A story by Altimexis
Welcome to the twenty-second installment of Love in a Chair. If you haven't read it already, please read the foreword under Chapter 1. It goes without saying that this story is under copyright. It is a work of pure fiction and any resemblance of characters to real people is completely coincidental. This story involves gay sex between minors and if reading it is illegal where you live, please don't.
READERS SHOULD NOTE that this is not a story about eroticism gained through urination or scat. In fact, descriptions throughout the following chapters related to bowel and bladder movements, are described for the purpose of giving the reader an incite into the complications, embarrassments, and adjustments required in the everyday life of a paraplegic.
Summary of Chapters 1-21: Sixteen-year-old Aaron Johnson and Fourteen-year-old Brian Sandler are two boys in love. Both sets of parents are now supportive of the relationship, but Brian's were deeply religious and so the boys fabricated a ruse to spend some time together. Aaron was forced to drive Brian home, though a month shy of his license, when their plan for a ride fell through. They were struck by a drunk driver and Brian became a paraplegic. Brian completed rehabilitation at a well-known spinal cord injury center and has since returned to school while undergoing outpatient rehabilitation. The boys are out at school and active in the gay-straight alliance. They have a number of supportive friends, including Brian's best friend, Larry Epstein and his girlfriend, Cindy, Aaron's fourteen-year-old brother, Adam and his girlfriend, Jenny, Jackie and her girlfriend, Sharon, and Scott and his boyfriend, Jared. Brian's acceptance as a gay paraplegic has been less than total, particularly since he has to sit at the back of the class, but he has befriended a soon-to-be former slacker named
Brian felt so embarrassed - he actually passed out during band practice. He passed out, for Christ sake! Although he came to right away, Mr. Jeffries insisted that he go to the hospital - by ambulance, no less.
While Aaron accompanied Brian to the hospital in the ambulance, the school administration office phoned Alan Sandler at work, explaining the situation to him. Not long after Brian and Aaron were settled in an Emergency room cubicle, June and Alan Sandler joined them. It was discomforting to watch Brian laying on a gurney for hours while his wheelchair remained back at the school, locked up for the weekend.
While he waited in Emergency with his parents and Aaron, Brian had an accident - his bowels evacuated while he lay there - a consequence of his attempt to switch to an evening bowel program. Brian was mortified as the odor permeated the area.
Within a minute, a male nurse and then a patient care assistant, better known to the lay public as an orderly, came to the rescue, assessed the situation, and proceeded to remedy it. After ushering the Sandlers and Aaron from the cubicle, they removed Aaron's lower garments, washed his backside, got him into a hospital gown and much to Brian's horror, put him in a diaper.
While this was happening, Aaron took the opportunity to call his parents. Aaron was glad that it was his dad who answered. "Hi Dad, I'm at emergency with Brian and Mr. and Mrs. Sandler. Brian fainted at band practice this afternoon when he tried to play the trumpet. We've been here for more than hour, waiting for someone to see him."
Jim Johnson recognized the anxiety in Aaron's voice. "Aaron, is he in any distress right now?"
Aaron told his dad what had just happened with the unexpected bowel movement and ended by saying, "He seems fine dad, but I know he's feeling a lot more stressed than he's letting on." Aaron's voice cracked.
"Aaron, that's to be expected, especially in the ER. You can imagine how your mother and I felt when you were in there the night of the accident, and I can just imagine how Alan and June are feeling right now, but it's far worse for Brian. What you say and how you act with him can make a huge difference in how he feels. If you sound and act stressed out, it will only amplify the way Brian feels. On the other hand, if you seem to be relaxed and provide words of encouragement, it will help to alleviate Brian's stress.
"More than anything, Brian feels embarrassed by the whole thing. I'm no doctor, but I'm sure Brian's passing out probably had nothing to do with anything serious. It's embarrassing to faint during band practice. Pooping in his pants was even more embarrassing. We both know there's absolutely nothing Brian could have done about either thing. It wasn't his fault. Just tell him that and give him reassurance and your love and he'll feel a lot better."
"Thanks Dad, I guess that's just what I needed to hear." Aaron replied, now with control in his voice.
"Aaron, you've accepted a huge challenge together with Brian and I'm sure you're going to succeed. Give June, Alan, and Brian our love."
"I will dad, and thanks. I better get back there and give them something to smile about."
