Chapter 6

You and me

Back aboard Tesla prime, Daxman paced in the comforting darkness of his room, turning Kyle’s card over in his hand, tracing his thumb along the metal etchings.  His heart raced.  This was his moment, an opportunity to show them that he wasn’t just some loser punk, that he deserved respect.

The stuffed lion rested on the table behind him.

“CLARA.”

“Yes, Mr. Spinner.”

“God.  Please, don’t call me that.  I’m not my father.”

“What is your preferred designation?” asked CLARA.

“Dax or Daxman is fine.”

“Yes, Daxordaxman.  How can I be of assistance?”

“No!  Just Daxman.”  He rolled his eyes. “Stupid machine.”

“Certainly, Daxman, how can I be of assistance?”

“I found this memory card at the base.  Any way we can decrypt it?”

A broad yellow laser swept over Daxman’s hand and the card.

“Certainly.  Commander Warfield is in possession of a recorder at present which can…”

“No!  No, no.  That’s not necessary.  He’s … uh … occupied with other things at the moment.  This is a … personal project.”

“Understood, Daxman.  There are only a few terabits of information.  I can decrypt the device in two minutes and twenty-four seconds.  Please place it on the table.”

Daxman set the card down.  An eternity passed before a crimson light reached down from a spot on the ceiling and surrounded the card. It levitated and began to spin.  Ruby spots danced along the walls.

Daxman stared at the rotating card.  “So what exactly were you up to, Kyle, that you needed to keep a personal recording?  Maybe this is some missing piece to the, what did Jack call it?  Lightbender technology?  Yeah, maybe.  Or maybe you are just trying to keep sane by pouring your guts out to a little friend that listens and never tells you what a fuck up you are.”

Daxman sighed, coping with the burdens of his own past.

“Or maybe you were screwing around with some hot engineer and thought it might be nice to make a private home movie?”  The lights dimmed and the card came to rest on the table.  “Yeah.  This should be interesting.”

“I have obtained the data from the card and can play the video file when you are ready.”

“Play it, CLARA… on the wall.  Play all of it.”

The lights in the room went dark and the video began.

Static.

Kyle Blankenship gazed out at the world with joy and excitement and smiled. His workspace was behind him with the mug and the picture of his house in Miltonvale, Kansas nearby.  Kyle spoke into the camera.

“Hey, baby.  I know you’re asleep but just wanted to drop you a quick message and let you know that I love you and that everything’s good.”

Another man pushed into the frame.  “Oh, Beth!  Your husband is so good in bed.  I hope you don’t mind if I spoon with him on cold mornings.”  The man tried to stick his tongue into Kyle’s ear.

Kyle laughed as he pushed the man out of the frame.  “Get the hell out of here, jerk!  You’re such an ass…”

Kyle shook his head, turned back to the camera, and laughed. “Sorry about that, hun.  You know how it is here with these guys.”  Kyle paused and glanced around before continuing.  “So, how are you?  How is Abigail?  Oh God, I miss you guys so much.  I’m literally counting … wait one sec” Kyle turned away from the camera and glanced at a calendar.  “…139 days,” he shouted and then glanced down at his wristwatch.  “twelve hours and eighteen minutes until I see you guys again.  Okay, that was a little nerdy.  God, I can’t wait though.  Ya know, it gives me something to look forward to.  Okay, gotta get back to work.  Love you.  Talk to you soon.”

Static signaled the end of the clip.  A new video clip commenced on the wall.  Sitting in the front seat of escape pod 4, Kyle whispered into the camera.

“Hey, thought a change of scenery would be nice.  I don’t know.  I like it here.  It’s quiet.  And if I look at Earth through the window really hard, I can see you and Abby playing with the ball in the front yard.”

Kyle rubbed his eyes trying in vain to squeeze the fatigue from them with his fingers.  He blinked and gazed into the camera with bloodshot eyes.

“So, let’s see.  Things are, you know, okay.  Kinda lonely, you know.”  Kyle nodded and stared out the window and then back at the camera.  “Who am I kidding.  Honestly? I hate it here.  Samuels is up my ass all the time for one thing or another, the food is shit, and you guys are thousands of miles away.”

Kyle shook his head and pressed his lips together trying to hold back the tears.  He regained his composure.

“Anyway, so what else, well, we’re working on this new thing that can actually make things invisible!  Haha, imagine how much fun Abby would have with it?”

Bang.  Bang.  Bang.  Kyle glanced toward the hatch of the escape pod and then back to the camera.

