THANKS to Angela Descoteaux
helping me come up with a better title than ‘Alien Boy’
wasn’t until he looked out from a small window on this two-hundred
seat space shuttle that thirteen-year-old Bloxnor felt the full
impact of leaving his home planet behind. He looked down at the blue
orb, the planet Neptune, as he hovered away from its enormous, walled
cities and its three trillion inhabitants. He couldn’t deny that
he had butterflies in his stomach.
was in a shuttle that was filled with a little over a hundred and
fifty Neptunians, members of his own terrestrial race. They were
green-skinned, purple bug-eyed beings. Men. Women. Children.
Families who seemed very excited by the prospect that lay before
them. But Bloxnor was angry. A lot had happened to him in the past
year. He barely had time to adjust to his father’s death and a new
school before his mother decided to whisk him away from everything he
knew with promises of a better life and a personal growth experience.
that Bloxnor didn’t have his problems on his home planet. He was
shy, not that into sports and usually wanted to be left alone to read
or play a flight simulator game on whatever digital hologram device
he was fascinated by at the moment. His grades were good. His
favorite subject was science, which he spent more time on at the
expense of his other homework. He had very few problems in his old
elementary school. Kids would leave him alone and he managed to make
a few friends. But recently having to switch schools after a death
in the family (and starting secondary schooling), Bloxnor found
himself getting bullied by the larger, tougher members of the
school’s various athletic programs.
Bloxnor was the type of kid who would mouth off when he was
bullied…or push back if he was pushed. This resulted in him
getting beat up, getting detention (depending on what the intervening
teacher saw) and getting many notes home from the principal’s
office. Bloxnor noticed all the books that his grandmother started
to buy for her daughter, about raising and reaching out to a troubled
youth. She thought that Bloxnor’s behavior was a reaction to anger
over his father’s death. It wasn’t. Bloxnor was convinced that,
if his father was still alive, he would be the one signing the
disciplinary notices that he got from school. Bloxnor just hated
bullies. Having a father wouldn’t stop jerks that needed a punch
in the face from pushing him around…or him pushing back.
the shuttle continued to move through space, Bloxnor’s mother,
Tarooma, placed her hand on Bloxnor’s knee and spoke to him in a
consoling tone that did little to ease the boy’s frustration.
know you are going to miss all your friends, Blox,” she said,
affectionately using her son’s nickname as he stared blankly out
the shuttle window. “But this is going to be a better life for both
of us. We’re going to be a part of something special.”
thought, coldly turning away from his mother and looking out the
“something special” that his mother spoke of was a mammoth space
station, about twice the size of Neptune’s largest city, called
‘Phase Six’ on which members of every planet and inhabited moon
in our solar system (save for Earth) would (potentially) prove that
they could live together in peace, setting a good example for the
rest of the galaxy. At least that was the goal, the reason Phase Six
existed. Bloxnor rolled his eyes at his mother’s overly
enthusiastic faith in what he secretly referred to as an
“interplanetary hippie commune”.
was startled, grabbing the arms of his seat, when the shuttle
rattled, picking up speed. It changed course slightly and started
flying towards his planet’s largest moon, one of fourteen. Triton.
was completely covered in desert and looked that way from space. It
was inhabited by purple-skinned beings with one eye, most of which
found any variation of the word “cyclops”, any reference to their
monocular state, to be a racial slur. The space shuttle slowly
descended onto a landing pad where many Tritons waited to board,
holding luggage of their own. Some of them looked scared. Others
were excitedly optimistic about the space adventures that lay ahead.
the Tritons started to board the shuttle, Bloxnor noticed that his
mother suddenly got uncomfortable. He knew why.
can’t believe they admitted membership on Phase Six to those
one-eyed freaks,” mumbled Tarooma, loud enough to be embarrassing,
but not loud enough for any actual Tritons to hear her racist
noticed that the other Neptunians on this shuttle were quite inviting
of these one-eyed passengers. Tarooma was not. She was very
anxious, nervously tapping her fingers against the arm of her chair
and mumbling something else that would have been offensive if she was
heard by any Tritons.
