Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 28: A New Turn

This entry is part 28 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 28: A New Turn

His father crossed his arms, and said without any hesitation, “It sounds as if the decision is already is made. Mr. Dale, when does this program start?”

“Later this week. I’ll sponsor him to the program,” Mr. Dale said. The rest of the conversation flew over Kevin’s head.

His father didn’t put up a fight to keep him in sports? Mr. Dale wanted to sponsor him in a robotics program? He would learn not only about robots, but how to modify them? How did this disaster end with something this good?

The door of the hovercar closed, reminding Kevin of the people around him. A ray of sunlight peaked out from the cloud layer, brightening the neighborhood.

“Bye, and thank you!” Kevin called as the hovercar lifted away to head into the city.

His mother squeezed his shoulders. “My son loves robots. Honey, he likes robots!”

“So I see,” his father said with a laugh.

Kevin looked up to him. “Are you mad?”

His father’s laughter stopped, his expression instantly serious. “Mad about what?”

“That I’m not into sports? That I don’t like them?” He should have said that better. He liked sports, but they tended to be the type that he was able to use his brain more than his muscles.

His father turned Kevin towards the house. “I am proud of you no matter what you do. You’ve had a hard time while I’ve been gone, and you tried to do something about it. You kept you and your sister safe. I have a lot to be proud of.”

His mother followed with the house-bot. “And now I know what that basement cleaning spree was all about. Show me your corner, Kevin. Then let’s see about this robot. I’m sure the two of us can figure it out.”

Kevin fetched his computer and then took them downstairs to his little workshop. As he suspected, Christy was still there having tea with her dolls, saying she knew he would come back eventually.

But, he didn’t have tea with her this time. He showed his parents what he’d been doing and a little bit about why. Not a lot, though. Not with Christy there. He didn’t want to say anything to cause her more nightmares.

Why hadn’t Christy told him about hers? But then, who was he to complain about that? He hadn’t told anyone about his.

Christy turned the dolls to watch and learn, the tea party turning into school. As for Kevin, he couldn’t believe his luck. His mother now showing him the inner workings of the robot. How to diagnose issues more efficiently. Pointing out what each part did and the problems that could occur.

Kevin listened and watched all of it, determined to remember as much as possible. He now had a summer program of his own to get ready for, and he intended to make his mother proud. He wanted to learn everything they could teach him.

His father came in and out, having changed into regular clothes. Telling him again how proud he was. That he looked forward to seeing what sort of things Kevin came back from the summer program with.

As if as proud of him as his two older brothers.

“If something doesn’t make sense, be sure to ask. It’s all about learning,” his mother said as she put a joint back together. Kevin tried to mimic her work with another joint.

“And doing,” Kevin said as he snapped it back together. He lifted the jointed arm, proud of himself.

“Definitely the doing.” She leaned back in her chair. “Which means we definitely need to get you your own tools. Rather hard to share tools when we both will need the same ones at the same time.”

“And it’s okay for me to have a table down here?” Kevin asked. He supposed he could move it all back up to his room, but it wouldn’t leave much room for anything else.

“Oh, I think you have for yourself a nice little setup down here. Out of the way. Makes good use of the space. Just as well we cleared so much clutter out of the house,” his mother said, nodding with approval as she glanced back at the row of shelving forming one wall of the corner.

“And Kevin is good at it,” Christy said. One of her doll’s head tilted forward, as if nodding in agreement. “One day he’ll be amazing.”

Kevin could only hope. After a bad start to the summer and summer programs, he finally felt like he had something to look forward to.

He would figure out how to reset Nanny-Bot if he needed to. And maybe figure out how to disrupt the Vordac raiding robots? Now, that would be a worthy project, and one his father would be really proud of. It would also help the Galactic Patrol and those worlds that suffered more raids than Earth. Time for a bunch of crash learning.

Oh yeah. He intended to learn a lot this summer. He now had things to do. Goals.

Vordac, watch out. Kevin Taggert intended to fight back in his own way.

THE END

Mind of a Child 350H***

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Part of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Challenge.

Book Two available now!

Mind of a Child (Zerralon 1.2)

A day of fun descends into a day of fear.

Liam Taggert hopes a trip to one of the big amusement parks on the planet of Mydore will take his children’s minds off their mother’s situation. It worked… until Kevin disappeared, kidnapped by unknown abductors.

While his father and the Galactic Patrol race to find him, Kevin awakes in a strange place, unsure how he got there…

…With his life hanging on the very desires hidden in his heart.

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  1. […] Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 28: A New Turn by J.A. Marlow ~ @jamarlow_sf ~ Between 500 and 1000 words ~ Science Fiction ~ Serial […]

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