Castle Roland

Ascension of the Thrones

by Thomas Nealy

On Hold

Chapter 10

Posted: N/A


Ascension of the Thrones

by ThomasNealy

Date: Fortug /3/6874

Callin boarded Constellation and made his way to the bridge. "Constellation, I want you to replay the video of the attack. I want to know how they got on this ship!"

Callin watched the video and was shocked to see the six man team just appear out of thin air. There did not seem to be any matter transport beams at all. Just a flash of white light. "Have you figured out what that was yet?"

<I have been talking with Celestia about it, from what we can gather from my sensor readings we think it is a new type of technology. Up until this point it was only theoretical. We do know it is not transportation, but we think it was teleportation.>

"Ok... What is the difference?" Callin asked. He went over all the information he had from his image but could not find any references to teleportation.

<Transportation brakes down the atomic structure of the matter it is transporting, then feeds it through a transport buffer, and then uses the matter it buffered to reassemble the object. This is why when we transport intelligent life it loses its memory. Teleportation does not have this problem as the object or person is never broken down. Teleportation pushes or pulls the object, or life form, through a higher plane of space time. It does not use a buffer at all. As I said, up until now it was just a theory.>

"Ok, so where in the name of the spirits did they get it from? Devia and Galla have the most advanced technology in the galaxy. And as far as I know, our little operation is above them as well. I am assuming since they came by the way of a different plane that, that is how they got around the shields as well."

<Yes, that is how they bypassed the shields. We have corrected that flaw, our shields now extend into the upper and lower spaces and planes now as well. As for where they came by this technology I do not know. Looking at the invaders I can determine that they are Kelerits. They are a merc planet and government. It will take some time but Celestia is trying to access their data base. The problem is that most high level contracts have no record. But, it is our hope that we can locate the source of the technology, if not the hiring party as well.>

Callin slumped down into his chair and put his head in his hands. This was not something he was expecting, or even planned for. He was worried about every thing, his family, his friends, even the Empire. This was a vulnerability he could not afford to have. While he was thinking over the problem he checked his messages, both Hiuwnja and Tinl'db sent word that they, and their teams, would be at Ateyuo by the end of the month, Hiuwnja on the 29th and Tinl'db on the 32nd. At least some things were going well.

Callin pulled up the status of the construction and saw that everything was on schedule.

"Constellation, please get me the Chairman of the Board for GMSA."

<On screen, Callin.>

"Thank you for calling the Galactic Monetary Standard Association, working to make your banking easier for three thousand years. Your call is important to us and we will be with you shortly." The computerized woman said on the screen. "For your security we are tracing the call, please stand by. This call is unable to be traced, I will now connect this call to security for routing."

Callin had an amused smile on his face, he was thinking that it was ironic that even though every thing else was advancing the GMSA still used an answering protocol that was from the times before sub space was in wide use. He always thought it should be more interactive than it was. He just sighed and waited for the security operative to come on screen. It did not take long, there were not many sub space lines that could not be traced, all of them required delicate handling.

"Ahh, your Majesty how nice to see you again. I apologize for the delay, it seems our system was unable to trace the call."

"Yes, I know, I am on a secure connection aboard a ship. I would like to talk to the Chairman if I may."

"Yes, that will not be a problem. I will transfer the call now."

The screen switched to the crest of the GMSA, a green circle with gold colored scales on it superimposed over a representation of the Milky Way galaxy. The words security, service, discretion, and unity were around the edge of the circle in silver. Callin waited for a few moments then the screen came to life again. "What do you mean the Devian Crown Prince is on the line?" Callin could not help but laugh at the Chairman.

His laugh drew the attention of the man who promptly started blushing. "I am sorry your Majesty. I did not know you were on the line yet. How can I help you?"

"Well, I have a favor to ask of you and this needs your absolute discretion. Can I count on you to keep this just between us?"

"It is one of the founding principles of the GMSA. But, I am curious as to what you would need to keep secret?"

"I want to open my own bank. I do not want it traced back to me in any way. I have people lined up to run it and the funding to get it started. It will be a private bank and not open to the public in any way. I just need you to certify it and add it to the GMSA routing table."

"I do not see a problem with it. The fact that it will be closed to the public makes it easier to keep your involvement out of it. Where will the bank be located and who will have access to it besides yourself?"

"Well it will be for Ember Industries and its employees, members of the House of Devaus and it's allies, both family and personal accounts, as well as the house accounts. I will also be storing house, family, and personal artifacts and items that need protecting, among other things. As for where it will be, well you might want to watch the holo-brief on it that I put together." Callin then sent the file needed to play the holo-brief he mentioned. It played on both ends of the connection.

"This is an overview of the Rosmerta bank, the most secure banking institution in the known galaxy. This bank is a ship that is capable of going anywhere. It is equipped with the most advanced systems and technology anywhere. The ship is cube shaped and measures 14.4 cubic miles." The brief went on to describe the vault ship, showed images of it, and gave stats on its size and construct. When it was done the Chairman was just sitting there staring at the screen with his mouth open. He slowly turned his attention to Callin.

"I will need to see these claims in person before I can certify the bank. If it is really as large as you say, and will be holding as much as you claim, even before the transfer of the current accounts then I will have no problem certifying it. The fact that it can stay in subspace will insure that it is secure at all times. And your A.I. will make audits easy. I may have to talk to you about getting one of these 'Vault ships' for the central vault for the GMSA."

"We can talk about it after I take the throne. Until then, please keep this secret. Now the ship should be done on the 16th, will you be able to inspect it personally on the 18th? And before you ask, transportation will not be an issue."

"Let me check." He turned to face a data terminal and seemed to be checking something on the system before he turned back to face Callin. "Yes, that should not be an issue. I look forward to seeing the ship then. Also, please have the people running the bank at the meeting."

"That will not be a problem. I will see you then." Callin then dropped the call. "Celestia?"

<Yes, Callin?>

"Please monitor the GMSA data systems for any information on Ember, my new bank or the ship. If there is any traffic block it, and delete any data that is stored on the their system that is not needed to have the routing table entry."

<I am already monitoring their systems. I will let you know if I see any thing.>

"Thank you, Celestia. How is Caleb doing?" Callin asked with a slightly sheepish smile on his face.

<He is fine. You need to stop worrying about him. I did take the liberty of removing all of his scars. I do hope you do not mind. I found them upsetting and for the first time since my activation I wish I had a body to do something about it. I do hope you deal with the animals that did that to him. Even if he was a slave there is no reason for him to have been treated like that.>

"Some one is overprotective. As for the body, you know why I can not let you make an avatar. It is forbidden by intergalactic treaties to ever create a sentient android again. I wish I could build you one though. I am afraid of what would happen if I did. Over seven thousand years later and it still is an open gaping wound on the collective phsychi of the Devians and the Gallains. It was the android wars that caused the dark times. If anyone even thought that it was a possibility of another one being triggered they would kill all involved."

Callin felt a chill go down his back as he remembered his history lessons on the nine hundred years of war and the two hundred year android war that came before it.

It was during that time that the Southern Kingdom of Coleona turned their backs on any thing involving high tech. It was at the end of the war that the sixteen surviving Royal houses came together and made the Empire. And the then Royal house of Devaus became the Imperial house of Devaus, along with one other non ruling Imperial house. The kingdom of Coleona did not want to join the new Empire for fear that they would once again be caught up in a society that used High tech.

"I can not give you a physical body, but what about a holographic one, would that work for you?" Callin asked after some thinking. "I can install holo-emiters in the Ember base and you could then have full access that way."

<I would still be trapped in that base, but it is a start.>

"If I had holo-emiters every where that one of our systems are installed would you be able to project yourself to any of the locations?" Callin felt bad, this was the one down side to making it so his A.I. were truly self aware. They had no movement and he felt bad for them.

<Yes, I think I would like that. I would have no need to be any where else any way. Would it be alright if any of the other A.I.'s that wish for a holographic form to get one as well.>

"Yes, that would be fine. However I do not want any A.I. below Average Intelligence level to be able to project out side their system or environment. Any others, use your best judgment."

