The Lost Souls

Chapter 12


Isaac screamed out in horror as he shot upright in the strange bed, the remnants of the nightmare clinging to his memories as if he had personally lived the horrifying experience of being vaporized by a powerful explosion that leveled Springfield. His brow was covered in sweat and his pulse was racing as he caught his breath. The tiny boy froze slightly when an unfamiliar doctor came over to check on him.

"How are you feeling, Isaac?" Commander Marshall asked. "You were out of commission for a few days."

"Where am I, sir?" The boy asked in confusion.

"You are aboard the U.S.S. Galaxus, Mister Isaac," the older man replied with a proud smile. "I am the Chief Medical Officer, Lieutenant Commander Gregory Marshall."

"How did I get here?"

"Your dad had you brought here," Greg replied with a warm smile. "Now, let's see what we can do about getting you back home."

"What happened to me?"

"You were found unconscious and brought here so we could have our specialist take a look at you, Isaac," the man said. He pulled out a scanner and held it over the boy's body before attaching it back to his belt. "Luckily, he was able to help you put up some walls in your mind that will keep you from overwhelming yourself, again. Now-"

The man was about to continue when the lights on the ship dimmed to red and began to flash. Isaac flinched at the sudden change and pulled his knees to his chest. Greg saw the boy's reaction and immediately sat down next to Isaac in the biobed and, pulled him into his side.

"Relax, Isaac," the commander tried to allay Isaac's fears. "I'll find out what is going on." Greg tapped the badge on his shirt and spoke after he heard a chirp. "Medbay to Bridge?"

"Go ahead, Medbay," the response came shortly.

"I have a few nervous patients down here, Bridge," Greg continued. "Could you tell me why we are on Red Alert?"

"Earth is being attacked, Commander Marshall," the voice replied without hesitation. 

"Attacked?" Greg asked in disbelief. "Who in their right mind would attack Earth?"

"The preliminary report suggests that it might be Romulan ships, sir."

"Romulans?" Commander Marshall asked. "Why would Romulans be attacking Earth?"

"Where's my dad, Commander?" Isaac asked in a small voice. "My brothers?"

"They're all on this ship, Isaac," Greg quickly reassured the child. "They're safe."

The boy breathed a sigh of relief before his thoughts turned to the Clan members that were still back on Earth. . . 

"We have to warn the Clan!" Isaac nearly shouted. "I had a dream that Harris died!"

(Harold Conner)

The tires of the car hummed as the vehicle raced along the busy highway. Harold was heading from his old house where he had to grab his work laptop. Sitting in the backseat of the car was Samy and Stefan, discussing their plans for when the trio got to the local headquarters building for the Federation Youth Services. While the Clan's expenses were covered by Vulcan, Harold still had his final expense report for Starfleet to get paid out. The man hoped he could live up to Lieutenant Esperar's expectations as he settled into his new position. The raise was more than Harold could have ever dreamed of making still working strictly for Starfleet, and he nearly fainted when his new boss handed him his contract. Harold even went as far as having Vanek go over the contract in detail before he signed it to make sure he was getting a good deal. Vanek had spent only an hour on the thirteen-page document before telling Harold he would be a fool if he didn't accept the deal.

Harold signed the contract on the spot.

The man smiled as he thought about the fact that he had his son back in his life; a boy that he had thought died in the same house fire that his wife had perished in. Harold had held Harris for hours before finally letting the boy out of his grasp. He spent the next few days watching the boy's every move until Harold was certain that Harris wasn't going to be taken from him, again.

Harold pulled off the highway when he got closer to downtown, wanting to get past where the highway usually backed up along the interstate during that time of day. The boys were chatting quietly until a Romulan Warbird dropped down from the sky above. 

"Holy shit!" Harold exclaimed as he slammed on the brakes of the car and pulled over. Before he could even pull out his cell phone, the ship was attacking the city below. 

"Dad! Look out!" Stefan yelled as a piece of a building fell towards them.

Harold quickly threw the car into reverse and backed away from the encroaching attack. 

"Hang on, boys," he encouraged as he looked out the rear window. "I'm going to do some tricky driving. Just keep an eye on the ship!"

"Yes, sir," both boys agreed, making sure their seatbelts were fastened tightly.

Harold swerved in and out of traffic, avoiding cars that were stopped because of the attacking vessel. Then, the man yanked the wheel, jerking the car around as he shifted it into drive, and turned back around in his seat as he hit the gas pedal. He headed back towards the highway, hoping he could get back to downtown from another direction. 

"Dad's a great driver," Stefan said with a giggle as the car drifted around a corner, narrowly avoiding another car that had pulled out in front of them.

"Hell yeah, he is!" Samy agreed with a grin. "I can't wait until I'm old enough to drive."

"Just wait until I fly a shuttle for you," Harold commented, trying to take his mind off of his current situation. The highway was coming up, and he could already see a row of brake lights ahead. Deciding that he didn't want to get stuck in the open, Harold cut down a side street to avoid the clogged main roads. 

"Everything is destroyed, Dad," Stefan said sadly, causing Harold to take in the smoking skyline of Springfield. 

"We need to get to the Clan Headquarters," Harold responded firmly, his thoughts focused on his other family members that he had left behind earlier that morning. 'I'm coming, Arys.'


"Emergency Protocols are in effect! All residents are to take the nearest stairwell to the Basement Floors," a male voice echoed over the speaker system of the building. "This is not a drill! All personnel must immediately evacuate to the basement where they will receive further instructions!"

The message repeated itself as Harris made his way toward the stairwell. He refused to look towards the skyline where the alien ship hovered menacingly, forcing himself to remain calm. The other boys looked to the Director for guidance and reassurance. He couldn't let them see the fear that echoed through his small frame. No matter how many times his mind was screaming at him to run, Harris remained calm, guiding his brothers to safety.

