Universe Alpha 7:
The Reflection of Home

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Chapter 45

"Where are we going?" Temmy asked as the people spread out to go to all the different cars.

"Would you mind Paddy's? I've been craving Scottish food for the past few weeks." George asked as he opened his car door.

Temmy chuckled and said, "That would be great. In fact, anywhere except my restaurant will be fine."

George nodded, then got into the station wagon.

After putting his key into the ignition, George looked back to see if Vincent and Lawrence had put their seat belts on.

"Are you two comfortable back there?" George asked curiously.

"Yeah. I like this car. It's got a lot more room than Daddy Joe's rental." Vincent said happily.

* * * * *

As soon as the three cars were out of the trailer park, June said, "Just before you came home, Vincent was telling us that he's a crewman in Starfleet and that he's married."

"Married?" George asked with surprise.

"Yes. For a little over two months now. It's a Vulcan tradition for the family elders to arrange marriages for the kids in their families." Vincent said shyly.

"Arranged marriages... it sounds like something out of the middle ages." George said in a disapproving tone.

"Maybe it sounds kinda weird, but if you look at history you'll see that up until the last few centuries that it wasn't unusual for family elders to arrange marriages for their kids. I mean, it kinda makes sense when you think about it. The elders have lived a long time and learned a lot of lessons. They have a lot better chance to make good decisions for their kids than the kids do for themselves." Vincent said carefully.

"Remember when Joe introduced us to Peggy? He was so full of hormones and wild dreams that he couldn't see that the two of them were completely wrong for each other." June said quietly.

George nodded then asked, "What about you, Lawrence? Do you have a girlfriend? I can't imagine that you'd be single, as handsome as you are."

"Actually, I have a boyfriend." Lawrence said timidly as he waited to see his grandparents' reactions.

There was a long moment of silence, then George cautiously asked, "Will you do something for me?"

"What's that?" Lawrence asked cautiously.

"Have children so that you can pass on the Bowers family genes and the family name." George said seriously.

"I'm fifteen." Lawrence said anxiously.

"I don't mean right this minute!" George chuckled.

Lawrence looked at his grandfather with confusion.

"I'm just saying that it would mean a lot to me if you would promise to pass on our family genes and start a new generation of Bowers. Right now, it looks like you and Malcolm are the only chance that our family name is going to be passed on." George said frankly.

"My last name is Winters. I guess my parents changed it when they got married." Lawrence quietly admitted.

"Well, you can get that fixed easily enough. You're a Bowers by blood, that's the most important part." George said seriously.

After a moment of thought, Lawrence quietly said, "When it's time, I'll find a way to pass on my genes."

"Our genes. And thank you. That's all I ask."

* * * * *

The trio of cars pulled into the parking lot and were easily able to find three parking spaces in a row.

Everyone piled out of the cars and walked as a group into the restaurant.

"How many will we be tonight?" A pleasant young man asked with a thick Scottish accent as the group filed in through the front door of the restaurant.

After a moment of looking at the group, George answered, "Eleven."

The waiter looked down at the seating chart in front of him for a moment, then asked, "Would anyone be minding the upper deck? You could have the whole balcony to yourselves."

"That would be perfect." June said happily before George could answer.

"Come along." The young man said with a smile as he led the group across the room.

"Would you like me to push the tables together for you?" the waiter asked as the group approached the four steps that led up to the small balcony.

"If you could push two tables together for the adults, I'm sure the kids would appreciate being on their own." George said casually.

The waiter nodded, then proceeded to push two tables together, end to end, then took two extra chairs and set them out of the way.

"Vincent, you can sit over here with us if you want." RJ said quietly.

Vincent turned to see that RJ, Lawrence and Loi had claimed a table to themselves at the edge of the balcony.

Before answering, he looked around to see where everyone else was sitting.

All the adults were getting into their chairs around the double table and there was one chair still unclaimed.

At a table on the other side of the balcony, William and Malcolm were already sitting and from the intent look on Malcolm's face, were probably talking about Yu-Gi-Oh.

"Sure. Thanks." Vincent answered and moved to take the other chair at RJ's table.

* * * * *

The waiter stepped up on the balcony and began handing out menus as he said, "Tonight's special is haggis with neeps and tatties."

Vincent looked at Lawrence with question to receive a shrug in response.

"That's just a funny way of saying that it has turnips and potatoes with it." Loi said shyly.

RJ nodded and said, "Yeah. If you mash them up and put some butter on them it's pretty good."

Vincent absently nodded as he glanced over the menu.

"Vincent, go ahead and have the haggis, it'll put some hair on your ass." Robby said with cheer from the next table.

"Um, I really don't think T'Lani would like it if I did that." Vincent said hesitantly.

Everyone at the adult table chuckled at Vincent's response.

"Can I have some? I want hair on my ass!" Malcolm asked hopefully.

Robby smiled and said, "Sure little buddy. But the portions here are pretty big, how about we split one?"

Malcolm looked at Robby with surprise, then nodded with excitement.

"What are you going to have?" Vincent asked RJ hesitantly.

"If someone will split it with me, I'll probably have the mutton pie. It's really good, but way too big for me to eat alone." RJ said seriously.

Vincent looked at Loi with question to see if he wanted to split the meal with RJ.

Loi noticed and quietly said, "I don't really like the flavor of mutton. I usually have the colcannon... it's kind of a cabbage roll."

"That sounds good to me too." Lawrence said with a smile at Loi.

"Then I'll split a mutton pie with you RJ. I've never had it before, but I'm willing to try it." Vincent said, glad to have the choice made.

The waiter was writing down their orders on his pad, then asked, "What will everyone be having to drink?"

"How about milk all around?" George asked the group.

"Not for me." Vincent answered immediately.

"Me either." RJ said assertively.

"Would you boys be liking a sweet tea then?" The waiter asked curiously.

"Yeah. That's fine with me." Vincent said happily.

"Me, too." RJ said, then glanced at Vincent with a smile.

* * * * *

"Hey, isn't that the new kid... what's his name?" RJ asked as he pointed to a blond boy sitting by himself at a table.

"Jorgen Erickson." Loi said uncertainly.

"Yeah. That's it. Weird name." RJ said with a nod.

Loi glanced at RJ with question.

"I'm used to your name." RJ said without concern.

Loi thought about the statement for a moment, then broke into a smile.

"He looks like he's going to be eating alone. Do you want to invite him over here?" Lawrence asked seriously.

