Chapter 89



Walking into the building he still found the idea beyond quaint, Nate headed for the clothing section. Pulling his list out of his pocket he started to browse the aisles, looking at things and putting them back just so he could port them away once he had left the aisle. Though he did plan on using some of the currency he had taken from a few of the people he had taken control of, so he could stay within the perceived persona of a typical human out for a shopping expedition. Picking out a package of socks, he kept this one as he moved down towards the shoes; several packs of socks then being ported out once he had moved three aisles away. Grabbing a pair of jeans the right size according to the list he had been given, Nate made a point of glancing at several shirts as he finished porting the clothes his two guests would need to wear while on Earth. Walking down the shoe aisle he ported several boxes of the right size without looking at them. If they were the wrong kind he could always have Gene or Theo pick out their own later.


It was when he got to the personal hygiene aisles that he started to have problems. Staring at the dizzying displays of products he could only wonder why there were so many ways to do the same thing; humans and their obsessive need to smell different, was what he thought, disgusted as he read a few of the labels. Shaking his head he looked at the list and ported things from the aisle without bothering to see if they were made for a male or female. Grabbing a couple of toothbrushes from one of the displays he walked towards the cash register, his shadow that had started following him not far behind.


Placing his purchases on the black belt, Nate turned to look at the magazines near the register. What he was really doing was trying to find the person he had picked up by their stray thoughts, following him. Making eye contact with a man he invaded his mind. It seems his shadow was a store security guard who was not sure if he had been stealing stuff or not. Paying for his items he took the bag the clerk gave him and headed for the doors; his shadow still right behind him as he left the store. Once he had gotten out of the building and to the parking lot he headed for the side of the building and waited around the corner for the man who was following him to catch up. Checking the area for security cameras he took control of the man's mind as he skidded to a stop seeing Nate waiting for him.


Controlling the rage he felt at what he found in the man's mind, he used his telekinesis to stop the man's heart. Before the body had a chance to hit the ground, he ported to the old military warehouse he had used as a base of operations before moving to the tunnel once he got it pressurized. Hearing a noise when all he should have heard was silence, Nate carefully moved over to the window overlooking the large open space he had used to store the Ionosin panels before he ported them up to the Mars base. As he looked out the window he felt a shiver of fear as he saw a swarm of humans in military dress reinforcing the modifications he had done to the doors to secure them. Luckily he had finished with this place when he moved to Mars. But it worried him that a long abandoned facility was suddenly being brought back to life; and that the humans needed such a large space, and to go so far as to weld the doors shut and heavy screening over the windows was troubling.


Giving the office a good once-over to make sure nothing remained behind that could tell anyone he stayed there, he decided there was nothing he could do about the fact the room was not as dusty as the others. Picking up the lone pastry he had left behind, he ported it to the garbage dump over by the café he had used all those week ago when he first escaped the primitive hospital. Hearing voices he gave one last look under the desk and ported away. If he had stayed a moment longer he would have heard the officers talking about using the building as a detention center for undesirables.


Three hours later, Nate appeared near the pond filter, tired from all the porting he had done so far, not to mention all the time zones he had ported to. Pulling his P.A.D.D. out he laid it next to the large bag of take out, something he found filling called hamburgers, though it tasted like beef not pig, and connected to the audio circuit in the partitioned bedroom.  Hoping he was not interrupting something on the physical level when he told them he was back he called them, "I'm back and I brought food with me if you are interested in eating. If you are I'm where we ate earlier," closing the circuit he nodded when the door opened.


"Thanks for the clothes and stuff," Theo said as he walked out of the bedroom and spotted Nate. Opening one of the bags he remembered what Nate had said earlier, about not getting the needed calories, judging by the number of burgers in the bag, he wondered how many calories a day Nate needed because this bag alone held enough calories for seven people.


Taking one of the burgers, Gene stared at Nate in awe as he started inhaling his second huge burger. "Just how much food a day do you need to eat?"


"Why?" Nate slowed down enough to answer the question. He wondered what brought the question on; after all he did get extra so they should not have to worry about shorting him.


"Each of these burgers has around 1100 calories in them," Theo said slowly as he watched Nate finish his second burger and start in on his third. "One of these has half of the calories we should eat in a single day."


Slowing down now that he had started his third burger, Nate considered Theo's words. "My metabolism is very different from yours. Using my gifts, like I have been every day, means I am burning through forty thousand plus calories. Even with my body turning this food into energy almost immediately, there is only so much I can eat, so my body is cannibalizing itself to fuel the energy need using my gifts require." Waving his hand towards the window he sighed, "I have no idea on what I can eat on your world that will give me what I need. I used to be able to go to the refrigerator and pull out something about the size of one of your donuts; it had nine thousand or so calories in it. So I could eat several of those on a busy day and not run into the issues I am now."


"Damn," Gene whistled in awe as he tried to figure out what he could suggest that had a high calorie count.


