It’s been an uneventful month at A.C.E. Academy. After the craziness of last episode, The Neptunes have been taking it “easy”.

Dakota goes periodically on parole, often times with one of the other students. She’s also been helping train Travis, who has now been let in on the secrets of Sunnydale. Chewie has been tinkering on a variety of projects. As for the others, they’ve been…busy.

The school holds another assembly. With the help of the mascot, The Mighty Eagle, Principal Donahue once again bores the students and staff with long winded speech about community and discipline. At the end, he reminds the student that the annual Father/Daughter/Son camping trip weekend is occurring at the end of the week.

Dakota has no idea what’s going on, nor has she heard anything about this. (She doesn’t read the newsletter). While everyone else around them seem to be excited about the prospect of leaving school grounds and back to nature, The Neptunes are less inclined.

After Dakota talks to Nathan, she becomes keenly aware that somehow, Nathan has found out about her biweekly jaunts to L.A., where she doesn’t see her family, like she’s been saying, but instead has been seeing her beau. He also lets slip that there’s quiet the possibility that her father has found out as well, and that he will indeed be joining the camping trip.

Dakota tries to figure out how to trick Nathan into coming along, but he says “Someone has to stay here and watch Sam, who’s parents said they couldn’t make it.”

Friday arrives, with bus after school bus line up around the quad. Students from all the dormitories are putting their backpacks and camping gear at their assigned stations. Travis, Dakota, Chewie & Lukas anxiously await the arrival of their fathers. Chewie is oddly enough sans tweed jacket and goggles.

The final bus arrives and outcome the fathers. Travis’ dad is dressed in a charcoal business suit, carrying a leather briefcase. He briskly walks over to Travis and shakes his hand. He speaks softly, but steadily, and says he had to leave a conference, but that he was glad to see him. He is introduced to Travis’ new friends, and asks Travis to take him to his room so he can change into more suitable attire.

Lukas’ dad steps off the bus. Tall, gangly with hair very much like Lukas, he is the spitting image of an older Lukas. He has very similar thick rimmed black glasses as well. He has on a perpetual smile and stiffly walks over to Lukas. An awkward hug is followed by introductions. Chewie & Dakota are left confused by the brief conversation had. Lukas pulls his dad away to get him to help him load his luggage.

Chewie’s dad follows close by. Dressed in a bright yellow, hawaiin shirt with cargo shorts and flip flops, Chewie’s dad bounces off the bus. Hugging his son and twirling him around like he weighs nothing, he eagerly meets Dakota and Lukas. He seems fascinated with Dakota’s friendship with Chewie until Chewie blurts out that Lukas and Dakota are actually dating! After his father smushes Dakota and Lukas together, Chewie walks back to his room to get his gear, with his father chattering behind him.

Dakota’s dad is the last one to step off the bus. A large, solid built man, with close cropped hair, a busy handle bar mustache, with bits of tattoos peeking from under his sleeves. He walks over to his much shorter daughter, not smiling, but not glaring either. He says, “Looks like we have a lot to talk about this weekend.”

Dakota gulps.

Everyone steps into the bus and they take off.

Next stop: Grizzly Peak!


A.C.E. Acaedmy darkshifter