The weekend had passed somewhat uneventfully. The group had relocated back to Hank’s cabin and the beauty of the Oregon forests. Hank and the General spent much of the time fishing, while the ladies plotted and practiced their parts for the court appearance. The morning's events caught them all off guard as they entered the courthouse and were told the Judge wished to only speak to the young kangaroo mouse, Cecily. The group of five nervously sat in the waiting room while she was ushered into the judge’s chambers. No one had any Idea what led up to the change of plans perpetuated by the judge.
Cecily was escorted into the Judge’s chambers by a calico in a gray skirt suit. The large room had walls lined with bookshelves, crammed full of volume sets. The back wall was dominated by a picture window that overlooked a grassy courtyard. In front of that sat a brown bear behind a massive desk. He was looking through a stack of papers on his desk. He looked up as the door closed behind her, leaving them alone in the room together. Cecily's heart raced as her eyes darted around the room. She was trapped, no place to run, and completely defenseless. The bear pushed the glasses up his snout and said, “Please Miss Silvana, Come In and have a seat. I wanted to talk with you about what's going on.” He watched as the mouse, wearing a small black skirt and top, edged her way to the high back leather chair in front of the desk, she clutched her backpack as if it would spirit her out at the slightest wish.
“Okay, young lady, I understand you have been in the foster system for fifteen years and a prospective adopter has requested an expedited adoption. I am going to assume with your age that you understand what that is.” He looked back down at the papers in front of him. “My concern in this is my familiarity with Miss Shelby, and some things that have come from the office that she is now working in. I will be honest here, if it was not her this would have never come to my desk. I am going to look past my concerns about Miss Shelby’s involvement due to the extenuating circumstances that have been brought to my attention. I am sure that everything she has done in this matter will likely never come to light if no one digs into it.”
Cecily’s eyes widened with fear as the old bear spoke, “I see that you had dropped off the radar for almost a year before your file was miraculously transferred to Dr. Sooner, who just happened to be under an investigation by Miss Shelby. I also have to question this Home Evaluation paperwork presented by a Virginia adoption agency. The entire process here has been hijacked by someone that has covered her tracks rather well, at least on the paper trail side.” He looked over at the small kangaroo mouse, “Now it comes down to you young lady. I have looked through your file, and see that you have had a really rough life, and one thing I know about Susan is that she never risks this much for anything she does not think is worth the risk. I want to know what you think is going on here.”
Cecily sat silently, her mind raced with what he had said and she had overheard the others say. She had never been in control of anything in her life, and now it seemed that the one thing she actually hoped would go smoothly was about to be ripped from her grasp. Over the past three weeks she had felt safe without hiding, she had felt loved on more than a physical level, She had felt cared for by others. She swallowed hard and looked up at the Old bear, “Sir. I don’t know what anyone is doing beyond trying to take me home. I have lived for too many years not knowing… anything. The one thing I know right now is that Lilly… Miss Fargo, cares enough about me to give up all of her free time and pull together all of her friends to try and do one thing, take me home.” Tears started to roll down her cheek, “For the first time in my life, I just want to go home, and that home is wherever Lilly is. Lilly and the Dark Riders have done… I’m safe, I’m happy… please don’t take that from me.” she could hardly see through her own tears clutching the one gift she had, her flimsy denim backpack that Lilly had bought for her at a truck stop on the way to Oregon. With one paw she wiped the tears from her eyes, “Sir, I don’t care what I have to do, I want to stay with Lilly…”
The bear grinned widely at the young mouse, “That, Miss Silvana, is what I needed to hear. I know Miss Shelby well, and I know what she does is often for the best… when she can. What concerned me with this is the matter of the Dr. Sooner investigation. It did not go the way I expected such a matter to go in her paws.” He picked up the stack of papers he had been looking through. “I’ll tell you what young lady. I am going to forgo the hearing. I trust Miss Hawkins and her assessment of Miss Fargo’s financial status. Her military and work history falls into line well. And the fact that I have been informed that Miss Shelby will be leaving her current position, I see no need in dragging you into a long drawn out court session, just to have everything I have read here repeated to me.” He stamped the stack of papers in several locations before her looked over at the girl, “One last question for you Miss. Do you wish to take Miss Fargo’s name as your own?”
