Copyright © 2002-2017 ACFan. All Rights Reserved.
Please read the notes at the end.... this was supposed to be the Part 2 Epilogue of Memories, but it morphed into a whole new story!
"Why are we arriving out here?" Teri asked as she raised an eyebrow at Kyle.
"I dunno, Mom; Levi made me promise to do it this way, then he shut up about why. He even made Ty and me promise not to cheat by looking ahead," Kyle replied.
Adam and JJ both giggled. "And you wonder why he's our favorite nephew?" Adam quipped.
Ty grinned. "That's just 'cuz he bribes you with cuddles."
"What can I say? Levi takes after his parents; he gives awesome cuddles!" Adam replied with a grin.
Cory and Sean both shook their heads as they moved towards a nearby sign, Mont and Bast staying right at their sides. Cory's eyebrows raised as he read the sign out loud.
You are entering a
Clan Short of Vulcan
Entry onto these grounds gives implicit
consent to telepathic scanning without
prior notification which is utilized for the
protection of our residents
All actions within this compound are judged
under Vulcan Law; penalties up to and
including death will be enforced for violations
of the Safe Haven Act or Youth Safety Codes
Cory's eyes were wide as he tapped his commbadge. "Justy!!!!!!!" he growled.
"Yes, Cory?" Justy's voice replied, innocence pouring from every word.
"You know exactly why I'm calling you!" Cory replied. "Just because you're an Angel don't mean you're innocent!"
"Oh, the Des Moines Compound?" Justy replied, his halo and wings visible in every word. "You were busy, so I took care of the setup a few weeks ago. The Vulcan Embassy and Admiral Morrow were a lot of help with getting things moving!"
"And you happened to forget to tell me, huh, bro?" Cory asked while trying to hold back a grin.
"You were busy... I was gonna tell you... sometime!" Justy giggled back. "Now ain't you supposed to be on vacation?"
"Vacation don't mean surprises like this... remind me to tell Liam to give you extra pounces!" Cory chuckled. "I'll talk to you later, Jus, especially if there are more surprises!"
"Okay, duly noted... Joel? Start running!" Justy replied, the humor very evident in his voice.
Sean glanced at Cory, "Oh crap! Now I'm worried."
"Me too." Cory replied as he shook his head with a grin. He pulled Sean into his side, then turned and took the lead towards the entry port that now occupied the entrance into what he remembered as their old housing development.
As they got closer, they noticed a couple in typical Hawaiian tourist garb standing by as one of the sentries checked out a pre-teen Hawaiian boy.
"He shall be well taken care of; I believe he'll feel at home with the other three lads you rescued since you started your vacation, Mr. Caston," the guard was saying as they walked up. He looked up to see the new arrivals, mouthing 'Holy Crap!' as he sprung to his feet. The guard slapped his commbadge; a few seconds later an announcement was heard throughout the compound. "Code Green-One, South Entry; Code Green-One, South Entry. This is not a drill!"
Almost instantly, kids started appearing from nowhere inside the gate. Just as quickly, a familiar doctor appeared at the gate. "Welcome home!" the doctor announced as he held out his hand to Cory.
"Uhh ... thanks Doc... this ain't what I expected though... one of my brothers kinda forgot to warn us," Cory replied as he shook the doctor's hand with one hand while signaling Mont and Bast to stand down with the other.
"That doesn't surprise me!" the doctor replied before turning to Teri. "Hello, Teri; the offer of sedatives to assist you with coping with your growing family is still open if you need them!"
"I'm almost tempted to take you up on that offer, Doctor Jones. What brings you out here?" Teri asked with a grin. "Mont, Bast, this is Doctor Mike Jones. He's the reason Adam doesn't have as many scars as he could have from the beating he took."
"I was selected to be the Medical Director for this Compound based on my dealings with a certain patient, namely Adam over here," Mike replied as he reached out and squeezed Adam's shoulder. "If you'll excuse me a second, I need to welcome a new guest to his new home and see what kind of help he's going to need."
"You're too late, Doc; we already fixed Kai up!" Kyle and Tyler chorused from under the arms of the grinning eleven-year-old. The Castons were standing there slack-jawed, still processing what they had witnessed.
Cory and Sean exchanged glances at the comment, their eyes communicating all that was needed to be said.
"Welcome to 'Life with Mikyvis', Des Moines Edition!" Teri chuckled as she surveyed the shocked adults. "You have just witnessed what happens when you give a big-hearted child the power to heal with just a thought. If I know these two, he's probably healthier now than he's been in years."
Tyler and Kyle both nodded. Kyle then looked at Teri with an innocent expression on his face. "Mom? Can we go get his stuff real fast?"
