Written by Danielle E. Pasqua
Copyright © June 6, 2018
Here, at summer camp, I imagined taking a leap in the pool, and cooling off. The tar ground below me was so shiny, that I felt the heat rising around my ankles as I took turns shooting hoops with my friends Xavier and Ian. We had played all morning, only taking breaks at the water fountain nearby, not wanting to give up on our pastime activities.
Lately, we hadn’t had the opportunity to play any sports. Our latest adventure “The Trip” only introduced us further into a world of an island that made “The Heirlooms” that originated from my home planet. Before that, “The Drawing” which was supposed to be a science project, got me fooled by a robot controlled by “The Official” and his team, who wanted the blueprints to my parent’s escape vehicle. So my friends and I were glad we had earned the right to be kids again, playing basketball.
“Xavier, you’re too far back,” Ian called.
“I think I can make that shot,” Xavier guessed while he dribbled the ball a bit, before holding it up right.
“I agree,” I said standing on the sideline, where on the opposite side of the court was Ian.
“I’ll try,” Xavier promised as he threw the ball.
But instead of the ball, heading towards the basket, it curved to the right. The three of us were astonished because it disappeared over the fence and into the woods next to the rectangular court. I didn’t know what Xavier had done or the power that he had to acquire such a technique.
“Is this a new kind of play?” Ian asked.
Xavier didn’t answer. Instead he followed the ball’s direction with Ian and I behind him.
“How could this happen?” I asked,” It was almost like a gravitational pull of some kind.”
“It’s so dark over there,” Ian admitted,” You don’t think it got swallowed by a black hole.”
“Maybe another crater,” I suggested,” Though my father hasn’t mentioned it in a while.”
“Since I’m the tallest, I’ll take a look,” Xavier suggested as he climbed part of the fence and peeked his head over. He then said,” There’s no hole. And there’s no crater.”
“Than what is it?” Ian asked.
“Noah, your father worked for a dealership, right?” Xavier asked jumping off the fence.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought.”
“Did he tell you the name?”
“Well I just assumed it was High Tech Star Gateway Machinery or HTSGWM.”
“According to the sign this one is called ‘The Dealer.’”
“I’d say we all climb this fence,” Xavier suggested,” There’s a trail leading to the car lot. Just another page in your- “
“Story,” I admitted.
“Maybe I’ll take some pictures,” Ian tried not to laugh, because he saw the sarcasm in Xavier’s eyes. It never worked. Either they disappeared, or the Wi-Fi was tampered with somehow.
“Soon as we find the ball, we’ll toss it back, it belongs to the camp anyhow,” Xavier said as he started to climb the fence again and soon Ian and I joined him.
Xavier’s description of what he saw was nothing more than the truth. There was a lot of mainly American designed vehicles lined up in shades from light to dark, so that it followed the path of the sun. But the building was simple, not standing out to any passerby on earth, who would’ve posted it on social media. Instead it blended in with the rest of the western world. An “Unfolded Truth” that was only folded again to the beginning of my family’s time on earth.
“Since we are here, let’s look around,” I suggested, though I knew it was Xavier who made the first move. Besides I was a leader in our triangular formation, Xavier to my right and Ian to my left, that acted like my guards to this unknown building.
Our first intentions were to enter the building without being seen. But I believed if my father saw the three of us, he would welcome us and be happy to give us “The Tour” of this magnificent dealership that he kept a secret. Somehow, we got in the building without any clearance. There was no one working, which I found quite odd, and I wondered if it was still in business or it was just kept as a cover up because of the true company my father had worked at. I tended to think the ladder.
“Look at this,” Ian had opened a double door. It led into a gymnasium.
“This looks like the pros,” Xavier ran past Ian only to find the ball they lost,” I’d say we’d play- “
“Dad,” I yelled watching my father, walk down the bleachers in his human form.
“Yes, Noah,” my father said and then turned to my friend,” Xavier tossed me the ball.”
Xavier tossed the ball to my father. It traveled to him as fast as a comet.
“So how did the ball get here?’ I demanded an answer,” Did it really have that much power?”
“It’s gravity the earth has never witnessed before,” my father explained as he threw the ball back to Xavier,” Only “The Lightning Rod’, right now?”
I backed away in feeling uneasy in this bizarre situation. “The Lightning Rod” was the first time I “witnessed” HTSGWM.
“Whose ‘the Dealer?’” Ian asked.
Xavier slapped Ian’s back.
“Sit on the bleacher boys and I will tell you.”
While my friends and I got comfortable on the bleachers, waiting to hear some lecture on the “Unfolded Truths” about “The Dealer”, the basketball hoops were raised up to the ceiling. Then the lights started to shut off in a domino effect, from right to left. The scoreboard that lied in front of us turned into a movie screen. The floor below us had no boundaries for points, it was as obscure as the moon. Then a soft cushion rose underneath us, as we were leveled up to get a perfect view of this show.
There was my father’s face on the screen in lizard form as he began his story.
“This movie gives some background to ‘The Dealer’ before it was brought to earth. You see the nation on our planet was bombarded with asteroids. They were used as weapons from our enemy. Since they destroyed most of our technology, we had learned to recycle what we had. It took at least ten years before we were back to speed. In fact, it helped our economy. Eventually we were able to help other planets. Not to use asteroids as a weapon, but as a spacecraft. “
There was a faded photo of my planet, a heavily cratered world. But in the next picture it showed a vibrant planet in celebration. My father’s ship was seen in space with the name “The Dealer” written across the side of the large craft. I assumed that was he who was known to be to his nation.
“We then were kicked of our planet by ‘The Official’ so we traveled the universe looking for a planet to hide on. We found earth. It was here we continued the process. ‘The Dealer’ also uses recycled parts to make cars. I always test the cars, which is why sometimes I don’t take the same car to the house or sometimes the vehicles have the power to take us to some other time. On this planet we also test asteroids and use them as space vehicles such as “The Tour” below the ground. My role is to continue to transport parts across the universe or at least make this planet a way to start again.”
But there was a picture of my father standing next to the sign in his human form. My mother was in the picture, my sister at least five clinging to my mother’s legs, while in her right arm was me. I was probably about two and had no memory of the photo at all.
I always thought my father was a “delivery person” for the universe ever since the day I learned of “The Invitation” a computer that held my history, something “The Official” had wanted. I guess I was right about my father. But then I paid attention again to the video.
“Someday the earth will have spaceships if they haven’t already. I know the universe well enough, to tell an expert what parts are made for the right planet, and the state of a civilization’s industry. One day it will all come together, I promise. “The Dealer” is just like “The Rock” only the beginning of many stories, right Noah?”
Then the movie stopped, just like my heart had after hearing the last sentence, whose familiarity was not getting old, but closer to the truth. The lights came on, a reversal domino effect of left to right, that blinded us like the sun, only to make us wake up to reality. But the movie screen did not revolve back to a scoreboard. The basketball hoops were not leveled down and neither were the cushion seats we sat on.
“I’m afraid you’ll have to go back to the park,” my father said, “The camp counselors are going to wonder where you went.”
“They are not going back,” I heard the voice of my father and turned to the door to the gym, where another image of my father stood. But then I realized it wasn’t an image. It was my father after all. But he looked mad, as if someone had stolen his identity. Then I realized the first individual who I thought was my father was shady indeed. Because the face of my first father began to light up with electric currents, as the true face of “The Official” was revealed. Then “The Official” threw my father’s badge on the floor and took off.
“Don’t chase him boys,” my father warned as my friends headed to the opposite door where “The Official” had escaped,” He is too powerful and dangerous. Only the best technology has the ability to defend him.”
Then the basketball that I was playing with snapped out of his hands only to follow “The Official.”
“What’s in that ball?’ Xavier asked.
“A camera,” my father answered.
The coast was clear in the gymnasium, but the idea that there was a camera hidden in that basketball had scared me. Yet the only trace of “The Official’s” present was the burning residue from the strikes of lightning, that had revealed the “sudden” truth behind the mask of my “father.” Cars could be heard whizzing back and forth on the highway, beyond the trees that had shaded the entrance to “The Dealer”.
“How did ‘The Official’ steal your ID?” I asked breaking the silence among us.
“He’s been watching us put these vehicles together over some time,” my father explained, his eye on the door in fear of “The Official’s” return, “Some of the people from HTSGWM saw him on camera break into my car early this morning. I foolishly left my badge in the car charging. I was able to get in the building with a code. But then I feared for your safety boys. I knew you were at camp.”
“But how was he able to clone you so quickly?” Ian asked.
Then my father took his ID and opened it into a 3D replica of himself. He then spoke,” That is how boys. He stepped into my shadow, in a calm state. But when I arrived he became full of rage, creating an energy force that was powerful enough to blow a fuse.”
“Were you going to show us that movie?” Xavier asked
“Of course,” my father answered as he blew off some of the heat on his ID. He then warned,” There was some things that movie didn’t mention. I was going to tell you.”
“Like what?” Ian asked.
“Well, while HTSGWM was being constructed I worked here at “The Dealer,” my father explaining admiring the first building he had built on earth,” It was my human disguise. I was here when you were quite young, which is why everything seemed normal.”
“Except for Lacey,” I muttered not wanting to hear. My sister found out the hard way. She had mentioned it on “The Trip,” how it was all sudden for her, not like the “Unfolded Truths” I had witnessed.
“Is there anything else we should know?” I asked.
“Yes,” my father answered and went on to explain, “Noah, my ID is just as important as ‘The Invitation’ of yours. It is a computer. That is why ‘The Official’ must be tracked down.”
I thought of the time last summer when my mother pressed my father’s shirts for work. That’s when we found “The Rock.” I didn’t realize how important his ID was.
On the way out of the gym and into the openness of the dealership’s lobby I asked my father,” Did you really build this court for us?”
“Well, it was really made for the guys at work,” my father answered,” After a long day of welding parts, it’s a good workout to have. That’s what I’ve learned from those on earth. We don’t have this on our planet Noah. I promise someday you will see. Right now, this building is “temporally’ retired, except for a few, which you will discover shortly.”
But what amazed me, was when my father took my friends and I to another door opposite the entrance of the gym, where we were introduced to the sky, landscape and seas of my planet. There were robots, humanoids, and lizard beings like my family working as a team putting cars together and some of the vehicles looked like they could fly. I really thought this was a mirage, until I bent down to touch the pink sand, traced my finger down to the water, and realized that it wasn’t my imagination after all.
“Unbelievable? Isn’t it?” my father admitted seeing my friends and I astonished at this 3D invention,” Sometimes we get homesick. The earth is not the same as our planet.”
But in the fabricated distance, I saw silver point of light, and I asked my father what it was.
“It’s the skyscrapers from our metro,” my father explained,” Right now we are in a crater. That is how our people live.”
“I am going to take a picture,” Ian spoke up, reaching for his phone.
“No pictures,” my father warned, but then cooled his tone,” But it doesn’t matter anyway, this room was designed not to be photographed. ‘The Official’ doesn’t even know about it. Let’s get to the ship. Follow me to the staircase ahead.”
“How are we supposed to get ‘The Official?’” I asked as my father opened the hatch to his ship. He then let my friends and I step on board before him.
“Don’t worry. We won’t have to get ‘The Official’ ourselves,” my father assured us as he closed the hatch and made his way to the cockpit to start the engine to this asteroid-turned ship of the stars,” We will be high enough in the air, away from the earth’s planes. We will also be far enough away from ‘The Official’s’ mothership if they try to track us in the sky. Instead we will use a small EXpress Interstellar Traveler Ship or ‘The EXIT’ ship to hunt down the ‘The Official.’”
My father took a break from his talk, as he had us all buckled in. The he turned the switches up, prepared the ship for takeoff. The ship rattled a little bit, due to its’ rocky structure. Then an opening emerged, big enough for his ship to sliver through as we headed straight to the skies, where the first plan of action would take place.
“But I thought we could fit in ‘The EXIT’ ships?” I asked,” Isn’t that what it’s for?”
“Yes, the bigger ones are to protect our nation,” my father agreed as the surface of the earth began to disappear and all that was left was clouds. Ahead of us lied a horizon of stars, the area where we were headed. Then my father continued with my exquisite question of my planet’s technology,” These EXIT ships are operated by robots. They have been launched from our company.”
But I watched as my father zoomed into “The Dealer’s” car lot, where there was no sign of “The Official.” Then he had the ship search around, picked up anything that would lead him to some information from his ID. But his computer kept shifting directions northwest of the Sound. My father followed the computer’s lead and I recognized the features of these fields. It was where we took “The Ride,” in a hot air balloon last fall.
“How’d he traveled up there so fast?” I asked.
“I don’t know, but I am going to alert my employees,” my father answered, as he contacted his company. He said,” Hopefully, we can corner ‘The Official’ with ‘The EXIT’ ships. Having an aerial view will help our company guide the robots in the right direction. Because ‘The Official’ is slowly eating our technology.”
“Could these EXIT ships stop him?” Ian asked.
“Surely,” my father answered, but hesitated as bolts of lightning leaped from the area where according to the radar, was where “The Official” was. The lightning bolts start to strike my father’s spaceship. My father moved his vessel up and down, left, and right, just like a ship fighting a storm at sea.
“Are we being attacked?” I asked, holding steadily in my seat, as it shook rapidly.
“’The Official’ is using our resources against us,” my father explained as the rocket began to jerk back and forth,
“What resources?” I asked.
“Those fields you were at. We have a satellite office there. Where we absorb energy to someday travel,” my father shouted above his cosmic aircraft,” The long-term project of an escape vehicle is bound to happen soon.”
“So “The Official” wouldn’t find out,” my father cried,” but we were wrong.”
“Can we stop it?” Xavier asked.
“If they use our power against us, we will use it against them,” my father took on a new protocol, as he stopped the spaceship mid-air, only to say,” We are going to ride with the lightning.”
“Huh?” Ian was scared.
“That’s how I became ‘The Dealer’ boys,” my father said. He then shifted the ship upon a long a wave of lightning and said,” Holding on to your seats. We are headed straight to ‘The Official.’”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I can’t tell you now,” my father said as he braced the ship into a nosedive to the field,” After this is over, I promise I will.”
The earth’s gravity took us down, as we traveled on a lightning strike, that acted like a road of energy, taking us to “The Official.” But alongside of us on the other road of currents, there were “The Exit” ships guiding my father to the direction of our enemy.
When we reached the verdant fields, in the middle there was a circular shape where burnt grass surrounded a figure of hate and distrust. My father tried his best to reverse “The Official’s” power using a program to retrieve any more information that “The Official” had consumed, but the ship’s computers were jammed. My father threw his fist in his seat, only to shout,” I’m going to get all my ID information for good.”
Then an EXIT ship came up from behind “The Official.” It gathered bolts of energy from “The Official” who tumbled over. My father scrolled through the main computer on the ship. There was my mother’s face, who said,” I didn’t want any harm for Noah and his friends. As well as you, the earth and our own nation. That’s why I command the robot in this EXIT ship. Victory must be some-.”
“My people are looking out for me,” ‘The Official’ laughed as he stood straight up. Electric currents began to surround him again, but only to fizzle out within seconds. My mother’s ship flew besides us. Then a gravitational pull consumed ‘The Official’ and took him back into the sky, where he would meet the mothership.
The lightning was gone.
“The EXIT” ships disappeared like a flock of birds.
A message on my father’s computer read “ID information sent from EXIT ship.”
“Will he be back?” I asked my father. I watched him levied the ship up, as we floated above the infinite greenery below.
“His relentless is a curse,” my father answered, but spoke with vengeance,” To break it, we must preserver for the positive.”
“The Dealer” became an impression on me for many reasons. But when we got back into the hidden part of the dealership, where my father parked his ship he sighed and asked,” Would you like to play some basketball?”
“I’d rather cool off,” Ian answered.
“This adventure has been challenging,” Xavier agreed.
“Do you know the way out of here?” my father asked.
“Sure, I’ll lead the way,” I answered, as my friends I left the computer simulated planet. Then we walked back down a long corridor, across the basketball court, and outside. We retraced our steps to the woods, climbed the fence and leaped back onto the basketball court.
The funny thing was the camp leaders, or the students didn’t question our disappearance. I looked at the time on my phone. It was the same time when we left to chase the ball. I thought about telling my friends, but instead I changed into my swimming trunks and jumped in the pool.
“Noah,” I heard my voice as I rose from under the water to catch some air. I saw a pair of webbed feet standing next to the pool. It was my father.
“Your mother wants to please you,” my father said,” She’s making your favorite mac n’ cheese.”
“Is that it?” I asked,” After her bravery? She wants to cook.”
“No, I need to talk to you,” my father said,” I want your friends to join us.”
So I pulled myself out of the water, while calling for my friends. Drying off with our towels, we took a seat with my father. He gathered the chairs in a circle so none of us would feel left out, yet far removed from the crowd of children.
“I’m here to fulfill my promise,” my father started to talk, “Our adventure was a little weary. But traveling on electric current was used on my planet. As “The Dealer’ I took care of local planets, but with those out of reach I couldn’t travel to. So I used robots. I was able to keep in contact with the robots and other planets with the lightning. You see the lightning you saw on “The Official’ really belongs to me. All sources travel to me. That is how I do my business in space.”
“That’s cool, Dad,” I complimented my father. My friends had to agree.
“Noah, you are the next ‘Dealer’ for the universe,” my father said,” You will inherit that reign someday. But first you will need some training.”
“When can I start?” I asked as I heard something roll on the ground.
“When you’re old enough to fly,” my father promised,” To somewhere else other than earth.”
The basketball was there.
But it was a camera.
“The Official” didn’t give up.
Fighting for our power.
Longing to defeat “The Official.”
To better the world.
My father’s goal.
I must write the story.
As “The Dealer” across the universe.
The driver of my ship.
Then I smashed the basketball.
Just like my father did with “The Heirloom.”
My friends all looked.
My father smiled.
I was starting to be “The Dealer” after all.