Image: Geminiian Strike Fighter Model B Courtesy of ACFan and DSS Studios ©2018
Hearts Across Space
Copyright © 2004-2019 The Story Lover. All Rights Reserved.
Errata II: The Religions of Gemini
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Excerpted from The Unexpurgated History of Gemini by Master’s J’ff and G’un
Gemini does not have organized religion as such as the Gemini believe that spirituality and religion is a personal matter and has no place in government or military policies.
Some Geminiian’s do follow some of the outworld religions but those who do are few and far between. Those members who follow outworld religions usually do because of their affiliation with outworld governments, families, and friends.
The closest thing to an organized religion on Gemini is the belief in “The Keeper of The Planet” and actions and beliefs of those followers. Most Geminiian’s who profess belief in “The Keeper” do so in the privacy of their own homes or estates. Unlike most organized religions, there is no litany or dogma for the followers of “The Keeper” The only thing organized and accepted by all is the symbols of belief a spinning illuminated globe of Gemini approximately “10 to 12 inches” in diameter.
While in most cases the globes are only displayed in front of or in private residences in an alcove or niche set aside for the purpose, many places of large public gatherings will have an alcove or grotto somewhere on the premises. Some larger places may have several of these places. These alcoves or niches are never called shrines as that would place a religious connotation to these locations, which would be abhorrent to all Geminiian’s.
In most cases Geminiians’ go to the alcoves to commune with nature, to seek a calm, quiet place to think and or resolve problems within themselves. Some times the alcoves are used by couples or other groups to discuss sensitive or serious matters in a place of calmness. Many Geminiian’s claim they find a sense of peace at the alcoves which has helped them resolve what ever issues they needed resolving.
As many Geminiians’ are somewhat empathic and many have several psychic gifts, they find they can get in touch and in tune with the planetary forces in the alcoves or niches.
As there are many Archons and Arcons as well as their Bondling’s serving in Government and The Military as well as many trained empathic personnel as well as other trained personnel with different psychic gifts, you will find alcoves and niches with the globes in Government and Military installations.
These alcoves or niches are never marked or on locater maps, individuals who wish to use them must find them by themselves or by word of mouth.
The only thing consistently said about the alcoves and niches is that the outside world seems not to exist unless the user wishes it to.
Unlike most religions, there have been many documented cases of the appearance of “The Keeper” or her Avatars. These appearances have been thoroughly investigated by The Archonate as well as The Military and have been certified authentic.
The only non-certified aspect is the rumored “Tears of The Keeper” if they exist they are well hidden.
The only celebrations that can remotely be considered of a religious nature are The Winter and Summer Solsticeums. These two days celebrating the shortest and longest days of the year are celebrated throughout Geminiian Space. While these are planetary holidays the public celebrations are more for friends and families to see old friends and offer thanks for what the planet has given them. The only thing resembling a religious ceremony occurs during private celebrations where a libation may be poured onto the earth with a bowed head.
The alcove and niches see only a slight increase in use during the Solsticeum’s, this is due to the fact these days are spent with families and friends not alone.
Chapter Two: The Birth or Rebirth
Note to readers:
I heartily suggest that you read the Errata II before reading this chapter. It will make this chapter a lot more understandable and easier to read. You might just want to check out the updated Glossary as well. Now on to the story.
As they drew nearer to Callisto Sean’s father reminded him that he would have to choose which branch of the military he wanted to make his specialty. Usually, the choice is made years earlier after a rash of Physical and Psychological Testing with the results usually pointing to a specific area of probable expertise.
Sean’s situation was a little different for several reasons, the main one being that his testing showed no specific preference for any particular branch; only high marks for all. The only area that shined brightly was his Spatial Awareness, and Sean’s scores were off the scale! Sean always knew where he was in relation to other people and objects, which is why he was in high demand as a candidate for a Fighter Pilot Officer both for The Air Force and for The Space Force. His awareness worked both in 2D Space as well as in 3D Space. That alone would have meant the Air or Space Force but combined with Sean’s photographic memory as applied to topographical representations, meant Sean always knew where he or his group were in relation to objects and on the ground also. This was driving all of the placement professionals crazy, because in addition to his physical testing scores all being balanced, his psychological and emotional scores were balanced also.
Flashback to a Turning Ago:
On a late spring afternoon during a break from classes, Sean and several of his friends were out in the ‘meadow’ behind the Estate House playing a game of FrissocFrissoc (“A game like Soccer played with a Frisbee-like disk”) when Sean’s friends convinced him to prove his boast that he could beat them blindfolded.
Sean gave in to his friends on the condition he could use both hands. His friends readily agreed because they didn’t think he had a chance.
Soon a fierce game of three on three Frissoc was going on with Sean, Patrick, and Kevin on one team with Steve, Tommy, and Dion on the other team. As Sean predicted he was able to play blindfolded easily, in fact, his team was in front 4 to 2. Of course, it helped that the ‘meadow’ was, in fact, a perfectly groomed smooth playing field cleverly landscaped to resemble a meadow from a distance.
Sean didn’t have to worry about his footing just the location of Patrick and Kevin, the flying disk and the goals. Sean was having the time of his life, as his friends didn’t care that he was able to do things they could not.
They had been friends for so long that they took their individual differences in stride.
The fact that Sean was destined to be a member of The Archonate was taken in stride, as was the fact that most of them would have boyfriends and husbands, not girlfriends or wives.
Geminian Society didn’t place labels on people’s sexuality, people were who and what they were and that was it.
There was no stigma or taboo’s attached to teenagers experiencing boyfriends as well as girlfriends during adolescence at this time all of the friends playing were dating other boys at this time except Dion who wouldn’t let go of his girlfriend even though he was madly in love with a guy named David who unfortunately couldn’t play today.
The important fact in Geminiian Life was that you loved and respected your chosen partner, period.
All partnerships were able to adopt children freely as they wished, so very few children on Gemini grew up without the benefit of a loving family.
Sean’s father was relaxing in the library reading a fictional account of the first contact with the Centaurans when he heard loud groans and even louder cheers from the ‘meadow’.
He decided to look out the window to see what was going on.
What he saw was a blindfolded Sean being congratulated by his teammates while the other three boys were shaking their heads in disbelief and moaning.
Sean’s father sat back down and resumed reading, determined to ask Sean why he was blindfolded and what all the noise was about.
Several hours later as dusk was approaching Sean was walking by the library when his father called him in.
As Sean stuck his head in; his dad asked to see him after his shower, and to update his full body scan.
Sean replied, “OK, but what’s up?”
His father answered by saying with a grin “Just take your shower, you stink, I’ll explain everything when you smell better, now scat”
Sean just started laughing and told his father “Yes your highness, right away your highness” as he ran out the door towards his balnea and a hot refreshing shower as his muscles were reminding him of how hard they had worked.
After a quick shower, Sean decides he needs a long hot soak in his caldarium to ease his aching and tight muscles. Before Sean enters the soothing mineral waters, he uses the wallcom to inform his dad he will be awhile.