Cecily’s Eyes went wide, “You… You mean…” she trailed off as the thoughts flooded into her mind.
“Let’s make it easy for you, young Miss Fargo. I will list you here as Cecily Silvana Fargo. As of today you are no longer ward of the state.” He stood up from his chair, “Now let’s go out and congratulate your new mother.” he said looking at her with a smile.
Lilliana jumped out of her seat as she saw Cecily enter the room with tears in her eyes. She shot across to the small mouse, ignoring the brown bear, and clutched her in her arms, “It’s Ok. We can fix this. Whatever is wrong, I’ll fix it.” She rambled without any Idea why the girl was crying, she just needed to fix it. It had been weeks since she had seen tears in the mouse’s eyes and it tore her to pieces.
Cecily squirmed in Lilly’s embrace trying to push her back, “Lilly,” she said with a sniffle, “its ok. Everything is ok.”
“Miss. Fargo, I would like to introduce myself.” The large bear said reaching a paw down to the kneeling liger, “My name is Dr. Jackson, and I was to be the judge to preside over your hearing… thanks to a little nudge from an anonymous person… I have come to the conclusion that a hearing is not needed in this case.”
Alex stood as anger crossed her face, “Wadaya mean is not needed? I’ll file a grievance wit dis court if dis ain’t done.”
He looked over at the eagle, “Don’t worry Miss Hawkins. I have come to a decision on this matter after my talk with the young lady. Miss Silvana will be going home today with her mother.”
Lilly looked up at the bear still not taking his hand, “I don’t understand. I thought she was an anonymous turnover to the state.”
Cecily reached up placing her paws on Lilly’s cheeks, “I’m…” She struggled to get the words out looking through her tears into the liger’s eyes, “I’m go… going ho… home wi... with… you… mother.”
Lilly blinked at the words, “Say…. say it again.” she nearly begged.
“Mother.” Cecily said her voice cracking.
Lilly pulled the mouse in tighter burying her in her chest. Cecily dropped the backpack and pulled the liger into a tight hug as well. The two sat wrapped each other letting the world pass around them.
Dr. Jackson looked over at Susan, “Miss Shelby, There is a matter I would like to discuss with you about your sudden decision to leave the office you worked so hard to get into.” He looked over his glasses at her, “Is there anything I need to know about any recent investigations? Or should I assume they will be handled by your successor.”
She returned his gaze, “If you are worried about the Dr. Sooner incident, All of the paperwork and investigation notes have been sent up. All ten counts were substantiated, and he should be appearing in front of you within the month.”
He smiled at her, “You must have an evil streak a mile wide in you. Remind me to never get on your bad side.” He looked down at the two still holding one another, “If you two don't mind I have to get back to the courtroom. I’m sure you all have better things to do than stand here. I wish you all the best. And don’t worry Susan, we have it all covered.” He exited the room with a smile on his muzzle humming a tune.
Lilly finally release her hug on the tiny mouse, “Ok then.” She looked over at the group, “where to celebrate?”
Alex looked over the group as well, “We still ain’t ‘ad our lunch at da Roadrunner yet.”
Cecily looked up with a smile, “Let’s just go home.”
Sunset, Hank’s Cabin
The sun set as Hank started the bonfire in front of the cabin as they all sat around eand ate take out from the Roadrunner cafe. “Cecily Silvana Fargo. That has a ring to it, don’t you think?” he said as he turned around to look at the giddy mouse.
She was too excited to respond, her mind racing with the possibilities. She was now with her mother, and both looked to an uncertain future together. She picked through her salad not really interested in eating, “What now?” she asked as the fear of the unknown crept in over her joy.
