Captain Cosmic Pt. 1

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As I walk into my home, something feels off. I walk into the kitchen, to find Amelia in nothing but stockings, a black lace cutout teddy with her police utility belt wrapped around her waist. She’s got on a police hat and her aviator glasses on with dark brown hair let loose while she twirls a pair of handcuffs around her finger. “I heard someone’s been a bad boy,” she says, flashing me such a seductive smile.

“Uh, yeah… I”

Before I can even spit out words, she walks up to me and puts her finger against my lips. “Shhh… No excuses. I’m going to have to punish you,” she says, winking at me. “Now put your hands against the counter, babe. I’m going to have to strip search you.”

“Uhhh…” She doesn’t even give me a chance to reply before she whirls me around and pins me against the countertop, holding my hand behind my back.

Suddenly her hands are tugging at my belt and before I know it, they’re wrapped around my knees. After she releases my hands, she pulls at my shirt, and I slip it off. Dragging her nails down my back, she tucks her fingers underneath the brim of my boxers and slowly pulls them down. I feel the burning sting as she brings her hand down hard upon my ass cheek. She drags my arms back and cuffs them behind my back. She then feels her way down my legs and takes off my pants and underwear before making her way back up the other leg.

She grabs a hold of my ass cheeks. “This ass… Mmmhmm… This ass is under arrest.”

She lifts me up off the counter and pushes me down to my knees. My eyes drift to the growing bulge in her crotch. She untucks her big fat cock. “Open wide, baby.”

I look up into those dark brown eyes filled with lust and possession. The tip of her dick presses up against my lips. I open up as the head of her cock fills my oral cavity. “Good, boy.”

She grabs a handful of my hair and forces my head down on her dick, instantly making me gag. She doesn’t relent as she starts to swing her hips back and forth, fucking my face. Her balls slap against my chin. Spit forms at the corner of my lips and starts to drool down my chin as I gurgle on her cock. “Swallow my dick, you filthy criminal.”

She slams her cock against the entrance to my throat and I gag. “Swallow it!”

I try to breathe and swallow, suddenly her cock pops down my throat as my nose presses up against the small garden patch of pubic hair. “Yes! Just like that. Fuck, my dick feels so good down your throat. Although, it’ll feel so much better up your ass…”

She pulls out as I fall into a coughing fit. Then she yanks me up to my feet and bends me over the counter once again. She slides her thick log in the valley between my cheeks. “God I should’ve put you in cuffs sooner. This ass was meant to be bred by me and me only.”

She slides the tip of her cock up against my tight little rosebud. She starts to push and push until the head of her dick pops inside me. “Oh my god, you’re so tight, my little baby. Fuck, from now on this ass is mine.”

Slowly she begins her descent inside me. I let out a guttural groan as she spreads me wide open. A moan escapes my lips as she begins to fuck me in earnest. “Take it, babe. Take it all.”

Her hips collide with my ass as she slams all the way into me. I can feel my own cock, hard as a brick, it’s so close… Pleasure rips through my body as she continues to rip into my ass. One more thrust… Oh….

I shoot up from my bed soaked in sweat. The musky scent of jizz lingers in the air. I pull up the covers to see my boxers soaked along with the sheets. I wipe my finger across the fabric and sniff it. I recoil at the strong scent of my own cum. Not again. Another wet dream about Amelia. What’s wrong with me? She’s practically my mom.

She’s not… I know that. My mother’s gone, but Amelia raised me so she might as well be and yet my dreams are littered with lewd fantasies about her. I might need to see a therapist.

After I pull myself out of bed and get cleaned up for school, I finally make my way down into the kitchen to face Amelia. And after a dream like that, it’s certainly going to be awkward. I grab my bag for school and walk down the hall. Fuck me. She’s wearing her uniform. The way those pants can barely fit all that ass just makes me want to… Get ahold of yourself Gage. She’s the woman that raised you.

As she turns around, those brown eyes meet mine. It’s as if the darkness was taken over by a gorgeous ray of sunshine. It’s so powerful it makes my knees weak. That’s the power her smile has over me…

“Good morning, babe,” she practically sings. Her voice is a crisp melody that is better than morning songbirds performing.

I pull my eyes away from hers. “Morning…”

I grab a pack of pop tarts and rush to the door. “I haven’t seen you in over a day and you’re not even going to give me a kiss goodbye?”

“I uh… I’m sorry, I just forgot I have to get to class early,” I say. I rush over and quickly peck the soft skin on her divinely crafted beautiful face. Just as I turn around, she wraps her arms around me and pulls me into her tight embrace. I can feel her supple breasts press into my back, her badge isn’t as hard as her nipple poking me… I’m glad I’m facing away because I officially have a boner. Great…

“Have a good day school,” she says, kissing my head.

“You too.” I rush outside and take my bag off to use it to cover the tent in my pants.

After a few blocks, it’s safe to put my bag back over my shoulder as I send a quick text to Abony. “I’m right outside.” I bolt into Moe’s convenient shop.

“Gage, good to see you,” the large man with dark chocolate skin says. “How are you doing, young man?”

“I’m good, just grabbing some snacks, while I’m waiting for Abony,” I say, grabbing a pack of combos and a mountain dew.

“I’m sure she’ll be down any second,” he says. “How’s your Amelia? Is her job…”

A man in a mask walks in and sticks a gun to Moe’s face and holds a bag out. “All the money in the bag, right now. Come on old man, hurry up!”

Moe looks at me real quick before opening his cash register. Oddly, I don’t feel all that afraid. It’s ironic that a thug would try to rob this store. He must be desperate doing this in broad daylight. Just as Moe finishes up putting the money in the bag, the man bolts out. There’s a loud crash. I rush out of the store to get a better look. The Gecko has him pinned up against the wall and with his gun stuck on the second floor of the building. Damn, she does look good in that green outfit.

If I’m being honest, I didn’t think green would look good. She gives him one good punch to the stomach before she glues his hands to the building with her Tongue rope. Again, another silly name. Even though it’s my invention, I’m not the one who named it, so whatever. Her mask looks cool though, big white eyes with two different shades of green to give it enough contrast. The darker green covers her mouth and goes up between her eyes, while the lighter green covers everything else. Of course, she has a picture of a gecko on her chest.

She looks over at me and gives me the peace sign, then bolts off, using her tongue rope to bungee from building to building. Moe stands behind me with his jaw gaping. He quickly grabs the bag of cash and starts to scold the robber. I’ve heard that lecture many times growing up.

I walk back in and place a $5 bill on the counter before heading upstairs. Just as I walk in The Gecko appears out of thin air. Then Abony takes off her mask. “That was dope. I wish I could’ve caught that on film.”

“Don’t think the blow to the stomach was a bit too much?”

“Any fool stupid enough to rob my daddy’s store deserves an educational beat down,” she says as her curls flop out after she pulls her cap off. “Now let’s hurry up and get to class or we’re going to be late.”

“I’m the one waiting on you,” I laugh. She smiles, but it fades. As soon as she puts her baggy clothes over her costume, I follow her downstairs, she grabs one of the hot breakfast sandwiches before we out the door.

“Did you eat breakfast!” her dad yells on our way out.

“I’m good I grabbed a breakfast sandwich, love ya bye,” she yells back as she pushes me to go faster.

After we get far enough away, I turn to her. “That was epic!”

“Shhh!” she says as we rush to class. “But yeah, it was pretty cool, wasn’t it?”

“You were amazing. You literally swooped down just as the guy was leaving,” I sigh. “Although, you kind of went a little overboard after you caught him.”

“Serious? Not going to drop it, are you Mr. Boy Scout?”

“Alright, alright, I won’t talk about it again,” I say.

“I know, you’re just looking out,” she sighs with a sidelong look.

It takes us a few crosswalks and more than a couple of minutes to get to school. “Are you excited for the field trip?” she asks.

“Yeah, that museum is pretty awesome. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to check it out,” I say.

