Castle Roland

The Shimmering Ship

by Darryl-Radio Rancher


Chapter 19

Published: 30 Jul 15

The Shimmering Ship

The Radio Rancher
Edited by The Radio Rancher

'Author's note:' Hi, I have asked Del to continue recounting his version of the story. I know I enjoy his version of the events, and I hope you do as well, I have learned a great deal about our friends. So, without any more boring prologue from me, I will turn things over to Del.

Thank you, Darryl; I will do the best I can, to tell the story.


Jamie, Delaren and I enjoyed each other's company very much, and we decided that we could all be happy together; doing things that pleased each other, without being jealous of one another. Our love for each other was very deep, and since we each knew the way we all felt about each other completely, we had no secrets among any of us.

It was so much fun to be together, and many nights as bed time arrived, we remained our proper ages, and simply enjoyed the warm loving feeling of being close to each other, with our bodies snuggled together, holding one another in various combinations and positions. We decided that life is really good most of the time. We were in love, and the world was a pretty good place. Timmy, Ralf and Rolf had been savoring a similar relationship, and were having just as much fun as we were. There were some nights that we all slept together, when we had been up late studying, or watching a movie; especially on movie nights, we often just stayed right there, all in a big bundle of arms and legs... and maybe a few other appendages..... never mind. Those nights were some of the nights when we grew older for a while. Hey, why not? We were kids, and we could have it both ways, so, sometimes we just let ourselves go.

Delaren had some jobs that he needed to do as an adult, and when those times came, he would age appropriately, and head off to do what he needed to do, but the rest of the time, he decided he would be our age, just like me. We thought, and Thought about a name for him, since Jamie couldn't just say Hi; this is my brother Del, and my other brother Del. We finally settled on Dale, and that seemed to satisfy most everyone.

When it came time to register us for school in the fall, we needed last names. Dale and I are twins, and we decided that our last name would be Laren. It seemed to fit the situation. Ralf and Rolf decided to use Jamison, since it was because of Jamie that they even existed. We spent quite a bit of time preparing our life histories.

We decided that Dale and I were orphans that our parents had been killed in an accident, and we had no other relatives, other than our cousin, Dr. Dorn. It occurred to us that Dorn had never told us his first name, if he had one. It turned out that he had one, and I guess he didn't use it much, except on official papers. It turned out he had needed one for his wedding license, and Driver's license, and of course he would need it to get us into school. He didn't have one originally, because on Arphoa, they only have one name. Families were already known through the planetary database. When he was on Earth earlier, he had just used the name Dorn.

After all, he thought, he wasn't going to stay here, and the only person that he knew very well, was Ellen, and she had never asked him if he had another name. They were in love, and nothing else had mattered to either of them.

Once He settled on Earth for good, He got all the paperwork taken care of, and decided on a name. He and Ellen had talked it over, and decided that he would be named Alfred, after Ellen's great grandfather. That worked, and it was a good name.

It didn't take long for us to get settled into a regular routine at school, and most of the time we were pretty normal kids, except for the fact that we were a lot smarter then most of the people on the planet, let alone the other kids in school, but we did our best to fit in with the people we liked, and we had made quite a few friends. It is funny, but now that Dale and I were there, and we were friends with Jamie, and Jimmy, Timmy, and the others were friends with Jamie, a lot of kids started to make friends with us. We all encouraged the people that were our friends to try harder, and learn as much as they could. With our minor help, almost everyone that asked us for help, or became our friends, noticed a remarkable increase in their grades, and their ability to think more clearly. I have no idea why that happened, but it did, and the funny thing is, that it started to snowball. More and more people wanted to get to know us better. I guess word of mouth works. We never cheated though. We gave people help, but we wouldn't give anyone the answers. They had to work, and when they did, it was amazing how well they did. No matter what happened, most people knew if someone was our friend, that we would do whatever was necessary to help them. That went for protecting them from harm, as well as helping them in school work.

Sometimes our help would be rather unusual. There were plenty of times that we made; I guess I would say, 'Proper' use of our abilities, to change our ages, sizes and appearances, not to mention changing other appearances. One day, shortly after the school year had started, as we were leaving school, we managed to put the fear of God or something, into a couple of smart asses. We had made friends with several boys in our class, and some other guys that were quite a bit older then us. Being probably the smartest kids on campus, regardless of age, we discovered that people tended to look to us for help on their school work. We actually made friends with a lot of them. We tended to gravitate to the smarter kids, though, and they were the ones that tended to get picked on. Gavin Gardener was one of those kids. We discovered that he not only was picked on by the school bullies, but his father treated him like crap as well. His dad made him work pretty much all the time, and never as much as thanks ever went to Gavin. It was simply taken for granted that Gavin would do anything that needed to be done. If at any time it wasn't done to his father's satisfaction, he would beat Gavin to within an inch of his life. Jamie and I had felt his pain for several weeks, and we were trying to figure out how we could help him, without being too obvious. He was eleven and a half. His birthday being in January, he had to wait till the fall when he had been six, to start first grade, so he was older than most of his classmates. He had a really high IQ. He wore glasses because he was nearsighted, and was not exactly the most fashion conscious guy around, and of course, he didn't play or really like sports. Delaren/Dale, Jamie, and I had talked about helping him with some body and mind improvements, but we hadn't quite figured out a way to approach him on the subject. We thought if we could maybe bulk him up a little, maybe we could show him that he could defend himself as well. That day, Gavin was walking out of the main building, as we were standing around talking to a couple of guys that had asked us for help on their math. Gavin had just reached the bottom of the steps, when two of the school's most annoying bullies cornered him, and one of them pushed him into one of the statues of lions, that stood on either side of the steps. Well, I shouldn't say stood, actually, they were sitting on their haunches. I 'pathed a quick message to Jamie, and the idea became a reality. Suddenly, the statue behind Gavin stood up and looked past Gavin's shoulder. Oddly enough, he was no longer a statue, but a full grown lion, with a beautiful mane, and a huge mouth that opened slightly, to reveal his sharp teeth, and a tongue that stuck out slightly. His eyes focused on the guy that had pushed Gavin into him. Gavin felt the soft fur of the lion cushion his back as the lion moved slowly forward and licked the back of Gavin's neck. Gavin felt the warm moist breath on his back, and he heard a low rumble. The two bullies hadn't noticed the lion lick Gavin's neck, or heard him purring. They were too busy running back where they had come from, followed by a trail of brown adrenalin.

Jamie softly spoke to Gavin, saying,

"Gavin, don't turn around just yet, please, there is something we need to tell you, before you do."

"Ok, but If you are going to tell me there's a lion standing behind me, I figured that out a few seconds ago; about the time he licked me and started purring when I reached back and touched his mane. I think he likes me, and I want to keep him."