Only when he was certain that nobody else was coming, did Harris close the door and make his way down the stairs. He had made his way down one flight of stairs when he heard someone running up towards him. Harris was surprised to see Conner coming from below with panic clearly written across his face.

"What are you doing, Conner?" Harris asked his new cousin, trying to bar the boy's way.

"I have to save Chase!" Conner declared, dipping under Harris's arm and continuing his rapid climb up the stairs. "He'll die up there!"

"What?" Harris asked in confusion, trying to figure out what his own brother had to do with Conner's ascent. "Wait! No, Conner! Phil and Chase sleep in the basement!"

Harris swallowed against his fear and chased after Conner. He kept screaming for the other boy, but Conner wouldn't heed Harris's cries. They were nearly to the top floor of the building when the stairwell around them began to shake violently. Conner screamed as he fell to his knees, the sounds of glass shattering, concrete and steel twisting and cracking as the building shifted suddenly. Conner barely grabbed onto the railing as the stairs cracked open beneath him, before falling down to the level below. A cloud of dust filled the stairwell as Conner swung out into the opening, grunting as he clung to the metal rail.

"Harris!" Conner screamed out in a panic, his feet dangling over the collapsing stairwell.

"Hang on, Conner!" Harris shouted just before the entire building began to collapse, showering debris onto the two boys, and dropping them both down into the depths of the growing destruction. 

(Melissa Conner)

Smoke and dust filled the air around the woman as she struggled to regain consciousness. One minute she had been in a video conference with Dalton Jennings and her Head of Security, and the next - she was lying in a pile of rubble. 

'What happened?' She asked herself, her entire body was hurting as if she had just fallen. She vaguely remembered a bright light and the feeling of weightlessness, but there wasn't much more after that.

Nearby she could hear the groans of someone in pain along with the sounds of dripping water and other popping noises as the building settled. As she tried to calm her own breathing, Melissa began to hear the sounds of more people coming from all around her in the massive pile. The woman couldn't see much through the darkness, but she knew that she was blocked in and would remain in this position for a while.

In the distance, Melissa could hear the sounds of explosions, some of them close enough to send shockwaves through the pile of carnage that used to be the Federation Youth Services Headquarters. With each tremor, more of the debris rained down from above, chunks of concrete and showers of sparks that briefly illuminated the darkness. Melissa tried to move, only to find that her leg was pinned beneath something heavy.

"Hello?" Melissa cried out, hoping that Daryl was still alive. "Daryl?"

"Melissa?" The man's voice was muffled, but Melissa felt a wave of relief at the sound of it. "Are you hurt?"

"No!" Melissa called back. "I'm stuck, though! Something is on my leg, Daryl!"

"I think I know where you're at! I'll be there in a minute!"

"Be careful, Daryl!"

"I always am, Melissa!"

"Any idea what happened?" Melissa asked, hoping the man could still hear her.

"That Romulan ship attacked us, Melissa," Daryl responded with a grunt.

"A Romulan ship?" Melissa asked.

"Yes, ma'am," Daryl confirmed. "It was Romulan."

"Why would the Romulans attack us?"

"Who knows?" Daryl replied. "I'm almost there, Melissa. Just hang tight, okay?"

"I'm not running off anywhere, Daryl," Melissa chuckled. "You don't have to worry about that, this time."


Joey cringed as he felt the building shudder above them. Dust rained down from the ceiling as the structure collapsed, leaving Joey wondering if the garage was going to collapse, too.

"Get to the bunker!" Joey shouted as he pointed towards a set of double doors on the far wall. Several of the evacuees were already heading in the right direction, leaving Joey to make sure that everybody had made it. Joey noticed Trevor pulling Ivan along with him, giving Joey one less thing to worry about. 'My brothers are safe. That's all that matters.'

The building continued to rumble as everyone ran for the safety of the bunker. Joey ran behind Charles as the man pushed everyone else along in front of him.

"Did you see Conner or Harris?" Charles asked with concern in his voice.

"No," Joey frowned, not remembering ever seeing the two boys. "I didn't, Charles. What do we do?"

"We'll send out a search party and call for assistance from Starfleet once everything has settled down," Charles said. "Remember that Alexander is in charge of the current Clan until Harris is found, or Isaac returns from space."

"Yes, sir," Joey confirmed. "I'll meet up with Alex once we're inside the bunker. I wish I knew what was going on outside," the boy added with a scowl. 

"Me, too!" Charles agreed. The man pushed the boy through the double doors before he entered the dimly lit room. Charles checked to make sure that there wasn't anybody else behind him, and closed the door just as the entire ceiling began to collapse into the basement. The lights flickered as the emergency generator kicked into action, powering the small bunker that kept the Clan members safe from the destruction outside. Charles pulled out his cell phone only to see that there wasn't any service and shoved the device back into his pocket. 

"Listen up, everyone!" Joey glanced around to see Alexander holding his hand up in the center of the room. "There's a back door to get out of here, but we need to wait until the ship outside is taken care of. Our security team will post someone at the door to keep an eye on the current situation. The medical team will make their rounds to check everyone for injuries. This will also serve as our roll call, so please be cooperative. If you have any questions, your Group Leader will do whatever they can to answer them for you. Please remember, this is a newly developing situation and I'm waiting for the same answers that you are. We're operating on limited information, for now. I will try to keep everyone posted if I hear anything new."

With that, Alexander turned and made eye contact with Joey before moving to join the boy.

"Where's Harris?" Alex asked as Charles joined him and Joey. "He should be the one making these speeches, not me."

