To Timothy

Hey Bobby. Hey Kelly.

Yeah, I knew you’d be here too. Has he shown you two his sword yet?

OK, get your minds out of the gutter. Have you two seen the bladed weapon Tim’s carrying around? If not, show them, Tim, then read the inscription on the hilt.

Yes, that sword was made for the one and only. This is the real deal. I won’t get into the details of how your dad came about owning this. To be honest I don’t know the whole story. All I can tell you is that thing will come in very handy.

Now, I’m going to give you a set of instructions. You’ll need to remember them and do exactly as I say. You probably won’t be able to bring your tablet, phone, reader, or whatever you’re using to read this with you, so it’ll be best if you go, do the task, and come back to read the next part.

No, Do Not just read to the end. A lot of this won’t make sense until you experience it. Just read, go do the thing, come back and read again until we get through this.

Got it?

OK, pack the sword in the fishing pole bag from the garage. No sense in drawing too much attention to it. Pack a change of clothes too. Write notes to your moms that you’ll be at Kelly’s for the afternoon.

Kelly, take the clothes and head home for now.

Tim and Bobby, you need to go down the street and catch the 59 bus to the Base South Entry stop. There you’ll walk up to the main gate and tell the guard you’re there to see General Josett. Tell them you’ve got a special delivery that needs her signature. Tell them it’s from Gus Sedgewick.

You’ll probably have to wait a while. If they try to make you leave the sword—don’t. You can flash the inscription at anyone who questions you, but don’t under any circumstances let that thing leave your possession until you’re in the room alone with the General. Tell them you can leave and come back when she’s available.

When they take you to the General tell her your names. Tell her Tim’s dad sent you with the sword to give to her.

Just a side note here. No, this isn’t your dad writing to you. Sorry, old Gus isn’t this cool. You can tell him I said that later.

Do you kids still say cool? Nevermind…

When you finally get in with the General, tell her Gus said she’ll know what this means. Then give her the blade, and ask what this is all about. I know you’re a bit doubtful about all this. Even with that little light-show last night and with all the detail I’m giving you, you’re still questioning. I don’t blame you. That’s why you need to hear it from someone else. Just sit, listen, and try to have an open mind.

What you’re going to hear will be a lot to absorb. I know.

Believe me I know.

While she’s talking just try to understand that every word is true. Let that sink in. Swallow that truth pill and digest it. Let those implications work their way through your bloodstream until it’s a part of you. It will bring tears to your eyes, and that’s good. When Josett sees you crying she won’t dare keep the sword. Take it back with dignity and come back home.

Bobby, you’re moral support on this leg of the trip. It’ll be a long ride home. While you’re waiting for Tim at the guard shack, chat with Airman Hampton. His little brother just went through the same things you are. Get his info.

Kelly, you need to run interference. Tim and Bobby will be gone for a while. Play something loud on the game console. When their moms call, tell them the boys are there, but they’re in the middle of a raid.

Yell over the noise.

Tell them you’re ordering pizza.

Order some pizza.

Everybody meet back up at Kelly’s. Have a bite to eat. Change clothes. Leave the sword under her bed. Go home and get some rest.

Do not, under any circumstances, talk to your parents about anything the General told you. Even if you walk in the door and the General is sitting in the living room with your dad. Act like nothing happened. Put yourself in the shoes of the kid who was none the wiser just a day ago. You were at Kelly’s all afternoon. You know nothing about a sword.

Got it?

Repeat after me, “I don’t know anything about a sword. I’ve never met that woman before. Are you really a General?”

Keep repeating that until you believe it.

This is just in case. It’s not like that’s going to happen or anything. I just want you to be prepared.

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