Chris's Journal Entries ~ Strength & Solidarity
by Tannertexaslady, & Sue M,  (Purgatory, Fire & Rain, Devil Wind) Wendymypooh (Shades of Gray, Vision Quest and
contributor to Winds of Change)
Chris's Journal ~Strength & Solidarity
Journal entries taken from the  Strength & Solitary Series. Story collages by Bountyhunter'slady.
Series two...

Larabee Home- Journal Entry -Midnight Oct 8

Tomorrow I have to leave for Washington, D.C. on MCAT business.  I knew the day would come that I would
have to be separated from Grace and Cody.  I just did not think it would be this difficult.  My heart feels like it
has been ripped into pieces.  The image of my two babies' angelic little faces as they lay sleeping in their beds
tonight is permanently etched in my memory.  The next few days are going to drag by, and not just because
I'll be trapped in boring senate hearings.

Vin is still out of town temporarily working with the ATF in Santa Fe.  I know he was not very happy about
taking the assignment.  However, there are so few sharpshooters of his caliber available at a moment's notice
and the Santa Fe ATF team was in the middle of an important case when their man went down.  Kelli will be
returning to work tomorrow.  I asked her to take me to the airport early.  I could have driven myself or had
Buck take me, but I wanted to give her a mission to make it easier for her to leave the house in the morning.  
She has been off work and at home since last December.  It is not going to be easy for her to walk out that
door, even though she knows the children are in good hands with Max.  I do hope Buck keeps her busy the rest
of the day or she will be on the phone calling home to check on the babies every fifteen minutes.  Not that I
can blame her, it is not easy to leave Grace and Cody either.

Orrin is giving us time to ease back into the heavy stuff after the hell the RMR gave us, so our caseload has
been light.  The most interesting thing on the horizon is the agent review program Travis set up. I can
understand him being concerned about us having qualified replacements available for MCAT if necessary.  
Even so, I do not think this is the way to get them.  I suppose only time will tell.

With JD still out on sick leave, Vin in Santa Fe, Ezra in Europe, Nathan at a Forensic seminar, and Buck tied
up with the District Attorney for most of the day the office was definitely too damn quiet today.  Josiah
seemed to be distracted by something, but said he was not ready to talk about it yet.  I hope whatever it is he
works it out and it's nothing too serious.  With everyone scattered to the four winds it at least appears that
the next few days will be peaceful at work and Buck should not have too much to deal with in my absence.

Time for this Larabee to hit the hay…five o'clock comes early and I have no doubt Kel will be here by five-thirty.

Saturday November 17th, Journal Entry- 5:00a.m.

The past month has been a living hell for all of us.  JD was stabbed, drugged, and charged with murder.  Travis
and Buck were shot.  Nathan was almost blinded by an explosion.  Kelli and Trey were missing, presumed
dead, and held in a crypt for eight days.  Hannah was terrorized.  Even Reins of Change was drawn into the
sick, twisted plot of revenge against me.  I discovered the identity of the person responsible for Sarah and
Adam's deaths.  Their killer, Shadowchaser and Lady Ice were one and the same person.  The emotional
turmoil associated with these horrific events, affected our entire family, our closest friends on the Larabee 7
and all the MCAT agents.

I found Sarah's murderer, but not who hired her.  Ice wanted me to pay for her loss of freedom and push me
into killing her.  She almost succeeded.  Thankfully, the thought of my children stopped me from crossing the
line to become the same type of cold-blooded killer Ice was.

Ice failed to extract her ultimate revenge though.  Kelli and Trey were returned to us.  However, I fear the
inner scars Kelli has suffered are going to take considerable time to mend.

Life has returned to some semblance of normalcy for the Wild Bunch.  JD is returning to work after
Thanksgiving.  He and Casey are looking forward to a new little Dunne in their not too distant future .Buck is
well again.  Nathan is back to fussing over all of us.  Ezra is working on some kind of secret project for
Tracker.  He says we'll be pleased, but he won't reveal what it is, yet.

Josiah returns today.  After spending the past week with Hannah, he said he needs to tell us all about some
exciting discovery he made.  The seven of us will be meeting later this afternoon to find out what it is.

Me? I am trying to get my life back to normal.  I've started going to my meetings again. Tai was pleased with
the way I handled myself during our family crisis.  I also returned to my old routines, which include resuming
my workouts at Freddy's Boxing school.

