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Tyne, Rusty, Kyle, and Tyler suddenly appeared in the overnight suite just off of CIC. Tyne set Rusty down and then looked around the room, "Where would you like to sit Kyle?"
"It looks like your lap is going to be taken, so I guess the couch will have to do." Kyle giggled.
Tyne waited for Kyle to sit down, with Tyler cuddled up next to him, before he decided to sit on the couch on Kyle's other side. "This should be interesting," Tyne said as he pulled Rusty into his lap. "I haven't actually had to think about what I'll be teaching you since I was your age. But it's not that hard to teach, it's just hard to learn. If at any point you need a break just let me know and we can take a few minutes to rest. If at any point you feel like there's too much going on in your head let me know immediately and I'll help you clear it out."
"That'll work." Kyle replied as he cuddled with Tyler. "Let's hit it."
"Okay, let's begin," Tyne said softly. "I want you to close your eyes and clear your mind. Now slowly imagine what chaos would look like; don't spare any detail. Imagine every aspect of it, the recklessness, the disorder, and the sound. Focus on imagining that, focus on all of it. Can you see it? Can you hear it?"
As Kyle nodded his head, Tyler giggled. "That should be easy; all he has to do is think about breakfast when Tommy is cooking."
Tyne looked over at Tyler and shook his head, signaling that he needed to be quiet for a little bit. Then Tyne continued just as softly as before, "This chaos; however it looks and sounds, is your mind. It's the best way that your mind can show you what it sees as disorder because it itself is in disorder. Everyone can see their own chaos when they do this but yours is different, yours has more detail, yours has more color, yours has more sound. I want you to focus on that sound now. Pick it apart if you can, try and imagine that every part of that sound is a voice in a musical piece, but those playing have lost their music. It's a mess, it's a wreck; the sound is awful, almost overwhelming. But suddenly you notice that you had to see it to realize how loud it was. It's gotten so loud all you can hear now is my voice; you can't even hear your own thoughts. But you realized that you can control this sound so turn down the volume, make it softer. Can you hear yourself now?"
Rusty watched in wonder as Kyle's face scrunched up with stress. Suddenly Tyler's face took on the look of Kyle's and Kyle relaxed. "I got it." Kyle whispered.
"Now this next part may or may not be easy but do your best," said Tyne. "Think about what you just did. Think about how you did it; focus on how easy it was, how hard it was, how much better you felt afterwards. Show yourself the past, show how yourself how you had that control and how you still do. Visualize, if you can, that what you did and what you're doing are two separate rooms." Tyne paused for a second and then continued, "While they share the same control and are the same information try and see that they have a different time to them. One is happening now and one has already happened. In what already happened you can also see yourself without control, when the sound was too much. But in the other room you see that now you have control, you feel at peace. See in the past that you learned how to control and that in the present you still have that control but don't need to learn it again. Let me know if you can do this."
"This is kinda like Danny's head. I think I got it" Kyle responded.
Tyne closed his own eyes and grinned, "You got that on the first try, I'm impressed. When I went through this it took me about eight times to get that far. Take a few deep breaths, maybe a hug from Tyler, and then we'll continue."
As Kyle and Tyler cuddled, Rusty leaned over to Tyne and whispered. "Hey cutie; did you see Tyler? I think he was taking all the strain from Kyle."
"I did, and I'm glad he did," Tyne replied. "I just had Kyle realize that his mind is split at least into a past and present. It's very taxing on the mind and although it can't do any permanent damage it can wear Kyle out faster if he has to feel all of that. With Tyler here he should be able to get through all of the basic training now. Later I'll have to teach Kyle more control but after today he should have a very good grasp. Kyle is very lucky to have Tyler; I just hope Tyler is up for the next part. Seeing the future is harder then recognizing the past."
Tyler looked up at Tyne. "I heard that. Don't worry; Cory's gave me lots of practice even though he don't realize it. I've got you covered."
"Good, that'll make this easier on Kyle, "Tyne smiled."Kyle, are you ready to continue?"
"Ready when you are." Kyle replied seriously.
"Okay, now before we move on I want you to close your eyes again and get back to the two rooms," Tyne said quietly. "Once you've done that I want you to go into the room that holds the present and look around. Do you see a window anywhere in the room?"
"Yeah I do." Kyle replied quietly.
"That window is what I put in your mind earlier to help your mind redirect all the voices," said Tyne. "But that window will fade and unless you make your own the problem will return. I want you to use the control that you have in the room that you're in and make another window next to this one. You can use this window to get to anything in the room holding the past but like a window you can open and close it. You can use this opening and closing to control how everything flows, kind of like a water valve; you have the control. Let me know when you have that window."
Kyle concentrated for a full minute before giggling softly and announcing "It helps if I remember to put in a way to open it, don't it? I've got it now."
"Excellent," Tyne said softly. "Now back out of this room so you can see both rooms again. On the other side of the present room I want you to imagine another room. It's empty and has no control or chaos in it. I want you to go into that room but leave the door open. The room looks blank and almost shapeless; the only thing holding it there is your own mind because it has nothing to keep safe. Now this next part is very important so tell me when you're ready and you have done all of this."
It took a full two minutes before Kyle announced "I'm ready."
"Remember that you are the master of your own mind and that it does only what you tell it," said Tyne. "Never let it have the control again. In this room, though, I want you to make a new kind of control. Start by changing the color of the walls. Change them to any color that comes to mind. Now make each wall a different color and even make each wall several colors as once. Now listen carefully, I know you're not in the room that has the past in it but you should still be able to feel it. Use it to remember what the colors were before you changed them. Can you do this?"
"Got it." Kyle replied after a minute of concentration. "Ewww; that color was nasty!"
Tyne chuckled, "Yeah that will happen. Okay, now I want you to place yourself in that past that you're storing colors in without leaving that room that you're already in. Stay there. Suddenly you'll realize that the colors start to change without you prompting them to. But you can see them coming in where you're at. Don't try and get the control back, just let it work the way it's already working. Let me know when you're ready to move on."
After about three minutes Kyle commented "Okay; that worked. What now?"
"Congratulations," Tyne grinned. "That's the first step; you weren't really using your past part of your mind at all for that. Your mind was predicting the colors instead of controlling them."
Kyle gave Tyler a quick kiss before turning back to Tyne. "I'm ready to go the next step when you are."
"Now with your eyes closed I want you to look around that room," Tyne said quietly. "Carefully let the colors start to take on form and shape. The room may start to lose its shape but that's okay, don't try and stop that. Seeing what your mind is trying to show you may end up being bigger then what that room was. Just focus on going slowly for now and let the shapes take on their intended form and detail. This might take you some time but don't worry, the first time is always the hardest. Just take your time, don't go too fast."
Kyle actually took five minutes before he said "I think I got it."
"What do you see?" asked Tyne.
"Ty and me watching some kids. Ty looks like he's about 12 I'd guess."
"You're seeing that because you're touching Tyler," said Tyne. "You're seeing his future. Is he still just as cute as he is now?"
"Uh huh!" Kyle said with a giggle.
"Awesome," grinned, Tyne. "Now let's find out exactly how far that is. I'm going to tell you how to get a kind of time stamp. I want to you remember that buffer that was holding colors that you set up to hold what the colors used to be. That buffer has layers to it that count about one for every second that you are seeing into the future. You can get a count on how many layers and convert it to real time if you get a copy of the number and push it out of that room in your mind and into the room that actually holds the past. Then let the window open enough to allow the answer that your mind finds in the past into the present. That will give you a count in either hours, days, months, or years depending on what you want it to look for. If the one you ask for isn't big enough your mind will bump it up one; meaning that 24 hours is one day so it will say one day instead of 24 hours. Give that a try; it shouldn't be as hard as I just made it sound. The control that you already have should almost do it for you."
"Fifteen thousand seven hundred sixty three??" Kyle muttered in confusion.
Tyne jumped back a little bumping into Rusty, "What?! You mean that...wait that would...I have to see this." Tyne reached over, placed one hand on Tyler's arm and the other on Kyle's and then he closed his eyes. Not even a second later Tyne opened his eyes and sat back in shock. "I've never met anyone else that can see as far as you just saw Kyle. I can see about twenty thousand years and I hold the record but I've never seen anyone else ever get close. You saw Fifteen thousand seven hundred sixty three years into Tyler's future."
"But we only looked 12." Kyle stated.
Tyne grinned, "Right but Kyle, how old does Nyo look? Does that hold any bearing on how old he is or how long he's lived?"
"But he's a vi...wait! Does that mean that we are going to be Vifer?" Kyle asked in surprise.
"That's hard to say," replied Tyne. "What we see are possible futures. Now what I was never told because no one knew back when I was learning is that seeing that far into the future doesn't give you definite answers, just possible ones. If you look into just the next few minutes or days then that's probably what will happen but the farther you get from the current time the harder it is to tell if what you see will happen. What your mind will show you is the strongest possible future for that time frame. What you saw does seem to suggest that you and Tyler become Vifer and considering that you both looked about twelve after that long I'd say probably this year. But that's just logical guessing."
"Don't tell me Xain is rubbing off on you already!" Kyle giggled. "Seriously, now that the subject has come up I think Ty and I need to talk about it."