"I don't really know him. He just started at our school a few days ago." RJ said reluctantly.

"More like a month." Loi said quietly, then looked at RJ with apology for contradicting him.

"Well, I'm going to go over there and invite him to join us." Lawrence said as he began to stand.

"No. I'll do it." Loi said as he also stood.

Lawrence looked at Loi with question, not quite sure if he was sincere.

"It'll be less weird if I ask him. I'm in his class." Loi said, then started to walk away.

"Hang on." RJ said as he rushed to Loi's side, then added, "I'm in his class, too."

Vincent got up from his chair and Lawrence looked at him curiously.

"I'm going to get another chair." Vincent said casually.

Lawrence smiled and sat back down at the table.

* * * * *

"Jorgen?" Loi asked cautiously.

The boy flinched at the sound and looked up at Loi and RJ suddenly.

"Sorry. I didn't mean to startle you." Loi said cautiously.

Jorgen's eyes darted around, as if he were looking for a way to escape.

Finally he looked up at the two boys and asked in a trembling voice, "What... what do you want?"

"We just came over to ask you if you'd like to come over to our table." RJ said seriously.

"Yeah. We're not here to cause you trouble or anything." Loi said gently, not understanding the boy's fear.

"I, um... really?" Jorgen asked nervously as his gaze fixed on RJ.

"Yeah really." RJ said, realizing that Jorgen was afraid of him.

"Do you want to? I'll introduce you to my cousins." Loi said hopefully.

Jorgen glanced at Loi, then looked at RJ with indecision.

"It's alright if you want to, and it's alright if you don't." RJ said, trying harder than he ever had before to sound gentle.

"Okay." Jorgen whispered, then seemed to flinch back, as if he were afraid that he had given the wrong answer.

"Then come on over so you can catch the waiter when he brings our drinks." RJ said, trying to sound casual.

Loi watched with concern as Jorgen stood.

From the look of him, Jorgen might easily pass out before they reached the table.

* * * * *

"RJ, who is this?" Robby asked his son as the trio stepped onto the raised deck.

"This is a guy from my class. His name is Jorgen. It'd be okay if he sat with us wouldn't it?" RJ asked his father hopefully.

"We're guests here RJ..." Robby began to say when he was interrupted.

"I noticed that they already brought a seat over for you. Why don't you sit down and enjoy a meal with us, young man?" George said in his grandfatherly way.

Robby smiled at the boy and said, "You heard our host. You're invited."

"Thank you..." Jorgen whispered to Robby, but was stopped by Robby shaking his head.

Robby turned slightly and pointed at George.

"Thank you, sir." Jorgen said in a slightly louder, but no less timid, voice.

"That's quite alright. Now sit down, I see the waiter coming with our drinks." George said cheerfully.

* * * * *

"Oh, good evening Jorgen. Will you be dining over here with the Bowers this evening?" the waiter asked cheerfully.

Jorgen nodded slightly and his nervousness could clearly be seen in his eyes.

"Well, would you be for trying something a little bit different tonight, or should I just put you down for your usual?" the waiter asked in a more gentle voice.

"The usual, please. Two of them. One for now and one to take with me when I leave." Jorgen said in almost a whisper.

The waiter made a quick note on his pad, then started placing drinks around the table.

Vincent fished in the pocket of his flight jacket and quickly took out two pills, one being a vitamin and the other for pain.

As soon as he had washed the pills down, Vincent turned and said, "Hey Jorgen, my name is Vincent. I'm Loi's cousin."

Jorgen looked at Vincent beside him, then down the table at Loi uncertainly.

"It's a long story." Lawrence said frankly.

Loi nodded his agreement.

"It's not that long." Vincent said, then pointed at the next table and continued, "That white haired guy is me and Loi's grandpa Joe. His sons married our mothers."

"And both our mothers were married before. Vincent and I aren't related by blood, but we are cousins because we share our grandfather." Loi said frankly.

Jorgen nodded slowly as he tried to understand.

Lawrence smiled at the explanation then said, "And that blond guy at the table is my dad, I'm Loi's cousin, too."

"Yeah. This is Lawrence, he's my brother." Vincent said happily.

Jorgen looked at Vincent, then over at Lawrence, much the same way he had compared Vincent to Loi.

"Well, technically we're half-brothers if you want to get picky about it." Vincent said with a roll of his eyes.

Jorgen slowly nodded again, seeming to accept the information.

"From the way you talk, I'm guessing you aren't from Georgia... What are you? Swedish?" Vincent asked speculatively.

"Norwegian." Jorgen said timidly.

"Oh... So where is Norwegia?" RJ asked curiously.

Looks flashed around the table, trying to decide who would be the one to point out RJ's mistake.

Loi seemed about ready to answer when RJ asked, "Is that the country that's left over after Spain ends?" RJ asked slowly.

"What?" Lawrence asked in confusion.

"You know. It's like when they made Spain a country, they had a little bit left over, and since it wasn't of use to anyone it just kinda became it's own country... Is that Norwegia?" RJ asked seriously.

Jorgen discretely raised a hand to his mouth to try and hide his smile as he shook his head.

Lawrence fought down his chuckles enough to say, "I think the country you're talking about is Portugal. Home of the Portuguese."

"Oh, okay. I always wondered, if there's just one Portuguese is he a Portugoose?" RJ asked consideringly.

Jorgen let out an involuntary bark of laughter at the question.

He quickly looked around the table and found that Lawrence and Vincent were both fighting to contain their own laughter.

"No. I don't think it works that way." Loi said to RJ quietly.

RJ nodded, then asked, "So is Norwegia that little country that sits on France's shoulder?"

"How do you mean?" Loi asked hesitantly.

"You know, there's France just sitting there, doing it's thing, being France, and it's got this little country that sits on it's shoulder." RJ said, then looked at one of his shoulders, then the other... "It's left shoulder. I figure it's like one of those little angels that's supposed to whisper in your ear to tell you what to do."

By this time Jorgen's face was nearly beet red from his effort to contain his laughter.

"I think the 'little angel' country you're talking about is Belgium... but I'm not sure if France thinks of them in those terms." Loi said apologetically.

RJ accepted the explanation, then said, "Okay, I give up. Where is Norwegia?"

"Norway." Jorgen was barely able to force out past his laughter.

"Huh?" RJ asked with confusion.

"He comes from Norway." Loi said, then glanced to see if Jorgen was okay.

