Welcome to my very first sci-fi story, out at last. I know the wait was long, but I put a lot of time and a huge amount of effort into it, so I hope it was worth the wait. So kick up your heels, get out some popcorn and tissues, and brace yourself, because what you've been waiting for it here! Please tell me how it is after you read it, thanks. :)

Genome X

by Derek Schachter

Copyright ©2000

<20:14 Begin transmission, begin recording, zoom out 15%, hold focus, heat sensor on>

     I know I'm not supposed to be playing around with these things, but I figured what the hell. I doubt we still have an active uplink into Cygnus, and if we do, then just more implied incentive for me to be doing whatever I am about to do. I don't care anymore, it doesn't matter. I could break my right index finger now, and the only one screaming will be you. You, you as in those looking at me threw this camera, the ones who have looked me and my companions for the last sixteen years through these things, watching, studying, analyzing us. You know who you are, the ones with that big green insignia over your heart that means you are in or affiliated with Gemini. Why will you be the ones in pain, you ask? Well, simply because my body alone is worth more to you than this ship I am on.

    Or maybe, you don't ask that particular question, but you are wondering if I know what you don't want me to know. Or quite possibly, you want to find out how I know. Fine, I have no problem with that, by the time you see this tape I'll be halfway to a planet which shall remain nameless, for now, and you will all be pissing in your pants. I know what you are really wondering. I know what is plaguing you, what fears are overpowering you, causing you to be stressed out at your petty day job, why you are looking over sixteen year old documents in haste, sweating from every pore of your body. You want to know how it went wrong, what mistakes you made, what you could have done to prevent this catastrophe. I'm mistaken though, because only about half of you are like that. The other half are in denial, denial because they knew this whole project was doomed from day one. You lit the ten thousand-mile long fuse and put it into the basement, and now you are paying for it when the wick reaches its final destination, ten thousand miles later. I'll tell you about it, yes, indeed I will, because I don't keep secrets, let that be a lesson to you in the future. Ok now where is the damn off button on this thing? I feel like a Neanderthal without voice command modulators on electronic equipment.

<20:18 Shut down>

<20:25 Begin transmission, begin recording supplemental, hold zoom, hold focus, heat sensor on>

     Sorry for the delay, I had to compile some things, get some data sorted out. My memory bank isn't in it's best condition as of tonight, but neither am I, a lot of shit has been going on, and I don't think I'll get used to this artificial gravity anytime soon, it's so unnatural...well, among other things, but I think the time is well passed over for inside jokes.

      I left because, as I said, I needed to get some things straight in my mind. At first I was going to make this video just for the Gemini Corporation, but then I realized that when I send it over, it might be intercepted and looked at by lots of people. Satellites are going to pick this up, no doubt about that. Soon everyone will know what you were planning; they will know all of your dirty secrets. So instead of this being to just you, it's going to be to everyone, everyone who is wondering who I am, where I came from, and how I got here. Heh, I bet they will be wondering what year I made this. Well, for the record, I am making this tape, right now, in 2276, that's right, the good old 23rd century. And with that said, I'm going to start at the beginning....no...that's not far back enough, I'm going to start WAY back, before I was born, before my father was born, before even the designs for the interstellar ship I am inside right now were imagined! If I may be curt, I'm going to give anyone watching this a brief history of time.

     From the late 20th to mid 22nd centuries there was a scientific project dealing with human DNA and genetic traits called the Human Genome Project. Now it's purpose was to try to isolate certain DNA strands and determine how their sequencing works. As we all know, DNA is what makes up who we are, from eye color, to hair color, all of that right down to the angle trajectory of your pinky toes. Our genes are in that DNA, from both parents. And if we can figure out how they are sequenced, then we can ultimately figure out what each individual strand does and how it functions. So what? Well, it helped in gene therapy; helping to regenerate lost cells in the body or to treat sickle cell anemia. The scientists toyed with that for a few decades, making little advancements in what we know and what we can accomplish, helping us understand more about the human body. So what, right?

     Well, the whole world changed at the beginning of the second half of the 22nd century. It was a new age, the Technological Revolution happened. This is when the most significant changes in the world occurred. The world craved new ideas more than ever, wanting a new frontier to explore and conquer. Just like Europe with the Age of Exploration and the finding of the New World, we wanted to see what else was out there, out in space and inside of everything. Science would get the most attention and funding in the world, more than religion, more than economics and politics. The world was starting to revolve around it. People were making things more efficient, more reliable, cheaper to make yet being just as strong if not stronger. This happened in all areas of science. In mechanics, automobiles and public transportation went faster and could handle better. Then design of an anti-gravitational unit that allows things to counter gravity and accelerate vertically with little or no resistance, requiring almost no force, and thus fuel or electricity, to use. Ram scoop engines were, by far, the biggest innovation in the history of transportation. They continuously collected natural fuels from the air and used it for energy, making it so people could travel long distances, say, from the earth to the moon, with little or no liquid oxygen for fuel. It didn't end there though, not by a long shot. Technology was at an all time high, a literal BOOM. What we thought was science fiction was now becoming all but too real, and people everywhere rejoiced. Within the next twenty years terraforming strategies went from the drawing board to reality, which could change the atmosphere, gravity effects, and radiation levels on planets. All of those inventions put together literally ended pollution, global warming, and acid rain for good. We were using machines to put Mother Earth back the way she was.

     That wasn't even the icing on the cake though. In 2184 a grant was passed by the president of Earth to a group of scientists to use this new technological era and new understanding of how things work in the universe to find a replacement for projectile weapons, such as handguns, shotguns, and automatic weapons. Within three years such weapons were obsolete, even illegal to own. The scientists on the job figured out how to concentrate energy and propel it in quantized packets of light as photons. These new forms of weaponry wouldn't travel at a downward arch create earsplitting noise as normal projectile guns did. Most were too expensive to own by civilians and too complicated to make, thus reducing the amount of non-police officers carrying guns. Those were still had projectile firing weapons couldn't use them without any great risk because of high powered noise sensors that could detect the sounds of a gun, silenced or not, firing, and triangulate it's position within seconds. Energy weapons became the new norm, and the invention of large electromagnetic fields in the form of shield that could block shots from other energy weapons only made them a better choice to have when law enforcement was fighting against crime. By 2188 the average crime and death by crime rates decreased exponentially. People were happier everywhere in the world; it was a much safer place. As an added safety harness, the International Security Agency gained the rights for worldwide surveillance, creating twenty-five publicly known satellites and probably about three thousand more top secret spy satellites that orbited the Earth and could look down on just about any part of the Earth at any given moment. The ISA also had the rights to monitor or bug any place they pleased. The plan was to send the message that crime had no where to hide, because they were constantly being watched and anything they said or did could be seen or recorded and used against them in a court of law. Within five years it was common knowledge that any non-residential location was some sort of surveillance technology onsite, keeping records in a huge database of everything happening everywhere at once. People's security was compromised, but that just raised the states on crime and terrorism, which became almost non-existent.

       There were literally thousands of other inventions during the era, too many to even consider listing, People were exploring interests that others never even thought about before, or at least giving much thought to. Well, apparently somewhere along the line, after the climax of the technological boom, when things started slowing down, some new projects spawned, little insignificant ones that tried to solve tiny questions people had in their minds. One of those questions was `can I choose whether I want a boy or a girl for a baby?' Another popular one was `would it be at all possible to choose which traits and genes a baby gets before he is born?'. Sure, there had been lots of research done on it, but could it actually happen? Well, that's what those little projects were trying to figure out. They renewed the old Human Genome Project, trying to once again see if they could quite possibly play God and let people choose the qualities of a child beforehand, rather than letting nature decide. One of the larger groups received a grant for fifty billion dollars for research on this very topic. The other groups join with it, making it bigger and increasing research efficiency by working as one coherent team. When it became large enough to become its own company at the turn of the century, it named itself Gemini, headed by a man named John Remus. Its mission was to figure out how to manipulate DNA strands in chromosomes in order to make the final product turn out the way they wanted it to. If someone wanted a boy with blond hair and blue eyes, then they would get one. That was their promise, which they failed miserably at keeping. Most of their test samples, using simple cells, became unstable and didn't agree with the host, causing the cells to combust into nothing. Trying again and again just caused more failure. In the first twenty years they exhausted all of their finances and were denied another grant. It was the first project in almost fifty years that didn't take, something man could not do. Remus did not give up though; he was determined to play God.

     Some say it came to him in a dream. I just think he was an evil bastard. Nonetheless, if man couldn't figure the equation out, then he would leave the job to machines. So, with the little money he had left, he and a small group of his smartest scientists created a subset of Gemini, called Cygnus. The end result was the world's very first AI computer, self-aware, self-learning, self-processing, and self everything else. It was the most powerful computer on the planet. Within twenty minutes of being online, the Cygnus computer system joined with the ISA's mainframe and database, and at that point it now had the entire world on its computer screen. Remus seized control of the computer, restricting it to only what he chose for it to do, but not being able to break the link with the ISA and its surveillance systems around the globe. When he handed the project over to the Cygnus supercomputer, it solved the problem quickly, giving him the information he needed to successfully manipulate DNA and its respective chromosomes.

