noticed a series of mathematical equations scroll down a track in the
lower right corner of his mind's eye. The data track was
synaptically there, but not evident to anyone else. "It
hurts," he whined, in the voice of a post-pubescent
2. He was multi-tasking while playing football;
it was the invasiveness that annoyed him. "It's all
head," Onimex quipped psionically, half literally, half
down," Onimex recommended, "you're supposed to 'blend in."
faked to the left, spun around, jumped over two opponents and sprinted
across the goal line for his 5th touchdown. The crowd roared
his teammates leaped into the air and chest bumped
him. "That was pretty convincing," Onimex
complimented him. Kiles was a true showman. The 4th
quarter horn blared while the Ewa Beach cheerleaders threw
orange, black and white pon pons up in the air. Every Saber
sideline joined in the victory dance while parents enjoyed the
team's pop-hula style and tried to imitate their steps.
4. Kiles had a glistening mane of sandy-washed, jet-black
hair. His girl removed his helmet and gave him a kiss on the
cheek. In the bleachers an ordinary-looking woman, with stern
facial features stood up in her lab coat: It was obvious that she
didn't care whether she blended in or not, but the lab coat was a nice
Ireana made eye contact with her son; her
inescapable 'Vejhonian lasers' as Kiles referred to her eyes.
Lasers were banned on Vejhon. For a brief
vision muted the sound before the cheering ambiance resumed.
It was a salute from her for his victory in battle. From
orbit, a laser painted, "
Arbeit!" on the scoreboard. Kiles lipped the word, "Dad,"
while surreptitiously making sure that
nobody else noticed. The message vanished. Kiles
looked up toward the cloudless sky.
6. "Surf's up!" his Hawaiian friend and teammate taunted with a
smile. Kiles grinned, "I'm already there!" His smile was
locker room and ran straight to his sister's '63 Studebaker Champ where
surfboards had been strapped inside the tailgate and were
cab. She scooted to the center because Earl always drove.
Kiles had his learner's permit too, but nothing trumped
surfing! The natives didn't treat Kiles as a
'howlie' because he had never lived anywhere else -- he belonged
there. They didn't know that Kiles had
visited otherworldly places that he dare not describe.
"Don't think," he huffed privately; autonomically.
8. Kiles got in the passenger side, "I WANT this truck!" he
Lani. She laughed. "Frack that, it's MINE!" Earl
defended. "I called it!" Kiles said. Earl didn't
grind the gears and jerked the truck forward. Three
other teammates jumped into the back before they escaped the
parking lot. "My friends are going to meet us there," Lani
said. "If the Earl of Surf allows it," Kiles joked. Earl
was a bit defensive when it came to his friends, his beach and his
will," she injected confidently. "Maybe, we'll see," Earl
said: Who surfed and who didn't depended on
swing at a given moment.
9. Bad weather
made it easier for visitors because there were fewer fights.
Today, however, was perfect because the wind was
forging the swells into perfect waves. A
of thermo-dynamic equations and convection
algorhythms scrolled down the track in the lower left of Kiles'
mind's eye. The information was of no tactical relevance --
critical data went to the right track. "You can't stop being
Onimex told him once, "Just accept that you have a unique and special
path through time and space." Kiles was wise beyond his
years; he avoided asking rhetorical questions
because his imagination often had the answers.
10. When the party started, the victory tradition called for
surfing in jock straps
only, which wasn't any more revealing than what the natives wore
anyway. The police rarely harassed
the locals and were more likely to join in, rather than miss
a good party. Other
team members showed up with their signifcant others as the evening wore
fall, it was time for bonfires; creatively prepared food cooked on
and moonlight imbibements disguised as soda in coconut
shells. This was the life of a
15, going on 16-year-old at Ewa Beach, Hawaii, and what kid would
it any other way?
12. "Tell me everything!" Kiles
said. As a matter of style, Onimex
always projected holographic information directly into
Kiles synapse -- it was efficient
and virtually as effective as observing in person. "Your
brain is already holographic," Onimex told him when he was 3, "there's
virtually no difference." Onimex was careful to not circumvent
the necessity of experience or the imperative of choice.
up a recording by merely observing it," Kiles knew all of the
time-tampering rules; how the mere act of observation could alter
a subject's natural timeline.
Machines are not nearly so cautious because their photonic
emissions can be manipulated or switched off.
Biologicals are composed of corporeal matter infused with photonic
mass that is existentially enigmatic to machines. To a
machine, carnage is epitomized by industrial
espionage; "What if a subject epistemically captures me ahead of
my awareness?" Machine fears are consoled by machine
wisdom: "The Ellipsis takes
care of its own."
14. "I want to see the moment when you first observed Bri and
said, "...the first time,"
he added. Kiles knew that
Onimex was co-located: "When was the first time?" Onimex
quipped facitiously: He had stretched
Kiles intellectual capability beyond ordinary mortals; who replied
lines that were not even on Onimex's radar. 'Oni,' as Kiles
called him, allowed his prodigy to shape his thoughts from
the abstract, "Everyone thinks that their science is on the cutting
Onimex clarified for him, "until the next
paradigm comes along." Onimex was a founding member of the
Earth Society; based on a dare from Dayton to freak Ireana
She got them both back.
15. Kiles raised his imaginary sword into his trademark
conqueror's pose, "Two monuments divided by time, with a DESTINY!"
he recited, proudly thrusting his sword into the air.
He was an imposing
figure, notwithstanding that most conquerors did not pose in
Ireana and Dayton debated whether living in multiple states of
was prudent for Kiles mental health; he did not give
any indication of an adverse affect. "Actors do it all the
Kiles parried with his imaginary sword. His subjects learned
dodge that sword, "I gotta make him a real
sword," Dayton thought. Ireana gave him the, 'have you
that one through?" look.
16. "Casualties," Xanax
contemplated. "Ja, Ja," Dayton agreed. Nobody could merely
and only see Kiles -- he was larger-than-life before he could talk, but
had learned to, 'dial it down' a notch or two.' When
to his personal ambitions, people
struck Kiles as natural underachievers; excellent at dreaming, but
unwilling to act. "Honey," Ireana said to him once, "All you
have to say is, 'Come On,' and the whole shell will follow you!"
That one truth would shape his inescapable destiny, especially if it
was anything like the monumental figures in times past: He
learned everything he could about Bri and Kor, from everyone
who would know. "I did
not mean for you to go out and actually take over the shell," she
amended when he set out to seize control of Earth when he was
8. He might have succeeded.
17. "NOT in my head," Kiles said impatiently to Onimex while
gripping both sides of his cylindrical hull, "NOT a
projection. I want to go."
dreaded the day when his repertoire of
Ireanaisms would no longer suffice. "I know it can be done,"
Kiles added, to short circuit Oni's 'Mom-logic' that he skillfully used
invoked caution or restraint. "I have to work on
it," Onimex conceded. That was believable, but still
eyes into a narrow squint as if to burn a hole through Onimex's
hull. He didn't need to verbalize what he was thinking; his
agenda was transparent. Kiles narrowed Oni's
down to one. "I know she
would rather I be with you, than not," Oni rationalized
uncomfortably, "Why?" he asked the trillion dollar
question. "I want to see it in
Kiles answered. Of course! They had had this conversation a
thousand times and Oni had become quite deft at changing the
new contemplation could only lead
to Corlos; he knew how Ireana would react, "We don't
want that kind of attention, now do we?" She had embraced many
motherly Earthisms since her operative days "We haven't
sin yet," Oni parried in his role-play dialogue, then to his
imaginary creator in particular: "We're just
21. "Awwww shit," Xanax said in Q-cept.