Eclipse Star: Genesis Chapter Fifty-Two

June 11, 2009 at 8:11 am (Eclipse Star: Genesis) ()

Eclipse Star: Chapter 52

“No Place Like Home”


-Syrus walks into a large control room with a multi-screened monitor display.  Octavious is standing hunched over the control panel, noticeably bothered by something.


Syrus:  I was instructed to contact you.  (Mockingly bows).  How may I serve you?


Octavious:  (The sound of Syrus’ voice instantly straightens his posture.  As he turns around to face the new entrant, Octavious’ face quivers back and forth from a furious smile to a sorrowful frown).  Syrus, can you please inform me what happened at dawn this morning?


Syrus:  Excuse me if I am being too presumptuous, but I believe the sun rose again.


Octavious:  (His eye twitches).  No, that’s not it.


Syrus:  I stand by that.  If you look outside instead of holing yourself up in this bunker you might remember that the sun does typically rise at dawn.


Octavious:  (Booms out his response).  NO!  Haha…no, you know what I’m talking about you insolent bastard.  Just confirm to me what I don’t want to hear right now.  (Nods semi-calmly).  Please.


Syrus:  The entire Hex-Duo line of robots officially lost contact with our tracking programs.


Octavious:  I know this.  (Waves his hand to the display monitors).  Tell me why this happened.  And don’t lie, because I saw it happen.


-Octavious points at one particular screen stuck in a perpetual “fuzzy” state, the display reading ‘camera no longer operational’.


Octavious:  Were you there to see it?


Syrus:  Yes, I witnessed it firsthand for the most part.


Octavious:  Were these monitors lying to me?  Did someone tamper with the footage?


Syrus:  I don’t see how-


Octavious:  (Cuts him off).  There’s a thirty-second signal delay; it’s entirely possible someone could have hacked the signal.  Now tell me, is this footage accurate?


-Octavious turns around and presses a button.


-A screen begins replaying the actions of the day at a rapid pace showing Chris demolishing all of the robots one by one, finally wiping the main camera out as he blasts Hex-Duo 6/the camera.


-Octavious pauses after the video cuts out.


Octavious:  Well, is it?


Syrus:  Yes.  This is exactly how I saw it play out, though obviously not from the same angle if you’d like me to be technical.


Octavious:  (Rubbing his eyes, holding a hand up for Syrus to cease his attitude).  Syrus, I’m in no mood for this.  Now assuming the kids did manage to destroy all of the robots, why didn’t you step in and finish them off?


Syrus:  It would have been foolish for me to interfere with the robots, partly due to the choices in their programming.


Octavious:  Such as…?


Syrus:  It became apparent to me that they were given specific orders against my own.  If I had stepped in, it could have been counter productive, or possibly resulting in a risk to my own safety.  (He has a not-so-hidden smile on now).  I simply could not take that risk now could I?


Octavious:  (Squinting hard at Syrus, almost as if attempting to crush him by sight alone).  Why didn’t you destroy the targets after the Hex-Duo were dead?


Syrus:  I left before the fighting was over.  And by the time I returned the children were gone.


Octavious:  How do I know you didn’t-


Syrus:  (Cutting Octavious off now).  Know that I didn’t just help the children escape?  Ask your spies; I’m sure they’ll vouch for my story, though next time you send scouts to follow me I will not let them go with just a simple missing limb.


Octavious:  (Seething with rage, his words are forced through his teeth, dripping off his lips).  Syrus you unworthy…


Syrus:  (Not intimidated whatsoever).  Do not ever doubt my actions again Octavious.  If you would like me to continue serving under you, then trust that I’m doing my job.


-Syrus tosses a single red eye onto the floor at Octavious’ feet.


Syrus:  It’s the data files for Hex-Duo model number 6.  Everything it experienced is recorded there, including the exact measurement of the main child’s power.


-Octavious curiously reaches down and picks up the eye, examining it in the light.


Octavious:  All the data you say…?


Syrus:  I swear it on my word.


