Southern Runners

The Adventure Begins

Inside the BTS

Steven walked up to Linda with an odd look on his face, "Retired Inferno, what am I missing?" Steven asked, quietly as his color began to drain from his face.

Will walked up and gently placed a hand on Steven’s shoulder after placing the two new members of this trip in bed. "Steven, please relax and take a breath there is much you don’t know about us both. We will explain everything when we get to Dalton, until then would you please keep an eye on the others. I know it seems like we are hiding something bad. But it’s not bad just different." William said while pulling the teen in for a hug.

Steven stiffened up at first and then relaxed "I’ll wait till we get to Dalton to get the answers needed. However, I know you would never let me down." Steven said with tear filled eye’s while staring at the back of the BTS and the four teens laying on the bed.

Linda walked up and gently spoke, "I know you don’t like surprises, but this must wait for the right moment. So please don’t attempt to pull this information from our brains I know it’s tempting."

William looked shocked at her suggesting he would willingly attempt to pull information. "Sis, why would you think he would attempt to pull information. He has only been able to broadcast to others and receive surface thoughts. He would never do it because he knows it would be extremely painful." William said while rubbing Stevens back.

Looking around the RV "Guys we will be dining in forty-five minutes at Pancake House, for breakfast. We will be meeting up with my old employers so please get some rest. "Linda stated holding up her hands to state no discussion would be had currently.

Steven spoke "Mom, go ahead and get us there and I'll keep everyone comfy." Once it had been said Linda ducked out of the room and went back to driving.

With a slight rev the BTS gained speed and the gentle rocking motion put everyone to sleep. Linda looked at her brother seeing he was deep in thought, "Will, would you take a moment to go back and check on our kids including the two new additions." Linda asked softly with a knowing grin.

Will glanced over to see the grin, "Sis, what do you know? I know there is something your keeping quite." He asked softly but inquisitively.

"Just keeping a promise which was made over twenty-three years ago." Linda stated while keeping a steady watch of the road. "Looks like the final piece is here." Linda said while pointing at a child on the side of the road. "I love the sign don’t you"

Will turned and began trying to read the sign allowed "Last stop for BTS before Pancake House?" Will stopped reading then looked to the grin Linda was sporting. "Sis, I will go check on the others and see if there is enough room for this one."


William walked in to check the others to find all five looking at him with a look of question. "William, why are we slowing down? Are we there yet?" Steven asked while keeping a guard like stance around the other teens.

"Steven, there isn’t any words to describe what is going on other than we are picking up a child who is holding up a sign requesting the BTS to stop and pick him up." William said while checking his own temperature. Especially since he thought he might have been dreaming.

Once the BTS came to a stop, Steven crossed the space in a jiffy to open the door. Looking at a nine-year-old child with purple hair. "Who are you?" Steven asked with a nervous look. As he backed up to allow this child onto the BTS.

"For the moment you may call me MDSR, no I’m not here to hurt the seven of you but to join you for an adventure." MDSR, said with a smile to defuse the situation. "Hey Inferno, put the pedal down or we will be late for pancakes"

Linda turned back around chuckling and hit the pedal with enough force the tires barked.

MDSR, turned to William, "I got them, you go back up front with your sis."

Alexander walked up to MDSR to introduce himself, but he was beat to it as MDSR started to calmly address them, "Hello, Alexander, Dale, Steven, Tate, and Travis." Smiling as he began checking the teens out for illness or injury. "My name is actually, Marvin Dustin Short Richardson or MDSR for short, or you can call me Dustin. Not, Material Data Sheet like William is guessing."

Steven looked around the room as it began to spin and passed out cold. "Tevn, Tevn" Dale, began speaking almost in slow motion while watching his friend slowly fall and then begin to float to the bed.

