"C'mon Cory; I know you can hit that hole!" Sean giggled as Cory tried yet again to get past the windmill.
"It'd be easier if certain guards would stop chasing my balls!" Cory giggled.
"Who, us?" Mont asked innocently from his crouched position next to the windmill.
Bast looked up, a golf ball in his mouth, and gave a matching classic 'innocent' look.
JJ shook his head. "The 'innocent' act might work a little better if you two hadn't just finished making Kyle relax by giving him a forced grooming!"
Bast grinned as he tossed the ball back to Cory. "If Kyle don't relax and have fun we're gonna do it again!"
"I think you made your point the first time!" Kyle replied as he rejoined the group, towel in hand. "When we get back you should catch Tyler; I think a tongue massage like you guys give would help him chill too."
Cory giggled as he put the ball on the tee once again and prepared to try to make it past the hole. He putted carefully, and sent the ball on a perfect path for a hole in one. As it made it through the hazard, he led the group in running around to the other side to see if it went in. As soon as he was able to see the hole, Cory skidded to a stop and started laughing. His ball had gone in the hole; but it then was coming back out, doing three laps around the hole, then dropping back in again. This repeated over and over until Kyle finally broke out in a fit of giggles.
JJ pulled his little brother into a hug. "You're weird lil bro; in a good way but you're weird!" he giggled.
"It runs in the family; I learned it from you." Kyle replied. He glanced at the next hole, and grinned as he commented "You know, I think Josiah made the water hazard on that hole too small."
"Whadda you mea ... ohhhhhh!" JJ replied as the small pond in the corner was replaced by something resembling a smaller version of an old Roman public bath. "Isn't that overkill bro?"
"Nope." Kyle replied. "Seventh-hole rest break."
Mont walked over and checked out the pool as Bast stared at Kyle in wonder. Mont sniffed the water, then took a small taste of it. "Good water, I think it's safe." he called out.
Kyle nodded. "I hope so; I tapped a ground spring for the water." He seemed to concentrate for a few seconds. "Look out Mont; I think we need a roof over it."
Mont stood back, and watched as four stone arches appeared, followed quickly by a marble slab for a roof. Once the slab was in place, the entire assembly settled into the ground until it was just over seven feet tall. "That should work; I copied those from the Romans so I KNOW they ain't gonna fall!" Kyle announced with a smile.
"That ain't Roman; there's no fountain!" Bast declared as he stared at the new structure.
"I didn't like the ones that were by this bath." Kyle replied seriously. "How do you think one from Florence, Italy would fit in?"
Bast tilted his head in thought. "I could live with that; they were the best sculptors of their time."
Kyle nodded, and a few seconds later a statue appeared on the far side of the bath. The statue had a very nude boy crouched down with his arm around the neck of a lion. Water began to flow from a portal in the base of the statue directly into the bath, making the appearance of an old public bath complete.
Mont and Bast looked at each other, then Mont exclaimed "How in the HECK did you do that?"
Kyle gave a small giggle as he replied. "Hop in and I'll explain." He then led the way, since his clothes were still in a pile from the forced 'bath' from the two cats.
Once Kyle finished explaining to the cats about his species, he looked around at his brothers. "Cory, JJ; I need to apologize for me keeping Sean and I away when you needed us."
"What do you mean?" Cory asked; the haunted expression that fleetingly crossed his face giving evidence that he knew quite well what Kyle was referring to.
Kyle hung his head. "We all promised to be there for each other when Momma Sharon died; when things got really bad I wasn't around. If I hadn't of been playing around with this stuff I can do now then maybe we woulda been back sooner."
Cory looked at Sean and JJ with an expression that clearly conveyed that he was not ready to discuss recent events. Despite this, he replied to Kyle. "Kyle, you're my little brother and always will be. You can forget that line of thought right now; one of us messed up by what happened is enough. If it wasn't for you taking that time, you would not have been able to save Jamie. Levi wouldn't have been born yet because you would not have made Tyler into a Mikyvis while taking that nap. Since Levi would not have been born, there are a lot of good things that happened today that would have never happened. You followed God's plan for you to grow into what you are now; the bad things that happened while you were growing were part of another plan that would not have worked if you were there. Sean might have been killed if he had not been on the Moon with you; instead the only injury he got was a star sticker in his butt crack."
JJ nodded as he put his arm over Kyle's shoulders. "Don't worry little bro; nobody thinks you were avoiding what happened. You were there when you were needed; that is what counts. Do you really think you could have done what you did today if you had not taken that time to start learning as soon as you started changing?"
Kyle laid his head on JJ's shoulder. "I guess not." he whispered. "I just wish I had known how to save that Hunter kid. I keep going over it in my head, but everything I can think of wouldn't have brought him back. Part of his Spirit was already moving out of his body; even if I had been able to get all of the buckshot out of his head there was no way to bring him back."
"You're not Mikey." JJ whispered just loud enough to be heard by all. "That's Mikey's area, not yours. If it was Hunter's time then I'm sure Mikey was there to guide him. You can't change fate little buddy; when the Book of Life calls someone's name you need to let them go."
"Yeah; but I think I took it out on his father." Kyle whimpered.
Sean shook his head. "Tyler gave me the report Kyle. I need to get ahold of Grandpa Sarek to pronounce a final sentence; but what you did was in line with the crimes that he committed. Since I'm in charge until Grandpa Sarek says Cor is ready for duty again, it's my place to give a final sentence. What you did was right for the time you were doing it; you brought relief to everyone there and possibly made the difference that saved a few lives. If you would have killed him then he would have died without knowing how much pain he really caused."
Just then JJ's communicator went off on the side of the bath. JJ reached over and looked to see who was calling. "Go ahead Seth." JJ said as he opened the unit.
"JJ, I have Ambassador Sarek requesting to speak to the Patriarch."
"Put him through." JJ replied. As soon as he heard the connection switch, he added "Good Afternoon Ambassador; this is JJ. Patriarch Cory is sitting next to me."
"Greetings, JJ, Cory. I have just received a message that seems to indicate Kyle is experiencing a problem concerning an event yesterday. Would it be acceptable for me and one other to beam to your location?"
"I wasn't aware you received Kylegrams Ambassador; yes it would be quite helpful if you and your companion joined us." JJ replied, not bothering to consult Sean or Cory.
Obviously, Sarek did not laugh. That did not stop someone else in the background, however, for childish giggles could be heard over the comm in JJ's hand.
"We are transporting down now."
The signal went quiet, and a few seconds' later two Vulcan transporter beams took form and the Ambassador appeared, with a smaller, black robed and hooded boy at his side; and the boy was still giggling.
Sarek looked at the six boys relaxing in the Roman bath before addressing the boy at his side, "Voice, are you in agreement with the inclusion of these boys into 'Yon'kur Wuh'?"
"Yes, Grandfather." came the formal response, once Voice had finished giggling. He lowered his hood and faced the others. Cory's face registered slight recognition, yet it was Kyle who fully recognized him.
Kyle gasped, "You! You were there, just before... the day before Cory went home! And you... Marc..." Kyle trailed off happily.
"So THAT is where I saw you!" Cory added.
Voice grinned. "I'm glad you remember. Yes, I was there. There for a very specific reason. However, before I explain that, I have to apologize to one of you," and so saying, Voice moved over and knelt down so that he was looking directly at Kyle.
"Kyle. When I saw you that Friday, I felt your pain. It was automatic. I scanned you. I know now why you were so hard to read, and it is... well, it is all down to what your son did to me ten months ago that I could survive scanning a Founder's mind." Voice heaved in an unsteady breath. "I know," he whispered out so that only Kyle could hear him. "I know everything. There was nothing I could do then to help you; I wish I could have."
Tears were flowing down his face as he looked into Kyle's purple eyes.
"Can I look in your head?" Kyle asked softly as the rest of the boys watched in confusion.
Voice nodded, "Yes. I... I think... Levi has. Twice. And I believe you and Tyler have as well... that is if you are 'Cuddlebunny' or 'Sweetheart'... See everything, but this is all secret. Not from those here, but to everyone else... for a few more days at least."
Voice dropped all his shields, although he knew Kyle could have broken through. It was just his sign of trust.
