Sentenced to Life

“Wh…What?” Marc replied with a stunned expression on his face. “What do you mean, destroyed?”

Danny quickly wiped away his tears, but they were replaced with fresh ones just as fast. “I can’t trap him here. It would be more like revenge to trap him here than anything else.”

“Revenge?!? How is giving him more time with you revenge?” Marc asked, still a little dazed at what Danny was suggesting. “That’s what he wanted. I mean, that’s what he wants. A chance at a second life, with you.”

“A second life?” Danny almost spat out. “More like being sentenced to life.” He managed to get out before being wracked with sobs. “I can’t do that to him. I just can’t Marc.”

“What are you talking about?” Marc asked as he watched Danny shakily take a sip from his mug. “He knows what he wants Dan. He wants to be here with you.”

“Then maybe I need to think about where I belong.” Danny said coldly through a sniffle as he stood up and began to walk further down the beach.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Marc shouted as he jumped to his feet and began to follow, spilling a little of his untouched coffee in the process.

“It means I can’t be selfish. If he wants to be with me as much as I want him in my life again, then maybe it should be in the plane of existence that would be natural.” Danny said as he stopped walking and turned his teary gaze toward Marc. “Just because I’m trapped in this body doesn’t mean it’s right to do the same to him so we can stay together.”

“You’re talking suicide?” Marc asked, tears now welling up in his own eyes. “That’s what you’re talking about, isn’t it?”

“You couldn’t possibly understand.” Danny said, looking away the moment he saw tears working their way down Marc’s cheeks. “Humans were never meant to live forever Marc.” He continued in an emotionless tone before he slowly began to walk again.

“You aren’t human.” Marc replied as he once again followed. “You’re an android, just like I am. The part of you that was human is gone. I bet it passed just like it was supposed to.”

“I wish I could believe that.” Danny almost whispered. “The reality of it is my body died. My thoughts and my soul were stolen and trapped in this shell. I don’t belong here and neither does Kevin.”

“You don’t know that.” Marc cried. “How could you possibly think that one man’s actions could twist the work of god? How could making a copy of you be anything more than a copy? I mean you are a real individual, but how could you be the same individual?”

“I know the real answers to that about as well as you do. I was born human. I lived my life. When that life was supposed to end one man found a way to extend it. I’m nothing more than some freak of nature who is probably going to hell now because I went against plans from much higher up. I won’t let my fate become Kevin’s. I want him released.”

“Danny…” Marc managed to get out before Danny threw down his coffee cup and turned to face Marc.

“I’m right Marc. I’ve had years to learn that I’m right. So either you help me or you just don’t get in my way.” Danny said before turning to storm away once again.

“Where the hell is this coming from all of a sudden?” Marc asked through his sobs, freezing Danny in mid step.

“You want to know?” Danny growled. “I was having fun today…”

“That’s what I mean. You were having fun. It’s been a great day. Now all of a sudden you want to end it all again. This time for you and Kevin.” Marc fired back with a loud sniffle, cutting off his brother.

“It already ended!” Danny almost screamed. “When I was alive I had fun playing drums. Kevin used to love listening to me and the guys I used to jam with. It was one of his favorite things to be involved with when…” Danny paused as he wiped away the tears. “When we were alive.”

“Oh, so now that you’re here you aren’t allowed to enjoy the things you used to?” Marc asked in a sarcastic tone. “I get it. That was reserved for you when you were human. Being android isn’t real. Hell, why are you even listening to me? I was never human! I’m not real! Why take the opinion of a machine?” Marc shouted angrily as the streams of tears continued to flow freely down his cheeks. “So, what now? You gonna go look for another boat to jump off of?”

“Why don’t you get it?” Danny shouted. “I didn’t choose to be brought back.”

“But Kevin did choose to have his imprint taken so he could be with you in some form again.” Marc added for him.

“Not knowing that it was going to trap his soul here for a virtual eternity.” Danny spat. “I can’t let him do that.

“You’re wrong damn it! There’s no way that’s possible.” Marc shouted, taking a few steps toward his brother. “It may feel that way to you but, it can’t be the truth.”

“Whatever Marc. Believe what you want, I know the truth.” Danny managed to get out before the sight of Marc’s tears caused him to choke back more of his own. As he quickly turned away from his brother, he froze as a familiar form stood in his intended path.

