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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #15 on: Apr 26th, 2008, 8:47pm »

Chapter 8

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Don't sue me. Thank you.


“Wha wha wha WHAT? YOU are the Ellimist? I thought it would be someone who looked like God?” I marveled.

“God? Hardly. Just a higher-level being” Rachel said sarcastically.


“But how is us being psychic going to save the world?” Tanya asked.



“Now that the ten-year waiting period is over, this evil, Crayak, will stop at nothing to win. Even if that means breaking a few rules.” Cousin Rachel explained.

“So, what, you want us to fight? To Turn back time?” I questioned them.

They were both silent.

“I was just joking...”

Please say that this isn’t happening again!

“This is no joke, Rae.” Cousin Rachel folded her arms over.


We all blinked at him.


“Just trust it, and it will reveal what you have to do soon,” Cousin Rachel assured us.

The Ellimist and Cousin Rachel’s spirit started to fade.


Then we were back in my barn.
“Ok, what was that?” I shook my head.

“I’m still thinking that all of this is a dream, a joke, just not REAL!” Becky said angrily.

“Come on Becky, you know that those supernatural beings exist. They’re in all the history books.

“But why us?” she whined.

Before I could answer, I could hear someone walking into the barn. Probably Mom. Dad would still be with his parents.

“Quick guys, hide!” I whispered. “My Mom is coming.”

“But where? There are nothing but cages here-" Becky whispered back.

“Behind the haystack. Go. Go!”

They all ran to it just as Mom walked through the doors. I kicked the book behind another bale of hay.

“Rachel, what are you doing back here so late? It’s almost ten at night!” She looked tired, but still had her stethoscope around her neck.

That's Mom, always working.

“Sorry Mom, I just needed to see if we had any pigs for the uh, science project.”

“The pigs are over on the other side of the clinic sweetie. I guess I didn’t tell you that when we moved back here.”

You didn’t tell me a lot of things.

“Come back in the house. We have to get up early. You know I’ll be working late tomorrow night and so will your father.”

Dad had editor’s meetings late tomorrow. For his third book. Then they were going to spend the night...actually, I didn’t want to think of my parents together like that. Gross.

“Sure Mom, I’ll be right in,” I lied.

She nodded her head.

“Don’t forget to turn the lights off,” she said as she walked out.

It didn’t feel as bad lying to my Mom as it did before.

As soon as I knew she was gone, I motioned for everyone to come from behind the haystack.

“So what do we do, Rae?” Jon asked.

“Tomorrow, meet me back here. I’ll try to go through EVERYTHING they have here. I’ll just say we’re studying. My Grandparents will be here, they’re pushovers. They’re in bed by seven for goodness sake.” I looked directly at Tanya. “It’ll be the perfect time to throw that party too.”

She smiled. “No problem. I’ll just e-mail a bunch of people and tell my brother to come over to this barn. You’ll have the HOTTEST party. You just need to get rid of the hay.”

She pulled some off of her.

“I’ll work that out tomorrow. Now, you guys can sneak out the back and around the house. It’ll take you back around and out of here without anyone seeing. When you get to the gate, you should be fine.”

They all walked out and got their bikes, except for Derrick.

“You know, I’m behind you, no matter what,”

I smiled.


We were silent for a second.

“I should probably go though. I don’t want your Dad to catch us,”

“You’re right. You never know about him-”

“Rae, it’s ok. I’m sure if I had a daughter as pretty as you, I’d protect her too.”

“Thanks Derrick,”

I walked him to the side of the barn.

“Take care!” I yelled.

He smiled and biked away.

“This party is great Rae! As my parents would say, it’s ‘off the chain’!” Tanya yelled over all the music her brother Jamal was playing on his really old turntables. They had to be from, at least the 80's. Right now, he had on some old-school Sean Paul Jamaican music from 2002.
A lot of kids from our grade were here, a LOT. Even Becky. I told them all to sneak through the woods, now that my parents were gone and the bodyguards out front would be on high alert. After everyone else left, we could start our research.

Still, there was a great turnout. I got Tanya and Derrick over earlier to help me clean up the barn a little bit. We transformed it from a hospital into a cool hangout spot.

Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop were oblivious. They just thought I had them over to help on my science project. They couldn’t even check with Mom and Dad, who were downtown and would be ‘unavailable’ all night.

Jon was even in the middle doing tricks on his skateboard.

Yeah, I’m going to be the coolest kid in school now!

“Hey Rae,” Derrick walked towards me

“Um, Hi.”

“Do you want to dance?” he asked.

“Um, I’m not the greatest dancer...I didn’t inherit rhythm from either of my parents.” I admitted.

Derrick threw his head back and laughed.

“Don’t worry, I’ll show you,” he took my hand.

I saw some of the girls looking jealously at me.

“Now, in order to break dance, you have to get on the floor and put your hands in front of you,”

(A/N: Did you REALLY think I was going to have them dirty-dance within 2 weeks of meeting each other? Pssh! Rae’s not a whore, for goodness sakes.)

“Like I’m crab walking?”

“Yes. Exactly. Now you want to step your right foot over your left foot without getting up. That’s called a ‘six-step’ or ‘coffee-grinder’ ”. I tried to get do it, but I had no coordination and I fell over. Derrick and I both started to laugh.

“Don’t worry, you’ll get it. It just takes practice.”

We were interrupted by Tanya.

“Yo Rae, there’s some people out by the back, you might want to tell them to leave.”

“Why?” I said, still laughing.

“They’re smoking...and not just cigarettes.” she told me.

Crap. If my parents smelled pot smoke...

I ran to the back, where a couple guys from the football team and stoners I recognized from detention. They were smoking weed and had beer cans in their hands.

I wanted a party, but not this type of party. They had to go.

“Excuse me, you can’t do this back here!” I told them plainly.

“Why not Rae? We thought you were cool. It’s just a barn,” a stocky boy with red hair said as he blew out a plume of smoke.

“First of all, this is a vet hospital, not just ‘My Barn’, second of all, if my parents come back and smell pot in here-”

My thoughts were interrupted by a huge tiger’s roar.


That had to be-

I ran back inside the barn. I saw a tiger chasing a bunch of kids around.

No Dad, NO!

“Rae!” I heard my mother yell. “Get over here NOW!”

Mom, Mom-Mom, and Pop-Pop were standing at the front of the barn.

I looked at Becky, Tanya, and Jamal. They were trying to get out of there as fast as they could. Jon ran past me. “I guess we’ll have to do it later!”

As I came over to them, I saw Dad, as a Tiger, chasing Derrick around.

I told you to stay away from my baby girl! Dad yelled in thought-speak”

“AAHH! Oh my God! I’m sorry Mr. Berenson. I’ll never talk to her again! Just, just don’t kill me!” He ran past me, frightened as all creation.

After he chased Derrick out of the barn, he went back over to his wheelchair, demorphed, and got back in.

It was freaky the first time I remember seeing my parents turn into animals. I screamed and got very dizzy. I didn’t understand they were the Animorphs

Now I would give anything to have normal parents.

“Rachel, get in the office.” My mom pointed to the vet office next to some cages.

“Why, what did I do?” I knew it was a flat out lie, but I was really upset at them crashing my party!

“RAE! GO!” Dad yelled. There was no understanding this time. I could see it in his good eye. He wanted to kill me.

“Good grief child, have you lost your mind?” Mom-Mom asked. “We’ll let your parents get a hold of you before we get at you for lying to us.”

I walked in to the office. My parents were right behind us. Dad slammed the door.

“Sit down.”

He pushed the office chair towards me.

I folded my arms and sat down.

“You know Rae, we’ve had it up to HERE with your behavior! You’re acting so much like a spoiled brat it’s sickening. And is that pot? Do I smell POT on you?” Dad growled.

“Maybe I’m just sick of living here!” I tried to defend myself. “And I wasn’t smoking! I was trying to THROW out the potheads!”

“Like that makes it any better- ” Dad scoffed. But Mom interrupted him.

“Face it Rae, we’re not going back to Berkeley. You can be moody, avoidant, and as rebellious as you want. But it’s not going to happen.” She said.

“I don’t have time for this-” I didn’t want to hear any of her shrink psycho-babble.

“Just shut up and listen to me. It seems like every DAY there is something with you. Your behavior was totally out-of-line before, getting into fights, sneaking around with boys, but this? You LIED to your grandparents to throw a party WHILE GROUNDED?” Dad knocked “Maybe all our attempts at disciplne has had no effect on you. Maybe you need some tough love. I’m thinking Military school would be up your alley.” Dad roared. He was pissed off.
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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #16 on: Apr 26th, 2008, 8:49pm »

I’d never seen him like this.

Military school? Now he had completely lost his mind.

“Dad, that’s ridiculous. You are being completely-”

“RAE. STOP. TALKING.” Dad yelled.

“I’m not going to stop! How dare you guys! You all are complete hypocrites!” I spat out.

“Rachel,” Mom started to say in her understanding way.

“No, Mom I don’t get it! I don’t! How can you stand next to him and defend him? Especially after what he did to you? Yeah, Dad gave you a LOT of tough love. I read the book.” I was on a roll. I knew what I was saying was painful, but it kept coming out.

They froze in place.

“You WHAT?” Dad screamed. “That book is completely off-limits for you! You know that!”

“Yeah, because it has the truth! You both lied to me! You were broken up! Dad, You didn’t even know I was alive. And Mom, you wanted to abort me!”

“Rae, we only did that to protect you, we didn’t want you knowing-”

“What, the truth?”

Dad was glaring at me. Mom looked away.

She’s probably ashamed. Of me, of this whole situation.

“Rachel, that book isn’t the whole truth. And it isn’t the reason that we’re mad at you.”

“Well it’s the reason I threw this party! I’m sick of being the ‘daughter of the Animorphs’ I’m sick of being protected my whole life! I just want to be normal!”

“Well, you can’t Rachel. In this family, there are expectations-” Mom tried to explain

“Screw that!” I yelled.

“Excuse me, watch your mouth!”Mom yelled back.

Wow. Mom never yelled. She must be as mad as Dad is.

I could feel tears rising in my eyes.

“Just tell me this. Am I a mistake?” I asked them.

They didn’t say anything.

“AM I?” I yelled.

“Rae-”, Mom said.

But it was too late. I already knew how they felt.

I pushed past them and ran out of the barn, with tears in my eyes.


I didn’t want to hear ANYTHING from him or Mom. I wanted to go to the only place people loved me.

My bike was chained to the side of the house. I got it and my helmet and started pedaling away from the farm.

Tears streamed down my face. I had to get away from there. I hated Mom and Dad, HATED them. And not just for ruining my life.

Maybe they did it by getting back together. Who knows, I might have done better with a different family. Or maybe it would have been better if I was never born at all.

I tried to navigate my way through the woods, but it was getting very dark outside. Plus, I could feel raindrops starting to pelt my back.

I moved as fast as I could, until I was sure we were off my family’s land. Then I got back on the main road.

The rain was coming down harder now, making if difficult to see.

I pedaled as fast as I could, and eventually I was near the development where Grandma and Grandpa lived. Then I was shocked. By a vision.

I saw myself, pedaling, but then a big truck sideswiped me and-

-I was returned to the present.

Oh no, not again!

But then I was spooked. That stretch of road looked a lot like the one I was on right now. A chill went off the back of my neck.

I started biking again and I saw that truck!

“NO!” I yelled. I veered off the road, just as the truck started to spin out of control.

BOOM! I was blown back by the force of the force of the explosion into a ditch. The heat from the explosion singed my clothes.

I coughed and coughed. The gas fumes from the truck were making me dizzy. I tried to stand up, but I slipped into the mud. I looked down, and my left sneaker was missing. My left pant leg was also soaked. I felt down and saw blood.

That was NOT good.

My left arm was also hurt really badly. It was very swollen. I steadied myself to get up, and climbed back onto the road.

I have to see Grandpa Steve.

I looked around. There was a gas station and a strip mall. I wasn’t too far from their development.

When I got there, I was barely conscious. Limping there made me tired, and the blood was soaking through my clothes. But everytime I closed my eyes, I could see Cousin Rachel, leading me there.

Finally, I got to the development. There was no guard on duty so I could sneak right in. Everything was starting to look very familiar. I found their house in no time.

I knocked on the door three times. Grandma and Grandpa opened up the door in their night clothes. But it was hard to focus on them. My vision was going.

“Help me” my voice trembled. “Abba,”

Then everything went black.
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Dragon Days, and the fire's hot. Like a desert needs water, I need you a lot. Dragon Days, I need to be saved, I'm missing you, and the days drag-on and on.
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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #17 on: Apr 27th, 2008, 8:00pm »

Chapter Nine

Disclaimer: I do not own the Animorphs. Don’t Sue. Thanks!


I stared into the void. It was time for the first move.


The Yeerk, that most noble Yeerk, started to materialize, with so much force that the void itself gave the perception of moving.

Then, she returned to me.

She seemed surprised.

Master, where am I? How am I alive?


But why, master? Why? I thought the game was lost!!


I yelled for that semi-competent brute. Sometimes I do not know why I keep that prune around.

Yes master?It materialized in front of me.


Drode pulled a morphing act himself, changing his prune-like body into the form familiar with most.

The director of the FBI of the United States of America.


Yes, Master. I am willing to do whatever you ask.


Drode followed my directions and inserted Edriss into its brain.


Then I watched my last hope, my best hope for taking control of the present.

Now I needed to manipulate the past.

You know, Drode, this is all your fault. We would have won if you hadn’t been so damn focused on exterminating the leader of those humans, Jacob Edriss was complaining in Drode’s ear. Silly Minios. Did they really think I could not hear their thoughts?

