Kaiser123 smiled, seeing Dark immediately get to business. It was a relief in a way, as there was no feeling out process, no distrust evident, despite the uncertain circumstances to which Dark awoke, and most of all, there were no feverish ramblings about shooting Sherriffs, or about the world being a vampire. Dark dreams were apparently very impressionable to music. Or at least they were when he was fevered.
"Well now. Glad to see you're feeling better, but I'm thinking breakfast, then hitting the road. I do have plans, but I don't want to discuss them here. No offense mom, but you're in trouble enough just putting us up. The less you know about what we're up to, the better."
"Whatever, Kai. Long as you keep yourself safe, and I know my grandkids are okay, I'm good. You do what you have to, just make sure whatever it is, word gets to me when it's done. My daughter deserves to know what happened, good or bad."
"I'll do my best, Mom." he said quietly.
"Good. I've got the oil heating, fresh bannock on the way. Blueberry jam in the cupboard up there, been saving it for a special day. I think this qualifies. Coffee too, over there."
Breakfast was a somber affair, but not entirely silent, as Kai felt obliged to share the latest news of his children with his mother-in-law, such as Tashum's tendency to jump on the couch when watching hockey, or Cahle's latest achievement, riding a two wheeler. Trinity was becoming interested in boys to Kai's dismay. In a way, Kai was reminding himself as well, what he was fighting for, as well as what he had missed happening beneath his nose during his past four years of depression since the Bill had passed.
Dark was silent through most of it, probably unsure of what to add, Kai figured. But when the conversation turned towards the difficulty of leaving loved ones behind, Dark couldn't help but interject quietly.
"It's even worse when you don't know where they are, or if they're alive..."
There was nothing really to be said to that, but Doreen (aka Mom) put a hand on his, and squeezed softly.
Uncomfortable with the emotional moment, Kai stood, clearing his throat. "We should go...we'll take some of that bannock for the drive."
Mom smirked. "That's the Kai I remember. Couldn't turn away from bannock if your life depended on it. That or your mom's cake...what was it called?"
"Socker Caka." said Kai with a smirk. "Still sounds a little dirty, doesn't it?"
"Yeah, still does. Especially when a two year old tries to say it."
Kai sniggered. "Still remember you reaching for the soap."
"Woulda used alot of it if he'd been saying what I thought he was. Then on you, for letting him learn it."
"Love you, mom. Tell Jonathan and Lee that they aren't the only hoodlums in the family anymore. They'll get a kick out of that."
"I will." she said with a smile. "Stay safe. Please."
Kai nodded, and helped Dark up, then gathered the bannock, and a thermos of coffee. He grabbed a cane from near the door for Dark and walked beside him to catch him if he had trouble getting to the car. Soon they were under way. Dark made it about half a block before the expected question.
"Okay, so what's the plan?"
"The Safe, probably, at least first. I need to know what we have, and who's still around."
"And...you had a plan too, you said?"
"Yup." Kai smiled. He liked keeping the poor guy in a bit of suspense.
Kai pulled over. "Better I show you."
He opened the door, and helped Dark into the back seat of the big SUV, to where a big black Pelican case awaited.
Dark frowned, and opened it, smiling bemusedly at his newfound compatriot. It was almost like Christmas time, where a gift that actually managed to stay a secret awaited under the tree. Would he be disappointed? Kai thought not.
"Laptops...12 of them..." Dark frowned. "I don't get it."
"Think Server 2008, SQL, Webservers, and a few assorted apps."
"No, you're right. I didn't. It's not Protagonize.com. But it's as close as I could get it, and it's mobile. I'd need Nick around to get it working the way it was. And I need you. I need a hacker who can help me figure out security measures, intrusion detection, and basically ensure it takes a great deal of time and effort to trace this site."
"But still...this is huge Kai...and if we manage to get this out there...wow...we are in so much crap..." he said laughing.
"I know...ain't it great?"