I looked at Jamie and 'Pathed my concerns to him. 'Oh Crap, now what do we do? He wants to keep the lion.'

"Let me think.' Jamie replied, 'I will replace the statue once they move out of the way.' He said. I just stood there looking at Gavin, as he stroked the beautiful fur on his new friend. 'But what are we going to do with a full grown lion?' I asked.

'What you mean we Kemosabe?' Jamie giggled.

I smacked Jamie on his butt, and walked up to the two friends. That lion had the most satisfied purr you could imagine, and the smile on Gavin's face was priceless.

"I get the feeling you two like each other." I said to him as I looked at the lion I saw a rather large firm object hanging down from the lion.

"Oh yes, he told me he likes Me." said Gavin. "I heard him in my head."

"Can you hear me?" I asked him, silently.

'Yes, it seems I can.' Gavin replied, in my head. "I sometimes hear teachers saying stuff they think we don't hear, but a lot of us do. I never told anyone before. I really don't know why I told you, but for some reason I knew it would be ok."

"Well, you are right. It is perfectly safe to talk to us about things like that." I told him. "I need to talk to your lion, though. We have to figure out how we can get him to be somewhat smaller than a full grown lion, at least most of the time." I giggled, as I told him, "My guess is that your dad would not be happy to have someone that large in your house, but I definitely think he needs to be able to return to his full size when you need him to. It's ok if you want to listen, too, but I need to explain some things to him, if you don't mind, Gavin."

"Sure" Gavin replied.

'I really wish people would talk to me, instead of talking about Me.' the lion grumbled, as he padded toward me.

'I am sorry Mr. Lion' I said to him.

'Please, call me Leon.' he said.

'All right Leon. It is very nice to meet you. Thank you so much for frightening the bullies away.'

'You're welcome. I hate the way bullies act, and I won't put up with it.' Leon said. 'Am I HIS lion? Wait, why can I understand you so clearly, and talk to you, and, for that matter, where did I come from? I don't remember being anywhere, before I was standing behind Gavin, a few minutes ago, and yet I know stuff, and I have feelings for Gavin, very deep feelings. I tingle all over when ever I think of him, and I seem to always be thinking of him.'

'Well Leon, I don't know quite how to tell you this, but Jamie brought you into being. Here is the strange part. I just scanned your mind and body, and I see that you are not really a lion at all. You are in a lion's body at the moment, but your mind and soul are human. I am not sure how Jamie did that. Somehow when he created you, he used the statue as a template so to speak, and made a lion's body, but he had never made an animal before, so the only life form he knew how to build was a human. I think he took random human characteristics and just made the imprint of you, inside that body. Let me make an adjustment for you.' I told him. 'Now, Just think human, and concentrate real hard. I didn't mean make 'THAT' hard.' I giggled as his giant knight stick started to get more firm. I heard him purring again.

He looked at me, for a minute and then he slowly began to morph. I saw his body change into human form, except for the fact that his hair was still the color of his mane, and he still seemed to be sporting quite a large tool. He had very dark skin, and his eyes were a deep amber color, that you could easily get lost in. He was beautiful. Gavin had been looking the other way, and didn't see the change take place. I called him over to Leon and me, and said, "Gavin, I would like you to meet someone. This is Leon, and you already know him. He used to have a lot more hair."

Gavin looked at Leon and gasped.

"Leon, it's you; you're beautiful."

"I would recognize you anywhere. You are still my hero. How can I ever thank you?"

Leon reached for Gavin and they held each other in a warm hug which became much more passionate. They began a kiss.

"Will you two please come over here behind the shrubbery for a minute? We need to go find a more private place." I said. They followed me, and with that, Jamie, Dale, Leon, Gavin and I all teleported to Jamie's house.

I introduced everyone to Leon, and we explained to Dorn and Ellen what had happened, and how we had accidentally brought another boy home.

Dorn looked at Jamie and said, "Jamie, I think you did the right thing, but there might have been a different way of doing it."

Gavin pulled Leon closer to him and they sat together on the love seat. "We can't have you creating new life on a weekly basis, son, now can we?" He frowned. Then he giggled, "Life is sacred, and once you bring a life into the world, It is your responsibility to care for the person you gave life to. I love you, and you mean the world to me, but you must try to think more carefully, before you act. I don't want this repeated. I mean it. The next time you think you need to create a living being, to solve a problem, Stop, and then ask yourself if there is possibly some other solution you might be able to use. Remember I am not angry with you. You did what you thought was necessary at that moment. Just try to come up with something else, next time, please. Son, Let me put it this way You guys have to stop 'MAKING' friends, if you know what I mean, and I am sure you do. Now we have to figure out a life history for you, Leon, since you didn't exist before today and you look like you are around twelve years old. Let's try to think about it.

Jamie smiled, and said, "I have it. Leon, your last name is Aslan. I know Bish will like that name. It means Lion in some other language, that for some reason, I can't remember at the moment, and a man named C.S. Lewis wrote some really great stories about a Lion named Aslan. The history will say that you came here from Africa, to live with your aunt Tracy, after your parents were killed in an accident, while they were on a hunting trip." I could see the wheels going around in Jamie's head as he spun his yarn. He continued, "Once you got here, you found out that your aunt had died of a heart attack. This surprised everyone because she was only in her early forties. Now you are all alone. We can arrange to have you in our custody temporarily, but, we have to find you a permanent place to live. Daddy, can Leon stay with us?" Gavin's eyes got wider as he listened to Jamie tell the tale. He couldn't understand how someone could just make someone out of thin air like that, but right now that didn't really bother him; he had Leon holding him, and occasionally kissing him, and he was holding Leon, and returning the affectionate kisses, and nothing else seemed to matter.

"We will have to think about that for a little while, son," Dorn said, "but, Leon, if you want, you may stay here with us, at least for today, and tonight, and possibly longer, depending on what happens. We can find you somewhere suitable to live, later." Dorn smiled. "Gavin, if you would like to stay tonight, you should call you parents and ask them if it will be alright. I will speak to them if they need any verification." Dorn said, as he handed Gavin the cordless phone, from the desk. Gavin started trembling.

"I'm afraid to call them." He said.

Leon leaned in and kissed Gavin on his lips again, and said, "Don't worry, love, I won't let anyone hurt you. I'm here because of you, and even if it wasn't you that gave me life, I was given life to protect you, and by God, that is what I will do, from now on! That is my solemn word. No one will ever hurt you again as long as I live, and that includes that horrible father of yours. I saw your pain when I was speaking to you in your head. Don't even think of denying it. I don't understand how or why, but I love you so much that even the thought of someone hurting you causes me to lose my temper. I guess maybe there is a part of me that is still a lion." Leon said, clenching his teeth for a second.

