I want to thank Dell for writing the last couple of chapters for me, and taking up the slack.
This chapter takes us back to the place/time just before we started seeing Dell's flashback.
I know this chapter has been a very long time in coming, but I think that I have finally managed to get past my writer's block, and can now put a few things in order.
I definitely have a few surprises up my sleeve. One of those will involve getting permission from someone else, to allow me to do one of the things I promised to do. I do hope this chapter will put me in a position to get the missing people rescued, and properly settled.
Once that is finished, I can do what needs to be done with the other situation, but first things first...
The Radio Rancher
Everyone woke up, after what seemed like an extremely restful sleep. Of course, since there was no linear flow of time, in the dimension we were in, those of us who were corporal, and needed rest, or sleep, had to make do with a clever simulation of time passing.
Delaren's people had plenty of experience with solving that problem, and they provided us with whatever we needed.
Once we were all awake, and had our wits about us, we began to work on our lists in earnest. Delaren showed us what we needed to do so that, if you'll excuse the expression, it took us no time at all to finish correlating all the data.
Once we had all the missing people identified, we were finally able to do a successful search and rescue.
When everyone who had been spirited away had been found, and retrieved, and we were all in one location in the space/time continuum, we gave everyone the opportunity to decide whether they wanted to stay with us, or go back to wherever/whenever they came from. It turned out that all the disappearances were perpetrated by a small group of rogue pandimensional beings, that Delaren's people somehow had not previously known of, beings who felt that certain people were being badly treated by the people around them, and that by removing them from their situations, they would make things much better for the people they "rescued."
Unfortunately, though, they didn't bother to ask any of the people involved, whether or not they wanted to leave.
There was a huge number of boys who had been bullied by their peers, or mistreated, in other ways, by their families, or so called 'care givers', simply because they were thought to be gay. Most of THEM asked not to be returned to their original tortured lives.
There were, however, about twenty boys who were not at all happy, even after we rescued them from their rescuers. Some of them were even willing to go back to the threatening situations they came from, in order to be with their lovers. Others asked if we could rescue their lovers and bring them to wherever they would be sent.
The do-gooders had simply lifted them from their lives, and in their particular cases, hadn't noticed that they had been in loving relationships. Their partners hadn't been in immediate danger, as they saw it, so they were left behind, with their memories of the missing people wiped clean.
That, of course, presented a problem for the Council.
The High Council was not at all happy with the rogues' actions, and sentenced them to remain in linear time, until they learned a good lesson. I'm afraid we will just have to see how long that will take.
Delaren decided to take on the responsibility to help care for the new arrivals.
He stood up and asked for everyone's attention.
"I have an idea that I am pretty sure will work out well," He explained, "but I will need to permission to do it." he told us, "I will need to leave for a bit, so I can go ask my friend if he is willing and or able to do it."
Of course, we didn't have long to wait, since there was no linear time, where/when we were. Delaren simply vanished, and almost instantly returned, I could feel his enthusiasm and happiness, radiating from him, the instant he appeared.
"He said he'd be happy to help us in any way he could. He did insist on connecting with everyone involved, though, before he would agree to my idea. So, let's get everyone settled, and I will bring him here to meet our guests." He grinned.
"He wasn't sure if he could make the trip, but I let him know that I could, and would, bring him here and get him back home safely."
We were all wondering what Delaren had planned, but we knew he would let us know when the time was right, so to speak.
Delaren flickered, for that brief moment, and when he reappeared, he was standing beside a couple of very good-looking young men, and there were a lot of deep breaths taken, as everyone saw the gorgeous hunks, standing next to Delaren.
"I'd like you to meet Fallon and his life partner, Devin. They live in a beautiful place with plenty of room, and they are willing to provide a home for anyone wishing to go there." Delaren put an arm around each of the men, and gave them each a one-armed hug.
Fallon smiled and said, "We discussed what to do about those who have been left back in their original lives, minus their loved ones who are here with us, of course. Delaren and I have come up with a plan that we hope will be acceptable to everyone concerned."
When they finished explaining what they wanted to do, I was pretty sure that the plan would work, assuming that the people who were now living without their lovers could have their memories of them restored, and wanted to be with them.
The plan was to bring both lovers to their new homeworld, where there would be no hatred or bullying.
If the person who had been left behind wanted, and his family was willing to relocate, they would all be accepted as citizens of the new homeworld. If any or all of the family members wanted to remain on their old world, Fallon would be willing to change their memories, so they could live a happy life the way they always had.
Everyone accepted Delaren's Idea, so he, Dell and Fallon made quick work of bringing the loved ones who had been left behind, to the timeless dimension.
All twenty boys, and all but three members of one family, who wanted to stay behind, volunteered to emigrate to the new homeworld, to be with their loved ones.
All the lovers had been reunited, and we were ready to send all of our volunteers back home.
Delaren explained to all the volunteers, that they would most likely not remember anything that had happened to them, except, maybe, as some sort of dream, of fantasy.
There was, however, one exception. The council did something for Tim, since he had done quite a lot of work, helping to figure out the plan to rescue the missing people. Even so, they totally surprised me, and everyone else. They actually granted him his wish, to go back in his time line, to his earlier life; to his sixteenth birthday party, to be exact. Not only that, but they gave him an even more unexpected gift. They allowed him to keep his memories of his original life, up through the moment they sent him back, so he would be able to make some crucial changes in his own life and the lives of his family and someone that he loved very much. All of which would improve the things for the people he loved.
Tim had been fantasizing for years about going back in time, and changing some pivotal events in his and his family's lives, and since the Council was easily able to check out what the changes were, that Tim wanted to make, they knew that those changes would not affect much in the overall timeline, so they gave him his wish, subject to their monitoring the situation, to make sure that there were no unforeseen consequences, that might change any major events in history.
One of the most important things Tim wanted to do was to keep his brother from being killed in an accident that could have easily been prevented, if someone had known about it in time. This time he would know, and be there to prevent the tragedy.
He also wanted to come out to his family and to the boy he had always loved. Apparently, the Council deemed his motivation and his plans for fixing things important enough to grant him his wish.
Everyone else returned to the exact instant and location that they left,
After these many years, certain things I had planned for this story did not sit well with me, so any connection or mention of those possibilities have been removed, and the story has been finished.
As I mentioned in this chapter earlier, I have another story I have been tasked with finishing. The story is not my story. It is by Sam Lakes, and I owe him an apology for taking so long to rescue his people and resolve the cliffhanger he left us with.
I will begin working on that project very soon, and I hope to have that done within the next few months.
I also have several other stories that are still in limbo. Now that I have passed my point of writer's block, or whatever it was, I also plan to finish those other stories as well. I also have some new ideas, as well, so keep watching this space.
I hope you enjoyed the story. Comments gratefully accepted at The Radio Rancher
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher.