Chapter 10

 

                                             

 

 

Aaron was up early, he had spent the last hour going through emails, the ones from Altare Technologies were the most numerous. It seemed that the weekend had set the world on fire as some of the computer toys hit the market, the orders were staggering, along with carefully worded inquiries from the U.S. government, those he passed along to Roger and his firm to handle. The last email not dealing with applicants had a link to a short video that showed a news report and the dark outline of the Alteran Prince before all the lights came on, evidently two Med Evac helicopters heading out to sea caught the attention of the news chopper’s pilot and he followed, hoping to get a story. Glancing over at the calendar off to one side of the monitor screen, Aaron thought, not bad the news about the Prince only broke three days early.

 

 

Opening the filtered emails, Aaron was once again surprised by finding over a hundred in the in box, categorizing them by skills, he sent them off to Joe before opening up the file sent back by Joe that included the final interviews and the schedule for Friday and Saturday so far. He would be seeing a new face every five minutes, just enough time for him to scan the applicant's mind before offering him a job, the lucky ones would ride the Prince back on Sunday morning to begin alteration. He also noticed that Chris was scheduled to meet with the ones most likely not to be offered alteration in the beginning, being a touch telepath, he could scan them twice, when shaking their hands entering and leaving the interview. Approving the schedule, Aaron sent it to both Joe and Chris before logging off and trying to think of what he had to do today besides meet with several college guys and start the teleport training for his guys. Stretching, he noticed it was time to go start breakfast if they wanted to eat before he started his day, Chris was going to take duty at the dining hall this morning, so he only had to worry about feeding his guys.

 

 

Walking downstairs, he heard sounds coming from the kitchen and investigating, he smiled as Pete was in there scrambling a ton of eggs, if the empty shells on the counter were anything to go by, and he could hear the gentle sizzle of bacon from the stove, “Need a hand?” Aaron asked as he walked past the counter that had all the dishes stacked and ready on it next to drinks.

 

 

Glancing over his shoulder as he poured the eggs into the hot pan Pete smiled, “Nope, almost done, as soon as the eggs are done everything will be ready,” Pete went back to stirring the firming eggs.

 

 

“Well how about I go get Tim and Kevin, by then you should be about ready,” Aaron volunteered before walking back towards the common room. Once there, he looked around and not seeing anyone looked into Tim’s room and found him in front of the terminal, “breakfast is almost done.”

 

 

Not bothering to look up, “I’ll finish this section in another couple of minutes, I’ll be there after I complete this test.” Tim continued taking his placement test.

 

 

Nodding his head, he walked over to Kevin’s bedrooms and peaking in he saw he was also in the middle of placement testing, waiting until he finished typing his answer in, Aaron whispered, “Breakfast is ready when you get to a spot where you can take a break.” Seeing the slow nod of Kevin’s head, Aaron quietly left going back to the kitchen.

 

 

Seeing Pete already at the table eating, Aaron walked by as he looked his way, until he had to walk into the kitchen, Pete was inhaling the food at a rapid rate, picking up a plate, Aaron filled it with eggs, bacon and toast before pouring some juice then he went to the table to sit across from Pete; sitting down, he started to eat and in between bites, “This is good, thank you for fixing breakfast.” Receiving a smile and a nod back from Pete, he was curious, “Did all of you get up early to start the placement tests?”

 

 

Swallowing long enough to talk Pete smiled “I started last night after you all went to bed, I got through math and history before bed, so I volunteered to do breakfast while Tim and Kevin caught up with me, after breakfast we’ll all start out at the same point in science, then English before lunch.” He started to eat again as Tim walked by heading for the kitchen.

 

 

Tim sat down with his plate and a glass of milk “We all talked last night and we wanted to get all the placement tests out of the way today, then start in on school tomorrow if that is alright with you? The tests were not that hard so far, as I am the farthest behind in schooling.”

 

 

“Sounds like you guys have everything planned out, this will give me some time to get things done, if it’s alright with you I will be gone at lunchtime and return to fix dinner for all of you.”Aaron smiled at each of them and then Kevin as he walked in food in hand, then piercing Tim with a gentle look, “I’ll help you catch up as I am sure both Pete and Kevin will help out also, so try not to let it get to you.”

 

 

Smiling and nodding his head Tim continued to shove the food into his mouth as fast as he could, unconsciously watching what everyone was doing.

 

 

Finishing up Aaron stood to go into the kitchen and washed his plate and the dishes after putting the leftovers in containers on the counter so all that everyone else had to do was to wash their own plates. Going to the refrigerator he noticed the red box of emergency donuts was open and counting them he saw none was missing but it reminded him he needed to explain something he had overlooked. Removing the box he grabbed one of the donuts and started to munch on it as he walked back to the table ,“I overlooked something and when I saw the open box I remembered; normally I would go over this in depth during our first class, but before I forget and you make yourselves sick thinking these are normal donuts, I'd better explain.”

 

 

“Each of the donuts or any other food found in these red containers,” Aaron pointed to the open red box on the table “Have the same amount of energy packed into them as three days of full meals,” he watched their eyes bug out at that comment and the fact he was eating one. “The trick is, if you start to eat one and feel the slightest bit full you need to stop, or it will make you very sick.”

 

 

Leaning forward as he closed the top of the box and placed half the donut on it unable to finish anymore, “You can get sick because in a very small amount of space,” Aaron tapped the half eaten donut, “there is a lot of food packed into it, so if you overeat, well let’s just say it would not be comfortable. The reason we have these around is that Alteran’s are not like normal humans, you already know about the neat gifts we have. What we have not gone over yet is that kinesis and porting take a lot of energy out of us, and if we get too low on energy, our body’s will start feeding off our fat reserve and muscles which can be a bad thing.”