Have I changed my outlook?  You bet.  Did it all really happen the way we believe it did?  I can only answer for
myself.  My view of reality was challenged.  I now see possibilities I was blind to before.  The things I allow to
influence me, good or bad, are only as strong as the importance I give them.  I did not get all the answers I
wanted, but I can live with the ones I do have.

I also learned how strong the ties of family really are.  It doesn't matter if the distance is in miles or time.  We
never quit caring.  Cowboy and Tracker came here not to be heroes, or to change the world, but to protect
their own.  Time itself is boundless.  Tracker crossed it to find his answers and to help Vin understand his
fate.  Cowboy came across to give me the insight to find mine.  Love of family is what's important, it never
ends or waivers.  I finally understand that is reason they came, in addition to passing on the lessons the seven
of us need to prepare for what's ahead.  The strength is within us, connected from one generation to another.  
Our spirits are free-flowing and infinite, linking us to our past, giving us strength in the present, and guiding
us to our future.

Chris’s Journal ~ Sunday, February 3

I have neglected writing down my thoughts lately, but to be fair, I have been somewhat busy.  It is hard to
believe we are only one month into the New Year… seems much longer.  Right now, I am captive in my own
home, on crutches again after undergoing surgery last Friday.  Vin and Kelli accompanied me to the hospital
where I had outpatient surgery.  Doctor Thorp used a laser of some kind and according to him, my knee will
be better than the original in a few short weeks.  Tomorrow I can ditch the crutches and replace them with a
walking brace.  Tuesday I return to work.

Vin is recovering from his own surgery, and will be attending physical therapy with me.  We should both heal
about the same time.  I came close to losing him last week when an arrest went bad, and in spite of wearing a
vest, a bullet managed to enter his shoulder, breaking up his collarbone.  Luckily, it did not shift far enough to
hit his carotid artery or he would not be here.

I almost lost Buck too, not to death, but burnout.  He is back with us again after saving Ezra from a bomb
intended to blow him to kingdom come.  He appeared relieved when he found out about the configuration of
the new teams, and I’m beginning to think he never wanted to be a supervisor or a Captain anyway.  Yet, I am
not certain Buck has wrangled all the inner demons that drove him away in the first place.  All of us will be
there for him, but knowing he will not get his copy of ‘Legends of the Quest’ until later, concerns me. What
else does he have to experience before it happens?

Worry about my children has taken up much of the past month.  Grace is doing better since Caitlyn suggested
letting her attend Reins daycare.  I know I still have some big hurdles to overcome with her in the future, but
for the moment, she is happy.  I try to control my feelings of resentment against Linda, but it is difficult.  Not
having a mother is one thing, having one who shows so little concern for her children is abominable.  Grace is
fortunate to have so much family on Larabee 7 who love her.  It does not make up for what Linda did, but it
does give her security.  Caitlyn is fantastic with her and her presence in Grace’s life has made a huge
difference.  Cody is too young yet, to know he is missing a mother in his life, but his time is coming.

Kelli is rebounding from her horrid experience with Ice. Sometimes I hate the fact that the woman is dead,
because in my opinion, she did not suffer nearly enough for what she did.  Kelli suffered too long and the loss
she and Vin endured damn near destroyed them both.  The only good thing to come of it all is that Kelli and I
have a stronger father-daughter relationship.  The years we were apart are not as much of an issue now as
they were when we first started out.

Still, Ice’s actions left me fighting the urge to slip into a destructive mode of hatred and vengeance.  I am
determined not to give in though; it would be too easy to slip back into the hell it took me years to crawl out
of after Sarah and Adam died.  The damn codes Ice left as a parting gesture has JD temporarily stumped, but
eventually he will break it and identify the person or persons responsible for Sarah and Adam’s death, of that I
have no doubt.  I plan to make certain justice is served.  All I have to do is practice patience.  Sometimes it’s
easier said than done, given the shit that keeps happening around me, and to my family.  I keep working on
the bad feelings and talking it over with my NA sponsor, Mike, helps.  What I learned at NA, and having six
brothers around to support me make it bearable.

