1 The Awakening.

It was a strange awakening. Like when you come out of a general anaesthetic. You slowly become aware first of yourself and then even more slowly of sounds, but you don't want to, or can't, open your eyes. One of the noises then began to resolve itself into an unfamiliar voice and then finally into words.

"Lie still and do not try to move as yet. You are safe and will not be harmed."

By about the fourth or fifth repetition the last bit sunk in and suddenly I was fully aware. I tried to sit up but found I was unable to move and still could not open my eyes, as though I was paralysed.

"Lie still and do not try to move as yet. The paralysis will pass in a few moments. Just relax and listen. You have been selected to be the lead member of an experimental group. You are no longer on the Earth. We have transported you across space to a world far beyond your species knowledge. You will be told more soon but for now please try to relax and let the recovery process run it's course."

Try to relax? After that little bombshell? Easy for them to say, whoever they are. "And whatever they are." I added. However I realised that staying calm and trying to relax was probably good advice. They had told me I was safe would would not be harmed so as I could not do anything to change my situation I reasoned that the best thing I could do was to take them at their word, at least until such a time that circumstances proved otherwise.  Fortunately I've never been a worrier, considering worrying about something I can't change to be a waste of effort.

I don't know how long it was but after some time I found that I could just start to move my toes a little bit, like when an epidural wears off but slower. I also found I could open my eyes, but there was not a lot to look at. Both the ceiling and what I could see of the walls were a pale green colour. As feeling gradually returned to more of my body I realised that I was totally naked. Then I realised that something had changed about my body. Some 40 years ago I had a couple of operations to remove the nail from my big toes, but now they were back. I also seemed to have lost quite a bit of weight and my eyesight was perfect.

Then the voice came again. "You will now be regaining all feeling and control of your body and will have noticed some changes. Please do not be alarmed. We will answer all your questions in due course but you should remain laid where you are for few more minutes."

"OK" I said out loud. "If you say so. But it's gonna take you a long time to answer all of MY questions."

"You will now be moved into a sitting position. This may cause a short period of dizziness. Please relax and allow the bed to move you." came the voice again.

"Fine by me." I replied as the top of the bed began to raise and the bottom began to drop, changing the bed into a sort of reclined chair. "Yes, that's much better. " I said once the bed had stopped moving and the room had stopped spinning around me. "Glad you warned me about the dizziness though."

"To your right you will see a drinking tube. If you are thirsty this will deliver water to you. It is unlikely that you are yet able to hold a cup or anything."

"Thanks." I said. "Boy you're right about my not being able to hold anything." I added when I finally managed to get the tube into my mouth on the fourth attempt.

"You may begin to ask your questions now if you feel ready."

"I'm ready." I said "So lets start with 'Who?', then move on to 'Where?' and end up with an extra large helping of 'Why?' not forgetting the most pressing one of all, 'Why the hell am I naked?'"

"To briefly answer Who and Where, we are a far more technically developed race than your own, from a system approximately one third of the way round the edge of the Galaxy from your Sol. You are now on a planet in orbit round a neighbouring star to our own. This planet has no life forms that are dangerous to either of our species and we are genetically similar enough that we can use the same plants as sources of food.

The Why we have already given you a brief answer to. You have been selected to be the lead member of an experimental group.

Over the next few days you will be given all the information you need regarding the experiment and the group who will be joining you. They are currently in deep sleep, as you were until we awoke you, and they will be revived one at a time once you have completed your time of instruction."

Well if that isn't plenty to chew on I don't know what is. "And the bit about me being naked?"

"It is a requirement of the experiment that your group will remain naked at all times."

"What are you? Some kind of interstellar voyeurs?"

"The experiment is in part to do with the sexual relations between members of you species and the scientists who defined the conditions made this one of them."

"OK." I said. I didn't consider nudity a problem at home so why should I here? "And what about the rest of the group. Who are they? How many are there?"

"There are a further seven men who will be joining you."

"You mean this is about homosexual relationships?"

"This is the case for your group. There are others with different mixes of humans and different objectives."

"So we're just one group of lab rats amongst many."

"That is correct."

"It wasn't a question. And when can I know just who will be joining me on this little adventure?" I was keen to know who they would want me performing with. Having an audience didn't bother me in the least, but who I had to be with was definitely of interest. Especially as I would presumably have to live with them for the duration of the experiment.

"They were selected, from information stored in your memory, to be attractive to you. They are all men you know from where you work."

Mmm. Might not be so bad after all. "And what about my family? When can I go home?"

"You can never go home. The experiment is intended to run for many many years. We have had to modify your body so that you will live far longer than is normal for your species. Your family believe that you died in a tragic accident at work, along with the others."

That came as a bit of a blow and knocked the metaphorical air out of me. I made no response but turned in with my thoughts. My mind was in a turmoil. The thought of spending time with seven attractive guys, all of us naked, was very exciting. But the thoughts of never seeing my family again, especially my grand children, was disturbing to say the least. For years I'd lived with the conflict of being a gay man who had married and had children and had even once considered leaving my wife. I'd made the decision not to, but it hadn't stopped me 'window shopping' as it were, but now that one appeared to have been resolved for me.

Gradually my emotions settled. I'd never been one to suffer from wild swings of emotion, especially not down. I was here, like it or not, and there was nothing I could do to change that. The best thing I could do was accept the situation, however bizarre it seemed, and enjoy it as much as I could. Treat it as my biggest adventure and see where it led. For most of my life I had just gone with the flow and that seemed like the only sensible course of action now.

“Hello.” I called. “Are you still there?”

“Of course” came the reply. “I will be here for you whenever you want me. Do you have another question?”

“Yes. Can I know who the others are?”

“Of course you can. Here are their Pictures.” and the image of seven of the guys from work that I really fancied appeared on the wall in front of me. There was Guillaume and Sylvain from France, Tiago and Nuno from Portugal, Philip from England, Jesus (pronounced hay-sus) from Spain and Vadims from somewhere in eastern Europe.

“Well there is no denying that I fancy all of them” I said “but I'll be surprised if more than one or two are amenable to gay sex, if that many.”

“Only one of them is gay but we have slightly modified their minds. Their sex drive has been increased and any anti gay feelings have been suppressed. It will take a while but they will all eventually turn to gay sex for release. They won't be able to help themselves.”

“Then what is the point of your experiment if they are not acting under true free will and according to their own nature?”

“That is not something we are able to tell you. You will be given more information than the rest and some of it you will be free to pass on if you consider it right to do so, but some things must be kept from you.”

“So what happens next?” I asked.

“Do you feel strong enough to walk?”

“I think so.”

“Then proceed through this door into the house where you will be living. Once into the house you will not hear me by sound. We will communicate by direct mental contact. For the whole of your stay here I will only communicate with you. The others will never hear me.”

“I see.” I said and started to rise. My first few steps were a bit wobbly but I soon found my balance and left the room.

2 The House.

I found myself in a large lounge. To my left and right were huge openings onto verandas and there was no ceiling, just the underside of a high beautiful warm coloured wooden roof. The room was furnished with a couple of large comfortable corner sofas arranged in a U shape with a gap at the centre and to one side of the door I had entered through, facing the sofas, was a large plasma screen TV. On the opposite wall was an opening through to another room. I went through and found myself in a room with a large circular dinning table with 8 chairs set round it. Very nice for us to have meals together. To my right and straight ahead were more large openings onto the veranda which I now suspected ran right round the house. Along the wall on my left was another door which led through to a bed room containing four king size beds which had sheets over the mattresses but no top sheets or duvets. Along both outside walls were smaller openings to the verandah but these had light weight curtains over them. To the left, between the bedroom and the lounge, was a well fitted bathroom with a four head shower, four sinks, a couple of toilet cubicles and a large oval sunken spa bath that was half on the verandah and looked to easily have room for all eight of us.

I went out onto the verandah and looked out on the countryside. The ground was soft yellow sand stretching to a line of vegetation about 100m away which gradually grew larger the further away it was until it became towering trees of several kinds, none of which I recognised. In the distance I could see a range of mountains which reached as far as the eye could see in either direction. I followed the verandah round, passing the entrance to the dinning room, and continuing round to what I soon realised was the front of the house. The sand ran down a gentle slope until it reached a beautiful blue sea about 100m away. The beach to either side of me curved away to form a bay and extended at least a couple of kilometres out into the sea at either side before presumably turning out to form the coast line.

And then, as I stood on the front verandah looking out onto paradise, it hit me. I knew this place. “This is Cove Hold on Pern!” I exclaimed. “How the hell do I come to be in a fictional place?”

“We found references of this place in your memory. We knew it was a fictional place but as we already had this bay in our data banks the match seemed to offer the ideal location for you. All we had to do was to create the house here.” I didn't hear the words, they just appeared in my mind.

“You were right. It is ideal. If I have to be a lab rat it might as well be in a beautiful cage.” I thought back. “Oh I have a question about the house. I couldn't see a kitchen. What will we do for food?”

“There is no need for a kitchen. The table has a replicator built into it. Your meals will appear on the table on demand and any empty utensils left on it will be reabsorbed. The coffee table in the lounge is the same but will only dispense drinks and light meals or snacks.”

“'Food replicator? What is this, some sort of Star Trek convention?”

“We deliberately pick terms that you will understand from your own background to try to make it easier for you.”

“Thank you. That is most considerate of you.” and with that I turned into the dinning room to try out this scifi device. Suddenly I was ravenously hungry.

“That is normal after revival from long cryosleep. You have been under for fourteen years. It takes us that long to make the necessary changes and adjustments to all eight of you.”

3 My Time Alone

I went straight to the dinning room and sat at a place where I could see through both openings to the outside. As I sat a place mat with full setting appeared in front of me.

“You need only say what you want and the replicator will provide it for you.” I heard.

“OK.  Fish and chips with mushy peas and bread and butter.” A dish I had desperately missed while living in Germany. And then I just could not resist it. “Oh and er. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.” I quoted and promptly had a fit of the giggles.

Everything appeared on the table in front of me as I said it and I set to with a will. I was happy to find that it was all just perfect and I could not find fault with anything. As I stood up everything on the table faded away, leaving the beautiful wooden table looking as though it had just been polished.

“Very impressive.” I said as I walked through to the lounge.

“It has been a very full morning for you with a lot to grasp. We would suggest that you spend the rest of the day relaxing. The screen can show you any Earth film or any television or programme you want. It also has all your recorded music and access to a cache of the entire Earth internet with no site requiring a password. The control pad for it is located in a slot on the edge of the coffee table. On the shelf underneath you will also find eight tablets, one for each of you, which can access all the same material.”  and at that a device looking much like an I-Pad popped out from the tables edge.

“Thanks” I said taking the pad. It's screen lit up with a menu and I worked my way through till I found one of my favourite operas and at once it began to play on the main screen. But I wasn't really watching. I let the glorious music wash over me as I reviewed everything that had happened to me since being revived from the cryosleep. In some ways it was like a dream come true, but in others it was more like a nightmare. I realised that it was up to me to make it one or the other and, in line with my thoughts while laid on the recovery bed, I decided that a dream come true would be far nicer than a nightmare so I'd better just accept things and get all the fun and enjoyment out of it I could.

I realised that the opera had ended and that I must have been sat there for a couple of hours or more. I decided to go and explore outside. So far I had only looked at it from the verandah and I suddenly got the urge to feel the sand between my toes and to see how warm the sea was. I stepped off the verandah and found the sand was hot but not too hot. It felt great on my feet. Suddenly bursting out laughing I ran the 100m or so to the waters edge. “My god I haven't been able to run like that for years!” I exclaimed. Whatever they had done to my body in those 14 years I couldn't fault the improvements.

I splashed my way into the warm water and found that sand continued its gentle slope down until the water was too deep for me to stand. I turned round, treading water, and estimated that I was about 75m from the waters edge so still well between the arms of the bay. The waves were gentle and just washed against me as I started to swim towards one side of the bay. After a while I turned and swam in the opposite direction. I stopped when I was about 40m from the shore on that side and stood up. The water was just above my waist at that point. As far as I could tell I had not drifted significantly nearer of further from the shore nearest the house so there did not appear to be any sort of currents within the bay.

I waded from the water and lay down on the warm sands to dry off. It really was a paradise and I was now anxious to have others to share it with. Not that being on my own bothered me. It never has, but it would be so much more enjoyable if there were others here to appreciate it with me. I walked back to the house to go and have a shower. As I was approaching the house from the lounge end I noticed that something didn't look quite right. I could clearly see the opening into the lounge and the end wall where the big screen hung, and then I realised what it was.

“Where the fuck is the recovery room?”

When I had walked round the verandah earlier, from the back of the house to the front, I had gone round the other end so had not noticed anything, but from here it was plain to see. There was no building at this end of the house to house the recovery room.

“That room is not located at the house but is at a central facility. Remember we have many more groups than yours. The door you stepped through can best be described as a portal between two places.”

“I see.” I said Just accept it I thought. At least I don't have to pass through it again.