     Gemini was alive again, answering the questions that the public had raised to them. People had a girl if they wanted a girl; they had a brunette if they wanted a brunette. All they had to do was to take a sperm sample and an ovum, work things around a bit, and voila, a baby coming right up! Then they fertilized the egg and put it back into the mommy and everything was done. Almost everybody wanted test tube babies, the idea of letting God decide was becoming passe. People wanted their children to be born without deficiencies, without hideous deformities or anything like that. Call the world superficial if you like. Things couldn't have been more perfect for the next ten years, or could they? It WAS still the Technological Revolution, for the most part, but the people were satisfied, the Gemini Company was flourishing, and the world was even happier, or so they said, I wasn't even alive yet! Well, since I still think John Remus was an evil bastard, even when he was an old evil bastard, he still wanted to accomplish more. So, in another dream, or whatever, another thought came to him, can we create DNA and chromosomes to make people, without the use of a sperm or an egg? This crazy idea spawned a whole new project, but this time it didn't get a grant for research. Why? Well, for one, it had a shit load of money already, and another, it was going to be a secret project this time. The morals involved were a bit too unethical. I mean, creating a human life out of nothing? That's the craziest and cruelest thing I've ever heard! It took two years just to plan out it was so crazy, building a secret lab underground, beneath the main Gemini headquarters. John Remus chose a suitable name for it in 2260, the Genome X project. It was to be done in a series of stages. Stage One was the testing of normal cells to see if they would stay intact. Failing of course, then a couple more tries and a run past the Cygnus AI, and in no time they were manufacturing cells like it was making a piece of toast.

    After more months of perfecting different type of cells, they moved onto Stage Two, the more dangerous one, creating an entire person from scratch. This took even longer to plan, because now they were going to be dealing with people. They would need testing facilities, homes, food, everything a normal person has, but they couldn't go out into the real world. Remus decided to section off all of the property Gemini owned and start construction on a building that would become a home to the test subjects. Houses would be all too conspicuous in the ISA's eyes; it had to look like another everyday Gemini project. Then came the long term planning. There would have to be an instructor for the test patients to teach them about the world, and role models to raise them correctly as human beings. Sure, they were experiments, but they wouldn't be kept in zoos, not by a long shot. They could hire an instructor easily, but people to act as parents to them, that would be difficult to find, since this was, after all, a secret project! Then it dawned on him, Remus decided that the experiments could stay with scientists already involved with the project. The scientists would live in the building designed for the Stage Twos to live in with them and act like a normal family. If it was a success and they could be raised normally, then it could bring the world into a new era. The final decision to make was to figure out what qualities to give them. John Remus had the power to make any type of person he wanted, but he didn't want flukes, he wanted to see how efficient as possible they could get them to be. They would have to be smart, athletic, and have a clear mind on things. Maybe see if he could push their IQ, body strength potentials, and any other skills they could possibly have. He also wanted to play around with sexual orientation. Sure, it was a trait alright, straightness was a trait, homosexuality was a trait, bisexuality was a mix of the two, and any absence of those traits would lead to having no sexual preference, or at least, being able to decide for themselves. He didn't want them all mating with each other, so he decided on creating five boys and one girl, two boys being gay, another two having no sexual preference, and the girl and the last boy being straight. They could all do as they wished when not being tested or being educated. It would be the greatest single experiment in the history of the world, done under secrecy, which meant only one restriction, the experiments were not allowed outside the perimeters for any reason whatsoever, they could never leave the premises, never ever. That was sixteen years ago, and if you are wondering, I was one of those experiments, I was what Genome X was all about. So that is how the world is these days, for anyone wondering and for all newcomers. Consider this a time capsule, maybe to linger in your minds a bit more, and to wonder what you could have done right...

    Anyway, I'm going to need a fresh digital video mini-disc in order to recap the events of the past week for you, so bear with me here. Let's see if I can turn this thing off right on the first try this time, without making any noise. Everyone else is asleep, but I can't sleep, because I can't just let this go, I want all of you back at Gemini, I want Cygnus, and I want Genome X, to know exactly what they destroyed in all of us, to plague you for the rest of your years. See you...well, actually...see me in a bit...

<20:46 Shut down>

<21:03 Begin transmission, begin recording, hold zoom, hold focus, heat sensor on>

     It took me forever to find another disc on this infernal ship, but I found one eventually. On the plus side, this camera I'm talking into right now seems to be working quite well. I can't believe it has a heat sensor on it, maybe that works too so I don't have to stand in the same spot. Let's try it out. Walking to the left towards the door.

<21:04 Pan right 12%>

     Now walking back to the center of the room.

<21:04 Pan left 13%>

     Ok, good deal. As you can see, technology has come a long way. You can never escape the cameras. Anyway, all games aside, I have a story to dictate. Let's see, where to begin. Well, I suppose I should start at about a week ago, more or less. It was just a regular day at school, and, as always, I found the instructor in front of me snapping his fingers in my face with that delightful rhythm of his...

     "Aurora, come back to earth in you please!" He said to me, jolting me back into reality. I immediately lifted my chin from the palm it was resting on and straightened my back out, paying attention to the lesson once again. He rolled his eyes at me and strode back to the front of the room where the digital blackboard was, then he point to the digitized words on the screen with his pen and looked back at me. How long had I been daydreaming for? At least he didn't catch me gazing at Naos again. Darn, I should have known better than to let my mind wonder. I mean with only five other students in the room, it is not that hard to get noticed. It was then that I noticed everyone else was looking at me and had been doing so for quite some time now. Our desks were arranged in a circle at the front end of the large classroom. It wasn't a classroom really, more like a place where you can perform just about any type of experiment to test any theory we may be learning. Just like Dr. Brown not being a real instructor, just a guy who, once a day for two hours, teaches the six of us all we could possibly want to know about anything and everything.

     Anyway, as I was saying, our desks were arranged in a circle. Well, in a circle shape with a small opening at each end for Dr. Brown to walk between. He was a nice guy and all, really, but I guess he didn't have much patience for the money he was paid. Maybe I should try to be more serious from now on; I seem to be the outlier of the group, the one who just doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of them. But really, I'm just as much like the rest as they are with themselves. In fact, I make up the intellectual average of the group with an IQ of 224, everyone else being either above or below by five to ten points. And physically, I seem to be the most athletic if not one of the most athletic. I can run a mile in a little under eight minutes, that's the length of the perimeter on the compound, or so I'm told. It's a big ass compound.

     Usually when I get disconnected from the rest of the class, Brown will ask me a random question to get my mind back on track. I wasn't too worried though; I got the last four of them correct. You could say the stakes rise every time. He was still pointing to the screen through, and still looking at me, and everyone else was still looking at me in anticipation. I looked at what he was pointing to, in big black letters.

     "Pi, ok, so what?" I asked him. Everyone looked back to him, who was smiling at me. He had something devious in mind.

     "What's the square root of the 43rd digit after the decimal?" Then everyone's heads turned back to me. I smiled back and immediately responded.

     "Come on, at least give me a tough one!" I laughed to myself.

     "What's the answer then if you know it, Aurora?" My friend Sarin asked, glaring at me.

     "Easy, the 43rd digit after the decimal is 3, and the square root of 3 is 1.7320508075689." I replied, catching my breath after the long string of numbers, but confidant in my answer.

     "Ah ha!" My other friend Helios yelled. "It's 88 not 89!"

     "No, I rounded up." I said, defending my answer.

     "Oh, it doesn't matter." Naos interjected. "Will you take his answer or not Dr. Brown." The instructor thought for a moment, teasing us evidently and pretending to be considering my answer. Then his smile grew wider and clapped his hands.

     "Congratulations Mr. Ellis, you have kept and broken your own record." He said, and everyone clapped sarcastically with him. "Now that the fun is over and we have the rest of the group back with the program, let us continue our studies in quantum physics." Brown pressed a button on his handheld remote and the letters on the digitized screen morphed into a rendered video of a black hole schematic. As we discussed earlier, black holes are bodies...well, if you can call them bodies, which have an escape velocity greater than the speed of light Naos. As you can reason, we can't see black holes with the naked eye because once light waves pass the event horizon Naos, they get sucked in towards the singularity Naos. How Naos can we detect black holes then? Because of their Naos x-ray emissions, and our Naos radar systems and pick that up Naos easily. So if you were traveling through the Naos Way and were wondering if you were coming to close Naos proximity to a Naos hole, you could scan for Naos rays. Also their gravitational Naos force will give Naos away their Naos position when in Naos doubt. Now here's the Naos, can Naos Naos a Naos?"

     "Ouch...what was that for?" I whispered to Sarin, who was sitting next to me, and apparently had kicked me in the leg.

     "You know damn well what that was for, you've been staring at Naos for the last five minutes." He whispered in a harsh tone back. He was right though, he was always right. "I can't keep having a watchful eye over you, but I also know if you keep doing this they are going to have make you increase your dosage. Just...just block him out or something." Block him out? Was he crazy? It was almost impossible to block him out; he was sitting right across from me for crying out loud. Oh, I could never win, they moved his desk when we were sitting right next to each other, and then they moved it when there was a person in between us. He just kept sitting further and further away from me until he was directly across from me, which was ten times as addictive. Me and my obsessions, this was not good, not good at all. "We'll talk later, I think he's gonna call on me." Sarin said and turned his attention back to front of the class just as the instructor turned around.

     "Ok, Sarin, the question I just asked, what do you think?" Brown asked.

