They came from a world where everyone had super powers and uncanny abilities. But now they are stranded in our world, a Daughter and her Daddy, heroes at heart, and together they will make a difference. They are Boston and Little Bluey.
Cary Archer spent his life as a Protector, a member of law enforcement, in a world where everyone had super human abilities. It was not just a job, but a passion. He loved helping and keeping people safe. Until the day his daughter, Ally Lynn Archer, was born, and everything changed. Her happiness, her well being, her health was the most important thing, and while he helped people as a Protector, he also made enemies of those he brought down. He swore that these villains would never harm his daughter trying to get to him, and he retired from the force.
But no matter how hard you try, sometimes your past catches up to you. An innocent looking package delivered by an old foe set on vengeance, ripped a hole in the fabric of space and time, and the Archer’s were torn from their home and found themselves someplace else. A land where people had no super powers or abilities. Unsure how they could ever find their way back home, the Archer’s—along with their sentient life form, Nanny and their trusty pet dragon, Loveaby—made a new home for themselves in this new world.
Cary was determined to fit in to this new society and not draw attention to themselves. But in their hearts, they were heroes, and when the call for help was heard, they knew that they had to answer. And answer they did as Boston Bluey and Little Bluey, Daddy and Daughter superheroes!
He slowly walked through the room, his eyes scanning every surface, searching for movement or something out of place. He was listening intently, not relying only on sight, waiting for the slightest creak or movement across the carpet to alert him to where his quarry was. Then he heard it, the squeak of the recliner moving. He grinned to himself.
“Where could you be?” he asked, closing in on the recliner. “Are you... over here?” he asked, checking behind a table, knowing full well that she was not there. “No.” He then took another step and lunged for the couch. “How about back here?”
Then he heard her giggling. From behind the recliner.
“No, you’re not back there.”
Then her voice, the sweetest little voice, shouted out, “I’m over here,” followed by more giggles.
“No, you can’t be over there. You’re just trying to throw me off.”
“No, I’m over here!” she called out again.
“I’m not falling for that,” he said, a smile from ear to ear as he looked at the recliner.
Then she crawled out from behind it. “See, I am over here!”
“What? You are over there! I thought you were fooling me!”
More giggles. Hearing that and seeing her smile was priceless. Sharing these moments, experiencing her joy and excitement along with her, this was what made life worth living.
“Your turn to hide.”
“Okay. Count to ten.” He then backed out of the room as she began to count.
“One... two... three...” Her eyes were firmly on him as he was backing away.
“I’m not. Four... five...”
He turned the corner and moved quickly from room to room, then slid under the dining room table and waited for her.
“Nine... ten. Ready or not, here I come!”
He was so proud of her. They had been working on counting, and letters, and numbers, and so many other things. She still had trouble with the number twelve. Every time she reached eleven she then said six, but they were working on it and she definitely could count to ten easily enough.
From under the table he had a good view of her. She went right to where he had turned the corner and then went the same way. Not peeking. Of course not. Then he heard her call out, just like he had done.
“Are you in here?” A little pause. “No.”
He tried not to laugh. She was so adorable. He loved her so much.
“How about here?” Another little pause. “No.”
He turned to look as she entered the room adjacent to the one he was in. She would find him soon. Before she did, he heard a little purr beside him. He exhaled, knowing the game was over.
“Shoo,” he whispered. His visitor just puts its head under his hand hoping he would pet it.
Then she ran into the room, all excited, and shouted, “Found you!”
“Aw, how did you find me?” he said as he crawled out from under the table. “Did Loveaby give me away?”
They both glanced at the hand-sized baby pink dragon. Loveaby’s scales were pink, but had a silvery sparkle to them that glittered like a diamond in daylight. Her belly was soft and beige, her eyes a vibrant emerald green, and from the tip of her head trailing down to the end of her tail were green leathery spinal ridges.