"Oh... where is that?" RJ asked seriously.

Jorgen thought for a moment, then started looking around.

"What are you looking for?" Vincent asked curiously.

"Something to draw on." Jorgen said, then seemed to give up the search.

"I saw some paper and crayons by the door when we came in. I'll go get them." Vincent said as he hopped up.

Loi smiled as Lawrence said, "Most guys Vincent's age would rather skip the meal than be seen getting crayons."

"Then again, most guys Vincent's age don't have a job and a wife." Lawrence said frankly.

* * * * *

"Here you go Jorgen." Vincent said as he placed a large piece of paper and a styrofoam cup of well worn crayons on the table.

"Thank you." Jorgen said with a quick smile at Vincent, then he started to draw.

After a moment of drawing, Jorgen turned the picture so RJ could see it.

"It looks like a cock." RJ said immediately.

Jorgen turned the picture around to look at it again.

"See there? It's a big cock that's kinda semi-hard. Right there's the balls." RJ said as he pointed.

"That's Finland." Jorgen said quietly.

"Right... so if Finland is the balls, where is Norwegia... I mean Norway?" RJ asked as he turned the picture slightly to look at it.

"Here." Jorgen said as he ran his finger along the rudimentary map.

"Alright... so is this vein on the cock like a border or something?" RJ asked seriously.

"Yes. That's the border with Sweden." Jorgen said as he tried to restrain his smile.

RJ nodded his head, then pointed further down the picture and asked, "What about this cum wad?"

"That would be Denmark." Jorgen said with a chuckle.

"Oh... I have a little trouble remembering the names of the countries. I can remember the map in my head but I can't make the names stick." RJ said slowly.

"It sounds like you have a very visually oriented memory." Vincent said in a considering voice.

"What's that?" RJ asked with interest.

"Well, I don't know too much about it. But in one of my classes I learned about how different people learn things different ways. From what you just said, you're a visually oriented learner." Vincent said in thought.

"Is that a bad thing?" RJ asked cautiously.

"It isn't good or bad. But I think that if you do a little bit of research about what it means to be a visual learner, you might learn some study tricks that will really help you in school." Vincent said seriously.

"Really? That sounds great. Do you know where I could find something like that?" RJ asked hopefully.

"I guess if I could go online, I could see if there are any links to other resources in my class notes." Vincent said uncertainly.

"I think we'll be able to find what you're looking for in the library." Loi said in a considering voice.

RJ looked at Loi with question.

"I go about once a week. I'm sure it wouldn't take long for us to find what we're looking for." Loi said confidently.

"Are you talking about the Public Library?" Jorgen asked hesitantly.

"Yeah, the one about a block and a half from here." Loi said as he pointed in the general direction.

"Do you know the head librarian?" Jorgen asked cautiously.

"Mrs. Hauber retired about a month ago, there's some new guy running it now. I haven't really met him." Loi said honestly.

"That's my dad." Jorgen said quietly.

"Oh? So is your dad going to be coming here to have dinner with you?" Loi asked with interest.

"No. I'll eat my dinner, then I'll take a meal to him at the library." Jorgen said quietly.

"What will you do then?" RJ asked curiously.

Jorgen looked at RJ with surprise at the question.

"You just stay at the library, don't you?" RJ asked seriously.

Jorgen nodded.

"...Until your dad finishes his work..." RJ said speculatively.

Jorgen nodded again.

"And then you go home and go to bed so you can wake up and do the same thing tomorrow." RJ said in a voice of certainty.

"Yes." Jorgen said in a whisper.

"Do you think your dad would let you come over to one of our houses sometime?" Loi asked, then glanced at RJ to see if he liked the idea.

Jorgen thought about it for a few minutes, then said, "I don't know. Since we have come to this country, I have taken care of my father. I wouldn't want him to feel like I don't want to spend time with him."

Loi and RJ were looking at each other speculatively, both thinking intently, probably about the same thing.

"They look telepathic." Vincent whispered to Lawrence.

"Yeah." Lawrence said with a chuckle, then asked, "What do you think of our cousins?"

Vincent looked at Loi, then over to the other table where Malcolm, and William were still talking a mile a minute.

With a peaceful smile, Vincent said, "I think I really like our family."

* * * * *

"Guys, what do you think of this?" RJ asked quickly as he leaned forward.

Everyone else at the table leaned in close to hear his suggestion.

"Since Vincent and Lawrence are here visiting, why don't we tell the parents that we want to take them into town and show them around. Then once we're in town, we can go to the library and meet up with Jorgen and talk to his old man and see if he'll let Jorgen go out and do... something with us..." RJ trailed off, seeming to run out of steam.

"Do what?" Vincent asked cautiously.

"I dunno. Maybe go to the recycling center and watch them bury things. It's kinda cool watching the heavy machinery..." RJ said reluctantly, then added, "That's about all there is to do around here."

Vincent and Lawrence shared an incredulous look at the suggestion.

"How about if we just ask if we can go to the library for a while and invite Jorgen to come back home with us... maybe to spend the night?" Loi asked with a smile.

"Yeah. Vincent and Lawrence, will you guys be able to spend the night over at our house?" RJ asked hopefully.

Vincent and Lawrence shared a look and Lawrence finally answered, "Sure, I guess so."

"Why at your house?" Loi asked curiously.

"My dad works at night." RJ said with a smile.

"So we'll have the trailer to ourselves and can be as loud as we want?" Loi asked with a sly grin.

"Not as loud as we want, but probably louder than we could be at your grandparents' house." RJ said seriously.

"What do you think Jorgen? Would your dad go for it?" Lawrence asked with a smile of anticipation.

"I haven't asked him if I could go and do anything before. I don't know what he'll say." Jorgen said with concern.

"Well, if we go to the library after dinner and talk to your dad, maybe he'll be okay with it." RJ asked uncertainly.

"Maybe when he meets us he'll see that we're okay and let Jorgen come over." Loi said speculatively.

Jorgen looked at RJ with concern at the statement.

"What is it?" RJ asked curiously.

After a moment of hesitation, Jorgen said, "I hope you won't get mad at me but, when I heard some of the things that you were saying and saw how you were treating some guys at school. I told my dad about you because I didn't know how I should behave if you decided to torment me."

"You saw me acting like a jerk, huh?" RJ asked quietly.

Jorgen saw the regret in RJ's eyes and quietly said, "I saw you tormenting a boy who was smaller than you and calling him some really bad names. It made me scared because I thought that if you noticed me, you might treat me like that too."