Gavin reached up and pulled Leon's mouth to his, and began to kiss him passionately; their tongues did the dance of love and they lost all contact with the rest of the universe for some time. It looked like they were ready for a camping trip, since they were both pitching tents. We all started to giggle, and Jamie finally said, "Why don't you two go in the bedroom over there for a while, and get to know each other a little better. We will try and figure out what to do next."

I watched them go into the bedroom and close the door behind them. I turned to Dorn and asked him if he had any ideas.

"As a matter of fact, I do have a couple." He beamed. "I know a caseworker with children's services, who really cares about kids, and I am sure once she finds out about Gavin's situation, she will help us with getting him out of there." His expression was thoughtful for a few seconds. "I think I remember Bish and Gerry talking about wanting to adopt, if the opportunity ever arose. I wonder if I should ask them if they would be interested in two boys?" He grinned, that special grin he reserves for times when he is scheming. "I think it will work." he said. "Now that Bish has practically moved in permanently with Gerry, and they have a very stable home life, I think I could get Linda to place Gavin and Leon with them."

"I think you might want to ask Gerry and Bish if they are interested, before you get Linda all excited about placing the boys with them, don't you?" I asked.

"You're right, of course, but somehow, I am almost certain that as soon as they see these kids, they will fall in love with them. If they don't, I am sure we can add a few more rooms to this place. I know Jamie is going to slip and do that again sometime, anyway, and besides, I love kids, and what's one or two, or three, extra kids gonna do, anyway, eat us out of house and home?" He frowned for just a split second, then laughed.

"I think maybe I should invite the two lovebirds over for dinner tonight. I will be grilling steaks tonight anyway, and what grown man can you think of that would turn down free food, made on a charcoal grill, especially when it is done with my famous out of this world BBQ sauce?"

Dorn looked thoughtful for a moment, and we 'heard' him ask Gerry and Bish if they wanted to come to a cook out. I don't know about anyone else, but my head hurt from the intensity of their immediate and resounding answer of, "YES, of course!!!!!!"

"Ah," said Dorn." The spider traps the unsuspecting fly. Once they meet the boys, and hear their story, they won't be able to resist adopting them, especially when Linda gets through with them. She's a fast worker, and she doesn't take any crap from anyone. I guess I should call her and get her over here tonight, as well, if we want this to work."

Dorn reached for the phone, and called Linda.

"Hello, Linda, this is Dr. Dorn."

"Oh, hi, How are you doing, It has been quite a while since we've talked. I was over at the Anderson's a while ago, getting Tad and Jacob settled in, arranging the adoption papers and getting them signed for them. I understand you had a hand in getting that case settled."

Dorn looked at us and said, "Well, to tell you the truth, I had a lot of good help on that one. Jamie and Del were wonderful, when it came to patching Jacob up, and taking care of his wounds. I am sure that without their work, we wouldn't have been able to save his life."

"Yes, that is what the boys told me. I know that they helped the two HIV-positive boys as well. They are truly remarkable boys, there is no doubt about that." said Linda, "I have their contact information on my list of people to call in case of emergencies."

"Well, I know they are good kids, and I have a couple more boys I think you need to meet. If you would be interested in some good BBQ, you might want to get over here tonight. I know you are going to want to meet Gavin and Leon, and I think we could use your help in getting them settled in with a couple of really good people that we know.

Dorn winked at me as he said that, and I chuckled. Dorn continued, "I think there may be a little trouble when we confront Gavin's stepfather with the fact that he has been abusing the boy, for his not being 'a man' as he put it to Gavin. Christ, Gavin is only eleven years old. How can the guy think he should be a man yet?"

Gavin has found a friend that he loves very much; someone who loves him deeply, and they want to be together. The two people that we have in mind to adopt the boys are a loving couple and have expressed an interest in the past in finding a child to adopt, if I ever found one, so I suspect that they won't have any problem adopting both boys." Dorn had that big grin again.

"Bring any paperwork you think you will need, because, if, for some unknown reason, they don't want to adopt them, I am sure that Ellen and I will adopt them ourselves. There is only one small detail left out. I haven't asked Ellen yet. Anyway, try to be here before six, if you can."

"I wouldn't miss it for the world or any other world for that matter. I'll see you then." she said, and the phone went dead.

I got up and headed into the kitchen to help start the preparations for the BBQ. The steaks were marinating in Dorn's special sauce. There were enough steaks to serve twenty hungry people, but since there were all of us kids here, I knew we would need more, so I opened the second package of steaks, and put them in the bowl of sauce, to marinate.

It was shortly after two in the afternoon, and we were expecting the guests to arrive sometime before six, so there was plenty of time. Jamie came in the kitchen in a few minutes and began to prepare the sweet corn to be cooked on the grill. He took off the husks, then cleaned the ears completely and drowned them in a mixture of butter and garlic; which was always a big hit at our cookouts. He wrapped them in aluminum foil, and put them aside, ready to sit in the grill to cook. I am not sure who had made it, but there was a huge platter of relish including veggies; you know celery, carrot sticks, and Scallions; (most folks call them green onions, but they're really scallions) and little sandwiches. They were so cute. I had grabbed one, and was about to pop it in my mouth, when Ellen slapped my hand and told me that I had better stop right there, since those were for tonight. She told me I could scrounge anything else I wanted in the fridge, but to leave the relish tray alone, please. I ate my little baby sandwich, and found some left over tuna salad and made a real sandwich, to tide me over till the BBQ.

Ellen had already made several salads, a really tasty deviled egg potato salad, that she had been given the recipe for by her mom, and a delightful pasta salad, the recipe for which, had been handed down from Dorn's family. Sadly, some of the ingredients for it had to be changed to accommodate, earth plants, since we had run out of the Arphoan supplies some time ago. Dale could probably have produced them, but he hadn't managed to do it, yet, even though we had asked for some, several times. I guess it wasn't on the top of his list of priorities. I intended to suggest a trip to Arphoa in the next few months, since it had been quite some time since we had been there. I know Dorn had intended to take Ellen and Jamie there to visit, but we had all been so busy, it just hadn't happened yet, hence our shortage of native foods from there, that we all loved so much. As had happened in the past, ships passing Earth were few and far between, despite all the reports to the contrary, by the wackos that thought every light in the sky was a UFO.

Jamie and I had set up a tracking device, that would let us know when any member of the Galactic Council's ships passed within ten light years of Earth, but there had been no sign of one since our last trip to Arphoa.

As often happens, we were not paying very close attention to the time, and we noticed that it was after five o'clock. So we all managed to clean up and we were ready and sitting in the family room when the doorbell rang. I concentrated for a split second, and said, "Come in Linda." That rather surprised her. She caught her breath, and opened the door tentatively. When she came in, I stood up and turned around to face her.

"How in the world did you know it was me?" she asked, open mouthed.