“You will be required to pass through a further 14 times. Each time one of your group is revived you will need to be there. You will talk to them and guide them. They will not hear from me at all.”

“Right. Well I suppose I did it once and nothing seemed at all strange about it so I can do it again.” By now I had reached the house and went round the back to go straight into the bathroom to shower the salt and sand off after which I went into the lounge, called up light meal and a pils and settled down to watch a film or two before taking myself off to bed.

The next day set the pattern for the rest of my time alone. I rose with the dawn, showered and ate breakfast. Then I spent the morning in front of the screen being instructed by the voice, which I had christened Orac after a self aware, super intelligent computer in an old TV Sc-Fi series, on what would be expected of me as the appointed leader of our group.

After lunch I swam in the sea or lay on the sand or explored the surrounding area. I had been told that 2km from the house was a limit beyond which we would not be allowed to go but within that circle we were free to go where we would. The evenings were occupied by a light meal while watching something on the screen. A couple of times just before going to bed I wandered outside and lay on the sand looking at the stars.

“I wonder which one is Sol?” I mused one time.

“Your home system is not visible from here. There is a large interstellar dust cloud between us and it.” said Orac in my mind. When I had told him I was going to call him that he had questioned me on why.

“It's a human thing to give names to inanimate objects. Sometimes it makes them seem less frightening, sometimes it just makes them seem less inanimate. And sometimes it just amuses us.” I had said.

“And in my case?”

“It makes you seem more human, more a friend instead of just some disembodied voice that tells me things.”

4 An End To Solitude.

On the sixth, or was it the seventh, morning of this comfortable routine Orac spoke to me while I was in the shower.

“It is time for the first of your companions to be revived. Which of them would you like to have join you and why?”

“I'd like it to be Nuno please.” I had already given this some thought. “I'm equally keen to see all of them naked and to have sex with them but I think that companionship is more important just now. I haven't known Nuno for long but we do seem to get on well when we meet.”

“Very well, Nuno it will be. Finnish your shower and have your breakfast as normal and then come into the lounge to wait. I will tell you when you can pass through the portal.”

And that was why about an hour later I stepped through that 'doorway' and found myself back in the revival room looking at the prone and naked body of Nuno. He was slightly taller than me and very slim but not at all gaunt. His soft cock was about 12cm long and laid on top of his balls which looked as though they would hang down very nicely when he was upright. He had a small patch of dark hair over his breastbone and a narrow line of hair ran down his chest, widening slightly over his stomach and then continuing down to join with a nice thick pubic bush. He was not conventionally handsome but I found him very attractive. I walked to the side of the bed and looked him over. Before I realised what I was doing my hand was resting on his chest, my fingers playing with the patch of hair..

“It will be about ten minutes or so before he starts to become aware. I will keep you informed of his progress.”

“Well then.” I thought. “There is no knowing how long it will be before he becomes amenable to sex so let's use the chance I have.” and with that I let my hand follow the line of hair to take hold of his limp cock, rolling back the foreskin as I did. It felt really nice in my hand. His balls were loose and resting on his thighs. I cupped them in my other hand and felt them sitting there. After a couple of minutes I let go. I didn't want him to become aware and find he had some old pervert fondling him.

“He is just starting to be aware now. You should start speaking to him.”

So I started to speak, using the phrases that Orac had used with me. Once again I laid a hand on him, this time on his stomach, to let him also feel that someone was close and caring for him. This was my own idea. I had suggested to Orac during our discussions that physical contact of this sort can be very soothing to humans in a stressful situation and he had agreed that I should do it.

After a few minutes he began to flex his toes. “The paralysis is now starting to wear off. Just try to relax and let it happen.” I said. “I'm here with you all the way”

“That's good. Just let it happen. Don't try to force things.” I said as his fingers began to flex and I instinctively took his hand between mine and was rewarded by a slight pressure as he tried to grip me. A moment later I was rewarded even more by the sight of his cock beginning to harden and stand up. By the time it was fully erect and laying against his stomach it was about 20cm long and must have been about 12 or 13 round. Very nice.

At last his eyes opened. “Mark?” he said, “Where am I?” What happened to me?”

“Don't worry. I'll answer all your questions in due course.” I said “but first you need to let the effects of the paralysis wear off fully. Now the bed is going to slowly change shape till you are sitting up. Just relax and let it move you.” and on queue the bed began to move.

“Here.” I said moving the drinking tube towards him. “It's only water but it's the best thing for you just now.”

“Where are we? And where are my clothes?” he said.

“The answer to the first one is going to take some believing.” I said “It did for me. Basically we have been abducted by Aliens and taken away from the Earth. We are now on a planet orbiting a star approximately 150,000 light years from Earth.”

“Are you serious? Is this some kind of a joke?” he exclaimed.

“No. I only wish it were. Apparently we are just one of a number of such groups who they have living out their lives whilst being studied. A bit like we do with rats in a laboratory. The big plus for us is that they have no intention of killing us to cut us open. We will live out our lives as a closed group. Oh and they say we will live far longer than is natural for us. The big down side is that we can never go home. We've been in cryosleep for about 14 years. However the place is absolutely beautiful, believe me.

I know it's a lot to accept but at least you have me to help you through it. I was all alone with just a disembodied computer voice.”

“And why are we both naked?”

“One of the conditions of the experiment, or so I'm told. We are not allowed to wear any kind of covering. Even the beds don't have a top cover of any kind. You just lie there naked and exposed while you sleep.

How are you feeling? Do you think you can walk yet?”

“I think so, if you help me” he said and began to swing his legs over the side of the bed. No mention was made of the fact that he was sporting a beautiful bonner or that so was I.

“Here.” I said as I took his right arm and draped it round my shoulders and put my left arm round his waist. “Come and see the house etc.” and with that we left the revival room through the door that wasn't a door.

“Welcome to your home for the rest of your life. This is the lounge. As you can see plenty of seating and the biggest plasma screen you could possibly wish for. Through here is the dinning room, and here is the bedroom. You may have noticed a disparity between the number of chairs round the table and the number of beds. When complete our group will be eight men so we will have to double up in here. And lastly, for indoors, the bathroom. You may have noticed the verandah. That runs right round the house. From the back here we get a fantastic view of the distant mountains, but come round the front.”

We walked round the verandah to the front. By now he did not need any support from me but he still had his arm round my shoulders so I kept mine round his waist.

“How's that for a front garden?” I said as the bay came into full view.

“Wow.” he said. ”You weren't kidding when you said it was beautiful.”

“I know.” I replied. “The sea is beautiful and warm and the bottom is just this soft yellow sand all the way out.”

“You know what?” he said. “That beach is just crying out for a volley ball court.”

“You took the very thought out of my head” I said, laughing. “Right, if you are anything like I was you'll be ravenously hungry round about now. Let's go in and I'll introduce you to the catering facilities.”

After we had eaten we went for a walk down to the sea.

“We can go a maximum of 2km from the house in any direction.” I said. “I have no idea what prevents us going further and really have no intention of finding out.”

“That should give us plenty of room.” he said. “With just eight of us we could all get lost and not see each other if we wanted to. Last one in the water buys dinner!” and with that he slapped me on the ass and ran laughing towards the sea.

We swam around, ducking each other and generally having fun for maybe an hour and then climbed laughing from the water and collapsed on the sand side by side.

“You seem to be taking this very well.” I said. “You seem to have accepted it almost quicker than I did.”

“It's this place.” he said. “It's hard not to feel happy here in such beautiful surroundings.”

“I'm glad. I was half dreading spending the next few days alone with someone who was totally depressed about the situation. I mean, that would have done neither of us any good.”

“Well, what's the point in worrying about something when there is absolutely nothing you can do to change it. Come on. I need a shower to get this sand off.”

We walked back to the house, chatting idly about nothing in particular. I was first into the shower and went to the second head. That meant that Nuno could either go next to me or leave one between us. I was pleased he took the third one so we were side by side.

“Here, you've still got some sand on your back.” he said and turned me round so that the water was flowing over my back. Then he proceeded to rub the sand from me.

“Thanks” I said “that feels good.” and I leant against the wall and let him continue to wash me. His hands gradually worked their way down but just as the first hand reached the top of my buttocks he gave me a stinging slap.

“You're done.” he laughed. “My turn.” and with that he turned to the wall and leant against it just as I had done.

I moved to stand behind him and began to wash his back making sure all the sand was off. As I worked my way down he moaned in pleasure. When my hand first moved across the top of his ass he pressed back against me so I moved my hands lower. As my hands moved in circles, one over each cheek, he began to sway his hips from side to side. I was enjoying this enormously, but my ass was still stinging from the slap he'd given me, and the second one at that, so I decided to call a halt.

“Time to get dried and have something to eat” I said and gave him a slap just like the ones he had given me. He turned round and I was pleased to see that he had a raging hard on. “Oh and by the way, you can't take the towels out of the bathroom.” I said. “If you try they just disappear as you go through the door or if you go more than a meter or so along the verandah from the spa pool.”

“So they really do enforce the dress code then.” he said. “Good job I don't get embarrassed.”

“So I see.” I replied with a pointed look at his rampant cock.

”Look who's talking.” came the rejoinder.

After we had eaten we settled down in the lounge and I showed him what was available on the big TV screen and the tablets. We selected a film to watch and called up a couple of beers. As the film played we also talked about the situation we found ourselves in and how  to make the best of it. When I told him we were all expected to indulge in frequent sex with one another he went quiet for a few moments.

“That bothers you, doesn't it.” I stated.

“I'm not sure. I mean the sort of fooling around we were doing earlier in the water and in the shower is OK and fun but the thought of getting into the heavier stuff, It just seems a bit daunting.”

“Well there is no sort of time table for it.” I said. “I think it's just a case of go with the flow and see where it leads.”

“OK. Let me sleep on it. Suddenly I feel as though I could sleep for a week.”

“That's normal. Your body's been through a hell of a lot today.” and with that we went to bed. I had been sleeping on the bed in the corner between to two openings onto the verandah so went straight to it. Nuno watched which bed I took and then went to the one between the bathroom door and the verandah and was asleep almost before his head hit the pillow.

Next morning I was drying myself off after my shower when he came through the door.

“Sleep well?” I asked.

“Like a baby. I was dead to the world. But I feel great now.”

“Well don't take all day. I'll see you in the dinning room for breakfast.”

We spent the morning exploring the woodlands behind the house and in the afternoon went swimming again. As we lay on the beach drying off afterwards he got a serious look on his face.

“We must be fairly close to the planets equator. The sun passes very high in the sky. I wonder what the seasons are like?”

“Hang on” I said without thinking and then thought a couple of questions at Orac. “What latitude are we on this planet and how do the seasons run?”

“You are at a latitude of 1.5deg south. At this latitude there is very little variation in seasons. The planet has an axial tilt of 8.5deg whereas your Earth has a tilt of 23.4”

“Do the planet or it's star have names?

“None have ever been given.”

“Well they have now. As this is so much like Cove Hold the planet is called Pern and the star is Ruckbat.”

“Very well. I will use those names in future.”

“What were you doing?” asked Nuno sounding concerned. “You went all blank and were staring out into space”

“Oh I'm sorry. I forgot to tell you about that. This experiment is being overseen for the aliens by an intelligent super computer. When I was revived it spoke to me with a voice, but on my leaving the revival room it switched to some form of telepathy and will only now communicate with me that way.”

“Can I talk to it as well?”

“No. I was told that it would only ever communicate with me. Sorry. It did answer your questions though.” and I told him what the exchange had been.

“Where did you get those names from?”

“They are from a series of books that I love to read. It started out as Fantasy but as the series progressed and she wrote some prequels to the original story it very neatly and seamlessly turned into SciFi. When they were bringing us here they found strong memories of a place from the books in my mind and realised that this bay looked almost identical to the descriptions. As I was going to have to spend several days here alone they thought that it would help if I could associate my surroundings with something I loved so the put the house here et voila.”

“So if not for your memories we could have ended up god knows where instead of a minor paradise.”

“Indeed.” I said. “All power to Ann McCaffrey and her son Todd who took over the series. You know I bet we can get those books on the tablets without any trouble. It's about time I read them all again. Come on, let's shower and eat.”

After dinner Nuno suggested we try the spa pool. I hadn't bothered with it on my own but was more than willing to join him. We found a control on one side, just where the pool passed through the wall, that allowed us to control the strength of the jets and bubbles. We could get a gentle, champaign like fizzing and a raging torrent and all stations in between. As we sat there enjoying the feel of the water and the view of the mountains as the sun set I had a feeling of total contentment washing over me.

“You know, I think I'm going to be really happy here, in spite of what I've been forced to leave behind.”

“Me too.” replied Nuno and slid closer to me. “And I think having you as a house mate is going to really help with that.”

I turned to look at him and found our faces were only a few centimetres apart. I looked into his eyes for a moment and then moved closer and kissed him gently on the lips. For just a moment he looked shocked but then he seemed to relax and began to kiss me back. Within moments we were arms and legs entwined and kissing passionately.

