For Chapter One click here.
One week later, Kyle sat at his desk in his room back in Odessa. His algebra homework sat in front of him, but he wasn’t even looking at it. Kyle just couldn’t concentrate on math at the moment. He had tried everything. He shut the window to where the only light in the room came from his Apple laptop as quiet music came out, and his vessels. In the semi-darkness of his room, Kyle just sat there, staring at the impossibly difficult math homework, wondering what he should do next.
Kyle was getting seriously annoyed with that question. What would he do next? What could he do next? After over a year of thinking, writing letters, making videos for Jules’ YouTube channel, dance class with Emma, and calling random people all over Washington D.C., Kyle had gotten nowhere in his search for the Primal. It got to the point where Kyle scoffed whenever he heard someone talk about the government listening to the people.
Kyle was actually pretty surprised by the government ignoring him, despite the fact that his fight with the red Primal was a very public event, staying on headline news for nearly two weeks. Videos posted on the internet got millions of views. Kyle was even interviewed about what happened to him. During that interview, he had explained that he wanted to see the Primal again, although he didn’t explain why. It seemed like a bad idea to admit that he was going to explode like a trillion nuclear bombs and destroy half the galaxy on national television, although that probably would’ve gotten attention from the government. Not the attention he wanted, but more than this.
But Kyle persevered, dragging his feet through his math homework for almost forty-five minutes. He shifted to his English homework, which was only finish a three page paper. That only took ten minutes, and he was done with homework. Now he could concentrate on saving the world from himself until dinner was ready.
As usual, this line of thought did nothing but frustrate him for half an hour. It was sweet relief smelling dinner almost done drug him out of his room.
As he made his way downstairs, the sound of Sarah’s voice got louder. Kyle got to the foot of the stairs and found his little sister on the couch and on her cell phone talking to one of her little friends. Kyle just couldn’t keep up with the amount of people his sister knew. Middle school had turned Sarah Foster into the center of all gossip for Odessa tweens. What really impressed Kyle was that she was privy to information at his high school, even though she wouldn’t be going there until next year. Sarah always had an army of friends, but Kyle would take his handful of good friends over that any day.
Kyle moved on to the kitchen, where his parents were talking and cooking. His father was the first to acknowledge him. “Hey, there, kid. How was school?”
“Normal day,” he replied, sighing. To himself, he thought about as normal as they get anymore.
“Good,” he said. And that was the end of their conversation.
Kyle’s mother, on the other hand, had many more questions. In her usual bubbly way, she asked how the twins were (despite she just seeing them right after school when they came over to their house), how was his load of homework that night, to name a few. Kyle answered all of her questions, giving just enough details to satisfy her while maintaining a level of secrecy.
Finally Kyle got to ask her a question. “Was there anything in the mail today?”
“I didn’t see anything,” she answered.
Kyle sighed again. He was disappointed, yet not surprised. Kyle had sent letters to several government agencies in the hopes of finding the Primal, and so far, only one had sent anything back, and they basically said in so many words that they didn’t know what he was talking about. Again, Kyle was becoming very annoyed with the government seemingly ignoring him.
But Kyle was anything if not an optimist. He had alien super powers; if anything the scientific community would start knocking at his door. He only hoped that it would be in enough time…
“Thank, mom,” he said, smiling to hide his worry. She returned the smile and went on to finish preparing dinner.
After they ate, Kyle invited the twins over so they could work together on any homework any of them had left (which always turned into Kyle and Jules helping Justin). After that, they grabbed a few cans of soda and sat on the back porch, Jules and Kyle taking lawn chairs and Justin sprawling on a porch swing Kyle’s dad had set up.
As they talked, Kyle zoned out every few minutes. The fourth time this happened, Jules noticed. “You alright, Kyle?” she asked.
Kyle brought his mind back and answered, “Yeah. Just thinking.”
“About what?” Jules pushed.
Kyle hesitated before saying, “I don’t know, it’s just that it’s been nearly two months since I sent out all of those letters, and I haven’t heard anything back. I’m just starting to get annoyed.”
“How do you even know that the alien is still here on Earth?” Justin asked as he sat a little more properly on the swing. “It could have left after it hit you for all we know.”
“It was practically half-dead by the time I got to it,” Kyle said. “And why would it give me a piece of its power and then just take off?”
“Maybe you scared it and it ran,” Justin answered.
“Yeah, I scared a giant immortal alien and it ran home to its mommy,” Kyle returned sarcastically. “I’m sure it hasn’t left the planet.”
“Okay,” Jules added, “then where could it be?”
“Area 51,” Justin threw out.
Both Kyle and Jules turned to look at him. Seeing that he seemed completely serious, Kyle said, “That is ridiculous.”
“No, man, it’s totally a real place,” he explained. “It’s like an Air Force base in Nevada or something.”
“Maybe,” Jules said, “but there aren’t aliens there.”
“Because we never found one until now,” Justin pointed out.
Kyle shrugged and said to Jules, “We might as well give him that.”
Jules rolled her eyes as she pulled her phone out to check the time. “We’d better go,” she said. They all stood up, said good night, and went their separate ways, Kyle heading inside and the twins out through the gate to the front yard.
Hours later, Kyle woke up violently to his vessels searing with pain. It felt like pulses of electric shocks that just got faster and faster until it was a constant stream of pain. It hurt so much Kyle couldn’t even scream out. Then everything went dark…
Kyle opened his eyes and found himself not in his room. As far as he could tell, he was nowhere, surrounded by a blue mist. He remembered this place, or rather, this situation. This was some strange dream world the Primal used to communicate with him.
