Castle Roland

Ascension of the Thrones

by Thomas Nealy

On Hold

Chapter 1

Posted: N/A


Ascension of the Thrones

by ThomasNealy

Speech Key


(neural interface)


<A.I. speaking all forms>

~Symbiont speaking~

Date: Spritus /4/6838

"Your Majesty, it's time." The woman said as she turned to reenter the room she just came from. Tyrn, Emperor of the Devian Empire, got up from his seat and followed her in. Once through the doors he could hear a woman screaming with pain and exertion. His wife was giving birth and it was not going well. The doctors were saying there was a complication. As a result she was in more pain than normal. She had already been in labor for 12 hours. He moved up to the head of the table and held her hand.

"Lilia, stay strong. It's almost over." As he said this, the doctor was saying. "It's coming, push hard."

A few moments later a baby's cry could be heard. "It's a girl." The nurse cleaned up the child and presented her to her mother. "In the name of Six there's another!" Every one stopped and stared at him for a moment. This was clearly unexpected. "Nurse take the child. OK, your Majesty, let's do this again. One more time, push!" Once again, after a few moments, a baby's cry could be heard followed by "It's a girl as well." After the child was clean she was also presented to her mother. The first born was on the mother's left the second born was on her right.

The doctor came up with a subdural injector and injected a chip under the skin on the right hand of both girls. Then a nurse asked "What would you like their names to be?"

The parents told her, "Ann for the first born and Elizbith for the second born." The nurse entered the information on a hand-held then swiped it on the chip. "They're beautiful Tyrn." Lilia said.

"Yes, they most certainly are." Just then Lilia started to shake. "Doctor, what's wrong with her?" The nurse took the newborns.

"She's hemorrhaging!" The doctor said in a worried tone then turned to Tyrn, "Your Majesty, you need to wait outside. Nurse escort him to the waiting room." The doctor started working as Tyrn was pulled out of the room. Several hours later the doctor came back out. "Your Majesty, we stopped the bleeding, but I'm afraid she won't ever be able to have more children. She has lost a lot of blood and needs time to rest. Even with all our modern tech, we almost lost her. I'm sorry for the bad news. We are running tests to see if there is a reason for the hemorrhage, we should know more soon." With that he turned and left heading to the door labeled "Showers, Staff Only."

Date: Spritus /4/6842

Ann and Elizbith were four years old and as tradition they were to get their Symbiont today. Their parents stood by the side of the pool and looked on with pride, as they walked to the center and ducked down. Their Symbionts had been birthed five months earlier, so they would be ready for this day. They ducked down in the water and the Symbionts then attached themselves to the back of their necks and numbed the area, then burrowed in and attached themselves to their spine, brain, and blood vessels. The merger was complete. Ann and Elizbith rose from the water on their own. Their Symbionts told them they could get out. The back of their necks were red and tender, but that would heal in a few hours.

"Ann, what is its name?" Lilia, Ann's mother, asked.

"He says his name is Yurgn." Ann giggled as she started talking to the Symbiont in her mind.

"Mine says her name is Marla." Elizbith also started to giggle.

Their next stop was to the Psychic examiner. He would test to see what psychic classes Ann and Elizbith had and their approximate level.

"Your Majesties, how good to see you both, ahh, and these must be the princess Ann and Elizbith."

A psychic test would test for Precognition, Empathy, Telepathy, Telekinesis, Hydrokinesis, Cryokinesis, Pyrokinesis. Precognition was a misnomer, since the class allowed the user to see both in to the past and future. Psychic Skills are broken into two main groups, the Psi-Gamma and the Psi-Kappa. Psi Gamma is psychic cognition. Empathy, Telepathy, and Precognition all fall under Psi-Gamma. Psi-Kappa is psychic action. All Psychokinesis abilities fall under Psi-Kappa. Psychic Ability is measured on a numbered scale. Each of the four main Classes or skill sets, Precognition, Empathy, Telepathy, and Psychokinesis, have their own scales. In each case the scale is from 0 to 500. There has never been any one above 300 to date. There is a natural accruing mineral from Devia Prime that seems to temporally double ones innate level but it is regarded as myth by most people. The scale is broken into Public scale, Official scale, and the Classified scale. To the general publics knowledge the scale only goes to 50. The official scale goes to 200. Any thing above 200 is Classified. With the exception of the Precognitive Scale, all other scales have a subjective portion.

The master tester proceeded to examine the two girls, he concluded that they both had Emotional Empathy, Precognition, Telepathy and were around level 60. That meant at the end of puberty when there abilities fully developed they would be around 120.

A Year Later in 6843

"Ann, this Medil J'Rahl he's a Justial 3, you're going to be studying Imperial Law together."

"OK Mommy. Hi Medil, I'm Ann, let's go play." She then dragged the young Justial off while her mother just stood there and shook her head. The shocked expression on the young boys face almost made her laugh.

Ann and Medil spent the next several hours getting to know each other. Then the tutor came to start teaching. This pattern continued this way four days a week for several years. The two became close friends and were never far apart. Even though Medil was destined to be a Justice, it was seen as a benefit to them both that there friendship continue. So Ann's parents and the Justial Conclave encouraged the pair.

After years of study Ann's and Medil's tutor asked them to tell her all they knew about the justice system and laws of the Devian Empire.

Ann responded first, eager to impress her friend. "The Justials are a sub race of Devian, they have been genetically engineered to have higher intellects, memory , and higher psychic abilities. After thousands of years of selective mating they have become the sub race they are now."

"Very good Ann, what is there structure?"

"They are led by the Lord High Justice, the highest level of justice is a Lord or Lady Justice, the next level and the only other one is the Justice. The Lord High Justice is not only the highest single justice, but also the leader of the Conclave." Medil answered, "We are determined not to be out done by Ann on the subject of his own people."

"Very good, now how can you tell the three apart?"

"A Justice wears cobalt blue robes with midnight black design woven in to the fabric and a crimson red edging that resembles a flame. A Lord or Lady Justice wears a midnight black robe with cobalt blue design woven in with a crimson red edging that also resembles a flame, and the Lord High Justice wears a Crimson red robe with midnight black and cobalt blue designs, his or her edging is of gold but is still in the form of a flame. " Ann blurted out before Medil could, she smirked at him, she was having fun.

"What are the Council, the Conclave, and a Tribunal?"

Medil was faster this time. "The Conclave is every Justial alive, is who we are and where we live, it is also our governing body. The Council is made up of only active Justials that are on a Tribunal, that means the ones that are old enough and the ones that are not retired. A Tribunal is a set of three Justial that sit in judgment of a crime, it can also be a Magistrate Tribunal, if it is a low crime, business, or personal. The Lord High Justice has his own Tribunal, they act as his advisers and sit with him when there is a Imperial case. During a active Tribunal the member will form a mind link so they think, act and see as one, they can even talk and move as one while linked. "

"Very good I think that will be all for today."

As the years passed they became closer. Ann's mother, Lilia, began to worry. They were now teens and it was clear that their feelings were becoming more than that of friends. Lilia was more worried about Tyrn and the Conclave finding out. What she did not know was that Tyrn was already planing an arranged marriage for his two daughters. Ann was to marry Stephon Regald the son of one of Tyrn's friends. Even though he was a low level noble,Tyrn and Stephon Regald Sr. the Baron of Gilat,became good friends during their time in the military together. He never stopped to think if this was what his daughter would want. He just did as he pleased. His other daughter, Elizbith,was to be married to Marcus of the House Tarus, the Crown Prince of the Southern Kingdom, Coleona, as a way to seal a new peace treaty. Once again he did not bother to consult his daughter, although in this case there was no objection any way.

Date: Spritus /4/6853

It was on their 15th birthday that Tyrn decided to announce what he considered good news. Standing up during dinner he raised his glass. "I have an important announcement, one I think is extremely good news." Tyrn may have been a good ruler and a brilliant strategist, but his skills with his family were lacking. "I have arranged for my two beautiful daughters to be married." Silence descended on the room. "Ann is to marry the son of my good friend Stephon Regald the Baron of Gilat. Now I know young Stephon is a few years older than Ann, but I feel they will have a wonderful life. Also, I am sure he will make a great Regent Emperor Temporal, until any son they may have comes of age." This announcement was met with murmuring and if anyone would have bothered to look at Ann and Medil they would have seen two hearts breaking. "As for my other beautiful daughter, she is to marry Marcus of the House Tarus,the Crown Prince of Coleona, of the Southern Kingdom . In hope that their union will strengthen our treaty with them, and lead us into a new age of peace."

Why they needed that no one was sure. The Southern Kingdom, as everyone outside Coleona called it, was the last hold out to the Empire. They did not believe in using what became known as high technology. Their social rules were also sadly lacking in that they still believed in slaves, and treated outsiders, people who loved the same sex, and any one was seen as... different ,even though none of them could decide what different was, as evil people that needed to be exterminated. They however were above the Empire when it came to the role of women in the monarchy and society in general. They, unlike the Empire, allowed women to rule on their own and unmarried. This announcement was met with smiles by the two. While they may not have been in love, they were friends of a sort.

When he was done speaking he smiled, obviously pleased with himself, but as usual oblivious to the harm he caused Ann. Ann stood up, "Mother, Father, may I be excused?" Her voice was thick with emotion and anyone with a clue could tell she was on the verge of tears.

"Ann, it's the middle of dinner, are you unwell." Tyrn asked. For the first time taking in his daughter's reaction.

"Yes, I am unwell, I think I will go see the doctor. Medil, if you would be so kind as to accompany me." With that the two of them got up and left. Once they were out of the dining hall Ann collapsed into Medil's arms and began to sob openly. "What are we going to do? How could he do this to me!" Medil wrapped his arms around her and began slowly stroking her hair, and whispering that it would be alright. "I hate Stephon, he's a pig. He is always looking at me with lust filled eyes. He's ten years older than me. How could my father do this to me?"

"It's for the good of the Empire, Ann. You know we never could have been together any way. Not unless your father had the high law changed."

"We could have found away." She said in a almost pleading way.

"I will always be your friend and will never leave you. That you have my word on. Come on, let's take you to the doctor, so you have your excuse."

Date: Berity /22/6854

"Ann, I have great news." Elizbith said as she walked through the door.

Ann looked up and seeing her sister, got up and ran to her, embracing her in a hug.

"Elizbith, it's been almost a year since I saw you last. What is your news?" Elizbith noticed that her sister looked worn out.

"Are you OK, Ann? You don't look so good."

"I'm fine Elizbith, but what about you. You said you have news, and I want to hear all about the Southern Kingdom. Not to mention how your husband and you are doing."

"Well, I'm pregnant." An ear piercing scream of excitement rippled through the air as Ann started to jump up and down. She was so excited that any thought of 'proper' behavior went right out the window.

