Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Entry 12

After a few days Scott and Ellen decided I was fully recovered. It was nice not to have them worry so much; however, their declaration of my good health was not enough to convince John. My big brother often took his responsibilities as my protector to extremes. I understood why. I was all John had; however, that did not mean it could not be annoying.

After two weeks, John stopped checking in on me during lunch or between classes. I went to marching band practice without anyone worrying I might pass out again. All was right with the world.

And yet it wasn’t. As the weeks passed I could not shake the feeling that something was wrong. My delusions haunted me. I simply could not forget them or how real it had seemed. Every time I went to sleep I expected to wake up in some sort of sci-fi environment where the android story was the truth and this normal life was the delusion.

I hated myself for expecting normal life to be a lie. Could I really hate my life so much that I would rather my brother be an android than live a life without such dramatic adventure?

I tried to analyze my feelings of wrongness, but it was hard to do so by myself. I was used to talking to John about everything, but this was something I simply could not talk to him about. I did not want him to think I was still sick. I knew John. If I told him how wrong life felt and how real I thought my delusions were, he would have me in a psychiatrist’s office within the hour.

Life passed by, every day as normal as the next, except perhaps for the fact that I was continuing to understand Algebra II. My teacher continued to teach in the same fashion that John taught. It made me wonder if John had had some sort of discussion with her. John was well liked be all the teachers and held a lot of clout. If he had suggested the teacher might trying teaching in another way she might actually try it.

A month after my illness, I had an Algebra II test. I barely paid attention in French, choosing instead to skim over my notes. I had a low B in the class currently, but with the change in teaching style I was actually understand more. I was hoping to bring my grade up with my newfound understanding, but I was afraid my nerves might doom me.

French ended, and the test was only six minutes away. I walked with one of my friends to class while together trying to remember the steps of Gaussian elimination. We were reciting them back and forth to each other, not exactly paying attention to where we were going, when I literally ran into someone. I almost fell back, but a strong hand grabbed me.

“I’m sorry for knocking into you, you should pay more attention to where you are going,” a surprisingly deep voice said. The low pitch of his voice made me expect to see a large, hulking man like a professional football player or possibly Vin Diesel. However, when I looked up to see who had nearly knocked me down, I saw a tall, lean man not at all like the muscled body builder I had imagined. I stared into a pair of gorgeous dark brown eyes set in perhaps the most handsome face I had ever seen in my life. His face was framed by thick dark brown hair that fell softly into his gorgeous eyes.

“Thank you for catching me,” I managed to say, all thoughts of matrices gone from my mind. I felt foolish, staring like the star struck teenager I was at this man who was probably a teacher at the school, or possibly a substitute. He looked much too old, much too mature to be just another student. He was probably in his early twenties, an age that seemed the height of sophistication to me.

“You are Carlee Earhart?” the man asked, letting go of me. My heart jumped into my throat. He knew my name! He had probably been substituting one of John’s classes, my rational mind said, and any idiot could tell I was his sister.

“Yes,” I responded.

“I am Ven Barker,” the man said. “I’m here to rescue you.”

Monday, June 29, 2009

Entry 11

John came to check up on me at lunch as he promised. I was chatting with my friends when he slipped into the seat beside mine. He studied me as if looking for signs of weakness and fatigue while he asked, “How are you feeling?”

“Fine,” I responded, annoyed by my brother’s overprotective attitude. Then I remembered my delusion and how John had tried to protect me from the anthropologist. I remembered how the anthropologist had turned him off somehow and how strange that had been. My brother did his best to protect me, and I should not be annoyed when he did. “I honestly feel healthy, John.”

“Have you been drinking enough?” he asked, examining the Nalgene. It was half empty. “You should be drinking more.”

“I feel fine,” I responded. “I’m not thirsty. If I drink anymore then I’ll have to go to the bathroom ten minutes into class, and you know how stingy teachers are with hall passes.” John nodded, because he knew that teachers rarely handed out hall passes. Most of them said you should either go before or after class, not considering that in order to get to their class I had to run across campus and barely had time to slip in before the bell. When was there time to go to the bathroom?

John looked past me and to my friends, causing them all to sigh and flutter their eye lashes. I had never met a girl that John could not charm with his smile. All of my friends were in love with him. It was quite ridiculous.

“Ladies,” John said, his face very serious. His seriousness caused them all to hang on his every word. “I trust you will look after my sister during her classes so that she will not fall ill again.”

“Of course, John,” one of my more outspoken friends responded. “We would never want anything to happen to our Carlee.”

“No, we wouldn’t,” John agreed, bring his gaze back to me. He smiled at me mischievously when he saw me roll his eyes. I could not believe he was going over my head and to my friends. It was completely unnecessary. I felt fine. I could not remember being so dreadfully sick, and I did not feel sick. It was hard to deal with everyone’s overprotective behavior when I did not remember a reason to be protected.

“You ladies have a good lunch,” John said, turning a charming smile towards them. He then stood and ruffled my hair, ignoring the angry glance I shot him as he strolled confidently away. I smoothed my hair and turned back to my friends, who were all staring after him with moony expression.

“You’re brother is wonderful,” one of the girls said dreamily. “I wish he was my brother.”

“No, you don’t,” I responded. “Then you could not be in love with him, because he would be your brother.”

“True,” the girl said. “Then I guess I’m lucky he’s your brother and not mine. He’s just your brother. I can marry him one day.”

“Do people marry androids?” I asked to no one in particular. Her thought had simply made me wonder if an android could fall in love. It made me wonder if any of John’s feelings were real or if they were simply programmed into him. Could he be programmed to fall in love with a girl and would it be strange if she loved him back since he was an android?

“Androids?” another of my friends asked. “Carlee, why are you talking about androids?” My friends exchanged glances, thinking I must be once again delusional.

“No reason,” I answered, pushing what I remembered – what everyone said were my delusions – aside. John was not an android. He had told me he was flesh and blood. Though everything here felt wrong, it simply could not be. This life was real. My delusions were not.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Question Break 2

Today is another question break/summary day. This is where I recap in a few terse sentences exactly what you need to know to go on and you guys ask me all the questions you want. If you’re not brave enough to comment (I rarely comment on blogs myself, I always feel everyone else might find my comment somehow not worthy), then feel free to ask me questions on Facebook. What you didn’t know I was on Facebook? Well I am. Be my friend! Search Carlee Earhart. My Facebook profile pic matches the pic on this page. It’s a picture I took from our spaceship of Earth using my digital camera. It’s good, isn’t it?

So the summary.

I thought my brother was an android and that we had been abducted by the Society of Anthropologists.

I woke up in my room and everyone told me it was a delusion. They said I had been sick.

I don’t remember being sick.

Everything is normal. I wish it was normal.

But somehow it all feels wrong.

So do you have any questions? Want to know how exactly I was feeling at a particular point or unclear on exactly what the Society of Anthropologists is? If you are confused or curious at all, please just ask me a question. I’ll answer it in a comment myself or make a new post.

Have a good day. I hope Earth is treating you well.

