Clan Short Pacific Rim Division

Chapter 2

Kilauea, Kaua'i

October 29, 7:45 PM

The stage was set up in the field to the southeast of the Kilauea Wildlife Refuge and it was huge; sixty feet wide by one hundred feet long and ten feet high off the ground. Still, it was barely a speck compared to the width and length of the field. On each of three fields further away from the stage were large six-foot by four-foot video displays raised up two feet off the ground. Surrounding each of those video displays were towers of speakers. Under the video displays were massive subwoofer cabinets. All the instruments were rented from Mozart Music in Honolulu and they also arranged for the stage, the lighting, the P.A. systems and video systems through contracted vendors across the islands.

Prez, Keith, Derrick and Mike reviewed the set list with Drew and Corey and two adults from Mozart Music named Don and Kayla. Drew and Corey were prepared to run the PA and lighting systems on Ewa Beach, but they were now going to need assistance from Don and Kayla to pull off a professional show before an audience of over twenty thousand. Now Corey had access to a MacBook Pro to provide stage background images in addition to the computerized lighting console. Corey and Kayla worked together to come up with appropriate videos and images for each of the twenty-eight songs. Drew and Don reviewed all the additional abilities of the sound system. Drew knew a lot for a twelve-year-old, Don immediately realized. The twelve-year-old boy understood gain staging, signal flow through the board, compressors and digital effects processors.

Moving over to the rear of the stage, Derrick, Mike, Keith and Prez changed into matching polo shirts. The shirts were made of cotton and colored silvery-gray with large black eighth note symbols on each short sleeve. The only identifying characteristics on the shirts were pictures across the back; one had a drum set, another had a keyboard, the third had a guitar, and finally the last had a bass guitar. Since all four boys wore the same medium sized men's polo shirts, they rarely ever wore the correct shirts. For this performance, Keith wore the bass guitar shirt, Derrick wore the one with a guitar, Mike had the drum set and Prez the keyboard. As had become ritual, all four walked between the line-up of parents; fathers on the right to shake their hands and mothers on the left for kisses on the cheek.

The setup was similar to what was expected at the Ewa Beach Luau. Keith would be stage left with a Steinway grand piano and a stack of electric keyboards facing the audience; Prez would be beside him with the simplest setup consisting of two Ampeg bass amps, a BOSS GT-6B stereo effects processor and a Gibson EB-3 bass guitar; Derrick had a nine piece Ludwig drum set including four mounted tom-toms and two floor toms with a wide variety of eight different cymbals; at stage right would be Mike and a selection of guitars including a Fender Stratocaster, a Gibson Les Paul Custom, a cherry Gibson 335, a Gretsch Tennessee Rose, an Ibanez Joe Satriani Signature and a Martin D-35 acoustic guitar. On the floor in front of Mike's microphone stand was a GT-6 guitar processor. He had several amplifiers: a Marshall stack, a Fender Twin Reverb and a Fender Acoustasonic. The band would be all lined up in a row, but had so much more extra space, even they couldn't imagine using it all.

Pika Kalani, one of the Hawaiian radio station disk jockeys, took center stage. "Aloha! Good evening, ladies and gentlemen," Pika began. "Welcome to Kilauea! We have a wonderful show in store for you tonight. Later this evening we will hear traditional Hawaiian music from Ho'okena. Before that, we will have a few announcements from Prime Minister Kapule. First on this evening's program, we have another local group of talented high school students from Ewa Beach performing covers of various hits from the past forty years. Are you ready?" Pika paused as a low cheer traveled around the fields. "Oh! I almost forgot!" Pika continued, "Tonight's performances and announcements will be broadcast live over HBN TV and KHWI Radio, Mix 92.7 the best of yesterday and today." Roars of approval swelled around the fields.

Backstage, Keith laughed, "Oh shit!"

"No one told us they were broadcasting this live!" Prez hollered. Derrick and Mike turned to each other and hugged, laughing hysterically, completely ecstatic.

"Welcome to Clan Short, Prezzy!" Joel loudly laughed.

"It's gonna be great!" Kyle giggled.

"You guys don't need to worry about a thing," Tyler assured.

Hearing this exchange and turning slightly, Pika chuckled, "More surprises are in store for all of us, all night long. Ladies and gentlemen all around the Hawaiian Islands please give a warm welcome to Old Habits!" The audience applauded and Pika rapidly left the stage while Prez, Keith, Mike and Derrick ran onto the mostly darkened stage.

A low rumble and synthesizer swells blared out of the PA system across the fields. On the stage backdrop, an upside-down image of a forest and a distant mountain appeared then began slowly spinning. Then came the growl of a guitar and a bass followed by the drums and then Keith's vocals. "Lunatic Fringe, I know you're out there, You're in hiding, And you hold your meetings, I can hear you coming, We know what you're after, We're wise to you this time (wise to you this time), We won't let you kill the laughter.

"Lunatic Fringe, In the twilight's last gleaming, This is open season, But you won't get too far, Cause you've got to blame someone, For your own confusion, But we're on guard this time (we're on guard this time), Against your final solution."

The band played the middle instrumental break, dramatically leading to the solo. Mike played the guitar solo note-for-note flawlessly.

"We can hear you coming (We can hear you coming), No you're not going to win this time (not going to win), We can hear the footsteps (We can hear the footsteps), Way out along the walkway (out along the walkway). Lunatic Fringe, We all know you're out there, Can you feel the resistance, Can you feel the....thunder?"

The band finished the song abruptly and an overwhelming applause filled the fields. Giggling insanely, Mike walked up to his microphone and cheered, "Good evening, Hawaii!"

Simply because he liked the sound, Keith repeated the final lyric, "Can you feel the... thunder?"

Prez walked up to his microphone with his hand over the top of his eyes, looking around the fields before him and wondered, "How many of you are out there?"

Without prompting, many in the crowd held up a single finger and loudly answered "ONE!"

"Oh good!" Keith snickered. "A small audience!" Picking up the Les Paul, Mike began playing the introduction for Takin' Care Of Business and the rest of the band joined in with Mike singing lead vocals. Corey played videos of crowded city streets, freeways, subways, and train stations. When the song finished, Keith reset his synthesizer to imitate the sounds of ticking clocks, then a bunch of alarm clocks going off. Derrick began beating the tom-toms and soon the band began playing Time, with Derrick handling the lead vocals. Corey found lots of pictures of various clocks from the smallest to London's Big Ben and looped them during the song.

At the end of the song, when the applause had died down somewhat, Derrick said, "This next song is for our new friends from Clan Short." Mike began playing a Martin D-35 acoustic guitar and soon the band were joined together for I'd Love To Change The World. Keith used his synthesizer to play the lead guitar solos while Mike sang the lead vocals. The band then proved that they could play more than rock by throwing in the ballad Never My Love and sang two, three and four part harmonies.

When the crowd began to settle down, Prez said, "Thanks! For our next number, we'd like to play a song for all the kids down in the front rescued by Clan Short today." Derrick began a count-in and the band played Rescue Me. With only short breaks for applause, the band plowed forward with Draggin The Line, the instrumental Sleepwalk featuring Mike playing the Tennessee Rose, and then As Long As You Love Me.

"This next song," Prez said, "is a little something for all our new friends to hopefully learn they're not alone anymore." Prez and Derrick counted off together then Keith, Derrick and Mike sang; "Billy Shears!" introducing With A Little Help From My Friends. Prez sang the lead vocals with his three friends backing him up. Across the backdrop, Corey played various cartoon images from "Yellow Submarine". They then played Weird with Keith singing lead, and No Such Thing with Mike handling lead vocals.

Taking another short break for drinks of water, Mike then said, "This next song is for all our friends from Starfleet with us tonight." Hundreds of Starfleet personnel on-duty and off-duty and their families cheered. He then began strumming the Martin D-35 again and sang lead vocals for Starrider.

Switching instruments with Derrick on bass and Prez on electric guitar, the band then played another ballad, If with Keith singing lead vocals. Returning to their primary instruments afterwards, they carried on with Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).

The show forged ahead with Go All The Way, Time Of The Season, One Thing Leads To Another, (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, Cult Of Personality, Precious and Few, Silent Running, Wildest Dreams, Traces and Highway Star.

As the crowd died down again, Keith picked up a Roland AX-Synth, slung the strap over his shoulder and stepped out from behind his keyboards. Stepping up to a microphone, he then said, "This next song is for the Halloween holiday just around the corner, and for two sharp fanged dudes we met earlier tonight." The stage became dark and up on the backdrop was a black and white photo of a creepy medieval castle high atop a mountain. Derrick counted off and the band played another instrumental; Frankenstein.

Brant excitedly hollered, "A song for us?"

"I love these guys!" Matthew loudly laughed.

Turning to Joel, Brant begged, "Can we keep 'em? Pretty please?"

Nodding, Joel giggled, "As humans! You may not turn them!"

Matthew faced Kyle and whispered in his ear.

Kyle shook his head, but pointed at Joel. Tyler giggled as Matthew talked quickly to Joel instead. Joel grinned and knelt down. Before him, on the ground, the Shattered Sword Sa'ren appeared. Then Brant and Matthew levitated and flew across the backdrop and twenty feet above the stage.

The crowd roared at the impromptu 'special effect'. After they had flown with and past each other several times, Brant caught Matthew and gave him a dramatic bite on the neck. Matthew's arms hung limp as if he had really been bitten and turned. The band didn't even know what was happening until the two boys began slowly lowering down to stage level. In the middle of the drum solo, they weren't the slightest bit fazed. Brant picked up Matthew as his newly turned Vampire and then suddenly both boys disappeared completely off the stage. The audience loved it!

As the band members all smiled at each other, they noticed that they each were sporting a set of new fangs, courtesy of Kyle. It only created a dramatic pause in the music. The audience only roared louder and clapped. The boys then shook off the shock and continued on with the synthesizer solo before ending the song.

While the audience cheered, all four boys looked backstage. Kyle, Tyler, Levi and even Joel were rolling around, laughing hysterically. Stepping away from the microphones, Keith, Mike and Prez shouted, "We can'ftt ftsing like ftthifts!"

The three purple eyed boys didn't even stop laughing, but instantaneously, Keith, Prez, Mike and Derrick had lost their long canine teeth. Seeing one another with normal teeth again, they each reached for and checked their mouths. Shaking their heads sadly, but returning their attention to the audience, they began laughing at themselves. "Okay!" Mike giggled, "That was fun!"

Prez laughed, "Those two flying around were our new friends."

"Absolutely no fear of crowds or heights there!" Keith chuckled.

"This next song," Derrick humorously began, "is titled Fa Fa, strangely enough! It's originally by a band named Guster that sadly doesn't get near enough airplay. Maybe Pika could help them out a little if you ask."

Mike howled, "We could sing most of it with fangs, but not all of it!" and began playing the opening guitar harmonics. Derrick sang; "When you look in the mirror, wish you were somebody else. Just a perfect reflection, you and no one else. Minutes run into hours, hours run into days. You're still waiting for someone who never ever came. Fa Fa-Fa Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa, Never be the same again, Fa Fa-Fa Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa, Never be the same again."

The rest of the band joined him for the chorus. "You were always saying something, you swear you'd never say again. You were always saying something, you swear you'd never say again. Fa Fa-Fa Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa, Never be the same again, Fa Fa-Fa Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa, Never be the same again."

Picking up the lead vocals again, Derrick sang; "Go and run through the hallways, and find your way to the door. You will end up like always, back where you were before. Can you look in the mirror, wish you were somebody else. But it's still your reflection, you and no one else."

Again, all four boys sang the chorus. "You were always saying something, you swear you'd never say again. You were always saying something, you swear you'd never say again. Fa Fa-Fa Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa, Never be the same again, Fa Fa-Fa Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa, Never be the same again."

Derrick sang; "No matter where you go, you'll never find your way home. You'll never find your way home no matter where you go."

All four boys sang; "Ooooooo. You were always saying something, you swear you'd never say again. You were always saying something, you swear you'd never say again. Fa Fa-Fa Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa, Never be the same again. Fa Fa-Fa Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa, Never be the same again."

Keith waited for the audience applause to die down then said, "For this next number, I'd like to ask for your help. Will the people in the cheaper seats please clap along? The rest of you, if you'd just rattle your jewelry." The audience laughed and the band began playing Twist And Shout with Mike singing lead vocals. As soon as the song was over, the four met in front of the mic stands at center stage, held hands and bowed, then hurried off the stage.

Returning to the stage clapping furiously, Pika Kalani stepped up to a microphone and said, "Talk about talented! What do you folks think?" The audience roared their approval. "Let's see if we can get them to come up for another song or two, shall we?"

Still toweling off backstage, but hearing Pika and the audience, all four boys shouted, "Omigod!"

Joel smiled, "What do you say?"

Kevin giggled, "Go on up out there!"

One after another, the boys nodded. As they walked back on stage, Keith said, "My voice needs a break. Let's do an instrumental and then a ballad."

Mike and Derrick nodded, "Cool."

"Sounds like a plan to me," Prez agreed.

They then hurried over to their instruments and waved at the audience. Pika strolled offstage.

"Thank you all very much," Keith said, and the audience began to quiet. "This song's called Moonflower and features Mike Gibbons on electric guitar." Mike giggled and waved to the audience.

Derrick softly counted; "One two three four one," and Mike began playing the 335 again. It was a nice, mellow Latin tune and obviously many couples in the audience appreciated it as they began to dance. Mike played clean at first, but as the song continued, he added more distortion and sustain to make that 335 cry.