Octavious:  (Cocks his head and looks questioningly at Syrus before regaining his composure).  Good work Syrus.  Your efforts will be rewarded.  Now go from my sight, if you would be so kind.  (Waves him away).


Syrus:  (Mockingly bows again before leaving).  Always a pleasure to serve.  (Exits).


-Octavious checks another video monitor of a room with 5 kids all punching and kicking in a synchronized manner.


Octavious:  Fine, if these children want to be that difficult, we’ll just have to be difficult, too.


*          *            *            *            *


-In a completely different part of town, the group has been making their way for the past few days following the destruction of the Hex-Duo along back roads and alleyways yet again en route to Derek’s father’s house.


-Chris steps around a corner first, cautious for any unusual activity.


Chris:  Looks clear…


-Chris calls to his group, who’re all huddled around the alleyway, resting.


Chris:  Alright gang, we ready to get a move on again?


-Derek is instantly awake and on his feet, rubbing his eyes.


Derek:  Yeah.


-He brushes past Chris, shoving his shoulder.


Derek:  I’m fine.


Chris:  (Stops Derek, talking quietly to him).  You sure you’re alright?  You don’t look too good.


Derek:  I just said I’m fine; let’s go.


Danny:  (Stretching his arms as he walks by Chris).  Don’t mind him, Chris.  He just hasn’t been sleeping well.


-Danny starts to walk by, though Chris lightly grabs his shoulder.


Chris:  Hey Danny, I’ve been wondering something for a while.  When I got back the other day, you looked like you knew I was gonna show up.  How’d you do that?


Danny:  Oh, it was something I picked up from the Desert Hermit.  He taught me how to feel people out.  It was really tricky to figure out, but after a while I was able to understand how to look into someone’s heart and kinda, I don’t know, understand ‘em better.  Does that make sense?  Ah well, basically I could just feel ya coming.


Chris:  You think you could teach me how to do that?


Danny:  (Scratches his chin).  Hmm…maybe…  (Looks up worriedly at Chris).  Though I don’t know…  You don’t really need any more…you know…


Chris:  Any more what?  (Danny clams up, looking like he’s about to cry).


-Willy walks by, pulling Danny along.


Willy:  Come on Danny, come walk with me.  I need a shoulder to lean on.


Danny nods and turns with Willy, sadly looking back at Chris, instantly turning away when their eyes meet.


-Chris’ demeanor drops even lower as he looks back to see Glitch carrying Jack on his back.


Chris:  Jack, how’re your legs doing?


Jack:  I still can’t really walk on my own without a great deal of pain.


Chris:  Have you tried?


Jack:  (Angry).  You think I’m stupid?  Huh?  I said I can’t f*cking walk without going through a shitload of pain, alright?  Is that not good enough for you?  We can’t all be expected to sacrifice ourselves at every moment for your convenience, alright?


-Lindsey walks over and squeezes Jack’s hand.


Lindsey:  Jack…


Jack:  (Sighs).  I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that.  I just…I’m worried I’m not gonna be able to walk again, and having you push at me isn’t helping, okay?


Chris:  (Frustrated).  Jeez, I’m sorry; I didn’t mean anything by it.  I was just asking.  God.  I didn’t know you got hit in the spine that hard, alright?


Jack:  Well, I did, and I’m not indestructible like some people.


Chris opens his mouth to speak again.


Lindsey:  Chris, just…try and be more understanding…please?


Chris:  (Shakes his head).  I’ll try.  (Sighs).  Why didn’t you just take one of those stupid plot-hole pills or something?


Jack:  They’re called PEZ and I did.  They don’t work like magic.  They don’t repair everything; they just get your body past the point of danger.  They’re more like painkillers than healing pills.


Chris:  What about when Derek shattered my shoulders then?  I was able to heal in a few nights after the Legion gave me the pills.


Jack:  (Intensely questionable look).  Did you?  Huh?  Did you really?  Or do you even remember what happened?  You even know how much of that was in your head?