“Nerd,” she coughs.

“What can I say, I am what I read,” I laugh.

“You don’t even deny it,” she smiles. “That’s what I like about you. You’re proud to be a nerd.”

“I don’t understand why people think it’s a bad thing. Come on, jocks may own the school, but nerds rule the world.”

She chuckles. “Ha, yeah I’ll give you that. That’s why you and I are best friends.”

“Oooh… That’s why we’re best friends?” I ask.

She snorts because she is laughing so hard. “You know I love your nerdy ass, right?”

“Of course,” I laugh. “Who else would get you a passing grade in all your classes?”

“Hey, I’m only doing poorly because I’m a superhero. If I had all day to study, I might end up like you,” she says.

“I can’t believe you just spit that out there,” I say.

“Who’s going to believe me? No one listens to us anyway? As far as everyone else is concerned, we’re practically invisible. We don’t even need superpowers to accomplish that,” she laughs.

“You’re right. Not even Ken cares enough to give us shit,” I chuckle.

“Hey, don’t say his name out loud, that’s like saying Beetlejuice three times,” she says, looking around to see if he who must not be named is around.

We stop by each other’s locker before going to class. Since we’re going on a field trip today, we don’t need to bring anything. As we get up to Mr. Carcher’s class, Abony grabs onto my shoulder. “Well I’ll see you in a couple minutes, I guess.”

“Yeah, we’re literally going on a field trip in 10 minutes. I don’t even see the point of going to class,” I laugh as I walk in. No one even notices I’m even here. Seriously! Am I really invisible? Then Lauren Day walks in and everything stops. It’s like she’s walking in slow motion. Her dark black hair flows so perfectly with the nonexistent breeze. The way it falls so graciously to her shoulders, it seems to glimmer in the sun, it all has me mesmerized. Just being in the same room with her makes my heart palpitate.

Maybe it’s her dark mysterious eyes. They just pull you in with a mere glance. The way they sparkle when she’s hard at work. You know, she might be considered one of the most popular girl in school, she’s also one of the smartest in class. I think that’s what really enraptured me. Not only is she book smart, she’s got wit. She always knows the perfect thing to say. I think that’s why I have such a crush on her. I can’t really say I’m in love with her because…

To tell you the truth, I don’t really know her that well. She’s a complete enigma to me. And that’s what makes me so intrigued. It seems like every other girl besides her is completely predictable. They walk the same, talk the same, and even look the same.

As our eyes connect a smile crosses her face. Is she smiling at me? I… What do I do? Smile back? Do I smile back?

Just then Mr. Carcher bursts in. “Good morning class. Sorry, I’m late. Today’s the field trip so we won’t be going over anything new. We will head down to the cafeteria once they call us.”

The class immediately erupts into conversation and once again I go back to being invisible.

“Hey, I wasn’t finished,” Carcher says has he readjusts his thick big rimmed glasses. His beard gives him a kind of hippy look. “I just wanted to let you know I will be assigning a project that has a huge weight on your grade in this class. You’ll need a partner and I’m going to let you choose your own partner. So you should probably spend this time finding one.”

Everyone jumps out of their seat to grab a partner. I quickly look around to see if anyone’s available. Why couldn’t Abony be in this group? Heck, I’d even take Wendy. I hate being the only one without a partner. My eyes fall to the ground as I just know that’s what’s going to happen. I look up to see Lauren standing in front of me.

“Hey, Gage! I was wondering if you wanted to be partners?” she asks. Am I dreaming? I mean, it almost felt like another nightmare where I always get picked last for things. But this… This is definitely a dream.

“So… Is that a yes?” she asks.

“Oh right. Yeah! I’d totally like to be in the same partner as you. I mean I’d like to be your group. You know what I mean… Yeah… Definitely,” I need to stop talking right now.

Woah. The sound of her laugh is sweeter than those doughnuts Amelia occasionally brings home. And her smile just teaches my heart the meaning to be at peace. “You’re pretty funny.”

“I’m so glad we’re in the same class together. I’m so sick of being in group projects where I’m doing all the work. And it’s always with Ken, Jessica, and Kaitlynn. Don’t get me wrong, I love them to death. They just never pull their weight in group assignments. You know what I mean?” she asks.

“Uh, yeah. I usually end up by myself so I definitely know how it feels to do most of the work,” I say.

She seems to soften up. “Well, I’m glad we’re in the same group. Are you excited for the museum? I heard John Farrell donated over a billion dollars to build and supply it.”

“Are you kidding me? It’s got one of the best space exhibits there is, period. I heard they even have several artifacts that they found that could be extraterrestrial. Literally, there’s this crystal I want to see that they found on an asteroid. The material the crystal is made out of doesn’t match any element known to earth.”

“No way! Really? So you’re saying they identified a new element? I’ve always wondered whether a different planet would have a different table of elements,” she says.

“Have you read my mind before? I literally wrote a blog about that. I can totally see a planet that revolves around a Red Giant having a different set of elements than one revolving around a white dwarf if you could even find a habitable planet revolving around a white dwarf.”

“I guess the old saying is true, great minds do think alike.” Her smile just warms my heart. It’s so genuine and sincere.

Principal Davis comes over the speaker. “Will the students participating in the Field trip report to the Cafeteria at once.”

The class immediately rushes out the door. “Don’t rush. Remain orderly!” Carcher mumbles.

“Well, I guess I’ll catch up with you after school to go over the project,” she says.

“Yeah, that sounds great!” I say.

As we walk down to the cafeteria, Abony meets up with me.

As everyone piles into the cafeteria, I get pushed aside as Jordan Tayler bumps into me without even acknowledging me. What an arrogant jerk. I know he’s the new kid and somehow the new starting Quarterback for the football team which automatically makes him popular, but come on! You don’t have to be an asshole about it. He looks back at me with a glare. Did he… No. Definitely not.

Mackenzie Manchester, who everyone knows is trans, rushes up beside him and locks her fingers in between his. He tenses up and then relaxes.

“I didn’t know they were dating,” I mumble.

“Dude, come on. That’s old news,” Abony says. “They’ve been dating for over a week.”

“Really?” I ask.

“Yeah, where have you been?” she says.

“I don’t know…”

As we gather around in the cafeteria, the teachers or chaperones more like, try to maintain order. Abony elbows me in the shoulder as Ken passes by. Doesn’t even give us a second glance. “Now I’m starting to actually believe we may be invisible.”

“I know, right?” Abony says. “I kind of miss being bullied. At least we got attention.”

Her words ring true.

“Hey guys,” Wendy says as she approaches us.

“Hey…” I say, looking away. Wendy may be a third wheel in our group which was only supposed to be a duo, but she will always be my rival. I don’t know when we started this rivalry, but I know she was the one to start it. She would always try to compete with me in grades. I don’t know why she always tries to make things a competition.

She leans in. “So… I saw a video of a local corner store getting robbed.”

“Oh did you now?” Abony asks. The two of them share a laugh. I don’t know what Abony sees in her. She thinks she’s so clever.

“So,” she whispers. “How did the new modifications on the suit work?”

“The new eye computer or whatever you call it is great. Shows me the distance of what I”m looking at. Is it connected to the internet?” Abony asks.

“Shhhh!” Wendy says as she looks around to see if anyone is listening. As if. “I call them spec eyes just in case you wanted to know. Your entire suit is one big computer. Sensors are covering every square inch of it.”

And she wants us to be quiet when she’s blabbing on and on about her suit. Seriously…

“Alright everyone,” Principal Davis says. She kind of just appeared out of nowhere. Weird. “We’ve assigned groups for the trip and you must at all times remain in your group. Each group will have a teacher assigned to it. If I hear of one misstep from anyone of you…”

“Now she is a woman I wouldn’t mind getting punished by,” Abony smirks.

“Yeah, she’s very intimidating,” I say.

“Oh don’t tell casino oyna me you don’t wish she would bend you over and give you a few spankings?” she asks.

