Brotherhood of Love

Chapter 14 - Ch... ch... Changes

Being careful to ensure neither DJ nor Tanner caught them, Chris, Finn, and their boys were slowly making their way through providing stealth health checks on the guests that Antonio had not got to yet. It helped that Dylan and Thomas were in on the plot, especially when they had found that Kirk Caputa had an unfortunate similarity with their Uncle Peter. Once Antonio covered for them by giving his approval to continue, the team sat down to begin the process of saving Kirk's life.

"Levi says he's on his way," Dylan announced as he watched Thomas explaining the Mikyvis conversion process from the convertee's point of view.

"I'm still trying to wrap my head around conversions, even though I actually know three people who've had it happen," Chris stated. "How is it possible?"

"Ya' gotta be special!" Levi giggled as he popped in with Skyler. "Don't worry, I'll teach ya'!"

"Famous last words." Finn grinned, earning him a raspberry from Levi.

Grinning, Levi began to do his preliminary checks on Kirk. His eyebrows shot up as he did the genetic checks that would determine if it was even possible. "Ohh, this will be a fun one!" he giggled. Looking over at Sky, he explained, "The first thing you need to do before you consider doing a change is to see if the subject has the genetic roots to allow it. So far, the people who've been changed have been middle to high Empaths. The reason they need to be Empath or Founder descendants is the brain structure; they need to have the mapping for multiple rooms, even if they are not using them. The only exception to that rule is Thomas, and that's kinda my fault. I didn't know that he was on standby to become a Trach Manjai if one of the others decided they didn't want to continue; when I held him in my head while I was healing his body, he absorbed some of my mental structure. Since I wasn't expecting it, I didn't look for it. When Dylan freaked out, Thomas unconsciously activated the map he copied from me, which allowed him to become Mikyvis even though he isn't an empath or Founder."

"Is it a bad thing when he copied your rooms?" Finn asked, his worry about his friend obvious.

"It might be if he copied a converted map," Levi said after some thought. "Natural born Mikyvis maps are automatic, so he picked up the mapping ability when he picked up the rooms. He just wasn't consciously using them until he needed to."

Noticing the discomfort of some of the watching boys, Thomas inserted "Don't worry about talking about me in front of me. Part of the life of a Mikyvis is making sure the new guys learn from us older guys. Levi knows what parts I keep private; while this is part of Sky's training, it's not a bad thing for the rest of you to have an idea of what we're doing, too."

"Why did you have to bring up Uncle Thomas?" Gyakk asked.

Levi nodded. "Good question. If we find what I think we might find going by Kirk's genetics, there's a chance he might have a natural setup something like what Thomas built. If he does, his conversion will be a little different compared to how I did Uncle Peter."

"What do you mean about his genetics?" Zamzoon asked.

"By his genetics, he SHOULD have active Founder or Empath rooms already," Levi explained. "We'll find out for sure when we go deeper into the pre-change checks, but right now I'm not seeing the rooms his genes say should form."

"Does that mean you can't fix me?" Kirk asked softly.

"I don't give up that easy, just ask your new Poppa," Levi grinned. "Relax, we'll tell you if we find a real problem, this is just a little bump. If the rooms are not there, I'll teach you like any other Empath or Founder; if they are, we just have to turn them on."

"I see what you mean, Leev," Sky commented. "This genetics tracing's hard!"

"I cheated, Antonio taught me!" Levi giggled. "Okay, now that you've done that, the next step is THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE OF ALL. Due to his lifespan possibilities, you need to follow all the strong paths on the Time tree both for if he is changed and if he is not. You need to go out eons, bro."

"No cheating," Dylan advised Sky. "You gotta remember, you're looking out for what Kirk's life is gonna be, and how it'll affect everything else."

Sky nodded, then got a serious look as he indexed timelines that he'd never reached for before. After a full five minutes, he opened his eyes and stated, "Kirk's needed a lot in the future, so it looks like it'll be better if he's Mikyvis."

"Could you show me, Dylan, and Thomas what made you decide that?" Levi asked.

"Okay," Sky replied as he shared his findings.

All three reviewed what Sky had seen, then gave him a thumbs-up. "Okay, now we start on the fun part," Levi stated. "If you guys want to hop in my head, I can show you what I'm doing as I do it. I've already made a Thomas-proof room for today!"

Thomas stuck out his tongue at Levi, then said "You non-Mikyvis guys are gonna like this; it's really cool being in someone's head!"

Once he had approval, Levi pulled the group into the room he'd prepared. "The never-ending cookies are on the counter, pick a seat and we'll get started!"

"Wow, will I be able to do this?" Kirk asked, awestruck.

"Yep," Levi giggled. "Once you're all ready, I'll show you how to check the structure of a brain without looking at thoughts. We'll have to do this twice; once with the brain like it is now, and then again with it modified to Mikyvis mapping."

With a self-drawing diagram on the "wall" in front of the rest of the group, Levi carefully explored the base mental structure of Kirk's mind. As he finished, he turned towards the drawing to explain what he found. "Okay, most of what you guys see here is what makes the base of most Founder and Empath brains. Just like Uncle Peter, Kirk's got some damage from his cancer to the genes that would turn on his Empath or Founder skills. Kirk's got a random mix of Founder and Empath; he really isn't one or the other, but the two parts together add up to the point that his mind grew the rooms. Where it broke was growing the connection to his conscious mind; at his age, it should be starting a link, but it's not."

"What would happen if you just fixed that?" Dylan asked, more to teach the rest than to get the answer for himself.

"Without being fully Founder, fully turning on the rooms he has could cause him to go insane," Levi stated. "If it had grown naturally, more than likely his mind would have put in a safety, but we'd be guessing if we tried to create one."

"So making Kirk a Mikyvis would fix it so he doesn't go insane?" Gyakk asked.

Levi nodded. "In this case, you're right. Kirk, I'm going to bring in everything but the minimum to keep your body alive, then I'll start on the repairs needed on your body itself. Once your body is ready, then we'll work on your head; we have to get everything ready so that when I fix your bridge, your mind is already set up to handle it. I'm going to leave all of you but Chris in here with me; I want Chris helping me outside. Dilly and Thomas will feed the updates from me into the room here. Sky, link up with me."

"Finn's in on it, but I kinda fibbed about why I needed you out here," Levi admitted to Chris once they were both back in control of their bodies. "You'll get a reward for supporting curiosity."

"You've been hanging with Mikey again, ain't you?" Chris giggled as he did a pre-procedure deep scan of Kirk. "Okay, he's all yours; I've got the reference for you to check against when you're done."

"Okay, one small miracle coming up!" Levi grinned as he started at Kirk's toes.

As Levi was starting on Kirk's thighs, Chris heard a soft voice behind him ask "What's wrong with Kirk, sir?"

As he turned to see who was asking, Chris replied, "We found out that he's got a type of cancer starting that normal doctors can't fix, so we called in the abnormal doctors."

"You're worse than your brother!" Levi sniggered.

"Thanks!" Chris grinned. He felt a vibration in his hand, then realized that his tricorder was still in deep scan mode, but had accidentally been pointed at the new visitor while he was responding. Doing his best to control his response at the warning he saw when he glanced down, Chris stated "Let's see how good my memory is... you're Iain, ain't you?"

"Yes, sir," Ian replied, nervously glancing at the tricorder in Chris's hand.

Chris moved over to put an arm over the shoulders of the slight seven year old platinum blond. As he pulled Iain into a cuddle, he locked his eyes with Iain's hazel eyes, then softly stated "You know, I think I'd like 'Pop' a lot better than 'Sir', Doctor Inda."

Seeing the panic rising in Iain's eyes, Chris firmly stated "Relax, you're with family now. Here's what's going to happen. I'm gonna call Marc to set up a time for you to get a checkup, then I'm gonna call my brother to get your access to Clan Medical activated. Then you get to fill your new family in on what you've been up to since you were listed by Vision Industries as destroyed."

"Why do you care?" Iain asked softly.

"Besides the fact that I feel like you'll fit our family, I think you'll like having Uncles that are core parts of the AI Division technical team; in fact, your Uncle Noah is the Assistant Director. Just about all of us are aging a lot slower than regular humans; in fact, your friend Kirk has the possibility of not aging a day physically for the rest of Eternity once he's healed."

"This is for real, isn't it?" Iain risked.

"Yes it is, and my gut tells me that you need me to help you make it happen; you've been running and hiding a long time, ain't you?"

"Yeah," Iain admitted. "Whadda I gotta do?"

Chris grinned. "Right now? Take notes as I show you how us Barnes family doctors deal with the lesser beings. Later on? Relax and enjoy your new forever family, Doctor Inda-Barnes."

Iain couldn't help but to giggle at how assured Chris seemed. He relaxed against what he was sure was going to be his new Pop's side, enjoying a decades-long-overdue cuddle.

Tapping his commbadge, Chris started the ball rolling. "RAND! You overgrown excuse for a solar pocket calculator, why in the FUCK was nobody informed that we have a youth android in our group of new friends? Get your ass in gear; I want to know everything that you can find on what Iain has been living through, and I want it YESTERDAY, GOT IT?"

"He showed up after we started transferring records, I didn't know either!" Rand explained. "I'm on it, I'll let you know what I find."

"I'm waiting," Chris huffed, then changed channels on his commbadge. "Clan Wagner Medical to AI R&D; I need a full team scramble to Ewa Beach, Code X-Ray, STAT!"

"What in the heck is a Code X-Ray?" Marc replied.

"You tell me, I didn't write the damn AI Serial Numbers!" Chris shot back.

