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Fanfic: Arrivals, chapter 1

I'm going to post this here even though it's also on ff.net because they delete I thought I read something about untouched stories being deleted after 90 days.

The tiny space ships that brought to Earth the infants that would grow up to be Megamind, Minion and Metro Man were programmed to go, not just to the same planet, but to the same house. What's up with that?

Title: Arrivals, Chapter 1
Author: Joan
Length: 900 words
Summary: The master of Scott Mansion tries to find out what that unexpected baby is doing under the tree.
Warnings: A cuss word or two.

He'd spent most of Christmas morning reading the paper while Sally opened presents, occasionally making some appropriate noises, but with very little of his attention in the room. The next thing he knew, the guests were coming in and he heard his sister give that particular squeal that was her reaction to anything extremely cute and his uncle Dennis was saying "Well, who's this little guy?" When he looked up, everyone was gathered around Sally, who was unmistakably holding a baby.

He had plenty of time to compose his face, to get rid of the look of astonishment. His experience as a manager had taught him that, when reality took a turn for the unexpected, his strategy should begin with pretending to be in control, faking it until, later, behind the scenes, he was able to actually make it. So as he listened to his wife tell the whole family that he had put the baby under the tree for her, he forced his features into a look that was mostly affectionate with just a hint of smugness, and ignored the glances he was getting from his father, the one member of the family to whom he'd confided his decision, made after the accident, after Sally had come out of brain surgery with almost but not quite all her mental abilities intact, that there wasn't going to be any baby.

She'd lost executive function. That was what the doctors called it. In plain English, the ability to set priorities on any kind of rational basis. There had been cases, they said, of people with this disability starving to death in apartments with fully-stocked kitchens, simply because the sensations of hunger seemed less important than whatever else they were currently doing. She would need someone keeping an eye on her for the rest of her life, staff who knew better than to assume she was fine just because she seemed fine. And she did seem fine. Her graciousness, thoughtfulness, good taste and intelligence, her sense of humor and self-confidence and her obvious love for him were all unchanged. It was just that she couldn't tell serious from frivolous anymore.

Her desire to be a mother was also undiminished, even though she was clearly unfit. Robert had pretended to co-operate while secretly getting a vasectomy under an assumed name at a clinic chosen for the unlikelihood that anyone they knew would ever go there. In the years since, he'd gone through the motions of fertility treatments (quietly bringing the treatment center staff in on the charade; for enough money they were willing to play along) and then adoption efforts that always fell through. He had hoped that the repeated failures would tire her out and turn her attention to something else. Now, suddenly, an infant had simply appeared, for all the world as if she'd wished the child into existence, making dust of all his best efforts.

After the guests had gone home, while Sally supervised a maid and two men of the household staff, pulled from dinner clean-up to get antique baby furniture out of the attic and set it up in what had been a guest bedroom, Robert searched the videos from the mansion's security cameras, looking for the record of the boy's entrance into the house. When he found it, he just sat there looking at the screen for a long moment.

A tiny space ship. Self-guided, displaying capabilities beyond anything known to Earth's technologies. And it had actually fended off another... object... that had also been heading for the front gate. The boy was an alien.

The next day he visited his father at Scott-Metro Technologies, the subsidiary of Scott Industries that did hush-hush work for the government. Lewis Scott was nearly eighty, but he was so shrewd and capable that the subject of his retirement never came up. In one of the soundproofed and secured meeting rooms built for the unfurling of top secret plans, Robert explained the situation, played back the video, and waited for his reaction.

"So it's true."

"What's true, Dad?"

The elder Scott rose from his chair. "First, I'm going to track down that other spacecraft, find out where it went and what was in it."

"You think it's a spacecraft?"

"You think it's anything else? Come." He led the way up two floors to the climate-controlled room at the back of the company library, where the earliest documents relating to the corporation's history were kept. After both men put on the special gloves for handling fragile antique paper, they went to the shelf that contained the works of Andrew Scott, the ancestor who had founded the company as Scott Tool and Die.

It was a sizable shelf, filled with laboratory and workshop journals, patent applications, blueprints, press releases, sketchbooks, notes and a long row of personal journals going back to Andrew's boyhood. It was one of those that Andrew's great-grandson, Lewis, pulled out, thumbed through until he found the date he wanted, and handed, open, to the next generation. "Start here," he said.

If anyone else had given him this mysterioso treatment, Robert would have said something like "Just tell me, damn it." But the old man had always intimidated him. Besides, he often turned out to have good reason for doing things the way he did. Robert sat down at a table and began to read.

Click here for Chapter 2


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 18th, 2014 03:31 am (UTC)
FF deletes after 90 days?! SIN. Thanks for sharing your stories with us. :-)
Feb. 18th, 2014 03:00 pm (UTC)
You're welcome, and now I'm not so sure anymore. When I went to post to FF for the first time, I had to click that I had read a document (not the regular Terms of Service but something else) and the bit about deleting after ninety days was in there. I went to look it up just now and can't find it.

BTW, Chapter 2 is now up.
Feb. 18th, 2014 05:28 pm (UTC)
Whew! I felt rather alarmed about the deleting after 90 days, wondering if it was some new, weird, bonehead policy...

Hmmm...that does seem weird, now that you mention it, that BOTH space pods were en route to the same exact address.

Well, that explains Lady Scott's delighted, casual manner at finding a baby under the tree! I hadn't heard of that particular disability before. I liked Robert's reaction, not wanting anyone to notice that he was just as surprised as everyone else.
Feb. 18th, 2014 07:21 pm (UTC)
I have just altered the text to reflect my not-sureness about the deletion policy at ffn.

The aimed-toward-the-same-house thing was mentioned in a discussion on this comm, at least a year ago, maybe two years. The seed of this story was planted then, but the muse only decided now to give me the resolution.

Loss of executive function is something I only heard about a few months ago from a friend whose favorite DJ from her youth died in exactly that way. He died at his desk and there were post-it notes in his handwriting reminding himself to eat.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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