"Do you have the recipe for those energy donuts?" Theo asked, knowing that if he did he might be able to point out a place to have them made.


Staring at Theo, fourth burger halfway to his mouth, Nate set it down and whipped his hands on the napkin and pulled his P.A.D.D. over, he had not even thought of looking in the database. There should be a recipe in the emergency survival folder he downloaded before starting the experiment. And there was; his only excuse was he had been so focused on getting away from the humans and building the Mars base he had not even considered what other information might be in the folder. "I do, surprisingly enough."


"I was thinking," Theo said slowly as wondered if he dared to bring up his uncle and his job. "Depending on how the energy donuts were made, I might know of someone who could make them for you."


Skimming Theo's surface thoughts, Nate saw that Theo thought his uncle might be willing to make what he needed, but he was unsure on whether he should ask for his name to be left out of the conversation in case his uncle would tell his father about seeing him; he was afraid his uncle would be like his father, disgusted and wanting nothing to do with him because he was gay. Looking down at the recipe he thought he would relieve the worry Theo was hiding, "I will have to sit down and search through the information on my P.A.D.D. just to see what is on here. I've been so focused on building a safe place I never considered seeing what resources I had brought with me. Thank you for the offer, but I will need a lab to create part of what is needed for the energy donuts. From there it should be an easy modification into making it something I can drink. Though I will need to make sure I don't make them bland like the emergency drinks we stocked on the station."


"Station?" Gene asked. He had perked up when Nate started to talk about things from his old world.


Taking another bite of the now slightly cooled down hamburger; Nate nodded his head, "Because the dimensional portal could be dangerous if it failed, we created it on a space station we built in deep space. We wanted to make sure if we did something disastrous we did so far away from our home world."


Changing the subject, Theo asked, "You mentioned that we needed to go back to Earth once a day, so our bodies could experience normal gravity. How dangerous is it if we skip a day?"


"Not very," Nate answered as he finished the hamburger and threw the wrappers in the bag. He would dispose of them next time he was on Earth. "As long as you did not get into the habit of skipping days, I would think the two of you would be fine until tomorrow. It's not like low gravity would start to affect you immediately."


"We were talking while you were gone," Theo looked at Gene for permission. When he saw the nod of his boyfriends head he took a deep breath, "We want to help out. If you would let us, we would like to make mars our home." Seeing Nate about to open his mouth he quickly added, "While we might not be as advanced as you are, or part of your race, we do have strong backs and we are willing to work hard. We can learn whatever you need us to learn to be able to help you if we can stay where we’ll be safe."


"We will even have sex with you if that is what you want," Gene added softly as he looked down at the table top, not meeting Theo's or Nate's eyes. If allowing himself to be fucked or sucking him off let him keep Theo safe he was willing to do it.


Picking up the thought of what Gene was willing to do to make sure his boyfriend was safe, Nate closed his mouth. He had originally going to say they could stay a while until they found a safe place he could take them to. But, he thought as his hand went around his Clan medallion, maybe he should take a look at seeing if he could alter some humans to be Alteran. "I'm not saying yes, and I am not going to say no, yet." He held up a hand and waved it back and forth to prevent either of them from saying anything, "I can use the help, even if you don't have the same gifts I do, several pairs of hands to help out with things will make the construction go faster. What I need to do is do some research to see what options are available before I can say yes or no to you living here permanently."


"One of the things that would have to be taken into account is making sure there were enough people living here; so that if I found a way home and you could not come with me then you would have a thriving colony." Nate knew what his father would have done in this situation, the question was, was he strong enough to get over his revulsion of those who were human to save some of them. That did not even take into account how horny he was.  There was only so long his hand would satisfy him, but the thought of doing it with a human made his stomach queasy no matter how cute the two of them were, so he really needed to see if there was anything in his P.A.D.D. about the technology they had created to alter humans into their race.


Changing the subject so he would not be thinking about how lonely he was, he motioned for the two to follow him as he stood up and moved away from the table. "Let me give you a tour of this tunnel, which is where the two of you will be focusing most of your work for the next little while." Gesturing to either wall he started to explain some of the features, "This section of the tunnel is narrower than the rest. It is eighteen meters wide in this section, narrowing down to three meters wide at the airlock. The tunnels length is roughly two kilometers long, and around the bend here it expands to thirty meters wide and five meters from the floor to the ceiling. The tunnel has been sealed with Ceramacrete so that it is airtight, so you don't have to worry about not enough oxygen to breathe."


"The design I found in my P.A.D.D. calls for single story apartments to line either side of the wall with gardens on the rooftops. One of the things that is vital in an off-world colony base like this one will be is, to stock it with flora in every nook and cranny that will regenerate your oxygen supply through photosynthesis." Nate rounded the bend in the tunnel and moved to the side so Theo and Gene could get a good look at the tunnel. The lights had been installed along the ceiling so it was lit up, as bright as the noonday sun on the equator. "One of the things I haven't got finished yet is the power cables run along the walls, along with the rest of the heaters that need to be installed. So it is still somewhat on the cold side down here and you'll need to wear clothes."