Minutes later, when the song ended to another warm round of applause, Keith moved over to the Steinway grand piano. He cleared his throat then began playing the piano introduction to Open Arms. Immediately, Bic lighters began lighting around the fields, and the audience cheered. Keith began singing sweetly. "Lying beside you here in the dark; feeling your heartbeat with mine." More couples began dancing, including Joel and Kevin, Kyle and Tyler and all the parents of the band members backstage. As Keith sang the last verse, the audience became louder and louder until the final piano notes were barely heard.

Again, the band went to front center stage and bowed while the audience cheered and hollered for more. Elated, they turned and jogged off the stage. Pika again went up on stage and said, "We'll all be watching for these boys in the future, I'm sure. What an unbelievable energetic set! Did any of you see wires holding those two flying boys up? I sure didn't! I'm sure freaked out over that version of Frankenstein! Potty break for the announcer! We're going to change the stage setup so everyone has the chance to grab something more to eat. The food will be served until midnight. We'll continue on with our show in about twenty or thirty minutes with an announcement from our Prime Minister." As Pika walked off stage again, he looked up for wires and pulleys, but couldn't see anything and wondered how the two boys managed to fly.

Backstage three mothers were surrounding their sons, forcing them to put on hoodies so they wouldn't catch a chill from the night air. Fathers congratulated their sons as did John, Bruce, Galli, Kai, Kaleo, Tory, Joel, Kevin, Kyle, Tyler, Levi, Brant, Matthew, I-Cheya and Blackie. Last to join in, were Drew and Corey as it took some time to get from the P.A. and lighting systems near the center of the field, through the crowds and backstage.

Drew asked, "How was the stage monitor mix?"

"Fantastic!" Mike cheered. "I could hear the keyboards at the opposite side of the stage and all our vocals perfectly."

Keith smiled, "It was great, bro, good job. How did we sound out in the fields?"

"Oh dudes!" Drew giggled, "Some of those really low synth and bass notes shook the ground! Especially during 'Lunatic Fringe' and 'One Thing Leads To Another'. I wouldn't be surprised if it caused rock slides off the bluff and into the ocean!"

"Imagine if we had been near one of the volcanoes?" Corey snickered. "Brant and Matthew's little bit took everyone by surprise though."

Suspiciously glancing around, Derrick wondered, "Who's idea was it to give us fangs?" Interested in the answer, Prez also scanned the group.

Kyle pointed at Ty and Ty pointed at Levi. Giggling their asses off, they chanted "Wasn't me!"

Noticing little Bruce yawning and John struggling to not catch the yawning infection, Prez then leaned over and whispered in Joel's ear; "The little guys are getting tired. Have any arrangements been made?"

Joel nodded, "Starfleet has a recreation facility near Anahola Bay. It's not too far."

"We should probably start rounding them up," Prez said. He then wondered, "Where are they?"

"The G-Cats have a lot of them," Joel replied. "They're really protective and good with kids."

Placing a hand on Preston's back, Keith asked, "What's goin' on, Prez?"

Standing upright Prez answered, "We're making plans to get some of the little tikes gathered and into a bed somewhere."

"That's an excellent idea," Mrs. Hundser proudly smiled.

Corey's mom gasped, "Where are they?"

"We've got it covered, Mrs. Seaver," Prez replied. "They're safe and being watched. Now we just need to get them together and over to Anahola Bay."

"Lieutenant Vorik," Joel loudly said. The Vulcan officer immediately came over and Joel commanded, "We'll need a bus to transport the youngest kids to Anahola Bay Recreation Area."

"Aye Sir. I will return when one is available," Lieutenant Vorik said and walked away again.

"I'm a licensed school bus driver," Mrs. Seibert offered, "Get me wheels and I'll get them there safely."

Mrs. Gibbons whispered to her husband. He nodded then she said, "I'll join you, Anna."

Anna Siebert smiled, "Thanks, Laura."

Keith's dad, Jim Hundser, suggested, "If all you ladies will take the first group, the remaining men and boys will gather the other kids. Then Anna can return and shuttle another group, if there aren't any objections?"

Joel said, "Take some of the G-Cats with you. Then everyone can be tucked in safe and sound."

"It's fine by me," Anna Seibert smiled.

"Mom," John whined, "I don't wanna go yet."

"Bruce is practically dead on his feet," Mrs. Hundser admonished.

John asked, "What do you wanna do, Bruce?"

Shuffling his feet uncertainly, Bruce sighed, "I am kinda tired after sleepin' at the beach last night." Bruce then leaned close to John and whispered, "Just don't leave me alone all night, okay?"

John smiled and nodded, "You won't be alone ever again. Cuddle up with a G-Cat for a little while. I'll be there real soon."

Bruce brightly smiled, "Thanks, pal."

"Mom, just get a room with two double beds," Keith suggested. "Then John can hang out for the next bus and be with Bruce. Prez and I will take the other bed..." Seeing his mother glaring at him with distrusting eyes, Keith laughed, "WHAT?" Wide-eyed, Mike and Derrick smiled, but didn't dare say a word. Turning away, Drew began snickering and Corey leaned against him trying unsuccessfully to not laugh.

Prez teased, "Drew and Corey want to sleep in the same room as us!"

Drew spun around and squinted. "I don't think so!" Corey lost the battle and cracked up.

Lanna Seaver covered her mouth, but locked eyes with Jennifer Hundser giggling, "Boys will be boys."

Jennifer Hundser sighed, "It's so true."

Keith chuckled, "We'll share a room with Bruce and John then."

Noticing that Mike was being too quiet and obviously hoping for a room alone with Derrick, Laura Gibbons smiled, "Mike and Derrick can share a room with two of the younger boys also."

"That sounds like a wonderful idea!" Anna Seibert cheered.

Gritting his teeth, Mike glared at Keith and softly growled, "This is all your fault!" Acting blameless and uncertain, Keith held up both his hands and shrugged, but snickered insanely.

"Drew and Corey can buddy up with two other boys as well," Lanna Seaver giggled.

"What a wonderful idea," Jennifer Hundser smiled.

Clapping his hands once and rubbing them together, Joel smiled, "Sounds like we have a plan. Teens and tweens buddy up with the little kids."

Since misery loves company, Derrick playfully wondered, "Where are you planning on sleeping, Joel?"

"With Kevvy and wherever I-Cheya wants," Joel giggled, "We'll be safe and warm all night!"

Mike grunted, "Like anyone's gonna argue with a Sehlat."

"Okay, men," Jim Hundser chuckled, "Let's gather everyone together."

Bill Seaver nodded, "Drew, Corey and I will search the dining areas."

"Keith, Preston and I will search the audience and around the stage," Jim Hundser said.

Taking hold of Mike and Derrick by the shoulders, Rob Gibbons said, "We'll search the fields south along the bluffs."

"Meet at the end of Mihi Road with the first bus load," Anna Seibert said.

Noticing that Kaleo seemed rather confused, Jennifer Hundser asked, "What's wrong, Kaleo?"

Kaleo shrugged, "Nothing really... I'm used to taking care of the little kids myself. Now I don't have to, but..."

"Old habits are hard to break?" Mrs. Hundser smiled. Kaleo nodded. Mrs. Hundser suggested "You could take the night off tonight or help if you like?"

Kevin called, "Blackie, come here, boy." The white puppy with black paws trotted up and Kevin asked, "Help Kaleo find the rest of the kids, okay?"

Spinning around happily, the pup sent *Find kids. Easy!* then put his nose to the ground and scampered off. Kaleo chuckled and hurried after Blackie.

Lieutenant Vorik returned and said, "Patriarch Short, a vehicle has been located and acquired. It will be available in approximately ten minutes."

"Well done, Lieutenant," Joel cheered. "Please have it parked at the end of Mihi Road. Then have a detail escort the ladies to the bus."

Before Vorik could reply, Jennifer Hundser said, "We don't really need an escort, Joel."

Lieutenant Vorik insisted, "It would not be an inconvenience."

Joel added, "And I'd like to make sure all of you are safe. Between I-Cheya and a detail of four, Kevvy and me are more than safe."

"Thank you, Joel," Mrs. Hundser smiled.

Mrs. Seaver giggled, "A security detail for us."

"I'm beginning to feel like royalty," Mrs. Gibbons smirked.

Joel smiled and thought, get used to it, ladies, but said nothing.

Lieutenant Vorik said, "If you will follow me, ladies." The women and Bruce followed Lieutenant Vorik, who assigned two security personnel to lead them to Mihi Road. The mothers began making small talk with the Vulcan man and woman, trying to understand more of Vulcan culture and sharing their own views on similarities and differences. Soon after they walked away, Lieutenant Vorik's communicator chirped. "Vorik," he said.

"Ra'Vesti. Allow me to speak with Patriarch Short."

At the stage area, Mr. Hundser, Prez and Keith had found eight young boys and girls still sitting in the front rows of chairs. Surrounding the eight youngest were another ten between age twelve and fifteen. Seeing Keith and Prez, they willingly got up and followed.

Ten-year-old Noreen Magyar smiled, "Your band is very good."

Her sister, eleven-year-old Earlene giggled, "And soooo cute!"

While Prez and Keith blushed and softly chuckled, Noreen argued, "Talent outweighs cuteness!"

Earlene shrugged, "But combined they're an awesome group."

Noticing a little girl struggling to keep up, Mr. Hundser asked, "What's your name, sweetie?"

Looking up at the man, she shyly answered, "Carmella Socia," and suspiciously asked, "Who are you?"

Pointing at Keith and Preston, Mr. Hundser answered, "I'm Keith and Preston's daddy. You can call me Uncle Jim, if you like?" The little girl nodded and Mr. Hundser asked, "Are you very tired?" Again the little girl only nodded. Mr. Hundser asked, "Would you like a piggy back ride?"

Carmella shrugged and wondered, "You won't hurt me, will you?"

Tightening his jaw slightly, because someone had obviously frightened this beautiful, innocent girl, he softly answered, "I promise to be very careful and only carry you, but only if you'd like me to." Carmella nodded again so Jim Hundser knelt down. Uncertainly, Carmella wrapped her little arms around the man. Rather than chancing hurting or upsetting the girl, Jim wrapped his arms behind his back and clasped his hands together to create a seat for Carmella, then stood.

Hurrying to catch up with the rest of the group, Jim made whinnying horse sounds and Carmella giggled delightfully. Another little girl hurried over to Prez and begged for a piggyback ride too. The smallest boy, five-year-old Geoffrey Eckel, asked Keith for a piggyback ride. Soon there were three kids aboard their horses giggling and laughing their way to Mihi Road. Imitating them, five of the older teen boys picked up the remaining five of the youngest boys and girls and galloped forward.

At Mihi Road waiting near the Starfleet bus were the four mothers. On the bus already were Bruce, the four G-Cats and sixteen of the youngest kids, ranging from four to ten years of age. Prez, Keith and Jim Hundser arrived with their charges and got them settled on the bus. Then Drew, Corey and Bill Seaver loaded another seven of the nineteen kids they found. Kaleo and Blackie were next to show up. Nine of his group of nineteen were under twelve and ready for bed. Prez, Keith, Mike, Derrick, Kaleo, Drew and Corey led the teens and tweens over to the dining area to wait for the next bus and grab something more to eat and drink. Jennifer Hundser stepped off the bus and said, "We have forty on board and eight seats left."

Jim Hundser nodded, "Rob, Mike and Derrick have the largest area furthest away. Let's give them a few more minutes."

"Some of the little ones are already asleep," Jennifer said. "Those G-Cats are amazing. They'll cuddle up with a kid, start purring and in under two minutes the child is sound asleep."

Jim snickered, "Wish we could've done that with our boys." He then asked, "Is John on the bus?"

Jennifer shook her head and replied, "He wanted to stay with Joel, Kevin, Kyle, Tyler and Levi. He's still with them backstage, as far as I know."

Rob Gibbons, Mike and Derrick returned only a few minutes later with eight more teenagers, five pre-teens and a crying eleven-year-old girl named Daba Sung. Before anyone could ask, Rob explained, "Daba here saw her mother disappear in what sounds like a transporter beam."

Embracing the girl, Jennifer Hundser comforted her and asked, "How about we call your father?"

"My daddy divorced mommy and don't like me or mommy," Daba hysterically sobbed.

"Okay, sweetness," Jennifer sighed, "we'll get you a safe and warm place to sleep tonight, then contact your daddy in the morning. How does that sound?"

Daba sniffled and nodded, "Okay."

Leading Daba onto the bus where the girl was quickly picked up and cuddled by Aphrodite, Jennifer turned to her husband and softly huffed, "This is ridiculous." Shaking her head slightly she then gave Jim a peck on the cheek and explained, "By the time we get there, get all the kids tucked in and return, it'll take about two hours."

Jim Hundser nodded, "Rob, Bill and I will keep the teenagers together at the dining area. We'll be waiting there when you return."

"How many do you think there are?" Jennifer asked.

Bill Seaver answered, "Twelve were with me."

Rob Gibbons replied, "I had another eight."

"Plus Kaleo's ten and my ten equals forty," Jim Hundser figured.

Placing her hand on her forehead, Jennifer mumbled, "Four to a room plus G-Cats and adults... we'll need about thirty rooms." Giggling insanely, Jennifer smiled "I love you," and then climbed the steps onto the bus. Jim watched as the bus started down Mihi Road.

Turning and walking up to Rob and Bill, Jim smiled, "I have this funny feeling in my gut." The three men began walking over to the dining field where all their sons and the other kids were.

Bill nodded and smirked, "You too?"

