Life Is What You Make of It

by David Carmona

This story is FICTION, people. I do not know the boybands written about, mentioned, or otherwise heretofore alluded to, or their sexual preferences. So there. If you're under 18, don't worry... there's enough content here for even the underage to enjoy... but chappies with sex in, I'll put the usual disclaimers in, for you to avoid. If you don't like or are not allowd to read sexual material, may I suggest you leave now. All praise, compliments, and fanmail are welcome and personally read, at Flames ignored, and if you are looking for picture porn, go there. Otherwise, enjoy the story!

Chapter One

Marty Jones leaned his arm against the door frame, as he waited for the next light to change. He smiled, patting the steering wheel affectionately before he was able to move again, this time onto the interstate. "Thank you, Uncle Chuck!" he said out loud, in gratitude to his uncle giving the new 2003 Toyota Matrix to him.

It didn't hurt, that the car itself was barely on the market this week, for his uncle worked for the company, and the field tests were done in Uncle Chuck's home lab. The computer beeped, announcing it had received a new IM window.

"Computer: Activate voice." he said, instructing the computer to recite what was said by text, in it's recorded voice. Another of the car's added features, was a mobile internet connection and hands-free navigation while driving. A section of the windshield was rigged to project data from the computer, also upon request.

"So how is the trip, Marty?" Uncle Chuck's words were spoken by the computer, Uncle Chuck's voice being re-created by the system. Marty smiled, then remembered that his uncle couldn't see him.

"So far, so good. The 'net connection is holding, just as you said it would while driving, sir." "Good, good..." his uncle replied.

"Marty, I'm sorry that your mother hasn't been as reasonable as I first surmised she would be, at the news you had to tell her. Her reaction is.... perplexing." Uncle Chuck started.

"Ah... no sweat, unc. Nobody's perfect. Not even Mom. she'll either come around, or she won't. Doesn't change the fact that what I told her, is the truth. I'm gay." Marty said, stealing an affectionate glance at the laptop on it's stand nearby.

Uncle Chuck was the one Marty had gone to for advice, and Uncle Chuck was confident that his half sister would be understanding. Charles even remembered his reasoning, as he sat back in his lab on his end of the connection. For as long as he'd known his sister, she had never said one negative thing about homosexuality. She had also raised her son to be pretty grounded in reality, and thus, Charles had very naturally encouraged his nephew and constant lab assistant to be honest with his mother about his feelings about life and sexuality.

Apparently however, Joyce was still harboring some irrational resentment at her father for leaving their mother for another MAN. And this resentment was only compounded further, by her own husband being caught in a homosexual relationship, when Marty was barely a toddler. Charles had tried to reason with her then, to attempt to work through her problems in her marriage. But Joyce was always a woman of her own mind, so she filed for immediate divorce, in the Cayman Islands. Before the day was out, the marriage was annulled, and she had thrown her son's father out so quickly, Chuck wondered if the poor man's head was STILL spinning.

Uncle Chuck shook his head, clearing his mind of the recollections and returned to the conversation. "Regardless Marty... I'm still sorry for advising you into a situation that caused a rift between you and your mother. I have to admit however, you're handling it quite well, considering."

Marty smiled, then swore softly as a car tried to cut him off. "Unc, what was that you always said to me? 'Life is what YOU make of it, and not what other people make it for you'? So Mom freaked. I've still got a job, a life, and one day, hopefully a man to fall in love with. Mom never understood that philosophy, sir. She was always so busy dealing with other people's expectations, so that she could make her business a success..."

The scientist had to agree on that point. Chuck sometimes wondered if part of the decision to annul the marriage, didn't lie also with what she felt other people's views of her would be, if the scandal broke out. She had taken her own father's choice to leave, hardest of all. And as a result, suffered intense peer pressure.

"Agreed. So..." the scientist said, changing the subject to a happier topic. "...did you enjoy the concert the other night?" Marty had expressed an interest in attending an *Nsync concert, and Uncle Chuck was only too glad to pay for the distraction for his nephew, after what happened last week. It was also why Chuck asked Marty to take the Matrix for a road trip. The company needed milage tests, and Chuck wanted to test his new computer systems but couldn't afford to leave the lab, he had other experiments to complete as well.

"Fantastic, unc! It's a pity I'm on my way home now... I wouldn't have minded seeing a few more of their concerts." Marty's assignment however, took him ahead of the tour schedule, and then back home on the very day that *Nsync was scheduled to be on the road for the next venue, in a town Marty just saw the sign for about a mile back up the road.

"Can't be helped, nephew. I'm afraid I need the Matrix back at the lab as soon as possible, if we're gonna install that new high-motion sensor. The older model currently installed, is a little unreliable. It's a little TOO sensitive, unfortunately." Uncle Chuck explained.

"Uncle Chuck. I thought we were SUPPOSED to make it sensitive. It's what makes it a good early-warning system to avoid accidents, right?" Marty objected.