<May I ask why the restriction?>

"I really do not want a frame intelligence to be projecting itself onto the command decks, or peoples residences for that matter. If they do not need to have access then they won't have it."

<That is reasonable. I will get started on the upgrades now.>

<Callin, your father sent word to remind you that you have a meeting with the High Command at mid day. He said that a light lunch will be provided at the conclave.> Constellation interrupted. <And on a personal note, I look forward to having an interactive form.>

"Fine, I should be leaving then, I only have an hour to get there. And you are welcome, Constellation." Callin left the bridge and headed to the shuttle bay. One his way he could not help but laugh, it looked like the upgrades were already being done. Every where Callin looked there were droids and drones installing devices and running wiring. He turned his mind to the interface to interact with Constellation and Celestial. He was shocked to have the feeling of contentment being transmitted by them. If they were cats they would be purring. This made him happy and helped to reduce the regret for making them so self-aware, but not giving them a body to move in.

He decided to contact Chace and the Palace as well. Activating the communications link he called Chace.

(You know, even with the warm buzz that Celestia added it still shocks the hell out of me every time I am contacted this way. So what did you need, Callin?) Chace asked slightly puzzled.

(Sorry, I just thought I should let you know that Ara will be getting an upgrade soon, if it has not already started. I was asked if they could build themselves a holographic form and project it out so they could interact with the world around them.)

(Thanks for telling me. I was wondering why she was so happy. I had to block the connection cause her joy was overwhelming me. She settled down a few moments after. You really made them all happy by allowing that.) Chace started off with an amused tone then finished of with a contemplative one.

(Are you at the Palace still?) Callin asked, hoping that Chace could handle letting the Palace know of the changes.

(Yes. I was about to go out and have lunch with some friends.)

(Before you leave, could you let the department heads know that Lux is getting the same upgrades so they do not worry about the droids and drones running all over?) Callin asked.

(Sure, no problem. Since you do not really have much to do over the next three days you really should go out with us some time. You know, with the friends that we have all but ignored for the last two years.) Chace was trying to guilt trip Callin into going out with them.

(You are right. I will make some time to go out with all of you. I will talk to you tonight. Are you going to be going back with me to Ember with the refuges on the eighth?) Callin was hoping the nervousness would not show in his 'voice'.

(Yes, I need to see how my babies are doing.) Chace responded with what could only be described as a parental amazement.

By this time Callin was already back in his shuttle and getting ready to leave the ship. He decided to just go straight to the Conclave.

"Devia control, this is Constellation shuttle one. Requesting atmospheric reentry approval."

Callin said after activating his com.

"Shuttle one, this is control, you are cleared for reentry. What is your destination?"

Callin started up his shuttle and headed for the planet. "Control, my destination is the Justial Conclave."

"Acknowledged Constellation shuttle one."

Callin set the systems to reentry mode and began his decent. After clearing the outer atmosphere he turned toward the Conclave and began landing maneuvers. "Justial conclave, this is I.S. Constellation shuttle one, transporting the Devian Crown Prince. We are requesting permission to land on your shuttle pad."

"Granted, your Majesty." Then the connection closed.

Callin landed on the pad and waited for the doors to open. When he went to leave the shuttle he was greeted by a set of guards. Callin was wondering what was going on. He looked at the uniform and noticed they were not Imperial Guards, but Planetary Security.

"Officers, to what do I owe this pleasure? And why are you here instead of the Imperial Guard or Conclave Security?"

"We are here to protect you." One of the officers responded. Callin did not like this. The shuttle pad was just outside of the Conclave walls, and he was feeling uneasy for some reason.

"On who's orders are you here?"

"Your father sent us to bring you back home. He is worried about you running around on your own." The same officer said. Callin took a chance and scanned him. He did not like what he found. These were officers that were loyal to the Regent. They were not here to protect him but take him into custody and hold him.

"Well, I do not need his protection. I have 600 thousand Imperial Guards at my beck and call. It is not the duty of Planetary Security to guard me. Now, step aside."