“Coo,” Loveaby said, rolling onto her back and hoping that one of them would scratch her belly. Ally got down on her knees and obliged the dragon, making her purr again.
“Have I told you lately that I love you?” he asked, watching her and seeing how happy she was.
“Yes,” she replied, looking up at him with her sparkling blue eyes, long flowing blonde hair, and a smile that could warm anyone’s heart. His beautiful daughter, Ally Lynn Archer. “I love you, too.”
“Thank you, honey,” he said, reaching into his pocket for his camera. “Let me get us a picture.”
He took a picture of her and Loveaby first, and then got down so that they could all be in the picture and snapped another one. As usual, he tried to take a few pictures in case one didn’t come out or was too blurry. The last one, she lunged for the camera, filling the whole frame, and smiled.
She giggled and then said, “My turn!”
“I’ll count to ten. You go hide.” He put his head in his arms so he couldn’t see, but he could still hear. She was running right back to the recliner again. “One... two... three... four...”
“Beg your pardon, sir, but someone is approaching.”
Cary stopped counting and lifted his head to see the mechanical orb with glowing light-blue lights emanating from it hovering in the air before him. One of the prized technological possessions and a gift he got when he had retired from the Protectorate, it was a fully-sentient and autonomous technological marvel that could assist with all matters of daily living. He had named it Nanny.
“Thank you, Nanny. Show me a display.”
An image appeared before Nanny of their front yard with someone flying to their door with butterfly-like wings and holding a package. A delivery.
“Ally, I think Daddy’s new book is here. Do you want to get it with me?”
From behind the recliner she came out, yelling, “Yay!” and then running to the front door where they met each other and opened it before the bell could be rung.
“Good afternoon,” the flying deliveryman said. “Package for Protector Archer.”
“Former Protector,” Cary said as he took the box. “Thank you.”
“Have a nice day,” the deliveryman said as he flew back over the lawn and to his hovertruck.
“Can I open it, can I open it?” Ally asked.
“Of course you can,” Cary said. “Go get your scissors. Remember to walk, not run.”
Cary set the box down and waited for Ally to come back. After retiring from the Protectorate, he had begun writing. This was his third novel. The adventures of a former Protectorate member bringing criminals to justice while being a member of the Protectorate, brought both added credibility and demand, making his novels an instant sensation.
This particular book, more so than the first two, really hit close to home. The main character, who he named Adrian Curran, a reverse of the letters in his own name, Cary Archer, was pitted against his own partner who had been corrupted by an artificial life form, much like Nanny, who had grown beyond his parameters and thirsted for more power. Why this particular story hit close to home, was because that had happened to his own partner, Protector Raymond Tywin, at the hands of Techniarch. Back when they were first starting out and felt like they were invincible. Techniarch changed all of that, though, and Ray was still paying the price.
Cary hadn’t been to visit his old partner in prison since before Ally was born. He thought that, especially with this book launching, he should go visit the man who once had been his best friend. It was probably long overdue. Even after what Ray had done to him personally. He’d have to make arrangements and plan to schedule it. Who knows, it might somehow help Ray to see a friendly face. Though, this book, even fictionalized, probably would serve as a reminder of everything that had gone wrong between them. Still, he had to go visit Ray. He was sure of it. It was the right thing to do.
“Daddy, I got my scissors,” Ally said as she walked back into the room and sat down before the box.
“Okay, remember, don’t cut towards your body,” he cautioned.
“I know you know, but I’m just reminding you,” he said. “After all, it’s part of my job to make sure you always stay safe and learn things the right way.”
She cut the tape off of the box and then lifted the cover open. He took out his camera again to take pictures of her as she got his book for the first time. She lifted one up, holding the hardcover novel in her hand, and smiled. She then turned it over and saw his picture. “Look. It’s you.”
He watched her joy as she flipped through the book. It was always a thrill getting a book that you created in your hands for the first time, but to see how happy Ally got, too, he could not imagine it any other way than sharing this with her.
“Do you want me to read the dedication?” he asked.
She flipped the book open to the dedication page and looked up at him, beckoning him to read.
“As always, for my Ally, who makes every day a dream come true.”
“Aw,” she said as she lunged into his arms and hugged him. “I love you.”
“I love you, too,” he said. “How about we find a good place for this in the library?”
“I know where to put it,” she said as she took one of the books. She then looked at him, “Carry me.”
“Of course,” he said, picking her up and walking into the library. “Where should it go.”
She pointed to one of the shelves where his other two books were, and he walked over to it. She then put the book down on the shelf, the cover art facing forward so she could look at it some more. “Right here.”
“Looks perfect to me,” he said. “You do such good work.”
“Thanks,” she said, smiling at him.
“Should we call Grandma and let her know that the new book is in?”
“Grandma!” Ally shouted.
“Sounds like a yes to me,” Cary said. “Nanny, could you connect us to Grandma?”
“Confirmed,” Nanny said, flying into the same room as them when summoned. “Dialing now. Answering.” A projection appeared before Nanny again, this time of his mother. Blonde hair and blue eyes ran in the family.
“Is that my Ally?” she asked, all excited to see who was contacting her.
“Hi Grandma!” Ally shouted.
“Hi Ally. How are you?”
“Good,” Ally said.
“Tell Grandma what we just got,” Cary said, prompting her.
“Grandma, guess what?”
“We just got Daddy’s new book!” Ally shouted excitedly.
“Daddy’s new book?” she replied.
“Yeah! And Grandma, guess what?”
“He wrote it for me!”
“I’ll let you in on a little secret...”
“What’s that?” Ally asked.
“I think your Daddy does everything for you.”
“Of course I do,” Cary interjected.
“I’m glad you got the books in time for the banquet.”
Cary nodded. There was a banquet Friday evening where he was the guest speaker at a Protectorate event, and they were announcing him as both a former honored member of their ranks, as well as a gifted author.
Cary looked at Ally, who was still in his arms. “Do you want to go see Daddy give a speech, or did you want to stay home with Grandma and Nanny?”
“I want to go with you!” she said.
He suspected as much. She always wanted to be with him, and he felt exactly the same way. “You’re still able to go with us?” he asked his mother.
“Just let me know what time you’re picking me up.”
“Perfect. We’ll talk later. Say goodbye to Grandma,” Cary said.
“Goodbye Ally. I love you.”
“I love you!”
Nanny disconnected the transmission and then hovered out of the room.
“I do believe it was your turn,” Cary said.
Ally’s eyes widened and she squirmed as she tried to get out of his arms. Once she was on the ground she ran out of the room to go hide, saying, “You’ll never find me!”
“We’ll see about that! One... two... three...”
“We got so much to do today, are you excited?” Cary asked.
“We’re going to the playground?” Ally asked.
“Yeah we are,” Cary said. “Our first stop.”
“Here, it’s a little cool, but not too cool,” Cary said as he picked out an outfit with pants and a shirt for Ally. “I’ll bring a sweater and jacket in case you’re cold while we’re there.”
Cary watched her just sitting there, looking at the clothes. “Do you need help?”
“I want you to do it,” she said.
He knew she was fully capable of not only picking out her own outfits, but also of dressing herself. Tying laces were still a work in progress—she’d do the first cross, tighten it, and then tell him that it was his turn—but she could fully dress herself when she wanted to. He didn’t mind when she asked for help though. One day she would be older and more independent and he would miss the days when he would be there to help her with things. He already missed feeding her, and taking her for walks, and having her fall asleep in his arms while he sang to her before setting her down in her crib. She was growing up so fast, too fast, but he was glad for these little moments where she still clung to him for his help.
