Raylorian Dawn
Author: Othello Gooden Jr.

Chapter 4
Anedra and her Latin Travelers

Kayla was sitting at her computer browsing through a website listing a wide variety of machines used by large corporations. She took a sip of her red POWERade sitting next to her on the desk. Suddenly, the girl blinked at remembering something strange.

 

“Kimmy, can you come here for a moment?” a man called from another room.

 

“Yes, daddy?” Kimmy answered after walking into the next room. She looked up at the man she called her father in confusion.

 

Kimmy's father was a dark skinned young man. He wore a flamboyant light blue and gray suit. He had an air of sophistication to his movements, smiling down at his daughter while waving a small gizmo in his hand at her.

 

“What's that?” Kimmy asked him as she pointed to the palm-sized computer chip in his possession.

 

“This will be a breakthrough in technological designs!” He said with a smile.

 

“What does it do?” Kimmy watched her dad move over to a computer hooked up to an open circuit box.

 

“Watch this!” Her father said as he plugged the module into the circuit box and closed it. Over the box was a biological fingerprint scanner.

 

“Now, press your finger on this machine and don't move it until I tell you to!” her father commanded as he helped Kimmy up to a chair before the scanner.

 

“Okay!” Kimmy answered enthused with smiling.

 

Her smile faded in an instant as she yanked her index finger back from the scanner. Kimmy held her finger, crying in agony from the pain.

 

“Kimmy, I'm sorry… I didn't mean it!” her father said, apologizing. He felt ashamed. He didn’t something like this would happen.  For the moment, he embraced Kimmy and kissed her on the cheek.

 

“Let me see…” Kimmy's father said as the girl continued to cry.

 

As Kimmy opened up her hand, blood was dripping from the red spot on her index finger.

 

“I didn't know something like that would happen!” he apologized again as he went over to a drawer and took out a medicated bandage. He wrapped it around his daughter's finger and moved back over to the huge contraption.

 

“You okay?” he asked, looking down at her, still concerned.

 

Kimmy, still crying, nodded lightly. She stopped a few moments later as the two moved over to the open door leading into a glass cubicle.

 

“Now watch, Kimmy, as I try to stick my hand it through this door and—” he stopped talking after a blue field flung his hand backward. The field stopped his hand from passing through the threshold.

 

“That's so cool!” Kimmy's eyes lit up with excitement after seeing the blue field activate. For a moment, the joy she felt from seeing the lightshow numbed the pain in her finger. “I did that?”

 

“Using your body's energy, the KFE utilized what it drew from you to create a mini forcefield!” Kimmy’s father explained.

 

“Is that—what that is?” Kimmy sounded more intrigued. “A forcefield machine thingy?” For now, it was the name she gave this contraption.

 

He just smiled at her with a nod; laughing at the personal name she gave it.

 

Kayla grunted to that memory as she held her head in her hand, puzzled by the flashback.

 

 

“There is just no way!” Kayla shook her head in disbelief. Shortly afterwards, she added with a groan, “My mind is going.”

 

 

Kayla looked down at her index finger, focusing on a small dark spot at its tip. She looked away from him, dropping her hand. Kayla then turned her attention to the SGY, dismissing this memory's relevance to the scar's origin.

 

 

The SGY was a slender, grayish black design composed solely of sensory material. The exposed wires were partially hidden in the joint areas, covered by circular nodes. The network of wires seemed to congregate around these nodes, looking like the human body’s nervous system.

 

 

Kayla finally slipped into SGY, through a zipper opening in the back. The zipper stretched down the middle of her back, stopping at her pelvis. After zipping up, she took another sip of her half empty container of POWERade and unhooked SGY from the computer. Kayla got up and walked over to her mirror mounted on the wall next to her closet's threshold. She looked herself in the mirror and smiled briefly. The young woman bounced in a proud stance, seeing how the SGY fitted around her figure. Suddenly, the doorbell rang. Kayla quickly took her suit off and stuffed it back into the box.

 

 

Liz scurried down the spiral staircase leading into the Dartan’s basement, barking happily at a young man standing at the patio door with a long black plastic case at his side. He held it by a large handle in one hand while ringing the doorbell with the other. His attire was semi formal, with a tan suit with matching cowboy boots and hat. The man waved at Liz from the other side with a smile on his face. Liz continued to bark at him.

 

 

“Just a minute!” Kayla yelled as she finished stuffing the box behind her dirty clothes hamper.

 

 

Before letting Brandon in, she picked Liz up and held the dog in her arms.

 

 

“Brandon!” Kayla greeted him happily after sliding the door open with her free hand to let him in.  After poking her head outside looking for someone, she turned to him and asked, “Where's my girl at?”

 

 

“Oh, she's coming!” Brandon answered while pointing outside somewhere.

