Chapter 31

 

 

                                            

 

 

Two days, Aaron thought, in two days we will be open for business on Altair Minor and they had already exceeded the opening expectations. His twenty new residents would be released tomorrow just in time for them to go live. Larry and Miguel had made sure that all of the applicants were gay and under twenty five so they could be given the opportunity to become Alteran. A good thing, as a third of them would rotate to the Asclepius as soon as they mastered porting.

 

 

Two days had brought drastic changes once more to their lives, each of his lovers now had a team for their divisions, no longer calling them chores, the last batch of teens and kids they had rescued jumped right in helping out with the farms, some of them very eager to restart their lives. Out of the two hundred and twenty five rescued and brought over to Altare yesterday fifty were too young to be altered right now and of those fifty, twenty had started treatments to change their sexuality. All fifteen of the older straight teens had not changed their minds and were undergoing alteration in a previously closed section of the med bay and the first eighty seven would be released tomorrow with the other eighty eight beginning their alteration tomorrow afternoon.

 

 

Opening another polite request from a foreign government for a meeting at his earliest convenience Aaron sighed and decided it was time, pulling up the draft email he had been working on and changing as things happened, he mass emailed it to every embassy and politician that had contacted him and notified the UN he would speak to them next Tuesday.

 

 

Moving on to the next report Aaron smiled as he read the note from Pete informing him that all Alteran vessels had the modified LSB installed, sending a reply loaded with lots of love and suggestions not related to anything other than pleasure Aaron laughed imagining the expression on Pete’s face when he read it, he wondered where he would be when that happened. Double checking the latest placement scores Aaron grinned as he read Pete had jumped a whole grade level since his initial testing.

 

 

Surprised to see an email from Derrick he opened it to find an update on the Elswick facilities, they were ahead of schedule. Along with a list of contracts to approve so work could continue and a request for the fabricators to start churning out the required building materials. Moving his chair so he could look at the monitor two screens over from the middle one Aaron brought up the fabricators and inputted the hospital plans and set the automatics to producing the building components. Moving back Aaron sent an email off to Derrick telling him the first of the supplies would be ready for delivery on Friday which should give the crews time to get the foundation set.

 

 

Thinking about keeping ahead of the fast pace that things seemed to be happening around here these days, he turned back to the screen he left the fabrication system up on and inputted commands to bring another section online and to start producing bio-tubes and bio-beds.

 

 

Going back to his emails, Aaron frowned as he read the one from Roger, it had the requests from both the President of the U.S. and California Governor to hire telepaths. Attached was a list of the questions they wished to use to verify loyalty to the country. Forwarding it to Friedrich, Aaron attached the contract he had drawn up with costs and moved on to the next email.

 

 

“Aaron…” Kevin poked his head into the office as Aaron sent off another reply to the email from his U.S. based security company.

 

 

“Morning love,” Aaron smiled as he looked up at the worried face,” Is there something wrong?”

 

 

“That’s what I came here to find out, you weren’t down for breakfast like you normally are when you stay home to catch up on Tuesday business decisions,” Kevin walked into the room as Aaron jerked his head to the clock.

 

 

“Well shit, two and a half hours disappeared on me,” Aaron glanced over at the time then sighed before smiling, “one more email to catch up with and it’s from Andrew, so let me see what he has to say, then we’ll go down together,” Aaron motioned him into the room so they could read it together.

 

 

                To: Aaron

 

                From: Andrew

 

                Subject: Fucking Diplomats

 

 

Aaron I know you gave me until Friday to give you my report, but to tell the truth I don’t think I can stand to do any more research. I find all of them to be a lot of bigoted two faced liars and if at any time I was considering a career in diplomacy, I was naive. In fact I ask that if I even mention it as a career choice again you slap me soundly.

 

I am asking for another homework assignment, as this one will not be able to be done without bias, I have already hinted and suggested to grandmother about borrowing the Clan to deal with our diplomats. She was not pleased with my suggestion of bringing back beheading and starting the beheading with our diplomatic staff here in London.

 

Find attached my completely biased account of my four interviews.

 

Yours always

 

Andrew

 

 

“Um…WOW, he sounds pissed,” Kevin leaned closer to Aaron, “What are you going to do?”

 

 

“Well he did find out he has no stomach for diplomacy,” Aaron chuckled, “that was the whole point of the assignment, I’ll talk to his grandmother after my meeting with Chris and Joe and maybe after lunch a couple of you guys can go visit him to find out what happened.”

 

 

“Won’t he still be in school…” Kevin smiled sheepishly as Aaron logged out after sending a quick reply, “I forgot he’s out for the summer, but you know it’s still a good idea to go to his school and see how things are done over there.”

 

 

Arm over Kevin’s shoulder, Aaron agreed as they walked down the stairs, “If you thought the U.S. education system was whacked, wait until you get a look at Britain’s.” walking down the path to the dining hall, Aaron saw everyone waiting for him, “Sorry about that, I lost track of the time, but at least I got all of the crap out of the way,” he grinned as he took his seat after filling his plate.

 

 

Enjoying his morning chat with his lovers, and after he was finished eating, he cleaned up his dishes and placed them in the rack. Exiting the kitchen, he caught the awed stares from the two Lee brothers and sat on top of the table until everyone was done and looked his way, “Things are progressing at a faster rate than planned…again,” Aaron laughed, along with the Clan.

 

 

“I have three meetings, hopefully equally spaced out during the day. This morning I am meeting with Chris and Joe, about our armed forces division. Tim, if you could join us for that one along with the one before supper, where we Meet with Kyle and Friedrich about security issues and any updates,” He smiled at Tim as he puffed up in his chair and agreed. “After lunch will be the meeting with the hospital staff on Altair, Fred, you might want to attend that one. Oh by the way, you don’t have to push yourself so hard, I can wait a couple of years until you are ready to kick me out of my position as chief of staff.”

 

 

Aaron smiled as the laughter caused Fred to blush, “Just a reminder that I will send Mark after you if you forget about living and all of us, and you’ll spend the week as bottom,” he laughed at Fred wiggling his eyebrows.