“Why don't we dry of and move to the bedroom?” I said when I was able to.

“OK” he said.

Once in the bedroom we were soon back to our kissing and my hands started to wander. When I eventually grasped hold of his erect cock he gasped and then kissed me even more fiercely than before. I stroked him gently and he began to moan.

“Oh my. That feels good” he gasped.

“If you think that's good, wait till you feel this.” I said with a grin and began to disentangle myself. I licked and kissed my way down his chest to his stomach and on down to his crotch. I slowly licked my way up his rod and then very slowly took it all into my mouth. With one hand I held the base of his tool and with the other I was holding his balls and rolling them round with my fingers. Within moments I could feel that he was about to shoot and sure enough with just a couple more pulls on his cock with my mouth I was rewarded with a big load of hot man cream which I swallowed as fast as I could.

“Oh my god. I've never felt anything like that before.” he said when he could speak again. By this time I was laid beside him again and was holding him in my arms.

“So you think you can learn to enjoy gay sex then?” I asked him.

“I can if it's always like that.” he said. “Though I don't know if I'm quite ready to do that to you yet.”

“Don't worry. We have all the rest of our extended lives, remember.” and leaned over to kiss him again. Not long after that we both fell asleep and woke almost at the same time in the morning.

5 The Third Revival Heralds An Awkward Time.

Our days followed a similar pattern from then on until one morning Orac called me as soon as I awoke.

“It is time for the next one to be revived. Who would you like to have this time and why?”

“I've decided on Jesus. I don't know him at all. He seems to have resisted any attempts I've made to get to know him so it might be a difficult one for me. That's another reason why I chose Nuno first.”

“Very well. I will call you shortly before he begins to gain consciousness.”

“We're going to be joined by the next lab rat today. You'll have to occupy yourself this morning while I'm in the revival room with him but when we come out you can help me show him round and explain things. OK?”

“No problem.” said Nuno “Who it it?”

“A Spanish guy called Jesus. I don't know if you know him.”

“We'll find out when I see him I suppose.”

After we had breakfasted I went into the lounge to read until Orac called me. Nuno said he was going to go for a walk along the beach and aim to be back in time to meet the new guy when I brought him out. I sat and read, having downloaded the Pern series the day before, and shortly Orac called me into the revival room. Jesus lay on the bed, just as Nuno and I had done in our turn, unconscious and naked. Like Nuno he only had a small amount of hair on his chest and a line running down to his pubes which were full and curly. His limp cock was about 8cm and his balls whilst nicely shaped were pulled up tight. I walked over to him and as I had done with Nuno I took his cock in one hand and cupped his balls in the other. I stroked his cock, moving the foreskin backwards and forwards over the deep red head, but in his present state it didn't produce any reaction, not that I had expected one.

“He will begin to regain consciousness any time now” said Orac in my mind. At that I let go of his equipment and moved to stand alongside his torso and began the soothing chat. Things went along similar lines to Nuno until his eyes opened.

“What happened to me? Hang on, I recognise you from work. What are you doing here? And why aren't you dressed? Are you some sort of pervert?” and at that he moved his hands to cover his crotch.

“Just stay calm and try not to move yet. You might injure yourself. I have a lot to tell you and some of it is not easy to believe or accept. For now just accept that you are safe and unharmed.”

“Get me some clothes or a sheet or something. Now!”

“I'm sorry but that is something I can't do. We are not allowed to wear anything here. It's not my doing. It's one of the rules of this place.”

“This place? Where are we?” his tone was almost confrontational.

“This is not going to be so easy.” I thought. Aloud I said “OK. Lets answer that and get the really big one out of the way first. We are no longer on Earth. We have been brought to a planet about 150,000 light years from Earth. You could say we are prisoners, but if so it's the best gilded cage you will ever see. They have eight of us, all from work, and are using us in some sort of experiment where they observe how we live together. I tend to refer to us as lab rats. We've all been kept in cryosleep for about 14 years. You are the third one to be revived. For whatever reason they have appointed me as the lead rat. Now the bed is going to sit you up. Just relax and let it. It may make you feel dizzy for a moment or two.”

“Are you serious?” He asked and then the dizziness hit him.

“Here, suck on this.” I said as I moved the tube towards his mouth. “They tell me it's just water, but I suspect it has a stimulant in it to help with the recovery process.”

“I wondered when you would work that out.” came the now familiar voice in my mind. I couldn't help myself smiling.

“What are you smiling at?”

“Nothing to worry about. We are looked after by a super computer and it communicates with me by some sort of telepathy. It just confirmed I'm right about the stimulant in the water. How are you feeling now?”

“A bit weak still. You're deadly serious about this alien thing aren't you. It's not some elaborate joke.”

“Yes.” I said “It's absolutely true. Everything I've told you including the bit about this being the best gilded cage you'll ever see. It really is as close to paradise as we could wish for. As soon as you feel up to walking I'll show you around and you can meet the other one of us revived so far.”

“And I really have to stay naked all the time?”

“Yes. Does that bother you?”

“Yes it does. I feel very uncomfortable with it.”

“I'm sorry. There really is nothing I can do about it. You'll get used to it in time, especially as we will all be in the same state. Are you ready to try and stand? I'll help you.”

He slowly swung his legs over the side of the bed and stood up, swaying slightly.

“No. I can manage.” he said as I reached out to support him. “I don't want to be touched.”

“OK. Just follow me.” I wondered what he would say if he knew what I had been touching earlier as I led him through to to lounge. I gave him the same tour as I had given Nuno who came walking up the beach to join us as we stood on the front verandah.

“Hi. I'm Nuno” he said, holding out his hand.

“Jesus.” said Jesus shaking the offered hand briefly. I notice that he kept his other hand covering his crotch. Nuno noticed as well and we shared a look.

“Come on.” I said. “It's time to eat and I know from experience that you are going to be really hungry.”

We ate with Nuno and I chatting away as normal but I noticed that Jesus made no real attempt to join in. He sat with an empty place between him and us and while he ate plenty, it looked as though he were doing so automatically and not really aware of what he was eating.

“Nuno, why don't you take Jesus and show him round outside.” I said. “I'll join you on the beach later.”

Nuno looked at me and took the hint. “Sure” he said, “Why not. You ready?”

Jesus didn't reply but stood up and followed Nuno out onto the open sands.

“This one is going to be awkward.” I thought. “We're going to have to treat him with kid gloves for a while. I hope the rest are more like Nuno.” I got myself a long, cold drink and went out on the verandah to sit and read. It must have been a couple of hours or more before I looked up to see them both swimming in the bay and decided to go and join them.

“You know” I spluttered as I surfaced near them “there is nothing like a swim in a warm sea on a hot afternoon.”

“You're not wrong there.” said Jesus, sounding a bit more relaxed than earlier.

“So what do you think of the place now you've seen more of it?” I asked.

“You were right about how beautiful it is, but it's still a prison in reality” he said.

“I know.” But I take the view that as there is nothing I can do to change that I might as well accept it and make the best of things.”

“Me too.” interjected Nuno.

“I suppose you are right” said Jesus “But it's one thing to say that, and another entirely to actually feel it.”

“Give it time” I said “there's no rush and any time you want to just be alone with your thoughts just say and we'll respect that, won't we Nuno.”

“Of course we will.” replied Nuno. “We won't pressure you at all. I think I'm ready to shower off and have something to eat.”

“Sure.” I said as Jesus said “OK”

When we reached the beach I noticed that Jesus seemed to want to lag behind us as we walked up to the house. He followed us as we walked round to the back so we could step straight into the bathroom and not trail sand everywhere. As Nuno and I made straight for the shower Jesus went into one of the toilet cubicles.

“I think he's still a bit self conscious about being naked.” I said in a low voice to let the sound of the shower stop my voice from carrying too far. “Best we just shower and dry off and leave him to shower alone today.”

“Yes, I was thinking the same thing.” said Nuno and leaned over to kiss me.

“Come on, let's give him some space.” I said as I pulled away, though not before returning the kiss.

“We'll be in the lounge when you're done.” I called as we left the bathroom.

“OK” came the reply.

It must have been over half an hour later when he came in, his hands covering his crotch again. He walked over and sat on the opposite couch to Nuno and I who were deliberately not sat too close together.

“What's with the towels?” he asked.

“Ah.” replied Nuno. “You tried to come through with a towel round your waist, didn't you.”

“Yes I did.” he said, sounding a bit surly.

“Sorry” I said “We forgot to tell you about that. Basically you can't take any towels out of the bathroom. When they say naked they mean it.”

“Bastards.” he said sounding just like a sulky teenager.

“Here” I said handing him the control pad for the TV. As the new boy you get to select something for us to watch while we eat.”

“How does it work?” he asked.

“I'll show you” said Nuno moving over to sit beside him. “Then we can call up something to eat and just sit back and relax.”

During the course of the evening some of the tension seemed to lift from Jesus and he even forgot to cover his manhood much of the time. By the time Nuno announced it was bed time for him the atmosphere was a lot easier. Nuno and I went through and Jesus followed.

“Who has which bed?” Jesus asked.

“Well we normally sleep on that one” said Nuno pointing to what had become our bed “so you can pick any you like.”

“You mean you two sleep together?” said Jesus with barely disguised disgust.

“Yes we do.” I said. “With just the two of us here it's a comfort to have someone else close by at night.”

“I'll take that one.” he said pointing to the one diagonally opposite ours. We both heard the unspoken 'as far from you as possible.' and with that we all went to sleep.

The next few days passed more or less the same. Nuno and I kept to our usual routine of walking, eating, swimming etc. but by some unspoken agreement we toned down the more obvious signs of affection between us. Jesus tagged along with us and joined in some conversation but it was clear that he was unhappy. On the third day he took himself off for a walk which gave us the chance to talk as we lay on the beach after a swim.

“He really isn't settling in is he?” said Nuno

“No he isn't” I replied “and us not being so demonstrative with each other doesn't seem to be making much difference. He's still keeping us at arms length as it were. Maybe we should revert to how we were before he was revived and see if a bit of shock tactics will do anything.”

“OK. I'm game if you are.” he said and rolled over to be closer to me and let his arm fall across my chest.

“That feels nice” I said and began to stroke his arm. Before long we were wrapped round each other kissing like there was no tomorrow.

“Don't look now or react in any way” said Nuno at one point “but we are being watched from a safe distance. He's even stroking himself a bit.”

“Ah.” I said as realisation dawned. “Now I see. He's feeling frustrated but doesn't know what to do about it. He will never say he's gay because before coming here he would never even have thought about it, but now he knows it's the gay way or no way he's in a dilemma. Don't react to him. In a moment we'll get up and go for our shower and not make any reference to having seen him watching us.”

We continued to embrace and kiss for a couple of minutes and then we got up and walked hand in hand towards the house without looking at Jesus. We went straight into the shower and then climbed into the spa pool. We sat with our backs to the room looking our towards the mountains. After a short while we heard soft footsteps coming along the verandah.

“Mind if I join you?” said Jesus.

“Of course not.” said Nuno. “You've as much right to be in here as we have. Mark might be our link to our mighty overlords but apart from that we are all equal.”

“Thanks” he said and climbed into the pool. We both noticed that he was not quite so deliberately covering himself and that he looked to be be slightly erect but neither of us made any comment.

“Either of you want something to drink?” I asked.

“A pils” they both said in unison and then we all three laughed. The tension was definitely lessened. “Three pils it is then. Pfungstadter OK for both of you?” and both nodded their agreement.

When I came back a few moments later with three bottles covered in condensation Jesus had moved round till he was quite close to Nuno but not touching. I decided to get back in on his other side but a similar distance away. As we sat in the gently frothing water and drank our beers the conversation was more relaxed than it had been since Jesus's revival.

“At last I think we're getting somewhere.” I thought.

“Did you ever doubt that you would?” asked Orac in my mind.

“Not really, but the last couple of days have been a bit fraught.” I replied.

“Now you know one of the reasons you were chosen to be the lead member of the group”

“And the other reasons?”

“Not least was your keen interest in space matters and your enjoyment of so much science fiction. Both these indicated that you would rapidly and easily accept the situation.”

“I'll take that as a complement.” I sent back and laughed.

“Orac again?” asked Nuno and I nodded. “You'll get used to that.” he said to Jesus. “Has he told you about his invisible friend that only he can hear?”

“You mean the computer?”

“Yes. He always gets that dreamy far away look when they are talking to each other.”

“Why do you call it Orac?” he asked turning to me.

“Well HE has a male voice and it's the name of a super computer from a late 1970s TV scifi series in the UK.” I said. “We can probably get it on the TV but it will look a bit dated now.”

“Might be fun.” said Jesus. “Why don't we dry off and go and see.”

“OK” I said “but don't say I didn't warn you. Oh and Orac doesn't appear till the end of series one if I remember correctly.”

