Author: schillingklaus PM
Dustin is given a set of tarot cards by mystery girl Megan, which will accompany him on his path through life at PCA. The story reboots the canon of Zoey 101 and revises that of many other Nickelodeon shows.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Mystery - Megan P. & Dustin B. - Words: 71,503 - Favs: 1 - Published: 10-08-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8592661
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iDont Own any of the subsequentially listed sources used for this non-commercial work.
Dustin Brooks tries to follow his own desitiny, escaping from life in his elder sister's overwhelming shadow.
Dustin's decisions modify the story line of Zoey 101 through four seasons.
Table of Contents
The Tarot, that miraculous work which inspired all the sacred books of antiquity, is the most perfect instrument of divination, by reason of the analogical precision of its figures and numbers. It can be employed with complete confidence.
1.1. Primary Fandoms
1.2. Supporting Fandoms
Drake & Josh, Unfabulous, Ned's Declassified SSG
1.3. Fandoms for the credits only
Victorious, iCarly, True Jackson VP, Big Time Rush, Just Jordan, Best Player, Spectacular!, Fairly Odd Movie, Shredderman Rules
Occultist Romance — Fluff, Family, Friends, Science Fiction, Supernatural, Mystery, Adventure
Dustin Brooks, the narrator, comes to live at Pacific Coast Academy in the suffocating shadow of his elder sister Zoey. But he is not content with such a destiny
In a long struggle, he follows his own way.
An encounter with mystery girl Megan Parker[] is the definitive catalysator of Dustin's true destiny.
Also, Dustin is supported by more and more hitherto unknown friends.
Later, Megan's friends at Pacific Coast Academy need Dustin's help.
Tween Hollywood Diva Ashley Blake[] is guided by Dustin on her road from outer wealth to inner wealth.
Melinda Crenshaw is taken down the road from cold intellectualism to higher reasoning.
Addie Singer[] is guided from her home idyll to her proper fortune.
Wendy Gellar[] is on her road from a stubborn obsession to following her proper will power.
4. Characters and Pairings
About everyone from Zoey 101, and many people from its sibling Nickelodeon shows.
Dustin Brooks – Megan Carlotta Parker, Zoey Brooks – Jerry Crony[], Quinn Pensky – Albert Wormenheimer[], Lola Martinez – Spencer Carter[], Logan Reese – Mercedes Griffin[] – Trina Vega – Maris Bingham, Michael Barret – Wendy Gellar, Chase Matthews – Addie Singer, Stacey Dillsen[] – Eric Blonowitz[], Wayne "Firewire" Gilbert – Mindy Crenshaw, Dana Cruz – Seth Powers, Nicole Bristow – Nicholas Webber[], Kazu – Rose "Lunch Lady" Pepper[], Lisa Perkins – Drake Parker
and many more
The story starts with the pilot of Zoey 101, assumed to coincide with that of Unfabulous and Ned's Declassified SSG. Drake & Josh is supposed to be in its second season. The other shows and movies have not yet started.
This story is for Livejournal community 78 Tarot, one prompt per chapter, barring the court cards, for prompt Divination of Livejournal community Paranormal25, for prompt Lovers of Livejournal community Crossovers 50.
The interpretation of the tarot cards and symbols as used in this story are essentially based on Das Tarot Handbuch by Hajo Banzhaf. It is also indebted to works of Éliphas Lévi, Alisteir Crowley, and Arthur Edward Waite
Chapter 1. Pilot
1.1. Dustin Brooks
My names is Dustin Brooks.
At the beginning of my story, I was nine years old.
I was born in Lousiana[].
But dad had to move frequently for professional purposes. He is a travelling sales agent for a big company of whatever sort.
Thus we were stranded in California, more precisely, in San Diego county, for quite a few years.
But dad was on the road most of the time.
Mom's life was fairly restless, too.
Thus uncle Glazer[], a dubious medic, took care of us from time to time.
I was sent to a boarding school for elementary school classes.
Pacific Coast Academy was one hell of a school.
In the beginning, it was just for boys.
Thus my elder sister could not go there.
But this circumstance changed rapidly.
And Zoey was enrolled at Pacific Coast Academy the soonest possible moment. She was older by four years, thus awaiting eighth grade.
I had missed her badly during the time spent alone at Pacific Coast Academy.
But she could be very protective.
This was going to turn worse in the absence of mom.
Zoey must have got the ambition of being able of replacing her completely. She was one blond Mary-Sue.
I was thus bound for a life in Zoey's smothering shadow for the next five years or so.
Those were some bleak prospects.
1.2. Off to PCA
The new year was in friont of us.
Equipped with a bunndle of each of our belongings, Zoey and I were rigged and ready for the trip to the campus of Pacific Coast Academy.
Dad was taking us there in his cool convertible.
I was more nervous than Zoey, inspite of having been studying at Pacific Coast Academy for two years already.
Well, Zoey was very calm in general.
Not much could exciter her beyond reason.
She let her barbie-doll head remain as cool as can be.
I was equipped with enough food and drinks for the whole trip from Dan Diego county to Malibu in Los Angeles county, the location of Pacific Coast Academy.
The trip was estimated to last like three hours.
But I was prone to having to go discharging my bladder every now and then.
Dad admonished me to refrain from drinking too much at once.
But I was still totally impatient.
Zoey would have forced me to distribute everything equally across the long road. But she sat on the front bench and could not control me all the time.
We passed some drive-in restaurant right before entering the highway.
Zowey and dad wondered, "maybe Dustin should go to the toilets now?"
I tried to nihilipilify my abdominal pressure. I did not want to appear like a little boy.
Zoey still cared about me like about a baby. And she got it her way.
But maybe the bar sold green gummi worms.
I was addicted to those.
Well, the colour didn't really matter.
But they looked cooler than others.
1.3. Mystery Encounter
Zoey sent me staright into the toilets. But she gasped. "Dustin, come back! These are …"
The door closed behind me before listening to the nrest of my sister's enervating sermon.
"the girls' toilets," completed my sister.
But now it was too late.
There were cabins anyways.
I snuck into an empty one in order to deal with my bladder's contents. Then I returned to the water basins in order to wash my hands.
A girl in my age emerged from another cabin. She glared at me with a witch-like gaze.
I shivered. "Sorry, I've misread the signs …"
She looked up and down my body, making me tremble. "OK, stranger, this was no mistake, it was destiny."
I scratched my hair. "What?"
She chuckled. Then she opened her handbag. "These cards here hold the key to your own destiny."
Was she going to read from the cards?
Some of them had beautifully-crafted pictures on them.
But I could not make sense of them, at least not yet.
The girl continued, "learn to use them, and you won't wither away in your older sister's shadow."
Did I want to escape from Zoey's protective shadow?
