This is a story based on fantasies created by Anne McCaffrey. It is fiction and no reference to any person living or dead is intended nor to any of the characters in McCaffrey's novels. I have used only the concepts created by McCaffrey and I apologise if it impinges on her copyright. It is by way of tribute rather than imitation and is a measure of the enjoyment I have received from her novels over many years. It may contain descriptions of gay sexuality (b/b and M/b).



A’van! A’van!” D’nel slid to a stop outside the brown dragon rider’s door his flying boots scraping on the stone floor. The only sound he could hear was his own laboured breathing – he had just raced up two flights of steps from his own weyr. He waited, panting. There was no sound from within the weyr.

A’van? Are you there?” Still no answer.

Farth, is Moranth here? he asked his dragon.

Yes. Sometimes he wished the dragon wasn’t quite so literal!


Sleeping. The green dragon was quite unperturbed about D’nel’s agitation.

Where can he be?” D’nel thought to himself.

Why don’t you try the kitchen, his dragon sounded slightly amused.

Did you know he was there?

Yes, definitely amused now.

Why didn’t you tell me!

You didn’t ask. D’nel had the uncomfortable feeling that if Farth could have laughed at him she would have done so.

Farth! You know I want to talk to him!

Yes! But it doesn’t have to be yesterday.

Yes it does!

If you had told me that you wanted to talk to him yesterday, I could have taken you back then.

Farth! Really! If you weren’t my best friend I could get so angry at you! D’nel was sure the dragon was laughing at him.

Just as well I’m not your only friend then, isn’t it? The warm fruity tones of the dragon carried no sound of discontent. D’nel knew Farth was making fun of him – just being obtuse for the fun of it. He wondered if other dragons behaved like that.

Not many, Farth said in his mind. Mainly greens. Moranth likes to make fun of A’van.

Does he? I didn’t know that.

Just when A’van gets a bit pompous.

Where do you hear words like that Farth? You’re beginning to sound like a Harper.

The dragon seemed to make a humphing sound. D’nel was certain it was as close to a chuckle that Farth could manage.

He turned away from the brown rider’s door and started down the long flights of steps to the kitchens. He might have guessed. A’van always seemed to be hungry. D’nel wouldn’t have thought it – he’d thought his mentor had stopped growing. But, he guessed, A’van had probably been out helping to load the stone the dragons chewed to make fire. That was hard work – he knew, he had to do it often enough. Just as well they didn’t have to load that black stone used in fires as well. At least the heat from the underground volcanic source kept all the weyrs warm in winter. Not like his childhood in the deep caverns when he never seemed to be able to get warm.

As he clumped down the steps he thought back on his life before A’van and Moranth had found him in a search. His life was now incomparably better. And his friendship with Oran, which he had been so dependent on in the days when he had no other friends, was now blossoming into something like.... Well, he really didn’t know quite how to describe it. It was a strange mixture of love and support – on both their parts. He was sure it wouldn’t have developed like that if he hadn’t left the caverns and impressed Farth. Now he could get away, whenever there wasn’t any pressing work or other duties and training to be accomplished and take Oran to places previously they had only ever dreamed about. And that was even more important because Oran would soon be going to Harper Hall to be apprenticed in his chosen craft, and without Farth’s company D’nel would almost certainly have been left on his own, at the mercy of the bullies and others in the caverns. He wouldn’t be able to see Oran quite as often, but.... And this was what he wanted to talk to A’van about.

As he walked into the kitchens he saw A’van talking to the cooks. The brown rider was always friendly with those who supported the riders. The lowliest drudge would get some comment of appreciation from him. “Is that why I love him?” D’nel thought. Possibly, but, he thought, it was more than just that. Much more than that, perhaps, when Farth was ready to fly in another turn or so. He walked over the rider.

A’van!” he smiled at the young man. “I’ve been looking all over for you!”

A’van looked at him and gave him a warm welcoming smile.

Sit down, D’nel. The cook has just made a new brew of klah. Help yourself.” He looked fondly at the boy. “What do you need of me?”

D’nel smiled slyly at him. “Oh, a bit of this and a bit of that.” and burst out laughing.

Cheeky lad,” said the cook. “I think you need to discipline him a little A’van.”

Discipline! Hell, if I so much as raised a hand to him I would have Farth to answer to, AND Moranth!”