"Well," I told her, "I could tell you that it was the process of elimination, since Gerry and Bish were just on the phone, and told us they would be here in fifteen to twenty minutes, and they wouldn't have had time to get here yet, but, the truth is, I could feel your mind, and It could only have been you. Your surface thoughts are as loud to me, Dale and Jamie, as if you had been shouting to the rooftops, which, in a way, you were. You were projecting such happiness, that I couldn't possibly miss it. You have a beautifully joyful mind, and you constantly show how much you love others, and want to help them. If you are interested, we can teach you to read the feelings and thoughts of others. We showed Gerry, and Mr. Bish how to do it, and Ellen and Dorn picked it up on their own, with only a little help from Jamie.

"There is one thing though; it is very important. It is something that we have all agreed to, something that has been passed along to each person that we have taught the technique to, and that is that you never read someone's thoughts without their permission, unless they are unable to give you permission, and by not reading them, they are in danger. Even in those circumstances, you read only what you need, to get them out of danger, and as soon as you possibly can, you get their permission to read any deeper."

"But you just said you read my thoughts; I don't understand." she looked at me, puzzled.

"I'm sorry." I told her. "That is not what I meant. I know it is a subtle difference, but, I didn't read your mind. You were projecting to me. There is a big difference, although, I suppose it might not seem like it." I giggled. "When someone is highly emotional; either very happy, or very sad, they project that feeling into the atmosphere, so to speak. Anyone that is the slightest bit sensitive can receive it. I felt your happiness long before you got to the door. I didn't have to enter your mind to feel it." I explained. "You were sending it directly to me, and anyone else, within ten miles of you, at that moment. You still are, by the way, in case you didn't know." Our eyes met then, and I told her, "It isn't your thoughts; those are words, or expressions, like; 'I want to slap his bottom', or something like that. If you want me to show you how to do what we can do, I will be glad to do it. I think you would find it very helpful... in your work, for instance." I told her.

She sat there looking into my eyes for a few seconds, then she smiled at me.

"I think you might have a point there." she said.

"Ok," I told her, "Look into my eyes, and concentrate on them, completely, look very deep. Think only of my thoughts. Tell me what you see."

"I hear you saying, 'can you hear me now' just like that damn phone commercial." she said.

'Good.' I told her. 'That was what I 'said'.'

"Wow!" she giggled. "I heard you in my head."

"That is called Telepathy." I told her. "It is not mind reading. It is deliberate sub vocal communicating. We call it 'mind speech'. We use it all the time. Even the adults around here use it. We can talk to everyone or to an individual. I can talk to anyone that knows how to use the technique, no matter where they are, even if they were on another planet. There is no distance limit, and no delay. Actually interplanetary communications can be disrupted by interference from natural noise, but the signal still gets through, it just gets a little muffled sometimes." I told her.

"You mean you have talked to people on other planets?" she asked, looking skeptical.

"Oh yes, Dr Dorn often talks to his family on Arphoa." I told her.

Just then Dorn came in from the patio.

"I see Del has been telling you all our secrets." he said, smiling at her.

"Yes," I said, "but I don't think she quite believes me. I feel doubt in her mind."

Dorn said, "Well, maybe a little demonstration of some of the things we, and now you, can do, might be in order." he told her.

With that he called, "Gerry! Bish! Can you pleas pop in here? Are you ready to get here? We have someone here that needs to see you immediately. You know what I mean."

No sooner had Dorn stopped talking, than there was a shimmer, then another shimmer, and there were two men standing in front of Linda, with their hands outstretched, as Gerry said, "Hello Linda, it's so nice to meet you. I hope we didn't startle you too badly. I'm Gerry Bailey"

"Most people call me Bish," Bish giggled at her. "We don't usually pop in quite that blatantly," he told her. "Most of the time we materialize somewhere out of sight, and then show up in the usual way."

"I think Del and Dorn wanted you to be impressed; otherwise they wouldn't have made it clear to us that we should just pop in right in front of you." Gerry told her. "Bish and Dorn are both from the planet Arphoa, but they have spent a lot of time here on earth. The funny thing is that neither of them were familiar with the enhanced mind abilities till they met an Eclaran named Delaren, but that is a story for another time." he giggled. "The Eclaran people are an ancient race that has been helping keep balance in the universe for hundreds of thousands of centuries that we know of, possibly much longer. Delaren accidentally found himself impaled on Bish's spaceship, and couldn't get loose. He would have died. If it hadn't been for Gerry's friend Marsh, linking to Delaren, and understanding what had happened. He explained it to Bish, and Bish took his ship close to the sun, so Delaren could get the energy he needed. It was Greg and Marsh that taught the Arphoans to use telepathy."

Just then Dale walked in the room, and said, "Yes, That pretty much tells you the story. I'm Dale, but I used to be Delaren. Once again, thanks to someone from Earth, I was able to reconfigure my body to that of a human, and I have been living here on earth, happily, for some time. I owe my life, and my happiness, to Marsh and Jamie in that order."

Dorn took up the narrative at that point and explained a few more things to Linda.

"Linda, you are the first person, outside of our friends and family that we have told about our abilities. I know you love children, and I know we can trust you with this information.

"I think, with your assistance, we can help a lot more kids have a better life. As you already know, I am a doctor, and I have seen a lot of children being treated terribly. I have done what I can to help as many of them as possible, but, together we can help a lot more.

"Jamie has brought us two young boys that desperately need our help. They are in love with each other, and they want to be together. One of the boys is an orphan, and the other one might as well be an orphan, since he gets no love from his family. I want you to meet the boys, Linda, and I want to introduce them to you two guys as well." He looked at Bish and Gerry. "I think they would be great kids for you two to adopt. I will go bring them out here, and let you meet them."

Dorn left the room to go find Gavin and Leon. He found everyone in Jamie's room playing some sort of game.

"Gavin, Leon, Could you please come with me?" he asked, as he put his hand on each of the boys' shoulders. The boys both flinched, at Dorn's touch, then they turned around and looked into Dorn's eyes.

They both knew that Dorn wouldn't let anything bad happen to them, and they both got up and hugged Dorn. Jamie and the other boys looked up as well, and asked if they should join Gavin and Leon, for moral support.

"I don't think it will be necessary, guys, but thanks for asking. The food should be ready soon anyway and you can meet everyone when it is time to eat. We will be sure to call you then. Let's get you two introduced to the people that can help you have a happy life together."

They all walked back to the family room, and Dorn made the introductions.

"Gerry, Bish," He pointed at each man in turn, then he turned toward the boys. "Meet Gavin Gardener and Leon Aslan. Guys, these men are dear friends of mine. They are a loving couple, and they would love to have kids to take care of, and, oddly enough, you two kids seem to be in need of a family. I think maybe, with Linda's help, we may just be able to do something about that."