“Find us and return our power,” came the genderless voice of the Primal, but this time was different. The last time the Primal spoke to him, the voice was directionless. This time, the voice was clearly coming from above him.
He looked up to see a fuzzy likeness of the Primal circling overhead. It’s slow, methodical movement reminded Kyle of a whale, but it used its four wing like structures like wings, surprisingly. It didn’t really move through the mist as much as within the mist, as if it were just another part of the environment.
Kyle called out to it. “How do I find you? Do you know where you are?”
“Find us and return our power,” it repeated. “You know how to find us.”
“How do I find you?” Kyle asked. “I don’t know. Please tell me. I want to return your power but I don’t know how to find you.”
“The fragments come together and recreate the whole,” it said.
Kyle felt himself starting to wake up. He tried as hard as he could to stay there, but he couldn’t.
The next day at school Kyle could hardly pay attention to any of his teachers. The whole school had more or less gotten over the fact that he had powers and was treating him like a normal student. Kyle was actually much more grateful for this than he thought he would, and he was told to “sit up and pay attention” as much as everyone else.
First period math was both a blessing and a curse. It was the class that gave him the most headaches but the one class he really needed to pay attention in. Kyle really didn’t sleep well after that vision with the Primal, and he was exhausted.
He made it through, though, and next period was Biology. Biology had its ups and downs, too. The up being Emma was in that class. The down being Tony Hamilton somehow being in that class, as well. Tony and Kyle still didn’t get along; when Tony tried asking Emma out, Emma said no, and when Tony didn’t get the message, Kyle stepped in and things got heated. The confrontation ended with Kyle blasting Tony out of the room. Plus now that Kyle and Emma hang out so much Tony thinks that they’re a couple. Emma, being as sweet as she was, kept trying to explain things to Tony, but Tony wouldn’t hear it. Kyle, meanwhile, was fine with it. He didn’t like Tony; he thought Tony was arrogant and immature.
Kyle came around a corner to see Emma and Tony talking to each other outside of their classroom. Emma’s back was to him, but Tony’s eyes locked on Kyle the instant he came into view. Kyle started to walk over as Tony waved Emma off and went into the classroom. When Tony walked away from her, Emma turned around curiously to see Kyle right behind her by then.
“What was that about?” Kyle asked her, peering into the room to see Tony taking his seat. Emma hesitated, and Kyle made an assumption. “You were trying to get us to get along, weren’t you?”
She just smiled and nodded. “I feel bad about you two not getting along. I see you both every day and there’s just this constant tension.”
Kyle sighed and hung his head. “Why do you feel so bad about this?”
“Because it’s half my fault,” she reasoned. “I should have seen this coming; I should’ve realized why he acted the way he did around me. I should’ve been clearer with him.”
“Just stop,” Kyle pleaded. “Of all the things to beat yourself up about, don’t choose this.”
The teachers were starting to herd the stragglers into their classrooms, so Kyle and Emma went on inside. Once Kyle sat down and class started, he started to doze off again. For almost an hour he fought to keep his eyes open, realizing that this was going to be a bad day.
Normally on Thursdays Kyle and Emma had their dance class, but that evening they were both at a high school soccer game. Permian was playing Abilene; Emma was working with the video team recording the game, and Kyle was writing an article for the school paper. Jules and Justin were also there with Kyle, and the four of them carpooled since it was a home game; Emma’s father had drove them all and sat a few seats behind the trio in the stands. While Justin didn’t play soccer, he did help Kyle understand what was going on when things moved too fast; sports were the only subject that Kyle would defer to Justin Slade.
The game was almost over; Permian just had to keep their lead for half a minute and they would win. Kyle could see Emma on the field, getting the reaction of the team and coach on the sidelines while another camera worker followed the ball. Even Kyle put down his pen and notebook to watch the action.
Three. Two. One. Final buzzer goes off; Permian – 4, Abilene – 3. The Permian crowd goes wild. Including Jules, who was bouncing on her feet and screaming her head off. Kyle was shocked, until she actually ran down the stands and rushed on the field with a few other people and ran into Tyler Rubio’s arms. Tyler had been on the bench for the last part of the game, but when the buzzer rang, he had rushed onto the field to congratulate his team when Jules reached him.
Watching all of this going on, Kyle leaned over to Justin. “You sure they’re not boyfriend and girlfriend?” he asked.
Jules and Tyler hugged and spun around on the spot, and then they stopped and kissed each other three times. They were individual kisses, and each very quick, but both of them were smiling out of the excitement of the evening.
Justin shrugged. “Not so sure anymore,” he admitted.
After all the chaos and everyone was starting to head home, the three of them sat waiting in the parking lot for Emma to finish and for her father to come back from the bathroom back at the stadium. It rarely took her that long to put away all of the camera equipment in the school. It was late and Justin and Jules were getting tired. They wanted to know what was taking so long, and Kyle volunteered to go check it out.
Kyle ran back into the school and navigated his way through the dark halls with his glowing vessels. He reached the video team’s room and the first thing he noticed was that the lights were still on. Kyle peered into the window of the door and saw something that made him wish he had just decided to wait a little longer outside.
Emma was in there, and so was another girl. Kyle couldn’t tell who she was because the two of them were sitting on a desk and holding each other so tightly he couldn’t see her face. They were kissing, and it was passionate and slow kissing.
Kyle immediately ducked away, breathing hard, terrified that they had sensed someone watching them. He didn’t wait to find out, though. Panicking, he used his power to boost his speed and rushed outside. As soon as he hit open air, he took off, a glowing bolt launched into the sky, and flew straight home.