Moranth looks out for him as well?” The cook sounded most surprised.

Oh yes! My life wouldn’t be worth living if I hurt D’nel in any way.” He gave a great laugh.

D’nel blushed. His wide smile slipped as he remembered what it was he wanted to talk to A’van about.

A’van, when you’ve finished your klah, can we go for a walk? Please? I need to talk to you.”

D’nel hadn’t poured himself a drink and A’van rose, gulping down the last of his mugful.

Alright then, let’s be going. Thanks people – see you at dinner!” He waved cheerily to the kitchen staff, who called their thanks back to him. “Come on D’nel.”

The two riders walked away from the table, A’van noticing that D’nel seemed to be limping at little more than usual.

Is your leg hurting?” he asked the boy.

A little, but its because I ran up the steps to your weyr and nearly tripped at the top.” D’nel gave the brown rider a wry grin. “And then I had to come back all the way down here...... Farth didn’t think to tell me that you were in the kitchens!”

Hmmm!” hummed A’van. “Playing tricks on you again, is she?”

Well, sort of. Its not that she plays tricks, but sometimes she forgets to tell me things. Deliberately I think.” He chuckeld. “Perhaps she thinks I need the exercise!”

A’van laughed. “You could be right.” He paused for a bit. “Do you know? Moranth used to do that to me too!”


Oh yes! I threatened to leave him once!”

What did he do?”

I swear, I think he laughed.”

Really? That’s a bit like Farth today. It really sounded as though she was laughing. At least, I know she was amused.”

They walked out of the tunnel and down a ramp to the sands outside the Weyr. A’van looked at D’nel with a questioning look on his face. D’nel ignored it and limped on across the sands. A’van walked beside the boy, waiting.

A’van, you know just how friendly Oran and I are?”


How do you feel about that?”

Why D’nel?”

Well, I know that Moranth and Farth think that they will mate, which means that you and I are likely to mate as well.....” D’nel’s voice tailed off into a whisper.

I know that’s what they think. But it will really depend on how you and I feel...” A’van didn’t know how to continue.

I guess,” D’nel said, hesitantly. “But.... You like me a lot, don’t you?”

Yes I do, D’nel.” The brown rider shook his head slowly. “More than a lot, my young friend.”

How much more?” D’nel persisted.

A’van looked a little embarrassed. “Ah.... D’nel! I think I love you.”

D’nel blushed. “I... I...” he stuttered, then taking a deep breath. “I thought so. So how do you feel about me and Oran?”

I....” A’van hesitated, “I am probably a little jealous of him, if you really want the truth.”

But?” the boy looked at him carefully.

But, I suppose I don’t really mind.....” He looked at D’nel sadly.

Why?” D’nel sounded a little blunt, although his voice was soft and his expression showed concern.

D’nel, you do not need an adult pushing you, perhaps forcing you, into something unnecessarily.” A’van paused, his voice hesitant.

Oran was your friend long before Moranth and I showed up that day. He treated you like the brother you never had, and he gave you comfort when others were treating you badly. And I know you love him. You do, don’t you.”

Yes I do A’van. But.....” his voiced tailed off. A’van thought he could see the hint of a tear in the boy’s eyes.


But,” D’nel hesitated again. “But, I need you too – I need you to love me. I need you to hold me and hug me. And....”


And I think,” D’nel gulped. He gave has head a little shake. “And I think I want to,.... I want to do with you what Oran and I do....” his voice sank to a whisper. “Do you think that is bad?”

Bad!” A’van’s voice trembled with emotion. “No! I don’t think its bad!”

But.... but how can I love you and Oran?”

I’m really not sure I know how to answer that D’nel. Perhaps you need us for different reasons?”

I don’t know..... I really don’t know.” D’nels whispers trembled as he looked up at the brown rider. “I only know that I want to be hugged by both of you, and to be loved by both of you. And that I wouldn’t be happy if either of didn’t want to be with me.”

