“This is stupid.”
“We know that, Jules,” Kyle said flatly.
“Why would you even do this?” she questioned.
“Why not?” Justin asked.
“Because this is stupid,” she came back with.
This was the bulk of their conversation for hours now. It was a beautiful day, it was Spring Break 2009, the Fosters and Slades were on vacation together, and all they could do was argue about why they were where they were. All three of them were standing in the shade of a bus while getting ready for the main event. This main event was what Jules was arguing against, the same position she took when she learned that Kyle was going to do it. Normally, Kyle would’ve taken her advice, but he needed to get his mind off of things.
The future, namely. Almost a year had gone by since he first encountered a giant blue alien that crash-landed in Colorado, where he happened to be on vacation. Ever since, Kyle was scarred with blue markings that eventually spread up his arms and were currently crossing his upper torso and Kyle somehow became a vessel for an incredible power. In the following months, Kyle learned how to control his powers, and to not allow them to control his life. During that first summer, Kyle holed himself off in his house out of fear, both of himself and of how people would think. Fear that he would hurt others and the fear that his friends would be scared of him kept him in exile.
Justin and Jules kept talking, but Kyle hardly paid attention to the conversation. Sometimes Kyle just enjoyed listening to them talk to each other, thinking to himself how lucky he is to have such good friends. Justin and Julianne Slade were twins that Kyle had known almost his whole life. It was these two and another friend, Emma Luck, who eventually broke Kyle out of his shell that he had formed the summer before.
“Let me check the battery again,” Jules insisted, reaching for the video camera in Justin’s hands.
“No,” Justin answered, holding the camera high above Jules’ reach. “You’ve checked it fifty million times since we left home; you’re just stalling. This is going to happen.”
Jules groaned frustratingly and smacked Justin in the stomach. Justin stumbled at the blow, but held the camera where it was.
“Give it to me, Justin!” she yelled. “It’s my camera, and if you drop it, you’re replacing it!”
“Then stop hitting me and I won’t drop it,” Justin returned, amused at his sister’s anger.
“C’mon, guys,” Kyle said loudly enough to get their attention. “People are starting to stare. Let’s just do this before anyone gets suspicious.”
“I still can’t believe that you are actually going to do this, Kyle,” Jules replied. “This is so unlike you; you don’t do crazy stuff like this.”
Kyle shrugged, saying, “I don’t exactly know why I’m doing this, either. But I have to do something; if I don’t, I’ll go crazy just waiting.”
“But this is big, Kyle,” she pleaded. “Please don’t do this.”
“Would you relax, Jules,” Justin insisted. “The man can fly, for Pete’s sake.”
Jules smacked his chest again, saying, “Not so loud.”
Kyle could see that Jules was still not on board with everything, so he said, “C’mon Jules. Just this one thing and I’ll never ask you to be a part of anything like this again.”
“Promise you’ll just never do anything like this again at all,” she answered.
Kyle raised his right hand and said, “I promise.” The mark on the palm of his hand glowed when he spoke.
“Then let’s get this over with,” she said, and took her camera back from Justin. “What are you waiting for, anyway?”
Kyle froze for a minute. He hadn’t told anyone that his power was eventually going to kill him and then destroy the world. As the Primal had put it, it was only a matter of time, unless he could find the Primal and return the power. So far, though, his search had been desperate, since he had no idea where the Primal was. His Granma had reported that it was taken sometime in the week following Kyle’s contact, while he was still in a coma. As far as he knew, Area 51 had it, and although he wrote letters and emails, he so far had no response, and by now he didn’t expect any.
Kyle turned toward Jules and said, “I’ll tell you some time. I promise.”
They broke then to the positions they had agreed upon. Justin would face outward as if he had no idea what was about to happen, while Jules was positioned several yards away to where she could see both Justin and Kyle. After a minute, Kyle got two thumbs up, one from each twin. Show time.
Kyle slowly walked toward the railing that Justin was standing just in front of. The trick was to not draw attention to him, as there were about thirty other people around the entire area. No one stopped Kyle, luckily, and he wished he had that sort of luck back home. In Odessa he could hardly go anywhere without someone staring or stopping him.
He got to the railing and stared straight forward for a few seconds. At that point Justin panned around to look at him.
Kyle closed his eyes. He called upon the power flowing through him. Primal energy coursed through his entire body. Whenever Kyle felt the depth of this energy, he was always surprised by how much actually fit into his body. For a second it was like floating in the deep end of a pool. As easily as he would move a muscle, he coaxed energy out of wherever it stayed when he wasn’t using it. His vessels lighting up made him feel lighter, as if giant weights he had carried since birth were taken away. He felt freer than he ever had before.