"Me three," Rob added.

"I only wish I could put a finger on the reason why," Jim sighed.

Rob playfully rambled, "Investigation into available evidence implies all our lives have already changed."

"Ya think?" Bill loudly chuckled.

Jim snickered, "It's time to research Vulcan culture and law."

"I get dibs on the culture books when you're done," Bill laughed.

Rob accepted defeat, shook his head sadly and chortled, "Pass the legal books to me when you're done, Jim."

The dining field was sparsely occupied when they arrived except for six tables of ravenous teens not far from the field's video displays and audio system. Most of the remaining thousands of luau attendees had finished their meals and were sitting or mulling around nearer to the stage. "Oh shit!" the three men chorused.

"We forgot our own kids!" Jim laughed.

Rob snickered, "Forty plus seven. Standing room only on the next bus."

"The bar is still open," Bill smiled.

"Three beers?" Rob suggested.

Bill shook his head and grinned, "Mai Tai. It's been a long day."

At the table where Prez, Keith, Mike and Derrick were sitting, Reyes Taraschke bubbled over, congratulating Derrick. "Oh man, you were so great tonight. I've got so many favorite drummers and you're now on the list!"

Derrick giggled, "Thanks dude. Who are your favorites?"

Easily, Reyes listed; "In no particular order, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Vinnie Appice, Nick Mason, Alan White, Alex Van Halen, Steve Smith, Ringo Starr, Bill Bruford, Keith Moon, Ginger Baker, John Bonham, Carl Palmer and Neil Peart."

"WOW!" Derrick laughed, "That pretty much covers the best of the best for the last sixty years."

"And you are on that list too now!" Reyes reminded.

Derrick blushed, "When I feel like I can keep up with Neil Peart, I'll let you know."

"Teach me?" Reyes begged.

"Huh?" Derrick grunted.

"To play drums I mean," Reyes corrected.

Derrick nodded and smiled, "We'll find a way to make that happen, no matter where you wind up with the Clan."

"I wanna be with you," Reyes frowned.

"And I have to be with Reyes," little Jonah Desak reminded. The boys all looked around in shock as the sound of giggles from an unseen source echoed around them.

To ease their minds, Derrick smiled, "We'll see what we can work out, okay?" Reyes smiled and rapidly nodded. Seeing this, Jonah also nodded and grinned.

Overhearing them, Bill Seaver snickered, "Congratulations! Mike and Derrick have been adopted."

"It's the other way around though, isn't?" Jim Hundser joked.

Placing four Kona beers on the table before Mike, Derrick, Keith and Prez, Iokau Ai'la'ausd smiled, "You all look like you need it."

"Thanks Uncle Iokii!" all four boys cheered.

Joel ran over and cuddled into Iokau's side, "Hey! Whatchya doing... uh..." Joel trailed off as he sniffed the air. "Urgh... umm... seeya..." he whispered before running back off towards I-Cheya and squirreling between the Sehlat's forelegs. Mont and Hermes went over to see what was wrong.

Stage lighting was turned up and Prime Minister Kapule walked over to center stage then began his speech. On televisions and radios across the islands, the Prime Minister was seen or heard. "Aloha. Good evening, Hawaii. Before we continue with the entertainment from Ho'okena, I have announcements to make. This has been a very challenging day across our Island Nation..."

Prez turned to Keith and rolled his eyes. "Yawn!"

Keith smiled, "Maybe we can get some more beers and pass out before he finishes."

Derrick giggled, "All pleasure must be paid for with pain."

"Owwie!" Mike laughed, "It hurts too much!"

"Yeah," Keith sarcastically chortled, "we can all tell you like it!"

As the Hawaiian Prime Minister started to recap on the excitement of the day, John quietly moved to where Prez and the others were sipping their beers. Kyle noticed his movement and popped over quickly to hear John say, "Something's wrong, Prez. I... he don't feel good." John hadn't taken his eyes from the speaking Prime Minister.

Kyle narrowed his eyes as he reached out his mind towards the Prime Minister. While Prez put his pint down he asked, "What do ya mean?" and placed an arm around John's waist to pull him closer.

"Him... he feels... bad. I dunno why, but he jus' does," John mumbled.

Joel's head popped up from where I-Cheya had been cuddling and huffing softly to him. "Lil' Bear?" he called to Kyle.

"Working on it..." Kyle replied.

Joel trotted over with I-Cheya ambling along behind him.

"It's him, Elf," Kyle grated as his eyes focused on the little Vulcan. "He's the 'Boss'. He's behind it all!"

Joel's eyes seemed to fill with flame, and as he turned to look up at the still talking Prime Minister, Prez and Keith shared an uneasy glance at the rage now portrayed in the Vulcan's eyes. "Get the kids safe, Preston," Joel ordered, his voice serious and icy cold. Joel had not used Prez's full first name once and Prez immediately knew something was seriously wrong.

"I-Cheya, Mont and Hermes? You're with me," Joel ordered. "Lieutenant Vorik, contact the Endeavour. I want a detail surrounding that stage immediately." Climbing onto I-Cheya, Joel said, "Get me over to the King and Queen as fast as you can, Bo-bo."

Standing and reacting on pure instinct, Prez bellowed, "All you guys and girls, I want you behind the video displays and speakers. MOVE! NOW!"

Keith, Mike and Derrick moved so fast that the table was knocked and what remained of their beers toppled over and spilled. Keith said, "Kaleo, get the youngest kids and run!" Kaleo hurried off in one direction and Keith went in another. Mike and Derrick separated and went to two other tables, gathering everyone and getting them to safety. Three fathers dropped their drinks and scurried around, making sure there were no stragglers.

Seeing all the kids running in the direction of the closest video displays and sensing danger, Blackie began growling and growing. Kevin came up to the little wolf-collie hybrid and said, "I think it's time for Awesome Black Feet?"

Blackie, still growling, swelled into his full adult form. Spots and collie-like markings were visible in his fur, but overpowered by the shining silver. *Me Awesome! Me kick butt! Gee-up, Kevvy-Boy!*

Gathered behind the video displays and getting all the kids to sit down and stay low, Prez and Keith then began counting heads. From the other end of the pack, Jim Hundser also counted. "Including me, I got forty-seven, dad," Prez said.

"Same here," Keith offered.

Relieved, Mr. Hundser came up with the same count and nodded, "All present and accounted for."

Shaking like a leaf and holding onto Drew as if his life depended on him, Corey hollered, "What's goin' on, dad?"

Bill Seaver replied, "Clan Short..."

"The prime minister is bad," John interrupted. Not fully understanding his youngest son, Jim Hundser scowled.

Rob Gibbons ordered, "Just stay down low in case things get ugly," then raced from behind the video displays towards the stage.

As Kevin rode over to Brant to tell him about what was now happening, Joel, still seated on I-Cheya's back, was in deep conversation with the King and Queen of Hawaii. "Your Majesties, my brothers have just found out that your Prime Minister has been behind the whole 'Child-Sex trade' that has been plaguing these islands for the last three years or more. He is the 'Boss' behind it all. I'm going to arrest him now, so I just wanted you to know."

King Ekewaka Aalona shook his head and sighed. "There's nothing I can do, young man. If you can, please do. My crown is empty of power."

"Yes, please do all you can. I hate to ask it, as you've done so much already, but please," Queen Adamina begged, "please, help us by dealing with him!"

Kyle and Ty popped in next to the King and Queen as Joel turned away. "Popcorn?" Kyle asked with a grin as he held out a bowl.

"I love a good pig roast... and that guy is definitely a pig!" Ty giggled as he snuggled into the Queen's side and grabbed a fistful of popcorn.

Across the Hawaiian Islands, many tens of thousands of television sets and as many radios were tuned into the program. They had witnessed Old Habits' performance and were now listening to the Prime Minister's speech when a dozen shafts of sparking light appeared across the field immediately in front of the stage. What was not seen on television were the other transporter beams across the rear and sides of the stage.

Acting as if he were unaffected by the appearance of many Vulcan Security officers, the Prime Minister continued his prepared speech about the outrage he personally felt regarding child abuse, pornography and prostitution. On stage left, Mont and Hermes climbed the stairs flexing their claws. Joel and I-Cheya climbed the stairs from stage right. Together the four approached center stage.

Interrupting the speech from atop I-Cheya's back Joel said, "I think you can stop lying now. From telepathic links, Clan Short has learned that you've allowed this Child sex trade and have profited from it. You are under arrest."

"Pardon me?" the Prime Minister spluttered. "On whose authority?"

"I am Sa'ren, son of Spock, son of Sarek, Acting Patriarch of Clan Short, Prince of Britain and Defender of the Commonwealth Alliance. On my authority! Your guilt has already been established."

The Prime Minister smirked, "I don't think so..." He quickly moved his hand to draw a concealed pistol.

A number of highly interesting, yet shocking things happened at one time.

There were multiple shouts of 'Gun!' from the Vulcans and the two G-Cats on the stage.

The Prime Minister had his eyes focused on Joel's chest, bringing the gun up and into line to fire.

There were multiple sounds of 'thunder' from guns, a crackling of a phasenmorph, a 'swoosh' of a knife being thrown by Rob Gibbons, and many 'phhhshhhhttt' sounds from phasers.

The Prime Minister screamed even before all the above slammed into him.

The small pistol in the Prime Minister's hand did manage to go off.

I-Cheya started bitching as the bullet from said pistol lodged itself in his nose but didn't harm him though; he's I-Cheya!

The Prime Minister hit the deck dead.

Joel looked down from I-Cheya's back at the lifeless body. "You are sentenced to death... in case you didn't know it... but I think you did... okay, that was a total waste of breath. Blow your nose, Bo-Bo."


*I want ointment. Nose feel funny.*

"I'll get you a nice cow to eat later."

*Mmm... cow...*

All in all, the Prime Minister was killed with extreme prejudice. Or, as Brant so eloquently stated; "Now, that's one totally fucked up dude, Dudes!"

Joel slipped down from I-Cheya's back. "Your Majesties. Will you come up here, please?" he called towards the King and Queen.

Hearing Joel call the King and Queen, forty-seven kids and two adult men stood and walked around the towers of speakers to witness what was about to happen. Kaleo grinned, "Music, politics, violence and vaudeville. That's what I call entertainment! What a night!" Snickering, giggling and laughter broke loose.

Kyle and Tyler were still debating whether or not to let the Royal couple walk up there or transport them, when Galli just giggled and folded himself, the two popcorn munching Mikyvis, and the Royals to the stage.

The King looked down at the serious face Joel was giving him, and his eyes widened as a crown appeared on Joel's brow, followed by a complete suit of armor that appeared and covered him. "Yes, your Highness?" the King asked, having heard Joel's self revelation in the exchange with the now ex-Prime Minister.

Joel said, "The Islands and Republic of Hawaii need leadership, and the Government has been found lacking. Are you prepared to regain that which was taken from you?"

"I... I do not know, Highness. I never expected for this to be a possibility," the King answered.

Joel clasped his hands together and said one word, "Sa'ren."

Before the now emotionally numbed King, the Shattered Sword of Surak appeared in the young Vulcan's hands.

/Are you willing to rule with compassion, to guide with wisdom, to be the first in defense and the last to have comfort? Are you willing to be all you can be?/

The King blinked and stared at the light-pulsating Shattered Sword. He nodded slowly, "I will try... but I don't think I'm ready."

/That is why you are the perfect choice. I Crown you King of the Jeweled Isles, Lord of Hawaii and Protector of the Pacific Rim./

The Sword burst out in brilliant light. Around the heads of both the King and Queen beautiful Crowns appeared. On the apex of the brow of each, the Royal standard of Hawaii was clearly visible.

"Welcome back, Your Royal Majesties," Joel grinned as he bowed from the waist.

Meanwhile, Kyle was giving I-Cheya a nice relaxing nose rub to ease the poor Sehlat's irritated nostril.

It took a five hour investigation by the coroner to work out whether it was the knife thrown by Rob Gibbons, one of the twenty-six bullets from Hermes or Mont, the phasenmorph blast by Kevin, the combined impact of ten stun phaser beams, or the complete liquefaction of the poor sod's bones that killed him. The result was - Cause of Death; Stupidity. The autopsy completed the medical examiner then typed his resignation, signed it and left it on his desk. "Now I've seen it all," he softly muttered as he left the building.

Anahola Bay, Kaua'i

Saturday, October 30, 2004 5:45 AM

Kyle popped into the dark hotel room beside the bed where Prez and Keith were sleeping. Reaching over and gently placing a hand on Preston's shoulder, Kyle melodically but softly called, "Prez? Hello, Planet Earth calling Preston O'Brian." Prez only hummed but didn't move. "Come on big guy," Kyle giggled.

Rolling away from Keith, Prez groaned, "What?"

Kyle giggled. "If you don't get your butt outta bed, I'm gonna eat all of the food."

Becoming more aware, Prez asked, "Breakfast already?"

Kyle hummed affirmatively and playfully explained, "With so many already eating, there won't be any sausages left for you or Keith."

"Kyle?" Prez wondered, "How did you get in here?"

"The usual way," Kyle giggled.

Prez opened his eyes and saw the time. "It's not even six in the blessed morning," Prez grumbled. "You have five seconds!" Kyle giggled and Prez counted down. Reaching two, Prez turned on the light. He couldn't see Kyle anywhere, but still heard his giggling. "Where are you?" Prez hollered as he got out of bed. "There better be a good reason for this, Kyle!"

"There is!" Kyle laughed, "Sunrise on the beach, remember?"

"That was for the rescued kids!" Prez loudly reminded.

Keith opened his eyes, rubbing them as they burned from the light. "Prez? Who are you arguing with?"

"Kyle," Prez answered and searched the entire room.

Bruce woke, rubbed his eyes and, seeing Prez naked looking under beds, tables and in closets, sat up and shook John awake.

Sitting up and seeing his older foster brother racing around, John wondered. "What's goin' on, Prez?" Prez hurried into the bathroom and turned on the light, then checked behind the shower curtain.

Realizing that he could no longer hear Kyle's laughter, Prez left the bathroom and sighed, "I'm cracking up."

Bruce leaned closer to John and whispered, "He's got red hair everywhere... and something's wrong with his wiener."

John began snickering and tried to explain; "When us guys get older we'll all grow hair down there and our dicks get bigger too."

Hearing John's explanation, Keith laughed then got out of bed and went over to calm his confused boyfriend.

Seeing Keith naked and with a morning erection, Bruce's eyes widened and he gasped, "Wow!"

Placing both hands on his boyfriend's shoulders, Keith softly said, "Prez? It's okay now, baby."

On the bed, John watched a stunned Bruce watching two naked teenagers and laughed his ass off.

Bruce blushed and asked John, "We'll all get like that?" John could only nod and laugh more.

"He was here, Keith," Prez said, "I wasn't dreaming it, swear to God. He said there were sausages for breakfast..." John grabbed his belly and rolled into a fetal position laughing, causing Keith to begin laughing. Prez continued; "… and that we had to join everyone down on the beach for sunrise." Prez frowned, "You believe me, don't you, Keith?"

Keith nodded and gave his boyfriend a quick kiss. "I believe you, Prez, and that's not why I was laughing. I'm laughing because Bruce is now more confused than you." Prez only tilted his head curiously and Keith snickered, "I guess Bruce never saw his father or any other older dudes naked before. You runnin' around in your birthday suit is enough to start the whole series of sexuality questions."

"You know, teenagers are goofy!" Tyler giggled as he appeared between John and Bruce.

Startled, Keith jumped and spun around. "See!" Prez hollered.

Keith stammered, "How... where..."

"Don't forget 'when'!" Tyler giggled, and stood on the bed.

Bruce hollered, "How'd you do that?"

"It's just one of the things we can do," Tyler giggled as he pulled French toast sticks seemingly out of thin-air and handed one each to Prez and Keith.

"What about us?" John loudly reminded, and suddenly he and Bruce found French toast sticks in their hands.

"Kyle evolved into an anti-energy being," Tyler explained helpfully. "But because he was the only member of his species, he turned me into one too."

"And the next day, they had me!" Levi said as he popped in next to Bruce, handing him a glass of orange juice.

After taking a sip of juice and absorbing the cryptic answer, Bruce seemed satisfied.

John wasn't quite so easy though and asked, "So you guys can just appear wherever ya want whenever you want to?"

"Pretty much," Tyler grinned. "We can go anywhere in space and time in any dimension, and transform matter into energy or the other way around. There's lotsa stuff we can't do, but there's plenty that we can."

"That's gonna take some getting used to," Keith smirked.

Prez triumphantly grinned, "So Kyle was here in our room."

"Course I was," Kyle snickered as he appeared and then asked, "Are you always so cranky in the morning?"

"Not always," Prez smirked.

"He's never cranky with me or anyone at home," Keith honestly said.

Prez answered, "What trips my switch is teasing at five-fifty in the BLESSED MORNING!"

"Five forty-eight and thirty-four point six seven two five seconds ... more or less!" Kyle giggled before holding out a breakfast sausage. "Wanna nibble of my sausage?"

Uncontrollably everyone in the room started laughing again, even Bruce.

"Okay guys," Kyle giggled, "the sun's gonna rise today at six thirty-nine exactly. If you're gonna shower, you've got less than thirty minutes to get it together and meet us down at the beach. All the kids are getting ready... so are Mike and Derrick... and Drew and Corey. There's more French toast sticks, sausages and juice on the dresser." Prez looked over at the dresser. Lo and behold, there was a plate overflowing with food and four glasses of orange juice waiting. One after another, the three Mikyvis waved and disappeared.

Picking up another French toast stick, Keith mumbled, "Gotta admit, they come in handy sometimes," and took a bite. John and Bruce raced over and dug in.

Between bites, Bruce wondered, "So when will my dick get big and hairy too?"

John laughed so hard that partially chewed French toast was spat across the room.

"It depends," Prez grinned, "some guys in my class were already that way when they turned twelve."

Keith added, "I started right after I turned twelve."

John snickered, "Drew's got some pubes and he just turned twelve."

Prez said, "Lots of stuff changes, Bruce; your voice will get deeper, your shoulders will get wider, you'll grow facial hair, start needing to shave and everything."

Awestruck, Bruce gasped, "You guys shave?"

Keith nodded, "About once a month; our mom doesn't like seeing us with mustaches even though they ain't nothin' but soft hairs."

Bruce smiled, "Still! How cool is that?" Turning to John, Bruce asked, "Are you?"

Shaking his head furiously, John said, "I'm only ten; not much older than you."

"It's not that special, Bruce," Prez said. "Little boys become big boys who become young men who then become adult men. That's just natural." He then chugged the last of his juice and smiled at Keith; "Meet me in the shower."

Keith nodded, up ended his glass of juice and followed Prez into the bathroom.

When the door closed, Bruce asked John; "They take baths together too?"

John nodded, "They stand and take showers. I take showers more than baths too."

"Oh," Bruce scowled thoughtfully. "I only ever take baths. My mommy says the tub is too slippery and I might fall down."

John nodded, "It does get slippery so ya gotta move real slow and be careful, 'specially if there's no rubber mat in the tub. Drew and me took baths together for a long time. Then Drew wanted to shower alone. When I asked him to show me though, he did." John paused and asked, "You want me to show you?"

"Would you?" Bruce gleefully squealed.

"Sure dude," John chuckled, "I guess I was about your age and Drew musta been about ten."

Standing upright more proudly, Bruce giggled, "I already feel so much more... bigger... like growed up. You guys are so cool to me. Thanks, John."

Wrapping an arm around Bruce's shoulders, John smiled, "No problem, bro." Bruce inexplicably began to shed tears and John asked, "What's wrong?"

Wiping his eyes, Bruce shrugged, "I dunno... I miss my mommy and daddy... and can't wait to see them again, but... I like it here with you... and Keith and Prez and Drew too. I got no brothers, but now I got four! Soon I'll have to go back to Ohio... and... say goodbye."

"Well, you better call me and write me," John said, "I'm gonna miss you too, Bruce, but don't cry now cos we're still together, okay?"

After a few minutes, Bruce weakly smiled. "You always know the best stuff to say and do for me, don't ya?"

Shrugging, John giggled, "That's just what brothers do. Come on, the shower's off, so Prez and Keith are done. It's our turn now." John pushed his boxers down and Bruce stripped out of his shorts and briefs. Together, they hurried into the bathroom past Keith and Prez and into the shower.

In twenty-five hotel rooms all the kids found brushes, combs, toothbrushes and toothpaste and even new clothes to change into. At six-twenty, doors began opening and the kids all made their way across Aliomanu Road, beyond the trees and onto the beach. The last out of their rooms were Keith, Prez, John, Bruce, Mike and Derrick. Making their presence known, Keith, Prez, Mike and Derrick sang; "Good morning mister sunshine, you brighten up my day. Come sit beside me, in your way. I see you ev'ry morning, outside the restaurant, The music plays, so nonchalant, ahh!"

Silhouetted against the brightening sky, many of the kids were sitting in the sand facing east, but some chose to stand, including Kaleo and Tory. They both turned around, while Tory giggled, Kaleo laughed, "Good morning to you dudes too!"

"How is everyone?" Prez smiled.

"Fed, clean and dressed in new clothes," Kaleo excitedly answered.

From the northern end of the beach, everyone heard the sound of bongos being beat and turned to see Kyle, Tyler and Levi marching toward them. Suddenly, Derrick had a set of four tenor drums before him and drum sticks in his hands; Mike had a snare drum before him and Keith and Prez found themselves holding pairs of cymbals. Following the tempo and rhythm being set by the three Mikyvis, Derrick and Mike played along. Kyle, Tyler and Levi loudly sang; "Why don't you ask him if he's going to stay? Why don't you ask him if he's going away?

"Why don't you tell me what's going on? Why don't you tell me who's on the phone? Why don't you ask him what's going on?

"Why don't you ask him who's the latest on his throne? Don't say that you love me! Just tell me that you want me! Tusk! Just say that you love me! Don't tell me that you... Real savage like! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk! Tusk!"

Finished with their morning performance, Kyle made all the drums and percussion vanish.

Noreen and Earlene ran up the beach to Prez. "Are you stayin'?" Noreen asked hopefully.

Glancing at the four boys, Earlene said, "You can't just go away now; we need all of you."

Walking up and joining in, Kaleo said, "Tell us, what's really going on."

"I really don't know what to say," Prez stammered.

Keith nodded and explained, "We're not Clan Short. We rescued a handful of kids off Ewa Beach, but that's nothin' compared to the Clan."

"I strongly disagree," Galli said.

"So do I," Joel added.

Kevin offered, "You just don't realize what you've done."

"Last night, while we ate, you told us how you'd like us to be," Tory reminded.

Kaleo clarified, "We're here because you suggested it. You made us really notice the sunset; you entertained us and for lots of us, it was the first time we really listened to music and paid attention to the words. The lunatic fringe you sang about – the low-lifes that made us service their perverted wants."

Tory remembered, "Takin care of business? Well, ya have. Time? The time is now."

"You dedicated a song to the Clan last night," Joel said. "I'd love to change the world but I don't know what to do?"

"Tell me where is sanity?" Kevin asked.

Kaleo recited; "I'm destitute, I'm looking for protection, I want love, And physical asylum, A vagabond, Running from destruction, Cover me, While I seek defection. Rescue me... rescue us."

"Didn't you know what you were singing?" Tory excitedly asked.

Prez was opening and closing his mouth like a fish. Keith still had some control over his vocal faculties, "Uh... you... you're inviting us into the Clan then?"

Joel grinned and exchanged another look with Kevin, Kyle and Tyler. All three nodded at him. Joel turned back to the four boys before him. Rather than speak to them, he raised his voice, "Corey, Drew, John and Bruce! Front and center!"

The four boys came out of the crowd and gathered around Keith, Prez, Derrick and Mike. Joining up with them, they appeared as puzzled as the older four.

"Let it be known that as of 6:54 AM, Hawaii Time, on the 30th of October, Clan Short Pacific Rim Division has been established by the authority of the Acting Patriarch of Clan Short, me! Sa'ren Joel Short, son of Spock, son of Sarek of the House of Surak of Vulcan. Also, by my authority, I now appoint the Division Head - until it can be ratified by Cory Short when he takes up his responsibilities..."

Joel let his voice trail off as he looked at Prez with what Prez was certain was a wicked, mischievous glint in his eyes.

"YOU'VE GOT TO BE JOKING!" Prez bellowed. He turned to Keith then stammered, "No, not me, a leader?"

Shaking his head, Keith chuckled, "Well, it ain't me!"

"Don't look at me!" Derrick and Mike playfully chorused.

"Prez?" Joel called softly.

Prez turned and looked down at the small thirteen-year-old Prince.

"Keith is just as able as you to lead these guys. But he'd jump in before thinking everything through. You... you would think more carefully. With Keith at your side, both traits - which are both good - will guide and guard this Division. And so, you are the Division Director."

Looking up into the morning sky, Prez loudly cried, "MA-AAAAA!"

From the tree line behind him, standing amongst the group of eight adults, Jennifer Hundser answered, "Sorry, hon... I agree with the little elf!"


"Thank you, hon," Mrs. Hundser giggled.

"Are you sure, Joel?" Prez asked, his eyes shining with uncertainty.

"Yes," Joel nodded. "But, if you think it'll help, would two others telling you help?"

"What do you mean?" Prez asked with worry.

I-Cheya moved into the center of the group and breathed on Prez, causing him to tremble violently.

"Son, I agree with Joel. You are all I could wish as a son and heir," came the voice of Prez's father - and everyone heard him.

Then came the voice of Prez' mother. "You make me so proud. You will always make me proud. These children need you, Preston - more than you know. Be a father to them all. I love you... we love you so much."

Prez fell to his knees as tears poured from his eyes. He reached and pulled Joel into his arms, barely managing to say, "I... I accept, elf," before dissolving into gentle sobs. The other seven boys moved to surround them with hugs quickly, and soon, everyone moved in to close all spaces and gaps. Only I-Cheya and Blackie were outside of this mass circle of kids and adults.

Joel lifted his voice as he looked around at the group surrounding him and Prez and started to sing;

"Well, I know this life is filled with sorrow
And there are days when the pain just lasts and lasts
But I know there will come a day
When all our tears are washed away,
With a break in the clouds
His glory coming down
And in that moment;

"Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess
That God is love and love has come for us all
Every heart set free, every one will see
That God is love and love has come for us all"

Joel lifted Prez' tear stained face and kissed his nose, then sang the next verse as if for Prez alone:

"For anybody who has ever lost a loved one
And you feel like you had to let go too soon
I know it hurts to say goodbye
But don't you know it's just a matter of time,
Till the tears are gonna end
You'll see them once again

And in that moment;
"Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess
That God is love and love has come for us all
Every heart set free, every one will see
That God is love and love has come for us all"

Everyone gathered there easily picked up on the music and words and sang the last line a few times... and a tremor ran through everyone as Joel, the Shaper, confirmed a Destiny that would remain untarnished forever.

