Chapter three I hope y’all can enjoy it and please review
A FRESH START
As they entered the gates of the settlement Elisabeth looked worriedly at both Jim and Ben “Do you think we might get into trouble over this?” She asked. Jim shrugged “Don´t worry you´re a doctor, plus you were recruited so they may cut you some slack and I don´t think they´ll make too much fuzz over Zoe either” he said reassuringly “me on the other hand are an escaped convict and Ben I think is now officially a deserter” he continued. “Whatever happens we´ll get through it together” Ben said with a smile at Jim and Elisabeth, Jim looked as Ben walked passed them and made a face at Zoe and Maddy that made both giggle, Ben never once had blamed Jim for leaving for the police academy even though Jim came home to visit as often as he could. After that final beating that practically took their mother away and sent their father to jail Ben had at first refused to even speak to him for a while but he later said that he understood why Jim couldn´t always be there for them. Despite the tragedy Ben had always been cheerful and had grown up into a fine man, Jim just wished he could have done something to prevent what happened to him before, when Jim and Elisabeth had visited him during the last day at the military youth academy Ben had looked so proud and they had all been happy to see each other. It was a complete shock to both Jim and Elisabeth when they picked him up at the veterans hospital after Somalia he looked worn out and his hard grey eyes had a sort of pained almost self loathing look in them when they had embraced him he had started crying uncontrollably into their chests that was the second time Ben had cried after their mother died and the first time Jim ever saw him cry as Elisabeth had often said: “crying is sometimes what is needed before one could start to heal” Though Ben never spoke of what had happened and rarely smiled except with the kids who Jim could clearly see that he loved fiercely and they totally adored him.
… Many years later after Ben had been wounded and almost died in Cuba Ben were transferred to Delta force anti terrorist detachment in Washington it had still been dangerous work but at least not as much, Jim was glad, at least here there was no conflicts or terrorists or rebels to fight here they could truly be a family ALL of them together and maybe they could all help Ben truly heal, Jim could see that Ben tried to hide it but both he and Elisabeth could see how he suffered with the nightmares and that classical thousand yard stare which up until then Jim had thought he would never have to see in the face of his own brother and even though Ben seemed to have gotten over the worst of it Jim blamed the government for turning boys into both killers and victims like his brother he blamed their father for beating them but most of all he blamed himself for failing to help Ben in the first place.
After Commander Taylor’s speech Jim, Elisabeth and Ben was taken into the command centre to talk with Taylor, Ben at first had to wait just outside the office and while he waited he watched the children, Josh looked grumpy, not surprising Ben thought since his girlfriend was still in the future he had also off course a lot off resentment after Jim had been taken away to jail , Zoe and Maddy on the other hand looked like they couldn´t wait to see more of this place especially Maddy who practically jumped up and down out off excitement at all the new things she could learn, she was considered a child prodigy a genius , Ben was still amazed at how much knowledge that girl could fit into her head sometimes when she got into one of her explanations he felt like a retard but was proud and he knew she could really make something out of her life, he noticed a couple of soldiers eyeing her approvingly and scowled at them he was not blind to the fact that Maddy was growing up to quite a beauty she had clearly inherited her mother’s looks but that didn´t stop Ben from feeling suspicious of those soldier boys he knew EXACTLY how soldiers viewed innocent young girls like Maddy he had seen it all too often among his fellow soldiers in the future for them it was usually nothing but some sort of sick game, he had broken the nose of a soldier that had said “find them use them and loose them” , Maddy had been through enough what with the bullying at school a fact that had become all too obvious when Josh had told him that many of the kids called her names like nerd or freak she had even been physically harassed a few times something that made Ben furious the name calling were bad enough but when it went physical it was pure cowardice he himself had been known as a fighter and problem kid in school there where more than once either Jim or Elisabeth..or both had been called by the principal he also knew Josh had gotten into a lot of fights over Maddy´s treatment in school. Ben swore that if anyone tried anything he didn´t like with Maddy or any of the Shannon children ESPECIALLY those soldiers he would tear them limb from limb and he was quite sure that both Jim and Josh would help him in such an endeavour.
All the other people had been showed to where they would live by soldiers acting as guides, in the corner of his eye he saw a young soldier that couldn´t be more than eighteen or twenty at the most slowly come walking towards the kids with a friendly smile on his face as soon as the young man’s eyes landed on Maddy Ben couldn’t help but snicker as the boy looked absolutely dumbstruck and Ben couldn´t help but laugh silently as the boy managed to stumble over his own feet nearly falling down moron, Why did Maddy or any of the children have to grow up he thought before he realized just how silly the very thought was he remembered Elisabeth saying something similar when Josh had come home from school one day and put all his toys into boxes when he met Kara the first time. At that moment Elisabeth came out of the office and the male officer ushered Ben inside as he lingered for a few moments to eye the young soldiers as if to warn them telepathically to keep their hands and even eyes to themselves. As he entered the office he caught the end of the conversation between Taylor and Jim “Agricultural are a man short so I´m assigning you there” Taylor said to Jim “my daughter says I have whatever the opposite of a green thumb is…but I´ll do the best I can” he said and left the office after a worried look at Ben. Good at least Jim and Liz seemed to be off the hook Ben thought before he almost automatically stood at attention as he faced Commander Taylor.
