Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 19: Anything But Normal

This entry is part 19 of 28 in the series Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Summer comes to a crashing end…

Ten-year-old Kevin Taggert prefers to stay home with his video games, but his parents insist he join a summer sports program. Exactly on the day the Vordac raid Earth. With his little sister depending on him for protection, Kevin must find the strength and wisdom to keep them both safe.

Before they both end up dead, or even worse: as life-long slaves of the Vordac.

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Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Part 19: Anything But Normal

Christy and his brothers kept Kevin busy for most of the day. Playing, talking with worried friends and family on the vidphone, watching news updates. All under the watchful eye of their mother. With all of them casting nervous glances out the windows and towards the sky.

But, the longer the day went on, the more antsy Kevin became. Closer to sleep, and he wasn’t ready for it. He didn’t want the dreams, but he didn’t know how much longer he could stay awake.

Looking up the hovercar manual online didn’t help as much as he hoped. He couldn’t sit in the hovercar and look at the exact placement of the controls and screens. With his mother doing her work on a pocket computer wherever they were, he didn’t have a chance to sneak back into the garage. Not without her knowing about it.

Even though he didn’t want it to, his mind ran over the raid again. Going over each part, even when playing a full-body video game that would usually take all his attention. On a normal day, that was.

“Enemy coming up behind you,” Greg said from the couch behind him.

Ugh. He had to say it that way? So many ways for the whole thing to have gone so much worse. He forced himself to think of the positive. To identify what he’d done right and where he could have done better.

Better? Knowing the hovercar, for one, but he couldn’t do more about that now. What else? Knowing the Vordac better?

Kevin worked the game controllers, one strapped to each hand, moving his body in the open area in front of the holovid. The spaceship displayed by the holovid flew in time with his movements, deploying shields and offensive weapons as needed.

Information wasn’t all that easy to find. When his father’s missions became more high risk a couple years ago, he’d tried to find out more. Most of what was out there was either generic, highly sensationalized, or guesses. Hard to tell what was true and what was fabrication or exaggeration.

“You really want that ship to blow you up, don’t you,” Greg taunted.

“Leave him alone. He’s doing great,” Christy said from the corner she’s set herself up for a indoor tea party.

Kevin managed to move the ship out of the way of a new missile volley just in time.

Right, weapons? He immediately put that out of his head. People on Earth just didn’t usually carry weapons around as a part of normal life. Certainly not a ten-year-old like him.

What else? Practice better aim at throwing things? Like the trash can lid?

He silently mocked himself at that. He could have accidentally hit Christy, and he doubted such an object would do much harm to a Vordac raiding robot. He’d been stupid to try. He could have made things so much worse.

The doorbell rang. Kevin jumped. In his moment of surprise, his spaceship crashed into an oncoming enemy ship.

Greg jumped up from the couch. “Dead as a doornail! My turn.”

Kevin pulled the hand controllers off, his heart beating fast at the surprise. “Not fair. I was distracted.”

“A turn is a turn.” Greg pulled the controllers on, flexing his fingers until they set right.

Sean grabbed the other controllers from the shelf as he came into the room. “I challenge you to a duel!”

“You’re on!” Greg reset the game. Where one spaceship once flew, now there were two side-by-side.

Not that they stayed that way for long. Sean and Greg jumped into the game with as much competitive spirit as they did in their sports. Complete with yelling and bumping into each other in an attempt to make the other mess up.

Their mother walked in with an unexpected smile on her face. “Look who found their way home.”

She stepped aside to allow the one following her to come into the room. Someone Kevin never really expected to see again, just like their other family hovercar.

Kevin’s mouth dropped open. Both Greg and Sean’s spaceships crashed before they’d even piloted them out of friendly space. Christy squealed in her surprise.

Nanny-Bot glided into the family room. Hovering over the floor like normal, her articulated eyes working as normal as she surveyed the room.

“Hello children. I hope you are all well,” Nanny-Bot said in her normal voice as she glided to a stop a short distance from the surface of the floor. “Kevin, please tuck in your shirt. I see we need to straighten the family room.”

Their Nanny-Bot back in their house, as if nothing had happened.

TO BE CONTINUED…

***

Come back for more reading! Look for the next exciting installment each Tuesday.

Support the story by throwing a tip my way if it makes you happy. Buy my other books for more reading joy. Comments have been known to result in warm fuzzies. Spread the word, tell a friend, or add a link to the story for even more. So many ways to gather warm happy fuzzies!

Part of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Challenge.

Series Navigation<< Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 18: Nightmare AftermathSummer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 20: Neverending Worries >>

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  1. […] Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 19: Anything But Normal by J.A. Marlow ~ @jamarlow_sf ~ Between 500 and 1000 words ~ Science Fiction ~ Serial […]

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