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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Metallic Heart II - Chapter 25

 Despite my best efforts to finish my school work quickly, I was still over an hour late to meet Aaron.
 He was right where he said he would be when I did finally get there. 
 He didn’t even address the fact that I was late, he just seemed happy to see me.


“I have something cool that I want to show you!” He said as soon as he walked over.
“What is it?”


“It’s a surprise…I think you’ll find it interesting, but we have to go to the other side of town,” Aaron said, pointing toward the direction we’d have to go.
 “The other side of town?  What’s over there?”


“You don’t exactly get the term surprise, do you?” Aaron asked; amused and anxious to show me what ever it was he wanted to show me.
 Before I had a chance to tell him how much I hated surprises, Aaron turned on his heels and started running, “Follow me and try to keep up!”


I was curious and I saw that if I wanted to see the surprise, I had no choice but to hop up on my hover board and follow him across the park.
 By the time I had caught up, Aaron had stopped and flagged down a hovering taxi.  
 I put my board away and walked around to the other side of the taxi.  “Where to?” The driver asked.
 “The site,” Aaron answered quickly; which didn’t exactly give me very much indication on where we were going.


I couldn’t resist asking, “The Site?  What’s that?”


“You’ll see,” was all Aaron volunteered.
 Finally realizing that Aaron wasn’t about to give up any information on our destination, I sat back and enjoyed my mini tour of Oasis Landing.  Luckily, Aaron didn’t mind answering questions about the buildings that we passed along the way.
 “What’s that building? I asked as we passed a very strange building that looked as if it had an unfinished train track coming out of it.


“It’s the Wasteland ZEPHYR Station,” Aaron answered as if I’d already know what a ZEPHYR was.


Rather than risk asking more questions about something that every earthling should know, I decided to do my own research on what a ZEPHYR was later.
 Soon after we passed the Wasteland ZEPHYR station, the landscape around us changed drastically; turning into a desolate, barren landscape which perfectly reflected the name given to the station.  


“I take it this is the wasteland,” I said as more of an observation than a statement or question.
 Aaron hopped out and started running again.  “Follow me!” He once again called out.  I hoped that his running off wouldn’t start to become a habit, but I was willing to ignore it for now because I was very excited to see what had him so lit up.
 Once again, I was on my hover board; trying to keep my balance and keep Aaron, who had already made his way down a small hill, within my sights.
 This part of Oasis Landing reminded me a lot of my home, Lunar Lakes… so much so that if I had time to stand and really take it all in, I could almost imagine that I was actually back on the moon.
 Still having a difficult time controlling the hover board, I ended up passing Aaron.  “Where am I going?” I asked realizing that I didn’t know how to slow the board down very well.


“Follow the path… it’ll be obvious when you see it!” Aaron called out from close behind me.
 I went around a bend in the narrow path that we were following and saw that Aaron was right…it was obvious where we were going, because right in front of me was a big aircraft of some sort.  I hopped off the board and waited for Aaron to catch up; ready to bombard him with a ton of questions.
 Knowing what I knew about Lunar Lakes and the experiment there, I wondered if this was one of the failed rockets created by Dr. LB and his team of scientists.  However, knowing that the whole moon experiment was supposed to be kept secret, I knew that I couldn’t ask Aaron about it…so I was forced to act dumb and keep the questions that I really wanted to know to myself.
 “What is it?” I asked.


“A space craft obviously,” Aaron said managing to sound amused and in awe at the same time while staring at the big circular door of the craft as if he were looking for a way in.
 “I know that!” I said, trying not to sound offended.  “I meant… how do you think it got here?”  


“That’s exactly what I’m determined to find out!  Let me show you something…” Aaron said.
 I followed Aaron around the back of the aircraft… happy that for once he wasn’t running.
 He stopped at a pile of debris that I assume came from the crashed craft.  Aaron bent down low and began to study the pile… “I believe that there’s a key to opening the door to the craft in here somewhere.”
 “Do you think that’s a good idea – trying to open the craft?”  I asked, but Aaron ignored me and started digging through the pile as if it were the answer to my question.  “What are you looking for?” I added.


