Chapter 35





Aaron, where are you?” Kevin’s mental question intruded on his sleep and opening his eyes, Aaron looked up to the night sky and grinned, “In my large hammock near the hot springs with a luscious body on either side of me, want to join in for round four?” he sent a giggle and a loving caress.



Round four, are you trying to wear them out or something?” Kevin sent as he sat on Aaron’s bed and laughed at the image Aaron sent of a sleeping and exhausted Pete and Tommy on either side of him. “Is there a reason why all three of you are sleeping under the stars? That is besides the threat you uttered to Andrew and Tyler to lock them in a bedroom until they drained each other dry. Tyler, in the back of his mind, is thinking you are upset with him.”



Sending back an image of him wearing a sheepish expression, Aaron sighed, “Oops, I had hoped that I could nudge him and Andrew together for the night. I had already promised Tommy the two of us would be together at first and after talking with Tyler, I had hoped they would get too busy to remember that each of them wanted to try to drain me dry.”



Snuggling closer to his two lovers for the night, “Is there anyone else on my bed but you? If not can you step off to one side and let me borrow your eyes and I’ll port us back without waking these two.”



Jumping off the bed and pulling back the top sheet and blankets Kevin held back his giggle as Aaron holding onto Pete and Tommy appeared on top of the bed, with Aaron in the middle with a nice hard on pointing in the air. Not wanting to wake either of the two exhausted looking teens, well alright sleeping peacefully Kevin pathed, “Dear god I know for a fact you got some yesterday morning and now several hours ago, so good lord talk about stamina.”



Laughing mentally Aaron maneuvered to create some room in the bed, “Love, if those two are still awake, drop a hint in their ears to get here before I wake up and Tyler will see I’m not hiding from him, then crawl your ass in bed with us, so we can snuggle,” closing his eyes briefly, he opened them slightly as Kevin crawled back onto the bed pulling the covers up as he snuggled between Pete and Aaron, kissing Kevin, he snuggled up and all four were soon asleep.



Early the next morning, Aaron woke when he felt air movement near his face and reaching out with his senses he found Tyler not that far away. Rolling over in the direction he sensed Tyler was standing Aaron slowly opened his eyes to see that the disturbance he had felt was Tyler throwing the blanket over himself after pulling his chair over to block the path to the bathroom so he could curl up in it, glancing at the clock he quietly groaned, four thirty, another hour of sleep... of what could have been sleep.



Being very careful not to disturb any of his sleeping lovers, Aaron finally made it off the bed and silently walked over to the chair and knelt down next to it and looked Tyler in the eyes and whispered, “That not only will make you sore and uncomfortable,  you will barely be able to move in the morning, follow me.”



Standing up and moving around the chair leading towards his closet, Aaron glanced over his shoulder to see Tyler drag the chair to one side and rush to his side sleepily too tired to chuckle in amusement, Aaron led Tyler into the shower, touched the panel and programmed the shower for sore muscle relief and laughed when Tyler screeched out in surprise as the water hit him. Grabbing the soap, Aaron started to wash Tyler’s hair when the shower cycle paused; the jets stopped and instead filled the shower stall with hot steam.



Tyler, feeling his head being massaged and washed, leaned back into Aaron and was pleasantly surprised with how good it felt, “Were you hiding from us last night? We came looking for you twice and you were not here.”



Lifting Tyler’s arms so he could wash the underarm area, Aaron made his way down Tyler’s body, lathering him up before the timer hit zero, “Not hiding from you so much, more like seriously occupied and we moved from the hot springs to the hammock in between round two and round three.”



Soaping himself up, Aaron smiled as Tyler turned around in awe, “Three, round three? How many rounds did you guys do it before you came back?”



“Depends on how you want to count them I guess,” Aaron held his arms up as the timer hit zero and the jets blasted them from all sides, catching Tyler by surprise once more. Laughing, Aaron waited a moment before the shower cut off once more and the cyclone effect of the extreme warm dry air started to buffet them. Once the cycle was complete, Aaron opened the door and ushered Tyler towards the sink and started to brush his teeth after finding a spare toothbrush in the drawer and handing it over to Tyler.



Once clean and ready for the day, Aaron placed his communicator over his ear and strapped on his scanner and P.A.D.D. and placing his arm around Tyler’s shoulder, walked out of the closet and smiled at the sleeping trio before heading towards the upstairs kitchen for a quick glass of juice. Pouring a glass of juice for Tyler and handing it over, Aaron stood on the other side of the small counter and looked at him as he drank half the glass in one steady gulp before refilling it and asking, “So was your night with Andrew everything you had dreamed it could be?”



Setting his glass down on the counter, Tyler smiled at the memory, “Everything and more, he made me feel special and wanted, and we talked a lot in between, it was not all sex,” Tyler quickly added as he picked up his glass for another sip of juice, “This is good, what kind is it?”



“My own special blend,” looking through the glass front Aaron read his handwriting, “this one is a blend of five different tropical fruits; the predominant one in this blend is Pomegranate.”



“So why were you hunting us down last night, I would have thought you would be busy getting to know Andrew better?” Aaron asked, as he grabbed a bottle of the high energy drink out of the fridge, “before I forget, has any one warned you about eating or drinking anything out of red containers?”



Tilting his head as he looked at the bottle, Tyler thought about it, “Not that I remember, why?”



Reaching back into the freezer compartment Aaron pulled out the container with his donuts in them and opened the lid, “Each one of these donuts have as much food as you would normally eat in three days, all concentrated down into a convenient tasty treat, the high energy drinks probably have as many nutrients besides calories for a full day in them…they will make a non Alteran extremely sick, I think you already can guess our metabolisms are vastly different than yours.” Looking wistfully at the container as he started to put it back, Aaron thought what the hell and pulled one of the donuts out. Munching on it Aaron let the bliss of the calories hit him and held back groaning in pleasure.



Tyler was awed once more and then thinking about what Aaron was eating he turned slightly gray as the thought of a big breakfast after three days worth of food was sickening,  “Right, if it is wrapped in red don’t eat it, ever.”



Laughing, Aaron shook his head as he popped the last bite in his mouth and swallowed, “Not ever. Once you’re altered, then you can safely eat anything in red,” looking at Tyler as if examining him for a flaw, “that is if you want to join us as much as we want you to join.”



“That’s one of the things Andrew and I talked about last night, and Kevin showed me THE TALK so I know how things are supposed to work,” Tyler giggled before placing his glass in the sink and giving it a quick wash before placing it in the rack, “Did Thomas really get drunk after Pete was finished with his explanation to him?”



Laughing, Aaron pulled Tyler close so they could walk next to each other and put his arm back around his shoulder, “He sure did. Friedrich carried him out of the local pub outside the naval gates in Elswick. Had to let him sleep it off.”



“So what happens with me now, I mean did I get to be number four on your list?” Tyler asked shyly, as they entered Aaron’s office and he sat down logging into the terminal to check his mail.



