wave, not really. Other than blowing it up that is; I’m pretty good at blowing shit up.” Smiling at the muted giggle he pointed to the live feed, “What part of what we are attempting is wrong?”

Eyes closed, Brayden felt his courage rise, “You have to understand; a Tidal wave is not like the waves you see at the beach. There is no moving peak that rolls over and crashes down. What is happening is a wall of water that is hundreds of kilometers deep, and however high it is, moving landward. Blowing it up with missiles just won’t stop it.”

Staring at the screen in thought, Aaron was horrified as the words Brayden said sunk in, “Hundreds of…” Glancing around the room he saw the equally stunned looks on most of the people in the room, “Well how in the name of the Winds do we stop it then?”

“A wall higher than the wave,” Brayden opened his eyes to see everyone staring at him. Seeing, of all things, respect in their eyes he let the last hold that man had on him die. He was Alteran now…not even human anymore…he COULD do this. Giving one nod of his head as he acknowledged this truth he moved out of the warm embrace and started to draw his idea on the terminal. “Japan and the surrounding countries have dealt with tidal waves for a long time now. What they do is to create a long line of slightly curved seawalls that stop the forward movement of the water and redirect it back. You have to understand that a tidal wave does just that, it comes at the land in waves.”

“As in more than one?” The image of Xon asked from the main monitor. He had gone to the shipyards to activate the replicators there to create the shielding pylons that were being fired towards Earth.

Nodding his head, Brayden turned to look at the monitor, “Yes, a tidal wave bounces around, back and forth, several times as it finally settles down and the water drops to its normal height.”

“Nuclear detonation detected,” the Shaolin who had made the original warning placed the info on the screen.

Snapping his head around Aaron saw that the detonation point was at the second point the simulation had theorized would be needed for the end results to happen. Clamping down on the rage he was feeling so he did not manifest and blow a hole in the station he growled out, “All Screaming Eagles advance and blanket the third site that the core has calculated. I want all planet busters reset to concussion depth charges. Blanketing fire as soon as you port in, I want those responsible for those detonations taken out before they have a chance to get the third bomb off.”

Pete stared at the control panels behind Xon as an idea formed in his mind, “Xon? Can the MSBs work under water?”

Blinking several times as the sudden shift in conversation processed, Xon nodded slowly as he tried to think of where Pete was going with his question, “Yes.”

Putting the image he had been staring at on the main screens, Pete moved under the image and pointed at what he had found, “The first detonation did not crack the crust, but it did weaken it. You can see how it removed a lot of the bedrock from the area.”

Mind catching up to what Pete was thinking, Xon started to bring all the stations MRBs out of standby. “I see. If we use our MRBs to replace the missing bedrock and heal the weakened state left from the explosion, we can stop the eventual cracking of the crust.”

“Do it,” Aaron, who had picked up on what Pete was thinking, started to rerun the simulation after changing the parameters to take in account the zones where they were going to replace the bedrock. After the simulation had ended, Aaron sighed heavily. After everything they had done, all the high tech wonders at their disposal, they would still end up losing the Philippines. The question was, how many they could save?


Hans pulled his horse around so he could talk face to face with the two Beastmasters that had come to inspect the location of the preserve for possible problems before introducing the European Squirrel back into their former habitat. “Besides the squirrels that need to be re-introduced to our country, there are five species of bats that we really would like to bring back from the brink of extinction. The park service has the funds to bring up their numbers over a four year time frame. It is our hope that the cliff caves might be acceptable for placing a colony or two for their winter hibernation.” Looking up at the old growth trees he smiled, “But this forest is perfect to re-introduce the Bechstein's bat. Right now we are having an infestation of Gypsy moths near the campgrounds that have the possibility of doing significant damage to the forests as they have no natural predator here.”

“You’ve done your homework,” Mike nodded as he shifted in his saddle to look at the trees in the area. Pulling his P.A.D.D. out he pulled up the wish list the German National Forestry Service had sent them, “The bats will only go after flying food sources, so if you want to really decimate the Gypsy moth population you will also need to introduce the Garden Dormouse at the same time. The dormouse will feed on the larvae, while the bats will feed on the adult moths.” Glancing around again he came to a decision and looked over at Ru, “Beastmaster, I think this forest preserve can and should have three of the endangered species we have been talking about re-introduced. The Head Ranger has almost the right idea with his listed requests for this forest preserve, we just need to add the Dormouse to the list for it to be…” Trailing off as he heard an ear shattering shriek he looked up at the sky to see Ru’s Hawk was screeching in rage. Snapping his eyes back to the ground he started to search for what could have set the hawk off.

