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Gryphonadmin
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Dec-16-10, 02:50 PM (EDT)
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"bridging fragment, 05/06"
 
   This bit isn't really essential and including it at the beginning of 06 makes an irritatingly talky part of the ep even talkier, but what the hell, I wrote it, so you might as well have it...



"You ask me," said Gramp after a few moments' consideration,
"I'd say she's better off without a father like that."
"I suppose so," I replied, "but it leaves me in an odd
situation, to say the least."
"Mm," Gramp agreed. "The world's not as simple a place as it
was once. You may have problems - legal ones, y'know - because of
your age. You're not too much older than she is, the government might
think there was something kind of squirrelly going on."
"Yeah," I sighed. "That's my main concern."
"Well, I don't see there's much you can do about it."
"No... I suppose not."
"Is she willing to stay?"
"Yes. Well, she is now. We sort of bonded over blackjack and
gunfire in Transbelvia. She's... " I considered my words. "... our
kind of weird."
"Well, whatever floats her boat, I suppose." Gramp chuckled.
"So you figure everybody else is better off if she's with you."
"Yeah, pretty much."
"Well, I hope you can work it out," Gramp said. "It's a hell
of a mess, but I think you're doing a good thing helping her out the
way you're doing. A lot of people in this day and age would have
looked the other way."
I smiled. "Thanks, Gramp."
"No trouble. Well, look, I don't want to run your phone bill
up... you take care, OK, and come up and see us soon."
"I will. Love you... love to Gram, too. Bye."
"Bye now."
I studied the phone for a moment, then dialed another number.
"Ken Masters!" Ken answered brightly.
"Hey Ken, it's Gryph."
"Hey Gryph!" said Ken. "How's your head?"
"Not bad, thanks. Hey, is Eliza around?"
"Sure, hang on." A clatter, and then Eliza Masters came on
the line.
Eliza was originally Eliza Stern, of the Beacon Hill Sterns -
one of the richest families in Boston. She would never have had to
work in her life even if she hadn't married Ken Masters of the Marin
County Masterses. It came as something of a surprise to... well,
everyone who paid any attention to Boston's high society,
anyway... that she'd bothered to go to school in a field that was
actually challenging, let alone follow it up with a low-paying,
stressful, but important job. Eliza Masters, MD, Psy.D, is...
something important, I forget exactly what - at the Massachusetts
Department of Health and Human Services, specifically the bit dealing
with the welfare of children.
This had always been more or less window dressing for me -
what mattered to me was not what Eliza did but rather who she was,
which was a fabulous-looking, smart, friendly woman who's married to
an old pal of mine. Now, though, her job and our friendship might
bail me out of a -massively- awkward legal situation.
"Hi, Ben," she said. "What's up?"
"Um well... "
I explained the situation.
"That's a problem, all right," she agreed. "Well... I can dig
around and see, I'm sure there's some precedent in international law
that can prevent Kasugano from just dumping her like that."
"No, that's not what I'm looking at here," I said. "She
doesn't want to go back, and c'mon, do you really want her going back
to a man who'd do this to her? There must be some way we can arrange
it so she can stay here."
"'Here' as in the US, or were you speaking more specifically?"
"'Here' as in at 540 Cedar Street."
"Benjamin, you have any -idea- what terrible adoption prospects
you and Zoner are? -Particularly- for a teenage girl? Two single men in
their twenties, specific occupation unknown, means of support hard to
identify? It raises questions about your motives. Wait, hear me out,
I'm not saying you two would do anything like that - but on paper it
looks bad. Looks... -opportunistic-. Maybe even predatory."
I sighed. "Believe me, Lize, I know. I've been thinking
about it all afternoon. That's why I called you - to see if you had
any suggestions, or if you could do anything on our behalf."
"Well... " She pondered. "You're in a better position than I
am, thanks to your and Zoner's contacts at the State Department, to
handle the whole Immigration thing. But if you take care of that...
I'd need to interview the girl and make sure she really wants to stay
with you and feels secure there. You'd be required to disclose your
financial situation, and you and Zoner would have to submit to an
interview process and psychological screenings of your own - probably
fairly rigorous ones given the risk factors involved. Then there's
the whole matter of what your -job- is, although we might be able to
downplay that if we're quick enough. And there'd have to be a hearing
before a family-court judge... I imagine you can both dredge up
literal hordes of character witnesses for that, so that would most
likely work in your favor if you can rein in your sarcasm."
"I think I can manage that."
"OK, well... no promises, but I'll do everything I can. If
you have any other strings to pull, now's the time. But Ben... before
I start, are you really sure you want to do this? It would be a hell
of a lot simpler, if the girl's family doesn't want her back, for her
to go back to Japan and be placed in foster care there."
"No," I said immediately, surprised at my own forcefulness.
"She needs to be with people who can understand her. She's one of us -
you've been with Ken long enough to know what I mean."
"Hmm... I understand," she said. "OK. I'll get right on it.
My office will be in touch concerning the disclosures we'll need, and
to schedule the hearing and interviews."
"Thanks a million, Eliza."
"Don't thank me until it's over, Ben," she cautioned me.
"I'll do what I can, but you're still a bad risk. The Department may
turn you down despite all of our best efforts. And even if you get it
cleared at State, we don't know what the Japanese government will think."
"If not for your help, we wouldn't even get that far."
"Still, it'll be a hard road," she warned. "Save your energy,
you're going to need it. Something tells me you'll have to fight for
this."
"That's what I do best," I said with a grin.
We finished the conversation, and then I hung up and went into
the den, where Zoner and Sakura were watching TV, to report.
"Eliza's going to get Child Welfare to open a case file. We're
going to get interviewed, investigated, scrutinized, psychoanalyzed...
there'll be a hearing, and all that kind of crap. The INS stuff is up
to us, as expected. She can't give us any guarantees and warns me that
on paper I'm the state's second worst adoption prospect." I pointed at
Zoner. "After you."
"Yeah, that figures," he said.
I sighed. "Anyway, we've got a long road ahead of us."
"You said there's a hearing?" Zoner asked. "That can't do us
anything but good. We can rake up so many character witnesses it'll
take them all day to sort out what great guys we are."
"I just hope it's enough. If not... " I shrugged. "Let's
not think about that. Like she said, we'll have to fight for it, and
when I fight I try not to think about losing."
"You guys are going to all that trouble for me?" Sakura asked, a
note of something midway between skepticism and surprise in her voice.
I turned to her and nodded.
"Why?" she asked.
"Because it's the way we are," Zoner told her. "We like to help
people. It's not very fashionable, but it's us."