 

 

“Let’s start with you today, Mark, how goes things with the farm?” Aaron asked as he pulled his P.A.D.D. out of the Velcro holder so he could take notes. His move caused all the others to also turn on their P.A.D.D.’s  as Mark went over to the newly installed terminal and monitor at the edge of the dining hall, just under the overhang out of danger of the scheduled rains.

 

 

Bringing up a map of the main island, Mark pointed out the active areas being farmed, “Everything is going smoothly, and with the influx of volunteers, it is surprising really, how many of the rescued were from rural areas, we need to expand. The problem I foresee is if we expand like we need to, we are in danger of hitting twenty five percent of the island under cultivation, and I don’t want to exceed that. Talking it over with Tommy and Brian, we all agree that further expansion of livestock on Altare is not to be allowed, even though it is needed, so we have to either come up with another way or contract out for certain types of meat.” Turning around after pointing to the map, Mark saw the concern in the Clan's faces, “Don’t get me wrong, we can still triple what we have now, but I am talking about the future, eight months down the road, when we hit our maximum and need to start planning for future expansion. If all we were going to do is supply just the Kingdom, we would be fine, as we could spread to Altair Minor. But with is the hospital over there it is a drain on our resources, so we either come up with plans now to expand, or we come up with contracts to supply Altair.”

 

 

“I’ll get with you later and show you the other islands; you can set up livestock farms on the biggest one,” Aaron smiled at his shocked look, “What, you thought there were only two islands in the kingdom?” he laughed at their nods.

 

 

Tommy, along with Brian who had moved next to Mark while he was talking, pointed to the screen, “On a happier note, after my visit with some of the ocean farming enterprises last weekend, we can easily expand the sea farms to pens over the trench, and we can easily handle all our future seafood needs without a problem, we just need to get the stock to begin with,” he glanced over at Aaron.

 

 

“Hey, don’t look at me, I’m still waiting on your list, and the list of suppliers you’ve found,” Aaron smiled at the dumbstruck expression on Tommy’s face.

 

 

“But I sent it to you Sunday…didn’t I,” Tommy’s voice was weak as he realized, “I forget to email it to you didn’t I,” he groaned into his hands.

 

 

Being closest, Kenny reached over and patted his leg, “Don’t worry Tommy. I’ll help you start a list of things you need to remember to do with your lists,” he giggled as he ducked under the table as everyone broke out in laughter.

 

 

Brian took over next, as he moved in front of the monitor, “Currently, we are producing enough to support our needs alone, and until the farms on Altair gear up in forty days we no longer can afford to supply the hospital with produce. Even though we are gearing up ourselves, we can no longer afford to provide them with anything other than the extra fruit from the groves and even that will have to stop in two weeks' time.”

 

 

“The joys of opening a month early,” Aaron sighed as he thought about it, “we can look to South American companies, send out a standard form letter of our produce needs, along with a requirements list of what they would have to meet to get our business, and we’ll revisit this next week, I’ll mention it to John and Scott this afternoon during our meeting, so they can lay in suppliers for the next month until Altair gears up for production or we find another source.”

 

 

“Pete, anything new on your end, other than the installation of LSB’s on every vessel and the jets?” Aaron asked, as he looked to the side to see if Pete had anything to say.

 

 

“Sure, steal my speech and then ask me what I left out,” Pete giggled, as he stood up, “I’ve been thinking and digging around in the system data base,” seeing the amused looks he laughed. “Yeah like that is something new, anyways, something caught my eye. While our technology is at least five hundred years ahead of everyone else’s, once we start to release some older versions of our tech, the possibility arises of that safe gap quickly diminishing. I discovered and tweaked with the Core's help, something that was only theorized about, a way to view other dimensions. Now I haven’t figured out how to safely cross dimensions yet, but I did discover that we can have limited interaction, only to the point where we can copy their tech base and if we chose to, the possibility is there for communication.”

 

 

Aaron was frozen in fear for a moment, taking a deep breath as everyone looked at him, feeling the intense emotion from him, even those not altered felt it, “Pete, I tell you three times…” he paused as Pete back peddled, first from the fear coming off of Aaron, then from the Core command order. “Do not, under any circumstances go any farther, do not work on or discover a way for us to travel dimensions in person,” he shivered, trying to get rid of his fear.

 

 

“I hear you three times, “Pete squeaked out, afraid he had really crossed the line.

 

 

“I’m sorry Pete, you awoke nightmares from the 1.0 version,” Aaron pulled Pete close and hugged him tight. “Feel free to steal every drop of tech you can get your hands on, but please, I beg of you, never contact anyone.”

 

 

Pete nodded as he snuggled close, scared because finally something happened to frighten their anchor so badly that he lost control of his emotions and broadcast his feelings.

 

 

“Not that I disagree, as your evidently scared shitless right now, but the racial history never mentioned anything like this,” Fred knelt in front of Aaron and looked up, hugging Aaron’s legs.

 

 

“It wouldn’t,” Aaron gulped air in an attempt to gain control, “it’s only found in the Clan histories and one of us having nightmares is more than enough.” Clamping down hard on his emotions, he looked around to the scared and worried faces. “You all deserve an explanation of the memory Pete’s announcement brought up,” hugging Pete tightly, he closed his eyes.

 

 

“What Pete rediscovered was not something that the original timeline folks were unaware of. In their search for the technology to set things right, they discovered dimensional travel, unlike Pete, they discovered the way to travel instead of eavesdropping. They unfortunately, in their haste to find out if this was their answer, they attracted the attention of a race of beings that were carnivores, and they ate more than flesh…they developed a taste for eating our powers and when they had exhausted our gifts, they feasted on our living bodies.” Aaron looked at the Lee Brothers, “all of this is under Clan Seal.”

