At the west coast Department of Education, Bill Turner goes to the Educational Enrichment Program office but finds the door locked. A man, Mr. Zeno, walks down the hallway to him, and Turner says that he doesn't want Zeno to tutor his son. Zeno figures that Turner came there to tell the government what he discovered about him, and tells Turner that the office won't open until the next day and they wouldn't have believed him anyway. He says that Turner knowing his plans is an inconvenience, and mentally forces Turner to walk backward to a window and jump out to his death any stories below. Zeno then sends a mental message that due to the failure of the operation, he has to go to the east coast and recruit the next subject on the list.
Later on the east coast, Zeno teleports into the hallway outside of the Benjamin apartment and sends a mental message that he's arrived safely. He then knocks at the apartment door, and Roy Benjamin answers the door as his wife Agnes watches the TV. Zeno says that he represents the government educational program of which Roy's son Kenny is part of. He presents his credentials and Roy invites him in. The newcomer reminds them that the government has placed citizen minds in the same fostering program as wildlife and natural resources. Zeno says that he's a private tutor who has been sent to help Kenny on a special project. Roy notes that Kenny is already carrying a heavy load, but Zeno says that their reports say that Kenny has an excellent home life. Roy and Agnes worked on an atomic program and were exposed to low levels of radiation, and produced a "mutation plus" in Kenny.
Agnes calls Kenny down from his room, and Zeno assures Roy that there's nothing to worry about Kenny's mutation. When Kenny comes down, Zeno telepathically probes his mind and assures Roy that Kenny can handle the extra work load. Kenny takes Zeno up to his room so that they can talk privately.
Later, Roy returns home holding a baseball. He tells Agnes that he came home early and calls Kenny down for baseball pitching practice at the park. Roy informs Agnes that he has to get Kenny's nose out of the books. As Kenny comes down, he hesitates and then says that he has to study and Zeno will be there soon. Disappointed, Roy joins Agnes in the kitchen and notes that Zeno has been coming around a lot recently, unexpected and unannounced. Agnes figures that her husband is disappointed, and Roy notes Kenny's schoolwork on the kitchen table. He reads through it and the doorbell rings. It's Roy's neighbor Joe Hayden, returning the brandy that he borrowed a week ago. Roy tells him about the list of elements that Kenny has compiled and the details on each one. There are elements on the list that Joe has never heard of and says that the number is too high. Joe says that the government program isn't good for Kenny, warning that it's pushing Kenny too hard and it will set him apart from the other kids his age. Roy figures that Kenny can handle it, and Joe says that he wouldn't let his son join the group. His friend reminds him that his son wasn't invited to join the program, and they make a bet on whether Kenny is correct about the number of elements, 102 or 105.
As Joe leaves, Rob goes up to Kenny's room and asks how many elements there are. Kenny says that there are 102 known elements and the other 23 are there but in the future. Roy insists that there's only 102, and Kenny agrees with him, takes his school book, and says that he has to wait for Zeno to arrive.
Zeno shows up and Roy asks him what the schedule is for Kenny in the future since Zeno shows up with prior notice. The tutor says that he's wasting time and goes up to Kenny's room. Roy goes to the kitchen and asks Agnes what she thinks of Zeno, and says that if it's he doesn't want them around. Agnes suggests that Roy is jealous and doesn't like to share his son. Roy looks thoughtfully up the stairs toward Kenny's room.
In Kenny's room, Zeno tells Kenny to proceed. The boy turns translucent and walks through the wall of his bedroom. Roy comes upstairs and knocks at the door, and inside Kenny comes back and Zeno congratulates him. When Roy comes in, Zeno looks at him innocently and Roy tells Kenny that it's dinner soon. Once he leaves, Zeno tells Kenny that he'll reveal to him the role he'll play as the result of his lessons.
Kenny comes down to the kitchen and says that they should ask Zeno to stay for dinner. Figuring Zeno might say something useful over dinner, Roy runs out to catch Zeno and sees him go down in the elevator. He runs down the stairs to the lobby and gets there as the elevator doors open... revealing no one there. Roy takes the elevator up and wonders where Zeno went.