"Well, we can certainly help run the cables," Gene offered as he looked around. Walking over to the pile of cables he picked one up and stared at the end, it was not what he was expecting at all. It had some strange plug on it with a small protrusion coming out of the middle.


Seeing Gene looking at the end of the power cable Nate showed them how to install the cable, "Unlike the power cables you use on earth, these plug into the junction boxes with a twist and snap." Picking up one of the junction boxes he brought it over so he could show them how it worked. "If you look along the walls you can see where I've started to run the power lines already. What you need to do is attach the brackets to the walls every meter with this fuser," he picked up the u shaped gun and one of the attachment points, "Insert one of the wall anchors into the fuser like so," he slipped the anchor onto the end of the gun until it clicked and walked over to the wall on the opposite side of the junction box that had a cable running to it. Placing the gun against the wall he pressed the button while Theo and Gene watched closely. "When you press the fuser to the wall, hold it firmly and push the trigger. What will happen is the attachment point will be fused to the Ceramacrete, making a dinging sound when it has finished," he told them as the fuser let out a small ding. Removing it from the all he pointed to the neatly fused attachment point before reaching down and picking up the cable that was lying near the wall and slipping it through the bracket.


"You need to leave a little slack in the cable so you have flexibility to snap the cable into the junction box," showing them what he meant he took the cable to the junction box, pointing to where the cable would be inserted before letting it dangle. "Now to secure the cable so it won't move all you have to do use put the fuser back over the attachment point and hit the trigger again which will shrink the attachment point so the cable is stuck to the wall," doing what he just explained to them so they could see what he meant, he removed the fuser when it dinged again and tugged on the cable, it didn't move. "The only thing you have to watch out for is to make sure you don't plug the power cable into the junction box that has power into it until you have installed the other junction box and plugged the cable into that end first."


"So if we run all the cable we can in one shift," Theo asked as he looked at the bracket in the back of one of the junction boxes, "Can we then come back and plug in the beginning of that cable? Or do we have to plug each section in as we go?"


"Good question," Nate told him as he looked down the tunnel. It did not make much difference he thought, but then again, "For the most part you could do that, the only thing you would need to have power for is when you get to one of the heating units that have been spaced out along the wall. There is a special junction panel on top of those units that you would use in place of the ones stacked here, they have an added plug on the bottom so you can plug the heater into it."


"So we could run the cable to the junction box that the heater is by, then go back and plug the beginning end in so the heater starts working before continuing on," Gene commented as he looked at the piles of neatly stacked cable. "This is definitely something we can do. Should we fuse the cable to the floor from the heater like the rest?"


"That would be a good idea," Nate smiled at how willing the two were to help out. This would allow him to focus his attention on other things that needed to get done.


Looking at Theo, Gene, the more muscled of the two smiled at him, "Why don't I start dragging the coils and laying them out along the wall, while you start putting the attachment points up." Getting a nod in return from his boyfriend he looked over at Nate, "I am assuming, since you have this cable all laid out that once one end is attached you can just lift it into place and fuse the attachment point around it?"

"That is the easiest way I've found to do it," Nate agreed with the teen.


"Alright," Gene smiled at Nate. "We'll get started, and try to get as much as this done today as we can."

"Thank you," Nate nodded as he left the two of them to work. Once he was around the bend, he ported to the power plant and the work table he had set up. With that out of the way he might be able to move forward on the gravity generators that needed to be installed along the floors of the tunnels. Maybe, if this worked out he should grab a few more gay humans to help out. Especially if he could alter them so they were no longer human.


Four hours later, the first of the primitive gravity generators was ready for testing. It was five times larger than it should be, but with the tech he had to work with it was the best he could come up with. If it worked he could install it by the bedroom and pond filter where they took their meals, allowing them to sleep in full gravity thus taking some of the strain off their bodies. At least gravity tech did not require a new level of technology to be created just to produce it, he thought as he walked down the tunnel to the end of the power cable run he had installed. Setting the generator on the floor near the middle of the tunnel, he attached the thin power cable coming from the junction box to it and retreated down the hall so he could plug the junction box into the power grid.  Double checking that the cut-offs where in working order he snapped the power cable into place and pushed the button allowing power to travel down the cable, carefully watching the gauge showing the power being fed to the next junction box, so he could cut off power if it went beyond the safe limits.