Goodness knows, Earth must be treating you better than space is treating me.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Entry 10

Ellen and Scott would not let me go to school on Friday and kept me on the couch, drinking fluids, the entire weekend. By Saturday my temperature was normal. On Monday, they decided I was healthy enough to go to school, though not to march in band this week. They sent me to school with a note in hand.

John drove us as usual, but when we pulled into the parking lot, he looked at me in concern. “Are you sure you’re ok for school today? I can still take you home.”

“I’m fine,” I answered crossly. Scott, Ellen, and John had been hovering over me for days, waiting for me to relapse. However, I had felt fine the entire weekend. I felt perfectly healthy and did not remember being sick, though everyone was trying to convince me I was. It was very strange.

“If you need anything you come find me,” John reminded me for the thousandth time.

“I know,” I responded as I had every time he reminded me. “You can check up on me at lunch, but please don’t try to track me down in the halls between classes. And if you step a foot into one of my classes, I will kill you myself.” John laughed his hearty laugh and leaned over as if to ruffle my hair. However, at my glare he knew better. I had spent all morning straightening my hair. I did not need him messing it up.

We got out of our car. John went off to his morning haunt, and I went to the band hall where all of the band kids normally spent the morning. I half expected for them to be fake somehow. I was still partly convinced that my fever delusions were real. However, my friends were as normal as they had been when I had last seen them.

They all gushed over me, asking how I was and if I felt better. I waved away my friends questions, saying I was fine. My friends concern touched me and did not annoy me as much as the repeated questions of John and my foster parents. My friends, after all, had not been badgering me for days. When I said I was well, they believed me, unlike John, Scott, and Ellen.

I went to my morning French class. To my relief, I was not too far behind. John had spoken with all of my teachers and brought home most of my work. The school work had been the only thing keeping me sane during the long hours at home. Though I had missed a few classes on the subjunctive tense, I did not feel too far behind. French was perhaps my best class. I generally knew what was going on. The same could not be said of Algebra II.

Though John had promised not to check up on me, I saw him glance into the window of one of my classes. I made a face at him, and he just smiled. What he was doing out of class I had no idea, but John was a favorite among his teachers. If he had asked them permission to go to the nearby Subway, they would have let him. It was the combination of athlete and valedictorian that won them over, I think. Not to mention his winning personality.

My day went about as normally as any day at school might, though Algebra II went differently. My teacher went through the homework process as usual; however, when she explained the new lesson she did not teach in her usual style. She taught in a style very similar to John, or at least the style John always explained problems to me. John’s tutorial always helped me understand in a way that my teacher had never been able to convey. However, today I understood the lesson as my teacher explained it. In all my years of math, understanding during the lesson had never occurred.

“Was it just me or was that lesson taught differently?” I asked one of my friends from the class as we headed to our next lesson.

My friend glanced at my oddly and then smiled. “Yes it did feel different,” she responded, but something about her answer felt wrong. I could not place my finger on it, but she said no more. That in its own way was odd. She was not a chatterbox but she usually would have had something more to say about a change in teaching style.

Was it that something was wrong with the world, or was something wrong with me?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Entry 9

Scott let me move from my room to the couch in the living room as long as I promised to continually drink fluids. So I took my blankets to the couch, let Scott fill my cup with orange juice, and watched television. I flicked through the channels, trying to find something to tell me why everything felt so wrong, but all of the channels were normal. I settled uneasily on ABC family.

My eyes kept wandering to the clock, anxious for it to be the time when John would come home. I needed to see him. I needed him to tell me what was real. John never lied to me. If he told me this was real and he was human, I would believe him. John never lied to me.

Of course, John had football practice, so it was dinner time when he came home. When I heard the door open and John call, “I’m home”, I jumped from the couch much to Scott’s dismay. I raced to the door and into my brother’s arm. He felt real. He smelled real. He smelled like a sweaty boy just home from football practice.

“Carlee! You’re alive!” he exclaimed, hugging me back. He then pushed me to arms length, his blue eyes examining me critically. “Should you be out of bed?”

“No,” Scott responded, walking up to us. He gave me a stern look. “Get back to the couch, Carlee.”

“John,” I ignored my foster father. “Are you an android?” John looked surprised by my question and looked to Scott in concern.

“Is she still feverish?” John asked.

“Not like she was.” Scott shook his head. “She is probably just remembering her delusions. She doesn’t remember what actually happened these past few days.” John looked at me with concern.

“I need to take a shower, Carlee,” he said, “but after that you can tell me all about what you dreamed.”

“No,” I responded, shaking my head violently. “I didn’t just dream it. You were shot, but it’s ok because you’re an android, but then we had to go to the ship to get you repaired.” John and Scott exchanged an amused glance.

“I think our joke has gone to your head,” John said after a moment. “I’m your brother.”

“Yes,” I agreed, frustrated he did not remember what I did. “But you’re an android. The Society of Anthropologists designed you to be my brother.”

“So you’re telling me my brain is a computer and my entire personality is just a program,” John responded. “So I don’t really care about you as my sister. I’m just programmed to.”

“Yes,” I answered quickly. Then his words sunk in, and I added, “No. I mean, I don’t know. You did not explain to me how being an android works.” If John was an android, did that mean all his thoughts and feelings were just programs? Did that mean he really did not care for me because he was my brother but because he was programmed to care for me?

“Listen to me, Carlee,” John said firmly but kindly, in a very big brother, authoritative manner. “I am your brother, flesh and blood just like you. You have been sick, very sick, and you need to lie down now, ok?” I nodded, dazed by his words, and let him lead me to the couch. John then went to take a shower as Scott insisted on taking my temperature again.

Once Scott was satisfied with my health status, I was left alone on the couch with my thoughts, which were very confused.

Had I just dreamed the entire thing? Scott and John both said I had been very sick and in the hospital. Delusional they said. Had the occurrence been only a delusion? Rationally it made sense. I was here on Earth in my home after all. John was telling me he was human and Scott was telling me I was sick. It all made perfect sense, but it all felt so wrong.

Ellen came home just as John came out of the shower. Scott was starting dinner, which smelled like soup. Scott always made soup when someone was sick.

Ellen gushed over me, happy to see I was awake. She reaffirmed the hospital story, and my doubts about what I remembered increased.

I wanted to believe every else. Ellen and Scott were the best foster parents we had ever had. We were happy with them and in this school district. John was doing well academically and athletically. I was surviving, not the smartest in my class but in the same class as the smartest people. We were finally doing well. Ellen and Scott were willing to pay for John and my college. It was perfect. Our life was finally perfect. I did not need an alien abduction, and I certainly did not want my brother to be an android. I wanted this to be life and the android business to be a dream.

If I wanted it to be real so badly, why did it feel so wrong?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Entry 8

I can’t say I knew a lot about anthropologists when I lived on Earth. I knew anthropology was some sort of history meets science meets sociology, but beyond that I knew nothing. I could not tell you what an anthropologist did. I’m still not sure what they do on Earth, but I do know about the Intergalactic Society of Anthropologists. They have a mission statement in a fancy proper language, but for those of us who are mere Earthlings and speak English, this is what they do:

The Society of Anthropologists studies civilizations that have yet to travel out of their solar system (like us). They don’t call us “primitive” because that insinuates their culture and way of life is better than ours and a good anthropologist would never insinuate that. (However, most anthropologists do believe that). Above all they fear cultural contamination. They essentially believe in the prime directive, which is why they will never let me go back to Earth. I would tell everyone the truth and contaminate our culture with knowledge that life exists outside of the Earth and that they’re monitoring us. This is why they hate Gene Roddenberry. You don’t think Star Trek affected our culture? Think again, my friend. It’s also why my writing this blog is an Intergalactic offense.

