Chapter 18:

So Far, Yet So Close

Adventures of Zeleon

On Christmas Eve the year before last, a package was delivered late on the doorstep. The snow was piling slowly as footsteps calmly went down the stairs after hearing the doorbell ring. The front door was unlocked and opened as a whoosh of cold air rushed in, the package was quickly grabbed, and the door was promptly shut.

After the door was locked, the package was brought back upstairs into a bedroom. It was carefully placed on the desk inside, finding no definitive address. With curiosity being too overwhelming for it's recipient, the package was opened only to find a letter, sealed with a unique look that featured a ferret on it. The recipient made a quick search into the seal but found nothing that was even discreetly close. With that, the recipient cut the seal with scissors very carefully so as to not damage the contents inside.

After it was opened a shock befell the recipient as they looked closely at the contents over and over, pinching themselves to make sure they were awake and within reality. Within the package contained blueprints for a craft thought to be too advanced to even attempt. A spacecraft capable of traveling to not just other planets, but other galaxies as well.

The recipient didn't know what to do, they had probably the most powerful pieces of information that was meant for NASA, yet, here it is in their hands. Should they hand it to someone quietly, or should they keep it for good? they do something more selfish, more conceited and use it to their own self advantage?

Leon Atkins, the recipient of this major piece of information, made the selfish decision. On the following day, Leon went to his best friend Syrus Forscythe's house and showed his billionaire father the plans making the ridiculous claim that he made them. He pulled strings, and used his many connections to get this brilliant machine constructed immediately.

The information went viral and Leon was hailed as a genius, with many skeptics believing he didn't create them as well. The narrative that followed him for being an advocate of violence, just like his father, that he and his mother were crazy, all went away in one fell swoop. This didn't come without consequence, however. Syrus' father looked at Leon as his own, ignoring his own son in the process.

Six months passed and the friendship hit a fever pitch. Syrus was an oddball despite everything he ever wanted in the world. He was skeptical of people who wanted to be close to him because of his family's status. Leon was the lone monster of the city of Bellingham amongst the students, and Syrus was drawn to his lack of sociability as well as his interests in games, anime and everything else of the sort.

The 'monster' scared everyone else away. Those who weren't judgmental stopped coming around him. On top of that, Syrus was small in stature. He was all of 5'4 and was a gangly looking green haired guy. He could've easily been bullied if it wasn't for Leon being his watchman as well as his friend. Their friendship was symbiotic in every sense, until now.

They faced off on the last day of the school year in the field out beside the main building.

"What is wrong with you? Why would you of all people use me like this?! You were the one person I trusted, the one person I knew wouldn't pull this kind of petty bullshit! What the fuck happened to our friendship Leon??"

"Syrus, you know how hard it's been to try to turn around this ridiculous narrative that I'm some fucking headcase! Like my mother and I are a voodoo curse! People approach our yard like they approach a ouija board, how fucked is that? I wanted to put something major on our family name. I wanted to do something! And by god that blueprint was the greatest opportunity I'd ever have so I took it!"

"That's your reasoning, that's YOUR REASONING!!! Jesus Christ, you sound delusional right now. Where is your head at? I thought you didn't care what people thought of you, that was one of your absolute best qualities, you know that? It's truly sad to see you become the thing you despise so much in this world."

"And what might that be, Syrus? Tell me."

"The basic, greedy, needy, human being. The actual monster of this world. The people that my father does business with are all like that." Syrus' tone turns much more sarcastic, and slightly twisted. "And, hey look you did a deal with my father, congratulations Leon you're no fucking better than them! Seriously, CON-GRATS." He clapped in a slow mocking way, something Leon did often whenever someone completely failed in doing anything to him.

Leon was at a loss of words. The self realization of what he did brought him back down to earth. He hung his head down, knowing what he'd caused, knowing the ties he just severed, knowing how much of a piece of shit he is for his actions. "I don't think I've hated myself more than I have right now. I can't even look him in the eye, how did I lose myself this much…?"

