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Earth’s First Galactic Citizen
The Finder’s Fee.


Matuschka © 2004  


The first 25 of 269 pages





    Iddi Klu in his scout ship got information from its ship control chip that the ship had serious problems, needing repairs immediately. The scout vessel was passing through a solar system unknown to the Galactic civilization. The control chip informed Iddi that there was a planet with one citizen who not only seemed to have the mental quality needed for repairs, but a mind superior in comparison to Galactics it had looked at before anywhere. Iddi gave the ship discretion to make land close to the Galactic. With erratic flight entering the atmosphere the ship settled in the hillside yard of a structure which may well have been the residence of the Galactic.


    A two legged creature walked up the incline of the hill and the ship recognized it as the Galactic by its mental activity. By its telepathic transmission to its passenger the ship advised Iddi that the visible individual was the Galactic it discovered from space before landing in its proximity. Iddi got out of the scout vessel and walked to what the ship’s chip had advised him to be a Galactic. The eight year old David was looking at the bloodhound head of Iddi who via its teleamp communicated with him telepathically: ‘I need your help to fix my vessel David.’, pathed Iddi. David unaware that the communication was a transfer of thought shook his head as he answered Iddi in spoken words: “My dad is an engineer and he comes home about five. I will bring him here to help you.” David still looked at Iddi with wonder at his dog face as he turned to walk up the hill to his home.


The ship’s controller advised Iddi: ‘Iddi if you do not get this Galactic to help you fix the ship you will be stranded here for a hundred revolutions of this planet or more.’ The blood hound was not happy but found that he had no choice but; Iddi teleported David back to his ship. David’s curiosity displayed on his face at how he found himself back under the tree on the east side of the yard from which he had walked away just moments earlier. The question going through his mind was, how could that happen?


Iddi explained to David: ‘David, please I need your help, and only yours, to fix my ship.’ Iddi looked at David who to him looked like a cub, but instead of a dog, a humanoid creature. David looking at what seemed a dog that talked, wearing a suit, and standing on two legs instead of on all four. He nodded at the creature: “Okay show me what is wrong and I will see if I can help you.” As he saw Iddi walk through the wall of the vessel he followed him and found himself inside a large pot shaped vessel, as if he had walked through a door instead of through a wall.


David looked around for what he expected like a console and found nothing except walls through which he could look as if they were glass. He asked: “So where is your machine or whatever you want me to fix?” Iddi looked at him communicating with the ship: ‘what is wrong here?’ That was where the ship took over amplifying the size of its computer chip in David’s view. David was startled for just a moment till he saw the scramble in the connections of the vastly enlarged chip. “I do not have any tools to help.” He argued. The ship telepath’s to him,: ‘Just think at it and it will correct itself.’ David thought about a wrong connection and saw how the machine straightened itself out as if it were alive. David found it so amazing he saw it more like a game to play, not work. And piece by piece the apparatus gradually seemed to straighten itself out.


The ship saw bodily requirements of David’s body and supplied what nourishment it needed. Time went by David without his awareness and he had no idea that he sat there in Iddi Klu’s spacecraft day after day for a long week. Finally David saw that all was in order and his head snapped around at Iddi, asking: “Well that is all I can see here.  Are you satisfied?” Iddi who had seen the progress from time to time and had input from the ship computer nodded at him: ‘Yes David you did it all; now you can go.’  The two walked outside through the wall just as they came in days earlier.



Chapter 1

The alien bloodhound thoughtfully scrutinized his little assistant, wondering.  David, the eight year-old Californian human cub he had abducted for need of a second brain, had been an amazing companion and helper.  Now that the problem was found and fixed he still had some troubling thoughts.

Iddi still ignored the ship’s signal, telling him, ready to leave Terra.  The seconds ticked by, and the little alien and his ship, were still on the ground.  The signal of course, came from the repaired ship’s master.  Iddi Klu scratching his jowls with his paw like hand, was searching his mind, what, in his best judgment was the correct action to take. 

He, she, it, neither term was totally correct since the Klu change sex by choice, was mulling over what to do with the Galactic cub outside the ship.  A Galactic living among animals.

The Klu were neither Earlies nor Lates to the galactic civilization.  They were a canine race, and as such the only one in the Galaxy.  There were sub races amongst them ranging from a dog somewhere between a Dachshund and a Beagle right up to the tall, majestic Groders, which easily reached five hundred pounds, and may have looked like anything from a Great Dane to an Irish wolfhound.  Iddi’s’ clan hailed from an island where his bloodlines were pure.  The shape and appearance would have fooled most Earth people to accept him as a Bloodhound. 

Iddi was young for a galactic citizen.  In earth revs his age amounted to barely a hundred thousand which divided by three hundred sixty five comes to less than three hundred years.  The Klu were a semi nomadic race, so much so, you could consider them the Gypsies of the Galaxy. 

         As was so often the case with island residents, the nation Iddi stemmed from was obsessed with national pride.  This pride was not so much a subject for display, as it was an internal affair of their personal selbstbild. 

In galactic terminology, an animal was generally considered to be a mobile intelligent organism not capable of leaving its solar system.  These creatures fell into category one or two.  One being, zero technology, number two, included preevolved species in possession of technology, short of space travel.  The latter were usually not in contact with the galactic civilization in the real sense of the word.  What little contact existed served as food for superstition at worst, some reasonable acceptance or at least speculation that the Universe housed others than themselves, at best. 

Iddi Klu was in a hurry but, there were still a few seconds to spare.  Besides, who was counting time when it was a matter of honor, to pay ones debt, even if you wanted to disregard galactic law.  His ship had been stranded for seven revolutions of this planet and recovery could easily have taken another twenty.  Already two appointments had been canceled.  Iddi’s schedule was shredded by this malfunction of his vessel’s solid state command processor.  It was a fiasco. 

Iddi Klu could leave the usual finders’ fee, one twelfth of the recouped financial loss and no one would check the accuracy since no one bothered to check rewards to animals.  The finder’s fee was not really a requirement when dealing with an animal.  The fee was an ancient custom of his people from before they had been people.  It was also the law, but that was half a galaxy away, and only between people.  Usefully performing animals were petted, fed, maybe adopted into a household.  That was reward enough.  But David was more than an animal.

This humanoid specimen had not reacted to the stimulation of mental petting.  For Iddi Klu to stick around and take care of the beast was out of the question.  Adoption, Iddi scrutinized the cub, was impossible.  The skinny creature, an eight-year-old cub of the specie, out-massed him by five kilos already now.  Adopting, the cub in itself would force Iddi Klu into a heavy adjustment aboard the ship, which was where it spent two thirds of its time. 

Leaving without providing some reward was, Iddi Klu felt, to be beneath its stature.  It would cause no financial hardship to pay the finder’s fee. 

         The furthest thing from his mind was what the next ten minutes would do to all his plans.  The changes this meeting with the Earthling David would bring to his life, were beyond his wildest imagination. 

At the moment one question however remained.  What would "David Boulder", Iddi Klu knew that the little beast had a name, and what it was, what would David Boulder do with a credit account at his disposal with the United Cluster Trust.  The credit would sit there till doomsday. 

Iddi Klu dwelled on this problem for a few seconds and developed the necessary strategies to circumvent the obstacles to David's admission to the Galactic University.  The first roadblock was a lack of interface capability with the school.  Without the personal teleport amplifier, even a regular citizen of the galactic civilization, would be hard put, to avail himself of any of the many services peddled around the spiral arm, and these days, far beyond.  Iddi Klu had been thinking of replacing its personal teleport amplifier for some time, with one of the new intergalactic Mark IIIY specials, no less. 

Well, first things first.  Iddi Klu opened the account in David Boulder’s name.  Once that was accomplished, David was enrolled in the University Spiral Center.  This needed a touch of creativity to compensate for David’s total lack of galactic cultural indoctrination.

Iddi’s first attempt brought him a refusal from the university admissions dean.  The enrollment of a freshmen student from a pre-evolved race had to be approved by a sentient.  Iddi gave this some thought, then unperturbed he decided, it would have to be a matter of getting to Siggi Klu a third level cousin.  Yes Siggi, who was a member of the board of education. 

Siggi shook his head at Iddi’s plan to provide the humanoid cub of the earth animal specie with a galactic education.  Iddi would not be denied.  First of all it was a debt of honor, he explained, second it was the law on the Klus’ planet.  Bluntly he asked Siggi whether it was suggested he break the law.  Siggi didn’t want any of this bag of apples. 

So, Iddi Klu, in order to facilitate an easy transition, recorded David with the university as an accident victim in need of medical attention.  Iddi chuckled to itself; the university computer was about to be taxed to the limit with this student.  Iddi had been searching for brainpower while coming in for a near crash-landing.  His search engine had set sights on David without delay. Fact was David lit up on Iddi’s screen like a quasar. A quick scan established that, the mind capacity of this human cub pushed the evaluation algorithm past the end of its scale.  The week Iddi had spent with the earth cub was not anything like being with an animal.  Outside of the search for the glitch, the boy had been an amusing, interesting, and yes, fascinating companion.  Iddi the loner had for the first time in his life found someone to make him reconsider his desire for solitude.  For the Klu it was a revelation. 

Now, that all the necessities with the outside galaxy had been dealt with, the final touch, without which none of this could work, was due.  Iddi Klu teleported its own well-dated teleport amplifier out of his head. This was done with directions to move straight into the skull of David Boulder.  Iddi felt somewhat naked and lonely without the hardware in his head. 

For Earth this was an absolute first.  No dweller of Terra possessed a personal teleport amplifier.  The very existence of the galactic civilization was not even suspected.  The technology to develop a three dimensional integrated device with less than three atom line width, which amounts to about three angstrom, in itself would have been considered an impossibility by the engineers in Silicon Valley or on Route 128. 