Our caseload at work has been a bitch, but with this last assignment wrapped up, I hope for a slowdown.  At
least until we work out all the details on the MCAT expansion teams and the construction crew completes the
major remodeling of our office space.  On one hand, I think it is exciting, on the other, I dread change, and the
extra time involved for me as Assistant Director of MCAT Operations, overseeing the actions of three units.  
Travis calls it progress; I call it a pain in the ass.

Another surprising thing happened this month.  I realized I could still enjoy a woman’s company without
feeling guilty about taking time from my babies.  Although I fought admitting it, it is nice to sit and talk with
Caitlyn.  She is intelligent, caring, direct, and easy on the eyes.  Grace thinks the world of her, and while I have
and will keep insisting we are only friends, she has entered my thoughts more often that I care to admit…yet.  
I am not convinced now is a good time to consider another relationship but…. who knows where we could end
up?  I suppose time will tell.

Chris’s Journal ~ Midnight, June 1

Vin and I spent the afternoon sitting on a boulder, which overlooks one of the prettiest valleys on the Larabee
7, yet the beauty of the land held no comfort for either of us today.  As he recounted his meeting with JD, I felt
every bit of the pain he and our youngest brother shared.  All I could do was to listen.  I had no words of
wisdom to offer him to ease the hurt.

The past week has been hell for all of us and until today, I believed it could not get worse.  I was wrong.  As
our initial shock wears off, the pain of all that has happened is settling in for a long stay.  This time there is no
‘quick fix’ and I fear that for some of us it will never be the same.

I placed Vin in an impossible situation when I ordered him to run this investigation.  He’s damned if he does
his job right, and damned if he doesn’t.  Travis expects him to be professional, both attorneys expect him to
produce evidence to aid their respective cases, and I am at a loss to find any way to help him.  His relationship
with Buck is strained and his role of supportive brother to JD almost did him in today.

JD is lost too.  He’s decided that now is the time to slough off the protective cloak we’ve tried to wrapped him
in all these years and stand on his own.  While I have to respect, and in some ways admire his decision, I know
that no man can go through this kind of heartbreak in his life alone.  I’m living proof of that.  Yet all I can do
is to wait for him to realize he needs his family, now more than ever.

Buck is finding it difficult to give JD space and let go of ‘our kid’.  He does not understand why JD is pushing
him away.  Why he cannot shield him the way he has in the past.  I understand, but have the same problem
Buck does…letting go is not easy, but sometime it is necessary to hold on to the things we treasure.

Ezra and Nathan are trying to remain in neutral territory while the rest of us work through our feelings.  
Josiah’s counseling skills are getting a workout too.  I hope that given time JD will come to us and allow us to
support him.  In the meantime, our job is stand on the sidelines and wait.

JD will be back at home tomorrow.  In the coming days, he’ll have to deal with his children, physical recovery,
court hearings, and doctors.  He’ll also need to make some tough decisions and plan for his family’s
future…with or without Casey.

At some point soon, Travis will reactivate Alpha team and the rest of us will return to work.  While it might
take some time to mend our broken fences, I have faith that the seven of us will find a way.  We are seven
strong.  Always have been and always will be.

Sunday June 22~ Chris’s Journal

It has been a helluva six weeks on the Larabee 7.  For a while, I was afraid we might not recover from all that
has happened.  Yet, after last night, I feel much better about the prospects of us coming through this dark
period intact.  JD is having a rough go at the moment, but he taking the right steps to work through the hand
fate has dealt him.

We talked most of the night and I realized that his journey is not much different from the one I took after
Sarah died.  The big difference…Casey is still alive and JD knows he can count on his six brothers to help him
with whatever he wants…and we will be there for him when that time comes.  He still has a few things to
come to terms with first, but I have faith that he is going to find the answers he needs.

In the meantime, I am concerned about Buck.  I believe deep down he understands what JD is doing, but it
does not make it any easier for him to stand aside and let him do it.  The one thing I am certain of…the seven
will survive whatever fate throws at us.

As for me personally, I’m still facing a fight to keep my kids, and as hard as it is to patiently wait for legal
recourses, I am going to do this the right way.  Caitlyn is helping me stay balanced, and becoming an
important part of my life at the same time.  When all this is over, she and I need to sit down and talk seriously
about what we both expect from our relationship.

