Clan Short Pacific Rim Division

Chapter 28

Oneula Beach Auditorium

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 7:07PM HTZ

With the entire leadership team gathered on chairs on the stage, Prez checked with Alden to be sure everyone was present in the audience. Once he heard that only those adults who were working or sleeping weren't there, Prez stood and went to center stage. He took a microphone from its stand and joked, "This auditorium isn't as big as Ewa Beach, but we're still barely putting a dent in the number of seats available." Laughter and giggling erupted from the crowd of about seven hundred.

Prez said, "This morning's confusion made it very clear that the leadership of this division needs additional help. Initially, Erik and Travis were dealing with one hundred and forty-four of you. Thanks to another group of eight, things were kept kewl and everybody was happy. Still, that's a hundred and forty-four kids with ten acting as leaders, a fourteen-to-one ratio."

"Let me remind you that when the division began, we had eighty-seven kids and eight leaders, which is an eleven-to-one ratio. By Wednesday morning, we rescued an additional sixty-three, bringing our total to one-hundred and fifty kids, but we only added four Core Rimmers. By Thursday afternoon, we were at two-hundred-twenty-two rescued kids and a nineteen-to-one ratio of kids to leaders. Right now, we're at three-hundred and ninety-four kids to twenty-four leaders, which is a sixteen-to-one ratio. This weekend, another eighty level three orphans will begin showing up, pushing the numbers back up to a nineteen-to-one ratio."

"Not to mention, every time something happens, like Wednesday night's orphanage rescues, and Thursday night's insanity, and Friday's Battle Of Earth repercussions, and this morning's trip to Charleston AI hospital, all you guys and girls are left to fend for yourselves. This is not what I envisioned or expected, but it has shed light on the fact that we need more Core Rimmers, and more dorm leadership too. For the dorm leaders, I think we should have two per hall, so that number needs to double from what it is now."

Seeing Bruce Downing shuffling down the row where the majority of his adopted family were sitting, Prez lowered the microphone, paused and grinned. Jogging down the aisle, Bruce loudly giggled, "WHAT? Joel made me a leader too! I can count chairs. You've been including me in the numbers, so get me a chair, Alden." The audience cracked up, the loudest from Jim and Jen Hundser and the Core Rimmers' sons.

Chuckling, Prez told the crowd, "The next thing I was going to say was that we need more chairs up here for Core Rimmers. Alden, please get thirteen more chairs for our new Core Rimmers, dude." On his way across the stage, Bruce passed by Prez and got a pat on the back. Bruce took the chair beside Stephen Marr, at the end of the row. 

The chatter from the audience made Prez evilly snicker, "Oh, I've had several of you in mind for future additions, but was biding my time, waiting for each of the selections to make their interests known. Instead, we'll just have to wait and see what jobs each decides to have. I'd also like to share what I told Horacio, Sonia and Alec Triggs just a little while ago; that there are straight dudes that I would very much like to make Core Rimmers too. Sonia admitted that she wouldn't like having to pass judgement on anyone, and that's part of my dilemma; Clan leaders work in teams of two. Horacio is extremely capable, and Alec proved he can excel at the job, by rescuing his younger brothers, and putting his own well being at risk. Passing over someone only because of their sex and sexuality won't cut it in this division; we could get too large to do that. What I intend to do is bide my time, watch and listen to straight couples. If there are straight couples that can do the job, then we'll have male and female members of the Core team. Alternatively, I could pick two dudes from two couples and discover if they can act as a team."

Turning to see that extra chairs had been set up, Prez then faced the audience and announced, "We're going to go in order, according to those who we've known the longest. When that's done, we'll get some dorm leadership volunteers. Lastly, I'd like to have input from the adults, on whatever they've noticed lacking or missing entirely."

After a long pause to carefully watch the audience, Prez called, "Aaron Farris and Stephen Wicks, come on up here." Both thirteen-year-old boys stood. The audience began applauding as they shuffled across the row of seats and hurried down the aisle toward the stage. Before the applause died down, Prez called, "Keanu Hekekia and Liki Kealoha, we need you." The applause swelled, and as it diminished again, Prez chuckled, "Tony Lanning and Ray Varga, dorm leadership won't cut it for you two, you're promoted." The audience cracked up. The latter two named boys also stood and broke into giggles.

On his way down the aisle with Ray at his side, Tony laughed, "Why did you bother making us dorm leaders in the first place, Prez?"

Prez sniggered, "I was giving you time to get used to the idea. There, you've had about seven hours. Are you used to it now?"

Over the sound of the applauding and giggling audience, Ray and Tony howled, "I guess so!"

"Neil Green and Tad Markell, come on down." When the two fifteen-year-olds stood, Prez announced, "Carter Rackham and Doug Zimmerman, you too."

The latter two boys stood but didn't leave their seats. Carter called, "Make us dorm leaders, Prez. We're not really as ready as you are." The audience quieted to hushed whispering.

Nodding, Doug offered, "Maybe the next time you're in a promoting mood, Prez."

"I'll check with you privately?" Prez confirmed.

Doug nodded and Carter said, "That sounds good," and they sat back down.

Prez smiled, "I'll be honest, the fact that you dudes refused in front of almost seven hundred people makes me even more sure that you're leaders." In the audience, evil snickering broke loose and heads nodded.

Arriving on stage, Neil sniggered, "I don't suppose we could take dorm leader jobs too?" 

"You could," Prez grinned, "but I'd only promote you in the morning, Spitting Rimmers." Tad, Neil, all the already seated Core Rimmers, and the audience roared. Prez chuckled, "For those of you that don't know, Neil made his exit from the Woodlake orphanage by spitting in the faces of his two care-givers." Again, the audience cracked up and there was scattered groaning. Prez chortled, "The really funny part is, Sean and Troy sentenced them to life imprisonment, and the goobers were still on their faces when they were transported out! For all we know, they've still got their marks of appreciation, and Neil's cold too."

Pausing for the audience laughter and applause to die down, Prez lowered the microphone and joined the rest of the team who were congratulating Neil and Tad. Returning to center stage, Prez smiled, "Since Carter and Doug aren't quite ready, a modification is required. These next two dudes are very recent selections, that I had intended to give a few more days before tapping. They probably think that they've slid under my radar, but I saw them together at last night's water blaster battle, again during lunch this afternoon, and again at dinner this evening, sitting all alone, having intimate meals." Moos and giggling erupted. 

"I also saw them at the pools this afternoon," Prez continued, "and they were still keeping to themselves, trying their best to be discrete. Unfortunately for them, several telepaths around shared what they knew with John, who has shared that knowledge with the rest of the team. I've been watching half the couple since Sunday, and knew there was leadership potential there. His other half just showed up yesterday, the son of an employee, and made his presence known to several more Core Rimmers. And this dude is another good guitar player, so we'll have to find out what he can do, when he's not cuddled up to his partner." More giggling burst from the audience, and then Kade, Karey, Brad and Cameron began loudly hooting. Prez chuckled, "Everyone already up here agrees, Kassidy Oldcambus and Matt Thornton, come join us."

The moment he bounced up onto his feet, Matt excitedly shouted, "KEWL!" Kassidy, Jeremiah Thornton and the rest of the audience cracked up. On the way down the aisle, hand-in-hand with Kassidy, Matt began praying and thanking the creator for making another of his biggest and most important dreams come true. Those near the aisle heard parts of Matt's prayers and howled hysterically. Out in the audience, amongst the other adult employees, Matt's father proudly glowed.

Once Kassidy and Matt had been greeted and took seats on stage, Prez turned to the audience, grinning, "There are three chairs remaining. The problem is, the Clan generally works in teams of two, but we have three up here already who don't have partners. Let's deal with Reyes first."

From the audience, Ryan shouted, "No way, Prez!" Reyes started giggling.

Knowing what kind of reaction it would cause, Prez playfully suggested, "Then I'll give the job to Paul, when he arrives." Covering his mouth, Reyes cracked up.

"OH, SURE!" Ryan incredulously hollered, and then stood up. On his way down the aisle, Ryan bitched, "The Clan is supposed to have evidence, telepathically scan prisoners, and THEN deliver justice. Paul would kill first and ask questions later... MAYBE... IF HE FELT LIKE THINKING OF THE QUESTIONS!" The audience lost it and fell apart, hysterically laughing.

Prez chuckled, "Alden, get a PADD for Ryan and load Pissed Off Chickens on it. I get the feeling he'll appreciate it soon enough."

Climbing the stage steps, Ryan softly grumbled, "I'm going to kill my brother." Reyes stood and met his boyfriend. They kissed and went to find chairs.

Watching almost the entire row of seated Core Rimmers shift to make a two chairs available for Reyes and Ryan, Prez went to Nathan Hayes, teasing, "Found a boyfriend yet, Nathan?"

"Confirmed, just last night," Nathan giggled.

"If he's your partner, I approve," Prez said.

Standing up, Nathan leaned close to the microphone and called, "Brice, right here by me." Shivering with delight, Brice Glotzbecker stood and ran down the aisle to join his boyfriend up on the stage. The thought of becoming a leader never occurred to Brice. Widely smiling, he could barely believe that in a single day his best friend became his boyfriend, and now he was a Core Rimmer too.

Once Brice was greeted, Prez went down to the end of the row where Bruce was sitting. Facing the audience, Prez gleamed, "John isn't the youngest Core Rimmer anymore, Bruce is. There's only one way to give Bruce a partner that will keep him safe from harm, under every circumstance, and his name is Skylar Richardson."

Skylar popped onto the stage, into the seat directly beside Bruce. John and Stephen began giggling before Bruce turned to Skylar. Seeing purple eyes, Bruce squealed, "You're teaming me up with a Mikyvis? SWEET!" Everyone howled laughing, including Prez and Skylar.

"Does that mean you get to teach me to kiss?" Skylar giggled.

Intensely blushing, Bruce giggled, "Maybe. I guess we'll have to teach each other." Hearing that, Skylar adjusted his height and weight from an apparent ten-year-old to that of an eight-year-old, and cutely blinked at Bruce. "That's more like it!" Bruce cheered.

Everything paused for the hysterics that followed, and only got louder when Skylar and Bruce disappeared for about ten-seconds. When they returned, Skylar and Bruce were cuddled up close. No one knew where they went, how long they were gone, nor did anyone really want to ask the questions.

When the audience and Core Rimmers had calmed somewhat, Prez returned to center stage, breathlessly chuckling, "There you have it; thirty-eight Core Rimmers for three-hundred and ninety-four kids. We're back to an eleven-to-one ratio. Now some of us can go visit more level three orphans tomorrow, and there will still be plenty of Core Rimmers here."

Before Prez had finished speaking, groups of kids and adults in the audience stood and applauded. Lowering the microphone, Prez prompted the team of Core Rimmers to stand, move forward on the stage and hold hands. When kids started taking their seats and the applause dwindled, the team of Core Rimmers returned to their chairs.

Remaining at center stage, Prez reminded, "During this weekend, we'll be gaining another eighty kids, which means we'll need another eight Core Rimmers, so I'm no where near done adding to the team. Now, for our dorm leadership; according to Alden, we'll need twenty-six dorm leaders total, two per hallway, but I know we already have a team of three in one hall, namely the Nash brothers and Owen Reed." A line of twenty-seven chairs appeared before the stage. Prez prompted, "If all the existing dorm leaders would come down and take seats in front of the stage, please?" 

Horacio, Sonia, Nell, Molly, Corbin, Dominic, Craig, Felicity, Elise, Phil, Owen, Adrienne, Bianca, Carter and Doug stood up. While they made their way down the aisles, Prez reminded, "Dorm leaders are the big brothers and big sisters for the kids in their dorms, and going forward, for their hallways. I'm counting fifteen on their way to chairs, so we still need twelve dorm leaders. Dorm leaders help their kids when someone gets sick and needs a doctor, or if someone needs help with homework, they'll find a helper, or if you decide you need anything for yourself, or for your dorm common rooms. Anything dorm leaders need that they can't get, they'll get help from Core Rimmers." 

Noticing Roy and Pete coming down the aisle last minute, Prez paused and then chuckled, "Your girlfriends are down here, so you dudes are volunteering?"

Pete sniggered, "We're generally with our ladies anyway."

"Might as well, since we're occasionally doing the job," Roy chuckled.

"Okay, we still need ten more volunteers," Prez smiled. "According to Alden, we already have a special circumstance brewing at Ewa Beach dormitory one. There are now six dorm one leaders, but four are in the shorter halls, leaving Horacio and Sonia with larger halls and more kids. Now, I know there are other straight couples living in dorm one. We need another guy and another girl, preferably already in the longer hallways." Standing with his girlfriend, Cassie Cornwell, Hank Leve loudly said, "I'm right across the hall from Horacio, but Cassie is upstairs with Helena, in the short hall. Will that work, Prez?"

Prez smiled, "It could, if Cassie and Helena would be willing to find someone to swap rooms with. It's important, so that little kids or sick kids aren't searching for help when they need it. Alden could help transport stuff, so you're not actually moving all your belongings, but just changing rooms."

Looking down the row, Cassie asked Helena, "What do you think?"

Without standing, Helena shrugged, and then giggled, "All the rooms are almost the same anyway. That's fine."

Facing the stage and Prez, Cassie shouted, "We'll get it worked out, Prez."

"Excellent!" Prez cheered, and then prompted, "Come take seats with your team mates. While we're at it, Alden, let's get signs made and posted, so it's obvious which rooms have dorm leaders." Prez paused to listen to Alden in his sub-vocal, then said, "We only need two dudes for the long hall of Ewa Beach dorm two." When there was silence and little activity from the guys, Prez sniggered, "Come on, dudes! Need I remind you that there's a beach house on Kaho'olawe you'll get to visit now and then?"

Abruptly, eight teenagers from that hallway stood at once. The audience, the dorm leaders already seated and the Core Rimmers cracked up.

"Okay," Prez chuckled, "Christian, you're in the kitchen almost every day. I hate to tell you, but none of you are here to work; you're here to learn and be a kid. It wouldn't be good for you to work two odd jobs, one of which is practically round the clock." When Christian and his roommate, Daryl sat down, Prez said, "Another reminder is that there are lots of odd jobs that stronger teenagers are qualified for, most importantly is running movie projectors here and at Ewa Beach. Our youngest kids would love to see movies more often."

"YEAH!" Almost two hundred little kids loudly agreed.

Sniggering, Kelly Littlepage hollered, "We'll need someone to show us how to load and run the projectors, Prez." Kelly and his roommate, Hugh Gartrell sat down. 

Prez replied, "If we don't get around to it tomorrow, then definitely Friday night." Christian and Daryl started chatting with Kelly and Hugh. Between the four of them, they could run projectors at both bases. Prez then prompted, "Darren, Lance, Cody and Dominic come down here. All four of you are capable and could excel at the job. Alden, get Horacio a coin and we'll flip for it, like a football game." 

Soon, the four named boys were gathered around Horacio, who showed them that it was a real coin, with two different sides, a head and a tail. While that was going on, Prez said, "Ewa Beach dorm three, we need two guys for the long hall."

Raising their hands, level one orphanage rescues, Terrance Parkinson and Mike Busse shouted, "Here, Prez."

"Good job, dudes," Prez smiled. "Come sit with your teammates." Terrance and Mike came out of the audience seconds before Cody and Dominic started up the aisle to return to their seats. Prez announced, "Darren DeVault and Lance Elling are dorm leaders for the long hall of dorm two. Moving on to Oneula Beach dorm one, Carter and Doug have the long hall, so we need two more guys for the short hall, and two girls for the long hall upstairs." Quickly, Lee Bennett and Carlos Burns stood and came down the aisle. Owen could barely believe two of his ex-roommates had volunteered. With a little encouragement from the girls nearby, Catherine Montgomery and Jeanette Craig came down the opposite aisle. Seeing their orphanage sisters, Neil and Tad began applauding, and told the other Core Rimmers who the two girls were.

"And two dudes for Oneula Beach dorm two?" Prez announced. Six teenage boys sitting close together in two rows began chattering. Other nearby younger boys shouted their thoughts. About a minute later, Darrell Sparks and Virgil Austin stood. Prez introduced them to the audience as they came down the aisle.

"Now we're set with fully staffed leadership teams," Prez proudly beamed. "When the newbies show over the weekend, we'll add some more Core Rimmers and dorm leaders as soon as possible." The audience again applauded. Prez smiled, "Now let's hear suggestions from the adults."

Standing up, Jen Hundser loudly said, "FYS has been making plans." 

Prez said, "So you don't have to yell, come up and use a microphone, mom. Any other adults with ideas can come up here too." Prez put the microphone back in its stand then stepped back to join the rest of the Core Rimmer team.

During the relatively quiet moments it took Jen Hundser to make it down the aisle and to the stage, from way up near the auditorium's ceiling, singing was heard. "Someone's a rockin' my dreamboat, someone's invading my dreams. I was sailing along, peaceful and calm, suddenly something went wrong." Swooshing down to the seated audience, Davie Owens caused gasping and screaming from kids and adults alike.

Dillon and Jonah howled laughing, "Davie!" 

"We told you there were angels in the family!" Dillon giggled.

Jonah laughed, "You're takin' lessons from the seagulls now?"

"Dem birds are stooopit!" Davie sniggered, and paused to hover over Dillon and Jonah. Facing the stage, where all the Core Rimmers except Reyes and Ryan hung their jaws to the floor, Davie explained, "I've been watching quietly, making sure everything goes according to plan." Up on stage and clasping his hands, Matt Thornton softly prayed. Davie giggled, "Mathew, it's really happening, just like the last day has really happened. Patience earned you the boyfriend and partner of your dreams, and a leadership role you only prayed might happen, so be patient now, okay?" Speechless, Matt rapidly nodded. Davie giggled, "Sorry for the interruption. I'll watch and wait," and then faded away.

Arriving at the stage, Jen adjusted the mic in the stand, and then said, "What I have to say will be anti-climatic after an angel. We're making arrangements to interface with the community. The first of many opportunities is to have some of our parents talk with the parents of gay, lesbian and transgendered children. One of the saddest situations is when parents believe that they have brought children into this world to be what they, the parents desire. That's only the first of the planned interfaces, but there are others we're still discussing. 

"Also, we'd like to present opportunities for the community to interface with us. What we're hoping for are community volunteers to teach our kids. Jason Taylor would likely become a leader for those men who would like to coach sports, like football, basketball and tennis. Jeremiah Thornton and Roy Combs have expressed interest in joining Jason for our new athletics department."

Troy stood, calling, "Aunt Jen?" He went to stand beside her and offered, "We'll get some places built in the Morale section of our web site, so anyone interested in sports can sign up. That data can be made available to the coaches, so we can start building teams." Finished for the moment, he returned to his chair. Toy Rimmers softly chatted about building the suggested interface.

Jen continued, "Several of the women have suggested getting arts and crafts classes set up for our younger children. Dance classes are something boys and girls can participate in together. Hula dance lessons are another opportunity we could check into. Perhaps some of our young men would like to learn Hawaiian Fire Dancing. Anything that any of you are interested in, simply let Alden know, he'll organize the data and make it available to FYS. Let me remind you that there are very few activities that need be strictly separated by sex. I know that both of our male doctors relax with needlepoint, crocheting and knitting, because it keeps their surgical skills fresh. 

"Of course, all the volunteers coming on base would be scanned just as all employees have been. Every child here will always feel safe on our bases, and our volunteers won't have free run of the grounds; they will have FYS representatives with them at all times. Similarly, when our adults go off base for meetings in the community, our security and as much extra security as needed will be present. Our primary goal is to prove to our communities that Clan Short ideals are worth their time, consideration, and volunteer efforts.

"Since what FYS does is dependent upon what our children are interested in, that's all I have for now," Jen finished. "Please let Alden know if any specific activities interest you."

Standing up and going to the microphone, Troy said, "We'll get an online suggestion box set up, on the Morale section of our web site too, Aunt Jen. That way, anyone that has an idea can share it privately." He returned to his seat, and then Prez stood up.

Standing up, Craig Nash loudly said, "I've had a brief chat with Jason Taylor about getting soccer teams organized. We're thinking for three age groups; five- to nine-year-olds, ten- to twelve-year-olds, and thirteen and up. Depending upon how many sign up, we'll adjust accordingly."

Jen and Prez met in the middle of the stage. Only the other Core Rimmers heard Jen tell Prez, "Last night around nine-thirty, Alden told us that he was very disappointed, because he couldn't play in the second water blaster war." Many of the Core Rimmers softly chortled. Jen told Prez, "I have another son pending that I'm looking forward to seeing and holding. Make it happen tomorrow, Preston. Your father and I will want to be there too. Of course, given Alden's natural abilities, he'll want to be a leader, as soon as he has a boyfriend."

Obediently nodding, Prez admitted, "Alden hadn't told me that he had been accepted by a family."

"He asked and we answered early this morning," Jen grinned. "He wanted me to share the news."

Turning to Drew and Corey, Prez checked, "Can that happen tomorrow?"

Pointing at his sub-vocal, Drew chuckled, "As soon as the decision was made, Alden and Stevie told Marc, Danny, Caleb and Noah. Once we finish at Blank Children's Hospital tomorrow, we can complete the process tomorrow afternoon."

"Tomorrow's lunch time is booked," Prez smiled.

"It won't take too long, Prez," Drew said. "A couple of minutes to transfer data and memories, then jump start his heart. It'll take far longer to make sure he's okay and then start the dunks." All thirty-eight Core Rimmers evilly snickered and some rubbed their hands in anticipation. Across Core Rimmer comm-badges, Alden cracked up.

Jen went to the stage stairs and returned to the audience. Prez returned to center stage and raised the microphone stand, beaming, "With thirty-eight Core Rimmers and twenty-seven dorm leaders, we're now at a six-to-one ratio. Tomorrow morning, there will be plenty of leadership around. I'd like to make one other change that I feel is important. Occasionally, communications need to be private or silent. Alden, get all the new Core Rimmers and all the dorm leaders PADDs and sub-vocals... please, little brother?"

Over Prez's comm-badge and picked up by the microphone, everyone heard Alden insanely giggling. On the laps of the new Core Rimmers and all the dorm leaders appeared PADDs and sub-vocals. Prez grinned, "You'd better stop calling me 'boss' immediately, Alden. Every slip is another dunk, and another hour with Grandma Morrison."

"EEK!" Alden squealed. Out in the audience, the entire Taylor family roared laughing.

Skylar and Bruce called, "Hey, Prez?"

Turning to his little brother and divisional Mikyvis, Prez saw them waving him closer. Prez went to them, and Skylar giggled, "The whole auditorium is a time bubble. When everyone leaves, they'll see only a minute or so has passed."

Bruce smiled, "Now you, all the Core Rimmers, and all the dorm leaders need to go to Archnania." He helplessly giggled, "You were there soon after me and Sky arrived, and we'll be there still, even though we're here now, but that's the way it goes. It's a team building meeting with everyone, and then some rehearsals, and then you can get your concert tour started." Rapidly blinking, Prez couldn't believe his young foster brother had just spoke in a time loop, like it was no big deal.

"It was all your idea!" Skylar laughed, "We just happened to already be there."

Sadly shaking his head, Prez smirked, "I love having my thoughts regurgitated back to me before I ever say a word to anyone." Bruce and Skylar cracked up and remained laughing while Prez told the Core Rimmers and dorm leaders to hang back for their first meeting. He then told the rest of the audience, "Y'all can go enjoy the rest of your night, and reset your watches. All our sons and their boyfriends, please hang here with us."

Among the Core Rimmer sons, Dee was bringing Corbin Reid up to the stage. After returning the microphone to the stand, Prez turned to the large group seated and grinned. Derrick, Mike and Keith softly sniggered. Bruce, Sean, Corey and Stephen began giggling. All the newest Core Rimmers glanced up and down the row, wondering what was so funny. Prez chuckled, "I really thought it would take much longer than eleven days to grow the Core team this large."

Bruce, Skylar, Keith, Derrick, Mike, Drew, Corey, John and Stephen went to stand with Prez. Keith whispered to Prez, "If you're thinking of getting the concert tour started too, then let's invite KC, Fred, Joey and Jerry." With a confirming kiss, Keith called for the latter four to come to the stage.

John asked Prez, "Since Robbie Taylor is coming with us, would it be okay if his three brothers and their boyfriends come too?" He then quickly explained, "I could get Intel training done with the quadruple Rs."

"Sure, that works, bro," Prez replied, and then waved the dorm leaders up onto the stage, grinning, "You guys and gals are coming with us for a team building session." Being part of the leadership team, Lindsay Gibbons ran down the aisle to join everyone else on stage. Out in the audience, Ralphie, Pat, Ronnie, Garrett, Richie and Theo turned around and raced down the aisle to the stage.

Reappearing above the audience seats, Davie announced in a booming voice, "Alec and Brad Triggs, Chauncey Eckhart, Rikko, Cameron Combs, Kade and Karey Oldcambus, Tanner and Toby Stoeher, you're invited along too."

Turning to the hovering angel, Prez chuckled, "Are we leaving anyone here?"

"Plenty, for now," Davie giggled.

Prez playfully wondered, "Dare I ask?"

Davie laughed, "Providence?"

Tapping Prez on the arm, John giggled, "Partially to keep brothers together, and partially so I can train additions to my Intel team."

Tapping his nose, indicating John was on target, Davie giggled, and with a bright flash of light, disappeared. Jonah uncontrollably laughed, "What a ham!"

The dorm leadership group stood and began climbing onto the stage. Prez explained, "For you newbies that haven't already figured it out, most of what I do as Head Rimmer is allocate resources. I can't possibly do everything for every kid, which is why this Clan needs each and every one of you. It'll seem like we're gone for a long while..." Bruce and Skylar broke into giggles, interrupting Prez and getting everyone's attention. Prez helplessly chuckled, "But we'll be returning here tonight."

A lot of chatter erupted, wondering what each of them would need to pack and bring along. The Core Rimmers who had been to Archnania before assured them that they wouldn't need to pack a thing, telling them that everything needed would be supplied by the Archnanians. Skylar giggled, "They made my bro, Dylan royalty, which indirectly makes all of you the family of royalty."

Popping onto the stage, Dylan cutely smiled, "Just call me Prince Dylan while we're there."

Skylar laughed, "They do not have to call you Prince!" Wide-eyed, Bruce scampered away from Skylar. In a blink, the two Mikyvis were wrestling and rolling around the stage, occasionally phasing out and back in again.

Stopping near Prez and Keith, Bruce giggled, "I got caught in one of their wrestling matches once before, and will never let it happen again!"

Keith chuckled, "It was that scary?"

Shrugging, Bruce smiled, "Not what they do to each other, but just the places they're phasing to is plenty."

Mike asked his little sister, "What're you doin'?"

Knowing it would annoy her big brother, Lindsay grinned and reminded, "Prez made me a leader too. This is a leadership meeting."

"It's a leadership meeting that's going off planet," Mike growled. "You're staying here."

Firmly planting her feet and wrapping her arms around her chest, Lindsay stubbornly insisted, "I'm going!"

Trying to avoid the wrestling Mikyvis, Drew went to his little brother, saying, "Bruce, the last time we were there, it was all dudes, except for Janice Hernandez."

Bruce offered, "They'll know enough to supply everything the girls need too. Like your last visit, they'll arrange for whatever you need. Girls who don't have boyfriends can have separate bedrooms. It'll be the same for unattached straight guys. Straight couples can have another room, and the little guys will have their own room too." Glancing around the large group, Bruce assured, "You'll all have great times, and get to see a couple of concerts too. Don't worry about anything, it'll be fun."

Prez, Keith, Corey, Drew, John, Stephen and Derrick surrounded Mike and Lindsay, who were still arguing, until the latter two noticed they were encircled. At the pause in sibling rivalry, Prez locked eyes with Mike and sighed, "She's got to come too, bro. I made Lindsay part of the leadership team, mostly because she proved her value, without any of us dudes knowing about it, and besides, I promised." Gesturing over his shoulder, Prez shared, "If I break this promise, then there's another bunch of female dorm leaders who won't trust me."

Noticing all the female dorm leaders were paying close attention to the disagreement, Mike grumbled, "I'm not going to play big brother, watching her every day."

John grinned, "You won't have to," and tapped his forehead, reminding, "There's always a spare room for my best friend."

Stephen giggled, "Phenomenal cosmic powers."

Dee, Richie, Bruce and Geoff loudly laughed, "In a cute itty bitty body." John cheekily grinned. Almost all the other teens and tweens gathered on the stage cracked up. Most pleased, all the female dorm leaders applauded. 

Abruptly, Skylar returned to Bruce's side and reached for his hand. Dylan appeared in the center of the group, calmly asking, "Is everybody ready?"

Although most were uncertain, they answered that they were ready. Prez checked, "What about Time Touched, Dylan? As far as I know, about half the band is scattered around, and doing Lord knows what."

Dylan grinned, "You're thinking linear time, Prez. Care to rephrase the question?"

"Never mind," Prez sniggered. "Will they have knotted spaghetti and meatballs?" 

"We'll ask," Dylan giggled, and teleported the entire group of over a hundred to Archnania.

About ten-seconds later, while Bruce and Skylar watched from their chairs, the entire group of Core Rimmers and dorm leaders returned. There were some apparent visible changes, primarily clothes and hair length, because they had been gone about a month. Also, some new partnerships had been forged; Helena and Lance Elling were holding hands, as were Darren and Adrienne, and Lee Bennet and Bianca, and Darrel and Virgil, and Dee and Corbin. Surprising even those that had watched it happen, Mike Busse and his roommate Terrance Parkinson were a couple. Obviously, they were a newer couple, in a tight embrace and passionately kissing upon arrival. Also evident were the friendships between Angelo, Reggie, Tony, Ray, Kassidy and Matt. Similarly, Corey, Drew, John, Stephen, Phil, Owen, Nathan and Brice had become much closer, and so had Chris, Jay, Travis, Erik, Lance, Scott, Troy and Sean. Lastly, each Core Rimmer and many of their sons now had phasenmorphs on their wrists.

Due to a few rescues that had occurred while they were away, Erik and Travis were fathers of eleven-year-old Syd, and Syd's ten-year-old brother, Drake. Scott and Lance were fathers of ten-year-old twins named Grant and Krane. Chatting up a storm, the larger group split in half and headed for the stage steps. Eager to return to their dorm rooms and move into townhouses with their sons, Erik, Travis, Grant, Krane, Syd, Drake, Scott and Lance led the pack out of the auditorium.

Waiting outside the auditorium for the Core Rimmers was a small group of little boys. Five-year-old Colin Townsend and seven-year-old Christian Cole immediately went to Neil and Tad, begging to be adopted. All were from the Woodlake orphanage. Neil and Tad expected to be hijacked, but not quite so fast. 

Likewise, six-year-olds Don Lien and Rusty Ogburn, and seven-year-old Jacob Bartholomew ran to Chris and Jay, already calling Chris 'daddy', and Jay 'poppa'. Hysterical Core Rimmers roared laughing. At that time, Corbin acted upon his thoughts, and asked Chris and Jay to adopt him too. Thrilled to the core, Don, Rusty and Jacob surrounded Corbin and held on tightly.

With happy tears pooling in his eyes, Corbin glanced around the three little guys, carefully asking, "You guys want me as your big brother?"

Don and Russ rapidly nodded. Jacob smiled up, explaining, "You want daddy and poppa, so we got the most important thing already. I ain't too much older than Russ or Don, so I can't really be the big brother."

Having spent a month with Corbin, and knowing very well what kinds of horrors the eleven-year-old lived through, Jay asked, "What do you say, Corbin; are you ready to be a big brother?"

Uncertainly, Corbin scanned his group of friends, and saw the quadruple Rs, Billy, Jonah, Sammy and Dee nodding their heads. Wiping the tears from his eyes, Corbin widely smiled, "I'll try my very best."

Chris smiled, "No one could ask for more, Corbin."

Giggling Rimmer sons greeted their new cousins. Pausing his family, Prez set up his tricorder for more adoptions. There and then, outside the Oneula Beach auditorium, the entire group stopped to witness the first of what was sure to be many more adoptions.

With the congratulations slowing down, Prez chuckled, "Okay, we have some housing issues that need to be resolved."

"There are three free townhouses here, and only one free at Ewa Beach," Keith reminded.

"But there are condo apartments available," Troy interjected. Focusing on Eric, Lance, Scott and Travis, he revealed, "The top three floors of Condo A are available. They're five bedrooms and four bathrooms, occupying the entire floor, so they're huge."

Derrick reminded, "My dad has plans drawn up for Core Rimmer housing, large enough for two couples and all their sons. Until those homes are built, we'll rely on condos. Barring rain, the new condos here will be ready for occupancy tomorrow."

Travis offered, "Erik, Lance, Scott and our boys can move into a five bedroom condo. Right off the bat, we've occupied four of the five rooms. Neil and Tad can take a townhouse here. Chris and Jay can move into a townhouse at Ewa Beach. Is everybody kewl with that plan?" The sons were the first to loudly agree. Their smiling dads also agreed.

Keanu grinned, "Expect more adoptions tomorrow. Liki and I will make the rounds through our dorm tonight and see if we can start our family."

Clasping his hands together, Matt looked up at the night sky, chuckling, "Dear Lord, please give me and Kass a few more days as a couple before starting a family. I've gotta get dad used to the fact that I'm married, before dumping kids on his lap that call him grandpa." Familiar with a month's worth of Matt's prayers, Angelo and Reggie uncontrollably cracked up.

"Is that days human time or Mikyvis time?" Skylar giggled.

Angelo and Reggie began sniggering, and then recited, "We're sorry, the deity you have called is unable to answer at this time."

Wrapping an arm around Skylar's waist, Bruce grinned, "Hey Sky, in Mikyvis time, it's been a week since he asked that, ain't it?"

Focusing on Kassidy and Matt, Jay smirked, "You guys hooked up before we left, and we were gone for how long? Request denied!"

Softly chortling, Reyes and Ryan tried to slink away from the larger group unnoticed, but Jonah, Gage, Randy and Dillon caught and surrounded them. Turning to Derrick, Mike sniggered, "Which kids are old enough for a fifty-six year-old android and his partner?"

"DADDY!" Darren DeVault and Lance Elling loudly laughed.

More laughter erupted and the group began to wander off in various directions. Some went to their local dormitories and another pack went toward the dining room dimensional doors and Ewa Beach. 

Little Colin looked up at Neil, softly commenting, "You look diff'rent, daddy."

"We were at a place where we could get healthier faster," Neil told his new son.

Tad told Christian and Colin, "The next time we go there, you guys are coming with us, so you can get healthier too."

Widely smiling at the memory, Neil shared, "We climbed trees while we were gone. The tree limbs actually moved to help us climb."

Both boys began giggling. As far as Colin and Christian were concerned, Neil and Tad hadn't gone anywhere, and had stepped out of the auditorium only a few minutes after they had. Christian loudly giggled, "Is it time for goofy bedtime stories, already?"

"I ain't tired yet," Colin whined through giggles.

Leaning over, Neil picked up Colin, saying, "First, we're going to move out of the dorm and into our new home. By the time we're settled there, we'll have a little time together to watch TV, and then its bath time."

Colin asked, "Do we gets to take baths with you and poppa?"

Rapidly nodding, Christian told Tad, "That's what we're 'upposed to do. Richie, Dillon, Geoffy, Scott and Jimmy says we have to, or we won't be a real family."

"Yep!" Colin cheered. "And we knows all about dicks and spermies too." He paused and then asked Neil, "Are you makin' spermies with poppa?" Watching Neil's face flush scarlet, Tad howled laughing.

Neil wondered, "When did you have this spermies chat?"

"Some in the store when we got here," Colin answered.

Christian nodded and grinned, "And more at the playgrounds."

Neil chuckled, "Me and Poppa got married while we were gone, so yeah, we make lots of spermies for each other every day."

Tad shared, "We're going to have a Vulcan bonding as soon as we can, so you two can see that we're very much in love. You guys can bathe with me and daddy, only if you promise to be real careful with our dicks."

Stopping short and causing the entire family to pause, Christian impatiently huffed, "We told you, we know. If your dicks get really big, then we stop washing right away, 'cause only daddies and poppas share spermies, and we can't make none yet. I'm thinkin' of findin' my own boyfrien' too, ya know? I don't want no other spermies but my boyfriend's, when we're way older and can make some."

"Yeah!" Colin forcefully emphasized all his new brother had said. Both fifteen-year-olds rapidly blinked, trying to process the fact that they were 'way older'.

Picking up Christian, Tad smiled, "Very kewl, dudes. We'll bathe together in our new house, and then we're all going to sleep in a really big bed together, two sons on one side and a daddy and a poppa on the other side. That'll help make us a real family."