Sean’s dad replied no problem we’ll just discuss it after dinner.
Sean steps slowly down into the naturally heated mineral watersheated mineral waters (“Whenever possible the Estate Houses of Archons are built over natural hot springs, as were Roman Villas and Baths on Terra.”) of his private caldarium. After soaking for a while Sean’s muscles begin to relax and the aches begin to disappear. As Sean’s body begins to unwind, he starts to daydream and tries to recall the dream of the night before.
All Sean is able to remember is the warm safe and sensual feelings that he experienced. Although most of Sean’s body was relaxing, his ‘Unicorn Horn’ was standing at attention and trying to act like a periscope. Just as Sean was deciding what to do about his rising problem the wallcom gave off the dinner warning chime.
Sean shrugged his shoulders, stepped up of the caldarium, headed towards the large shower nozzle on the near wall, stepped on a pressure plate, and was immediately deluged with what felt like a warm summer rain shower. The water was incredibly soft and luxurious feeling.
As soon as the minerals from the caldarium were washed off, Sean stepped on the pressure plate twice quickly and was instantly inundated with a strong spray of freezing cold water. After thirty seconds the water shut off and was replaced with bursts of warm air from the floor and ceiling. Sean quickly flicked the remaining water off with a strigil (“From The Roman era on Terra a slightly curved wooden or metal object used to scrape perspiration, oils, sweat and moisture from the body”)l grabbed a ‘towel’ and quickly headed for his bedroom and closet.
Sean quickly dressed in a super soft burgundy tunic and sapphire blue lounging breeches and slipped into a pair of house slippers made of the softest leather available in a deep maroon.
Sean exited his bedroom towards the private dining room just as the final dinner warning chime sounded from his wallcomm.
After a wonderful dinner with A’ndreas and his parents, which was finished with a glass of the finest Sphynxian Porto, Sean, A’ndreas, and Sean’s Father retired to his father’s office.
After the three of them were seated Sean’s father turned towards Sean and asked, “Son would you please explain to me what in Ebru Labadon’s Castle was going on this afternoon on the ‘meadow’ with all the noise and you being blindfolded?”
A’ndreas was looking back and forth between father and son with a look of total confusion on his face.
“Father, how could you leave A’ndreas in the dark like this” Sean asks his father with a chuckle in his voice?
Sean continues before, either his father or A’ndreas could respond, “You know how moody he gets when he thinks you are keeping things from him”
“SEAN” his father states in a very stern tone.
“OK I guess this is serious, I’ll behave, and A’ndreas you don’t need to post the pictures of me laying on the rug, on the WorldCom,” Sean responds in a more serious tone.
“So father what’s up? I just realized it must be serious because Mother isn’t here and A’ndreas is shielding the room,” Sean asks looking his father directly in the eye.
“Would you mind telling us what you were trying to prove this afternoon? And does it have anything to do with your sixth sense? His father asks Sean with a look of complete seriousness.
Sean turns to A’ndreas saying, “Please keep this room shielded, I don’t think we want this to get out.”
A’ndreas responds “Don’t worry I have a very good idea about what happened now that your father has dropped his shield. And I doubt even ‘PS’ could break my shield.” While telling Sean this he is pulling a translucent blue stone on a metal necklace from under his tunic, while at the same time Sean’s father is doing the same thing. As both stones are glowing with a fierce blue light.
Sean questions in awe “You are both using your ‘Tears’?”
“If what your father suspects is true, we may need to use this also” A’ndreas responds solemnly as he opens a beautifully fashioned wooden box and pulls out an ‘EGG’ the size of a Terran Grapefruit.
Sean’s eyes about bulged out of his head “OK this is what happened you know how our gang is always bragging about what we can do with our hands tied behind our backs and blindfolded?” Sean looks at his father and A’ndreas who are nodding yes and to continue.
“Well, it seems Patrick and Steve decided to call my bluff and see if my sixth sense was as good as I claimed it was and if it had gotten better” Sean continued before being interrupted by his father.
“What do you mean better?” Sean’s father asks with a bit of concern in his voice.
“It’s OK they are sworn never to reveal anything we do, or discuss and they never will! Also, we have all had Psychic Blocks to protect us” Sean replies to his father while looking directly at A’ndreas. Sean’s look plainly said the ball is in your court now.
“Just a ‘mic’ (‘mic’ – Geminiian for a minute.”) D’av” interjects A’ndreas “You know how you asked me turnings ago to help with Sean’s Psychic Training and to help Estate Security with Sean’s protection and his friends” A’ndreas paused as his Bonded interrupts him.
“I am still waiting for an answer”
While that conversation was going on Sean is thinking ‘let A’ndreas wiggle out of this one, while I try and figure out what my father has up his sleeve.‘
“D’av I took over his training as you asked me to and believe me it was not an easy job if Sean wasn’t going to be an Archon, he would have made a most powerful Bondling. I had to work hard to stay ahead of him. He kept pushing me all the time although he is not an Empath his empathic channels are better than anyone I have ever heard of and his receptor channels are extremely sensitive. With the right Bondling, we are looking at an unbeatable team. They will know what each other is thinking before the other person does.”
“A’ndreas get to your point, I assume there is a point to your ramblings” Sean’s father interrupts A’ndreas with a pointed question.
Sean almost falls out his chair trying not to laugh at the show his father and his father’s Bondling are putting on and he decides to let A’ndreas off the hook.
“Father if you will give me a minute, I can explain everything as it is really simple” Sean looks at his father before continuing.
“OK, this better be good,” states Sean’s father with an expressionless face.
“OK, the short story is this several turnings ago while playing Frissoc I was thinking hard that Steve should break left and Dion should break right so I could go up the middle. I almost fell over when that is exactly what happened. It happened several times and of course, the other guys couldn’t figure out what signals we used. I was intrigued and started listening very closely and soon was picking up some pieces of thoughts from Patrick and Kevin who were playing against us and was able to run and throw by them when they went the direction they were thinking of. We switched teams and this time Patrick and Kevin, as well as your namesake, were on my team, I tried the same thing with Pat and Kev, and it worked. Pat looked at Steve who nodded yes but then shook his head no. Pat looked around and remembered we were playing on the public field with a couple of acquaintances not only ‘My Companions’ and looked at me mouthing and thinking ‘l8tr’. It was after this that A’ndreas gave us the Psychic Blocks at all of the ‘companions’ request.”
“OK that partially explains the blocks but what did you mean by ‘My Companions'” interrupts Sean’s father.
“Ok this is the rest of the story but first I did try and tell you what exactly I had done with Sean and his companions at a meeting with the head of Estate Security right after this happened. I told you then that I was satisfied with the steps that Michael and I had taken you scanned me briefly to check my true satisfaction and then looked at Michael who nodded yes and then your wristcomwent off and we never came back to that discussion. Do you remember that meeting?” A’ndreas asks D’avid
Sean’s father looks into his Bondling’s eyes for a few moments and says, “yes I do I apologize for doubting you and Sean both.”