war between Neptune and the desert moon of Triton had been over for
five years, but that was not nearly enough time for Tarooma to get
over the loss of her husband, Blichnor. This skilled Neptunian
soldier was also a devoted husband and loving father. And he had
been killed in the conflict, now called the Neptunian Lunar War.
had been posthumously awarded her husband’s medal of honor, for he
was the one who had assassinated Triton dictator Ghus Ral, freeing
both the planet and the adjacent moon from his tyranny and ending the
war. This was shortly before a powerful bomb detonated that took his
life. Tarooma and her then-eight-year-old son had everything they
could possibly need, for the Neptunian army paid the deceased
soldier’s family a large sum of money each calendar month.
that was not enough for Tarooma. Everything on the planet reminded
her of her beloved. Every time she got a check from the Army. Every
time one of her husband’s fellow soldiers offered their condolences
and thanked her for her support. Every time she saw an advertisement
where the Army was recruiting, it brought back the crippling pain of
the day she found out that her husband was dead. And that pain got
worse and became more frequent when Neptunian leaders signed a peace
treaty with Triton. Tritons were coming to Neptune as refugees and
living among them. She would see them at the marketplace, on the
streets and at work. Tritons were integrated into her son’s school
and other community functions.
might reason that a woman with such obvious prejudice against another
sentient race does not belong in a group like Phase Six, whose goal
is to promote interplanetary harmony. But, maybe somewhere deep
down, Tarooma knows that she needs Phase Six. She knows that it will
be good for her son, despite what damage her own prejudice does to
him in the meantime.
the Tritons took their seats on the shuttle and the pilot was about
to take off again, Tarooma leaned over and whispered into her son’s
Tritons are monsters. Never trust them, Bloxnor. They’re the ones
who took your daddy away from us.”
had nodded off by the time the shuttle got to Phase Six, which was
hovering in the midst of an asteroid field directly between the
planets of Venus and Earth. This asteroid field, coupled with the
cloaking device that the space station employed, would successfully
keep any astronomers or satellites from the primitive planet of Earth
from becoming aware of its existence.
was commotion on the shuttle when the passengers finally saw their
destination off in the distance. The commotion itself did not wake
Blox up. He mumbled a bit, wiping drool off his chin before nodding
back to sleep.
his mother started shaking him. This caused him to wake abruptly and
look where his mother was pointing, his eyes glazed over. He could
see a small portion of the enormous space station through the windows
on the other side of the shuttle. Tarooma was smiling from
ear-to-ear, something that Bloxnor had not seen her do in years.
it is!” she shrieked. “We made it!”
Six’ was long, a horizontally-shaped space station that was twice
the height of a skyscraper on Earth, but the length of two
metropolitan cities on one of the larger, more developed planets in
our solar system. It was kind of shaped like a bone, because there
was a large, rounded part of the ship on either end that contained
fuel tanks, storage areas and hangars for smaller ships.
Neptunian/Triton space shuttle flew underneath the massive space
station as a hatch opened on the bottom of Phase Six. The shuttle
flew upwards and then landed in a docking bay that was full of space
ships as the hatch closed. A piercing silence engulfed the shuttle
after the buzz of the engines could no longer be heard. The
passengers looked back and forth at each other, not sure how to
verbalize what they were feeling.
warning, thunderous applause burst from the passengers when they
realized that they had indeed made it to their long-anticipated
destination. Neptunians hugged Tritons and vice versa. Tarooma gave
a dirty look to a Triton who ran past her before catching herself in
her prejudiced reaction. She stood up, opening an overhead
compartment and grabbing her carry-on luggage. Bloxnor did the same
as they got in line to leave the shuttle.
out through the windows on his side of the shuttle, Blox saw a
shelled, crab-like, sentient crustacean from the planet Mercury who
was fixing a small robotic forklift. He was pulling tools out of a
toolbox with his clawed hands and chatting with a more
neatly-dressed, squid-like creature from Saturn. The Saturnian
seemed as though it was barking orders at the Mercurian mechanic,
waving its tentacles around and speaking loudly in his own language.