A’van looked down at the boy, and stepping towards him, gathered him into his arms, pulling the boy into his embrace. He leaned forward, his fair locks falling over onto the boy’s head, and hugging him into a tight embrace, rubbed his cheek against D’nel’s and kissed him on the cheek. D’nel gave a great shudder and then moaned as he put his arms around the man, hugging tightly into his chest. He reached up with his head, and nudging A’van’s face, kissed him lightly on the lips. Both hummed and pressing themselves firmly into each other could feel the emotion surging through their bodies. D’nel thought he would burst. Joy burst up through him and he smiled broadly as he pecked his lips again at A’van’s. A’van moaned slightly as he felt D’nel’s erection press into his leg, his own arousal beginning to press into the boy’s abdomen. Through their mutual joy they felt other presences as their two dragons joined them in their minds.

About time. Farth!

Yes! Moranth................................................

About time...” Will was suddenly awake with that thought in his mind. Was that a dream? Had he been dreaming Daniel’s dream again? He cast around in his mind. Could he feel another presence? Was Daniel awake?

Daniel? Nothing. Or at least Daniel didn’t answer.

Daniel! More forcefully. Daniel, wake up!

Will thought he felt a flicker. Just a slight flutter in his conciousness. And then...

Will? Daniel sounded a little peeved. Will, did you wake me?



I had a dream!


It was about D’nel and A’van.


They were about to make love..... Will felt Daniel’s mind jolt out of his sleepy state.

What were they doing? Daniel was definitely awake now.

Hugging and kissing.

Anything else?

No, I woke up just as Farth told them it was about time.

You woke up thinking it was ‘about time’?


That’s what I was thinking when you woke me up!

Will gave a giggle. So they were having much the same dream.

Daniel I want to see you soon.

I know Will. Will felt Daniel giggle too. I can feel your stiffy!

Will blushed. He hadn’t really been aware that he had an erection, and yet, somehow, he knew in his mind that he had woken feeling aroused. Must have been because of what D’nel and A’van were about to do.

Wish you were here to ‘feel’ it Daniel!

I’ll try to get over in the morning, Will felt Daniel saying. G’night, Will. Love you.

Love you Daniel. Will felt Daniel’s presence leave his mind.

Will lay back, thinking about his best friend. No, that wasn’t quite right, was it? Boyfriend was perhaps more appropriate but they really hadn’t done anything more serious than a bit of genital exploration, so perhaps boyfriend wasn’t quite the right description. At least, not yet. His mind was in turmoil. Ever since Daniel had told him about his dreams of Pern – of D’nel, Oran and A’van – Will could think of little else than how much he liked his mate (Mate! How appropriate that word was!) and how he thought their lives might develop. And then that incredible day when they discovered they could communicate with each other without speaking. For the first time the boys understood exactly what Anne McCaffery meant when her Tower and Hive characters said “We are only a thought away.” Like the telephone, Will thought. No further away than a telephone call!

Hovering on the threshold of sleep again, his mind drifted over the things they had done in the last few weeks. How they had taken long walks together, often holding hands when they thought there were no observers. And when there were others, linking their minds instead. Sort of like “holding minds” Will thought. How they were starting to become aware of the thoughts of others, and how they were working with each other to try to block out some of those thoughts. That had become a necessity, Will thought. Some people really do have cesspits for minds. One youngish man had triggered that particular thought. He must have seen them do something intimate – perhaps a hug, or holding hands. Even now the memory of his thoughts repulsed Will. The homophobic hatred that he broadcast was so terrible. And then the terror both boys felt when the thoughts turned from hatred to angry lust. It was almost mental rape, Will thought. Daniel almost screamed when he felt it. They had looked over towards the man and felt almost total revulsion when they saw the baleful, malevolent expression in his scowl. They had run away but both still remembered the incident with something akin to horror.

From that time they had tried to discover ways of preventing unwanted intrusions into their minds. They knew that people around them had no control over the thoughts they broadcast; or at least they assumed that was the case because they figured the likelihood of someone else having their abilities close by was remote. Will thought about that for a moment: remote, perhaps, but it was hard to think that they were the only ones with this sort of ability. Maybe, he thought, we should try to find if there are others. Ah, well, all in good time. He yawned widely.

But they had also tried to find out what the limits were. They already knew they could communicate with each other over several kilometres – at least between their two homes. And they had tried to see if they could influence others with their powers. He knew Daniel had tried reading his mother’s mind. But he didn’t know if Daniel had managed to plant an idea. The thought was quite scary. He had tried to put an idea into his mother’s mind, not without some success – at least as far as trying to influence what they would eat for their evening meal. But he’d backed away quickly when his mother gave him a very strange look. He’d been a little more subtle with his father – they got to watch a bit more of the TV programs he liked than they had in the past. But, was it a real test? Will giggled quietly to himself. His father really didn’t like “Malcolm in the Middle”, but now they saw it regularly. So, perhaps it was!

They were a bit too scared of these new-found powers to try anything at school, but Will wondered about how they might react if someone were to threaten either of them. Daniel had an idea that they might be able to communicate, or at least “hear” other animals, but so far they hadn’t achieved anything. Daniel was really keen to try to find some dolphins, but Will didn’t know how they would be able to achieve that. They really needed to get to know someone with a boat. And wangle the permission necessary to go out on it.

Will yawned again and drifted into sleep. He didn’t dream again.

His alarm stirred him at 7 am. But he was already awake. Ever since the day Will and Daniel had awoken each other with gentle mental calls. Will had felt Daniel stirring his mind 5 minutes earlier. It was a wonderful feeling – gradually the presence of another mind built, drawing him from sleep to wakefulness with an almost overwhelming feeling of comfort and wellbeing. It was almost as though Daniel was beside him, their faces close together, with their breath intermingling. Will could almost feel the warmth of Daniel’s breath on his cheek. He felt so close to his friend..... He felt a muffled giggle in his mind.

I wish I was close to you! Right now!

Good morning Daniel. And that thing sticking into my thigh would be?.....

Give over Will! You know I’m horny in the morning!

Will laughed out loud.



Do you have to shout like that?

Ooh! Oh, sorry! I didn’t think you’d really hear that. Will sounded apologetic.

No you’re not!



Will giggled again, but not a loud laugh. I am really, you know.....

Hmmm! Well, I’ll accept your apology later. Hey... I’ll be over in an hour.

Will felt a sudden emptiness as Daniel left his mind. He stretched, yawned, and groaned. And thought how wonderful it was to come awake with his best friend in his mind. But, he thought, one day he would wake before Daniel and wake him up.

He cast his mind around, sensing the world around him. Well, at least, his home. He could sense his brother – still asleep; his sister was just waking – she was wondering about the weekend and the netball game she had to play that afternoon; his father was awake, but lying in bed, enjoying the morning that he didn’t have to be up early; his mother was in the kitchen. Will hadn’t really delved too deeply into their minds; he wondered what they would think if they realised just how close he and Daniel had grown over the last few weeks. He knew that Daniel’s mother was aware that their feelings for each other were very strong: indeed he knew that she had read Daniel’s notes on his dreams, and Daniel had already discussed his sexuality with her. In fact it was she who told Daniel that he was probably gay. He was becoming more comfortable about how his parents might react when the eventually found out about his feelings for Daniel. But he still wasn’t sure that they would react favourably. He had been testing the waters, as it were, to see how they responded to homophobia. To date it had been positive. But still....

Get out of bed Will! Daniel was back.

Alright already. Will giggled, stretched, brushed his hand down over his erect penis, and shivered with the touch.

Leave it alone Will. We’ll do something about it later.

Damn it all Daniel! There are times when this can be a pain!


Privacy, man. Privacy!

Well, if I didn’t interrupt, you’d probably play with it all day and we’d never get anything done. 40 minutes now!

Hell! Have I been sorta dozing for 20 minutes!

Yeah! Get out of bed! NOW!

Just as suddenly, Daniel’s presence was gone again. Will giggled again. Privacy was a bit of an issue, but he didn’t really mind. The comfort of having Daniel around, even when he wasn’t physically present was just so marvellous. He couldn’t now imagine what it would be like without that warm, almost protective presence. Will struggled out of bed and, standing, glanced at himself in his mirror. His erection was standing proudly from his body but, looking at it he thought, no, not yet. When Daniel comes. He giggled at the unintentional pun. Scooping up his boxers from the floor where he had dropped them the previous evening, he bounced on one foot trying to pull them on, and the suddenly appreciating the urgency of a full bladder, sprinted for his door, down the hall, and into the bathroom. Fortunately it was vacant. He stepped quickly to the toilet and pushing his boxers down in front, pressed his still erect penis down and began the agonising wait for its hardness to soften sufficiently to allow his urine to flow. Slowly... slowly... and then, at last! He heaved a great sigh of relief, finished the draining, giving himself a couple of shakes, grinning at himself in the mirror and thinking that he still had to wait for Daniel. He washed his face, cleaned his teeth and walked quietly back to his bedroom. Just as he reached his door he felt his father stirring, thinking that he had bred one of a herd of elephants. He laughed at the thought.