"Go ahead, I'm sure you'll be back before we notice you left!" Teri chuckled as she ruffled their hair.
They both giggled, then Ty looked over at Mont and Bast, his grin giving away the fact his words were to be taken semi-seriously. "You guys wanna come along? You can play cat-and-mouse with Kai's Foster Dad while we're gettin his stuff! You can even use claws if he puts up a fight!"
The rasping sound as both lions unsheathed their claws answered that question. Mont grunted, "Brant's getting hungry; this sounds like just his type. Call for Bear too... he can clean up."
There was a shower of golden sparkles, and I-Cheya appeared in full armor with Joel and Brant riding on his back. "Mikey says you have lunch for Fangie and Bo-bo," Joel giggled, his voice echoing out from the helm he wore. His own Armor was glimmering brightly in the late morning sunlight.
Bad man make good meal for Dark One and I
"You got room on your back for three more, teddy?" Tyler giggled as he heard everyone around inhale in awe.
I-Cheya looked at the three boys, snorted, and they appeared on his back. Brant at the rear with Kai in his arms, then Joel, then Kyle pressed into Joel's chest with Tyler seated on Joel's shoulders. Mont and Bast came over and took up station on either side of the Sehlat cub. Come on. Vengeance, the Sehlat sent as he pawed the earth impatiently.
"Hi-Ho Sehlat.... Awaaaaayyyyy!!!!" Kyle giggled from his perch. A second later, the 'pop' of air filling the spot they had just vacated was the only indication that anyone had been there.
Teri looked at her watch. "They'll be back in about ten minutes is my guess... it takes a while to ensure Justice is served."
"Just what are they going to do?" Mr. Caston asked.
"Just what I said. Extract justice." Teri replied seriously. "Considering the group that just went, I'm not sure you want to know everything that boy has lived through."
"The boy that was with them is my brother Joel; he's in charge while I'm on forced vacation," Cory added. "For Kyle to call him in, it's serious."
Mr. Caston glanced at the empty spot where the boys had been. "What was that the boys were riding?"
Sean giggled as he replied. "That was I-Cheya. He's a wild Sehlat cub; wait until you see a full grown one!"
"Yeah," JJ added, "we're still trying to decide if he belongs to Joel or Joel belongs to him."
"I'm not sure they have agreed on that answer yet!" Adam chuckled. He then walked over to the security guard and tapped on the guard's commbadge. "Attention in the Compound. This is Commander Adam Short, Clan Headquarters Security. Those of you waiting to see the Patriarch feel free to join us at the South Gate."
The guard looked at Adam in shock as he heard the message go out over the emergency announcement system. "How did you do that? It must be brok...."
Adam shook his head. "Executive override. All Clan commbadges are keyed for a limited list of people to access them, no matter who the badge is issued to."
"Showoff!" Cory giggled as he watched the steady flow of kids heading towards them. Mixed in the group were quite a few adults, usually with a group of children and teens hovering near them.
"Julio!" Sean exclaimed as a familiar face separated from the crowd. "What you been up to?"
Julio ran up and pulled Sean into a hug. "I'm Treasurer for the Short Boys Fan Club!" he giggled as he broke the hug. "Seriously, when you guys moved out, a bunch of us kids got together and talked our parents into letting us set up a way to carry on what you started here. We talked to the Governor, and he helped with the legal stuff for declaring the entire neighborhood a Compound. Once we had it all set up, Justy took care of getting us legally able to start saving kids. What is really kewl is the adults who live here are using their vacations to go out to areas that don't have Clan yet; they're getting the point across around the world."
Sean shook his head. "I wonder what else Justy's been setting up without telling us because we were busy? That's awesome, Julio! I was wondering why you guys had to leave so fast after the wedding."
Julio nodded. "Yeah, we got a call from one of our House-Dads. He sniffed out a youth home in South Mexico that was 'renting' their charges to the highest bidder. We had just finished helping an old-fashioned Mexican extended family get settled in their new house in the Compound; we had to rush back to help out with getting the kids settled into their new home. Some kid named Levi came over and helped out. Who is his Uncle Voice, and why should the government that was backing the Youth Shelter's actions be worried about him?"
"Voice is... Let's say that if you wouldn't mess with the Navy Seals, THEY wouldn't mess with Voice and his guys," Sean giggled.
Cory moved in closer to Julio with a grin, "Once we're inside we can tell you about 'The Dragon'."
Julio giggled, "They those from...?"
Sean shushed him quickly. "We'll explain once we're inside. You'll understand then, bro!" he giggled.
"Okay." Julio nodded. "Oh Sean, if we can talk them into letting the Clan field a team for the World Cup next year, you gonna play?"