RJ nodded, then said in a regretful tone, "Yeah. You were probably right. I might have."

Jorgen looked at RJ with surprise at the admission.

"Before today, I don't know, I thought I understood how everything worked. I was sure I was right and anyone who didn't agree with me was stupid." RJ said regretfully.

"I used to be like that too." Vincent said honestly.

Jorgen looked at Vincent with surprise.

"I think RJ and I were taught some of the same things when we were too young to know any better. We learned how to yell and hit and be mean to people to make them listen to us." Vincent said distantly.

"You were really like that?" Jorgen asked in wonder.

Vincent nodded, and said, "Yeah. Ask Lawrence, he was there. He can tell you."

Jorgen looked to Lawrence with question.

Lawrence reluctantly nodded then, on impulse, put an arm around his younger brother.

"Well, I'm glad you're not like that anymore." Jorgen said gently, then turned to look at RJ and said, "And I'm really glad you're not like that now."

RJ chuckled and said, "I am, too. But I just don't know what things will be like when we go back to school."

Jorgen looked at RJ with question.

"People are used to me being that way... I just don't know how they'll treat me now that I'm... different." RJ said with concern.

Loi smiled at RJ and said, "I'll be there with you. We'll protect each other."

RJ looked at Loi with question.

"If you'll protect me from their fists, I'll protect you from their words." Loi said tenderly.

Jorgen looked back and forth between the two, then seemed to come to a decision.

"You will not have to face them alone. I'll be there with you as well." Jorgen said with assurance.

Everyone at the table was surprised at the strength in Jorgen's voice.

"Is that all for us?" Vincent asked as he pointed at the procession of three waiters, all carrying heavy laden trays.

"Looks like it. I hope you guys are hungry." RJ said frankly.

"Me? Always." Vincent said with a smile.

* * * * *

The waiters placed the food at all the different tables simultaneously.

As Vincent was about to take his first bite of food, he heard a choking sound from one of the other tables.

"Hey Loi, it looks like your brother's gonna spew." RJ said casually.

"He probably shouldn't have ordered the haggis." Loi said as he looked at his brother with concern.

"Yeah. I guess that's the price you pay for a hairy ass." RJ said, then went back to eating his meal.

* * * * *

"Are you okay there little buddy?" Robby asked as he rushed to Malcolm's side.

"I'm sorry. I wanted to like this because you said it was good.... but it's really nasty." Malcolm said regretfully.

"It's alright, Malcolm. We can get the waiter over here and get you something else." Robby said, then ruffled Malcolm's hair to prove that he wasn't upset that Malcolm didn't like the haggis.

"Excuse me." A voice said from beside Robby.

"Oh, hi. Guys, this is Jorgen. He's a friend of RJ and Loi's." Robby said to William and Malcolm.

Jorgen was still uncertain about being called their friend, but stoically continued, "I got the feeling that Malcolm didn't like his haggis. I haven't started my meal yet, so I thought he might like to trade."

"Thank you for the offer Jorgen, it's my fault for encouraging him to try it. We'll just order something else for him." Robby said seriously.

"But then he'll have to wait for his food while everyone else is eating, and besides, I order haggis now and then. I really wouldn't mind trading." Jorgen said honestly.

"What do you say little buddy? Would you like to trade meals with Jorgen?" Robby asked Malcolm gently.

"What are you eating?" Malcolm asked cautiously.

"It something they make just for me. It's sort of a mashed potato pie. It's one of my favorite foods, I think you'll probably like it." Jorgen said as he looked Malcolm in the eyes.

"Okay. Thanks, Jorgen." Malcolm said shyly.

"I'll be right back." Jorgen said as he walked back to his table.

* * * * *

The boys watched as Jorgen came back to the table to retrieve his plate, then returned a minute later with another one.

"You chose to eat haggis?" RJ asked reluctantly.

"Yeah. I can't say it's my favorite food, but I've eaten it before and it's not too bad." Jorgen said carefully.

"Yes it is." RJ said with a sour look.

* * * * *

Since the excitement seemed to be over, everyone settled in to enjoy their dinner.

"This is sooooo good." Vincent said after his first bite of mutton pie.

"I bet you don't get food like this on your starship." RJ said to Vincent with a smile.

Vincent finished his next bite of food before answering, "Well, not just like this. But the food on my ship is really good."

"Do you mean... starship?" Jorgen asked cautiously.

"Oh, yeah. I guess we didn't tell you about that. Vincent is a crewman on a starship... I forget which one, but it's not the Enterprise." RJ finished slowly.

Vincent chuckled and said, "The USS Yorktown NCC 1717."

Jorgen looked at Vincent uncertainly, obviously not believing it.

"Don't worry about it now, Jorgen. It doesn't matter if you believe it or not." Vincent said dismissively.

"Why don't you show him your ID?" RJ asked curiously.

"Because I'd rather eat." Vincent said frankly, then took another bite of his mutton pie.

* * * * *

"Um, guys. I just thought of something." Lawrence said as he looked up from his food.

"What's that?" Loi asked curiously.

"What about Malcolm and William? Are we going to invite them to join us tonight?" Lawrence asked uncertainly.

"Malcolm would probably feel out of place with everyone being older than him." Loi said frankly.

"I'm the same age as he is." Vincent said seriously.

"You know what I mean Vincent. You may be the same age as Malcolm, but you look older than William. Besides, in some ways you're probably the most grown up person at this table." Lawrence said as he turned to look at his brother.

Vincent thought about the statement, then shrugged and said, "I just thought it would be nice if I had a chance to get to know my cousin."

Looks went around the table of boys, and without a word it was decided. Malcolm and William would be invited.

* * * * *

Vincent looked up from his food and noticed that Robby had moved from the adult table to sit with Malcolm, and William.

"I wonder what's up with that?" Vincent asked, thinking that maybe RJ would have some insights into his father's actions.

After a moment of looking across at the other table, RJ turned back to his food with a smile.

"I'd say from the look of it, I'm about to get a new brother." RJ said, then took a bite of his food.

Everyone looked at RJ with question, Loi looking a little concerned.

"My dad can be really dorky sometimes, but sometimes it's alright. I bet he's over there with those guys to keep them from feeling like they're being left out." RJ said thoughtfully.

"That's really nice of him. My brother barely remembers what it's like to have a dad, so being around your dad will probably be a good thing for him." Loi said speculatively.

