Sitting in the back of the classroom Dietrich looked up at the chalkboard. Bored out of his wits he turned his head and started to zone out. The teacher droned about a famous general and his epic battle with turtle ships. The strange words caught his attention.
“Turtle ships”, Dietrich thought. “Kind of a cool concept, who would have thought of that one?”
Dietrich scrolled through the first few pages of his Navi to see pictures of the odd, archaic warship. He was never too fond of boats, but rather grew up loving planes. He clicked of the picture to find a boat with a dragon head. He was still confused to see the only part that may refer to the boat being a turtle was the hard top of the ship.
In a slightly raised whisper a few words escaped Dietrich’s lips, “Why not turtle dragon?”
“Dietrich, would you like to explain to the class what is keeping you from paying attention to the class?”
Dietrich blankly stared at the teacher as his mind raced to save the moment. A sharp ringing noise sliced through the silence as students rushed to pack their belongings for the next class.
“Saved by the bell this time my student, however tomorrow you may not be as fortunate.” As the teacher strolled down the aisle he barked last minute instructions. “For our next lesson we will fast forward to the twentieth century. Please read the rest of Admiral Yi on your own, they will also be on your test”.
“Hey Dietrich, want to go grab something to eat? I heard the girls are gonna go to that one new restaurant that just opened on 7th Street!” yelled his friend Derrick from across the room, doorway.
Dietrich smiled, “So is the Derrick Fan Club tagging along?”
Derrick’s eyes grew wide and his mouth formed a frown.
“HAH, what can I say, if I live the life of the most attractive boy at school?”
Laughing Dietrich responded, “Sorry, my parents asked me to pick up my sister today from school, maybe next time.”
“Alright dude, I’m gonna go in guns blazing today, wish me luck.” Derrick formed guns with his hands and imitated gun fire noises.
“Just don’t run out of ammo.”
“Never”, Derrick blew his finger tips as if he had smoking barrels and holstered his weapons. “I’m gonna go first then, I’ll talk to you tonight.”
Derrick waved and walked out into the bustling crowds fading away. Dietrich gathered his belongings and walked down the noisy hallway. Friday had officially arrived as the school’s walls resounded of shouts of joy, celebration, and friends making plans for the four day weekend. There was much excitement as students relished the much needed time off.
He turned the hallway to drop off some of his belongings in his locker when his chest met a furry object. A familiar female voice jolted.
“Oh, excuse me!”
“Whoa Jean you’re going to get run over if you don’t be careful!”
Jean wore the usual school uniform but added her own flare to it. She untucked her blouse with the usual black skirt. She wore different bright headbands or hair ties according to how she felt with a possibility of a punk band pin attached to her collar. She was somewhat of a loner at school, thus slightly introverted, and she could be spotted talking and singing songs to herself as she walked down the hall. However, when one gets to know her Jean was an unstoppable talking machine. Dietrich and Jean had known each other since elementary school, so they had similar a similar past with similar friends.
“HAH! By what? Please don’t joke! So what did you get on those scores? I beat you didn’t I? Huh, Huh!??”
“Oh shut up with the competition, I don’t even care”
“HA HA HA HA HA, it’s cause you can’t win!!! Don’t get butt hurt a girl is beating you!”
Dietrich scanned his thumb and the locker promptly popped open blocking Jean’s face. Jean shifted her head to get a better view of Dietrich.
“Dieeeeetriiiich!~ Let’s make a bet!”
“Forget it Jeannette, you win.”
“You are no fun, no fun, no fun, no fun, no fun”
Dietrich closed the locker and gave Jean a disgusted look.
“Fine, entertain me.” Dietrich started to walk toward the school exit and Jean trailed right behind him.
“YAYYYYY!” Jean threw her fist into the air. “How bout loser has to chew on grass for a whole week!? Ohhhhhhhhhh even better, Charcoal!”
“Gross, forget it. Loser buys food at that new restaurant that opened on 7th Street. All you can eat.”
“Okay! You got yourself a DEAL! You’re going down. Better ask your mommy for extra allowance!”
“Yeah, we’ll see Jean, once I start trying it’s OVER. I gotta go pick up my sister, catch you later.”
“OHHHhhhHhh! Say hi to Candice for me! Ok!?”
“Ok, Ok. Bye Jean.”
“See you later! Have a good weekend!”
Dietrich scanned the parking lot to find his car parked at the front of the school. He took out his key and his car hummed to life. As he exited the parking lot he spotted Derrick and the rest of his friends dividing up rides to go to the new restaurant. They spotted Dietrich and yelled his name unanimously. Dietrich smiled, rolled down the window and yelled, “Next time!”