Will, do you have to be quite so noisy?” his father called out of his parent’s bedroom.

No Dad!”

Then is it all possible for you to walk to the bathroom at this early hour?”

I guess, but I was desperate! At least I’m not the size of an elephant.” Damn! Why did he say that.

Could have fooled me! Anyway I didn’t say you were!”

Yes, well, but I bet you were thinking it.” Whew. That was a smart save.

Humph!” Obviously his father was still sleepy.

Will walked into his bedroom, shutting the door behind him. He looked into his closet wondering what he would wear. What could he surprise Daniel with? And gave up the idea. Daniel had seen all his gear, anyway. Worn most of it at some time, if the truth were to be known. He dressed himself in his favourite jeans and t-shirt, and pulling on a pair of sandals wandered out and down the stairs to the kitchen where his mother was pottering around with something that could turn out to be breakfast.

Daniel coming over later?” she asked him.

Yes. He should be here in about 20 minutes,” he said. And then stopped, suddenly. How would he know that?

Oh, how do you know?” his mother was quick! “You guys mind readers now?”

Umm. No, not really. He just said last night that he would be here around 8 this morning.” Another quick save, Will thought. Going to have to be very careful about that. Something else to discuss with Daniel.

His mother gave him a funny look.

What?” he asked.

I’m not sure,” she said, “There’s something about you two that I can’t quite put my finger on.”

Will probed lightly, trying to find out what she was thinking. There seemed to be some confusion in her mind, but he couldn’t quite get her thoughts to gel in his mind. She looked at him, even more strangely. He wondered if she could sense his presence.

What are you thinking Will?”

Nothing. Why?”

I feel... Oh, I don’t know... Its almost as though I can feel you thinking.”

Funny! Well, what are you thinking, Mum?”

I’m thinking that there is something that you aren’t telling me.” Well, that’s true thought Will. You are thinking that, and there is something I’m not telling you. Well two things actually. His face must have been working while he was thinking because she went on.

Will, is there something bothering you?”

Not really, Mum.”

Not really? That means there is something bothering you, doesn’t it?”

Not bothering me, no.”


Mum, its not a bother, and its not worrying me. I don’t want to talk about it. Its just between Daniel and me.”



Daniel and I – not Daniel and me.”

Oh. Yes. Sorry.”

She looked at him. With sudden clarity, he knew what she was thinking.

No, Mum. No!”

Her expression took on a startled look.

Will?” She hesitated. He could “hear” her thinking a jumble of thoughts: love, Daniel, mind, reading. He looked at her, his face starting to burn, desperation showing around his eyes.

Can you hear me?”

Hear you? Of course I can hear you, Mum, I’m not deaf.”

That’s not what I mean, Will. And you know it. Don’t you?”

He nodded, dumbly, trying to avoid her eyes.

I’ve noticed you with Daniel recently. You seem to know what each other is thinking without talking.” She waited. Will didn’t say anything. She went on, “Just how close are you and Daniel?”

What do you mean Mum?”

I think you know very well what I mean, Will.”

I... I... I’m not sure I do,” he stuttered.

Will, are you gay?”

The baldness of the question stunned him.

Are you and Daniel both gay?” He looked at her, the redness of embarrassment tinging his whole face, scanning her face for meaning in her expression. But he couldn’t see anything other than sympathy.

Will,” she hesitated. “Can you answer me, son?” The love sounded through her voice, and his eyes suddenly filled with tears.

Yes!” almost in a whisper. His mother stepped towards him, putting her arms around him, and drawing him into an embrace.

Its alright Will. I’m not concerned about it.” She stopped. “Well, I am, but not because you are gay. Only for what it might mean for you with others.”

Will felt another worried presence in his mind.

Will? Are you alright?

I guess.....

Ah! She knows doesn’t she?


Will? What is it?”


No its not ‘nothing’ - you look like you are talking but there is no sound coming out.

Shit! Daniel sounded slightly panicy. She knows just about everything, doesn’t she?

Yes... I think so. Hang about – I need to concentrate.

OK... 5 minutes.