"We can not do that. We have our orders. You will be coming with us." Callin noticed that the officers were slowly reaching for their stunners. He quickly activated his skin suit shields and got ready for a fight.

Just as Callin was sure he was going to have to fight his way out he heard a voice and relaxed. "You are no longer needed here gentlemen." Callin looked over and saw Thristian and Medil heading his way, flanked by Conclave Security and Imperial Guards.

"With all due respect, these orders came from his majesty himself." The same guard said. It was clear he had no respect at all.

Thristian looked up. "And why would the Crown Prince order himself to be taken, then tell you he does not want you here?"

"Not the Prince you old fool. The Emperor!"

Thristian was getting angry now. "Medil, has the High Law changed so that Callin could take the throne?"

"No Thristian, I do not think it has."

"Well then, who are they talking about?"

"His Imperial Majesty Stephon Regald, Emperor of Devia. Not the his Highness the Prince."

"OH, you mean His Imperial Excellency Regent Emperor Temporal Stephon Regald, Baron of Gilat."

"That is treason old man. I am going to place you under arrest for it." The guard seemed thrilled to be able to arrest Thristian and he seemed to have no clue that he just signed his own death warrant.

"Wow, standards sure have fallen. Officer, I am placing you all under arrest for High Treason and attempted kidnapping of the Crown Prince. Calling the Regent the Emperor is treason, as is trying to kidnap the Crown Prince. I am going to enjoy finding out about this order from the Regent though." He motioned for the guards to arrest the officers. After they were taken away he turned to Callin and Medil. "I think it would be a good idea to have guards with you at all times from now on Callin. Now shall we go to our meeting?"

"Thanks for helping me out. He sure is getting brazen. And you are right, I need to start having guards around me now. I think the bastard suspects something." The three of them then turned and headed back into the Conclave.

Callin walked into the conference room and saw all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the HC-2 Officers, and the Lord Directors sitting at the table. When they saw him walk in they all rose to their feet and clasped their right fist over their hearts. After Callin was seated they all retook their seats.

"Welcome gentlemen, I would like to thank you all for coming to speak to me. You have all passed your loyalty scans. The bad news is that I fear the Regent is planing something, but so am I." He then passed around the PADDs. "On the PADDs in front of you is a plan of action to slowly relocate the High Command and refit all military, security, and intelligence branches. It is my opinion that the shift is needed to win the war that is coming. The Regent has a large section of the military loyal to him. And at this point, if I were to just have him executed his death would incite a public uprising. His policy's are slowly destroying this Empire." Callin explained as the men read the report.

"Your Majesty, this is an ambitious plan. The funds alone will be great, there is no way to hide this." One of the Joint Chiefs said.

"The plan is already under way. I have secured alternate funding and material source. All I am lacking are people. As you can see, my new ships require half the amount of people to run them. They could even be run with just a Captain if they had to. All the HQ bases will be located on mobile space bases. It is the best way to secure our HQ command bases. Over the next few months the Justial will be scanning every one under you. Every soldier, Officer and Intel member will be scanned. Loyal ones will be moved under other loyal commanders. Disloyal ones will be moved to Disloyal commanders. This way, when the move comes, we can all go easier." Callin explained as the food was brought in.

The meeting continued on and Callin answered the questions that he could. By the end of it he officially had a resistance going. After the meeting Callin made his way back to the Palace where he met up with Chace, told him the highlights of the meeting, and what happened with the Planetary Security. Chace was pissed, to say the least; the idea that they had tried to kidnap Callin really got to him. Despite the kidnap attempt they still went out with their friends, but both of them kept an eye out for trouble.

Date: Fortug /5/6874

A few days after the meeting with the High Command Callin received a call from Marcus. "Hello Uncle Marcus." Callin said as his screen came to life.

"Hello Callin. I have some good news. I found the people that had enslaved Caleb. I am not going to make any move on them until you are here." Marcus said. He knew full well Callin was going to kill them, and he felt no guilt to it at all.

Callin's face darkened, "I will be there in an hour. I hope you know I am planning to use the gaze of Justice. That might kill them with the amount of pain they have caused over the years."