The gentle hum that slowly built up was encouraging, it was the normal sound of a gravity generator powering up. He knew that once it was fully powered and working correctly it would lose the hum, instead sending out waves of gravity. "Yes," he raised his voice as the generator lost its hum and he felt heavier. Pulling out his P.A.D.D. he used the scanning function to make sure nothing had gone wrong with his oversized version of what he had replaced on the research station countless times, when they had shorted out after an experiment.  Staring at the screen showing the area the generator was affecting he was more than surprise to see that it was affecting an area seventy five percent larger than the ones they used back home. Frowning as he looked at the data, he tried to find a reason why his version worked so much better than the ones he was used to. The only thing that came to mind was because of the tech available, he had to build it so much larger.  Of course, he thought, the housing for the micro black hole was five times the size that they normally were. So it must allow a larger black hole to be created, so it followed that the gravity being generated would be greater. Now for the real test, he cut power to the generator. If it worked properly the black hole would be snuffed out, if not he would be porting the whole thing towards the sun where it would be overpowered by the energy the sun produced, thus crushing it.


And it worked, Nate sighed in relief when the gravity output fell to zero and his scans showed that the black hole had collapsed on itself. Putting his P.A.D.D. in his thigh pouch he walked to the junction box and unplugged the connector from the junction box, rolling the power cable up as he walked towards the generator. Picking up the generator he ported to the habitat tunnel and quickly installed the generator in the housing he had built into the floor of the tunnel to hide the generators. Plugging the power cable that was already under the floor into the generator, as it started to hum as he replaced the floor plate. Feeling gravity pulling at him as he stood up he went over to the table and laid the power cable down amongst the remnants of their meal and closed his eyes. He relaxed as the satisfaction of being one step closer to the advanced tech he was used to washed over him. Opening his eyes he ported back to the assembler tunnel.  He had a line to put into production and in two days’ time the first of the generators would roll off the line then he could get Theo and Gene to start installing them.


Porting back to the habitat tunnel, Nate was shocked when he spotted Gene and Theo had made it to the end of the tunnel and were a third of the way back along the opposite wall. He blinked several times as he tried to grasp the fact that two human had been able to do so much. Once again his view on humans shifted slightly, equating gay humans as people for the first time. Deciding to call a halt to today’s work, he ported down the tunnel, "You guys did far more than I hoped you could." Trained eyes glancing over the work and seeing it had been down correctly. Plus the tunnel was almost to the correct temperature, which meant they had correctly installed the heating units.

"Thanks," Gene wiped the sweat off his forehead as he looked over his shoulder at Nate. "The only thing we have not done is to connect the cable coming out of the wall on this side into the junction boxes. I was not sure where they go to."

"They go to the housing in the center of the tunnel," Nate told them. "Let me show you," waving them over he knelt down and pried open the top of the panel and pointed to the other end of the cable. "Because of your help I was able to concentrate on building one of the gravity generators that are installed within these housings in the floor. I installed the first one by the filtering pond and our sleeping quarters, the others should start coming off the assembler line in two days’ time."


"So we have Earth Gravity now?" Theo asked as he chewed on his bottom lip. Seeing Nate nod his head he asked, "If we have gravity to keep us healthy, can we skip going back to Earth?"


"Yes," Nate stood up and skimmed Theo's thoughts. He really did not want to go back and that surprised him. "But don't you want to go back to the planet of your birth?" asking the question he was once again shocked at the denial he found as he skimmed his thoughts.


"No," Theo spat out. "Gene and I had hours to talk things over; neither one of us wants to go back to that world. What we do want is to talk to you about bringing select individuals up here and creating that thriving colony you mentioned. I know it is a lot more work for you in the beginning, but the more people up here we can get to do the work, the faster it will go in the long run. Even if you find a way home, we were thinking that we might be able to find something to trade with your people so we can get access to those artificial wombs you told us about. That way we can have our own kids without needing to go back to Earth. We would become Martians, not Earthlings."


Seeing that Nate was surprised, Gene told him, "Being on Earth right now and being Gay is very dangerous. With the president we have now, he is starting to crack down on gays, allowing attacks to happen on us without anyone being punished."


"Most of the attacks are being done by government agents and police officers that are supposed to be protecting us," Theo said. "It is only a matter of time before we are openly hunted and killed off."


Nate stared at the two in horror, a terrible sense of deja vu was descending on him. He had watched the vids of the early days of the Exodus of Earth. He had heard stories of the wars of religion, where those who were different were eliminated; where concentration camps had come back into vogue as gays were rounded up and cleansed. His father had gotten such a sad look on his face as he recounted the start of the downfall of the human race into madness and how he wished he had paid attention to what was going one after he left the united States for his retreat. He had told them his greatest mistake was not acting until millions had been killed and war had been brought to his doorstep. And now to find out he had been dropped back into the past at the start of that madness left him truly scared for the first time since waking up in this dimension. But one thing kept ringing in his mind, he knew what his father would have done given the chance to do it over. Could he do any less?


"No matter what my research digs up, you can make Mars your home," Nate told them as a sense of conviction settled on him. "Let’s get something to eat, we have a lot of planning to do. You can finish up tomorrow."


