Chapter  95



Chapter 8


Logan found Aaron leaning up against a tree by the waterfall, simply looking at the water as it fell from above into the pool below. He thought for a brief moment, then decided this would be the perfect time to chat with him. As he was alone, and there wasn't anyone else around, "Great Dragon..." Logan said telepathically, "I was wondering if we could talk?"


Aaron, hearing a pathed message directed his way, looked away from the water to see a ghostly image several feet away. Going over the message once more in his mind he narrowed his eyes as he felt along the pathed message to the originating location. It was coming from someone on Earth. Seeing the image hesitate in its approach towards him, Aaron ported the body that went along with the specter to his location. Staring past the specter to the startled young man who was looking around in confusion he growled out, "Is there a reason you are spying on us?"


Logan saw Aaron look his way, then narrow his eyes. The next thing Logan knew, he was yanked from earth, where his body was at, to physically be there. "Is there a reason you are spying on us?" he heard as he looked around the river’s edge.


"Simply, yes,” Logan answered after making sure he knew what his other self had been doing. "Two of my family members are in your healing tubes, getting transformed. One of my brothers has been given an opportunity to join you guys, and at the moment, he is very much leaning towards taking that offer. I am simply trying to get as much information as I can, so I can make sure my family will be safe."


"Well that's new," Aaron mumbled. He had expected that by bringing the person's body to the colony that they would merge back into one being once more. The fact they hadn't meant that he was dealing with someone who had a split personality. Looking between the two of them he ported his scanner to his hand and turned on the real one, "The two in the Bio-tubes will be fine; now, I've fixed the damage done to them. As far as giving you information; well to be blunt, the person that should be given this information is the one who should be asking me the questions...not you. Though I am somewhat willing to alleviate your concerns on the matter, I'm not willing to go through this twice.” Not to mention I still have no idea just what you've picked up, Aaron thought. "Have a seat and introduce yourself," he told him as he pointed to a stretch of grass near the river bank.


As Logan moved to sit, he spoke briefly. "First off, my name is Logan Hayes. I am a member of something called the U.N.I.T. The short explanation of who the UNIT is this. They are genetically engineered super soldiers from a dimension with a higher technology level than the universe we currently find ourselves in. We appeared here, by means that are currently still not known, and we fell right smack into the beginnings of a civil war. Before you bring Haden and Daileass here, I was wondering if I could ask a few questions?" As he sat, Big Logan's voice entered his mind, and Aaron's as well. "Well, since I am here dealing with this, I guess I don't need to be here. So if you and I will excuse me..." Big Logan then faded out from sight, giggling slightly.


"Like?" Aaron tilted his head as he considered the specter disappearing, leaving only the real person behind.


"Well, one thing that weighs heavily on all of our minds is the relationship between Daileass and Haden." Logan started out by explaining, "In a lot of ways, Haden is stronger than he gives himself credit for, and Daileass is not anywhere near as strong, emotionally, as some would think. If you would permit it, I think I could give you a mental information dump to explain about Daileass, and then you may understand why I am asking the questions I am."


Haden? Aaron thought, then linking the name to the memory Pete had shared with him when he met up with him on Mars. Nodding slowly at the request, Aaron reached out with his mind and connected with Logan's. It was strange, Logan had a strong mind, yet he had to make an effort to let the link connect in a way he could see the memory that was being shared with him.


Instead of answering, Logan felt Aaron reach out with his mind, and while difficult, Logan started to share some of the memories that Daileass had. First he showed Aaron the clones, all of them being trained by the doctors and military staff. Then when Logan first appeared in their minds. Then the memory of finding out that the doctors were planning on replacing their human brains with Positronic ones. The many nights of

conversations that resulted in the clones agreeing to allow it to happen. Then came the fun ones. Daileass, being the older brother, was the first one to have the procedure done. But they never intended on putting Daileass's new brain back into his body. They placed the matrix in several military vehicles, including tanks, airplanes, helicopters, and the like, to see if Daileass could control them, without having to have living people in them. They also tried to figure out how much damage the vehicle could take before Daileass was unable to function. In many ways, they tortured Daileass over and over again.


Then the memories moved onto Logan finding Daileass's Matrix sitting in a box when the clones escaped. Knowing that Logan didn't have the ability of giving Daileass a body, he and the other Logan clones decided to do the next best thing. They hooked him up to the base, and gave him a much bigger 'body'. Daileass became the U.N.I.T.'s AI, controlling a vast array of technology.


Then Logan moved the memories to Daileass meeting Haden, and how, even though he didn't have a body, Daileass started to grow feelings for the other boy. When they were finally able to create a body for Daileass, he struggled over what to make the body look like, and how much he hoped the Haden would like it. Then they came to some of the memories of Haden and Daileass talking, of them really starting to fall in love with each other. Of all the things that Haden had been able to accomplish, all the while, Daileass's feelings for the boy grew stronger.


Finally, he ended with the feelings that had come from both Haden and Daileass over the last twenty four hours as Haden was thinking about accepting the offer to become Alteran. From Daileass, there were the feelings of almost absolute certainty of losing Haden. From Haden, there was the huge insecurity and uncertainty of who he was and where he was going, and the conflict that seemed to center around the UNIT life style, and if it was right for him. When the memories were done, Logan took a deep breath and said. "I hope that helps you to understand why I am worried about what will happen?"


"I really don't see an issue," Aaron said frankly. "Being Alteran will not really affect the feelings between Haden and Daileass. Most likely it will intensify them. Truthfully the only issue they will have is the travel back and forth to Earth; so if Haden decides to be altered he would have access to a shuttle."


"Would that take a long time?" Logan asked.


Aaron chuckled as he smiled, "One of our shuttles can make the trip in about twenty-five minutes. About the same time it would take to drive home from work for most people."


