Lenarra, who prefers to be called "Lenna," is a ten year-old Infra-Sight Lunatak girl. Their particular race has the ability to see in complete darkness thanks to infrared vision. This means that she can see you a few rooms away because her vision is also very sensitive. Unfortunately, it's also the reason she's been passed around between orphanages since the age of four.
Infra-Sight Lunatak orphans are very rare, as their people tend to live in secret on the dark moon with few exceptions. Lenna was the lone survivor of a bad hyperwarp transport accident, and had no living relatives back home. Wherever she was, people were afraid of her... and the thought of having a kid around who could see everything they were doing was too much for people to deal with. The other kids in schools felt threatened and picked on her. She couldn't physically defend herself either... as I understand it, her people don't develop their "Infra-Blast" abilities until their mid-teenage years. Anyone messing with her then is going to be "flash-fried!"
Anyway, I was passing through Lady Bast's agency to converse with her and watch the kids play. I noticed Lenna sitting in the corner reading a book and I just had to ask about her. She was passed up for adoption so many times, it amazed me! She was new to Memories of Thundera, and had just turned ten years old. Kids that age have a much smaller chance of being adopted because prospective parents want to raise a child from an earlier age.
Needless to say, my heart went out to her... and Lady Bast was inclined to bend the rules slightly for me. I'm a single guy living in a two bedroom basement apartment. Working graveyard shift, I usually don't see the sunshine very much... turns out she's the same way too: preferring to sleep during the day. Needless to say, I'm not your typical adoption prospect. The situation was unique, and I wanted to give parenting a try, so wish me luck!
Yeah, it's a little unnerving to know she can see me anywhere in the house, but I'll learn to live with it.
She told me earlier that she and Set (Demonprist's adopted son) were good friends, and that they knew each other for several years. It seems they were both "passed around the system" for some time (and that they're nearly the same age!) I'm not too sure Set is a good influence for her, as he likes to do nasty things to Snarfs. I would prefer Lenna to have respect for lower lifeforms myself. Well, no sense keeping them apart, as I'm a friend of Demonprist. We'll have to plan a picnic sometime and surprise both of them! (Perhaps that upcoming "Parent's Barbecue" would be good?) Set's the kid from hell, but it's like he sees her as a sister. She tells me that Set nearly electrocuted two boys who were throwing stuff at her one day... that's pretty cool! I just hope he doesn't get her to kill anything while they're playing. Oh, well... all I care about right now is making her feel welcome and happy, and that's going to be my job.
Aww, darn... I was going to let her use my bed tonight while I slept on the couch, but I just looked behind me. She's asleep on the couch with my cat curled up in her arms. Rrrrrggghh... I really wish I had a camera right now, this is incredibly cute! Well, I guess I'll sleep in my bed after all... I can't bring myself to wake them up now. I'll spend tomorrow fixing up her room... it's gonna be a long weekend.
I discovered just how intelligent she is, having spent her formative years buried in science books. Too bad she was driven to that by the other kids and adults, but she really developed her mind that way. We had some long talks on the finer points of chemistry, biology, and other subjects... she even taught me a few things!
What bugged me about the barbecue in the park was what happened later on when a group of older girls started playing volleyball on the other end of the field. I could see Lenna sitting "Indian style" in the grass, and Set was sitting next to her with one hand on the back of her head. The two of them were giggling together, and what they were doing didn't register at first. Demonprist started laughing big-time when she figured it out... I was stumped until I walked over to them and saw that Set's eyes were closed the entire time!
I wanted to break that up, but Demonprist reminded me that they could be doing much worse and in fact, she was relieved to see Set sitting in one place for that amount of time. Normally, she explained, he would be doing something nasty with his magic abilities... nastier than using Lenna's eyes for "sight beyond sight!" I grudgingly accepted the situation and called them over for some more chicken and potato salad. Set didn't want to, but Lenna was hungry: her appetite returned since she was able to relax for a change. (She hardly touched any food or said very much when she first moved in.)
Set was actually well-behaved for most of the day, just because he and Lenna were happy to be together again. They ran off into the woods at the far end of the park later on... I hoped they wouldn't cause any trouble, but I did see a pair of teenage lovebirds running out of a clump of trees screaming... in opposite directions! Lenna later explained to me how Set is very creative with his ability to project illusions. It seems they were in the middle of a kiss when Set made them see each other as hideous creatures... I just had to laugh!
Anyway, I tucked her in at the late hour of three in the afternoon. I've got to get to bed right now, or I'll never function properly at work tonight! It was a great day for all four of us. (Yawn!)
Well, I'm going to try something. We took a trip to Claudis High School to see about getting her some release papers so she could take the GED test and be done with it all. The administrator there claims that she's too young to take it, even though there's no rule saying she can't. I know for a fact that she can ace that test... in fact, I know that she's college material even at her age!
Okay, here's the plan... I was on the phone with Cheezey the other day, and I was asking her if I could borrow her kid Luran for his "services." Fact is, he's an eight-year-old Psi-Lunatak, and he recently became friends with Lenna... well, sort of. Much like with Set, Lenna seems to have a calming effect on other kids... just as long as they don't care about her visual abilities (or can take advantage of them.) She's really become more confident in the last few months, and I'm proud of her.
Hopefully, Luran will lend a hand (or a club) and convince that lousy administrator that she's more than capable of handling the GED and whatever follows in her life. Cheezey said something to the effect that Luran's a bit of an extortionist... and will demand something big from me. I'm hoping Lenna's gratitude will be enough, but you know how kids are!
All I can say is... "Wish us luck!"
We all had a few good laughs as we watched Lenna snuggling close to Luran. Luran kept moving away and Lenna kept moving closer. It was like watching a sideways chase in slow motion that continued until the big fireworks went off overhead.
Eventually Luran, Lenna, and myself ended up sitting together on our blanket watching the fireworks. I couldn't help but laugh with the kids as they giggled and snorted watching Alluro and Cheezey getting romantic on their blanket. Well, that's married folk for ya.
During the ride home, I saw that Lenna fell asleep against Luran's shoulder... and he had a smile on his face. I wonder if he's starting to come out of the "girls are icky" stage... well, probably not. Lenna gave him a kiss when Alluro pulled up to our house to drop us off. Luran wiped his cheek with his sleeve and said, "Eeeewww!" Heh heh... it was very funny!
It was really quite funny... Luran might be a kid, but I could have sworn I was watching Alluro himself in action. That high-school administrator didn't have a chance! He signed the release form, and even wished her luck... not that she needed it: she almost nailed a perfect score on the GED, missing only two questions under social studies. I knew she could do it!
The thing that had us both laughing all over each other tonight was the fact that we just watched that administrator on the evening news. Yes, it seems that Cheezey, being the sweet journalistically-inclined soul that she is, tipped off the rest of the press and started a feeding frenzy. He was up on the podium nervously taking credit for being the first to sign a release form for someone who was still in grade school.
The reporters and several parents were being quite vocal about Lenna missing out on the experiences of high school, until Cheezey pointed out her near-perfect score and the fact she was about to enroll in college. Cool, huh? I'm looking over at Lenna now, and I've never seen that big a smile on her face before. Looks like her troubles are over, and she's finally getting the credit she deserves. I suppose she'll be going to night school! I've educated her as much as I can... it's time for her to pick her direction in life. For now, I'm just relaxing for the first time in a long time, and whoop... there's the pizza guy. Gotta run!