Tyler tilted his head. "Dude, that gives 'love you forever' a whole new meaning! We'll talk it over later tonight babe; that's a pretty big decision."
Kyle leaned over and kissed the tip of Tyler's nose. "It's a decision I won't even think about without you by my side. Luv ya Cuddles."
"Luv ya too sweetie." Tyler replied as he melted into Kyle's side.
"You two are adorable!" grinned, Tyne. "So do you want to stop here for the day, Kyle, or do you want to do a little more? This would be a safe place to stop if you think you have a good handle on control."
Kyle thought for a second. "I think I have the control; but I'd like to learn a little more."
"Okay Kyle, but not too much more," said Tyne. "Now you were able to see an image of the future but you haven't learned how to control that index and control when you are seeing. What this does is allows you to pinpoint WHEN you want to see and not just throw a random useless vision at you. I want you to close your eyes again and imagine that the buffer you used for that timestamp is like a clock rather then a buffer. You should be able to make your mind see the layer numbers as time stamps, after you do that you can scroll through them and pick the date you want, even down to the exact second if you'd like. Now this is just selecting the date, how do you get it to where you can see it? You can pull that layer out of that buffer like it was a page from a book and then just like you applied colors to that rooms walls earlier use that layer like a color. This will not only start to reform the image to let you see that layer it will actually go faster then letting your mind go to wherever your mind's threshold is in the future. Controlling where you decide to look by always using the buffer is like using an indexing system in a computer, you tell it where to look instead of letting it make that choice for you. If you always let it make that choice then there is no telling what time you might end up seeing but it'll always be really far off. Give this a try and then I'll tell you what else you can use it for."
"Okay." Kyle replied. He concentrated for a few seconds then suddenly began to blush from head to toe.
Tyne looked at Kyle and giggled, "If it's the kind of thing I think you're seeing those are always fun. Tyler should actually be able to make it so the two of you can feel that if you share the thoughts with him."
Kyle's success was quite evident as Tyler hid his face and turned the same shade of red as Kyle.
"Yeah you guys can test that out some more later," smiled Tyne. "Keep in mind that what you see for that is only a possible future to so if you try something then that you don't like remember to fix it later. Later on I can also show you a few other tricks that are just for private use but you'll need more practice with what you've learned today first. Anyway, I'm not sure how much of this applies to you as your telepathy is more advanced then mine but you can use that same layer buffer, shift it into the past part of your mind, and you can see specific times in a person's past if you're making contact with them."
"Kewl!" Kyle exclaimed as he started to regain normal color. "I can't wait for next week!"
Tyler buried his face deeper into Kyle's chest and exclaimed "KYLE!" in a muffled voice.
Kyle smiled. "Thanks Tyne; I'm gonna practice with this a bit and try to get used to it."
"Good, the more you practice the easier it will all get," said Tyne. "And I'm glad that I was able to help you. But I think that's enough for today. Do you have any other questions before we catch up with everyone else?"
"Yeah; is there anything I need to be careful about?" Kyle asked seriously.
"Oh right, yes actually," replied Tyne. "You need to be careful of two things. One be careful around other telepaths; now that your mind is actually aware of the fact that it's split into different times if they try and read your mind they can lose their consciousness in your mind. I've only seen it happen twice when a few Moroi tried it and it obliterated their consciousness under the weight of the past part of the mind they were trying to read. It left them as an empty shell; so try and keep others out of your mind if you can help it. It won't hurt you but it can kill them. The second thing you have to be careful of is letting your own consciousness rest outside of your own mind. You can do this but it poses a threat to the person who's mind you are resting in. When you are inside their minds it can leave it open for them to follow your link all the way back to your mind and again they can get lost there. You can also end up trapped in their mind if something interferes with that link while you are in their mind. If that happens then you have about six hours to get back to your own mind before two really bad results happen. One, your body dies and two your consciousness obliterates the consciousness of the mind that you are in. It was once suggested that this can be a way to give yourself a new body but that's not the way it works. Your consciousness will gain control of that person's body as you kill them but that body can not live without its intended consciousness and it will die about a day after their consciousness is gone. So please be careful."
Kyle gave Tyne a sober look. "I will."
"Good, I expect nothing less," smiled Tyne. "Let's go catch up with the others now."
Cory came to a sudden stop as they finished the tour and entered the Phasenmorph Room. The sounds of giggles echoed through the room as he saw every kid under the age of eight had climbed into one of the pools. "It sounds like the little guys are having fun!" he said to Stepan.
Suddenly Stepan looked worried, "Where's Nyo? Is anyone watching this zoo?"
"This isn't a zoo Stepan!" shouted Dmitry. "It's the Fuzzymore room and we're keeping all the Fuzzymores happy!"
"Stepan? Is that you?" said Dominic. "Help me! Dmitry's bouncing all over the place! I can't keep him still!"
Danny giggled. "Good luck; if that's not a sugar high I'm losing my memory. I'd say he's got a really good one going too!"
Nyo walked over from the side of the Phasenmorph pool, "Hey guys, welcome to the 'morph room. I hope you guys weren't bored to tears helping Step with repairs."
"Not at all." Cory replied. "You might want to plan on some extra work though; from what Ark said a recent shutdown is what took out one of the power modulators. Stepan and I found one of the stub waveguides arced through either on the shutdown or on powerup."
"He means to say that HE found it and repaired it," said Stepan. "I just supervised."
Nyo gave Stepan a 'yeah right' look before turning back to Cory, "Actually I'm not surprised that you found something like that, this equipment is meant to never be shut down. And if it is shut down then it has to be drained of its energy first. We will probably start running scans on memory bays two and three manually as soon as we get the time and I actually already have memory bay one doing a self scan."
"That particular circuit should be stable." Cory added. "We replaced the routing switch just in case it was damaged by the surge."
< Nyo, Cory really did do the repairs. Stepan just assisted him. I am actually very impressed that he knew enough to look for such problems. >
"Well Cory is an engineer, and a really good one from what I've read so I guess I shouldn't be surprised," said Nyo as he spotted something on Sean's shirt. "Sean did you get something on your shirt? You got a small spot of something on your sleeve."
"You don't wanna know!" Danny giggled as both Sean and Cory blushed deeply. "Just remember not to leave these two alone together outside a memory bay while you are working!"
"What do you mea...oh...OHH," Nyo said almost in shock but then he grinned as he realized what Danny meant. "Sounds like you guys need more practice if you leave any trace behind."
"What are the kids doing?" Cory quickly asked in an attempt to change the subject.
"They're petting Phasenmorphs," replied Nyo. "I don't know who's having more fun, the kids or the Phasenmorphs. I just hope we'll be able to get them out of the pool later."
"Yeah I want to see you try attempting that Nyo," said Stepan.
"Whys that?" Sean asked.
"Matty was down here earlier when Tyne and Rusty came down for the Vifer procedure," replied Stepan. "Every time I tried to get him out of the pool he wouldn't stop petting them so they didn't want to let him go. I had to wait till they were all distracted."
"Most of the kids better remember that they can't take one home," Nyo said seriously. "Only the older kids that are ready can have one, and they'll need training before they leave."
"I think the one you need to worry about most is Timmy; even if one don't attach to him he's gonna want to take one home anyways." Cory said with a grin. "I'll bet ya before we leave he's begging you to put a Phasenmorph pool in at CIC."
"That's not a bad idea." Nyo replied. "Considering how many you are going to have there, it could be useful."
Suddenly Tyne, Rusty, Kyle, and Tyler appeared a few feet away from Nyo.
"Hey guys," said Nyo. "Did everything go okay?"
Tyne grinned, "Kyle's a very fast learner, he picked up on most of the techniques ten times faster then I did when I was his age. Although I have a sneaky suspicion that having Tyler there may have helped him a little. Kyle shouldn't have any trouble focusing now, and the problem he was having before shouldn't ever be an issue again."
"Awesome," replied Nyo. "Well come on in and join the fun. The Fuzzymores are having a blast."
< They are Phasenmorphs; how many times do I have to say it? >
Kyle walked over to the pool where the boys were playing. "Hey guys, you having fun?"
Timmy looked over and grinned. "Yeah Unca Kyle; these Fuzzymores are kewl!"
Kyle stuck his arm in the water to see if one would come over so that he could pet it. Suddenly all the Phasenmorphs squealed and quickly swam to the back of the pool as far away from Kyle's arm as they could get.
"Don't take it personal Kyle," said Tyne as he came over to stand next to Kyle. "They don't like Founders, we scare them."
"How did you get one then?" Kyle replied as he tried to avoid the dirty looks all of the little ones were giving him.
"Let me try something," Tyne said has he stuck his arm, Phasenmorph and all, into the pool. "I'll see if I can get them to calm down. Squirmy should be able to let them know that we won't hurt them." After a few seconds the Phasenmorphs carefully came away from the back of the pool and swam up to Tyne's arm. They rubbed against Squirmy a few times and then very cautiously swam up to Kyle's arm and started rubbing against it. "There, that's better."
"What are they doing?" Kyle asked.
"They're getting to know you," replied Tyne. "Normally they'll do that to get a sense of what kind of person you are and then they decide which one of them would be best suited for you. It's up to Nyo though if you're allowed to have one though. You can pet them if you want to now."
As Kyle was getting to know the Phasenmorphs, Cory and Nyo walked up behind them. "What do you think, Nyo?" Cory asked. "It's up to you if Kyle gets a Phasenmorph; I don't have any objections, especially seeing as he is a Founder."
"You know him better then I do," said Nyo. "Do you think he is responsible enough to have one? It's not a pet, it is a weapon. Let me put it this way, would you trust him to keep a Phaser? If you can honestly say yes and mean it then he can have one."
"I know I do." Cory replied. "But if you put it that way there is only one person on my side who can make that call." Cory looked around the room until he found who he was looking for. "JJ! I need you a minute bro!"
JJ came running over. "What's up Cor?"
Cory nodded at Nyo. "Nyo makes the decisions regarding issuing Phasenmorphs. He just set a condition of us having to be comfortable giving someone a phaser to carry before he'll consider it. That is your area, so I'll let you be responsible for the final approval from now on. Is Kyle ready to handle carrying a deadly weapon safely?"
JJ smiled. "He's fully qualified; I just was waiting until we got back home to issue him one. He's a crack shot too; especially with randomly moving targets. I approve him Nyo."
"Well then he can have one, but you have to ask him if wants one," said Nyo. "It's not a weapon you can just set down when you go to bed; it stays on your arm unless you have a pool for it."
"I DO have ears guys!" Kyle announced. "Yes, I would like one! Jeeeze, you think next time you could at least TRY to get out of hearing before you discuss someone!"
Nyo giggled, "Sorry Kyle."
"Kyle," Tyne whispered softly as he pointed towards the water. "Look, I think that one likes you. He keeps coming back up to you and hanging around for a long time."
"Okay! What do I do?" Kyle replied with a grin.
"Just a second, he keeps asking Squirmy if it's okay," said Tyne. "They know that Nyo needs to give the okay first. Do you want me to tell him it's okay? If I do he's gonna crawl up your arm."
"Sure!" Kyle replied.
JJ leaned over to Nyo and asked softly. "Since you're going to have to train Kyle, what do you think about Cory, Sean, Danny, and me getting ours now? I know I'd sleep better knowing Cory had one."
"We can't do Danny but you, Cory, and Sean can get one now if you'd like," replied Nyo. "A Phasenmorph wouldn't be compatible with Danny; they would end up hurting each other. I'll have to get with someone that knows Danny's systems better then I do and work out maybe making a special 'morph for him."
"That makes sense." Danny commented. "Marc has the specs for my interface saved on the terminals at the house in South Carolina; Ark can get them for you from there and we can sit down later and sort it out."
"That would work for me." JJ replied. "We'll wait until Kyle is done though; this is his day to be special."
Cory reached down and squeezed Kyle's shoulder. "Yeah; today I found out that my little bro is even more special than any of us thought. Someday I think we'll all look back on this day and smile knowing that it was the day Kyle finally saw his purpose in life."
Kyle giggled. "Thanks bro; but do me a favor. Don't go trying to predict the future; that job goes to Tyne and me!"
"Tyne go ahead and tell the Phasenmorph that it's ok," grinned, Nyo. "Kyle when the Phasenmorph is finally on your arm, lift your arm out of the water and hold it level so he doesn't have a hard time attaching. He'll make your arm a little numb first before he does."
"A little numb?" said Tyne. "Yeah what he means is that you won't feel your arm for about ten minutes."
"He's just still angry that he was the test subject," said Nyo.
"Maybe," said Tyne as he tilted his head, "Okay, hold still for a second Kyle."
Suddenly the Phasenmorph that had been waiting at Kyle's arm slowly began to wrap its arms and legs around his arm and lift itself out of the pool.
Kyle giggled. "That looks soooo weird!" Kyle lifted his arm, then commented "Dude! My arm's going as numb as Sean's head before breakfast!"
"Watch it munchkin; I know your tickle spots!" Sean replied with a smile.
The Phasenmorph continued rubbing the tips of its arms and legs on Kyle's arm and then after a few seconds its tips became sharp and it plunged its arms, legs, and tail into Kyle's arm quickly securing itself as fast as it could.
"Well now he has a different kinda tickle spot," mumbled Dmitry. "Pet a guys 'morph and they go all funny on ya."
"Let's test that theory," said Dominic as he picked up Dmitry's arm and quickly began stroking his Phasenmorph down its spine.
Dmitry sighed contently, "Tha...tha...that feels gooood."
Adam joined them and giggled at the look on Dmitry's face. "Dude! I can't wait to make you make faces like that JJ!"
JJ turned to Nyo. "You know, I think my life partner is asking for one too, don't you?"
"Yeah, in fact why don't you go next Adam," grinned, Nyo.
Adam looked around the group in shock. "Whaaa..."
Cory smiled. "You heard Nyo. You're next Bro; if him and JJ agree then it's a done deal."
Adam came to his senses enough to respond. "Cory and JJ need to go before me; what if I get the one they were supposed to get?"
"Adam, the only thing that'll happen if you go first is you'll get the Phasenmorph that YOU are supposed to get," said Nyo. "Don't worry about Cory and JJ, or Sean for that matter, getting the right one because only the 'morphs know who should go to who and they don't know until you stick your arm in what kind of person you are anyway."
"C'mon Adam; hurry up. It's kewl; Fuzzy don't hurt at all!" Kyle urged.
"Fuzzy?" Adam asked in confusion.
Kyle giggled. "My Phasenmorph silly. His full name is Fuzzy More Richardson. Hurry up, really it don't hurt bro."
< The names that all of you come up with baffle me sometimes. I think Nyo has the most normal name for his Phasenmorph out of all of them and even that name still confuses me. >
"Hey Phil is a normal name," said Nyo.
< That is what confuses me. >
"Tyne; by any chance was Ark's base personality based on a blond?" Sean giggled. "HEY, I was just kidding!" he exclaimed as he was attacked from multiple sides.
< Say Sean, go ahead and stick your arm into pool five instead of pool six. >
"Hey that's not funny Ark," said Nyo. "Adam go ahead and stick your arm into the pool already."
Adam gave Sean one extra slap for good measure then stuck his arm into the pool. As the Phasenmorphs were trying to sort out which one was most fitting, Sean asked "What would happen if I had done what Ark said?"
"The original Phasenmorph didn't have a very powerful numbing agent," replied Nyo. "If you stick your arm into one of the other tanks you'll get a Phasenmorph but you'll be able to feel most of what he does when he attaches himself. I currently have a special chemical in the other tanks that is changing that so we'll be able to use them later but for now they aren't ready unless you want the pain."
Sean shook his head. "No thanks; I carry enough pain up here." he replied while pointing to his head. "Every single thing I know about everyone in the Clan before they were rescued."
"That's why I didn't want any of you near the other tanks," said Nyo. "All of you have been through enough as it is; you don't need any more memories of pain."
< Now that one is climbing your arm Adam, lift your arm out of the water please. >
"Thanks Ark." Adam replied as he lifted his arm. "This ain't that bad; my arm just feels like it's asleep. I'm used to that when one of the munchkins falls asleep on it."
Adam's Phasenmorph then quickly attached itself and got comfortable.
"Oh hey I recognize that 'morph," said Nyo as he stepped up to Adam and show him his Phasenmorph. "See how your 'morph has very similar markings to Phil here? You have Phil's brother!"
Adam grinned. "Awesome! You know; he's kinda marked like a cat I had when I was a little kid. Mom named the cat 'Chuck' because it was always chasing woodchucks. I think I'll call him Chuck."
"Cool name," said Nyo. "And it makes sense."
< Nyo, please go check on tank number three, the pH levels are off. >
Nyo frowned and hurried over to tank three, "Thanks Ark. Do you know why the levels are off?"
< I was not watching the tank but the mass of one of them decreased and another smaller mass entered the pool. >
Nyo looked over the Phasenmorphs in the tank and when he found what he was looking for he grinned, "Everything's fine Ark, it's just a baby 'morph. I didn't know any of them were due yet, must just be a little early."
< Make sure you keep him away from the younger children please. >
"I will Ark," said Nyo as he stuck his arm into the tank and had Phil send out a signal. Instantly the baby Phasenmorph came swimming over to Nyo's arm and rubbed up against Phil, "Hey little guy, how are ya doing?" Nyo tilted his head and a few seconds later the baby Phasenmorph crawled up onto Phil's back. Nyo lifted his arm out of the water and then pulled out his handheld, "Let me just check your numbing agent levels." Nyo ran his handheld over the baby Phasenmorph and then smiled, "You check out just fine little guy. Let's go show you off." Nyo walked back over to the group grinning like a mad man, "Look everyone, it's a baby 'morph!"
"Awwww!" was the unanimous response as everyone inspected the little creature. Matty climbed out of the pool, a Phasenmorph resting securely on his arm as he petted it. "He's a cute baby. Can he come in and play with us too?" Matty asked as he looked over the new arrival.
"I'm sorry Matty but I can't let him in the pool with you," replied Nyo. "He's young enough that he might decide he likes one of you younger guys too much. You guys can pet him if you want to but he has to stay on my arm on Phil's back."
