Memories: Down Under Book 2

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Okay, before I start the new book, I need to clear a couple of things up. We have now time jumped to a point in time AFTER All Hell Breaks Loose, as well as the funeral. Also, as anyone who has read CSV-DSM by ACFan will be aware, a major alteration has occurred with Kane. Suffice to say, you WILL need to be up-to-date with the CSU in order to understand some of the references mentioned in the following chapter, but following that, M:DU is still for the most part, a free-standing story.

Now to the reason for this skip. As many readers will be aware, of late my free time has not consisted of a reasonable amount of time for writing. This is due to the fact that as a night shift worker, most of my daylight hours, time I class as the best for my writing, is spent unconscious, resting for the next shift.

This has resulted in M:DU falling from being ahead of Memories time-wise, to so far behind that it's still only on the two or three days following the HQ invasion. Also, I feel that AHBL is so far behind us all now, that anything I write for it will be useless, as all facets of the attacks has now been covered by the other wonderful authors of the CSU. 

Yes, there was an attack on the Oceanic Division, and yes there were casualties and loss of life, but thankfully, there was no loss within the OD. However, that doesn't mean that the OD got off easy. What happened then will be told piecemeal by being mentioned by members of the Oceanic Division as events in their past.

I invite you all now, to sit back, and enjoy Book 2 of Memories: Down Under. 

Boi From Aus



Clan Short Oceanic Division Compound, 30th October, 5:30AM (ish)

Harry and Linda were seated, enjoying a quiet cup of coffee and watching an early morning show, when Sky, Cody, Kane and Damon instantly appeared next to the kitchen table, startling Harry.

"Hi boys," Linda said, completely unfazed by their sudden appearance, "How was the trip?"

"Hi Mummy, guess what? I's a mickey mouse now! I tel'ported us here from Corwy's place!" Kane rattled off in one breath.

"...Someone care to translate for me??" Linda asked.

"Okay, get ready for this guys, it may get a little complicated," Sky said in prelude, before continuing, as all the boys took a seat except for Kane, who perched himself on Linda's lap. "Mum, sitting on your lap right now is what is called a Mikyvis. You remember Kyle, don't you?"

"Yes, he was a sweet little boy. He was also a telepath, wasn't he?" Linda replied.

"He was. But what no-one realised at that time was that he was changing, becoming something more, and he made the same change occur in his boyfriend Tyler, the empath. In short, Mum, Kyle and Tyler both converted to Mikyvis, and because of Kane's genetic makeup, and his mimicking abilities, he started to convert to a Mikyvis himself," Sky continued.

"But what does that mean?" Linda asked.

"I'm getting there, Mum. The problem is, Kane's body, and more importantly his mind, weren't ready for this change, but Kyle and the Doctor weren't able to come and help him, because of the attacks on the Clan. So Kane was in danger of going insane, because he wouldn't have been able to control his new abilities. What the Doctor did do was help Kane convert fully to a Mikyvis, and place a lock on him that would prevent him doing harm until such time as Kyle could sit down with him and train him in his new abilities. Kane had no idea what he was until the Lock was removed."

"What abilities? Sky, you'd best finish this now, or I swear I'm gonna lose it," Linda said in warning.

"Relax, Mum. Now, the Lock unfortunately didn't quite completely block his powers. You remember when Kane saw Damon lying in the hospital bed? How he was so distraught, and he ran up to Damon and grabbed his hand? Remember how the damage seemed to miraculously just vanish? Well, it turns out that his feelings for Damon were so strong that he damaged the Lock, and managed to not only heal Damon, but he began Damon's conversion into a Mikyvis. I guess what I'm saying is, we now have two full-powered Mikyvis running around, and they are the youngest pair that haven't been born," Sky finished.

"So... Kane and Damon are now like Kyle and Tyler? Is that all?" Linda asked.

"No. No one truly knows what limits a Mikyvis has. They command Time, and can use it to do anything they want. They are also capable of producing offspring. Kane and Damon could tonight end up making a child. And that child would also be a Mikyvis," Sky said.

"... If you'll all excuse me, I need to make a quick call. Don't worry, there's just someone I need some guidance from," Linda said in a quiet voice, as she planted Kane back on the floor and made her way to her office, closing the door behind her.

"Is Mummy mad at me?" Kane asked in a small voice.