"Oh my Spirits. I'm so happy for you. Is it a boy? girl? When is it due? Do you have a name for it yet? Do mom and dad know? Does Marcus know? Of course he knows. Is he happy?" All her questions came tumbling out, not even giving Elizbith a chance to answer.

"OK, slow down," She said, laughing at the excitement of her older twin. "It's going to be a girl. I have about seven months left till she is born." She stoped and rubed her hand over her stomach. "Marcus and I plan on calling her Glorya. Mom knows but I have not told Dad yet. And we could not be happier."

"I'm so happy for you." She seemed excited but there was a undercurrent of sadness again.

"OK Ann, what is wrong? And don't tell me nothing. The spark in your eyes is gone. Is it Stephon?" She asked the last question in hushed tone. But her voice was filled with compassion and love.

"I can't stand the man. He keeps pressuring me to give him a son, father is doing the same thing. It's like all I am to them is a common whore, that my sole purpose is to lie on my back and spread my legs then pop out a boy." She started to cry. "I don't love him. I can't stand to be around him. I have not even slept with him yet." Her voice droped. "He tried to force himself on me last night. I told him if he tried again I would cut his manhood off."

"Oh sweetie, why don't you tell Dad, I'm sure he would annul the marriage."

"I tried, all he keeps saying is that the 'son of my old friend could not possibly do those things'. I'm scared Liz, and I've been having these... dreams at night. They're not normal. I see a great war coming. I think Stephon is the cause of it."

"I'm so sorry. I had no idea it was this bad. So I take it you have not consummated the marriage yet."

"Spirits no! I would not let that man between my legs if my life depended on it."

"OK, come on let's go get some food then take a trip through the gardens." They got up, made themselves presentable and then made their way to Ann's private dining hall.

"So how was your visit?" Marcus asked his wife as she walked into the palace.

"It was good, but I'm worried about Ann. She is miserable being married to Stephon."

"Well, I never thought they were a good match. And no, it has nothing to do with his being a low born noble. Something about him gives me the creeps. Tanos does not like him either."

"He's not the only one that feels that way. So do Marla, Yurgn, and Ratef. Of course Yurgn may just feel that way due to Ann feeling that way. She said he tried to force himself on her." You could see the anger rising in Marcus.

"You know we may have our own problems here in Coleona and things you don't agree with. But here, if a man tried that I would have his balls ripped off then he would be sold into slavery. Before you start, yes, I know you don't like slavery. But in this case I think even you would make an exception."

"Yeah, I might just make an exception. Thank you for freeing all the castle slaves by the way. I know you have to pay them now. But have you noticed that the work is better now. And the people seem happier. And that is better for me. I am an empath after all." Now if only I could figure out if her dream was a real one or not.

~Well, if you ask me, I think it was a vision dream. You know she is Precognitive.~ Marla said to Elizbith, causing her eyes to haze slightly. Nothing that Marcus would notice unless he was looking closely.

{Yes, your probably right Marla. And I was thinking to myself, not that I mind your input.}

"Maybe we can have her join us here till Glorya is born. Would that be OK? It would get her away from him for the next seven months."

"That would be fine. But if this is a problem now, how is she going to deal with him when he becomes Regent Emperor Temporal?"

"I fear for the Empire when that happens. All we can hope for is that Ann has a son soon and that father lives till he is at least ascension age."

"There is that. He seems like he's still going strong. Well, let's get ready, Lord Nataren is coming for dinner. I think he wants to talk about the wine and cognac contract."

"Very well, I'll go get ready. You know I don't like him very much. He's far to arrogant for his station." She got up after that and made her way to her dressing room. She decided to dress in her imperial colors, something she rarely did while at home in the south, to make a point to the pompous ass she would have to spend the next few hours with.

After dressing in a long flowing dress of cobalt blue, black, and dark red. The dress had a plunging neck line that went all the way to her navel the two side of the dress were joined together with platinum chains spaced every two inches till the fabric rejoined above the navel. It was completely sleeveless with the top held on by a tie around the neck.

She looked down at her Spirit Eye Stone. Something else she seldom wore in the south. After looking at it for a moment she decided to go all out and wear it as well. She picked up the small gem stone with its mantel chain and placed the stone on her forehead clasping the chain over her head. This stone, one of two types that when worn in this way symbolized a powerful Psychic. The gem itself was unlike any other type gem found anywhere else in the know galaxies. It existed on Devia alone. A cloudy blue with jade green and ruby red swirls running through it.

Satisfied with what she had on, she left her dressing room and made her way out to the state dinning hall. When she entered. All eyes locked on her. Marcus had an amused look in his eyes, he knew his wife far too well and knew exactly what she was doing.

"Elizbith, glad you could join us." He stood up and pulled her chair out for her, then leaned forward slightly and whispered into her ear. "Play nice please." Then he sat back in his own seat.

"Lord Nataren, how good it is to see you again." Her tone barely concealed the venom with-in.

"Your Majesty." He said along with a slight bow. Then he turned from her, but not before his eyes widened as he took in the Spirit Stone on her brow, and the color of dress seemed to click. His fake smiled turned into a ugly grimes. "My King, as I was saying, that with the dry weather this year, the vineyards are not doing so well. I'm afraid that the wine and other products will not be as plentiful this year. If we try to match quantity of other years, the quality will suffer. The only option is to sacrifice quantity and to concentrate on a few sections and let the rest die."

"Won't that impact years to come as well? Some of the vines out there are hundreds of years old."

Lord Nataren eyes sparkled in greed as he smirked. "Well, yes sir, they are. Now, with the supply limited I'm afraid I'm going to have to raise the price to make up on income." Now they were getting to the root of the matter. The greed of the Lord Nataren was almost as famous as his wine and spirits. It was said that he would sell his own mother into slavery, if it would earn him so much as a credit. In fact, he did sell his youngest daughter to a brothel for fifty credits. When asked why his response was. "I have three others, she is worthless as anything else, at least this way she makes me money."

Growing tired of his games over the years Marcus countered with an offer. "How much for everything?"

"I was thinking since I'm only going to be left with a quarter of my production, I should quadruple the price."

"No, I mean for everything. How much to take the whole company off your hands? I tire of your games and your greed. I want to buy you out. Be glad I don't just take it."

Lord Nataren's mouth dropped open at that. "Fourty million credits, and I keep the stock that is already aging."

"No, I'll give you fifteen million. I keep everything and you don't end up stripped of your title and other lands and thrown in jail. That stunt with your daughter turned me against you. The only thing that surpasses your arrogance is your greed. We are in a drought and you seek to increases your profits off others misfortune. Then you seek to try and scam me and the kingdom. I will not have it any more!" Getting up and offering his hand to his wife Marcus turned to leave. "Enjoy dinner, we won't be joining you today." With that Marcus and Elizbith left the room.

Date: Devlorn/14/6855

Two women sat by a warm glowing fire, one clearly pregnant. The one turned to her sister. "Ann, some times I envy Terran women. If I was Terran I would already be done with this. They only have to deal with all this for nine months we have to put up with it for ten." At that she jumped slightly as the baby kicked again.

"Liz, it's not that bad."

"Not that bad! Have you seen me lately. Do you know how much I have to pee now, or how much it hurts to get kicked in the kidney from the inside? Not that bad you say. Well maybe if you had a kid you would not be saying its not that bad." Immediately regretting what she said, both women flinched as the statement brought up things that both would rather not be mentioned.

"As much as I want kids. As much as I would love to be a mother. You know why I can't."

"Oh Ann, you can't hide here forever. I know the idea of laying with him is repulsive to you. It's repulsive to me! But you need to have the Heir. You are first born, it's your duty."

"I know, I have a plan, it will just take time. I won't let him touch me. But I will go back after my wonderful niece is born."

Date: Eduit /8/6855

A woman came out of a room covered in blood. "Your Majesty, Your Highness, I am sorry to tell you that we have done everything we could. Her Majesty does not have much longer. We were able to save the baby." She just finished talking when a horrific wale riped through the air as Ann fell into Marcus's arms sobbing. She felt as though part of herself had just died. In truth, that may be true. The bond between twins is something still not understood.

"She's gone, my sister is gone." Another mournful cry filled the air. Then a nurse came out and whispered into the doctor's ear.

"I'm sorry, Her Majesty has died." The emotional backlash from Ann fueled and powered by her empathy flooded the building and surrounding areas. Everyone suddenly felt the pain of the Devian Crown Princess. There was not a dry eye to be seen. "Once again, I am sorry for your loss. But we need to know what to call the child to imprint it on the chip."

"Glorya Elizbith Devaus of the House Tarus, Daughter of Devaus. I will have her mothers name honored even if it defies tradition."

"Very well your Majesty." With that she turned and walked back into the room.

After Ann regained some control, Marcus led her to a private room. As they sat down he started to cry. "Ann, what am I going to do? I loved her so much, she was my whole life. I don't know what to do. I'm not sure I want to live without her." He barely finished talking before breaking down into hysterics and could barely be understood.

After all the tears they had were shed, Ann calmed herself and lifted Marcus's chin looking into his eyes. "Marcus, you will go on, If not for yourself then for the wonderful baby girl that my sister left you. You will love her, raise her and make damn sure she remembers her perfect mother. We are Royal. There will be time to morn later, but now we have a duty. I must inform my parents and you have a Nation to inform." They dried their eyes, straightened their clothes and then made their way to the nursery. A nurse there told them that it would be a few days till the child would be able to have visitors and advised them to head home for the night.

When they arrived back at the Palace of the Dessert Ann made her way to a communications terminal and called her mother. Ann told her mother what had happened and watched as her face grew pale and the sparkle left her eyes.

"We can grieve later, for now we must do our duty. Your father is off world and will take two days to return to Devia. I will be there by morning. All we can hope for is that the Great King of the Heavens will welcome her to his table. Good night Ann, tell Marcus I will see him tomorrow." And with that the screen went blank.

When she returned to the salon and sat with Marcus he looked like death walking, his eyes were flat and sunken in and his face pale. She told him about talking to her mother. "She will be here tomorrow. She said she will see you then. Father is off world and will take two days to return. She said nothing of Stephon."

"He better not come here. I will have him killed if he steps one foot in my Kingdom. I will not have him defile my wife's memory with his vile presence. Even if it starts a war! I will not have him in my Kingdom!!" After that they ate a small meal then retired to bed.

Date: Eduit /9/6855

In the morning Ann was woken up by Marcus gently shaking her. She could tell something was wrong. Marcus looked even worse than he did last night. And he was carefully avoiding her eyes.

"Ann, I'm sorry, I have bad news." She reflexively reached for his mind than blacked out. Several hours later when she re-awoke Marcus was still next to her looking worried.

"How did it happen?" Was all she said, confirming that she read his mind.

At first Marcus was upset, that she violated his mind, but then realized it was probably reflex. "The data from the investigation is still coming in, but right now it looks like there was a malfunction on the shuttle. It exploded when the impulse engines engaged. The entire shuttle was vaporized, she would have felt no worry or fear, and no pain. I am so sorry Ann, I cannot even imagine what you must be going through. To loose your sister and mother with in a few hours of each other. I am so sorry." Ann looked resigned and it prompted Marcus to ask what she was thinking.