As soon as the boys were introduced to everyone, they shook hands all around, and Gavin made eye contact with Bish. It was amazing to see them. They both had a look of love that broadcast itself like a thousand watt light bulb. Bish reached out to Gavin and pulled the boy to his chest and hugged him so tight that Gavin actually gasped. At almost the same moment, Leon found himself engulfed in a hug, from Gerry. You could feel the emotions flowing back and forth between the boys and the men. After a few minutes, the boys exchanged places and they each got the same kind of love from the other adult. It was downright heartwarming. Instant fathers and sons. They all looked like they could not have been any happier if they had tried. I turned to Linda, and said, "Do you think they could possibly accept one another eventually? Is it worth trying to push them into giving each other a chance?"

Linda laughed. I really love her laugh; it completely brightens any room she is in.

"I think it might be worth the effort, given enough time, they might possibly get along. I know, right now they might be a little reluctant to show any affection, but I think they might just be able to work out all that eventually." She burst out laughing again, even more excitedly, this time. "Let me get this paper work finished, and we can get this in front of a judge in a hurry, I am sure that we can have all of this finalized within a few days. You would be amazed how fast these things can be done when you know the right people." she smiled and beckoned the boys to come over to her. She enfolded each of them into a warm loving hug and kissed them each on the forehead. "I know you will be happy with your new dads, boys. They are fine young men, and they love you already; I can see that and, thanks to Del, I can actually feel the love radiating from all of you." she beamed with pride. "As amazing as that is to me, I really am feeling great about having that ability. Thanks, Del, for teaching me how to do that."

"You're welcome." I told her, smiling at her myself, knowing that we had a great ally in our fight to help kids lead better lives.

"Let's get everyone out to the patio, and get everybody fed. I'm starving, and somehow, I don't think I'm the only one." Said Dorn. I sent the message to the guys in Jamie's room, and we all stampeded out to the patio and obliterated the food in practically no time.

It only took a week or so, for the judge to revoke the parental rights of Gavin's parents, and grant his adoption, by Bish and Gerry, once we presented all the evidence. Since Leon was an orphan, and had no immediate relatives, and Linda recommended the placement, the judge granted his adoption immediately as well.

Well, from what I said above, you might think that everything would go on happily, without any problems for Gavin and Leon. Well, think again. Just let me tell you what happened. Most of it, I learned later from Gavin and Leon, as well as from others involved. I knew about some of it first hand, and I have pieced it together into a pretty coherent story of what happened. I hope I have it all sorted out. In any case, the facts are there. You can make of them what you will. Now let me tell you what happened...

The boys settled in with Gerry and Bish, and were having a great time. The two men were ecstatic to have the boys as their sons. They already loved both boys as much as they if they had fathered them.

They remodeled the spare bedroom into a wonderful room for the two boys; including a new bathroom that adjoined their bedroom. The boys were getting along very well at school, and they were pretty much inseparable. But the two bullies, Mark Richards and Randy Stern, that had caused Gavin all the problems before he met Leon, were still intent on making kids that they could bully, including Gavin have difficult if not miserable lives. A few weeks after Gavin and Leon had moved in with Gerry and Bish, the boys were on their way home, when they found that the two bullies were chasing two younger boys. The silent agreement between Gavin and Leon was that if they saw any bullies harassing someone, they would take matters into their own....................paws.

"Last time you were a Lion, I think this time we should be tigers, ok?" said Gavin.

"Sounds good to me." said Leon, as they transformed into large angry tigers, and quickly came up behind the two annoying jerks. Gavin and Leon each took one of the bullies to the ground. The victims had managed to run away before seeing the two tigers tackle their tormentors. The tigers each licked the back of the neck of their victim, then they clawed the bullies from their necks to their asses, ripped off all their cloths, then tore them to shreds. One of the kids had evacuated his bowels into his underwear. He was Gavin's responsibility, and Gavin was not pleased that he had that mess to take care of; He used his telekinetic abilities to vanish the brown adrenalin, though. The other boy had wet his pants and his clothes were not as much of a disaster. Gavin and Leon knew that they had to get the clothes away from the area, since they didn't want any evidence that they had been there as animals. If Gavin had thought about it, he could have vanished the clothes like he did the crap, but he didn't think of that at the time. Both of the bullies had fainted and were lying in the parking lot stark naked. Imagine what the principal would say when the two boys told him that they had been attacked by two tigers, especially when their description included the fact that one of the tiger's face looked rather like a raccoon or maybe was wearing glasses. The other tiger had a sort of ruff around his neck that made him look a lot like a lion.

Gavin and Leon transformed back into human form, and put the bully's ripped up clothes into a plastic bag, put them in one of their back packs, and then they headed home. The huge crowd of kids surrounded the bullies and someone reported them to the principal. Someone else found each of the bullies a pair of gym shorts to cover their privates. The boys were taken to the infirmary to take care of their wounds. No one could explain the claw marks that ran down each of the boys' backs. I stood at the door and listened to the bullies try to explain why they were lying naked in the parking lot, with terrible scratches down their backs. I don't think Mr. Jenkins, the principal, believed the boys' explanation, when they told him that they were attacked by two tigers, that grabbed them around their waists, licked the backs of their necks, and then scratched them from their backs to their butts.

"You two boys have managed to get yourselves into so much trouble, that I honestly don't know what I am going to do with you." Jenkins told them. "You are both flunking at least half of your classes, and you have managed to cause trouble in every classroom you have been in. Frankly, I am considering expelling you both." Jenkins reached for a folder on his desk, and both boys flinched.

"Geeze Guys, I wasn't going to hit you or anything like that; what makes you so damn skittish?" Jenkins asked. The boys looked at each other and then at Jenkins, as Mark replied for both of them.

"Our fathers have been friends, it seems like, forever, and when either of us gets in trouble, which happens a lot, they both beat the shit out of us. They told us that we are no good, and don't deserve to live, but they know they can't just kill us, and put us out or our misery, cause they would go to jail, or worse, so they just have to be content to punish us, with as little scarring as possible. That's what they told us."

"Boys, I don't know how to tell you this, but I am not going to stand by while you two are put through that kind of treatment." Jenkins frowned. "Believe it or not, that is not even close to the way loving parents treat their kids. As of today, you will never have to suffer that way again. I promise. I don't know just yet what I am going to do to help you, but I will find some way to do it, if it is the last thing I do."

Jenkins reached for his Rolodex. He found the number for the child care worker that he had confidence in.

"Boys, I am going to refer you to Linda Thompson. She has worked with me in the past, and I trust her to find you a safe place to be, while we sort this out. I promise you that wherever she places you, you will get good treatment, and there will be no violence done to you. Will you take my word for that?"

"Yes, sir." the boys chorused. Possibly, for the first time in their young lives, the boys had a little bit of hope.

"Alright then, would you please go out and wait for me in the outer office, while I speak with Linda?"

