Lance quietly closed the door to the room that Haden and Evan were sleeping in, and walked back down the hallway into the living room. Not really interested in watching any TV, he turned it off, and started pacing back and forth. He hated it when he was separated from the boy that he loved, and he hated it even more when there was any danger involved. He was so lost in his pacing and thinking that he didn't notice Neal walk in.
"It has been a pretty long day, I think I'm going to turn in for the night," Neal commented softly. "You should probably try to get some sleep as well."
Lance, not sure how long Neal had been standing there watching him, nodded, "Yeah, but it's hard to sleep when Brent is still out. Even if it's just scouting, I still worry about him."
Neal nodded and wrapped his arms around the boy that gave so much of himself to everyone else, "I know. I'm the same way when I'm away from Rick, but just pacing around won't help anything."
Lance accepted Neal's comforting embrace, and sighed. It really had been a long week of working hard at fixing and cleaning what would, starting tomorrow, become their new home., "Yeah, but I'm not sure what to do. I don't really feel like watching TV or anything, so I'm just pacing."
Neal nodded and continued to hug Lance. After several minutes of silence, he finally answered, "What about that Ted kid you were telling me about yesterday? Didn't you guys talk a lot when you first moved down here?"
Lance nodded, "We knew each other for about a year, back when I lived in the group home. When we first moved here, I was trying to get him to join the Clan, and see if he could move down here as well. But then with everything that was going on, we kinda lost contact with each other. Then a few days ago, we met Seth from Orlando, he's like their main communications officer or something, and we were talking about old friends and stuff. I had mentioned Ted, and he did a little checking, and he found out that he and his boyfriend had both been adopted."
"Both of them? To the same family?" Neal asked.
Lance nodded, "Yeah, it's kinda rare, but it happened. I talked to Ted for a few minutes yesterday and he and Patrick seem to be doing pretty good. The family that adopted them is very caring, and they don't have a problem with them being boyfriends or anything."
Neal nodded, "Maybe you could write him a letter?"
"Huh?" Lance was a bit confused on how that fit into the conversation.
"Well," Neal thought out loud, as he often did, "You said you two used to talk a lot, but then you stopped. Maybe you could send him a letter catching him up on everything that you have been doing lately. I bet he would really like that."
Lance thought about what Neal said. He was already planning on trying to catch Ted up on what hads been going on in his life the next time they talked, but thinking more about it, so much had happened, it would be hard for anyone to follow most of it and remember any of it just in a phone chat. If he wrote him a letter, he would be able to re-read stuff. Finally, Lance nodded, "You're right. That's exactly what I'm going to do."
Neal was glad that he could help Lance, but was a bit surprised when Lance abruptly pushed away from him and went over to the computer, "You're going to write it now?"
Lance shrugged, "Why not? I think a letter will work better than catching him up on the phone like I was planning, plus it will help kill some time while I'm waiting for Brent to get home."
Neal smiled, "Good point. Well, just don't stay up too late. Rick and I will need everyone's help tomorrow moving to the new place."
"Okay," Lance nodded as he was already loading into the e-mail software, and didn't even notice Neal walk out of the room. With the software loaded and set up in the editcomposer, Lance sat back for a few moments as he tried to collect his thoughts and figure out where to begin.
It was great to be able to talk to you yesterday. I don't really know why, I guess things just got so crazy around here that I lost track of things. By the time I tried to contact you again, I was told you were no longer living there, and I didn't manage to track you down until a few days ago.
It seems that things have worked out pretty well for you though. I know I don't have to tell you how rare it is for anyone to want older kids like us, but to find a family that is not only loving and caring, but also accepting, and willing to take in both you and your boyfriend... well, I can't really find the words to say how happy I am for you.
You remember me telling you how crazy the Clan can be? Well, forget everything I told you, because I was way wrong. Things can get even more crazier than ever I could imagine. Yeah, I know, my grammar sucks, but it's really late at night, so sue me. *grin*
I can't remember how much I've been able to tell you, so I'm going to start back close to the beginning. I know I've already told you a lot about how after the fire, Greg and I ran away with Brent and met up with his Uncle Neal that he didn't know about. I'm also pretty sure I told you about how Neal had contacted Teri Short of Federation Youth Services about being able to adopt all three of us, and how the day after we met Neal, we found Eric tied up in someone's back yard, and then found ourselves running from some weird wacko who was shooting phaser blasts at us, and how some kids from Clan Short came and rescued us.