Hell yes! That would have been fun.
But the stranger warned me, "use them poorly, and you will perish like a boob!"
I replied hesitatingly, "a boob?"
She chuckled mercilessly. Then she gave me a talon of those cards. "Keep them until you may do without!"
I shrugged. But then I tucked them safely away.
How could she know about my sister, anyways?
That was totally weird.
Now I was ready to leave the toilets. "Who are you, anyways?"
She glared at me. "Use the cards wisely. It's only time until you find out more about me. Use them like a boob, and you will rue this day, until the arrival of the four horsemen of the apocalypse will you rue it!"
My teeth rattled like a snail's tail.
The door opened. I walked outside.
Zoey and dad were already waiting for me. "What kept ypu up?".
I refused to answer.
Wew were now returning slowly to the car.
The strange girl passed by us. She looked at Zoey. "Treat him like a man, and not like a little bay! Or be very sorry one day!"
Her gaze almost burned a hole into Zoey's mind.
Zoey asked me, "do yoiu know her?"
I shivered. "Not really!"
There was still a long way for us through Orange county to the outskirts of Los Angeles.
But I was as clueless concerning the mystery girl as ever before.
1.4. Gates of PCA
Several hours in car were lying behind us.
The road slithered like a snake across the coastal hills leading from Malibu down to Pepperdyne beach.
There were already many signs of the PCA.
The campus was so bigt.
I would have been lost easily if left on my own.
Zoey admired the landscape.
It was her first time to see the impressive scenario.
But she looked still a bit scared by the mystery girl's warnings.
I secretly looked at the deck of cards received from her.
There was a picture of a careless guy, carrying a bundle mounted ion a stick, dancing mext to an abyss.
Actually. this was how I must have felt, with my luggage to carry and the mystery girl's clear warnings in front of my eyes.
Where was this going to?
Time was going to tell.
We had reached the parking site.
A new life for me and Zoey was about to start.
Chapter 2. Back At PCA
2.1. First steps
Zoey compared her first impressions of the campus with the pictures seen on our school's websites.
There were really the pool and the pubs and that cinema.
From our current position, we could not see the beach.
But it was there.
Of course, I knew the direction.
Zoey appeared very impatient.
But dad deemed it more important to reach our dormitory rooms.
I had got the same as last year.
Zoey, of course, was going to see her residence for the very first time.
I knew only vaguely the way to hers. But I wanted to get to mine.
But dad could not split himself into half in order to come with both of us.
Suddenly, Chase Matthews came along on his bike. This was a boy in Zoey's age.
I had only come to know him vaguely during the last year.
But now he was apparentky stunned by my sister's doll-like appearance. He lost his orientation and rode his vehicle against a flag staff. Little wonder, he could not keep himself on his bike, and he had to kiss the dust. He was such a dork!
Zoey helped him back to his feet and introduced herself.
They seemed to get along pretty well.
Chase offered to take Zoey to her dormitory block, "Butler Hall".
The houses here were usually named for distinguished alumni of Pacific Coast Academy, either for their achievements for the prestige of the school, or simply fortheir monetary donations..
Zoey would certainly one day be the namegiver of a new or reconstructed building. She was brilliant at motivating people with her social skills. She was also a perfect artist, especially in the sector of fashion creation.
Dad accepted Chase's suggestion. "That's great! Now I may take care of Dustin."
I grinned. I needed to make it to the toilets, as soon as possible.
Chase wanted to become a poet or a playwright.
Those are able to make an illusion of a world appeal to the audience.
Artists like Zoey can do that as well.
But their medium is of a different kind.
Chase and Zoey were now gone.
We went to my hall, "Shay Hall".
What had been Mr. Shay's achievement earning him a hall?
I had not yet researched this question.
I could have find out by looking through the old yearbooks.
This could be very interesting.
Sometimes we needed to indulge in that sort of activity for our class projects.
We had reached "Shay Hall".
Now I couldn't care about aforementioned questions. I just stormed forward, crying "yay!"
2.2. My room
I flang my luggage into the corner.
Mom would have killed me for that. And she would have killed dad for just smiling.
Zoey would have admonished me severely.
But dad took it easy. He had not been all so much different as a teenager.
I was the first among my room mates to make it to the dormitory room.
I hoped for Jack[] and Henty[] to be my room mates once more.
Getting accustomed to new roomies was not always an easy task.
And Zoey was totally new here, so she would face this task in any case.
I did notworry.
Zoey used to get along with new girls without greater efforts.
Finally, I had been done with my luggage.
Truth spoken, dad had been doing the main work.
And now Jack showed up. He hugged me.
This was our third common year at Pacific Coast Academy.
Dad wanted us to look once more after Zoey. Of course he did not want to leave the campus and return home without seeing her again.
But I preferred to stay with my pals. I was going to see Zoey often enough on the campus during the academic year, for the better or the worse.
Dad understood that. He hugged me a good-bye, and then he walked out.
I had to talk about so many things with my pals.
Zoey was trying out for the basketball team. She really rocked at that.
The boys were reluctant to admit girls to their teams.
The ringleader of the arrogant macho jerks was one Logan Reese, snobbish son of Hollywood titan Malcolm Reese.
Most of the boys were unable to contradict him.
This was especially valied for his pals Chase Matthews and Michael Barret, inspite of disagreeing with his attitude.
Zoey had gathered a few girls, including her new friends, viz. nerdy Quinn Pensky and bimboish Nicole Bristow, for a match against the boys.
I dared to cheer for Zoey, even at the cost of appearing as a traitor to the rest of the boys.
Zoey was the only girl able to play basketball, though.
Later, bully tomboy Dana Cruz, one of Zoey's roomies, joined in.
Yet the girls' team only lost by one point.
Zoey had been really great, inspite of getting fouled a lot by censored Logan Reese.
2.4. Out of the shadow
Less than a week had gone by.
Zoey had come, seen, and conquered. She was now already the captain of the basketball team, all the prejudices and obstacles notwithstanding.
I was proud of her.
But the development scared me to no end.
Zoey was the unique pride of the family.
I would be nothing but her meaningless little brother.
Nobody would ever recognise me for anything else.
This scenario was not acceptable for me.
But I remembered the words of the mystery girl.
Was she a powerful witch caught in the body of a girl of my age? Was she a goddess or maybe an alien girl?
I could not tell.
But for sure she was able to motivate me into fighting for my destiny.
How did tthis work?
I did not have a trace of a clue.
Her words had been so two-edged, making anything seem possible, victory or devastation.
She was so scaring, but so inspirational.
I wouldn't even have dared to look for a way to become greater than Zoey without her mysterious impact.
But the search had just begun.
Looking at the next card of the talon received from the arcane lady reveiled the picture of a juggler or illusionist, making people believe or disbelieve in things at whim.
