The characters and situations described in this story are either fictitious or are being portrayed in an alternate caricature to persons in this timeline and/or universe, and in no way portray the actual person's beliefs or actions. The entire contents of this story are the sole result of the author consuming way too much caffeine and typing without supervision, and should not be taken as the thoughts, views, or actions of any living, sane person. All locations are used fictitiously, and in no way represent any actual locations or businesses of the same name. Characters by Jeff P are used with or without his permission, just because he decided to not be on voice chat while I was writing this. This author is not responsible for nightmares or mental illness brought about by reading this story. The editor is solely to blame for the story's premise; all negative emails will be forwarded to him. The valium is in the third drawer to the left.




NYSS Fahgedaboudid, Somewhere in the Omega Sector:


Fourteen-year-old Simon Saez looked out the bridge viewport at the expanse of stars. Shaking his head at the lack of movement, he turned around to review the status of the ship's systems which were actually still working.

As he scanned the science station, he felt the still-unfamiliar sensation of arms wrapping around him from behind. "Sorry, Simon, it looks like the cryogenic units crashed when the engine did."

"I guess that makes us the adults, don't it, Freddy?" Simon replied to the identical redhead holding him. "At least we'll be okay for a long time; life support says with the current population, we should be safe for about two hundred years as long as nothing else blows up. I'm just not looking forward to being a parent to almost two hundred kids; it really sucks that the adults were all in the propulsion section trying to stop the runaway when the safeties ejected it."

"Don't you ever smile, Simon?" the eleven-year-old younger version of the pair asked as he joined them. "You ain't smiled since we left that Denny's planet where you found me and Freddy."

"Sorry, Damon;" Simon replied, "I've just been around too many adults with no sense of humor too long. I guess running a colony ship makes them too serious; right now, the three of us are the oldest ones left, so I'm having trouble being happy.

Damon shook his head with a grin. "You found us and got us away from that slaver. We'll just have to give you reasons to be happy. I didn't wait all my life for another big brother to have to put up with a grump!"

"Neither one of us even knew Simon existed!" Freddy sniggered. "How could you have been waiting to meet him, Damon?"

"Ask our author," Damon grinned, "but don't expect it to make sense!"

"He's got a point," Simon laughed. "What are the little guys doing, Damon?"

"Playing tag with Gary the Turkey," Damon snickered. "I think the nanny-bots are about to give up on settling them down."

"Good, those nanny-bots are a pain!" Simon replied, allowing a smile. "I was soooooooo glad to graduate from their 'care'!"

"I'm glad we never had to deal with them," Freddy stated. "At least we had humans at the orphanage."




Simon thought back to his discovery on the planet they'd left just over a month ago. Somehow over the eons, the entire planet had been taken over by the local Denny's franchise expanding. The result of this was a Denny's known throughout the quadrant as the place to stop when in the region, as it had everything needed to occupy all ages. Simon had just finished a visit to the Grand Slam Amusement Center, and was picking up a triple order of Pancakes Puppies to munch on at the stand outside the gate, when a young tween ran up and gave him a hug as he asked "Can I have some too, Freddy?"

Turning his head to look at the unexpected visitor, Simon found a younger version of himself looking up at him hopefully. "I'm Simon, I don't know who Freddy is," Simon replied, "but I'll share with you if you can tell me why you look just like me!"

"I'll try," the boy giggled. "Thanks, I'm Damon."

Just then, a voice announced from the crowd "Damon! Where'd you run off to this ti... HOLY CRAP!"

Damon and Simon turned to see an EXACT duplicate of Simon standing with his mouth hanging open, staring at the pair.

"Freddie! This is Simon; c'mon, we're having Pancake Puppies!" Damon announced, obviously not concerned that he was with a stranger.

Gathering his senses, the teen, obviously Freddy, jogged over to them. "Little bro, we're not going to get free of those buttheads if you keep running off," he admonished as he came to a stop next to them.

"Neither of you are going anywhere but with me until I find out why we look like brothers," Simon stated, smiling to show it wasn't a dangerous threat. "C'mon, as soon as the order's ready, we'll stop by the medical center here; I've been training to be the next doc on our ship, so I should have enough to say to get some answers."

Sensing a possible escape route to their current dilemma, Freddy nodded his head. "I'm kinda curious about that too."

