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Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 23: A Good Excuse

This entry is part 23 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.

You can read the story serially on this website for free, or purchase and read it now in ebook.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | DriveThruFiction | Google Play | Kobo | Omnilit | Smashwords | Xinxii

***

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Part 23: A Good Excuse

After exploring the basement in more detail, Kevin decided that If he wanted a space in the basement, then he would have to make one. Move stuff to clear one of the corners. Deciding on which corner was easy: the one most well hidden.

Nanny-Bot found Kevin later as he was sorting through the shelves. “Kevin, what are you doing down here?”

Kevin kept working. “We’ve been needing to do a garage sale, so I’m sorting stuff.”

“We should ask Ms. Taggert about this.” Nanny-Bot left him. To go talk to his mother, he was sure.

He kept right on working. It was a good excuse to be down there. No one could accuse him of playing video games. If he kept moving things around, it might look like he was actually sorting. In the meantime, he could quietly clear out a back corner of the high-ceiling basement for his own stuff.

“Garage sale?” his mother asked as she came down the steps.

“We can’t do a lot outside yet, right?” Kevin asked.

“The Galactic Patrol report no Vordac activity in the solar system since yesterday. I haven’t heard if a new date for the programs have been set.” His mother’s uncertain voice belied the confident words.

Oh, good. Some of his old toys. Those he could clear out with no issue. He wouldn’t use them ever again. He pulled the box off the shelf.

“Didn’t you and Dad say we need to get rid of some of this stuff? I’m getting tired of games and tea parties. Thought I would do something productive.” While making a corner for himself, of course. “I don’t need these toys anymore. We can sell them.”

He set the box on the floor next to the stairs. His mother opened the flaps to look inside. “True. You’ve outgrown all of these. Sure you don’t want to keep any for any of your own children someday?”

Kevin froze. His own kids? He was only ten!

“I can get new toys.” If it ever happened. Marry a girl? Ick.

His mother smiled as she straightened. A highly amused smile with a twinkle in her eye he hadn’t seen since the Vordac attack. “Still, go through the box again. If there is anything you had a lot of fun playing with, put it aside in a keeper box.”

Kevin reluctantly came back. So much for only playing at sorting through the stuff.

“A garage sale isn’t a bad idea. Only one car in there right now. We can set up as we sort,” his mother said, studying the shelves in the basement. His mother disappeared for a short time before returning with help.

“A garage sale? Clean out the basement?” Greg demanded.

“You had to say something?” Sean said, scowling at Kevin as they came down the last few steps.

“Now, none of that.” His mother went down an aisle, stopping to point at two boxes. “Here are boxes labeled for you two. Be hard on yourself. Anything you won’t use or is especially important goes upstairs in the garage.”

Christy soon bounded down the stairs wearing blue polka-dot coveralls. She jumped off the last step and demanded, “Where’s my box?”

Christy didn’t have all that much she could do, but she insisted on helping. So, she worked with Nanny-Bot and their mother to set up tables in the garage. Then she carefully carried things to be sold from the basement to the garage.

Sean and Greg egged each other on about what to get rid of. Their pile at the bottom of the stairs grew faster than Christy could haul it out. Then there was the old furniture their mother decided was time to get rid of. Some of it took several of them to get out of the basement.

All the while, Kevin continued to move items from the back corner he’d silently designated as his. Transferred them to empty shelf space towards the front whenever he could. All while also sorting all his old stuff. Just to keep it looking like he was doing as much as the others.

Even after the others stopped, he kept working away, only this time setting up the corner without having to worry about anyone watching what he was doing. He snitched a foldable table from the sell pile and took it to the corner. The same with several lights. He moved a couple empty shelves to create a false wall.

“Kevin, time for dinner. You’ve done enough down there,” his mother called from the top of the stairs.

“Coming!”

Kevin paused at his little corner. Right now it sat in shadows, but it soon wouldn’t. Not with the lighting he’d set up. The long table would provide him with a proper place to spread out while working on the robot.

After dinner, that was just what he did. He managed to get the robot downstairs without anyone seeing. Next came the parts and tools. Then his computer.

That night when the nightmares woke him up he headed straight downstairs, turned on all the lights, and went to work. By the time everyone else was up he’d not only replaced the battery unit, but discovered the robot had another problem. Something in the logic boards?

Kevin mulled it over during breakfast, his mind racing over everything he’d read that morning. Coming up with tests to track down the exact problem.

“Not again!”

Kevin’s head jerked up at Sean’s exclamation.

“Yes, again. We almost have enough. This is a good summer project,” his mother said, pointing a fork with a bit of scrambled egg stuck to the end in his direction.

Sean glared at Kevin. “Thanks, Kevin.”

“Yeah, thanks,” Greg echoed, in both words and expression.

Kevin kept from saying he didn’t like getting dragged to games he didn’t like. They could consider the sorting of the basement as a little revenge.

“We would have done it sometime, anyway. No going after your brother,” his mother said, every word inferring she meant it.

Kevin gulped. Did he forget to turn off all the lights around the table? He didn’t want them to find his corner. Not yet. He wouldn’t get any peace!

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.




Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 22: A Change in Projects

This entry is part 22 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.

You can read the story serially on this website for free, or purchase and read it now in ebook.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | DriveThruFiction | Google Play | Kobo | Omnilit | Smashwords | Xinxii

***

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Part 22: A Change in Projects

Kevin cleaned off the dusty and dirty robot. How long had it sat on the shelf in the garage? At least two years, now that he thought about it.

Finding his project was one thing. Figuring out how the thing worked, what was wrong, and how to fix it was something else.

The game design information displayed across multiple screens and wall-mounted e-picture frames on the wall behind the desk in his room came down. He would get back to Project Z later. After all, the programming he would learn would help him there, too.

Up went manufacturing information and owner’s manual for the robot’s specific model. He started the project by taking the robot apart while matching up each part with the information he’d gathered. Visually inspecting each piece to see if it looked like the images showed it should.

The nightmares continued. Each time he woke up from them, he didn’t try to go back to sleep. Instead, he worked on the robot until too tired to keep his eyes open, and only then went back to bed.

During the day he spent as much time as he could on the project. Not easy. Not with a house full of people determined to take his time. Not that he could focus on anything else for very long any time someone managed to drag him out of his room. His mind continued to go over what he was learning, just waiting to get back to his desk to check something else to see if he’d figured out the problem.

He did figure out one thing. The robot had a bad battery unit. He found that out only after using some of the tools from his mother’s workbench.

A simple fix. He grabbed one from one of the other robots on the shelf in the garage. Most of the small ones were interchangeable, from what he’d read. So, it didn’t matter much that it was from a different model.

“Hey, we need another for a team,” Greg said, stopping at his bedroom door as Kevin cleaned the battery unit before installing. His white t-shirt was already grass-stained, showing he’d been outside not that long ago in another game.

Christy appeared out of nowhere, dressed in a purple dress. “Nope. He’s visiting the fairies with me. I hear they are lurking in the back yard somewhere.”

If he had the robot up and operating, Kevin might go with her. Then he could be outside to watch his fixed bot working with the lone yard-bot now doing double-duty in both the front and back yard. But the robot did not work, and he was too anxious to see if this was the only problem.

“Sorry, not going outside. Trying to figure this out,” Kevin said, continuing to prepare the battery.

Greg put his hands on his hips. “Mom said you weren’t supposed to stay inside playing games all day.”

“I’m not playing games. I’m trying to fix something.” Couldn’t they see what was right in front of them? Would he get in trouble for breathing wrong now? Would someone yell if his fingers flexed as if using a game controller?

“But, the fairies!” Christy said.

“No, the game,” Greg said.

“Fixing!” Kevin said.

Greg shook his head as he turned away. “You are no fun.”

“Am, too! Just busy,” Kevin shouted after him.

“Maybe later?” Christy asked, straightening her dress.

“Yes, later. Take Boo with you. I’m sure she can help you find the fairies,” Kevin said.

