The Twilight Galaxy Motel
At the dawn of the new day, it was Thomas that awoke first, he looked around the room he had selected as his own, it was starting to feel like home again, the large round bed in the centre of the room was big enough for five or six boys, the floor was covered in some type of thick fluffy skin of a blue shade, around the walls were plenty of shelves now filling with small gifts and things he had collected in the short time they had been here.
In one corner, close to the wide and high windows that looked out onto their own grand gardens, there was a sliding door, this led into his own private bathroom, it had a shower stall much like the one on the ship only three times the size, it also included a large round tub that could be used for bathing, as a Jacuzzi or as a soak pool, everything he needed for his ablutions was in cabinets on the wall, all of his personal apartment was heated to exactly the temperature he liked.
Thomas knew that the other boys also had the same as he did, the bedrooms were set around the central core of the mansion which held the dining and lounge rooms, outside was the warm deep swimming pool surrounded by cool gardens, there were no high walls separating them from outside, instead there was an almost invisible barrier that could be darkened if they wanted privacy or lightened if they wanted to see what was on the other side.
Entry to the Mansion was through two enormous energy gates, these would register the signature of the person invited inside or, if it ever happened, someone that the boys did not want to be allowed inside, and the gates would act accordingly, allowing entrance or refusing whichever they had to do, the boys found that they just passed through the gates without even the slightest of feelings yet others, Stilta included, always felt the energy system checking them out.
Below the living area of the house was an underground garage, inside were the boys seven vehicles, while Marco was fully allowed to drive his own, he preferred to have Stilta drive him around while he sat as close as he could get to his friend, one small hand usually very close to Stilta's private bits, it didn't matter to Marco that Stilta was not yet mature enough for any sort of action, too Marco he had found the boy he wanted and he would wait for Stilta to catch up, in the mean time he had his own ways of getting satisfaction and stimulation, much to Stilta's delight and wonder.
There was however one thing that was a little disconcerting to Marco, every time he ejaculated, his semen was quickly collected by Stilta and placed in a small vial and then deposited in a small draw that opened in the headboard of their bed, it was some time before Marco had the courage to ask about it.
Stilta explained to him that the emissions of all the boys was so valuable that every drop had to be collected so that it could be used for the impregnation of any the Khaladasians selected to carry their off spring, it would be entirely up to Marco who could use his semen, even the most senior of the Elders could not override Marco's selection, this gave Marco a lot to think about, he had never thought he would be able to have children, after all he was essentially a bottom boy, the new thought of being able to have children like him was something that would take a lot of thinking about.
The next morning Marco told the other boys what he had learned, as Stilta blushed at the open way the boys discussed their sexual activities, the others began to ask more and more questions, it was finally revealed to the boys that when, like most teens, they ejaculated, they were expected to collect the spent semen and place it in the small vials that came out of the headboard of their beds, with smiles all around, the boys finally had an answer for the reason that a small cupboard opened each time they had some relief with their hands, Stilta then went on to explain as he had to Marco, his blushes were as much fun for the boys as they were an embarrassment for Stilta.
Over the next two Khaladasian weeks, the boys took their 'cars' out on many trips, they zipped around the city to look at all the sights, it had become common place for any Earth boy to stop and talk with others from the old home world, Thomas now saw that a large number of boys now had Khaladasian friends with them, some were older and some were still younglings, it was easy to tell by the number of arms they showed and, while the features of the Khaladasian men looked young, Stilta for instance only looked to be a boy of about twelve years old, Thomas knew they were far older, it was at times amusing to try to guess how old the Khaladasian boy friends were.
Finally, after three Khaladasian weeks had passed, a grand meeting was called for all the boys too attend, it was to be held in the Central Elders Court, this was a huge building with seating for over 20,000 persons, it was time for the boys to say where they would like to go to live and on which of the Khaladasian system planets they wanted to be.
During the last three weeks they had been given long lessons and shown holo-vids of the planets, representatives of each of the seventeen planets had been available for questions and nothing about their home planet was held back from the enquiring boys, at last the time had come to decide.
The Elders Court was filled to capacity, every Earth boy knew that this was the time to decide about their future, some of the former groups had split up into smaller groups of two or three, those were the ones that had decided to go to the same planet, Thomas and his friends had all decided to stay on Prime as did a number of others, as each planets name was called, the boys who had decided to go there would step forward and be formally greeted by the leaders of that planet, six hours later and all had made the decision, for the rest of the night there was only partying to be had as old friends said their goodbyes or, if they were staying together on the same planet, they would come together with hugs and laughter, even the normally very staid Elders joined in the fun of the party.
By the next morning, the number of Earth boys on Khaladasian Prime had reduced from 17,000 to only a little over 1,400, in the early morning sky above Prime were the thin bright trails of the departing ships, all bound for their own planets, with the high standard of communications it was going to be easy to call friends that had parted to other planets and so keep in touch with each other.
As Thomas's group sat around having breakfast, he asked Stilta, where they would have to go to school, all of them would have to finish high school then go on to college or university if they wanted to get good positions in some company or other so they could earn a living, at this, Stilta almost laughed but quickly covered his mouth so he would not cause disrespect for his new friends, some things were hard to get rid of, Stilta began to explain the system for the boys.
"But Mirl Thomas, you have no need to work, it is almost a sacrilege for you to do so, everything you need to know is available on your education beds in the study and play room, your income is guaranteed from the Elders, if you wish you can increase it by deciding to do something of your own, for instance, the boys who have knowledge of those new Martial Arts, can become trainers, they get an increase of 200 credits a month, I know, Mirl Thomas that you also have these Martial Arts skills, I have seen you training some mornings, if you desire to earn extra income you could join others that have become trainers."
