Kelly was nervous. Her bright, vibrant green eyes showed only a slight trace of worry, but it was there. Not that she could be blamed. After much deliberation, she'd been allowed to change schools to a new place: Kadic High School, located in a somewhat remote part of France. She would leave tomorrow, taking a nonstop flight to a small airport in a small town, where someone from the school would pick her up; the students were about to get out for winter vacation, though she'd arrive with several days of school left before she went right back on break. Here in Woodland Park, Colorado, snow was falling in vast quantities, and yet they never got a snow day out here. Plus, things were starting to get far too routine for her liking. Her appearance was not so out of place so as not to fit in, as, aside from the trademark shining green eyes, she looked much like her friends and neighbors in the town of a few thousand. She needed a change. She was going to get one.
She was just about packed. Her trusty laptop was already charged up, and would be going on the plane with her. The computer tower andaccessories would be checked, as would her luggage itself. That left only herself, and any other last-minute things she needed to grab. She decided to pull out her laptop and charger, turning the systemon. It booted fairly quickly. The girl now added a USB memory key to a port on the side. "Jack in... Are you there, Anna?" she said in her normal, somewhat soft but firm voice.
"I'm here, Kelly,"? answered a voice. A hologram sprung to life from the memory key. This was Kelly's own invention, the Holodrive. Its main use was to support an artificial intelligence, and allow its created likeness to appear in three interactive dimensions. She'd created several extra in case she needed a new one for one reason or another, but this was her own that she used all the time. She didn't worry about integrity, as she'd designed in a system that, no matter how much the disk was read, its integrity was maintained. About the only thing that could kill Anna was force sufficient to snap the plugin from the base, or a large object crushing her. Neither of those was likely to happen. Ever. "How may I be of assistance, o great and mighty master?"? Anna added jokingly.
"Ha, ha. Very funny. Now then, let's run through that list one more time."? Anna began to list off the things Kelly had made a list of earlier to remember. She found each item in turn. There were only one or two more left for Anna to call.
"Say goodbye to your brother."?
"Oops, haven't done that quite yet. Yet, I don't think I need to right now. As close as Christmas is and as detached from me as he's been, I think he can wait."
"Last: Get Erika out of the way. AGAIN."
"She's not here yet..."? A ring of the doorbell said otherwise. "I hate it when you're right..."? She headed upstairs, opening the door. "Yes, Erika?"?
"Why do you have to leave?"? she cried. It was only fitting that her best friend for many years, who actually happened to look so much like her that the two occasionally were thought to be twins, be the biggest opponent of this. As such, she'd begged and pleaded to be allowed to come with them to the airport, which Kelly suspected they'd agreed if only to get the young girl off their case. "What about ME?"
"It's not forever! Besides, you never know... I'll probably be back a lot."? She turned back to her laptop, still in her hand. "Anna,put on some music? I can't talk in an empty house comfortably." ?Her playlist began to play on random mode, helping her feel a bit better. And yet... She couldn't place the feeling, but it seemed that something big was going to happen. She dismissed it and started gabbing away.
Whoever said ignorance was bliss... was exactly right.
- Neo's Notes -
There's your revised first chapter. Enjoy! This is Neo, and you're listening to WNEO.