Usually his mother would pick up his sister, but when they had to go away for charity events he was responsible to transport both he and his sister to and from school. Dietrich’s mother had only recently started to attend the charity events so his father could focus on other important matters. His father was a rising politician, but Dietrich didn’t know much about his father’s work. He was never really interested in politics, and his father made sure he left his work at the door. Home was always a time where family was together.
Dietrich drove into the elementary school to spot his sister with a group of girls.
He yelled out his window, “Candice let’s go!”
Dietrich’s sister was a short girl for her age. She had short hair held tight by a headband. She wore many bracelets on both arms and a mid length skirt with leggings. Candice opened the passenger side door and crawled into the seat. She spoke slowly with a slight lisp.
“Hi older brother.”
“Hello sister, put on your seatbelt. Jean asked me to say hi”
She reached back, pushed a button, and raised both her hands as the seat and belt adjusted to her height and weight.
“Jean…?” There was a slight pause as she tried to remember “…Your friend Jean?”
“Yeah the one that’s always yelling”
“Oh! I remember her! She’s pretty.”
“Heh. You hungry? You want to get something to eat?”
Instant joy lit Candice’s face. “YAY! Sunny bunny super meal!”
“Again? Fine, but you have to give me some of your fries”
Dietrich opened his Navi as he laid in his bed. The sun had set and rainclouds covered the sky in a thick mass. There was a distant roll of thunder. Thumbing through emails he came across an email from his mother asking if everything was okay. There was a small beep signaling a message had just arrived. It was Derrick.
Can we hang out tomorrow? We’re all supposed to meet up at the restaurant again. There’s some awesome food. 1:30PM tomorrow. Be HUNGRY.
Dietrich shot a message back
I was waiting for you to ask, I’ll be there.
Dietrich waved his hand across his Navi and flicked his fingers upwards popping his music player up. He fiddled around his desk to find his headphones.
He let out a sigh of relief as music flooded his senses.
Dietrich closed his Navi, closed his eyes, and drifted into sleep.
Kendrick couldn’t believe his ears as his girlfriend continued to drone on and on about some boy clad in a suit of armor saving his ditz of a girlfriend in the middle of the night. Either she was making up a bunch of garbage like the articles she wrote as a student journalist, or she may actually be telling the truth this time.
“You gonna eat your sandwich, or you gonna keep talking gibberish?”
Without even noticing Kendrick had said anything she kept droning on and on about how she was captured by some mob leader named Yamamoto. She thought that her life was over, but couldn’t believe the things she was hearing as she opened up some mental journalism pad to make sure she took note of all the evil mob stuff that they would do.
Kendrick reached over and took Jacqueline’s sandwich off her plate and started to munch on her roast beef and avocado delight. He didn’t like it when she went off about her journalism projects or assignments. She obsessed over every journalism project she did and wanted her to just shut up and live in the moment at times, he had begun to have a certain penchant of hatred toward these moments. Kendrick wanted her to not record anything or wait for something to be recorded, which was exactly the reason why they had gotten into a fight the day before.
He finished her sandwich and got up to pay for the meal since he had eaten both sandwiches, as his girlfriend still hadn’t finished her story. He walked up to the register and paid for both meals. She hadn’t noticed that Kendrick had finished her sandwich and he had to pick up her bag and pick her up out of her chair to stop her from continuing her obsessive frenzy. He placed the bag on her and pushed her into a walking motion.
“Okay, that’s enough.”
“Okay, that’s enough of what?” Jacqueline looked back and blinked her eyes at Kendrick unsure of why he was so angry.
“Look, why don’t you write the stuff you say down, and maybe I’ll just read it on my free time. Can’t we talk about other stuff while we’re together?”
“But Kendrick! Aren’t you listening!? I almost died yesterday!”
“I don’t know what to believe that comes out of your mouth anymore.”
“Are you calling me a liar?”
“No, but I’d be a liar if I said you didn’t have class right now. Here you go.” He placed her cell phone that she had left on the table into her hand. “Call me after class if your ready to talk about anything else that makes sense.”
She just didn’t get it. “Okay, see you in a few hours!”
Jacqueline began to traverse up the stairs towards her class. She tied up her hair with a hair tie she had wrapped around her wrist and tightened her shoulder straps of her bag. She couldn’t wait to write down the adventures that she had the night before. Jacqueline was sure her journalism project would blow away all the other students in class.