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Admin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
bridging fragment, 05/06 [View All] Gryphonadmin Dec-16-10 TOP
   RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Offsides Dec-16-10 1
   RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Prince Charon Dec-16-10 2
   RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Droken Dec-17-10 3
      RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Gryphonadmin Dec-17-10 4
          RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 WengFook Dec-17-10 5
              RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Gryphonadmin Dec-17-10 6
                  RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Offsides Dec-17-10 7
                      RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Peter Eng Dec-17-10 8
                  RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 remandeteam Dec-21-10 32
   RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Peter Eng Dec-17-10 9
      RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Gryphonadmin Dec-17-10 10
          RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Peter Eng Dec-20-10 29
              RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Gryphonadmin Dec-20-10 30
   RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Polychrome Dec-17-10 11
   RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 trigger Dec-17-10 12
      RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Gryphonadmin Dec-17-10 13
          (facepalm) Gryphonadmin Dec-17-10 14
              RE: (facepalm) trigger Dec-18-10 24
                  RE: (facepalm) Gryphonadmin Dec-18-10 26
                      RE: (facepalm) trigger Dec-18-10 27
          RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 BZArcherteam Dec-17-10 15
          RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Offsides Dec-17-10 16
              RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Gryphonadmin Dec-17-10 17
                  RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 pjmoyermoderator Dec-17-10 18
                      RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Gryphonadmin Dec-17-10 19
                  RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Offsides Dec-18-10 20
          RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 drakensis Dec-18-10 21
          RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 WengFook Dec-18-10 22
              RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Gryphonadmin Dec-18-10 23
                  RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 trigger Dec-18-10 25
          RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Peter Eng Dec-20-10 28
              RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 Gryphonadmin Dec-20-10 31
                  RE: bridging fragment, 05/06 StClair Dec-22-10 33
                      RE%3A bridging fragment%2C 05%2F06 Bushido Dec-22-10 34


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