"When I was younger I had a vision. It was of me standing by two coffins. One was my sisters the other was my mothers. I did not know when or how it happened. But I knew that once my sister died my mother would follow soon after. I just did not know it would be this soon." While it was common knowledge that the members of the Imperial line were often precognitive, it was still something that made people uneasy.

"Ann, there is something I need to tell you. As you know there is audio recording in all procedure rooms. Before Elizbith died she gave a prophecy.

_ He that was owned shall rise above all. A young son shall walk destiny path untold. Three must be one to stop a war that would rage unbound. A would be King, father claimed, shall as an enemy die. A son long lost shall in true love be bound to the son with a father yet unknown. What was once Three will be as one when their other is found In gold will the daughter betray the Heir and rise with aid to join the false king. The Council of Spirits will convene and secrets long held will at last be revealed. _

I don't know what it means and I have no intention of trying to figure it out. Every one that heard it has been sworn to secrecy." Ann looked pale, she knew what parts of it meant. She had been having dreams of a war for the past year.

While an investigation was launched there was not much left to find. Sabotage was ruled out since it was a random shuttle, the only misstake found was the enginere signed of on it being ok with out checking every thing.

Date: Eduit /22/6859

A woman's scream coming from the Imperial Gardens at the Palace of Light filled the air. Guards ran to see what was wrong along with a multitude of people. What awaited them changed the Empire forever. Lying on the ground broken and destroyed was Tyrn of the House of Devaus, Emperor of the Devian Empire. It was later found out that he jumped from his balcony six stories up. A letter to his Daughter was found and delivered to her, it read.

"My dearest Ann, I am sorry for what I am about to do. I ask that you forgive me, not only for this, but also what I have done to you. After your sister and mother died, and the loss of your presence in my heart and life, I had nothing left to live for. I know you are not happy with Stephon. It was my hope that over time you would grow to love each other. I have long since lost that hope. He was the only son of my oldest and dearest friend. That is why I had you marry him. I see now it was a mistake. But my pride will not allow me to correct that mistake. My only hope now is that the Great King will see fit to admit me a place at his table and I will get to see my dear Lilia again. I leave you with a word of advice. If you ever should find true love don't let it go. For life is hardly worth living without them in your life. I hope that if we meet again at the table you will have forgiven me."

Three days later the funeral was held. The next day, Ann at 21 was crowned Empress, her husband Stephon at 31 became Regent Emperor Temporal of the Devian Empire. Per the high law, Ann, while receiving the title was unable to assume the throne. A woman was not allowed to rule unless she married and her husband died, that left Stephon with the right to rule, even if it was in a limited capacity.

Date: Hatril /12/6859

Ann walked into Stephon's office and handed him a cup. "Go to the medical center and deposit a genetic sample. I want a child, but I refuse to let you touch me." Her voice cold emotionless.

"And if I refuse?" He responded with sneer.

"I will find a donor. I have already consulted the high laws. The line of secession flows through me, not you. You do not need to be the father." With that she turned to leave.

"Fine, I will head there now." He got up and left and she smiled. She then headed to her private salon. Several hours later he returned and told her it was done, then left her. She made her way to the office and talked to the doctor.

"Your Majesty, he gave us a sample."

"Good. I want you to make some changes. Make sure his eyes are green and his hair black, everything else leave to chance. Save some of the sample for another child in a few years."

"Very well, we already have your genetic samples. Whenever you are ready we can do the implantation."

"As soon as the modifications are done I will be ready. It is important that he does not too closely resemble his father. That would lead to more questions than I wish to have asked."

"Does he suspect any thing?"

"No, I told Stephon if he did not do it I would find another. I did not bother to tell him the rest. And other than those of us involved, no one will ever know the truth."

"If they find out before your son takes the throne it could cause problems."

"No more than if I were to actually bear Stephon's child. Let me know when it is done."

"Very well your Majesty. I shall have it done in four hours. One last thing, what of sexuality?"

"Make it random, I will not control who he falls in love with, not even the gender." After that she left the room and returned to her suite.

There was a knock on her door then a man entered. "Were you able to make the switch, Ann?"

"Yes, the doctor agreed. I read his mind as well. There is no deception in him. He made the change and will not betray us. I also made sure he would not too closely resemble you. I want to have one more child after this as well. So, I had him save some of your sample."

"Ann, we are taking such a big risk. Are you sure it is worth it?"

"I told you I would never let him touch me and I would never bear his child. This is what I must do."

"If this is discovered before he takes the throne they will demand he is turned over to them. He will be denied his throne."

"That is why after the implantation I will alter his memories. Other than us no one will ever know. He will grow up thinking Stephon is his father. I will tell him only after his ascension."

"What will you name him?"

"Callin Truga of the House of Devaus. The second child will be called Dani Mason of the House of Devaus."

"What about a Daughter?"

"If I have one it will be after Dani I will name her after my mother, Lilia T'ila of the House Devaus."

"Sounds perfect. I must go before anyone wonders. Be well."

Date: Fortug /30/6859

Ann sits at a communications terminal and is talking to Marcus. Over the years they have talked a lot. Marcus has been remarried and the time has healed old wounds. "Marcus, I have great news. I'm pregnant! He should be due in Ruti."

"That is great news. L'tiona is pregnant as well. Due around the same time I think. So does this mean you gave into the pig?"

"No! I would die before I let him near me. I used other means. Since our children will be born so close maybe they can grow up together."

"Perhaps, but I don't think he would allow it."

"He will have no say in the raising of this or any child I have. I am already off world. You know you still not have told me where your wife is from or how you met."

"You know I can't reveal her identity, but I met her on Cerulean. We were both there at the resort. She was widowed like me, but had no prior children. We helped each other deal with the loss and became friends. It developed from there."

"I'm so happy for you Marcus. If any one should have a second chance at love it's you."

Date: Ruti /16/6860

On the planet Cerulean a doctor stood at the foot of a med bed, "Push your Majesty, I can see the head. Just a few more pushes." Moments later a baby's cry could be heard in the room.

"Check for bleeding, I lost my sister this way!" Ann yells out. Knowing full well her family's history with giving birth.

"We already did. We know all about your mother and sister. Difficult births run in your family. You are completely fine, and it's a boy by the way." The nurse hands the baby to Ann and injects the Ident Chip into his right hand. "What name should we imprint on the chip?"

"Callin Truga of the House of Devaus" The nurse nods her head inputs the information and swipes it over the implanted chip.

"Should we notify his father?"

"No, don't bother. He won't have any thing to do with raising this child." The Doctor and Nurses looked shocked but complied with her wishes.

Back on Devia in the Southern Kingdom, Coleona, Marcus stood next to L'tiona. Hoping that this birth will not be like that of his first wife. "Your doing so good, your almost done"

"One more push Your Majesty. That's good." A baby's cry filled the room. "It's a boy!" The nurse handed the new born to his mother and injected a chip into his right hand. "What name would you like imprinted on the chip?"

"I have to wait for sun rise to name him. It's a tradition in my family."

"Very well your Majesty."

Date: Hatril /24/6861

Back on Devia, Ann once again goes to the Doctor that helped her with her first pregnancy. "Your Majesty. What can I do for you this time?"

"I am ready for my second son. Same modifications as Callin." She unblocked his memory from the first time. "Can I assume that sample has not been tampered with in any way. Never mind, I have procured a fresh sample." She hands him a sample container. "As I said, same modifications. This time I think I will watch you do it." She detected a slight bit of hesitancy and wanted to make sure the samples were not switched.

"Green eyes, black hair, male, and open sexuality." The doctor half stateed, half asked.

"That is correct.."

"Since you are staying here and waiting I will do it now." A few hours later he was done. "I am ready when you are your Majesty. "

"Now then."

"Follow me to the procedure room." She once again blocked his memory of what was really going on. After the implantation she made a stop by Stephon's office.

"I have had another implantation, I used what was left of the sample from last time. There should be enough for one other after this. I thought you should know."

"That's fine. Will I ever get to see my children?"

"Once they're old enough for you not to corrupt them I may think about it."

"Where is Callin at now?"

"That, Stephon, is none of your business. He is safe, that is all you need to know. I am leaving again. I will notify you when Dani is born. And no, this one will not bare your name either." With that she turned and left. Smiling to herself.

"Driver, take me to the Justial Conclave." After arriving at the Conclave she walked to the gate.

"Welcome to the Conclave of the Justial. May Justice and Wisdom rule your day." A disembodied voice rang out. As the gate swung open Ann walked through and was met by a woman wearing a long shimmering jet black robe. It looked like shimmering velvet with dark red trim in the form of a flame and dark cobalt blue swirls woven into the fabric. On her forehead were two Spirit Stones, one of each type. The top one was black with gold flecks and dark red swirls. The bottom one was a cloudy blue with jade green and ruby red swirls running through it.

"Lady Justice I wish to see the Lord High Justice." The woman bowed slightly, placing her arms inside the ends of her sleeves she pulled the hood up and led Ann through the complex.

"This way your Majesty. He is expecting you." The Lady Justice led Ann to a building and let her in, then took her leave. The building was the home and private residence of the Lord High Justice. She walked down the hall leading from the ante chamber to the great hall, then turned down the hall to her right and walked to the end. She knocked and waited to receive the answer.

"Come in." She let herself into the sitting room and saw her child, Callin, playing on the floor.

"My Lord High Justice, thank you for watching Callin."

"Ann, please enough of the formality. We have known each other for far too long."

"Fine Medil, have it your way." After making sure the door was closed she walked over to him and gave him a hug, cuddle, into his side. "I have missed you so much Medil. I still can't believe you became the Lord High Justice."

"Well, I can't say I expected it my self. Callin certainly is turning out well. He is a beautiful child. I can already tell he's of above average intelligence. And, I'm glad to see his eyes and hair don't resemble that of his father."

"Yes, I made sure of that. I was successful in having another implantation."

"Good, if I remember correctly, you plan on calling this one Dani, correct?"

"Yes." She finally broke the embrace that she was in and stepped back from him. "Did you enjoy your time with him?" She noticed that he now also bore the two Spirit Stones. Like the Lady Justice, his were permanent, unlike her stones that could be removed. Her sister only ever wore one stone, Ann chose to were both as a warning to all around her. But hers were reversed compared to a Justial, as was custom.

"I will always enjoy my time with him and the others that may come. This is probably the closest I will be able to come to fatherhood."

Ann moved back into his embrace and huged herself to his side and sighed contently. Wishing how things could have been. "Have you eaten yet Medil?"

"No, I was waiting for you. I will have dinner brought for us. Will you stay the night here?"

"In your home, yes, but not in your bed." She says with a smirk.