The mystery girl was certainly such a juggler.
But fashion artists and playwrights juggled with the perceptions of the audience and onlookers as well.
So, what did all this mean to me?
Time was going to tell.
Chapter 3. Out of money
3.1. Out of money
As aforementioned, I was addicted to gummi worms.
But they costed a lot.
I could not say "No!" to a huge container of those candies.
This often made me run out of money.
I almost turned weak and was totally close to asking Zoey for a few bucks.
She would not have been pleased.
But, even worse, running tp Zoey for everything would have made me depend on her more and more.
This was totally detrimental to my real quest, that of stepping out of my elder sister's suffocating shadow.
With the bold warnings of the mystery girl being etched deeply into mind, I decided to refrain from bothering my sister.
3.2. The next card
Instead of begging Zoey or her friends, I decided to take a look at the next card in the talon of cards gifted by the mystery girl.
That one was really mysterious.
I saw a priest-like woman clad in a strange gown.
The picture was adorned with several phases of the moon: The crescend moon, the full moon, and the decrescent moon.
There should have been a new moon too.
But of course it is impossible to see the new moon.
So it was probably implied.
But what did the card tell me?
3.3. Looking for work
Of course, most people earn money by working, or so they should.
But this was not that easy at my age.
There were quite a few enterprises on the camous, some of them run by older stidents, others by outsiders, others by the school board.
I would not have objected to working as a delivery boy for Sushi Rox, just for example.
This was a Japanese café run by one Kazu, a guy in his thirties.
Even some Japanese candy was sold there.
I liked that sweet stuff about as much as gummi worms.
Workingb there would for sure have triggered a few discounts on the price of Japanese candy.
This could not have turned out any better.
But by the rules, Kazu was not allowed to employ kids under twelve.
That sucked completely.
The same was valid for the cafeteria, the coffee cart, the book shop, the boutique, the campus cinema, …
You just name it.
That was a bit depressing.
Maybe I could teach Spanish to the other kids, for money, of course?
I've recently watched that Mexican soap comedy.
"Por qué Rosalita, por qué?"
Unfortunately, teaching Spanish to one Mark del Figgalo turned out a catastrophe.
I could only teach him one pgrase: "El elefante es grande."
That sucked completely.
Should I have tried to raise funds by borrowing a guitar and play stupid songs in places where many kids passed by?
Zoey would have noticed that and started teaching me lessons.
That was a very bad idea.
I had to prove my ability of getting along with my money and do without begging and stealing.
Hey, the moon phases on the card reminded me of something.
Like the moon, money comes and goes rhythmically.
So I had to learn to adapt with the rhythm, to get along with the ebb and flow of bucks.
This required a lot more patience and intuituion than hitherto learned.
There was still a long way for me to go.
3.5. The Priestess
But maybe there was more in the card than that.
After all, the priestess depicted right there reminded me a lot of the young mystery witch from the wayside bar in San Diegoi county. She held a scroll in her hands, or some book.
This scroll had a lot in comon with the cards in my hand.
And the mystery girl had admonished me to use the cards wisely, or to end up like the "boobs".
Whaterver that was …
I probably did not even want to know.
3.6. Zoey gets scared
Quinn Pensky, aforemenrtioned nerd girl, was still living in a dormitory room on her own. She was really strange and believed in the emotions of food. And she invented a lot of peculiar devices, accordingly named "Quinnventions", and performed some strange experiments in the domain of biology, chemistry, nuclear physics, electronics …
Just name it!
Zoey had got troubles with her room pals Nicole and Dana.
Nicole was a reckless bimbo wench.
Dana was a tough bully and tomboy, and messy on top of that.
They were thence almost always at each other's throat.
Zoey had for that avail decided to move in with Quinn.
But this had not turned out well.
Quinn used Zoey as a atest rabbit for her scientific experiments.
You don't want to know the details.
Even worse, Zoey had contributed to the whole mess by forgettong her room keys often in her room, effectively locking out herself and having to rely on the mercy of her room pals.
The priestess wears a locket, shaked like a cross with equal arms, around her throat.
Zoey should have done the same with her key.
Likewise, I needed to carry the key to my destiny with me all the time.
Or else the secrets of my path would forever keep me locked out.
3.7. Learning from Quinn
Indeed, there was a lot to learn from Quinn.
Science did not come from naught.
Just reading books about it did not quite cut it.
It would only make you acquainted with stuff already known by others.
And this was not enough for growing greater than mankind.
Quinn was not content with being knowledgeable. She needed to grow greater than mankind.
Her intellegence was big, but it should have outdone each and every hitherto beknownst intelligence on planet earth.
Quinn stressed the necessity of rejecting and exploring.
But the most important factor was that of inutuition. It allowed Quinn to grow beyond common sense and commonly accepted knowledge.
Like Quinn's will to dominate all of mankind with her mind, growing out of the shadow of any known intelligence, my will to grow out of Zoey's shadow was wild and strong.
But only the intuition of the priestess could guide me.
Quinn smiled, "hi, Dustin, do you want to work as my assistant? There are even some bucks in it for you!"
I smiled. "Sure!"
This way, I was going to earn a few bucks while learning from Quinn's way of life.
Zoey had finally moved back into her old room with Nicole and Dana.
The two impossible girls had learned to live side by side without killing each other, much to Zoey's relief.
But my journey to life had just begun.
Chapter 4. Suffocated
As aformentioned, standing in Zoey's shadow was often more than annoying for me.
She was especially worried about my health.
I've already mentioned my addiction to candy, in particular gummi worms.
The latest cry were so-called bing bong balls, made of pure sugar and chemical colours and flavours. They were exorbitantly bad for both teeth and stomach, and for the whole metabolism.
I could not get my fingers off them.
Super extra mega big meanie Zoey took them always away from me.
I had sonetimes wished her to disappear from the face of this earth.
I was a member of the algebra team.
Granted, such a nerd club would not get me easily out of my sister's overwhelming and smothering embrace.
But at least it had one effect:
For the sake of a better preparation for the sectionals, Dean Rivers allowed me to go to middle school geometry classes of Mr. Kirby, thge responsible adviser for the algebra team.
But this was not easy.
I tried to stay cool. I answered everything better than my older fellow pupils.
It was about the number "pi" and circles.
But some of the middle school kids were apparently not pleased by talk.
This was especially valid for one Keith Finch[], a wardrobe, six foot and full of muscles from head to toes, just like mixed martial champion Jackson Colt[]
After classes, he cornered me and forced me to do his whole homework, including French.
I had not known French until then, although I should, given my roots from Louisiana. But I had not seen another choice.
Learning French would have taken me a whole night's work.
That seemed fast, but was it fast enough?
Zoey could have done something about it.