"Okay... that makes me feel a lot better. I just have two other things that concern me. The first is a law that Theo had mentioned, about no humans being allowed to come here. And the second is hearing that Alteran’s, specifically talking about Stan and Forth, the boys you helped save a little while ago, about how they would not really be allowed to go to Earth much, because they would not fit in. I guess my question would be this. Would there be something that would prevent Daileass from coming here to visit with Haden, or Haden going to Earth to spend time with Daileass and his other family members."


Picking up on the unease and distrust from Logan over the law he mentioned he tried to put it into perspective for him, "If it helps, think of the law like this; I doubt you would be willing to let unknown government agents waltz into your base unopposed. In fact from what I have picked up on, I think you would meet any of those theoretical strangers at gunpoint. And if they even looked like they were going to go for a weapon you would shoot first as a means to protect your people. The reason you have a hidden base is to keep out those you don’t want to associate with. Our law is similar, no humans from that Earth are allowed to step foot on Mars and survive, we would automatically assume any group of Earth humans that made it to Mars would be the prelude to an invasion. And the last thing you need to keep in mind; we are not human, so to equate our actions and words by human standards will lead you to the wrong conclusion. We are not human so kindly do not equate human motives and mores onto us. You will get it wrong every time."


"That is not to say we don't have some of the same qualities," Aaron told him. "We do share of the same basic instincts, enough to be familiar, but we are different enough that there will be a lot of misunderstandings. One of the most glaring I've picked up from your mind, and from what Pete has passed on from his conversation with your Daileass, is that you consider us cowards for leaving Earth behind."


"From what little information I have seen and picked up on, that is how it seems to me." Logan said carefully.


"That was considered back then," Aaron nodded as if agreeing. "We had two options, we could move our race totally off world to one of our many colonies, or we could eradicate every single human on our planet. In other words," Aaron's voice got cold as he glared at the young teen, "we had the option of committing genocide, or finish moving our people totally off planet." He growled out, "In the two years our advanced team has been back in the system of our birth, it has been clear we should have just removed humans from the planet way back when there was only maybe a million of them infesting our world. Because from what you've said, and I've picked up on, that is what we should have done if you had your way!"


Changing the subject to answer Logan's second question without giving him time to think of a response on his comments he told him, "But realistically, Daileass is a cyborg, and," Aaron looked at his scanner, "even you, though you register as human; your quantum signature is different enough from the humans in this dimension that you could be considered nonhuman. Not to mention your DNA is cleaner than a normal human." Seeing Logan look at him with a strange expression on his face he told him, "To answer the question, eventually when Daileass is known a little better he would be able to come to Mars. Haden of course will be free to go back and forth to Earth as he pleases. But at least until he masters his gifts and finishes puberty, he probably should not spend too much time away from those who understand what he will be going through and are able to help him as any issues that come up. And they will."


"Mostly I think for the times they want to spend the night together, or even the weekend," Aaron shrugged. "They probably should start out doing so on the Moon base."


Logan nodded his understanding, and smiled briefly. "Thank you for explaining that to me. Now, do you need me to tell you where they are at, or can you teleport them here by yourself?" He asked, while also mentally telling Daileass and Haden to be ready to be transported. Thankfully they were simply sitting in a room talking to each other.


Reaching out with his mind, Aaron found the two people in question on Earth. Standing up he motioned for Logan to stand, "Let's move this to the med center." Before Logan had a chance to comment Aaron ported them to the med center and hid his smirk as Logan finished standing up. Walking around to one of the empty Bio-tubes his hands flew across the terminal, prepping the Bio-tube with the Alteration protocols. When he was done, He pulled power from the gestalt point built into the Bio-tube and ported Haden and Daileass from Earth to the med center.


"And then you just..." Haden was saying before he realized he was no longer where he had been. "Um, okay that was different."


As Haden and Daileass glanced around the room, they quickly realized they were back in the Alteran medical center on Mars. Besides Logan, there was only one other person in the room, a tall man that neither boy recognized. In addition to his normal clothing, he was wearing a golden crown with a number of red diamonds set into it.


"Daileass? Haden?" Logan spoke up immediately, "I would like you to meet the King of the Alteran people..."


Aaron cut in and introduced himself, "My name is Aaron Stranton, Prime of Clan Stranton, King of the Alteran people." Seeing the slightly unfocused look Haden was giving him at his long list of titles he grinned, "Or if it helps you, the healer that is going to handle your alteration."


Haden seemed slightly surprised. "Is this the same Aaron that Pete..."


"Yes," Logan answered, before Haden had finished his question.


"It's a pleasure to meet you," Haden spoke more formally and threw in a slight bow.


"Hello," Daileass smiled.


"Hello Haden, Daileass," Aaron greeted the two. Before he was able to continue, he saw Haden's attention already being drawn toward the two tubes that Stan and Forth were floating in.


"Are they going to be alright? Do we know anything more about them?" Haden asked with concern, fearing that the sudden and unexpected teleport to Mars might have meant that something had gone wrong.


"They will be fine, it was touch and go for a bit there this morning, but I was able to fix what was wrong before anything bad happened," Aaron glossed over the real details of the fact they both died multiple times. "I understand Pete and Theo have given you the option to join our people, and from Logan here," Aaron pointed at the young man in question, "that you are considering taking us up on our offer."


"Do you have any concerns that I can answer for you?" Aaron asked as watched Haden stare at him. He had an urge to wave his hand in front of Haden's face to see if he would blink.


"Huh? Oh," Haden replied as he turned away from the tubes and re-focused his attention on Aaron. "Not really. Especially now that it looks like Stan and Forth are both going to make it through the Alteration process, I really think this is something I want to do."


"Actually, there was one thing," Haden continued after he glanced briefly toward Daileass and then back to Aaron. "One of the things that Daileass and I have been talking about over the last day was whether or not I would be able to go back to Earth to visit him and the others. When we were here yesterday, Pete mentioned it wouldn't be a problem, but it was hard to tell if it would just be something like visiting once a week or once a month, or how exactly that would be able to work out."


