No precis this time . . . It’s the last installment, and the next post contains the whole story, all in one place. For them who have been waiting to read until all of it was posted, see the next post.
By E. J. D’Alise (Disperser)
Copyright 2013 – 2014
The interviews continued, sometimes three or four a week, and Kevin’s on-air confidence and poise grew in measure. His articles sold and were translated around the globe in multiple languages and he was making serious money. He was even in constant communication with Kal, and while they had not spoken or seen each other, their e-mails had grown comfortable, easily discussing both work-related issues, and everyday things.
Kevin studiously avoided personal questions or discussions, but the report he would get from Jen indicated Kal was more relaxed and both acted and looked better. Kevin could not imagine Kal “looking” better, but he knew what Jen meant.
Meanwhile, the timetable for the craft intercepting Earth’s orbit had changed, shortening it by five months. The original assumption had been for the craft to avoid a trajectory taking it close to the Jovian planets or the sun, but apparently the extraterrestrials were not concerned about gravitational effect, or had considerable power and fuel to overcome them.
The scheduled arrival was now a few months away. The good news was that Kevin’s efforts, combined with those of other scientists, has shifted the tides from mistrust and animosity to that of cautious optimism. Meanwhile, the now renamed US Extraterrestrial Task Force had been caught flat-footed. The massive PR campaign scheduled begin a few months ahead of contact was still stuck in committee.
That meant more in-studio interviews for Kevin, and he now traveled the better part of each week. It was grueling and tiring, but he could see an end in site. Once contact was made, his role would be relegated to history as other resources stepped in.
The day had arrived, and the world watched as around-the-clock coverage showed both a real-time speck, and an animated 3-D representation of the craft’s approach to Earth. Kevin was back at the cabin, and Jen was on her way over with Rik. Jen had not waited for the end of the year, and the two were now engaged.
Jen and Rik were coming to watch the arrival of the extraterrestrial ship, and then spend the weekend with Kevin. Homeland Security had donated the computer equipment to Kevin, and part of the reason for Jen’s visit was to get the backups, and to wipe the drives of things Kevin should not have, especially since he did not know how to use them.
He did not hear the car door, but Loner had stood up and walked to the door. The dog had taken to staying inside with Kevin, regardless of visitors, so he was now a proper pet.
Kevin did not wait; he opened the door just as the man outside reached for the doorbell button. He looked familiar, but it took Kevin a few seconds to recognize him. It was the man he had watched kiss Kal at the restaurant.
Kevin just stared at thim, ignoring the man’s outstretched hand. Kevin’s mouth might have been open, but he could not think straight enough to check. The man’s mouth was moving, but there too Kevin failed to register what he said.
Jen stepped around the man, and touched Kevin in the shoulder as she spoke. He turned to her, and registered the second time she asked the question.
“Kevin, are you alright?”
Kevin look at her, and all he could say was “He’s your fiance?”
Jen gave him a strange look before replying.
“Yes. Kevin, this is Riku Satou, Rik for short.”
Kevin looked back at the man, a horrible suspicion forming in his mind.
“Wait . . . Satou . . . you are related to Kal?”
“Guilty as charged,” the man replied, smiling. “I’m her brother.”
Kevin absorbed it all, relived the last nine months, reassessed conversations he’d had, and did so with a new understanding, and the realization he had made the most colossal mistake in his entire life.
“Shit, shit, shit, SHIT! . . . you’re her brother.”
“Uh . . . yeah.”
“You’re not her boyfriend.”
“Kal’s boyfriend; you’re not him . . . Shit, shit, SHIT! . . . I was her boyfriend!”
Loner chose that moment to shove his way outside. Rik stepped aside, and Loner went to stand at the side of the person behind Rik and Jen.
“You still are, you dope,” said Kal.
They missed the moment the alien ship landed on the Moon.
As I mentioned, this story did not go the way I originally thought it would. I still want to expand the story, still want to redirect it to the original idea, but not right now.
The 17 chapters get the story to a point where the main protagonists are in a good place, and leaves open the possible exploration of what happens as humans and aliens have near-interactions.
Some readers might feel cheated. Because there is no clear-cut direction to it, the story might not deliver the appropriate satisfactory endorphin high that comes at the end of finishing a tale well-told.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.