 

 

Pathing to everyone present, “make sure one of you Clan locks those two.” Aaron then relieved the youngster’s fears, “My predecessor did the unthinkable. At least for him. He destroyed that whole universe those creatures came from so those demons would no longer be a threat to us, the blast carried over to every dimension that those things existed in to make sure they would never be a problem for us, he did this sixty three years ago after he came back in time to make sure we would never face that threat; I think that is why the treaty he made with the other nations was so short and to the point.”

 

 

Kevin snorted, more in relief than laughter from it being funny, “Short, Aaron the thing is obscenely brief, it has three paragraphs and each and every one of them leads to the countries destruction if they would ever break the terms.” Giggling, he decided he could go next, “understatement of the millennium.”

 

 

You’re not in any trouble Pete, I still love you without condition; feel the truth in my mind…you just triggered a deep seated fear,” Aaron linked with Pete so he would see the truth from his mind and relax and not blame himself.

 

 

“The only thing I have to report is that if Pete can steal some of that lovely tech, maybe by finding a dimension like his beloved TV show,” he smiled, as Pete perked up and he could see the gears turning over in his mind, and Aaron’s mind brushed against his with thanks. “The core is fully online now, instead of working in the hibernation mode it has been in all this time,” Kevin surprised Aaron with his report.

 

 

“Hibernation…” Aaron stuttered in shock, “I mostly ignored it, and didn’t give it a second thought other than it being organic based.”

 

 

Kevin chuckled as Pete looked to be back to normal, along with Aaron, “Yes but you don’t have to worry, there are fail safes in place to keep it from becoming truly sentient.”

 

 

“That will take some thinking about, after I let it sink in for a while,” Aaron told him as he looked around, “Derrick, other than the email about Elswick which I sent back to you with approvals, anything else?”

 

 

“Not unless you are planning to build a base in the U.S. anytime soon, like they are asking you to?” Derrick told them from the safety of David’s side.

 

 

“Not until they clean their house. The government over there is on the verge of…hell it is out of control; those elected to lead can’t do it as they have no control. The most I’m willing to do right now is after the Asclepius is freed up from Elswick, is to dock him in San Francisco again.” Aaron made a note and looked to David after smiling his thanks to Derrick, “You’re doing a good job, Derrick, thanks.”

 

 

“David, what about you?” Aaron asked as he looked at his notes.

 

 

“What…I just bounce around between all the guys, helping out where I’m needed, nothing special really,” David shrugged.

 

 

“But you are doing something special, the guys come to you with manpower problems and you find them the people they need. You along with the hunters have spent the most time making sure those we have rescued have everything they need,” Aaron smiled at David’s shock of having what he did explained differently.

 

 

“The hunters?” David questioned, trying to give himself more time to wrap his mind around what he was truly doing.

 

 

“Those four led by your brother,” Aaron smirked, teasing Kenny; “they caught Richard didn’t they?  You know Andrew asked me when you are going to give him back, he misses his cousin.”

 

 

Kenny giggled, “He can have him Monday through Thursday’s; the rest of the time he’s ours.”

 

 

“Seriously though, anything the five of you have come across that I need to know about?” Aaron asked as he glanced over to Shoji and Ichiro, who looked overwhelmed.

 

 

“Not a thing, I think everything is running so smoothly because those coming here truly want to start over,” David told Aaron, as he grinned.

 

 

“Alright, so that leaves Shoji and Ichiro,” Aaron said, as he shocked them and Ichiro looked at him in shock.

 

 

“We are not members of the Clan, we should not have any say or give reports,” Ichiro was out of his depth and frightened.

 

 

“True, but as long as you live in this Clan Hall, you will not be ignored. Shoji I approve of your offer. You may handle lunches and two dinners during the week, to help out. Also Scott has agreed to work with you on expanding your skills in the kitchen, and how to manage cooking for large numbers of people at once. You will report to him Monday through Friday after lunch is over until four, for instruction.” Aaron smiled at his enthusiasm, “after you expand your culinary styles in a couple of weeks you can expect to start working with me during dinners, so I can refine your skills.”

 

 

Tears of joy started to stream from Shoji’s eyes as he jumped up and rushed to Aaron and flew into his arms, hugging him. When he realized what he did, he tried to pull back but Aaron was having none of that, and pulled him closer, “Do not be ashamed to show emotion, and do not ever be ashamed of giving or receiving a hug, especially when someone makes you happy.”

 

 

Transferring the teen to the other side, Aaron looked at his brother, “Ichiro, you will find an art studio in the recreation center on the other side of the music rooms, use it as often as your studies allow, and I want you to consider teaching beginning art to those that want to learn down in the city,” seeing the protest starting, Aaron held up a hand to silence him, “give me your answer next week, I think this will teach you valuable skills to be used in life, patience and understanding being only two of them.”

 

 

“Yes Sir,” Ichiro bowed as Aaron stood up,

 

 

“Time to go, and for the rest of you to hit the tutor,” Aaron motioned for Tim to come close and ported the two of them to the navel docks.

 

 

Appearing on the docks, Tim looked around and not seeing the freighter anywhere, “Hey what happened to the freighter I ported back here the other day?”

 

 

“The cargo was unloaded and it was sent to the recyclers. One of the things that happened when it arrived was to set off alarms and automatic protocols when it was ported inside the dock.” Aaron swept his arm over the whole area, “the docks were flooded with carbon dioxide, removing all oxygen and then flooded with Nuerazine, killing everything living on the ship.”

 

 

Seeing Tim’s wide eyed shock, Aaron smiled, “Relax, there were no pets aboard, just rats and all kinds of nasty parasites that would have caused all kinds of problems. It actually caused me to consider what would happen when we seized the next ship, so I am having an area built so we would not have to evacuate the dock every time we wanted to port a ship other than one of our own, in here.”

 

 

Approaching the meeting room, Aaron lost his smile while Tim giggled when the guard near the door opened it for them and yelled out “ATTENTION ON DECK.”

 

 

“You are getting way to much enjoyment out of this, you know,” Aaron looked at the smirking Tim as they found a seat saved for them at the head of the table and pulled it out. “Oh for heaven’s sake, sit down, all of you, I’ll put up with all the pomp and saluting,” Aaron shuddered, “outside the Kingdom, as it sends the proper message, but here at home, I will get even.”