The boys got up, reluctantly, and went back out to the waiting room. I had moved down the hall, out of sight. The waiting room was empty, except for the secretary, and she gave the boys a look that would chill an Eskimo.

Jenkins dialed the number and waited for an answer.

"Hello, Linda Thompson here; how can I help you?"

"Hello, Linda, This is Harold Jenkins from Langton Middle School. I need your help. I have two boys here, that have been nothing but trouble, and I just found out that they have been suffering from verbal and mental abuse, and to some extent, physical abuse as well, for years, which I believe has contributed to their incredibly nasty behavior. I hope you can give me some help in removing them from their respective parents, if you can call either one of their fathers' parents. I think sperm donors might be more accurate. Anyway, I hope that we might somehow be able to keep from sending them back to the people that have hurt them so badly. Do you have any suggestions?"

Linda thought for about two seconds, then said, "Hold on for a couple of minutes, please, and let me make a call or two." She put Jenkins on hold, and called the first person that came to her mind. The phone rang a couple of times, and finally was answered.

"Hello, Linda, to what do I owe the pleasure of a call from you today?"

"How did you know it was me?"

"Oh, that was easy; I have caller ID. You didn't think I read your mind did you?" He giggled and went on. "I can tell that something is wrong, however, from the tone of your voice, so go ahead and spill it. I'm all ears."

"I remember. Your ears are pretty big; you remind me of Ross Perot. I'm sorry, I know that was unkind." she giggled. "Seriously though, I have just received a call from Harold Jenkins, the principal of Langton Middle School." She paused dramatically. "He told me that two boys that have been bullying younger kids have been abused at home, and he doesn't want to send them back there." Again, she paused briefly. "He asked me if I knew of any place that would be safe to send them. Of course I immediately thought of you and your family. Would you consider taking them in, temporarily?"

The man on the other end of the phone connection paused and thought carefully for a while, possibly as long as two seconds, before saying, "Linda, You have been helping children for as long as I have known you, and the fact that you are asking me to help, makes me realize that you must think rather highly of my family and me. I thank you for your confidence in us. I think I owe my wife and our children the opportunity to help me decide on whether we will say yes or no. Please let me call you back in a little while and I will tell you our decision. Will that be alright?" He asked.

"Of course it will." she said, "I can't expect you to just say yes without at least thinking about it and conferring with your family."

"Thanks, Linda, I will call you back after I talk it over with my family." he hung up his phone and Linda switched back to Mr. Jenkins.

"The person that I called said he needed to talk it over with his family first, and would call me back when the decision was made." She paused and then continued, "He said it wouldn't be more than a few minutes. I will call you back, and let you know what happens."

"Ok, that sounds good," said Jenkins. “I will wait here for your call. Thank you so much, Linda; this means a lot to me. I know these kids can be helped, and you have always been there for me, in the past, and I really do appreciate your understanding." They hung up and Jenkins called the boys back into his office.

"Boys, I have just been talking to Mrs. Thompson. She has someone in mind for you to stay with for a while, until we can find you someplace permanent." as the boys stood in front of his desk, he walked around it and approached the two boys. He slowly pulled them to him, and gave them a warm hug. "If you can keep out of trouble while you are there," He said, "It will go a long way toward us getting you into a home with a loving family and people that care about you." Both boys were trembling, as he held them and continued to hug them. "The placement has not yet been confirmed, but I am hopeful that it will be accomplished. I will tell you this, if the person she called can't or won't take you in, I will take you home with me tonight. You will not be sent back to the people that have hurt you, I promise you that. By the way, why did you take off your clothes, and where did you put them?"

The boys knew they were in trouble, because they knew if they told the principal the truth, he would not believe them, and they couldn't think of a plausible lie to cover their actions though, so they decided the only option was, in fact, to tell the truth, for all the good it would do.

"Mr. Jenkins," Mark said, I know you won't believe us, if we tell you what happened, because no one else believed us, but I swear it is the truth. There were two tigers, and they chased us till they caught us and jumped on us and tore off our clothes, then scratched our backs. It really hurt. I don't understand why, but the scars are starting to go away and the pain is gone, but I swear it happened."

"Well, son, I don't know for sure why, but I believe you. Sherlock Holmes once said, 'if the answer to a problem seems far fetched, but all the other explanations are impossible, then the far fetched idea may be the true one.' or words to that effect, so without evidence to the contrary, I will take you at your word. After all, stranger things have happened."

"You mean, you believe us?" the boys were shocked. Never in their wildest dreams, did they think anyone would believe them.

Jenkins looked into the boys' eyes and for some strange reason that even he could not understand, he did believe them.

Just then the phone rang. It was Linda.

"Hello, Linda," Jenkins said, as he turned on the speaker phone.

"That is really disconcerting for everyone to know it's me calling." Linda said. "It seems that everyone has caller ID now days."

Jenkins grinned.

"Well, I suppose it is, but to tell you the truth, I don't have caller ID on this phone. I just figured it had to be you, since you told me you would call me back when you knew if we had a place to send the boys." he chuckled. "Anyway, I took the chance, and it was indeed you. I would have been a little bit embarrassed if it had been someone else, I guess, since you are on a speaker phone and the boys are here with me." He grinned. "So, what was the answer?"

"The answer is, that the boys will be given a two week trial period, to try to adjust to not being treated like sub humans. If they can show improvements beyond what you have observed, then we will continue trying to help them. If not, then we will be forced to give up hope, and run them through the Juvenal justice system. Which in no way is just, but that is the only recourse we have, if the family placement doesn't work out. We can't possibly send them back to their parents. That is for sure."

"I will be there in about five minutes to pick them up and take them to their new home. I have all the paperwork with me, and I will get all of that signed and filed with the state, this afternoon. Make sure you are ready to leave, when I get there, please, boys." she said, and hung up her phone.

When Gavin and Leon got home, they put the boys' shredded clothes in the waste basket in their bedroom, and lay down together to calm themselves down. They weren't sure if they had done the right thing, in fact, they were pretty sure that they had made a mistake in hurting the two bullies. What if the boys got an infection from their dirty claws? They were outside where it was pretty dirty, after all.

Bish and Gerry came into the boys' room and looked at them.

"I don't know what happened, or why, but I know you two did something you aren't proud of, and you are thinking up ways to escape punishment." Gerry said.

"Darn," said Gavin.

"It sure is rough, having telepathic parents. Hey wait a minute; I thought you didn't read someone's mind without permission." Leon protested.

"Son, with all the guilt and regret you two were broadcasting, I doubt that there is a decent parent in the universe that couldn't have figured out that you were hiding something. There was no telepathy involved in our reading you guys." Bish remarked, grinning broadly. "Don't worry, boys. We aren't mad at you. I know you will tell us what you did, and we will all decide together, if you did something that you shouldn't have, and let you know if there will be any punishment. I am currently leaning towards not punishing you, because I think you punished yourselves with the two or three hours that you worried yourselves sick, before coming home and letting us know what you did, so I suggest that you do just that, right now, and get it over with."