Pulling Tyler around so he was sitting on one of his legs and then closing them, trapping his legs between his, “Yes, you’re number four, what did you and Andrew decide about having a son together?”



Leaning into Aaron’s chest, Tyler smiled, “You know it is very strange to be talking about having a son, after all, I still had three years until grads.”



Picking and choosing emails to open, Aaron smiled back down at Tyler who was absentmindedly twirling his fingers around his hard nipple, “Well, there are two ways to handle this, both of you wait a couple of years until you're both ready and you have a son then get altered, or you both create a son now and place him in stasis sleep before he is born, and then get altered. The advantage of option two is that you both become Alteran’s before Edward has his own sons.”



“This is way too weird,” Tyler looked towards the monitor and noticed the email about finances, and became interested in what he was seeing.



“Talk it over with Andrew later; after all, it is both of your decisions,” Aaron told him as he typed out the orders to convert a good portion of the income into gold bullion before going on to the next email.



A half hour later, a freshly scrubbed Kevin walked into the office and kissed Aaron, and to Tyler’s surprise, included him in the morning kiss routine before heading out to the gestalt point. Logging off, Aaron opened his legs letting Tyler up, and gave him a nudge so he could stand and they followed Kevin to the Clan Hall. Then Aaron walked around greeting everyone before it was time to start porting out for morning chores.



Tyler, spotting Andrew, drifted over to his side and joined his work group as Edward left Derrick and David’s side to join with Aaron who was going to cover for Tommy this morning so he could fix breakfast.



“Good morning Edward, are you ready to get to work?” Aaron smiled as he took Edward's hand and ported them to the aquaculture facility where they met Tommy’s crew, and Edward jumped in with the feeding duties while Aaron oversaw operations and scheduled the harvesting of several tanks before it was time for them to move to the sea farm to feed the stock there.



Finishing up the chores, Aaron went round to give all of Tommy’s crew the hugs they wanted, before they were happy and lined up to port away. Grabbing onto Edward, he ported them to the Clan Hall and after a quick wash, they made their way through the line. Aaron grabbed some sausage and waffles with his scrambled eggs, smiled at the open mouthed shock that Tyler sent his way and turned back to his plate to enjoy breakfast.



The whispered conversation eventually made the rounds of the table and Kevin, along with Pete and Tim picked up their plates, plopped them down across from Aaron and glared at him, “What?” he questioned, fork halfway to his mouth.



“No more skipping meals, you’re still too skinny,” Tim scolded him, as Aaron shrugged and continued eating. “It’s not like I’m not eating, you know,” he thought he should point out some aspect in his defense.”



“No nookie on days you skip meals,” Mark called out from across the room, and everyone laughed at Aaron’s horrified expression.



Shoji in a bold move for him, due to his upbringing, filled another plate full of food, came up behind Aaron and transferred it over to his plate and leaned over whispering in his ear, “We are having lo-mien with lunch,” he left the table after Aaron perked up with a smile on his face.



On his way back, he stopped by Brian’s place and handed over a chip, “Would you please add these vegetables to your gardens, they will help with my lunch preparations and his Majesty's health.”



Looking up and seeing that almost everyone was done Aaron stood causing the trio of watchdogs to glare, “If I could have your attention before we break up, as soon as I finish breakfast there will be a Clan Meeting in my common room. So for our honorary members I must apologize for asking you to stay out here until we are finished. The rest of you, please make your way to the common room and as soon as my minders agree that I’ve eaten enough for five, I’ll join you.” Aaron sat back down and ignored the glares, before leaning forward, “I appreciate you caring, guys, but I don’t think I am going to get any fatter than I am now, no matter how hard you try to stuff me, it’s not going to happen.”



Standing up, after spearing his last sausage link, Aaron went into the kitchen to wash his plate and glass; he smiled at the six people being excluded from the talks and walked with his concerned nannies towards the Clan common room.



“What do you mean when you say you will never get any fatter than you are now?” Kevin wanted to know; maybe they were being too harsh on Aaron.



“What you see is what you get, I will never get more than two percent of body fat, but more like one percent, my DNA is designed that way,” Aaron stopped when they passed through the entry and flipped a hidden switch erecting a bright red energy field across the doorway. Counting heads from the top of the balcony as he looked down into the common room he had to smile before making his way to the steps so he could make his way to the chair someone had pulled over near his bedroom door, and he sat down.



“What we are going to be talking about probably would be considered way past Clan Seal, we are discussing things that will find their way to the Clan Secrets files.” Seeing the serious looks on everyone's faces, even Kenny the prankster, Aaron smiled, “Before we get to the problem Pete and Tommy discovered yesterday…” Aaron trailed off as he noticed Damien rubbing his leg and then wince in pain and rub his temple.



Pulling out his scanner before he had realized it, Aaron had it pointed at Damien and halfway across the room before his brain caught up with the fact he stood up, “How long have you been in pain, Damien?”



“Off and on for a couple of days now,” Damien looked up as he watched the scanner move down his body and saw Fred standing next to Aaron watching the readings closely. “I thought I overdid it or something.”



Confused at the readings, Aaron did the data dump to Damien’s records before turning the scanner on Kenny for comparison; “Hey, I’m not hurting,” Kenny was scared, as Aaron frowned very rarely when dealing with them.



Patting Kenny’s knee reassuringly he nodded towards Doug and Pat and caught Fred’s scanner moving over Doug before he changed some settings, after doing a dump to Kenny’s file and pointed it at the medallion. There Aaron let his expression show his surprise, “Well shit, no one ever said the medallions could do that.”



“Do what?” the concern was evident in David’s voice, as he moved closer to his brother.



“Alter a person to make them Alteran,” Aaron looked at Fred who nodded his head, “They’re the same as Kenny, forty percent Alteran.”



Porting one of the high energy drinks to him, Aaron caught it and handed it to Damien who looked at it like a snake about to strike, “Don’t worry Damien, it’s safe for you to drink now.” Sitting down so he was facing Damien, he motioned for him to drink up, “Trust me, it will help with the pain and soreness, it seems that besides identifying you as Clan, those medallions do one extra thing the archives never mentioned.”



Smiling when Damien took a tentative sip and smiled before gulping it greedily, “Damien’s DNA has been altered slowly, and he is starting puberty, well at least the first stage so far. I had done a little bit of research on the medallions before handing them out, as I wanted to make sure they were safe for those that had not gone through the alterations process yet.” Glancing back at Kevin, “This ties in with your curiosity yesterday about how I knew the Shaolin was not a descendant of Clan Stranton, all Clan members DNA are altered slightly away from the Alteran norm so that our technology will respond to you without fail, a just in case failsafe.”



Smiling at Damien who looked confused and happy, alternating between the two, ”Damien here was closest to entering puberty of the four non altered Clan members, and when I gave them the symbol of the Clan to wear, I assumed they would stay dormant until they had undergone alteration when they reached full puberty…I was wrong. The programming in the medallions decided to alter their DNA to Alteran slowly, so that it could complete its primary programming of inserting the Clan Stranton alteration sequences into their DNA.”