"If only! Your such a tease." His voice drops and fills with sadness. "You have to know how I wish things were different Ann. Every time I see Stephon I feel anger. Knowing that he is married to you and not me, even if he never gets to touch you. It should have been me standing by your side. I know your father asked you to forgive him in that letter, but I don't think I can ever do that. He took the best thing in my life and gave it to some one else."

"I know my love, I know. But I believe that it will all turn out well in the end. If all goes to plan, Callin will grant me my divorce and then maybe we can be together." After dinner they retired to their rooms. Ann put Callin to sleep in his portable bed.

Some time in the night Ann slipped into Medil's room. He awoke with a start as she climbed into his bed. "Ann what are you doing?" He did not receive a response. All she did was lean in and kiss him. At first he tried to resist, then gave in. After nine years of self-denial they both gave into what their hearts wanted.

Several hours later Ann was laying her head on Medil's chest while he gently rubbed her back. "Ann, you know I love you more than anything, but I don't think we should have done that. "

"I made my choice I will live with it. Even if we can only have stolen moments in the night. I can't be without you. Please don't turn me away." She said as she started to cry.

"Shh, my love. I will never turn you way." He said as he gently kissed the top of her head. "It will be morning soon. It would be better if the staff did not find you in my bed this morning." he said with a smirk. "Meet me in the dinning hall for the morning meal."

"Fine. You know you sure know how to kill the after bliss." She sat up then leaned over and kissed him one more time. "You were my first and you will be my only. That I promise you." She then got dressed in her gown and slipped out the door. She was not worried about getting pregnant cause she already was. So happily she slipped into her own room and began to get ready for the day. After her shower she got Callin up, cleaned and changed then dressed for the day.

Date: Yorn /32/6862

"Ann! How good to see you. So to what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?"

"Hello Marcus, it is good to see you. As for why I am here, there are three reasons. First, is to see my niece. Second, is to see you, your wife, and new son. And third, is to rest while while I'm pregnant." She said the last part with a huge smile.

"Well, I can give you all but one of your requests. The one will only be able to be granted in half. My wife and son are off world visiting some relatives." Then he slowly started to smile when what all Ann said finally hit home. "Your pregnant again? By the Spirits, I am so happy for you. I'm assuming that this one is by the same strange method as the last one."

"Yes, he was conceived the same way. And, I'm assuming that I can't know who these relatives are ?"

"No, you know the routine. Are you going to need medical care while you're here? How long can you stay?"

"Yes, I will need a doctor while I'm here. As for how long, I want to give birth to him on Cerulean like I did Callin. So I should leave no latter than Tran 22nd."

"Well that gives us almost four full months. I will have a doctor paged so you can see him latter today. I will also have your things put in your room, but for now lets have lunch. The cook made a wonderful krutarg roast."

After lunch Ann went to visit the Doctor. "Well, every thing looks OK with with them so far. They're boys but you already knew that. You said that they were artificially placed, correct?"

"Yes, he was. Wait! Did you say 'they' as in more then one?" Ann yelled in panic.

"Well, yes, they're twins." At this point the doctor looked completely confused.

"That's not possible. I only had one implantation. There should not be two babies in there. By the Spirits, this can't be happening."

"This is most unusual. But, it can happen if you, umm well, had sex with in 48 hours of having the procedure. It causes you to ovulate." By this point Ann was deathly pale. This could give it all away.

"Doctor, is there a way to test the genetics of both of them and see two specific characteristics?"

"Yes, your far enough along that I could do that. What are you looking for?"

"Eye and hair color."

"OK, I have had stranger requests. But, I can take a sample and tell you in a few moments." Ann nervously waited as the doctor drew the samples and ran his tests. Ten minutes latter he had the results. "Well, I'm not sure what you are looking for, but here are the results. Fetus one has green eyes and black hair. Fetus two also has green eyes and black hair." Ann gave out an audible sigh of relief. "Well, that clearly means something to you."

"Is there any way to tell which one was artificially conceived and which one is my little surprise?"

"Yes, but only till the end of this term. Fetus one is the artificially conceived child."

"So, after they're born you will not be able to tell which was which?"

"That is correct. Actually in a few more weeks we will not be able to tell. The only way we will know is by position in the uterus As far as genetics go they will not be identical twins, but they will look more alike than brothers born at separate times. Well, at least till they are older "

Ann stopped and thought for a few minutes. Then asked, "Can you inject Ident Chips now?"

"That is highly irregular, but yes, we can with out any side effects to development."

"Good, implant them then. Name the First one Dani Mason of the House of Devaus, and the second one Lucius Thrimble of the House of Devaus."

"Very well Your Majesty." He went and got a special needle and injected the chips. Then he took out a hand held devise, entered in the information, set it to imprint by serial number and then proceeded to imprint the chips. "It is done Your Majesty. I'm assuming you had a good reason to do that. Judging by position it looks like Dani will be first born. If there is nothing else, you are free to go. I would like to see you back here in two weeks."

"Yes, there is something else. I need you to delete any trace of the genetics test you ran and destroy the samples."

"I can not do that. I am sorry."

"You will do that or I can ask Marcus to make it a royal order. The results and genetic samples for my children are sensitive material. The Genetic code for the Imperial line of the Devian Empire is not to be recorded or kept in storage for any reason."

"I don't know what's going on but I need to to speak to his Majesty." A few moments later Marcus came in.

"Ann what is this about you wanting all traces of the genetic test deleted and the samples destroyed."

"Marcus, the samples contain the genetic code for the Imperial line, as well as the Genetic code for the father of my children. I can't have them any where they can be found." At first Marcus was confused then he caught what she was not saying. She did not want the genetic profile of the father available.

"Doctor you are to delete any and all data regarding all genetic tests and destroy all samples. The only records you will keep of this pregnancy are to be hand written. And given to Ann at the end of every appointment. Further more, you are sworn to secrecy about any thing you learn while treating Ann. If you reveal any information to any one other than Ann, or my self, I will have you executed for treason."

At this point Ann was looking much better, but the poor doctor was getting paler and paler. "Yes, Your Majesties. Right away." He then deleted all files and dumped the samples in the incinerator shoot. He then hand wrote all his notes from the appointment and handed them to Ann. "Here you are Your Majesty." After that he rushed from the room.

"OK Ann, you owe me an explanation."

"Yes, I do, but not here. I still remember that these rooms are recorded. He may have deleted the recording of the appointment but I don't want to take any chances. Let's go to your room, I know you are not recorded. " When they got to his room he made sure they were alone then locked the door.

"OK Ann, spill it. What is going on?"

"Stephon is not the father of any of my children."

"I know that, I figured that much out a long time ago. Why is the mere possibility of the true father being found out such a bad thing. It's not like your having a Justial's children." At that Ann grew pale, very pale. "By the spirits, there is no way you would be that reckless." A look of remembrance and incite came over his face. "It's Medil isn't it." All Ann could do was nod her head.

"There is more, I'm carrying twins. I only had one implanted though, the other is natural."

"Your having an affair with him too! Dear Spirits. How could you do this? What is going to happen when a violet eyed, silver haired child is born? The conclave will have his head and probably take all your kids away from you."

"That's why I had him run the tests after he told me they were twins. They both have green eyes and black hair. I don't know how it happened, but I am thankful it did. That is also why I did not want any genetic information on the system at all."

"Well, that is some thing to be thankful for. No one can find out about this till after Callin's ascension to the throne."

"Well, that is a given. I think I need to tell him about this. Can I barrow your secure terminal?"

"Yes, it's through the door on the far left in my office." She made her way to the office and made her call.

"Ann, what are you doing calling me on a secure channel for?"

"Are you alone?"

"Yes, I'm in my office. What is wrong?"

"I'm carrying twins Medil. Only one was artificially conceived." His face went pale.

"Ann, I'll be killed when he's born then. We have sealed our fate and that of our children."

"No Medil. It will be OK. I had the doctor run a genetics test. They both have green eyes and black hair. I'm not sure how that happened, but be thankful that it has."

"Thank the Spirits. So twins. I take it they're not going to be identical twins."

"No, they are not, but the doctor says they will look more alike than normal brothers though. I already had the Ident Chips placed."

"What names did you pick?"

"First one Dani Mason, of the House of Devaus, and the second one Lucius Thrimble, of the House of Devaus."

"Good names. It looks like were going to have a big family after all, even if we can't be a real family." Then he smirked, "Seems I have the magic touch. First time and I got you pregnant." He seemed pleased with himself.

"Oh, your so full of yourself, and don't worry, I have learned my lesson. Even if I'm pregnant already we will still use a neutralizer."

"So, there will be more times then?" He smiled so big again his face lit up.

"Yes, my love, many more times to come, but for now I must go. Marcus is waiting for me in the other room."

"OK Ann, be careful. I love you, good bye." After the screen went blank she made her way back out. As she was walking back out to the sitting room Yurgn started to talk to her.

~It is a dangerous game you are playing Ann~

{I know it is Yurgn, but I see no other way.}

~Do you intend on having your children implanted with Symbionts?~

{Of course! There has not been a member of the House of Devaus in three thousand years that has not held a Symbiont. }

~And how do you plan and having me mate with Zarpha? How will you explain your need to be in the Justial Symbiont pool? Or Medil's need to be in the royal or imperial ones? Neither Care taker will just blindly watch as we mate.~

{I will have to have one made then.}

~And if I refuse to consent to that?~

{You would refuse my child a Symbiont born of his parents partners?}

~If you do not use a real pool, then yes, I would. I am sure Zarpha would say the same thing.~

{Then I'll have to deal with the Royal and Imperial caretakers.}

~I won't let you kill them~

{No one said any thing about killing. I am a full telepath!}

~Very well, we shall see.~

As Ann walked into the room it was clear that she was talking to Yurgn or someone Telepathically. She had a distant look in her eyes. That only comes from mental communication. When her eyes cleared up Marcus started talking to her.

"So what names have you picked out for the two of them?"

"First one Dani Mason, of the House of Devaus, and the second one Lucius Thrimble, of the House of Devaus. The Doctor thinks that Dani will be born first. I had him implant the chips already."

Date: Spritus /6/6862

"Ann, what's wrong you look like your in pain?" Marcus asked with concern as he looked up from his dinner.

"I once laughed at my sister for complaining about kidney shots. Then when I had Callin they were not as bad as she made it sound. But I think I'm making up for it with these two, they like to both kick at the same time."

"L'tiona never complained much about the kicks, but she had horrible stomach pains and was always throwing up. And I swear she lived in the bathroom after the first five months. Elizbith was also always in the bathroom, but her main problem was the kicking and cramps." Marcus finished off with a sad smile.

"Speaking of L'tiona, when is she getting back?"

"Last I checked with her, she was set to come back Tran 1st "

"How convenient that I leave the same day." She narrowed her eyes at Marcus. "What is it that you're hiding from me Marcus? Or is it that you're hiding me from her?"

"Now Ann, don't be like that. There are reasons why you can't know who she really is. Next time you come I will make sure you meet her, but it could cause problems. I will also have you meet my son, soon."

"Fine, see that you do Marcus, or I may start to think you don't like me any more."

"Now why would I ever stop liking you?"

"Well, if my plots and schemes don't get us all killed then no reason."

"That's if my plots don't do us in first!" At that they both started laughing.

Date: Ruti /14/6862

"Your Majesty, it seems your doctor on Devia was correct, Dani was born first. We have updated the records on their chips. This birth seems to have gone even better than your first."

"That's cause now I'm all stretched out. So what is Callin doing during all this?"

"The Nurse is keeping an eye on him. You do have a visitor. It is unusual but the Lord High Justice has asked to see you. He is with your oldest son now. "

"That is fine, we're old friends. We studied together as children."

"And may I assume you don't want the father to be notified again?"

"That is correct. I will notify him myself." What she did not tell them was that the father already knew and was walking in the door now. She laughed to herself over that. "Please show His Imperial Excellency the Lord High Justice in." A few moments latter Medil came in.

"Doctor, please disengage any and all recording devises for the time I am here."

"As you wish Your Excellency." With that, the doctor left the room. Medil made sure the door was locked then walked over to Ann with Callin in his arms.

"They're beautiful Ann."

"Thank you for coming. I know what a risk this is, but you were not there for Callin's birth and I wanted you to be here for this one. Would you like to hold them?" She smiled up at him. He put Callin down on the bed and took Dani up in his arms, shifted him over and then accepted Lucius in his other arm.

"They do look a lot alike, but I can tell them apart. This one is Dani," he said motioning with his arm with the one on the right. "Dnd this one is Lucius," he said as he motioned with his left arm. "Zarpha, says they are good looking children. He is always so formal, but he keeps me grounded. That brings up something else I wanted to talk to you about. How are we going to work out the Symbiont bonding? It's not like we can just walk into a pool together."

"Well, I have a few ideas, but lucky for us we have two years before the first bonding. So, how long can you stay?"

"I'm officially on vacation here for three weeks. And, because I am the only other occupant on the top floor. I had them shut off the surveillance. So, we are completely alone on the Imperial floor."

"I like the sound of that. You can spend a good amount of time getting to know the children, and we get some time together."

Date: Sumtager /6/6862

Ann looked out over the green tinted waters of Cerulean and watched as the man she loved played with their oldest son. She was sitting on her private beach with their two newborns. To her this is what she imagined life would have been like had her father not forced her to marry Stephon. She would be happy and together with Medil and they would be family. After the first week on Cerulean it became clear that they were gaining unwanted attention, so she bought a island of medium size. It was the perfect place to her. It already had a moderately sized mansion on it with all the perks. The best part was the price, it only cost 1322 galactic ponds of gold, or about 20 million credits. That was the one down side to Cerulean, they only dealt in the metals. Since they hosted people from all over the galaxy they long ago decided to only except the metals themselves. Of course, it was still electronic for the big items, but most carried gold and silver with them. Today was their last day together, Medil would be leaving for Devia later that afternoon.

Medil chased Callin around the beach playing in the surf, after a few hours they made their way back to Ann. "I'm sorry Ann, I need to get ready to leave. Will you be staying here much longer?"

"For a few months yet, yes. Help me get these guys back inside then I'll help you get ready." They gathered up their things and made their way to the mansion.

As Medil's shuttle took off a single tear slid down Ann's cheek. The staff was limited for privacy reasons, so she had no fear of any one seeing her. The ones that were on staff were totally loyal to her. She insisted on deep scans before hiring them.

Date: Alritel /27/6862

Ann walked out of her bathroom to see Stephon standing over the Dani's crib. He was looking intently down at him then he switched and started looking down at Lucius. "What do you think your doing in my private rooms? Get out now!"

"I came to see you, and to see my children."

"Well, you have seen us, now leave. What could possibility make you think you could just walk into my rooms unannounced?"

"I am the Emperor, I can do as I please."

Ann stated laughing. "That is a joke. You are no Emperor. You are a Regent and a temporary one at that. Have you become so deluded that you think you're a Devaus now? Now, I repeat, get out of my rooms."

"Is it true you bought an Island on Cerulean?"

"Yes, it is a Devaus estate now. To be used for the members of the House of Devaus. "

"I don't like you spending that much money without talking to me first. You waste the governments money."

"It was Devaus money and I don't have to check with you for anything. I am the Empress and the Matriarch of the House of Devaus."

"All your funds belong to the government."

"Since when? On whose authority were House assets seized."

"Maybe, if you spent more time here with your husband instead of spending money, you would know. All Imperial holdings are now the property of the government."

"Good thing House assets are not Imperial assets then. You really are dumb, aren't you Stephon. Only an Emperor can sign that kind of law first, and second, only an Emperor can seize Noble House assets. You are not an Emperor, no matter how much or often you tell yourself that. You are still, and will always be, nothing more than a Temporary Regent." A loud smack was heard echoing through the room as Stephon slapped Ann. "And that, Stephon, was the last mistake you will ever make. Guards!!" She yelled at the top of her lungs. When they came running into the room, weapons drawn, she relaxed. "Escort this bastard off Palace grounds, and make sure he does not return. He is barred from the Palace of Light and all other Devaus holdings till the day he dies." When the Guards tried to take Stephon he struggled.

"You can't do this. The military answers to me. I am Emperor."

One very agitated Lieutenant of the Imperial Guard responded before Ann could, "We may be part of the military, but this branch, like all the Elite Forces, answer to three people only; The Lord Grand Marshal, The Emperor, Or The Empress. Since the current Lord Grand Marshal is a Devaus, in fact Her Majesty's Uncle, and the Empress is telling us to remove you, we will do our duty. And you, Your Excellency, are not the Emperor, you are Regent Emperor Temporal. So you do not have full control of all branches of the military or the Intelegance and Security either. Now, you can leave or we can remove you by force, which the high law allows us to do."

A very red faced Stephon marched out of the room, followed by several of the guards, leaving just Ann, the children and the Lieutenant behind. Ann had the forsight to block her children's hearing so they did not wake up.

"Lieutenant, please send a message to Grand Marshal Rutarg requesting that he meet with me as soon as possible. Also, send a message to the Lord High Justice and ask him to come as well. Then, send a message to my Uncle and the other relatives informing them that I would like them to attend as well. I will be in my salon when they come."

"Very well your Majesty. If I may ask, do you need a doctor? I looks like you were hurt."

"Stephon hit me, but I will be OK."

The young lieutenants eyes flashed with anger. That was the thing about the Imperial Guard they were fearsomely loyal to the House of Devaus. He set his jaw and responded. "If you say so your majesty. I will have your messages delivered."

Several hours later her Uncle, the Lord Grand Marshal arrived, followed soon after by Grand Marshal Rutarg. As soon as Duke Thristian, Ann's uncle, saw her face starting to bruise he started getting angry.

"I swear Ann, I will strangle who ever hurt you."

"I wish you could Uncle, but it was Stephon. I asked others to come too, so I will explain every thing once they are here." Now Thristian was even angrier. Normally a calm man, he was the younger brother of Ann's father. At 52 he was still considered young, and he looked good for his age. And like most Devaus he had the trade mark emerald green eyes.

"Who else is coming?"

"Medil, and any of the House that is close by."

"My cousin will probably come then. My son is off world with his, we hope, soon to be wife." A few more moments and Medil walked in followed by Lord Talbot .

Lord Talbot looked around and saw his cousin, Thristian, and made his way over. "Thristian, the Imperial guard looks like it is about to go off to war. What in the name of the Spirits is going on?" Then he turned to Ann. "And Ann, why was I asked to come here? Not that I don't like to visit with my baby cousin, I just don't like having an armed escort on the way here."

"Sorry about that Talbot, the guards are reacting to that bastard husband of mine hitting me." Lord Talbot's mouth droped open. As a glass ewer shattered everyone looked around to see what happened.

"Sorry about that, I lost control for a moment." Medil said. But the fact was, he did not look much more in control, his eyes were still glowing. That was one thing every one knew, that when a Justial's eyes glowed they're taping into their full power, and most people ran the other way.

"That is alright Medil. I know you have been friends with Ann since child hood. I also know a great deal more. Personally, I wanted to kill the pig, but I think Ann will tell me not to."

"Your right about that. Now Medil if you have control enough, I will have more drink brought in. Unless you think you would like to shatter more things first?" Ann said with a smirk.

"No, I am alright now." He smiled back but it did not look convincing.

"I think this is everyone that is coming. I would like that Lieutenant to join us if possible. He should be out side my door." After he joined the room Ann asked everyone to be seated and she dismissed all the staff.

"OK Ann, what is going on?" Thristian asks.

"Yes, your Majesty I would like to know as well."

"Well, let me start from the beginning. I just returned to the planet earlier today. I was getting cleaned up and when I came out Stephon had let himself into my room and was standing over the cribs. I told him to leave. He refused. Then he started talking about that island I bought. After I told him yes, it was true that I bought a Island for the House of Devaus, he started going on about how I was spending the governments money and how he had all our assets seized. Form there it broke down into a yelling match and him claiming to be the Emperor." At that Talbot snorted, Ann suppressed a smirk. "I said some things I probably should not have and then he slapped me. At which time I called for the Guards. When Stephon once again claimed to be Emperor this wonderful young man here set him straight. At which time I barred Stephon from any place or property that is owned by the House of Devaus. I think at this time I will extend that to any place owned my a member of the House of Devaus as well. So that, Marshal Rutarg, is why you are here. Since it is also a House mater, I invited other family as well. My dear Uncle serves two purposes here, one as a Devaus and two as the Lord Grand Marshal."

"I will issue the orders right away, Your Majesty." With that Grand Marshal Rutarg took his leave. He looked like he was going to go hunting for Stephon, and that is probably why he left before Ann could say anything different.

"Ann, as you know, any law that passes has to be signed off by the Conclave, at least till Callin takes the throne. I have not seen any such law. Not only that, but only an Emperor can seize House assets or Imperial assets. So, on that front you are safe. He can't take any thing. I will throw down any law that tries. As for personal assets, unless you are convicted of treason they can't be seized either."

"I told him that, he did not seem to believe me."

"I will also issue a Justial order to keep him off House property. If anyone wants their personal property added, let my assistants know."

"Personally, I never liked that man. Why my brother had you marry him is still a mystery to me? I will make sure that the Intelligence and Security agencies that answer only to the throne are informed of this as well. Lieutenant, you can leave now, I would like a private word with my Niece and The Lord High Justice. That means you too Talbot, you can come back in after I have my private word." He waited for the both to leave, then turned to Medil and Ann.

"OK you two cut the crap. I know what has been going on between you two, and your lucky the security assigned to you both answers to me personally and bypasses normal channels." As he said this Ann and Medil's faces went pale. "I personally think you two should have been married in the first place. But, what I want to know, and this is more so I can stifle any reports and intercept any information, is how far has your relationship gone? And are my great nephews your children Medil?"

