the short story project


Nicholas Arnett

Krystal Clear

Save yourself the trouble and don’t read this book. You’re going to be confused and befuddled, so why don’t you save your time and energy and read something that interests you. Don’t read this book.


Well, I guess you’re still here and are in for the ride. Good. That means you don’t listen and follow what others tell you to. Forget what you know and enter the unknown. Don’t even listen to everything you read in this book. All of it is real, but maybe just not on this earth or in this dimension.

This novel is about a certain child who is smarter than even comprehensible, by man or machine. Even the child can’t truly understand their own intellect. They don’t know theory, only reality because they have never been proven wrong. They have never failed, except when necessary to keep their intellect a secret. They could calculate tesseracted roots of twelve digit numbers down to the millionth in seconds. They remember anything and everything they’ve seen, heard or smelled since they were big enough to perceive such things. We will refer to this child as Joseph, although that is not their real name.

By the age of four, Joseph was envisaging things man only dreamed of someday accomplishing. By the age of seven, Joseph would be considered an expert in every major subject: science, math, language, history. He imbibed the entire internet enough to learn how to increase his reading speed, at which point he practically transferred the infinite knowledge of everyone unto himself.

It was time and he decided it was finally time to use his unending intelligence to do something. But this would simply be impossible in a family environment. He needed to leave. No. That isn’t good enough. Too much suspicion of what becomes of him. He needed to drop off the grid. He needed to be dead.

How to do this would be complicated. Make it seem like suicide and it would perplex others. How would it look if a seven-year-old jumped off a bridge only for people to find no body? That was the real question. How to do it so they find enough evidence to confirm but without actually sacrificing this temporary shell of a soul.

A perfect plan is to be lost at sea and assumed dead. “Dying” wouldn’t be hard to fake. Just jump into the water from the highest possible point. Make it look like they were trying to do a flip and not thinking about consequences. Perfect. The family will no doubt be devastated when they hear, but it is a necessary sacrifice if they were to accomplish any of their goals. Simply wear a backpack containing underwater gear that will allow him to reach land.


Once that was done, he needed a place to go. A secret underground lair would be preferable, but he didn’t have quite enough resources for that. Resources were limited to the stolen cash from his parents’ wallets that he’s accumulated over the years(since he was young enough to steal without their noticing, around one year old). It amounts to around $25,000. His parents were generally wealthy, so it didn’t come to their senses that the missing money was important.

That precious resource needed to be conserved, so everything that was purchased needed to make them exponentially more money back. He decided that he first needed to spend money on basic necessities, i.e. water, food, shelter, so around $2000 a year in his current area. He also absolutely needed a computer, which would cost around $1000. Once he had a computer, purchased from his local electronics store, he hacked into a few databases and made a fake identity for himself, Ryan Argettsberg. This first identity wouldn’t need to be too advanced, just enough so that he could get an apartment and pay for the things he needed.

He then went into a few wifi cafes and hacked onto a few large companies, wiring small sums of money into his bank account, and before long he had managed to set up a few bots that would automatically do so. He now had more than a sufficient amount of funds, around $1.5 million. With this, he started manufacturing a set of two androids that would pass for a family that he could utilize for all of his superficial needs. The androids went as Jill and Ben Crawken. They bought a small 3 bedroom house nearby into which the family moved. The family took care of grocery buying, cooking, had a small family owned business, and also paid the bills, so that freed up a significant amount of time for him. The parts for said androids were obtained from his local hardware store, eBay, and the black market because not everywhere sold unstable nuclear cores.

Androids ended up being one of if not the most important creations of his. Movement was permitted via the use of electronic muscles, which extended and retracted based on the amount of electricity running through them. Of course, they needed to be able to run for as long as possible so they have approximately 250 megawatts of energy stored in a battery that had highly efficient storage to weight ratio. This allows for the android to function from 78 to 115 hours on a full battery without recharging. The android takes about 12 hours to recharge using internal generators.