The personal teleport amplifier was vastly more than the name implied.  A standard model, readily available to anyone without restriction, would boost telepathic, teleportation and telekinetic talent, or potential, from a completely useless level to a perfectly workable strength.  That capability was the original purpose for the teleport amplifier’s development.  A crutch for the weak, the disabled and for those members of the galactic civilization that had joined before genetic equivalence to the galactic norm, in the areas of mental development in general, and kinetic power in particular, had been achieved. 

That was in the far past.  Now, was an entirely different story.  The personal teleport amplifier, called teleamp in daily use, had grown in competence and reach beyond anything the original designers had ever envisioned.  No citizen of the galaxy would be without it because it resembled nothing short of a supermarket of transportation and communication with half a dozen extras thrown in, not the least of which was the gravity controller. 

The Klus were well suited for warp prospecting.  Their small body mass made for cheap travel.  Their temperament relaxed to the point of laziness allowed for long periods of solitude in good health while searching the galaxy for warps to order, or in lean times on spec. 

Iddi Klu felt somewhat ill at ease.  Iddi was also happy, with the conclusion of his involuntary stay on Terra.  Ill at ease, because of the absence of the micro-miniature teleamp, he gave up to David.  And he was happy and pleased to have managed to cut short the delay, caused by the unexpected breakdown of his scout class space vessel.  Iddi was proud to some degree, about solving the problem, how to reasonably square its debt to David Boulder.  It should be mentioned here that even amongst the Klu, where eccentricity was more a norm than an exception this latest act of generosity would have been considered bizarre, if not unwise. 


Chapter 2

A man who looked to be in his twenties sat on a rock, a quarter mile from the spot amongst the trees, and bushes on the hillside, where Iddi Klu and his space vessel lifts off, ending their unscheduled stay on Earth.  There was something strikingly familiar about him.  He had been sitting on the rock and observing the goings on from this considerable distance with interest, but without display of excitement or concern.  Now that alien and ship were gone, and David had started on his way down the hill towards his home, he got up from his perch on the rock and leisurely strolled along a deer trail and suddenly he was out of sight.

A few minutes later the only creatures remaining in sight were the two chicken hawks that have been riding the thermal above the hillside to gain altitude.  Then they had reached the limit of the free ride, letting the wind carry them to the next ridge with another updraft. 

David Boulder had been missing since the evening of Saturday seven days ago.  At first, William Boulder, who was David's father, when he found out about his missing boy, was merely annoyed.  When the eight-year-old David still had not turned up by midnight, Boulder reminded himself that he too, at the age of seven, had pulled a disappearing act.  Mid morning the following day, phone calls to the school, it was closed, and some of the Boulder boy's friend’s homes had brought no results, a degree of panic had set in at the house of the missing boy.  Yes, the older Boulder conceded, at first silently to himself and then finally to his wife, David, was in fact gone and could not be found without help. 

With a heavy heart William Boulder picked up the phone and reported his son missing.  The Sheriff's dispatcher stamped the report at seven minutes after one. 

At a quarter to two a Deputy arrived at the Boulder home to fill out the missing person report form.  Over the next five days the Sheriff's office and the police department of the city of San Rafael, Larkspur and Novato made every effort in the routine and some outside the routine to find David Boulder.  It should be said, it was to no avail. 

Routine investigation disclosed that David had told of his taking hikes in an unincorporated area of Marin County some two miles from his home.  By the fourth day of David’s disappearance, the hillside above and around the Los Ranchitos subdivision and the southern part of the county had been combed thoroughly.  First by the Sheriff's horse patrol and then by a group of volunteers made up in part by members of the Fire Departments of San Rafael and Kentfield, and in part by boys and girls from Redwood High. 

Iddi Klu had seen the search parties, determined them to be straightforward biological units of the local specie, devoid of technical amplification.  Even though both parties practically fell over David and rode into Iddi Klu’s scout vessel, the telepathic shield provided by the alien permitted not one member of the searchers group to recognize the boy or take note of the alien's craft. 

David had been aware of the activity around the scout-craft.  It did not distract him.  His total conscious attention was focused on the repair-job, to the exclusion of all else.  Iddi had no problem with the help of the ship nourishment facility, to take care of David's eating needs.  The teleamp checking the mix of carbon, metals, salts minerals and water, provided with perfection.  One thing was missing.  David had lost track of time.  He was still unaware of the lost week. 

The processing of a new student at the Galactic University usually was a totally automated sequence of events.  Millions of citizens enrolled in any single week.  Credit was established, the curriculum presented, the counselor provided a simple table of the student's level of aptitude in each of the schools subjects, requested a choice and debited the cost of the course from the enrollee’s bank.  The snag in David’s case was something akin to amnesia, and a rather dated personal teleport amplifier requiring some troubleshooting, in particular with the interface to the brain. 

Within a few seconds David was connected up to the University clinic.  It was immediately diagnosed, that the teleport amplifier needed repairs as well as updates.  The two jobs were started at once.  Cases like this were rare, but a few were in the memory bank.  The procedure was similar to the repairs, on the ship’s computers David had just completed. 

The program of updating, interfacing and repair was done with David's assistance, but did not require the concentration that had been necessary while he worked on the ship's master.  David had learned a lot about this kind of work in the last seven days.  He understood, that the minute material he manipulated, without ever of course touching it with his hands, were the building blocks of matter, molecules and atoms.  The mind of the child accepted this without prejudice.  It was so easy, to detect the flaws in the latticework of matter, and rearrange it with a minimum of logic, it was fun.  David enjoyed it as much as he enjoyed jigsaw puzzles. 




David was almost home, when he met Susan Crane. She was the first person to see him, since his disappearance.  Susan was a classmate of David’s, and lives across the gully a hundred feet down the hill, from the Boulder home. 

Susan had been caught up in the excitement over David's disappearance for all of last week.  It had brought not only David, but her as well, to prominence.  In the process she had realized that she had a crush on him and his being lost made her feel a loss of her own.  Now, after her mom had warned her to stay away from strangers, since for sure that was what happened to David, trust in a stranger caused wicked things to happen to him.  Here he was whole and unhurt. 

"Mom, look here he is", she pauses, to look for some sign of abuse, torn cloth, scratches, dirt, blood.  Yes blood was a sure sign of harm.  But nothing; no matter how she scrutinized the Boulder boy he looked sound, healthy and relaxed.  Mrs. Crane caught a hint of the excitement in Susan's voice. 

"Yes Susan who is here?”  But Susan was already up and running out the door, which slammed close behind her with a resounding bang.  The way Susan sounded to her mother, and the urgency with which she had gone out of the house, got her mother’s curiosity up enough to leave her kitchen for the rear porch.  There she would be able to look out on the hill and find the 'he', who got her little girl to leap up and run out of the house.  When she recognized the he coming down the hill, was David, she understood the excitement.  She joined her daughter to welcome the Boulder boy.  After the past weeks upheaval over David’s abduction, Joyce Crane felt curious, about where the boy had spent all of last week, and why he had caused his parents such worry. 

"Where have you been all week?” Susan hammered at David with her fists.  The boy was bewildered.

“Are you nuts?  I've only been gone for a couple of hours".

“Are you nuts,” Susan aped him.  “It was a week since everybody started looking for you." She yelled at him in exasperation.  David looked at her, bewildered at first and then with a frown of concentration.  The microchip present in his head informed David. 

‘Yes David you were indeed gone all week.  Look! This is what you were doing.’ 

It does it not just by telling him but by creating a picture of Iddi and the scout vessel David had spent the last seven days with.  Like a flash the missing week was there in full, with color, sound, smell and touch.  There was no escaping it, when he saw the alien Iddi and his scout ship.  All at once, he replaced the frown on his face with an embarrassed grin.  The impression the telepathic message he got made him believe what he had been told.  But wondering who by, he looked up and down the hill, asking.

“Where are you?  Who are you?”

The teleamp responded by explaining.

‘I am Iddi Klu’s teleamp; or rather I am David Boulder’s teleamp now. I am part of the finder’s fee Iddi gave you for finding his processor’s glitches.  Here!’ 

The microchip replayed the final minute’s transactions.  David just experienced the first function of his personal teleport amplifier.  With the little machine in his head he had better than a good memory, he had acquired total recall.  The clouded memories of the past were gone forever from his life.  From this second on, impeccable, perfect and total recall was his, just for the asking, or rather for a moment of concentration.  All this David got from a unit of dated technology, less than perfectly interfaced, operated by the most inexperienced user in the galaxy.  David stared at Susan, now aware there was no one talking to him.

“How am I going to explain this?”

The teleamp transmits to David while David is questioning.

‘There is no need to verbalize David, this kind of surface communication is very easy to read and your spoken words just create an echo.’

‘You can hear me think?’

David shook his head.  Susan had looked to see what David had been turning to look at.  Not seeing anything, she turned back to the boy.

“Yes, where have you been all week long?”

Here Susan's mother Joyce took over with what she considered to be her motherly instinct.  She was close enough to be easily heard without the need of raising her voice:

"Come in David you must be starved, poor dear.  Come on, have a piece of fresh pie!"

The children had almost reached her, and she turned back into the house with that typical air of the adult toward the next generation, which never quite allows a choice.  David had little choice in the matter, since Susan kept pulling him by the hand impatiently, curious, excited and somewhat eager for a piece of pie, she admitted to herself.  It wasn’t exactly what David had planned.  So what was a fellow to do?  David allowed himself to be dragged into the Crane's kitchen to sit down and have a piece of fresh pie.  It turned out to be apricot pie, delicious, and still warm from the oven. 

David tried to use the time while munching at the kitchen table to think about a plausible explanation for his week long absence.  David was trying it on, in his mind. 

‘My Mom, no way, maybe my Dad?’ 