     "Well, I think we can create a black hole, anything is possible. If you built a gravitational drive powerful enough, theoretically you could create tiny singularities and thus tiny black holes. But the energy required to drive such an enormous gravitational pull is almost beyond comprehension. And I'm not even sure it could be stable for long either, because I'd guess that if such an invention existed, it could suck itself into it's own black hole and cease to work, plus destroying everything around it. Yes, my answer is yes, we can create a black hole. Plus our modern day ships don't even exceed three-quarters the speed of light so..."

     "That...that's good enough Sarin." Brown said, flabbergasted and blown away by Sarin's remarkable answer. "Very thorough though, but an explicit answer nonetheless. Well, we're just about out of time for today, with it being two minutes to two o'clock. There will be no homework assigned for this weekend due to extended testing and checkups. Remember everyone, be healthy and stay healthy, take your daily dosage. See all six of you on Monday!" With that he activated the security bypass mechanism on his remote keypad, which enables our keycards to work in the locked door of the building so we can leave, while he exited out the back way with the retina scanner, which we didn't have high enough authorization for. It's not so much that we can't get out and are trapped in the place, but so no one else can get in and disturb the teaching process. If we had to go to the bathroom or something he'd surely bypass the security system temporarily so we could go. It wasn't like we would ever try to escape or duck out of class, because the cameras were everywhere, plus our clothing had GPS transmitters built into them in case we were doing something or going somewhere suspicious while class was in session. Talk about trying to play hooky for a day.

     "Tough day today?" Helios came from behind me as I slipped my card through the slit on the door, only to be returned with a red light flash on the panel and a loud buzzing sound, indicating that it didn't work. I looked at him and sighed.

     "You have no idea, I think they slipped some extra hormones into my dose this morning. What, are they downgrading our access now?" I said, flustered that the door wouldn't budge.

     "Open the door already Aurora." Iris, the only girl in our group, screeched from behind me. She pushed forward in the crowd of six, revealing her keycard and slipping it through just as I had done. And, just as what happened to me, the light on the panel showed up red and the buzzer sounded. "What the fuck?" She banged against the door hastily with her tiny, but strong fists.

     "I tried that already, what gives?" I asked, turning around and everyone shrugged their shoulders. "Great, anyone know how this damn system works?" I asked anxiously, starting to get a bit claustrophobic despite that it was a big room. I had this weird feeling that noxious gas was going to leak out of the vents and kill us all. I did my best to keep calm though, nothing like making a bad impression on the five people you've known and grown up with your whole entire life.

     "I do!" Helios rang out and got to the front of the line, shoving Iris out of the way of the door so he could reach the panel.

     "And how do you know how it works, we all are taught the same things?" Iris asked him while he slipped his own keycard through, and three times wasn't a charm with this door.

     "It's a secret." He whispered and grinned at us. "I can get us out of here, I just need...Naos, stand to my left flush against the wall, facing me, and stay that way." Naos, with a confused but cute look on his face, did as he was instructed. Then Helios put his palm against the wall above the panel, feeling around.

     "Oh boy, not this." Sarin shook his head and chuckled.

     "What are you..." I began to ask, but he quietly shooshed me.

     "You'll see, and whisper, come on." He said in a soft tone to me, then I saw his fingers clutch the wall and try to pull something from it. A bit more force and I he pulled what looked like a loose tile out from the wall. Behind it was a small hole with a keypad installed inside of it. "Emergency failsafe, the access codes never change, they are universally coded, placed in just about every sector of the compound, except the main gates of course."

     "Lemme guess, you know the access code?" I inquired in a whisper.

     "Indeed I do, indeed I do." He smiled as he reached his hand inside and entered a long series of numbers on the keypad rapidly with one hand. Ten seconds later the light on the keypad turned green with a friendly Bing. The door opened up and Helios quickly put the wall tile back in its place. I looked again and would never have guessed that it was removable, it was perfect with the rest of the wall pattern. The six of us quickly exited the room and walked down the corridor that led to the door leading outside, still amazed as to what we just witnessed. I was first to speak.

     "How...how did you know?" I muttered in his ear.

     "I have a friend on the inside, knows the layout of this place almost as well as Remus, I'll tell you all about it." Helios said, ducking his eyes and expression from the guards at the end of the corridor who safeguarded the entrance. They couldn't hear him with the low decibel level in his voice and the distance we all were to them. He held onto my arm and whispered into my ear as we walked with lethargic pace. "Come to our floor for lunch, dad is at a conference. Bring Naos if you want, no use in telling the same story twice. I trust you guys, just the two of you though, not Iris or Nylin as much, just you guys." He said covertly to me, shying away from Naos, Iris, Nylin, and even Sarin, who were all miles ahead of us by now, approaching the exit. "Get ready, whatever you need to do, and meet on our floor in...say...fifteen minutes, if you're up to it, it could get intense." With that, he released his hold on me and caught up with Sarin. I was left moping on my own, wondering how much Helios was exaggerating the whole situation, and if we were to get in too deep with something we shouldn't be toying around with.

     "What was THAT all about?" Naos inquired as I caught up to him outside of the building. We were talking across the way into the suite complex, where all of us lived when we weren't being tested, training, or being taught. The sun was high in the sky that July afternoon, causing extreme heat in all of our bodies, not atypical in California. I looked to the left and to the right, finding the laser fence posts and walls making a barricade to seal the place in on both sides; they looked far away from me wherever I looked because the place was so huge. The suite complex was right in the middle of the entire compound, among the other buildings in the entire place. We were trapped in the area by ten meters on all sides, or laser beams about a half a foot apart where the openings were. The laser beams could be turned off whenever someone was entering or exiting by vehicle, but most of the time people would shuttle transport in on top of any of the main buildings, which were all suitable for landings. The three main buildings were the three largest ones: the suite complex, the main laboratory, and the central headquarters.

     The suite complex, like I said, was where the six of us, and their respective adult supervisor, lived. Everyone lived on a certain section of the building, taking up two stories. There were three families, and two of us plus and an adult supervisor who raised us as a parental figure made a family. Each two-story suite was comprised of everything necessary for living and more. There were bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, a study, entertainment quarters, and testing lab, just to name a few. It was like living in the fast lane, as if we were millionaires, but always trapped in our own world and never able to break out of it and explore what it was like on the outside firsthand. We didn't complain though, we were too scared to complain.

     The main laboratory was where all testing and experimentation of any sort was done. We were only allowed in the building during the allotted testing times, and even then we had restricted access, plus we required a guard escort at all times to accompany us. Out of the entire place, I guessed I had only seen about a tenth of what went on in there. Boy, I felt so left out.

     The central headquarters was where all of the action went on. It's where the big cheese was, John Remus, who controlled the entire Genome X outfit, making sure everything was coming along nicely and fitting into place. The building looked more like a castle; it was the biggest building out of the rest and stood out like the Great pyramid in Egypt, and was pitch black in color. The important meetings and deals were held at the building. Guards surrounded the building as if the president himself was in there and it was World War 3. All of the building is restricted, even the front door, which is hard enough to get into even without the many advanced security systems protecting it.

     "We're invited for lunch." I said as we passed the guard as we walked through the doors to our building, bringing us into the lobby. We were alone for the time being. The others had eluded us, probably to get some extra exercise time in before testing tomorrow. We walked through the elaborate lobby and activated the elevator by pressing our thumbs against the panel, which was a fingerprint verification system. There was a ding sound and the card slot opened up. I slid my access card through and the light over the elevator turned green and the doors opened up. Well, I was glad that our cards were working once again. Without them you could barely go anywhere.

     "Yeah right, when was the last time they invited us over for lunch without some ulterior motive?" He responded as we stepped onto the elevator and pressed the code for our floor. It accepted it and started going up. "It has something to do with what Helios did back there, doesn't it. Does he know somethi..."

     "Hush, my dear." I cut him off; eyeing the camera that was pointed right at us, then brought my voice down to a whisper. "Your first instincts are usually correct, no need to verify them. Understand?" He nodded his head in agreement and we didn't say anything the rest of the way up. He had gotten the hint that I didn't want him speaking so bluntly right in front of surveillance equipment. I knew this was something big, something that we were about find out and delve into that would change our views on the world which we lived in forever, something only the most reliable individuals could be trusted with. I figured it out when I thought back to what happened, when Helios asked Naos to stand to his left, flush against the wall. From our point of view there was no logical use in Naos being there, he didn't help our friend bypass the security system any more than I had, so what was it then? The cameras, the camera saw all. There was one camera in the classroom, all the way in the back of the room, giving one panoramic view of the area, and Naos blocked it, his tall body obstructed the view of the camera! Had he not been there then the monitors would have seen this, and thus known that one of their test subjects could do two things. Firstly, that they knew how and where to find emergency bypass systems, and secondly, that they actually had a way of obtaining the code. To them, that could quite possibly mean that they know many more codes, possibly all of them, knowing the nooks and crannies of the entire compound, and more likely than not have means of bypassing the laser fence. Did Helios just show us a taste of what he was capable of? Could he escape if he wanted to? Could we escape? That is, if we wanted to escape...well, did we?

