The next morning, the Fairbairns arrived earlier then usual and luckily Adler wasn't far behind. As Van readied the Blade Liger for the journey and battles ahead he explained the situation to the lieutenant.
"Let me come with you," the unusual bold tone was in Adler's voice again.
Van shook his head, as he peered down at the lieutenant from the Liger's cockpit, "You're needed here, Adler, someone needs to stay and protect this village and you're the best person for the job."
"But, sir, Abby and Gil could protect this area easily on their own."
"I'm certain that Abby and Gil are great pilots but they're researchers not soldiers, if the Loyalists decided to take this area they'd be overwhelmed. We need you here to help them keep an eye on things."
Adler seemed to realize that further pleading would be pointless and simply sighed, "Yes, Sir."
Van nodded and turned as the Fairbairns stepped a little closer, "What's up?"
"Well," Abby began, "We heard what you were saying before and we wanted to wish you luck and tell you that I've finally convinced this big lug to agree to adopting Leith!"
Van slumped back in the pilot's seat of his zoid, relief flooding over him, "That's wonderful!"
He'd been pretty sure that the Fairbairns would take the boy in but 'pretty sure' was never as good as certain. It was good to finally be sure the boy would be safe.
It surprised him a little, though, how quickly he'd come to trust Gil and Abby in just the few weeks he'd known them. From just that short time he'd come to be sure that they were the perfect people to act as Leith's new family.
Finally, he stood back up and addressed the couple again, "Thank you, for the well wishes and for taking the little guy in."
Gil smiled and said, "Thank you, for giving us the chance to meet him."
Abby had already taken off to tell Leith the good news.
It would be a while yet before Van and Irvine set out for the battles ahead of them, but Van was happy to have his mind at ease over Leith's welfare. Leith, too, had seemed happy with the new development.
As Van sat behind the controls of the Blade Liger he stared up at the empty sky and murmured, "Well, Raven, what do you think? He's got a stable home now, he'll be safe. You can rest easy knowing that, right?"
Van didn't really expect any kind of answer and he wasn't disappointed. He sighed and got back to work preparing for the battles ahead.
By noon Irvine and Van were ready to leave. They said goodbye from the cockpits of their zoids and headed out for the northern territories.
In the following months Van and Irvine would fight gallantly and save many villages from destruction.
They would eventually be joined by Thomas whose help would be invaluable in finally driving the Loyalists back and bringing some semblance of peace back to the Northlands.
Adler would soon be glad that he stayed behind when a stray troop of Loyalists stumbled on the village. There hadn't been too many but Gil and Abby would never have managed alone.
Leith quickly grew accustomed to his new life with the Fairbairns and began acting more and more like a normal child.
Fiona stayed with the Fairbairns until Van returned and the pair headed home.
Still they visited the Fairbairns often and the four soon became close friends.
Time would pass, life would go on, as it always does.
And thus ends part one of Leith's story, hope you all enjoyed it! I apologize if my writing was a bit . . . well, rough. I'm not exactly an award winning author quite yet, but bear with me, I'll get there.
In the next part we'll start getting to the real story!
To be continued in Zoids: Anakalypsi!