Needless to say, I did not want to bother her and appear once more as the "little brother".
That would have been uncool and embarrassing.
Now I was sitting in my dorm.
My roomie Jack was already fast asleep.
Yawning my throat into oblivion, I took a look at the next card in the talon.
It was a so-called "Empress".
The woman on the picture had got quite some similarity with Zoey.
That made sense.
Zoey ruled over my existence like a stern queen. This way, she was able to keep me from danger. That was just her nature as a mother hen.
But was I really lost outside her rule?
Everything pointed towards that.
Suddenly, there was an idea.
Zoey would sooner or later find out, anyways.
I had learnt during my previous years at Pacific Coast Academy the following lesson as thoroughly as can be:
Eyes and ears abbounded everywhere on the campus.
4.3. Telling Zoey
I had not dared to bother Zoey at night time, partly because of Dana and Nicole.
The bully tomboy and the bimbo wench would have awoken as well and started their usual bickering cascades.
Thus I had snuck to her lounge as early as possible, even way before the official curfew for boys in girls' dormitory halls.
Coco Wexler, chubby and messy the dormitory adviser for the girls, had been easily distracted with a few bagels.
Zoey wonderd. "Dustin? You look so …" She was missing words for it.
A night without sleep had left me in a horrible shape.
My eyes were apparently no longer in their holes.
Lacking proper sight, I ran into Nicole and Dana.
The latter treated me very ruthlessly.
Zoey rebuked her evil room pal.
Dana made stupid remarks about her protexctivity. Too bad she was even not wrong.
I told Zoey about the problem.
My sister's eyes bugged out.
She announced fiercely, "I'm going to beat him all shades hithrto known to mankind, forth and back."
I sighed, "what about your words: 'violence is no solution'?"
Zoey panted. "What else could I do?" Then she saw the parallel between Dana and Keith. She wondered, "Dustin, what is Dana doing to you in my absence?"
My teeth started rattling.
Dana had never really beaten me up, but she has threatened to do so more than once in situation like the previous ones.
Alas, I did not yet want to tell Zoey about it.
Zoey urged me to tell her what to do with Keith.
I sighed. "I may ask Quinn to help me with the mathletic team. She knows more about the whole thing than all of our teachers taken together."
Zoey nodded. "Yay, she does! This time, you will be out of Keith's way."
Well, this would get me put of Keith Finch's way during the classes.
But it was still hard to avoid him during the campus.
There was also a fencing team at Pacific Coast Academy.
And, according tio the last yearbook, Keith Finch was even his captain. He was renowned as "Cleeshay".
That was one ugly nick.
But there was an idea.
Zoey had been once in her school's fencing team for a few months, and she had practised a lot with dad.
Thus I asked my sister, "Zoey, woulkd you please teach me fencing?"
She gasped. "What would that be good for?"
I told her about Keith Finch's membership in the fencers' team. "Learning from you, I would be good enough to make it into the team and then embarrass him! He'll never bother younger kids again."
Zoey sighed. "Possibly. But I'm not all that skilled."
I begged on my knees.
Finally, she gave in.
Zoey would only teach me the principles.
I had got to do a lot on my own.
Letting my sister do everything for me would have been one big embarrassment.
But watching and learning from Zoey — and thereupon doing the rest — would not make me uncool.
Alas, there was still a long way for me ahead, including a lot of hard training, in order to make it up to there.
Keith would laugh about me for being half of his size.
But Zoey taught me, "agility, precision, and perception are even more important. And you rock at these."
I hoped that to be true.
Granted, being in the fencing team as well as in the mathletic team, let alone the speller bees, would be time consuming.
But it had to be.
Time would tell.
Sometimes, it was really good to have an elder sister like Zoey.
I just needed to be careful to avoid depending on her for good.
Chapter 5. Mr. Bradford
5.1. Prank Week
We were a few days awat from prank week.
In this one, the new pupils at this schools were pulled pranks on.
I remembered my first prank week.
Some fourth graders had glued wall paper over the outside of our dormitory room door.
This had been terrible.
I had opened the door. And I saw blue wallpaper, just like the one adorning the other walls of the dormitory room.
My roomie Jack had cried, "the door has disappeared!"
Of course, that was not possible.
I had just opened the door.
But the door did no longer match with an opening in the wall.
In other words, we had only been able to exit rthrough the window.
But I was still too afraid of the fire exits.
It took us twenty minutes to figure the fakeness of the wall and just cut througth the wallpaper in order to make our way out to the corridor.
That had been a terrible experience.
This year, all the girls were new.
This included especially Zoey.
I felt like pulling a prank on her.
Of course nothing with the potential of hurting her was up for grabs.
I wished to be able to contact the mystery girl from my way back to Pacific Coast Academy at the beginning of the academic year.
Somthing told me: "She is a very great prankster."
But this did not help me at this moment.
So at least I hoped to find an idea in the talon of strange cards.
There they were.
I picked the next one.
There was an old man with a grey beard, sitting on his throne. He was looking very sternly.
The subscript read "The Emperor".
So, who ruled over this school?
The head of the administration was of course Dean Carl Rivers.
What did that tell me?
Pulling a prank on the headmaster instead of Zoey would certainly have got me into much more trouble.
Dean Rivers was not exactly a fun guy.
But it could have been worse.
There were more influential people in charge of this school, such as the school's board and the alumni.
But who was the real boss above all of them?
Oh yeah, the school was still owned by the Bradford family.
A statue in front of the dormitory block of Chase Matthews, Michael barret, Logan Reese, and their henchmen reminded us of the very founder.
But that sucker died over ten years ago.
His son was the current ruler. He was already rather old and grumpy. He had been opposing to coeducation for many a year already.
Only the alumni could convince him into allowing girls to the school.
Hating women, he used to make his wife responsible for the winds of change, though.
But the real speaker of the pro-coeducation front had been Mr. Butler.
I had only heard of that alumnus from the old yearbooks.
Not for naught, Zoey's dormitory hall had named for said Mr. Butler.
Or, more precisely, already existing "Butler Hall" had been chosen as one of the first residence blocks for girls at Pacific Coast Academy.
5.2. Toilet Paper
Sunrise occurred at Pacific Coast Academy.
The coastal braes appeared like bathing in gold.
I looked around me and walked across the campus.
The first day of this year's prank week had now started.
"Butler Hall" was located to my left hand side. Or it was supposed to be.
For any ends and purposes, I just saw a huge curtain of toilet paper.
Some of the boys must have misornated "Butler Hall" … over night.
I sensed Logan Reese beghind that ruthless perversity.
Other boys had probably helped him, especially Michael Barret.
Zoey would not take that lightly. She would rather plan for getting back at the guys.
5.3. Bad Plan
A few hours later, the girls had decided on their plan.