"No, kiddo. Come here," Harry said, planting the boy on his lap and wrapping him in a hug. "Mummy's just gone to talk to your Aunt Teri. She needs someone to talk to about this whole thing, and your Aunt Teri is the person she talks to about stuff that has her worried. That's all it is, she's worrying about you. That's a Mummy's job, worrying about their little boys."

"Otay. Can me and Damon go and play?" Kane brightened.

"Sure, just no Mikyvis abilities 'til your Mum can come to terms with the change, okay?" Harry instructed him.

"Okay, Daddy. Love you," Kane said, as he all but dragged Damon out of the kitchen area.

"Well, any other bombshells you wanna drop on me, guys?" Harry asked Sky and Cody.

"Not that I can think of," Sky said in thought. "We're gonna go and have a nap for a bit. All that fun's worn me out a bit."

"No worries, guys. By the way, Bradin's at Delta's place. We couldn't say no to her," Harry said with a smile.

"Okay, thanks Dad," both boys replied before heading to the door to go to their house.

Harry continued sitting there, reading his paper and finishing his coffee, until Linda returned to the room ten minutes later.

"Where are the boys?" Linda asked.

"Kane and Damon went to 'play', and Sky and Cody went to lay down for a while. I think everything that's happened has them beat, especially Bradin. Sky said the other day that the little man hasn't been sleeping well the last few nights."

"I think I know how they feel... who could do that to a group of kids, no matter how powerful that group may be? We were lucky, though; from what Teri's told me in our chats, the US group was hit, and they were hit hard. I think it's amazing that the boys, each and every one of them anywhere, have pulled through with their sanity," Linda said, tears filling her eyes.

"I agree. But as we've told the boys, we can't let them win. We will get through this. By the way, have you been in contact with Zeke and Jason? They must have spent the night at the hospital again," Harry asked.

"No, I'd better do that now," Linda said, tapping her new FYS insignia, which doubled as her new commbadge. "Linda to Jason. How are you boys doing?"

"Jason here. We're good, Mum. Kaynon's just recovering from his surgery. Freddie didn't make it though, so we're gonna hang around here for when Kay wakes up. He doesn't know yet, and I know it's gonna be hard on him," came Jason's reply.

"Okay, boys, but please come straight back here if you need to. I don't want either of you suffering too much," Linda said.

"Too late, Mum. Now it's about rebuilding," was Jason's terse response. "Jason out."

"They'll be fine, honey. I'm sure they've got some sort of support network in place to help them," Harry said, just as Jesse and Luka walked into the kitchen.

"They will. We're heading there now. Any breakfast, Mom?" Jesse asked.

"You're such a bottomless pit, Jesse McCartney-Thomas," Linda said.

"That's me," Jesse smiled.

"Clive baked some blueberry muffins just for you boys. They're on the breakfast bar," Linda said.

"Thanks, Mom," Jesse replied, walking to the bar.

"How you holding up, Luka?" Harry asked, noticing the normally vibrant boy was very quiet and almost melancholy.

"Okay, I guess. I just feel bad 'cause of Damon getting hurt," Luka said, unshed tears shining in his eyes, prompting Linda to get up from the table and wrap her arms around the teen.

"He's fine, and that's because of you. Not many brothers would stop fighting someone else in defence to aid their little brothers. What you did took great courage, and Damon is alive today because of your actions," she said as she stroked the teen's hair, placing feather-light kisses on the top of his head.

Luka sniffled, trying to rein in his tears again, a little red in the face for crying in front of an adult. 'What a baby-like thing to do,' he thought to himself.

As if reading his mind, Linda replied, "Now, don't you go beating yourself up over crying on me. Everybody, everywhere needs to let their emotions out at times. Heck, I'm sure if it were a topic of conversation Xain would be comfortable with, Allen would reveal that Xain himself has had tears shed. And before you think Jesse wouldn't want a 'cry-baby' for a boyfriend, have a look at Harry," she finished, guiding the teen's view to see Jesse, wrapped up in Harry's arms, tears streaming down his face, the muffins sitting forgotten on the breakfast bar.

Luka smiled to himself. 'I am so lucky to have a guy like him.'




Sydney Royal Children's Hospital, 30 minutes later


Jesse and Luka had relieved Jason and Zeke, who were now camped down in the hospital's cafeteria, which had been converted for the time being into the Clan's base of operations during the time of healing that they were facing.

