By ACFan
Portions contributed by Slash & Greybear

Copyright 2002-2004 by ACFan

Dedicated to the memory of Justin Case 1956-2003
We will all miss you Justin, but your kind words and support will never be forgotten.

This story assumes the technology and capabilities of the 23rd century are present in modern-day society

All copyrights are the properties of their respective owners, no monetary gain is being received for this work of fiction.

Authors note: I wish to express my extreme gratitude to Slash and Greybear for their numerous contributions to this story – they added the final touches to make this all come together. Also thanks to Art, BillW, Dan, and Jay for their assistance in editing, proofreading, and generally helping me out of a rut occasionally.Thanks to "Z", Karla, and the rest of the Library members for your support when I started this.

Portions of this story contain characters and/or situations from Greybear's story, "Enterprise Tour". All of such are used with permission, and all disclaimers, copyrights, and notices from "Enterprise Tour" are hereby included as part of the notices for this story. I also wish to thank ND for allowing the use of his original character, Johnny Carter, from "Nick and Ashley" in this story.

Special thanks and hugs go to a special "lil' angel", namely my little bro, the lives you touch are TONS better from you just being there, you have contributed more than you will ever know!

A HUGE thanks to Comicality for his support of all of us aspiring writers!

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Send comments and suggestions (flames ignored) to:AC Fan

Visit the "Memories" Homepage -- -- known as "The Annex"

Part I:The Gathering

Chapter Nineteen

As the house was re-invaded by the tribe, the kids split off into two groups. Aaron led his group into the Rec room, while Cory and Sean headed to the office followed by JJ, Andrew, and Adam. The five boys immediately headed to the computer and fired it up.

Sean opened the simulation program, and received a pleasant surprise. Instead of “Welcome to the USS Constitution”, the voice-over announced “Greetings, Gentlemen. Welcome aboard the USS Enterprise.”

JJ looked over in awe. “Wow, how’d you get it to do that, Sean?”

Sean giggled. “I didn’t; Uncle Chip musta done it when he unlocked the training modes.”

“COOL!” Adam gushed. “What else did he do?”

Sean grinned. “Let’s find out. First off, we need to get everyone listed in here. I’m already set up as helmsman, and Cory is already setup as Chief Engineer. Andy, what would you like to be?”

Andrew thought for a second. “I think I’d like to try communications, it looks like fun.”

“Okay, have a seat. You need to set up your profile. Keep all the info real, that way you can get credit for it in school if you get good.”

Andrew sat down and set up his profile, then looked at Sean. “Hey bro, it says I need command approval before I can enter the profile. Who does that?”

Sean reached over and tried to approve the entry, but was denied. “Darn if I know. That’s the first time I’ve ever saw that!”

Cory gently pushed Sean out of the way. “Let me try, bro. As Chief Engineer, I should have some power.”

Cory entered a few keystrokes, and then spoke his authorization sequence. Thirty seconds later, the computer audibly responded “Identity confirmed. Trainee record activated.”

“Show off!” Sean said with a grin. “You gonna set up the other two too?”

“Yeppers! Get over her, Adam; you’re next.”

Adam considered his options, and then began entering his profile as Science Officer. Just as he was finishing, Chip came into the room.

“Cory, I think you have some explaining to do!” Chip stated.

“Why’s that, Uncle Chip?”

“I just got a call from Commander Uhura. It seems that she just was assigned another trainee, one Andrew Evans. Would you like to explain that?”

“OOOPS! We are setting up for a multi-player game on Space Sim. It looks like when you unlocked the training mode, it now automatically uplinks to the ship. You might wanna call Uncle Spock; our lil bro was just entered as Science Officer. I’m gonna have to remember to lock out training mode when we play if it’s gonna do that. It’s too late now, I’m glad I told them to enter their real info.”

Chip returned the call to the ship, and informed Uhura she had a new trainee, and then asked for Mr. Spock.

Spock came on. “Mr. Dodds; I expect you have an explanation for the appearance of new trainees on the roster?”

“Yes Sir, it appears the simulator uplinks to the ship whenever a new ‘player’ is added to the game. Once Ensign Cory approved them for playing, they were automatically entered into the ships training roster.”