Snapping around towards his feathered companion, Ru saw his hawk, Zhan, starting his attack run. Linking his mind to his hawk he felt the pure rage that had taken control of the Hawk’s mind. Doing his best to push the rage aside so he could find out why Zhan had been set off, he struggled for control before he was able to work past his Hawk’s rage and find what had set him off. Someone had tried to link with Zhan’s mind, and that someone had no idea that Zhan was a Beastmaster bird, trained to only accept one linked mind to contact theirs. Linking with Fang he urged his four footed friend to let him use his eyes.

Vision going gray, Ru had Fang turn his head side to side to take in the surroundings. Looking through the gray tunnel he spotted the person Zhan was targeting. Seeing that it was a young teen, and by the look of him he had been out in the wilds for months, Ru let go of his link with Fang and diverted Zhan’s attack dive just in time. Running through the underbrush silently, Ru skidded to a halt near the frightened teen right at the moment Zhan flapped his wings, hopping in front of the cowering teen, screeching his attack cry.

“Zhan, wing sister,” Ru called out getting the attention of his war hawk. “Take flight, sister, and scout.” Turning to look at the cowering teen he started to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Pulling his P.A.D.D. out and scanning the frightened teen he tried to path a question to him even though he already knew the answer. “Hello…can you hear me?” Not receiving an answer to his question, and not seeing any sign that the teen heard him, Ru decided the best thing to do was to introduce himself, then maybe he would find out what the hell was going on. “I am Ru Kang, Beastmaster of Clan Beastmaster of the Kingdom and Empire of Altare.” Seeing the shocked look on the teen’s face he tilted his head as he felt Mike come up behind him with the two horses.

Craig fell back on his hands as he tried to crabwalk away from the huge hawk that he had tried to connect with so he could see though its eyes. He was shocked, then frightened out of his mind, when for the first time since discovering his ability an animal not only kicked him out of its mind but attacked him. Eyes staring at the person who suddenly appeared from the underbrush his mind stopped working, “Leather clothes…” Shaking his head to clear the cobwebs he concentrated on the last words of the leather clad strange kid, ‘Kingdom and Empire of Altare’. Staring at the intense eyes staring at him he cried out, “Help us…PLEASE.”

Mike mouthed the word ‘us’ as he stood up and examined their surroundings. Linking his mind with his mounts, he closed his eyes as he used his mounts’ sense of smell to extend his awareness of the area. Not finding anyone close he looked down at the teen and asked, “Who exactly do you mean when you say ‘us’?”

Craig looked up at the older dude and realized he had found help. Crumbling the rest of the way to ground he started to cry in relief. “My boyfriend and our brothers are hiding up in the cave system back at the base of the mountain range where the river comes out.”

Staring at the teen as he rolled over the explanation in his mind, Mike looked at Ru and sent, “This is now a rescue mission instead of a survey mission. We will need more of the clan here to help us.”

“Agreed,” Ru verbally replied as he tilted his head up and pathed a message to his lover on Earth station, “Running Bear… Our mission has changed drastically. We now find ourselves involved in a rescue mission; we have a teen male asking for our help.”

Running Bear stopped his walk through the park when he felt contact with one of his lovers, Ru. “What happened, love?” Blinking as he received the memory of what had happened in the past few minutes he rubbed his eyes as he nodded to himself, “Agreed. I’ll send you several full teams to back you up while notifying the med bay to expect four patients shortly.”


Fred turned away from Branden after slamming down a pre-cog limiter in front of him, like the one Aaron had created for Friedrich. “We are going to do three things to give you control of your gift, the first is a modified limiter based off the one Aaron made for Friedrich when his gift of pre-cognition first manifested. The second is an implanted sensor that will activate a suppression field, like the one you are in now, when your gift manifests past a set threshold. And finally,” Fred turned back to Branden, “This one limits you the most. You will have to take up residence onboard one of the stations orbiting one of the smaller colony worlds. It would be better off, until we are sure you have complete and safe control over you gift, before you move to one of the stations in the more populated areas.”