Gerry and Bish were both smiling, which tended to worry Gavin and Leon more than if they had looked angry. How could they know what to say if they couldn't judge how their parents felt about things? It was all too new and confusing.

"Boys, You look like you are wondering what the least amount you can get away with telling us, which will satisfy our curiosity without getting you into more trouble. Am I right?" Gerry asked, still smiling at the two, oh so innocent boys.

"Ok," Gavin said, "I am thinking along the lines of 'the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth'. Does that cover it?"

"That is close enough for me." said Gerry. "Does that sound right to you, Bish, honey?"

"Yep!" Bish said, grinning just like Gerry was.

Bish and Gerry hadn't told the two kids about the message they got from Dorn, a few minutes ago, concerning the two bullies being attacked, and his thinking that just possibly, Leon and Gavin had had something to do with it. Just then Gerry happened to look down and saw the shredded clothing in the waste basket and noticed the smell of the rags. He signaled to Bish in a direct link and showed him what he had found. Bish cleared his throat.

"Boys, can you explain these strips of cloth that look remarkably like they used to be some sort of clothing, all wadded up here in the waste basket?"

"Do we have to?" asked Gavin, with the saddest expression on his face; his puppy dog eyes pleading for mercy.

"I think you will feel better once you have told us what happened." said Bish. "As you may know, the two bullies that chased you, Gavin, were attacked today and their clothes are missing. Their backs are scratched and they told a story of being attacked by two tigers. Does that ring any bells, guys?"

"Oh shit!" said Gavin.

"Yeah, what he said" said Leon.

"We couldn't help it." said Gavin. "They were chasing two little guys. The ones they were after were only eight or nine years old and were real little for their age, and they were real scared. We could both feel their fear. We did our best to soothe them, but Mark and Randy were not going to leave them alone, so Leon and I transformed ourselves into a couple of tigers, and we chased the bullies. Both of them ran like hell, but we out ran them pretty easily. We didn't intend to hurt them really. All we wanted to do was scare the heck out of them, and we did do that. We had them each on the ground, and we actually licked them on the back of their necks, which for some reason made them both spring forward, and since our claws were out, they both got raked by the claws, as they tried to get away. I think we may also have scratched them, while we ripped off their cloths. We thought it would be funny, if they were caught lying there naked on the tarmac."

"That part worked real good."

Bish and Gerry both looked at the boys and grinned. "I think you may have done the right thing, boys." said Gerry. "I don't know if you will get away with it completely, but, unless it causes a danger to someone, and I honestly can't think of how it would, we won't rat on you." he giggled. "By the way," said Bish, "You should have a nice long talk with Jamie and Del, and get instructions from them on hiding your thoughts, when you don't want someone to know what you are thinking. You two were so scared, you'd get caught, that you were broadcasting your whole adventure, and we couldn't help but 'hear' you. We love you and we will do our best to protect you, but I think you should think more carefully when you plan stuff like that. You could have hurt the boys badly, or you might even have killed them. I know you wouldn't have done it on purpose, but, please, try to be more careful in the future."

Gavin and Leon hugged their dads and thanked them.

"I suggest you go talk to Jamie and Del about what you did," said Gerry. "I think you should go over there now, if it is ok with them, and have a nice long talk with them."

Gavin and Leon, sent a message to Jamie and me, asking if they could come over and have a talk. Jamie and I told them to come on over.

Gavin and Leon didn't waste any time. They teleported themselves into our family room. They had only been there for a few minutes when the doorbell rang, and Dorn answered it. Gavin saw Linda standing at the door and started to greet her, but then he saw who she had with her and he froze.

"Oh no!" he thought. "Not them, how can this happen?" He 'spoke' silently to Leon, but Jamie 'heard' him, too. "It's them! It's Mark and Randy!! What are we going to do?!"

"Boys," Dorn called, "Please come over here; Mark and Randy are going to be staying here for a while, until things can be straightened out with their living arrangements. They have promised to behave themselves, and not cause any trouble, and I think we should give them a chance. Please try to forget what they have done in the past and try to start from scratch with them. No pun intended." Dorn looked pointedly at Gavin and Leon.

Mark and Randy slowly came over to Gavin and Leon, with their hands outstretched, ready to shake hands.

"Can you forgive us, for being such jerks?" Asked Mark.

"AH.... I...guess so," said Gavin. "But before we go any farther, I think there is something we need to have you forgive US for as well." Gavin looked at Leon, and Leon nodded. "I think Dorn already knows what we are going to tell you," said Leon, "I'm not sure how to tell you this, but once you know what we did, you might have second thoughts about having us as friends."

"Guys, You are starting to scare me," Said Randy.

"That is just it, Randy, We did scare you. We scared both of you. Leon scared you twice, and, together Leon and I scared you once." Gavin murmured. "I know you think we are full of it, but we can prove it, if you promise not to get scared when we show you. I promise that we won't hurt you."

"Linda, I'm sorry that we did what we did, and I hope you will forgive us, too." Leon said, hanging his head.

"Alright, boys, I think you had better show us what you are talking about." said Dorn.

Everyone froze in place as first Leon and then Gavin began to shimmer and disappear to be replaced by two tigers. Leon slowly padded over to Dorn and put his big head under Dorn's arm. He began to purr loudly as Dorn began to ruffle the fur on the back of his huge head. Gavin padded over to Linda, nuzzling her in a similar manner and receiving a similar treatment to that which Leon was getting.

"So it was you two that attacked these two boys, wasn't it?" Linda asked and Gavin nodded his big head up and down in assent. "Thank you for telling us, boys. That helps a great deal on a couple of fronts. For one thing, it proves that Randy and Mark were telling the truth, and It tells me that you two have integrity. There was no way that we would have suspected that the attacking animals were you two boys. Only your consciences were involved in making that known. I am proud of you for telling us. Now would you please change back for us?"

"Wait," said Randy, "Gavin, would you please come over here to me?"

Gavin walked over to randy and nuzzled him. Randy petted Gavin and rubbed his ears as Gavin purred contentedly. "I have always wanted to do that," Randy said. "I have seen Lions and Tigers in the zoo before and I always wished I could pet one. Thank you for letting me do that." Gavin lay down on the floor with his belly up in the air and his feet straight up and continued to purr. Randy sat down on the floor and began to rub Gavin's tummy. As the grown ups watched, the two, Randy and Gavin lay there together, arms and paws intertwined. It was so cute.

Mark looked at Leon, and asked, "Leon, would you cuddle with me like those two are doing?"

Leon lay down by Mark, and mark lay down with him. Both boys were content to lie with their new friends. Randy and Mark were giving and getting love, probably for the first time in their young lives.

