In our last episode, young JoJo asked his beloved grandfather why their new house on the planet surface had not yet been built. He asked if it was because of the monsters. The monster reference goes back to a brief encounter with giant aliens who suddenly appeared at the edge of the clearing where heavy dozers were preparing the construction site for Genesis City.
“Monsters? Where did you hear about monsters, son? Jethro’s voice is soft and kindly so as not to alarm or discourage this topic.
“School, Papa. Some kids say there are monsters down there.”
“Is that so!” Hodge’s voice sounds awestruck. “Tell me more, JoJo.”
“That’s all I heard.” JoJo shrugs his shoulders and tilts his head to one side. “Are there monsters on the plantet, Papa?”
A few weeks earlier, several large, black creatures had appeared at the edge of the clearing where the capital city was under construction. As the Director of this historic building project, Hodge had hustled to where the large dozers levelling the site had parked in a defensive circle. The first creature had spoken a few words to Hodge telepathically and then they left in a huge black organic-looking vehicle.
JoJo locks eyes with Jethro, waiting for his answer. Jethro holds his grandson’s gaze and tells him what happened on the surface.
“So they’re gone now? Are you sure, Papa?” He suddenly buries his face in Jethro’s chest. “Please don’t let them eat you, Papa… please!”
With that, the boy is overcome and begins to sob softly. Hodge rests one hand on the back of Joachim’s head while the other strokes his back soothingly.
“Not to worry, little man, not to worry…”
The two hold each other for several minutes as Jethro silently comforts his grandson. He hates to see the boy stressed after losing his parents a few short months ago. He is determined to see the job completed on the planet below and secure Joachim’s future – everyone’s future. This is no great adventure; this is about the survival of humanity. The souls aboard Divine Scepter are the sole survivors from Earth.
“Now, listen to me, JoJo.” The boy sits up straight on his Papa’s lap and wipes the tears from his cheeks. “We are sure those creatures are gone, and we have lots of soldiers down on the surface to protect us from any danger.”
JoJo nods his head in understanding, “So now you can build our new house, Papa?”
Jethro knows it will be awhile before the Naval class neighbourhoods are built because Churcher homes are the priority. The urban planners were ordered to design segregated residential areas. It will be months before they can begin to build homes for the Naval families. Jethro heaves a sigh of regret as he gazes at his grandson.
“We’ll get it built just as soon as possible. In the meantime, I need you to do a very special job for me when I’m at work on the planet surface. It’s important, JoJo.”
The little boy sits up straighter on his Papa’s lap and looks him straight in the eye. “Tell me, Papa. I’ll do it. Tell me.”
Unbeknownst to both of her boys, Sarah-Jane has returned to the doorway of Jethro’s study to call them for dinner. She overheard the last part of their conversation and now holds her breath waiting for Jethro’s answer.
“JoJo, you know I don’t want to leave you and your Nana alone, don’t you?” JoJo nods in agreement, so Jethro continues. “Good. Son, I need you to look after your Nana for me.”
“Sure I will, Papa!” Then the boy’s face loses its enthusiasm as a thought occurs to him. He looks down and then slowly raises his eyes to Jethro’s. The love he sees in those eyes gives him courage.
“Papa… I’m only five… how can I take care of Nana for you?”
Jethro’s eyes well with tears he wills not to fall. “Son, you show your Nana how much you love her every day – with hugs and kisses in the morning, more hugs and kisses at bedtime, and hugs and kisses every time you think about how much you love your Nana.”
Overcome with emotion; little JoJo buries his head in Jethro’s chest. “I promise, Papa… I promise…”
The little boy and his grandfather hold each other tightly while Sarah-Jane enters the room quietly, cheeks wet with tears kneels beside Jethro’s chair and hugs both of her men.