So that's what we did. We settled down on the sofas, Nuno and I on one and Jesus on the other, and watched the whole of series one of Blake's 7 while we ate and drank. The special effects did look a bit dated but it was enormously enjoyable, especially on such a big screen.

By the end of that we were all ready for bed and went through to the bed room. As Nuno and I climbed onto our bed Jesus stood in the middle of the room as if unsure what to do. Nuno looked at me and I nodded to him. He reached out and took Jesus by the hand and gently drew him towards our bed. He lay him down next to me and then lay himself down on his other side.

Jesus just lay there on his back with his hands laid gently over his crotch. I laid a hand on his chest and began to stroke gently. Nuno did the same to his leg. At first he was holding himself rigidly but as we stroked the tension seemed to go out of him and he began to relax. I took one of his hands and moved it to my crotch. When he felt it come up against my cock he gently wrapped his fingers round it and held it. Seeing this Nuno did the same from his side and then went back to stroking the leg. I began to extend the area of his chest that I was stroking and gradually made my way down to his crotch where I let my hand brush over his still limp cock. I felt it twitch and so allowed my fingers to envelope it. At the same time I was aware of Nuno cupping his balls and beginning to gently kneed them. At this Jesus let out a low moan and began to stroke both of us a little faster. His own cock swelled to full erection in my hand and I sped up my stroking of it. About ten minutes of this was enough to bring all three of us to the point of no return and we almost simultaneously shot our loads all over the bed and each other. We just lay there without bothering to clean up in any way and eventually all three of us fell asleep.

I was first awake next morning and lay looking at Jesus and wondered what his reaction would be after last night. I didn't have long to wait. After only a couple of minutes his eyes fluttered and opened and he looked straight at me and smiled.

“Good morning.” I said and decided to test the waters by laying my hand on his cock. It twitched and started to harden at once. “How are you feeling today?”

“So much better and more relaxed.” he said as if waking up to another man holding his cock was quite normal for him. “Last night was just what I needed.”

“And what brought about the change” asked Nuno from the other side.

“It was seeing you two on the beach together. I realised what it was that made you two able to accept the situation and be happy with it. The way you obviously care for each other made me want the same.”

“Well you have it.” I said and leaned in to kiss him. “And no jealousy allowed. There are going to be just eight of us here for god knows how many decades. It's essential that we all learn to care for each other if we are going to survive with our sanity intact. But I'm sure that what we did is something you would never have considered doing back home.”

“No way. And I'd have punched any one who tried. But I was just feeling more and more frustrated and wanking didn't seem to help. I just had to have sex somehow and gay was the only option. It just took me a few days to realise it and accept that it wasn't the end of the world. And I wasn't sure how you guys would react.”

“Well now you do. Are you sure you're OK with it.”

“I can't promise I won't have moments of doubt but I think I'm going to be OK.”

“That's good. And who knows, you might find someone from among the group to bond like Nuno and I have done. Right. Shower and breakfast. There's a beautiful day awaiting us out there.”

True to his word Jesus was a lot more settled and sociable from then on and my words were to turn out more prophetic than any of us could have expected.

====================================================================

6 Three Become Five.

The next couple of days were as idyllic as the days alone with Nuno had been. Then, whilst in the shower as usual, Orac called me.

“Time for the next revival. Who do you choose and why?”

“This time it has to be Vadims. I don't know him at all. I've just seen him around work and he hasn't been there long. Again I think it may be easier for him with a smaller group to join.”

“Very well. I'll call you when he is ready for you.”

“Well we are to be joined later by number four.” I announced. “A young guy who hasn't been at work for long by the name of Vadims. Either of you know him?”

Both said not so we proceeded to shower and go to breakfast. Afterwards Nuno and Jesus went off together leaving me reading and awaiting Orac's call. I didn't have long to wait. When I entered the revival room I went through my normal practice of a quick fondle of the guy laying there. Vadims was not very tall, maybe up to my shoulder, and slightly built. He also had a boyish face. He had to be at least mid twenties to be working where he did but he barely looked 18. There was no trace of hair on his chest or stomach and what was on his legs was so fine and blond as to be almost invisible. His pubic hair however was plentiful but much softer than most men’s. His cock and balls each sat comfortably in my hands.

His revival was very easy. He seemed to accept what I told him with no trouble. His only difficulty was with being nude. That made him very uncomfortable. This time I remembered to say about the towels as I showed him round the house. Then as we had done before Nuno and Jesus joined us on the verandah before we went in to eat.

His unease at being naked took several day to wear off. He was even more conscious of it at first than Jesus had been always managing to stand or sit in a way that concealed as much as possible. He was most relaxed either at the table, in the spa or in the sea but gradually it became less of a problem for him.

The idea of having sex with other men on the other hand did not seem to phase him at all. On his second night Nuno and I were making out, Jesus having decided to sleep alone that night, when Vadims came over to us. “Can I join you guys?” he asked.  In answer I just reached up to him and pulled him gently between us. In no time at all he had moved down and was alternately sucking first one cock and then the other.

“Have you been practising this?” I asked “'cause you're damned good at it.”

“Never done it before” he said and then went back to work. Nuno and I just carried on kissing and cuddling and before too long I knew I couldn't hold back any longer.

“I'm cumming.” I said and promptly shot my load into Vadims mouth. To my surprise he swallowed as fast as he could and barely let a drop escape him. Then he turned his attention back to Nuno. I decided I wanted a bit more action and moved down till I could take Vadim's cock into my mouth. It was not terribly large but felt just right in my mouth. I sucked for all I was worth, using all the technique of many years practice and before very long I felt his balls tighten and he shot a juicy load into my eager mouth just as Nuno rewarded him with his second mouth full.

“Are you sure you are a first timer?” I asked him.

“Yes” he said. I've always known I was gay but never had the nerve to do anything about it.”

“Well it looks like you've found your ideal place then” said Nuno “'cause you are going to get as much as you want here.”

“How do you mean?”

“Well.” I said “Part of what our captors want to see their lab rats doing is having lots of sex though why I have no idea. I was told that we had all had our sex drive enhanced during the cryosleep, but I think it's something they add to the food.”

“You really are a lot brighter than they gave you credit for.” came the voice in my head.

“Score one more point to me then.” I replied and laughed. “Come on, time to get some sleep.” I said aloud.

Next morning I was surprised to get the call for another revival and selected Guillaume

“I think he's the one I most want to see naked. For me he's always been the most attractive guy in the place. I don't want to wait any longer.”

His revival went more like my own except that, as far as I know, there was no one to fondle my bits while I was unconscious. The bit that affected him was the news that he would never see his family or his girlfriend again. Like me he became withdrawn and wouldn't speak for several minutes. He seemed to come out of it as I showed him round the house and introduced him to the others, but after we had eaten he just wanted to be alone and took himself off to sit near the water with his back to the house just staring out to sea.

He stayed there for two days and we left him to his solitude apart from my going a couple of times a day to ask if he wanted anything and making sure he had some food and water by him. Then on the evening of the second day he came walking into the house as we were say watching some film on the TV.

“Mark. Can we have a talk?” he asked.

“Of course we can.” I replied. “Where do you want to go?”

“Can we walk along the beach a bit?”

“No problem.” I said and followed him out. “What is it?” I prompted when he hadn't spoken for several minutes.

He sat on the sand before speaking so I sat next to him.

“It really is certain that we can never go home?” he asked.

“Yes. I'm sorry but it is. They have given me absolutely no reason to doubt them so I believe what they tell me.”

“So how long do they need us and what happens to us when the experiment is over?”

“I don't know. I've never thought to ask. Just a minute. Orac. Can you tell me?”

“I cannot tell you how long the experiment will last other than it is expected to be many decades. However I can tell you that when the experiment it concluded you will be left to continue your lives here with no change. I will continue to look after you and the house will continue to function as now. You will notice no change.”

I relayed this to Guillaume. “So it doesn't seem too bad. We just live out our lives, however long they are, and at some time they stop observing us.”

“But I can never see my family or my girlfriend again. That's what hurts so much.” and I could see tears beginning to fill his eyes.

“I know.” I said. “I have a wife, two sons, a daughter in law and the most adorable grandchildren back on Earth.”

“So how do you seem to be so happy here?” He was barely holding it together.

“Because I've always been the pragmatic sort who accepts what I can't change and tries to find the best in any situation. I guess I'm just lucky in that.”

“Yes. I can see you are. But it hurts so much to think of them.” and with that he finally let go and began to sob with grief. I put my arm around him and drew him close and just sat there with him on the sand, holding him and letting him work his way through it.

We sat for what seemed like an age but eventually his sobbing began to subside.

“What must you think of me?” he said.

“I think you are a guy who just needs friends to listen to him and be supportive of him. And you have me and Nuno and Jesus and Vadims who will all be those friends. We have to support each other or none of us is going to come out of this well.”

“Let's go back to the house now. I think I can face everyone now.”

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yes.” he said. “I believe what you said is right and I think that level of support is just what I need right now.”

So we made our way back to the house with our arms over each others shoulders. When we got there the others left off watching the film and made Guillaume welcome.  

“I'm off to bed.” I said a little while later.

“I think I will as well.” said Guillaume. “Tell me if I'm out of line here but I know there are only four beds and there are five of us. Would it be OK if I shared with you tonight? I just want to know there is someone close by and I know you best here and ….”

I looked at Nuno and he gave me a smile and an almost imperceptible nod.

“Sure you can.” I said “Come on.” and I led him to the bed room. “This is where Nuno and I normally sleep but tonight it's ours.”

“Look. I don't want to come between you two so”

“You aren't coming between us” I interrupted. “We have a no jealousy rule here. Yes Nuno and I are very close and maybe we are an item, but we have not made any promises of exclusivity and anyway, Nuno gave me the OK as we left the lounge.”

“So he's OK with this?”

“Yes he is. And any way all you asked for was to sleep on the same bed so as not to feel alone at a time when you are finding it hard to accept the situation. He's been through it as well, we all have, and we all understand what you are going through. Now come to bed and let's try to get some sleep.”

“Thanks” he said as he lay down beside me. “I think it's gonna take a while before my emotions settle.”

I awoke in the middle of the night, long after the others had also come to bed and at first couldn't work out what had woken me. Then I realised that Guillaume was crying again but trying not to make a noise.

“Come here.” I said and reached out to him. I gently rolled him towards me till he was snuggled up close to me with his head resting on my shoulder and my arm was round him and holding him. “You let it out all you need to. It's never good to hold back.” I whispered as I gently stroked his his hair.

At some point Nuno came over and stood looking at us. I looked up at him and he bent over and kissed me tenderly.

“I think I'm falling in love with you” he whispered and walked back to the bed he was sharing with Vadims.

Gradually Guillaume's sobbing subsided and he fell asleep in my arms. Then I drifted off again and slept till morning.

7 Time For The Last Three

Next morning Orac contacted me at his customary time. “It is time for the next revival. Who do you chose and why?”

“This time I choose Tiago. Of all the guys you selected I'd rate him as my number 2 behind Guillaume and I don't want to wait any longer to see him naked.”

“Very well. I will call you as normal when we are ready for you.”

“We have our next family member joining us today.” I announced over breakfast. “I think you might know him Nuno. It's Tiago.”

“Yes I do.” he said. “I look forward to seeing him later. We usually leave the house until Mark brings the new guy round to the front verandah.” he added, turning to Guillaume.

They all decided to go for a swim while I was occupied and would come to meet with Tiago and I on the verandah later. As the others left, Nuno hung back for a moment.

“I was wrong in what I said to you during the night. I don't think I'm falling in love with you. I know I AM in love with you.”

“And I love you. But you picked an odd time last night to tell me.” I said. “When I'm in bed with some other guy in my arms.”

“It's because you went to bed with him that made me realise how I feel about you. He desperately needed some emotional support. You were willing to give that support without any hesitation and with out taking any advantage of the situation.” and with that he kissed me and went out to join the others.

I went into the lounge to await the call from Orac. Nuno and I in love with each other? How would that work out in this situation. I was lost in my thoughts and almost didn't hear Orac call me. I went through in to the room that wasn't actually there and stood looking at Tiago lying there naked and defenceless. I walked over to him and took his cock and balls in my hands. I had wanted to do this for so many years, ever since the first time I had seen him. Reluctantly I let go and moved up to his side, ready for him to start to regain consciousness. As soon as he could speak the first thing he said was my name. He'd obviously recognised my voice. Unlike the others he never asked why we were naked and when it came to the matter of never going home, like myself, he didn't take too long to take it in and accept it.

When he was ready I gave him the usual tour, ending up on the front verandah.

“I can't believe how utterly beautiful this place is.” he said.

“I know” I replied. “I was totally blown away with it when I first saw it. I was even more gob smacked when I recognised it as being a fictional location.”

“Fictional?” he asked and I explained about Pern. “Well I reckon we are all going to be grateful for your love of those books over the years ahead.”

At that point Nuno and the others came up the beach to welcome Tiago and I was pleased to see Guillaume smiling. Lunch was a happy affair and everyone joined in fully with the conversation.