Chris:  (Now rather angry himself).  No, apparently I don’t.  Maybe I’m just making everything up, huh?  Maybe I’m just one huge liar and I don’t enjoy telling the truth, even when it would make things simpler.


Lindsey:  You two, just shut up already.


Chris:  (Internalizes all his frustration).  I’m sorry.  (Closes his eyes).  If only we could find Joshua right now, we wouldn’t even be having this argument.


-Everyone perks up.


Lindsey:  How do you know about Joshua?


Chris:  What?  Oh that’s right; you guys still call him the Desert Hermit, right?


Leena:  No, actually we ran into him about half a week ago.  That’s where we were staying for the majority of the time, not some run-down old church somewhere playing with our dead fathers.


Kyle:  (Prods Leena).  C’mon, give the guy a break, he didn’t ask for that.


Leena:  (Annoyed).  Whatever.  My point is, he told us his name was Joshua when we left, so how did you know that?


Chris:  He was the one who healed me when I got to the church.  Fixed me up to perfection.


Jack:  (Snidely remarks).  And then some…


Lindsey:  (Confused and a bit bothered).  Chris, why didn’t you tell us you ran into Joshua last week?


Chris:  (Exacerbated).  Because no one seems to want to talk to me, that’s why!  I just saved all your lives and you keep looking at me like I’m gonna flip out and kill you all just for fun, and frankly, I’m a little sick of it!


-Austin comes up and puts his hands on Chris’ chest.


Austin:  Calm down dude.


Chris:  (Pushes him away).  No!  I don’t want to calm down!


Everyone shudders and makes a move to hide or shield themselves.


Chris:  You see?!  Why are you all acting like that around me?!


Austin:  You’ve got to understand, we’re just scared man.


Chris:  We?  Even you…?


Austin:  I’m sorry, try and see it from our perspective.  We were being chased by a group of murderers that could easily kill any one of us at any time, and when you showed up you destroyed all of them.


Chris:  (Rolls his eyes).  Typically I’d have figured that’d have been a good thing.


Austin:  And it is, and we’re thankful you saved us.  We’re just afraid right now.  Please, try and understand.  And don’t get mad…


Chris keeps looking around at everyone, opening and closing his mouth, unable to think of anything worth saying.


-Finally he shakes his head and walks ahead of everyone, chasing after Derek.


Derek:  Sounds like you’re not doing too well, huh buddy?


Chris:  What, you’re afraid of me too?


Derek:  Hah.  I’d sooner kill myself than be afraid of you.


Chris:  I suppose I should take some comfort in that.  How much farther to your dad’s?


Derek:  Few miles, if even that.  (Turns to Chris and gives him a cock-eyed look).  You know, we could get there faster if you felt like leveling the buildings ahead of us.


Chris:  That’s not funny, Derek.


Derek:  (Deadpan).  Clearly I think it’s hysterical.


Chris starts to turn away, though Derek grabs his arm and pulls him back.


Derek:  Don’t let the others get to you.  Having that much power is nothing to be ashamed of.  No one understood when I was leagues above them and they won’t understand you until they catch up to your level.


Chris turns away again, getting pulled back once more.


Derek:  Hey, you’re showing me how you did all of that.  Agreed?


Chris shrugs him off and wanders ahead.


Derek:  I’ll take that as a ‘yes’ then.


*          *            *            *            *


-After another hour, the group finds themselves walking across the front lawn of a standard suburban house with Derek running right up to the door and knocking.


Derek:  Finally!


-He taps the knocker on the door.


Derek:  Hello~?  Dad?  (Starts to bang on the door).  Hey dad!  It’s me!  It’s Derek!


Chris:  What’s up?


Derek:  Maybe he’s not home or something…


-Kevin calls over from the mailbox.


Kevin:  Derek!  You sure this is the right address?


Derek:  What?  Of course it is!  I haven’t been gone that long.  You think I’d forget that quickly?!


-Clinton sees what Kevin was looking at.


Clinton:  Your last name’s still Tolken, right?


-Derek walks up to the mailbox.