By the time they reached the medical center, Simon had found out that the pair had slipped away from the group that some slavers were transporting. Fully aware of the rumors of what would be in store for them, he'd already decided to ensure they both had a ride away from here; if the tests he wanted to run came back the way he expected them to, that would be a whole lot easier. As expected, his credentials were enough to get a deep genetic test done; an hour later, it was confirmed that all three boys were genetic brothers. Freddy was his twin, and Damon was their younger brother.

With that information, Simon was able to get records unlocked that had been sealed. He and Freddy had been given up for adoption at birth, but were separated before they could be adopted. Damon was brought into the system when their mother died during childbirth, unintentionally ending up in the same orphanage as Freddy. An alert worker had caught the relationship, flagging them as brothers in the system. After a call to the Captain, he had the joy of informing his newfound brothers that their worries were over; once the Captain had reviewed his report, he was ordered to bring his brothers onboard and to get them registered in the systems.


End Flashback


"I know that look," Freddy grinned, "Flashback, huh?"

"Yeah, the author just told the readers how we met," Simon nodded. "Where were we?"

"Page fourteen," Damon replied. "You wanna go see if the kids tagged Gary yet?"

"Seven to nine-year-olds chasing a turkey?" Simon laughed, "Yeah, I have GOT to see this!"

Investigating a console that had started flashing, Freddy looked up. "Simon? The ship's computer has just completed a ship-wide scan. You're the senior officer onboard, it wants to know if you wish to transfer from Medical to Command to take the Captain designation, or if you want to pass it to the next in line. According to this, I'm the next in line!"

"Yeah," Simon nodded, "This ship is set to pass down along family lines. If neither of us takes it, Damon gets it. I really think I need to stick with Medical, and you've already shown that you can make good command decisions by how you got yourself and Damon safe. You up to taking it? If not, I'll do it, since it wouldn't be fair to Damon to stick him with something he's never had to deal with."

"I can't say that I want to, but when you put it that way it makes sense for me to do it," Freddy replied seriously. "You're right, you can't be a doctor and also in command, if things go nuts, and we really need what you've been trained for. I'll do it."

"I wonder if our Mom ever imagined that you'd be the Captain of a ship, and I'd be the Chief Medical Officer?" Simon grinned. "Damon, we'll put you down as Chief Engineer; that way we keep it in the family, okay bro?"

Damon nodded. "Sweet! That means I'll get to really learn how stuff works!"




Recreation Deck:


Damon barely skidded to a stop when the door to the recreation deck access failed to open automatically. Before either of his brothers caught up, he tried his freshly minted title. "Computer, command Security override on Recreation Room access. Chief Engineer Damon Saez, Override code Seventeen Alpha Twelve Stingray."

"Override Acknowledged," the speaker by the door replied just as Simon and Freddy joined Damon.

"We've created a monster!" Freddy laughed as they followed Damon into the entry foyer, Damon grinning widely at successfully gaining access without help.

Once in the door, they found one of the nanny-bots blocking the entry into the recreation room being used by the children onboard. "This is getting to be a pain," Freddie commented, preparing himself to order access.

Before he could say anything, Simon stated "Nanny Unit, explain the reason for full lockdown."

"No adults have been detected onboard for twenty hours, Doctor."

"I shoulda known," Simon muttered. "I hate to say it Freddy, but you're the only one that can override ship-wide. I'd say just do a blanket for command staff, and we'll get with you if we need to add someone later."

Rolling his eyes, Freddy took a deep breath then stated "Computer, this is the Captain. Prepare for permanent Command Override."

"Acknowledged. Authenticate."

"Captain Freddy May Saez, Authentication Charlie Delta Eight Four Seven Golf Tango Hotel."

"You have authenticated, proceed."

"Permanent override. In all situations, anyone registered as Command Staff of this vessel shall be defined as an adult no matter their age. All age restrictions are to be disregarded for Command Staff. Acknowledge and execute."

"Acknowledged. Command Staff now included in definition of adults. Age restrictions on Command Staff access ship-wide are now lifted."

"Release lockdown." Freddy added.

"Lockdown released on Captain's orders."

"Terminate Command Session," Freddy stated with relief, noticing the nanny-bot had now moved out of the doorway.