"Love has come for us all...
Love has come for us all!"

Prez stood and was quickly embraced by Keith who was hugged by Drew, Corey, John and Bruce. Mike and Derrick joined the group. Overwhelming cheers and applause erupted from the crowd of almost one hundred kids and adults on the beach.

Smiling widely at the enthused mass of kids, Prez silently thought; Clan Short Pacific Rim Division. That's a mouthful. We've got to shorten it somehow. C.S.P.R.D.? P.R.D.? He began snickering insanely.

Keith felt and heard him. "What's so funny, Prez?"

Prez shrugged and softly chuckled, "We are The Rimmers!" Burying his face in Prez's shoulder, Keith cracked up.

"I knew I should have named them something else, Kevvy," Joel giggled as he heard what Prez said.

"I don't know," Kevin mused, "it does have a certain poetic charm to it, don't it?"

Bruce innocently asked, "What's a rimmer?" Prez, Keith, Derrick and Mike blushed scarlet.

"It's because of their taste in steakhouses," Drew explained. "Because they like to eat Outback." Corey laughed so hard that he could only stagger around dizzily.

John pointed at Prez and laughed, "You're a real Queen and a leader now!" Drew and Corey howled laughing.

Prez playfully counted down; "Five.. four... three..." Giggling, John and Bruce backed off into the pack of kids.

Derrick asked, "What's the first order of business, Prez?"

"Good question!" Prez replied, and glanced around thoughtfully. "What do you think, Keith?"

Keith shrugged, "Everybody's in such a good mood, we should let them be kids first. Then we can get some organization."

Prez shouted, "Let's go swimmin'!" As more hoorays began, Prez then loudly added, "Clothes optional!" Clothing began flying off almost all the kids.

"Prez," Joel said as he touched the older boy's arm, "There's just a few things I need to tell you before you go swimming."

"Oh?" Prez wondered.

Joel said, "First, me and the others need to go soon. You don't know this yet, but since nine in the morning yesterday, me and them have been at two different places on Earth... at the same time. We have to go back to the correct point yesterday so we can do the rest of... forget it, it's a time thing. Just know that right now, the rest of the Clan don't know about this Division. Once we leave, wait until at least eleven before calling the Clan in Orlando. The Vulcans from the Endeavour will show you how to do that."

Prez hummed thoughtfully for a moment or two then asked, "You can stay for a little while longer, at least go swimming with us?"

"Sure," Joel giggled. "It's only seven! We've got a few more hours!"

Thankful, Prez grinned.

Joel pointed at Iokau, who was talking with Prez' parents. "Talk to him, Prez. That's the next thing. He has a lot to tell you and a lot of land to give to the Clan to build your Division."

Seeing Prez deep in thought, Keith softly said, "There's a lot of kids here, baby. They need places to eat, sleep and study, not to mention some sort of recreation."

Wide eyed, Prez softly gasped, "Oh dear Lord! So much for so many!"

Locking eyes with his love, Keith said, "Don't worry, Prez. I'll help every way I can; so will Derrick and Mike."

Already seeing the couple in action, Joel smiled, "You've got the resources of Clan Short behind all your decisions. You'll have anything and everything you need; housing, food, clothes, you name it and state a reason why, then sit back and watch it happen." Joel then stripped and called I-Cheya, "Come on, Bo-bo!"

*Play Time. Toss-The-Kid*

I-Cheya grabbed Prez, got him naked in a split second, and then sent him flying far out into the waters that were colored by the rising sun. Hearing screaming, all the kids stopped what they were doing. Watching their new leader soar high over their heads, they cheered and laughed.

While other kids were still being tossed by I-Cheya, Prez, Keith, Mike and Derrick began bouncing ideas around and wading in deeper water.

"We need a base," Prez offered. "Some place for all of our families to live and for all the rescued kids to meet with us."

"Those meetings need to be pretty often," Derrick said, "at least at first until everyone feels comfortable. We don't want them to think they're only slightly better off now than they were before."

Keith considered, "That base needs to be on O'ahu. We all have responsibilities beyond the Clan. This coming week, there are school day jazz band concerts Tuesday through Friday. Then, two more Saturday afternoon and night."

"That brings up schools for the kids," Mike said. "Some of 'em would do fine in regular schools. Others are gonna need special attention after what they've been through."

Prez asked, "So should we have everything on O'ahu or scattered around the islands?"

"We need to talk with Uncle Iokii to find out what land he's got for us and where," Keith reminded.

"Each location's gonna need a cafeteria with good food," Derrick said. "Like us, they need to be able to grab a snack or a drink whenever they want, day or night."

Refining that idea further, Mike added, "They shouldn't have to drop coins in machines either. Sodas, juices, milk and water with a wide variety of cakes, candies, chips, cookies and fruits all available anytime they want."

"We'll need on-site medical facilities too," Prez said. "And evening on-call nurses and doctors, just in case."

Keith grinned, "Okay, so far we've hired special education teachers, chefs and cafeteria support people, pediatricians, general practitioners and nurses too. Can you say mega-bucks?"

"The more locations, the greater the cost," Derrick reminded.

"But how much do we need to consider costs?" Mike wondered. "My mom's an accountant and could keep our books for whoever might care. My dad's a cop and can coordinate security."

"My dad's a lawyer for legal stuff and mom can handle a lot of psychological issues," Keith reminded.

Derrick offered, "My dad's a construction contractor and could probably coordinate any maintenance stuff for us. Mom's a school bus driver; she could probably handle some transportation, but she can't be doin' that on several islands at once."

Keith suggested, "So let her coordinate transportation and do some driving now and then on O'ahu. These guys have probably never seen a museum or zoo in their lives."

Keith almost sank when Tyler appeared on his shoulders. "Stop worrying so much and eat!" Ty giggled as he held out two hands full of perfectly dry cookies. With Keith kicking and paddling like mad to keep afloat enough to breathe, Ty smiled, "We get money from every planet in the Federation, and a few that ain't. You got more money than Fort Knox; use it or you'll get to help Sean collect new friends for Timmy!"

While Keith kicked, paddled and sputtered, Mike and Derrick laughed at him. Prez chuckled, "I'm almost afraid to ask, but who are Sean and Timmy?"

"Sean is my big bro and Timmy is my nephew... he likes animal and fish friends." Ty giggled. "Timmy's also in charge of making sure everyone showers!"

Mike laughed, "Ah! A bathroom monitor and... what does Sean do?"

"Rooster tails!" Ty giggled as his hands refilled with cookies from nowhere.

Letting that cryptic answer pass, Prez asked, "So what do we need to be thinking of? There's almost a hundred kids to take care of here."

"What you need made available." Ty answered seriously. "Unca Morrow will handle almost everything; he learned not to piss off Cory a while back."

"Uncle Morrow?" all three chorused.

Tyler rolled his eyes and shook his head. "Yeah... you know, the Admiral dude in charge of Starfleet?"

The four glanced at each other and smiled. Keith finally managed to say, "Unlimited resources, Vulcans, Starfleet and the Clan Sho..." His mouth sank below water again.

Prez chortled, "So we only have to talk with Uncle Iokii and find out where we can set up shop?"

"Yep." Tyler giggled. "Now tell your boyfriend to stop playin' fishie and take me surfin'. I ain't never been surfin' before an' I think his shoulders are just the right size to enjoy it!"

Finally Prez cracked up laughing. Mike and Derrick shouted, "Stop screwin' around, Keith!"

"Me too, Unca Prez!" Levi giggled as he appeared on Prez's shoulders. Both Keith's and Prez's surfboards appeared in front of them. Just as Prez sank he grabbed hold of his board and pulled himself and Levi onto it.

Keith climbed onto his surfboard and sat there catching his breath for a few moments. Looking up at Tyler, he complained, "Ya know, having my board nearby might've been a good idea!"

"Sowwy!" Ty smiled and then asked, "How about I make it up to you?"

"Sure," Keith said. The word had barely escaped his lips when a large swell picked the board up and propelled them forward. "Oh crap!" Keith shouted, and he pulled his legs out of the water. Starting to stand, Keith glanced quickly over to his side and saw Prez also standing with Levi on his shoulders. Looking in the other direction, Keith realized this wasn't a normal wave.

Mike and Derrick had the best view of their friends. While most of the waves in the protected bay were two or three feet, Keith and Prez were riding a six-footer. Derrick turned to ask Mike if he thought that might be a Mikyvis wave when Kyle appeared on his shoulders. "Board!" Derrick yelled, a split second before his face sunk beneath the water.

"Oh! Yeah!" Kyle giggled. Then Derrick's and Mike's surfboards appeared floating in the water before them. Climbing onto his board, Mike cracked up thinking, thank goodness there's only three of 'em! Spitting and sputtering salt water, Derrick climbed up onto his board. "Hurry up!" Kyle whined. "Joel has already caught a few nice waves!"

Derrick looked up and coughed, "Joel? He can surf?"

From atop their wave, Prez looked around in the water before him in shock. He had never expected the strange little Vulcan prince to be able to surf. He nearly lost his balance laughing when he saw what was really going on.

I-Cheya had obviously stopped his game of 'Toss-the-Kid' and was now playing 'Living Aircraft-Carrier'. He was swimming to each wave, and letting himself be the surfboard while Joel and five or six more kids were excitedly giggling and squealing from his back.

Approaching the shallows, Keith and Prez turned around and dropped back down to paddle out again. Levi lay down on Prez's back while Tyler did the same with Keith. Seeing Derrick with Kyle and Mike atop another unnaturally large wave, Keith told Tyler, "We're gonna break through this wave. Hold on tight." Prez said virtually the same to Levi moments before the second wave passed. Atop the wave, Kyle was laughing so loudly that even while Keith and Prez were momentarily under water they could still hear him.

"That was so much fun!" Tyler giggled. "Can you handle a bigger wave?"

Snickering, Keith replied, "No bigger than ten feet, Ty."

"Kewl!" Tyler laughed.

"Let's wait for Mike, Derrick, Joel and I-Cheya," Keith suggested as he reached the area where waves were breaking. Sitting up, Keith noticed that Levi had disappeared from Prez' shoulders.

Nervously looking around for little Levi, Prez loudly asked, "Where'd he go?"

Pointing towards the shore at Joel and I-Cheya, Ty giggled, "He's letting Joel know."

While Mike, Derrick and Kyle approached, at the beach, Joel was unloading some of the smaller kids. Then Joel called Drew, Corey, John and Bruce to join him aboard I-Cheya. Mike, Derrick and Kyle lined up beside Prez, Keith and Tyler. Sitting there waiting for I-Cheya to paddle out, Levi appeared upon Mike's shoulders. Looking up, Mike smiled, "My turn now?"

"'Course!" Levi giggled.

"We're equal opportunity Mikyvis!" Tyler snickered. Once I-Cheya had joined the lineup, Ty giggled, "Ev'rybody ready?" and glanced around. Suddenly the swell from hell arose beneath them and everyone began paddling.

Standing with Tyler on his shoulders, Keith could tell something was amiss and hollered, "I said ten feet, Ty!"

"This is ten feet!" Ty giggled.

"Oopsie!" Kyle laughed, "Plus my ten feet!"

Almost in unison, Keith, Prez Mike and Derrick screamed; "SHI-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-IT!" while three Mikyvis giggled hysterically and I-Cheya chuckled.

At the shoreline, Kaleo noticed the shadow of a twenty-foot high wall of water approaching and gasped, "Oh fuck!" then hollered, "EVERYBODY OUT OF THE WATER NOW!" Picking up two little kids, one under each arm, Kaleo hurried to shore. Big kids helped the smaller kids onto the beach and everyone watched the wave crest. Four surfboards and I-Cheya slid down the front of the wave and turned almost parallel to the shore.

The four women on the beach were horrified and buried their faces into their husband's shoulders.

Prez silently prayed, "Ma, dad – get a few rooms ready. We're all gonna die! Clan Short Pacific Rim Division created and destroyed all within an hour."

"My dads are both nuts," Levi giggled before the wave gently lowered to a far more manageable level.

"Spoilsport!" Joel whined.

I-Cheya just huff-huffed his laughter.

The wave shrunk down to a normal Anahola Bay two footer and everyone rode it in to shore safely.

"It's all right now," Jim Hundser chuckled. Jennifer's head popped up and she saw all the kids stepping off their boards in shallow water.

While the older boys were happy to have enjoyed the ride and survived, John and Bruce were bouncing and spinning around. "That was awesome!" John loudly laughed.

His heart still beating a mile a minute, Prez carried his board to Kaleo and passed it to him. "I think I've had enough for one morning," Prez smirked.

Kaleo grinned, "I've never surfed before."

Prez nodded, "Two and three footers are perfect to learn on." Prez then smirked, "Just watch out if Kyle or Tyler are around."

Kaleo chuckled, "You dudes looked awesome though."

"I need to have a chat with Uncle Iokii," Prez explained, then asked, "Do you have any island preferences – where you might like to live, I mean."

Shaking his head, Kaleo said, "It doesn't really matter. Tory and I are good friends and would want to be together."

"Good idea," Prez smiled. "Now I have something I'd like for you to think about."

"What's that?" Kaleo wondered.

"I need a communications officer," Prez answered. "You would handle all communications between the Islands and with other Clan Short divisions. You'd have to be on O'ahu at our main base though."

"Consider it done, Prez," Kaleo proudly smiled.