“I have no clue” Lilliy said, “Alex and I are to go on a cruise at the end of next week, and i think it is too late to get tickets.”
“Fuck dat, jew two are goin on dat trip. I cen go anytime I wan.” Alex nearly shouted before she snapped another beak full of berger.
Cecily looked over at Alex, “A cruise?”
“My siser ain’t never been on no cruise, she goin on a cruise.” she looked over at Lilliy, “An ain’t no one gona change my mine on it. Besise, I gota figure out wha Susan gona do now dat she ain’t got no job. “
“I was going to be crazy and follow Lilly around the world until she figured out what to do.” Susan said as she leaned back and looked up at the darkening sky.
Hank’s eye locked on Susan as she finished, “But Susan...”
She interrupted him before he could finish his thought, “Look, Mr. Wiggles, either you will sit up here and waist away, or you drunk ass with come with us. So what will it be?”
“Now dat souns like fun. Jew got room fer one mor.” Alex asked with a glance over at Lilly.
“What the fuck? I have no clue what the hell I am going to do after this cruise and you dumb fucks want to do it with me?” the Liger asked as she tossed her paper tray into the fire. “What the hell is wrong with you people?” Detlev looked up from his food. “I zay ve all just stay here until they get back from zee cruise ant fish. Zen ve cen look at vat to do next.” the old badger said.
“What the hell? You too Old man? I have enough problems without all you guys hanging around.”
Cecily looked up at Lilly, “I like the idea. For the first time I have a family. Sure we’re not all related, but together we are more of a family than any I have been in before. You all care about each other, you look out for one another, and you even turn your lived upside down to help… one… little… mouse…” She trailed off as tears formed in her eyes again.
“Ah, Chit, jew made my siser cry. I’ma hata beat the chit outa ya now.” Alex jested at Lilly. The rest of the group began to laugh as the eagle shook her fist at the liger.
“Ok, Ok.. I guess that settles it. We’re all going to be stupid together. One big, happy, stupid family.” She fained caving into the pressure, as the group laughed again.
The night continues with the groups churning out unrealistic plans for the future. The ideas ranged from joining the circus to forming a vigilante group like the A-Team. Laughter and merriment swam through the groups until Cecily spoke up softly, “Why don’t we make a home for others like me?” The group fell silent at her words, “A place where they can come and be safe, and accepted. We… we can even help them… help them find a better future.” She looked up at the silent group waiting for some sort of acknowledgement.
The fire crackled as the group sat dumbfounded by the young mouse’s sincere idea. The first to break the silence was the general, “Vell, if zat’s zee plans ve neet to set some grount vork for it.” He looked over at the mouse and said, “I hope you know vhat you’re gettink zese crazy, war torn soldiers into, younk lady. Once you get zem started you may never be able to stop zem.” He then stood and looked over the small group of war vets. “Who is villing to take on zis challench from our little mouse?” Starting with Lilliana one by one they stood forming a small circle. Once they were already they put their fists to the center. Detlev looked down at Cecily, “Vat are you vaitink for? You are a Dark Rider too. Get up here Cecily Fargo ant join us.” Cecily happily bounced to her feet joining the small group, she placed her fist the the center with the rest. Together for the first time in six years the group chanted their old unit mote, started by Detlev “Dark Riders!” they chanted the latin phrase “Melior Diabolus Quem Sceis!”
Cecily looked up to Lilly “What does it mean?” She asked quizzically.
“It means ‘The devil you know’. we adopted the motto as part of our primary mission. It basically means a return to the old ways. We do things they way that works not the way that others think they should be done.” Lilliana explained the gist of the motto.
The little mouse mumbled to herself, “The devil you know.” Then looked up at Lillliana and the group. “I think we need a new motto… for a new kind of mission.”