“Interesting. I believe this qualifies as one of Microsoft’s ‘undocumented features’. Inform Ensign Short he is authorized to use whatever measures are necessary to isolate this problem and repair it. I will notify Admiral Morrow that Ensign Short has been assigned to decompile and repair the software. I have completed approval for Adam to begin his Science training, and will ensure his academic records reflect his progress.”

“Thank you, Sir. I will pass on the information. Dodds out.”

Chip turned to Cory. “You heard him, bud. Have fun, you just got the okay to dig as deep as you want into the software, this time legally! Let Mr. Spock know as soon as you figure it out, there’s no rush, but it’s all yours to figure out what they did and what needs to be done to fix it. If you need anything to work with it, let Mr. Spock know, Starfleet will buy it for you.”

“Sure thing, Uncle Chip. What about the part of the license agreement which forbids decompiling? Can’t Microsoft take me to court for that?”

Chip grinned. “Not any more. You discovered a security breach, Cory. That is a serious problem, and Captain Spock just overrode any agreement which you may have agreed to when you bought the software. The Starfleet agreement allows for designated personnel to have full access to the code for upgrades and troubleshooting. Normally you would get the code provided by Microsoft for the training software we distribute to the fleet; but you are finding features that are not supposed to be available in the retail version, even if unlocked for training.”

Cory looked thoughtfully at the computer, and then returned his attention to Chip. “Uncle Chip, could you get me a copy of that code anyway? I want to compare it to the retail version.”

“Sure, Cory; I’ll have it sent down in a little bit. You guys go ahead and have some fun. JJ, are you gonna play too?”

JJ grinned. “You better believe it! I’m gonna try my hand as Navigator!”

Chip smiled. “Okay, I’ll warn Chekhov. Have fun guys.” Chip then left the room and re-joined Josh at the pool.

Cory had JJ enter his profile while he called up to the Enterprise on Teri’s new com console.

“Ensign Short toEnterprise.

Enterprise, Uhura here. Go ahead, Cory.”

“Could I please speak to Mr. Spock, Nyota?”

“One second, Cory.”

“Spock here. How may I be of assistance, Mr. Short?”

“Sir, could you please lock down the data stream from this location and provide me with a raw dump upon completion of the session?”

“May I inquire as to the purpose of requesting this data?”

“Yes Sir. I want to see what the program is transmitting so I know where to look to repair it.”

“That is logical. When you have completed the simulation, ensure your terminal remains energized; the operating system must be modified to accept the data. An instructional document will be on your printer upon completion. I will approve disbursement of the data and the required translation software to your terminal.”

“Understood Sir. Thank you.”

“I expect to see your report as soon as practical, Ensign. Spock out.”

Andrew had a puzzled look on his face. “Why did he blow you off and tell you basically to hurry up, Cory?”

Cory turned to Andrew. “Scotty explained it to me when we were having Mr. Spock verify our settings. Vulcans use pure logic to respond. What looked to you like him blowing me off was his way of telling me he was confident I can do the job. If he did not trust me to get it done, he would have wanted status reports or would have had someone else do it. When he told me that my reason for wanting the report was logical, that was the highest compliment I could ever get from him.”

“Whoa! I guess I got a lot to learn, huh?”

“Don’t worry about it, bud. All you gotta do is have fun, let Sean and I worry about dealing with Starfleet.”

The boys settled into the game. Due to the training mode being activated, they were able to issue commands using voiceprint instead of keyboard sequences, which improved the apparent reality of the game. At one point Cory glanced at the corner of the screen and had to suppress a giggle; under the CO listing was Chip’s name, and under the Damage Control Officer’s listing was Josh’s name. ‘I’m gonna have some fun with those two!’ Cory thought to himself. A few minutes later, a dialog box popped up stating “Helmsman, you have the con.”

Sean was enjoying some light making out with Cory as the simulator was bringing them back home, when suddenly Adam yelled out “I have a Klingon Battle Cruiser bearing 265 mark 3!”

Cory hopped off of Sean’s lap as Sean yelled out “Shields up! Andrew, hail them! Cory, take the Helm.”

“I have the helm.” Cory replied.

