Sunday, June 29, 2014

Chapter 82: Memories

Warning: Language

  "I am so f*cked."  It was the first words Colin had uttered since collapsing onto the floor.  The memories and emotions flew through his mind like a broken water main.  He wished the f*ck he knew how to shut it off.  His head felt like it was f*cking spitting in two. 

  Forgetfulness was bliss, this, this was sheer f*cking agony.


  He wanted to f*cking howl, or beat the sh*t out of something, but he didn't.  It would f*cking freak out his girls, who were already a f*cking mess of tears and sh*t.  How the f*ck did people deal with this sh*t?  His mother's words f*cking haunted him.  Black picket fences.  Ivory's last f*cking words to him, words that hadn't meant a f*cking thing to him then, but now...

  Now they f*cking hurt like h*ll.  "F*ck.  F*ck.  F*ck.  F*ck."  He repeated the word endlessly.  "F*ck.  F*ck. F*ck.  F*ck."

  His Dad's voice interrupted his mantra.  "Colin, maybe we should take you to the emergency room?"

  Colin rolled his head over to look at his father.  "F*ck that.  I f*cking hate f*cking hospitals!"  His voice rose.  "Sh*t Dad, I f*cking thought I was the f*cked up one that f*cking lost his memory.  What the h*ll?!  F*cking forget the f*cking hospital.  Mom..."  Colin stopped.  F*ck.  His mother was f*cking dead, and he was being a f*cking as*hole.  Again.  "Sh*t."

  "Colin, I'm just..."  His Dad's voice trailed off, like he was unsure of what to say.  Dimly in the background he could hear Skye sobbing, crying harder because he said a few f*cking curse words. He suppressed the urge to roll his eyes at her, she was always trying to clean up his language.  Because she loved him.  F*ck.

  He stared back up at the ceiling.  He was f*cked up, his emotions a hurricane within him, and he was f*cking pissed.  Pissed at himself, at his family, at the f*cked up situation he was in.  F*ck.  He was pissed at Life in general.  And he was being a f*cking as*hole to his father, who didn't f*cking deserve it.  He took a deep breath.  Sh*t.  What was he?  A f*cking pansy a*s that couldn't deal with some f*cking memories?  F*ck.  Maybe he was.  No.  F*ck that.  He wasn't a f*cking pansy a*s.  He had to get his sh*t together.

  "Sorry Dad, I'm not f*cking feeling like my..."  He paused.  F*ck.  Which f*cking self was he?  He felt the urge to f*cking laugh his head off, but he reined that impulse in.  His father was already f*cking looking at him with a f*cking mixture of fear, concern, and sorrow. He liked to f*cking think it was sorrow anyway, because f*cking pity would f*cking p*ss him off more.


    His Dad seemed startled, which again, made Colin want to f*cking laugh.  None of it was f*cking funny, but at the same time, it was f*cking hysterical.  F*ck.  He needed to punch some...he noticed the two boys standing by the couch.  "What the f*ck are they doing here?"

  "Daddy!  Skye wiped some of her tears away.  "Your language!  Don't you remember, Luna and I are going on a double date tonight?  To the movies?  We're going to see Invaded by Slugs."

  Colin choked out a laugh.  Didn't he f*cking remember?  F*ck.  He f*cking remembered entirely the f*ck too much.  He also f*cking remembered he f*cking disliked the pair of stupid a*s boyfriends his daughters had f*cking picked out. There was that d*ckhead Winters, and f*cking bird boy, who was too f*cking smooth.  Colin could spot a f*cking bullsh*tter a million miles away.  He didn't f*cking know what bird boy was up to, and he f*cking trusted him as far as he could f*cking throw him.  No.  He f*cking trusted him less that that.

  Luna asked, "Daddy, are you okay?" 


  He sighed.  He had f*cking flushed his whole f*cking theory of child raising down the sh*tter.  Single handedly.  He had actually f*cking parented them, and even done a f*cking decent job of it.  Ivory would have been f*cking pleased.  Just the thought of her, caused another stab of grief.

 Well, h*ll.  He groaned miserably.  His f*cking desire to comfort his daughters was f*cking overwhelming everything else.  What the f*ck had happened to him?  He eyed the two boys again, and sighed irritably once more.  "I'm okay."  He reassured his girls.  "Really."

  "That was terrifying Daddy!  Seeing you pass out like that!  What happened?"  Skylar's voice was still tearful and shaky.

  "Thanks Skye, for rubbing it in."  He joked, trying to put her at ease.  "Just a little bit of a headache, that's all.  It's fading now.  When's your movie start?"

  "In 15 minutes."  Luna answered, both girls were still wiping their tears away.  Colin was finding it f*cking hard to look at Luna, she was the f*cking image of her mother.  He forced himself to smile reassuringly at her though.  F*ck.  It wasn't her fault.

  "Well, then, where's Jack?  You guys better get going."

  "Jack's at a technology seminar."  Luna reminded her dad.

  "I'm going with them."  Alder said quietly.

  Colin chuckled.  "Well, ff..fiddle sticks.  That's even better."  The wave of intense, life stealing anguish was fading slightly, giving Colin some room to breath.  The grief was still there, raw and burning.  He couldn't f*cking make things right with his mother, or with Ivory.  They were both gone.  Forever seemed like a f*cking hollow and painful word.  His mother would never really f*cking know that he had...had loved her.  He had been a sh*tty son.

  And Ivory?  She had f*cking died believing that he hadn't f*cking cared.  Black picket fences...  He could f*cking hear her laughter in his mind.  He just f*cking bet she was laughing her f*cking a*s off at him.  Stuck him with f*cking triplets!  The b*tch.  Sh*t he missed her.  He almost didn't hear Skye's comment, he was so lost in his thoughts, but he caught the tail end of it.  "Hhhh..heck no.  I'm fine, you girls go out and enjoy your movie."

   It took a lot of prodding, but he finally convinced his girls to go watch the movie.  He f*cking needed some time to process.  Once they were gone, he turned to his father.  "I remember everything Dad."

 His dad didn't look at him.  "Everything?"

  "Everything.  I need some time to think."

  Ryder nodded.  He hesitated, then said softly, "If you need to talk, well, I'm here."

  Colin sat up, and cursed his head, and his body, and his f*cking memory for good measure.  He felt as f*cking weak as a kitten.  Pansy a*s kitten.  Sh*t.  And for some reason, it was a lot f*cking harder to not curse, though he would try his f*cking best, he didn't want Skylar getting on his f*cking case about it.   "I appreciate the f*cking offer Dad, I'll keep it in mind."