“I’m sorry you four, I never even thought the matrix programming in the medallions had that type of fuzzy logic, or I would have asked you before putting the medallions on each of you,” pointing his finger at Damien. “Damien here is entering puberty, so his metabolism is speeding up which let the medallion increase the alterations to an accelerated level, right now he is fully Alteran and his body is preparing itself to go to the next stage of puberty and unfortunately, you will experience breakthrough sickness in truth, as if you were one of our children born as Alteran.”



“Does this mean I can get off restriction on bed partners now?” Damien smiled, as he looked slyly at his future lovers who all laughed.



“Well, I can see you’re not all that bothered by this,” Aaron laughed, as he stood up and went back to his chair and sat down as he considered the request, “Six inches if it does not hurt,” he told Damien to his huge smile, as he sat down. “But the downside is, you will be the first to experience breakthrough sickness. You can drink those energy drinks when you feel sore or in pain as that is the signal your body is telling you it is seriously lacking nutrients and is very unhappy.”



Letting his eyes fall on the other three he smiled, “Which means you three that you should pay attention to how Damien handles the next few months, as when you hit puberty, you will be going through the same thing.” And glancing around the room to the smiles and congratulations from the older members of the Clan, “And it means I can no longer offer the medallion to Tyler like I had planned, unless he and Andrew decide to make a baby now and place it in cryo stasis, otherwise he would be DNA wise Alteran by the time they got around to making babies…so no mentions of this, ever. I will amend the clan secrets archive about this, and place a notation in the general database when the medallions are issued in the future, so they know to seek out someone who can look the answer up for them.”



Laughing at Damien who was acting like it was his birthday, Aaron pulled out his P.A.D.D. and brought up Damien’s file, his actual birthday is in thirteen days and he sent that to the rest of the Clan by email so they had time to properly plan.



“As I started to say, before we got a huge welcomed surprise,” Aaron grinned, “Tyler will be joining the Clan and will be the other father of Andrew’s son whenever the two come to an agreement to get around to using Pete’s most luscious female.” Aaron added his laughter to the others as there were catcalls trying to get Pete to blush.



Settling back in his chair, Aaron got serious, which caused the others to settle down quickly, “I’ll let Tommy and Pete explain the problem before we discuss it, I will take your wishes under advisement, but the decision is still mine to make. I’ll listen as you all try to cover all the angles as I think about what to do.”



Tommy gave Aaron an unreadable look before glancing at his lovers, “One of my crew in an offhand comment wondered if we used fencing like they do worldwide when building net pens out in the ocean, or if we have some nifty new toy for them to play with. That got me thinking and looking through the system as I never gave it much thought; I assumed, like Aaron, we would just use the tanks and such that we had built on the island. But after thinking about it and some of the benefits of creating net pens over the trench, where the spare feed and waste would be swept away and diluted appropriately into the surrounding system.” Tommy smiled, “I’m getting off-track here, let’s leave it that his comment made me go looking for a solution and I found one. It was after pulling up the plans for the shield generators and finding that the settings could be modified to keep in or out certain DNA, to be able to keep something in or out, I thought I had the perfect solution.”



Frowning, Tommy looked at Pete, “Unfortunately, after inputting the plans into the recyclers and automation lines, I found the problem…it will be a little over a year before there is a line free to build the altered shield generators and they start to roll off the assembly line, we’ve maxed out our production capabilities and the one year estimate is if we don’t add any other project to the construction yards.” Glancing around the room and seeing the concern on most of their faces, though Aaron’s showed nothing, Tommy pointed to Pete, “I called Pete and asked him if he could build one of the replicators like in his favorite SCIFI show, a big one, I’ll let him take over now.”



“Tommy’s right; we are maxed out. Sure we can move some of the new work to the asteroid belt assemblers and ferry the finished products back to Earth, the problem is, those lines are set up for ship building.“ Pete sighed as he stood up and paced, “We could use the assemblers on Centauri, but then we have the issue of not being ready to open the planet yet and then transport of the finished product back here.”



“Replicators are the way to go…the only problem is, it would take a year to build one and then I’m not sure exactly yet how the damn things work, for sure,” Pete fell back into the couch he had been sitting on.



“Why so long to build one?” Derrick asked, as he looked over to Aaron for direction and found he was closed off, thinking, it looked like.



“Because I have to build the tools that will build the tools that can build the components, and I am going to run into the same problem Tommy did, a free assembly line.” Pete sighed before smiling, “Though once we get one built, it will be better and more powerful than the ones they use. Because when it comes to system components we are far ahead of them, they use something they call an Isolinear chip, but theirs is so slow and the size of an oversized credit card. Compared to the ones we have that are the size of our thumbnail which are also faster and more powerful.”



“Can’t we just steal one from the other dimension or at least the parts?” Kenny asked, as he looked at Pete, “if you had the parts, could you put one together and then make a new one by using the one we took, or we could give it back after building ours, so it’s not really stealing, more like borrowing.”



Aaron had been waiting for someone to suggest this, and wondered if anyone would think to shoot it down, but he never thought about borrowing one long enough to build their own, listening to the conversation, vaguely he thought of the possibilities and drawbacks.



“Not the best way to be neighbors, stealing something from them, other than knowledge that is,” Kevin grinned as he looked at Pete, “borrowing it on the other hand. How long would it take for you to get all the components, if you borrowed one of theirs, could you do it in a few hours and then send it back so they never knew it had been used?”



Aaron turned to Pete to listen to his answer, as that might very well affect his decision which was hovering on either side of the wire right now.



Pulling his P.A.D.D. out of his pouch, he linked it to the monitor, using it like a terminal he brought up schematics for the replicator and transporter system then split the screen and pulled up the emergency files for replicating a replicator in a disaster scenario.



“Borrowing something like this with someone's permission is all well and good, but we are doing this without their permission, so I think if we go through with this, we need to compensate them in some way for the use, otherwise it is no better than stealing in my mind.” Mark leaned forward and caught everyone’s eye, after all, he was the one most experienced with people borrowing for their own use, things that did not belong to them.



“But what could we offer them in trade? We know next to nothing about them and we could make things really bad, if we gave them the wrong technology or advanced them too far in advance of where they are now.” David added as he looked around for support.



“Like a cure for one of the diseases that is affecting their people,” Fred leaned forward brows knitted as he was thinking, “I probably could pick out one that would be a godsend to them, and at the same time, target youth.”



“Almost every one of our medical cures rely on Nanite technology Fred, that would be a problem right there,” Aaron spoke for the first time, watching Fred carefully as he formulated his reply.



“But if they are truly an advanced dimension, they already have nanites, they just don’t know how to program them like we do, and we could send them one of the containment cartridges you designed to alleviate…” Fred trailed off as he stared into Aaron’s eyes. “If they have AIDS like they still do outside the Kingdom, your cartridges would be perfect. We could give them enough for half a million doses. And if they have the Nanite technology, they should be able to figure out on their own how to program nanites for themselves.”



