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Class 6 – Carnian Capture
Kyane had the rest of the week off when she returned home from the mountain training outpost. She then got a second week off after two fellow classmates snuck onto campus and assaulted a couple of the soldiers, then escaped without being caught. The free time this gave her changed her morning routine. Well that, and the fact her grandfather Takao Shaotoro started training her all day, every day of the week while her parents repaired and updated D13 and the Dieous armor. During training Shoatoro corrected her that the Japanese fight with karate, not kung-fu.
Kyane’s old routine of rolling out of bed and barely dingo her hair before leaving for school was changed to being woken up at 4 AM to go on a morning run. That changed started out fine. The first-morning Shaotoro would tip-toe into her room, give her a back scratch and massage to wake her up slowly, and tell her to get changed. The following morning, he tossed a bucket of water on her. Ice water, of course. The morning after that he thwacked the side of her bed with a wooden training sword. She didn’t need to be woken up the fifth morning. Following the “morning” run they would change into their gi’s and begin training in the dojo. The dojo itself was an extended trailer with the main room being the dojo, and the back to be the sleeping area. Shaotoro started Kyane with simple blocking, and punches before ramping up the difficulty. After combat training Shaotoro would have Kyane clear her mind and meditate. For Kyane this meant closing her eyes and playing songs in her head. The most focus she got out of it was forcing herself to stop bobbing her head from side to side. Once she got away with not meditating Kyane could eat breakfast, then go back to the dojo for reinforcing her combat training by beating up on the wooden training posts along the walls of the dojo.
The Monday school started back up, Kyane went for her run, trained, and barely meditated before showering and eating breakfast. She felt like she was almost a productive human being. Her parents left early for the lab, but they gave her a familiar belt along with matching clasp bracelets with large blue stones embedded on top, along with a small earbud that looped into her ear. She put them on. Her mother explained that the earpiece would allow D13 to talk to her and contact her via her phone app. They also were able to create a scanner for D13 to scan for any UDC’s in the area in case any showed up during the day. Her grandfather drove her to school.
Kyane attempted to open the door but was caught by the lock keeping it from opening. “Wait, Kyane,” Shaotoro said.
“I can’t really do much else.” Kyane stretched her arms out by crossing them over her chest.
“I recommend not interacting with anyone until we have made some real progress.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean to not tell everyone in school who you are, and to minimize contact with people who, you know, will try to bring it up.”
“Being cold is not too difficult for me. It’s one of my limited skills in fact.”
“That is not as true as you think it to be,” Shaotoro teased. He jabbed her side with his elbow. “Just have a good day and be ready to train when you return.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Kyane said and exited the car.
Kyane made it to class early. She went to her desk farthest away from the rest of her class and drummed away the fake wood. Mr. Ayer greeted her and wrote the class agenda on the board. Midway through he asked a question. “Huh,” Kyane said.
“I asked how your two weeks off were?” Mr. Ayer asked.
“Fine.” Kyane kicked the metal leg of the desk.
“That’s fair,” Mr. Ayer said. He placed the Expo marker on the dry-erase board well and turned to her. “I never thought anything like that would happen here.”
“I think every school thinks that, maybe,” Kyane said.
He walked over to her desk. “Oh, ahh, before I forget did you ever write that one-pager for extra credit?”
The nail! Kyane breathed out before answering, “I’ll get to it.”
“Right,” Mr. Ayer said.
Mr. Ayer moved to his desk, booted up his computer, and projected the warm-up on the SMARTboard. He then pressed a button on his projector remote then skimmed around his laptop. He clicked on something and the printer shook and beeped out a piece of paper. “I’m going to tell this to the whole class once school starts, but we are having a candlelight vigil tonight at the uhh, football field.” His voice cut out.
“Okay,” Kyane said.
“We need to go to that,” D13 said through the earpiece. “There is a high probability that a UDC will show up due to the increased density of people.”
“I got it,” Kyane said.
“Not every does get it, Kyane” Mr. Ayer said.
A wall of a man in a letterman jacket came through the door. “Oh, hey, Kyane! How are you!?” Desmond waved. He strolled over to Kyane. She buried her face in her hands and tried to imagine him going away. He took the closest seat next to her. “How were your two weeks off?” he asked.
Kyane starred in front of her and refused to look in his direction. “Fine,” she said. She drummed on her desk again. “What ahh, what about you,” she asked.
“Ohh, it was majorly rough, man, dude, brah, ahh, Kyane,” he finally settled on. “We had a team meeting a few days ago to go over everything that happened.”
Kyane nodded, but still didn’t look at him. “You’re taking all of this pretty well, well it seems like.”
“They would want me to look on the positive side of all this. Hanging out with friends like Harry, and Jamie also helped out too, a bit.” Kyane’s expression didn’t change when he said that. He slumped down in his desk. “My family isn’t really religious. We try but never can get going on Sunday. Anyway, I don’t know about all the Heaven stuff, but I feel like they’re in a better place now.”
Jamie came in a minute later and took the seat in front of Desmond. “So, how was… how was everyone’s fortnight off?”
“For-what?” Desmond asked.
“14 days,” Jamie said.
“We already went through this,” Kyane said. She didn’t look at him either.
Jamie faked a laugh. “Good, good.” He paused. “Ahh, so can you believe that some jack-holes snuck into school while they had days off? That is so nerd-like of them. Am I right? Just completely dorky.”
“Yeah, really strange,” Kyane said. She tapped rhythmically with the tips of her index fingers. Her voice was somewhere else.
“Totally,” Desmond said. He minimally nodded his head from side to side.
“I know the truth about you,” Jamie said.
Kyane’s body froze. Her pulse and movement slowed to a crawl. She shook for a second before responding. “Know what?” she said.
“I know you got rescued from the raptor?” Jamie asked. “How did you do that?”
Kyane tried to hide her sigh of relief. She had only been a hero for a few days and couldn’t let her secret be blown too soon. “Ohh, ahh,” She trailed off looking for the answer. “This person in a metal suit knocked the dinosaur out and rushed me away.”
“Us too!” Desmond said. He pointed his index fingers at them. “Well kinda. You missed him beating up all those scary raptors and their boss.” She looked despondent. “I was also, like, kind of a hero too. I stood up for the group. I did get recognized at our team meetings for that.”
“It’s a shame he couldn’t have come sooner,” Jamie said. “Three people died. It’s just not okay.”
Those words slashed Kyane’s wounds. She stood up and wrapped her book bag on her shoulder. “I need to go,” she said. She walked away from the two and closest to the door as possible and went back to tapping.
Desmond slapped Jamie’s shoulder. “Dude!”
Jamie rubbed his arm. “Sorry,” he said. “I don’t always know what the best thing to do is in this situation.”
Kyane spent the rest of the time before class started staring at the wall drumming and mumbling to herself. She got bewildered and crept outlooks by her classmates when they entered the room. They must have been equal parts confused and shocked she was on time and in a new seat.
After the bells rang and the pledge of allegiance was said everyone took their seats. Mr. Ayer grabbed his printed-out piece of paper and walked to the front of the classroom. He scanned the paper one last time, as if he was memorizing it, dabbed his eyes on his arm then spoke. “I hope your students had a productive few weeks off, but we must not forget why that time was given to all of you. That Monday night criminals held the whole baseball team hostage, and killed members of both your student body, and fellow teachers here. Tonight, we will…” his voice cracked again, and he sniffled. “Tonight, we will be holding a vigil for the lost students, teachers, classmates, friends, and family of those victims. The Superintendent, Governor, and Congressional leaders will all come to meet with you, our student body to help the healing process.” He balled the paper in his hands and used it as a tissue. “It’s at 7 tonight. Food will be included from sponsors in the area. I hope you all come. Even if you hated every single person that died, any loss hurts.” He walked to his desk, dropped down and tossed the piece of paper in the trash.
Kyane felt all the blood in her body rush to her feet and her body go numb. She went pale, and limbs twitched. Her pulse skyrocketed along with her breathing. She had failed. All this was happening because of what she couldn’t do. She should have been able to save all those people. She had the tools to do it but couldn’t. Now everyone is hurt and sad and it is all her fault she thought.
The walls closed in around her. She whipped her head from side to side. Everything was going dark. She heard D13 call out to her, but it was a distant voice. A bright light came through the growing darkness, followed by dropping from the highest peak of a roller coaster. The wind slapped against her face. The roller coaster went on three loops, corkscrewed down, and rode itself over a smaller hill before Kyane realized she was supposed to be in class and couldn’t figure out how she got there. She flashed her eyes open to see her classmates huddled around her with voices saying she had a stroke and passed out. Her head was throbbing. She looked around to see the floor closer than she remembered, and her desk tipped over on the floor.
Mr. Ayer pushed the students out of the wall and told them to sit down. He knelt beside her and held her hand. “Hey, do you know your name, and what day it is?” he asked with rushed concern.
Kyane tried to sit up, but Mr. Ayer leaned her head back down. “Yeah, my name is Kyane Yoritis, and it’s Monday. Can I get up now?”
“No, Kyane,” Mr. Ayer said. “Just lay down for a minute.” He looked over to Desmond. “Mr. Dice, can you come over here.” Desmond came over. “Can you lift her legs and place them on the seat?”
“Sure thing.” Desmond pivoted the desk and raised Kyane’s feet onto the desk’s seat. “How’s that Mr. A?”
Mr. Ayer stood up. “That’s perfect Desmond. The blood should return to your head shortly while we wait for the nurse to arrive.”
The nurse arrived pushing a wheelchair. Desmond went back to help Kyane to her feet. She pushed him away and got up on her own and walked to the nurse. The nurse tried to make her sit down, but Kyane refused. Mr. Ayer tried to press the issue. Kyane ignored him, tossed her book bag onto the wheelchair and walked with the nurse out of the classroom, and down the hall to the nurse’s office. “Has this ever happened to you before, miss?”
“Nope. I just felt really cold for a minute then fell. I’m fine.”
“Did you eat breakfast this morning? Get enough to drink?”
“Yup,” she replied like the one-word answer would have been close to enough. When they arrived at the nurse’s office, she sat down on one of the two beds. “I’m just going to hang out here for the rest of the class to gain my strength back,” Kyane said, almost convincing herself of the lie.
Kyane distanced herself the rest of the day from anyone who came up to ask if she was alright by saying that she was fine and ignoring everything else they asked of her. Desmond, Jamie, and Harry all sat by her at lunch and talked at her the whole time about the revelations they got about the mysterious superhero Dieous. Kyane just replied with a few “yeahs,” “ah-huhs,” and “sures,” before she got up from the table and tossed the rest of her food out before going to class.
“I wonder if everything is okay with her?” asked Desmond after Kyane left. He dipped his French fry into his puddle of ketchup like it was a quill and ink.
“She clearly is not fine,” Harry said.
“I agree. And, if I can tell she is clearly not okay then there is a major problem,” Jamie said.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” his voice drifted in a far-off place in his mind. “We didn’t see her or talk to her at all after the stuff at the baseball field. She never texted me back anyway.”
“Her phone was destroyed, man” Harry said. “Remember? Crushed in that dino general’s hands.” He used a few fires to demonstrate.
“He was a lieutenant,” Jamie corrected. “But I think she might just be sealing her emotions away,” Jamie said. “I read about that on the internet when I was…” he trailed off, trying to cover himself. The other two didn’t seem to notice. “Anyway, when Mr. Ayer told us that stuff she busted like a dam.”
“By falling out?” Desmond took a bite of his fry. “She’s also just been ignoring us though. Maybe she doesn’t like us.”
“I don’t think she ever did to start with,” Harry said. They both looked at him like he a giant growth. “Well for you two anyway. I spent like no time with her.”
“Let’s change that!” Desmond said. He pounded his fist on the table. “We will hang out with her at the vigil tonight.”
“That could work,” Jamie said. “Though if she doesn’t like us, she might just do what she’s been doing all day today.”
“I’ll try to change that.” A smile grew across Desmond’s face.
“How are you going to do that?” Harry asked. He leaned on the cafeteria table.
“Have fun. I’m not going,” Jamie said. “I don’t like crowds, groups, or any big body of people really.”
“The school will be easy to access,” Desmond said. “Everyone will be at the stadium, that means the school is ripe for the hacking!”
“That gives you a chance to get a better video of where Dieous came from and went and stuff!” Harry said.
“Okay,” Jamie sighed. “I’ll go. My parents will enjoy me leaving the house anyway.”
Desmond ate another fry. A smile across his face grew.