     The elevator stopped and it's doors opened up into a small corridor, which lead to our home. The lobby and elevator portion of the building was separated from our actual homes themselves, connected only by a corridor that lead from the elevator into their respective homes. It was an interesting design actually, if you were to look at the building form the side, it would look like one of those old space shuttles that are attached to clamps pre-launch and as it launches they break off of it. With respect to our building, the main living quarters section would be like the space shuttle and the corridors would be the clamps. The lobby and elevator part would be the same as it was in NASA, in which the astronauts would enter that part in order to get to the bridge that connected them to the entrance of the ship, and so forth. It was cool because there were windows in the corridor that you could look out from and see how high you are.

    When we got to the end of the corridor, we had to activate a voice verification unit to get the final door open that led to our home. And if you are wondering...yes, there IS quite a bit of security and protection. It is so no one that Gemini doesn't want gets in, and no one that they want can get out. The door accepted my voice and the door slide up, making a pathway that let us enter. When we came in, I noticed that the place was empty.

     "Dad?" Naos and I both yelled and searched the house, finding no one.

     "Cygnus is Professor Ellis located on this floor?" I asked aloud, waiting for a respond from the internal computer system.

     "No, Naos, he is not." A soft, computerized voice responded from the speakers in the ceiling.

     "Artificial intelligence my ass." I sighed. "Cygnus, reconfig voice recognition Aurora Bori Ellis, overwrite most recent memory file to Aurora Bori Ellis and do automatic system reconfig of Naos Ellis prior." I said, taking a big puff of breath. After a few moments the voice sounded once again. Technology is really a bitch sometimes, and it showed today in particular.

     "Changes complete, Aurora Bori Ellis."

     "Much better. Well, all that aside, it appears as if we're all alone, or should I say, in theory we are alone." I said, turning to Naos, who started to grin. It was then that I noticed that we had ended up in the bedroom.

     "Yeah, we sure are, well, you know what you have to do about theories." He replied, grinning at me. I didn't even have a chance to react before I felt myself get jumped on and pushed onto the bed, and I didn't even come to my senses before I felt a barrage of tender kisses on my face and a tongue being shoved down my throat. All I could do was moan and suck on that sweet tongue that had entered my mouth and feel two delicate hands feel up and down my body. I heard a slight groan coming from my lover and noticed he was grinding himself into me. I made the effort to remove his skintight shirt, revealing his perfectly toned and proportioned chest that I could just drool to. He slid my shirt off and began sucking on my erect nipples while grinding into me still. I could feel his hard cock and need for release and began unbuttoning his shorts and sliding them off. He smiled at me and helped me slide them off completely, along with his underpants, leaving him completely naked. I had no time to admire his drop-dead gorgeous body because he got up and jumped onto my chest, pointing his rock hard cock into my face. I gladly took it into my mouth, licking my tongue around the head and tasting his delicious pre-cum. He moaned my name out as my lips took more and more of his hardness into my mouth. I reached my hands around to grab his butt and pull him even further into me. I kept taking more and more of him into my mouth, all the way down to the base. His head was throbbing at the back of my throat as I was deep-throating him, bobbing my head back and forward, back and forward, my lips and tongue pleasuring his beautiful seven inches, exactly seven inches right down to the hundred-millionths decimal place. It was such perfection that it made me want it even more! I licked and sucked on my wonderful boy with all I had, his moans adding and multiplying in decimals exponentially, feeling his semen flow through his vas deferens from this testicles, and then into his urethra, waiting and aching to end up in my mouth. Oh he was so sexy, everything about him, his moans, the thrusts of his hips, the way his stomach contracted and pulsed in pleasure, as his breathing became less and less uniform. It all added up to on thing, perfection. Perfection in every way possible, as if he was some unique fractal pattern that got more and more complex, yet more perfect as you looked deeper and deeper into it. The heat from his cock was evermore increasing the more I sucked on it, it pulsed and throbbed wildly, getting ready to ignite any second from now. He kept moaning my name, reaching an earth-shattering peak when I feel his cock expand greatly and then let loose into my mouth, humping my gaping jaw furiously as he filled me up with his precious taste. I did my best to swallow every drop of it, not letting any escape past my lips. When he was done he collapsed on top of my face; catching his breath and letting himself go soft inside my mouth. Small droplets of sweat dripped down from his pores onto his crotch, which in turn landed on my chin and dripped down to my chest. The very thought of the path and trajectory and was of his beads of sweat almost made me cum as well, which I was on the brink of anyhow.

     Once my lover caught his breath he got up off of me and continued to undo my pants. Unzipping them slowly as he grinned wildly, his spent cock swinging freely in the air and creating a musky smell that only added to the ambience of the whole décor. He slipped off my pants and found my very hard bulge protruding from my boxers. Without a second glance he did away with those as well, gazing at my boyhood. He took a finger and used it to wipe up some of the precum that had been produced on the slit of my head, then licked his finger clean and giggled with a soft `Mmm'. After that he took my shaft in his hand, stroking it up and down slowly, then lapping at my balls with his tongue, taking them into his mouth and sucking on them. All I could do was shiver and convulse in pleasure, trying not to go over the edge so soon, but it was a very difficult task. His tongue and lips on my balls sent waves of emotion throughout my body, as if I was in Ancient Greece and we were in togas and making wild, passionate love, without anything to interrupt us or be watching us. I felt myself being stroked faster and faster, and then just the head of my cock being gorged and a tongue licking all around it, flicking back and forth, side to side. My hips kept thrusting upward in direct correlation with the amount of pleasure I was getting and how close I was to orgasm. Suffice to say, at that moment I was thrusting my hips like crazy from the immense pleasure I was receiving. Then he took his hand from my tongue, moving it to my balls and squeezing them, while his mouth began taking in more and more of my over-stimulated rod. I was being sucked like a vacuum with tremendous force, being taken in all the way, more and more into his mouth, thrusting my hips as much as I could and moaning my lover's name as loud as my vocal chords would allow until I could not take it anymore. A colossal wave of power engulfed my body as I felt my cock unloading into my lover's mouth, spasming like crazy and letting my moans die out slowly while my body went from a vivacious sex machine into a docile plant. My lover gulped down everything that I had shot into his mouth, nursing and milking my cock to softness, then snuggled up to me. He wrapped his strong arms around me, both of us in post-orgasmic high, and kissed me deeply on the lips, letting our tongues dance around and have the semen in our mouths mix together. I sighed deeply, letting my emotions be what they wanted to be. Love, compassion, embrace, contentedness, peace, togetherness, and everything else in between.

     I'm sorry, I kinda got lost in the moment there. I guess you had to be there, and to be me, to understand what we were all about. And when I say `we', I mean `we' being `Naos and Aurora', you know what I mean. No wait...it just dawned on me that you don't know what I mean. Oh man, I'm such a fucking idiot! Hehe! I failed to mention some of the most important aspects of my life to you. Good thing I remembered, or you would be really lost, if not already. Let's see, where to begin on this broad topic, the topic of my relationship with Naos, the one and only true love of my life. Hmm, there's just so much that I could say, so many words and emotions that run through my mind when I think about him, I wouldn't know where to start...from the beginning maybe? Ahh, yes, the beginning, the beginning of our relationship, sixteen years ago! That's right, he has been my loving and caring boyfriend for sixteen years, right from the day we were born. Remember what I said before about how there were two genetically made homosexuals? Well, if you haven't figured it out by now, that's us. It wasn't a mistake that we were gay, not by a long shot. It wasn't a mistake that we fell in love, nor a mistake that we've slept in the same bed together, every night, for the past sixteen years. Oh, I feel like such an idiot when I think about it, like we just played right into their plans. It was all part of the experiment; right from day one Gemini had expected their two gay test subjects to get together. I mean, it was like putting two gorillas in a cage to watch them mate, except they were two gay human beings. I feel so used, and yet not used. Oh, it's so confusing I can't even reason it out in my mind. It's like...no...it is just...I don't know, I love him! That's all there is too it ok? I love him, no matter how many times I go over it in my head that I was expected to love him for the success of the experiment, that it was my job to love him, that it was my fate to love him and that everything in our lives were revolved around that happening, I still feel that it was my choice of free will in my heart, I always do. You know why? Because I fell in love with him before I knew what love even was. I always had that small feeling strew about my body, the indefinable one that I encountered whenever even the name Naos of mentioned in my general direction. They didn't make me love him, or give me the suggestion of loving him, at least I don't think. I love Naos because we were meant to be together by God, not by Gemini, by God! They could have just as likely put their two gay experiments together and see them figure out that they had no common interests and would just as better off be friends. I don't know how else to prove my love as irrefutable to anyone else but me. In anyone else's mind I love him solely for the purposes of the experiment. Well, that's their problem I suppose.

     Nothing would ever keep me from loving Naos; it's my right to choose as I please. That is who I chose, and that is who HE chose as well. We have a long history together, Naos and I, spanning all the way back to our childhood. When I look back to those times, I can see how truly lucky I was to have him, another gay friend, brother, and mate. I was given a gift a lonely gay boy could only dream of. I had true love practically shoved right under my nose, and all I had to do was take it. That's all, no figuring out if one another is gay or not, you were scientifically TOLD if you were gay or not, and knew if the other was or not, how much easier could it have gotten? That's where I get the idea that I played with into their hands, but still maintained by free right to choose. Like I said, I fell in love with him and figured it out all by myself, without anyone's help in doing so, they just set it up for us. They just eliminated the middleman, the questioning and second-guessing, the nervousness and loneliness; I had never experienced those emotions spiritually. I probably missed out on many key life experiences, but really, I'd rather not have gone through those negative emotions and heartbreaks anyhow. I had everything I ever needed with me, from the day I was born to the day I die.