“I would be more comfortable if they could not find out how to program nanites; what if they were not accepting of gays and used what we gave them to wipe them out?” Brian looked at Fred, “would you like to know we were responsible for genocide?”



“Alright, so if medical is out, how about just paying them with gold or some other precious metal and let them buy resources they can use to do what they need to.” Kevin sat back, this is the one he was most comfortable with. “That way we’re still paying them, but not advancing them, even if by accident.”



Fred stopped digging through the system for something medical that would be useful and sat back frowning, “As much as I would like to go with my plan that might be best. If they did not have nanites, my plan would be a benefit…what am I saying? My plan would give one person or government the power of life and death over others, not cool.”



“Do they even use gold or precious metals for currency, how about jewels if they don’t?” Pat asked as he smiled at Damien, happy for his friend and the possibilities they had agreed on if one of them was removed from restriction, he licked his lips in anticipation.



Pete looked up, now that he had an answer, “They are a curious mix of present day technology like that outside our Kingdom and technology like that from several SCIFI shows we’ve all watched; in their dimension, the Kathat race initiated first contact early, and they are not like the Earth Confederation in the movies or books, more practical.” Tilting his head to the side as he thought back to what he read, “They do still use gold as currency, so we could drop off a couple of bars for four hours worth of work…that’s how long we would have to borrow the system for.”



Tapping the screen a few times, he stood up and moved to the monitor, “Two things would have to happen, we would have to shunt our power source to their system, so they would not know something was up and I think it could be done easily. And the second is, we have to use and create the parts over there, and bring them to us, the whole thing is too big to move, or at least the one that is the most advanced, and the one I have been studying.” Pete smiled as he winked at Tim, “I tapped into the R and D department of their space academy and have been downloading their whole tech base, including ship designs.”



Tim laughed and pointed his finger accusingly at Pete, “I just knew you couldn’t stand not having access to space ships.”



Laughing after coming to a decision, Aaron looked at Pete, “You do know that we, with our gifts, out match anything their piddling little space warping engines can do, don’t you?” seeing the look on Pete’s face, he twisted the pun, “Of course if you would rather spend a week being bored to death traveling between planets when you could be there in a blink of the eye, well I think I have a Lego set around here somewhere you can play with.”



After Pete surrendered gracefully, Aaron smiled and looked at him, “Is there anything we need to know about this place and the people that man it before borrowing their equipment?”



Secretly screaming "yes!!!!" and jumping up and down in glee, Pete blanked the monitor and put his P.A.D.D. back in its holster, “Well, it is fully functional but the place the replicator has been installed in is not up and running fully yet, it’s in something that when finished and turned over to the Confederation will be turned into a research hospital for kids, and right now they are about a week from opening, they had planned to be open and ready for business but had to close for a problem.” Looking over at Aaron, Pete smiled, “this is perfect timing for us really, no one is supposed to be around while some work is done to the power source except maybe a few roaming patrols, afterwards, they will be bringing it online for good and it will be a lot more difficult to sneak the time to use it between the times they do.”



“How long would it take you to modify the…no, it would be safer if we just built theirs here, and then modified the plans and built a new more advanced one,” Aaron changed in midstream, and seeing the confusion on Pete’s face, “just in case we would be interrupted in mid process, nothing of an advanced design would be available for their study. They would just assume something went wrong and do a check through to see what happened before forgetting about it, if a part would appear there, if we had to leave in mid cycle.”



“So we are definitely doing this, then?” David asked, as he looked around the room.



“I think so, as long as we are only replicating the parts, and we pay them for the use, even though they never knew we used it. I can’t see where there are any risks…can any of you?” Aaron asked as he looked around the room.



After everyone told him no, he chuckled at Pete’s enthusiasm, “When do we get to do this?”



Smirking, Aaron glanced at him and smirked until he paled before laughing, “Get to bed early; we’re going to do this around two in the morning, less of a chance of them needing or noticing the equipment being used, then.”



“Grinning, Pete looked at everyone present and wiggled his eyebrows, “Well, after dinner everyone can just help tire me out, so I can go to sleep early then,” he giggled as he ran up the stairs out of reach, only to stop at the top of the steps and sit down, “Um…where are we going to do this at, it’s not like it would be safe to do it in the Core.”



Looking away and his smile disappearing Aaron stared at the wall, “There is a room deep inside the mountain base that has everything needed to make a dimensional rift, I’ll have the Core prepare it for use. It is totally separate from the Kingdom, being in the if something goes wrong...we’ll just eject it and let pressure do the rest.”



Pete got up and went over to Aaron then knelt in front of his chair and placed a hand on his thigh, trying to wordlessly offer comfort, when Aaron turned around, he had a small tired smile on his face and he patted Pete on the head, “Nice doggy,” before breaking out in laughter at Pete’s incredulous expression.



Laughing hard, Aaron pulled Pete up into his lap and hugged him, “I couldn’t resist your puppy dog eyes,” he got out between bouts of laughter.



“Alrighty…we’ve ignored the others and held up in here long enough, thus ends this session of the Clan Stranton meeting and the two incidents will be added to the secret Clan archives for future generations to learn from.” Aaron stood up and motioned for Damien to come close.



Kissing Damien and picking his feet up off the floor, Aaron laughed as he looked into Damien’s eyes, “Now, what is this about a pact to feed your fellow hunters?” he laughed at Damien’s blush before he set his feet on the floor and spotted Kenny slinking off towards the steps. Giving Damien one last kiss, Aaron shot out and around him, chasing a giggling and screaming Kenny up the stairs.



Glancing at the clock, he had an hour and a half before lunch so deciding to see what was going on in the city, Aaron ported down near the med bay and started to walk around, greeting people as he passed them in the street. Which, of course, was easier said than done, as everyone wanted to chat with him, even if only for a minute, to let him know how happy they were now. A lot of the younger ones wanted to show him their placement testing scores, proud of what they had accomplished, and Aaron paid attention and made sure to congratulate and encourage each and every one of them as they smiled at him. Even the older teens got in on the hugs as they were infected by the excitement of the younger guys as they were praised for doing well, where their parents had mostly ignored them.



Aaron smiled at one of the teens who had missed the party the other night because they were in the bio-tubes, “Not like I’m whining or anything. But everyone had a cookout while we were being altered in the bio-tubes, and I was wondering if… I was wondering if we could have one too.”



Pulling the teen down to his lap, causing him to blush and stiffen up before relaxing when he did not find his ass in the air to be beaten, Aaron hugged him close and releasing him when he relaxed, “You just gave yourself a job. How about tomorrow starting at three? That gives everyone a chance to get ready and you're in charge of making sure everyone knows about it?”



“ME…?” the teen squeaked in fear, before relaxing after Aaron grinned and nodded.