The persona core was really the pride of this valued creation. It allowed the android to think for itself and even have a personality. He could adjust the intelligence of the AI with the slide of a virtual bar and limit it’s access to information in a similar way, thus making it possible to create an individual personality for that android. The persona core was made up of four main sections: personality, movement, decisions, and speech. Personality decided what mood the android was in and reacted to new events. Decisions controlled what was to be done and when to do it, this controls when movement and speech are activated. Movement controls the movement of the android and makes it move in a natural way. Finally, speech controls what is said and also determines the effect of what is being said.

He needed a face through which he could begin his control of the world, so he created an android that could do just that. He named the new android Joseph Jeraldo, a 37-year-old human male with blond hair and a thin build. He then went through multiple school databases to give Joseph the credentials of a genius. He made sure that all of Joseph’s teachers were deceased, which was extremely difficult, this was to ensure no one decided to question his credibility. He then crafted a special android that he could manually control and talk through for him, so he basically stuffed an obscene amount of lightweight electronics into the pre-existing shell. He also needed to be able to seamlessly and instantly control him from anywhere in the world, so he needed an instantaneous long-range communication device. This is theoretically impossible. But it needed to be done, and he gets the impossible done. This is accomplished through the use of tachyons, which carry small electrical charges which combined forms a signal, allowing him to control his adversary no matter where he is. Even billions of light years away it was instant.

With the money that he had, he purchased a small area of land in the Bay Area in which he could state his base of operations. He called his small company Infinity corporation with the motto, “reality is one step up from imagination.” This gave the impression that no matter how difficult something might be, it is possible. The first product released from the company was a weaker version of the battery within the androids. This was sold mainly to large technology companies which used them in their products to increase their battery lifespan. The storage rate was three times that of the previous batteries. Smartphones could now last days on a single charge. People no longer had to fret and worry over forgetting to charge their phone the last night and the tech companies loved it because they could advertise it as “much longer battery life.” Additionally, the batteries greatly improved storage rates, losing a mere 0.0001% of energy. They were also utilized in electric cars, which were quite prevalent at that time. This made him an incredible amount of revenue, which amounted to over $750,000 in a single month. This quickly grew and within the first year of opening, monthly revenue had grown to $4.5 million in monthly payments. Infinity corp quickly grew in popularity among the Bay Area civilians, as it showed their advanced knowledge of electronics. It became even more popular when he came up with more efficient batteries that made him even more money, which he mostly spent on anonymous donations to charities because he no longer needed it. He, of course, bought a mansion into which he moved his base of operations into as well as to make the billionaire face of Joseph Jeraldo more believable.

After a year since Infinity corp became public, Joseph decided was time for Infinity corp to release another product. He decided on making a nanobot that could repair vehicles on the go, making them last exponentially longer. No more breakdowns on cars because a bolt became loosened. It now became normal for vehicles to have a storage bay where spare materials were stored for mid travel repairs if necessary. The new products didn’t stop coming. He then released an energy generator that harvested biofuel at an incredible rate which was 99% efficient at extracting energy. This became the new norm and most things switched to this new method as a cheaper and more effective alternative to using fossil fuels, which cleared up the sky, leaving ecologists thanking the Lord for salvation from global warming.

Electricity became more accessible to everyone as prices for it dropped. Word has already gotten around to everyone worldwide and most countries previously failing in a progressive state due to geological and technological disadvantages are beginning a climb due to having electricity availability. This allowed them to have efficient indoor hydroponics labs where both biofuel and food was grown at a faster rate. Continuing with the energy trend of the company, he created a new type of solar panel that was able to capture all available energy from the sun, once again boosting the availability of energy. At this point, building design has changed so that there are solar panels on the top and a hydroponics lab beneath it where food and fuel were grown for the building. Many farms are now less desirable as hydroponics labs could grow crops much more efficiently.

