Digital Refresh

Chapter 03 - No Exchanges No Returns

Hal's personal lab:

"Noland, I don't think you understand," Hal said with great concern. "Shay will not be happy about you hacking in to our hidden systems, especially when he finds out about you trying to work on a few of the projects." Just the thought of what Shay would do when he found out made him shiver. Hal looked back up to the terminal. "How about we meet up later to discuss how to bring it up to him?"

"Whatever you think is best Hal, but I was just trying to help," Noland nodded from the terminal.

Trying to keep the butterflies in his belly contained, Hal whimpered, "Let's plan to get together around sixteen hundred hours; it will give me three hours to find Shay and talk to him."

As the connection closed on the terminal, a ship wide page occurred. "Attention, attention. Would Noland Vickers and Hal please report to sickbay? Noland and Hal, please report to sickbay." Abruptly, the page ended.

Hal looked like he had been shot, and felt the dread building as he began to stand and walk out of the lab en route to sickbay.


Shay's Room just before the page:

The two youth sat together on the loveseat with their fingers entwined, chatting about each others' past and the ups and downs. Neither gave the other a difficult time about their past. The love shared could be felt in the room. The serenity was disturbed by a mild tone that sounded from one of the terminals.

Looking straight into Buddy's blue eyes, Shay asked, "Buddy, do you remember me telling you earlier that I have my eye on a new recruit?"

"Oh, you mean Naomi's boy," Buddy replied. "Yes, did he pass the test?"

"Well he is definitely close to it, but first lets get dressed while I have the subsystem page them to sickbay for the final test." Shay began to let go of Buddy, but pulled him in for a deeply passionate kiss followed by a warm heart melting hug.


Sickbay a few moments after the page:

Marky stood in sickbay with all the needed 'tools' required when a page was sent out via the subsystem. However, Marky was a little nervous, since he really liked Noland and he didn't want to think about it being what he thought it to be. He was kicked out of his thoughts as Buddy and Shay entered sickbay holding hands.

"Marky is everything ready?" Shay asked in his old tone.

"Yes, it is but please... don't go through... with this," Marky was almost begging.

"We will see," Shay replied but stopped as the two victims walked through the door.

"Hal, I will deal with you in just a few moments," Shay stated, never looking at Hal.

Noland walked forward and stood directly in front of Shay. "Shay, this is about what I have done, not Hal. I hacked your most secure systems. I've been working on some of the research. I just want to help, but everyone had been just letting me help with inventory. I want to really help. So please don't harm Hal, just deal with me."

Shay slowly released Buddy and walked over to the table with his kit, then turned to look at Noland. "Come over here please."

As Noland walked over to Shay, he noticed the color draining from Hal. He stopped beside Shay and wondered if this was it.

Shay leaned over and stood on his tip toes, placing his arm around Noland's shoulder. "You passed the test. Welcome to the team." Shay stopped when he heard the sound of Hal and Marky's bodies hitting the floor with a deafening thud.

The only sound in the room was a light, high pitched laughter emitting from Buddy, followed by "Purely evil, Shay. Will they be alright?" Buddy stated, kneeling between both of them.

"Buddy, really, did you forget you can check their status through your link?" Shay chuckled.

"Really? Are you serious? Wait... test? But how did you know?" a shocked Noland replied.

Proud at Noland's performance, Shay gleamed, "Noland, my previous job was to be an Assassin; do you really think you could hack the systems without showing up on my list? Normally, my procedure for someone hacking in to sensitive data is to terminate them. I saw promise in the way you have conducted yourself on the ship, learning everything others taught you. I have seen the logs show a hack and then change to show nothing had occurred. I want you on my team, so what do you say?"

"Do I have to be an Assassin if I say yes?" Noland asked.

Shay smiled, "No, Noland, the role I have chosen doesn't include Assassin for you. Unless it's assassinating code, or cookies."

"I accept the offer," Noland said while shaking hands with Shay.

Slowly walking over to Buddy, Shay muttered, "Besides, we will see how the Clan wants to proceed before we put anyone else through being an Assassin."

Noland watched the emotions roll across Shay's face. Buddy wrapped his arms around his other half. Buddy was gently whispering soft words of encouragement to the once stoic and unemotional Shay, who was now wrapped in his arms shaking uncontrollably from his memories.


Councilors office:

Chakotay was busy reading up on the Clan when his door chimed. "Enter."

Nicky walked in with a smile, yet he had the distant look of someone thinking about a problem for too long. "Chakotay, do you have a moment?"

Looking from the Captain to the sofa next to him, Chakotay offered, "Please, Captain take a load off," waving the Captain to take a seat.

Once Nicky was seated, Chakotay asked, "Well Captain, what can I assist you with today?"

"I am in some serious need of advice on how to work with a crew member who seems to instill fear in those around him," Nicky replied, sitting there with his classic thinking pose.

"Am I to assume, Captain, that this would be about Shay?" Chakotay finally put the pad down and gently said "Shay is not the normal crew member, and his past actions would scare the crap out of most people."

"But does he need to continue making others faint, as if on command?" Nicky raised his voice, but then remembered who he was talking to. "I'm sorry, I should not have raised my voice."

"Captain, no apologies are required; but remember you must give him time to adjust to being around people, and the fact he has emotions now is taking a toll on him." Leaning forward, Chakotay asked, "Does he scare you? Do you think he is a problem member of the crew? Would you want him on your team if all hell had broke loose?"

"No, No, and YES; I would want him with us in our darkest hour." Nicky replied as he stood up.

Reaching out to shake Nicky's hand, Chakotay stated, "Well then, talk to him as a person; check to see if he needs someone to listen to him, to help him deal with his past. Go talk to him."


Wandering the ship to think:

Data was thinking about the fact he was now considered the Daddy to the entire crew, but wondered if he was to tuck them in at night or just try and keep them calm. To him it was still strange to be one of the few Adults on the ship, of course that would change the moment Commander Charles disembarked the ship.

Occasionally, a random crew member would walk up and give him a hug, leading to him picking them up and giving them a true 'Daddy Data' hug. Upon reaching engineering, he heard what could only be described as the sound of a Klingon child throwing a mild, on a Klingon scale, tantrum.

"What is the problem here? Why are you screaming so loud?" Data asked, looking at the eleven year old child, while he attempted to keep his voice even.

"My spanner broke, it was my favorite one! Now I have to get a new one!" B'Elanna complained with a pout.

"I do not understand why you are wasting time when you could just fix it or replace it," Data said with a stern tone.

"But, I'e had it for twenty four years! The system won't replicate another like it, 'cause of the issues that were found with this one! But I know the issues, and understand how to use it properly!"

Data walked to the nearest replicator and requested "Computer. Scan this spanner and make a working replacement of this model."

"Unable to comply, this series is defective. Please use current model spanner."

"Computer Override, Gamma Nine Five protocol. Computer scan and make a working replacement of this unit." Data said in a more forceful voice.

"Replacement ready," the console stated as the replicator slid open a tray to show the new replacement spanner.

"How can this be possible? The computer has never let me override it to make older tools. What did you do?" B'Elanna asked, obviously even less happy.

"Perhaps next time instead of having a tantrum, you might want to ask a more senior officer to override the computer." Data advised while bending down to give B'Elanna a hug.

"Yes, Daddy. I'll try to remember next time." B'Elanna stated while enjoying the hug.

After Data had left though, B'Elanna realized something. "Did I just hug a superior officer? What the..." and another rant began, although this one was her normal level one that concerned no-one.

After walking a short distance down the corridor, Data was almost trampled by Nicky. "Captain are you alright? You seem distracted." asked Commander Data.

Slightly startled, Nicky jumped back in surprise. "Sorry, I was thinking about a problem."