"What about other skills though, what if the boys want to do something with their time, we can't just sit around and not collect credits for nothing?" Thomas asked Stilta.
"Well there is the desire for you to all become parents, as I explained about the emission collections; they are all held in cryo stasis until you decide who is worthy to carry your children, once that is done you will need a home for your family, this is why all these small homes were built for you, now that the other boys have left to go to other planets, there is an abundance of these small homes for you to choose from so that each of you will have his own home."
The boys looked around the huge mansion thinking ' This is a small home."
"How can we afford such a large home as this mansion?" Noah asked.
"Oh, Mirl Noah, this is not a large mansion, this is just a small family residence, if you wish to purchase it would only be about 7,000 credits, a true mansion can cost up to 30, 000 credits, for instance, my families estate where Father Ketsika lives with a number of other members, cost more than 50,000 credits, it took him a few years to pay for it all as the lands around it cover fifty square kilometres, it is one of the more average estates, there are larger ones."
"Let me get this straight." Said Noah. "We could each buy one of these homes that are now vacant for 7,000 credits and it would belong to us forever?"
"Of course it would Mirl Noah, once you make a purchase it belongs to you, how could you think it would be taken away?"
"But what about land rates and taxes, operating costs and such like?"
"Land rates, Taxes, Operating costs, what are these things, Mirl Noah?"
Noah now had to really think about what he was trying to explain.
"Well on Earth, sorry, Terra, when you bought a house or land, you had to pay the government money to own it and for other services, operating costs were for things like water, power sewerage, having your gardens looked after, painting the house or doing other repairs if something broke and, everyone had to pay the government taxes."
"What are these 'Taxes', you talk about?"
"Uhm, well taxes are money you pay to the government on what you earn so they can operate and look after the laws and other things."
"But that does not seem fair, you mean to say the 'Government' gets paid for doing things you do for yourself, why do you even pay their 'Taxes', just say no, it is credits you earn therefore it is rightfully yours, if they want some credits they should go and earn it for themselves, it is for that reason that all the Elders have their own estates, it is so they can have the time to work for the good of the people, they would certainly think it strange or even mad, to be paid for doing their duty to the people and the planet, Terra must truly have been a strange place for you to live."
It was little Marco that asked the next question.
"But what about the operating costs of such a big house, Muffy?"
There was sudden silence in the room which was quickly replaced with smothered giggles and finally all six boys asking at the same time, "Muffy?" the sudden reddening of Marco's whole body and the still unusual bluish colouring of Stilta's blush only made the other boys giggle louder, Marco then tried to explain it was his special name for Stilta amid a lot of ribbing and giggles, finally they all settled down and Stilta was able to recollect himself and hope his blush would recede faster than it normally did.
"This 'Operating Cost' I don't see how it could work, you have nothing to pay for, these small homes are completely self contained."
At the confused look on the boy's faces he continued.
"You have seen that at the end of the garden there are three small constructions?" He watched as the boys all nodded.
"Well, they supply everything you need for the house, the small oval disc shaped box is a water collector, it takes moister from the surrounding atmosphere and converts it to the water needed for the grounds and the house needs, the square box houses the two androids that look after the grounds and any repairs needed to the house, the tall metal rod is for your power supplies, it collects the Alpha rays of the white sun and sends it to be converted into the power needed for the house, your generator is fifty metres below the house and is connected to your Positronic Computer that governs the operation of everything in and outside the house, for cleaning inside, it is done by the three in-house androids while you are sleeping, so you see, there are no 'Operating Costs' this is all normal for small residences, the large Estates of course have many more androids and things but there is no need to pay someone to actually do the work, Terra must have been more backward than I thought if you had to pay a person to do all these normal things."
The boys could see the look of confusion on Stilta's face as he tried to reconcile the new facts he had just learnt, to them this was a revelation that they too now had to try to understand, it seemed that once you bought a home it was yours and only yours, no one would interfere in how you ran it or what you did in it, it was a type of freedom they would take ages to get used too.
Ivan was the next to ask a question.
"If we wanted to buy our own house what would we do, how long would it take?"
"Oh, that's easy, all you need do is ask the computer to display the homes available, where they are and in what area of the planet you would like to live, once you have found the one you like, you just call the agents on the vid-com and tell them you want to purchase the house, they tell you the price and you send through the credits, once that's done, your name is registered in the owners title book and you have your house, it takes usually about an hour after you have made you choice."
"An hour?" Ivan asked.
"Well yes, sometimes it can be faster if there are no other people wanting the same house, if you are the only bidder then it can be done in about ten minutes, if there are other bidders then you all have a vid conference and decided among yourselves who deserves the house most, the others then all agree and the house goes to the one who needs it more than they do."
"But what if two people need just as much as each other?"
"Then they decide among themselves and the others take no part in the negotiations, it is all done very amicably, it would not be right to take from someone who is in more need then yourself."
"Do you mean to say that there is no going back and forth with courts and lawyers to buy a house?" Romero asked.
"Lawyers? What are they, as far as courts go, only the Elders Court is known here, why would you go to someone to fix a problem when you can just sit and talk it over with the people concerned, yes I can see Terra was very backward in so many ways."
"But what gets me Stilta, is how do you earn your credits if no body works?" Thomas asked.
