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Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 2: A Sports Family

This entry is part 2 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 2: A Sports Family

Sean and Greg ran inside and grabbed their sport bags. Before they could get far, Nanny-Bot called them back and insisted they show her all the items from the checklist created by their parents. Just as any decent Nanny-Bot would do.

With Christy distracted by going for more facial tissues, Kevin made a dash for his own backpack. Full of stuff he never thought he would have need of. Stuff he never really wanted to use.

“Everyone ready?” his father asked from the living room.

Kevin went down the steps slowly, as if hoping to put off the coming disaster. Not that anything would. Not with his father so determined.

“There he is,” his father said as he reached the bottom of the stairs. His father looked so proud, standing there straight and tall in his white and dark gray Galactic Patrol uniform. Red hair, quick eyes, a rugged face, muscles and body well filled out. Tough but kind all at the same time. Just the sort to make a great Galactic Patrol officer. Sean was well on the way to looking a lot like him.

Kevin? Not so much. Not with his blond hair and slimmer build. His clumsy attempts at anything physical. Not to mention his lack of interest.

Kevin stopped at the base of the stairs, hating to ask, but having to. “Do I really have to go?”

His father came over and guided him into the living room with a hand on his back. “Give the summer program a chance. They have all sorts of sports for you to try. I’m sure you’ll find one you like. It’ll be good for you.”

“It’s fun,” Greg said, nodding from where he waited by the door.

Outside, along the street, a white hovercar pulled up in front of the house. One Kevin recognized as belonging to one of the neighbors.

With its arrival, Nanny-Bot announced, “Sean and Greg, your ride has arrived. Time to leave for your summer programs.”

Sean and Greg waved, with Sean saying as he went out the door, “Might want to take a box of tissues!”

His father gazed down at him, studying his face. “That upset about trying out a few sports?”

Kevin felt his face go red. After all the beating up on his body he’d done with his brothers the last few days, and his father thought he was about to break down crying?

“I said I would try, and I’ll try! He was just talking about my bloody nose.” Kevin slung one of the straps of his backpack over a shoulder.

Which brought up a whole new range of questions, one that Christy was happy to help with. She proudly told ‘Doctor Daddy’ the condition of her patient. Which didn’t help him get his father calmed down.

Something he didn’t need today. He’d tried all sorts of things with Sean and Greg. He was just too clumsy. He tripped himself up far more than any opposing team ever would.

Now, video games? Those he could beat the others in, no matter the game. That was a program he wouldn’t mind going into. A video game design course. Then he could bring to reality the mystery adventure game he’d thought up, tentatively named ‘Project Z’ until he came up with something better.

His father sighed after another round of reassurance. “Just try them out. See if you like one.”

“I will.” Even if it killed him.

A frantic beep came from his father’s wrist. Both Christy and Kevin groaned.

“Tell them you are busy,” Christy told him.

His father shook his head as he lifted his wrist to look at it. “It doesn’t work that way, Christy. If I’m needed, then I’m needed.”

Christy crossed her arms over her chest. “We need you, too.”

“Liam Taggert reporting in,” his father said into the large device around his left wrist.

“Orange alert. Report to your squadron immediately,” a male voice answered.

“Understood.” He lowered his arm, taking a deep breath.

So did Kevin. If his father had to go into Galactic Patrol headquarters, then maybe he wouldn’t have to go to the summer program in town after all? Maybe he could stay home with his mother and Christy to have his own kind of fun? If he missed the orientation today, there would be no reason to go to the program at all this summer.

“Sorry, son. Looks like I can’t drive you in today like I hoped. Have to head in for work early,” his father said, turning his attention back to his two youngest. “I hope you understand.”

Kevin started nodding. “Of course. You’re helping to protect the planet. If they need you, then they need you.”

“I help protect more than only this world,” his father said even as Kevin’s hopes rose. “Now, about you.”

Please?

“Elaine?” his father called towards the back of the house.

His mother, blond hair piled on top of her head and holding a robot arm in one hand, appeared from the back of the house. “Yes? Heading out early?”

“Just got a call.” His father motioned towards Kevin. “I can’t take him into the program today after all.”

“Go, go. I’ll take care of it. Give me a minute.” She turned and headed back to her workshop, robot part in hand. With it, Kevin’s hopes and dreams for the summer disappeared in a puff of smoke.

Rats.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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

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