Both Ann and Medil just looked at each other totally shocked. "Well, I'm not sure how to answer that." Medil says.

"The truth is usually a good place to start." Thristian says with a glare.

"Uncle, you have to understand that," She looked at Medil again, "The things you are asking are, well not things we should be talking about."

"Right now only me and three agents even have any idea what is going on. If this were to slip into the open, well I think we all know what would happen. I am your only hope to keep this all quite. So I need to know everything."

"Fine, but not out loud." She extended her mind till it brushed against his then said [I don't want this repeated out loud ever.] Broadening the contact she brought Medil into the link. [Ask one question at a time and we may give you an answer.] Ann said once the link was complete.

[Are the children Medil's?] Thristian asked, it was the most important question he had.

[Yes, they are mine.]

[Will you be there for them as much as possible?]

[Of course! I would be there all the time if it were not for the danger.]

[Do you love Ann?]

[With all my heart.] He looked over at her and gave her a loving smile, then reached for her hand.

[Is it physical?]

[Uncle! I think that is to personal a question!]

[I'll take that as a yes. Do you plan on telling them when there older?]

[Not till Callin takes the throne. But, if they figure it out first we will be honest.] Medil looked into Ann's eyes while he said this. It was a look of resolve. If he had it his way he would tell them as soon as they could keep the secret.

[Then I have no other questions. I will keep your secret and help you keep it as well.] Breaking the mental link they returned to speaking out loud. "I think I know why Stephon is trying to get complete access to the properties owned and held by our House. I think, and my intelligence seems to back it up, that he is trying to spy on you. It seems he does not trust his wife and wants to know what she is doing at all times. When I came here today I brought an electronic scrambler with me. It is active now. Over the next few days the Palace and all Houses and personal holdings will be searched. And the Security systems changed and isolated from the rest of the grid. They will have their own system. Any access or surveillance equipment he has will be lost.

"Thank you Uncle. I think I am going to be leaving the planet for a while. I think I will return to my Island. I know it is safe there. Let me know when you are done with the new system. "

"I think I will leave you two alone for a little bit." He said with a smile. Once he was gone Ann went and awoke her children. At three months Dani and Lucius were more aware of their surroundings and were a little more durable. Little Callin was firmly into being a little rebel and was starting to talk. Medil loved his time with them. They spent several hours together before Medil had to go. As he left Thristian and Talbot came back in.

"Ann it seems your husband had a small accident. He some how fell down some stairs and broke his leg." Talbot said with a grin.

"I don't want to know how it happened, but thank you for the news. I have decided to return to Cerulean. At least until the new system is in place. I would like to ask any one in the Family to come if they want. I have 42 bedrooms. So I have plenty of room." After that they both left and Ann was left alone. She called in her staff and had them pack her things again. Later that night she left for Cerulean.

Date: Eduit /20/6863

Ann once again made the trip to the Doctor to have her last child implanted. This time it would be a girl. She had already gotten the sample she needed from Medil. This time she would not even bother telling Stephon.

"Hello Your Majesty. What is it I can do for you?" Once again unblocking his memories she handed him the container.

"I want a daughter this time, green eyes and red hair, and the rest leave random. I will wait while you make the modifications." The Doctor looked nervous. She lightly probed his mind. Not enough for him to know she was doing it but enough to get answers. She found that Stephon had been poking around and asking questions. Lucky for her she placed the blocks. This time when she was done she would completely alter his memories and remove the real ones.

"That is fine your Majesty. I'll do it right now." After it was done she altered his memory and told him to destroy any genetic samples left. Then she implanted in his mind that he had used up all the sample from six years ago and that this was the last without a fresh sample. Then she left, once again heading to Cerulean. That Island she bought was becoming more and more like her home.

Date: Ruti /17/6863

Ann was awoken early in the morning by her communications terminal going off. When she turned on the screen she saw a panicked looking Marcus and she new something was wrong. He had the same look the morning he told her her mother died. "Marcus what is wrong? You look like someone died."

"My son is missing! Ann someone took my son. We put him to bed last night and this morning he was gone. I need your help Ann, please."

"What ever you need Marcus." At this point both were crying.

"I need telepaths, a lot of the them. I have sealed the Palace. I want everyone in it scanned."

"I'll send an attachment of Psi-Gamma Intelligence." She was silent while she accessed another communications window. "Uncle, I need you to send a unit of Psi-Gamma Intelligence to help Marcus. Someone kidnapped his son. Any charges for their use take from my personal accounts." He informed her that he was sending them now and that Marcus should expect them within the hour. "Marcus they're on their way. They should be there within the hour. I am so sorry, Marcus. I'm sure they will find him. Do you want me to come over there with you?"

"Thank you Ann, just knowing that they're on their way is a big help.You don't need to come here, we will be fine. But, if we don't find him I may need you. Oh Ann, who could do this? L'tiona is a wreck, she has not stopped crying since we found out. Glorya worries me though, she has not said anything at all, she is just sitting there."

"She's probably in shock, her little brother is missing. I'm sure she is just worried."

"I'm going to go back to L'tiona. Thank you again Ann." After the screen went dark Ann went and got ready.

Date: Ruti /18/6863

Ann had finished her midday meal and was siting and thinking. She had not heard back from Marcus since he asked for the Intelligence team. She made her way to her room and called Marcus. She waited for him to come on the screen. When he came on she asked him if they found anything. He told her no, that everyone was scanned and they found nothing. He informed her that they think who ever did it operated alone and was no longer in the Palace. Ann told him that it might be a ransom request. Marcus did not look very hopeful. Once again she offered to come over and spend some time with him but he said it was fine. Then told her he needed to go and the screen went dark.

As time went by they lost more and more hope. Till they all resigned themselves that he was not going to be found.

Date: Malles /18/6864

Ann was sitting on the beach watching the man she loved run around with there children like he was a little kid again. At 26 they were both still young and she was happy that he had this time with them. Callin was starting to manifest his abilities already, which in of itself was odd. Then all of sudden there was a sharp pain. She knew she was due any day now but she was still caught off guard. She sent a metal flick at Medil who's head snapped up and he instantly looked at her. She taped her wrist com and called for a medical transport. Medil, for his part, tried to get Callin, Dani, and Lucius ready and packed up. Callin had other ideas, he wanted to play more and took off running. It was a funny sight, a man running after a nearly four year old giggling child while he himself looked panicked. "Callin, please stop. We need to go, your mom needs to go to the Doctor." He all but yelled, but it was enough to stop Callin in his tracks.

"Is mommy hurt?" The suddenly worried child said in the way only young kids can truly talk.

"No, Callin, she will be OK, but your little sister is coming now." Callin did not understand how his sister was coming but he was excited to get a sister. With a sudden screech of glee he turned and bounded in Medil's arms.

"Come on, we need to get my sister." He started yelling happily. Medil carried him back to where the other two were and got them all packed up just in time for the medical shuttle to land.

Medil was waiting outside in the hall when the doctor came and got him. The staff had long learned not to question why he was there, but rather to just except it. She showed him into the room and then left him and Ann alone.

"Is that Lilia?" He asked as he walked up to the head of the bed.

"Yes, this is Lilia, just as I planed." She then handed her newborn daughter to him. She smiled as she saw his face light up. He would be here for two months this time, in addition to how long he was already there. He took four months off this time, he wanted to spend time with his family, even if it was in secret. Her Uncle had stopped by a few times. Always complaining about how Stephon never seemed to know the laws, or what he could and could not do. But he always smiled and left happy after watching what he considered to be Ann and her real family. He long since stopped thinking of Stephon as her husband. In fact, he never mentioned him by name. Any time he talked about him it was always, 'that bastard' or if he was feeling generous 'the idiot', but never once by his name.

Date: Ruti /16/6864

This was an important day. On this day Callin turned four, and as tradition, he would be receiving his Symbiont today. It was difficult to get the Symbiont for him due to Stephon having to think it was his Symbiont that was mating with Ann's. It was decided to do it in the Royal Pool.

In order for their plan to work they would have to convince Stephon to leave his Symbiont in the pool while Ann went down alone. Then using a Ghost Squadron soldier they would make it so the Caretakers thought they saw Stephon instead of Medil. They would then get in the pool together. It would, of coarse, be a different pool then the one Stephon's Symbiont was in. They would then have the caretakers induce his Symbiont to release its reproductive fluids so it would think it mated. Then their Symbionts would mate.

It was decided that they would produce all four now and put the other three in cryostasis. At first Yurgn and Zarpha refused to allow their offspring to be put in cryostasis, but after a long conversation they were convinced it was the best way and they relented.

That had happened three months ago. So today the Symbiont could be merged. They lowered Callin into the pool and allowed his Symbiont to approach him. After his brushed against his skin a few times Ann told him to duck under the water and hold his breath. The Symbiont then attached itself to the back of his neck, numbed the area, then burrowed in and attached itself to his spine, brain, and blood vessels. The merger was complete. Callin rose from the water on his own. His symbiont told him he could get out. The back of his neck was red and tender but that would heal in a few hours.

When he got out of the pole Ann asked him what his Symbiont's name was.

"He says his name is Solaris. It's funny, I can hear him in my head. He said we are going to be friends forever." Callin did not really understand what the Symbiont was but he was over excited to have a new friend. His best friend Chace got his the year before and he was jealous of him for it.

The next thing that needed to be done was to have him tested for Psychic skills.

Ann took him to one of the examiners, and had his skills tested. She knew from watching him that he was telekinetic, and she a good idea he was an empath. He was too good at making sure that when he was hungry so was everyone else. She also knew that the level of the skills would not be detectable till later and then would not fully mature till sixteen.

"Hello, Your Majesty. Is it time for our young prince to be tested already?"

"Yes, Master Jurtel. He turned four today. We just came from having his Symbiont implanted." She looked down at her son. "Say hello to Master Jurtel, Callin."

"Hello, Maserter Jurktel." Ann could not help but laugh at the way he said it.

"That is M-a-s-t-e-r J-u-r-t-el. Try again Callin."

"Hello, Master Jurtel." He almost said perfect, but he drew out the 'r' to much.

"Much better, Callin. Master Jurtel is going to see what kinda psychic you are and what your skills are."

"You mean like when I make my toys fly mommy."

"Yes, just like that."

"Cool, I get to play." At that Master Jurtel started laughing.

He turned to Ann, "Am I to understand that he already has control over his telekinesis? Has he manifested any other skills that you are aware of?"

"He is always making things fly to him. I left his drink cup on top of a cabinet one day and instead of calling for me he just got it himself. He is also always making his toys fly around the room. I think he may be empathic as well. We all seem to get suddenly hungry whenever he is, and his mood is highly contagious."

"Yes, that is usually a good sign of an untrained empath. Well, let's have look here." He then showed them into a room that was designed to be calming. It had light and soft background music playing. Jurtel had Callin sit on a bench and close his eyes. He then told him he might feel a tickle in his head. As he was examining Callin his face went from calm, to puzzled, to out right shocked. When he pulled out of Callin's mind he looked over to Ann and blinked a few times. "Well, Your Majesty, you are going to have your hands full with this one."

"What do you mean? Is something wrong?"

"No, not wrong, just unusual. Callin seems to be a Complete Psychic and he's unusually strong for his age. I'm surprised he has not learned to burn things or freeze them yet. But, I normally don't see his level of skill till full maturity. He is already above level 100 on all his skills." At this point it was Ann's turn to looked shocked. She just kept looking back and forth between Callin and Jurtel. When Callin brought her back to the situation at hand.

"Am I all right mommy? You feel weird." At that Ann's gaze snapped to Callin.

"Yes, you are all right. Mommy is just shocked cause I found out you're very special, more then I thought you were before."

"Master Jurtel. If he's that strong already then he's going to need a trainer faster than normal."

"Yes, the sooner he starts his training the better off he, and all of us, will be. But there is something else, as I'm sure you are aware. Since he is a Complete Psychic you will want to think of having the Spirit stones implanted. Unlike yours or the Justial configuration. His will form a 'V' with the cloudy blue with jade green and ruby red swirls running through it on his right and the black with gold flecks and dark red swirls on his left."

"I know of the mark, it's not something I have to do now is it?"

"No, he can decide when he's older. Though it is an honor to be able to wear the stones like that. He probably will want to. Not to mention, it sends a powerful message at the same time."

"Yes, I can imagine. Well, if that is all then, Master Jurtel, I think I have had enough surprises for one day. I just hope all four don't turn out as strong or it might be the death of me!" Jurtel started laughing and walked Ann out. From there she went back to her rooms where Medil was waiting for her. She put Callin in his room and told him to play for a little bit before the midday meal then whet out to talk to Medil.

"So, how did it go? We know he's telekinetic, but what else?" Ann gave him an amused look.

"Everything else. Your son is a Complete Psychic. So, that means you get to deal with him when he starts setting things on fire and freezing every thing just because he thinks it's funny." Medil's mouth dropped open, then got a look of total contentment and pride.

"Well, I am thrilled. Do you know how rare a Complete Psychic is?"

"Yes, I know, but in his case he's not just a complete, he's almost as strong as me! And he's only four. What is he going to be when he's sixteen? Do you have any idea how much damage he could do in a temper tantrum?"

"What do you mean he's almost as strong as you? Psychic skills don't get that strong at his age. Your a level 120."

"Yes, I know Medil. Our son's level is over 100 and he's four years old. It usually doubles at sixteen. So he will be somewhere at, or above, level 200 when he reaches maturity"

"We just need to get him a trainer, it will be OK Ann. You worry to much."

"I'm also worried about what he might have picked up from you."

"What do you mean? Other than our higher than normal levels, what else do you think he picked up? And, just because I'm as strong as he will be does not mean he got it from me."

"What about your over all high brain function, your perfect memory, the strange glowing thing you all do, and the, what do you call it, 'the Gaze of Justice'? Those are things that every Justial has."

"Well, other than his eyes starting to glow, all the others can be explained. And the 'Gaze of Justice' may have been perfected by the Justials, but anyone can learn it. You just have to be a high level complete telepath and a high level complete empath. We can say I taught him it. It's just that the Justials can do it naturally, without training."

Later that day Callin was presented to the Empire as Crown Prince. "Citizens, Noble, Dignitarys and guests, I proudly present to you His Imperial Majesty, Callin Truga Of the House Devaus, Duke of Snowel, and Crown Prince of the Devian Empire." When the Lord High Justice had finished his introduction, he motioned for Callin to walk onto the dais, and the crowd exploded with cheers. This event was broadcast over the whole Empire and many of its allies and trade partners.

Date: Hatril /7/6864

"L'tiona, are you going to get up today?" Marcus called into the room. His wife had been in a deep depression ever since their son disappeared. She rarely left her rooms. Today seemed to be one of those days where she was not even going to get out of bed. He slowly opened the door and looked in. Seeing her still asleep, he walked over and shook her. When his hand contacted her skin he immediately jerked it back. Her skin was cold and lifeless. He felt his world slipping away from him. The edges of his vision went dark then he blacked out, only to awaken in a hospital with a very worried looking Ann sitting next to him. He just rolled over and went back to sleep.

For two weeks he did not talk to anyone. His ministers were starting to get worried. It seemed like he just did not care any more, but who could blame him. In eight years he had lost two wives and a son. But Ann did not give up, every day she came and sat by him and talked. Some days she brought the kids with her.

It was little Callin that changed everything. One day he just climbed into the bed with Marcus and said, "Uncle Marcus, you need to get better. You hurt too much inside." Everyone in the room held their breath. Marcus started crying and just hugged Callin to him like he was never going to let go.

"I know little one, I know." They sat like that for an hour then Marcus told Callin to go to Ann. After he got off the bed, Marcus got out too. "I think it's time I was at home with what family I have left." After that Marcus slowly got better, but he always would have a slightly haunted look. No one noticed that Glorya did not seem bothered by anything that had happened at all. Like always she was completely emotionless.

Date: Ruti /14/6866

Following the same pattern they did for Callin, with the exception that this time they did not need Zarpha and Yurgn to mate, they had both boys walk into the pool. They watched as two of the three remaining Symbionts came forward and started rubbing against Dani and Lucius. Then the Symbionts switched places and attached to one of the boys.

After their Symbionts brushed against their skin a few times Medil told them to duck under the water and hold their breath. The Symbionts then attached themselves to the back of each of the boys necks and numbed the area then burrowed in, attached themselves to their spines, brains, and blood vessels. The mergers were complete. Dani and Lucius rose from the water on their own. Their Symbionts having told them they could get out. The back of their necks were red and tender but that would heal in a few hours.

"So what are their names?" Ann asked.

Dani was the first to respond, "She says her name is Odana."

Lucius answered next, "Mine says his name is Tigan"

"We can hear them in our heads!" They both said together. Ann and Medil both chuckle at their reaction. They remembered having the same one when they got theirs. It seemed like that's the first reaction every child had after the merger.

"OK guys, say goodbye to Medil. We will see him later, after we have you tested." They both ran up and hugged him then ran over to Ann and took her hand. "We will see you soon. Keep an eye on Lilia."

"Like you have to ask. I can't wait to see what these guys can do. They remind me a lot of Callin."

"Oh please, don't let them both be complete as well." With that she walked off with Dani and Lucius.

She walked into Jurtel's office and told his assistant that she was here to see him. When he came out he had a smile on his face.

"That time again already, Your Majesty. Well, let's take a look at the young princes shall we?" He led them back into the same room he used for Callin. Had them both sit on the bench and close their eyes. By the time he was done the look on his face had Ann worried again.

"If your about to tell me that these two are Complete Psychics as well I may have to strangle you." He laughed at that.

"No, they're not Complete Psychics." Ann shoulders sagged with relief. "But, they are close."

"What do you mean Close?" She asked with her eyes narrowing.

"Well, as you know in order to be a Complete Psychic, a person has to have full Emotional Empathy, full Physical Empathy, full Telepathy, full Telekinesis, full Pyrokinesis, full Hydrokinesis, full Cryokinesis, and also full Precognition."

"Yes, I am fully aware what a Complete Psychic is. What I don't know is how you can almost be one?"

"Well, the only skills that Dani is missing are Precognition and Pyrokinesis. The only skills Lucius is missing are Precognition and Cryokinesis. I have some more good news though, well you might think it's bad. They are also both above level 100 already, just like Callin was."

All Ann did was glare at him, hoping that if she wished hard enough he would change his mind. Then she responded, "Is that all? Because I think I need to go lie down now." Then she looked at Lucius smirking and changed her statement, "And a lot to drink." She could swear Lucius knew exactly what they were talking about.

All three of them were displaying the higher level brain function all ready. All three should have been in school already, too. But their ages prohibited that. So, they all had private tutors that came to teach them and their personal trainers for their psychic skills.

Callin was old enough to attend the Devian University for children this year but his powers were still not under enough control, so he was still receiving tutoring at home. "I think it is time to go. Come on Dani, Lucius. Let's go." She held their hands and walked them out. Then turned back. "Thank you Master Jurtel. I know it is not your fault, and I understand that." Then she left.

When she got back to her room she told them to go play with Callin and Chace, who was over visiting Callin. She then took Medil into her Private study.

"He said that Dani is missing Precognition and Pyrokinesis. The only skills Lucius is missing are Precognition and Cryokinesis. The skills they do have are full. They are also both above level 100 already, just like Callin was. So, other than that, they might as well be Complete just like Callin. Oh, and I'm positive they all have your other abilities, too. I had a talk with their tutor. Callin is doing academic level four work that's five full levels above where he should be at. Same with Dani and Lucius. They're both between four and five years ahead of their age group. And their tutors say they only have to be shown something once and they memorize it."

Medil cut her off before she could say anything else. "Calm down Ann! Most parents would be happy to have such gifted children. I still don't understand why you get so worked up about it. Not every high level psychic and intelligent person is a Justial. So, till their eyes start glowing you don't need to worry." She calmed down and pressed herself into his chest. He wraped his arms around her and they stood there holding each other.

"Well, looks like I need to ask uncle to send two more trainers. I am getting tired of them always coming and going through my rooms though. I think it is time for a vacation, and it might be time to get the boys their own rooms as well." As she was getting ready to call Thristian and ask for more trainers her intercom went off.

"Yes Lieutenant, what can I do for you?" It was a call from the guards assigned to her wing.

"Lord Thridan is here with the young Baron."

"Yes, alright you can let them in, they know the way. Tell them I'll be right out. I have to call the Lord Grand Marshal." She then clicked off the intercom and placed her call.

"Hello Ann, what can I do for you today?"

"Uncle it looks like I'm going to need two more sets of trainers for Dani and Lucius."

"You don't mean they're both Complete as well do you?"

"No," She sighed, "but they might as well be. They're each only short two skills and they're both as powerful as Callin, or at least seem to be. Would it be possible to just have the trainers move into the Palace and give them a wing to live in and train the children in. I'm going to get the boys their own rooms. I'm sick of having all these people walking in and out of my rooms all day."

"Yes, that is possible. I'll see if I can find three of every type and ask them if they want to live in the Palace. Not every one needs, or gets, military training, you should be grateful."

"Most kids can't bring the Palace down around us or burn every thing in site or freeze it either. Lucius and Dani got in a fight yesterday, I had to have the room repaired, half of it was in frozen chucks the other half was in ashes. Callin threw a fit last week because I would not let Chace stay the night. I now have a hole in my wall. Without the military and medical training, my wonderful children would probably destroy the Empire before my worthless husband could. I even have the Justials training them in how they use their skills. I can't even send Callin to school because I'm afraid there won't be a school left if he gets upset. So, yes, I am so grateful!" She finished off with a sarcastic tone.

"And I can see where they get their temper from as well. Neither of your parents were like that. But my father, now he had a temper. It seemed to have skipped a generation. I will arrange it. Tell Medil I said hello and I will probably be stopping by tomorrow to see the kids." She waited for the screen to go dark then made her way back out to the sitting room where she greeted Lord Thridan, The Count of Tharanas.

"Lord Thridan, I take it that Justin is already in with the others?"

"Yes, Your Majesty. I think he wanted to spend the night as well but I told him he had to ask you first. So how did the Merger and Testing go?" Her look must have conveyed her feelings because he responded with "That well?" Clearly using sarcasm.

"Well, Dani is only short of Complete Psychic by two skills, Pyrokinesis and Precognition. Lucius is also short by two skills, Cryokinesis and Precognition. And they're both at, or near, the same level as Callin." All he did was shake his head and muter under his breath what sounded like, glad it's not me. It seemed that he shared her view on the matter where everyone else could not understand why she was on edge about having such "gifted" children. "And yes, he can stay. It is Dani's birthday and I fear he would kill me if I said no." Thridan couldn't figure out if she meant literally or figuratively, so he wisely said nothing.

Date: Destilan /24/6867

The west wing of the Palace of Light was jolted awake by the scream of Callin. With his scream came a wave of fear, pain, and sadness so strong that it overcame even the trained guards. In the dead of night, calm became chaos. Callin came running out of his rooms and started pounding on Ann's door.

"Callin what is wrong?" Ann asked as she picked Callin up in her arms and held him tight. While he was sobbing the only thing she could make out was Chace, and what she swore was the word fire. "Guards, I want the D'hatal's found. I don't care if you have to search the whole Empire, but I want to know where they are and if they are alright." When they did not immediately do as she asked she lashed out. "Well, what of my order did you not understand? GET TO WORK!" That got them running.

By now Callin's brothers were out in the hall, as well as their sister. Their brother's emotional distress was to overpowering for them and they had to see what was wrong. While they waited for news, Ann moved her family into her sitting room.

A few hours later a Division Chief from Imperial Intelligence and a Division Chief from Imperial Security approached Ann. They motioned her off to the side. "Your Majesty, we were asked to come and inform you of what has happened to the Earl and Countess of Brector. There has been a fire, the only survivor was the young Lord Chace. He has been taken to the Medical Bay here in the Palace and is currently in a Bio Chamber."

"Do you know what happened?"

"We are still looking into the matter, however, it looks like the fire was intentionally set."

"What! You mean they were murdered?"

"Your Majesty, with all do respect, please, we need to keep this quite. So please don't shout. No, this is a delicate matter."

"How so?"

"Because the main suspect is His Imperial Excellency, Regent Emperor Temporal Stephon Regald, Baron of Gilat. Your husband." Ann looked shocked, very shocked.

"You mean that good for nothing bastard did this?"

"Are you aware of the issues with the miners guild?"

"Not really, I know that they are refusing to dig any deeper in the mine in Brector. They have good reason, Lord Chace told me it was highly unsafe. But I don't see how that involves Stephon."

"His Excellency is the one demanding they dig deeper and faster. Him and Lord Chace were at odds. If he and his son were to die, well it would allow his holdings to be claimed by the Empire. That would allow his excellency control."

"But you said young Chace was alive, correct? Does this mean he might be in danger?"

"It's a possibility we are not ruling out." That was all she needed to hear.

"Guards! Seal the Palace! No one gets in without me knowing it first, and set guards around the Med bay."

The morning found Callin asleep in the chair next to his friend, who was still in the Bio Chamber. Although Chace was in a chamber induced sleep, Callin was able to talk to him telepathically. So when Chace was brought out of his sleep, taken from the chamber and put on a med bed for the rest of the treatment he already knew what happened to his family. Everyone was trying to keep the children unaware of what happened, but Callin being Callin picked up on it anyway.

When his mother and Medil came for him they found him talking to Chace.

"Callin, what am I going to do? I'm alone now. I want my mommy."

"I won't leave you Chace, you will always have me. We said we would be friends forever. I will make my mommy let you live with me. We could be brothers then." Ann just shook her head. Leave it to her son to make plans without her, but in this case that was exactly what she was going to do.

"Callin is right Chace, you will always have us. I am sorry about your family. Until we can find your relatives to take care of you, you will stay here with us."

"I don't have any other family. My dad always said I was the last of the line." He sobbed out. And with that Ann's mind was made up.

"Lord High Justice, as the head of the house of Devaus, I request that His Lordship, Chace Ovlton D'hatal the II, Earl of Brector, be placed in my House's care as our ward till such a time as he comes of age or someone in my house adopts him."

"The Conclave has heard your request and in the name of Justice we do so honor it. May Justice and Wisdom be served."

"Good, now I formally request that as a house we adopt him. I would do it myself, but then I would need my husband to join me."

"That is highly irregular, Your Majesty. The Conclave will meet to discuss it. They wish for time to consider your request."

Date: Malles /18/6868

"Thanks to the spirits this is the last time." Ann looked on as her youngest child lowered herself into the Symbiont pool. When her daughter exited the pool she asked what her Symbiont's name was. Lilia told Ann her name was Khayne. After they were done in the Symbiont's pool she once again made her way to Master Jurtel's office. She had resigned herself to having powerful children so she was prepared for the news she was sure she was going to get.

She was not disappointed. " Your Majesty, I will just get right to the point. She is high level just like her brothers. And, like Dani and Lucius, she is also only two skill's short of being a Complete Psychic. She is missing Hydrokinesis and Precognition. It looks like Callin is your only Precog."

"Thank you Master Jurtel. Let's go Lilia." And with that she left.

They went back to Ann's room's where Medil was waiting for them along with the Lord Grand Marshal Duke Thristian II, Duke Thristian III, Duchess Retia Gurtal, Lord Talbot, Callin, Chace, Dani, Lucius, Baron Justin Khulas, Count Thridan, Countess Hirna, and a host of other family were all waiting for her. Noticeably missing was Stephon, although everyone present knew why. Chace's adoption had gone through last month and he was now a son of Devaus. Callin could not have been happier.

Today was a festive day, the last of the children had received their Symbionts. Ann told every one the results of the test. Then they spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the day.

Date: Yorn /17/6868

Now that all her children were of an age that they could not be influenced by Stephon, Ann resumed her Imperial obligations, which she had conveniently been able to claim she was unable to preform due to her raising her children. Now she did not have such an excuse. So she sat at her desk looking over the schedule for the week. She cringed when she saw all the engagements she had to appear at with Stephon, and she grew angry when she saw he had included the children in the events as well. She hated to parade them in front of the masses for his political gain, but it could not be avoided any longer. She had been forced to present her children as they were born and Callin on his fourth birthday, she did not relish the mobs of people she would have to encounter. Then a thought occurred to her, she could use these events to her advantage, she could use them to sway opinion of Stephon.

Date: Hatril /2/6870

A nervous ten year old Callin stood at the door to his mother's private study. He was trying to get the courage to knock on the door. He had been having strange dreams for the past month. He did not know who or how to ask about them. He knew they were not normal dreams, and sometimes they were good, other times they scared him, a lot. Finely, he was about to knock when his mother saved him the trouble and opened the door.

"Callin, come in. Why are you so nervous? You a look pale." He sat there for a few minutes thinking about how to say this.

"Mom, I have been having these dreams..."

"Well, your a little young, but not by much. They are perfectly normal. Most young boys have them." By now pore Callin was not just nervous, but also confused and completely embarrassed.

"NO! Mom I know about those kinda dreams." His face was now red, very red." These are different. Some are good, some scare me, a lot. I see this boy my age. He's in a lot of pain and he's always sad. Then some times I see us older. We're holding each others hands looking out of the bridge of a ship. We're overlooking a planet, the whole planet is on fire, and a lot of people are dead." His panic is raising. " MOM ! They scare me so much. I think I'm seeing the future. Devia is on fire mom, the whole planet. We're at war, and I think my father causes it. Then there is the boy. I see him in my dreams every night. Sometimes it's in the now, sometimes it's in the past, and sometimes it has not happened yet. But I know that I need him, he's part of me somehow." He got embarrassed again then plunged on ahead. "I see us siting on thrones together. I think I marry him." Ann just sat there listening to her oldest son talk about what has been happening.

"Callin, do you remember that night you saw Chace in the fire?"

"Yes, I don't think I will ever forget that." His face took on a slightly haunted look. It took a year for them to get it out of him, but he saw everyone dying.

"This ability you have is not normal. It was a lost art, but you seem to be able to do it naturally. It's called remote viewing."

"But, that is a separate skill, no one has had it for a thousand years."

"No, that is just what most people think. To use remote viewing you combine Precognition, Empathy, and Telepathy. You only see a few milliseconds into the future and use a telepathic and empathic link as well. The effect is like your viewing the present in a different place. It is not a separate skill. It's just that there has not been anyone that knew how to do it in a long time. People with high enough level ability's to do it are rare, and the skill was never taught outside our House and only to those that we counted as friends." Callin just looked at her, wondering why no one ever told him this.

"I think that you formed a link to this boy somehow, and not only are you riding the flow of time but, your also using remote viewing, just like you did with Chace."

"So you think my dreams are real. He's real!" He got excited, then a thought came to him and his face pales. "That means that..."

"The other dreams are probably real too? Yes, I would think so," Ann interrupted. At that Callin started to cry.

"Why is he so bad?" Ann did not need to ask who he meant; she knew he was talking about Stephon.

"I don't know, Callin. He was always like this though. If I tell you something, do you promise never to tell anyone else?" Callin nodded his head.

"When I was younger I had dreams too. I saw a great war coming that would consume the galaxy, but I saw someone standing up to the tyrant that was trying to rule. All it takes for evil to fail is for a good man to stand up and say that is enough, no more." Callin smiled and he felt better. That conversation would shape and mold Callin for the rest of his life.

The next thing Ann had been waiting to happen for a long time. "Mom, I want to have the Spirit Stones implanted. It is who I am. I should be proud to be what I am." Then he got up and let himself out.

1 Spirits of the six. When used this way it would be like saying 'Oh God' here on earth. The Spirits of the six are the 6 core planets that make up the Devian Empire, they are sentient Spirits of the Planets and could be compared to Gia of Earth. People with symbionts are able to, on a limited level, communicate with the Spirits of the 6.

3 Justial is a sub race of Devian. After thousands of years of selective mating and genetic engineering the Justices have become their own sub-race. A pure born Justial can always be identified by their Violet eyes and silver hair. After training they start shaving their heads.

4 Tanos is Marcus's Symbiont

5 Marla is Elizbith's Symbiont

6 Yurgn is Ann's Symbiont

7 Ratef is Lilia's Symbiont

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