Chris’s Journal ~ Late Monday, July 28

Damn, has it really been a month since I took time to update?  Guess so.  A lot has transpired in the past four
weeks though.  JD has walked through his trial by fire, come out a stronger man for it, and found his way
home to us.  The coming months will not be easy for him.  He has to make adjustments in his personal life,
without Casey, at least for now, but he has accepted the challenge.  I am confident that whatever the future
holds for him, he can handle it.  

This summer has been a revelation to me in other ways, too.  When I met Vin, he brought light and balance
back into my life and completed the reconnection of our seven.  Cowboy came and opened doors to a spiritual
side of my being I never believed in before, but now accept as truth.  Even my time with Linda showed me how
I needed to be more open to life, and gave me living proof, with Grace and Cody, that all things, good and bad,
connect in a way we should never question.  I have discovered through Kelli that we do not lose missed
opportunities forever; we simply have to wait until Fate deems it is time to unveil them.  Cait and I have
moved closer, and she has the ability to calm my temperament in a way I thought no woman but Sarah, could
do.

I continue to fight Linda over custody of our children and we go to court in two days.  Though I worry about
the outcome, I have been able to lean more on trust and faith, instead of anger and guilt, to guide my actions.  
Thanks to the life lessons, I have received over the past few years; I was ready to accept ‘The Legends of the
Quest’.  I see the future through different eyes, and know for fact that when the strength of seven is involved,
anything is possible.
Chris’s Journal, Monday, August 25

The first annual ‘Reins of Change Rodeo’ was a success.  The cowboys put on a great show and the children went home with smiles on their
faces.  The donations were generous and the fun was contagious.  Buck is already planning bigger and better for next year.

It was good to see JD attend with his children. It seemed odd not to see Casey with him though. Even after all that has happened, I hope for his
sake, the children’s and Nettie’s that she is able to make some kind of recovery. I suppose only time will tell. I know the past couple of months
have been traumatic for JD, but he is working things out, and he told me he would be back at work today.

I, for one, am glad to see this summer end.  This has been a difficult few months for The Wild Bunch. We have had more downs than ups;
however, the ups are good ones.  Linda’s challenge for the children is over.  I received a letter from her saying she was leaving Denver, and would
be going to Spain with her new husband, Gregory.  Her words sounded bitter, but evidently, she has accepted the judge’s ruling and said she
would not be coming back to Colorado…ever.  I wish them the best.

The only thing that mattered to me was securing sole custody of Grace and Cody.  I will make sure they know the good things about their
mother and Kelli can tell them about the Linda she knew.  I think Kel saw a side of her I never did, and I am certain she will have good stories to
tell her younger brother and sister.  As for me, I am looking forward.  Whatever comes my way, Caitlyn will be a big part of my life.  She has
been good for me, the same way Sarah was.  She accepts me for me and does not try to change who I am.  Yet, she’s feisty, and will not hesitate
to stand up to me if she believes I am out of line.  We have found a good balance with one another and I enjoy the time we spend together.

Code of Honor
Chris’s Journal, Saturday, 0530 hours

As a Navy Seal, I believe that I engaged in every form of combat imaginable at one time or another.  As an officer of the law, I am certain I have
dealt with some of the most difficult humans on earth.  However, the past twenty-four hours have tested every fiber of my being.  To say that
our homecoming was less than we expected is an understatement.  Josiah called me last night and withdrew his name from the next mission.  
Nathan called a few minutes later to remove his too.  They said their families needed them at home for a while, and I had to agree.  We have
been gone too much and things are way off balance around here.  It is time to put our houses in order.

Grace has clung to me like superglue and Cody cries every time I am out of his sight.  Caitlyn and I managed to talk a whole ten minutes alone,
before our respective responsibilities clamored for our attention.  I discovered that Dottie’s test results uncovered serious heart problems, and it
is very unlikely that she will be returning to work as our Nanny anytime in the near future.  All this on top of Travis pushing me for a report I
have not even started.

In a few minutes, my babies will be awake and another day will begin.  I am going to leave them with Kelli and Vin while I meet with JD at Camp
Larabee.  Truthfully, I am not looking forward to this meeting.  It is one of those times that being family and commanding officer clash big-
time.  From my own experience, I understand where JD is mentally and emotionally, caught somewhere between the real world and hell.  With
me though, I did not have three children put on hold, waiting for me to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’.