 Colin looked around the room, at his family that were all gathered together by his request.  Sh*t.  Talk about being on the f*cking hotseat.  He preferred this though.  He knew they all had questions; concerns, and he didn't want to keep answering the same f*cking ones over and over and over.  Much better to just get it all done with at once.  Last week had been sh*tty, there was no f*cking doubt on that.  He hadn't know what the f*ck to say, or think, or do.  His f*cking heart hurt, and he hadn't even known he f*cking possessed one, especially when it came to his kids.  He had f*cking hated them, or so he had thought.


  Except Ivory had known.  He f*cking missed her so much.  She had a way of f*cking knocking sense into his brain.  He had spent the past week in a sh*tty a*s mood, sequestered in his room, trying to f*cking wrap his head around things.  Then one morning he had woken up, and it was like he could f*cking hear her.  Hear her telling him he was being a f*cking dumba*s.  And he knew what he had to do.

  He had always wondered at the f*cking shadows in his older kids' eyes.  Wondered how he could f*cking erase them.  But the Colin who couldn't remember what he had f*cking done to them, that Colin couldn't erase it.  Couldn't make things totally right.  He could though, or f*cking die trying.  Today was step one.

  "I remember."  He stated it matter of factly, and then watched the different reactions.  He was sad to say that it was fear mostly, except for Jada, who looked ready for anything, and the triplets, who had never known the other him.  "Everything.  I remember everything, in case that wasn't clear.  I know you all have questions, so, ask away.  I promise to answer, and answer truthfully, but," he warned them, "you may not like my answers."  Sh*t.  He didn't f*cking like most of his answers.

  "Why?"  The question came from Elliot, his son, but not his son.


  Colin briefly closed his eyes.  Sh*t.  Tough question, right out of the gate.  Elliot was standing beside his father Brae, who wasn't saying a word, but was just watching.  Colin knew he had wounded Brae with his actions, knew that Brae had forgiven him, but that had been the Colin that didn't remember.  Would his brother be able to forgive him now that he had his memories back?

  "Did you love my mother?  Hate father?  Did you...did you hate me?"

  Colin rubbed the back of his neck.  Sh*t.  "Elliot, Brae, neither one of you may like my answers.  The truth is, I felt absolutely nothing for your mother Elliot.  She was just a quick f*ck."  Colin winced.  That came out a little harsher than he had intended.  Subtlety was definitely not in his nature.  "I was f*cking jealous of Brae, I thought he had it all.  That he was perfect.  And it made me feel better, at least at first, to know that I had f*cked up his perfect life.  I was a d*ck, to put it bluntly."

  Brae had crossed his arms.  "Yes, you were."


 "I never hated you Elliot, nor did I hate my brother, I was just a sh*thead."  That was the honest truth, how the h*ll else could he have treated his family so poorly otherwise?  He knew the anger he had kept for so many years.  Anger at his parents for not paying more attention to him.  Anger at his brother for being so f*cking perfect.  It all boiled down to him being a spoiled a*shole.

  "Then why didn't you claim me?  You claimed the others!"

  Colin laughed harshly.  "Did I?  No, I didn't claim them, the family claimed them for me.  I was an a*shole, only interested in myself, and what I wanted.  You made out much better than Jake, or Nick, or even Jada.  You have Brae for a father, and he f*cking kicked a*s as a father.  He did everything for you.  Went to your stupid a*s ballgames, helped you with your homework, taught you how to f*cking drive.  And what the f*ck was I doing at that time?  F*cking every female I could find."

  "Daddy!"  Skylar blushed beet red.  "Your language!  And..and..the things you say!"

  Colin sighed.  "Sad to say, I was only speaking the truth Skye."   He looked directly at Elliot.  "I'm not your father Elliot.  Brae is.  He raised you, loved you, and took care of you.  I'm just the a*shole that f*cked your mother.  Sh*t."  Colin groaned.  It was so f*cking hard to control his wayward tongue! 


  Skylar gasped.  "Daddy!"

  Brae was shaking his head.  "Only you Col.  Was that your excuse then?"

  "No.  I have no excuse for what I did.  It was fff...very wrong.  I would take it all back, if I could."

  "I wouldn't."

  Brae's remark caught Colin by surprise.  "You wouldn't?"

  "No, because I got Elliot out of the deal, and he's a d*mn good kid Col.  I would do it all over again, just so I could have my boys.  Oh, I was mad as h*ll at you for years, but like I told you, I've forgiven you.  I can't speak for Elliot though."

  Colin didn't even know he needed to hear those words, until he heard them.  "You kick a*s as a brother Brae."

  Brae grinned slightly at him.  "I kick your a*s as a brother Colin, and don't you forget it!"

  Colin smirked.  "Sh*t.  You have me there!"

  The brothers grinned at each other.   Colin sobered up quickly though, when Elliot spoke.  "I forgive you too Uncle Colin."  Elliot smiled at Brae.  "I do have a pretty kick a*s father."

  Colin would have responded further to Elliot, but Nick broke in with, "I'm sorry Dad.  I'm so sorry!"  Colin stared at his son, confused.  What did Nick have to be sorry about?  He asked as much.  "It's my fault.  All my fault."

  "What the h*ll are you talking about Nick?"  Maybe the boy was jetlagged.  They had flown in from France, just to be a part of this meeting.

  "I should have called the Police right away.  I mean, you told me to, after I was done with my game, but I accidentally fell asleep for a while.  I called them as soon as I woke up, but, it was too late!  It's my fault that you were hurt, and lost your memory, if I had just called when I was supposed to..."

  Colin stared at his son in horror.  "F*ck Nick, you've held that in all these years?  Sh*t.  It wasn't your fault Nick, the blame is totally f*cking mine.  Who the h*ll asks a child to call the police after they're done playing a video the middle of the night?  F*ck that, it wasn't your fault, none of it."

  "So, you're not angry at me?"

  "H*ll no, I wish you would have said something sooner."

  "What good would it have done?"  Nick asked.  "You didn't remember."

  Colin sighed heavily.  "I'm sorry Nick, you shouldn't have had to live with that burden."

  "Are you going to go back to how you were?"  Jake asked nervously.  Colin swung his attention to his oldest son, and the one who had taken the f*cking brunt of emotional abuse from his former self.  F*ck.


   "To what I was?"  Jake nodded.  "No."  Colin said simply.  He watched as Jake let out a sigh of relief.  "Jake, I was a sh*tty father to you, I'm sorry, I f*cking..."

  "It's okay Dad."  Jake smiled.  "You were a jerk the first half of my life, but afterwards, you were pretty great.  So, now I know what to do and what not to do with my own kids."