“Oops!  Gotta run!”

Static.

“Hey Beth.  Haven’t heard from you and Abby in a while.  Message me when you can.”

Static.

“It’s me.  Just calling to say I miss you.  Give Abby-bear a kiss for me.”

Static.

“Hey, thanks for sending the video of Abby.  God, she is growing up so fast, isn’t she?  I can’t believe it.”  Kyle gazed out the window toward Earth and then back at the camera.  “And I’m missing it by being here, aren’t I.  Some father I am.”  Kyle became teary but swallowed his emotion and wiped his nose.

“Anyway, no message?  What’s going on with you?  Something wrong?  Message me.  Please.  Let me know that everything is okay.”

Static.

Kyle’s eyes were droopy and his speech was slurred.  He held a wine bottle with a purple label in his right hand.

“Miss Bethany Blankenship, how is… or how are you doin’? I mean missus.”  Kyle quaffed from the wine bottle and swallowed several mouthfuls. He cleared his throat and continued.  “‘Cause we’re married, right?  Dammit!  You’re my wife, right?  My wife?  My wife!  So… where the hell are you then.  Don’t wives write or call or whatever the hell this is!”

Kyle tilted the wine bottle back and drank.  A stream of red wine dribbled down his cheek and neck.  Kyle swallowed and put the bottle down on the floor.  He wiped his mouth and cheek with his shoulder left behind a purple stain.

“It’s been like a month and all I ever get from you is shit like ‘how’s the weather’?  It’s the fucking moon!  We don’t have weather up here!  You not talking to me anymore?  What the hell is going on?”

Kyle released a modest belch and looked into the camera lens.  “Sorry about that.  I love you.”

Static.

“Aww, Abby.  My beautiful girl!  Thank you for the kisses and the beautiful drawing.  I love you so much!  Tell mommy that I miss her too.”

Static.

“Beth, why was Abby at your mother’s?  Abby sent me a message from your mom’s phone a couple of days ago.  Talk to me!”

Static.

“Dammit, talk to me, Beth.  What’s going on?  I haven’t heard from you in two weeks.  Are you alive?  Do you care?”

Static.

Kyle’s face was pale as he sat in the empty escape pod.  He spoke slowly with his head hung low. Kyle’s jaw clenched as beads of sweat collected on his forehead.

“I got your message.”

Kyle waited half a minute before speaking.  His lip quivered.  He rubbed his hands and stared out the window toward Earth.

“I don’t know what to say exactly.  I mean it sounds like you’ve made up your mind.”

Kyle gazed out the window. He searched for those magical words that would make everything okay again.

“I know that I haven’t… ahem… I haven’t exactly been there.”  Kyle welled with emotion.

His voice cracked.  “You know, to help with Abby.”

Kyle coughed then swallowed.

“But please.  Can we go to counseling or something?  I don’t want to lose you.  I can’t lose you, Beth.  I love you too much.  Can we talk about this?  Please?  Just wait until I get back.  Please?”

Kyle shook his head.

Static.

Kyle’s voice trembled.

“Beth, we have a daughter!  Don’t we owe her more than this?  Look, I’m coming back in a little over a month.  We’ll spend a week in bed.  It’ll be like that great time we drove up the coast.  But just don’t do anything until I get back, okay?  Let’s talk more then.  Our daughter needs her daddy.”

Static.

“Dammit, Beth!  You’re serious about running off with this guy?  You think he loves you?  You think he is going to take care of you like I can?  Take care of Abby?  You’re my wife God dammit!  Abby needs me!  She needs her father!  You can’t do this!”

Static.

“Beth, I’m sorry.  I screwed up.  I’m so sorry.  Please, please, just… wait.  Wait for me.  We can work this out.  We need to try to work this out.  I never should have left you two.  I love you.  Please tell Abby I love her, too.”

Static.

Kyle hurried as the halls of Moon Base Sagan passed behind him.

“Beth, I got your message.  Right now, we don’t know much more than you do.  We detected the Regulans on our sensors a little over a week ago and since they arrived, there’s been some exchange of information with our government.”

Kyle pulled up to a wall mounted monitor and accessed the Central Data Server.  He tapped the screen and brought up some additional information.

“It looks like they put their ring at one of the Lagrange points on the night side of the Earth.  It was enormous.  I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Kyle turned back to the camera.  “But we don’t know why or what they plan to do with it.  Based on what we’ve been hearing they appear to be friendly but we don’t know.”