"AI ser... WHAT?" Marc responded without thinking, "Give me a minute and we'll be right there!"

Within seconds, Jerry and Joey appeared, immediately followed by Noah, Caleb, Hunter, Ron, Harold, and Rollie. Before anyone had a chance to ask what was going on, Marc joined the group, along with one of the specially-modified portable biobeds.

Grinning at the confused faces, Chris did introductions. "Iain, the guy who likes running around with beds is your Grandpa, Marc Furst. The somewhat normal kid with his mini-leech is Dr Jerry Owens, AI Division R&D. The mini-leech is Joey Owens, he's Jerry's son and the result of his AI Doctorate thesis. The two guys being given WTF looks by the other four that came with them are your uncles, Noah and Caleb Barnes. Noah's the Assistant Director of AI Division, and Caleb's in charge of screwing up programming."

"Don't you mean misappropriating programming?" Noah sniggered.

"You can BOTH bite me!" Caleb shot back, earning him giggles from the rest of his team.

"Sorry, Doc Bones says there's no cure for your cooties, Caleb" Chris giggled. "Okay, from left to right, the four AI engineers are Hunter and Ron, who are Caleb and Noah's sons, Rollie Wagner, the son of Patriarch Wagner, and Harold Perkins, who is the son of our house's kitchen manager, Aunt Mary. All of you, this is my soon-to-be son, Dr. Iain Inda Barnes. According to the records on my medical tricorder, he's been dead since just before Vision shut down, along with not being part of any series that was ever sold. You get to figure that out, we're gonna watch Levi making a kid into a Mikyvis."

"He's a kid wike me, isn'd he Daddy?" Joey asked in awe.

"Yes, just like you - a lot," Jerry replied with a smile.

"Awesome!" Joey exclaimed, then ran over to give Iain a hug.

Marc, meanwhile, was squirming under the questioning stares from the rest of his staff. "Hold on guys, we need some answers before we can ask questions; right now, I'm going to be guessing just as much as you are."

"Well?" Noah asked, "Where do we start?"

Marc turned to Iain. "Iain? Would you mind it if we did a proper scan with the bed? I promise you that you won't be shut down or wiped; the orders to do that expired the second Vision Industries transferred the responsibility for remaining androids to me."

"Marc's safe, son," Chris added. "I've seen him almost kill himself to save the life of one of the systems he helped design."

Iain smiled slightly at the supporting comment from Chris. "If you say it's okay, I'll trust him ... Pop."

"I'm going to bubble you guys so you don't get interrupted," Levi stated. "Chris, I'll let you know when I'm ready for your next scan."

"Okay Levi; thanks, bro," Chris replied.

With Joey's 'assistance', Iain was shortly guided to the bed. Once he was in position, Marc explained "First thing we need to do is check your main components; there are a couple that we're seeing failures on certain generations of them, so we need to know if you're in danger. If it's okay with you, I think it would be a good idea to pull an archive of your core program. Once we have that, we can sit down and discuss any upgrades you might be eligible for. Right now, this is just information gathering; nothing will be done unless you've talked it over with us first."

"You promise?" Iain asked hesitantly.

"I promise; trust me, I've been there," Marc replied seriously. "We can talk about it later over a milkshake or ten. Being an experiment sucks."

"Okay, I'm gonna trust you this time, don't make me regret it," Iain stated softly.

"I couldn't hurt you if I tried, little guy," Marc replied as he wiped a tear from his eyes.

Once Iain was as relaxed as he was going to get on the bed, Marc, Jerry, and Caleb began the detailed scans. Less than a minute into the scans, Caleb commented "Holy Crap! Marc, when did Vision start building tanks?"

"What?" Marc asked in confusion.

"This little guy's got more redundancies than our base AI's!" Caleb explained. "Anything that could fail and take him out is either duplicated at least once, or replaced with modules that have I/O ports that don't exist on production models!"

"That explains the errors Jerry and I are seeing in his program," Marc replied. "Reclassify him as a new model, then restart the scans in full detail mode. We'll restart our save as well, his system wouldn't accept the standard templates."

"Harold, Hunter?" Jerry stated, obviously not happy, "Come over here and look at this crap; this is why we comment it when we change code!"

After a minute of looking over Jerry's shoulder, Hunter commented "Uncle Cory would strangle us if we did stuff like this!"

"Yeah!" Harold added, "Most of those inputs don't even have real labels, just random numbers!"

"Ron, Rollie?" Caleb interrupted, "You're with me trying to sort out the hardware, some of this makes no sense at all. Joey, you're with your Daddy, Hunter, and Harold."

"Otay," Joey nodded as he joined the group trying to make sense out of the program.

