Farewell Team Possible
The afternoon sun shone brightly on the flag of the United States as it flew at half-mast. A troop of mounted horsemen lead a processional as it entered Middleton Cemetery. Two artillery caissons entered after the horse troop, each carrying a coffin draped in an American Flag. The caissons were pulled by a full team of horses, all were saddled but only the ones on the left had riders. Behind the caissons were two riderless horses with boots reversed in the stirrups. The caissons stopped and the honor guard snapped to attention. Several limousines pulled up and stopped.
"Present ….ARMS!" The call echoed across the windswept headstones. A slight breeze lifted a number of leaves in a swirl of motion.
The Honor Guard's rifles moved with ease to the salute position.
Two teams of soldiers from the Armed Services and Global Justice approached the caskets and released the cords holding the coffins. Sixteen white-gloved hands grasped the brass handles of the two steel gray coffins. Dr. Director in full dress uniform stood with Special Agent Joeseph Duncan of the Canadian Global Justice Service. Beside them stood Chaplin Jason Carmichael, the Head Chaplin of the Global Justice Service. All three stood at attention as they saluted.
The coffins lifted in unison off the caissons. Slowly, the troopers sidestepped rearward from the caissons, stopping when they were clear of the caissons that had borne the coffins from the Middleton High School. The caskets had lain in state over the past two days so the world could bid farewell to the two young heroes. Visitors had come from around the world: Heads of State and ordinary citizens came together, quietly filing past to pay their respects. One group of visitors came dressed completely black outfits. None of the attendees knew who they were, one young man was recognized by a few students, but no one asked their affiliation. They would only say they were friends of the deceased. After they encircled the two caskets, they solemnly bowed in total silence, then produced a handful of cherry blossoms from inside their sleeves. The blossoms were left in a circle around the two fallen heroes. The group then disappeared, reappearing to stand guard. If approached, they would disappear, only to reappear later.
Both casket teams turned and marched in measured pace to the beat of a single drum tap and flourishes. Approaching the stands sidestepping again, they gently lowered the caskets onto the stands. Two senior agents stepped forward and straightened the flags. The two teams stood at attention, slowly saluted, then turned and marched to the side. The families from the limousines took their seats in front of the caskets.
Chaplin Jason Carmichael stood and approached the podium.
"I have stood behind podiums such as this many times in the past few months. We have had to say goodbye to a number of agents and friends during that time. Most of them lived long and complete lives with few regrets. Today, however, is a much tougher goodbye, as there is so much unfinished in the lives of Kimberly Anne Possible and Ronald Eugene Stoppable."
The Chaplain paused a moment and considered the notes in front of him then continued.
"They were so young, so promising, so full of life, so dedicated to each other and to those they protected."
"So to all of us whose hearts are broken today, let me remind you of some ways we have to walk through our grief."
"We must reach inward to ourselves to face the rollercoaster of emotions. However, we need not be afraid to express them any more than we are afraid to say, "I am cold," or "I am hungry." Sometimes it is confusing when you are overcome by grief and the one next to you is calm, or when you feel a measure of peace and the one next to you is full of anger. It just means you are both at different points on the way from grief to healing. Whatever you are going through, when you share it with each other, your sharing will release a great deal of healing power for each other."
"There will be times the family will need to talk, and there will be times they will need to be quiet. There will be times they will need to be with people, and times they will need to be alone. There is no way you can know on your own which time is which, and that's alright. Just follow their lead. When they talk, talk with them. When they are quiet, be quiet with them. When they call you and say, "I don't want to be alone right now," drop whatever you're doing and go to their side. When they ask, "Could you give me some time alone?" respect that, too. When they laugh, it's okay for you to laugh with them. When they cry, you can allow your own tears flow, too."
"A second thing you can do is to be the kind of friend I was speaking of earlier, the kind who truly listens without saying, "Oh, you don't really feel that way." …without saying, "It's time for you to feel this way now." Be the kind of friend who can be trusted to receive whatever is said with care, respect and love."
"A third thing you can do is remember: that as you show that love, you do not do so alone. There is a higher power with you. God is with you, working through you, giving you words to say, or giving you strength to be there in quiet moments. The presence and the love of God will be with you. "
"Perhaps the greatest gifts Kimberly and Ronald gave to us were friendship, devotion and love. Ron had an almost inhumanly calming presence that gave everyone around him a sense of peace. He was always laid back, always relaxed. He had a sense of bravery that everyone would do well to emulate, for he followed Kim on every mission, despite the fact that he would be facing his worst fears or even the possibility of death. Kim was fully present to others as a wonderful friend. When she was called to help, she did so without hesitation, such was her drive to help others Together they worked to bring peace to this world, whether it is fighting anyone of those they stood against or just working here in Middleton as regular students."
"Many made Kim and Ron out to be some sort of incredible superheroes. In some ways, they were. Together they were an incredible team that took on seemingly impossible missions that even the most experienced agents would not tank on lightly. From foiling Dr. Drakken to saving a cat, Kim and Ron had a sense of caring and duty seldom seen. Yet they were also your typical teenagers, struggling to find themselves in the world. Those two who had been friends so long and only recently found love. A love that was so close that it took one incredible mission for them to realize how they felt about each other. A love that they deserved, and one that I know would have grown into something very, very special."
"We now entrust Kim and Ron to God's keeping, knowing that we will see them again. We will miss them both, but will keep them alive in our memories. Kim, Ron, we thank you."
The Chaplin stepped back.