“Take a seat Danny. We need to have a talk.” The form said as Danny’s vision locked in on the face of the glowing silhouette.

“Mikey, tell him I’m right.” Danny demanded. “Tell him what I’m doing is the right thing to do. You know, you just have to know.”

“Danny, sit. Please.” Mikey said as he took a step toward Danny. “Your heart is in the right place but your soul isn’t where you think it is.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Danny asked, opening his eyes wide. “Just tell Marc that I’m right. Tell him what bringing Kevin back would do to Kevin’s soul. Tell him…” Danny managed to get out before his sobs took over, causing him to fall into Mikey’s embrace like a lost child.

“I won’t tell your brother anything that isn’t the truth. You know that I can’t.” Mikey almost whispered as he looked over Danny’s shoulder to see Marc still standing frozen in place, crying. “Just like your brother, you have a real soul. Our father blessed you with a soul, just as he does with all of his children. The only way it will be different for you and Kevin when that time comes and your time on earth ends, is the fact that you will go to heaven just as Marc will. You will both go to heaven Danny.” Mikey repeated as he redirected Danny’s gaze into his own stare. “Just as a part of you has in the past.” He finished as they both heard Marc gasp.

“Sorry it took so long.” Davie said as he stepped forward leading two others he had brought with him to the spot where Mikey and Danny were still standing.

“Danny.” A familiar voice caught Danny’s attention. “Danny, please look at me.”

“No.” Danny began to sob. “I can hear Kevin.” He managed to say as he gripped Mikey tighter.

“Maybe you’ll listen to me.” Another voice spoke, this one causing Danny’s back to go ridged. “You do remember the sound of your human voice, don’t you?”

“That’s not possible.” Danny said as he slowly turned his head and saw himself and Kevin, just as they appeared in life.

“It’s more than possible.” Mikey whispered as he released Danny from his embrace. “Get the answers from them. Learn the truth from them.”

“You’re me?” Danny asked as he stepped slowly away from Mikey.

“No.” The glowing image of his human self said as he knelt down in the sand. “I’m the soul of the human you once were.” He continued as he sat in the sand and motioned to Danny to sit. “You don’t know what you are. You really don’t.”

“Of course I do.” Danny sniffled as he sat and faced the image of his human self in confusion. “This body changes nothing. I’m stuck here. I should have just…” He managed to say before a thought overwhelmed him. “Wait. This isn’t possible. How are you here?”

“Danny.” The image of an adult Kevin said as he sat in the sand beside Daniel. “I’ve watched over you after I passed. I was with you beneath the ocean all those years.”

“We were both with you.” Daniel said as he put his arm around Kevin’s shoulders.

“We watched Marc work day and night for months to bring you back. We were there when you woke up…” Kevin got out before Danny shook his head.

“How are you together?” Danny asked as he tried to make sense out of what he was witnessing. “I haven’t died. How can you be…”

“You’re right, you haven’t died.” Daniel said. “I did though.”

“But I’m still me.” Danny said as he shook his head.

“You are you. You became you the day you opened your eyes on that table all those years ago with me at your side. You gained consciousness just like Marc did. The only real difference between you both is that you woke with real memories of a real past. Making them a permanent part of your life.” Kevin said as he pointed to Daniel.

“My life experiences are saved within you. They’re so clear that you believe that you are me, and you have no real reason to look at it any other way.” Daniel’s image said as he tilted his head. “You have a soul Danny, just like Marc does. Just like any self aware android does. You earned your soul with your existence and how you chose to use it, long before you were ever aware what that choice was. What I was in life helped to give you your life. It’s a part of you now, but you are so much more.”

“My memories aren’t my memories?” Danny asked as Marc came over to sit next to his brother.

“I guess they would be like the memories I was given when I was activated.” Marc half whispered. Hoping he wasn’t out of line for offering his thoughts.

“Marc, tell him about it. You’re more right that you know.” Daniel said with a smile.

“I didn’t know I was an android in the beginning. My creators gave me memories to make me think I had a past. They made me think I had real parents that had passed away. I have memories of friends, family, events growing up that were nothing more than a planned out program to help me think I was a real human.” Marc said with a sigh. “It was hard to accept that those memories weren’t really mine but in a weird way, I like to think of them as mine. I mean they did help to make me who I am, real or not.”