Seeing Branden starring at him, Fred smiled, “I think the third restriction will be the one that frustrates you the most at first, but at least your lover and sons can join you. And I hope it is only for a short time, as once the kinks are worked out on the first two solutions, and we know for sure they have protected you from burnout, you can gradually move closer with the final goal of living onboard Centauri station.”

Starring at the small bracelet in wonder, Branden finally let himself believe he just might survive. “Why will I have to live off planet?”

“Go ahead and put on the limiter,” Fred smiled as the teen started to think of something other than giving up. Coming back from the small replicator panel with his instrument tray, he set it down on the cart near the bio-bed before answering, “The reason you will have to live onboard one of the stations is for the simple fact that, if you have another vision and it hits so hard that the limiter or implant is not able to dampen the effects,” staring into Branden’s eyes so he could see his determination, “then the limiters secondary function will activate and have the stations transporters place you in the buffers while activating the emergency alarm in med bay.”

“So my brain won’t melt down if I have another vision,” Branden asked softly before wanting to know what would happen if all this failed. “And if nothing works?”

Fred let all emotion leave his face as he told him, “Then we burn out your gifts. But at least you will be alive to raise your sons.”

Not bothering to think about it, Branden stared at Fred with determination, “DO IT! I want to hold my sons when they are born.”

Smiling, Fred nodded his head in satisfaction. Now that Branden wanted to live it was time to start the procedure. “Lay back so I can clean the area where I am going to fuse the sensor to you skull. I’m afraid you’re going to lose your hair for a while, at least until we give it a day or two before we can re-grow it.”

“It’ll grow back,” Branden smiled as he lay back down and made himself comfortable. Visions of holding his sons as they were born dancing in his mind, he closed his eyes and let the loud hum of the clippers soothe his soul.

Looking up after picking up the temple sensor so he could put Branden to sleep for the procedure, Fred smiled as he saw Branden had a smile on his face. Placing the temple sensor on the newly shaved head of his patient Fred sent him into a deep sleep as he activated the soma unit. Expertly making a large u shaped incision he folded the skin back exposing Branden’s skull. Using a pair of tweezers Fred removed the sensor from its packaging and positioned it on the patch of bare skull before using the syringe full of preprogrammed nanites to fuse the sensor to the bone.

Glancing up at the screen and seeing the link to the ship’s core become active Fred smiled as he quickly closed up. Placing his hand on the terminal sensor he took a deep breath and prayed this worked like the simulations, “Release Lockdown Baker One…”

“Lockdown disengaged,” the voice of the ship’s core came through the speaker.

Feeling a tension he did not know was there disappear, Fred felt his gifts surge back into place. Frowning slightly as he realized that a lot of the tension he had felt was because he had lost his gifts, he made a mental note to place a warning note in the Lazarus files. “Joe,” Fred looked over his shoulder to see the Admiral standing in the doorway, “as soon as I release the Lazarus protocols I need you to port the ship to Luyten Station. If everything goes like it is supposed to we can safely move Branden to the station med bay and you can get back to doing whatever you were before the emergency cropped up.”

“I’ll have the teams ready to port as soon as we return to normal space,” Joe told him as he started back towards the bridge. “Just warn me if you are going to dump us in the hyper plane again, otherwise you might have more patients to deal with.”

Fred chuckled as he heard Joe’s mumble that all the Clan were as bad as Aaron when it came to surprising them. “Initiate Lazarus Beta shift…” Linking his mind with Branden, Fred watched and felt for the slightest indication that Branden’s gift of sight was activating.

“Identity confirmed… command Lazarus Beta shift… Protocol Lazarus Alpha One disengaged… Initiating Lazarus Beta Shift,” the ship’s core announced shipwide as it activated the protocols that allowed the Reliant to shift to the normal phase of hyperspace in their plane of the universe.

Not sensing anything serious, Fred smiled as he caught the dream Branden had entered, one where he was laughing as he pushed his sons on the swing in a park somewhere. Assured that so far everything was going according to plan he gave the final order, “Core… Disengage Lazarus Protocols and return us to normal space.”

“Identity confirmed… Disengaging Lazarus Beta Shift… Standing down Lazarus Protocols,” the ship’s core announced.

