Chapter 13

~~~Shortly After Breakfast~~~

Alec closed the door behind him as he entered the on-duty suite. "Okay guys; since Cory's not here I guess it's up to me to figure out what we need to do. Nyo, from what I've seen you're in charge; would you mind filling me in on what you can and then we'll figure out a way to work you guy's jobs in to benefit both groups?"

"Well what do you want to be filled in on?" asked Nyo. "I'll answer any question you have but I have to know the question before I can answer it."

Alec grinned. "Nice evasion dude. It's kinda hard to ask questions when the twin terrors refuse to tell me anything to even hint at what I need to know to ask you; I've got more blanks than facts right now. All I know is you guys are watching us for someone; that and you have some really sweeet living weapons on your arms. Past that I have no ideas except that Tyne here seems to be a more powerful version of Kyle."

Nyo grinned, "Fair enough; I'll start with expanding what you already know then. First I want to ask you a question though; how long do you think humanity has been around?"

Alec thought for a minute. "Maybe about 8 to 10 thousand years."

"That's not a bad guess," said Nyo. "But what if I were to tell you that it's more like sixty to seventy thousand years."

"I'd say there are a few historians who have a LOT of questions for you!" Alec giggled. "Are you for real?"

"After watching most of it happen I don't even think I could make this stuff up. See humanity has been through various stages throughout that time, splitting it into about four different cycles," said Nyo. "A cycle ends every time humanity almost wipes the planet of its existence through very destructive means; like dropping bombs on itself causing an ice age or creating a plague that kills millions upon millions of people. Each cycle has had its own technological advances, each cycle has had different results, and so far each cycle has gone out in its own unique blaze of hatred. I am part of a foundation or agency that has been watching humanity through all of the different cycles and for the most part has just been recording all that humanity has done. We've been watching and waiting."

"Waiting?" Alec asked curiously.

"Oh yes, waiting," replied Nyo. "Let me start at the beginning. You see back before even cycle one began humanity lived in peace for a time. I could go into long details on how they got this way but I'll just go with the short version and say that the Founders were the ones that helped keep humanity from its destructive nature. But nothing lasts for long I guess and a group of people calling themselves the Moroi rose up against the Founders and convinced the world that the Founders were out to improve life only for their people and not for the rest of humanity; and so the Founders were cast out. As they were though one of them saw a glimpse of what would end up happening to humanity because of all of this. They saw that humanity would nearly obliterate itself due to its own jealous hate. So they formed two different plans; one to try and correct the problem and the other if they failed. Well long story short their first plan failed and because of it the Moroi were then hunting the Founders and killing them. So they quickly started their second plan hoping that they would be around long enough to complete it. Their plan was to create an enormous archive with an artificial intelligence that would record all human history and watch for the time that humanity once again was at peace. At that time the archive, which was named Ark, was to give humanity all that it had collected up to that point."

"Okay; that makes sense. Something tells me that you haven't exactly been telling anyone about this before; what's different this time?"

"That's difficult to say," said Nyo. "Let's just say that I got tired of waiting for Ark to tell me when humanity was ready so I started reading the current archive information myself in my off time. That was about thirty thousand years ago when I started reading some of what Ark was collecting in between fixing Ark's systems and keeping them well maintained."

"You've done a good job at that too," commented Tyne.

"Thanks Tyne," smiled Nyo. "Anyway, recently your clan has come into my radar and what I read about you guys immediately got my attention. You guys were actually making a difference, and not just in your small little area but the world. So I brought it to Ark's attention that maybe you guys could be what we've been waiting for all these years, or at least close enough to what we were looking for that if given a little nudge you guys could perhaps achieve what the rest of humanity has failed at for so many years."

Alec looked at the group in shock. "Us? We ain't nothing special; we're just trying to keep other kids from going through what some of our guys went through. We're just kids who have got lucky so far."

"Ooooh yeah you guys are lucky," giggled Dmitry. "Just look at how many cute..."

Dominic poked Dmitry in the side getting a yelp, "Not that kinda lucky DT."

Nyo smiled, "Thanks Dominic. But what do you mean nothing special? Do you know of any other group of any kind that has continuously saved child after child from bad situations, has constantly put entire governments in their place, and genuinely cares about what happens to those children that they save once they get them to safety?"

"Yeah and do you have any idea how much the world needs guys like all of you?" added Dominic. "In the country that me, DT, and Stepan are from it's hell to live there at all as a kid. But whether you guys realize it or not you've even had influences there too. The youth services that you guys helped get into place is responsible for getting our country's government to setup the orphanage that we were living in. You're all responsible for shutting down some of the child porn rings going on there and scaring some of those kinds of people into hiding which in turn keeps other kids that I knew from being drawn into that dark and twisted life."

"And while there are still problems there and in other places the world is looking brighter and better because of you guys," said Dmitry. "You're bringing hope to those that previously had none and you're claiming that you guys are nothing special?"

Alec looked over at the twins. "Don't look at us!" Jamie giggled. "We've been in their heads; after what we saw we're on their side!"

"Thanks brats!" Alec chuckled. "Okay, assuming we really have made a difference, what now? As far as I'm concerned there's no reason to hide from us if you want to watch us. I'd really like to know more though; stuff like what happened before, where y'all came from, what the deal is with the 'morphs, things like that."

"Where we came from is probably the easiest to answer so I think we'll start with that one," replied Nyo. "Ark created me in the second cycle of humanity after it started having trouble taking care of its own systems. I'm based off of one of the sub-species that were created in that cycle called the Vifer. A Vifer has vitaferrum based blood so we can heal ten times faster then the average human and we live for very, very long periods of time. An example of that is I'm 50,320 years old but I don't look a day over fifteen. Stepan, Dmitry, and Dominic started as humans but were recently made Vifer to help them recover from what they went through before I saved them; the three of them are from Russia though and I saved them about six or seven days ago."

"Dang now I can't tell them I'm like hundreds of years old," giggled Dmitry.

"Like they'd believe you anyway DT," said Dominic. "You're still to wacky to be any older then ten."

"Tyne is a Founder from the first cycle," continued Nyo. "He's been in a cryo-sleep for the last sixty thousand years give or take a few thousand. He pretty much already told you what he can do earlier but other then his people being created in the cycle before the first cycle there's not really anything else to say."

"Yeah my people's history isn't that exciting," added Tyne. "The Founder Council's history is far more entertaining but takes too long to go over."

"Kewl." Alec commented. He settled down on the floor Indian-style then added "This stuff is really awesome, I wanna hear more!"

"Human sponge," muttered Dmitry.

"Next topic please before DT takes that comment somewhere else," Dominic said quickly.

"Right," Nyo said with a grin. "A Phasenmorph is exactly what you said, a living weapon. They were created in the second cycle, kinda like me, by Bioengineer Marcus Takato after five attempts to create a living weapon. The Phasenmorph was engineered to have lower brain functions of that of a human and was said to technically have no higher brain functions, although we know now that that's not entirely true otherwise the user would have trouble interacting with the Phasenmorph. The Phasenmorph relies on its connection to its host for information on the current situation, without the mental link it forms then the Phasenmorph is almost useless. It can do a good many things but unless you intend on using one then I'll keep from going into detail."

"Please, go into detail! The rugrats seem to have become attached to Dmitry and Dominic's little companions. Besides, considering the report I got from the twins I would definitely like to see about outfitting the senior security personnel with them."

"This could take a while," said Dominic as he sat down next to Alec and then pulled Dmitry into his lap. "I might as well get comfortable."

"Alright, it's your head that'll explode," grinned Nyo. "Before being attached to a user or when they are not being used a Phasenmorph lives in pools of fresh water and can interact with each other through electrical signals. The original purpose of the Phasenmorph was to act as an all purpose weapon; acting as shield, weapon, area of effect damage dealer, and mental cloak. The Phasenmorph could protect its user from being detected by any telepaths, it can physically shield its user from any kind of projectile or electrical blast, fire off different intensities of electrical blasts, and create an expanding area of effect blast to take out more then one enemy. The Phasenmorph only does what it's told, so if you need to use its AOE but you do not want to harm your own men then the Phasenmorph will match its biometric electrical signal to those that you do not want to harm and the blast will pass right over them without harming them. The same thing can be applied to the shield, the Phasenmorph can shield more then one person if need be. The Phasenmorph can also mask itself so that it can not be seen and is not detectable by any security device as it will change its chemical makeup to adapt and avoid detection if the user so desires."

"And when putting it on it now makes your arm numb," added Tyne. "And I highly recommend training if you want to use one. I don't want to think what could happen if you gave someone a Phasenmorph and then didn't teach them how to use it."

Alec nodded his head. "Sounds like they are a lot more than you'd think! Are there any issues with them and what we consider 'normal' humans? I'd like to see how they'd work out; it kinda worries me when Cory and Sean take trips like they are on now. They started all of this and all of us would die to protect them. What is involved in training?"

"The Phasenmorph was originally designed with 'normal' humans in mind because every other sub-species of the second cycle could, if they had to, make due without," replied Nyo. "Training though depends on the person and can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days or weeks depending on how much you want to learn to use. Dmitry and Dominic are the only ones that have a good base in Phasenmorph training other then myself at the moment; Step and Tyne have a three hour crash course. For decent results a week normally turns out good results."

"They don't seem to like me all that much," commented Tyne. "The poor things go running from me."

Jacob giggled. "They must run because you are so cute it scares them."

Alec giggled at Tyne's sudden blush. "Well, Jacob's right dude! What's the deal about watching us though, Nyo? We kinda know about you guys so it's stupid for y'all to stay hidden. I'd kinda like to know a bit more about what's up though."

"Ah but you didn't know about us prior to Dominic or Dmitry making themselves visible," said Nyo. "Our original intent was to observe and intervene only a little bit without being noticed. We didn't know if you guys were what we were looking for or not and we didn't want to risk you not being what we were looking for."

"Makes sense." Alec replied. "Chill with the invisibility unless you absolutely have to, okay guys? You are a part of the family now; Dmitry sealed that one for all of you. Think about training someone with a 'morph please; I think it'd be nice to have someone we can count on to watch over the guys safely. One question; do you plan on letting us know if we are screwing up like the other cycles did? I'm sure Cory won't mind; he's worrying himself sick about if we are doing any good."

"Hmm...screwing up..." said Dmitry.

"No," replied Dominic. "Don't even go there DT."

"If you guys come anywhere close to messing up I'll be able to see it," said Tyne. "And now that I'm awake I'll do anything to keep from letting you guys fail. Humanity has gone on long enough without a direction and you guys are finally giving it one so I will see you succeed."

Alec giggled. "Dmitry, you know screwing is supposed to be in private! Seriously; pick someone to train. I trust you guys to choose someone that is ready since you know how mature someone has to be to handle the 'morphs. Speaking of the 'morphs; you really should tell them it's okay around the telepaths, even Kyle. From what I hear Kyle drives them nuts; until you figure him out that might be best. From what you said earlier Tyne; it sounds like they like Kyle about the same as they responded to you."

"At least I'm not alone," responded Tyne. "I was beginning to think Phasenmorphs just didn't like me for my smell or for being a Founder."

"Mature? Then why does DT have one?" said Dominic.

"Hey!" replied Dmitry. "I'm mature!"

"We'll get with Ark and see if we can come up with a short list of clan members to start with Alec," said Nyo. "For now we already told the Phasenmorphs to take a break."

"Kewl; that'll work Nyo." Alec replied with a smile. "Oh, Dmitry; if you are so mature why is it Dominic had to tell you that you have no fuzzymores yet? I think the entire room heard that!"

Dominic smiled and then hugged Dmitry tightly.

"Poke fun all ya want but I'll get a count for you one way or another some day," Dmitry mumbled as he turned a deep shade of red. "Besides I kinda like not having 'fuzzymores' and as it stands I probably won't for about fifteen thousand years."

Jamie and Jacob came over and joined the hug. "Don't worry Dmitry." Jacob whispered. "I think the more pubes that the old guys get the less they think. I wish we could live that long; from what I've seen of adults I don't ever wanna be one."

"Thanks guys," Dmitry whispered back. "But be careful what you wish for."

Jamie turned Dmitry's head to look him in the eyes. "Bro, we've seen into everyone's head since before we could talk. Uncle Spock taught us to control it, but after what we've seen adults go through that wish is totally serious. The main reason the Clan works is that we are not bogged down with all of the junk the world makes adults do. If it means staying a kid to pay back Cory and Sean for saving us, we'll do it in a heartbeat."

"That's really something you should think over all the way through first Jamie," said Dominic. "We weren't given the choice because we needed it to heal but you guys would have the choice and it's not something that can be undone afterwards."

"You'd have to talk to Nyo if you did go that way," added Dmitry. "We don't know anything about it and it's not our decision who does and doesn't become another species."

Jamie turned to Tyne. "Tyne, you can scan our heads; go ahead and do it now so you can tell Nyo your opinion. You've been around a lot longer than us; see if you agree with us."

Tyne frowned, "Isn't that kinda jumping the gun just a little bit?"

Jacob joined Jamie in the conversation. "No it's not Tyne. You'll get a lot of the Clan's history too; stuff I'll bet you guys never knew about. This is your chance to learn stuff that isn't talked about. Since you guys are new to the Clan you should get a history lesson from Sean; this just puts ya ahead of the game."

"That's your decision then I guess and I'll respect your reasoning. Just be warned I haven't intentionally read someone else's mind in a long time so I might be a little out of practice," said Tyne. "Just so I don't hurt you guys by accident by bringing up bad memories I'll set up a void in my mind to kinda buffer everything; it might not happen but again it's been awhile and I'd rather be safe."

Jamie smiled. "That will work; we do the same thing. We can lock each other out for a little while as long as we concentrate on it; we'll do that so you don't get both of us at once. Who do you want first?"

"You pick," said Tyne. "I can do one at a time or I can do both so it really doesn't matter. If I do both though then I'll have to buffer one of you in the past while the other will be present. If you want to do one at a time then which ever of you is ready now is who I'll take first."

Jamie nodded. "Since you are out of practice I'll go first."

"Okay then," said Tyne as he focused on Jamie. "Just don't move."

Tyne then closed his eyes and tilted his head to the left. A few minutes later he opened his eyes, "Okay, I still have my mind processing all of that but I think it went okay; I'm done Jamie, you can move again."

Jacob wordlessly swapped places with his twin and froze in position.

Tyne smiled at Jacob and then closed his eyes again. A few minutes later though Tyne frowned, then opened his eyes and then looked down at the ground. He was quiet for a few more minutes before he looked up to see Jacob still standing still.

"Sorry Jacob you can move again, I'm finished," said Tyne as went back to staring off into space. "About half way through your scan I started integrating from past memory into present. Now I remember why my father longed for days when humanity was calm and peaceful."

The rest of the boys quietly watched as Tyne integrated the memories. After a few minutes, Tyne returned to the present.

"Everything okay Tyne?" Alec asked with concern.

"I'm not sure," replied Tyne. "I don't think I've ever absorbed that many painful memories before. It''s depressing to know that some of that kind of stuff could actually happen to anyone. Humanity needs a lot of help if that's the state of things."

Alec nodded. "I know what you mean, Tyne; but consider that you are looking at a small slice of humanity. In general humanity is not that way; but the actions of a small part of humanity is what brought this group together. If all of humanity was like the people that caused us to need to band together then we never would have had a chance at becoming what we are."

"That's good to know," Tyne said as he looked Alec in the eye. "All of you have still been through more then any kid should ever have to go through. And for most of you, after what you went through, if it was me I probably would have given up hope; for making it through and still keeping your innocence, sanity, and hope you'll have my deepest respect."

"All of us agree with that." Alec responded seriously. "Mom and I were talking a while back and she commented that the adults all think that we're a special group. None of them can figure out how most of these guys survived; they think all of us together are what has made it so everyone recovered so quickly. I do appreciate your respect though; coming from you it means a lot."

Dmitry looked back and forth between Alec and Tyne for a moment and as soon as it looked like they were done he let loose.

"So can I make the list?" asked Dmitry. "I got dibs on the cute ones!"

Dominic sighed, "DT we can't take the whole clan for training."

"Let's wait till Ark contacts us first Dmitry," smiled Nyo. "We should probably cross-reference with it."

"It might not be a bad idea to ask for volunteers and see who's interested too," added Stepan.

Alec giggled. "You ask for volunteers and you just might get everyone here! I know one of the guys I'd like to see get one though; I think Rusty would be a good candidate. The main reason he has not been more active is Curly is afraid he'll get hurt; with a 'morph on him it'd mean he'd be a lot safer."

"Okay that makes one then," replied Nyo. "Do you have any others in mind or do we actually have to do work?"

"Dude if you take Rusty then what are ya gonna do with Matty," said Dmitry. "He isn't gonna give up Rusty that easily."

"Good point Dmitry; I think wherever Rusty goes Matty will tag along. What do you think Nyo; could you handle the munchkin hanging with Rusty?" Alec asked.

"Nyo if you say yes to that then you're buying me a cup before we get back so I don't end up like Andrew," said Dominic.

Dmitry giggled, "I second that."

Nyo gave Dmitry and Dominic a strange look and replied, "Sure I guess he can come, but he's too young to get a Phasenmorph though."

"Yeah so Alec, how is Andrew doing?" asked Dmitry.

"I kissed his hurts until he felt all better!" Alec replied with a smirk.

"Hmm...Nyo just get a cup for me then," said Dmitry as he looked at Dominic with an evil grin.

"Is there something wrong with the kid?" Nyo asked Dominic and Dmitry.

Dominic grinned, "Just don't piss him off."

Alec giggled as he accessed the terminal in the room. "Watch this and you'll understand Nyo." He then played back the logs of Matty's rescue.

Nyo watched for a minute and then shook his head, "And you want to send him with me?"

"He's a nice kid once you get to know him," said Dmitry. "That and if you let him pet your Phasenmorph it'll keep him busy for hours."

"Look at how he takes down the entire group with one blow," Tyne started to point out. "Like a shark launching into a school of fish."

Stepan smiled, "Your call Nyo; if you think Ark is up to it then I don't see a problem with it."

"Looks like the fish'll be feeling that one for hours," Tyne continued as he kept watching the playback.

"Oh they were," said Dominic. "That's why I want a cup."

"I'll take some football gear while we're at it," added Dmitry.

"No a suit of armor would be better DT," said Dominic.

"Good point," said Dmitry. "Hey Nyo can Ark make us suits of armor before we get back?"

"He's just a little kid!" Alec got out between giggles. "Why are y'all so scared? Wait until you meet Timmy!"

"Oh we've watched Timmy," said Dmitry. "He's fun."

"At least he's not crippling," mumbled Dominic.

"If you want us to take Rusty then I suppose we can live with having Matty around," said Nyo. "I'm sure we'll live."

Jamie giggled. "Dude; just make sure he has a 'morph nearby to pet and Matty will be just fine. It relaxes him just as much as it relaxes you guys while he's doing it. Just don't give him one to keep; I don't wanna see what it'd be like for him to get pissed with one of those things!"

"Like I said he's too young to get one," said Nyo. "I won't breed Phasenmorphs young enough that they could attach to him while he's visiting. Come to think of it I won't let anyone that young have one at all unless I think they're mature enough and our Task Force Chief thinks they can handle it."

"I couldn't agree more." Alec added. "The only kid that young I'd even consider giving one to is Timmy; none of the rest are near ready for it yet."

"Why would you consider him?" asked Nyo.

"You've seen him in action, see what you think." Alec replied. "Mentally and emotionally he's a lot older than six; he is more concerned with making sure others are taken care of than himself. A perfect example is when Ricky joined us; Timmy took it upon himself to look after Ricky and help him integrate into his new family."

"I'll definitely take him into consideration," said Nyo. "But for now he's not here so he'll have to go with another batch."

Alec thought for a minute. "Ian and Toby would make a good pair to train. They're ready to start making their place in the Clan."

"Awesome that'll make up a good first group then," said Nyo.

Stepan giggled, "You just didn't want to have to ask Ark who it thought would be good for a first group."

"Well it probably wouldn't ever get back to me," replied Nyo. "It would have a reason for every one of them."

"I don't mean to be rude but can we like take a break or something?" asked Dmitry. "If I gotta sit here for too much longer I'll go nuts."

"Yeah I know you're bouncing around on my lap so much you're giving me reason to blush," Dominic whispered in Dmitry's ear.

Jamie giggled. "Hey guys, shower's over there!"

Alec laughed. "I think we got it all covered. Let's hit CIC while those two calm down."

"Actually if you guys don't mind we'd really like to use your pool," said Dominic.

Dmitry smiled, "Yeah we haven't gotten to go swimming in a pool in forever! Can we please?"

"Sure." Alec giggled. "Just remember; no suits allowed. If you guys want join them go ahead; I'll be in there in a few once I see what trouble the rest of the guys are up to."

"Hmmm who can we draft into going with us?" mumbled Dmitry.

Dominic sighed, "Oh boy here we go."

"How about we go find Rusty and Matty and then hunt down Toby and Ian and get them to go with us," Dmitry replied with an evil grin. "I'd like to get to know them better."

"I'll go too," said Tyne. "I could use some exercise."

"Okay, in that case do you mind if me and Stepan come with you Alec?" asked Nyo.

"No problem." Alec giggled. "You guys head on over to the pool and we'll send the victims ... I mean Rusty, Matty, Ian and Toby over."

Dmitry grinned as he stood up and then pulled Dominic to his feet, "We'll be waiting for them then."

"Alec do you realized what you've done," said Dominic as Dmitry pulled him towards the door. "You've set him loose with a rule that lets him look! I'll return the favor later!"

Stepan laughed as he watched Tyne follow them out of the door, "Have fun guys!"