Kyle nodded as he sensed the shields of Voice's mind drop. A few seconds later, Kyle looked up. "Jason, you did exactly what you should have at the time; don't feel bad. I noticed some things we need to do later on here; I think you know what I mean. I also got to see a bunch of things I missed; things that happened because of my actions that I wasn't aware of. Thanks; you just helped me understand something that my brothers here have been beating into my head."
Voice could not resist picking the very wet and dripping Mikyvis up out of the bath to cuddle him. "I've wanted to do this for months, little dude. It really was you, back then! Although for you it's not yet," Jason gently lowered the giggling boy back into the water and looked up into the confused eyes of the others.
"You seem to have questions, Patriarch. Shall we deal with them now before we do what I came here to help you with? Hunter's father?" Jason asked Cory.
Cory giggled. "I kinda would like to know what you and my favorite little brain leech have been up to that makes it so you have so much in common. Not to mention the 'Red One' that you just placed us under."
"Temporal Event incoming," Jason giggled. "Okay. Me and all my brothers and sisters don't exist, officially. We have been under 'Red One' since Boxing Day last year. Everything that happened after that event is 'not' at the moment. What you hear now, including my name, cannot be said to any other than Grandfather Sarek, Poppa Spock and those within the Dragon Division."
He paused as he received nods from all in the bath, including the two lion-boys. Jason continued, "I am Jason Evans, Patriarch in waiting of a Vulcan Clan in the Family Sarek of the House of Surak of Vulcan. I am also Division Commander of the Dragon, part of Vulcan Special and Covert Operations."
"As for what your 'leech' here has been doing... well, nothing. Yet. While I have seen him in the past, he has yet to go back there. The circle is about to close, it seems. Levi, however... Levi has already been back there. He healed Koth, my Klingon brother."
"So THAT is what he meant by a happy Klingon ...." Sean mused. "I've got a few stuffed animals left that I don't know who they go to; do you know someone named 'Joel'? He's supposed to get a stuffed Sehlat. That is one of the weirdest ones I have left."
"Joel... No, we have... wait a moment please." Jason eyes grew far away for a moment. When he refocused on Sean he said, "There is no-one we know called Joel, but Eyes... I mean Antony, he just got a chill over that name. I think Joel is coming soon."
Jason shuffled about and took off his boots. Once done, he dipped his bare feet into the pool. The next second he was completely bare and his clothing was piled next to him. After seeing the wink from Kyle, Jason shrugged and slipped into the bath between Kyle and Mont.
"Antony is a Founder... we think. We got all the info that this Ark person dumped into your own data core this morning, and that is when we found out about these sub-species and about the Mikyvis. We tested Tony right away as he's been our pre-cog for ages, and he shows the signs. I think a certain someone," Jason looked at Kyle briefly with a smile, "changed him yet also blocked him."
"Not yet!" Kyle giggled. "We'll get into that later."
"Okay, I think I get it." Cory replied. "Do yourself a favor though, don't call Ark a person; it gets offended by that."
"Ark's an AI, I gather?" Jason asked.
"Oh, okay. Antony would love that! Well, the only thing left is probably the most surprising. The Dragon Division has been behind the scenes since before you went home to your brother, Patriarch. We have been there, watching on Grandfather's orders almost every step of the way... only..."
Jason bowed his head in shame. "We failed you. When you needed us most, when you could have used our protection, we failed... we weren't there..."
Sarek moved from where he was sitting and rested a hand on Jason's shoulder, "You were on a mission already, and what occurred happened faster than any expected. You cannot know everything, my child."
Bast spoke up as well. "Is it a fault of you telepaths that you think you can be everywhere at once? JJ just got done explaining to Kyle that it's God's will for you to be where you are needed the most. Chill out; if you had been needed here more than where you were than you woulda been here. You keep this up and you're gonna get a bath, our way!"
Kyle giggled. "Take them up on the bath Jason; it's fun."
Jason looked over at Bast, pain still in his eyes. He began to broadcast so that all in there heard clearly, 'I am not like most telepaths. Nor are many in the Division. Eyes has always seen those things that were coming against both Clan Short and even your UNIT. We stopped them. Every time.' He sighed and spoke out loud, "We failed. Tony said it himself. I don't blame them. I should have seen the response from those bastards! It's what I've been trained for!"
Kyle tilted his head. "You didn't see because you were not meant to see Jason. What you were doing instead was necessary to close out something before the fight I just had with Axon; a fight which altered the structure of the Universe in ways you are not trained to see. You were blocked by a Higher Power from picking up on this so that you could be where you were needed. What you call failure is something that might have been a key to the Universe still being alive right now."
Jason remained silent as he digested what both Bast and Kyle told him. Finally he nodded, slow acceptance rising in his eyes, "Okay. I'll work on that. There is something that happened with our mission that could become something else. Good or bad, I don't know, yet."
He turned to regard Sean and Cory again, "I'm sorry. I came here for a reason. Tony said that Hunter's father is causing your little brother issues, and I'm to deal with it. That is, if you cede your authority over him, Patriarch."
Cory glanced at Kyle. "I owe it to my brother to stand by him on this, but I am still suffering from the altered mental state that extreme stress puts you under. If both Kyle and Grandfather agree then I will cede justice to you."
"I've seen in Jason's head; I know he'll follow logic." Kyle replied. "Until now I never realized how much a bad situation affects decisions that you make. Grandfather; if you wish Jason to oversee judgment I can provide both of you with full details including the state the man is now in. I really think I went too far, but Cory and Sean think I did okay."
Sarek nodded at both Cory and Kyle, "Please send both of us the information, and I shall decide on who should have the final say. I may take judgment myself."
Kyle nodded, and a few seconds later announced "It's done."
Sarek remained still and silent as he reviewed the data. Jason, however, stood and climbed out of the bath. As he reached for his clothing he suddenly found himself both dry and fully dressed. 'Thanks,' he sent to Kyle with a tight smile.
"Voice of the Dragon, you shall stand in judgment. Do you need others?" Sarek said seconds later.
Jason, eyes hard as agates, nodded, "I require Fire."
Jason touched a button on his device attached to his collar, "Voice to Dragon's Nest. Fire, are you receiving?"
"Go ahead, Voice."
"I require you here for Tribunal." Jason ordered.
"Received and understood. Standby."
Jason addressed Cory again, "Do you mind if we hold the Tribunal here and now, or would you prefer me to relocate? You are undressed, after all."
"Hold it now." Cory replied as all of the occupants left in the bath suddenly relocated to Jason's side; even the cats now clothed in Clan hooded robes.
Another transporter beam came into being and another black robed and hooded boy appeared. Upon seeing Jason without his robe, the new boy, Fire, pulled his own off. Both he and Jason were in solid black, near skin-tight jumpsuits with gold bars running from their shoulders to their wrists.
"Guys, this is Commander Nathan, the Fire of the Dragon." Jason said by way of introduction.
"You forgot the most important part, Jace!" Nathan giggled, his blond hair shining in the Florida sun.
Jason grinned, "Forgive me, oh beautiful one. This is my first brother, and even better, my Bonded. Say hello to the origin of Clan Short, cutie!"
Nathan poked Jason in the ribs, but he did greet Cory and company with his sunny smile, "Great to meet ya at last. We'll chat after we deal with the Tribunal."
"No problem." Cory replied for the group. "You can help us finish breaking in the seventh-hole rest area that Kyle was so kind to install."
"I'm glad I imported a large bath." Kyle said with a smile. "JJ, call Federation Security please. They need to know we are going to borrow their prisoner."
JJ nodded, and proceeded to make the call. As soon as he was done, Kyle turned to Jason. "Voice of the Dragon; I shall deliver the accused on your command."
"Now is as good a time as any, King Kyle," Jason said with a small cheeky grin.
"I wonder if a natural born Mikyvis can be strangled...." Kyle muttered with a small grin. A few seconds later, Hunter's father appeared in front of them; obviously suffering from the hell he was going through inside his own head.
Jason took a long look at the man, scanning him lightly. He blocked the nerves to the man's legs to prevent an escape attempt before he asked Kyle, "Kyle, can you undo what you did to him, please? You enabled me to grow to what I'm becoming, but I'm no demi-god."
"Neither am I." Kyle replied, his stomach turning at the suffering before him. He closed his eyes to block the image, and then released the man from the curse he had placed on him. As Kyle re-opened his eyes, he spoke. "You may continue, Voice."
The Voice of the Dragon stood straighter and began, "Arlo J Russell, father of Hunter Russell. You have been brought here for Tribunal to answer for your deeds and actions; not just in yesterday's appalling events, but throughout the past few years. Your mind has been scanned by one with Vulcan Training, and the information has been given to two other independent telepaths. Your guilt is established. Do you have anything to say before sentence is passed?"
Arlo looked at the faces of those around him, settling on Kyle. "Yes, I have. Young man; I have no idea how you did what you did to me. I'm not sure I want to know. I owe you an apology; after living through the pain and suffering I've caused others, I have come to the realization that most of my life I wasted inflicting pain instead of honoring the Commandment to 'Love thy Brother'. With God as my witness, I am honestly sorry for what I said and did to you and your partner. Without your actions I would never have understood my wrongs; for that alone I will be eternally grateful to you both."
He then twisted his head to look at Cory. "Mr. Short; you are doing the right thing to stop people like what I became. Please never stop."
He then looked up towards the sky. "Heavenly Father; I have sinned and broken the very teachings that You said were the most important. Father, please forgive me, and please be merciful to those who sin because of the effects I had on them. Father; I give myself to Your judgment and throw myself at Your mercy as I repent those actions which I have done in my life. As Earthly Judgment is passed, I await Your ultimate judgment with my head bowed, as I now know the path I walked was far from the straight and narrow. Amen."
Arlo turned his head back towards Jason. "I am aware of and truly sorrowful for the damage and death which I am responsible for. I plea guilty to all charges; charges which I was made aware of back in the hospital. It is due to the punishment I have suffered since that time that I now know and accept responsibility for my actions, which violated not only Earthly laws but Heavenly law as well. I do not want mercy; all I ask is that Justice be served, and that those who I have hurt who still survive are made aware of what happened today."
Jason and Nathan reached out with their empathic skills and abilities. Arlo was speaking the truth.
"Mr Russell," Jason said softly. "You are aware that your son was severely injured by your hand, are you not?"
The man nodded, tears now beginning to fall from his eyes. Kyle choked back a small sob also. Jason turned and gently drew Kyle into his side and held him tightly.
"Mr Russell, your son died yesterday, not long after Kyle started your punishment." Jason stated softly.
He waited as his words sank in before continuing, "The Dragon had an operative in that hospital yesterday. He reported that an event took place as your son's body was placed in the morgue. He said that a certain member of the Short family appeared. I believe God answered part of your prayer long before you asked it. Your son lives again. And you have the Saint Protector of Gay and Abandoned Children to thank for that."
Arlo looked up at Jason and nodded again, this time joy seeming to rise in his face, "Thank you. Please, look after him, and tell him I'm sorry. Now, do what you must."
Jason looked at Nathan and they both reached an agreement at the same time. "You did not ask for mercy, yet you will receive some. Justice demands your death, and that cannot be altered. You will not suffer more, though."
Jason shut the man's mind down instantly, causing a coma-like sleep to fall. Arlo fell backwards and lay still. Nathan then shut the blood-flow to the man's brain.
Within moments, Arlo Russell was dead.
"Voice to 'Yoshuhlnak', Wisdom, please respond." Jason spoke quietly into his communicator.
"Please lock onto the dead body two feet in front of me and transport into deep space, wide-angle beam dispersal."
"Locked on... energizing."
Mr Russell's body vanished quickly, and Nathan spoke softly, "God, into Your hands we place him. Before Your Throne, may his repentance stand."
Turning to look down at Kyle, Jason spoke, "Little man? Hunter is alive. There was a reason you could not heal him yesterday. Someone Else wanted to do a miracle."
Kyle had been wide eyed from the moment Jason had referred to Saint Mikey, and he was not the only one. Cory and Sean were smiling happily, if a bit surprised, and JJ was grinning openly.
Kyle tightened his grip around Jason's waist as he looked up into those bright blue-green eyes that were gazing down at him in compassion, "Thank you! I didn't know! Thanks, bro!"
Jason knelt down and pulled Kyle in even closer, practically squashing the small boy in a hug. "I want to tell you about something else, but I'm sure you've already seen it when you read my mind back then. I did the same thing to the father of my brothers, Matthew and Tristan. He had done terrible things, and so I made him suffer for it as well. That act made me start to change, which is where you, Levi and Tyler came in."
"When I stopped what I did to him, though, he wasn't sorry. He died still cursing me and my family. You just saved a man's soul, I think. Mr Russell was repentant just then, and I think God will give him some form of chance for that. But that is for God alone to know."
Jason pulled back long enough to press a kiss into Kyle's forehead before renewing the fierce hug, "You did good, Kyle. You really did good. Don't beat yourself up any more than you have already; for you did nothing wrong. The fact that you hate what you did to Arlo is what makes you better than most if not all of those bastards from yesterday. They have done, and would do, worse things, yet they feel nothing. You did something right and you HURT because of it. That makes you someone I want to really get to know and love. I think you are just the greatest little dude I know, and all of my guys love you already." As Jason finished speaking, he pressed another kiss into Kyle's hair. All that was heard were soft sobs and whimpers from the now frail seeming Mikyvis.
Sarek also moved over and touched Kyle's shoulder to get his attention. Kyle turned and looked up at his grandfather, tears still falling freely due to Jason's words of comfort. "Child, come here," Sarek opened his arms in an offered hug.
Kyle almost jumped into them.
"Kyle," Sarek said, a hint of emotion just felt behind his words, "I find nothing objectionable with the punishment you dealt that man. If it were possible, all who cause pain should be made to feel it. Besides that, as Jason has said, your actions gave Mr Russell the chance to feel sorrow. Above all that, however, your regret at your actions in dealing such punishment has done one other thing: it has made me very, very proud of you."
Kyle buried his face in Sarek's shoulder, and the dam broke; Kyle finally felt free to release the emotions he had been holding inside since yesterday.
As Jason had been talking with Kyle, Sean had whispered to Nathan, "What ship did Jason contact?"
"A Tavek Class Interceptor," Nathan whispered back. "It is a VSO ship, as all Tavek ships are."
Sean perked up, "I got to go and see that! They are meant to be the fastest ships in the Federation!"
Cory giggled, "And I've heard they have cloaking devices?"
"Correct," Nathan also giggled. "We'll bring you guys up when she comes back."
"Sweet!" both boys replied.
"Down, boys, down! You'll mess your shorts if you carry on!" Bast chuckled.
"And I thought only Telez and Antony had 'Joygasms' over technology," Nathan sniggered.
"What's the name mean?" Bast asked through his chuckles.
"What else? It's the 'Dragon'!!" Nathan smiled.
When they heard Kyle start crying into Sarek's shoulder, Cory motioned to the others, and they moved a respectful distance away to give them both some privacy.
"Jason?" Cory asked as they sat on some benches at the edge of the course. "What is the situation with your Clan?"
"Nice question. Glad I ain't the boss," Nathan giggled.
Jason poked his tongue out at his boyfriend, "Hush, you." He looked back at Cory, "Can I call you by your name, Patriarch?"
"If you don't, I'm going to have Timmy give you a nickname!" Cory giggled.
"Oh, we can't have that! Okay, Cory. Thanks." Jason laughed. He sat down and Nathan curled up next to him as he began, "We are not officially a Clan yet, due to 'Red One'. We were under that when I asked Captain Spock to be our Poppa, or A'nirih. That would have made us a Full Clan immediately, if not for the Code in effect. Once 'Red One' falls, our Clan comes into being."
Jason sighed heavily then, "It's not something I want, though. We've been watching you guys since... well, since always. As you became the Clan we knew would arise, we wanted to be a part of you too. But we can't."
"Why not?" Sean asked.
Nathan took over, sadness on his face as well, "'Cos we are a Full Clan. You are a Sub-Clan."
"That means," Jason took over, "that we are senior to your Clan. Not by age, as officially you are first, but by position within the Family of Sarek."
Nathan sighed, "We have three options: merge, and Clan Short disappears; Ally, and in all Clan matters, Cory reports to Jason; remain separate and... nothing."
"I will not see Clan Short die," Jason said with feeling, "nor would I have the best Clan Patriarch I know answer to me. That leaves only to remain separate. The only way we could join is if you became a Full Clan... or even... well, that's not happened for a thousand years, but if you became a Family-Clan. Then we could merge and become Short too. But that won't happen. There is no viable way, and Family-Clans are unheard of, nowadays."
JJ shook his head. "Dude, you're making me dizzy. You should know just like I do that whatever is meant to be will happen when the time comes. Worry about it then; if there is one thing my little bro has taught me it's the future ain't certain until it's the past."
Jason nodded, "Yeah. We can hope, I s'pos." He then seemed to think about something, "Cory? I said earlier that I was glad you remember seeing me that day. There was a reason I was there. Want to hear it?"
"You mean there was a reason besides staring at his cute butt?" Sean giggled.
"Sure, go ahead." Cory replied as he blushed and swatted at Sean.
"Well," Jason started as he grinned at Sean, "he does have a cute butt..." Cory blushed as Jason trailed off, while Sean and the others giggled.
"Hey!" Nathan slapped Jason, "What have I told you? Only I get to say who's cute!"
Jason rolled his eyes, "Soorrry!"
"So you should be!" Nathan turned to Cory, "You are cute, though. Sean has good taste."
Jason giggled as Cory went even redder, then continued speaking, "Cory, I was there because you needed me there. Ten months ago Levi turned up, gave Koth back his family jewels, and then vanished. All I got from him was a Clan Crest in his mind, and he said something about ten months to go till we meet. Grandfather told us what the crest was about, and so we have been keeping our eyes open for anyone named 'Short' ever since."
"Two months back, on that Friday, Tony had a waking Dream. He said some kid was in trouble and we needed to help him. Nath' and I beamed over to Des Moines and see you walking into some home. You looked bummed out, your friend and his mother looked bummed out, and I just knew it was you who needed the help. I went around the building complex until I found your room and then waited till you went to sleep. I scanned you and could see the problem; your memories were sinking further and further away, and I still don't know why. There was no reason for it. So I did what I was trained to do. Mind-Healing. I made one thing come back up for you to dream about, thus causing the rest to return in their own time."
Cory turned a deep crimson as he remembered what Jason had chosen as his 'dream'. "Dude, do you think you coulda chose something a little less personal? That was a shocker!"
"I picked your love for Sean as the memory; where your mind took it from there was not my doing. I didn't stay in there to see it myself." Jason assured him. "Unlike this cute blond next to me, I think some things should stay private!"
Nathan raised his eyebrows, "You want me to use my TK again, Jace?"
"Hey! Not till they get to know us better, blond-bonce!"
"Oh, okay... I'll give it another hour then." Nathan giggled.
Sean suddenly reached forward and pulled Jason into his arms, "Bro, thanks a million!" he said thickly. "I now know who to get the best Christmas present in the world for, now! You gave me back my Cory!"
Jason smiled as he was hugged by Sean. "No, I just opened a door for his love to reconnect with the reason for his love. It was his love for you that brought him back to you, not anything I did. I just provided the door." his voice said mutely from within Sean's arms.
Cory glanced over at Mont and Bast. At seeing his raised eyebrow, both boys grinned their acknowledgement of his unspoken idea. Cory then pulled Jason from Sean's arms and into his own. "Thanks dude; I'm glad you helped me." He paused, then added with a grin "By the way, there is a new official welcome for visiting Clan Patriarchs and their boyfriends. Just relax and enjoy; Kyle says it's quite refreshing."
Nathan looked between Cory and the two lion-boys, then asked Jason, "What the hell're they on 'bout, love?"
Jason had guessed, and was beginning to blush, "Bath time, I think."
"I showered this... oh..." Nathan was pulled in by Mont while Jason was pulled from Cory's hug by Bast. Nathan started to giggle as his boots went flying, "Oh! Bath! Interesting..."
Cory, Sean and JJ sat back and watched, occasionally pointing out 'missed' spots, as Jason and Nathan were indoctrinated into life with cat-kids. Just as they were about done, Sarek rejoined them with Kyle on his hip.
Sarek looked down at his two now naked and very wet grandsons before turning to face JJ. "Your brother's mind is... intriguing," he said, plainly ignoring the four boys in the middle of their grooming.
JJ nodded. "Yeah, so I've heard. Tyler says it's like a big hotel in there, since there are so many rooms."
"Hey!... watch it, Mont!" Nathan squealed out, "That t...tickles!"
Bast had finished with Jason by this point, and so the damp Patriarch just sat there, watching his ticklish boyfriend squirm about. He looked back up at his grandfather, "If my mind is just a shadow of Kyle's I can well believe that, Grandpa. I was normal up here," he tapped his head, "before Levi and Company turned up the second time."
Kyle giggled softly into Sarek's shoulder. "I left notes in your head; you were never normal Jason!"
"Yeah, yeah. So Korris keeps tellin' me," Jason smiled at the small boy. "Those notes helped a lot, dude. You and Tyler are going to have to go through my mind after, see everything you left me, then when you go back you can put them in there again." He rubbed his temple briefly, "Temporal time-loops... mind aches!"
"At least Kyle's not doing like his son and bringing people back from 1200 plus years ago!" Cory giggled. "And then there's Bork ... for some reason I didn't mention him to Tyne ...."
"I have been made aware of what my newest Grandson has been doing since he was born," Sarek stated calmly, "and I am quite impressed with his care to maintain the stability of the present."
Jason nodded, and absently started to tickle Bast's belly as both lazed in the warm sunshine, "Yeah, Levi did good. Twice!"
As if he was paged, Levi popped in next to Sarek and Kyle. "Hi Daddy! Hi Grandpa Sarek! Jason! Nathan! What took you so long! Daddy, Poppa will be right out, he's bringin' cookies! Uncle JJ, Uncle Adam says to tell ya no kitty baths unless he's here too!"
Peter popped in by Levi and continued the delivering of messages. "Uncle Cory, Uncle Sean? Grandma says she's gonna have dinner at her house tonight for you an' Uncle Kyle an' Uncle JJ's families. You can bring guests if ya' want!"
Nathan sat up and looked at Peter, "Peter? You... they... another one??"
"What my eloquent boyfriend is trying to say," Jason giggled happily, "is we're glad you're healed, obviously, but you're a Mikyvis now, too?"
Peter giggled as a Terran Universal Unabridged Dictionary appeared on the ground in front of him. "Let's see...." he giggled as he flipped it open and began looking through it. "Ahh, there it is ... let's see ... yeah, I can do that ... that too ... wow ... I CAN do that! ... Okay, it's official, I'm a Mikyvis!" he announced with a huge grin as the massive book went back to wherever it came from.
"Levi, you're rubbing off on him already!" Cory managed to barely comment before busting out in laughter.
Sarek coughed, and Cory was sure that he had seen a fleeting grin on the old Vulcan's face. Jason and Nathan stood and went over and pulled both mischievous Mikyvis into a four way hug.
Kyle giggled as he got down from Sarek. "Levi; did you at least make sure the library you borrowed that from was closed when you took it for a few seconds? I heard you and Peter plotting; nice one kiddo!"
Levi nodded as the hug he was in broke up. "Of course Daddy; I picked a holiday to borrow it."
Tyler popped in, a large tray of hot cookies in his hands. "Borrow what ... OHHHH ... that sounds like something your Daddy would do kiddo!"
"Hey now!" Kyle giggled. "That's usually YOUR kinda idea Cuddlebunny!"
"Whatever Sweetheart!" Tyler shot back with a grin. "I don't remember a pool being part of the plans for the golf course; and I definitely didn't make any changes to it."
Bast grinned. "I think Kyle was paying us back for the bath he got; I'm impressed!"
Sarek addressed the children briefly, "Is there anything else I can do to assist any of you right now?"
Kyle looked around, pausing on Cory before replying. "While Cory could use your help Grandfather, the time is not right. There is a need for him to be as he is now, even though I cannot tell why."
