"HI!" Dusty blond-brown hair and green eyes filled the screen of the camcorder, and with a few quick adjustments here and there; you could at last see the boy. He looked to be about 8. "My name is Eric and this is my best friend Jason," The grinning boy pointed to another boy who also looked about 8. Jason had Platinum blond hair and appeared to be slightly taller than Eric. "Come and say hi to everyone Jase!"
"I don't wanna!" Jason replied, moodily.
"Aw, come on, your no fun!" Eric scolded, and then ran right up to Jason who was standing off to the side, admiring the books on Eric's bookshelf. They weren't the kind of books you would expect to find in a child's bedroom. Most of the books were big, thick science fiction stories, which were Eric's favorite kind of books. He also had a huge collection of books on space travel. Even some of the declassified logs from different missions the Enterprise had been on. He had read them all and his understanding of such advanced concepts continued to amaze anyone who knew him. Eric was an incredibly gifted boy, with many talents that almost no one else on Earth possessed.
Eric stopped to see what Jason was looking at, grinned slightly, then grabbed Jason's hand and pulled him to the camera. "Now come on Jason, won't you at least say hi to everyone for me? Pretty please?" Eric asked with his best puppy dog look. The look was too much, and Jason burst out in a fit of giggles.
"What's so funny?" Eric asked, in an almost hurt tone.
Jason began to explain between giggles, trying to talk slowly enough for Eric to understand, "Eric... hehe... umm... that expression of yours was... hehehehe... just too funny!"
Eric's hearing aid tuned in to what Jason was saying, and as he realized he wasn't laughing at him, so much as with him, he began to giggle too.
"Yup, the puppy dog face triumphs again!" Eric shouted victoriously. "And now that Jason finally talked on camera, we can say good bye."
"Bye!" Both boys shouted in unison, making them laugh even harder as Eric pushed the stop button on the camcorder and gently packed it away in its case.
Eric and Jason were complete opposites. Eric was a healthy boy who was born as normal as normal could get. He had a knack for getting into trouble though and loved being a daredevil. He could talk his way out of anything. One look in his eyes though and you could tell when he was up to mischief. He was an unpredictable little imp, in a good way of course. Eric's parents have always cared for him no matter what. One could say they would win the parents of the year award, however they often wondered if they were doing the right things.
Jason on the other hand was the exact opposite of Eric. He was the shy quiet type, a good boy, and almost never in trouble. He wasn't as energetic as Eric, but was just sort of into his own world. He was cute, but never thought of himself as such. His classic good looks were something others could only wish for, even if he didn't see it. How the two became best friends right off the bat baffled Jason's parents, but they weren't complaining! The little ball of energy that had moved in next door had already started to bring their son out of his shell.
Eric was curious about something and couldn't think of how he wanted to say it. The two had only known each other for a short while, but they were already so close. He felt weird not knowing much about Jason. Finally, he mustered the courage to ask, "Umm... Jason?" Eric stammered "c-can I ask you something?"
Jason gave Eric a questioning look then nodded "uh huh"
"I was wondering; how old are you? I mean, well...I...uhh.... get this weird feeling...that...you're older than you look. Don't take this the wrong way, you look like your 8, but I think you're older." Eric was finally relieved to get it out.
"Well" Jason began, "I may look like an 8 year old but I am really 9, almost 10. My birthday is soon, I am just short for my age."
"That's cool!" Eric piped up "I'll have to ask my mom and dad to take me shopping for your birthday! I can't wait!"
Jason blushed, "Aw, no you don't have to do that." He said, looking down at his shoes and blushing.
"But I want to! It should be a big day for you. Cheer up! We can have a big party and invite all your other friends! I can't wait to meet them all!"
Jason blushed even redder...if that was even possible. Still looking at the floor he mumbled, "Umm, I don't have any."
"Jason, you know very well I need to read lips to understand you!" Eric scolded as he tried to figure out what his friend had said.