~~~About two hours later~~~

Tyne sat in a lounge chair next to the pool just staring at the water. The others had left a while ago to go see the rest of the compound and to have fun but Tyne wanted to sit and rest. After a few more minutes Stepan walked in and looked around. When he spotted Tyne he slowly walked over.

"Do you mind if I join you?" asked Stepan as he came up next to Tyne's chair.

Tyne looked up and smiled, "Sure, pull up a chair."

"What are you thinking about?" said Stepan as he took the vacant chair next to Tyne.

"Everything and nothing," replied Tyne. "I'm just trying to sort all of this out."

"Is there anything I can help you with?" said Stepan.

Tyne sighed, "I don't really know. I feel kinda confused and disoriented; I was hoping the silence would help but I can't seem to focus enough to let it."

"That's understandable," said Stepan. "You've been through a lot in the last few days. It's been easier for me because I'm already from this world, this time period, even if Nyo kinda threw me for a loop I still haven't had to deal with as much as you have."

Tyne laid back and closed his eye, "I suppose. Hey can I ask you a question?"


"What do you think your purpose in life is?" asked Tyne.

Stepan frowned, "What do you mean?"

"All my life I was told what I was here for and what I'm responsible for but now that I'm away from those that told me all of that, now that they're dead and gone I feel lost," said Tyne. "It's just that all that they intended for me to do is outdated; you know like me being responsible for delegating between humanity and the Ark or being around to explain to a perfect society how the Council wished peace for humanity and that I was going to watch over them for the rest of my life. It's just that all of that is invalid now; Nyo is much better at delegating then I am because he knows more about the state of humanity and how humans act these days, and humanity is so far away from being at peace that I'll be dead before I take up the job of my ancestors. So why am I here?"

Stepan thought about it for a minute, "That's not an easy question to answer; I don't really even know why I'm here to tell you the truth. But you know what; I really don't think that it matters."

Tyne looked over at Stepan with a confused look, "What do you mean?"

"I believe that God put each of us here for a reason but we don't need to know those reasons in order for us to live," replied Stepan. "Personally I don't think I want a reason to be here. I have a boyfriend, I have friends, and I'm happy to be alive; I don't think I need much more then that. If I lived my life in terms of why I'm here then what if I fulfill those reasons? I'd like to think that there's more then one reason that we're here and that not all of them are clear or defined. But I think by being happy and wanting to make others happy we not only complete ourselves but we help complete them as well. You can't define your own reasons for being here, nor can you let some Council make that same decision. Only through life can you really find out what those reasons are and when it's all over you'll know that you completed them all."

Tyne gave a half grin, "How old are you again?"

"About a year older then you," smiled Stepan. "That doesn't mean I know everything though."

Tyne chuckled, "And I was hoping you could answer my other hard questions too."

"Nah I'll never claim to know answers but I'll do my best to give ya something to think about," said Stepan.

"Uh, I'm over-thinking these days I think," said Tyne. "But I don't think my life as ever been as simple as you just described, my father has always had other plans."

"No better time to start," Stepan said softly.

Tyne looked back at the water again and sighed, "Maybe you're right but I don't think I know how."

"I'm afraid that it's something you'll probably have to learn on your own for the most part," said Stepan. "But then again it could work differently for everyone. Maybe you'll meet someone that'll help you out in that area."

"Can I ask you another question?" said Tyne.

"Go ahead."

"The other day when you and I were talking in the control room, I said some mean things," Tyne said quietly. "Will you forgive me for what I said about Nyo?"

Stepan smiled, "I already did forgive you. I didn't think it was fair to judge you because you were having a bad day, I know you weren't thinking straight."

"Thanks," said Tyne. "You know Nyo's really lucky to have you as a boyfriend. You're quiet but you're a really nice guy."

Stepan hid his face and quickly changed the topic, "So where did the boys go?"

"Well Matty and Rusty left a little while ago," said Tyne. "Dmitry and Dominic went off with Toby and Ian a little after that. I'm not sure where any of them went to be honest; I was kinda staring off into space thinking. Oh Dmitry came and gave me a hug, I thought that was kinda strange."

"Nah, that's just Dmitry, he'll do anything to keep ya guessing," said Stepan. "He's a lot of fun but if I remember correctly his jokes can take some time to get use to."

"Yeah I think he made poor Toby, Ian, and Dominic very red a few times while they were out here," said Tyne. "It may have been more then a few but like I said I wasn't watching the whole time."

"Didn't you go swimming?" asked Stepan.

"I got in for a few minutes just to relax," replied Tyne. "I wasn't in for long though, I don't really know how to swim very well."

"Well come on, I can teach you," said Stepan as he got up from his chair.

Tyne looked surprised, "Really? That'd be cool."

"Mind if I join?" asked Nyo as he walked into the pool room.

"Hey Nyo, what's up?" said Tyne as he got up.

"I just got off the low band communicator with Ark," replied Nyo. "It'll have communications back up in about ten minutes and long and short range sensors are working again; it just finished calibrating them."

"Awesome," said Tyne. "That's one step closer to back up and running. Oh and I still need to look over what our security situation is."

"We'll be training the guys that we take back with us too," said Nyo. "Dmitry and Dominic could use some more training as well."

"When I get back I'll jump in the IIM and learn what I still don't know about Phasenmorphs," said Tyne. "I assume I'll also have to break it to Matty that he can't have a Phasenmorph."

"If you wouldn't mind," Nyo said quietly.

"Is it okay if I let him pet them though?" asked Tyne.

"Yeah there's no harm in that," said Nyo.

"Enough business, I wanna swim," said Stepan as he began to take off his jump suit. "Last one in gets to clean out the pool filter!"

"Is that a bad thing?" Tyne said with a confused look.

"Think about how many boys live in this place," replied Nyo as he quickly began to strip.


Dmitry, Dominic, Toby, and Ian walked back into the pool room each carrying a plastic cup of Kool-Aid.

When Dmitry saw that Nyo and Stepan had come down to swim he waved excitedly, "Hi Nyo! Hi Stepan!"

Dominic sat down in one of the vacant chairs, "I think the Kool-Aid is too much for him."

"I think you're right," giggled Ian. "So I take it that he doesn't get much sugar if it does this to him."

"That sounds about right," said Dominic. "But he's crazy with or without sugar though."

Dmitry came over and squeezed his way onto Dominic's chair with him. As Dmitry wrapped his arm around Dominic he smiled, "Yeah you know you're all the sugar I need Dom."

"So are they heavy?" Toby asked referencing to the Phasenmorph on Dmitry's arm.

"Actually I don't even notice that Giggle is there," replied Dmitry. "He's got a little bit of weight to him but its soo little that it's like he's just part of my arm."

< Sounds like he's nervous about getting a Phasenmorph >

"Ark!" Dmitry shouted making everyone jump.

"Jeez, give a guy a heart attack," said Ian. "What are ya shouting the word 'Ark' for?"

< They can not hear me Dmitry. >

"Oh sorry guys," apologized Dmitry. "Ark said something to me through the sub-vocal device I'm wearing."

< Nyo reported to me a few minutes ago. I assume that these two young men are two of the ones that will be coming back with you. >

"Who is Ark?" asked Toby.

"Yes," Dmitry said to Ark before turning his attention to Toby. "She's a computer, you'll meet her soon."

< She? Her? Dominic if you would be so kind as to smack Dmitry for me. >

Dominic giggled, "It's an It actually, not a she."

Suddenly there came an announcement over the loud speakers, "Condition Red; Condition Red - this is NOT a drill! All personnel contact AI division HQ for assignment. Condition Red; Condition Red - this is NOT a drill! All personnel contact AI division HQ for assignment. Condition Red; Condition Red - this is NOT a drill! All personnel contact AI division HQ for assignment."

"Stepan, Tyne; let's go, get dressed!" said Nyo as he rushed to get back out of the pool. "Dmitry and Dominic get ready to act in case we're needed, and watch out for your friends Toby and Ian; they aren't trained yet. As soon as we're dressed we need to get over to CIC as fast as we can."

"Okay Nyo," replied Dmitry as he set down his Kool-Aid and stood up.

Nyo started to try and get back into his jump suit but his attempt look more like a hopping dance as his clothes stuck to him as he put them on. Once he finally got one leg in he continued, "Ark I want you to monitor communications, if there is anything you can give me about what's going on before we get to CIC it would be helpful."

< Very well Nyo, but as I just got everything back up I am not sure how much help I will be. I have not been watching communications like I normally do. >

"Anything you can get for me will help," Nyo repeated.

As soon as Nyo, Stepan, and Tyne were dressed Nyo quickly left the pool room at a jog with everyone in tow.

< Nyo the only information I have for you is that Dr. Marc Furst is the one that called the Condition Red. I am unable to determine why at this point. For once since my creation I feel very limited, that is all I have. >

"That's okay Ark," Nyo mumbled as he entered CIC without looking where he was really going.

Suddenly everything seemed to go into slow motion as Gabe came running through the other outside entry to CIC with his group right behind him. Neither Nyo nor Gabe was really paying attention and before they realized what was happening they crashed into each other and fell sliding to the floor. Tyne, who was right behind Nyo, managed to slow down a little before his only choice was to grab onto Rusty, who came in right behind Gabe, and try redirecting their fall just enough to keep from landing on the first two boys.

Dmitry, Dominic, and Stepan were barely able to stop, causing Toby and Ian to bump into Stepan, just in time to avoid becoming part of the pile. While still recovering from stopping Johnny spotted Dominic and screamed 'Dommynick!' as he ran over and pounced his new friend. The extra force was all it took to knock Dominic to the floor, taking Stepan and Dmitry down with him.

The rest of the younger kids, except for Matty, quickly joined the pile giggling madly as they did. Matty rushed over to where Rusty had fallen holding a puppy securely in his arms.

"Wusty; you okay? I'm gonna be mad if dey huwt you," said Matty.

"I'm fine lil' buddy; this cutie over here caught me." Rusty giggled from the edge of the pile. "Come on in and join the fun!"

Matty set his puppy down and slid through the tangle of arms and legs to cuddle into Rusty's arms. His puppy clambered over the pile and perched himself on Tyne's chest, happily licking his face.

Tyne suddenly had a look of shock and fear, "Could someone please tell me what this is on my chest licking my face? Please tell me it's not getting ready to eat me!"

Matty giggled at Tyne. "You'we silly! That's my puppy Wusty; he ain't gonna eat you, he likes you! He's just kissin you."

"I'm confused then, if this is Wusty then who's holding you?" Tyne managed to say between licks.

Rusty joined Matty's giggles as he added "Actually, I'm Rusty; Matty is still recovering from what was done to him and has a little trouble with the letter 'r'. The pup is 'Wusty', no pronunciation error there. Just scratch him gently behind the ears dude; you'll have a friend for life."

Tyne slowly extended a hand towards the puppy, ready to pull it back at the first sign of trouble. He was shocked when the puppy collapsed on his chest contentedly as soon as he started scratching; occasionally stretching to lick the bottom of Tyne's chin.

While Tyne was getting acquainted with Wusty, the rest of the boys managed to untangle themselves and regain their feet.

Dominic giggled at the sight on the floor as he shifted Johnny around to a comfortable position on his back, "Tyne, you DO realize that the Clan is at Red Alert don't you? I don't think now is the time to be making furry friends!"

"Give him a break." Nyo giggled. "It's not every day you get to learn about Canis lupus familiaris."

Matty looked at Nyo curiously, "He's nodda cana .. whatevew you said! He's a PUPPY!!"

The rest of the room, which had just recovered from laughing from the sight of the entry of the boys, started laughing again.

Stepan giggled as he commented, "Now that's got to be a first; you just got put in your place by a little kid!"

Justy came over, knelt down, and petted the puppy on Tyne's chest, "Where'd you get the pup at Matty?"

"Patches gave 'im to me!" Matty replied proudly.

"Who's Patches?" Tyne mouthed over the sub-vocal.

< Patches is a female adult dog that lives in the field located next to the Clan Short Compound. >

"Thanks Ark," Tyne mouthed in response.

"I like puppies," Dmitry excitedly said over the sub-vocal. "You're so lucky Tyne; puppies are a lot of fun."

"I'm allergic," added Dominic.

Rusty continued when he saw the look on Justy's face, "You shoulda seen it; she picked Wusty up and put him on Matty's lap as we were loading up to get back here!"

"Whoa! You must be really special Matty; she wouldn't even let the rest of us know she had any puppies, yet she gave him to you! That's awesome!" replied Justy.

Justy went to move the puppy off of Tyne's chest so that he could get up, but quickly changed his mind after the pup made it clear that any attempt to move him would result in a very sore hand.

"Umm, Tyne? I think you're gonna have to hold the pup while we help you up." said Justy.

Alec, who had come over with Justy, pointed towards the couch, "Grab a seat there guys; I'll fill you in on what we know."

Tyne gave Nyo a lost look as he started to get up with the puppy in his arms, "What do I do with it?"

"Just hold him," replied Nyo as Stepan led him to the couch. "Make sure that you're supporting him so he knows he won't fall, hold him close, and you'll be fine."

A few minutes later Tyne had ended up on the left end of the couch with Rusty forced against his right side; Matty was perched on the junction of their legs happily petting Wusty, who was sitting on Tyne's other leg. Dmitry had taken up residents on Dominic's lap. And Stepan, after seeing how Dmitry and Dominic were sitting, guided Nyo to the couch, sat him down and then sat in his lap. The rest of the youngest boys filled in space on the couch wherever there was room as long as there was a Phasenmorph nearby that they could pet.

"I think that everyone is here now," Alec said as he looked around the room. "Okay the Condition Red was called by our AI division about a situation that they were notified of. They received a call asking for help in a situation where a boy was about to be taken in for a sex change against his will because he was found to be gay. The hospital was told to stop the procedure but started to go ahead with the operation anyway due to prejudice and an organization know as the FCC."

"Wait did you say that they started the procedure? You mean they're cutting off his...what right do they have to make decision!" shouted Nyo. "Let me up I'll take..."

"Calm down Nyo," said Gabe. "We're already taking care of the situation; we will also take care of the doctor responsible. The boy will be taken to the AI division hospital where he'll receive the treatment that he needs."

"He should be just fine then," added Dmitry. "Marc and the others know what they're doing Nyo, remember we watched them save Austin's life. And an android isn't too different from a human when it comes to biological systems."

Nyo sat back and grumbled, "I hope that doctor gets what he deserves."

"You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike," Stepan quoted silently. "You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God's. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it."

"Then be afraid of the sword for yourselves, for wrath brings the punishment of the sword," Dominic added. "So that you may know there is judgment."

"Bible quotes, I forgot that you guys studied the bible," Nyo smiled, "I suppose justice and judgment don't have to be dealt by me personally."

"The wicked always get what they deserve," said Dominic. "Even if it takes a while sometimes. You proved that with Dr. Waltkins Nyo."

"I thought you hated God," Stepan whispered to Dominic.

Dominic nodded, "I do but that doesn't mean I don't believe. I just have a few personal bones to pick with him."

"He brought you here and gave you Dmitry," said Stepan. "He can't be all that bad."

"Stepan you might want to drop this issue," Dmitry said quietly as he watched Gabe get his new sons registered with their systems. "This isn't something we need to talk about here and Dom is very opinionated about this topic."

"Sorry Dominic," replied Stepan. "I guess I'm just use to talking about the good rather then the bad, I'll try not to bug you about religious stuff though."

"Thanks," said Dominic as he watched Helen escort her new grandsons to the kitchen to make cookies when they finished at the computer. "DT, do you ever think about us having kids some day?"

Dmitry looked shocked, "Umm...I...I've never really thought about it; we're only ten."

"Fair enough," Dominic said softly. "When we're older though I think you'd make a great father; even if you keep your twisted sense of humor."

Dmitry hugged Dominic as tight as he could, "Thanks."

Just then Gabe walked over to one of the closets, opened the door and went in.

"I wonder what he's up to," said Nyo.

When Gabe emerged a minute later, CIC fell silent. Instead of his previous casual clothing, Gabe was now garbed in his Clan Dress Uniform. The uniform consisted of a black hooded robe, with the Clan crest on the left breast with a twin gold bar underneath to signify his rank. Gabe walked totally erect with an expressionless face towards the main communications console.

Gabe adjusted the console and a few seconds later a young lieutenant came on the screen. "Federation Security Headquarters, Lieutenant Crose. How may I direct your call?"

"Lieutenant Crose, I am Gabriel Michaels, acting head of Security of Clan Short of the family of Sarek of the house of Surak of the planet Vulcan. I require communication with the Terran head of security immediately."

Gabe watched patiently as the Lieutenant began to reply. Suddenly her face went white as she double-checked her display and realized where the call was coming from. "It will take a minute Sir; I must interrupt a meeting with Admiral Morrow."

"Relay this call into the Admiral's office Lieutenant. Admiral Morrow is cleared for this transmission."

"As you wish Sir." Lieutenant Crose replied, obviously shaken.

A few seconds later, the screen flickered. "Admiral Morrow's office; Captain Anderson. How may I be of assistance Mr. Michaels?"

Gabe nodded. "Captain Anderson. A formal protocol for internal security alert status notification to the federation has not been established. It is logical to inform you that our security has been heightened to maximum and possible militant actions could result. Please be informed our security team will soon be performing a forceful recovery following guidelines issued according to Vulcan Diplomatic laws. At this time we do not require assistance beyond that being provided by the Lafayette. Be informed that a radical group with interplanetary connections has performed actions which required multiple extractions of youth in the last twenty-four Terran hours. Any attempts at retribution by said group will be considered a declaration of war against Clan Short directly and the planet Vulcan by inference, and will be dealt with accordingly."

Captain Anderson stood there speechless. Admiral Morrow slid into view and asked "Mr. Michaels; did I just hear you correctly? May I ask why such an extreme response?"

"Certainly Admiral. The policies and actions of this group result in violation of 37.725 percent of the provisions of the Safe Haven Act. Due to their infiltration of Terran and other planetary governments it would be impractical for them to be dealt with through normal Federation procedures. In addition we have reason to believe that they have infiltrated Federation ranks and as such any actions performed by the Federation will have inherent security vulnerabilities."

A fleeting look of surprise crossed the Admiral's face before he stood up straight. "Mr. Michaels; please inform Patriarch Short that the resources of Starfleet are at his disposal. If I may, I would like to request that any information you locate regarding personnel which are members of this organization be directed to my office for personal action to nullify their effect on your operations."

"I concur with the logic of your request Admiral and will ensure appropriate action will be taken. Patriarch Short will be informed of your offer. Good day Admiral, good day Captain."

Gabe closed the conversation and turned to Justy. "Justin, I require you to make an immediate report to Grandfather Sarek."

Justy was already half way to the closet when he replied "I'm on it Gabe!"

A minute later Justy came back out in a similar robe to Gabe's; the only difference between his robe and Gabe's was the addition of the Sarek family crest above the Clan crest. Justy approached the console and changed a few settings. "Vulcan Embassy, M'torok."

Justy replied in a flat voice. "I am Justin of the family of Sarek of the house of Surak. I require the advice of Grandfather Sarek."

M'torok nodded. "Acknowledged Justin. I will transfer you."

The screen shifted to Sarek sitting at his desk. "You requested my advice Grandson?"

"Yes Grandfather. A situation has developed with an organization known on Terra as the 'FCC'. This group has instigated policies and performed actions which violate 37.725 percent of the Federation Safe Haven Act. Due to this organization's infiltration of governmental and federation offices Gabriel has declared it a Clan matter and has claimed sole jurisdiction. The logical response of the FCC to the recent extractions we performed is some method of retribution according to their previous actions. We have determined that this agency is an interplanetary threat and Gabriel has expressed his opinion to Admiral Morrow that such retribution would be considered an act of war."

Sarek crossed his hands in front of him as he considered Justy's statement. After three minutes, he gave his reply. "I infer from your description of this organization that diplomatic means would fail. Under Vulcan law suitable retribution for attacks on a Vulcan Clan fall under the Terran definition of 'war'. I shall inform the Federation Council that this has become a family matter and shall be handled accordingly. This situation will require modifications to my original plan for suitable transportation; I shall explore more suitable options immediately. Gabriel has formed logical conclusions based on available data."

"Acknowledged Grandfather." Justy replied. "May we proceed to prepare for the expected retribution?"

"That would be logical. Proceed."

Justy nodded and the connection closed. He turned to Alec and Gabe. "I think Phaser training needs to be stepped up; if it fits in their hand they need to know how to use one. When Cory checks in I'll fill him in; anything else let's just do it."

Alec looked at Gabe then replied "I agree Jus; we need to get ready. Gabe, you're senior officer here; you taking charge?"

Gabe nodded. "Yep; you guys get your areas up to speed. I'm gonna figure out how we can cover our butts. If you need anything let me know, okay?"

Justy and Alec both nodded as they rushed to opposite sides of the room to start preparations. Gabe walked over to where Nyo and the rest of his group were sitting. "I hate to say this guys, but things are gonna get rough pretty soon. Nyo; those necklaces I gave my boys are something new we've set up. They have a specially encrypted tracking device in them using Vulcan technology. Do you guys have any way to track them without using Federation equipment?"