They seemed to fumble with the statue of deceased Mr. Bradford.
I gasped, knowing about the significance of the monument.
The girls were not yet familiar with the history. They just had deeme dit cool to stain a statue right in front of Logan's hall.
I ram up to my sister. "Zoey! Zoey!"
Dana told Zoey, "the boys have sent a spy, Shall I squish the bugger?"
Zoey glared at Dana. "You don't dare to!"
Dana was mad at Zoey and turned away.
I panted, out of breath. "This is the statue of Mr. Bradford, the founder of Pacific Coast Academy."
Zoey had never heard about that guy.
I explained, "his son is the current big boss of the school. And if you pollute his dad's memory, you will get punished. Bradford is no fun. It means suspension, expulsion, deportation to Siberia!"
Nicole Bristow remarked, "are there cute boys in Siberia? If there are, I want to go there as fast as possible."
Zoey had to teach Nicole about Siberia.
Nicole was shocked. "No beach? No pools? No cute boys? Just snow and ice and reindeers and ugly guys?" She was close to puking.
Dana grunted, "come one! Do you see any mr. Bradford walk around? Logan sure has sent Dustin in order to keep us from pulling a prank on him."
Nicole remarked. "Logan is cute, too!" She swooned.
Zoey shook her head.
I explained, "Mr. Bradford comes hereto once each year around … this time of the year?"
Zoey asked, "you mean : He may show up any time soon?"
I nodded sadly.
Dana did not want to believe me.
Nicole wondered, "I've got this bra from Coco for the sculpture." She sighed. "But I don't want to go to the reindeers, either."
Against Dana's protest, Zoey cancelled the action.
And actually, Mr. Bradford would arrive the very next day in order to prepare his speech for the reunion of the alumni.
Zoey would have easily got herself deported to Siberia.
But the girls got their revenge, anyways.
Quinn had built a sonic bomb, making all boys drop unconscious for hours and miss out on their next day's lessons.
After all, it was necessary to figure when to bow to authorities and when to claim your independence.
One day, the time for demonstrating my own power and my own authority would surely come.
And I would better use it wisely.
Chapter 6. A Speller Be!
I've been in the speller bee team of Pacific Coast Academy elementary school since my first grade. Once I had made 112 points.[] I liked taking words apart and build new words form them.
Mr. Bender, one of our nicer teachers, had also selected me for this year's team.
This was not very much of a surprise.
I was going to represent our school, along with my pals Jack, Max[] , and Henry.
The southern Californian regionals were now just around the corner.
This meant a lot of mental peressure.
I would have given up after the sectionals, had there not been those words from the mystery girl at the beginning of the academic year.
Giving up would have qualified me as a "boob".
Along with my pals, I was practising a whole bunch of very difficult words.
Speller bees were by no means popular.
Max, Henry, and Jack had just been in the team for me.
I was clearly the captain.
But this was hardly much of a fame.
Zoey was the captain of the basketball team.
I sighed deeply.
Basketball was a very popular game here in California.
And oour team had been very successful during the late twentieth century.
Granted, we slacked behind badly as of recent, due to our lack of cheerios.
But this would change due to having just gone coeducative.
I had to show Zoey : "I can win something, too!"
6.1. The Trip
The location of the speller bee event was in Anaheim in Orange County.
Citrus fruits had actually played a rô in the colonisation of that valley of the river Santa Ana, thence the name of the county.
This made me somewhat sigh for relief.
Preparing for the speller bee, I had come across the most stupid explanations for words.
Claustrophobia, for example, was not a term designating the fear of people named "Claus".
Dyscalculia did not mean not the absence of calculi in your kidneys or bladder.
A sextant was not a pornographic device.
Anaheim was over half an hour of a bus trip from here.
Zoey was very much worried. "Don't drink too much before the trip! You might have to pee in the bus."
I shuddered for disgust.
The upcomimg contest made me more and more nervous.
I picked the next card of my talon of cards.
It featured two men and a tree, and an angel hovering above it.
The card was named "Lovers".
Wasn't that a bit scary?
I was only nine years old, and a half.
Zoey always made me look even younger.
Bear with it!
Our adviser was not Mr. Bender, but Mr. Callaghan[]. He had given us a long list of possible words.
But was it really all that useful studying potential words on the bus?
I was much too nervous. I started sweating a lot and needed something to drink, Zoey's verdict notwithstanding.
Fortunately, the bus was now approaching our destination quite rapidly.
This implied a possibility of visiting the loos again before the great contest.
I sighed for relief.
6.2. The contest
Several hundreds of participants had com from everywhere between Santa Barbara and San Diego.
This increased my nervosity.
We had to sign up at the control board.
I shivered nervously.
The head umpire, Mr. Gross[] from Santa Clarita's "James K. Polk" school, published a list with the order of the contestants.
We would enter the interrogation room one by one.
The lounge was divided into two areas:
,One of them hosted those still in the contest.
The other half, of course, was for the losers already eliminated from the competition.
I hated being a loser.
Thinking closely, who didn't?
I was the next in the list.
My heart beat like a steam engine.
I panted heavily.
Mr. Gross announced my first word. "There … example: I am here and not there."
I stammered, "t … h … e … r … e … There."
Mr. Gross nodded. "Correct! Next one!"
I sighed for relief.
Of course that was one totally common word.
But how many kids could not tell "there" from "their"?
I tell you: "way too many!"
The first turns only consisted of common words, but with traps similar to this one.
A few kids had already lost their nerves, including my friend Max.
Returning into the lounge, I felt my eyes bug out.
Wasn't the mystery girl from the wayside inn near San Diego standing right there? She talked to some other girls, probably friends from her school. She called one of them "Janie"[] , and the other one "Wendy".
Thery were all hot.
But that wasn't my task.
I had to concentrate on the next turns.
A few kids had already dropped out.
Thos made me more and more nervous.
The mystery girl walked into the interrogational cell.
Her name was mentioned: "Megan Parker!"
Now I knew her name.
It may have been a coincidence, though.
But she was from San Diego Belleview.
This made a lot of sense for a girl encoiuntered in a toilet in a wayside inn in San Diego county.
Even more, she grinned in a similarly mysterious and diabolic manner when talking to Janie and Wendy.
That could not be all that much of a coincidence.
The contest went on.
I had to concentrate hard.
More and more participants dropped out.
The following words became harder and harder.
After twelve words, only two participants were left.
I was among them.
And the other one was Megan Parker.
I started trembling.
I was now the next to be interrogated.
Mr. Gross asked, "Dystopia … example usage: I will rue this day until the time of dystopia!"
I stuttered, "d … y … s … t … o … p … i … a … dystopia."
Mr. Gross was astonished. "great! Megan Parker, please!"
Whatever her word, Megan Parker appeared to have had no problems with it.