     I have a data string of Naos right here on my digital storage unit. I could show it to you, but it would be totally lost on you, because it's just a string of DNA, a whole big string of it. It details every attribute and feature on him. There isn't anything about him biologically that I can't figure out with this sequence of letters. I hate giving compliments to foes, but man, anyone who can create a gay boy with short, flat but firm, reddish-blonde hair on a pearly white body with two pure blue eyes attached in his sockets can't be ALL that bad. Sigh, they made perfection, such, utter perfection, and I'm holding the instructions to it in my hands right now. How large and small one feels at the same time. A contradiction, I obtain something that sets me apart from everyone else, even putting myself above them, and yet I haven't any power to do a thing with it, just like everything else about me: my intelligence, wits, and other unmentionables that I won't get into until another time. Oh, I feel so low; it's been such a long, tiring day, I should probably head off to bed, but I feel obligated to finish my story, or at least some part of it.

     I have so many happy memories, it's difficult to single out and choose just one that would suffice. But which one to tell about? Certainly not some cheesy sex story, firstly because they hardly tell anything of love, secondly because I'd be turning myself on and the calorimetric sensor layover would show a big bright red spot right below my naval, and thirdly, well, there are just so many, how would I be able to decide which to speak of? Ahh, I know the perfect one, one that was and still is a major turning point in my life...our first kiss...

     Now, before I begin, I must confess something to you...I'm a liar, or at least, a misleader. I might have...MIGHT have given you the impression that I've never been outside of a certain boundary of limitations. Well, the truth is, I've lived only 99.8973657202% of my life inside those walls...if I were to round up, of course. You see, every other year when we were younger, starting we were about nine, when I was just a little Aurora and Naos was just my regular old brother, Gemini would give Me, Naos, Sarin, Helios, Iris, and Nylin a little treat, something that would keep us from going nuts from what I'd like to call, `solitary confinement'. For a day or so, we'd be taken to a small, secluded island somewhere in the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean via shuttlecraft where, with heavy surveillance and chauffeurs at all times, we could roam the beach, lay in the sand, swim in the water, or do anything like that. It was our freedom time when we would leave the compound and fast the far reaches of the world, places that we had only seen in television, photographs, and news scripts previously. It was quite a remarkable adventure every time. We would be able to explore our curiosities about life, nature, and the outside world, to be reminded that there is a large universe out there we had yet to be subject to, that the universe wasn't some large, oversized perimeter.

     On one such occasion, when we were all thirteen, Gemini sent us to an unpopulated Caribbean island...or maybe it was evacuated for our arrival, I'd rather not dwell on that. It was mostly comprised of palm trees, seaweed and plank-infested sand, snakes, and crabs. When we arrived there and stepped onto the sand for the first time, it was as if we were some famous explorers, venturing into a new world for the first time and claiming it as our own...the feeling of the wet sand squishing between our toes was thrilling enough. We were pretty well learned by that time, but we were still kids no less, being early teenagers with the need of other external stimulations totally unrelated to the mind and knowledge. In short, all we needed was a good time!

     Most of the day was spent building highly complex sand castles and making real usable structures out of palm trees, just like regular everyday people did at the beach. At around noon we ate a perfectly balanced lunch specially designed, weighed, and formulated for each of our bodies, along with taking our daily doses. After that, we used the rest of our time before we had to head back home to just lie on the beach in our bathing suits and sit quietly, watching the sun go down. We rarely ever got to see that back home from ground level, it was quite a majestic site to behold. I have heard watching the Sun set to the west on planet Earth is the work of the most perfectly designed planetary orbit, and watching a sunset on any other heavenly body wouldn't be as good. Though I have no point of reference for the time being, I will agree with that statement. It was right around that time when Naos was sitting silently on the beach with me. We were all alone save for a few guards watching us from afar; the other four of us were busy on another section of the island finishing a palm tree house with matching balcony and cathedral. And then he popped the question to me, the question that caused a chain reaction that sent our relationship and lives toward an upward spiral, never stopping, and always evolving each other, what we saw in each other, and what we wanted within each other.

     "Are you gay yet?" He asked me in a subtle tone. We were both watching the sun start to sink below the horizon in the bright pink sky.

     "Am I WHAT?" I responded quickly, snapping my neck to look at him with a quizzical look, somewhat surprised at the randomness of the question within these contexts.

     "Are you GAY...yet...?" His eyes derived from mine toward the ground as he trailed off in speech.

     "Naos, I...I...don't know." I said, failing to search for words to answer him.

     "Well, don't you ever think about it?" He said, drawing shapes in the sand between us with his finger.

     "It like...I mean it as in...sex?" I brought my voice down to a whisper.

     "No, no, no, I mean...err...love. Or not so much love, just...you and me...kinda?" He was struggling with his words, and not even I at the time knew where he was going with this. "It's just...look at us...or rather...look at what is supposed to be us. We were born with gay genes put inside of us, and according to everyone else we're destined to be lovers or fall in love or something like that. Do you ever think about that?"

     "Oh um...I'm not sure. I guess...you know I guess I've always just accepted it as fact, us being gay and together. I never really brought much thought into it. I mean, I've known and lived with you for thirteen years, thinking of you as my friend and brother, well LEGAL brother anyhow, yet at the same time...I dunno, this other thing...like...err...fate. That's it I think, they are forcing our fate and emotions on us, having us live together and sleep in one bed, I've always accepted our fate, I suppose I just never...felt it?"

     "YES, YES! That's exactly it Aurora...never felt it. I had known I was gay only because they told me so, but never ever in my life had I actually felt it...until a few days ago. Aurora I..." His voice cracked, and his eyes made contact with mine but sunk down again. I turned my head back towards the sunset and saw the sun was sinking too. Then I felt a hand on my shoulder and I quickly diverted my attention back to Naos, who was breathing hard and struggling with his words. "I've been feeling odd and different, yet compelling new feelings inside of me, as if I know my own self better and have figured out who I really am...and what I want. I know what it is I just know it! It's what I have within me, and what you have within yourself as well. I can feel it inside of me as we speak, surging throughout my body, in collaboration with my newly developed hormones. Yes, it all works together, in my mind and in my heart. Aurora, I've never been more sure of one thing in my life, I'm..."

     "No! Don't...please don't say it...not yet..." I put a finger to his lips. I couldn't be overwhelmed because what he was telling me held true for myself as well; he just connected the dots in my mind for me. I was gay in my mind but I could also feel it all around me, as another part of who I was. All I could think was `holy shit'! I was what he was...I knew this day would come, but never in a million years could I have been able to predict what it was would like to be...gay. It was as if I was completing a task I was given. They told me I was gay and I knew I was gay, but it wasn't until that very moment that I actually figured out what it really meant to be gay. Thirty seconds ago I was much more an adolescent, almost as if all of my pubic hair, facial hair, and deep voice appears right then and there on the spot. I was no longer young, innocent, and wise, now I was lovely, sweet, and intelligent. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes after a moment's silence to seep all of these new feelings and emotions in. When I opened then again and looked upon Naos, he was different to me somehow. Immediately I started noticing things about him that I hadn't noticed before, like how beautiful the sun looked as it's beams of light ricocheted off of his pure blue eyes, or the way his orange tinted hair fell over his eyes, or his smile, or his lips, or his chest. They all appealed to me now for some reason, something that I wanted to sense not just with my eyes, but with my fingers, lips, nose, ears, and heart.

     My finger left Naos's lips and with my hand ventured above his face to his hair. I had never felt it before, and there was some driving force directing that begged and motioned me to touch it. My fingers slowly felt the front tips of his bangs, hoping he wouldn't object and pull away, which he didn't, and I felt so relieved, of course, his hand was still on my shoulder and I wasn't pulling away. Then my fingers all cohesively started to stroke his hair gently. His hair was so soft and firm. I could feel each individual strand intertwined between my fingers. That's all I was doing, and the best part was that I loved every minute of it, this was making me happy, Naos made me happy! I found myself locking eyes with his, finding comfort in gazing into his eyes, possibly security, definitely love. Yes, I loved him, it was the strangest feeling in the world, yet the most powerful one. The more I spent with him, right there on the beach, gazing into his eyes and smiling at him, the deeper I fell in love with him.

     "Why does your delicate touch feel so good? How come I feel so weak all of a sudden? Is this what love is supposed to feel like?" He whispered to me in a gentle tone, smiling back at me.

     "I hope so." Was all I answered to him. Then involuntarily I leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on his supple lips, while he reciprocated and kissed me back as I kissed him. I still remember to this day what it felt like, Naos and I kissing for the first time, and out of a billion words to chose from I can only describe it in one word: magical...just purely...magical...I can't say anymore other than that. It was the climax of our exploration of our love for each other that day, just as the sun had disappeared below the ocean's surface.

     "Don't ever leave me, Aurora." He whispered into my ear, breaking our loving embrace. "No matter what happens don't ever leave my side, please."

     "I love you Naos, I promise I'll never live a day without you." I whispered back, a tear rolling down my face. We spent the rest of the evening pledging our love for each other before we had to head back home. On that day we were one large milestone smarter and much further away from being children than we had ever gotten in our thirteen years of life.