Both boys were busy tending to the injured, ensuring no one was being missed out for treatment or simply to keep their spirits up. They had made many friends in the days since the attack, many of whom were now technically under the protection of Clan Short.

They met up at the bed of one of the hardest hit by the attack. Kaynon Werkmeister and his boyfriend Freddie Timmons had been attending the most recent gay and lesbian teen fun day at Jamberoo Action Park, an event that the park owners had organised and promoted for 20 years, when the Australian arm of the FCC attacked the park, intent on eliminating as many of what they perceived to be 'future threats to the Christian way of life'.




The boys from the Clan were also at the park, taking advantage of the offer, when the first shots were fired, aimed at the chairlifts. The slow speed of the lifts made the occupants easy targets. That, combined with the fact that the Clan boys were changed into their swimwear, meant that by the time the boys were able to get their phasers, a number of people had already been hit.

Sky took in the scene around him, before tapping his commbadge. "Skylan Thomas to Starfleet Oceanic."

"Oceanic, Ensign Korda. How can I help you, Director?" came the reply.

Sky's surprise at the ensign acknowledging his position without prompting was short-lived. "I have a Condition Red at Jamberoo Action Park. Phasers have been fired at civilians. Request security detail, armed and prepared for a firefight, at my location immediately."

"Acknowledged. I'm also reading injured persons. I have the AUS Melbourne positioned over your location. With your order, the Melbourne can transport the injured to the medical facility of your choice. Unfortunately, their transporter stage cannot handle the number of civilians I'm reading, and there is no guarantee that anyone transported wouldn't be a member of your opposing force."

"That will be acceptable. Have the Melbourne transport them to the Children's Hospital in Sydney, under my authority. If there are any questions, have them put through to my commbadge," Sky replied.

"Understood. You may wish to alert any civilians of imminent transport. Security detail will beam down in two minutes."

"Make it one," Sky said seriously.

"Understood." Sky's badge then fell silent. He then turned to the others in his group.

"Okay, Liam, take Jason and get yourselves to a good vantage point. Kane, Damon, Kosta and Issac, go with Jesse, and get people away from open areas and into coverage. Zeke, you and Cody get to the kiosk and set up a field triage, most serious injuries first. Stabilise them, then call a priority transport to the hospital. Zoe, you're with me, we're going to the park office to use the PA."

With everyone assigned their tasks, Sky and Zoe quickly made their way to the park office. When they reached the office, they quickly showed the park management their Clan IDs, and were given immediate access to the PA mic.

Zoe quickly took up the task: "Attention patrons, we are currently under attack by persons unknown. All patrons, please make your way to an enclosed area, and do not attempt to overpower any attacker. Once you have secured yourselves, please await a member of Clan Short, who will arrange for transport aboard the starship Melbourne. We ask you please keep your heads down, to lessen the chance of being hit by gunfire." 

Meanwhile, Jesse's group were quickly making their way through the park, locating groups who had been caught in the open during the gunfire, and were organising transport out for them. It was as they approached the start of the toboggan tracks that they finally encountered the first hit. Most of the people had been killed by the first shots. The injured had been gathered together, awaiting medical attention. Jesse looked out at the area around the park, and immediately tapped his commbadge. "McCartney to D.H. Thomas."

"Sky here; what's up, Jesse?"

"Sky, I'm seeing transporter beams resolving outside the park. And it doesn't look like they're wearing Starfleet uniforms."

"Transporters? How in the hell did they get access to that kind of technology?" Sky asked.

"I dunno, bro, but it doesn't bode well for us." Jesse dead-panned.

"Well, I'll get onto Oceanic and find out what we can do. Thomas out." Sky then tapped his badge to end the transmission, before tapping it again, "Clan Short Oceanic Director to Starfleet Oceanic." He said, figuring it better to use his official title.

"Oceanic, Ensign Korda here. What can we do for you this time, Director?" came the reply.

"I have further information and need to speak to the C-in-C please." Sky said.

"One moment, Director, and I will get him for you." came Korda's reply, before the commbadge beeped.

"Admiral Callow here. What can I do for you, Director?" came a new voice after a moment.