Both little guys cheered, "SWEET!" The new family walked toward dormitory one.

Having heard all of what Colin, Christian, Neil and Tad were saying, but splitting off into the Oneula Beach dining room, Jay and Chris checked with their younger three sons to see how much they knew. Heading for the dimensional doors, Jacob giggled, "Yep, we know all that too. There's only one part we don't un'erstand too much."

Chris blinked, "Which part; being in love?"

"That's the easy part," Don giggled.

Nodding agreement, Rusty pointed out Don and Jacob, smiling, "We was best friends, and wanted you for daddies, so we could be real brothers, which is sort o' like love, but not like daddies and poppas love, b'cos we don't kiss and mess with our willies. We hugs all'a time, and like when Donnie had a bad dream, me and Jake helped." 

Jacob scowled, "We heard you, and Lance and Scott, in your dorm rooms. At first there's lots of laughing and giggling, but then it gets really quiet, and then it gets really loud again, but it sounds like makin' spermies hurts. Does it hurt really bad?"

"It doesn't hurt at all," Chris sniggered, "it feels really good, like being tickled."

Processing the boys' definition of love and what they thought sex was, Jay smiled, "We moan and groan because we love each other that much, guys. The part where we're really quiet is partly because we're kissing. Also, you can't hear what we're whispering to each other between kisses. Once we move into our house, you'll hear more, and then you'll know that it never hurts. Showing how much you love someone is really the best feeling in the world."

Chris checked with Corbin, who still had Dee's hand in his. Corbin shrugged, "You know I... but that wasn't love. I watched you two, and all the Core Rimmer couples together, but I guess I'm not much smarter about this than my little brothers. It scares me a lot, ya know?"

Proudly beaming, Jay smiled at Corbin, and then glanced over at Dee, asking, "Could you let go of Corbin for a minute, please?"

Knowing that Jay had the same expression he had seen on his fathers' faces, Dee giggled, "Sure," and quickly told Corbin, "just for a minute."

Once Corbin was released, Jay paused the family. All the others heading to Ewa Beach walked around and past them. Locking eyes with Corbin, Jay smiled, "That was the perfect answer for two new dads, and more importantly, for three little brothers to hear. We're going to have a great family based completely on honesty and trust. It's sometimes really hard to be honest, but with a little trust, you know it will get better. Do you trust me and dad to show you real fatherly love?"

"Yeah," Corbin quickly answered, "I really do. I wanna believe love is good."

Kneeling down, Jay prompted, "Climb aboard for a shoulder ride."

Shocked and shivering, Corbin squealed, "Really?"

"Really," Jay replied, and leaned forward, with his neck and head low enough for Corbin. Giggling insanely, Dee helped Corbin get in position and step back. Jay's head popped between Corbin's legs, and he offered his eldest son both hands to hold. Then he stood and Corbin gasped and broke into giggles. Chris, Don, Russ and Jacob helplessly laughed. 

Looking up at Jay, his new poppa, Jacob asked, "Would it be okay if we all slept together tonight? We need to see and know it's because you're so happy."

Chris checked with Jay and got a slight nod. Chris then told the boys, "You have to be real quiet, okay guys? We've been around other teenagers making love, but never young boys, and we're new fathers, and you're new sons too."

"We understand how confusing it must be," Jay calmly answered. "You can sleep with us any time any of you need to, but just this one time you can watch us make spermies, because that's very important for our sons to understand. Then you can be sure we're in love and will love each of you as our sons. It matters that you remember what you've seen us doing alone and naked, and then watch us when we're together and dressed, no matter where that might be and who we're with. All those different scenes are the same to me and daddy, because we're in love."

Wide-eyed, Rusty asked, "Like right now, you're dressed, but still in love?"

"Absolutely right now too," Chris emphatically assured all four boys. "Right now, we're becoming daddies, showing our sons that they're so special that we'll answer all your questions, even one's that are embarrassing."

"Kewl, daddy," all three boys chorused.

Looking up at Corbin, Chris said, "You can watch too."

Don looked way up at Corbin, wondering, "Why don' ya wanna see too?"

For his new son sitting on his shoulders, Jay answered, "Corbin's seen spermies, but from a bad man that didn't know anything about real love. Grown men can make spermies any time, but when there's no love there, it's just a mess to be cleaned up." Carefully looking up, Jay smiled, "If you want to watch, it'll be kewl, so you can see what love is really like."

Shrugging, Corbin said, "Maybe I will, or maybe I won't want to."

Chris promised, "Whatever you decide, we'll understand." A moment later, Chris had Don in his arms and planted against his left hip. He ordered the dimensional door, "Ewa Beach," and felt Russ taking hold of his right hand. 

Following the two new families were Matt, Kassidy, Angelo, Reggie, Tony, Ray, Keanu, Liki, Stephen Wickes and Aaron Farris, none of which had sons. Although each couple had been in rooms with other gay couples, and all had been seen making love, the realization that young sons might want to witness them having sex had them mutely processing for quite a few minutes. The eight teenagers were silent until they had split off and were away from the little guys. Pausing in the quad, they weren't too sure what to say or how to begin, but small grins began forming.

Tony was the first to offer, "A month ago, I wouldn't have considered making love with Ray unless we were completely alone."

"Liki and I were sexually abused orphans, but that seems like a lifetime ago," Keanu smirked.

Nodding, Liki explained, "There were other little boys and little girls around that saw us with chubbies and bones."

Aaron sniggered, "Making love as a demonstration for boys that are our sons seems pretty impossible."

"Put yourself in the mindset of a kid," Matt instructed. "Especially now, after all that time at Archnania. What those kids said they heard, and how confused they are makes perfect sense."

Stephen giggled, "They're right on target; we start noisy and silly, get quiet for a while, and then finish loud, like we're in pain."

Angelo chortled, "How do you explain to a little kid what having an orgasm is like?"

Reggie smirked, "What's most frightening is that our little kids know so much. With all we've learned from the Archnanians, and from each other, I can honestly say that I'm a little conflicted."

Keanu nodded and admitted, "Just a few minutes ago, I was considering marching into the dorm, ready to act like a father for any kid under eleven-years-old. Suddenly, I'm far less sure of myself." The other seven teenagers softly agreed.

After another few silent moments, Matt sighed, "Okay guys, lets look at where we were at a month ago, and how we've learned to be. We all knew what an orgasm was, and what other guys could do together, but we always kept it private. By Archnanian standards, we're still like those boys; preferring to be separated by sex and sexuality. Sharing bedrooms together, we've learned it's all natural. That's where the little guys are at, it's all natural and kewl, except that little bit of time when we're getting loud again. They don't understand precisely what they can't possibly understand. We can all teach kids, and protect kids too. It's a balancing act, sure, I agree, but we can do it."

"There is something positive to be said when we're all together in a room making love," Kassidy reminded.

"Oh my God," Reggie droned. Remembering some of the post-orgasm remarks made, and others received at Archnania, Angelo began giggling. Soon, the remaining teenagers were laughing.

Taking Stephen's hand, Aaron laughed, "Let's make some spermies and then we can find sons."

"Sounds like a plan!" Keanu and Liki cheerfully acknowledged. Since all four lived in dorm one, the race for their rooms immediately began.

Turning to Tony, Ray, Angelo and Reggie, Matt chuckled, "We've gotta tell my dad that we're married."

"I want some alone time with Ray," Tony easily shared. "We'll get together again after."

Backing away from Tony, Ray giggled, "I told you, I don't need anyone else's encouragements, just your grunts." Ray took off for dorm three, with Tony grunting up a storm and only a pace behind him.

Nodding, Angelo giggled, "We'll leave our door unlocked and the other bed clear."

"See y'all in a little bit," Kassidy sniggered. Matt and Kassidy started walking toward condominium B. Goosed by Reggie, Angelo cracked up and tore for dorm three.

Columbia, SC

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 11:32PM EST

Beginning to wake, Paul remembered where he was. Thankfully, a small night light was on in the loft. It wasn't much, but it allowed Paul to look around. The space seemed small earlier that day when four adults were present and showing him around. Now, the mostly dark room seemed huge. Sitting up, Paul saw the shadows of the TV stand, the sofa and the coffee table. He could barely make out the small kitchenette area. This was his place, his home, his lucky break. A shiver of excitement raced up his spine. A little paint was all this loft needed, and he could do that in about a week. And then he saw the bathroom door, and remembered that he hadn't relieved himself since breakfast. When he turned to get out of bed, he discovered that his full bladder firmly objected to this maneuver. Like a human of advanced years, Paul managed to almost stand upright and waddled towards the relief, loosening the button on his jeans and lowering his fly. Sitting on the cold toilet was another shock. For a brief moment, Paul wondered if everything inside him, including necessary organs, had escaped into the splashing water.

When the mass evacuation seemed to reach its end, Paul finished his business in the bathroom, pulled up his drawers and began feeling around the wall by the door for a light switch. Finding an old fashioned switch, he flipped it on. Briefly blinded by the bright light, Paul blinked and turned to the sink. He ran the water and looked into the mirror. "I'm home," he softly told himself with a grin, and cleaned up. There was a hand towel hanging nearby too, so he washed his face. When he finished drying off, he reached for the right edge of the mirror and discovered it was a simple medicine cabinet. He even had a place for his toothbrush and toothpaste. "This place is gonna be awesome!" Paul cheered, and returned the hand towel to the bar.

Walking out of the bathroom, he sighed, "It'll be even more awesome if there's some food stashed in here." Again, by the bathroom light, Paul searched for light switches. On the wall near the entryway door Paul found one switch that turned on a fluorescent light in the ceiling above the kitchenette. It lit almost half the loft. Returning to the bathroom, Paul reached in and flipped off that light. He then went to the kitchen and searched the cupboards. He found a few cans of soup, a box of saltine crackers, and even an unopened bag of chocolate chip cookies. In the small refrigerator, Paul found milk, orange juice, a six pack of Coke, a package of bologna, a small loaf of bread, mayonnaise and mustard. "Damn!" Paul giggled, "It sure ain't one of Mary's smorgasbords, but soup and sandwiches works just fine. I'll have to remember to thank the Harts in the morning."

Soon, Paul had found large bowls, a hand operated can opener and began making his late dinner. While the soup heated in the microwave, Paul made two bologna sandwiches. Deciding to eat in front of the TV, Paul grabbed a can of Coke and the plate of sandwiches to take to his living room, and again broke into soft giggles. He put his food and beverage down on the coffee table, then picked up the remote and turned on the television. The microwave beeped, telling him that his soup was ready when he was. With a sandwich in one hand and the remote in the other, Paul ate and channel surfed the local broadcast channels.

There wasn't much to choose from late at night, so he decided to catch up on the news for a little while, to see if the truck driver was telling the truth. During a commercial break, Paul glanced around his new digs. He decided that the furniture needed some reorganizing. There was a pole lamp with three lights in the corner near the sofa he was sitting on, but only a few yards away was the night stand, lamp and clock radio. That night stand needed to move to the far corner, away from the pole lamp. At some point, once the painting was done, he could get something to hang from the ceiling that would separate his 'bedroom' area from the rest of the space. There needed to be something between the entryway door and the bed, but it would be better if he could arrange stuff so that he could see the TV from bed. 

Regular programming continued. Finished with both sandwiches, Paul took the plate to his kitchen, got the crackers from the cupboard and brought them to the coffee table. He went back to get his bowl of soup and sat down to finish his meal. Local, national and world news seemed to agree with truck driver Dan's assessment of affairs post-Battle Of Earth; the rebuilding had begun in Washington, New York City and Los Angeles. The world was pulling together and getting help from our allies in the Federation of Planets.

With his fill of news, Paul flipped to a different channel. He landed on a local talk show. A middle aged couple were speaking of their departed son, who had been attending NYU in Manhattan and was a casualty of the riots there. The nineteen-year-old young man had found a small group of younger kids in a burning building. He broke in, rescued the kids and brought them to a nearby medical clinic. Wanting to find his girlfriend, he went back out to continue his search, but he didn't find her or make it. The couple being interviewed praised their son and Clan Short repeatedly, causing Paul to grumble and switch to a different channel.

Watching a music video program, Paul finished his soup. He brought the bowl to the kitchen and cleaned up after himself. The kitchenette of the loft had a window that looked out over the driveway and toward the street. Once the plate, bowl and silverware was clean, Paul roamed his loft, making plans for furniture rearrangements and the task of painting the walls. There were three windows, the front one by the kitchen, one across from it on the back wall, and one on the adjacent wall. The wall with the entry door didn't have a window.