 

 

“Before we start, let me drop this in your laps. Yours also Tim. I sent an email to the U.N. this morning, telling them I would address them next Tuesday morning at eleven,” Aaron told them, as he logged into the built in touchpad terminal on the table. “Which means that the Ares and his brother ships will need to be deployed worldwide that morning, with skeleton crews if we have to,” Aaron looked up at the pleased expressions, not shocked as he thought they would be.

 

 

“Those three are ready and just need crews, which Joe and I hope you’ll approve of their command staff this morning,” Joe smiled, as he pointed out and then introduced the prospective captains and their second in commands to Aaron.

 

 

“I’m off to the former USSR, after lunch, for a meeting with three hundred hopefuls; it is surprising really, the number of gay military personal left high and dry after the collapse and cutbacks.” Chris pointed out, as he handed down a chip towards Aaron, “the best and youngest have been scheduled for interviews, they started at their military academy at age eight in the old days, and the oldest applicant is twenty one.”

 

 

“I think we might have cracked open a door in the Marine population, if what Joe tells me is correct. After all those jar heads had the most gays to straights on navel ships than any of the other services, I think to compensate, or better camouflage,” Kirk spoke up, smirking as if he had a secret to share.

 

 

“I think we will have more than enough people to where we can even change crews completely with every shift; well before you can get more ships built for all of us,” Joe laughed, confident in his boast.

 

 

Seeing Aaron’s amused face, Tim smirked and leaned forward, “Want to put your cock on the line, Sailor?”

 

 

“Tim, no sex outside of the clan, you know that,” Aaron warned, but picked up Tim’s thought and it sounded funny, as long as they were careful not to carry it out on someone unwilling.

 

 

“I am not talking sex, there are going to be eighty some extremely horny guys being released after being resequenced tomorrow, the bet is the loser has to help out with hand jobs while naked and not getting off,” Tim smiled evilly, “In other words, two hours of blue balls before your partner can relive you.”

 

 

“You’re on, hot stuff, shake on it,” Joe held out his hand, assured of winning the bet.

 

 

“Joe, I don’t think this is a good idea,” Chris tried to stop him, but backed off, let him be taught a lesson he thought, he knew better knowing the Clan a lot longer than his lover did, and what they were capable of.

 

 

“Deal,” Tim shook his hand and laughed, “Boy, are you going to be black and blue tomorrow.”

 

 

“Right back at you, I can see every part of the docks from here, including the construction…” Joe trailed off at seeing the glimmer in Aaron’s eyes, and the sure fire smirk on Tim’s face. “Oh shit…”

 

 

Whacking his lover upside the head Chris scowled, “Oh shit is right, hot shot, I warned you. Now you are going to be in for a real hard morning, emphasis on hard, as you’re not getting any until after dinner, for ignoring me,” Chris glared, then laughed at Joe’s expression.

 

 

“Gentlemen, I give you the AKSC10, the Alteran Kingdom’s space cruiser with a crew compliment of five hundred and ninety, not including security,” Aaron chuckled, as he brought up the ship on the monitor, “Sorry Joe, but you should know by now the Clan sticks together.”

 

 

“Gods above, he’s a beauty.”

 

 

“Wait a minute, if you built this ship, does that mean the colony world mentioned in the race histories is there and ready?”

 

 

Aaron nodded his head, not saying anything as the others sobered at the memory of all those that gave up their lives to make this restart possible.

 

 

“This was the backup plan, wasn’t it? If things got so far out of control where you thought there was no hope, this is what you planned on using to give us a new start, wasn’t it?” Chris whispered in awe, as it hit home, the awesome responsibility on Aaron’s shoulders.

 

 

“One of them,” Aaron admitted, as he sat back, tired all of a sudden.

 

 

“Navy or Air Force,” Joe asked, as he stared at the screen in awe.

 

 

“What do you mean Navy or Air Force, Joe?” Chris asked as he nudged his lover.

 

 

“Which branch gets him, of course,” Joe took his lover's hand and placed it in his crotch so Chris could feel his intense hard on.

 

 

Tim peaked under the table and grinned at the two who had hands in each other’s laps and pathed the image to Aaron.

 

 

“Neither, it will be under military control, we will not have divisions like most other countries we have the military and security, that’s enough,” Aaron did not want the bickering the various branched had in other countries. “If the two of you need a break for a few minutes, we can wait,” he offered with a smirk, before noticing the slight stiffening in Joe’s posture, “or not…”

 

 

“Alright, before we get totally off track, the rest of you can day dream about the new cruiser after the meeting. Tim set the tone the other day on our policy with human traffickers, and on Sunday, he warned at least the Asian world that we would be watching. So for the purpose of this meeting this morning, we are going to discuss the Kingdoms policy of policing the ocean,” Aaron brought the discussion back on track.

 

 

Leaving Tim back at the Clan Hall, Aaron picked Fred up and ported to the Trauma center, remembering to activate the LBS so when they arrived in the gazebo inside the atrium, they appeared in a shower of sparkles. A good thing, as Aaron noticed the room had visitors, including Shaolin monks with what appeared to be apprentices that were teenage in appearance. 'Now what?' he thought, as he opened the door for Fred and walked out behind him over towards the table with the staff, “If all of you will excuse me for a moment, I think the Shaolin wish to talk to me, Fred if you will fill Scott in on the farm projections, I’ll be back in a moment.”

 

 

Walking over to the Shaolin, who were now all standing and had bowed to him, once he got near he noticed the same elder from the other day, after bowing his head slightly in return to their greeting, he waited for the elder monk to speak.

 

 

“Dragon Lord, we thank you for your hospitality and the healing you are providing for the poisoned boys. We have accompanied the parents, to provide any services you desire while our youth are being treated, even if it is simple gardening, we have brought along fifteen volunteers who wish to serve…” the monk stopped, as Aaron quickly grabbed the air in front of him as he used kinetics to freeze the teen behind him. Moving his hand as if he was plucking something from the air, Aaron let his mind pick the teen up mimicking his hand's movements.