"Admiral, I'm sure you've been informed by now of the attack on civilians and my Clan at Jamberoo. I have a pressing matter that concerns me. I've been informed by one of my Clan that our attackers are using transporters to beam to the park for their attack," Sky said professionally.

"Transporters? How is that possible? Only Starfleet has the technology available at the moment, it's nowhere near being released to the general public," came the shocked reply from the Oceanic C-in-C.

"I don't know how it's possible, Admiral, but we need to stop it somehow; otherwise, everyone here is in extreme danger," Sky replied.

"Give me a minute, Director, and I'll have all transporter capabilities blocked in that region. I'm afraid that will include Starfleet transports until we can configure the block properly."

"Very well. If we can stem the inflow of attackers, my Clan and Starfleet Security should be able to handle those that are here," Sky said.

A moment later, Jesse watched as two fresh beams flashed a bright white light before they could finish resolving, beforedissolving into nothingness, leaving nothing where they were.

He quickly tapped his commbadge. "McCartney to Sky."

"Sky here, what's up, Jess?"

"Sky, I think there's an issue with the transporters in the area. Two beams just disappeared without a trace in front of me."

"Admiral Callow arranged for a block on transports. Unfortunately that also means that we're alone in the battle, Starfleet's also been blocked from transporting."

"That doesn't sound right. They should be able to use their own technology."

"I don't think they had a contingency plan in place. Up till now, transporters have been a Starfleet-only technology. We should start getting reinforcements as soon as they come up with a work-around for the block. I gotta go, I got a group of guys getting too close to one of the corralling points. Sky out."




Three hours later


The battle was finally winding down, and the park was being secured, when Sky's commbadge chimed with an emergency tone. "To Clan Short Oceanic, this is the Melbourne Children's Hospital, requesting immediate aid. We have been attacked by unidentified forces, armed with phasers, and using transporter technology to beam straight into our ICU."

He quickly tapped his 'badge. "This is Clan Short Oceanic Division Head Sky Thomas. We have received your distress call, and will have a contingent en route ASAP. Please initiate any evacuation procedures you have in place and have not already done. All non-essential personnel should leave the grounds. Please contact the AUS Melbourne and have them beam as many as they can onboard."

"Acknowledged. Please be advised that the hospital is in complete lockdown, so your team will need to see our Director for access credentials. She will be waiting for you in the Accident and Emergency foyer on your arrival."

"Thank you. We'll be there in two minutes." Sky then quickly initiated another transmission. "Sky Thomas to Starfleet Oceanic."

"Oceanic, Admiral Callow here."

Sky quickly hid his surprise at getting straight through to the Admiral. "Sir, has transport capability been re-established in this area? I've just now received a distress call from the Melbourne Children's Hospital. Also, please advise the Melbourne that any calls they receive from the Hospital bear the same weight as those from me."

"Of course, sir. All transport capabilities have been restored, and the Melbourne is now being informed of your request. Captain Baxter assures me that he is willing to provide anything and everything you need. Also, please be informed that a detachment of MACOs has been deployed to the hospital, and is awaiting your arrival to take command. Is there anything else you need, sir?"

Sky's shock over the Admiral's attitude was short-lived, as he realised exactly what was being offered to him. He was, in essence, being given command of any entire attack force, all aimed at protecting the youth within the hospital. He quickly recovered and replied to the Admiral, "No, sir. That's all that I can think of at this time. Clan Short thanks you for your assistance here today. Thomas out." He then ended the communication and turned to the Clan members around him.

"Okay guys, we have another situation on our hands. Seems that the hospital in Melbourne's been targeted by another group of individuals. Whether these are from the same group or this is all just a bad case of coincidence isn't known, but it's our job to keep these kids safe. Get ready, we leave now."

Within seconds, all the Clan members were ready, either with their phasers out, or their equipment set.

"Clan Short to Starfleet Oceanic, energise."




Melbourne Children's Hospital


The Clan beamed in just outside the A&E lobby, and quickly made their way inside. There, Sky went up to the desk, and asked to see the Director. A motherly-looking woman of around 30 approached the desk and extended her hand.

"Nice to meet you, Mr. Thomas. I remember seeing your press conference last week. I have to say it fills me with hope to see a group such as yours fighting to help kids. Oh, I'm Moira, by the way, Moira Polle."

"Nice to meet you too, Mrs Polle," Sky said respectfully.