This did not make me any less nervous.
There was nopw a little break.
I had drunk too much in the lounge. Thus I was now compelled to go to the toilets. Stupidly enough, I stumbled once more into the girls' toilets.
Megan stood there. "Aw, hi again, you can't have enough of me?"
I blushed and fainted.
Megan confused me completely.
I wanted to be so much like her. But I needed to know her better.
But she was in a different team.
I could not betray my team mates.
So, what to do?
What to say?
I could hardly think about anything but Megan.
The contest continued.
Mr. Gross asked, "Flocci … nauci … nihili … pili … fication … example usage: The Flocci … nauci … nihili … pili … fication of certain symptoms may lead to a fatal misdiagnosis."
I pantee heavily. "F … l … o … c … c … i … n … a … u … c … i … n … i … h … i … l … i … p … i … l … i … f … i … c … a … t … i … o … n … flocci … nauci … nihili … pili … fication." I sweated.
Mr. Gross applauded. "You have won!"
I still could not get it.
Megan congratulated, "Cool. I like you even more now. Good luck! We will see us again after your next lessons …"
We hugged briefly.
I panted. "Thanks. You're really great, Megan!"
Shew grinned. Then she had to disappear.
This day felt like standing at some crossroads.
I may be seen as a hero at Pacific Coast Academy. But I also liked Megan Parker, a girl from another school.
Was that going to turn out well?
Chapter 7. I'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain
The vicinity to Hollywood is responsible for the significance of the drama club of Pacific Coast Academy, managed by one Mr. Fletcher[] .
We could not hold a candle to specialised schools such as "Palmwood" or Hollywood School for the Professional Performance Arts.
Nothing withstanding, many future playwrights, actors, directors, and so on got discovered here.
Strangely, Logan Reese, inspite of being the son of Hollywood csar Malcolm, had hitherto been very much uninterested.
This year, Chase Bartholomew Matthews has authored the script for thew middle school play, Zorka The Alien.
It featured an alien girl, viz. Zorka from the planet Zoerkesia, stranded with her flying saucer on planet earth and lost in the ocean. She is saved by a hot bay watch and kisses him in the end.
In earlier years, the complete absense of girls had resulted in the usage of transvestites or of hired girls from other schools.
But this year, we had got real girls.
So a real kiss was expected.
7.2. First auditions
Zoey had tried out as Zorka.
Her competitors were transvestite Mark del Figgalo, a screamer, and a girl unable to tell a spoken play from a musical.
So Zoey had to be chosen.
Chase was supposed to be the hot bay watch.
I had to laugh.
Chase could impossible act as a hot guy.
That was totally unnatural for a bushy freak.
But then Logan Reese tried out. He was such a dandy.
And this helped him to be very convincing.
Did I feel at ease with the thought of Logan Reese kissing my sister?
The beast had almost tried to kill her down on the basketball field.
I started worrying.
My worries had not been without consequences.
Early next morning, eare the rise of sun, I felt awfully sick. I did not connect this to my worries and thought about a flu, though.
What to do?
I looked up my talon of opicture cards.
There was an ancient guy guiding a wagon drawn by mythical beasts.
Accordingly, it was named "Chariot".
OK, what was that supposed to mean?
It reminded me of the young hero on his way to the battle, returning victoriously.
That would have been more suitable for my aforementioned trip to Anaheim for the spellers' bee.
Or was I supposed to do something about the situation, like a hero?
First, I tried to find Zoey in order to tell her about my sickness.
Granted, this looked like submitting to her patronage.
But the alternative of going straight to the infirmary was even worse.
Dana opened the door.
Zoey was not there.
She did not want to bother with me and pushed me rudely away, shutting the door.
What a censored!
Quinn walked by. "I can treat you!"
This sounded to be the better alternative.
She fixed me to the bed and applied electric shock or so to my feet. She also tried to clean my tongue with some sort of vacuum cleaner.
This tickled like hell.
But I did not feel any better.
7.5. Ashley Blake
All disappointed, I walked into my lounge.
My class mate Ashley Blake crossed my way. She grabbed me.
I protested. "I'm contagious!"
Ashley shrugged. She was a great kid star and had already been starring in many Hollywood movies.
Zorka was pribably beneath her level. Itwas a play for middle school kids, anyways.
She panted. "Listen, Dustin, Megan told me about your worries."
I gasped. "Megan Parker?" I wondered silently, "how does she know? Well, she's a witch!"
Ashley had been friends with Megan since a visit in "Première Theater" in San Diego. But she was totally arrogant.
I feared her vicinity.
Ashley told me, "you don't want Logan to kiss Zoey? Fine! Be the hero of the play!"
I shivered. "I've never been acting!"
Ashley shook her head. "It's a really simple play. You can learn it in two hours, with a decent teacher."
I was still not quite at ease.
Ashley continued, "Megan told me to teach you. Come on!"
I finally deemed it the lesser evil.
7.6. Trying Out
Ashley was not a bad teacher.
Mr. Fletcher wondered, "you are an elementary school kid, right?"
Mr. Fletcher growled, "this is a middle school play!"
Ashley had prepared me for the answer. "True talent knows no age. Ask Mrs. Sofia Michelle[] !"
Mrs. Michelle was a former novelist and now one of the greatest playwrights at "Broadway". She regularly visited Californian schools in order to see talents.
Ashley had already been performing in her plays.
Fletcher shivered. He had deep respect for Sofia Michelle.
I was allowed to try out.
Ashley stuck two thumbs up, in her usual stone cold manner.
I must have been totally convincing.
Mr. Fletcher sweated. "Hells bells! The best bay watch, ever! Chase, we must give Dustin that rôle."
Logan was totally upset. He yelled like an idiot, demonstrating himself a total jerk.
7.7. The Kiss
Alas, there was one problem.
I told Ashley, "I have to kiss Zoey in the end?"
Ashley nodded solemnly.
I squealed, "But she's my sister!"
Ashley replied, "hey, I've got an elder brother, Vince …"
I knew him somewhat.
He was a very tough jock.
Ashley continued, "he kisses me sometimes, too, but on the top of the head or the cheeks."
I looked puzzled.
Ashley showed me the script. "Read it!" She grunted, "she leant forward to kiss him." She grinned triumphantly. "Where does it say, 'on the mouth' or something to that avail?"
I scratched my head. "Nowhere?"
Ashley nodded solemnly. "Correct!"
Sometimes, one just has to read scripts better.
And, strangely, my "flu" wasn't there anymore.
It had just been psychosomatic or so.
The torture by Quinn had thus been totally unnecessary.
7.8. The Hero
The play was over.
Mr. Fletcher was a bit shocked by the cheek kiss. He had been looking forward to a real kiss.
But the audience applauded.
