Chapter 2: 4th Division
Copyright© 2021 by A Carpenters Son
4th Division wears a Green Tie.
They had a nice dinner of beef stroganoff over brown rice with John’s famous peas and corn with a nice garden salad with a small cup of four flavors of ice cream.
“I have a Question?” Beth Taylor asked.
“Yes, what is your question?” Jenny responded.
“I know you people had a lot of snow five or six years ago. I see pictures on the wall that look more like Alaska than Seattle. The reason so many of you are still here must be the food. Am I wrong?”
“Are you afraid you are going to lose your nephews to West Seattle?” Jenny laughed, “Wait till tomorrow morning when we have Steak and Eggs. It is on the Menu on the wall.”
The room was filled with laughter and joyful comments.
“Rowland, what are you going to do?” Paul asked his brother.
“I’m going to go get her after the swearing-in ceremony.” Rowland made clear his intentions.
One of Macon’s Deputy Sheriffs was a good friend of Rowland. He realized he was too old, at 20, to join the Cadets, but he asked to spend a weekend learning about Spaceships. His name was Tomas Shaw, and he came up to Rowland, “I want to go with you, I feel there is going to be trouble.”
“Thanks, Tom. Having her here this weekend is really important.” Rowland said.
“Hey, you are talking to the church choir. I am so pleased about being here.” Tom said.
John was making the rounds getting to know everyone. Seeing a man dressed as a police officer, “Rowland are you in trouble.”
“No Sir. This is Tom, I saved him about four years ago, the river was overrunning its banks and he had a favorite parking spot. He went there on the worse day he could of and lost his truck and realized the dirt he was on was going down the river. He was looking for a way to safety when I showed up in Mac my 445 and opened the door so he could climb in.”
“I figure I owe Rowland one of my nine lives for sure,” Tom said as he shook hands with John.
“Deputy Shaw, what is your dream?” John asked.
“I’d like to go part-time as a deputy. We have those positions. I would love to be part-time as a cadet. Especially as a Watcher. Rowland is a ‘C’ student that with the help of being a Watcher, overachieved and has made all ‘As’ these last four years. I figure if he can do that I can too.” Tom looked at Rowland trying to keep it together. The two friends had a good laugh.
“Father John don’t let this guy fool you. He has a good head on his shoulders.”
“Have you had any military training?”
“When I graduated high school, I went to a police academy for four months. I must have been on Rowland’s spaceship seventy or eighty sixty times. I graduated from the Academy not only first in my class but the top scores for all time. Riding with Rowland we must have seen a couple of dozen UFOs. Does anybody have an idea what that is all about?” Tom asked.
“No, but I sure would like to find out,” John said.
“Sir, any idea how they are getting in under our Watcher Screen?” Tom asked.
“We’ve tried it and have been successful by starting around 100,000 miles above the North Pole on Earth and simply float in with very low power. I was on the 775 Patricia with Tony Taylor as a pilot. We came in, nobody said boo. We got to the Equator. Tony asked, “Sir, what do you want to do. Nobody knows we are here.” Tony turned on the shield and we had three other ships wanting to know about us within three minutes.”
“I can see that as a possibility. Then the shields must show up on a cloaked ship.”
“Generals Franks, Frank, Lucy, Mona, Rowland, and Brien have you heard enough?”
“I was being interviewed?” Tom asked.
“I say make Tom a Captain.” All the heads turned to see a smiling Delilah standing there.
“And how about you young lady?” General Franks was sitting with his wife Beth. Jenny squeezed in and sat on John’s lap. Delilah looked at Rowland and got a nod. She turned and sat in Rowland’s lap.
“Father John and Mother Jenny, could you two perform a wedding this weekend?” Delilah asked. Jenny had met her as she transported in. She was heading for the church when Jenny asked, “Delilah? This way, I’m mother Jenny.”
“Oh, Mother Jenny, what a mess,” Delilah said. As she hugged the very pregnant Jenny Taylor.