"Oh, everybody works in one form or another, for instance, I am now your Official Companion, for this I receive a number of credits each month, as well as those, I receive my allocation of credits from the inter system trade as do all Khaladasians as well as yourselves, that is where your 500 credits a month comes from, it is your share of the system trade, you see, each planet has something to trade that the others do not have, for example, Khaladasian Prime produces Banafil meat, Gregot plants and Basam fruit, it's the only planet that can produce these foods, that is what is grown on all the estates, we produce so much we export it to the other planets in the system for credits, they are then distributed to the whole of the population depending on their status and needs."
"Are you telling me that no one owns companies or takes all the profit from the sales?" Romero asked.
"Companies, Profits, these are all unknown words to me Mirl Romero, everything produced on Khaladasian Prime belongs to all of us, therefore the resulting credits belong to all of us and are shared equally depending only on ones position in society, an example is yourselves, as those designated as Most Revered Loved Ones you get the same share as the Elders, for someone like myself who, with great thanks to you, is now given two hundred credits a month as my scale was lifted when you asked for me, for the lowest level of citizen, example one of the younglings who is only fifty or sixty years old, he would receive forty credits a month, for the average adult he would get similar to what I now am getting, the rest of the credits are used to make purchases from other planets for things we may need."
"But what about banks and things like that, what do they do with all their credits if they don't spend them?" It was the Twins turn to ask.
"Well if you have extra credits you can travel to other planets, you pay the ship's Captain and he takes you where you want to go or, you can save to buy an estate of your own, there are many ways to use your credits, the more they are spread around the better everyone's lives are, if you want to enlarge your house, you ask a person who is working with construction androids and he sets a price, when he is done and you are happy with the results, you pay him his price, he may use those credits to buy or replace an android or he may take a journey to another planet or, he may even ask for some of your semen to have a child, which reminds me, the current market value for your semen has been set by the Elders as one hundred credits and it is only on your approval that the recipient is to receive it, at all times you will have the final say on the distribution of your semen, after all it belongs to you."
It was the boys turn to blush as they thought about all the times they had had some relief and not saved the emissions only now to be told it was very valuable, the one thing they could still not work out was how were the Khaladasian men going to get pregnant, after all there were no females to provide eggs, all of them knew that it would do no good to ask Stilta as he would only say he was too young to discuss it, they would have to find one of the older men to talk about it.
"Can I ask you about the credits for our...well...our...stuff?" Ivan asked.
"Stuff? Oh you mean your semen, yes of course you can ask; it is after all yours, what do you wish to know?"
"Well it seems unfair that we get all the credits, after all everyone else seems to share their incomes, what if some of us wanted to use some of the credits to be put back into the planets income, would we be allowed to do that?"
Much to the dismay of the boys, Stilta began to turn a darker blue as he blushed while trying to stammer out what he was thinking.
"I really think it is time for me to call an Elder of the Fertility Dome, I think it is time for you to discuss it properly with him."
The boys could only stare blankly at Stilta, this casual breakfast conversation had suddenly become very deep, it was time to get some real answers about why they were here, so much had been given to them and such a high position of honour had been put upon them that they now needed to seek some of the answers that Stilta could not provide, as Noah put it.
"It's time to chat to the big boys"
Blushing profusely, Stilta turned to the vid com unit on the wall and asked the computer for the Elder of the Fertility Dome, the call took less than thirty seconds to make a connection, on the screen in front of the boys came the face of a man that looked to be no older than forty, he had a nice open smile and his eyebrows lifted when he saw who his callers were, with a low bow to the boys he said.
"Most Revered Loved Ones, what an honour to see you, how may I help?"
The boys looked at each other and, once again it fell to Thomas to lead the way.
"Ahm...err...Elder, we were discussing our...well...you know...our ...ah...emissions."
"Oh yes, your semen, my, my, you boys certainly have an abundance, we have been inundated with your offerings, we are at this moment building a new cryo stasis dome to keep it all, for only fourteen hundred boys it is certainly a lot, not only that but are you aware that yours is up to seven times more potent than a healthy Khaladasian, I have one sample here from a Most Revered Loved One called Noah, do you know of him, he is a marvel, his sperm count is over seven times that of a fully grown Khaladasian, absolutely amazing, most of you are up around five but he is exceptional, we will be able to fertilize as many as five or six eggs just with this one emission, truly amazing."
Suddenly the Elder realised he was babbling as well as the young Most Revered Loved One with the very unusual black skin seemed a little embarrassed, suddenly realising his mistake the Elder turned a dark blue, his own embarrassment now showing, he had let his mouth get away with his common sense and respect for the gathered Most Revered Loved Ones, he began to think of what would be an appropriate amount of credits to send to the Most Revered Loved Ones, to cover his bad disrespect of them, he was already thinking in the thousands as he watched the others on the screen look at him with surprised glances, perhaps he should increase his gift to ten thousand, it seemed so little for what he had done, in their lounge the boys had no idea of what was going on, they only knew that now they had something on Noah to rib him with.
"We thank you Elder for your enthusiasm but we were wondering if it is permissible for us to return some of our credits gained from the sale of our...err..Semen, back into the planets coffers?"
"Well it certainly would not be refused but there is also the fact that this is something very personal to you all, it would not be expected by others that you return credits for this selfless act, however, if you were to do so it would only increase your standing among the people, but this is entirely up to yourselves."
"Thank you Elder, it gives us something to think on but I know that most of us would like to make a contribution to the planets income and this is the only way we can see at this point on how to do it, after all, this is now our home and we feel it is the right thing to do."