“Absolutely,” Cary said as he helped her get dressed. “Go pick out a friend you want to bring with us.” Friend, in this instance, was one of her toys. Lately she always picked one of her plush stuffed animal puppies to bring with her everywhere they went. As she ran off to get her friend, he finished getting dressed himself. He always liked to color coordinate with her. Something his parents used to do with him when he was younger and they went on vacations. They always dressed the same. He may not have the same outfits as his daughter, but he could coordinate colors. She was wearing a light lavender shirt with darker purple pants today. He picked out a lighter purple shirt for himself and put it on.
When she came back in the room, her eyes widened and her whole expression lit up as she smiled. “Daddy, you’re dressed like me!”
“Am I? Imagine that. What a coincidence,” he said, smiling back at her. “Have I told you lately that I love you?”
“Yes,” she replied.
“Good, I wouldn’t want you to ever forget,” he said.
“I love you, Daddy,” she said, walking over and holding her arms wide, her way of asking for a hug. Sometimes she would even say, “Hug,” but this time she just had her arms extended. He was all too glad to hug his little princess and cherish every moment of it.
“I think we’re ready,” he said. While she had been in the bath he had loaded the hover car up with snacks, drinks for each of them, her blanket for comfort while driving, and a tablet with cognitive games built in to help her learning—even at four, she was already working on games and puzzles well beyond her age. He just had to bring the bag with added layers of clothes, her friend of choice—this particular stuffed animal she had named Puppies Puppies—and the two of them.
As always, she reached up and said, “Carry,” beckoning him to carry her. Something else he gladly did and would do for as long as she still wanted him to.
“You got it,” he said. Followed by, “I love my Ally.”
“I love my Daddy,” she quickly replied as she rested her head on his shoulder.
When they got to the hover car he opened the back door and said, “Hop in.” He set her down just inside the hover car, which she had named Flowers, and she then climbed up into her carseat in the middle of the back seat. He set the bag down in the front seat and then leaned into the back and buckled her in to make sure she was safe. He then put the blanket over her legs and picked up Puppies Puppies. “Do you want her?” She nodded yes and he set the stuffed animal down on her lap. He then kissed her on the forehead and leaned back out of the car.
“Nanny, activate alarm,” he commanded.
“Alarm activated,” Nanny said. A small intermittent beeping began signaling that they had a minute to leave the house before the alarm would be functional and their home protected. If anyone other than them tried to get in while the alarm was on, the Protectorate would be notified immediately.
Cary got in his seat and closed the door. The launch bay door opened behind him and he activated the hovercar with the push of a button. “Here we go,” he said as the hovercar lifted inches from the ground and he slowly backed it out of their launch bay. When they were clear, he pushed a button overhead on the console and the bay doors closed. When he was satisfied that the doors were closed before the minute timeline elapsed and their home was secure, he turned their hovercar around and lifted up into the air to begin their journey.
As he did with every trip, just as his father had done when he was little, he sang a couple of verses, “In the sky again, la de da de dah de dah. So happy to be in the sky again, do de dah de do de dah.” He didn’t know the words to the song, but that was exactly how his father had sung it, and exactly how he did it with Ally. In the back, she sang right along with him, smiling and loving it.
“Well Captain, our first stop is the playground. Which way should we go?” Cary asked.
“That way!” Ally shouted as she pointed.
“You got it,” he replied as he moved the hovercar in the direction she chose. He had read a recent article from the Protectorate Bulletin about a young boy close to Ally’s age who got lost and didn’t know how to find their way home. As a former Protector himself, that was far too common of an occurrence. He never let Ally out of his sight, and even when she was playing, she would tell him a simple, “I want you,” which meant she wanted him to go play with her. So it was mutual. But he also wanted to be prepared in case they ever were separated. He was teaching her direction, recognizing landmarks, and if asked, she could recite their address without any problem.
There were three things on their agenda for the day. First up was the playground. Second was Perifany Farms where they were hosting an event where the kids could ride the unicorns, tour the farm, and take hay rides. Third was stopping to visit Grandma. Cary was going to leave Ally with Grandma after she fell asleep for her nap so he could go to Ridgegate, the prison facility where Raymond Tywin was incarcerated.