His resources were nearly limitless now at a net worth of 30 billion at the age of 13, but of course, everyone saw him as Joseph Jeraldo, a 43-year-old national success story. He then started a new interstellar department within his company that focused on creating a ship capable of indefinite travel across the galaxy. It utilized his solar generators, hydroponics labs, his biofuel generator, and a regenerative life support system. He would be on this ship. The ship also housed a number of androids that would serve as crafters of his fleet once he had reached the asteroid belt where ore was mined for a fleet of warships. The warships were manned by thousands of androids, which he designed specifically for combat use.

He had a method to this madness, which would eventually end up with what he wanted. He always ends up with what he wants. His wishes are typically very close to the needs of himself and others. This was good but when you take the needs of everyone into account, it is hard to satisfy all of them at once. But meeting multiple requirements at once is something at which he excelled at so it only took him a few days to think up his master plan. It was essentially sacrificing a small thing to make the larger whole better and more enjoyable.

The warships were new and unfamiliar to the human race, and their tech was nothing less than powerful. A titanium-gold alloy used for the hull is strong but will also absorb blunt force by softening and hardening itself via control of electrons passing through it. It also had a force field surrounding it, made up of luminal controlled light particles moving around the ships to repel physical attacks(i.e. Bullets, missiles, grenades). They took on a smoother more natural shape to ease the movements of the light shield. The shield only lets down around weapons for split seconds while they are firing.

The androids that he made needed to be disguised so that they didn’t resemble Joseph’s previous design of androids so people wouldn’t suspect his betrayal of them. They housed a new combat program that made them excellent at hand to hand combat. They had long fingers, four on each of their three hands. They used three legs as well which allowed them to stay more stable. All of this was coated in a thick layer of stretchy amphibian-like skin, which looks genuinely disgusting. They also had shields to protect non-frequently moving body parts. They also were all masterful at strategizing so that they can instantly make the most strategically correct decisions so that every battle will be a victory.

However, a fleet is not made for war if it doesn’t have weapons. There were Four main weapons used by the fleet, three for them are used on ships and one is for infantry. The first of the three for ships is a fast firing laser weapon, which uses similar technology to the shields to project a pellet of sustainable light energy that can penetrate up to five feet of dirt. The second is an electricity-based weapon that seeks out heat signatures and fires at those, shocking large groups of closely ranked enemies into unconsciousness. The third was a heavy weapon used exclusively on heavy enemies such as warships, tanks, and air vehicles. It creates an orb of hyperdense light matter that will easily collapse a 15-foot hole in something and is controlled for up to a range of three miles. The weapon used by infantry was a laser rifle with multiple configurations for different scenarios. It can be utilized as a shotgun, assault rifle, or a sniper, and when in the hand of his androids, it was devastating. It disintegrated soldiers, almost as if they were slowly being dissolved into a different dimension.

So what was the point of an entire war fleet if there isn’t a war to fight. But there is. There was always going to be. That was his master plan all along. He just needed more resources to carry his plan along. But his war wasn’t just in one country which disappointed him in its progress. It was Earth as a whole. He needed to fix what was wrong with the world. And there was a lot wrong with the world. Global warming, economic failure, ecosystems collapsing, and most severely, disunity. He was going to fix all of that without the citizens of planet Earth noticing a thing. Well, except for the fact that their entire planet seemed to be in the grasps of this new (not really) alien force.

So after years of preparation in space, the fleet had exponentially grown in size. There was over 10,000 infantry, 1,000 carrier ships, 250 warships, 50 stealth recon ships, and a massive command ship. The command ship was equipped with a last-ditch weapon that would be used only if absolutely necessary. We won’t discuss what it actually does, but let’s just say it makes the fourth dimension take an ice-cold bath. He was sure he would win. But Murphy’s law always kicks in when you least expect it. He ran the calculations and there is a very high chance that the humans will get lucky and discover some weakness in his designs. Or maybe they’ll get creative and create something that will bypass his systems. Not by hacking, obviously, his systems were controlled by powerful AI that constantly changed the code, making it impossible to infiltrate the systems.

