Holy information overload, you guys! One minute you’re nodding off in class, and the next, you’re having a gross robotic worm tracker thingy cut out of your arm by an aunt you didn’t remember and experiencing long-buried memories of steamy, forbidden affairs. And it’s into the middle of all this, Chance—the president’s son—stumbles. You’ve definitely got some guts, because you narrowly chose to C. Ask Chance what he’s doing roaming around the halls after dark.

It’s a gutsy move, so let’s see where a little deflection gets us!

Chapter 09: Hey Laserlips, Your Momma Was a Snowblower!

Startled, all three of you stare at Chance for a minute. How much did he hear? you wonder, and you know Rolex and Aunt Eloise (that is SO weird) are wondering the same thing. Before you realize what you’re doing, you tap your foot authoritatively, narrow your eyes and demand, “And what are you doing roaming around after dark? Just because you’re the president’s son doesn’t mean the rules don’t apply to you.”

Thank goodness you were able to change out of that ratty paper gown and into a regulation uniform unitard earlier, or your authoritative bluff would have had a lot less punch. As it is, you doubt it’ll work, but you try not to hesitate. If you can keep Chance off balance, you might have a shot of getting out of this. It’s strange—the minute you started getting your memories back, you also started losing your hesitant, bumbling manner and acting more like the leader of a covert movement to overthrow the regime. Out of the corner of your eye, you see Rolex and Aunt El exchange a quick glance, but you continue to try to stare down Chance.

“Me? Same thing you are—coming to the infirmary to see the nurse,” Chance says. “I think something at dinner didn’t agree with me.” Me too, you think. This crazy situation I’ve gotten into, for starters.

“Ah,” Nurse Templeton—Aunt El—exhales, a bit too relieved. Chance doesn’t seem to notice. He’s too busy holding his stomach. “Sit down and let’s take a look. Rolex, you two return to quarters immediately,” she orders, stamping your hand with tracer ink and turning back to Chance. You and Rolex leave, and you immediately open your palm to read the scrap of paper she slipped there when she was giving you your after hours pass imprint.

Wait. It’s important, is all it says. You show it to Rolex, who nods toward an alcove next to the infirmary and you huddle inside.

“Dr. Artemus?” Rolex starts to ask, but you cut him off with a shush.


You hear Eloise ask Chance, “Now, tell me where it hurts.” Eww, never mind, you think, as Chance goes into great detail. He wasn’t lying about dinner not agreeing with him. Your thoughts start to wander, alternating between a pair of dark, smoldering eyes and the surprising way facial hair can be both soft and scratchy when a faint whirring sound breaks you out of your reverie. Panicked, you look at Rolex. He’s frozen in place, but you see the warning in his eyes and don’t move a muscle. A sweeper glides down the corridor, hovering outside the infirmary door. You swear you see its probe twitch like it’s sniffing, and you turn to ice. Finally it moves on, and you slowly exhale.

“That was close,” Rolex says. “Even though we have hall pass imprints, it might have been able to tell your tracker was gone. We have to get you back soon. You’ll just have to visit Templeton tomorrow to find out what she wants. Did you hear what she was telling Chance? I can’t believe she’d spill like that.” Rolex is indignant, but before you can wonder what was going on while you were lost in lustful daydreams, the infirmary door opens and Chance walks out. He’s looking remarkably better than when you left him a few minutes earlier, and once again you feel cold. He checks up and down the hall, then pulls a monitor out of his pocket and presses the screen.

“Clear,” he says quietly, and the reply is too soft for you to make out. “Access code H-C-five-seven-oh-one-three-X. Perimeter Twelve.” He waits a second, then continues. “Roger, Dad. I’m on my way,” and strides off down the corridor.

You start to follow him, but Rolex grabs your arm. Just then, the officious little sweeper darts out from around the corner where it must have been waiting and moves silently after Chance. The little creep could have gotten me, you shudder. But you can’t let Chance get away. What is going on? Whose side is Aunt El on? Whose side is Chance on? What are the freakin’ sides, anyway?!?

Do you:

A.  Take off after Chance and the sweeper probe? Hopefully with it on the job, there won’t be others after it and you can sneak after them undetected.

B.  Send Rolex after Chance and wait to see what Eloise wanted to tell you?

C.  Barge into the infirmary with Rolex and confront Eloise?

D.  Go back to your room and try to contact Cain?

Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.