Cory giggled as the kids started lining up behind Matty to see the new arrival. "Hey Nyo; since the other 'morphs are taking a break from being petted, would it confuse them if all three of us put our arms in at once?"
"Nah, that's fine Cory; go ahead," said Nyo. "The 'morphs can take it."
Cory, Sean and JJ all leaned over the pool and stuck an arm in. Timmy sat on the edge watching carefully as each of them was selected by a Phasenmorph. "Wow; that's awesome!" he whispered.
"Yeah;" Matty replied as he took a seat by Timmy. "When I'm a big boy I'm gonna get one too." Matty added as he petted the Phasenmorph cradled in his lap.
< I do not see how you boys can think that a Phasenmorph is cute or fun. They are slimy when in water, rubbery when dry, and most of them are different shades of gray. >
"Actually Ark, I think that one Cory's got mounting him has a very pretty streak of blue in it," commented Tyne.
"You're right; he's awesome looking!" Cory replied. "It looks like he's got a goatee! I think he's gonna be called 'Bluebeard'."
< That poor Phasenmorph. >
"Hey, be quiet Ark," said Nyo. "If you could wear a Fuzzymore you'd name yours too!"
< P-h-a-s-e-n-m-o-r-p-h, say it with me, Phasenmorph. >
"Fuzzy More Richardson!" Kyle managed to get out with a straight face before breaking into giggles.
JJ shook his head. "You're a nut little bro!" He then looked over the Phasenmorph attaching itself to his arm. "Mine is marked like he snuck into the hair gel! I'm gonna call him Spike."
Sean smiled. "Kewl name; mine's not marked weird but he's still sweet. I'm just gonna call him Mick."
< Mick? >
"Yeah." Sean replied. "It's another nickname for Michael; I picked it up visiting Australia. It's kinda in memory of our brother."
< That is a good name then. Finally a name I can agree on for meaning and reason behind it. >
"Awesome names guys," said Nyo. "You know, if this little 'morph was purring any more then it is right now I think it would vibrate right off my arm."
Timmy stood up and moved to stand behind 'Roo, who was the last one of the boys other than Timmy to greet the new Phasenmorph. As 'Roo finished, Timmy stepped forward and began petting the little Phasenmorph. "He's cute!"
"Isn't he? He's one of the few I've seen that has a little bit of a faded red in him," grinned, Nyo "I think that's a little bit of teal around the edges of the red too."
< Phasenmorphs do not normally have teal or red in them unless they have higher brain functions then most other Phasenmorphs. Back when they were first created they would actually kill off these ones because they thought it was over stepping its role as a weapon by having these higher brain functions and the soldier at the time didn't want a weapon that they could hold a conversation with. >
Nyo whispered, "Don't tell anyone but Phil says to tell you that this little guy really likes you Timmy. He says that you're much gentler then some of the other boys, you have a good heart, and a good sense of right and wrong." Then Nyo got even quieter, "I think he's made up his mind that if he can't have you now then he'll wait for you."
Timmy smiled. "It's okay Kitisci Lhaamin; when the time is right we will be joined."
< Red one? Well that makes two names that fit its intended Phasenmorph in one day. That is a record. >
JJ looked at Timmy, then though for a minute. "Soaring Eagle; what message has the Great Spirit put in your heart?"
Timmy faced JJ as he replied seriously. "The Silver one is wise. In his heart he knows the answer."
JJ nodded then turned to Nyo. "I'm pretty sure I don't need to fill you in about Timmy, Nyo. You have the ball; do whatever you think is right in your heart."
Nyo looked around to make sure none of the other younger kids were watching before he replied softly, "Timmy if I give him to you will you take care of him? He's not like normal animals, he's a weapon; you have to be careful how you use him. Also, this 'morph is special. Like Ark just said, 'morphs with these colors tend to have more brain functions and can actually think. I can tell you after my quick scan that it's true for this little guy as he was aware of what I was doing to him without me telling Phil to let him know." Nyo paused for a moment and thought, "If I give him to you I need you to promise me that you'll take good care of him because he is young, just like you are. I also want you to promise me that you won't try and make the others that can't have a 'morph yet jealous. If you can make those two promises then I'll let you have him now, if you don't think you can then I'll save him for you for later."
Timmy glanced over to where Ricky was talking to the new kids. He closed his eyes for a second, then smiled as he re-opened them. "Ricky is explaining to the new guys about him and me. He's tellin' them about how William and Duke picked us to be braves and that Red would be like my bow and arrow I would have carried a long time ago. Ricky says not to worry about him; when it is his time to get one it'll appear. I promise to take care of Kitisci Lhaamin; he is a gift of the Great Spirit, one that I must take care out of respect."
"Which arm?" asked Nyo. "Which arm do you want him on?"
Timmy thought seriously. "My left arm; the right side is William's.
Nyo nodded as he lifted the little Phasenmorph off of Phil's back, gently took hold of Timmy's left arm, and carefully set it on Timmy's arm. "Be careful with him little Red," Nyo said to the Phasenmorph. "He's little too." The Phasenmorph gave a short, soft purr as it got comfortable on Timmy's arm and began rubbing its arms and legs on several spots on Timmy's arm. As soon as it was sure Timmy's arm was numb it quickly attached itself and began purring contently.
Timmy giggled a few seconds later. "Red likes his name!" He then softly petted his new friend as he sat down on the edge of the pool.
< Nyo, you just gave a biological energy weapon to a six year old human; have you lost your sanity? >
"I think everything will be fine Ark, just relax," said Nyo. "Timmy is responsible enough and really does have a good sense of right and wrong. And as a safety net with his Phasenmorph being able to think on its own that means it has the ability to say no if it doesn't think Timmy's decision is the right one."
< Very well but I want this brought up to the Council when we are done reforming it. >
"Reforming it?" Tyne said when he heard the Council mentioned.
< Well it seems like the right action to take. You are the Seer, Nyo is the Archivist, now you just need to fill in the other positions. >
"I want Rusty and Kyle on it if they'll agree," Tyne said almost instantly. "And if Cyna will take his post as Hand of the Seer then I want him on it too."
< Actually Cyna was the one that suggested the Council being reformed so I expect him to take his old position. And if he does not then I will give him what for. You should ask the other two yourself though. >
Rusty leaned over and planted a wet kiss on Tyne's lips. "You better believe it cutie; I'll do almost anything you want. Just let me know what to do."
Kyle just nodded. "I guess since you, me and Cyna are the only Founders left it makes sense that the three of us be on the Council. I accept."
< May I suggest positions for them? >
"Sure Ark, suggest away and I'll tell you if I agree," replied Tyne.
< I suggest making Kyle the Council Nitor and making Rusty the Council Cautela. >
"Give Kyle Intelligence and give Rusty Security, huh?" said Tyne. "What do you guys think? Is that okay with you?"
"Only if it means I can 'frisk' you for a 'weapon'." Rusty whispered suggestively to Tyne. He then raised his voice so everyone else could hear. "That sounds great Babe."
Kyle giggled at Rusty's antics. "Works for me, Tyne."
Tyne grinned and pulled Rusty into a hug, "You can frisk me any time you want...unless your parents are in the room."
"Hey Tyne, do you have a position on the Council for an engineer?" asked Stepan.
< There is a position for Council Crafter but you are not qualified to be a Crafter Stepan. >
"Gee Ark, when did you change your name to Tyne?" giggled Stepan. "I just meant that I have someone that I'd like to nominate for the position is all." Stepan turned to Cory and grinned.
Cory smiled. "Thanks for the offer Stepan, but I'm not a Crafter either."
Suddenly a few feet away one of the computer consoles that was used for mapping genetics came to life and a holographic image of a fourteen year old boy with bright purple hair and teal robes appeared floating just above the controls.
"There that's better," said Cyna. "You wouldn't believe what one has to go through to re-sequence this thing to display me instead of models of DNA."
Tyne took one look at Cyna's hair and bust out laughing, "Purple!"
"It matches my eyes...sort of. Hi everyone I don't really know, I'm Cyna," grinned Cyna. "Now to the reason that I did this; Cory do you know what a Crafter is?"
"Not really." Cory replied. "But I do know that I want some of that hair dye; that looks awesome!"
"Thanks," said Cyna. "Tyne doesn't really like it that much but it keeps me entertained. Anyway, a Crafter is a mix between what you know as an engineer and a programmer. Now from what I understand for a while in the last forty years the two separated again in your world but as you get into things like starships the two once again become one. A Crafter is a master of hardware and software and knows how they interact like the back of his own hand. Now Stepan got to see you at work but what Stepan and Tyne don't know is what record you have and exactly what position you hold outside of all of this with Starfleet. If you can qualify as an engineer in Starfleet at such a young age then you can easily qualify as a Crafter."
"Thanks Cyna; I guess I am then going by that." Cory replied. "The thing about that is I'm just doing stuff I have fun with. Hey; have you ever thought about trying some of those glitter sparkles? I think the red pearl ones would look sweet with that purple."
"Hey! Stop that!" said Tyne. "He doesn't need glitter sparkles! You know I miss when his hair was brown, now it's every color in the rainbow depending on the day or hour."
Cory giggled. "It's a Crafter thing; you wouldn't understand."
Sean groaned. "See what I gotta live with Tyne?"