How would waging a war on planet Earth fix it? Well if barriers are broken and humanity unites, he can use that to make the Humans work as a single unity rather than many smaller ones. If they won’t cooperate then he will imprison anyone who is resisting his grand plan and take control of countries one by one, adding to his power. The more power he had, the less resistance countries would give. Some of them offered him their allegiance freely, knowing they couldn’t compete. Only the global superpowers were really trying to put up a fight. But that was the problem. All of the larger countries, like America, Russia, China, the United European nations, as well as few small armed countries were all ruining his plan so.

But they still provided no challenge for him and his intimidating army to manipulate into submission. Within days they realized that they were simply no match for his army, and all of them surrendered. With all of the countries under his control, he named this new existence the United Nations of Earth. The first thing he did was put forth his androids to learn all of the dialects of the countries. Even though he knew most of the major languages, he needed it still to seem as though they were an alien species and not capable of learning their language. However, to infuse humans with the idea that they were inferior in many ways to these aliens he made it so that it took them mere weeks to learn the languages. Before long he had databases full of translation books that will hopefully allow the transition into a new language to be quick and easy for the humans.

This new language had different levels of words for different intelligence of humans. The deeper the humans knowledge and intelligence, the more words they knew and the more fluent they could use it. He knew that the transition would still take a while for the humans so he implemented a new law which stated that all children and newborn under the age of 20 were to be exposed to at least 90% Unean, the name of the language. This would make it so that the next generation is fluent in the language and able to advance their technology and knowledge.

The second thing he did was convert everyone’s currency into the new currency, a 100% digital currency called ETC (Economy Trade Currency). This was worth roughly 1 USD due to the US being the most economically successful country at the time that he conquered it. In order for everyone to be able to utilize this, he gave third world countries an upgrade in tech. This meant that people were no longer able to oppress others because of their technological disadvantages.

Another major thing that unity brought to the inhabitants of Earth was access to other countries’ resources fluidly so that if one area needs a resource they can gain it from another area. He also made the wealthy put their resources towards giving others what they need. He changed the way taxes are paid so that you don’t pay a very large amount, just what is needed for certain areas to grow, he also made it necessary to donate to whichever area of government you please, which included science, technology, medical, protective, and financial.

This made it possible for whichever areas needed to improve in your area directly, so if you think there is too much crime in your area you could donate to protective or if you didn’t think your local area needs more protection or financial help then you would donate to either technology or science, whichever fancies you the most. He made it necessary for everyone to pass high school even if they happen to be criminal. In fact, criminals were more endorsed because they tend to be smarter and more willing to commit, which made them excellent for his task force which focused on hostile takeovers of potential threats. He basically turned the criminals into the police force.

Now with all of the pieces in place on Earth he decided to check in on them. He made sure that no one was hungry and everyone had enough. He had already implied laws that prevented any major crime free civilians from going below a certain amount of currency. So no one could ever lack anything, housing, food, water, the essentials. This gave everyone the opportunity to achieve their full potential if they worked hard enough and were smart enough. The government also offered a variety of jobs if you were competent enough to work them.

With technological, medical, and scientific advancements being made so often, humanity was able to progress a significant amount, making groundbreaking discoveries nearly every other day. One time literally when they harnessed quantum mechanics to transfer explosives underground to clear paths for a metro system. It was quite more effective than using a drill. And much more amusing. They also found the cure for cancer, which they did by simultaneously removing cancer cells and replacing them with healthy ones grown in labs. This was possible due to molecular relocation, where small organisms or cells could be moved through body tissue into where it needed to be. They could also use this technology to give people white blood cells to fight off illnesses and infections.

