Jen Air: Frontier of Forever, Part Three

Who is this kid?  What role does he have in the rest of the story?  Just what the hell is going on?  Well, keep checking back and maybe you’ll find out, probably.

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Jen Air: Frontier of Forever, Part Three

There was an orb of light, one among many and yet alone,
adrift in an endless black sea.  But
there was hope.  Around the orb there
were other orbs, smaller and less bright, but from them would come beings who
could look to the lights scattered across the sea and reach out.

They would build a mighty ship, a symbol of their hope, and
it would traverse the night seeking out others like them, new worlds and


Hearing his mother’s voice call up the stairs, Alex Dylan
got up from his bed, navigated his head through the planet mobile hanging in
his room and placed his starship back on its stand amongst the others.  He supposed he might as well shut down the
computer.  It was an odd thing to do, but
he planned to actually be out all day so there was little point in leaving it
on and maybe giving it a chance to cool down would do it good.  After that, it was downstairs for breakfast.

“There’s my little man,” Sandra smiled warmly although her
eyes looked tired.  She patted his head
as he sat down then leant over to fix his collar.

Alex immediately protested, shifting in his seat although
not making any effort to actually remove her hands with his arms.  “Mom!”
He groaned.

“I’m just making you presentable.  You’re going to that thing today, right?  Science con…”

“Science fiction convention,” Alex explained as he dug into
his cereal.  “It’ll be cool.  They’ve got writers, actors, actual props
from the shows… they said there would be some video game stuff there too.  Some sort of new virtual reality simulator
that’s way ahead of anything else out there.”

“Well I’m just glad you’re getting out of the house.  Will your friend Mark be there?”

His spoon froze mere centimetres from his face.  He and Mark hadn’t really been friends in a
long time, but he hadn’t told her about the falling out.  He supposed he would have to, eventually, but
she was always so worried about her job, about dad, about keeping their
home.  But she believed, in him.  That he was doing well in school, in life.  He couldn’t stand the thought of her finding
out the truth.  “Yeah,” he uttered, and
carried on eating.

A short while later Alex was out the door, backpack on as he
waved back to his mother.  “Have fun
sweetie,” she said, leaning on the doorframe.

Now Alex had a choice.
He could walk through the middle of town across the park, but the other
kids often hung out there and he didn’t want his day ruined by them.  It might be safer to take the bus.  He had the exact change and never found it
too difficult – just a minute to tell the driver where he wanted to go, pull
off a ticket, and sit and not be bothered by anyone.  Simple.
A nice clean transaction that didn’t require he make unnecessary conversation
or explain himself.  And once he stepped
off, he’d be among people into the same things as him, so would surely be
patient with and understanding of all his quirks.  Today was going to be perfect.  It was going to be good.  He would no longer feel alone.  He just had to get there.

And so, thumbs behind the straps of his backpack, he started
to march determinedly down the street, the warm sun on his face.  And yet suddenly he felt a chill as he caught
a glimpse of some boys hanging together across the road.  Crap, he thought.  Why were they there?  They were supposed to be at the park playing
with balls.  But whatever… he couldn’t
let them ruin his day.  He just kept his head
down and kept walking, hoping they wouldn’t notice.

But it soon became evident that it was too late.  “Hey look!” He heard one of them say.  “It’s Weird Al.  Where are you going, Al?”  The muscles of his chest contracted as he
quickened his pace, breathing becoming more a series of gasps.  But he was sticking to the original of just
getting to the bus stop although he felt them starting to cross the road and
walk up behind.  “Hey!” One of the boys
said, anger and irritation in his voice.
“What are you ‘king ignoring me?!”

Another yelled, “get him!”

Alex broke into a run, hearing the feet thumping the ground
behind him.  He couldn’t stop, but he
couldn’t keep up the pace for very long either.
It was hard to breathe, and they were all much faster than him.  At least he had a head start and if there was
a god it must have been smiling on him today, as the bus was waiting at the
stop… although admittedly that same god must have conspired to create this
situation to begin with.  Best not to
think about that, so he didn’t and just hopped on board counting his blessings
as the boys gave up the chase, for now.

A while later he stepped out and was standing before the
arch that was the entrance to the Kosinski Centre.  As he moved closer he saw the doors had
opened and there were others outside.  He
saw Klingons and Vulcans, Spiderman and Mara Jade, and… was that Zelda, but not
the one from the video games, the ugly eighties puppet?  Well, that was obscure, but in any case, the
sun felt warm again.  His body relaxed,
and he smiled.

Today was going to be good.

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