“So my memories before this body are with me, even though they aren’t really mine?” Danny asked as he looked back at Daniel.

“It won’t be easy to accept at first.” Daniel said with a knowing nod. “Just know that you became who you are the day you were activated. Memories before then were simply carried over from the source of the personality that you were given.” Daniel said as he reached over and placed his hand on Danny’s shoulder. “You carry a part of me with you. In such a way that I am still here on earth in part. Kevin will also carry memories of a human life that was never really his, but will be a special part of him forever.”

“In a way, you’re like our children.” Kevin said with a smile. “Just know that we are always with you, watching over you and love you because you are a part of us as well. Take the best of what we were and use it to make your lives better. Use it to make the lives of everyone around you better, just like you already have been doing.”

“Wow.” Marc absently said before he realized by the stares he was receiving that he had said it out loud. “Sorry. I just realized that some of the stuff they said about Danny that I even thought was true; wasn’t.”

“Human soul prison?” Daniel asked getting a nod from Marc as his answer. “They said that because they thought just as Danny did.”

“Human soul, stolen and trapped in an android body.” Danny said as he felt Marc’s arm on his shoulders. “Marc, I’m sorry for saying you couldn’t possibly understand how I felt. That was mean.”

“But from what you believed, it was right.” Marc replied.

“Danny, wake my likeness.” Kevin said as the group got on their feet. “Let him learn what you now know to be truth. He wants life; he wants to be here with you and your family. Give him that gift.”

“But he isn’t you.” Danny said as a sad look swept through his expression.

“No, he’s not.” Kevin said as he looked at Daniel and smiled. “He will be himself and will carry a part of me. He will carry a very special part of us that will make you and him just as close. He wants life; he wants a life with you in it. Truth or not, he wants that life back so he can make it a reality once again, for you both.”

“My whole life has been a lie then?” Danny asked as Mikey and Davie stepped back toward the group.

“Danny.” Mikey began. “You physically weren’t a part of making those memories a reality. That part is true. Look at it like a gift from a previous life. Daniel is a large part of the person you became. Without that human component, you could have become a much different person in the end. I can tell you for sure that someone up above is extremely impressed and flattered by you and your family for the love you show others and to him as well. In the end I have a feeling I’m going to have more help than I’ll know what to do with.”

“Our division?” Marc asked, causing Davey to giggle.

“He means our families.” Davie said with a smile. “These two get to watch a part of themselves accomplish something they could have only dreamed about during their time on earth. That dream is a reality for them now, and it’s all because of you and your new family.”

“Besides.” Kevin added. “When your time comes, and someday it will; there is a very special place reserved for you all. Not just androids either. Human and android alike. You are all as close to living saints as anyone could ever imagine.”

“Yeah, so lose the thoughts of you going anyplace other than the one we spend most of our time in.” Davie said as Mikey smiled at him. “I just hope you were prepared to spend eternity as a part of Clan Short.”

“Enough for now.” Mikey said as he stepped between Marc and Danny, wrapping his wings around them both. “This is all a small part of what the future holds for you both. Just keep in mind you are already on that path and it is the right one. To that there is no question.” Mikey said nearly over a whisper as the tips of his wings brushed over both boys faces, causing them to smile and close their eyes. When they opened them, they were once again alone, and staring dreamily out over the calm water.

“Thank you.” Danny whispered as he looked to the sky as a voice answered from a distance.

“Keep playing those drums Danny. I still like to listen.” They both could hear Kevin’s voice say, causing them to giggle.

“See, I told you it was too loud.” Marc joked with a sniffle before Danny playfully pushed him and smiled, starting a playful wrestling match in the sand.

“Hey! Play nice!” Noah shouted with a giggle as he walked over to the laughing androids with Caleb and JR following closely. “Marc, you left your communicator on the kitchen table.” Noah continued as Marc and Danny started brushing the sand out of their hair. “Billy’s been trying to contact you.”

“Oh.” Marc said as he stood up and cleared his throat before accepting the communicator and flipping it open. “Furst to O’Keefe”

“There you are. I was starting to think you left the planet or something.”