Sean responds for both himself and A’ndreas “It’s OK father we know it’s just because you care so much” pauses slightly and then continues “I’ll fill a little more in then A’ndreas can continue. “OK”
Both D’avid and A’ndreas nod yes.
“The first time I really noticed something was different was one night when Kevin was spending the night and we were fooling around trying to sneak up on each other. Well I was able to surprise Kevin almost every time, but every time he got within ten ‘feet’ of me, I felt a warm itching sensation in the back of my head. Sure enough, I’d turn around and there was Kevin. We talked about it and Kevin said the only time he felt me was when I was just about to smack him on the head, in fact, my hand was only inches away from him. We talked some more and then realized that whenever any of us were together that I always greeted the newcomers as soon as they turned the corner, basically before anyone else saw them. Kevin and I went and dragged A’ndreas into my salon to talk about this because it bothered us slightly. Dad, A’ndreas was awesome; he made us feel very comfortable with what had happened, he asked Kevin and me for permission to scan both of us. What helped Kevin was the fact that he knew A’ndreas was one of my Psychic Instructors and didn’t need my permission, plus the fact that he would only do an empathic scan. Kevin and I agreed and what A’ndreas found was that Kevin and I were forming a partial psychic and emotional bond. At first, Kevin was a little shocked at the emotional bond part because he loved me like a brother but didn’t love me like a boyfriend. A’ndreas assured both of us that the emotional bond was only that of close friendship, maybe brotherly. It only meant that we would know when one of us was around or feeling down or things of that nature. The next part is where ‘The Companions’ come in” Sean took a brief pause to catch his breath looked at both his father and A’ndreas who were now relaxed and attentive.
“A’ndreas then told us that I also had the same bonds with, Steve, Patrick, Dion and Tommy. After we recovered from that shock A’ndreas gave us, another one he said that there were two more; however, he could not identify them. Then he looked at Kevin and said I want you to forget what I am going to say next, and then stared deep into Kevin’s eyes. Kevin struggled to get out a strangled ‘yes’. The problem is only one of the bonds is connected to a Geminiian; the other is connected to someone unknown. Kevin and I both started to question A’ndreas and he would say no more on that subject, and Dad, before you ask, I agree with A’ndreas, will and explain more later.
“You can bet you will, now get on with the rest of it” D’avid interjected while looking at both his son and Bondling with a look of curiosity.
“OK after recovering from those bombshells, the three of us decided to test the depths of the bonds the following weekend. We then arranged a sleepover for the whole gang. After dinner and the usual roughhousing, A’ndreas called us all down to the Salle where he had an obstacle course set up. After blindfolding me, he led me through the course where I never touched anything and was able to identify where he had hidden each of my friends.
We tried the same thing with everyone, and they could only identify me when they got within five or so ‘feet’ of me. A’ndreas then paged Michael who met us in the family dining room for a lite snack. Michael also arrived with an unknown Archonate Security Officer and a Senior Green Robed Physico whom he introduced as Ambrosius. He didn’t introduce the Security Officer as other than from Archonate Security.”
While Sean is telling his story his father is, casting inquiring glances at his Bondling who responds with a finger to his lips and sends ‘just wait’.
Sean is still going on “Michael proceeded to inform us that he was also representing Patrick and Tommy’s Security Heads this of course set all of us boys whispering until the Physico Ambrosius spoke up he told us that he was here to answer any questions and to help us deal with what A’ndreas was going to suggest. OK, A’ndreas it is your turn.” Sean turns towards A’ndreas and inclines his head.
After returning Sean’s head bow A’ndreas picks up where Sean left off ” I told the boys that I had talked with all their parents and they all agreed with my plan but that each of them had a choice whether to agree or not. I only asked that they listen all the way through before making up their minds individually. I then informed them because some matters may touch on Castellano House as well as Archonate Security they would have to agree to the room being shielded by myself and by mechanical means provided by Michael and Archonate Security. The boys started to agree but I said there is one more catch if they decide no, a psychic block will have to be placed so they will be unable to remember or talk about this meeting. All the boys looked at Sean then Tommy asked me ‘does this have to do with Sean and our heads’. Before I could answer he continued, ‘my parents said that I should do whatever you ask if it will help Sean and mean that I can still hang out with him’. I answered that is exactly what we are here to talk about. I started to explain what we had planned when Kevin stood up and took all the winds out of my sails. Saying ‘A’ndreas this is what we want to do, we are going to swear a pact as friends and companions of Sean for life’ as soon as he said that I fell to my seat with a thud and would have fallen over except Ambrosius caught me and sent me a calm steadying energy burst. Kevin continued on as if nothing had ever happened “We are calling ourselves “Sean’s Companions” and at least two of us will be with him at all times during school and our team events additionally we will start working out with Michael and his security team in self-defense classes and increase our PE workouts.’ As I started to speak, he held up his hand and said it is Sean’s turn now.’ Sean then said ‘Sorry A’ndreas you and Michael need to shield better when you are talking about me and my security.’ Michael and I both turned as red as could be. Sean then continued we have discussed the security issues that concern me, Patrick and Tommy. They understand that they need protection because of their families’ positions and jobs and of course, they know the reasons for mine. We decided that as a group always together and with the psychic bonds we are developing, we are safer together. Also, with all of us together the security teams could work together easier. Plus, with the self-defense and security training, we figured we could protect each other better until help arrived.’ Sean then turned towards me bowed and said, “We’re done, your turn now’ and then sat down. When the laughter had finally died down to a murmur I started to stand and speak when Ambrosius pushed me back down and started addressing the table ‘OK you guys did a great job with A’ndreas’s plan however you left out one part and I’ll get to that in a minute. First, it is my job to ensure that each of you understands exactly what you are agreeing to and you are not coerced in any way including feelings of lust or being left out. I will talk with each of you individually, and also deep scan each of you. The results of the scan will remain between me and the individual scanned except for the results pertinent to this discussion. Do you all understand?’ Each boy answered ‘yes’ Ambrosius then the part you left out A’ndreas with my assistance will then place a psychic block regarding Sean’s powers and how they unite you as companions. Any questions? All the boys answered with this question ‘When do we get started?’
Sean and A’ndreas then turned and at the same time said, “That is the whole story”
“Just one more thing Dad” Sean add quickly.
“And what is that?” his dad responds.
“Ambrosius pulled me aside before we left and told me that the remaining two bonds were both completely safe and to tell you not to worry. How he knew you were worried was beyond me” replied Sean.
D’avid looked at his Bondling and his Son with a look of pride and said, “Thank you both, you answered all my questions and I am extremely of both of you and A’ndi I still love you”
Sean and A’ndreas then got up, walked over to D’avid, and gave him a huge hug.
Sean’s father then motioned the two back to their seats after giving A’ndreas a hearty squeeze. “OK, Sean I think we ought to really put your ‘sixth sense’ to the test and find out exactly what it is capable of, can you meet A’ndi and I in the Salle at Eleven AM Tuesday morning?”