"We'll see!" Sean giggled.
As they had been talking, Cory had noticed a trend in the path the kids were taking. Each one would come up to Cory, introduce themselves and tell where they were from, and then accept a 'welcome hug' from the Patriarch. Since Sean was busy taking a report in their eyes, the next stop was JJ and Adam. Once done there, they collected their mandatory cuddle from 'Momma Teri' before standing patiently to wait for Julio to finish his report.
'Sean, tell Julio to catch us up at the house; you're keeping your fans waiting!' Cory sent to his beloved with a giggle.
Sean looked around at the gathering crowd. "Julio, you wanna catch up at the house? I think your brothers are getting impatient!"
"Sure thing, Sean; I think I'm gonna get shot if I don't get out of the way!" Julio said as he stepped back and motioned 'HIS' family to begin.
Just as the final kid finished with Sean and sat down to wait for the 'big-toothed teddy-bear' to come back, Joel and his 'attack force' returned from their trip to Hawaii. Cory almost collapsed in giggles when he saw that everyone, including I-Cheya, had a multitude of Hawaiian Leis circling their necks.
"Hey, Cory, you missed a great beach party!" Brant exclaimed as they started dismounting from I-Cheya. "We went and let Kai pick up a few things he's wanted. Once the store guys found out who we were, they passed word around the island and threw a huge party for us! I think they were having fun seeing how much my Bear friend here could eat!"
"You are gonna love the vine-ball they made us!" Mont added. "It's a lot better than yarn!"
"And you did this all in fifteen minutes?" Teri asked with a knowing grin as she glanced at her watch.
"Welllll....... more like a little over 15 hours, but I won't tell if you don't, Mom!" Tyler giggled.
"Kevin had fun too," Joel giggled as he slipped down from his seat on I-Cheya's back and started helping Kai down. Even though the boy was larger than the battle armored Vulcan, he still walked hand in hand with Joel, and even while grinning looked nervous. "It was like a honeymoon, Mama!" Joel continued with a giggle as Brant helped him remove his helm. As a group, everyone present placed the face with the name which had been passed through the grapevine in whispers after a few had overheard Cory saying it.
"It's him... it's really HIM!" rose from the crowd in whispers in various languages. The one common factor was the sense of awe; it could be felt even by a non-empath.
Teri smiled as she realized that Joel had his own fan club. "I'm glad you got a chance to have some fun Joel; now you and Kev have something special that is just yours. If you didn't get pictures, talk to John; he'll take some for you if he knows what is good for him!" She turned her head to Tyler for a second. "So, if you went shopping, where are all of the things you bought?" Teri asked.
"In his room!" Tyler responded a little too quickly.
Joel started giggling at Tyler as he led Kai over to the gathered kids all looking at him open mouthed. "Hey guys. I'm your brother, not anyone that special... but, if you want hugs, I can supply them," he giggled as he got to the group.
A tiny little boy, no older than five, tugged on the cape secured at his shoulders and belt, "Are you really his lil' boy?" he squeaked.
Joel grinned and picked the child up and placed him on his hip, "Yup. Come on, you wanna help me hug this lot with Kai?"
Cory watched Joel and Kai with a smile, then turned to Kyle. "And just where is his bedroom?" Cory asked Kyle after lifting him up to his hip.
"You'll see, bro." Kyle giggled. "I'm lettin' Joel do this; it's his chance to really prove to himself that he's just like us."
Cory nodded and poked Kyle's ribs. "Remember we're not supposed to be working! Levi already said that he's gonna be watching to make sure we don't cheat."
"I know; he checked on us in Hawaii. Joel did everything, so Ty and I didn't get any 'reminders' from our sons," Kyle giggled. "You got it lucky; at least you can hide from your kids!"
<You are mistaken, Kyle.> Ark announced over the commbadge.
Cory pulled Kyle into a tight hug. "Looks like we get to 'suffer' together, bro!"
Joel looked up from his new friends and brothers, "Busted, Blondie! 'John' has you under the watch of 'T' as well! If you even think about doing work, Timmy has promised that Lew and Lance will be taking showers with you...Allie too."
Tyler moved over and tugged on Joel's hand, "You ready, big bro?"
Joel nodded seriously. "Keep Kai talking," he whispered. He then turned to Kai and smiled, "I gotta get things sorted for you, bro. Tyler will keep you safe, okay?"
"Okay, Kalaniki'eki'e." Kai replied as he took Ty's hand.
"What's that mean?" the little five year old in Joel's arm asked curiously.
Joel giggled as he placed the boy back to his feet, "Means 'Royal Highness', Rafe. Okay, I gotta do some work, sweetie, but I'll be back for hugs in a moment, okay?"