Levi nodded as he added his view. "There is Someone still guiding us to do something; I can tell that something is gonna happen but not what just yet. I think there is something else that needs to happen before we know why Uncle Cory needs to be like he is in his head right now."
Jason and Nathan's faces went distant for a moment. They were obviously communicating with someone. Both boys suddenly spoke, their voices strangely altered, "Eyes here; the Children of Forever are correct. Someone's hand is on events, and someone else is coming."
Jason's eyes became focused again, "I agree, and I believe it to be this 'Joel' that Sean mentioned."
Sarek's eyebrow rose at the term 'Children of Forever', but only Nathan and the Mikyvis caught it.
Levi saw the confused looks on his Uncle's faces and gave his thoughts on the term. "I think me, Daddy, Poppa, and Peter are 'the children of forever'; since we really don't live in time, for everyone else it's like we're living forever."
The boys nodded with understanding, yet there was something in Sarek's eyes that spoke volumes. However, "I need to confer with your mother, Cory. If any of you have need of me, I will be in either CIC or your mother's home."
"Okay, grandfather," Cory said with a smile.
Sarek turned and walked out of the golf area, leaving the rest of the boys seated together, feasting on Tyler's still warm cookies.
"Oh, man," Nathan said between bites, "Tyler? You can't half cook, dude. Must be a blond thing. I'll have to spend some time with you swapping recipes!"
Jason giggled, "Yes, please! You guys will just love Nath's Welsh Cakes, and I want these biscuits at home."
JJ looked at Jason oddly, "Biscuits?"
Nathan blinked, then smiled, "He means 'cookies'. We're from Wales, UK, and we call this type of cookie 'biscuit'. To us, a cookie is larger and soft in the middle with a crunchy edge."
"Oooh, okay," JJ grinned.
"Speaking about home," Nathan wiped the crumbs from his mouth, "I need to get back, guys. Our four Rugrat leaders have got me reading stories to them tonight, and I don't want to disappoint our kids."
Sean giggled, "You have kids too? How old?"
"Belar is five. He's a Bajoran... long story. Jessica is six. They are ours. Ross, also five, is the younger brother to our Twin Terrors, and the three are the adopted brothers to Wisdom, or Telez, our resident Andorian. Then you have Rhys. He's Antony and Telez' son, along with his big brother Llywelyn. Rhys is six. We may have more, once things settle down. The other kids in the place are with some of our other brothers and sisters."
"Just wait until Timmy finds out about them!" Sean giggled.
"Yeah; they'll be members of the Tribe in no time flat." Cory added.
Kyle thought for a second, then grinned. "Just bring them over here for a while; Timmy and Ricky are enjoying sharing their animal friends with everyone and I'm sure your kids would be welcomed into the fun."
Nathan thought for a moment. He grinned, "Mam says okay. In fact, they have been good today, so if Timmy invites then for a sleep over, there's no problem there too."
Jason tapped his communicator again, "Eyes? You receiving?"
"Yes, Voice. What's up?" Eyes responded.
"Where are the four Rugrat Ringleaders?"
"Where else? In the shower, with the puppies."
"Why am I not surprised. Okay, just transport the lot of them here, please."
"There goes Orlando..." Eyes muttered. "Okay, they are ready. Transporting now..."
Cory and Sean turned as they heard more Vulcan Transporter beams activate behind them. Four small children appeared, all soaking wet, and six Border Collie Puppies were with them.
"Dada!" Belar launched himself into Jason's arms.
"Hey, little heart. I hear you've been good today," Jason murmured as he nuzzled his son's cheek.
"'m always goods!" the Bajoran protested.
Nathan grunted, "Good at getting in trouble, aye."
"Papa!" Belar poked his tongue out at his other parent.
Cory giggled, "Oh no, another Timmy."
Belar turned and looked at the others, as did the other three children. Jessica moved over to Bast, who was still sprawled out in the grass, and started tickling his ears, "Wow. Kitties! You're nice."
Belar was ignoring the g-cats. He started reaching for Cory instead, "Cowy! CowyCowyCowy!"
Jason handed the boy over quickly before he fell, "You guys might work out that our group already loves and knows you!"
Cory giggled as he took the squirming boy from Jason. "Hey little guy! You wanna introduce me to your family?"
Belar kissed Cory sloppily before nodding, "Uh huh! Dat's Ross. He's my bestest fwiend." Ross giggled and waved from Sean's arms where he had pounced.
Ross looked at Cory carefully, before he asked with a grin, "Yous don' knows me, Cowy?"
"You look... wait, Ross Rowling? From the home? Where did you disappear too!? And where's your twin bros, little dude?" Cory exclaimed in shock.
Kyle grinned, "We missed you, Ross! You'll have to tell him after, but I know."
"That's a long story for later, guys," Jason grinned.
Belar continued again, "Dat is Jess. She's kool, and me big sis'er." Jessica, now in the arms of Bast, smiled. "And dat's Reess. He's like our bruver, but he's really a nephoo to Ross."
Rhys did not wave, and he was the only one who looked a little upset. "What's wrong, Rhys?" Jason asked as he moved over to the brown haired boy.
"I fell, unca Jace. Hit da back of my head on da sink. My port hurts." the boy began to sob.
Nathan moved over and lightly scanned him, "Nothing damaged, Rhys, but you're gonna have a bump on your head."
Kyle quickly moved over to where Jason and Nathan were trying to comfort Rhys. "Let me take a look little guy; I've learned a few things from being in Danny's head. I'll fix you right up."
"'Kay," Rhys said tearfully as he hugged into Kyle's arms.
Kyle did not take long to fix the problem, "There. Good as new. It was just a bump on your head near your data-port."
"Thank you." Rhys kissed him, a smile forming. "Is Unca Marc here? Or Danny? I've not met Danny yet."
"You will soon. Marc'll probably be over once he finds out you guys are in town." Kyle replied. At Jason and Cory's confused looks, Kyle giggled. "I've been under Red One a lot longer than you think I have!"
Jason rolled his eyes, "All that fighting to block you... well... it was valid 'til you met up with Cute-bot. I should have guessed that my blocks would mean jack to the leech." He started tickling Kyle, bringing a lot of giggles from him.
Kyle fell to the ground laughing, Jason joining him as Kyle shared the sensation of being tickled with his attacker.
Nathan looked on in wonder, "I wondered where I got the idea to share sensations from. Thanks, dude. Jace would thank you too, if I didn't keep doing it when in public to him!"
"You mean like this?" Kyle said with a giggle as Nathan suddenly found himself in the exact same predicament as he usually put Jason in.
Nathan's eyes went wide, and his jumpsuit tented.
"Oh, now I understand," Sean said in amusement.
Jason, still holding Kyle lightly in his arms as they lay on the floor, whispered to Kyle, "Thanks, dude. I've wanted to do that for ages. I can only touch his mind, so he feels it in his head. Vengeance is sweet!"
"Naw, THIS is vengeance!" Kyle giggled as everyone's clothes suddenly removed themselves and landed in a pile next to the fountain. Just so it wasn't too mean, after a few seconds had passed Kyle popped everyone into the bath.
Jessica giggled as she looked at all the others around her, "Like home. Bath time, Daddy?"
"No, not bath time. Like the whirlpool," Jason replied.
"Okay," she moved around so that she was cuddled between the lion-boys, a sweet contented smile on her face.
Two eagles came into view and landed next to them all. One lightly pecked at Jason's ear, while the other gave an eagle kiss to Belar's cute, ridged nose.
"Wow! Birdies!" Belar squealed from Cory's arms.
Cory glanced to see which bird was kissing Belar. "Hi William! Let me guess; Timmy knows we have guests?"
William nodded his head at Cory, then twisted it to signal that Cory should look behind him.
Cory turned his head, then busted out laughing. "I think Timmy's learning showmanship!"
Sean giggled. "Did Noah's Ark unload?"
Coming towards them from CIC was a virtual herd of animals. Leading the pack was Timmy on Allie; next to him Ricky, Robbie, and Matty were perched on the backs of some Florida Panthers. Right behind them, Johnny and Sipek were riding Marjur. KT walked alongside them, Boomer riding on his shoulder. Various creatures of differing sizes followed the group, all staying in loose formation behind Timmy.
Jason laughed, "I've wanted to see this for real for ages! Hey there, Soaring Eagle!"
As Jason said this, Ross, Belar, Jessica and Rhys clambered out of the baths and started running towards the approaching menagerie. "Timmy! Ricky! Matty! Johnny!"
"Wow! Jace! It's Sipek! I didn't know he was on Earth!" Nathan said happily.
Jason rolled his eyes again, "You need to read the reports, love, not sleep through meetings!"
"Well, I wouldn't have been so blasted tired if you hadn't kept me up all nig...ht... ah, never mind!"
"Are you two STILL in the honeymoon stage?" Sipek asked from his mount.
"Of course," Jason replied easily, a slow blush nevertheless coloring his cheeks.
"Yeah," Nathan added, "I mean, we've only been together since Christmas Day, after all!"
Timmy tilted his head as he came to a stop by Jason. William came over and landed on his shoulder, conversing with Timmy through clucks and chirps. Timmy giggled, then reached down and picked up a bunny that had been trying to get his attention. A few squeaks later, Timmy giggled as he looked up to Jason. "Hi Uncle Jason; William's done 'ntroduced all uv us. This is Squeaky." Timmy said as he nodded at the bunny. "His mommy got hit by a tree falling. William says you know lots about doing stuff like bunnies; could you teach Squeaky?" Timmy held out the bunny, a totally innocent look on his face.
While everyone cracked up laughing in the pool, Jason furiously tried to think of a way out. Finally, "Umm, I think the 'bunny' stuff Nath' and I know wouldn't be helpful to Squeaky just yet, Timmy. He's only a baby bunny. When he's older, I can have a... chat with him."
Belar reached towards Squeaky as if on automatic, "He's cute. Can I holds him, pleeeeasee?"
Squeaky nodded his head, so Timmy handed him to Belar.
As Timmy was dealing with Belar, Johnny looked over the new kids. "Sipek? Why don't girls have pee-pees?" he asked as he noticed Jessica.
Sipek grinned. "I'm pretty sure that a lot of your brothers want to know that answer too; why don't we wait until we get back and we can all discuss it."
"Okay." Johnny replied, trusting Sipek to be good at his word.
One of the six puppies that had arrived with Belar and group went over to Allie and looked up at Timmy. He started yelping and barking in his high pitched way. Timmy listened carefully before looking up at his dad, "Daddy? Black Feet says that his boy doesn't live with Uncle Jason. He says his boy is one of your brothers. Can he stay here until he finds him?"
Cory finally recovered from his laughing at Johnny's question, and nodded at Timmy. "Sure, that's okay, Timmy." he turned to Jason, "Jason, if it's okay with you, I think it might be a good idea to let your kids go with Timmy and his tribe back to CIC."
"Fine by me. Bel? You listen to Timmy, okay?" Jason said easily.
"'kay, Dada," the small boy replied as he climbed up behind Timmy, Squeaky held protectively in his arms.
The rest of the young ones loaded up, then Timmy and Allie turned back towards CIC. "CHAAARRRRRGGGGGEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!" Timmy yelled with a dramatic wave of his arms as he led the group back inside.
As the younger children and all the animals left in a mass stampede, Jason heard the sound of a transporter beam coming from the other side of Cory's house. Seconds later everyone heard, "Jace? Oh damn... hope I got that right? VOICE? Where are ya?"
"Other side of the house, feather-head!" Jason shook his head slowly, "That boy. Transporters are a mystery to him, yet he still insists on controlling the damn things!"
"Oh, one moment... alli-oop!"
"He's been watching too many movies too," Nathan said under his breath.
Cory asked, "Who's joined us this time?"
"Well," Jason said as he looked towards the roof of Jason's house and pointed, "he's a brother. And an alien you guys haven't met yet... Levi not included!"
Levi giggled as he looked up and saw a winged boy doing barrel-rolls over Cory's roof. "Riti, you show-off!" he yelled at the new arrival.
The Midnight-blue winged boy dive bombed the rest of the way, and pulled up last second to hover before the boys in the pool. His webbed fingers splayed out to control his position as well as his long webbed toes. "Hey! We dropping the code-names now?"
"Yup," Nathan giggled, "our undressed state give it away, dude?"
"Sweet! It's nice here. Not like that crazy place we live." Riti began peeling off his jumpsuit, and was soon in his more normal state. He landed by Cory, who was looking up at the black winged cherub that had so spectacularly arrived.
Cory just shook his head in awe. "Dude; that's so kewl! Where you from? I don't remember any species like yours in the study materials I have from the Academy."
Riti winked at him, then asked Jason quickly, "Red One active here too?"
"Uh huh," Jason nodded.
"Sweet," Riti sat on the edge of the pool next to Cory, and ran his fingers through Cory's fine, blond hair. "I like you white-wings," he giggled. "Okay. Where to begin... 'A long time ago, on a Planet far, far away...'"
"Reet," Nathan moaned, "quit with the Star Wars, will ya?"
The young Lo'Garn giggled, "Sorry. I'm a Lo'Garn. My world is about twelve thousand light years from here, and my people are only known to those who rescued me. Red One and all that."
"May I present Commander Riti, the Wings of the Dragon... like that would surprise ya," Jason giggled.
Sean giggled. "You gonna join us in here dude?"
"Oh, gawd..." Nathan moaned again, "budgie in the bath time!"
Riti stuck his tongue out at his brother, then looked at the two lions carefully, "You guys not getting any 'let's eat the bird-boy' urges or anything?"
Bast giggled. "Not yet; I think Timmy would have a problem with that. If you don't hurry up, we're gonna give you a bath though!"
Riti giggled as he climbed into the pool, "I'll take you up on that. I caught what Jace and Nath' were sending when you were doing it to them." He stood in the middle of the pool and looked around. Finally he looked at Cory, "Umm, Cory, Sir? Can I sit on your knees? My wings'll be a problem otherwise."
"Sure, and it's just Cory," replied the blond teenager with a smile.
Riti sat himself down on Cory's thighs facing him, and Cory automatically held his waist to keep him stable. Riti tightened his wings in more and smiled happily.
"I love the color of those feathers, dude," JJ said from opposite Cory.
Riti turned his head almost completely so as to look backwards at him, "Thanks, JJ."
"Whoa!" JJ exclaimed. "Riti; that's just ... weird ... don't it hurt to turn your head that far?"
"Nope," Riti said seriously. "I'm a lot like the birds on Earth, and my bones are like Raptor ones. I'm light and you'd think easy to hurt, but my bones are very, very strong. I can even do this with my eyes," and he kept one looking at JJ while turning the other to look at Nathan to his left.
"Will you stop staring at me, Reet! You know that freaks me out, looking at me with one eye!" Nathan groused.
Riti giggled and faced Cory again, "Yeah, I know. You still love me, though... right?"
"Of course, Reet," Nathan smiled.
"Kewl," then Riti impulsively kissed Cory's cheek before turning to look at Jason, "Bro, I came to say that Wisdom has left orbit to meet with Vincent Winters. He's also contacted Captain Sulu on the Excelsior and they will be standing by at the edge of the Sol System."
"Okay, but you could have Sent that info, bruv," Jason said with honest curiosity.
Riti sighed, "Viccy's at it again, and I can't stand it." His eyes started to fill with tears, "It's just not fair."
Levi sighed. "Riti, do I need to go over there and imitate my Grandpa? You know, psychoanalyze you two?"
Jason shook his head at Levi, "I'm guessing you know how stubborn she is... well, we are." He looked about at the others, "I guess I best explain: Victoria is my sister and the Heart of the Dragon. She's empathic, and boy is she powerful. However, she's scared of certain feelings and then gets angry at this one," he pointed at Riti who was now pulled in tight to Cory's chest and sobbing into his shoulder, "when she feels his love for her. They are meant to be together, she is scared, then she does things to make him angry or jealous, and he gets mad."
Nathan continued, "It's frustrating, and you, Riti, you should just say something! We all know you love her, you've told us enough! Tell her!"
"I can't! I'm scared, Nath'," he blubbered into Cory's shoulder. "She will just hurt me again!"