I was simply amazed to feel the emotions that were emanating from Mark and Randy. These were the same two boys that had made life miserable for the little kids at school all semester. Here they were cuddling two of the people that they had been tormenting. It was beautiful.

When Ellen came in from the kitchen, I thought she was going to faint. She asked what was going on, and we had to explain to her who the boys and tigers were.

"Ok everyone," she said. I think we need to have you all get up and get ready for dinner. You are all invited to have dinner with us tonight, but, Gavin and Leon, would you please change back, I don't have enough raw meat to feed your tiger bodies tonight." she grinned.

The boys all got up and Gavin and Leon changed back to boys.

"I don't know, Ellen, We can eat quite a bit when we are boys, too. They said at about the same time, and everyone laughed.

Randy and Mark looked at Gavin and Leon and they all hugged each other.

"Thanks for stopping us from hurting the kids, guys." said Mark.

"Yeah, Thanks," said Randy. "We really started thinking about what we were doing to ourselves, as well as others, once you stopped us and we got sent to the office. The amazing thing was that when we told Jenkins that we were attacked by tigers, he told us he believed us. I figured that no one would believe us, but he did and he told us he would give us a chance to change and get away from our fathers. We had no idea what it would be like here, but anything was better than what it was like at home, so we agreed to try it."

"Wait a minute. You said you scared us twice. What was the other time?"

"Ah... Yeah...well..." Leon said, "do you remember when you thought you saw a lion behind Gavin?"

"Well, that was me."

"Oh, yes, I remember. You scared the shit out of us, literally, that day." Randy chuckled.

"Yes, we noticed," said Leon.

"I want to ask you a question, Randy," said Gavin. "Are you and Mark together, as a couple?" You don't have to answer me if you don't want to."

"I'll answer you, Gavin. Yes we are a couple, but we were not out to anyone till this moment. I guess we can trust you two, since you seem to have as many secrets as we do. Part of why we were acting like we were was to be more macho, so we could hide how we felt."

"The reason I asked was that I wasn't sure about how you two felt about it, since almost everyone in the house here is gay. I didn't want it to come as a surprise and have you freak out, when you found out." Gavin told him.

Linda came over to the boys, and said, "I am going to get back to my office. Will you two boys be ok here?"

"Yes, I feel more comfortable here than I ever have before in my whole life. Even the tigers don't scare me anymore." Randy said, smiling.

"It sure is nice to see you smiling, Randy." Linda beamed, "I will be in touch, and if you ever feel you need to talk to me, feel free to call me on my cell phone. I gave you the number, so use it if you want to. I wouldn't have given it to you if I didn't want you to call me. I mean it."

Linda walked to the door and waved good-bye to everyone.

As she left, Leon said silently to Gavin, "If I were straight, I might go after her, she is so nice, and she is good looking, too, for a girl."

"I 'heard' that, Leon," Linda giggled in their heads, "Thanks. You guys are great."

"Randy and Mark, if you will follow me, I will show you your room. I hope you don't mind sharing a room." Dorn told the boys. "I think it is just about time that we added a new wing to this place. We seem to keep getting new kids on a regular basis." he grinned. "There are two beds in here, but if you would rather share, we could change it for one king size one, I'll leave it up to you two boys to decide. Let me know when you decide."

"Ok. Dr. Dorn," said Mark, as his eyes bugged out, looking at all the kid friendly stuff in the room. There was a large screen TV with a DVD player/recorder, a game unit and a large box of games to go in it, and of course to top it all off, there was a computer, sitting on the desk, with a good sized LCD screen and a game controller connected to it.

"It's connected to the high speed Internet connection." Dorn told them. "I will not put any restrictions on your access. Please use it responsibly, and I won't even consider blocking any sites. If you have any questions, just ask us, and we will do our best to help you. I think you will like being here, and if you boys are kind and treat others with respect, then we will all get along just fine. Now, feel free to explore anywhere you like. Oh, let me make a slight modification on the statement I just made, Please don't go into anyone of the boys' rooms without asking them first. All public areas are available to everyone, but each boy can and does have his own area, and that area is not to be broached by anyone, including the adults, without asking permission first, and receiving it. There is no question you can ask, that is out of bounds. I won't guarantee that I will know all the answers, but I will do my best to find out what the answers are that I don't know, and when I find out, I will tell you, as best I can." said Dorn.

"I promise that I will never get mad at you for asking questions. I never have and I never will. One more rule that is an absolute: No one in this house is allowed to lie. That includes the adults." Dorn smiled warmly. "I don't count, your not telling me something as a lie, by the way," Dorn told them, "You always have the right to keep things to yourself, but if you do tell me something, though, please make sure that you are not lying. I consider something to be a lie when the person telling the lie knows that what he is saying is not true, so just because something is not true, doesn't necessarily mean that it is a lie." Dorn grinned as he continued, "Oh, yes, I know this is probably overwhelming right now, and I don't intend to do that to you, but, I keep thinking of things that I think you should know. I am not unreasonable, and if you do something that is against the rules, and you actually can explain why you did it, there have been times that there were no punishments given, so if you do mess up, just let me know what happened, and I suspect things will still work out alright.

"If you tell me that you did something wrong, I will be a lot more forgiving, than I will if I find out about it some other way, and you haven't told me in a reasonable amount of time." Dorn looked at the new boys for a minute, and said, "Yes, as a matter of fact, unless you try very hard, and practice a lot, your thoughts manage to slip out into the atmosphere pretty quickly, and most everyone here can detect them." Dorn saw a question forming in Mark's mind. "Mark, I will not dig into your mind. That is called mind reading. We do not do that to anyone without their permission. The mind is a private place, just like your room is a private place, but just like the case of you bringing a toy or something else out into the main living area, where everything should be considered sharable, if you think out loud, so to speak, making your thoughts broadcast like you are doing now, for instance, you just said to yourself that mind reading is a bunch of bull crap. You didn't actually think the word crap though. You are also wondering what kind of loony bin you have gotten yourself into." Dorn shrugged. "I honestly can't answer that very well, because, as far as I know, we aren't all that loony. We all have talents, most of which can be taught to anyone, like the ability to pick up thoughts, and the ability to change your shape, to whatever you want it to be. You have seen that one in action recently, haven't you?" Dorn giggled again. "As I told you, I think you will like being here. It will never be boring, I promise you that."

End Notes: Well, I think that is enough of my story telling for now. There is still more to tell, but Darryl keeps asking if he can have the computer back, so they can get the station working again, so I think this is as good a stopping point as any, right now.

I hope you liked it.


Editors Notes: Well Del and RR you took off in a direction I never expected. "Making Friends"??? A very interesting turn of phrase. I now can say I have absolutely no idea where you are going with this, but I definitely want to go along for the ride and see a lot more of this story.


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