Ha! And if you had told Esplin that they were really human children in the first place, this series of episodes- Drode retorted.

Oh, so everything is now my fault? Edriss was shocked.



Quiet, Edriss, your host has arrived.

The Secretary of State walked in and sat down. She was a pretty woman, with light brown skin and curly brown hair.

“Hi, Madam Secretary.” Drode was doing a very good impression, I had to admit.

“Hello Mr. Smith. What did you want to go over today?”

“Oh, just my plan to take over the universe, Karen.”

The human’s mouth dropped, but then Drode worked its magic.

I watched with pride as Drode captured the worthless human in a bear hug, and Edriss slid out of Drode and into the Secretary’s ear.

That’s why I keep it around!

The host formerly known as Karen stood up, blinked twice, and smiled.

“It feels nice to have a body again.”

“Doesn’t it, Edriss?”

“Where is Esplin, Drode?”

“In the state the Humans call ‘Kansas’. He is under high survelliance, especially for the humans. I’m personally impressed. Hence the disguises. They think we’re going to interrogate him.”

Drode took her hand, and I watched them move along the universe to Esplin’s prison.

The idiot soldiers did not question their human disguises and let them through. They met with the head of the Central Intelligence Agency and were escorted to Esplin’s special holding cell.

Then Drode acted swiftly.

He injected the director with a knock-out drug. Then, by sheer force of will, opened the purple box Esplin was encased in, without setting off the alarm. Then he inserted Esplin into the weak human’ s brain.

Esplin immediately took control. I watched his host stand up, and stare at Edriss’s host.

“Esplin?” She said after a moment?

“Edriss?” He marveled...

I opened my eyes. Everything was blurry, so I tried to focus.

The smell of Lysol stunk through the air. My vision became a bit better. I could see the flourescent lights raining their harsh light from the ceiling.

“Rae, oh Rachel, you woke up!” A worried voice said from the right. “Steve, she’s awake!”

“Huh?” I was confused. As my vision cleared, I saw Grandma Jean holding my hand.

“Oh, don’t you worry Rachel, your Grandpa is off talking to the doctor on call. They’ll fix you up,”

My eyes widened and I looked down. I was not wearing any clothes, only the blue hospital jammies they give everyone.

“How did I end up here?” I wondered. “I was just at-”

“The house? Rachel, you passed out on our front step covered in blood!” Grandma brushed back strands of her gray hair and her face filled with worry. I could even see the fine lines around her eyes.

“And it’s very lucky you came to us, sweetheart,” Grandpa walked in with another doctor. “How are you feeling, honey?”

“I’m ok...OUCH!” My left arm was throbbing. I reached down to touch it, but it was covered in a hot pink cast.

“Your wrist is broken. And you might not want to look at your leg, We had to stitch that up as well. It was a pretty serious contusion. You lost a lot of blood. You’re lucky your grandfather is a doctor. He saved your life. ” The other doctor told me in a very serious voice.

I pushed down the thin blanket and peered anyway. Ugh. It did look horrible. Like there was a bunch of wires keeping my leg together.

“Your Grandfather explained to me what happened after you arrived at his house, but can you tell me what happened before?”

I shut my eyes.

I saw bits, pieces, flashes.

The party. The tiger chasing Derrick. The argument with my parents. Biking during the storm. The truck. Then, nothing.

“I can’t really remember. There was this party...and then Mom and Dad...we got into it,”

“By got into it, did you have a fight?”

I nodded.

“Rachel, did they do this to you? Did they touch you?” Grandma put a hand to her mouth.

“If they did, there’s nothing to worry about. Everything you tell me is confidential.” The doctor said.

“I...I...they kept yelling at me...but I ran off. Dad couldn’t chase me. The last thing I remember is a being on my bike, and then there was the truck-”

“Rae, follow my finger with your eyes.” Grandpa said, holding up a pen.

When he was finished, the other doctor spoke.

“Yeah, it looks like you have a concussion too. Rachel. You’re going to need to stay overnight for observation. But I’m more concerned with your parents. Steve, maybe I should call them.”

“Not a problem,” his pager rang. “They just arrived, actually.”

Mom rushed into the room. Her eyes were beet red and her clothes soaking wet.


Her jaw dropped.

“On no! My baby!” She ran over to me and wrapped me in a hug.

“Owww!” I protested.

“Rae we were so worried. As soon as you ran off, we tried to follow you, but then we came upon the truck...and when I saw your bike...I just lost it!” I felt her sob. “I thought you died!”

The sturdy sound of a wheelchair rolled onto the linoleum floor.

Dad was here.

I looked at his face. He still looked angry, but I could see lines of worry. Like Grandma’s.

“How is she?” He asked the other doctor.

“Well, her leg injury was pretty serious Mr. Berenson, but she’s going to be all right. She’s had a slight concussion, and a broken wrist, but from what she was saying, it could be a lot worse. I was telling your father that I think she should stay overnight for observation-”

“Excuse me doctor, but instead of talking to my father about my daughter, next time talk to me, directly.”

Grandpa started to say something, but the doctor cut him off.

“Well, actually, Mr. Berenson. There IS something I want to discuss with you and your wife. Please follow me down the hall.”

Grandma squeezed my hand.

“Rest sweetie,”

I followed her advice and went back to sleep.

The next day, they released me from the hospital. Grandma helped me get dressed, while Mom helped me get in Dad’s truck.. I guess they had all been waiting with me all night.

“Steve, we’ll take it from here. Thank you for everything.”

Grandpa kissed my cheek.

“Stay a good girl, Rachel.”

Dad rolled his good eye and started on the drive off. There was a lot of paparazzi everywhere, but the cops did a good job keeping them away.

The drive back was very quiet. All the events of last night didn’t hit me until we passed by where the accident. Seeing the burnt out shell of the truck caused a sharp pain in my head.

I squinted my eyes shut.

Luckily my parents couldn’t see anything from the front seats.

When we pulled up to the house, Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop were waiting outside. It was EARLY but I bet Tommy and Melissa were watching Saturday Morning cartoons on TV. Pop-Pop came up to the car as we parked.

“Goodness, Child, you scared me half to death.”

Instantly I thought about his heart condition.

“I’m sorry Pop-Pop,” I said softly.

“Here, take my hand. Your Mom told me you injured your leg.”

“Thanks,” He helped me out and carried me up to my room.

“Now, don’t try any more dissapearing acts,” He shut the door for some privacy.

I smiled and leaned my head back against the pillow. Pop-Pop was such a jokester. But a headache was starting to come on strong.

“Nnngh,” I muttered.

I heard a knock on the door.

Mom came through the door, holding a tray.

“Rachel, are you awake?”

“Yeah Mom.”

She opened my door. There was a tray with a teapot and oatmeal...

“Here. It’s herbal. No caffeine for you. I also brought up some oatmeal for you to eat. There’s two Tylenol, take them and I’ll be back in a few hours with two more.”

She pulled away my chair from my desk and sat next to my bed.

“Mom, I’m sorry-” I tried to apologize.

“Shh. Rae. You need to rest.”

“Are you still mad at me?” I looked up at her.

“Yes. But, I-I think we need to talk about some things,” she admitted.

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Dragon Days, and the fire's hot. Like a desert needs water, I need you a lot. Dragon Days, I need to be saved, I'm missing you, and the days drag-on and on.
-Alicia Keys

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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #18 on: Apr 27th, 2008, 8:03pm »

“If it’s about the barn, I swear, I’ll clean it-”

“No. It’s about something else. The nurse in the hospital told me that you got your period last night, along with everything else.”

I could feel my face flush red.

“You know, Mom, that’s what health class is for-”

“You’re becoming a woman, Rachel, and there will be serious consequences if you make the wrong choices.” She interrupted me.

“Like you did?”

Mom sighed.

“It’s not what you think Rae. I never let you read your father’s book because I thought you were too young to understand what went on between us. But now I think you need to know the truth. The whole truth, not just your father’s side.”

13 years ago...
Cassie kissed Ronnie on the cheek. "Have fun at the Lakers-Kings game tonight."

"I’’ll be back by tomorrow. L.A. will be too rough a ride to do on one night."

Ronnie kissed her back, and grabbed the keys to his Escalade parked outside. She hadn’t been successful in getting Ronnie to ditch his gas-guzzler, but he had been supportive of her in every single way. He was almost like Jake……

She shook her head. No one could ever be like Jake. At least, not the way he was before the valley. Cassie locked the door and made her way down the hall to her master bedroom.

I need a shower. A nice long one.

She stepped into the shower and tried to clear her mind. Today, while Ronnie and she were hiking. Jake stopped by to get the coordinates to Tobias’’s valley. Poor Ax had been captured, and Jake was going to lead a rescue mission. But he wouldn’t allow her to go.

Stay on Earth, live your life. She repeated those words over and over in her head. She did have a nice life. A top selling book, a great fiancee in Ronnie, endorsements with L.L. Bean and Roquefort, a beautiful house in Berkeley...but...

She cut the water off and slipped out of the shower, into her robe and slippers. And as if someone could read her mind, she saw a Peregrine Falcon fly by her window.

"It can’t be…" she thought to herself.

She heard a rap on her door about a minute later.

Don’t open it. A little voice in the back of her head quipped. She ignored it and went for the doorknob.

Jake was standing at the threshold.

"Hi," Jake said sheepishly.

"Jake, what are you doing here?" Cassie said, a little surprised. By the way he was acting earlier today, she expected him to be gone by this point in time.

“I uh, I came to say, goodbye...We won’’t be leaving until tomorrow...”

Now Cassie was starting to get mad. Not a word from this boy in almost a year, and now he wants to come in and talk?

“So? I’m going to go back to living my life. That’’s what you told me to do, Fearless Leader. So you go and play hero. I’’m going to live.”

She started to close the door. Jake stood in the way, preventing her from doing so.

Cassie had made him mad. Furious. Nah, he was more than furious. He was pissed off. Cassie made him feel like dirt. All he wanted to do was say goodbye. He probably would never see her again, and she was this cold to him? Heh. If it wasn’t for her, he wouldn’t be in this situation. Tom...and Rachel... Goddamn her! She really was a bitch sometimes! But, in a strange way, that REALLY turned him on...

“Why do you make me feel like this?” he yelled.

“Jake, just go,” She turned to leave.

"Don’’t you walk away from me," he growled, grabbing her arm with power.

"Stop! Let me go!"

She was pinned to the now-closed door by him.

"What the hell, you arrogant son of a-"

She was cut off but one of the most passionate kisses she had ever experienced.

"Oh Jake……" she moaned when she was finally able to catch her breath, ”Do it again," as she kissed him back, with all of the emotion that he had kissed her with.

All the years of anger, pain and frustration came out as they tore at each other's clothes on the way to her bedroom. When they finally got there, pretty soon, he was planting kisses all over her face. Then he stopped. Jake looked into her eyes. Her beautiful, warm, brown eyes. They made him want to melt into the bed.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" He asked sincerely while planting kisses all over her face.

Cassie kissed him, and took her engagement ring off her finger.

"I can’t go back to him. Not after this." She placed it on the nightstand.

Jake took the time out to stroke her hair. Her face had this ethereal glow. It only highlighted her beauty.

“Jake, that was...”

“Shh. You don’t have to say a word.” he hugged her close to him. God! He wished this moment could last forever.

“Jake, that was...”

He kissed her silent.

“You don’t have to say a word.”

“Just promise me this. Whatever happens next-” She rubbed his cheek.

“Whatever happens next, I’ll always be there for you,”

She closed he eyes and leaned into his chest.



But they both forgot about the box of condoms in the dresser drawer.

The first rays of sunshine flittered into Cassie’s bedroom. “Mmmhm,” Cassie turned over and awoke in her bed. She felt for Jake. They had such a wonderful night last night. She knew she couldn’t go back to Ronnie. She just couldn’t. Jake and she had such a history together. And the sex!
That alone is enough to make me dump Ronnie. Jake was even a gentleman with it!

She got a surprise when she felt for the other side of the bed.

He wasn’t there.

She blinked her eyes.

The bed was tussled, and her robe was near the door, but she was the only one there.

“Jake?” she got up and looked around the bedroom.

She didn’t hear anyone.

Cassie gathered her robe and tied it around herself. She checked the bathroom, the living room, and the family room.

No Jake.

She stomped back to her room, FURIOUS.

She couldn’t believe she let Jake PLAY her like that. She actually believed everything he was saying last night, that he was going to ‘be’ with her, that they could have a life.

I should have known. Jake could never be ‘my’ Jake again.

When she got back to the room, she noticed something she hadn’t seen before.

There was a note.


I’m Sorry.


She picked the note up and threw it against the bed. Then she started to feel sick.

Great. Just as my day couldn’t get any worse... she thought as she hurled last night’s dinner into the toilet.

When she was done, she slumped against the sink.

How could he do this to me?

3 weeks later...
“Hey Ron, can you pick up some more bananas at the market today? I really want a peanut butter, banana, and pickle sandwich for lunch,” Cassie asked Ronnie as she was checking the contents of the fridge.

“Uh, sure, no problem. But that’s a weird combo. Are you feeling well?” He came over to her.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” She gave him a half-smile. “You just don’t be late for work.”

“I won’t.” He kissed her cheek. She pulled away a bit. Ever since her night with Jake...she felt so, so...wrong being around Ronnie. If he ever knew what she did to her, he’d be devastated. And Ronnie didn’t deserve that.

“So, call me when you get into work?” He asked.

“Yeah, definitely.”