<21:26 Pan left 15%, movement and heat lost, automatic shut down>

<21:30 Begin transmission, resume recording, pan right 15%>

     Sorry I walked out like that so suddenly I...had to check on something...someone. Also had to wipe my eyes, I'm ok now, I've just never told that story to anyone before. I can't believe I'm telling it to so many others now, but the truth must be told, and I have to compromise some memories and secret I guess, so everyone will believe me. You see, what I am, what Gemini knows I know, and what civilian lab experiments could figure out if I were tested, is very very very VERY top secret. Gemini is out to get us because of that. So I figure, if everyone knows, then it won't be a secret anymore, and since Gemini can't kill EVERYONE for what everyone knows, then my life may be more secure. After that, we'll have to work our way to pick up the broken pieces of our lives, and to make sure we actually create lives of our own...that is, if we even make it...or if I can even finish telling my story...

     "Incoming conference! Incoming conference!" The Cygnus voice rang inside our room.

     "Shit, we fell asleep." Naos whispered into my ear in desperation as we both scuttled out of bed to find our clothes and put them on before the telescreen was activated on our wall and whoever was calling would see us as we were. I dove out of bed to try and cover up my naked body.

     "What time is it?" I asked the nude Naos who was on the other side of the bed, who managed to find his pants and put those on. His shirt no where to be seen, leaving his sweaty chest bare, lucky me.

     "It doesn't matter, we have to find our clothes before we acc...take the call." He responded as I found my shirt and socks and put them on, then finding HIS shirt and throwing it over to his side. It landed on top of his head and he scrambled to get it off of his head then put it back on his body.

     "Incoming conference! Incoming conference!" The voice again.

     "Shut up! We know!" I yelled at the telescreen, then returned to my desperate clothing search.

     "Shh! Lower your voice, Aurora." He yelled back and threw my underwear over the bed to me. I caught it before it hit me in the face, which is what I think he was aiming for. Of course right after that my pants flew at me, almost taking my head off.

     "Voice conference activated." Cygnus said as a small microphone protruded out of a hole from the telescreen towards us. Naos and I stopped bickering and looked at each other in confusion. That's something I'd never seen before. All of our conferences had image as well as voice.

     "Uh...uhh...hello?" I nervously spoke into the microphone as we both finished getting dressed. I was wondering why there was no picture.

     "Yeah, hello?" A young voice came out of the speakers. It was odd because I'd never had a conference in which I couldn't see the person I was talking to, plus I didn't even know who it was to which I was speaking. I shrugged to Naos, not knowing what to say, who then crawled over and pressed the info button on the telescreen. Immediately words filled the screen telling me who it was and where they were calling from. I thought I recognized that voice!

     "Oh! Hey Heli! What's going on?" I said happily.

    "Wondering where you guys are!" Helios answered. I almost forgot that we had to be over on Helios and Sarin's floor. They were very impatient when it came to things like this, probably because they didn't have a sex life. "We're wasting valuable time here, Dad is gonna be back soon, so get your horny butts over here. The food is getting cold too! See you soon!"

     "Wait, wait! How did I..." I began to ask, but Helios ended the conference before I could finish my question. "That little shit." I turned around to find Naos in deep thought. "What?"

     "There's something fishy going on, something really...abnormal. I can't quite put my finger on it." He said suspiciously as he rubbed his chin.

     "Well, I'm sure our friends have already laid every finger of theirs on whatever it is, enough to dig a hole through! Come on, we have a lunch date." I said to him as I took his arm and led the both of us out of our room.

     "Oh, almost forgot!" Naos said as he escaped my grasp and ran over to the environmental controls to our room, pressed some buttons, then ran back.

    "What did you do?" I asked.

    "You know. Whew, that was close." He said as our room was being sterilized, which we're instructed to do after sex. It cleansed the room of unwanted odors and germs. The vents in the walls sucked up the air like powerful vacuums and replaced it with a pleasing aroma, so our room would then smell like flowers or a knoll after a spring rain. No one would ever know we had relations in there, well, except for the people watching the camera feeds...pervert. I wondered if they had a big bag of popcorn or some cheesy junk food snack and watched us with drool running down their chins, waiting for us to get naked. Well, we did take showers every day, and slept naked most of the time. Plus, Naos and I had a pretty steamy sex life, at least once a day we did it, so some horny guy must crack his knuckles and get a towel ready every day, waiting for it to happen as if it was some kind of porn film. Maybe there were certain shifts to take for the observers, and one lucky guy would be stuck with the morning routine shift, which included us taking a shower, and sometimes maybe some morning fun. We should really wave one day, I bet he'd blush bad.

    Before we left, both of us took our daily doses. Our doses were these small blue pills that we had to take two of every day. We were ordered to by our father, our doctors, and basically everyone else. We were never told what was in the pills exactly or what they did, but the way they made me feel had me guessing that they were hormones of some sort, but I still couldn't put my finger on what they did. I never really felt any different after downing my two pills with a glass of water, nor did I ever feel really different if I missed a dose. Missing a dose was extremely rare though, since we are reminded time and time again by the reminder alert program in our home, and of course everyone else. I never seriously thought about becoming a rebel and not taking my pills, they just stressed to us too much the importance of taking them, and I didn't want to take that chance.

    After taking our pills, Naos and I went into the elevator and requested access to the Xenon's level, which was the last name of our friends whom we were visiting. Don't ask me how a scientist gets the last name Xenon, it's probably as fitting as a scientist's son baring the name of the Northern Lights in his full name.

    "Access granted." Well I should hope so! Then the elevator began moving up a level. The short journey was uneventful, except when Naos kissed me on the cheek suddenly, so I guess it was eventful after all. I turned to him and saw him smiling at me lovingly. His perfectly blue tinted eyes sparkled at me.

    "What was that for?" I asked him.

    "Counting my blessings I guess." He said, and kissed me again, this time on the lips, and leaning into me heavily. I was left with stars circling my head; boy could that boy kiss! As the elevator doors opened and he walked out I almost toppled over from my knees buckling. I could smell the sweet after scent trail that followed him around when he walked; it was heaven in a bodily fragrance. I followed him out before the doors closed on me and caught up to him, walking through the corridor. Looking out the windows on the sides, I could see the difference in elevation we were at compared to our home floor. More of the city was visible where we stood. It was only a couple yards distance, but the difference was flagrant. Some cars were hovering by, roaming and weaving between the buildings that stood outside the complex. They all ignored the large facility in which we lived, I suppose they were used to it. This whole thing was classified as just a maximum security federal science facility, not a top secret testing site. I don't think people suspected anything really. I mean there were plenty of government funded science compounds all over America, if fact, that's what America was all about these days, next to England we were the leading country in scientific research and breakthroughs. I mean, hey, we did cure AIDS, didn't we? Despite that, there were probably a couple people who thought otherwise, but those types will basically think that anything with maximum security has some ulterior, doomsday, extraterrestrial motive. I hadn't seen any of that concerning the Genome X project as of yet, but you never know...

    We approached the end of the corridor and Sarin let us in when we buzzed access. Their place was built with the exact same design and décor, and if it weren't for a couple miniscule differences that were indiscernible to the untrained eye, no one would be able to tell them apart. For example, their bedroom contained two twin beds instead of our two-person bed; they had lots of junk lying around, such as spare pieces to new and wild inventions that they were creating, while our place was pretty decent when it came to neatness. Actually, you could say the entropy level as we went from our level to theirs skyrocketed! But I digress.

    Digressing on, I can only speak for those two levels and not the level of our two other `friends', for I have never been inside of their place. Iris and Nylin just never seemed to fit in with us when it came to common interests and hanging out. Usually it was the four of us buddies, me, Naos, Sarin, and Helios, and then the other two, the ones who had their own agendas. I mean sure, they were great...well, they were nice and all...well, they were all right...naa, we never talked to them really. You wouldn't think it, being raised with them and all, but it's true, they enjoyed doing other things, keeping to themselves as...whatever sort of relationship they had with each other. Hey, it wasn't my business to know whether they boinked as boyfriend and girlfriend or just as more than friends or just as friends, or even boinked at all! I'm not a fan of gossip when it comes to that stuff, and to tell you the truth I couldn't care less. To one bloody bit! I have good reason not to as well. I mean first you have Iris, who's this aggressive, kind of bitchy girl, probably trying to extend her power over her female-limited lifestyle. And then you have Nylin, this odd, self-contained boy, who by the looks of him probably would spend more time playing sports and doing his hair than learning and growing. They are both very quite individuals, I don't even think they enjoy each other's company very much, which would be a HUGE breakthrough of information in the project seeing as how their two gay boy subjects ended up together while the two straight ones don't. Now let's not forget our other two REAL friends, but the jury is still out on that one, since those two don't even have a set sexual preference for them yet! Not that there is anything wrong with that, it sure takes away any sexual and hormonal frustration among the six of us, but maybe that was the plan all along.