  "You're own kids?"  Colin echoed.  He narrowed his eyes at Jake.  "Spill."

  Jake broke out in a full fledged grin.  "I'm going to have a baby, well, Sherri is actually, but I'm going to be a dad!  I'm just so excited!  You know what this means Dad?" 

  "A baby?!"

  "You're going to be a grandpa!"  Colin stared at his son, stunned.  F*ck.  A grandpa?  Him?  What the h*ll?!

  Jada chuckled.  "What did you expect would happen Dad?  You have all these kids!"  She waved her arms around.

  "A grandpa?"  Colin was having a hard time wrapping his head around it.  He was too young to be a grandpa!  "Well, that's, wow."  He cleared his throat.  Brae started laughing, and Colin glared at him.  "You'll be a terrific father Jake, I'm sure of it."

  "Thanks Dad.  Sherri and I are getting married in a few days, down at the courthouse.  You're welcome to come to it."

  "I wouldn't miss it."  Colin assured his son.

  Jada leaned over.  "What, no big wedding?"


  Jake turned to his sister.  "Nah, neither one of us wants a big wedding.  You could all come, though.  I would love to have my family there."

  Sh*t.  He was a lucky b*stard.  He didn't f*cking deserve his family, but he sure was f*cking glad to have them.  Then Luna piped up.  "What about our mother Daddy?  What was she like?"

  Skylar chimed in.  "Yeah, did your eyes meet across the room, and did you guys fall instantly in love?"

  "All we've been told is that she tried to kill Uncle Brae.  Everyone else knows all about their mothers, but we don't.  Was she pretty?"

  Jack groaned.  "That's a stupid question Luna, who cares if she was pretty?  She was crazy!  That's the important part, she tried to kill Uncle Brae!"


  The room erupted in chaos.  "Shut up Jack, you don't know anything!"  Luna yelled.

  "What?  It's the truth!"  Jack hollered back.

  "How do you know?"  Skylar shot back.  "She could have been framed, or something.  She could have a really good reason!"

  "I know cause Uncle Brae said so, and he was there!"

  "Well, Uncle Brae was drugged up, and he doesn't remember things clearly.  That's what he said when I asked him about her!  And..." 

  Colin interrupted.  "Enough!" he roared.  They all shut up and stared at him, wide eyed.  Colin grimaced, here was yet another topic he f*cking wasn't too keen on.  He glanced at his father and his grandfather, and noticed irritably that they looked quite entertained, like they were watching a f*cking three ring circus.  Sh*t, at least they still kept their f*cking peace, even if they couldn't hide their interested grins. 


   "Your mother," he started, then paused.  Sh*t.  He was already getting f*cking choked up.  How could he put her into words?  They seemed so pale and lifeless compared to her.  He saw that Brae had tensed up, and was watching him intently.  No f*cking wonder, Ivory had kidnapped him.  "Your mother was beautiful, she looked a lot like you Luna."

  "Really?"  Luna breathed.  She looked like her mother!

 "Daddy, how did you two meet?"  Skylar asked. Suddenly Colin found himself the target of rapid fire questions from Luna and Skylar both.  Jack threw in an occasional question too, despite his earlier words of not being interested.

  He laughed.  "Sh*t, I mean, shoot, slow down guys, and give me a chance to speak.  I could tell you guys about her later, I'm not sure everyone wants to hear this."

  "No, no, speak on bro.  We're all ears."  Brae said.  "It changed all of our lives too."

    Colin frowned slightly.  F*ck.  He supposed his brother had a point.  "In a bar."  He nodded his head in confirmation of his words.  "I met her in a bar that I had just bought, and I thought she was the f*cking hottest chick I had ever seen, and I wanted to..." he coughed slightly, "well, that's neither here nor there."  He smiled to himself.  Ivory would have hit him for calling her a chick.  "Anyway, she of course was instantly smitten with me, she just didn't know it yet."

  "Seriously?"  It was Jake, who was also listening closely.

  "Of course, there isn't a female alive who could resist me, and she was no exception."

  His kids all groaned, and Colin laughed, delighted.

  "Daddy!  Seriously!"  Luna said exasperated.

  "Okay, just the truth, the short version, some of it, you won't like."  he warned again.  He had put it off for as long as he could, hoping he could f*cking put them off forever, but they weren't falling for his delay tactics.  D*mn.  "We did meet in a bar, that I had just bought.  She had forced my bar manager to let her in.  I walked in, and...d*mn."  Colin was silent for a moment, lost in his memory of the first time he had seen her...


  "She was leaning against the counter, and I owned several strip bars, so I told her she was hired."

  "Daddy!"  Skylar was aghast.  "You hired her as a stripper?"  Funny, in all of her imaginings, she had never imagined her mother as a stripper too!

  Colin snorted.  "F---no.  She spun around, quick as lightning, fire in her eyes, then her eyes met mine, and I..."  He held his hands out, "...I was...I was...captivated.  So was she, or she would have fff-freaking gutted me, I'm sure.  She was an assassin, that I found out later, much later.  All I knew then, was this woman could fff-freaking kill me in an instant, yet I was drawn to her anyway.  Maybe because of the danger, I didn't give a ffff-fudge about much then.  I was self destructing in a f*cking glorious way."

  "So, she really was an assassin."  Jack said.

  Colin nodded.  "We weren't innocents, kids, at all.  No storybook prince and princess romance, that wasn't us.  I was a f*cked up a*shole, and Ivory was a bad a*s b*tch who f*cking killed for a living.  Why the f*ck did I care who she killed?  H*ll, it was nothing to me.  It wasn't like I was her target, or my family.  So what the f*ck?  I didn't know my brother was her target until that day I found him, sh*t, I wish I had known though, things could have f*cking ended differently." 


  The room was so quiet, Colin could hear the ticking of the clock, he had his family's full attention.  Sh*t.  "I wanted to marry her."

  Ryder choked.  "Did you say you wanted to get married?  But after your first marriage..."  Ryder's voice trailed off.  Colin's first marriage had ended nearly as quick as it had started.

  "I can't explain it Dad, I barely understand it myself.  We were just freaking good together.  She's the one that told me I was a dumba*s for treating you guys, especially my kids, the way I did.  She treasured family, said it was a gift, and she f*cking pushed me to do better.  P*ssed me off too, but she didn't f*cking care.  She got me, in a way that f*cking terrified me, but I couldn't f*cking walk away.  I understood her too, like we were..."

  "Soul mates."  Skylar breathed.