Kyle scanned a news article about the recent events on Earth and then returned to the camera.

“Looks like people are rioting and raiding the grocery stores for supplies.  Go to Miltonvale and stay inside the house, okay?  Just keep Abby safe.  Listen to me very clearly.  Until we know what’s going on, stay inside the house, lock the door, and keep her safe.  There is plenty of food and water in the basement.” Kyle turned away from the camera. “Hey, what’s going on?”  Sirens blared and a tilted wall swung into view where Kyle had been moments before.  Kyle shouted at a passing co-worker. “Scott, what’s going on?”

Scott screamed. “They’ve started attacking Earth!”

“Attacking?  What do you mean?” shouted Kyle.

“The Regulans!” screamed Scott in hysteria, his voice trailing off as he ran down the corridor.  “And they are coming here!”

Another person rushed by Kyle, knocking the recorder out of his hand.  It spun on the ground several times and came to a rest pointing down a long empty hallway.  Kyle bent down, picked it up, and looked into the camera. “Still running?  Good!  I need to record this.”

“Remain calm please,” announced an automated computer message. “Earth has been contacted regarding our emergency.  Make your way to the escape pods in an orderly fashion.”

Kyle hurried to the launching bay with several people behind him. Pods 1, 2, and 3 had already been launched.  Scott called to him from Pod 5, “Kyle, come on!  Get in!  They are coming!”

The last few people pushed into pods 5 and 6.

“Not yet, I need to wipe the systems.”

The door to pod 6 closed.  A red ring surrounding the door shifted faded to green as a loud whoosh from the leaving escape pod shook the room.

“Forget about the bloody system.  We need to go, now!” shouted Scott.

“Can’t.  Don’t wait for me.  I’ll take Pod 4.”

“Stubborn asshole.”  Scott turned and jumped through the hatch to pod 5 which sealed behind him.  The ring around the door turned green.

“I’ll be okay,” said Kyle quietly to himself staring at the hatch to pod 5.  The firing of thrusters and a deafening whoosh echoed through the empty corridor.

Kyle turned and sprinted toward the Command Processing Room.  He reached for the camera.

Static.

Kyle placed the recorder on the front console and strapped himself into the command chair of pod 4.

“Okay, files wiped and for those that care, I hid some of the core research to EMR redirection in the root directory.  Those things shouldn’t be able to find it though.”  Kyle smiled briefly.  “It’s pretty well hidden.”

A distant explosion deep inside the base shook the pod.  Kyle gazed out into space.  “Don’t want to overstay my welcome.”  Kyle turned the camera around.  Over the southern horizon, hung the familiar shape of planet Earth that Kyle had spent a lifetime watching through pod 4’s window.  The Sun dangled over the western horizon against the blackness of space.  The right side of the Earth was lit as bright as day, the left shrouded in a chilling shadow of an ominous sight.  A gaping blue hole in space stared down at the dark side of the Earth like an icy eye.  A metallic mesh ring twice the size of the Earth surrounded the hole.  Moving inside the Ring, two black orbs circled each other like a spinning top.  Arcs of blue lightning sprung from the opening and reached outwards, contracting space and time.

“Okay, let’s get this thing out of here.”  Kyle pulled down a keyboard from the wall and heads-up-display appeared on the forward window.  Kyle began typing in the launch sequence.  “Warm up cat bed heaters.  Hydrazine levels look good.  Trajectory from third quarter moon set.  Flight software looks good.  Structural integrity…”  Kyle froze as he stared out the forward window.

“Oh my God.” Kyle pushed the keyboard back up against the wall.  In Earth’s darkness, glowing scarlet plumes rose from some place near South India out into space.  On the opposite side of the planet, green plumes also fanned into space. The ribbons of energy stretched across the surface, covering it with a radiant net.  Earth, which had been in the same part of the Moons sky for billions of years, slid toward the Ring.

“Oh my God!  What are they doing?”

Kyle watched helplessly as Earth edged toward the structure.  Fingers of lightning arced from the Ring grasping the Earth like a baseball. Thousands of sparks of light flashed on the surface. Unabated, the ring squeezed the Earth and pulled.  The planet slid inward, closer to the mouth of the Beast.  Clouds of plasma erupted in the atmosphere as the people of Earth fought the enemy with every desperate scrap of resistance left.  And in the final moment, in one brilliant flare, his world vanished, leaving behind only the Ring and trailing arcs of blue lightning.  Some final flashes of light followed the Earth disappearing into the final wisp of the Rings embrace.