Cory looked over Riti's shoulder at Kyle. At Kyle's nod, Cory spoke softly to Riti. "Riti, have you ever thought that you not telling her might be what scares her? I've watched girls at school trying to catch boyfriends; they don't think like us, they do stuff to make guys jealous so they can get the attention of the guy. You need to make the first move little one, if you don't she's gonna give up sooner or later."
Riti continued to blubber and sob quietly. Jason tilted his head slightly, as if listening. He sighed, "He's terrified, Cory. And I think you are partly right, but there's more with Viccy. She is scared all on her own." He sighed again, "I think you should say something, though, Reet. I think Cory is right."
"H...how? What d...do I say?" Came the bird-boy's whimpers.
"You probably need to ask Kyle for those ideas." Cory replied. "I got lucky; my teddy bear and I kinda just fell into it. Even after I lost my memory and started getting it back there wasn't any real asking done."
Levi suddenly interrupted everyone's chain of thought as he started to speak. His voice was different and his parents looked at him in concerned wonder:
"...//The Circle closes. The time is now, Children of Forever. Scan the Voice, the Fire and the Wings. Take what you need. Go, or the Nexus shall never form, and all you know shall pass as smoke in the wind. The Fifth Age of Man, the Age of Allies, draws in. The Sixth Age, Legends, comes. Go//..."
"I think Levi's 'someone' has just made itself known." Kyle announced. "Peter, has Levi trained you on how to use a sideband of Time to be invisible yet still able to see what is going on?"
"Yes he has, Your Majesty." Peter replied with a grin.
Kyle rolled his eyes. "Okay, enough of the 'King' stuff already! Levi; since you are responsible for this little imp here, you get to make sure he's taken to the right time. I'm giving all of you your instructions; we'll be gone about a second on this timeline. We need to swing by the Moon on our way back; I've got a message to deliver."
Kyle quickly scanned and gathered all the information that he needed. "Okay; we'll be right back."
Moon base, Archivist room:
Kyle, Tyler, Levi, and Peter appeared just inside the door to Xanus' room.
"Hello Kyle; I see you brought your family with you." Xanus said in greeting. "We've been expecting you."
Kyle looked over and saw that Levis and Miah were both there with Xanus, "Hello Xanus. I was hoping that you would be here instead of in Council; unless Levis has already passed it on, I have a personal message for you."
"I've been discussing quite a few points of the adventure you were on, including his visits within the Ark itself," Xanus replied. "But I only asked for a briefing, I already know you were a success; how else would you still be here? Levis said, though, that you would fill me in on anything else that I needed to know that I could not see from here."
Kyle smiled his thanks to Levis. "Thanks Bro. Xanus, I realize my report of Levis' death was premature; but this time I can say with all certainty that your son Axon is truly dead. His body will not regenerate."
Xanus smiled, "That is something I already knew but thank you for letting me know. You see, Axon was one of my children, this means that I feel what happens to them; they are a part of myself reshaped. You did do something that none of us ever thought possible though by actually killing him. No Ferox has ever actually died before; he is the first and will probably be remembered as such."
Kyle nodded. "I am sorry that it had to come to this; if there had been a way to save Axon I would have done it. Even Axon realized that there was only one way to stop what he had set in motion. Before he died, he asked me to pass on a message to you. He said 'Please, tell my mother that I'm sorry. She was right, and I didn't listen to her'." Kyle paused, composing himself before continuing. "He repented for his mistakes before it was over; his last wish was to destroy him and all that had spawned from him to prevent the damage from being done."
Xanus gracefully shifted into her more physical form and motioned for Kyle to approach her. As she pulled him into a hug, she spoke softly, "Kyle, do you remember the first time you met me in this room? I told you about light being brought to dark places, and that you would be the one that would bring this about. The world is a small place and while the Founders would see that earth be brought into the light you know that your task is much larger. But with these tasks that your species will be responsible for comes not only great risk but the knowledge that some will have to die to bring about the betterment of all life. Life can only stand in the face of death if it has someone to defend it. You and your species are the defenders of that life Kyle. You did what had to be done Kyle, and you did it in a way that cost all of the species in this Universe the least. Thank you for taking the time to bring me this information though, it means a lot to me that you would tell me about my son in person. But learn from our mistakes Kyle; don't let any of your people walk the path that Axon found himself on. Remember, the future is no longer in my hands but is in yours."
"Thank you Xanus." Kyle replied as he gave her a squeeze. "While we are all here, I have a request to make of you."
Xanus nodded, "To a certain degree, I have been expecting this. Go ahead Kyle."
Kyle grinned. "How did I know you'd say that. It is time for the Mikyvis species to have a Council of our own. As the originators of the species, myself and Tyler already hold two seats. I would like your permission to ask Levis to represent the Ferox as the third seat on the Council, with Miah holding a permanent position as a non-voting advisor."
Xanus smiled knowingly, "To play the part of Semion for a moment, what is your reasoning for this request Kyle?"
Kyle smiled. "To learn from others success and failure you need someone there who has access to the knowledge. As a species we may be stronger than the Ferox, but in knowledge we are just beginning. That will also give your Council someone to pass ideas or concerns through. Levis and Miah are the only two non-Ferox-Council members of your species that I would trust with my life; that means they are also the only two Ferox I will consider allowing into our Council meetings."
"You have some very valid points there Kyle; it is up to them to make the choice, but I will accept their decisions."
"Thank you Xanus." Kyle replied before turning to Levis and Miah. "You both just heard what I would like to see and my reasons why. Will you accept the positions which I am offering you?"
Levis and Miah shifted to their energy forms and discussed the offer between themselves. After a few minutes, they shifted back to a physical form to make their replies.
"I accept the position on the Mikyvis Council that you have extended." Levis replied formally.
Miah spoke as soon as Levis finished. "I accept the position as Advisor to the Mikyvis Council and agree to being a non-voting member."
"Thanks Levis, thanks Miah." Kyle said with a smile. "I know you guys both have things you need to take care of here; once you are caught up we'll have our first meeting."
Cory's mini-golf course; about one second after Kyle left:
The boys glanced at each other, then watched as the four Mikyvis seemed to flicker ever so slightly. Apart from a slight ripple in the water, there was no other differences.
"All done!" Levi giggled.
Jason laughed, "Speedy Gonzales has nothing on you guys!"
"Undalay ... Undalay ... Yeeee Haaaaa!!!!!" Peter shouted before breaking out in giggles.
Cory rolled his eyes, and Riti gave a weak giggle. Riti then looked over at Kyle. "Cory said you could gimme some advice? Could you?" he sniffed.
Kyle giggled. "I'll give you a whole filing cabinet full in your head; I'll also give you a list of things NOT to say! Growing up with other people's thoughts in your head teaches you lots of stuff!"
Riti smiled slightly, then giggled as the information poured into his mind. "Oh... mmm, okay... I... I'll try that."
From around the side of the house, Allie reappeared, with Timmy and Rhys on his back.
"What did you forget, munchkin?" Sean asked with a smile.
"Rhys wants ta see Unca Marc, so we came to ask Unca Kyle if he can go fetch him." Timmy explained as Allie came to a stop by the pool. The alligator looked at the pool with deep interest, and it made Riti more than a little nervous.
Timmy giggled at Riti's worried looks. "It's okay birdie; Allie just wants to swim while we's waitin for Unca Marc. Go 'head Allie, they won't hurt you."
Riti leapt out just as Allie went in. The leap took him beyond the arches where his wings unfurled and he hovered above Timmy and Rhys. "Nuh huh. Two Cat-boys, okay. Scaly long beastie thing, no chance!"
Allie gave a growl as she slipped into the pool. Timmy giggled as he translated. "Allie don't eat birdies! She says the feathers tickle her throat. She likes fishies lots better!"
"It's okay, Reet," Nathan called as he petted Allie's head as she floated near him and Jason, "she won't hurt you."
"'Kay, if you're sure," Riti landed next to Timmy. He looked down at the happy faced child, "Name's Riti, Timmy. Are you sure she's okay? I'm not a bird, so she may still like me... only my wings have feathers!"
Timmy looked up at Riti with a suddenly stern expression. "My friends don't hurt people Reetee."