 

 

Floating up and upside down over Aaron’s head, the teen was frozen in mid motion and the teen was panicking as he could not move or breath, “You may breathe again,” he told the teen, as he released the force binding the teen’s chest. “Control your fear; do not let it control you. You are lucky my guards were not around today, you would not have lived to take another step.” Aaron then twisted his wrist, so the teen was upright once more and placed him on the floor in front of him before releasing the teen.

 

 

“For a people that live in the tropics and have no use of clothes except when visiting this island for visitors, or when outside our kingdom, the movement of color, even the slightest bit, draws immediate attention, if you were naked, you might have gotten another several steps closer.” Aaron pointed out the obvious, “not to mention, that pushing the seats together to lay down on might work outside the Kingdom, but not here, where I knew where every mind was, the moment I arrived.”

 

 

Aaron, about to ask what the elder monk meant by providing services, closed his mouth as he felt concern and a slight bit of anger approaching, seemed Fred was about to intervene, “Sorry about this Aaron, but this fool is secretly suicidal and I need to have a long talk with him.” Fred grabbed the teen’s tunic and picked him up by it, “The two of us are going to take a walk and discuss this need of yours to have others kill you.”

 

 

Aaron watched amused, as Fred, who was a good head smaller than the teen walked out of the atrium through the back doors while casually holding the teen’s tunic in his fist and the teen’s legs dangling well off the floor as he kinetically held him up.

 

 

“I must apologize for Josh’s behavior…” the elder monk tried to intervene, as Aaron scanned the rest of the teen’s and zeroed in on one of them.

 

 

Staring hard at the teen, Aaron cut the monk off, “You have nothing to apologize for. Others on the other hand... Others who drove Josh to that desperate attempt to kill himself.” Seeing the wide eyed stares between the teens, “no matter what was told to you by others, this was not a test or even a show of skill, this was a cry from a tortured soul to make it stop, and an attempt by an unbalanced mind to remove the half breed, as he thinks of those of mixed parentage.”

 

 

“No…you said it yourself; he attempted to kill himself,” the teen Aaron was staring at backed away, only to find himself in front of Aaron after being ported to within inches of his body.

 

 

Using kinetics, Aaron brought the teen to his knees, “Justice will be done…our laws were broken with your attempt on Josh’s life. You forgot one basic fact, in your desire to see Josh’s death. You decided to not only bring your victim here, but you forgot by doing so, you and he would be in the midst of telepaths, your own mind betrays you.” Placing a hand on the teen's face, Aaron closed his eyes as he very carefully entered the teens mind, “judgment begins.”

 

 

Traveling back through time in the teen’s mind, Aaron searched for the cause of the hatred and bigotry, hoping that he would find some part of him redeemable, for he really hated killing kids. Feeling another presence nearby, and sensing it was Colin, Aaron invited him to join him in the teen's mind and in the mental landscape they stood side by side, “Not in every case would you find such a clear cut change in personality and the cause for the murderous hatred like we can in this teen.” Aaron slipped into teaching mode as he pointed to the memory of the teen being brainwashed, “From this point forward, we will erase every memory. There will be no chance of it ever being recovered, as it will not exist to be recovered. After this, we will place him in a bio-tube and repair the damage we do during the erasure of his memories.”

 

 

Aaron was swift, as he destroyed every memory from the point he met up with the disgraced monk, to the present day, it took only fifteen minutes to destroy three years worth of memories. Not being as careful as he would be if he did not plan to place the teen in a bio-tube let Aaron finish quickly, opening his eyes, he removed his hand, and the teen slumped over as if all the bones had been removed from his body.

 

 

Colin quickly reached down and picked the teen up, “I’ll get him prepped and the cycle started, go ahead and start without me.”

 

 

“I fear I lost two apprentices today, when all I wished to do was honor the saviors of children everywhere,” the elderly monk was near tears.

 

 

Shaking his head Aaron touched the elderly monk's arm, “The darkness in his soul was not his making, he will be healed of body, now that his mind is where it should be, he will wake up tomorrow, a healthy well adjusted thirteen year old. The last three years are gone as if they never happened.” Pointing out the door where Fred was sitting on the ground with the distraught teen, curled up in his lap, “While it is true you might have lost two apprentices, which we won’t know for sure until tomorrow, they did not lose their lives or their souls.” Aaron erred on the side of creating a mythos around them again, to keep the elderly monk from losing faith in himself and stopping all the good he did.

 

 

“Now, before I go deal with the realities of the real world, go outside, and in your walk in our gardens, you will see a fountain. Look to the edge of the woods and you will see a path leading into the woods, if you take that path, it will take you an hour to reach the farms at the other end of the island.” Aaron smiled at the monk who looked confused, “use that time to meditate as it is a very peaceful walk. Once you reach the end of the path by the sea farm, you will find a dock reaching out into the water, go to the end and sit and watch the world go by and find your center again.”

 

 

“As for those that wish to help out and volunteer…” Aaron pathed, “David, Derrick can the two of you free up some time to come over and take charge of some Shaolin teens, bring the hunters if you want to, I think Kenny could get through to the one Fred is helping.” Smiling at the response and the feeling of pride David let leak out with his answer, he hoped the two second pause would go unmentioned. “Several of the Clan are on their way, they will take charge of your apprentices and answer their questions.”

 

 

Looking at the curious teens, Aaron laughed, “I do not need to be a telepath to know how curious you are, David will give you the chance to ask any questions you come up with, up to the same point we do for those who are thinking of permanently joining us. I think we can trust you to keep what you learn to yourself.”

 

 

“Hey loves…” Aaron turned to the side as the hunters escorted by David and Derrick walked up, “Kenny, Josh is outside with Fred and I think he needs a hug.” Aaron smiled as Kenny kissed his cheek and nodded as he looked over his shoulder and rushed outside, “I’ll leave you now for you walk, and your talk,” Aaron did the half nod bow and walked towards the table.