I'm not sure about how much of our stay in Orlando I was able to tell you about, though. The entire time I was at the Clan's compound, it was so surreal and such a completely different world, yet not, that it took a while for me to be able to really put things into words. Actually, I know I had to tell you some about it, because I remember telling you how we heard everyone's story about how they had become Clan members, and some of the horrific crap many of them had to live through, and how we were invited, and accepted becoming Clan as well.
One thing I'm pretty sure I didn't tell you, was that the kid we found chained up, Eric, was a clone. I don't think I mentioned it since I didn't really understand much about it myself at the time. But that fact actually turned out to be pretty important, and is even mostly responsible for us being where we are right now, so just keep that in mind while you're reading this.
Anyway, there were some medical issues with Eric being a clone, and some things the creeps that made him did to try to make sure he didn't get away from them. But the Clan had access to some pretty sweet Starfleet medical equipment, and they were able to fix up whatever the problems were. It just meant that we got to stay there an extra day before Neal took all of us home on his plane. It turned out that having to stay that extra day worked out pretty good, because we were also able to find Greg's roommate and best friend Doug. I'm sure you remember how bad he was burnt the night of the fire, and how much it devastated Greg. Well, when we found where he was at, and went to visit him, let's just say that they were not taking care of him as well as they should have been, and the end result was that he came back to Orlando with us, and the Clan doctor was able to heal a bunch of his major burns pretty quickly, at least to the point that he could come to Nevada with us, which meant that Neal was now adopting five of us. I hope you're keeping count here. *grin*
Sadly, Thursday came, and it was time to leave. I think 'sadly' is the wrong word to use, because I really liked Brent's Uncle, and was looking forward to all of us going to Nevada. But life at the Clan compound was so different and cool, it was sad to be leaving. However, they had some pretty cool gifts for us before we left. Since we were part of the Clan, they gave Brent and myself communicators, and they arranged to have a Clan terminal set up at Neal's house so we could always stay in contact with the rest of the Clan. We didn't know it then, but that terminal would end up being really important over the coming weeks. Apparently, distance doesn't mean much when you are part of the Clan.
So, we all said our goodbyes and Teri and Dan drove us to the airport, and Neal took us to our new home in his private plane, which was beyond cool. Just as a side note, over the last few weeks, Neal has actually been starting to teach me about flying, and I'm starting to get time logged that will one day lead to me being able to get my pilot's license. He said that if I work hard enough at it, I could get my pilot's license long before I can get my drivers license. How cool would that be?
Anyway, as I said, the flight over was beyond cool, especially when we flew over the Grand Canyon on our way in to the Henderson airport. I think you already know this, but Henderson is a smaller city just to the Northeast of Las Vegas. When we were flying in, Brent had asked if it was normal for kids to wave bags around in the desert. That caused the rest of us to look at what he was talking about, and we saw two kids that were on their own in the middle of no-where, one who was laying on the ground.
As soon as we landed, Neal got us in his jeep, and we drove out to where they were at. That's when we first met Haden and Evan. Apparently they had been out on their own for the last three days, and when they had ran off from someone that was trying to kill them, they went the wrong direction, and ended up going further away from the city, and not closer.
Evan, who was 11, but fairly well built for an 11- year- old, was fine for the most part, other than a little dehydration. He was the one that Eric saw jumping up and down, waving at us. His younger, 9- year- old brother, Haden, who is very small for his age, and could easily pass for an 8- year- old, was not doing so well. When we found him, he seemed pretty sick, so Brent used his communicator to call for a medical transport back to the F.Y.S. Hospital in Orlando. We found out later that had they been out there for an hour or two more, Haden would probably not have been able to recover and would have died.
Haden; I could probably write for hours about that kid. Officially, he's been diagnosed with a type of Aspergers, which is a form of Autism, but even that doesn't exactly fit him. He came from a very abusive family, especially his father. That is actually why they were out there in the first place, Evan had run away with Haden, to get away from his father. Unfortunately, their father had connections with the local police, which later turned out to be a lot more than just your normal connections, so the 'normal' routes to get away from an abusive family were not really open to them.
