“Everybody ready to go down?” Cassie asked as she cleared the last of the breakfast dishes and dumped them in the sink.
“What is this about again?” Josh asked.
“Dr. Braxton said they’ve made some big jumps in the research recently and he wants to fill us all in,” Cassie replied.
“Great, more science stuff,” Caleb mumbled.
“You’ll survive,” Cassie told him.
Caleb wasn’t the only one dragging his feet down to the lab. Kyle didn’t look too thrilled to be going either. After what she’d heard, Cassie couldn’t blame him. Declan took up the rear with him. She’d noticed they’d been hanging out a bit over the last several days. She supposed she should be glad Kyle was sort of integrating. She was tolerating him for the moment, but she still couldn’t bring herself to start trying to trust him.
“Wonderful to see you all!” Dr. Braxton beamed as they filed in. “Take a seat anywhere.”
They perched up on the tables and stools facing the screen that Braxton had set up against the wall.
“Ah, they are here!” Dr. Baumgartner came out from the back with a plate of oatmeal cookies. Cassie had long ago stopped protesting the time of day and took a cookie with the rest of them.
“With the help of some of the research taken from Dr. Amelli’s facility we’ve been able to supplement our own extensive findings,” Braxton began. He signaled to Dr. Baumgartner and a list of bullet points appeared. “So, we know that you are all linked by your parent’s expedition to Novum. We know that you all have some sort of power that we believe is based off of what they did. For instance, Cassie’s father was a fighter pilot and she has wings. Same with Declan. Josh and Caleb, your father was a soldier and a soldier needs to be strong and fast, correct? Abby’s mother was a psychologist and her father was a statistician. You get the idea.” Braxton hauled himself back on topic. “We also know that from studying your genetic code that there are some drastically different markers embedded within your DNA. Taking a page from Dr. Amelli, we have begun to consider the possibility that they are in fact, alien.”
“What?” Caleb was the first to yell.
A double helix was spinning slowly on the screen and lines of varying sized boxes moved by underneath. Braxton held up his hand to forestall any more questions.
“Now, I’ll spare you the foundational genetics lecture, but what Freddie, Dr. Baumgartner, has concluded is that is it essentially an extra chromosome. None of you have the same chromosome. Cassie and Declan’s are similar, but there are some decent differences between them.
“So we’re part alien?” Luke said.
“Erm…sort of,” Braxton replied, taking a sip of his tea.
“We are going through the reports written by the engineers and scientists among your parents on Novum who studied the planet and life while there. It appears that the extra markers in your code are very similar to those that exist on Novum,” Dr. Baumgartner spoke up.
“This got weird,” Josh said and Cassie had to agree.
“How’d we get them?” she asked.
“Contact was made with what appeared to be a native tribe after approximately a year. They coexisted peacefully for up to a year when the natives started attacking the settlers. All of your parents were exposed to a specific compound at some point. We think this had something to do with it.” Dr. Baumgartner said. “We also think it some adverse effects on the settlers, with some becoming sick shortly after arriving on Earth,” here he shot a glance at Kyle who’s gaze fell to the floor. “Or dying in childbirth or having extraordinarily difficult pregnancies.”
“Has anyone else gone missing?” Cassie asked.
“Ah, a few. With some of this new research, it’s becoming a top priority to find them and also to contact the remaining settlers,” Dr. Braxton said.
It wasn’t a very comforting reply. Sam nudged her shoulder and she offered him a slight smile. He’d always be there for her.
“So we’re from two planets if you think about it,” Luke said.
“Yes, exactly.” Dr. Baumgartner smiled. “It’s exciting when you think about it like that.”
“Anyone else know about this? About us?” Sam asked.
“Besides Amelli and us, we’re not sure. But since Amelli has been rather rejected by the scientific community at large, we can presume that there is no other research ongoing. But there is a small division of this camp that monitors for that sort of thing,” Braxton tried to reassure them.
There were no other questions as everyone was still trying to process the information. They filed out after another round of Dr. Baumgartner’s cookies.
“Aliens.” Sam shook his head.
“And I thought things were a bit weird before.” Declan finished off his third cookie.
“Dude, we really need a cool name now,” Caleb punched Luke’s arm.
Kyle raised one eyebrow as they headed off already deep in conversation. The topic of code names had come up several more times since the initial rooftop conversation.
“That’s never going away now,” Josh remarked ruefully.
“I don’t know. I think it’s kind of cool,” Mariah said. Cassie shrugged. They’d already known something was different about their DNA, so did it really matter if it was alien or not?
They all began to disperse to go about their day. Cassie went outside to lean against the sun warmed bricks. Everything had changed so much over the last few months. They’d all changed, maybe even in a good way, becoming stronger with their powers. Their little family bonded together by circumstance and need had grown to include Josh, Luke, and Declan. Maybe even Kyle one day. They had a few people they could trust now, someplace safe to stay, and plenty to eat. She briefly wondered what her life would have been like had she not been born with wings. Their parents had all known each other so she might have met them all at some point. Strange to think about. What would they be without their powers? She wouldn’t know Sam. Wouldn’t know the joy of flying. Wouldn’t laugh with Caleb, or bake with Abby, or have late night conversations with Mariah. Wouldn’t have Luke and Declan’s friendship, or have the respect of someone like Josh. She smiled a little. Maybe having powers wasn’t so bad.
So that’s the story of how we came together. We’ve met others since then, and lost a few. But the core group from that first summer is still here. And there’s no one I’d rather spend what might be my last night in a smelly bunker with. Declan’s checking his guns again, trying to get me to tell him what I’ve been writing all night. Nosy Irishman. Cassie just smiles. I think she knows what I’m doing. Caleb’s been quiet all night. I know he wishes Josh was here. We all do, because that would mean we’d have the backup we need to get out of here. Mariah comes back in through the wall, looking a little worse for the wear. Her news doesn’t look good. I’m copying this over to the ship’s storage in case something happens. And maybe if we survive, I’ll finish writing our story. The Children of Two Worlds.
So that’s the end of this current story arc!! It’ll probably go on break for a while as I try to figure out what I want to do next with the story and figure out another story arc.
Questions for you!
-who do you think the author is? 🙂
-would you be interested in seeing this entire story in a book/publishing format?
-what did you like/not like about it?
-is Saturday a good day to post? What day of the week would you most likely read a serial story? (I’m thinking about changing up the post day if this picks back up on the blog.)
-feel free to comment with answers whenever you read this!! I love feedback.