"As an Alteran you have the freedom to come and go as you please, within limits of course. You could visit Daileass daily if that was what you wanted, but if you wished to spend the night with each other we probably would ask that you set up housekeeping on the Moon Base. Earth right now is not a safe place from what I understand. As for the other limits I mentioned...," Aaron held up a hand before Haden could ask for an explanation. "For instance if you wanted to participate in a war you would have to talk it over with Theo first; if he said no, you would have to abide by his decision. But if you wanted to visit Daileass or your friends on Earth you would be able to easily enough. Just let someone know where you are going by posting a note to the system. There would be a few other restrictions that would be short term, mainly while you were dealing with puberty, but that is more for your protection as your gifts start unlocking fully as puberty sets in."


"Makes sense," Daileass agreed.


"Also, Something Pete mentioned yesterday," Haden continued with a noticeable degree of hesitation. "He said when Stan and Forth entered puberty, they would be slipping into every male's room as they would have an incredible need to have sex. Was he just joking about that, or is that something that will really happen?"


"I'm afraid he wasn't," Aaron chuckled. "When an Alteran enters puberty their sex drive goes off the charts for what would be normal for a human. So until you have experienced and gotten control of the urges, we would make sure you met up with Daileass in a controlled environment."


"Um, okay," Haden replied as he began to blush.


"I think this is the part you've seen before," Aaron smiled as he gestured towards the Bio-tube. "There is a shelf under the Bio-tube you can put your clothes, once you are fully undressed climb up into the bio-tube and relax. I will get the sensors placed, and when you wake up Daileass should be waiting for you."


Haden nodded in understanding, and did as Aaron directed. Fortunately for Aaron, Haden did not try to turn his clothes into projectiles as they were removed. Once he was fully undressed, he began to climb in, only to hear Aaron clearing his throat.


"You're going to need to take that gadget on your arm off as well," Aaron stated. Seeing the concerned look on the boy's face, he continued. "Don't worry, we'll take good care of it for you. It will stay right on the same shelf that all your clothes are on."


Haden reluctantly removed his GEAR and placed it on the top of his clothes. Once he had climbed in, Daileass walked over to his side. Almost immediately, both boys wrapped each other in a warm hug.


"I love you," Haden whispered in Daileass' ear.


"I love you, too," Daileass replied.


When the hug broke, Haden laid back down into the tube.


Once Daileass moved out of the way, Aaron squirted some of the cleansing gel onto a small cloth and cleaned an area on Haden's right temple, over his left upper chest and his right elbow. Placing the sensors he quickly activated the soma unit, sending Haden to sleep. Glancing over his shoulder, he asked Logan and Daileass as he inserted the waste tube into Haden, making sure to block what he was doing from their view, "Do either of you have any further concerns that need to be addressed before I port you back to Earth?"


Both Daileass and Logan shook their head no.


"Then someone will be in contact with you to make arrangements to bring you back Daileass, so you can be here when Haden wakes up," Aaron gave them a moment, as he prepared to intubate Haden, to say anything else. Then before he intubated Haden, which could make them worried, he ported the two of them to Earth, where he found Haden and Daileass at a few minutes ago. Finished prepping Haden, he moved back to the terminal as the bio-tube closed. Hand tracing commands on the terminal he initiated the alteration cycle.


Giving one last look to those being altered in the med bay, Aaron went back to join the picnic.




Wandering into the med bay to check up on Nate, Kenny stood looking at the older teen for several long minutes. He could see the resemblance to Aaron right away. Though the rest of his features looked familiar for some reason. Deciding to think about it later he reached out with his mind to see if he could get a feeling for what Nate's mental state was. Not feeling anything he turned to walk away when he picked up on a feeling of fear and pain. Looking around the med bay his eyes fell on the last Bio-tube in the row. Walking over as he examined the feelings he was picking up on, he came to the conclusion he felt like Pat did when he was suffering from traumatic breakthrough. Closing his eyes he felt for Aaron and pathed out tentatively at first, then with more power as he unconsciously pulled power from the gestalt points built into the Bio-tubes. "Aaron...Aaron?"


Tilting his head to the side, Aaron held up a hand, interrupting his talk with Theo about a few of his people who had volunteered to stay behind, "Kenny?" Aaron pathed back with a hint of surprise and pride as he accepted the link that Kenny initiated. "Is there a problem Love?"


"I'm in the med bay, I think we have a problem with the new kid you put in the bio-tube a little bit ago," Kenny started as he offered to let Aaron see through his eyes. "He feels like Pat did when he was supposed to be asleep and wasn't."


"I'm on my way," Aaron pathed as he looked at Theo. "It seems Haden is having an issue that I need to check on."


"Let's go," Theo nodded as he pathed a message to have Riker meet them at the med center.


Smiling with pride at Theo's concern and hands on approach, Aaron ported to the med bay and walked behind Kenny and hugged him close, "What did you pick up on, Love?"


"He's having a nightmare like Pat did," Kenny said as he leaned back into Aaron's embrace and shared with him what he was picking up.


Frowning, Aaron walked over to the bio-tube and stared at the screen. Not seeing any physical reason for Haden not being fully asleep, and ruling out a glitch in the Core system, he moved around Kenny and placed a hand on the bio-tube and concentrated. Closing both eyes he placed both hands above and to either side of Haden's head and linked his mind to Haden's.


Watching from outside the nightmare, Aaron waited until the dream started to loop again before interfering. Moving into the dream, so he was facing Haden who was hyperventilating at the fact his orders had caused death he spoke out, startling the boy, "This is a dream Haden. Think about it, the last memory you had was climbing into the Bio-tube to start the alterations process. This," he waved his hand at the now fuzzy images around them, "is not real. It is a product of your mind as it tries to deal with what you've experienced, and your fears."


"But...," Haden started to say as he noticed the world around them had gone fuzzy. Concentrating on the person who was standing in front of him he blinked several times as he could not make him go away or change what he looked like.