Derek:  Yeah, why?


Clinton:  Well, there’s no ‘Tolken’ listed on the mailbox.  In fact, there isn’t any name listed at all.  It’s been painted over.


-Derek takes a look.


Derek:  That’s weird…


-Derek turns back to the house.


Derek:  Hey Chris!


Chris:  (Perks up).  Yeah?


Derek:  Check for the spare key under the mat!


-Chris crouches down and flips the mat over.


Chris:  I don’t see anything!


Derek:  (Runs up).  That’s ridiculous…


-Derek frantically looks around everywhere.


Derek:  I don’t get it…  (Turns to the door).  Fine.


-Derek reaches into his pocket and pulls out a key ring.


Derek:  Before you say anything, Chris, I was just checking for spare keys because I was curious.  Maybe my dad just locked himself out and forgot to put the key back afterwards?


Chris:  Yeah, maybe…


-Derek opens the door and walks in, flipping the lights on in the living room.


Derek:  Dad!  I’m home!


The house looks like no one’s lived in it for a while.


Derek:  What in the hell?


-Kyle stumbles through the front door with everyone else.


Kyle:  It would appear that yer dad’s not home, bro.


Derek:  Something’s not right…


-Derek wanders further into the house as everyone else huddles into the living room before shutting the door.


Jack:  (Searching around the room with his eyes for any clues).  I don’t like the looks of this Derek.  We should probably leave.


-Derek walks back into the living room, talking to himself.


Derek:  Rest of the house is left untouched, too…


-He looks up at Jack.


Derek:  Nah, we’re staying here.  My dad could just be away on a business trip or something.


Kyle:  You sure he’s alright man?


-Derek quickly turns on Kyle, grabbing him and slamming him against the wall.


Derek:  Don’t you ever suggest that!  You hear me?!


-Everyone’s tense as Kyle chokes out a response.


Kyle:  Yeah…crystal dude.


-Chris grabs Derek and pulls him away from Kyle.


Chris:  You, go lie down for a while.


Derek:  (Incredibly annoyed).  Don’t you tell me what-


-Chris throws up his hand and charges a quick energy beam.  He holds it in front of Derek’s face as it begins humming.


Chris:  You will listen to me and go lie down.  Do you understand me?


-Derek’s eye twitches slightly as he clenches his teeth before turning away.


Derek:  I’ll be upstairs if anyone needs me.


-Derek trudges away.


-Everyone’s terrified as Chris puts his hand down.


Chris:  …Stop looking at me like that!


They turn away and pretend to be interested in anything else.


Jack:  (Calls over from a chair).  Chris, I’ve got a request.  Come ‘ere.


Chris:  What’s up Jack?


Jack:  First off, don’t do that again.  Secondly, since we don’t have a choice at the moment but to pretend we’re safe here, do me a favor and find out if Derek’s got a decent bathtub in the house.


Chris:  Sure.  I’ll go check.


-Chris upstairs.


Glitch:  Jack, what are you thinking concerning a bathtub?  Do you have a plan for us?


Jack:  Depends.  How many of you really want to go soak in a tub with me?


Glitch:  Oh…


-Glitch starts to turn away.


-From upstairs, Chris walks by Derek’s room and knocks on the door.


Chris:  Derek?  You in here?


-Derek is lying on his bed with his arms resting behind his head.


Derek:  What is it?


Chris:  Jack’s wondering if you’ve got a bathtub anywhere in the house.


Derek:  Yeah, in my dad’s room.  He’s got the master bedroom, down the hall.


Chris:  Thanks.


-Chris starts to leave.


Derek:  Wait.  Don’t leave just yet.


Chris:  Yeah?


-Chris closes the door as he walks in.


Chris:  Something on your mind?


Derek:  (Staring up at the ceiling).  Have you ever met my dad before?


Chris:  (Thinks to himself).  Hmm…maybe once or twice, but overall I can’t say that I have.


Derek:  Do you even remember what he looks like?


Chris:  Not off the top of my head, no.