"Well, I find it best to think while having a brownie and ice cream, let's go see if Club 99 is still open." Data suggested with a smile.

"But, I still have things to be d... " Nicky found it difficult to finish his sentence as he was picked up and carried down the corridor.


Club 99 - Time is Tentative - Nov 7th 2004 04:36 am GMT:

Harry was busy with cleaning the club when he heard someone enter. "I'll be right with you, just give me a minute to finish up."

"Please, Data, put me down" Nicky stated, just a bit irritated.

"Remember, Nicky, off duty and out of uniform means no orders." Data's golden eyes just gleamed with mischief. "Besides, I'm thinking maybe I should tickle you, so you will tell me what the problem is."

"Alright, I will tell you, just please put me down," Nicky pleaded.

"Nuh huh..." Data responded... and started tickling him.

"Plea... Stop It!"

"Aww Please!"

"What is the Magic Phrase?" Data asked, with pure mirth.

Harry couldn't help giggling at the predicament of his Captain. Which meant that he was not paying attention as Data moved slowly closer... stopped tickling the squealing Captain... and started on him!

"Is this the best you can do, Daddy Data?" Harry giggled out.

Data took that as a challenge, and so ramped up the 'Tickle factor' by four hundred percent.

"Oh my, OK ok, you win! You win!" Harry could barely speak from laughing so hard.

"I don't believe him, Data," Nicky giggled from the floor, where he was lying on his back staring at the ceiling, trying to regain his breath. "My recommendation is for him to wet himself. Then I'd believe him."

"You... woul...dn't...!" Harry squealed as he tried to crawl away.

Data grinned....

Harry shot Nicky the meanest look he could afford before Data restarted his torment of Harry's ribs.

"PLEASE STOP!" came the eventual cry for mercy.

Data was gracious enough to cease his attacks. Then he went into group cuddle mode with both the boys laughing on his lap. "You were saying you had a problem, Nicky?" he asked as the giggled decreased.

Both boys were enjoying the hug, but Nicky really need to discuss the problem; Harry was just curious what kind of problem the Captain was having, although it wasn't really his concern.

Looking up to Data, Nicky said, "Well, I have a crew member who once was a big badass with another group, now he scares the crap out of people, and he doesn't realize it nor does he care that he does." Nicky paused to take a breath. "But I have to try to talk to him, and I already know he will be a little hard headed about it."

Harry turned to the Captain, "Shay?"

"Harry, you can join us for the discussion. Apparently you have had some issues or know of some issues." Nicky stated softly.

Before, Harry moved to join them he grabbed the covered plate and three small plates and set them on a table near the bar. Then he gathered up three glasses and the pitcher of milk.

"Can't have fudge brownies without milk, now can you Daddy Data?" Harry giggled, knowing Reg told Data about the brownies.

"You got me." Data spoke softly while looking at Nicky.

"I don't want to fight with Shay, but he needs to learn control," Nicky said, slumping down in his chair. "He seems like an excellent person, very well versed in protocol and knows the ships systems back and forth. But I can't assign him to work with others. They won't work with him."

"Then don't fight with him, just explain your concerns," Harry said and then covered his mouth.

"Harry is right, there is no need to fight, just talk to him," Data said while he poured the milk.

"Fine, maybe I should just invite him down here then, and we can chat it out," Nicky said with his hands up.

Stepping out from the backroom, Shay said, "We could, but I have heard your complaints for the past couple of hours."

"Shay, please come over here and we will talk," Data said with a smile.

Shay walked over and pulled up a chair. "Look, I haven't been trying to scare people, it just happens. I don't have a problem, the crew has the problem," he growled, leaning back in his chair.

Trying not to choke on brownies and milk, Nicky teased, "Shay, I know your accustomed to different operational procedures, but please tell me why I'm always finding people out cold after they have talked to you, or why when I try to assign people to work with you they flat out refuse."

"Oh, I need to tell you something later when we don't have extra ears," Shay smirked, pointing to the others.

"I am fully aware of S-31 and every mission prior to my... termination," Data said simply as Harry plopped down from his lap.

"But I'll go outside," the boy smiled and left quickly. Very quickly.

"Computer, lock Club 99, initiate S-31 privacy protocols," Nicky stated with a wry smile.

"Noland has passed his test to gain entry to S-31 as an active member," Shay stated while holding up his hand to stop anything from being said. "He is phenomenal at hacking, and hacking is the only assassinating he will be allowed to do."

"Although, I would prefer him to have a choice between Starfleet, The Clan, VSO, and S-31. I will allow his choice." Nicky stated while rubbing his temples.

Shay nodded, "He has accepted, however I haven't entered him into the system yet as an active agent, since he has more options in this universe. He also doesn't seem to be afraid of me. He took all blame and tried to protect Hal from me and my wrath, but I was just teasing and him and Marky just passed out."

"Exactly what I was talking about!" Nicky almost yelled. "The crew is frightened of you, Shay."

"Then they have serious issues! I try to kid with them and they run; I talk to them and they pee themselves." Shay said, standing up. "I can't believe this, how can you sit there and say it's my fault!"

As Shay stormed toward the door, Data ordered, "Computer, unlock Club 99." Data looked toward Nicky with great concern.

Harry peeked into the club from the door, looking to see if he could re-enter. "Come over here, Harry, I think Nicky needs another group hug," Data said while picking Nicky up and then Harry for the afore mentioned group hug.


Shay... and Vampire, the Vampire VSO Assassin:

Shay had only been gone from Club 99 for about five minutes. He was stalking about on the fifth deck of the ship. It was quiet, and still, and he could brood. So what if others were scared? He was an assassin! That should scare anyone! They needed to deal, not him! He had enough to think about, what with emotions and biological functions to deal with. He did not ask to be modified into some weird mix of synthetic-biological android. He did not ask to have his existence changed around. So what if his new emotions caused others to leave him alone.

He wasn't going to change for anyone.

The corridor was empty as he strode, projecting all the presence that a four foot nine inch thirteen year old could pull off. If anyone turned up right now, he'd really show them how scary he could be, he thought with a scowl.

It was for this reason, his thoughts were everywhere but fully on his surroundings, that caused him to miss noticing an added presence to the hallway. Not that his S-31 training would have overly helped, due to the nature and training that this extra presence had.

The first thing he did notice was that he suddenly felt noticeably cooler. Cold, he amended, as goosebumps ran up his arms and down his back. Icy, even.

There was someone behind him, and so he spun around. No-one, but a brief, corner of the eye shadow that seemed to pass to his left. Instinctively he followed it in a smooth motion. Now facing the way he had been prior to the chill that had invaded the corridor, there was still nothing.

"Greetings... lunch," said the whisper of a voice behind him.

Turning around, Shay was still unable to find the source of the mysterious voice. Normally this would not bother Shay, but as he tried to link into the internal sensors, and found his security code had been disabled, he began to tremble. Slowly he scanned the corridor again but he could not see anyone, with the exception of the dark shadow he occasionally caught brief glances of.

"What's wrong little man; can't you find me?" again the voice whispered, this time beside him. After a pause, the voice added "Now where did I put that salt shaker?"

Shay thought someone was playing a cruel trick on him and tried to walk off, only to land on his ass five feet away.

With his last remaining ounce of courage, Shay yelled "Why should I be afraid of someone hiding from me?"

"I told you playing with your lunch can prove entertaining, hon," a new voice stated from the other side of Shay. A second later, his chest suddenly felt like a gigantic hand was starting to squeeze the breath out of him.

Terror began to take hold of Shay; he felt like he was running a marathon as his heart took off and left him. "Wha... t are y... o... u... ?" he asked, letting the words out slowly as if on auto pilot.

