The Pellegrine

Soul Lark

Book III

Chapter 2
Sol Academy

© The author reserves all rights to this work.


This story is of an adult nature. It is not intended for minors nor for those whose law in their land forbids them to read this material.
This story is entirely fictional. Any resemblance to actual people is purely coincidental and unintentional.

NB: Words found between asterisks (*) refer to words exchanged in psychic or telepathic communication.

Date: 29 June 2671, Thursday

The Sol Academy was not like the high school that Jacques had studied in. It was not like the colleges that he had heard so much about. The Sol Academy was a gruelling place. It was where the future scientists for the solar system were trained. Jacques worked very hard to adjust to the system of studies in the Acadmey. As a result, he poured his energies into his school work. He had selected to do a double major in Astrophysics and Mineralogy. He deliberately decided against doing what his father majored in: Aerospace Engineering.

He was grouped with a man and woman as a lab-team for Fuel Chemistry. He liked both of them. Though they teased him occasionally by calling him a little boy, they generally treated him with respect. Jacques was well known for his intellectual prowess but his manner was really simple and friendly with no airs at all. The three of them hung out together sometimes during the lunch break.

Jacques was quite well known in the campus because of his age. He was, in fact, the youngest to have entered the Academy. On top of that, his intellectual results were phenomenal. His quiet, humble and helpful manner had earned him a lot of respect from his classmates.

Heath was blond. He had long straight hair that reached his shoulders. He had very silky hair; the type of hair that would come down straight to its original position no matter how much his head had moved. He had a pleasant face with high cheekbones but not too prominent to distort the angle of his face. His complexion was unusual for a blond man: a little on the dark side. However, he had dark blue eyes that complemented his skin tone and facial shape very well. He stood at about 1.95 metres. Heath was in the fencing team. He was not really very good, but often good enough to make it into competitions. Heath was often dressed in thick jeans and plain looking shirts. Often, he also had a suede or leather jacket on. Jacques saw Heath a lot because they took all the same classes. Jacques noticed that Heath was alone most of the time and tried to be with him when he could. Heath knew what Jacques was doing and was grateful. He even called Jacques his little bro.

Nancy, on the other hand, was quite a popular girl. She was nice looking. She was quite tall, at 1.7 metres, and had short black hair and light brown eyes. Nancy usually dressed up. She only dressed plainly in jeans and T-shirt when she had lab sessions. Even then, she did not look sloppy. She was a very intelligent woman and was doing Aerospace Engineering which meant that she shared only a few classes with Jacques and Heath but she hung around with them whenever they had the same lunch break. Jacques noticed that the other students would come to talk to Nancy at any time, inviting her to parties and outings. She would usually try to get them to talk to Heath and Jacques. Though they would sometimes talk to Jacques, the other students would totally ignore Heath. What Jacques did not understand was why Nancy would hang around with Heath and him when Nancy could have chosen any group or clique to be with.

Every Thursday, Jacques, Heath and Nancy had an hour’s lecture of Fuel Chemistry before getting into the lab for three hours. As usual, Jacques was the first to arrive. He stood in the corridor outside the lecture room, waiting for his friends.

“Hi! Little bro, did you wait long?” asked Heath when he arrived.

“No. You look quite snappy today,” Jacques said.

“No. Nancy’s the one who is snappy today,” said Heath with a smirk.

“What are you two up to?” a tall girl came up to them grinning.

“Nothing,” said Jacques. “I just met Heath.”

“It can’t be nothing. When Heath looks like that, he must be thinking of something,” countered the girl with a grin.

“Jacques said that I looked snappy. What am I compared to you?” teased Heath.

“What’s wrong with the way I look?” asked Nancy surveying her outfit.

“There’s nothing wrong with you,” Jacques said, “but …”

“But?!” asked Nancy with a shriek.

“I don’t know whether the hole on your right side was intentional or not.”

Nancy looked at her right side and saw a small tear just above her jeans. “Oh! That little thing? This is an old T-shirt. That’s why I wear it on Thursdays. Just in case we spill anything, it won’t matter.”

“I envy both of you,” started Jacques. “You look good in anything you wear. I still look like a kid …”

“C’mon, Jacques,” Nancy said. “You’re comparing yourself to older guys. You look pretty good for an eighteen year old, you know.”