Marcus gave him a bright smile. "I look forward to it. I saw the scars on Caleb, they deserve what ever you hand out. Caleb managed to worm his way into my heart, and I take personal offense to the way he was treated."

"I'm leaving now." Callin ended the call and went to his shuttle.

Marcus still had a bright smile on his face and was happily whistling while thinking about all the things he was going to do to the people responsible, even after Callin had, had his way with them. Marcus had a very dark side, one that most people never saw, but the Great King and spirits help who ever did.

Callin landed his shuttle on the Palace shuttle pad. When the hatch opened he was met by Marcus. "This way, Callin, they are still at home. They also have no idea about what is going to happen to them."

Callin and Marcus took a carriage to the home of Caleb's former owners. Callin knocked on the door and waited.

"Who are you?" The man asked. Callin snorted.

"I am the Devian Crown Prince. The man next to me is my uncle, your King." Callin had the pleasure of seeing the man go pale.

"Come in, come in. Our slave ran away after killing our son so we don't really have much prepared for you." The man explained as he moved aside.

He was acting like a pompous ass. "Dear, the king has come. I'm sure he is here to give us his sympathy for losing our son."

Once the oversized woman was in the room with them Callin began. "I was the one that killed your son. He was raping my Consort. After I found him I discovered that he had been enslaved and beat most of his life. I am here to repay you for all your evil." The two were looking terrified now. "Look into my eyes and behold Justice, feel the pain you have caused your victims." With in seconds both were screaming so much that their voice box's shredded and were left with silent screams as they wriggled and flipped around like dieing fish.

"Guards, take this filth to the dungeons. Keep them alive as long as you can, I want you to make sure they are at the point of death as much as possible with out dieing." Marcus had a glint in his eyes as he watched the two people in pain. He thought it was a fitting punishment. The guards came in and looked shocked, none of them had ever seen the gaze used. They collected them and took them away. Marcus turned to Callin and walked him out of the house. "Every thing they own will be given to Caleb, including all their titles. It is the only way they can make it up to him." Marcus and Callin rode back to the Palace where Callin stayed the night, enjoying the time with his uncle. The next morning Callin headed back to the Palace of Light.

Date: Fortug /7/6874

Callin was sitting in front of his data terminal going over a list of progress reports, Celestia was talking in his mind explaining each as he read them. The village had finished earlier that morning and was just getting a few last finishing touches. He was set to return to Ember the next day with the refuges, he wanted to make sure everything was set for their arrival.

"Constellation, set course for Ember." Callin said as he finished looking over the reports.

<System control. This is the Imperial Ship Constellation, we are showing all systems go and are requesting system departure clearance, on Imperial lane one.> Constellation said as he started system departure procedures.

"This is System Control. You are first in line for Departure, stand by."

<Acknowledged control, standing by.>

"Constellation, you are cleared for Departure. May the Spirits guide you."

<Thank you control. Constellation out.> Turning off the communicator he throttled up the thrusters and took off. Once clear of the planet he switched to Impulse engines. Taking a path to lead above the elliptic of the system Constellation maneuvered out of the system before activating the warp drive and leaving at a high speed. They dropped out of warp a few light years later, activated the wormhole drive and arrived outside Ember's system a few moments later. Constellation maneuvered them through the blockade and assumed orbit.

<Welcome back to Ember.> Celestia said over the speakers. Callin got up and made his way to his shuttle and headed for the planet.

Once he was on the planet he took a fly over all the bases and landed outside the village. He took a few hours to look things over before he was satisfied that everything was as it should be then he left to return to base. He wanted to check on Caleb while he was on planet.

"How is he doing Celestia?" Callin asked as he looked down on the sleeping form of his love.

<He is progressing well, as you can see, all his scars are gone. All that is left now is for the imaging to finish. He already has the implant.>

"I am glad. I think I have spent more time worrying about him then thinking and working on other things. We have the refugees coming in tomorrow, are you prepared for them?"

<Yes, all systems are up and running. However, unless they wish to farm, they will need to rely on synthesizers. We do not have the man power to have shipments brought here.>

"I am sure they will be fine with it. After the merchant fleet is up they can make stops if they wish."