“Take us out of warp, one-quarter impulse power. JJ, change course to 265 mark 3. Andy, set Red Alert.”

“Aye sir – course 265 mark 3.”

“We are at one quarter impulse, Sean.” Cory stated.

“I have the Klingons, sir.” Andrew interjected.

“Put them on-screen”

Sean then crossed his fingers; this was not supposed to be part of the scenario he had picked to show his new brothers how to play. “Klingon Battlecruiser, this is the Federation Starship Enterprise. You are deep inside Federation territory, identify yourself and state your intentions.”

The Klingon replied with a smirk “Who I am is not important. My intentions are to avenge my father. Prepare to die.” The screen went blank as the port nacelle was hit with a disrupter bolt.

Sean glanced at the damage control display, and made his decision. “Cory, take the Engineering duties. I’ll double as Helmsman.”

Cory toggled a couple of screens on the display, and then reported. “Shields are holding at 75%; there’s minor damage to port nacelle.”

Sean rattled off his next round of orders. “Andrew, notify Starfleet of our situation. JJ, set evasive maneuvers. Helm, target phasers and fire at will.” He then assumed his Helm persona. “Phasers locked on, firing full salvo.”

“I’m showing their shields at 50% Sean.” Adam called out.

The program showed the Klingon ship returning fire again. Cory muttered something about the ships designers then announced, “They know what they are doing. They hit the port nacelle again. Shields are holding at 60%, but they have affected the core, the pulse in the system when you try to fire the phasers will knock it offline now.”

“BULL!” Sean exclaimed. “Adam, get me the schematics for the phaser tie-in. Cory, take the helm and keep them occupied with torpedoes.”

Sean looked at the diagrams for a minute, and then grabbed Cory. “Look at this! There’s a tap before and after this buffer; they have the phasers tied in after the buffer. Program it so that the phasers tap before the buffer, I’ll bet it fixes the problem. And do it NOW!”

Cory grabbed the keyboard and made the changes to the program while Sean kept the ship occupied with occasional torpedoes. A minute later, Cory announced “Done, lets try it; worst thing that can happen is we’ll lose!”

Sean grinned. “Adam, watch the power levels, let me know if we are getting in trouble. Cory, baby-sit the core.  Helm - forward phasers, 100%, FIRE!”

The boys watched in suspense as the simulation processed the commands using the revised phaser layout. A few seconds later, they were rewarded with a picture of the Klingon Battle Cruiser exploding from the shot.

“All stations, report.” Sean said with relief.

Andrew went first. “Communications all normal, damage control reports ten injuries and no casualties.”

JJ continued the report. “Navigation normal, I have full control.”

Sean looked over the Helm section of the display. “Helm is normal.”

Adam went next. “I show no survivors, and no other ships in the area. This needs to be verified, but I showed the phasers were at 105% with no effect on the warp core.”

Sean looked over at Cory. “One second, I have more to look at than you guys!” Cory said with a grin. “Okay, warp core should be stable to Warp 4, past that I don’t trust it. It looks like the nacelle will need to be looked at once we get back, this close in it’s not worth messing with. Your change seemed to work, Sean, but I’ll need Scotty to run through it to make sure it’s really safe.”

Sean shook his head. “You worry too much Cory. Computer, virtual helmsman.”

A few seconds later, a prompt came up saying, “Computer helmsman awaiting commands.”

Sean relaxed. “Just in case he was not alone, only drop us to Yellow Alert, Andy. JJ, lay in a course for Earth.”

“Course laid in.”

“Helm, ahead Warp three. I’ll give you a safety cushion, Cory.”

Cory giggled. “It’s a cute cushion too!”

A few minutes later, the program announced the simulation was over. The boys exited the program and turned off the monitor.

Cory looked around him. “Guys, that was awesome, and definitely NOT what we had planned to do for your first try! I think it might be an idea for all of us to go upstairs for a few minutes to unwind before we join the rest of the guys.”

Andrew smiled. “That’s the first smart thing you’ve said today, Cory. Last one in the room has towel duty!”

The boys all took off running to Cory’s room, piling up as they all tried to get in the doorway at once. Sean giggled “Looks like a tie!”