“No.” Marc laughed. “But we’ve been a little busy. So, what’s up?”

“Well, I wanted to let you know I will be back on site tomorrow morning. A few friends and I have been tearing apart my plans for your R&D Department.”

“Tearing them apart?” Marc asked as he watched Danny try to get up and Noah tackle him back to the sand. “Is that a good or a bad thing?”

“Good. Actually better than good. I think you are gonna love the new configuration. Think I can sit down with you and Director Page sometime tomorrow afternoon so I can show you?”

“That’d be cool.” Marc replied. “Would be cool for you to finally get to meet Danny too.”

“Sweet. I’ll be returning to active duty just before noon. I’ll go over my plans and see if they meet with your approval before we get to obtaining the materials we’re gonna need.”

“Obtaining them?” Marc laughed. “Sounds like you’re putting a scheme in motion here.”

“Don’t ask, don’t tell. Hehehe. Don’t worry; no one is gonna get mad or anything.”

“Oh, that makes me feel so much better. Thanks Billy.” Marc laughed. “I’ll see you tomorrow morning. Marc Out.”

“That the engineer?” Danny asked while grabbing Noah’s legs and toppling him face first into the sand. “I was wondering when I was going to get to mee….” He got out before Caleb and JR both jumped him and pinned his arms down. “Ooofff… get to meet him.” Danny got out with a strained laugh. “You guys are crushing me.”

“That’ll teach you to attack my boyfriend.” Caleb laughed as he rolled Danny on to his stomach, pinning his hands behind his back.

“Bad move bro.” Danny laughed as he hooked Caleb’s arms with his feet, pulling him backward into the sand and sitting on his chest with his legs pinning each shoulder down.

“Sweet.” JR said as he backed away, laughing.

“That’s no fair!” Caleb gasped. “He’s had like, a million years to practice moves like that!”

“Not quite.” Danny giggled. “Plenty of opponents though.” He added as he stood up and extended his hand to Caleb.

“There’s always next time.” JR grinned as Caleb stared a hole right through him.

“Oh yeah, weren’t you supposed to be helping me here?” Caleb said as he slowly began advancing on the traitor. “You’re next!” He shouted just as JR turned to run for the house.

“You okay?” Marc asked as he brushed the sand off of Danny’s shirt.

“Yeah.” Danny laughed. “That was fun. He’s a tough little guy.”

“I meant are you okay, with what happened before the main event here.” Marc giggled.

“Yeah. I’m not sure what to think about it all though. I mean my life wasn’t really my life.” Danny replied as Noah tilted his head in question.

“We had visitors tonight.” Marc said to Noah who looked on with obvious confusion in his expression. “C’mon, I’ll explain in the house.” He added as he put his arm around Danny’s shoulders and all three slowly walked back toward the house.

A few minutes later, all five boys were in Danny’s room. JR and Caleb sitting on the couch with Noah, Danny and Marc lazily lying on the bed looking out over the bay at the passing fishing boats.

“You talked to yourself and Kevin?” Noah asked as his gaze snapped back toward Danny.

“Well, it’s more like… Um… The real Danny and Kevin I guess.” Danny replied.

“You’re no less real than the human Daniel Page you know.” Marc snapped. “You were just born with his life memories.”

“That’s a good way to look at it. It’s like he’s sorta reincarnated in you dude. That’s kinda nice when you think of it.” Caleb said as he turned to look back out the windows.

“I like that.” Danny said as he lay back on the bed and stared at the ceiling. “I hope Kevin can think of it the same way.”

“He’s already told you he will.” Marc replied as Caleb walked over to the stereo and turned on some soft music. “To make it easier, he’s gonna dream about what happened tonight.” He added tapping his head.

“So we’re clear to bring him online?” Caleb asked as he plopped back down on the couch.

“Not entirely.” Marc replied. “Now that we’re going with Austin’s upgraded system from one of the oldest builds known we have to upgrade his personality imprint to compensate for the changes before hand. That’s gonna take some real work to accomplish.”

“Would help if we had access to the terminal at the hospital too.” Noah added.

“We gotta get this mess networked.” JR said with a sigh.

“Easier said than done dude.” Caleb replied laying back and resting his head on the arm rest. “We’re dealing with three different platforms at like five different locations now.”