 

 

Taking his place at the head of the table, he sighed, “We don’t open for two days yet and I already want a vacation. Alright, let’s start with the kitchens, I assume Fred informed you of the slight problem of fresh produce or the lack of it come this Thursday?”

 

 

“Yes, and I already placed an order with my supplier, well I sent it from my pending folder, right after Fred told me a few minutes ago all it needed was to decide where to send it,” Scott told them, as he opened up the file on his P.A.D.D. with his and John's notes, “John is in Canada right now, of all places, doing several interviews at their version of the CIA. Of the interviews he did yesterday, only one was acceptable, so he changed tactics and is going to the source, we figure we can train the new hires up a bit.”

 

 

“Staples and supplies, well we’re good to go, and after the order I placed is delivered tomorrow morning, we should be ready. Do we know how many patients will be coming in on Thursday?” Scott prepared to make note of it so he could plan meals.

 

 

“Three hundred patients with their families,” Theo leaned forward, “For now, we have scheduled three hundred on each pick up day, so Saturday we should hit the max right now of six hundred families here constantly. Do you know when the Elswick facility will be online?”

 

 

“We’re shooting for October 1st, which means for now the Asclepius will act as a temporary hospital. Then the Asclepius would head back to California, unless I make up my mind to build a facility there. It all depends on whether they get their act together; if they don’t by then, I may decide to build somewhere else or wait and concentrate right here for now,” Aaron was very undecided on this issue, if he was pushed it would fall in favor of staying right here.

 

 

“While we are still on the issue of patients, how is the patient load at Asclepius right now?” Aaron wanted to know, as he had not really had much contact with the staff over there since the day they arrived.

 

 

“Running really smoothly actually, the only good thing I will ever say about government sponsored medicine, so remember this. We are at seventy five percent capacity and seem to be holding at that number, of course, that might be because of William’s influence.” Theo laughed, “You would think it was a military hospital the way he and his staff oversee the new intakes, greeting the families and making sure they are comfortable. To tell the truth, I think out of the twenty people he brought with him, only three are medical, one for each shift, the rest are acting as go betweens with the staff and patients families.”

 

 

Aaron made a note to stop by and check with William on Friday when he went to pick up the three prince's; he hoped by then to know when the old hospital would be ready to be opened as a hotel on the one side. “Tell you what, let’s make it standard operating procedure that any patient that will need treatment for more  than two days, automatically gets transferred here to Altair Trauma, that way we can keep a nice steady flow going over there of the minor stuff. Also, plan on my residents to start handling most of the duties over there by next Friday, I plan to start rotating them though both facilities, a week at a time. I’ll talk to William and see how many good surgeons he can recommend, we are going to need our staff here and the only things our residents will need back up on over there with are emergency surgical cases which come in unexpectedly.”

 

 

“Which leaves you CAG. How are you coping with your flight crews and the new jets? That’s besides having your boys safe and sound,” Aaron smiled down the table to the newest member of the Altair team.

 

 

“Well, I’ve not yet tried a sub orbital hop in one of them, but I did review Captain John’s recordings of the one he did, and it looks like fun; the only question I have is if you are going to be supplying Alteran’s as control authorities on the planes or leave it up to the pilot?” The CAG answered, before adding, “And I think we need to go over protocol on what happens if some customs or immigration agent gets testy, I would like to have something documented on the chip for my guys to follow, just in case there is no command and control on board.”

 

 

Thinking about it for several moments, Aaron finally decided on what would work best, “Make sure everyone is very familiar with the 1941 treaty; everything will be based on that, any acts of aggression are to be considered an act of war and they are to warn the offending party just once before they are to lift off for a suborbital hop home where security will meet them. Of course, have them remind the offending official that once they leave, their country or state is closed to all further assistance.”

 

 

“I am meeting with the U.N. next Tuesday, and any country that was not in existence in 1941 will sign the treaty, or be sanctioned. The only other thing that might pop up unexpectedly is the odd political refugee that might make it to their door asking for sanctuary. If that happens, Alteran support is to be called in and the jet is to remain grounded unless under threat of attack. If it comes to that, they are to proceed to Elswick at top speed. That should rattle several thousand people as the ram jet hits mach seven a hundred feet off the ground and climbing,” Aaron chuckled at the damage that would be left behind.

 

 

“I’ll have something fleshed out and ready for your review by morning, and on a personal note, if you can find time to talk to Adam and the twins, I think they finally realized that I want them to take the opportunity being offered by becoming Alteran,” the CAG smiled, “it took some talking, but I finally convinced them I was not going anywhere and they could still live with me here.”

 

 

“I’ll be here until three, so have them run over and we can talk before I head back,” Aaron agreed, “is there anything else that needs to be discussed overall?” Not seeing any questions or concerns, he stood up ending the meeting, “Alright then, we officially open at ten on Thursday morning, let's meet back here at nine in the morning to go over last minute items that may have popped up in the meantime.”

 

 

“Hey guys, I’m going to port over to talk to Andrew; he sounded pretty pissed and frustrated in the email he sent this morning. I might also, while I’m there, take a look at the school he goes to, anyone interested in coming along?” Kevin walked into the common room from Aaron’s office and looked over the second floor railing to the guys talking below into what they had turned into their planning room.

 

 

“I’ll go; I need to speak with Edward,” Derrick stood up and passed Kevin on his way up the steps, “Clan uniform, right?”

 

 

At Tommy and Mark’s nudging, Brian stood up, “I’ll go; it will give me a chance to rest my brain, maybe then I can come at the problem from a different angle after resting for a bit.”

 

 

“What’s the problem?  Maybe by sharing it, we can come up with ideas that you haven’t thought of yet,” Kevin asked, as he pulled pants and a shirt out of his room.