 

 

Breaking the uneaten half into three equal pieces he handed them out to the teens, “I happen to like chocolate donuts, so mine are made like that, and I normally keep them in the freezer.” Aaron watched with a smile as they all tried a nibble before smiling and popping the piece into their mouths, savoring each bite.

 

 

Pete picked up his last slice of bacon and as he started to eat it he all of a sudden, felt over full and he placed it back on his plate and looked at it funny, “I see what you mean, all of a sudden the thought of food makes me sick.”

 

 

“It can do that to you, but when you are running on empty, you sometimes can’t eat enough of them. The night I rescued Kenny and the others, I was so tired and empty once I got back I ate a huge bowl of ice cream with fruit and then ate my way through four of those.” Aaron told them to their huge eyes as they looked at the container.

 

 

“I’ll just put these back in the refrigerator, since they’ve been thawed, now you won’t mistake them for the normal kind and make yourselves sick.” Aaron got back up and returned the box back to the fridge. Returning to the dining room, he bent down and kissed each teen in turn soundly, lingering long enough to make sure they got hard, he figured they could relieve some stress before going back to being tested, and this way was perfect. “Alrighty, the only dishes left are yours and I have things to do, so I’ll leave you to relieve those very nice little problems all by yourselves now,” he laughed as he ran to the balcony and ported out leaving some hot and bothered lovers behind.

 

 

Porting directly over to the gardens on Altair Minor, Aaron made his way down the paths towards the Atrium, he just had enough time to catch up with John before doing morning rounds. Walking in through the open doors, Aaron looked towards the buffet and smiled, the end section was sending steam into the air, checking it out as he walked past, he noticed the eggs, sausage and potato’s along with toast, grabbing a sausage link, he walked into the kitchen and searching, he finally found John in the office talking to someone. Standing just out of hearing range, he waited until the conversation was finished before walking in, “Well it seems like you are having a productive morning,” Aaron popped the last bit of sausage in his mouth.

 

 

Glancing at the clock, John realized how late it was, he had forgotten about the time difference he was dealing with, just what time it was in the states, smiling as he thought he knew what Aaron was after, he grabbed the terminal and brought up his order of what he felt was needed to open the kitchen to staff next week, “I did not send the completed order. I had no idea where it went or if it would get filled, but it’s ready to go.”

 

 

Chuckling, Aaron motioned for him to click submit, “Go ahead and send it, until I get the positions filled, it will be brought up on my terminal in the office. I will have a nice selection of staples along with chicken and fish sent over for today’s meals, and maybe some beef. Anything else you are out of, keep in mind that lunch on Wednesday will be the last meal in this kitchen till the end of the following week.”

 

 

Thinking about it for a moment, John nodded his head, “If you can buy some more of that breakfast and sweet Italian sausage we had last night, I can make a jambalaya for dinner tomorrow, other than that, I can’t think of anything special.”

 

 

“Later I’ll send over what is left in my freezer, I’ll have to find some time to make up another batch this week, maybe show you how I make it.” Aaron stopped leaning on the doorframe, getting ready to leave.

 

 

“You made that yourself? I knew it was a fresh sausage because of its color after being cooked but…you are planning to share the recipe with me, aren’t you?” John all but demanded, standing up, searching for something to write with, forgetting the terminal in front of him in his haste to get an awesome recipe.

 

 

“Yes I made it myself, that was the only way to get sausage ninety eight percent fat free,” laughing at John’s antics, “and you’ll have to wait until later to get the recipe…later being when I know you are back for good next week and not able to be tortured for the recipe.”

 

 

John stood there for a moment gaping, as Aaron walked out of the kitchen chuckling, it was only after he was out of sight that he realized that he had been had and broke down into his own laughter.

 

 

Walking into the trauma pod a few minutes later, Aaron smirked in Gordon’s direction causing him to get nervous, “consider yourself lucky morning rounds will just leave you wishing you chose another career.” Seeing Theo laugh, Aaron shook his head, “Relax Gordon, while there is some truth in that little statement, the reality or should I say my intention is not to second guess you but to make sure I know that you recognize what you are seeing and you are comfortable and know the treatment you have chosen is the best one available. And unlike some teaching hospitals, I am not going to hold it against you if you don’t know something. You’re here to learn, to put that knowledge Theo and the rest crammed into your head into something that is useful. So let’s start as if this was your patient from the beginning, Theo can act as the source of information that is not covered in the treatment notes, use him like you were looking at the chart, to refresh your memory when something I ask comes up and you have no clue, because it was not there. ”

 

 

As the questions started to get more complex, leading into areas that he, at first, did not see how it was related to the treatment of the two boys in the bio-tubes, after a forty five minute merciless question and answer session, he finally was allowed to relax against the counter, feeling totally wrung out.  “That was the most intense thing I have ever been put through, are all morning rounds this bad?”

 

 

Shaking his head no, while Theo laughed, “You will get used to it, and after time, until I know up here…” Aaron tapped his head, “that you know this backwards and forwards, it will seem the hardest thing you have ever done. In time it will become easier, just think, I went easy on you, as they were not your patients initially.” He held his laughter as Gordon looked at him like he was nuts.

 

 

Theo clapped Gordon on the back, “This was relatively easy, you have to remember that Aaron here was not around you while you went to classes and exams, morning rounds for fourth years really is designed to let your boss know exactly what you know.”

 

 

Laughing, Aaron made one last point before it was time to leave, “Don’t forget that you and Carl go home tonight, to start putting your affairs in order. You’ll have three days to get everything packed and to the docks before the Alteran Prince shows up. Sunday morning the Prince sets sail for home, and I expect you and Carl to be on board, you start the following week learning everything you can about the equipment and computers. While from time to time, you will help out at Altair Trauma Center, both your and Carl’s main posts will always lie with Altare Main.”