In shock, Kyle stared at the hole in space, waiting for the nightmare to end.  Everything was gone.

“LAUNCHING IN TEN SECONDS,” announced the computer inside the escape pod.

“What?”  He glanced around the pod.

“EIGHT SECONDS.”

“No!  Fuck!  Stop the launch sequence.  Abort!”

Kyle flipped the keyboard down from the wall and punched keys frantically.

“FIVE SECONDS.  FOUR.  LAUNCH SEQUENCE TERMINATING,” announced the computer.

Kyle breathed and stared out the window toward the Ring.

As he struggled to overcome the disbelief of watching his world vanish, one sobering thought set in.  Everyone Kyle had ever cared for, ever loved, was gone.

Several of the dots of light turned toward the Moon as Kyle’s trembling hand reached for the camcorder.

Static.

Kyle’s cheeks glistened with tears, his face trembled uncontrollably.  Kyle held the camera to his mouth and whispered.

“They’re here.”

The screen went dark as Kyle frantically glanced through the window.

“I can hear them outside.  It sounds like they are searching.  All that clacking about.  What do they want?  God, why don’t they just leave.”

Noises echoed in the hallway just outside his door.  Click.  Clack.  Bang.

Kyle turned off the recorder.

Static.

“Okay, it’s been two hours since I’ve heard anything.  I think they’re gone.  I hope so.  They really did a number on this place.  There’s probably no pressure in the base.  I could test it out, open the door?  Not a good idea.  But what options do I have.  I could sit here in this … this tomb and hope someone comes?  But who’s going to come?  You?”

Static.

“Hey everyone, wherever you’re.  I think they’re gone.  It’s been a day I think since I’ve heard anything.  Battery’s at 40 percent but it’s getting so cold.  One of the Regulan ships landed outside and its creating this giant green force field over everything.  Are they moving the Moon away from the Sun like they did with the Earth?  I don’t know but it looks like the Sun is shrinking.  This is all just so fucking insane.  I’m going to turn off the lights in here to save as much juice as I can.  I’m so thirsty.  I would kill for a cold beer about now.  Signing off.”

Static.

“Day two I think.  I found some emergency blankets.  They should keep me warm but I can’t sleep.  Head hurts.  It’s getting harder to think.”

Kyle closed his eyes and tried in vain to rub the pain from his temples.

“You know, there are these moments.”

Kyle opened his eyes and stared out the window.  He spoke with a pained and raspy voice.

“During the day or night, I’m not sure which, sometimes I let myself to hope.  For what?  Oh, I don’t know.  A rescue at this point seems unlikely and for just one person?  Chances are a million to one.”

Kyle feigned a smile and looked down and away from the camera.  He saw the lion and bent over to pick it up.

“Well me and Mr. Chewy here.  So my chances are at least double now.  Things are looking up.”  Kyle reached for the recorder.

Static.

Kyle leaned back in his padded chair, defeated.

“Hello world,” he mumbled.  Kyle swooned with nausea.  His welcoming grin morphed into a sorrowful gape as reality seeped into him.  He gripped the stuffed lion in his hand and waved it as he spoke.  “Is there even a world out there?  Is there anything out there?”  Kyle’s chest collapsed with each labored breath.

He glanced down at the lion and it stared up at him affectionately.  Kyle closed his eyes and smiled as he recalled that day.

“I remember when you gave me Mr. Chewy.”

Kyle rubbed his dry hands down the lion’s fuzzy cheek.  He stared past it, lost in a distant memory.

“It was the day I left, the day I came here.  You said that you knew he’d watch over me.  You cried so hard.  I tried not to.”

Kyle shook his head.

“I never should have left.  I’m so sorry, Abby.  I’m so sorry.”

Static.

Kyle sat back in his chair.  His gaunt cheeks and pale face showed his withered morale.  “Day three I think.  I’m losing track.  Everything’s a blur.  Oh, Abby-bear.  I miss you so much.  Seems like yesterday I was holding you in the hospital.  You were so small.”  Kyle’s raspy voice wavered.  “Do you remember when you used to jump on my back?  You were seven years old I think.  I would sit down on the bed and you would climb on my back and hold on so tight to my shoulders.  I would stand up and pretend you disappeared.  ‘Where did Abby go?’ I would say.  And you would laugh so hard.  I spun around looking for you and you would laugh and laugh.  Do you remember that?  You will have that memory of me, won’t you?”  Kyle’s lip trembled.  “You will remember me, won’t you?”  A tear trickled down Kyle’s cheek.  “That was a good memory.  That was a good time we had together.”