"'kay!" Rafe bubbled cheerfully.
Joel moved to stand by Cory, and quickly looked around at the others. He then turned to address them all, yet seemed to shift slightly closer to Cory for support.
Joel's face became impassive as he moved into his emotionless state. "Ka'imi Ka'aukai Makaokalani, also known as Kai, has been rescued by Mr. and Mrs. Caston from the Hawaiian Islands due to their witnessing of his physical appearance. It was indicative of severe physical abuse at the barest minimum, and so they prevailed upon Starfleet Command to extricate the child under the Authority of their position as Clan Short Registered House Father and Mother of the Des Moines Division. Upon a full review by Kyle Richardson and Tyler Short, Captains in the Clan Short Fleet, the following information was gained without causing further distress to Kai.
"The Safe Haven Act has been violated under the following: Article 10: Improper Living Conditions - Section 10.2: Unsanitary Conditions. 10.2(a): Consistent infestations of living areas by lifeforms accepted by the local general populace as a health or sanitation nuisance. 10.2(b): No accepted facilities present for disposal of bodily waste. Section 10.3: No hot or cold running water. 10.3(a): No dedicated washing or bathing facilities. 10.3(b): No dedicated facilities for cleaning of utensils used for eating or cooking.
"Article 11: Physical Abuse - Section 11.1: Signs of beating, strangulation, physical restraints. Section 11.2: Threats of beating, strangulation or physical restraint," Joel's control started to slip at this point, but the gentle hand placed on his shoulder by Cory enabled him to regain his composure and continue, "Section 11.3: Behavior which is indicative of such abuse.
"Article 12: Mental Abuse - Section 12.2: Isolation of children from their peers and normal socialization. 12.2(a): Deliberate isolation for purposes of depriving children of necessary social skills. 12.2(c): Any history of actions which prevent children from being afforded the same freedoms and opportunities afforded the general populace of the same age.
"Article 13: Sexual Abuse - Section 13.1: Use of minor children to provide sexual gratification. Section 13.2: Prostituting own children to provide sexual gratification for self or others. Section 13.3: Forcing children to perform sexual acts on themselves or siblings or other minor children. Section 13.4: Acquiring and or distributing nude and indecent photos or holographs of nude minor children for financial or other gain. Section 13.5: Forced sex with non sentient species.
"Article 14: Medical - Section 14.2: Failure to provide necessary medical or prenatal care. Section 14.3: Neglecting to provide necessary medications for survival of youth. Article 17: Other Abuse - Section 17.3: Failure to provide accepted educational opportunities and Section 17.8: Abandonment for extended periods of time.
"As per Article 67 - Section 67.6 the relayed information has been gained lawfully by two registered Telepaths, Captains Kyle Richardson and Tyler Short, and confirmed by a registered Mind Melder, myself. I have acted upon said information and sentence has been passed upon Mr. Carl Lincoln, originally from Virginia, United States of America, Earth, and an ex-Navy Seal, who was the registered 'Foster Parent' to Kai."
Joel stopped and looked at Teri as Kyle was busy whispering to her. He then looked at Tyler who was still talking to Kai and keeping him from hearing Joel. Both Mikyvis turned and nodded at him seriously, yet happy smiles were on their faces.
Joel then dropped his Vulcan pose and grinned happily. He looked Kai in the eyes as Tyler released his block on the boy's hearing, "As per Articles 134 and 135, and based upon the wishes of the child, and of the adult wishing to become his full-time caregiver and parent, I, under the authority of Article 200, place Kai into the permanent care of Lady Teri Short of Vulcan and Director of Federation Youth Services. She is now your mother, your Ko'mekh, Kai; now and forever. And you are our brother." He then ran over and embraced his new little brother and led him to Teri.
Teri held out her arms and pulled both boys into a hug. "Welcome to the family Ka'imi. Just wait until you meet ALL of your new brothers!" She ran her hand through his long dark brown hair as she looked into his deep brown eyes. "Don't worry about it if sometimes you sound different than the rest of your brothers either, little one. Nobody will care; in fact some of your nephews and one certain little Elf might decide that it sounds 'kewl' and try to pick it up too."
Joel rolled his eyes, then giggled. He grinned at Kai and said to Teri in a copy of the boy's accent, "You are right. We will!"
Kai giggled softly at hearing a Welsh-Vulcan-Hawaiian accent. "Okay ... Makuahine?"
Teri smiled, thankful that Kyle had given her an emergency language update. "Yes, you can call me 'mother', son ..... keikikane."
Kai smiled as he melted into Teri's side. Joel kissed the forehead of his new brother, then leaned up to kiss Teri's cheek before slipping out of her arms and rejoining his other brothers.