"Okay, the doors in the hospital have gone into lockdown mode, which means that only authorised personnel can enter any area besides A&E. This is accomplished through a biometric system involving fingerprints. If your team will move over to the desk there, we can have all your fingerprints entered into our system. This will allow you access to all areas of the hospital. As far as the attackers go, I've received reports that they seem to be targeting one particular child; he came in about two days ago suffering from amnesia. Apparently, he was beaten quite severely, and was found by the local authorities and brought in for treatment."

"We'll get this situation sorted out. Is there anything else we need to know before we get started?"

"No, I think that's all the relevant information. Good luck."

"Thanks, just be sure to get to safety. We don't need any more casualties than we've already had today," Sky said emphatically.




Upstairs, a minute later


"Okay, remember, guys, there are kids in this room; watch your fire. Only fire when you have a clear shot," Liam said to the group around him, his training kicking in.

The group slowly made their way into the ICU, and the sight that they came upon had everyone immediately on edge. What they saw was a man, probably in his early thirties, with one hand wrapped around the neck of a boy of four, and the other palming an obvious bulge in his pants. He quickly changed his position when he realised that Sky and group were in the room, putting the boy between himself and the group, but keeping both hands where they were.

The rest of the attacking group were standing over the beds occupied by the other sick kids in the ward, though they were noticeably lacking erections.

"Well, well. What do we have here? Come to join the fun, boys?" the man asked, instantly causing Sky to go red in the face.

"You sick bastard! What would give you the impression we're here to 'join the fun'?" Sky asked, "Do you not notice the weapons we currently have trained on you and your sick, psycho friends?"

"Well, I hate to burst your bubble there, boyo, but lookie here," the man replied, finally pulling his hand away from his crotch, to pull a phaser from his back, pointing it at the little boy's head. "You boys ain't the only ones with dangerous toys. So I suggest you put the phasers down and let us leave, or a lot of little kids is gonna get hurt. And that would be a shame, no more playmates for any of us."

The second Sky saw the phaser in the man's hand, he mentally made note of the increasingly obvious connection between the attack at the park and the attack on the hospital. He quickly made the hand gesture telling his team to lower their phasers, as well as take neutral stances, to not provoke further aggression from the attackers. He quickly sized up the situation before addressing the leader. "Why are you doing this? Attacking a hospital? Your friends that attacked my family and other innocent kids at a fun park? What's the purpose?" he asked the man.

"The fun park was the plan. My organisation has been watching Clan Short quite closely. We know everything that's been happening both here and in the States. Your actions go against everything we stand for. A child's place is to follow the orders of their elders, not to lead revolutions to overthrow governments and church groups. There's also the fact that the majority of your precious Clan are a bunch of heathens, doomed to the eternal fires of Hell!" the man replied in a holier-than-thou tone.

"Well, that answers most of my questions, and even tells me that your organisation is obviously a church, so that'll narrow down the list of bastards I personally go after when this is done, but you didn't tell me what's so important about this boy that you would storm into a highly-protected hospital," Sky said, already fed up with the man and his centuries-old point of view.

"That's simple, really. I have been training young Nicky here as my personal toy since he was one. I'm not about to suffer blue balls just because of a little thing like amnesia," the man replied coldly, "The other members of the church dumped him on the side of the road after a little... accident. Seems Nicky here somehow managed to overhear the plans being made for the attack and ran into the butt of a phaser when he was caught."

"That settles it. Kane, do your thing," Sky said to his little brother, who was standing right next to him.

Kane immediately began focusing on the man, quickly scanning his mind for any useful information he could garner, before focusing behind the man, on a vase that was sitting on the bedside of Nicky's bed. Before the disbelieving eyes of the man's followers, the vase quickly rose in the air, before zooming into the back of the man's head, some pieces of broken glass embedding themselves into the man's vertebrae. The man dropped like the proverbial sack of potatoes, his grip on Nicky's neck loosened with a little help from Kane. The second the man's 'friends' truly realised what was going on, they began to make moves to attack Sky's group. Very quickly, each member of Sky's group fired stun shots at the men, nullifying the threat.

It took a moment for anyone to move, but the first to do so was Nicky, who quickly ran up and threw his arms around Sky.

"Nicky, are you okay?" Sky asked the little boy.