“Bye sweetie, luv ya,” he grabbed an apple and headed out of the house to the office.


Cassie ran back upstairs to the bathroom, where she left the pregnancy test on the counter.

The window showed a plus sign.

She dropped it in the trash.

No, it can’t be.

She went over to the telephone in her room and picked up the receiver.

She had her doctor on speed-dial.

“Hello? Dr. Williams office.”

“Hi, this is Cassie Branch, I just wanted to know if those results were in...great! I’ll be right there.”

Cassie put the phone back and went outside, hopped into her car and sped towards the doctor’s office, ignoring many speeding laws on the way.

Thankfully, she didn’t get pulled over as she pulled into the office. Cassie sped towards the desk and waited, ignoring all of the people who saw her only as Cassie, the celebrity, the Animorph.

Finally the doctor came outside and called her name. Cassie absentmindedly followed the clack of her high-heels. She had Texas-style blond hair with some white.

Cassie went into the examination room and sat down.

“Well, I have some great news for you. Your STD screening came back completely negative. But something else didn’t," Dr. Williams handed her back some paperwork.

Cassie gripped the side of the examination table as she read the results.

“Congratulations! You’re pregnant!”

Oh no...

The doctor kept on moving her lips excitedly, but Cassie couldn’t hear any of it.

She was terrified.

After the doctor confirmed her pregnancy, she walked out of that doctor’s room and drove home in a trance.

Ronnie and she hadn’t touched each other in at least two months. There was no one else this baby could belong to. It had to be Jake’s.

That son of a bitch...

She started looking for her suitcases.

She needed some comfort. And not from Ronnie. In an angry blur, she started throwing clothes into suitcases and gathering her personal effects, booking flights. Calling the office. She had to get out of here.

Finally, her cell phone rang on the bed. She checked the caller ID. It was her Mother.

“Cassie, sweetheart, I was in surgery. What’s wrong? Is everything okay up there?” Alisha sounded worried.

“Mom, I need to come home.” Cassie almost broke down right then and there.

“Anytime, honey. What’s wrong?”

‘I’ll tell you when I get there.” She hung up the phone. and looked at herself in the mirror. She definitely had that ‘pregnancy glow’ everyone was talking about. But her body hurt everywhere. Her breasts were tender, and her hair had gray in it!

I need to tell him, I can’t go on with him.

She spent the next few hours flipping through tv channels aimlessly. Then she saw Ronnie walking in the bedroom out of the corner of her eye.

“Babe, I got the pickles you wanted, they’re in the fridge. What’s wrong?”

He walked over to her.

“Ron,” she bit her lip. “Look, I need to tell you something,”

She got up from the bed and touched his cheek. It was rough, maybe because he didn’t shave last night.

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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #19 on: Apr 27th, 2008, 8:06pm »

She got up from the bed and touched his cheek. It was rough, maybe because he didn’t shave last night.

“Look, I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. Ever since the beginning, after the trial, you’ve been my rock. But...I think I need some space...from you...from this. I’m only seventeen...I’m not sure if I’m ready for a marriage...”

“But Cassie,”

“Listen Ron, this has more to do with me than you.”

Jake was right.

“I just need to live my life, find myself. And after that happens, we can take it from there.”

She kissed his cheek.

“I’m sorry.”

She proceeded to move her things out of the house and into her car , with neither of them saying a word.

“Call me when you get in?” he asked.

She nodded silently and could do nothing but drive off. If she looked back, she might say something she’d regret.

She got to the airport, and got the first flight back home, down to Southern California. They were so nice at the airport, they were going to fly her car down for free.

The perks of being a celebrity. But I just want to be left alone.

The flight attendant distracted her by offering her some free champagne. She declined.

I suppose you shouldn’t drink as an underage mother.

She stared out the window. The clouds were so beautiful. It was like the angels were knitting them.

I wonder if Rachel is there, if she can see me. She’d be so happy for me...but then I’d never hear the end of it from her for having unprotected sex.

And how was she going to break this to her parents? They’d be furious. Even though she was a world hero, she was still their little girl.

Her stomach was jostling just like the airplane when it made its descent.

She could see familiar landmarks as they circled in for landing. The Tower...the destroyed Gardens.

A sense of peace came over her.

Maybe I CAN do this.

She waited for the plane to taxi and for everyone to get off. There were some paparazzi there, but airport security did their best to keep them and the crowds away. She had a police escort down to the luggage carousel.

Two familiar faces welcomed her.

Her parents.

“Mom! Dad!”

She ran over to them.

“There’s my baby!” He dad picked her up.“We’ve missed you so much! You have to tell us how everything is going!”

Her Mom had the police escort pick up her things and put them into John’s truck.

Cassie filled her parents in on her job and her endorsements as they drove back to the farm. She was going to save the bombshell for when they got back to the house.

They’ll kill me.

Her father pulled down that familiar country road, and Cassie saw the old familiar structures of her land.

Her house, practically the fourth family member.

And the clinic, never in need of money again thanks to Cassie’s endorsement and financial gifts to her father.

With the Gardens under reconstruction, her mom and dad were both working full time at the clinic, and enjoying a return to a semi-normal life.

“Cassie, honey, we’re here. Your Dad’ll take your things into the house.” Her Mom drove home the point.

After we got settled, Mom put on some tea and I poured a cup. Herbal. Just what I needed.

“So, how’s Ronnie?” Walter asked.

I almost spit the tea out onto my business suit.

“We didn’t mean to startle you, we...just noticed that he’s not here with you. You two used to be inseperable.” he continued.

“And, you’re not wearing your engagement ring.”Alisha softened her tone. “What’s going on?”

Cassie swallowed and put her teacup down.

It’s now or never.

“It happened...almost a month ago. Jake...he came to visit me before he left. Ronnie was with me in the park the first time...but the second time, he came to the house. And I was alone...we...”

She felt tears come to her eyes.

“We made love that night. Repeatedly. And When I woke up, he was gone.” She looked out the window. “I have not seen or heard from him since. It's like he disappeared off the face of the Earth.”

“Cassie...” Her Mom’s voice dripped with disappointment.

“That’s not the worst part Mom...I started feeling sick soon after. I went to the doctor...” She couldn’t stop the tears from flowing down her cheeks. “When I found out, I broke up with Ronnie immediately. I couldn’t let him know...”

She took a deep breath.

“I’m pregnant.”

Her dad paused, then got up slowly. John walked outside and started VENTING! Even the birds started to fly away he was so loud!

“That little punk! I swear if I see that boy again, I’ll kill him for knocking up my baby girl!”

Then he walked back into the living room and sat down.

“Cassie, how could this happen? I always told you to wait until you were ready to have sex, and even then, you ALWAYS have to use protection. Otherwise, things like THIS can happen!”

“They weren’t thinking. That’s the problem. I knew that boy just wanted to get into your pants. Even when he was younger. He was always over here, ‘helping’ you in the barn. We SHOULD have called Father Banion to talk to you two,” He shook his head and put his hands on his forehead.

“Walter! For goodness sake!” She turned to Cassie. “What’s done is done. You can’t go back and change the past. When you and Jake decided to become intimate together, the two of you became responsible for the consequences of you actions. And I know you are hurting. I can see it in your face. But it is ultimately up to you to decide how you are going to handle this.”

She looked into her mother’s eyes. She saw disappointment, a LOT of disappointment. But she also saw concern. And pain.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do Mom, I just don’t know,”

The next week, she woke up in her old bed and looked out the window. The cornfields beckoned her. They were so gorgeous. Endless lines of green stalks as far as the eye could see.

Sometimes, when she thought about the pain of the war...she would look at the land...and understand the sacrifice. That’s why she had to do this. She couldn’t have this baby. Not now.

It had been a month. No one had heard from Jake, Marco, or the students they took into space. No humans, no Andalites. No one.
I can’t let it grow up never knowing its father. I can’t do this alone.

Her appointment with Planned Parenthood was in an hour. She planned the appointment in secret. Even though her parents were not the most devout Catholics, they would never happily agree to an abortion. She took some old overalls and a T-Shirt out of her dresser and walked down to the bathroom.

As the water from the shower overtook her, she couldn’t help but feel pangs of doubt. As she dried her hair, her tears started to fall again.

Damnit! Her emotions were all over the place! She had never felt like this! She slid down to the floor and let it all come out.

She couldn’t be the only one left. The sole survivor. The last Animorph.

Pregnancy hormones or not, she couldn’t bring herself to leave the room. She stayed, sobbing silently.

Knock Knock.

Her Mom opened the door.

“Cassie, it’s almost noon. You’ve been in here for two hours.” She gathered a towel from the back of the door.

“Here, this old bathroom is drafty.” She placed it over her daughter’s naked body.

Cassie didn’t say thanks. All she could do is lean her head onto her mother’s body.

“How can I raise a baby...when I’m the only one left...”

“Is that what you think? That you’ll be alone, raising this child?”

“Mom, they’re gone. All of them.”

“You don’t know that-” Melissa started to say.

“I just have this feeling...” Cassie’s cries started again.

Melissa hugged her daughter to her.

“ You have us, baby! This isn’t like the war! You aren’t alone anymore.”

“So you’re not mad?” She started sniffing.

“I didn’t say that. Cassie...I always thought I raised you right, to respect yourself and your body. Even when I found out about all of this...the war...I was so proud that you never used it as an excuse to destroy your morals. I still can’t believe that the two of you went off and did this. But I would never abandon you. Your father and I, if you choose to keep this baby, will be behind you one hundred percent.”

Cassie took her mother’s hand.

Maybe with their strength, she could continue with the pregnancy.


“Wait, so you didn’t even go to the clinic?”

“No, I never did. I couldn’t go through with it. I couldn’t even leave the house.”

Warm feelings flowed over my body.

“ wanted me after all.”

“Sweetheart, how could you think any differently? You have to understand, I was going to be a teenage mom, with no father around to help me. All of my closest friends were dead, and I..I didn’t feel that I could really trust anyone else, that my parents wouldn’t want to help. Luckily, I was wrong.”

“But what about Dad’s parents?”

“Oh, they had a whole other reaction...”

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Dragon Days, and the fire's hot. Like a desert needs water, I need you a lot. Dragon Days, I need to be saved, I'm missing you, and the days drag-on and on.
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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #20 on: Apr 28th, 2008, 8:15pm »

Chapter Ten

Back to the Flashback, 13 years ago.

Cassie was now in her fifth month. Her tiny stomach now had a nice pregnancy bump. To keep her mind off of her emotions, she kept up her work with the Hork-Bajir, trying to get out to the valley as much as possible. But it was getting harder now. After her first trimester, she couldn’t morph at all.

The Andalites never told her about THAT side effect. But pregnant morphers probably never crossed their minds.

Plus, in the last few days, she was having sharp pains in her stomach. At first, she thought it was the little one kicking. But lately, it’d been taking the breath out of her, draining her energy.

Maybe something was wrong with the baby...

She put on her overalls over her T-shirt and stuck her old work boots on her feet. She’d had the same ones in her closet since the beginning of the war. Smiling, she pulled them out and put them on her feet. Then she stood up and looked around.

A familiar picture was on her dresser. Two teens in a roller-coaster car, laughing at each other as the roller coaster was about to drop them down. She remembered this picture.

It was from the Gardens. Jake took her there for their second date.

For some reason, she never took the picture frame down, even after the war. It used to remind her of happier days. Now...

I would kill him if I had the chance.

Her hand shook as she touched it. Instantly, she could feel the pain returning to her abdomen. Cassie clutched her stomach as she fell to the carpet. The waves were so intense, she felt like someone was stabbing her to death.

“Mom, Dad!” she cried out.

Her parents came rushing into the room, still in their pajamas.

“It’s my stomach...” she put her hand over it.

“Can you get up?” her father asked.

She shook her head. “It hurts too much,”

“I think we should take her to the hospital,” her mother nodded her head in agreement. John picked her up and carried her gently out of the house to their truck.

“I’ll drive. You just make her as comfortable as possible.” Cassie’s mom took the keys and they made their way to the ER.

Mostly because of her celebrity, she was seen right away by the doctors. They took her to the examination room and ran some tests.

The rest of the morning was waiting, waiting, and more waiting. They drew blood from her and the fetus and stuck an IV in her arm.

After what seemed like forever, the doctor came in.

“Hi, Cassie, Dr. and Dr. Branch. I’m Dr. Rodriguez.” he closed the door.

“What’s going wrong, Doc?”

“Well, there’s no easy way to say this but-”

I lost the baby?

“- it looks as if you have an Rh Sensitization to the baby that you are carrying. The red blood cells your baby is making are being destroyed by your immune system. If we don’t intervene quickly, the unborn child could die.”

Her mother held up a hand to her mouth in shock.

“But this is her first child! I thought that this disease was more common after the first pregnancy.,”

“Well, the father of the baby must have a positive blood type, because your daughter is O negative,”

Cassie was confused.

“Wait, my baby has a positive blood type? How did that happen?”

“Well, it’s more common to see this when the baby is of biracial or multi-racial descent. We ran the DNA of your baby, your daughter is fifty percent Caucasian. ”

Cassie closed her eyes and leaned back against the thin hospital mattress.

A girl. I’m going to have a little girl.

“As it is, we can give her an intrauterine blood transfusion, but the baby would be best served with the blood of the father himself, or a close relative. You’ll need a transfusion every month until the baby is born. After the procedure, I can start scheduling you. Your blood sugar was also dangerously high. Especially on an empty stomach. We ran some more tests and we also believe that you have gestational diabetes. It’s common in young pregnancies..."

Cassie started to tune him out. She was truly dumbfounded.

After everything else he’s done to me...

