Alex Armstrong: Awakening

Alex Armstrong: Awakening by Hayes Farley Read Free Book Online

Book: Alex Armstrong: Awakening by Hayes Farley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Hayes Farley
around the fireplace. “But if I were a betting man, I’d wager that you don’t want to hear any small talk from me. You want to know what you’re doing here. And you probably want to know why this place is hidden on the side of a mountain.”
    He paced back and forth in front of the tables. He patted a student on the back and shook the hand of another and then stood just in front of the podium and took a deep breath. “Pal Tech is a secretive institution with ties to the government—although they would never admit it—that specializes in the acquisition and training of individuals with exceedingly dense synaptic structures within their cerebral cortices.”
    President Joyce grinned and looked at his professors. “How’d I do?”
    “Textbook,” said the one with the nasally voice.
    “It ought to be; I wrote it. But, God, it’s a terrible sentence. Startsman, you don’t actually make the students memorize that drivel, do you?”
    “I can see why; I’m faced with a sea of blank faces. My young students, the reason you’re here is because each of you was discovered at birth to be a latent telekin. And now that you’re of age and your minds are sufficiently ripe, you are here to unlock your abilities and train in the art of telekinesis. But I’ll let Startsman tell you all about that on Friday. Until then, you have three days to get settled on campus. Three days of total freedom. And I will argue until I’m blue in the face that the friends you make during these next three days will go further in shaping who you become as a person than all your experiences at Pal Tech put together.
    “And you know what? Some of you would do well to step outside your comfort zone.” President Joyce looked at the two circular tables nearest the podium and stretched out his arms and made like he was flipping on two light switches. Instantly, the outer four students at each table—still seated in their chairs—floated five feet…‌seven feet…‌now ten feet into the air.
    There was a collective gasp and then the room went silent, everyone focused on the eight floating students. “Please stay still up there,” Joyce said, as if that was necessary. A boy with red shaggy hair gripped his seat so tightly his arms quivered.
    President Joyce turned to the rest of his students. “Are any of your minds drifting to other possibilities? Mine sure is. How about an obnoxious drunkard yammering away in a restaurant? Rather than let him ruin your meal, wouldn’t it be satisfying to just pick him up and move him aside? Maybe drop him into a fish tank? Wouldn’t that be fun? Of course, I’ve never done it; that would be wrong on many levels. But the thought is there, and I must admit it’s getting harder to resist as I get older. Perhaps I’m becoming a bit of a curmudgeon. Hmmm. Melissa, would you tell me if I were becoming a curmudgeon?”
    “I tell you that all the time!”
    “Well, I guess that’s true. Of course, half the time I probably don’t even hear you. Or maybe I just don’t listen. Speaking of which, I believe our floating friends are becoming a distraction.” President Joyce walked to the podium and looked up at the eight students suspended in the air, sitting still as statues. “Don’t worry; it’s been awhile since I dropped anyone.”
    President Joyce grinned and winked. Then he raised his right hand and made a twisting motion as if he were tightening a light bulb and the eight students went into a slow orbit, stopping on the opposite end from where they started. When he lowered his hand, they descended into their new positions, chairs touching down noiselessly. The transplanted students greeted their new tablemates with meek smiles and waves.
    “Oh, you guys were great sports. Everyone, let’s give them a hand!” President Joyce let the applause go on for a while. “Okay, so who’s ready for dessert?” The serving robots entered the room and arranged in a line along the wall, each

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