To make matters worse, with all the physical, mental, and psychological abuse he had taken from both of his parents, he had pulled himself into a fairly deep shell, a shell that after a month, we are still trying to help him get out of. He almost never went outside and he was deathly afraid of anyone he didn't know. The only thing he did all day was sit in front of his computer.
When we finally made it back to Neal's house, which by the way, was huge, with over eight bedrooms in it, we started to try to think of ways that we could try to help Haden. However, he was still in too much shock, and no matter how much we tried, wouldn't let anyone other than Evan near him. Finally, the next day, it was Greg that was the first to break through. I guess Haden was curious about Greg being blind or something, but he let Greg touch him and they started talking. That's when we learned that Haden liked electronic stuff, and Neal showed him some old electronic things that were broken and ready to be thrown out that he could mess with. For the rest of that night, we got to see him smiling as he was tinkering with the stuff.
The next day was Sunday I think, and that is when Neal had bought a soldering kit at Radio Shack, and gave it to Haden. I'm pretty sure that Neal regrets doing that now, because by the next day, Haden had taken parts from a busted Game Boy, a hair dryer, and a broken microwave oven, to make what he called a 'stopper'. Haden was really nervous about telling us anything about it, so we made the mistake of telling him to just turn it on and show us. When he did, not only did everything electronic in the house either shut down and go hay-wire, but apparently it effected a few houses away since Patrick, a kid that lived two doors down from Neal, came by to ask if our power was acting 'screwy' like theirs was.
I think Haden took it the worst of all. It took us about an hour after that to convince him that Rick and Neal were not going to kill him, and that they were actually really impressed with what he could do with junk. Neal told him that next weekend, he would make sure he had some real electronics equipment to work with, which seemed to satisfy him, but he also keep saying how he would 'fix' things.
Although we couldn't figure out what he was trying to say then, by the time we got home from school the next day, we saw what Haden meant. He spent the rest of the previous night, and all day while we were at school refining his design. I think he used a broken radio to make it so he could control what stuff his 'stopper' aeffected.
You know how fate works, right? Well, I think that's what it was, because the very next day at school, we learned that one of our new friends wasn't at school. Oh yeah, did I mention that we also started back to school? Anyway, someone thought his dad, who was one of the head guys at the Grand Lakes casino, learned that his son was not going to play ball with them, so they planned on hurting him or something. When Brent found out about this, he wanted to go breaking their door down right then. I guess they also decided to try to give Haden's 'stopper' a real test, and to everyone's surprise it worked out perfectly. They were able to sneak in, and confirm that the kid was being held there, and got him out by making use of Haden's creation.
After that, we contacted the Clan, and they were able to give the kid protection. I think they took him to Camp Little Eagle, although I'm not completely sure. Cory also yelled at Brent for putting themselves in danger like that, and told him that they should have called for backup. I hate to say it, but I had to agree with Cory on that one;, I don't like it when Brent puts himself in danger.
Well, life went on after that, and we had all thought that the whole thing was behind us. But Friday, when we got home from school, Brent got a phone call from someone at Wayne Industries, wanting to set up a meeting with Brent and Haden the next day at their Las Vegas offices. As they learned at the meeting, somehow some of the higher ups there had heard about how we had bypassed so much of Grand Lakes security, and about Haden's device. They wanted to give Haden some special CAD software for him to work with and asked him to try to design them a shielded radio receiver that would not be aeffected by his stopper.
They said he could take up to a week, but as you probably guessed by now, Haden did nothing for the next two days but work on his design. Neal practically had to pull the plug to the monitor to get Haden to eat or drink anything. And by Monday afternoon, he was finished with whatever it was he made. To all of us, it just looked like a ton of little lines going in all different directions, but Haden seemed to think it was cool, and that's what he had Neal e-mail to the address that they had given us.
I guess someone there thought it was impressive as well, because when we got home from school the next day, there was a large black limo parked in front of our house. Apparently, they were so impressed that one of the 'higher ups' in the company came to personally meet with Haden. I think they saw how nervous he was in the Saturday meeting, so he came to him instead. Later on, he explained to Neal and the rest of us that Haden seemed to have a very 'unique' way of looking at and thinking about electronic hardware design. Not only did Haden 'pass' their test in creating the hardware shielding that they had asked him to create, but the 'test' radio receiver device that he also created as a proof-of-concept, was unlike anything they had seen before. What Haden accomplished on a two-inch wafer design was thought to not be possible on anything less than seven times that size.