"Hmmm, you're thinking of running away. I'll help you with your decision as to if you want to try it." the first voice said calmly as Shay found himself being lifted off of the floor.

"This can't be happening!" Shay noticed no one was holding him, and the room temperature dropped yet again. He was sweating bullets while his heart was hammering away.

"You know, I think I like him. I guess I won't need the catsup after all," the second voice stated. "He's spicy enough as he is."

As his breathing became labored, Shay begged, "Please, let me go." Shay had never felt so terrified of someone, let alone someone he could not see.

Two boys with glowing eyes appeared on either side of Shay, both at least three feet away from him. They both stared at him silently, waiting to see what his next step would be.

"But you can't be! It's impossible... No... NO!" Shay's pulse slowed to a crawl as his vision began to fade, but not before he felt a wetness in his pants. "You... wo... ul... d... be a V..." Shay passed out cold floating above a puddle of his own piss.

The second boy nodded at the first. "All yours, babe. Ezzy says I need to meet the captain." he said as he turned and headed towards Club 99.


Club 99, shortly after Shay stormed out:

Data was getting more brownies and milk when the doors opened up. "Hello, I am Commander Data," he said to the new arrival. "I do not recognize you as part of the crew. So can I assume you are with the Clan?" Data was trying to put a name with the face. "I have not had a chance to review the Clan database, I do apologize."

"I'm Brant, Cory sent me. Don't bother with trying to review it, I know for a fact that a certain AI the size of a major city gets headaches whenever it tries."

Holding the tray of fudge brownies and four glasses of milk, Data asked, "Well then, Brant, how may we be of assistance?".

"First, feed your fellow crew members!" Brant said with a grin. "I'd join you, but my body has some unique nutritional requirements, and those would make me extremely sick."

"Then please pull up a chair and join us so we may get to know you," Data replied diplomatically.

"Thank you," Brant replied. After he was seated, he stated "Alligator Alley gave me a quick rundown on everyone here. Buddy helped out. Before we begin, does anyone here not know what 'Red One' is?"

"I do not recognize the term; could you please explain in some detail," Data replied, having searched his vast memory.

Brant nodded, "It is one of the top security protocols. Anything said, done, or related to a 'Red One' event is classified to the point that revealing any of it except to specifically authorized persons is punished by instant death of the person revealing, and the person or persons revealed to. It is administered by the Vulcan VSO, and there is no give."

"Then it sounds as if I need to step out," Data replied, "with punishments so drastic."

"No, you need to be fully aware of it, as you are living under 'Red One' as we speak. By delegated order of Patriarch Short, this ship and all of it's occupants are under 'Red One', and as such only exist in this Universe as much as needed to keep security in place to protect the crew and technology of the ship. Until all of you have had a chance to adapt to your new home, the Clan is operating under agreement with Admiral Morrow, the CIC of Starfleet, to protect you from any persons or organizations which might try to take advantage of technology that you have on board. Section 31 earth-side is ensuring that all information within Starfleet about you is sanitized."

"Data, since you are included in the Red One, please sit back down. Brant came in here for a reason, please let him speak." Nicky said, rather exhausted after dealing with Shay.

"One question further, in the universe where I came from, S-31 was a secret. Is it a public entity here?" Data asked, trying to clear up some confusion.

"No, but after one of their members went rogue and tried to kill our Patriarch, they kinda don't want to cross us again," Brant stated. "Something about us taking the people they sent to do the dirty work and integrating them into the Clan made them worry for some reason."

"When you say integrated them, you do not mean as part of the foundation? But, instead mean you added their uniqueness to your collective?" Data asked with a devilish grin.

"Naw, Nine sticks with tribbles... and Cory's son," Brant giggled.

"Well, I am sure Seven, aka Annika, and Nine can have a chat about the differences in the universes, but for right now, can we please return to why Brant is here?" Nicky prompted, with slight agitation as he lightly thumped his head on the table. "Brant, please let us know what you require and we will help you?"

"I need you to relax; Cory wants you guys to have someone here that can help you start to get acquainted with Alpha Prime." Brant said with a smile. "By the way, Shay and my fiancé are having a little talk, so you can relax. They've got a few things in common, except the fact my other half holds his bladder a lot better."

"Oh, no did he start his crap with your fiancé? I have tried to deal with him, but he is beyond my control!" Nicky leaned back, trying to take the suggestion to relax.

"Excuse me, but earlier you said VSO? Do you mean Vulcan Security? I remember reading something about them in my ancient civilizations class," Harry said, and realized everyone was looking at him.

Brant reached over and tossed a cookie towards Nicky. "Chill, Captain! Let's just say that Shay is a child when it comes to intimidation. I was impressed, he lasted three times longer than I thought he would. Now I'm stuck doing laundry for the next month." He then turned to Harry. "Pretty much the VSO are a rumor unless you are part of their work family or a target. Usually the targets don't survive long enough for the realization to sink in."

"WAIT, you said your other half holds his bladder a lot better?" Nicky snapped his head to look right in to Brant's glowing eyes. "Did you break him? His habit? Or just his bladder?"

"Yes," Brant answered without answering.

"Do we need to let Buddy know or was he part of the plan?" Nicky asked while giggling quietly.

"I know nothing..." Brant giggled as he nodded rapidly.

"Sounds like he got a taste of his own medicine." Harry said before taking a sip of milk, just to spray it out his nose.

"Hey, watch it will ya, Harry!" Nicky laughed with tears streaming down his face.

"Let me go get something to clean this up." Data responded while he mumbled "Kids"


Meanwhile, in Shay's quarters:

Buddy was, at first, a mother hen over Shay's unconscious form, but with a soft smile and a chilling wink from Matthew, aka 'Vampire' the vampire, Buddy decided to stick to the plan and get out of there fast. As the door closed behind him, he breathed out slowly. He'd not let Shay ever get to him, but that vampire-kid; he was another story.

In some ways he felt bad for doing this, but Ezra had told him that this would be good for Shay. It was a chance, anyway.

Inside the room, Matthew was busy with the unconscious Shay. Not only had he so obviously pissed himself before passing out, the fledgling vampire could smell that he'd crapped himself as well. Wrinkling his nose, Matthew carried Shay into the restroom of the quarters and stripped him with his telekinesis. After stripping himself, he carried Shay into the shower and got it turned on.

It was in this state that Shay came around; sat on a shower stool with a naked, pale skinned and yellow eyed vampire lathering him up with strawberry scented soap. "So, we're awake, are we, Nibbles?" Matthew smiled, his silken tones ethereal in the enclosed space.

Shay shuddered, for Matthew's eyes seemed black, so dark were they, and almost dead of emotion. The undead hands were cool against his flesh, and so smooth that Shay, at first, thought this boy had gloves on. He couldn't help but be drawn to and repulsed by this twelve year old 'kid', all at the same time. His eyes started to wander over the body standing before him.

"Nibbles? Awake?" Matthew asked again, stopping his ministrations and cupping Shay's chin to get him to look him in the eyes. "My face is here. That's my dick, and only Brant gets that."

"Sorry, but..."

"Shhh, Nibbles. Good you're awake and with me. Get dried and come out to the main room," Matthew nodded before shutting down the water and getting out of the shower. He wrapped a towel around himself and passed one to the shaking Shay before briskly drying himself off. So briskly the towel smoked. "Mmm... I have to learn control," he mumbled as he stamped out the fire he had suddenly created. "Ah well, see you in the other room, Nibbles."

Shay hadn't left the shower stall at this point. He was looking in horror at the pitiful remains of the once fluffy Starfleet issue towel that was still smoldering on the floor.

"Chop chop, Nibbles. I'm getting thirsty in here," Matthew grinned from the bed, where he was now dressed bare seconds after having left the restroom. "I am beginning to think you don't care to join me..."