"Guys. When the meal is over, I think we should ask the guys if they want to come with us to the library." Vincent said seriously.

After a moment of silence, RJ said, "I don't think so. It's probably not going to be very exciting. As long as we include them tonight, it should be fine."

"I just hope that my father will allow me to go with you." Jorgen said quietly.

"He will or he won't. There's no use worrying about it now." Vincent said frankly between bites of his meal.

A beeping sound interrupted their conversation and Vincent quickly took the communicator off his belt.

"Crewman Winters." He said quickly.

"Crewman Winters, we've just received notice that you have been accepted for testing for your officer's exam. Your scheduled time is 09:00 hours on Saturday at the Starfleet Academy in San Francisco. Would you like to confirm?" A feminine voice asked professionally.

"Yes. I'll be there." Vincent said immediately.

"Your reservation has been confirmed. Have a nice day." The voice said before the link went silent.

"Crewman Winters?" Jorgen asked cautiously.

"That's me." Vincent said simply.

"...from the Kimber IV incident." Jorgan continued slowly.

"One and the same." Vincent admitted reluctantly.

"What are you talking about?" RJ asked curiously.

"You're not talking about 'The Hero of Kimber' are you?" Loi asked suddenly.

"Yeah. That's me. But can we not talk about that right now?" Vincent asked hopefully.

"May we ask you about it later?" Jorgen asked hopefully.

"Yeah. If we can get it all worked out so we can all stay at RJ's place tonight, then I'll tell you whatever you want to know." Vincent promised.

"I'm gonna ask my dad right now." RJ said as he stood.

Vincent wanted to call him back and tell him to finish his meal first, but the wheels had already been set into motion. There was no stopping it now.

"Yeah. I need to ask my mom, too." Loi said anxiously.

"Let me know if there's anything I can do to help." Vincent said after him, hoping that Loi's mother could be talked into it.

* * * * *

"Hey, Champ. What's this I'm hearing about a sleepover?" Joe asked as he walked up to the table.

"We're not going to be here very long and it sounded like something fun that us guys could do." Vincent said honestly.

"I don't know how I feel about leaving you guys unsupervised. Maybe it would be better if we arranged it to be somewhere else." Joe said honestly.

"You know how you're always worried that I don't get enough 'kid time'?" Vincent asked seriously.

"I suppose that's true." Joe grudgingly relented.

"Besides, it's not like we're going to be on the other side of the planet where you can't get in touch with us. We're going to be in the same trailer park as Grandma and Grandpa Joe if we need anything." Vincent said seriously, then added, "And besides that, I have my communicator and I can call you if there's a problem."

"Alright. I'm just worried about what might happen when a group of teenagers are left alone, unsupervised." Joe said frankly.

"What do you think we're going to do?" Vincent asked curiously.

Joe seemed to be about to answer, then caught himself before saying, "I don't want to give you any ideas."

"Will you talk to Loi's mom and see if you can get her to let him? I've never had the chance to do something like this before and I'd really like to." Vincent asked hopefully.

"What about your Clan meetings. Aren't they usually something like this?" Joe asked curiously.

"It's not the same." Vincent said with a roll of his eyes.

"Of course." Joe said with a smile.

"Dad said it's okay. But if we're going to do this, we need to go to the library now to talk to Jorgen's father before everyone else is ready to go." RJ said in a rush as he approached the table.

"Is it okay?" Vincent asked Joe, to be sure.

"I trust you, Vincent. Just remember to call me if you run into any problems." Joe said with a smile, then added, "I'll talk to Temmy and see what I can do."

* * * * *

"What did she say?" Vincent asked as Loi slowly approached.

"She's going to let us..." Loi trailed off as he looked back at his mother with confusion.

"What's wrong?" Lawrence asked with concern.

"She made me promise that I'd use condoms." Loi reluctantly admitted.

"Well, I was just planning on us hanging out and watching TV, but since you promised..." RJ trailed off with a grin.

"It's not funny." Loi grumbled.

"Yeah. It is." Vincent snickered.

Loi looked at Vincent, then at Lawrence who was trying to suppress his chuckles.

"Are we ready?" RJ asked hopefully.

"Let me see if they have my father's meal ready." Jorgen said as he stood.

"Is this okay with you?" Vincent asked Lawrence cautiously.

"Yeah. I want to get to know our cousins and their friends as much as you do." Lawrence said honestly.

* * * * *

As soon as Jorgen had his food in hand, the group of mostly older teenagers left as one.

"We need to hurry so everyone doesn't have to wait too long." Vincent warned.

"Yeah. It was pretty cool of them to let us do this." Loi agreed.

"What should we say or not say to your dad to get him to let you come over?" RJ asked curiously.

"I don't know. I've never asked to go to a friend's house before." Jorgen admitted shyly.

"Then, if he looks like he's not going to let you, maybe you should remind him of that." Vincent said honestly.

Jorgen thought for a moment as they walked in silence. Finally, he quietly said, "I would feel as though I'm being emotionally manipulative if I did something like that."

"I don't think most people think about it when they do stuff like that, but yeah, that's what you'd be doing." Vincent said frankly.

"Being emotional and overly dramatic is part of being a teenager. You might as well use it." Lawrence said casually.

"Yeah. But when you turn it loose, you never really know what's going to happen." RJ chipped in, then quickly added, "If it ends up going that way, we'll do what we can to help you pick up the pieces."

"Here we are." Jorgen said as they walked up to the front of one of the larger buildings in town, the public library.

* * * * *

Jorgen led the small group of boys through the library with practiced ease.

"You don't have to do this. You know that, right?" Vincent asked carefully.

"What do you mean?" Jorgen asked curiously.

"I mean, I can tell that you're worried about how your father will react. If you decide that you don't want to ask him, we'll be disappointed, but we won't be mad at you or anything like that." Vincent said honestly.

"I didn't even think of that, but thank you for saying so." Jorgen said before coming to a stop outside an office door.

"Do you want for us to stay out here?" Loi asked quietly.

"No. I think he'll restrain his first reaction more if there are strangers present." Jorgen said seriously before opening the door and stepping inside.

* * * * *

"Father, I have brought your dinner." Jorgen said as he carefully set the to-go container on his father's desk.

"Who are your friends?"

"Father, may I introduce my classmates Loi and RJ and Loi's cousins from out of town, Lawrence and Vincent." Jorgen said formally.

"A pleasure." Jorgen's father said slowly, obviously suspicious by the fact that they were there.