Knowing that he had to go pick up the refugees Callin made a few more checks on the systems and on Caleb before heading back up to his ship and returning to Devia.

Date: Fortug /8/6874

"Welcome abroad the Imperial Ship Constellation. We ask that all guests stay out of the red areas and off the blue maintenance lines. We will be leaving orbit in five minutes." Callin said over the ship wide speaker system. (Take control please.) Callin said to Constellation through the interface.

Callin started to walk around the ship, answering questions, while the final system checks were done. As the ship started to leave orbit he had the group look out the observation window. There was a slight shift as the ship went to high warp then made the transition to hyperspace. He was not going to let them know about worm whole drives yet. <Attention all hands we are currently on way to Ember. Approximate arrival is in one week.>

Callin finished answering a few questions then retired to his room to read the reports coming in from Ember and the rest of his Empire. Medil had been busy as well and sending him the results of the interviews as they came in. All in all it seemed to be coming along nicely, now if only he could figure out how the attackers got the technology they had it would make his life much easier.

Date: Fortug /16/6874

Callin sat at his terminal rubbing his face. It had been a long week on the ship, Chace was already back at base working with Celestia and testing all of the new ships that had come off the production line. Medil had been talking to him to get Captains assigned to the new ships as they became available and the old ships were recycled. Unfortunately, they moved to fast and now there were people asking questions about where the Captains and the ships were going. Then the fact that many of the noble families were pulling every thing out of the Devian bank made people ask even more questions.

In the end, Callin was forced to back off and have everyone slow down a little. They could not afford to be questioned yet. The cover story for the missing Captains was that they were no longer needed and so were offered the chance to retire. In reality, they just relocated to Ember and their new ships. The crews were slowly being sent out as they were discharged from the force. In the end it boiled down to Callin's own arrogance in thinking that he could move as fast as he was and that no one would suspect anything. He needed to learn to take things at a more sedate pace.

The last thing that had him worrying was the increased activity of the Terrans. Sensors had picked up heavy fleet movements at the boarder and even a few planets over. So far no one had made a move to challenge them for crossing the boarder. Callin did not like it, not at all. Nothing good ever came from the Terrans. But in the end it was their own fault for interfering with them so much in the past. The Terrans just were not evolved as much as some of the other races. They were a young race and they had their technology artificiality accelerated along with their culture.

He turned to look back at the screen and watched as the ship came into orbit above Ember and Constellation talked to all of the refugees. At least that part was going well. Constellation was having them load up the shuttles and fly down under auto pilot, once they were on planet Chace would get them settled in for the N.I. implant.

Callin. for his part. needed to get ready for his meeting with the GMSA. His vault ship was done and running through its tests now. With any luck everything would go perfect and he would pass his inspection.

Rosmerta tested out perfectly and flew like a dream. Callin watched the readouts and was thrilled. The new tech that was invented just for the ship worked exactly like it was planed to. The new gravitational thrusters worked without a hitch and the ability to stay in subspace also worked perfectly. Callin noticed that the holo form that the ship picked was that of a thirty year old Tenkolian, her bright yellow eyes giving away her race. Her hair was long and blond and fell to mid back. Callin made sure to complement her on her choice. He could feel the pleased feeling she had from that. It made Callin smile.

If he had known that allowing them to have a holo form would make them that happy he would have started out with one. Celestia, on the other hand, had picked out something that Callin found strange. She looked like the images of the old Terran Goddess Athena. She even was wearing the bronze armor. Callin just shook his head and told himself that if that was what made her happy then more power to her.

Constellation took on the form of a teenage Bakobenite, like all of his race he had carbon black skin and white eyes with no color in them at all. His hair was also white and worn long to mid back, covering his pointed ears. The race was not what shocked him about this one but rather the age. It made Callin a little nervous about flying on a ship that thought of itself as a fourteen year old. He also seemed to like to be nude. That was another thing Callin was determined to ignore.

He reflected back on Lux back at the Palace. He was the most normal of the bunch. A nondescript Devian of middle age dressed in high born clothes.

