The Untold Era - Theseus: Extraction

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by pio1776, May 3, 2020.

  1. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 9, 2017

    By Piotr Mierzejewski


    The following is occurring early January 2320, five days after The Right Man for the Job.


    Despite his tendency to rubbish medical facilities aboard border cutters, Kev wished he had one handy right about now. The accompanying firepower would be handy too, but the Tellarite medic dismissed that line of thought. At least for now.

    He needed to stay positive. If not for himself, then for the Bolian.

    “It’s just a scratch, Commodore,” he announced while applying a towel to the shot-up stomach. Dark blue, dirty blood made the towel moist in his hand. “You’ll live.”

    Commodore Lemed scoffed and pushed the towel away. “Somehow I doubt that, doc,” he countered and coughed, spitting out more blood.

    Kev eyed the squadron commander thoughtfully, absently thinking that the browns and grays of the civilian attire suited Lemed’s blue. He shook his head. Of course, it was normally much more healthier shade of blue.

    “You arguing with me, Commodore?” he grumbled, noting the lolling head as the commodore rested against the bulkhead. Wall, corrected Kev, giving the length of the alleyway a wary look.

    The pair had gone to a small, out of the way colony world that sat smack in the middle of the border with Klingon space. Formerly of human origin, its population was a mix bag of humans, Klingons, Nausicaans, Orions and a few others. It was also rumored to be a base of operations for a squadron of pirates, smugglers and outright opportunists.

    It was that rumor that Lemed wanted to check up on.

    Of course, Lemed had to drag his sorry behind along for the ride.

    Unfortunately, they got more than they bargained.

    “Me, argue?” the commodore snorted. “With you, no less. Hardly.”

    “Yeah, yeah.” Kev grumbled. “Save your strength. Safehouse should be near.”

    Lemed blinked. “Safehouse?”

    “Yeah, safehouse. Remember?” demanded Kev, eyeing his old captain-turned-commodore carefully. “Organized by Lieutenant Najar, yeah? Cost us a pretty penny. Pissed you off too. Remember now?”

    Lemed looked straight at him. “The Trill?” he asked, albeit weakly.

    Kev nodded enthusiastically, anything to have Lemed talking. “Kid might come across as a lazy frakker, but he ain’t stupid,” he said.

    Syrens sounded off in the distance. Wanting to curse the deities for the predicament they were in, Chief Petty Officer Kev jav Fraam knew this was not the place nor time to be doing so. Not that I’d be anywhere else, he concluded while turning his attention back to Lemed. The commodore was drooling. Better than dead, surmised Kev.

    The chief had first met Lemed aboard the border cutter Growler, quickly becoming fast friends. Wherever Lemed went, Kev went. Well, almost. As squadron leader, Lemed had no need for a nurse practitioner.

    “Come on,” urged Kev, helping the commodore to his feet. “By the deities, you’re a fat one.”

    And with that, they disappeared into the shadows.
  2. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    An unlikely duo, in even more unlikely circumstances. Here's hoping the commodore lasts long enough to get smuggled off this backwater hellhole.

    Nice intro to this character!
  3. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    Those in the Border Service may expect to be wounded or killed while aboard a cutter.
    Not in an alley.
    Kudos for an interesting change of pace with good character interaction. Hopefully, the Commodore pulls through!
  4. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 9, 2017
    You'll find this lot of Border Dogs like getting themselves into unlikely circumstances, regularly.
    Gibraltar likes this.
  5. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 9, 2017
    Rest assured, these Border Dogs didn't end up shot in an alleyway. Their presence is however unwelcome.
    I do have a question TLR :) What Border Squadron is along the Klingon-Federation border?
  6. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 9, 2017

    Extract from Captain’s log,

    We are spaceborne! After five days of convincing the engineering personnel aboard Starbase Two-Thirty-four that she was good to fly, the Theseus was given a good bill of health. Admiral Mayweather was nice enough to let me take her out for a spin, even if it were just to fly around in circles around the planet.