Seeing the boy in front of him grow; to mature until he was closer in age to fifteen, Aaron imagined one of the love seats from his office and sat down on it when it appeared. "I think I understand why you never went to sleep fully when the process of altering your genetics to the Alteran standard started," he told him as Haden sat down next to him. "Part of the problems you are facing is because of the time dilation effect you experienced in your dimension. Why people think it is alright to play with time is beyond me. While you did not age physically, you did mentally, and now that you are not interacting with people, your older self is trying to force your younger self to behave so to speak," he said the last with a smile.


"The other issue keeping you awake is from the fact you are not from this dimension," Aaron told him as he twisted so he could face Haden. "As you are being altered, your quantum signature is also being altered to one that matches exactly to this dimension. Combine these two things with the fact your older mind is desperately trying to make your younger mind understand why you are unhappy with being human, and you have the nightmare you experienced. Your older mind just did not understand what it was putting you through. Once again we can lay this at the feet of the whole time dilation episode you spent years in. Humans are just not geared towards being able to handle something like that."


"I don't think I ever realized that playing with time could mess someone up so much," Haden said as he glanced around at the distorted, blurry images off in the distance. "With so many Mikyvis, and the Q, and the Doctor hanging around, messing around with time seemed like an everyday thing."


"I'm not really sure about quantum signatures and their relationship to dimensions," Haden thought out loud as he did his best to process and make sense of everything Aaron had just explained to him. "I think I remember one of the Mikyvis talking about other dimensions, and saying that if a dimension was too different from our own, that we would have problems existing there. Maybe that's the problem here? But me and all of the other guys that are with me have been here for the last two days, and no one seemed to have any problems."


"As far as my younger and older self goes, the way you explained it kind of makes sense, but I can't help but to think that I'm missing something," Haden replied as he closed his eyes, trying to force himself to focus, something he was finding incredibly difficult to do at the moment.


"Ordath!" Haden cried out, as he opened his eyes. "What about Ordath?"


Seeing the confused look on Aaron's face, Haden continued. "Ordath was this really old energy based life form that was... well, I guess living inside of me, or something? Sometimes when he was talking to me inside my head, he would appear as a younger version of me. He said it was because I would be able to relate to him better, or something like that. Anyway, when we arrived here, in this dimension, one of the first things that happened is that Ordath pulled Barrett and me into my head, and told us that he had used all his remaining energy to safely get us here. He talked about a bunch of other weird stuff I didn't really understand, but then he got super bright and disappeared. I thought he died, but what if he didn't, and what if I made the wrong choice, and this is really going to kill him?"


Haden sat there for a few more moments before he began to slowly shake his head. "A me that's younger than me, a me that's older than me. It's all so confusing. I've been nine for, I don't really know how long anymore. I can't really remember being smaller." Haden looked up at the man who was quietly sitting on the sofa and listening to him as he babbled. "I'm sorry, Aaron. I'm babbling on about all of this different stuff that probably doesn't make any sense to you. I just don't know what to do."


"I am sorry Haden," Aaron hugged him close to his side. "But if Ordath was an energy being like you said. Then I'm afraid he is not here. If he was still with you he would have shown up in the dream world. It sounds like he gave his life to ensure that you lived." Seeing the tears running down Haden's face he squeezed him again, waiting until he cried himself out. Deciding that this was another thing that had damaged Haden, he helped him deal with the trauma of Ordath dying so it was like it had happened years ago, not as fresh and raw in his mind.


"As far as your babbling as you say you are doing, it could be because of the way the alteration process is rewiring your brain centers," Aaron was quick to add, "There really is a long technical medical jargon that describes what is happening, and my using the word re-wiring is not really what is going on, but it makes my point well enough. And my solution to your problem is a simple one, I'm going to age your body to be closer to your mental age. That way the hormones and enzymes that will be coursing through your body will," here Aaron poked Haden in the side and chuckled, "sidetrack your older mind so you can merge your two halves at your pace, not your older mind’s. I think you will find the"


Standing up Aaron looked at the confused expression on Haden's face, "You'll figure it out when you wake up. Now that you know this is all a dream, I want you to lie down on the loveseat and think of sleeping. I'll do the rest in the real world." Fading from the dream Aaron's voice echoed as Haden closed his eyes, "This is all a dream, remember that nothing you saw before I showed up was real. You did not fail in your test."


Opening his eyes, Aaron sighed as he logged into the terminal and programmed the system to force Haden into puberty. "Kenny was right, and just like we had to do for Pat, I am forcing Haden into puberty. Otherwise the traumatic breakthrough like situation he is dealing with would cause him to break, mentally."


"What would cause something like that?" Riker asked as he made a mental note to find a head shrink or two to recruit. Come to think of it they needed to recruit a few other doctors, too.


"Mentally, because of the time dilation field he worked in, in his home dimension, he is older than his body, by about eight years," Aaron looked over at Kenny and told him, "Where he comes from they abuse time to come up with solutions to every problem they encounter."



Sitting down at the head of the conference table, Theo pathed Gene a memory of the two of them waking up to some pretty hot sex that morning and he was rewarded by a blush from the opposite end of the table. Looking to his left he nodded at Riker and Healer Jorge; across from them, as he looked to his right he saw that both Major Invectus and Captain Evans; the two officers that led the troops of his brother’s people that stayed behind to help him out. Touching the section of the table that would send this meeting out live to the rest of the colony, he cleared his throat; it was time to get started. "Captain, Major, I want to thank you for staying to help out. I know what a difficult decision it must have been to stay here in this dimension, a dimension embroiled in a war that the Army of God has a good chance of winning."


Looking over at the healer who stayed behind, and according to Riker was cramming every possible bit of knowledge into his head, he smiled, "I have not forgotten you either healer Jorge. You have my thanks for staying when you could have gone back home and not worked in a system that is under construction." Theo brought up the list of what he wanted to go over on his P.A.D.D. before looking at his lover, "Gene, how about for now who handle all colony related departments. Just like we talked about several days ago."


"Alright," Gene nodded slowly as he pulled up the start of his report and threw it onto the screen so everyone could look at it. "As you can see by the red outlined area, we now have a lot more infrastructure than we had a chance to build for ourselves. Roughly we can comfortably fit two and a half million Alteran’s here on the colony base without any problem." Changing the screen to show one of the many farms he pointed out, "On the food production side of things, as you can see, Pete went all out to make sure that the gardens could at least feed the people we could house, at least a totally vegetarian diet that is." Scrolling through a good selection of the farms he stopped on the selection of empty livestock barns, "But while we have the structures in place for livestock, we currently don't have more than the several hundred chickens that we had before Pete showed up."


"If I may?" Major Invectus interrupted. Seeing that both Theo and Gene nod for him to continue he made a note on his P.A.D.D.. "I have a solution that will tie in with my teams going to Earth for rescue and recruitment. We can easily implement livestock procurement at the same time."


"That would be a load off of my mind," Gene grinned. "I can cross that one off my list then, at least for now." Looking back at his list he sighed, "There is no easy way to say this. We need more people, and we need them fast. The bulk of our race has, up until now, been achieved by the one major rescue Theo, Nate and I did a year back. With the rest rescued here and there. We really need to start to target certain skills; and actively recruit."


"Now that we don't have the limit we did back then," Riker sat back as he thought back to the moon base that Pete had built to use to alter people. With the new moon base, and the Bio-tubes there for alteration, we can easily handle one hundred people every three days. So if you get me the people, I can start ramping up our numbers."


"From a medical standpoint," Healer Jorge interjected, "That one hundred every three days is based on not having any medical issues that need to be repaired first."


"Noted," Theo said as he made a note on his P.A.D.D. before looking back up at Gene, "make sure you post a list of the skills we are looking to fill to the net. Maybe some of our people know a friend or two that might be approached. If not, at least the rescue teams will know who to keep an eye out to put pressure on to recruit."


Nodding, Gene looked back at his list, "I am still trying to get a handle on everything, so I'm sure I will bring up issues later on, but for now that is all I have to report."


"So people and livestock are your priority right now?" Theo questioned. When he saw Gene agree he sat back as he thought about it. Looking over at Healer Jorge he asked, "Not that I have made up my mind, but can the alteration process...convert, for the lack of a better word, heterosexuals into Alteran’s?"


"But wouldn't we then have Straights with gifts?" Riker wondered as he looked at his mentor. "That would cause problems from what the history data banks Nate left us on the war."


"It could, if it was possible to alter a heterosexual without also changing them so that they are gay, which it is not with the process we use today." Jorge said as he reassured everyone. "When we alter someone who is not gay, it is a process labeled 'forced alteration' it falls under the Omega Protocols."


"So it can be done?" Theo asked as he thought about the possibilities it opened up to them.


"Yes, though it adds three days to the process," Jorge told him. Then deciding to send him several instances of how Aaron used them in the past he sent the files to Theo's net account. "I've sent you several recordings from when Aaron activated those protocols. It should let you know what is possible."


"Thank you," Theo nodded towards Jorge before looking at the ceiling for a moment. A minute or so later he looked back at the military officers who had stayed behind, "Can you bring me up to speed with the resources and personal you have in your commands?"


"Major why don't you go first," Captain Evans smiled, "I have a feeling your people are ready to go, where as mine are still in the regroup and find out what we have to work with’ mode."


"Alright," Major Invectus nodded as he leaned forward slightly. Without looking at his notes he told them, "I have a feeling that my marines alone almost doubled your population. I have just over two hundred and thirty marines that volunteered to stay to help you out. The Prime let us keep all of our equipment, so we won't have to worry about that until it comes time to do repairs or maintenance. Hopefully by then some of the infrastructure we need will be online."


"From Gene's comment about needing both people and livestock," Major Lance Invectus said as he looked at Theo, "My thoughts are to start sending squad size details Earth side to both recruit and to procure livestock for the farms. All I need is permission and a location I can start scouring the area for what we need."


"Start in Britain," Theo told him as he traced patterns on the tabletop as he wondered what to do with the US. "Would this leave you enough people to have a strike team if we need to go in and rescue people from the US?"


"It should," Lance frowned in thought. "I don't foresee my teams spending more than one day out of four on Earth. And with us porting the recruits to the moon base instead of Mars. A short detachment on the moon for security, if needed. I should be able to field up to two squads for a fast action if needed. Getting them there is another story." Seeing Theo's questioning look he shrugged as he told him, "Most of my marines are not familiar with this dimension’s United States. So porting in blind will be a problem. Unless you allow me to recruit from US forces?"


"And that brings me to my people’s problem," Captain Bill Evans told Theo. "We don't have the ships available to us like we are used to. His Majesty refused to leave us any of the fleet…and I understand his reasoning’s. But it leaves us in a bind." Looking at his notes he told him, "I have enough people to crew four Ares class vessels. Right now we have two shuttles at our disposal, and from what my techs have told me we will need four months to roll the first of the Ares class off the lines."


"Ares class?" Theo looked confused as Captain Evans’ pointed to the screen where he had put on the monitor a picture of an Ares class vessel. Seeing the picture of the vessel on the screen he noticed it was more like a super submarine and said so, "So this is some type of armed submarine? One we will have to get to the Earth’s Ocean?"


Nodding his head, Bill smiled, "It has been modified slightly from the original plans that the vessel on the screen is from. The biggest difference is that by porting it to Earth we can port in and out of the ocean without anyone noticing."


"So it does double duty?" Gene asked as he wondered how many people it needed to run it.


"Yes," Bill smiled as he nodded and told them of his tech boys' modifications, "One of my tech guys, while investigating the moon base found a small fleet base hidden on the dark side. And with his luck he found several assembler lines, so he programmed them to start building the Ares class he had designed with Pete's help."


"Knowing my Brother's lover like I came to," Theo grinned at the stories he had been told about Pete, "I am sure he made sure it would do what you wanted and more." Looking at the Captain while deep in thought he said, "So four months huh..." then asked, "So how long would it take you to retrofit the shuttles we do have into something we could drop troops with until one of the Ares class rolls off the line?"