"Who's Nicky? I's Cwistian," the little boy said.

"Christian? So what was that man talking about, calling you Nicky?" Sky asked, now completely confused.

"Sky, when we's done here, I can answer that question for you. Cwistian dun need to hear it though," Kane piped up.

"Sounds good, kiddo. Okay, guys, let's make sure the kids here are okay, then we should give the all clear for operations to resume here," Sky said to the group around him, before sitting on Nicky/Christian's bed, keeping his arms around the younger boy.

As the rest of the group moved about the room, Sky tapped his commbadge, "Thomas to Clan Short Oceanic."

"Thank you for contacting Clan Short Oceanic. Currently, our Clan Members are away from the Compound. If you're calling in regards to general enquiries, please hold the line, and you can leave a message and one of our Members will get back to you. If your call is in regards to an emergency in which a child's life is in danger, please say 'emergency override' and you will be connected with the Member closest to your location who is available," came the automated reply.

"Computer, Clan Override, authorisation Thomas Alpha Lima 487," Sky said.

"Override acknowledged and confirmed, Director Thomas identified and authorised" came the automated computer response.

"Computer, open new case file, Priority One, file number 17453-2, regarding one Christian.... Computer, pause." Sky then looked down at the little boy in his arms, "Hey buddy, can you tell me your full name and your birthday?" he asked gently.

"Cwistian Mich'l Lews... And my birfday is May 9," the little boy answered.

Sky did the maths quickly. "Computer resume, continue previous command, regarding one Christian Micheal Lewis, born May 9, 2000. Initiate Data Sweep Code Omega 4, all child-care organisations. Alert me when medical records are located. Maintain open case file until further instructions are provided by myself or Director, Youth Services Oceanic. End case instructions. Computer reroute all incoming CIC calls to my commbadge, and all Youth Services calls to Director, YSO's commbadge."

"CIC reroute complete. Unable to reroute FYS calls. Calls already rerouted to Director, YSO." came the computer's response.

"Good. Thomas out."

"What'd all dat mean?" asked Christian.

"That was the first step to making sure you are safe and protected. The computer will now find all the information there is on you, from all the groups whose job it is to make sure you're happy and healthy. And if it turns out one of those groups failed you in any way, that means I can go and make trouble for them on your behalf. We're here to fight for you now," Sky explained to the little boy.

"Wow! Does dat mean it'll fine my par'nts, too?" Christian asked with wonder.

"If there's any record of them in your file, then yes, it will find your parents. Now, what do you say we find a doctor to make sure you're okay?"

"Otay, I like the doct'rs here, theys nice to me and make sure I gets lotsa food," Christian said with a cherubic smile.

"That's good. That's what doctors should do for little kids," Sky said, before tapping his commbadge. "Access local PA system." He waited for the next beep before continuing, "Attention all hospital staff...."




AUS Melbourne, Sickbay


"Which of you is Skylan Thomas?" The doctor said, as he approached.

"That would be me, sir." Sky replied, stepping forward.

"Mr Thomas, I have a request from the captain. He would like to see you on the bridge at your earliest convenience."

"Thank you. Please inform him that I shall be there as soon as I know that my Clan is going to be okay," Sky said professionally.

"Very well, sir. I shall inform him at once. I believe one of the victims wishes to see you. He's over on the biobed."

"Thank you, doctor. Your services for my Clan today shall not go forgotten," Sky said as a vow, before he made his way over to the biobed the doctor pointed to.

There, he found a boy around his age, who he remembered seeing at some point at Jamberoo. The boy was covered head to toe in blood from a gunshot wound to the head. A quick glance at the bed's screen told Sky that the bullet had been removed, and the bed was healing the boy. This brought a huge sigh of relief from Sky, who was still worrying about all the children in the Sickbay, most of which were in a similar condition. "Hi, I'm Sky. What's your name?"

"I'm Kaynon. I was told by the nurses that you might know where my boyfriend is. His name is Freddie. Could you please tell me?" The boy said, his tears threatening to fall.

"I'm sorry, I don't know, but I can find out for you. Don't worry, I'm sure he's fine. He may have been transported down to Sydney for...." Sky trailed off, knowing that if he had been sent to Sydney, it wasn't good. Very early on, the Melbourne's medical team had gotten together with the Sydney Royal Children's Hospital, to arrange for the most serious cases to be sent there, for easier access to surgeons and specialists. Those that had been sent there were on the cusp of life and death.

