Ahem! May I introduce … Part VI.
I fervently hope that all of my dedicated readers have not lost faith in me after so long a break between publications. :(
Disclaimer: I don't own TDTESS or anything related to it. I don't own The One who is Keanu Reeves either. Darn.
Reviews are highly appreciated! :)
As Helen expertly wove through the minimal traffic on their way to the museum, she wondered just how much of Earth's various pieces of technology had actually been demolished. There was still enough electricity to get by on with everyday tasks. Cars still worked … standard jet liners and trains were a different matter. Televisions worked, but nearly all of the computer servers across the globe had crashed and been rendered useless. Phone lines were down … now all that was left were cell phones.
As if by instinct, she felt in her pocket for her own phone, making sure it was there.
Then, she glanced in the rearview mirror to look at Jacob.
"So, where should we take Klaatu first?"
The boy looked up, a thoughtful expression on his face. Then, his eyes brightened and he opened his mouth to reply:
"The cave man exhibit! He'll love that!"
Helen gave a soft laugh at her stepson's enthusiasm for the trip, then turned to Klaatu and spoke in an undertone.
"He'll be dragging you all over the museum. Are you ok with that?"
Klaatu met her gaze and nodded solemnly.
"Of course it's alright. It is such a wonder to see this world through the eyes of a child like Jacob."
His response nearly stunned Helen, it sounded so … human. But, she reminded herself, this was still his first time visiting Earth. He was literally experiencing it as though he was a child. But this time, he could experience it without the nagging thought of bringing destruction and mayhem upon its inhabitants looming over the horizon.
The rest of the trip passed rather uneventfully, and they arrived at the museum with little fanfare. Helen pulled into the almost deserted parking lot and selected a spot very close to the entrance. The trio got out of the car and headed towards the elegant front doors of the museum, Jacob dragging Klaatu behind him.
Helen smiled as she watched her stepson and his newfound "father" venture through the doors, then turned to the attendant in the office window and paid their entrance fee.
However, what she failed to notice was the attendant picking up his cell phone and dialing the police as she followed the two boys.
"911, state your emergency."
"Yeah, this is David Westen from the American Museum of Natural History. Three guests just came in and I think they're the ones that were being tracked by the cops during the invasion … yeah, it's the guy and the woman … and there's a kid with 'em. … Ok, I'll be waiting."
Jacob and Klaatu finally arrived at the Stone Age exhibit, and the boy was eagerly showing his guardian around. Klaatu was already aware of the evolutionary path humans had taken since the Stone Age, having read up on such matters before his departure to Earth. However, he found it to be much more fascinating to reach out and be able to actually touch a part of history than read about it in some long-forgotten text in the library located on his planet.
"… and these are all the spears and stuff they used to hunt and kill mammoths. It was so awesome!" Jacob explained to Klaatu before dragging him over to show him the exciting chase scenes depicted on the cave paintings.
"Fascinating … truly fascinating." Klaatu replied, playing along with the young boy even though he already knew the things being presented to him.
Helen stood off to the side of the room, simply watching her two "boys". She couldn't even begin to explain how wonderful it was for Jacob, who had gone so long without having someone to spend quality "father-son time" with, to have someone like Klaatu. He was always so patient and he never ignored the boy.
She was well aware that Klaatu could lash out in a split second and possibly kill either of them, just as he had done with the state trooper, but she also knew he would never do that. The alien had proven to them that he was not inclined to violence and preferred peace over struggling. He had also saved Jacob once … and the two had formed a unique connection ever since.
Then, she was abruptly yanked out of her daydreaming.
Klaatu had grabbed Jacob's shoulders, propelled him into the exhibit and behind the huddled group of Neanderthal models and ordered him to stay put. The alien was obviously extremely agitated and once he had hidden the boy, he approached Helen.
"Go to your son and stay hidden."
His tone allowed no room for argument; it was an order.
"Why? Klaatu, what's happening?" Helen was frightened, she had no idea why Klaatu was acting so strangely.
She could see Jacob looking at her from his secluded hiding place, confusion and fear written plainly on his face. She could do no more than send him a comforting look and motion for him to stay put.
"Police forces are approaching this room. They are here for me and they will take you as well if given the chance."
"But how? Everything's over, how did they find us?"
"I don't know … but I don't want you to–"
Klaatu was cut off as the side doors to the room were thrown open and several fully armed SWAT officers came bursting in.
"Both of you, hands up! … Put your hands behind your head and kneel on the ground! … Don't move!"
The scattered orders bombarded Helen's senses and she quickly complied, lowering herself onto her knees and lacing her fingers behind her head. The SWAT team cautiously approached, their laser sights trained on both Klaatu's and Helen's chests. Then, Helen realized Klaatu had not moved. He was still standing and didn't seem inclined to be kneeling any time soon.
"What are you doing?! Get down!" she hissed, yanking on his pant leg in a futile attempt to gain his attention.
Klaatu did not respond; he simply kept his gaze trained on the approaching officers as though staring them down.
"I'll ask you once more, get down on the ground with your hands behind your head!" the lead officer ordered.
"That wasn't a suggestion, that was an order, buddy! Down on the ground!"
The lead officer unlocked the safety on his Glock and all of the laser sights on his men's automatic rifles were immediately trained on Klaatu.
He turned slightly and met Helen's gaze, a protective glint in his eye. She looked up at him and mouthed: Don't get hurt, please. He gave an almost invisible nod, then turned back to face the SWAT team.
"I apologize for my refusal to comply with your orders. The pain will only last for a moment."
To be continued …
A/N: I shall end here on a rather interesting cliffhanger; I hope this doesn't frustrate my readers. The next installment is currently already in the works, so I hope to be following up with Part VII soon! :)