As soon as he spotted Nightingale Station in the forward screen Joe ordered, “Port!” Once the Reliant appeared next to Luyten Station a moment later Joe contacted med bay, “Fred, we’re at Luyten. How’s our patient doing?”

Looking over at the bed, Fred smiled as he saw Branden frowning in concentration before his eyes widened in shock, “He is alrig…” Fred stopped what he was about to say as the room plunged into deep blue as all over the ship the general quarters alarm sounded. Taking the few steps over to the bio-bed and his patient he ordered, “We’re porting over to the station now.” Grabbing Branden’s arm he ported them to Luyten station’s med bay, “We are clear of the Reliant, Admiral. You are clear to return to active duty stations.”

Not bothering to answer Fred, Joe finished reading the call to action stations that they had missed while in that weird hyper plane outside of normal space. Lifting up his head with a grim look on his face he felt a surge of pride and satisfaction as he looked at the portation deck and saw that, not only had the port team changed, but the third tier back up were standing above the ready team with their hands on the gestalt couches. Pushing the all call button Joe made the announcement to the crew, “Earth is facing an extinction level threat. All ships are being recalled to Earth’s orbit for evacuation duty. Prepare disaster recovery stations… Port in three.” As they ported out Joe caught Fred’s expression on the screen, he looked like he knew what had happened already and was expecting the orders.


“Wha…” Craig managed to get out before he saw people appear out of thin air around him. Head swiveling around in shock he counted ten new faces, and all of them were wearing the same strange leather outfits that the first two wore. Noticing the dogs, in what looked like leather armor, he relaxed, as he knew deep down they had been rescued. Shakily getting to his feet he seemed to change in front of the group of Beastmasters, he become confident and sure of his actions. “We need to hurry before my father or his men find the trail I left. It’s going to take us about five hours of hard running to get back to the mountain.”

Chuckling, Running Bear shook his head as he approached the young teen, “You’re wrong about that you know.” Stopping in front of the confused teen he reached out with his left hand to touch the other’s temple while staring intently into his eyes. “I’m sorry for the pain, this is going to hurt somewhat.” Reaching out with his mind, Running Bear quickly found the information he was looking for; the landmarks around the cave were very clear in the teens mind. Dropping the link he smiled at the woods skill of the teen in front of him as he plunged the needle of the palmed syringe into the teen’s arm. Catching the slumping teen he glanced over the group before picking out, “Terrence. Please take him back to the station’s med bay. We will join you in half an hour or so with the rest of his friends.”

Holding his hand out he felt Bear moving next to him and his head bump the underside of his hand. “We will need to Port to this location,” Running Bear sent the visual reference of the clearing where the small river left the mountain at the caves’ entrance. Glancing around at the teams he whistled loudly as he got the nods from his teammates that they were ready. In the blink of an eye the clearing was empty and Ranger Hans was staring at where the Beastmasters had been only moments before with a bemused expression on his face.

Appearing in the clearing Running Bear noticed that they were not alone. With a swift mental command to his four footed friend he pulled his blade from its sheath. It seemed some palefaces needed to be taught a lesson.

“AAEEEEE…” was heard through the clearing as Running Bear yelled out a traditional Hopi battle cry as he threw himself into the fray.

Acting on instinct, Ru dropped into a martial arts stance as he centered himself, he had been experimenting on coming up with a new fighting style for his clan. As the first attacker swung some type of rod at him he retaliated with an open palm strike as he pushed out with his kinetics. He noted with satisfaction as the man flew backwards into a tree that he had been right, the new style had possibilities.

Almost as one the Church’s men stopped to stare, fear setting in, as one of their strongest fighters went flying through the center of the clearing. The strange thing was he was flying backwards as if he had a rope tied to his middle pulling him.

All fighting stopped for a moment as the man’s body impacted a tall pine tree across the clearing. The snap of bones being broken was exceptionally loud, Craig’s father thought, as he watched his childhood friend’s body break when it hit the tree. The blood streak left behind as the body slid down the tree frightened him to the core. Pulling his pistol he turned to take aim when he was taken down by a pack of dogs.

Blood running down the end of his blade, Running Bear frantically looked around for another target. Not seeing anyone but his clan still standing he shook himself like a dog shedding water as he started to wind down from combat mode. The clan as a whole had trained hard in fighting techniques after Mikhail had been taken from them, and it showed now.

