Written by NeodymeChron. :: [Saturday, 14 October 2023 01:22] Last updated by :: [Tuesday, 31 October 2023 08:51]
Aston Averse never thought that he would be heading back to his alma mater for a class reunion. It had been quite a while since his last trip to Simpson College. It had doubled the size of its campus, thanks in part to his generous endowments as the most famous member of his graduating class. Had it really been ten years since that accomplishment?
Aston was contemptuous of most of his former classmates. How could he not be, when he remembered Simpson’s former reputation as a place that had too many musclebound fools and not enough academic achievement. As Aston walked once more through the campus, he recalled the mocking taunts and acts of cruelty that he received during his first year here. How it reminded him of the humiliation he had endured during his childhood for his lack of physical fitness from family and peers alike. Over the next few years, Aston went to the school gym with increasing regularity. By the end of the second year, all his former bullies had either been won over or intimidated into becoming part of his posse.
The third year had been a blur as Aston sped through the courses for his Computer Science major that would be the first step on his path to becoming one of the nation’s youngest billionaires. Even at this early stage, pretty women flocked to him like moths to a flame. He started a club of like-minded students who were interested in advanced technology. He was pleased to see that it was still going strong so many years later, although he was not impressed by the intellect of the current membership.
Even as he shook hands with “friends” whose contact numbers he had never bothered to keep track of at today’s reception hall, Aston’s mind turned back to his final year: the Top100 corporation he was already forming, the accolades he was receiving from every teacher he encountered, and the reputation he earned as the class valedictorian for single-handedly improving Simpson’s reputation as a place of higher learning. He could not remember the words of the speech he gave for the graduation ceremony, although it must have been good enough to warrant the applause that he received that day.
He was glad that he didn’t have to give a speech for today. He was glad that his plane was waiting for him, and that in less than one hour’s time, he would be on his way back to his home in Neodyme City. As Aston prepared to leave the empty room that he found himself in, the door opened from outside, and in walked a woman in a black pencil skirt and a pretty white blouse. Her brown bobbed hair and brown eyes immediately attracted attention, but not as much as her voice when she spoke: “Aston? Is that you?”
“Yeah, and you are?”, Aston replied in a somewhat gruff tone. He didn’t mean to sound so rude to someone so pretty, but he was tired of this school and tired of small talk. “Synthra Impar”, the woman responded, “we’ve met before, Aston.” “Sorry”, said Aston with a slight smirk, “but I’d remember a face like yours, Synthra.” Synthra disclosed, “I was a student here. Majored in Psychology. I came to your Technology club a couple times.”
At this, Aston’s smirk grew wider. He was not the most sociable person around, but this small talk was going somewhere interesting. His plane could wait a few more minutes. “Lots of cute women came to my Tech club over the years. I doubt with a degree like yours, you were seeking to learn the basics of telecommunications.” Then, in as seductive a voice as he could muster, Aston asked, “Were you trying to learn my number instead?”
Aston thought that he saw a flash of what looked like anger in Synthra’s face when he said those words. His smirk disappeared when he realized that his ability to charm pretty ladies with his looks and wealth might not work this time. Even if it was a fake “science” in his mind, it probably wasn’t wise to insult Synthra’s chosen field of study like that. Aston was about to disavow his earlier when Synthra stated with a smirk of her own, “But Aston, I don’t have a degree in Psychology.”
Aston began, “But you just said you maj..”
Synthra interrupted, “and the reason I don’t has everything to do with the last time we saw each other face to face.” She continued, “You really don’t remember, do you Aston? It was a Friday, and you demanded that we meet. At that time, I thought that it was because you were interested in my plan to use your technology to help solve Neodyme’s mental health crisis. Or at least because of my intellect. How foolish I was.”
“What are you talking about?”, demanded Aston, but Synthra ignored his question as she continued, “You had a lot to drink that night at the hotel. Granted, I had a bit myself. But none of that justifies what you did next. You led me upstairs to your room. I should have seen it coming. You locked the door, turned off most of the lights, and threw me on the bed. And then…”, with a rage that Aston could not fathom could come from such a petite woman, “you ruined me, Aston!”
For a moment, Aston stood in stunned silence before his accuser. He had never thought for a moment that he would ever face this situation. Finally, he asked in a low voice, “Ok, what do you want from me?” Synthra responded with increasing wrath, “For your violence against me? For hounding me out of the school when I cried out about what you did to me? For making sure the school would stay silent about this whole affair?” Then she calmly finished, “I don’t want your money, Aston. Just an apology. A public apology for all that you did to me.”
Aston knew if he agreed to that, he would be publicly disgraced and worse. He would not allow himself to be humiliated as he was in his youth. He would not allow this woman to destroy him merely because of one night all those years ago! So, he told her with all the scorn he could muster, “I think not, wench. Have a nice life.”
With that, Aston turned and headed for the door. But as he moved, he started to grow dizzy. His vision became blurry and dim. He felt a numbness come over his entire face, and after only three steps, his legs gave way and he collapsed to the floor with his face towards the ceiling.
Aston croaked, “What happened?” “I happened,” Synthra with a cruel giggle, “you like my handiwork?” She continued, “Aston, when I was denied everything due to you, I had to make a living however I could. Somehow, I gained the ability to make any man drop like a stone in my presence with just a thought, and I found friends who share my desire to make this cruel world a little fairer.”
Aston could feel paralysis taking complete hold of his body. His vision was growing fainter, and he couldn’t reach his phone to call for aid. He had only one hope left.
“Synthra, wait!”, he cried out with the last of his strength. But Synthra responded with an unsympathetic tone, “Synthra? I thought my name was “wench”, Aston.” She walked right up to him, crouched over his body, and whispered, “I go by Syncopa now, and you’re just a loose end from my old life that I had to cut off.” With a chuckle, she quietly finished, “Goodbye, Aston. Have a nice life.”
And with that, Syncopa stood up, opened the door, and walked right out. Aston’s attempted cries for aid were for naught, as he had completely lost his voice. The final sensation that he witnessed before the end was the sound of Syncopa swinging the door shut on the room… and on him.
In Neodyme Obituary:
Tech billionaire Aston Averse, aged 33, was found dead on the grounds of Simpson College, his alma mater. The late Aston had travelled for the 10 _ year reunion of his class. Aston was well regarded by his former classmates and faculty. Aston’s body was found by a janitor after the conclusion of the reunion festivities. At the age of 23, Aston founded Aston Dynamics, which has pioneered the industry of holo-virtual telecommunications. Aston has no surviving relatives, as both of his parents are deceased. The autopsy has determined the death to be of natural causes.