 "Steven will be fine he has experienced too much excitement today. Alexander and Dale if you want to keep a watch of him, I am sure he would appreciate it." Dustin said while staring directly at Tate and Travis. "As for you two once we get to the restaurant order as much food as you want. Also, we will be glad to listen if you need someone to talk to about everything you have endured over the last five years."

"Dustin, who are you?" Alexander tried to ask, before he to collapsed and floated to the bed.

"Dale are you going to join them" Dustin asked with mirth in his young voice.

"No, I am fine and thank you for your help" Dale said knowing there was more going on with this young man than the ability to play traffic controller.

As if on cue Dustin said in an announcer’s voice "Flight 327 to Dalton Municipal Airport will arrive in five minutes"

Pancake House

"Hey Janet, we have a RV pulling up outside." Ralph said with an exhausted voice.

"Hopefully, it’s not another school group otherwise we might want to put the closed sign up." Janet said knowing they would not put the sign up.

As they both propped up on the counter waiting with bated breath to see who would pile out of the RV. They noticed the owners drive up. "Well this should get interesting." Janet stated pointing at the owner’s old jeep pulling up.

"I’ll start their order, Janet you get their booth ready." Ralph stated while cracking eggs over the grill.

"Oh my, this might turn out slightly different than normal they just went in the RV." Janet said with flat out surprise rolling off her tongue.

Aboard the BTS

William walked back to the door and opened it up for their guests. "Hello, my Sis will be back here in a moment to talk." He said while looking oddly at this older couple.

"That will be fine, just relax this definitely won’t take to long. However, the explanation might make your head spin." The man said with a gentle smile.

"Jonathan, it’s so great to see you." Dustin said with mirth.

"I see you found them hopefully they were easy to find. "Jonathan asked already knowing the answer.

Dustin put his hands on his hips before blowing a raspberry at Jonathan. "They are running a day late on average. Of course, I should have grabbed a few more cookies for the trip."

Linda walked into the back of the RV in time to see the raspberry. "Jonathan you know this one?" Pointing at Dustin with a smile.

"Linda today has been in the works for over twenty years. This little angel has been visiting me on and off checking up on everyone who is in this vehicle for twenty years. We, me and Dave have been waiting for all the pieces to fall into place before we can make a trip." Jonathan said holding his hands up trying to hold all questions till the end.

"Why don’t we go in and grab a bite then we can get the last two members of this adventure." Dave said realizing he let the cat out of the bag.

"Sir, what is our budget once we get inside?" Tate said looking at the floor, his voice very timid and trembling.

Steven sat up from the bed and walked over to the frightened teen. "I swear no one will hurt you while I am with you." His voice was firm and full of barely controlled rage. As he leaned down to give Tate a hug. He was enveloped by a suffocating hug from Dale. "I can’t breathe, please let me have air Dale." This caused a small giggle to escape from Tate.  

"Come on guys lets unload and grab a bite. Remember wash up and then we will get seated." Linda said looking at her brood with a loving smile.

Pancake House ten minutes later

Ralph walked up to Jonathan "So will it be the usual sir?" he asked and was cut off.

"John… My name as far as your concerned is John or brother not sir." He said with fire in his voice and a big smile on his face. "Now, today let’s put the closed sign up and we will take the big booth today and talk about a few things over lunch."

Ralph looked confused but changed the sign and locked the doors, then looked around to begin taking orders. "What would you li…"

"Brother sit down with us and enjoy a meal. I have an order on route which should be here momentarily" Jonathan stated with mirth. "Janet, please come join us."

Looking around the table Janet felt lost but hopeful. "Brother, what is this about?" Janet said not wanting to argue with her boss and friend about his name.

Dustin looked to the door and seen a delivery man knocking on the door. "Uncle Jonathan the food is here. Shall I let him in?" Dustin asked knowing he might get tickled for using the long name.

"Yes, you may let them in, and they can join us for the meal and the discussion." Dave said answering for his partner with a smile.

Front Door

"Hiya guys, we’ve been waiting for you." Dustin says with a big goofy grin. "Im Dustin!"