Standing up, he flicked his blade to get any of the still running blood off of it, as he felt the adrenalin that had been pumping through his system falter. Taking a deep breath he closed his eyes for a moment before giving orders to his teams, “Check out all those downed. If any of them are still alive, drain all the information you can from their minds before leaving them to the wilds.” Glancing at his partner he gave the command to resume the mission, “Ru, take a team into the caves, always take a left if you are given a choice. You’ll find our lost ones half an hour in.”

Cleaning his blade with the shirt of one of the downed men before returning his now blooded weapon to its sheath, Running Bear started to search the mind of the man that was moaning in pain to the left of him. Running Bear decided he would be damned to the stillness if he did not bring every scrap of information to Aaron when he returned to the station.

It was a bloody and exhausted group that appeared in the med bay half an hour later. Ru’s team had found the three they were looking for and ported directly to the med bay so they could reunite Craig with his brother and lover.

Looking at his clan members with pride Running Bear told them, “You all have done well. You have brought more than honor to our clan today. Ru and I will meet you back at the compound after we give our report to Aaron. The rest of you are free to shower.” Holding up his hand he smiled, though his eyes told them he would brook no argument, “After cleaning up and seeing to your four footed friends, I want each of you to make your way to the mind healers to ensure we deal with what we were forced to do.”

Placing hand on his lover’s shoulder, Ru smiled as he watched his clan members port out. He was about to ask where he thought they should start looking for Aaron when the med bay plunged into the deep blue of battle stations. They both broke into a run and where halfway down the corridor when they noticed the red disaster stations orb strobing above the doors. Hitting the main cross corridor they changed direction. They knew, if this was a disaster situation, they needed to get to the situation room. Once there they could find Aaron and alert the rest of the clan to prepare for search and rescue.


Aaron had the beginnings of a plan, but first he needed more information, “Contact the leader of the Philippines.”

A few minutes later President Arroyo stared at Aaron from the screen. Seeing the flashing red lights behind him, along with the group that were present when the Alterans declared war with the former United states of America, she blanched.

Not giving the person on the screen a chance to ask anything Aaron moved forward, “A little over three and a half hours ago a Prime level precog entered into a killing vision.” Seeing the woman wince Aaron continued, “I was able to link my mind to his and view the vision as he lay dying.” Softening his expression he asked the question he needed to know, “I need to know from you how many people are in the Philippines so we can prepare an effective rescue before the disaster hits your nation.”

Stuttering in shock, President Arroyo whispered in horror, “Eighty six million.” She could not comprehend how in the world they could move that many people, not in the time she felt they had left. She had been in their nations command bunker when the call came in. Her military command staff had been in the middle of briefing her to the strange behavior of the Alterans… now she knew what they were up to and she made the only decision she could knowing it would be impossible to save all of her people, “Save the children.” Standing up straight she tried to show her determination in her posture and eyes, “I’ll sound the alarm and get as many of my people to higher ground as possible. I beg of you… Save our children, our future…”

“Enemy sub detected,” the voice of one of the Screaming Eagle pilots interrupted the plea. “Targeting… Targeting… Firing.” There was a pause that started to stretch out before voice confirmed, “Enemy sub destroyed. Sensors detect high levels of nuclear material at the crash zone.”

“Dispatching MCA to crash zone,"  Xon told Aaron. “I will initiate de-construction of the wreckage ensuring there is no contamination.”

“Aaron,” Pete called out as he placed the live feed from the first detonation zone back on the central screen. “Healing of the first blast zone is complete; the initial scans show that it worked better than expected. We’ve healed and strengthened the damaged area of the sea floor.”

“Moving MRBs to second blast zone, “Xon told them as he closed his eyes and started to port the MRBs where they were needed next.

Nodding his thanks, Aaron returned his attention to the Philippine President. Knowing that they could not save even a fraction of the population, he hesitated. He had no idea on what to tell her. Instead he focused on doing what he could to save as many as they could quickly. “Attention all ships,” Aaron turned to face the screens off to one side. “Commence rescue operations. Target all schools and other areas where children congregate. Make sure you transport at least several adults in each group to help comfort the children when they come out of the buffers.” Deciding the next planet on the list he was holding in reserve for the Earth coalition’s colonization effort would do, he told them, “All refugees are to be transported to Tau Ceti. Once you have transported down the rescued contact Xon on your return, he will act as transport command during this crisis.”