"Federation equipment is inadequate for tracking anything to begin with," replied Nyo. "Give me just a second. Ark have you been listening?"

< Their trackers are very simple but Vulcan technology is very different from Federation technology. I can already track them if you wish it, just as long as they stay on planet. >

"We can track any of your people that are wearing your tracking devices. Anyone that later has a Phasenmorph will be tracked by default and wouldn't need a tracking device," Nyo said to Gabe.

Gabe nodded. "That would be a great help; but how can we communicate with Ark if you guys are not here?"

"There isn't a way that your computers could be set up to communicate with Ark," said Nyo. "No computer that you guys have can support the right frequency. I could use one of our handhelds and if you give me a permanent place to put it I'll integrate it with one of your consoles. I'll have to tweak the interface though so you know what it says and later we will come up with something more permanent. However, if you ask Ark a question about technology it will inform me before even thinking about answering your question. There are certain types of tech that you guys can't have. Anything else you want to ask it to help you with is fair game."

Gabe relaxed some. "Thanks Nyo; that will work. You do realize you're taking all of the fun out of it though! How much access will Ark have to our internal systems? Does it understand Vulcan tech?"

"If Ark wanted to it could access all of your internal systems right now with or without your permission," replied Nyo. "It archives ALL human history so it has the right to do so from its point of view. And as to Vulcan tech if it wanted to interface with your systems it wouldn't have a problem understanding anything. Hell it could probably speak Vulcan better then you guys could and it can write Vulcan software if it really wanted to; even if it's an inferior programming language."

Gabe slipped into Vulcan as he replied. "It would be illogical to deny access to an entity designed to chronicle humanity. The logical action shall be to activate a suitable interface to provide full access to all available information provided by our interplanetary interface. Such access will provide Ark with the data required to verify our actions are in accordance with the directives of our family structure."

Nyo nodded, "That's fine, Ark'll be happy with that. Oh and no big deal or anything but just so you know though the rest of my guys don't know Vulcan yet; which now Ark will have to translate for them so they understand. And if I didn't know Vulcan I would have just thrown a language I know you don't know back at you just to get my point across. I never said I could speak Vulcan, I said Ark could."

Gabe blushed. "Sorry guys; I'm just used to all of us here knowing multiple languages. I just kinda slip into Vulcan when I'm thinking logically. Basically what I said was that it would be illogical not to let Ark have full access to everything we have access to since Ark is responsible for archiving everything we do anyways. Nyo, you might want to get with Xain to get the full list of languages we all know; that way none of your guys get left out of a conversation."

"That's okay," Tyne said from the other side of the couch. "I'm sure we'll learn it sooner or later. I'll have to finish grasping English first though; you guys still use a few words that I don't have matches for in my language."

"Ark will make sure that all of my guys learn what they need to know later," said Nyo. "We didn't have time before to teach anyone else any other languages. I know most of what all of you can speak, at least all that's documented anyway."

"Cool!" exclaimed Dmitry. "I wanna learn Vulcan!"

"Yeah then he'll be embarrassing people in more then the three languages he already knows," mumbled Dominic.

"I know a forth one," Dmitry said with an evil grin as he started wiggling around on Dominic's lap.

Dominic's eyes got really big, "Stop that!"

Xain had joined the group after hearing his name mentioned. "Tyne, I understand your confusion with segments of the English language. Especially difficult is the Mississippi variation spoken by my brother Thomas. I believe you posses all the required information to understand our full library of languages from your previous inspection of my brother's memories. You will find that not only the oral and written skills are present, but also the associations to assure understanding of the words. I believe this will help your understanding of the natural spoken languages present here immensely. Is it possible for you to present that information to Ark for the enlightenment of your brothers?"

"The next time I'm in the Interactive Integration Module I'll pass it along," replied Tyne. "But having the information and understanding its actual meaning are two different things for me. Ark would probably understand everything that's in my head as far as language goes; it probably already knows it. But there isn't a translation for words like 'Dude' in Founder so I can't wrap my head around it's meaning regardless of whatever I know; it doesn't help that you guys don't even know its actual meaning you just use it in reference to something. It just loses its meaning on me if that makes any sense."

"I understand. I had the same difficulty at first with Eagle." Xain replied. "It is especially bad with a southern drawl when used by Thomas."

"Back when I was younger we didn't have a problem with multiple languages, there was only one," said Tyne. "It'll take time to get use to this."

"If ya don't understand something Tyne you can try asking either of those cute boys sitting with you," giggled Dmitry. "They might know how to explain the meaning they are using for certain words."

"Here we go with that word again," sighed Dominic. "Cute."

Rusty giggled. "I ain't cute! Dmitry, Dominic, Nyo, Stepan; y'all are cute. Now Tyne here is beyond cute, awesome don't even touch how good he looks!"

Matty twisted around. "Uh huh! Tyne is pwetty!"

Tyne turned a deep red and tried to hide behind the puppy in his lap, "Dominic, you're partner needs to keep words like that to himself."

"Yeah tell him that," grinned Dominic. "He causes waves of destru..."

Dmitry wiggled around on Dominic's lap again causing Dominic to stop talking completely.

Rusty giggled as he wrapped an arm around Tyne and whispered in his ear "You ARE really cute Tyne!" To seal his statement, he shifted his head and gave Tyne a quick kiss on the nearest seriously blushing cheek.

Travis had been watching the events and walked up behind Gabe, putting his arms around Gabe's waist. "What's up babe; besides Dominic that is? Dmitry is worse than Timmy!"

Gabe giggled. "Chill babe; save it for the shower! We're just ironing out a few details that will make things easier for them and us."

An evil smile began to creep across Dmitry's face after this comment. Dominic instantly noticed, "NO! Don't even think there! I mean don't go about it! I mean...just quit while you're ahead DT!"

"Aren't you glad I'm the quiet one?" Stepan whispered into Nyo's ear.

Nyo grinned, "More then you'll ever know."

"It's been a long time since anyone has said something like that to me, thank you," Tyne said to Rusty as he reached a darker shade of red but then he whispered. "Beurt te arye pariter, neque vendo iourryself brevis."

Rusty smiled. "I don't know what you just said," he whispered back, "but it sounded sweet. You think you can teach me to talk like that?"

"I umm...yeah I can teach you Founder," Tyne replied quietly. "I-I-I said you...I can't believe I'm saying this...I said you are too and to not sell yourself short."

Rusty blushed. "Aww ... thanks. ummm, you don't... I mean ... well ... I kinda ... ummm ... like you and ... well ... umm ... you ain't gotta ... do you have a boyfriend?"

Tyne looked down at the puppy in his lap with a sad expression and thought for a moment. Then in a voice just loud enough for Rusty to hear he replied, "No one's asked me that in a long time. Once...I had a Socius, which I suppose the closest thing you have to describe it would be 'permanent bonded companion'. His name was Cyna, he was a Ciryaftery, a Crafter, and he had a kind soul; he was taken from me when we were thirteen. He was slain and I was left to mourn his death and hold onto the cold memories that I still had. I never took another Socius after that, which upset my father to no end; I would just talk to my lost Socius refusing to let go. Normally I would say that yes I do have a boyfriend in the sense in which you are asking, but Cyna is lost to me and he told me that I can't hold onto nothing forever...and he's right. So in that I don't have a boyfriend." Tyne looked back up at Rusty, "I'm solum, I'm alone."

Sensing the emotions of the moment, Matty picked up his puppy and shifted to the far side of Tyne's lap to give Rusty room. He lifted Tyne's arm and placed it around him while snuggling into Tyne's chest. Rusty lifted Tyne's chin and looked into his pain-filled eyes. "You don't have to let him go; you just need to make room for someone else to share your heart with him. If you'll let me I would be honored to share your heart with him. He must have been special to deserve you; I would never want to see someone take that away from you."

"Cyna would probably like it better that way. He had a lot of patience when it came to me actually," Tyne replied with a soft smile. "I've kinda got a stubborn streak in me." Tyne paused for a moment then in an even softer voice he added, "I'll have to let you meet him though; I need his approval."

Rusty cuddled under Tyne's free arm and leaned his face to place a quick kiss on Tyne's lips. "I can't wait to meet him. I hope he approves of me; I bet between the two of us we can help with that stubborn streak you have."

Dominic smiled as he watched Tyne blush again, "They sure do move fast around here."

"Yeah any faster and they'd be..." Dmitry started to say.

"What did I just say a few minutes ago!" interrupted Dominic.

"You're no fun!" grinned Dmitry.

Nyo gave Tyne a confused look, "Umm Tyne how are you going to have him meet Cyna?"

"Core memory module 572," replied Tyne.

Nyo's eyes got really big, "He's stored in Ark?! That means he's been there for over sixty thousand years!"

"He chose to stay there," said Tyne. "He knew I'd wake up again."

"Wow, he's OLD!" Matty giggled. He then became serious. "Tyne, you pwomise to take cawe of big Wusty fow me when I go back to my mommy?"

"Incumbo mei vita itaque mei veneratio e promitto Te," Tyne said seriously before remembering that Matty didn't know Founder. He then repeated it in English, "On my life and my honor I promise you."

Matty cuddled back into Tyne's side. "Thank you."

Gabe smiled as he watched the hopefully new couple relax. "Now that's the greatest thing I've seen all day." He was about to turn back to talk to Nyo when he heard Dmitry.

"So which one do ya think is cuter?" Dmitry whispered. "The red head is definitely cute, but Tyne's eyes might make them about even."

Gabe giggled. 'Hey Dmitry; those are your brothers that you are talking about! I'm sure they'd help hold you so that your partner can spank you for having roving eyes with family!"

"What ever happened to 'incest is best'?" Dmitry asked with a giggle. "Spanking sounds kinda kinky, but I have a boyfriend already Gabe and it sounds like you have more in mind then even I could think of."

"Oh God," said Dominic as he hid his face. "I'll give you a 10 for effort Gabe."

Gabe thought for a second then spoke seriously. "Dominic; I'm not trying to intrude on your relationship, but would you mind if I was to share some history with Dmitry so he can see where I was coming from with that?"

"Okay," Dominic said carefully. "Go ahead."

Gabe turned to Nyo. "Nyo; you've said Ark is listening. How much of the Clan member's history is readily available; and if I asked about a certain record could it pass the info to Dmitry?"

"Yeah Ark's records are detailed enough it could probably tell you how many times you're farted in the last 12 years of your life," grinned Nyo. "But it can only verbally relay information to Dmitry."

Gabe giggled. "A full data dump would be funny; but I think Dmitry wants to sleep tonight! Would Ark be able to sort out the important events in Travis' and my relationship to show Dmitry how faithfulness and support can bring a couple through even the worst times? If Dominic wants to hear what Dmitry is hearing I don't mind."

Dmitry frowned and then whispered something to Dominic in Russian. Dominic looked almost upset at what Dmitry had said but before he could say anything Dmitry got up, gave Gabe a very cold glare, and then walked right out of the room.

"Dominic, what's going on?" Nyo asked carefully.

"Gabe you're the only person I think DT's ever said anything mean about other then a very dead doctor," whispered Dominic as he got up from the couch. "Not very much upsets him but you just made him feel lower then dirt by saying that. That makes him feel that he's somehow been unfaithful or unsupportive and coming from someone that he trusts it hurts. I'll be back in a few minutes."

As Dominic started towards the door Stepan spoke up, "Dominic, what did Dmitry say?"

Dominic shook his head as he continued out the door, "I won't repeat it. If you want to know ask Ark."

Dominic was still in the doorway when Travis growled loud enough for everyone, including Dominic, to hear. "Gabriel Mark Michaels. I hereby relieve you of duty until such time as it is agreed you are fit for service by all Clan members present. That is the most insensitive and stupid thing you have ever done; not only to Dmitry and Dominic but to me as well. You are confined to the Rec Room until such time as all injured parties are present; at that time a Clan meeting will be held to discuss your screw up. Plan on sitting a while; Dmitry ain't the only one pissed off." He then turned to Nyo. "You guys are Clan now too and have equal voice in the meeting. I would really like it for you to join us when the time comes, brothers."

"Okay," replied Nyo as he watched Stepan silently have a conversation with Ark.

A few seconds later Stepan sighed and turned his attention to Travis, "Thank you Travis, we would be honored."

Nyo gave Stepan a questioning look as if saying, "Well?"

"I'm with Dominic, I won't repeat it," Stepan said. "Although I didn't even know Dmitry knew that word."

"Maybe it's best that I not know then," mumbled Nyo quietly.

"You guys have more drama then the Founder Council on a new year review," giggled Tyne.

"Just wait; you ain't met Timmy and Ricky yet!" Rusty giggled.

"No shit!" Travis replied. "I'm gonna go try to explain to my sons what's about to happen; do you mind filling these guys in Rusty?"

"I got your back bro; your Mom might be able to help ya." said Rusty.

"Fors fortiscum Te," Tyne said to Travis. "Luck be with you."

"Thanks big bro; I think I'll need it." Travis replied as he turned to head to the kitchen and his sons. As he was walking away, Alec and Justy came over.

"Tyne?" Alec asked. "Would you have any problems with filling in as Head of Security? You're more qualified than anyone else here right now."

"Umm, yeah I suppose I could if you want me to," Tyne said in shock. "I'm not very familiar with your protocols though."

"Neither are they." Rusty giggled. "Just wing it; if Aaron can sound convincing anyone can!"

Justy shook his head. "Be glad you've got your attack munchkin there Rusty; otherwise you'd be going swimming! You do have a point about Airhead though!"

Matty did a fair imitation of a dog growling before breaking into giggles. Wusty 'yipped' before reaching up and giving Matty, Rusty, and Tyne all a sloppy kiss.

"You sure he doesn't want to eat us?" Tyne asked between licks. "I swear he's trying to digest us!"

"Relax cutie; that's just his way of showing he likes us since none of us speak dog ... yet." Rusty replied with a giggle just before he became Wusty's next victim.

Tyne smiled, "Somehow when you say 'yet' it scares me."


Dominic found Dmitry standing in the enclosed hallway just outside the pool staring out of one of the windows. Dominic quietly came up behind Dmitry and wrapped his arm around him.

"Hi Dom," Dmitry said as he reached up and wiped his eyes. "I'm sorry I walked out..."

"Shhh, it doesn't matter," Dominic whispered softly in Dmitry's ear.

"Am I, I mean do I, I..." Dmitry tried to say.

"Do I think that you're unsupportive or unfaithful?" said Dominic completing Dmitry's thought. Dmitry nodded his head as he leaned back against Dominic for support. "No, you know I don't think that."

"I...I didn't think that I was that bad..." Dmitry tried to say.

"You're not DT," Dominic said reassuringly. "You already know how I feel about you looking at others. But if you want proof of you being faithful to me that's a good example. There are a million other boys out there that you could have chose for a boyfriend or even a friend but you chose me, which I'll admit is the part I don't understand, but after you did although you look and you joke you're still here with me and I know that you love me; you let me know even in ways that no one else notices."

"No matter who you offered me I'd choose you ever time," Dmitry whispered. "You're all I want."

"Why? I've got a short temper, I'm normally way to quick to act on anything, I'm overly opinionated, I'm hard headed," said Dominic.

Dmitry sighed softly and smiled, "No you're not. You stand up for me, you're always willing to listen to what I have to say, you put up with me and all my strange quirks, and at least one of us has an opinion."

Dominic tightened his hug, "You know before all of this happened I never thought that you'd want me."

"Unluckily for you I was determined to get you the day we first met," replied Dmitry.

"Umm, we were like four when we first met," said Dominic.

Dmitry giggled, "So I had to wait a few years before I understood what I knew back then."

"You're crazy," grinned Dominic. "You know I didn't even know that you knew the word you used for Gabe back there."

"Yeah well you get very colorful when you're angry," said Dmitry. "I picked that one up from you."

"Oh," replied Dominic. "Ooops, I'll try and tone down the color a little if I can."

"Nah if ya did that I'd never know you were angry," giggled Dmitry. "I suppose I should apologize to Gabe though, even if he doesn't know what I called him."

"I think that might be nice," said Dominic. "But that's only if you want to, I think he was only trying to help but I don't think he really understands why we interact the way we do."

"That's probably true," sighed Dmitry. "I guess our relationship might look dysfunctional to an outsider. I'll forgive him though, he doesn't know."

"Good," Dominic said as he started nibbling Dmitry's ear.

Dmitry smiled, "And you call me crazy. I got a question though; you're not going to hold this against Gabe are you?"

"Only if he doesn't apologize to you too," replied Dominic as he moved to Dmitry's neck.

"If only the others knew that you're just as bad as I am," laughed Dmitry. "You're just quieter! You're having the effect you're hoping for though."