Zoey told me, "you've really saved me, from that jerk named Logan Reese. You are a life saviour."
I smiled with mischief.
Later, Megan would tell me about the significance of the chariot as an allusion to the book of Ezechiel.
It depicts the arrival of the ultimate Saviour in the times of apocalypse.
According to Megan, I had overcome the devil alias Logan Reese.
But in this moment, I did not know that and just enjoyed the public attention.
Chapter 8. The Lion's Den
8.1. My Phobia
One of my greatest fear was that of animals of a certain size.
For example, there were some killer squirrels out on the campus.
I could have gotren my toes bit by them.
That would really have hurt me.
Especially I did not dare to leave the paved area.
But even this was not totally safe.
Everything had started with a goldfish.
One day, I had spotted one in a fish tank in the lobby of the Pacific Coast Academy library.
He had been swimming around merrily.
I had smiled and stuck one of my fingers into the water. "Fishy! Fishy! Fishy!"
The goldfish did not seem to like this.
A second later, I felt a sharp pain in my finger, making me scream like Nicole Bristow.
This had been my first bad accident involving a little animal.
Now I was scared for the rest of my life.
Would I keep on running up to Zoey and beg for her protection?
That did not sound at all like merging from her shadow.
8.2. Killer Toad
So I was sitting at the wayside, looking at my boring math homeworks.
Suddenly, an ugly toad showed up.
Just business as usual, I started scquealing at te top of my lungs and run away.
Zoey and her friends Chase and Michael were not far from there.
I told Zoey about the toad's onslaught.
Chase and Michael made fun of me.
Especially Michael was a mean perverse bastard. He imitated the sound of a wild animal of that size, making me shriek to death.
I denied being afraid of it. I could not want to be known as an eternal coward.
So Chase and Michael told me to watch their puppy.
Elvis, the little dog, was hidden by the boys and girls from the adults.
Pets were strictly illegal.
But Zoey an dher gang always achieved fooling the dorm advisers.
Especially Coco Wexler was so totally easy to fool.
I walked away, not sure what to do.
8.3. Lion's Jaw
Then I reached my doirm and picked up the talon of cards rendered unto me by Megan Parker. I grabbed the next card and looked at it.
It was titled Strength and showed a lady holding a wild lion by the mouth, closing it with insane efforts.
Now, that was a word!
I would face the furious monster lion named Elvis and force him to keep his evil mouth shut for good.
That evil monster beast would rue for good barking at me!
8.4. Quinn's Laboratory
Quinn was currently totally off her road. She had got a crush on aforementioned dweeb Mark Del Figgalo. She could hardly concentrate.
Zoey was trying to arrange a date for Quinn.
During that period, Quinn would hardly miss some stuff from her laboratory missing.
And Quinn had recently made some very interesting inventions not quite likely to help me.
For example, there was a mixture of various spices found in each good kitchen, able to knock out anyone smelling them.
Chase had been the first victim.
And then there was Quinn's sonic bomb. It emitted sound waves neutralising the nervous system of people.
Of course I did not want to knock out myself.
So I needed to control the potential power.
The sonic bomb needed to be adjusted.
The spice mix needed to be tuned for dogs.
Of course, not being a great scientists made it impossible for me to carry out the necessary research.
Thus I had to find someone else able to do it for me.
8.5. The Ultranerd
I walked the dark, sinister side corridors of the Pacific Coast Academy library.
This was the home of the greatest book worm ever living on the campus of Pacific Coast Academy.
His name was Miles Brody[]. Unfortunately, unlike Quinn, he had lost all contact to life outside the walls of the library.
Or at least that was to be supposed.
But Miles knew a lot of things going on elsewhere on the campus, such as Quinn's insane crush on Mark del Figgalo.
I did not even have to tell him the reason for my arrival.
Miles read a book of 500 pages within a few minutes. Then he panted heavily. "But don't think I'll help you for no price!"
I started trembling. "Sorry! I'm out of money!"
For the better or worse, Miles did not want money. "Give me a date with the hottest girl on the campus!"
I looke puzzled, thinking "who would that be?" Fearing the worst, I replied, "my sister Zoey is not up for grabs!"
Miles cackled diabolically. He spoke with a strange Britosh accents.
I hated British accent, british food, and British weather, especially the latter.
Miles grunted, "I don't want Zoey! I want Nicole Bristow!"
My head started spinning like a merry go round. "Nicole?"
Miles nodded solemnly.
Nicole Bimbo was such an annoying bimbo wench.
Miles must have suffered from severe taste distortion.
But OK, I called it a deal.
8.6. Toréador En Garde![]
Miles had successfully calibrated the sonic bomb and the spice mix, consisting of chili powder, soy sauce, and lemon juice.
I just had to borrow a protective suit from Vince Blake, Ashley's elder brother and captain of the hockey team.
It was more protective than my fencer's suit.
Donning the armour made me ready for facing the miniature killer beast.
Now I entered the lion's den.
Ferocious beast Elvis assaulted me, just as expected, barking like Stan incarnate. But he had not taken my secret weapon into account.
I threw the sonic bomb.
The evil monster dropped unconscious.
I sighed for relief.
Michael and Chase walked in.
Michael was totalluy upset. He accused me of being mean and evil.
I did not listen any longer. I took the killer salsa and rubbed it against Michael'a nose.
The charlatan passed out on site.
Wait! It should notb have worked on humans?
Well, Michael's brain was rather that of a beast than that of a civilised person.
That would be the reason.
In any case, both Michael and Elvis would no longer bother me.
8.7. Quinn's Boyfriend
Unfortunately, Zoey had actually acghieved getting Mark Del Figgalo to date Quinn. She even had to force him to break uo with Courtney[] , his girlfriend up to then.
But I did not have a good feeling concerning Quinn and Mark.
Whatever, I had defeated two wild beasts through the powers of civilisation. Now I was ready for the regionals of the fencing team. But I still had to match Miles Brody and Nicole Bristow.
This required a trick of a different dimension.
Chapter 9. Drake At PCA
9.1. Drake Parker[]
Spring Fling was around the corner.
It was the first real party after the winter break at Pacific Coast Academy.
Usually, spring flings used to be very lame.
That's because we boys sucked at organising parties.
The main problem was good music.
But the arrival of the girls had got the potential of changing all that.
Zoey was particularly great at organising parties.
I sighed deeply.
This would keep me in her shadow for much longer.
I would be known as the little brother of the chick organising the best party ever.
That was so not fair.
This year, Zoey had spotted a great star, a heartthrob of the southern Californian teenage girls: Drake Parker.
Especially Nicole Bristow was obsessed with him, just as with all cute boys.
Drake's career had started just a few months ago.
He had subbed in a concert in his home town, San Diego, for injured world star Devin Malone[].