The doctor smiled as he finished talking.

“Don’t worry, we caught this in time. If you take your insulin shots and have your transfusions, you should be able to carry the fetus to term. I’ll write some prescriptions that you can pick up in the pharmacy as soon as your IV is done.”

The doctor walked out.

Cassie’s Mom came over to give her a hug.

“Cassie, sugar...I’m so sorry,”

“There’s nothing I can do about it now...I have to be strong, for my daughter.”

“You also have to tell his parents. I’ve been watching you these past few months. You haven’t called them or anyone on his side of the family. Not even Jordan and Sara.They deserve to know.” Alisha gave Cassie a major guilt trip.

Cassie nodded her head. She was right, she couldn’t hide the truth anymore

She took her father’s hand and he helped escort her to their door. Jake’s door.
This all used to be so familiar... she thought to herself as she knocked.

After a minute, the door opened.

Jean came to the threshold.

“Cassie? Wow! This is a surprise! We haven’t seen you in a while! How are you? Please, come in!”

Cassie gave a timid smile and followed Jean into her living room. It was bizarre. There were pictures of Tom all around. Like a shrine. But almost none of Jake. Cassie wasn’t going to push it. Lord knows they had enough to deal with.

The Armed Forces had recently deemed him as missing in action. But Cassie knew in her heart of hearts he was gone forever.

Jake’s father came from the kitchen with a tray of iced tea.

“Would you like something to drink? We were just about to eat lunch before I start my shift,”

He placed the tray on the coffee table and sat next to his wife. In him, Cassie could see all of Jake’s strong features, but older and sadder with time.

He was also wearing a yarmukle, something that Cassie had rarely seen him do.

“No, no thanks. shouldn’t have any...”

“So how have you been? Are you expecting?”

“ two might want to take a deep breath.” she paused, and continued, “Five months ago, right before Jake went on his...mission, I saw him. We...ended up spending the night together, And...the next thing I knew...I was pregnant.”

Their eyes widened.

Jean’s breath got short.

“You can’t be serious!” she gasped. “I thought you-Jake-you’re PREGNANT?”

She fainted.

“I didn’t expect that,” Alisha muttered.

Steve helped his wife wake up and sit back down on the couch. He was in as much shock as she was.

“How did this happen? I can’t believe-” Jean was rambling in disbelief. Steve couldn’t say anything. He just got up and walked to the window. In the distance Cassie could see a rusted basketball hoop.

“It’s been five months since I’ve heard anything from Jake. No one has. We were hoping you knew, but Jean and I, we didn’t want to bother you. Every day, we just couldn’t believe, that we lost another son. We worked hard all our lives to raise our boys, and they’re gone,”

He turned to face me. I could see his eyes were wet with tears.

“...But’ve come, with, with this gift.”

“Why didn’t you tell us sooner?” Jean finally exclaimed.

Cassie put a hand over her stomach.

“I..I couldn’t, I was too embarrassed...Jake and I-” she started to explain.

“Yeah, Your boy walked out on her. Didn’t even have the decency to say goodbye. That’s a lot to be embarrassed about.” John grunted.

“Wait, so you’re blaming our son’s actions on US?” Jean held a hand up to her chest.

“Yes. He hurt Cassie. More than you think.” John stroked his daughter's hair.

“Excuse me, but it takes two to make a baby-” Jean retorted.

“And Cassie’s going to be raising it.” John snapped back.

“STOP. PLEASE!” Cassie finally screamed.

She clutched her stomach. All the stress from the argument was making her sick.

“Oh, Cassie, is it the baby again?” Her mom's face was filled with worry.

“Wait, what’s wrong with it?” Steve rushed over to her.

“I..I have Rh sensitization. That’s what we were coming over here to tell you. I’m going to lose the child unless I have a transfusion of blood from a close relative of Jake.”

Jean looked worried.

“Well, Jake and I have the same blood type. A positive.” she said.

“Honey, you’ll have to give blood to Cassie until she’s ready to deliver.” Steve said. "Her condition is serious."

Jean wiped her eyes. She had been crying silently.

“Cassie, if you will let me, I’d be more than willing to do this. I’ve already lost my sons.” She reached over and touched Cassie’s stomach, “Please don’t let me lose my grandchild too.”

She touched Jean’s hand.

And I don’t want to lose her either,”

Jake’s mom smiled. A slow smile. A very familiar one, that almost didn’t belong on her face.

“A little girl. Jean, they gave us a little grandgirl.” Jake’s dad was wistful as he started to hug his wife,“ Thank you for letting us have a

second chance.”

Cassie was sitting on her back porch, reflecting. It was chillier, because of the winter, but still in the mid-sixties. But she wanted to be out here anyway. Looking at her land, it gave her a sense of peace. She knew the fields, the woods, like the back of her hand.
And she’ll know them too, she thought while patting her VERY round mid-section.

For the last four months, Cassie underwent routine blood transfusions with Jean so that the baby could stay healthy. Jean sat right beside her, getting her blood taken and then put into Cassie’s womb.

On every single one of those days, Jean held her hand, and helped her through it. The transfusions were painful and made her nauseous.

But not as painful as thinking about Jake.

And the rest of Jake's crew.

Pissed off didn’t even begin to describe how mad the Pentagon was. All they knew was that Jake stole a bug fighter and took Tobias, Marco, and two of his students with him. They called Cassie almost every week, hoping to find out about his whereabouts. Apparently, he was in big trouble.

But not the type of trouble he’ll be in if I find him first.

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Dragon Days, and the fire's hot. Like a desert needs water, I need you a lot. Dragon Days, I need to be saved, I'm missing you, and the days drag-on and on.
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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #21 on: Apr 28th, 2008, 8:22pm »

Most of her family was going to be in town for her baby shower in a few days. Other than Jake’s parents, only Jordan and Sara were going to come. Jake’s family was still very much split over the war.

Maybe some wounds are impossible to heal.

She decided to get her dad from the clinic. Since she was pregnant, he wouldn’t allow her to help out on surgeries or with general help, since she was so far along. And going out to the Valley was not an option. She felt so lazy with nothing to do but eat for two. Hopefully he could help with picking out the right wallpaper for the nursery.

As she walked across the field, she could feel her pelvic area start to spasm. She gasped and fell down. She was wet!

Oh god, she was going into labor!

“DAD! DAD!” Cassie crawled to her feet. This pain was intense. It was like...she couldn’t even describe it.

Walter came running out of the clinic.

“What is it, Cassie?”

“Dad...I think...”

He looked at her,

“Cassie, oh God, what’s wrong?”

“I think, I think the baby’s coming!”

He picked up his daughter’s little body.

“We’re going to the hospital. I’ll call your mom, she’s lecturing at the University. She, your Nana, and your Grammy can meet us at the hospital.”

Cassie was set up in her own birthing suite. This was the worst pain she ever experienced in her life. All of the Lamaze classes her Dad arranged for her weren’t helping.
“Breathe, Cassie, BREATHE!” Her mom said. She was standing next to the obstetrician.

“The baby’’s not coming, Dr. Branch,” the obstetrician said.

“DADDY!” Cassie screamed. ““I’’m here, sweetheart, I’’m here.”” He came over to hold Cassie’’s hand. Since she was near her due date, her parents, grandmother, and great grandmother were all in the delivery room trying to aid in the birth.

But something was going wrong.

“Push baby push,” Cassie’’s grandmother put a wet cloth on her forehead to take away the perspiration.

They had been at this for a couple hours, and no progress had seemed to be made.

‘‘Uh……how long……” Cassie panted.

“Sometimes babies come in 30 minutes, I’’ve been in situations where it takes 30 hours-"

“AAAHHH!” Cassie screamed.

“That’s not a labor scream,” Cassie’s mom said. “I’’m going to take a look,”

“Dr. Branch-" the obstetrician started to say.

“I’ll have you know that my wife has helped to give birth to a giraffe, an elephant, and a gorilla, all in the past year.” John was getting frustrated.

“Sweetheart, I’’m going to take a look, I promise that we’’ll figure out the problem.”

“JAKE IS WHAT’’S WRONG! HE DID THIS TO ME! I SWEAR……AAHHHHH!” Cassie moaned in pain again. It felt like she was losing her grip on consciousness.

“Oh God, Dr. Walters, the baby hasn’t turned all the way. The umbilical cord, and the Rh, I’’m going to take her up to surgery, we need to do a C-section immediately.” He turned to one of the nurses.

“Call Dr. Palmer, stat! He’s on duty. And Dr. Berenson.”

“Berenson? He’s this baby’s grandfather! Where is he?” John growled.

The doctor blinked.


“It’’s complicated. Just get him in here.”

“His shift starts in a few minutes, he should be here, and his wife volunteers here with the newborns……."

“His son knocked my baby girl up, and then left her! Get them in HERE!” Walter screamed.

“I’’ll get him now sir,” an orderly ran to the Nurses’ station

“Mom……” Cassie’s voice got weaker.

“Baby, it’’s going to be ok, just stay with us,”

“The baby didn’t turn? Is that what he said?” Cassie’s Grammy said, hobbling over on her cane.

“Yes Grandma.” Melissa was holding Cassie’s other hand.

“Oh, I know how to fix that.”

“Excuse me ma’am, this is a medical emergency.”

“Look here sonny, I done been there and helped birth hundreds of babies, including two in this room. I think I can figure this out. Cassie, baby, I want you to take a deep breath. You got good genes. I know my baby can do this.”

She nodded her head and drew a breath in

The doctor just stood back,

“I could lose my license-"

Melissa shot him a glare.

He shut up.

“Now this is what you do,"

Cassie’s Grammy reached in,

“I feel a shoulder! Cassie, I’’m going to turn the baby,”

Whatever her Grammy did, it worked, Cassie felt a LITTLE better, despite having the feeling that her insides were getting torn out.

“Now the head is there. Cassie, you need to push that baby like there is no tomorrow. It will all be over if you can do that for your Grammy. Can you do that?”

Cassie nodded her head, half conscious.

Just then, Jake’s parents came in.

“Cassie, I had no idea you were going into labor!” he ran over to her bedside.

“Steve, that doesn’’t matter now!” Jean held onto him, “Let the poor girl have some space,”

“It’’s ok, its ok, It’’s good that you both are here,” Alisha said,

Walter just coughed.

“Hey, it’’s not my fault that Jake-" Steve started to say.

“Please, both of you,” Jean said. “Cassie, are you doing ok?”


“PUSH CHILE PUSH! PUSH LIKE MOMMA SAID!” Cassie’’s grandmother said.

“AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!” Cassie pushed with all of the strength left in her body and slumped over.

A little cry pierced the air.


“It’’s here! It’’s here! You’’re baby is here!”

Cassie peered over at her grandmother. Her dad rushed over to cut the umbilical cord.

The doctor just blinked.

“It’’s white, and there’s skin on her face.” He said, dumbfounded.

Cassie’s grandmother gingerly took the caul off.

“Like I said. It’’s complicated. Jeez, has anyone ever seen a mixed-race child before? This is the 21st century,” John inquired.

“Your baby has a caul on its face, it’’s a seer.” Cassie’’s Grammy said, absently. No one was paying attention in all the madness.

“My little one is here?” Cassie panted, breathlessly.

“Your girl, a gorgeous, healthy baby girl.” John handed the child over to Cassie, and she held it in her arms.

The baby opened her eyes, and two familiar, strong brown eyes looked back at her.

His eyes. Why?

“Well, what are you going to call her?” Jean asked.

Cassie knew all along.

“I’m going to call her Rachel. Rachel Nicole Branch.”

It was her first night back at the house.
Her first night home with little Rachel. It was anything but peace and quiet. Rachel was driving her CRAZY with her crying! She wouldn’t stop, and Cassie didn’t know what was wrong.

Since the nursery wasn’t done yet, the baby’s crib was in her room. So bye-bye sleep.

To tell the truth, Cassie didn’t know how to feel. Ever since they took Rachel away from her in the hospital, she felt...down all the time.

Coming home wasn’t much better. She was going to have the baby shower, and she didn’t even want it.

All she wanted was to curl up in a ball on her bed and pull the sheets over her head.

Like she was doing now.

“Cassie, Cassie, sweetie, what’s going on?”

Melissa walked into the room.

“Cass, the baby is crying!”

Cassie didn’t say anything. Heavier footsteps followed her mother’s, but went over to her crib.

“Oh gosh Melissa, this baby’s diaper is nasty! And Rachel is hungry. Cassie, why aren’t you helping?”

“I can’t,”

“What do you mean you can’t? Cassie, you need to learn how to take care of your child!”

“I mean I CAN’T!” she started to cry. “I don’t think I’m able to take care of her!”

“Cassie, that’s nonsense-"

“You don’t understand! Everytime I look in her eyes, I see HIM! It’s not fair! Why did he leave me?!”

“Melissa, go downstairs. Get Jean and Steve.” John walked over to her.

Jean and Steve were sleeping over tonight with their new granddaughter.

“Baby, I can’t imagine what you are going through.” He held Rachel and tried to shush her.

Cassie wiped the tears from her cheeks.

“But you’ve been doing so well, especially since your pregnancy was so hard.” her dad continued to say.

“I just feel so horrible. Maybe all the complications in the pregnancy, maybe it’s a sign. We, Jake and I, had too much bad Karma to ride into the sunset peacefully,” Cassie lamented.

“You can’t think that way, Cassie. After all you’ve been through, this horrible war, hell, I never even thought that aliens existed, much less that they wanted to make us their slaves. You’ve done so much good, honey. You deserve her. I can’t say the same thing about Jake. Now, change her diaper before I pass out from the fumes!” he half-joked.

Cassie unwrapped the diaper and started the arduous process of cleaning the baby and putting on a new one.


After she finished, her Dad beamed with pride. But the baby was still crying.

“See Dad, this is what I was talking about! I can’t!”

Thankfully Jake’s parents didn’t hear her say that as they walked in.

“The baby woke us up. Your Mom said Rachel was crying.”


“Cassie’s having some trouble with the baby,” Melissa said as she sat next to her daughter and granddaughter.

“What kind? Cassie, you know you always can come to us for help. All of us have been where you are before.”

Cassie bit her lip.

“Oh, listen, she’s hungry.” Steve immediately picked up.

Everyone looked at her.

“Oh, no, that means,” Cassie groaned.

“Well, you knew it was going to happen. You remember from your parenting classes. You have to feed her.”

Cassie was a little embarrassed.

“Can’t I just use formula?”

“NO!” all four parents yelled incredulously

Well, here goes nothing.

She picked up the screaming child and sat down. Then she started to feed her. It was a bit embarrassing do it in front of her father and Dr. Berenson, but the breast-feeding started to work. Rachel got quiet.

“Well, that’s our cue to head out. Cassie, your father and I have to work in the morning. Jean, Steve, do you mind...?”

“No, that’s the reason we’re here,” Jean smiled.

Melissa kissed her daughter’s head.

“We’re down the hall if you need us.”

Then they left the room, leaving Cassie alone with Jake’s parents.

“Cassie, you’re doing so well with her,” Jean marveled after a few minutes of welcome silence.

“Thank you...Mom and Dad said it wouldn’t be easy. Even the animals at the barn were easier. She’s so tiny.”

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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #22 on: Apr 28th, 2008, 8:23pm »

“Loud though. Just like Jake...” Jean started to say, “She looks like him too, especially the eyes.”

“Cassie, I need to ask you something.” Steve wiped the sleep out of his eyes. “One thing I truly regret is not teaching my boys everything I could about themselves, their heritage. Now, I know you aren’t Jewish, and you probably want to baptize Rachel...but it would warm my heart if you would let her have a naming ceremony. Jake...he’s gone, but it can still be done.”

Cassie gulped. As long as she could remember, her family had been Catholic.

“This wouldn’t mean-”

“No, no...I just want her to know her history, where she comes from.”

“Steve, I would love to. Jake would want her to have one.”

He smiled. Steve’s happiness was radiant.

“Well, who would be there?”

“Besides the members of the congregation, my family. My wife’s too. Everyone’s so excited to see her. The phone has been ringing off the hook.”

“Almost everyone. I still can’t believe Naomi...trying to poison those girls.”

“Jordan and Sara? I thought they were going to come to the baby shower on Saturday.” Cassie was confused.

“Yes. Naomi and Dan...they don’t want us to see them. They’re still angry. About Jake. It’s the one thing they can agree on.” Jean frowned.

“It’s torn my family apart. But Jordan said she’d find a way to get the both of them over here.” Steve looked out the window.

“Well, maybe she can bring everyone back together.” Cassie checked down on the

baby, “It looks like she’s done feeding.”

Cassie closed the front of her pajama top and started to burp Rachel. She gurgled and smiled.

That it almost didn’t belong on her cute face.

It broke her heart.

Every day, this baby was looking more and more like him.

She walked her back over to her crib and pulled the blanket up to her chin. Rachel’s thin curls of brown hair were starting to come in and shoot out of her head. Her skin was still pink, but she was developing the first traces of a honey brown color.

She was a beautiful baby. She even looked a bit like...the other Rachel.

“Steve, that’s fine. She’s not just my daughter, she’s your granddaughter too, and I’m willing to do anything to help you..through this.”

"Thank you," they both embraced her in a long hug.

I was shocked. I didn't know what to say.

The only thing I could do is inch closer to Mom and give her a hug.

"Mom, I had no idea,"

"Now you see why I didn't tell you when you were younger." She brushed some stray hair from my face. "It was still is painful to think about,"

Her eyes were tearing up.

"I lost your father, and I almost lost you. Everyone expects me to be this perfect person...but, no one can be perfect all the time, Rae. And when you ran out last night, I thought I lost you for good."

I knew this wasn't Mom's psychobabble. These were her real feelings.

"So does that mean-"

"No, you're still grounded Rachel. But I wanted to show you that I'm not the monster you must think I am."

"I don't think you're a monster Mom. Dad is. I can't belive he did that to you! He was horrible!"

She took my hand.

"Listen, Rachel, your father is not evil."

"But how can you forgive him after all of that?"

"I never said I forgave him. Completely anyway."


"But he's done so much good since he returned. For all of us. Especially for you. One day you will understand." Mom helped me stand up. "Now, it's time you see something else."

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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #23 on: Apr 29th, 2008, 9:03pm »

Chapter Eleven

This chapter is dedicated to Thisgirlsnotgrey, Myitt, and Sinister Shadow for their extensive help on things not familiar to me. On to it!


Mom got up from the bed and patted my knee. She made her way over to my bookcase, and pulled out an old photo album.

“Remember this?” she asked me.

It was my old baby photo album. I hadn’t looked at that thing in years.

“Yeah, my album.”

“When you were born, we took all these pictures and filled it with them,” she said as she walked over to me.

Mom sat back down and opened it up. She pointed to one of me, pink and screaming in hospital carriage.

“See? This is you right after you were born. The doctor was trying to get your armband on. ‘Trying’ is the operative word,” Mom chuckled to herself, “You’ ve always been loud, I’ ll give you that.”

I smiled.

“Oh look, here’s another one.”

Mom pointed to the next picture down. A younger Grandpa was handing me over to a Rabbi?

Mom picked up on my confusion.

“That was your naming ceremony.” Mom rubbed my back, “We decided to give you one, when we thought your father was...”

She steadied herself and continued.

“It was a wonderful day...”

“Come on Steve, we’re going to be late!”
“I know Jean, I’’m just trying to find a spot!”

Steve parked next to a handicapped space, nearly crashing into the small car that was there.

Jean gave him a disdainful look.

“What? Our granddaughter ’s naming ceremony is in 10 minutes! I’ll pay the collision insurance! ” He hopped out of the car.

“Sweetheart, grab the wine and the fish platters out of the back. Take it downstairs, they ’ll set up for the Kiddush. I see George is parked over there. Forrest and Justin will help you. I’’ll take Cassie and her family into the synagogue. ”

Steve looked towards the door. Cassie, her family, and what looked like her extended family were standing in the entranceway. Cassie was holding a baby carrier with little Rachel inside.

Jean and Steve walked over and embraced Cassie in a hug before Jean left with the food.

“Cassie, it’’s good to see that you made it here. Were the directions good? ” Steve inquired.

“Yeah, they were fine. We got here without a problem. Right Rachel?” She smiled down at Rachel.

The baby gurgled.

“Oh, someone is happy to see their grandparents. ” Steve smiled.

“Hi, Steve. This is My sister Patricia and her husband Theodore. And their kids, Donald, Curtis, Craig, Lauren, and Lynette, Craig’’s fiancee.” Alisha introduced her sister’s family.

Everyone shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.

“When does the service start, Steve?”

“In a few minutes. We should go inside. We have seats reserved in the front for everyone. I think my parents are already in there, and I see George’s SUV.”

But not Dan’s, Cassie thought.

Maybe Dan told Jordan and Sara not to come. That would be awful. Trying to tear this family apart.

As she walked into the main hallway, she was pleasantly shocked. Jordan and Sara were nearly running up the aisle.

“Cassie! Cassie!”

“Jordan?! Sara!? Oh wow! You guys came!”

They gave her the biggest group hug they could muster.

“And is this Rae? Cassie she is sooo cute!”

“Yes, she is, a little angel.” Cassie was so proud of her little baby.

“Guys, we should get going. The service is about to start. All the men, there are kippahs in the bin. In our tradition, we cover our heads as a sign of respect. Like I’m doing.” He pointed to his own head “Also, all married women are expected to cover their heads. There are veils on the other side.”

The men and the women all followed Steve’s example and then they walked up to the front of synagogue. Some people were sitting at the front, an old man and woman wearing black and white.

Cassie figured them were Jake’s grandparents. Next to them was a younger man, with his wife and three kids...

Justin, Brooke, and Forrest.

Cassie realized how special this was for Steve. Every one of his brothers, including him, had lost a child.

Two in their case.

Cassie smiled at his family and everyone took their seats. Her parents sat on one side, Jordan and Sara on the other.

The Rabbi walked down the aisle and took his place at the podium.

“That’s Rabbi Kravitz.” (A/N, Yes, I did name him after Lenny Kravitzsmiley

He instructed everyone to take out their prayer books, and all Cassie could recognize was a lot of praying in Hebrew, and a lot of sitting and standing. Steve helped her keep up with the everything.

Finally, they got to the Torah reading. The rabbi took the Torah scroll out of the case and brought it down on the podium. The whole congregation got up and started clapping. The cantor started singing the cantellation.

It was all very beautiful to her.

Rabbi Kravitz started on the sermon.

“Now I would like to share a story with everyone. One of my favorite stories from the Tanach, Kings 10:1-13. It is about two people. They came from very different places, but couldn’t be more similar in mind and spirit. With this story, I want to transport you back in time. To the green mountains of Ethiopia and to a young Queen of Sheba. She was very wealthy and learned in her own right, but royal travelers to the Kingdom of Israel told her about a very wise king whose wisdom was unmatched throughout the world. At the same time, this king, King Solomon, had also heard of the Queen, and was intrigued by her.

She decided to visit Israel to test his knowledge. When they met, King Solomon was smitten by her. He provided to her every want and need during her stay. And the Queen was taken by his wisdom. Every question she asked of him, he had an answer. Realizing that they were kindred spirits, The Queen also blessed HaShem as the one true God. As it says in the text, Solomon gave the Queen “all she desired” and took her hand in Marriage. From their union, they had a child, Menelik I. From him, we have our cousins, the Ethiopian Jews. Solomon was very sad when they had to leave his kingdom, though he knew that the Queen could not stay away from her land forever. But they knew they would always be kindred spirits, and his son’s people would one day return to him. The King’s wisdom proved true, in many ways. Even though Solomon and the Queen were from different continents and different peoples, they were able to look beyond the superficial and unite two kingdoms with the greatest force of all: love.”

Cassie felt a chill go up her spine. Maybe the Rabbi didn’t know it, but the story reminded her of Jake, and their relationship...

He could be talking about us...Or what we used to be.

After the Rabbi finished his sermon, he started to say special prayers for people in the congregation. Then he stopped and looked at Steve.

“It’s time,” Steve whispered.

Steve, Cassie, and John all walked to the stage with Rachel in tow.

“Now let us say a special prayer for the new mother and baby with us today. He who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob-- may He bless the woman who has given birth, Cassandra, daughter of Walter, with her daughter who has been born at an auspicious time, and may her name be called in Israel Rachelle Naomi bas Yaakov for her father-in-law, the infant's grandfather, will contribute to charity on their behalf. In return for this, may they raise her to Torah, marriage, and good deeds. Now let us respond, Amen."

“Amen,” the congregation responded.

Cassie looked out to the congregation. Jake’s family was beaming with pride. She swore she could have seen a glimpse of a beautiful young woman with ice blue eyes and golden blond hair standing at the back, near the door.

But then she was gone.

Somehow, she knew that Jake was looking down on her too.

Downstairs, after the service. Steve and Jean held a kiddush for baby Rachel. Every member of the congregation came over to congratulate Cassie and her extended family. Sara was doting over Rachel while the adults were about to start drinking wine.
Steve stood up.

“Cassie, A toast, to my granddaughter Rachel. May she live a long and healthy life!”

A tear fell from his eye.

“I never thought I would have a grandchild, especially not after what happened to our boys, Cassie. But when one door closes, another one opens. May Rachel’’s sunlight brighten our whole lives!”

Everyone raised their glasses in celebration. Well, everyone except Cassie and the kids. They were still underage.

As they dined on wine and picked herring, Jordan came and sat down next to Cassie.

“So, how has everything been?”

“Not easy Jordan. I have to admit.”

Jordan took Rae out of Sara’s grasp and started to cuddle they baby, who fell asleep in all of the excitement.

“Jake?” Jordan asked.

“Yeah,” Cassie said quietly. “I don’t think I’ll ever get over losing him...again”

Jordan put baby Rae back in the carrier and hugged Cassie.

“I don’t think you can just ‘get over’ what happened to you. But we’re all here. We all want to be a part of little Rachel’s life. Except Mom and Dad.” Jordan looked down.“Uncle Steve e-mailed Sara and me to come. They don’t know we’re here.”

Jordan frowned.

“It’s pretty bad. Neither of them will talk about Our Rachel. And can’t even say his name without either of them flipping out. When we found out you had Cousin Jake’s baby, Mom, she wasn’t even happy. And you were like a sister to Rach. And Dad...he said Jake deserved whatever he got, that he was not worthy enough to know his own child.”

Cassie’s jaw dropped in disbelief.

“Jordan, that’’s horrible. Jake’s his blood.”

Jordan slumped down in the chair.

“Don’t say that to him. Mom and Dad can only agree on one thing, and that’s hating him.”

“Well, you can drop by and spend as much time as you want with Rachel. Anytime.”

“Thanks Cassie.”

An old lady stopped by the table where the three of them were sitting.

“Would either of you like some herring or lox?”

Cassie looked at Jordan, a smile in her eye.

Thank goodness I’’m a vegetarian, she thought.

“Uh, maybe in a little bit.”