 Colin's lips twisted.  "Maybe.  All I know, is that I was better with her, than without her. I knew something was f*cked up, those last few weeks we were together.  She was more secretive, evasive, and so f*cking...sad.  So I tailed her.  She wouldn't f*cking talk to me, so I did what I had to.  I found Brae, and my focus shifted.  I had to get him the f*ck out of there, then he told me about Elliot, but before I could do anything, she was there."

  Jack sat up straighter.  "What happened then?"

  "We fought, she told me I was going to be a f*cking father again, she nailed my balls, sh*t that hurt like a mother..."  He winced at the memory of it.  "I asked her to marry me, she said she wasn't the white picket fence type.  I told her I would f*cking build a black picket fence for her, instead of white, she was going to say yes..."

  "Ahh, black picket fence."  Ryder said.  He had always wondered what that message had meant.


  Colin nodded.  "I had this idea that we could f*cking get married, raise the f*cking kid together.  D*mn, I was so f*cking sure that I could talk Brae into dropping any charges against her.  It wasn't Ivory anyway, it was her f*cking b*tch of a mother, who was f*cking obsessing over some stupid a*s..."

  "Book."  Brae finished for him.  "I remember that part very well.  Her mother was the red headed she devil?"

  "Yes."  Colin confirmed.  "Ivory was terrified of her.  I only know a little about her past, her growing up years, she didn't like to talk about it.  She had scars all over her body, put there by her mother.  Her mother, sometimes Ivory called the b*tch her sister, was a sadistic b*tch.  I promised to protect her, and f*ck, I failed."  The grief tore through him again, but he pushed it back, determined to finish the story so that he would never have to repeat it again.  It was just too painful.

  "The b*tch showed up, but Ivory and I managed to f*cking kill her.  Then, the cops came, Ivory thought I was f*cking setting her up, and...the rest as they say is history."  Nick moaned, as if in pain.  Colin looked at him.  "Not your fault Nick.  I was the dumba*s, and I reaped the consequences of it.  Consequences that have made me stronger, better."  Colin tasted the bitterness of that truth. 

  "That's right Nick."  Jada said.  "We should all be thanking you.  If he hadn't hit his head, we would have been stuck with the jerk.  Instead, we got a half way decent father out of it."


  Colin smiled wryly.  "There is that."

  "So, her family wasn't very nice?"  Luna asked in a small voice.

  Luna's tone of voice clued him in, that something was not quite right.  "What did you do Luna?"  Colin's asked sternly.

  Luna bit her lip nervously.  "Nothing Daddy.  I was just..."


  Her shoulders slumped.  "We just wanted to know more about her, and since you couldn't remember her, it seemed like a good idea to..."

  "Sh*t.  We?"

  The girls glanced at each other.

   "Skye and I, we just wanted to know more about her."


  "Daddy, you keep cursing!"  Skye complained.

  Colin ignored Skye's complaint.  "Tell me what the f*ck the two of you have done, and don't leave anything out."  So Luna told him.  "Sh*t.  That was f*cking dangerous!  What if she had been alive?  You two would have brought the b*tch from h*ll down on our heads!"

  "But she has to be alive Daddy!"  Skye said.  "She picked up the body, according to the report we read."

  "Picked up*t."  Colin was horrified with all the implications of what Skye had said.

  "I'm sorry!  I didn't know it was dangerous!" Luna cried.

  "No more searching, okay?"  All of you, including Jack."

  "Hey, I wasn't a part of it at all!" Jack protested.

  "I'm not leaving any loopholes for Luna.  Now, promise."  They all promised, and Colin was relieved that at least that part was taken care of.  What the h*ll to do with the rest of it?  Even now, the b*tch could be just waiting for the perfect moment to attack.  "We'll be talking about this later."  He promised them.  "Every action has a consequence, whether..."

  "Positive or negative."  Luna and Skylar said together.  "We know."

  "Oh, you'll know all right."  He muttered.  He needed to consult with his Dad and Grandpa.  They might need some help from their Camulodunum cousins.  First he had to get through the rest of this family meeting.  He didn't fool himself into believing that everything would be f*cking okay now, but he knew he had least made inroads.  His family knew that he wasn't going to go back to the a*shole he had been when he was younger, he had changed for good.


   "So what did your Dad finally decide to do?"

   Skye had been telling Hawk all about their family meeting, and how she and Luna had finally come clean about their search for their mother.  Neither one of them had known how dangerous it had been, but they knew now.   "We're grounded until we're hundred, that's what he says."  Skye grimaced.  "I think he's joking about the amount of time.  At least, I hope so!"  She added.  "That's why you'll have to visit me here for a while."

  Hawk smiled.  "That's not a hardship Skye.  I just enjoy being with you."

  Skye smiled back.  "I love being with you too!"

  "I hope you don't move."

  Moving had been one of the options tossed around as a solution to the Raven problem.  "Daddy is going to have some cousins of ours check things out, make sure that our online activities weren't found by her.  If it's all clear, we'll stay.  At least for a little while, Daddy says he's looking for a job and house in a less depressing town.  I don't want to lose you Hawk, if that happens, if we have to move."

  "Skye, I would follow you anywhere."  Hawk answered.  He wasn't worried about any investigation the family might do, he and his mother had covered their tracks well.  He looked like his father, not his mother, so he wasn't even worried about being recognized.  He fully expected them to find nothing amiss.



  "Really." He assured her.


  Jack crowed in triumph.  He had finally gotten it to work!  Ethan had given him the schematics for it, telling him they would need a far more powerful computer than what Jack had.


  Powerful computer.  Those two words were music to Jack's ears.  And he had done it.  Built a superior computer!   He wished he could patent it, and sell it, but Ethan had cautioned him against it.  They didn't want to cause too many ripples in the time continuum, that would cause untold disasters.

  So, sadly, he had to keep the knowledge to himself, but in the meantime...he had a SuperComputer!  He did a happy Jack dance.  Woot!  Woot! 

 This computer was more capable of processing, rendering, and building the intricate data and equations that Jack would need if he was going to save his family.  He'd had no real idea of the amount of work involved when he had agreed to help.  It wouldn't have mattered, anyway, he would have done it irregardless. 

  It was just taking longer than he had expected, the concepts and figures that Ethan threw out at him were mindboggling at times, and Jack had to actually work a little bit at understanding them.  Throw time paradoxes into the deal, and his mind was blown, on a regular basis.


  He tapped on the projected computer screen.  It was time to get back to work.  He was thinking of building himself a helper, one that wouldn't question, and would also be completely loyal.  One that wouldn't need to eat, or sleep, like Jack did...