Somehow, I need to get JD’s attention without pushing him further away.  Maybe, he is waiting for me to bring things into the open and this will
be easier than I think.  I am certain it will take every ounce of patience I have to reach him, but it will be worth it if he listens and responds
accordingly  If not…well, I do not even want to think about the alternative at this point.

Chris’s Journal, Saturday, 0530 hours

As a Navy Seal, I believe that I engaged in every form of combat imaginable at one time or another.  As an officer of the law, I am certain I have
dealt with some of the most difficult humans on earth.  However, the past twenty-four hours have tested every fiber of my being.  To say that
our homecoming was less than we expected is an understatement.  Josiah called me last night and withdrew his name from the next mission.  
Nathan called a few minutes later to remove his too.  They said their families needed them at home for a while, and I had to agree.  We have
been gone too much and things are way off balance around here.  It is time to put our houses in order.

Grace has clung to me like superglue and Cody cries every time I am out of his sight.  Caitlyn and I managed to talk a whole ten minutes alone,
before our respective responsibilities clamored for our attention.  I discovered that Dottie’s test results uncovered serious heart problems, and it
is very unlikely that she will be returning to work as our Nanny anytime in the near future.  All this on top of Travis pushing me for a report I
have not even started.

In a few minutes, my babies will be awake and another day will begin.  I am going to leave them with Kelli and Vin, while I meet with JD at
Camp Larabee.  Truthfully, I am not looking forward to this meeting.  It is one of those times that being family and commanding officer clash
big-time.  From my own experience, I understand where JD is mentally and emotionally, caught somewhere between the real world and hell.  
With me though, I did not have three children put on hold, waiting for me to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’.

Somehow, I need to get JD’s attention without pushing him further away.  Maybe, he is waiting for me to bring things into the open and this will
be easier than I think.  I am certain it will take every ounce of patience I have to reach him, but it will be worth it if he listens and responds
accordingly  If not…well, I do not even want to think about the alternative at this point.

Chris’s Journal, Tuesday, 0600 Hours

As I look back on my life, I realize every event I’ve experienced has prepared me for what is to come.  The Navy reinforced my confidence, which
was the one thing my father failed to destroy.  My Seal training taught me to discipline my life, but Sarah taught me to love, and softened ‘my
edges’.  Holding my firstborn son opened another chapter in my life… fatherhood.  Sarah and Adam’s deaths took me to a dark place for a while,
but fate sent me a lifeline in the form of Vin Tanner.  He, along with my newfound brothers of the heart, dragged me back to the land of the
living, and showed me that my heart was only badly bruised, not completely destroyed.

Fate offered me another chance at fatherhood, first with Kelli, and then Grace and Cody.  I almost let addiction destroy us all, but again found
the will to move on.  I faltered after Linda, thinking I was destined to screw up every opportunity fate bestowed upon me.  Yet in the failure of
our marriage, I discovered the pathway to my future.  My children, my brothers, and Cait gave me the courage to try again.  Last night I asked
Caitlyn to marry me, and she said yes.  I love her and I know she loves Grace, Cody and me.  Today I feel as if God’s been waiting for me to follow
my destiny, and continue to learn the lessons he has laid before me.  Cait and I decided to wait until Sunday to announce our engagement to the
Wild bunch, but I should talk to Jesse immediately, after all, they are a packaged deal.  I’ll make sure he understands that he will be part of our
new family, and his future is secure.  I plan to talk with him when I drop Grace and Cody off at Reins.  Later Cait will meet me for lunch, and we’
ll break the news to my eldest and Vin.  They probably won’t be surprised, but Kelli is my child too, and needs to be included.  After all, Cait will
be her stepmother.

I’m confident about my decision.  Between us, Cait and I have weathered some of the worst storms life can offer, and we survived.  Our love will
carry us through whatever lies ahead.  More later…

Chris’s Journal, 2320 Hours

For the past twenty minutes, I’ve sat here and stared at a blank page.  I want to record everything that’s happen the past week, but don’t know
where to start, or if I should.  The words I need to express how I feel about the incredible events of the last five days are hard to come by.  I have
discovered answers to questions that I didn’t even know I had.  Guess that’s not entirely true…over the years I have had an occasional moment
when I wondered how and why the seven of us came together.  When I think about the different paths we all took to arrive here, at this specific
time and place, it amazes me.  The fact we all blended our distinct personalities and bonded is….