Facing the woman once more, Aaron was pleased to see she was standing in front of a television camera and informing her people to remain calm, and to make sure all the children were taken to the closest school for evacuation. They would evacuate the children and pregnant women first.

Motioning for the crew to cut the transmission, President Arroyo sagged a little as she noticed the King of the Alteran people staring at her, “I will let them believe we can save everyone. That way no one will panic.” Expecting a terse reply she was surprised when she saw the sad smile along with the nod of understanding from the man.

“I do understand,” Aaron said softly before looking away so she could compose herself. Checking the screen that showed the first healed bomb zone, he looked at the next one as he saw that one was almost healed, “Re-run the simulation once more; this time use the new data.”

An hour into the evacuation the Rhawbar showed up. Since it was pretty much in station keeping at the Mizhine home world, it had taken several hours to get a full crew complement to him. Now though he had entered the Earth system and passed by the Station, dwarfing it, on its way to low Earth orbit.

“Sorry to take so long to get here, Prime,” Captain Yeager told his King as he contacted Earth’s step off station. “We had to wait until we had enough people to fully crew the Rhawbar before we could leave Mizhine.” Smiling, the Captain heard his navigator receive the order to enter the mesosphere above the Philippines. “Now that I’m here if you would be kind enough to clear the airspace around the Philippines I can unleash the full power of the Rhawbar,” the Captain boasted slightly now that he knew the full capabilities of his command. “We will have all life signs transported up in thirty minutes.” Seeing the startled look in the split screen of the woman he assumed was the leader of the Earth nation being evacuated he further shocked her, “that includes pets and livestock.”

Relaxing back into Tim’s body, Aaron felt several hands start to massage stiff muscles. He had totally forgotten the fact the Rhawbar had been designed to evacuate a planet’s population. He had assumed that the best they would be able to do was get three quarters of the population out of the danger zone before the disaster struck.

Donny knew that it was now a waiting game, that unless something else went wrong it was a race that no one here could help win. Motioning for Ru and Running Bear to follow him he walked through the Clan who had come to Aaron’s side in the hopes of being able to help if needed. Smiling as Ru hugged Damien and he caught the image of when they created their sons, he got Aarons attention. “My clan is standing by in case we are needed, but I’m thinking it might be a good idea to send them to Tau Ceti to help keep the kids out of trouble.”

Blinking several times as his brain lost his train of thought; Aaron looked over his shoulder and smiled, “Hey Donny.” Then realizing what was being offered Aaron’s smile grew, “Thanks Donny. We can use all the help we can get keeping all the kids under control and out of areas they should not venture in after they are transported down to the planet’s surface.”

“We can do that for you,” Donny pathed for Running Bear to take charge of the teams being sent to Tau Ceti. Before Aaron could return his attention to the screen and the waiting game he pathed, “I also need to report on the rescue my clan just performed on Earth.” Sending the memory of the rescue he had been given by Ru and Running Bear he grinned as he felt Aaron’s pride and satisfaction for a job well done directed towards his clan. “Right then, I have my clan to mobilize so I’ll meet with you later.”

Chuckling softly at Donny’s antics, Aaron returned his attention to the main screen as he waited for word that the Rhawbar had finished evacuating the population.

He did not have long to wait before Captain Yeager’s grinning face appeared on the side screen. “Prime, I am pleased to report that there are no longer any people left on any part of the Philippine island chain. We even were able to place in the buffers all the livestock and pets left behind. We ran them through the decontamination scan for good measure.” Leaning to the side out of range of the pickup he listened to a report from one of his officers before looking back into the pickup, “Prime, we have a request from the Philippine President to transport her over to the command center.”

“Go ahead,” Aaron told him as he stared at the screens intently, the sensors were beginning to pick up stronger ground tremors. “Rhawbar, go to Z plus fifty to the plane of Elliptic and standby,” he ordered as he saw out of the corner of his eye the photon field of a transporter beam.

Looking around the room, President Arroyo was very impressed. From what she could see, the teams she saw working behind the desks were able to monitor every part of the world. Stopping when she saw the simulation, though she did not know it was a simulation, she shuddered in horror as it sank in this was really happening; her nation was about to be wiped off the face of the map.