    Still, I couldn’t be happier. While we’re still missing a doctor and helmsman, Senior Chief Daviss did point out that one of the enlisted was undergoing flight control training on the side. What better way to continue with that than with a bit of hands on training.


    The view was nothing to brag about, bar from the fact Ambler Furry had a window to look out on. The planet that Starbase 234 was barren, reminding him more of Earth’s moon or Ganymede. Just a tad bigger. H'atoria Sector was no different, just lose rocks and sensor buoys. Plain vanilla boring, as his younger brother Nathan used to say.

    Still, the planet was home to a sizeable mining industry, freight and other associated businesses that warranted colony status by Federation and Klingon law.

    “You do realize that we’re undermanned, Co—err—Captain,” announced Lieutenant Commander Graham Thompson, looking as if he had been showering in repair lubricant. The man’s normally white engineering jumpsuit was gray, with some black and brown blotches thrown in for good measure. Guy needed a shave and haircut, badly.

    Still, Thompson was a pay grade above Sakik and Najar, making him the second-in-command by default.

    To say that Thompson was out of his element was an understatement. Not that Ambler was complaining.

    “That’s reason enough for me,” he said. “There should be a hundred of us, but we’re thirty short. We need cross-trained personnel.”

    “We?” asked the third person in the ready room.

    Ambler turned his attention to Senior Chief Daviss, nodding. She reminded him of a black leopard, albeit one on two legs. “Yes, we, Senior,” he said. “I’m including myself in this.”

    “I saw your jacket, sir,” she demurred. “The parts I could read, that is.”

    Ambler arched an eyebrow. “And?”

    “Don’t you think you’ve cross-trained enough, sir?” she asked. “main propulsion engineer, structural engineer, shuttle pilot. Demolitions.”

    Thompson blinked. “Demolitions?”

    “Yeah, I blew stuff up,” replied Ambler, eyeing Daviss. “You’re no slouch yourself, Senior. Marine sniper, interrogation specialist. Hence the ‘we’. You and I owe it to the crew to pass these skills along.”

    Daviss conceded point with a curt nod, just as the intercom sounded. It was Sakik, telling him of an incoming call.

    “Patch it through to my office, Lieutenant,” instructed Ambler, gesturing that both the senior chief and Thompson wait while he took the call. “Admiral Mayweather, to what do I owe the pleasure?” he asked the dark-skinned human male that popped up on-screen.

    “Captain Furry, I know that we agreed on you just going round the block, as it were. We have a situation,” started the admiral. “Two of your people are in trouble.”

    Furry frowned slightly. For all he knew, all his crew were accounted for.

    “Or, more accurately, Commodore Lemed and your medic,” elaborated Mayweather.

    This time, Furry blinked. The last he heard; the commodore had been away on business.

    “I’ll have my staff transfer the files, but needless to say it’ll mean crossing the border,” Mayweather went on.

    “Klingon space?”

    Mayweather nodded on screen.

    Ambler wasn’t sure he liked the idea of going into Klingon space with what he had available, too many risks. The frown deepened. “Where exactly in Klingon space is the commodore?”

    “Beta Thoridor,” the admiral replied.

    Ambler watched as recognition dawned on both Daviss and Thompson, intriguing him. He turned back to the screen. “This excursion okayed by the consulate, sir?” he wanted to know. After all, both Klingons, Romulans and a couple other races kept diplomatic missions on the colony.

    “Captain.” Mayweather gave him a hooded stare. “I understand that you’ve been in the Border Service awhile now, yes?”

    Furry nodded. He knew the answer.
    CeJay and tax1234 like this.
  7. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    Wow, this reminds me of the Enterprise-B setting off without her photon torpedoes or tractor-beam emitters. A nice little stroll around the neighborhood just turned into a diplomatically delicate rescue mission! Captain Furry, welcome to command! :wtf:
  8. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 9, 2017

    The call ended a moment earlier.

    Furry breathed out and swiveled in his chair to regard both Daviss and the chief engineer. His mind was in overdrive, trying to understand why a commodore was on an unsanctioned—and possibly illegal—mission in Beta Thoridor.