 

 

Be ready to leave after lunch, Carl is going to need you to help him out when I bring him out of the bio-tube, he is going to have the same problem you did, so I will let you help him deal with it before imprinting the knowledge of his gifts into his brain.” Aaron sent telepathically before waving and walking towards the door, “Later all, I have a few dozen interviews to take care of this morning, I’ll be back around lunchtime to take you back to the main med bay, Gordon.”

 

 

Knowing he was about to port halfway around the world again, Aaron made his way to emergency docks, he was planning on using the gestalt generator on board the Prince, that way he would not deplete his power, and he had three stops to make over in the U.S. so if he spread out the ports, he would not be as tired at the end of the day, or at least that was what he hoped. Making his way through the silent ship, he finally found himself in front of the Captains chair up on the bridge, touching the hidden buttons to reveal the twin metal plates on the end of the chair arms, he stood hands resting on them drawing in the power as the second generator woke from standby, pulling power into his body as quickly as he could grab it. Just as the whine of the generator became audible, he ported out, the chair returned to normal and the generator cycled back to standby mode.

 

 

Arriving inside the house that would be the rescue base for this part of Florida, Aaron took a moment to walk around, getting a feel for the floor plan, overall he liked it and he was very happy with the large library on the first floor, he would make sure that it was stocked with all the reference books his first three residents would need, to complete their studies, after several years, it would be a fine library for any subject taught at Miami State.  Spotting the boxes that would contain the terminal which would link up to the Altare core, he set about opening them and hooking it all together, first, he had to set the plasma screen in place. Once it was securely bolted to the wall, Aaron hooked up the wires to the input touch pad and then to the main CPU link, no hard drive was in the case, just a relay that gave a real time link to the central core, there were also slots for Isolinear chips to be inserted. Breaking down the boxes, now that he was finished, he went upstairs and spent the next half hour installing the terminals in the other four bedrooms. Placing the P.A.D.D. on the desk of the last terminal to be activated and linked to the core and placing all the packing and broken down boxes in the last big one, he left it in the hall and went downstairs.

 

 

He would have to come back later to install the fusion generator deep under the foundation, he just had time to check out the safe room before the candidates showed up, he just hoped that they would be on time. Making his way into the kitchen, Aaron opened the built in pantry and opening the doors, slid them together into the cabinet until he heard a click, walking over to the back steps leading to the second floor, Aaron touched the banister and counting up the row to the third one, pushed the baluster down until he heard it click home. Stepping back, he noticed the stairs start to rise towards the ceiling and the floor panel slid down and back exposing stairs leading down. Stepping back into the kitchen, he noticed the pantry doors were once more extended, and smiling, he entered the safe room.

 

 

Taking the steps down, he found everything as it should be, including the heavy bank vault style door at the end of the passage. Poking his head into the room; it too was as he had planned it and it could be tested later also, as it was time to meet his guests. Climbing back up the stairs, he twisted the ornament on top of the banister, causing the baluster to snap back up and the stairs to once more descend. Just in time, he thought, as he heard the doorbell ring. Making his way out of the kitchen, he went to the front door and opened it to find four people standing on the porch, instead of three, “Hello there, can I help you?”

 

 

Mike glanced down at the paper in his hand to double check that he had the right address, this young guy did not look like some rich multibillionaire mega corporation dude, giving them a chance to finish school. “Umm…I think we are expected, at least we are, if there is an Aaron Stranton here.”

 

 

Nodding his head, Aaron opened the door further and waved them in, “Come on in, let’s talk in the living room, which is to your left as you enter.” Closing the door behind the four young studs, he followed them into the living room and pointed out the couches, “Have a seat, Guys, and we can get started in a minute.”

 

 

Waiting until they sat down before taking a seat himself, Aaron briefly skimmed their minds before stopping on the brown haired freshmen on the love seat, he was very nervous and had a girlfriend he was regularly fucking. In fact, it would take a scan to check his DNA out, to see if he was gay as he had never thought of doing anything with a guy before, he thought of himself as straight, but he needed the help, to stay in school and was willing to do anything.  Moving on to the couple he read their surface thoughts and secretly smiled, the freshman Toby had brought his boyfriend with him, and his boyfriend was a lot younger that he was, and secretly lived with Toby so he could survive. Aaron knew Toby would be one of those altered, Mike, on the other hand, could go either way.

 

 

Taking out his passport, he handed it to Mike, “This should help prove who I am, these new diplomatic passports can’t be altered, as they are partially made of metal. You three were referred to me by your advisers as young men in danger of losing out on your dream of graduating collage, due to family or financial situations, but mostly both.” Aaron smiled at the look of disbelief that crossed Mike’s face, before he passed the passport to the next guy. “Let me go over what I am looking for, then we will take a tour of the house, then we can all sit down and I will try to answer any of your questions before I make the offer to you.”

 

 

Sitting back, after taking back his passport and placing it in his pocket, Aaron folded his hands and looked out the window while letting his mind take in the surface thoughts from each of them. “Well, first off you should know that the program I am setting up will be nationwide, houses like this one will be built near all the major colleges and universities. I am doing this for several reasons; the first reason is, just like the pro teams, I am nurturing my future employees, I expect that if I pay for your schooling and room and board, that I will get well educated execs out of the deal for any of my multiple companies. So the simple fact is, for every year I pay for your schooling, you must work a year for one of my companies, hopefully you will like your job and its benefits enough that you will want to make your entire career with one of my companies.”

 

 

Tasting surprise and acceptance of it being fair so far in all their surface thoughts, Aaron continued, “The second reason is also a simple one on the surface, the mission of my country is the rescue of 'in danger, gay youth', and all my businesses revolve around making money for that sole purpose.” And the nudging of the world from the path of destruction it is currently set on he added silently. “You must retain at least an overall 3.0 GPA , and if you need tutors you are expected to ask for them, I have no problem giving help to those that ask for it. Also, summer internship’s with one of my companies in your field of study will be offered, plus other part time work will be offered for extra spending money.”