Hugging Theo, Gene looked at his boyfriend with pride filled eyes. Theo was right, all it took was showing that they could be valid members of this new world, this new society, and they would be allowed to stay. Letting go, he kissed Theo lovingly on the lips before grabbing his boyfriend’s hand and following behind Nate as he walked backs towards the end of the tunnel.


Nate listened in on their thoughts as plans to become the first Martian citizens and maybe part of a new race of people filtered in each of the teens’ minds. Finding a way to alter new people he brought to this world just became a priority, he decided. Each night before he went to bed he would search the data archives on his P.A.D.D. to find a solution to altering humans. If his father could do it, as his son he should be able to do the same. He would fulfil his father’s greatest wish, he would save the best of the gay youth on Earth and make them something better. He just knew when he met his father again he would be so proud of him.


Theo was amazed as he walked around the bend and felt heavier. Looking around to see what was different he felt as if he was walking into water at first before his body remembered what full gravity felt like. "Oh, this feels good," he commented as he felt full gravity hit him. Seeing Nate put some of the leftovers on the table he had to wonder if the food was still good, "Is there any way you can bring an electric stove and refrigerator up here? The reason why I ask," he said as Nate looked at him, "I'm not sure about you, but we can get sick from food that has been left out long enough to let the bacteria present get a foothold in it."


"Plus I'm a pretty decent cook," Gene offered as he stared at the mishmash of food warily. Some of it had to be spoiled by now, it just had to be.


"I should be able to," Nate looked at the worried looks on both of their faces as he looked back at the food. "My immune system is very different from yours; nothing that would make you sick or infect you would touch me, though I have to agree some of this starts to taste nasty after a few days."


"I hate to ask this of you, especially knowing that using your gifts takes so much out of you," Theo said slowly as he looked at the spoiled food. "But can you take us back to Earth to do some shopping? If we can get a few things, and maybe go grocery shopping we can start to make our own meals. I'm sure your body would appreciate having food that has all of the nutrition in it that it had before it started to spoil."

Staring at them blankly for a minute, Nate slowly nodded his head, "Alright. But I have no idea of where I need to go?"


"We need to go to one of the big appliance centers," Gene said as he gathered all of the leftovers so they could be thrown out.


"Do you know where one is?" Nate asked as he pulled out his P.A.D.D. and linked up with the SE110 he had left on Earth outside of the park in the bay area where he had rescued these two from.


Looking over Nate's shoulder Theo said, "Hey, that’s Bay Park." Seeing people moving around he asked, "Is that a live feed?"


"Yes it is," Nate said as he looked up at Theo. "I left one of my probes in its cloaking mode there in case I needed to make sure no one was around when I ported back if you had left anything behind I needed to fetch or to drop you back off if that was what you wanted." Checking the time he would have to go outside and place the next line of Ionosin panels in their frames in another half hour.


"Can you control it form here?" Gene asked as he finished flushing the food down the refuse section of the digester that had been pointed out to them.


"Yes," Nate looked at Gene wondering why he wanted to know.


"Alright then," Gene said as he walked back so he could sit next to Nate. Pointing to the path he told him, "If you follow this path to the street, it should be Washington Avenue. Once you get to the street if you head to the right, then the left at the fourth traffic light you will be about two miles from the Appliance Mart."


Tracing his finger on his P.A.D.D.'s screen Nate quickly had the SE110 in the street in front of the store.

"Whoa," Gene exclaimed, "that was fast." Pointing to the picture he noticed the store was closed for the day. "Do you have to wait until the store opens in the morning or can you get the probe inside?"


Staring at the screen, Nate felt for the SE110 and ported it to the other side of the glass. Once he had done that he looked back at Gene who was grinning as he looked at the appliances go from one side of the screen to the other as the SE110 went down the aisle, "If you point out what you think we need, I'll port it in."


"That one," Gene pointed to the stainless steel electric range that was in the center of the screen. When it disappeared he looked up and saw it over by the bedroom wall. Cool," he whispered as he said, "Can you go over to the right several aisles. That is where the refrigerators are normally lined up."


Tracing his finger over the screen and directing the SE110 to the right, Nate spotted an appliance he recognized. Hovering the SE110 near one of the largest ones he looked at it before porting it next to the stove.


"We probably should move to another city to go grocery shopping," Theo pointed out. Not sure how he felt about the theft of the stove and refrigerator they had just done.


"Alright," Nate shrugged as he felt with his mind for the SE110 and ported it to Chicago, near the hospital he had woke up in.


"Where are we?" Gene asked as he spotted the Emergency room sign on the screen.


"Somewhere called Chicago," Nate said as he directed the SE110 down several streets towards the shopping district. Spotting one of those large stores like he had discovered carried food he sent the probe inside. Hovering it high up near the ceiling he did not want to use up too much energy so he told them, "Find something we can eat now that will be filling. We can go shopping in person tomorrow; it will take too much out of me to port a ton of small items here."


"Peanut butter and jelly work for you," Gene asked Theo who nodded. Pointing out where to find the items he pointed them out to Nate who ported them to the table in front of them.