"Most Revered Loved Ones, your names will go down in our history for your unselfish act, it is far beyond what we could ever ask of you, on behalf of all the Fertility Domes and their Elders, I humbly thank you, now if there is anything else that I may help you with please ask."
"Elder, there is another thing that has arisen, it is the matter of finding partners, as you can understand, we are a very prolific race and our need for a partner in our...shall we say...moments of emission...enjoy having another with us, what should we do if we wish to find a partner of mature age for us?"
"Ah yes, the eternal hunt for that right person, well if you have not been to the Edu-program on relationships then I suggest you do that tonight, it will explain all the things and terms needed to find that special someone, there are of course some basic principles to follow that are as much protocol as rules, our old manuscripts do say that there is one special person for every man, in our society he is called a Shakran, when you find him you will know almost instantly, from then on it is all protocol but please, use the Edu-program tonight and you will then be ready when it happens, as it will , I am sure,"
"Thank you again, Elder, we will do that."
"As always Most Revered Loved Ones, it was my pleasure to assist you, good bye and call me again if you have any questions, my line is always open for you."
Thomas switched off and turned to the others.
"Well, what do you all think?"
The following discussion went on for over an hour until Marco called out for some quiet, he said he had something to say, the boys quietened down and looked at the smallest of their group.
"Stilta and I have talked it over, we have decided that we want to get our own house and be together, I know it seems like I am running away from you but it's not true, we just want a place of our own, according to Stilta, as he is not into puberty yet he is not allowed to have a house of his own but, as I am I can own my own house and also have my own Companion, the only problem I can see is if you won't let him come with me because he is meant to be the Companion of us all, what do you all think?"
Noah was the first too answer.
"Have you looked at the Edu-program yet, do you think you are this...what do they call it again...Shakran?"
"I don't know Noah, we haven't looked at it yet."
"At my age Mirl Noah, we would not feel the Shakran yet, I have to reach puberty before it would show itself, but, I do know that I want to be close to Mirl Marco as often as I can, as you have seen by us sleeping together in the same room so it is possible that there is a Shakran feeling involved but it is too early to tell just yet."
"Well Marco, I suggest you use the Edu-program first then you will know all there is, if you still feel the same way then I for one would say go for it." Thomas added.
All the other boys nodded their heads in agreement, it was the right way to do it, Marco also nodded, he could see know that it would be wiser to learn more about his feelings first, after all, here on Khaladasian they were going to live for a lot longer than if they were back on Earth.
"What about the rest of you, should we stay here altogether or get our own places, we can still see or talk to each other as often as we want, I for one am starting to think we should go out and live our lives and try to find new things to do, I know we would always be the best of friends and look after each other, but we are here for a new start, what do you say?" Ivan asked his friends.
This led to another long discussion until Noah said again.
"Let's all wait until we have been through the Edu-program then we can decide what we want to do, we have to have the knowledge before we can make a decision like this, this is a new world with new ways, lets learn first."
Everyone nodded, again the more mature head of Noah led the way, Mr. Fixit had done his job once again, the boys began to split up, the Twins even went back to their bedroom and decided to look at the Edu-program right away, no use waiting when there might be something good to learn.
It was a week later that Thomas began to feel something inside, each morning, as he had done for all his time on the new home planet, Thomas had gone for his training run before going through his practice hour of Soh Bah Do, his form of martial arts, from the second morning he had begun to notice that a mid teen Khaladasian had been watching him, the teen had always been on the same corner each morning and had watched as Thomas had run past and, each morning they had at first, nodded to each other, on the second morning it had been a half smile, on the third morning it had been a more open smile, the fourth morning it had been both a nod and a smile and now, on the fifth morning, the teen had beside him a mature adult, what followed brought back all that he had learnt in the Edu-program the Fertility Elder had suggested they look at.
Thomas stopped at the corner and looked at the mature male, the adult was dressed in what Thomas knew to be full formal military dress, the older man stepped back with his left foot and bowed low to Thomas while keeping his eyes on him, in reply, Thomas stepped back with his right foot and bowed to the adult but, as the program had said to do, not as low, this was the first protocol on making an introduction of strangers.
As the adult stepped towards Thomas, the teen moved in behind the man and followed partially hidden behind the adult, Thomas waited as Protocol demanded, it was for the adult to make the first opening of the introduction, once the two of them were just two paces away as Protocol stated they should be, the adult spoke the first words of formal introduction.
"Most Revered Loved One, I am Bennif Saran Statum Rennit, Commander of the First Level of Jumpers, I request the honour of introducing my eighth Son to your person, should it be your desire to know him."
Thomas followed the Protocols he had learnt only days ago.
"Father Bennif Saran Statum Rennit, it would be an honour for me to be introduced to your eighth Son and I would like to know him."
As he spoke those words, Thomas felt something inside him send a small shock through his insides, he suddenly felt his body heat up and all his limbs started to shiver as though he had a fever, it took only one glance at the partially hidden figure of the other teen to know that he was feeling the same thing, as the Edu-program had stated it was the first and main sign that this teen was his Shakran, the adult immediately saw what was happening and tried to keep a straight face as Protocol demanded.
"Most Revered Loved One, it is the wish of my eighth Son that he be allowed to call you Mirl and that you be joined in Shakra, if this is your wish I would ask that names be exchanged and a date set for your first joining, if that is your desire?"
"Father of the eighth Son, this would be my wish, that at this time and place I would learn the name of your eighth Son and that he and I would become Shakra, it is in my body that this should been seen as truth, if this is also your desire?"