Joey glanced up nervously at Charles before replying. 

"We don't think Harris made it out of the building, Alex," Joey stated softly. 

"What?" Alexander asked, his face paling as he absorbed what Joey had just said. "What do you mean? He can't be inside, though. I saw him heading for the stairs!"

Joey quickly pulled Alex into a hug when he saw the boy beginning to panic. Alex was trembling fiercely as Joey clung to him.

"It's going to be okay, Alex," Joey tried to reassure the boy. "We're going to find him. You have to keep that thought in your head for now. Everyone is looking to you as our leader."

Alexander glanced around to see several people looking in his direction, watching him as seemed frozen from fear. Joey squeezed the boy again, drawing his attention.

"Stop freaking out, Alex," Joey said only loud enough for Alex to hear him. "If you don't, I'm going to kick your ass! Now, I'm going to get my team posted at the back entrance."

"Thanks, Joey," Alexander replied, finally returning the hug of the shorter boy. "I needed that."

"I know, Alexander," Joey agreed. "We'll find Arys. I promise, Alexander."


Harris groaned in pain as he slowly came to. He was lying on his stomach - his legs and left arm pinned beneath piles of concrete leaving him unable to move. Harris turned his head and saw Conner lying unconscious, the boy's body almost completely covered in debris. Harris reached out with his right hand and sighed with relief when he was able to grab Conner's left hand. He squeezed his cousin's hand gently, and nearly cried when he felt Conner squeeze back.

"Conner?" Harris asked in a dry voice. "Conner are you okay?"

"I can't move, Harris," Conner whispered back, gasping for breath.

"Just relax, Conner," Harris quickly reassured the boy. "I'm certain help will be on the way, soon."

Harris frowned when he heard Conner sniffle in pain.

"It hurts," the boy whimpered. "Something heavy is on my stomach and it's hard to breathe, Harris."

Harris tried to change the subject so Conner could take his mind off of his current situation. "So, what's going on with you and Chase?"

"What do you mean?" Conner asked with another grunt.

"He didn't stop talking about you at all, last night," Harris giggled softly. "I think he likes you."

"Does that mean you want me to leave the Clan?" The other boy asked crestfallen.

Harris froze at the boy's words but was quick to recover. "Absolutely not, Conner!" Harris assured the boy, squeezing his hand gently. "If I kicked you out, then I would have to kick myself out and ninety percent of our members."

"What do you mean?"

"Haven't you noticed the number of boys that are already in relationships with each other, cousin?" Harris squeezed Conner's fingers again. "I think me and you are the only two that are still single! Well, you won't be once Chase wakes up and hears what you went through today."

"I doubt that, Harris," Conner said sadly. "I was too stupid to even consider the fact that Chase and Phil sleep in the basement. I didn't even listen to you when you yelled it at me, Harris." Conner sniffled. "This whole situation is my fault. You would be safe in the bunker if I had just listened to you. Now, I won't even get to see my dad, again."

"Why's that, Conner?"

"I'm getting weak, Harris," Conner sobbed. "I don't think I'm going to make it much longer."

"Don't talk like that, Conner!" Harris growled. "You're not going to die! I won't let it happen!"

"I don't think we're going to have much say in the matter, Arys," the boy whispered. "I'm so fucking sorry that I got you into this mess."

"This isn't your fault, Conner," Harris tried to tell the other boy. "Blame it on the aliens attacking us!"

"How do you know it's aliens?"

"I saw their spaceship, dude!" Harris informed Conner. "It was pretty big, but it looked like it had a little rust on it. It was fucking scary looking is what it was!"

Conner laughed quietly, making Harris smile at the sound.

"Thanks, Harris," Conner barely gasped out before Harris felt the boy's hand go limp in his own.

"Conner?" Harris squeezed Conner's hand, but he couldn't get a response. The Director fought off the feeling of fear as he began to wonder if his new cousin had just died beside him. "Come on, Conner? Give me a sign that you're still there, dude!"

Only the sounds of falling rubble filled the silence between Harris's words as he waited. Harris couldn't stop the cry from slipping from his lips.

"Conner!" Harris cried out as tears stung his eyes. "No, no, no. . ."

Harris squeezed the other boy's hand again, and again with no response in return. A sob escaped his lips as Harris tried to pull himself free from the rubble pinning his legs.

"Conner?" The boy asked with sadness in his voice. Then, Harris screamed out, days of pent-up emotions finally breaking free at once to create a cry that reached the other side. Harris was on the verge of giving up when a silvery-white light began to fill the aching darkness. Harris looked up to see a brown-haired boy with white wings kneeling down between the two boys. "You have to save Conner."

"I'm going to save you both, Harris," the angel stated firmly as he took in the situation. Then, with a brief thought, the concrete holding Harris to the ground shifted to the side. The brown-haired angel frowned as he studied Conner for a moment. "Are you okay, Harris? Any injuries?"

"No," Harris replied quickly, ignoring the pain in his ankle as he slid to Conner's side, quickly grabbing onto the boy's hand and squeezing it. He brushed the dirt off of Conner's face and tried not to cry as he thought about never looking into the two different eye colors of his cousin. "Just help Conner, please?"

"I am," the angel confirmed. Then, the angel placed the palm of his hand on Conner's head, lightly rubbing his thumb across the boy's forehead. Harris watched as the rubble vanished and Conner's body was surrounded by an overpowering white light.

"What are you doing?" Harris asked, without looking away from Conner's face.

"I'm helping him, just like you asked," the angel grunted as he studied Conner's lower half of his body. "He's hurt really bad, Harris, but I can do this."

"Who are you?"