Glancing back at the appliances they had stolen, Theo asked as Gene started to make the sandwiches for them, "Are the plugs going to work with your outlets?"


Biting into one of the sandwiches, Nate liked the taste. "I'm not sure. But if I need to I suppose I could re-wire them so they hook up to my plugs." Moving over to the appliances he looked at the cords and shook his head, "I'm going to need to re-wire them. It should not take long," he said as he pulled the plug end off the stove so he could see the wires. The easiest way to make them work was to change plugs.


While he worked on changing the plugs, he had asked Theo to run back to the work site in the tunnel and bring back one of the smaller junction boxes and the fuser so it could be mounted on the outside of the partition. Happily munching away on the pile of sandwiches as he worked Nate had the plug ends changed and sealed in half an hour. Looking up he smiled as Gene finished connecting the cable he had dropped on the table to the small junction box, "Thanks." Plugging the appliances in he was rewarded with the sound of the refrigerator starting up. Turning on the stove by turning a dial he saw one of the coils on top of the stove start to turn red. Turning it off he went back to the table so he could finish the last of the sandwiches.


When Nate sat down, Gene pulled the pad he had found on the desk in the bedroom over and showed his drawing to Nate. "Theo and I were talking, and we wondered if water was going to be a problem for us."


"For a few more weeks we will have to be careful. Why?" Nate asked as he finished off the last sandwich. He felt over full, but he knew in a few minutes when he went outside he would be using a lot of energy to lift the next series of Ionosin panels into place.


"We wanted to install a shower here near the filter," Gene told him as he handed over his crude drawing. "Even if we have to use a washcloth to soap up, if we can rinse off by a short hot shower it will make sure we are nice and clean."


Tracing the plumbing diagram, Nate looked over to the Filter pond and mentally changed what had been drawn into something that could work, "If we build a raised platform that the shower was sitting on, gravity would feed the dirty water into this end of the filter..."


"If you get me the parts we can build it so you don't have to take time away from other projects," Gene was quick to tell him.


Drumming his fingers on the table top as he thought about it, Nate had to admit a shower would be nice. Not to mention the two of them were handy and followed instructions quite well. Once the dome was sealed and air tight, changing the atmosphere to one breathable by removing most of the CO2 and replacing it with an oxygen and nitrogen mix would be next. Having a nice hot shower to end the day after getting dirty planting all the flora they would need to get the dome up and running, not to mention the heaters and gravity generators needing to be dug into trenches. He nodded his head; it probably would be a very good idea to get this out of the way before they needed it and where too tired to actually build it. "I'll get the parts needed tomorrow when we go shopping. We will have to limit showers to a max of three minutes for now though."


"Thank you," Gene sighed in relief. As fun as washing each other was, they did not dare go all the way without a way to properly clean up afterwards.


Picking up on Gene's stray thought, Nate decided to pick up supplies to properly wash oneself out. It was better to get them trained in proper hygiene now, instead of later when everything was up and running and they had gotten into a habit that would be hard to break. After all, he missed the morning and evening ritual of cleaning each other out he had done with Chris. And the thought of Chris was heart-breaking; he missed his lover so much. "I need to get suited up and go outside so the next level of panels gets in place so the assemblers can weld them to the dome frame. Why don't the two of you wash up while I'm gone. We’ll go over ideas on how to recruit more people to join us when I get back." Standing up he hid his sadness as he walked towards the bedroom so he could suit up.


"Did we do something to remind him of what he lost?" Theo asked his boyfriend as Nate disappeared inside the bedroom.


"I don't think so," Gene said slowly, "At least not on purpose."


"He's probably missing his boyfriend," Theo finally concluded. "Not to mention everything he has to deal with as he builds a place he can start searching for a way back from."


"We'll have to do our best to take over most of the building duties," Gene told Theo as he pulled him over to his lap. "Hopefully that will give him more time to build what he needs, not brood over what he is missing."


Waving at Nate who walked past them with his helmet under his arm, Theo told Gene, "I think we should wait until he has a supply of those energy bars of his before asking him to bring any more people up here. Unless we run across some by accident like he did with us."


"If we have time tomorrow," Theo shifted so he was sitting on Gene's lap and they were face to face, "we need to stop off at a library or Internet cafe so we can send a few emails to friends and offer them a way out."


Kissing Theo gently, Gene soon found his tongue searching his lover’s mouth as Theo's tongue invaded his mouth. Pulling back for a moment he looked into Theo's eyes, "Let’s get the sweat washed off and see how many times we can cum before Nate gets back."


Reaching down and feeling the hard cock confined in Gene's pants Theo grinned as he stood up, "Sounds like a plan." Grabbing Gene's hand he dragged him to the bedroom and a quick wash up.