"That's my boy! You know your mom and I are very proud of you. Goodbye son."
As Aaron retuned to Brian's cubicle, he noticed quite a bit of activity in some of the other cubicles and, although the curtains were drawn, he could only imagine the stress that the other families in the ER were feeling that evening. As he approached Brian's cubicle, he smiled and peered in with a mischievous grin, giving June, Alan, and Brian a wide-eyed, happy stare.
"Sooo, how... is.... it... going? He smiled as he looked at each of them. The response was a spontaneous smile from the three of them.
"Well," Brian said with a smile as he pointed to his groin area, "Thank God I wasn't in school when this happened, but where'd you go?"
"I guess I could say a lot of stupid things about going to the bathroom," Aaron said with a grin, "but no, I just phoned my folks to let them know what was up. They send their love to for each of you."
"Thank you Aaron," Alan said, "Listen Brian, you seem to be pretty stable at the moment, and you're going to need some fresh clothes when they send you home. So, I'm going to make a mad dash home and pick some up for you. In the meantime, Aaron, starting at the nurses' station, why don't you check around and see what we can do about getting a loan of a wheelchair 'til we get Brian's back from school."
"Oh shit!" Both boys said together. "I forgot all about it in the confusion." Aaron added.
Within an hour, spent bouncing from one area to another, Aaron returned to Brian's cubicle with nothing more than a list of agencies that collected wheelchairs from people who no longer needed them. Alan had already returned with clean clothes for Brian.
"I'm sorry, guys. I ended up going all over the place, only to be told the same thing over and over again. The hospital doesn't loan wheel chairs to anyone for any reason. The on-duty social worker told me they used to a long time ago, but too many people never returned them. She's the one who gave me this list. It looks like we're going to have to get by without one tonight and maybe see if we can get one from one of these agencies in the morning."
"That's OK, Aaron. You did the best you could," Brian's father said as he gently squeezed Aaron's shoulder.
Just then, Dr. Langston entered the cubicle, reading Brian's file.
"Aaron! Good to see you. Looking much better than the last time you were here. . . . and you must be Brian. Good to meet you at last." Dr. Langston greeted the patient with a steady handshake. "I'm sorry for the wait folks, but this place is swamped tonight and we're down one resident."
Aaron smiled feeling a new level of comfort knowing that Chip was going to examine Brian. "I'm surprised you remember me. You must see hundreds of patients every week here."
"I sure do, Aaron, but you're different. It's not every day I meet a young teenager who's so self-assured as you are. There's more to it than that, though. I don't generally discuss my personal life, but we three share something in common."
"You mean you're gay?"
"Yup. The way you cared so deeply for Brian just blew me away that night." Chip turned nervously toward Brian's parents, remembering some of what Aaron had said that night. "You must be Brian's parents."
Seeing the look of concern on Chip's face, Alan took Chip's hand and shook it firmly as he said, "Dr. Langston, I want you to know that my wife and I are proud of our two sons." He nodded in Brian and Aaron's direction. "I've learned a lot from them since the accident, and have come to accept that what they feel for each other is no different from what I feel for my wife. June and I couldn't be happier that they're together now. You're among friends here."
A broad grin lit up Chip's entire face as he returned Alan's handshake. Turning to the chart, he said, "Says here you fainted while you were playing the trumpet." Brian nodded as the doctor took his blood pressure with him lying flat on his back. "Brian, I want you to sit up and rest your weight on your extended arms behind you." As Brian complied, Chip put his stethoscope into his ears and listened to Brian's chest. "OK, now lean forward against me while I recheck your blood pressure." Chip then told Brian four times to take a deep breath, hold and exhale while he listened to his heart and lungs. After the fourth breath, he asked Brian, "After taking those deep breaths, how do you feel?"
"A little bit dizzy; light headed." Brian replied.
"OK," Chip said as he took Brian's blood pressure yet again. "Now lie back down while I take your blood pressure one final time." Once completed, Chip smiled, "Now Brian, with just that bit of exertion and those deep breaths, your blood pressure did drop a little in both the sitting and supine . . . oops, I mean lying down positions. Your sitting blood pressure is low to begin with, which isn't at all unexpected in a paraplegic, so it doesn't take much of a drop to make you faint. When you tried playing the trumpet this afternoon, I'm sure you just had a vago-vagal response; in layman's terms you overexerted yourself to the point where the blood couldn't get enough oxygen to the brain. I'd love to stay and chat, but like I said, we're swamped. Go on home Brian, you'll be fine."
All that time, this whole ordeal; just to be told that he over exerted himself trying to play his trumpet. Brian sighed in disgust as he slowly shook his head.
The hospital provided a wheelchair to get Brian from the ER to the Sandler's car, but after that, he would be on his own. They first drove to the school so Aaron could pick up his car. As Alan drove, Brian nodded off in the front seat. June took Aaron's hand in hers. Her words were quiet, simple, and full of emotion. "Thank you Aaron."
Aaron reflected back on the phone call to his dad and smiled. "My dad deserves most of the credit."
The Sandlers waited at the school parking lot, while Aaron checked a few of the doors of the school. He wanted to see if anyone - a janitor or security person could let him in to retrieve Brian's chair. The school was deserted, but he did find a notice at the front door that told him who to call in an emergency.
When they got home, it was Brian who thought of using his commode chair to transfer out of the car. It wasn't a perfect solution by any means, but it beat the hell out of being physically carried. Still, Brian was mortified by the thought that a neighbor might see it, since it looked a bit like a toilet on wheels, but Aaron couldn't help but laugh hysterically at the whole thing.
"I almost forgot about the commode chair," Aaron said to his lover, once he had calmed down. "It may not look like much, but I guess it'll do."
"Well I'm certainly not going out in public with it. Seriously, though, my therapists told me that I should never sit on it for more than an hour at a time, or I could get pressure sores. It's not designed to be used as a regular wheelchair and the cushion isn't soft enough to protect my skin. So I guess I'll be stuck in bed or on the sofa for the rest of the weekend."
"That really sucks."
They couldn't get the commode chair as close to the car as a regular wheelchair, either, so Aaron and Alan had to help Brian bridge the gap. Aaron winced as they did so - his broken ribs were nearly healed, but they still hurt with sudden, jerking motions. Once inside the house, Brian was able to tend to his own needs for the most part, getting a little help from his boyfriend to remove the diaper he'd gotten in Emergency.
The worst of the day's events, however, was when he spoke to Dr. Stevens, his physician back at the
Brian was devastated and cried himself to sleep in Aaron's arms.
The last insult to an emotionally injurious day came when Aaron awoke during the night to find that Brian had again soiled himself.
"Fuck, Aaron, it's never gonna work. I'm gonna hafta wear diapers."
"Don't worry about it, sweetheart. We'll eventually get it right. I've been reading up on this shit - oops," Aaron giggled realizing what he'd said, "and I think we made a mistake in thinking that the accident in the emergency room was the end of it. We should have probably gone ahead with a bowel program anyway last night. In fact, I think we probably should do a program right now, just in case. That should tide you over until Sunday night."
"You want to give me a suppository now at, what . . ." Brian said looking at his alarm clock, ". . . three AM?"
"Better now than to have another accident over the weekend, don'tcha think? And besides, we can sleep in."
In less than an hour, the boys were back in bed, between fresh sheets, nestled in each other's arms, asleep again.
Aaron didn't awake again until ten - he'd obviously slept through Brian's cathing himself at seven. Aaron quietly got out of bed and took his clothes with him into the bathroom. After a quick shower, some cereal and a few phone calls, he was on his way to school to pick up Brian's wheelchair from security. Thank God, he thought - without it, Brian could have been a prisoner for the rest of the weekend. Aaron doubted that any of the agencies on the list the ER social worker gave him would be open for the weekend.
He returned to find the entire Sandler family enjoying pancakes for brunch.
"I'm back!" Aaron called from the vestibule as he quietly pushed the wheelchair. "Gotta a surprise for ya, sweetheart," he added as he pushed the wheelchair into the dining room smiling.
"My legs! My legs!" Brian shouted from the table. All four laughed over Brian's enthusiasm. It became a spirited beginning after the previous day's less than enjoyable events.
Although he'd already eaten, Aaron had little difficulty finding enough room to enjoy a couple of pancakes with Brian and his parents.
After breakfast, the boys returned to Brian's room and Brian got out his tenor sax. He started playing around and fingering the sax while trying to muster enough breath to play. He actually did manage to squawk out some notes, but nothing long enough to actually play a song and he found it exhausting.
"Maybe with some exercises and practice, you'll be able to play it," Aaron suggested.
"Nah, I'll never have the stamina to play it well, but I'm not gonna give up on music. It's my life, well, next to you."
"How about piano?"
"Yeah, but how would I manage the foot pedals."
"Hmm. What if you used an electronic keyboard and hooked the pedals up to a head control, or something like that?"
"That might work," Brian thought aloud.
"How about at least trying out your piano right now?"
"Sure, why not?"
They headed back out into the great room and Aaron moved the piano bench out of the way so that Brian could sit in front of his family's baby grand. Brian started out playing some simple tunes from memory and although it sounded stilted from the lack of pedal action, it sounded pretty good. The only problem he found was when he tried to reach the keys at both the high and low ends - he would tend to lean over and at one point nearly lost his balance.
Brian was a little discouraged by that, but Aaron reassured him. "You don't even use those keys most of the time except for classical music. Some keyboards don't even include the low end at all."
"Yeah, you're right. I'm sure I could play jazz and rock OK."
"Hell yeah." Aaron thought for a moment and then asked, "Do you still have your guitar?"
"Yeah, but it's a real cheap one and I haven't played it in an age."
"Seeing as two of your favorite artists are Norman Brown and Marc Antoine, do you think maybe you'd like to take it up again?"
Brian pondered this and a smile slowly spread across his face. "You have a good point there, Aaron, and you know how much I like your points . . . the one's on your chest and the large one down below," he added with a blush. "But seriously, so what if I can't be the next Winton Marsalis? There's nothing wrong with being the next Marc Antoine. I think my guitar's up in the attic. Let's see if Dad'll get it out for me."
Later in the afternoon, the boys found themselves in Brian's room, Brian seated in his wheelchair with his freshly tuned guitar in hand. After a lot of messing around, he started playing in earnest.
"Brian, you're really good! Why'd you ever stop playing?"
"There are no guitars in either the school orchestra or the school band, and I particularly wanted to play in the band. The trumpet just seemed like a cool instrument to play in the band, and I already admired Miles Davis since my folks are really into jazz. Afterwards, I got into the sax as my appreciation of jazz grew. I guess I lost interest in guitar as I developed my skills with wind instruments."
"But you're playing is fantastic, even after all these years."
"You can really tell, even with this crappy guitar that needs new strings?"
"I may be biased, but I recognize talent when I hear it. You have talent, Brian. I think you could probably play almost any instrument you set your sights on. I was thinking about getting a part time job anyway, now that I'm sixteen, so pretty soon I should have enough money to buy you a new guitar . . . nothing fancy, but enough to get you started."
"Aaron, you don't have to do that for me. I'm sure my parents would be happy to help out."
"No, Brian, I want to do this. It's something we can share together. I love listening to you play. Let me do this for you."
"Only if you'll let me do something for you."
"You already do just by being you."
"Seriously, Aaron, if you got a job now, that'd mean working nights and weekends. When would I see you? When would we have time together? Please promise me you'll wait until the summer? I need you way more than I need a new guitar. I can wait for a new guitar. I can't wait for you."
"I see what you mean, Brian. I don't think I could live without you either. OK, I'll wait until the summer to get a job. But then you gotta promise me you'll let me buy you the best guitar we can afford."
"Deal . . . Aaron, you said at school today that you used to play viola. Do you still have your viola?"
"Brian, the last thing you want to do is hear me play my viola! And, no, I don't have it any more. We rented one during my brief stint as a musician."
"But you said you can still read music."
"Yeah, that's easy . . . it's the sort of thing you never forget."
"I know what you mean." Brian looked at his love with a sly expression and continued, "How would you like to try playing my saxophones? I mean, they're not easy to play, but a lot easier than learning to play the trumpet, and if you can read music and all . . . I mean . . . what I'm trying to say is it'd be cool to be able to play music together, maybe with some of the guys. Larry could play keyboards,
The last thing Aaron thought he could do was to be a musician, but he did love music and if it would make Brian happy, he thought, it just might be fun. Then he had another thought. "Brian, we both like jazz, and
Brian thought about it as a wide grin took over his face. "That'd be so cool. Yeah, I really like that. Since I can't be in the band anymore, why not a jazz ensemble? The school doesn't have one, so why can't we start one? Aaron, you're a genius!"
Aaron couldn't have been happier with Brian's reaction. He'd gone from being upset and depressed to being truly excited about something. The transformation was magical.
They spent the rest of the day together messing around with Brian's guitar and saxophones. It took Aaron a lot of practice, but Brian was patient and by the end of the weekend, Aaron could actually manage to maintain a steady sound and play a few simple tunes.
The next day at school, everyone got together at lunch to discuss Aaron's idea for a jazz ensemble.
"I hate to brag, but I'm a mean drummer," Scott threw in. "I'm not as fond of jazz as Rock and Roll, but I've never been in a band before and I think it'd be great."
"You know you can count me in on keyboards," Larry added.
"You guys have got to hear Jackie sing!"
"I'm not that good."
"The hell you're not,"
Aaron quietly whispered in
"Of course we're out,"
"That's OK, babe. My parents were pricks back then. They couldn't be better, now, but they nearly destroyed us. You have nothing to apologize for. Anyway,
"Well, believe it or not, the Bible's actually rather circumspect when it comes to lesbians. Apparently, we're not the 'abomination' you guys are. Ironically, it's thanks to women's libration that the Christian Right takes as dim a view of lesbians as of gays, but the bottom line is that my parents never did believe all the crap the preachers spew against homosexuality. They were raised religious, but they accept that not everything in the Bible could be God's word. Unlike a good many Christians, they actually read the Bible and know what's in it . . . all of what's in it. They long ago concluded that God's word in the Bible was embellished by humankind over the millennia to suit their needs at the time, particularly when it came to such things as slavery and homosexuality."
"That's really cool,
"So how do we go about forming a jazz band?" Aaron asked, returning to the subject at hand.
"Why don't I approach Mr. Jeffreys about it?" Brian suggested. "If anyone would know what to do, it would be the music director of the school, and he already knows me from band."
"Sounds good to me,"
"Yah," Larry added, "we might as well get started."
"But I'm not near ready to play with you guys," Aaron expressed with concern.
"Don't worry about it,"
"I don't think we're any more musically talented than anyone else," Brian said in Aaron's defense, "but it really doesn't matter. We're just gonna fool around anyway. Jammin's really the best way for you to learn how to play. Don't worry about it, sweetheart . . . you'll do fine."
Aaron blushed at hearing Brian's term of endearment in public and
Brian met with Mr. Jeffreys later in the day and he agreed to help set up the jazz ensemble if enough students expressed an interest. He agreed to tell all his students about it and promised to ask the other music teachers to do the same.
He also told Brian how to formally apply to establish a new school club and how to post notice of it so that they could attract members. Setting it up as a club would have to suffice for now, since there was no budget in the current school year for a formal school jazz ensemble.
By the time Friday rolled around, the group had a total of fifteen members, and that was without even posting notice. Aaron felt very self-conscious during their first jam session and although he wasn't nearly ready for prime time, he was able to carry a tune and to an extent, play along with the others. Fortunately his skills and comfort level improved substantially in the coming weeks and by the end of the school year, he was adept at playing both of Brian's saxophones. Although not yet able to ad lib, he did quite well playing with the band and even playing an occasional solo.
In the meantime, armed with fifteen signatures, Brian was able to formally petition the school to form a club and to post notice of it on school bulletin boards and in the school paper. Mr. Jeffreys delivered on his promise, providing musical direction, space for the band to practice after school and a place to lock up their instruments during the day. The ensemble ended the year with 23 members and a variety of instruments ranging from flute to bass.
It was ironic that all of this happened because Brian could no longer play the trumpet.
The usual end of school year activities found Aaron and Brian to be very busy. Before this, however, there was a major peace rally planned by Students for Peace over the Easter weekend. Both boys were on the planning committee, but for Aaron, the idea of going into 25 classrooms to make a pitch for the rally had him petrified. He spent hours, locked in his room, practicing his speech. His memory of Brian's pitch a half-year earlier gave him the courage he needed.
The first classroom he entered was a freshman math class, which meant that he needed to make his pitch quickly, so as not to interfere with the lesson. It also meant he knew almost no one in the class. The one exception was Larry, and seeing him put Aaron at ease.
Aaron handed the teacher a note, much as he remembered seeing Brian do, and then he introduced himself to the class. "Hi, my name's Aaron Johnson, and I'm here on behalf of a group called Students for Peace. . . ."