"Well," Bill said as he sat back and closed his eyes to think about it. "If all you want to do is to transport troops...well they are good to go now." Opening his eyes as a thought came to him he grinned, "What we could do is to paint an identifying symbol on the inside of the transport. That way no matter where the shuttle is the Major's troops can port to it." Linking his fingers together as he thought some more he added, "But if you want to harden the shell of the shuttle so it can handle small arms fire and the like, we can have something in place in a couple of days. After all, once we install a proper gestalt generator onto the shuttles, we can just port it wherever we need to."


"Do both then," Theo nodded as he thought that would work out the best. "We can take that idea one step further. We can set up safe portation points on the Earth for the areas we will be working out of; I'm thinking a couple of the shuttle tanks could be dropped off to an isolated location to use Captain Evans’ idea of a portation base. Then when we need to move it we either port it to a new location or have the shuttle come in and pick it up." Seeing that they had covered everything he needed to know right now he asked, "Is there anything anyone wants to bring up before we break up?"


"If I may," Lance looked at the table before steeling himself for a negative. "Admiral Mandelin made a request before he ported to the flagship. If at all possible he would like us to rescue him and his brother along with their lovers if they exist in this dimension." He hastily added, "They are certifiable geniuses in their fields and an asset we should not overlook."


Holding up a hand to stop the Major from babbling his explanation, Theo smiled, "Request granted. We have an opportunity because we do have names and addresses of those who chose in Aaron's dimension to join with us. How much of it will carry over," he waved a hand around the table as he said that, "I have no idea. But it does give us a starting place I am willing to try." Standing up he told the group, "We'll meet every morning around this time, so I can keep up to date."


After the meeting had broken up Theo went in search of Aaron to ask what all was involved in forcing someone into puberty, but an alarm coming from Aaron's thigh stopped him. Looking at the pouch that was making the noise with a frown on his face he gasped softly when the tone changed and a voice came from the P.A.D.D. his brother was pulling out.


"Your Majesty, we need you in the command center immediately," Victor's voice came out of the P.A.D.D.. "Nuclear detonation detected..." trailing off as he saw the sensor net light up once again he said, "A second Nuclear detonation has been detected on Earth."


Seeing the shocked look on Theo's face, Aaron motioned for him to follow as he ported from the med bay. Appearing in the command center, he looked up at the monitor that was showing quite a lot of places under attack. "So, civil war has broken out. And they are using Nukes."


"Prime," Victor called out from his station. Pointing up at the screen where the monitor showed the third nuclear detonation he told Aaron, "This is eerily like the nuclear cascade that the Army of God tried."


Moving over to one of the consoles, Aaron logged in and ran a simulation. Seeing the results he shook his head, "In this dimension, it seems that the Army of God was sloppy." Pointing to the blinking green dots he told them, "They missed a couple of critical points along the fault. Without those going off, all that will happen is devastating earthquakes. Though the chemical gas attacks are worrying, it’s almost as if several different factions are attacking at once."


"I wonder," Theo murmured softly as he watched the monitor. All the different attacks started the germ of an idea, but he doubted they could pull it off to do more than save a couple of thousand people.


"What are you thinking?" Gene asked as he spotted Theo's deep thinking pose.


Without taking his eyes off the monitor, Theo told him, "Its absolute Chaos down there right now." Nodding his head and smiling at Gene's expression of 'Duh, tell me something I don't know' look, he smiled as his idea germinated, "I was thinking it was the perfect opportunity to go in and recruit in high numbers. Those we take will have the Earthers assuming they were killed in the attacks. The only problem is," he said as he turned to face his lover, "that we can't really take advantage of this opportunity. The most we can do is grab a couple of hundred, maybe a thousand tops."


Nodding at his brothers idea, Aaron saw Pete grinning, it seemed he liked the idea, too. "I might have a suggestion or two," he said with a grin. When Theo turned to look at him he pointed at Joe who had ported back with his command staff, "Joe and his people have done something like this before. We probably can get ten to fifteen thousand people easily enough."


Shaking his head no, Theo decided to rain on Aaron's parade so to speak, "There is no way we can handle altering that many people. Not to mention we could never be sure they would not betray..." trailing off as he noticed Aaron's grin, he froze as he stared at the Leader of all the Alteran people. Narrowing his eyes he asked, "Your expression tells me that you do have a solution to all of the problems I could come up with."


Nodding yes, Aaron moved so he could pull Theo in close and put his arm over his brother’s shoulder, "That I do, Brother dear. That I do." Tapping a sequence on the interface built into the desk, his voice echoed through the dome, "RED ALERT... all crews report to their stations. Omega Protocols are now in effect." As his message repeated itself the command center plunged into a dark blue as consoles came to light. Turning his head so Theo was the only one who heard him he told him, "The Omega Protocols will rewrite a person’s personality. Even straight people would know that they have always been gay and think that was always the fact."


Taking that fact and running with it Theo asked, "Can it be changed so those that go through alteration under that protocol think they were never human to begin with?"


"I can do one better," Aaron told him as he moved off to the terminal and started to tap in instructions, "Each of those we run through the Omega alteration will think they came to this colony base from one of the other planets in the Empire." Glancing over his shoulder at Theo he told him, "Of course that means you will have to make it a priority to build ships so you can claim those worlds in truth."


Hiding his groan at having to re-arrange his plans, Theo looked back up at the monitor that now showed all the captains in the fleet. Staring at Admiral Mandelin he cleared his throat and ordered, "Admiral. As you rescue recruits, keep an eye out for your counterparts, yours and your brothers. If you find them make sure you rescue them."


"You can count on it, sir," Joe saluted as he noticed Aaron was now done with whatever he was doing.