“That’s insane.” Danny sighed. “They can’t all be tied together.”

“Well, not if we use any one platform as the base to the network. You have to consider the different environments accessible through the Federation, multiple functions of a Vulcan Terminal and a Modern Household Workstation. Add to that we need to have access to the data stored on the old Vision Industries System and have it tied into the Transporter System for the replication setup.” Caleb rambled through a yawn. “I have some ideas but they all involve more than any known Binary System can handle.”

“You’re not talking about that Trinary Experiment again, are you?” Noah asked as he shot Caleb a disbelieving stare.

“It’ll work.” Caleb grinned. “And when it does we’ll have one terminal that will replace the three or four we would have needed at each location. Not to mention that it’ll be more expandable than anything we’ve ever worked with before.”

“I hope you have a plan B.” Noah giggled.

“Oh sure.” Caleb smiled. “Smoke signals and calculators.”

“Very funny.” Noah laughed as he stuck out his tongue.

“Give his idea a chance Noah. Just remember, each one of the platforms he trying to cross at one time probably sounded like half baked ideas at one time too.” Danny said as he looked over and noticed Marc had fallen asleep. “The first Positronic Matrix was laughed at.” He said as he pointed to Marc. “Not too many people are laughing at it now.”

“You’re right.” Noah said as he stretched across the foot of the large bed. “Sorry Cal. I didn’t mean to make it sound like it couldn’t work.”

“You can make up for it later.” Caleb said as he grabbed one of the pillows on the couch and curled up to watch one of the passing boats in the distance. “God the view is relaxing in this room.” He got out as he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep along with the rest of the group.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

“Report Doctor Furst.” Danny yawned as he entered the kitchen, his hair still mussed from his pillow.

“Bite me.” Marc giggled in response as he poured Danny a coffee. “I have no clue what’s going on right now.”

“Well, it’s quiet. That’s either a good sign or it means we should be looking for cover right now.” Danny yawned.

“Well, Caleb, Noah and JR are in the basement. They won’t say what they’re doing and won’t even let me to go down there. Eli, Benji, Sammy and Sebastian are out on the back deck doing some exercises and I’ve been sitting right here. How’s that for a report?” Marc said as he sat back down and slid Danny’s coffee to him.

“Well, I guess it works.” Danny giggled, taking his first sip and almost choking as the refrigerator door opened all by itself and the gallon of orange juice seemed to float out of it; heading into the living room. “What the…” He managed to get out as the refrigerator closed just as the cupboard opened and four glasses took the same route.

“Get used to it.” Marc giggled as a bag of cookies that were on the table began to levitate. “I said wait for lunch!” Marc yelled as he grabbed the bag and placed it back on the table with a laugh.

“Awwwwww….” Echoed Eli, Benji, Sammy and Sebastian from the back deck. “But we’re hungry now.” Sammy whined as he pressed his face up against the screen of the opened window in the kitchen.

“They did that?” Danny asked, still with a dazed expression on his face.

“Probably Eli.” Marc replied. “I told him not to move around too much so, he hasn’t moved for anything.”

“Unreal.” Danny shrugged before returning his attention to his coffee as the basement door opened.

“Guess who’s here.” Caleb said with a grin as he ran into the kitchen and plopped into a chair.

“Well, you are now.” Marc laughed.

“Funny and true but, no. I mean who else is here.” Caleb replied, folding his arms.

“Dude, we’ve been here.” Danny said with a stifled laugh.

“Okay, other than anyone in this room. Gawd!” Caleb whined.

“We’re here!” Sammy shouted through the window earning a round of giggles from the group out on the back deck.

“What is it with you guys?” Caleb huffed. “Okay! Other than anyone here in the kitchen or out on the deck…” He added as Danny raised his finger. “…or in the basement…” He cut him off.

“He’s good.” Danny laughed as he looked at Marc and smiled. “You got me bro, who’s here?”

“I am.” Billy smiled as he walked into the room. “You’re Danny Page, right?”

“Our Chief Engineer.” Marc smiled when Danny gave him a sideways glance.

“Billy O’Keefe, right?” Danny questioned as he stood up and shook his hand. “I’ve heard some really interesting stuff about you.”