    “All right, I’ll bite.” He regarded the two. Thompson and the senior chief glanced at one another. Furry saw it, his curiosity wanting to burst. Instead, he sat back with practiced indifference and steepled his fingers. “This isn’t my first time with the Border Service. Hell, probably why I got myself in a lot of trouble in the regular fleet, once a Border Dog and all that. But I digress. Commodore, Beta Thoris. Spill.”

    “I should be in Engineering,” coughed Thompson.

    Furry eyed him squarely. “You need a bath first,” he responded pointedly. “Tell you what, Lieutenant Commander Thompson. You spill and I’ll get you to pick either Najar or Sakik as XO.”

    The engineer’s face perked up, his mouth opening.

    Daviss cut him off. “Respectfully, Captain, that’s blackmail.”

    “I know.”

    Thompson gave her a wounded look. “Fair’s fair in love and war, Senior Chief,” the engineer countered and turned his gaze onto Ambler. “Captain, Commodore Lemed likes to be hands on with things. As for Chief jav Fraam? Kev had been friends with the commodore for a very long time.”

    “Enough of a friend to follow him?”

    “Enough so, yes sir.” Thompson nodded.

    “And Beta Thoridor?” Ambler wanted to know.

    “That, you’d need to ask Lieutenant Najar.”


    For whatever reason only known to the captain, the senior staff meeting was conducted in the mass hall. Then again, considering that the senior staff consisted of him, herself, Thompson and the two lieutenants, it made sense.

    “So, Kyle.” the captain turned to regard the Trill and Daviss cocked her head, wondering why Furry had mispronounced Hajar’s first name. “Enlighten me if you will.”

    Daviss eyed the Trill. Much to her amazement, Hajar wasn’t slouching or coming across as bored. Rumor had it that Hajar and Sakik had their first run-in with their new captain with everyone absent, and that Furry didn’t sound amused when Hajar referred to Sakik as ‘Kick’.

    “About?” Hajar asked.

    “I’d say ‘the meaning of life’, but will settle on Beta Thoridor,” replied Furry with the patience of a saint.

    “It’s in Klingon space,” offered Hajar.

    “Really?” Furry shot his eyebrow up, as if it was revelation he did not know about.

    “Respectfully, Captain,” Daviss interjected. “The Commodore went looking for confirmation that the Nuv pagh Tuq were operating out of Beta Thoridor.”

    “Those with no House,” announced Furry, surprising everyone in the process. “We came across them while serving aboard Lerverno. If I were to use a terran analogy, the Tuq are akin to Caribbean Pirates and the New York Mafia of old. Bad news all around,” he said a little begrudgingly. “Why was the Commodore there without backup?”

    “Because the Klingon Consular-General denied him entry first time round,” offered Najar.

    “And Starfleet Intelligence?” asked Furry.

    “What about them?”

    “I thought we had Starfleet Intelligence for that,” countered the captain.

    You would know! Daviss nodded, while another wanted to ask about Lerverno. She had read his service jacket, dismayed that her security clearance wasn’t high enough. Suspicious, she called on her markers across the quadrant, only to have them slammed back at her face. One of her contacts however did deliver, stating that Ambler Furry had saved the ship Lerveno from being boarded, only to be used as a scapegoat by the board of inquiry.

    “Fine, useless bastards,” muttered Furry under his breath, sighed and considered Daviss and the trio of officers. “Alright. I take it you’ve read the admiral’s brief?”

    Daviss wanted to snort. Talk about brief. Instead, she crossed her arms over her breasts.

    Upon seeing nods, he pressed on.

    “It’s an extraction, plain and simple,” said the captain. “Unsanctioned or otherwise, the Commodore at least was smart enough to register his comms with Two-Thirty-four’s communications department. That’s the good news, we can call him.”

    “What’s the bad news?” asked Sakik.

    “Klingons don’t want us there either,” said Furry. Suddenly, he grinned and clasped his hands together eagerly. “Okay, so I have a plan.”

    “And that is?” asked Daviss, intrigued despite herself.