"Umm, OK. I’m Derick" the young man said "We have an order for a J. Williams"

"Come on in and join us" Dustin stated waiting for him to see who all was at the table.

"Aunt Janet, I didn’t know you worked here." Derick said as he ran to his aunt and gave her a big hug. "I thought you left town after the divorce?"

"Nope, he told me if I contacted anyone in the family, I would be sorry" Janet said while holding her nephew in her arms letting the happy tears just flow.

Steven was staring lost at them when Dale nudged him "Go talk to him, be careful though he might bite. But you might like it." Dale said smirking at the look Steven gave him.

"But what if he says no?" Steven asked just barely above a whisper.

Derick turned to look at Steven then to his friend Jax," looks like you have an admirer" turning a thumb to Steven as he blushed deep red at that moment.

Barely above a whisper which was difficult to do with the deep bass voice Jax spoke. "Dude please I know you have no problems with my orientation, but I have no clue how he would feel. Let alone is he of age and what would his parents say."

"Jax, the worst thing he could say is no. Besides his eyes haven’t looked away since you came in the door." Derick said then broke into a giggle looking between the two guys.

"Steven, would you and Jax come over here." Linda said gently watching Steven and Jax blush bright red at the same time. "Jax I don’t bite! Steven stop laughing you know I don’t bite."

"What about when you bit that overbearing butler?" Steven mumbled until Linda shot a look at him.

"Jonathan we will be right back." Linda said while smiling an apologetic smile.

"Take your time we still have a few more things to discuss and more to find." Dave smiled back while cutting off Jonathan before he could say a single word.

BTS outside the Pancake House

"Guys, please have a seat" Linda spoke while pointing out where to sit.

"Yes, mom" Steven said on autopilot and barely managed to sit on the seat.

Jax looked concerned at Steven until he managed to find his seat. Then asked, "Am I in trouble." his fear manifested so fast Steven passed out. Without a thought Jax picked up Steven and sat down on the bed rocking him gently. "What happened, why did he pass out."

Linda cautiously pulled a chair up to the edge of the bed and sat down. "Steven has the ability to read stray or random thoughts and even emotions if they are strong enough. Would you tell me what you were thinking when you asked if you were in trouble?" Linda asked quietly. "Before, I forget my manners my name is Linda or Annie."

"I was thinking about when my parents found out I was gay." Jax said as a single large tear rolled down his cheek.

Reaching over she gently rubbed his arm trying to get this poor soul to calm down. "Jax, I promise we aren’t going to leave you by yourself. Besides, Steven is so smitten with you I doubt he will ever leave your side. Well maybe for potty breaks." Linda said with grin knowing he would know what she meant.

"How much do you think he felt" Jax asked while still holding Steven. "Did you hear a knock at the door."

"Probably my brother William coming out to check on Steven, I still have not figured out how he knows." Linda got up crossed the room and opened the door to find Dale and William waiting. Without warning Dale ran over to Jax and Steven and began smothering them both in hugs.

"Dude, don’t leave my sight again, he feels everything." Dale said while trying to squeeze the air out of Jax. I know there is a lot going on and the only way to work through it is to talk it out. "Dale said hoping this large lug understood if his Tven was interested in him then so be it.

Before anything else could be said a loud Thwack caused everyone to jump. "I brought some cookies, cake, milk and lactose free milk so no one starves to death while talking about the past." Dustin said realizing he just scared the ever-loving shit out of everyone in the RV. "Whoops, I guess we have something else to talk about later." Dustin said then vanished.

Before Jax could even speak Linda had her hands up. "Don’t even look at me. That’s the first time to experience someone popping in with cookies and then vanishing." Linda said a little confused.

"He brought milk too" Dale said then realized that was more of a reflexive response. "Feeling any better big guy? Can I keep him as an honorary uncle?" Dale said shooting puppy dog eyes at Linda and William.