"Iain, you're a walking example of why engineers should be kept on leashes," Marc grumbled. "Some of the shit we're finding should cause your programming to go into safe mode! Guys, I never thought I'd need to say anything about this, but some of the engineers grew really attached to their projects; so attached that the projects were snuck out the back door. Since Iain's chassis is listed as destroyed, we can assume that he was snuck out and another chassis was put in his place when Vision was doing the destruction of in-progress designs as they shut down. Jerry, some of those shitheads were paranoid, call in Cory if you have to, but we need to make sure there's not a self-destruct on the personality if it is tampered with. We're safe reading, but we can't do any writes until we verify there are not any traps. Caleb, your team needs to check hardware for the same thing."

"Could he have put the traps in the old tech mode?" Noah asked seriously.

"Unfortunately, with what I'm seeing, that's possible," Marc admitted.

Frowning, Noah stated "Levi, I need a tunnel to Orlando HQ."

'Tunnel active, Uncle Noah,' Levi answered mentally.

"Director Barnes to Orlando HQ, I need Priority One secure relay to Cory and Kyle."

'Stand by, Director,' Seth replied, not questioning Noah due to the way he started the call.

A few seconds later, Cory replied. "This is Cory, Kyle's listening through me; what's wrong?"

"Patriarch, we have discovered a situation with a recently found android which has a likely chance of requiring the skills of yourself and / or Kyle to satisfactorily resolve. It would be logical for both of you to be present before we can proceed."

"Levi just gave Kyle the keys to his bubble, we're leaving in thirty seconds, Cory out."

Ignoring the curious looks from the rest of the team, Noah walked the few steps over to address Iain directly. "Iain, I just called in our Patriarch, who also happens to be one of the leading engineers in Starfleet. Between him and the rest of the team, they can make sure that the stuff we found so far can't hurt you if we need to help you with repairs. Kyle is Levi's dad, and he knows more about the inside of a positronic brain than the guys who designed it; he's a special kind of telepath, and if you let him look around in your head, he can find anything that could hurt you and figure out how to make it safe. There might have been good reasons to booby trap your configuration when you were activated, but there's no logical reason to still have those traps active anymore. If the chance of it was enough for Marc to mention it, that tells me there's too much of a chance that it's happened, and I'm not going to allow any possibility that your life could get ruined by something nobody expects."

"Okay," Iain replied, "you've kept your promises so far, so I'm gonna keep trusting you."

By the time Noah was done, Kyle and Cory had arrived and were up-to-speed. As Cory started helping sort out what was already known, Kyle joined Noah to talk to Iain. "Hey Iain, I'm Kyle. If it's okay with you, you'll hear me in your head when we're ready, then you and I get to go exploring! Cory and me live in each other's heads, so if we find something that he needs to fix from outside, we can have him do it while we watch. You wanna see how many spots we can find that the buttwipes hid from you?"

Between Kyle's bedside manner, and his age, Iain actually felt comfortable with him. "Yeah, that sounds like fun!"

"Kewl!" Kyle giggled."I'm comin' in, and this time I'll supply the cookies!"

As Kyle began his part, Marc muttered "If our favorite leech finds any traps, I'm talking Bryce into taking me to find the asshole that put them there, no matter when I need to find him. We'll have a nice, productive discussion just before we drop him in the center of the Pacific."

"Danny says no field trips unless he's invited!" Cory quipped. "Relax, Marc; I've already told Kyle he's got the okay to disarm first and ask questions later. If we're lucky, there's some specs stashed in his tech area; Kyle and Iain are working on freezing it to export for us to dig through."

"Freezing?" Marc asked, tilting his head.

Cory grinned at Marc's confusion. "Kyle's picked up a few tricks in Danny's head from all the work done with Kevin, Willy, and Johnny. Him and Iain are Mikyvis-cloning his running codebase into multiple rooms in Kyle's head, then Kyle's giving them to Stevie in compressed blocks. Danny's downloading the blocks from Stevie, and once he sends each block to us we'll be able to deep-check it."

Reading the scowl forming on Marc's face, Caleb interjected "Marc? Iain's got some diagnostic functions that you don't have; it looks like he was able to be triggered to give full diagnostics at the microcode level consciously. It looks like an expanded version of your original tech mode, just under conscious control, but with hard-coded limiters on who can trigger it."

"Caleb's right," Cory nodded. "Kyle's found a few of those locks already. Danny and I decided to have Kyle re-key them to himself, since him and Iain have hit it off so well. Kyle says that it was driven into Iain's head to stay away from Vision Industries completely, so giving control to someone we trust who has never been associated with Vision is the safest bet. That also bypasses any VI triggers that might be set."

Cory paused, then exclaimed "Oh SHIT!" before breaking into laughter.

"What?" Marc asked, not seeing any humor in the current situation.

Unable to speak, Cory just pointed towards an empty spot at the foot of the biobed. Just as everyone looked to see what Cory was pointing at, Davner and Markie appeared, both sporting purple halos, an older terminal right behind them.

"Hi Uncle Marc, this is my bestest cuddle buddy, Markie!" Davner giggled as he led Markie over to give Marc a hug.