"Well if he's agreeing with Cyna on hair then I know what you're living with," replied Tyne. "Cyna was my Socius. At least he didn't do the hair thing when he still had a body."
"Well someone was keeping my body busy when I had free time," grinned, Cyna. "I don't remember ever having the time to dye my hair."
"I know what you mean." Cory giggled. "If Tyne was half as good as Sean your free time was very well spent."
Tyne blushed, "No comment."
"Hey look Rusty, Tyne matches your hair now!" smiled Cyna. "Anyway, so we have most of the Council figured out. We still need people for Ambassador, Medicus, Scientia, Ingenium, and Logistics. They don't need to all be filled at once though; we have enough that a Council can be held if it needs to be."
Cory smiled. "I might have an answer for one of them. I know of a trained Diplomat who would make the perfect Ambassador; Xain. That's him over there with Justy discussing work when they are supposed to be relaxing."
"He's a Vulcan right? I've read about them," said Cyna. "So brilliant. So logical. So pointy."
"He's working!" said Nyo. "We can't have that, someone go pounce Xain and then bring the remains over here. We'll see if he's interested in the position."
Cory laughed as the little kids scrambled from their seats by the pool and pounced both Xain and Justy en masse. "That was mean, Nyo. Effective; but still mean!"
"Well that'll teach them to work when they're supposed to be relaxing," giggled Nyo.
"I'll remember that Nyo," Dmitry said with an evil grin.
Stepan glared at Nyo, "If he ever goes to pounce you and gets me then I'll blame you."
"You're in for it Nyo." Sean giggled. "If Dmitry aims his pounces like he aims his pee he'll miss you totally! I used the bathroom right after him and needed hip waders!"
"Hey! I've never missed when it's important!" said Dmitry. "Just ask Dominic!"
Dominic blushed and poked Dmitry in the side making him yelp, "Use a different example next time DT."
Cory chuckled. "You ain't got much room to talk Hon. Remember the lighted toilet target that Mom had when you were his age?"
"Gran'ma's still got it!" Timmy giggled. "Ricky and I use it for target practice in the mornings when we stay over there."
"So how's YOUR aim Sean, did having a target help you?" grinned Dmitry.
Cory put his arm around his blushing partner. "I have no complaints Dmitry. He hits the target whenever he needs to now without a light to help him."
Rusty grinned up at Tyne. "Hmmm; did someone say 'target practice' babe?"
"Okay guys let Xain up so we can talk to him now!" Tyne called across the room while doing his best to keep from blushing.
Xain staggered over a minute later with a giggling Matty hanging from his arm. "Look Wusty!" Matty announced. "I'm a Fuzzymowe!"
Rusty giggled at Matty's antics. "If Xain pets your back, are you gonna purr and let him talk with us?"
Matty nodded madly. "Uh huh!"
"Hiya Xain," said Dmitry as he waved wildly and then went over to pet Matty's back to see if he'd really purr. "Tyne's got a question for ya!"
Tyne grinned, "Right, well we are reforming the Founder Council and we have a position that we wanted to know if you would be willing to take. It's the Council Ambassador; you'd be the head of International and possibly Interplanetary Affairs for the Council."
Xain looked at Cory with raised eyebrows. Cory nodded his head then replied "I've noted your efficiency in performing the tasks which have befallen you as a member of the Clan. Due to your performance I have recommended this position as an additional duty above your functions as Head of Clan Short Diplomatic Corps. If you accept this position it shall be noted in the Clan Records and if approved by the Council Solak will be informed of your additional responsibilities."
Xain nodded. "Understood, my Patriarch. You honor me with your nomination; I shall endeavor to fulfill the expectations you have implied by this offer."
Cory nodded. "Your approval is noted. Your immediate duty is to cease discussion of all work related items until such time as we return to Florida."
Xain nodded as he quickly reached around and gave Cory a wedgie. "Justin was correct; you do hit an amazing high note when your boxers are manually elevated." Xain commented with a small smile when he heard Cory's yelp.
"Good thing I don't wear underwear," commented Dmitry. "No matter how many red faces I cause no one can ever get me back with a wedgie."
Dominic looked Dmitry up and down; then he grabbed a hold of the back of Dmitry's jumpsuit and pulled up causing Dmitry to yelp just as loud. "You sure about that DT?" giggled Dominic.
Dmitry frowned at Dominic as he pulled his jumpsuit out of his crack, "I didn't mean try and give me one."
In no time flat, the room was full of giggling boys as almost everyone joined in on the fun. Rusty and Tyne stood of to the side watching; Rusty giggled as he pointed towards Matty. "Watch this Babe; I think Matty's gonna try to get Andy." Sure enough, Matty quietly snuck up behind Andrew and grabbed hold of the waistband of Andrew's underwear. Matty broke into a fit of giggles at Andrew's high pitched yelp of surprise.
Andrew spun around and picked Matty; pulling him into a hug. "Good one lil' guy! You got me good!"
< I will never understand why people think giving a 'wedgie' is funny. >
"They think it's fun," said Cyna. "Good thing we can't get involved though, I'd hate to have to pick my pants out of my backside. So Ark do you think we can open the Council Chambers now?"
< Maybe after Phasenmorph training. I do not want children running around without knowing how to use their Phasenmorph. >
"Do you think any of them will want to become Vifer?" Cyna asked softly.
< That would be up to them and ultimately the Council I would imagine. Also, we have the go ahead for performing the Socius if anyone so wishes to. I am not sure if Nyo has told Cory that or not but I will ask him later, he seems busy right now. >
Rusty looked over at Nyo. "You might say he's busy!" he commented to Tyne as he watched Nyo giving Stepan dirty looks while rearranging the lower half of his uniform.
Tyne pulled Rusty into a hug, gave him a quick kiss, and then grabbed two handfuls of Rusty's butt. "See now this is more fun then giving a wedgie." Tyne said while wagging his eyebrows.
"Hmmm, I think I like how Tyne thinks," Dmitry said when he overheard Tyne. He then looked over at Dominic and started circling him.
"DT, what are you doing?" Dominic asked as he started to back up to the wall.
"Nothing," grinned Dmitry. "I'm just gonna..."
< Dmitry, I think you should go ahead and lead everyone into the Training room and get them ready. >
"Awww Ark, you're no fun," groaned Dmitry as he settled for just grabbing Dominic's hand and dragging him along to go collect those that received a Phasenmorph.
It didn't take long to gather everyone; as soon as Matty heard what was happening he screamed as loud as he could from his perch in Andrew's arms. "Evewybody! Follow Deemeetee; we getta see the Fuzzymowes wowkin!"
Andrew rubbed his ear with his free hand as he giggled "Next time warn me munchkin; it hurts when you yell that loud, okay?"
Matty nodded. "Okay. Sowwy Andwew."
"It's okay Matty. Now you know so that you won't accidentally hurt someone." Andy replied as he gave Matty a squeeze and started following Dmitry.
Once everyone was in the training room Nyo pulled the trainees to the front along with everyone that already knew how to use a Phasenmorph.
"Okay, Dmitry I'm putting you with Cory," said Nyo.
"Yes! I get a cute one!" shouted Dmitry.
"You think they're all cute," said Dominic.
"Well they are," replied Dmitry. "I mean if ya go look up the word cute I think everyone in here would be listed."
Nyo grinned and then continued, "Dominic you will be training JJ; Stepan will train Adam, Tyne will train Kyle, Rusty will take Sean, and I'll train Timmy. Once everyone knows the basics we can run through a few exercise and then we should be done for now. If any of you want more training feel free to use the training room later."
Cory nodded his head. "That sounds like a plan; let's see how our new friends work."
Under the direction of their instructors, everyone took their places along the firing line. Once Ark ensured the observers were in a safe location and protected, the classes began.
"Hiya Cory," said Dmitry as they went off to where they were assigned to train. "At least I get to train a cute one! So are ya ready to get started?"
Cory giggled. "Yeah oh owner of the world's cutest bubble butt!"
"I heard that!" Sean exclaimed from nearby. "You'd be in trouble if it wasn't true!"
Dmitry started spinning in circles as he tried to get a look at his own butt, "Are you sure? I need a third opinion, hey Dom! They said that..."
"Yes it's true," Dominic said from where he was with JJ.
Dmitry stopped spinning and grinned, "Thanks Dom. Okay Cory, I'll believe ya now. So I suppose I should show ya how to use that purring bundle of energy you got there."
"Sure!" Cory giggled. "You know, you and Matty's puppy have a couple of things in common; you're both really cute and it's funny watching you chase your tails!"
"Well if your tail was as cute as mine is said to be wouldn't you chase it too?" grinned Dmitry. "It's more fun to chase Dom's tail though. Okay so anyway, what do ya think of your Fuzzy?"
Cory pulled out the front of his pants and looked down. "I think it looks quite nice .... ohhhh! You mean on my ARM!!"
"Hey you got a Fuzzy down there too?! Can I see?" giggled Dmitry.
"NO!" Dominic called across the room. "You're supposed to be training him, not checking him out!"
"Okay Dom, but I want to checkout your 'other' Fuzzy later then to make up for this," replied Dmitry.
Dominic grinned but rolled his eyes anyways and went back to training JJ.