… Taylor gave Ben a scrutinizing look before he started “Benjamin Franklin Shannon, first in the US youth corps in Somalia after which you got promoted to corporal and then Cuba and later transferred to Delta force where you were promoted to sergeant” Taylor said as he seemed to be going through Bens entire life, Ben groaned at the names to be named after one of the USA founding fathers had given him a LOT of grief in school, “what I don´t get is why someone that was decorated for bravery TWICE first in Somalia and then later in Cuba would go AWOL and then help an escaped fugitive through the portal?” Taylor continued with a disapproving frown as he burrowed his eyes into Ben´s own but Ben didn´t flinch which Taylor seemed to pick up on as the corner of his mouth twitched with only the slightest smile, “I did what I did for my brother and his family sir and if you are going to punish someone then punish me and leave them out of this” Ben said with all the confidence he could muster, Taylors smile grew wider “Your brother said something similar about you” he said approvingly, “You sure have come a long ways since Somalia son” he said. Then it all fell into place Commander Nathaniel Taylor, he had heard Maddy ramble all sorts of facts about Terra Nova and had then mentioned him being in command here “last time I saw you was in Heartbreak valley it was my unit that found the remains of your youth company after Axis psi-ops had screwed y’all over” Taylor said with only the slightest hint of anger in his voice, Ben understood why, Axis psi-ops had committed numerous war crimes not only in Somalia, Somalia was then one of the few places in the world where the air was still clean enough to breathe so off course there had been heavy fighting over it and Heartbreak valley had been named such by the soldiers because of the very same screwed up operation that still caused Ben and so many other young soldiers a few nightmares now and then.
Then Ben noticed the female officer with lieutenant insignia on her shoulder
pads standing on Taylor’s right side and he finally recognized her as then sergeant Alicia Washington,
“I remember now sir I forgot to thank you for that sir” Ben said, “no need it was our duty I´m only saddened we didn’t come sooner plus you were kind of out of it at that moment I´m surprised you remember anything at all” Taylor said with a hard look in his face “anyway for going AWOL I´m of half a mind to put you on latrine duty until the next age” That about latrine duty actually made Ben loose his composure and he cringed a bit which made both Taylor and Washington crack a smile, “BUT since you DID do it for the right moral reason and since I don´t care much for them population laws” Taylor said the last with some disdain, “plus we can actually use more good soldiers around here so I´ll give you a chance to prove yourself if you can drag your sorry ass back up here at O eight hundred in the morning I´ll think about it until then you go help your family get settled” Taylor said. Ben saluted both of them out of habit which felt a bit awkward since he was wearing civilian clothes “Yes sir” he said before he turned around and walked out of the office and down the stairs to his family who looked at him “I half expected you to come out of there with an armed escort” Josh blurted out only to get smacked in the back of his head by Maddy “how come you always have a knack for saying the wrong things Josh?” she said with an annoyed look on her face, “well at least I breathe some between sentences” Josh teased her. Ben smiled at their bantering despite all the wrongs in the future Josh, Maddy and Zoe was still innocent and he would do anything to keep it that way for as long as possible.
They followed the young soldier that looked very tensed Christ that kid looks nervous, if he farts he´ll go into orbit! Ben thought he noticed that even Maddy kept throwing the kid a few glances whenever she thought the guy wasn´t looking and off course vice versa Ben noted which almost sent him into a laughing fit YEP she´s growing up but don´t you DARE get frisky boy he thought he wondered if Jim or Elisabeth had noticed, Jim seemed completely oblivious but then again he hadn´t seen the kids in two years in his eyes Maddy was still fourteen.
When they finally got to the house the soldier said “your quarters are here in the newer parts of the settlement some of these units aren´t quite finished most haven´t even been painted yet” he said with a slight accent barely noticeable and continued telling them of a store further down the street “if you need anything just let us know” after which he marched off after an all too obvious glance at Maddy which Ben was half sure she must´ve picked up as her face started getting red as a ripe tomato.
