The Fitton Chronicles
Alien technology makes a man a superhuman.
†Thrust into a world with no knowledge of his past, Randy Kron is genetically altered by RX-7, a Ristafian technology, obtained in a extraterrestrial crash. As he seeks his past, Kron is helped by Eddie Conover, an obnoxious sleaze with a good heart, and a wealthy young woman named Julie Townsend. He takes on Maurice Janus, the most powerful man in Camden Bay and fights his own programmed instructions to kill the President of the United States.
† Kron wondered if they would shoot at him again tonight. He remembered nothing of his past and his future was uncertain. His life began last night, as if he were turning on a TV set, when three casually dressed guys fired at him along a downtown Camden Bay sidewalk. A plethora of unknown entities popped into his head as he was pursued: the name Leiberman, a placed named Jefferson, and something called RX-7. Somehow he got back to his van. He spun the vehicle onto the Lakeland Expressway and continuously whispered the name of the President of the United States. His destination was his apartment on Eisenhower Ave. The long brick building, bordered with thick evergreens, did not look familiar, yet the silver key on his ring fit into apartment sixteenís lock. Once inside he checked the phone book for RX-7 and located a hundred and sixteen Leibermans.
By Friday morning he still could not recall his past, but one image floated occasionally through his thoughts. It was a tunnel, ceiling and walls punctuated within a symmetrical arc of white beveled indentations. Center in this tunnel a rich, glowing aqua field was surrounded by a dark void to walls, and bisected by a line of red blocks extending to a luminescent red dome down the end of the white, waffled tunnel.
More relevant was the employment ID in his wallet, prompting him to report to work at Data Star. His job involved picking orders from long rows of brown metal warehouse stacks. The supervisor and workers knew him, but his recollections were wiped clean. He slowed the electric cart next to one of the towering stacks. In the fluorescent light he swept the red laser against the bar code and dredged up nebulous feelings from a time he could not remember. He folded his arms across his blue-checkered shirt and tried to understand why he had no memory before last night. Records showed he started this warehouse job on Monday morning, exactly five days ago, and moved into his furnished apartment at the same time. The hum of another cart grew louder and he turned.
† Dave stopped his cart in the aisle behind the boxes. Kron fought the intense anxiety about running for his life from the armed three men.
" Kron, you going to break the quota record again? Three hundred and fifteen boxes." Kronís brow creased. He was more concerned about calling New York City again and questioning people at the Graybar Apartments, his last residence according to the rental form from Eisenhower Ave.. " Hel-lo? Kron, you over there, pal?"
† " The record stands, Dave."
† " I thought you were a competitor." Dave moved the cart forward and around the corner.
† " I retired." Kron sat on the cart boxes and crossed his elbows on his jeans. His brain functioned, but his past was gone. Maybe a comprehensive scan would determine whether his head was injured. A head injury could account for him not recalling his childhood nor an adult life, yet, he believed someone had erased his memories and constructed a fictitious past on his employment and housing applications. Why were those guys trying to kill him?
† " Kron, you all right?" asked the supervisor.
Kron quickly stood, ran the red laser pen over the next boxís code, and hoisted up the box. " Iím okay, Mike."
† The burly, mustached Mike wore a stained maroon hooded sweatshirt. He handed Kron a wrinkled sheet of thermal paper. " Hereís the fax from the last employer you listed on the ap. Hey, buddy, I ainít gonna say nothiní to nobody, but hell, the place ainít there. Neither is the other place it says you worked at a year ago."
† Kron studied the faxes. " Great. Just call me nowhere man."
† " You in trouble?"
† " Who me? Trouble?" he asked, smiling. " I didnít list anything about a place called Jefferson on any paperwork, did I?"
† " Nope."
" GreatÖ I need a break, Mike."
† " Sure. Go take a break."
† " Thanks, and maybe Iíll remember who the hell I am." His heart briskly beat beneath his checkered shirt. " The man with no brain. Has a certain ring to it."
† Mike gave him a tap on the shoulder. " You do what you have to do, Kron."
† Kron loaded the box on the cart stack. He pushed his boot into the floor pedal as Mike headed up front, the cartís electric motor whined, and he drove erratically up the warehouse aisle toward the docking bays. Fresh air leaked in from the bright border around the trucks. He made a wide loop, backed the cart in and dropped the pallet in front of a docked tractor-trailer. The wheels spun as he disengaged from the pallet and pulled across the concrete. He foraged his brain for any inkling of his past as he parked the cart next to the break room door.
† He entered the smoke laden room. A few of the pony tailed women holding Styrofoam coffee cups at the lunch room tables giggled when they saw him pass by. He opened the menís room door, faced the mirror and gazed into his intense green eyes. His thick blonde hair outlined a ruddy face.
A radio newscast played through the ceiling speakers. "Ö of this visit. Mayor Richard Ames, although not of the same party as the president, said he looked with great anticipation to the presidential visit to Camden Bay next Tuesday."
† " Richardson," said Kron in a low voice.
