Meanwhile, Vic and Mel had left two startled teenagers sitting at breakfast without any explanation of what was going on. Andrea and Kalvin had pretty much pieced it together and both were glad that they were not the focus of their parents at the moment.

Vic and Mel had first gone to Chel’s room and not finding her there, checked the closet to see if she had taken any of her bags, then went to their small study and closed the door behind them. Several minutes later, Vic had his work laptop open and scanning the surface of the planet, starting from within their own home to the city, then the state. It wasn’t a surprise that Chel was nowhere to be found. Vic scowled, watching as the spread of the scanner continued outward, past the country’s borders.

Vic’s first thought had been a portal like he had seen Riley use. Perhaps that little A.I. Chel had shown them could open such things and taken their daughter somewhere. He tried to calm himself with the fact that Chel had not left last night. She could have.

Finally, the scanner flashed a ‘Location Found’ message and zeroed in on a small island in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Chel is still on Earth,…” Vic breathed a sigh of relief, “Small consolation.” What intentions did those aliens have toward his daughter?

“Maybe we should have told her.” Mel stated quietly. “Did you have to contact Keith?”

” … I thought you contacted him.” Vic blinked. Chel had mentioned Keith calling, which meant that she had most likely spoken with him today. He had assumed his wife had called him to get more information.

“No…” Mel grimaced.