Basic Story Information:
Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance, Friendship, Humor, Adventure
Pairings: Kyle/OMC (Main pairing), Lori/Declan, Josh/Andy, Kyle/Amanda (fractured)
Setting: Tagged to S2 E23 "I've Had the Time of My Life" just as Kyle and Amanda are floating and Jessi is preparing to leave with Sarah.
Summary: Zzyzx is gone, Madacorp is under new management, and Latnok is still held at bay by Adam. Kyle's life is getting simpler. That is, until he gets a signal from an unknown source.
Chapter 1: The Signal
Everyone was getting what they wanted. Josh has Andy, Lori has Declan, Jessi has Sarah, and Kyle finally has Amanda.
Spinning slowly above the pool of water on the dance floor, Kyle was perfectly content embracing his long-time crush. He hadn't been the perfect boyfriend, and he knew that; but, Kyle felt that Amanda had forgiven him for all of that.
A wave of something hit Kyle's mind like a rocket blast. Suddenly he and Amanda dropped to the floor. It was only about a six inch fall, but when they landed, Kyle lost his balance and Amanda had to stumble backwards to keep hers.
"What was that?" she asked as she recovered.
"I… I don't-" Kyle began but was cut off by another wave of mental energy.
Kyle's eyes slowly fluttered open. He found himself in his tub in his bedroom, Nicole sitting beside him and watching intently. He groaned, his head still pounding from whatever had struck him earlier. "What happened?" he asked innocently.
"I don't know. Amanda called from the hotel and said you collapsed. We came and got you as quickly as we could. Do you think it could be a seizure like the one you had when you were trying to use your powers without knowing it?"
"No. It wasn't like that. It was almost like… like someone was calling out to me. The first time I was around Jessi we had a sort of telepathic connection that signaled our presence. It was like that, except a thousand times stronger." Kyle was even puzzling himself. He couldn't think of any sort of machine that could do this, or even how a machine like that would work. He and Jessi are the most advanced humans on the planet, so who else could've done this?
A loud and sudden noise came from the front of the house and Kyle jumped out of the tub to see what it was. Down the hall, he could see Sarah holding an unconscious Jessi. "Oh my God," Nicole called from behind him. "Sarah, what happened?"
Jessi stirred awake in her mother's arms and was put down on her feet. "Kyle," she murmured, "Did you feel it, too?"
"I think so." Everyone just stood there for a moment, everyone silently asking the question, What does it mean? But, no one had an answer, so no one said anything.
Steven tromped down the stairs and into the silent circle of bodies. "What are you all doing?"
Kyle looks up to answer him but Jessi beats him to the punch. "Kyle and I felt something and we're trying to figure out what it was."
Steven looks a little perplexed at first, but then, being the communicative genius he is, he decides to make the scenario into a computer metaphor. "So you both felt a signal? Could it have been something like a Wi-Fi field that you both came into contact with?"
"Yes," Kyle responded, "But it was more like there was a remote sending my body a signal to move. The thing is there's nothing that I can even imagine that's strong enough to send a signal like that without having direct contact with the subject."
"Okay…" Steven pauses a moment to ponder the information. "So we're looking for something that's even beyond what you can fathom. Where do you find something like that?"
Kyle, Jessi, Steven, and Nicole all look up at the same time and proclaim "Zzyzx" in unison.
"Let's go," Kyle says, but Jessi doesn't move and everyone else looks concerned. "What's the matter? Shouldn't we go check out whatever this is?"
Jessi huffs and then explains herself. "It's not that I don't want to see what this is. It's just… I was just about to leave this place. Start a new life. And now… I don't want to get sucked back in." She looks over to Sarah as she finishes and Kyle understands her concerns. If she leaves with him now, she may never be able to leave with Sarah.
Understanding this, Kyle turns his questioning gaze to Steven and Nicole. "Kyle," Nicole pipes up, "I just don't think it's a good idea for you to go back there. After everything we've found out about them… I just don't think it's safe there."
Kyle looked to the window and saw that it was rather dark out. He understood their reservations, but when he got that signal it was like someone was calling to him. At first glance it was a painful screaming in his mind, but just under the surface seemed to be some SOS. So, Kyle decided that, to quench his urges and keep everyone else from feeling too much anxiety, he would go to the Zzyzx compound in secret.
"Okay. I'll leave it alone. My head still hurts a little, so I think I'll go to bed." Jessi was anxious to pull Sarah out of the house so they could leave. Nicole and Steven went back to whatever movie they had been watching and Kyle went to his room. He closed the door and waited a few minutes to make sure no one was going to come and check on him. Then he slipped out the window and grabbed his bike.
Kyle was one of the most advanced people in the world, but he had somehow never found the time to get a driver's license or a car. The Zzyzx compound was quite a ways away, so Kyle decided that he would have to take a vehicle. He couldn't take the Tragers' car or Amanda's. They would notice and suspect his absence. Declan would be out with Lori and Josh had his car at the after-Prom party. He couldn't use any of those, but he could easily use Foss's truck. Foss had been gone for a little while now, but he didn't take his truck with him when he left. It was still at the warehouse and that was only about a five minute bike ride away.
Opening the truck door, Kyle found a note attached to the key. I thought you might be needing this eventually. I'm not that attached, but try to bring it back in one piece. Foss had always been thoughtful.
It was not all that long of a drive to the compound site, but as he got closer and closer, Kyle felt a small ringing in his ears steadily growing.
He pulled up to the tunnel that he and the other teens had explored earlier in the year. There didn't seem to be anything there, but he felt compelled to check it out. He got out of the truck and focused his mental facets on his vision. The forest seemed to jump out at him with colors, and then he noticed an area of high thermal activity. At first he thought it was just a deer or other animal bedded down for the night, but he stepped closer and made out the shape of a human body.
He reconciled his senses and knelt down. "Hello?" he whispered to the figure. "Are you okay?" He placed a hand on the figure's arm. He felt some kind of slick substance on the person and just before he went to pull his hand away, the figure became alert.
Kyle pulled back, but a hand covered his and a rush of energy flooded him. The energy was dark at first: a mental shroud of thick black smoke that gave him an overriding sense of fear. But then Kyle saw a reflected image of himself from what must have been the figure's point of view. The energy changed. It was warm, like a soft ray of sunlight filtered through a thin white sheet. Kyle began to realize that the images and sensations were a projection from the figure. But then the emotions became much stronger, until the feeling of euphoria removed all possibility of Kyle's free thought. His body gave way to gravity and he collapsed out of the person's grip.
As he hit the ground, the emotions and images wore off and he snapped back to reality. His eyelids flicked open and he could see the figure's face in full detail now. It was concerned at first, but it quickly dropped that expression for a more pleasantly contented one. Kyle rose to his feet and the figure mimicked him. Upon its standing, Kyle could tell that the figure was a boy, or rather, a man.
He appeared to be no older than 17. Kyle took in the young man's appearance. His entire body was covered in a viscous fluid and it only took a moment for Kyle to realize what he was. The young man cocked his head to the side and cued his confusion with his eyes. They glowed in the darkness and Kyle felt that he could almost feel the emotions flowing out of them.
"Do you speak at all?" Kyle figured he may as well ask. The question was followed with more head-cocked gazes that made him want to melt into that euphoria again. Kyle went around to the back of the truck and pulled out a big blanket. He held it out to the young man, but nothing came of it so he wrapped the blanket around the naked figure. Then he opened the truck door and waved his arm to signal the young man to enter. Again, he received only confused looks. He reached out and grabbed the young man's hand, trying to convey his desire for the two of them to get in the truck. He felt the connection being made and suddenly he was conversing without words. The young man threw out a sensation of confusion and Kyle returned an imagined image of the pair getting in the truck along with a feeling of compulsion. They pulled their hands away and the connection was weakened, but not lost.
Once in the vehicle, Kyle felt the gaze of the new young man falling upon his face. Kyle felt the question emanating from those eyes. Where are we going? It wasn't really said in words, more in the inflection of emotions. Kyle reached a hand over and regained the full connection. He poured out all of the positive emotions he could muster along with images of the Trager household. Over the top of these emotions, he said, felt, and thought the word: "Home".