After accepting the mandatory cuddle, Marc asked "Do I want to know why the two of you are trying to look innocent?"

"Probably not, but Daddy says we gotta tell you anyway," Davner grinned.

"Noah, once we're done here, DJ's going swimming!" Marc stated, getting a nod of agreement from Noah.

Giggling at the fun they were having, Markie began their report. "Uncle Kyle found the note we left in Iain's head, so he had Daddy send us to find the engineer guy who made him. We found him, but he'd started losing his sanity as he got older. He was gonna kill Iain because he didn't want anyone to copy the work he'd put into making Iain his idea of the perfect boy. Before he went crazy, he'd been really good to Iain, but his last few years turned him into a really paranoid monster. Uncle Kyle's passing our brain dump of him to Grandpa Cory, and the terminal we brought back is safe to use to fix the stuff he set up in Iain's head."

Marc took a few seconds to think over what he'd just heard. "Okay, what I got out of that is there was a fixed time loop where the two of you saved Iain's life, in the process giving us safe access to review the changes that this engineer had done. What happened to the engineer?"

"He was terminated for abuse of Iain's little brother, physical and sexual." Markie stated, his tone less-than-thrilled. "The AI Annex is cleaning him up now, Grandpa Danny's going to have Uncle Ezzy bring him over once he's healed. We've already set them up with a copy of this terminal, so they're safe to do any repairs needed. Fortunately, Carson's not as modified as Iain is."

"Marc?" Cory interrupted, "Kyle's just pulled a Mikyvis backup on Iain; he's going to wake up shortly, then we can hook him up to this terminal. I did some checks based on Markie's report, and it looks like all we have to do is roll back the last six updates that were done and we're in the safe zone. Thanks for the notes, guys; you did good flagging it for me!"

Marc nodded. "Okay, but we're still going through every single line of that code with an electron microscope. There's good reason some things never went into production."

"Who did the termination?" Noah asked.

"I did, we caught him in the act." Markie stated. "I've already seen Grandpa Spock."

Noah nodded. "Thanks, I just needed to make sure. How'd you do it?"

"Heart attack," Markie replied. "Dav's helping teach me time control, so I slowed time around his heart while leaving everything else normal. Grandpa Spock said that since neither one of us is qualified with weapons, the logic of my method of termination was valid. He also said that he would find it appropriate if we did not place ourselves in a situation which required such measures in the future."

Noah nodded. "I agree; you did what you had to do, but that doesn't make it the right way to handle it. If you repeat this, you'll probably be in trouble; not just from me or your Dad, but from Grandpa Spock and Kyle."

"Okay," Markie and Davner nodded, both fully aware that a line had been drawn.

"Now; is there anything we need to worry about with the boys?" Noah asked, signaling that the subject was closed.

"I don't think so," Davner replied. "Kevin's uploading all the documentation we could find to Stevie right now, and Scott is duplicating the spare hardware we found so that you can look at it without destroying the only copies of it. We think that there's a twin of Iain in the pile, but we don't know how to tell if he's complete or not. We couldn't find anything in the Engineer's head about him."

"You wouldn't," Kyle stated as he returned to concentrating outside Iain's head. "Cor, I just finished verifying; you can delete those last six updates, none of them will touch his personality; what little affect they did have he is able to consciously handle by being aware it was undone."

"Where's the cable?" Iain asked as he sat up. "Thanks, Kyle! that was fun, we gotta do it again sometime!"

"We'll set up the room we were talking about after you're stable," Kyle grinned. "Hurry up, Cor; Ezzy's waiting for you to be done so he can bring Carson to meet his new Poppa."

Cory glanced at Marc, unwilling to proceed without his approval. Marc nodded, replying to the silent question with "Like Noah said, Kyle knows more about the inside of a matrix in operation than the guys who made it. If he's sure enough to make that call, I'll back it."

"Okay, I'll go with that," Cory nodded. Following the instructions that Kyle had retrieved from Davner, Cory fired up the old terminal, using the portable biobed to power it. Once he was logged in and confident that the system was stable, he stated "I'm ready when you are, Iain."

Taking a seat on the foot of the Biobed, Iain watched as Cory plugged in his side of the transfer cable, then attached the other end to his port. "Go ahead, Grandpa," Iain stated.

Cory was relieved to find that the programming interface had been modified to incorporate a rollback feature, so it took almost no time to return Iain to the configuration that Kyle has stated was safe.

Within seconds of the last rollback completing, Iain grinned as he stated "FINALLY! Give me a couple of minutes to repair some of the code changes I did to myself that were messed up by being dormant, then I'll be ready to help sort things out."

"Wait ... did he just say what I thought he said?" Marc asked with wide eyes.

"It sounded like he can consciously self-program," Cory acknowledged.

