The Children (Part 3)

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As Spacekid emerged from the protective huddle of his astronaut guardians, a ripple of quiet worked through the encroaching horde of homicidal teenagers. Clearly none of them had noticed the junior astronaut until now, and in a few seconds the entire cavernous room had become nearly perfect quiet except for the flapping sounds of the torches, and the crinkling sounds of the children's' strange paper togas. Then, in a manner similar to backyard crickets meekly resuming their chorus following a recent loud noise, the children began to mutter amoungst themselves.

"Did they say Spacekid?" is what most of them were saying.

Citro attempted to make a grab for the exposed Spacekid, evidently intending to yank him back inside the protective circle of astronauts, but Rowan grabbed her by the shoulder and held her in place.

"No," he said. He jutted his chin toward Jason and the Jonas Brother, both of whom who seemed to have completely forgotten their murderous intent. Citro gave the matter some thought, then settled. A quick glance at Rehearsal and Sands told Rowan everyone was on the same page.

Let's see how this plays out.

Jason and his Jonas counterpart moved carefully towards Spacekid from opposite directions, weapons carefully averted as if each boy were afraid of potentially damaging this new object of interest. As he drew closer to Spacekid, Jason's glazed blue eyes kept flitting back and forth between Spacekid and the other astronauts, his alert eyes drinking in various details of their high tech environmental suits, as if he was only now accepting their status as actual spacemen from space. Then, after dedicating himself to a thorough examination of Spacekid's pudgy face inside the helmet, a process that took approximately one-and-a-half minutes, Jason shot Rowan an accusatory look.

"Hey! Spacekid doesn't have a mustache!" he said accusingly, though you could tell he didn't know this for certain and was, even now, aggressively sifting through his memories for further information. Interestingly, so distracted was he by the question of Spacekid, Jason's voice had lost the weird, guttural "post-apocalyptic" affectation of mere moments earlier. He was speaking like a regular kid.

Rowan saw an opportunity and had no choice but to run with it. "That YouTube video was a while ago, Jason. We've been in space for two years since then. In the space station Proserpina. Do you know what that-"

"So you're telling me this is the Spacekid. From the freaking Internet?" He floated his arms as if to mimic Spacekid's famous adventure in zero gravity, and he made the accompanying poop-my-pants face. One of the other children saw this and giggled.

"Yes. His name is Wallace Glutious." Then he added as a garnish: "He's very famous."

Jason shared a look with his counterpart from the Jonases, then the both of them busted up in joyous, star-struck laughter. The Jonas brother clapped a chummy hand on Spacekid's heavily padded shoulder.

"Hey Janelle! Janelle! Check it out!" Jason squeaked over his shoulder, clearly addressing his female, red-headed war advisor. She rushed over and stared directly into Spacekid's helmet, her face frozen in astonishment as if she were looking at puppies through a shop window. In moments, children from both sides of the aborted confrontation shoved and clambered their way over to Spacekid, running their fingers over the curve of his helmet glass as Spacekid just stood in place trying not to look embarrassed.

Rowan reached up and temporarily muted his external speakers, then let out a long sigh of relief that only his fellow astronauts and Spacekid could hear. "Fast thinking," he said when Spacekid sheepishly met his eyes, and the world's final Internet celebrity broke into a dopey smile. "They are not so insane as to have forgotten the Internet. Maybe we can control them."

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Also. Sorry I missed last week's episode---was ironically having enduring Internet troubles. We're back now!





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