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“People fear us because we're smarter than them.”
   — Paul Spencer Wagoner



Paul Spencer Wagoner (born in 2026) is a Next and a long-time acquaintance of Joshua Valienté.[1][2]

Appearance

Paul is described as looking like his father, ordinary-looking and with thick dark hair. He is also described as having a predator's stare by Joshua.

Because of his troubled childhood, he has a broken nose and several other scars.[3]

The Long Mars

Happy Landings

Paul's parents met on Datum Earth, when his mother, originally from Happy Landings, went to college in Minnesota, where Paul was born.

Then they moved to Happy Landings to be close to Carla's family.

This is how in 2031, Paul first met Joshua at Happy Landings, during Joshua's third visit at the place.

Paul, aged five at the time, started to question Joshua about a number of things, like how the Mark Twain is able to fly for example, until his parents, along with Judy, Paul's younger sister, came and introduced themselves while making sure Joshua was not annoyed by Paul. After a brief chat, they parted ways.[4]

Madison West 5

A year later, in 2032, Paul, now aged six, and with a black eye and a swollen cheek, goes with his father to the Home on Madison West 5 to say hello to Joshua who came to attend the funeral of Sister Serendipity.

They found him visiting her grave accompanied with Sister Georgina.

Paul's father told Joshua how his family has now moved to Madison West 5 and got a job as an accountant after he felt more and more uneasy with the increasing number of people showing up in Happy Landings.

He also explained how Paul got the black eye from one of his teachers and how the other kids gave him the swollen cheek. Paul told Joshua how it was frustrating at school and how the teachers made him wait for the other kids. Some parents at the school even asked to remove Paul from it because they were scared of him.

The father and son soon left, leaving Joshua and Sister Georgina worried for the future of Happy Landings, where there was a lot of smart kids like Paul.[5]

Taken away

In spring 2036, Paul, aged ten, was taken away from his father. Tom, now separated from his mother, met with Joshua at the Home, he explained how Paul started to turn on on him and make him feel bad about every mistake he made and how he couldn't cope with it anymore.

After some research, Joshua learned that Judy, Paul's sister, was taken away from her mother as well. Paul was admitted to the Home after Joshua pulled a few strings.[6]

The Next

In spring 2045, Joshua went to Madison West 5 to visit Paul, after Lobsang asked him to establish contact with a rumored new intelligent species. On his way, he ran into a crying young woman named Miriam Kahn fleeing from the Home, followed by Paul, who could barely keep himself from laughing.

After a brief discussion around a coffee in downtown Madison West 5 where Paul exhibited a wallet full of credit cards, Paul brought Joshua to a stepwise secret location to meet other people like him like Greta, Janet and Indra and told him about his species, the Next.

Since most Next have been institutionalized and most of them descend from Spencers or Montecutes (Happy Landings names), it was not hard for them to find each others. Their talk was interrupted by the sudden apparition of stepping police officers who got them into custody thanks to Miriam Kahn's indications.[3]

Imprisoned

Around spring 2045, most of the American Next have been swept up all over the US Aegis and kept confined in the USLONGCOM Pearl Harbor facility where human scientists studied them. Paul and his sister Judy were among the inmates.

When Joshua was released, he told Lobsang what happened and Lobsang contacted his friend Nelson Azikiwe who, under fake credentials, went to the facility to serve as a chaplain for the inmates.

There, fainting to pick an inmate at random, he met up with Paul in his cell and talked about the Next, Joshua and religion.[7]

Breaking out

Around the end of August 2045, when the US government decided to send the USS Neil A. Armstrong II and the USS Eugene A. Cernan to Happy Landings, a presumed incubator for Next, Roberta Golding, one of the Next, asked Nelson Azikiwe for help.[8]

Nelson then contacted Joshua who, in turn, contacted Sally, back from her jaunt to the Gap Mars. Together, they helped the Next inmates of the USLONGCOM Pearl Harbor facility to escape to Happy Landings through the soft places and managed to arrive before the Navy.

They were soon followed by the Navy twains who took position above the township. Paul and his sister Judy, along with all the Next, ran away when the twains arrived.[9]

References

  1. The Long Mars - Chapter 12
  2. The Long Mars - Chapter 28
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Long Mars - Chapter 28
  4. The Long Mars - Chapter 12
  5. The Long Mars - Chapter 18
  6. The Long Mars - Chapter 24
  7. The Long Mars - Chapter 33
  8. The Long Mars - Chapter 41
  9. The Long Mars - Chapter 42

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