It was approaching one in the morning, and Paul was wide awake. He decided to expend some energy and started rearranging the furniture. He knew that when the job was done, he would be tired and able to take a nap. That way he could be ready for breakfast with the Harts. The small sofa was the heaviest and therefore the first item moved. It had been on the wall where the door was, but Paul wanted it against the back wall. The bed was moved to the same wall, about four feet from the edge of the sofa. The night table was moved, and then the coffee table. Lastly, the television and its stand were moved, across from the sofa, but still viewable from the bed. Only the small dinette table and chairs didn't need to be moved. When it was time to start painting, it would be much easier to move stuff toward the center of the loft and complete one wall at a time. 

At 3:27 AM, Paul remade his bed properly and then laid down for a nap. The last thing Paul muttered to himself was; "I wish you were here, bro. This place is nice, and it's been so easy, but I miss you." He drifted off to sleep thinking of his brother, wondering if Ryan was happy in the ROH with Reyes. 

What Paul couldn't know was that Ryan and Reyes had been to Archnania and were gone a month. They were the only two unmarried Core Rimmers remaining of the thirty-eight that left.

Ewa Beach, Condominium A

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 7:27PM HTZ

Walking off the elevator at the tenth floor, Scott and Lance followed their clearly elated sons, Grant and Krane, through the double doors and into the massive penthouse apartment. The boys hadn't bothered to find the light switch, but scurried around by the light cascading in from the open door. Separating, Scott and Lance felt around the walls near the doors for light switches. Each had found six switches and flipped them on. The entire space of the main rooms was brightly lit. Scott blinked at the sight before him. Lance's jaw dropped. The twins loudly yelled, "YAAAA!" and began running around the expansive space.

Lance softly gasped, "Holy fucking hell!" To his right was a huge kitchen. Further away was a dining table for ten. The living room area was to his left, and before him were four columns and lots of empty space. Sliding glass doors to the balcony were between the kitchen and dining area, and another set were on the living room side. In the ceilings were six rows of recessed light fixtures. There were sconces on either side of the entryway door and across the room between the doors. Lance started flipping switches to see which switch controlled which sets of lights.

Insanely sniggering, Scott tapped his comm-badge, calling, "Alden, how big is this place?"

"The main area is two-thousand-one-hundred and fifty square feet," Alden answered. "The entire floor is just over three-thousand-seven-hundred and twelve square feet. It's a five bedroom and four bathroom apartment. The two largest bedrooms are to your left and right, and have private bathrooms. Before you are..."

"Bedroom!" Grant hollered from a doorway.

Opening the next door, Krane yelled, "Bathroom!" 

Alden giggled, "Three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. The middle bedroom is the smallest of the five." He then asked, "Is it not big enough?"

Watching his two sons check the other three doors many meters across from him, and not believing Alden's question could possibly be serious, Lance howled laughing. 

Scott chuckled, "For eight of us, its plenty big, Alden. We could add in another dozen guests and still have space."

"You've got the basics here already," Alden offered. "There are plates, glasses, silverware, pots, pans, towels, blankets, sheets, pillows and all the expected furnishings. All I need to know is what kind of food and drink you'd like."

"I'm completely blown away," Lance told Scott. Grant and Krane decided to go inside the final bedroom, which was nearest the dining area table.

Nodding agreement, Scott asked Alden, "What're the other Core Rimmers doing in their homes?"

Alden answered, "Since they all eat their main meals at the CIC, they've stuck to basic snacks and sandwich fixings. Keith and Prez have a little bit more, like eggs, bacon, butter, english muffins, and things for breakfasts."

Scott ordered, "Just get some basics for now, Alden. When Erik and Trav get here, we can all decide if there's anything else we'll need or want."

Alden giggled, "It'll be stocked in a minute, Scott. And watch out!"

Streaking twins came racing out of the bedroom directly for their fathers. Lance and Scott braced themselves for the pounces. In seconds, Lance had Krane off the floor and in his arms. With Grant in his arms, Scott chuckled, "Do you guys like your new home?"

The boys didn't answer with words, but with repeated multiple kisses and lots of giggling. Lance chortled, "We were thinking you two needed clothes from our store, but that seems unnecessary."

Krane giggled, "Without seeing our birthmarks, could you tell me from Grant?"

"At least half the time," Lance smiled, and then planted a kiss. 

Grant squinted and waited for Scott's reply to Krane's question. Adjusting the boy so he was seated on one arm, Scott tickled behind Grant's knee. Over the squealing laughter, Scott sniggered, "Yep, only Grant is ticklish there. I got it right."

"NO FAIR!" both ten-year-olds laughed. 

Lance's comm-badge chirped, and Erik called, "Lance?" 

Krane tapped it for his dad, and Lance replied, "Yeah, bro. Wassup?" He put Krane down on the floor. Scott put Grant down and took a few steps nearer to Lance. Playing their identical twin version of the shell game, Grant clung to Lance, and Krane wrapped his arms around Scott. Each of the twins adoringly smiled up at each father. Each father grinned down at the boys that were their sons.

"Sorry for the delay," Erik giggled. "Drake and Syd saw the diving well..."

"And then the pool," Travis chortled. "Naturally, they had to try them out."

Erik giggled, "Now we've got two damp, naked kids greeting everyone in every room. We just made it to your room."

Lance chuckled, "This place is huge, bro. We've got plenty of space for all our stuff, yours and Trav's, and stuff for all four of our boys, and we'd still have room to spare."

"I think this place will do nicely for quite a while," Scott added.

Halfway through Scott's statement, he, Lance and the twins heard the first "Umph!" and then a second grunt, followed by gales of laughter and giggling from Trav, Erik, Drake and Syd.

At the pause in communications, the twins glanced at each other. They stepped back from their dad and pop, and then started doing the goofy hip-swivel dance that they had seen several of the Rimmers doing at Archnania, in an attempt to make their boy-bits swing like their heroes. Lance went over to the satellite system, turned it on and gave his boys something to dance to. When Lance turned around again, Scott was also naked, with a son on each side, and all three were dancing. Lance howled laughing, and stripped off his clothes to join the family party.

Erik giggled, "Are you dudes ready over there?"

"Almost," Lance replied, and shimmied his butt toward one of the master bedrooms, with his partner and two sons following. Once the lights were on and the closet doors opened, Lance announced, "Ready for closet one transport."

"Closet one transported," Erik reported.

"Transport complete," Scott sniggered. Grant and Krane jumped up on the queen size bed and continued their dance on a 'stage'.

Watching two bare butts run out of the room and toward the common room, Travis laughed, "Closet two transported."

"Transport complete," Lance giggled, and jumped up on the bed to dance with his sons.

"Dresser one, drawers opened," Erik cackled. 

It took Scott a few extra seconds to open the many drawers of the large dresser and report back, "One dresser here and all drawers off... I mean, opened." Everyone on both sides of the comm-link howled laughing. Eventually, Scott sniggered, "Transport complete."

Everything came to a halt when Nazareth's 'Hair Of The Dog' began playing on the stereo, and all four in the condo apartment started singing. Up on the bed, Lance, Grant and Krane added air-guitar antics to their dancing. Scott cracked up.

Not knowing exactly what was going on that had Scott hysterical, Erik transported over to see for himself. Roaring his butt off, Erik returned to dorm three, and then Travis transported into the room. He shouted over the singing, "We're going into overdrive, so we can all get crazy." With a nod from Scott, Travis returned to dorm three. Erik had the dildos, lube and rubbers transported from one night table to the other at the condo. Moments later, two amplifiers, two electric guitar cases, and two acoustic guitar cases materialized on the floor of the closet. Lastly, Lance's and Scott's MacBook Pro laptops were transported to the room.

Stepping out of Lance's and Scott's emptied room with Drake's and Syd's clothes, Travis looked up and down the hall for his sons. Erik closed the door and cleared the lock, so the room could be cleaned and take new residents. "They're around here somewhere, Champ," Erik smiled, and led the way to their room. The TV in the common room was on, but no one was in there. The door to the Nash brothers' room was open, and there they found Drake, Syd, the Hiram twins, Phil and Owen. 

Waving Erik and Travis into the room, Phil sniggered, "The Stoeher twins are at the Seavers' tonight, bros. Since those two are considering a new family, the Hirams are too."

"Wouldn't Keanu and Liki like two Hawaiian sons?" Owen giggled.

Nodding, Erik chuckled, "They've talked more about having kids than any of us."

Tapping his comm-badge, Travis called, "Keanu, are you busy, bro?"

Provocatively, Keanu and Liki chorused, "Not yet."

The four younger boys began giggling. Travis sniggered, "Transport over here, dudes."

"We're still on our mission, checking out our dorm," Keanu truthfully replied.

Erik giggled, "Your mission is here, dudes."

Excitedly, Liki ordered, "Alden, transport us, please?" He and Keanu appeared just inside the doorway. 

Nudging both Hiram brothers, Syd ordered, "Tell 'em how it is."

Uncertainly, Anakoni softly admitted, "Our old parents didn't care what we did, if we ate, or even if we came home at night."

Nodding, Kapena smirked, "We might like having two dads, if they cared enough?"

With raised eyebrows, Keanu and Liki turned to each other, and then grinned and nodded. At dorm one, they had been concentrating on younger boys, in the five- to eight-year-old range. On several points, Anakoni and Kapena were perfect sons; the twins had been independent beyond their years out of necessity, and they were native Hawaiians. Squatting down to be closer to eye level with the twins, Keanu told the boys, "You must already know that everyone on this base cares about everyone else. We're going to try and make a real family. Since we're fathers for the first time, and you two are becoming sons for the first time, I think this is a good match. We can learn from each other."

Going to the twins and reaching both his hands out for them to take, Liki suggested, "Let's have a private talk, so we can all get better acquainted."

After each took one of Liki's hands, Anakoni and Kapena cheered, "Kewl!" 

Keanu tapped his sub-vocal, ordering, "Alden, take all four of us to our room at dorm one, dude." Keanu, Liki, Anakoni and Kapena vanished. Syd, Drake, Phil and Owen broke down in giggles. 

Glancing at Travis and Erik, Phil sniggered, "Your sons did that in under ten minutes." Drake and Syd cheekily smiled.

Covering his eyes, Erik cackled, "Turn down the halos! They're way too bright!"

Kneeling down, Travis sniggered, "Imagine what they'll be able to do with kids who aren't already in the Clan?" In no time, Syd was climbing up onto his pop's back. Lifting Drake, Erik planted a kiss on his youngest son's cheek and parked the boy on his hip. Locking eyes with Phil, Travis wondered, "Where's Craig?"

"With Felicity, being examples for the girls at Oneula Beach," Phil replied.

Owen giggled, "After a month away, everyone over there is going to wonder how they got even closer in only a few minutes."

Erik smiled, "We're going to finish our move."

Nodding, Phil offered, "You realize that if the Stoehers and the Hirams get adopted, half that hall will be empty."

"It'll get refilled," Travis assured.

Owen sighed, "With you two, Angelo and Reggie, Ray and Tony, and Kass and Matt eventually moving out too, this hall will be half empty." Catching the sadness in Owen's voice, Erik and Travis locked eyes with him. Owen shrugged, "It's been the most awesome week... half a week, really."

Wrapping his boyfriend in his arms, Phil suggested, "How about we stir up the masses for another cozy cuzzy fuzzy water blaster battle?"

"YEAH!" Syd and Drake enthusiastically yelled. Travis cracked up, and so did Owen and Phil.

Erik giggled, "We'll have to go clothes shopping tomorrow morning."

"Let's finish our move," Travis chuckled. He then told Phil and Owen, "Set the fuzzy time and place, and we'll be there."

"Kewl," Owen and Phil chanted. 

Travis and Erik carried their sons down the hall. Kassidy and Matt walked in the dorm from outdoors, obviously already finished talking with Jeremiah Thornton. They went directly to room twenty-six, opened the door and stepped inside. The door to Erik's and Travis' room was already open and Scott was standing naked in there, already getting the move accomplished. Seeing the family enter, Scott smiled, "You're almost completely moved. Grant, Krane and Lance are anxiously waiting, so go. I can finish this in no time flat."

Nodding and patting Scott on the back, Travis smiled, "Thanks, bro."