Jason's head shot up, "Oh sorry; I said you are my only friend."
"Oh!" was all Eric managed to say. He didn't know how such a cool guy could not have any friends, but he planned to do something about it.
Just then, a yell from downstairs broke the silence in the room, "BOYS, come on down!" bellowed Eric's dad. Eric heard that loud and clear, he didn't always need to read lips.
"COMING!" Both boys chorused.
Within seconds, two very active boys came running down the stairs of the Shannon's new home, with all the energy of a steam engine tearing through it.
"Boys, try to keep running in the house to a minimum, we don't want another accident, now do we Eric?" Mrs. Shannon asked in a gentle tone.
Eric looked hurt for a minute remembering that day. Eric had never forgotten since his parents had constantly reminded him to be more careful. Eric sighed as he began to look back to 'that day'.
It was a nice warm, sunny, afternoon during mid spring when Eric heard his Dad pull up in the driveway. "Looks like Daddy's home from work already!" Eric thought excitedly. He decided to surprise his father, by jumping off the front porch. Without even considering the risks, he took off like a bullet. Eric ran from the family room, through the dining room then kitchen past his mom who was making a late afternoon snack. Before Mrs. Shannon was able to yell, "Slow down!" Eric was already out the door followed by a loud crash and a yell from Mr. Shannon. "Oh God please no." she thought nervously. Stepping outside, the sight of her 5 year old laying motionless on the ground a full flight down was too much for Mrs. Shannon and she became hysterical. Mr. Shannon had already dialed 911 on his cell phone and the ambulance was on its way.
"Oh honey, why'd you have to be so reckless?" sobbed Mrs. Shannon.
"Dear, try not to move him till the paramedics get here, I can feel he is ok. Just knocked out" replied Mr. Shannon as he tried to keep his wife calm and see to the well being of his only son. "I'll stay on the phone till the paramedics get here".
Mrs. Shannon simply nodded while looking down at her son.
Mr. Shannon continued to also try to communicate all that was happening, to the operator on the phone. He spoke into the cell phone, "Thank you ma'am, the paramedics are arriving, I can hear the sirens, thanks operator for the swift response. We all appreciate it."
All the operator could say was "Just doing my job sir, good luck, and hoping for the best".
Mr. Shannon thanked her tearfully and hung up right at the moment the ambulance was pulling into their driveway behind Mr. Shannon's Camaro.
Moments later, Eric was transported to the nearest children's hospital. After arriving, the doctors had taken the necessary precautions, and the x-rays proved he needed immediate surgery.
Three hours later, an exhausted doctor walked out into the waiting room looking for Eric's Parents. Since the room was full, the Doctor calmly spoke "Will the parents of Eric Shannon please accompany me?"
Mr. and Mrs. Shannon shot up and walked over fast with worried looks across their faces. As they approached the doctor, Mr. Shannon spoke up nervously "Is our son going to be ok?"
"Yes, however there are complications. Please follow me and I will explain. I think we should go somewhere a little more private." the Doctor spoke almost emotionless, though with a hint of sorrow.
As they approached a small conference room, the doctor opened the door for Eric's parents to enter. They walked in, and the doctor followed, then closed the door behind him "Please, have a seat."
As the doctor sat, Mr. and Mrs. Shannon followed suit. "Mr. and Mrs. Shannon, my name is Doctor Rice. You can call me Joe or Doc, whichever you prefer."
Mr. Shannon spoke first with a gentle smile "I'm Jerry and this is my wife Trish, it's so much easier informal. Is my son alright?"
Doc Joe sighed and smiled a bit before he gave his prognosis "I realize there is no easy way for me to say this, so I am going to just say what needs to be said. Your son is in the recovery room resting as we speak. He is going to survive, but there have been complications."
"Wait, if Eric is ok, why are there going to be complications?" Mrs. Shannon questioned in a serious tone.
The doctor sighed "He has sustained severe nerve damage to his auditory nerve. It is at the point where the two nerves from either ear cross. There was some swelling, which we have relieved, but I'm afraid that Eric will have no hearing in his right ear for the rest of his life. We are not sure how much damage his left ear has sustained, however, we hope that with the use of a hearing aid, he may regain partial hearing to that ear. The boy is not totally deaf, and we can still hope his left ear works a little."
Mr. and Mrs. Shannon sighed and thanked Joe for helping their son. Before they left Joe mentioned they could go see their son now in ICU.
As Jerry and Trish walked in ICU, Eric was partially awake in his hospital bed wondering where he was and where his parents were.
Eric noticed his parents walk in, and he began to apologize "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to jump, but I wanted to surprise Daddy" sobbed Eric.
"Its ok honey, you're alive and that's all that matters right now." Trish sobbed.
The scene started to fade away back to reality as Eric shook his head at the memory, "Sorry mommy."
Mrs. Shannon watched her son as he started to fight the tears back. It had been three years since Eric had to overcome his "new condition". Without being able to hear, his world had closed in on him. Eric was lost, in the world of sound. His mom gentle placed a hand on his shoulder then knelt to eye level so Eric could see her clearly. He looked at his mother opening her mouth, but no sounds would get through.
Eric, honey. We care about you. We love you son His mothers' words came to Eric, in his mind.
Eric looked at his mother with eyes widened. How did she know? he thought to himself.
Now that you know where you got your abilities from, lets keep our mind communication to a minimum.
Yes mother Eric thought.
Mrs. Shannon smiled, "Now will you boys please run over to Jason's real quick, and ask his parents to come over for a cookout, our treat. Tell them we won't take no for an answer." The boys took off out the door at the mention of a good BBQ.
Mrs. Shannon let out a sigh then looked at her husband "Jer, I think its time Eric had some training with his abilities. They have been growing recently, and there have been some unusual occurrences as of late. He could try and teach himself how to control his telepathic and telekinetic abilities, but I'm sure you remember how hard it was to learn control at his age."(???Hammy, have the cows been producing chocolate milk, or are the chickens laying plums?) (very much so, Dibs ;-) Mooo! )
"I know, Trish. I know. It seems he has both of our abilities at his disposal and he needs to be trained properly, but sadly it's going to be up to us to train him, since his abilities already exceed most people's on Earth. Maybe even ours." Jerry let out a sigh.
Later that evening, after Jason and his parents went home from the nice BBQ, Eric's parents had a long discussion with him about his abilities. Eric understood the difference between right and wrong, and knew better than to abuse his abilities. He had read up on telekinetic and telepathic abilities in a book he had gotten about six months ago, and knew of the trouble people could cause while abusing their gifts. It was getting late and the family was tired from a busy day. Before Jerry and Trish went to bed, they said their goodnights to Eric and tucked him in. He was excited after learning of his new abilities but after thinking a while, he finally, fell asleep, with exciting thoughts on what his gifts may mean for his future running through his mind.
That night as everyone slept, the peace was broken in the Shannon's new home, by a blood-curdling scream coming from Eric's bedroom. Trish and Jerry ran into Eric's room in a mad dash. Jerry quickly turned the light on to see Eric in tears and covered in sweat. His mom rushed down to cuddle him, hoping to calm the fears that had Eric trembling so badly.
"Oh honey we're here, it's over now, it was just a dream." Trish tried her best to console her son, but was having no luck.
"B-but..." was all Eric could mutter out.
Trish closed her eyes for a moment, reaching into her son's mind. She found what was there, and her eyes shot wide open. With a gasp she exclaimed "Oh my god."
Trish was cradling the weeping and trembling boy in her arms, "Oh honey, I promise it won't happen."
Eric looked up all teary eyed and muttered "Promise?"
Jerry was looking at Trish with a questioning look, but Trish mentally told him 'Later.' Jerry just nodded with concern.
"Babe, why don't we let Eric come with us for the night? It might help him sleep better, don't ya think?" suggested Jerry. He knew his son was too old for that, but as shook up as he was by his dream, he knew it was the right thing.
Trish nodded, picked up the weeping boy and carried him to their bedroom. Jerry turned off the lights in Eric's room, and then followed Trish to their bedroom. When they both got back in bed, Eric was already asleep, knowing full well his parents were there to protect him.
Eric woke up with a gasp; he shot straight up in his parents' bed, looked around, and then sighed. He was relieved to find nothing bad had happened. He tried to remember the nightmare, now that he is awake and aware, but his mind just wouldn't allow him to. Eric sighed loud enough his parents heard him.
"Good morning EC" they both chorused, using their nickname for him and nearly making Eric jump out of his skin.
"Hey, are you trying to give me a heart attack or something?" the grinning boy said then launched a tackle at Jerry. His dad made a satisfactory oof as the boy pounced on him.
"Whoa easy there, buddy," chided his dad, "Don't break the old guy!" Trish just giggled. Boys will be boys. Eric didn't think his dad was that old, he was the best dad around. Actually, Jer and Trish were both young. They were both in their early 30's and quite good-looking. It was easy to see where their son got his good looks. They were both in good shape, and healthy as healthy could be. Jerry worked as a tool and die maker for a well-known company, CAT, and he was quite good at his job. He was average in height, slim, with semi blonde hair and brown eyes. Jerry's unique special ability to move objects with his mind had always come in handy, when it was needed the most, and is something that has been in his family for generations and still going strong. Trish on the other hand, was a counselor for the local school and loved helping kids. Her strawberry blond hair and brown eyes gave her a rather unique beauty. Something Jerry found to be a big turn on. Trish's family had the ability to read minds and her ability to predict the future gave her quite an edge, however generation after generation, the ability had started to weaken.
With Eric though, it seemed the combination of their two abilities had given it extra strength. Something both parents were proud of, even jealous at times, but they never showed it, and they loved their son. Eric had always known that he was different. Not just because of his hearing loss, but because he had always felt special and loved.
"So guys, how do pancakes for breakfast sound?" Trish asked. Jerry and Eric took one look at each other then sported identical mile-wide grins, which told Trish it was a definite yes. She had never known them not to say yes to food for that matter.
On their way down the doorbell rang, causing all three to jump slightly. They weren't expecting anyone to be at the door this early on a weekend. All three stopped at the front door and Jerry opened it to reveal their next-door neighbors, Jack, Joyce and Jason. The triple J's expressions were of concern, Trish notice though, that they all had a tired look about them, but once they shook themselves out of their short trance, they were all smiles. Joyce broke the silence by producing a plate piled high with bacon. "I hope we're not intruding. We had a rough night for some reason and we figured you did too. I must apologize for my rudeness, but when a boy screams, he really does scream and we heard Eric moments after Jason woke up from his nightmare. Anyway, enough of that, we can talk about it later. I brought something over to help with a big breakfast. That is if you don't mind?"
For a moment Trish's eyes went wide, then she smiled, "We can discuss that later, but I'm sure the guys won't mind you coming over for breakfast at all, we were planning on pancakes." Joyce then looked at Eric and Jerry. The expressions on their faces were priceless because all they could do was nod with their mouths hanging out. Trish sighed at the sight then turned back to Joyce "Don't mind the goofballs, once they get over the shock, and get some food in their systems, they'll join the real world.
With that, Joyce and Jack made their way into the Shannon's home, walking past Jerry and Eric. Jason however, stayed behind with his friend. Jason was staring at Eric for what seemed like ages, but he was finally brought back to reality by his mind pushing him to do something. He finally made himself move. He grabbed Eric's hand, and pulled him upstairs. Jason shot back over his shoulder, "Don't worry, Mr. Shannon, we won't be long!"
Jerry took one last look after he snapped out of his stare, shook his head and chuckled. "Boys."
Meanwhile upstairs in Eric's bedroom, Jason finally entered with a confused Eric in tow. Once they were in, Jason decided to close the door behind him then turned to Eric. Trying to catch his breath, Jason spoke between breaths, in a rapid speech that totally threw Eric off. Eric finally had to stop him if he wanted any hope of figuring out what was going on.
"Whoa, whoa, Jase, slow down! I can't keep up that fast!"
"Oh sorry bro, I was trying to ask you if you had a dream about a fire last night? I did and it was so real! And you were there. In the dream I mean, but I felt like you were really there, so did ya? Did you dream of a big fire too?
Eric perked up at this. So he hadn't been the only one to have the dream! Jason had really been there! "Yeah! I did dream of the fire! That's so weird, you dreamt it too? What happened? I don't even remember most of it."
"Oh, well, umm...I seem to remember most of it, but not all of it. I'm only missing a little bit though. Maybe if we put our bits together, we can figure it all out."
"Yeah. But why are we in my room with the door closed? My parents know about the dream, it's not like it's a secret."
Jason began to blush a little and looked down "Oh well.., the dream kinda got me thinking, and well... do you ...?" Jason suddenly remembered Eric couldn't hear, so he looked up again, made eye contact and restarted his sentence "Do you remember when you asked why I didn't have any friends and I didn't give you an answer?"
"Ummm oh, yea, I'm sorry about that, I shouldn't have just asked like that."
"Don't be, Eric, I should be the one to say it," Jason let out a deep sigh then continued "The reason I avoid people is simple: I kind of feel like I am gay, as in I like boys." He watched Eric's face for a negative reaction, and when he didn't see one he continued, more at ease, "When I saw you for the first time, you caught me by surprise because you're beyond cute. I kept dreaming of you every night since you moved in." Jason then looked down, not wanting to see Eric's expression. Even if he didn't mind him being gay, he was sure to hate him for being in love with him.
Eric lifted his arm touching Jason's chin and lifting it up he then planted a kiss on Jason's soft lips. Eric's eyes were closed, so he didn't see the shocked reaction Jason had. The kiss was deep and electrifying. After Jason got over the sudden surprise from such a beautiful thing, he melted in, placing his arms around Eric. Suddenly everything became blurry and the image of Jason was rapidly fading with an echoing, "NO! Eric! Don't leave!"
Eric sprang up in his bed, shaking the fog from his mind. He had been so absorbed in his memories of the first days of his relationship with Jason. There was only one thing, which could pull him away and that, and that was a temporal shift, could it be? he thought to himself with mounting hope.
It was now his fourth year being their lap dog on certain missions and he was getting tired of it. Eric looked around his room. There were no windows to show what space looked like. Everything here was a pale shade of grey. The bedspread, the floor, the walls, even the door was the exact same color. He had been kidnapped and held against his will for the last 5 years on their space ship. His kidnappers made him go on life and death missions, raids, and even forced him to perform sex acts, especially for Sid.
Eric was confused by the new sensations he was feeling, but shrugged them off like they were an every day occurrence. Everything he was taught, whether it was by his parents or by Sid, he thought were normal. Little did he know how far from the truth his 'normal' really was.
Eric lay back in his bed and started thinking of his parents and Jason, wondering what they were doing now. His thoughts though, were rudely interrupted by an alarm, as red flashing warning lights went off with the following announcement "All personnel report to the cargo hold for briefing and deployment".
Eric stood up and turned the lights on so he could find his way to the clothes storage to get into his uniform. Upon turning the light on a mirror revealed his naked form, which was no longer small. For a 13 year old, Eric was above average in height with a well-toned body from all the missions he was forced to go on. His appearance though hasn't changed too much, all thanks to Sid, aka The Boss. Eric's resentfulness of Sid really showed when he was around him, and Sid loved every bit of it.
Eric let out a sigh as he zipped up, readied his mind, and then walked out of his room.