*Destiny,* Cowboy supplied the correct word when he suddenly appeared, and tapped Chris on the shoulder.

Chris dropped his pen and swore, *Damnit, you need to knock or ring a bell or something before you do that.*

*It’s more fun this way.*

*What do you want now?*

*It’s not what I want, it’s what you want.*  He sat down, stretched out, propped his boots on the edge of Chris’s desk, and began his tale, *You’re
looking for reasons, and you want to put order to what’s occurred.  Sorry to disappoint you, son, but that’s not how it works.  The need to talk
about these things vanishes, because you will all know without asking.  The only thing different about you is that now, you know the why and
how.  You don’t need a big meeting to discuss things because once JD and Ezra remember, the eternal circle of the seven is complete.*

Chris shook his head.  *Don’t we need some kind of rules for all this?*

*No, you just have to believe, and listen to your hearts.  Remembering doesn’t change who you are, it only strengthens the solidarity the seven of
you have already formed.  The others will still look to you to lead them, still fight for the causes they believe, and still live honorable lives.*

*Recall and awareness,* Chris repeated Cowboys earlier words, *is it that simple?*

*Yeah, it is.*

*Nothing changes?*

*Change, no, but the skills you all already possess will intensify.  Josiah’s spiritual quest will bring him more answers.  Vin’s innate senses will
heighten, and his visions become stronger, as will his connection to you.  Nathan’s healing abilities will flourish and Ezra’s mental skills become
sharper and more precise.  Buck will expand his role as guardian to become the guiding energy for you all.  JD’s natural ability as an inquisitor
will light the path to victory in the battles to come between good and evil.* Cowboy stood, walked over to Chris’s desk, and closed his journal.  
*Your mind has already recorded the events you are trying to explain.  Quit questioning, and start listening.  Your wisdom, Chris, is all they
need, and it is you, who will lead ‘this’ assembly of seven warriors into the future.*

Chris’s Journal, 2200 Hours

Life has a way of dealing us surprises, which often brings us to our knees, and tricks us into believing that we are weak or not worthy of being
happy.  These are the times when a man must decide for himself just what kind of stuff he’s made of.  Some fall by the wayside, while others rise
above their obstacles and stand tall.

Fate tested our littlest brother, in such a way.  While his physical self recovered, from his injuries, his emotional, mental, and spiritual selves lay
dormant in a perpetual state of sorrow, confusion, and loss.  He wore his mask well, until it slowly chipped away, to reveal the raw wounds
beneath, and it was only then that he began to take a turn for the better.  With the support of his friends and family members, as well as Father
Rafferty, JD turned a new leaf, and is now firmly in control of his life once again.

His divorce from Casey in is process, and with its end, a new beginning starts for JD.  He has certainly come into his own throughout this long
ordeal.  I know that no matter what life tosses his way from here on out, he’ll meet the challenges head on with new strength and
determination.  With their mother out of the picture, and Nettie gone as well, the twins and JJ need him more than ever.

It surprised us all how easily Nettie could pull up stakes and just leave to be with Casey.  Understandably, they are blood kin, but Nettie has been
a fixture in all of our lives for such a very long time, it is hard to think of her not being around to seek out advice from, or help out in the time
of crisis.  She sent all of us letters asking us to forgive her for choosing to be with Casey, instead of staying around to help JD care for the twins
and JJ.  She thanked us for being a part of her life, and reiterated that even though she felt her place was with Casey, she loved us and always
would.  

I, for one, do not hold any grudges against her.  Casey has no one besides Nettie now, while JD and his children have all of the Wild Bunch to love
and support them.  Nor do I hold a grudge against Casey.  Yes, she could have very easily robbed me of one of my brothers, but in all fairness, she
was ill at the time, and didn’t know what she was doing.  Her decision to give JD sole custody of the kids was probably the hardest thing she ever
had to do, but it was the right thing nevertheless.

Most important of all, is the knowledge that the six men, who I have shed joys and sorrows with for more years than I can say, have been by my
side before.  Now that our joint memories are intact, we are in awe of the enormous responsibility destiny handed us.  We are all still sorting
through the initial consequences of past recall.  Vin and I have already discovered new abilities and we want to learn how to use them
effectively.  I also suspect that new ramifications will reveal themselves to our brothers in the months to come.  No matter what life tosses our
way from here on out, Fate will have a hand in deciding the outcome.