 

 

Tasting their thoughts, so far he had not lost anyone yet, “this house will not become party central, in fact, no major parties will ever happen in this house, there is an underlying reason for this, which you will find out if you are accepted. Small study groups that want to come over to watch some TV or blow off steam after an exam or study, of course are welcome, the only thing you have to keep in mind is that this house is a safe place for gays, straights and Bi’s are welcome to visit, but they must be accepting, problems need to be reported immediately. Even if you think they are blowing smoke up their ass, forewarned is forearmed and safety is the name of the game, as far as that goes, so no threat, however small, goes unreported.”

 

 

“Any questions so far?” Aaron asked, as he looked back at the four guests, Toby and Bill were both thinking this was the answer to their prayers and they had pretty much decided before hand that if everything worked out, they would be asking for help with Bill's problem and Daniel was wondering if he could pull it off, pretending to be gay, he had no problems with gay people, but being a foster kid thrown out of the system, he really needed this opportunity, and Mike was quietly accepting of the whole thing so far.

 

 

“Okay then, let’s start the tour.” Aaron stood up, “You’ll notice that this is the living room and there are no distractions here, the television and such is in the family room, so this room is perfect for study groups, it is also the only room that does not open into another, except the library, both open only into the hallway.” Motioning for them to follow him, Aaron walked out into the hall and pointed to the steps “We’ll leave that for the moment as I think everyone pretty much can figure out where the steps go, Around behind the steps though, is the door to the library,” walking into the room Aaron waved at all the empty shelves, “It is a little sparse right now as this will be the first group to occupy the house, I will slowly build up the reference books, and as I will be buying new books for all your classes, those that you don’t need in the future after graduation will stay on the shelves for the next group. There is also one terminal here at the built in desk, for research purposes.”

 

 

“Holy…look at how big that monitor is” Toby exclaimed in wonder, as he approached the desk, “whoa it even has one of those fancy new touch screen keyboards that were on the news this weekend.”

 

 

Aaron smiled at his enthusiasm and felt the first prickling of excitement from the calm and collected Mike, he was mentally going ‘oh shit, how cool is this’. Steering the group back into the hallway, he continued down until he entered the kitchen, its two arches and the stairs going up, “For the most part, you will eat at the school commons with the rest of your classmates, but you do have a fully equipped kitchen to use and stock as you see fit. To your right is the family room, and this is where you can unwind, kick back and relax,” Aaron told them as he walked in and pointed out the multiple couches and the mammoth plasma screen DVD setup.

 

 

“Shit! Look at this…” Bill trailed off after slapping his hands across his mouth and getting worried he blew his boyfriends chance.

 

 

Laughing, “Relax Bill, I’m not some old fogy that gets all indignant over the word shit or fuck…I have been known to use them from time to time myself.” Aaron pointed across the kitchen, “The dining room slash extra study room is across on the other side of the kitchen.”

 

 

Making his way to the stairs, Aaron opened a door leading down, “The basement with laundry room is downstairs, there is also room down there to put in an exorcise room in the future, but for now, it is empty, except for a few free weights and benches. Upstairs on the second floor are six decent size bedrooms and a large communal bathroom. There is also a third floor with eight smaller bedrooms, for a total capability of fourteen residents living here at once.”

 

 

Walking up the steps, he noticed the depression starting in Daniel's mind, stepping into the hallway he stopped halfway down by the stairs leading to the third floor, “The first two rooms closest to the kitchen of course are empty as the other four on this floor have been set up and are ready for occupants, they are all set up the same, each has a terminal with a decent desk, a queen size bed and a decent size closet. Each has a nice window with a window seat and a built in bookcase on either side of the window.”

 

 

Walking into one of the rooms at random, Aaron finished the tour by pointing out all the top cutting edge tech toys laying around, “These, of course, are for your use, and the P.A.D.D. will become a graduation present, so it will be yours, and note that the terminals have slots for Isolinear chips and there are two per room. If you need more, they are your own responsibility to buy, though you will get a damn better price than the wholesalers do, but honestly with the one in the P.A.D.D. and the two extras that gives you just over three terabytes of storage, I can’t imagine you needing much more than that.” Laughing, Aaron told the curious students, “This, of course from the person that carries around thirty of the chips at all times,” causing them to join in his laughter.

 

 

“I think for the next ten minutes or so, go ahead and explore the house, take a good look around the next floor or the other bedrooms, then I’ll meet with each of you individually, and lastly, as a group, “Daniel, stay a moment.” Aaron sat down on the edge of the bed as the rest of them left the room,

 

 

Shuffling over slowly, Daniel stood in front of Aaron before sitting down next to him at Aaron’s patting of the bed, eyes downcast, not looking up to meet Aaron’s eyes.

 

 

“Daniel, or do you prefer to be called Dan?” Aaron started, and picking up the thought of Dan from his mind, he started over after pulling the scanner out of his thigh pocket and setting it for a DNA scan, might as well find out how many of the eight clusters he had, if any, he thought, before activating the scan. “Dan, you seem very down all of a sudden, so let me ask who is pushing you to apply?”

 

 

Shocked, Dan looked up before looking back down, “My girlfriend, I am not sure why, I mean we are pretty active in bed, and the sex is pretty good…she just keeps pushing me towards the gay life, for some reason, she has ever since we got together. I thought at first it was her way of making me be more aggressive in bed, but while on the tour, she sent a text message to my phone, telling me she knew I was gay and to finally be true to myself, she also mentioned she moved and was disconnecting the phone, not to call here again.”

 

 

Nodding his head, Aaron glanced at the scanner and figured another two minutes or so before it was ready, so he might as well ask questions, “Let me ask you a few things, if you don't mind; maybe I can help you try to figure this out, I’m making a huge assumption here, that you’ve only had sex with girls before.”