"I wonder why..." Shay muttered to himself.

Dry chuckles met that remark. "I'll give you two minutes to get ready, then I'm coming in there to dress you myself..."

Not wanting to see - or in this case feel - another towel explode into flames (which would be uncomfortable, Shay mused), the boy jumped out of the shower and started drying himself as best he could.

"Nice butt. Very... chewable," came a less than helpful comment from the bed from the furiously grinning Matthew.

"You'll never find out." Shay muttered once again as he quickly put on underwear, whether or not he was dry yet.

He turned around to reach for his pants only to see the vision of beauty that was Matthew right there, holding them out to him. He froze, his mouth suddenly dry. Arousal sprang up, in more ways than one, and he tried to gulp down some spit to be able to talk.

"If I wished it, you would sleep with me and love it as you squealed for more," Matthew said seriously, his eyes hard as agates. "You have no choice with me if I made it so. Not because of telepathy, but due to my very nature. I could go further and make you my familiar, my vampire 'bitch', by forcing a pint of my blood down your throat. You have zero chance against me, in every way imaginable, Nibbles. I am trained more than you, I AM more than you by species... I am a GOD compared to you... and this happened to me yesterday as I was dying. I was saved by the love of my life... and all these abilities, the power to bend the minds of others, to envelope people and make them do my will... it is all new... and sometimes uncontrollable. Yet I HAVE to control it... and you are whining like a little baby BITCH over JUST having some emotions?? You dare refuse your Captain's plea to start taking control? Now put these pants on and get over to that bed and SIT DOWN RIGHT NOW before I screw you at YOUR behest, then half drain you... I shit you not. DO IT."

Shay looked between the pants, Matthew, the bed and the door. He gulped down his spit, and began putting on the pants while staring in to Matthew's eyes "Alright, I'm going." although he was still borderline as to whether he would pee or crap himself again.

Thirty seconds later and Shay was sitting on the edge of the bed, topless and uncomfortable, as Matthew looked at him piercingly from the restroom doorway. It was a long thirty seconds for Shay. "So, do you fancy taking things from the top from your perspective, or do you want to get some of your burning, and frankly fearful, questions answered. I mean no insult from the last I said. I can literally smell your terror, and I'd rather get that gone so we can talk better. But the choice is yours, Nibbles."

Still looking to the doorway, Shay finally turned to face Matthew. Pushing his fear down he focused on the person standing in front of him. "How do I control something which I don't know I’m doing?" Shay asked feeling more relaxed than five minutes ago.

"Mmm, so we're going to ignore the elephant and move right to the reason the elephant is here," Matthew mused as he almost floated from the doorway to the chair by the bed, so smooth were his movements and footsteps. "How do I learn to turn off the 'majesty' that surrounds me so that I do not overpower the mortals? How do I learn to turn off my Gift and not impale everyone in black, deep terror? How do I learn not to pull doors out of the frames, or not crush a little child's back when just hugging them? I talk to others of my new kind. To vampires. So, how do you learn to deal with and properly show your emotions now that you have them? Talk to your new kind, Nibbles... those who have emotions... as in most of us, myself included."

Shay sighed, "Matthew, I am not ignoring the elephant, just hoping there are no pink ones in the room." Taking a moment to pause and get his thoughts together, Shay continued, "I was programmed a little over twenty years ago to kill with no questions. I never have felt remorse until we arrived here in this universe. I can see their faces, all of them; old, young, weak, and powerful. I want to be able have friends, but people would look and run away."

Looking down, he thought about two special people. "The only people, before I met you, who did not run away were Noland and Buddy."

Another long twenty seconds passed in silence, long enough to draw Shay's eyes back up and to Matthew's. "Before you confronted your Captain earlier in the bar, did you at any time get told by anyone else that you're scaring people?"

Thinking hard about the question Shay responded "Hal and Devaintre have told me to tone it down," he replied, looking at Matthew and rolling his eyes. "Marky has told me before, and he seems to pass out every time I’m near him." Shay added as he closed his eyes.

"And how long have you been thus, with emotions?"

"I have only had them for a little over a day," Shay said with an exasperated expression.

Matthew smiled, "Thank you. I have not read your mind, nor was I or Brant informed of that last... My transformation was less than a day ago, but due to the nature of it, I had to learn things quickly. And I'm certainly not the Matthew I was yesterday morning yet. I was under the impression that you had been terrorizing the crew for a good while longer... I think I'll have some words with Ezra after. Nice words, but words. Put your shirt on," he smiled, tossing a light blue one at Shay from the draw on the opposite side of the room from where he was sitting, without apparently moving, "I want to see what the issue is for myself. Act as yourself, I am not with you to anyone else. They will not see me for I will forbid it. Just go out to the most populated parts of the ship and act as you have always acted."

Shay sat there, looking at Matthew in shock.

"Chop, chop, Nibbles," Matthew smiled, winking at the teen.

For the first time since they had met, there was a twinkle in Matthew's eyes. 'So, he's not as dead as he seems', Shay thought as a quirky grin appeared on his face.

...Nibbles' best friend is a Vampire....


Mishap in the mess hall:

Shay walked in to the mess hall with his shadow and looked for someone to chat with, and on the far side of the room he spotted Reg and Harry. So he walked over and took a seat across from them. "Good morning, Harry. Have you finished your shift in Club 99?"

Harry turned to Reg, then slid closer to Reg. "Ah... the shi...ft it was alright." he again tried to slide farther over and knocked over Reg in his second attempt.

"Harry, what the hell is wrong with you?" Reg said while he tried to pick himself up off the floor.

"Reg, umm. Shay was asking what my shift was like?" Harry pointing frantically at Shay.

"Shay... well good... go... d... mmorining. I think Har...ry must need sl... sleep," Reg stammered out.

"Please sit down, Reg. Harry stop with the scurrying!" Shay raised his voice, and realized his mistake as everyone in the mess hall looked like they wanted to tie him up. "Look at me, what is it? Why do you want to run from the room?"

Matthew, however, saw what Shay hadn't yet seen. This was going to get out of hand, and fast. He sent a quick message to Brant, who he suddenly sensed appearing outside of the mess hall door, as well as Ezra.

Shay was the most important person to him at that moment, for he was dangerous in ways he had not expected. But also, everyone else was in need of a good, swift, sharp kick up the ass.

'Ezra,' Matthew sent silently, 'I do not want bladders or bowels opening. Can you deal?'

'Sure thing, bro...'

The noise level in the room was already increasing, and Marky, who had hidden himself behind B'Elanna, sobbed as he trembled. B'Elanna had had enough. "You sick p'taq. You ask that? You scare the shit out of everyone, and dare to..."

"S I L E N C E !" Matthew ordered.

The eleven year old Klingon found herself on her butt, shaking. Marky, already terrified, felt no increase in terror - just a new object of it. Everyone else, especially Reg and Harry who were closest, broke out in a cold sheen of sweat.

In front of the table, where Shay, Reg and Harry sat, appeared a figure of majestic, terrible beauty and horror.

"You are scared of an android boy with new emotions he has never had, with a dark past that you have all gossiped about... and yet none of you have actually told him the reasons for your fear? Better yet, most of you have invented reasons to fear him before he even opens his mouth to you?! Well, see FEAR. See TERROR! I am DEATH INCARNATE! I am the Barge of the Dead! I will pull you all to Gehenna to feast! I. AM. V A M P I R E! And you have just PISSED ME THE FUCK OFF. Now... SLEEP!"

And sleep they all did, barring Shay... who now had emotion showing on his usually emotionless face.

Tears.

"Hey, no fair scaring me too!" Brant sent with a grin.