Standing up and staring into the pickup, dragon ghosting around him showing how angry he was, Aaron gave the order to invade, "Admiral. Take the fleet into near Earth orbit, target every gay bio-sign that is in a situation that they are near death. We will transport the females and Lesbians to a safe location in Paraguay. All males are to be returned to Mars. All those that have not entered Puberty will be transported to the Alpha Seven dome, Fred and his people will initiate alteration of those you transport into the dome while they sleep. For those in your buffers, they can be transferred to Mars’ main med bay's buffer system."


Frowning, Theo noticed Fred asking Pete to replicate several thousand of the sensors they had come up with to help a group called 'The Lost Ones', his next order would forever set the Alteran’s firmly against the forces controlled by the Army of God. "You are to enter orbit above California, taking out every active satellite on the way in. Make sure that when you are finished that not one human created satellite remains in orbit. We will rescue as many as we can from each of the attack zones."


"What of the International Space Station?" Gene asked as he brought up the orbital path of the station.

Seeing that it was rapidly heading away from the area they would be operating in Aaron shrugged, "Leave it." Shrugging he turned to face Gene, "They can live if the other countries can rescue them, or die if no one can. Not our problem."


Acknowledging the order, Joe turned to the pickup under the set of monitors showing his fleet captains off to one side, "Port MRA's to our arrival point; prepare to port in Three...Two...Port."


Arriving in Earth's orbit, Joe logged into his terminal to begin scanning for his brothers and their lovers bio-signs. While the rest of the crew started to rescue those trapped or in the right place.


"Amazing," Theo whispered in awe, five minutes later. Looking at the screens on the other side of the room he watched as hundreds of children were ported in. Confused and crying, they were quickly gathered up in waiting arms. Arms that just as quickly emplaced sensors that sent the children to sleep. As each group was subdued, they were quickly scanned and taken to one of the apartments.


Moving to the terminal so he could switch views, he saw each child placed on a bed after being stripped. From there they were injected with Nanites before a bracelet was secured to their arm.


Looking up when Aaron stopped at his side he asked softly, "How is this going to work?"


"Well," Aaron started to explain, "each child is hooked up to the CORE through the temple sensor. During the alteration, they will stay in a near sleep state. Moving around only to eat and drink and go to the bathroom while their genetics are altered. During this time their minds are being re-encoded, each memory and experience is being re-written as if they experienced it as an Alteran."


"Incredible," Theo whistled in appreciation.


"And each of them are going to believe they came from one of your worlds?" Gene asked in confusion.


"Each of them will believe that they are one of the survivors of a new colony that failed due to a natural cataclysm. One where the colony become so unstable that they had to abandon it," Aaron told Gene. "They will have memories of volunteering to jump dimensions when they heard about Theo's attempt to bring our people to life in this dimension."


"What of the older ones?" Gene asked. He was just as amazed as Theo was with the technology being used.


"They shall be altered in the Bio-beds and Tubes," Xon entered the conversation. "Those being altered from the Heterosexual genome will be placed in a Bio-Tube to facilitate alteration. While those who are gay, shall be placed on one of the bio-beds."


"But the med bay is not that big?" Gene pointed out as his confusion deepened.


"True," Xon stated as he pulled his P.A.D.D. out so he could reference the correct number of beds. "There are five thousand bio-beds and tubes, split equally between the two. But when we upgraded the main med bay, we also installed one of the interlaced buffers. We can hold fifteen thousand in the buffers, to be released one at a time as the space to alter them becomes available."


"That is a lot of people," Theo whispered worriedly. Thinking about how their numbers suddenly exploded exponentially.


Picking up on Theo's discomfort, Aaron leaned in and whispered, "Don't worry about it too much Theo. Every person who comes out of the Omega alteration will be a fully educated and stable member of the Alteran race. At least to the point they should be if they were born as an Alteran. Also they will know that they volunteered to join your colony, coming from our dimension."


"I hate to bring up problems," Gene decided to be the bearer of issues. "But how are we going to feed all these added thousands?"


"That's easy now that the colony is finished," Aaron smiled as he traced several commands on the terminal. Once the view changed to a bird’s eye view of the colony he pointed towards the green outlines of a good number of domes, "Those are your farm domes. And they are in full production; your problem will be what to do with the extra. The farms have been geared for the half a million people the colony can comfortably handle."


Looking up at the monitors that showed the devastation happening on Earth, Theo nodded slowly as he realized they had a resource for trade he could capitalize on.



Walking out into the main dome, Fred and Kenny at his side, Pete gazed at all of Theo's colonists glued to the monitors as the rescue started to unfold. Double checking that Dome seven's schematics were on the screen for the influx of youngsters, he handed over his P.A.D.D. to Fred.


The picture of the city complex on the screen told Fred that dome seven was one of the city domes, gazing down at the picture for a second he nodded his head. They could house most, if not all, of those they were going to rescue easily. Eyes widening in shock when the information scrolled past telling him that the dome had already been prepped for Omega use he handed the P.A.D.D. back to Pete with a nod. Facing the people who were glued to the monitors he pathed openly, "May I have your attention please. I need all of you to report to Dome seven to help process the youngsters the fleet will be transporting in. Once they are transported into the dome's main park, we will need to place one of the modified Soma units on their temple before placing them in one of the beds in the empty apartments in this dome's habitat section." Pathing detailed instructions of how the CORE would help the alteration process along after those rescued were placed on one of the empty beds in the apartments. Hearing Pete's shocked whisper next to him he glanced over and saw Kenny was already gone.


"Kenny ported out," Pete whispered in shock. Facing Fred he looked at him with a confused expression on his face and asked, "How is that possible?"


"I'll tell you later," Fred sighed as he told Pete, "The short explanation is he forced breakthrough to occur when you disappeared."


Breaking the hold that news had on him, Pete shook his head as he concentrated on what needed to be done. "I'll hold you to that," he told his lover before porting to the park in Dome seven.