“Oh, great idea.” Christy dashed off.

Kevin sighed. He checked the leads of the battery unit with what he saw online. They looked good. No corrosion. No discoloration.

“Hey, we have a game going outside,” Sean said from the door.

He really should have shut the door while he had the chance. “Sorry, trying to fix something.”

Getting rid of Sean didn’t do much good. Not with Nanny-Bot coming in to check on him. Then the house-bot came through with the vacuum to work on all the floors.

Kevin sighed, setting the battery supply in front of the robot. If this continued, he would never get this done. The only one who hadn’t come in was his mother.

His previous noes didn’t mean anything. His brothers returned, trying to talk him into coming outside again because of the odd numbers on the teams. Christy appeared, announcing she’d found the fairies and he needed to come out and see.

It was too easy for them to find him in his room, he decided. He needed to do something about it, and fast. That was, if he ever hoped to get the robot going that summer. Or that year.

After Christy ran outside to see if she could discover any other creatures lurking in the yard, he also went down. But not to go outside.

No, instead he went to scout out somewhere he would be left alone.

He quickly decided against the garage. Everyone went in and out of there all the time. Which meant he couldn’t use his father’s nice workbench.

He already knew that his mother’s workshop was out. She did too much in there, as it was her home office. No room for him, even if he didn’t take up much space.

That left only one other option that he could think of.

He headed down to the basement. A place full of all sorts of stored items, including old clothes and furniture. Nice high ceilings, but not all that great in the way of light.

But, plenty of corners he could hide out in and get something done. The idea thrilled him at the very thought.

Time to make himself his own robotic repair corner!

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.




Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 21: A Focus

This entry is part 21 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.

You can read the story serially on this website for free, or purchase and read it now in ebook.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | DriveThruFiction | Google Play | Kobo | Omnilit | Smashwords | Xinxii

***

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Part 21: A Focus

Having made the decision didn’t solve Kevin’s issues. Deciding was one thing. Doing it another.

He found plenty of information on the internet about all sorts of robotics and robotic programming. Some of it simple things he already know, such as how to reset and restore a processor. Simple things that required only the touch of a button.

No, he needed more than that.

To bad he wasn’t left alone to do it. His brothers and a few of the neighbor kids needed him to complete a team. He played basketball in the driveway of the neighbors for about an hour before everyone agreed Kevin probably wasn’t the best to have on a team. Nice blow to his already-bleeding ego.

Then, Christy dragged him away for a tea party. He gladly went. At least her dolls wouldn’t complain about his lack of coordination.

“Boo is visiting today,” Christy said as he sat down at the small round child-height table in the back yard. Dolls of different sorts sat in the other chairs, each with a teacup and saucer placed in front of them. Including Boo, who sat in the privileged chair right next to Christy.

“Boo had to travel a long way to get here,” Kevin said.

Christy nodded fervently. “Oh yes. A very dangerous journey. She was in my dream last night. She saved me from the robots.”

Christy smiled at Boo while she poured the imaginary tea. Kevin watched her, his dreams now taking on a darker side.

“You’re having nightmares, too?” Kevin asked as she turned to pouring him his share of the imaginary tea.

Christy set down the pot and adjusted her wide-brimmed hat. “Nope! Boo was there to help. Like I told you.”

Kevin took a sip of his tea, now wishing it were the real thing. Too bad he didn’t have something coming to his rescue in any of his dreams.

“Now, I don’t know if Boo is having bad dreams. She might, but she’s brave,” Christy said with a grin as she lifted her own cup.

“Yes, she is. So were you.” In some ways braver than him.

Christy shook her head. “Nope. I was scared, but I was okay.”

Kevin set down his cup, not understanding that a bit. “What?”

She shrugged, then reached over to straighten one of the dolls threatening to tip out of their chair. “I knew you would know what to do. You would take care of me. So, I was okay.”

Simple straight-forward logic. How he wished it worked for him, but it didn’t.

Not that he could say anything to Christy about it. She wasn’t having nightmares, and he didn’t want her to. Which meant, he just needed to get his own problem figured out. Find a way to make the dreams go away.