"I'll see what I can find out for you," Sky finished, motioning to Jason and Zeke, "In the meantime, I'd like you to meet my brothers, Jason and Zeke. What I'm going to do is make sure they stay with you at all times, so that I can contact them with any info I come up with. Also, anything you need, you just have to ask them, and they can get it for you. Is that okay with you?"

"Uh... okay. They won't care if I'm gay, will they?" Kaynon asked hesitantly.

"Not one bit. They are boyfriends, so if one said they had a problem with it, the other would be a little upset, not to mention confused," Sky said with a smile.

"Oh... okay then." Kaynon said in relief.

"I have to go and check up on my brothers now, but I'll come and visit some more as soon as the official stuff is out of the way if you'd like. I'll even introduce my boyfriend to you if you want."

"Cool, that'd be great. I can't wait to introduce you to Freddie," Kaynon said, a little more excitedly.

Sky walked over to the main office for the sickbay, where the doctor was completing a blood workup for one of the patients. "Doctor, how is it going? Are my Clan brothers going to be okay?"

"They should all be fine, Mr Thomas. The only Clan member of concern is Damon, but I think the biobed, combined with your young brother there, should have him back on his feet very soon," the doctor said, indicating to the biobed on which Damon was lying, Kane by his side, holding his hand tight, and not looking like he was moving any time soon.

"Thank you, doctor. You have no idea how much of a relief it is to hear that. By the way, when you have a moment, could you see if you can find out what is happening with a Freddie, who may have been sent down to Sydney? I'm afraid I didn't get a last name, and I can't be certain he was sent to Sydney," Sky asked.

"Not a problem. I'll see what I can come up with. Please don't forget to see the captain. He seemed quite insistent on seeing you."

"I'm actually going to see him now. Are you certain I can go to the bridge? I thought the turbolifts locked out unauthorised attempts to access the bridge," Sky said.

"That is true, but your voice print data has been added to the command codes. I'm afraid that's all the captain told me. You'll have to ask him when you see him," the doctor said, standing and grabbing a hypospray from his work bench before moving to the treatment floor. Sky decided there was no time like the present, and made his way to the sickbay doors.



When the doors of the turbolift opened, Sky found Captain Baxter seated at the command chair, going over the contents of a PADD. Sky cleared his throat, and watched as the captain looked up in surprise, before quickly standing and straightening his uniform. "Attention, Commander on deck!" Once the remaining bridge officers were at attention, Captain Baxter turned to Sky. "Commander Thomas, it is my duty to inform you that as of 1816 Standard Federation Australian time, command of the AUS Melbourne is transferred to you. I, as commanding officer of the vessel now report to you directly, or to Patriarch Cory Short of Clan Short. This arrangement shall stand until such time as Starfleet Command states otherwise."

Sky was shocked. An entire starship under his command? 'What do I do?' was all he could think. He did his best to respond with formality. "Thank you, Captain Baxter. Then my first order would be to keep doing what you were doing. I don't have anything to add. I guess... as you were," he said, and was surprised again when the crew all went about their tasks.

"Communications, could you please connect me to Admiral Callow?" Sky asked, still unsure of his authority.

"Right away, sir. Would you like that put through to the Ready Room?" the lieutenant asked.

Sky looked to the captain, who simply said, "I would recommend that, sir. Communications with Admirals generally aren't conducted on the bridge. Security reasons."

"Okay, lieutenant, put it through to the Ready Room," Sky said, walking towards the Ready Room.

Sky sat at the desk and watched the viewscreen as Admiral Callow's face appeared. "Commander Thomas, how can I help you today?" the Admiral asked.

"Sir, I believe there's been some kind of mistake. Captain Baxter here has just informed me that the Melbourne is under my command," Sky said.

"No mistake, Mr Thomas. Until further notice, the Melbourne is under direct command of Clan Short, more specifically, the Australian division of said Clan. I've received word that the USS Lafayette has also been put under Clan Short command. I've also been informed by Admiral Morrow that the Vulcan cruiser D'Kyr is en route to Earth, and has been placed as the flagship of the Clan Short division of the Vulcan Fleet. Now, this hasn't been made official yet; I'm just making sure you're aware of it."

