Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 26: No Peace

This entry is part 26 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 26: No Peace

Christy shook a doll at Sean. “Princess Serena banishes you to the sparkling mines!”

“Aren’t these all the broken robots from the garage?” Greg asked, pointing at the robots on the other table.

Sean held out the tool. “Did you take this without permission.”

Kevin grabbed the house-bot under one arm, and his computer with his other hand.

“Trying to get this done!” he raged as he stormed up the stairs. Really, could he get no peace? He’d made himself a corner, and now it was already ruined.

Besides, he was going to ask his mother for his own tools just as soon as he proved he could do something with them. She hadn’t missed the tools he’d borrowed so far. He hadn’t stolen them.

He had to admit that he should have asked first, though. He’d been so anxious to get to work on the repair project that he hadn’t wanted to wake her up in the night or early morning to do it. Because then he would have also had to explain why he was up at that time of day. Then he’d forgotten to do it at all.

Testing. He needed to focus on testing. If the robot worked, then he would talk to his mother when she came back from work. But, where to do the testing? Somewhere the robot couldn’t hurt anything if it didn’t work right.

He ended up in the garage. The garage door was still up, allowing him a good view of the lawn and street. A fine mist of rain still fell from light-gray clouds. The air smelled clean and fresh.

Oh yes, a nice peaceful place to do a little testing. Kevin set the robot down in the middle of the garage. Without the two hovercars, it really was rather big. Plenty of room to do what he needed to do. If the robot would do anything to begin with…

Power on. The inset eyes in the round head flashed into life. Then it beeped once. Good. He then turned to his computer, making sure data sync between it and the robot worked properly.

“And now you’re up here?”

Kevin closed his eyes at the sound of Sean’s voice. Oh, please, no.

A basketball bounced on the floor, the hard rebound echoing through the space. Greg said, “Rain is letting up. Want to play?”

In response came a quickening of the splatters of rain hitting the driveway. The ball bouncing stopped.

“Okay, maybe not yet,” Greg said.

All the time, Kevin concentrated on his computer. Checking the connection. Bouncing simple commands to the robot processor to make sure the house-bot could both receive and send.

“No, pass it over,” Greg said, as the ball started bouncing again. “Kevin, you are taking up the whole middle.”

“Because I’m trying to test!” Kevin kept his back to them on purpose. Why couldn’t they get the message? Why did they have to follow him out? Was Christy still down in his corner playing on the table?

The ball stopped bouncing. Only then did he realize Sean was standing next to him, looking down at the robot. “Isn’t it supposed to do something?”

“And it will,” Kevin said. The command to turn its head worked! Great. Now to try something more complicated.

“Doesn’t look like much,” Sean said in response to the movement.

“I’m starting slow.” Really, did he have to explain everything he was doing?

“Why didn’t Mom drive the hovercar back?” Greg said, walking to the front of the garage.

Kevin sent a command to tell the robot to move forward. The command was acknowledged on his screen.

Meanwhile, the robot shot forward. Not just the short distance it should have, but across the garage, out the doors, and straight down the driveway.

“Hey!” Kevin shouted after it.

Then he saw the strange hovercar and the man helping his mother get out. Her boss, Mr. Dale, dropping her and a robot project off.

The house-bot headed straight for the two. His mother looked up at his shout, and dodged to the right. Mr. Dale managed to glance over his shoulder just as the house-bot hit the back of his legs.

Mr. Dale went down in a flail of arms. He splashed down in the steady stream of water running down the shallow gutter at the edge of the street. The house-bot came to a stop against the side of the hovercar, beeping out errors.

Another hovercar pulled up behind Mr. Dale’s. The deep-red hovercar belonging to the family, this time with his father in it. He stepped out and stopped, staring at the scene of Kevin’s mother trying to help Mr. Dale up out of the water.

Kevin’s fingers fumbled to shut the house-bot down. The computer acknowledged the order and the beeping from the house-bot stopped. Nothing filled the silence except the gentle fall of the rain and the sound of the water running along the street.

“Are you okay?” his mother asked, while his father rushed forward to help. Mr. Dale succeeded in getting even more wet as he pushed himself out of the water.

Sean backed away, whispering, “You’re on you own on this one.”

“You’re in for it now.” Greg turned and ran for the door into the house, fighting his brother to get through it first.

Both of them leaving him to face his mother, his father, and Mr. Dale. Alone.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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

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Part of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Challenge.

Series Navigation<< Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 25: Hidden CornerSummer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 27: The Truth >>

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  1. […] Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 26: No Peace by J.A. Marlow ~ @jamarlow_sf ~ Between 500 and 1000 words ~ Science Fiction ~ Serial […]

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