- RileyRoseAuthor McKesson, Narrator
Riley Rose Author, StoryTelling Is One Of My Favorite Things is a bi-weekly podcast on Spotify and Anchor where I read chapters from the fascinating books I’ve written inside the world of science fiction, murder mystery, high drama, and romance.
Transcript of Podcast for Episode 8:
12. THE BIRTH OF PUBERTY
Inside Mary and Joseph’s home, their study is identical to the Val Demure home. Pictures of Joseph, Mary, and Sebastian capture Sebastian at the age of four playing and maturing to the age of twelve. Sebastian is a happy contented child, even at this time of seclusion.
Pictures of varying events line the mantel of the fireplace and the desk depicting Sebastian: playing with small creatures at age four, Sebastian playing ball with Joseph at age five, Sebastian playing computer games at age six, Sebastian composing piano music at age eight, Sebastian writing prose at age ten, and Sebastian winning the blue ribbon at a school debate competition at age twelve.
Pages of Sebastian’s writings are on the desk as a mature young man continues to write, mouse pen to laptop. He begins to fall asleep. Sebastian dreams and sees the actual events of the day.
It is a cloudless day on the Top Flyer field. Mary watches Joseph in his cockpit on a billboard-sized monitor, prepare to land. The cockpit is tight and indicative of a fighter jet with muscle. All of the ships in his squadron are in formation ascending into Earth’s atmosphere. Without warning Joseph grabs his head and suddenly passes out.
The computer monitor shows physical signs of a problem with Joseph. The computer voice of Father questions Joseph while sending an alert notice to IASA. “Commander, an elevation in your blood pressure has been detected. Switching to automatic pilot for landing.”
Top Flyer hospital is smaller than West Pipe. It is apparent though; that it services a small sized patient pool. This is a hospital built for the military’s unexpected air accidents. Inside an Intensive Care Unit room, Joseph is suspended mid air a purple energy wave surrounds him and monitors his medical readings.
Three medical doctors walk about, including his mother Aurora reading his medical chart. She looks distraught. Aurora breaths heavily as she walks into a private physician’s office where Mary sits. Mary eyes Aurora as she walks in.
Mary is pensive, anxious, and has been waiting too long for a medical report on Joseph’s condition. “Aurora?!”
Suddenly the silence is gross, almost unbearable. Aurora cuts into it, she has to give Mary a report, “From what tests are showing, the decent into Earth’s atmosphere caused an aneurysm to form on Joseph’s brain.”
Mary is drawing a blank inside her head. “He checked out fine in his medical pre-flight exams.”
Aurora explains, “Joseph apparently had an infectious attack to his heart in flight. It sometimes happens when pilots have a lot of continuous space flight time.”
Now the effect of her own news causes Aurora to speak softly, obviously shaken, as her throat thickens with emotion. “The vessel walls can begin to weaken if there are extreme atmospheric changes prior to descent. The cause and effect looks to have been instantaneous.”
Mary exhales in one breath and slumps over in her chair. Aurora quickly straightens up as her science training folds in. Over her shoulder is a curious tiny black hole of atmosphere unnoticed by Mary or Aurora. Through the dark spatial hold into space reveals an optical view of Earth far below. A thin red cloud reveals that Ramses is watching at the other end of the hole.
Inside the Val Demure study, all is still. The study window reveals the winter night. Mary walks in and lightly touches Sebastian awake, his dream ends.
Mary forces her words to come out, “Sebastian, what are you doing still up? It’s late, go to bed.” She can’t tell him tonight, she doesn’t have the strength.
Sebastian gets up obediently, stops remotely, then walks toward the door, stops again and sobs hysterically, “They’ve killed father.”
The UNNA temple courtyard is bustling with uniforms of all ages. The sun of the day pierces in with spring. Cadets, officers, families, and temple officials are all bustling. Festival vendors of all sorts are everywhere offering all types of products and services.
Billboards advertise the advent of spring. A matured young Sebastian and Mary walk inside the temple. Festival activities go on for hours. Sebastian is with his mother and grandparents, Marrow and Aurora.
Sebastian runs off to talk with other children his age. The temple is filled with many young adults between twelve and sixteen, all talking and sharing, Mary sees Sebastian with Marrow and Aurora. They catch each other’s eye.
Mary raises her right hand and purple light rises up from her right palm. She whispers to the light, looking at Sebastian, “Stay with your grandparents and I will see you at Grandpa and Grandma Val Demure’s later.”
Sebastian turns his head and whispers back into the light as it exits his ear.
“I will be in my father’s house until I see you at Grandpa and Grandma Val Demure’s.”
Mary tilts her head as the light exits her ear. She looks a little puzzled, and then shakes her head thinking, I’m sure he understands. Mary turns and notices Vicar watching her exchange with Sebastian. Vicar’s discerning look changes to warm embrace as he walks over to Mary and hugs and greets her. Vicar and Mary walk out from the temple together, talking. On the way out they pass by Aurora and Marrow. The four greet and talk briefly. Aurora and Marrow stay in the temple.
Vicar and Mary walk outside. Mary greets Vicar; she knows that he is a devout believer of the Old Way teaching, “I understand your son has been admitted to UNNA Prep Flight Academy.”
Vicar responds with pride. “He has, Sara and I are very proud, as Joseph would be of Sebastian.”
Mary can play this game too. “Thank you for your kindness. I am tired and need to go and see about my family.”
“Yes. Will Sebastian be at UNNA this term?”
Mary hesitantly replies, “No, we will be going back to Top Flyer.”
Vicar resonant with a lot of disgust in his voice, “What a gifted youth to be granted Officer Prep at Top Flyer. That has never been done before.”
Mary nods once, “Good day, Vicar. Glad to see you well.” Mary walks on into the large crowd outside.
Back in the temple, not far from Mary and Vicar, Aurora and Marrow notice a booth they wish to visit. They walk back into the temple and see Sebastian.
Marrow cautions Sebastian, “Sebastian your grandmother and I are going to visit some of the booths selling collectibles, we will come back to check on you.”
Sebastian nods and turns around to talk to the Head Scribe. While speaking to the Head Scribe Brandon, a second scribe Ben, notices, walks over and joins the discussion. Then a third scribe, Kelly, also notices and joins this discussion.
Hours pass and afternoon changes into night. Aurora and Marrow walk over to Sebastian; the crowd has thinned a lot. Sebastian is still enthralled with the three scribes. The discussion looks extremely heated from onlookers.
A booth vender walks up to Marrow and Aurora; they forgot to include an ancient nautical timepiece they purchased in their bag. Their attention turns to the vendor. One of the scribes, Brandon, points to a door behind the shrine of incense. Everyone shakes their head in agreement. The scribe, Ben, raises his right hand, white light falls over Sebastian and the scribes like a blanket and they all disappear. The vendor walks away from Marrow and Aurora to reveal an empty temple. Fear invades the faces of Marrow and Aurora, and then suddenly, Marrow’s fear subsides.
Marrow offers a reasonable suggestion, “I’m sure Sebastian went ahead to Gabe and Christina’s, why don’t we stay at the Head Master Provisional Bed and Breakfast and go out to the Val Demure’s tomorrow night for dinner.
Aurora reasons that Marrow is right, “I’ll forward a communiqué to Mary from the check-in desk.”
The next night a Purple tornado beam of light dissipates to reveal Marrow and Aurora’s arrival at the Val Demure’s home. It is very late. Marrow places his right palm on the Val Demure door and Mary’s right palm is touching his palm immediately as the door fades.
Mary immediately notices that Sebastian is not with Marrow and Aurora. Marrow stares back in wonderment.
Marrow can read the shock of Sebastian’s absence in Mary’s eyes. “I thought Sebastian would be here, after he disappeared from the temple.”
Mary is shocked, “OH?!” Mary shakes violently and then passes out.
The next morning at the Val Demure home, Mary awakens from her bed, the drugs have worn off, and she hears talking and grabs a robe and rushes into the kitchen. She looks around in disbelief of everyone’s drinking and eating. Marrow looks up and smiles. Aurora walks over to Mary, touches her hand.
“UNNA Event Monastery sent a light communiqué last night; Sebastian is still at the temple, safe with the scribes. We have an appointment to pick him up at fifteen hundred hours today.”
Mary sighs with great relief, “I don’t understand how he got separated.”
Marrow calmly explains, “Apparently, he’s held their attention and created quite a high regard for his knowledge on the teachings of the scintillate, to say nothing of his ability to debate the monastic staff.”
Mary is still in shock. She slowly gets up from the table. She briefly turns around to speak to everyone, “I’ll be back, I need a swim.” Then she gasps, over her own neglect. “My other children?”
Aurora reassures her again, “All of my grandchildren are fine. They were more concerned about you.”
Afternoon sun beams inside the UNNA Temple through the main open door. Mary runs up to Sebastian, who is sitting quietly alone and hugs him. She can see three scribes sitting and talking by the shrine of incense. He looks at his mother with mature curiosity.
Mary questions Sebastian sternly, “Why didn’t you come home right away, as instructed?”
Sebastian can’t figure out all the fuss, after all he’ll soon be fourteen. “Why didn’t you realize that I would be here in my father’s house?”
Mary is stumped at Sebastian’s response to her question, “What?” Mary looks at Sebastian in utter disbelief.
Sebastian wraps his arms around Mary with a tight love hug. It is clear his motives are honest. Sebastian cautions Mary with care and affection. “I love you mother, there was never cause for you to worry about me.”
Captain Charles Wellington is conversing with Head Scribe, Brandon; about fifteen feet away while Eleni and Sidney stand and listen. Both girls are now twelve years old. Eleni looks over at Sebastian as he hugs his mom. He smiles at her, she smiles back.
Sidney is smaller than Eleni as if she isn’t entirely well.
Charles consoles Sidney, “Eleni’s transfusions will eventually clean your blood. Once you’re older, your cell count will elevate to Eleni’s, I truly believe that. You both have a call to secure and save mankind. Artisan promised me that.”
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