Inside the Pancake House

While Dave was chatting rather animated with everyone around the table Jonathan was staring out the window at the BTS before he mumbled "I wonder how they are getting along?"

"The answer to your question has multiple answers, I will endeavor to explain them all" Dustin stated as he popped in next to the older gentleman and scarring the shit out of him in the process.

"Boy, are you trying to kill me before we finish our final mission here" Jonathan asked jokingly towards the young’n be for noticing he had pulled out a scanning device and was scanning for damage. "What pray tell is the device?"

"Well this is a Ninety-Six Thirty-Seven Beta scanning device. Only seven hundred wherever made in universe Twilight Seven Gamma. It analyzes medical and space time polarity and phase readings and even has a few more features." Dustin said while watching Jonathan work a kink out of his neck.  

"Not exactly what I was asking" Jonathan said non plussed about Dustin’s response. "Why are you using that to scan me?"

"It’s like this, I am not scanning you with this device. I am scanning you myself. So far it seems you need a long vacation and some medication to help with your stress." Dustin stated knowing he just wound Jonathan more by the looks he was receiving.

"Fine, are we about ready to leave yet?" Jonathan asked with a slight attitude.

"Yes, old frumpy one. The last subject is almost here." Dustin said looking at the jumbo watch which he made to appear.

"Good, hopefully there are no problems ahead." Jonathan spoke aloud.

Looking out the window Dave saw a large bus pulling in the parking lot. "Hey, Jonathan its here." Dave shouted then realized he was a bit loud.

"Alright everyone, gather up your stuff and let’s board the Big Bus." Jonathan announced and then saw the cold stares and began to rethink his wording. "Look, not everyone will fit on the BTS, so the Big Bus helps us take everyone and then some if we find more people along the way. We are not splitting up. Inferno would hunt me down if we left her RV behind."

The Big Bus

"Brother, have you noticed since we were rescued no one has tried to use us or even try to pry the events out of us." Travis asked Tate a little stunned. "We have been fed, rescued from them pricks from the church and we have been treated like members of a family."

"Yes, but the guy named Steven his parents are the head of the church." Tate stated hoping his brother would understand why he was afraid to speak to these people.

"He is their son, but I don’t believe they keep him as a child or son. From what I overheard from the pricks was he is a tool for the church and nothing else." Travis said barely above a whisper. "Which to me sounds like he might be in the same boat we are in. For now, let us trust him and his friends until they give us reason to not trust them."

"Sounds like an excellent plan but please let us know if there is something causing you any distress." Dustin said as he appeared in a shower of sparkles next to them. Causing them both to jump and shout explicit vulgarities. "Besides we all still need to discuss everything which is in motion as we speak." And then poof Dustin was not there.

"Travis, lets trust them and pray we did not imagine Dustin popping in to talk to us." Tate said hoping he had only farted when Dustin appeared since he did not have a change of clothes with him.

Suddenly a set of clothes and a note appeared on the table. "Just in case you have lost your bowels. Here is a set of clothes to change in to. PS there are more clothes on the bus under your seat."

"Be right back brother, just need to do a stain check" Tate told his brother smiling even if just a little.

Ralph walked up to Tate as he began to enter the public restroom. "Just so you know if you need to take a shower or clean up there is a real restroom with a shower down the hall and to the left. Towels are in the rack next to the shower."

"Wait, how…" Tate asked stunned.

"Dustin, has been coming in and out of here for a while now and likes to freak people out or at least until he knows how gentle he must be with them." Ralph smiled genuinely while pointing down the hall.

"Jonathan let us give it a few more minutes before we load up. Dustin has done it again." Ralph said with a chuckle.


Author Notes:

Yes, it has been a long while since I have posted a new chapter. I intend to correct this soon. Since I have been having some health issues, I will post as I am able too.

Also, to the Cliff Hanger Police:

Yes, this is a big cliffy. Yes, there is more to lay out for the groundwork which will be in Chapter 3.