Have I mentioned that before? This blog will put me in prison for a very long time if I’m ever caught, but I don’t ever plan on being caught. Prison is the least of my concerns.

However, before I wrote this blog, in the time I’m currently telling you about, I was caught. Sadly, I did not even realize it.

I woke up dazed and confused. I remembered everything that had happened: John being shot, John and I transporting to the music camp, John’s confession of being an android, and meeting the blue anthropologist. But when I woke up, I was not in the music camp or in an alien spaceship. I was lying in my canopy bed in Ellen and Scott’s home.

I stared at my green canopy in confusion. Had it all just been a dream? It could not have been. It had felt so real. The terror of John being shot was still fresh in my mind. I had dreamed some pretty horrible and ridiculous things before, but never like John being shot but not dying because he was an android.

Unsure, I sat up in my bed. Light was streaming in my window and my digital clock declared it to be 11:36 am. I never slept in that late. Never. Something was not right. Something had to be wrong.

The door to my room opened and I tensed, expecting to see the grumpy blue anthropologist. To my surprise it was Scott, peeking his head in. His green eyes widened in surprise upon seeing me.

“You’re awake!” he exclaimed, stepping in the room with a large smile on his face. “How are you feeling?” He came to my bedside and offered me a thermometer. I stared at it as if it was the strangest thing I had ever seen. Honestly, at the moment it was. If he had pulled out a phaser or a lightsaber, I wouldn’t have been surprised, but a thermometer?

“What’s going on?” I asked suspiciously, still not willing to believe that everything had just been a dream. “Where’s John?”

“At school of course,” Scott answered, placing the thermometer in my hand. “Under your tongue.”

“Why?” I demanded. “If John is at school, why am I not?”

“Don't you remember?” His hand immediately went to my forehead since I was refusing to put the thermometer in my mouth. Was I sick? It could explain why Scott and I were both home in the middle of the day. Scott was a nurse practitioner, practically a doctor. Ellen was a doctor. Together they ran a private practice. Whenever I got sick, it was usually Scott, not Ellen, who stayed home with me, since Ellen was usually in higher demand at work. Scott never stayed home with John since John was never sick. Androids did not catch illnesses.

“You’ve had a high fever for days,” Scott explained, forcing the thermometer into my mouth. Out of habit, I put it under my tongue and held it there. “You passed out in band practice after school on Tuesday. You were in the hospital overnight, but they released you into my care yesterday. We were worried about you, kid.”

The hospital? I did not remember any of this. I remembered surviving band and driving to the gas station with John. I remembered him getting shot. I did not remember a hospital.

The thermometer beeped. Scott pulled it out of my mouth, and his face filled with relief when he saw the value. His concern was touching. Scott and Ellen were the best foster parents we had ever had, and it certainly was not just because they were well off. They cared about us.

“Ninety-nine point three,” Scott said. “Your fever is coming down nicely.”

“I don’t remember the hospital,” I stated. Scott looked at me without surprise.

“I would be impressed if you did,” he responded. “You were delirious, crying out for John, claiming he was hurt. John was right there beside you, but you could not even see him.” His words insinuated that everything I remembered had just been a delusion. I couldn’t believe it. Something was wrong.

“What did I have?” I asked.

“There is a virus going around,” Scott answered. “That compounded with your dehydration was too much for your system. How many times do we have to tell you to hydrate yourself during the day before practice?” It was something I was often guilty of. I had dehydrated myself badly before. His words were plausible, but I somehow could not believe him. The occurrence I remembered had just been so real.

“I thought I had hydrated,” I responded unsure. “I thought I drank an entire Nalgene.” Ellen and Scott had started monitoring how much I drank at school. Every morning I filled up my Nalgene and every evening they checked to see how much I drank. Recently I had been trying to drink the entire thing.

“You drank half,” he said. “On a band practice day that’s just not enough, Carlee, not in this heat.” I nodded, accepting the reprimand. He was right, if I had only drunk half, but I remembered drinking the entire thing.

Was I crazy? Had it all been just an illusion? Or could something more sinister be going on?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Entry 7

There are no words that can describe coming face to face with an alien for the first time. However, there was one feeling that dominated all others at that moment as I stared at that first alien. That feeling was hilarity.

John describes my laughter as hysterical. He thinks it was all of the stress of the day finally catching up to me. I disagree. I was staring at the most ridiculous looking creature I had ever seen in my life. He was perhaps three feet tall with three legs, like a tripod and two spindly, over long arms. He had two large eyes that were multi-faceted, like a bug’s, and one disk shape on the top of his head that I theorized might be an ear. His entire body was covered with short, baby blue fur, which meant his fire engine red tunic looked ridiculous. Trust me, if you had seen this creature, you would have laughed too.

The creature looked at John with an expression I could not read and said something in a language I could not understand. I barely noticed because I was so crippled with laughter. I had fallen out of my chair, literally rolling on the floor, tears streaming from my eyes. Was the universe kidding me? Had I really been abducted by this most ridiculous of aliens?

“Carlee.” John knelt down beside me and placed a hand on my arm, trying to calm me. I looked up at him but could not stop laughing.

“This …this…is…the….alien,” I managed to say when I could catch a breath between my fits of laughter. I glanced at the alien again and my laugher renewed. The alien was completely ridiculous.

“Carlee, you’re upsetting him,” John said in a low, insistent voice. “Now you need to calm yourself down. This anthropologist does not take well to people laughing at him. He’s very short tempered. Carlee, stop laughing.” His last words were a command. John rarely commanded me. Every time he had it was because it was in my own good to do as he commanded. The seriousness of his tone sobered me quickly. I stopped laughing and sat up, keeping my eyes on John. I dared not glance at the blue alien in fear I might burst into laughter again.

“This is the anthropologist in charge of the study of Earth,” John continued once I was calm. “He’s never met a human in person, for reasons of cultural contamination. He just wanted to get a look at you.” I did not look back at the alien, but I could feel his multi-faceted gaze on me. I felt like a rat being inspected by a scientist. I was not sure what to think as I stared into John’s gaze, searching for assurance. He smiled at me, trying to give me assurances, but I knew my brother all too well. He felt none of the certainty he was trying to impart to me. Cold uncertainty began to grip my heart.

The anthropologist suddenly said something in his alien language. John stood abruptly, responding in the same alien language. It was strange to hear the exotic tongue coming out of his seemingly human mouth. I supposed no language was out of reach of an android’s mouth.

I stared at John’s feet, since I did not want to crane my neck up at him, as I listened to him argue with the anthropologist. By his words I never would have guessed it an argument. I could not understand the tones and intonations of the language. However, I did understand John’s stance and the expression he had on his face before he rose. He was arguing with the anthropologist, quite vehemently. I did not know what they could be arguing about except me.