Appearing a moment later, Fred spotted Kenny over by a table filled to overflowing with the modified temple sensors he had asked Pete to replicate for their use. Making his way through the crowd of people who were stocking up on the sensors, he pulled Kenny to one side. Looking into Kenny's serious expression he hid his feeling of how wrong that look looked on Kenny and told him, "Kenny, I want you to use your Empathic skills to calm the youngsters as they are transported down. I know you've not experimented with this, but from what I've read, this should be something you can easily do since you are a Prime level Empath."


"Are you sure?" Kenny hesitantly asked as he stared into the grim expression on Fred's face. Seeing the slow nod he screwed up his face as he wondered, "How am I supposed to do that?"


"I think," Fred started, "and this is only my opinion mind you, I think if you path the emotions you are feeling instead of thoughts it should do what we need; I think."


Hearing a lot of 'I thinks’' in Fred's request, Kenny nodded with a frown. Moving over to one of the lamp posts and sitting with his back to it, so he could tap into the energy, he closed his eyes and thought hard about what Fred had suggested. Going back over his memories of how and when he had picked up on the emotions of others around him. Falling into a light trance he started to project calm feelings as he heard the first cries of panic in the park.


Cocking his head as he looked up through the dome at the descending scout, Fred acknowledged the captain’s warning of incoming refugees. "Captain Yaxley, you are clear to transport down your rescued." Moving as soon as a young pre-teen appeared in front of him, he ignored the fear filled yelling as he slapped the sensor onto the kid's temple. Instantly the kid fell asleep as the Soma unit sent the child into an artificial coma. Feeling a wave of calm flow through him, Fred smiled as the yells and screams trickled to a halt.


"Amazing," Theo whispered in awe, five minutes later. Looking at the screens on the other side of the room he watched as hundreds of children were ported in. Confused and crying, they were quickly gathered up in waiting arms. Arms that just as quickly emplaced sensors that sent the children to sleep. As each group was subdued, they were quickly scanned and taken to one of the apartments.


Moving to the terminal so he could switch views, he saw each child placed on a bed after being stripped. From there they were injected with Nanites before a bracelet was secured to their arm.



Joe stood in front of the Vindicator's command chair, slowly taking in the information being shown on all the screens. While not up to Aaron's standards, he had trained his mind to be able to multi-task so he could take the information in from four monitors at once. He had ordered the Vindicator into high orbit as a means of overseeing the rescue efforts. From their position he could make sure anyone that was about to catch a glimpse of the fleet moving in and out of orbit could be taken care of. As he scanned the incoming feeds he would give an order in a soft voice that sent part of the fleet in a new direction to rescue those they could.


Eyes taking in the scene of several buses fleeing a city as a cloud of gas rushed towards the retreating vehicle, Joe said without taking his eyes off the monitors, "Grid nineteen, sub section four, get the closest scout to retrieve the occupants of the school buses." Command given he ignored the screen as he turned to another monitor and the...stopping and focusing on the left most monitor he walked away from the middle of the deck so he stare intently at the scene. Fighter planes were approaching the gas cloud from the west, it looked like they were dropping fuel air bombs...and it looked like it was working in stopping the gas cloud from entering the city. Wincing, he noticed that the inferno was also scouring everything in its path. The humans had to be desperate he thought as he moved back to the center of the room. While thermobaric weapons were successful in destroying the Sarin gas, it also had the unfortunate effect of causing more property damage than the gas could.


"Admiral," the communication officer called out from his station. "We've detected several dams weakening to the point that the small towns downstream will be wiped out." Changing the main monitor to show the largest dam, its cracks growing as water started to shoot from the cracks, he overlapped a map to one side showing several small towns that did not stand a chance if the dam gave way.


Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, Joe barked out, "Have Jefferson take in the Condor. Evacuate the children from those towns; standard orders, the females to be dropped off in Paraguay before taking the rescued to Mars."


Checking the time, Joe noted that they had only been at it fifteen minutes. Looking over at the count of those relocated to Mars on the rightmost monitor, he smiled when he saw the number at nine thousand and climbing. Seeing that the opening salvo in the civil war was for the most part over, it was time to leave. Smirking as an idea hit him he ordered, "All fleet units; feel free to fill your buffers as you make your way to the Atlantic before porting to Mars orbit, Mandelin out."



Walking over to the monitor, Theo stared at the breakdown of the numbers of those that had been rescued. Close to forty thousand people, both male and female, along with the young children had been transported outside a small town in Paraguay. Of the rest, the nineteen thousand four hundred and seventy two they had brought back to Mars for alteration,


Gene, seeing Theo staring at the monitor with a frown on his face, decided to walk over and try to find out what his other half was upset about.


Spotting the report of the numbers of those rescued, Gene was both surprised at how many they had managed to rescue and at the same time he was in awe of the sheer numbers involved. Placing a hand on Theo's shoulder and keeping his voice low he asked, "What has you so out of sorts, Lover?"


Closing his eyes briefly as he took a deep breath, Theo decided he might as well let it out, after all Gene would be a good test bed for his idea, "I'm seriously considering making a first strike against those infesting the Earth."


Hand dropping off of his lovers shoulder in shock, Gene shook his head; surely he heard wrong, feeling that Theo was more than serious about what he said he simply said, "Explain."


Turning so he could point at the far screen which showed the war being kicked off, Theo snapped out, "There is a six billion strong infestation of humans down on Earth. And as you can see they are prone to violence and revel in pain and death. Slightly different than your neighbor? Well that's fine then, just kill them; that is as long as you do it in the name of your God it is okay." Shaking his head angrily he ranted, "The Earth would be a better place if the infestation of intolerance was reduced. I think if we kill off, say, five and a half billion of them they might get a clue, finally."


"You're talking genocide," Gene whispered in shock.


"Not really," Theo was just as quick to reply. "We'd leave enough of them alive so the race could continue." Shrugging his shoulders as he spotted Nate listening to him closely he fleshed out his idea, "With all the fighting going on down there right now it would be easy to slip in a virus or three that we could design, to target the specific genetics that would predispose someone to be violently aggressive."