Eyes still closed, he jumped over the railing fell head first into the Grand Canyon.
He fell in complete silence for only three seconds, but as soon as his feet left the railing, his mind became totally blank. Those three seconds of free-falling were the most peaceful Kyle had experienced all year. Another positive thing Kyle’s powers had given him was enhanced brain activity, so those few seconds felt like an hour to Kyle. This was when Kyle was in complete peace with the world.
In the darkness of Kyle’s mind, light and power began pouring in. Kyle was barely conscious of it, but had long since stopped being scared of it (destroying an immortal intergalactic being can do that to a person). After almost a full year, the sensation was as natural as any bodily function. It almost seemed as if he always had this power, and at times he didn’t know how he would cope after giving it back. It allowed him to do amazing things, such as fall through the Grand Canyon without a shadow of fear.
When he was less than fifty feet from splashing into the river bellow, Kyle reacted. He deftly flipped over to where he was falling feet first. From his hands and feet came a torrent of energy shooting straight at the ground, slowing his descent. The raw energy hit the water like a boulder, splashing it over Kyle’s head and gouging into the river bed beneath. All the water that was forced into the air started falling around Kyle’s shoulders as he slowed his descent into a hover.
Now he was drenched, but the water felt good. It was significantly cooler down in the canyon than standing over the edge. It was still early enough in the morning that most of the canyon wall shaded the river. Kyle took a minute to take in what he just did while he hovered. Looking up, he couldn’t even see any of the people who probably just watched him jump over the edge.
Now for the real fun, Kyle thought as he started to drift purposefully backward, holding a leg behind him so he didn’t just smack into the wall. He kept looking forward, not needing to look back to find the wall of the canyon. He knew where it was for a while. Yet another bonus to having this power was a heightened awareness of his surroundings. Almost like sonar, he always had a mental map of his immediate surroundings, even in pitch darkness. Kyle had already found a relatively flat area, and lightly changed direction by either strengthening or weakening the flow of power coming out of either hand. When his foot brushed against the section of the wall he was aiming for, he brought his other foot up higher on the wall. Bringing his hands back, he only touched the wall with the tips of his fingers. He clung to the wall in a position to launch himself deeper into the canyon.
Closing his eyes and taking deep breaths, He drew more energy from the unknown reservoir inside him and into his arms and legs. He took another minute to gather energy, meanwhile taking mental notes of the feel of the layers of rock stacked behind him, noting the differences in minerals. Emma would probably be very interested in this.
That was one of the things Kyle really liked about Emma, that she was interested in so many things, some of which could be really random. It was never a dull moment when talking with Emma. That was one of the reasons Kyle ended up having a crush on her. For a year, Kyle kept it to himself, until one night at a party Kyle somehow found the courage to ask her out. Initially, she rejected him, but Kyle later learned her reason for saying no. Although they weren’t going out together, Kyle felt that their friendship was strengthened as a result.
Now he was ready. He stopped the flow of energy, tensing every inch of his body. With one final exhale, the world and every thought in his mind dissolved. Without a countdown, he surprised himself with the launch, pushing off so hard, several large chunks of the wall took off with him, leaving a web of cracks spreading a hundred feet in every direction.
In almost literally no time, everything was a blur. Everything sort of cleared up when the energy from Kyle’s body started to form its usual spearhead shaped field around him, if one would consider wavy and tinted blue as an improvement. It may not have been perfect, but it allowed him to see so much more than what was actually around him. He could “feel” things without touching them, and he depended on this sense while flying as much as he did his sight. If not, he’d have been a stain on the side of the canyon as soon as he took off. Instead he rocketed easily through the canyon, navigating through twists and turns, leaving his starting point far behind him.
The feeling was exhilarating, but Kyle reached the other end of the canyon within two minutes. As he saw the end coming, he waited until the last possible moment to drastically change direction and fly straight up without losing any speed. He flew straight up for about a minute before coming to a halt and hover at the altitude he stopped at. Looking down, the Grand Canyon looked like a small ditch. Looking west, he saw the Rocky Mountains, which looked more like hills, and beyond the Pacific Ocean, stretching beyond his sight.
Kyle felt on top of the world, both literally and figuratively. Since his battle with the red Primal, and with the eventual end of his episodic seizures, he felt indestructible. He had conquered an immortal cosmic being and had just flown straight through the Grand Canyon in less than two minutes. Maybe tomorrow he would knock the top off of those mountains to the west, or set the new record for flying across the Pacific. He could do both; He could do anything, and nothing in the world could stop him. The thought made him grin as flew back to meet with his friends.