Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 4: Diversion

This entry is part 4 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 4: Diversion

His mother swiveled her chair back to them as the hovercar switch to a different skylane. “Sorry, Kevin. I’m needed at work. We have a bit of a production emergency.”

Kevin nodded. “I understand.”

Just as the Galactic Patrol often called out his father, so did Northstar Earth Robotics Corporation call his mother to the office at odd times. As manager over research and development, she dealt with anything that went wrong. Which often happened when the family had other plans. There were definite downsides to having such accomplished parents.

“I really should have packed my dolls,” Christy said, wrinkling her nose and crossing her arms over her chest. “Now we have to sit in a musty old office.”

“Not musty. It smells like robots,” Kevin said, remembering the rows of wonderful experimental robots and other devices in the rooms of Research and Development.

“Same difference.”

“Christy, you aren’t coming with me to work. I’ll be down on the floor, and I would have to clear it for either of you to be with me.” She touched her watch and a miniature holographic keyboard appeared, hovering over her wrist. She tapped away at it as she said, “You and Kevin are going to the park as planned. Nanny-Bot, ensure Kevin is properly signed up for the summer sports program. You will need to stay there at the park and take care of Christy while Kevin undergoes his placements.”

And there it was. The ax falling. He knew it. Still going to have to do it.

“What shall I do after Kevin completes his program today?” Nanny-Bot asked.

“Use the hovercar to take both home.” Her typing done, the keyboard disappeared. She smiled at her two youngest. “I don’t want to do this, but I need to go in.”

Christy let go of an airy whoosh, as if blowing up a balloon. “Wait! Boo is in here!”

Christy unbuckled her seatbelt and climbed in the back past Nanny-Bot to behind the rear seat.

“I see you are really broken up about this,” his mother said, shaking her head.

“We know, Mom. We’re used to this.” Now, why did him saying that make her appear sad? It was true. This was the reason they had a Nanny-Bot in the first place even though most families around them didn’t.

“Found her!” Christy raised a doll with long dark hair over the back of the rear seat. She soon climbed back into her chair where she proceeded to straighten the doll’s hair and clothes. “Boo was lonely. No one else to play with in here. I’ll have to play with her a lot today so she knows she’s still loved.”

The hovercar dropped out of the skylane and down into a city full of geometric buildings rising to the sky. On the side of a monstrous gray-blue one words glowed, declaring it as “Northstar Earth Robotics Corporation.”

The hovercar slipped closer to the building and slowed further as it approached an opening on one of the lower floors. Instead of continuing into the building to park in the basement levels, it came to a stop under a decorated landing in front of several sets of double doors. Robots worked at the potted plants on each side of the entry.

“You two have fun today. I’ll see you tonight.” His mother headed out the opened passenger door and straight for the doors. The robots didn’t pause a moment in their work as she passed them.

The hovercar door closed and Nanny-Bot moved to the front console. She sat down, her flat base where feet should be still hovering above the floor. “We shall now proceed to the park.”

And to Kevin’s doom. He touched his sore nose. Hopefully no one would hit it and start it bleeding again.

The hovercar moved in a wide circle away from the entry. It paused as another hovercar came out of the tunnel leading down into the building’s parking area. Then they were off again into the skylanes, only this time, heading for the edge of the city.

With his growing doom approaching fast, Kevin dug his small pocket computer out of a pocket in his backpack. With a flip the holographic screen came to life.

“Boo wants to play at the park today,” Christy said to herself as she adjusted a bow in the back of the doll’s outfit. “Maybe we’ll find the fairies.”

“Estimated time of arrival is five minutes,” Nanny-Bot said.

Kevin ignored them. He concentrated on the screen, frantically scrolling through the options. Skimming over information. Trying to find what would work.

“Kevin Taggert, today is for the sports program, and not your games!” Nanny-Bot said.

Kevin nearly dropped the computer. Gaming? He was getting in trouble for gaming?

TO BE CONTINUED…

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

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