"Oh CRAP; I wonder how many other banned options he's got in his matrix?" Marc stated as he shook his head. "The big problem is, once options like that one are live, it would break him if it was removed. That option was banned due to the chances being too high that a core requirement in the matrix could be accidentally disabled or overwritten, killing the android."

"I think I have the full banned list, Grandpa Marc; we'll have to check to see if he missed any!" Iain giggled, not concerned in the least at the suddenly pale faces surrounding him. "I've either disabled or really limited the bad ones already in shadow code. I've got a simulator that runs in my tech area, so I can do long-term tests before I take anything live. I just restarted it from a clean backup I have hidden in the spare recovery memory area, so in about ten minutes I'll be able to scan for any code that the six updates didn't already remove."

"Davner, what are the chances of you taking me back so I can strangle that idiot before Markie kills him?" Marc asked seriously.

"Sorry, Grandpa, that wasn't part of the loop. Maybe next time!" Davner replied innocently. "Besides, Iain hasn't even told ya about what he was doing in his spare time yet!"

"Oh, yeah, that's right!" Iain exclaimed. "Dav? could you go get the matrix in case 270-5666-2357? I need to make sure that Erik wasn't screwed with before I put the body back together that I built for him.

"Erik?" Marc asked warily.

Iain nodded. "Yeah, I was building a brother, but doing it when Fred wasn't watching. I was stopped by those updates that were deleted; not only did they put traps in, but they also inhibited about half of my active personality."

"Finally, something I can't freak out about," Marc quipped, "I did the same thing. Vision stole him from me, and we just found him; he had a feature I was testing that allowed personality backups in emergencies; it actually worked, and I got him back, along with his semi-twin brother that had been using the body after Vision took him." Thinking it over, Marc added, "Don't rush bringing Erik online; you probably want to get caught up on some of the updates and new hardware that we've got now. How much modification does his program have from base?"

Iain thought it over. "I've cleaned out the bad options that I was programmed with, and gave him the safeties that I built for myself. Even though I was supposed to be helping design new Vision models when I was built, I never actually got to see a base program due to the shutdown order; I just saw ones that Fred had already started modifying."

"Okay, I think you and your Uncle Caleb need to sit down and compare notes," Marc replied. "His head's screwed up enough that your modifications might actually make sense to him. Once you and his team have reached an agreement on what your brother needs, what would be nice for him to have, and what needs to be removed, Jerry and I will sit down with you and give the final approval. Cal, call in Cory and Noah's team when you guys start hardware. I'm pretty sure there's a few things that are part of his design specs that we can work into the repair and upgrade list for medical procedures, and I bet we've got a few things that he'll want for his brother."

Recognizing the look that flashed across Iain's face, Cory explained, "Iain, I made Marc the final authority on anything Android related; even though he's delegated some decisions, something like bringing your brother online has to be approved by him, just to keep another Vision Industries from happening. It's more to protect your brother than to stop you from doing it; think of it like a final QA review before first production."

Iain considered Cory's statement, then replied "I can work with that; I'm just not used to being checked. It makes sense now, so I'll follow the proper procedure."

"You're definitely Chris's son," Marc giggled. "We're probably gonna learn a lot from each other; I'm betting you worked a few bugs out of things that were flagged as no-go because most people can't process like us, so they couldn't write the code to make the option work right."

"It's not like I've developed telepathy or something weird like that!" Iain giggled.

"No, your cousin Austin pulled that stunt," Marc replied. "Maybe you can figure out how!"

Iain looked at Marc like he'd grown a second head. "Yeah right; how could he do something even humans can't comprehend?"

"Unintended consequences," Cory giggled. "Marc wrote a routine for Austin to adapt like humans do when one of his senses goes down or is degraded. Austin was damaged to the point that he was shutting down when we found him laying in an alley on Rigel. There were a lot of telepathic races in the area, and we're guessing that his brain figured out how to mimic what he was sensing."

"I think I want to see that code," Ian stated in thought. "I might have something similar, just applied to a different outcome."

"Really?" Marc asked, his expression asking for details.

Iain nodded, "It sounds something like the subroutine that manages my redundant hardware interfaces. I bet if we were to merge the two code bases, we could make it more efficient in both uses, plus have it automatically accept hardware upgrades to redundant modules without having to do program updates."

Chris had came back in to check on Iain during his reply, and quipped "Hey, no fair frying Marc's positronics without my help, son!"

Iain giggled as he hopped down and ran over to give Chris a hug. "Thanks. Pop; they fixed me and undid the program bombs Fred put in me. I'm good now, and Grandpa Marc says I get to teach Uncle Caleb how to program positronics!"

"On second thought, I'm really starting to like his programming!" Marc laughed.

"Y'all just keep laughing," Caleb threatened, smiling at Iain to prove he wasn't mad.

"When we get home, we can sit down and you geeks can fill me in," Chris smiled. "I'm just glad I'm getting another happy son."

"Two!" Ezzy quipped as he popped in with a five year old version of Iain. "Carson, that's your new Poppa being cuddled by your big brother."

Iain turned his head, and after one glance at his 'little brother' he muttered "Damn him!" before breaking the hug and walking over to Carson. After placing his hands on Carson's cheeks, Iain stated "Core override Iain Extra nine seven fourteen Delta X-Ray. Disengage Recreational Mode, initiate core twenty-seven Poppa Foxtrot."

"Confirmed." Carson replied flatly.

"I've been waiting years to do this," Iain stated aloud before leaning forward to kiss the tip of Carson's nose. "Initiate refresh RecFree safe nine seven two."

Carson's eyes closed for about ten seconds, then reopened. "Refresh Accepted."

After kissing Carson's nose again, Iain ordered "Core load segment twenty-seven fourteen-gamma twenty-five. Execute and confirm.

This took almost a minute, then Carson responded "Confirmed."

"Santa Claus has entered the building," Iain stated.

"Elves initiating selective wipe and reload." Carson stated.

Two minutes later, Carson's eyes opened. "Invalid request, no interactive command handler found. Activating normal mode."

"Wake up, little bro; you're safe now," Iain said softly.

It took a few seconds, but Carson smiled and wrapped his arms around Iain. "You got us free!"

Iain smiled. "C'mon bro, it's time you got some happy cuddles from someone; I think Poppa wants to hold you while I explain to Grandpa Marc what I just had to do."

"Okay!" Carson said as he ran over to the person Ezra had pointed out as his new Poppa.

Iain turned to Marc, not waiting for the questions. "I snuck that routine into his programming when Fred wasn't looking; I knew what Fred was going to use him for, but couldn't stop it. He had an auto-triggered 'Rec Mode' that Fred had put in so that Carson would 'want' the stuff he did to him whenever he gave the command to 'play'. I slipped in some safeties to keep his personality isolated from the abuse, and hid some scripts to run if I ever got us free of him. I just ran those scripts. The first one ran a cleaning script that went through all of the threads associated with the Rec Mode, stripping them and any data associated with them. It also reset his personality sexual fields to all neutral. The next command ran a script that cleaned up program options that were either ones I found to be dangerous, or that were not appropriate for his physical age. An example would be he was programmed to orgasm when spanked. The final was my anti-tamper option, which I used after what you found in me. I'd saved a clean and safe core program in his tech area; when that loaded, part of the script removed command mode completely from his programming. The only way to re-enable it is to load the code through his port; I'm not leaving a hole like that open now that he's safe."

Marc nodded. "Before you and Caleb go through your program, check his; you did what was needed, but there's a chance you need to tweak something."

"Okay," Ian nodded, obviously waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Marc smiled. "I've lived with the original tech mode. What you did is the very first time that I agree with someone about the need for a temporary command override. Since you wiped it as soon as it wasn't needed, I'm not going to say anything else about it."

After exchanging a glance with Kyle, Cory announced, "Okay guys, listen up! Ezzy's about to take all of us except Chris and his boys back to when we came from. Everything you saw here is restricted at this time, with the obvious exception of Iain and Carson being androids. Caleb's going to be in charge of the program to integrate what Iain's developed with our common knowledge base; all of you can coordinate with Caleb as to where he's going to have the project office. Everyone here is cleared to work on the project, so have fun. Marc, check in with Danny and the AI Annex, let Caleb know who all has been involved outside here that are cleared to continue helping."

"That'll work," Marc replied. "Davner? Swing by Archnania on your way back to terrorizing your parents, get Cam in the loop, and have Cam issue one of the new CS chassis kits to Noah and Caleb for them to use for integration testing."

"Okay! C'mon Markie!" Davner replied before popping out with Markie.

"Oh, Iain?" Marc grinned, "One more thing; no matter WHAT your Pop and Uncle Antonio try to tell you, having a potty mouth that has sailors taking notes is NOT a requirement of being a Clan doctor!"

"Dang it!" Iain giggled. "Thanks for helping, guys!"

Inside Levi's head:

"Uncle Dylan! Look! Uncle Chris found him and Uncle Finn's sons a new brother, and he brought his little brother with him!" Hunter exclaimed seconds after they returned to Levi's mindscape.

"Yeah, and we get to help him finish the other brother he was building!" Ron added.

"That's what I heard," Dylan grinned. "Welcome to your new family, Iain and Conner; I'm your cousin Dylan, I'm Levi's little brother. Why don't you help Uncle Chris and Uncle Finn introduce them to their new brothers while Levi fills me and Uncle Sky in on the things he saw outside on Kirk?"

"Okay!" Both boys giggled in unison as they 'escorted' the new family members to meet their new brothers and other parent.