“OK Tiago” said Nuno as lunch was concluding. “As the new boy, what would you like to do this afternoon?”

“Swimming, definitely.” he responded without any hesitation. So we did. We spent the whole afternoon swimming and lying on the beach, chatting about nothing and fooling around in the water ducking each other and having impromptu races and so on.

“Orac.” I sent at one point while I was dozing on the beach “Can we have the equipment to set up a beach volleyball court just in front of the house?”

“I will have to seek approval but I would expect that would be OK”

“Thank you” I turned to Nuno. “I've just asked about the volleyball court and Orac is going to check and let me know.

“Great” he said. “Even with just six of us we can play a reasonable game.”

To our great pleasure and surprise we awoke next morning to find a perfectly laid out and set up beach volleyball court a short distance in front of the house and half a dozen balls in a box on the verandah.

“So who's for a game after breakfast then?” cried Vadims and everyone agreed.

It was a hot, sweaty and exhausted but very happy group who hit the showers some three hours later. We all piled in together, six of us sharing the four shower heads so there was a lot of body contact. Hands started to make contact with asses and then with cocks and before long a full blown orgy had started. Jesus and Guillaume were a little hesitant to start with, but the atmosphere of raw lust soon took over and they joined in with growing enthusiasm. Eventually we all calmed down, our needs sated for the present, and one by one left the shower to dry off.

“My God. I never knew it could be anything like that.” said Guillaume as we went through to the dinning room together to get some lunch.

“Welcome to our lives from now on.” I joked. “I think there's likely to be a lot more of that sort of thing going on, as well as any smaller, more intimate liaisons.”

“But I'm not at all gay.” he said. “How come I don't feel bad about it?”

“I think that has to do with the conditioning you received in cryosleep” I said. “I was told that all our sex drives had been turned up a notch or two and that any homophobia had been suppressed.”

“I still can't believe I'm doing such things and enjoying it.” said Jesus as he came into the room. “Back home I would have flattened any guy who even suggested so much as touching me, let alone doing any of what we've just been doing.”

“Does that still bother you?” I asked.

“Not really now. It's becoming normal somehow. It's like I know in my head how I was but my heart tells me that how I am now is right and normal”

“We've just discovered something” said Nuno as he and Tiago entered the room. “Neither of us can speak a word of Portuguese.”

“Really?” said Guillaume and then a moment later “I don't think I can remember any French or German” he said.

“Hang on.” I said “Let me check. Orac.” I sent “Is this some more of the tampering that was done.”

“Yes.” came the reply. “It was considered that you would all find it much easier to settle as a group if you could all only speak one language. As you only spoke English, to a very high level of eloquence, and all the others spoke English to varying degrees of fluency it was decided to standardise on English. All other languages were removed and the fluency levels of all were boosted to equal yours.”

“OK. I can see the sense of that. And thank you for the compliment on my eloquence.”

“Long term studies of your species showed that you have a well above average vocabulary.”

“Thanks.”

“OK” I said to the rest and told them what had been said.

“Well I can't say I'm totally happy with that” said Tiago “but I can't argue with the logic behind it.” and the others voiced their agreement.

The afternoon was spent in a more leisurely manner. Some went swimming, some went walking in the woodland and Nuno and I sat together on the verandah.

“So what do you think of our little group now?” I asked him.

“Well I can't speak for the two who are yet to join us, but I think we are going to be all right. If they fit in as well as the rest of us seem to be doing now then I think we have a chance of being pretty happy here together. It might get a bit boring eventually with nothing to really do each day, but I think we'll all survive.”

“And what about 'us'? How are we going to be?”

“I have no fears there. I love you in a way I've never loved anyone before but I'm not going to get jealous when you spend time with any of the others or even if you have sex with them without me. Between us it's special. With the others it's just sex.”

“I'm glad you feel like that. I feel exactly the same. I was only thinking the other day that it's amazing how quickly we have become an established couple. In some way it's almost as if we've been together for years instead of just a few weeks.”

“Come on.” said Nuno rising and taking me by the hand. “Lets go and make use of the pool.” and he led me through to the big spa pool which was unoccupied. We climbed in and just sat in the gently churning water, our arms around each other, not speaking, just enjoying being alone together for a while.

“You lovebirds object to a bit of company?” called Vadims as the others came in to shower off after swimming.

“Not at all.” said Nuno “As long as you don't mind us carrying on in front of you.”

“I don't think that will be a problem for us” said Vadims climbing in opposite us.

“But it might be a problem for you if we all decide to join in” said Jesus laughing.

“That's not a problem, that's a bonus.” I said with a wink at Nuno.

That evening it was my turn to select our viewing and without saying a word I selected some gay porn. Nothing extreme, just something with plenty of good looking guys of a mixture of ages and plenty of twosomes, threesomes and groups, most of them out door. Long before the film ended most of the guys had retired to the bed room, but there wasn't a lot of sleeping going on.

Next morning I received the penultimate call from Orac.

“Let's have Philip next” I sent “Not for any particular reason. I don't know him quite as well as Sylvain, but that isn't saying much. I suppose I'd just like to have another Englishman about the place.”

“Very well. I am to inform you that unless there is any problem with Philip integrating into the group, Sylvain will be revived tomorrow.”

“OK” I replied. “It will be nice to have the group completed then we can really start to settle down.”

When I informed the others they agreed that it would be nice to have our last two group members with us at last. When I entered the revival room some time later I was please to see that Philip in the nude was definitely worth seeing. His soft cock was all of 20cm long and as I took hold of it I could barely close my fingers round it.

“I can't wait to see that hard” I thought “or better yet feel it.”

His balls were also large and lay in a sack that would definitely extend well down the length of his shaft when he was standing up.

His revival went without any real problems. He seemed to accept everything I told him and he was as impressed as the rest of us once he saw the house and it's surroundings. The others gave their customary warm welcome and we all went in to lunch, which of course Philip needed more than any of us. I noticed that during lunch, Jesus seemed to be paying particularly close attention to all that Philip said and did so I was not surprised when it was Jesus that quickly offered to give Philip a tour of the outside.

“So what do you make of that?” Asked Guillaume of us all when Jesus and Philip had gone off. “And did you see the looks that were being exchanged over lunch?”

“Oh so you noticed as well did you.” said Tiago. “If you ask me there's another potential couple there.”

“I think any of us would have had to be blind not to see that there was some attraction between them” I said “and I'm glad. Of all of us Jesus had the hardest time adjusting to the situation here, even harder than you did Guillaume, so if he can form a bond with Philip and have it returned all to the good.”

They returned just as we were beginning to think about eating so Philip was in time to exercise his prerogative as the new boy and choose what we would watch. We all settled down, Nuno and I together with Jesus close to Philip on one sofa and the other three on the other one.

When the film ended Nuno and I stood up together and announced we were going to bed. At that Philip said he was really tired and asked how the beds were allocated.

“Well they aren't exactly allocated.' I said “Nuno and mostly take the one between the two verandah openings, and the others just pick a bed and lie down, either with someone or on their own though that is less likely to be an option from now on.”

“Come on, I'll show you.” said Jesus jumping up. Nuno smiled at me and I returned it.

Through in the bedroom Nuno and I lay down on our usual bed and after a short consultation Jesus and Philip took the one between the bathroom door and the verandah. When the other three finally came through they elected to all sleep on one bed and chose the one by the other verandah opening.

For a long time Nuno and I lay, me on my side with Nuno snuggled up to me with his back against my front facing towards Philip and Jesus. We could just make out the sound of a whispered conversation between them but not quite hear what they were saying. Eventually we drifted off to sleep in that position.

Next morning we awoke to see that they were already up. We both showered and on our way through for breakfast we roused the other three who were laying in a complete tangle as if they had fallen asleep mid orgy. Of Jesus and Philip there was no sign.

“So today sees our family complete then.” said Nuno. “No more trips into that room to find an unconscious naked man waiting for you.” and he gave me a grin that was almost a leer.

“I don't know what you mean.” I said and gave him my best innocent look.

“Oh come on. Don't try and tell me that you didn't check each of us out as we lay there.”

“Well I had a good look, of course I did.” I said.

“And a good feel as well, unless you are stupid which I know you are not.” As he said this he grabbed hold of my cock which was beginning to swell.

“Well. All right. I couldn't help myself. But only for a moment. I didn't want any of you waking up with some sort of pervert hanging onto your meat and two veg.”

“You've certainly hung onto them enough since” he laughed “and I hope you'll want to continue to do so for the rest of our lives.”

“I don't think there's any doubt of that.” I said and proved the point by doing so “but it's time for me to go and collect Sylvain. I'll see you in a little while.”

Sylvain was another easy revival I'm happy to say. After an initial “Is this a joke” he accepted that he was no longer on earth and never even questioned the lack of clothing. He fell in love with the house and it's surroundings as quickly as I had done, and when I mentioned that I had christened the bay Cove Hold he knew immediately where that came from and agreed with me. Turned out he is almost as big a fan of the Pern series and I am. After lunch with everyone together for the first time I felt there was one thing I had to say.

“Look there is a confession I want to make to you all.” I said, standing up and bringing all conversation to a stop. “It's actually my fault you are all here. They selected me first and then trawled through my mind and not only selected this place because of it's resemblance to the fictional place, but they selected all of you because you are guys that I have fancied for some time. There are others but you are the ones they picked. I'm sorry that I have caused such disruption in your lives.”

I sat down and looked round the table. No one spoke for a couple of minutes.

Then Guillaume stood up. “I don't know about the others, but as far as I am concerned you are not to blame. You didn't set this whole thing up, the aliens did. They selected us, not you. And the way you have looked after each of us as we came out of storage, for want of a better description, I think we all have to be grateful that you are here to make what could be a traumatic transition nothing more than a bit of an emotional storm that fairly soon passed.” and with that he came round the table and kissed and hugged me. Next thing I knew I was in the middle of a group hug with all of them saying they agreed with Guillaume.

“Thank you all.” I said. “I was dreading how you would react but I felt I had to say it so that we can go forward with no dark secrets in hiding.”

“So now I have one more reason to love you.” whispered Nuno as he gave me an extra hug.

We all spent the afternoon on the beach or in the water, Sylvain not feeling strong enough for anything energetic, and there was no small amount of sex went on as well. Sylvain had said he was bi to start with so he had no problems with guys indulging in front of him. That night he and Guillaume shared a bed leaving Tiago and Vadims to pair off and this tended to be our sleeping arrangement most nights from then on.

8 A Time Of Testing.

Now our group was complete we soon settled to life together. There was no real reason why we should get up or eat or go to bed as a group but most of the time we did. It somehow seemed important to all of us to have these times when we behaved as a family, even an artificial one. We all missed our real families of course but for the most part I would say we were happy. From time to time one of us would 'do a Garbo' as it became known after the famous Greta Garbo quote “I want to be alone” and would disappear for anything from a few hours to a day or more. When this happened the rest of us respected it and gave them the space they needed.

The volleyball court was well used and enjoyed by all. The sight of the guys leaping around with our cocks and balls bouncing around was very erotic and most games were followed by an intense group orgy, sometimes right there on the beach, sometimes in the shower and sometimes in the spa pool.  We also spent a lot of time swimming in the sea and lazing on the beach.

Walking in the woodland was also a popular occupation, though this tended to be in twos or threes rather than all of us, and this also often led to sex in a sunny clearing or some shady corner where what passed for grass grew soft and fragrant. Nuno and I frequently took ourselves off on a walk that would take us most of the day, but we didn't do a great deal of walking. On one of these walks we had found a beautiful glade with a stream running through it that opened out into a wide pool of clear cool water. We spend our time swimming in the pool, dozing on the grass and making passionate love to each other. How none of the others ever found this spot we didn't know, though I suspected it wasn't down to luck.

Sleeping arrangements most stayed the same, Nuno and I, Philip and Jesus, Guillaume and Sylvain, Vadims and Tiago but we were not averse to swapping around for a night or two some times. Usually after the evening had developed into an orgy and we had paired off in some other way.

Time passed and life seemed as idyllic as it could be for a group of captives, though we thought of ourselves like that less and less. We lost count of the days and had no idea how long we had been here. I could of course ask Orac, but it just didn't seem important and to be honest I talked with Orac less and less as time passed.

Then one morning he spoke to me.

“I have some important information to give you that you will need to pass on to the rest of the group. It regards a new situation within your group's experiment.”

That got my attention right away. “Go on.” I replied.

“Some of your group have been infected with a special virus. If left untreated it will eventually kill. It is only mildly infectious normally but anal sex makes transmission almost certain from the active to the passive. Also re infection slightly strengthens the virus. However one of your number has been infected with a colony of nanobots that can eradicate the virus over a period of time but before the effects of the virus begin to show. Like the virus the nanobots are only transferred through sex, anal being far more effective than oral. Also like the virus repeated reinfections strengthen the nanobots.”

