When the colonists dropped off breakfast, Jaclyn took advantage of the fact that we were all together to tell everyone the story and then bring us all downstairs to show us the puppy. When we were all back up in the suite, Cassie shook her head and finished off the last bit of some kind of meat. Swallowing, she told Jaclyn, “That was so crazy and such a terrible idea that—“
“It’s like something you would do?” Jaclyn finished. Continue reading Complaints: Part 2
In the end though, it wasn’t something that I could do anything about aside from passing on the speculation to everyone else—that and the fact that Kals’ could get around our current defenses. Everyone’s response could be summarized in Jaclyn’s, “Are you kidding me? Why didn’t you tell us that before?”
“I didn’t know until just before you told us you’d found Katuk. Everyone was worried about that and I kind of forgot. Anyway, we were going to work on it tonight. Well, I was assuming we would, if that’s okay.” I looked over at Kals.
She gave a quick nod. “Whoever controls all of you controls all of us. I’m not going to let that happen.” Continue reading A Good Boy: Part 9
I couldn’t argue with him. I didn’t know what the vegetables or the meat were, but I liked them. I wasn’t sure that they were good enough that my life would be fulfilled if I got killed by an angry Xiniti after supper, but as Marcus implied, it was better than dying hungry.
“So what do you think?” Marcus asked, “You think they told him?”
Jaclyn paused with her fork in the air. “How would he not know something like that? It was a big enough deal to make us Xiniti citizens. That can’t happen every day. How would he not hear about it?”
“Easy,” Cassie raised her hand, waving it to get our attention. “They’re a military culture. If you don’t need to know, they don’t tell you.” Continue reading A Good Boy: Part 8
My connection to Hal froze for long enough to make me wonder if it had been dropped, but then he said, [The encryption is complex. It will take some time to decrypt it.]
[Unknown, but minutes, possibly hours instead of seconds.]
“Okay. Let me know when you’ve figured it out.”
[I will.] Continue reading A Good Boy: Part 7
I leaned back against the shed’s cool, smooth surface. “Wouldn’t your mom notice that you’re gone?”
She shook her head. “It doesn’t matter. She notices everything, but if we were home, I’d be living on my own, so she’s got no right to stop me. Besides, we do it all the time after parties. Sure, we’ve got the force fields, but some of the small animals that sneak in are as bad as the big ones. Walking home in the dark isn’t safe, so no one complains.” Continue reading A Good Boy: Part 6
Then, in the same queer tone of voice, she said, “I release you.”
My muscles released and took a step forward. “I’m a little surprised that you’d tell me all of this. Some people would keep it secret so that they had a little bit of insurance against us.”
She smiled. “Whoops. I’ve ruined our plans for galactic domination.” Then she turned to look down the hill again—all of it still blazing in the light of the red sunset. Continue reading A Good Boy: Part 5
I’d already realized that I had no idea where Katuk was earlier, but I’d assumed that he was with Jaclyn. “I’m assuming he’s not in our bedroom… I lost track of him at Iolan’s. I knew he came in with us, but I didn’t see him when we left. He’s pretty quiet. I’d assumed that he went with Jaclyn and Marcus.”
Cassie had let the mask absorb back into her costume when we stepped inside and her blond hair swished as she shook her head. “Jaclyn hasn’t seen him since Iolan’s either.” Continue reading A Good Boy: Part 4
Kals stared at the table for a minute—which was the longest I’d yet heard her not talk when I’d been around her.
Finally she looked up. “The resistance has used this world as a hideout for years and Mom, Dad and Maru all spent time here on and off when I was growing up, but when Dad died, and we all had to disappear, Mom and Maru had a fight. I don’t know what they were fighting about. It was after we’d been here for a few weeks. I don’t know what it was about. They never talked about it again and when I asked, Mom wouldn’t say anything.”
“Come on,” Cassie crossed her arms over her chest. “You must have heard at least one word? Maybe a sentence?” Continue reading A Good Boy: Part 3
“Always listens to him anyway?” I followed the obvious line of reasoning. “He’s not a motivator too, is he?”
Kals shook her head. “Yes, but it’s not that simple. We’re mostly immune. If we weren’t, we’d never be able to use our power without following our own orders.”
As Cassie and I sat down at the table across from Kals, Cassie glanced over at me. “Mostly?” Continue reading A Good Boy: Part 2
Castle Rock Compound, Colorado, Earth
Haley sat next to Camille in the dining hall. The wide, grey rock room was nearly empty. A few people were inside but they sat in small clusters, none of the clusters anywhere near each other.
Camille leaned in,“You can talk about it. It’s normal.”
Haley eyed her, pausing before sticking her fork into a piece of rare steak. “Everybody knows I’m worried. Talking about it more won’t make me feel much better, but they’ll get sick of hearing about it soon if they aren’t already. And besides, it hasn’t even been two weeks yet. Lee said it would be at least two weeks, so they aren’t even late.” Continue reading A Good Boy: Part 1