The November Of The
Major Wallace lay in Drew’s bed staring up at the ceiling disappointed with his current mission. He had doubled for a prince, a millionaire, and a rock star. Unfortunately Drew’s life was nothing but boring and sad. There was nothing fun that Major Wallace walked into, just school, work, and family time.
There wasn’t even a challenge in his new assignment. As a shape shifter he not only morphed to the body of his target, but he also could hone in on the target’s thoughts and past. The inter-dimensional radiation left from past events was very apparent to his kind and assuming those thoughts and memories was quite a simple task.
Major Wallace closed his eyes trying to get some sleep before he started spending time in high school being ridiculed for his lack of social ability.
The next morning Major Wallace awoke at his normal military time, but had to wait for Drew’s mother to wander into the room in an attempt to get him out of bed. It was the ritual of Drew and his mother, which Major Wallace was supposed to abide by until he could start gradually changing things so the normal world would not notice the post boot camp changes in Drew.
It was the beginning of Major Wallace’s first full of day being Drew Darby, and he could not wait for it to end. At least he would get a report from Fort Inspire today informing him of Drew’s progress, change in daily habits and thoughts so he could begin the transition. A couple of hours went by before Wendy, Drew’s mother, came in to wake him up.
Major Wallace used Drew’s squeaky young voice to whine and complain about how he did not want to get up. The act of whining grated at Major Wallace’s nerves, he hated people who complained, but his career required it.
Eventually he rose, grabbed some painfully outdated clothes and wandered across the hallway to shower. It was a moment of staring in the mirror that Major Wallace realized he had a lot of work ahead of him. He stood naked staring into the reflection looking over the young body of Drew. There was an obvious mishandling of the body. When he should have been fit and lively there was nothing but a saggy depressed body. And even though Major Wallace could just alter his appearance, he was going to have to do the manual labor, the physical workouts so others would believe the change was occurring.
As he stepped into the shower he felt an incoming message hit his brain. It was an update on Drew. He understood that Drew was making large strides in physical fitness as well as mental confidence. It was time for him to begin the change of Drew’s social life.
Standing there washing his body Major Wallace could envision Drew’s current situation at the camp. To the Major’s surprise, Drew was already down in the cave, no sunlight of any kind, but he was conversing with people. In the few days there, he seemed to have built up confidence in speaking to females as well as non-awkward social conversation. It caught Major Wallace off-guard, but brought a smile to his face.
He let the transmission fade into his memory as he finished his shower. He came out into the living room, looked Wendy in the eyes with the most innocent stare he could muster and talked to his “mom”. “It’s still a little early and for some reason I feel like a jog. I think I’ll go out and run around the block.”
Wendy was in shock from the initiative her son just displayed. He had never volunteered for exercise once in his life, but she was not about to discourage him. Instead, she smiled and nodded, watching in disbelief as her boy went out the front door to get his jog in.
The exercise was a nice return for Major Wallace, although he was not a fan of real workouts or weightlifting, the jogging made him feel healthy. He sprinted around the neighborhood slowing down for the section near his house so his mother would not see him overachieving.
Major Wallace finished his morning by walking around the house, preparing his books and eating breakfast. The short drive to school was something that the Major had not grown accustomed to. He arrived at school ten minutes or so before the first bell. In order to begin building the perceptual confidence of Drew by his classmates, he wandered down the halls looking for someone to talk to who would not reject him.
Feeling the radiating memories of the past while reading the thoughts of his classmates in the present became a difficult task. As he swept by most of the kids he was inundated with abusive thoughts such as dork, geek, or worse. Even Major Wallace began to internalize some self-deprecation while he mentally relived some of Drew’s life.
The insults and pain seemed to be never ending even as he passed by Drew’s secret infatuation. The past memories were thick around Daisy. She was a tall lanky girl with badly cut brown hair and an excess of makeup. She had freckles that brought attention to her damaged glasses and blunt cut hair. She looked at the interim Drew with the same disgust as the rest of the children, but Drew’s past memories of her were so thick they almost impaired Major Wallace’s vision of the girl. He could not feel her memories past Drew’s.
He did not understand the interest in the girl. She was plain at best, and the Major had always gravitated toward the exceptional, not to mention it was hard for him to find any type of sexual interest in a girl half his age.
He marked the girl in his mind as a project that Drew would appreciate the Major working on, but right now he had to find someone to talk to. As the trek continued, now with only six minutes before the morning bell, the Major trotted past more and more of the abusive classmates.
He began to lose hope until he came across a girl crouched in the corner by herself. She was obviously one of the oldest kids in the school, visually too old for high school, but she could have failed a few grades. She was wearing knee high black boots, a black skirt that came down to the top of the boots, and it was topped off with a black shirt of a small kitten that had a thought bubble that said “I am so cute, I am gonna kill myself”.