I was silent. What could one say to that? Obviously I needed to pass this on as soon as I could. It would soon be lunch time and as far as I knew everyone was around today. I would have to do it then. I sat down to gather my thoughts. Why had they done this? Gradually a realisation stole over me. Whilst everyone was having sex with everyone else, only three of us were ever penetrated anally. Myself and Vadims, both of us being gay to start with, and Sylvain who was naturally bi. But none of the others, who were straight before the conditioning, had succumbed to this. Most of them would do active, but none of them passive.  Generally the needed relief was just oral and hand jobs.

At the end of lunch I told them I had something important to pass on from The Observers, as we had come to call them, and proceeded to tell them what I had been told. “So basically we all need to fuck like rabbits, and we all need to both top and bottom, for as long as it takes for the nanobots to eliminate the virus from us all.”

“Could be worse” said Vadims after a few moments silence. “At least they don't want to stick needles in us.”

“I'd rather have the needles.” said Jesus. “Why are they doing this to us?”

“I wasn't told that, but I can hazard a guess.” I replied. “As far as I know only Sylvain, Vadims and myself have been 'taking it' up to now. The rest of you who were naturally straight haven't taken that step. They want to see all of us doing it both ways and I suspect that by the time the virus is gone we'll all be so used to both fucking and being fucked that we'll just carry on doing it though why that matters to The Observers I have no idea.”

“Score one more for your powers of deduction.” said the familiar voice in my head.

“You are sounding more and more human as time passes” I replied.

“Well I'm not too happy about it.” said Jesus “The idea of letting anyone do that to me makes me feel ill. Even one of you who I trust completely.” Guillaume and Philip murmured agreement with this sentiment.

“OK.” I said. “The first time, if not the first few times, it's going to feel odd, or wrong or whatever to you, but in time it will become less so. Also the first time can be quite painful, especially if you are tense and can't relax. Give it some careful thought and especially think about who you want to be your first. But don't take too long because the longer you leave it, the more it will be a problem in your mind and the harder it will be to do. And of course I'm here to talk to any time if you want to. We can always find a corner somewhere to talk quietly.” and with that the group broke up and went in various directions.

Nuno hung around as the others dispersed. For a long moment we just looked at each other. At last, Nuno broke the silence.

“I want it to be you for my first time.” he said “To be honest I'm surprised that you haven't tried it with me before now.“

“I decided some time ago not to try. I didn't want to upset you or scare you off at first and by the time we said we loved each other it just never occurred to me that you might be ready to accept it. It just didn't seem necessary or all that important.”

“And how do you feel now it's been forced upon us?”

I thought for a moment. “I think I'm glad that it has. Between us I think it will be something special, like we've totally given ourselves to each other. Somehow I don't think it will feel like that with any of the others. It will be pleasurable, but it will just be sex and nothing more.”

“So when do we do it?”

“When ever it feels right.”

“How about now? Everyone else has gone off to think so we probably have the house to ourselves. Or we could go to our glade.”

“Oh definitely our glade.” I said. “I still think we are the only ones to find it so it's sort of our special place.”

So off we went. As soon as we arrived we started kissing and were soon laying on the grass in each others arms kissing and fondling each other as we had done so often before.

“Let me fuck you first.” said Nuno.

“I think it would be better if we did it the other way round. If I fuck you while you are still aroused it will be easier on you for your first time.”

“OK. You're the expert” he murmured between kisses.

We continued like this for a few more minutes with each of us getting more and more aroused. Then I manoeuvred him onto his back and raised his legs and began to rim him, Which I had done before and knew he liked. I soon had him squirming in pleasure as I got his hole nice and wet and slippery.

Then I knelt up and moved in closer, lifting his ass up to the right level.

“Try and relax and push out a little as I enter you.” I said as my cock head began to press against his hole. I gradually increased the pressure and felt his muscles begin to relax. Keeping my pressure steady I began to enter him.

“Oh my God. That feels huge.” he said. “Arrgh! It's hurting now.”

“That will pass soon.” I said as the head of my cock finally made it all the way inside him. “The worst bit is over.” and I slowly pushed the rest of my cock as far into him as It would go. I rested without moving to let him grow accustomed to the feeling and then began to slowly move in and out.

“That's feeling a bit better now” he said “Oh my! What was that?” I had found his prostrate with my cock.

“That is what makes the initial pain worth suffering.” I said. “That is me stimulating your prostate gland.” I kept on fucking him, gradually increasing the pace, making sure I hit his prostate as often as possible. I knew I would not be long in cumming. I never have been able to hold back for long when fucking a tight ass bareback and sure enough this time was no different.

“Oh God I'm gonna cum!” I yelled, just before letting fly inside my lover.

We lay there, holding on to each other for several minutes without speaking.

“I had no idea it would feel like that. I thought it would be unpleasant.” he said eventually.

“Silly boy. You don't think any of us would do it at all if it was do you?”

“I suppose not. I'd never really given it much thought.”

“Do you want to fuck me now or save it for later?” I asked.

“I think I'll save it for later. It's not like I haven't done it before. Lets have a swim and then doze for a while before we go back.”

We arrived back at the house to see that most of the others were down on the beach drying off after swimming. Jesus and Philip were nowhere to be seen. We walked down the beach and something must have shown on our faces or in our demeanour because they all looked at us and began to grin.

“Well you haven't wasted any time.” said Vadims with a laugh and Nuno actually blushed.

“You've done it?” asked Tiago. “Was it as bad as we are expecting?”

“We've tried to tell them it isn't but I don't think they believe us.” said Sylvain

We sat down on the sand with them. Nuno looked at me as if for support. In response I put my arm round his shoulder and squeezed gently. “It will be better coming from you.” I said. “But only if you want to.”

“Yes. Mark has fucked me. To start with, as he was entering me, it hurt like hell. Then, once he was fully in he let me get my breath before he moved. He started gently and it wasn't too bad but then he started to hit my prostate with his cock, and oh my God I've never felt anything like it. By the time he shot his load I was well on my way to heaven. I'm feeling a bit sore now, but I have no problem with the idea of doing it again.”

“So it isn't really that bad then?” asked Guillaume.

“No. Not at all. I even think I'm going to grow to like it.”

“What did we tell you?” chorused Vadims and Sylvain and promptly fell into a fit of the giggles.

“OK.” said Guillaume. “In that case I'm willing. Sylvain, would you like to be my first?”

“And would you be mine Nuno, if Mark doesn't mind?” said Tiago

“Of course I don't mind. We have to be in one big open relationship here to survive,” I said, “so unless you intend to do it here on the sand, which I really don't recommend, I suggest you four go and shower and then find somewhere you feel comfortable.”

“Which just leaves you and me. I wonder what we can find to do to pass the time?” said Vadims to me with a very cheeky smile.

“I'll show you exactly how we can pass the time.” I said and with that I picked him up over my shoulder and started to walk towards the belt of grass that ran between the beach and the woodland. “God I'm glad you aren't any bigger.” I gasped as I let him down on the grass. I lay down beside him and he immediately bent over and proceeded to suck my cock. We spent the next hour sucking and fucking and generally enjoying each other and at a moment when we were just lying back to catch our breath we heard someone approaching. It was Jesus and Philip.

“Can we talk to you?” asked Philip.

“Of course you can” I replied. “come and sit down.”

“I'll make myself scarce” said Vadims making as if to get up.

“No. It's all right. Please stay.” said Jesus.

“As you've probably guessed we want to talk about this thing with us all needing to fuck each other repeatedly. We realise that it is something we are going to have to do, and we have both fucked each of you at some time, but getting fucked seems such a big deal to us. We're both straight and it's something any straight guy is going to struggle with.” said Philip.

“I fully understand, believe me I do.” I said and Vadims nodded in support. “How can I help you?”

“Well we wondered if it might be easier to do if we were somewhat drunk the first time or two. Almost like a rape but we consent to it in advance.”

“Well it would certainly make you less inhibited I suppose.”

“And we'd both like you to be our first” said Jesus looking at me. “No offence to the others but you've shown such compassion for all of us since we got here.”

“Well I'm flattered.” I said. “Of course I will. When do you want to do it? This evening?”

“Yes” they both said.

“Come on then. Lets wander back and see if the others are ready for dinner. Then we can call up some beers or wine or whatever, put some porn on the TV to get us in the mood and have us a party. It'll probably turn into a right Bacchanalian orgy before we're done.”

When we got back we found the other four sat chatting over beers on the verandah. I looked at Nuno and he gave me a big grin and nodded slightly. It had all gone all right.

“OK Tonight we are going to have a bit of a party.” I announced. “After dinner it's a selection of porn on the TV and plenty of beer or wine for all. Where it will all lead I can't possibly imagine.” That got a laugh. “While I have no wish to embarrass anyone, both Jesus and Philip have asked me to do the honours and be their first, but only once they are ever so slightly tipsy.”

Dinner was a very light hearted affair. Everyone seemed more relaxed as though some crisis point had been passed. Even Jesus and Philip seemed more relaxed than they had done when the came to talk to me. Nuno, Guillaume and Tiago all made a point of telling them that it was fear of the unknown that made it seem such a big deal.

Then we moved into the lounge and let Jesus and Philip choose what porn we would watch. They chose one that was just one long scene with about 30 people, both men and women, all having sex in every possible combination. Men with men. Men with women. Women with women In pairs. In threes, In larger groups. You name it, they did it.

As the evening progressed I watched to see how Philip and Jesus were doing. Philip seemed to be drinking the most so I fully expected him to be ready first. I made sure that I did not drink much at all. The last thing I wanted was a case of 'brewers droop' tonight, especially as I had already fucked twice today and cum a further couple of times.

I made my way over to Philip and put my arm round his shoulders. “How are you feeling?” I asked him.

“I haven't a care in the world.” he said and took another drink.

“Shall I do you here or outside?”

“Why not here? Let them all watch.”

So I did. I got him to kneel on the edge of the sofa so I could enter him standing up. I resisted the urge to make it a real rape and just ram it into him and took my time as I had with Nuno. It took me a bit longer this time but by the time I shot my load inside him. Philip was moaning with pleasure.

“All right.” he said as I withdrew. “Who's next?”

What sort of monster had we unleashed?

“Come on. I'm sure someone else would like to bugger me.”

“Can we go into the bedroom?” asked Jesus in a quiet voice at my shoulder.

“Are you sure you are ready?” I asked.

“Yes. I don't want to be too drunk and I'd rather not have an audience, this time at least.”

So I took him by the hand and we went through. We chose the bed that he and Philip normally slept on and lay down.

“Make love to me, don't rape me” he said.

So I did. I was as tender and gentle and caring as I know how. When we got to the crucial moment I entered him from behind as we lay on our sides, not my favourite position but it seemed right at that moment. After a while I turned him onto his stomach and fucked him from on top, hitting his prostrate with every stroke. This time it took me a long time to climax – well it was my fourth fuck and fifth or sixth orgasm of the day. After I had finished unloading inside him I rolled off him and lay by his side.

“That was nothing like I was expecting.” he said. “If I could always only be fucked by you I would not mind it at all.”

“You should try with Philip when you are both sober. We can all see that you have feelings for each other. Maybe not love like Nuno and I but strong feelings.” Between you two it could be really special.”

“I would like that. You and Nuno are so good together. Half the time you each seem to know what the other is thinking. If Philip and I can be half that close then life here will be so much more enjoyable.”

“Well I hope it does work for you.” I said and kissed him tenderly on the forehead. “Come on. Let's get back and see if the party is a full blown orgy yet.” So we did, and it was.

From then on we fell into a sort of routine where we added daily sex to our existing activities, rather than just as and well we felt like it. We went with a different guy each day and it was noticeable how the ones that had had difficulty at first came to find it as normal activity in time. Most of them even came to enjoy it and we all had our favourites to fuck and our favourites to be fucked by. For me Nuno was of course number one in both categories and we always went to our glade when it was our day though that's not to say we didn't make love on other occasions as well. After all, Orac had said that the more we did the better it would be.

This must have been going on for a couple of months or more when I had one of my days with Jesus and we had taken ourselves off along the shore down one side of the bay and were laying in the grass looking down towards the beach.

“You remember how on my first time you said that it could be special between Philip and me?”

“Yes, I do. If I remember I said something to the effect that even if you weren't in love there was obviously a strong bond between you and that it would be special between you.”

“Yes and you were right. I don't know if we can love each other, but our connection is just getting stronger and stronger and between us it is more like making love than just having sex. I mean it's still special with you because you were my first, but with him it's extra special. Does that make sense.”

“It does. Take Nuno and I. We have openly declared our love for each other and when we are along together it's as if the rest of the world does not exist. With the rest of you with some it is just mechanical sex. Sill enjoyable but nothing more. Then with you, and one other, it is a much more tender and emotional experience but still nothing like with Nuno.”

“Oh. Who's the other one?”

“That, my young friend, is for me to know and you to wonder.” and with that I kissed him deeply and then got up and started to walk back to the house leaving him laughing.

That evening, when we were stealing a few moments alone on the verandah, Nuno told me about a conversation he had had that day with Philip.