At the end of his speech, he asked for volunteers and Larry raised his hand.
"You can't volunteer, Larry, you're already on the committee." Aaron said to much laughter. After things settled down, Aaron managed to get two legitimate volunteers from the class.
Aaron's self-confidence increased steadily as he went from classroom to classroom, making his pitch. That was until his call for volunteers in one classroom was met with, "I ain't gonna go marchin' with no faggots," from one of the students.
The teacher, however, reacted quickly and swiftly. "Jeremy Fisher, you just earned yourself a week of detention."
"But everyone knows that Johnson's a queer. He and his gimp boyfriend, Sandler."
"Come here, Jeremy," the teacher ordered as she wrote out a hall pass and a quick note to the vice-principal. "I think you're going to be doing a lot more than detention after that remark." She turned to the rest of the class and added, "I want to make it clear that this school does not tolerate physical or verbal abuse of any student based on race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation."
Aaron thanked the teacher for her remarks and then faced the class to add, "For those of you who didn't know, I am indeed gay, and my boyfriend is a paraplegic . . . I think most of you know or know of Brian Sandler, 'cause there aren't all that many kids in wheelchairs around here. Students for Peace is all about accepting diversity. We can't expect peace with other countries if we don't have peace here at home.
"Now just to clarify, Students for Peace is not a gay organization. We do have some gay and lesbian members, but no more than you would expect for an organization of its size. The school does have a gay straight alliance, however, and if any of you are interested in joining, I would be happy to speak to you confidentially after class. The vast majority of the GSA's members are straight, by the way, but the organization provides a safe environment for kids who are gay, lesbian or unsure of their sexuality."
Aaron was exhausted by the end of the day, but very pleased that he'd managed to sign up nearly forty volunteers for the rally. The day of the rally itself was a clear, sunny day. There was no candlelight vigil this time, so there were no candles to prepare, much to Aaron's relief. Things went off without a hitch and both boys thoroughly enjoyed the day's activities. Brian managed to propel his wheelchair over more than half of the parade route, asking Aaron to push him only after his arms could no longer function. The day was also nostalgic for Aaron and Brian, as they remembered the last Students for Peace rally they had attended.
That night, Aaron and Brian made passionate love to each other as they reveled in the joy they shared in having each other. They woke up in the early morning hours, however, to find the bed soaked. Aaron was very understanding, but Brian was horrified.
"I can't believe I wet the bed!"
"It wasn't your fault, Brian. Remember how Dr. Stevens said this might happen? Tomorrow, we'll make an appointment to see your doctor, and make sure you don't have a bladder infection. If we have to, we'll see the urologist at the rehab center and get some medications to keep you dry."
It took more than a week to get an appointment with the urologist, during which Brian had to suffer the humiliation of wearing diapers in school. Learning to change his own diaper was a challenge, but it became necessary as he experienced incontinence in class several times before he saw the urologist.
The urologist conducted a test in which he filled Brian's bladder with water and measured internal pressures and the electrical activity of Brian's sphincter. He then explained to Brian that he had a spastic bladder and would have to take medications to relax the bladder, which would help him keep continent. Brian chuckled when he found he would be using the same medication that he'd seen advertised on TV for women with overactive bladders.
In the meantime, the boys' easy-going nature and ever-present willingness to help gained them a following of close friends, both gay and straight, in their respective grade levels. Neither one realized how popular they had become.
It came as a complete surprise to them when Aaron was nominated to serve on the student council for the coming academic year and an even greater surprise when Brian was nominated to be the incoming sophomore class president. Not only were they nominated, but they were flabbergasted when they both won their respective elections. Neither really considered themselves to be all that popular outside of their close circle of friends and didn't realize that they had earned the respect of their peers for being proud and confident of who they were.
Well, that's it for the twenty-second installment of Love in a Chair. We covered a lot of time and territory with this chapter, but things will definitely slow down with the boys' summer activities. Hope you like the story so far. Please e-mail me your comments. I will try to respond to all e-mail except flames, but I make no promises. I would like to thank Riley James of the Rainbow Community Writing Project for hosting my story. I would also like to thank WriteByMyself and David of Hope for their invaluable suggestions and editing, and Captain Rick for providing incomparable advice on the legal aspects of this story. The next installment should be posted in a week or two.