“Yeah, bro, you’ve got more growing to do. Do a little more working out and you’ll fill up those muscles and maybe give me a run for my money,” said Heath.

“Heath!” exclaimed Nancy. “That’s the most conceited thing I’ve ever heard. What makes you the model of male perfection, you f…” suddenly Nancy stopped. She blushed furiously and then apologised, “Sorry, Heath, I shouldn’t … I’m very sorry.”

Jacques was looking at Nancy when she started. He turned to Heath, looking for his response.

“No offence taken,” he said gently to Nancy. “You shouldn’t be sorry for telling the truth, even if the word you were going to use was a little uncalled for.”

They both looked at Jacques who was confused as to what was happening. Heath broke the awkward silence. “Let’s let it pass. It’s the beginning of the day. Let’s not get depressed now. Our little bro is with us to brighten our day, right?” Heath said with a wink.

Jacques smiled and nodded his head. He still did not understand, but he knew that Nancy needed some affirmation then. “Nancy, did you get the answers to our experiment last week. I’ve got some of it worked out but I need to know if my answers tally with yours.”

Both Heath and Nancy smiled. Their little bro was certainly trying to get things going. The three of them started comparing their work as they got into the lecture room.

After the lab period, Nancy said that she couldn’t join them for lunch as usual. She didn’t have anymore classes and her mother had planned a girls’ out lunch with her and her sister.

When she left, Heath looked a little uncomfortable and said, “Look Jacques, I just realised I haven’t finished my calculus homework. I’ll just grab a Nitre and start doing the rest of my work. Why don’t you join some of the others for lunch?”

“It’s okay, I’ll hang out with you as you finish your homework. I’m sure having a Nitre once in a while won’t hurt my metabolism much.”

Nitre was a total food drink that was sold to people who needed a real fast lunch.

“No, Jacques. You should be making new friends as well. I notice that you’ve been hanging around with me too much. You should be making friends with the others in class.”

“But why can’t I join you?” Jacques asked, puzzled. “Does it have anything to do with what happened in the morning?”

Heath looked unhappily at Jacques. “Please, this is for your own good. Go and have lunch with the rest of the class.”

“I think I deserve an explanation at least.”

“Not now. Later, okay?”

Jacques nodded his head sadly. He had gotten quite fond of Heath and he felt rejected. He got to the cafeteria, he found a spot that wasn’t taken and quietly ate his lunch. He had almost finished his lunch when he had visitors.

“Hi there, Jacques!” a girl he didn’t recognise sat next to him. He was then joined by three other girls.

“Hi,” said Jacques softly. He suddenly felt overwhelmed by the girls.

“I’m Ginger,” said the one who greeted him. “These are Linda, Joanne and Lisa.”

“Hi girls,” said Jacques, still wondering what was happening.

“Hi!” the other three said together.

“Look at him. He looks overwhelmed by us!” said Joanne as the rest of the girls giggled.

Jacques turned several shades of red.

“Where’s Heath?” Lisa asked.

So that’s what this is about, thought Jacques. They’re looking for Heath and he is trying to escape them.

He smiled and said, “He had some extra work to do in class.”

Ginger smiled when she heard that. “Look Jacques, we’d like you to settle a bet. We want to know who’s the best dressed today.”

Jacques was taken aback by the question. He had expected them to disappear the moment he said that Heath was not coming for lunch. He thought quickly and came up with an answer, “How can I judge? There’re so many tastes in clothing and fashion today. I find each of you beautiful in your own way.”

“Oooh! He’s being diplomatic! Isn’t that sweet! He doesn’t want to hurt our feelings!”

“Ladies, you’re all beautiful. Unfortunately I don’t know you well enough …”

“How well do you want to know us?” asked Lisa with a giggle. She was getting excited at the way Jacques was talking.

Jacques was not really interested in the girls but he did not want them to know that he was more interested in boys. He grinned cheekily and said, “I’m an eighteen year old boy who’s VERY curious. How well do you think I want to know you?”

Whilst Lisa started blushing, the other girls squealed.

