Joey was passed out on the couch an hour later. Modern medicine could work miracles. Including getting the kid to stop whining. It gave me some time to think.
He really had been lucky that all he got was a strange flu variant and some minor skin infections. Lake Jezrak was a potent mix of – well, I don’t know what, exactly. It was left over from the war. Immunosuppressants, strange viruses.
It tells you something about our society that we’ve just gotten used to it being there. Warn our kids away like it’s just a sewage drain or something. I mean, there is a fence around it. Big warnings signs, largely faded in the sunlight. Things you learn to ignore over time. Especially if you’re a kid with an ego the size of the largest moon.
Joey did try to be a good kid. Most days, he succeeded. He still got on my nerves at least once a day, but he was trying. School was good to him. He even picked up a book once in a while.
He kept asking about his parents. When they’d be back, that sort of thing. I wish I had answers for him. I hadn’t told him that they said they’d be back three months ago. I haven’t heard a word since they left orbit. I felt for him, I really did. I wish they’d come back for him. He deserved better than me.
Of course, I’m also a selfish bastard if I let myself admit it. I’d be glad to get him out of my hair.