 

 

Dan nodded his head before sighing, he might as well be truthful, right now it was the only way he might get picked, “Growing up, my best bud and I discovered the wonderful feelings we could give each other, though when we both started dating a few years ago, and girls came into the picture, we slowed down on the hand jobs and once we stared double dating and the girls let us go all the way, we stopped helping each other out.”

 

 

“So, the first time you ever went all the way with a girl, you’re best bud and jack off buddy was with you, were you both able to watch each other?” Aaron asked gently, and smiling at the embarrassed nod, “Close your eyes and think back, picture that time in your mind clearly…which brought you more excitement, the fact you were about to lose your virginity finally, or the sight of your best bud thrusting in and out of someone?”

 

 

Dan’s eyes shot open in shock as he thought about it, and feeling the tightening at his crotch as he started to grow hard, he blurted out in almost a whisper, something he just now realized, “It was so hot watching Jose’s cock move in and out of Susie and the first few times I was with Kendal without Jose around, I had to remember watching him before I would get all hot and ready.”

 

 

Smiling gently Aaron whispered back, “Was Kendal the one that just dumped you?” watching Dan nod his head dumbfounded, “did she ever suck you off or play with your ass during sex? I’m not trying to embarrass you, but I want to you to think about it.”

 

 

“She wasn’t very good at it, though I finally only let her suck me if we were watching…porn” Dan whispered, as he realized he had his best orgasms and could ignore Kendal sucking him only if he was watching someone else getting sucked. Placing his head in his hands, he started to cry, “I’m really gay then? She was right all along.”

 

 

Glancing down at the scanner and seeing it had finished, Aaron held it up and read down the eight lines quickly, all eight were positive which meant that Dan had all eight clusters, he was gay and was just now realizing it. “One of the first things you have to believe in and take to heart is that being gay is not something you decide, it is something you are born being. There are eight separate gene clusters that someone has to have, to be gay, having six of them means a person is Bi, four or less and they are wishy washy, mostly it is recessive and they can pass it on to their kids.”

 

 

Holding up the scanner so Dan could see it, “This is one of the medical tools I use in the emergency room, it has the ability to scan someone’s DNA, when we started this conversation, I set it to scan you, do you want to see the results?” Aaron held the scanner out so Dan could see the screen.

 

 

Dan was unsure what to do; his whole world was being turned upside down, the proof of his being gay or not was inches from his face and he was too frightened to look at it. Finally getting some courage, he glanced over and saw eight lines, reading down them he started to sob harder with each positive he read.

 

 

Turning off the scanner and replacing it in his pocket, Aaron pulled Dan into a hug and held him as he sobbed out his pain. “I have nowhere to go, now that Kendal left, what am I going to do now?”

 

 

Holding him tight, Aaron stared out the door reading the surface thoughts of the three others out in the hall who had come looking for him, Mike didn’t want to get involved, while Toby and Bill where planning different ways to help Dan out.” You know this can be your room now, if you want, or the one in the front of the house if you want it instead. You're accepted into the program, and as far as what you are going to do, well I think I can help you out there. “

 

 

Feeling Dan start to calm down and his mind latch on to the fact he had been accepted, Dan felt relief and then tired. “Tell you what, swing your legs up and onto the bed and lay down for a bit, it will give you a chance to center yourself.” Aaron told him, as he stood up and gently pushed Dan back into the bed, “I’ll hunt the other guys up before they come looking for me, and take them elsewhere to have their talks.”

 

 

Waiting until Dan nodded his head and followed his instructions, Aaron dipped into his surface thoughts, making sure he would not do something drastic, finding nothing there that would even give him reason to think that, he patted him on the shoulder before walking out the door and motioning the others to follow him; went up to the third floor and chose one of the empty room to go into, before turning to the other three, “First rule of the house, whether you are accepted into the program or not, what is learned in this house is not to be used to manipulate or hurt each other, I know you overheard pretty much the whole conversation.”

 

 

Mike’s thoughts were indignant that he would even have to be reminded of something like that, but he calmed down pretty quickly when he realized if that had been him in there, he would want someone to do the same for him and nodded his head.

 

 

“Mike, why don’t you go next, Toby and Billy I’ll talk to you in a few minutes.” Aaron smiled at them, as they nodded and walked out of the room hand in hand. turning back to face Mike who was sitting at the desk chair; he caught the stray thought from him as he wondered again how close the two were and if Bill was in fact eighteen, he looked far younger than that.

 

 

“Would it bother you if Bill was younger than eighteen?” Aaron asked quietly, making Mike jump, wondering if he had said that out loud, figuring he must have, he sighed.

 

 

“I suppose it should, but it’s not like they are hitting on me or anything like that, as long as it is consensual, it doesn't matter, I guess…” Mike trailed off, thinking he liked older men, so what was the difference if Bill did too.

 

 

“Okay, then let me ask you this; what do you think that the members of the house could do for Dan and the next Dan that comes across the doorstep?” Aaron asked, listening in to the thoughts surfacing in Mike’s mind.

 

 

Thinking about if for a couple of minutes, Mike finally looked into Aaron’s piercing eyes and cringed a little, “I have no clue, it’s not like I have a lot of experience dealing with emotional problems, even my own. Usually I steer clear, afraid I will do something to make it worse.”

 

 

Aaron, pulling his scanner out and entering some information to save Dan’s scan for upload later into the system core, turned it so it could get a reading on Mike, “I find that usually even if you don’t know what to do, a hug goes a long way in helping someone not feel so alone, that maybe someone cares, a hug can be a powerful thing.”

 

 

Mike looked startled, “I never thought of something so simple, all you did downstairs was hug Dan close and hold on…and you listened to him,” realization hit him, 'was it really that simple?' he thought.

 

 

Aaron smiled as Mike worked it all out in his head and answered the last question to pop up, “Yes Mike, it really is that simple.”

