Memories Part 3: And A Child Shall Lead Them

Chapter 39-B - Intermission

Hello readers!

George here, you know - the much-abused AI of the Headquarters Compound! Before I get into why I'm starting this off, I want to explain something. You see, what is being documented here doesn't really cover everything. What nobody but me can see are the nights I spend once again consoling one of the kids who had another nightmare, or the long talks with new family who are still in shock over the changes to their lives. To those boys and girls, I am safe to open up to, since I don't have a body that makes me seem human. That is why I'm here though; and it is why every base is getting an AI as fast as Marc and Danny find volunteers. You see, Daileass and Draco found out that even kids who wouldn't open up to anyone else would open up to them, which led to the program that we have now.

Very few people know this, but most of us AIs are on what we like to call our 'second life'; for one reason or another, we came to Marc for a major repair or necessary upgrade and were told about the project that was being worked on. In my case, I was a social services youth counselor; my apparent age back then was in the mid-twenties. After decades of being around kids non-stop, I've pretty much adopted the personality of a kid myself, which works great for this situation. I went to the AI Division to see about joint replacement; the adult model's joints were not designed for running around like a kid constantly! This option was at the very bottom of the list Marc gave me, and he even pointed out every bad point he could think of once I told him I was interested. He finally gave in when I reminded him that I'd spent my life helping kids whenever circumstances allowed me to; this way I'm able to be there for them whenever they need me.

So, the next time you read about one of the Clan picking on an AI and seeming to get away with it, just remember that there is a really good chance that sometime recently that same Clan member opened his soul to the AI in private. Those types of things forge a bond of brotherhood, especially once the Clan member realizes that we don't judge them on what they tell us in private. I learned long ago to take the teasing for what it really is, a youth who has no real experience with love of any sort, trying to show the unfamiliar emotion he or she is feeling.

Oh, you are wondering why I'm interrupting the story? Sorry, I tend to get wordy when I don't have to compete with Seth for ear time! You see, Momma Teri (I don't care if I'm older than her - she's earned the title!) has asked all of us to watch for chances that we can use to help the leaders unwind. We call it the "Momma Teri Override", and even go so far as to say it is hard-coded. (Which is really funny, since Marc, Danny, Noah, Caleb, and Jerry are all still trying to find that code! We're not telling them that it is just an excuse to keep hard-headed directors from arguing!)

Once Tommy started the latest Gumbo-fest, I put out word to all of my brothers to see if we could take advantage of it. After checking with each of the divisional Mikyvis, we decided that there would be no problem with giving our bosses some overdue relaxation time. We might even tell some of them before we do it!

So it looks like Tommy's little cooking lesson is about to turn into a cookout like Orlando has never seen before! Since the crowd's going to be bigger than planned, Tommy just explained to Ferris and Ton how for large groups him and Ty will make the dish, then at a certain point in the cooking process store a profile of it in the replicator. Once they start serving, they can re-stock the pots as they start to get low with the same stage of cooking that they had saved. Considering the list of unaware attendees that is being compiled, they'll probably need it!

Okay, it looks like we're ready; Alden just loaded up the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' soundtrack, and he's linked into all the bases to play 'Time Warp' wherever the directors happen to be... here we go!


'... its just a jump to the left ...'

A Note From AC:

As requested by a reader, myself and Boudreaux did some digging and found a recipe for Gumbo that is as close as you can get without being brought up as a Cajun. No, it's not the one that Tommy is using; unfortunately that particular recipe doesn't use measuring utensils to get things right - it is all done by sight, taste, and smell. In most cases, you'll find that the best Cajun cuisine is made that way; it is done by experience, not an ingredient list. That is why Tommy chose it, since that teaches Ferris and Ton from the beginning to trust their senses, not a piece of paper.

You can call me evil, but I am skipping part of the cooking process on purpose; there are things that'll get you disbarred from every kitchen south of the Mason-Dixon line, and the most serious is revealing a secret recipe!

Here is the closest that we could find for you - just remember that the seasonings are a starting point, not a law! Make it your own, and enjoy!