"Acknowledged, Captain."

"Dang, you're good!" Simon grinned. "If I didn't know better, I'd think you were trained for this!"

"That's how I got us away from the slavers," Freddy explained. "I watched them giving the computer orders, and imitated them to get us on a planet where we could slip away."

"How'd you get around the voiceprint security?" Simon asked.

"Slavers are cheap and lazy;" Freddy grinned. "They always used the same codes, so I figured out their system only matched content, not the inflection."




An hour later:


Simon, Freddy, Damon, and Gary the Turkey watched as the last of the kids were brought into the Auditorium on the Recreation Deck. Before any of the three boys could open their mouths, Gary waddled forward and began clucking, warbling, and making noises that defied description as he pointed to each of the three on stage with one of his wings. The strange part is that the kids in the audience seemed to be following along, as they spontaneously broke into giggles at various parts of the introduction.

Having taken the chance to observe the crowd of white-blond seven- to nine-year-olds, Freddy stepped forward once Gary waddled back to join them. "Thank you, Gary. Just in case some of you are still learning Turkey, I'm Freddy, the new Captain of the ship. Most of you know my twin brother Simon, and a few of you have met our brother Damon. Simon's now the Chief Medical Officer, and Damon is the Chief Engineer. Any of you that have been taking classes to learn jobs on the ship, let the nanny-bots know that you want to see whichever of us is in charge of that area, and we'll see if there are ways that you can help us out."

"The good news is that we're all safe, and we can't find anything wrong that could hurt any of us. Right now, the ship has no drive section, but I bet that we can come up with something if we all work together. Give us a few days to see what we have to work with, then we can all put our heads together to make a plan."

"What if you can't find anything?" someone yelled.

"Then we try to make something anyway," Freddy replied. "The only way that we don't make it is if we don't try." he added, sweeping his arms around to make it clear that the 'we' included every single person in the room. "Don't forget, tomorrow is Thanksgiving; I expect to see every single one of you on D deck for dinner!"

"We get to eat with you?" another kid asked warily.

"If anyone tries to stop you, tell them you're following Captain's Orders," Freddie stated. "In fact, from now on, we ALL eat together on D deck, for all meals."

"Don't worry about the Nanny-bots," Damon added. "I'll make sure their instructions are modified once we're done here."

"Also," Simon stated, "just as soon as we've checked everything out ship-wide, I'll start on the physicals for all of you to allow you to spread out into the old crew's berthing. There's no reason that you should be packed in the dorms when we have all this space. I'll be talking to each of you as we do the physical, so we can discuss your comfort levels on the possibility."




The next day:


Freddy led his brothers out of the lift into the D deck lobby, waving at the semi-transparent group in the waiting area holding 'Coffee Discrimination!' picket signs. "That's not helping you get a table, guys!" Freddy grinned as they walked up to the wait stand.

"At least our author doesn't leave us waiting for a table even after we've died!" Damon giggled.

"Don't give him any ideas!" Freddy and Simon chorused in unison.

"Guys, get back to the script, please," an omnipresent voice instructed from out of nowhere.

"Spoilsport!" Damon muttered, then yelped as he suddenly found himself the victim of an Atomic Wedgie out of nowhere.

"How'd he do that, I'm going commando!" Damon complained as the robotic waitress noticed them.

"Welcome to Denny's, Captain. Please be aware that the turkey products served today have been certified by Gary as never having been alive. The reserved table for your party is ready if you will follow me."

"I think you guys are going to like this," Simon stated, "These guys really outdo themselves. I haven't had Thanksgiving in the other restaurants onboard ever since I tried it here!"

Freddy's reply was delayed by a barely seven-year-old boy who softly asked "Captain, Sir?"

Freddy stopped and turned, only to find four identical boys at the table they were passing, three of whom were staring at the fourth in horror. Deducing that the fourth was the one who spoke, Freddy knelt down to his level and asked "What's up, little guy?"

"Why are you being nice?" the boy asked warily. "The other captain was never nice to us, he called us all freaks."

"You're people just like we are," Freddy stated calmly. "What are your names?"

"I'm Batch Seventy, Specimen Four," the boy replied softly. "We're not allowed to have people names."