The end result of the meeting was that Haden was given the 'green-light' to be more creative, and that Wayne Industries would help to build and test whatever designs he came up with. They also talked with Neal and Rick about setting up a trust fund for Haden, so that once he turned 18, depending on how well he did with his designs, he would have a rather large amount of money waiting for him. Is that cool or what?
Neal couldn't stop talking about how proud he was of Haden and how good he had done. I think that aeffected Haden a lot, because he didn't seem to be as nervous around Neal anymore. Neal let him work with the CAD software that night, but he said that the next day he wanted to take all of us out to dinner at one of the buffets, to celebrate how good Haden had done.
Well, that was Wednesday, and heading out to the strip with Haden was, interesting. Between myself and Evan, we managed to distract Haden enough by getting him to tell us about the new stuff he was designing, unfortunately, I don't think either of us understood a word of what he said, but when he was talking electronics, he seemed to forget that there were tons of strangers walking all around him, at least until we got to our table, and he was able to see all the food that was there. The kid may be small, but I don't think I've ever seen Brent eat as much as Haden did. Even Evan was surprised.
That was also the night that we met Daniel. About half way through dinner, we noticed that there was a kid just barely older than Haden, sitting by himself at a table. There were several other plates there, so at first we just thought that whoever else was with him was just getting more food. But by the end of dinner, the kid was still by himself. Brent and Evan walked over to talk with him, and he told them that he was here on vacation with his parents, but when they caught him starring at other boys, they confronted him about being gay. Even when he tried to tell them he wasn't sure but he didn't think so, they told him he was no longer their son, and that they would be leaving him here. He thought they were joking, but when he came back from getting some more food an hour ago, they were gone.
Well, we took him up to the room they had been staying in, and no one answered the door. Haden wanted to go home to get his stopper, because he knew he could trip the electric lock to let us in, but instead we went to the hotel management. When we found out that they had checked out an hour ago, Brent contacted the Clan.
I won't get into all the boring details about what happened next, but the end result was that Daniel's parents were tracked down by the Clan as they were trying to leave the city, their rights as parents were removed, while Neal and Rick had somehow managed to get new son number 8.
Even though nothing really happened on our walk to take Daniel up to his room, I think Haden got a lot out of it, because on the way home he kept talking about needing to completely trash his electronic design, and change it to be able to be an electronic pusher instead of just an electronic stopper. Again, trying to understand anything about it was nearly impossible, but we did manage to get out of him that the pusher that he was going to create would easily have been able to open the door.
The next few days were kind of uneventful. Haden finished the first version of his design and submitted it to Wayne Industries. From looking at the pictures, it looked like some type of bracelet or ring. Later, we learned that it was an arm band, a type of electronic utility knife of sorts. Something else we learned about Haden, it wasn't as much that he couldn't explain what he was working on, or we couldn't understand it, but more of him being so nervous when trying to explain things. When I finally managed to get him to calm down a bit, we were able to understand a bit more about this electronic utility knife arm band. To be honest, some of the ideas sounded very cool. I don't think any of us could really have known back then just how important those early designs of his would turn out to be.
Here is where things start to get a bit more interesting. That Saturday, Rick and Neal had taken us down to the Las Vegas strip to get to look at the city better since things had gotten messed up a bit on Wednesday when we met Daniel. While we were there, Neal and Rick wanted to do some shopping, so they let us to go to Game Works, a fairly large arcade, and a few other places on our own. I'm not sure how it got started, maybe it was Eric asking if the entire city looked like the strip, but we decided to go down one of the side streets so Eric and Doug could see how the city looked rather different than the strip.
That ended up being a pretty big mistake, since it didn't take too long for us to notice that there was a group of three older men following us. Brent was about to call to be transported out when a bunch of other kids appeared out of nowhere, surrounding us and the men, and told them that it was their turf, and to go away. We didn't know it then, but that was the first time we got to meet the Twain Street Boys gang, and their leader Maurice.
The next day, a package arrived from Wayne Industries containing a prototype of the hardware that Haden had designed and submitted to them only a few days before. This, of course, had Haden going ecstatic. It actually was pretty cool. We spent the next few hours going through all kinds of frequency and wave form patterns mapping what combinations aeffected what type of equipment in what ways. For the first time ever, we saw Haden being a little assertive as he explained to us what we needed to do to help with the mapping. When the battery pack finally ran out a few hours later, Haden went right to work on designing the next set of updates that he wanted to submit, especially now that he saw that the people at Wayne Industries were willing to take him seriously, even though he was just a kid.
Monday, after school, Haden had given Evan the prototype armband for us to take into the city to try to get more mappings that we were not able to get around the house the day before. For something that sounded so complex and hard to understand when Haden explained it, using it was really easy, mainly just a matter of setting a frequency and waveform, then shooting.
You remember the Twain Street Boys I mentioned earlier? Well, wouldn't you know that we happened to run into them again that day? Only this time the tables were turned a bit, there were a few cops that were trailing them. From what we could tell, it wasn't because they had done anything wrong, but just to give them a hard time. Evan was able to use the armband to make the electronics in both cars go crazy, which allowed the kids to scatter, and get away from them. A little while later Maurice showed up, thanked us, told us a bit about his gang, and how he took care of and tried to protect the kids under him as best as possible.
Over the next few weeks, we both got to see and work with everyone in the gang. At first I never thought that I would ever be able to think of street kid thugs as friends, but once you get to know them, at least the ones I've met, it's kind of hard to not like them.
Anyway, the next day was a bit interesting, because when we had gone back into town and had met back up with several of the street gang members, a few of them were wanting to know why Eric was there earlier by himself, selling himself on the street. Well, clearly Eric wasn't, so instead it had to be someone that looked exactly like him, which meant another clone like him. By the time we were able to get all the details, it was already too close to when we needed to catch the bus to get home, but we agreed to meet up tomorrow and try to 'stake-out' where Eric's twin had been spotted.
Well, the good news is that the next day, with the help of Maurice and Carlos, another member of the street gang, we were able to find Eric's brother right where he was spotted the day before. The bad news is that as soon as we tried to start talking with him, which didn't work out that well because he had about as good of communication skills as Eric did when we first met him, we soon had his pimp coming out, saying he was going to beat the crap out of us and stuff like that if we didn't leave.
When two more men came out to help, Brent called the Clan for backup. Things ended up getting contained pretty quickly when a Starfleet security team appeared. We were able to get things cleaned up pretty quickly. The kid we found, who we later found out was called Ian, was able to get checked out and get the same knowledge packet from the telepaths that Eric got when we first met him. Also, the telepaths were able to scan the pimp and his goons, and we were able to track back where they got Ian from, which ended up being a small, out of the way walk-in clinic in the nNortheast part of Vegas.
Cory gave Brent the option of having the main Clan deal with this, or our group, since we hadve been dealing with it up to this point., Oof course Brent choose for us to continue working on it. Oh, and just in case you couldn't guess, Neal ended up adopting Ian, which now brings his score up to nine.
The next day, we met up with a bunch of the gang members again, and we began working on our plan for how we wanted to deal with the Clinic. Haden learned that the next set of new hardware that he designed should be arriving the next day from Wayne Industries. With that in mind, it was decided that whatever we were going to do would happen on Saturday.
Over the next day, we worked on coming up with all kinds of plans:. Everything from trying to tap their phones and such and getting whatever info we could that way, to just storming into the building, and grabbing whatever information wais in sight. In the end, it was Ian that suggested that he could just walk in looking for a checkup, since he came from there originally, they should not have a problem letting him in. At the same time, we would be using all of Haden's toys to monitor and record everything that was going on. Then, as soon as we got enough information, we would 'break the doors down', and get Ian, and any other kid that might have been in there, out.
At the time, that sounded like the best plan, and being as inexperienced as each of us were, we all thought that we had everything covered. If we only knew just how wrong we were, and that our plan would end up creating one of the worst days any of us had to live through!.
First, let me back up and mention that Wayne Industries sent three of the new armband base units, as well as the first set of what Haden called 'modules', which were smaller devices that could be interconnected to the base unit. Think of it like being able to attach a can opener to your utility knife, or the ability to swap out your scraper with a screwdriver. Eventually, Haden would end up referring to these as General Extendable All-Purpose Response devices, or GEAR's for short.
Anyway, we had three of these GEAR devices with us, and at first everything seemed to be working out perfectly. We were able to monitor what Ian was doing, and were getting a pretty decent data stream from him. However, about five minutes after he went into the clinic, something seemed to break, and all the data we were getting stopped. Maurice decided to go to plan B, and his guys stormed the building. It didn't take them long to find Ian laying on the floor of one of the checkup rooms. Brent had him transported directly to the Clan's medical facilities, but there was nothing that could be done. He had been injected with something that caused all his systems to shut down.