It crossed my mind that I should be worried. I did not know what this alien who viewed me as a lab rat intended to do with me. However, John had always taken care of me. It never crossed my mind that John would not take care of me now.

John suddenly lunged past me. I turned my head to see he was holding the arm of the blue anthropologist. The anthropologist said something short and terse to John who responded with a vehement shake of his head. The anthropologist tried to remove his arm from John’s grip, but John’s strength was inhuman.

I will never forget what happened next, because I think it was the first time John’s android nature truly sunk in. The blue anthropologist stopped struggling and glared up at John, at least I think it was a glare. He then uttered one short word. John’s arm immediately fell away, his body becoming rigid and his eyes glazing over. I stared at him not understanding.

“John,” I called. My brother did not respond. His eyes continued to stare blankly straight ahead. It reminded me of when the characters in Star Wars would turn C-3PO off. It was just as if the blue alien had turned my brother off, like my brother was a robot and not a person.

Before I had time to comprehend what I was seeing, a hairy hand grabbed my hair. Then suddenly a cold metallic object touched my neck. After that I remember nothing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Entry 6

John has looked over what I’ve posted these past few days, and he says I’m making it seem like I took the news of him being an android quite well. He seems to remember me crying or maybe breaking into hysterical laughter a little more than I suggested. Then he underscores his memory with the fact that he’s an android and his memory is perfect. I beg to differ with his remembrance, however. I took the news quite well, mainly because I was in denial.

It is one thing for your brother you’ve known your entire life to tell you he’s an android. It’s another thing to understand him.

I believed John was telling me the truth. I believed he was an android, intellectually. However, all my life he had been my very human big brother. I did not understand the implications or meanings of his words. Not that it is completely my fault. I was just a mere Earthling. What did I know about the Android Freedom movement or the Android Restriction Acts? Nothing, that’s what.

So John and I were sitting on the porch of what I had always believed to be a summer music camp but was apparently a spaceship which was taking us who knows where. John was not being very talkative, clearly waiting for me to process the information and ask questions.

I rocked back and forth in the rocking chair, alternating between thinking about John’s words and completely denying them. This could not be a spaceship. John was not human. How could anyone create an illusion like music camp, even if they were highly advanced aliens? We were never going home. Surely this was all a dream, and I was going to wake up in a minute. I would never see my friends or Ellen and Scott again.

“So are there other people on this ship?” I finally asked, simply to break the silence. I did not want to deal with my thoughts.

“Not humans, but yes,” John answered. “This ship isn’t very big. The captain and his family live on this ship, they’re Ovleen. Then there is the Anthropologist. He’ll probably be down to talk to you. Don’t be scared if he does come, Carlee. He may not look like you or me, but he’s not that different. He’s just another person.”

“What does he look like?” I asked, trying to imagine it and only able to summon a vision of the movie Alien. What if this anthropologist found humans to be a delightful snack? What if his blood was acid?

“Sort of furry,” John said with a smile for me. “Imagine, Grover from Sesame Street.”

“You’re joking,” I responded, though his words had worked. I was smiling and not thinking about human eating aliens.

“Yeah, he doesn’t look anything like Grover,” John responded, “but he is furry and he is blue. He’s probably about half a foot shorter than you are. He’s from a species that enjoys solitude and he is an expert in android mechanics. It’s why he was chosen for this mission. He has to basically spend all of his time out here monitoring me. He does not do well with other people, so when he comes down here don’t expect him to very nice.”

“So he and the captain and the captain’s family just live out here orbiting our planet for your entire life?” I asked, thinking the idea was ridiculous. Who would do that? The captain and his family were shunning all other society and the anthropologist was out here essentially completely alone.

“Not all species are as social as humans,” John answered. “To the Anthropologist, his name is…” The noise that came from John’s mouth was unpronounceable, “this life is perfect. He is almost completely alone and devoted to his studies. The captain and his family are part of a species that live almost exclusively in ships. This is normal life for them, living on a ship away from what we would view as normal society. To both the captain’s family and the Anthropologist this is normal life, though the Anthropologist would prefer the captain’s children be slightly less active.”

“Do you know where they’re taking us?” I asked, not really caring about the intricacies of alien societies. I would make a terrible anthropologist. It’s probably why the Society of Anthropologists hates me so much. They can’t understand my non-anthropologist mind.

“I already told you, the headquarters of the Society of Anthropologists,” John said. “It’s not very close to Earth. It’s near the center of what you know as the Andromeda galaxy.”

“That’s light-years away!” I exclaimed. “It will take us years to get there.”

“You’re thinking about the technology humans have thought of,” John responded. “This ship uses technology you can’t even imagine. It will take us two weeks tops, and only that long because we have to cross the space between galaxies. If it was the same distance inside a galaxy it would not take half as long.” I just nodded, accepting it sort of like how I accepted that in Star Wars you could travel anywhere in a very short amount of time. Whatever technology these strange aliens had must be similar to whatever George Lucas thought of as a matter of convenience. Could you imagine if we had to watch Luke travel a month before reaching the ruins of Alderaan?

I’ll admit at this point I was still half expecting to wake up from the dream or for St. Peter to suddenly appear and tell me that my waiting was done and I could go on to heaven. Then the door opened and an alien stepped in.

I found myself looking at a decidedly grumpy small blue alien.

Question Break Answers 1

So I had one question but it was a good one so I figured it deserved a post rather than just an answer in the comments. So Philip wrote in the comments:

So, Carlee, is it...now is that pronounced CAR LEE or..what am I thinking, there's only one way to pronounce that.

So, Carlee. I've always wondered what it would be like to teleport. You must inform me as to how it feels. Now I am given to understand that the way a teleporter works is to identify the quantum state of matter of the item in question and transmits the pattern to another location for reassembly. Now if this is true, you would not have actually transported the item, but in fact destroyed the item and recreated it elsewhere.

So I guess my question is, how does it feel to be completely disintegrated and recreated? Can you actually feel the disintegration process? Are there any side effects that future scientists should be weary of?

Thanks. I'm a big fan.


Thanks for your question and yeah Carlee is pronounced exactly like it sounds, Car like the vehicle and Lee like the southern civil war general.

As for your question on teleporting, well I’m not really qualified to talk about the theory. I’m struggling in Algebra II – do you really expect me to know how teleporting works? To me it’s sort of like magic. Luckily, my brother is an android and knows more about that sort of thing.

I can answer the how does it feel question. It sort of feels like your entire body fell asleep. I mean it’s pretty instantaneous but for this brief moment you feel tingly all over like right before your foot goes completely numb.

Man, you’re going to make me terrified of transporting with all this talk of destroying the item and recreating it elsewhere. Sort of reminds me of that movie the Prestige.

So now on to John for the technicalities.

Transporting: A Short Synopsis

The first transport device was invented by a species called the Yzbauir nearly seven hundred thousand Earth years ago (approximately 3,000 Yzbauir years). The device was investigated extensively by the Intergalactic Technology Regulation Administration (ITRA). After one hundred Earth years of investigation and use by the Yzbauir people with only a few minor incidents, the technology was approved by ITRA for use throughout the galaxy. By this time, other civilizations had developed their own transporter devices. Currently 7 forms of transport devices have been approved by ITRA for use.