Kyle began to sob.  “I miss you so much, Abby-bear.”

Static.

With closed eyes, Kyle swayed from side to side in the seat. He opened his eyes slowly and smiled as he gazed at the memories of his past. “Abby-bear?” He paused.  “Yeah, that’s right.  Home is where you’re loved.  Yes, of course I love you, more than life itself.  You’re my sweetest thing.”

Kyle yawned.  His lips cracked, a dozen slivers of blood exposed.

“Okay, time to sleep now, Abby.  I will see you tomorrow.  Good night.”

Static.

The skin around Kyle’s mouth was dry, peeling and flecked with dried blood.  His eyes were sunken, bloodshot, and filled with tears.  “I miss you Abby-bear but I will see you soon.  I promise.  Just like I said I would.  I’m coming home, Abby-bear.  I’m coming home.”

The recording stopped and the final image faded.

Daxman sat motionless in the darkness and stared at the blank wall.  He buried his face in his hands and began to sob quietly.  Julie stood watching from the shadows of the hallway.  She wiped a tear from her cheek and stepped carefully across the open room as if approaching a sleeping lion.  When she was close enough, Julie put her hand on Daxman’s shoulder.  “You knew him, didn’t you.”

Daxman didn’t look up.  He couldn’t.

# # #

March 17, 2029

A twelve year-old Daxman sat alone on the couch in the middle of a dark room.  Home with his father, in the cold suburbs of Washington D.C, Daxman watched a wall of white mist hover in front of him.  He pressed a button on his data pad and the screen flickered to life, delivering the video feed of an ISC press conference.  People gathered and took their seats and a low chatter flowed through the room as the excitement for this momentous occasion grew.  The speaker of the ceremonies came out onto stage.  To the right, ten people sat behind a long table covered in a blue cloth, enjoying the moment.  The red and gold ISC insignia hung front and center.

The speaker walked to the podium positioned off to the left side as a hush spread through the room.  The speaker glanced down at his notes, cleared his throat, and looked up.

“Ladies and gentleman, it’s my pleasure to welcome you here on this, the ninth anniversary of the formation of the International Space Collective.”

Flashes popped around the room as hoverdrones collected images for various virtual reality billboards.  The crowd, composed mostly of reporters and co-workers at ISC and their families, clapped in obligatory approval.

Daxman looked toward the hallway.  John Spinner marched into the dark room pressing a cell phone to his ear.  Veins bulged in his neck, feeding his fiery complexion.  “Turn down the volume.” he said. “Now!”

Daxman complied.  He pressed a key on the datapad and reduced the volume several notches.

John returned to his call.  “What?  Yeah, I’m still here,” mumbled John as he left the room.

The speaker at the podium continued.  “This is a very special time for us at the ISC.  Of course, as you all know, last year we reached a major milestone.  In conjunction with Ad Astro Corp…”

The gentleman speaking at the podium motioned to a balding Asian man in the front row.  Mr. Raymond Tran smiled subtly and nodded in return.  Daxman knew him well.  Mr. Tran was his boss at Ad Astra.  Despite his young age, Daxman had developed an algorithm to improve the efficiency of the ACE engines by four percent, saving the project millions of dollars.  His boss graciously took credit for the improvement at the monthly management review.  Mr. Tran pushed up his wire-rimmed glasses uncomfortably high on his nose.

The podium speaker continued.  “With their support, we have completed development of the Arc Coil Einstein Engine and now, for the first time, interstellar travel is possible.”

The room exploded into cheer.  After a few moments of celebration, the man at the podium motioned for quiet.

“Thank you.  Everyone, please.  Everyone-”

John stormed into the room.  Daxman looked up.  In one swift arc, John raised his hand and struck Daxman in the face.  Daxman fell off the couch and landed on his back.

“I told you to turn the volume down!” snarled John.

Daxman’s soft cheek turned red.  His lip trembled but he held back tears.  Daxman waited on the floor, staring back at his father with cold gray eyes.  Showing weakness at this point would only make it worse.  Daxman learned this lesson early, that the fires of rage were a source of strength.

John looked up toward the ceiling to regain his composure.  He pulled his hair back with his free hand and raised the phone to his ear.  “Sorry, yeah, I heard you,” he said into the phone.  “Ad Astro Corp.  Right.  We need to make sure they never find out about this.”  John’s voice trailed off as he left the room.  “Right.  Exactly.”