“Delilah, it is not a mess. The mother bear sends her cubs up the tree, then abandons them when she feels she has taught them all she can. We humans sometimes hang on to our children too long. We protect them too much. It is not in the Constitution, but it is written in our DNA to be free and independent of our parents. You have a right to rebel and act as you feel you need to. You are going to become an officer in the cadets tonight. Take a deep breath. Take another. I am all that I am! Say it. Let’s go make the guys believe you will make a good Captain.”
“Yes, Mam.” Delilah was giggling. Everything would be all right!
As they went down the steps into the shelter, “They need to hear your voice and feel your presence. Follow my lead.”
Back in Rowland’s lap, “Tom, what are you certified to fly?” Delilah knew.
“The 445 is complete and I’m halfway on the 335.” Tom looked at Delilah, “You have some certifications, too?”
“Yes, the 335, 445, and we borrowed Colonel Lloyd’s 775 one weekend and I was the pilot going around the moon twice, and Rowland’s brothers all took turns as co-pilots. We also did the Maintenance thing. That was fun and interesting.”
John turned his head, “General Lucy, or Colonel Mona. What are your feelings?”
“Sometimes a determined woman can get things done, where if left to a guy something would get broke or messed up,” Lucy said. She was sitting on Brien’s knee.
John turned to Jenny, “What are you feeling honey?”
The twins walked up to the circle of 20 chairs and 25 people sitting there. They both said hi to Beth who was sitting in General Frank’s lap.
“This is not my decision but take a good look at what your women have accomplished. Look at what Lucy, Mona, and the twins have accomplished. Not to leave you out, Brien.
“Thank you, Mother Jenny.” Brien laughed.
“Your welcome Brien. What is Congress allowing us to do?” Jenny finished with a question.
“Your turn to speak.” Beth giggled looking at her husband the General with five stars.
“That Dinner was good.” That brought much laughter, “The Space Corp is authorized to go to 114,000 men and women in the next couple of months. Within the US. Those numbers include the Space Cadets. The transportation of goods and services to Funston comes out of a separate budget. That will cover 600 of the First Division, 1,000 of the Second Division, 1,400 of the Third Division, and 1,000 of the Fifth Division.”
“So, are we going to see the Fifth Division?” Mona asked.
“General Franks looked around the circle nodding to Mona, “What do you think Commandant?”
“I gave Lucy free reign when she started the third. What do you want Rowland?”
“Yes, Sir, let’s make Tom and De both Captains. They both will be very helpful assets in the hours and days ahead. The excitement in Macon of having 21 ships sitting in a park was great to see. General Lucy, you said once if I wanted to raise the grade point of a high school all I had to do was park a bunch of spaceships on their front lawn. Is that step one of a plan?”
“Usually in a new high school, we find out the average GPA of the school. In one of the high schools in DC, the GPA was .9. Because of Mona, we were connected to the Honor Society. We required a 3.0 to join as an officer normally. For the .9 school, we reduced that requirement to 2.5. Then required 3 restricted certifications meaning that until they brought up their grade point to a “B” they couldn’t take a ship home or over the weekend. The teachers started talking about the importance of grades. They said as a whole the number of correct answers on tests doubled overnight. Attention and participation in the class also made teaching fun again. That school now boosts an average 2.7 GPA. Their attendance is near the top in the area. Their participation in Space Cadets is 60% and climbing.”
“No wonder why the Third Division has over 30,000. What a fantastic tool.” Delilah said.
“All tools have to be used properly,” Tom said.
“Yes but, look at the results when they are used properly.” Delilah countered.
“If we are going into schools across the southern US, we need a Spanish speaking...” Tom said.
“Si, senor.” then Delilah rattled off that she had 4 years of Spanish with the last two years as the teacher’s assistant. She then repeated in English what she had said.
Tom asked her a question in Spanish. Then the two of them carried on a three-minute conversation.
All around them were smiling faces.
“We can do this Tom and Delilah.” Rowland sounded 100% confident.
“Is this how things get decided for the Space Cadets?” Tom asked.
“Not always, but we love living here. Feel the energy, dad how many times have we brought back people from the dead?” Frank asked.