Mayor Ames had a smooth clear voice. " Well, Democrats are always welcome in Camden Bay, provided they donít take up permanent residence." The mayor chuckled. " Seriously, this city has a lot to offer and the president has a lot to offer. We look forward to having him."
† " The president will address a late afternoon rally from the philharmonic shell in Heritage Park in the financial district.
† In other newsÖ"
" Richardson. President Aaron J. Richardson. And Leiberman, who is Leiberman? And what about you, Kron? Whatís the mystery? Who are you?" He pulled his black wallet from his jeans pocket and slid his license from the plastic folder.
† Randy M. Kron
† 1362 Eisenhower Ave.
† Eisenhower Apartments # 1
† Camden Bay, IL
† Distant beeps reverberated in his head. He gripped the sink as every nerve ending in his body pushed outward. His innate strength and mental agility increased with prodigious power from an unknown source. Numbers rolled on a computerized screen, bordered with a thin blue neon line just few feet away. A few seconds ago his eyes were green, but now were inverted almond in shape and strewn with continuous thin blue charges like electricity spinning from a fallen wire during a storm. His biceps, skin now tinted a matted white, tore through his shirtsleeves as the beeps intensified, and his body muscles burst against his clothing. He abruptly turned, ripped the basin from the counter and it crashed against the tiled floor.
The beeps faded and a manís annoying telephone voice penetrated his thoughts. " Hey, Pappy, you there?"
† " Who is this?" asked Kron as he stared at the cracked sink.
† " Who the hell is this?" asked the man.
† " Kron." A colorful relief map of Camden Bay flipped into the screenís lower corner. He moved his hand, but nothing was there. " Oh, boyÖ"
† " Kron? Where the hell is Pappy?"
† A flashing red dot moved west down the green line depicting Interstate 45 along Lake Van Buren near Braden Springs. " How can this be? Who is this?"
† " Eddie Conover. Iím a PI and I gut a client almost murdered this afternoonÖ Donít screw with me, Pappy. I dialed the right frigginí number. Itís on the LCD. I knew this phone was bogus."
† Kron marveled at his own extraterrestrial appearance in the mirror. His facial bones narrowed into a long smooth white skinned countenance, with a tiny mouth, no nose, and his eyes still vibrated with the blue charges traversing a moist, black medium. His hair had vanished under a white conical skull. He tensed his wide hands. " How did you call me?"
† " Screw you." The line went out, but the red dot flashed on Interstate 45.
Kronís dark eyes could scan far away objects outside the bathroom window and he had grown half a foot. His transformed appearance sent chills through his massive frame. He abruptly spun and smashed open the menís room door, loosening the top chrome hinge when the door hit the wall tiles. With the fury of a hurricane he rushed by the gray punch clock, but slowed, and carefully pushed open the outside glass door.
† The computer screen remained bright as he ran across the asphalt to his van. Numbers and readings he did not understand rolled constantly on the bottom. He took out his keys and opened the van door. His thick trunk arms and bulging chest barely fit through the doorframe, and his hands were like two huge white mitts on the wheel. He had no explanation why his metabolism had thundered out of control.
† He concentrated on the flashing highway dot as he backed the van around Data Starís parking lot and the phone line inside his head rang a second time. " This is impossible."
† " Eddie Conover."
† " You?"
† " Who the hell is this? Is that you, Pappy, beiní a wise-ass?"
† " This is Kron... How did you do this?"
† " Do what? Whaddya talkiní about? Look, buddy, I misdialed. What is that a crime now?"
† The forward screen in Kronís mind now formed a black bordered, schematic box around the road and provided him with driving information. " Some kind of transformation has taken place..." He smiled broadly in the mirror. His teeth were smaller and whiter. " This is incredible! Who am I?"
† " If you donít know who you are, I sure as hell donít know who you are. Good bye, Kokomo."
† " No, Randy Kron," he said as the line went dead again. The screen detailed the closing distance to the eighteen-wheeler just ahead. He tapped the brake. Again the diagram of Eddieís position materialized on his readout screen. " I wonder how far this guy is from me."
† Kronís own coordinates blinked blue. The white digits indicated he was only four miles away from Eddie. He and sped up Interstate 45ís ramp. When he thought about Eddie, an actual picture of a dark eyed, thin-faced man with black greasy hair came into focus. Eddie Conover was forty-one years old, was a private investigator for eleven years and had left Chicago after high school. Five other pages listed everything about the guy down to his school grades. " Wow."
† As he looked into his electric eyes, an image of the fluffy, gray haired President Richardson filtered into his thoughts again. He shook his head.
" Why am I thinking of the president?"
† Red composite buttons formed on the screen, designating the presidentís activities for the day, a live feed from Richardsonís speech in New York, and several articles alluding to the presidentís trip to Camden Bay next week. Kron chose not to open the files and the screen again scanned the thickening traffic flow on the highway. He again marveled at himself in the mirror. " Who are you, Randy Kron?"