« Last Edit: Apr 29th, 2008, 9:11pm by queenosheba » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #24 on: Apr 29th, 2008, 9:07pm »

“I’ll just leave the plate over here. Take whatever you want. A baby being born! What a mitzvot!”

She clapped her hands and walked away.

“Don’t mind her. A baby tends to bring out the excitement in everyone, even people you don’t know.”

“Tell me about it. When I was pregnant, everyone thought they had a license to touch my belly-”

Sara’s eyes widened and she looked over to Jordan.

“Jordan. We have to leave, now. ”

“Why? Cassie and I-”


All three of them looked over to see Dan walking through the double doors to the recreation hall.

He did not look happy.

“Crap,” was all Jordan could say.

Steve and George noticed too.

They quickly stood up from the conversation they were having with Cassie’s parents and walked over to him.

“Jordan, Sara. Let’s go. NOW.” Dan nearly barked.

Sara started to jump up, but Jordan put a hand on her shoulder.

“Dan. Please. This is not the time-” Steve tried to grab at him.

Dan pushed past Steve.

“Girls, let’s go. Get in the car.”

“Dan. Leave them be. This is a holy place. Try to act respectful.” George tried to mediate between his two brothers.

“Get your hands off of me Steve. How dare you tell them to come here without my permission?”

“Because they are my nieces, and this is my Granddaughter’s naming ceremony. We’re a family. Or maybe you’ve forgotten.” Steve almost raised his voice, but stopped himself. Already, they were causing a scene.

“No, I haven’t. I’ve never forgotten what your son did to my daughter,” Dan spat.

Steve’s faced filled with anger.

“You don’t think I know how it feels to lose a child? You don’t think George knows? For one day can you drop the vigilante act against my boy?”

Dan opened his mouth in protest, but Steve continued on.

“Of all people, I can’t believe you. Cassie...she’s given Jean and me new hope. But if you can’t understand all the good she’s done for this family, maybe you should leave. And don’t think about coming back. We’ll be better off with out you”

Cassie came up with the baby. This situation needed to be defused.

Dan almost immediately felt embarrassed, acting out in front of everyone.

“Cassie...” he breathed.

“I’m really sorry about all of this. I didn’t expect this to happen.”

“It’s okay Steve.”

She turned to face Dan.

“Rachel meant as much to me as she did to you. She was much more than my friend, Dan. Jordan even said it. We were like sisters. Family. One thing I’ve learned from this entire...pregnancy, is that you never give up on family. No matter how much they hurt you.”

The baby started to stir.

Dan looked unsure of what to do. He was so angry at Jake, but at the same time, he saw the pain in everyone’s eyes, especially Cassie’s.

“Look, she’s waking up.” Cassie told them. She looked at Steve, and he nodded. She handed the baby over to Dan.

The beginnings of a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth.

He started to bounce her in his arms.

“What’s her name?”


Dan couldn’t take it anymore. He broke down in tears.

(Present Day Rae)
“But I thought I got baptized... I even remember my first communion back in Berkeley, just before Tommy was born.”

“You did get baptized. Here’s your certificate. And your Saint Name. Teresa. I named you after Mother Teresa, the saint that did all the good work in India,” she pointed to the next page.

Mom touched my hand. She had bags under her eyes, making her face look weary.

“I did all of those things for you because I knew you would grow up to be a strong, amazing lady. But you’re lost right now, and that scares me. It scares your father too, although he’d never admit it.”

I leaned into her.

“I just don’t know who I am. I’m too many things. Black, White, Jewish, Catholic. It’s like I don’t fit in anywhere.”

“No one said life was easy, Rachel. There are no simple categories that you can place yourself in. The world is too large and complex for that. Just remember one thing, you brought your family back together. In many ways.”

Then, we both heard crashing outside and children laughing.

“That must be Tommy and Lissa. I wonder what they got into NOW. Your father was supposed to be watching them.”

Mom stood up.

“But keep looking at your album Rae. I just want you to relax and take it easy for right now. I’ll be back after I figure out what they’re up to.”

She squeezed my knee again and left the room.

I flipped through the book, checking out pictures of my first bath, me crawling, me walking, and my first birthday party.

Then I saw another picture. It was me of course, I looked to be, maybe two years old. I was sitting next to a man, barely out of his teens, in a hospital bed. He was bandaged with tubes sticking out of him.

Dad? I don't remember this...


Wow, the kids must be breaking everything in the house! I limped out of bed and over to the other side of the room, where I could hear everything through the floorboard...

“...Thomas, Melissa, you CANNOT play Peter Pan on the swinging couch outside! Look at it! It’s broken! We’ve had that thing forever!”

I smiled a little. At least Mom wasn’t mad at ME anymore...

“But Rae an her friends play in the barn-” Melissa started to say.

“And Rae is hurt very badly now. See what misbehaving will do to you?”

Mom! I thought you were on MY side!

I heard Dad’s wheelchair move across the room.

“Both of you. Up to your rooms. Now. No more Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, or Lost Boys today.”

I heard the two of them shuffle past them and up the stairs.

Heh. Dad pulled a power move.


Melissa pulled me out of my head with her pet name for me. She and Tommy were standing in my doorway.

She was dressed as Tinkerbell, frilly pink ballerina costume and all. Tommy was wearing a Peter Pan costume, with an eyepatch that was WAY to big for his face. He must have taken Dad’s.

“Hey guys. What’s going on?”

“Mommy an Daddy are mean!” Melissa pouted.

“Well, what did you do?”

“We wanted to fly!” Tommy screamed.

“Shh, Tommy, not so loud. They’re going to hear you. Guys, sit on my bed. I’m going to listen in. Maybe I can see why Mom and Dad are being such party poopers.”

I put my ear to the floor again.

“...I see she’s passed her misbehaving on to the little ones. They’re just like Rae was at that age. Cassie, she’s out of control.” Dad started to vent. Again. Jeez, would he blame the world ending on me? Probably.

“You’re forgetting that she was in the hospital last night. How could she have told Tommy or Liss anything? Jake, you need to calm down.” Mom started defending me again.

“So you say. It’s bad enough that she pulled that stunt on us. Even worse when she told the doctor at the hospital to call Child Services! Cassie, you seriously need to think about that Military School I was talking about. I can’t handle this anymore.” Dad retorted.

“Jake, I’ve been saying this for weeks. You HAVE to stop yelling and actually sit down and talk to her. She’s not a soldier or an Animorph, she’s your DAUGHTER for heavens sake.”



“Cassie, I don’t have time for the therapy crap. When you want to parent like a mother, instead of a shrink, you let me know.”


“I’m serious! I’m sick of doctors trying to tell me how to raise my own child! First your parents, then my Dad, and now you! Just because I don’t have a degree, it doesn’t make me incompetent!”

“How dare you Jake! My parents have shown you NOTHING but kindness. From the day you came back to building a whole new wing for the house. Or did you forget about that?”

I could hear Dad grunt.

“Please Jake. They’re not the enemy.”

“I hope you were upstairs giving Rachel the same advice. ”

“No Jake. Actually, I told her about what happened between us. If you actually had listened to me and talked to her, you would have known that’ s why she’ s been lashing out.”

Silence again. Then I could hear Dad’s wheelchair moving down the hall.

Dumbfounded, I looked at Tommy and Melissa.

“Guys, stay here. I’’ll be right back.”

They both nodded their heads and gave me these blank stares, like they didn’t know what was going on.

I pulled myself up. It was hard to stand up straight on my bad leg. My arm was throbbing too.

Last night was really starting to catch up with me.

Maybe I should go back to bed...nah...this is too juicy.

I limped down the hallway to the staircase. Good. They weren’t in the living room. But I could see Mom’s small shadow from the staircase. They must be in the wing leading to their bedroom.

Peering over, I could see them glaring at each other.

I’d never seen them this upset at each other. At least, other than that vision I saw...

“Jake, what the hell is with the silent treatment? Rae is old enough to know what happened.”

“She didn’t need to find out. Not like this.”

“Why? Because it’s embarrassing? Jake, don’t EVEN go there-”

“No, because she’s going to hate me forever now. She’ll see me as some deadbeat who put the world over her. And that’’s not the case. I gave up so much for everyone.”

Mom sighed.

“I know that honey. I really do.”

“Do you?”

“You seem to forget that I went in your head and saw your pain. Literally-”

“Cassie! Just stop! Maybe everyone is right. Maybe it would have been better if I HAD died on that ship. Then you would have had a better father for her, instead of an insane crippled drunk. Maybe it would have been perfect if we’d never gotten together that night.”

He wheeled past her and out to the living room. Mom ran after him.

“Jake, please. Calm down. Let’ s just talk.”

He shook his head.

“I don’t want to talk-Rae?”

He turned and looked at me. He finally realized I was sitting on the stairs.

We stared at each other for a minute.

He really never cared about me.

Mom followed him in.

“Rachel...”Mom gave me a morose stare

I didn’t stick around.

Dad showed me how he really felt.

He rather be dead than be around me.

I limped upstairs as fast as I could.
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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #25 on: Apr 30th, 2008, 8:24pm »

Chapter Twelve


As I ran (or tried to run) up the stairs, my bad foot slipped into a crack. The floorboard on the top stair was messed up..

Ouch! I thought, trying not to scream. My foot turned a rustic purplish color.

No more pain. Please. Not after everything else I’ve been through today.

During the fight, I could see the hurt in Mom’s face. Her warm brown eyes were so glum. And her skin, which had this radiant glow this morning, was pretty haggard. Everything was taking a toll on her.

I wished that I hadn’t had the TALK with her...I wish, I wish that I just could have taken back everything I did and said in the last twenty-four hours. Now that I really thought about it, Mom did most of the work around here. She worked almost every day, wrote books, raised money for environmental causes, and still found time for me, Tommy, and Liss.

She did college as a single mom and med school taking care of us.

Mom was such a strong and amazing person. I..I..didn’t mean to hurt her... I knew now that she almost gave her life for me.

But Dad...

What was wrong with him?

How could he say that to Mom? She went through all of the misery being by herself raising me, and he couldn’t care less. About her or me. Or Tommy and Melissa. Just because he was in a wheelchair, it didn’t mean he was the only one in pain.

On top of that, he just laid around the house all day. Sometimes he would write, and everyday he was in Physical Therapy, or playing wheelchair basketball with his team. Other days, he just stayed in the house, watching TV, or sitting by the window. He wouldn’t even play with my little brother and sister, let alone talk to me. Sometimes Mom couldn’t even get close to him.

It was better than yelling at me constantly. Still, I just wished I could a normal father like everyone else. Even like Grandpa Steve or Pop-Pop John.

I got the paralyzed thing. I really did. For as long as I could remember, Dad had been in the wheelchair. Sometimes it was annoying, I guess. We couldn’t go hiking or on skiing like other families. And most places, we got special treatment. Having to use the handicapped entrance. On vacations, he had this rover that looked like it was on the moon. It was so embarrassing to Dad, he usually stayed inside.

I knew it pissed him off. But there were so many paralyzed people who did well with their lives before they died. Roy Campanella, Christopher Reeve.

Even the Auxiliaries! Once they could morph, Mom told me that they were so happy. They became whole again, they could walk..

That was weird. If they could walk, why couldn’t Dad?.

I could still see his face as I stormed towards my room.

He looked tired of it all. Of us. Even though he was furious, he just looked broken.

He’s going crazy...

“Rae, what are you doing out of bed?” Mom-Mom stopped me in the middle of the hallway.

The tears started to well up in my eyes, burning as they fell from my cheeks.

“Come here, baby, come here. Everything is going to be alright.”

She took me into her arms.

The two of them were summoned to me. Edriss and Esplin the Prime. With their human controllers, of course.

My best warriors. In any game.

After the breakout, I transported them to the void, to avoid suspicion.

It was too early for the new invasion to start, yet.

Esplin the Prime’s host appeared shocked.

(Master, how was I broken out of my prison? Why is Edriss next to me? I was present at her execution!) Esplin was hyperventilating.

That Esplin. Always asking questions.

(Esplin. Shut up. Did anyone ever tell you how annoying you are?) Edriss’s human form shook its head.


(No Problem, Master.) It smiled.


Esplin’s host gave Edriss a condescending look.


I brought Edriss closer to my vision.


I saw both of their controllers smile.

“Did he die?” Edriss asked.

“No Edriss, even I get the news in prison. He was denied the use of his two legs. Paralyzed, as the humans would say. Along with some other injuries. His eyesight is bad, and he has breathing problems occasionally.” Esplin pointed out merrily.

“But he’s a morpher. Those injuries would be nothing-”Edriss stopped. She saw a twinke in the eyes of the Esplin’s host.

She figured it out.

I suppose I had been giving off some despicable emotion as well.

“You DIDN’T! She squealed with joy. “How did you override that disgusting morphing technology?”


Edriss gaped.

“How, how can that be POSSIBLE?! Why does 'good' have all of the luck?”


“Love for his offspring-the wildcard?” Edriss


“Master, what is your plan? How can we defeat them this time? With the Animorphs and this Wildcard’s power, they’ll be nearly unstoppable.”


I stared directly at their confused faces.

2 days later.


It was a Tuesday. My first day back in school since, the “party”. And it totally sucked. When I walked down the hall, all these kids started backing away from me slowly. Others pointed and whispered among themselves next to the lockers.

I knew they were talking about me and what Dad did at the barn. Man, I felt like such a loser! I was so embarrassed that Dad DID that to me! Plus everything he said afterwards...

Mom-Mom caught me on the stairs after Mom and Dad’s argument. I couldn’t do anything but cry in her arms. She told me she would talk to them, but it didn’t matter.