While Andrew hit the bathroom; Sean and Cory sat cuddled on one side of the bed, while JJ and Adam cuddled on the other.  Andrew came out of the bathroom and took a flying leap, landing between the couples.

“You know,” Andrew began with an evil grin, “if you horn-dogs stopped making out so much, you might actually get something done!”

JJ looked at Andrew. “Shit, sorry man. It’s not fair that we can cuddle our boyfriends in front of you. Not only is it rubbing it in your face that we are gay, but also that you don’t have anyone here to be with.”

Andy pulled the four boys close to him. “It really does not matter that you are gay and I’m straight. I’m gonna pick on you guys about making out, but I would do the same thing if there were girls here. It feels weird asking this, but after what we just went through, there is something I’d like.”

JJ looked at Andy with concern. “What’s that, carrot-top?”

Andy relaxed and gave a small grin at hearing JJ using the nick-name. “Nothing against you, Sean and Cory; but I really feel like cuddling up to my best friend and his boyfriend. Dang it feels weird saying that, even though I know I’m family now, I still expect to have my butt kicked for saying it out loud.”

Adam put a finger over JJ’s mouth. “Andy, any time you want to, just do it. I know you are not after JJ, so as long as you don’t mind an occasional moan come on over.”

Andrew giggled, and scooted over into a three-way hug with JJ and Adam. Cory and Sean scooted over behind them, wedging up against Andy.

Cory giggled, “Hey bro, how’s it feel being the filling of a straight sandwich?”

Andy laughed. “With all this gay bread around me, it’s warm!”

That caused all the boys to giggle, and then they settled down and shortly fell asleep.

About thirty minutes later, Teri came up looking for the boys, since no one had seen them since shortly after arriving back from the concert. When she saw three of her sons, one future son-in-law, and their friend all cuddled in one pile, she smiled and pulled a spare sheet over them. “Sleep well guys, you deserve it.”

As she walked out of the room and closed the door, she saw Chip coming up the stairs.

“Hey Teri, you seen Sean and Cory?”

“Yep, they are taking a nap with Adam, JJ, and Andrew. And you are NOT to disturb them until they wake up on their own!”

Chip held up his hands in defeat. “Dang, you been taking lessons from Aunt Anne?”

“Very funny. Now turn around, those two are finally getting some time the way they want it.”

Chip chuckled. “Agreed, it’s about time they relaxed. Honestly I was about to order them to! Sean has a nice surprise coming when he gets up, though.”

“I’ll tell you what, you can look in the door at them, but if you wake them I’ll really be pissed.”

Chip went over and looked in, then closed the door. “Did I just see Andrew between the two couples?”

“Yep. Shocked me too, but from the way they are laying obviously its okay with all of them.”

As they came down the stairs, Aaron caught Teri. “Mom, have you seen Andy?”

“He’s taking a nap with three of your brothers and JJ, Aaron.” Teri replied.

“Ahhh, okay. That explains him being missing in action. I’m sure if there’re any explanations needed later one of them will probably fill us in.”

Aaron headed back into the Rec room. He looked around at the kids sprawled on the floor watching Lord of the Rings. As he walked in, Justy commented “You know what, if all elves are THAT cute, I want one!”

Jamie looked over at his big brother. “Stop drooling, Jus! You’re making a puddle!”

Aaron chuckled. “Jamie, you really got room to talk – he’s only drooling, both you and your brother have obvious kickstands.”

“AWWWWW MANNNNN!! We’ll get you later, Air Boy!” the twins chorused with red faces.

Aaron sat down with Jeffy and Sammy. “Hey, you two have been awful quiet. What’s going on?”

“I dunno; this is still kinda like a dream.” Jeffy said. “We’re afraid if we do anything we’ll screw up and get sent away.”

Aaron pulled the two boys onto his lap. “Listen up, guys. Nobody gets thrown out or hurt for messing up around here. You can ask my brother Nick; I can be the worst screw up in the universe sometimes. When I get too bad, I usually end up in the nearest pool, or if there are no pools nearby I get tossed into a cold shower. Life is going to be a lot different for you guys now, between Kyle and JJ you guys will have a LOT of support.”

