Stories about the scene Veronica had made at City Hall were all over the papers the next day. Within a week, the science center phones were ringing off the hook. Some people just wanted to learn more about the program, but many had some kind of supernatural event going on in their house.
Business for Veronica was hopping.
Some customers got a lot more demanding. Genvieve Goth was the worst person Veronica had ever worked with. She spent the entire time Veronica was there screeching. “I called you here to do something about this thing! So do it! What are you waiting for!”
“Waiting for you to get out of the way, ma’am,” Veronica said with a smirk.
“I mean, I could have let you step into the beam, but that tends to send your individual atoms on separate vacations.”
Genvieve stopped talking then and went to pour herself a drink.
Her reception at the Ursine-Langerak residence was very different.
Charmaine was out, but Maya was home and watched everything Veronica did with reverent appreciation.
She treated Veronica like some kind of celebrity. “This is more like it,” Veronica said to herself.
“It’s finished!” Veronica announced.
“What’s that?” Charles asked.
“Why, the treehouse! The ultimate in scientific child entertainment.”
Charles looked the monstrosity up and down. “Usually people build treehouses with wood.”
“Wood isn’t very scientific!”
“I guess it’s more scientific if it has a lot of rivets.”
“Maybe we should be the first to play in it.”
The kids would never know.
Charles’s work was also hopping. His skills as a martial artist and as a teacher grew stronger every day.
One afternoon, a familiar face came walking onto the grounds of the dojo.
Charles couldn’t believe his eyes. “Sensei! It’s been a long time!”
“You invited me to visit your dojo a lot time ago,” Zahn Wu admitted, “but it’s a bit of a long trip.”
While Charles and Wu caught up on each other’s lives, Adjo and Toya arrived with baby Karina. “No time like the present to take up Sim Fu!” Toya announced. “Adjo’s going to give me some pointers.”
Charles looked at the new baby and wondered if that was such a great plan, but who was he to judge?
“So what do you think of teaching?” Wu asked.
“I never realized how much I would enjoy it. I learn more about martial arts every day just by helping people understand,” Charles said.
Wu nodded wisely. “Spoken like a true master,” he said.
They were interrupted by the sound of angry shrieking from the dojo. Adjo stalked outside and paced around the front lawn, fuming. “This better be baby hormones,” he growled. “That woman is making me crazy!”
“Uh, yeah,” Charles said. “Sorry about that.” Better to stay far away from Adjo and Toya’s relationship. Nobody understood it. Sometimes he wasn’t even sure they understood it.
“You sound like a true master of Sim Fu,” Wu continued. “I wonder if you fight like one.”
Charles grinned. “Let’s find out.”
Charles couldn’t remember ever being in a sparring match that intense.
They opened with a few attacks and feints to size each other up.
Then Charles threw his very best attack.
And Wu knocked him to the ground with a flick of his hand.
Wu then proceded to pummel him.
He was so fast Charles couldn’t even see the blows coming.
“Wow, sensei, I’m well and truly humbled,” Charles said. “I may talk like a master, but you fight like one.”
“You’re closer than you think. Work on your technique, and we should do this again soon.”
Charles got right to work that night.
The treehouse was a big hit, especially with Hunter.
He would declare it a space station, orbiting an alien world of energy beings, and he’d only let Sky and Forest up if they could tell him the airlock password.
It was the most assertive anyone in the family had ever seen him.
The other two triplets were quick to follow along.
Even Forest, who usually liked to be in control of everything.
“I was wondering,” Hunter said wistfully as he sat with Forest in the treehouse with Forest. “Do you believe in magic?”
“Hmmm,” Forest said with an unnerving gleam in his eye. “Magic.”
Zahra had a brilliant idea for enhancing the mysterious lawn gnome that made it back from Egypt with Charles. Charles didn’t remember picking it up, but it started appearing around the house right after he returned from his last trip there.
After Zahra blasted it with the experiment ray, she discovered the most unpleasant tasted of old fridge in the back of her throat.
The gnome started spending most of its time watching television.
This couldn’t have been what was supposed to happen.
“Let me check my notes,” Zahra said.
Man, Zahra’s experiments NEVER turned out right!
Maya Langerak kind of got hit with the ugly stick. I wish I knew who exactly her parents were.
This is the composite post, combining about three things that would have been their own posts. But since I didn’t have a lot of text in mind, this seems like it worked out pretty well as a montage of Sample life.