"I'm Jaden," the angel introduced himself as he watched the injuries beginning to heal. "I'm Tristan's little brother. Well, I was, but our parents killed me when they were trying to sell me into slavery. . . Anyway, it's a long fucking story."

"How old were you when you," Harris hesitated. "You know?"

"When I died?" Jaden asked with a grin. "It's all right, Harris. I've made my peace with it. I'm ten, though. I've only been dead a couple of weeks."

"Really?" Harris asked in surprise.

"Yeah," Jaden nodded, smiling when Conner suddenly took in a big gasp of air, his eyes fluttering open. Harris put the palm of his hands on Conner's cheeks, forcing the boy to look at him as the white light faded away.

"If you ever try any stupid shit like dying, again, I will personally pull you from your grave and beat your ass until you come back to life! Are we clear?" Harris demanded of the boy as he fought the urge to cry before finally just hugging Conner tightly. "You scared the fucking shit out of me!"

"I'm sorry," Conner whimpered as he returned the embrace. "What happened?"

"Your families now have their own Guardian Angel," Jaden said proudly. "I'm certain that Mikey or Davie will be by at some point to give you all of the juicy details."

"This is Jaden," Harris told Conner. "He saved your life."

"Thanks, Jaden," Conner whispered. "I owe you one."

"I'll collect that in kisses on the cheek or hugs, Conner," Jaden smiled.

"Can we get out of here?" Harris asked.

"Where do you want to go?"

"I want to find my dad," Conner spoke up. 

(Melissa Conner)

Melissa groaned as debris fell around her, stirring up more dust into the thick air. Little glimpses of light flickered through the walls of debris around her, giving the woman hope that Daryl was close to finding her. She was uncertain of how much time had passed, not having anything besides the throbbing pain in her ankle to focus on. Melissa stared at the swirls of dust as it moved through the air around her, letting her thoughts drift to her family.

'I hope the kids are okay,' she thought as a feeling of fear settled upon her. "Daryl?"

"Yeah, Melissa?" The man asked, his voice much closer than before. 

"Have you heard anything about the Clan?"

"No," Daryl replied, his flashlight finally cutting through the thick dust. The man's face was covered in dirt and grime as he knelt beside the woman. "There you are."

Melissa couldn't stop herself from crying with relief the moment her Chief of Security found her. He directed the light towards the concrete block that had Melissa's leg pinned. The man frowned as he took in the woman's situation.

"This isn't going to be easy, Melissa," the man said, his brow furrowed in thought. "I don't think I'm strong enough to get that rock off of you."

Melissa frowned as she saw her own situation in the light coming from Daryl's flashlight. 

"It looks worse than it feels," the woman commented dryly. 

"It'll begin to feel worse once we move this concrete, though, Melissa," Daryl commented. The man moved closer and handed his phone to Melissa. "Keep this pointing at the block, Melissa."

Melissa pointed the light at her ankle while Daryl slid his fingers under the edge of the block. "Be ready to slide out once I get this lifted up," he warned her. "I won't be able to hold it for very long."

"Yes, sir," Melissa confirmed with a nod, preparing to pull herself backward.

Daryl then crouched down slightly before using his knees to lift up on the heavy piece of concrete. The man grunted as he was able to lift the rubble a couple of inches. Melissa was quick to wiggle out from beneath the block before Daryl dropped it back to the ground, sending swirls of dust through the air. The woman gasped with relief when she was finally free of the debris and winced when she reached down to touch her ankle.

"I don't think it's broken," she stated astutely. "It definitely hurts, though."

"Let's get you to your feet," the man said, helping Melissa to her feet. She was only able to put a little pressure on her ankle, so Daryl helped support her by putting his arm around Melissa's waist.

"Thanks," she nodded. "Now, what do we do?"

"I think I found a way out when I was looking for you."

"Great," Melissa chimed. "Let's get the hell out of here, then."

(Charles Conner)

Charles nearly shit his pants when Harris and Conner suddenly appeared right in front of where he was standing. 

"Jesus Christ!" The man exclaimed in shock. He quickly recovered and hugged the two boys tightly. "How did you get here? Was it Kyle or Tyler?"

"No, Daddy," Conner replied shakily. "It was an angel. He brought me back to life."

Charles froze at the boy's words, unable to contemplate the fact that he had almost lost one of his sons. "What happened?"

"Conner went to go find Chase," Harris explained softly as Alexander pulled him into a hug while Charles continued to hold onto Conner. "Well, the building collapsed and we were pinned. Just as Conner. . . " Harris paused to wipe a tear from the corner of his eye. "Well, just after Conner died, this angel named Jaden appeared and saved us."

"Jaden, huh?" Charles asked for confirmation. Harris nodded.

"I owe him my life, Daddy," Conner whispered.

"So, do I, buddy," Charles agreed. "Now, why did you go back upstairs?"

"I. . ." Conner hesitated as he looked away from his father. "I wanted to go find Chase and make sure that he was safe."

Charles slipped his fingers under the boy's chin and made him meet his gaze. "That was very brave of you to do, Conner," the man assured his son with a smile. "I wish you would have asked, though."

"I'm sorry, Daddy," the blue-and-green-eyed boy stated softly. "I just knew that he was Uncle Harold's son and assumed that he had a room upstairs. . ."

"I love you, Conner," the man said, pulling Conner into his chest again. "I'm just glad that you're safe."

"I love you, too, Daddy," Conner whispered, the boy was trembling as he clung to Charles. Charles looked over at Harris.

"Are you okay, Arys?"

"Yeah, Uncle Charles," Harris replied with a grim smile. "Just shaken up a bit, right now. It's not every day that somebody dies in front of you and is brought right back to life by a freaking angel."