She stood five feet seven. Slightly tall, with long hair tied into a neat ponytail. She wore a plaid skirt and a plain white dress shirt. A neat skinny black tie added accent to her outfit, as well as the cute green frog bag she had picked out for her last birthday Kendrick had bought for her as a present. To a degree she had a slightly child-like flare to her outfit. Cute was what she loved to aim for.
She checked her matching green frog watch and it finally clicked that she was late for class! She dashed through hallway to find her class at the end of the hallway. Jacqueline took a deep breath to stop panting, adjusted her outfit, and slightly cracked the door open to find the teacher had just set up to begin class. Ninja Journalism skills would have to be used to get to the nearest desk. She carefully opened the door, scuttled passed the first few desk, spun around past the backpack on the ground and quietly plopped herself into the seat and recomposed herself.
Jacqueline took out of her librarian- like, horn rimmed, large framed, black glasses from her backpack and brushed her bangs aside to softly place the glasses on her nose. She had picked these glasses with much detest from Kendrick. He said that the glasses were far too large for her face, old fashioned, and most of all stupid looking. Regardless, she liked the glasses and reasoned with him saying that she would only wear them for class, and since they didn’t have class together, he would eventually give in. Thinking about it now, Kendrick hadn’t liked anything that Jacqueline had picked out for her birthday.
Journalism became much of a passion for Jacqueline as she entered college. As she had entered college as an art major, she had a knack for drawing, sculpting, and was a natural using any artistic medium. However, taking an intro to journalism as a breadth requirement her second quarter of freshmen year completely rocked her world. So much so that she completely stopped pursuing art and decided to take up journalism as a life long passion. No matter how boring the teachers were, to Jacqueline, it didn’t matter. Journalism in itself, to her was beautiful.
Outside the building where Jacqueline had entered a few hours before, Kendrick was waiting for the call to come. He had finished lab a bit early as usual and was waiting for Jacqueline in front of her class as usual. He took a sip of his Americano and looked around the barren campus on the Wednesday afternoon. The air was still slightly moist from the rain that had come during the night. He put the drink down and stretched his hands toward the sky feeling a little tired. Programming all night had taken a toll on his body. Always the procrastinator, Kendrick couldn’t deny he was the worst of them all. Perhaps if there was a competition, he would be called the King of the Lazy People. Contrary to his girlfriend, Kendrick wasn’t too motivated to study. He liked computer science, or anything that hummed, buzzed, or whirred, which may have been the only deciding factor in finishing his programming assignments. But, to him none of it mattered. He knew going into the work place none of this studying would probably help him. He’d just have to relearn everything, as the company would want him to do something completely different.
Perhaps, even to Kendrick, his relationship with Jacqueline was something of a mystery. Being in a relationship with her really changed his personality. Relationships really weren’t something he was ready for, or even something that he was looking for. Almost in chance, nearly in chance, perhaps the only thing he could attribute it to was destiny? Or was it just random chance that they were together. The one part of his life he couldn’t figure out or grasp had to be Jacqueline.
His phone in his pocket rang a simple tune as he reached in to pick up.
She spoke in a whisper; “I’m in the media library doing some research, meet me here!”
Kendrick heard the click on the other end as he was a little annoyed by his girlfriend’s actions as of late. Journalism had completely taken over her life.
He grabbed his side bag, coffee, and walked up the stairs that his girlfriend had walked up a few hours before and made his way to the media library.
The library was on the third level of the odd shaped building, and he climbed another flight of stairs. He clicked his ID card into the turn stalls and it beeped allowing him to walk into the library. Shortly after walking through the hallway he reached the large expanse circulation. The librarian at the circulation desk signaled for Kendrick to throw away his cup of joe due to the “no food or drinks” policy, so he took a long, scalding swig and dropped it into the trash can.
The library was a freezer. He zipped up his hoodie and proceeded maneuvering around the stacks of books and study areas. The media library, wasn’t it’s own library, but rather the whole left wing of the library. A big film reel statue denoted that he would be entering, as well as a vibrantly framed hallway display of newspaper articles, art works, photographs, and other prominent media snippets from alumni. The Megapolis Private University prided itself in only two categories, media related majors, and technology related majors. Everything else in between could be considered scrap metal, under funded, and understaffed.
He walked past stacks of books, more statues, rows and rows of computers, and came to the corner of the library where Jacqueline loved to study. He placed his belongings on the wide desk and sat in a seat adjacent to his girlfriend. She didn’t even look up.
“I found him.”
“Excuse me?” Kendrick raised an eyebrow not understanding.
“The guy from last night.”
Kendrick didn’t like what he was hearing. “What guy…?”
”The guy that saved me. Hold on, just stand up really fast for me Kendrick.”
Kendrick reluctantly obeyed. Jacqueline’s eyes danced from Kendrick to her computer screen. She lifted up her laptop up to Kendrick’s face and shook her head as her eyes continued to dart from screen to Kendrick even faster now. Kendrick started to get annoyed.
“This better be good.”
Her eyes glimmered in the library lights as she twirled her laptop around revealing a side by side picture.
“This. This… right here. Is the reason why I am in Journalism. I am a Journalism Genius.
She began to give herself a fake hug as Kendrick didn’t understand what was happening.
“Jackie… Is this why we are here?”
Jacqueline’s eyes widened; she realized that Kendrick didn’t realize the similarity.
“Look Kendrick! You don’t see the resemblance?! You should have been there! That Jaw line, your hair style, your build, how you both stand! You should hear his voice! You guys even have the same speech pattern as well!”
Kendrick was starting to get irritated.
“Liar.” He began to gather his belongings. “This is ridiculous Jackie… Are you sure you didn’t just go to sleep early yesterday, take a sleeping pill?”
Jacqueline was already frivolously smashing away at her keyboard in a information gathering frenzy. Kendrick shook her shoulder and she looked up, continuing to hammer away at the keyboard. Her giant black glasses slid down her small nose because of the sweat that had formed from her concentration.
“You going to stay here, or we going to go eat dinner?”
“Dinner?” She pursed her lips, her mind slowly started to grasp a hold on Kendrick’s anger. To blow off the boyfriend, or to follow the one lead she had… Oh the humanity. Her eyes stared at Kendricks face unable to make a decision.
The tables had seemed turned in the past month with Jacqueline and Kendrick’s relationship. It had always been Jacqueline complaining to Kendrick about his lazy butt always lying around, uninterested. Still the miracle of Kendrick still being interested in Jacqueline was a contradiction to Kendrick’s personality, which in turn fascinated Kendrick by the attraction towards her.
Going into their third year of college they had decided to get apartments in the same complex across from each other. Rent was cut throat, but since Jacqueline’s family was well off, and Kendrick’s miracle grants and school funding, it would take a huge chunk out of their budget, but nothing to harm them much.
Finals were approaching and Jacqueline’s journalism projects had started to pile up. It was in that past month that she started to get a little radical with her journalism. Taking “The History of Criminalistic Journalism” paired with writing for the Megapolis Collegiate Post (A joint newspaper distributed at the three colleges in Megapolis) didn’t mix too well for Kendrick’s taste. Last night was the first time it seemed she decided to go looking for trouble in the Shady districts of Megapolis. Kendrick didn’t think that she would actually go.
So with the gears in her head finally coming to a conclusion, and her boyfriend staring into her brown eyes with an obviously irritated look on his face she proposed a compromise. She launched two words from her mouth with a great big smile on his face, hoping it would avert the nearly inevitable feud.
Kendrick’s slightly rotated his head in curiosity and decided to give her a chance.
“Okay.” He squinted his eyes at his girlfriend furiously, focused and smashing away at her keyboard.
Jacqueline’s mind raced, her eyes widened. This had to be her ultimate test, no, race for her journalistic skills. She was determined to find some sort of method to communicate with Solomon Richards in five minutes. Email address, Phone number, place of work, home address, whatever she could find. One word was screaming inside her mind. “INTERVIEW.”
Solmon Richards let out a sigh as he reclined at his desk in his office room on the 144th floor of Richards Tower. He was dressed in a clean cut, skinny two button suit; black and red, pin stripes and all.
The room was silent, with only the hum of electronics filling the air. He whispered, “Nothing to do… night come quick.”
For the past two weeks since playing around with the suit of armor, everything else seemed so… dull. Nothing compared to the feeling of running through the night at sixty miles per hour, digging his feet into the pavement, the feeling of destiny between his fingertips. He raised his head as he could see the sky projected above his head. It was only a digital image projection, but it got the trick across to his senses. He breathed in deep and stretched his arms up above. He heard a slight beep, but decided to ignore it. Was it a conference call? Did he forget a prior engagement? He tried to view himself racing through the city line, tumbling through the air, jetting from roof top to roof t-.
He was stopped in mid thought as he heard the beep one more time. He looked at the projected image on his desk to see that there was an urgent email in his personal inbox.
“Rats, what now…?”
Solomon Richards froze. He read the first sentence of the email out loud.
I know who you are. Meet me at the rooftop you abandoned me at, midnight tonight. Or you won’t like what you’ll see in the news tomorrow!
^^V Rooftop Damsel in Distress
“Hell…” Solomon wasn’t sure what to do. He pushed a button to reach his secretary on the opposite side of the wall. “please call off the rest of the meetings for the day, due to illness.”
Day had finally turned to night as Solomon waited a distance from the rendezvous point. This wasn’t exactly how he thought he would be spending the night after the Yamamoto incident. He was early at the scene, and couldn’t help but feel antsy as midnight approached. He hadn’t given it much thought if his identity were to be revealed. Well, perhaps he did care, since he liked to keep a low key. Media and paparazzi had persistently tried and failed to glorify his boring life. They’ve been long gone for a while. This girl, may prove to be a thorn in his side if his identity as the crime fighting knight were to go public. What to do with this… problem. The next few moments would only tell, and he was already getting quite irritated with the situation.
He spotted a crack of light as the rooftop door opened. To his suprise he switched to infrared on his visors to see not just the girl that he had spotted, but a boy around her age walk out of the door. He shook his head. His first plan of action was to see what the girl wanted, and to see if he could remedy the situation without overreacting. Now, his patience was running thin. He ran across the roof top and launched himself toward the couple.
Jacqueline pushed the heavy door and motioned to Kendrick to hurry, midnight was quickly approaching. She was so excited, she could jump out her skin. She took a step out of the rooftop she had just been nearly 24 hours earlier. She could see her breath as the night was clearer but mcuh colder. Jacqueline looked around to see if the boy in the suit of armor was already there, but the rooftop was empty. She looked down at her frog watch and pressed a button to activate it’s neon green glow. Exactly midnight.
At that moment she heard a whirring and in the distance she saw a glow then the same armored knight launch himself off a nearby rooftop. He floated across the sky cape fluttering behind him and what looked like a graceful flight came slamming down onto the roof of the building. She saw him extend his arms onto the ground in order to increase the friction as the boots didn’t provide enough. It was a magnificint sight really, something straight out of a movie… took both Kendrick’s a Jacqueline’s breath away. Jacqueline because the moment had come to finally confront her mystery hero and Kendrick because he finally realized that his girlfriend hadn’t been lieing. Perhaps the shock hit Kendrick far worse as he started to gasp for air clutching his chest.
Solomon Richards didn’t like what he saw. He walked a clean circle around the two, not to intimidate them, but to inspect what he was up against.
“What do you want?”, the two didn’t respond. He repeated his question but there was still no response. He was getting even more irritated, but forgot that he had to either activate his forward speakers for vocal communication or release his visor over his face. He chose to go with vocal communications this time as he was wary of revealing his face for the second time. The suit in itself seemed to have a personality in itself, nearly teasing Solomon when it felt like, listening when it felt.
He vocalized the command, “Activate forward speakers”.
His voice cracked through with a digitized voicebox in his helmet. “What do you want?”
Solomon could see the girl’s eyes light up.
“I’m sorry about threatening to blackmail you, but I wasn’t sure if you would take me seriously if I hadn’t.”
Solmon simply shook his head in disbelief.
“I want an interview!”
Solomon almost reacted in instinct and growled, “idiot…” He was getting even more irritated. “Your wasting your time. Do both of us a favor and forget you just saw me.”
The girl shrank back seemingly scared, but a more determined look appeared in her eyes. “I’m not scared to use leverage!”
With that the boy reached into the girl’s oddly shaped, bright green backpack. Solomon saw the boy take out a large DSLR and he started snapping pictures of himself. At first Solomon was a little confused at their petty attempt, and slowly walked towards the two. His armor clinked as he gaited slowly at the male. The two froze but the DSLR continued to snap away. Solomon pryed the DSLR from the boys hands and tried to pop out the memory chip. However, since he forgot the power levels of his suit, the finger smashed into DSLR cracking the camera in two.
He grew even more irritated at his own forgetfulness. The pieces of the camera clattered to the floor. He played off the mistake as a tough guy act and tried to keep composure. He frantically searched for a tough guy line to scare them.
“Are you kidding me? Don’t contact me again and don’t you dare send any information to the media… Or…” He coolly paused. “I’ll kill you both.”
Before the two realized what had just happened, Solomon was three buildings away. No, make that four.