“More than I have fingers. Down Syndrome or Autism or even Type II diabetes no problem.” John shared.
“Here-here!” Brien and Lucy both giggled for thinking the same and saying the same thing.
“Or hundreds of other healings.” John finished with a giggle.
The circle had gotten bigger. Chairs were three deep with many others standing also three or four deep. Everybody was listening. Molly Jackson Taylor was pleased to see all the mothers and there was Bea and Gilbert, the parents of Clair.
“General Lucy, how restricted are you with the restrictions?” Rowland asked.
Lucy looked at Mona, “Do you think telling them about Jamel would be okay?”
“Yes Sir.” Mona laughed, “Let’s keep this story here in the shelter, PLEASE.”
“Jamel loved to fly. If he could, he would live on the space station and fly down to earth every morning. He had five certifications before he brought in a report card that read 3.0. I asked him then if he was going to keep up his 3.0 grades for the next quarter? He says, Sir, that was a lot of work. I replied, ‘It’s important to me and it’s very important to you. You want your officers and leaders to know what in the h@ll they are doing don’t you?’ He thought about it for a minute then nodded, yeah, I like coming home 100% of the time. 99% just doesn’t get the job done. I love to fly and have been up there over 100 times.
“Mona connected one of her Honor Society people with Jamel early in his process. Next quarter he had two ‘As’ with the rest ‘Bs’. I asked him if he wanted to be an Officer and go to college. He thought about it. I took the restrictions off but wanted to see his next report card before he was off probation. I think at that moment he wanted to see how good he could be. He flew his family in a 775 around the Earth. Then he took them around the moon. Then his little brother asked if they could go see Jupiter. They did. Now when he comes into the house his sister hugs him. Everybody smiles and asks about his day. It has taken more than a year, but this kid from the ghetto with mostly ‘Ds’ got a 3.8 on his next report card. He danced into our office at 6:03 AM and said, I’d like to become an officer in the Space Cadets. That was four years ago. He has a Certification on every ship we have. He’s a Captain in the Heavies. Brien, anything to say about Jamel?”
“What, my poster child. He has turned that family around, and his neighborhood, and has played a big part in changing that school from the lowest to one of the top schools in DC. I ask him if he wants to cover for someone that’s sick for the rest of the week. He smiles and says, Yes Sir. When do we leave?” Brien smiled, “He’s on the top of the promotion list for Major. I’m sure you will hear his scream of excitement when it happens.”
“I never had any idea that day when I suggested to let the kids fly them, they have more knowledge than us adults interacting with computers. My God, thank you. What an incredible story.” John was smiling from ear to ear.
“Shall we swear some cadets in?” General Franks asked, “Mr. Commandant, how many of each rank do we have?”
“Two Captains, four First Lieutenants and twenty-one-second Lieutenants for a total of 27 new officers.” General Frank Taylor Said.
“Let’s have them line up across the main hallway.”
General Franks waved Mona over to him.
Mona thought maybe she would get to pin rank pins onto the newbies.
The Command staff for the Third Division entered through the main door along with Mona’s family. Mona saw them come in. Strange they would be here she thought, “Yes Sir?” There was Full Bird Colonel Byrd from Chicago. More interesting and Colonel Lloyd too.
“Mona, do you want to CO the Fifth Division?” General Franks asked with a smile. Lucy was there, so was Frank the Commandant. So was Beth, Mrs. Franks. Now many of her command staff stood behind her.
“Sir, can I pick my command staff?” Mona had quit breathing. She was pretty sure there weren’t that many Black Female Generals anywhere in the world.
“Can’t have Brien.” Whispered Lucy.
“I was going to pick him first,” Mona whispered back.
“Gaia, can you get me the mic.” General Franks asked, “I can barely hear.”
“Yes, sir.” Gaia handed the General his request. Beth giggled.
“Attention!” All sound stopped in the shelter even the refrigerator motor stopped.
