By AC Fan, & Jeff P., & CSU Productions
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This chapter is actually a bridge between chapters in both of the afore mentioned stories. In our own way, proving to our readers and even to readers of GFD that this truly is a small world, or universe as the case may be. The idea spawned shortly after Comicality voiced his desire to design a place to become home to fan created work of what we think could be one of the most powerful stories on the web. Once that home was obtained, and Comsie had his team to take the wheel, we started this tribute. Pending the approval of Comicality and his Archivist, we are proud to bring you a Clan Short “Dark Vacation”.
Cory Groaned as they finally landed. “Dudes, why is it even when we try to take a break we end up having to work?”
Danny rubbed his eyes as the sun blinded him on his way out of the shuttle. “You tell me, I’m the rookie here. Remember?”
“Some rookie!” Sean said as he joined them. “You sure didn’t show it; I’m not sure who was worse. You or Cory. Both of y’all need to take a break.”
Danny nodded his head and sighed. “No joke. Since my activation I don’t think there has been one minute that something hasn’t come up. I am kinda worn out.”
Sean giggled as he felt Timmy suddenly latch on to his right leg, causing him to almost fall over. “You’re worn out? Try being a kid transport for a day!” he said as he reached down and ruffled Timmy’s hair.
Danny began to laugh before intentionally creating some distance between himself and Sean. “Why Bro? Oh yeah, I guess once you become a parent you’re just too old and worn out to keep up!” he laughed as he broke out into a run for the house.
“I’ll get you later!” Sean yelled after Danny as he noticed CD laughing hysterically. “CD! Take a good look at Uncle Danny. Cause when I get my hands on him he is soooo dead.”
CD giggled as he stepped off the shuttle’s ramp with Calen on his heels. “He just likes playin with you, Papa! He luvs ya just like we do!”
Sean rolled his eyes. “I know, he’s still gonna get it though!” he continued as he reached over and gave both Calen and CD’s heads a quick rub. “C’mon guys; lets catch up with your Uncle Danny.”
As a group, the boys hurried over to Danny, who was almost to the house.
“Awful quiet.” Danny said as he reached the door. “Wonder if everyone is still at the hospital.”
“Could be.” Cory replied. “Marc’s been such a slave driver lately.”
“Hello!” Danny shouted as he slid open the door and stepped into the living room. “Anyone home?”
“NO!” a voice responded, apparently from upstairs. “We all moved to the Virgin Islands while y’all were out playing!”
“Sweet!” Danny shouted up the stairs. “Send us a post card!” he added as he plopped down on the couch. “Maybe that’s where we should go, get some rest and some sun.” he added in Sean’s direction with a smile.
Cory grinned. “There ain’t no way I’m letting you near anything even remotely associated with virgins! It’s been what, almost a century since you got any?”
Danny twisted his expression as he thought about it. “Oh man. Never thought of it that way. Thanks a lot dude!” he grumbled as he threw one of the pillows at Cory.
The sound of footsteps careening down the stairs caused everyone to turn and look. Their jaws dropped when Caleb came into view.
Calen was the first to speak. “Uncle Caleb, why is it so dark under your eyes?”
“I kinda didn’t sleep last night. The wiring we THOUGHT would be compatible with the new network just isn’t. So I spent last night replacing it. You guys have fun?” Caleb finished as he plopped down on the couch with a sigh.
“Yeah, they are an awesome family. You’ll love em.” Danny added as the rest of the group filtered in from outside with their bags, all looking tired from the previous day’s events.
Cory looked around at the group. “Guys, we’re too young to be lookin’ like this. You know, for an obsolete model you had the right idea Danny; I think we ALL need to take a break. The hard part is figuring out where to go; it’s gotta be somewhere that we ain’t gonna get roped into working our butts off instead of relaxing. Someplace where nobody will find us.”
“Good point, you know… coming from a blond and all.” Danny replied with an evil grin. “Cal, is the main system working?”
“Oh yeah, it’s functional. Just not operating like we planned yet.” Caleb replied through a yawn. “Cory, one of your legs looks just like Timmy.” he added as he managed to focus his eyes.
“Yeah.” Cory giggled weakly. “He finally caught me.” he said as Timmy started to giggle.