“I don’t like bad dreams,” Christy said simply. She reached over the table with a small plate with a fancy scalloped edge. Arranged in a circle were miniature crackers. “Cookie?”

“Neither do I. And, thank you.” Kevin took one, wishing she’d snuck real cookies out of the kitchen for the tea party. But not with Nanny-Bot back with the family. She might be currently watching Sean and Greg’s basketball game, but she seemed to know when anything was amiss. Such as snitching snacks that could spoil their appetite for dinner.

A big wet splat hit one of the teacups directly inside. The next one hit Kevin’s hand. He looked up, finding a dark cloud drifting overhead. Small drops hit his arm and a cheek.

“Rainstorm! Inside loves!” Christy jumped up and grabbed her dolls.

Kevin grabbed the two dolls on his side and the plate of crackers as the rain started falling in earnest. They ran for the closest door, stopping only once they were inside the garage.

Christy stopped and looked back outside. “So much for the tea party.”

“We had a little bit of one,” Kevin said, handing her the other dolls. The crackers he kept for himself.

“We can continue our visit with Boo upstairs,” Christy announced, heading for the door leading into the house.

Kevin munched on a cracker, no longer seeing the downpour outside. Only vaguely was he aware of the front door of the house opening and closing as Sean, Greg, and Nanny-Bot came inside.

Instead, his attention focused on the shelf next to the open doorway leading to the back yard. A shelf with several metal and composite shapes sitting on it. Layers of dust covered two of them, indicating how long they’d been there. Both projects his mother and father promised to get to someday, but never did.

“Are you coming?”

Kevin glanced over, finding Christy waiting for him at the open door leading into the house.

Something in his mind clicked. Another way to do something about the dreams. To not feel so helpless. To fill these days with something more interesting to him personally rather than what everyone else wanted him to do.

“You go ahead. I need to work on something,” Kevin said. Christy frowned, obviously not liking it a bit. “Greg is back inside. Why don’t you ask him? He hasn’t visited Boo in a while.”

Christy grinned, making a little jump. “Good idea!”

She shot into the house. The door closed behind her with a solid click. Greg would soon find himself presented with a very determined little sister who didn’t care if he wanted to play video games instead.

As for Kevin, he knew what to do now. Learn by doing. Learn by practice. Drive the dreams away by actively doing something.

He set down the small plate of crackers on a shelf and reached for the dustiest lump. The perfect thing to learn on: a malfunctioning yard-bot.

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.




Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 20: Neverending Worries

This entry is part 20 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.

You can read the story serially on this website for free, or purchase and read it now in ebook.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | DriveThruFiction | Google Play | Kobo | Omnilit | Smashwords | Xinxii

***

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Part 20: Neverending Worries

Christy squealed again and rushed over. Nanny-Bot picked her up to give her a robotic hug.

“How did she get here?” Greg demanded.

“I thought she was destroyed,” Sean said, this time at Kevin.

“I never said she was destroyed. Only the hovercar,” Kevin shot right back.

“My power systems and higher functions shut down. Otherwise, I was not seriously harmed,” Nanny-Bot said, setting Christy down and patting her on the head.

“The authorities found her in the park cleanup. Once she was cleared and her systems reset, they brought her home.” His mother smiled at Nanny-Bot. “I’m so glad to have you back.”

“I am pleased to return,” Nanny-Bot said. “I see it is time for the afternoon snack. Greg, perhaps you can help me.”

Greg groaned and gestured to the holovid. “It’s my turn!”

“You crashed,” Christy told him, now hugging Nanny-Bot’s fused legs above the hovering platform.

“We were surprised,” Sean said as Greg sputtered.

“I didn’t get that excuse,” Kevin said, which resulted in a stuck-out tongue in his direction from Greg.

“Isn’t this wonderful, Kevin?” his mother asked.

Kevin started, realizing he was still staring at Nanny-bot. As if expecting her to disappear in another dream about to turn into a nightmare. “Uh, yes. I’m just surprised.”

“As am I,” Nanny-Bot said. “I was quite distressed to learn what happened. I am pleased all of you returned home safely.”

To learn what happened? She didn’t remember? She’d seen the Vordac mothership arrive. Had detected the danger and turned them back to the hovercar before Kevin knew what was wrong.

Now that he thought about it, there were scuffs on her surface. Her uniform would need changing. Dirt and grass still clung to it, with one of the hems torn.

Some of his nightmares came back. He asked, “Mom, shouldn’t she go through another diagnostic? Just to make sure?”

His mother looked Nanny-Bot up and down. “It wouldn’t hurt.”

“If you believe it is necessary, then shall we do so after snacks?” Nanny-Bot suggested.

“The boys can work together to make the snack. We should do this now,” his mother said.

Greg and Sean protested, but Kevin didn’t. The Vordac were experts in robotics, computers and programming, and AI systems. They needed to make sure Nanny-Bot hadn’t been corrupted in some way.

As Kevin helped get out the peanut butter for the crackers and celery, he realized something else that could have helped.

He ducked out of the kitchen to Greg threatening to wrestle him back in. He arrived in his mother’s workshop just in time for Nanny-Bot’s eyes to close. She stood next to the bench with a wire hooked into an access panel on her side.

His mother glanced up. “Kevin?”

“How is Nanny-Bot reset?” Kevin asked, rushing forward. “If we could have gotten her going, we could have escaped sooner.”

His mother stood up from her chair just long enough to give him a quick hug around the shoulders. “Nice thought, but it would have taken more than a push of her reset button to get her going again. They had to go into her core memory matrix to reset to her original programming. Then they reloaded our stored preferences.”

“If you had been there?” Kevin asked.

“Maybe.” His mother went back to the computer. The multiple screens along the back of the workbench flashed and scrolled. “It all depended on exactly what the Vordac used to shut them down. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know.”

Kevin describing the light that rolled over everything didn’t help. Her mother still didn’t know how it worked, and as such, didn’t know what specific reset would have worked.

It didn’t satisfy Kevin. Not one bit.

He watched her check Nanny-Bot’s internal systems. Do a soft and hard reset. Some of it he understood. Some of it he didn’t.

That bothered him.

So much so that he couldn’t sit still. He played games with his brothers. Played Hide and Go Seek with Christy. All while watching Nanny-Bot for any sign of malfunction.

Not that he expected to see any. Not with his mother having checked her over. He trusted her more than anyone the police or anyone else used before bringing Nanny-Bot home. She was a well-known robotic expert, after all.

He wasn’t. Not an expert on anything, except video games, and maybe math and science class. For the first time, he didn’t like that.

What if he’d known more? Could he have done anything better or differently in the little time they’d had? Would having Nanny-Bot awake and functioning have made any difference? Would he have known how to deal with the Vordac robots better?

He wondered about it all night. The few times he dozed off his dreams filled with the questions and uncertainties. Turning into replays of what happened, but with parts going much differently. Nightmares that woke him up early again, with no hope of falling asleep again.

But one thing he knew. He needed to know more. Needed to have more of a chance if it happened again. Only one way he knew to do that:

Learn robotics.

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.




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.

You can read the story serially on this website for free, or purchase and read it now in ebook.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | DriveThruFiction | Google Play | Kobo | Omnilit | Smashwords | Xinxii

***

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.




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Free Serial: Zerralon

Available Ebook Formats

The works of J.A. Marlow are available in a wide number of formats including DRM-Free. Below is a list of a few of the retailers the various formats can be found at.

Mobi (Kindle compatible): Amazon, Drive Thru Scifi, Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii

Epub (Nook compatible): Barnes & Noble, Drive Thru Scifi, Google Play, Kobo, Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii, iBookstore

PDF: Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii

Palm DOC/iSolo (Palm compatible): Smashwords

RTF (Rich Text Format): Smashwords

LRF (Older Sony Reader format): Smashwords

Plain Text: Smashwords

Online Reading (HTML): Google Play, Smashwords