Will looked at his mother who was staring intently into his eyes.



Were you just ‘talking’ to Daniel?”

Mum! How could I, he’s not here.”

I know that Will! That’s not what I meant.”

What did you mean, Mum?”

Were you just communicating with Daniel? In some way that I don’t understand?” She had a worried expression on her face now. Will looked at her again, and again nodded dumbly. Just a little nod, not moving his head very much at all.

Oh, my child.” She gave a great sigh. “How long has this been going on.”

For a few weeks.” Will looked at her, and her embrace tightened around him.

How does it work?”

I don’t know. We just seem to be in each other’s mind, and, well, its sort of like speaking.”

She does know, Daniel.

Is she concerned?

No, worried maybe, but, well, she doesn’t seem to mind.

I’m at the back door now.

Daniel’s here Mum,” Will said, just before the knock sounded on the door.

Come in Daniel,” she called. And waited for Daniel to come into the kitchen before speaking again.

I know, Daniel.”

Yes, I know you do, Mrs Harp. Will told me.”

Will told you..... Oh, yes, of course. He would wouldn’t he?”

Yes, but,” Daniel hesitated, “but its not quite as simple as that.”

What do you mean, Daniel,” sympathetically.

Well, its more that we know what each of us is thinking and feeling. I knew that you were talking to Will, and that he was worried. I could feel it, and so I asked him.”

Oh, I see.” She grinned at the boys. “Well, at least, I think I do.” She gave a little laugh. “We need to discuss this, boys. There are some things we have to do.”

What’s that Mum,” Will sounded a little perplexed.

We have to try and find out what all this means. And we have to set about protecting you in some way.” She thought for a moment. “Daniel how much does your mother know?”

She knows that Will and I are gay, and that we are boyfriends.”

But not about the,....” she hesitated struggling to find the right word, “The... telepathy?”

No, not about that.”

Will you tell her?”

Oh, yes, now that you are aware of it.”

Good, I think we need a family conference.”

Family?” Daniel asked, puzzled.

Yes, family – looks like we are all family now, doesn’t it?” Will’s mother paused.

Daniel, is your mother home at the moment?”

Yes, why?”

Do you think she would come over?”

I guess.... What do you what to do?”

I want to get her over here; I want to get Gerald out of bed; I want this lot to have breakfast... have you eaten?”

Oh, yes, thank you.”

Good. Then I want the five of us to sit down and talk.”

Talk?” from both Will and Daniel simultaneously.

Yes! Talk! About you two – and what you just did.”

Mum! What did we just do?”

You don’t know, Will, do you? You really don’t know.”

Don’t know what, Mum?”

Daniel, do you know?”

I... I... I think so Mrs Harp.” Daniel seemed reluctant to say what it was.

What Daniel?” Will’s mother persisted.

We both spoke simultaneously?”

Yes. But what else?”

Um... Well, we both said ‘what?’ but it was exactly at the same time, and it was at exactly the same pitch and speed.” Daniel looked a little puzzled. Then he smiled gently and looking at her said, “It was almost like we were joined – you know, sort of difficult to separate. I think,” he hesitated again, “I think it was almost as though it was the same voice.”

Will’s mother smiled at him encouragingly.

Yes! That’s it, isn’t it?” Daniel looked triumphant. “It was the SAME voice, wasn’t it?”

Yes, it was!” She put her arms out and gathered both boys to her, and hugging them she said to Daniel, “You hurry along and ring your mother. Will, you get your father out of bed. Tell him if he doesn’t move now there won’t be any breakfast. Oh, and you better get Robbie and Genny up too.” She opened her arms, and swatting each boy lightly on their behinds, sent them off to carry out their tasks.

As she turned back to preparing breakfast the boys looked at each other and grinned.

Well, what do you think of all that Will?

I’m not sure yet, but....


I’m.... Will’s thoughts seemed to hover in the air between them, I’m sort of excited....

Well, at least you’re not hard.... Daniel chuckled out loud.

No! Will blushed, But you are! No, I meant I don’t know what is going to happen, but it will be alright, you know? For you and me. And for our.... he hesitated again, Well, you know, our ‘ability’.

Yes, I do know what you mean,” Daniel spoke aloud. “C’mon, get going, I have to ring Mum.”

OK.” He raced off up the stairs and Daniel walked over the phone and, picking it up, dialed his home number.