"No amount of guilt that you feel will ever fix this. And I hate to say that, I really like your mom, and I know she raised you better than this. no, that's a longshot after what you've done Leon. Consider me a stranger from here on out. Don't talk to me, don't reconcile with me. Hell, don't try to help me, even if I need it, I don't want to feel like I owe you a talk because you saved me an asskicking."

That was the last time the two talked. Leon finished recollecting this story amongst the group feeding amongst the Komodrons. This tradition is so the group can be a cohesive unit that doesn't withhold their feelings or thoughts from one another. Being the outsider, Leon stepped up and told the story of the fatal mistakes he made that got him to Zeleon.

The Elder who was sitting at the head of the table, spoke as Leon finished with an exhausted breath. "You seem to have learned from your mistake, young one. The struggle in which you told it, the sorrow in your voice, your guilt was written out as plain as day."

The others all looked at each other in a universal nod. Showing a genuine respect towards his brutal honesty. The Elder continued speaking. "You see Leon, never be afraid to admit yourself. None of us are perfect, whether you're Komodron or Human. You're still a 16 year old, you'll make plenty more mistakes, even when you're an old codger like me."

Everyone tried to hold in a bit of laughter. That is, until Varius laughed at the Elder's persistence at making fun of his advanced age. Many followed suit afterwards as the evening rolled out with an enlightened mood.

Leon broke off eventually and went back to the small cabin that was made for the rare guest of the underground community. He seamlessly made a home for himself amongst the Komodrons, who respected his smartass attitude and his willingness to make bold statements of absolute truth. A little voice spoke in the back of his mind however, especially after talking about everything aloud.

"I wonder how Syrus is doing? I really hope his mouth didn't get him in trouble. For looking like a shota boy he has no qualms in talking big amounts of shit most days. That and….being an S class pervert being short enough to be at or barely at chest height of girls. I guess that's why he had a tall girl fetish. If we were to reconcile, he'd barely be able to control himself around Courtney." Leon cracked a smile as he closed his eyes and shook his head. "We really did need each other. I think that's why he was so pissed. We're both hopeless in our own unique ways."


As Syrus was dozing off in his math class. Thoughts of Leon were in his head. There was a funeral held in honor of everyone on the craft. They were presumed dead. The craft was presumed a failure completely. But, as with most tragedies that are all too common on Earth, everyone moved past it as quickly as possible and soon it all felt like a dream that it ever happened.

Syrus was one of the few who didn't let it go. He tried holding a sèance, something that Celeste, Leon's own mother, wanted absolutely no part of. The one who gave up on ever trying to talk to Leon again, is the one who also believes wholeheartedly that he never died.

"I swear to God, and you know I hate saying that phrase. If you're alive out there and you haven't responded I'm going to be so mad at you. You better come back, you better own up. I'm ready to forgive if you're ready to be honest. It turns out I hated my father for liking you more than I hated you directly. I want to tell you those things in person, and I want an apology. Fuck, listen to me I sound like some sort of needy yandere girlfriend. Get home, or at least have a good damn reason to be where you're at for the time being. I want to roast you for missing out on everything that's come out recently too, then rewatch them with you anyways because your insight is always better than mine anyways ...."

Syrus' thought process was cut off by the teacher.

"Are you nodding off again, Syrus?!"

" Of course I'm not, the answer to the question is 7x."

Silent sounds of laughter filled the room as the teacher shook her head at him.

"You're in history…not math class. Now pay attention!"

"Well, shit. I'm truly hopeless, haha. That's ok, probably thinking about math because as boring as the subject is, phew! Ms. Lancaster is hot, like tall...leggy and she's bus-...there I go again. C'mon man get back here so I can vent these things!"

Irony happens all the time. This situation is no different, two friends whose relationship seemed severed forever. At the same moment, a galaxy away, a time difference away, thought about the other. The wrong and the wronged. One filled with guilt. The other being emptied of hatred. Both having an undeniable void of the other's presence.