Disclaimer: I do not own Codename: Kids Next Door or any of its affiliates. And much to my chagrin I do not write scripts for the show.
Hope you like the story
To Nigel Uno it felt as though he had been tossing and turning in his sheets a matter of moments before his alarm clock sounded. It was 6:30, and he still had to finish writing his lesson plans for the lesson on long division that he would give to his fourth grade class today.
For some reason, he had been having short, fitful sleep for a few weeks now. It had begun at the start of senior year when he started his first full-time student teaching position in the fourth grade class at Gallagher Elementary. He had been working through Cleveland State University, looking forward to senior year since he started. Kids had always fascinated him, mostly because he could remember so little of his own childhood. But he hoped to make these moments with his students memorable and maybe feel some of the simple childhood joy himself.
Yet his involvement with these kids seemed to cause him depression and frustration at the lack of experiences from his own childhood. It didn't make sense. He had wonderful parents whom he loved and who loved him in return, and he had friends throughout most of his life, despite his overbearing nature, even a girlfriend here and there. So why didn't he remember any of it?
What happened to his adventures? His parents said he often had picnics and sleepovers up in his little Treehouse, why couldn't he remember those? Where did all those years in grade school go? Surely things had happened, so why couldn't he remember any of it?
He'd lost a good deal of strength over this dilemma, not to mention a good deal of weight as he stared as his thin, ragged face in the mirror over the sink as he brushed his teeth.
Nigel had tried to get away from all those feelings sophomore year when he took a semester in London, England. He'd gotten to visit his dad's old neighborhood and see his aunts and uncles on his mom's side, and being around British people was a good experience for him, but it had only been a temporary solution to his psychological problems.
Gotta stay up. He thought. Those kids aren't going to be fourth graders forever.
He felt some remorse when he reflected on this obvious truth.
Hoagie P. Gilligan Jr. was up within half a second of his alarm clock going off. Three years of training on and off at a U.S. Air Force Base will do that to you.
Hoagie came from a single parent family and had a younger brother that had started college last year, so money had always been tight for their family. Hoagie had gotten a lot of scholarships through science awards, but not enough to carry him through a good school and leave his mom with enough to provide for his little brother Tommy and allow her to retire by 60 – so Hoagie had gotten an ROTC scholarship through the Air Force as an Electrical Engineer for Army Helicopters.
A lot of people thought it was a crazy idea, especially since Hoagie was by nature a rather peaceful person. But his father had been a pilot and being around aircraft gave Hoagie a sense of attachment to his father that pictures and stories from his mom and grandmother never could.
Hoagie had begun with the expectation that he would breeze through the engineering program (he was naturally very competent with physics and inventing) and after completing his service he'd go into private investigation. Engineering was Hoagie's specialty, but solving mysteries was his passion, and the training in the military had certainly firmed out his figure.
Yet as time went on, Hoagie found that private investigation was more of a fantasy job and a hobby, while engineering was really more of a calling in life. Job prospects were also looking better in engineering for the future.
Being a serviceman also gave Hoagie a bonus when it came to life in society – people were much more respective of a man in uniform, and Hoagie didn't have the best people skills, especially with all of his attempts to make jokes and puns that always left his audience laughing at how stupid he was rather than at the quality of his humor. His poor humor and lame social antics had earned him the nickname "Gilligan" among friends in the service, but he didn't mind. He even went so far as to call some of his squad members "Professor" and "Skipper".
None of the guys in the outfit talked much about life before the military, except when it involved a girl or something crazy that they had tried as a freshman and suffered embarrassing consequences that left them no wiser than before. Hoagie felt embarrassed sometimes because he didn't have much to say. Mostly because he couldn't remember doing very much with his life before joining, and very little about what happened when he was young.
Kuki Sanban needed two clocks to wake her up in the morning: one to wake her and then be ignored so she could grab some last precious moments of rest, and another to tell her she had fifteen minutes to shower, brush her teeth, comb her hair, and grab a set of her signature black tights and large green sweaters or the clothes that her mother had sent her and never worn. And every morning she ran out to her classes, and the clothes her mother had sent her three months ago were still in the box with tissue paper as just as it had been upon arrival in her room.
She hardly ever wore make up. Many of her friends told her she was super lucky to be so blessed with a kind of natural beauty that outshone the artificial beauty of so many others at their school.
Kuki was at school, studying to become a nurse. She had found a calling in life with children, mostly because she was still very childlike herself. That much became evident to anyone who entered her dorm room. It was hard to move through all the plushies she had scattered around. And it was hard to find anywhere to sit, since the dozens of Rainbow Monkeys she had for companions took most of the flat surfaces.
She was in the top percentile of her class in the Nursing School at the Medical University of Ohio, president of the Rainbow Monkey Club (which wasn't likely to survive her graduation) and the resident whiz girl on Traditional Asian Medicine. She'd spent a year living abroad with her grandparents in Japan her junior year and she had taken several classes on acupuncture and herbal medicine.
A lot of the girls called her the Witch Doctor for fun.