Erik called, "Alden, take us to our new home." In a heartbeat, Erik, Travis, Drake and Syd were standing in the center of their new flat. There were four columns in the large open space. Directly in front of them was a nice kitchen area and to the left was a dining table and chairs. Turning around, they saw the living room area.

Drake giggled, "Lemme down, dad." Syd repeated his brother's request, and soon the two brothers were scampering around the apartment. Grant and Krane ran out of a room and soon all four were investigating their new home.

Grinning, Travis told Erik, "I'll keep an eye on the whirlwinds."

"And I'll find Lance," Erik smiled. He stole a kiss from his hubby, and then went to the room that Grant and Krane came out of. Squatting down in front of the dresser, Lance was closing the drawers. Looking around his new bedroom, Erik giggled, "I should be used to seeing your bare butt by now."

As soon as the last drawer was closed, Lance bounced up and spun around. He said nothing, but pointed at his long dick flopping around. Over the course of a month away, just about everyone said something about it, and Reggie's, and Darren's. Only Stephen Marr's unit was never publicly commented on, but Lance, Reggie and Darren had all talked to Stephen privately. Sadly shaking his head, Erik giggled, "Our plan to take our boys to the store has already changed. They want to play in a water blaster battle here. Phil and Owen are getting it set."

Shrugging, Lance went to Erik, smiling, "It's not like the clothes they were wearing are getting dirty. We've got something else that needs to be set up here." Lance wrapped an arm around his best friend's shoulders and guided him out to the main room.

Erik giggled, "Our band, Choise Remedee. We've got a lot of work to do to catch up with Platinum Habits."

Out in the center of the room, Scott had returned from the dorm and had already ordered a Ludwig drum kit for Travis. In the kitchen, Travis was pouring glasses of Coke for everyone. Scott sniggered, "Hey, Champ, you need to adjust these drums."

Travis laughed, "If you keep calling me 'Champ', Erik will be crippled in the morning."

"That's my goal, ya know?" Scott teased.

Mooing through giggles, Erik excitedly bounced his eyebrows. Lance cracked up. If anyone had told them how inseparable they would become when they left for Archnania, each of them would've been surprised to varying extents. However, within the first week of team building, making love in plain sight of each other was necessary and normal. Then, out of the nineteen Core Rimmer couples available, two rescued brothers chose Erik and Travis as their fathers, and the twins made Lance and Scott their new fathers. Out on the balcony, the four boys were running around and checking out the views.

Going to the kitchen and reaching for a glass of Coke, Lance giggled, "Should we tell the boys to come inside? They're out there, streaking around."

Erik blinked at his naked best friend and brother, and then grinned, "It's not like anyone on the ground could see them."

"The kids are fine, bro," Travis assured.

Provocatively, Scott leered, "Com'ere, MSLB."

Approaching his horny hubby, Lance laughed, "You be good!" Erik and Travis evilly snickered.

After fondling his husband's goods and planting a deep kiss, Scott whispered, "Was that good?"

"Just good enough," Lance giggled. Travis and Erik roared. Lance giggled, "You two need to get naked too."

"Down to my underwear only," Travis grinned. He started to strip, explaining, "I'm not parking my bare ass on a new drum throne."

Taking his shirt off, Erik wondered, "What sort of bass guitar should I get?"

Lance asked, "Which felt most comfortable?"

Hanging his shirt over a stool, Erik sniggered, "They're all way bigger than the guitar I had. I would think the tone matters too. Does it matter what it sounds like to you dudes?"

While Erik and Travis finished undressing, Scott shrugged, "You played almost all the basses that Prez played. I liked the tones of the EB-3 most, which is the one Prez plays most often. He'll pickup a Rickenbaker, or a Fender Jazz bass, when he needs those sounds for funk and progressive rock. For now, we'll be playing a lot of heavy rock and metal, at least until we're good enough to try other styles."

Nodding agreement, Lance smiled, "An EB-3 would do it."

Coming out of the kitchen in his boxers, and noticing Erik silently waiting for an opinion, Travis grinned, "They know better than me, cuddle bunny. All I do on drums is make booms and crashes."

Scott chuckled, "But you do that to a tempo, which is more than any of us expected. I know you were only fooling around, but you sat down at Derrick's kit and just started playing. That's why you became their drum roadie."

"Derrick said you started off really good, and all you need is to practice a few flashy tom-tom fills, and you'll be set," Lance reminded.

Sitting down at the drum kit, Travis adjusted the height of the snare drum, sniggering, "The show is over when I miss the snare completely, and accidentally whack the head of my dick."

"That's what I call excessive meat beating!" Erik laughed.

Coming in from the balcony with his brother and the twins, and overhearing what was said, Syd smirked, "We want two fully functional dads, so watch your sticks, pop." Everyone cracked up.

Drake giggled, "Yeah, don't go ringing a ball instead of a bell!"

Three teenagers groaned in sympathetic pain, but all four giggling boys began their dick-flop dance again. Travis roared laughing.

Oneula Beach, Townhouse #4

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 8:27PM HTZ

Finished moving themselves, Colin and Christian from the dormitories to the townhouse, Neil and Tad walked their new sons home. The teen fathers saw lights were on in townhouse three, and stopped to have AJ, Jerry and the Hunnicutts come over. Having two excellent little boys from the same Woodlake home that they were from, Neil and Tad were initially thrilled with the idea of having a real house, and a real family. However, during the move process, the home seemed so large, and so quiet, everything shifted from exciting to frightening. Neil and Tad knew not to say anything aloud that Colin and Christian might overhear, but they needed some help.

Upon entering their home with guests, everything suddenly changed to intoxicating again. Kenny Hunnicutt helped himself to the television remote control and parked his buns on the sofa. Shaun and Mike took Colin and Christian down to the basement, and then all the way up both flights of stairs to the second level. In the meantime, AJ and Jerry helped Neil and Tad get the kitchen stocked and talked.

Whispering so that none of the boys could hear, Neil confided, "We're freaking out, bros."

Nodding understandingly, AJ grinned, "Going from nothing, to something, to all this is a lot to cope with. We were there, thinking the exact same things too."

"How're we going to deal?" Tad wondered.

Jerry shrugged, "In our case, we had a week between living in the dorms and living in our townhouse. It seemed a little weird Sunday night when we were walking home, but the moment we walked inside, we saw the kids had left the living room TV and one kitchen light on. They knew more than AJ and I did. You make a house a home by using what's here. The boys wanted normal sounds in their environment, so the TV was turned on. If one of 'em woke in the middle of the night, a light needed to be left on."

"We left the light on and shut the TV off, and then went upstairs," AJ shared. "We weren't sure where the boys would be and half expected to find them all in our bed. Instead, we found them in one room. That meant me and Jerry had to try and act like everything was normal, for the kids' sake."

"Your situation is only a tiny bit different," Jerry explained. "So tonight, you demonstrate to the kids that you're in love and that you're loving them too. Share a shower and then share your bed with them; two boys between two dads."

AJ chuckled, "We heard what the kids said before. The first time Shaun said the word 'spermies' was at dinner Monday night. I almost choked and Jerry almost sprayed the table with his chewed food."

Jerry softly sniggered, "The main difference between our kids is the Hunnicutts are more normal than any of us ever thought we could be. They understood almost immediately that we were their adults, and needed time alone. It might take Colin and Christian a couple of days and nights, but they'll figure it all out, with help from their peers and their new fathers. None of our boys ever asked what your two did, but the second I heard their perspectives, I knew just what I'd do."

Neil grinned, "And that is?"

"Intercourse and oral sex are out of the question," Jerry smiled. "They wanna see the spermies, so wanks in the shower, with all the kissing and emotion you can put into it, before, during and especially after. All they want to know is that it doesn't hurt and it makes you even closer; lovers, husbands and their fathers."

AJ scowled, "After two nights in the same room as his brothers and a month away with them, I'm wondering where Kenny will sleep tonight."

"They'll tell me," Kenny quickly answered. None of the four teens knew Kenny was near, and they all turned to him. Locking eyes with AJ, Kenny giggled, "Fuzzy-facts-of-life, remember? I don't need proof, but maybe Shaun or Mike would. Maybe they'll still want me in their room tonight, but I'm pretty sure they don't need it anymore. When I'm shoved out of their room, we'll all know."

Gesturing with his index finger, Jerry widely smiled, "Com'ere, Ken." Giggling his butt off, Kenny went to his pop. Grunting far more than necessary, Jerry picked up Kenny and planted a kiss. He put his eldest down again, held him close to his side and firmly told Neil and Tad, "What your little family needs is at least one older brother. If not tonight, then as soon as one shows interest."

AJ told Neil and Tad, "Our little man does half the work for us." He then shared with Kenny, "Neil and Tad want to make this house their home. What do you think these new dads need to do, Ken?"

Overflowing from the ego boosts, Kenny giggled, "What makes a home and a family more than eating together? Put some cookies and glasses of milk on the table, and I'll call them back down here."

Slumping at the simplicity, Neil laughed, "Amazing!" Tad searched the cupboards for cookies. Getting with the program, Neil got glasses and AJ got the two liter carton of milk out. 

While the teenager fathers got the table set, Kenny went back around the counter and closer to the stairs then excitedly hollered, "COOKIES? HELL, YEAH!"

Before Kenny got to a chair and slid onto it, a choir of gleeful shouts erupted upstairs, and then the four boys stampeded down the steps. Before the four little tikes made it all the way downstairs, Kenny giggled, "By the way, when it comes to the older brother, let them choose."

Shaun, Mike, Colin and Christian hurried to the table, wiggled onto chairs and dug in. Each of the four teenage fathers snatched a cookie, and then went into the living room. They sat on the couch, and right after he swallowed, Neil grinned, "It already feels more like a home and not just a house."

Widely smiling, Tad thanked AJ and Jerry. After swallowing his cookie, AJ softly reminded, "Once again, half the thanks go to Kenny. Now, you two get to make this your home. Downstairs in the basement, the walls are collapsable; they fold up and open so all our basements are one big area. That'll come in handy over the weekend, when the level three orphans show up."

Seeing Neil and Tad uncertainly check with one another, Jerry offered, "I expect those kids will want to nest. We've already got some games and toys in our basement. Kaleo's got the nesting pads, blankets and pillows stacked in his basement. Later tonight, we'll meet down there to complete the set up. Then we'll come back up here and get some decorations hung on the walls."

Popping into the room with Bruce at his side, Skylar giggled, "Let's go upstairs. I want to reintroduce Neil to a long lost friend." Softly chuckling and not having a clue what Skylar was referring to, Neil, Tad, AJ and Jerry stood. Bruce and Skylar hurried up the stairs and went into the master bedroom. They stepped aside and waited for the teenagers.

Immediately upon entering the room, Neil and Tad noticed a six-foot long table under the window that hadn't been there when they were moving in. "Omigod!" Neil excitedly gasped. Slowly approaching the table that hadn't been seen in more than three years, Neil began shaking and shedding quiet tears. Tad mutely checked with Skylar and Bruce for some explanation. Skylar widely smiled, and Bruce placed an index finger to his lips. On top of the table was the cage and pet left behind. He looked into the cage softly muttering, "It can't be," and spun around to face Skylar.

Skylar smiled, "It's Gus, Neil. As far as he's concerned, nothing unusual happened. The day you were orphaned, I went back to get him. He didn't starve or die. Gus is perfectly fine. And he'll have a view, just like he did in your old bedroom."

"Thank you," Neil softly wept. "Thank you so much, Sky." Three years of guilt began to dissipate. He then turned around again, reached into the cage and lifted his tiny pet. With happy tears rolling down his cheeks, Neil showed Tad. They both greeted Gus, and welcomed him home. Widely smiling, AJ and Jerry prompted Bruce and Skylar to leave Neil and Tad with Gus. The former four went downstairs, so none of the younger boys would come upstairs and see Neil crying.

Ewa Beach, Townhouse #3

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 8:33PM HTZ

"I've given it some more thought," Leo told his dad, pop, and Uncles Keith, Prez, John and Stephen. "I really don't want any of you taking lives for me." He watched the group of older boys glance at each other. When they returned their attention to him, Leo said, "You all have personal security. Let them execute my parents' murderers, with guns, not phasers. The one thing I'll always remember is my dad missing a piece of his skull. That's what I want the families of the murderers to see; their loved ones with their heads blown off. Justice is letting them see what I saw, and have that image flash through their thoughts, like it did for me all Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday." Again, Leo paused and watched his dad, pop and uncles check with each other.