"RJ and Loi have arranged a get together in honor of their cousins' visit and have invited me to accompany them tonight." Jorgen said carefully.

"Where's this 'party' going to be?"

Jorgen winced at his father's choice of words.

"It's going to be at my house, but Loi's mother and grandparents are going to be close by if we need anything." RJ explained quickly.

Jorgen's father appeared to be thinking about it, and from his expression, Vincent wasn't hopeful.

"While it pleases me to see that you are beginning to make friends here, I'm afraid that I can't allow it. Perhaps, once I get to know your new friends better and know that they are people of good character, I might be able to consider..."

"I'm 'The Hero of Kimber'. How much more character do you need?" Vincent interrupted.

Jorgen's father stopped in surprise at the declaration, then stood and walked to the low coffee table in the conversation area of the office.

Everyone waited to see what he was going to do.

"This should be easy enough to verify." Jorgen's father said as he found the magazine he was looking for and started to leaf through it.

Vincent looked around nervously, feeling like he'd just crossed some sort of a line by making the declaration.

"Let's see what we've got here." Jorgen's father said as he turned, holding a magazine open to an article about the Kimber rescue.

"I've had a growth spurt since then." Vincent explained before the man could ask about it.

"It really is you!"

"Yeah. Is it alright if Jorgen comes over tonight?" Vincent asked hopefully.

"I don't know, it is a school night." The man said in a wavering tone.

"RJ and Loi go to the same school as Jorgen. They'll make sure he gets to school on time." Vincent said quickly.

"They're in your class?" Jorgen's father asked cautiously.

"Yes. When they saw me eating alone, they invited me to eat with them and their families." Jorgen quickly explained.

After a long moment of thought, Jorgen's father finally said, "I have been concerned by some of what I've heard about Jorgen's school. If you boys will promise to watch after each other, then I will allow Jorgen to go with you on this special occasion."

"We've already promised that." Jorgen told his father, frankly.

Jorgen's father then turned and said, "Hero of Kimber, may I have the honor of shaking your hand?"

"Yeah. But please just call me Vincent." He said timidly as he shook the offered hand.

"We need to get back to the restaurant. Everyone's going to be waiting on us." Lawrence said timidly.

"Be sure to stop by the house and pick up fresh clothes for tomorrow." Jorgen's father said to his son seriously.

"We'll do that on the way back to the restaurant." Jorgen promised.

"Good. Then you should go." Jorgen's father said quietly.

On impulse, Jorgen gave his father a quick hug before hurrying out of the office.

* * * * *

"Our place is just one block over." Jorgen said as he walked with the group out of the library.

"We can go to the restaurant and let them know that you're on your way, if you want." Lawrence said anxiously.

"Go on ahead and we'll be there in a few minutes." RJ said decisively.

Loi seemed to be torn, not knowing which group he should go with.

RJ decided for him by companionably clasping his shoulder and guiding Loi to walk with him and Jorgen.

* * * * *

"How did things go?" Joe asked as Vincent and Lawrence walked onto the balcony.

"Great! Jorgen's dad said he could spend the night." Vincent said happily.

"After Vincent told him that he was 'The Hero of Kimber'." Lawrence added with a smile.

"You did?" Joe asked in surprise.

"Just so he'd know that I wasn't some kind of creep who'd get Jorgen into trouble." Vincent said in his defense.

"Just be careful. People might get the idea that you feel entitled." Joe warned.

"Yeah. I'll watch it." Vincent said timidly.

* * * * *

Although everyone had finished their meals, they seemed to be having a good time, talking amongst themselves. Vincent and Lawrence were alone at their table and didn't have much to say, so they spent their time watching everyone else.

William and Malcolm seemed to be lost in their own little world, animatedly discussing what Vincent assumed was something to do with game playing.

Both Vincent and Lawrence noticed the fleeting glances that Robby and Temmy would exchange when they thought no one else was looking.

It appeared that, in the company of his parents, Joe's personal prohibitions against talking about himself were notably absent. With his parents' prompting, he was regaling them with the tales of his adventures of the past fourteen years.

In less time than Vincent would have predicted, RJ, Loi and Jorgen returned to the restaurant, appearing to be in good spirits.

"You should have come with us! Jorgen's house is something else!" RJ said enthusiastically.

"It's just a normal house." Jorgen said timidly.

"Well, maybe it is to you. But I bet that you don't have to check to see that the parking brake is set before you go to bed each night." RJ said sourly.

At Vincent's look of surprise, RJ admitted, "Okay, I'm joking about that. But you live in a real house. And that's not even what I'm talking about. Jorgen's got this Christmas tree that's bigger and nicer than any tree I've ever seen."

Vincent looked at Loi with question, knowing that he was more likely to be able to see things objectively.

"RJ's right. It's probably the most beautiful Christmas tree that I've seen in my whole life." Loi said frankly.

"I hope I'll get to see it before I have to leave." Vincent said honestly.

"Is everyone ready to go?" George called from the main table.

Everyone starting to get up was the apparent answer to his question... well, almost everyone.

Vincent walked over to the table where William and Malcolm were still talking a mile a minute to each other, oblivious to all that was going on around them.

"Are you guys ready to go?" Vincent asked carefully, trying not to interrupt their conversation too abruptly.

"What? Already?" William asked as he looked around and noticed that they were the only ones still sitting.

"Already? We finished eating and went to the library to talk to Jorgen's dad while you've been over here talking." Vincent said with a teasing smile.

"Who?" William asked in confusion.

Vincent motioned for Jorgen to come to the table as he asked, "You know, the guy who traded his food with Malcolm?"

"Oh, yeah. What was his name again?" William asked cautiously.

"Jorgen." Vincent said with a smile that was on the verge of breaking into laughter.

"Jorgen... That's a cool name." William said thoughtfully as Jorgen stopped at Vincent's side.

"Yeah. He's Norwegian." Vincent said simply.

After a moment of staring at Jorgen, William absently said, "But he's big."

"What do you mean?" Vincent asked cautiously.

"I thought he'd be small. Nor-weeeee-gian." William said seriously.

"You must be RJ's brother." Jorgen said with a chuckle.

William nodded, slightly confused by what Vincent and Jorgen suddenly found so funny.

* * * * *

As everyone piled into the cars, Vincent invited Jorgen to ride in the station wagon with him and Lawrence.

"So, Jorgen, have you been in this country very long?" George asked as he led the way out of the parking lot.