"Oh wow. Tim and Zeke are going to have a blast when they see that ship. They've heard a lot about the D'Kyr-class ships," Sky said in shock.

"Tim and Zeke? The young men who designed the new commbadges? Well, since I have you on the line, I'd like to extend commissions to those two fine young men. If they accept, they will be attached to Starfleet R&D, and hold the rank of First Lieutenant, with all the rights, privileges and pay that those ranks are entitled to."

"Wow, I'll be sure to pass that on to them for their consideration. Also, I wish to have the files of all personnel that assisted my Clan given a commendation for their work. The assistance they rendered is above and beyond the call of duty," Sky said professionally.

"Well, I can definitely do that for the security and strike teams that assisted on the battlefield, but I cannot do that for the crew of the Melbourne. As she is now under your command, only you can do that," Admiral Callow said.

"Oh, well, I guess I have something to do later then," Sky said in thought. "Thank you, Admiral. Was there anything else we needed to discuss?"

"Nothing I can think of right now. I'll leave you to do what you need to. Live long and prosper, Sky Thomas of Clan Short."

"Peace and long life, Admiral Callow."

Sky sat in thought for a moment after the viewscreen went blank. With renewed vigour, he made his way out onto the bridge. "Captain Baxter, please inform the Orlando CIC of my Clan as to the change in your orders, and take the ship down to yellow alert. We don't know yet if we're out of the woods. Also, see if you can locate the persons responsible for today's actions."

"Aye, sir," Captain Baxter said, before turning to relay the orders to the appropriate officers.

"I'll be in the sickbay, should anyone need me, just call me down there," Sky said, walking towards the turbolift.

He walked into the sickbay, to see a lot of the most injured kids were healing well. Damon was still on the biobed, with Kane at his side. Kane was looking worse for wear, his head almost hitting the bed constantly from exhaustion. Sky noticed this and made his way over to his youngest brothers.

"Hey, kiddo, ya think it might be time for a sleep?" Sky asked gently.

"I's fine, gotta stay awake case Damon wakes," Kane said sleepily.

"I don't think that'll be a problem. He's probably not going to wake up until sometime tomorrow. I think you can get a sleep in that time. Now, I don't want to make it an order, but you need to sleep. We can organise for a bed to be set up next to the biobed for you. You think you could handle that?" Sky asked.

"Okay," Kane yawned.

"Good kid. I'll get that arranged now."

Sky walked over to one of the nurses and caught her attention. "Excuse me, nurse? Would you be able to arrange for a foldaway bed for my little brother there? He needs sleep, but he refuses to move from his friend's side."

The nurse looked at Kane with a sad smile and replied, "That's not a problem. I'll contact the quartermaster now and have them bring a bed up."

"Thank you."

At that moment, Sky's commbadge sounded. "Director Thomas."

It took a moment for Sky to realise that the voice on the other end was the CIC computer. "Computer, report."

"Data Sweep completed. No medical records pertaining to Christian Michael Lewis have been located. No missing persons reports have been located. One police report located relating to Christian Micheal Lewis."

"Computer, have police report on Christian sent to Commander Thomas, AUS Melbourne. Lock case file 17453-2, Director's eyes only, authorisation Thomas Alpha Lima 487."

"Acknowledged. Case file secured."

"Thomas out."

Sky then caught the attention of the nurse he had just spoken to. "Excuse me, nurse. I have to head up to the Captain's Ready Room and go over some information. If you need me, could you please call me immediately."

"Of course, Commander. If anyone comes looking for you, should I direct them to the Ready Room?" the nurse asked.

"That would be fantastic. Thank you," Sky replied, before making his way to the turbolift.

"Deck one."

Once he was seated in the Ready Room, he logged onto the system and retrieved the waiting police report.

"Oh my God...."








Author's note:

Well there you have it, folks! I started this chapter in no way intending to cover AHBL, but of course, the boys have other ideas. Without giving too much away, no, the attack on the Oceanic Division wasn't planned by the same group as the US attack, but what a coincidence.

I left that little cliffhanger, as I wanted to get this chapter out as soon as I could, and also as a reason for me to get into the next chapter as soon as I can, so as to avoid as much backlash as possible.

Well, that's my two cents, I hope you have enjoyed this, my return to writing.