“I don't believe it.” I exclaimed. “That's basically the same conversation I had with Jesus. I wonder if they colluded or was it just chance?”

“I wonder. It does seem and big coincidence. But the main point is that they are over their fears about fucking and are more than comfortable to be a couple.”

“Yes. I wonder if the other four will pair off or not. They seem happy enough as they are.”

“With two straights, one bi and one gay you would have thought they would pair up but they don't seem to be doing.”

“Come on you two love birds.” called Vadims. “You're missing the film.” So in we went.

As I have said before, keeping track of time was next to impossible. The days just flow past in a steady progression but with nothing to mark them out as one being different to another. So I don't really know how long it was but eventually Orac called me.

“I am to inform you that the virus has now been fully eradicated and there is no chance of it recurring. I understand that The Observers (Orac had adopted our name for the aliens) are more than pleased with the results. They have said that they will not run another test on you for a while, other than observing your day to day lives.”

“Thank you. Tell me, did the virus ever really exist? And if it did, was it really deadly to us? Or was the whole thing just a way to see how well the nanobots would spread from me to the rest of the group?”

“Your powers of deduction really are quite strong. To answer you, yes the virus did exist, yes it would have been fatal without the nanobots, and yes the purpose of the test was to see how well they would spread among you from a single host, and yes you were that host.”

“Thank you for being so honest with me. I think I'll keep this to myself. I see no good reason to tell the others.”

“That is for you to decide.”

“Thank you”

At dinner that night I told them that the virus was gone. “So there's no need to stay in rabbit mode, unless of course we want to. In some ways I think it has helped to bind us together as a group. But maybe we don't need to be quite so methodical about it.”

I looked round the table to try to gauge what each of them was thinking. Nuno just looked at me and smiled. Jesus and Philip were looking at each other. Vadims just sat looking totally unconcerned. Sylvain was looking round the table as I was and both Guillaume and Tiago looked thoughtful.

At last Tiago spoke. “So we don't need to do it any more unless we want to?” he said.

“That's right” I said “But let's not forget that we were told that regular mixing of the nanobots between us would strengthen them. For that reason if for no other we should at least occasionally fuck with everyone else.”

“To be honest” said Guillaume, “I've got so used to it now that I don't mind one way or the other. I mean, sometimes going off somewhere with one of you for a couple of hours has been really hot and I agree with Mark that the intimacy of those times has helped make us all feel close to one another. Without that I think there is a chance of us almost splitting into small groups who hardly communicate.” Most nodded their agreement with this.

“I can see the sense in that,” said Jesus, “but I still find it difficult to just go off and fuck with a guy 'on demand' as it were. I mean, I no longer find it unpleasant, but for the most part it still takes an effort to do it. Not with you“ he said turning to Philip, “or with you,” turning to me, “but with most of you it does. Not because there is anything wrong with any of you. I've grown very fond of you all and can't really imagine living anywhere other than in this group. It's just some lingering bit of the old me from before I was brought here.”

“I'm sure we all understand.” said Nuno. “Don't forget most of us were, or rather are, straight and back on earth would never have considered any sort of gay sex. Here we were conditioned to be more open to it and even forced into it with this virus thing. And I suppose we are still being persuaded with the nanobots. So I don't think any of us would be upset or insulted if you said no to an approach in future. And like wise should you decide to make first move some time and get a refusal you won't be either. I think we just all have to be open to the possibility and go with what feels right at the time.”

“And don't forget you have me.” said Philip. “You know I'm always going to be here with you and we all know we can turn to Mark any time we need support and guidance.” and he took both of Jesus's hands in his own.

And that more or less closed the discussion. As the days and weeks passed we all found the way that we were comfortable with. I spent most time with Nuno, but we both had plenty of liaisons with the others. Philip and Jesus were rarely apart and we decided to show them our glade. After that it was not unusual that the four of us would go there together for an afternoon or a day and they both found they could relax totally with us and much of our time there was spent having sex.

The other four still did not seem to form any particular attachments. Not that they were loners by any means. They were fully active socially joining in with anything we did as a group and all to a varying degree continued to have sex with all the rest. And when an orgy started in the showers or the spa pool, none of them were in anyway slow to take part.

I felt that as the appointed leader of the group it was my duty to spend time with everyone, not just to have sex but to talk, and Nuno, as my chosen mate, also felt that he had a similar duty by association. Neither of us begrudged the time we couldn't spend together and often compared notes on our conversations with the others. I like to think that this made a positive contribution to the closeness of all eight of us.

9 A Serious Injury And A Double Wedding

One afternoon I was in the spa pool having a relaxing chat with Guillaume and Vadims. Nuno and Tiago were in the bedroom doing something other than talking and Jesus and Philip were off somewhere. No one had seen Sylvain since yesterday's breakfast so we presumed he was 'doing a Garbo' and would return when ready. Suddenly Orac cut in on the conversation.

“There has been an accident. Sylvain has had a bad fall and injured himself. As far as I can determine from here he has broken his leg. I will transport him to the couch in the lounge where I can make a more detailed examination. Please come through.”

“Thanks” I replied. “Sylvain has been hurt. Orac is transporting him to the lounge.” I said aloud as I climbed out of the pool and hastily dried off.

By the time I got to the lounge an unconscious Sylvain was laid on one of the two couches. His left leg was obviously broken. No healthy leg can ever bend in those places. The others were only just behind me.

“Oh my God!” exclaimed Guillaume. “What are we going to do about that?”

“Do not worry. The nanobots in his system will repair the break but you will need to straighten the leg into it's normal position to assist them. On the table you will find an EpiPen that will keep him unconscious for about four hours. By that time the pain will have reduced and the healing process started.”

“Thank you Orac. I don't know what we would have done without you. It could have taken us days to find him and he could have died in that time.”

“No problem. It's a part of my duties to keep a watch on you all.”

“I know, but thank you any way.” and I told the others what he had said.

I went over to Sylvain to see how his leg was laying. It looked to me to be broken in two places, one about 15cm above the knee and one about 20 below. It would be hard to imagine a broken leg that looked worse.

“Hand me the EpiPen” I said, holding out my hand behind me. “I think I'd better give him this or moving the leg might just rouse him enough for it to hurt.”

“Do you know how to use one?” asked Vadims.

“Fortunately, depending on how you look at it that is, I had a friend some years ago who was very severely allergic to a number of things. She had to carry several of these things with her at all times and a number of us were shown how to use one. Not that there is much to it.” and at that moment I delivered the injection to his uninjured leg.

“Do you really have to do it that hard?” asked Nuno

“Kelly always said that a bruise from too hard was better than not getting the drug from not hard enough.” I replied. “Now, some of you hold his torso steady while I straighten this leg as best I can.”

Five minutes later anyone who looked in would have thought he was just taking a nap. We had placed a couple of pillows under his head for when he came round.

“I don't think I should leave him alone.” I said. “He will need tending when he wakes, and”

“I'll sit with him.” interrupted Guillaume. “I can always call you if need be. Just don't go too far away.

“If you're sure.” I said. “Of course you know what this means don't you?”

They all looked blankly at me.

“Well the nanobots in his body have something new to pass on to ours. As soon as he's up again Sylvain is going to be kept busy fucking all of us stupid for a while.” and I left the room laughing.

I took my pad and a beer out onto the verandah and sat to read. Just now I was about half way through the entire Isaac Asimov collection. A few minutes later Jesus and Philip appeared, walking towards the house hand in hand. I called them over to me and told them what had happened.

“Oh poor Sylvain. He will be all right won't he?” asked Philip.

“Yes. Orac says the nanobots will heal his leg by morning. But what about you two. You both walked across the sand looking as if you've just won the lottery or something.”

“Well, we do have a bit of news, but now doesn't really seem the appropriate time after what you've just told us.” said Jesus.

“Nonsense.” I said. “Sylvain is already on the mend and a bit of good news will certainly make him feel better.”

“Well we did want to tell you first, you and Nuno if he's around, because of how you've both cared about us all.”

“Nuno” I called out. “Are you there?”

“Coming” he replied and a moment later appeared round the corner. “What is it?”

“These two have something they want to say to us. Go on then.” this last being directed at Jesus.

“Well” he said, obviously stalling, “We'll tell the others later, after Sylvain is awake, but earlier today I finally told Philip that I have fallen in love with him. I think I've known it for a while but just couldn't say it our loud. But today the barrier, or whatever, seemed to melt away and I could say it.”

“And I've said that I love him. So I guess that we are now a proper couple.” said Philip.

“You know that gives me an idea.” I said.

“Well?” prompted Nuno when I said nothing more.

“Well, apart from the sex with the others, you and I are like a married couple and now they've committed fully to each other so are they. Why don't we have some sort of wedding ceremony to make it more official.?”

“If that's a proposal, you could have been a bit more romantic about it! But I like the idea.”

“My dearest Nuno,” I said falling to one knee, “will you marry me?”

“Oh get up you idiot. Of course I will.”

“Now who's not being romantic?” I said and grabbed hold of him and kissed him.

“Jesus, will you marry me?” asked Philip following my lead.

“With pleasure.” replied Jesus and within moments they were embracing and kissing as well.

“So how do we go about it?” asked Nuno

“We don't have to worry about any of the usual things” I said, “The guest list is all ready fixed. What to wear just doesn't apply. The venue won't take much choosing and the reception just needs us to call for what we want from the replicators. It's just how we do the ceremony really.”

“And when.” said Philip.

“Unless Sylvain doesn't feel up to it I suggest tonight in the lounge. It should cheer everyone up after his accident. As to the ceremony let's keep it simple. We just take it in turn to make our promises to each other and then we are married. After all, we make our own laws and rules here so whatever we decide is valid.”

“I like it” said Jesus. “Simple and to the point.”

“Me too” said both Philip and Nuno.

“When do we tell the others?” asked Philip.

“As soon as Sylvain is awake enough to understand and to say if he feels well enough to have a party break out round him. If he doesn't then I suggest we postpone till just before sunset tomorrow down on the beach. Now for the ceremony we'll stand in our pairs. I suggest I make a little introduction, then we make our vows in the order of Jesus, Philip, Nuno and then me. Then we all say, to our respective husbands, 'By these vows made to each other we declare before you all that we are married' and that's it.” and they all agreed.

That evening we were all sat watching something on the screen but not really taking it in. The four of us were too distracted thinking about what we wanted to say in our vows and the others were still concerned about Sylvain in spite of Orac's assurances.

“He's stirring.” said Guillaume who had not moved from Sylvain's side all afternoon. “I think he's coming round.”

“Don't crowd him.” I said as I moved to sit alongside Sylvain's legs and took his hand in mine. “Just lie still and let yourself come round. Your home safe. We're all here.”

“What happened?” he said weakly. “How did I get back here?”

“All we know is you've had an accident and badly broken your leg. Orac transported you back as soon as he realised what you had done. He gave us a drug for you to keep you unconscious for a few hours to let the nanobots start working on you.”

“I remember now. I was climbing up a tree to see if I could see further along the coast and somehow I lost my grip and fell. There were some rocks underneath so I must have hit my leg on those. How bad is it?”

“You broke it in two places, both above and below the knee. Back on Earth they would have had your leg opened up and filled you with all sorts of bits of metal, not to mention clamping your leg in a frame that looked like the Inquisition designed it. Here we gave you a four hour does of go to sleep medicine and straightened your leg out as best we can. Orac says the nanobots will have you healed and running about again by morning.”

“Really? Then I suppose I'm lucky The Observers kidnapped me. Tell you what. I'm feeling really hungry. And thirsty.”

“Well that's always a good sign. What do you want? Mind you, no alcohol tonight, or at least, not too much. Some of us have an announcement to make.”

“An announcement?” said Vadims.

“Yes. Do you want to tell them Jesus?”

“OK. Well it's this. Philip has asked me to marry him and I've said yes.”

“And Mark has asked me and I've said yes.” said Nuno when he could make himself heard.

“We were wondering Sylvain if you would feel up to us holding the ceremony this evening or would you prefer to rest and we'll do it tomorrow when you are back on your feet?” I said.

“Of course you must do it tonight.” he said. “It's just the thing to give us all a lift. And the perfect excuse for a party. I can wait a bit longer to eat if you're ready to do it now.”

“Are we?” I asked and the other three all nodded. “Right then. Let's stand in front of the TV and the rest of you sit yourselves down. OK. Earlier today Jesus and Philip came to speak to Nuno and I as they had something they wanted to tell us. Jesus then informed us that he had realised that he does love Philip and that he wanted to tell him. And Philip told him that his love was returned. That put the idea of a wedding into my mind and I proposed to Nuno who accepted and Philip proposed to Jesus who also accepted. We are here now to make our vows in front of you all. Jesus.”

Jesus turned to face Philip and took hold of both his hands. “Philip. From the moment I saw you walk out of the house onto the verandah on your first day here I felt drawn to you but the remains of my old nature as a straight man made me hold back. Ever since we have grown closer and closer and have shared very tender and intimate moments, but I was always holding something back. But that is over. I no longer feel any reticence. I love you heart and soul and I always will. I am yours now and forever.”