Sean replied, “Of course, why?”
“Just get a good night’s sleep the night before, now go com your friends and relax” Sean’s dad answers caringly.
“Of course your Highness whatever you want,” Sean says laughingly as he is dashing out the door. Just before he went through the door turns and says “Luv ya both” and was gone.
A’ndreas is rolling on the floor with laughter muttering, “He definitely is your son, he got you again.” Before his Bonded could answer, he then continues in a more serious tone “He is going to go far, I doubt many adults let alone teens could show such resilience after such an emotional and serious discussion.”
D’avid answers “Yes he will go far and we have done a good job with him” looking into A’ndreas’s eyes before looking towards the room where his wife is relaxing. “Go keep Barbara company for me while I set up a few things. When I get done with what I need to do I will join you and my wife, give her my love and I’ll join you shortly”
A’ndreas gives D’av a warm hug and a kiss on the forehead then heads towards the sitting room where Barbara is watching Solarius’s setting and the changing colors across the landscape.
Meanwhile, D’avid is busy on his wallcomm contacting the quartermaster on Lysander ordering an advanced model skinsuit (“Skinsuit’s are vacuum suits worn by all Geminiian Military Pilots whether Air Force or Space Force. The suits are made of an advanced material that is a combination of Callistan Lormsilk and a Geminiian Towel. The suits are form fitting and self-adjusting”)for Sean. The quartermaster questions the reason for the advanced model Sean’s father replied, “As Marshal of The Interstellar Fleet I am ordering you to provide this in the interest of Geminiian Security.” The quartermaster replied it “will be there when needed.” ‘Thanks for your service, Castellano out” Sean’s father then closed the connection and joined his wife and Bondling.
Two days later in the Salle, Sean, A’ndreas and D’avid were looking at the obstacle course that A’ndreas had set up in a corner of the Salle.
A’ndreas was explaining to Sean that he was to lead him through the obstacle course in his skinsuit and helmet. The helmet would be sealed and polarized so Sean would be completely cut off from all external stimuli other than comments from the helmets com.
While A’ndreas was finishing his explanation, Michael joined them on the balcony announcing that the estate had been cleared and locked down, and that the entire estate was shielded, and he had just finished shielding the Salle. Michael then placed an ‘EGG’ the size of a Terran Basketball in a receptacle on the balcony railing. D’avid and A’ndreas checked their ‘Tears’ and both were glowing slightly.
“Sean – your ‘Companions’ are all here and are patrolling the grounds, they will join us for the second part of this test” Michael informed Sean who then displayed his first true smile of the day, while putting on his skinsuit which his father has just given him. As this was an advanced model not distributed in large amounts yet, the skinsuit changed instantly from its neutral charcoal to the blue and maroon of House Castellano. Sean’s jaw dropped in surprise and his dad responded.
“Yes Sean it is a Mark VII that is why I needed your updated scan, and yes it is yours to keep and I have one more surprise”
Sean finally got his mouth to work and asked: “Another surprise, what now my own Aero Fighter?”
Michael, A’ndreas and Sean’s father broke out in huge grins at Sean’s question.
“No such luck Sean you are still too young. No, this surprise is for your companions, and this one took some arm pulling and twisting. When I informed A’ndreas at what I had ordered for you, he asked me ‘What about the ‘Companions’ I said ooops let me see what I can do. I then got on the com to Lysander again, and I was only able to get Mark V’s until A’ndi got on his comm, andcontacted someone and before I knew it the quartermaster was asking for our matter trans coordinates and all seven suits appeared a short while later. I could here him muttering something about power hungry Marshals and Bondling’s and a whispered ‘PS’ and before I could ask why the change, he closed the connection with an ‘Aye Sir’. I turned to A’ndi and he just shook his head.”
Classified Report from Geminiian Joint Military Intelligence: TOP SECRET – EYES ONLY – NEED TO KNOW:
From Castellano Estate, Callisto Arconate; Results of spatial awareness testing of Arconate Candidate Sean Castellano.
Candidate was run through a security designed obstacle course wear a Mark VII Skinsuit and fully polarized security helmet. Candidate completed the course following his instructor in record time. Candidate completed the course with the highest score ever. Candidate was then subjected to an object avoidance test while still wearing skinsuit and helmet. Candidate was placed in the center of Castellano Salle. Nine different members of the test team threw and fired objects of different speed, size, weight, and density at the candidate. Candidate was able to avoid or easily deflect all objects without damage to him. Only the lightest and least dense articles presented any problems at all. Candidate was able to deflect or avoid these articles only at the last possible moment.
END OF REPORT – Report Sealed – Report is Non-Existent – Report Never Existed
To try to resolve this issue Sean was subjected to a series of Oral Interviews with senior aptitude specialists as well as senior military commanders. Each military branch was represented during the military portion of the interviews. The purpose of the interviews was to determine his fitness and aptitude for military service, and which branch he should specialize in. The interviews did nothing to clarify the situation. The civilian interviews were extremely frustrating for the interviewers because as soon as they arrived at what they felt was their final professional determination their next question changed everything. The interviewers finally gave up and awarded Sean the Geminian equivalent of the Old Terran Title of “Renaissance Man”. The military interviews did not go much better. The final determination was that Sean would be able to command any branch of the military with distinction.
While all this information was going through his parents minds as the results of his father’s question Sean was formulating his answer. Sean had already decided which branch and specifically which sub branch but was unsure how to explain the reasoning behind his answer. Sean had decided to join The Space Force specifically, The Interstellar Fleet and not The Home Fleet. Although both fleets were under the same umbrella of Space Force, their duties, and makeup were slightly different. Both fleets were tasked with protecting The Confederation and The Archonate. The Home Fleet was also with custom duties, protection of the Local Merchant Fleet as well as serving as a training ground for the Interstellar Fleet and The Merchant Fleet. The Home Fleet also served as a place of semi-retirement for senior officers of The Interstellar Fleet. This allowed officers who no longer wanted to be away from their families for long periods of time or who wanted a break from the rigors of Interstellar Patrolling and its risks to remain on active duty. It also allowed them to pass on their knowledge and expertise to the younger generation. This coupled with the fact that all newly graduated officers spent a minimum of six months in The Home Fleet led to a well-seasoned group of spacers for the Interstellar Fleet.
Sean decided to cautiously answer his father’s question by saying he was leaning towards The Interstellar Fleet. He then added he was still thinking his decision through. Sean hesitated telling his parents the reason behind his choice as he found it hard to explain to himself.
How do you explain to someone that you made your choice based on dreams? How do you tell someone you are in love with a person that you have never seen let alone never met? Thinking about this reminds Sean of the void he never knew existed until the dreams began. Sean drifts along memory lane remembering how warm and cozy he felt with his dream mates wrapped around him in sleep. His father shaking his arm abruptly brought Sean back to the present and asking Sean “Are you there?” Sean weakly answered, “Yes father, why do you ask?” “Because you haven’t answered my question,” replied his father. “Where were you?” Sean quickly replied, “Just reviewing my speech – what were you asking?” “Just what in ‘Ebru Labadon’s Castle’ did you say to the military command team in your final interview? They came out of that interview shaking their heads and looking totally perplexed. They followed me into my office at the center, throwing a barrage of questions at me about you and your schooling, but wouldn’t tell me anything.” Sean’s father paused for a moment giving his wife a brief squeeze on her arm, looked at Sean took a deep breath and then continued. “Finally, they thanked me and left. It gets even stranger, the next day I checked the weekly rankings of all the candidates who underwent testing or interviews the previous week and where your ranking was supposed to be was one word ‘ Withheld’! Not a single one of my contacts could or would tell me anything – So what did you tell them?”
“Well father they posed the following question – ‘My reconnaissance decad was totally cut off and surrounded by a quintuple of Centaurians how do you proceed?” I immediately answered – ‘Surrender!'” stated Sean calmly. And before his father could respond continued with his explanation “Well the five of them about fell out of their seats and became extremely agitated – The Army, Air Force, Navy and InSystem commanders started to walk out. The Interstellar Fleet Commander who just happened to be a Commodore ordered them to halt and regain their seats. After observing that I was sitting there calmly with a quizzical look on my face he ordered me to explain why” “You said what? And they did what? Continue son this I have to hear” injected his dad. “Well, I then repeated all the relevant sections and subsections of the various military treaties particularly the Centaurian one regarding treatment of prisoners of war” Sean paused for a second. While Sean was catching his breath, his father asked, “What happened then?”
Sean replied, “The Army Commander asked, ‘What about the ‘Honor of Gemini‘ aren’t you honor bound as an officer in The Geminiian Armed Forces to die in her defense?'” “How did you answer that?” queried his father with a very curious look on his face. “I replied not at all, while looking the Army Commander directly in the eyes, in fact I am duty bound to save myself at all costs – as soon as I had finished the Army Commander angrily jumped to his feet shouting, ‘I have never’ when he was cut off by the Commodore’s bellow “Enough”! The Commodore then ordered the Commander to regain his seat and remain silent until I had finished. The Commodore then turned towards me and ordered ‘continue’ and then in a softer tone ‘I am really interested in your explanation’. Ok, I then took a deep breath nodded towards the Commodore and continued, First of all leading my men and I into death would accomplish nothing and in fact it would be criminally wasteful. Additionally, the mission objectives would not be fulfilled and millions of Solarians would be down the proverbial drain. ‘How so, what do you mean’ inquired The Naval Commander as I am thinking ‘What past millennial and from what backward Academy did these guys graduate from?’ ‘This stuff is all covered in First Year Military Protocol at the Local Collegium’………………
Meanwhile back at the Main Bondling Collegium Alexii slowly awakens groggily in a Med Center sedan couch to find Ambrosius peering down at him. Sitting up with a start and babbling incoherently and loudly at Ambrosius “Why, Whaatt, Where am I?” “Slow down and hold on a ‘mic’ Ambrosius says calmly as he gently pushes Alexii back down onto the sedan/couch. “One question at a time – you are in the Med Center with me. As to what, you seem to have had a spontaneous orgasm and passed out,” Ambrosius answered soothingly as he gently rubbed Alexii’sshoulders trying to reduce the tension he feels there further. “All I can tell you is that our instruments show you experienced a very strong pulse of psychic activity,” murmured Ambrosius. “But as to what and why we have no idea” admitted Ambrosius with a puzzled tone to his voice. “I need you to take a deep breath hold it for a ‘mic’ then let it out relaxing as you do” Ambrosius instruct his young charge in a warm soothing voice. Alexii follows the instructions and queries “Now what?” Ambrosius calmly intones, “Relax and listen carefully – do not get upset.” Alexii replies questioningly “What else happened, what are you not telling me?” “Relax little one and I’ll tell you”
On the outskirts of Sphynxian Space the light cruiser SSF Hephaistion on a routine patrol is suddenly attacked on its port side by a small ship of unknown design. The unknown ship was covered in a black non-metallic coating with no protuberance and no visible weaponry. The ship popped out of stealth fired a green glob of energy at the Hephaistion with no apparent damage then disappeared before The Hephaistion could react.
While the Sphynxians were trying to determine what happened another similar unknown ship fired a single blue beam of energy at its starboard side and then disappeared. When the blue beam of energy hit The Hephaistion a massive shock wave rocked the ship. The only thing the captain of The Hephaistion was thinking was ‘why such small ships against his light cruiser?’ As soon as he finished the thought the skin of his ship simply disintegrated and with that his atmosphere vanished and his ship died. There was no chance of communication before the end occurred.
Ambrosius says soothingly. “First of all, you are not the only one from your class at The Med Center,” gently holding Alexii down as he finishes speaking. “They are all okay’ he continues before being interrupted by Alexii questioning him “what do you mean all, how many and who, why?”
“Slow down it is ok they are not just, just relax and let me tell you what we know” Ambrosius interjects calmly while gently restraining the worried young bondling. “It seems that when you passed out you gave out such a strong psychic burst that you rendered your entire class unconscious almost simultaneously including your professor” Ambrosius smiling all the time as he is telling Alexii this.
Even though he is overwhelmed by what has happened to him and his classmates Alexii didn’t fail to the smile on his physico’s face or the twinkle in his eye.
“Ok spill the beans what are you not telling me?” queried a slightly concerned and annoyed bondling candidate.
“Ok little one, Ok just hold on to your Bree………………….” Ambrosius had to stop his speech as he was laughing so hard as he had just realized that Alexii wasn’t wearing any breeches under the blanket like covering.
Alexii who by now was beginning to get peeved – no extremely pissed off shouted at Ambrosius “Why did you stop? Why are you laughing at me?”
Ambrosius carefully lowers himself to the sedan/couch while scooping the anxious young bondling into a reassuring hug, calmly replies while still chuckling “I started to tell you to hold onto your breeches when I realized you weren’t wearing any”.
A now blushing young bondling suddenly aware of the same fact starts laughing uncontrollably for a few mics.
Recovering slightly, Alexii lightly smacks his grinning friend and physico lightly on the shoulder telling Ambrosius “Ok continue telling me what happened and why you were smirking”
Back on Terra Alexander cut short his date with a very perplexed and surprised Jane. After a wonderfully romantic and sensuous dinner and than a fairly passionate time while they were supposedly watching the latest Tom Hanks movie at The Holoplex, Alex suddenly informed Jane that he had to take her home. After kissing Jane goodnight at her doorstep Alex headed quickly home and took a long hot shower trying to work all of the kinks out of his surprisingly tense body.
After the shower, Alex prepared his bed, proceeded to change into his sleeping shorts, and crawled into bed. After finally getting his pillow just right, Alex proceeded to try and make sense of the dreams he has had and the two faces that kept popping into his head all day.