By this time Thomas was sweating profusely, the urgent need for him to put his arms around the teen was becoming overpowering, his own knees were shaking with the effort to not step forward to the boy, he had to contain himself for the sake of Protocol, and he could see that the other teen had the same problem.
Thomas had no idea what was going on around him, the once busy and bustling street was totally silent, all he was aware of were the two people in front of him, had he looked around he would have seen the hundreds of people on the street all stopped and silently watching what was happening, if it came off they would be witnesses to the first Shakra joining of the Most Revered Loved Ones, they all knew this was a momentous occasion and did not want to miss a thing.
"Most Revered Loved One, I introduce my eighth Son, Manam Burr Regis, it is his desire to be your Shakra, would you accept his intentions?"
"Father of the eighth Son, it would be my desire to accept his intentions as my Shakra, if it would be acceptable by your family I would be joined at your convenience."
"Most Revered Loved One, it is my desire to have my eighth Son given as your Shakra, the joining will be in two days time at my Estate, I give my eighth Son to your hand and ask that you offer me your name so I may state it in the book of joining."
"Father, I accept the hand of your eighth Son, my name is Thomas Kilroy a survivor of the planet Terra."
The adult bowed low again and then stepped aside, it was like being hit by a bus as Manam flew into Thomas's open arms, a tear falling down his cheek as he clasped tightly to Thomas, his second set of arms, although still not fully formed, wrapped around Thomas's waist as far as they could reach, while it was a funny feeling to have two pairs of arms hugging him, Thomas felt happy about it, Manam, like himself, was very hard and erect as their two bodies collided, the Father stepped back and smiled broadly as the street around the three erupted into loud cheers and clapping, the first Shakra joining had begun, it was like a celebration for everyone there, Thomas could only see and hear Manam as he clung tightly to him.
It was several minutes before the two boys noticed the large crowd that had gathered to watch the event, both were blushing heavily as those around them continued to clap and cheer, Thomas could only smile widely and nod his head as complete strangers came up to the pair and touched a fore finger to their fore heads in a sign of congratulations as the Protocol dictated, finally they were able to leave the street, as quickly as they could, the new pair of Shakra made for Thomas's house, it would be Manam's new home until they had a place of their own.
As the pair walked into the house, Thomas's friends took one look and all cheered, they had all used the Edu-program and knew what this meant, Ivan was the first to congratulate the pair.
"You lucky bastard Thomas, I somehow knew it would be you that had the first Shakra, are you going to introduce us or are you going straight to your bedroom?" Ivan and the others laughed as Manam blushed blue again.
"My friends, this is my Shakra, Manam Burr Regis, we are going to be joined in two days and you fuckers better be there or else." Thomas said laughingly.
The other boys also noticed that the two new Shakra could not keep their hands off each other, or, in the case of Manam, all four hands, Thomas leaned close to Manam and whispered in his ear, the other boy blushed again and nodded his head, both boys knew they could not yet consummate their joining, that could only be done after the ceremony but there were ways for both of them to enjoy each other's company without breaking protocol.
Every teenager knew these ways and so they disappeared into Thomas's bedroom, they would not be seen again until the time for the joining, even their meals were taken to the bedroom, they were also very fortunate that the bedroom was totally sound proofed, over the next two days, Thomas added a large number of vials to his cryo bank with the help of Manam.
Early on the morning of the third day, there was a ringing at the front door of the house, the boys were both ready along with all their friends, at the front steps sat a large multi passenger vehicle, the driver was standing by the rear door ready to help them inside, once there the driver drove away and headed out towards the country where most of the estates were, it was a driver of an hour.
At the gates of the estate stood four soldiers in full ceremonial dress, as the car pulled past them they all came to attention and saluted smartly, within minutes the car was pulling up at the wide stone steps of the house, if the boys thought that their house was large this was enormous, there were lines of children and grownups all along the length and width of the big veranda, too Thomas's eyes, there must have been hundreds of people, he also spied a number of Elders along with a lot of very high ranking military officers.
Protocol insisted that the Shakra were the last to leave the vehicle and so Thomas's friends got out first and were all formally welcomed before the two teens were allowed to get out, once on the steps a loud cheer went up and a lot of long clapping was heard by the boys, another adult came forward and placed a wreath of red flowers on the heads of the two boys, a younger adult who looked just like Manam so had to be a brother, draped a long golden cloak over the shoulders of the two, next came another younger brother, he laid a pair of white slippers at each boys feet so they could change into them, finally came a very small boy who had to be a very young brother, he gave Thomas two silver rings in clear boxes, these would be exchanged during the upcoming ceremony, Thomas smiled at the young boy and placed the rings in his belt bag.
Thomas was thankful that the ceremony was very short, two Elders stood in front of the two boys holding one each of the boys hands, they gave out their given names and then pronounced the two joined adding the extra names they would then be known by, once this was done, the boys exchanged rings and they were then officially Shakra, Thomas would now be known as, Mirl Thomas Kilroy Sebath Davin, or Most Revered Loved One Thomas Kilroy Grand Sire of Davin, he had no idea who, what or where Davin was but he was sure to find out shortly, Manam was now known as, Manam Burr Regis Kilroy Sedat, or Manam Burr Regis Kilroy Most Beloved/First companion/ Wife of Mirl Thomas Kilroy.