This was the first time that Bloxnor had been off his own planet. He
had never seen a member of either of these alien races in person
before and was instantly intrigued.
out of the shuttle, Bloxnor saw more happy faces when he was greeted
by the Phase Six welcoming crew. This welcoming crew represented a
few more alien races that Bloxnor had never seen in person before.
Red-skinned Martians with feline features and furry white creatures
from one of the moons of Pluto all stood together, holding up signs
that welcomed these passengers to Phase Six in the respective
languages of Neptune and Triton. Others welcomed them with friendly,
soon found himself walking with a multi-racial crowd of new recruits
to Phase Six, staying close to his own mother, per her strict
request. The size and scope of this space station, or at least this
section of it, fascinated Bloxnor as much as it worried his
his left, Bloxnor saw an area where more flying transport shuttles
had been docked. Dock workers from different planets of origin were
unloading these transports with hovering robotic forklifts, moving
boxes and crates of all shapes and sizes to where they would be most
needed. Each box had writing on it in a different alien tongue and
contained items that would be important to a different aspect of this
diverse community. From food to medicine to toilet paper (or the
equivalent thereof), the needs of every member of Phase Six would be
met, thanks to their well-organized shipping crew.
his right, Bloxnor saw an area with many levels and many neon signs,
also in diverse alien languages. This level contained both places
for entertainment and gigantic cafeterias for food consumption.
There was also a level that was strictly dedicated to medical care
and one that contained educational facilities. But Bloxnor continued
to be confused, for he could not read signs that were not in
observed two aliens, a Saturnian and a Jupiterian who were conversing
with each other in completely different languages. The language of
the tentacle-faced Saturnian consisted of squeaking noises that were
rapid-fire and varied in pitch. The frog-like Jupiterian’s
language sounded like he was underwater, consisting of multi-pitch
“glub” noises. Despite this, they seemed to understand each
don’t know why those shuttles make me nervous,” said the
Saturnian. His name was Falton. “I work in maintenance. I have
fixed the engines and the gravity controls on those things a dozen
know what you mean,” the Jupiterian named Tribb replied. “And I
used to race submarines for a living back home. Those are much more
claustrophobic than that shuttle.”
two aliens continued to converse like they were old friends (because
they were), gesturing, patting each other on the back and even
laughing together. Their laughter sounded even stranger to Bloxnor
than their language.
pointed them out to his mother. “They’re talking in two
completely different languages,” he remarked as the two alien
friends turned to walk down a different hallway.
you notice that little microchip they had on their necks?” Tarooma
huh,” Blox replied.
microchip sends signals to their brain so it can translate any of the
alien languages spoken on this ship,” Tarooma explained. “All
new recruits get fitted for one early on.”
yes. The military gave your daddy one during the war so that he
could understand Tritonese,” Tarooma stated as her voice got a
little sadder. “You’ll need it to read all the different signs
on this ship. But the chip can also make it easier to learn to speak
an alien language yourself if you wanted to. Then, you wouldn’t
need the chip…at least for that language.”
was intrigued by the notion. He retreated inside of his head once
again, mulling over this idea and its infinite possibilities as he
kept following the crowd of new recruits. Among the crowd, Bloxnor
saw a boy that appeared to be around his own age. He was a Triton
and his name was Arkna. Arkna waved at Bloxnor with a big, friendly
smile on his face.
before Bloxnor could lift his arm to wave back, Tarooma grabbed her
son’s shirt and tugged on it, making him walk faster in the
later found himself in a doctor’s office, sitting on an examination
table, fully clothed. The doctor was a friendly Mercurian mollusk
with a gold earring hanging on his pierced antennae. He spoke
Neptunian fluently. Bloxnor could see from the name tag on this
doctor’s lab coat that his name was Ekrub.
relax. This will only sting a little,” Ekrub assured him in a calm
voice. He was holding what looked like a needle gun, something that
might have been used to pierce his own antennae or someone’s ear
lobe. Pressing this needle gun up to Bloxnor’s neck, there was a
loud, popping sound when he pulled the trigger. Bloxnor winced. He
felt a sharp pinch that made his eyes water.