As Nate ported the next panels into place as he walked along the outskirts of the dome, he thought long and hard about his preconceived notions about humans. He knew that Theo and Gene would be having sex right now and his own hard cock ached for release. But his hang-ups, which he was more than willing to admit were not logical, because he knew his people had their beginnings from humans, still caused hi, to have such an aversion towards them. After all, his father, the first of their kind, was human once, and that fact did not bother him. So his aversion, his hate, had to be a product of the last attack where the remnants of the humans had destroyed themselves just to be able to destroy most of their world in nuclear fire.


He had a chance here in this dimension, in this world, to not only do something his father always wished he could do, but to lay his hatred to rest. Even if he were to be rescued tomorrow, he knew he had to stay long enough to set up a new race of gay people. To create Martians in truth, not stories. Only then would he have laid to rest the demons haunting his nightmares; only then could he return home, head held high and soul fully healed.


Not feeling as drained as he normally was when he finished, Nate knew it was the combination of not as many panels needing to be lifted into place, and the food he had eaten. There must be some truth to Theo's assertion that spoiling food, while not making him sick, was not as nutritious. Resetting the assemblers’ instructions so they would start the next layer of panels, he stared at the dome that was now three quarters of the way finished. Tomorrow would see it sealed if he came out in three hours and ported the next layer into place. Checking the gauge on his suit, he saw he had another half an hour before he would need to go in. Watching the glows of the assemblers, using their laser welders to fuse the Ionosin panels to the frame of the dome, he likened the dozens of sparks to the birth of new stars; or a new way of life.


Waking up the next morning, Theo looked groggily around the bedroom and wondered if Nate every came to be last night. The side of the bed they left open for him to sleep in was undisturbed. Seeing Gene was awake he asked, "Did Nate come to bed last night?"


"I don't think so," Gene said as he got up and stretched. He felt refreshed and wondered if it was because he had worked a full day and had a good amount of food, or the fact they were safe and working on building a home for themselves. Probably a combination of both he thought. "I don't know about you, but I have to pee."


"Right behind you," Theo said as he threw the covers off, "or beside you” he said a moment later as he stood next to Gene and let fly into the toilet attached to the side of the pond filter. "Ah, much better," he grinned as he crossed stream with Gene who giggled out, "Never cross the streams." A reference to the Ghostbusters movie.


Seeing a note tapped to the wall above the toilet, Gene read it out loud, "There is food on the table and some drinks in the refrigerator. Have some running around to do this morning. Should be back by lunch time, we'll go shopping once I get back." It was signed with a simple Nate.


"Alright," Theo spotted the pile of supplies to build the shower off to one side. "Looks like he got what you need to build the shower."

Following Theo's finger Gene spotted the materials he had asked for, including a small hot water tank. "Let’s get something to eat first. Then we can finish the wiring before tackling the shower."


"Remind me to get a lot of breakfast foods, like eggs," Theo said as he stared at the donuts sitting on a plate. "We have to break him of this junk food diet he is on."


Three and a half hours later, Nate just finished porting the last panels into place on the dome and ported inside the assembler tunnel. Taking the space suit off he placed it on the rack and hooked the tank up to the filling station. Walking to the side tunnel that housed one of the assembler lines, he stared at the readout on how much progress the line had accomplished on the gravity generators so far. Everything looked like it was right on schedule. Moving over to the reactor control console he did a quick check on the readouts and saw the computer had dropped two more pellets into the reaction chamber, bringing the power output up to two percent of capacity. Not sure why the computer had done what it had, he ported over to the habitat tunnel and spotted the shower had been installed.


Walking around the bend he saw that the power lines were finished being put in place and the wrappings had been neatly stacked in bags near the corner. Walking over to the master control panel he raised an eyebrow in surprise when he saw the heaters had been turned up. It would not take long to be a nice toasty eighty six degrees in here. Spotting the top to the housing off and sitting to one side he glanced up the tunnel and saw that each of the housings had been opened and were ready to have the gravity generator installed. "Amazing," he whispered as he saw how much work the two had accomplished.


Returning to the end of the tunnel they were camped out in, Nate found Theo and Gene sitting in the bedroom in front of the ancient computer system, notepads out, both of them writing as they commented on something they were looking at. Standing in the doorway he listened in, both to their thoughts and what they were saying.


"According to this map," Theo said as he pointed his pencil at the computer screen, "we have a series of tunnels on the other side of the dome along with several caverns that should be large enough to have some small meat animals. Nothing larger than a pig or two, but we certainly can raise some chickens and rabbits for meat."

"How about fish?" Gene countered. "There are plenty of tunnels we could install tanks in. Set some of them up as salt water tanks and we could raise some shrimp and lobster." Looking at his notes he told his boyfriend, "Both of those are high in protein and easy to raise, I bet."


"How about those red claw crayfish from Australia?" Theo flipped through several web pages to bring up the information on them. "It says here they are fresh water lobsters, and can grow to a pound and a half in eight months under the right conditions; much faster than a lobster at three to four years."


"How do we get around how aggressive they are with one another?" Gene asked as he stared at the screen.