‘They would never believe it, me sitting up there with the funny little bloodhound guy fixing his flying saucer like in the cartoons.  I'll have to invent something to explain my not coming home for a whole week.’ 

‘This is going to be tough, real tough’.  He was kicking it around in his head, ‘I'll tell them, I’ll not tell them, I’ll tell them.’ 

But nothing came to mind.

‘I guess I am gonna be grounded for a day, a week?  No, two weeks?  Maybe a month!  Dad'll take my bike away!’

David groaned with a full mouth.  The Cranes both took it to be hunger.  ‘I am going to get it good.’  He was sure, ready to give up the search for an explanation that would get him off.  Not off, like off scot-free, but off like a light.  Somehow the apricot pie just didn't taste quite that good anymore. 

While David ate her pie with an occasional groan, Susan's mother inspected him, looking for signs of wear, damage, despair, anything.  She kept on shaking her head, trying to unravel the mystery.  How could an eight-year-old boy disappear, and be gone for a week, a whole week.  And then show up, damn it, unharmed?  No not just unharmed but with not a single hair out of place.  You wonder how the mother took it, were her thoughts. It roused her curiosity.

 “What does your mother say to you coming back?”

David's cheeks were bulging.  All he could do was shake his head. 

The Crane woman had the phone off the hook and was dialing.  Four One One; there were two rings.

"What city please”?  The operator asked.  "San Rafael, Boulder, William I think".

Susan’s mother memorized the number just well enough to punch it into the phone.  This time it took five rings before David's mother answered the phone. 

        "Hello, Sharon, this is Joyce Crane.  I've got good news for you, David just walked into the house and he is all right, really all right”. She hung up the telephone because her last words had gone into a dead line.  Sharon had hung up.

        Susan's mother felt for the boy’s mother and with the feeling of understanding what the Boulder woman must have been going through in the last seven days; she knew the first question on the mother’s mind, 'how would her son be, what had happened to him, was he all right?'

Sharon, interrupting her, had said no more, than: "I am coming over", before breaking the connection.  While waiting for the mother, it began to sink in.  It struck her that somehow the boy looked all wrong.  David just sat there, stuffing his mouth with apricot pie, sipping from the milk she had poured him, but even though he was only on the second piece of pie he had already slowed down considerably.  It just didn't look like the kid had been starving for a week.  Where had he been?  Who fed him?  Who had taken care of him?  It was all very puzzling. 

More than that, she thought that her woman's intuition told her something more than that, David Boulder was all right.  He looked better than just all right, and that's what puzzled her.  She felt it was decidedly odd, when a boy had been gone from his mother's care and attention for a week, he should look as good, and clean, and sharp as David did.  She thought of the care and attention she gave to Susan and for that matter to her husband and how quickly any neglect showed up in her daughter's appearance, her dress, her hair, her shoes.  It must be David, the boy looked capable, even mature.  She scoffed at her own thought; an eight-year old, mature? 

The University Hospital section found a way to channel through David’s synapses and build up the power-flow so very necessary to the proper functioning of a teleport amplifier.  The machine that was looking after setting up his brain’s interface to the teleamp had been close to requesting a check by a sentient.  This particular problem needed extra attention and some possible override instructions.  Every time it neared the decision to call for help, the obstruction in the brain seemed to loosen sufficiently to abort such a call.  The apparatus decided instead to run a check on its own programming for possible faults. 

One of the side effects of the machine's repair-work on David was that he had flashes of vision as if the picture of the world outside were thrown on the wall of the kitchen.  An added strange feature was that, right through the wall, he saw his mother coming down the hill to the Crane’s house, her face strangely tense. 

That is how he saw that her next step would bring her foot squarely on the skateboard and he could already see her falling.  He shot up from his chair his face intent with a shout on his lips. 

"Mom!”  The anticipation of pain made him wince and with intensity, driven by the desire to stop the accident, it forced to clear the path in the newly built interface.  This was the final push, this time from his side and it cleared the circuits between the student, patient and the teleamp IC implanted in his skull.

Animal and machine became one.  This primeval strength growing from his terror, this powerful cry of his mind from want and need to stop the pain from happening, pushed against the suddenly open line.  The kinetic force of his first chance ever, to exercise, of his own volition, a function of his brain that was atrophied beyond recognition in every kind of animal known to exist in the Galaxy, was overpowering.  It was a moment where the danger of a mere fall down the hill, was insignificant when compared to the danger of a fifty ton crane, of relatively unlimited reach, with an inexperienced boy of eight years at the controls.  This parallel to the situation was quite conservative. 

The feed back instantaneous and well tuned brought this strange new condition of his mind to his awareness as suddenly as it was brought to the attention of the hospital.  The computer registered an out of alignment condition, either due to a gain in the bio-computer signal feedback of the teleport amplifier, which by now was at a seventy four point operating level, or an over-functioning of the teleport amplifier.  Last but not least it could be a temporary glitch of over-stimulation due to the clinics work on the apparatus to affect repair towards conversion. 

The present degree of over-function was a new high.  The nearest, in potential over-control, in the memory of the hospital was a person who in the process of full kinetic force teleamp application had pushed himself right through the permawall of a space freighter. 

At that time the death of the citizen was a problem beyond the hospitals capability.  Today the hospital was equipped to deal with even such severe an accident.  Then, instant frying of the body, made repairs, at the then existing state of the art in medicine, impossible. 

The safeties had been advanced for the duration of the repairs and therefore cut out the amplifier just short of its instantaneous destruction.  The retrieve was enough to save Mrs. Boulder’s life.  The minute remainder of the projected kinetic force hit the woman exactly where David's hands would have hit her, had he stood in front of her, namely in the stomach. 

No one other than David saw the accident.  Sharon was thrown about a hundred feet up into the air and then she came crashing down.  In falling she twisted her torso, and on impact she crushed her spine in the lower area of L4 and L5.  The result was a partial paralysis.  One of her legs, and three fingers of her right hand had turned stiff.  She didn’t know about that at this particular moment, because she had lost consciousness. 

David sat frozen by fear, unable to move hands still up in the air.  The teleamp neutralized the adrenaline, and David was ready to take action.  It was nothing more than jumping off the stool and running out of the kitchen across the deck down the stairs and up the hill. 

David had never run as fast as he did in these seconds.  Since he, in his eagerness, lost balance five, six times the teleamp cut in with enough teleportation to avoid a fall.  This caused some of his steps to become kangaroo jumps.  The Cranes, mother daughter pair tried to follow David, but by the time they came out the door onto the porch, David was standing by his mother's side bending over her shouting.  "I am sorry, mom; I didn't mean to do it.  Please wake up mommy! Please get up mommy! Mommy”? He touched her face, then he lifted her head trying to revive her. 

The two Cranes reached the woman on the ground.  Mrs. Crane knelt by the quiet shape on the ground fearing that the excitement of the son’s return after a week of worry about his disappearance must have been one thing more than she could take.  'Simply, of course': she thought, 'Mrs. Boulder had fainted'.

The teleamp pathed David.  'The female ought not to be moved, her lower spine is broken into splinters which, propelled in the direction they point now, will do irreparable damage'. 

David shook his head, trying to clear his head.  He looked around for who might be talking to him, before his puzzlement drove him to ask. 

"Who are you? How do you know?”  The teleamp came back slowly. 

'David, I am your teleamp.  You don’t have to vocalize when communicating with me.  I can see the damage quite clearly.  You could too if you wanted to. You should request for repair assistance at once if you want to salvage the female'.

David made another attempt to locate the source of all this information.  Failing to find anyone he decided to give soundless telepathing a try.  Very slowly he pathes back moving his lips.

'Are you nuts? This is my mom, not some female.  What’s a repair facility? Do you mean a hospital?'

The teleamp cut into the word hospital with its reply.  'No need to slow down for me I can accommodate speeds better than a thousand times faster.  Yes, precisely true a hospital is urgently required.  Fetch it at once.'

Joyce was stroking David's shoulder, the boy, it was obvious to her was near tears.  She reassured him.

“Your mother will be all right David, don't worry! Susy quick fetch a cushion for her and let’s make her comfortable”.

She tried to straighten out the body on the lawn looking about for help.  It was impossible to move Sharon’s body.  It was as stiff as a board.  David saw the labored breathing of his mother with relief.  In his head David heard the teleamp. 

‘The female must be stopped from moving your mom.  Your mom requires immediate attention by a repair unit.  Fetch a repair unit’. 

David struggled with soundless pathing.  ‘What are you telling me, bring a hospital here? That’s impossible.  We can call an ambulance to take her there.’ The teleamp broke into his last word.  ‘Yes precisely true.  It must be done at once.  Call an ambulance.’ David was thinking about telephone book and number with anxiety. 

The thought struck him to call information for the number.  He looked up at the house and the telephone starteds to show through the solid walls.  He saw the phone coming off the hook and he heard the dial tone.  The vision was magnified so much he could see the dialing of four one one taking place.  Again he heard the voice in his head. This time it was a request for instructions from the teleamp.

‘To where shall we order the ambulance to come?’  David gotets frantic and started to hyperventilate before he got the words out.

'I don’t know, here of course.  I mean number fifteen Indian Road.’ David just heard as in the background the teleamp asking for an ambulance. 

The operator came through loud and clear. 

“Which ambulance service do you want Madam?’  David heard the teleamp’s insistent response.

“This is an emergency, we don’t know anything other than we need it here at fifteen Indian road, and right now”.  The operator’s voice turned metallic and unemotional. 

“Yes madam I’ll dial it for you”. David was faintly aware that the operator ordered the ambulance for them, in the same metallic monotonous voice. 

'How did you do this'? He only thought the question.  Yet there was an immediate response.  'The operator had no intention to cooperate, so I had you take charge of her.  She won’t remember a thing about it'.

Joyce had been looking at her neighbor for a minute with anxiety building in her face.  She mumbled half to David and half to herself. 

“I think this is worse than I thought we better call an ambulance”.  David gave her a puzzled look.  It was not quite clear to him that the woman could be unaware of the teleamp’s interplay with the operator.

'Best to calm this female down', the advice came from the teleamp.  David looked at the Crane home and as he grew tense the walls grew thin until he saw the inside.  And there he saw Susan walking to the door. 

One, two, three, four steps and there she was coming through the door.  The more intently he had looked the sharper and clearer the view of the inside turned.  His gaze swung back to his mother, who was groaning now, he momentarily saw the crushed grass and dirt underneath her when his focus grew too intense, before his eyes saw the whole of her again. 

It was still unnerving to just on a thought see the ground and then have it disappear like a snap.  Mom looked quite normal again.  How did it happen, what was he doing?  He looked at her intently and again to his eyes the ground replaced the body.  Now David heard the noise of a car coming up the driveway, and his attention was on this and the fact that it took so awfully long. 

David stood up to be sure it was his driveway the motor could be heard from.  He then gave the two Cranes a short look, telling them.  "Please stay here with mom, I’ll go and get them."  He was off running and caught the driver just as he got out of the ambulance.

 David was anxious and impatient.  He couldn’t stop himself from complaining.  "What took you so long?  My mom is hurt bad, I need her to get to a hospital fast." Stan, the driver, was used to meeting and dealing with relatives of accident victims’ nervous impatience.  He just nodded at David as he walked to the back, to help the paramedic get the stretcher out.  He then turned to David questioning.  "Where is she son?" David just waved in the direction of the backyard while he first danced around, and then tried to keep in step with the ambulance team on their way to his mother.


Chapter 4

Minutes later the ambulance with Sharon was on its way down the hill.  Joyce looked on the boy with doubts.  This was all going too fast for her.  She was ready to go home when a thought struck her.  "Maybe you should come with us till your dad comes home, David." The boy just quietly shook his head.  "I don’t wanna."  Joyce nodded at David, and the two Cranes went back home.

‘The Driver seems to be lost David.  He is turning every which way.  We should assist him or help will be too late.’ 

David nodded, thinking.  ‘What can I do?  They are gone.’  The teleamp would not be put off. 

‘The driver is visualizing his destination, shall we help him?’ The information from the device was disturbing to David.  ‘Sure, but what can we do?’

The driver was about to turn left on north San Pedro Road, when without warning he found himself turning into the emergency driveway of Marin General.  He made a correction on the wheel and slowed down, biting his lips in panic.  The fearful thought was, ‘I must have fallen asleep at the wheel’.  But how was that possible?  What was really puzzling was how in hell he could have gotten here if he was asleep for fifteen minutes. It was tough to take.  He worried, he might have crashed.  The question why didn’t he, would be food for nightmares for many months to come. 

The driver got out and the paramedic was at the rear door pulling on the stretcher.  "Man oh man, are you tripping or what.  This is the fastest pickup ever."

The driver touched his head, then he felt his heart, he looked at the sky, then he crossed himself.  The Paramedic watched him with suspicion. 

"Will you shut up boy?  Do you want to lose our job here?" The paramedic shook his head while they rolled the stretcher with Sharon on it inside. 

The teleamp was not satisfied.  ‘David, this is very unscientific and inefficient.  Will the facility be able to fix the damage?’  David looked at his head holo with a doubtful look.  ’Yes, no?’ David was so exited he looked for what to tell the damn machine in his head: ‘I don’t know.’ The teleamp suggested.  ‘Let us go and look.’

David was stumped, but slowly got the idea that he didn’t have to talk out loud to inform the teleamp in him? He still wondered at how that could be but accepted it.  ‘How? They are gone.’ The holo grinned at him with more of a smile than before: 

‘Yes precisely true.  Here we go.’

David found he stood in front of the emergency entrance, while the ambulance team rolled his mother into the hospital.  The driver gave David a smile till he recognized the kid.  Then he froze and got the shivers.  He felt sick to his stomach.  He would have liked nothing better than to throw up.  All he could think of was how to get rid of the patient, as fast as possible.

The head holo looked at David with a frown.  ‘He doesn’t like you, he is scared of you.  Why is that when we did nothing but help him?’ David looked half after his mother half at his holo.  ‘It scares me being here quick like and sudden and I may not understand how and why, but at least I have an idea, that, you or I can do this somehow.  If I am shaky, these guys should be scared out of their skulls.’  The holo turned a three hundred sixty.  ‘Oh, it computes. Shall I block their vision of us?’

David nodded questioningly.  ‘Can you do that?' Then David tilted his head at the holo, feeling silly he agreed.  'Oh, of course you can, that was how the sheriffs couldn’t see us with Iddi, while they walked all over us.’  A nurse walking towards them saw David flash out of existence and missed a step.  Then without stopping, she continued looking around to see if anyone else had possibly seen this miracle. 

The teleamp was dubious about the facility and started to question David. 

‘Do you consider this repair service capable of helping fix your mom? I don’t compute it is.  Shouldn’t you check on their skill and technology level?’

David listened and grew alarmed.  ‘What can I do, or should I say what can you do?’

 The holo shook its head at David.  ‘You are in charge; I only function with your brain power and will.  I will take charge only in emergencies to save you or to further your emotional needs.  What computes in this particular situation, is to follow up.  So let us join your mom.’ 


Chapter 5

David nodded with an affirmative thought.  As David materialized in the x-ray room; he looked around trying to understand what the recent model of Roentgen machine was all about.  His mom was positioned under the camera.  The operator adjusted Sharon’s body, before she stepped back behind the lead lined wall and flipped the switch to on. Two physicians, a radiologist and an intern stood next to her and looked at the screen. 

 David at first watched without comprehension.  His holo shook its head rapidly like a dog shaking off water, then turned to David. 

‘This is not a viable technology; we must improve their apparatus' capability.’ 

David nodded at the holo.  ‘How are we going to do this?’  'I will do it and you watch the animals for dangerous reactions.  If you see a problem we’ll cancel their existence.’

David shook his head at the holo.  ‘You can’t just go and kill them; they are people.’  The holo tilted its shaking head at David. 

‘They are not, but we’ll just wipe their memory of what they see.’ David nodded with satisfaction. 

There was consternation in the room.  One doctor, the radiologist stared at the display tube, his head shaking; the intern pointed his finger at the screen, his face to the operator.  David looked at the screen to see what was bothering them.  The view of his mom’s inside was clearing and sharpening.  It turned three-dimensional and started to show color. 

The doctor with his finger on the screen questioned the operator.  “How are you doing this?”  Turning to the intern he asked.  "Did we get in some new equipment? Have you ever…?"  His mouth gaped.  The second doctor looked and waved his hand at the operator.  “Quick get a picture of this.”

The operator was nervous, but it did not stop her from turning off all light, leaving only the red light in the corner on.  She pulled a blank negative from an orange box and slid it into the x-ray machine.  She touched a timer and walked behind the lead screen while cautioning the doctors.  “Doctor, you must step back doctor, I can get into real trouble if you don’t.”

The two doctors’ looked at each other, they were shaking their heads. One turned back.  “Missi, this is too important. This is a change in X-ray history, a few rads are nothing, compared to this.  Look, this means we need no exploratory.  It’s all as clear as day.  It’s L4 and L5 where the damage is with these”, he pointed to the screen.  “We know exactly what and how.”

  The operator shook her head.  She was too shaken to argue with the two.  The exposure over she dropped the negative into the developer for a few seconds, then the fixer while she turned on the light.  True to the image on the screen, the negative was showing color and three dimensions.

The holo grinned at David with a glint of satisfaction.

‘That is the best we can do, with this they must be able to repair your mom.  There is nothing better in the galaxy that I know of.  Are they calm enough for us to be able to avoid making adjustments on their minds?’

David nodded his head ‘Yea, they are all right.  Should we go back to the residence now?’  David pulled up his eyebrows at the holo. ‘How?  Same as we came?’  ‘As you wish’.





It was Monday, a school day.  David was back, after missing with Iddi for a week, in class, back to his normal routine.  He sat in his usual seat, third row far left next to the window, during the second subject on Monday morning.  It was his math class, and he was not with it.  The teleamp was questioning everything constantly. As soon as the bus came to pick David up at Circle Road, it asked:.

‘Why are you walking to this toy contraption? Why is it yellow all over? Is it a ritual thing of the animals here or are you being conditioned? I can not detect any EM emission of value.’ 

But that was just the beginning, when David, and all the kids, got off at the school.  ‘What are we doing here?’

By the time half the school day was over the teleamp questioned David.  ‘What if you don’t come to these cultural events?’ David informed his electronic companion.  ‘It makes me a truant.  They will send a police officer and pick me up and put me in detention.’  The teleamp’s floating holohead shook very slowly. 

‘I read no capability to trace you, not to mention, they have no facility to keep you in.  They are harmless animals to a galactic citizen like you.’

 David looked at the holo rolling his eyes, and then he laughed out loud.  He forgot he was sitting in his classroom with the teacher’s attention on him, for the uncalled outburst.  He made an effort to muffle the laughter, and turned his head aside. 

‘You are right, but I’ll have to figure out what I can get away with and what I can do.  It’ll take a while. I will give this some thought.  Just leave me be for a while.’

David experimented with his new found vision, right through the wall into the next classroom, and with a little exertion, past the second wall into the next room as well.  He also tried out the other new facility by knocking the chalk from the teachers’ hand.  She was a nimble one, so far he had succeeded three times and every time she caught the chalk before it hit the ground.  Then the fourth time he fumbled it, the chalk did not drop, but shot up, bounced off the wall, then hit the ceiling and then fell down behind her, and half the class was snickering. 

He too burst into a laugh.  David’s teacher, Miss Slater, gave him a troubled look.  She had talked to him briefly about his disappearance, but the boy had offered no explanation as to his whereabouts for any of the seven days he had been missing.  She wondered where he had been, or what he had done, and most of all, why?  She busied her mind. 

‘The boy I’ve got back from wherever is very different from the David of a week ago.  He is definitely more playful.  Is this a new level of confidence? Then there is this new accurateness, add to this, his fast response, which doesn’t only set him apart from his former self, but, it makes him look like a new David.  He sure sticks out from the class as a whole.  I’ll have to keep an eye on this boy, and I better get back to my class.’

David got a lot of consideration for having been lost.  He had been given the opportunity to stay home for a few days, but dad’s questions at home had been a little difficult to deal with, and he had decided to get back into the normal days routine as quickly as possible.  David could hear Miss Slater thinking. 

‘It is entirely unreasonable for him to be sent to school immediately, following his return.  The weekend is not a reasonable time for recovery, after being lost for one whole week.’

David knew from her thoughts, she was looking at him.  So he looked at her, instantly refocusing on his own classroom trying to bury the last part of a snicker, tilting his head toward his chest.  But it had just been too funny, to watch the other teacher's frustration with her chalk. 

The following day David had a doctor’s appointment.  What Doctor Slider reflected on, how strange it was, that the boy could not remember one single thing.  The whole week was, for him at least, as if it had never happened.  Nor was there any strain noticeable to him, but of course he was not a child psychiatrist.  But he was the father of four and was used to seeing at least something when one of the children tried to cover up one thing or other.  He suggested he would look in again on Sunday to see how David was doing, but could offer no reason why the boy should stay home from school, particularly since he didn’t want to. 

Doctor Slider, as a general practitioner, felt at a loss about this situation.  He recommended for David to see Doctor Shaefer, a child psychiatrist.  This Boulder boy should be the perfect meat for him.  Shaefer came from the school of thought that viewed genuine full-blown cases of amnesia without very noticeable brain damage as impossible.  This case, Doctor Slider hoped, would proof him wrong to his own satisfaction and beyond a doubt.  It was not to work out that way. 

David felt some slight unease, when going in for his first appointment.  It only took a few minutes of pathing the doctors’ thoughts to erase all trepidation.  Doctor Shaefer’s thoughts were divided, between thinking about the week’s schedule, and his desire to prove his friend Doctor Slider, who after all was only a GP, wrong.  The teleamp informed David, that the scrambled thinking processes of the practitioner were highly detrimental to archiving a valid conclusion.  It made David wonder if Doctor Shaefer might decide to prescribe some ugly tasting pills, or demand a brain scan to cover up his indecision, and failure to detect a cause and reason for David’s unexplained absence. 

David’s new ability of looking through walls and to push around things, including people, like his mother, without having to physically touch them, like no hands; Mom was decidedly odd even if the explanations from the teleamp seemed quite convincing.  Was this maybe a real sickness? Was he ill, even though he felt perfectly fine? 




The next school day’s subjects include PE.  David looked forward to it with rather happy anticipation.  The last few days after returning from his bout with Iddi, he found he could jump six feet high and run up and down the three-hundred-foot, 6 degree driveway without running out of breath, or even he felt, reaching limits of what he could do. 

What troubled David was his mom’s not wanting to have him come and visit her at the hospital.  Why would she try to avoid him? David really wished he could find out, but he hesitated to use his new found talent on her.  It was too much of an invasion of her privacy, and it was still scary to him. 

David found another problem sneaking into his life.  Two hours after going to bed, sometime about eleven o’clock, he would wake up, ready and rearing to get up, get dressed and go to school.  As the boy found himself in the atrium fully dressed, his dad, still working on his homework looked at him with surprise.  “Where are you going young man?  I thought you had gone to bed.” David looked at his father as understanding was fed to him by his teleamp.  ‘You will not need more than two hours of sleep from here on in.  You can fill your extra time with reading, sport or traveling.  Well traveling is out you don’t have a ship for that.  Your information base is lacking.’

David gave his dad the news, as fast as it was fed to him, by his little companion.  The older Boulder scratched his head in puzzlement.  “Dear David I don’t know what is going on with you, but if you can fill me in, I will try to accommodate your new needs.”  Bill sat with his son for the next hour and David talked about his experience of the week he was gone.  He did it carefully and devoid of emphasis, following the advice of the teleamp. It worked fine because his father wrote off most of the story provided by his son as fantasy.

When David was finished with the story of Iddi the Klu and the reward, and the strange story of studies with the Galactic University, dad had a worry-ridden face. 

“Your mother has some strange feelings about you David.  Quite frankly she acts as if she is afraid of you.”

David nodded at his dad, then he shook his head and confessed to the terrible accident, with his telekinetic power, and his attempt to save mom from a fall down a six foot bank, instead ending up making it into a twenty foot drop.  Bill was stunned.  His doubts, as to David’s story about a gift of powers, were devastating, hard to believe.  What he wondered, had happened to his boy?  Was it all sheer fantasy or was he demented? What the hell was wrong with the kid?

Bill turned to his son.  “Okay David, for now I’ll go with the assumption there is some reality to this.  I guess I can’t get away from your mother being in the hospital with a serious operation in the offing, to keep her from becoming paralyzed.  The three-dimensional X-ray negative I will want to have a look at.  It would be the first solid proof I can lay my hands on.  Your desire to help mom with your new skills is very commendable, but I think, under the circumstances, not now.  I would want you to have someone else to practice on for at least a year.”

David is torn with indecision, but his dad’s evaluation seems sound.  “Okay dad, my alter ego, the microchip in here,”

David taps his head with his hand in the vicinity of the implant,

“Okay I agree with your judgment at this time, though the information it has about, what it calls our, repair facility, is dismal by galactic standards.”  The older Boulder thought for a moment before he pronounced his decision.  “The damage has been done; there is no taking it back.  If things turn bad you are still here and our judgment will improve with time.  I am going to bed son.  You may have a lease on two hours of sleep per night but I do not.”

Bill Boulder left for his bedroom at the rear of the house.  David pulled the Encyclopedia from the shelf and got involved with its printed pages. 

It was a little after seven in the morning when Bill saw his son again.  David sat on the living room floor and appeared to be reading.  Bill looked at the piles of encyclopedia volumes on the floor.  It had the appearance David was through with most of the volumes, or maybe all on his left side.  David turned a page every three seconds. 

Bill bit his lip and then he picked up one of the books out of the pile on the left.  He opened it, turned to David.  “Did you read all this?” David looked up from his page and nodded at his father.  Bill was not yet satisfied. He looked at the open book and asked David.

“What’s a character?”

David turned his face to the window before he answered. 

“It’s a word originally denoting a die for stamping coins as well as the device stamped on them.  The word comes directly from ancient Greek, in familiar usage.”

Bill waved his hand in front of David’s face.

“Enough, stop it David, that’s verbatim.  It looks as if you are about to finish this before you are going to school.”

David looked at the two volumes on his right, then looked back at his dad with the slightest of nods “Yea, I guess you are right dad.  It sure helped to pass the time though.”  Bill turned his head to the window wall to look out at the valley and saw the quoted description of the word, character, slowly fading from the space in front of him.  He turned back to his son. 

“So you don’t really memorize it?” David shook his head “No dad, I just let the teleamp record it.” Bill turned to go to work but turned back to David with a last word of advice.  “Don’t forget to take lunch to school.”  “Don’t worry dad.  I can always come back, if I forget”. Bill stopped in the door then turned to his son.  “All I can tell you is, this is going to be one hell of an adjustment.” David screwed his face up, and with a chuckle he agreed.  “Yes dad, you took the words right out of my mouth.  I have to watch everything I do or think, if I don’t, I hear about it.” David knocked on his head. 

David knew that P. E. in school would be a lark.  The first ten minutes were wasted as usual.  Soon David saw how his enhanced speed and strength bore fruit.  There was a lot of cheering every time he had the ball, and that happened about once every three minutes.  He had the ball almost all the time now.  The kids on his team saw his speed and his agility.  The end result was that he was always avoiding, being near the opposition, which made him the easiest player to pass the ball to.  Anyone on his team, just naturally tossed him the ball, it was the best strategy for winning. 

The Galactic Uni.’s, clinic was ready to test the proper function of all the teleamp’s calibrations.  First one was telepathy.  That brought him the thoughts of Harry his best friend.  What was the matter with him? Why was David such a showoff? ‘What gives with him?’  The reception of thoughts was focused on the teacher now.  ‘This boy is unbelievable.  He is pro material.  With this kid on the team, I’ll gain some recognition around here’. With his mind’s reception circling the horizon, his next transmission was Susan sitting in the bleachers. ‘David is really the coolest guy.  It’s so nice to have him living next door’.  The Uni’s clinic switched to a vertical circle at this instant. 

David didn’t hear anything, he had a hungry feeling so strong he had to open his mouth, his arms and hands looked like hamsters’ and there was this huge grub in front of his mouth, and then it was not in front of him anymore; now he had swallowed it.  His senses were flooded with happiness and his stomach was starting to work on the fresh, still half-alive grub.  The satiated feeling snapped out. 

His new view of the world was from an airplane.  No it is a view of the earth all right but from the eyes of a hawk, and his focus tightened again to show sharp, and clear, a young pheasant trying clumsily to leave the shelter of its nest.  David’s muscles tensed as he felt his body tilt, and his arms going back to an impossible angle.  Now his own personal anxiety flooded his mind because he was falling towards the ground a thousand feet down below.  It was an eerie sensation, but the over riding thought, was elation, and urgent preparation to open his mouth, no, it’s, his beak.  Then, one more time, the thoughts of the hawk were gone.  David went from mind to mind in a circle.  He felt his mind was taken over by whomever it was that sent their thoughts to him.  Even though only minutes go by it felt as if it had been hours.  It was not just an incredible experience, but it gave him a case study of two dozen creatures thoughts and feelings.




He heard someone calling him ‘Harry, let me have your sandwich.’ His mouth watered with appetite and longing to bite into the BLT sandwich in his paper bag, and his stomach was rumbling.  ‘Boy, am I ever hungry.  I want to eat my own sandwich.  Can’t he go to Nick?’ His head turned right, and there was big Nick, munching on a gargantuan sandwich, and Nick did look as if he needed nothing less than another bite of food, because Nick was the fattest boy in school.  The distraction proved too much for David.  He had missed catching the ball as it was passed to him, and the other team had it. David turned, and accelerated in the new direction. The clinic was finished testing telepathy.  The new test was for the gravity nullifier. David lost traction and floated on the last vector chosen at a nearly undiminished speed.  Turning his head David could make out that if he continued at the speed and in this direction he would hit the fence post at, it feels like fifty miles per hour, but of course that is just the adrenaline in his blood.  It can’t be more than ten or maybe fifteen?

Just before hitting the post, David came to a sudden halt, still floating in the air, inches off the ground.  But then the antigravtest was over and David dropped the rest of the way to the ground.  The teleamp questioned David.  ‘You are aiming to bust the fence pole to pieces? I am not sure if my interference is warranted.  But, it seems to me, you need not use your head to do so.  My connections to your firing neurons are not yet tested well enough to guarantee our interface is perfect.’ The holograph of his head looked at him inquisitively.  David laughed at his floating head.  ‘Nah, I didn’t want to bust anything, least of all my head.  I was just so surprised I never thought, well you know, I am still unsure of all we, you and I can do.’ 

The teacher blew the whistle and waved David out of the game.  David nodded, to convey he understood and walked slowly to the bleachers.  Strange thing though is, nobody else was moving.  David walked past them, when he passed Charlie who stood there with the ball; David took it out of his hands, walked over to the basket and threw it in.  He turned to look back, and he could see that Charlie had moved, but not much, and he had a pretty stupid look on his face, as if he just found out he didn’t have any pants on.  David thought, he probably found out the ball was gone. 

And then it was all back to normal.  David sat on the bench and pulled up his feet.  Holy cow, the sneakers, mom bought him not quite two weeks ago, were done for.  They smelled of burnt rubber.  They were bad.  Worse than anything you might find at the flea market. 

Only now, with time on his hands, did David find out what the last twenty minutes or less had done to his clothes.  His shirt was a shambles too.  There were two big jags in it and three buttons were gone.  Shiiit, the shorts were split at the seam.  The stuff barely stuck together.  ‘I wish I was home David thinks.  In my room, so I can sort this thing out.  Dad will be furious when he sees this.’ 




David with his mind on his troubles was a little late finding out he was at home, sitting on his bed, just as he had wished for, seconds earlier.  There was a moment’s thought, before he burst out.  “Quit playing those games stupid, you are gonna get me into a heap of trouble.” The teleamp almost sounds like mother.  ‘You did it yourself.  When you think, I want to, whether it is levitation, portation, pathing, or whatever, you are doing it.  You may be using my amplification circuits, but you may be sure, I have no direct hand in it.’

David looked at his torn clothes and shoes.  ‘Look at this; I’ve ruined my duds in ten minutes of using your assist in running.  What am I going to do now?’  David’s holoface moved close and tilted right and left.  ‘Ah, no big deal just go and fix it, it was shoddy engineering, probably a handout from some cheap do-gooder’.  David’s eyed the holo in disbelief.  ‘Are you nuts, these are the best, they are Nike's.  How in hell am I going to fix those?  I don’t know how to sew; I lost the buttons off my shirt.  They use big machines to make those Nike's.  I don’t know how to repair clothes and stuff.’ 

The holo had been shaking right and left through David’s heated response.  Now it squinted at David.  ‘You must have forgotten how you fixed Iddi’s command module.’ David was not satisfied with the teleamp’s response.  ‘That’s a different thing; it was easy stuff to do’.  The holohead pulls its nose up.  ‘It’s all the same, you’ll see.  This is easier than what you did for Iddi.  You tune down to angstrom vision and, there you are.’ 

David thought about the job he did with Iddi.  Bingo there it was.  What he saw now was the molecular structure of the sneakers.  There was the resin, to hold the thing together.  Then there was a very important part, which must not ever be missing, the fillers, needed to keep the cost in check, and hold the useful life span down.  And last, not least, the pigments to give color to the shoes and make them seductive and desirable enough to lure the buyer to part with his brow’s sweat and his money. 

‘The polymer is poorly bonded.’ The teleamp confided.  Pulling a sourpuss David nodded ‘I can see it, you are right, it’s a shoddy mess.’  David’s telekinetic power and the skill he had developed while working on the ship command module, was more than enough.  He righted the wrong in the footwear but the teleamp reminded him to get back to school.  David gave in.  He ported back to sit on the bench for the remainder of the PE class.

All the shaping and bonding and coloring of his sneakers, kept him busy.  It was not enough to fix and repair the worn out sportswear.  David found time, to put elastic growing space into the Nike's.  It would allow them to expand and fit him not only now when he was barely nine years old, but to have them stretch and be the right size when his foot had grown into a mans nine, ten, or maybe even twelve.  David needed just a few more minutes to repair his shirt.  It too got the full treatment.  Now, it all looked better than new.  Finally when the boy was finished he took the sneaker in his hand and pulled it up to size fourteen and then he squashed it to a size four.

The next night David and dad went to the library.  It was a quick visit to the fantastic building Frank Lloyd Wright had designed so many years ago.  It housed the hall of justice, the council chambers, the sheriff’s station and at the very top the crown of it all a perfectly circular top, home of the county library.  It took David just a few minutes to check through the card files.  Then he turned to Bill and with a short quick nod he said.  ‘Shall we go?’ Bill was taken by surprise.  “Don’t you want to check out some books?”  David ducked his head at his father.  “I’ll get them tonight when they are closed, dad.  If I take what I need to keep me busy tonight, they’ll think we are nuts.”

The older Boulder grimly nodded at his son. There were worry lines in his face.  Bill Boulder was an engineer involved in the design and manufacture of semiconductors.  There was little room for fantasies in his daily routine.  He was happy about having his son back, as well as David’s progress in school and out of school.  The large part of David’s explanations, which he could only shelve under the label of make-believe, gives him sensations of standing on a thousand-foot ladder, up on the top rung.  Bill didn’t like heights.  After this David had access to enough books to last, he hopes, for at least a few months. 




The next morning, David was through with his reading earlier than expected.  He decided to go for a morning run. 

This particular morning offered rather more excitement for some San Rafael cops, then they had had in many a month.  It was only a few minutes after the sun had risen over the hills that patrol car one, one, three turned into the service road to Highway 101.  The driver’s eyes scanned the road to the north, and he shook his head drawing attention from the sleepy cop on his right.  “Look at that kid”. His buddy wiped his eyes and half to the driver and half to himself he marveled. 

“This kid must be doing better than twenty miles per hour.  Let’s have look at this kid”.

The driver nodded and nudged the gas pedal.  David threw a glance over his shoulder, saw the patrol car and made a three hundred sixty degree turn to get a good view of the pursuing vehicle.  Then he made the decision to avoid unwanted questions.  David had not, up to this time tried, just how much speed his legs held in reserve for an emergency.  In these next few minutes the boy was about to find out.  The cop on the right silently stared at the little figure gaining distance on them.  The driver could not help but comment.  “Jeez, look it, he is still speeding up.  Can you believe that?”

He stepped on the accelerator and the tires squealed, as the speedometer needle moved up to fifty miles per hour.  David gave the pursuit car another look and angled away from the fence for a few steps, then he reversed toward the fence which separated the service roads from the freeway and with a five step spurt he took off, and cleared the fence by a comfortable ten inches.  For just a second the two cops look at each other with open mouths, then their attention was back on David, who was crossing the six lanes without letting up and flew across the fence on the other side. 

The officer on the right seat straightened his collar and picked up the mike.  There is reluctance, which is out of sync with the rapid disappearance of David into the next side street.  He made an effort while chewing his lips to put his mind in shape for the way he must report the impossible happenings of the last three minutes.  He pressed the send button on the mike. 

“This is car ‘One one three’ we are on West Side of Highway 101 at the Ford tower, this is a code ten fourteen and a ten seventy eight.  Better watch out. This kid is,” he turns to the driver. 

“How old do you think he is?”

The driver screwed up his face.  He was not very happy. 

“Mike don’t ask me.  He is eight, ten tops, better make it fifteen.”

Mike pressed the send button again and continued,

“His age, ten or fifteen he just jumped the fence into 101 and crossed over to jump the fence to the East Side.  He is wearing white sneakers, jeans, and white polo shirt and is a Caucasian, blond, light eyes, perhaps blue or gray.” He was happier now to have gotten it off his chest.  The cop let go of the transmit button, hung the mike up and looked over at the driver, when the radio came alive.  “Mike are you awake?  Do you know what you just reported? A kid jumps what, a ten-foot fence? Excuse me.  Two ten foot high fences.  What are you guys doing?  Do you know what the highest jump at the Olympics is? Your kid just topped that figure.”

Mike stared at the mike with mixed feelings.  He was undecided for just a moment, then he hung up the mike.  The loudspeaker was silent for a pause long enough to offer time for a response.  Mike gave it a stubborn look.  “Okay, I’ll have two cars there in five minutes.  Ten-four”.  The driver shook his head.  “She is right, we must have seen double.  He can’t keep that speed up and there is nowhere for him to go.  We’ll get him.” Mike looked out on the sleeping city.  There was a look of conviction in his eyes, it was the knowledge that came from the gut.  It said, I don’t think so.  The race to find the jumper was on and after ten minutes eight patrol cars were in on the search, and then the sheriff’s patrols were in on the chase as well. 

David ran west on North San Pedro road.  He saw a man of sixty jogging at a good clip.  With a little extra speed he caught up with the early morning runner and matched his speed.  Not more than a minute later a Sheriff’s car pulled alongside.  The deputy rolled down his window and questioned David.  “Good morning son, you been running long?’ David was still thinking how to disarm the man. 

The stranger nodded friendly, before he answered. 

“About a couple of miles down I guess”, his thumb pointing east.  “And back I guess.  Why? You want to come along?”

The deputy shook his head at him.  “Nah, not today Sir, have a nice day you two.” The lawman made a U -turn and headed back east. 

The odd couple jogged on for a minute, before David turned to his older running mate.  “Thank you Sir.” He saw a head tilting to him with a grin, and he not quite heard a near soundless chuckle before the reply came. 

“Nada, we live in Snoopyland.  I am kind of private myself.  I am Sharky, but my friends call me Skip.  Are you O.K. old man?”  David scrutinized Skip with a smile.  “Thanks, I am fine”. He put on a burst of speed.  As David pulled away from Skip, he heard him say.  “See you tomorrow.”

David turned into Circle Road, and Skip pulled up his eyebrow as he watched David disappear in the bend of the road, slowed down then and turned back east. 




David ran up the steep old drive way through the open side door, up the stairs and as he made haste through his own room’s door the door knob came off in his hand, but not before the force of his entry had half bent and half broken the hinges.  Losing his balance, he tried to hold himself off, by putting his hand on the wall; no such luck, the plasterboard wall gave under the push of his hand as if it was newspaper.  Now David had a fist sized hole in his wall.  He stared at it disgruntled, before he pulled his hand out of it.  The he looked at the doorknob in his hand.  His eyes went the broken and bent hinges. 

The teleamp stabilized the holo of David’s head.  ‘You’ll have to harden the doors and walls; they are suffering from the same low quality sickness as your clothes.  Best you get things to come up to permawall quality standards in and around you to make it livable.  You might consider slowing down in this environment of yours.’  David glared at the holo with disgust.  “This is not funny, you know”.  The teleamp wipes the smile off the holo.  ‘I’ll know this from here on’. 

Under David’s intense stare, the door slowly floated back up to the door frame, the hinges straightened out.  With this done, he concentrated on the wall.  The hole filled in and smoothened out.  The fixed parts took on a solid hard sheen.  The final touch was, putting the doorknob back on.  It felt as good as solid brass in his hand. 

Now it was time to go to school.  There was nothing much to do.  Except for his experimenting the day would be unbearably boring.  Then the school day was over, and in front of a group of stragglers he walked along Los Ranchitos road toward home.  David turned into circle road.  The second house had this wire fence right up against the street.  Six years old Lisa squatted near the fence with a tired old dog.  When she saw David, she stroked the old canine and complained to the boy. 

“Look David, poor Buddy has to be put away”. A flood of tears ran down her face.  She tried to hide a sniffle. 

David’s holo came into his view and the teleamp pathed at him.

‘Help her.  Fix her dog.’ David looks up at the holo questioning.  ‘How?’  You heard her. To-morrow the dog is gonna be put out of its misery’.

The holohead bobbed up and down, coming close and closer to David until the boy backed off.  ‘You do it the same way you did the ship’s brain, and your Nike's?’  ‘That wouldn’t work on the dog.  It’s a living animal.’  The holo shook back and forth. 

‘Well try it, there is nothing to lose here, is there?’

David lay down his books and went behind the fence.  He got on one knee and stroked the animal.  The DNA was not nearly as bad as he expected.  It sure was helpful he had read the encyclopedia.  As he straightened out the mess inside the dog’s genes, he hummed and hawed, with every time, one of the double helices was turning back to its proper shape with the telomerase lengthened. 

Lisa’s mom stepped out of the house and walked over to the three.  She was troubled, but her face lit up when she saw, what looked to her as if David were only calming Lisa down, helping her get over the sad good bye.  “Hello David, thank you for helping Lisa and Buddy.  It is very nice of you to do this”.  Buddy gave a low growl, lifted his head and licked David’s hand. 

The teleamp shook its Teddy holohead at David.  ‘Good, great, excellent.  You better quit now if you please.  Too much of this may cause an upset, no?’  David looked up.  ‘All right, but frankly I don’t see any improvement.’ The teddyholo pulled a funny face.  ‘It’s your first try at a living animal. The results usually take awhile to show.  I fear you may have done too much already?’ David got up, and went over to put his books back under his arm.  He waved a hand at Lisa’s mother who was walking back to the house, but looking back, and nodding at Lisa.  “Good bye Lisa”. The girl had two big tears running down her cheek.  She wiped at them and there was a throb in her voice.  “See ya to-morrow.” 

That evening, Bill told his son, he should come with him to the hospital to visit his mom.  David agreed, hoping it would help to rebuild his mother’s confidence. 




It has been a week since David returned.  It seemed more as if a lifetime had passed from the last weekend.  There was no response from Sharon when David walked in with her husband.  Bill lied to her in the usual hospital visit fashion.  “Honey, you are looking great.  I can see things are improving here”.  David walked over behind his dad to give her a hug.  Sharon ignored him.  So all David said was “Hi mom”.  There was an awkward moment; his mother forced herself to take notice of David.  “So give your mother a hug.” And right away she turned to Bill, looking at the bouquet, she gave her husband a warm smile.  “Thank you for the flowers, dear.”

David almost ported out of the hospital room.  But the holo appeared in front of him and advised.  ‘It would not be good for your mom.  These pre-evolved races have rarely learned to deal with their neurons over firing.  They like to run their synapses ragged.’  Sharon’s hand was moving across the sheets searching for the bell button.  David saw that she didn’t want to make it too obvious by looking for it with her eyes.  His index finger moved slightly as he ran his kinetic force to ring for her, closing the electric circuit, which would signal the nurses’ station. 

Bill was adamant in his mind to help heal the breach between mother and son.  “Look Sharon, they gave David a test.  And what do you think they found?” Bills mind was on the swindle he was committing on his wife, knowing she didn’t know about the magically advanced technology their son is working with.  Some day she’ll have to be told he thought, but right this minute, anything to help her, was fine by him. 

She looked at him, aware he had an agenda of helping her and if not that, to at least cheer her up.  “Alright Bill so tell me”. Bill looked at the ceiling, a gesture she knew so well.  He tried to get the good news as precisely as possible.  “David’s scores are equal to twelfth’s grade ninety-nine percentile.  Comments are, it is impossible to fully appreciate his real levels since David completed half hour tests in less then five minutes, while a one-hour exam was stop watched at seven minutes and twenty seconds.  Isn’t that great Sweetheart?”  Sharon felt uncomfortable with all this goodwill for their son. 

Luckily the nurse came in to see about the call.  Sharon was surprised; she clearly remembered she never managed to find the bell.  She was happy for having the distraction.  The nurse saw the flowers and lifted her head at her patient.  “Would you like a vase Mrs. Boulder?” Sharon nodded at her and lifted the bundle for her to take the flowers off her hands.  So it gave her a chance to approve of David’s test results quickly and low key.  “Why David that is wonderful.”

In her mind she was screaming.  ‘Oh my god, what is happening to us?  This is terrible’ the thought was powerful enough to slip through to David even with the pathing route turned off.  It hit the boy in the gut and there was nothing he could think of, other than to get out of the hospital.  David knew his mother was terrified of him.  He had no explanation for it. 

Bill sensed some undercurrent, looking at his wife’s strained face.  He looked at David, and then he turned back to Sharon with a smile.  “Honey you look tired.  I think it is best we leave.  We’ll come back to-morrow”.  He could see that she was relieved to hear his good byes.  He gave her a quick peck on the cheek and joined David, who had sidled to the door.  A couple of minutes later they walked out of the hospital and to their car.




David got his night’s reading in and his morning run.  There, at the end he met up with Skip again.  While he jogged along with the older man, he found him a very pleasant person to be with.  He thought it wasn’t just because the guy stood up for him to the cop without a question.  There was an unexplainable good feeling to be with Skip, almost as if he were a relative. He hesitated using the teleamp to path him because of a strange feeling of invading Skip’s privacy. What he did not know, was that Skip knew about him and had reason to be wary. Having David know more about Skip just now, Skip did not consider advisable.   

Then it was Grammar school again.  The teacher held his latest test papers in her hand and waved them at the class.  “What I have here, are your test results. You can all look at David, who truly applies himself.  Try to learn from him.  He lost this whole previous week.  It hasn’t stopped him from finishing at the top of the class.” 

Two of the classmates looked at him with frowns, and two others were making faces at him behind the teacher’s back, and a dozen whispered ‘egghead’ to him. 

The evening brought a phone call from the sheriff.  Bill took it and turned to David with a question.  “The sheriff wants to come over to write a final report on your disappearance or kidnapping.  He wonders if you are in good enough shape to answer some questions.”  David was not thrilled with the idea, but it would have to be dealt with sooner or later his father explained to him. 

An hour later the sheriff showed up with a county family psychologist in tow.  Mrs. Albright was dressed more like a man.  Bill brought the two up the stairs and introduced his son.  First the sheriff looked David over with great care, and then he shook his head at him, telling him.  “Son you gave us quite a scare there, this last week.  Your dad was frantic with worry, when we couldn’t find you”.  David looked the officer straight in the eye.  “Dad told me all about it Sheriff.”

There were a few questions from the sheriff.  It was mostly about from when he was gone, and when did he come back and was he with anyone. David explained that he had no memory of the time in between.  The officer took notes and doubled up on the questions to verify the facts.  David felt odd mental vibes in the room.  He did not want to open their minds to his telepathic ear. 

The build up came to a conclusion when Mrs. Albright requested to talk to David in private.  Bill had no objection.  He left the living room to the three and went downstairs to work on his bike.  It was an hour later, when David brought the two county officials’ downstairs to the front door.  Bill came over to shake hands with the two and thank the sheriff for the help in the search for David, of the week before.

 The woman seemed to be highly agitated.  There was a dark stain down the back of her skirt, which she vainly tried, very much to hide.  The sheriff put his hand on Bills shoulder, complimenting him.  “Bill, all I can say, is I am glad you have your son back.  I think you can be proud of the boy. He has an exceptional mind and I know he must be a great joy for you to have. I am sorry about your wife’s mishap.” And that was it; they were out the door pretty fast with extra urging from the county psychologist. 

When they were gone, Bill gave his son a curious look.  “What was that all about?”  David shrugged his shoulders. “He wanted to know what had happened all over again”. Bill took a glass of juice from the refrigerator and sat down, his eyes on his son.  His curiosity was written squarely on his face.  “And what then?” he asked.  “I told him, I told them ten times”. ‘Seventeen times’, is the teleamp’s message to David. 

Bill was puzzled.  “You told him the story about the finder’s fee?” David shook his head at his father.  “Come on dad, no.  They wanted to take me with them.  Her mind was screaming abuse, the minute she saw me.  I couldn’t block her out.  She never let up, no matter what I said. Your Mrs. Albright was possessed with the idea, how taking me away from you would get her a promotion or at least a raise”. Bill was fascinated. “So, what changed her mind?” The boy gave his dad a mischievous smile.  “She has trouble with her bladder. We made her pee her pants.  In the end she couldn’t take the pressure anymore”. Bill nearly choked on the drink he had been sipping from, trying to keep from laughing. 

Then he became serious. “She’ll probably be back though.” He looked thoughtfully out the window wall.  “I still have doubts about this story of yours, but then, barely a day goes by without some new proof of it.” The boy gave his dad a look with a tilt of his head.  “Dad, I have the same problem.  You know how you can dream you are flying.  It feels so real at the time.  Yet, when you finally wake up you know it was nothing but a dream.  Well, with the teleamp and me.  It’s the same thing.  I can’t help, but think it’s just a dream.” The two looked at each other with new understanding. 

Bill was not yet satisfied.  “What about the sheriff?”  David snorted, wrinkling his nose.  “He didn’t believe a word I said.  He thinks I am covering up something.  They’ll keep watching me and waiting.  His thoughts were.  ‘This little jerk kid can’t stop me from finding out, whatever the hell they are up to.’ So you see, the sheriff’s office is going to keep an eye on me, - or on us?” 




A day had passed and after work, Bill at home after dinner had walked to the TV and switched it on.  By the time he was back at his chair, the tube had warmed up.  A news anchor team was filling the screen.  They did their introduction, smiling at each other and at the camera.  The woman started the report.  “A fire on Mount Tamalpais has caused considerable anxiety on the hillside.  The dry condition threatened a rapid spreading of the blaze.  Prompt response by firefighters from three towns helped to bring the life threatening fire under quick control, as you can see from the view our helicopter captured in the early hours of this morning”.  The view switched from the anchors to a birds eye view of the burning hillside.  The copter camera panned away through sleepy Sausalito and on to the Golden Gate Bridge

A bird’s eye view of David could be seen barreling out of the tollgate-plaza and onto the bridge.  He appeared to be going at a pretty fast clip.  Bill looked at the runner sticking his neck forward to get a better look.  The view reverted back to the anchor team.  The man was continuing the commentary.  “On returning from the fire scene, this early riser caught our crew’s attention.  Only back at the station, when comparing time to distance did Channel seventy seven become aware, that they had spotted an Olympic contender in their lens.  A snafu, we fear, caused our staff to calculate the unrelenting sprinters’ speed at an unbelievable forty-four miles per hour.” 

The anchor continued about a jackknifed truck on the freeway stopping traffic.  Bill had turned down the volume before turning to David.  “It was quite a blaze?” David nodded at him.  “Yes dad, it was.  They had seventeen trucks up there to fight it.  They worked pretty fast, but one of the guys went too far into the smoke.  He did it without his oxygen tank.  They had to go in and carry him out.” 

Bill listened with a kind of curious fascination.  “You didn’t, did you?”  David had started reading while the news was on.  Now he looked up at his dad.  “Of course I did.  It was the only excitement I had all week”. Bill tried to hide his worry.  “Don’t let anything go wrong with you.  It’s enough having your mother in the hospital.  I don’t want you there too.” The Teddyholo took shape in front of David. ‘Your dads’ heart rate just went up to one forty a minute.  You may want to avoid pushing his buttons.’

David gave the holo a thoughtful look, and then he turned to his dad.  “Dad, I am the safest kid in the country.  I mean it”.  Bill nodded at his son.  “I keep forgetting, sorry, I guess I’ll turn in early and catch up on my sleep some.” Bill left David in the living room and went to the rear corner of the house where his bedroom was and David turned to his stack of books on the floor. 

The next day during school David started to talk to Karin.  “You can’t imagine how much better my sandwiches are now that dad makes them.” Karin turned away from him to Mario.  “Hey Mario, can you hear the wind whistling through here?” Mario ran his eyes over David with a grin.  He nodded at Karin. “Yea it sure is drafty here”. David turned to Susan, but she seemed to anticipate this and by the time his eyes were coming around to her she was already walking off. He decided to keep his mouth shut rather than collect more rebuffs.  By the time school was out he had forgotten all about the unfriendly mood he had encountered in the morning. 

On his way home David sped up to catch up with a group going his way, to Circle road. Karin, he knew would not turn in with him but go straight ahead, but Susan, Rick and Mario lived in the Ranchitos hills.  Karin gave him a cold look. Susan ran off ahead and Rick and Mario stopped, blocking his path.  Mario confronted him with.  “We wanna walk alone”.  Karin nodded looking at Rick and Mario, and then turned to David.  “Yea, leave us alone”. Rick was a smaller boy who would not have much inclination to aggravate any of the bigger boys when by himself, but this was different, and a real good opportunity.  He turned to David after checking who all was there to notice and applaud him before he turned to David.  “Yea, get lost”.  There was a twinge in David’s heart to get even.  His mind was on all the things he could now do to one of these animals. The kind of retribution he could expend. 

The Holo took shape in front of him with a sad face.  ‘David it’s not worth it.  They are just kids of a similar type of DNA, affected by you being a citizen with all the back up that is a part of joining the evolved society.  Even here among the animal humanoids of this planet there is envy of those with enhanced talent and skill. The only reason you notice it is because of you not a being one of them, but a Galactic.’

David was mollified some but still disgusted.  ‘I still think they are pretty shitty.’ He glared after the boys traipsing off. 




He turned into Circle road by his lonely self.  At the wire fence a dog was staring at David.  It was a strapping healthy animal.  Lisa ran out of the house and with a happy smiling face she called out to him.  “Hi David, look how Buddy has recovered since you petted him”. David looked at the canine with surprise. “This is Buddy the dying dog?”  The dog wouldn’t let him out of his sight.  It came to the closest corner to meet him and now walked with David to the gate on the other side of the fence. “Thank you David.” The telepathic message came through with a touch of huskiness and flutter.  David shook his head in consternation and pathed back with his lips moving.  ‘Who is this?  What the hell is going on here?’

The Holo intensified. ‘I told you when you worked on the animal, you were likely to overdo it, and you did.  Now you are stuck with a telepathic dog.  Oh, well. It could be worse’.  Lisa opened the gate and motioned David to come in.  David was reluctant, but then Lisa’s mother came out to the gate.  She greeted David with exuberance. “Hello David, Lisa’s dad thinks you are a miracle worker, and Lisa is the happiest girl on earth.  What did you do with the dog when you were here? It’s as if we had a new Buddy here.” She patted the dog’s head affectionately. 

David slowly walked in the gate.  He wanted to put down his schoolbooks, but  Lisa wouldn’t have it.  She took the books off him before he had a chance to put them down on the ground.  The dog had walked up to David and was about to lick his hand.  David shrank mentally from the moist tongue.  The animal pulled back with a telepathic message. “Sorry David, licking a man’s hand comes natural to me. I’ve been doing it for ten years.  I didn’t know it could be unpleasant’. Buddy backed off a couple of feet, with his tail wagging.  The dog saw the look on David’s face, and stopped wagging it. 

‘Wagging a tail seems a stupid thing to do, but, without speech it is the only effective way to get to show a smile.  My face doesn’t have the muscles for it.  I don’t know how to thank you. I guess I can look out for you. I have more than a nose for trouble thanks to your gift. Could I live with you?’  David looked the dog over, biting his lips. He looked at the happy girl in front of him.  ‘If I can’t live with you maybe I could visit you.  They will never know the difference. I used to go and not come back for hours at a time’. David contemplated the animal with a frown. 

The holo moved to the top of the dog’s head.  ‘The beast can’t communicate to them what it knows about you.  We don’t have a problem. Even if the dog could get it across, it wouldn’t do any harm.  What person on this planet would dare to believe an animal?’ Buddy looked at David with wide-open mouth asking by telepathy.  ‘Are you one person with two minds, or is there someone with you?  Is that the angel thing, which Lisa believes comes to put her to sleep?’  David stroked Buddy’s head. ‘Shut up, I am thinking. I don’t know what to do with you. That is fact number one.’ David wondered, if the dog was going to be in the same boat?  Being hated by everybody?  The Teddyholo shook right and left.  ‘We don’t know.  I expect Buddy will find out pretty quickly’. David nodded at Lisa; he took his books back from her.  “I’ll see you tomorrow Lisa.”  He gave the animal a last look before he went out to the street to go home.  Lisa called after him “I’ll be looking for you”.  The dog’s message followed him.  ‘Buddy too, David’.


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