Prez shook Kaleo's hand then said, "Your first task is to ask everyone where they would like to be and who they want to be with. Once I'm done talking with Uncle Iokii, I'll know where we'll have our Rimmer camps."

Kaleo softly snickered, "Rimmers!"

Prez chuckled, "It was either that or C.S.P.R.D."

Taking the surfboard, Kaleo grinned, "You realize that makes you head Rimmer?"

Cracking up, Prez laughed, "You'll work out fine... mouth Rimmer!" Kaleo roared laughing.

Dressed in boardies and a T-shirt, Keith walked up smiling, "What did I miss?" and then handed Prez his clothes.

"Just the first of thousands of Rimmer jokes!" Prez chuckled, and then began getting dressed.

"Ah jeez," Keith snickered.

Kaleo said, "See ya later dudes," then walked over to the water line with the surfboard. He stopped and gathered about two dozen kids around him, then asked them all to begin considering where they might like to live and who they preferred to stay with.

Once Prez was dressed, he said, "Let's get our core Rimmers and go chat with Uncle Iokii."

"Oh jeez!" Keith laughed, "Core Rimmers?"

Prez smiled, "You, me, Mike, Derrick, Drew and Corey." While they walked together towards Drew and Corey, Prez said, "I'm gonna be the division leader, but you're my second in command, Keith."

"I know, baby," Keith smiled.

"Whenever I'm not around, you act in my place," Prez relayed. "Also, Kaleo is now our communications officer."

"Kewl," Keith nodded, "He's an excellent choice."

"He's already asking all the other kids where they want to live and with who."

"Whom," Keith corrected and grinned.

"Whatever!" Prez giggled, and waved Drew and Corey out of the water. They came running over and Prez said, "You guys are part of my core team. Get dressed and let's talk with Uncle Iokii."

Wandering further up the beach, Drew hummed thoughtfully and asked Corey, "Do you remember where we left our clothes?"

Shaking his head, Corey giggled, "I can't even really remember what I was wearing."

Seeing Mike and Derrick riding a wave back to shore, Keith waved and hollered, "Come on. Stuff to do."

Soon everyone was gathered and Prez began; "I'm head Rimmer and all you guys are my core Rimmers. Kaleo's communications officer and is therefore mouth Rimmer." Everyone began blushing and giggling. Prez continued, "Whenever there's a decision to be made, I want as many opinions from all you guys as possible. Since I'm ultimately responsible and there's only six of us, decisions may not always be by democratic vote, but I'll always try to explain why I've chosen to do something a certain way." Glancing around, Prez asked, "Every one cool?" and his team nodded. "Our first decision is where on O'ahu to have our main base and, if we can have multiple bases, where they should be." Receiving multiple positive replies, Prez said, "Let's go then."

Iokau Ai'la'ausd, also known as Uncle Iokii by all the kids, was one of the nicest adult men on O'ahu. He was also one of the wealthiest on all of the islands. A native Hawaiian, Iokau was forty-seven years old and had long black hair with streaks of gray running from his temples back down his pony-tail. He treated almost everyone with the same kindness and respect, unless you got on his bad side; in which case he would completely ignore that individual as if he or she didn't exist.

Uncle Iokii was near the other adults when Prez and the guys approached. Prez asked, "Can we take a walk and have a chat, Uncle Iokii?"

"Of course," Iokau smiled. "I would always make time for my favorite boys." Turning to the other adults Iokau said, "Excuse us please."

As they started to walk, Prez relayed, "Joel said we needed to talk with you about setting up our new division."

"Yes," Iokau began, "You boys might remember I was accused of doing bad things not too long ago."

Keith nodded, "Yep, my dad's firm represented you and all the charges were dropped."

"We all knew it was nothin' but lies," Mike assured.

"It was, yes," Iokau said. "What you don't know is why that happened. I learned of the problems within our government and tried my best to stop them. But I was a single voice against many. Over the years, it cost me land and money.

"Since last night, much of my land has been restored to me by the King, with Clan Short assistance. I would donate some of my land to the Clan, as a way of expressing my thanks. The land south of the Kilauea Wildlife Preserve, where the luau was last night, is yours. On O'ahu, much of the land north of Ewa Beach Park, from Fort Weaver Road northeast to Iroquois Avenue and bordered by North Road is yours. Also, on O'ahu for your use is the land from Essex Road on the east, to Coral Sea Road on the west, and from Eisenhower Road north to San Juacinto Street. The United States Government has been leasing from me the land where Marine Corps Base Hawaii stands. You may use the land on the northern end of that peninsula as it is virtually unoccupied."

The boys' heads were reeling, but Iokau continued; "On the east side of Maui, the land east of Highway 360 to the sea and north of Waikoloa Road to the Waianapanapa Park border is yours. On Hawaii's northeast side, there is approximately two square miles of unused land. It is northwest of Paauhau Park. Kia Manu Road runs through the area.

"I have already arranged to sign over all the stated lands to Clan Short in perpetuity and will sign the legal documents first thing Monday morning."

As he smiled at the amazed looks on the boys' faces, Iokau decided it was time to put the icing on the cake. "Oh, I almost forgot... your parents' houses are paid off too. Call it an 'Aloha Gift' from the owner of the land they were built on."

Prez overflowed, "Uncle Iokii, you are an extremely generous and great man. How can we ever thank you enough?" and offered his hand.

Firmly shaking Preston's hand, Iokau stated simply, "Care for and help the children that need it most. Teach them to care for and help each other."

Keith added, "I think the new Clan division should talk with the Royals and have a street named after you."

"YEAH!" Mike, Derrick, Drew and Corey cheered.

Wiping away a happy tear, Iokau smiled, "I have always loved children, but never had any of my own. Now I feel I've done something that will far outlive me and provide for future generations."

"You've got almost a hundred kids you can call your own now," Derrick reminded, and gave Iokau a firm hug.

After giving Iokau another hug, Drew nodded and smiled, "Please visit us as often as you can."

"We'd love to see you," Corey assured, and gave him a third hug.

Iokau nodded and smiled, "I promise to stop by. If there is ever any way I can help, please let me know. Now, go back to your new Clan and share the good news."

The boys ran back to where the rest of their Clan was playing on the sand and in the surf. On the way, Prez told Keith, "Get all our parents to join us down by the water. Don't tell them what Uncle Iokii said."

Keith laughed, "Just to watch their mouths fall open, but for once, we won't hear a word."

"The rest of you dudes, gather our new Clan," Prez said. Four positive replies gushed forth. "I'll get Joel and our mainland brothers," Prez chuckled.

In a matter of minutes, all the adults and kids were collected and anxiously waiting. Standing around and beside Prez were his core team, Joel, Kevin and all the others from Clan Short on the U.S. Mainland. Smiling as widely as he ever had in his life, Prez loudly announced, "You've all been told to think about where you'd like to live and friends you'd like to stay with; now I'll explain why. We just had a talk with Uncle Iokii. Clan Short Pacific Rim Division will have bases on four islands. On Hawaii, we'll have about two square miles of land. On Maui, we'll have another large lot of land. On O'ahu, we'll have three more large lots of land; one in Ewa Beach for our base of operations and the other two for whatever purposes we decide. Finally, here on Kaua'i we have the land south of the wildlife refuge, where we had the luau last night.

"Our goal is to make certain you all have the best possible living arrangements; no more than two to a bedroom so no one will ever feel alone or cramped; you'll all have recreation facilities and easy access to beaches; and if there's been some hobby or special interest you have, let us know what you need, we'll do our very best to supply it. When I asked Uncle Iokii how we could ever repay his generosity, he only asked that we care for and help each other. We can always try our best to do that, can't we?" A roar of affirmations exploded from all the kids.

Keith leaned over to Prez and said, "Uncle Iokii's gone, baby."

Nodding, Prez waited for everyone to chill then said, "Being the generous and humble man he is, Uncle Iokii has left, but he has promised to visit us often. When we see him again, we're all gonna show our gratitude the best ways we can, won't we?" Everyone nodded and again agreed with Prez, albeit more softly.

When the sounds died down, Prez said, "Soon, more of our Clan brothers and sisters will be visiting us. We're gonna show them the paradise we've always dreamed of, aren't we?" Another enthusiastic cheer burst forth.

Mike chuckled, "You're more of a ham than I am." and Prez playfully shoved him.

"I only have one more announcement," Prez began and watched the group of adults carefully. "Since all our lives are changing for the better, Uncle Iokii also wanted to make sure our parents could devote their skills and time to the Clan. Towards that end, all their mortgages are paid in full." As expected, eight mouths hung open in amazement. Prez laughed, "Now all you guys have eight real parents that care and our parents have more kids than they can count." All of the rescued kids laughed and surrounded their new surrogate parents.

Feeling a tug on his shirt sleeve, Prez turned and faced Joel.

Joel beamed, "You're a natural leader, Prez."

Prez shrugged, "I'm just doin' what I feel needs to be done."

"And you'll do great; I know it now even more. We've got to go real soon though. Is there anything else you need?"

Prez thought for only a moment then said, "You told me to contact the Endeavour after eleven. Exactly how am I supposed to do that and what should I say?"

"All that stuff you just told your clan, Unca Iokii already shared with me and the commander of the Endeavour," Joel smiled. "They know exactly what lands are put aside, down to the nearest centimeter. Everything you need will be provided by the Endeavor or by Clan Short."

Excitedly, Prez rambled, "We need buildings for them, we need schools, the kids need clothes..."

Joel interrupted, "You'll get all that and more. Trust us Prez; we've done this before."

Kevin handed Prez a Starfleet communicator and explained, "Just open this up, tell them who you are and let the Vulcans do their bit."

Joel nodded and smiled at his husband then looked up at Prez. "Soon after that, more Clan will be showing up. Anything you need, just ask and it's yours."

Prez sighed, "It just feels like so much and I really don't feel prepared."

Keith took hold of Prez and repeated, "You will never ever be alone, baby."

Derrick said, "You've got us too, bro," and took hold of Mike's hand.

"And Corey and me too," Drew reminded.

"We're the core Rimmers!" Corey giggled. The group around Joel heartily laughed; even I-Cheya huffed a few more chuckles.

Relieved, Prez finally smiled. "Don't be a stranger, Prince. As hectic and odd as it's been, we're really gonna miss all you guys."

"Prez, we've really gotta go, now," Joel said with a small smile.

Prez' face fell slightly.

"Don't worry, doofus!" Joel giggled, "In a few hours you'll be meeting most of the Clan. You'll either see me later today, or sometime over the next few days - I might be busy making Kevvy squeal!"

"Hey!" Kevin protested as he blushed bright red.

"Oh, okay... Kevvy might be making me squeal!"

"Sa'ren!" Kevin groaned, "You're making it worse!"

"I know... but you still love me, right?"

"Grrrr..." Kevin managed through his giggles.

Joel kissed Prez on the cheek before slipping over to where I-Cheya, Brant, Kyle, Tyler, Kai and the two Lions were. "See ya soon, guys!"

They vanished.

Around Galli, Levi, Kevin, the two Cheetahs, Aphrodite, Blackie, Artemus, and Matthew all waved... and folded away.

Prez turned to Keith with a blank, uncertain expression on his face. Keith grinned, "I've always been proud of you, Prez, since before we became partners; even more so now. You know that, right?"

Nodding, Prez sighed, "It's just... been a busy day. It's not even been a full day. First Bruce, then Galli, Vulcans, a Sehlat, a silver wolf-collie... hearing my parents' voices for the first time in over two years. Until yesterday, we've seen two or three Vulcans; now there's six of 'em keeping us safe. I can only wonder what they're protecting us from?"

"You know the answer to that already," Derrick said.

Mike nodded and reminded, "From the same kinda dirt-bags that would hurt any of those kids playing over there."

"It's a good thing I can handle change pretty easily," Prez smirked.

Bruce meekly offered, "You guys found me, got me food... and kept me with you this whole time. Nobody else woulda done what you guys done."

Pointing out at the bay, Drew said, "Look at them, Prez. There's four dudes out there surfin' that've never done it before." Pointing at the beach, Drew smiled, "Me and Corey showed those others how to build a sand castle."

"Most've 'em have never done that or even knew what a sand castle was," Corey added.

Derrick nodded, "Stuff we've always done and just take for granted, they're clueless about."

Keith then suggested, "Until it's time to call the Endeavour, let's get to know some of them."

"Excellent idea," Prez smiled, "I only know a little about ten of them."

"How about we split up," Mike offered, "There's more than eighty of them and only eight of us."

"You're including me?" Bruce squealed.

"Why not?" John wondered then explained, "Until we find your folks, what else can ya do?" Bruce shrugged and John snickered, "Come on, let's teach them how to make a real sand castle." They then hurried down the beach to where another bunch of kids were playing.

Soon, the remaining couples had stripped their shirts off again and were out in the water, mingling amongst their new Clan. Drew and Corey waded out to another group of similar aged kids and began teaching them to body surf. Mike and Derrick joined some others that didn't even know how to swim and began teaching them. Kaleo had taken to surfing easily and was sharing one board with Tory, who was having a more difficult time learning.

Keith and Prez mingled around learning about some of the kids and how they wound up needing to be rescued by the Clan. For a short time, Keith went in one direction to talk with Drew and Corey, while Prez went in another to talk with Mike and Derrick. Prez also took the opportunity to talk with his core team members once more about how long Joel's team was on the islands; none of them were to mention how long Joel was around. Prez and Keith then shared what they had learned about the kids, and came to the conclusion that at least half of their Clan was orphaned visitors from North America or Japan. Of the remainder, many were Hawaiian orphans, but some were abandoned and some were runaways. In every case, the kids were either abused by foster parents or by the orphanages that were supposed to care for them. They had no one to protect them.

Hours flew by until Prez realized it was ten of eleven. Sitting in the sand beside Keith between the adults and some of the kids, Prez anxiously checked his watch. He looked at the small Starfleet communicator, taking note of the Starfleet symbol and the Clan Short emblem on the casing. He wondered what type of metal the casing was made of; it was too light to be steel, but too strong to be aluminum. Nervously looking at Keith, Prez wondered, "What should I say?"

Keith answered, "Just what Joel said, your name and that you're the leader of the new Clan Short Pacific Rim Division."

"My stomach's twisted into a big knot," Prez smirked. "What if they ask what I want? Jeez, any question at all is gonna make me wanna puke."

Wrapping an arm around his lover, Keith grinned, "Just remember they're Vulcans. No jokes, puns or innuendo. They won't laugh, but I prob'ly will."

Rolling his eyes, Prez huffed, "Oh great."

Checking his watch, Keith said, "I've got eleven o'clock."

Prez checked his watch and waited for the digital display to read 11:01 AM. He opened the communicator.

A female voice flatly said, "Starship Endeavor. T'Rel."

With as much confidence as he could muster, Prez said, "This is Preston O'Brian, leader of Clan Short Pacific Rim Division."

The Vulcan women said, "Your communication was expected, Mister O'Brian. Prepare for transport."

Prez gulped and weakly asked, "Transport?"

"Aboard the Endeavour."

Softly whining, Prez stood and so did Keith. "There will be two of us," Prez said into the device.

"The identity of the second person?"

"Keith Hundser."


Closing his eyes, Prez said, "We're ready."


Keith softly chuckled, "This is so rad!"

Keeping his eyes closed, Prez pocketed the communicator and whimpered, then reached for Keith's hand.

With his eyes wide open, Keith watched as the beach before him faded. Then it seemed as if he were seeing gray walls beyond the beach where blue sky had been. The beach faded away and the gray walls began to have a tan color. They were then standing on the Endeavour's transporter pad. "Awesome!" Keith softly cheered then turned to his exceptionally pale boyfriend. "It's okay, Prez."

Prez opened his eyes, looked around and took a deep breath. A tall Vulcan man stood before them. "Welcome aboard," the man said, "I am Lieutenant Ra'Vesti."

Since Prez hadn't yet regained his ability to speak, Keith said, "It's our pleasure, Lieutenant. I'm Keith and this is Prez... Preston."

Ra'Vesti nodded and said, "Follow me."

Walking behind the Lieutenant and out of the transporter room, Prez never let go of Keith's hand. He looked around at the walls barren of any art and asked, "Why are we here, Lieutenant?"

"I will be assisting with the development of your facilities," Lieutenant Ra'Vesti answered.

"Thanks," Prez smiled, but then remembered what little he had learned about Vulcans in school and softly explained, "We've not had much exposure to Vulcans. Please pardon us if we seem to act... inappropriately."

The Lieutenant only nodded, but didn't say a word. He led Keith and Prez to another room then sat down at a console. After pressing a few buttons, an image of Kaua'i appeared on the display then zoomed into the north shore. South of the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Preserve, the perimeter of their new facility flashed.

"It's huge!" Prez gasped.

"And includes Secret Beach, where we met everyone yesterday," Keith smiled.

Lieutenant Ra'Vesti said, "The Endeavour is prepared to provide structures for all expected needs. Is there anything specific you would like added?"

"We haven't been told what to expect really," Prez stammered.

Keith nodded and offered, "We don't even know what to ask for."

"If you will allow," Lieutenant Ra'Vesti said, "I will program our replicators to reproduce all structures and additional facilities similar to Clan Short Headquarters Orlando? I will then organize all structures for all Pacific Rim Division bases."

Prez said, "We'd like our main headquarters located on O'ahu in Ewa Beach."

"The land bordered by North Road and Fort Weaver Road," Keith recalled.

Lieutenant Ra'Vesti entered more commands and an image of O'ahu appeared on the display then zoomed in closer to the south side of the island. He pointed at the flashing perimeter confirming; "This will be Pacific Rim Division headquarters?"

Prez and Keith both said, "Yes."

Moving to the west, Lieutenant Ra'Vesti then suggested; "This would be an adequate area for incoming children requiring special care or quarantine due to disease. It is near an airfield."

After briefly checking with Keith, Prez then said, "Agreed. Thank you, Lieutenant."

"Are there any other considerations?" Lieutenant Ra'Vesti asked.

"So we know what to expect," Prez began, "could you show us what the living quarters will look like?

Soon, images of the exterior of a building came up on the display. It was two stories and 'L' shaped. Virtual reality images took them in a door and then to the first dorm room. The floor was carpeted dark green, the walls were painted with two tones of blue, darker blue on the bottom third and light sky blue on the top. The room appeared spacious with two beds, two closets, two dressers, two desks and chairs. All-in-all, it seemed bigger than the room Prez and Keith shared and very comfortable.

Satisfied, Prez then explained, "We just want these kids to be as happy as possible. Sure they need medical facilities and schools and all the usual required stuff, but we'd like them to feel at home."

"We're musicians," Keith began, "every site needs to have access to a variety of recreational activities; soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, musical instruments, art and painting supplies, video games, TV's and stereos."

"These kids don't have the simplest things, not even clothes, shoes or sneakers," Prez said. "They need everything."

Lieutenant Ra'Vesti nodded and continued entering commands for another minute or two. He then stood and turned to face Prez and Keith asking, "Scanning of the children is in progress. Clothing will be provided for all. Your additional necessities have been noted and will be made available. Will there be anything else you require?"

Prez wondered, "How long will this take?"

Keith added, "There are more than eighty kids down on the beach. They've gotta be getting hungry by now."

"Within six Terran hours all facilities will be ready for utilization," Lieutenant Ra'Vesti said. "There are eighty-seven rescued plus fourteen family and friends, not including you. We will provide sufficient food and beverages for your Clan gentlemen."

Prez and Keith smiled at each other. Six bases on four islands in six hours was nothing less than amazing to them. Facing Ra'Vesti again, Prez said, "The only other thing I can think of asking is for Clan Short to be notified of our progress and location."

"We're looking forward to meeting them," Keith smiled.

"I will contact Clan Short Headquarters," Ra'Vesti assured.

Standing up straight and attempting to act formally in boardies and a T-shirt, Prez said. "Thank you, Lieutenant, you've been very helpful. I'll certainly make mention of this to my superiors in Clan Short."

"Follow me to the transporter room," Lieutenant Ra'Vesti said, and led the way with Keith and Prez trailing behind.

Frowning, Prez softly told Keith, "I hate this part."

Squeezing his partner's hand, Keith chuckled, "It's fun! Open your eyes this time and watch."

Prez sighed, "If only I didn't know the basics of how I was being transported."

Keith leaned closer and whispered, "I'll check all your molecules later tonight." Wide-eyed, Prez giggled happily.

While Prez and Keith stepped onto the transporter pads, Lieutenant Ra'Vesti took position behind the control console. Holding up his hand in the familiar Vulcan method, Lieutenant Ra'Vesti said, "Peace and long life to you, Preston O'Brian and Keith Hundser."

Keith and Prez easily returned the gesture, saying, "Live long and prosper, Lieutenant." Then Prez closed his eyes and held his breath. Seeing an easy opportunity, Keith reached over and tickled Prez just before the transporter beam activated. Frantically brushing Keith's hand away, Prez opened his eyes and laughed. Keith cracked up laughing, thankful that he now had a ticklish boyfriend.

Arriving back on Anahola beach, Prez squinted and mooed, then softly counted down. Hysterical, Keith didn't wait for 'three' and took off running down the beach and into the water. While they chased each other into and out of the surf, Derrick and Mike came over.

Mike shouted, "Where the hell did you go?"

Ducking away from Prez, Keith laughed, "Aboard the Endeavor."

"You know what this means?" Derrick queried.

"No, what?" Keith giggled.

Derrick snickered, "Prez was flying!"

Coming to an abrupt halt and realizing the truth, Prez hollered, "OH MY GOD!" Keith, Derrick and Mike roared laughing, then raced away. Looking down and kicking at the water, Prez realized that he was so concerned about the transporter beam, he hadn't even considered flying in a spacecraft in orbit. When he looked up again, many of his new Clan was hurrying up the beach to where tables of food now stood. Wondering what kinds of foods had been provided, Prez hurried over.

Noticing Prez only a few yards away at the first of four tables, Keith loudly chuckled, "Check it out, Prez. It's like a buffet restaurant at the beach! There's enough food here for a small army!"

Prez smiled, "Well, we are a small army now." On the table before him were hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs and assorted condiments. The next table over were sandwiches of every type from peanut butter and jelly on white bread to heroes with meats on rolls. The third table had large bowls of salad, various fruits and cookies by the score. The last table had milk, sodas and water on top with more large buckets of drinks below it. The Endeavor had even provided trays, paper plates, plastic utensils, napkins and large trash cans.

Jim Hundser walked over and asked, "Why don't you invite our Vulcan security team to join us?"

Prez nodded and smiled, "Good idea!" then wondered, "Where are mom and the other women?"

"The little ones have been asking for bathroom trips back to the hotel," Jim Hundser grinned.

Prez giggled and scanned the dunes until he found Lieutenant Vorik. "Let me invite the Vulcans," Prez said. "I'll be right back." He then hurried over to Lieutenant Vorik, politely asking him and his team to join them for lunch.

Lieutenant Vorik replied, "Our assignment is security."

"Come on," Prez grinned, "you guys must be hungry. At least allow one at a time to come over and join us. Security won't be drastically affected that way."

"Very well," Lieutenant Vorik nodded, "I will inform my personnel."

Blankly staring at the man, Prez then softly asked, "Are we that different? I mean, our two races have known each other for eighty years, according to our school history books. We humans like to get to know each other, at least a little bit. I understand that you're working, but take a break, relax a little."

"Our races are not 'that different', as you say," Lieutenant Vorik admitted. He then explained, "Vulcans are always content. Our race does not understand human emotions, or how they drive individuals. For example, it would be similar to you understanding the language and culture of ancient Egypt. What has occurred here and at other locations on Earth would never happen on Vulcan. It is alien to us."

"It's completely despicable to me too," Prez shared. "Most humans aren't like the ones responsible for all these kids. Did you know that I'm an orphan like most of these kids?"

"I did not."

"I am. The Hundsers are my foster family. They've helped me in so many ways since my parents died; I can't begin to list them all. They treat me the same as any member of their family, so much so that I treat them like my family. It's more than that though. Keith and I have fallen in love. We're boyfriends, partners for life... what's the Vulcan word?"


"Yeah, that's it; T'hy'la. Now you know something more about me and I know more about you and your culture. For me, it makes you more than just a security officer. It makes you an individual, a person, not just a name and a job." Pausing, Prez said, "Anyway, our families would enjoy getting to know each of you. Please join us for lunch."

Lieutenant Vorik nodded and after a brief pause said, "Thank you, Preston O'Brian. It is... my pleasure to know you."

Prez giggled, "Same here. I'll see ya later, okay?"


As Prez walked back to the tables for lunch he thought; for a Vulcan, that was almost emotional, and began softly snickering.

Preparing himself a tray with a burger, a hot dog, salad, an apple and two sodas, Prez went over to where the rest of the core Rimmers were sitting with Bruce, John, Kaleo, Jonah, Reyes and Tory.

Keith was telling them about their trip to the Endeavour and now that Prez was with him, he said, "We asked to see what our dormitory rooms would look like. It was great, like a fly-by of an 'L' shaped, two story building. Then the view moved to ground level and we went inside."

"How big was it?" Tory mumbled through his sandwich. Swallowing, he asked, "Like, how many rooms per building?"

Keith scowled, "I'm not sure."

Washing down a mouthful of food, Prez said, "There was text on the bottom of the screen, really small, but it said, estimated one hundred rooms per building, so fifty rooms per floor."

"The bedrooms were really large," Keith continued. "Everybody gets their own bed, dresser, closet, desk and chair."

"There are even little refrigerators in each room," Prez added.

Mike figured, "Since there are eighty-seven kids, everyone could fit into one building."

"Or if there are two buildings," Derrick offered, "we could do dudes in one building, girls in another?"

Prez shrugged, "What do you dudes think; co-ed dorms or split the sexes?"

Kaleo said, "I'm gay so it don't make much difference to me."

Tory said, "Leaning towards gay," he then giggled, "but just about everything gives me a woody lately; girls, guys, a strong breeze." Corey laughed and Drew almost gagged on his food.

Corey quickly patted his back, then Drew giggled, "I know that feeling too well!"

Everyone in the group began laughing except little Bruce. "What's a woody?" he shyly smiled.

John snickered, "Remember Keith and Prez this morning?" Bruce nodded. John explained, "Keith had a woody, a boner, a stiffy..."

"That's enough, John!" Keith loudly laughed.

"Okay!" John howled. He then said, "Prez had a semi... not quite hard but not soft either, prob'ly because he was mad at Kyle." Prez nodded and blushed.

Scowling thoughtfully, Bruce wondered, "Soft I get; hard... okay; but why do they change?"

John hummed thoughtfully, then frowned, "That's not so easy to answer," and glanced at his older brothers.

From behind where Prez was sitting in the circle of boys, a new voice called, "Director Preston O'Brian?"