 

 

Making up his mind, Mike stood up and started out the door, “Excuse me, I think someone needs a hug and a friendly ear, maybe we both do.”

 

 

Aaron smiled as he glanced down at the readout and saw seven of the eight clusters positive, with a little bit of manipulation, the eighth and final cluster could be activated, so Mike could become Alteran. Well, two down and two to go, he thought as he got up and let his mind wander, looking for the two, he found them downstairs. Walking down the stairs, he smiled as he heard soft voices coming from Dan’s room.

 

 

“I want to apologize for the way I acted towards you this morning; I was out of line even if you were straight, it would have been out of line…” Mike's voice got softer until it disappeared as Aaron moved to the back set of stairs toward the kitchen.

 

 

Entering the family room, Aaron waved at the pensive couple cuddling on the couch, “Hey guys, saved the best for last,” he smiled at them, as he plopped down on the couch across from them. “So who wants to go first?”

 

 

Toby and Bill looked at each other for a moment before Toby cleared his throat, “I suppose that I should, as I am the one applying for a place in the program, Bill’s just my boyfriend and ro…” he trailed off before taking a deep breath and looking at Bill gathering his courage. “Bill lives with me, and unless we both can live here, he would end up on the streets…and that is not something I am willing to let happen.”

 

 

Picking up Bill’s fear in his surface thoughts, Aaron smiled, “Relax Bill, no one is going to judge you or attack you, I am very glad to hear you say that Toby, otherwise you would not fit in with our mission to rescue 'in danger' or homeless gay youth.”

 

 

Scanner still in hand, Aaron tapped in the information on Mike and saved it, before pointing it at Toby and running the scan, entering personal information while the scan was running. “Bill will have to log into the terminal and the teacher section, so he can gain his high school education, if you work hard at it, you should be able to get at least your general education diploma in a couple of years.” Seeing the surprise on Bill and Toby’s faces he smiled, “I admit to being surprised when Toby brought you with him to this meeting, but everything about the two of you I found out within minutes of meeting you, everything important, anyway.”

 

 

Sensing two minds approaching from upstairs, Aaron smiled at the confusion on Toby and Bill’s faces, “I’ll explain to all four of you in a minute, IN HERE GUYS.” Waiting until the other two joined them and found a seat, Aaron started to explain, ”even though only three of you applied, and four showed up, all of you will be accepted into the program.” Glancing towards Bill, “Bill your situation is different from the others, as you still need to complete high school, which you can do by logging into the terminal and doing your studies long distance, you also will be required to keep a 3.0 average, and if you start to get bogged down and behind, I expect you to ask for help. You will be unique among your age mates as you will be submerged in the college experience while finishing high school, so it should help you out a lot.”

 

 

Curious, as Bill did look a lot younger than Toby, now that he really examined him, “How old are you Bill?” seeing Bill get scared and push himself closer to Toby, Mike added quickly, “Not judging here Bill, my first time was when I was thirteen, and the other guy was twenty five. So even though I like older guys, I know there are those out there that like younger guys.”

 

 

Scan finished on Toby, Aaron saved it and started the last one, the one on Bill, while listening in to the conversation as Dan worriedly reacted to hearing that Bill was only fourteen, “How are we going to protect them if word would get out, Toby could get in a lot of trouble because of Bill’s age and they are four years apart in age.”

 

 

“I’ll be fifteen in eighteen days,” Bill offered, not really relaxing any and very uncomfortable with being the center of the conversation.

 

 

“Age of consent in Florida is sixteen and there cannot be more than two years age difference between partners, so we need to be very careful that it does not get out…we could get a new birth certificate and change the birth date by a year thus making him older,” Mike considered as he tried to remember what the two had said when they met this morning, “It’s not like anyone would come looking way down here for the two of you…you said you were from Kansas, right?”

 

 

“If we took a trip back to Kansas and found someone the proper age, we could get notarized a letter giving Toby custody…I’m assuming that your parents threw you out, Bill.” Dan thought about it and saw Bill nod his head stiffly. “The thing we have to make sure of is that we do not bend any of the laws in this state. Too bad the two of you are not from my state South Carolina, the age difference is three years and starts at sixteen so we would be fine there.”

 

 

Aaron smiled widely, they were coming together as a team to solve one of their owns problems; this is exactly what he was looking for, “I have the ultimate solution,” Aaron told them, as he saved the last scan, placed the scanner in his pocket and pulled out his passport once more, opening it up, he pointed to the bright red words ,“To be safe, all four of you would have to give up your U.S. citizenship and become citizens of Altare. Then from there, you get this nifty little metal book that gives you diplomatic immunity.”

 

 

The four just stared at him and the passport as they thought about what Aaron had just told them, then Mike looked at him, “This directly ties in to you saying the main mission of these houses is the rescue of gay 'in danger' and homeless youth.” A statement not a question caused the other three to look at Mike before staring at Aaron.

 

 

Nodding his head, Aaron chuckled, “What the government won’t do, and when adult gays won’t take the risk to do the right thing, we will do it. By the time school starts, this property will be listed as Alteran soil, an embassy, including security that can be trusted and you will be charged with keeping your eyes out for gay youth in need of help, and we will relocate them to our country and give them the chance to reach for their dreams and grab on tight.”

 

 

“I have no problem doing what should be the right and easy thing, but most are uncomfortable or unwilling to do it, because the group in question is gay, beneath them or according to the religious zealots, deserving of their misfortune.” Aaron sighed, “I have accepted you in the program, now all you have to do is agree. What will happen then is you will spend a few days on Altare Island, a whole country that is over ninety percent gay, with the few non gays working at Altair Minor hospital. Then you would reenter the U.S. as diplomats, and take up your studies once this house becomes Alteran soil, which means that in the next couple of hours, you would need to move your stuff into the house. Bill and Toby will be easiest to get set up, as their belongings are in the van in the driveway, after emptying it, you could swing around and pick up Dan’s stuff and then pack Mike up from his campus dorm.”