 

 

'It’s worth a try,' Brian thought, as he grabbed some of his clothes from Pete’s room, “Well, it's Aaron’s experimental grove, he has some of almost every tropical fruit variety in there. The problem is, some of them are really worth expanding into their own groves. But it’s the range of three to seven years before fruit production I’m trying to get around, there just has to be a way to accelerate the plants' growth cycle to shorten that time.” Buttoning the silk shirt, Brian looked up at Derrick, walking down the stairs buttoning his own shirt and smiled, getting lost in memories of last night for a moment.

 

 

“Sounds like you need to talk to Pete, he might be able to hunt down things in the database that will solve your problems,” Glancing around the room, Kevin tilted his head trying to remember if Pete had something to do this afternoon, “Where's Pete?”

 

 

“He got some strange message from the Core, something about a search string being completed,” Mark looked up from the island maps he was going over with Tommy, curious to see if Kevin knew why Pete was so excited.

 

 

“Well shit…I never believed he would find a dimension like that,” Kevin uttered, in astonishment. “Pete, if you found what I think you did, it is imperative you steal the transporter and replicator technology first,” he pathed, feeling Pete’s surprise at being contacted, and with a correct guess at what he found.

 

 

O…Kay, but why transporters, we can port much farther than a transporter could ever send us?” Pete sat up in the recliner, deep below the city in the central system Core.

 

 

True, but if all the shows and stories are correct, the two technologies are related. Just think about it for a second, a transporter can break things down into their component molecules, if we merge the two systems so the one produces raw material, while the replicator takes those component molecules and reassembles them into something we can use.” Kevin halfway explained, knowing that Pete would take what little he said and run with it, expanding on the idea into totally new directions.

 

 

Thinking about what Kevin just said, Pete’s mind raced, “Like if we aimed the transporter beam at a landfill, we could be the ultimate recycler when we turned the garbage into new items or supplies.”

 

 

Exactly, if we can get our hands on that type of technology, it is so far in advance of our recyclers and extractors, it will jump us a thousand years ahead of anyone else,” Kevin let his excitement flow to Pete, along with images of station sized replicators building ships in one go.

 

 

I’m on it,” Pete broke the connection and lay back in the recliner to change the search strings, excited by the possibilities Kevin stirred with him.

 

 

“Wait, he found a dimension with his favorite TV show in it?” Mark sounded surprised, as he looked to Tommy and they both said the same thing, “Replicators.”

 

 

“Already on it, that’s what I pathed Pete about, so he is going to grab that first, otherwise, he probably would have been looking at ship designs for months on end,” Kevin laughed, “great minds do think alike.”

 

 

Seeing that Derrick and Brian were ready, he told the others, “Right, if anyone asks, we’ll be back in time for supper.” Smiling at Derrick and Brian, “We’ll use the gestalt to conserve energy.” leading the other two up the stairs towards the office, seeing the other two were ready, Kevin reached over and activated the gestalt and ported them to the main entrance of Buckingham Palace.

 

 

The guards reacting to the shimmering light moved the crowd away from the arriving Alteran’s. After having been briefed by Thomas the head of the Princes' security team, they did not act aggressively towards them or treat them like a threat, but as they would if the Queen had suddenly entered the doors.

 

 

“Young Sirs, how may we direct you? The Queen is in her office; if you wish, I can take you to her.” The lead guard asked, with a slight bow.

 

 

Doing the half nod thing, he had seen Aaron do to be polite Kevin answered, “We came to see Andrew, if you could direct us his way…”

 

 

“And I need to sit down and talk with Edward,” Derrick held up the chip with the contracts Aaron had approved, on it.

 

 

“Prince Andrew, along with Prince Richard, are at Eaton, choosing classes for the upcoming term, I believe Prince Edward is with the Queen. I will have someone escort you to the Queen’s office, young Sir,” the lead guard motioned for one of his team to come over.

 

 

“Young Lord…young Sirs, I’ll have Rod bring the hummer around to take you to Eaton. If you will make your way to the back entrance, it will be waiting for you by the time you get there.” Bill then pathed Rod to have him bring the hummer around, before he could melt back into the crowd, the team leader stopped him.

 

 

“You called, Kevin, I think his name is, young Lord, instead of Sir, I think someone messed up and did not give us all the information we need, I don’t want any of my people to unintentionally give insult…the Queen will have my head if that happens,” Captain Bob Leftbridge hissed.

 

 

Bill chuckled but cut it short as he saw the serious almost panicked expression on the man’s face, “Relax, you didn’t insult any of them, I don’t think anyone but an Alteran would even know when one of the Clan passes their ordeal, and no one expects outsiders to know proper protocol.”

 

 

“Wrong answer, my sneaky colleague. We are British. We are expected to always follow proper protocol,” he steered Bill towards the lift; Bob had files to be updated. “I understand the Clan is the Leading family of your Kingdom. Notice, I did not say ruling. My ears are still ringing from the verbal thrashing all three prince's gave me and my second over that blunder. Do you see my point now, if I had done that to his Majesty, or one of the Clan,  in front of them or the Queen there would be hell to pay, even cost me my job…you have some records to correct.”

 

 

“Compton, pull up the files with pictures of the Clan. Our records are wrong, and this stout fellow is going to correct them,” Captain Bob Leftbridge steered the spook towards the chair.

 

 

Bill was pushed down in the chair and with a hint of exasperation, decided to play with their minds, poking the keyboard out of the way, he looked at the table, “Fine, where’s your terminal?” Picking up the mouse and looking at the keyboard, he groaned audibly, “great, I’ve not seen one of these outside ancient history class, now I’ll have to try to remember how to do this.”

 

 

Compton carefully pulled the keyboard over out of the spook's reach, “If you don’t mind sir, how about I do this for you, that way we can get this over with very quickly and you can be on your way.” There was no way we was letting him touch his baby now, especially after a comment like that.

 

 

“Suit yourself,” Bill grinned, “All you really need to do is change six files, for now anyway. Tommy, Fredrick, Timothy, Kevin, Marcus and Peter are the ones that have passed their ordeal so far, and should now be called Young Lord.”