The already-silent dining area got even quieter, so Freddy's next words were heard by all. "It doesn't matter who told you that, they were wrong. As Captain, I order that every single living person on this ship is allowed to have what you called 'people names', and order that all resources available to assist all of you with choosing your real name be made available immediately. My word is given. By any chance, are the four of you the youngest?"

"Yes, Sir," all four replied.

"Do it," Simon encouraged from where him, Damon, and the waitress-bot had stopped to wait for Freddy.

Seeing that his twin was on the same wavelength, Freddy stated "To start things off, all four of you need to start calling me Daddy, not Sir or Captain." After taking the hand of the boy that had stopped him, Freddy continued "As the first one of the younger members of the crew to speak up, I think that your name should be Adam Saez."

After pulling the first of his shocked new sons into a cuddle, Freddy pointed at each of the other three. "Brian, Charlie, and David Saez. Now you have names, so get over here and cuddle with your brother. All four of you are eating at the same table as the rest of your new family, okay?"

Freddy got his answer from the eight arms latching onto him as all four boys wordlessly expressed their thoughts on the matter. Simon climbed onto a chair, then stated "The rest of you, you already have the okay to use the last name Saez if you want; I'm giving you the approval to use it. Talk it over with your tablemates while we're all here eating, if you decide on a name, just state out loud 'Computer, my name is ...' and it will be official."

"The children are not to speak during the meal," multiple nanny-bots stated in unison from around the perimeter of the room.

The entire room was shocked as Simon replied to the challenge. "Computer, on order of the Chief Medical Officer, all nanny-bots are to be recalled to Engineering Storage and put into standby. Log that they are not to be re-activated until such time as the program code that allowed them to countermand an order of the Ship's Medical Officer is isolated and repaired."

"Acknowledged, Doctor," the ship's computer replied as the nanny-bots filed out of the dining area.

"Now that we've fixed that problem," Simon quipped, "it looks like you older kids might have to help take care of the younger kids for a while. If you need to ask questions on what to do, you can ask any of us if nobody you know has answers. I have a good idea about what some of the courses you all had to take consist of; you're probably more prepared to be parents than most non-enhanced adults. If you form families, just let us know so that we can arrange for you to have family living quarters. If you were seated by the bots based on your birth group, you can ignore it and sit wherever you want, and talk to each other while we are all eating."

Damon turned to the waitress-bot and asked "Were they given any choice as to what they could eat?"

"We were told they could have water, nothing more," the waitress-bot replied.

"Override," Damon stated, "Unless countermanded by a member of the Ship's Command Staff in person, the full menu is to be made available to every single one of them to choose from. Waitstaff are authorized to assist with them making decisions as to appropriate quantities."

"Yes, Sir. Central Dispatch has acknowledged your orders and has updated the instructions in all sectors of the Nutritional Services Department."

"Thank-you," Damon smiled.

Simon, having overheard Damon, added to his announcement. "When we told you that we wanted you to be here, it wasn't to watch us eat, it was to share a meal with ALL of us. Damon just made sure that you ALL get the same choices we do for food and drinks. Let the waitstaff help you decide what to order, they're running a really good program that will make it easier for you until you get used to doing it yourself."

"Doctor?" the waitress-bot interrupted, "The prep department has suggested a buffet layout would possibly be more efficient for this initial meal."

"I think they're right," Simon nodded. "Proceed."

"The adjustment has been made; it is estimated that the initial servings will be available in ten minutes."

"That should give Gary just enough time to explain it!" Simon grinned. "Thank you."



With the help of the kid's favorite wayward turkey, the serving of the initial round of food went fairly smoothly with very few incidents. Once the line cleared, Freddy noticed that it seemed everyone was waiting for something.

Realizing what it was, he stood up and stated "Thanksgiving is a celebration of surviving hardships. Every single one of us here is alive because the adults sacrificed themselves to save us. While I'm sure that each of us is thankful for that, we've all got our own personal things, too. I'm thankful for my twin brother, Simon, who made sure that Damon and I had someplace to go. I'm thankful for Damon, who can be a pain, but found our brother and started the ball rolling. I'm thankful for the four boys who I now proudly call my sons, four boys who I get to watch as they grow and learn to be real people instead of what they were being forced to act like. Most of all, I'm thankful for this entire room full of boys and girls that I became responsible for; a group which I'm going to do my best to help to find the joy I've found. They say that every person on a ship is the Captain's family; Right now, I'm looking at almost two hundred of my younger family members, and I am thankful for each and every one of you. That's enough talking, let's eat!"