Special Agent Joe Duncan stepped forward, as across the cemetery, a cannon fired the first salute. Mrs. Possible jumped at the crack of the first shot. Mr. Possible held her tightly and jumped a little himself as the second shot fired. There was little sound other than the firing of the cannon. The echoes of the shots reverberated across the countryside. The assembled mourners stood as the smoke filtered off into the distance. Josh placed his arm around Tara, as she turned and buried her face in his shoulder. Monique stepped over to Felix and took his hand. He turned smiling at her, squeezing her hand. The cannon rounds continued until eleven shots were fired.
A silence settled over the cemetery as two groups of agents marched up to the coffins.
"Load!" Agent Duncan called.
Rifles rattled, as each weapon was charged bringing, a round into the chamber.
Each rifle was brought to the ready position as the firing teams turned a half turn to the burial site, then a half step back.
The firing team snapped their rifles to their shoulders, aiming into the sky.
The crackling of the rifles sounded the first volley. The riflemen brought their weapons down to the ready position.
Again, rifles snapped to position..
The crack of the rifles sounded again across the cemetery.
The rifles were readied.
The rifles came down the final time.
All agents and service members snapped to attention.
Many white-gloved hands came up to the right eyebrow. The riflemen moved to their proper positions.
A Marine bugler stepped out from beside the tree where he had been standing. He moistened his lips, bringing the bugle to playing position. The sounding of "Taps" was heard across the site, it's sad tones spoke of the two lives mourned.
Four agents stepped up to the coffins, grasping the edges of the flags, and lifted them. They sidestepped until clear of the coffins and paused as Dr. Director stepped up to the podium.
"Kim and Ron were two amazing young people. Once during a break in a training day the two of them were doing some homework in a conference room. Ron found the following words about the folding of the flag. They studied those words and commented on how much each fold meant to them. In their honor, I now will repeat what they discussed that day. As each fold is mentioned, the flags will be folded."
"The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life."
"The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life."
"The third fold will be made in honor and remembrance of those departing our ranks and who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country and to attain peace throughout this world."
"The fourth fold represents our weaker nature; for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance."
"The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for, in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong.""
"The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stand, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
"The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic."
"The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mothers Day."
"The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded."
"The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first born."
"The eleventh fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
"The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost."
Dr. Director finished and stepped back from the podium.
Two Marine Officers took each of the folded flags and stepped up to the two mothers. They bent down and placed the flags in their hands.
"With the thanks of a grateful nation and world", each officer said.
Mrs. Stoppable took the flag and clutched it to her chest. Mr. Stoppable placed his arm around her and pulled her head onto his shoulder. Mrs. Possible took the flag and passed it over to Tim and Jim. The two twins sat with the flag in their laps.
All agents turned to the assembled families and saluted.
At that moment the sounds of jets were heard coming from the west. The assembled turned to see two separate flights of aircraft approaching the cemetery. At the last moment, the front aircraft of each flight peeled off straight up as the rest of the flight continued over the ceremony.
"Attention, Dismissed!" Called Agent Duncan as all the soldiers and troopers dropped their salutes. Many stepped forward to assist the family and friends.
Mr. Possible stood and helped his wife to stand. She turned and helped Mr. Stoppable get Mrs. Stoppable to her feet. Both of the mothers hugged tightly as the fathers stood at their sides.
Tara, Josh, Felix and Monique turned and walked to the side. They waited for the families to finish talking to the other mourners. Monique turned and glanced over to the row of trees to the west of them.
The sun was starting to settle near the tops of the trees. She saw something, tugged on Felix's sleeve and pointed toward a row of tree in the distance. Felix turned to ask what was going on until he saw what she was pointing toward.
"No way!" he whispered.
Josh turned at the sound. "What did you say….? Oh man! I don't believe it!" Tara saw Josh's eyes widen. She turned and squealed at the sight.
The four teens who had known Kim and Ron the best stood there in wide-eyed wonder, for across the field at the edge of the trees stood two figures. They appeared almost to be apparitions: there, yet not there. Kim and Ron stood side-by-side, smiling and waving at their friends. Kim's long red hair swirled around her shoulders, the sleeves of her peasant blouse billowing in the air. Ron stood at her side, wearing his usual red jersey over a black shirt. The two teens turned, looked at each other and joined hands. They glanced over to their friends, then appeared to vanish into the fading sun over the trees. For a moment, the friends thought they heard the familiar sounds of the laughter of their two friends.
Monique's voice wavered for a moment.
"Wa…wa…was that for real?"
Felix continued to stare into the woods.
"I can't say, but if they were real and all this was a fake, the only question is why? But then, who else would deserve a new start better than them?"
Josh placed his hand on Felix's shoulder as he placed his other arm around the shoulders of Tara.
"Yeah, but if all this is all for real, then who deserves the peace they are facing better than them. They are together in a much better place. Maybe finally they can find peace together."
Tara raised her hand in a final wave. "Goodbye Kim, Ron, whereever you are headed. We hope you find the love and peace you deserve. Farewell, Team Possible. May God Bless you where ever your roads take you."
The friends turned and headed back to the area where the families were preparing to return to the limos.
Two pairs of eyes --- one green, the other brown --- looked on as their friends returned to be with their families. Two smiles formed, their friends and families would be ok. Kim and Ron turned and walked into the light.
Hi, everyone. I know that this one is very different from what I normally write. I have been playing around with this one for sometime and decided to finish it. I hope that I really didn't bum everyone out. Life is not always nice, nor does everything always work out to the best. Death is as function of life. Thanks for reading and please leave a review. I will be glad to shoot a response your way.
If you haven't read "What She Can't Say" by The Wise Duck yet, I think you should. It is an incredible story. Be forewarned, it is a tough story, definitely not for the faint of heart, but very much worth the read.