"Yes," Prez laughed, as he turned his head to see who was calling him so formally. He saw an older teen dressed in highly polished combat boots, blue trousers with gold braids down the side of each leg, a white shirt with a black bow tie, and all topped off with a Black Beret. Beside him were another teen girl and a younger boy similarly dressed.

Most disconcerting, the three had side arms. And behind them were a small armada of gorillas, G-Cats and human kids, also heavily armed.

Putting his tray down in the sand, Prez then hurried to his feet. Noticing the silver Eagle on the teen boy's shoulder, Prez knew he was a Colonel. Unable to hide the concern on his face or in his voice, Prez asked, "How can I help you, Colonel?"

The teen smiled as all three of them snapped to attention and saluted. "My name is Donnie Williams. I will be heading up the temporary security detail for this Clan Division. With me are Lt. Colonel Emily Larson, my second in command, and Second Lieutenant Nathan Hayes, who will temporarily head up your Intel division, if that is all right with you, Sir." Once he was finished speaking, the three of them dropped their salutes, and went perfectly into a parade rest stature.

Holding out his hand to the superior officer, Prez said, "Nice to meet you, Donnie." They shook hands and Donnie returned to parade rest. Moving on to Emily and then Nathan, Prez greeted them in the same way, as is his usual manner. He then said, "I can only defer to your choice for our intelligence division... but I didn't really know we needed an intelligence division either."

Once the introductions were done, Donnie again spoke, and he gestured towards the group behind Preston. "Are these all of the Clan members, or are their more elsewhere? I also need to know who the leadership of the division are, so that I may assign personal security for them."

"All these kids around the beach are Clan. The adults are our parents, except for the Vulcans, of course." Prez smiled and spun around. "Core Rimmers and Kaleo, come on over here, dudes." Donnie and Nathan helplessly snickered; however Emily did not.

Prez introduced Keith as his partner and second in command. He then introduced Mike and Derrick as his best friends and explained, "They're advisers right now. I haven't decided what jobs to give them." Prez introduced Drew as his foster brother and Corey as Drew's boyfriend, causing them both to blush while they shook hands with Donnie, Emily and Nathan. Finally Prez introduced Kaleo. While Kaleo greeted the three officers, Prez explained, "He's one of the rescued kids, but has already proven himself to be a good communications officer. All the kids listen to him."

Donnie nodded and smiled. "The ones who prove themselves early, are always the best. Now, I brought one hundred of my guys here, to start, however, General Casey will be here later on, and will decide on what kind of staffing to do on a permanent basis." He turned and made some hand motions to the people behind him. At once, many of them jogged off into different directions, while a small group of humans and hybrids walked up to the main group.

"For right now, my guys will just set up a perimeter, and escort anyone who needs to leave it. Also, until our replacements come, I think it would be prudent for at least one member of the team to be with each of the 'Core Rimmers' as you called them, at all times. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. And also, unless you really want to," Donnie grinned, "generally we try not to be too formal if we don't have to be."

"Okay," Prez smiled, "start by calling me Prez. If I hear Director O'Brian or any variation of it, I'm gonna immediately assume something's very wrong. As for individual security..."

"PRESTON!" Jennifer Hundser shrieked. Involuntarily Prez's shoulders tightened up around his ears.

Looking over, Prez saw his foster mom storming down the beach towards him with a gorilla and an eleven-year-old boy. Prez rolled his eyes and sighed, "As I was going to say, personal security might be a problem."

Without another word, Donnie stepped around Prez, and took a few steps until he was right in front of Mrs. Hundser, making very sure that he was not threatening in any way. "Mrs. Hundser, I'm Colonel Donnie Williams of the Clan Short Special Forces Division, and the current commander of the security detail attached to the Clan Short Pacific Rim Division. I understand your hesitancy to have personal security; however, it is justified and needed. If you would prefer, I can assign others to your detail. I must apologize, as I did not have the information as to gender and age of all parties involved."

Stopping in front of the boy blocking her path, Jennifer Hundser said, "Hello, Donnie," and then loudly asked, "How is a gorilla and a little boy, both armed to the teeth, supposed to make me feel safe?"

Shaking his head, Keith giggled insanely.

"Oh man!" Drew gasped, "We're all in trouble now!"

It was actually Emily who stepped forward. "Ma'am, I understand your hesitancy to allow and accept personal security, however, please let me explain something. One week ago, our family was attacked, and more than sixty brothers and sisters of mine were killed. Had they had security, things would have been different. I know this is not something a mother wants to hear, but with your children becoming members of the Clan, there are many people who would like to hurt them. Our job is to make sure that does not happen." She paused for a second to take a breath, then pushed forward. "Last week Donnie and I accepted the placement of two young boys as our children. As a mother, I understand that you want to be the one to protect your children, however, think about this. What would be a better way to hurt the Clan members here than to take away their mother? If you were hurt, it would devastate how many kids that have never had a mother before they met you?" She knew she could go on, but she had made her point.

Hearing Emily's explanation, Jennifer Hundser nodded and sighed. Lowering her voice and giving her attention to both Donnie and Emily, she explained her feelings. "I could almost begin to accept security for my boys and even for myself; however, look at these two!" Waving her arms at them, she said, "A gorilla and a little boy? And they're carrying small cannons! Can we at least compromise and have one female for myself and the other three mothers down the beach?"

Emily grinned and looked over at Donnie. "I do apologize for that. Colonel Williams never consulted me on the assignments for personal security. Had he done so, I can guarantee that such an oversight would NOT have happened.

"If it would be acceptable to you, Ma'am, I would personally like to lead your security detail until such time as a replacement can be found. I can guarantee that while General Casey may be a male, he would not overlook such details."

"Thank you, Emily. And please, since we're going to be spending time together, call me Jennifer. If I could ask one additional small favor?"

"Yes, of course you may ask. I may not be able to comply however."

Understanding, Jennifer nodded and begged, "Not a gorilla, please!"

Keith, Mike, Derrick and Prez began snapping their fingers and singing; "We've got a gorilla for sale, Magilla Gorilla for sale. Won't you buy him, Take him home and try him, Gorilla for sale. Don't you want a little gorilla you can call your own, A gorilla who'll be with ya when you're all alone?"

Jennifer Hundser shot flames from her eyes at all four, causing them to turn away and snicker.

Emily smiled and nodded understandingly. She seemed to get very much less formal and started to speak as a normal person again. "I understand completely... they can be a bit much at first, however, they're very good at what they do. I think it would be best to have at least one of the enhanced troops to back me up, so how about..." she looked around for a few seconds before she spotted someone that would work. "Lt. Tanya Casey!" She called out, and a girl of about thirteen jogged over and saluted. "Jennifer here would prefer two females to be her personal security. Please inform your CO, that I am assigning you to this duty."

"Of course, Colonel. I will be back in a few moments." With another salute, the girl turned and jogged away.

Turning to Nathan, Emily then said, "Can you please make the other changes that are needed? The mothers need to have female security, and the fathers should have males that are somewhat older. But as I said, make sure at least one is enhanced."

"Got it." The preteen boy said, but other than that did nothing.

Donnie took this opportunity to try and salvage some of his dignity, by addressing the group, trying to ignore the song they had sung. "If any of you have questions, please feel free to ask."

While Keith, Mike and Derrick snickered, Prez smiled, "We're good for now, I think, Donnie."

Quickly moving forward through the group, John asked, "Can I have a gorilla?"

Prez giggled, "What do ya say, Donnie? John's another foster brother, but a little too young to be a core Rimmer."

Donnie grinned and tried not to laugh at the statement, but then almost lost it when he had a thought. "Sure, but only if you teach him to surf!"

"Sure!" John excitedly answered. "I can surf... a little bit."

Keith reminded, "A gorilla's gonna need a much bigger board, bro."

Derrick scanned the nearest great ape and estimated; "About fifteen feet long, four feet wide and a foot thick."

Looking up at Prez, Bruce whined, "Can I have a gorilla too?"

"Donnie, this is Bruce," Prez smiled, "John, Drew and Corey rescued him from Ewa Beach yesterday. We're still looking for his parents so we've kept him with us."

Donnie turned to the assembled gorillas along the dune and said in a loud clear voice, "Okay. You heard the little guys. Which of you wants to belong to which boy?"

The gorillas all turned their eyes in the direction of Bruce and John and looked down. Then they began to eyeball the two boys, causing them to feel very small and vulnerable. They started grinning and baring their teeth.

To John and Bruce, the gorillas looked very angry and they both unconsciously stepped back. John gasped, "Err... umm..."

A pair of young Silver-backs stepped forward and the older of the two began to speak. "Me and my little bro always wanted a boy of our own. We'll take 'em!"

"They speak?" Bruce and John chorused. Glancing at each other, wide grins spread across their faces.

"How totally kewl is that!" John loudly giggled. The next thing John knew he was being swept up by the older, larger Silver-back. Wide-eyed, John laughed; "Who-o-oa!"

Busy laughing at John, Bruce didn't notice the younger Silver-back until a massive arm wrapped around and picked him up. "AHHH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAAA!"

"Of course we speak," the older gorilla grinned. "You don't think that those dumb cats get to talk and us hugely intelligent apes don't, do you?"

Turning back to the remaining gorillas, Donnie's smile turned upside-down and he leaned to his right slightly. Seeing a duffel bag mysteriously moving and then a ferret scurrying out, Donnie scowled and shouted, "YOU THERE! HALT!" The ferret spun around, stood upright and pointed at himself, looking around as if it might've been anyone else. Shaking his head sadly, Donnie softly grumbled, "Sonofabitch! Why me?"

"Cos you led us to SHINYS!" the ferret giggled, then sped off and dove into the bushes. The mat of greenery seemed to tremble as if there were many small creatures hidden within it.

Donnie tapped his communicator, "Daileass. How many of the ferrets are in Hawaii, and how did they get here?"

"Well... all of them," Daileass giggled. "Dave thought it would be a nice holiday for his flock. As for how? I sent them. The base is peaceful and quiet right now. Isn't that nice?"

"You bastard," Donnie muttered. Barely ten yards away, Donnie saw High Priest Dave's head pop up from the bush and grin at him.

From the bushes, the group of boys could hear what they believed were sounds as if a religious service were going on followed by high pitched singing. "Onward, Shiny soldiers, marching as to war, With the Shiny Warrior going on before. Dave, the Shiny Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle see His Shinys go! Onward, Shiny soldiers, marching as to war, With the Shiny Warrior going on before. At the sign of triumph, Hater’s host doth flee; On then, Shiny soldiers, on to victory! Dull’s foundations quiver at our Shiny praise; Ferrets, lift your voices, high your Shinys raise. Onward then, ye Ferrets, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in this Shiny song. Glory, laud, and honor unto Dave our King, This through countless ages men and Ferrets sing."

A mass of fur broke from the bushes and departed in all directions, muttering comments about needing to find shinys. One paused at the spit-shined boots of one of the gorillas, entranced by the shiny surface, then slowly looked up ... and up ... and up.

The gorilla glared down at him. "No," he said.

Rolling his eyes and slouching, Donnie then turned to Prez and snapped to attention, saying, "Director O'Brian?"

"Uh oh!" Prez grunted. Closing his eyes and sighing, Prez opened his eyes again and said, "We have a problem, don't we, Colonel?"

Copyright Notices:

All music and lyrics referenced in this chapter are the property and copyright of their owners.


Okay, so let's recap a bit. We have a full-on concert with the gang! That concert was awesome, by the way, and then we have vampires showing up. Hmm, then tons of kids to get to a hotel. Oh, and thank you, Mrs. Seibert, for driving the bus to get all the kid's to a hotel!! Then there is John and his weird third sense about he Prime Minister. Well, now that has Joel going into overdrive and the Mikyvis on to a mission. I don't really think the Prime Minister knew what he was getting himself into!

Next, we have Joel restoring the King and Queen to power in the republic. So after that, we get to be with the gang and the kids as they see a sunrise. What an awesome sight that was! Well, then comes the big kicker! Prez is named as the head of the new division of Clan Short, the Pacific Rim Division, or as they like to call it, the "Rimmers." Ha, that is going to be the butt of a lot of jokes!!! Heehee

I gotta say, the beach surf scene was way too funny!!! All the kid tossing, surfing, and just out right crazy waves being made!! What a morning!!! Then soon after that we have the designation of all the "Rimmers" such as Kaleo's being the Mouth Rimmer!! OMG, this is too much to take!! Oh, let's not forget Uncle Iokii's present to the Clan and Prez! All that land, what do you think they will do with it all? Ha, I am not telling! Nope, not me, don't ask!

Well, we get some idea of what is going on with Keith and Prez going up to the Endeavor; and to think Prez hates flying! Now what about those plans they got to see! Cool stuff!!! I think everyone else seemed to like the plans too, based on how they acted when Keith and Prez started explaining things.

I think things really got shook up when Donnie and Emily from the Unit showed up. Oh, let's not forget the Ferrets and the Shinys!!! What are we in for now?!! Where does all this stuff come from! I think Eggman has a cracked shell!! Oh, the Gorillas really set Mrs. Hundser on fire!! I about died when that scene came around! I think this should be a movie!!!!

So, Eggman has outdone himself again. Do you realize that there are over twenty thousand words in this chapter? That is a lot of writing. Thanks, Eggy, for taking the time to write this so we can have something so enjoyable to read. I can't wait to see what happens next!!!

Make sure and go to the forums and comment and/or send Eggman an email and encourage him to keep on writing!! It is the reason he does all this!!!

Hugs to all from your friendly neighborhood editor!