 

 

“Ordeal…I heard you say that over the monitor from upstairs. What is an ordeal and why would passing it make a difference?” Compton asked, as he pulled up the files and paled a little before glancing out of the corner of his eye to see if the spook was pissed, he heard stories, didn’t he, about how they could kill with a look.

 

 

“The Clan is different than most other Alteran’s. Where we can be called upon to be tested; they must pass an ordeal, life and death. The Clan lives, breathes and probably sleeps to Gens Stranton Ducet Alius Sequntur, and, as a people, we are better for it.” Bill told them, as he stood up, “I’ll see to it someone notifies you the next time a Clan member passes his ordeal,” Bill walked away and once around the corner, ported back to his hidden position in the stairwell entrance hall.

 

 

“What the hell does that mean,” Bob looked over his shoulder, only to see the spook was gone, “Well, isn’t this a fine kettle of fish,” he muttered.

 

 

Compton, pulling up a search engine on the internet, typed in the saying into a Latin translator, he recognized some of the words as Latin. “Clan Stranton Leads, others follow...bloody hell.”

 

 

“Life or deaths…hmm, make sure everyone knows, and can recognize those six faces. Anyone that passes an ordeal that is life or death deserves all possible respect,” Bob ordered, as he sat back thinking over what he learned, adding it to the rumors and if pressed he would rather not go up against any of those teens…no, young men, he decided.

 

 

Stepping out of the hummer near the entrance to the administration building, Kevin glanced back to Brian, it was an impressive building, steeped in history, though only Fred would truly appreciate it, they thought.

 

 

Kevin looked around and thought about the fact that here they were outside the palace without any security, great he thought, if something happened, Aaron would have security following him into the bathroom any time he was outside the Kingdom. “We'd better find Andrew and his security detail, before someone decides to get nasty.”

 

 

Side by side, they entered the building and looked around for a directory or even a crowd of parents with kids, meaning that they were in the right building, but they found nothing. About to go back out to the front of the building to make sure they had the right place, they were interrupted by an older man with some strange cape on his shoulders; Kevin supposed it could be called a robe if you stretched your imagination.

 

 

“What are you two doing here, you should be at the rotunda selecting classes with everyone else,” the headmaster scowled, as he came out of his office to confront the two trouble makers.

 

 

Brian looked at Kevin who looked back and shrugged, “And if I was to walk to this rotunda where would I go?” Brian asked, not liking the direction of the man’s thoughts, not even knowing who they were, he had labeled them troublemakers.

 

 

Taking in the two boys clothing, and the obvious crest on their expensive shirts, the headmaster changed his attitude slightly, as it was obvious they were new foreign students, it was a shame really to let their kind in here, he thought, “Well obviously, neither one of you bothered to read through the materials we sent over. Really, and such horrible accents, not befitting such a prestigious learning institution like Eaton.”

 

 

“Your attitude sucks,” Kevin frowned, “Any chance of us ever giving this dump a chance just went out the door, just give us directions to the rotunda, so we can meet up with our friends and their security detail, and once we leave here, we’ll never set foot on this poor excuse for a school ever again.” Unless it is to conquer it he thought, pushing every single one of the man’s buttons without caring.

 

 

“We don’t let the likes of security on Eaton, we are secure enough, no one in their right mind would ever dare to harm one of our students,” the headmaster bellowed in anger, wanting both these imbeciles out off his school pronto.

 

 

“Andrew and Richard are here without security, are you telling me both Prince's do not have any security around them?” Brian was worried, where was the security team Aaron assigned them, this wasn’t good, Aaron would be pissed when he found out that those two were without security or were they he thought. “Who’s watching Andrew and Richard,” he sent out a general pathed message, hoping to get a response.

 

 

Ray here Sir, I have them in sight, my partner is on the other side of the room, is there a problem?”  The response was swift.

 

 

Where is the rotunda or wherever the hell you are and where are the Brits? We’re at the administration building” Kevin asked as he ignored the man in front of them before Brian finally had enough of his ranting.

 

 

“Enough you incompetent twit,” Brian raised his voice and pointed his finger, “bang you're dead…can you see now, your security is nonexistent, so shut the fuck up.”

 

 

Getting directions from Ray to the rotunda from the administration building, Brian and Kevin walked out of the administration building, “What do you mean the only one with them is Thomas, and he is outside by the car?” Kevin asked, as they rounded the building and quickly made their way across the lawn, “do any of them know you are there?”

 

 

No Sir, as far as they know, they both are on their own, what is the problem, I don’t sense any danger around the two,” Ray was really getting nervous and he could sense his partner's anxiety level had jumped as well.

 

 

You mean besides the fact that four days ago, there was an assassination attempt on all of them, or are we considering the fact they are here totally unguarded as far as the British think, without even knowing if all the people responsible have been caught,” Kevin was sarcastic in his reply, as they saw the building and were practically running now.

 

 

Ray sensed Earl’s shock set in, as he looked around the room and quickly made his way over to the two Prince's, “Andrew, Richard…Altare security, we need to leave, NOW.”

 

 

Thomas, leaning back against the limo watching the crowd, caught something out of the corner of his eye, two lads running his way. He was about to turn away, when he noticed a man in headmaster robes chasing after them with a cane in his hand, and by the look of things, the lads did not know he was chasing them. Paying closer attention, he thought he recognized the two and it took a moment before it clicked in his mind that it was two members of the Clan, running his way which meant something was up with the prince's. “This is Thomas at Eaton,” he whispered in to his radio, “I need back up, I repeat set condition red I need back up.”

 

Editors section:

 

 

 

 

 

RadioRanchers Musings: Thomas is not going to be in a good mood, once they get there, is he?

 

It looks as if there is a lot going on, and that headmaster is not in a very good mood either, the snobbish twit.

 

Let's see, now, Transporters and replicators, two very handy technologies to have available. I wonder what they can do with them, once they have them in hand, so to speak.

 

What is going to happen to the two apprentices that Aaron is going to help? Will they be alright?

 

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher

 

 

A/N”