Some of the kids told the cops what Dad did. Grandpa Steve must’ve told the ER doctor to call Child Services too, because we were meeting with them today after school, downtown.

My leg was still sore, so I walked gingerly down the cream-colored hall to my blue locker. Good thing I had jeans on to cover up my ugly stitches.

At least one person was happy to see me. I heard her before I saw her.

“Hey girl, I thought you disappeared on us.”


“Nah." I replied.

She pointed to my arm, where my baby blue American Apparel Sweatshirt was covering my cast up.

“What happened there?”

“Yeah...You know that truck accident up near the mall? I was on my way to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house and I nearly got hit.”

“Oh gosh, Rachel.” I had no idea. I tried to call your house, but your Dad said-“

“I couldn’t have any phone calls. They grounded me for life, just about.” I frowned as I got my health book out of the locker. I had it next. Blech.

Health class would be a re-run of last night, where Mom explained everything about the human reproductive system.

She even had posters and plastic ‘figures’ she got from work.

Sex education SUCKS when your Mom is a doctor.

“Ouch.” Tanya said for emphasis, bringing me back to the present. “That really blows”

I slammed the locker door shut.

“If it makes you feel any better, I got hit for two weeks. And Jamal got the car and turntables taken away from him. He’s pretty bummed out.”

I smiled. Tanya was so nice, but there was no way she could possibly understand how I feel.

“Come on, we’re gonna be late for health class.” she tugged me along.

After school, Dad picked me up to take me out to the Child Services office, where we would meet Mom. Since I couldn’t even dream of basketball practice with my injuries, I was excused. He didn’t say anything to me when I got into his truck.
Derrick wasn’t around either. I tried to look at him in health, but he kept on glancing away from me.

Great, I lose another friend...and I LIKED him.

The ride downtown was traffic-filled, but I tried my best to ignore Dad. I put my headphones on and I stared at the city-scape we passed by. It had been a while since I’d been downtown here, probably last summer. The sky was electric blue, and on the horizon were the tall skyscrapers of the financial district. Except the TransAmerica Pyramid. This wasn't San Fran.

Instead, we went past a tall, imposing statue of someone very familiar.

Cousin Rachel.

Dad gulped and adjusted his tie. He probably didn’t like driving past it either.

I guess he put on a business suit to show the Child Services people he wasn’t a lazy bum.

Good luck.

I was going to come just as I was, blue jeans, sweatshirt and all. Even the pink vans that clashed with my outfit. I wasn’t going to dress over my problems. Dad navigated through the streets until we met Mom’s car outside a short grayish office building with black windows. We parked and Dad popped my door open.

“Go on Rachel. I’ll meet your Mom and you inside.”

I left my backpack inside his truck and made my way over to the building. Inside the double doors, it said 'Child Services'. Right. Like I was expecting the Ice Cream Factory.

Mom was inside the hallway, sitting on some overstuffed green vinyl couches. She was reading a magazine. Wearing her lab coat. Good grief, they were just showing off now!
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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #26 on: Apr 30th, 2008, 8:26pm »

When she saw me enter the waiting area, she looked up.

“Oh, Rae. You’re here. Good. Is your father parking?”

“Yeah.” I scratched at my cast. It itched SO MUCH! But there was nothing I could do.

“That’s just as well. The doctor wants to see you first.”

Mom pointed to a hallway.“Second door on the left. Room twenty.”

I nodded and made my way over to the hallway. I passed a bunch of gray cubicles on the way. That must be where all the social workers handled things. Even so, everyone was staring at me, not doing their jobs.

Man, it probably isn’t everyday that they get to work with celebrities.

I walked room twenty and opened the door. A white woman, maybe in her forties, was waiting in a burgundy armchair, drinking a cup of coffee and wearing a business suit herself.

“Come in, Rachel. I’ve been expecting you.”

She put the coffee cup down and walked over to shake my hand.

Her long brown hair was straight behind her back, and she had a nose as thin as a pen. I focused on her name tag. Taylor.

“Sit down, sit down.”

I took a seat across from her in this huge burgundy couch, like the armchair. It was big and comfy. Nothing like the one Mom was sitting on outside.

“My name is Dr. Taylor, Rachel. I understand that this is a court-ordered visit, so I won’t waste time on the introductions. Tell me more about yourself. There’s nothing to be scared of. Everything we say is confidential, unless you tell me you want to hurt someone, someone wants to hurt you, or you want to hurt yourself.”

She got back into the seat and picked up one of those clipboards with a pen on top.


“Wait, what do you mean?” I was confused.

“I can’t tell anyone anything what we talk about. It’s against the rules of my profession.”

“Oh,” I started futzing with a doll on the coffee table in front of me. It was a Cabbage Patch kid. Like one I used to have when I was little.

“Well, there’s not much to say about me. You probably know of my parents. I’m just your typical mixed kid.”

“Tell me more about that.”

I put the doll back.

“Well, y’know, my Dad is half-Russian and Half-Irish,(A/N: Wasn’t Jake a descendant of a dude named Isaiah Fitzhenry? And Berenson is Eastern European/Russian Yiddish for ‘son of bear’ There’s your random fact for the day, kids.) and my Mom is Black. Oh, and he’s Jewish and she’s Catholic.”

“Well, that’s pretty interesting. Quite a lot going on there with you,” Dr Taylor started writing.

“I guess. But-” I stopped.

Dr. Taylor picked up her pen

“But what-?”

I hesitated.

“Go on. There are no boundaries here.”

“I just feel, like an outsider sometimes. Like I don’t fit in anywhere. I have a friend, I guess, at school. Tanya. She’s really great. Though’s like I’m not Black enough. Or White enough. Just because my parents are the way they are.”

I picked up the doll again.

“Why is that?” Dr. Taylor inquired.

“Well, they keep on saying things about my hair,” I pointed to it, it was in a French Braid, the only thing Mom-Mom could do to keep it tamed. “Like because I can’t rock an Afro like Mom or Tommy, my hair is too white or something. Even my great-great-grandmother said it before she died!”

“Well, you are not your hair, Rachel. Or anything else that has to do with your outward appearance. Don’t let other people take away from how you see yourself, Black or White.”

“It’s not just that...I’m not Jewish enough either. I can’t be. My mom isn’t. It’s the way their religious law is written. I’m an outsider there too.”

“I’m getting the idea that you feel alone a lot of the time.”

I nodded.

“Except for Derrick. He’s my friend too. He’s mixed, only his parents are the reverse.”

“He sounds like someone nice.”

“Yeah. He’s on the guys’ basketball team, I’m on the girl’s. He told me, he knows how it feels to be different. Even my brother and sister, Tommy and Melissa, they’re so much younger. They don’t understand. At least I don’t think they do. And they’re lighter than I am. A lot of people think they’re Mexican or something. Not to mention the fact that my parents are universe-famous super-heroes. We can’t go anywhere. I’m serious. The paparazzi follow us around like crazy. I can’t even go to school without round-the-clock protection.”

“And it doesn’t seem that your father’s condition seems to help any.”

“No. It just gives people more of a reason to stare.” I sulked at the thought and crossed my arms.

We were quiet for a minute. Then I felt I needed to say something else.

Something that had been bothering me since I picked Dad’s book.

“Mom’s a shrink too. She tries...but...” I gulped. “She doesn’t know...neither of them do..We talked over the weekend, but I don’t think she gets how it feels to be...”


“My parents...they weren’t together when I was born. Not only were they broken up, but Dad...he was millions of light-years away fighting space aliens. I’m illegitimate.”

There. It finally came out. But the therapist did nothing, surprisingly.

“Let me ask you another question Rachel. Do you think that the fact that your Mother and Father were not married take away from how they act towards you as parents?” Dr. Taylor put the notebook down and leaned towards me.

I scratched at my cast again.

“Um...I don’t know. Mom is pretty awesome. She’s been there for me since day one. She didn’t have to be. But she made the choice to raise me on her own. She went to school and had a full-time government job, all with me there. And her book. Maybe the worst thing is that she does so much for so many people that I feel I have to almost wait in line to have any time with her. But the free LL Bean stuff is nice.”

“Uh-huh...very interesting. From reading your mother’s curriculum vitae, she seems like a very engaged person.”


“Do you resent her for it?”

“No. I just wished she had more time for us.”

“That is understandable Rachel. But what about your father? He seems like he is very much a homebody.”

“Dad is crazy. No offense.”

Dr Taylor chuckled.

“I’m serious!”

“I read the police report, Rachel. Trust me, I have something to say to him. But tell me more about your feelings.”

“Wow, where should I start? He left Mom high and dry to go on a crazy mission and came back in a wheelchair.”

“How old were your parents when they got married?”

“I was two. But I barely remember any of it. Only living in our old house and smearing carob everywhere when he was sleep. Which was a lot...but still. It didn’t have to be that way.”

“Do you feel he abandoned you and your mother?”

“Yeah. Maybe if he knew about Mom being pregnant, about us, he never would have left. He never would have had to be in a wheelchair.”

“That’s a lot to hold onto as a twelve year old, Rachel. More than any child should have to think about.”

Dr. Taylor crossed her legs and tapped her pen on the notebook.

“Maybe it’s time I brought your parents in.”

“No! Don’t do that!” I pleaded with her.

“Well, how else are they going to know how you feel? Trust me, this is a safe place. With me here, you won’t feel as if they have some sort of control over you because you are their daughter.”

I guess that would be okay...

“Sure,” I shrugged.

“Wait a second,” The doctor put her clipboard down and walked out of the room. A few moments later, she returned with Mom and Dad.

Mom took a seat next to me on the couch. Dad had his wheelchair on the other side.

“Dr, Mr. Berenson, how are you both doing?”

“We’re doing fine, given the situation.” Dad looked a bit upset.

“Dr. Berenson, it’s very surprising to see you in this circumstance. Usually when Psychologists and Psychiatrists collaborate, it’s not about their kids.”

Mom gave a short smile.

“Rachel and I have been having a very interesting conversation. She’s been telling me in great detail about her feelings. I think she’s going through a rough transition into adolescence.” Dr. Taylor continued.

Dad started to open his mouth, but Mom gave him a look.

“Well, Rachel has told me that she feels out of place.” Mom said gently.

“Yeah, and she makes up for it by inviting the whole middle school over our house for a late-night party.” Dad shook his head.

“Jake!” Mom gave him a ‘what is wrong with you’ look.

“Sorry honey. I just want Dr. Taylor here to hear BOTH sides of the story. Rachel’s perspective can be a little skewed at times.” Dad apologized.

“The police report told me plenty about the party, Mr. BerensonI’m not here to take sides. I want to know what CAUSED Rachel to feel that she needed to act that way.”

“Left out or not, she was grounded for getting into a fight with some girl at school. Then she gets all into some boy after detention.” Dad tried to explain.

“Derrick’s not some boy, Dad. He touched my back for a millisecond. You chased after him as a TIGER. It’s worse than what I did. Aren’t there some laws against that?”

“That’s not the point!”

“Then what is the point Dad?”

Dad shook his head.

“Derrick is the only one who understands me! Even if he’s not a celeb-kid, he at least knows how I feel on a daily basis,” I continued to say.

“Rachel, your mother and I have been different all our lives,” he adjusted his black cufflinks.

“But it’s not the same!” Frustrated, I put my head in my hands.

“I think what your daughter is trying to say is that she associates with Derrick because he has to facethe same identity issues she does. It is hard being biracial even in the twenty-first century. Rachel feels like she has to pick a side even though she values all of her heritage equally.” Dr. Taylor broke it down for them.

I nodded in agreement.

“Not to mention that she’s a child of the Animorphs.” she continued.

Dad snapped his neck at me.

“Is that what this is really about?”

“Jake, please.” Mom tried to reason with him.

“No, I want to hear this. Because living in constant terror in secret for four years, seeing your brother, mother, and father being controlled by aliens, camping out in an isolated valley, then having to send your cousin to kill your own brother,
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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #27 on: Apr 30th, 2008, 8:27pm »

and watch them both die is nothing but a walk in the park. Tell me what’s harder than that. I’m dying to know.”

“That’s just it.”

Dad looked confused.

“You expect to have this great life because of who you are. I don’t want to be compared to you guys. But people do it all the time. Everyone expects me to be like you. The world-famous ‘Animorphs’ But I’m not. I just want to be like everyone else. NORMAL.”

“Both of you have left Rachel some big shoes to fill.” Dr. Taylor added for emphasis.

“But we’ve had this conversation with her. There’s no way we can change who we are. Or who she is. I doubt she wants to go around without security and be a kidnaping target.” Dad threw his hands up.

“Dad, you’re ridiculous.”

“I’m serious! She has no idea what we’ve given up, what I’ve given up, so that she and her brother and sister can be safe.” Now Dad started to thump at his chest.

Mom was staying out of it for now.

“I know what you gave up. A family,” I mumbled under my breath.

“Rachel!” Mom obviously heard me, breaking her silence.

“I’ve done everything for this family. Even things Rachel has no clue about-”

I interrupted him.

“Like what Dad? Walking out on Mom after you got her pregnant?”

“Rachel. Even if I did, I’m here for you now.” Dad said through gritted teeth.

“It’s not the same as...” I bit my lip. “Being a bastard.”

Mom saw this as her time to intervene.

She wrapped her arms around me.

“Rachel, you are not illegitimate. So what we weren’t married when you were born. There are plenty of people in the world, in your school, who were born out of wedlock. And there are plenty of children born IN wedlock whose parents are divorced. Your father and I came back together honey. You were mostly responsible for that happening. That is a good thing. And just because we weren’t married, doesn’t make you a bad person. That is our sin, not yours.” Mom tried to make me feel better.