Cory was enjoying the banter with Dmitry. "Hey Dmitry; why don't you use that tent to point out where the target is?"
"Dom he's talking about that tent you carry next to your rope and pocket knife now," Dmitry called out. "Are you sure you don't want me to check him?"
"He was talking about your tent bonehead," said Dominic.
"Hehee, he said bone," giggled Dmitry. "Anyway, that target out in front of us is yours but you need to understand how to hit it and hit it as HARD as you intend. First of all you should be able to hear your Fuzzy in the back of your head. He's there but at the same time he's not. You can call out to him in your mind and he will answer you but the only reason that you ever need to talk to him is when you need him to do something. For example you want him to shoot h...I mean send out a stronger blast of energy you'll use this link to tell him to intensify that blast. You have three basic settings to it, stun, kill, and the one in the middle, fry. So let's start with stun; tell your Fuzzy to set to stun, then aim your Fuzzy at the target and shoot. You shouldn't have to think about it much, just want it."
Kyle giggled from the far side of them. "Dude, Cory's a poster boy for blonds! He CAN'T think much!"
"Yeah you're just jealous of us blonds, Kyle, because we have a superior intellect," grinned Dmitry. "You just think that we can't think much but the reality is that we think on such a different level that you can't comprehend our intellectual advancement."
"Is THAT why there's an echo in there?" Kyle giggled before turning and firing off a shot with his Phasenmorph.
"They just don't understand," said Dmitry. "Okay Cory, try and hit that target with a stun. I'll stand back here and watch..."
Cory took aim with his arm. A few seconds later, Sean's target went totally red. "Ooops. This is a little different that a phaser!" Cory commented.
"Hey! Use your OWN target goofball!" Sean exclaimed.
Dmitry looked over at Sean's target and then back at the target Cory was supposed to hit, "Dude, those targets are like twenty feet apart and that was fry not stun. You have to tell your Fuzzy to stun first and then you have to actually aim."
"At least Timmy hit his target!" Sean exclaimed as Timmy's target was vaporized.
"Bite me Sean." Cory commented as he took aim again. This time he actually caught the upper right corner of the target; turning it yellow.
"Engineers," giggled Dmitry. "Give 'em an engine and they're right at home, give 'em a Fuzzy and they go all goofy on ya. That was close but let's try something a little different." Dmitry seemed to almost hug Cory but was actually positioning himself so that he was right in front of Cory and pressed up against him. "Here, try aiming like this," said Dmitry as he shifted himself into a good firing position and because of how he was standing he forced Cory into the same position. "Now focus on the target and use the Fuzzy's senses to visualize the target from how the Fuzzy would see it." Dmitry pulled away from Cory and then stood back, "Try it again."
Cory gave it a try, and turned the center of the target green. Sean turned his head and yelled to the guys watching "You can come out now; he's learned to aim!"
Dmitry grinned, "Awesome, that's much better. Do you want to try getting us a fry now?"
Cory nodded, then flipped off Kyle when he heard him whisper 'Duck!' just loud enough for Cory to hear. Cory turned back to the target, fired, and then smiled as the target turned bright yellow. "Who's laughing now Leech?" Cory giggled.
"Nice shot Cory," said Dmitry. "Leech? You know that reminds me of this time when a leech got down Dom's pants. If he's that kinda leech then Tyler sure is lucky."
"I sure am!" Tyler yelled back with a giggle. "Dominic, you really need to explain to Dmitry that what happens in the shower stays in the shower though!"
"I'll remind him later when we're in the shower," Dominic said with an evil grin. "At least we both have really great leeches for boyfriends though."
Cory giggled at their exchange. "Can I see what he's capable of now?"
"NO!" everyone in the surrounding area replied at once.
Dmitry shook his head, "They're just spoil sports, go ahead with the max with your Fuzzy and kill that target for me."
Cory stuck out his tongue at the surrounding group. He aimed carefully and fired off a blast at his target. The target flashed red for a fraction of a second then totally disappeared. "Holy crap! Dude, I hope I NEVER gotta use that!" Cory exclaimed under his breath.
"I've actually used that setting once outside of here," Dmitry said softly. "You don't want to have to use it."
Cory put his arm around Dmitry and pulled him into a hug. "I know the feeling. Don't let it eat you up bro; sometimes it takes force to set the world right."
"It doesn't," replied Dmitry. "While it bothers me a little that I took a life it would bother me more if that man had been allowed to live. I suppose one thing I learned in the last month is that you can't always expect someone to save you and if nothing is done the bad guys CAN win. I have...I had several friends that died at the hands of one of those bad men and if Nyo hadn't done something then he would have killed me too. Nyo is a good person and I want to be just like him when I grow up. And I think he learned some of his compassion from you and your family. Some day I'll make that up to you, I owe you for that."
Cory kissed Dmitry's forehead. "Just help someone in need if you can; that's all the payment I need." he whispered.
"See, you're a smart blond no matter what they say about you," grinned Dmitry as he hugged Cory tightly.
"Shhhh -- you'll ruin my rep!" Cory whispered as he returned the hug.
"BEEP, BEEP, BEEP"
Tempo looked up and noticed that the communications console to his left was getting an incoming call. He quickly checked for the id of the caller and then opened the channel.
"This is Tempo," said Tempo. "Is our beat steady?"
"All is not well my ticking metronome," came the reply in a deep, scattered voice. "We may have an issue that needs to be taken care of. Are you alone?"
"All of the agents are asleep," answered Tempo.
"Very good," said the voice. "We have a situation that has been brought to our attention. There are two different groups that are threatening our dear Federation and Earth's survival. The first is upsetting the balance of the Federation and we are not entirely sure of their intentions. So far they seem to be saving children but they are also ordering Starfleet Admirals around and demanding things that are not theirs to ask for. Their intentions might be good but so far they seem to be wreak-less and wild. Regardless you are to take out their leader and his family to send them a message to this group to back off. The group goes by the name of 'Clan Short'."
"Is that the same Clan Short of the Family of Sarek of the House of Surak of Vulcan?" asked Tempo.
"The same," replied the voice. "I am sure they are well guarded so I want you to send someone with the ability to overcome security easily. Don't send Tenor, I suggest Alto, but again that is up to you."
"Very well Maestro," said Tempo has he wrote down his orders. "I will get energy patterns on the Patriarch and his family; I think Alto will do fine on this task. What is the other situation?"
"This one is not as pressing and may require a little research," said the voice. "There is an organization that is infiltrating Starfleet. We are not entirely sure of its intentions but we don't want to wait and find out. So far they seemed to be working out of churches but lately they have been getting bolder and are spreading hate that could crush a few delicate balances that are important to us. This might take more time then the first group but nevertheless find all the members of this organization and eliminate them."
"I will put Sharp on research then and have him track down these people," said Tempo. "Once he has found them I will get their energy patterns from him and have Bass and Tenor finish them off."
"That is perfect," said the voice. "I trust you to change this rhythm and get the beat back to where it should be, good luck."
"Yes Maestro," replied Tempo. Suddenly the line went dead. Tempo switched off the communication channel and then rolled his wheel chair over to a door on the right and looked into the next room. Tempo sighed as he looked over the five sleeping boys in that room, "I'll let them sleep a little longer before we get started."
~~~Founder Council Chamber a Little Later~~~
Stepan finished helping Nyo set up a holographic projector next to the Seer's chair, "I think that will do it. Do you need me for anything else?"
Nyo stood up and pulled Stepan into a hug, "I will later, but I think that'll be it for the moment."
"Okay, I'll see you then," said Stepan as he returned the hug and then started out of the room. "Cyna go ahead and access the projector, it's ready for you."
As Stepan left the chamber the projector became active and an image of Cyna appeared floating above it. Cyna looked around at the chamber and whistled, "Dang this place is dusty. Hey did you guys know that this is the only other round room in the Ark Compound other then Ark's core?"
"Yeah but the hole in this ones floor only goes down a half a foot instead of a mile and it has chairs around it rather then circuits," said Nyo. "Okay where do we sit?"
"Pick a seat," said Tyne. "You guys can sit anywhere but the chair that Cyna is next to."
Cory took a seat near the one Cyna was 'standing' by. He motioned Danny to sit next to him. Kyle sat by Danny and Xain chose the next chair in line. Rusty looked over at Cyna. "Is that chair reserved for the cutest Founder on Earth?" he asked, pointing at the chair Tyne had indicated.
"Oh yeah," giggled Cyna. "But the cutest and newest Vifer should be sitting next to him on his other side if you ask me."
"Only if the cutest Virtual Founder promises to always sit on the other side!" Rusty responded with a smile.
"You two are nuts," said Tyne as he took his seat.
< Tyne everyone that is currently in the Council is here. >
"Alright, thanks Ark," said Tyne as he cleared his throat. "I suppose the Council is now in session, this will be the first session that's been held here in a really long time but let's start off with any questions that any of you might have first. Then we can move on to what we need to address."
Cory thought for a second. "Yeah; what is Kyle's status. I know you think he's got Founder in him; but exactly what does it mean for him?"