"Good," smiled Dominic. "I think we need to just relax a little before we head back."

~~~Forty-five minutes later~~~

Almost everyone was gathered in the Rec room; the seriousness of what was about to happen apparent in the lack of the boy's normal banter. Xain entered with Dmitry and Dominic at his side, stopping just inside the doorway. "Dmitry, Dominic; as the injured individuals you have the right to be positioned directly in front of Gabriel adjacent to Travis and his sons. Experience has proven that this location is most beneficial to the resolution of grievances; however the choice to assume that location is entirely yours."

"Is this really needed," Dmitry said softly. "Just because there's a problem between me and one other clan member does that really mean that we have to call a meeting over it?"

Alec had just joined them and motioned to Xain to let him reply. "Dmitry, I think I can explain it better than Xain for once. This method was set up when the Clan started growing as a way to help all of us learn. It's not really to put Gabe on trial; it's more of a way for everyone to learn from each other's mistakes. The first time it was really used Cory and Sean had a fight in the wrong place at the wrong time. All of us learned from their mistake by watching as they worked out the problem. The same thing will happen here between Travis and Gabe; Travis was hurt too by what Gabe did. You have the chance to teach the rest of us what it does to someone when assumptions are made. It's your choice to participate and how much you say; but anything you do decide to say will not be held against you by anyone."

"But how serious you take something like this and it's relevance to others depends on your point of view," Dmitry said carefully. "Sure I was hurt by what was said but then there isn't any way that Gabe could have known how me and Dominic's relationship is structured. What I consider normal for me and Dom is probably not what any of you consider normal for each other. It's like dealing with someone from another planet where traditions and customs are different; while common courtesy is suggested what someone sees as common isn't always the same."

"And you say I'm the smart one," muttered Dominic.

Alec smiled. "That is exactly why we do it this way, Dmitry. Even if you don't want to participate directly, I would feel honored if you would repeat what you just said to everyone; considering the fact that Cory has made arrangements that will probably mean contact with other planets it would be a good thing for everyone to think about."

"You mean you guys haven't covered dealing with other cultures before?" said Dominic. "That's a rather large oversight don't you think?"

Dmitry poked Dominic in the side and added, "And he means that in the best possible way."

"Oh sorry," said Dominic. "I just expected a Vulcan Clan to already know what DT just said. Aren't Vulcans well known for going out of their way to understand others?"

"We're still learning Dominic." Alec replied with a smile. "You might say it's a crash course. In a way it helps though; we deal with everyone like they are one of us instead of the 'proper' protocols that adults use. Xain is working with us and teaching us what he was taught in his Vulcan courses; but there are still holes in that training since he never completed it."

"Right, we can cover diplomacy later though. The reason that I was upset by what Gabe said to me wasn't because he neglected to observe cultural differences," said Dmitry. "What upset me was that although he meant well he said something that made me feel like I was neglecting the person I love. What he didn't realize though was that we already have certain things in our relationship well covered. I'll admit that we need help with some things when we finally get to them but what he addressed is something that me and Dom already talked about. It hurt my feelings more though to think that I would have given the impression to others that I was hurting Dom by my actions when I know that I wasn't. But even if I wasn't giving that impression it's still my relationship with Dom not his and if he really thought it was a problem then he should have caught me alone and asked about it rather then making an assumption."

"I agree Dmitry." Alec replied. "I would be upset in your position too. Do you think that Jimmy and Davey understand why not to do things like that though? What you just said is what I hope comes out of this; that everyone here learns to ask first before jumping to conclusions and doing something which hurts another's feelings. Also asking someone before divulging personal information; that one set Travis off big time."

"Well has anyone explained the situation to Jimmy or Davey?" asked Dominic. "They won't even begin to understand any of this if they don't understand the reasons behind it."

Alec nodded. "Travis was going to; but he had a meltdown just before he had a chance to do it. Gabe explained it instead once Travis had recovered some and went off with Helen for some private mother-son time. By the time Gabe was done explaining it, the boys seemed anxious to see how it works."

"Okay then what's missing?" said Dominic. "I suppose everyone has their own version of what's right and wrong - me, Dmitry, and Stepan found that out first hand - but don't you think that something like this is self explanatory? Regardless of what others see as right and wrong everyone has things that they would rather keep to themselves. For example me and Dmitry keep most things about our relationship to ourselves. But to avoid a sense of loss to the person or persons involved they would rather divulge their own secrets themselves or be asked by someone that they trust first if it's okay for them to tell others."

Xain raised his eyebrows then added his opinion. "Dominic, your logic is sound. The greater purpose of the tribunal is not punishment; it is a presentation of the thought processes and primitive emotional responses of both sides of the altercation to educate the present Clan members on logical recourse to prevent a reoccurrence not only within the Clan but while dealing with persons not of our family."

"Xain's right," said Nyo. "You're right too though Dominic, but look around. Everyone in this room is still pretty young and they're still learning. Not everyone will come to the same conclusion as you have because maybe they've never come across something like this before or never have had someone care enough about them to let them know that something like what happened isn't proper. But by them sharing with each other what they know and what they learn about their own mistakes it not only works for the benefit of the Clan but later might benefit entire societies because they know how not to act; which can avoid misunderstandings."

"I suppose that makes sense," said Dominic.

Dmitry giggled, "Yeah you just know already because..."

"I love you too DT," Dominic said before Dmitry could finish. Dmitry grinned and pulled Dominic into a tight hug.

"Note to self, if I want to shut Dmitry up just have Dominic tell him that he loves him," whispered Tyne.

"I was thinking the same thing, cutie." Rusty giggled back. "Can we go find a seat? It's been almost an hour since we cuddled last and I'm going into withdrawals."

Tyne smiled as he started to turn a deep red, "Okay, we can find somewhere to sit and fix that problem, can't have you going into withdrawals."

Alec heard just enough to turn serious. "Rusty? Did I just hear withdrawals? When is the last time you checked your sugar?"

Rusty looked at the time on his communicator. "Oh shit; I needed to do it 30 minutes ago! I'll be right back; you can come if you want Tyne."

Dmitry got an evil grin, "I didn't think that could be done on command."

"Yeah I need to find other ways to keep you quiet," said Dominic. "Sorry Tyne."

"Really?" said Dmitry allowing the grin to turn into a full evil smile.

"Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut," mumbled Dominic.

"What do you mean by check your sugar?" Tyne asked. "Do you mean blood sugar?"

Rusty saw Tyne's confused look. "Yeah; I'll explain it to ya on the way to get my tester. Dominic; try making him blush! It works for Sean!" Rusty took Tyne's hand in his and headed towards the door to head out to Teri's house.

"My mind doesn't work like his but I'll try," replied Dominic.

"Comments about his constant tent pole always work!" Rusty giggled over his shoulder as him and Tyne headed outside.

Dmitry blushed and shouted after them, "Hey! No fair!"

Rusty squeezed Tyne's hand as they started across the grass to Teri's place. "Thanks for joining me. Did they have diabetes before you went to sleep?"

"Diabetes?" said Tyne. "I'm not familiar with it, so probably not. What is it?"

"Pretty much it means my body can't process sugar right. I have to take insulin because my body don't make enough. Ark might be able to explain it better though; I know 'Tonio can explain it better than me."

"Oh wow," replied Tyne. "Is there a cure for it or is it something that you have to keep on top of for the rest of your life?"

< He gave you a fairly accurate description but I'll expound on it more for you if you would like. > Ark told Tyne through the sub-vocal.

"Oh just a second," said Tyne. "Go ahead Ark, I'd like that."

< Type 1 diabetes mellitus is characterized by loss of the insulin-producing beta cells of the islets of Lange Hans of the pancreas. Sensitivity and responsiveness to insulin are usually normal, especially in the early stages. The principal treatment of type 1 diabetes, even from the earliest stages, is replacement of insulin. Without insulin, ketosis and diabetic ketoacidosis can develop and coma or death will result. He will be dependent on that insulin for the rest of his life unless a complete genetic re-sequence was preformed although I only know of one re-sequence that would correct diabetes. >

"Did you say coma or death without insulin?!" Tyne said frantically. "What re-sequence would fix it?"

< The re-sequence process that is undergone to transform a human into a Vifer restructures the body in a way that would allow for the Vitaferrum to make up for any sugar deficiencies in the body. >

"Get me that info on my handheld. I want to know everything you have on that Ark, pros, cons, all of it," Tyne said as he turned all of his attention back to Rusty. "Rusty how far are we going? I don't want something to happen to you if we have to go too far."

"Just over there." Rusty replied. "Aunt Teri keeps a test kit there for me for when I visit. As long as I don't miss a shot I'm usually okay; I just need to be really careful if I'm really active and I still need to watch what I eat and drink a lot."

"As long as you don't miss a shot?! Really active?!" said Tyne in a panic. Tyne then stopped walking and picked Rusty up. "Ark I assume you know where Teri's house is and what room she might be in. Teleport us there immediately!"

< Tyne, Teri is not at home at the moment. The Clan doctor is available though, will that be sufficient? >

"Not home? Yes, of course the Clan doctor will do, please just get us there!" replied Tyne.

Before Rusty could even try to calm Tyne down, he found himself still in Tyne's arms standing in front of a very shocked Doc Austin.

"What in the...HOW did you do that!!!?" Doc exclaimed.

Rusty giggled. "I think Tyne's kinda worried 'cuz I'm a little late checking my sugar. Oh, Tyne, this is Doc Austin; he's Gabe's dad. Doc this is Tyne; besides being cute he's a friend of the Double D's."

Tyne blushed a little but was too worried about Rusty to worry about anything else, "It's nice to meet you doctor, could you please perform the necessary test and administer the insulin before anything happens to him."

Doc Austin glanced into Tyne's eyes to see if his hunch was right. Once he recovered from the fact that they were purple, he realized his suspicions were quite possibly true. "I've got a better idea; why don't you do it with me telling you how and what to do if the readings are off. Maybe that way I won't have to worry about having the shit scared out of me every four hours!"

"That'll take more time," said Tyne. "If you can promise me that teaching me what to do won't put Rusty in any danger then I'll agree, if you can't then it'll have to wait."

Doc Austin smiled. "Considering the current situation and the fact that Helen is in the kitchen over there I'm willing to bet that he's well within safe limits. If he'd missed a shot I'd be worried; but knowing that imp in your arms, he would have said so when you sprang out of the floor. He'll be safe; and this way you'll be able to take part in keeping him that way."

Tyne relaxed a little but didn't set Rusty down, "That would be great then doctor. Oh and from what I've heard about this Clan I can't see how you wouldn't be use to kids just springing out of the floor or the air or anywhere else."

Doc guided the boys over to a nearby chair. "Ahhh, a budding smart-alec. You must be shooting for a position in Security or Intelligence! Have you ever used a tricorder?" Doc asked as he handed a tricorder to Tyne.

"I'm not shooting for it, I already am in security; I'm Head of Security for the Ark Compound," grinned Tyne. "And no I don't know how to use a tricorder; I can't say I know what a tricorder is to be honest."

"You're holding one cutie!" Rusty whispered in Tyne's ear before taking an experimental light nibble on the earlobe.

"Oh," said Tyne as he sighed contently. "What is it used for?"

Doc shook his head as he replied "It scans the subject's body and gives you a status report. The one you need to be concerned about is blood sugar; obviously Rusty's heart rate is going to be elevated with you nearby. If you want to find out if anything else is elevated use your hands; the tricorder won't tell you that. Watch closely and I'll show you how to access the features you'll need."

Tyne blushed but then replied, "I hope you mean the features of the tricorder doctor; I think between myself and Rusty we can figure out the non-tricorder functions."

"Uh huh!!!" Rusty inserted as he nodded his head rapidly.

"I'm sure you can." Doc chuckled. "Here's what you need to do; I'll give you notes on the normal readings for Rusty." He then ran through the test and had Tyne repeat it to make sure he understood.

"You know back in the time of the Founders we didn't need devices like this," said Tyne. "Okay so now that I have these readings what do they mean exactly?"

"What you need to look at is the serum glucose level. It is expressed as millimoles per liter, abbreviated mmol/l. Normally you want to see readings of between 4 to 7 mmol/l before meals. About 90 minutes after a meal it needs to be less than 10 mmol/l and at bedtime you want it to be between 7 to 10 mmol/l. Anything less than 4 mmol/l and he is at risk for hypoglycemia and needs a glucose tablet; at 20 mmol/l he has diabetic acidosis and you need to follow the tricorder's instructions exactly for giving him extra insulin."

Tyne nodded and then stared of into space for a second before replying, "Okay, I've got that memorized now. Just had to run that through the past part of my mind a few hundred times first. Thank you for being exact, what's next?"

"Are you possibly a long-lost brother to Kyle? He likes pulling memorizing stunts too." Doc chuckled. "I'll show you how to use the hypo with saline solution; Rusty can keep to his normal shot schedule since his reading was normal for this time of the day. Rusty is able to administer the doses himself; but I'm sure he'll let you 'help' since there are some recommended areas it is more comfortable if someone else does it." Doc then proceeded to run Tyne through the paces of using a hypo and warned him about the possible effects of making common errors.

"Thank you for your help doctor," Tyne said when Doc Austin was finished. Tyne then turned back to Rusty, "Are you okay now?"

Rusty gave Tyne a sweet smile then kissed him briefly on the lips. "I'm just fine as long as you're watching over me. I guess we better go see how the rest of the guys are doing though."

Tyne smiled, "You want to walk or spring out of the ground again?"

Rusty giggled. "Let's pop up right in the middle of all of them; that was fun! Thanks Doc; I know cutie here can help me now!"

Doc Austin shook his head. "Take care guys; if you need anything or have any questions let me know. Tyne, it was nice meeting you; I'll probably see you around."

"Will do, thanks again doctor," said Tyne as he picked Rusty up again. "Okay Rusty, hang on."

< Tyne you do know that you do not have to pick him up for me to be able to teleport both of you, right? > Ark said to Tyne over the sub-vocal.

"What's your point Ark?" Tyne replied with a grin. "Teleport us please."

< Very well; I figured you did not care about that small detail. Teleporting. > Ark said and suddenly both boys vanished.

~~~Meanwhile in the Rec Room~~~

Dmitry and Dominic took a seat where Tyne and Rusty had been sitting.

"This is still strange," Dmitry whispered. "I think that this is still being blown way out of proportion."

"It's just the way that they deal with this kinda stuff," replied Dominic. "Travis is up now."

"He looks more worn out then he did before all of this," Dmitry said softly. "I hope he's okay, I'd hate to think all of this caused him too much grief."

Dominic pulled Dmitry into a hug and kissed the top of his head, "He has a lot of people that love him, he'll be okay."

"Good," smiled Dmitry. "He's cute."

Dominic rolled his eyes and grinned.

Just then Travis started, "Okay, I'm ready. I'm going to keep this short; I feel lousy right now. Gabe, what you did to Double D's hurt a lot. What hurt me at first was that you were holding a discussion in public which would be held in private normally. On top of that you were trying to stop Dmitry from doing something which looked to me like nothing more than a running joke between the two of them. I sure could see that Dominic was having fun when he responded to Dmitry's comments. Then you really ripped my heart out; you tried to force them to see parts of my past that nobody knows but you, me, and Alec. Sean has the courtesy to only cover what we have told him it is okay to talk about; Ark is not under the same restriction. You didn't ask me, and you didn't ask Alec. I don't know what or even IF you were thinking; I do know that I never expected you to do something like that to me or any of our family."

"I think we've picked up a nick name," whispered Dmitry.

"I blame you for the nick name," replied Dominic. "Gabe's up now, I hope he's up for the challenge."

Gabe took a deep breath, "Okay guys. First off, I'm sorry Dmitry and Dominic. I guess I'm showing my blond. I really should have paid attention to the way you guys were acting; if I had I would have seen that it was a part of your relationship that makes you closer. Instead I was trying to make you into what I was always told a relationship should be like. I guess I was just not paying attention; I've been spending so much time worrying about all this other stuff going on that I didn't take the time to think about how anybody else felt. Then I did something really stupid; I assumed that it would be okay to show you guys' things that only Trav, Alec, and I know about. I almost betrayed the trust that Alec and Trav put into me to keep their past private. Alec, Trav; there's no excuse for me doing that. I'm never going to forgive myself; it's up to you if you forgive me. I had no business trying to mess with someone else's relationship; for that I'm truly sorry."

Gabe then turned to Dmitry, "Dmitry; I deserve anything you want to do to me. I know now that I made you feel like dirt; I never meant to do that and I hope one day you can forgive me. Now that I've had time to think about it I see that you and Dominic have a really special relationship that all of us can learn from. I honestly hope I didn't do anything to hurt that relationship. I'm honestly sorry for doing that to you; maybe one day you can forgive me."

Gabe paused and then addressed Alec, "Alec, find someone else to handle security; I'm not worthy of it. I resign as of right now."

Alec's jaw dropped at Gabe's final words. "Whoa Gabe; chill a minute dude! You goofed and you admitted it; I'll admit it was something I'd never expect from you but it wasn't enough to resign!"

Gabe interrupted Alec. "Yes it was, bro. I hurt my new friends, my partner, and my family. I made my choice; if that's what security is going to cause me to do I'm not doing it."

Alec was speechless, but DJ wasn't. "Gabe you made the same screw-up that Cory keeps making; you tried to do it all. You kept pushing yourself until you did something really stupid. Usually you and JJ share the responsibility; but since JJ isn't here you tried to do it all yourself. Get your head outta your ass so I can give it a swift kick without breaking your scrawny neck. You need to delegate some bro; you know what you are doing better than any of us when it comes to security, why not let the rest of us help some."

Just then Tyne and Rusty popped into the center of the room; Rusty comfortably in Tyne's arms. "We miss anything?" Rusty asked with a giggle as everyone stared at them.

DJ broke the trance as he replied. "Yeah, Gabe's being a dipshit. Have a seat, I'm just getting started." He then turned back to Gabe. "Yeah, you screwed up and insulted Dmitry while pissing off Travis. You explained what was going on in that cave you call a head, and you made it quite clear that you really feel sorry for what you did. Y'all beat it into my head that quitting ain't an option; I'll be damned if I'm gonna let you try to quit after all the shit I went through. I know of a few guys who wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for you; if you quit how many others are gonna suffer and die because you gave up instead of asking for help. I'll put it in small words even a blond can understand; if you quit it means you did not learn anything, which means I will not forgive you. You got that blondie?"

DJ turned to Travis. "Trav, you need to take a couple of days off dude. Chill out with your sons; I'll cover for ya. You guys can sit and watch, but no working until you're sure that your head is back to normal. Jimmy and Davey need to relearn how to act when some asshole is not messing with their heads; you are the best person to do that Trav. Teach your sons the stuff Gabe taught you; I think it'll help all three of you."

Tyne got DJ's attention. "Am I missing something here? I thought this was supposed to be about apologies."

DJ shifted his gaze to where Tyne and Rusty were sitting, Matty now laying happily across their laps. "Sorry Tyne, you missed round one. I'll give you the short version. Gabe let himself get overworked and stopped what little thinking a blond is capable of; so instead of doing what he should he tried to help Dmitry and Dominic become what he was always told a couple should be like. He knows what he did wrong, and has apologized to everyone involved. Then that ingrown hair he calls a brain misfired again; he told us he was not worthy of being security and tried to resign."

Tyne tilted his head in thought for a second then commented, "Gabe, obviously your request to resign is being denied, especially considering the reaction you're getting from DJ. Back in my time a leader who didn't admit to making a mistake then try to correct it was not a leader for very long. We learned the hard way what happens when you don't admit it when you are truly wrong; that's part of the reason why I'm the only one of my race left. My opinion, as much as it is worth, is that you actually make a better leader now that you have learned to accept it when you make a mistake. But if you quit, you will regret it for the rest of your life."

"That makes sense Tyne, but I'm not going to let my friends and family suffer because I'm overloaded." Gabe replied seriously.

"Then find people you trust to help you keep from being overloaded." Tyne replied simply. "With the family you have here that should be easy; but if you quit you are hurting the whole family. You guys work because everyone does what they are best at; it only took me a few minutes to realize that."

Gabe thought about Tyne's statements. "When you put it that way I see what you mean. I guess I should keep going after all; I'll do it if you promise to work with me whenever you're around. That is if Dmitry thinks I'm still fit for the job; I'll do whatever he says."

"Ya know Gabe I try and I try to make us blonds look good but then you go and make comments like that," grinned Dmitry. "Gabe, even if I personally didn't think you were fit for the job that wouldn't mean that you're not the best person for that job. Someone's personal option very rarely has anything to do with skill. I mean if that was the case then Dominic wouldn't be any good in bed because he thinks that he's not, but the fact of the matter is he has skill so no matter what he thinks negatively it's not true."

Dominic jabbed Dmitry in the side making him yelp, "What Dmitry is trying to say Gabe is that you're still the best man for the job."

Dmitry giggled, "That and of course I still think you're fit for the job, you got the talent the skill and the know how for it. On top of which I can't really hold a grudge anyway so I forgive you."

Gabe got up and walked over to Dmitry. "Thanks Dmitry; I am really sorry I screwed up like that. If I start to do something stupid like that again just slap me upside the head. Friends?" he asked as he held out his hand.

"Just friends? You sure you don't want to go for brothers?" Dmitry said with an evil grinned and he shook Gabe's hand. "Hey if we just go with friends does that mean..."

"No!" Dominic said quickly knowing where Dmitry was going. "I'm sure he meant friends to add to already being brothers."

"Don't worry Dmitry, I've got pictures!" Travis chimed in. "I even have his baby bath pics!"

"TRAVIS!!" Gabe exclaimed as he turned beet red.

"Awesome!" Dmitry said excitedly.

"Hey! Travis you're giving him more material!" said Dominic.

Dmitry giggled, "Baby bath pictures are always sooo cute though Dom, I wish I had picture of you like that. Travis you might want to keep those pictures safe even if you wanna show them off, they're not replaceable if something happens to them. And as his boyfriend I'm sure they're somewhat priceless to you."

"You don't need pictures of me when I was young," mumbled Dominic. "You were in the tub with me if I recall."

"Oh yeah..." replied Dmitry with a grin."You were cute back then too."

"When do I get to see your baby pictures cutie?" Rusty asked Tyne as he leaned over and kissed Tyne's cheek.

"You'll have to ask Cyna," said Tyne. "He's hoarding them last I checked."

"Ark, I know that you're listening; remind me when I get there!" Rusty giggled.

< I can do that. > Ark said though the sub-vocal.

After a few seconds when Dmitry realized that Tyne wasn't going to relay the message because he was too busy blushing, he spoke up, "Ark said that it'll do that Rusty."

"Thanks bro!" Rusty replied. "Thanks to you too Ark; I'm sure he's always been the cutest boy on Earth, but I still wanna see."

"At least no one else gets to see them," Tyne said softly. "I don't mind if you see them though."

"Tyne while I don't think Rusty is as bad as DT I think he could at least hold his own if compared to DT," said Dominic.

"Ooo that's a scary thought," giggled Dmitry. "Someone that acts like me!"

Travis came over to where Dmitry was standing and gave him a hug. "I guess Rusty and you must be twins then, huh bro? Thanks for being fair with Gabe; after me freaking out I don't think he could of taken rejection from you." he commented with a smile.

As soon as the hug broke, Jimmy and Davey gave Dmitry a quick hug. "You helped Poppa smile." Jimmy stated in a matter-of-fact tone. "Thanks Uncle Dmitry."

"You are great Uncle Dmitry." Davey added with a small smile.

"Uncle? You guys are my age though," Dmitry said. Then a slow smile began to creep across his face and he added, "Hey as an uncle that means I can corrupt you guys and get away with it."

Jimmy tilted his head. "I want to be like you when I grow up Uncle Dmitry. Is that corrupting?"

"Oh no," said Stepan. "That's worse then corrupting. Gabe, Travis, I'm so sorry; you're going to have a Dmitry for a kid."

Gabe giggled as he placed a hand on Jimmy's shoulder. "There's nothing to be sorry for. Dmitry is honest, caring, smart, reliable, and trustworthy. Oh, he's also really, really, really cute! I think he's the perfect role model for my son."

Dmitry blushed, a deep red and tried to hide behind Dominic. "Thank you Gabe," whispered Dmitry.

"Now that's a first," smiled Dominic. "I've never seen DT turn such a dark shade of red before. That was very nice of you to say; I definitely won't disagree with any of the traits you said DT has."

"It's the truth." Gabe replied as he pulled Jimmy against him. "You are a very lucky guy to have him Dominic."

"Now that I know," grinned, Dominic. "He keeps trying to..."

Dominic stopped suddenly and then sighed contently which was followed by a giggle from Dmitry.

"I just remembered that Dom wasn't wearing underwear under this jumpsuit," Dmitry said softly from behind Dominic. "I've got a good grip of..."

"Are we done in here for now," Dominic interrupted. "I think we should take a break."

"Someone grab a fire extinguisher; I think Dmitry's about to burn up!" Rusty giggled. "Hey Alec; can I sneak out for a bit with Tyne? I gotta show him off to Dad!"

Alec managed to stop laughing long enough to reply. "Sure Rusty; try not to give him a heart attack! I think a break sounds good Dominic; the nearest shower is that way."

"Oh right, I kinda forgot about something like that but I'm glad you mentioned it Rusty. I want to ask your father for his permission to be your boyfriend if that's okay," said Tyne. "Nyo do you mind if I go with Rusty for a little while?"

"No go ahead Tyne," replied Nyo. "Just remember that we'll be playing host to some of these guys later and I might need your help. Until then though you're free to do what ya want. Same goes for Dmitry and Dominic."

"Awesome!" said Dmitry as he started to drag Dominic out of the room. "Thanks Nyo, we'll talk to you later. And good luck Tyne!"

Travis giggled as he watched the group start to break up. An evil grin came across his face as he looked towards an empty spot in the room and said loudly, "Hey Ark! Nyo said you have all of Gabe's history. How many times HAS the dufus farted? I'll bet it's over a million!"

< About 64, my mistake 64,681, he just passed one. > was heard from Nyo's handheld.

"Well I know the modifications I've been sitting here working on for the handheld seem to be working," giggled Nyo. "I can integrate this with whichever one of the consoles you'd like me to guys."

"DUDE!" about half the room yelled as they scrambled away from Gabe. Alec pinched his nose as he told Nyo "Come on, the air in CIC is clear; we'll pick one of the spare comm. consoles for Ark to use."

Nyo grinned at everyone's response before replying, "Okay Alec, let's get going then before this flammable gas starts to affect us physically and mentally."

Tyne once again picked Rusty up, "Ark could you please teleport us to...Rusty where do you think would be safe to teleport to, I don't want to scare the hell out of your father."

Rusty giggled. "My bedroom would work. We'll still surprise him though; the doors and windows are alarmed 24/7 whenever we are at alert."

"Okay, Ark could you please take us there?" said Tyne.

< Are you ever going to tell him that you don't have to pick him up to do this? > Ark said over the sub-vocal.

Tyne grinned, "I'll let you tell him that later."

< Very well. > Ark replied as Tyne and Rusty vanished.


As Rusty was leading Tyne through his house from his bedroom Tyne was taking note of everything. Rusty was leading him towards what sounded like music in another part of the house.

"I've never seen a house that looked like this on the inside," said Tyne. "Although I suppose you have more natural light to work with when decorating, I've never lived above ground. I like the way your room was decorated though, it looks like you put a lot of thought into it."

"Thanks." Rusty replied shyly. "You know; it's your room too. It's our room."

Tyne smiled and pulled Rusty into a hug, "Thank you. It might take some getting use to for me though if I stay here, I'm use to a little different environment, but I'm willing to for you. So where are you taking me?"

"Dad's in the music room." Rusty replied as he pointed to a set of double doors on the far side of the huge entry foyer. "C'mon! It sounds like Pop is there too!" Rusty added as he took Tyne's hand and dragged him to the doorway. Rusty waited for a break in the music, then knocked on the door. "Dad don't like anyone barging into his work area." Rusty explained softly.

"I can understand that," said Tyne. "Actually I used to bite peoples heads off for interrupting me while I was working unless it was really important...or if it was Cyna. I'd let you interrupt me without getting hurt, I can't be mad at someone I love for just coming to see me. Everyone else is fair game though."

Just then one of the doors was opened. A man in his early twenties came into view. He had light brown curly hair, blue eyes, and was dressed casually in running shorts and a tee-shirt with 'if it's too loud you're too old' scrawled on the front. The man smiled when he saw Rusty standing there. "Hey Munchkin! One of these days I'm going to figure out an alarm for when you and your bro transport in and out. Please tell me that you are introducing me to a new friend and not petitioning for a brother addition!"

"You're silly Dad!" Rusty giggled. "Is Pop inside?"

"Sure is. You guys wanna come in?"

"Yeah silly!" Rusty giggled. "Tyne, this is my Dad, Justin Timberlake.

"It's nice to meet you Mr. Timberlake," said Tyne. "I really haven't heard that much about you but you are Rusty's father so it is an honor to meet you sir. If you don't mind me asking though what does the saying on your shirt mean?"

Justin reached out and shook Tyne's hand. "You can call me Justin or Curly, Tyne. Most of the guys call me Curly; 'Mr. Timberlake' makes me feel old. I guess the best way to explain it is the music I make tends to be played loud; a lot of older people have forgot that at one time they used to play their type of music loud, so they complain and try to pass laws against it. What kind of music do you listen to?"

"That sounds like it might be their loss then, sir; music is amazing in almost any form," said Tyne. "I listen mostly to Valiesontyci, Muytryadiyci, and Beasealyci but anyone that knows how to play those kinds of music died about sixty thousand years ago with the rest of my people. They were unique forms of music played only by my people due to the way that they were played. No song was ever written down and no two performances of the same song were ever the same. All three types express the musicians' feelings. It was played through our ability to see possible futures, they could see what their fellow band members would be playing next and would adjust what they were playing to match, or contrast with, or whatever they thought was fitting. The only real difference between the three types was the size of the group playing and the instruments used. What kind of music do you make?"

"Ummmm .... how's about Bri and I showing you; for some reason I get the feeling 'pop' is not going to mean anything to you." Justin replied as he escorted them into the room. Once they were through the door, Tyne looked around. The room was filled with multiple black boxes with cords running from them. Off to one side was a huge black thing on thin legs and little white tiles lined up in a row on a shelf at one end. Sitting on a stand was a brass contraption which he vaguely recognized as some type of wind instrument. Nearby was something he finally recognized; the device directly translated from Founder as 'Drums'. Along the back wall was a console covered with knobs and dials. A sandy blond haired man in his late 20's was sitting at the console, and turned as the door closed.

"Bri; Rusty's brought a friend over. Tyne, this is my husband Brian Littrell; Rusty and Robbie's 'Pop'. Brian, this is Tyne."

"It's nice to meet you sir," said Tyne before he turned to Rusty. "He referred to him as your 'Pop', is that another translation for father but to the extent that he is like a second father? Like in Founder I could use Abbas or Paternus for father."

"You got it cutie." Rusty replied. "Dad, Pop; can we talk?"

Justin gave Brian a knowing look before replying. "Sure thing kiddo; grab a seat." Justin said; pointing to a couch and chairs behind the boys near the door.

"May I ask something before I take a seat?" asked Tyne. "I'd rather do this standing,"

"Go ahead; however you feel most comfortable Tyne." Justin replied as he took a seat next to Brian on the couch. Rusty nervously stood next to Tyne, tightly clasping his hand.

Tyne smiled at Rusty before he stood up straight and turned to face Justin and Brain.

"I'm not sure if this is still tradition or not but as a Founder I must ask before I'll feel comfortable around either one of you. Abbas itaque Paternus per thue una thuat y lovalie, y waiyshu to asc iourry pierymuyssyon to tace iourry son as mui beoifryyendi itaque beyndi muiself to huymu itaque hue to mue," Tyne said before repeating it in English. "Fathers of the one that I, I wish to ask your permission to take your son as my boyfriend and bind myself to him and he to me." Tyne paused for a moment and then continued, "I promise to protect him physically as well as emotionally if I am able, even from myself if need be. I also promise to support him as well as provide for him in any other aspect he needs me for throughout our life together. And at such time that we choose to marry I hope to have proven to him as well as to the both of you that I mean what I say."

Justin looked over at Brian, who nodded. He then stood and placed a hand on Tyne's shoulder. "While it has begun to slip from being tradition; your following of the ways you were taught is greatly appreciated. We accept your proposal to become a part of our family. You have made comments which indicate that you have long outlived your parents; the one condition we place on this union is that you come to us for advice as if we were your parents. Our home is your home too for as long as you are together. Normally I would be worried about Rusty with someone I didn't know; but there is something in the way that you look at him that tells me this is for real. Also, obviously the Clan knows about you or else the two of you would not have got into the house unannounced; I trust their opinion of someone over my own."

"Thank you, that means a lot to me," Tyne said with a sigh of relief. "Now we just need Cyna's approval and I'll feel completely at ease. We can sit now." Tyne then lead Rusty over to the couch, sat down, and then pulled Rusty into his lap.

"Why don't you tell us about yourself?" Brian asked with a smile.

"That's a fair question," said Tyne. "I suppose I'll start at my beginning; I was born Tyne Mundus Oraculum. My mother died in childbirth although my father didn't really notice. My father, Cyos Oraculum, was a good man but as the Leader of the Founder Council he was more worried about the future of humanity then he was about his family or his people. By the time I was born the Founder population had gone from four million to about eight hundred. But that's not important, you asked about me. The day that I was born it was already determined by my father that I was going to be sealed away with the Ark until its mission was complete. But of course I was never told. I was raised as if I would be the next leader of the council, with all the training that I would need both in leadership skills and in technical skills. By the time I was ten I was leading teams of a hundred on some of the larger projects that we had going at the Ark compound. It was at that time that I met Cyna; he was one of the junior crafters that were on the project. We actually got into a really big disagreement about how one of Ark's core systems should work but after hours of yelling at each other not only did we have a better idea for the system but we ended up becoming friends. A year later he became my Socius, I suppose you would call it a husband. He was actually one of the few people that could put up with my hardheadedness without getting upset. Shortly after we were bonded it was discovered just how great my range of vision actually is, my range being how far into the future I can see. I can see about twenty thousand years into the future and the past, which is actually a record; no other Founder has ever been recorded as being able to see that far. Anyway, one of the other problems that the Founders faced at the time was a sub-species that we call the Moroi; they were hunting us and killing us off. Well at one point, when I was thirteen, they agreed to meet with the leaders of the Council and form a peace treaty. Cyna was asked to go with them because he was training to become my father's new lieutenant. He and my father left that morning but they didn't come back when they were supposed to and after they were three hours late I went out on my own to find out what happened to them."

Tyne paused for a moment, "I...I went to where they were supposed to have met the Moroi and found all of them dead; all of them except for Cyna, he was barely alive. He was hanging on because he knew that I would come for him, he wanted to say goodbye. Cyna died in my arms a few minutes later. Unfortunately for the Moroi, those that did the deed were still there. They thought that they could easily pick me off but that's when I not only surprised them but I surprised myself. I found in my anger that I was able to not only see into their minds without touching them but I could pull at their fears; I pulled all of their fears not only to the surface I made them hallucinate and see it before them. Let's just say that none of them left alive. After I brought Cyna's body back I did a scan of his mind and in a way brought him back but only in the computer. I was able to still sort of be with him though a device that I created to interface with the computer through the mind. A year later the Ark was finished and what was left of the Council told me that I was to be sealed away with it. My father was dead, Cyna was in the computer and wasn't much more then a memory of what he once was, so I was sealed away without much of a fight. I've only been awake for about three days now."

"Dang son; I know you said any person you considered for a boyfriend needed to like you for you and not who your parents were! I think you satisfied that one without any chance of doubt!" Justin said with a grin.

Brian slapped Justin on the back of the head. "This is serious, dufus. Ignore him Tyne; his brain shuts down when overloaded. I have no idea why, but somehow I believe you even though half of what you just said sounds like a science fiction movie. I do believe it though; there is no way anyone could come up with a history like that and say it with a straight face. You said you have been awake for three days; I know that is not enough time to learn about the culture as it stands now. I'm going to reinforce what Curly said earlier; you are going to need family you can trust to help guide you through some of the differences between now and then. I expect you to come to us with any questions you may have; if we can't answer them we will find someone in our family who can. Has Rusty made you aware that he has diabetes?"

"Yes he has," replied Tyne. "Which actually brings me to the next thing I'd like to talk to all of you about. The Ark, which I think I forgot to mention, is a very large archive that has collected all information about humanity from the moment I was sealed away and is still doing it now. Well over the last sixty thousand years of human history and humanity's different attempts at trying to wipe itself out it has collected information on a way to actually correct Rusty's diabetes."

Brian searched Tyne's face before replying. "I'm interested to hear it; but the look on your face tells me there's a catch."

"Maybe a little bit; see over the years several different sub-species of humans have been created," said Tyne. "I am a Founder, which was the first sub-species, it's what gives me purple eyes and the seer abilities that I have. There are also five other sub-species that were created over the years as well. One of them, the Vifer, is a complete restructure of the body's genetic pattern and gives the human a few abilities that they didn't have before. It gives them extremely long life, allows them to heal ten times faster, and they can absorb telepathic and telekinetic skills from others. But more for this case in the restructure that occurs to make someone that wasn't born Vifer into a Vifer it corrects any problems that the body had, including diabetes."

Brian scratched his chin. "Most of that don't surprise me after being around the rest of the boys. Could you please define what you mean by 'extremely long life' though? Is it doubled or something like that?"

"Umm actually it's about one year for every five thousand," replied Tyne.

"Lets see; that would make Rusty a teenager for about 40,000 years. If we say yes and Rusty agrees I'm definitely buying stock in Peavey! I want to hear how Rusty feels about it though." Justin said.

Rusty turned to Tyne. "Will you live that long too?"

"Well no not really," Tyne said quietly. "I'll only live a regular life span."

Rusty crossed his arms over his chest. "Then I won't do it. I'm not going to live that long without you." he stated in a tone that left no room for argument.

"But...but I'm a Founder I...but..." Tyne started to say but then stopped. Tyne had a rather unhappy look on his face as he sat there and thought for a moment. "Rusty I don't want you to have to live with diabetes; it could hurt you and even kill you if something goes wrong. I...I'd have to become a Vifer to live that long, I'd have to give up my heritage, I..." Tyne was quiet again for a few seconds and although he wasn't speaking it was clear from the look on his face that he was fighting with himself. Then he continued in a very soft whisper, "Rusty I don't know if I'd survive that kind of restructure, my body might but I don't know if my mind would because it's never been tried with a Founder whose mind is already set. A complete restructure would wipe out my ability to have a past, present, and future in my mind; I've had it for so long I can't think without it..." Tyne sighed and laid his head on Rusty's shoulder, "I'd do it for you though."

Rusty caressed the side of Tyne's head. "Unless Ark can promise you won't lose what makes you, you, neither one of us will do it. I am not going to let you suffer through losing yourself just to save me."

"If I have to live through losing you though then I'll probably lose myself anyway," replied Tyne. "I'd rather save you."

"But I couldn't live with knowing you gave up a part of you that I know someday you might need." Rusty stated firmly. "I love you just like you are; I won't allow you to do something that would change you just because I have a problem which can be handled as long as I'm careful."

< Tyne you should always ask me before you go worrying yourself to death. > Ark said over the sub-vocal. < I know for a fact that I can do a partial Vifer restructure on you. You won't lose anything that defines you as a Founder except for you blood type. Back in the second cycle before they started creating full Vifers they turned several Telepaths and Psychokinesists into partial Vifers. They ended up getting the long life and healing ability without losing their other abilities. The only things they did not get were the absorbing ability and enough integration into their system to make their skin silver. >

Tyne sighed, "Oh you've got to be kidding me, well why didn't you say something earlier Ark?"

< I wanted to know just how committed you are to this young man. I wanted to know if you would give up what I know you value most for him. >

"That's mean Ark," said Tyne. "Rusty guess what, Ark just told me that I shouldn't have worried about any of this because it can do a partial restructure on me."

Justin smiled at the two boys. "Guys, don't take this wrong; I do mean it in a good way. You two have to be the most hard-headed pair I have ever seen! Just remember to listen to each other; as long as you think it through between the two of you you'll come to the right decision. Now what do you two think since you have all of the facts?"

Rusty stuck out his tongue at his dad. "Bite me Dad. As long as Ark promises that Tyne won't get hurt or lose part of himself I'm okay with it."

"Abbas I will be the first to admit that I'm hard headed but regardless I second Rusty's motion unless you really will bite us. If you do I'll have to sick Dmitry on you with full prank restrictions removed," Tyne said as he wrapped his arms tightly around Rusty. "Ark is sure that I'll be okay though Rusty, so I'd like to do it if you will."

"Dmitry?" Brian echoed.

Rusty giggled. "Just think of Dad, Timmy, Kyle, Eli, and Benji all rolled into one ten year old, Pop."

"Oh God!" Brian exclaimed. "If you even THINK about biting them I'm gonna kill you Justin!"

"Chill hon." Justin giggled. "It looks like we need to make a decision; the boys have turned it over to us. Rusty; why don't you show Tyne around the room here while your Pop and I take a walk to discuss this?"


Brian and Justin walked back into the room to find Rusty sitting at the grand piano, softly singing along as he played 'Thank You For Being A Friend'. Tyne was standing behind him with a smile on his face and his hands on Rusty's shoulders. As Rusty hit the final notes; the two adults softly applauded. "Come here guys." Justin said as he held out his arms. Once he was holding both boys, he continued. "We decided before we were 10 feet from the door; we just wanted you guys to have some time. Both of us agree that considering everything that not only concerns you two directly but the Clan in general the option you have offered is the best route. You have our full support."

"Good, I'd much rather have your support," said Tyne. "Do you want to be there for the procedure?"

"It is up to you; but we would like to be there for both of you if you are comfortable with it." Brian replied seriously.

"Thanks, that would be great," said Tyne. "While you're with us I can show you what'll be living on your sons arm for a while too."

"Ummm ... Could you clarify that?" Justin asked.

"A Fuzzymore!" Rusty giggled.

Tyne chuckled as he pulled up his sleeve to show them the one on his arm, "This is a Phasenmorph, but the younger kids have started calling them Fuzzymores because it's easier to say. A Phasenmorph is a living weapon, allowing for different electrical attacks and it can also shield it's user both physically and mentally if need be. Rusty is in the first group of Clan members that will be trained on how to use them."

"Are there any side effects to it being on your arm?" Brian asked as he ran his fingers softly over the Phasenmorph's back.

Suddenly the Phasenmorph began making an audible purr as Brian stroked it causing Tyne to make a goofy but relaxed face.

"Ooh that feeeeels gooooooood," said Tyne as he leaned on Rusty.

Rusty giggled. "He ain't gonna be able to answer you if you keep doing that Pop!"

Brian smiled. "I'll have to remember that if I need to calm one of you down!" He gave the Phasenmorph a few more strokes before stopping and asking Tyne "You could feel that?"

"He's tied into my nervous system," replied Tyne. "Normally you don't feel what they feel because they contain it but when they feel pleasure they don't bother to contain that feeling and it has a very relaxing and stimulating effect. Pretty much it just feels really good."

Brian grinned. "Obviously it's not hurting you; in fact going by the grin on your face it can be quite pleasurable. Why was Rusty selected, other than the fact you're infatuated with him?"

"Actually Rusty was selected before I'd really met him," Tyne said as he started to blush. "Alec suggested him for training; he said that Rusty would be a good candidate. He also said it might make Justin worry less."

"Justin not worry?" Brian chuckled. "Fat chance of that; he's worse than a mother hen!"

Justin laughed as he pulled Brian into a headlock. "Watch it Bri; you're just as bad! I'd kinda like to see what these creatures can do before I give my opinion about them; I'm not saying 'no', but I really need to know how much more effective they are than what the boys are using now. Maybe you can test it on that row of bushes our ex-partners used to go hide behind. Since Alec gave his nomination I'm sure there is something unusually special about them."

"Actually I have a better idea if you're up for it," said Tyne. "Although I wouldn't mind frying some bushes I could take you to the Phasenmorph Training room at the Ark Compound if you want to see a more effective demo."

"Sounds good, I'm in." Justin replied. Brian's grin answered for him, along with the nodding of his head like a pogo stick on a sugar high.

Rusty gave Tyne's hand a squeeze. "We better stop and at least check on Matty; he was okay with staying back to 'protect' Robbie for me, but I'm not sure how long he'll last."

"Okay, we can stop by the CIC first then," Tyne said as he picked Rusty up again. "Ark if you would teleport the four of us back to CIC and stand by to teleport us to the Phasenmorph room after we are finished."

< Very well Tyne, give the final word. >

"Thank you Ark," replied Tyne. "Abbas, Paternus are the both of you ready to go?"

Justin and Brian nodded their heads and chuckled as Rusty asked "Don't you have to be holding them too?"

Tyne smiled, "No Ark can teleport just fine without me holding anyone. I just hold you cause it gives me an excuse to do so; that and you're way cuter then they are." Tyne held a blushing Rusty tighter and continued, "Ark go ahead."

Suddenly all four of them found themselves standing in the CIC. "Tyne, you just made transporters look like a horse and buggy!" Justin chuckled.

Matty heard the comment from where he and Robby were busily decimating a coloring book. "WUSTY!!!" he screamed joyfully as he launched himself from the chair and flew into the pair of boys, knocking both of them to the ground. "Wusty, Wobbie says thatsa pounce! Did I pounce good?"

Rusty giggled as he pulled Matty into a hug. "You did it like a pro Matty!"

"Normally I wouldn't complain about being on the bottom but I can't breathe with both of you on top of me," Tyne cried out from under Rusty and Matty. "Oh and I brought him back to you in one piece Matty."

Wusty ran over to join the fun, and joined Matty in giving Tyne sloppy kisses on his cheeks. "Thanks Tyne! You'we AWESOME!" Matty exclaimed. "Who awe these old guys? They look like pictuwes my bwothews had in theiw woom."

Rusty giggled as he rolled off of Tyne with Matty in his arms. "These old guys are Robbie and I's, Dad and Pop, munchkin. They're kewl, just kinda weird sometimes."

Matty looked at Brian and Justin; both of which still were barely holding back laughter at the pouncing. After a few seconds he commented "You awe good old guys; I like you."

Tyne gasped as they got off of him and took a few deep breaths before reaching behind himself and rubbing his backside, "I think I'll feel that 'pounce' for a little bit. Thanks for the kisses Matty."

Rusty giggled as he asked "Do you want me to kiss your ouchies cutie?"

"I might," mumbled Tyne.

"Now?" Rusty asked hopefully.

Tyne blushed, "I'd like that but not in front of your fathers; I still want Cyna's okay first too before we do anything else."

"What are we waiting for?" Rusty asked with a smile.

"Can I come too?" Matty injected while suddenly giving Tyne puppy dog eyes.

"Can I get back to you on that Matty, I have to check in with Nyo and get his permission first," Tyne said carefully. "He's my commanding officer so I have to go though him for stuff like this."

"Okay." Matty replied. He then turned his head and screamed "Unca Nyo!!! Tyne needs ta ask ya somethin'!"

Nyo looked up from the console he was worked at and smiled, "Thanks Matty; come on over here Tyne, I can't really step away from this at the moment. I'm working on integrating my handheld into their systems for them to talk to Ark."

Tyne got up off the floor and ran over to where Nyo was at, "I wanted to take Rusty and his parents back to Ark to show them what a Phasenmorph can do so they'll feel more comfortable about Rusty getting one. But I also have a few other things I want to do while I'm there too that I also need your approval for as well. First and most important I wanted to correct Rusty's diabetes problem."

"But there's only one operation that could fix want to make him a Vifer?" said Nyo. "How does Rusty feel about that, you know what that will do to his lifespan?"

"He is aware and I...I have agreed to have the procedure as well," replied Tyne. "He wouldn't do it otherwise. Ark will be doing a partial re-sequence on me."

"Okay you have my permission, just be careful," said Nyo. "What else did you need permission for?"

"Well I need permission to take everyone down there," Tyne said carefully. "The other thing is permission to temporarily reprogram the IIM to accommodate two people."

Nyo looked up at Tyne in shock, "I thought you said that only a Founder could use that thing!"

"I know how to get it to accommodate someone without a Founder background as long as we're both in the chamber together," said Tyne. "I would be taking the past and future for both of us and let the present go to both of us."

"Okay," Nyo said slowly. "Is there a reason you want to take, I assume it's Rusty, into the IIM?"

"I want to introduce him to Cyna," replied Tyne. "I want his permission to date Rusty."

"Okay you have my permission for all of that," said Nyo. "Just be careful. And if you take Matty with you take Stepan with you."

"We'll need Stepan then," said Tyne.

"He'll meet you at the Training room," Nyo said as he went back to his work. "When you're finished, which will take a few hours, I expect you to report back here or notify me if you can't."

"Yes sir, thank you," Tyne said as he ran back over to where he left Rusty and the others. "We have permission and yes Matty you can come with us."

"KEWL!" Matty exclaimed as he strangled Tyne's leg. "When we gonna go?"

Tyne smiled, "As soon as you and everyone that's going are ready. Rusty, Abbas, Paternus, are you all ready?"

"Ready when you are" Brian replied. "Hey there Matty; you wanna ride on my shoulders? Rusty seems to think Tyne needs to carry him."

Matty looked at Rusty; once Rusty nodded his okay, Matty scrambled up Brian's side and perched on his shoulders. "Giddeeup howsee!"

Rusty turned to Tyne. "Carry me?" he giggled.

Tyne smiled and then swept Rusty up in his arms once again, "Any chance I get. Ark, go ahead and take us to the Phasenmorph room."

< I will see you there. > Ark replied as the group vanished.


"Welcome to the Ark Compound," Tyne said as he set Rusty down and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. "This is the Phasenmorph room."

Just as Tyne said that Stepan walked into the room, "All Phasenmorphs should be informed that you're here then Tyne so they can run."

Rusty looked at Tyne's expression and whispered "The proper response to that is 'bite me Stepan'; okay cutie?"

"Okay I'll try it," said Tyne. "Bite me Stepan."

Stepan giggled, "Nah you're too tough to bite, I might break my teeth. So who wants to see the Phasenmorphs?" Stepan walked over to one of the tanks and stuck his left arm, which was clad with his Phasenmorph, into the tank. "They're having a good day so if Matty wants to pet a few they won't mind."

Brian nodded. "I think he better hit the restroom first - at his age warm water might not be good."

"Wait do you expect him to get in the tank?" asked Stepan.

Brian chuckled. "At his age I wouldn't put it past him to try; but just warm water on the hands is enough."

"Right; okay Matty can I lead you to the restroom, or would you rather Rusty take you?" said Stepan.

"You can take me; Wusty's gotta take Tyne." Matty replied. "Huwwy Steepan; I wanna play wit' the fuzzymowes!"

Stepan smiled and offered Matty his hand, "You remind me of a friend of mine when I was your age. Let's go then and hurry back so you can play with the Fuzzymores."

< Phasenmorphs. > Ark corrected over the speakers.

"You're no fun Ark," replied Stepan.

"Umm...I didn't know I had to use the bathroom," Tyne added as he watched Stepan lead Matty out of the room.

Rusty giggled as he heard Matty's comments fading down the hall. "They's FUZZYMOWES Awk!! Domeeneek says so! Deemeetee says so too! ..." He kissed Tyne's cheek as he replied "Let's go find out; then I think we have an appointment."

"Rusty your parents are still here," Tyne whispered. "And what order do you want to do all this in; we've got 'morphs, Cyna, and Vifer to cover. Our visit to Cyna will be without your parents, they're the reason we're doing the Phasenmorph demo, and the Vifer procedure will take a few hours although your parents want to be here for that too."

Rusty blushed. "Oops! Sorry Dad and Pop; I kinda forgot you were here!"

Justin chuckled. "Don't worry kiddo; love will do that to ya! Now I bet you don't roll your eyes when your Pop and I get lost in a kiss!"

"Besides," Brian added, "now we can gather material for when YOU have kids! Why don't you two go take care of your business while your Dad and I catch up on a few questions with Ark and help Stepan with Matty."

"Kids? Isn't it kind of early to be talking about kids?" Tyne said with a worried look.

< Tyne I need to have you read the Clan Short History. These kids do not think it is early to be talking about such a thing. >

"Tell me about it, Ark!" Justin chuckled. "Don't worry son; when the time is right you'll know."

"After today if we have kids they'll grow up before we do," Tyne said quietly. "That's a lot to think though, maybe we could talk about kids later if you want to Rusty. I don't know if I'd be ready for something like that yet, I'd want to be your Socius first."

Rusty gave Tyne a quick kiss. "I wouldn't want it to happen unless we both agreed. There have only been two adoptions where both partners didn't agree one hundred percent; the partners that didn't really agree are now gone and Dad and Pop are together. Let's go babe; I'll bet someone's getting impatient."

"Okay," Tyne said as he picked Rusty up again and began carrying him out of the room. "We'll see you later Abbas and Paternus."

< Tyne, you do know that Rusty can walk right? >

"Shut up Ark," replied Tyne.


"Okay everything is set," Tyne said has he walked away from the IIM's external panel over to the IIM chamber. "Now we need to get stripped down and climb in. I'll need to sit behind you."

"Me sitting on your lap with both of us nude? Shouldn't that wait until AFTER we talk to Cyna?" Rusty giggled.

Tyne rolled his eyes, "If all contact with others while naked was considered sexual then over the years I built this thing I would have been with a few dozen people instead of just Cyna. Although I don't think me or Cyna cared much for clothes as kids anyway." Tyne opened the chamber and started adjusting the seat to accommodate two people, "The reason that you can't wear clothes in this thing though is due to the way that it works. If you went in with clothes on then you'd come out with them fused with your skin. We actually lost someone that way, it wasn't pretty. Now normally only Founders can go in this chamber because it interacts with the way that the Founder mind is set up, using the past, present, and future. You only have the present though so I've adjusted the machine to give me your past and future input so it won't hurt you."

"Have you done this before?" Rusty asked, worry creeping into his voice.

"Do you think I would let you get in this thing if I wasn't sure it was safe," Tyne said seriously. "I built this thing and I know its limits. And yes, me and Cyna use to both get in here all the time. It's an interesting way to share feelings; feels different but good."

Rusty gave Tyne a long hug. "Sorry; this stuff is all weird to me. I guess I'm just a little scared."

"I won't let anything happen to you Rusty," Tyne said as he held Rusty as close as he could. "If I wasn't the one that had put this thing together then I'd be worried too. But I love you and I'd never put you in danger."

"I love you too Tyne." Rusty replied softly. "No matter what, I always will."

Tyne sighed contently and then continued, "So are you ready to meet Cyna? If you are then I'll need you to get undressed now."

Rusty gave Tyne a quick kiss on the lips then pulled away just far enough to remove his clothes. Once both of them were undressed, Rusty took Tyne's hand in his. "Okay, I'm ready. What's gonna happen now?"

Tyne smiled, "I'll get in first and then you'll get in and sit in front of me." Tyne climbed into the IIM chamber and then helped Rusty get in once he was sitting down. Once Rusty was seated Tyne wrapped his arms around him from behind, kissed his neck, and whispered, "Although Cyna's opinion is really important to me, no matter what he says I'll still love you Rusty."

Rusty pulled one of Tyne's hands to his mouth and gave it a kiss. "It'll be okay. Just hold me please?"

"I really want to but I'll have to sit back until we're in the system. Once we're in I will," Tyne said as he sat back and pulled the chamber door closed. When the seal locked Tyne spoke softly, "Just relax Rusty, take deep breaths, you'll start to get sleepy but that's normal, Okay?"

"Okay." Rusty responded softly.

"Ark, begin preset co-op sequence," said Tyne. A few seconds later both boys found themselves standing in the middle of a very large white room.

"Where are we?" Rusty asked in an awestruck voice.

"Jeez, well it took ya long enough!" said a voice behind them. They turned around to find Cyna standing there smiling with bright neon orange hair and white and orange robes. "I was beginning to think the two of you would never get into the chamber!"

Tyne wrapped his arms around Rusty, "Cyna I'd like you to meet Rusty, Rusty this is Cyna."

"It's nice to meet ya Rusty," grinned, Cyna. "To answer your question this is Ark's Interactive Mainframe. Your mind is in the computer and for the moment your body is like extra hardware that acts as a mini core to the Ark. While you're in here you are a part of the Ark and it's a part of you."

"It's great to meet you too Cyna." Rusty replied. "So I'm part of the world's biggest computer now? Kewl!"

Cyna grinned, "I like him. Now Tyne I'm just shooting into the dark here but from the way you're holding Rusty I'm guessing you took my advice." Tyne nodded his head and tightened his arms around Rusty. "Well then what are you doing here?"

"I want your approval," replied Tyne. "I also wanted you to just get to meet him. And regardless of what you say you're still a part of my life. I might also want your blessing..."

"Thank you," Cyna said softly. "That means a lot to me. It also means a lot to me that he would come in here with you just to meet me. But Rusty I've got a few questions I'd like to ask ya if that's okay."

Rusty gripped Tyne's arms for security. "Ummm ... okay, go ahead."

Cyna smiled, "First of all do you have any idea how hard headed this guy you're falling for actually is?"

Rusty giggled. "Yeah, I do. Problem is I've got an even harder head; just ask him!"

"Good," said Cyna. "Because he's the most hard headed ass I've ever met and if you can't live with that or keep up with that then we'd have a problem."

"I lost," said Tyne.

"Wait what was that Tyne?" asked Cyna in shock. "I don't think I heard that, did you say you lost?"

"Yes! I lost," replied Tyne.

"Awesome! Okay, I'm not really that worried then," said Cyna. "If you can win arguments with him then you'll do just fine. Okay second question how serious are you about this relationship, where do you see yourself in, say, ten years?"

"Ask me again in a couple of thousand years; I'll remind Tyne to come in here for our anniversary." Rusty replied with a grin.

Cyna grinned, "A couple thousand years? Is that all? That more then answers my question, thank you Rusty. Okay I've got just one more question, and I know you kinda already answered it but I'm going for a straight answer here. Do you love him?"

"More than life itself." Rusty responded earnestly.

"All I ask then is that you take good care of him," said Cyna. "And Tyne I've got a few things to say to you now."

"Okay," said Tyne.

"First of all teach him to defend himself," Cyna said seriously. "I don't want him to end up like me, you hear?" Tyne nodded his head. "Okay, now all these years that you've been asleep I've had time to think about this. We had a good life way back when but there was something really big that we could have done better. I've had a lot of time to regret this so pay attention. Spend as much time together as you can. I remember that we did spend a lot of time together Tyne but both of us were also working ourselves really hard and that robbed us of time that we could have spent together. So as part of you taking care of him Tyne I expect you to spend all the time that you can no longer spend with me with him. Love him like no other, cherish him like no other, spend your lives always in each other company, and never hide anything from each other. Life, no matter what you do to extend it, is too short to hide from the one you love. It's too short to not do something that later you'll wish you did, you may never get that chance again. And most important, which I touched on a little, communicate; always talk about any problems you have, never sleep on it. I seem to remember that the few times we did sleep on a problem it only got worse. If you can promise to do all of this as best you can then you have my blessing."

"I promise," Tyne said seriously.

"Cyna you make it sound like this will be the last time he will see you!" Rusty exclaimed. "That ain't gonna happen. You are a big part of what makes Tyne what he is. He is NOT 'letting you go'; he's NOT 'moving on'. Just because you are stuck inside Ark doesn't make you any less of a person. The three of us are going to get together a LOT! I promised to take care of Tyne and that includes his heart; we are sharing it now and I won't allow you to break your part of it by just fading away. You might as well get comfortable; the three of us have got a LONG future ahead of us."

Cyna laughed, "Wow, you're hard headed; Tyne I think he's perfect. And I'm not planning on going anywhere Rusty; I just wanted to make sure that you'd take what I said to heart. I expect you to keep visiting because I still love Tyne and I know he still loves me; it would do more damage then good if you guys didn't visit. I do have one request though, could you guys install holo-emitters in the Ark Compound please. It feels like such a waste when I change my hair and robes to new colors and no one but me enjoys them."

Rusty giggled. "I'll see what I can do. You might wanna rethink that orange though; besides clashing with your eyes it's usually used for International Distress. We really don't need someone coming in and trying to haul everyone off!"

"Oh you should have seen what I was wearing last time Tyne was in here," smiled Cyna. "I clash all over the place as often as I can. Besides it's kinda fun to see how others react to the strange colors. I'd like to see you keep a straight face and work with me on something if I look like this."

"He had teal hair last time I was in here," mumbled Tyne.

Rusty tilted his head. "Hmmmm ... I think the teal sounds pretty kewl; I might have to try that one. You better watch it though; if the rest of the Clan sees you doing that you might just start a new trend!"

"NO TEAL! Having one with freaky hair is bad enough, I don't need two," Tyne said quickly. "Besides, I love your hair color. Red didn't used to exist back when the Founders were around; I think it looks good on you."

"Gotcha!" Rusty giggled. "I think we better go see how Matty is doing with his new 'Fuzzymore' friends; besides Dad and Pop are probably getting worried. I wanna come back here though before we have ta go back to Orlando."

"I'd like that," said Cyna. "But yeah you guys might want to get going, your friend Matty is now sitting in one of the Phasenmorph pools and I think they like him." Cyna walked over to Rusty and Tyne and pulled them into a hug. "Good luck with the Vifer procedure guys."

"Thanks Cyna, we'll see you later," Tyne said softly. "Ark, end preset co-op sequence."

Suddenly the white room and Cyna disappeared as Tyne and Rusty found themselves back in the IIM chamber. Tyne quickly opened the sealed door, "Okay, let's go check on the others and then we can either get the Vifer procedure over with or do the Phasenmorph demo for your parents."

"Sounds good." Rusty giggled. "I wonder if Stepan is ready to strangle Matty yet?"

"Nah I don't think Stepan could hurt a fly," replied Tyne.

< If he hurts my Phasenmorphs I might strangle him. So far they seem to like him though. >

"He's a good kid Ark, I'm sure your Phasenmorphs are fine," said Tyne.

< Oh and can you tell them that they are Phasenmorphs not Fuzzymores please. >

"You're no fun Ark," Tyne said as he helped Rusty out of the Chamber making sure to look his boyfriend over as he did, "Damn you're fine."

Rusty blushed as he returned the inspection. "I ain't nothing compared to you!" He paused for a second, then winked at Tyne as he added with a sly grin "Why does Ark keep referring to Fuzzymores as Phasenmorphs though?"

Tyne grinned, "I don't know, maybe I should check to make sure it's memory on Fuzzymores is still intact."

< You all need to have YOUR heads checked. >

"As much as I hate to see you put something on, we should probably get dressed now," said Tyne as he picked up his jumpsuit.

Rusty giggled. "Oh my, Grandpa Ark is getting touchy in his old age!"

< I DO NOT HAVE A GENDER! First I have Dmitry trying to make me a girl, now you want to make me an old man! Tyne I want to file a complaint. >

Tyne grinned at Rusty. "Sorry Ark; the complaint department is closed. Please try back next millennium."

< Tyne, I will get you back when you least expect it; I never forget. >

"Okay Ark," Tyne said as he picked up his jumpsuit. "Now as much as I hate to see you put something on, Rusty, we should probably get dressed now."

"Why?" Rusty asked. "It's not like Dad and Pop ain't seen me nude before; it's common Clan practice to only wear clothes if we are outside Clan property or home. I think you look better nude anyways."

"It's not considered proper to present oneself to their parents without being dressed," Tyne replied. "At least that's what I was taught; my father said that it was disrespectful."

Rusty nodded. "It can be if you make a big deal out of it. Dad and I had a big talk about it though; he set some pretty tough rules. As long as I'm just acting the same as I would with clothes on it's kewl; but the first time I do something like teasing someone with my body or touching myself in a way that shouldn't be done in front of adults or other people I lose the privilege of being able to be comfortable."

< And with your boyfriend with you do you think you can keep from touching yourself or teasing him with your body in front of them? >

Rusty grinned. "That's not a problem. It's kinda gross getting a stiffy while inside Grandpa Ark's house!"
Rusty then got serious. "Actually, you are right Ark; I might have a problem with this cutie next to me. I'll get dressed; just remember that once our parents are gone that there's a good chance I'll want to get comfortable with my angel here."

< Thank you Rusty. And I fully expect you to 'get comfortable' with Tyne later when your parents are not around; if you did not then I would think there was something wrong. Oh and Cyna seems to think it is funny that Tyne has not just pinned you to the wall and started 'making out' with you; Cyna says that the look on Tyne's face seems to say that he wants to. >

Tyne blushed, "Well I...I haven't gotten to give Rusty a proper kiss yet, I was waiting until after we talked to Cyna. Besides Cyna can't say he wouldn't be thinking the same thing."

< It is a good thing he can not slap me for this. I can hear his thoughts and I can not say that you are not right on some level. >

Rusty looked over Tyne then took the jumpsuit out of his hand and threw it on the floor. "You're too cute when you blush. Close your eyes Ark; Tyne needs to teach me to kiss!"

Tyne grinned as he wrapped his arms around Rusty and pulled him close, "I think everything else can wait until you're an expert in that field of study."


Twenty minutes later:

Tyne and Rusty walked into the Phasenmorph room to find Matty sitting in the closest Phasenmorph pool petting every Phasenmorph he could reach while all of them were clinging to any part of him that was in the water. The amount of purring that was going on could be heard throughout the room and was making the water vibrate to the point that the tank was looking like a hot tub.

Tyne broke out laughing, "Matty what have you gotten yourself into?"

Matty looked over with a huge smile on his face. "Thewe's LOTSA Fuzzymowes hewe! Unca Stepan says I gotta wait 'till I'm big to get one, but they all awe puwwin' and cuddlin' me!"

Tyne walked over to the tank and stuck his arm with his Phasenmorph on it into the water. After a few seconds he started laughing again, "They want to keep him!"

Rusty chuckled as he replied. "I wonder why; he's just petting every single one of them!"

< Well they can not have him. Oh Tyne, you will want to leave your Phasenmorph here while you are having the Vifer procedure done. It would not be good for the Phasenmorph if you left him on. >

"Okay Ark, thanks," replied Tyne as he tilted his head in thought. A moment later the Phasenmorph began sliding off of his arm and into the water. It slowly pulled its legs and tail out as it went and right before it left his arm it finished healing its entry marks; then it slipped off and went to join the other Phasenmorphs that were clinging to Matty. "Will you take care of my Fuzzymore Matty?"

Matty smiled. "Uh huh! I pwomise to take weally good cawe of him! Awe you goin to go get Wusty fixed up now?"

"Yep, that's right. Oh can you do me one more favor while we're off getting Rusty fixed up?" asked Tyne. "I haven't given my Fuzzymore a name yet; do you think you can come up with a name for him?"

Matty's face beamed with pride. "Yes! I'll think've a WEALLY good 'un!"

Justin and Brian walked up to the boys. "How did the meeting go?" Justin asked. "Stepan has filled us in on a lot of things; I think now we're prepared for what life is going to be like with a Founder as a son-in-law."

Tyne smiled, "The meeting went really well; Cyna has given us his blessing and that really means a lot to me. I'm not sure orange is his color though."

Justin started to reply, but was cut off by Rusty. "He's kinda like Uncle Joey; he likes messing with his hair. You'll like him; he's really kewl."

< Tyne, Cyna says to tell you 'morsus mihi' >

Rusty tilted his head. "Babe, if it is okay with you maybe Ark could help you teach me Founder. That way I can understand you and Cyna. What did he just say?"

"He said 'bite me'," replied Tyne. "I suppose having Ark teach you would save time, it can give you the language while we're both under for the Vifer procedure. Besides, there are other things I can teach you that will just be between the two of us."

< Yes, Cyna says that Tyne knows a few really great pos... >

"Ark! I said between me and Rusty!" said Tyne.

Rusty blushed twenty different colors of red as Brian and Justin began chuckling. "No fair! Dad! Pop! Ark! Y'all are MEAN!"

< It is not so much fun when the shoe is on the other foot is it Rusty. Oh and Tyne, that is for the comment you made earlier; consider us even. >

Tyne pulled Rusty into a hug, "Come on Rusty, let's head to the Medical bay while we still have some dignity left."

Rusty returned the hug. "Okay. I love you Tyne." He then looked over his shoulder. "C'mon Dad and Pop; I'll get you later for laughing."

Tyne grinned, "I love you too Rusty."


About two hours later:

Tyne slowly opened his eyes and took a deep breath, "I feel like someone put me through a blender."

< That feeling will subside in about ten minutes. >

"Am I supposed to feel a little sick?" Tyne asked as he sat up and looked around looking for Rusty.

< Rusty is in the bed next to you; stop looking around for him, he is still asleep. As to you feeling sick that has to do with you only having a half integration, that too will go away in about ten minutes. I ran several time tests on you and your mind still seems to have the same range and abilities but you'll have to test them to be sure. If something went wrong with that I can't really fix it. >

"I'll sit down and check my self out in a little bit," replied Tyne. "Rusty won't feel like this when he wakes up will he?"

< No, he will feel very well rested when he wakes up. I also did as you asked and integrated the Founder language into his mind; both spoken and written. >

"Thank you Ark," said Tyne as he carefully got out off of the medical bed and walked over to Rusty's. He looked down at his sleeping boyfriend and smiled, "He's so cute."

< Dmitry would probably agree. >

"I've never met someone like Rusty before," Tyne said softly as he reached out and brushed back a strand of Rusty's hair. "He's amazing in every way; he's cute, funny, romantic, caring, he can put me in my place, and he has a good heart."

< I think caring and a good heart are very much the same thing. >

"I think there's a difference," said Tyne. "Caring is just caring for others; a good heart also means he will go out of his way to help others." Tyne sighed contently, "I love him."

< I can tell. >

"Ark, I haven't felt this complete since Cyna died and was sealed in one of your memory sections," said Tyne as he continued to run his fingers though Rusty's hair.

Rusty suddenly took a deep breath and started to stretch a little causing Tyne to stop stroking his hair.

< He is waking up. >

Tyne smiled and then leaned in and gently kissed Rusty on the lips, "Good morning my love."

Good Morning beautiful angel; you made my day just seeing your face.

"Probo mane speciosus angelus; te no mei putesco licet utpote tui facies." Rusty replied with a sweet smile.

Tyne grinned, "And you made my day just getting to see you when I woke up; I don't know about me being a beautiful angel though."

< Cyna agrees with you Rusty, he says Tyne is a beautiful angel even if Tyne denies it. >

"You're outvoted cutie!" Rusty giggled. After a second he became serious. "Did you make it through okay?

"I feel a little sick right now but Ark said that'll pass in a few minutes," replied Tyne. "As to my other abilities, I can still feel and use the three different times in my mind and Ark says that all of it's tests say I should be fine but I'll have to sit down and actually test all of my skills to see if they're still working the way they are intended to work."

Rusty glanced over to where his parents were sitting. "C'mon babe; we need to let them know we are okay before Dad chews his fingers to the wrist."

Tyne helped Rusty out of his bed and then they went over to where Brian and Justin were sitting.

Tyne looked at Justin and grinned, "Abbas, if you keep biting your fingers like that then you'll need medical attention. Rusty's one hundred percent okay now."

< He is better then one hundred percent. As his body is no longer dependent on sugar because of the way it's structured now his diabetes is no longer an issue. And even if his body still needed the sugar the Vitaferrum has already healed any imperfections in his body. Rusty is now immune to disease of any kind, he will heal ten times faster then a normal human, and he has a photographic memory now as well. >

Justin chuckled. "Thanks Ark; that makes me feel better. I guess that wipes out his usual excuse for not cleaning his room then don't it? He can't say 'I forgot' any more!"

"Oh we'll have a clean room anyway," said Tyne. "I can't handle living in a mess, I'll go nuts!"

Brian managed to stop chuckling long enough to say "A pre-teen and teenager sharing a clean room? This I gotta see! When do we get to see the Phasenmorphs in action Sons?"

"You're going swimming for that comment Pop!" Rusty giggled. "C'mon hon; I wanna learn how to give Pop a hot foot when his lips move without instructions from his brain."

Tyne giggled, "Okay, let's go see how Stepan and Matty are doing and then get you set up with a Fuzzymore."

< Phasenmorph. >

"Right that's what I said," said Tyne as he ushered the group towards the door and into the hallway. "Fuzzymore."

"Ark, you might want to ask Stepan to run a diagnostic on your audio receptors!" Rusty added while trying to stifle a giggle.

< To quote Cyna 'morsus mihi' >

"Now play nice Ark," said Tyne as they walked into the Phasenmorph room and found that Matty was still sitting in the Phasenmorph pool they had left him in.

"Oh thank God!" cried Stepan. "Tyne I can't get Matty out of the pool, they won't let him go because as I try to get him out he keeps petting them!"

Rusty giggled as he walked up to the edge of the pool. "Hey munchkin; you having fun in there?"

"Uh huh!" Matty replied with a huge grin.

"Why don't you tell your friends that they can take turns at the edge of the pool? If you stay in there much longer you're gonna have more wrinkles than a raisin." Rusty asked.

"Okay Wusty. Will you pick me up?"

Rusty smiled and then reached into the pool to lift Matty out but as he did four Phasenmorphs quickly swam up to his arm and began rubbing against it. "What are they doing?" Rusty asked with a smile. "That tickles!"

"Just hold still, they're reading you to see which one of them would be best suited for you," said Stepan. "Give them a few seconds to make up their minds."

As if on queue the Phasenmorphs backed away for a moment before one of them swam forward and then slowly began crawling up Rusty's arm.

"Lift your arm out of the tank now Rusty and hold it level," Stepan instructed. "It'll start making your arm numb with the tips of its legs and tail before it attaches and it helps if it's got a level surface."

Rusty carefully did as he was told; as soon as he did the Phasenmorph quickly got situated and started rubbing the tips of its legs and tail on a few different spots on Rusty's arm. A few seconds later it plunged its legs and tail into Rusty's arm and quickly secured itself.

"You're good to go," said Stepan as he rushed over and quickly lifted Matty out of the water while the Phasenmorphs and Matty were all distracted with watching Rusty. "You'll be able to feel your arm again in about thirty minutes."

Matty reached up and started tickling Stepan. "You cheated Steppy!" he giggled.

Stepan grinned as he set Matty down, "Yes but it worked. You might want to give up on this attempt at tickling me though, I've only got one tickle spot and you'll never find it."

"I'll just ask youw boyfwiend!" Matty giggled as he gave Stepan's legs a hug. "Ow maybe Awk will tell me!"

"Ha ha, only Nyo knows and if he tells you I'll tickle the heck out of him," smiled Stepan as he returned the hug.

"I'd dare Nyo to just to see if you'll do it," mumbled Tyne as he walked over to Rusty and began massaging his numb arm.

Justin chuckled as he leaned over to Brian. "I think Ark is going to need to install a pool pretty soon so it can send these rugrats swimming when they get too rowdy."

< I will just teleport them to the one at the Clan Compound if I need one. >

"Good choice Ark; you might wanna put the location on speed dial though!" Brian giggled as the boys all gave him dirty looks.

"Paternus, I can bypass Ark and send you swimming right now you know," Tyne said with an evil grin.

"You wouldn't dare!" Brian chuckled as Justin quickly moved as far away as he could.

Tyne pulled out his handheld and started typing in commands, "Paternus, you're looking all wet."

< I am so sorry Brian; he has locked me out of the teleporter for the moment and pulled the location of the Clan pool. >

Tyne looked up at Brian and smiled as he pushed the enter key. Suddenly it looked like Brian flickered for a moment but it was clear that he went from dry to wet right before their eyes.

"Uncle Bwian you ain't 'posed to swim in youw clothes!" Matty giggled.

< Brian you are getting my floor wet. Stop dripping. >

"You asked for it Pop!" Rusty chimed in.

"Open mouth, insert foot babe!" Justin added.

Stepan shook his head and walked over to one of the closets in the room pulling out a towel when he got there and tossing it to Brian. "Ark's right, you're getting the floor wet. Go ahead and get dried up a little and you can meet them in the Training room. The rest of you goofs get in there and start that demo already, the room is set up and waiting."

"You engineers are kinda bossy," giggled Tyne as he led Rusty towards the Training room. "Thanks Stepan."

"You're as bad as me!" Rusty whispered as he leaned over and gave Tyne a quick kiss.

"Tyne, let your head come back down to earth long enough to remember to take your Phasenmorph with you," said Stepan.

"Oh I'll need him!" Tyne said as he ran back over to the tank and stuck his arm in. Instantly his Phasenmorph swam over and crawled up his arm; securing itself quickly. "Hey Matty, did you think of a name for my Fuzzymore?"

"Uhuh! He's so wiggly I'm callin him squiwmy!" Matty said joyfully.

Tyne smiled, "Awesome, that's perfect. I'm glad I'm not the only one that noticed how wiggly he is!"

Matty's grin almost split his face. "Awesome! Can I wide on you shouldews big bwothew? You'we my bwothew just like Wusty!"

"Sure," replied Tyne. "You're about the only person I'd ever let ride on my shoulders anyway."


Tyne made sure that everyone but himself was behind the safety line at the back of the training room.

"Okay," Tyne began. "The demonstration is actually a holographic training course, the one I'll be showing you is a more advanced course; I promise it doesn't start this hard if you're just learning. Ark, activate the safety shield around the observation area and begin the simulation."

As soon as the shield was in place around where everyone else was standing the room lights dimmed and suddenly they were standing in the middle of a crumbling city. Tyne quickly ducked behind a pile of rubble as an electrical blast came flying in his direction. He quickly spun around and fired off a few electrical blasts from the palm of his hand back in the direction he was attacked from.

< Target one hit. >

Suddenly four blasts came out of nowhere reaching Tyne quickly and before Tyne could react; all four bounced off of him. Tyne quickly turned and fired another blast in the direction that he was attacked from again.

< Target two hit. >

"Ark pause simulation. Place five targets in a circle surrounding me and un-pause the simulation," said Tyne.

Instantly five faceless humanoid figures appeared in a circle around Tyne and began firing blast after blast at Tyne. Those that Tyne didn't dodge just bounced off of him. Suddenly Tyne slammed his palm flat on the ground and all five targets exploded as a clear blue field expanded from Tyne and continued through the room.

"Ark pause the simulation again," said Tyne as he stood up and faced everyone in the safety area. "The Phasenmorph emits an electrical blast of varying intensities depending on what the user wishes. If you want to stun then they will stun, if you want to kill then they'll kill. The Phasenmorph can also reflect attacks whether it be electrical or any other projectile. And lastly the Phasenmorph is able to emit an area of effect attack disabling multiple targets at once with the same rules as the regular attack for intensity. This EOA can also be adjusted to leave whoever the user deems as friendly unharmed. Okay any questions?"

"Yeah, just one." Justin asked as he picked his jaw off of the floor. "Does the Phasenmorph have ANY weaknesses?"

"Well the Phasenmorph can also block mental activity if it needs to as well and it can sometimes take too much energy from the user if it doesn't have enough to continue blocking on its own. It's won't kill the user, but it can make them pass out," replied Tyne. "The other weakness is if the attacker is using a sharp object the Phasenmorph can't block that. In that sense even the Phasenmorph can be attacked and killed."

"So knives and bullets are still dangerous?" Brian asked.

"No bullets would be blocked," said Tyne. "That's a projectile. And thrown knives would be blocked as well, just not a knife used in a regular way."

"Okay; but someone that close could be attacked in other ways. What kind of limits are there on the mental activity blocking?" Brian replied.

"The only mental activity that it hasn't been able to block very well has been from this Kyle that I keep hearing about," replied Tyne. "And it doesn't seem to like me very much either although it can still block me. Everything else is covered as the Phasenmorph can pretty much adapt to anything."

Justin chuckled. "They don't need to feel bad. I don't think anything can block Kyle; even Saint Mikey can't avoid him! It's pretty bad when even dead people can't avoid the little telepathic terror."

"Unless Kyle has an off planet heritage then there is only one sub-species that could have a background with that kind of mental ability," Tyne said softly more to himself then to the others. "I wonder..."

Rusty interrupted. "Kyle's definitely all human babe; after Doc Austin found out that Antonio's got some weird gene which makes him age one year every four years, Doc decided to do a scan on everyone as a safety measure. He wasn't able to find anything weird in any of the rest of us. Ark, maybe you can figure out Antonio; his profile's stored on the Clan servers if you wanna look."

< It was already determined prior to Nyo making contact with your Clan that Antonio has a Vifer background. The only difference is that his Vifer genes are so diluted that instead of the normal one to five thousand year ratio he has a one to four year ratio. It has been about fifty thousand years since the creation of the Vifer; that is a long time to mix genes and lose some of the longevity. >

Tyne walked up to Rusty, wrapped his arms around him, and whispered, "Babe huh? I'll have to get use to that one, I like it though." Tyne tightened his arms a little and continued, "Let me ask you something though. If I didn't have purple eyes do you think you would be able to tell me apart from anyone else as far as species goes? Unless you're looking for the Founder tag it's easy to pass us off as human if our eyes aren't purple."

Rusty grinned. "Let me check....." Before Tyne could react, Rusty unzipped Tyne's jumpsuit and pulled it open enough to look at Tyne's pubic area. "Yep; definitely looks normal! Above average, really cute, but normal." As he closed the zipper, Rusty grabbed Tyne's butt. "This cute thing definitely feels normal!" Rusty then looked over Tyne's face. "The face though ... hmm ... besides being to cute to even describe, I guess a normal human could have it if they were really lucky. But those eyes are definitely MY Tyne; I wouldn't want them any other way."

Tyne blushed and buried his face in Rusty's chest, "I can't believe you just did that in front of your parents. I love you for it though; please don't ever change."

"I love you too Babe." Rusty whispered as he pulled Tyne in close. He couldn't help but giggle when he heard his Pop.

"Justin; I TOLD you that if you kept goofing around like that in front of Rusty it'd rub off on him!" Brian announced with a chuckle. "Sorry about that Tyne; your partner there has picked up some bad habits from his Dad! I'll help you toss Justin in the pool whenever you are ready!"

Tyne sighed as he pulled out his handheld and pressed enter again. Once again Brian was instantly dripping wet, "Why would I want to change Rusty, I love him just the way he is. And I doubt Justin gave the habits to Rusty, he just may have taught him how to use them better. If Justin happens to have some of the same habits I think you're as lucky a man as I am."

< Brian, did I or did I not tell you to stop dripping on my floor? >

"Sorry Ark;" Justin managed between giggles. "Sometimes Bri is just one big drip!"

< Normally I would not pin such a name on someone but the evidence seems to be overwhelming in this case. Perhaps he should carry a towel and extra clothes with him everywhere he goes. No make that two of each of those at least. >

Just then Stepan popped his head into the room, "Tyne I'm heading back up to Clan CIC now."

"Okay Stepan," Tyne replied, "Actually we should probably go back and check in with Nyo and everyone back at the Clan Compound too before they start to worry about us."

"Does Wusty getta keep his Fuzzymowe?" Matty asked hopefully.

< It is his Phasenmorph now and is his responsibility to use responsibly. Tyne I expect you to train him how to use it before you go to bed tonight. >

"Yes Ark," replied Tyne.

"Cool! Thanks Unca Awk!" Matty replied with an innocent grin.

"What are you going to name your Fuzzymore Rusty?" Stepan asked from the door.

Rusty smiled. "I'm gonna name him after the little guy who brought me into this; I'm gonna call him 'Lil Matt'."

"Awesome," said Stepan. "So are you guys coming with me then?"

"Yeah I think so," said Tyne. "Rusty am I still allowed to pick you up?"

Rusty giggled. "If you don't I'm gonna feel hurt. You can relax babe; if you do something that makes me mad I'll tell you and give you a chance to fix it. The only way we can learn about each other is to make mistakes and suggest things that we like ourselves. We're only hu ... well, actually, somewhat human. Chill out; it'll all be okay."

"Nah you're too cute to be human," said Tyne as he picked Rusty up. "You look more like my boyfriend."

Stepan giggled, "You guys are great. Okay Ark, I think we're ready."


Helen was just beginning to serve the boys their pre-bed snack when Tyne, Rusty, Matty, Stepan, Justin, and Brian suddenly appeared in the doorway to the dining room. She took one look at them before announcing "It's about time you brought those boys home Justin and Brian! It's almost bedtime; if I know the two of you neither of you thought to ensure they had a proper meal. You should be ashamed of yourselves; especially since Rusty needs to monitor his food intake. Sit down boys; I saved some dinner for you."

"Yeah Abbas and Paternus, Rusty has diabetes," Tyne said while trying to hold back laughter. "Shame on you."

Stepan quickly took a seat next to Nyo, "Thank you for saving dinner for us Helen."

"I have to watch out for all of 'my' boys since SOME adults can't seem to! That includes everyone who arrived today." Helen replied with a smile. "I look forward to you boys filling me in on what you were all doing tonight that kept you so late; from the smiles I'm seeing it must have been something really good."

Matty's grin grew huge. "I gotta play wit' a whole buncha Fuzzymowes! They was cwawlin' on me an' puwwin' an' cuddlin!"

"And Rusty's a Vifer now so he doesn't have to worry about his sugar anymore," said Tyne.

"So everything went okay then?" Nyo asked Tyne.

"Yep, I'm half Vifer and Rusty is one hundred percent," replied Tyne. "I just need to do a few self checks later before bed."

"Okay, get something to eat then and I'll fill you in on what you've missed," said Nyo.

Helen looked at Tyne. "So Rusty is healed? If you don't mind I would like to hear more after I serve everyone their food. Justin, Brian; since that is the result of where you were with the boys, you may be seated. I will see what I can find for the two of you real quick."

A few minutes later, everyone was served and Helen took her seat. As the boys were starting to dig in, Rusty yelped and looked at his arm. "What the HECK Lil Matt?"

Nyo looked up, tilted his head and then smiled, "Kyle's nearby, Rusty tell your 'morph to stop blocking mental activity."

Jamie hopped up. "I better go warn him; he usually tries to scan all new guys to see if they need help right away with anything."

"Go ahead; while you are at it bring them all in here so we only have to cover this all once." Alec replied. "Are you okay Rusty?"

"Yeah; Lil Matt just freaked out." Rusty said. "He's chilled now. Babe? Why did he freak so much with Kyle but nothing happened when we saw the twins?"

"Different kind of telepath," Tyne replied carefully. "Not all telepaths are the same. I'd imagine it might have the same effect with me. I use a different part of my mind for telepathic activity then normal telepaths."

"That makes sense." Rusty replied.

Just then Cory led the returning group into the dining room. "Hey guys; hi Helen! Rusty, what have I told you about bringing your parents over without keeping them on a leash!"

Rusty giggled. "They got all their shots now Cor; they should be safe. Besides; if either of them gets too goofy we have a new insta-dip procedure!"

Brian looked directly at Tyne. "Don't you dare!!!! I'm NOT going to deal with Helen complaining about wet floors too!"

Tyne grinned as he pulled his handheld out, "You know Paternus I wasn't going to until you said the word."

< No, my turn; I would like to keep control of the teleportation system this time Tyne. > Suddenly Brian was instantly wet again but was now standing in an empty kiddy pool that appeared under him. < There, wet and no dripping on the floor. >

Tyne giggled, "Thanks Ark."

Timmy giggled while the older boys who had just arrived stared in shock. "Uncle Brian!!! That's my KID pool!! You're a grown-up; you're too big for it! Now put it back and put my water back in it!"

Cory shook his head and turned to Sean and Danny. "Take a seat guys; something tells me the explanation for THIS one is gonna take a while!"

"Have you eaten yet?" Helen asked.

"We had breakfast before we left." Sean replied. "Some strawberry milkshakes sound good though if you don't mind."

Doc Austin had entered the room as Sean was speaking. "Stay seated Helen; I'll get them. I heard the boys were back and figured I'd give them my reports too. Brian; don't you think you're a little old for a kiddie pool?"

Brian looked over to Justin for support, but gave up on that avenue when he saw his husband barely controlling his laughter. "Don't go there Doc; a couple of recent additions have discovered sending people swimming and are using me for practice."

Tyne smiled at Brian, "It wasn't me this time Paternus."

"Ya know I think he looks better wet anyway," giggled Dmitry. "Not sure I would go as far as cute but better then before."

"Finally, one that he hasn't called cute," said Dominic.

"Well he's too old anyway," added Dmitry.

"Have any of you figured out a way to instantly dry someone?" Cory asked. "It's gonna be hard to concentrate with him dripping in the background."

< Very well Mr. Short, I can stop the dripping. > Ark replied as suddenly all of the water on Brian turned to ice.

Nyo bust out laughing, "Ark how did you manage that one!"

< I just modified the buffer a little. No harm has been caused and he has most definitely stopped dripping. >

Cory giggled as he looked over the now-freezing Brian. "Uncle Bri; I'm not sure who this Ark is but I'm definitely starting to like him! Your spare clothes are in their usual spot; might I suggest going to change into them before you start thawing?"

"I would, but someone kinda forgot that frozen water is solid!" Brian replied. "I'm stuck in the pool; the water around my feet from me dripping is now a big ice saucer!"

"I could blast you out," said Dmitry as he started to take aim with his Phasenmorph.

Dominic grinned, "At least he won't hit you Brian, DT is a good shot."

< That is okay boys, I will get him to where he needs to go and take care of the ice. > Suddenly Brian vanished. < Justin did you want to help him? >

"Yes please Ark;" Justin chuckled. "You have my permission to remind him of this any time he accuses me of putting my foot in my mouth, okay?"

< Very good, while you are helping him you can help remove his feet from his mouth then. > Ark replied as Justin disappeared.