The first face was of a striking brunette with the deepest and ever-changing hazel eyes, yet with a look, Alex couldn’t quite figure out. The brunette was of no nationality Alex had ever encountered. Yet whenever Alex thought of the brunette a sense of warmth and security overcame him.
The second face was driving Alex crazy for it was of a blond with the deepest sapphire colored eyes he had ever seen. And like the brunette, the blond was of no nationality Alex knew.
Both of the faces seemed human yet not human at the same time.
But what was really driving Alex crazy was the emotional feelings the two faces brought about in him. When Alex thought of the brunet, he felt a deep emotional and sexual attachment. The attachment was so deep it scared him particularly since he still considered himself straight. The attachment was even deeper than the one with Jane whom he thought he loved with all his heart.
Alex lay there questioning his mind ‘how can I love someone I have never met and am not even sure exists?’
How can I love you when I don’t even know you?
How can I love you when I don’t even know where you are?
Hearts Across Space forever reaching
Hearts Across Space never touching
How can I love when I can’t hold you in my arms?
How can I love when I see you only in my dreams?
Hearts Across Space forever reaching
Hearts Across Space never touching
When will I see you except in my dreams?
When will I feel your lips upon my cheek?
Hearts Across Space forever reaching
Hearts Across Space never touching
I can only wait to feel your warmth upon my chest
I can only imagine your arms wrapped around me
Hearts Across Space forever reaching
Hearts Across Space never touching
Please say you will be with me
Please say you are not a dream
Hearts Across Space forever reaching
Hearts Across Space never touching
Till the day i can hold you
Till the day you are mine
Till the day I can kiss you
Hearts Across Space forever reaching
Hearts Across Space occasionally touching
Receiving no answer to his question Alex ponders the even stranger feelings he has towards the blond. While he believes the brunette is close to his own age, he just knows the blond is several years younger.
His feelings towards the blond were extremely complex, because while he knows he felt the blond’s arm around him in sleep the feelings although intimate were not sexual which helped Alex a little. What really has Alex scared though was the feeling that the blond was protecting him and not the other way around.
While Alex was perfectly willing to spend the rest of his life with the brunette if he existed, he knew that wasn’t right it didn’t feel complete. It wasn’t until he thought of the three of them together that it felt right.
Once Alex figured out the fact that the three of them were supposed to be together, somehow, he relaxed slightly until he tried to figure out how that worked. Alex was suddenly hit with a throbbing headache that would not go away until he started thinking only of the brunette.
As Alex lay their thinking of the wonderful feelings the brunette brought to him, his body in a tumultuous release relaxed completely and as he slid into a deep sleep, he suddenly knew the blond’s name as he appeared in his head and said I am Alexii and you are loved. That was all Alex remembered until Chris shook him awake in the morning and he found himself glued to the sheets.
As Alexii snuggled deeper into the warmth and safety of Ambrosius’s arms Ambrosius picks up his tale still with a chuckle in his voice “Ok I told you that released such a strong psychic burst that you knocked everyone out right?”
Alexii nods and mutters a muffled “yes”
“Well” Ambrosius began “That isn’t exactly true you see your psychic burst had such strong emotional and sexual overtones that it seems that all of you older classmates experienced the same reaction you did”
“And?” queried a still concerned Alexii
“Well, it seems that some of your younger classmates experienced a case of ‘Unicorn Horn’ with very bemused looks on their faces, because of what was happening to their bodies” Ambrosius stops suddenly and breaks out in laughter.
Alexii reaches up and smacks him on the shoulder. “What happened, quit laughing and tell me what happened?” demanded the slightly incensed bondling.
“Ok, Ok,” Chuckled Ambrosius “It seems that your professor started to laugh at the looks on your younger classmates faces when the reaction hit himself and he passed out”
“OH NO” shouted Alexii trying to struggle out of Ambrosius’s enveloping arms.
“Now, now little one, calm down everything will be OK, no one is mad at you, in fact just the opposite some of your older classmates said it was a most awesome experience” Ambrosius resumed his stroking of Alexii’s hair until his young charge relaxed and began purring like a Terran Cat.
“There is one strange thing that we can’t explain”
Alexii interrupts Ambrosius’s explanation asking “What happened? What was so strange?”
“Well from what we can discover along with the emotional and sexual content of your psychic blast, there were two images – Hold on Alexii, hold on a ‘mic’,” Ambrosius murmured soothingly.
“What images, tell me what images and where are Cobi and Logen? They were supposed to meet me for lunch?” spat out a very frustrated young bondling.
“One question at a time, the easy one first your two shadows Cobi and Logen are outside waiting to see you – and no they do not know totally what happened, they only know that you passed out. We have inserted a psychic block into all your classmates, so they won’t find out. You know the rules about what they can learn and what they can’t!” replied Ambrosius as he gently lowers the wriggling boy back to the sedan/couch.
As Ambrosius is lowering Alexii, he is thinking ‘I know more about your two shadows than you would ever believe, I see how they are never far away and never let you out of their sight. One of them is always nearby even if you don’t see them. If they are not in your classes, one of them is in a class nearby or has a free period and just happens to study nearby. How they came here and who they are, is very interesting! That they are not what they seem to be makes me very curious and what is even stranger is by themselves they are psychic gift poor but together they are multitudes stronger than you dear Alexii and you are the strongest I have ever seen. If I did not know better I would think they were sent here as bodyguards for you little one, but who would send bodyguards younger than the one they guard?’
“Now are you going to settle down and listen to me or do you want an injection?” questions Ambrosius of the now still boy.
“And the sooner you cooperate, the sooner you get to see Cobi & Logen” Admonishes Ambrosius with a twinkle in his eyes.
Alexii replies, “I’ll cooperate, what do you want to know?”
“This is where things get a bit sticky – I mean tricky,” answers a chuckling Ambrosius as he ducks a swat by a blushing Alexii.
“Ok, Ok stop trying to hit me, and I’ll explain, the problem actually the problems”
“What do you mean problems?” interrupts a now concerned Alexii.
Ambrosius reaches over and resumes rubbing Alexii’s shoulders and soon Alexii relaxes and begins to purr again.
“Now listen! You are not the problem, the images you broadcast are” Ambrosius speaks soothingly and calmly while continuing to massage the tension out of the frightened young bondling.
“Here are the problems; only one of the images is Geminiian and that is of Sean Castellano the Callistan Arcon Heir Designate. The political implications of that image alone are staggering they are nothing compared to the second image. The second image is of an Alien Male of an unknown species! And that is the real problem, because you see the images you broadcast morphed back and forth – the alien became Sean and Sean became the alien.”
‘His name is Alexander and he is from The Planet Terra and he belongs to Sean and they belong to me‘ comes slamming into Ambrosius’s head from a now defiant Alexii!
“Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh – I think I understand some things better now – Go to lunch and we will discuss how to handle this after lunch. You know you must not speak of any of this to anyone or let it leak from your head?” Ambrosius queries his now recovered charge.