 

 

Shocking them once more, Aaron thought he might as well go all out, “Alteran stands for altered human, all Alteran’s have agreed to undergo DNA alteration. Those we rescue that do not wish to undergo the procedure are still welcomed and never discriminated against, but when they leave our nation, they are given normal passports, they don’t fall under diplomatic status as they have no duty to act to save endangered gay youth. Now, besides the really nifty thing of being immune to ninety nine point nine percent of all diseases that affect an unaltered human, there are three really sweet abilities you would gain, even if they sound like they come directly from science fiction books or shows.”

 

 

Standing up, Aaron raised his hand and pointed it at the couch Mike and Dan were sitting on and pushing some energy into his ability of Telekinesis, he caused it to rise up a good four feet in the air and hover there. Splitting his fingers like a Vulcan salute, the love seat rose up also “This one is called Telekinesis, and it is pretty useful,” Aaron switched the couch and loveseat before setting them back to the floor.

 

 

“The one you probably wondered about, how I got all the information on you guys without having met you, is called Telepathy, generally that is the more accepted gift, but then it is also the most feared.” Aaron held up his hand as Toby started to protest, “I went no further than surface thoughts, linking up and going any deeper to a non telepath would lead to a severe migraine on the part of the non telepath, severe enough to cause you to collapse.”

 

 

“So that was why all those open ended questions you asked upstairs,” Mike spoke, as it clicked home, “you asked the questions and knew the answer before we ever said it, and how we figured out what to say.”

 

 

Smiling as he nodded, “True, that is why I knew I could trust all of you,” Aaron pointed at Bill, “I knew by the time Bill sat down in the beginning, why he was here, and that they planned to come clean with me about their situation if it looked like Toby would be accepted, after all, I would find out sooner rather than later when he moved in with Toby.”

 

 

“I have violated others' minds and left them either dead or vegetables, since I couldn't care less what happened to them. You see, one was a religious zealot who sent his son to a church reeducation center to 'cure' his homosexuality or kill him if they couldn’t. So to save his son, I ripped the information from his mind.” Aaron changed it slightly seeing as Chris did the actual work to make his point he replaced Chris with himself.

 

 

“Watch carefully, as the last gift is the sweetest of all of them, it’s called Teleportation. The moving of yourself and if you are strong enough, more than yourself, from one place to another,” Aaron ported across the room to their shock and surprise. Walking back over, he held out his arm. "The final proof is me porting all of us to the Mall of America for lunch, for this one, you need to touch me, if you want to come along.”

 

 

Toby and Bill were the first to touch Aaron’s arm and as Mike stood up, he looked back down at the hesitant expression on Dan’s face, and smiling at him in encouragement walked over and placed his palm under Aaron’s and intertwined his fingers.

 

 

“Hypnosis does not work like that, Dan,” Aaron had read the thought on Dan’s mind, “It will not let you touch and feel things after I am gone, so when we port to outside the mall, and go into the food court, I will go for Japanese while you guys get something else, once out of my line of sight, you can be assured you are not being hypnotized, even your nose should give you proof with the smells.” Picking up that Dan did not have much cash on him Aaron smiled at him as he slowly stood, “I’ll buy lunch, since it’s part of the proof, and unexpected, so you could not have been forewarned about needing to have money with you.”

 

 

Once Dan touched his arm, he ported them to the mall, just out of sight by the bathrooms in the food court, nudging them out into the hallway by the bathrooms. He dug into his pocket while walking, pulled out some cash and handed each a twenty, once they entered the food court and stopped in amazement. “See that table over there, up top, meet up there, after getting your food,” Aaron did not wait for a reply before stomach leading the way, he made for the short line at the Japanese place.

 

 

Hesitating then reaching out and pinching himself, then pinching Mike who jumped, Dan muttered, “It’s true all of it,” before getting punched lightly in the arm by Mike as Toby and Bill wandered off towards the hot dog place.

 

 

As Toby got in line to order, Bill saw a mall cop hassling two guys sitting by themselves, not bothering anyone, wandering over he overheard the guard telling the two they had to leave as there was no loitering allowed, and the guard was not buying the explanation that they were waiting for friends. Deciding to jump in and help out, Bill walked up to the two quickly “There you are, we have been looking all over for you guys, we must have missed you as we came in from the mall side and you were sitting here hidden from sight.”

 

 

The guard turned around to see who was talking and was surprised to see another kid and it appeared that the two he was about to throw out were waiting for someone he was about to say something telling him to butt out when the two the kid was speaking two jumped up and grabbed their bags relief evident in their faces.

 

 

Once the guard was out of sight, muttering the whole way under his breath, Bill let out the breath he was holding, slowly before glancing back at the two he saved, “Come on guys, you can sit and eat with us, so you don’t get hassled anymore today.”

 

 

“That’s alright, maybe we can go sit down at the table you are going to eat at, we don’t have much money and we already ate today…” Drew trailed off as he panicked at letting that bit of information out.

 

 

Bill looked back at the one who spoke and seeing the fear in his eyes, Bill smiled, “Relax, it’s our treat and maybe we can help you guys out.” He did not bother to wait for an answer, “hope you guys like hotdogs and fries, do you want everything on yours?”

 

 

Walking over to Toby, Bill whispered in his ear for him to order four extra hot dogs with the works and two more large fries before turning back to the two bemused teens, “Do you guys like Coke or do you want something else?”  Not seeing any movement Bill stepped closer, “guys do you like Coke or do you want something else to drink?”

 

 

Drew just nodded his head not sure what was going on, though his stomach was making growling noises and he was really hungry, he felt awful for accepting this from someone their own age.

