"Stop it.” She fixes her hair, after twisting the front strand in nervousness. Still, in a nervous nature, she pushes the brown mess over her shoulder and lets her shaved side show. “You know I love everything about space, expanding knowledge of the universe. I–"
"Yeah, I know." He opens his eyes and lets another sigh go. He lets his dreams slip away, staring down at the news on his phone. It lights up his face with a picture of the girl in front of him displaying on the screen. Though to Zeke, it couldn't do her justice. "I just thought- well, I wished-" His words stumble in the tension between them. "I just wish you weren't the one who had to do this. I thought…" His words stop, dousing the idea that he could keep her safe.
"You thought?" she pushes as the train on the tracks in front of them slows to a stop.
"I just thought they wouldn't choose a teenager as the next mechanic…" The subway doors open and they rise, walking on the grate to the tracks in silence. Zeke couldn't do anything to stop her now. "But, you know."
"I was chosen to do this." She slows, reaching her hand to the side of the cement pole by the entrance. "It's such a rare occasion, I couldn't pass it up. They chose me…" Her eyes twinkle. "Even you agreed that I was perfect for the job, Z." She smiles, pasting a reflecting beam onto Zeke. He wanted to say it; he just wanted to tell her how much she meant to him. He wanted to wrap her up in his arms and never let her leave. Never let her go away…
Zeke admires her bubbling face. With a knowing smirk, he lifts her galaxy designed suitcase onto the train. "Yeah. Are you sure you still want to do this?" She looks back with a deep breath. Zeke knew the answer was an unshakeable yes. "You just have to be safe!"
"Yes! I know…" She shakes her head, "People aren't used to figuring things out for themselves nowadays. I'm chosen; I'm doing this." Nyle laughs, catching up with the influx of people crowding around them. Floods of passengers push between them, creating a pedestrian filled gap.
"When you're done, meet me for lunch!" he chuckles, as the crowd pushes her in.
"Bye Z!" the soft note in the sea of voices says. Just a flash of her soft emerald eyes through the crowd shining in confidence makes him realize that she'll be okay.
The train doors close and in an instant, it flies down the tunnel into the blackness. "Goodbye Ny…" he blows a kiss. Maybe it was too late for him to admit his love now. The temporary smile washes from his face with a strained breath, trying not to cry. He returns to the bench in the dark subway station. Zeke taps his screen.
Teen Mechanic, Nyella P. Terry, chosen to fix the broken space station.
He sighs again and swipes the article away, getting up. Mendicant bums lean against the stone wall, waiting for someone to drop a twenty in their can. A small scurrying creature dashes down the tunnel, chasing the train. A few ads and papers fluttering from the Lightning.
Zeke climbs the cement stairs, reentering the modern, bustling world. Kids vroom around on their hoverboards, flashing their unique colors. Their parents sell recyclables and electronics, trying to make a living. They aren't as advanced as the cyborgs, but the people accepted that.
Entering the station locker area, he opens his storage unit and gets out his hoverboard. Nyle had made it for him, out of an old car part then installing the hover technology. It took her weeks just to get the shape right. In the end, she made it the fastest out of almost everywhere. He moves his hand over his name, meticulously etched. All because he wanted to beat Etel.
Zeke lets the nostalgia fade and jumps onto the board. A blow on the back of the board causes him to fall forward to the ground. A young cyborg, blue hair, and a matching robotic arm fumbles backwards as their eyes meet. "Hey!" Zeke arches his brow and bites his lip. The cyborgs aren't allowed over here! "You're- You're not allowed here!" Zeke shouts, crawling backwards away from the boy. The boy freezes with a lost expression, tears on his cheeks.
Security guards rush and grab the boy by his robotic arm, pulling him off the streets. The boy screams. "No! I just want to see my mother! I just want to see my mother!" His voice echoes around the bend.
Zeke shakes his head, rubbing his scuffed hands as he steps up on his board. The moment it powers up from the switch below, he leaves the city station, to his home in the penthouse.