“It’s alright, dear,” Victoria had seen how much the simulation had affected the woman and moved over to lay a comforting hand on her shoulder. “Aaron and his people are doing wonders to keep what you are seeing from coming true. Until a short time ago what you see on that screen was much worse. To the point it had left half the world destroyed.” Looking into her eyes she tried to give the woman encouragement, “All he and his wonderful people need is time.”

“Tremor detected,” a voice stilled the room suddenly as it called out the warning. “Seven point five on the Richter scale, centered ten miles deep in the Manila Trench.”

Another of the Shaolin called out, “Tremor detected. Nine point seven… location the northern tip of the East Luzon trench”

Looking up at the map he saw the second red ring pulsing on the screen. Eyes narrowing as he read the data streaming at the bottom of the screen and trying to understand it, he looked down when he heard the indrawn breath from Brayden who was beside him still.

“Winds protect them,” Brayden whispered in horror as his mind put the pieces together. He had wondered how the simulator had come up with them still losing the Philippines after they were able to stop the last detonation and heal the crust in the other two impact zones. Now he knew.

“You know something we don’t, Brayden?” Aaron asked softly, conscious of how brittle the new breakthrough in his mental healing the young man had accomplished could be.

Nodding his head, Brayden called out, “Can you put up all five of the Philippines volcanoes on the screen.”

“Volcanoes?” Aaron tried to wrap his mind around where Brayden could be going with this, though he did remember seeing a volcano erupting in the vision. Glancing back at the screen as he felt the growing horror coming from the young man, the only thing he noticed was that each of the major islands had at least one Volcano located on it.

“I couldn’t understand why the tidal Wave started with the Philippines as the center point,” Brayden stared at the screen ignoring everyone staring at him intently. “After all, if those two quakes are only the precursors to a larger one it will build a wave like the one the simulations showed. But add in the volcanoes, which never went dormant…” he trailed off as he was interrupted.

“Sensors detect rising pressure in the magma layer,”

Then before Aaron had a chance to ask why that was important two Shaolin practically called out as one.

“Tremor detected… TEN POINT FOUR on the Richter scale… Dead center in the Manila Trench, depth forty miles.”

“Eruptions detected, all five volcanoes are involved.”

Snapping his head back up at the live feed Aaron caught his breath as he relived part of the vision. There in front of his eyes the islands blew up in a spectacular show of force. Then, just like the vision showed him, the island nation slowly slipped beneath the waves with a huge splash. In the back of his mind he registered Brayden telling everyone that the tidal wave they had been preparing for had just formed.

Giving Brayden a hug as he snapped to action, before the mind numbing horror he had witnessed had a chance to affect his judgment, Aaron glanced over his shoulder to see the Philippine President sobbing in shock. Seeing Victoria and the other coalition leaders had everything well in hand he took a deep breath before ordering, “Reposition all Screaming Eagles, I want them to target the building edge of the wave with their weapons. Maybe we can do something about how big the wave is going to be if we hit it now.”

“That might work… I guess,” Brayden mumbled to himself.

Motioning Pete to take over, Aaron started for the coalition group where Kenny had moved off to. “Brayden, you’re in charge now. Come up with every pet theory you have ever read and try it out to see if it will work.”

“Huh?” Brayden looked up stunned in shock as it sank in what Aaron said. “Hey, I’m not…”

Pete pulled Brayden into a hug to stop the teen from stammering and whispered, “I’ll help. Just remember, Aaron and most of us have no clue how tidal waves work… or earthquakes for that matter. You do. Like Aaron is fond of saying, ‘I’m good at blowing shit up’, so point it out and I’ll blow it to hell and back for you.” Smiling at the nervous giggle coming from Brayden he hugged him closer, after all he did not want to cause him to retreat back into his shell now that he had come out to play.

Walking over to the group, Aaron noticed Kenny had taken the hands of the Philippine President in his and was saying, “Remember, all your people are safe. Buildings and land can be replaced. The important thing is everyone is alive and safe.”

“Very true,” Aaron interrupted. Seeing the bloodshot eyes searching his face he smiled with a nod. “All of your people, like Kenny said, are safe. And all of you will be taken to Tau Ceti and given the chance to start over. We will build cities and homes for all of your people, or once they are there, they can chose to go back to earth and start over with what they are familiar with. The choice will be theirs. Right now most of the children are on Tau Ceti exploring around the school buildings we quickly built so when they were beamed down they were not in the middle of a grassy field. They have food, water, and electricity and places to get in out of the elements.”