As protocol dictated, both boys wrapped their arms around each other and lightly kissed, the roar of appreciation went up around the hundreds of guests, they were then led to a long table piled high with food and drink and, as they ate, the usual speeches were given, most were about what lay ahead of them and how they would have many sons, once this was over the giving of gifts began, this took a long time as each giver was expected to touch a forefinger to the forehead of the newly joined couple and offer a gift to help them get started along with good wishes, Manam's father was the last to offer a gift, from him they were offered a small estate of three square kilometres which he had called, Davin, here they could raise meat animals and crops, he told them the house had already been built and was waiting for them after the party was over in two days time, it was going to be a long wait to get Manam into his bed to fully consummate their joining, Thomas was damn sure there were not going to be any vials for storage during the first night in their new home.
As was the custom of joining ceremonies, the drink had been mixed with a serum that kept everyone wide awake and frisky, the need for sleep was pushed aside in the belief that the new couple should have a good start to their lives and what better way than to start with the party of all parties, it also went to make sure that the new couple were well primed for their first night in bed together.
It was the fourth morning after the party when Thomas and Manam awoke to the sound of a heavy transport above their new home, both boys looked as though they had not slept for weeks, their hair was like a birds nest after a strong wind and their rather musky scent told its own story of how long since they had left their bedroom, slowly the two boys raised their heads and tried to look out of the large window to the side of the enormous round bed, they could just make out the shadow of a very large machine above the house, it was Thomas who finally decided to get up and take a closer look, as he did so, there came a ringing of their door bell, with a groan, Thomas smiled at Manam and pulled on a soft gown to go and see who it was.
The young soldier at the door could only grin at the dishevelled looking teen that opened the door for him.
"Good morning Most Revered Loved One, I am delivering your Banafil stock, which section would you like them placed in?"
"Er...uhm... good morning...uhm, what Banafil?"
"The ones sent to you by the Fertility Elder, it is his gift, there are four females and one male to start your breeding stock."
"Oh...uhm...I don't know, we haven't even had a chance to look at our estate yet...we...uhm...have been...uhm...rather busy."
The young soldier noticed the heavy red blush of the Most revered Loved One and smiled to himself, 'it must have been a good three days' he thought silently to himself.
"Perhaps, Most Revered Loved one, you would like me to select a section to have them put into, you can then decide if you want them moved at your convenience later."
"Yes, yes thank you that would be great, if you would excuse me, I think I need to get a shower and some food."
"Of course, I will take care of it for you."
Thomas watched the young soldier walk around the corner of the house and disappear, shortly afterwards, there was a deepening of the whirring sound and he watched as an enormous transporter flew over the house and out towards a far off field, he had no idea how big these Banafil were but he didn't think they needed such a big ship to carry only five of them, shrugging his shoulders he went back inside and closed the door, as he turned he saw his Shakra descending the stairs, he also looked as though he had spent too much time in bed, it was time for both of them to eat and get cleaned up, they had a new home and estate to look at.
The shower took a lot longer than they thought it would, Manam also was now even more tender in his rear than when he first woke up but he loved every small twinge of pain as he made his way to the kitchen for the first meal in the new house, his Shakra was sitting waiting for him, a hot large meal on the table ready for them both, Manam kissed Thomas on the lips once again and then carefully sat down to eat.
Thomas could not see the small red pinpricks where Manam had sunk his short fangs but he could feel the slight tightness of his shoulders where they had been, the injection of Manam's endorphins had given Thomas new life every time he thought he was spent, it had been a torrid three days and nights but they were now for the moment, sated, it was now time to get their new bearings.
"Manam, I need to ask you about the estate, as you know I know nothing about running an estate, should we get a manger in to do it, I don't want to ruin it,"
"Oh no my Shakra, I know all there is to run it, it's what my Father trained me for, that's why he was so happy that we became Shakra, he knew you would be good for me and we would have many children to carry on your legacy, it also gives our family great honour that we are the first to have a Most Revered loved One as the first Shakra so you see we are both blessed, now what do you need to know about your Estate?"
"Our Estate, it belongs to both of us."
"No, no, it is your Estate, you are the Sebath of Davin, the Sire of all Davin Estate so it is yours, I am just your lover/companion/ wife, the day you took over the Estate it was recorded in your name so all your Son's will have a home for ever, sorry my Love, it's the way it goes here."
"But what about you, what if something happened to me and you were left alone, you would have nothing?"
"Oh yes I would, I would have all your Sons to watch over me in my old age, just because it is in your name does not mean I am set adrift if you ever pass over, I am your Shakra so can never be taken off this Estate, even by order of the Elders, to this end it is ours but in name it is yours, do you see now?"
"Yes, you've made it clearer, ok so now what the hell are these Banafil?"
"Ah yes, the Banafil are a large herbivore, a small Estate like this could probably feed about three hundred at one time, that would still leave plenty of ground for your Basam fruit orchid and the Gregot gardens, if all is running well you should have an annual income of somewhere around 30,000 credits once it is fully stocked."
"30,000 credits, is that Nett or gross?"
"Nett, gross, what are they?"
"Well Nett is the amount left after expenses and taxes, gross is the overall income before costs are deducted."
"No, no, no my loved one, 30,000 credits is your income or a figure close to that when in full production, there are no taxes or costs, the agri-droids do the work on your gardens and orchids, the Banafil more or less look after themselves except at harvest time, the only time we have to work with the Banafil are when we move them to a new section to feed."
"Just how big are these Banafil?"
"Hmm, let me see, a really good female can be up to about 7 boak, that's, let me see, about 9,000 kilograms in your weight, a good male can be around 9 boak, that's about 11,000 kilograms, we usually harvest the Banafil at two years so they will weigh about 4 boak, that's about 5,000 kilograms, the females have two young a year normally, they can drop to one when they get older."