Within seconds of the first forkful of food hitting Freddy's mouth, the room was filled with the sound of utensils being used and young voices in conversation, voices that were almost defiant as they engaged in something that they had never been allowed to do before.

Just as dessert was finishing, everything seemed to freeze except Simon, Damon, Freddy, and Freddy's four boys. Seconds later, a kid with purple hair appeared in front of the table. "You guys were a pain in the neck to find!" the boy stated with a mischievous grin. "It took me almost a minute!"

"Who are you?" Simon asked warily.

"Dylan Richardson, at your service! You can just call me Dilly though, everyone else does."

"Okay, now how about why and how are you here, and what's happened to the kids?" Freddy asked protectively.

"Don't worry," Dylan stated, "they're just at a different speed of Time temporarily; they'll never notice it. I've been given the job of trying to save your timeline by Someone who is kinda up there on the Galactic scale. Ya' see, all these kids were made to try to eliminate quite a bit of diversity in this timeline. The people behind it are being dealt with by my brothers and cousins. The two people who held the knowledge of how to do what they did died when your engines failed. When these kids hit puberty, they'll gain the ability to travel across Universes like I do, but they're supposed to be trained as conquerors just before that happens. That can't be allowed, so I'm here to give you a choice."

"Considering the stunts you're pulling, I'll believe you," Freddy stated.

Dylan nodded. "Choice number one is that I take all of you back with me to my home Universe and Timeline. We've got friends there that can help the ones that you haven't adopted yet to undo the wrongs they've already been taught, and teach them the interuniversal rules for the skills they'll develop. You, your sons, and your brothers will live where I do, and I'll personally help you with your boys so they can be the best they can."

"That sounds good, what are the other choices?" Simon asked. 

"Choice two is that I destroy that ability in all of them, even your nephews, and I leave you adrift to be found by whoever runs across the ship," Dylan stated seriously. "Choice three? If you don't agree to either of the other two, I go back and the big RESET button gets pushed for this Universe ... all of it, every timeline. That's the only choices I'm allowed to give you."

The looks on all seven faces expressed the general disbelief of Dylan's statements, so Dylan broke out his secret weapon to prove that he had the power to do just what he had stated; he 'decloaked'. Instantly, the shield of neutral energy that protected the rest of the Universe from his basic composition became visible, swirling and sparkling around the basic shape of his body. "I could spit on the deck here and start a chain reaction that only God can stop. It would destroy everything before you could sense it. My race is one of the Four that is tasked with preventing Time and Timelines from being corrupted. We have no sense of humor on that task."

At the word 'we', four more people appeared behind Dylan, all of whom wore expressions that would make the Pope confess to all seven deadly sins. Three of them stood back with their arms crossed; an eight-year-old with long brown hair and glowing purple eyes, a ten-year-old ginger with green-brown eyes, and a seven-year-old with yellow-blond hair and glowing yellow eyes. The fourth, who appeared to be a six-year-old, with yellow hair and orange eyes, moved up and took position next to Dylan.

"The Council awaits your verdict, Your Honor." the yellow-haired boy stated flatly.

Freddy now had four leeches attached to him, while Simon was finding out just how tightly Damon could squeeze. Any doubt either teen might have had about Dylan's capability to follow through on his veiled threat in the second two options was long gone; now their biggest worry was if they had taken too long to decide.

"Is option one still open?" Freddy asked nervously after exchanging looks with Simon.

Back to 'normal', Dylan nodded. "Yes, and you are accepted. Councilors, asylum has been chosen. All those onboard are to join the Archnanians with the exception of those in the bubble. The seven present shall be trained as the leaders of their species by myself and my family on Terra. Doctor Short, you may proceed with the required adjustments."

"The Council of Time accepts your verdict, Your Honor," 'Doctor Short' replied. "King Kyle, you're with me; it's time you learned how to mass split a group from the past actions of their timeline. Prince Quint; once we're done, take Prince Chance with you. Sterilize the Timeline of whatever led to this genetic modification existing. Dylan, stabilize your group to Alpha Prime."