The Clan sent some more people back to the clinic to see if they could find anything else out. Other than finding another kid that was hiding in the back room, nothing else could be found. There was some evidence that the building was set up to support high power sensors of some type, but nothing beyond that.
Even though the others at the Clan tried to convince Brent that there was no way he could have known how they would react to seeing Ian, Brent took the whole thing pretty hard. It was also because of this, that he made a promise to himself, to Eric, and to the rest of us that he would do everything in his power to make sure that no more of Eric's clones were harmed.
Let's see, that brings us to Sunday the 17th, For the most part all of us, other than Haden, were hanging out in the city, moping around, still trying to figure out how things could have gone so horribly wrong yesterday, and how we could have changed things. Although we were not having much success, we did run into Jude, and his other eight triple triplet brothers that Brent and I met a while back in Iowa. For some strange reason, it seems that their father had gotten a very good job offer working for a large company here in Vegas, and they were going to be moving out here. Not only that, ever since they met Greg for the first time, that seemed to be the catalyst to several of them developing and getting stronger in their mental abilities. Later, Brent and I got them in contact with Jamie and Jacob, some of the best Clan telepaths, and they were able to help them out even more. But there is still one more important thing that happened that Sunday that I need to tell you about.
Remember how I said that they found another kid that was hiding in the back room of the clinic the day before. Well, the kid, Lee, got back in touch with us, and met us at a park near the Vegas airport. It turns out that Lee was the son of one of the gGeneticists who was involved in the creation of Eric and Ian. Between then and the next day or two, we learned all kinds of information from Lee. It was from him that we first learned about the pharmaceutical company called Cynthitech, who publicly researched and produced different types of medicine, but in reality, that was just a front for a major human cloning operation.
From what we learned from Lee, and what Kyle and some of the other Clan intel guys were able to discover, Cynthitech was fairly heavily protected by various shell companies, and corporate structures. Once we learned that much, we started focusing all of our efforts on learning more about them.
That Monday is also when Brent ran into Hania. Brent was still really down about what had happened to Ian, and he had walked off from the rest of us, while we were trying to learn info about Cynthitech. Hania and his father were members of the Hopi Indian tribe which lived not far from the city. Brent and Hania apparently hit it off pretty good, since when Brent made it back to the rest of us, he had Hania next to him, and introduced him as a friend. I never really complained much about it, since it also seems that Hania was able to help Brent deal with what happened to Ian, when none of the rest of us could get through to him.
By the time that Wednesday had rolled around, Lee had become a pretty important part of us in regards to learning about Cynthitech, but by this point, we had gathered just about everything that we could. So, Lee decided to approach his father, who ended up agreeing with Lee in that the way Cynthitech was treating their clones were wrong. Although he was not willing to do anything to Cynthitech directly, he was willing to arrange to have Lee there at the office more.
As a result of this, and by using some of the latest GEAR modules that Haden had designed for us, we were able to gather even more information about Cynthitech, and what was happening there. We were also able to learn that there were about twenty living clones that were currently there, as well as about thirty more clones that were in various stages of pre-birth development. In addition to that, we were able to get a good idea of how many employees were there, and some of the on-site defenses that they had.
As time went on, we continued to gather more information. Things went well over the next three days, until that Saturday, the 23rd, when several things all seemed to go wrong at the same time. First, while helping to gather information for us, the Twain Street Boys had somehow started a mini turf war with another gang. Brent and the rest of us were planning on helping them out with some of Haden's toys, but before any of this could happen, we got a call from Lee's father saying that Lee was discovered, and that he had just been ordered to make arrangements to start killing all the clones. Brent tried to convince Maurice that the gang war would have to wait, because the situation at Cynthitech was not something that could be put off, but Maurice felt it was more important to maintain honor, and continue with the gang war, then go and deal with Cynthitech.
As a result, Brent and Maurice ended up splitting up, with all the rest of us going with Brent. As fate would have it, the Montana FCC massacre was also happening the same day, which meant when we tried to contact the Clan for assistance, none were available, but they were able to put us in contact with Terra-Main, who was willing to give us a security team, which was a group of eight Starfleet security personnel.