Transporting is generally safe, though accidents have been known to happen when multiple transport devices are used in the same area. That is why transportation is heavily regulated by the Intergalactic Transportation Administration (ITA). Except in extreme emergency situations or on planets (like Earth) where absolutely no other transportation is taking place, all transports must be scheduled and approved at least three months in advance. This means that transportation is a technology mainly used by the important. The average citizen of the Universe generally chooses to travel by shuttle or spaceship.

How transporting works depends on the technology, and currently there are seven different forms. One transporter did take the person being transported apart on the molecular level as was described in the question. It is not, however, one of the 7 approved forms of transport. This transporter, though, approved as safe by the ITRA was taken off the market six hundred thousand years Earth years ago by the Intergalactic Council of Morality and because it was not selling. People were afraid to use something they thought might be killing them every time they used it.

The most popular transporter actually creates small tactical wormholes around the item or person to be transported. The actual matter is then transported in its entirety. The second most popular transporter shifts matter into energy and then shifts it back into matter on the other side, not destroying the traveler since energy and matter are connected and interchangeable. Many species made of matter still avoid this method, preferring the wormholes, but it is extremely popular among species composed of energy, who have no need to worry about matter shifting.

As stated before, transporting is not a common form of travel. Our transportation from Earth to the Ovleen spaceship was a rare occurrence, only allowed since landing on a primitive planet is strictly forbidden, it was a culture contamination emergency, and there was no possibility of anyone else transporting from the planet. The transporter that was used was one of the tactical wormhole transporters.

I hope this answer is satisfactory.

~John Earhart

Thanks John for your long, Wikipedia-esque answer. That was the only question on the blog, but a while ago Alisha asked a question on facebook (what’s that? You didn’t know I was on facebook. I may not be on Earth but I’m not that far out of touch). So I am adding our exchange after one of my status updates here.

Carlee Earhart wishes Ven and John would stop arguing for five minutes and find some way to fix her internet permanently instead of the quick patch throughs they keep coming up with.

Alisha: Hey Carlee! I’ve been following your blog, but you’ve only mentioned who John is, not Ven, so who exactly is he?

Carlee; Hey Alisha, Ven is a friend of ours who comes up a little later in the story of our adventures. I know I have not explained him yet. He’s a human (though not an Earthling – he’s third generation not Earth), and he helped us escape the Society of Anthropologists.

He doesn’t come into the story for a few more posts, but all you really need to know is that he’s around twenty and he doesn’t think Androids are real people. Needless to say he and John don’t get along very well.

He also owns the spaceship we’re traveling in, so until we get our own spaceship we sort of have to deal with him.

Alisha: Ahh ok. That’s silly that he doesn’t believe androids are real people, I mean look at Data. He sounds like a younger version of Mal the captain of Serenity. Oh well best of luck with getting the Internet patched I know how that feels. I look forward to reading more of your adventures.

Carlee: He wishes he was as awesome as Mal. But he doesn’t know who Mal is. Being not from Earth and all he doesn’t really follow Earth science-fiction, even if Firefly is awesome.

Well that’s all for questions being answered. If you have any more questions feel free to ask them on any of the pertinent posts or on future question days. You can also ask me any day on facebook!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Question Break 1

You probably still don't think this is real. You are undoubtedly convinced that I am some wannabe author, hiding in the corner of my room, trying to trick the world as I type on my laptop. I don't blame you for not believing me. The Society of Anthropologists doesn't want you to believe me. If you believed me. then I would be "contaminating Earth's culture". They don't care so much for individuals, like me. They don't care if I become personally contaminated, but God forbid I try to tell my people the truth. Now I'm contaminating a primitive culture. Forget that it’s my own. It's still illegal. The Society of Anthropologists is probably trying to figure out right now how to block my blog. Not that it matters. You don't believe this is real, so I think that might get me out of jail on a technicality, if they catch me.

So today is a summary/question day.

The summary:

My brother is an android.

He and I are on a spaceship being taken who knows where.

They are not going to let me go back to Earth.

I had a very hard time taking all of this in, and it was happening to me. Since you're just reading it and not experiencing it, you still probably think this is fake. I had John to answer all of my questions, and I’m here to answer yours. So ask them. This is a blog, just like any other blog on the internet. Post a question. Ask me what you want to know about the Society of Anthropologists or what kind of spaceship we’re on. I’ll answer your questions either later today or on Monday.

I know, I know. No post on Sunday? What!

Heck if God can rest on the seventh day, so can I.

That and I don’t think we’re going to be able to. John was also trying to explain something about cosmic storms between where we are now and the Earth, blocking all transmissions. Ven doesn’t think I should even be writing this blog so it’s not like he’s going to maneuver his stupid ship by the 10 degrees it needs to be moved so I can transmit a blog tomorrow. Stupid Ven.

You know it’s really not fair that someone so mean can be so hot.

Oh well.

Anyways, ask your questions! I will answer as many as I can today and when I get back on Monday.

Have a good day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Entry 5

“Carlee, I’m an android.” I had heard John utter some variation of those words hundreds of times in my life. I would comment about how inhuman he was, or how strong or smart he was, and he would laugh and say he was an android. He had said the words so many times. I had heard them so many times. I could not believe them now.

“Seriously, John,” I said staring at him. “We’re dead, aren’t we? You’re just trying to break the news to me by making something up. You can’t possibly be an android. We must be dead.” I looked about. “How odd that death looks like music camp.”

“We’re not dead.” He seemed a little annoyed. John did not often get annoyed, but when he did, it was usually because I was refusing to understand something that he knew he had explained in a way I could understand. “Carlee, you’re not listening to me.”

“I’m listening,” I responded. “John, you’re not an android. You’re my brother.”

“I am your brother,” he agreed. “I have always taken my role as your brother very seriously. You’re the only thing that matters to me, Carlee, and I know that I am your only family. That’s why they chose you.

“The Society of Anthropologists wanted to study modern American society. They chose you because you were an orphan. You had no parents who would not remember giving birth to me. They designed me specifically to look almost exactly like you so that no one would question we were siblings. I was created at the age of two. The Society took care of all the paperwork and put us in a new foster home, where no one would ever remember that you did not have a brother.

“Every summer you and I go to this music camp. Here I am upgraded. I can’t leave the surface of the planet without you. I’m just an android. I don’t have the right to travel without my living owner. You are my owner, Carlee, according to the paperwork. It’s the only way the Society can get away with implanting androids into societies. Androids are not allowed to exist without an owner, and they certainly aren’t allowed free range in primitive cultures.

“You are my owner. I have to tell you the truth. I have to obey your direct orders unless your orders are going to hurt you. I’m sort of three laws safe – like Asimov imagined – except my three laws only apply to you. You are the only living creature I have no choice but to care about. And I do care about you, Carlee, even if it is just a program that tells me to care for you. My programming is my thoughts, my life, my soul. Do you understand?”

I shook my head. I did not understand. I did not want to understand.