"Freddy, Gary says he'll meet us all on Archnania to help everyone settle in," Dylan stated. "He's already headed that way."

"Oh, great," Chance giggled. "He's going to wear out the saplings again!"

"They enjoyed it, kiddo," Dylan giggled.

"I know, Dad," Chance laughed. "It looks like Doc's almost done, I'll be back, save some food for me!"

As Chance and Quint vanished, Dylan turned his attention to his new charges. "You little guys need to let go of the big guys for a couple of minutes. I've got to make sure each of you are separate from the timeline here, or you'll vanish once Quint and Chance start their part. You might feel a tickle, but it's not going to hurt at all, I was taught by the same being that made me the judge today."

Damon took the hint, but the younger four were hesitant. Freddy gave them a smile as he coaxed "You heard Dylan, guys. I just adopted you, I don't want to lose you already. I'll be right here keeping you safe."

"Okay," Adam whispered as he let go and slowly made one step towards Dylan.

"You know," Dylan smiled, "Since you're the same age as me, I think it might work better if we give each other a hug while I help fix you up."

Adam nodded shyly, then slowly walked over to be in front of Dylan. "You promise not to hurt me?" he asked softly.

"I only hurt bad guys," Dylan replied. "If you were bad, I wouldn't have been able to offer for you to come home with me."

"Okay," Adam replied as he allowed himself to be pulled into Dylan's open arms.

The other six watched warily as a purple glow surrounded the pair for a few seconds. Once the glow faded, they gave each other a squeeze, and then Adam headed back to Freddy with a smile on his face.

"Freddy?" Dylan asked.


"While I was re-aligning him with my home, I found a goof in his modified genetics that would have shortened his lifespan... a lot. I've already fixed Adam. I'm going to tell my Dad, so he can check the rest of the guys out there; I'll check all of you, since you three redheads have been modified too."

"Thanks for telling me," Freddy replied, obviously surprised.

"You think we might have it too?" Simon asked. "I didn't even know that we were modified, and I have been trained to be the ship's doctor!"

Dylan tilted his head for about thirty seconds, then spoke. "I just told Chance to grab a full image of every person and computer they run across before they start cleanup. Uncle Quint says thanks for the info; he's going to use a different track to find the beginning of this now."

"Is it that serious?" Simon wondered.

"Serious enough that everyone on this ship might possibly be the only sentient survivors of your Timeline," Dylan explained. "This could possibly affect most of the advanced lifeforms in this region, mattering how much information was shared. Brian, you're next; I need to hurry so that we're ready for Uncle Quint to start."

Taking the warnings Dylan had stated seriously, the rest of the group quickly took their turns. Just as Dylan finished the last one, Doctor Short and King Kyle reappeared in the bubble.

"Good catch, Dilly," Kyle stated. "We got all of the boys straightened out, so they're good to go. The ship is in a forced-locked branch now, so no matter what Quint and Chance do, we're safe from time waves."

Dylan thought for a second, then asked "Shouldn't we move up a plane? I got a gut feeling this is going to go deeper than genetics."

"Oh crap!" both Kyle and the Doctor groaned in unison. Seconds later, everyone felt a lurch in their stomachs as their reality seemed to flash for an instant. "That should do it," Kyle stated.

"What just happened?" Freddy asked warily.

"We just shifted the entire ship outside of Time," Kyle explained. "When something's done like causing a person not to do something in the past, it creates a 'wave' that affects everything up to the current time. Dylan's better than all of the rest of us at 'feeling' possible waves, so if he gets a gut feeling, all of us listen. My guess is that something Quint is planning is going to cause this ship to not exist in the timeline you were in; we just pulled it into the space between Universes so the wave can't affect it."

"Once Quint and Chance get back," the Doctor added, "we'll grab a bite to eat; that food looks great! After that, we'll head to Archnania, get the kids all settled in, and then Dylan will take you to your new home."

"We need to make sure that the Timeline is stable," Kyle explained. "If it's not, because of the changes from the waves, we'll have to terminate it ourselves. It's not fun, but we can't let an unstable timeline continue."