Due to the fact that there was some type of shielding around the Cynthitech structures, we couldn't transport directly into the structure, but instead had to transport in the parking lot. Even if Starfleet were able to give us two or three security teams, it would not have really mattered, since as soon as we arrived, we were spotted and pinned down by some rather powerful automated defenses they had. With the defenses being protected behind the same shielding, and a grenade not having an effect on the shield, there was little we could think of to do.
It was Haden that ended up saving the day. He asked the team leader for a list of all the large Starfleet hardware that they might have access to, and one of the items he saw was a Starfleet grade shield generator, which he asked to have transported there. After a few minutes of tinkering, Haden had somehow managed to invert the field coils of the shield generator, and turn it into an inverted shield which acted like a mass electromagnetic pulse which not only disabled the shields around Cynthitech and disabled the forward automated defenses, but also knocked out a bunch of the windows.
From there, the security team that was with us was quickly able to run in, and start to secure the building, and establish a perimeter. Within thirty minutes, we made it through and had control of both buildings, and all the kids that were there were saved, partially due to the fact that Lee's father had managed to convince enough of the other, directly responsible, employees to not kill them. Power to the pre-development chambers where the thirty-some other clones were still developing in was cut off briefly, but according to Lee's father, Dr. Flatt, the power outage was not long enough to cause any permanent damage.
Although no new clones will ever be produced by Cynthitech, Brent and the rest of us agreed that the thirty clones in development should not be killed, but instead be allowed to be born. Since the equipment is not designed to be able to safely transport them anywhere else, in order to not have to kill them, we, or rather Brent, had to agree to take over the over sight of the Cynthitech complex, which consisted of two large office buildings next to each other, which Brent gladly accepted.
As a result, over the past week, we have been spending all of our time working on cleaning things up, and trying to figure out how we can move forward. I think things will be able to work out, but to be honest, I can't really say for sure. The reality of having to care for twenty+ clones, and an entire building complex is starting to set in. Lee's father, Dr. Flatt, has agreed to stay on as our main geneticist contact, as have a few of the other company staff. Further, the Clan has said that they plan on helping us out in some way, but I think they have been rather busy dealing with the funeral and other stuff involved from what happened in Montana, to worry about us much, so I guess we will see what the future brings.
This letter ended up being a bit longer than I was expecting. I hope it didn't bore you too much. Either way, I hope that we get a chance to talk a bit more often. Until then, I hope things continue to work out well with your new family.
As soon as Lance had finished his letter, and pressed 'send', he felt a pair of warm arms wrap around his shoulder, and Brent's soft lips kiss his cheek, "That looked very well written, love."
"How long have you been here?" Lance asked as he got up from the chair to properly embrace his lover.
Brent wrapped his arms around Lance and smiled, "Daileass just teleported me back. I had just finished reading the last part of your letter when you finished it."
"Want to read the whole thing?" Lance asked right before he placed a kiss where it really counted.
Brent grinned, "Nah, I'm whipped. What I want now as a nice soft Lance pillow and a warm pair of arms to cuddle with."
Lance grinned as well as he and Brent walked toward their room, bringing to an end, a very long day.
I went ahead and called this a Prolog, since not only is it not the size of a normal chapter, but it's meant more to be an introduction to book 2, and a bridge between the events from chapter eight of Book One to now.
Book Two starts a completely new set of story arcs as Brent and his group go from being an unofficial element of the Clan to an official, fully functional, division. Thus, Book Two should be readable as a stand alone story, and the readers should still be able to get a lot from it. At best, Book One can be seen as the prequel to the story where a lot of the early character development, for what will become the new division's core team, occurs.
With that being said, however, all the events that occur in Book One leading up to this point can also be said to be fairly important, thus I'll continue to work on getting more Book One chapters out as time permits, with my main focus being Book Two chapters, since that takes place in the current CSU timeline. In the mean time, this Prolog should help with the linking from Book One to Book Two. If anyone is too confused, please feel free to ask in the forums, and I'll do my best to answer what ever questions you might have.
Oh, what a letter!. It was so full of details and one place where I had to stop so I could cry. Never even met Ian, and know that we won't for awhile, yet the boy already stole a piece of my heart. I believe that this is going to help bridge the gap between the two books. I am now looking forward to Book Two and will patiently wait for more of Book One to see the events listed above play out.