"No, sir. My father and I just arrived here six weeks ago." Jorgen said timidly.

"You speak very good English for not having been here very long." George observed.

"I did very well in my English classes in school. However, I was concerned that when I arrived in America that the English that I had been taught wouldn't be sufficient." Jorgen explained.

"I think you speak it better than we do." Vincent said honestly.

"Yeah. And you've got a really cool accent." Lawrence added.

Jorgen quickly turned to Vincent and asked, "I don't have an accent, do I?"

"Just a little one." Vincent said with a smile.

* * * * *

"I just wanted to thank you for taking us out to dinner. Next time it will be on me." Robby said as everyone was getting out of the cars.

"That's fine. It was our pleasure to have you and your boys along with us and I hope that we'll get to do it again real soon." George said pleasantly.

"Why don't you guys get what you'll need for tonight out of the rental before we forget?" Joe hurried to ask before Vincent or Lawrence got too far away from the cars.

"Oh, yeah. Good idea." Vincent said as he changed his course toward the trailer.

Lawrence fell into step beside him as RJ and the others stopped to wait.

Loi whispered something to Malcolm, then they both took off running toward the trailer.

Seeing that preparations for the sleep-over were well underway, Joe then turned his attention back to the other adults and joined in their conversation.

* * * * *

"What are we doing?" William asked as he looked around.

"We invited these guys to stay over at our house tonight." RJ said simply.

"On a school night?" William asked in confusion.

"Vincent has a big test on Saturday, so he won't be able to stay up late tomorrow night. Tonight may be the only chance we have to do something like this for a while." Loi said quietly.

William glanced at Malcolm, then back at his brother before quietly asking, "Us, too?"

RJ smiled, then said, "Yeah. If you guys feel like it. Everyone already said that it was okay. But I bet that no one would mind it if you wanted to stay over at Malcolm's place. That way you could talk about games and stuff without us around bugging you."

"No. We can do that some other time." William said immediately. RJ could tell that his younger brother desperately wanted to feel like he was included with the 'older' boys.

* * * * *

"Are you guys about ready to go?" Robby asked as he walked up to his sons.

"In just a minute. Lawrence and Vincent are getting some clothes to wear tomorrow." RJ said seriously.

Robby looked from RJ to William, then said, "If you guys ever want to do something like this again, you're going to have to prove to me that I can trust you."

"I know, Dad." RJ said solemnly.

"Good. As long as that's understood. Remember that you have school tomorrow. I don't want you staying up too late." Robby warned.

"Yeah. I know. Thanks for letting us do this." RJ said quietly.

"Are we going to your house right now?" Vincent asked as he approached while putting on his backpack.

"Yeah. Dad's got to get ready for work." RJ said seriously.

"Give me one more second." Vincent said before hurrying back to the group of adults in front of the trailer.

Robby and the boys watched as Vincent talked to the adults for a moment, then gave Joe a firm hug before returning.

When Lawrence saw that, he doubled back and gave Joe a hug of his own.

"We ready?" Robby asked as he looked around.

"I can wait on Malcolm if you want to go ahead." William said as he looked back toward the trailer.

As he was saying the words, the trailer door opened and Malcolm hurried out, carrying a plastic shopping bag of clothes.

"It looks like that's all of us." Robby said with a smile, then held out an arm inviting Malcolm to come to him.

Malcolm hurried to Robby's side, immediately joined by William. Robby dropped an arm around Malcolm's shoulders as they began to walk.

RJ, Loi and Jorgen followed immediately behind. Loi and Jorgen both had bundles of clothing in their arms as they walked.

Lawrence and Vincent shared a smile as they, too, followed the group.

* * * * *

"You guys make yourselves at home. I've got to start getting ready for work." Robby said as they entered the trailer.

"Is it okay if we make popcorn and have some sodas tonight?" RJ asked hopefully.

"Yeah. I think we have enough sodas for everyone, but if not, someone's going to have to share." Robby said frankly.

"That's no problem. I just wanted to be sure it'd be okay if we used them up." RJ said seriously.

"That's fine." Robby said with a smile at his son, then looked around the group and asked, "Does anyone need into the bathroom before I start my shower?"

"Yeah." Vincent said timidly, then asked, "Where is it?"

"Down the hall, last door on the left." Robby said as he pointed.

"Thanks." Vincent said quietly on his way past.

* * * * *

After Vincent returned and settled into a seat on the couch with Lawrence and Jorgen, RJ looked around the assembled group and asked, "So, what do you guys want to do tonight?"

No one seemed to have an answer.

Finally, Lawrence asked, "Has anyone ever been to a sleep-over before?"

Again, silence was the only answer.

"What do you think guys do at a sleep-over?" Vincent asked seriously.

"Well, I've seen some stuff on the Internet... but I'm pretty sure you guys wouldn't want to do that." RJ said reluctantly.

"We're not having a gay orgy." Vincent said firmly.

"I wasn't saying that I wanted to. But that's about all that I can remember seeing about guys having sleep-overs on the Internet." RJ said in his defense.

"We could watch a movie!" William said hopefully.

"Yeah. Willy, why don't you and Malcolm check out the movie guide and see if there's anything good on tonight." RJ said with a smile at his younger brother.

William and Malcolm immediately scurried over in front of the television and turned it on so that they could explore the program guide.

"What would you like to do, Jorgen?" Loi asked curiously.

"I don't know. I'm not sure what I expected to happen tonight. I just know that when you invited me, I wanted very much to go." Jorgen said timidly.

"It doesn't matter what we do. It's about us being able to hang out together." Vincent said simply.

"Maybe you could tell us what it's like on your starship." RJ asked hopefully.

"Sure. But I've been told that I suck at storytelling... and that I've got a cute butt." Vincent finished with a slight blush.

A few of the boys laughed at the timid admission.

"I just wanted to know what it's like to really be in Starfleet." RJ said honestly.

A few of the others nodded their agreement.

After a moment to consider, Vincent reluctantly said, "I don't know what to say."

"How's it different from living on Earth?" William asked curiously.

"I guess the big difference is that you have a schedule that you have to follow. People are depending on you to do your job so you always have to be where you're supposed to be and you need to be ready to work." Vincent said thoughtfully.

"But we have to get up on time and be ready for school. What's the difference?" RJ asked seriously.