Matthew turned off his abilities and Gift, and turned to look at the weeping Shay. No longer was this boy afraid of him, for these tears were of gratitude. "Shay, you and I need to talk, and fast. You're powerful in ways you do not know, but they needed to be put in their place. Others too, but the message will be passed by these here to those others. You and I will go for a walk, and we shall go through everything... Buddy and Noland will join us. Please wait for me outside these doors. My beloved and Ezra are waiting for you. I will be there shortly."

As Shay walked to the door, the urge to hug Matthew was tempting. "Thank You, Matthew." Shay whispered to himself. "I have a friend." A glimmer of a smile appearing on his face as the doors closed.

"Hey Nibbles!" Brant said as soon as Shay was outside the door.

"Hello, Ghost Whisperer, nice to see you have a body," Shay said, and mentally added "a nice body"

As Brant blushed, Ezra appeared... somewhat next to Brant, except for the fact that Ezra was standing on the ceiling, leaning against the wall. "Welcome to the Clan, Nibbles!" Ezra giggled.

"Hmm, I think Whisk! Hello Whisk." Shay said looking at the multicolored reverse mohawked person on the ceiling. "OK, I'll bite. Why has everyone been calling me Nibbles?" Shay responded.

"I'll let Matthew tell you; I hate to ruin my Uncle's fun. I'm Ezra, by the way." Ezra said as he moon walked across the ceiling to the other wall.

"Hello Ezra, so any chance you can join us on the floor, or get us on the ceiling, 'cause either way my neck has started to hurt from looking up." Shay said while watching Ezra on the ceiling.

"As you wish!" Ezra giggled as both boys found themselves standing upside-down on the ceiling.

"Ezzy, do you realize that neither one of us is designed for blood to flow this way?" Brant asked with a raised eyebrow.

"I got it covered, Uncle Brant," Ezra replied. "What's gonna be funny is if anyone stands under us; they'll feel like they're upside-down!"

As Brant rolled his eyes, Ezra held out one of his hands, which suddenly had a plate in it. "Cookie, Nibbles?"

"Mmm, cookies," Shay said with delight. "Would these be nice with milk? I have heard other talk about milk and cookies."

"Here, try it!" Ezzy giggled as he passed Shay a glass of milk with his other hand.


Meanwhile back in the Mess Hall:

Matthew glared about at the thirty or so sleeping beauties and, in a few seconds, had them all piled up next to each other in rows. All the tables and chairs were in huge piles by the doors, blocking all exits. Then, with a snap of his pale, white fingers, Matthew woke them all up. At once.

"Keep quiet and listen to me. You will not be able to run, and no-one will get in, and you cannot call for transporters. I am Commander Matthew Parnell, VSO, Assassin... and a vampire. I am someone all of you should fear by your own will, but I can, and did, make you do so. Why? Because of the childishness I have become aware of. Your minds are open to me, and for most of you, there is no excuse. Marky. Front and center."

"Eep!"

"No, come here, don't squeak. B'Elanna," the vampire broke off, looking quickly from the young android to the hugely pissed off Klingon, "you bristle like that again at me, little miss, and I'll tan your bare hide for you in front of everyone."

B'Elanna knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that this creature in front of her certainly would go through with his threat. And since that would be equal to Klingon foreplay, and the fact he was a stunning looking, sexy creature... well, it would get a bit basic from there on. She stopped scowling.

Tom, next to her, breathed a sigh of relief.

Matthew looked back at Marky, "Come here, kiddo. I will not hurt you."

The boy shuffled forward, his body trembling. He came close enough for the vampire to touch and found himself pulled into a hug. "You had it bad from Shay, but you have changed a lot since you became as you are, correct?"

"Uh huh," the teen nodded.

"Wouldn't Shay have changed as well? I know there are obvious issues here, and me and my lot will get Shay to see it and fix it, but you also need to open up and give him a chance. He had no emotions before this change. His change is more jarring for him than yours is for you. Emotions are alien to him, utterly. So, I'm going to do a 'make-over', then you and he will chat. Okay?"

"Not really, b...but I don't think I have a choice, d...do I?" Marky managed, a weak grin on his face.

"Nope."

"Oh... thought so."

Matthew released Marky and placed the boy behind him. "As for the rest of you, I'm disgusted with how you behaved over the past day. I know your minds, every bit of them. You gossiped like a bunch of old biddies, made up stories and exaggerations like a group of pre-schoolers and have let down the uniforms you're wearing and the Fleet you represent. None of you thought to actually man-up and sit Shay down and tell him a few basics. B'Elanna, I will excuse for she's been babysitting the engines... but those of you with a good set of balls here should have pulled that poor boy to one side and gave him a few tips... like to smile, shown him how to hold himself in a neutral posture... no, rather you just talked behind his back and worked yourselves up, like a group of cub-scouts telling ghost stories. I am not pleased by that. Nor by others on this ship who have done so.

"This is a big change for all of you, and you're now feeling things as young people - teens and preteens. That is confusing, I know! But you're still adult enough - and damn well know enough - to have some self control. Your Captain will know about this, and so will your new father, Data. As of RIGHT NOW I am invoking a new article of the Safe Haven Act and placing you ALL - this ENTIRE CREW - in temporary fosterage to the ONLY TWO ADULTS ON THIS SHIP. Chekotay and Data. This will last until either myself or my Patriarch undoes it. Article 302.2 is now in effect. Now you will all tidy up this mess I made and reflect on what I said, then you will, in alphabetical order, report to Commander Data to have a good long talk, child to adult, about what you have done.

"This order is hereby relayed to ALL THE CREW of this ship! Captain included! Protocol be DAMNED!" Matthew finished... as he turned off the comm that he had switched on the moment he had woken up this group.

"Alligator Alley to Vampire... dude, that bites! Seriously, it's logged on George, and Intel is monitoring for any issues and will notify you if any are found." an older teen's voice announced over the comm.

Then Matthew had Ezra port both himself and Marky out of the mess hall. Marky was placed back in his own quarters - to see a message on his comm for his appointment to see Daddy Data - while he appeared next to Shay outside.

"Fuck...ing...hell," Brant murmured. "I never thought you would do that... and what's Article 302.2??"

"I made it up... these guys don't know that, and Data won't spill the beans, and this Chakotay will love it... not sure Cory will, though..." Matthew grinned.

Shay looked impressed. His new friend was a real hard-ass!

Matthew then looked up. "Why are we... Dancing On The Celling!" he finished with a bit of a twirl.

"Ezzy is having a Micky-Mouse moment... and he brought cookies for Nibbles." Brant giggled.

"Oh, good. Nibbles? Can you go and get Munchies and Grub and meet us at the transporter room, please? Ezzy? Good job. I was going to kick your butt for jumping the gun, but I see why you did. A little warning would have been good, though, as I think both of us over did it at first..."

"It was needed, for you as well as him," Ezra smiled.

"Yup," Brant added. "You did that all alone, and didn't need me to help you. You're nearly done, love!"

"Sweet... Nibbles? You're not going to get... oh, wait... Ezzy? Can you get us right side up, please?"

As the young Mikyvis did so, Shay asked, "Who the hell are Grub and Munchies?"

"Duh! Noland is Grub and Buddy is Munchies... the three of you are so cute, I could eat you all up... I heard your questions. It's that easy. You're nibbly, Nibbles. Now scoot before I have Data tan your backside for you as well..."

Shay made it almost six feet down the hall before he realized he was walking a foot off the floor.

Shay stopped and asked, "Ezzy are you feeling a little light headed or do you just have a little lift in your step?" Shay kept trying to touch the floor with his toe out stretched.