“Along with the new mandate for the Space Cadets, we have come to realize the Divisions in time of battle will probably be acting alone much as we had during the battle with the little Greys, and in World War II the Pacific Theater really could not help the European Theater or vice versa. I have been authorized for fourteen positions as General. Commandant Frank Hansen Taylor and the honorary General John Taylor along with Third Division General Lucy Taylor will not change. Will the following please take a position left of Tom and Delilah. Frank and Lucy will be doing the honors of pining the rank. Colonel Jackson, Colonel Rowland Taylor, Colonel Tripp, Colonel Byrd, Colonel Lloyd and not to be left out Colonel Ceca Yellow hair.”
General Franks waited until they were in position, “General John Taylor said once, first we have to prove we can do something before we get the tools to accomplish it easily. General Lucy, you started with three little girls and a young man that had to think which hand to salute with. You now command the most powerful fighting force in the history of mankind. I have had the pleasure of watching a young lady. Five years older than her boss and yet she made it work and made it look easy. Mona Jackson, I promote you to the position of General of the Fifth Division as that Division’s Commanding Officer. Congratulations Mona!” Mona Jackson wanted to scream but held it together for a few minutes.
“Colonel Brien Tripp, you have overseen security for the transportation of personnel and supplies to the Galactic Capital Funston. This is sometimes ten to twenty ships in your convoys twice a day six days a week. We have had no losses, of passengers, crews, freight, or ships. In the next five years, we see this expanding ten to twenty-fold. You will hold two titles. One as General of all security and assistant CO of the Third Division. Congratulations.” His father the President and First Lady mother were standing there looking on with big smiles for their son.
“Colonel, Ceca Yellow hair. You answered a call from the State Department to ferry forty families to Funston. You borrowed a 775, grabbed me and a couple of friends with SS agents, and made it look easy. Please do not ask me to do it. Ceca, how many trips to Funston have you made?”
“I have a log on an Excel sheet if I would have known.” Ceca Laughed.
“Well, it was a secret.” General Franks was having fun.
“My parents knew,” Ceca said as she looked to her smiling parents.
“General maybe I can help, 1,634 trips to Funston and back to date,” John said.
“Ceca rolled her eyes, “Of course, the Accountant knows.”
“Colonel Curtis, you have a number yet?”
“She is over 98 million Sir.” Colonel Curtis shared.
“How soon will she be over 100 million lightyears?”
“Six weeks from now Sir.”
“General Yellow hair, the projection is a magnitude of 10 to 20 times in the days and years to come over what we are doing today. Think you can handle it General?”
Yes Sir, bring it on. I’m pretty sure it’s why I am here.” Ceca declared. Her parents and brother Jimmy were nearby giggling.
“Rowland Taylor Jr. He was in four engagements with the Little Greys. He placed the Curtis Kiss into 27 of their ships then hit over 700 other ships with a 6” Laser. His battles were stretched across the US from the Atlantic Ocean ending in Seattle with General Frank Taylor. He will be advised by General Lucy and General Mona on how to expand the 4th Division from 5,000 to 20,000 personnel. Congratulations to you General Taylor.
“Thank you, Sir!” Rowland was smiling so hard his face hurt.
“Colonel, Walter Byrd. We stole a Major Byrd from the Marine Corp. He was on a joy ride with his son when we went to war with the Little Greys. Sir, how is Chicago?”
“Two things to share. Five years ago, I walked into the Cadet Center in Chicago. Imagine using a one-car garage for a center. It was a little better than that, but not much. The front-page headlines of the Chicago Times had a full-page spread with four other supporting pages telling how the Chicago Cadets won the war. For weeks, I got free food, free coffee pats on the back, and in one or two days we went from a stalemate with the school district to being offered 3 Junior highs and a high school building at half price. I called up John and minutes later General Franks called back. “Go for it!” Was the word. We just topped 10,000 cadets and feel we are on our way to 20,000. City-wide drugs are down 90% and shootings are one or two per week also down 90%. We’ve made a difference. With the help of General Lucy and now General Mona we’ve made a big difference.”
“You have just taken over 30 acres of Air Force property in Chicago. Talk about that.” General Franks suggested.