Charles began to laugh uncontrollably.

"What?" Harris asked in confusion.

"It's funny that you of all people should say that," the man chortled happily, causing the boys to look at him in confusion. Only Alexander caught on to what was happening.

"I'm the one that brought Harris back to life," Alexander explained to the two boys. "I was his Guardian Angel at the time."

Harris couldn't help but to begin laughing. 

"It does happen quite a bit around here, doesn't it?" Harris asked with a grin.

"Seems that way," Charles agreed. "Now, has anybody heard anything about what's going on outside?"

"My team told me that the ship is still up there," Joey pointed towards the ceiling. "It's firing randomly into the city."

"Have you been able to establish comms with anyone on the outside?"

"No," Joey frowned. "I've been trying my dad, too. There's nothing but static out there."

Charles frowned.

"What about mom?" Conner asked in concern. 

"That's what I'm worried about, now," Charles agreed. "Let's just hope that Melissa and Daryl are both safe."

"We should find a way to take out that ship," Harris commented thoughtfully.

"How do you plan on doing that when we don't have any weapons?" Joey asked.

"Maybe, we can get over to the Starfleet Headquarters and find some weapons we can use," Harris suggested.

"I don't think it's a good idea for you guys to split up and leave the bunker," Charles stated. 

"Why?" Joey challenged. "Is it because we're kids?"

"Not at all, Joey," Charles said quickly. "Remember, I was there for your training. I've been through it, just like the rest of you. I reason that we're cut off from the outside world, right now. If we split up and a rescue party shows up here, how are we supposed to let them know where you're at? Same thing if something bad happens, guys."

"And we can't all go," Joey stated thoughtfully as he pondered the man's words. Then, Joey began glancing around at the walls of the dimly lit room. "There's got to be a supply closet in here. Maybe, there will be some short-wave radios that we can use to communicate with each other."

"Now, you're thinking," Charles stated proudly before helping the boys look for the storage closet.


Castel cringed as the light strip continued to flash red in a steady pulse. Julian was sitting on Tristan's lap, while William had burrowed himself into Castel's side. Dalton was in the infirmary with Isaac after learning from the doctor that their brother had woken up from his coma. Castel could feel the ship trembling around him as it raced back towards Earth to get within transporter range.

"How much longer until we get there?" William asked absently.

"I'm not sure," Tristan replied. "It shouldn't be much longer, though. We've been going at warp speed for twenty minutes, now."

Castel decided to change the subject.

"Have you heard how Isaac is?" He asked softly.

"No," Tristan told the younger boy. "All I know is what you know, Castel. Sorry."

The boys fell silent as each one focused on their own thoughts. Castel did his best to not think about the laboratory he had been trapped inside only two days earlier. Now, he was cruising through space on a starship heading back to Earth. 

'My own parents sold me to those people,' he thought bitterly to himself before he sighed with relief and glanced around at his brothers. 'Now, I have a family that loves me and would do anything for me.'

Starfleet officers entered and exited the Mess Hall, not even noticing the presence of the children sitting in silence at the far table. Castel watched each person passing through the doorway, wondering when his dad was going to come back. He didn't want to think about his grim past, any longer. Now that he had a family, he had too much happiness to look forward to.

'I'm never going to give this up,' Castel thought with a smile. He glanced down at the spot on his arm where the crazy doctor had cut him open, and remembered how the strange foam had completely healed the wound in a matter of hours. 'There's not even a scar.'

"Are you okay, Castel?" William asked, nudging Castel with his shoulder. "You're awfully quiet."

"Sorry," Castel responded with a blush. "I started thinking about "that" place, again."

"Oh," William said with a frown. "I think about the planet that I came from, sometimes. The way the vampires used to feed on us was horrific, but it was the only thing that we knew."

"You were fed on by vampires?" Castel asked with a cringe, his hand going to his throat.

"Yeah," William replied sadly. "It was scary."

"It was a nightmare," Tristan added.

"I'm glad we're not there, anymore," Julian stated. 

"You were there, too?" Castel asked of the youngest brother. "How did you guys survive?"

"They had to keep us alive," Tristan said. "We were their food."

"I'm glad you guys were rescued," Castel told the trio seriously. "I don't know what my life would be like without any of you."

William hugged his brother.

"We love you, too, dude," he whispered.


Alex held his breath against the clouds of smoke and dust as the small rescue team slipped through the city streets, only one destination on their mind as they avoided the shots being fired from above. There were people screaming and running in all directions as the Warbird fired indiscriminately into the fleeing crowd below.

"The Starfleet building only looks like it's partially damaged," Joey commented.

"It probably took them a minute to realize what was going on, and get their shields activated," Geoff informed the other members of the squad.

The air around the building was abnormally quiet, not a single shuttle in sight to fight against the attacking vessel. The group of boys was nearly to the rubble of the Federation Youth Services building when they heard the distinctive sound of transporter beams. 

"Halt!" Joey commanded before motioning everyone to take cover behind a pile of rocks. He looked back at Alexander with a grim look as he pulled out his phaser and adjusted the settings on it. "Get ready, guys."

Geoff and Alexander both pulled out their phasers at the same time and held them at the ready. Alexander's heart was hammering in his chest as he readied himself for the firefight that was about to occur.

"Where'd you go, Alex?" Geoff asked in surprise. Then, he jumped back from his brother in surprise. "Holy shit! You disappeared and reappeared!"

"Seriously?" Alexander asked in surprise. "I didn't know that I could still do that." Then, the boy looked towards the corner. "It looks like I have some scouting to do."

"How long can you hold it?" Joey asked, putting his hand against Alex's chest to keep the boy from leaving their cover. "I just want to make sure that you're safe, Alex."

