Raylorian Dawn
Author: Othello Gooden Jr.

Chapter 2
Reminiscence

The sun shined through the dome edifice of Lunar-2, illuminating a small business sector with people walking by on a busy street. In the basement of a record store called “Kenji's Music recordings 'n' All”, music was heard. Quite a few customers were listening at the steps leading down into the subterranean style establishment. Others were only there to buy music in the store section upstairs. Those at the steps were bobbing their head to the beat of someone playing the flute over a musical arrangement.

 

Some followed the sound leading deeper into a part of the basement that opened into a large recording studio. In a separate enclosure sealed off by glass, Kayla played her flute into a microphone. The blue dress she wore glittered in the spotlight shining from the light fixtures in the ceiling. The white light painted a white blur on her clothing as the girl moved slightly to the beat of the music. On the outside sat two men. One was standing in an all brown Corduroy suit. The other was sitting down in a laid back casual male baggy jean pants and muscle shirt. Both of them were before a large mixing board. The man in casual clothing was adjusting the knobs that controlled the microphone settings inside the enclosure.

 

“Hey, wait a minute—Kenji?” the guy sitting down pointed at Kayla, hearing a familiar short melodic progression Kayla just played.

 

“What?” Kenji asked. The two men briefly looked at each other and then back to Kayla playing.

 

“I heard that sound in a song somewhere.” the guy answered.

 

Kayla played the sound again but with a slight variation.

 

“See there?” the guy pointed at Kayla playing that run the second time he heard it. “She's playing it again!”

 

“Oh, that one!” Kenji laughed.

“I can't remember where I heard it from.” the guy scratched his head.

 

“You should know what song it was in, Dante.” Kenji picked at his long twisted mustache.

“Refresh my memory.” Dante hesitated.

“You know that song by Tjader?” Kenji looked at him with a serious face.

“Oh yeah! Soulbird?” Dante flinched in his recalling.

“But you know our Conga player would refer to it by its Spanish name!” Kenji smiled.

 

“Oh, you mean Julian. I think it’s Tin Tin Deo—something another.” Dante said and then asked, “But what's this song Kayla’s playing?”

 

“Anedra's Jam.” Kenji replied to him as he handed Dante a blank CD case he held in his other hand. “Anedra’s Jam (Studio Flute Version)” was written in marker on the CD’s surface.

 

As Kayla finished playing her song, Dante hit a button labeled “stop recording” on the mixing board. The red light dimmed. Dante then pressed an eject button on the side of this board and out came a CD. He then placed it into a case above the one already in it just as Kayla came out of the recording booth. Customers sitting on the stairs applauded at Kayla and her playing before going back upstairs.

 

“How was that?” Kayla asked Kenji.

“Good!” Kenji replied with a smile on his face while hugging her.

“Anedra's Jam is done, right?” Kenji presumed after the short embrace.

 

“Well...” Kayla started but stopped at hearing her cell phone vibrate vigorously on the window seal near the booth. She snatched the phone from its place and peered at its contents. She then sighed.

 

“I'd love to stay but I've got something planned at home.” Kayla announced after looking to him again and then to Dante.

 

“Okay, Okay!” Kenji laughed.

Kayla began to pack up her instrument after slipping the phone into her purse.

“I'll see you at practice tomorrow?” Kenji asked before Kayla moved toward the exit.

“Yessir!” Kayla answered.

“See ya!” Dante waved to Kayla scurrying upstairs and out the back door.

 

Outside, Kayla glanced around, stopping to look around for her car on the crowded street. Her eyes then spotted it across the street in a closed off parking lot area. Kayla's car was an old navy blue Pontiac Grand AM, modified with the Evanston's anti-gravity design. With this new line of cars, the car companies added the AG class (AG standing for Anti Grav). With this new implementation since the first AG car in 2015, the cars were upgraded to a tireless shell. To some, the new outlook was somewhat tacky. The car sat on the ground as opposed to sitting up high on the old rubber composite tires. Some people complained that the lack of tires took away from potential customized looks (the customizable rims). Yet these often highly expensive rims weren't the only things that could be customized on a car. Like most car owners knew, the car's interior and exterior could also be changed from the original manufactured “look” to something more stylish.

 

Kayla remembered giving her car a new paint job last summer. Originally, the car was solid red but Kayla changed it to a color that fitted her style. Blue was Kayla's favorite of color. It was a color that relaxed her.

 

A car passed Kayla, breaking the girl from her daydream. She quickly pressed a picture of a car horn over a black colored square on her keys. The lights on Kayla's car flickered radiantly. It began to hover a few inches off the ground after the engine started up with a rumble. Kayla pressed another button next to the car horn with the same colored unlocked sign over an ovular shape. The car's doors were now unlocked and with the car’s lights shortly flashing, receiving the input from Kayla’s keys. Kayla got in with the sound of jazz music blasting through her car’s speakers. The music came from her mp3 player hooked into an audio jack next to her mp3 player. With the door still open, the music could be heard by anyone in close proximity of her car.

