Author: K.M. Paxton

Chapter 2


Watching from the balcony of the humongous Yacht-Ship, I felt like I was spying as everyone walked single-file to the security guards who were trading their phones and music players for the Renu-Corporation complimentary Renu-Pods. Every had been buzzing crazily about the tablet computers on the boat ride here; apparently they could make hologram calls to each other. Or at least, that's what I had heard from a nerdy girl who apparently had read an article about them in 'Tech Weekly'. I took a deep breath and made my way towards the unloading dock, heart racing faster than I knew it could. I swallowed hard, looked down at the
ground, and walked faster as I pulled my suitcase, which suddenly felt a thousand pounds heavier than it did five minutes ago.
††† "Woah there, speed racer," a voice laughed.
†††††I looked up into the most beautiful hazel eyes I'd ever seen. Feeling my face turning red, I looked back down and my shoes and smiled shyly.

†"I'm sorry."
††††† "No worries. I'm nervous, too." His smooth and perfect voice didn't give away any of his supposed "nervousness".
††††† "Oh, I'm not nerv-" I tried to deny. He smiled at me knowingly and his teeth glistened like pearls even though there was no sun.
††††††"It's okay, it's cute. I mean, well, you know." It was his turn for the blushing and shy smiling as he realized what he had let slip.
††††††I laughed. "You're not so bad yourself. I'm Casey." I mentally admired his shiny light brown hair as he ran his fingers through it, tousling it perfectly.
†††† †"Caleb." He smiled again and I caught my breath at how perfect his face was. His tan skin seemed to glow, and it complimented his gorgeous hazel eyes and perfectly messy waves.

"Do you want to walk up there with me?" He pointed his chin towards the security guards.
††††† "Sure," I grinned. "I'd love to."
††††† We walked side by side towards the guards and I tried to finger-comb my long blonde curls to make a good impression on my first few hours on the island. After all, weren't first impressions everything?
††††††"Last ones. Casey McAdams and Caleb De Rosso?"
††††† "Yes?" We answered in unison, then laughed. Judging my the guard's stern glares, they thought the exchange was anything but funny.
††††††"Hand over any bags and electronics you have brought with you. Anything you will need is availible on the island, and you will recieve your Renu-Pod in exchange for any cell phones or music players you have now."
††††††Glancing at Caleb, I cooperatively handed them my suitcase. "All of my electronics are in there." I smiled.
††††† †"Wonderful." The bigger guard pretended to care. "Here's your Renu-Pod."
††††††††He handed me a sqaure screen that appeared to have my smiling face as the backround. Under the photo, the caption was "Casey McAdams, 2B".
†††††† †I watched Caleb hand over his belongings and get his Renu-Pod, which also had his picture as the backround. Under his, though, was "Caleb De Rosso, 18D." Suddenly, the guards seemed to pixelate and disappear. I began to realize that this was probably our last contact with adults we would ever have, if they were even real people and not just holograms. The Yacht-Ship powered up with a bang and chugged away just as our Renu-Pods lit up with a familiar face that began to talk.
†††††† "Welcome to Renu-Island. First, take a look at your screen. You'll see a picture under yourself along with a number one through eighteen, along with a letter A through E. The number represents which of our eighteen Smarthouses you are assigned to. The letter represents which room in the Smarthouse is yours. Please board the waiting monorail
that will take you to orientation."
†††††† I looked around confusedly before I realized that there was indeed an amazing nine-car glass monorail waiting for us on a tall track that towered over the island.†
††††††"We should go." Caleb stated as he saw that all of the others were already on the train.
††††† Just as we approached, I looked up at it and wondered aloud. "How do we get up there?"
††††††As if the thing heard me, a large platform shot out of the side and decsended a staircase down to us.
††††† "I guess that's how." He smiled and took my hand as he began to climb the stairs.
††††† †I took a deep breath as we walked through the glass door to car nine. I felt Caleb's warm hand squeeze my own hand comfortingly.
††††† "About time!" The nerdy girl I saw on the ship bursted out. "We've been waiting for-ev-er!"
††††††Caleb simply shook his head and led me towards the open glass bench in the back. I looked outside admiringly at the beauty of the land as the train sped up and the colors blurred together. I could make out large buildings and the sphere-shaped Smarthouses as we passed by them at super-fast speeds. Inside, I was really disapointed that I didn't end up in the same Smarthouse as Caleb, but I didn't want to say anything because in reality I had just met him.
†††† "You know, I'm actually kind of sad we weren't put in the same house." He mumbled.
†††† †I burst out giggling at the funny coincidence.
†††† †"What's funny?" He asked, a puzzled look blanketing his face.
††††† "I was just thinking the same thing."
††††† †Before he got a chance to reply, the train came to a slow stop. Like before, big platforms came out the side of the car. I noticed that this time, though, a platform came out of each of the nine cars. As the staircases descended, all ten of us in the car stood up and practically flew down them. I gasped as I saw where we were headed; a big square-shaped section of the town with huge jumbotron monitors on every side. There were three rows of benches, arranged in a large square shape on the inside of the Plaza.

"Ready?" Caleb asked rhetorically. We all knew that there was no going back now that we were here.


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