Thursday morning we go back into action.  The next couple of days will be hectic and dangerous for my agents, but I am confident about their
abilities.  Once we takedown Perón, I hope we all have a short reprieve before our next challenge hits us in the ass.  More later…

Winds of Change
Chris's Journal, 8:00 am

I haven't had much time to write lately, but I decided I should make time.  The past couple of weeks have been hectic to say the least.  After last
month's siege on the ranch, we'd all been trying to rebuild, and recoup, plan for a wedding, and take a little time to enjoy our 'vacation' from
work'.  So much for our plans.  We did finish most of the rebuilding and remodeling though, before I received word that Linda was killed in a car
accident.  Kelli and I attended her funeral in Louisiana, had an accident ourselves on the way to the airport, and landed smack dab in the middle
of a police action.  We saved a Trooper's life, rescued a woman hostage, and killed the bad guy, but missed our plane, which turned out to be a
good thing since it crashed on takeoff leaving no survivors.

Fate has been working overtime in all our lives lately, but finding out I could still jump into the middle of good, old- fashioned police work made
me feel more confident about my decision to resign as ADD of MCAT.  I admit to bending a few rules and procedures, but Kelli called me on it,
which is no less than I would expect her to do; however, I can't say I'm remorseful about the way it all turned out.

A rogue cougar also caused a bit of a stir around here, Vin and Brodie being hurt in the process of tracking her down.  She also came close to
taking Bucklin out, after stalking Maria and Sarah, but JD scared her off just in time.  Vin, Josiah, and JD hunted, found, and killed her
yesterday.  Sorry it had to end that way, but we couldn't take any chances with her coming after our children.

I'm pleased that Cait's parents have decided to move to Colorado.  It will be nice for Cait, having them close, not to mention the grandparent
bond they have developed with Jesse, Grace, and Cody.  Now that our adoptions are complete, Cait and I can breathe easier.  Jesse belongs to us,
now, and Grace and Cody have a mother who loves them unconditionally.  Cait will always be there when they need her.  Although the Dubois
family threatened to try to challenge it, Matt put them in their place.  I'm not certain exactly why, but he decided to sell us the Southern Breeze
and move on.  I have my suspicions, yet I know some things are best left alone.  The land now belongs to L7, which is what we wanted in the first
place.

I took some time yesterday afternoon to call Travis, and tell him about my decision to resign as ADD.  He was not thrilled to hear it, but he
accepted my decision.  I'll still be Unit Commander, and we set the date to discuss our return to MCAT for July 20.  As our wedding day draws
closer, we have most of the details completed.  I did have one final thing I needed to do before starting my journey with Cait as my wife.
After talking with Travis, I disappeared for a while to visit with Sarah and Adam.  For the first time since their deaths', I made the trip, had a
nice talk, left Sarah her favorite flowers, and departed with a feeling of peace in my heart.  I know if she had lived, we would still be together,
but I'm also confident that she approves of Caitlyn.

Tomorrow I'll begin a new chapter in my life, with Cait, my children, and my brothers at my side.  A man can't ask for more than that.
The MCAT AU was created by Tannertexaslady.* Also the original characters of MCAT, the Wild Bunch and the Larabee 7 Ranch.
Note:  I'm a Texan, born and raised.  I speak Texan, understand it, and write it as I know it.    
*MOG created the original Team 7,  and the ATF AU
Shades of Gray, Vision Quest, Turn The Page and Fire & Rain all were nominated for awards.
***MOM AWARD Winners ***
by Tannertexaslady with Sue M ~
 Best AU- Adult Novella ~ MCAT ~Fire & Rain
Stories which center on the Seven's intrinsic bonds of friendship and brotherhood, forces that have no boundarie.s
October, Chris's Journal

The past month has been a tough one for the Wild Bunch.  After news of Casey's death left everyone reassessing their priorities, Nettie's passing
ten days later from a heart attack had them reeling.  While we all miss Nettie, for Vin and JD it was especially hard.  Nettie nurtured Vin during
his teen-age years, and gave him a home when he needed one.  For JD, she was a loving aunt to him for years, and his children's only blood link to
their mother.  Nevertheless, with support from family, they both took time to grieve, and then looked forward.