“C’mere giggle box!” Caleb said as he reached out and hefted Timmy up and into his lap.
“Okay.” Danny said as he stretched his arms above his head and groaned. “Report Mr. Barnes; then you are officially off duty before you fall on your face.”
Caleb sat back and yawned as Timmy cuddled into his chest. “Well, Marc, Eli, Benji, Austin, Antonio and Byron are at the old Naval Hospital since equipment has been getting shipped in from Starfleet and deliveries from the Vision Industries storage facility. They’ve been there all morning. Jerry’s at school I think, Joey is still offline, prosthetic devices for Eli and Benji should be just about ready.” he said as another yawn escaped. “There was some problem with the Panda unit. You’ll have to talk to Marc about it. I know he’s been working with Jerry and Billy on it.”
“Billy?” Danny asked, tilting his head.
“Marc’ll fill you in.” Caleb continued; “Main terminals are online, but the network is not. Omigod!” Caleb said as he grasped Timmy tighter and literally jumped off the couch and ran into the hall, throwing the basement door open. “JR! Dude I’m so sorry. You can come up. We’re done for the day!”
A few seconds later, an obviously tired JR came stomping up the stairs. “I’m gonna strangle your sorry butt! I’m standin’ down there waitin’ for you to pull the friggin’ cables an’ you’re up here playin’ with your little twig!” Just then JR noticed everyone else sitting there. “Oh shit! Ummm … hey guys, how was the trip?”
Danny chuckled. “Not bad, JR. Why don’t you and ‘twig boy’ have a seat? Looks like you need it.”
Sean chuckled as the two red-faced boys found a seat. “Like you’re one to talk, Danny!”
“Ha!” Danny said as most of the group started to plop down all over the room and he leaned against the arm of the couch. “You’re just sayin that to make up for the whole ‘Tower of Terror’ scene. Admit it.” he finished with a giggle.
“Bite me, ‘bot boy!” Sean giggled. “Unlike y’all, I have some common sense!”
“Common sense he calls it.” Danny replied, elbowing Caleb in the side and laughing.
Caleb gave Danny a confused look.
“I’ll explain later.” Danny explained with a grin.
“Leave him alone Danny!” Cory giggled. “It’s not his fault he’s got a weak stomach! Anybody got any ideas for a way to actually relax?”
“Yeah, some sort of a break.” Danny said as he almost melted into the couch.
“No kiddin.” Caleb added as he and JR did the same with Timmy now sprawled across both boys laps.
Everyone jumped as Cory yelped and put his hand to his ear. “Whoa!! What’s wrong now Ark?” Cory grumbled.
Cory listened to the earbud for a second then commented “Okay, put him through to all of us.”
Caleb and JR watched with confused faces as the rest of the guys obviously began listening to a conversation.
“This is Cory.”
“Cor, Kyle. We found my old father!”
Cory’s eyes turned dark. “You found your father? Where is that useless piece of crap hiding at? I’ve got a promise to keep.”
“You ain’t gotta do that, bro. Y’all gave me a family; can we just turn him into the cops?”
“No way Kyle; you know that your big bro and Sean and I keep our promises. Tell JJ to grab Jamie and Jacob. Have them come with you to AIHQ; it’s time for that piece of crap to face the music, and time for you to close out that part of your past. See ya’ in a few minutes.”
“Okay Cory; I guess you’re right. Tyne is going to have Ark take care of getting us there. We’ll be right there.”
“Okay bro; see you soon.” Cory replied before looking around the group. “Guys, it looks like Chicago as soon as we handle some personal business. Anyone know the area?”
“I’ve read about it.” Danny replied.
Caleb held up his hand. “Hold on a minute! What the heck just happened? Y’all were talking to Kyle without communicators?”
Danny motioned to Cory that he’d answer. “Settle down; we have subvocal communication devices in our ears. Technically we don’t have to talk out loud; it just is easier. It’s a long story how and why we got them; lets just say that for now we need to stay hidden from the Federation.”
“I’ll fill you in once everyone is here.” Cory added. “You think you can figure out some stuff to do; we’re going on a field trip after we settle a debt for Kyle.”
“I’ll call Dad to pick me up.” JR commented as he began to stand up.