Riti blinked. "Okay," he said slowly. He continued formally, "I am sorry, Timmy. But I am not human, and on my world there are predators like Allie that can harm us. It is normal for me to be afraid of them. I have always heard lots of stories about creatures like Allie. But, if you say she is okay, then I will accept it."
Jason added, "Timmy, Riti is always nervous. Don't be hard on him, little dude."
"Chill munchkin; he wasn't insulting your friends." Cory added gently. "Riti, as a general rule your caution would have been accurate. When it comes to the animals that hang around Timmy the rules change; they protect him and anyone associated with him due to him and Ricky being Spirit Guides."
Riti nodded, then offered a hug to Timmy. It was accepted. Riti then climbed back into the pool and again sat on Cory's lap. Allie came up close very slowly.
"Hi," Riti said to her nervously. He reached out and patted her head, making her eyes close lazily at him. He giggled and kissed her briefly, looking much relieved.
"Can you see if Unca Marc can come see us, Unca Kyle?" Rhys asked as he held hands with Timmy.
"I'm just waiting for Danny to finish telling him that he needs to take a break!" Kyle giggled. "Danny knows I'm gonna surprise Marc." Kyle giggled as suddenly Marc appeared next to the fountain.
"Okay, that was new. Hey, guys!" Marc said in stunned amazement. He glanced at the boys in the pool and did a double take when he saw Nathan, Jason, Riti and Rhys grinning at him. "What?! Red One come down and you didn't tell me, guys!"
He looked again, and saw an alligator looking at him. "I'm not even going to ask!"
"Nope," Jason giggled as he watched Rhys run and pounce Marc, "we just added these guys into it. I'd say Red One will drop tomorrow once my dad gives his final report to Grandpa."
"Who's your father?" JJ asked curiously.
"Captain Dafydd Evans of the USS Hood," Nathan said proudly.
Cory grinned. "I've dealt with him; he's pretty impressive. How ya doin Marc?"
"Tired. I've been running non-stop since yesterday morning. Now I've been ordered by Danny to relax, and the next second..." he spread his arms and grinned. "What about you guys? How are you coping?" he asked gently as he sat on the edge of the pool and took off his footwear.
As soon as Marc placed his feet into the water, Rhys was back on his lap, hugging him full force.
Cory gave Marc a small smile. "I'm holding in there; Kyle seems to be okay since he talked to Grandfather Sarek earlier. Timmy has been running an 'animal therapy' program. Other than that, things are nuts, just like normal. Oh, and Kyle and Ty seem to be collecting Mikyvis."
"Oh? Let me guess," Marc glanced at the smiling Jason, "one of them is Levi?"
"That's me!" Levi giggled. "Hi Uncle Marc! This is Peter; I made him Mikyvis to heal him from his cancer."
"Hi to you both," Marc giggled. He looked down into Rhys' eyes, "Where's the rest of your Rugrat Group, Rhys? It's not normal for you to be without Belar and Ross."
"They're with Ricky, 'splaining why girls don't have peepees. Jess is wif them," the young android replied.
"Glad I'm not there!" Marc laughed.
"That makes two of us!" Sean giggled.
Rhys giggled again, "I 'ready know, and Timmy said dat William will tell 'im while we're here."
Timmy nodded with a grin.
Jason smiled at Sean, "We've had a lot of practice at that talk, dude. There's more girls in our group than you have here."
"Maybe you need more training!" JJ giggled. "Marc, you shoulda seen Joey riding around on Allie here earlier."
Marc looked at Allie, "He was riding on her?" He looked at Timmy quickly, "That sounds fun. Could she carry me?" he asked playfully.
Timmy growled from deep in his throat, and quickly got a response from Allie. "She says you ain't too big. When we go back to CIC you can ride her and we'll get kitty-back rides!"
Nathan looked happy at that idea, as did Marc. "Sounds like I know what these two will be doing," Jason sighed, then he grinned. "It'll keep Nath' out of trouble, anyhow!"
"Cheek!" Nathan poked Jason's ribs... in five places at once. "That'll teach you!"
Levi suddenly looked at Riti, then at his parents. "Daddy, you and Poppa need to scan Riti fully. That Someone just let me know that we will need that knowledge."
Kyle tilted his head. "I don't know what channel you tuned into kiddo; but you're getting some weird programming! I'll take your word for it, you ain't been wrong yet. Riti, can I map your head so I have it as a reference?"
"His biology as well, Daddy," Levi giggled as he scratched his head.
"Sure," Riti smiled. "I trust ya."
"Thanks." Kyle replied with a grin. After a few seconds, he announced "I'm done; you're really unique Riti."
Riti giggled, "Well, I'm the only Lo'Garn here abouts, so... "
Jason rolled his eyes, "Kyle, he's a big head anyway. Don't flatter him too much!"
Kyle giggled. "It ain't flattery if it's the truth! You better watch it; I already know of some tweaks I could make to his mind that would drive you nuts!"
Nathan looked at Riti with a mischievous grin, "What, you'll remove those feathers in his head?"
"Hey!" Riti half unfurled his wings and started flapping water into Nathan's face. JJ, Sean, Marc and Rhys got a face full at the same time. "Oops, sorry guys!"
Nathan spluttered and laughed, "Told ya all; budgie in the bath!"
Timmy giggled as Allie used her tail and nailed Nathan with a tidal wave. "Allie says don't pick on her friend!"
Nathan and Jason started laughing harder as they both wiped at their eyes, "Don't worry, Allie," Nathan got out between giggles, "we all tease each other."
"Yeah," Riti added as he slid off Cory's lap and wrapped himself around Allie, "I tease them, and they tease me. Will you be their friend too?" he started giving Allie his pecking-kisses at that point.
"Allie says 'yes'!" Timmy replied as Allie grunted. "Daddy; can Unca Kyle teach Reetee how to talk to my friends?"
Cory smiled at his son. "If Kyle thinks it's safe for Riti, then I think it'd be okay."
Kyle nodded. "I have enough knowledge to teach him now; I've been going over his mental setup in one of my rooms. Would you like to be able to talk with the animals on Earth Riti?"
"What? More than just the birds?! YEAH!!!" Riti chirped happily.
Jason buried his head into Nathan's shoulder, "Oh, gawd!"
Nathan went pale, "You can NOT be serious! We've got half of the birds in Glamorgan in residence already, for heaven's sake!"
Riti grinned wider, "Well... Mez' don't complain, do she?"
Jason sighed, but smiled none the less, "Go for it, Kyle. We have a large group of other animals, and it might be an idea for someone in our group to be able to talk to them all. It's hard to help a wolf pack when you don't know what they want, after all."
"And they are courtesy of Korris!" Nathan mumbled, "He missed his pet targ!"
Kyle giggled. "Here ya go Riti; have fun with it. Timmy, you need to help him practice with some of your friends before he leaves, okay?"
"Okay Unca Kyle!" Timmy replied as Kyle did a full language download into Riti's head.
"Oh, Cory?" Kyle giggled as he finished.
"I went ahead and gave him the full load; he knows almost as many languages as Ark now." Kyle replied with an innocent look.
Cory shook his head as he giggled "You're evil bro ... Riti, don't be surprised if you suddenly understand a LOT of people you didn't before."
"Yeah, I raided the local branch of the Vulcan Language Institute this morning!" Kyle giggled. "I bet Riti does a mean Klingon now!"
Riti's eyes rolled around independently of each other as he attempted to go through what he now knew. He shook his head. "Just wait 'til I get that Koth! He's been teasing me behind my back with Korris for weeks!"
Jason took a quick peek into his brother's mind. "Wow, damn," he exclaimed, "that's crazy, dudes. I knew you guys could transfer languages, but that many?"
Riti looked down at Allie and started growling at her. She blinked at him, and growled back. He started kissing her again.
Levi smiled. "Just wait; I'm gonna go out tomorrow and see how many old languages that ain't used anymore I can pick up. I think it'd be kewl to talk in Roman while we're sittin' in the Roman Bath!"
Nathan suddenly thought of something, and he used his ability to pull his, Jason's and Riti's uniform over towards him. He reached and tapped each communicator once.
"Riti?" Nathan asked.
"Yeah?" came his curious response
"You're speaking english, bro!" Nathan exclaimed happily.
"What?!" Riti started to bounce about in the pool. "Woohoo!!"