“Post a message to the system, and have it sent to everyone; that should do it. Then send a message to Scott Stewarts, telling him about the cookout and ask him to suggest something to cook. We can make this an every Sunday thing, if all of you want, I’ll even move my hammock over, so I can nap,” Aaron giggled before whispering, “like that is likely to happen.” Getting a hard hug back, the teen bounced up off Aaron’s lap and rushed towards the dining hall and the terminal over on the side wall, for those wanting to work and snack.



“That was a wonderful thing to do, your Majesty; the way you care for these kids is unbelievable,” one of the Marine recruits told him as he sat down across from Aaron after the teens and younger kids left to go plan the party.



Aaron tilted his head to look at the young man and smiled at the obvious Marine crew cut the guy was sporting and glanced down and saw the limiter on the young man’s wrist. “Our mandate is to get as many of the gay teens and kids off the street and on the way to a better life. Taking time out to host and cook for a party lets each of them know they are valued and cared for. It's nothing, if it makes them feel valued, plus it gives me an excuse to have a day off to relax, they’ll start it and I’ll show up around four thirty or five o clock like the last one, and we’ll have a lot of fun.”



Seeing that his Majesty was looking at him curiously, as if trying to place him, Mike smiled, “Mike Carlton, your Majesty, former U.S. Staff Sergeant in the Marines; I was released yesterday,” Mike lifted his wrist and jiggled the limiter. “Not sure yet where I’ll be assigned, but I’ll get to chose that tomorrow, I guess.”



“As long as you chose something you will be happy doing and find rewarding, remember that,” Aaron pointed out with a smile as he noticed the time and stood up, “I think you will enjoy wearing our dress blacks, they will remind you of your former uniform,” Aaron grinned as he reached over and held out his hand for the Staff Sergeant to shake. Moving away from the table, Aaron stopped and glanced back over his shoulder, “out of curiosity, what do you think about science fiction?”



Mike laughed as he swept his arm around the street, “You mean like all of this,” he grinned, “let’s just say I am an old friend with some of the better space opera’s.”



Grinning, Aaron started to walk away, “When you go in for assignment tomorrow, tell them you want to hear about the Reliant project.” Once past the park, Aaron entered the med bay and stopped to check in with Gordon and get a face to face update.



During supper that night, Aaron had to hold his laughter as Pete was bouncing around from table to table in his excitement. Looking back at his plate of food for the next bit of stir fry, Aaron came face to face with Andrew and Tyler sitting across from him, “Hello you two, something I can do for you,” he asked with a smile, as he used his chopsticks to pick up some of the stir fry.



Glancing at Tyler for support, Andrew looked back to Aaron, “Edward spent all of last weekend with you in bed, alone and with other Clan members that joined you in bed over the weekend. I had hoped this weekend would be my turn, and I…we could not find you last night as you came home late and we were already asleep,” Andrew accused, the last with a finger shaking Aaron’s way.



Hiding his smile behind filling his mouth with some stir fry, Aaron used the empty chop sticks as pointers and pointed them at Andrew, “I was not aware that you three were taking turns.”



Tyler decided to try to salvage the situation, “If one wanted to spend the night with you, sharing each other intimately, what would we have to do?”



“Ask,” Aaron looked at him with a smile, “That is, before anyone else does or show up after midnight when the rules go out the window. Mostly people show up in the middle of the night to sleep if they want a turn come morning time, and they missed out the night before.”



Tyler looked at Andrew, and as he turned back to ask, Andrew beat him to it, “We want to spend the night having sex and all that it entails, the two of us. I want you inside me, to cum deep inside me while you show me pleasure. And Tyler wants you to not only be the first to suck him off, but to finish what you started yesterday and cum deep inside him too.”



Tyler grinned and pointed to Andrew, “He speaks for me in this, and I really want this to happen.”



Seeing the amused expressions from around the dining area, Aaron agreed, “As long as both of you understand that tonight I have to leave at eleven for a project that needs to be completed, you both can show up at eight in my bedroom and I will do my best to see to it I give you what you want.” Aaron smiled before leaning across the table, “And if both of you happen to be asleep in my bed when the project, if the project finishes early…well there is no reason why I can’t just have my wicked way with both of you once more before falling asleep, now is there?”



Grinning, Andrew shook his head no, before grabbing Tyler and rushing off back to their seats while Aaron chuckled in amusement as Edward sat down and asked, “Out of curiosity, how come you’re sitting eating alone tonight?”



“Since I didn’t cook tonight, no one had a chance to stop by for their one on one talks if they needed anything, so by sitting here alone, it serves the same purpose, and as you’ve just seen those who would have searched for me in the kitchen to talk about whatever, have found time to pop over to my table to chat over what’s on their mind.” Aaron shrugged before continuing to eat, waiting for Edward to bring up what he had on his mind.



Before the silence got to too long and someone else came over, Edward looked at Aaron, “I spent all of today talking with people to go over different things I have been thinking about all week, now I need to sit down with you and go over what I’ve come up with as ways for you to invest some of your money in our economy.” Blushing with how forthright he was being, he glanced away to see Derrick and Tim grinning at him, which only caused the blush to deepen and travel down past his face.



“You’re planning on being at the U.N. on Tuesday with your grandmother right?” Aaron decided he was full, “don’t be embarrassed for seeing an opportunity of helping your people and taking it, if I was in the kitchen you would not have hesitated would you have? We can meet sometime after I finish with those idiots.”



Nodding his head but staying silent as he watched Aaron, Edward finally got the courage up to ask, “Speaking of Tuesday, if it is not a secret, um…why are you meeting with the U.N.? I mean in the past it has been very clear that your Kingdom was to be left alone, so what have they done that has every one of you angry when it is mentioned?”



Eyes flashing in anger that he controlled after seeing Edward sit back trying to get away from him, Aaron sighed, “You mean besides the demands that I sign all these accords and abide by their laws and courts. Or the fact they are demanding money and technology that they think should be shared because they say so, or how about the fact they are demanding to know troop strengths and answers to questions they have no business asking in the first place.” Aaron looked away to take a deep breath, “I’m sorry Edward, it’s not you, but those fools, well they are going to be in for a rude awakening come Tuesday when I get finished with them, all those who have not signed the treaty will sign it, or else.”



Glancing back at Edward, “Suffice it to say that Tuesday will be a day that will be more than memorable for a lot of people and because of the Asian delegations and how quickly the Shaolin have spread the word, I think you are in for a treat with some pretty nifty illusions, just remember when it seems I morph into some strange alien creature, it is an illusion,” Aaron smiled.



“Why would you do something like that, I mean how is that going to help keep people thinking you’re not aliens?” Edward was curious and leaned forward.



Laughing, Aaron winked at him, “Because I plan on showing up to that meeting in a full combat suit and ceremonial over robe designed to inspire fear in our enemies, which is why the Asians call us dragon. It’s not because of the Clan crest, well not really.” Seeing he had thoroughly confused Edward, “Trust me, it is easier to see it than explain it, but you should get some enjoyment out of it anyways.”