“That’s oddly specific,” I say.

“Whatever,” she laughs.

Principal Davis’s eyes are like arrows, cutting into each and everyone one of us. I quiver in my shoes. “You will experience the worst punishment this school has ever seen. Trust me.”

Abony leans over and whispers in my ear. “I’m so fucking horny right now.”

It takes everything I have inside me to keep from laughing. I think my lip might be bleeding. I bit it so hard. “Now I’ll read off the groups. With Mr. Carcher is Gage Adkins, Abony Fields, Jordan Taylor, Mackenzie Manchester, Wendy Wang, Dan Holver, Lauren Day, Kaitlynn Cohen, Timothy Garrison, Aubrey Henderson, and Skylar Richmond.”

Her eyes dart across the room. “I would suggest you start getting in your groups when I call out your names.”

We all look at each other before Abony, Wendy and I rush to join the rest of the people scrambling to find Mr. Carcher. He’s in the far corner of the commons over by the gym in the least obvious place. So typical. He doesn’t like the spotlight. Wait a second, did I hear her right? Lauren Day in my group? No way!

Everything about her is just amazing. The way she paints her nails, the way she does her hair, how she jews on her pencil when she’s trying to figure out a difficult problem. She’s just so…

“With Ms. Whitney will be Emily Sanders, Ken Jackson, Morgan Butler, Stanley Read, Ana Garrido, Hazel Paige, Julia Stokes, and Jessica Harper,” Principal Davis continues as the other students scramble to find Ms. Whitney.

“With me will be Marcelo Weeks,” She says as a slight smirk forms on her face. That’s weird. “Adam Dean, Anthony Duncan, Shyrese Hopkins, Bianca Gálvez, Chris Roberson, Joseph Palmer, Casey Ardunk, Augustus Boyer, Riley Owen, Violet Cummings.”

A bunch of people, mostly Ken Jackson and his friends, burst into laughter. Principal Davis gives them a sharp look with eyes like knives. Violet is really hot, is she the new student? “And Penny Clark. I expect you all to be on your best behavior. With that being said, everyone gets on the bus.”

We all hustle to the bus, pushing and shoving as we fight for a seat. “Stick with your groups. No need to push and shove! Ken, that means you,” Principal Davis says.

Abony and I get lucky and grab the same seat near the back of the bus.

“Man, it sucks we’re stuck with our group the whole entire time,” Abony says.

Oh my god, Lauren Day just sat behind me. Best bus ride ever! Too bad I couldn’t be sitting next to her instead of Kaitlynn Cohen. God, what I would do to trade places with Cohen.

“Hey, earth Gage. You there?” Abony says.

“Yeah, yeah, of course,” I spit out. “What were you saying?”

“Do you think they’ll make us stick with our group?” she asks.

“I don’t know, that’s a lot of people to keep track of. I can imagine we’ll probably do like a group tour and then have free time. Or something like that.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” she says.

“Hey, did you finish that song you were working on?” I ask.

“Sorta, it’s there, but I feel like it’s missing something,” she says.

“Hey, I couldn’t help overhear,” Lauren Day says. “Are you a singer?”

“More like a rapper,” Abony says.

“Really? My dad’s a producer. You should let me check out your music,” she says.

“Wait, is your dad Carson Day?” Abony asks.

“Yeah, that’s him,” Lauren says. “You’ve heard of him?”

“No fucking way! Of course, I’ve heard of him. Who hasn’t heard of him? He’s produced Emerson and The Blades! That’s so dope,” Abony says.

Lauren just laughs. “Well, let me hear your tracks, maybe we can work something out.”

“Yeah, for sure! I mean, you can hear my current track, it’s not done yet though, so don’t judge too hard. It’s missing something,” Abony says. She hands her big headphones over to Lauren and she puts them on.

“I can’t believe you’re letting her listen to your music before me!” I say.

“Oh just chill, besides her dad is fucking Carson Day!!” she says as Lauren seems to be enjoying it. She’s rocking her head to the beat.

“Wow, this is sick!” She practically yells. When she finally takes off the headphones, she totally looks excited. “Wow, Abony, I never knew you were so ill with the lyrics. You have some serious game. We definitely need to work together. I’m actually trying to produce my own music and I would love to partner with you.”

“Really? You’re not joking, are you? Don’t be playing with me,” Abony says.

“I’m dead serious. You’ve got talent,” she says.

“Oh my god, this is awesome! Yeah, let’s do this!” she says. I can’t help but feel a little jealous. And I know that’s wrong, I shouldn’t be jealous. Abony works really hard and spends a lot of time writing lyrics and recording. She definitely deserves it, but god how I wish I could be the one working with Lauren…

We finally arrive at the Museum. “Okay, everyone. Get with your groups as soon as we get off the bus. There you will be divided into smaller groups of 3 or so,” Principal Davis says. “We will be doing a type of buddy system. So stick with your groups. If I hear one bad thing about any of you, so help me god, your punishment will be beyond your imagination.”

“That really silenced everyone,” Abony says under her breath.

“I know, right? Nothing like a threat from Principal Davis to scare the shit out of you,” I laugh.

“Oh my god, do you hear yourself? You just said shit. What has gotten into you?” Abony laughs.

“What? I’m just being cool, aren’t I?” I ask.

“Is this because you know who is sitting behind us?” She says in a whisper as she elbows me.

“Yea… I mean. No!” I say.

“Suure,” she laughs as we get off the bus.

“Team Carcher, with me! We’re going to have a little team meeting,” Carcher says as we get off the bus. We follow him over to the sidewalk. The place is huge. I’ve never seen anything like it. The entire museum is surrounded by a moat and you have to walk this marble bridge just to get across.

The building itself looks like several giant glass cubes stacked up on top of each other. Looks more like an art piece than a building. As the entire group gather’s up, Lauren and Kaitlynn walk up next to us.

“Everybody here?” Carcher asks as he pushes up his giant glasses that make him look like he just walked out of a Microsoft meeting back in the 90s. “As the principal said, we’re going to divide into mini-groups. She even took the time to organize your groups for you, so when you get time, give her a big thank you. Just don’t get into trouble here and you might find yourself on her good side. Trust me, you want to be on her good side.”

Carcher lets out a chuckle at his own words as if he just told an inside joke, but he’s the only one in on it and he’s the only one laughing. After he realizes that, he straightens up. “So, the groups will be this. Gage Adkins, Abony Fields, and Wendy Wang are going to be Team A. I got to pick the group names by the way. Jordan Taylor, Makenzie Manchester, and Aubrey Henderson are on team 1.”

“Shouldn’t it be team B?” Wendy asks.

“Well, I was just thinking I didn’t want to make anyone feel lesser. Everyone deserves to feel like they’re on team A,” Carcher says, giving a cheesy smile with a thumbs up.

“That just seems illogical. It is not a competition, so why would it matter what team you’re on?” Wendy says.

“I agree, people need to grow a pair of balls,” Tim says, trying to act tough as he scootches up to Kaitlynn Cohen. “Right, Kaitlynn? Please tell me we’re in the same group.”

He gives her a smile that is both creepy, pathetic, and weirdly humorous. She shutters and shuffles away and acts like she’s throwing up. “Not even in your wildest dreams, ratboy.”

“Let’s not hurl insults at each other, come on guys. Let’s all be civil,” Carcher remarks. “T. E. W R. guys. T. E. W. R. Treat everybody with respect.”

Kaitlyn migrates further away from Tim. “Just stop being a perv.”

“What? I was just talking about balls. It’s not like I was talking about my balls. Or you touching my balls. But if you really want to, I’m not going to stop you or anything,” he goes on with an impish grin.

“That’s gross, just go away,” she says.

“Next is Jordan Taylor, Mackenzie Manchester, and Aubrey Henderson will be in Team Alpha,” Carcher says. “Skylar Richmond, Dan Holver, and Austin Schwarts will be in Team numeral uno.”