Derek:  You don’t think you could have run into him at any time last week, could you have?


Chris:  Derek, what’s this all about?


Derek:  I…no, it’s nothing.


Chris:  Sure?


Derek:  No, but I don’t feel like talking through it much right now.


-Chris sits down at the end of Derek’s bed.


Chris:  I might be able to help you with whatever you’re going through.


Derek:  Did I say you could sit down?


Chris:  (Sighs).  I’ve been having a dream Derek, and it keeps coming up more and more.


Derek:  I’m not talking to you about dreams right now.  Nothing good came from dreams.  I’m pretty sure people have gotten shot for having dreams before.


-Chris gets up.


Chris:  Fine then.


-Chris walks halfway out the door.


Chris:  Don’t talk to me, I don’t care.  It’d make you just like the rest of them.


Derek:  (Closes his eyes).  Out please.


-Chris leaves.


Jack:  (Back downstairs).  Glitch, I thought you were damaged after fighting Hex-Duo Six.  How’re you…?


Glitch:  (Looks himself up and down).  Oh!  Hah, understandable why you’d be confused.  I’m actually capable of servicing myself quite well.


Scott:  (Starts laughing as he’s lounging on a couch).  Hah, sounds like a skill I wouldn’t mind having myself.


Glitch:  (Seems fairly embarrassed).  Oh, uh, no no.  I mean self-maintenance.  I can repair any damage I incur during a battle or just standard wear-and-tear.  It was mainly the only specialty skill I had within my group.


Jack:  So wait, you were the only robot from your group that could repair itself?


Glitch:  Yes.


Jack:  Hmm…that’d explain why the others would have had to go all the way back to Charles Robotics to get fixed.


Glitch:  Most likely, otherwise I’d have been the one they’d have asked.


Jack:  Well, looks like you really did end up helping everyone else out, however coincidental it seems.


Lindsey:  See?  I knew you were good to have around.  (Elbows Leena).  Didn’t I?


Leena:  Ya sure did Lindz.  Fantastic choice there, though I’m surprised you were able to figure out which foot each shoe went on after you thought Chris died.


Everyone gets really quiet and awkward after this is said.


Leena:  What?  He didn’t actually die.  Are we not in a stage where we can laugh about this yet?  (Plays up a hearty laugh).  Ho ho ho!  What a funny memory!  I think I’ll laugh about it again even!  Aha ha ha!  (After this gets no reaction she stops).  Whatever, I’m not here to entertain you all.


Scott:  (Yelling from the couch).  Now take off your top!


Leena:  Classy.  Kyle, punch him please.


Kyle:  Yes ma’am.


-Kyle turns to Scott, about to punch him.


Kyle:  Uh, he looks kinda big and angry though…


-Kyle turns to Danny and punches him.


Kyle:  Aha!  Take that Scott!


-Danny holds the back of his head.


Danny:  Ow!  Lindsey, Kyle hit me!


Lindsey:  Kyle, don’t do that.  Leena, stop making Kyle act like an idiot.


-Chris returns from upstairs.


Chris:  Okay Jack, there’s a bath being drawn upstairs for you.  I can carry you if you’d like.


Jack:  That’s fine.  Glitch?  You think you could help?


Glitch:  Sure.


-Glitch walks over and hoists Jack over his shoulder, carrying him up the stairs after Chris.


Lindsey:  (Watching Jack head up the stairs).  You think I should go with him?


Leena:  (Gets a coy smile on her face).  Oh I get it.  If I were you I’d be up there giving him a good cleaning, too.  (Winks).


Lindsey:  No, not like that or anything.  I just mean, you think I should keep an eye on Chris around the others?  I think I can get him to listen to me pretty well if I have to.


Kevin:  Lindsey…I wouldn’t push at him right now.  Give Chris the benefit of the situation.  We owe him our lives and we haven’t been very receptive to him for it.  He’s confused and hurt by the whole experience.  (Shakes his head).  I’ll go talk to him about it.  I’ve been meaning to apologize anyway.