Notes:  Whew!  Got through that one!  I hope all of that made sense. XD  So the "new" Colin is sticking around---losing his memory gave him a new perspective, lol  It was the only way I could think of to get through to such a hard headed, stubborn sim, haha

  They'll still have some issues, nothing is ever really resolved quickly, and Colin is aware of that, but they're on their way.  Brae had forgiven his brother, and moved on, a long time ago.  I figure the triplets are about 16.5 yrs old in this chapter, so a LOT of time has gone by.  Time that Colin spent being a decent human being.

  Colin doesn't like Devon or Hawk, and always rolls wishes to beat them up, lol  He senses something is wrong, he just doesn't know exactly what is wrong. =)

  His cursing is off/on, depending on his awareness of it.  When he's aware of it, he tries to curb himself, to make his daughter happy.  Yeah, Skye is a bit prissy, lol

  And---poor Nick.  He really did think it was his fault, and that everyone would hate him for it.

  Jake has 2 kids now with Sherri Nightblossom, they're pretty cute too.  I know Sherri is part of the Nightblossom tree, but I forget what branch, lol  That family expanded pretty quickly! =)

  Jack is such a cutie, I love all the faces he makes.  He still doesn't have a girlfriend, nor is he remotely interested.  

  The game has been quite obliging regarding Colin's fighter roll.  It sends burglars, lol


  Also---I used a ton of poses in this chapter, I took these pics a really long time ago, so I don't remember all of whose poses I used---but I'm pretty sure the crying ones (Skye and Luna) are Sunny's.  Thanks for making/sharing them Sunny! =)

  One last note, one thing I absolutely love about writing, is how knowing a character's motive can change our perspective.  For instance, if Hawk had been legit, that would have been a sweet conversation between him and Skye.  Since he has ulterior motives though, it could be seen as creepy/stalker like, haha  I'll follow you anywhere muahahahaha!


  Any questions?  I'll try to answer them.  Hopefully next chapter Gen 8 will take over, if not, then definitely the chapter after that.   Thanks for reading! =D

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Chapter 81: Perfect Craziness

  Warning: Language

  Jack had never been in the attic before, but he decided it looked like a good place to hide out.  "Sisters." he grumbled.  Why did he have to be cursed with three of them? At least one of them lived far away.  She could only bug him by phone.  He looked around, and seeing that the coast was clear, he climbed up the ladder.

  He needed his own space.  Didn't anyone understand how important his work was to him?  He had been campaigning for months to get his own workspace, and finally his Dad had agreed, on one condition.  That he ate dinner with the family every night.  Jack had readily agreed, anything to get his own area that would be off limits to the girls, one girl in particular.  He was tired of Luna messing with his stuff.  He couldn't wait until his new lab was up and running. 

  Once in the attic he took a look around, it was filled with miscellaneous stuff, books mainly.  Jack looked through some of the titles, "Bloviation On HyperInflation." he read out loud.  "Hmm, sounds interesting..."  Just as he was about to pull it off the shelf, another book caught his eye.

  It was a large, and rather thick book.  The cover on it was quite plain, and it had no title written on the bind.  It had a presence about it though, and Jack could almost swear it was speaking to him.  He scoffed to himself.  That was utter nonsense of course.  Books didn't speak to people, well, not in that way!

  Still, he felt pulled towards it, compelled even.  Jack didn't like things that had no obvious reasons for them, he was man of logic and science.  Logically, he knew it was just another book on the shelf.  Still, he scratched his chin, there was something about it...


  Science dictated that he should look into it, explore it.  Once a thing was explored and understood, it lost its mystery, and the logic behind it became more clear.  He grabbed the book, and grunted just a little bit, it was heavier than he expected.  He cleared away an old end table, and placed the book on it.

  He examined the book carefully, turning it back and forth, almost afraid to open it.  Then he chided himself.  It was just a book.  He blew the dust off it, and then sneezed.  Four times.  "I hate dust!"  He flipped the book open, and stared at it, in disbelief.

   It looked like some sort of computer cursor thing, and it blinked, blinked, blinked up at him.  He shook his head, sure that he was seeing things.  He rubbed his eyes, but no, the cursor was still there, waiting for input.  What sort of input?  What kind of book was this anyway, it obviously wasn't the average old book!

  He hesitated, before proceeding, but proceed he did.  His logic was still sound.  He lived his life by scientific principles, not mobo dojo stuff.  Resolutely he placed his hands over the lighted keyboard, and the resulting flash of light was so brilliant he had to squeeze his eyes shut as he quickly pulled his hands away.  What had just happened?  He cautiously opened his eyes up again, the book laid there, flat, looking like any other ordinary book.

  He knew it.  He was going crazy!  His sisters had driven him there too!  All that prattle and Jack can you do this, and Jack can I borrow this, and Jack, oops you didn't want that did you?  It had finally pushed him over the edge.


  "Stupid sisters."  he grumbled.  "Why couldn't I have been born a single, like Jake or Nick?"

  "Hello Jack."  a voice said behind him.

  Jack froze.  Sh*t.  He was hearing voices now.  He closed his eyes, "I'm not crazy, I'm not crazy." he repeated to himself.  "I am not hearing anything but my own voice.  I'm not crazy!"

  He heard a chuckle, and his eyes sprung back open.  "No, you're not crazy Jack."


  "I'm just a program, a hologram if you will, that book is what you might call a mini-computer.  All scientific and logical, I promise you."

  Jack swallowed.  "A program?"

  "Yes, written long before you were born, written just for you though."

  Don't turn around Jack, he told himself.  Don't turn around.  If he saw something, then it might prove he really had gone crazy.  Or dreaming.  Yeah, he could be dreaming.  That made him a feel a lot better.  He turned around to face the dream.

   "Hello."  Jack was proud of how calm he sounded in his dream.  The dream was kind of cool, he almost wished it was real.

  "It's not a dream." the man said with a smile, almost as if he knew Jack's very thoughts.

  Not a dream?  It had to be.  Wait, there was one way to test it.  He pinched himself, hard.  "Ouch!"  It. Wasn't. A. Dream.  He felt a little faint, but refused to embarrass himself by passing out like some sissy girl.  "Who are you?  And how do you know my name?"  His voice might have squeaked a little, but that was nothing to be ashamed of he reassured himself.  First the weird book, and now the

  The man smiled gently.  "My name is Ethan, and I know you Jack, because I saw the future long ago."

  "Sure you did."  Jack said skeptically.

   He narrowed his eyes at...Ethan.  "Is this some kind of prank?  Did Grandpa Alder put you up to this?  I don't find it amusing at all."

  Ethan shook his head no in amusement.  "No, it's not a prank, I can assure you.  My physical self has been long gone, but when I finally cracked the time continuum..."

  Jack interrupted, "You cracked it?  How?"  He asked eagerly, forgetting for a moment who he was talking to.

  Ethan shook his head slightly.  "All in good time, Jack.  All in good time.  I saw..." Ethan's face fell, "destruction, and chaos.   Fire fell from the skies, and smoke poured from the mountains,"  Ethan paused, then went on, sadly, "bodies filled so many shallow graves I could not count them, and those who were left, they would have been better off dead."

  "Sounds awful."  Jack observed.

  "Yes, yes it is." Ethan said solemnly.

  "I determined then, to find out what went wrong, and I spent years, searching through time, careful only to see, and not be seen."

  Jack nodded thoughtfully.  "Ah yes, the time paradox."  Jack had spent many hours thinking about what could happen if people actually did travel through time.  Why, if they weren't careful, they could erase themselves from the time stream!

  "Exactly.  Then I saw it, the day the prophecy spoke of, and it was so clear to me!  This was where it all went wrong.  If I could change this moment, then it would put the future to rights.  Did I dare go in there and change it myself?  I thought on this for long hours, and concluded it was too risky.  I did not belong in that time, indeed I was to die soon, betrayed and murdered beside my beloved wife."

  "That sucks."

  That startled a laugh out of Ethan.  "Indeed, it did."

  "I came up with a plan, a daring plan, but one I was sure could work.  First I made this hologram self, that you see before you, and I recoded it, and the book.  The book was coded to specifically to your DNA, found on a cup you used and set down.  It would open for no one but you, because, you Jack, you could understand all of what I need to teach you."

  "Like time travel?" Jack asked eagerly.

  Ethan shook his head.  "No, more important things."

  "What could be more important than time travel?"  Jack couldn't think of one thing.  Here was this guy, standing before him, telling him he knew the secrets to time travel, and he wasn't going to share?

  "Your family Jack.  I need your help to save them.  The danger is already here, it already stalks your family, my family."

  Jack was stunned.  Save his family?  Like he was some sort of superhero?  He was a supergeek, but never a superhero.  Then Ethan's last words penetrated his brain.  "Your family?"

  "Yes, my family.  You are my family Jack, you and your sisters and brothers, and your Dad, and his Dad, and so on.  I am your ancestor, and more than that, I am a Guardian, and sworn to protect this world the best I can.  I will do so, but I need your help."

  "When do we start?"

  "Now, I have a lot to teach you, some new technologies that will aid in our quest.  There is simply no way we can do what needs to be done with the antiquated equipment of this age.  First, we must put this book away, so no one finds it, and there are many who seek after it.  It's time has not yet come.  Secondly, speak to no one about this.  I cannot emphasize this enough."

  Jack nodded his head in agreement.  "Time paradox."

  Ethan nodded his head approvingly.  "Exactly."

  Jack had long forgotten his earlier worries of being crazy, or seeing things.  He was too busy geeking out.  "New technology!" he whispered excitedly.  He would have his new lab, new technology, and he was going to be a superhero just like in his favorite comic books.  No way would he tell anyone, not to mention the complete mess up of time he could create, he simply didn't want to hear their laughter at him.  They would know someday.  He was Jack.  Superhero.


  The one thing Luna loved about Tanner, was that he was so easy to be with.  He spent many nights just hanging out at her house, but they wouldn't do anything really.  Just watch TV, he enjoyed the same shows she did.  Sometimes they would play video games, though Luna admitted to herself, she could be a sore loser.  She hated losing anything.  Some nights though, if the sky was clear, they would sit outside on the porch and just look at the starry skies and talk.

  They would talk about anything.  What she wanted from life, what he wanted from life, all the way down to what they had for dinner.  No topic was too inane or boring to talk about, they just really meshed as friends.  Making Tanner her best friend was one of the best decisions she had ever made.  Luna turned to Tanner, who had been mostly quiet that night, just listening to her chatter away, and said suddenly, "I'm going to do it Tanner."

  "Do what?"  Tanner responded absentmindedly.  He was having a heck of a time paying attention to what she had been saying all night.  He was just so...nervous.  Butterflies in his stomach, bile in his throat, jumping beans in his legs nervous.  This was Luna, his best friend, the girl he could tell anything, and did.  Except one thing.  He loved her.  And not just as a friend.

  Prom night wasn't very far off, and he really wanted to ask her if she would go with him.  As a date, not as a friend.  She had broken off with that creep Devin, so now was his chance.  He just had to get the words out past the lump in his throat.

  "Devin and I are going to sneak away in the middle of Prom, and, you know, make love for the first time."


  "We've got it all planned out, it'll be perfect."  Luna said dreamily.

   Tanner felt like he'd been kicked in the solar plexus. "But, I thought you guys broke up again?"

  Luna waved her hand about airily.  "We're back together again.  It was unfair of me to expect him to wait so long."

  "Unfair?"  Tanner spluttered.  "It was only a few weeks!"

  Luna nodded.  "I know, totally unfair of me, right?  Dev swears though, that once we start sleeping together, he won't be with anyone else.  Just me."  Luna smiled happily.

  Tanner kept a smile plastered on his face, but it probably looked more like a grimace.  He didn't understand her obsession with that jerk.  He cheated on her, lied to her, and yet Luna made up excuses for him.  His hopes of being more might be dashed for the moment, but he was still, and always, her friend.  "Luna, he doesn't deserve you.  He's a jerk, and the way he treats you pisses me off."

  Luna patted him on the cheek.  "You're so sweet Tanner, you know that?"  Tanner groaned.  She wasn't listening, again.  "You know, you should ask that girl to the prom.  You know, the one that sits beside you in Economics class.   Tamara.  Or was it Teresa?  Terri?"  Luna frowned.


  Tanner supplied the answer.  "Tina."

  "Yeah, Tina.  You should totally ask her, she likes you."  Luna brightened up.  "And I have the most amazing idea!  We could triple date!  You and Tina, Skye and Hawk, me and Devin, it would be perfect."

  Tanner inwardly cringed.  He couldn't imagine a worse fate than watching the girl he loved fawn over that miserable cur.  "I don't think so, Luna."

  Her face fell.  "Really?  Come on Tanner, it'll be fun!"

  Tanner shook his head no.  "Mr. Jockstrap wouldn't like me hanging out with you guys anyway."

  Luna ignored Tanner's pet name for Devin, and instead smiled widely at him.  "He does like to keep me to himself." 


  That was another thing that Tanner didn't like.  The guys possessiveness was beyond normal, especially since he couldn't seem to keep his pants up around other girls.  "I think you should dump him and go with me to the Prom."  Tanner said it jokingly, but he meant every word.

  Luna chuckled.  "You are so funny Tanner, and I love you for it!  You always make me smile.  Now, come on, promise me that you'll at least ask Tina to go with you to the Prom.  Come on, promise!  Please?"

  How was it that his heart could lie in shreds and yet he still felt compelled to make her happy?  He knew Luna wasn't deliberately cruel, she didn't know what he felt for her.  He only wished that he had the courage to say something to her before Mr. Jockstrap barged into her life.  Jockstrap boy was bad news, and it was killing Tanner to see how he treated Luna.  She deserved better, the moon, the stars, all of it.  Instead she had pond scum.

  Tanner sighed heavily.  Her choice, he reminded himself.  Friends they were, and so friends they would stay, he would keep her in his life whatever way he could.  He couldn't imagine a day without her.  "If it'll it make you happy Luna, I'll ask her."

  Luna squeed and wrapped her arms around him.  "You'll be the perfect couple, just wait and see!"  Then she added to his anguish, and kissed him lightly on the cheek.  "I love you Tanner, and you deserve someone special too."


  Luna was having the time of her life.


  She felt Devon behind her, and she danced suggestively against him.  She was having a lot of fun teasing him, determined that he would want her, and only her.  She shimmied, and gloried in his grunt of approval.  His hands were roaming her body, grabbing her boobs, almost painfully.  She laughed, and shook him off.  "No hands Dev, remember?  You promised, not until later."

  "F*ck Luna, you're so hot, and I just want to..." he whispered harshly into her ear all the things he planned to do to her.

  Luna shivered in delight.  She liked this feeling, this feeling of power.  Power over him.  It had been the perfect Prom night.  She had been crowned Queen to Devon's King, they were the perfect couple.  And soon, very soon, the night would be even more perfect.  She glanced over at her sister, but Skye was busy dancing with her date.  She glanced over at her brother, who had somehow managed to get a girl to dance with him.

  He had been different lately.  Jack.  She didn't know why, it was almost as if he was getting lessons on how to behave socially.  She shook away the fanciful thought.  Who would Jack get lessons from anyway?

  He was even dancing like a proper gentlemen, instead of the ogre she knew he was.  He spent most of his time holed up in his new workroom, she had no idea where he had found the time to find a date!  Devon growled in her ear, and ground his pelvis into her butt.  "F*ck Luna, let's blow this sh*thole, and turn this night into a real party."

  Both of her siblings weren't paying any attention to her, it was the perfect time to slip out.  They wouldn't even notice she was gone, no one would notice her momentary disappearance from the dance.


  She would be back before the dance ended, before anyone noticed she was gone.  She would come back a real woman though.  She was giddy just thinking about it.  "Okay." She breathed.  "Let's go."

  "F*ck, now you're talking."  He grabbed her hand and led her off the dance floor.

 Skye closed her eyes, and breathed in the scent of Hawk.  He smelled wonderful, and she could happily dance all night with him.

  She loved the feeling of his arms around her, the warmth of him as they gently swayed to the music.  She sighed happily.  This was the best night of her life.

  She still couldn't believe she was dating Hawk.  Her!  She was so plain and dull compared to her much livelier and prettier sister, Luna.  She was thankful that Hawk didn't think so.  He thought she was beautiful.  She blushed.  She felt his chuckle.

  "Penny for whatever thought that caused that delightful blush."  He teased her.

  She smiled up at him.  "Just thinking of you."

  He raised his eyebrows.  "Is that all?"

  She nodded.  "Uh huh, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!"  Before he could pursue that further, she added, "Look, they're all ready to take pictures.  Let's go take our picture.  Please?"

  He wagged his finger at her.  "This conversation is not through, missy."  Then he laughed, and grabbed her hand as they headed for the photographer.

 The photographer arranged them until she was satisfied with their positions.  "Okay, now, look up at him, and smile, ready?  1...2..."


 "...3"  The flash went off.  "Perfect."

  "This has been the best night of my life."

  Hawk smiled at her.  "Mine too."



  "You're late, you know I cannot abide lateness."


  "Hello to you too Mother."  Hawk said mildly.  He kissed her on her good cheek, and took a seat.  She had nearly died many years ago, and the ravages of her battle for her life were more clearly seen on her face.  "Nice outfit."

  She glared at him.  "What took you so long?  No, never mind," she interrupted before he had a chance to answer, "It's not important.  I want your status report."

  Hawk shrugged.  "It is as you expected.  We have definitely found Ivory's children."  Raven crowed triumphantly.  Hawk ignored it, and continued speaking, giving her the facts in an emotionless voice.  "I traced the inquiry into Ivory's file to a computer that belongs to one of the triplets, Jack.  He's very intelligent, but not very smart.  He's also not interested in finding his mother, so it is the two girls who are behind it."

  Raven tapped her chin thoughtfully.  "Go on."

  "One of the girls is a spitting image of Ivory, and she's rather flighty.  An artistic type.  The other one..." 

  Raven interrupted her son.  "The one that looks like Ivory, she'll suit me perfectly.  Forget the other two, they are not important.  I want you to kidnap the girl, and you can rape her until she is with child." 

  Hawk scowled at his mother.


  "Have you learned nothing yet from your previous schemes?  We talked about this Mother, you make rash," Hawk ignored the dangerous flash in his mother's eyes, "emotion filled decisions, and where has it got you?"

  "You presume too much."  Raven said icily.

  "No," Hawk countered, "your head is clouded with vengeance, and you refuse to see the bigger picture."

  Raven's eyes were stormy.  "And what would that be, my dearest, only child?"

  "The other daughter's name is Skye."

  Raven hissed.  "Skye!  Skyhawk's child, from the prophecy!"

  Hawk inclined his head slightly.  "Quite a coincidence, wouldn't you agree?  We cannot take this lightly.  I have a plan, Mother, and a much better one than you have concocted.  One that will take great patience and fortitude on your part."

  Raven's lips curled into a snarl.  "What is this plan?"

  "As tempting as it might be to kidnap Luna, that is the one that looks like Ivory, and bring her back to our home, and make sure she has my child..." Hawk paused, the idea of rape was actually detestable to him.  He much preferred women who were willing, he did not have the same power and control issues that his mother did.  While the twit was quite hung up over that idiot, Hawk knew he could have her eating out of the palm of his hand.  She was entirely too easy to manipulate, which was very obvious when such a chowderhead as Devin Winter could manipulate her.

  He sighed.  In the end, Luna did not interest him at all, nor did she seem to fit into the prophetic child that his mother had chased after all those years.  " would not gain us the Book.  Without the book, the prophetic child is useless, as you are well aware.  Your last attempt to get that Book did not fare so well, and indeed, you nearly died."

  Raven growled in remembered humiliation and pain.  "He will pay for turning her against me."


  Hawk resisted rolling his eyes, as that would just set her off.  His mother was overly dramatic at times.  Who cared about the man who had captured Ivory's heart?  His mother obviously harbored a deep hatred of him.  Hawk did not, they were unimportant in the grand scheme of things.  Only two things were important, a child born of a wolf's heart, and raven's blood, skyehawk's child, who held the key to unimaginable power.  And the Book, that would lead the child.  That was what was important, and that is what he kept his focus on.

  "I propose that we play the little game Mother.  I already hold the heart of Skye, she is hopelessly romantic and filled with such nonsense as true love, faith, kindness, and other such ilk.  I will marry her, for that is her price, and I will live among them, like a predator among the sheep.  They will not suspect a thing.  The Book resides with them, and if I am living there, I will have plenty of opportunities to search for it.

  I will have a child with this Skye, and I will train it, as you have trained me.  All underneath their noses, and with their approval.  Then when the time is right..."  His voice trailed off, and he shrugged again.

  Raven studied him.  "And I suppose that during this time, you will want me to stay away."


  "It will not work otherwise, you know this to be true."

  "The Kahekilis have some sort of power."  She spit the words out.  "One I do not understand, that turns people, and makes them forget their purpose.  Gives them lofty ideals.  How do I know that you will not fall under their spell?"

  "Am I not your son?  Raised by your hand only, from the time you gave birth to me?"

  "It is not my blood running through you that concerns me.  It is your father's, and his softness.  Can you stand the test, and swear you will be by my side on that Day?"

  Hawk opened himself up.  "Read me then Mother.  Read my thoughts, and know my strength of will."  He felt her in his mind, recalling his memories, he held nothing back, not even his attraction to Skye. 


  She nodded, and rose from her seat.  "Very well.  We will do this your way."

  "No spies Mother.  Nothing.  Either you trust me totally, or kill me now and be done with it.  We will do this my way, and that includes zero interference from you.  One little misstep, and you will ruin everything."

  Raven was silent for a long moment.  "Agreed.  I look forward to when next we meet, do not disappoint me Hawk."



  Colin glowered at the two males sitting on the couch in front of him.  Once was a jacka*s and a d*ckhead, and he didn't understand what his daughter Luna saw in him.  The other, was too f*cking perfect, with his manners and submissive behavior.  Colin could smell bullsh*t a mile away, and the kid was filled with it.  There was no fear in the kid's eyes, and there sure as h*ll should have been.


  He would have liked to bury them both in the backyard.  Or beat the sh*t out of them, just to give them a little taste of what happened to guys that hurt his little girls.  He scowled.  Skylar and Luna were constantly telling him they were not little girls anymore, but the f*ck they weren't.  They would always be his little girls.

 He knew though, that he had to walk a fine line.  If he pushed too much, then he pushed them away from him, and toward the little a*sholes on the couch.  He wrestled with that balance constantly.  Take the smug b*stard that Luna claimed she loved, all he needed were a few seconds with that punk, and he would fix that attitude right up.  The sh*theads just needed to give him a reason...

  "We'll have them back ten minutes before curfew." the one called Hawk said.

  Colin eyed him, his hands felt twitchy.

  That one he liked least of all.  No one was that perfect, and it made him wonder what the h*ll he was hiding.  "Jack?"  Colin hollered.  "Get your as...butt down here."  Jack was playing chaperone again, a role he absolutely hated.  Colin had given his daughters a choice though, either Jack went with them, or he did.  Both had quickly voted for their brother.

  Colin was counting on his son to make their dates as unenjoyable as possible, which Jack normally did without even trying.  Jack made him f*cking proud.  He heard Skye's voice as she came into the room.

  "Daddy, you're behaving right?  Being nice to our guests?"


  "And why wouldn't I be?  Is there a reason?  And I think you should change that shirt, it shows off too much of your shoulders."

  Skye rolled her eyes.  "Daddy, this isn't the middle ages!  What I'm wearing is considered very conservative."

  "I think flour sacks should be the new fashion rage.  Why don't you start it Skye?"

  Before Skye could answer, Luna bounded the stairs.  "I'm ready!"

  Colin glanced over at Luna as Devin stood up.  "There's my Angel."  Devin said with a smile.

  Angel.  Angel.  Angel.  The word reverberated around in Colin's head.


  Images flashed through his mind, faster than he could grasp, one after another.  Angel.  Angel.  It was his voice, speaking to a woman.


  Angel...Angel...Angel...He could feel her.

  He could see her.  His Angel.


  Colin felt his vision receding, the blessed darkness was coming for him.

  Only one thought remained.  She was gone.  Gone.  Gone.

Notes: So---somewhat of a long chapter, sorry about that.  Lots going on though, so I hope you all didn't notice the length too much, lol

  Just to be clear, he's not dead.  He just passed out.  The combo of seeing Luna, who looks so much like her mother,  coming into the room,  just as Devin calls her an Angel, well, it was a bit much for him to take, lol =)  Does that mean his memory is coming back?  Maybe...

  So, all three kids have their own storyline, because I like to complicate things. XD  Should be fun weaving it all together and yet keeping it straight, haha

  So, some quick answers, of a sort.  Devin is a jerk yes, but more than that.  I only hint at it using Tanner's words, but Devin is very possessive, and that is not a good sign.  Neither is it a good sign that Devin doesn't like her to spend time with anyone but him, he is effectively trying to isolate her from family and friends.  Luna thinks it shows he cares, but Devin only cares about Devin.

  Did I make Hawk a bad guy? Yes, he's a bad guy. *hides*  Sorry!  This was the trouble I hinted at in earlier chapters though, that the sisters may attract the wrong attention.  And they did.  The prophecy does tie in with what Jack is doing.

  Speaking of Jack---I had so much fun spending that little bit of time with Ethan again.  I know, I keep bringing him back, but hey, he was a genius!  He's not alive, it's just a program, so no repeats of Gen3.  And I'll probably not show him again, just know that Jack is learning lots of stuff from him.

  I am going to try to tie up some loose ends, as I start closing in on the finishing line of this challenge.

  And of course next chapter, we'll find out if Colin does regain his memory, and if he does, what happens then?

  Thanks for reading, and for leaving comments!  If you all have any questions, ask away, and I'll try to answer them.  Unless it would be a spoiler, lol