Thomas could only sit there with his mouth open, he was meant to watch over animals that weighed up to and in excess of 11 tonnes this was starting to get rather heavy, he was after all only sixteen years old, well of course if he was still on Earth he would be about a thousand years old but in his own mind he was still only sixteen and, here he was already married with a large Estate to run along with many other things he had not yet got his head around.
"Ok, my love, what do we do when we have young ones to sell?"
"Oh, that's easy, we set up a sale record on the sellers net, we tell them how many we have for sale, how old they are and what they weight and where we are, then we sit back and wait, the agents all keep a close eye on the sellers net, when they see them posted, a number of them will come to look them over and then they will start to make their bids on them, we just list the minimum starting bid they then take it from there and settle on a price among themselves, we just agree to the last price and they take care of the gathering and shipping of the stock."
"So we don't have to kill them or anything like that?"
"Goodness no, we just raise them, the agents are responsible for the killing and dressing of them, then they sell them on, either as export or local use, for local use they have to be top quality but the export side always brings higher prices, most of our fruit and vegetables will be sold locally, there is always a shortage for them, especially for yellow Basam, they are the rarest and also the sweetest berries, the highest prices are paid for them because they are so hard to grow."
"Can we go and see the Banafil?"
"Of course we can, they are yours after all, lets finish here and get the hovercraft, we can go and look over all of your Estate."
They finished their breakfast and, just as Thomas was going to clear up the dishes, Manam laid a hand on his wrist.
"Hey, you don't have to do that, that's why you have four cleaner droids, just leave them there and they will all be taken care of while we are out."
Thomas giggled and blushed.
"Sorry my love, I keep forgetting where I am and what sort of technology you have on Prime."
Manam kissed him on the lips and smiled as he led the way out to their five vehicle garage under the house, Thomas thought that to call it a house was to call a barn a dog kennel, the house was huge, apart from very large living and dining rooms there were twelve bedrooms with bathrooms attached to each one, Manam had told him they would soon have them filled with their children, Thomas did not know how they would do that as the Khaladasian could only produce their Ova once every five years but then again, on this new home world anything could happen as it had already.
The flight over his Estate was interesting to say the least, to the western side were two agri-droids working on planting the gardens for the Gregot, they liked the morning sun and needed the shade of tall trees in the hot afternoons, on the eastern side two more droids were planting the Basam fruit bushes, one would dig a hole and the other would follow along behind and inject a white powder into the hole and place a small bush then cover up the roots, it would then give it a squirt of water and move onto the next hole.
Thomas was told that the Basam didn't like the early morning sun as there was not enough heat so they were put where the hot afternoon sun could shine on them, it was an interesting process for Thomas, not long after they came to the wide expanse of grasslands, as they got closer to the Banafil, Thomas really got to see just how big they were, at first glance they terrified Thomas, especially the four long sharp horns sticking out of the top of their heads, the male was a good three feet longer than the females.
The Banafil were huge in all respects, their neck was thick and short, their body was long and thick with muscle and their legs also were on the short side, their heads were almost flat but very wide, Thomas watched as they moved along at a snail's pace, their wide mouths with a prehensile tongue, gripped the long grass and the square shaped flat teeth at the front nipped it off about six inches above the ground, they did not chew the grass but just swallowed the mouthful whole and then went on to the next one, Manam explained it all for Thomas.
"The Banafil have two stomachs, the first one breaks it down to a mulch, it then passes on to the next stomach and is mixed with enzymes to get all the goodness out of it, what is left is ejected in dung this is then spread by their big tail and acts as fertilizer for the new grass, in two months after they have eaten, the grass will be renewed and just as tall as it is now."
Thomas watched as one of the Banafil ate and then dropped its dung behind, as it moved forward, its wide flat spade shaped tail spread the fresh dung over the freshly eaten area behind the Banafil, Thomas could only shake his head as he watched spell bound by these huge animals as they slowly worked their way forward to the next piece of grass.
Thomas leaned back and looked up at the biggest of the Banafil, Manam had told him it was the male, its eyes were very small but it was over thirty feet long and stood a good twelve feet tall and was wider than most houses but, there was no fat showing on the Banafil, under its green hide you could see the long thick muscles working, Manam told him they had only 7.5% body fat, it was the prime type for export, for the local market they had to try to raise the fat level to at least 12.5% not an easy task for an animal that had the metabolic rate the Banafil had.
Thomas asked about the horns and bones of the Banafil and how they were used after the animal was killed for its meat.
"That is easy to answer, you have seen it already, the horns and bones are crushed into powder and used as fertilizer, that's the white powder you saw being used on the orchid and gardens, it has a twofold use, one it is extremely good fertilizer and two, the slight smell of it keeps the Banafil from cropping your plants and bushes, when they come close to the orchids and gardens they smell the odour of bone and horn and turn aside to look for something else."
Suddenly Thomas felt the air vibrate and the loud crack of something hitting the ground, as he looked for the source of the vibration and sound, Manam tugged on his arm and pointed to one of the females at the far edge of the small herd.
"Look my love, she's just coming into heat, the male will be over there to cover her soon."
Thomas watches as the enormous beast lifted its long flat tail and thumped it on the ground again all the while it was swaying its head back and forth, a deep rumbling grunt came from the nearby male and it began to make it's slow way over to the female, the two boys watched for the next ten minutes as the two huge beasts bred, Thomas could not get over the size of the male organ, it was twice the length of one of his own legs and as thick as his body, as Manam told him, it had a long way to go to reach the ovaries of the female, Manam then giggled and kissed Thomas on the cheek saying.