As they entered the house Ben smiled as Maddy and Josh started a small bickering about who gets the bigger room, “there´s no room for me” Zoe said with an innocent whine, “we´ll figure something out sweetie” Jim said reassuringly to her which made her look down to the floor sadly, “she doesn´t know me” Jim said “it´s been two years last time she saw you she was barely three” Elisabeth said. Jim crouched down to Zoe´s level “right we need to find a bed for what´s your name again?” Jim asked Zoe jokingly she just looked at Elisabeth and then at Jim “oh yeah that´s right Martha so we need to..” Jim said as Zoe shook her head at him “Oh oh right it´s Priscilla” he said which made Zoe start giggling and shake her head even more fiercely “not Priscilla huh?” Jim mock asked again with a goofy look on his face by now both Maddy and Josh started peeking out from the rooms they were examining and everyone except Josh was smiling widely, Jim snapped his fingers “Oh wait I´ve got it´s Zoe yeah” as Zoe nodded and smiled even wider “well hi Zoe my name´s Alfredo pleasure to meet you” Jim introduced himself Zoe started to shake her head again and giggled “what?” Jim asked in mock surprise “no it´s not” Zoe said “well what is it?” Jim asked his smile growing wider “Daddy” Zoe said matter of factually and Jim kissed her forehead. Then Maddy settled the room dispute since she and Zoe would share the bigger room which caused a scowl on Josh´s face, “I´ll go look at that store down the street and check out what they have there” Ben said who was already examining the cupboards in the kitchen and found those nasty protein shakes he had off course had a LOT worse during his tour in Somalia some fool had found some fruit trees and had passed them around which had caused Ben´s entire platoon to be taken out of action for a near week half in the infirmary the other half practically occupying the latrine he remembered actually longing for all that lovely smog at home since they after that week had to clean up after themselves and the platoon had been given all sorts of less than kind nicknames.
As Ben walked out he could hear Josh saying something in an angry voice that he didn´t pick up on, as he suddenly saw Zoe walking up to the fence, what he saw her walking towards was what almost made him freak out, the biggest damn animal he had ever seen not that there were many animals left in 2149 to even reference with, he started running as he saw Zoe walk closer to whatever the HELL that overgrown lizard was and Zoe was actually feeding the damn thing as she held a branch with some leaves on it and held onto it, “ZOE!!” he yelled as the lizard took a bite out of the branch and literally lifted the girl up “ZOE!!” Ben heard Jim shout as he reached Zoe and caught her as she let go of the branch and looked at him and the others as if it was the easiest thing in the world and smiled at them.
… As they later went to bed Ben and Jim came into an argument whom would sleep on the couch and who would sleep on the floor as Zoe was going to sleep in the main bedroom with Elisabeth as she had been doing for the past two years in the future and since they had to wait until the next day at least before they could get an extra bed for her, “Ok let´s play rock paper scissors” Jim said smiling mischievously at Ben “why? You always cheat anyway?!” Ben said “it´s impossible to cheat at THAT” Jim said “OH you´ll find a way” Ben said with a half smile “besides I always get to sleep on the floor” he continued “Na, I always let you take the better bunk” Jim said and Ben relented and they played the game and off course Ben lost “well I guess when I get to your age I´ll forget where I sleep too.” Ben grumbled which made Elisabeth smile at their antics she could clearly see that both Ben and Jim were more at ease fooling around like that, it was like they were bonding as brothers again. When Ben came home from Somalia he had changed before when he was still a boy she had managed to bond with him and he was more open with his feelings around her than with Jim at first she knew Ben had some issues with Jim leaving when Ben was only eight years old but seemed to have forgiven him later on but she also knew Jim had felt guilty for not being there all the time other than the few visits once in a while whenever he could and those few times he brought Elisabeth with him. But after Somalia he had kept whatever emotions he had hidden except that one time in the hospital where he literally broke down in tears into their arms but as Elisabeth was trained in psychology as well as medicine she could see he was in pain some wounds never heal unless one gets help and even then it is not sure she thought, she had ever since he left at fifteen felt guilty but also pride at his sense of responsibility towards the family and he never once complained, after Somalia he had a look of being broken inside the only thing that seemed to even bring some calm and even a smile to his face was Josh and Maddy. At the ceremony where Ben was decorated for bravery that horrid general Philbrick had said: “You went to war as a boy and came back a man” Elisabeth could´ve slapped the man for that Off course he had whatever innocence he had left stolen from him in that horrible place she had thought angrily. She had her father pull a lot of strings to get him to the veteran’s hospital in Chicago after he got wounded in Cuba so she could make sure he was given the best possible care as she volunteered to work there as well. She was glad that Jim had gotten work on the agricultural detail and she hoped Ben had gotten something similar they had all gone through a couple of rough years after Jim was arrested and she had also found out about what Maddy had lived through in school something that had made Ben literally fly off the handle and it was all she could do to prevent him from charging off and killing someone when he had found out that Maddy had been physically harassed, and when Elisabeth had been recruited to Terra Nova and she had found out that Josh had gotten into a lot off fights trying to protect his sister that´s when Elisabeth had decided that they would ALL go “please god let us heal and be a family again” she whispered.
Terra Nova was their second chance for all of them as a family after all.
It was their BEST chance…..
OK that was chapter three I’d like some reviews on how you thought of it!