JD's new home is finished.  He and the kids moved in this week, and The Wild Bunch have a big housewarming party planned for later today.  The
only drawback for him was accepting that the part of their divorce agreement, which required him to carry Casey on his medical for two years,
included a life insurance policy.  The amount doubled since her death was accidental, and the payout was substantial.  The burden of what to do
about it dampened his enthusiasm about the new house.  After careful consideration, and on Ezra's advice, he finally took the money to pay off
Casey's outstanding medical, legal, and personal bills.  He also invested a portion of it for Lilah, Daisy, and JJ's future, donated some to the
building fund for the new L7 activity center for our children, and used the rest to purchase special accessories for the kids' new rooms.

Ezra has returned to work with an album filled with pictures of Pearl.  Our MCAT caseload has been light, but I expect we'll soon have a major
case handed to us.  While we still have a few issues to work out with our 'new connection', we're making progress.  Vin is healing, and he hopes
to be back at work before the first of the year.  He is using his downtime to explore our legacy further, and  attempting to define his role as a
Heart Warrior, as well as getting back in top physical condition.  Kelli only has a few more weeks to instruct at the academy.  Barring any
unforeseen circumstances, Alpha Team should be complete again very soon.

Brodie and Vin have already begun to transform Tanner's old place into the ranch office.  We are all pleased about Brodie's accomplishments
with L7.  He has only had the reins for a short time, but we can see the differences, and wholeheartedly approve.  Standish also 'encouraged' CPS
to find permanent accommodations for their intake facility, and now Cait has hired a full staff at Reins, and has the room to lodge them.  
Consequently, she has trimmed back her schedule to only working part-time, which allows her to concentrate on our new arrival.

Cait and I also made an important decision regarding our little one.  We decided not to have genetic tests run due to her age, and possible risks.  
Our new child is a gift, and God willing our baby will arrive sometime in April and be healthy.  We will love him or her, regardless of the outcome
of any tests.  On the other hand, we look forward to finding out if we're having a boy or a girl.  Either is fine with me, but I would like to pick
out the right color paint for the nursery.

I hear Cait stirring in the kitchen, which means the rest of our brood, will not be far behind, so I suppose I should close for now.
Fate has a way of lulling us into a false sense of complacency, as unseen forces stay busy inventing roadblocks to throw onto the path we choose
to take in our journey through life.


Late October, Chris's Journal

Today I promised Cait I'd try to forget about work; although in light of recent events… that seems damn near impossible.  Our team definitely
has a challenge, and I fear we have only scratched the surface on a case that is destined to be long and laborious.  We'll manage though, and
take things one day at a time until we dig deep enough to find and kill the roots of this conspiracy.

Vin and I are taking Jesse, Caleb, and Jason to the Bronco's game.  Kickoff is at one, so we'll leave early to beat the traffic.  Buck is accompanying
Inez to the mall, mainly for his own peace of mind.  Donald elected to stay and keep watch on Cait for me, while Brodie did the same for Vin
about Kelli.  While I always worry about Cait, she is doing well, and our baby is on track for a spring arrival.  Kelli is following doctor's orders
and Vin is diligent about keeping her calm.  I pray everything works out, and this time next year, our new babies are crawling around together,
keeping us all on our toes.

On the ranch front, Brodie struck a deal to lease twenty thousand adjoining acres from the government for pennies on the acre.  It's a long-
term lease, and taking it will benefit our efforts to expand our growing herd.  I don't worry about L7 with Brodie on the job.  He is a natural for
ranching, and has a personal stake in our future success….Four grandchildren and counting.

I know the next few weeks and months could be tough for MCAT work, but I will try to remember to write here often.  I hear the kids up and
will close now to join them and my beautiful bride for breakfast.

Obtaining peace and tranquility in our lives may be our ultimate goal, but the obstacles we face to reach that point make life challenging.
Irrelevant facts often cloud our perceptions.  Sometimes we have to dig for the truth, hidden beneath the surface, to obtain a clearer vision.
Victory demands that all battles, whether they are physical or mental, need thorough preparation.  Do not compromise your principles, or
abandon your cause
This site is for fan enjoyment only, based on the characters from “The Magnificent Seven.” I don’t own them, but if I did I would run away with ‘em and never be seen again.
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