With these advancements, people are starting to question if the “aliens” attacking was really a bad thing. Sure, they had lost many lives of soldiers, but there were also no more people dying from hunger. There wasn’t even much crime because there wasn’t much for people to be angry about, and anyone of particular interest as a danger to society either fears too much the

punishment of their crimes or is punished for their crimes because they cannot hide from the all-seeing eye that is part of the sacrificial circle. This meant that only minuscule crimes were committed, mainly robbery that is driven by greed. There was no more homelessness due to the saving grace of the financial district. And anyone who happened to be homeless was given an education and a chance to succeed, because everyone was given a free education and also had their 10,000 ETC bailout, which allowed them to not starve or lack anything which they need, but they couldn’t really thrive off of it, because the 10,000 ETCs were only added annually if you were below that amount, so that you can’t abuse the system.

Even though Joseph knew that his contributions to the world were mostly beneficiary to the majority, he lacked something on a minuscule scale in his line of work (you know, world-conquering). That something was his complete knowledge of himself. He conquered worlds, he invented impossible things, he manufactured new species, but he never really understood himself. This is why the great, all-knowing, omniscient Joseph Jeraldo was reduced to therapy. He wishes that he could have an actual human being be his therapist but he knew far too well that it’s only a secret if one person knows it, but that rule doesn’t really apply to a sentient computer that will, unfortunately, be melted into scraps after each session. So by talking with his beloved “therapists” he was able to learn a few useful things about himself:1) You can’t love others until you love yourself first. 2) Einstein said that “ if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life thinking it is stupid.” And 3) Those who are strong care for others, but those who are weak tear them down.

The first of these fundamental things he learned from his therapist(s) was: You can’t love others until you love yourself first. Well, what does this mean was the first thing that Jeraldo asked himself, and then he realized what it meant. He had become so complacent and full of himself that he has lived his entire life thinking about how others could live better if he did certain things, but he had never once thought about their emotions. He has never loved anyone because he was always so busy advancing his plans to change the world. So he learned that before he can begin to understand others, he needed to understand himself. This lead to his discovery of the other two fundamentals.

The second fundamental thing he learned was something that Einstein said: “if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life thinking it is stupid.” Joseph interpreted it like this: some people can be skilled in something, but something they need to realize is that they are the best in one thing. Joseph had always taken his intelligence for granted but he never realized that he lacked anything, so this changed the way he looked at the world, not as a platform on which he can build, but as a home to the billions of people who care and love each other.

The third fundamental is that the strong care for others, but the weak break them down. This made Joseph understand that the easiest thing to do for people is to seek revenge and self-gain by climbing on the backs of others, but those who are truly strong will take their emotions and use them to create and care for others. Any person you see can easily take their negative emotions and throw their anger, sadness, or pity out on others, but only the people who care for others, help people, and change lives for the better are the ones who can live joyously and ecstatic, those who live their lives negatively will find difficulty in discovering happiness, and only then will they realize that they are sad not because of what others had done to them, but because of what they had done to themselves because of it.

Begin note from Author: Within that, there are actually four fundamentals but the fourth fundamental is something that you’re going to have to find out by yourself. Endnote from Author.

With that said, Joseph realized how demonized it was that he had faked his own child death to the world and most importantly his family, so he knew that he should probably make it up to them. He also needed to remember that they hadn’t seen him for years and he owed them an explanation for why he left them. This left him contemplating whether or not he should tell them that he was behind the alien invasion. He eventually decided that he wouldn’t because after having not seen them during the critical young years in which strong relationships between children and their parents are formed, they wouldn’t believe him or they’d be overwhelmed by the information and he now knew that sometimes a lie is better than telling the truth.

After he decided this, he found his immediate family in the dense databases of his government (you can’t just run a country and not have at least some information on everyone). He then arranged to meet them, in person of course, at their home in Monterey. Their names were Sylvia and Chancellor Orkelo, with a son, Orion 18 years of age, and a daughter, Krystal 15 years of age. One of which has been presumed dead for the past eight years. But with Jeraldo’s return, that statement would now change. They were going home to their family.

