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Aberrant: The Middle Children of History - Life in the No-Jet Set

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February came around quickly it seemed to Darren, occupied as he was to begin with exploring bits of local space. However, he soon came down to earth with two bits of information arriving in the post. One was a bank statement showing his depressingly familiar and small income from his job as a park ranger/warden for the Snowdonia National Park. The other was a reminder that there would be a grading in his Karate club at the end of the month, attached was a post-it from his teacher bluntly telling him that if he didn't pull his finger out and get his teaching and weapon skills up to scratch then he would be failed when it came time to grade him for his black belt.

With these two items as incentives Darren curtailed his space activities to a large degree, although he did relax a couple of times a week by 'porting up to the Moon for a walk or simply to gaze back at the Earth. The second of these items was relatively easy to solve, he just made a point of turning up for all the sessions that his club taught to join in, both in general and as part of the teaching team to get the experience and practise that his Sensei felt he needed. The weapon training was slightly more awkward with Darren having to both join the black-belt class that his Sensei ran once a week for the black and brown belts only, and also to fit in with one of the other black-belts schedule to get an extra couple of hours a week of just weapons training.

With that sorted out, he turned to the other matter. Although his income was average, it had always been little more than adequate to cover the hobbies he had and his living expenses with very little left over for any savings. Now as a Nova things were a bit different. His travel costs had obviously gone down a lot as he simply was ‘porting or more recently flying rather than using petrol up in his car, but that still meant that he had to tax and insure it. Food bills were a bit odd, in that he didn’t need to eat at all really, but sometimes if he was distracted or had been using his powers a lot he did feel like eating a lot and so things sorted of evened out to being about the same as before his change. With his growing abilities he was feeling the need to get out there and use them, and part of that was going to involve travelling more and meeting other Nova. The travelling probably wouldn’t be a problem given his Teleportation and Flight abilities, but there were going to be times when he would need to stay over or just to go to an expensive place with the other Novas and for those occasions he was going to have to find a way of boosting his income. Actually he had been considering setting up a hidey hole in space somewhere, and that would cost lots in getting suitable equipment, and even more if he were to outfit it so that he could take visitors there who did not have his abilities.

Part of socializing with other Novas he could get around was the wardrobe aspect, he just needed to devote some more time in figuring out how to get his Eufibre to change its form and colour better. However, that wouldn’t help him with the drinks, food and accommodation costs. Leaving work promptly for a few days and ‘porting straight to the library at the University he was able to look up some basic texts in the business and finance sections. It built upon what had been covered on his Forestry course and confirmed that while he might be able to carry on with the Park for a while it was going to become more and more vital that he find other sources of income and then the time he needed to put in at the Park was going to cause trouble making the meetings etc to run these other sources. Sponsorship was the first thing that came to mind, and after a week or so he was able to arrange some funds for an endorsement and ad campaign for a chain of outdoor clothing and equipment stores. Some of the funds from this went into shares etc, the rest into savings and normal accounts. By the end of the month he had handed in his notice, he just had to work out his last month during March.

While he was doing so, he was also doing a lot of other things as well. He started actually trying to socialise a little in the Nova scene, starting out in the European capitals. At the weekends Darren took a ‘crash’ course in piloting, after all if he was going to be flying around up there he thought it a good idea to learn what the rest of the people up there were going to be doing and thinking. His business dealings were holding steady with some signs of improvement in the future, which is about all he could hope for in that short a period of time.

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  • 1 month later...

April and May saw Darren spending most of his time in Japan on the set of Connor's new film. As such he only had a little time to spend on continuing his acting lessons, and taking advantage of being out there to take some lessons in weapons as well. Working in the country helped greatly with his Japanese lessons and by the end of April he was fluent enough to get by on his own, and to be at ease with doing the Japanese dub of the film when the time came. The work out he got from the various fight scenes helped him in other ways as well, he's reactions improved, the accuracy and power of his TK bolts increased and he even started regenerating the damage he took in some of the fights.

It was good to be able to spend some time with other Nova's in a more relaxed atmosphere as well. The others knew a number of good places to party or just relax there, and during the two months they ended up visiting most of them more than once.

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