They all looked down at her as Detlev spoke, “I zink ve fount our new Dark Rider 9.” Cecily looked at them confuze at the comment. Detlev tried to clarify, “Lilliana may be your mozer, but wizin zee Dark Riders and our new mission you vill be the first sargett ant zee one to make zee plans movink forwart vith the plans from zis point on, second in commant only to Dark Rider 6, myzelf. “ He looked at her with a smile, “I may be zee Old Man, but you vill be zee Top.”
During the next three days Alex had gone back to Chicago to tie up loose ends and prepare for the move to wherever the wind blow the now reunited team. They were all excited about the strange uncertain future they had decided to follow. Susan and Hank had emptied out her apartment and pied her way out of the lease. Detlev had followed his own advice for the time being as fished in the river near the cabin. Lilliana and Cecily spent the time celebrating their victory over the system.
The Saturday following the meeting with Dr. Jackson, Lilliana took Cecily to her long awaited surprise. The gift had taken a week longer to complete than originally planned, but Cecily’s reaction was exactly what Lilliana wanted to see. She had blindfolded the young kangaroo mouse and ushered her into a strange building filled with chattering people. They weaved through unseen obstacles to what felt like the back of the room.
“You Ready for this Squeaky? This is your last chance if you want to back out. Once you see this you will never want to give it up.” Lilliana whispered into the mouse’s ear.
Cecily desperately struggled to contain her anxiety and excitement. She felt like a million volts of electricity were coursing through her body, “Yes, Lilly, I’m ready.”
She felt the blindfold fall away from her eyes, her uncertainty made her squeeze them shut at the light hit her lids. Slowly she opened one eye, followed by the other. Total confusion rolled over her as she found herself in the back of a motorcycle shop. Around her were cruisers, street bikes, dirt bikes and crotch rockets. But what sat in front of her was like nothing else in the shop. The motorcycle stood half the height of any others around it. The sleek plastic concealed the motor. The handlebars sat just above her waist. It looked like and other sports bike, yet built for someone half the size. The glossy black plastic and chrome sparkled in the showroom lights. She slowly reach forward as if testing a dream, and tapped the seat before withdrawing quickly. She looked over her shoulder at the smiling liger towering over her.
“Well short stack, you going to try it on or did I just waste a lot of cash on a custom built mini bike?” Lilliana encouraged the girl for set aside her fears. “It can’t hurt you just setting here in the showroom can it? Sit on it and see how it feels.”
Slowly Cecily took hold of the handlebars like a bicycle and curiously swung one leg over the frame and sat down in the seat. With both feet on the floor she curiously rocked the bike off it stand onto the two wheels. She was surprised at how light the bike felt; her eyes roamed the few gauges and looked over the controls.
A large male mountain lion knelt by her side. “Hey there, rocket queen,” she jumped startled at his closeness as he smiled at her, “You want to take it out back and give it a ride? There’s nothing like a piece of raw power between your legs with you in full control. But first you need to learn now to control it.” He looked up at Lilliana, “You mind if they do that momma cat?” She just nodded her head and followed them as the feline pushed the mini bike through the shop in the back. She watched as the young mouse listened to the Mountain lion intently and practiced everything he told her. The sight of the sight of the once skittish frightened mouse now slowly making circles on her first motorcycle brought a smile to Lilliana’s face. She still has a long way to go, but she has come so far. She sat in a small folding chair dozing as Cecily spent the day riding and reveling in her new found freedom. No one will ever take that smile from you again, not if I have anything to do with it. Lilliana’s mind raced with the prospects of their future together.
This is a work of fiction and is meant for entertainment purposes only. All names and characters in it is fictional, a composite drawing from several individuals and from imagination. No reference to any living person is intended or should be inferred. No animals were harmed in its production. Businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. All art of minors are simulated pictures. All models over 18 years of age. Some actions and activities may be illegal or dangerous and should not be attempted. All products, services, and characters copyrighted to their respective owners. Some content may not be safe/suitable for work or school. Some content and depictions may be illegal to view in some areas. Some content may be illegal to view by those under legal age of connect.