    “Impersonate a comet,” said Furry, sounding pleased with himself.
    CeJay and Gibraltar like this.
  9. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 9, 2017

    Kev jav Fraam slid the wooden panel into place, hiding the antiquated comms gear.

    Hunched on his tiptoes, his thoughts elsewhere. By right, neither he nor Lemed should have been here. After all, he grumbled, that’s why we have Starfleet Intelligence for crying out load! Yet, Lemed had insisted of going it alone. Kev followed out of loyalty.

    Lemed had his suspicions, believing that Nuv pagh Tuq had setup shop on the border planet. The Tug were vicious pirates, targeting anything carrying cargo. Waging an undeclared war on Federation shipping and the Border Service in particular, the Tuq had been a thorn in the commodore’s side for as long as Kev could remember.

    Problem was, no one knew where the Tuq were based. There had been theories, but nothing concrete. Point was, neither Starfleet Intelligence nor its civilian counterparts had the means of finding out. Lemed took it upon himself to find out, with Kev accompanying out of duty and friendship.

    He stood and walked over to where the commodore lay.

    “Starfleet got the message,” he announced while sitting on the bed’s side, placing a three-fingered hand against the Bolian’s head. He felt a fever. “Theseus is on its way.”

    Lemed barely opened his eyes. “The-seus?” The voice was barely a whisper, breathing hard between syllables. “Who com-mand-zzz?”

    “Better not be Najar. Kid can’t even talk straight to save himself,” Kev muttered under his breath. He turned back to regard Lemed. “No idea, sir.” He checked the temperature. Tssking, Kev shook his head. “What you need is a sickbay. Theseus better get here, fast.”

    In response, the commodore fell asleep.
    CeJay likes this.
  10. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 9, 2017

    Ambler breathed out.

    Yes, he could just as easily sit in the captain’s chair. Heck, he was the captain after all, but with no designated science officer per se, he was guiding a young crewman.

    “See that one here?” he asked of the young Andorian, pointing at the screen. “That one, yeah, designation ‘Charlie 2245-Alpha’. Check it against Two-Thirty-four’s database.”

    “You think we could piggyback on it?” the crewman asked.

    “Idea has merit,” responded Ambler, licking his lips briefly in thought. “Check the trajectory and see how close it passes Beta Thoridor.”

    The young Andorian nodded.

    Leaving the acting science specialist to his task, Ambler took a step back and surveyed his domain. Sakik sat in Navigations, next to the crewman manning Helm up front. Najar was nowhere to be seen, but that was by design. The lieutenant was a logistics expert and Ambler set him the task of doing an inventory of everything aboard Theseus. Ambler wanted a full accounting of what he had right now.

    Senior Chief Daviss was in the ‘surfboard’ section of the ship, in the Armory just above the transporter room. For that, he was grateful. Daviss was a competent non-com, having served in the marines before transferring over to the Border Service. One thing was for sure, her skills would be crucial to pull this extraction off. And here I thought I left that behind when transferring out of Starfleet Intelligence and the Leverno, groused Ambler.

    “Captain?” the Andorian crewman attracted his attention.

    “Yes, Val?”

    “I did the math,” said Val.

    Ambler joined him. “And?”

    “Like you said, Captain, the idea has merit,” replied the crewman, pointing at his findings. “If my math is right, our emissions ought to be masked by whatever Charlie 2245-Alpha’s spitting out. The only drawback, it’ll take us about four days.”

    Four days, thought Ambler. The Commodore could be dead by then. Aloud, he said. “Good work, pass it on to Mr. Mallard if you will.”

    Val nodded and turned back to his work.

    Ambler started for his chair.

    “Mr. Mallard, once you have the data, plot a course with Lieutenant Sakik,” he ordered while taking his seat.

    At Helm, Crewman Thomas Mallard nodded. “Aye, aye, Captain,” came the reply.

    A couple seconds later, Mallard spoke up again. “Course set in.”

    Ambler straightened in his seat. “Engage!”
    CeJay, mthompson1701 and Gibraltar like this.
  11. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 9, 2017

    Crewman Thonaoss Ch'valnik, or Val as he was known, eyed the data streaming across the screens. Science duty, who would have thought! A part of him beamed. He had excelled in science while at school, but his grades weren’t good enough for Starfleet Academy. Enlistment and the Border Service were the only options open. Well, there were the Marines, but Val had learned pretty quickly that the corps wasn’t for him either.

    Just never mind that the Border Dogs—as the Service was colloquially known—didn’t have science departments aboard their cutters.

    So, Val settled on being an engineering generalist.

    And yet, here he was.

    “Target on our ten o’clock, Captain!” announced Lieutenant Sakik.

    Val turned to watch the proceedings, noting that the lieutenant seemed a little more confident since the captain’s arrival.

    He eyed his new commanding officer may have been human, but he was no ‘pink skin’. Captain Furry had olive colored skin and his brown eyes were slanted. The captain looked comfortable and at ease, and Val got the sense Furry knew what he was doing.

    “Let’s see what we got,” said Captain Furry with a curt nod. “On screen.”

    Val eyed the screen, catching the glimpse of C2247-A.

    “Looks like a poor man’s excuse of a golf ball,” announced Mallard from flight control.

    “That’s one way of looking at it,” agreed Furry.

    “And the other way, sir?”

    “I was thinking potato, Mr. Mallard.”

    “Each to their own, sir!” Mallard grinned.

    “I’ll keep that in mind, Mr. Mallard.” Furry returned the grin, sat back, and rubbed his hands together. “Okay, kids, let’s get this show on the road. Mr. Mallard ease us behind the meteor.”

    The helmsman happily complied.
    TheLoneRedshirt, CeJay and tax1234 like this.
  12. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    That's a creative and gutsy way to enter a potentially hostile situation. Credit where credit's due. If you can't (or shouldn't) shoot your way in, come at them from an angle they won't see. :bolian:
  13. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 9, 2017
    Thank you
  14. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 9, 2017

    Chief Petty Officer Kev jav Fraam, Border Service medic and nursing practitioner extraordinaire, gave the blue-skinned Bolian male a cursory once over. Lemed was asleep.

    Probably for the best, mused the Tellarite as he nudged the curtain aside. It was dark outside. Not that meant anything, the settlement was just as dangerous now as it was during daytime.

    Patrols had increased, with parties of three, four or more Klingons, Nausicaans and Orions walking the streets.

    And where are the authorities? Kev wanted to know.

    Beta Thoridar was well within Klingon territory, despite its close proximity to the Federation border. Kev wasn’t entirely sure if it belonged to a House or to the High Council—then again, he didn’t particularly care either.

    They better hurry up, he urged, thinking of the Theseus.

    With a grunt, he went to check on Lemed.
    CeJay likes this.
  15. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 9, 2017

    Despite a career involving flight control, Ambler wasn’t much on stellar cartography. He was more a ‘flying from one point to the next, rinse and repeat’. Astronomy and the dynamics involved in planetary orbits, cause and effect were left for the scientists. ‘Nerds’ as my brother liked to call them, he thought while half paying attention to the main screen.

    He was technically off duty, with Hajar rostered to oversee the shift.

    Flight control, Ops and Science were manned by crewmen whom Furry had yet to talk with one-on-one, something he had managed with Daviss, Mallard and Val. It had been a thing he had done while a department head, and liked to think that he had an open-door policy.

    “Got something on long-range sensors!” announced the Petty Officer Second Class manning the tactical console.

    Hajar glanced at Furry. “Captain?”

    Furry didn’t bother looking up from the padd he was perusing. “I’m not here, Kyle,” he said.

    Hajar furrowed his brow a little, uncertainty written on his face.

    Good! Thought the captain. Yes, Ambler was fully aware that he had misnamed the lieutenant, but that was deliberate. Hajar had referred to Sakik as ‘Kick’. While Furry had no problems with nicknames, he did not appreciate them in more formal situations—such as meeting your captain for the very first time.

    Hesitating briefly, Hajar shrugged and glanced to the petty officer.

