"He's not in here Cindy," James Neutron told his wife. He had just come out of a clubhouse built into the trunk of a large maple tree, which grew out of the corner of the Neutron's backyard. The clubhouse belonged to the youngest Neutron, James and Cindy's son, Isaac.
"Well, he's not in the house," Cindy said, bearing into her husband's eyes. "And we deactivated his time machine, so he's not crossing the Delaware with George Washington anytime soon."
"I just don't get it, how could he have…disappeared?" James' voice faltered. He quickly ambled back to the clubhouse and started punching numbers into the keypad beside the entrance door.
"What are you doing?" Cindy asked. A beep emitted from the keypad. Following this, a partition formed in the clubhouse wall and out rolled a security camera.
"Checking the video recordings for Isaac's lab. I have a feeling we're about to see what he's been up to." James pressed a few more buttons, and another beep sounded. A screen unfolded from inside the camera, which showed the outside of the clubhouse from five minutes ago.
"Like father like son," Cindy chirped. For the clubhouse roof had opened and out shot a rocket piloted by a small boy with blonde hair and blue eyes. The co-pilot was a robotic duck. James' hands balled into fists.
"I can't believe it," he said. "I specifically told him no rockets unless he's with you or me."
"Come on," Cindy said in a tired sort of way. "To the garage." The young Neutron couple walked over to their garage. James hopped into his Strato XL 4.5, his latest and most trustworthy rocket. A duplicate, painted pink was parked next to it. This one was Cindy's.
"I just can't believe it," James repeated as they ignited their engines. Neither he nor Cindy flinched as they burst out of the garage and surged towards the heavens. "He knows he's not allowed to travel space by himself. He could get seriously hurt doing that."
"Well, we just have to lay down the line this time," Cindy said. "He's a gifted little boy and we love him, but he has to learn that just because he can invent something doesn't mean he's allowed to use it."
"Yeah I know." James leaned back in his seat and rubbed his temple. It was times like this that made him cringe, thinking of all the trouble he must have caused for his own parents as a kid. And they had it harder, considering neither of them did these things when they were young, and didn't know what to expect. Then again, Isaac had less emotional control than James did when he started flying rockets. Isaac was only five.
"Aren't you excited Drake?" Isaac exclaimed as he shifted his rocket into an even higher gear. "We're finally going to Mars! And the best part is, we'll be back before mom and dad can find out." Drake, Isaac's handy mechanical duck, let out a series of quacks in reply.
"What?" Isaac said incredulously. "No way they found out we left. They think I'm cleaning my room. Plus, I secured my video recordings with a new code so they can't access them. Dad'll never guess it." Isaac paused. "I hope."
In spite of his apprehension, Isaac's eyes grew wide with excitement at the red orb of Mars looming ahead. It was rapidly increasing in size, and in less than five minutes, Isaac would have completed his first interplanetary journey all by himself. "I think this calls for a celebration Drake," James said, folding his hands behind his head and grinning. But suddenly, something zoomed into place right in front of him, blocking his view of the red planet. "Uh-oh."
"Uh-oh is right Isaac," James declared firmly. Cindy maneuvered her rocket until the noses of all three were nearly touching. She wore a stern expression on her face. For a second, the Neutrons were silent, their rockets softly bobbing like boats at sea.
"What were you thinking Isaac?" Cindy demanded. "Didn't we tell you you can't travel space by yourself?"
"But mom," Isaac protested. "I have Drake with me." Drake looked at Isaac's parents and quacked indignantly.
"Drake is right Isaac," James said. "That was very irresponsible of you. Although," James turned to Drake. "If you knew this Drake, I wonder why you went along with it." Drake hid his head under his wing and quacked sorrowfully.
"Come on Isaac, we're going home," Cindy said. Isaac glanced from parent to parent, desperately trying to think of an excuse.
"But, since we're all here, can't we go to Mars anyway?" he asked optimistically.
"No," James responded. "And no lab the rest of the week for you."
"But that's not fair!"
"Isaac, you have to take responsibility for your actions." Isaac folded his arms and grumbled bitterly under his breath. Drake slowly poked his head out. He waddled past Isaac and took over the controls as all three rockets began drifting back home.
"And as for you Drake," James added. "I don't think you'll be going to Grandpa Neutron's this weekend." Drake quacked furiously.
After a minute or so of flying, a smile slowly formed on James' lips. "Still Isaac," he said, his eyes half-lidded. "Your mother and I are very proud of the progress you've made. I didn't make my first rocket until I was twice your age. Plus, it's not every family that gets to spend Friday nights soaring through the solar system in custom-made rockets."
"Now you gotta admit," Cindy said. "That is pretty neat." At this, all three Neutrons, as well as Drake, laughed.
Disclaimer - I do not own Jimmy Neutron, it characters, nor any other shows, characters, music, and/or movies that may be referenced.