“Yes, I know – I’ll see you after lunch” Alexii replies as he gives Ambrosius a big hug and rubs their cheeks together.
Before Ambrosius could reply Alexii was out the door screaming out the names of his two best friends.
Ambrosius walks down the corridor muttering to himself seeking answers to the bombshell Alexii has just dumped on him.
‘Does he even realize what he said, does he know what will happen if those thoughts ever see the light of day‘ these are the thoughts going through Ambrosius mind as he ambles down the corridor ignoring everything and everyone along the way.
Ambrosius continues aimlessly along his way muttering dire imprecations under his breath about what he will do to Alexii if word leaks out about what he sent.
A stray image of Alexii’s two shadows popped into his head and for some strange reason, Ambrosius felt more at ease.
Just as that happened, Ambrosius arrived at what may have been his destination all along an out of the way alcove with the ubiquitous spinning globe of “The Keeper of The Planet’s” followers.
This was an unusual alcove in many ways, for it was off the beaten path and frequented rarely. Also, for such an out of the way alcove, it was richly appointed and scrupulously clean. Yet the rich appointments drew no notice. In addition, unlike most alcoves, this one had large floor to ceiling windows on all three sides with a view of a hidden meadow on the collegium grounds.
Ambrosius sat on one of the richly upholstered saets going over in his mind all the scenarios Alexii’s sending could cause. While Ambrosius was deep in thought, a strange thing happened unbeknown to Ambrosius a pale wispy blue glow had surrounded the alcove effectively cutting off all sound from the region around Ambrosius.
Stranger still was the fact no one walking down the corridor would never have known the alcove was there or had ever been there.
As Ambrosius pondered the many scenarios he reaffirmed the decision he had come to months earlier. ‘Alexii must be at Sean Callestano’s Bonding Ceremony come ‘Ebru Labadon’s Castle’ or High Water‘
Now that brought up another problem Ambrosius would be at the ceremony as the Senior Green Robed Physico of the Collegium and could easily bring Alexii along as his top student and assistant.
“But ………………….. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm I wonder?” mutters Ambrosius under his breath. ‘Those blighted shadows of his wherever Alexii goes they follow!
Flashback Six Turnings:
[Authors note: You might want to listen to “Summertime” by Kenny G while reading this chapter it will definitely enhance this passage. TSL]
On the continent of Secundo in a sleepy little village that was soon to change in a planet shattering way. In front of a small inconspicuous dwelling on the outskirts of the village of Barcelino an unmarked relocation air lorry had pulled up.
Several Geminiian Males wearing faded and worn coveralls with no identifying badges or logos disembarked and proceeded to unload the lorry and carry the furnishings inside.
While the lorry was being unloaded, an unassuming personal aircar and two adult Geminiians and two young Geminiians got out and headed towards the front entrance.
The adult male stopped and had a brief chat with the workers while the female continued inside the dwelling followed by the younglings.
Shortly thereafter the team of workmen had finished unloading their vehicle and had proceeded to board it. As the driver was boarding the air lorry, the male Geminiian stepped outside, made a brief hand signal to the driver who responded with a similar signal boarded the lorry and left in a small cloud of dust.
As it was nearing dusk, the lights began to come on inside the dwelling and the front windows began polarizing until no lighted windows remained.
The only light remaining was a spinning Gemini Globe on the front entrance that marked the inhabitants as believers in “The Keeper of The Planet”.
A short way down the route away from Barcelino the relocation air lorry pulls up behind a large nondescript unmarked magneto hovervan.
Before the lorry had come to a complete stop, the “workmen” disembarked from the lorry and proceeded to lower a ramp.
As soon as the ramp was fully loaded, the “workmen” except for the driver left the roadway and blended into the deepening night.
The driver reentered the lorry driving it up the ramp inside the hovervan as soon as the lorry was completely inside the hovervan killed the fans jumped down and raised the ramp.
The driver secured the ramp in total darkness as not a single light was used. The driver boarded the passenger side of the hovervan, which then quickly disappeared down the roadway.
A few mics later a few shadowy figures appeared waved a few indistinct objects over the roadway and then disappeared leaving no trace of the van or the lorry. All that remained was a softly glowing sigil of the planet Gemini with the letters’ “PS” intertwined glowing a little brighter against the globe. A mic later, all was totally black.
Back at the unimposing dwelling, the inhabitants are meeting in the salon discussing their futures in Barcelino and beyond.
This was not your usual family meeting as these Geminiian’s were not really a family as families go.
“Yes sir we know what to do, we are to make friends with this Alexii” The adult male starts to interrupt the young towhead who quickly continues “And we know, tell him as little as possible about the two of you “Our Parents” quotes the towhead Cobi the older of the two young Geminiians.
As the female attempts to speak Logen, the younger speaks up, “We are supposed to stay near him at all times and when we don’t have a reason to be near him, stay out of sight yet keep him insight.” He pauses quickly and then continues “We are supposed to get ourselves invited to his house often and become part of his family, cause you and “Dad” have to be out of town a lot and we have no relatives on Secundo”
The female finally gets a word in edgewise as she asks the two youngsters “What happened to our Housekeeper/Nanny?”
Cobi and Logen try to answer at the same time, the female starts laughing which draws stern glares from the two boys. “Stop that you two, you are not twins” cautions the woman.
Cobi quickly interjects “But we think like twins”
Before the woman could respond Logen pops up “We won’t do it in public, what do you think we are; babies?”
The male interrupts the conversation “That’s enough of that – now we are not supposed to discuss that”
Cobi, Logen, and the woman reply sheepishly “Yes Sir, Sorry Sir”
Logen quickly responds before the situation became anymore heated. “Our housekeeper had a family emergency and won’t be here for a few weeks”
“And?” The woman questions.
“Your new jobs were starting, and we had to move. We are going to look for housekeeper shortly,” answers Cobi.
“Now what about your gifts” queries the male?
“What gifts what are you talking about?” The two boys replied simultaneously then quickly fell to the floor laughing.
The two adults just looked at each other then shrugged their shoulders and headed out of the room leaving the two hysterical boys rolling around on the floor.
The male paused as he got near the door and said, “Good night you two, try not to tear the place down” and then went to his room.
The woman then continued on to the “kitchen” to get the next morning’s meal ready.
As soon as the two adults had left the room the two boys stopped rolling around on the floor turned towards each other and “High Fived” saying “Finally”
Logen continued, “I thought they’d never leave and why do they keep going over this stuff with us?”
Cobi looked over at Logen shrugged his shoulders and replied, “Who knows. They are adults, who knows why they do anything?”
Both boys said good night gave each other a hug and to their own rooms.
As the boys were heading towards their rooms, the woman had finished in the kitchen. She passed the boy and said “Good Night” the boys’ mumbled “night” in reply as they continued heading towards their rooms in the back of the dwelling.
As the house quieted and all of the lights dimmed there was a soft blue glow emanating from two rear windows. Several minutes later the dwelling was quiet and dark.