“O…kay, if you say so. Are you planning on warning grandmother before hand?” Edward asked as he stood up to go back to his talk with Derrick.



“I just did, through you,” Aaron pointed out, as he also stood up and picked up his plate and glass, so they could be washed.



Catching Friedrich’s eye and giving a head nod towards the path, Aaron walked down it towards the hot springs, out of hearing of everyone else and waited for Friedrich to follow him. Once Friedrich joined him, he sighed and looked at Friedrich, “I am going to ask you to do something I swore to myself never to ask you, as relying on precognition to base decisions on is not only foolish, but reckless. Being around the Clan, you should be aware by now of the term Clan Seal and what it means. There is one more level you have never heard of, and I am not even going to go there. A decision was made and even as I made it, I‘m second guessing it because of the other Aaron’s memories of something similar, but where they were searching without knowing what they were looking at, we do.”



Glancing away long enough to take a deep breath, “Right, this is not making any sense and it does not matter,” Aaron steeled his expression, “I want you to turn off your limiter…all the way off and I am going to touch you thinking about my decision, and I need to know if you see anything.”



Deciding that whatever it was must be extremely important, Friedrich lifted his arm in front of his chest and touched the jeweled limiter in a certain specific order that turned it off, “I’m ready, your Majesty,” and held out his hand for Aaron to hold.



Hesitating, even after asking, Aaron looked into Friedrich’s eyes, “Are you sure? Really sure, I know most of the time this is not pleasant, and I don’t want to cause you pain on purpose.”



Dropping his voice almost to a whisper, “Aaron, if this is worrying you to the degree you broke down to ask me to do this, then it must be vitally important, and I am willing to deal with a little pain,” Friedrich hoped he conveyed how sincere he was.



Taking a deep breath and concentrating really hard on his decision, Aaron reached out and hesitating above Friedrich’s hand as he stared at him, finally he grabbed the hand. Cracking an eye open when he did not hear anything, Aaron opened them both wide at the quizzical expression on Friedrich’s face, after several minutes, Friedrich reached over and activated the limiter to its previous setting and looked at Aaron quizzically again.



“At the rate the Clan is growing, you’re going to collapse from exhaustion servicing all these horny guys,” Friedrich looked at Aaron with a funny expression on his face before adding to the confusion, “Nothing painful happened, so whatever you’re planning is not a danger to our people, but tell Xon that he is loved and wanted, no matter what when he joins the Clan,” before he walked away leaving Aaron standing there looking at his retreating back.



And that is why one should never rely on precognition, Aaron thought, as he distractedly made his way back to the house to await Andrew and Tyler.



Gazing down at Andrew and Tyler who were sound asleep, Aaron wondered where the fabled energy of youth was. Really, you would think that they would have more stamina then a measly three hours. Chuckling, he grabbed a quick shower before porting down to the entry chamber outside the core, waiting until the system verified him, he ran over in his mind once more the cryptic precog that Friedrich had given, who or what was a Xon and why would they be joining his lovers and Clan.



Seeing Pete lying back on one of the recliners, Aaron was about to say something when he noticed he was asleep, that might not be a bad idea he thought, as he made himself comfortable on the recliner, “Identify and Verify…” The white light came down to scan his DNA as expected and the voice that was the Core spoke.



“Identity confirmed…Aaron Stranton…Prime, Clan Stranton…King of the Alteran Empire and the known sixty four worlds…”



Time to get answers, Aaron thought; “Query…Expand reasoning behind Title of King of Alteran Empire and sixty four known worlds.”



Pete opened his eyes at hearing voices and rolled over this should be good for quite a few laughs he thought, as Aaron had the most expressive face.



“Core directive 00195…search out and secure habitable worlds for Alteran colonization…core directive 10011 all worlds outside of Earth space fall under Alteran rule…”



Aaron looked gob smacked and glanced open mouthed towards the giggling from the next recliner, “I thought you were asleep, did I wake you?”



“Not really, I had just closed my eyes when you came in,” smirking in the dim light, Pete picked his head up to get a better vantage point to look at Aaron, “So, you're Emperor-ish sir, what do you plan to do with all your new worlds?”



“I have no fucking clue and I’m almost afraid to ask about the worlds the system skipped because they were unfavorable, including sentient life,” Aaron closed his eyes and rubbed his face with his hand. “No, I do know what I am going to do with one of them at least, It will be the new home for the Shaolin, it will take them at least a month to pack everything carefully, so I have time to pick out the right one and send the assemblers to get housing and a temple set up, after all, it can’t take all that long to set up for a couple of hundred people,” he was relying on the memory provided by his other self, but it couldn’t be that far off could it, he would have to sit down with the Elder Shaolin soon to find out for sure.



“How long will it take you to upload the specifications for the parts, once we connect?” Aaron wanted to know, as he was thinking about starting early so they could get some sleep.



“The file is ready to go and I set it to feed the specifications only one part in advance of the part being replicated. That way if something goes wrong, there is not a huge file of parts being created in the queue if we disconnect.” Laying back on the recliner, Pete looked up at the ceiling. “Also, I was able to shorten the list after glancing through the manual. I think we can use our computer systems to run the replication system and the simulation that I finished before you came in showed that it will work; so it drops the time needed to be connected to that world to two hours.”



“Better all the time, the risk drops by fifty percent, which is a good thing to my mind. So let’s bring this world up, so I can take a look around while you make the connections for power and upload your files,” Aaron smiled as he got up off the couch, confusing Pete.



Pete looked lost for a moment, “Why are you getting up, don’t we have to control everything from here?”



“I suppose we could, but what we are getting here is a feed from the lab where the actual connection is taking place. I think I would be more comfortable being in the actual lab, not controlling things through an interface that could conceivably fail.” Aaron gestured for Pete to stand up as a door slid open on the opposite wall to the entry.



Puzzled, Pete followed Aaron into a small room where a small torpedo looking vehicle was nestled in a tube with the hatch open. Watching Aaron get in first and spread his legs, he smiled as he saw Aaron adjust himself so he would not get smashed and quickly climbed in the torpedo and snuggled back into Aaron from the front as the hatch closed and sealed.



“I never did ask if you liked roller coasters.” Aaron grinned, as he whispered in Pete’s ear as the now sealed vehicle shot down the tube after Aaron inputted a destination into the on-board computer.



Eyes wide in anticipation, Pete nodded, “Oh hell yes, its right there, two spots behind sex on my list of most favorite things.”



Laughing, Aaron pulled Pete back into his chest, “I’m not going to ask.”




Two minutes later, the vehicle slowed to a stop and as the barrier in front of them opened up, Pete craned his head back and saw another one drop down behind them. So far, the trip while fast could not be compared to a roller coaster, so he was eager to see what happened next, which happened to be the tube flooding with water and a blue shield snapping into place around the torpedo shaped vehicle.