As he glanced around, Joel started laughing, for I-Cheya had sat himself down while Joel had been making Kai a member of the family. With the help of Mont and Bast, his armor had been removed. His back legs were splayed out and his large front paws were resting on the ground before him. He looked for all the world like a large, stuffed teddy bear... a teddy bear casually accepting hugs and 'randomly' picking out kids to strip and bathe. Or at least it seemed random, but Joel's expression told Cory it was not.
'What's he doing, Lil'elf?' Cory sent to Joel.
Joel smiled up at Cory, a hint of sadness in his face, 'Those with the deepest pain, the most severely hurt... he is bathing them. He is breathing into them. He is washing their souls free of the pain, if only for a moment. And in doing so, he takes the sting and the poison away. It's like the Sharing, my beloved big brother. And I must help him... be back later....'
Joel ran over to his large cuddly friend and those whom I-Cheya nosed into his arms he spoke with briefly and then proceeded to start a Sharing; sometimes with one, sometimes with a larger group. His armor was soon removed so that more than a handful could touch his skin and be drawn in for those most painful memories.
Rafe was one of the last to get to I-Cheya, and for many reasons the most afraid of the large bear. The Sehlat knew why. He raised his muzzle and howl-huffed heavenward, and with another shower of sparkles, Blackie arrived with Mikey.
"Little one," the golden-winged angel knelt and kissed the frightened five year old, "little one, you are safe with these two. Think of them as animal-angels; like me, only without wings. They will help you."
Rafe nodded timidly, but looked over at Joel who was currently surrounded by a group of ten Asian pre-teen girls; all of whom were crying hard at whatever was currently being Shared. "I... I wanna wait for 'im, Mr Angel," Rafe whispered. "I like 'im... if he comes wif me, I'll see the bear and wolf."
Joel, although crying with the girls who had been so disgustingly used back in their homeland, heard him and opened an eye to wink at Mikey.
"Then he'll be here soon. He's just helping the little girls first," Mikey smiled as he sat down with Rafe on his lap.
I-Cheya huffed contentedly and scooped up another child, a tiny girl this time, and started happy petting and fussing her... all the while his and Blackie's healing breath was washing over her.
Once the group around Joel had finished and gave him a last round of hugs and kisses, he came over and knelt down with Mikey. "You want me to take you to see them?" Joel asked.
Rafe nodded, "Uh huh. I'm scared of dem, but not with you. I like you, 'cos I know about your daddy and if he's nice, you are too."
Joel smiled and scooped the boy out of Mikey's arms, "Okay, come on, Rafey; let's go meet my two Guardians."
Joel moved to stand in the queue around I-Cheya, but found that his celebrity status opened a path to the front.
"Take him first, please, Joel," Julio whispered; "he needs it most."
Joel threw a look at Kyle and then nodded at Julio. He sent out down the link Kyle had given him that morning, 'Find out about Rafey, would you, Little Bear?'
'Already on it, bro. Julio and me's been comparin' notes. Rafey won't attach to any adult; Dad and Jace are gettin ready to head out to take care of his former caregivers. At least they will just as soon as Jace finishes chewin me out for workin! Go with your plan; Julio says that it's better than what they've tried so far, and you might be able to do it where they couldn't.' Kyle responded.
As Joel sat down with the boy on his lap, I-Cheya pawed him and Rafe closer. Rafe stiffened. "He won't put his... he won't hurt me, will he? He's too big... You won't make me, will you?" he pleaded up at Joel.
Joel touched his nose to the child's. "Never, ever, will I or anyone make you do anything like that again. Never. This is I-Cheya, and he protects me. Same for Blackie," Joel murmured as the wolf pup edged closer. He then whispered to the boy in his arms, "If you breathe in deep, and let your mind wander a little, you might get a surprise."
Rafe looked into Joel's eyes for a minute, then took a deep breath. Joel prompted him to keep taking slow breaths until Rafe gasped. "I heard somethin'! I did, Da... Joel. I did!"
"So did I," Joel murmured with a smile. "That was Blackie. Look at the big Teddy and wait for a second, and..."
"I heard 'im too!" Rafe yelled with joy. "He said I'm his boy!"
Joel grinned and started hugging Rafe tighter.
Mikey grinned and blinked. Another shower of sparkles later and Kevin arrived. "You and Joel have to have a chat, Kev," Mikey grinned.
Kevin giggled and nodded as he ran and slid in beside Joel. "Hi Raphael, I'm Kevin, and I'm Joel's husband," he giggled to the boy.
Rafe looked up and blinked, "You knows me name?"
Joel laughed, "I told him. We talk in our heads."
Mikey watched, a soft smile on his lips, as little Rafe was cuddled between the two small boys and the two animals. After about five minutes, the expression on Joel and Kevin's faces seemed to shout out something. Mikey grinned and winked at the Sehlat.
I-Cheya sent a telling look at Cory. Cory-Boy. You name Raphael-Boy my Boy's Boy. You must
Kyle smiled, "So much for not working, but he's right, Cor. Timmy said you can this ONCE... and he shouted that out loud. Pauly wants a new cousin like right now. Rafe's name is Raphael Leroy Davis." Kyle paused as the smile fell from his face. "And he's been through what I went through," he finished with a whisper.
Cory nodded as he stood up, listening as Kyle prompted him with information he needed while talking. "Due to violations of Local, State, Federal, Planetary and Federation Laws in addition to specific violations of the Safe Haven Act which shall be entered by the Family Archivist; as given to me by the State of Iowa Articles of Safe Haven and Article 200 of the Federation Safe Haven Act, I hereby exorcise my power as Patriarch of Clan Short and as of this moment nullify any claims of the former caregivers of Raphael Leroy Davis and release them for trial under Vulcan Justice. By Mandate of a Power Higher than myself; I hereby name Joel Short and Kevin Thompson as the caregivers and parents of Raphael Leroy Short-Thompson. This placement is permanent and non-revocable by any Power on Earth."
"Does... are you my..." Rafe started to ask, looking between Joel and Kevin rapidly.
Joel giggled, "I heard that 'Da...' you nearly called me, Rafey."
Kevin nodded, "Yes, Rafe. We're your daddies."
Rafe beamed a smile from ear to ear. "Does that ALSO mean that HE is my Grandpop? Captain..." he couldn't finish, he was that excited.
"Yep," Sean laughed from next to Cory. "Dad's your grandpop!"
Joel got up quickly and looked at Mikey. "Get going, you three," Mikey giggled at the unspoken question. "Brant, I gather you're staying with Blackie and I-Cheya until they are finished?"
Brandar nodded happily, then stated, "Joel, I'll see you later. I'm going to help out here for a while."
After a quick hug from Brant, Joel, Kev, and Rafe made a quick round to say goodbye to their family. They saved Teri for last, all three getting a long hug from her.
After Teri had finished hugging her newest grandson; Joel took the boy back into his arms. He and Kevin vanished with their son in a shower of golden sparkles, leaving behind a ghostly echo of Joel saying to his brothers, "No MORE work, guys... have fun..."
Teri smiled as she watched her family climb out of the VIP Tram that brought them to their house. The ride had actually been quite nice, despite the fact that the Tram was being pulled by an oversize go-kart being driven by a nine-year-old. On the trip, Julio had explained that one of the first things that had been done by the adult residents was to ban road-legal vehicles inside the Compound. Transportation was limited to go-carts, mini-bikes, and ATVs. For large groups, a Tram service was available 24/7; when VIPs were on-site, a special set of Trams was brought into service and placed on constant standby, with volunteer drivers playing video games and watching cartoons while waiting for a call.
The driver of the cart got her attention as he tapped her arm. "Mrs. Short? There's a button just inside your door. If anyone needs a ride, hit it and one of us'll be right over."
"Thank you, Benny; tell your Mom to feel free to come over and catch up on things. And yes, you can come along too." Teri replied.
"Okay, Mrs. Short!" Benny replied. "I gotta go; my shift is about over, then I can go tell Mom and Dad about being the first kid to give Patriarch Cory a ride!"
Teri laughed as Benny spun around and leaped back into the go-kart. Surprisingly, his enthusiasm did not affect his driving ability; the Tram pulled away smoothly and seemed to be staying within the posted limits.
She turned back to see her family gathered in front of a sign, Kai perched happily on Mont's shoulders. As she joined the boys, she realized that it was no normal sign; it was a brass historic marker embedded in a very large single slab of green marble.
"Iowa Department of History
Registered Historic Site"
"The building in front of you was the first residence and first Headquarters of Clan Short of Vulcan. On August Thirty-First, Two Thousand and Four, Cory and Sean Short were given the power by Patriarch Sarek of the Family of Sarek of the House of Surak of Vulcan to reach out across the Universe and continue the acts of goodwill towards abused youth that they began here in Iowa. Five days earlier, the Federation had granted Teri Short unprecedented powers to provide for the safety of youth as Director of Federation Youth Services."
"On September Twenty-Third, Two Thousand and Four, the Iowa House and Senate drafted and passed unanimously a Iowa Constitutional Amendment declaring this property as protected; this was signed into law immediately by the Governor after a seventy percent unanimous approval was reached via online voting. Upon formation of the Des Moines Compound on the Eighth of October, Two Thousand and Four, custodianship and preservation responsibilities were granted to the Des Moines Division of Clan Short until such time as they no longer occupy this location."
"Des Moines Division?" Cory asked, his head tilted towards Kyle.
"Not officially, bro; but Justy has had them help on a few rescues." Kyle replied. "I asked him the same thing the first time I heard it. None of them are really trained like our guys, so Justy ordered them to stay put during the attack."
Cory nodded. "We're gonna fix that while we're here. There are NO lesser members of Clan Short, and none of my sworn brothers are to have lesser rights or training than the ones at Headquarters."
"I'll make the calls to get Starfleet Trainers down here as soon as you give the word, bro." JJ added. "We know a lot of these guys here; it's not gonna be any work making sure the right guys are in the right spots."
Sean nodded. "From what Julio was sayin', most of our class in school took the lead out here since they had the best idea how Cor and me do stuff. We just need to find out what they're missin' and fill in the blanks."
Adam glanced over to see Tyler 'lost in thought'. "I think one of our walking libraries is doing the legwork now!" he giggled as he pointed at Ty.
Ty grinned as he opened his eyes. "You try doing a full language dump to eight hundred and sixty-seven people at once and see if it doesn't distract you for a few seconds!"
"And how did you slip that one by Levi and his trained spies, little bro?" Adam giggled as he picked up Ty and sat him on his shoulders.
"You don't think Kyle and I taught our kids everything, do you?" Tyler giggled back.
'But then, I didn't tell YOU everything either, Mr. Tyler Short Who Is Now Busted,' the Doctor's voice giggled in all their heads.
'But you know we are finishing a fixed point, so you ain't gonna tattle.' Tyler sent back, ensuring that all who heard the Doctor heard his reply.
"And if you DO tattle, I've got a whole bunch of corners in this house that are feeling lonely!" Teri added out loud with a grin, knowing she'd be heard.
'Fixed point? Has Joel been busy again?' the Doctor giggled. 'And Aunt Teri? When I do something wrong, then I bow. When I act as agreed upon when you guys, including you, young lady, say you're gonna rest, the corners can go jump... so nerrr!'
"Fixed Point. Clan Short must be fully represented in the location of their founding for their influence on the Universe to remain stable. Run the Lines, Doc; I did when I was testing out my new powers and it ain't pretty." Kyle replied seriously. "Even with these people here doing nothing about the attack, we lost in every instance where there was no evidence of them re-forming here. It's like they are the Anchor for the Nexus."
"Don't forget, Grandpa," Teri added with a chuckle in her voice, "sometimes working at your leisure with friends is more relaxing than sitting by a pool reading a book. The only requirement is that it's done in moderation, something I am going to ensure these little rats learn!"
'I know, Kyle. I do know how to tease, you know. 'When a billion years old you reach, will you play just as much?',' he misquoted with a chuckle. Then, 'Rats? Better leash the Lions quick, Teri... they might get hungry... and now, I better get going. I don't think I want an angry Mont and Bast trying to find me now, do I?'
"Ma, are my brothers all this nuts?" Kai giggled from his perch on Mont.
"Sometimes they're worse!" Teri chuckled as she looked over at the cats and Kai. Her chuckle turned into full laughter when she saw the cats looking at their charges while licking their lips, their eyes giving away the fact that they were having fun. Once she caught her breath, she commented. "You'll need lots of salt and pepper for this group, guys!"
"MOM!" Cory, Sean, Tyler, Kyle, JJ, and Adam exclaimed in unison.
Teri laughed, and began herding her tribe towards the front door. Cory was the first one to the door, and reached into his pocket for the keys that had been given to him before they left Orlando.
"Do you remember which key it is?" Sean asked.
"I think so." Cory replied automatically with a grin.
//The Circle is Complete. The Nexus is now whole. The Next Chapter Now Begins...//
Watch for more "CSV-DSM" coming soon to the Cafe .... the first look at how 'Our Boys' spend their "time off" bringing their friends into the New World!
It's that time again; the second part of Memories draws to a close and work begins on the next stage of the odyssey that started with one simple key. After six and one-half years, I still do not tire of the twists and new ideas which come to me regularly regarding this series.
First of all, thank you to each and every one of the readers out there. Those of you who have told me how Memories has affected you have brightened my day on more than one occasion.
Secondly, thank-you to the family of authors that has grown around Memories and turned a simple story into its own Universe. Along the way, I have gained brothers (and more) that have turned my life into something I never dreamed of.
I can't forget to thank the group of munchkins who took up residence in my head back in October of 2002. No matter what, they always manage to let me know what is next; right when I decide there is no way that what I just wrote can work. I've known the ending of this series since shortly after it started; yet even now not all of the pieces are in place for it to be used.