“And on Team… Um… Team Awesome?” Carcher says making everyone cringe. “You know what? You guys can come up with your own team names, that’s a much better idea. Anyways, Lauren Day, Kaitlynn Cohen will be with Timothy Garrison.”

Kaitlynn lets out a sob. “Seriously? You’re going to put me with ratboy? Worst day ever! Can I switch groups? I want to be in Team Alpha with Jordan Taylor. Our starting quarterback needs me.”

“I do not need you. I don’t need anyone,” Jordan says.

“Really?” Makenzie asks.

“Well…” Jordan’s cheeks go red.

Makenzie looks up at Jordan, then her eyes widen with a gleam as she nods. What was that about?

“Kaitlynn, you’re just going to ditch me like that?!” Lauren groans. Tim scoots closer next to Lauren with those hopeful eyes. Seriously? She backs up and bumps into me.

Her eyes light up with relief as she looks at me and then back up to Carcher. “Can I please be in Gage’s group?”

“No one’s switching groups. This list was made up by Principal Davis. Do you seriously want to be on her bad list? Besides, it’s not like you can’t be with another group. Your group can pair up with other groups if you really want to. I don’t see anything wrong with that. You just have to make sure everyone in your group is accounted for,” Carcher says.

“Then come on Lauren, let’s go with Team Alpha,” Kaitlynn says.

“Not after you just tried to ditch me,” she says with a little sarcasm. You can tell they’re not really mad at each other. “Besides, I really want to hear Gage’s opinion on some of the exhibits. It’d be nice to talk to someone who actually appreciates the museum.”

Does she really mean that? Am I dead? Is this heaven?

“Come on everyone, we should get going,” Mr. Carcher says. We all follow him inside. As we enter the museum, everyone awes at its wonder. The entire place is like a maze of architecture. Each hall leads to a different type of architecture depending on the genre of the exhibit. As we approach the desk, Mr. Carcher gets us checked in.

A tall blonde woman walks up to us with Mr. Carcher. She’s in a business suit and has her hair done up. “Hello everyone, I will be your tour guide today. My name is Melenia Belinger. Now, we will start in the history exhibit and then move through the technology exhibit, and lastly arrive at the space exhibit. Any questions?”

“Alrighty then, follow me and we will begin,” she says. We follow Ms. Belinger down the left hallway and arrive at a large door. “Here’s where the history exhibit will begin. I will ask that you all take one of the headsets. The tour will be a virtual one.”

We all receive a VR headset. Once we put them on, we can still see everything including each other. But as soon as we step through the door, we walk into a desert. It even feels like a desert. It’s hot and it’s like the moisture was stripped out of my mouth.

“Welcome to Ancient Egypt,” Ms. Belinger says as we travel through what feels like real sand. “Here we have the ancient city of Memphis. Even though the Egyptians were not the first ones to practice mathematics, they did create an instruction manual for students in arithmetic and geometry called the Rhind papyrus.”

“Want to hear a math joke?” Mr. Carcher asks. “An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first orders a beer, the second orders half a beer, the third orders a quarter of a beer, and so on. … After the seventh order, the bartender pours two beers and says, You fellas ought to know your limits.”

“Lame… Math jokes never work on me,” Kaitlynn sighs.

“Would you say you have trouble differentiating them?” I ask. Lauren snickers while Wendy facepalms. “Or is it because they’re not an integral part of your life?”

Lauren chuckles even harder, while Wendy lets out a long sigh.

“What are you talking about?” Kaitlynn asks. “I just don’t find them very funny.”

“Sometimes they just don’t add up, huh?” I ask.

“Yes! Exactly,” she says. “They just don’t make sense.”

This time even Wendy lets out a giggle while Lauren is cracking up. “Well maybe you didn’t have the right change,” Lauren snorts out.

“Math is the only subject that counts,” I laugh. Lauren and Wendy snicker.

“Nerds…” Abony sighs.

“I thought it was pretty funny,” Mackenzie says.

“I still don’t get what’s so funny,” Kaitlynn sighs.

“He’s referring to differential calculus and using integrals. It’s basic mathematics,” Jordan says without a drop of emotion. “Only a primitive and inferior mind would not comprehend such simplicity.”

“For being a jock, you’re kind of…”

“Apathetic?” Lauren asks.

“More like robotic,” Abony says.

“Definitely not stereotypical,” I say. We get no response from Jordan.

“Continuing on,” Ms. Belinger says. “We can explore the streets of Memphis, you’ll notice slavery was quite prevalent. Along with mercantilism. Memphis was believed to be under the protection of the god Ptah, the patron of craftsmen. As we arrive at Saqqara, you’ll see the oldest complete stone building complex that was built: Djoser’s step pyramid.”

“The Egyptians were infamously known for their practice of slavery. Most have heard of the biblical tale of Moses and how he took the Hebrews out of Egypt, but not many know of the tale of the twins of Saqqara. They were both slaves. Fraternal twins. Brother and sister. Their individual names were never written down, but we have obtained ancient texts that describe the tale of how these twins overthrew the Pharaoh of Egypt at the time and ending slavery. Of course, it didn’t last all that long before a new Pharaoh took back the scepter.”

We all look up at the giant Pyramid in awe. Tim walks up to touch it. “Hey, we should touch stuff,” Mr. Carcher says.

“It is quite alright. Everything in the AR exhibits are meant to be interactive,” Ms. Belinger says.

“Holy crap, it’s completely made out of stone!” Tim says.

We all walk up and touch it. “It feels so real,” Lauren says.

“That’s because she said it was AR, not VR. This is all Augmented, isn’t it?” I ask.

“Good observation. Some of it is real and some of it is virtual,” Ms. Belinger says. “Shall we continue?”

Everyone nods. We walk over to one of the huts and as she opens the door, we walk out into what would appear to be ancient Greece.

“Man, this whole thing is trippy as hell,” Aubrey says.

“We don’t need a mathematician to know why you’re tripped out,” Kaitlynn snickers.

“And why is that, Kaitlynn?” Aubrey spits out. She glares at her. Aubrey’s a bit eccentric, but I don’t think she’s a bad person by any means. She just has the whole me against the world vibe going. Her purple hair is probably a dead giveaway. But I think it looks good on her. I know she’s been through a lot with her dad leaving and all. I guess that’s why she smokes pot.

“Let’s just calm down everyone,” Lauren says.

“Shall we begin the tour of Athens?” Ms. Belinger says.

“That would be splendid,” Mr. Carcher says with a nervous hitch.

“Welcome to Athens, home of some of the greatest minds of the time. Playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides flourished in Athens during this time, as did the historians Herodotus and Thucydides, the physician Hippocrates, and the philosopher Socrates. This is a place where scholars thrived.”

It literally feels like we’re walking down the street of ancient Greece. The streets are made out of stones. The buildings are made with stone and have the giant pillars that look like the capitol buildings back home. People wear robes with sandals, strapped to their feet. Merchants throughout, trading their wares.

“Athens is where you will find the masters of the craft. Artisan blacksmiths, sculptures, and stoneworkers. We’ve collected quite a fine library of ancient Greek texts that give details on ancient greek society. Any questions so far?”

“Didn’t they sculpt a lot of nude statues?” Tim asks.

“Stop being a perv,” Kaitlynn says.

“What? I was just curious,” Tim says.

“When can we get to the tech exhibit?” Austin asks.

“That will be next and then we will finish at the space exhibit. Then I believe you will have some time to browse in your groups.”

“Best for last, right?” Lauren asks me.

“I know, I can’t wait!” I say full of excitement.

As we stroll down the roads of Athens, Ms. Bellinger recounts all the tales of how the city developed and it’s struggles with war against Sparta. After she finishes her lecture, we end the history exhibit as we stroll through the temple doors into the Museum room. We give them back the headsets before continuing on.

“That was really cool. I definitely didn’t expect that. It felt so real,” Lauren says.

“I know, right? It was like we literally took a time machine and went to ancient Greece,” Abony says.