“You’re my brother, not some robot,” I insisted.

“I am your brother, and I’m an android – not a robot,” he responded. “Androids compared to robots are PCs compared to those big room sized computers in the 50s. There is very little that distinguishes me from a real person. I just was not born.”

“I saw you bleed,” I reminded him. “Why would an android need blood?”

“To seem real,” he responded reasonably. “What you saw was not real blood, though it’s a liquid that is very close. It’s made to resemble human blood, and I do need it. It acts for me sort of like blood acts for you, feeding my body energy.”

“You’re not a robot,” I said stubbornly.

“I told you I’m an android, not a robot,” John responded. I did not understand the difference. I still don’t really. I’ve met a few robots. They seem nice enough to me. John insists he really is different from them. Aside from John being indistinguishable from a human while robots look like…well robot. I don’t really see a difference.

“So let’s say I believe you,” I said. “Then what happens? Do we just go home?”

“I’m afraid we can’t go home,” John responded, his face sad. “In fact before I even came back here the ship entered hyperspace. We’re on our way to the headquarters of the Society of Anthropologists.”

“We’re what?” My voice went shrill again. “What about Ellen and Scott? What are they going to think? John, we have to go home!”

“The captain of the ship can’t let us,” John answered, his voice grim. “We would be breaking the rules of cultural contamination. You know the truth now. They’ll never let you go back.”

“What’s going to happen to us?” I asked. John never had lied to me. I could not help but believe his words about aliens. I could not quite believe he was an android. He was my brother. Mere words could not change that.

“I don’t know,” John answered, his face a mask of seriousness. The look on his face was one I was familiar with. It was the look he got when he thought things were not going to go well but was afraid to let me know. However, it was his words that scared me. John knew everything.

I reached out and took John’s hand, suddenly feeling very afraid. John squeezed my hand to comfort me, but I feared he would not be able to protect me from aliens.

“So aliens are real?” I asked in a small voice.

“Yes,” John answered simply.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Entry 4

It had to be a dream. I kept telling myself it had to be a dream. However, the rocking chair I sat in certainly felt real and I never remembered feeling time in a dream. The minutes I sat down alone on the patio felt like hours or maybe days as my mind played over the events of the day. It had started off normal enough, but then John had been shot. If I had seen the bullet bounce off of him like he was Superman or if he had secretly been wearing body armor, I would not have been surprised. However, John had clearly been shot. I had seen the blood and the wound. Not even a superhero could survive that.

Another thought occurred to me as I rocked gently in the chair, waiting for John. Maybe this was not a dream. Maybe there had indeed been a struggled in a convenience store and John had indeed been shot. And maybe I had been shot too. If I had been shot then either I was dead and this was some part of the afterlife or I was severely injured and delusional.

I hoped if I had been shot that my fate was John’s. If he lived, I wanted to live. If he died, I wanted to die. I could not imagine my life without John. He had been there my entire life. He had been my only real family. He had taken care of me. He had read me stories and helped me with my homework. I could not imagine my life without him. Life without John was meaningless. John was all I had.

“Carlee?” A door creaked open and John stepped onto the patio. My eyes immediately went to his chest. His t-shirt had been replaced with a pristine button-up blue shirt, so I could not tell if he was still wounded. I supposed people would not still have their wounds in the afterlife. “Carlee, are you alright?”

“Are we dead, John?” I asked, looking up at my big brother who had never lied to me before. If we were dead, John would know it. If he told me we were dead, I would believe him. I would just be happy that we were both dead together.

“No, Carlee, we are not dead,” John answered, coming and sitting in the rocking chair beside mine.

“Then is this a delusion? A dream?” I demanded. “How did we get here?”

Transporter, like in Star Trek,” John answered. I stared at him dumbly. Star Trek was one of John’s favorite shows. I had seen almost every episode with him so I knew what he meant by a transporter. The transporters were what beamed the crew from the ship to other ships or to the surface of planets. It was instantaneous travel.

“So we were transported to music camp?” I asked. If such technology existed, why would we be transported to music camp?

“We’re on a spaceship, Carlee,” John answered, his blue eyes studying me with concern.

“We’re at camp,” I pointed out, wondering how he could possibly confuse a rustic music camp with a spaceship.

“This is essentially a holodeck,” he answered, continuing his Star Trek reference. “Gene Rodenberry actually got a lot of his ideas from the Ovleen, the species that builds these vessels. The Society of Anthropologists was pretty mad about him broadcasting such ideas. They could not punish him, since he was after all human, but the repercussions in the Society were unprecedented.”

“What?” I demanded. Holodecks, Ovleen, Anthropologists? What in the world was he talking about.

“I should start at the beginning,” he said. “Carlee, Earth is just one of billions of planets in the universe and it has fairly primitive life. There are millions of more advanced species and races that exist. Do you follow me?”

“Theoretically,” I responded. John and I had discussed the possibility of alien life before. I believe in possibility of alien life. We were just a small planet in a backwoods galaxy. The universe was huge. It was seemed very arrogant that we would think humans were the only life to exist.

“No, not theoretically, Carlee,” John said. “What I’m telling you is true. Have I ever lied to you?”

“I don’t know. What is all this?” I demanded, beginning to think our very existence might be a lie.

“I have never lied to you,” he assured me. I didn’t feel very assured at that moment. Nothing felt real. “You are the one being in the entire universe that I cannot lie to.” I stared at him blankly, so he continued to explain.

“So millions of more advance beings exist and have their communities, just like we do. Some of their scientific communities are interested in and study more primitive cultures such as Earth – but you can’t really know how a species is really is if you’re a stranger among them.”

“I suppose that makes sense,” I admitted. “It’s like going to Europe. They judge you because you’re American and treat you like that. You can never truly know what it’s like to be French.” Thinking about the idea made my brain start working without it considering the events from earlier in the day. It was good to think about a theoretical idea.

“Exactly,” he said, regarding me with a smile. “So what would be the best way for aliens to obverse a primitive race without them knowing? To truly know what it’s like to be treated like one of the race?”

“Disguise I guess,” I said, but John gave me a look that said he knew I was not really thinking about his question. He knew I could come up with a better answer once I fully thought about his idea.

“Well, I guess if you were an alien you would want a disguise so completely that you would be thought of as one of them,” I thought aloud. “You would need to become the people you’re studying to know best how these people truly act.”

“No one can truly know a society without being part of it,” John agreed. “The observer would have to not just act like the observed but think like the observed. How can someone ever be so integrated if they are foreign?”

“They wouldn’t,” I responded. “Only someone raised in that environment could truly think like the people in the environment. The alien would have to be disguised in infancy and raised among the people.” I paused, looking at my brother suspiciously. “You’re not going to tell me I’m an alien are you?”

“No,” he said with a smile. “You are one hundred percent human. One hundred percent Earthling even. Your parents were one hundred percent Earthlings. You were born on Earth. You are not an alien.”

“You said ‘your parents’,” I observed, studying my brother with uncertainty. Was he saying he was an alien? “But John, we have the same parents. We must. We look so much alike.” I could not remember our parents. John did not either. It never crossed my mind that we might have different parents. Everyone said how similar we looked. We had to have the same parents.

