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Peter's training began the next day. He was taught how to control his mental abilities through exercises. They would make him mad and when he reacted, they would calm him down and explain to him what they had felt. Then they would do something to make him happy and ask him to share his feelings with them. It was a learning experience for everyone involved and also very tiring. At the end of the day Peter was exhausted, as were his instructors. Peter was allowed freedom of the council chambers and those rooms connected to it. But he was not allowed to roam freely in the compound outside. If it weren't for Josh, he would have bolted at the first opportunity. After several weeks of his training, he was growing impatient with his confinement.
"Damn it Josh, why do they have to keep me locked up in here?"
"Peter you know why. It has been explained to you time and time again." Josh replied.
"Yes, yes. I know their reasons but I'm not going to hurt anyone. I may be able to startle someone, but that is the extent of what I can do. It is almost as if I had some contagious disease." Peter said as he paced the floor of the council chambers.
Josh sighed, shaking his head. "Look Peter, I am sure that they will let you out of here soon. Alexander told me that you had made a lot of progress. He said that you were able to control yourself a lot better now. Patience my love. It can't be that bad with me around, is it?"
Peter looked at Josh. At first anger was on his face but as he took in the look on his love's face, a smile slowly appeared.
"Yes Joshua. Without you it would be unbearable. Thank the powers that guide us, that you are with me. You are what keeps me sane."
'Have you discovered anything yet?' Peter mentally asked Josh.
'No, nothing that I can confirm. There are rumors though.'
Over the course of the last several weeks, Peter and Josh had been doing some training on their own. They had honed their skills of mental communication between themselves. They could easily communicate anywhere in the compound, discovering that distance was not a problem. They weren't sure just how much distance they could cover since Josh hadn't left the compound.
'I overheard Alexander and Vic Rawlings talking about sending someone to Epsilon to stir things up. I didn't hear any details though. It seems that Vic has taken quite well to fighting on the Benoit family's side. I don't understand how he could change loyalties that easily.'
'Maybe you should talk to him about it. He cares about you Josh, very deeply. I am certain that he would open up to you of all people.'
'Do you really think I can trust him?'
'Josh, he has been with you your whole life. He loves you. Yes, you can trust him.'
'Ok, I'll talk to him tomorrow.'
"Why are you two so quiet?" Vic interrupted their concentration.
Startled both of the boys stammered something about being tired.
"It is getting late. Maybe you two should call it a night."
"Vic, can I talk to you? In private?" Josh asked.
"I need a shower so you two go ahead and talk." Peter said as he left the chambers.
"What's on your mind Josh?"
"Well, this isn't easy." He said as he looked at the floor. "I need to know where your loyalties are Vic. You seem to have joined up with the Benoit family's cause quickly."
"Josh, my loyalties are with you and you alone. I have practically raised you. You are like a son to me. I thought you wanted me to help the Benoits?"
"Vic, I, I don't know what I want. I just know that I want to be with Peter. I only wish that he wasn't a Benoit. Things would be so much easier for us."
"Well my son, that isn't the way things are, I sorry to say. Peter is Benoit and there isn't anything we can do to change that. I am very fond of Peter and I will do everything I can to protect him. Just remember that ok?"
"What if I want to leave here? What if I don't want to get involved with what is going on? What will you do then?"
Vic looked at Josh, trying to tell if he was serious or not. He tried reading Josh's feelings but it seems as if the boy had a wall built around him. This confused Vic, because he could always read Josh so well in the past.
Josh was watching Vic as a look of confusion crossed his face. Josh didn't know what could be causing Vic to do this.
"Vic, what's wrong?"
"Huh? Oh, nothing."
"Vic, there is something wrong. What is it?" Josh demanded.
"It's nothing Josh. I just had a feeling that you are keeping something from me."
"So, are you telling me that you are psychic now?"
"Damn it Josh." Vic stood up and walked to the door. He glanced back at Josh. His face showed pain. He shook his head and left the room.
'Peter, something is wrong with Vic.'
'I know Josh, I could feel the pain that he had. He is fighting something that really bothers him.'
'I am worried Peter. What could it be?'
'I am sure that he will tell you eventually. Give him some time to think it out.'
'Yes my love. You are right. I'll be with you in a few minutes. I need to be alone for a while.'
'Ok, I'll be waiting!'
Josh paced the floor. His mind going over the conversation with Vic and his reaction to him asking Vic about being psychic. What the hell is going on here? He asked himself. Is he hiding something from me? Would my life long friend and guardian keep secrets from me?
Josh couldn't find the answer. He didn't want to believe that Vic would do something like that. Not to him.
'Josh, you are telepathing every thought. Control yourself my love.'
'I'm sorry Peter. I am really upset, I guess I forgot to keep control. I'll be right in.'
Josh left the council chambers and made his way to their bedroom. His mind still worried about Vic. He was hoping that they could get to the bottom of this soon. There was no telling if he could keep his thoughts to himself or not. He opened the door to the bedroom only to see Peter lying on the bed. Naked. Josh quickly forgot about Vic.
The next morning the two young men were awaken by Vic pounding on the door.
"Hey you two, wake up. I need to talk." Vic didn't wait for an answer and opened the door.
Both Josh and Peter were barely awake and barely covered.
"Vic! Give us a minute will you?" Josh admonished.
"You guys don't have anything I haven't already seen." Vic replied as he walked into the room.
"Josh, I really need to talk to you."
"Ok Vic, give me a minute to wake up."
'He is serious Josh.'
"I know he is serious Peter, I just need to wake up enough to comprehend what he is saying."
Vic looked at Josh and then at Peter. His mouth hanging open.
"Now you blew it Josh." Peter said.
"I think he knows."
"You answered me verbally."
"Oh shit." Josh looked at Vic. "Vic, sit down before you fall down, will you?"
Vic kept looking at Josh and back to Peter. He didn't say a word while he took the chair offered.
Josh got out of bed. No longer worried that he was naked. He walked to the closet and put on a robe. He turned back to Vic and looked at him.
"Yes Vic, I can do it too. Peter taught me. Actually I am fairly good at it. Now what did you want to talk about?" Josh said as he mentally concentrated on Vic. He could feel something from him. He wasn't sure what it was. Then all of a sudden Vic's thoughts rushed into his mind. Josh cried out in pain. Peter jumped out of the bed and ran to Josh, glaring at Vic. He pushed as much anger toward Vic as he could and Vic collapsed on the floor withering in pain.
"P-Peter, stop." Josh whispered through his pain.
Peter stopped attacking Vic and turned to Josh.
"Josh? Are you ok?"
"Yes, I think I am." His body shook as he clutched Peter. Holding on to his lover for support. Slowly regaining his strength.
"He didn't do it on purpose Peter. He didn't know that I was that receptive and he was shocked to learn that I was able to communicate telepathically. He sent me everything that he knows, all at once and it overwhelmed me. I have never experienced that much information being sent at one time. I think I can sort most of it out, given a little time."
Josh looked down at Vic lying unconscious on the floor. "What did you do to him?"
"I sent my anger to him full force. I thought he was attacking you. I don't think I hurt him too badly. Let me try to get through to him. Will you be ok for a minute?"
"Yes, I'm ok now. See if you can help him Peter. He really does love me."
Peter walked over to Vic and knelt down next to him. He placed his hands on Vic's head and concentrated. A few minutes later Vic started stirring.
"Ohhhh, mmmmmm, What? What happened?" Vic yelled.
"It's ok Vic. You are fine now. Just lie there for a minute. You might be a little dizzy." Peter assured him.
Vic looked at Peter and shook his head. "Boy, I knew you were powerful but I didn't know just how powerful you were. I'll never get you mad at me again that's for sure."
