Ward OhmTraveling To Paragon City

Mr. Marcus did come back the next day, just as he said he would. We talked a lot about what I wanted to do, and where I wanted to go. I wasn’t too worried about it, as long as I had a place to sleep and food to eat. After we had talked for a while, he said he knew a place I would be welcome, and that someone with my unique abilities would be able to help lots of people. This sounded fine, and he made arrangements.

I left the police station with him, and we went to a small hotel where he was staying. We spent the rest of the day there, mostly addressing many long forms and paperwork, which Mr. Marcus filled out through the course of the day. He asked me to watch several videos, mostly about the ideas behind responsibility and citizenship. I found the focus on this somewhat bewildering, and asked why. David reassured me that it was because so many of the other created persons he had worked with had not been much exposed to these ideas, and I didn’t need to worry about it too much. I did as he asked, and watched them attentively.

It was full night, around ten o’clock, when David said we had an early day tomorrow, and that we should go to bed. He had arranged a room of my own for me, next to his. I found it very strange to be in a room by myself. Not being particularly tired – I seem to sleep less than most people – I stayed up, looking at the strange things on the television. After I’d had enough of being baffled by the TV, I did go to sleep.

Early the next day, we went to the airport. I did not like the airport, not at all. I don’t think the people there much liked me either, and things did not go well.

I tried very hard to remain polite, and to do as I was asked, but that turned out to be impossible.

The people at the security checkpoint simply insisted that I remove the gloves and the transmission antennae, which caused problems. Mr. Marcus had a number of documents they refused to look at, and they did not seem to understand me when I told them that I could not remove those things.

One of the airport security people was particularly demanding and insistent. He kept saying, “Take off, take off.” and tugging at the cuffs of my gloves. I had said, “Please do not do that.” and told them, “That hurts. If you do that, I will bleed very badly.” Mr. Marcus moved to intervene, but before he could, the same staff member gave another pull on the glove and said, in broken English, “Stop be so difficult, and take off!”

I whimpered and brought up my personal force field. It was almost an automatic reaction, because this person continued to hurt me, but I kept it up once it was there. It forced the security person away from me, which is what I wanted.

The force field, however, attracted a lot of attention from men with guns, who came very quickly over to find out what was wrong. Apparently force fields are not common at the airport, and upset them. Their guns were all pointed at me. Worried that they would attack us, I turned to Mr. Marcus, and generated a shield around him, as well. He seemed rather startled by this, and it did nothing to calm down the armed men.

Security escorted us away, and told us we were under arrest for terrorist activities. Mr. Marcus snapped at them, “If you would actually listen to what I have to say and read these clearance papers, we wouldn’t be having this problem.” and finally got someone to look at the documents he had. Security read them and decided not to arrest us – I don’t understand everything that went on. Confused, I eventually dropped off to sleep.

I woke up to a discussion growing louder and louder. I listened, trying to figure out what was going on. One man, from the airport or airline or something was saying, “I don’t care what your piece of paper says. We will not have animals in the cabin. If you plan on putting that thing on the plane, he’ll be crated and shipped with all the other animals.” Mr. Marcus said, coldly, “He is not an animal. He is a person. The United States government has said so. That is not up for discussion.”

I had sat up and stretched, still listening. I walked over to Mr. Marcus, and asked, quietly, “Is there something wrong?”

The man from the airport said, “My God! It talks!” and looked shocked.

Mr. Marcus said to me, “We’re trying to get you on to the plane. They’re not comfortable with that.” He turned to the other man and added, “Yes, he talks. He is an intelligent fellow. Perhaps, now, you’ll let him on a plane?”

The other man was pale and shook his head. He said, “No, I can’t. No animals. But he can’t go in cargo, either. Not if he talks. You’re not putting him on a plane. That’s final.”

The discussion continued for a while, and I didn’t understand why they were so upset. Eventually, Mr. Marcus frowned, and said, “You’ll hear about this.” He gestured for me to follow him, and we left. I was relieved, but also worried. Had I done something wrong?

Since I couldn’t be flown where we were going, we drove, in Mr. Marcus’ rental car.

Driving was long and tedious, but very interesting. The United States is a big place, full of lots of things! There was a great deal to see. Much of it, I did not understand.

I was not well appreciated as we traveled. Every stop, every hotel, they looked funny at me. One hotel said pointedly, “No pets.” I showed them my ID and they let us stay, but only grudgingly.

We’re going to Paragon City, Mr. Marcus tells me, and shows me on the map. It’ll be a couple more days. He tells me that there will be less trouble there. I wonder why?

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