    “What is it, Mi—ahh—Mr. Sinclair?” the Trill wanted to know.

    “I can’t be sure, but I think we’ve got a bogey on our port,” Sinclair announced.

    Once more, Hajar’s head swung to regard Furry. “Captain?”

    And once again, Furry ignored him. “Don’t look at me, Lieutenant.”

    “Ah, right.” Hajar licked his lips. He turned back to Sinclair. “You think we have a bogey, either we do or don’t?”

    The petty officer eyed Hajar coolly. “I can’t be certain because of all the junk the comet’s spitting out. It’s interfering with our sensors.”

    “And what do you think I should do about it?”

    “You’re the duty officer, sir. You tell me.”

    Furry barely suppressed the snigger, disguising it as a cough into his hand.
  16. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    The junior officers and non-coms have to grind down each others' rough edges.
  17. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 5, 2006
    Furry certainly has a bit of an unconventional command style but I guess there's no better teacher than real life. Let's hope this hands off approach will lead to an avoidable crisis as this mostly green crew is trying to figure things out.
  18. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 9, 2017
    Sorry about the delay folks, but the last four weeks have been frustrating. Things are getting back to normal.
  19. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 9, 2017

    Extract from Captain’s log, supplemental

    We’ve been trailing C2247-A for some time now, using its tail to mask our entry into Klingon space. So far, so good.

    I have decided to see if Lieutenant Hajar was able to step up to the task of being my second-in-command, and have opted a ‘hands off’ approach.

    Not sure it’s working though . . .


    From the corner of his eye, Ambler watched as the lieutenant tried to react. If by ‘react’ one meant staring dumbfounded between Sinclair and the view-screen, then Hajar was doing a fairly good job.

    “All right, let me rephrase.” The Trill tried again. “What would you recommend, Mr. Sinclair?”

    The captain watched as Sinclair regarded the Trill, a slight frown forming as the petty officer formulated an answer. “I think we ought to poke our nose out a little, do a short burst of a scan and get the captain involved,” he said, blinked and added a quick “sir”.

    Furry waited, glancing over at Hajar. As much as he wanted to jump in, Ambler had no desire to make the lieutenant look like a fool.

    “Captain?” asked Hajar.

    Furry stirred into action. “I hear you,” he said while placing the padd aside. “Mr. Sinclair, standby for a short sensor sweep.”

    Sinclair turned to his station. “Standing by.”

    Furry nodded, unconsciously pulling down on his tunic. “Miss Oagga,” he addressed the female Saurian crewman controlling helm. “Bring us over the comet, nice and slow.”
    Gibraltar and CeJay like this.
  20. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 9, 2017

    Compared to the rogue comet it was trailing, the Border Service cutter was small enough to remain relatively unseen as it poked its nose over the horizon. For the moment the Theseus poked her nose out, a power sensor array shot a short burst and mapped out a quarter of an astronomic unit before the ship ducked down once more.


    “It’s a shuttle grade vessel,” announced PO2 Sinclair.

    Furry grunted acknowledgement, thinking. Under normal circumstances, an Oberth could easily take out a shuttle. Yeah, but these aren’t normal circumstances? For one, he was in command of a border cutter. There was nothing wrong with an Oberth, but she was nothing compared to what the Special Mission Teams fielded. For another, they were deep inside Klingon territory. Can’t attract too much attention.

    Easier said than done! He quietly mused and sighed.

    “Okay. This is going to get interesting,” muttered Furry as he straightened, rubbed his hands together and eyed the Suarian. “Miss Oagga, time to fly. Pop out, get a fix on that shuttle and try getting behind. Kyle -”

    Furry glanced to where Hajar manned the weapons console.


    “- stand by to EMP its ass.”

    The Trill blinked. “And then what?”

    Furry eyed him. “We beat feet to Beta Thoridar.”

    Author's note - Well, I'm back. Life has really returned to normal, even if we're still looking for a new place to live in the long run. Wife's cancer free for 7 months now, so let it continue that way. Hope all is well on your end?
    CeJay, mthompson1701 and tax1234 like this.