Sammy cuddled into Aaron’s shoulder. “Yeah, but they never had to live someplace where if you breath wrong you get whipped.”

“Hey guys, there’s still things about Kyle’s life before he went into the home that he won’t talk about, so don’t be so sure about that. Let’s get down on the floor and join the rest of the tribe; you are one of us now.”

The two boys gave Aaron a big hug to express their thanks, then joined Justy and the twins in front of the TV. Just as they were getting comfortable, they were pounced by Kyle and Tyler.

“HEY!” Sammy yelled, “What was that for!”

Kyle giggled. “We had to make sure my brothers were not falling asleep.”

Johnny, Rusty, and Robbie waited until the free-for-all started, then hopped on top of the nearest pile and joined in the massive wrestling match. Mark was sitting back in the corner laughing, until Aaron spotted him.

“I’ll give you something to laugh about!” Aaron giggled as he and David grabbed Mark and pulled him into the pile of wrestling boys.

“HEY!” Mark managed to get out before he was drawn into the mess.

After fifteen minutes everyone started wearing down. The older boys ended up lying on the floor with the younger kids sprawled on top of them.

Mark looked down and found Jeffy on one of his shoulders and Jamie on the other. He leaned his head down and gave each of them a kiss on the forehead. “Luv ya, bros. Thanks for making me a part of this.”

That started a round of hugs from everyone. As it wound down, Aaron, Mark, David, and Justy sat down on the couch. They were immediately followed by all the younger boys fighting for prime lap space on their favorite big brother. Once everyone was comfortable, in no time the only sound was the slow, regular breathing of a large group of sleeping boys.

Jacob and Jamie were the first to awaken. Jacob looked at the sleeping Justy under them and smiled as he said “You know, Jamie, he really does look like an angel, don’t he?”

Jamie returned the smile. “Sure does. I guess that comes from being one, huh?”

The twins did not realize that Justy woke at the same time as them, and was faking sleep to try to scare them. After hearing the comments from his new little brothers, Justy could no longer keep quiet. “JEEZZZEEEEEE!!! Not you guys, too! Why does EVERYONE think I’m an angel?”

Jamie looked at Justy with surprise. “You cheated, you were faking sleep! You are OUR angel, if you can keep quiet we’ll tell ya’ why.”

Justy looked at both boys, and was mildly shocked when he saw that both of the twins were totally serious. He pulled a boy under each arm, and relaxed into the corner of the couch. “Go ahead, now y’all got me curious.”

“Do you remember when we first met you in the Rec room?” Jamie started. “You didn’t even know us, but the first thing you wanted to do is talk about why we were sad. When you pulled us into a hug while you were listening to us, it made both of us feel tingly in our bellies and safe. Do you remember what happened next?”

Justy thought for a second. “We went to sleep?”

“Before that.” Jacob continued. “Something about taking to you made both of us feel safe and wanted. We had decided to reward you by letting you touch us like our old dad did when we were good. But when we started rubbing against you, you stopped us and told us we would never have to do that again. You said that if anyone tried it, you would hurt them; and that you were our big brother now and nobody would ever hurt us again. You said that big brothers don’t do that stuff with their little brothers, and daddies should never even think about it.”

Jamie took over the discussion. “Even though you didn’t ask Dad and Pop first, you had already decided that we were staying with you. Since we have met you, bro, you have made our lives a TON better. Whenever you hug us, it feels like an angel wrapping his wings around us making us safe. When you are in the room, even the grown-ups are different; somethin’ about you makes everyone wanna be good. We talked with Ty, and he says you don’t know how to hate, you get mad but even when Jason hit you you still did not hate him.”

The ping-pong discussion continued as Jacob took over. “Bro, in the few days we have been together, you have made both of us forget what it was like living with our old dad. The best thing that ever happened to us is when the guys found us and brought us here; if they had not done that we would have never got you for a big bro. You try to make everybody happy, that is something only an angel could do. Since you just being around makes everybody feel good, that means you are an angel.”

Justy looked at the faces of his two new brothers and smiled. “I guess if you put it that way, you guys can call me an angel. I love you two guys, but I did not realize I had made that much of a difference.” He tightened his hug around the twins and softly told them “Thanks for coming into my life.”

