Elliott woke shivering, but grateful it was still dark out. His watch said it was 4 AM, but there was no telling. He'd been to galexies far far away from his home, Earth. It was funny, before he left he never felt like Earth was home. Now he could kiss its muddy soil. But he'd rather kiss Lucretia.
God, how long had it been? Damn his parents for not buying him one of those watches that told the date as well as the time. Elliott rubbed his hands together for warmth. He had no idea were Lucretia was after they took him, or if she even survived. But now he was just glad to be away from them. Who knew alien technology was so different from their own? Or from the "imagined technology" in his favorite science fiction movies and tv show? Once he could read the language, it had been easy for Elliott to steal an escape pod and shuttle back to Earth. Almost too easy. Nerdy sci fi geeks could prevail. Elliott picked himself up and started walking. At least he'd made it back to his home state. He'd have a better chance of tracking Lucretia and his friends down.
How good it would feel to hold his Imazadi in his arms again. If only he could find her.

The sun was just coming up as Elliott walked Bardstown Road, a popular hangout back then. The streets were already being roamed by a few skaterboarders hoping to get some practice in before any cops showed up. Elliott wondered if Rachel or Chad still lived down here. Or if they were still alive. Elliott shuddered. He pushed the negative thoughts aside. Some of them had to have survived the Big Explosion. There was a phone booth a few blocks to his left. Maybe they'd been listed in the phonebook. If it hadn't been stolen by some other punk that wandered Bardstown.
Elliot flipped through the phonebook, looking up friends last names. He found last names, but none of the numbers or first names looked familier at all. Neither Lucretia or her parents were listed. Elliott slumped down in the booth, tears welling in eyes. Were they all gone?
"Elliott" Elliott almost laughed. It sounded like Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. He was cracking up.
"Elliott, let the Phynix guide you."
Phynix? Elliott frowned. His spirit animal. If he ever needed a guide........Elliott went into deep concentration. How had Kelly, the Native American, taught him to summon his spirit animal?

"Look at that!" The skater kid almost fell off his board, pointing into the air. His companion glanced up, and he did fall off his board. Soaring through the air was a glowing, orange-ish bird.