“You’re a naughty boy, Jacques,” Linda giggled.

“Well, do you like me to be naughty? I can be as naughty as you like. I’m now thinking of how I can be naughty with all of you at the same time.”

Ginger shook her index finger. “You’d better not be so naughty or else our boyfriends might decide to beat you up.”

Jacques pretended to look around.

Joanne giggled, “Do you have a girlfriend, Jacques? She might not like what you’ve said to us.”

Jacques looked down at his tray, keeping quiet.

“You don’t have a girlfriend? Someone as good looking …” Ginger started before abruptly stopping

Jacques looked up when she suddenly stopped. Lisa had stopped her from saying anymore. The girls had stopped giggling and was staring at Jacques whom they thought had become sad.

Jacques decided to work that to his advantage. “How can there be a girl?” he asked as he shook his head. “I’m just a little kid here. I’m almost four years younger than most of you here. Which girl would go out with a eighteen year old when there are more mature and experienced twenty-two year olds around? In all my life, I’ve been in classes that had girls older than I. I knew that you were just kidding me when you came.”

Joanne started to cry. Jacques panicked. He had not intended to make the girl cry. “Sorry … sorry …”

“Calm down Jacques,” Linda explained. “Joanne gets sentimental very quickly. We’re sorry. We’d noticed that you hung around with that loner Heath Mills all the time. We thought that the two of you were …” she stopped when Ginger gave her a nudge.

Jacques asked immediately, “What were you about to say?”

“Nothing,” Ginger answered immediately. Jacques could see that she was searching for something to say.

Lisa jumped in, “She meant that you could have picked up his habit of being a loner.”

“Oh!” Jacques said, not really convinced of their explanation.

“Well, Jacques, we need to go to the ladies room and freshen up for our next class,” said Ginger nervously. “Why don’t you finish your lunch? We’ve delayed you long enough.”

The girls then left Jacques alone. Jacques looked around and saw some of the other students whispering with one another. Some nervously looked at him and smiled. Jacques felt totally exposed as he finished his lunch and walked to the disposal area to get rid of the trash. He could sense all the eyes that were on him as he made his exit from the cafeteria.

Jacques found Heath in class and sat next to him. He told him what happened at the cafeteria and Heath was very quiet.

“What’s the matter, Heath?” asked Jacques.


“No, there’s something bothering you.”

“Nothing, Jacques.”

Jacques kept quiet and the bell rang for the lessons to start. The calculus professor came in and asked the thirty odd students to upload their homework from their personal devices to his own. In the same way he returned their corrected homework to them. Then the professor started his lesson. Just as the lesson was about to end, the professor started on a problem and stopped half way.

“Mr. Robinson, could you come up and solve the rest of the problem?”

Jacques got up from his seat and got to the main board. He solved the problem within a minute. Then he nonchalantly got back to his seat.

Halfway there, the professor remarked, “It’s not exactly the way I wanted it to be solved but I can’t fault you. I didn’t tell you that I wanted it to be solved using the theorem that we’ve learnt today.”

Jacques turned around and said, “I’m sorry, Professor.”

“Mr. Robinson, I hope that you’d pay more attention in class. You seemed to be in another galaxy just now.”

“Yes sir,” Jacques said as he made his way back to his seat. It was then that Heath noticed that Jacques’ eyes were red. He realised that Jacques had been crying.

After class, Jacques quietly moved to the door of the classroom.

“Jacques, wait up!” Heath called. Jacques stopped a bit and then continued moving. Heath ran up and tapped him on his shoulder. “Jacques, little bro, please wait.”

“What do you want?” Jacques said coldly.

“Okay, I’m sorry Jacques,” said Heath. Jacques turned around and continued walking towards the outside. “Jacques, please listen to me!” Jacques continued to walk until he was out of the Academy building. Heath caught hold of Jacques and turned him around.

“Listen! Little bro, I know I’ve hurt you. I’m really sorry. I just wanted to protect you.”

Jacques looked into Heath eyes and realised that Heath was close to panic.

“Protect me?” Jacques asked. “What do you want to protect me from?”

Heath looked around and saw some students walking out of the Academy. “It’s not convenient here. Give me your personal contact code. I’ll call you.”

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