Lindsey:  Alright then.  Thanks Kevin.


Kevin:  It’s okay.  Don’t trouble yourself about anything.


-Kevin walks upstairs.


-Chris leads Glitch and Jack into the master bedroom/bathroom.


Chris:  It’s right in here.


-Chris turns back towards Jack.


Chris:  You sure you don’t want any help?


Jack:  No.  I’ve got my own personal helper right here; I think I can manage.  Right Glitch?


Glitch:  Don’t…don’t make me sound like I’m taking sides.


Jack:  Fine then.  (Looks around).  There, hand me that rolling stool.  Just let me be.  I’ll change and hop in by myself if I have to.  (Glares at Chris and Glitch).  Now give me some privacy.  K thanks.


The two walk out and shut the door.


Chris:  He’s a bit touchy, don’t you think?


Glitch:  I suppose, though he did lose most of the functions of his legs.


Chris:  Still, that doesn’t really give him a reason to be a jerk, does it?


Glitch:  I don’t know.


Chris:  Does it bother you that he’s making you act like his pack mule?


Glitch:  Not too much.  At least not as much as some other things he’s doing…


Chris:  Yeah…


They both cross their arms and look at their feet.


Both:  (Muttering under their breathes).  Lindz…


They both quickly look up at each other.


Both:  What?


Chris:  (Points).  Did you…?


Glitch:  (Waves his hands, laughing it off).  Me?  No no.  Hah, that’s just silly.


Chris:  (Still has an eyebrow raised at Glitch).  Yeah, that would be…  (Quickly).  I’m not…you know…


Glitch:  In love with her?


Chris:  Who?  Lindsey?  (Thinking to himself, playing it off as a joke almost).  I can’t say that I’m…nope nope, can’t say that I ever even thought about her like that.  Hah, well if anything could be considered silly, that definitely is.  That’s just…that’s silly…


Both:  (Sigh).  Yeah…


-Kevin walks up to the two.


Kevin:  Chris?


-Both Chris and Glitch look up at Kevin at the same time.


Both:  Yeah?


-Chris and Glitch look back and forth from each other quickly.


Glitch:  Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you had said…never mind.  I’ll leave you two alone.


-Glitch quickly takes his leave.


Chris:  Huh…strange robot…


-Chris turns to Kevin.


Chris:  Anyway, what’s up?


-Kevin pulls Chris in close and hugs his tightly.


Kevin:  I’m sorry, for everything really.  I didn’t mean for you to have to be treated this way.  It’s not fair to you.  Just…thank you.


Lets go of Chris.


Chris:  It’s okay.  I kinda expected it anyway.  Self-fulfilling prophecy I suppose.


Kevin:  It’s just…I didn’t know how to handle myself, and I haven’t done so with any tact.  I apologize.


Chris:  Yeah, well, don’t worry about it.  I’ll live.  I’m sure if I give everyone enough time they’ll warm up to me again.  Besides, I doubt I’ll be doing anything like…you know…(Pantomimes karate fighting)…that, any time soon.


Kevin:  How did you do it anyway?  It really was scary to see from our vantage point.  We could hardly see you move.  It didn’t look possible.


Chris:  Like I said before, I just pushed myself to fight at my maximum level for as long as I possibly could.  It’s like a sprinter running a marathon.  You guys can do the same thing; it just hurts a lot.  I do not suggest it if it can be helped.  I was in no way conditioned enough to push myself that hard.


Kevin:  Yet you’re still standing here today, talking to me now.


Chris:  I know, I don’t get it either.  I kept thinking I would pass out over and over again, but then I just kept thinking of why I was fighting and…well I just kept going.  It was something my dad told me to do.  I guess it worked.


-Chris closes his eyes after remembering what he was fighting for, flashes of Lindsey crossing his mind.


-Chris:  But I don’t plan on doing it again.


-Chris tiredly walks away.


-Kevin sadly watches Chris walk into another room by himself.


Kevin:  Oh Chris…I don’t want you to have to, either…


To Be Continued…


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