Vincent thought about it for a moment, then said, "I guess the big difference is that when you're going to school, it's all about you. If you don't do your work, you get bad grades and get into trouble. When you're on a starship, if you don't do your work, other people have to do extra work to pick up your slack. Even if you don't get into trouble, everyone knows that you didn't do your part and the next time they need a job done, they'll trust you just a little bit less."

"Wow. I never thought of that." RJ said slowly.

"Yeah. I never did either until I was on a starship and had a job to do." Vincent said frankly.

"So what happens if you screw up? I mean, everyone does at some point." Jorgen asked curiously.

"I'm not sure how it is for everyone, but in Deflector Control we have a really good team of people. We watch out for each other. If it's something really important, either Darin or Thaelan will check behind me or ask me to be sure that I didn't forget something." Vincent said seriously.

"What's your job like?" Loi asked with interest.

"Well, when I'm in Deflector Control, my job is usually to work one or two of the consoles and make sure that everything is working right so that the person on the main, the one who's actually running the deflector dish, doesn't have to worry about anything and can just do their job." Vincent said carefully.

He waited for a moment to see if anyone had any questions. When it was obvious that they didn't, he continued, "When I'm working on the bridge, no matter which station I'm working, everyone's counting on me to do everything perfect, no matter what."

"The bridge?" Loi asked curiously.

"Yeah. You know, when most people think about being on a starship, they think about the captain and the senior officers on the bridge. They usually don't realize that there are hundreds of other people on the ship who not only keep things running, but also depend on the command staff to do their jobs right." Vincent said passionately.

"I don't know if I am remembering correctly, but I seem to recall that the news article said that you discovered some pirates, and that because of you, they were captured." Jorgen said carefully.

"Yeah. Captain Byrne thought that the best way for me to learn about being an officer was for me to actually be in charge for a little bit. One of the times when he put me in command, we got a distress call and it really looked to me like it was a trap, so I called for a security detail to check it out." Vincent said seriously.

"He put you in command. Do you mean that you were like 'The Captain' of the ship?" RJ asked in wonder.

"Yeah. Just for a little bit." Vincent admitted, then continued, "But I was on the bridge with a whole bunch of experienced officers. If I was about to do something stupid, one of them would have spoken up about it."

"But you were really in command of a starship?" Jorgen asked to verify.

"Yes." Vincent confirmed.

"What is that like?" Jorgen asked in wonder.

Vincent looked around and noticed that Malcolm and William had stopped looking at the movie listings and were listening with rapt attention.

"It's scary. I'm not going to lie. Knowing that the lives of everyone on the ship is depending on you to make the right decision is the scariest thing I've ever done." Vincent said honestly.

"Scarier than going into a damaged reactor and saving hundreds of lives?" Jorgen asked cautiously.

"Yeah. That was scary in a whole different way. But when I did that... I don't know... It's hard to explain. I guess I sorta felt like after doing wrong things all my life, I finally had the chance to do the right thing... even if it ended up being the last thing. I didn't feel responsible for the people at Kimber. If what I did helped, then great. For once in my life, I would have done something good. But if it didn't work out, it wouldn't have been like I failed anyone who was counting on me." Vincent said thoughtfully.

"I know what you mean about doing wrong things all your life. How did you change?" RJ asked cautiously.

"I wish I could tell you." Vincent said honestly, then continued, "At some point, it was like something inside me just clicked or something. It was like everything I did before, I did without thinking about it, just because I wanted to. Then, one day, it was like I opened my eyes for the first time and saw how what I was doing was hurting the people around me."

"I know that feeling." RJ said quietly.

"Good. Then I guess the next thing for you is going to be doing what you know is right. That can be kind of hard, because everyone around you will still be expecting you to be thinking only about yourself and they won't trust you." Vincent said frankly.

"Yeah." RJ said regretfully.

"I already said that I'd help you." Loi said softly.

"So did I." Jorgen said seriously.

"Good. When I have to leave, I'm going to want to hear about how you guys are doing." Vincent said honestly.

"Are you going to be here for Christmas?" Malcolm asked hopefully.

"Saturday, I'm going to take my officer's exam. I don't know what's going to happen after that. Whether I pass it or not, it would be possible for Starfleet to assign me anywhere they want. It might end up being something where I can request a few days off or it could be off planet. There's no way to know right now." Vincent said frankly.

"I hope you can be here for Christmas." Malcolm said sincerely.

"I hope so, too. If there's any way I can be here, I will." Vincent said honestly.

"Did you guys find any good movies to watch?" RJ asked William curiously.

"Yeah. There's this one called 'Final Destination'. I remember that I wanted to see it when it was at the theater. It looks kinda spooky and weird." William said frankly.

"Is that alright with everyone?" RJ asked as he looked around.

"I don't really watch too many scary movies..." Loi reluctantly admitted.

"Don't worry. I'll keep you safe." RJ assured him.

Vincent could see that no one else was bothered by the idea and said, "It sounds good to me."

"When does it start?" RJ asked with anticipation.

"Bout twenty minutes." William responded.

"Good. That'll give us time to get blankets and pillows and stuff in here before the movie starts." RJ said seriously.

"What about the popcorn?" William asked cautiously.

"Yeah. Let's get our blankets and stuff first, then I'll get the popcorn going." RJ said decisively.

"Just let me know what you need me to do to help." Vincent said with a smile.

"Follow me." RJ said as he got up from the loveseat, beside Loi, and started toward the hallway.

Within a few seconds, everyone else had followed.

To Be Continued...

Editor's Notes:
I find myself in a position I often find myself in when I finish reading one of MultiMapper's chapters. I am grateful to have read a new chapter and enjoyed meeting the new people and seeing what new situations have been discussed, but I am also often saddened that the chapter is over and I will have to wait what often seems forever for another one. I am not really complaining, just sort of trying to put into words the wonderful enjoyment I always feel when reading one of MM's stories.

There are always a few tears and tons of laughter in a chapter from MM.

It was fun to meet Jorgen, and I am glad he decided to join the guys at the sleepover. I really want to know more about him and his dad.

It was very interesting to see RJ finally realize he didn't have to be so full of hate, and that even people who were once very afraid of him, now considered him their friend.

It was also interesting to hear Vincent reflect on his own past and the way he used to act. It was kinda funny to realize just how much like RJ vincent used to be. I think even Vincent got a shock when he thought about his old way of thinking and comparing it to the way RJ used to behave. Quite a contrast, I would have to say.

Here I go again; I can hardly wait for the next chapter.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher