Dark Vacation: Chapter 3

Dark Vacation

Chapter Two

By AC Fan, & Jeff P., & CSU Productions


For full disclaimer and Copyright information visit The CSU Copyright / Disclaimer Page. Continuation of viewing this document is deemed acceptance of all terms on the preceding link.



From the authors of:
Memories & Sentenced to Life


This chapter is actually a bridge between chapters in both of the afore mentioned stories. In our own way, proving to our readers and even to readers of GFD that this truly is a small world, or universe as the case may be. The idea spawned shortly after Comicality voiced his desire to design a place to become home to fan created work of what we think could be one of the most powerful stories on the web. Once that home was obtained, and Comsie had his team to take the wheel, we started this tribute. Pending the approval of Comicality and his Archivist, we are proud to bring you a Clan Short “Dark Vacation”.



After lunch the next day:


Daniel was all smiles as the boys left McDonalds. Timmy was perched on Daniel’s back giggling madly at his impression of a horse, while Cory and Sean led the group as they headed out to explore the streets of Chicago. They had just started to pass a stand of trees in a park they had decided to cut across when a large dog came bounding towards them. “The doggy wants to play!” Timmy exclaimed as he scrambled off of Daniel’s shoulders.

Kyle turned to see what Timmy was talking about. At the sight of the dog, he turned pale and squeaked “nooooooooo” as he fell to the ground and rolled into a tight sobbing ball.

Daniel dropped down and pulled Kyle onto his lap as Danny, Cory, Sean, CD, Calen, Jamie, Jacob and JR formed a human shield around them. “KYLE! What’s wrong?” Cory exclaimed in a panicked voice.

“He didn’t tell you did he?” Danny asked as he reached out and caressed Kyle’s forehead.

“Didn’t tell me what?” Cory asked. “Am I the only one who has no idea whats going on here?”

Jamie looked up. “Relax Cor; Danny is the only other one to know besides us. Kyle swore us all to secrecy. We’ve got another problem though; since Tyne opened up his Founder skills we can’t go in his head and help him.”

Cory was about to demand more information when a bone-chilling growl from behind him made him spin around. He brought his arm up in anticipation of needing to stun the offending dog who had ran up; but froze when he realized that the growl was coming from Timmy, who was standing there with clenched fists in full warpaint. William glided in to take his perch on Timmy’s right shoulder; the state of his feathers indicated that he too was extremely less than pleased.

Timmy began to fill Cory in before he could even ask. “Slider says he ain’t been told to keep no secrets. Slider used to play with Uncle Kyle when he was a puppy. Slider’s daddy used to have to do sex stuff with Uncle Kyle before Uncle Kyle was taken to the home you was in. Slider was just happy to see Uncle Kyle again; they used’d to have lots of fun.”

William clucked in Timmy’s ear. Timmy nodded then looked up at the sky. “Unca Mikey; get your butt down here now! Unca’ Kyle needs ya!”

“Whoa kiddo!” Cory said quickly. “That’s no way to call for help!”

“It works though little brother.” Mikey said as he appeared next to Timmy. “I think munchkin here is getting more like his Daddy every day. Come with me Timmy; I need you and Slider to help me.”

Cory watched as Mikey led Timmy and Slider through a gap which suddenly appeared in the wall of boys around Kyle and Daniel. Daniel just stared in awe as Mikey levitated the pair before sitting underneath them and bringing them down onto his lap. “Relax little Daniel; you have worked your magic with your cuddles and Kyle will be okay.” Mikey whispered as he wrapped his wings around them. After a couple of minutes, a gap appeared in the wings. “Timmy; it is time for you and Slider to join us.” Mikey stated.

The next time the wings opened; the boys were shocked to see Kyle and Timmy sharing Daniel’s lap. On their laps, Slider was carefully balanced as he slowly licked all evidence of Kyle’s tears from his face. “You know what must be done Kyle.” Mikey said cryptically. “Your companion will assist you in controlling the thoughts when the time comes.” Mikey then turned to the rest of the boys. “You guys did right in not trying to get into Kyle’s head; his memories of what happened before scrambled his circuits for a bit. He’ll be fine now; Slider has agreed to become to him what William is to Timmy, so now Kyle has the final piece of the puzzle needed to prepare him for the future.”

Mikey separated himself from the boys on his lap, then moved to Cory’s side while motioning for Sean to join them. Once they were each under one of his arms, Mikey began. “The people who were chosen to try to kill you are no longer a threat. The ones that survived have asked for and received asylum; can you separate what they were hired to do from the person?”

Cory gave a sigh of relief. “Thanks bro. You want me to ignore what they were sent to do just because they were ‘doing their job’?”

Mikey nodded. “Forgiveness little brother. There is more to their story than you realize; once you have seen their side you will understand.”

Cory nodded. “If you say so bro; I’ll trust you. Why is it so urgent that you tell me now instead of waiting until we go back or are told about it by Tyne?”

Mikey grinned. “At least one of them is already slated to make your life easier if you approve the position he is about to be offered.”

Sean reached out and took Cory’s hand. “Hon; I think Mikey’s trying to tell us not to punish the weapon for the actions of the weapon’s operator.”

Cory nodded. “Yeah; that’s kinda stupid. Okay Mikey; we’ll do it. Thanks for helping out bro.”

Mikey grinned as he began to fade away. “That’s why I’m here little bros; someone’s got to protect you guys!”

Once Mikey was gone, Cory engaged his subvocal. [Ark; could you pass a message to Tyne and Nyo for me?]

<What is the message Cory?>

[Tell them that whatever they decide will help the guys who were sent to try to kill us fit in is okay with me. Our Guardian Angel filled me in enough to trust them to make the right choices; I’ll just catch up when I get home.]

<Very well Cory, I will pass along the message as soon as I determine that it is safe to tell them such. Tyne and Nyo are tied up at the moment.>

Cory giggled. [Thanks Ark; I guess I should have warned you not to let my guys near rope!]

<Cory I would not give your brothers rope unless as you might say ‘hell freezes over’. After reading your history I know better.>

[C’mon Ark; my bros are angels! Oh; just so you know, Kyle’s got a dog now. Tell Tyne he might want to check to make sure Kyle’s head is okay; he just had a meltdown and my brother Mikey had to come fix it.]

<Sure, if they are angels then I am God. I will inform Tyne about Kyle though.>

[Thanks Ark. You know; you’re sounding more and more like my Mom every day!]

<Then at least one human has the right idea.>

Cory giggled. [Bite me Ark. I’ll talk to you later!]

<When you least expect it. Good luck.>

Later that evening:

The boys were wandering through Olive Park when Sean came to a halt and pointed to a figure sitting at the fountain.

“Oh my Gawd; that’s Divinity James!” Sean said in awe.

The figure looked directly at the group and motioned for them to come over. Once the boys were within hearing distance, Divinity James spoke. “C’mon over here you little cuties! Don’t worry; I won’t do much more than nibble!”

Sean giggled as they gathered around the cross-dressing vampire. “I don’t think Chicago’s biggest gossip is gonna take on an entire group of kids without witnesses!”

Divinity nodded. “Actually are you cuties sure you don’t want to join our side? All of you qualify for looks!” Divinity preened himself before adding “You’re almost as cute as me; I don’t think you’ll ever touch this though!”

Cory smiled. “If our info is right, you’re the person to ask; is there any news we need to be aware of?”

“You’ve come to the right person.” Divinity replied proudly. “You boys ain’t got nothing to worry about. You’ve been marked by the locals; you’re on the no-touch list because of how you’re helping out all the homeless kids. I wouldn’t want to be the vampire that tries to feed on any of you; it could very well be a death sentence.”

Sean tilted his head. “I thought only Elders could mark someone untouchable?”

“That might come someday; right now it’s just a common courtesy agreement. You are being watched; you are safer here than in your own bed.” Divinity replied. “Your ‘other problem’ that caused you to have to leave home so quickly has been noted as well; you will not be found as long as you are here.”

“Why are you all protecting us like that?” Danny asked.

“That is easy, sweetie. There are two reasons; one is that your work keeps kids from becoming half-lifes. The other is that very few humans would try to read a section of the Scriptures; even less than that would accept what they have read. You are a unique group which has gained the respect of the community; that is a rare occurrence.”

The group bantered back and forth for about fifteen minutes more before the boys separated and began exploring Chicago’s nighttime scene. They had just walked by a Kinkos when a dark form sprang out of an alley and grabbed Kyle. They rest of the boys spun just in time to see a kid jump on top of the figure who was poised over Kyle. The kid pulled the figure off of Kyle and with glowing eyes slammed him against a nearby wall. They watched in shock as the first attacker’s body seemed to become a pretzel; arms and legs bending uncontrollably into positions which there was no way possible for the bones to allow. The final straw was when the figure who attacked Kyle tilted his head forward then with a resounding ‘CRACK’ flipped it back until it rested loosely against his spine between his shoulder blades.

“Ummmm … oh shit!” Sean muttered.

“You can say that again.” Danny replied in shock.

“Oh shit.” Sean echoed; gaining him dirty looks from the rest of the boys.

Kyle stood and dusted himself off. “Thanks dude.” he commented while keeping a safe distance away from the new kid.

The kid took a moment to calm down, then turned to Kyle. “I’m Brandar. Did he bite you?”

Kyle got a good look at the boy in front of him. He was a real cutie; about twelve years old, with short brown hair and striking gray eyes underneath almost invisible eyebrows. “No; you got him in time. I’m Kyle; thanks Brandar.”

“Nice extra!” Cory said as the boys joined Kyle. “Thanks for stepping in.” Cory paused to point out everyone as he introduced them. “I’m Cory; this is Sean, Danny, Daniel, CD, Calen, Timmy, Caleb, JR, Jamie, Jacob, William, and Slider. What all can you do with that extra?”

Brandar shrugged. “It’s nothing special. Pretty much someone pisses me off I turn it against them and mess up their bodies.”

“Nothin’ special!” JR exclaimed. “Dude; you just made that jerks head go places it’s never went before!”

“Too bad he’ll heal.” Sean muttered.

“He won’t.” Brandar stated. “The brain controls the heart; I destroyed the connection between his head and his heart. NOBODY feeds on a kid if I can help it; it’s bad enough having to feed period.”

Sean motioned towards a nearby bus bench. “Let’s have a seat over there; I’m still waiting for my legs to stop shaking.” Everyone agreed, and shortly they were piled on and around the bench in a circle.

“How long ago were you ‘turned’?” Cory asked Brandar once everyone was comfortable.

“About four months.” Brandar replied. He heard the questions in almost everyone’s heads and continued. “I know you guys have heard stories like mine before with all of the kids you have helped. My mother was a bitch and my father was a bastard. I ran away nine months ago to get away from the constant beatings and being told I was a worthless piece of crap. I was on the street for about a month when this guy picked me up and took me to his place. We had just pulled into his garage when Greg attacked him and fed on him. After he was done feeding, Greg told me what the guy was planning on doing to me; he was going to rape me until I bled to death just like he had done to three other kids that month. Greg brought me back to his place and let me hang around with him. I guess I had been there for about a month when I realized that I was beginning to actually love Greg. About a month before he turned me, our love became physical; once we were both sure that I really understood what I was asking for Greg agreed to turn me. Things went really great; he warned me ahead of time what it was going to be like to be turned and explained feeding long before we did it. Between my first and second feedings some raiders hit our place; Greg woke up and was stabbed in the heart trying to protect our stuff. I was able to keep him alive long enough to say goodbye and send him off on a sun quest. I promised him that I would not try to join him unless I had taken care of the trash that ruined our lives. That promise was fulfilled last night.”

“Friggin Raider Scum; they got what they deserved.” Sean stated.

“How do you know about Raiders?” Brandar asked in shock.

“Comicality has a section of his Scriptures available for reading online.” Sean replied. “Me, Cory, and Danny have all read at least some of them; I know myself that I’m up to date on all of the posted work. I’ve even exchanged emails with Comicality a few times.”

“You’ve WHAT!” Brandar exclaimed in shock. “No way; NOBODY talks to Him!”

Cory giggled. “Trust me; even by email you’re taking a chance as to if you’ll get a reply before time for a sun quest.”

“Thanks for the warning blondie! I just sent him an email before we left!” Danny commented as he slapped the back of Cory’s head.

JR giggled. “Y’all are downright nuts.” He then turned serious. “What’s your plans now Brandar?”

Brandar looked around the group seriously. “My purpose is done; I’ve avenged the murderers of my mate.” He grimaced as his stomach rumbled, then continued. “I’m just glad I was able to meet you guys before I head into the Sun; maybe things would have been different if I’d met you earlier.”

“What happens if you head into the sun?” Timmy asked in wonder.

“It’s nothing.” Brandar replied, trying to keep from touchy situations in front of the youngsters.

“Bullshit it’s nothing.” Danny exclaimed.

Sean knelt in front of Timmy. “When someone like Brandar has decided that they have fulfilled their life they stay outside until the Sun comes out. When the sun shines on them it makes them burn real bad and allows them to go to the afterlife.”

Timmy turned and looked at Brandar. As tears began rolling down his face, he broke away from Sean and ran to Brandar. As Timmy wrapped his arms tightly around the boy, he shifted into warpaint and exclaimed “NOOOO! You can’t go yet! You just met us!”

Within seconds, Timmy was joined by Daniel, CD, and Calen. Brandar looked down at the boys surrounding him with glowing tears running down his face. “If you knew what I have to do to live you wouldn’t feel that way; you’d hate me.” Brandar sobbed.

“What you gotta do that’s so bad?” Timmy asked.

Brandar caressed the back of Timmy’s head. “I’ve got to kill people. I have to drink their blood.”

Timmy looked up at Brandar. “But you only kill bad guys don’t you? Unka Kyle wouldn’t like ya if you killed good people, and he knows that stuff.”

Brandar looked over at Kyle and was surprised to see him nod. “I know everything about you.” Kyle commented. “I know that every time you’ve fed so far you have made sure that the person you chose was a menace to society. I also know that for every single time you’ve had to do it you feel bad about it. If you enjoyed it I would have killed you myself to protect my brothers; just the fact that you are still here proves that no matter what changes have happened to your body you are still a good person inside.”

Timmy looked up at Brandar. “It’s okay to kill bad guys; Daddy does it and Uncle Mikey says he’s still goin to Heaven.”

“It’s not that easy, little guy.” Brandar sobbed. “Vampires don’t go to Heaven.”

Timmy got a determined look on his face. “Do too! Do I gotta get Uncle Mikey to prove it?”

“Who is this ‘Uncle Mikey’?” Brandar asked. “You talk about him like he’s some kind of Saint.”

Cory chuckled. “He’s our dead big brother; and yes he is a Saint. He’s Saint Mikey of Urbandale, Protector of Gay and Abandoned Youth. Timmy, don’t go bugging Uncle Mikey right now; if Brandar wants to discuss it with him later he can.”

Just then Brandar’s stomach rumbled again. Timmy looked up at Brandar then over at Cory. “Daddy; Brandar’s hungry.”

Kyle nodded. “Yes he is Timmy; it’s been a month since he fed last. Brant; how close are you to losing control?”

Brandar looked at Kyle in shock. “How’d you know my human name? Nobody calls me that anymore.”

“People that care what happens to you do, Brant.” Kyle stated with assurance.

“Will you be one of my Unkas, Brant?” Timmy asked.

“You don’t really want that Timmy; vampires are not good uncles.”

Daniel squeezed Brant tightly. “You’re good though Brant; you only think you’re bad.”

Brant sobbed before whispering “I gotta go; I don’t wanna hurt you guys. Thanks for at least making me feel wanted for once.”

Danny stepped up to block Brant leaving. “You’re fighting the need to feed ain’t you? We’re not gonna let you give up this easily.”

“I’m not gonna take another innocent li …” Brant exclaimed before doubling over in pain.

Cory and Sean rushed forward and began pulling the boys away from Brant. “What’s wrong with him?” CD asked.

Cory glanced up at Brant as he made sure the boys were a safe distance away. “He’s having hunger pains; his body is telling him he needs to feed on someone. If he keeps fighting it his body can take over and he’ll feed on the closest person no matter who it is. If that happens he has no way to control who he attacks or if he kills them.”

“We need to find him someone to feed on now!” Sean commented to Kyle, Jamie, and Jacob.

“NO.” Brant interjected as he began to recover from the pains. “Nobody is worth killing just so I can survive.”

Caleb stepped forward and got right into Brant’s face before anyone could stop him. “That’s bullshit.” he almost shouted. “One innocent human being survived tonight because of you.” As Danny dragged Caleb back to a safe distance, Caleb added “How many innocent people will die because you gave up?”

“Who am I to decide who deserves to live and who deserves to die?” Brant argued.

“Who am I to decide that?” Cory retorted. “I’ve had to do it plenty of times in the last few months. You are no different than me; you just have a different way of achieving the same goal.”

“Wait a minute.” Sean interrupted. “What if we gave you someone who is going to be put to death anyways; would you feed then?”

“My father?” Kyle asked.

Brant interrupted. “No way; I’m not going to be responsible for taking out a member of your family. No; that’s final.”

“No, you don’t unders …” Danny started to say before Kyle interrupted him.

“Brant; I know you can’t read me. Would it be okay with you if I put the details in your head?” Kyle asked.

Brant looked Kyle in the eye. “Yeah; good luck with that. Humans can’t put thoughts in vampire’s heads. Give it a try if you want; you won’t change my mind.”

As Kyle began transferring his history into Brant’s head, Cory crossed his arms and asked “Why are you so insistent on giving up? You just saved my brother’s life tonight; won’t you at least give us until your next feeding to prove to you that you really do have a purpose for staying alive?”

Brant started to respond to Cory, but then froze and looked down at Kyle. The optrix that normally hid the glow of Brant’s eyes were overcome by the tears now flowing freely from them, causing an unnatural yellow glow. “Oh my God; that was your FATHER?” Brant whispered; his pain at the images he just received evident in his voice and his expression.

Kyle nodded. “Yes, that was him. He is going to die; the question is are you going to do it or is Cory?”

Danny could see that Brant was starting to consider the option. “Brant; give us a month to prove you still have a purpose. If we haven’t convinced you in that month, we’ll sit with you as you go out on the sun quest.”

Brant grabbed on to the bench to keep from falling as another attack hit him.

Cory shook his head. “Screw this!” He switched to subvocal. [Ark; do you have an exact location on that scum that pretended to be Kyle’s father?]

<I do. Do you need the address again?>

[No; I need everyone here transported outside his door. That includes Brant and the animals. It’s open season on scumbags and he’s about to become a trophy.]

<Very well. I am standing by to teleport you then. Just say when.>

[Now.] Cory said with a concerned look at Brant.

A split second later the boys found themselves standing in a hallway outside a beat up wooden door. Kyle looked around at the group then motioned for them to stand back. He gathered his courage then yelled “Daddy! I’m home!” as a blast of electricity from the Phasenmorph on his arm turned the door into flying splinters.

The boys froze at the sight in front of them. A five year old boy was on his hands and knees on the floor, tightly gagged with a dog furiously humping him. A forty-ish man was standing there holding himself; from the evidence running off of the child’s back it was obvious he had just ejaculated on the boy. It took the boys a split second to take all of this in; then everyone started to move. Brant was the first through the now-open doorway; he tackled the man, knocking him into a chair on the far side of the room. Kyle and Timmy rushed to the boy on the floor; Timmy mentally forcing the dog to lose it’s erection so that they could separate it from the boy. The second that the boy was free Slider went into action. Before anyone realized it, Slider had ripped the other dog’s throat out and was standing guard over the dying animal.

“Move Slider.” Timmy announced seriously. “That man trained that dog to do that whenever it saw a naked kid. I’m not gonna let him suffer for something the bad guy taught him.”

Slider moved out of the way, and Timmy raised his left arm. {Full power Red?}

{I agree Timmy; let’s end his suffering.} Red thought back.

{Fire.} Timmy thought solemnly. A bright blast left his arm, and suddenly the dog had become a pile of dust.

Brant laughed as the man pissed himself at Timmy’s demonstration of power. “Just wait you bastard; you ain’t seen nothing yet!” Brant announced as he lifted the man out of the chair and tossed him to the other side of the room.

Cory turned to Caleb. “Get the kids out now, bro. They don’t need to see this.”

“Gotcha Cor.” Caleb replied. Most of the group turned to follow Caleb without question; Jamie and Jacob were the only exceptions.

Cory looked at them and motioned for them to follow just as Brant slammed the man into another wall. “Go guys; we’ll handle this.”

“No.” both boys replied in unison. “We’ve been carrying this crap in our heads since the day we met Kyle. If he stays we stay.”

“You’re talking to Dan when we get home then.” Cory replied. “Owwww … that had to hurt!” he added as Brant used the man to bowl over a row of steel barstools.

Cory looked around to see who was left. As he expected, Kyle, Danny and Sean had stayed to witness along with the twins. To his surprise, the little boy who had been being raped was securely nestled in Sean’s arms.

“Sean?” Cory asked, nodding at the boy.

Before Sean could reply, Kyle spoke up. “He’s my stepbrother; he needs to see this as much as I do.”

“Okay.” Cory replied in an unsure tone before turning back to business. His tone became serious as he turned towards the corner the man had just slid into. “Christopher George Hodges; you have been found …”

“Vampire one, wall zero.” Sean announced as Brant tossed Christopher through a nearby half-wall.

Cory turned to face the man again. “You have been found guilty of multiple violations of the Safe Haven Act.”

“Vampire two!” Danny chimed in as Christopher was thrown onto the couch so hard that it flipped onto its back.

“Dang it Brant; could you at least play with your food in one place!” Cory said as he turned once again.

“He’s just tenderizing him.” Sean stated.

“That’s okay Cory; he’s not putting up a fight anymore.” Brant announced before jumping on top of Christopher. “Listen to the nice man.” he added as his eyes began to glow red and his fangs descended.

Cory quickly continued. “You have violated sections 11.1, 11.4, and 68.1 concerning physical abuse and …”

The bloodcurdling scream from Christopher as Brant sunk his fangs into the man’s neck caused everyone else in the room to jump. Cory gathered his wits again. “I guess you can still hear me.” Cory knelt down and cleared his throat. “You also violated sections 13.1 and 13.5; sexual abuse of a minor. As granted under section 200.4 I hereby sentence you to death.”

“I think he’s figured that last part out already.” Sean said with a groan. “Dang; this is a lot messier than it looks when you read about it.”

A minute later; Brant broke free and turned towards Cory, his eyes slowly returning to normal. “I can’t do it; I swore I’d never kill. I know he deserves it, but I just can’t do it.”

Cory smiled. “That’s okay; did you get enough to hold you for a month?”

Brant nodded. “Yeah; I thought maybe this guy would be bad enough that I could take it all the way. I guess not though; I can’t go through with killing.”

Kyle moved over and took the boy out of Sean’s arms. “There is nothing wrong with that. You don’t need to do my duty.” Kyle shifted the boy onto his side. “Hold on Paul; we need to punish him for hurting us.” he added in a whisper.

The boy nodded and held on tightly, watching intently as Kyle raised his free arm. “Die you sick son-of-a-bitch.” Kyle stated angrily as a bright bolt shot from his arm and vaporized Christopher on the spot.

Danny immediately moved over and wrapped his arms around Kyle and Paul as they both broke into tears of relief. Cory and Sean joined the hug along with the twins. Cory looked over his shoulder and tilted his head to signal Brant to join them.

Brant slowly moved over and joined the group. Danny reached out an arm and pulled him in tightly. “Relax Brant; you did what was needed.”

A minute later, the boys headed out into the hallway and met up with the rest of the group downstairs. “It’s over.” Cory announced with relief.

Timmy walked over to where Sean was holding Paul once again. “Do you want to hold my eagle? His name is William.” he asked Paul softly.

Paul nodded eagerly, smiling for the first time that evening. Sean glanced down at the little blond haired blue eyed five year old in his arms. “I think you’ve got a friend little one.”

Timmy giggled. “Of course he’s my friend Poppa; he’s my little brother!”

Sean glanced over at Kyle and was surprised to see a smile on his face. “You heard Timmy!” Kyle giggled. “I did a quick future check; Paul will always be my step-brother but he’s gonna be your kid. Cory helped me through my demons; now it’s time for Paul to learn to live.”

Cory looked at his watch. “Shoot! It’s getting a little too early in the morning guys! I think we’ve got just enough time to get to the hotel and get the windows blocked before the sun comes up.”

Brant looked at Cory curiously. “Why do you need the windows covered?”

Cory giggled. “I really don’t want my newest brother turning to dust. C’mon; let’s get back there.” Cory then hit his subvocal. [Ark; tell Tyne that Kyle’s father is no longer an issue. Could you put us in our hotel room please? And if you’ve got any ideas for a way to block all sunlight from the rooms it’d be a big help.]

<Very well, one trip to your room. I will inform Tyne of Kyle’s father’s departure. As far at the windows go I could either give you very thick sheets or I could send you Josiah to seal them off until you leave and then he can put the windows back.>

[Josiah?] Cory giggled. [Who is adding Clan members without telling me this time? I like that idea though if he can really block it all out. I trust your judgment there Ark; go ahead and send him. I can’t wait to meet him.]

<He will arrive right after you do then. I am ready to teleport you, just say when.>

[Go ahead Ark.] Cory replied. A second later, they found themselves in the hotel suite. A few seconds later, Gavin and someone Cory had never seen before popped in. The new kid was about thirteen with black hair and black eyes. “Hey Gavin; who’s your friend bro?”

Gavin giggled. “Cory, this is my boyfriend Josiah. Josiah; this is my big brother Cory.”

Josiah waved excitedly, “Hi Cory, it’s nice to finally meet you in person. I’ve heard a lot and yet so little about ya. I was one of the assassins that could have been assigned to go after your family although the order never fell to me. So did someone call for a room restructure?”

Cory saw JR jump up out of the corner of his eye and waved for him to relax. “Chill JR; Ark would not have let him come here if there was any danger. I’m glad to meet you Josiah; really glad that it’s this way! So you managed to steal my little brother’s heart huh? Way to go; you’re the first person I’ve heard of him even expressing interest in! We’ve kinda got an issue, Brant here can’t be exposed to sunlight; it’d kill him. Could you figure out a way to block all of the windows?”

Josiah grinned, “Well I’m lucky he likes me. So okay, yeah I can get rid of your windows altogether. Which windows to you want fixed? Just the ones in this room or all of them just to be sure? If you don’t know I’ll get rid of them all, I don’t want anyone to get killed over some sunlight that we missed.”

Cory looked over at Timmy and Paul cuddled in a nearby chair. “With the munchkins here we better block all of them; I can’t expect them to remember to be careful.”

“Okay cool,” said Josiah as he walked towards one of the windows, stopping about six feet from it, and then closing his eyes. “Anyone near a window, this is your warning to stand at least four feet from it.” Josiah waited a few seconds just in case someone had to move. Then he reached his hands out towards the window and almost instantly the windows and about a foot of wall on each side of every window in the suite turned to a fine dust leaving huge holes in the walls. Josiah tilted his head a little and all the dust started to reform and fill in the holes that he had made. Seconds later there was nothing but solid wall where all the windows had been. Josiah walked up to the wall in front of him and felt it, and then he turned around, “Will that work?”

Cory picked his jaw up off of the floor. “Dude; that was awesome! We really need to talk when we get home; it seems I’ve picked up a new son and I think I’ll need a new bedroom! Have a seat; you really need to meet the rest of the guys.”

“Umm okay, we can sit,” said Josiah as he sat Gavin down in the nearest chair and then sat in his lap. “I think that’ll work for keeping the sun out.”

“Me too.” Cory replied. He walked over to the pair and asked “Is it okay if I give your boyfriend a welcome to the family hug bro?”

Gavin giggled. “Yeah; just don’t try to steal him; this cutie is all MINE. As long as it’s okay with him its okay with me.”

“I don’t have a problem hugging a greenish blue cute guy like you,” giggled Josiah as he jumped up and hugged Cory. “I belong to silvery gold here though, I think he’s cuter.”

Cory giggled as he returned the hug. “Greenish-blue? I can’t wait to hear about that. Seriously; welcome to the family. I’m glad you joined us.” As the hug broke, Cory noticed two little bodies hovering around his legs. “Josiah; these are Sean and I’s two youngest sons, Timmy and Paul. Timmy’s the oldest of the two.”

Josiah knelt down and smiled, “Hey guys it’s great to meet ya.” Josiah then closed his eyes and acted like he was still looking at them. “Paul, you’re a very pretty green with a streak of purple. Purples a very special color, I’ve only seen it four times and all of the people that had it were awesome people, well one of them is me so I can’t speak for that one though.” Josiah then looked at Timmy and smiled, “I’m not sure what to make of you Timmy, you’re mostly green but then you’ve got blue marks on ya, like Indian paint or something. On top of that you’ve got a little bit of red and orange all over your pattern and the red seems to stem from your arm with your little Phasenmorph on it. He must be different from other ‘morphs that I’ve seen.” Josiah then looked over both boys again before opening his eyes and smiling, “I’d say you’re both very special guys, again it’s really great to meet ya.”

Timmy grinned. “Told ya’ you was special Paul! Would you like to see my Indian paint Unka’ Josiah?”

“Uncle? I think I can live with that. I think I might of just seen your paint but you’re welcome to show it to me if you’d like,” grinned Josiah. “We’d better hurry up though, your dad looks like he might pee himself if he doesn’t finish introductions.”

Timmy turned on his warpaint as he replied with a giggle. “Don’t worry ’bout Daddy; he only pees on Pop. It’s spermies but it comes outta the same hole.”

“TIMMY!” Sean and Cory both exclaimed as they turned a deep red.

Josiah smiled, “That’s a big difference though Timmy; one comes from a good feeling the other is a waste product that no one wants. If I meant the one with a good feeling then I would of said he was going to cream himself not pee himself. Your parents probably don’t want you telling me that kinda stuff though; that’s private info.”

Timmy giggled. “Okay Unka Josiah. Does that mean they gotta stop pickin’ on me for streakin’?”

“Whats ‘streakin’ Timmy?” Paul asked quietly.

Timmy put his arm over Paul’s shoulder. “It’s runnin’ ’round with no clothes.” He then looked at Josiah. “Did you like my warpaint? I’m a real Indian brave; I get to use it to let Daddy and Pop know when bad stuff is gonna happen.”

“That’s awesome Timmy, now I can say I’ve met an Indian brave then,” said Josiah. “If they’re picking on ya for streakin’ though then I guess you can keep on them about other stuff then.”

“You’re nice.” Timmy replied. “Can we cuddle with you an’ Unka Gavin while you meet ever’one?”

Josiah looked back at Gavin and eyed his lap, “I’m not sure if Gavin has enough lap for all three of us but we can try. If it’s too much for him though we gotta find a different way to sit, okay?”

Timmy and Paul scrambled onto the pair’s laps once Josiah had regained his favorite seat. After some wiggling around, they found a comfortable position for all of them and snuggled their heads into Josiah’s chest. Cory ran through the introductions of Sean and most of the rest of the boys.

“This is Danny; he’s the head of the AI Division.” Cory said.

Josiah giggled, “Danny, I don’t know if you know this; but you’re mostly dead! You’re all green and, well, grey. Normally inanimate or dead objects are grey.”

Danny gave Josiah a shocked look then giggled. “Duhhhh … I’m an android! Nice catch though dude; I’m glad to hear at least part of me is still alive!”

“Unless I closed my eyes I never would have guessed.” replied Josiah. “Oh, and you’re cute too just in case you didn’t know that.”

Danny blushed. “Thanks. I’ll tell my brother you think so!”

“Okay…I’m not sure I want to know right now what that means,” said Josiah as he looked to Cory to continue.

Cory giggled. “When you meet Marc you’ll understand; they’re actually a pair of cuties. Next up is Kyle.”

“It’s nice to meet you Kyle. Oh, your pattern looks kinda like Tyne’s,” remarked Josiah. “Only your neon purple and orange has got a few green strips in it.”

Kyle grinned. “Kewl! I like that color combo!” He then put his arm out and pulled Daniel over to him. “This is my new big brother Daniel.”

“Oh wow, a bright yellow,” smiled Josiah. “You’re the brightest yellow I’ve ever seen Daniel, maybe just a little green in there somewhere. That’s a good color; it shows a lot of honesty from what I’ve seen.”

Daniel gave Josiah a huge smile. “Wow; that’s kewl! I like yellow!”

Cory grinned as Kyle led Daniel to sit down; both comparing notes on their colors. “Last but not least is the person that saved Kyle’s life tonight, then assisted us in disabling Kyle and Paul’s ex-father so that Kyle could punish him for the pain they suffered at his hands. This is Brant.”

“That’s a pretty long intro he’s giving ya Brant,” giggled Josiah. “I’m kinda worried though, you don’t look like Danny for a pattern but you’re more then half gray. The rest of you is red, a dark red.”

Brant nodded as the blush from Cory’s introduction faded from his cheeks. “I kinda expected that. Technically I’m dead even though I’m not dead. It’s a long story.”

Cory suddenly gasped. “Brant; let me see your arm!”

“What?” Brant asked as he held both arms out.

Cory took a close look at the markings surrounding Brant’s left wrist. “Is that from a bond bracelet?”

Brant gave Cory a sad smile. “Yeah; Greg and I tried it when he finally agreed to turn me. He told me it probably wouldn’t work; he was so happy when it actually did.” Brant gave out a soft sob as he added “That’s all I have left of him now.”

Cory pulled Brant into a hug. “No it’s not; it’s just the only visual sign you have. You’ve got him in your head and your heart; you’ll have that forever if you want to.”

“Why?” Brant sobbed into Cory’s shirt. “Why is it when I finally find someone who loved me he got taken from me?”

“I don’t know.” Cory replied softly. “I asked the same question when my big brother was killed by a drunk. I know now that it was his time to move on; there was nothing anyone could have done to stop it. It must have been Greg’s time; he was able to do something Mikey wasn’t able to do before he died though. Greg left you with the ultimate proof that his love for you will never die right on your arm. That is something that only vampires can do; I don’t know of anything comparable for any other race. Tell me something; what would Greg want you to do after everything that happened today? Think about that really good; I bet I know from how you described him.”

Cory held Brant as he finally released the pent-up emotions of losing Greg. Off to the side, Timmy nudged Josiah after a glance at Paul, who had fell asleep against Josiah’s chest. “Unka Josiah?”

“Yeah Timmy?”

“Paul needs a teddy bear to cuddle. Can you make one like you made dem walls?”

“What do you want him to be like? Really overly soft just for sleeping with or more durable to be taken everywhere?” asked Josiah as he looked around for something he could use to make the bear out of.

“He needs a cuddle buddy.” Timmy stated.

Sean giggled as he saw Josiah looking around. “Josiah; just use Timmy’s clothes! It’s not like he uses them very often!”

“You’re evil Sean.” JR said as he came in from the other room. “What kind of stuff would you need Josiah?”

“Anything you don’t want,” replied Josiah. “I’d use that table over there but you guys might get charged for a missing table if that’s the case.”

“I’d suggest Caleb; but you couldn’t make him soft enough.” Danny giggled as he started gathering trash from around the room. “C’mon JR; see what you can dig up. I’m sure since we didn’t let room service in there’s got to be some trash in the bedroom.”

Caleb chucked an empty soda bottle at Danny, then helped gather the normal trash generated by a group of hungry teens into a pile in front of Josiah. “Will that be enough, or do I need to toss Danny onto the pile?” he asked with a grin.

Josiah chuckled, “Let’s see what I can do with that.” Josiah tilted his head and suddenly all the trash they had gathered turned to dust and a few seconds later it pulled together and started to form what looked like a teddy bear. Josiah smiled as the bear continued to form and started to look like it should. Another few seconds passed and then Josiah reached out and grabbed it. He looked it over before he looked down at Paul. “Hmm, well it’s soft and cute but I think it might be just a little too big. What do you think Timmy?”

“Mine’s bigger; ask Daddy!” Timmy replied as the room broke into giggles.

Josiah looked over at Cory, “Well I guess you would know Dad, he streaks and lives with you…so what do you think?”

Cory looked over from where he was still holding a now-giggling Brant. “Yep; his is bigger and whiter. You should have seen him lugging it out of the pizza place!”

“Yeah, I had to help him carry it.” Sean added with a grin. “He would have drug it in the dirt without help.”

“I didn’t know you could get one of those at a pizza place,” giggled Josiah. “If that’s the case I should go get me one; not sure if I could make one of THAT quality.”

“What about me?” Gavin giggled from underneath Josiah. “Ain’t I big enough?”

“Yeah you’d make a good teddy bear too,” grinned Josiah. “I can’t say you ARE one, but you’ll make a good replacement.”

“As long as I’m YOUR teddy bear I don’t care!” Gavin replied as he leaned forward and nibbled on Josiah’s earlobe.

Josiah let out a long sigh followed by a moan, “Oooh that feels goooood…”

Brant gave Cory an extra squeeze. “Thanks; I feel a little better now.” he whispered. “I know the answer to your question now; Greg would want me to protect other kids from going through what I did. That was his big thing; using his extra to get kids out of bad situations.”

Cory nodded. “That’s what I thought. Can you handle that?”

Brant nodded. “I’ll try.”

Just then, Paul stretched then gasped. “Whose teddy bear is dat?” he asked sleepily.

“He’s your teddy bear,” replied Josiah as he offered the bear to Paul. “Timmy said you didn’t have one; so I made you one in kinda the same way I made the windows go away. I’ve never made a teddy bear before though, so I hope I got him right. You can be my official teddy bear tester since you get to keep him.”

Paul’s eyes got wide as he slowly reached out and pulled the bear towards him. He ran his hands over the bear, giving it a couple of test squeezes before pulling it tightly against his chest. “Really Unka Josiah? Is it really mine?”

“Of course he’s yours,” Josiah said softly. “Everyone needs a teddy bear at some point, he’ll keep ya company if you need him to, he’ll always listen to you when you talk to him, and he’ll always let you cry on his shoulder if you don’t want anyone else to see you cry. Since you didn’t have a teddy bear it’s only right that this teddy bear goes only to you, he needs you to cuddle him just as much as you might need to have him around to cuddle.”

Paul looked at the bear then up at Josiah. After a brief pause, he twisted and sandwiched the bear between them as he latched onto Josiah’s chest. “Thank you! Thank You! He’s the bestest bear ever! You’re the awesomest Unka in the WHOLE UNIVERSE!”

Josiah blushed, “You’re welcome. I don’t know about awesomest. But if you wanna think I am that’s okay with me.”

“You are the most awesomest ever.” Paul stated with assurance as he stretched up and gave Josiah a kiss on the cheek. “I’m NEVER gonna get rid of him!”

“I’ll agree on both points.” Gavin whispered as he gave Josiah a squeeze of his own.

“You guys are too much,” whispered Josiah as he reached up to wipe away a few tears. Josiah kissed the top of Gavin’s head, then gently pulled Paul into a tight hug and continued to cry softly. “I love you both.”

“I wuv you too.” Paul replied as he snuggled into Josiah’s hug.

A few minutes later, Sean picked the sleeping boy up off of Josiah’s lap carefully. “Thanks dude; after what this poor little guy has been through, your generosity has just brought some light into his short life. Do me a favor; tell Ark that we’ll need to borrow the medical facilities. There’s nothing critical done to this little angel according to Kyle; but I think the med bots could restore certain sections of his body to what they should be instead of the stretched scar tissue that he has now.”

“Stretched scar tissue?” Josiah said in an almost angry tone. “Who would have hurt…maybe I don’t want to know. I don’t wanna get worked up or I could lose control. I’ll let Ark know so it’s ready when you guys get there.”

“Thanks.” Sean replied. “If it makes you feel any better, Brant made sure the guy who did it felt more pain than Paul ever did before Kyle turned the guy to dust.”

“Good,” said Josiah as he got up and then helped Gavin to his feet. “If he wasn’t dead then he would have been getting a visit. I’m glad to know you guys took care of it. If ya don’t need anything else then we’ll see you guys later.”

Cory smiled. “Thanks for all of your help Josiah. Welcome to the family; you and my little bro really do make a great pair. Tell everyone we’ll see them tomorrow night.”

“Thanks Cory, I think we do too,” grinned Josiah. “I’ll pass on the message about your arrival, take care.” Josiah then pulled Gavin into a loose hug and looked deep into his eyes. “Ark, you can take us home now. I’ve got a teddy bear to cuddle.”

As the two boys disappeared, Cory looked around the room. He noticed that Kyle was sitting off to the side being uncharacteristically quiet. He walked over and placed a hand on Kyle’s shoulder. “What’s the matter bro?” Cory asked softly.

Kyle looked up at Cory with sad eyes. “Why? Paul is such a great little guy. You don’t understand what it’s like to be violated by an animal on command. Or how’s about having to make sure you are near a bathroom after you eat because you are so screwed up back there that you can only hold it for a little bit? According to the doctors I’m gonna have to live with that for the rest of my life; if Paul’s had this done to him for very long he’ll be the same way. He wasn’t bleeding or nothin back there, but I know he’s gotta be at least a little messed up inside.”

Cory sat down next to Kyle and put his arm around him. “You are right on one point; I honestly don’t know what it’s like, and I wish you didn’t either. Why didn’t you say something earlier so we could help you?”

“I didn’t want you to hate me for doin stuff with animals.” Kyle replied softly as he hung his head.

Cory lifted Kyle’s chin to look him in the eyes. “Little bro, do you remember that day in the shower the first night you stayed over?”

“Yeah …”

“That day we swore to be brothers no matter what. I meant it bro; nothing you could tell me about what was done to you would ever change that. Please don’t hide things from me any more lil’ bro; I can’t fix it if I don’t know about it.”

Kyle nodded his head. “Okay, I guess. It was just so nasty …”

Cory pulled Kyle into a hug, cutting him off. “I don’t care how nasty it was Kyle; all I care about is if you are happy.”

A few minutes later, Sean came out of the bedroom. “Babe, Brant just passed out and the munchkins are getting ready for bed.” he said softly to Cory.

Cory looked down at Kyle, who had fallen asleep against his chest. “Can you handle the kids tonight Sean? I think Kyle needs me more than they do.”

Sean nodded. “No problem; I kinda figured that. I’ll give you a hand getting him into bed; y’all are gonna be sore tomorrow if you sleep like that.”

The next afternoon:

Sean was rudely awakened by two panicked boys shaking him violently. “Poppa! Wake up!”

“Easy guys; whats wrong?” Sean replied as he sat up and tried to clear his head.

“Brant’s dead!” Timmy replied frantically. “We pounced him an’ he’s all cold an’ not breathin’.”

Sean glanced over at Brant. “Hold on a minute guys; it’s not what you think. Have you ever heard of hibernating?”

“Uh uh.” both boys replied as they shook their heads.

Sean reached out and pulled Timmy and Paul up next to him. “Some animals, like bears, go to sleep during the winter since there is less food. Their bodies slow down inside so that they don’t need to eat. During the day, Brant does the same thing; his body slows way down so that it looks like he’s dead but he’s really just hibernating. When the sun goes down he’ll wake up just like the rest of us.”

“You sure Poppa?” Timmy asked cautiously.

“I’m sure munchkin.” Sean replied. He glanced around the room and saw the relieved looks on the sleepy faces of the rest of the crew. “He’ll be fine, trust me.” Sean then tried changing the subject. “Hey Paul; how’s your big brothers treating ya?”

Paul looked up at Sean. “They’re nice; but they ain’t really my brothers. Where is their real daddy? I don’t see no grownups.”

Sean smiled. “I’ve got a surprise for you; Timmy, CD, Calen, and now you are mine and Cory’s sons. Cory and me are considered adults by Starfleet so we are allowed to have kids. You’ve got a new family munchkin; enjoy it.”

Paul stared at Sean for a minute until he was sure that Sean was not lying to him. “Do I still gotta play wrestlin’ with the doggy?” Paul asked in a worried tone after glancing over to the other side of the room where Slider was guarding Cory and Kyle.

Sean shook his head. “You’ll never have to do the stuff you used to have to do with dogs ever again. I bet Slider will hurt any dog that tries to do that with you.”

Timmy spoke up. “I’ll teach ya how ya are ‘posed to play with doggies! Doggies are fun when they ain’t doin’ bad stuff ‘cuz some mean old guy told them to do it!”

Sean smiled. “That’s great Gizmo! Why don’t you grab the rest of your brothers and get a shower. You might as well start training Paul now; I know you’ll do it sooner or later.”

Timmy nodded his head with a big grin on his face. “C’mon Paul! This is FUN!” he exclaimed as he dragged Paul off the bed. “CD! Calen! We gotta teach Paul how to shower!” Timmy yelled excitedly as he led Paul to the bathroom.

Once the group of giggling boys shut the door behind them, Danny came over and whispered to Sean. “You are so full of shit! Bears hibernating?”

Sean smiled as he replied under his breath. “I wasn’t about to explain that he dies every day; I figured that little stretch of the truth would keep them from freaking out. Technically I was right; hibernation is just a temporary partial shutdown of the body. His just shuts down completely instead.”

“Nice try.” Danny replied. “You get to explain to Brant what the story is; I’m sure the rugrats are going to bug him about it.”

Four hours later:

Cory led the group of boys out of the elevator to check out of the hotel. Josiah and Gavin had just left with most of their belongings after Josiah returned the windows in the suites to normal, so all that the boys were carrying were the teddy bears that had been collected on the trip. They were about half way across the lobby when Brant grabbed Cory’s arm. “I know that kid!” Brant whispered.

Cory looked to where Brant was pointing. The boy had his back to them, but appeared to be about thirteen with long white hair down to his shoulder blades. The posture of the boy made it obvious he was trying to make himself unnoticeable next to the chunky late-forties man next to him.

“That’s Jordy; I went to school with his little brother.” Brant added. He paused for a second then added “Oh shit; I never heard about that! About the time I was recovering from being turned his parents and little brother were killed in a car wreck on their way to see him in a school play.” Brant paused as he stared at the man, then growled. “That bastard there just bought Jordy from the group home. He raped him right in the parking lot and is taking him to use for porn films.”

“Jamie! Jacob!” Cory exclaimed quickly.

“Already on it bro.” they chorused as they joined Cory and Brant. “We back Brant; that piece of trash is an agent for a porn ring and really enjoys his ‘job’.”

“You got everything you need?” Cory asked the twins.

“Yeah; take the trash out. His name is Walter Fraggins.” Jacob replied seriously.

Before anyone could respond; Brant growled in anger. Suddenly the man fell to the floor with a high-pitched scream, rolling into a ball while clutching his genitals.

“Move!” Cory ordered as he started towards the desk. He was glad to see that the clerk was the same one that had checked them in. “Sir; that man will not be checking in. Mr. Fraggins is wanted on multiple Federation Warrants. We will insure his young charge is safe. Please check us out, and then we will clear this trash from your lobby.”

“What is wrong with him?” the clerk asked. “Why did he just collapse like someone kicked him?”

“A mental suggestion was placed in his head.” Cory replied. “He honestly believes that he was just injured down there.”

“Oh …” The clerk replied as he quickly completed their checkout. “Thank you for visiting Chicago. I hope you enjoyed your stay and we’ll see you again sometime.”

“We’ll definitely stay here next time.” Cory replied. He looked over to see Brant consoling Jordy. “Brant; bring your friend with you; let’s get this guy out of here.”

A few minutes later, the group had reassembled in a nearby dark alley. Cory pulled Brant and Jordy off to the side. “Guys; he’s gotta be punished for what he’s done. From the reports I got from the twins I can have him killed or sentenced to life on a prison planet. Jordy; I need to know which one would make you feel that justice was done.”

Jordy looked at the man lying on the ground, then at Brant. “I don’t know.” he replied softly.

Brant turned to Cory. “If he is executed I’d kinda feel responsible; I think Jordy would too. You know how I feel about killing; since Jordy was the only kid he ever did anything to before passing him on I think prison will work. It’s not like his nuts are ever gonna work again.”

Cory nodded. “Since you saved Jordy it’s your choice as to the punishment. Do you think that will be enough Jordy?”

Jordy nodded. “Yeah. Whats gonna happen to me? Do I gotta go back to the group home?”

“No; you get to come home with us. We’ll sort out where you stay once we get there; but you’re never gonna be left without family ever again.” Cory replied. “Excuse me for a second; I’ve got to make this official.”

Cory quickly sentenced Walter, then contacted Ark on his subvocal. [Ark; are you able to hold someone in a buffer like we do with transporters?]

<Of course Cory, if that is what you would like me to do. Who would I be holding in the buffer?>

Cory giggled. [You mean you were not listening for once! We have a Mr. Walter Fraggins here who seems to think that buying and selling kids for porn rings is a good idea. We’ve decided that he will be much better off on a prison planet; thing is I kinda need you to hold him in your buffers until we get things sorted out and I can send him there.]

<I am always listening, just not always paying attention. I will hold him forever if you need me to, just tell me when and I will buffer him. Will you be returning soon?>

[You can take him now; just as soon as I’m sure Brant has prepared his first recovery for what is about to happen the rest of us here will be ready to come back there.]

<Cory, I do have one concern.> said Ark as Mr. Fraggins suddenly disappeared. <Tyne is not going to be happy with one of your newest additions.>

[Why? Which one?] Cory asked with concern.

<Brant, he is a Moroi. Tyne, unlike the rest of his species, has a personal vendetta against all Moroi. They are responsible for the downfall and death of his species. More specifically, what caused the most damage to Tyne was when they killed his Father and his Husband. That was the day that he turned from his Founder views on killing and took all fourteen Moroi soldiers down by himself. He will not be happy with who you are bringing back.>

Cory thought for a second. [If that’s the case we might need to prepare him so he doesn’t freak totally; I can’t abandon Brant after promising to help him. Do you think if you somewhat prepared him by telling him how Brant saved Kyle’s life and how Brant just saved a boy from becoming a sex slave it might help? I had no idea vampires were descended from Moroi; maybe even telling Tyne that Brant disabled Kyle’s ex-father so that Kyle could kill him without actually saying Brant is a vampire might make Tyne pause enough to listen.]

<Tyne already knows whatever you told Josiah earlier. As far as the rest of what you want me to tell him, I suggest that you prepare Brant and tell him not to take anything Tyne says to heart. I can not bring up too much without Tyne getting concerned as to why I keep telling him facts about this boy. If he suspects that Brant is a Moroi then he will order that he be kept in the buffer as well, and I would rather not keep the boy’s data anywhere near who’s data I am currently holding. Oh, and as a correction, vampires did not descend from the Moroi, vampires ARE Moroi. They haven’t changed since their creation.>

[Will do Ark; thanks for the heads-up. I better explain the racial name too so that Brant does not argue it; I’ve got a pretty good idea about what Tyne might do if there is any arguing while he’s pissed.]

<You are welcome. An explanation is probably a good idea. Just let me know when you are ready to come back.>

[Thanks Ark; give me a few minutes.] Cory replied. He went over to where Brant and the rest of the group were waiting. “Brant; I just found out that one of the guys back at the Ark compound might make some comments that you might not like. You really need to not take it personally; it’s not directly aimed at you. I think you might understand why though; you just went through the same thing. Tyne’s father and husband were killed by your predecessors about sixty thousand years ago. They were known as ‘Moroi’ back then. He is one of the few of his race that survived the Moroi trying to exterminate them; so he holds a grudge for a really good reason.”

Brant tilted his head. “Yeah; I think I can see why he might hate me. I’ll be okay; I think I understand how he feels better than you do. I promise not to take his response personally.”

Cory smiled. “Thank you; I was hoping you’d understand. I refuse to abandon you, but I’m not going to lead you into something you are not prepared for either.”

Brant nodded. “Thanks. It helps to know you see me as a person; I’m still getting used to that but I like it.”

“Get used to it already!” Cory giggled. “Is everyone ready?”

The entire group acknowledged that they were ready. “Okay then,” Cory replied, “Ark, whenever you think it’s safe go ahead and bring us home.”


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