Meanwhile in a large and luxurious dwelling on the other side of Barcelino, six turnings old Alexii was asking his parents for the millionth time or so it seemed to them. When there were going to be kids his age in town for him to play with.
His parents looked at each other, and then the mother got up and went and sat next to Alexii on the divan she then gave her son a hug and said to him “Alexii darling I wish that I had known when your father got his transfer orders, that there weren’t any children your age here.” She pauses and gives Alexii a hug and while mussing his hair, which causes Alexii to try to duck away. His mother continues trying to console her forlorn son, “School will be starting soon and…..”
“Yes I know, but ‘Holokids’ from ‘Crystalia”Crystalia’ (“Crystalia – comprehensive school for all grades through Terran High School. Located in Crystalia the main city on Secundo. Short for Crystalia Comprehensive.”) aren’t real friends, cause I can’t wrestle or play catch with them” interjects Alexii on the verge of tears.
His mother pulls him close and hugs him tight, and gives him a kiss on the top of the head. “Alexii you know you will be going to P/M for the Winter Solsticeum and there will be lots of geminiian’s your age there” Alexii’s mother reminds him in a soothing voice as she smoothes his hair.
“I know it isn’t your fault, I just want someone to hangout with and play games with. Someone I can actually touch. I know you said I may have a brother or sister soon, but it will be years before they can talk or play. I am going to bed now” Alexii finishes his whine. Giving his mother a kiss on the cheek saying, “Night Mom, luv ya”.
His mom gives him a kiss on his forehead and replies, “Night son, I love you too.”
Alexii then got up from the divan, went over to his dad, gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek also, and says, “Gnite Dad thanks luv ya.”
His dad replies “Night kiddo e, you’re always welcome, luv ya too, nite” then gives Alexii a soft swat on the rear propelling him towards his room.
Alexii heads towards his room checking his wallcom as he comes through the door. Seeing no messages, he undresses for bed and then crawls wearily into his bed saying “lights” as his head hits the pillow.
The lights instantly dim to a barely visible glow as Alexii exhausted by his emotional conversation with his parents falls into a deep slumber. Oblivious to everything until Solarius is well risen in the morning.
Shortly thereafter, his parents head to their room as work starts early the next morning.
As the house darkens and quiets completely a spinning globe of Gemini appears briefly over the house then is gone.
Several ‘days’ later at a nature preserve just outside of Barcelino, Alexii was sitting on a rock idly tossing stones at the ‘fish’ swimming by in the local stream.
While Alexii was daydreaming the day away, wishing for friends to play with, Cobi and Logen were wandering the preserve looking for something to do.
After wandering through the preserve for several hours and becoming very bored, the two tired young boys sat down on a fallen log.
As the boys were relaxing and catching their breath, they heard the gurgling of the stream and an occasional splash. Cobi and Logen looked at each other and Logen asked, “Fish”, “No too much noise, more like a rock” answered Cobi.
“Let’s go see if we can cool off our feet in the water,” Cobi asks Logen?
“In a minute” replies a very tired Logen.
Several minutes later the lure of the cool water proved too much for even the exhausted Logen. The two boys found a trail leading towards the sound and ambled towards the stream. A short while later they espied the stream around a bend in the trail. They quicken their pace slightly eager to experience the cooling sensation of the water on their burning dogs.
As Alexii was drifting close to sleep, he came suddenly awake at an unexpected noise. It sounded like someone walking towards him, which was unusual as no one ever came out this far.
As the two boys came round the bend they, spotting Alexii and huge grins crossed their faces. The two smiling young scamps spotted Alexii walked up to him and at the same time said, “Hi I am Logen, I am Cobi.”
Alexii fell off his rock in shock and fell into the stream splashing the boys as he did. Cobi and Logen pulled the red faced Alexii out of the stream while apologizing for scaring him.
Alexii finally pulled himself together and said, “My name is Alexii and I was surprised to see you because there are no kids in town.”
Cobi answered, ‘We just moved here and don’t know anyone.”
Logen pops up, “I am tired will you walk us home?” ……………………………………………
Back in the aircar Sean was wrapping up his recitation of his interview. “After I answered the Naval Commanders questions it was all downhill from there”
“How do you mean that son?” queries his dad with a bit of a smirk in his voice
“It was like this; all of the rest of the questions were standard military questions that almost anyone could answer. It was like the whole confrontation was a setup except for one thing” replies Sean taking a breath and a sip of ‘Tea’ while thinking to himself ‘If only they really knew where a lot of those answers came from. I would love to see the look on their faces when they find out that the answers came through a fourteen turning bondling from the brain of a seventeen-year-old Terran whom I have neither met nor seen‘
“What was the one thing that concerned you about it being a setup?” asks his father curious as to his son’s reasoning.
“The fact that the whole thing might have been a setup didn’t bother me as it was a perfect way of discovering what my values and ethics are towards the military and towards the confederation in particular. It wasn’t even the fact that they almost called me a coward, that was testing me under fire, and they got more than they bargained for I didn’t even quiver, in fact, I fired right back at them” Sean pauses while his dad forms his question.
“Ok then what is the problem you covered all of my objections,” his dad asks now more curious than ever.
Sean replies very carefully trying to maintain his composure as they are nearing the Arconate in Callisto “It was the fact that the Army Commander was openly hostile throughout the interview even after the questions became mundane”
Sean’s father reaches forward and giving Sean’s knee a heartfelt squeeze as he responds “I am afraid I have the answer to that, yes he was hostile towards you and I wanted to warn you about what might happen, but my superiors said to wait. You were right there were tests within tests”.
“But why was he so virulently hostile father I don’t even know the man?” ask a very confused son.
“Sean he was hostile partially because I beat him out of a prize command and also was chosen for Bonding where he wasn’t. That is the first reason, the second reason has to do with you” his father’s explanation is interrupted by Sean’s next question.
“What did I do, like I said I don’t know him at all?”
“Simple son you turned him down and he lost his chance at revenge. Hold on , I know what you are going to say and ask. You turned him down when you turned down the intelligence service request for your service, he would have been your commanding officer” Sean’s father finishes his answer and looks towards his son who now has a knowing look on his face.
The aircar had arrived at their destination and an Arconate Security Officer opened the door and escorted Sean’s Mother out of the aircar followed by her husband then Sean. As Sean stepped down from the aircar the waiting band broke into a loud and stirring fanfare “The Callistan March” by J’ohn Willems.
Well, folks here is the second chapter of Hearts Across Space, I hope it answered a few of your questions. This chapter wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of my editor Gunrunner who pulled no punches and asked some very pointed questions, when I went off on a tangent. Thanks to his efforts I think we have something enjoyable for you to read. Remember your comments are the only payment we authors’ receive, so please email. Please let me know if the Errata’s and Glossary are helpful.
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I am honored to be the one chosen to work with The Story Lover on this project. It humbles me to know that I am working not only with a story written by a great author, but I am also working on a new creation with a mind that harbors the creative imagination that is normally only reserved for children in their wild night time dreams.
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