If you read the note above my notes, you'll see that this new story has sprung from what was supposed to be a short epilogue. The story begins by covering the weekend getaway of Teri and her sons; where it will go from there I have no idea. All I can say for sure is that it is not Part Three of Memories; that saga still waits in the wings for the events to happen that make it possible.
Most of all, I want to thank Danny for sharing a portion of his all-too-short life with me. You were an angel as a boy, and you've earned your wings. I miss you little buddy, you were a light to every person who ever met you.
Until the next time;
Cory here, as if you didn't know! (Sorry Kyle, I was here first, you came in later!) I just wanted to say thanks for all of you hangin' around to read our story. Uncle AC has been really kewl about lettin' us tell the story as it happened without him puttin' in a bunch of extra stuff.
We miss Danny too; Uncle AC visited him after we invaded his head, and we all got to see what a great guy he was. All of us feel for Uncle AC when he remembers the fun stuff they used to do like waterparks, radio controlled toys, and games of tag with Danny and his friends.
Wait until you see what we got goin' for you in the new story and in Part Three. We got a whole bunch of things planned that you're gonna love! I can't say much yet, but I'll tell you that once Uncle Ilu finishes up the story of Sa'ren you'll see what we got planned.
I gotta go, Tommy's made cookies and I need to get some before Joel finds them!
I just finished going through this first chapter of what was supposed to be an epilogue, and I must say I am very impressed. I am going to really enjoy the next little piece in the ongoing saga as well, I am sure. As has been said by almost everyone that I have talked to about this story and its associated stories, it is beyond amazing that the diverse combination of authors, editors and in some cases, readers, could combine their talents in the way they have done to make this such a magnificent outpouring of inspiration to us all.
When I first started chatting with AC. I didn't realize what kind of spectacle he had started. We became friends, and I really enjoyed getting to know him. As I said, when we first met on an IRC chat, I didn't know anything about Memories. I had been reading online stories for some time, but I hadn't read his story yet. It was actually my interest in Jeff P's story, Sentenced To Life, that actually led me to read Memories. And the rest, as they say, is history. So, I have to thank Jeff P and Akeentia for giving me the nudge to begin reading AC's work, which, of course, lead me to all the other wonderful connected stories. I sure am glad I went with the flow. Thanks to all of you, and don't stop now!
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher AKA Sleeping Beauty
The end of part 2... Now I really wanna say that I am both shocked and amazed that it has come so far, I really do. Fact is, I'm really not. No joke. Back when I first started reading part 1, I knew the universe that ACFan created had endless possibilities and unless he simply decided to retire the series, his "kids" would continue to lead him and the rest of us through situations we could never have imagined. (You know, without needing to seek out a good psychologist afterward. Hahaha!) It's been a lot of fun, we've all lost a ton of sleep and each and every CSU author to follow in his footsteps somehow willingly lost a piece of themselves to a universe that spawned from one single dream. Not that I can see a downside in that or anything.
It's funny how so much can happen, and how much time has passed since I had been introduced to ACFan's work originally. Heh, I still have the first email he ever sent me after meeting him through our mutual friend and author Gary Q. "...Let me know what you think of my pet project - "Memories". I'm always looking for input; and like Gary, what started out as a short story has turned into a novel!" Long story short; I liked it so much, I let the kids in my second story pack up and move over to the universe "Clan Short" calls home. Had I known then how many authors and characters would follow that same path in the years to follow, I would have accused ACFan of spiking the complimentary punch he used to hand out with each chapter ;)
So, here's to almost 7 years of Memories! I can't wait to see what the future has to bring!
Jeff P. & the entire cast of characters from "Sentenced to Life"
First of all I would like to thank AC for turning a simple dream into the wonderful saga that we know as "Memories" Parts One and Two and for all of the tie-in stories that have resulted. I started editing for AC because he couldn't remember how to spell Teri and he kept reusing the same "Safe Haven Act" articles for different things. One thing led to another and I became first the Ghost Editor and then the Official Editor as well as eventually Clan Short Archivist and writer of the "Safe Haven Act". The Safe Haven Act, as is "Memories", is a living and breathing entity with its ideal now taking shape in the 'Real World'! We need to ensure that all states and nations enact some sort of "Safe Haven Act" to protect all of the worlds children.
ACFan, thanks again for letting me come along on this wonderful roller coaster ride. I would also like to thank all of the authors, editors and support staff that have helped in the creation of The Clan Short Universe. Your help and creativity have helped turn a simple dream into a wonderful epic saga far more than AC or any of us could have ever dreamed!