"I'm glad you can reach my Ova, in two years I will have my first Ova and we will have a very healthy son not long after."
Manam giggled again as he nipped Thomas's neck, Thomas could not keep his laughter at bay and broke out loudly as he swept his new lover into his arms and kissed him as deeply as he could, it even set the hovercraft wobbling as they giggled and watched the performance of the male Banafil.
When they got back to the house, Thomas looked at Manam and told him.
"I don't see how we are going to have that many sons, after all it will be five years before you can have Ova again after the first time."
"Oh silly, of course we will have more sons, there's the Sherafid as well you know."
"Sherafid, what's that?"
"Your semen my love, part of the payment for your semen is that if a family has three sons by your semen then the third one belongs to you, for instance, if a couple have one each the first time then they ask for your semen again then the third son born is yours, let's say the impossible happens and one parent has triplets, although that is impossible because there have been no triplets of twins born here for a thousand years but, if it did happen then the third one born would be yours, that's how you get so many sons over time."
"But if that happened, Khaladasian Prime would become over populated in a very short time and all the harmony you have would be destroyed."
"No that would never happen, when the population gets to the maximum number we just open another planet for immigration, we still have five planets in the system that can be colonised, we have known about them for years but our population has not been big enough to settle them, now with all of you boys coming, there is a chance to do that, you see it takes about 25,000 people to start to create a new planet, there is the industrial side or farming Estates as well as some of them need terraforming to make them liveable, so there is no need to worry about us ruining our planet with overpopulation, it was all worked out thousands of years ago, that's why we still have explorers out there looking for new planets and that's the reason we have small wars with the Bunalkar, they want new planets as well so sometimes we clash and have to have a war to decide who gets the new planet, now you can see why we keep a strong military in training."
Thomas sat back, he had so much new information to work on now, as he sat and thought, he heard a small ring from the communicator on the wall, Thomas watched as Manam ran to open the channel, it was the house AI.
'Good day Sedat Kilroy, I have messages for Mirl Thomas's attention, do you wish to hear them all now or just the listing of those waiting for answers?'
"Love, what do you want to do about the messages?"
"Let's have a look at the list first."
"Computer, please list all messages."
'Messages for Mirl Thomas; requests for semen samples, 14, invitations to events, 27, congratulatory messages, 1883 and counting.'
"Thank you computer, well love what do you want to do?"
"Oh hell, look can we set a pre-recorded message to thank all the congratulatory ones, that will leave us time to look at the invitations and decide which we want to go too, the requests for semen you will have to help me with, I don't know what has to be done with those."
"Ok love, the invitations unfortunately have all got to be accepted, it would not be polite to refuse, you will find they are all on different days or nights so we can send a thank you and an acceptance for them, the AI will take care of that for you and set up a diary so you know when and which one you are attending, it will also send out the thank you messages for the others, that leaves only your semen requests, do you want to do that now or later?"
"I need something to eat and drink first; it's been a bit of a rush trying to learn everything."
"Computer, two sun sea lunches and two glasses of Skila wine please."
A minute later and a small android appeared with a large tray balanced perfectly on its top surface, there were two large square plates with seafood and salad along with two very long glasses of a sparkling rose coloured wine that was chilled until the glasses looked frosty, Manam took the tray and laid it in front of Thomas's seat, he then sat on the floor between Thomas's knees and smiled as he began to eat and drink while Thomas tried to work over the top of him, finally Manam laughed and looked up at Thomas.
"This is not working is it, here I'll sit beside you, do you like the Skila wine, we could make our own if you want to plant the Tuba."
Thomas sipped the wine and felt the bubbles tickle his nose as he swallowed, it was light and sweet and matched the sea food perfectly, he could also feel the slight intoxicating buzz of the alcohol, not too strong but enough to give a light buzz.
"Can we grow them here then, what about the process of making it?"
"Oh yes, the Tuba will grow anywhere, we just plant them and when they are ripe we get the producers to come and pick them, they make the wine and in payment they give us so many cases for ourselves, they sell the rest and make their credits from that and we get free wine."
"Great then let's look into getting some of the Tuba."
"That's no problem, how many do you want to plant?"
"I don't know, you tell me?"
"Hmmm, how about five Neda, that's about five acres in your scale."
"Is that a lot?"
"Well it would provide about three hundred cases of wine, we would only need about fifty cases for ourselves and any guests that came along so, yes it should be enough for a small side line."
"OK, then we will do that, how do we go about ordering the Tuba?"
"Oh that's simple, Computer?"
'Yes Sedat Kilroy'
"Mirl Thomas would like enough Tuba for 5 Neda, they are to be delivered tomorrow morning for planting."
'It has been ordered Sedat Kilroy; the agri-droids will begin the planting at sunrise'
"There you are my love, in seven months time we will have our first harvest and then every seven months after that for as long as you want to have them."
"What do we do if we can't drink all the wine though; I mean fifty cases a year are not going to be easy."
"Oh, we keep some for aging and we can sell off any we don't want to keep but I think you will be surprised at how much is used in one year, when you grow Tuba there are always plenty of people that want some for their own homes, especially in the city where it can't be grown, it is also customary to take a couple of cases to special friends or family when visiting, I'm sure you will find we will go through fifty cases rather fast."
"Well I will leave it all in your very capable hands my love, you know more about this Estate business than I do."
"Thank you love, but it won't be long and you will know as much if not more than I do after all, you are the Sebath of all you survey."
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