When his mother answered he gave her a brief account of their discussion with Will’s mother and her request to have a ‘family’ meeting. She agreed to come over immediately and without further comment promptly hung up, leaving Daniel slightly perplexed. He knew she had made her mind up about something, but was unsure as to what, and what it might mean. He reached out to try to find her thoughts, but she seemed to be concealing them: at least there was a confusions of images and ideas flicking around the surface of her mind and he couldn’t quite determined whether she was agitated or not. He felt her moving out of the house towards her car and decided she would be with him soon enough so he broke away from her mind. As he did so he became aware of Will’s frustration at trying to get other members of his family out of bed. Mr Harp was definitely resisting but then Daniel felt a strange excitement in his mind as Will appeared to plant an imperative in his father’s mind. He heard a muffled shout from the main bedroom.

OK, OK already, Will. I’m out of bed.”

It worked!

Daniel heard the jubilant mental shout from Will.

What did you do Will?

I planted an idea in his mind and it worked!

An idea?

Well.... Will’s jubilation suddenly subsided. Well, I suppose it was a command really.



We are going to have to be very, very careful.

I know. Will was very sober now. Daniel, you are always the careful one. You’ll have to help me.

I will, Will, you know that. I’m not sure I will be able to always though.


Think about it Will.

I do!

No, I mean, what will happen if someone attacks us – like, you know, if someone attacks you and you can’t defend yourself. I’m not sure how I would react.

Yes, I think I know what you mean. I mean, if it was you being attacked, what sort of command might I implant to help protect you?

That’s right! Do you remember that book, I think its by John Wyndham, you know, ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’?

I think so.

Well, do you remember how the children made the people they didn’t like do terrible things – even to killing themselves?

Oh, yes, I remember. Do you think we could do that? Daniel could hear the horror in Will’s mental voice.

I don’t know Will, but, yes, I think maybe we could.

Then we have to ensure that no one else ever finds out about us, don’t we?

I wish we could depend on that, Daniel sound wistful, But somehow, I don’t think it will be that easy.

Daniel broke off the connection as he heard a car draw up outside. He could movement upstairs and then heard Will descending the steps. He walked towards the hall door and as Will came through it, grabbed him and pulled him into a tight hug.

It’ll be OK as long as we have each other, Will. I love you.

I... I guess it will be Daniel. And I love you too.

Daniel kissed Will gently and briefly on his lips, and then broke away to walk to the door just as his mother knocked. He opened it and looked at her. Funny, he thought, not so long ago I would have had to look up at her. Now.... She put her hands on to his shoulders.

Well, what are we to do?”

Come in Mum.”

Good morning Will,” she said to the boy who was hanging nervously just behind his friend. “You fellows seem to have got yourselves into a pretty tangle, haven’t you?”

I guess, Mrs Green,” Will blushed, Daniel thinking how nice (Cute? Was that the word?) he looked when he was embarrassed.

Hmmm! Well, let’s see your folks and see what we can do about this.”

This?” Daniel queried his mother. “Mum, I hope you don’t think it is a mess?”

Can’t you tell what I’m thinking?” she smiled at him.

Well,” now it was his turn to look embarrassed. “Only if I want to, and I don’t most of the time.”

And the other times?” with another smile to soften the implied criticism.

Mum!” he blushed, turning bright red.

I know,” she said, “You’ve only just started to realise what it might mean, haven’t you?”

Yes,” both boys chorused in unison. She looked startled.

It’s a bit stunning, isn’t it? When they do that?” Will’s mother said from the door.

You’ve experienced it, Maureen?”

Yes, just a little while ago. Thanks for coming over so quickly Jenny, I thought we really needed to talk about it. Have you eaten?”

Yes, to both, thank you.”

The two women sat down and the boys sat on a settee together, just as Will’s father came into the room.

OK, just what the hell is going on here?” ...................................

Copyright© 2004 ilb3000.

If you wish to reproduce part or all of this story please contact the author at for permission. All credits should be retained in any reproduction.

As I indicated at the end of the previous story, I didn’t see a consistent story line emerging because I couldn’t see a plot. But this is definitely a sequel to that last story so perhaps a plot is starting to emerge. I don’t know yet, but I am going to roll with it for a while. There will be more interaction with the Pern theme.