Part Twelve July 8, 2016
He glanced at his Blackberry DTEK50’s screen. No message yet. Either they didn’t need him or they couldn’t send him a message. Or they were dead! He grasped onto the edge of the kitchen counter! Images of the first terrible loss in his life overwhelmed him.
“Look Normy!” his mother said as she curled five pound dumbbells in front of the 42” 4K TV he had bought at Joe’s store at a discount. He looked up from where he was sitting cross-legged in front of the couch half listening to the news while he read the latest magazine on robotics.
Alejandra Ceto stood in front of Midtown Elementary School, her blonde hair whipping into her face. For the first time it was hard to understand her Spanish accent as rain pelted down. “A man calling himself Allaric Hemping has told us he hid a low-yield nuclear bomb somewhere in the Midtown Elementary School,” she said. “If you look at the left corner of the screen you’ll see a grainy image of the man himself.”
Norm leaned closer to the TV screen. A black and white image of a man with unnaturally raised eyebrows that reminded him of Dr. Seuss’s Cat-in-the-hat was shouting into the screen with a French accent. “…will transfer three million dollars to the account I have listed. If you do not BOOM! ALL THE CHILDREN AND TEACHERS WILL BE GONE! I am watching and if anyone tries to enter or leave the school, it and the surrounding area will be Destroyed!”
Norm heard a thunderclap on the TV. A red blur shot down towards the school’s roof. He saw Alejandra’s face turn towards the sky where the camera followed another red blur as it shot high into the grey sky. There was a massive explosion and the TV screen went blank.
He heard his mother’s weights thud onto the floor. “What just happened, Normy?”
“I think everyone is dead,” he said.
The TV showed the inside of the Midtown Newsroom. “We have heard that the school and surrounding area are okay!” a male anchorman said with relief. Alejandra is in contact with us through text messaging. Something fell out of the sky. Hold on! It’s Levitar’s helmet. I’m sorry folks, but there is no indication that Levitar survived the blast.”
Two days went by and Norm still felt numb from the news. Levitar was the first person he ever related to until he met Softie. He wiped away tears as he walked to Joe’s store. His heart felt ruptured. The Midtown News asked people to send their thoughts on Levitar. Many said Levitar was a saviour who had saved countless lives over the years. Others asked who would stop Allaric Hemping now.
That question got Norm thinking. He went onto Facebook, Snapchat, and any other social media connections he could find. Tabby was on Facebook. “I’m no good with chitter-chatter Tabby,” he wrote in a message, “so you’ll be my only friend, but I could really use your insight into a project idea I have. You heard about Levitar?”