"Nope; the only unbreakable law you have not previously broke is the law of gravity, so I figured you might as well have that last one under your belt. Oh, you're out of uniform, let me help!" Ezra giggled. Seconds later, a commbadge appeared on Shay's shirt, with a flashing neon text that read "Nibbles".

"Ezzy, I'm going to get hungry if you keep advertising my lunch that way," Matthew giggled, winking at Shay.

"I'm not worried, you're allergic to me, Uncle Mathew!" Ezra replied with a grin. "You owe me some Uncle cuddles though!"

Shay lifted the badge so he could read it and let out a small laugh. "Well better to have neon text vs pink elephants!" Shay looked back with a smile, and proceeded to page, "Grub and Munchies to transporter room one." Shay giggled, thinking about the nick names.

Hal's voice echoed through the corridors. "Grub and Munchies to transporter room one. Who the hell are Grub and Munchies? Oh wait, the crew files just updated, Noland and Buddy to transporter room one."

"WHO THE FUCK NAMED ME MUNCHIES?" Buddy yelled over ship wide comm.

"Munchies, you are to report to Daddy Data for a spanking for naughty language, once you've returned to the ship," the Captain could be heard saying. Then came a muted, "If I had my ass smacked, so can he... oh, shit! I forgo..." He had forgotten the comm.

Data's voice came next, "Back to my office please, Captain..."

From up and down the corridor, the cries of "BUSTED!" and laughter could be heard.


Transporter Room One:

Shay entered the transporter room to see Ensign Pulaski lying on the floor, clutching his ribs as he tried to catch his breath while still laughing and mumbling.

"M... un... chi... s... !" Jack said wheezing.

"Marky to transporter room one immediately!" Shay ordered as he tried to calm the Ensign down. "Walter Vickers, please report to transporter room one for relief of station."

Brant and Matthew walked in to see the scene before them unfold. Brant asked "Shay, is there anything we can do?"

"No, I think I'm good. He is starting to calm down, but I want Marky to check him." Shay said as he held on to Jack.

A moment later Marky, Buddy, and Noland arrived in the transporter room. "Jack!" Marky exclaimed as he rushed to Jack's side, dug in the bag he was carrying, and pulled out the hypo spray. "This should make it all betters."

Shay looked at Marky with a glimmer in his eyes. "Something you would like to tell us, Marky?"

"No, well maybe later, ah shit!" Marky replied as he began practicing his full body blush."Shay, we have been talking since he arrived on the ship. We believe in romance and being able to take our time to let the love blossom."

"Marky, I am very proud of you." Shay stated as he wiped the tear away that was threatening to fall.

Marky's nursing staff arrived in the transporter room and loaded up Jack. Marky turned to look at Shay. "Thank you for trying to calm him down and being here with him. When you get back we need to chat."

Brant walked over to the transporter console and set their destination as Wales. "Everyone whose going to Wales get on the transporter pad."


Engineering: B'Elanna's Idea:

When Nicky entered main engineering, he was greeted by a bouncing and happy B'Elanna. "Captain! After our visit from the Elf and watching a classic movie, I had an interesting idea for the bridge and some of the main corridors." B'Elanna said in a rush, and then had to take a large deep breath to continue. "I had the engineering teams bustling to install them."

Nicky was getting flustered, but still remained calm. "What have you installed? And why are you asking/telling me now?"

B'Elanna looked at the floor, then back to Nicky, "Mr. Cookie, Mr. Milk, and Mr. Radar!"

Nicky rolled his eye's "I should have never asked!", Nicky smacked his forehead and turned to leave.


Bridge just before Nicky leaves the ship:

Tom walked around to all stations doing a visual inspection and checking on all bridge hands. The bridge intercom burst to life. Although Nicky sounded exhausted, he also sounded happy. "Mr. Parris, I will be off the ship for a little while. Could you try to keep order on the ship during my leave? If you need any help or advice, Daddy Data can help. If you need me for any reason, contact Alligator Alley Division HQ and they will find me quickly."

"Nicky, please get some rest," Tom said and then added "Most importantly try to find your inner child and have some fun."


Bradley's Quarters:

Bradley sat in his room, thinking about how much Franklin looked like his nephew who had stayed on earth. He wasn't alone in his thoughts, due to Zamba who was laying on his lap. Zamba, of course, was communicating with Franklin and explaining Bradley's concern.

"Zamba, I am so worried about Franklin. As it stands currently, our ages are only different by three years, yet I feel he needs a parent or older brother in his life." Bradley said while he scratched Zamba's ears.

As he looked around the room, he noted how he could renovate the cabin so Franklin and Zackary could live with him as a family. He looked down to Zamba who had started a rumbling purr, which vibrated his chest.

Before he could continue to plot and think about changes to his cabin, the chime rang. He looked to the door, then to the large cat in his lap, and wondered if... "Enter" Bradley said while looking to Zamba.

"Hope I'm not interrupting something," said Chakota with a smile.

"N... n... O..., your not interrupting anything." Bradley stuttered with a shy smile.

"Actually, I was asking Zamba." Chakotay turned his attention to Bradley. "So Bradley, how is everything going? I know it has been difficult for the entire crew. But, most of the crew has family on board."

"I'm hanging on pretty well, Chakotay,” Bradley answered in a rushed whisper. “I’m more worried about Zackary and Franklin. Their families aren’t even in this universe. They have no one to help or guide them. I really want to be there as a brother or even a parent."

"It is odd you mention your desire to be there for them," Chakotay smiled a wondrous smile. "The thing is, with the Clan, anything is possible. And I know Spanky and Zamba have been communicating again, with each other and with Sparkles. The cats have informed me of the needs of the boys; both of whom need a guardian, one needs a parent, while the other needs a friend or brother." Chakotay nodded his head and tapped Bradley's shoulder to see if he was still listening.

"They what?" Bradley exclaimed as he pointed excitedly at Zamba.

"Can talk mind to mind," Chakotay pointed to Zamba and then to the door.

The door chimed again.

Bradley was still pointing between Zamba and Chakotay, "E...nt...er" Bradley mumbled.

"One must not forget Lilly!" Daddy Data announced from the door. "She is just as guilty about having mind-to-mind conversations as the rest of them." he added with a large, happy smile.


Communications Control Room

Bill finished his game of solitaire. He began thinking how long this shift had seemed. 'Nothing like monitoring the communications relay module,' he thought to himself.

Devaintre walked to the door of the communications room, wondering where he would find Bill working. Stretching to let a large yawn escape, he pressed the door buzzer.

As the door buzzed, Bill wondered who was entering his domain. "Enter," he said while thinking 'go away'. The door slid open to reveal Devaintre waiting to be asked to enter.

"Can I help you, Devaintre?" asked Bill as if peeved off.

"Where is Randolph?" Devaintre asked.

Before Bill had a chance to respond, an aggravated preteen rounded the corner and nearly deafened the both of them. "HOW MANY TIMES MUST I TELL YOU! R A N D A L L, my name is Randall!" Adding to the aggravated display, he stomped his left foot, as if it added to his anger.

"Was it necessary to try and make us deaf?" asked Bill, using a finger in his ear to clear the residual ringing.

"YES!!!!!!!!"

"I think it is time to add sound dampening material to the walls, so engineering isn't interrupted by every raised voice," Devaintre said with a smile, looking toward the walls.

"Engineering, hell!" Bill muttered. "I'm betting the BRIDGE heard him!"

"Tom Paris to Communications Module. Could you please check your console for a keyed up communications station. We keep hearing Randall up here," Tom tried to say without giggling too much.

"Ten trillion comedians outta work, and I get stuck on a ship full of them." Randall quipped as he ran his fingers over his goatee.

"Bridge, out," Tom laughed loudly.

Devaintre shook his head, then sat down. "So how about we have a game of Monopoly? It will allow us to talk, and we can find a new department you would like to work in, Randall." Devaintre tried to say, keeping his voice as neutral as possible.