Quint popped in just as Kyle was finishing. Nodding at Kyle, he then turned to the Doctor. "Doctor, Chance is just about done transferring archives to Archnania for evaluation. I have located the key person that led to this situation. I project that any manipulation of him is going to cause a seventy percent timeline stability crisis. May I have Council permission to terminate the timeline at his birth?"

"Proceed, Prince of the Realms," Dylan stated firmly.

"It appears my opinion doesn't matter," the Doctor smiled as he shook his head. "Dilly's still under Mandate; you have your approval."

"Hold on to your heads," Quint warned, "This one's gonna hurt, even with being outside the line."

"I'll try to block the echoes," the Doctor stated. "Good luck." He then turned his head to Dylan, "Dilly, drop your bubble; I'm going to need to put a shell around all of us to protect the little ones."

Dylan nodded, returning them to normal time. Without prompting, Freddy got the room's attention. "Everyone, something's about to happen that might make your head hurt a little, something like a headache. If it doesn't go away quickly, hold up your hand and these new guys will see if they can help you."

"Dylan?" Simon asked, "Is this the kind of things that Freddy's boys were created to cause?"

"Yeah," Dylan nodded.

"I see what you meant about taking it seriously," Simon admitted. "What do you think me, Freddy, and Damon were modified for? Why isn't it in our records?"

"Chance might have found the answer to your last question," Dylan stated, "Ask him when we're on Archnania. As far as your first question, there's a reason the three of you stepped up so easily to take control; you were bred for command. I did some checking before I popped in here, and the engine failure was fake; you were abandoned. Since the occupants of the engine pod were advanced humans like all of you, they fell under my judgement. The explosion was real; they were terminated for willfully abandoning you in a way that endangered your lives, along with other crimes."

Before Simon could reply, Chance popped in with five redheaded six-year-olds. "Simon, they're cousins and need a parent; tag, you're it. Gotta run, Quint's about to start. Dilly, you have about three minutes to align them, I already explained it to them. Be back soon!" Chance then vanished once again.

"He's YOUR son, Dilly!" Kyle and the Doctor exclaimed before falling into laughter.

"Bite me!" Dylan shot back. "Guys, let's get your alignments done, then we can talk over the rest with Simon."

"Okay," all five chorused in unison. Just over a minute later, their alignments and genetic repairs complete, they lined up in front of Simon. "Medical Team Oscar reporting for duty, Sir," they stated in unison.

"I handled introductions on their end," Dylan explained. "Simon, from your left to right, they are Bruce, Frank, Casey, Devin, and Ashton."

"Thanks, Dylan," Simon acknowledged. "Okay, Ashton, why don't you fill me in on what you guys were told by Chance?"

Ashton stated "He said that since you did so good as a Doctor, the labs used your stored genetics to make us in our mommy. He told us that you're going to a new home, and we could go with you."

Simon nodded. "That means that you are already my sons, so the next time any of you call me 'sir', I get to tickle you until you pee. I will answer to Daddy just as well, and it'll make me a lot happier to hear."

Overjoyed at being accepted, all five identical boys performed a five-way-hug with their real father. Smiling at the sight, Freddy told his sons "It looks like you guys just gained some cousins!"

"We're allowed to be related to Rulers?" David asked.

"I'll tell you guys something Dylan told me while we were fixing me," Freddy explained. "The color of someone's hair doesn't make them better than you, no matter what the nanny-bots were teaching you. We're all the same, and none of us is better than another just because of their looks. Since Simon's a Doctor, he wasn't taught that there's a difference, so he's never going to think that way. Me and Damon never got that in our training either, so we never considered you any different than we are."

David stared into Freddy's eyes for a full minute, then stated "You really mean it, don't you, Daddy?"

"With all of my heart, Son," Freddy replied. "I hope that the rest of the kids here learn that, too."

"They all heard you," Kyle giggled. "You'll always be their Captain after what you've done, Freddy. You saying they were taught wrong is being taken seriously by every single one of them, so I'm sure they'll be able to adjust easier now."

Just then, every person there felt a 'pop' in their heads for a brief instant, followed by a headache that vanished quickly for most of them. A few of the older kids that were not adopted raised their hands, which set the Doctor in motion to help them. Quint popped in to help the Doctor, while Chance joined Dilly so he could check on the boys he dropped off.