Both twins tilted their head up and kissed the nearest cheek of their big brother, the reached up and softly wiped the tears of joy off of Justin’s face that were slowly running from his eyes.

Aaron had awakened while the twins were talking, and silently reached over with his right arm and pulled the three boys closer to him. “Justy,” he said softly, “your bros are right. All those times Nicky came over, and even when he dragged me along, it was because when we were around you it made us forget all the bad stuff from at home. When your Dad saved me, there were a lot of times those first weeks when I woke up and did not want to get out of bed. But you came in, and either pounced me or started wrestling, and in no time I forgot about being depressed and was ready to start the day. You have a special magic, lil’ bro, and me, Nick, Jacob, and Jamie all owe you our lives for what you have done for us. In fact, if it wasn’t for you, your Dad would have gave up after what happened to Brad. Instead, he kept working to make sure that he gave his angel the best life he could. I could go on forever listing everyone who you have somehow changed their life for the better, but I would lose my voice long before I was done. You instinctively know how to make someone’s life better, and for that you are definitely an angel.”

By this time, Justy was barely able to speak. He managed to squeak out “Thanks, Aaron” before completely breaking down in tears.

A half hour later, the kids all started drifting out to the pool deck to join the adults. The crowd fell silent when they saw Aaron carrying Justy out followed by David with the twins. The look on Justy’s face, still red from tears, immediately drew everyone’s attention. Aaron sat Justy carefully in a lounger, and then David placed a twin on each side of him. Aaron and David kissed each boy’s forehead, and then turned to go back inside.

Chip, Nick, and Josh intercepted them at the doorway. Nick spoke first. “Okay, bro. What’s wrong with Justy – this better be good.”

Aaron smiled. “Nothing’s really ‘wrong’; it’s more that he’s got a lot of info to process. The twins decided to tell him why they think he is an angel, and by the time them and I were done, he realized how much he has helped all of us. Right now he is still processing a lot of info; the best thing I can suggest is the three of you stopping by and thanking him individually for something he has done to help you out. Make sure you use examples, he really needs to know that he has helped.”

Nick grinned while tapping David on the shoulder. “What’d you do with my lil’ bro – and who is this?”

David giggled. “This IS your lil’ bro – between Justy, Chip, Josh, and Teri he’s learned a lot, and is starting to use it.”

Chip noticed the group from upstairs coming down the hall. “Y’all take your turns with Justy first, I have an Ensign to fry!” he said with a grin. He then walked over to the group and tapped Sean on the shoulder. “Cadet, report to the diving platform immediately. Do NOT jump off.”

Sean replied “Yes, sir!” and then jogged to the platform.

“What’s that about, Uncle Chip?” Adam asked.

“I’m gonna have some fun; just watch.” Chip replied with a grin.

Chip grabbed an envelope from the kitchen, and then joined Sean on the platform. “Could I have everyone’s attention, please?” Chip shouted.

Once the pool was quiet, he continued. “It has come to my attention that a certain teenager among us has decided that if he’s about to lose a game it’s time to change the rules. As undesirable as that is in normal life, it is a trait that is prized among Starfleet officers. In the process of changing the rules, this same young man made a discovery which has resulted in a fleet-wide Level 1 ECO. That means Engineering Change Order, and a Level 1 means do it NOW. For the second time in a week, the last name ‘Short’ has made waves throughout Starfleet. Sean, I need you to read this first note to everyone.

Sean took the note from Chip.

From: Admiral Harrison Morrow

To: Cadet Sean Short

Re: Duty orders

Cadet Short;

It has come to my attention from Starfleet Engineering that you have discovered the cause of the surges when the phasers are fired on Fleet ships. Upon review, it has been decided to implement these changes on a priority basis Fleet-wide. I have received recommendations from both Captain James Kirk and Captain Spock based on your simulation tests and this discovery to activate your commission. Upon review of the facts, I concur with their recommendations and hereby activate you as Ensign assigned to the Helm division, assigned to the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-A.

I wish to add my personal congratulations at your accomplishment of becoming the youngest active-duty Ensign in Starfleet history. An additional note; the exercise you completed has a 40% failure rate for the senior class at the Academy. You were the first crew to stay and fight instead of retreating that completed the exercise successfully. That shows a rare resolve and determination, which will take you far in Starfleet.

Admiral Harrison Morrow

Chief of Starfleet Operations

Sean carefully refolded the message, and handed it back to Chip with tears of joy in his eyes. When everyone applauded his accomplishment, he lost what control he had of his emotions and grabbed Chip into a tight hug. “Thanks Uncle Chip. I promise I won’t disappoint you again.”

Chip rubbed the back of his young trainee’s head as he replied softly “You earned it, little buddy. That scenario kicked my butt the first time I went through it; even Mr. Spock raised both of his eyebrows at how you solved it. Your Uncle Josh and I were on the ship watching you to see how you reacted; all of you reacted better than most students at the Academy do. In fact, you followed procedures right down the line. Mr. Scott was watching too, he said to tell you that your choice to run at less than the speed Cory recommended was commendable. You impressed a lot of important people today, Sean; I was going to enter a recommendation this afternoon to activate you, but when I called the ship I was given this.” Chip then raised his voice so everyone else could hear. “Cory, I have a message here for you from Mr. Scott. Also, for those who don’t know, a recommendation from Mr. Spock for promotion based on performance alone is rare. Both Sean and Cory have done something very few ensigns have ever done; impress Mr. Spock to the point he makes official recommendations in their personnel files. I may have pulled some strings to get these two started in Starfleet, but both of them have proven themselves and have earned everything they have got from the time I gave them their letters until now. Teri, you have two very special sons here who will make a lasting impression Federation-wide before they are twenty. I think both of them deserve a hand.”

By then, Cory had joined Sean and Chip on the platform. To their surprise, at first everyone clapped. But then, led by the members of the tribe, everyone stood up and gave them a standing ovation.

Once everyone settled, Cory opened his note.

From: Commander Montgomery Scott

          Chief Engineer, USS Enterprise

To: Ensign Cory Short

      Engineering Division

      USS Enterprise


Upon review of the modifications you requested I review; I have verified they pass all safety standards and have dispatched them to Starfleet Engineering. The following response was immediately received:

Commander Scott:

Upon review of your proposed modifications, we are issuing a PRIORITY ONE ECO number 9834-78-08272004-6. As per your attachment, this ECO will hereby be referred to as the ‘Short Enhancement’, with development credit being given to Junior Helmsman Sean Short, with Junior Engineer Cory Short as reviewing engineer.

You are hereby instructed to install this modification immediately.

Captain Benjamin Matlock

Starfleet Engineering

Mr. Short, initial tests have indicated an emergency phaser capability of 125% of design level. This letter will become a part of your official record.

Commander Montgomery Scott

(The following was hand-written at the bottom.)


Ye continue to amaze me, laddie! I was watchin’ you on the simulation, and I kinna’ had done better myself. Both yourself and Sean did a fine job, and ye both deserve the credit. Tell Sean I send my congratulations, ye both deserve all ye have got.


Cory’s jaw dropped, and he showed Sean and Chip the letter.

“WOW,” Sean said in awe, “You mean they NAMED it after us?”

Cory shook his head. “No, Sean, it’s named after YOU. All I did was review it. It takes a lot to get Scotty’s praise, and it’s all for you.”

Chip pulled the two boys close to him. “I have an announcement. Since these two seem to want to shake up Starfleet, I think a congratulatory dinner is in order. Everyone get out your suits and ties, if you need some let me know. It’s time we went out and had a proper congratulatory dinner for the four boys here who have changed a bunch of our lives in the last week – Sean, Cory, Aaron, and Justy. I’ll take care of arrangements; you all have about 45 minutes to get ready.

To be continued ……

Hey all, guess what - this chapter's done! It took a bit, but it's rolling again. Look out, the boys are on a roll and who knows what could happen next. It's getting so that they surprise me!

A special note to my lil' bro - yes, that was directed at you, and yes you ARE that special. Here's a BIG hug for you!

It looks like Part One will wrap up within the next 10 chapters, then I will start on Part 2 .... which I have NO idea how long that one will be! (We won't even discuss Part 3 ..... )

As always, stay safe, and give the one you love a HUGE hug!