1 - Rocket Weather

This story is from the Square Enix Members NA site, archived here for your convenience.


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I was staring out the classroom window on a bright, clear day. School was out, so everything was quiet. There was nobody outside, nobody in the classroom. The place was empty. We'd just moved, and my mom and dad brought me in to enroll for next semester. My parents were busy talking with the teacher or whoever, so I thought I'd take a look around the place. The room they said I'd be in was pretty nice. It was warm and sunny.

Just then I spotted someone through the window. He looked the right age to be a student here, and he seemed to be carrying something. He was walking across the campus, and then all of a sudden, when he was right in front of the window I was looking through, he stopped and looked straight at me. It caught me by surprise, and I don't think he expected to see anyone either, because he jumped a little when he saw me. Then he started to run towards me. As he got closer, he shouted, "Hey, you're not a ghost or anything, are you?" He came to a stop just in front of the window I was standing at.

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"No, I'm no ghost," I answered. "I'm gonna be going to school here next semester. My parents are enrolling me right now. I'm just takin' a look around."
"That a classroom you're in?"
"Yeah, I think so. Mr. Blair's room."
"Hey, we have the same teacher!"
"That's cool."
"Heh, yeah."
He had a big, friendly grin. He gave a quick nod in my direction, "Hey, you wanna launch this with me?"
He showed me what he'd been carrying. It was a plastic bottle rocket. The water sloshing around inside glinted in the sunlight.
"None of my friends could come, so this'll be perfect."
I glanced away, not really sure what I was getting myself into, but he prodded me on, "Just climb out the window." The grin from before was back on his face, and that was all the convincing I needed. Grabbing hold of the window sill I swung my feet outside and hopped down to the ground.

"As soon as I woke up I could tell the weather was great. No wind or anything. Perfect for launching a rocket. So I threw one together as fast as I could. A day this good, who knows how high it'll fly!"
We walked a little ways, and then we came to a bicycle pump and something that looked like a pipe lying in the grass. I soon learned that that was the launch pad. He looked from the rocket he was carrying to the sky, then made adjustments to the angle of the pad. He placed the rocket on the pad and attached the bicycle pump to a tube snaking from its base. The tube ran into the rocket at the bottom. Working the pump up and down, he filled the rocket with air.
"…Thirty-nine, forty. That oughta do it! Alright, here goes."
I'd just been standing there watching him get the rocket ready to launch. As he finished pumping air into the rocket, he waived me closer. He told me to hold onto the launch switch, a big clip at the base of the rocket.
"Is it okay to do this?"1
"I told you we'd launch this together, didn't I?"
As I crouched down to hold the launch switch, I thought that this boy might just become popular in our class.
"Well then, when I give the signal, press the clip and launch the rocket!"
He moved behind me, taking a good look at the launch platform.
"Starting countdown! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….launch!"
I pressed the clip. The rocket made a sound and rose to the skies spraying loads of water from its bottom. Our hands and knees and everywhere got wet. He cackled in delight.
As the rocket flew it ran out of water. Gently it headed down towards the lawn. It flew for a hundred meters or so. Next to me the boy nodded contendedly. I felt refreshed. It just left a good feeling.

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"Which one of you was it? Who launched that rocket?"
"Uh oh. It's Mr. Blair!"
A tall man was looking at us from the school window. My parents were standing right behind him.
"Once I grab my rocket, I'm outta here."
Jamming the launch pad and bicycle pump under his arm, he darted off. I think I mumbled something to him as he left, but I couldn't think of anything to say. He picked up the rocket and shouted back at me, "My name's Luso. Luso Clemens. See ya after the break!" And then he was gone.
I walked back to the school, and I knew I was in trouble. Sitting there with Mr. Blair scolding me, the end of this break couldn't come fast enough.


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