Flipping to another web page, Theo pointed to the system being used, "This person uses cages and has hardly any loses according to this site. We would have to put males and females together during breeding season though."


"I wish we had a printer so we could print some of this out and make notes on the printouts," Gene said as he crossed of salt water lobster and wrote down the fresh water variety.


"Fresh water shrimp are another fast crop," Theo pointed to the screen. "We could have a crop in three months. But it says here”, he read down the page, ”they need brackish water to lay eggs in."


"If we go with the list we have now, we have our protein needs met," flipping his list back several pages Gene asked, "But we are going to need to raise wheat. There is no way around our need for wheat."


"Well I think NASA sent some super dwarf variety up to the space station," Theo said as he typed something in the computer. "Yes, they did. It says here that it grew full size heads ready to harvest in around eighty days, and it only grew about a foot tall. If we come up with some type of rotating platform we could grow a lot of wheat in very little space. Then we can have all the bread and pizza we want, plus think of how much oxygen the wheat farm would generate, we just need a way to pipe the air from the vegetable farms into the living areas."


"There has to be a way." Gene nodded as he made a few more notes, "After all we need almost a thousand people just to have a viable genetic population to pull from so we don't end up having genetic problems down the road. There looks to be more than enough tunnels that could be sealed off to create living spaces for people."


They were actually planning to create a colony that would survive long term. Nate thought. They were planning to make sure their future descendants would thrive. That sort of long term thinking was not something he was used to equating with humans, from his dimension he added on at the end of the thought. The two of them were unknowingly living up to his Clan’s motto, and that shook him. How much of a mistake did his father make when he ignored those outside his self-imposed exile. He had to wonder if his father had started saving people as soon as it was apparent they would be hunted and killed off if someone like these two would have made a difference in the war. The way they were planning things, and bouncing ideas of each other, he had to believe they would have. This was something he would be afraid to share with his father when he got back home, because it would make him angry with himself. But it was something he would share, because it would give them hope in their attempts to travel to the past to stop the humans from leaving their solar system to attack theirs.


Clearing his throat, he smiled when two heads swivelled around to look at him, Nate waved as leaned against the door frame. "You guys got a lot accomplished today; more than I thought possible to tell the truth, and I noticed that you prepped the tunnel for the gravity generators which should start coming off the line sometime tomorrow afternoon."


"Cool," Theo grinned at the news.


"I wanted to see if both of you were ready to head to Earth, New York I think, wherever that is," Nate said as he waved his finger at their notes. "I heard part of the conversation the two of you were having before I let you know I was standing here," he said as he watched their faces. "You both have come up with some good ideas, and once we get the main dome planted I can train you on how to mix and apply the Ceramacrete coating to the tunnel walls so they are sealed and airtight."


"Yes," Gene pumped his fist as he smiled in triumph.


"Do you think we can stop and get another computer while we are out," Theo said as he moved to the bed so he could put his shoes and socks on.


"If you can wait a couple of months, I should have the first model of one of my people’s computers built," Nate offered as he hoped Theo would take him up on the offer. Trying to work with the ancient tech that was part and parcel of this dimension’s computers was like writing things by hand. He just got so frustrated when they could not do the things he needed them to do.


"To get my hands on a computer like yours," Theo grinned, "I can make do. We'll just need to pick up some paper and a printer so we can print off what we've found so we can have it at hand."


"Why not download and save the web pages?" Nate asked as Gene put his shoes on.


"We've been doing that," Gene answered as he stood up, making sure he had everything he needed.  "But it would be nice to be able to print things off and make changes to the designs on paper, something we can't do by just saving the web page."


"Logical," Nate said as he waved them over. "To make the energy drain on me not as great, put a hand on my arm or touch me firmly in some way so I can port us to Earth."


After a quick glance at Theo, Gene put his hand on Nate's arm and blinked in shock when he appeared in a dark alley. Looking around he saw cars zipping past on the street at the end of the alley. "How the hell do you do that?"


"Do what?" Nate replied as he started for the end of the alley. He had spotted a large store about a block from here that had food items inside when he found a lab to make the concentrate he needed to add to his drinks so he had the calories he needed to continue to use his gifts as much as he had been.


"Move us from one place to another," Gene sighed as he fell in step with Theo.


"Short answer is I can fold space. I'll explain some of the things my people can do tomorrow after I wake up." Nate walked out of the alley and turned right. "We can get food items from that store over there," he pointed at the market not far away on the other side of the street.

"You have money for this shopping trip, don't you?" Theo asked as he looked at Nate. It seemed he just took things as he needed them. Maybe he came from a society like on television; they had no need for money.


"I have a large amount of the paper you call money with me," Nate smiled when he picked up Theo's thoughts on stealing. He would soon change his mind if he was no longer human, he thought, after all it was not stealing or a crime if the supposed victims were humans. "Come on. Let’s get this done so we can get something to eat."