“But I read the book. You turned DOWN Dad’s first marriage proposal. And you were about to marry that Ronnie dude even when Dad came back to Earth. Why couldn’t you have stayed together the first time?”

Mom rubbed my back. Dad just shifted his upper body nervously in the chair.

“I would give anything, ANYTHING, to have a normal family. Just for a day.”


I heard the ramblings of the wildcard. This was my cue.



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Dragon Days, and the fire's hot. Like a desert needs water, I need you a lot. Dragon Days, I need to be saved, I'm missing you, and the days drag-on and on.
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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #28 on: May 1st, 2008, 9:24pm »

Chapter Thirteen


Dr. Taylor looked at us.

"Well, our time for this session is almost finished. I know the court has ordered four evaluations before I can make a determination about your case, but I HAVE come to some preliminary conclusions."

She turned and faced Mom.

"Dr. Berenson. I haven’t had the pleasure of working with you personally, but your residency and brief time at UC Santa Barbara speaks for itself. You’re a wonderful psychiatrist, and from what Rachel has described, a good mother. I AM concerned about how much time you spend at the office and with your other causes, and not with your family. I understand that your situation is…unorthodox, given your husband’s condition. But your dedication to helping other people might be hurting Rachel, who is going through a difficult time right now."

Mom gripped my hand.

"I have realized my mistakes, and I will try to make a better effort to help my child.”

"And as for you Mr. Berenson. I am very concerned about your behavior towards your daughter. There is a line between being a good father and taking things overboard. In your battles…in the military, it is vital that no one questions the leader.”

“Of course,” Dad said, putting a hand on my knee. “Because any hesitation on my part may mean the difference between life and death.”

“But parenting is different from leading a platoon or teaching Xenowarfare. When you’re in the military or fighting against an invading force, strong group identity and solidarity are extremely important.”

"Yes, that’s right.” Dad clasped his hands together.

“But Rachel doesn’t feel like she has a clear identity. She’s practically screaming that to you. Another reason you two aren’t seeing eye-to-eye is because you have the tendency to overreact about things, because of your history and position in the world. Everyone knows who you are. But that should not stop you from allowing your daughter to experience her own life. Instead of attacking her all the time, try to figure out why she feels the way she does. Talk to her. Then if she misbehaves, discipline her. Communication is the key to great family relationships. It is the only way you will work your problems out."

Dad leaned back in his chair and scratched his goatee. It was obvious that he was trying to take everything in.

Finally he spoke.

“I guess it’s worth a shot. But what about Rae? I know you aren’t letting her off easy.”

“I wasn’t planning on it Mr. Berenson. Not at all.”

Dr. Taylor faced me again.

"Rachel, it is obvious that your parents love you. But you need to come up with less dramatic ways to get their attention. I know you want to find your own identity, but they have been through everything you’re going through right now. Seriously, they know what you are experiencing on some level. Trust in what they have to say."

I scratched my cast and looked at her skeptically.

"I have some information for you all. These are some programs that meet in the area, interracial family groups. This is Southern California after all. There’s no reason for Rachel to feel as if she is by herself. And it may help your other children. I know they’re young, but it will help them all build a sense of shared identity."

Mom took the brochures from Dr. Taylor. She looked them over once and hesitated

"You know, I’m not sure this is such a good idea," she started to say, “Not because I don’t think Rachel needs something like this. She does. But The Sharing…” Mom’s voice trailed into nothingness.

Dad finished her thought.

“What my wife is saying is that we would rather be safe than sorry.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever completely understand what your family went through…but just think about keeping your options open.”

Dr. Taylor stood up.

"It was a pleasure meeting with you all. I look forward to next Tuesday"

She shook my parents hands and we left the office building together. Most of the Social Workers had cleared out, so there were few people around.

Dad took Mom’s hand "You two go on home. I’ll get the tots from my parents’ house and stop by the pharmacy to pick up some prescriptions. Did you call in my Lithium and Klonopin?"

"Yes honey. I called in everything. Would you mind picking up some ice cream, peanut butter, and pickles while you’re there?” Mom asked him.

"Why? Weird combo." Dad looked up, puzzled.

"Oh, I don’t know, just hungry, I guess,"

Dad shrugged and headed up the street to his truck. A bodyguard wasn’t far behind.

Mom pointed to the parking garage.

"I’m in here,"

We walked into the squat building and over to the reserved section.

As we started to pull away, I noticed Mom was silent. The only noise came from the potholes we kept hitting on the street.

"Is Dad going to hate me forever?" I looked out of the window onto the busy street, passing dumpsters and some illegible graffiti.

"No Rae, don’t think that." She said as we turned and merged onto the highway. "Your father isn’t used to other people telling him what to do. He’s fiercely independent, as you know. But this session wasn’t about him. It’s about you. What do you think about her suggestion?"

"Which one?"

"Finding activities with other multiracial kids? Not necessarily groups, but things you like to do, Like dance."

I smiled.

“I could live with that.”

“Would you also mind seeing Father Banion?”

“Uh…why…didn’t we already see the-”

Our car got stuck in a traffic jam and we slowed down. Mom interrupted me.

“Darn this Prius! The electric battery isn’t clicking on. Well, that’s what I get for keeping a ten year old car.” She shook her head. “Listen, when I had that talk with you this weekend, I wasn’t kidding about the morals and responsibility that come with being a young woman. I want you to go to confession tomorrow. And before you open your mouth, it’s not optional.”

Mom stroked my hair.

"Don’t worry Rachel, one day you’ll find yourself."

Esplin had his host in convulsions from happinesss. That silly Yeerk. But I had no other options. They were the most evil species in the galaxy. Other than humans.

They weren’t on my side…yet.

If everything went according to plan….

"And you saw it fit to bring him out of incarceration? Really?" Edriss interrupted my thoughts.

Edriss slapped him. "Esplin! Get a hold of yourself!"

Esplin grabbed onto her.

"Don’t you realize what is going on! We have a chance to undo all of this damage! I have a finally do what you never did, Take over the Earth completely."

"Get those stubbly human hands off of me, or I’ll tell Crayak here to send you back to a filthy Gedd!" Edriss shoved him away.



"What will you do sir?"


I disappeared from their view, and then the former Vissers found themselves in the apartment of the Secretary of State.

The place overlooked the big Mall in Washington D.C. The Washington monument glowed ethereally in the background.

"Well, this is my host’s place. Very nice by human standards." Edriss pointed to the antique human furniture.

Esplin sneered. “Damn Edriss…” he muttered under his breath.

"It’s better than your BOX" Edriss snapped back.

"Yeah, yeah. What information did you get from Drode about the remaining Animorphs, other than their pathetic leader?"

"Well, the anomaly, Cassie, is joined to him. Married, in their lexicon. They have three offspring. Two very young ones, "Thomas" and "Melissa" and of course, the wildcard, Rachel." Edriss explained.

"They named it after their fallen comrade. How sickening." Esplin shuddered.

"The one they call Marco lives in that city called ‘Miami’. Hedonistic, even for humans." Edriss chuckled.

"Are they the only ones on Planet Earth? I don’t know all that happens on this vile planet.”

"Yes. The Andalite Aximili and the Nothlit Tobias live on the Andalite Home World."

"Excellent. They are already split up. This will be easier than the last time."

They stared at each other for a moment.

"We always were at our best together." Esplin admitted.

"Don’t try to suck up. Drode placed a mini-Kandrona and a pool in the bathtub. Come back when you need to feed. Now out!"

She pushed him towards the front door.

"But where am I going to stay?"

"Your host has a house. Now shoo!"

The door slammed right in his face.

As he left the complex, he stared up at her window. He could see the silhouette of her body against the window.

I will get the better of you yet, Edriss…

Esplin tapped into his host’s brain power and quickly walked the few blocks back to its own Condominium.

The building was painted a sterile while color, with blue windows. Esplin could smell, through his host, the terrible stench of flesh burning in what humans called restaurants. But still, I could tell he enjoyed the freedom of being out in a world, and not locked in a box for the rest of its natural life. Esplin had his host breathe in the thick Earth air. Then it turned the human around and nodded at his doorman.

No one will see this coming...

When we got home, Mom skipped the house and took me right to the barn.

"Um, Mom?"

"Rachel, You’re still grounded."

"Until December, I know. But why am I here? I can barely stand up."

"You can still help out at the clinic. Which you will be doing for a very long time."

I pouted.

"But I can’t clean up the party stuff!"

"No, unfortunately, you can’t. But you can help with our annual inventory."

She parked the car and popped open my door.
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xx Re: The Resolution Chronicles Part 3
« Reply #29 on: May 1st, 2008, 9:25pm »

"Your clothes are fine, since you won’t be mucking stalls right now. But go to the office. The intern, Brian, should be there."

I nodded and got out of the car. I KNEW she wouldn’t change her mind.

“You know the drill. No TV, no internet except for school, no cell phone ,no house phone. No friends over unless it is for school and I get in contact with their parents.” She stepped out and came over to me.

“This is for your own good, Rachel.”

She kissed me on the head and made her way back up the driveway to the house. I guess she was preoccupied with something, because she didn’t even stop to talk to Brian. When I walked through the front door, he was bent over a cage, hooking an IV into a wolverine.

He didn’t look a day over eighteen. His blond hair was scruffy and he had maybe, three whiskers on his face.

“Oh, so YOU are Rachel. Hi. I’m Brian. One of the Interns. Your Mom said you were coming in.”

He shook my right hand.

“I see you’re a little indisposed…so maybe you could help me count up all the medical supplies in the back room. I need to know how much stuff we have before I order some more. You know, so we don’t go over budget. Not that your Mom would mind, of course.”

I politely smiled.

“Ten boxes of 500 count bandages, assorted sizes. Twenty gallons one percent saline solution. 120 intravenous packets, unused. That’s all we have in this first closet, Mr. Brian.”

“Great, that’s great. Less to order. Hey kid, can you get into the hayloft?”

“Uh, not with this leg.” I pointed down to my left leg. It was turning purplish and starting to throb.

“Well, then, take a load off with the horses. Some of them need grooming.” Brian smiled.

“Um, I’m not getting into horse poop. That’s nasty. Plus, I could get infected.”

No WAY that I was going to spend tonight in manure.

That stink stays on you for days.

“I’ll lead them out to the trough, and you can brush them down. I’d change my shoes though, you don’t want to get your sneakers dirty,” Brian pointed out.

He went to the back and picked up a pair of black rubber boots. I put them on and he took me over to the stables.

A couple of plastic cups and streamers still littered the floor, along with stray pieces of hay.

Mom probably left them there as a reminder of how she wouldn’t forget the barn party, and how I would be making it up to her.

“Here’s our new colt. King of Hearts. We adopted him from the racetrack after he broke his leg in a race. They were going to put him down, but we nursed him back to health. Your grandfather wanted to eventually have him in the program for the, um, physically challenged.”

The horse was beautiful. It had a white patch on its forehead shaped like a heart, and the rest of its body was a ruddy reddish-brown color. The ADA would love it. They, the American Disability Association had Dad as a spokesperson and used our barn for promo and to have handicapped people ride horses.

“Oh.” I realized.
”We just have to tame him down a bit,” Brain admitted, sheepishly

“You tell me that before I brush him?” I raised an eyebrow.

Brian laughed. “Just giving you a heads-up.”

As I brushed King’s reddish-brown fur, a feeling of peace came over me. The first time I had felt at ease in a long while. My strokes were hypnotizing. So much so that I didn’t hear Mom behind me.

“Well, it looks like someone is getting the hang of things.” she mused.

I hopped a few centimeters into the air.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you honey. Brian left.”

”You didn’t…I mean you did…but I don’t mind. It’s so nice out here. Peaceful.” I admitted.

“Yeah, I used to come out here and spend my spare time with the horses. Even when I wasn’t working. Just coming here gives me serenity.”

King jumped a bit.

“You should probably put him back in the stable now. He needs to rest.” She helped me walk him over and put a blanket over him. His stable had a musty smell. Along with the preserved oak wood, it sort of brought me back to the 1900’s, the olden days.

“You’re a natural at this, Rae.”

“Aw, Mom, you’re just saying that.”

She cocked her head. Her warm eyes sparked and she adjusted some stray curls on her face.

“No honey. I mean it. It’s in your blood. Generations of our family have worked these fields right after Emancipation. One day this will all be yours. And you’ll teach your kids and grandkids how to take care of horses in this very barn.”

I chuckled.

“Yeah right. I’m no country girl.”

“That’s what we’ve all thought at one point in time, and we all keep on coming back. Even your New York cousins.”

“Are they coming to Thanksgiving dinner?”

“We’ll see. It’s a matter of getting everyone’s schedule together. Everyone has kids now. Except Lauren. But you know, she’s still in business school. And she’s twenty-five. Give her time.”

The sun was starting to set. Beautiful pinks, reds, and blues were painted across the sky.

“Why don’t we go inside? I have dinner ready and waiting. Wash up first.”

She put an arm around me and walked me out of the Barn.

“What did you make?” I inquired.

“Lentil soup and Greek salad.” Mom said nonchalantly.

“Yay! Something normal!” I hid my laughter.

‘What was that?”

“Nothing Mom,”
She gave me a hug and we went inside the house.

Finally, everything seemed to be getting back to normal.

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Dragon Days, and the fire's hot. Like a desert needs water, I need you a lot. Dragon Days, I need to be saved, I'm missing you, and the days drag-on and on.
-Alicia Keys

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