Drew softly prompted, "Tell us when, Leo."

Shrugging, Leo said, "Whenever the security guys are ready. I think it should be before the level three kids start showing up here, so this is done and none of us are thinking about it. Remember, I have to be there, so my folks can be there."

Corey quickly said, "Your brothers are already in bed, so it's too late to do it tonight."

Leo nodded, and then grinned as an idea crossed his mind. Still grinning, he shared, "How about we let the gorillas execute them, like a firing squad? Two shots each; one shot to the head and another to the heart."

Almost simultaneously, Corey, Drew, Keith, Prez, John and Stephen tapped their comm-badges to notify their personal security gorillas that tomorrow night, they would all be going to the Rapid Response Base Detention facility to execute the murderers of Leo's parents.

When that was done, Keith reminded Leo, "Sunday, I had our security demonstrate on targets using phasers because you don't need to hear gunfire." Holding his hand out, Keith called, "Alden, get the best sonic ear plugs available for Leo, dude." A small plastic case appeared in Keith's hand. He opened the case and checked out the ear plugs. Nodding, he passed the ear plugs and case to Leo, instructing, "Try them out now." Leo did as he was told. Prez sat with his PADD and began typing. Keith asked Leo, "How do they feel, and do they work?"

"HUH?" Leo giggled. Corey cracked up. After pulling the ear plugs out, Leo asked, "What're you doin', Uncle Prez?"

"Sending a message to the UNIT commander at the Rapid Response Base," Prez answered. Before saying any more, Prez wordlessly checked with Corey and Drew. They shook their heads.

Realizing something was being withheld, Leo asked, "Why? What's going on?" When nobody said a word for a few moments, Leo whined, "Tell me!"

Putting the PADD down, Prez got up off the sofa, went to his nephew and wrapped his arms around him, gently explaining, "We didn't think it was logical to assist in cities where there was rioting. UNIT troops helped to protect infrastructure, like dams, reservoirs and power plants, but we left the protection of cities to the National Guard. Honestly, we wouldn't have had the personnel or resources to help much in Los Angeles or New York City. Because of that, we've got forty-one Battle Of Earth orphans. Five Clan bases in the United States have about as many Battle Of Earth orphans as we do. The Presidio in San Fransisco has several hundred families waiting for their homes to be rebuilt, like many other Clan owned properties scattered around the States. What happened to you, and all those other kids, might've been prevented. Specifically, what happened to you was done by the Crips." Prez paused for Leo's reaction thus far. Leo smiled up at his Uncle and nodded.

"I've ordered that the bodies of the four men we're executing be transported to the homes of their families," Prez continued. "Other Division leaders are taking similar actions in their regions. We're planning a major military operation, to take out the Crips in Los Angeles, and other cities. They took advantage of an ugly situation and made it worse. Uncle Colin, the President Of The United States learned what was planned, and has ordered the FBI to assist. The FBI is getting Army Green Berets and Navy Seal teams to help in this operation. As of now, I know that the Clan Short Naval fleets will also be involved. All the intelligence we've gathered, thanks to our telepaths reading those that have been arrested, will be used to decimate the Crips. By the end of Monday, they'll be leaderless and powerless."

Glancing around the room, Leo smirked, "Do you think I'm bothered by this?" He only paused briefly to see his dad and pop shrug. "I'm not," Leo firmly said. "It's for me and every other kid they've ever hurt. And the President approves too. I don't need Dulce here to tell me that my mom and dad would approve. Leave a note telling them that this is what I saw, so we're only sharing the pain equally."

Drew softly offered, "We didn't think you needed to know, Leo."

Stepping back from Prez, Leo told everyone, "And you're right, I didn't need to know, as long as none of you are directly involved and completely safe. That's all I care about. I can't lose any more family. All day Friday, I felt like I was going to crack, until I met Grandma Morrison, and then dad and pop. Since then, things have been better. The Vulcan healing helped a bunch too. Just promise me that you'll all be safe."

Around the room, Drew, Corey, Prez, Keith, John and Stephen assured Leo they would be safe, on base, and most likely very busy orienting the level three orphans. Knowing that Leo wasn't bothered about anything he'd learned, John levitated his nephew, sniggering, "As soon as you're paired up with a boyfriend, I can foresee a new Core Rimmer couple, ready to fight for what's right."

"Maybe not that soon," Leo happily cackled, "first, I have to want a boyfriend."

"You want to be held," John revealed. "Everybody does, first by their parents, and then by emulating their parents, they find someone special to hold. Sex is maybe ten percent of the equation, Leo. Don't even worry about that part; it happens automatically."

Corey giggled, "I'd hold him now, if I could reach more than his legs."

Ewa Beach, Dormitory #1

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 8:56PM HTZ

In room 104, Keanu and Liki were sitting on one bed, and across from them sat the Hiram twins, Anakoni and Kapena. Out of necessity, the eleven-year-old brothers were wiser than their years, but didn't know the simplest things about family. The twins were frightened that they would be ignored, like their real parents had done. Keanu and Liki were only slightly more enlightened, thanks to the month spent at Archnania.

"We'd like us to be together as dads and sons as often as possible," Keanu explained. "That means we'll do more than simply share a home; we'll do as much as we can together, as often as possible."

The twins didn't really understand what that meant and glanced at each other. Liki asked, "Have you noticed the other Core Rimmer families in the CIC dining room?"

Anakoni nodded and Kapena said, "Yeah, they almost always have breakfast together, but during lunch and dinner, some of their kids eat with their friends."

Getting the idea, but still a little uncertain, Anakoni grinned, "Sammy and Ben eat with Prez and Keith sometimes, and other times they eat with Derrick and Mike, or with the rest of the Gibbons family."

"Exactly," Keanu smiled. "Ben is Mike's brother, so Sammy and Ben try and split their time as evenly as possible. Gage and Jonah do the same thing; they'll have a meal with Prez and Keith one day, and the next day, they'll eat with Mike and Derrick. The rest of the time, they'll eat at tables with friends."

"The point being," Liki emphasized, "we don't want you two guys thinking that we're too busy for you. Yeah, we're a couple, husbands now, and we're Core Rimmers now too, but we want to be more than fathers in name only. We want to know about your days, what you're planning to do in the mornings, and what you've actually done in the evenings. Families share stuff, but at the same time, we're each separate people, so we'll have to find a balance that works for us."

Keanu instructed, "If you think anything is out of balance, then tell us. We'll be sure to tell you guys what we're thinking and feeling too. We've got to share all that stuff, or somebody's gonna feel sad, like we're not really family."

"We're not really sure how a family should be," Kapena reminded.

Anakoni told his brother, "Neither are they." He checked with Keanu and Liki, offering, "So we decide how much time we spend together, like not only at the CIC dining room, but all the time, at school, and at home."

"That's right," Liki proudly beamed.

Keanu smiled, "You guys can eat with us, or with your friends, but let's try to always make time for each other. If either of you ask, 'Can we have lunch together?' then we know that's what you want, so any other plans we might've had need to be adjusted."

"You'd do that?" Kapena suspiciously queried.

Liki nodded and giggled. Keanu chuckled, "We'd definitely do that for you guys. I don't want you calling me dad or pop because you should, I want to hear it because you feel it."

At the open door, Akamu Kahale and Maleko Kaʻaukai, two seven-year-old boys from the shorter hall of dormitory one appeared. Everyone in the room turned to the doorway.

Liki smiled, "How's it goin', little dudes?"

"Is it too late already?" Maleko frowned.

Seemingly on the verge of tears, Akamu whimpered, "We wanted daddies too."

Before real tears started to flow, Liki and Keanu hurried to the door. Keanu lifted Maleko and parked the boy on his hip, gently assuring, "It's not too late."

Picking up Akamu, Liki chortled, "Please don't cry. We were just talking about how we'd like our family to be."

Liki and Keanu had just turned their backs to the Hiram twins when they heard giggling.

"That's what we needed to see," Anakoni giggled.

Rapidly nodding, Kapena grinned, "I guess we're too big to be picked up."

"Wanna bet?" Liki and Keanu chorused. Still carrying the little guys, they returned to stand before Anakoni and Kapena.

Setting Maleko on the bed, Keanu warned Kapena, "I've lifted John Hundser a couple of times."

Being lifted off the bed, Kapena giggled, "Yeah, and how many times did John lift you?"

"That's totally irrelevant," Keanu sniggered. Anakoni, Akamu and Maleko cracked up. Soon, Akamu was standing on the bed and Liki was lifting Anakoni up. While Akamu and Maleko cackled, Keanu asked Kapena, "Do you think you can be a son and a big brother?"

Unexpectedly, Kapena landed a kiss on Keanu's cheek, and then giggled, "Yeah, I promise to try, pop."

Stunned at the first utterance of 'pop', Keanu's eyes flooded with tears.

Seeing Keanu getting emotional, Liki asked Anakoni, "Well, big brother, can you deal with two more younger brothers?"

"No sweat, dad," Anakoni grinned, and hugged Liki tighter.

Turning to Keanu, Liki smiled, "With four sons, we're not gonna be able to stay in this room tonight."

Keanu nodded at Liki, returned the kiss Kapena planted and then put him back down on the bed. Immediately, Akamu and Maleko cuddled up close to their new big brother. After wiping his eyes, Keanu tapped his comm-badge, calling, "Prez, are you ready for more adoptions?"

A room full of giggling and laughter came across the comm-badge before Prez chuckled, "I could be, bro. How many kids did you manage to find?"

"All four found us," Liki chuckled, and put Anakoni down on the bed with his three brothers.

Prez sniggered, "I'm surprised it's only four, now tell us which four?"

Keanu answered, "Anakoni and Kapena Hiram, Akamu Kahale and Maleko Kaʻaukai."

"Excellent!" Keith cheered, "Two big brothers and two little brothers."

Anakoni said, "We want their last names too, Prez."

"Hiram don't mean anything to us," Kapena smiled. "We're now the Hekekia-Kealoha twins."

"US TOO!" Akamu and Maleko loudly chorused.

With a call to Alden for transport, Prez, Keith, Drew and John appeared in the room. In a few minutes, Liki and Keanu had officially been adopted as the fathers of four boys. Happier than he ever thought possible, Keanu asked, "Where can we move to, Prez?"

Prez called, "Alden, what's our available housing situation?"

From the speakers, Alden answered, "All the townhouses at Ewa Beach are occupied. Chris and Jay and their four sons are moving to unit number six. Townhomes five and six at Oneula Beach are still available."

"We'll take number five," Liki told Prez.

Prez nodded, "Go for it." Looking down at Akamu and Maleko, Prez grinned, "Since it's getting very late for little dudes, I suggest waiting for tomorrow to do the bulk of your move. Just grab a change of clothes for the morning, and save the rest."

"We're supposed to be in school tomorrow," Maleko reminded.

Shaking his head, Keith smiled, "Families come first for everything. Take the morning off to get your home together. If everything's done, we'll see you in school tomorrow afternoon."

Prez's comm-badge chirped again. Aaron Farris chuckled, "Head Rimmer?" Akamu and Maleko broke down in giggles, causing Liki, Keanu, Anakoni and Kapena to turn and grin at them.

Knowing that Akamu and Maleko shared a dorm room with two other seven-year-olds, Prez grinned, "How many, Aaron?"

"Two," Aaron chuckled.

Stephen Wickes giggled, "Amado Kazanjian and Sakamoto Michiyo."

"We're just down the hall," Prez replied. "We'll be there in a minute. Prez out." John began evilly snickering. Prez suspiciously wondered, "What's so funny?"

John laughed, "Wait for it."

A moment later, Prez's comm-badge chirped again, and Jay called, "Hey, Prez?" He slouched, causing Keanu and Liki to start laughing, which pushed their four sons into fits of giggles.

Tapping his comm-badge, Prez sniggered, "You already adopted four tonight, Jay."

"Yeah," Jay chortled, "but I was so psyched about it that I forgot I have a little brother, who has a boyfriend. I was reminded while we were packing." Drew, John, and the Hekekia-Kealoha family cracked up.

Chris giggled, "A three bedroom townhouse won't cut it, Prez."

"Move your fuzzy family to Condo A, ninth floor," Prez laughed.

Keith sniggered, "That's five bedrooms, right below Erik, Trav, Lance and Scott, which I will not take to its logical conclusion or comment on any further."

While laughter erupted in the room and across the comm-badge, Drew tapped his comm-badge, calling, "Hey Aaron?"

"Yeah, Drew."

Drew giggled, "Get ready to move to townhouse six here at Ewa Beach, and find two more sons."

Aaron and Stephen incredulously bellowed, "WHAT?"

"It's a three bedroom townhouse, that Chris and Jay never got to move into," Drew giggled. "You can start with two tonight, but find two more."

"What's the minimum Valium age?" Stephen cackled.

Drew sniggered, "Check with Doc Andrews tomorrow."

Waving at the Hekekia-Kealoha family, Keith stepped out of the room and into the hall. He tapped his comm-badge, calling, "Reggie?"

"What's up, Keith?"

Starting to walk towards Aaron and Stephen's room, Keith asked, "Where are you and Angelo?"

"In our room, with Kassidy, Matt, Ray and Tony, just hangin' out. Why?"

"Lock your door, and don't answer any knocks," Keith sniggered. "I think every little kid at both bases is shopping for fathers. If any of us intend to get to bed tonight, just hide out until tomorrow."

Ray giggled, "We need an extra bed for me and Tony."

"Call Alden," Keith instructed.

Tony sniggered, "And when one of us needs to leak?"

Prez chuckled, "Have Alden transport you to a commode and quickly lock the door."

Six voices laughed across the comm-badge, "Okay!"

Keith chirped, "Out."

Prez, Drew and John joined Keith in the hall and hurried to catch up. Tapping his comm-badge, Prez called, "Derrick?"

Derrick answered, "Here, bro."

Prez sniggered, "Since you probably don't know and wisely went home, stay there and lock your doors." Chuckling and giggling erupted across the comm-badge. Prez chortled, "Seriously, my next call is to the Ark compound, for more tech-bots, and then to your dad. The Core Rimmer housing is now priority one."

Derrick evilly snickered, "Got it, bro. Since we almost doubled the size of the team, I'll bet my dad is already making arrangements to break ground ASAP."

Entering Aaron and Stephen's room, Prez playfully wondered, "Would it do any good at all if I ordered all Core Rimmers locked in their rooms for the night? We have some more level three kids to visit in the morning, but at the rate we're going, most of the team will be busy making family time."

Derrick sniggered, "Don't you mean spending family time?"

"It all depends on the perspective," Prez grinned. "Those who haven't made a family can't spend family time, can they?"

Mike giggled, "You've lost it, Prez." Aaron, Stephen, Amado and Sakamoto helplessly giggled.

"He never had it," Derrick teased.

Smirking, Prez huffed, "You'll regret those words when both our families are living in one house." 

Derrick and Mike provocatively mooed, and then quickly giggled, "We're out!"

"Then tuck it back in again," Keith grinned.

Ready to begin the adoptions, Prez activated the tricorder, smiling, "Aaron Farris and Stephen Wickes are two of the first kids we ever rescued. Although that didn't work out well, they're right back here with us, showing other rescued kids what's normal. They fell in love and are now a happily married couple, with two little dudes sitting between them. The boys will be the product of your love; they'll set the example for other new Rimmer Tribe members, just like all their new cousins already building our Tribe."

Amado asked, "We got cousins, Prez?"

"Sure you do," Prez chuckled. "Your dads are my brothers, just like all the Core Rimmers. That means that all the Core Rimmers are your uncles, and all the sons of all the Core Rimmers are your cousins, as soon as you tell me that Aaron and Stephen are your dad and pop."

"They are!" Amado and Sakamoto happily giggled.

Glancing at Aaron and then Stephen, Prez prompted, "Two down and two to go."

Stephen proudly announced, "We want these sons to care for, and they'll care for us and each other."

"They've already got ideas for big brothers too," Aaron grinned. "They'll check tomorrow and we'll get the extra bedroom in our townhouse occupied. We'll love and protect Amado and Sakamoto, and their as yet unknown big brothers."

Prez smiled, "And it's official, you're a family."

Prez's comm-badge chirped again. He helplessly began chuckling, tapped his comm-badge and answered, "Rimmer Adoption Agency, how may I direct your call?"

Bill Seaver chuckled, "Can you stop by our house, Preston? Tanner and Toby are ready to make it permanent. Gayle Gibson already has, without paperwork."

Giggling his ass off, Drew asked, "Does Corey know, Dad?"

"Yes," Bill chuckled, "I called Corey first, since I believed you were all together."

Drew told Prez, "Corey needs to be there for that. I'll go back home and send Corey here." As soon as Prez nodded, Drew had Alden transport him home.

"I'll be there in a couple of minutes, Uncle Bill," Prez sniggered. "We're just wrapping up another adoption." Corey appeared where Drew had been standing, between Keith and John.

"We'll see you soon," Bill chortled. "Out."

"We want their last names too," Sakamoto declared.

Nodding, Prez asked, "What's your new last name?"

"Wickes-Farris," Sakamoto answered.

Amado cheekily grinned, "Yep, we don't want poppa thinkin' he's less impo'tant, just b'cause W comes way after F."

Giggling at the mispronunciation, Aaron said, "We'll all have that new last name, Prez."

"It's all recorded and it'll be legal when you get the paperwork tomorrow," Prez grinned. "It's time to get the Wickes-Farris family move started."

Amado asked Sakamoto, "Ya wanna keep our bunk beds?"

"Yeah," Sakamoto replied, and then looked around, checking, "We can keep our bunk beds, right?"

Keith smiled, "Just tell Alden to transport furniture."

"It really simplifies moving," Corey giggled. "That's what I told Tanner and Toby to do. They're already moved into their new room at my parents' house."

Amado cheerfully told Corey, "Geoffy, Richie and Dillon is our new cousins now!"

Nodding, Corey giggled, "I told Geoff about all his new cousins already, as I was putting him to bed, which is where you two guys need to be soon."

Aaron told his new sons, "Let's save the move for tomorrow. You guys can sleep here with us, in this bed."

"Sweet!" Amado and Sakamoto cheered. They jumped off the bed and stripped. In moments, two bare butts were climbing back onto the bed, behind their dads and sliding under the covers.

Immediately, John went over to kiss his new nephews goodnight. While doing so, John also telepathically spoke with both boys, telling them of the beach house, and a little about Archnania. In the meantime, Prez, Keith and Corey hugged Aaron and Stephen. In a few minutes, Amado and Sakamoto were getting kisses goodnight from Corey, Keith and Prez. 

Before Prez could call Alden to be transported to the Seavers' home, Amado giggled, "Daddy and poppa needs to make spermies before goin' ta sleep." The six Core Rimmers cracked up.

"What?" Sakamoto giggled. "That's what daddies and poppas do. If they didn't, they couldn't be real daddies and poppas."

Watching Aaron and Stephen blushing and softly giggling, John sniggered, "You got it right, but you guys have to make believe your asleep first, and try not to giggle when daddy and poppa get silly, okay?"

"We can try," Amado mischievously grinned.

Stephen sniggered, "Ever since Joel rescued us, the definition of 'normal' keeps warping."

Nodding, Aaron told his hubby, "A month at Archnania should've prepared us."

"You're both prepared for sons and much more," Corey giggled.

"We'll see you in the morning," Keith offered. Everyone said their final goodnights.

Prez tapped his comm-badge, calling, "Alden, transport us to the Seavers', please." They vanished from dorm one and appeared in the Seavers' living room. Glancing around the room and seeing only six boys and two girls, Prez thoughtfully scowled, "You still have a spare bedroom upstairs?"

"You sound surprised, Preston," Lanna Seaver giggled.

Corey began giggling before Prez smiled, "I am. You've been this Clan's part time mom since day one."

Bill explained, "Core family housekeeping is a small problem none of us foresaw a week and a half ago. Kathy Marr is now working full time at your parents' house. The Seiberts have had Madeline Hupp working full time since they adopted the Steib quadruplets. Over at the Gibbons', there are nine kids that Laura's been keeping up after, but even she sees it's an effort. Laura's invited her widowed sister here to help around the house, since all her kids have grown up and moved out."

Lanna picked up where her husband left off, saying, "We have one more room upstairs to fill, but before we do, we're going through FYS to hire a full time housekeeper." Glaring at Corey, she smirked, "All of us mothers are still looking after our married sons, and their homes, which truly must be a shambles by now." Blushing bright red, Corey howled laughing. Lanna nodded, "I rest my case. We'll be hiring more housekeepers for our leadership, who will be running out of clean clothes any day now." The surprised faces of Prez, Keith and Corey, pushed Cesar, Felipe, Shimizu, Murakami, Tanner and Toby into fits of giggles.

"Boys!" Rena impatiently huffed. Imitating her new big sister, Gayle crossed her arms and suspiciously squinted.

Turning to Prez, Keith suggested, "Maybe we should stop and say hi to mom and dad?"

Shaking his head, Prez grinned, "We are stopping no place where we can be seen by anyone under twelve-years-old. Our townhouse is already full, T'hyla." Everyone in the room began laughing. Prez giggled, "These three make nine adoptions in under an hour. We'll transport from place-to-place. When the Core Rimmer housing is built, we can consider adopting more kids."

Brushing his hair out of his eyes, Corey giggled, "We could go back to Archnania? Sky would bring us to Blank Children's Hospital tomorrow morning, no problem."

"That option is still open for further consideration," Prez chuckled, and set up his tricorder for another set of adoptions. "I may just have Sky take us to tomorrow morning, grab all the level 3 orphans, and then go back to Archnania with all of 'em."

Keith smiled, "They'd get healthier faster, that's for sure."

John seriously offered, "That's not such a bad idea. Before we bring any of the level three kids here, we could take them there, only for a couple of Archnanian days. They've got doctors, most of which look young." Since he had everyone's attention, John grinned at the six kids on the couch, adding "Some family in attendance would be good too, for more than the level three kids, for Intel training, amongst other reasons."

Prez nodded, "Our parents are going there tomorrow for Alden. If they can deal, then so can other parents." 

Glaring angrily, Bill told Corey, "You need a haircut, mister; it's well beyond shoulder length and down to your nose in the front." Glancing around at Prez, Keith and John, he smirked, "You all need haircuts."

Corey sighed, "We were gone over a month, dad. First, we spent the better part of a week getting our much larger team working together. During that week, and for part of the next, there were rehearsals for Platinum Habits and Time Touched. Then, the bands played a bunch of concerts. Since we don't have a hair stylist here yet, I'll get it done at Archnania."

"Danny's chainsaw?" John softly sniggered.

At the worried expressions of the adults, Keith grinned, "Or Conner's ax?"

"If worse-comes-to-worst, we'll have the Archnanian birds braid our hair," Prez chuckled.

"I can help!" Skyler giggled when he appeared. The entire group, including adults, found themselves in a purple fog. Seconds later, the shortest hair in the group was twenty-four inches long, with some band members now finding their hair reached their waist. "That's better!" Skyler giggled before vanishing.

"You were saying, dad?" Corey giggled as he watched his father try to keep his hair out of his eyes.

Sadly shaking his head, Bill grumbled, "I'm not sleeping tonight with hair I could strangle myself on."

"Kyle says Skyler will take care of it, but he's occupied now with Bruce," Prez smiled.

Fixing her daughters' hair so they could see, Lanna wondered, "What's so special about this Archnania place?"

"Everything," Corey told his mom. "It's always perfect weather, very pretty, and the people are the nicest you'll ever meet."

"They're just short," Keith said, and held a hand up about five feet, saying, "That's the tallest of them."

Prez nodded and explained, "We can do what we please, anyplace there, but haven't needed security. Crime is a thing of the past there."

"I think we're learning a lot too," John offered. "The band members can rehearse and try stuff out, just jammin', and I've learned stuff that will make school easier."

"Drew and I have learned stuff there too," Corey said. "Sean's learned about the PA gear, and all the amps the guys use. Watch the dorm leaders tomorrow; you'll see they're confident and looking forward to helping kids with whatever they need."

"I'll bet they're already over at their dorms making changes," Keith grinned. 

"Hey Prez?" Alden interrupted, "What should I tell the dorm leaders about their new long hair? All of them have hair at least half-way down their back now!"

Prez grinned, "Tell them it's Skyler's fault. When there are twenty-seven knocks on my parents' door, all looking for him, Sky will change our hair and his mind."


The End Of Book 1