"I'm sorry Vic. I thought you were attacking Josh and I lost control."
"Peter, you should know that I would never purposefully harm Josh."
"Well, from what we have learned the last few days, I wasn't so sure."
"What do you mean?"
"Well Josh and I have been doing a little snooping and we are confused by how easily you changed sides."
"He didn't change sides Peter." Josh interrupted.
Peter and Vic both looked over at Josh.
"He is Benoit. He is your cousin."
Peter looked at Vic with a puzzled expression on his face. Vic nodded his head as he told Peter the whole story.
"I have been battling my loyalties for years. I love Josh but at the same time, I believe in what the Benoit family stands for. Now I am no longer in conflict with those loyalties."
Josh gathered Vic in his arms and the two hugged.
"Well, I guess this settles one problem we had. The next problem is how to get out of here." Peter stated.
"Peter, that is going to happen very soon. Alexander has convinced the council that you are in control of your abilities and has asked them to consider your release." Vic told Peter.
Peter's face broke into a big smile as he went to Vic and Josh to join the hug. After the three dressed and had breakfast they were summoned to the council chambers. When they entered the room, all of the Benoit Family Council was present. Alexander was talking.
"There they are now." Alexander nodded to the three as the entered. Turning back to the council he continued. "I know that Peter is young but he has matured beyond his years. He is smarter than any of us in this room. He has abilities that far surpass any of us. He is Benoit without a question. He will be a vital addition to this council. It would be foolish to deny the future of the family on your prejudices."
"Alexander, you can not turn this council over to a child. He still has a lot to learn about life. He has to learn compassion for others. He has to learn love. He has to learn not to hate. His soul is young and inexperienced. I think the council will agree with me on this. Peter Buchard is a Benoit family member and a valuable one, but he is not ready to take on the responsibilities required of members of this council." Stated the eldest member of the council.
"Alexander, we respect your beliefs in Mr. Buchard. We agree that he is a unique young man, but we do not feel he is ready for the responsibilities you want to place on him." Voted another council member.
Peter looked confused for a moment and then suddenly he understood what was going on. He stepped up to the council's table.
"Gentleman. May I?" He asked as one by one they nodded their approval.
Looking at each person in the room he began. "Gentleman, honored members
of this council. I do appreciate Alexander's belief in me and my abilities but
he forgot one very important point. He forgot to ask me if I am willing to take
on such responsibilities." Locking his gaze on his uncle. "Uncle Alexander,
I sincerely do thank you for believing in me, but this is not what I want. I
need to be out there with the people that I have lived with most of my life.
I have lived the life that they live, a life of despair, of hunger, a life of
constant fear. I WILL help them overcome the life smothering influence that
the Degardo family has on the Federation. I WILL join the crusade for justice
and equality. BUT! I WILL DO IT AS A SOLDIER, NOT AS A LEADER."
Peter stepped back away from the table, as each council member looked at him stunned. He had used his talents to transmit his feelings to each person in the room and it had shocked them all. One by one they nodded their heads as they telepathically communicated their agreement to Peter's statement. The eldest council member rose from his chair.
"Gentlemen, it appears as if Mr. Buchard is destined to be a crusader. We must give him our full support in this venture. I propose to you that we bring back an old earth custom, one that will give Mr. Buchard what he wants and still give him enough authority to command if he desires."
Everyone looked at the speaker with confusion. They didn't know what he was talking about. The elder council member walked to a large cabinet and opened the door. He reached inside and carefully removed a sword. It was very large with emeralds sparkling from the handle. The blade was artfully engraved. This was a work of art, not a weapon. He then walked to Peter and asked him to kneel.
"Peter Alexander Buchard, descendant of the Benoit family, protector of
justice. I hereby declare you the first Galactic Knight." He touched the
sword once, twice, three times to Peter's shoulders. "Arise Sir Buchard."
Copyright S. John Holder 2001
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