When Major Wallace stopped his movements to speak to the girl, she didn’t seem to have any preconceived notions about Drew, so she was the best candidate for a new friend. He stood over her once he had approached the corner she inhabited. Looking down he could see the blond roots peeking out from underneath her black hair donned with black lace bows.
He pushed out his new crackling voice. “Mind if I sit?”
The girl looked up at him showing her plump face painted with black lipstick, black eyeliner, black eye shadow, and a pale powder. “My world is unaffected by your location in it.”
He almost laughed in the girl’s face, but, trying to build some sort of rapport with anyone in Drew’s school, he resisted the urge. Ignoring his own experiences from high school he searched for the right words. He could not rely on his life with his football successes, his high popularity, or his social achievements. This girl was different. He scanned her thoughts hoping to find a clue to conversation, but she was already ignoring him and flying in her own demented world of thought.
Reading her thoughts he could see her wandering through the school slashing her classmate’s throats. The blood of her victims pooled up on the ground and dripped down her dark outfit as she splashed through it in her boots. Torturous pleas came from each child that she murdered in her thoughts and laughed at their feeble attempts at pain. In her mind she was extending her own misery to the weak, but Major Wallace saw it as an opportunity.
He sank down against the wall next to her, too close for her to feel comfortable. “None of these people understand our plight.” He planted the seed for their friendship with his ridiculous comment.
She looked over at him with an unrealistic snarl on her face, “You feel the intensity of the world’s misery?”
Major Wallace again pushed back a guffaw as he felt the girl trying to speak in some glorious code. “There is nothing but hatred in this world, and I am one of the few who can feel it.”
The hefty girl shoved her pudgy little hand in the Major’s face. “Sarah, but call me Sin.”
Major Wallace smirked as he reached out to shake the girl’s hand. “Drew, but it doesn’t matter.” He attempted to keep his somber demeanor as he exchanged pleasantries. As he was about to make contact with the girl’s hand, the bell rang.
He stood to go to class and Sin looked up at him. “You’re actually going to go get indoctrinated by their conformist academics?”
“Nothing better to do.”
“Sucker.” That was all Sarah said as she got to her feet and wandered out the door of the school.
Major Wallace sauntered through the halls to his class making it just in time to not be tardy. He felt a small triumph in finding someone who would talk to him, but at the same time he was again being barraged by negative thoughts about Drew. He slid into his chair attempting to ignore all the thoughts. It was far from an easy task, but he managed to focus on the lesson which were far below his level of thinking.
The best thing about the Major’s mission was that he did not have to use much brain power to keep Drew’s A average up in school. He spent more time trying to figure out how to fix his reputation in order for Drew to keep his spirits up while he was at home. The last thing they needed was a Psi soldier depressed about life because of high school drama.
The day went on as normal. Major Wallace did his job of being Drew and kept to himself, but he did let some people begin to see the transformation of Drew into the soldier he was truly becoming. He held his head up when he walked; he let a small swagger enter his gait. Just a couple of hints to show people what would be around the corner.
On his way out of the building to his car he ran across Sarah who was writing poetry in the grass. She noticed him as he walked by. “Hello Drew but it doesn’t matter.”
Major Wallace gave her a quick head nod.
“How was your brainwashing today? Did you conform to their beliefs?”
The Major was not in a mood to pretend to be dark and brooding, but his job forced him. “Just the normal vomit they force into the gasmasks they call education.”
She let a smile come out of her half wiped off black lips as she transcribed the boy’s impromptu poem. “For once I am glad I have met someone. You understand things Drew but it doesn’t matter.”
Major Wallace nodded his head as if she was enlightening him to the secrets of the world.
She raised her hand toward him. “Help me up?”
The Major reached down grabbing her hand to bring her to her feet when a rush of exhaustion hit him. All of his breath and sensation rippled through his body and out of his hand. He collapsed to the grass into a puddle of Drew.
Sin scooted back from the Major in fear of the sudden crumpling of the visual Drew. As soon as she let go of his hand he could breathe again. As his breathing returned to normal and he opened his eyes, a panicked Sarah was standing over him. “Are you ok?” The darkness had left her demeanor and she was showing true compassion which she had not wanted to do.
The thoughts of the girl poured into Major Wallace’s mind. Her thoughts were basic and superficial, surprising the Major. He had expected more depth in the girl. It was as if she trying to convince her own mind of her intentions.
The fake Drew got to his hands and knees letting her know that he was alright. But, as she reached under his arms to help him to his feet, he collapsed again, the world going black, his pulse rate slowing dangerously low.
Forcing his eyes closed trying to regain his breath again he thought to himself, “Of all the kids I could have befriended, I had to choose an energivore."