But first, a strange message from the afterlife...
"First he leaves diapers all over the floor, then he marries that jerk Komei, then he dies before returning my Knight Rider DVD... jerk... zzzzz"
Closer to home, Skye was proving quite the precocious child. "Mom, Dad, am I old enough for woohoo yet? I found your book."
"The - book?"
"Yeah, the one you put really high up on the bookshelf with the spine turned inward and a fake dust jacket for The Elements of Style by Strunk & White on it. That one. The one all about woohoo."
It didn't help that Remington the cleaning guy was in the room while Skye said all this. "Now, see here, young lady," Doc said, harrumphing. (He never thought he'd harrumph in his life, but evidently he was old enough to do so now.) "Woohoo is a very serious thing, only between two people who love each other very much. Right, Nexxia?"
"I'm all the way up to page 164," Skye said helpfully. "It's pretty interesting. But it looks like everything after page 36 didn't get read, 'cause the edges of the pages all stick together. Did you guys only get that far or something?"
"That is enough, Skye Rayvn," her father said sternly. "I forbid you to look at that book any more! That's not the sort of thing a girl your age should read. You should be reading things more suitable to your age."
And that, Doc thought, settled the matter. Right?
~ ~ ~
But Skye's thoughts had already turned lightly to boys! boys! boys! Even in her sleep. "Oh, Jason... Oh, Khalid..."
And of course she kept up the phone calls to groovy college boy Nick Serling, who seemed bewildered whenever she called, but then his classes were probably pretty hard and distracted him a lot.
Still, she kept bringing up that woohoo thing, even though she knew it bugged her parents. Maybe she did it because it bugged them so much. They were both such boring people. And she already knew so much more than they did.
"So did you guys like only do woohoo one time and that's how I came about, or something? You never even kiss."
Nexxia did worry about Skye, though perhaps not as much as Doc. Skye was progressing normally for one of Nexxia's race, but of course that was inappropriate by Earthling standards. Plus, Skye was putting on weight, and a lot of it. She had no real interest in exercise and ate too many cookies.
And then, faster than anyone might've expected, Skye became a teenager. Or, as she thought of it, a woman.
Her hair turned the same color as Nexxia's; it just wasn't as long. And now, Doc realized, his daughter would be wearing makeup and probably starting to really chase those boys. Of course, he couldn't say that, so he said something else instead.
"Are you going to work off some of that baby fat, then? You've got a dozen extra pounds of Chips Ahoy you could stand to lose."
"Doc!" Nexxia was furious. "How can you say that?!"
At first Skye, stung by her father's words, refused to exercise. She wore baggy clothes at home, and then changed clothes at school to something she found a little more eye-catching.
But once she overheard some boys talking - and realized what and who they were talking about - she figured she'd better do something about it. So she began running, and to her surprise found she liked it.
She lost the pounds quickly after that, and it probably would've worked out great if Dad hadn't gotten back from the mall early one day to find her still in her "school clothes".
"Oh, crap, Jason, I gotta go, the old man's home."
Doc read her the riot act about dressing like a tramp and insisted she cover herself up more. "You know what the boys will think of someone who dresses cheaply!" So Skye picked out some new clothes.
That night at dinner: "Hi, Dad. See? I'm all covered up!"
"Skye, sweetie, wouldn't you like something a bit more feminine?"
"Mom, my outfit's purple! That's feminine! And the boots are way more comfortable than those awful high-heeled shoes. I'm just trying to express my individuality, you know! You don't remember what it's like to be my age!"
Late that night, Doc agonized. "What happened? How did we get such a randy teenager for a daughter? Why? How? It must be Nexxia's alien genes..."
The next day: "Nex, we've got to do something about Skye. If we don't rein her in, we might have an unexpected grandchild at the rate she's going. And I already did my share of diaper changes."
Doc had good reason to worry. Skye was already planning which college to attend, based solely on which guys would also be there, away from the annoying gaze of her parents. "Mm, oh, Nick..."
Yes, Skye had plans. Big plans. And she knew there were other Serling boys, and Jeffries boys, and even a couple Grunt boys, over at the Academie.
She also started shocking her parents just for the fun of it. "So, Mom, you raised me up from a baby, it's not that hard, right? And I bet you can't wait for grandchildren, right?"
She was on the phone a lot, too, talking with the boys. "Khalid, that is sooo cool. How much more do you need before you can get your own car?"
And she finally made a friend, Victoria Serling. "Tory, check this out. My folks? They needed a book to help them on their wedding night! Is that like not sooo embarrassing?"
Skye's self-portrait, in which she fancied she looked a lot like Angelina Jolie.
Unknown to Skye, events were taking place that would change her college plans. Nexxia had pioneered a new technique at the hospital, but hadn't realized there would be slightly different effects on humans (as opposed to Nexxia's people). One of the interns came to talk to Nexxia about it... to the tune of $50,000 and a spot on the board of directors, in exchange for helping "fix" the problem. Nexxia, only recently promoted to the board herself, and worried about the potential scandal, found no other option than to agree (and plan revenge in the meantime).
The immediate downside was that the family was reduced to a tenth of its prior wealth. Doc's mad science would keep them in money at the moment, and Nexxia was still employed, of course, but they now had no money to send Skye to the Academie, even with scholarships.
"Fiesta Tech?" Nexxia suggested to her husband one afternoon. "It's reasonably priced, and there'll be other unusual kids there."
"It's too far away. We don't know what she'd get up to there," Doc replied. "And I doubt she'd be paying attention to her classes, if you know what I mean."
"The only other option is either she doesn't go to college, or she goes to Sim State," Nexxia sighed. "Sim State's kind of vanilla, but at least it's close and not too expensive. And we can check on her if we need to."
To be continued...