Cory reached over and pulled JR back down. “Actually, I’m gonna call your Dad and let him know you have business to do in Chicago.”
“Why?” JR responded with a puzzled look. “You guys got work to do there; you don’t need me.”
Sean grinned. “Dude! You are part of the Clan now. It’s time you got to actually do some Clan work besides running wires. Besides, right now its best if you stay with us for your own safety.”
Cory interrupted. “Caleb, you didn’t kill the terminal did you?”
“Thought about it, but no. It lives.” Caleb said with a grin.
“Good deal bro; otherwise you were gonna learn Morse code really fast.” Cory giggled as he stood up. “I’ll be right back; I need to call JR’s dad.”
“Hold on.” Danny stated. “You’re not here bro; I’ll make the call, you stay hidden.”
Cory nodded. “I almost forgot. Thanks Danny.”
Danny came back a couple of minutes later. “You’re set, JR. He says you’ve got enough clothes here, so go pack up and get ready to roll.”
Just then JJ, Kyle, Jamie and Jacob popped into the room. As soon as he got his bearings, JJ turned to Cory. “Ready when you are, bro. Tyne sent two extra subvocals for JR and Caleb. All I have to do is fit them and tell the guys how they work.”
“One sec JJ. Danny, you wanna let Marc know what’s going on?”
“Sure, no prob. Are we all going?” Danny replied.
“Everyone in this room is.” Cory commented seriously as he watched JJ instruct JR and Caleb on the use of the subvocal devices..
Danny thought for a second then mouthed “Ark; can you give me a secure connection to Marc at the old Naval Hospital?”
<I can route you through the primitive wired telephone network. I have routes available which the Federation is not able to monitor.>
“That’ll work. Thanks Ark.”
A few seconds later Danny heard a familiar voice in his ear. “Marc here, wassap bro? You home?”
“Are you where nobody can hear you?” Danny replied seriously.
“Yes. What’s wrong? You sound wiped out.” Marc answered with concern.
Danny sat back in his seat and sighed. “I’m fine, just a little wiped out. Unfortunately we’ve got a call to answer in Chicago and have to head right back out. Are you okay or do you need me to stay behind?”
“You kidding? With the backup I’ve got right now and how things have gone the past day or so, It’s like we can move mountains bro. We’re fine, lose the worried tone.” Marc giggled. “What’s up with using the landline; did Caleb cut the wrong wire again?”
Danny laughed outloud and grinned at Caleb. “No, he didn’t, as far as I know. So, should I take that answer as a ‘I’m not needed’ then?”
“No, you’ll take that as all is well at the AI division. You help our brothers if it’s needed. You’ll just owe me a nice dinner and a quiet sanity break when you get home, that’s all.”
Danny smiled and replied; “Deal, I’ll need the break too. I guess we’re leavin right away and so you know we have Caleb and JR with us.” He suddenly became serious. “The landline thing is a long story; a certain organization is hunting Cory and his family. I’m being patched through to your phone; basically just in case they are trying to find Cory we set up a diversion by flying the shuttle here. All of us are going so that nobody is in danger. Keep everyone else at the hospital until I give you an ‘all clear’, okay?”
“You got it. No worries okay? We’re doing fine; you look out for Cory and I’ll stand guard here. I’ll have a full report for ya when you get back.”
“Great, just make sure to pick the place you want to go for dinner.” Danny replied with a grin. “We’ll handle the report after a full night of R&R.”
“Sounds great. Love ya bro!”
“Love you too, bro.” Danny replied as he sank the rest of the way into the chair and stared at Caleb with a questioning glare. “What?”
Caleb was obviously trying to stifle a laugh once Danny turned his attention toward him. “You two would make a better couple than brothers.” he got out as Danny grabbed the pillow and hit him in the head starting Timmy’s giggle fit back up.
“Oh please.” He laughed as Sean and Cory came back into the room. “Everything is fine here guys. We’re clear to leave whenever you’re ready.”
Cory grinned. “Sounds good. Grab your stuff guys, Chicago here we come!” He then mouthed to his subvocal “Ark, we’re almost ready to go. Everyone in this room is going.”
<Understood Cory. I have found a safe destination point when you are ready.>