“The way technology is advancing, I wouldn’t be surprised if we can one day do that,” Tim says. “Seriously, I bet you they’re already cloning people. I would definitely make a clone of you, Kaitlynn…”

He gets a wicked smile on his face. “That’s just gross. Besides, my clone wouldn’t even spend a second with you.”

“Right this way and we will enter the Technology exhibit,” Ms. Bellinger says ignoring the continued banter of the students. “Here you will see some of the most technological canlı casino advances of the 21st century. We’ve not only developed AI technology, but we have created some of the most advanced synthetic robots yet seen in the history of the world.”

We walk through the doors into the vast open room full of different stuff. There are robots walking around in all different variations. Some of them look human. Robots aren’t the only technology displayed. They have anti-gravity chambers, hoverboards, even flying cars. There’s even a man displaying what looks like a lightsaber. “All of this technology is brought to you by the innovators at Prometheus Corporation founded by John Farrell. The engineers and scientists there work tirelessly to push the envelope on what was once considered science fiction.”

As we stroll through the exhibit, Ms. Belinger explains how Prometheus Technology works next to Gennecho University in Detroit as an open campus where students can learn alongside the experts. Both students and tech experts work side by side to create innovations that have changed the world. The technology produced by Prometheus Corporation along with the students at Gennecho have already changed the medical field. The advances in technology in the medical industry caused by the innovations of the techs at Prometheus have not only helped develop cures for various diseases, but they have also developed the technology to manufacture and distribute these cures so that everyone has access to them.

“We are changing the world, one innovation at a time,” she finishes. “Any questions?”

“Where can I apply?” Austin asks. “I want to work at Prometheus Corporation.”

“Well, first you’ll need to graduate, and then you will want to enroll in Gennecho University,” Ms. Belinger says. “After that, all that is required is a good attitude, a hard work ethic, and a willingness to learn.”

“Moving on, we will now check out the space exhibit,” she says. Lauren elbows me with a vibrant smile as we follow Ms. Belinger into the next exhibit.

As soon as we enter the space exhibit, it’s like walking into a space station. It’s got windows, looking out at them you can see outer space and the earth.

“Oh man, this is trippy,” Aubrey says.

It almost feels as if we’re moving. Like on a rotation. “This is all surreal,” I say.

“Right?” Lauren asks.

“Man, how much did this all cost to make?” Abony asks.

“Approximately 2.3 billion dollars,” Ms. Belinger says.

Everyone’s jaw dropped after hearing that. “Mr. Farrell was able to finance it with just a small fraction of Prometheus Corporation’s profits.”

“Say what?” Abony asks.

“He uses a method he calls trickle-down philanthropy,” she says. “The profits of the subsidiaries of Prometheus Corporation get invested back into the economy. A little less than half of the money earned from the interest and dividends from those investments get used for philanthropic purposes such as this museum,” she says.

“And what happens to the other half of the dividends and interest?” Lauren asks.

“It gets reinvested back into the economy, earning compound interest. Mr. Farrell has successfully created a fountain of wealth he is using to solve the world’s problems and help alleviate people from suffering,” she says.

“Now, let us get back to the exhibit. On the left, you’ll see one of the star findings discovered by an exploration into the asteroid belt. A crystal teeming with blue energy,” Ms. Belinger says.

“Oh my god, this is exactly what I was talking about earlier. The crystal,” I squeak out, overflowing with excitement as I stare at the glowing blue crystal. It hums vibrantly with energy. Am I crazy or does it feel like it’s saying something?

“Moving on,” Ms. Belinger says. I linger for just a little bit longer before following them onto the next exhibit. My mind is still stuck on the crystal as she continues the tour. Eventually, the tour comes to an end and we’re given the freedom to explore with our groups. I don’t even hesitate and rush back to the crystal. I felt like it was calling to me or something.

I’m the only one in the exhibit at the moment as I walk up to the vibrant blue shard that hums with energy. The more I listen, the more I believe it is saying something.

What is it saying? “Only the worthy can wield the power of the cosmos.” Suddenly the crystal erupts, completely blinding me.

I wake up as Wendy and Abony are looking down at me. “Wh… What happened?” I ask.

“Dude, I don’t even know how to explain it. The crystal just blew up. We were trying to catch up with you. You were right next to the crystal and it suddenly exploded. All that blue energy like… It just… It went inside you.”

“I don’t know how it’s possible, but I think you absorbed all the energy in the crystal,” Wendy says.

“Come, we should probably put some distance between us and that crystal before people start asking questions,” Abony says.

“Yeah, you’re definitely right,” Wendy says.

Abony pulls me to my feet and as she and Wendy drag me out of the exhibit. I take one look back to the crystal. The light has left it.

“Hey there you guys are,” Lauren says as we rush out of the space exhibit.

“Hey, we were just… What’s up?” Abony asks.

“I was just searching for you all,” she says.

“Aren’t we supposed to be with our groups?” Wendy asks.

“Yeah, I know, but me and Kaitlynn couldn’t agree on that… She ended up with Jordan’s group and I came here,” she says.

“Oh. Well, we were just leaving into the next exhibit,” Abony says. “Nothing to see in the space exhibit. It’s pretty boring there, right, Gage?” Abony shoves her elbow in my ribs.

“Right…” I rub my ribs.

“I thought that crystal was the main thing you wanted to see here,” Lauren says.

“He saw and it wasn’t as cool as he thought it was,” Abony says. “Anyways, you mentioned something about maybe working with me on my music, I definitely like the sound of that.”

“Yeah, we can go to my dad’s studio and they have all the equipment there to use,” Lauren says.

“That sounds great,” Abony says as we start walking out into the commons. Everything just seems so much more vibrant. The colors just seem to pop. Even Abony and the way she seems to glow so much brighter than everyone else. It’s so strange. Lauren also hums a bit brighter than everyone else.

As our time at the museum comes to an end and we all head back to the bus. Abony and I get our same seat. As people trickle on I can’t help but notice the difference in how bright they are. Most people seem to be dimly lit. But then there are people like Abony who seem to burn brighter. The new girls Bianca, Ana, Julia, and Shyrece step on the bus and they’re just as bright as Abony. Their shade of color is the same. Tim is also the same as theirs.

Wendy isn’t so bright and neither is Kaitlynn. But Stan’s is. His is also the same color. So is Aubrey, Austin, Emily, and Adam. Why are they so much brighter than Wendy and Kaitlynn.

Oh wow. Jordan’s is even brighter yet. It’s also a different shade then everyone’s. Everyone that seems to glow a bit brighter than most seem to have a pure white glow with a sort of red outline. Jordan’s glow is dark and purple.

Woah… The new girl, Violet? Her light is brighter than all the rest. It’s almost blinding.

“Yo, Gage,” I look over at Abony. “Lauren was asking you a question.

“Huh?” I look back at Lauren.

“So? What did you think?” she asks.

“About what?” I ask.

“The museum silly,” she says.

“Oh, it… it was cool,” I say.

“Don’t get too excited,” she says rather sarcastically.

“Sorry, I…”

Abony elbows me. “He always gets like that when he’s deep in thought. So, what did you think of the museum?”

“I thought it was amazing. I don’t think I have ever seen anything like that,” she says.

“Yeah, that virtual shit was trippy,” Abony says.

“I thought it was brilliant,” Wendy butts in. “The way they augmented it with what they built inside the museum was such a good idea. It made it seem so real.”

“So Gage, what did you think of the space crystal?” Lauren asks.

“The cosmic crystal?” I ask for whatever reason the name just popped inside my head.

“The what?” she asks, raising an eyebrow.

“That’s what he’s been calling it,” Abony says as she elbows me again.

“The crystal itself isn’t anything special. It’s what was inside it. It seems it was only a vessel,” I say.

“You could tell that all by just looking at it?” Lauren asks.