"Sorry for running off," Chance apologized, "there's a lot to do when you have to prune like that!"

"We figured that out," Freddy replied. "Simon's getting to know his kids; thanks for saving his sons."

"They were a new line that was started, they were the only ones so far," Chance explained. "Their growth was accelerated by the lab big time; I had to do some healing before I brought them, and then Dad did the rest. Their first four years were done in four months."

"Chance?" Simon asked, "I know Dylan said to wait, but can you tell me why it wasn't in our records that we were modified?"

Chance seemed to think for a second, then replied "Since we're outside where your timeline used to be, it's safe for me to answer that now. Legally, none of you three exist; the records were made up to cover you. This was set up before your birth; the three of you were supposed to be put in charge of this group to lead them to their mission. The slavers almost broke that, but Damon finding you put their plan on track again. Not realizing that Freddy and Damon never got the indoctrination they were supposed to, the plan was put into action once all three of you were together again. That's the event we felt, which brought us all here. The rest we can talk about later, but that's the basics - your false records didn't say anything because it would reveal the plan."

"Okay," Simon acknowledged. "I think it's better if I think about that before I ask more anyway."

"Everyone's all set, let's eat!" the Doctor stated as he rejoined them.

"Hey everyone!" Freddy yelled, "The food's been restocked, you're good to go for round two!"

What followed could only be described as mass hysteria, as roughly two hundred kids took servings of what THEY wanted, piled high to ensure they got as much as they thought they could eat. The visitors held their own, with Dylan taking the crown as he wheeled a cart over with five plates piled high. Even Kyle looked at him with an amazed expression, prompting Dylan to quip "Hey, it takes a lot of energy to be as awesome as me!"

"Mikyvis!" Quint and the Doctor giggled, then began attacking their super-stack pancakes with turkey and gravy.



Just as Dylan was finishing his sixth pie, being cheered on by the younger kids at the table while the older ones just watched with wide eyes, a voice familiar to only the visitors announced "Thank you for traveling the Great White Express. The wait staff has been instructed to secure all equipment for atmospheric entry, we estimate ionosphere entry in seven point eight minutes.  The planet has requested that passengers immediately take a swim break in the pond nearby once they leave the ship; a health check will be performed by the lake, and appropriate persons will be notified if anything is found that can not be fixed by the inhabitants of the lake directly. For those of you visiting, Mikyvis Airways has already been made aware of your arrival; for those staying, the planet Archnania welcomes you home and looks forward to assisting you with adjusting to your new life."

"Cam!" Kyle giggled.

"Yes, Your Highness?" Cam replied innocently.

"What did you do THIS time, nutcase?" Kyle asked with a grin.

"Blame Levi; I'm just on the receiving end!" Cam replied.

"Kids!" Kyle groaned with a roll of his eyes. "No stunts on arrival, okay?"

"I'd NEVER do something like that!" Cam replied in a tone that had everyone who knew him checking their life insurance to ensure it was up-to-date.

"Don't worry, Cam's okay," Chance assured Freddy and his family. "You'll like him, he's nothing like these stuffy bots you are used to."

Finally wrapping his head around the fact that they seemed to be traveling through space, Freddy nodded at Cam before stating "Computer, status report."

"The destination you are trying to reach is no longer in service," Cam's voice replied. "If you believe that you have received this message in error, please locate your nearest Mikyvis."

"Cam, stop playing!" Kyle ordered, seeing the look appearing on Freddy's face.

"Spoilsport!" Cam giggled. "You can just use my name, Captain. All departments indicate secure for entry. Life support is at one hundred percent, shields have been enhanced to provide a ninety percent safety margin for atmospheric entry. The original ship computer has been disabled for the safety of the passengers, as there were instructions found in the program that would put your passengers in danger. Kyle's oldest son is standing by to ensure that you have a safe entry and landing."

"Thank you, Cam," Freddy sighed in relief.



The first thing that the group found as they exited the ship was a group of Archnanians erecting a "Denny's" sign on the path leading to the ship. Shrugging off the looks he was getting from his friends; Chance led the mob over to the nearby lake. "Okay, don't panic if the water starts swirling, that just means that something was spotted that the lake thinks it can fix," he advised the group. "Strip down and have fun!"




The End?