 

 

Bill nodded finally and went back to Toby, “Order two more Cokes please, those guys need help and after what Aaron told us, we can or he can help them…I hope,” he whispered before hugging his boyfriend not caring if anyone saw, knowing that after lunch they would be back in Florida he kissed Toby’s cheek.

 

 

Returning to the wide eyed teen’s, Bill heard the one that had yet to say anything whisper worriedly towards him, “Dude, you need to watch out, if anyone saw that you will end up like us on the street, hunted by the gangs.” Drew nodded his head as he frantically looked around to see if anyone was paying attention to them.

 

 

“Relax, no one is going to do anything to me or my boyfriend, Mike and Dan wouldn’t let them, not to mention that Aaron who brought us here would whoop their ass. Besides, after lunch, we're going back to Florida…want to come with us?” Bill asked at the last moment, just as Toby called for him to help carry the food.

 

 

Grabbing the tray with the hot dogs and drinks, Bill walked back and nodding his head towards the two, “let’s go guys we are sitting up top, we can talk while we're eating.”

 

 

Toby, bringing up the rear, nudged the two teens with the tray to start them moving, “It will be ok guys, I promise, no one will make fun of you or make you do something you don’t want to do.”

 

 

Trailing along like lost puppies that had been scolded, Drew and Eric followed their savior to the upper deck and joined the others already sitting or at least they stood to the side not sure if it was alright to sit with them.

 

 

Toby pointed to the two empty chairs on the end and sitting the fries in front of the spaces while Bill sat the hot dogs and Cokes there, “Sit down, guys and eat before it gets cold.”

 

 

Aaron had not missed the fact that Bill and Toby came back with two extra people, pointing with his chop sticks he swallowed what was in his mouth “Bill, are you forgetting something?”

 

 

Bill looked clueless for a moment, thinking about it, he still didn't know what Aaron was talking about, “There was this rent a cop that was hassling them real bad, for some reason he had it in for them and besides, they looked real hungry. So I invited them to join us for lunch so they wouldn’t be thrown out or hassled.” Still not knowing what the problem was, as Aaron gave him a pained expression, after all, he did say they were going to be rescuing gay kids that needed help, and those two certainly qualified, he thought. “HEY…” Bill yelled rubbing the back of his head where Toby had hit him after figuring it out.

 

 

“No you Doofus, Aaron’s talking about introducing them to everyone.” Turning to face the two newcomers who looked shell shocked, Toby pointed to his chest then each of them in turn, “My name is Toby, and Doofus here, the one that invited you to lunch, is my boyfriend, Bill. Across from me is Mike, one of our housemates, and next to him is Aaron, the big boss and across from him is Dan one of our other housemates.”

 

 

At the mention of Toby and Bill being boyfriends, both teens cringed and rapidly looked around to see if anyone overheard them talking. Before Drew hissed, “Keep it down, the gang that trapped us in here might overhear, then you will be hunted just like we are.”

 

 

Aaron had subtly been glancing at the two newcomers surface thoughts, it was hard as they were mostly thoughts surrounding fear and running, plus hunger. He watched carefully as they settled down and with a subtle nod to Dan, who nodded ever so slightly at Mike, he listened in as the group started to ask simple leading questions, they were starting to get good at it after a bit. Feeling the teens thoughts freeze in fright, he followed their gaze and noticed the mall security guard Bill mentioned over by the door leading outside talking to someone, before coming back in and walking towards them. “You are under my protection do you understand that Drew and Eric?!” he told them, shocking them out of their fear by calling them by name.

 

 

Aaron stood up and walked over to the steps leading to the upper seating area, thus blocking the guard from reaching the top of the stairs, “Is there a problem?” Aaron opened his passport up, so the guard could see it clearly. The thoughts were jumbled but easily read in the guard's mind as he flashed over what to do, before deciding that he'd better just throw the first two out and leave the others alone.

 

 

“Yeah there is a problem here, those two need to leave now, I told them no loitering so if they don’t leave, I am going to call the cops and have them arrested.” The guard bluffed.

 

 

“I don’t think so, we have not finished eating and you are really pissing me off. My food is getting cold and instead of eating it, I am over here dealing with a bigot who wants to hand over two innocent teens to a gang that wants to beat them up and more than likely kill them…NO, Mr. Bigot, you are leaving and we will not see you again, unless you like pain.” Aaron folded his passport and put it back in his pocket while listening in to the thoughts the man was practically screaming at him glaring at the guard who was flexing his finger and thinking about reaching for his hidden gun, “you will be dead before your fingers can even touch the thirty eight you have hidden strapped to your leg. If I see your hand even reach for the pocket that is not really a pocket, you are dead.” Aaron pushed some power into his kinesis to block the man’s nerves in his right arm to prove he was not joking.

 

 

The guard stumbled back in pain, grabbing his arm as the cold glare from the freak in front of him did something to his arm and he was in pain. Cussing, he backed down the stairs, eyes never leaving the freak's face before stopping on the bottom and turning and running away, he would show them; the gang was outside waiting for the two fags, and he would tell them to come in guns blazing and kill everyone up top there they had to be all fags anyways, no one would mind, like the reverend told them in church the other day, do not suffer a sinner to live.

 

 

Aaron's expression turned cold as ice, of course he heard the guards thoughts and reaching out with his mind and power, froze the bigot’s heart, just as he rounded the corner and reached for the outside doors, thus causing him to fall over dead. Making sure there were no security cameras pointed their way, and only finding one which he disabled by smashing the lens, Aaron walked back and motioned the others to come close, “We’re leaving now; grab your stuff and grab on; Drew and Eric, make sure you are touching someone so you’re not left behind.”

 

 

Seeing the two were confused and frightened, Aaron heard the yelling and quickly looked at Mike who was closest, “Grab them Mike we need to leave, Dan, grab Mike.” Once Dan grabbed Mike’s shirt and Mike had gotten a hold of the two scared teens Aaron ported them all back to the house in Miami.

 

 

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