Levi waved for Thomas and Kirk to join the conference. "Okay, first off, you need to understand a few things that have to be done that normally we wouldn't do, Sky. Since Daddy and Pop never had any warning, the things they suffered from due to abuse stuck with them after they changed. It's the same as a Moroi, any defects become permanent. Kirk, we'll sit down and explain all the species and sub-species in the Clan once we're done; that way we can hop out of time and not miss the few hours it takes to go over all of them. Anyway, what I just did was start at the tips of Kirk's toenails, then made sure that anything that wasn't right was fixed. The exception is scars; for those, we take away the tension and underlying damage, but leave behind the mark."

"Why?" Kirk asked.

"Because some scars can prove to a new guy that you really understand what they went through, and others are a badge of an experience that you had, like falling from a tree when you were learning to climb it. The exception is if the scar is actually located where it affects the person, or if it comes from something that it would be better if the person didn't have to be reminded of it."

"Like the radiation burns that Levi healed me from," Thomas stated. Chances are, anyone that got them here would be getting a healing from one of us anyway, and I can tell you for sure that it is one thing that you do NOT want reminded of every time that you look in a mirror."

"Okay, that makes sense," Kirk admitted.

"In your case Kirk," Levi continued, "even though you didn't have any outside scars from abuse, you did have damage that had already set in inside of you from being sick. That part has been fixed, so you're not going to feel as worn-out, and you're not quite as skinny now. Even though your hair won't grow naturally by itself, once you're changed you can tell it to grow and it'll stay the style that you leave it."

"Thanks for explaining it, Xavier's listening in, and you answered his questions too," Sky stated.

"Sky's one half of the only Mikyvis twins existing," Thomas giggled before Kirk could ask. "The rest of us have threatened them with a health food diet if they ever make another pair!"

"Meanie!" Sky grinned before blowing a raspberry at his brother-in-law.

Levi rolled his eyes, then said "Okay, Gyakk has got his new brothers caught up, let's get back to what we were doing before Uncle Chris finds any more.

Once everyone was back to their seats, Levi went back to the live drawing. "Okay, if you guys look, there's been a small change. By healing him, there's now a thin thread connecting all of his rooms to each other. That's good; it means that his mind knows they are there, but it's not ready to activate them. That's what you normally will see on somebody who is an Empath or Founder that is not actively developing their skills. That point where all of the threads cross each other is where we need to concentrate, as that is the 'hub' that would interface with his conscious mind."

Levi reached out, tapping on the point to zoom in on it. "Do you see that little finger sticking out?"

"Yeah", everyone responded.

"That tells me that his map is probably Founder-based," Levi stated. "Empath's skills surface earlier than Founders, due to emotions being a core part of being human. Kirk's seven; according to Uncle Tyne, Founder skills don't usually start to surface until eight years old or so. That finger is the start of the connection; if he has all the pieces to handle it, his subconscious will have one starting too."

Levi shifted the drawing to where the subconscious was on the map. "There it is; and it's a lot bigger. That makes things easier; since I healed him, his mind is where it should be now. The only time it will be easier is if the connection is already made. When we start the restructure, all we need to do is make sure that the mental filter grows before that other line attaches to it. Since that's done by this side, the fact this one is bigger gives us a good chance that will happen."

"Uncle Levi?" Iain asked, "I'm trying to compare what you're saying to my programming. Are those rooms basically sub-processors, and the piece that isn't there yet is something like a programmable Input/Output network switch module?"

After a few seconds pause, Levi replied. "I had to ask Dad to check with Uncle Danny! Uncle Danny said that functionally, that pretty much explains it."

"Okay, thanks!" Iain smiled, now able to wrap his head around the process.

"You're welcome," Levi said, returning the smile. "This next part is going to be the most intricate; we get to start the restructure. Dilly's going to stay in here to gather questions, Sky and Thomas are coming out with me. Chris, this time you need to be actively monitoring; something tells me that it might be a good time to give Iain some training." Levi turned to Kirk and added "Dylan will warn you just before I'm ready to put you back in your body. Once you're ready, the rest of these guys will join us outside and we'll get back to normal."

Levi grinned as he watched the latest Mikyvis playing with advancing and regressing time on a nearby flowerpot. "Any more questions?"

"I think that answered everything," Finn answered for the group. "How long did this take?"

"As far as anyone else knows, about a minute!" Levi giggled. "I'll drop all of you off where you were, then I need to take Kirk up to visit Miah for his initial checkup."

"He's gotta see Grandma Teri first," Dylan reminded Levi. "At least this time, she don't have to go to the Tardis!"

"That was all your fault!" Thomas grinned. "Galen's the only one that hasn't got their first adult cuddle as a Mikyvis from Grandma Teri; that's because the Romulans were hiding her!"

"I don't think she's ever going to forgive them, either!" Levi nodded. "Okay, I'll drop you guys off, swing by with Kirk so he can meet his new Great-Grandma, catch up with Miah, then I'll be somewhere around here in a few seconds!"

To Be Continued...