Daxman pushed off the ground and retook his spot on the couch.  He pressed mute.  After his father had walked into the next room, Daxman raised the volume to level one.  He stared back at the screen eager to witness the unfolding history before him.  His cheek pulsed with pain but he shut it out.  The excitement of the press room died down.  Daxman struggled to hear and moved closer to the screen, listening to their whispers through the speakers at the base of the screen.

“When the ISC was formed,” said the podium speaker, “One of our initial goals was to establish a permanent colony on the Moon.”

The camera panned to the ten people seated at the table.  Daxman studied them.  Each member of the team waited with various levels of discomfort.  One man on the far right glanced around the room.  Another member of the team smiled, relishing in his own personal moment of gloriousness.  All of the team members wore identical black standard issue ISC jumpsuits with gold trim.

“I am proud to present to you,” said the podium speaker. “Sagan Team One.”

The room burst into applause.  Everyone clapped.  But one boy sitting in the front row sat quietly, crying.  Daxman noticed.  In the commotion of the moment, the boy responded to his father’s scolding and slapped his hands together mechanically.

Once the applause had died down, the man at the podium resumed his introduction.  “And leading this marvelous endeavor, this first permanent lunar colony, is our very own Doctor Susan Blankenship.”

The room applauded.  Seated one chair from the podium, Susan hushed the crowd.  The room settled.

She leaned into the microphone in front of her.  “Thank you for that introduction.”  Flashes popped around the room as the hoverdrones relayed images to the World.

Susan addressed the auditorium.  “When I was in college, the U.S. retired the shuttle program and shifted funds into the development of a permanent base on the Moon.  I am fortunate to have been a part of that decision and this second giant leap for mankind.  My team has prepared tirelessly to make this dream a reality.  And now, we stand before you ready to embark into this bold frontier… a new era in space exploration.”

The room showered her with jubilant cheer and joy.

Daxman looked back to the boy in the front row.  The boy hung his head.  His father glared at him and squeezed his shoulder with the greatest restraint, careful not to draw attention to himself.  The boy sat up in his chair and wiped his cheeks with the sleeves of his shirt.

Who is that, wondered Daxman.

Susan continued to speak.  “I’d also like to thank my family, my husband, Randy, and my son, Kyle, for their support during this demanding time.”  Susan motioned to the man and the boy in the front row.  Randy nodded in support.  The camera cut to a close-up of the boy who appeared at the center of Daxman’s screen.  His eyes were puffy and red.  The glint of flashes around the room reflected off the tracks of tears on his cheeks.  He forced a smile and the camera abruptly cut away.  Apparently, the image of a distraught son wasn’t what the producers wanted.

Susan continued with her press conference discussing the science goals, the rest of the crew, and various other aspects of the lunar mission.

Daxman snatched his data pad off the coffee table.  With unnatural speed and precision for someone his age, he accessed the television’s network.  He cracked into a feed from one of the hoverdrones and after several more keystrokes, bypassed the elementary security protocols.  He took control.

Daxman swiveled the hoverdrone and floated it down to Kyle.  As the world watched Susan Blankenship talk about this revolutionary moment in space exploration, Daxman rerouted the hoverdrone’s video feed to his screen and focused on Kyle crying softly in the front row.  Apparently, no one but Daxman seemed to care.

Kyle looked up at stared into the lens of his new companion, a hallow shell of wires and gears hovering in front of him.  Daxman returned his gaze.

As Susan Blankenship discussed her teams plans for the future, one unexpected tear rolled down young Daxman’s cheek.  It dangled from his chin for a moment, glistening in the light from the momentous glory of the ISC and then fell to the floor.  In this shared moment with Kyle, Daxman relived the loss of his mother and the profound passing of innocence.

Their journey had begun.

 

4 Responses to “Chapter 6”

  1. Quinn October 11, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    Still excellent, but you need a better copyeditor. This sentence doesn’t parse correctly:

    In the commotion of the moment, the boy responded to his father’s scolding and slapping his hands together mechanically.

    • dequils October 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

      Doh! Should be slapped. Thanks again!

  2. Clinton December 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Excellent again, look forward to the next chapter. Quick note though, second last sentence ‘Daxman watch Kyle,’, assuming that should be ‘watched’. Thanks again

    • dequils February 2, 2013 at 12:41 am #

      Fixed. Thanks! I see a few more I need to clean up as well.

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