I'm posting again! Yeah! Oh, well... this is another of my 120 prompts challenge.
Prompt 11: Memory
It' a tag to Zane's memory in The One Time At Space Camp, because I just love little Zane.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything besides my thoughts. If I owned Eureka Zane would have time traveled, too.
When they asked why you did it you didn't answer straight away. There were many reasons you could tell them. Many reasons they would have believed in an instant. 'I didn't want them to know about my father.' 'I wanted to have something to be proud of.' 'I wish I could go to space one day.' 'It seemed like the best alternative.' You wonder how they would react to each of them, you wonder what the consequences would be, you wonder if your answer would make a difference and finally you wonder if it matters to be honest.
You settled for: "I just wanted to.", because your mommy had taught you not to lie (you do it anyway, because you are good at it, but you generally avoid it when she is with you). Additionally this response was bound to puzzle them further. These grown ups didn't get you. They frowned all the time, pulling their eyebrows together in a curious fashion while examing you like you were some strange new species. It was rather entertaining and internally you couldn't help but chuckle. Your mom was afraid for both of you, there was no need adding to her distress.
You really didn't know why she was so worried though. You were a child, no more than 11 years old. They couldn't put you into prison. They didn't seem to want to either. They appeared to be out of their comfort zones with a case like yours. Of course you didn't see anything particularly unusual about this whole incident at all. The only reason you never did anything like this before is that it simply never occurred to you.
The next person talking intently to you was not a government official. You guessed he was a psychologist of some sort by the way he was talking to you, slowly, softly and ever so deliberately. Like you were some child that didn't hear a thing he was saying. You decided right on the spot that you disliked him. He didn't understand you either. No matter how much those kind of people prided themselves on knowing the human mind and emotion he had absolutely no idea what to make of you. That was alright though. You had given up on that years ago.
In the end your mother's anxiety was needless. They let you go with some kind of warning and a lengthy talk with the psychologist on how what you did was wrong and how you should never ever do anything like this again (while they probably had an equally lengthy talk with your mother on the same topic). They probably assumed that you were some ignorant child that had absolutely no idea about this world and didn't realize the gravity of its actions.
And that was where their mistake lay.
You knew it was wrong, criminal, illegal and you loved it. You knew that the firewalls and security software were meat to keep people out and not welcome them inside (there were top secret warnings all over the place after all and you were anything but stupid), but nothing had ever felt like such a great accomplishment. Naturally you pretended to feel guilty for the agents and especially for your mom. You promised to stay away from such illegal activity, even though you had every intention of doing it again someday. It was too tempting not to. You relished being special, the center of attention. It didn't exactly matter what nature this attention was as long as people noticed you.
All this also made you feel all kinds of powerful. You were able to do what few other people could, let alone children your age.
In fact you were so much unlike other children your age that you barely even compared yourself to them.
They thought your escort out of school was the most exciting thing they ever experienced (well, besides their trips to Disneyland - kids loved Disneyland, didn't they?). They rushed to you and crowded you the second you walked back through the school gates. For once they took interest in you, for once they treated you the way you knew you deserved. Of course, being children, they had a multitude of questions. 'Who were those people? FBI?' 'Where did they take you?' 'Did you see their headquarters?' 'Do you have to go to prison?' 'Are you a criminal?' 'What did you do?'
You tried to make as big as a mystery of this incident as you could while still keeping them interested. You invented some false details and gave them just vague general information. They should believe that this was a lot more fascinating than it really was, because no matter what you liked to tell yourself you needed the other children's attention if you couldn't have their friendship.
And attention was the one thing that you got more than enough of after your little stunt. The children were in awe (even if they didn't know the whole story), the government was alarmed and decidedly not amused, your mother was concerned (than again… she always was) and the rest of the adults seemed almost scared.
They looked at you as if you would suddenly attack them or do something equally unpredictable (although in your opinion the other children were considerably less predictable than you). They concealed it very well of course not altering their attitude towards you in the least, but you sometimes caught them glancing worriedly in your direction. You really couldn't imagine what they were so afraid of. You were no terrorist, you hadn't even done any serious harm. If anything you had helped the NASA to improve their security measures.
It took a while until you realized the source of their discomfort. You were like nothing they had ever known before. They simply didn't know how to handle you or what to make of you. As a result you were dangerous in their eyes. Not that you cared. You never really had. It hadn't taken you long to come to the conclusion that you were not like everyone else. At first you were incredibly saddened at your inability to fit in, but after a while you grew comfortable in your own skin. You decided that it would always be you against the rest of the world, because the others weren't worthy of you anyway. People who couldn't match your intellect were not deserving of your time (and even though you were a child there weren't a lot of people like that). You soon enough developed what a psychologist would probably call a superiority complex.
You never visited a psychologist though. How could he help you when even your mom (maybe the only person you knew who you respected) was at loss. You knew you weren't merely different. You were better and you were absolutely comfortable with this. If you wanted you could outsmart all of them. A brilliant future lay ahead of you and you didn't care what anyone thought.
Predictably you got into conflict with the law multiple times afterwards. You can still hear your mom sighing and picture her shaking her head. She was disappointed, because you promised to her that you will never again venture into illegal business, but you broke that promise and it wasn't the first and certainly wouldn't be the last one. You did what you wanted to, not what anyone else asked of you.
You always have been a lone warrior, fighting for yourself, the best example for an egoist, narcissist and with a careless attitude towards anything that wasn't science.
Until the one day you got sent to a town called Eureka and even if you didn't like to admit it, your life changed. For the better.
Hooray! (Also: I have absolutely no idea what the FBI would do in Zane's case, but since he was still a child I figured they would let him go.)