“Derrick love, would you send half of your RS fleet to Tau Ceti to start building cities and towns for the people we will be relocating there,” Aaron pathed before picking up where he left off. “Half of our building fleet will soon be in orbit around Tau Ceti and will start to build homes for your people. From there they will build the towns and cities, along with everything else you need. It will take several days before we start beaming your people down to the surface from the Rhawbar, and for them to pick up their lives again. Granted they will not be able to just pick up and go on as before the disaster hit, but they will be alive and have several great opportunities that they can choose from to restart their lives.”

Seeing she was hanging on his every word, Aaron saw she was getting a hold on herself once more, once again becoming the elected leader of her people. “For those who cannot handle something totally new, well, we will make a place for them in what was the former United States. Seeing that they are my territories I can make sure they are welcome there.”

“Thank you, I…I better get back to my people so we can start to familiarize ourselves with our new home,” President Arroyo told him as she shook off the shock of seeing her home destroyed. Eyes gleaming with the determination to grab the chance being offered her people, she smiled at Aaron in thanks.

“Captain Yeager,” Aaron called out knowing he was listening in on the open channel.

“Yes, your Majesty?” Yeager’s voice came from the side screen as his image once more appeared.

“Please transport over President Arroyo then port to Tau Ceti. I’m sure you know what needs to be done,” Aaron told him as he glanced over at Brayden and Pete before looking at the live feeds and the Screaming Eagles blowing huge sections of the ocean up.

“That I do, your Majesty,” Captain Yeager grinned as he motioned for his second to transport the woman onboard. “I’ll pass along an update to Admiral Mandelin every eight hours so you can keep abreast of developments.”

Nodding at the salute, and hiding his sigh at the military protocol, Aaron heard Brayden ask for another simulation to be run taking in account all the changes they had brought about by blowing things up. Chuckling, he moved closer to the coalition and watched along with them as the simulation ran through once more. “After this latest crisis is over,” Aaron sighed deeply at that, “we will reconvene in two days time to talk about heading off the financial disaster in the brewing. Tyler has told me if we don’t do something about the fact I am taking in too much of the world’s money without putting enough of it back into circulation the whole world’s financial system will collapse.”

Turning to look at the group, Aaron’s face told them the news was dire. “The problem comes is how to come up with a working solution that is not a direct handout. When I originally released all my technology and services to the world they were priced at a ridiculous low price as it is. That means I’m at a loss on how to fix this problem without making a serf class. The only thing that comes to mind is giving your governments zero interest loans and let you fix the problem, leaving me out of it.”

Glancing back at Brayden who was getting high fived for his ideas that saved the day, Aaron grinned. His people were taking to heart the Clan motto and instead of writing off the human race, they were embracing the idea of guiding it to be something better. At least for the moment; the question was how to get the Human race to give a damn about its self and others before they did something to cause him to blow them up to protect everyone else.

“It seems that once again you and your people have come to the Earth’s rescue, Aaron,” Victoria spoke up as she sensed Aaron’s thoughts were once again questioning his defense of Earth.

“Yes,” Gorbivonovich agreed with Victoria. “But we now need to come up with the means to save ourselves.”

Jens thought about it before asking, “I am not sure what you mean exactly. Are you talking about the people who started this by detonating the nuclear bombs?”

Nodding his head, Gorbivonovich pointed up to the map, “Somewhere on Earth there is a base these enemies of humanity are hiding out at, coming up with a new plan of attack. The question we must ask ourselves is this, what is their objective? Who was the target this series of three nuclear warheads was supposed to destroy?” Shaking his head he looked at each of his comrades before turning to look at the map, “We need to find this base before they have a chance to fortify and entrench their hidden base making it more difficult to root them out.”

“But where do we look?” Morimoto look to the group to see if they had any ideas, because at this point he had no clue.

Ignoring the questioning, Aaron tilted his head as he stared at the screen. For some reason, the meeting he had this morning before all this happened was giving him a really bad feeling.

Walking away from the coalition leaders, Aaron stared up at the live feed as his mind put all the clues together. Without thinking about it the chill he was feeling came out in his words, “We didn’t get them all. The Army of God is still out there.”