"As long as I want, I think," the brown-haired boy replied with a shrug. "That's how it was when I was an angel. I haven't needed to use it since then."

"Now's your chance, little brother," Geoff told Alexander as he squeezed the younger boy's shoulder. "Get us as much information as you can, but don't take any chances! Mom would murder me if we didn't get you back alive. Got it?"

"Yeah, I've got it, Geoff," Alexander acknowledged with a brief nod. Then, he closed his eyes and relaxed his mind like he used to. He felt a slight shift in the air around him before somebody got the nerve to speak up.

"You're gone," Geoff told him. "Be quick and silent, Alex."

Alexander nodded before he realized that his brother couldn't see him. "I will."

'Here goes nothing,' the boy thought grimly before he stepped out from behind the rubble. Alexander frowned when he saw the amount of Romulans that were breaking apart into small squadrons. 'There's got to be fifty of them, at least.' 

Standing at the head of the large group were two Romulans that Alexander could only guess were commanding officers. They barked out orders in a language that the boy couldn't understand before the five squads began to move out. He only froze for a moment when he saw one of the squads heading right toward where the rest of Alexander's own friends were hiding. The boy quickly ran back to the others and made himself visible.

"Everybody grab hands!" He ordered. "Quickly!"

Then, Alexander grabbed Geoff's hand and Joey's. 

"Now, just relax and make sure that you're all touching me through somebody else," Alex instructed as he made sure that they were doing as he said. "Don't say a word, and don't move."

Alexander closed his eyes and remembered how it had felt when he had used his camouflage on Arys. With that feeling in his mind, Alexander focused it towards his squad. Once he felt the shift, Alexander knew it had worked.

"Woah," Geoff muttered from beside him.

"Shh," Alexander warned. "There's a squad of Romulans coming."

"Oh, shit," Joey whispered.

"Yeah, so don't move, and be quiet!" Alexander urged as quietly as he could. 

Just as the boy finished speaking, a group of heavily armed alien soldiers stepped around the corner. Alexander held his breath, forcing himself to focus on holding the camouflage that his family desperately depended on at that moment. Each of the soldiers held their weapons at the ready, willing to fire on anything that moved. They spoke in low voices as they fanned out, scanning the heaps of rubble for signs of life. Alexander felt Joey jump when one of them began firing at a group of people, making them scream and run for cover.

"We have to do something," Joey whispered.

"We don't have any weapons, yet," Alex reminded him. "Are the comms working?"

"Scout-1 to Bunker, radio test, over," Joey whispered into a hand mic. He put his hand to his ear for a moment before he nodded at Alexander. The boy was about to say something else when he put his hand to his ear, again. "Starfleet we are at the intersection of High Street and Fountain, there is a squad of Romulans heading east up High Street with others fanning out from just northwest of our position. There is a commanding officer located there."

Alexander looked at his Security Chief, waiting for any kind of information while the boy seemed to be listening intently.

"Roger that, Starfleet," Joey spoke, again. "This is Joey Greyson of the Ohio Valley Division of Clan Short of Vulcan, Head of Security. We are en route to the local Starfleet Command Post to secure weapons to fight the Romulans. If you have any ground forces to spare-," Joey paused until a dark smile crossed his face. "I think you'll do as you're told to do, Commander. I'd hate to have to pull rank on you while we're in the middle of an alien invasion."

Alex glanced over at his dad to see that the man was just as confused as he was.

"Now, about those ground forces," Joey growled into his handset. "I've never come across these types of weapons before, Commander. You better tell your guys to load themselves down heavy! This is going to be an all-out siege!"

"Calm down, Joey," Alexander cautioned. "They can still hear us."

"Sorry," Joey apologized before turning his attention back to the radio. "We need eleven weapons to be brought along, too, Commander!" Joey paused. "Thank you, sir. I will keep you advised of our situation. How long?" There was another brief pause before Joey nodded. "That works. Scout-1, out!"

"What was that about?" Charles asked nervously.

"Some "big shot" was trying to tell me that I wasn't going to get what I wanted," Joey explained with a shrug. "No big deal. He'll remember my name from now on, though. Now, we should have a backup in ten minutes. Does anybody have any issues with that?"

"That works for me," Alexander replied. "I think I can keep us invisible until then."

(Harold Conner)

"Stay down, boys!" Harold hissed as he pushed Stefan and Samy behind a flipped-over car. The trio had been forced to abandon their car three blocks south of downtown when traffic had come to a complete standstill. The Romulan Warbird was continuing to release its arsenal on the city below, causing destruction with every shot. "We don't have much further to go."

"This isn't how I was expecting my day to go," Stefan tried to joke.

"Me either, Stefan," Harold replied with a chuckle. "Vanek and I were planning on making dinner, tonight."

"You were only going to set the table, though, right?" Samy asked whimsically before he burst out into giggles when Harold scowled at him.

"Who told you, my secret?" The man grinned as he tickled the boy for a brief second. "You're lucky I love you, or I would tickle you for days!"

Samy hugged his father tightly before the trio turned their attention to getting to the Starfleet building.

"This is going to be tough," Harold commented as he glanced around the car in time to see a Romulan patrol cross an intersection further up the street. "The Romulans are spreading out."

"What are we going to do, Daddy?" Samy asked as Stefan looked on hopefully.

"We're just going to have to keep pushing forward, guys," the man told his sons with a concerned frown. "We'll reassess the situation when we get closer. Just stay close to me, okay?"