“Jesus.” said Philip. “When I first came here I too felt that there was a connection between us but like you my old nature made me hold back. I too no longer feel that and want to publicly declare that I love you and that I want to be yours for as long as we live. I am yours now and forever.”

“Mark.” said Nuno taking both of my hands in his. “Back on Earth we were already friends but that was all we would ever be. When I awoke to the strangeness of this place you were there to guide me and help me accept what had happened. You did so with such tenderness and compassion that our friendship deepened beyond anything that I could have imagined. As I watched you showing the same level of care and love for the others as they were revived that friendship deepened into love. I am here now to declare that love for you in front of our whole family and to say that I will never love anyone else as much as I love you. I am yours now and forever.”

“Nuno.” I replied. “In that first week or so after you were revived, when it was just the two of us, I found myself feeling more and more that we were achieving a special friendship that would last but I did not expect things to take the path that they have. It took you telling me that you loved me to make me realise that I did love you. Both before and since that moment you have been a support to me. Never objecting or being jealous when I have to give the others attention or my time and for that I love you all the more. I want everyone to know just how much you, and your love for me, mean to me. I am yours now and forever.”

The all four of us spoke in unison.

“By these vows made to each other we declare before you all that we are married. I am yours now and forever.”

And at that the cheering began and so, a few moments later, did the party.

“Of course, Sylvain, you know what your accident means don't you?” I asked in a loud voice during a lull in the noise which of course stopped at that point.

“How do you mean?” he asked looking puzzled.

“Well as soon as you are well enough you are going to have to fuck like a porn star. We all need a few infusions of your nanobots to share their experience of healing you with ours.” I said to much laughter.

Sylvain's startled look produced even more laughter.

“But you will be gentle with the newly-weds won't you.” said Philip.

Unusually for one of our evenings of this sort, this one did not develop into an orgy. Gradually we all drifted off to bed. All except Guillaume who said he would stay close to Sylvain “Just in case he needs anything in what's was left of the night.”

“Like a kiss or a cuddle or his cock sucked.” whispered Nuno in my ear.

“Naughty boy.” I said with a grin and slapped him lightly on the ass.

Next morning we were all a bit later than usual waking up, but when we did arise we were greeted by the sight of a fully recovered Sylvain, on his feet and walking around.

“Those nanobots are fantastic.” he said. “It was worth being abducted and brought here just for those.”

“Well don't forget you have a duty to perform.” said Vadims with a very cheeky grin on his face. And no one I know does a cheeky grin like our boyish faced Vadims. Somehow he manges to combine the innocence you expect from one who looks so young with the rapacious leer of an ageing lothario.

“Unless of course you've already started.” said Tiago seeing the sheepish look that passed between Sylvain and Guillaume at Vadims remark which then turned into a couple of blushes to make a sunset jealous.

10 Unexpected Additions

One afternoon, just before dinner as Guillaume, Vadims and I were relaxing in the spa pool, I received a call from Orac.

“Tomorrow morning you will be joined by four new group members. They are all men that you know. On this occasion, unlike with the original revivals, all four will be revived together. Consequently you may take one person with you into the revival room. Would I be right to presume that you will choose Nuno?”

“Yes you would.” I replied. “Why add more people now?”

“I am not at liberty to give you that information. Suffice it to say that The Observers have decided that it will provide valuable data for them. They also feel that your group is so well established that you should have no trouble integrating all four at once. In the morning, while you are in the revival room and the others are out wherever they choose to go, the bedroom will be enlarged to hold the six beds that will be needed.”

“OK. I suppose we should be flattered that they think so highly of us. I'll let the rest know.”

“Back with us?” asked Guillaume. “What did the old abacus have to say this time?”

“He told me that we are to have four new house mates from tomorrow morning.”

“What?” he exclaimed.

“Who are they?” asked Vadims.

“That I don't know as yet. All I was told was that I will know them all and they will all be joining us together. And that last bit is a big compliment to us all. It's because we have all settled in together so well that they feel able to drop four on us at once.”

“And where are they going to sleep?” asked Guillaume

“While I am in the revival room with them, and I can take Nuno in there with me this time, the rest of you will go off as in the past. By the time I bring them out the bedroom will have been enlarged to hold six beds. By means of replicator technology I presume.”

“Well I'm interested to know who they are.” said Guillaume.  

“Join the club.” I replied. “I'll see if Orac can show them to us on the screen this evening when we are all here.”

“Ask him to show who to us?” came Nuno's voice from within the bedroom.

“I'll tell you all over dinner. I've already been through it twice, if you count Orac telling me.”

The reactions of the other five were much the same as Guillaume's and Vadims's had been. As soon as we had finished and moved through to the lounge I made the request.

“Orac. Can you please show us the four who will be joining us tomorrow on the screen?”

“Certainly.” and four pictures appeared. Filipe from Portugal, Stefano from Italy, Juan from Spain and Florian from France. All of them guys I found extremely attractive. Just thinking that by this time tomorrow I would be seeing them all naked gave me a hard on.

“Well you seem pleased with the four of them.” said Vadims with that cheeky look of his and he reached over and took hold of my hard cock.

“I'm not going to try to deny it. We could be in for an interesting time though. Four new guys. We don't know how comfortable they will be being nude all the time and we have no idea how they will react to our relaxed attitude to sex and the fact that they will feel the urge to join in. We all have to be as sympathetic and understanding as we can, not that I would expect any different from you lot. And you can either let go or finish what you've started.”

The only answer I got from Vadims was him bending over and starting to suck. It wasn't long before any thought of watching something on the screen was forgotten and we were all indulging in one of our orgys.

Next morning, a short while after breakfast, I got the call to enter the revival room once again.

“Come on.” I said to Nuno. “Time to go and meet them.” and he followed me through the portal.

“Hmmm. It's a different room.” I said as we entered. It was larger and of course it contained four beds instead of the one I had been used to. “OK. Let's check them out.”

I walked to the nearest bed. It was Filipe. I had always found him devastatingly handsome in a rugged sort of way. He was tall, slim, dark hair and always a visible beard shadow. Now I was seeing him naked for the first time I could see that he had dark hair over nearly all his body, thicker in some places than others. I took hold of his cock and cupped his balls. “Very nice. Well worth waiting for.”

Nuno just stood by me and watched. “don't worry.” I said. “No one is going to replace you in my heart.” and I kissed him tenderly.

The next bed held Juan. He was one of the smallest guys I knew. Not a dwarf, just short. If I held out my arm horizontal, he would be able to walk under it and not even brush the underside with his hair. Like Filipe he was dark but with no hint of a beard and not so much hair, though his chest, stomach and crotch were well covered. What he lacked in hight he obviously made up for in his manhood. His soft cock was at least 20cm long and his balls, whilst not large, were in the longest scrotum I had ever seen.

Then it was Florian. Classically handsome and with a light covering of hair on his body. An average size soft cock but what looked, and felt, like an impressive pair of balls.

And lastly Stefano. He was slightly below average hight with a boyish figure. Only a narrow line of hair down his chest and stomach which opened out into a nice pubic bush. I held his cock and balls. “Nice” I said.

Between us Nuno and I guided them through the recovery process. He took Filipe and Juan, since he and Filipe were good friends back on earth, and I took Florian and Stefano. We went through all the normal routine of speaking reassuringly and making physical contact with hands or arms etc.

“The beds will now move you into a sitting position. Please relax and let the bed move you.” I said. “There is a drinking tube just to your right. Let Nuno or I pass it to you. It took me about four attempts to get the thing in my mouth the day I was revived. Now I know you are going to have a lot of questions and I will endeavour to answer all of them, but for now we need to concentrate on you being able to walk so we can leave here. What I will tell you are the two bits that are the hardest to accept. One we are not on the Earth but on a planet some 150,000 light years away. Two there is no chance of our ever being able to go home.”

Understandably this provoked some comment and question, but Nuno of course backed up what I had said. Eventually they all felt able to stand and walk.

“OK. Follow me and I'll show you around and then you can meet the others. We might have been abducted and we are prisoners, but we are in the most luxurious prison you could ever dream of.” and with that we all went into the lounge and the tour began.

When we passed into the dinning room I could at once see some changes. The table was the same but there were now twelve chairs instead of the original eight. Also I could see through the far opening onto the verandah that there now appeared to be an area of roofed decking, the reason for which became obvious as soon as we entered the bedroom. This was now a longer room with six beds and a couple of extra openings. One onto the back verandah and the other onto the new decking area.

“How many of us are there altogether?” asked Juan.

“Twelve.” said Nuno “So yes, that's an average of two to a bed.”

“Right. I suppose I'll get used to it. Sharing a bed with another man I mean.”

“Oh you will. You'll get used to a lot of things in a fairly short time.”

“The bathroom's through here.” I said. “Might get a bit crowded sometimes but I'm sure we'll manage.”

We walked them round the verandah and found that the new decking area was pleasant and spacious. I felt sure it would come in for a lot of use.

“And there you have our front garden, as it were.” I said indicating the beach and the sea.

“You meant it when you said luxurious, didn't you.” said Filipe. “This is as close to paradise as I can imagine.”

At that point the rest came up and greeted the four of them.

“We normally find that new arrivals are extremely hungry at this point so we all sit down to lunch together.

11 The Experiment Is Terminated

One morning Orac called to me.

“I have something that needs to be communicated to the whole group. On this occasion I will speak directly to you all via the screen in the lounge. Can you call everyone together please? I will speak in one hour.”

“Of course.” Whatever it is it must be extremely important I thought.

It took a few minutes but no one was too far away so at the end of the hour we were all sat ready when Orac spoke.

“What I have to tell you all is of the utmost importance. I will not go into the full details with you, but events within The Observer's society mean that they are terminating the experiment. As promised in the past, you will be able to continue to live here. The house will continue to function indefinitely so you will not be short of food etc. I will still be here and will continue to monitor you in case of accidents, but beyond that I will not play an active role in your lives.

The 2km distance restriction is lifted and you are free to travel as far as you wish. As you already know there are many other groups on this planet and at this moment they are being given the same information as you are. If you wish to try to find any of them to make contact you are free to do so. If you prefer to stay as you are and let them come to you, if they wish to, that is also all right.

Do you have any questions?”

“You mean we are totally free and no longer to be observed?” asked Tiago.

“Yes. Apart from my monitoring for your safety you will not be watched.”

“And when does the monitoring actually stop?” I asked.

“The last data feed was sent to The Observers 48 hours ago. The 2km boundary was lifted as I began to speak to you.”

“I just have one question.” said Vadims. “It's not really important, but I would like to know. Just how long have we been here and how much longer can we expect to live?”

“It is 742 years and 248 days since Mark was revived. One result of the experiment is that the nanobots seem to be able to extend your lives indefinitely provided the frequent interchange between individuals is maintained. Without that interchange, whilst life is extended, the ageing process is only slowed not stopped.”

“That makes me just over 800 years old!” I exclaimed.

“If there are no further questions?”

Silence.

“Then I will leave you now. You will not hear from me again except in an emergency.”

“Thank you Orac.” I said “And thank you for all your care. Are you there Orac?” but there was no answer. “He's not even in my head. You know I'm really going to miss him.”

“So what do we do now” asked Tiago.

“Well if no one minds me speaking first.” I said. “I think that we just sit tight and carry on as normal for now. The worst thing we could do would be to rush into any decisions. After all, we are not going to be short of time it seems, as long as we keep up with our free and easy attitude to sex.”

“You make a lot of sense, as usual.” said Philip. “But why should anyone object to you speaking first. You are our group leader after all.”

“I was, but that was a situation imposed by The Observers. That no longer applies so the position no longer applies.”

“Well it does for me.” said Tiago. “As far as I'm concerned you earned the position as our leader a long time ago and this doesn't change that. What do the rest of you say?” and all made their agreement plain, except for Nuno for some reason.

I looked at him quizzically. “Of course I agree” he said, “but I hardly count as an impartial voter, now do I? Any way. You were leader by their choice but now you are leader by our unanimous choice.”

“Thank you all.” I said. “That does mean a lot to me. I can't begin to say how fond I am of all of you.”

And so we carried on, almost as though nothing had changed. One thing that we did do though was to explore a bit further than the old 2km restriction, but all we found was more of the same type of countryside. There were obviously no other groups that close to us.

So life went on as normal. We continued to play volleyball and swim and walk and of course there was plenty of sex. But then one day something happened that was to change all that.

On this particular day we were all down on the beach following a particularly vigorous game of volleyball. Some were in the water swimming, the rest of us were lazing on the sand chatting.

“What's that?” said Vadims suddenly sitting up and pointing out to the western shore of the bay.

“It looks like a sailing boat of some kind.” said Tiago. “Have we been found then?”

“Looks like it.” I replied. “Better prepare to greet guests. Someone go and tell the others to come out of the water.”


 

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