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The

Misadventures
of

Six
A Science Fiction Novel By
Lewis Cranston

To Mom and Dad

Prologue

DARKNESS. NOTHINGNESS. COLD. Six’s boosters were running out of fuel. His heart raced as
his thrusters sputtered.
His face-shield had cracked, and little by little, he was suffocating. His lungs
burned and he gasped for breath. His tongue felt three sizes too big in his mouth. His
head throbbed and his vision tunneled.

His arms and legs flailed, floating in the

emptiness of space.
He thought back to an ancient movie he saw once… Alien was the name… “In
space,” the trailer guy would say, “no one can hear you scream.” Now he found it oddly
funny that, because of the lack of air, he couldn’t even scream.
He had scarcely thought this thought when his thrusters sputtered for the last
time. They were completely spent. They weren’t built for this type of exertion. He
drifted aimlessly, losing oxygen by the second, losing life. Life was slipping through his
fingers like a wet bar of soap. His body started convulsing uncontrollably.
In a second, he recalled the fun times he and his brothers used to have…. It
seemed so long ago…. Digi-Ball in the Gymnasium…. Playing soldier…. Xbox…. He
remembered whole days in a manner of seconds as his vision dimmed. He recalled his
first date…. Suddenly he regretted thinking of it… what a disaster!

He thought of his mother’s smile.

The smell of his father’s tuxedo.

His

aftershave. Her cologne. Six recalled that Five never liked him too much. He saw
Reggie’s face in the window of the airlock as he shoved off against his will. That sacrifice
Reggie made to save his life. And now it was all for nought. It felt like his heart-rate was
a beat a minute as his vision finally blackened. Silence.
• • •
Six felt a rush of fresh air across his face. He gasped in a breath and his eyes flew open.
All he saw was white and he marveled.
“Am—am I in heaven?” he asked no one in particular.
A large figure then appeared on his left, four arms crossed. The figure chuckled
then spoke in a gruff voice:
“Not exactly, kid. Welcome to Hell.”
And without another word, Six was pulled to his feet.

Part One


Lewis Cranston

The Misadventures of Six

Chapter 1

The Communique

“MASTER SIX” CALLED the Algorian Ape in Six’s nightmare; but it had Alfred’s voice. (Alfred
was the personal butler.) That’s strange, Six thought groggily, slowly waking up.

He

opened his eyes to indeed see Alfred standing over him holding an eGlass.
“What is it Alfred?” Six said in a yawn.
“Good morning, Master Six,” Alfred said in his usual, annoying, Posh accent, that
Six just knew was fake. “A Messenger bore this with one message: Urgent.” Alfred
handed Six the eGlass.
“Thank you, Alfred,” said Six, anxious to get back to sleep.
Alfred turned to go and was just about to leave when he turned back to say, “By
the way, happy birthday, sir.”
Six forgot his manners then and said in frustration, “Get out of here!”
“Sorry, sir,” apologized Alfred as he closed the door.
Six looked at the clock on the table beside his bed. It read:
8:00 AM
“It’s absurd!” Six complained.

“Waking me at this hour of morning!”

He

haphazardly tossed the eGlass on the table and flopped back on the pillow. His mind

—!1—

Lewis Cranston

The Misadventures of Six

raced. He tossed and turned, but his thoughts kept drifting back to the eGlass and that
one word: Urgent.
He growled at himself for doing it, but he sat up and grabbed the eGlass.
“B.O.B., activate eGlass—” he looked at the bottom for the serial number.
“258CT.”
“Acknowledged,” said B.O.B.—the Central Computer.

The eGlass immediately

commenced to glow.
Six sat in a lotus position and said, “eGlass, display the communiqué.”
“Acknowledged,” said the eGlass. “One moment,” it said as a little swirly circle
appeared.
“Hello, Six—” a man on the screen began to say.
“Pause,” Six interrupted. “B.O.B., upload the communiqué to the W.A.L.L.”
“Right away, sir.” A section of the wall by the doors flickered with an image of a
man with blue skin. His black suit and white shirt clashed with his purple hair and
goatee.
“Continue,” ordered Six.
“My name is Ta’Nar, your Uncle David’s lawyer,” the purple man said. “Six, I
regret to inform you, that your Uncle David is dead. He has left you a sizable fortune of
twenty-five billion units.”
Six’s eyes widened.
“Six, I want you to meet me tonight. Ten o’clock at the South Chicago Star-Port.
Only then can you receive your inheritance. Good luck. And you have my condolences
for your loss. End of Transmission.”

—!2—

Lewis Cranston

The Misadventures of Six

And with that, the W.A.L.L. powered down. Six decided to get up for the day,
despite the ungodly hour.

He activated the ComBand on his wrist and called out.

“Alfred,” he said. “Bring me my breakfast.”
“Very good, sir,” replied Alfred. “The usual for Tuesday, I presume?”
“Yeah, whatever,” Six said impatiently.
Moments later, the door opened and Alfred walked in with a tray of food. Six dug
right in, almost inhaling the Scrambled Wampa Eggs. Alfred stood on hand in case,
“Master Six” needed anything else.
When Six had finished his breakfast, Alfred took the platter and asked: “Shall I
dress you, now, Master Six?”
“No,” Six sighed. “I’ll dress myself today.” He made a shoeing motion with his
hand. “Run along and bother Five.”
“Oh, I shan’t bother him at this hour, I’m liable to get dismissed.”
“And if you don’t clear out, I might dismiss you,” he warned, a little heat in his
voice.
“Very good, sir.” Alfred turned and walked away, holding the empty platter with
dignity.
“And stop with that annoying Posh accent!” Six called after him.
Alfred stopped and turned around, a puzzled look on his face.
“I beg your pardon, Master Six, ‘Posh accent’?”
Six rolled his eyes. “Never mind.”
Alfred knit his eyebrows as he turned back toward the door.

He made the

slightest shrug of the shoulders, barely noticeable, and proceeded to walk out.

—!3—

Lewis Cranston

The Misadventures of Six

After Alfred left, Six slid out of bed and staggered to the closet. He flipped a
switch on the wall and a large section of wall dissolved and opened up to the closet, a
deep cavity in the wall with all his clothes in it. He took out an outfit, pinned on the
dressing clip and pushed the button, the clothes appearing perfectly on his body.
• • •
When Six left his room and walked down the stairs, he found that Three was already up,
watching a Digi-Ball game on the Grand W.A.L.L.
“Good morning, Three,” Six said with a smile.
Three turned and looked at him. “You’re up early.”
Six sat down on the Floater next to his brother. “Yeah, that clot-head of a butler
woke me.”
Three looked at him and smiled. “Happy birthday, little brother. What does this
make you, sixteen?”
Six rolled his eyes at his brother’s humor. “No, you and I both know I’m turning
twenty-one.”
“I know, but you’re still my little brother, Six. The last of the Whitehall sons.”
His voice turned serious, with the slightest, minute, amount of contempt and envy.
“You’ll one day inherit the Whitehall Estate…” His voice brightened again. “And so you
should!”
“Gracious!” said their mother when she saw that Six was awake. “What on earth
are you doing up at this hour!?” Her voice was full of concern and she pretty much
floated down the stairs and cradled Six’s head. “My baby, why are you awake so early?
You need your rest!”

—!4—


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