     Helios Omega Xenon and Sarin Alpha Xenon are Stage Two experiments in the Genome X project. They live one level above us in the main quarters building of the Gemini Complex. Sarin, by far, is the cutest boy I have ever seen in my life...who isn't my boyfriend that is. He has light-brown hair and a swimmer's build, because he swims I'd guess, for exercise, not to mention a smile you could die for. He has a 250 IQ, making him the smartest of the bunch, but when you are comparing IQs in the high digits, a twenty-point difference doesn't mean anything. Unfortunately for me it's a thirty-point difference and his intelligence shows. He has a greatly expanding knowledge bank and a very open mind about things. He could be the world's greatest doctor of everything if he wanted to, because he knows so much about...about...everything! He has a great affinity for the human mind though. Helios, on the other hand, is very much different than his counterpart. He is a computer and technology whiz, who loves inventing little trinkets and figuring out how certain things work. Together, Helios and Sarin make an excellent think tank. They are our best friends, by far. We enjoy doing the same things for entertainment and get along really well. Like I said, we fit into a pretty good group with just the four of us, just hanging out, having fun, talking, and caring and looking out for each other. We need them just as much as they need us, and I don't think we would have made it this far if they hadn't been there to help us out. That is what true friendship really is.

    Their father, Doctor Xenon, if you haven't figured it out by now, works for Gemini and acts as their parental unit, living in the quarters with them the same way our father lives with us. Both of our fathers are scientists and do all sorts of research that's so amazing I couldn't even begin to describe it to you...ok, I have no idea what goes on in the main laboratory in the restricted areas, or basically, just about everywhere in the place. That thing is so secure they would call a red alert if an unauthorized piece of hair were found. All of the scientists and Gemini employees are under strict orders not to tell us or the public anything about what goes on inside those walls, kinda makes you feel real good inside, doesn't it?

    "Hey guys, glad you finally decided to give up on your personal ventures and join us!" Sarin grinned at us as we came in and made ourselves at home.

     "Where's Helios?" Naos asked, ignoring that statement.

     "Oh, he's upstairs in the lab, come on I'll show you, just try to keep your hands to yourselves on the way." Sarin said as he turned around and led us to the stairs. Naos and I looked at each other, both with confused expressions on our faces; this was just getting too weird.

     "Ok man, what gives? What's going on?" I asked demandingly to him as we went up the stairs.

     "Who said anything is going on? I'm just playing around with you two. It seems to me that if you didn't have something to hide then you wouldn't take so much defense to our little quips." He snickered and grinned at us again. Oh I could have killed him!

     "No, no, no, Sarin. I know there's something going on, and you know what else?" I asked, trying to suppress my frustration. "I know that you know we know there's something going on, and also that you want to tell us. So why don't you just tell us already?"

     "Alright." Sarin sighed and led us towards the lab. "If you won't let me have any fun, then I'll just tell you that I found out today that...naa, it will embarrassed you!"

     "Try us." Naos responded.

     "Well, since you asked." He said slyly. "I found out today that...you guys do a lot more than we give you credit for, and we have proof!" Sarin smiled widely at the two of us. I was trying my best not to blush.

     "Proof?" Naos gulped nervously.

     "Well, this you'll have to see, and that's just a small part of our fun for today, well...right after we eat lunch.

     "Skip the bull, what do you know?" I said to him. Then he stopped and turned around to look me right into the eye.

     "More than you can stomach, and not just concerning you two, so you'd better be ready for it!" Sarin said as we entered the lab. "Oh Helios, we have guests!" He called out in a very formal manner. "Ahh, there you are, I hope you haven't been too saddened by our friends' tardiness." We all turned to find Helios looking rather glum. I hoped not because of us, he DID sound pretty upset towards the end of our conference. "What's wrong bud? What's bothering you?" Sarin asked, then Helios bit his upper lip and pointed towards the both of us. Then Sarin turned to the two of us compassionately. "Look what you did to him guys, I think you both need to give him a nice, big hug to show him you still care!" Then turning back to Helios, who looked as if he was on the brink of crying.

     "Oh, Helios we didn't mean too..." Naos began to say, but Sarin cut him off.

     "No...just hugs. That would make you feel better, wouldn't it old pal?" Sarin said in a really mushy sort of way to Helios, who nodded and opened up his arms.

     "Well, if it will make things right..." I said and walked over to Helios's open arms and moved in to embrace him. "I'm sorry buuuuuaaad!" But I fell face flat on the floor. I'd missed him! I'd...wait a second here! I got up quickly, feeling for any bruises, then spun around quickly, seeing Naos's face in amazement and Sarin laughing his ass off, Helios was gone and all that remained was a small circular object on the floor, with what looked like a lens in the middle of it. "It's fake...you little shit set us up!" I yelled in anger and embarrassment as the real Helios came through the door laughing just as hard.

     "Oh man...hehehe...I'm so sorry, but I just had too do it...hehe...and you fell on the ground...hahaha! Man you kill me! That was good, that was really good." Helios said in between laughs as he and Sarin snickers together.

     "That wasn't good guys. You made a fool out of him!" Naos said in my defense. Their laughs were dying down a bit.

     "I know, but I just had to do it. Now we're even for you coming late, and I got to test out my hologram prototype. Come on, friends, ok? We're even, no worries. Look we're not even laughing anymore, right Sarin?" Helios said seriously and hit Sarin on the arm, Sarin nodding his head as he finished his last few chuckles. "See? And hey, keep the hologram. It's yours, if it'll make you feel any better. One of a kind!"

     "Well...alright, but they already have hologram devices, don't they." I said as I pocketed the thing and Helios threw me the digital picture capturing part of it, which I also put into my pocket.

     "Yeah, but remember, this one renders video instead of just a stationary picture, a much better tool." Helios said as he lead us into his little computer room, filled with all sorts of gizmos and devices. The contents of the room were almost all metallic, like some super control station that was really really shiny!

     "Wow, that's so cool." I said.

     "And it even has projected voice capabilities, not 100% accurate, yet, but still effective enough to give a moderate imitation of whatever you are rendering through the lens." Helios added. "I find photon manipulation and processing quite interesting, don't you?" Helios smiled at us.

     "Quite, now cut the crap, tell us what we want to know or we're leaving right this second!" I demanded to him, pointing my finger towards the staircase. "Naos and I are in agreement that you know more than you're putting out there. And I think you both are forcing us on a need-to-know basis, and right now, we need to know!" Immediately I heard Sarin close the door behind us and Helios darted to a drawer in one of his many desks and took out a baseball.

     "Say Aurora, do you like baseball?" He asked as he tossed the ball up and down one-handed.

     "Not especially." I sighed.

     "Good, neither do I!" Helios grinned and did something so unpredictable that if I hadn't seen it with my own two eyes I never would have believed it. He pulled his arm back and a split second later slingshot it towards the wall, with the ball releasing from his hand and shooting toward the in-room camera. The ball hit the camera and knocked it off the wall. Helios then stepped back and ran to pick up a baseball bat, slinging it over his shoulder. "Oh my god, not again!" He yelled as he jumped up onto the desk and literally beat the living shit out of the in-room speaker, which recorded every sound made in the room. All I could do was stand back in amazement, ogling Helios's act of...anarchy! When he was satisfied with his task of destruction, he picked up the baseball off of the floor and put both bat and baseball away as he had left them. "Ok, it takes about ten or fifteen minutes for them to locate and replace busted cameras." Helios said as he situated himself in front of his computer screen and pressed the `on' button. The computer immediately began booting up and the Gemini insignia flashed on the thirty inch, flat, high definition screen. "They think it's all an accident, and until they get in here to fix up my little mess, they can't hear or see anything that goes on in this room, but we have to act as fast as possible."

     "That's genius!" Naos exclaimed happily as Helios began to go to the entrance for Gemini's mainframe network.

     "Wait a second, what do you think you're doing? That's restricted!" I warned Helios, who didn't even flinch and swiveled his chair to face us and grinned.

     "I know it is, very very restricted. This baby is beefed up with network security ops. If you don't have a password, then it's impossible to get in." He giggled.

     "Then how did you get in Master Hacker?" I asked.

     "Easy. I got a password!" Helios spoke as he typed a login and password, pressed enter and was accepted into the Gemini mainframe.

     "Holy shit. You can get in. You can get into the network! This is amazing. You lucky son of a bitch, how did you ever in your life get a password...Richard Rowland?" Naos said, reading the user name off of the screen. "Who the hell is that?"

     "Correction! Who WAS that?" Sarin stepped in and produced an electronic palm pilot device and read off of it. "Richard Rowland...top level scientist, born yada yada, died two weeks ago...heart failure. The ONLY top level scientist to die in this facility, in our presence."

     "My presence actually." Helios took over. "I saw the whole thing happen one night as I was walking through the court yard. He was just walking along, far away from me in the darkness, rereading some files on his e-note taker and then in the blink of an eye he was on the ground, dead. I saw some men run up and drag him away..."

     "Wait, they just dragged him away? Just like that? No red alert or emergency medical treatment to save him or anything like that?" I asked him, beginning to get suspicious.

     "That's what I said, didn't I? That wasn't really important at the time. What's important is that when all of the men were clear, I saw a small green light glowing on the ground near where he fell. I ran over to it and found that Rowland had dropped his e-notes onto the ground when he fell. It was a good twenty feet from where he dropped, so I could see how the men taking him away overlooked it. So I picked it up and right on the screen was his name and password. I quickly looked around to see if anyone was watching, then I memorized the words in my mind, took out my pressure spray and cleaned it of any remnants of me touching it, then put it back the way I found it. Surprisingly enough, they forgot to kill his account, so I fooled around on the Gemini system a bit and...well...you'll have to see it to believe it."