Though Kuki was very chipper and had many happy things to surround her in her life, she herself felt somewhat empty most of the time. There was something of a gap in her memory of grade school. She could remember being bored with classes and the family get-togethers and special moments in family life, even an occasional slumber party. But it felt as though a big chunk of her life at that time had just been wiped away.
It hadn't matter much in high school, when everyone was just trying to outdo one another in being cool and popular and no one was interested in your feelings, so you just kinda put them aside. But college was different. You wanted to get to know people, know their feelings, their passions, their fears, their past.
And this need to know brought Kuki back to the realization that her past was in pieces.
She left her dorm and proceeded to class. Several guys and girls said 'hi' to her as she walked and she eagerly waved back with a big smile on her face, but she didn't feel like she was smiling very much on the inside. She felt unfulfilled and lonely. A lot of guys had approached her and asked her out, and she was never one to say no, but she never got with any of them, despite repeated advances.
Kuki had never been very successful in the area of romance; she had very traditional expectations of her man. She believed in true love and soul mates, and wanted the love of some noble, princely man. The guys called her a flirt and the girls called her naïve. She sometimes called herself hopeless…
But she persevered with her studies and kept her eye on her career and that made life more predictable, though not altogether easier or enjoyable…
Wallabee Beetles didn't need an alarm clock to let him know it was time to get up. His body had a natural sense of time that allowed him to fall asleep at reasonable times and wake up around the right time every morning. His time abroad had taught him a lot about life, and this natural ability to wake up and the accompanying discipline to get up had come with it.
Wally (as most people called him) had gone to Australia in the summer following his high school graduation and met Meng Jing kuang through his uncle (who was a professor at the Australian College of Sports Therapy). The man was in his early seventies and had a wiry frame, but he could move with the speed and agility of a monkey. Wally had always had a love of martial arts, and was eager to learn from this old-style master. He even got permission from his parents to spend a year living with the strange old man while he took classes at the college.
It had been two years
since Wally had come back to America and transferred into the Medical
University of Ohio and the Physical Therapy department. He aspired to
become a physical therapist and open his own dojo/clinic. Wally had
even started a club focusing around martial arts, which he called the
Young Masters Club. He had several members both boy and girl, and
most everyone treated him with a great deal of respect.
Mostly because they knew he was a very capable fighter and was only too ready to show it.
Yet despite Wally's tough front he was actually a rather softhearted individual. He hardly had any real 'friends' and he was a little slow to get involved with other people. His tough guy attitude was a good defense mechanism, but it wasn't who he really was.
Wally couldn't remember much from his childhood, other than the times he had been bored with school and the Bring you Daughter to Work Days his dad always dragged him to. Wally had asked his parents about his childhood, but the fact was he was rarely home – they said he would always sleep over in a Treehouse with a boy whose name he couldn't recall, and he had always been very clandestine about the things he did there.
Wally gave the illusion of someone driven and sure about life, but the fact was, he was very much alone and unsure, and in some ways, he was actually quite timid. It was hard to be so sure of life's direction if you hardly knew where it set out from.
Abigail Lincoln had a digital alarm clock with a shrill electrical ring that many had agreed could wake someone up from a coma. So it was that every morning when it went off, it left her so woken up that she didn't have the audacity to go back to bed.
She enjoyed going to Oberlin College and she had a good feeling about her majors: a double in English and French. But she wasn't sure what she wanted to do with herself when she got out of college.
Abby was one of those naturally cool people who were always very chill and relaxed. Could go with the flow and hardly complain, and this made her very desirable among the male students. There wasn't a single fraternity brother that hadn't tried to get close to Abby, but she was a very driven girl with a plan to take care of her concerns and her education before she considered hooking up with any of the guys that approached her. Lots of people had said she would end up a spinster, but she didn't care – she was just one of those kinds of girls that didn't give a care what anyone thought of her, she knew who and what she was.
Abby had a hard time remembering experiences from her childhood. She often had a feeling that her older sister Cree at least had some idea about what Abby's childhood had been like, she was a teenager for most of the time that Abby couldn't remember. But Cree never let on about it.
Abby and Cree had always had an unsteady relationship since Abby had always looked up to Cree as a role model, but Cree had a tendency to play the bully big sister and this made cooperation difficult.
Cree was now had a Masters in Chemistry and had a position as a high school science teacher in New York. She and Abby shared emails frequently but rarely called one another, and they saw each other on even less-rare occasions.
Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln were of little or no help since Abby had spent most of her free time outside the house with friends, but she couldn't remember having had any friends, except one short blonde kid with an Australian accent who was in most of her classes. But she couldn't even remember his name anymore it was so long ago.
Though Abby could always make it seem as though the world didn't really affect her or cause her trouble, it often did. She was quite lonely despite the roguish attitude that was her standard behavior, and she longed to have some friends that she could really connect with. But most of the kids at her school that she thought were at least potential friends were just like her: quiet, introverted and career driven.
So it was that these five strangers began their senior year of college. Having no memory of their former days of glory, or the bonds of friendship and love that they shared through the most dire and desperate of circumstances.
They were each alone and needing someone or something to free them from themselves and their own ambitions…
And in time, everything would change…