“Gage, you’ve been reading too many comic books,” Abony laughs as she gives me another elbow before whispering in my ear. “You better chill on the whole crystal thing or people are going to start asking questions. Trust me, they’re not the kind of questions you want to answer.”

“So, are we on for later?” Lauren asks.

“Gage, don’t you remember, you have that important thing with Wendy and me later. Remember?” Abony asks.

“What are you talking about?” I ask.

“The project the crystal and the energy,” Abony mumbles.

“Oh… I guess?” Is she referring to what just happened in the museum, because I don’t want to miss out working with Lauren for something that can wait until later?

“Oh… That’s cool, we can meet up tomorrow. Let’s just chat at lunch, how does that sound?” Lauren asks.

“Yeah, sure,” I say rather disappointingly.

As we pull up to the school, we’re dismissed for the rest of the day. Abony pulls me along as we follow Wendy out to her car.

“We have definitely got to chat about what the fuck just happened today,” Abony says as we get into Wendy’s car. “You… You just got hit with some massive energy from that crystal thingy.”

We arrive at Wendy’s giant Florida mansion. As soon as we get inside Wendy’s room, Abony explodes. “Dude, what the fuck happened? Do you feel okay? Is there anything weird happening? What is going on!”

“I’m fine,” I say. “Although, people are glowing, that is definitely not something that happened before. You’re glowing. Like literally glowing. So were several of our classmates, but not everyone. This is just a theory, but I think I can see people with special abilities.”

“Really?” Wendy asks. “That’s definitely possible.”

“Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but you don’t have any powers and you’re also not glowing. Abony does have powers and she is giving off a sort of white light with a red outline. It’s the strangest thing I have ever seen.”

“We’re going to have to run some tests to see what else you can do,” Wendy says.

“I agree,” I say.

“Nerds…” Abony sighs before she looks over at me. “So are you going to tell me what the hell happened? Did you see how the thing blew up?”

“I did. I was right in front of it when it happened, Abony,” I laugh.

She punches my shoulder. “That’s not what I meant. Did you see anything strange before it went off?”

I think back to when it happened, the words it spoke. “Only the worthy can wield the power of the cosmos.”

“What?” Abony asks.

“It spoke that before it erupted,” I say.

“What? It spoke to you?” Abony asks.

“Yeah,” I say. “Only the worthy can wield the power of the cosmos.”

“You said on the bus that it was a vessel. You called it the Cosmic Crystal. What’s it a vessel for?” she asks.

It’s as if the words just come to me. “The power of the cosmos.”

“If you’re wielding the power of the cosmos then we shouldn’t test it in your house,” Abony laughs.

“True, who knows what kind of damage the power of the cosmos could deal,” Wendy says. “Come on, let’s go to my car, I know some land that we can use.”

We follow Wendy through her giant house and out the door to her car. Once we’re in, it doesn’t take long before we’re out in the middle of nowhere. We’re in a part of the woods that looks destroyed by a hurricane. “What happened here?” I ask.

“The researchers my dad hired are still trying to figure it out. It almost looks like a tornado touched down but the weather didn’t show the signs of a tornado. No one can seem to figure it out,” Wendy says.

“Your dad hired researchers? Does he like… own all this land?” I ask.

“Yep,” Wendy says.

“Holy shit, your dad must be rich,” I say.

“He’s a real estate investor,” Wendy says as we pile out of her car. “Okay, so lucky for you most of this land was already destroyed so you have free rein to test your powers.”

“So… what do I do exactly?” I ask.

“Just focus,” Abony says.

“That doesn’t help. Focus, what am I supposed to focus on?” I ask.

“You’re right. I learned how my powers work on the go. Mostly by being in danger,” Abony says as she picks up a stick and then wacks me with it.

“Ouch! What was that for?” I ask.

“I don’t know, I thought you’d have some kind of instinctual reaction or something. Just trying to help,” Abony says.

“You should help a little less,” I say.

She hits me again with the stick. “Stop hitting me!”

“Let’s just take a step back,” Wendy says. “You mentioned the power of the cosmos. We already know you can see light within people. So maybe there is a light within you. Try to focus on the light within yourself.”

“And how do I do that?” I ask.

“I don’t know, maybe try meditating,” Wendy says.

I close my eyes and breathe in. I then breathe out. And then I breathe in. “I’m not feeling anything different.”

“Maybe it’s triggered by emotion?” Abony asks. She hits me with the stick again

“Ouww! Stop hitting me!” I shout at her.

“Are you feeling any different?” she asks.

“No, now I just have more bruises,” I say.

“Maybe you have to visualize it,” Wendy says.

“Maybe visualize energy coming out of your hand, like Titan,” Wendy says.

I stick out my hand and aim off in the distance. I close my eyes and try to visualize a beam of energy coming out of them. I take in a deep breath and focus. I can feel an intense heat within me. It’s like my blood is turning into fire. The heat is moving to my hand. All of a sudden it explodes out from my palm. I open my eyes to see a tunnel burnt through the debris of trees. “Did… Did I do that?”

“Dude, that… that was fucking insane!” Abony gasps. “You seriously didn’t see that? You literally just shot out a fucking laser cannon from your hand.”

“That was impressive. Now let’s run some more tests. We still need to find the limit to your abilities and how they can be applied,” Wendy says.

“Do you think you can fly?” Abony asks.

“I don’t know,” I sigh,

“Well, time to figure it out,” Abony says. “Jump or something.”

“You have to visualize it,” Wendy adds.

I close my eyes and try to focus on shooting up into the air. I take in a deep breath and let it out. Once again I can feel that energy heat my body up, but this time it flows down to my feet. Suddenly, I’m lifted up into the air. I open my eyes only to find myself falling.

“Oh shit!” I yell as I slam into the ground. The air gets knocked out of my lungs.

Abony breaks out laughing. “Well, at least we know you can potentially fly, but that’s going to take some practice.”

“Uuuhhhh… That hurt,” I sigh as I roll onto my side.

“If it wasn’t obvious, you’re not impervious to pain,” Wendy adds.

“Probably not bulletproof either,” Abony laughs.

“Maybe. What if you can use the energy as a shield?” Wendy asks.

“Worth a shot,” Abony says as I pick myself up off the ground.

“Just visualize the energy encompassing your entire body,” Wendy says.

I close my eyes and visualize the energy being like body armor. I take a deep breath and let it all out. Like before, the energy sets my body on fire. This time it spreads out through my entire body. I feel so hot. It’s like I’m standing in the middle of a burning house.

“Holy shit,” Abony says. I open my eyes and look down to see my body completely encompassed by a bright blinding white light with a blue aura. Abony walks up and slowly reaches out with the stick. As soon as it touches the white light, it burns and disintegrates. “Damn! That’s insane.”

“So you could be bulletproof. We should try to see how effective this shield is to a bullet,” Wendy says.

“Or not,” I argue.

“You need to test these limits before you go into the field. You don’t want to learn the hard way,” Wendy says. “We can start out small with a pellet gun and work our way up.”

I let go of the energy as it gets absorbed back into my body. “Let’s do that tomorrow. I think I’ve had enough for today.”

“Fair enough,” Wendy says.

Wendy drops me off at home just before Amelia gets off work. She gets home and takes off her belt with her gun and puts it in the safe. “Long day at work?” I ask.

“Yes, you could definitely say that,” she sighs. “I’m going to go get changed. Will you heat up the leftovers for dinner?”

“Yeah, sure,” I say as she heads over to her room.

I walk into the kitchen and pull out the casserole she made for dinner yesterday and heat it up in the oven for a few minutes. Amelia comes down in her pajamas and wraps her arms around me.

“God I am really glad I have you in my life to come home to. You have no idea how crazy today has been. The whole superhero thing is driving me insane. First, these women, Karma and Fate show up and stir the civilians crazy with excitement. Now you have heroes popping up all over the place. Just this morning I had to go over to Abony’s dad’s corner store because this new hero they’re calling the Gecko stopped a robbery. And of course, there’s this Rift guy who’s saving people.”

“Wouldn’t it make your life easier with superheroes taking the load off?” I ask.

“That’s a common misconception. They actually create more chaos. They take the law into their own hands and some of them do not even follow kaçak casino the law. They’re just straight-up vigilantes killing without mercy. I’m just thankful we don’t have that Ghost in our city. God only knows the havoc that monster is creating,” she says as she unwraps herself from me and checks up on the casserole.

“But don’t you think the Gecko is helping? I mean she did stop an armed and dangerous robber. I saw it with my own eyes,” I say.

“I know, I saw the security footage, I’m not thrilled at all that you were involved,” she says. “And it just makes things more complicated with superheroes. Who knows what their agenda is.”

“What if they just want to do good?” I ask.

“Then why do they hide behind a mask?” she asks. “The police who are the real heroes don’t need to hide behind a mask.”

“It’s to protect their identities and their friends and family,” I argue.

She sighs. “You and I are never going to agree on this. Let’s just leave it at that.”

“Fine,” I say. Amelia dishes out the casserole between the two of us. For the most part, we ate dinner in silence.

“How was the field trip?” Amelie asks.

“It was… good,” I say.

“Yeah? I thought you couldn’t wait to see the space exhibit,” she says.

“It was as I expected, pretty intriguing. The crystal they found was unlike anything I have ever seen,” I say.

“That’s great, maybe sometimes we can go together and you can give me the tour,” she says.

“I’d love that,” I say.

“So, after we finish eating, do you want to catch up on that Aratheon tv series? We’re still 2 episodes behind,” she says.

“Sure, that sounds great,” I say.

We both finish eating and I help Amelia clean up before we get comfortable in the living room. She turns on the show as she after she grabs a blanket. She snuggles up to me, resting her head on my shoulder as she clings onto my arm. When I look down at her, I see a girl who only just wants to be comforted and held.

It’s weird because she’s always the foundation I stand upon. She’s the one who puts forward the strong front and is the person I lean on for emotional support. Amelia has always been the one in charge. The one who works harder than everyone else. The woman who takes the lead and always does the right thing.

But right now, she looks so vulnerable. So childlike. As she sits cuddled up to me, she looks up into my eyes, I can see a girl who desperately wants to be loved. “What?” she asks.

“Nothing, I just… nevermind,” I say.

“Is everything okay?” she asks.

“Yeah, things couldn’t be better,” I say, placing my hand on top of hers.

She leans up and kisses my cheek. “I love you, Gage. You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

“Aww, thanks. I love you too, Amelia,” I say.

We stay there all cuddled up as we finish watching the episode. “It’s late, you should get some sleep,” she says.

“Okay, good night, Amelia. I’ll see you in the morning,” I say, kissing her cheek before I get up and head to bed.

The Next Day

Instead of our normal walk to class, Abony and I hitched a ride with Wendy. “So, I stayed up late last night working on several different ideas I had for your costume,” Wendy says. “I can’t wait for you to check them out.”

I can only imagine what kind of costume she came up with, although she didn’t do all that bad with Abony’s costume. The Gecko actually looks kind of cool. But… I did come up with the tongue rope, a synthetic material that sticks to anything and looks like a lizard tongue.

“Can’t wait,” I say.

“So?” Abony asks as she looks back at me from the front seat. “Have you discovered any new abilities yet?”

“No, nothing new so far,” I say.

“Well after school we can go back to my father’s property and run some more tests, then you can check out the costumes I made for you,” Wendy says.

“Sounds like a plan,” I say.

After we park and make our way into class, Abony and I head to our lockers while Wendy heads to hers. As I reach my locker, I run into Lauren in the hallway. Her perfect silky black hair seems to flow as if there was a breeze. And those eyes… They sparkle in such a way it makes my knees weak. Don’t get me started on her naturally bronze skin. “Hey! We’re still on for lunch, right? I have a lot I want to go over with you,” she says.

“Yeah, definitely,” I say.

“Good, I can’t wait. I’ll talk to you in our homeroom,” she says.

Abony slugs me in the arm. “Damn boy, I’d never thought I’d say this, but your crush is crushin’ on you. If you don’t get with her, I definitely will.”

“It’s not like that. She doesn’t like me… Does she?” I ask.

“Dude, she’s all over you,” Abony says.

“Really?” I can’t help but think what if she does like me? Should I ask her to homecoming? Or like… Should I ask her on a date? Maybe to be my girlfriend? Thinking about all this made my brain overheat like a processor chip constantly being overclocked without a fan.

“Yo, Gage, you there? Earth to Gage?” Abony says.

“What? Should I ask her out?” I blurt out.

“Woah… Uh… Maybe?” Abony cringes as we head to her locker. “Maybe you should play it cool?”

“How do you play it cool?” I ask while I run my hand through my hair, while we head over to my locker.

“Just don’t overthink things like you always do,” Abony says. “Well, I got to get to class. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Yeah, for sure,” I say as Abony rushes off.

I see Ken and his friends Westin and Joe walk by. Westin tosses a piece of trash at the garbage as Janitor Clay goes to change it out and totally misses. He doesn’t even bother to pick it up. He just continues walking by. What an asshole. I walk over and grab it as Janitor Clay doesn’t seem bothered. “Sorry about them,” I say as I put the trash in the garbage.

“It’s okay, boys will be boys, sometimes kids just don’t understand how they affect other people. How could they? You don’t realize these things when you’re young because you can’t see the consequences of your actions just yet. You have to live a little before you see the ripples of time.”

“Wow… I… I never thought about that,” I say.

“Well, hopefully, you take more time to consider it. Just take time to think about the choices you make and how they affect others. You never know the power you have to influence other people. You should get going. Don’t want to be late for class,” he says.

“Yeah, uh… Thanks,” I say.

“I’m the one who should be thanking you. Just wish more students were like you who take the time to help others,” he says as he finishes up before walking away.

“That was awfully kind of you,” Lauren says as she walks up.

“You… You saw that?” I ask.

“Yeah, Ken and his friends can be real jerks sometimes,” she says.

“Why do you hang out with them?” I ask.

“Because Jessica and Kaitlynn have been my friends long before I switched to this school. We all went to the same summer camp. They stood up for me when I was such an awkward klutz. And I was kind of bullied by some of the other kids at summer camp. But when Jessica showed up, she stood up for me.”

“Wow… I didn’t know.”

“Come on, we’re going to be late for class,” she says grabbing my arm and dragging me to our home class. We sit next to each other.

After Ms. Whitney takes attendance, Lauren scoots her desk up to mine. “Let’s get started on our project for Mr. Carcher’s class.”

“So what do you think we should do for our business project?” Lauren asks.

“Well, I was always thinking about starting a blog, but they’re kind of a dime a dozen,” I say.

She laughs. “What would your blog be about?”

“Well… It’s kind of nerdy.”

“Come on, you have to share it now,” Lauren says as she leans closer.

“Okay… I wanted to make a blog that tests out complex theories in a creative way. Like Einstein’s theory of relativity,” I say.

“That would be so cool! You should totally do that,” Lauren says.

“Really?” I ask.

“Yeah, I would be the first to subscribe,” she says. “Unless I can be your co-host.”

“You’d want to be my co-host?” I ask.

“Absolutely,” she says.

“Well, want to hear my other business idea? I got it after the museum,” I say.

“Yeah, let’s hear it,” she says.

“Producing music. You would be the best at it,” I say.

Her face simmers like coals after a long raging fire. “You really think so?”

“Well, you definitely have good taste in music. I know that for sure. And you could have Abony as your first artist,” I say.

“Aww, thanks. And honestly, Abony’s got some real talent. I would love to get her in my dad’s studio,” she says.

“How about this. I’ll start my blog if you start producing music, deal?” I ask.

“I can do that. Only as long as I can be your co-host,” she says. “And don’t think you’re not going to help me produce music. I’ll need a tech and you’re smart enough to learn it.”

“Deal!” I say.

As class comes to an end, Lauren and I walk out discussing our plans before we have to part ways.

As class goes by, lunch finally arrives. Abony meets up with me as we sit at our normal table. “You won’t believe how well the first period went. Lauren and I are partners for that business class where we have to build a business. She’s going to be my co-host for my blog and I guess I’m going to be her tech to help her produce music.”

“Nice! Dude, she’s all over you,” Abony says.

“So, what about you? I know you had a thing for Wendy. Have you finally moved on?” I ask.

“I don’t know. It’s just hard in high school. Especially when there aren’t that many open lesbians. I just wish there was an easy way to identify who’s gay or not. You have no idea how shitty it is to ask a girl out only to find she doesn’t like a tossed salad,” Abony says just as Wendy joins us.

“I have something to show you at my place. I think you’ll like it,” Wendy says to me. “We can also do more testing after school.”

“Sounds great,” I say.

“Hey, is this seat open?” Lauren asks.

“Uh. no. Definitely not,” I say, pulling the chair out for her.

She smiles and takes a seat. “So, any ideas as to your first vlog post? You said you wanted to experiment with general relativity. What did you have in mind?”

“Well, here’s what I was thinking. When Einstein came up with a ‘special’ theory of relativity that applied a universal speed of light to the assumption that the laws of physics stay the same inside any given frame of reference. However, Einstein tried to apply accelerating masses to his special theory, he realized objects with mass must somehow influence the surrounding dimensions, space-time, in such a way that the object seems to act as if it can pull on other masses. It’s as if matter weighs down the fabric of spacetime it is sitting in, creating a ‘curve’ that causes other nearby matter to slide towards it,” I say.

“Okay, we all know Einstein’s theory. Get to the point,” Wendy says.

“Hey, this is an A and T conversation, sprint your way out,” I say.

“I have no idea what you were just saying. Was that even English?” Abony asks.

I ignore both of them and turn back to Lauren who seems to still be interested. “Anyways, I was thinking of having a wheel we could hang in mid-air that obviously spins freely. Then I was thinking of putting maybe like another wheel inside it or something similar.”

“Oh I see, you’re going to spin the wheel inside really fast and see if you can move or essentially pull the wheel surrounding it?” Lauren asks as her eyes light up.

“Yeah, exactly!” I pipe up.

“That could work,” Wendy says as she rubs her chin. “But, I can see a major problem. You haven’t accounted for the force of wind. Of course, the outside wheel will spin because it’ll be moved by the pressure of the wind force. Einstein’s theory was based on the context of outer space where it’s a complete vacuum and he’s talking about gravity, not centripetal force.”

“Dang it. She’s right,” I sigh. “I mean, it’s clear that the theory works because if we look at our galaxy, the stars are being pulled by what I can only assume is a blackhole or something at the center of our galaxy.”

“Will you guys speak English?” Abony sighs.

“I’m sure you’ll come up with something,” Lauren says. “Speaking of our project, Abony, Gage, and I were talking about becoming producers. Want to be our first artist?”

“Woah, you’re the producer, I’m just the tech, remember?” I ask.

“We’re partners, remember?” Lauren says.

“I’d love to be your first artist! When do we begin?” Abony asks.

“How about this weekend?”

“I heard there’s a huge party this weekend at Mackenzie’s house,” Abony says. “Heard she has this big mansion and what not. I heard that from one of the new girls in first period.”

“Really? Well, we should go. You might be able to do a live performance,” Lauren says.

“What! No… I’m not ready for a live performance. Are you kidding me?” Abony asks. “That’s way too soon.”

“Come on, Abony. You have to take advantage of every opportunity provided. How good are you at freestyle?” Lauren asks.

“I mean I can spit just as good as anyone. I just… I don’t know about performing in front of all those people.”

“Don’t let fear stop you from achieving your dreams. You’ve got to overcome it and rise up,” Lauren says.

“Okay. Okay. I’ll think about it,” Abony says.

“I know you can do it. Your lyrics on that last track were sick,” Lauren says.

The bell rings signaling the end of lunch.

“Just think about it,” Lauren says as she gets up to leave.

“She’s right, you know,” I say. Abony just shakes her head.

After school, Wendy, Abony, and I go over to Wendy’s house. We follow her up into her own little laboratory. There she had three statues covered up. “I was working all night on a costume for you and I came up with two different variations.”

She pulls the cover off of the first one and it looks almost identical to Abony’s Gecko costume. “No! Not going to happen,” I state.

“Aww, come on!” Abony says. “You can be my sidekick.”

“Yeah, that’s never going to happen. I’m not a sidekick,” I say.

“I figured you wouldn’t like that one, but I had to put it out,” Wendy snickers.

She then moves to the second option and pulls the cover off. Underneath is a red and charcoal grey costume with a cape. It’s rather dark, but I can roll with it. It looks kind of cool. “Sorry if it’s too red. I ran out of material and was only left with red and charcoal grey.”

“No, it’s cool. I like it,” I say. ‘What’s under the third one?”

“Nothing. That’s just a side project I’m working on,” Wendy says.

“Now, we just need a dank ass name,” Abony says.

“I was thinking something like Ultra Power!” I say.

Both Abony and Wendy crack up.

I glare at both of them. “What’s wrong with Ultra Power?”

“It’s a bit…” Wendy starts.

“Lame?” Abony interjects.

“What? No way. Okay, what do you suggest?” I ask.

“Something like Nitro maybe?” Abony says.

“Pfff…” I sigh. “Nitro? No way. I’m not a pyro.”

“Fine, whatever. Go with Ultra Power,” she says and starts mumbling under breath.

“Maybe I will,” I say.

“Ultra Power it is…” Wendy sighs. “We should run some more tests, especially with the costume.”

“Then we can finally go out on our first patrol together,” Abony says.

“Yeah? When can we do that?” I ask.

“No! We don’t have enough data, we should run some more tests until we find out the extent of what he can do first,” Wendy says.

“Of course. But at some point we’re going to have to run live tests in the field,” I say.

“After we can draw some solid conclusions. If you make a mistake in the field you could get killed,” Wendy says.

“I know the risk,” I say.

“I don’t think you do,” Wendy argues.

“Whatever, let’s get on with the tests,” I say.

We head back out to Wendy’s property and spend the rest of the time running more tests. However, we haven’t drawn any new conclusions on how my power works. Eventually, Wendy takes us home.

Back at Home

As I arrive home, I find Amelia’s already there. Which is strange. She should be on duty at this hour. After searching the house, I find her in her room in bed. “Amelia?” I ask.

I can hear her crying. Did something happen at work?

“Are you okay?” I ask.

“Can you please leave? I want to be alone right now,” she sniffles.

I head over to her. “Not until you tell me what happened,” I say.

“Nothing…” she says.

“Something happened. You’re a wreck. Please, tell me.”

“Go away!” she cries.

“No! I’m not going to leave you like this,” I say as I climb into bed with her and wrap my arms around her.

“Please, just leave me alone. I don’t want you to see me like this,” she sobs.

“You never leave me alone when I’m like this. I’m not letting you cry alone. Just talk to me. Please. Did something happen at work?”

She turns to face me. Her eyes are bloodshot as tears fall down her face. “I… I let a girl die today.”

“What?” I ask.

“He… He killed her. I… I froze and he killed her. She was just a little girl.” She buries her face in my chest and breaks down crying.

“It’s okay. It wasn’t your fault. You were just trying to do your job,” I say as I pat her back.

“It was my fault. I let that girl die. I should’ve done something when she was alive…” She falls apart in my arms. There must be something I can do to help her. “I shot him. I shot him dead.”

“It’s going to be okay,” I say, stroking her back.

“No… It’ll never be okay,” she says.

We lay there as she cries into my arms. I hold her until we both fall asleep.

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed it, please give it your honest rating. Please feel free to leave any feedback in the comment section below. Feel free to reach out to me through my profile and check out my other stories.

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