Both boys nodded their agreement before Harold checked to make sure there weren't any enemy soldiers nearby. Then, he motioned for the boys to follow him as he hung close to the buildings along the side of the road. The trio darted around piles of rubble, hiding behind cars, and doing their best to not breathe in any of the smoke as they moved along. Samy and Stefan stuck close to their father's side, never letting there be more than a few feet between them. They only felt safe with him. Harold, while also scanning the streets around them for Romulans, kept close watch on his sons. He'd give his life for these kids.

"Get down!" Harold pulled both of the boys behind a wall just as a soldier was turning his head in their direction. He looked back the way they had come to see that there was nowhere for them to go if the alien had spotted them. The man gritted his teeth as he swore under his breath. "Shit!"

"What's wrong, daddy?" Samy asked. "Wouldn't he have fired at us if he had saw us?"

"True," Harold commented. "I didn't think of that. They weren't really giving anybody a chance, were they?"

"No," Samy agreed. "Want me to check to see if the coast is clear?"

"Just stay down as low as possible," the man instructed. "He'll be looking up at my height for anyone."

Samy nodded before he got down on his knees to peek around the corner of the wall. He slid back a second later with a grin on his face.

"Well, Samy?" Stefan asked nervously.

"He's heading in the other direction," the younger boy informed his father and brother. 

"Let's give it a few minutes before we head back out," Harold said. Then, he pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and frowned when saw that there wasn't any service.

"What's wrong, Daddy?" Samy asked softly.

"I can't call Vanek," the man replied sadly. "I don't want him to be worried about us."

"Do Vulcans worry?" Stefan asked.

"He worries in his own way," Harold told the boys. Then, he peeked around the corner to see if there was any danger. "Come on, boys. Let's keep moving."

(Melissa Conner)

"There's light up ahead," Melissa said hopefully as she and Daryl made their way through the rubble of the Federation Youth Services building. 

"I don't think that's going to work," Daryl commented. "Maybe, if you could climb. . ."

"Sorry," Melissa grinned. "I had a building fall on me."

"Psh," Daryl scoffed. "I had the same building fall on me, and you don't see me hobbling around, milking it for all it's worth."

Melissa could only laugh and pat the man on his chest as he helped her along. Each step sent up tiny swirls of dust, illuminated by the various shafts of golden light shining through the debris. 

"This has been a rough morning," Melissa said, more to break the silence than anything.

"I hope the boys are holding up okay," Daryl added, helping Melissa climb over a large piece of ceiling that was blocking their path. "There's already the trauma from being on Exa, the boys that came from the G.O.H. facility, and now this bullshit. . ."

"It makes you wonder what's next?" Melissa whispered.

"I'd rather not," Daryl chuckled. "As you said, it's been a rough morning."

"What time is it, anyway?" 

Daryl glanced at his phone display. "Just after eleven."

"We've been down here a while, now," the woman said with a sigh. "I feel like we're just walking in circles."

"You're sort of right," Daryl told Melissa. "It's more like we're zigzagging through the hallways. I'm just trying to find our way back to the conference room. It's the only way out, that you can make it down from."

Melissa nodded in acknowledgment. "Is it far?"

"Not from here," Daryl replied. "The last few feet are rough, though."

"I can take it, Daryl," Melissa told her escort. "I'm just in a lot of pain."

"Hopefully, your ankle isn't broken, Melissa."

"I don't think it is," she said. "I can still move it."

"That doesn't mean that it's not fractured. As soon as we're out of here, I'll try to find something to make a splint for your ankle."

"Thanks, Daryl," Melissa thanked the man before she noticed sunlight coming from above. "Sunlight. . ."

"Finally," Daryl smiled. "Alright, we're going to have to climb through some rubble to get up to the next floor. It's steeper than what we climbed up earlier."

"I'm game," the woman stated in a serious tone. "Let's just get out of here before any more of this fucking place comes down on us."

Together, Daryl and Melissa continued through the narrow passageway that Daryl had found. He pointed his light around the dusty darkness until he saw where the ceiling had fallen down into the hallway, forming a ramp to the upper floor.

"Oh," Melissa said in dismay. "That is steep."

"Don't worry," Daryl reassured her. "We can do this."

Daryl helped Melissa over a piece of the ceiling before looking up. He pointed toward a couple of spots where the piece of the building had broken up enough to create hand and foot holds. 

"I'll use those to climb up, then I'll pull you up behind me, okay?" 

"Works for me," Melissa smiled as she leaned against the wall. She watched as Daryl worked his way to the next floor up before he disappeared over the edge. "What's it like up there?"

"Dusty," Daryl's voice came back to her with a chuckle to it. "I'm trying to find something to tie myself off with so I don't get pulled over the edge."

"Are you trying to say that I'm fat, Mr. Greyson?" Melissa joked.

"Not even a little," Daryl laughed out loud, his voice sounding like it was further away. "If I swung that way, Charles would definitely have some competition going for himself."

"Oh? Is that so?" Melissa asked with a smirk.

"What do you know about Dalton, though?" Daryl asked, his head peeking over the edge above her. 

"I know a lot more than what I should," Melissa grinned. "What would you like to know?"

"Here, take this," Daryl began lowering down a rope he had made from braiding three extension cords together. "Tie it around your waist, and we can use it to steady you as you climb. It will help take some of the pressure off of that ankle."

"If you say so," Melissa said doubtfully. She looped the extension cords around her waist and tied them before giving a tug to make sure they were secure. The next floor was only ten feet above her head, but the woman felt nervous as she reached for the first handhold. 

"Use your hands to hold your weight as you lift your good leg up to the first spot," Daryl instructed.

"Yes, sir," Melissa replied before following the man's instructions. It only took her a few minutes to make it to the top where Daryl was able to pull her over the edge. They both lay on the floor for a few minutes while Melissa caught her breath. "Are we fucking there yet?"

Daryl could only laugh before he helped Melissa to her feet.

"Sooo. . ." Daryl drew out as they walked forward. "Is Dalton seeing anybody?"

"No," Melissa replied with a slight smirk. "He could be if you asked him, though."

"Do you really think so?" Daryl asked, Melissa noticing that his cheeks were flushing red. 

"Yes," Melissa assured the man. "I think he's watching you whenever he isn't watching his boys."

Daryl smiled as he glanced over at Melissa.


Melissa nodded. She was about to say something when there was a loud explosion from outside that shook the building and sent dust falling down on their heads.

"What was that?" She asked with worry before there was the sounds of rapid gunfire.

"Come on," Daryl urged as he helped Melissa move through the rubble. Melissa's heart was hammering away in her chest as the sounds of gunfire grew louder. "We're almost there."

Melissa followed Daryl around three corners before she was suddenly blinded by the sunlight pouring in through the shattered windows of the conference room. The floor was missing in several places, one hole where Melissa had once been seated was continuing to crumble as the weight of the conference table pushed down one side of it.

"Stay to this side," Daryl motioned to the left wall. "It's sturdier over here."

Melissa clung tightly to Daryl as they walked around the edge of the room, only stopping when more gunfire filled the air. Once they made it to the window frames, Melissa was able to see the Romulan ship hovering in the skies above. Her gaze was drawn to the street corner below just as a group of boys launched a rocket at the ship. Melissa frowned just before Daryl pulled her out of the way of the blast.

"Holy shit!" He exclaimed as the roar of the explosion filled their ears. "I think they were able to blow it up! Did you see who launched that rocket, Melissa?"

"It looked like it was our boys," the woman replied in a daze as she held her hands to the side of her aching head.

"Seriously?" Daryl asked in amazement as a slow smile spread across his face.

"Yeah," Melissa smiled. "I think it was Geoff who was holding the rocket launcher while Joey was operating it."

Daryl risked a quick glance out of the window to see that the Romulan ship was falling to the ground as more explosions ripped through the vessel. He moved back with a grin on his face.

"What?" Melissa asked.

"For some reason," Daryl explained. "I couldn't be prouder of those boys, right now."

"We need to get down there to them," Melissa suggested.

"We'll head down once the action settles some," Daryl said before the sounds of more gunfire echoed through the air. "That may be a minute, though."


The Starfleet officer looked at the group of boys with doubt in his eyes before Harris flashed his identification card.

"Is there a problem, sir?" The boy demanded. 

"Not at all," the man nervously replied before he ordered his men to drop the crates of weapons and ammunition. "I trust that you have been trained how to operate these versions?"

"We have, sir," Harris replied with a quick nod. "We spent three months being heavily immersed in weapons training and self-defense training, Captain. We need your men to provide cover while we try to take down that fucking ship."

"As you wish, Director Conner," the officer responded before barking orders at his men. They were no sooner in their defensive positions, than a squad of seven Romulans happened into their line of fire. "Fire at will!"

Within seconds, the enemy soldiers were nothing but corpses as the Starfleet soldiers were quick to take them out. Harris felt slightly better about their situation when he noticed how fast the solders reacted.

"I've got the rocket launcher loaded," Geoff stated from behind them. 

"We only have three rockets," Harris warned. "So, make your shots count, cousin."

Geoff and Joey moved out into the street. Joey held a small data pad in his hands while Geoff shouldered the rocket launcher. Together, the two boys aimed the rocket before Joey hit a button on his data pad. The air was filled with a loud explosion as a massive column of fire shot out of the launcher behind Geoff. The rocket flew towards the Romulan ship, leaving Harris holding his breath as everyone watched.

Then, before the rocket made it to the alien vessel, the missile exploded.

"Shit!" Geoff exclaimed angrily. "It didn't make it through their shields!"

"I have an idea!" Alexander said before he turned himself invisible.

"Alex?" Harris asked the empty air around him. "What the fuck, dude?"

Anthony and Nate carried another rocket out to Geoff and Joey, helping them load it into the launcher. Harris was looking for Alexander, hoping to see any sign of his cousin. He nearly screamed when the brown-haired boy appeared directly in front of him.

"What the fuck, Alex?" Harris demanded. Then, he noticed the strange device that his cousin was holding. "What's that?"

"It's a shield generator," Alex replied proudly. "Joey can use it to make our missile match the frequency of the Romulan's shields."

"Then, it will pass through without any issues," Harris finished for his cousin. "Quick! Give it to Joey!"

Alexander nodded as he ran the device out to the younger boy. Joey was smiling happily as he began copying information from the Romulan device to his own datapad. Alexander ran back with a grin on his face.

"Watch this!" He encouraged his cousin as Nathan and Anthony ran back. 

Seconds later, another fireball erupted from the launcher as Geoff and Joey shot another rocket at the Romulan ship. Harris held his breath until he saw the front of the ship explode in a fireball that cascaded through the entire vessel. Harris couldn't stop himself from cheering with the rest of the squad until a hail of gunfire filled the air around them, sending everyone ducking for cover.

"Ow," Geoff muttered from behind Harris, making the younger boy turn back to see the older boy staring in confusion at a wound in the center of his chest. Harris felt himself go pale as blood began to pour from the gunshot wound. Geoff looked up and made eye contact with Harris before the boy toppled forward into Charles's arms.

"JADEN!" Harris screamed at the top of his lungs, hoping the angel would make it in time.

"Geoff?" Charles asked in confusion as he held on tightly to his oldest son. "Geoff?"

"I'm. . . I'm sorry, Dad," Geoff whispered as he fought to catch his breath. Then, his entire body relaxed and Charles screamed out in agony.