For the first time in his life, Jeraldo felt a strong emotion. Three actually. Anticipation, anxiety, and nervousness. These pumped all throughout his body making him break out in a nervous sweat, which on a medical level he understood but on a personal level he didn’t. He was now treading unknown waters and didn’t quite know what to expect from his parents, whom he barely knew because while he was a young child he focused on learning about mathematics and learning the major languages of the world rather than learning new things about his family. He now viewed this as the real first time meeting his family because he barely knew a thing about them, save for their names.

Well, this was it, the anticipation was brimming all the way up their knees to their head in the pleasantly warm summer sun as that small button regressed into the wall and sent a quick signal to a small box inside the home, triggering a Ding-Dong! sound to reverberate through the estate. Anticipation grew as the footsteps neared the door. Click! The doorknob turned and opened into the home of their parents. “Hello,” Sylvia answered, ”wait here a second.” She went back into the house as they waited eagerly for their return, having had lost their tongue in excitement. Then they heard this faintly being screamed within the house: “Orion! Do you have a girlfriend because she’s come to the house and I know that you aren’t the kind of person who would tell their girlfriend to come to our house. You’re not going to hide anything from me!”

“Ummm, Mom?” Orion answered.

“What? Are you trying to make excuses now?” she queried.

“I don’t have a girlfriend,” he stated.

“Well then who is it at the door?” she wondered. They must have become suspicious by now because there were now two sets of footsteps coming from that direction. They looked alertly at the mother and her son as they approached.

“Well,” she politely asked, ”if you’re not his girlfriend, who are you and what do you want?”

“Well,” they said, still nerve-wracked. “I haven’t seen you for eight years and I thought it was time that I come home to my family.”

“Krystal?” they said in unison.

“I haven’t been called that for years,” Krystal answered.

“Where have you been!” She joyously queried, “ I missed you so much.”

“Really, Mom. She missed eight years of school but you’re mad at me for getting one B!?” Orion jokes.

“Oh shush. You know it was only out of love,” she answered.

“You grounded me for a month!” he said while laughing. It was so contagious that both their mom and Krystal joined in, but awkwardly because this wasn’t something she had ever felt before.

“It’s time for a family hug!” Sylvia joyously exclaimed. She grabbed both Orion and Krystal and brought them close in, Krystal let it slide because this was just so much fun and she had never felt, well, anything before, and this was just amazing.

“You know what?” Sylvia said, “we owe a call to someone who needs to come home right away!”

“My father?” Krystal asked.

“That’s right!” Sylvia chimed.

“This is amazing!” Orion said as he brought Krystal in for a bear hug. “All these years of being an only child and now I have my sister back from the grave!”

“You must stay for dinner, and I never really had the heart to disassemble your room, so it’s still the same as when you left,” Sylvia said, still remembering that her beloved daughter had been missing for years. “You can change it if you want because I don’t think that such a bright pink is of interest to you.”

“Hear, hear, we should be quiet so that Mom can call Dad and tell him that there’s a surprise for him and he should come home right now.”

“Oh right,” Sylvia said as she whipped out her smartphone, which was made for her by her husband for a birthday present. “Call Chancellor,” she said into the phone. It started ringing as she put it to her ear.

“Helloo,” she chimed cheerfully into the device.

“Hey, what’s up?” Chancellor answered.

“I just wanted to let you know that we have a surprise for you and that you should come home right away,” she answered.

“Okay! I’ll just pack up and I’ll be home in about ten minutes,” he answered quickly, hanging up as he began to collect his things. One of the best benefits of owning your own company is that you can schedule your own hours.

“Well this is exciting,” Sylvia proclaimed, “you’ll have to catch us up on where you’ve been, you know. A mother worries about her missing child a lot you know. Not a single day has gone by where I didn’t think about you.”

“Yes, you will. I would love to hear the story of where you were and what you were doing. Was there anyone, in particular, we should know about?” Orion teased. Krystal just stared at him strangely, as she didn’t quite get what he meant by that. Then it hit her once again, what was she going to tell them, she didn’t really think that telling them the truth was going to be the best way to go about it. But she also didn’t want to start off their renewed relationship with a lie. Once again, Krystal had to think about something because of her emotions. Who knew being a person would be so hard.

Well, it’s a good thing Krystal is smart because, within a matter of 12 minutes, she had an explanation for everything which would be asked of her by her family. Her real story would be replaced by one which matched her current personality, which she was also making up as she went because conquering nations didn’t leave much time for character building. Her story was now this, She was rescued from the ocean by a group of sailors, who brought her to Italy, where she was taken in by the captain, whose wife was a baker. The captain’s wife sent her off to school, where she worked moderately hard and never really made any friends. When she was ten she was sent off to live with the captain’s cousin in San Francisco. She never received any attention from the cousin, so she ran away and was able to make money by lying about her age to a bakery, where she learned to bake (she figured that cooking was as easy as pie, considering she had read hundreds of cookbooks in her youth). From there, she was able to track down her real family and finally ended up at their house.

During those twelve minutes, she was learning about her brother and mother, who constantly remind her how much they had missed her. She was actually slightly confused as to why they would miss her because the seven years she was with them she always was oblivious to what was happening to them. When the twelve minutes had passed there was rattling as the front door was being opened again, this time by Chancellor.

“Who is this?” He questioned, looking at Krystal with a grin on his face.

“You would not believe this, but it’s your daughter,” Sylvia answered.

“Hi,” Krystal sheepishly answered.

“What?” He said, “you gotta be joking”

“We thought so too but it seems as though she’s really back, after all these years, ”Sylvia replied.

“Okay then,” Chancellor said, dumbfounded. Krystal continued to be immobile, entirely unsure of what she was supposed to be doing. Social interaction was not one of the many skills she possessed. She continued to stare at him instead. This awkward silence was undesirable and she was continuing to feel more and more uncomfortable. Orion took this as his opportunity to get food, so he brought a bag of chips and guacamole to the group. They ate the entire bag whilst Chancellor peppered Krystal with queries about her time away, to which she answered without hesitation. She knew that her fake story wasn’t the greatest, but it somehow explained her antisociality.

As dusk approached, Chancellor thought it to be a good idea to call his cook over to begin preparing dinner. The cook began preparing a grand meal in light of Krystals return, a full three-course meal, starting off with a rich tomato soup, followed by an entree of filet mignon, and finishing with an apple pie. After they had all heard about every little detail of Krystal’s story, they began sharing to Krystal what had been happening on their side of it all. Chancellor had started his own company, which made smartphones and technology. Sylvia was a professional reader, and she read a lot of books to post analyses of them online. Orion had just finished high school and was preparing to study at Harvard, majoring in ecological studies, in hopes of finding better ways to feed the human race.

As their meal reached the end of its preparation, they sat down at the dining table, which had already been set. The room was suddenly permeated with rich aromas as the chef wheeled in their first course. Krystal was in awe, as she had never been served in such a wealthy manner. She began delicately eating the soup, which tasted unlike anything she had had before. To her, food had never been that big of a deal, at least in her real life. As they neared completion of their soups, another wave of delicious smells entered as the chef brought in their filet mignon. It was perfectly seared on all sides, and it was another new taste that Krystal wouldn’t be able to forget. Not that she could forget anything. As they were eating, they shared anecdotes from their various experiences, such as the first time Orion had gotten a B, which was followed by him being grounded for a month, with no access whatsoever to his friends. As the night went on, they all became weary and decided to go to bed. Krystal was given the guest room, which her parents offered to redecorate for her whenever she wanted.

As she lay in bed trying to sleep, Krystal pondered her next move. Then it hit her like a truck. If she could have been gifted with such a drastic biological advantage, then there was bound to be more like herself. More gifted people who had abilities beyond human understanding. Krystal then knew that her next move was to find them and prepare for the expansion of human control.

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