That night, Roy wakes up when he hears a throbbing noise. In Kenny's room, Zeno has Kenny show him a climate-control device that heats and cools objects using sound waves. Rob gets up to investigate the noise. Meanwhile, Zeno tells Kenny that he's done excellent work and says that soon he'll have to go back to Zenon to "recharge", and can only exist for a limited time on Earth before he has to go back to his planet. The tutor reveals a set of gills under his shirt and says that he can function on Earth for 120 days and half that time is already gone, but he has spent his time assuring Kenny's destiny.
Roy secretly watches from his bedroom door as Zeno leaves Kenny's room and passes through the door as a wraith. When Roy looks outside, he sees Zeno teleport away. He goes back to Kenny's room, and Kenny hears him, hides his device, and pretends that he's sleeping. Roy doesn't buy his ruse and asks what's going on with Zeno. Kenny shows him the climate-control device and explains how it works. Roy tells his son that he just saw Roy disappear, and Kenny asks him not to tell anyone yet. His father demands answers, and Kenny tells him that he'll spoil anything and asks him to leave him alone. Agnes hears Roy yelling, and Roy claims that Kenny had a nightmare and goes out with her, saying their son will be all right. He tells her to go back to bed.
The next day, Roy goes to the Educational Enrichment Program office and meets with Mr. Terrence, the supervisor. Terrence says that Kenny is doing fine, but confirms that they don't send tutors out. He has never heard of Zeno and insists that they never go into the home. Roy says that there's a person who did so and isn't human, and describes how he's seen Zeno teleport. He assumes that Zeno comes from outer space, and Terrence assumes that Roy can't handle the program. Roy says that he has to reach someone before Zeno destroys his son and possibly the whole world. Terrence thanks him for coming and ushers him out. Behind him, Zeno teleports into the outer office and reports that the first stage is complete. He assures his superiors that Kenny has no idea of how he will serve their invasion, and soon Zeno will move to the other children selected. Zeno suggests that he has to eliminate Roy.
In his room, Kenny is working with the climate control device. Downstairs, Roy arrives and tells Agnes that Zeno is not a government representative and was in Kenny's room the night before. He insists that Zeno is from outer space and teleported away, and insists that Agnes has to believe him. They hear the device's noise and go upstairs, and see Kenny walking back and forth through the wall. He then appears in front of them and says that his parents are spying on him. Roy demands explanations, and Kenny slams the bedroom door shut and lock them. Agnes cries, saying that their boy is lost to them, and suggests that they call the police. Roy figures that they'll dismiss him like Terrence did, but promises to have a showdown with Zeno.
Roy goes downstairs and sits down, waiting for Zeno to arrive. Zeno doesn't show, and Agnes goes to bed. She comes down later and they hear the device in Kenny's room.
Zeno has gone directly to Kenny's room and says that the boy isn't paying attention. He asks if something is wrong and Kenny insists that there isn't.
Roy goes to Kenny's room with Agnes and enters. He demands to know who Zeno is and what he's doing, and reveals that he knows Zeno is from outer space. Kenny robotically says that he looks forward to fulfilling his duties, and Zeno says that in a few seconds Roy will have killed himself. He mentally takes control of Roy and forces him to walk to the window. Roy climbs up on the sill, and Kenny uses the device on Zeno. He changes the room's atmosphere, choking Zeno, and says that he let Zeno think that he was on his side until he could figure out how to change the atmosphere to kill Zeno. Zeno collapses and Kenny explains Zeno's plan to Roy. He tells Zeno that he let Kenny see the evil in him, and insists that he wants to be who he is. Zeno yanks away his shirt, revealing his gills gasping for his atmosphere, and staggers out the door. He falls down the stairs and begs Kenny to let him go back. Kenny turns off the device, and Zeno tells Kenny that he could have been a god and then teleports away. The boy apologizes to Roy, saying that he had to find the right atmosphere combination to drive Zeno away. He'll give the device to the government so they can mass-produce it to repel a Zenon invasion. Kenny goes to his room, saying that he has to get his sleep for Little League, and Roy and Agnes go to bed.
Written by Gadfly on Mar 23, 2019