Kinetic: The First Alliance Ch. 05bykineticalliance©
Maybe You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone
The next day at school felt like an eternity for Chris. All he could think about were the visions Shyra had showed him. He had always been considered weird, and people thought of him as a freak, but he knew better. He was about to save the world. In his mind, he was the ultimate galactic defender. He ignored the usual harassment he suffered at the hands of his peers with a smile on his face. Finally, the school bell rang, and Christian ran home too excited to remember he took the bus to school. It was his senior year, and he didn't have any friends, so there was no one to say good-bye to.
Hours later, he arrived at his front door winded. He came from a small, overprotective Spanish family. His mom stayed at home to look after his brothers and sisters, while his father usually got home around eight-thirty in the evening. He still wasn't sure how Dimitri was going to pull this off, but he had no choice but to trust him. He stepped through the door and greeted his mom, Gabriella, with a kiss on the cheek.
"Hey, Mom," he said.
"Hi, baby. How was school? Make any new friends today?" she asked. "Something like that," he said to her. "I have a lot of homework to do, so I'm going to go upstairs for a while. Okay?"
"You mean you're not gonna head to the comic book store first? You feeling okay?"
"Yes, Mom, I feel fine," he responded back to her as he sprinted up the steps. Carlos and Mary, his little brother and sister, ran past him down the steps as they chased each other. Christian also had an older brother named Pietro, but they couldn't be more different from each other if they tried. Pietro had his choice of any girl at school and was one of the best defensive linemen on the varsity football team. It wasn't that Christian really cared about being the middle child, but he hated living in his older brother's shadow. It was a very simple formula to Christian—whatever Pietro did, Christian did the polar opposite.
It was a miracle Christian had his own room when he thought about it. He used to share a room with his older brother, but Pietro wanted more space so he moved into their over-sized attic. That way, he could have some privacy and leave Christian to his own devices, which suited Christian just fine. Tonight is the night my real life begins, Christian thought. He could hardly contain himself. He went straight to packing the essentials. He grabbed a few clothes, underwear, a toothbrush, and, of course, his first-edition comic books. There was no way he was going to leave those in the destructive hands of his younger siblings.
After an hour, he was all set, but his father, Isaac, had not yet come home. Time never moved so slowly for Chris. What was the point of doing homework if he was leaving to go fight evil aliens? Slowly but steadily, time progressed, and his father arrived home. This was also about the time Dimitri said he would come back. Christian could feel the knots in his stomach getting tighter.
Christian ran downstairs to greet his father. His dad didn't speak perfect English, so he always spoke to him in Spanish.
"Bendiciones, Papá," he said.
"Dios te lo bendiga, Christian," his father replied. "¿Como estas?"
"Estoy bien, Papá. ¿Y tú?"
It was a very subtle greeting and exchange, asking for the day's blessing between father and son, and yet the love came across clear every time. Christian had a lot of respect for his father who had come to the United States with nothing but made something with his life and now supported his wife and four children. Christian headed back upstairs to wait for Dimitri. He passed the time by reading one of his favorite comic books, but not long after, he heard a tap on the window. Chris sprang up and unlatched the window only to receive a pebble to the forehead.
"Dammit. Ow! That freaking hurt!" he shouted. All the way from the ground he heard a faint, "My bad."
"Whatever, just come up here." Dimitri climbed the fire escape and entered Christian's window pane dressed in a ridiculous outfit.
"And who are you supposed to be?" Christian asked.
"I'm the army recruiter here to take you away, so you can better serve your country." Dimitri must have found some costume store, because he was dressed up in Army fatigue and donned a fake mustache with a five o'clock shadow.
"You're joking, right? That's never going to work. They're already super pissed about the broken window from our fight. I'm grounded."
"Look, will you just leave it to me? I can be very charismatic," Dimitri said. Christian felt his dream of fighting crime slowly dissipating into nothingness. "You just go along with everything I say. Okay?"
"I think you underestimate my family, but okay," Chris responded.
"Nice room, by the way," Dimitri shouted back as he leapt out of Christian's window.
"What's that supposed to mean?" he asked back but received no response. Christian's walls were lined with shelves that supported action figures, comic books, and an extensive Japanese manga collection, that he was actually quite proud of. Within the next minute, the doorbell downstairs rang. It only took a few moments before he was summoned by his mom.
"Christian, come down here, now." He knew he was in for it when he reached the last step and saw the perturbed look on his mother's face. "Yes, Mom?"
"First Officer Williams here was just telling me how you signed up for special placement with the ROTC, which will give you a full academic scholarship when you enlist with the Army. Is that true?"
Christian began to sweat. He was never good at lying to his parents. "Heh heh, yep. What can I say, Mom? I want to be all I can be." The doubt about this working started coming at him like a flood. Oh man, I am so dead! He thought to himself. His mom translated what Dimitri came for to his father, and suddenly both parents were staring at him. He couldn't take the pressure anymore, and just as he was about to come clean about everything, his mom threw her arms around him.
"This is great, baby! I always knew you would mature sooner or later. The Army is a great place to grow up, and they'll help you with college. We're so proud of you."
It would have been nice if there was someone there to pick Chris's jaw up off the floor, but sadly, he had to snap back to reality himself.
"Um, thanks, Mom. Is Dad cool with this too?" Christian looked over at his father who gave him thumbs up.
"I'm gonna take that as a 'yes,'" his mom answered. "I wish you didn't have to leave so soon, but when opportunity knocks, you have to answer. Also, First Officer Williams has assured me that you would keep up with your schoolwork. Now, go upstairs and pack."
"Yes, ma'am." Christian kissed his mom on the cheek and ran upstairs where his stuff was ready to go. "That guy is pretty good," he thought out loud. Twenty minutes later, he walked back downstairs with his things. "I'm all set, Mom."
"Aw, my little boy is growing up," she sighed. Christian's father pulled him aside and said.
"Estoy orgulloso de ti, hijo." Christian looked up at his father; it meant a lot to hear that he was proud of him. With a smile on his face, Christian responded, "Gracias, Papá."
"Now you listen here, Officer Williams, you better take care of my baby. If anything happens to him, I'm coming after you first."
"You have my word, Mrs. Mercado. We'll take good care of Christian," Dimitri assured her. "Now we must be on our way. It's lights out at 2200 hours."
"I understand. Chris, come over here and say bye to your mama." Christian walked over to hug his mom and give her loving kiss on the cheek. "Te amo, Mom."
"Te amo, también, mi hijo. Now go on." Christian waved to the rest of his family, picked up his things, and went out the door with Dimitri. Once they were far enough away, Christian finally asked, "How the heck did you pull that off?"
Dimitri grinned and chuckled. "Renting the costume was the easy part. It was all the phony badges and documentation that was the tricky part, but don't worry. I got friends in very high places." Confused, Chris looked at him. "Um, okay."
"Shyra, I've got the target and await transport," Dimitri said into the open air. Christian looked left and right but saw no one.
"Who or what are you talking to?" Chris looked at his hand as it started to dematerialize. Awesome, he thought. And then he vanished.