     "At this point I'll take your word on anything." Naos said as his face glowed green while he loomed over the screen, gazing at the myriad of things on the network. "Show me."

     "Show you what?" Helios inquired.

     "Everything. I want to see it all." Naos begged.

     "Well, it's a pretty large network, and we only have a limited amount of time on here. There is a wide variety of knowledge on this thing, and since we have high level clearance through here, well, we can do and see just about everything. So calm down a bit, in due time you'll know just as much as we do."

     "And what do you know so far?" I asked. "I doubt your little trick earlier today was using the best of your knowledge about the compound."

     "Well, actually..." Helios gulped nervously. "It kind of is. You see this system is very complicated, all so far I've only been able to do a few things, one of them is where a few of the emergency bypass systems are, such as the one embedded in the wall of the classroom. Also I've kinda...uhh been able to...well...see some umm...umm...live cameras on the local network." And at that point I knew what I was thinking was true, what they had been slowly hinting at had come to life, and my suspicions were correct. They knew what we had been doing.

     "You mean...you didn't!" I gasped, knowing that they evidently saw us doing...showing our love for each other. "No wonder! No wonder you've been acting all weird to us. `Horny boys', `Keep your hands to yourselves'. You saw us in the bedroom didn't you?" I said angrily, trying to keep my embarrassment level to a minimum as Naos reacted in his own way by turning away and almost loosing balance in his feet and having to hold onto the wall, his face showed he was zoning out and in denial.

     "We didn't mean to, honest!" Sarin said, trying to calm us both down. "Dude, we were just messing around with the cameras available to us at the time, it was completely random that we found your bedroom camera and you happened to be in there and..."

     "Just stop! That was private, you weren't supposed to see that! This is just great guys." I shot back at him, full of rage and betrayal. I mean, they SAW us at our most vulnerable moments, how else was I supposed to react, they spied on us!

     "We didn't look that long though, really." Sarin said. "Come on, please forgive us, we only saw a couple seconds and then turned it off immediately. You're lucky we even told you in the first place, and we're not ridiculing you about it, not one bit...anymore." Then he put his hands on my shoulders and looked into my eyes. "You're our friends, you've always been. Don't let this ruin what we have, it was all a big mistake, I swear to you. If we had the choice, we would never have done it. Please forgive us?" Sarin spoke with such honestly and compassion, that I just had to forgive the two of them a second time in one day. Even though I hated to do it, they did make a good point, and I couldn't contest that.

     "Ok, ok. I forgive you." I said and they both sighed in relief.

     "Thank you, thank you so much. It won't happen again, I promise." Sarin said happily, then went over to Naos. "What about you, are we cool?" He said, putting his arm around him. "Please?" Sarin flashed his puppy dog eyes to him.

     "Yeah, we're cool, just...just give me a minute here." Naos said quietly and leaned against the wall.

     "Great! You guys are so cool, you're really....yeah. So awesome...you two." Sarin said in relief and went back to Helios. "See Heli? Everything is fine because we have two of the best and coolest friends ever!"

     "And we're forever grateful. Ok guys, we have to get back to business, and no more surprises, I promise." Helios smiled. I regained my dignity and joined them back at the computer table, while Naos was making a recovery from shock, I was sure he'd be fine. I disputed what Sarin said though, about us being the best friends ever, because it seemed as if we had the best friends ever. I don't know any friends who would accidentally catch their friends doing the nasty and then get up the courage to tell them about it at the risk of losing their friendship. They were only being honest and coming clean with us, and they seemed to really care about us in the process. I couldn't ask for better friends than that.

     "What is all this?" Sarin asked, pointing to the screen. Naos had forgiven them just as I had and was watching the large screen on the other side of Helios, who was at the helm.

     "Don't touch it!" Helios warned, slapping Sarin's wrist away. "Some of these screens are interactive, and I think I know where I'm going."

     "And where would that be?" I asked.

     "Well, I think I'm in the Communications Relay right now." Helios responded, looking around for a second as a spinning globe appeared on the screen with the giant green `G' on it, indicating the Gemini Corporation. "Yeah, here we go...this is amazing, lots of this information that's been kept from us isn't even classified...here we go, Telescreen Voice Commands. This should solve one small dilemma." A large list of commands then appeared on the entire screen, filling ten columns, top to bottom. We had to turn our heads to see them all. Helios scanned the screen and then smiled. "Look, voice conferences are activated by the word `voice' when accepting incoming calls. So...whoever said `voice' when we were calling you earlier activated the voice option, which then cut out the video. Make sense?"

     "Perfect sense." I said as I grinned at Naos, who I remember telling me to lower my `voice' as we were bring called for a conference. "I guess that mystery is solved." Then Helios brought us to another screen.

     "What's this?" Naos asked as Helios typed in another login and password.

     "Dr. Brown's mailbox." Helios giggled. "I can get into just about anywhere with my login and password, just as long as it isn't deleted. This thing is a gem. I love it! Oh! We're in his `sent' folder." He grinned at me. "Hey Aurora, here's an e-mail from Brown to your dad's account. It's recommending a new type of medication for you, one that helps you FOCUS in class!" And he burst out giggling.

     "Dude, I told you that one of these days he was gonna get you for not paying attention in his class." Sarin chuckled.

     "I can't help it, he's so boring and uninteresting!" I defended back to them as Helios went elsewhere on the network. "It's his fault for telling us stuff we already know. I mean, come on, we've been on black holes for over two weeks already."

     "I have to agree." Helios said as he surfed around. "I wish he'd teach us more about energy and physics and stuff, maybe about guns."

     "Yeah right, like their gonna teach us how to aim and shoot guns, real smart!" Sarin said. "Why not just give us the code to the main entrance and teach us tactics in guerilla warfare." He joked and ruffled Helios's hair, to which Helios snubbed him and fixed his hair, then going back to the keyboard. "Come on this is boring, show us some good stuff! Get us some more access codes so we don't have to feel like caged rats all the time." Sarin said.

     "That's in another part of the network, I bet I could get us somewhere good in the Comm Relay." Helios said as the screen changed rapidly and he typed commands onto the screen like an elite hacker until we ended up on a screen that looked like a list of message topics. "Ah ha, here's something good, the Local Message Forum. This must be the public one, let's see if I can get to a more private one, our top level access has to be good for something other than surveillance systems." Searching around a little more, windows popping up all over the screen. "Bingo! The Genome X forum, messages from top level scientists who know to much and just need a place to put their valuable info...or something like that."

     "Click the first one, its originator is from John Remus." Naos said.

     " `System Test successful'?" Helios read the message topic as he touched the screen to go to the message. " `Attention all high level G-X employees, our third and most recent system test that was conducted from 13:55 to 14:00 has been deemed a success. The security system of the entire compound remained online to all employees and laboratory workers while at the same time the security clearances of the six Level 2 experiments were suspended for the allotted time. The test was a complete success; despite the slight mishap of Dr. Brown letting the Level 2's out of their daily learning session one minute early, before the test was completed. Our records indicate that they only had trouble activating the exit doors for a moment, but they eventually got out safe and didn't seem to foment any thoughts of anything but technical difficulties. Just to be safe, a message has been sent to all three suites apologizing for the technical difficulties that occurred earlier today, and one message to Dr. Brown urging him to remember security test times so it doesn't happen again. If the experiments get suspicious, then our whole plan, and the entire Genome X operation, may fail...' " Four jaws were dropped, eight eyes widened, and four faces with a terrified expression lay in the room at that moment. It was the moment in which we knew that there was more to Genome X than what was on the surface, more than what we thought was underneath the surface, and had proof that our very safety could be in even more danger than we had originally anticipated.

     They were right though; it was the only thing that they could be right about. If we got suspicious, then the project will fail. This was only the tip of the iceberg of many for things to come, and we were suspicious, so you bet the Genome X project failed. It failed big time. Until next time, let this be a lesson to each and every one of you who are planning on breaking the code of human rights, because, it can't work, no matter how many precautions you take and how sadistic and screwed up you are. Just give up while you can. Well, according to my watch, it is about 9:20 at night. That's twenty minutes after curfew. Wow! I'd better get to bed. Now if I can figure out how to turn this thing off, then I can get to sleep and continue my story tomorrow. So to all of you out there looking at this, and especially to those beloved Gemini employees looking for us, get a life, and mind your own damn business. Keep watching though, oh by all means, keep watching, because this is one of the last times that you will ever see me. Happy trails!

<21:19 Shutdown>

Well, that concludes the first chapter of my story. I hope you all love it as much as I enjoyed writing it, and more. I don't know when my next chapter will be out, but I know I'll be working on it lots during Winter break and March Break, it could be out my March, or June, or next Halloween.... But the important thing is the commitment to it. I have a lovely story arc planned out for this story in the coming chapters ahead. There will be loads of action, suspense, and of course futuristic SEX! Hehehe! Everything you guys want will be in here, and if you're a die hard scifi lover like I am, you'll be drooling over the next installments. Ok, so you read the story and all, but now you have to tell me how it was, because if you don't tell me then I'll be less and less inclined to write it, and the more people who encourage me and tell me how good the story is will get more previews and goodies! Oh, I forgot to mention, there will be TONS of goodies coming out that go along with the story, and if you me to release them sooner, all you have to do is contact me and tell me what you thought of the story so far! Easy, huh? Don't worry, it'll sure be worth it! So until next time! Contact info below:

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