“We’re even then.” Billy smiled as he pulled out an open chair and sat down, quickly sliding a P.A.D.D. toward Marc. “I brought you a gift.” He said with a mischievous grin.

“Oh?” Marc smiled as he put his coffee down and looked at the display. “Regeneration Chamber? What’s this all about?”

Billy’s smile got wide when Caleb quickly covered his mouth and clenched his eyes shut. “You can tell them if you want Cal.” Billy laughed.

“Sweet!” Caleb excitedly replied. “It’s what you get when you cross a replicator for androids and an operating room!”

“Is this one of those jokes?” Danny asked, looking back and forth between Billy and Caleb. “You know, like the ‘What do you get when you cross a rooster and a Telephone Pole?’ Joke?” Danny laughed. “Cause I know the answer to that one.”

“No.” Marc replied as everyone else cracked up laughing. “Fully functioning android med lab that we can replicate units directly onto the biobed the activation would be performed on. Billy, This is amazing!” Marc said as he looked away from the P.A.D.D. “Where’d you get the idea from?”

“The McKensie activation.” Billy replied with a grin. “All the rushing around to move him and stuff. It just seemed a little uncoordinated and clumsy. I was explaining what happened to a friend of mine at Terra Main when a call came in for a site to site transport that kinda gave me this idea. I ended out spending most of the night on those plans, with a little help.”

“Yeah, Billy’s got a girlfriend.” Caleb sang in a mocking tone.

“She’s not my girlfriend brainiac, she’s just a friend from the academy.” Billy replied as his face began to blush. “Besides, there was a group of us.”

“Oh yeah, I forgot.” Caleb giggled. “NOT your girlfriend. I got it now. You did NOT just spend the entire night with her.”

“Can you guys do something with him?” Billy laughed.

“Sorry.” Danny shrugged. “Even Noah can’t control him.”

“Oh yes I can.” Noah said as he wandered into the kitchen, JR close behind. “Hey Cal, go upstairs.”

“No way.” Caleb replied. “This is too fun.”

“Okay.” Noah said as he leaned on the doorway. “I guess I’ll just jump in the shower all by my self then.”

“Oh?” Caleb’s gaze shot back toward Noah. “Later guys!” He added and bolted out of his chair, through the doorway and up the stairs with a grin.

“See.” Noah laughed. “JR, we’ll be back down later.”

“Go.” JR laughed as he sat down in the chair Caleb had occupied. “I’ll go an hang out with tha other guys.”

“Now about the replication chamber…” Marc managed to say before the cookies began to levitate once again. “OKAY! I’ll make lunch!” He shouted as he grabbed the bag and put it back on the table. “Guard those JR.” Marc giggled as he slid the cookies across the table to him.

“What’s for breakfast?” Danny asked with a snicker.

“Breakfast? We’ve done been up fer hours.” JR tilted his head and stated. “Ya’lls gotta getta alarm clock er sumthin.”

“It’s my day off.” Danny laughed.

“Technically sir, you are this division’s Director twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.” Billy said with a grin as Marc tried really hard not to laugh.

“Hey now.” Danny spat as he picked up his coffee. “I just met you and you’re already giving me a bad time?”

“We briefed him before you got back.” Marc giggled.

“Nice, really nice.” Danny laughed as Caleb came running into the kitchen. “That was quick.”

“Can we use your bathroom?” Caleb asked, somewhat out of breath.

“Mine? Why?” Danny asked as he picked up his coffee and took a sip.

“Cause it’s bigger.” Caleb replied with a grin.

“Oh, I don’t know.” Danny said with a grin as he slowly took a sip from his mug.

“Oh come on. Pleeeeeaaaaaase.” Caleb whined as he knelt down beside the chair and grabbed Danny’s free arm. “Please, please, please. I love you, I really, really, really do.”

“Wow. He’s laying it on thick.” Marc laughed.

“Gross.” JR said as he got up from his chair and went to join the other kids out on the back deck.

“See, you chased JR out of the room.” Billy said with a laugh.

“Please Danny! Please, pretty please…”

“Oh my god, YES! Now leave me alone!” Danny shouted before he cracked up laughing.

“Sweet! Thanks Danny!” Caleb shouted before running back out of the room.

“You’re too easy.” Billy said as he got up from his seat and looked in the refrigerator. “Do you guys have any juice or something?”