“Well, here we go,” warned Aaron, as the vehicle started forward again and suddenly dropped straight down nose first. Wiggling his finger in his ear to clear out Pete’s shout of glee, he joined in Pete’s laughter as the shuttle rode the tube track up and around the curves and dips as it traveled down into the trench.



Fifteen minutes later, they shot into an opening in the trench wall and started to slow down until they stopped and in a reverse process of when they stopped before leaving the city, the tube was flooded with air pushing the water out before they continued on for another minute then finally, they stopped and the hatch unsealed and lifted.



Pete jumped out of the vehicle all excited from the trip and turned towards Aaron who was just getting out. “Well, that was a lot of fun, and I wouldn’t want to miss it, being a big coaster freak, but why didn’t we just port over?”



Pointing to the door in front of them, Aaron initiated the DNA scan so the door would open, “Because you can’t port into or out of the lab, a security feature, in case something would happen, though we can port out of the arrival room just not into it.”



Walking through the door, Pete craned his neck as he looked around the huge room, “How are we going to get everything out of here then, once we bring it over, that is.”



“There is a way to drop the shield so everything can be ported out, but it needs three Clan members cleared for Core access to DNA unlock the shield, we’ll do that tomorrow, after the beach party.” Aaron walked to the control console and brought it out of remote standby as he sat down in the chair and looked to the screen. Pointing to the empty chair he grinned, “It’s your show, for the most part, so dial us into this dimension and let’s take a look around.”



Grinning, Pete almost bounced out of the seat as he jumped in it and let his hands fly across the touch pads of the terminal as he modulated the frequency to the right dimension.



Glancing at the dimensional frequency, “Well, I don’t think we have much to worry about, this wave form is so far out of balance that anything living that comes through will not survive long in our dimension, not without the help of a stabilizer, so we should be pretty safe.” Aaron glanced around the room on the monitor before bringing to life one of the SE114’s and sending it through the rift that formed in the circular room two steps below their station. “Area looks clear, Pete, go ahead and create the power shunt to their system while I take a look around.”



Opening his eyes as his scanner beeped a warning note; Xon sat up, pulled the scanner over and stared at the readings. The wave form that matched his perfectly had appeared once more, this time it was in the transporter room on the tenth floor, the one modified to act as a replicator, slipping into his shoes; he carefully slipped past the roaming security patrol and started up the stairs, eyes glued to the scanner.



Standing outside the transporter room, Xon looked at the scanner once more and examined the wave-form, the signal was stronger and another power source was evident and being picked up by his scanner.



“Excuse me, but this is a restricted area, I’m going to have to ask that you identify yourself,” one of the roving patrols had come across Xon.



Coming to a logical decision, Xon turned off his scanner and pulled out his ID, “I am Xon of Kathat, Security Elder for the Kathat Ruling Council.” Xon handed over his ID that showed a nova level clearance. “I must order you to evacuate the tenth floor immediately and keep all persons from entering it for the next three point seven hours, my orders have the authority of the Ruling Council behind them and can only be overruled by the Ruling Council directly, Ensign.”



Handing back the ID, the ensign knew he was caught between two conflicting sets of orders and tried to find a middle ground, “If you will hold on one moment Security Elder Xon, while I confer with my superiors to get permission.”



Xon turned and faced the ensign, “There is no further authorization needed, this is a Kathat Facility…as such, as the ranking Elder here my commands can NOT be questioned; you have your orders Ensign. Carry them out.” Xon turned away and turned the scanner back on; all thoughts of the ensign leaving his mind before he walked into the transporter room, the doors closing behind him automatically. “So the way home is stable and the rift is on the transport / replicator pad.”



Aaron froze as someone walked into the room muttering about the way home being stable as he lifted a scanning device towards the rift, looking at Pete, who was rapidly looking the control settings over, “Can this pile of junk tell me why no alarms are going off right now as that…” he pointed to the monitor of the teen walking towards the rift, “Is definitely a life form that should have set off the alarms.”



“But, it is working. It recorded the guard outside the room a minute ago, and him walking away,” Pete sounded frustrated as he looked back up at the screen, “It should be registering him,” he threw his finger towards the screen as if accusing the teen of being at fault.



Standing outside the range of the transporter pad, Xon noticed the components being created and sent through the rift, they seemed to be vital for the creation of either a replicator or transporter system, glancing over his shoulder, or the combined system like this one. “I am called Xon and I am not a native to this dimension, and my scanner indicates this rift is of the right frequency as my home dimension, are you able to communicate with me?” Xon spoke to the rift, wondering if he could be heard or even understood, if all else failed he was prepared to jump into the rift the moment his scanner indicated it was starting to lose stability.



Pete looked at Aaron for direction after hearing the teen’s words and rapidly resetting the scanner settings before going back to stare at Aaron who was looking back and forth between the console and the screen, when suddenly the system came online and showed the intruder.



“Pete, what did you just do so he showed up on our system scans?” Aaron said, very slowly, not taking his eyes off the screen.



Swallowing the bile taste from Aaron’s earlier words, he whispered, “I added Alteran DNA to the scan.”



Aaron’s stomach plunged, and he felt sick as he gazed at the image, and finally breaking his gaze away long enough to look at Pete, who just pointed and nodded. Dispatching the SE114 back through the rift Aaron activated the projector feature, and appeared before the teen, “As far as I know, it is impossible for a life form from either of these two dimensions to exist in the other, please clarify how you do exist if what you say is true?” the image looked away which fascinated Xon, as he heard, “Pete, how long until replication is complete and we have all the components?”



“Another twenty minutes, though I could disconnect now. I did a reverse order for the list, so anything created now could be done in a couple of months, if we had to,” Pete pointed to the teen on the screen who had placed his hand through the image, or attempted to and was stopped by the forces creating the image.



“Fascinating, such a solid hologram without visible emitters,” Xon sounded as excited as a Kathat possibly could, even though he knew he was not of that race and subject to their limits.



Without thinking about it, Aaron had stood up and moved closer to the screen as he looked at the teen on the screen hold up his arm. Remembering the questions, Xon held up his hand and displayed the device attached to his skin, “That would be true, if one was not wearing this stabilizer. Though when the Kathat scouts found me, they had to repair the device to keep me alive, and they modified it from its original configuration.” Slipping his hand into the seam of his shirt he pulled it off one handed so his chest was exposed, that and the medallion resting on it. “The stabilizer on my wrist and this medallion were the only things found on me when the Kathat medics removed my unconscious body from the barren planet where I was found.”



Aaron fell back against the console, as Pete zoomed in on the medallion around the teen’s neck.



“This pendant resists all forms of scanning and removal so far, all attempts have met with no results,” Xon was curious and leaned closer to the image, eager for information, “Do you recognize it…can you tell me what it means, as I have no memories other than the ones I have experienced since waking on the Kathat home world?”