 

 

That’s when a young woman dressed in an all burgundy blouse came in.

 

 

“Hi, girlfriend!” the woman greeted Kayla. She came in rolling in long, slender leather case on a dolly.

 

 

“Clara!” Kayla turned to her. Both embraced each other after Clara set the dolly up against the wall.

 

“Where's Marion and Earl?” Clara glanced around the room, looking around the room for them.

 

 

“At the grocery store.” Kayla answered her. Liz started squirming in her arms. That’s when Kayla decided to put her in one of the guest rooms. She closed the room’s door behind her. Liz started howling. Kayla ignored her on her way back out to help Clara set up her keyboard.

 

 

“Que pasa, Senioritas―Seniores!” an older male voice friendly greeted in a Spanish Accent from behind them.

 

 

“Yo, Julian!” Brandon turned around, greeting the guy with a handshake as he came in from the patio. “What's happenin’?”

 

 

“Oh, nothin’,” Julian laughed as he shortly raised one of his congas in the air. He sat it down next to Clara and added, “Just gotta go unload my congas!”

 

 

He stepped back outside to his car and popped the trunk open, revealing two more congas wrapped separately in large towels.

 

 

“Julian!” Kayla waived as he came back in with one, approaching the older man.

 

 

“How you doing?” Julian asked her after the two shortly embraced one another with laughter. “Or should I ask you in Espanol?”

 

 

“Bien, mi amigo!” Kayla said and then laughed. “Que tal?”

 

 

“Estoy Bien!” Julian said, laughing harder at Kayla's fluency. “Not bad—looks like the Spanish’s still sticking to ya!”

 

 

“Yeah, since grade school!” Kayla said after a short laugh.

 

 

“What grade school did you go to, again?” Clara’s ears perked up to them mentioning school, shortly turning to Kayla in her questioning. Clara quickly flipped on the power switch and played a fast run on the keys.

 

 

“MLA—Mellis Lunar Academy.” Kayla answered.

 

 

“Our mom sent us there when we were little!” Clara recalled with a laugh.

 

 

“What grade does MLA go up to again? I forgot.” Julian said upon not remembering that detail of this school.

 

 

“Didn't you go to MLA?” Clara asked Julian, sounding surprised of his unknowing.

 

 

“Nope! I'm from Earth, remember?” Julian said with a laugh at hearing Clara’s assumption of him being raised ‘Lunarian’—that is, being born and raised within the Lunar Society.

 

 

“Just that quick! What part?” Clara shortly waved her head and laughed.

 

 

“Okay, well, I’ll just tell you again.  I’m from the Bronx. The grade school I went to was only K through fifth.” Julian explained, shortly grinning at Clara’s admitting her forgetfulness. He started back outside to his car's open trunk. Kayla followed him outside to help with his congas.

 

 

“MLA is K through sixth. At the most, those who graduate move on to MCLT once they get into the seventh grade.” Kayla said as she took one of his congas.

 

 

“What about your sister, Kayla? How is she?” Julian asked as he and Kayla pulled in his two last congas. He carried his on a dolly while Kayla carried the other with her bare hands.

 

 

“She's fine!” Kayla answered him as they came back inside again. “She graduates in May!”

 

 

“Oooh!” Clara exclaimed in surprise after overhearing their conversation. “The big one, two-ith! Then she's gonna be celebrating!”

 

 

“Hel-lo!” Kayla agreed as the two high-fived each other.

 

 

“Just like I did!” Kayla added after calming down.

 

 

“You mean,” Brandon cleared his throat with a grin as he plugged his bass into his amp, “Like we did?” he made a pointing gesture first between him and Kayla and then to his younger sister, Clara.

 

 

“I forgot about that.” Kayla cleared her throat with a grin. “You and I graduated that same year!”

 

 

“So how old are you now, Kayla, 18?” Clara started grinning.

 

 

Kayla knew what she was getting at and said in a joking tone, “Funny! I'm 22.”

 

 

“And how old is Marion?” Brandon asked.

 

 

“17—going on 3!” Kayla stuck her tongue out with a giggle. Her band members shortly laughed at her joke.

 

 

Kayla soon went back upstairs to get her flute sitting on her dresser. She stopped at hearing the band greet two more people that came in from the patio door.

 

 

“Ken!” Brandon shortly greeted in a deep tone.

 

“Wassup, Dante?” Clara yelled.

 

 

“Nothin' much!” Dante laughed as he sat down his bass drum and high hat in the center between Clara and Brandon.

 

 

“Kayla!” Dante greeted as Kayla came back down with her flute in hand.

 

 

“Hi!” Kayla waved back before Dante went outside again. He went to bring in more pieces of his drum set.

 

 

In the next few minutes, the band finished setting up their instruments. Kayla stood in the center, close to the patio door in front of a microphone.

 

 

“Okay,” Kayla sighed in relief with her flute in the upright position. “We're going to go through the two sets we're playing next weekendwhat's the first on the list?”

 

 

Brandon peaked over on his bass amp the size of a small dresser at two pieces of paper stapled together.

 

 

“Uh,” Brandon scanned the paper. “Afro Blue!”

 

 

“Right!” Kayla said shortly as she began the song. Her other band members jumped in a few seconds later.

 

 

Earl and Marion got home about an hour and a half later.

 

 

“Kayla!” Marion yelled as she sat the groceries down on the table.

 

Liz continued to bark from inside the locked guest room downstairs.

 

“She can't hear you!” Earl laughed as he came in the house with arms full of groceries.

 

 

He closed the front door behind him with his foot before sitting the last bag of groceries on the kitchen table. Marion scurried passed him to the steps, listening Kayla and her band members practicing. She sat in the middle of the downward spiraling staircase, watching them play. Marion cleared her throat loudly to get their attention.

 

 

“Look who it is!” Clara smiled as she saw Marion sitting at the steps bobbing her head to the beat. All of them stopped after she stopped playing.

 

 

“Hey!” Marion greeted, running up to her with a hug.

 

 

“So Earl’s still up stairs?” Julian said, assuming by the sounds of Earl walking around upstairs.

 

 

“Yeah! He’ll be down in a moment.” Marion pointed upward.

 

 

“Where’s Liz at?” Marion suddenly asked Kayla. Her tone was now suspicious.

 

“She's in the guest room.” Kayla answered her nervously.

 

Marion's face turned sour at hearing that.

 

 

“God, Kayla! You know how Liz hates being in that room by herself!” Marion yelled while rushing to the back, following Liz’s scarred howls and barks.

 

 

“What was I supposed to do? Let her roam free and get into something?” Kayla argued while following her.

 

 

“You could've put her in her cage!” Marion yelled and then let out angry sigh before opening the door containing Liz.

 

 

Liz came out of the room, whimpering at Marion’s heel.

 

“There, there, it’s okay, now!” Marion said, comforting Liz as she picked her up.

 

Marion then looked at Kayla with a blank stare.

 

 

Jerk.” Marion whispered spitefully to her sister as she took Liz up stairs. Liz turned her head back at Kayla and shortly barked at her. Kayla rolled her eyes at them both before joining her band members in the main room again. Everything was quiet.

 

 

“What was that all about?” Clara asked, coming up to Kayla.

 

“I dunno, I...” Kayla trailed off with a sigh. “She gets like that sometime.”

 

“Or does she always get like that?” Brandon hid a grin in his lips.

 

 

“Unfortunately… She just…” Kayla said, still shaken from the argument. It was taking a toll on her nerves.

 

 

“Calm down, okay?” Clara reached out to hold her hand. “Don't let her get you!”

 

 

“It's not just that.” Kayla finally said after a few moments of silence. “Marion always makes a big deal out of every little thing―drives me crazy!”

 

 

“You mean kinda like this?” Brandon ran a short bass line progression. The others began to laugh at recognizing the song.

 

 

“And I can't help myself!” Kayla sang after shortly breaking from her melancholy state and laughed at finally recognizing the song he was playing.

 

 

“Hey Brandon,” Julian started in a joking tone with a beat on his conga. “What key is that in?”

 

 

“Uh, let me see.” Brandon listened to the notes he played. “Dunno―Clara, can you figure it out?”

 

 

Clara laughed; rolling her eyes at her brother’s alleged inability to tell what key a song is in. He could only play by ear. Yet she was the only one out of the two who had formal training in reading sheet music. With that in mind, Clara made her way over to her keyboard.

 

 

“D to G, B to A.” Clara said as she followed him on her keyboard, listening to the bass notes he played. “Sounds like D major.”

 

 

“And what’s all this for?” Kenji spoke up with impatience.

 

“We should add that song to the list for our next gig!” Brandon said with enthusiasm.

 

 

“For what?” Kenji looked at him strangely after pausing and then added, “You can’t remix a pop song like that into a Latin Jazz arrangement!”

 

 

“Many bands in the past have. We can do quite the same!” Kayla explained.

 

 

“Eh, maybe… Anyway, We gonna finish here?” He stopped to briefly look at his watch. “I got a 9 o' clock appointment in about 30 minutes!”

 

 

“Okay, Okay. We left off at Home Made Jam.” Kayla said, rushing.

 

 

“Now we got your two originals left, Kayla! “What’s the first one?” Brandon widely grinned at the thought of playing her originals. By far, they were his favorite.

 

 

“Samba Blues!” Julian exclaimed as he hit his congas shortly in a small Latin rhythm.

 

 

“Okay!” Kayla said as she raised her flute. She began to play that song.

 

 

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