Bloxnor touched his own neck, he had a microchip attached to it that
was transmitting information to his own brain stem via a wireless
method that tapped into Bloxnor’s unique brain frequency. “There!
That wasn’t so bad, was it?” the doctor asked.
speak Neptunian?” Blox asked Dr. Ekrub, still confused that he
could understand this Mercurian doctor.
do. But when this microchip is done buffering, I can go back to
speaking my own language…and you will understand me just fine,”
Dr. Ekrub assured Blox.
few minutes later, Blox walked through the waiting room of Dr.
Ekrub’s office, past a crowd of aliens who were waiting to get
their translation chip installed. What was once a mind-numbing
garble of alien languages soon gelled in Bloxnor’s open mind and
became numerous voices that he could understand. Like any
conversation that one might hear in any language, he could focus on
it and understand it, or listen to it passively as he kept walking.
the microchip on his neck once again, Bloxnor could not help but
is so cool! he
thought, feeling a bit closer to his deceased father.
into an enormous amphitheater with thousands of new Phase Six
members, Bloxnor looked up to the stage, connected to a beautiful
domed ceiling that contained thousands of lights. Blox was surprised
to see someone that he recognized standing on the stage. It was a
forty-something Neptunian man who served with Bloxnor’s father
during the war against the Tritons. He and Blox’s dad grew up in
the same neighborhood. They joined the army at the same time and
were in the same platoon. They fought together for years and were
like brothers. The rest of Phase Six would know him as Commander
Drachma, but as long as Bloxnor could remember, this was his “Uncle
Drachma stood on the stage, standing at full attention, wearing a
uniform with a logo that told all that he was an official on this
station. This logo was sort of like the Olympic logo on Earth, but
it was more circular and had different color circles to represent the
eight planets on Phase Six, with smaller circles to represent their
moons. He warmly welcomed all the new recruits, who could now
understand him perfectly, as they had all received their translation
view screen illuminated behind Drachma as he started to tell the
story of how Phase Six began. A photograph showed the image of a
messy-haired, wild-eyed Martian scientist that most in this audience
recognized from their various school studies.
story begins with the work of famed Martian scientist, the father of
modern planetary communication, Elo-Kay!”
was an inventor who lived two hundred years ago, on Mars. He
invented new technology for a popular Martian tech company in the
basement of a mansion where he lived. He also served as a butler for
the nobleman who owned the mansion. One week after his thirty-third
birthday, Elo-Kay launched a satellite into the Martian atmosphere
that he hoped would encourage communication between the planets. He
hoped that this small gesture of friendship and science would be
‘phase one’ towards a solar system where the phaser and other
weapons of war would be obsolete.
idea caught on. Scientists, leaders, common folk and even church
groups on other planets in our solar system followed Elo-Kay’s
shining example. They joined the diplomatic conversations that
Elo-Kay’s satellite sparked. Within twenty years, other planets
launched four other satellites. ‘Phase 1’ through ‘Phase 5’
soon united the solar system in peaceful conversation between many
leaders on seven planets and eight moons. Basically, they were all
trying to learn about each other’s culture, to find out what else
was out there, to understand it and embrace it.