Celestia had slipped one by him though, the crafty A.I. she was. She had managed to make the holo-forms 'solid', like they would be on a holodeck. Then she instructed each to make a mobile emitter. Now the programs could follow people off the ships and bases, but were limited in where they were allowed to go. Celestia said it was so they could follow the Captain to the space station, or to the planet, in case they were needed. But Callin caught the thought of a personal assistant that could travel with him and others of higher responsibility. The fact that they were still holograms made it so no one could complain about them based off of the android problems.

Callin grumbled about over protecting A.I.'s as he went through all the test results and system logs. "Celestia, Rosmerta?"

<Yes, Callin.> They both answered.

"Please start transporting up the monetary metals and other things going on the vault ship. Please make sure to separate out what is Personal, House, Family, Imperial, Governmental, Operational, Company, Government, and Reserve fund. I am sure you know what goes in each category. Make sure that vaults and holding cells are keyed to the owners DNA profile that we have on record."

<We will have the drones start the transfer, and I will start the transfer of the matter buffer for the monetary metals and other transport safe objects.> Celestia told him. He could feel the hum of agreement from Rosmerta as well.

Date: Fortug /18/6874

<Callin, the Chairman of the GMSA has arrived at the station you set as the meeting place.> Celestia said.

"Is the ship in place to retrieve him?"

<Yes, the new banking client ship, Hermic, is there to transport him. Capitan Thranis says he will be back in system in one hour with the Chairman.>

"Very good. Please let me know when he makes planet fall. I want to give him a tour of sorts before taking him up to Rosmerta and letting her woe him."

<Oh, please, he is not my type. Really, you organics are all the wrong sort.>

Callin spit his drink out hearing that. He then glared over at the holo-projection of Rosmerta. "You have been watching to much holo-entertainment. The Cereal Operas are going to your core."

<You're just jealous that I can watch thirty thousand programs at once and you can't.> The A.I. said in a snort before vanishing. Callin shook his head,promising to disconnect the entertainment network from the A.I.'s monitoring ability. Not that he would ever actually do it. He enjoyed seeing them all act more alive. As long as it did not interfere with them running their area and doing their jobs then he was happy for them.

"Well, Callin, I have to admit that I am impressed. This ship lives up to all you have said. I want to be the first to offer congratulations to you on being the newest member bank in the GSMA." The older man said while holding out his had.

"Thank you, Chairman. When can people start transferring their accounts to our holding."

"Two days should do it, I would think, but best to give it three just incase."

Callin was all smiles as he led the man to the transport ship and saw him off.

"We did it." Callin said to no one.

"Rosmerta, prepare to have shipments today. I will be transferring the contents of my vaults here. As well our stock pile of monetary metal."

Date: Fortug /21/6874

Celestia gently sent a warming sensation through the interface waking Callin up. <Callin, Caleb is ready to come out.> Callin bolted awake at that as his body started to vibrate with energy. As he hurriedly started to dress his mind was panicking, what if Caleb changed his mind and wanted to leave? What if he hated him for getting him involved? What if he did not like him the same way and only wanted to be friends. Callin was not sure he could take that. For so long had he been having the dreams about Caleb and for so long had he just assumed they were meant to be. Now that he was on the door step of his vision coming true he was scared.

Callin was so lost in thought that he did not even see that he had entered the med bay until he was standing over the Bio-chamber looking down at the floating body of Caleb. ~He will be fine. You are working yourself up over nothing. Your fears are unfounded.~ Solaris said, trying to calm his host and ease his fears. After a few moments Callin took a deep breath and started the release cycle.

He was so excited about being with Caleb again that he failed to notice the chamber opening until it hit him in the face. So the first thing Caleb saw when he woke up was Callin holding his nose with tears streaming down his face. Callin heard the bell like laugh and looked over to see Caleb well awake.

"Shut up it hurts." Of course it came out more like "Sud op d t huz" which made Caleb laugh all the more until Callin was laughing with him and all the tension he had built up washed away.