“I was designed that way,” he said, his smile gone. His face was very serious as he looked at me. “Carlee, I’m not human, but I’m not exactly an alien.”

“What does that make you?” I asked, startled. Was the universe not divided up simply into humans and aliens? You were either one or the other. You were either a native of Earth, or you weren’t. Perhaps being born on the moon might be considered some middle ground, but the moon certainly did not have aliens. Surely Neil Armstrong would have said something if the moon had a civilization. Unless there was a major cover up.

John said something, interrupted my rambling thoughts. He realized I had not heard him so he repeated it. “Carlee, I’m an android.”

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Entry 3

When I was younger I was convinced my big brother was a superhero. I was never big into comics, but I had seen all the superhero movies: Superman, Spiderman, X-Men, Batman. I thought John was one of them and that one day they would come out with a movie about him. I didn’t know what his superhero name was, but I was sure he had one. The reason for my superhero belief was simple. I had seen John do things I knew no one should be able to do.

John was athletic and smart, everyone knew that, but I knew John was so much more. He had never once been sick in his life, not even the chicken pox. When we were in elementary school I had watched him do calculations in his head that he should not have even known how to do. When we lived with one particularly bad foster family, John had tucked me in each night by reciting Treasure Island from memory. When Ellen had ordered a new couch once, the movers had left it in the wrong place. John had picked up the couch and moved it by himself. It had taken two men much trouble to bring that couch in. John had done it by himself. I thought he was a superhero. I asked him once, but he had laughed and said, “I’m not a superhero, Carlee, just an android.”

If my brother had been Superman and he had been shot, the bullet would have bounced off his chest.

My brother was not Superman. His t-shirt was quickly absorbing his all too real red blood.

My brother was shot in the chest at point blank range. Instead of falling to the ground and dying in a pool of his own blood, he looked down at the wound with disappointment and annoyance. The gunman looked like I felt: shocked and horrified. He also looked surprised that John was not lying dead on the ground.

John reached forward and took the gun out of the shocked man’s hand. John then stepped up the man and knocked him over the head with the gun. The young man crumpled to the ground, unconscious.

“Keep this for evidence for the police,” John said, placing the gun on the counter next to the shocked cashier. John then looked at me. “Come on, Carlee. Forget the drinks. We have to go.”

“Go?” My voice was hoarse and squeaky; my eyes were glued to the still spreading blood. At the rate he was bleeding, his entire shirt would be red shortly. “John, you’re hurt! We have to call the ambulance.” I could not fathom how John could still be standing, not with a hole in his chest and the amount of blood he had lost. I was no anatomy expert, but I could tell the shot had probably gone straight through a lung.

John ignored my words. He very calmly walked across the store, firmly grabbed my hand, and dragged me out of the store.

“John, you’ve been shot!” My voice was shrill even to my own ears. I could not believe what was happening. My brain would not even work. My legs were barely working.

“I’m fine,” John said. He pulled me out of the store. Instead of taking me to the car like I expected, he pulled me around to the side of the building. He stopped, looking about to see if anyone was around.

“I’m sorry about this, Carlee,” he said softly, his face looking apologetic. I could not believe he was apologizing to me when he was probably dying before my very eyes. I could not believe we were not calling an ambulance and get him help. He had been shot for crying out loud. I had seen enough people shot on television to know that John’s wound was not one he should be able to walk away with. He should be lying on the ground, dying.

“About what?” I demanded on the verge of hysteria. I had never gone into hysterics before, but I could feel its fingers digging into me. This could not be real. None of this could be real. It had to be a dream. “John, you’re bleeding. If you don’t get help, you’re going to die.”

“I can’t die, at least not from a gunshot wound,” John responded calmly. How could he be so calm? “And now it really is time for us to go.” His words confused me even more. Did he mean go to the hospital? He was right it was time to go to the hospital. If we were going anywhere, why were we not getting in the car? Why were we standing behind a convenience store?

Suddenly our surroundings changed.

John let go of my hand, and I stumbled back in confusion. I recognized my surroundings but it was not possible. We were standing on the patio of the main building of the music camp John and I attended every summer. A moment ago we had been at a convenience store. This simply was not possible. John was standing in front of me with a bloody shirt, and we were both standing on the patio of our music camp.

“It’s a dream,” I suddenly realized. Nothing else made sense. John had been shot but was not dead. Our background had changed suddenly and drastically. It was just like a dream. I began to laugh, realizing it had to be a dream. John was not hurt. It was all a dream.

“Carlee,” John said softly, gently taking me by the shoulders. I looked up at him, still laughing hysterically.

“It’s a dream,” I laughed. “Just a dream.”

“No, Carlee, this is not a dream,” John responded in his calm, sincere voice. “I’m sorry I had to bring you here, but I’m injured and I need to be repaired. I had hoped something like this would never happen.” My laughter was fading in the sincerity of his words. Dream John was very convincing.

Suddenly a strange noise came over the camp intercom. The noise sounded rhythmic and patterned, almost as if it was a code or language.

“Stay here, Carlee,” John said once the noise finished. “I have to go get repaired. I will come back for you. Just sit here and rest until I come back.” He motioned a rocking chair on the patio. Feeling numb and dumb, I sat down.

John gave me a long look and then disappeared through the building’s front door. I stared after him, wondering what he meant by getting repaired.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Entry 2

I thought that Tuesday was going to be like any other day, and during the school day it pretty much was. I went to my classes and tried my best to pay attention. My first period French class went well as we reviewed some of the irregular verbs. Second period I had Algebra II. We had a homework due, and my Algebra II teacher is slightly evil. Instead of having us turn in our homework she calls on each of us for one problem. If you're answer is right, you get full credit for the homework. If it's wrong, you get a zero. Lucky for me, I have a brother who's great at math. John always checks my answers, so I don't worry about these stupid homework checks.

After Algebra I headed to AP European History. It was the first AP class I had ever taken, and I loved it. Our teacher was young and great about getting the class excited. Everyone loves him and that class. After that I had band. Good old band. It went as well as can be expected, working on the marching band music. The music for marching season is never particularly challenging. The challenge is being able to march while playing it. Afternoon classes of English and Chemistry went by in a blur. I just have a hard time paying attention after lunch. I can only think about how in a few hours I will be out of class.

Granted on Tuesdays I have marching band practice while John has football practice. The marching band practices on the baseball field while the football team practices on the football field. Our baseball field outfield is painted like a football field. It's not quite as large, the ten yard line is the fence, but I'm not required to go out that far this year. Last year I definitely had to stand against the fence for a few parts. Oh the woes of playing the clarinet. They always throw us in the back or in the end zones.

Football practice and band practice end at the same time, so John and I get to ride home together. John asked me about my day and listened to me babble about my friends or class or some such nonsense. I don't remember anymore what exactly I was talking about. The events that followed completely eclipsed it.

"I'm going to stop for gas," John said, glancing at his gas gauge. I probably shrugged in response, not caring if we stopped for gas or not. As long as we were home in time for dinner it did not matter to me.

John pulled into the gas station we normally stopped at, the one by the Publix. He got out of the car and I did too. “I’m going to get a coke,” I informed him. “Do you want anything?”

“Dr. Pepper,” he answered. “You should probably get Scott and Ellen something too, so we can drink them with dinner.” It was a good idea, so I skipped into the convenience store. Yes, I said skipped. I like skipping, and John doesn’t judge me.

John followed me. He had to pay first since he was using cash. I ignored him and went straight to the back of the store to study the vast array of soft drinks. John was fumbling with his wallet and making small talk with the cashier while I pulled a Dr. Pepper and a root beer from the large fridge.

When another man walked into the store, I did not even notice. I was trying to figure out what Scott and Ellen might want to drink with dinner. I did not know anyone else was there until I heard a line I had only ever heard in movies, “Everyone down now. Empty the cash register.”

I swear my heart stopped.

I dropped the two cokes I was holding and turned to look at the cash register. The cashier was pale as he stared down the barrel of a gun. The gunman looked even more nervous than the cashier; he could not have been much older than John.

Neither the gunman nor the cashier noticed me in the back, standing in a pool of soda from the bottles I had dropped. John saw me. He was standing a few feet away from the gunman. He had probably finished paying and was on his way out when the man pulled the gun. John’s eyes met mine, and I felt my heart drop.

John was going to play the hero.

I wanted to shout at him, to somehow dissuade him to stop, but I thought any sound I might make would alert the gunman to either of our presence. The gunman was already twitchy. A shout from me might make him accidentally kill the cashier.

John looked away from me and his eyes became very calculating. The gunman, as if pulled by the power of John’s calculating gaze, realized that John was standing not three feet away from him. The gunman turned, waving the gun, “I said get down!”

“You don’t want to do this,” John said, his voice completely calm. I stared at him, my mind screaming. How could John be so calm? How could he not be doing exactly as the gunman said? He should be down on the ground, not trying to talk the gunman out of his actions.

“I said get down!” the gunman shrieked, his voice cracking. I wished I was telepathic. I knew what John was thinking. He was thinking he could overtake the gunman with his athleticism instead of just doing as told. I bit my lip in fear until it was bleeding. John was just a football player, not a member of the SWAT team.

Suddenly John lunged at the gunman. The gunman looked surprised and in his surprise he pulled the trigger. I heard a scream fill the air and it was not until my throat began to hurt that I realized it was me screaming.

John stumbled back, looking down at his chest. His t-shirt was turning red as it soaked up his blood.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Entry 1

There is no way I can convince you that this is real. You probably think I'm an author, hiding in a cubicle and writing fanciful tales. But I'm not, nor am I sitting in a cubicle. I'm in fact sitting in an overlarge cushioned chair in the back of a spaceship cockpit. How could I be in a spaceship, you ask, if this blog is "real"? After all, real sixteen year old girls don't go off flying in spaceships. Well, this blog is real, and I have to backtrack a bit to explain.

My name is Carlee Earhart. I am currently sixteen years old and am a native of the planet Earth. Specifically my home country is the United States and my home state is Florida. I was an ordinary girl, I guess, though I was a foster kid. Some people think that's abnormal, but to me it's quite normal. It was my life, until the beginning of my sophomore year in high school. Back then I was just fifteen. I had no idea what wonders and terrors the universe held. Back then, the Society of Anthropologists wasn't after me.

When my sophomore year started, I was living in Metrowest Orlando. It was a great. My current foster parents, Scott and Ellen, lived in a neighborhood that was more expensive than anything I had ever lived in. I mean, it was no Isleworth, but I'm not Tiger Woods. Bardemoor (the name of our neighborhood) was quite to my liking. And Scott and Ellen were like perfect. They were pretty young; Scott was 37 and Ellen was 36. They had good jobs and they didn't mind having two teenagers in their house. As I'm sure you're aware, not many people can handle teenagers - especially when they're not their blood kids. It takes someone special to take in two teenage foster kids, and Scott and Ellen were pretty special. But this story isn't about Scott and Ellen. It's about me and my brother, John.

John's two grades ahead of me, so he was in his senior year. One more year and he was going to be home free, out of the system, and in college. Not everyone goes to college after high school, but it never crossed anyone's mind that John wouldn't go to college. He was going to be valedictorian; he was captain of the football team. My brother is brilliant, athletic, and quite the looker according to the other girls. Compared to John I'm a clumsy, stupid girl, but John never makes me feel clumsy or stupid. He takes care of me, like a good big brother should.

So our story starts in late September. The school year was still fairly new since it had started a little over a month before, but school had also started to get monotonous. I woke up that morning thinking it was just another school day. A Tuesday. Ugh. I hate Tuesdays. It has no benefit. It's not the middle of the week, it's not the day before Friday, and it certainly isn't Friday. It's just Tuesday. I was not expecting this Tuesday to go badly, but I was not expecting excitement either. Boy, was I wrong.

"Have a good day, kids!" Ellen called after us as John and I left the house, heading to the car Ellen and Scott had been amazing enough to buy him (even if it was like 7 years old). I waved halfheartedly back, not wanting to go to school and thinking I would see Ellen at dinner, after we got back from school and she got back from work. I slipped into the passenger seat as John started the car.

"Have any tests today or anything?" John asked, once he had pulled out of the driveway. John was the safest driver I had ever ridden with. Ellen was convinced that John was a better driver than Scott, which John was.

I glanced at my big brother, noting how ridiculously similar we were in looks. John and I had the exact same shade of blue eyes, not bright, not dark, almost gray. His brown hair was just as thick and unruly as mine, though he wore his short while I wore mine to my shoulders. We had the same straight pointed nose, thin lips, strong chin, and square shaped face. Really, I was just a girl version of John, though I was a little out of shape while John was captain of the football team. Everyone who looked us could tell we were siblings. Some people mistook us for twins, though John definitely looks older than I do.

"No," I responded, reverting my thoughts back to my dull Tuesday schedule. "Do you?"

"Calculus," he answered as if it was the easiest thing in the world. "Should be easy. We're still doing limits."

"You act like Calculus is the easiest thing in the world," I said. John wasn't just in Calculus. He was in AP Calculus BC, which is like Calculus 2. He had taken AP Calculus AB (Calculus 1) the year before. I was struggling in Algebra II. "You're way too smart."

"It's because I'm an android," John retorted, not even glancing my way but keeping his eyes on the road. Anytime I joked about John being too smart or too athletic or just too perfect in general, he always responded that he was an android. It had been his joke since before I could remember. It had been a joke before I had ever really known what an android was.

"I wish you were an android," I responded, glancing out the window and sighing as I saw the school. "And then I wish you were three laws safe, like in those Asimov books you made me read. Then I could tell you to do whatever I want." John was always making me read sci-fi books that he thought would make me a better person. He had made me read every Asimov book there was. I like scifi and Asimov is great, don't get me wrong, but I also enjoy a completely girly YA novel every once in a while, like Meg Cabot or Maureen Johnson. John thinks they turn my brain to mush.

"Be careful what you wish for," John said as he pulled into the school parking lot. I snorted, knowing that no amount of wishing would turn a completely human John into a robot.

Boy, was I an idiot!