"I was thinking he would be good for the diplomatic corps!" Bill stated while looking at the floor.

"Too bad Ezra isn't here; he could help us find a department you would be happy with, or a division you would fit in." Devaintre smiled as he walked to the replicator and got all of them a large cookie cake, along with three glasses of milk.


Random glitch in communication system:

B'Elanna looked over to Reg, "Hey, how do I request a song to play?"

"What song is it, B'Elanna?" Reg asked, almost afraid to hear what she wanted played.

"The system lists it as 'Can You Feel It', but it lists a whole bunch of remixes." B'Elanna said with a look of surprise. "Can you play this one right here."

Walking over to the bar and digging out his hearing protection, Reg ordered, "Computer, load song, enable proper listening level and proper equalizer mix.".

Before the music started, Reg told B'Elanna, "You can go anywhere on the ship and hear it, by the way."

Reg rechecked the playback setting and gasped, "Shit, it's not set for her commbadge and the club. It will be playing over every form of speaker on the ship. Oh, crap I am so dead."

"Commander Data to Lt. Barclay, could you please turn up the music, it seems to be a little low?" Data asked gently.


Earth realm five, Dimension twelve, timeline twenty:

"Shay did you understand where Ezra said we were?" Buddy asked while rubbing his temples.

"No, Buddy. However he said he would be back in a little bit after we made our purchase. I still love the color of the sky, nothing like a purple sky." Shay said as if he was walking on clouds.

"Well, if the sky is purple, is the rain purple?" Buddy asked, trying to stifle a giggle.

Buddy turned to see why Shay didn't comment, and almost lost his stomach contents on the ground at the look on Shay's face. Suddenly, Shay took off at a full speed run.

Buddy looked to where Shay was running, and felt his heart skip a beat. Not to be left behind, Buddy began running for the first time in his existence.

Buddy looked behind him, only to see Noland beginning to run as well. When he looked back towards Shay, he realized that he had started running the way he was looking. Buddy stopped and got his bearings, and began to run toward Shay again, who was now kneeling.

Buddy, now winded, came to a stop, he placed his hands on his knees and breathed hard. While still looking down, he asked, "Shay, why the run?" As he finished his sentence, he looked up; and knew why.

"Shay, are they alright?" Noland asked, digging out his medical kit.

"They have a pulse. Since you have the tricorder, perhaps you could tell me how they are?" Shay said with a slight growl. The growl obviously wasn't directed at Noland.

"They are both dehydrated, and show signs of malnutrition. They are stable enough to transport." Noland said with concern.

"Noland, we are the first responders in this case, and as such we must stabilize them." Shay rattled off, hoping Noland would understand he wasn't being mean.

Noland grinned, "Next time, just try saying, 'Hey, Noland? Can you fix them?' It sounds better, and saves your breath for spit-swapping with Buddy."

Buddy shot a grin towards Shay. "Maybe later tonight we will try swapping spit, but can you fix them, Grub?"

"We? Are you suggesting a threesome? I've never tried that." Shay deadpanned.

Noland grabbed his medical bag and began working on the boys. Quietly he started chanting, "I'm not listening!"

"Maybe once they are stable, and Grub isn't working on a mantra of not listening!" Buddy said while pointing toward Noland, who was trying to operate the hypo spray and plug his ears at the same time.

"You know, he really looks interesting in pink," Shay noticed. "That new deep red is even better."

"I wonder if the blush goes from his head to his toes?" Buddy asked with a sly grin.

"I would look, but the two boys don't need to see if he's having a reaction." Shay stated wisely.

"Speaking of the boys, they are waking up!" Noland stated, trying to keep control of his blush.

Buddy knelt down beside one of the boys with bated breath, waiting to see if they were alright.

One of the twins slowly began to stir after a full body stretch and a brief yawn. "Daddy, are we safe now?"

"Honey, you will always be safe, both of you. Now would you care to let me know who my new sons are?" Shay spoke with alligator size tears on his face.

"My name is Ted, and that is my twin, Tad." Ted said while he curled up in Shay's arms.

Shay reached over to Buddy and pulled him and Tad over to him and Ted, "Ted, Tad, this is my partner Buddy."

"Ted, we got us two Daddies." Tad said while looking at the blushing boy off to the side. "Who are you, and why are you glowing red?"

"I am Noland a friend of Shay and Buddy," Noland giggled while he tried to catch his breath.

"Noland? I thought your name was Grub!" Buddy giggled, trying to keep from falling over.

"Shaddup," Noland giggled. "There, it's official. You're Daddies now. I'm glad I got the update on the new features on the tricorder."

"Grub, did you also enter yourself as their uncle?" Shay asked, and then thought to ask him, "Do you want to be their uncle?"

"It didn't give me a choice... stupid tricorder!"

"So, that is a yes?" Buddy chuckled at Noland.

"Daddy? Can we stop and get food? I'm starved!" Both boys said at exactly the same time.

Noland looked over, and realized life was about to get a bit more exciting on the ship. Especially since now the ship had twins, both with raspberry red hair with streaks, and pale skin with freckles everywhere. "Shay, do you realize you and the Starship Saratoga have kids, since Buddy is one with the ship?"

"Buddy, are you still in contact with the ship?" Shay asked a little shocked.

"If contact was possible, then I would know; but I can't even sense the ship," Buddy stated.


Bridge:

Tom was checking in with each station on the Bridge when confetti started to fall from mid air. "Buddy, what is going on?"

"We have children now. Me and Shay have kids!" The VI Buddy stated with a great big smile on the view screen.

"What have they done now?" Tom asked no-one in particular.


Earth realm five, Dimension twelve, timeline twenty (Again):

"Well, lets see if we can find some food for the boys," Noland suggested, while waving his hands to them.

"Noland, what you meant to say was 'let's go find some grub'!" Shay stated with an innocent smile.

"Well, I could have said let's go find some munchies!" Noland snort-giggled.

"Daddies, enough picking on each other! We're hungry. There is a diner not far down this street. I think its the Quacker Sparrow." Ted tried not to laugh about the name.

"Shall we go, then?" Shay asked while holding his hand out to Ted, while Buddy did the same with Tad.

"Don't mind me, I will grab their stuff." Noland said in a joking voice.


Interstellar City Transport:

"Eww, I think I had one to many Quacked Eggs and Weirdo Biscuits." Tad announced.

"I told you to take it easy, since you haven't had much food to eat," Noland mentioned to Tad, but made sure Tad knew he wasn't mad by wrapping him in a warm hug.

Before much more could be said, a gentleman in a striped suit walked up. "Hello, my name is Jim. What can I help you find here at Interstellar City Transport?" Jim said with an exuberant attitude.

Buddy nudged Shay to speak, since he wanted the new ride.

"Yes Sir, I'm looking for a fast, but well armed small ship with enough room for the family." Shay replied, pointing back to Buddy and the boys.

"I have three ships matching your requirements," Jim smiled and waved them over to his antigrav cart.

While they were boarding the little cart, Shay asked, "Do you have one in red?"

A chuckle escaped Jim's lips. "In that case lets go check out the FT4 Dart Class Transport." Shaking his head, Jim drove them over to its hanger.

Jim looked at Shay. "Sorry, I didn't catch your name?"

"No it's my bad, I didn't tell you. I'm Shay." Shay said with a smile.

"So Shay, how about we get a retina scan and let it process while we take the FT4 for a spin?" Jim smiled while he held the scanner out for Shay to use.

"Alright Shay, lets go for a spin, shall we?" Jim asked.

They entered the ship via an entry port located between the engines and the back seat. Shay sat down in the pilot's seat, and Jim took the navigator's seat.

