The Champions had been on Earth for less than a week and Rokk knew he'd find Garth and Imra in the med-center.  He walked into the hospital room to find Garth and Imra facing the growth-tank, expectantly, Garth's temporary arm of metal resting on the transparency.


"And how is our bun in the oven today?" Rokk said with a grin, as Garth stepped aside to show off his new arm, still growing from cloned tissue.  "I have fingers!" Garth said proudly, pointing at the fingers on the newly-forming limb, "See!"


"Very exciting," Rokk said agreeably.


“The freckles are all in the wrong places,” Garth muttered, not for the first time.


~It’s epigenetic, Garth, of course they are.  You can just have them changed cosmetically anyway…~  Imra thought patiently, holding on to his living arm possessively.


“Or I could just have them removed…” he added.


~I like them.~  Imra countered.


“Or they could stay,” Garth agreed.


~So have you heard the word from Colu?~


“Not really.  Are they still protesting Dox’s asylum?”  Rokk asked.


~Not any more.  *Somewhow,*~ Imra thought sarcastically, ~a Four brought a virus back to Colu that got into the infonet and infected 70,000 Fives with whatever is ‘wrong’ with Dox.  They are all clamoring for full rights as citizens.  Colu is in disarray, as they performed most of the computational work for the Threes and Fours…~


“We really need to keep an eye on that kid.  He kinda scares me…” Garth admitted.


~And you haven’t even seen all the stuff going on inside his mind.~  Imra agreed.


"So," prompted Garth, "What news from Kathoon?" as Rokk had spent the last two days discussing a Kathooni / Braalian trade-pact with the new Kathooni Ambassador.


"It's a done deal," Rokk said proudly.  "Shatra agreed that she'd rather be the most important client of a smaller company than one of a half-dozen off-world contracts from one of the megacorps." 


~That's excellent, Rokk!~  Imra said, ~Your family should be very pleased.~ 


"Yeah, Pol's already signed up to be one of the first Blacksteel workers shuttled to Kathoon."  Rokk said, with a wistful look.


~That's a good thing, right?~ 


"Well, yeah, I guess."  Rokk said grudgingly, "But he's my baby brother.  All innocent and naive, dashingly handsome, stuck for a year on a world full of statuesque and voraciously sexual Amazon warrior women who happen to find Braalian males irresistable..." 


"Yeah, that must suck," Garth said with a grin, before quickly amending his comment with a glance towards Imra, "better him than me!"


Imra smiled and rested her head on Garths chest, ~What my boyfriend *meant* to say was 'lucky bastard.'~ 


"I thought we agreed no mind-reading, dear," Garth protested half-heartedly. 


~I don't need telepathy to tell that you're a guy, Garth.~  Imra thought dryly.


“So, I did hear that we’ve got another Champion?”  Garth said, changing the subject.


"Two, actually."  Rokk clarified.  "Jo Nah has been released from Takron-Galtos to ‘serve out the rest of his sentence under the personal recognizance of Sarya of Venegar.’  His exact reply was, 'sounds better than going back to prison.'"


~Doesn't sound very Champion-like,~ Imra thought with a look of disapproval. 


"Yeah, well, I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt for saving Garth from Mano's follow-up attack," Rokk admitted, "and helping us take down Validus."


"Better stay away from sister, is all I'm saying," Garth muttered.  "She's all, 'Jo can do this,' and 'Jo can do that.'  It's like he can walk on clouds, assuming that isn't yet another one of his uber-energy dragon-force whatever-the-sprock it is..."


"Yeah, he does have a completely unnecessary amount of powers," Rokk conceded. 


~Jealous, boys?~ Imra teased, eyebrow arched.


"Of him?  Please.  Jath is way hotter than Ayla."  Rokk asserted, as if that settled the matter.


"Hey, that's my sister," Garth began, and then stopped himself, "and I am *not* going to be sucked into a conversation about the relative hotness of my sister, because that's disturbing and wrong." 


~So do I dare ask who our other new recruit is?~  Imra thought, with a dubious expression.


"Her very special-ness," Rokk began sarcastically, "'the Champion of Talokk VIII' explained to Ambassador Ravin that he was right when he told her that she could do more good for Talokk working with us.  She’s also joining up, and Ravin’s not speaking to us again this week..."


“Does she have to mention being 'the Champion of Talokk VIII' every.  Sprocking.  Time.  she opens her mouth?"  Garth said, rolling his eyes. 


~So, eight of us now.~ Imra said, diplomatically changing the topic.


"Yup.  Sarya said that our numbers are becoming legion.  She’s already calling us her ‘Emerald Legion.’"  Rokk said with a grin.


~I like it.~  Imra decided.


“I’ve always liked big families.”  Garth said with a smile.  From his angle he couldn't see Imra's eyes shoot wide with alarm, and so had no clue why Rokk started laughing...