Whenever they went for a car ride, Cary liked to ask a few questions, just curious to see how Ally’s answers would change over time. “What’s your favorite color?”
“Purple and pink.” No surprise there. The surprise came when a random third color was added into the mix. She was pretty consistent with those two, but every now and again something else popped up. Just last week she had said orange after they saw a tiger at the zoo.
“What’s your favorite animal?”
She hugged her stuffed animal tight and said, “Puppies.” He was curious if he asked later in the day if she would say unicorns. Puppies were pretty common. As was birdies, giraffes, and dragons.
“Who is your favorite princess?”
“Let me think about it,” Ally said.
“Okay, you think about it,” Cary replied. He waited a minute or so, and then said, “Did you pick one?”
“Ashwin,” she replied. The elven princess, who was an archer, just as Ally’s last name was Archer, often was her first pick. Every now and again she would say Karleena or Erlyn, but Ashwin definitely monopolized her responses.
“How about your favorite prince?”
“Braksis!” she shouted without hesitation. Who didn’t like the Falestian Prince? Ally certainly liked him more than anyone else.
“What’s your favorite book?”
“Yours!” she shouted.
He should have expected that. He chuckled. “That’s a good pick! How about your favorite movie?”
“The Madrew Chronicles.”
“Got to love pink elves, right?” This answer always changed depending on what they may have been watching of late, but Ally did tend to enjoy fairy tales and movies with legends and adventures more than anything.
“They’re pink!” she shouted excitedly.
“Yeah they are,” he replied, smiling as he looked in the rearview mirror at her. “How about your favorite character?”
“Let me think about it,” she said again.
“Okay, you think about it,” he replied again. She always knew her answer, but this was a fairly recent response as she tried to ponder things more thoroughly.
“Pookie!” A colorful monkey-like creature that could change colors like a chameleon and kept saying “Pookie, Pookie, Pookie!” A definite hit with younger kids and fans.
“Sounds good. Thank you, honey.”
“Dad, can I have my tablet?” Ally asked.
“Absolutely,” he replied as he reached back, unzipped the bag that was at the foot of the seat in front of Ally, and pulled the tablet out. “Nanny promised me that there’s some new content on there that will be particularly challenging.”
“Okay,” Ally said as she activated the tablet and began playing the games.
Cary listened to the music and the simulated voice as she was playing. “Which game are you playing?”
“This one,” Ally said as she held it up for him to look back and see.
Cary turned to look and nodded. It was a medical game where fictional characters had injuries and she had to save them. Ally always enjoyed medical things, whether it was bandaging up a cut or learning about how to help people or games like this with simulated surgeries. “Time to be Doctor Ally?”
“Yay!” she said as she turned the screen back to herself and began working on the latest medical miracle. A four year old working on medical miracles. Amazing. “Oh no, she fell into trees and one of the branches punctured her lung!”
‘Punctured.’ His four year old daughter just used the word ‘Punctured.’ “Oh no! Are you going to be able to help her?”
“I will,” she said as she focused on the task at hand.
He smiled to himself. He wondered if she would grow up to be Doctor Ally? Or a Protector like he had been? Or a writer like he was now? Or a teacher like his parents? Or any of a whole world of possibilities open to her. It would be fascinating to share that journey with her. To always encourage her to reach for the stars and to never feel like her dreams were out of her reach.
As he lowered his hovercar down towards the parking lot below, he saw that the park only had a few people there today. He knew Ally didn’t mind crowds, she made friends pretty quickly and easily, but ever since he had been a kid Cary preferred smaller groups or one-on-one play dates. Just like how he preferred the suburbs over the city, he was not fond of congestion and crowds.
“Here we are,” he said as he landed and pulled into a space. “Who is ready for some fun?”
“Me!” Ally shouted.
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