"Kyle is entitled to all the rights and privileges of any Founder," replied Tyne. "Somehow he ended up being almost ninety percent Founder and only about ten percent human. We think that he's from what's left of the Founders that made it through the Faction War. According to the records that Ark has, in which Ark was able to only track them up to the Faction War of the Third Cycle, the Founders were doing their best to stay together and keep their blood strong. Now we're not going to go into any kind of inbreeding or anything like that but if they were still following the last few laws that the Council made before the Ark project was finished then every first born child has to have two Founder parents. That's the only way that Kyle can have as strong of a bloodline as he has. His heritage is strong enough that we can clearly see who his ancestors are and track him all the way back to Cyna's house. In fact it's very possible that he is a direct descendant of Cyna and not just his family. All male Founders were required to give samples back then if we married someone that we could not reproduce with. Kyle is as close to a full blooded Founder as you'll be able to find besides myself and he should be able to have all the same abilities that I have with the right training; his mind has the right set up for it and his human heritage doesn't seem to have messed with it at all."
Cory tilted his head. "Okay; with the way his skills were growing, what would have happened if you had not been here to train him? Sorry lil' bro; but I kinda need to know what you were up against."
"Well he wouldn't have ever had a problem with his Seer skill, that one would have just stayed dormant," said Tyne. "But without some way to learn to control his telepathic skills he would have probably lost himself to all the voices in his head. You would have had to have him committed and he would eventually have gone brain dead."
Cory nodded. "That's what I thought. Ark; were there any signs that you could use to find any others like Kyle out there? I'd hate to have more kids going through what he did."
< I would have to do a tag search but the satellite that I would use for that kind of detailed task fell out of orbit about the time that the Faction War ended. That is why I can no longer track them. >
"Easy problem." Cory replied. "If you can provide the receiver, I'll get it in orbit for you. Sean's always looking for an excuse to go into the stratosphere anyways."
"I can get Ark the original blue prints for that satellite," said Cyna. "Me and one of my teams helped build it so I know exactly where to look."
< Well if I have that satellite back then it will take me about four hours to search the planet for any other Founder tags. >
"If the tags are still traceable of course," added Cyna.
< Yes that too. If they are not related to the Founders that lived in this compound then I will not have record of their tags. >
"Let's do it then if everyone agrees." Cory suggested. "If there's even one more kid like Kyle out there it is worth it."
"We can get on that as soon as possible then," replied Cyna.
"Do we have any other questions?" asked Tyne. He looked around and didn't get any other questions so he continued. "Okay, then lets start with what Ark has lined up for us. Ark, what do we have first on the list?"
< Well the first two topics all of you need to discuses are Socius and filling the other council positions. >
Rusty leaned over and gave Tyne a long kiss. "Yes sweetie, I accept! Okay, next topic?"
< Right topic, wrong meaning. Tyne did not ask you anything but seeing that you are so willing to discuss that topic let us start there...after Tyne comes back to earth that is. >
Cory giggled at Tyne's expression of bliss. "Cyna; is he like this often?"
"Only when you kiss him like Rusty just did," smiled Cyna. "But only Rusty is allowed to do that so don't get any ideas Cory."
"I got my teddy bear, don't worry. Tyne's got his hands full with you two anyways!" Cory giggled in reply. "It looks like he's gonna be a while Ark; why don't you fill us in on what 'Socius' is?"
"Actually Ark doesn't need to explain that one," said Cyna. "Quite plainly, it's what you'd call marriage. The ceremony is a little different but most of the rules are the same."
< One large change is that it can not be undone unless one of the people involved dies. >
"Right," continued Cyna. "The only other differences are how Founder law affects it. The most important of these is that no one under Founder law can have children unless they are married."
"So you are saying legal marriage; not that 'civil union' crap, right?" Cory replied.
Tyne tilted his head, "Civil union?"
"It's a crap way of dealing with couples of the same sex wanting to get married," said Cyna. "I'll explain it more for you later if you want Tyne."
"Okay, thanks Cyna," smiled Tyne.
"Well I talked to Sarek earlier today and he said that Vulcan will recognize a Socius as a legal marriage," added Nyo. "So any current day legal problems will not stop us in any way."
"And who's to say that I'm willing to recognize any other Earth government as valid?" Tyne said as he sat back in his chair. "The way I see it we predate them so our laws take priory and override theirs. It will help to have another planet recognize our form of marriage as legal though and also helps to prove that ours override any other laws on Earth as far as this matter is concerned."
Xain stood up. "If I may, I believe I might have some insight into that matter. Despite current thought patterns among the human governments, the precedents set by interplanetary law recognize the oldest body of government as the primary contact for any given planetary system. Despite being inactive over the previous cycles, due to the fact Ark was continuously monitoring current affairs with Cyna as a Founder representative present the Founder governing body is considered active by interstellar law. Recognition by Ambassador Sarek has solidified that ruling; it would be illogical for the Federation Council to deny a petition by the Founder Council to reinstate governmental rights over Terra. At such time as this Council declares sovereignty over Terra I shall approach the Federation Council with Vulcan's backing."
"Only one problem with that Xain," said Tyne. "Humanity threw the Founders out of power, they choose that and we're supposed to respect that. The Founder Council, when I was put into cryo-sleep, was only governing its own people and without a people left to govern we can't claim much."
Xain raised an eyebrow. "Ark; please calculate based on available information the percentage of the current population which can claim more than .05 percent of their genetic makeup comes from the surviving Founder stock which survived the cycle changes. Assume Founder descendants having a higher percentage of surviving cyclic changes compared to non-Founder stock."
"Xain sit down please, we're not in any position to want to establish ourselves in any position of power," said Tyne. "Unless you feel like taking on the responsibility of a planet entirely by yourself. We are in no position to need control of anything and will not notify any of the Earth governments of our existence at this time. And as I am leading this Council I would currently refuse any attempt to place us in a position to replace any government. Your suggestion is noted but is not relevant at this time."
Xain sat before he replied. "That is understood Tyne. The basis of my query was concerning your statement regarding the amount of Founders left. It is an assumption without data; the data collected from other cultures has shown a trend which has the peaceful segments of a population surviving their warlike brethren an average of 78.5274 percent of the time. If Terra has followed that trend over the various cycles my data shows that approximately 64.8 percent of the population is able to be genetically traced to a Founder descendant."
Tyne frowned, "You're right, I am making an assumption without data but that's still part of my nature Xain. I may be Founder but even Founders came from humans. But then you're making the assumption that I'm making my assumption without data are you not? What's to say that I didn't look over the Founder records the last time I was in the interactive chamber and was interfaced with the Ark's database? Regardless I can't see how staring at numbers makes any difference or how it is related to the topic we are supposed to be discussing."
"Good point," Cyna said quickly. "We are way off topic; we are talking about Socius not Founder governmental relations. Let's stay on topic."
Before Tyne or Xain could say anything Cory spoke up. "Xain; I think you should wait until information is needed before making requests like that. While I'm curious about those numbers myself, it's something that can wait for some time when there is nothing else going on. Thanks for your input; while it's not applicable immediately you have gave us something to consider when we all decide it is logical to proceed in that direction. Cyna is right; we need to get back on subject. Tyne; you just got a taste of the Vulcan thirst for information. Please don't take it personally; while it takes getting used to, after you adjust to it you'll find it can be fun digging around for whatever has sparked Xain's interest. You definitely have earned respect if you have a Vulcan willing to spar with you for information!"
"That's fine and I'll try not to take it personally. But it needs to be noted that that kind of 'sparring' is not appropriate in a council session. If this happens again I will just dismiss the offender for insubordination, failing to recognize my position as Seer, and showing disrespect to the rest of the Council present."
As Xain nodded his understanding, Danny stood up. "Okay; back on subject. It does not matter what local 'laws' say if I understand right; Socius is legally recognized. Now on to the real matter; Founder law states the ceremony must be performed before a couple is allowed to have children. If we are going to enforce that law, then I believe that the members of the Council need to be in compliance before we tell anyone else to do it. That should apply to Clan officers too; we are the examples the rest of the guys look to follow." Danny then took his seat to await a reply.
"I agree but not only to show structure and compliance but for the benefit of the children as well," said Cyna. "It lets the children know that their parent's relationship is something that will always be a constant in their lives. It helps with their emotional stability. That was why the law was written in the first place."
Tyne nodded and then looked over at Cory, "Seeing that this directly affects you how do you feel about this Cory?"
Cory thought for a second. "Before we get to me personally, how is compatibility decided before the ceremony is performed?"
"Is there a prerequisite for love?" asked Tyne. "The only reasons the Council would not allow the ceremony to be performed would be if the couple was not mentally mature enough to handle the relationship and if they were not in love. Maturity and love are the only requirements."
Cory nodded. "Sean and I have been researching being married under Vulcan law. While they do not recognize 'love', they do recognize mental maturity and compatibility. I personally can vouch that all of the couples who have children meet both requirements. I personally agree to it; but it would be irresponsible for me to answer for Sean even though I know he would agree to it. With that in mind, I agree with Danny's statements one hundred percent."
"I really don't care about compatibility Cory, that's not what I asked of a couple considering Socius," replied Tyne. "Love has compatibility but compatibility doesn't have to have love. If they don't fall under love before compatibility then I don't care if they're compatible I won't approve anything. Compatibility can mean many things, I can be compatible with someone else but that might just mean that I would work well with that person; it doesn't mean I love them."
"Cory recognizing that you can't speak for Sean shows that you are ready mentally on some level," added Cyna. "There would still be a review of your relationship before the Council or Ceremony Committee."
Cory nodded. "That's fair. I don't want any different treatment than the rest of the guys."
Xain held up his hand once Cory was done. "I have been in communication with my bond-mate. Jake is in agreement that it would be logical to proceed with the joining under Founder law. Additional communication with he-who-is-my-father will be required to verify if we will also be required to proceed with the Vulcan ceremony."
"Then the review for any Socius will be done at the request of the individual couples," said Tyne. "Any other questions on this topic?"
Kyle held up his hand. "Tyne; will it be taken into consideration the limits to mental development placed on those under eighteen by the current culture?"
"Any Socius is considered an adult under Founder law," replied Tyne. "If they are mature enough to handle a relationship of that commitment then they are ready for anything else you can throw at them."
Danny looked around the room. "I move that Socius be reactivated as of now and that Council members with children be reviewed at the earliest opportunity for their readiness to perform the ceremony."
Xain nodded. "I second the motion."
"Two Council members have motioned for Socius reactivation. Are there any objections to reactivation of this status and ceremony?" asked Cyna as he looked around the room. Seeing that no one objected he continued, "No objections."
"Very well, motion granted," said Tyne. "Moving on to the next topic then..."
< Seer, forgive my interruption but there is an issue that needs addressing immediately. >
"Go ahead and continue Ark," replied Tyne.
< I was reviewing communication logs from an unknown source within Starfleet to a secret organization that I have been keeping tabs on. The organization is called Metronome and was created some time back as an assassination team. Its assassins are Augments, genetically enhanced humans, who by those that have seen them refer to them as the blind killers. They see energy patterns when they close their eyes; this is how they track and kill their targets. >
"What is the relevance?" asked Tyne.
< They were given a very specific target and we can not let their assassin carry out his task. The message that I just monitored to Metronome requested the termination of the Patriarch of Clan Short and his immediate family. >
"What the FUCK!" Cory screamed as he shot to his feet. "That's utter BULLSHIT! Whoever that bastard is that ordered that I'm gonna hang him by the balls! I'm gonna...."
Danny came over to try to calm Cory. "Bro, calm down so we can figure out how to stop them...."
Cory looked at Danny with fire in his eyes. "I AM fucking calm! It's one thing to go after me; that bastard crossed the line when he involved my family. As far as I'm concerned Starfleet can go to Hell; I refuse to put my family in danger from some assassin that works for the people I'm helping. They've got a lot of fucking explaining to do; and they better do it damn quick."
< It is not Starfleet specifically; it is a rogue agency that branched off from Starfleet called Section 31. You rattled their cage and they do not know whether to count you as friend or foe. So they plan to avoid finding out first by sending a very harsh warning to your entire Clan to stay out of their way. >
"No! I made a promise that I would see Clan Short succeed and it needs all of its family to do that!" hissed Tyne. "Ark, I want everything you have on this Metronome group down to the very energy patterns they've been given for Cory and his family. Cyna I want you to come up with a way to block or mask Cory and his family's real patterns to keep them safe. Nyo organize the task force and come up with several plans of attack to stop that assassin. Cory and his family mean too much to too many people. We can't let this happen; Nyo, I release you from this session. Cyna, when you have something figured out anyone you need is at your fingertips."
A low growl from Tyne's side got his attention. He looked over at Rusty and had his first look at his partner when really mad. Rusty's fists were clenched so tight his knuckles were ghost white; the rest of his visible body was as red as his hair with not a single one of his numerous freckles visible. "Get JJ in here." Rusty stated through clenched teeth.
Without even waiting for a prompt Ark teleported JJ right into the middle of the Council Chamber. Timmy arrived with JJ, sitting on JJ's lap in full warpaint. As soon as Timmy saw where they were, he jumped up and ran to Cory. JJ looked around the room and stated "Two kids in warpaint and now I'm somewhere I was told I'm not supposed to go into. Whatever is happening is pretty serious; fill me in."
"There's an assassin out for Cory and his family's lives," said Nyo as he got up from his seat. "And considering the nature of the assassin those that dispatched him are not playing by our rules."
"But if they can cheat then so can we," said Cyna. "I think I know a way to easily mask their energy patterns, I'll take any help I can get building the stuff though."
JJ looked over at Cory, who was holding Timmy tightly with tears running down his face. He then turned to Tyne and spoke in a controlled voice despite his very apparent rage. "Sir; due to the situation my Patriarch is indisposed so I am required to speak for him. The full resources and all Clan personnel are hereby at your disposal for any and all assistance you require. I hereby concede command to the person you designate."
"Nyo is heading the task force and considering the situation I want your Clan members to stay away from your compound until this issue is dealt with," replied Tyne. "No one goes anywhere without a sub-vocal and protection of some kind. If you want to help us right now JJ then for tonight, until we have a plan, I want you to do crowd control. Make sure everyone knows that they're cared for and loved and keep the peace. If Nyo needs your help then he'll let you know."
~~~Fifteen Minutes Later~~~
"Right, the cloaking device will support that," said Cyna as he gave Stepan instructions. "We'll just have to kill its normal invisibility and replace that with what I have in mind."
"Okay," replied Stepan. "I'm not really that familiar with this stuff yet but if you say it'll work then I trust you."
"You see that yellow mini circuit board, that's the board you'll be integrating the energy emitter into," Cyna said from the holographic display next to Stepan. "You should be able to unplug the red wires on it and then pull out the green board; the energy emitter will go where the green board was and then we have to do some fancy wiring to get it integrated."
Stepan started taking out the green board, "Hey do you mind if I ask you a few questions?"
"Sure, what's on your mind?" replied Cyna.
"What's it like to die?" asked Stepan.
Cyna tilted his head, "Well I...umm. It hurts but not in the way you think."
"What do you mean?" said Stepan as he finally got the green board out and started to place the energy emitter into the cloaking device.
"It hurts more to know that you're leaving everyone that you love behind then it does to actually die," Cyna said softly.
"What do I do from here?" Stepan said when he got the energy emitter in.
"Where the red wires were you'll want to attach the blue ones from the emitter," said Cyna. "Then you'll take the red wires from the emitter and splice them with the yellow wires on the yellow board."
"Okay, thanks," replied Stepan. "And how do you feel about Tyne being with someone else?"
"Have you been taking hard question lesson from Ark?" Cyan sighed as he sat down in the display. "I love Tyne and I'll always love Tyne but that's part of the reason that I'm okay with it."
"What do you mean?" asked Stepan.
"I can't be with Tyne," said Cyna. "I can't hold him, I can't kiss him, and I can't be there for him the way that I once was. I know that Tyne would have been fine if he didn't have any of that for the rest of his life. I know he would have remained loyal but then to what degree do I hold him? Am I dead or alive? According to the terms we were married under he can move on and I love him enough that I want him to be happy, even if it's not with me."
"It sounds like Rusty wants you to remain in Tyne's life though," said Stepan. "There, got the first one finished I think. Let's test it." Stepan strapped the device on and turned it on. "Ark do I have a traceable pattern?"
< It looks like that will work; I am not reading a pattern from you at all. >
"Awesome, it sounds like this will work," replied Stepan. "I'll make more now. Please continue."
Cyna sighed again, "Rusty is a really great guy, and I'm glad that Tyne found him. And yes he wants me to still be a part of Tyne's life and now that I think about it that'll probably be better for both me and Tyne. But if that's the case it's almost like Tyne has two partners. Although it's not possible for me to ever have a body again so I suppose that doesn't matter as much."
"Well then just continued to support Tyne," said Stepan. "He'll always love you and you are very important to him."
"I'm going to look out for Rusty too," Cyna added. "There's just something about him that I really like. I guess that some of it has to do with the fact that he reminds me of Tyne but I'm not sure what the other part is."
Stepan grinned, "I think you might like him like you do Tyne."
Cyna thought for a moment before replying, "You might be right. I'm not sure if that's a bad thing or not though. I mean I can't obviously be in any relationship with anyone. But if I love them both the same then I can at least hold them in my heart and wish for their happiness and mean it."
"What if you were ever given the option of leaving the computer and given a body back?" asked Stepan as he finished up the next device.
"Not that that's possible but I don't really know," said Cyna. "I don't think I could be a part of their relationship at that point. You can't really have two partners, the Council laws forbid it."
Stepan looked up at Cyna for a second, "Cyna, you guys are the Council. Not only that but the issue may come up anyway, the Twins both have the same boyfriend you know."
Cyna smiled, "I'll add it to our list of things to talk about. It'll at least benefit them if we change that law. Don't worry about me though Stepan; I'm going to be fine. I'm sure Rusty will make sure of it. Besides, Ark already uses that same question logic on me; I don't need you using it too."
"I learn from the best," giggled Stepan as he finished another device. "These get really easy to convert after a while."
"What do you think about this assassin that's after Cory and his family?" Cyna asked Stepan.
Stepan looked up at Cyna for a second and then back down at what he was doing, "I almost feel sorry for the assassin, Cory's in good hands and between Tyne and Nyo I don't think any harm will ever come to Cory if they have anything to do with it."