Elo-Kay lived during a time where the Martian Senate was
contemplating military action against one of their moons. He was
falsely arrested as a traitor by the very nobleman that he had
loyally worked for. He was tried and beheaded in front of a
television audience of billions of Martians for his attempts to unite
the solar system, giving like-minded beings an outlet to reach out to
died promoting the idea that beings from different planets could live
together in peace,” Drachma told the silent, captivated crowd in
front of him. A picture of Elo-Kay with his head in a guillotine
captured rapt attention as it was shown behind Drachma on a view
screen. “Long before the Martian Senate blasted Phase One out of
orbit, the wheels were in motion and the conversations continued long
after Elo-Kay died, resulting in the very space station that you
stand in now.”
image on the screen behind Drachma changed to a photograph of the
Phase Six space station as it was being built. It was resting in a
large field on the planet Uranus, where it was housed before being
space station,” Drachma continued, “contains members of every
planet and inhabited moon in our solar system, save for one, more
primitive rock.” A few people laughed. All knew that he was
talking about Earth. “This space station will prove that it is
possible for beings of different species to live together in peace.”
Drachma’s passionate enthusiasm for the mission of Phase Six took
over and projected with his voice through the microphone that he was
speaking into. “Ladies and gentleman, humanoids and cephalopods!
Welcome to Phase Six!” Drachma shouted. He extended his arms, as
if embracing the audience, and he was greeted with thunderous
looked at his mother, who was fervently applauding Drachma’s words,
thinking her to be quite the hypocrite to be applauding a speech
about interplanetary peace, despite being quite verbal about her
disdain for Tritons.
didn’t know what Blox was alluding to.
years passed with Bloxnor living on Phase Six. He was now fifteen.
He attended school on the ship and continued to be a loner who kept
to himself and lived inside of his own head, burying his face in
books and hologram games, emerging occasionally to excel in his
science classes. His mother found herself a job in one of the space
station’s many cafeterias, which was adjacent to the secondary
school that young Bloxnor attended. And their apartment was not far
from the cafeteria. Yet, for some reason, Blox could never get to
class on time.
down the empty school hallway at full speed with his planetary
biology book in his hand, Bloxnor’s sneakers skidded to a stop in
front of the biology class that he was late for. He peered in
through the window and saw the students, teenagers from diverse
planets and moons. He saw the teacher, a somewhat-humanoid plant
person from the planet Venus writing on the blackboard. Messy purple
petals pointed in every direction on his head as he spoke. His name
was Dr. Rute Seedman.
do I gotta be late all the time?
Blox thought to himself. Dr.
Seedman’s class is my favorite and I keep missing stuff.
hid next to the lockers for a few seconds until he noticed that the
classroom door was cracked open. This allowed him to open the door
some more with his foot without making any noise by turning the knob.
The door did not creak at all either.
crawled into the classroom and quickly scurried under the nearest
table, underneath geological diagram of planet Jupiter’s many
layers. A few of his classmates saw Bloxnor and started to snicker
as Dr. Seedman continued his speech, drawing a crude diagram of
Neptunian DNA on the blackboard as he spoke.
species in our solar system has a survival trait that is unique to
their own particular biology,” Dr. Seedman stated, adjusting his
horn-rimmed glasses with the vines that Venusian plant people have as
appendages. “Today, we are going to discuss a rather impulsive
survival trait possessed by inhabitants of the planet Neptune.”
slowly climbed out from under the table and started tiptoeing around
the back of the class towards his desk as Dr. Seedman continued to
a Neptunian is in a position where he knows that his life is
threatened, a quite fascinating chemical imbalance occurs in the
'treina' cortex of the brain that triggers a latent form of
telekinesis that, for lack of a more delicate term, ‘impregnates’
the nearest biological organism with the Neptunian's genetic code,”
Dr. Seedman explained before seeing something out of the corner of
Dr. Seedman turned around, whipping out one of his vines. The vine
wrapped around Bloxnor’s ankle, jerking his leg upwards, forcing a
mid-air flip until he was hanging upside down. Blox didn’t hit his
head on the desk, but his books fell to the floor as his fellow
students erupted in mad laughter. The tardy student was then carried
towards Dr. Seedman, hanging upside down by his vine, until the
Venusian scientist could look Bloxnor directly in the eye.
it would appear that some Neptunians have survival instincts that are
less developed than others,” Dr. Seedman quipped with a playful
smirk on his face.
laughter continued as Bloxnor hung upside down, embarrassed by his
failed attempt to sneak into class.
was a game room on Phase Six, the goal of which was to train young
people how to fly different types of spacecraft, a valuable skill on
any truly developed planet in our solar system. This game room was
large, cylindrical and had tons of hologram video game machines where
the player could operate a virtual reality spaceship through various
on-screen obstacles. These games came from different planets and
represented various styles of real-life vehicles.
came into this game room most days after school when he was waiting
for his mother to get off work. He loved the wide variety of loud,
pounding rock music from different planets that was played here, as
this was a popular hangout for alien youth Bloxnor’s age. Bloxnor
nodded at a few of the guys that he knew from school and arrogantly,
flirtatiously winked at a few of the girls that he had met before.
Martian girl named Alegna rolled her eyes at Bloxnor when she saw him
strutting into the game room like he owned the place. She knew how
proud he was of his skill and prowess at the games that he played.
He frequently bragged about how he got his skills from his father,
the war hero. Bloxnor’s father was a sniper and never drove
spaceships in the military, but none of his peers would have any way
of knowing that.
wrapped his green fingers around the controls of a holo-game called
‘Planetary Defense’. It was one of the more realistic games in
this room. Pressing the start button, Bloxnor started flying a
spaceship through a trench on a space station that was being attacked
by faster enemy ships with rounded, armored wings. He skillfully
avoided explosions as he gunned down those enemy ships with his
Jupiterian teenager named Trakk strolled over and watched Bloxnor
play this game. In the game, a larger spaceship came overhead and
was quickly destroyed by heat-seeking torpedoes. This necessitated
that Bloxnor use evasive maneuvers to avoid the falling debris as the
ship broke apart and fell. Trakk marveled at Blox’s ability.
got skills,” the frog-like teen remarked to Alegna. Alegna rolled
her eyes at Blox yet again.
is, he knows it,” Alegna replied. “He’s such a butt!” Trakk
laughed as Bloxnor slapped the side of the game machine with a
celebratory roar when the words ‘mission one: complete’ appeared
on the screen.
Suck it!” he shouted. The kids who heard him could not help but
in Bloxnor’s mind, he was really inside of this ship. His
overactive imagination took over and he could feel the heat of each
explosion and the adrenaline associated with this battle. When
Bloxnor was surrounded by five enemy ships, he could see inside the
cockpits. In his mind, each one of these pilots that he would soon
skillfully blow away was a one-eyed Triton warrior.
over!” Bloxnor said with a scowl. Jerking the joysticks backward
with both buttons held down, Bloxnor’s ship fired rapid-fire lasers
as it flew diagonally. Two enemy ships blew up, which allowed
Bloxnor to fly away with the other three enemy ships in hot pursuit.
a few switches, Bloxnor activated a magnetic area on the bottom of
his ship that allowed him to cling sideways to the wall of this space
station’s trench. The enemy ships whipped past him and then
Bloxnor detached his ship, pursuing the Triton ships with his lasers
this point, Bloxnor had a whole slew of alien teenagers surrounding
him, watching him play and reacting favorably to each on-screen kill.
Bloxnor, however, was so into the game (and his own head) that he
didn’t notice that anyone was watching him. He had a glazed-over
look in his eyes and a frightening scowl on his face.
audience noticed the look on his face. A couple of the girls were
freaked out by this. “He looked possessed,” remarked one
Venusian girl as Bloxnor continued to stare at the screen with his
teeth clenched and with a crazed look in his eye, blowing away more
video game spaceships.
he growled, making the other kids, including one Triton girl feel
very uncomfortable. This crowd of teens started to slowly back away
from Bloxnor and his racist sentiment, unbeknownst to him as he
played Planetary Defense with an unbreakable focus.
a rousing hour and a half of his favorite simulator games, Bloxnor
walked into the mile-long cafeteria that his mother worked in. He
was very hungry and the place was quite packed with aliens who had
just gotten off their respective jobs. Bloxnor quickly got in line
and waited, looking around at the diverse group of cafeteria crew
members, who waved at Blox, recognizing him as “Tarooma’s boy”.
Bloxnor got to the front of the line, he grabbed a tray and looked at
the many kinds of food that they had to offer. Food that was a
delicacy to one species was a deadly poison to another, so each dish
was covered with a really thick sneeze guard and labelled with the
name of the food and what planet it came from. But Bloxnor had an
acute sense of smell and could tell which food items were from
Neptune. Being that such a large portion of his planet was covered
with water, all Neptunian meat was either from a sea creature or from
an amphibious creature. This gave the meat a certain ocean smell
that most Neptunians could pick up on, even if it was scattered
amongst food from other worlds.
in the distance, Blox saw his mom walking into the back part of the
kitchen, carrying a box of supplies and wearing protective gear. She
didn’t see him, so he didn’t wave. Bloxnor understood that
Tarooma was a hard worker and often had tunnel-vision when she was
occupied with a task. Bloxnor was the same way.
few of Bloxnor’s classmates were also in this line, a few feet
behind him, chatting and rough-housing with one another. A Triton
boy named Arkna, the one Bloxnor had met on his first day on Phase
Six, was among them. Bloxnor, being something of a loner, was
initially put off by Arkna’s outward friendliness. He turned away
from the Triton teenager and his friends, finally getting a whiff of
his favorite Neptunian dish. He could picture the blue, web-footed,
finned creature that the meat came from, as his father had caught
many of them on camping trips when Blox was a child. He saw the meat
in the tray and immediately scooped some “finkeral” into his
plate, along with some chopped up greens from his home world that
could be well-described as Neptunian Cole slaw.
sat down at a table that was separated from anyone else by three
empty tables, attempting to isolate himself while he ate. Arkna and
his bubbly, active group of friends sat at the other end of that same
table, making Bloxnor nervous. Always gregarious, Arkna smiled and
waved at Bloxnor, who he knew from having a few classes together.
Bloxnor’s return wave was forced and weak. Arkna slid over to
Blox’s side of the table.
Blox,” Arkna said. “What planet did you get in Mr. Plimkin’s
class…for that report on ‘the pointlessness of war’?”
Blox groaned. “Now I have to find someone from that planet who was
in the military to write this stupid report. Are there even any
Uranians on this ship?”
I don’t think so,” Arkna said. “Well, I lucked out. I got
Neptune. My dad was actually involved with that war, just like yours
was. I was hoping that, maybe, if you wanted to…we could team up
and do our oral report on the ‘Neptunian Lunar War’ together. Be
kind of a good example of what we’re talking about, right? Being
that we were technically on opposite sides and we ended up…”
didn’t see it coming. Bloxnor threw the entire contents of his
tray in Arkna’s face, only to press the tray against Arkna’s face
when he punched him. Leaping over the lunch table, Bloxnor threw
another punch that connected with Arkna’s jaw, knocking him down
and garnering attention from other crew members who were eating
this point, Arkna’s singular eye was black, swollen shut, rendering
him blind as Bloxnor started kicking him when he was down. An adult
hand grabbed Blox and pulled him off Arkna. Blox looked up and saw
that it was Drachma.
enough!” Drachma barked angrily. Bloxnor could see the anger and
disappointment on Drachma’s face. He looked back and Arkna, who
was trying to get up, sobbing in pain as he groped around blind.
Seedman walked over to Arkna and spoke some consoling words to him
before lifting him up with his strong, but gentle vines. Dr. Seedman
carried Arkna off to Medical Bay on his shoulder as Drachma barked
orders to Blox.
my office! Now!”
in Drachma’s office moments later, Blox started skimming the framed
photographs on the desk in front of him. They were pictures of
Drachma’s family and friends. Many of them were familiar to Blox,
just in the fact that they were taken on planet Neptune and contained
its unique landscaping and architecture. But one photograph in
particular caught Bloxnor’s eye.