Cory shook his head. "A three-ring circus complete with clowns! Okay; which one of you wants to accept responsibility and explain what the heck happened while we were gone?"

Alec raised his hand with a grin. "I'll try Cor; you're gonna love this one! First off; the new munchkin is Matty; he's gonna be visiting for a few days until we can reunite him with his family. There is a religious group called the FCC that his ex-father was a member of; they took him from his Mom as a hostage and were trying to brainwash him. Just a warning; don't make him mad!"

Just then Wusty stuck his head over the edge of the table from on Matty's lap. Timmy concentrated for a second then grinned as he interrupted Alec. "Daddy!! Matty's got Patches' puppy! William says she gave him to Matty to keep!"

Cory looked over at Matty, who was holding Wusty protectively. "Relax Matty; if William says the puppy is yours then nobody better argue. What did you name him?"

"Wusty." Matty replied in a small voice. "I called him Wusty just like big Wusty who saved me."

Cory smiled. "That sounds like a good reason to me. Timmy, Ricky; how long until the birds are done getting some familiar food?"

"They're coming in now Daddy." Timmy replied after a second of concentration.

"Okay, thanks kiddo. Matty, when you are done eating you can join the rest of the kids over here if you want to. Timmy and Ricky have a pair of eagles that are really kewl; you guys can compare your last couple of days between all you kids while the rest of us compare ours. That way you won't get bored."

Matty gave Cory a small smile. "Okay!" Without another word, he dug into the plate in front of him eagerly.

Cory turned back to Alec. "Okay, that explains Matty being here; did I understand right that Rusty was on his recovery?"

"That's right." Alec replied. "Rusty and Andy went out to recover him and they have the bruises to show for it. Like I said; don't make him mad! You know about the trial we were monitoring; we ended up having to send Jamie and Jacob in to do some emergency memory restoration on two boys, Davey and Jimmy. Dmitry, he's one of the new guys who will be explained shortly, assisted them. Upon completion of their testimony, the boys were brought back here. They have suffered extensive brainwashing in addition to multiple types of abuse at the hands of their former stepfather with their mother assisting in mental aspects. Upon review by Xain and the twins it was determined that full repair of their memories would totally erase six years of their lives due to the thoroughness of the damage done. They have relation which would normally be considered a suitable placement option, their Uncle Mike. Unfortunately he was targeted specifically in their brainwashing and their memories of him are tainted even after recovery. Unless they concentrate, they are getting false memories which would put them in a constant state of false fear for their own safety if placed with their Uncle. In addition we have reason to suspect that due to their importance in the previous trial being turned to opposite the testimony that was expected by the FCC that they are now targets of that organization and require a safe home untraceable by Terran intelligence methods. As such, they have been adopted by Gabe and Travis; they are sitting between their new parents now."

Cory held up his hand. "Hold it. I know what you've found in their heads now; but there are two answers I need to hear right away. Jimmy, Davey? Could you guys come here a minute please?"

The two boys slowly stood after reassurances were whispered to them by Gabe and Travis. They walked over to Cory and stood stiffly in front of him. "Yes Sir?" they chorused.

"Relax guys; I'm Cory. Which one of you is which?"

"I'm Davey and he is Jimmy." the oldest one replied.

"It's great to meet you Davey and Jimmy. How do you feel about staying here? Would you rather live with your Uncle Mike?" Cory was watching the boys as he spoke; their obvious unconscious flinch when he mentioned their Uncle answered his question before either had a chance to say even one word.

Jimmy went first. "I was really little when we last saw Uncle Mike. I really like him, but if I hear his name I feel scared until I think about him hard."

Davey took over. "Me too. Both of us still love him; but I guess our old mother and the bastard told us so many times that he abandoned us after hurting us that we can't get it out of our heads unless we are thinking about him on purpose."

Jimmy continued his thoughts. "Dad and Pop are nice; they are helping us learn stuff we never got to do before. We even got to learn how to handle messing up."

Davie finished the response. "Yes, and they have promised to help us get so that we can be comfortable being around Uncle Mike again and visit with him."

Cory smiled. "Good enough guys. I noticed both of you jumped a little when I mentioned him; that said a lot right there. All of us are going to help you with figuring out how to get comfortable again. I'm approving the adoption and I'm going to take some extra steps to protect you. You can go back to your new parents if you want to unless you have any questions for me."

"We'll ask them later." Davey replied as they turned and went back to their seats.

Cory turned back to Alec. "Okay; any more surprises?"

Alec giggled. "It's just starting. Cory Short, Patriarch of Clan Short of the family of Sarek of the house of Surak of the planet Vulcan, I present to you Nyo Curameton, Council Archivist of the Founder Council of the planet Earth. Nyo can fill you in on the rest of what has been happening."

Cory turned to the indicated new addition. "It is an honor, Nyo."

Nyo grinned, "No Cory, the honor is mine. Let me start by introducing my guys to you before I get started. The boy sitting next to me here is Stepan, the two younger blond terrors are Dmitry and Dominic; Dominic is the one with the metallic eyes. And lastly the boy sitting next to Rusty is Tyne, son of Cyos, of the family of Oraculum, Seer of the Founder Council but we just call him Tyne."

Nyo paused for a moment in thought, "I suppose I should start at the beginning, and when I say beginning I really do mean just that. I'll start before my time, back when the Ark was first created about sixty thousand years ago. The Ark is a very large artificial intelligence and computerized archive that was set in place by Tyne's people to watch humanity. See back then humanity was actually at peace for a few thousand years but like all good things that I've seen in history, it came to an end because of one half crazed man. He not only took over the government but he threw Tyne's people out and declared them an enemy of the government. So his people built the Ark with the knowledge that by going down its new path humanity would almost destroy itself. They hoped that humanity would rebuild and once again reach peace, but that never happened. Humanity hasn't just wiped itself out once but three times now, and each time they rebuild they forget what they did before."

"Well the Ark was given the task of recording all of humanity's actions until that time of peace was once again reached but after the first cycle was over Ark began having trouble repairing its own systems. So it created me based on the genetic research that was being done in the second cycle of humanity. I'm a Vifer; I'm blessed with slow aging, fast healing, and a few other gifts. Anyway, Ark raised me to primarily be its engineer but as time went on I began to help Ark look for maybe a glimmer of hope that humanity would find a way to peace again. But the years went by and we found nothing. It's been fifty thousand years and with us finding nothing the Ark was beginning to think what we were looking for was impossible to find. But then I found something that caught my attention. I found records on Clan Short pouring into the archive. Do you realize that your Clan has done more in the short time it's been around then most of humanity has done to help itself in all the time since Tyne's people disappeared?"

"Anyway, I was able to convince Ark that maybe your Clan was worth looking into. So I came to your compound just before you left for that conference off planet and I began observing you. It's one thing to read reports about you guys but it's another thing to see you guys in action. You guys are exactly what we were hoping you were; you guys are that hope that we've waited so long to see. But we also realized that without help you guys could fail. So part of why I was here was to offer help from the shadows but then something happened that I didn't really foresee. I was so touched by your actions I was inspired to try and help on my own. So I had Ark take me to Russia. Let's just say that there are parts of Russia that really need help and that's were I picked up Dmitry, Dominic, and Stepan."

"You mean that's where you saved us from," Dmitry corrected.

Nyo smiled, "Right, well by the time I got them fixed up you were back from the conference and after a little training we picked you guys back up in South Carolina. We watched you while you were there but then I followed you and Sean out to that battery and that's when stuff kinda went wrong. I was somehow pulled to where ever your brother Mikey pulled the two of you and Ark did an emergency teleport and pulled me back to base. About the same time that happened Dmitry and Dominic finished up something I asked them to do and that task ended up triggering an old Founder Program back at base that put the Ark into stand by and brought Tyne out of cryo-sleep. It took us several days to get everything back out of standby and by that point Dmitry and Dominic had to deal with a few issues of their own."

"See a few days before this, when I had rescued Dominic, I had to give him new eyes. I won't go into what happened to his real eyes, that's up to Dominic to tell if he wants to. But something was a little off with the adjustments and it began giving him massive headaches. By that time Dmitry and Dominic had followed you guys back here to the compound again and when Dominic started getting these headaches they also started to lose power to their cloaking devices. So Dmitry made the decision to show himself to Jamie and Jacob to ask for their help with Dominic. Your doctor was able to do the corrections that were needed with Dmitry's help and now Dominic is fine. About the time that Dominic was recovering from the headaches Dmitry was asked to go on a mission with Jamie and Jacob and while there he killed, from what I understand, was a very bad man. I'll get back to that in a minute on what it meant though beyond that."

"So by the next morning I was able to finally come to try and get Dmitry and Dominic back as we were able to get the teleportation system working again. But of course when we got here we found that all of that had happened. About that time Tyne met Jamie and Jacob and was able to determine that when Dmitry was asked to go with them and he killed that man the timeline was actually altered. Tyne can see possible futures and he was able to see that a really big change was made, and he assures us it was a good change though. So anyway, most of the first part of the day we have just been explaining things and doing 'damage control'. A little later though, when the condition red was called is when Tyne got to meet Rusty officially when they ran into each other coming into CIC. Long story short they got along really well and when Tyne found out about Rusty's diabetes he wanted to have the problem fixed. So I gave him permission to have Rusty turned into a Vifer. While they were off doing that I got to talk to Sarek about another issue that isn't really an issue but it's something that Founder tend to take very seriously, and that's marriage. If you have more questions on that I'll be happy to answer them but let's just go with the short version and say that Sarek agreed that it was a good thing and has given his permission to allow Founder marriages to those of you that are mature enough to handle the commitment."

"And if I've left anything else out someone else please fill that in," Nyo finished. "I need to breathe now."

"Talk about a condensed version," commented Tyne. "You missed my favorite part, Rusty is my boyfriend now."

Danny chuckled. "Now you know how we felt when you gave us your short version of what happened at the Battery, Cory!"

"Bite me Danny!" Cory replied with a giggle. "Lets see ... Vifer, marriage, time splits, a funny looking thing on Rusty's arm; I don't know where to start. Would someone PLEASE fill me in while Nyo is catching his breath?"

"He fried Cory's brain cell!" giggled Dmitry.

"Maybe he can borrow yours," grinned Dominic. "I'll cover Vifer for you Nyo. A Vifer is a human sub-species that was created in the second cycle of humanity. Their name comes from the metal that their blood contains, see instead of having iron based blood a Vifer has Vitaferrum based blood. Vitaferrum is a special metal that restores the body rather then degrading it like iron eventually does. Now with that kind of blood a Vifer has a life span that's a lot longer then the normal human; in fact it slows down how they age making it so that they age one year for every five thousand. Other then long life a Vifer can also heal ten times faster then a normal human can again because of the properties of their blood. And lastly a Vifer can absorb abilities of those that they are around, but it's only for a short time."

"Yeah that also means it'll take me and Dom forever to get through puberty," added Dmitry with an evil grin. "I think that's the best part though, no chance that I'll wear Dom out when..."

"Hey! They don't need to know that," said Dominic.

Sean giggled. "That's a lot of lotion; JJ you better not try it unless you buy a lotion factory!"

"Whatever horsey boy! I'M not the one who had a case of it in my closet!" JJ replied with a laugh.

"Ah so JJ is the one that owns all that lotion I found," said Dmitry. "That's a nice collection of empty bottles you got going JJ, I'm not sure why you would save the bottles after they're empty, and I've never seen someone go through that many before the sell by date on the bottle actually came around. I'll have to check out Cory's collection later though and give it a try too!"

"You say that like you already...oh never mind," said Tyne.

"Cory gave up on lotion; he uses KY now!" Kyle announced with a grin as he ran to hide behind Danny.

"LEECH!" Cory exclaimed while his face turned seven shades of red. "I suppose those empty Vaseline jars in the trash outside your room you know nothing about, huh?"

"Not ours!" Tyler exclaimed with a blush. "Eli and Benji musta used our trash again!"

"Sure bro; blame the guys who ain't here!" Sean giggled. "Nice try!"

"Kyle do mind if I ask you a question?" asked Tyne. "I know from the way that the Phasenmorphs reacted that you're a telepath to some degree but isn't it rude to divulge private information about others without their permission even if it's in jest? Unless you have been spending time in Cory's room without him I'd guess that you pulled that from his mind. Are there no rules governing telepathic courtesy here?"

Kyle walked over to Tyne and placed a hand on Tyne's shoulder. "In this case what I said was based on personal knowledge. If it was something I didn't know otherwise, I wouldn't have said anything. Up until we moved here we all shared a bedroom; sometimes we still have sleepovers at each other's place just because we're that close. You guys are the only ones here I really don't know everything about though. I'm having to concentrate really hard to keep from doing it too; in the last month my head has gotten so that I have problems keeping from reading everything in someone's head as soon as I meet them."

"Hang on a second Kyle," Tyne replied, "Ark can you do something for me, pull up training file sixty-one from my personal file and read it to me through the sub-vocal."

< Yes Tyne. Beginning playback. >

Tyne was quiet for a moment as he listened. About a minute later Tyne looked Kyle directly in the eyes, "Kyle, do you mind if I check something really quick?"

"What's that?" Kyle asked curiously.

"I might have a suggestion to help you, I had a very similar problem when I was about your age," said Tyne. "It drove my father nuts. It won't hurt; I just want to check something to do with your mental state. All it'll really look like is me holding your hand for a minutes and I WILL NOT be reading your mind, I promise."

"Okay, go ahead I guess; if it helps I don't mind." Kyle replied gingerly.

Tyne took a hold of Kyle's right hand and then was about to close his eyes when suddenly he got a very surprised look on his face. "I know you," whispered Tyne as pulled he out his handheld and began typing in several commands. "Ark do you still have the last Council's DNA records?"

< Of course I do. >

"Pull up the Founder DNA tags on the Council Crafter, Shara Fervidus and stand by for a tag comparison; I'm sending you the unlock code for those files now," Tyne said quickly. Tyne then looked up and stared into Kyle's eyes but seemed to almost be looking through them.

< The tag information is ready. >

"Give me the mental sequence," said Tyne as he looked back down at Kyle's hand and gripped it tighter.

< The sequence you requested is A4D6F832. >

Tyne smiled, "I know your family; you come from a very proud family of Crafters. You are a descendant of the Fervidus family; you're a Founder."

"Are you sure Tyne?" said Nyo. "How do you know that he's from that family, you seemed to know before Ark said anything?"

"Because my Socius was a Fervidus," Tyne said softly. "I'd remember that pattern on touch almost any way you mask it."

"Oh my God; Cyna's gonna be sooooo happy!" Rusty exclaimed softly. "You have some really kewl ancestors Kyle."

"That explains the problem you just told me about though," Tyne said to Kyle. "Founders need a lot of focus if they don't know the right way to contain their telepathy. Your mind should be set up very much like mine, so if you want me to I can teach your mind a little trick to give you some relief until I can sit down and teach you the right way. Your mind, if it's like mine, has three different time shifts to it and it should be transferring focus to the past rather then keeping it in the present. I can tell it to do that temporarily and you'll still have the same abilities, but it'll only last for a few hours before it forgets what I'll tell it."

Kyle looked at Cory. "What should I do Cory?" he asked in a small voice.

Cory glanced at Rusty; when Rusty nodded his head Cory relaxed. "I think you should let him try little bro; I know how much this has been bugging you. They helped Rusty, so let him try to help you."

"Okay bro." Kyle replied. He turned to Tyne and said in a small voice "Go ahead I guess. This won't mess up my head will it?"

"No it won't mess up your head," said Tyne. "I can't mess up a structure that's already there."

< Tyne, Cyna said to remind you to be more careful than your father was with you. >

"I care more about family then he did," Tyne said softly. "I'll be more than careful. Besides I know more about telepathy then my father did." Tyne took a hold of both of Kyle's hands this time. "Let me know when you're ready Kyle."

Kyle nodded weakly. "Okay. Go ahead."

Tyne focused on Kyle for a moment and then closed his eyes. A few seconds later he smiled, "Okay I found what I'm looking for. Your mind has the splits but like any other young Founder you're not using them yet, it normally takes training to use them anyway. Give me another few minutes and I'll be finished. For having been over sixty thousand years I'm very surprised that you're this developed." Tyne fell quiet again and almost five minutes later he opened his eyes and grinned. "That should do it, any better?"

"WOW!" Kyle grinned. "Is this what it sounds like to the rest of the guys? I don't feel minds pulling at me any more! How long will this last?"

"This fix will only last for a few hours," said Tyne. "All I did was show your mind an imprint of mine. It will remember the imprint for a little while but as the imprint starts to go away the problem will come back. And all of you other telepaths that are here listen up; make sure you stay out of Kyle's head now unless you want to lose your consciousness in his mind and never get it back."

Cory walked over and stood by the boys. "Holy shit; that's pretty serious stuff! Tyne, you said that Kyle is a Founder. What does that mean as far as his skills go; is he a really strong telepath or is there more to it?"

"Actually I'd classify us as very weak telepaths," replied Tyne. "But only because we don't really have much control over what we see. If we try and read someone's mind we end up getting everything instead of just the few things we wanted. The Founders main skill is actually our ability to see possible futures. Most Founders can see between a few hours to a few months or years into the future but it takes a lot of very specific training to get it right and have control over it. I'm actually the only recorded Founder that has the ability to see thousands of years into the future with my range being about twenty thousand years give or take a few hundred. We didn't normally pay that much attention to our telepathic abilities unless we NEEDED to know something and there wasn't time to explain. I was also able to use mine as a weapon against a group of Moroi that killed Cyna. Other then that we had a few other uses for our telepathy but that revolved around what we would do in bed with our Socius. We might be able to do more with our telepathic abilities but that's never really been explored much beyond what I've mentioned."

"He's definitely figured out the last part!" Tyler giggled.

Cory shot Tyler a dirty look before sinking into thought. After a minute he replied slowly. "I'm not too sure about the weak telepathy part in Kyle's case. I get the feeling that you are the only one left who can train Kyle, Tyne. Kyle, please think about this carefully before you answer; but if Tyne is willing to train you do you want him to?"

Kyle closed his eyes in thought. A few seconds later he opened them and looked Tyne directly in the eyes. "We all try to be the best at whatever we can do. I'm thinking clear right now for the first time in a while; I really want to learn everything I'm supposed to be able to do so that I can use it whenever my brothers need me to."

"I'd be more then willing to teach you what I know," said Tyne softly. "You're Cyna's family therefore you're my family too. Just tell me when and we'll get started."

Kyle looked at Cory, who just smiled and nodded. Kyle smiled. "As soon as you are ready; is it okay if Ty sits with us? Him being an Empath won't hurt him or me will it?"

Tyne grinned, "An Empath? Really? Is he your boyfriend?"

"Yep! We kinda became attached to each other the first time we met!" Kyle replied with a grin.

"That's an understatement!" Cory giggled.

"With him being an Empath there is no better partner you could have that would be compatible with you short of another Founder," said Tyne. "The Founders are the ones that created the Empaths; they were derived from our own genetics. And every Empath that I've ever met has been a caring, compassionate person. So of course he can sit with us, in fact it might help to have him there if you're having a hard time with something. Can he project good emotions to others yet?"

"TYLER!" Cory yelled as he suddenly put both hands over his suddenly tented pubic area. "Does THAT answer your question Tyne?" Cory added with a blush as he stared at his giggling little brother.

"Cool! I wanna learn how to..." Dmitry started to say.

"NO! I don't want you to learn that!" interjected Dominic. "You'll use that skill against me and keep me hard all the time!"

"Well in that case will you learn it?" said Dmitry.

Dominic just rolled his eyes.

"Yeah I think that answers my question," smiled Tyne. "You guys must have a lot of fun then."

"Uh huh!" Kyle giggled. "Get over here cutie; if Cory messes with you, you can make him need a towel!"

Rusty looked at Tyne with a grin. "Hey babe; you said I can absorb abilities; can I practice with Ty?"

< Cyna says to tell you yes Rusty, even if Tyne says no. >

Tyne blushed, "Well I won't argue with Cyna but you already do that, you don't really need any help."

Kyle giggled as Tyler joined them. "Just wait! Where do we gotta do my training at?"

"Anywhere that you're comfortable," replied Tyne. "We can do it here or we can go somewhere else, it's up to you."

"Why don't you use the overnight room; there'll be less distractions and SOMEONE won't be tempted to pick on other people." Cory suggested with a smile.

"It's not like you needed much help!" Tyler giggled as he dodged a good natured swat from Cory.

"You heard him Ark, overnight room," said Tyne as he turned to Rusty with a hopeful look. "Rusty are you coming with us?"

"Only if you carry me, my Founder hottie." Rusty answered with puppy dog eyes.

Tyne got up and then picked Rusty up, "Check, okay are the rest of you ready?"

"Actually before you go I got a question Tyne," said Dmitry. "If Kyle is Founder then why doesn't he have purple eyes like you do?"

< When the Founders left my compound I kept track of them all the way up to the Faction War in the third cycle. In the second cycle they made their eyes brown by default to protect themselves. I lost them after the Faction War and until Tyne woke up I did not even remember that I was tracking them. >

"That was a program I set up," said Tyne. "You weren't really supposed to track them but I thought it was a good idea and Cyna agreed with me. So any other quick questions? If not then we're off to that overnight room."

"Go ahead." Cory replied. "If there is something none of these guys can answer we'll hold it until you are done."

"Alright, that works," said Tyne. "Ark, take us away."

Suddenly Tyne, Rusty, Kyle, and Tyler vanished from the room.