“There has to be some clue here.  If this is in fact an alien craft like it’s rumored to be… there has to be something here to tell us more.”
 “An alien craft…I seriously doubt that.  I’d bet it’s from here,” I said without thinking, with a little more conviction than I intended.


That got Aaron’s attention and he immediately stopped digging and stood up to face me.  “Wait… do you know something about this?”
 I attempted to backtrack quickly, “No… just a guess.”  I hoped it would convince Aaron and he’d stop asking questions about it.
 “A guess?  No… you sounded way too sure of yourself!  You know something about it, don’t you?”


“Uh…no,” I answered in a tone that was far too weak to convince anyone.
 “You do… don’t you? Does it have something to do with you being here?” 


I knew that I couldn’t keep denying it, because I wasn’t very good at lying, but I also knew I that couldn’t tell him.
 “Maybe,” I finally answered before turning my back to him. “But I’m not supposed to tell anyone.”
 “Are you serious?!  I’ve been wondering about this thing most of my life and I finally found someone who knows something and you can’t-”


“What's that noise?” I asked while hopping on my hover board; totally interrupting Aaron’s rant.
 I followed the tweeting sound that I was hearing until I discovered it’s source… a small bird.  Plenty of animals were brought to Lunar Lakes after it was founded, but birds were one of the animals that never fared well on the moon.  Most of them died off, so kids that grew up on Lunar Lakes never saw a real bird in person.
 “Oh my gosh!” I said as Aaron walked over; unable to hide my excitement.  Luckily I didn’t scare the bird away.  He stayed in place and continued chirping.  I couldn’t resist mimicking its musical chirping sounds.
 Aaron walked over.  “It’s just a bird… is it hurt or something?”  He asked, obviously puzzled by my excitement at seeing a bird.
 Suddenly I was embarrassed; once again facing the fact that I was supposed to lie about being from the Earth… while finding it difficult to mask my excitement at the new things that I was discovering.
 “Surely there are birds where you’re from in-”  Aaron stopped as he realized that I never told him where I was supposedly from.


“Sunset Valley,” I filled in for him, right before walking away from the fascinating tiny winged animal.
 “I just never saw this type of bird in Sunset Valley is all,” I said sounding defeated as I told yet another lie.


“Not even as someone’s pet?  It’s a parakeet… almost everyone has a parakeet!”
 “Can we go now?” I asked just to stop him from continuing to point out how not well thought out my lie was.


“Sure… follow me.”
 This time I was grateful that he ran off.  It gave me time to process how I felt about deceiving him.  I even tried to justify in my mind why my lies were necessary, which was hard to do considering the fact that Dr. LB never explained why I couldn’t tell anyone where I was from.
 Aaron and I entered another taxi.  Aside from me giving the driver directions from my phone’s GPS to Dr. LB’s house, we were mostly silent. 
 “You live here… with Dr. LB?” Aaron asked when we got out of the taxi.  “I figured you lived in community housing or something.”


“He’s my father,” I answered quietly.
 “What! Your father? I had no idea!”  


“Yep…” was all I could think of to say.
 “Why haven’t I seen you before?  You should be all over the news if Dr. LB is your father.  Who even knew that he had a daughter?”
 “Please don’t go around telling everyone Aaron.  This is all new to me too.  I lived in…Sunset Valley with my mother all of this time.  Dr. LB just found out about me… and he wanted me to live here with him for a while,” I say; relieved to be able to tell Aaron at least a partial truth.
 “So you’re still going to tell me that you’re from Sunset Valley?  I saw the way you were looking at that bird…like you’d never seen one before. I know for a fact that there are birds like that in Sunset Valley.”
 Again, I chose to avoid answering Aaron’s question.  Instead I turned to head inside the house. 
 “See you tomorrow…same time?” Aaron asked.  I was shocked that he’d even want to see me again after my obvious deception…
 … but I was glad.  I realized that I really liked hanging out with Aaron… although I wasn’t sure how long I would be able to keep my secret of being from the moon.


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