"Ordinarily, I'd agree." Chuck replied. "However, it defeats the purpose, if it gets tripped by every passing car. The last thing we need, is a hypochondriac car. I had disabled the feature before you left, because I thought I'd have a chance to correct SOME of the glitches. But I never had a chance, if we were gonna get you to that concert in time. Besides. A new processor chip came in while you were gone, which would be completely incompatable with the original hardware design. I had to completely re-configure it, and actually managed to make it a little less bulky and crude on this second attempt."

"NOW you tell me. So what's the new system got?" Marty asked, curious.

"Well, Marty... for one thing, I've managed to tie it into the GPS system that IS functioning. And cross-referenced it to the maps database. Now the car can "sense" the conditions of the road, know where you are without getting lost, and react quick enough to make minor directional adjustments when a speeding car gets too close. There wasn't anything I could do about it picking up EVERY car on the road... so I factored that in, and created a "buffer zone" around each passing car, in the computer's memory. Now, no matter if the other car is speeding or not, you would be able to safely keep from bumping into anyone... or anyone bumping into you. You can also instruct the computer to automatically calculate and guide you in how to make tricky driving maneuvers in tight traffic by letting you turn the wheel to match the plotted course, before you actually make the turn itself." the scientist explained.

"Far out, Uncle Chuck! Can't wait to give it a road test. Okay, I'll contact you when I'm closer to town, I'm about an hour and a half from home now. Computer: close IM, shut down Instant Messenger."

He paused. "Computer: Access MP3 files. Compile random playlist, based on *Nsync and begin playing." Marty sighed, and settled in for what looked to be an uneventful trip home.

Suddenly, a horn blared. Marty's head jerked up and saw an out of control car in the opposite side of the road cut across the road. He felt it nail the rear end of the Matrix. Alarms began sounding.

Marty's heart raced in his chest, as the formerly dormant early warning system kicked on due to the impact. Suddenly, the wheel jerked out of his control as the computer short-circuted and locked him out of control of the car.

The Matrix jumped the meridian, and Marty quickly turned the ignition off, knowing that cutting the engine would reset the system and give him steering control. the car stalled, right in the other side of the road. Thankfully, there were no cars on this side of the highway, though the road curved around a bend that Marty couldn't see. "Computer! Shut off that damn NOISE!" he yelled, silencing the alarms with a disturbingly strangled squawk. Just as he was about to start the engine up again.... that's when he heard something coming around the bend, and he froze, stark terrified, knowing what was about to come.


"....and we go live now to interstate highway 17, where pop sensation *Nsync's tour bus has been in a serious car accident. Connie, what's the situation? Do you know?" the news anchor asked as Doctor Charles Brown's eyes were pulled away from his latest experiment at the mention of his nephew's favorite band. The physicist and local inventor frowned, as the newsfeed continued.

"Investigators are on the scene, and emergency vehicles are already carting all occupants of this bizarre three-car accident to the nearest hospital. According to police, a nervous husband was speeding too fast, and lost control of his car when a tire blew. The car jumped the meridian, and struck a brand-new model Toyota Matrix in the rear." the woman addressed as Connie explained.

"Great scott!" the scientist breathed. He dropped his circuit board as he turned up the volume to hear the rest.

"This first collision caused the second car to ALSO lose control, cross sides, and stall in the middle of the deserted highway lane on the other side. Unfortunately, the *Nsync tourbus came around the corner of the mountain pass, and struck the hapless Matrix in the passenger side, full-on. As you can see, the Matrix landed against the rock wall, and the bus itself tipped over and landed on it's side, injuring all inside. It has been reported that ALL the participants in this freak tragedy, are listed in serious condition and the conditions of individual people have not been released to the press, pending notification of families."

Doc cringed. If there was more to the report, he didn't want to hear it. He grabbed his keys, coat, and cell phone, and a beeper, and was already halfway down the street before he instructed the phone to call a number. "Call.... Joyce." he said. The Voicestream technology complied, as he looked at the location beeper to get latitude and longitude for both the Matrix, and also for his nephew, who was also wearing one of Doc's location beepers, which thankfully seemed to be undamaged in the crash.

The silver step-van shot towards the highway, as Doc reached an answering machine. "Joy... it's Charlie. I'm afraid I'm calling with some bad news. It's Marty. He's been in an accident. I'm on the way now. Call me.... well, just call me when you get this. It's bad." He hung up the phone, and resolutely grimaced as he headed the nearly two hours to the hospital... and Marty.

I know, evil me. A cliffhanger. Hee-hee! Well, I like cliffhangers, so sue me. Please write me, I LOVE feedback!

I have another story in Boybands, a tie-in with this series. "Coming Home Again" is the current working title, though I'm apt to change it, when I finish the revisions on it. And in the Young Friends category, I have posted a short that has gotten critical acclaim from readers, called "For Danny". Please read those, and support Nifty!!! -DLC.