Shay looked over the controls. He had the engines on before Jim could say anything. "Jim would you check to see if we are clear for launch?"

"We are clear for launch, just follow the pilot guidance system" Jim said, clearly surprised at how fast Shay had checked all systems and learned where all the controls were.

"Jim, you better hold on," Shay warned. A few seconds later, they took off at a speed definitely unsafe for Ted and Tad, especially due to how much the boys had eaten.

Tad looked over to Ted, Noland and Buddy. "I hope he doesn't fly like that with us on board." Tad said with color draining from his face.

Buddy looked around, and mock whispered, "When you buy a new vehicle, the rule book says you should drive it fast enough to make the sales person sick; or at least make them wish they had not suggested the test drive in the first place."

They watched and waited for almost five minutes.

"Watch out, here they come!" Noland yelled, searching for shelter as the craft came zooming in for a landing.

The craft came in like a Sehlat pouncing a passerby from atop the Empire State Building. However, just as impact was obviously unavoidable, it suddenly stopped and landed. The hatch opened immediately, with Jim hopping out and running to the nearest trash can. After he took a few moments to shutdown all systems, Shay walked over to Jim. "I'm sorry I made you sick, but I wanted to see if this ship was everything I wanted." Shay said while helping Jim up.

Jim and Shay walked over to the antigrav cart, to find the terminal asking if the customer wanted the ship.

"So um, Shay would you like to purchase this ship?" Jim asked, perplexed by the terminal.

"I'll take it if they can add the 'special' performance packages, along with the 'special' defensive packages. Also add a good detailing." Shay said, looking at Jim with an evil smile.

"Noted. So Shay, how many of these would you like to purchase today?" Jim said, slack jawed, looking at the terminal.

Buddy giggled, "You know, I think a thank-you gift to the Patriarch and the Director in Alligator Alley might be nice."

"Okay, Buddy, then let's pick up three of these; obviously with all options available." Shay said while looking Buddy in the eyes.

"We will have all three ready for pick up in three days," Jim said while still looking at the credit line on the terminal.

Noland turned to Buddy. "I wonder where Ezra is hiding at?"

Shay looked to Noland, "You mean when is he hiding?"

"Up here, I like your choice!" Ezra replied from about five feet above them. "I see you found the boys, I knew I forgot something. It's the little details that get you!"

"Ezra, can we go home to the medical bay for a quick check up on the twins? Then we will have cookies in our quarters. You're invited." Buddy asked looking up at Ezra.

"Like this?" Ezra asked as they all appeared in front of Marky.

"Took you long enough!" Marky stated while tapping his foot. "Ezra warned me a whole two seconds ago!"

"Calm down, Marky. We're here now, so you can check out Tad and Ted," Shay said while pointing to his new children. "Marky, the sooner we finish with the checkout, the sooner you and Jack can join us with Ezra and our sons. We're having cookies and milk."

"Tad, if you'll come over here and hop up on to bed number one. Ted you get bed number two." Marky helped the boys on to the beds and began the tests.

"Well, guys, other than malnourishment, they are fine. I will suggest they take it easy on eating meals. That means if you feel full, then stop eating; otherwise you will be sick." Marky said waving his finger at the boys. He quickly learned his lesson when one of them tried to bite his finger.

"Hmm, this appears to be a like father, like son moment," Noland laughed while making a run for the door.

The next sound heard was Noland running face-first into the door. "Shay, why did you do that?" Marky asked as he examined Noland.

"Shay's innocent! It's good to be king of the ship!" Buddy said while helping Noland up from the floor.

"Oh, no, Buddy! Is Shay rubbing off on you?" Marky asked, trying not to laugh. "Let me give Jack a call, and see if he can meet us in your cabin."

"As to whether I am rubbing of on him, ask me later." Shay grinned evilly at Marky. "Hurry up and call Jack. I want a cookie, and you wouldn't want to know me when I have gone without cookies for too long"


Shay and Buddy's cabin:

During the brisk walk to the cabin Ted asked, "Daddy, are we there yet?"

No one noticed as Ezra floated out of view to attempt to hide his giggles.

"Here we are, home sweet cabin!" Buddy announced before running smack dab in to the door. "What the heck is with the yellow tape and please call security before entering?"

Before Buddy could kiss the door again, a meek security member walked up to them. "Excuse me, Sirs. Only authorized persons are allowed in this room."

"Who do I need to talk to? This is my cabin!" screamed a furious Buddy.

Shay, however, remained calm as he gathered his boys in for another hug. He was also searching for Ezra, finally spotting him on the ceiling trying not to laugh too loud. "Buddy, please calm down. I think we should just chill out. I'm sure we'll find out really soon who is responsible for this latest event." Shay commented as he pointed to the ceiling with a large smile.

"Bridge to Buddy; could you please stop your poor imitation of Randolph?" Tom asked with a slight giggle. "B'Elanna is on her way, so try to remain calm."

In a far away voice, they heard "Not like Buddy could remain calm after reading which model android he is based off of. Oh, shit.... " With a loud static burst, the comm died.

As calmly as B'Elanna could, she walk over to them. The hyper-hybrid covered in cookie crumbs, grumbled, "Now, what seems to be the problem over here?"

"Why is our cabin sealed up?" Buddy shouted.

"Why don't you see for yourself?" she replied, tapping Buddy on the shoulder. "Go on in, you are allowed access." she added, gently pushing Buddy.

Once Buddy entered, the door sealed shut again. approximately thirty seconds later, everyone heard Buddy scream,"Holy Moly, someone converted our cabin! You gotta see this..." His proclamation was followed by a loud thump on the door, again.

"I hope he realizes face-plants into a non moving door hurt!" Noland said just barely over a whisper.

B'Elanna released the seal completely. She opened the door to find Buddy rubbing his forehead. "Alright, everyone come on in and check out your home." B'Elanna said, trembling with excitement.

Ted and Tad entered the cabin followed by Shay. "Oh, wow," Ted happily squealed, "we have a living room with soft furniture, covered in soft fabrics and purple stripes. Look we have a study of our own, Tad. Look at the kitchen. Look, there is where our Daddys’ room is and our rooms." He paused and wondered, "Umm, why are there two more bedrooms with 'Future Expansion' labeled on them?" Without waiting for an answer, Ted gave Tad a hug, giggling, "We're home."

"How did you pull this off, B'Elanna? My internal sensors and VI should have told me when we returned to the ship." Buddy asked as he stood.

The joy and happiness on B'Elanna's face was beyond priceless but, in answer she just pointed up. "I had a helper. Thank you for all your help, Ezra."

As everyone started to enter the cabin, Jack yelled, "Marky, wait for me please."

Shay poked his head out the door "Get in here, you're running late." Shay said with a stern face.

After Jack entered the cabin, Shay walked up and gave him a warm hug. "I am so glad you're alright; you gave us a fright in the transporter room." Shay said as his stern face softened into a radiant smile.

Jack returned the hug with enough force to break a normal person's ribs. "Thank you, Shay. I'm much better, and Marky is beginning to break from his bad habit of talking bad about you." Jack smiled while pointing at Marky, then gave the universal 'come here' gesture. "Tell him what you wanted to tell him, Marky!"

"Shay, I am so sorry for the stuff I spread about you!" Marky leaned over and gave Shay a hug and a kiss on his cheek. "Besides, I really like you better with emotions."


To be continued in Chapter 4


Author Notes:

I would like to thank all of the readers for giving me the inspiration to continue writing on this story although it seems to be random and crazy most times. All I can say is the Characters take charge. Plus, I must give thanks to TheEggman, Acfan, Ilúvantír and Lady Cynaira for all their help with this chapter.

See you next Chapter.

Brynmor