“Yeah.” Marc laughed before he walked over to the window. “Billy wants some OJ guys. Is there any left?”

“Oh sorry.” Eli laughed. “I’ll bring him some.”

“Sit down Billy. Eli said he’ll get you some.” Marc said with a grin.

“Eli? The kid you operated on?” Billy questioned as he closed the refrigerator and sat down just in time to see a glass filled with orange juice float into the room and softly land on the table directly in front of him. “Okay, that answers my question.” He said as he grabbed the cup. “Thanks Eli!” He shouted toward the open window, being answered by the sound of four giggling boys.

“So, what was that you were working on?’ Danny asked as Billy picked up the P.A.D.D. and started tapping on its display.

“Oh yeah.” Billy replied, handing Danny the P.A.D.D. “It’s a combination of a transporter, replicator and a small OR. When you guys create a new android body, like we did for KC; everything involved in the activation process can be done without having to move the unit after it’s replication.” He said as he picked up his cup and took a sip. “When we did KC’s activation, we had to rush to get him on a portable biobed, tie him into the system and then start his heart. Everything was kinda half rigged in the transporter room and I knew we could do better.”

“So, this room you designed has a transporter based replicator built in?” Danny asked, scratching his head.

“In a way, yeah.” Billy smiled. “It is still tied into your transporter systems at the hospital but, from conception to activation, you can do all the work right in that room. The structure is still created in the transporter buffers but the unit will materialize in place on the permanent biobed in that room. Every piece of equipment in that room can be handled by one dedicated mainframe computer; which can be accessed anywhere in your network for monitoring and for replication programming.”

“Wait.” Marc turned and said. “You mean I can be here at home and can work on an imprint or check on the status of a patient on the biobed directly?”

“Exactly.” Billy smiled. “You like the idea so far?”

“Are you kidding?” Marc asked looking up as Caleb ran back into the kitchen. “The bathroom is upstairs bro.” He said with a giggle.

“Yeah, but there are no towels.” Caleb panted.

“There are some in the linen closet in either bathroom down here. I forgot the upstairs bathrooms have been used quite a bit lately.” Marc replied as Caleb took a deep breath and rushed into the bathroom, returning with an arm load of towels.

“Thanks Marc.” He said as he rushed out of the kitchen and disappeared through the living room again.

“Is this his first shower or something?” Billy asked with a laugh.

“No.” Marc replied with a grin. “It is the first chance he’s had in a long time to be alone with his boyfriend.”

“Ah, I gotcha.” Billy replied with a smile. “Anyway, I have access to the equipment we’ll need to get this project started once the tenth floor is cleared to work in. You guys just have to get your network plans finalized so I know how they will interface with each other.”

“That’s being worked on.” Danny said as he sat back in his seat. “Actually, Caleb, Noah and JR have been working on that idea for a while now. I’m not sure what they’ve accomplished yet but I do know that it’s seriously experimental and Caleb wants to run it by the Ark before he shows it to me.”

“The Ark?” Billy managed to ask before Caleb rushed back into the kitchen, huffing and puffing even harder than the last time.

“Oh Caleb, cool. You guys are still working on the network interface, right?” Danny asked, receiving nothing more than a nod for an answer. “Great, are we gonna be filled in anytime soon? Cause Billy designed a unit that will need to interface with the network and it would help if he knew what he was interfacing with.”

“It.. it’ll inter… interface with… any sys… system that we… already work wi… with.” Caleb said between puffs.

“That helps.” Danny said with a giggle. “Did you need something bro or do you just like sprinting around the house for fun?”

“Yeah, I need…” Caleb got out before his expression became blank “Oh Damn it! I forgot.” He sighed as he shrugged his shoulders and turned to run back out of the room.

“Okaaay.” Marc said as he began putting sandwiches together.

“So should I plan to interface with a Federation based network then?” Billy asked watching Danny tap at the P.A.D.D. display.

“That’s probably the safe way to go. I’d plan on the actual physical setup and hold the systems for last. I don’t think it’ll take long before we have a better idea what our IT guys have planned.” Danny said as he watched Marc pile mountains of Tuna Salad Sandwiches on the platter he had on the counter.

“True, they don’t waste any time.” Marc replied before turning to the open window. “LUNCH!” He yelled with a laugh as the chatter that could barely be heard coming from outside was suddenly silenced.

“Great, if we’re clear here for now I’d like to run back to Terra Main and get my group on some planning.” Billy said as he powered down the P.A.D.D.

“So, you have a group?” Danny asked with a laugh.

“Informally.” Billy replied as he stood up. “We kinda work on all our ideas together.” He managed to get out as Caleb came back into the kitchen, this time walking. “Perfect timing. Caleb, could you beam me back over to Terra Main?”

Caleb froze in mid-step before smiling and shrugging his shoulders. “I guess. You just got here though.”

“I know.” Billy replied as the platter of sandwiches levitated and floated out of the room. “You guys don’t plan to eat?”

“GUYS! Some of those were for us too you know!” Marc yelled with a grin. “You stayin for lunch Billy?”

“I probably should head right back before my group goes on duty.” Billy answered as he stood from his seat. “I’ll be back later on today if that works for you Director Page.”

“It’s our day off Billy.” Danny laughed. “Consider this personal time and do something other than work for a while if you can.”

“Yes sir.” Billy said with a nod.

“By the way Chief, my Certificate of Activation doesn’t have the words Director or Sir on it.” Danny giggled as Billy looked at Caleb with a confused expression.

“It’s the same as a Birth Certificate.” Caleb shrugged off. “He’s trying to be funny and won’t just tell you to call him Danny; like he should. Androids are weird that way.” He laughed as both Marc and Danny shot him an ‘Up Yours’ glare. “Come on; let’s get you out of here before he subjects you to his full stand up routine.” He laughed just as he turned to quickly leave the room, walking face first into the platter of sandwiches that were hovering there on it’s way back into the kitchen.

“Direct hit Eli!” Sebastian shouted from the living room with a laugh as he watched Caleb start wiping tuna out of his eyes.

“You guys are so dead!” Caleb shouted, getting a squeal from Sebastian, who quickly turned and ran back through the living room.

“Guys! Save me!” He could still be heard shouting as Caleb turned back toward the group in the kitchen.

“Gross.” Caleb whined.

“They got you good.” Billy chuckled as he scooped up a hand full of tuna out of Caleb’s hair, nearly dropping it when every communicator in the room bellowed to life.

“RED ALERT! All divisions! RED ALERT!” Tommy’s voice was heard, freezing everyone in the room. “Security Personnel stand by for deployment! All Medical Personnel prepare for incoming casualties. Report status to Headquarters immediately. This is not a drill, attack in progress. Casualties HAVE been reported!”

“Holy shit!” Danny coughed out as he fumbled to pull his communicator out of his pocket. “AI Headquarters to CIC, Page reporting in. Tommy, what’s going on?” He managed to get out as Scott’s voice could be heard.

“Lt. Shannon; AI. Division reporting in. Condition Red acknowledged. Security Personnel standing by for orders.”

“Acknowledged AI Security.” Tommy replied before once again addressing Danny. “We have men down and unknown injuries. Initial scans show a large number of attackers.” Tommy’s voice was heard as another shouted in the background. “More attackers just beamed in!” “SHIT!” Tommy shouted, losing his professional tone. “Danny, y’all better be a gettin’ sumptin figgered out; the shit’s done hit the fan an’ all kinda Hells gonna break loose.”

“It’s bad.” Caleb said with his eyes almost bugging out of his head. “Tommy doesn’t rattle that easy.” He said looking at Billy.

“Tommy, stand by for a second.” Danny quickly said before looking at Marc, not bothering to mute his end of the call. “Marc, tell me the hospital is usable.”

Marc opened his mouth but got no words out as Caleb shook his head in disbelief. “I… I’m not sure. They couldn’t have had enough time to seal the building yet.” He finally managed to say.

“We need to know, like now.” Danny replied before directing his attention back to his communicator. “Tommy, I need ONE minute to assess our situation. I will report back. Danny out.” He said before quickly flipping his communicator shut. “Sixty-seconds guys. We need to halt the contractors, recall Medical Personnel and ready ourselves for incoming.” He barked as he stood up from his seat. “Caleb, wipe the seafood off and get Noah down here. It’s time to go to work.”

To Be Continued…

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