 

Kayla lightly tapped her thumb on the device's direction pad and slid it downward, lowering the music’s volume. Kayla sat her flute case and purse in the back seat and closed the door. She sat there for a moment on the driver’s side before sticking her keys in the ignition, and with her foot still on the gas pedal. Kayla stopped at hearing a song on her music player's play list and tapped the screen. When she did, the screen lighted up, revealing the information about the song currently playing.

 

“Samba Blues.” Kayla trailed off in thought, grinning to a short remembrance back to her high school days at MCLT.

 

Samba Blues was the first song Kayla composed when she began taking flute lessons around the fourth grade. It was the very song that she used to audition for MCLT's music program in the 9th grade. She then thought back to another one of Mariana's conversations right before a huge event the school participated in annually.

 

“Kayla, you going to submit your song in the contest before the deadline?” Mariana asked after coming up to her room.

 

“No, I won't win—what's the point?” Kayla snapped after sadly groaning.

“Why not?” Mariana looked at Kayla, slightly upset.

“Mine isn't like all the other music submissions and plus, Earl said—”

 

“Forget Earl! How do you know if you won't win if you never try?” Mariana stopped Kayla by placing a finger on the girl's mouth.

 

Kayla didn't answer Mariana. So, she just looked up at her with a blank stare. Mariana sighed hopelessly, shaking her head.

 

“Hold out your arm out toward me for a moment.” Mariana commanded eagerly.

“Why?” Kayla hesitated, holding her hand back shuddering in fear.

 

“I'm not going to hurt you! I want to show you something grandma once showed me.” Mariana assured.

Kayla let her arm out slowly in hesitation.

 

“Say, 'I won't succeed' three times.” Mariana commanded as she held a finger over the midsection of Kayla's forearm.

 

“I won't succeed, I won't succeed, I won't succeed.” Kayla said with hesitation as Mariana simultaneously pushed down on her arm. Kayla's arm dropped with the force Mariana applied with her finger.

 

“Now say, 'I will succeed' three times.” Mariana continued.

 

“I will succeed, I will succeed, I will succeed.” Kayla said in the same manner as she did before. Her arm stayed leveled as Mariana pushed it downward with her finger.

 

“I don't get it. You just did a magic trick on my arm!” Kayla said to Mariana flatly, still looking up at her in confusion as she dropped her arm down to her side.

 

“No, silly! That's just how we were designed!” Mariana said and started laughing.

“What do you mean?” Kayla's tone rose enthusiastically.

 

“When I was young, schools taught Evolution.” Mariana answered after clearing her throat, stopping herself from laughing.

 

“But we didn't evolve from apes!” Kayla explained.

 

“Whatever the norm was back then, people went with it. However, those who were responsible for building the school systems on each Lunar Colony didn't believe in Darwin's Theory!” Mariana countered.

 

“You mean… Dr. Norman Mellis?” Kayla hesitated in her recalling the name.

 

“Correct!” Mariana smiled.

 

“But I still don't understand what you were trying to prove!” Kayla whined with impatience.

 

“Our body reacts adversely to negative thinking, Kayla. If you think positively, you will always succeed!” Mariana chuckled lightly to Kayla's impatience.

 

“So I should submit my song in the contest… Is that where you're getting at?” Kayla asked Mariana while looking at her from the side.

 

“Yep!” Mariana answered and then giggled.

 

Kayla continued in her reminiscence with a laugh, remembering the day of the contest.

“Welcome to the WMCLT Music Radio contest!” A young man spoke into a loud speaker. 

 

His voice echoed throughout the halls of MCLT by small speakers above each classroom in the hallways.  Inside the classrooms, each teacher had the radio playing through their computer while others had it playing through an old fashioned CD boom-box. Kayla and all those in her music class gathered around a huge radio and listened intently to the announcer.

 

“I'm your host, JG the Traveler, known to my homies back at MCLT Lunar-3 as Jordan Greenland—Hollah!” Jordan introduced himself. He paused with a laugh before he continued, “We'll start by saying how we at the WMCLT are surprised at the number of submissions we've received. We want to congratulate every one of you!”

 

Jordan stopped to play an applause track for a few moments with him clapping in the background.

 

“First place winner will have their song forwarded to WZJLF 'Zyran Fusion' as a part of their Interplanetary Music Compilation Library.” ” Jordan continued but paused again as he popped in a CD and turned it to track three.

 

“This first song is by Farris Angelwood from MCLT Lunar Prime for her song entitled, 'Dina'”. Jordan announced as he pressed play on the machine.

 

Kayla and her classmates began to bob their head to the short, funky jazz synthesizer piano and drum piece.

 

“Okay!” Jordan said with a happy sigh, stopping CD as it ended. “Second place goes to Lina Vera from MCLT Lunar-2, for her song done on Spanish Guitar entitled, “Fractura.”

 

The girl next to Kayla shouted in joy at hearing her name. She looked back to Kayla with a grin. Kayla turned away, rolling her eyes as she looked in the other direction with a snort. In the background of Lina's laid back Spanish groove were the congas, Guiro, shaker, and castanets.

 

The song ended shortly as everyone moved closer to the radio to hear the winner. The teacher shooed them away as they were getting to close.

 

“In first place and winner of the WMCLT 2030 Music Radio contest, along with a $500 Amazon Gift Card goes to...” Jordan trailed off as he hit the play button to track number one on the CD.

 

The piece began with a funky piano rift followed by flute call and response during the intro. Kayla shouted joyously as she recognizes the song playing. She immediately did a double “cha-ching” motion with her hand while rising. Lina just looked up at her with a straight face and rolled her eyes. She looked elsewhere as Kayla did a victory dance, celebrating with her friends around her. Some of Kayla's classmates gave her hugs as other congratulated her verbally or with high fives.

 

“Samba Blues!” Jordan exclaimed happily shortly after the song started to play. “By Kayla A. Dartan. Also from MCLT Lunar-2.”

 

The moment shortly brought tears of joy to Kayla's eyes. She wiped her face, grinning while turning the volume up loud again. Kayla then turned the key in the ignition and stamped on the gas. Kayla took off in her car heading home.

 

When she arrived at their house, Kayla parked her car out front. She removed the mp3 player from its mount and dug into her purse to pull out a pair of headphones. When Kayla stepped out the car, she had her headphones on, walking through the door with Samba Blues on max volume. Liz jumped at Kayla's heel but whimpered as the girl just stepped around her while heading toward the stairs. Kayla's flute case was in one hand with her purse in the other. The cord to Kayla's headphones extended from zipper of her purse, dangling around the young woman grooving to the beat, humming the melody.

 

Earl tried saying hi to Kayla as she walked through the front door but she couldn't hear him. Then Earl stomped after Kayla right before she reached the steps and snatched one earbud out to get her attention. He could hear the loud music through those earbuds in Kayla’s ears.

 

“Huh?” Kayla asked him impatiently, turn her head up at him as his grabbing the piece out her ear stopped her.

 

“I think you need to turn that music down before ya wind up with one of these in yo ears!” Earl snickered as he pointed to a small brown device covering his inner ear.

 

“Is that all you want?” Kayla asked. She stood there, now grinning at his joke.

“Yeah, that's all!” Earl shrugged, grinning lightly and coughed.

 

Kayla walked into her closet and changed back into her favorite gray hoodie and a pair of jeans lying on a hanger. Kayla then turned around to the box of circuitry sitting near her dirty clothes hamper. She carried it over to her desk and sat it on the ground next to her computer. As her computer loaded up, Kayla took the suit out and sat it in her lap.

 

After logging in with her username and password, Kayla hooked a small cable running from the suit’s mini-USB port into an external data port hub. It was connected to a front FireWire port on her computer. The port on the suit was located below the left wrist. The port was easily hidden within the matching silver cufflinks that sat over the opening. Respectively, there was a port below the right wrist. On their undersides were pieces of sensory that fitted into both ports. They served as “Data Port Protectors”, protecting the suit’s ports from damage and obstructions.

 

A moment later, the sound of a device connecting played before a window appeared, loading a dozen folders containing files. Kayla browsed through the folders and double clicked on a file named SGY.cpp. Immediately, a splash screen of MCLT's Student Programming Studio appeared. The screen disappeared and a window under it displayed an extensive line of code.

 

Kayla scrolled down to the last line and began typing. She briefly looked at a print out of another program before her on the desk. There were red circles around a highlighted area marked throughout the document. The section’s heading was labeled as “Taizosu’s Reflector”. Kayla scanned over the comment section and read it in an undertone, briefly making notes with a red pen and yellow highlighter.

 

“Let's see...” Kayla trailed off after she stopped typing. She started scanning the printout of the page long section a few times for something. “Taizo's reflector protocol starts here. Where's the code that—ah, here it is!”

 

She stopped at a section of the programming code and made a bracket around it using he red pen.

 

“What if I modify this code so that my suit can create one at will.” Kayla said, thinking aloud to herself.

 

Kayla stopped to think for a while, twiddling her pen between her index and middle finger. She shortly drummed a Latin rhythm with her pen on the stapled stack of paper's flat surface.

 

After a few moments of thinking, Kayla flinched at remembering something. She quickly pressed the “CTRL” key simultaneously with the letter “F” on her keyboard. Immediately, the program brought up a search box. She then typed “Reflector” in the space provided and hit enter. Behind the window was the word “Reflector” in a comment section located before a line of coding. These lines of code mirrored the one from Taizo's Reflector Class displayed on the printout.

 

“Have it controlled by the AI instead of the CPU. No, that's gonna—”

“Kayla!” Earl called from the steps, interrupting her.

“Sir?” Kayla answered from her seat at the computer.

 

“I'm gonna go pick your sister up from work!” Earl said as he grabbed his keys. They were hanging on the key-rack near their coat closet at the front door.

 

“Afterwards we're going to the park, you wanna come?” he asked while turning to her.

 

“Yeah, hold on!” Kayla answered him. She then saved the program and disconnected the suit from her computer.

 

Kayla quickly stuffed her suit back into the box and hid it behind her dirty clothes hamper. Seconds later, she trailed down the stairs in a hurry with Earl out the door. 

 

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