Xon was concerned, the image seemed to stumble and fall and the person who’s image was being transmitted looked to be in distress and the image suddenly widened so he could see another and some sort of control room, “Fascinating…”




“Aaron, is that what I think it is?” Pete questioned as his hands started a detailed scan of the teen, “Both of those items are definitely Alteran, the system is positive.”



“This should not be possible, no, not possible,” Aaron could not take his eyes away from the Clan medallion around the teen’s neck.



“Logic states that you take into consideration what your eyes tell you,” Xon calmly looked down at the medallion and the person in the image. “This means something to you, something important.”



Squatting down across from the image, “The reason Kathat initiated first contact with Earth is that they thought this was my home world, as I share enough genetic material to be roughly called human, though I am not. It was erroneously assumed that if this was my species, then they had achieved warp travel and they were open for first contact. This has since been proven false. And until I discovered dimensional theory, after the Montgomery returned from a mission where they encountered a rift that allowed the transporters to cross dimensions. After some experimentation, I created this device which detects dimensional rifts,” Xon held his scanner up so they could see it. “It is the only scanner that can detect rifts and their wave forms, in existence.”



“Aaron…” Pete’s voice sounded lost, “DNA profile has Clan Stranton markers…We should bring him home, and worry about the rest later.”



Coming out of his shock, Aaron stood up and looked at Pete who looked at his list, “The last three components are initializing now, two minutes until we are finished.”



“Pete, you’re going to have to go get Kevin and Tim and return with them, once Xon steps into the rift and is transported here, security protocols will initiate that will lock this lab up securely,” Aaron glanced back as he moved around the console, so he was standing in front of the touch screen and started to input commands.



“Right, I'd better get a move on, give me ten minutes to get everyone on the way,” Pete jumped up and was halfway across the room before he skidded to halt. “How the heck do we unlock the lab once we get back?”


“Command the system verbally to deactivate the shield at the same time you demand identification, you have to do it from the Core recliners, this lab is EL1…remember that as once you are out of the room, all contact is cut off, even mental.”



“Five minutes then,” Pete was through the door and gone by the time Aaron looked up.



Seeing the hope and confusion on Xon’s face, Aaron smiled, “I'm sorry, we’re confusing you,” holding up his ring so Xon could clearly see the same design, “I am Aaron Stranton, Prime of Clan Stranton…” Aaron saw the joy in the teen’s eyes at finding a connection and then shocked Xon, “King of the Alteran Empire and you, Xon, are a son of Clan Stranton.”



“Though I have no idea how it is possible, do you need a minute to leave a message that you are leaving.” Aaron asked, as he initiated overrides.



“Core override…Disengage lethal protocols…I tell you three times,” Aaron gazed up at the ceiling towards the Core recorders.



“I hear you three times,” Xon said, a second before the core system did, “Why does that phrase mean so much to me?”



Aaron finally believed the whole thing was true when Xon acknowledged his order, before the Core system did and looked at the confused teen. “Because, Xon, only my Clan has knowledge of those two phrases and what they truly mean. Hurry now, the longer it takes the greater chance of being discovered.”



Nodding his acknowledgement, Xon went over to the transporter console, stripped out of his clothes, activated the recorders and set it to transmit his message to Kathat when it was played for the first time, here on Earth.



“I am Xon, Security Elder of the Kathat Ruling Council; this message is being transmitted simultaneously as it is being viewed here on Earth by those we have tasked with creating this hospital. After two hundred years of searching, I have not only found my home world, but have found my family, I have strived and yearned for this day for a long time and finally I am going home. The image you see behind me is a rift created by my people to bring me home. The person you see in the background is the head of my family and even though I still do not have my memory, the proof offered is conclusive. To the Kathat Ruling Guild, those who have acted as my guardian these two hundred fifty years, you have my appreciation.”



Aaron telekinetically moved the pile of gold bars through the rift and set them on the floor in the middle of the room before turning his attention back to Xon, “Son of Clan Stranton, it is time to come home,” Aaron held out his arm towards the rift so the pickup could clearly see his crest.



Hesitating only a moment, Xon walked through the rift and into Aaron’s arms, his stabilizer falling off as he entered the rift.



The rift closing, the only thing left was the stabilizer next to a discarded shirt on the transporter pad and a stack of gold bars.



Kissing Xon on the forehead, Aaron let him sob out his triumph and frustrations over being lost and then found, and that was how Pete along with Tim and Kevin found them several minutes later, after not only disengaging the defense protocols, but lowering the shields.



Fred, along with all the other Clan members walked into the room and ever practical, removed his scanner and started to run a detailed medical scan on Xon starting with his brain; after experiencing the memory dump by Pete when he woke the clan up he thought it would be the wise thing to do. “Aaron, we need to get Xon to the med bay, whatever the Kathat healer’s did with the stabilizer froze the damage at the time, but if he doesn’t want to lose everything, we need to get him in a Bio-tube like yesterday.”



Holding the sobbing teen, Aaron closed his eyes and ported directly to the Clan Med bay then quickly scooped Xon up and slid him into the Bio-tube while Fred started to attach the sensors and activate the soma unit. Aaron quickly intubated the teen and seeing Fred was done, activated the Bio-tube and watched as the lid sealed and the regen fluid rushed in, displacing all the air “Three units of nanite’s Fred, while I start a complete brain scan and stabilization.”



Hands flying over the terminal, Aaron quickly stabilized Xon’s neural pathways, “Well, he’s stable now and luckily none of his current memories were affected, after his brain is repaired he should have access to his gifts again.” Looking at the Clan who were in turn, looking on in concern and confusion, “I don’t think we will ever really know who he was and how he came to be in that dimension.”



Looking up and back at the clock, Aaron sighed, “We’ll handle this on Monday when he is released from the Bio-tube.” Opening the clear acrylic panel on the top of the bio-tube, Aaron held up the medallion for everyone to see and placed it in the box before sliding the panel closed, at his touch it had come off in his hand when he had embraced Xon.



Pulling Pete close, “We’ll move all the components over to the assembler area in the morning and maybe when he is released, Xon might help you put it together,” Aaron kissed Pete good night after all of them had made it to the common room, and smiled as he looked into his room, Tyler and Andrew were still asleep which is where he needed to be. Snuggling up behind Andrew, Aaron pulled the covers up and was asleep a moment after his head hit the pillow.




Editors section:



Scott’s musings:



RadioRanchers Musings: Well I finally have seen this chapter in its entirety. I actually got to see the final scenes that included Xon, some time ago, when WolfWalker asked my advice on a couple of things about it. I made a mental note to myself not to cheat and read the rest of the chapter, because I had been several chapters behind at that point. Now that I have caught up and know what has happened, I am very impressed. Just in case you haven't noticed, there is still a mystery here. I am sure that WolfWalker will be interested to see what readers' reactions are going to be to this chapter. I know I will be very interested in hearing from you about this. Do any of you have an idea what happened and why we are curious to see what you think happened and where? I will say no more at this time, but I will be waiting to hear from readers, and please let us know what you think.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher