Soon life would be perfect.
Kaleb Redding sat back, stretching his legs out, a small smile on his face as he surveyed the paper he wrote. If everything went right–which he knew it would–then in two months he’d be off for a year long internship at the Monte Vista University as well as work part-time at the museum. Then when he returned he’d be old enough to apply for a position of English or History professor at… well, he wasn’t too sure where he wanted to apply. Most likely Bridgeport University since his sister had plans to move to Bridgeport.
In fact, she had applied for a position at the science facility in Bridgeport and would be starting around the same time Kaleb went to Monte Vista.
He rubbed the back of his head as nerves began taking hold of his body. His sister. He hadn’t really… broached the subject with her yet. They had never been apart for very long so a year–a year. A full twelve months away from his twin. Could he handle it? She obviously could, she had always been better at everything than him. Kaleb just couldn’t be sure he’d do well on his own. She had been there to protect him…
NO, you’ll do fine, he told himself as he switched his computer into sleep mode and got up. He wondered what sort of place he’d live in. He could afford to rent his own place but he wondered if perhaps dorms would be better? He was never very good at dealing with people though. Or rather, he could deal with people and often did only he couldn’t talk well. He could speak Italian very well though like with every other language he spoke he just stuttered every other word…
He jumped as his sister burst into his room, her green eyes shining and–was that a smile on her face?! “Yes?” he asked, growing excited just at the sight of her so excited. She never got like this. Whatever it was must be very good.
She had a piece of paper in one hand that looked like some sort of computer printout. “I have amazing news!” She grabbed him and spun him around. Kaleb laughed, feeling over the moon at his sister being so happy. “I’ve found him!”
“Wh-who?” Kaleb asked, not completely sure who his sister meant. ‘Him’ could mean just about anyone.
She just clutched at the paper. “Do you understand what this means? For us? For everything we’ve been trying to achieve?” She hugged him tightly and realization struck him. His body stiffened just slightly. His sister, never one to miss a thing, let go of him to give him a suspicious look. “What is wrong?”
“N-n-n-n-nothing,” he managed to get out, his stutter getting worse.
She narrowed her eyes even more. “Kaleb, what is it? Something has happened.” She squeezed his arms gently. “What?”
“N-nothing, honest-t-t-tly.” His stutter never got this bad around his sister and his cheeks went red. “I’ve j-just… wow. Him-him?” She handed him the piece of paper and his shaky fingers seized it. A long distance shot of an orange-haired man. Kaleb tilted his head then glanced up. “How d-did you g-g-get this?”
“He turned eighteen,” his sister said. “I could finally get the information.”
His sister had hired private investigators before but all the very good and professional ones either would not be hired by a teenaged girl or else they refused to give the information because of the subject being underage and of no relation.
“So, he is in B-Bridgeport.” Kaleb read the address, feeling his stomach plummeting.
“There’s a small hitch actually,” his sister said looking a bit distracted. She moved over to the window, pushing back the curtains. “He’s moved. To Sunset Valley, or at least that is where he is staying. I’ve submitted our applications to Landgraab Industries. I expect they will be accepted within a week. They were one of the labs that had been fighting for us when we graduated.”
Kaleb’s stomach plummeted even more and he knew his fate had been sealed. “Th-that’s great,” he forced out, turning his back to his twin, trying not to feel too upset. “L-let me know wh-when we hear b-back? I have s-some w-w-work to do.” He focused on the ground, praying his sister would just go away.
She just watched him with an obviously studious gaze. She opened her mouth then closed it. “I shall go prepare dinner.”
As soon as the door shut Kaleb slumped down, covering his face and letting out a small sob. Damn you, Jacob Danevbie, he thought, looking at the paper, at the print out of the man who had been haunting them for as long as they could remember. It didn’t help he was kinda cute though. Kaleb tilted his head and tried to look as close as her could. Something about those cheekbones and nose…
Kaleb shook his head as he sat back down in the chair and got onto his e-mail, seeing the small list. A few tears sprang up at seeing the messages from Professor Costa. Talented, such promise, honored to have you. He bit his bottom lip and entered a new e-mail, his fingers trembling, a few more tears splashing down on his shirt.
Dear Professor Costa, I regret to inform you that I must cancel my forms. A new opportunity that has arisen that I will be taking.
He knew that no matter what Landgraab Facilities said, even if they for some reason refused to accept the twins, that they’d be moving to Sunset Valley and find some other way to get what they needed.
He typed out a long e-mail, read it over multiple times, fixed a few things, then hit send. There. Done. Because that couldn’t be his life. His life had to be at his sister’s side. He had been a bit stupid thinking he could run off to Monte Vista for a dream job for a year…
Sighing he went into the kitchen and helped finish dinner, doing his best to remain calm. “Wh-when do we l-l-leave?”
“Tomorrow,” his sister replied coolly. “We will pack up tonight. It will not take you long to get your things together, will it? I’ve phoned agencies and there is a small house we can rent until we determine whether he is staying in Sunset Valley permanently or not.”
Kaleb dropped into his seat, trying to remain calm. Of course. If Danevbie moved somewhere else they would follow. “How d-d-do we know… h-he’s even…” His sister raised an eyebrow and he swallowed. “He m-might not even have anyth-thing to–to do with… w-with…” he took in a deep breath, “Strangetown.”
His sister remained silent as she finished dinner. In fact she didn’t say a single thing until after they had their plates and began eating. Finally she said, “We don’t. We have no evidence, merely…” She trailed off and stabbed one of the microwaved vegetables rather viciously. “This will not be easy. We have done our own experiments, brother, and now we must extend our possibilities. I have informed Landgraab Facilities what our plans are and I believe they will aid us. You seem down. What is wrong? Are you not happy?”
Kaleb’s head snapped up. “Of c-course I am happy. Th-this is what we want. I am j-j-just shocked that it is all happening s-so fast.” He tried to push Monte Vista out of his mind and smiled, as warmly as he could. “I w-w-wasn’t expecting th-things to happen l-like this. So… q-quick.” He ate a few bites then got up. “I th-think I will go pack up.”
“That is a good idea.”
Kaleb went to his room and began folding up his clothes, putting them in a box. They didn’t have enough boxes for all their things but he supposed his sister would figure something out. I don’t want to go, he thought miserably. He wanted to go to Monte Vista. He wanted to be an assistant teacher. He wanted to work in a museum. He wanted to be an college English teacher or history teacher, not a scientist. Not… searching for aliens.
In fact, part of him wasn’t even a hundred percent sure they existed. He’d never admit it to his sister but secretly he thought that she was grasping at straws. Clinging to rumors. All those stories about Strangetown and time machines and aliens that their parents told them? Maybe they were just stories.
Only, now they weren’t. Because now they were going to spend their lives chasing these stories. His sister had done everything to find aliens short of going into space herself (honestly, he didn’t put it past her to do that sometime soon) and there was one thing left she believed could somehow get aliens to come down to earth. Male pregnancy.
Kaleb shook his head and sank down. How could male pregnancy help them contact aliens? He wasn’t sure but if his sister said to jump through the hoop he’d jump through the hoop. She felt this would work, it would work. And he would be there for her. He’d never make a very good teacher anyway, with his speech problems.
“Kaleb?” She came into his room and he stood up wondering, what now? “I have solved the issue of your long face. You don’t want to go,” she said flatly.
“Of c-c-course I want to go!” he lied. “Th-this is just all so q-quick, really.”
“You had plans.” She went over to his bookshelf and began pulling books down, stacking them carefully in a box. “You had plans to do something else now that we are graduated. What were they?”
He never told her and certainly wasn’t going to now. “I w-was thinking of t-taking a y-year off to study.” She looked at him incredulously. “I know, s-silly, right?” He rubbed the back of his head. “I j-just worry we’re s-so young–“
“Physically,” she hissed. “However mentally we are beyond their capabilities. One day soon we will be greeting some xenomorphic race and learning more than we could ever imagine. Our horizons will be expanded into the universe.”
“D-do you r-r-really think…” Kaleb hesitated, figuring it would be better not to say Danevbie’s name. “Do you r-really think s-somehow g-giving those wh-who are b-born with male r-reproductive organs th-the ability to g-go through pregnancy and–and t-turning…” He blushed furiously, unable to say ‘sperm’. “And h-have them b-be able to be… DNA… umm…”
“Oh, I believe I have discovered a way to manipulate sperm into something to fuse with other sperm to form essentially a fertilized egg,” his sister chuckled. “It might take a few years so I believe we should begin to develop a relationship with Mr. Danevbie. I do not wish him to be the first experiment, I want to test these procedures out. I don’t expect to be able to do this for several years…” Kaleb blushed a bit at the word relationship. His sister noticed that. “Why are you blush–no. Kaleb.”
“N-nothing!” he yelped.
She grabbed his wrist and clutched tightly. “You best get those thoughts out of your head. I know you have an affinity for tall redheads but if I find out…” She trailed off and let the silence finish the threat.
“I w-will not!” Kaleb protested. “I w-will be professional.”
“Good, because there is every chance he will die and I cannot have you be… ‘attached’. But, as I said, that will not be for at least eight to ten years, possibly longer. We need to build our lab up when we get there, and be sure to have a private lab. We will do their work they wish us to do in the meantime. And we will find some way to contact Mr. Danevbie and begin his connection to our lab. Finish packing, brother.”
She swept from the room and Kaleb obediently began packing, wishing a bit he could survive on his own without his sister. Or that he’d really want to. He knew she could be harsh and certainly cold to others but he did love her, and would give up his own dreams for his sister to achieve hers.