<Since Callin seems other wise occupied I should inform you that you should stay laying down for the next few moments while the rest of the medication flushes from your system. Also the Interface will begin calibration now. Do not fight the feeling or panic.>

Callin watched as a confused expression, followed by incredulous, and then a shocked look flashed over Caleb's face, only to settle on speculative. "This has got be the single strangest thing I have ever felt or experienced. That includes getting Dagda. I know what it is doing from the imaging and I know that yours and Chases were even more unsettling but this is so strange. Not to mention the fact that I suddenly know things I never even thought about before. I can tell you exactly how a Hyperspace Drive works and how to regrow limbs using a cell accelerator. This is going to take some getting used to."

Callin, finally feeling better, smiled. "It took me a few weeks to get used to the imaging, too. The interface, well, we have the Holo program to help with that. I'll leave you to get dressed and then you can go shower. I'll be in the dining hall when you're ready to eat."

Caleb watched the retreating back of Callin, wondering what he did to make the other boy leave like that. He shrugged and decided to hurry up getting cleaned up so he could eat with Callin.

"So what's for lunch?" Caleb asked as he walked over and sat down next to Callin, sneaking a peak at the other teens face to see if he was mad. Not finding any thing there to be worried about he tried to feel the others emotions, only to run into a shield. He knew instinctively that if he pushed harder Callin would know he was reading him.

"I can feel it you know. Your good for a beginner but I was trained by the best." Callin said looking over at him with a smirk. "Imagine your prob like a soft feather caressing the surface of my emotions or mind. Another way to do it is to send out a ripple and let things bounce back. The ripple is a broad sweep, like an active radar ping, it will pick up anyone that is unshielded near you. It is different from your passive scan, as you will have that going all the time, we can't stop that. An active reading or scanning is more direct and powerful. The scan you tried is called a prob scan. The way you did it, I do not think any one under level 50 on the index would have felt it, shielded or not."

Caleb looked thoughtful at that and tried again. He opened his eyes and saw the grin and smiled back. "Better?" He asked and got a nod back. "Am I going to have lessons for all this? It was not part of the image."

Callin nodded. "Yes, all of my old tutors are here. I have to have control lessons again. I think you remember what happened when I found you." Callin told him with a slightly embarrassed look. So he was shocked when Caleb leaned over and gave him a peck on the cheek.

"Thank you. I don't remember if I ever thanked you for saving me." He cleared his throat "Now food?" he asked trying to change the subject.

Callin gave him a smile and allowed for the change. "I thought we could have some local things. The meat is a local deer like animal and has a mild sweetness to it, the fruit is all sweet with a slight sourness to the pink one. The vegetables all are slightly spicy. The nuts are bitter by themselves but with a sugar glaze they are good. We found that the fresh water fish are not very edible, well you could eat them but they taste like dirt and grease, and we have not had a chance to harvest any of the salt water fish yet." As he explained he put a few things on Caleb's plate and then pushed it toward him before fixing his own. He kept an eye on him as he ate, watching for hints of what he liked and disliked.

"The meat would be better with a sour citrus juice brushed on it, like the pick fruit here. The nuts would make a good spread as you could add sugar, other sweeteners or baked in a dish, but not by themselves. Every thing else was good the way it was."

"I take it you like to cook?" Callin asked, looking truly interested and wanting to know.

"Yes, I always did. They always found ways to make it less fun for me and to take the enjoyment out of it, but I was always good at making recipes and cooking. All of Their guests always complemented Them on Their cooking. Cooking always relaxed me, so I liked doing it." Caleb explained. Not being able to use their names and knowing that Callin got pissed, seriously pissed, any time anyone called them his masters or referred to him as a slave. Even if it was him doing it, Callin would still get pissed.

"Well, we will have to make sure you can cook when ever you want then. I think I will look forward to dinner for the two of us then." Callin said before he realized what he implied and started to stammer and blush.

"It's a date then. I'll cook" Caleb said, causing Callin to stop stammering and blush harder before nodding.

"Tomorrow is my Uncles birthday. Did you want to come or stay here. That reminds me, I had a ship like mine made for you."

"I'll come."

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