A professional band had quickly been formed around him.
That teenager was pretty fast in the centre of public interest, even without a record contract of anything like that.
As aforementioned, hiring Drake Parker for our spring fling would have been a great merit for my elder sister.
I hated that, but I would not have wanted the usual lame music, either. Thus I had donated a few bucks for the party fund.
Hiring Drake was not cheap.
His filthy creep of a manager requested five thousand bucks.
This was not a puny sum.
Only one of the students would not have had troubles to afford that. It was of course Logan Reese. But he feared the competition of Drake Parker as a womaniser and jerk.
According to rumours, Drake was able to switch girlfriends faster than his underwear.
Alas, I had to think of something.
Drake's surname was Parker.
He was from San Diego.
Maybe there was a connection to my dear mystery girl, Megan Parker?
I had to check.
Zoey, Nicole, and Dana were now up to organising the usual fund raining actions, including car wash and melon bashing.
In addition, Zoey had designed shirts with Drake's logo.
Those were now up for sale.
9.2. Megan's Boobs
I was checking out the interweb site nown as "meganparker dot com".
The site was full of clips about pranks pulled by Megan on two boys, or "boobs", named Drake and Josh!
My intuition had not been exactly wrong.
I left a message for Megan, talking about the impending spring fling and oour wish to hire Drake Parker, her disgusting elder brother.
Apparently, Megan was not willing to be just known as the littler soister of som renowned rock star.
I understood that situation.
It was quite like my struggle for the purpose of exiting from Zoey's overwhelming shadow.
Maybe Megan was able to get Drake to play for a cheaper some?
I just had to ask.
Before doing so, I looked up the next colourful card in my talon.
Iit was named "The Hermit".
There was the picture of an old man out in the darkness, holding aloft a strange lantern.
What could that be?
9.3. Sleep Withdrawal
As aforementioned, I served Quinn as a test subject for her scientific experiments.
This time, she was working on a theory about sleep withdrawal.
I was wearing a bracelet controlling my activities.
The device prevented me, using eventual electric shocks, from falling asleep.
Quinn was recording my state.
I reported to feel tired.
Quinn tested my reflexes. She filled ice cubes into my pants and yelled into my ear with a horn. She deemed my reflexes normal. She would also test me for hallucinations.
In the mean time, Zoey's fund raising actions had failed miserably.
Zoey had forgotten to consider the costs for melons, cloth, soap and water, and so on.
This was terrible.
9.4. News from San Diego
Zoey and her friends, including Chase Bartholomew Matthews and Michael Barret, were still consternated.
Only one thousand bucks had been remaining.
This would only have been enough to hire the lame band of Dirk, Suzée, and Blake.[]
The party would be lame.
Suddenly, Zoey's cellular phone rang out.
My sister picked it up. "Zoey Brooks?"
"This is Drake Parker", replied the caller. "Hi my doll, I've decided to play gratis at your school party. I've fired my manager. He's such a filthy creep."
Zoey sounded shocked. She did not exactly appreciate getting called his "doll".
Now I was overwhelmerd by hallucinations. I saw Quuinn moo like a cow, and more than one copy of her do so at the same time.
9.5. The Concert
Drake had actually arrived. He would play his success hit Highway To Nowhere.[]
But my sleep withdrawal was now keading to strikin consequences.
I had begged some passerby to break the stupid bracelet off my arm and let me fall asleep.
The world went dark for me.
I was on the highway to nowhere.
9.6. Waking up
Suddenly, I woke up. I heard the angels sing.
But it was really the sound of an oboe.
The shingles on the wall around me suggested, "I'm in some toilet."
Various girls stood around me.
Once more I had ended up in the girls' toilet.
But how had I gotten there?
Ashley Blake grinned. "I had to drag you into safety. You would have been stomped to death by masses of teenagers addicted to Drake's music."
Indeed, I felt the pains of one or the other shoe mark on my chest or my back, let alone my legs.
A cabin's door opened.
There she was again: Megan Parker! She smiled like an angel.
I finally realised having passed out and missed out on Drake's concert.
The event was over.
Drake was now sitting in the cafeteria with Zoey, Dana, Nicole, Chase, and Michael.
Megan comforted me. "You haven't really missed out on much. You needed some time out. The boob would just have gotten on your nerves. Be glad about a few hours alone in wonderland."
Her friend Wendy Gellar had to change the bandages on my wounds.
That must have been the meaning of the hermit.
Sometimes, you need to take a break from the fever of socialising. You just need to find the right moment to do so.
Megan also admitted to having tricked Drake to perform at Pacific Coast Academy for no cost.
How had she done that?
I did not know right there, right then.
But I would be known as the one to have secured Drake's performance at Pacific Coast Academy, and not Zoey.
This was a great step.
Chapter 10. Mindy Crenshaw
As aforementioned, Zoey was a very gifted fashion designer.
This was useful once more after some stupid inident.
Nicole had bought so-called cue pops at the campus store.
Those were plastic sticks filled with fruit jelly.
Opening their tip and applying some pressure made the jelly sootout form the whole, preferrably hitting your mouth.
But Nicole Bristow was not exactly renowned for her careful attentivity. Instead of aiming at her open mouth, she made the juicy goo splash across the counter and hit one of the official Pacific Coast Academy backpacks for sale.
The damage was veyond repair.
Zoey had to help out flat broken Nicole paying for the stained backpack.
Nicole did not want the "ugly" backpack.
Thus Zoey turned lemons into lemonade and ornated the backpack in a very skillful manner.
This would not unlikely make Ms. Awesome into Ms. Super Awesome.
So I would stay known as the little brother of the most awesome girl on the campus.
That was not fair.
I wondered what to do. I picked the next card from the talon.
The name was "The Wheel".
I saw some sort of wheel, indeed, and various figures moving along with the spinning wheel.
Now, what was this supposed to mean?
At the same time, Quinn Pensky has started genetic manipulations with fruit plants.
Her favourite fruits were apples and bananas.
Properly spoken, apples were accessory fruits, and bananas were a sort of a berry.
This confused me to no end.
But it was no problem for supergeeky Quinn Pensky.
The resident nerd princess simply manipulated a banana tree genetically.
The bush would soon bear fruits being a mixture of apples and bananas.
The fruits would be known as "banapples".
This sounded extremely delicious.
Maybe I could be the first person to eat one?
This would make Zoey only known as the sister of the guy having eaten the first banapple.
Unfortunately, wild birds were a constant thread for the hitherto unbeknownst fruits.
I offered as a scarecrow.
Quinn had had other plans. She wanted to erect a mechanical scarecrow with laser eyes firing deadly beams at the evil birds. But she could as well let me stand there with a squirting can filled with her previous invention.
Now the evil wingers could come.
Superdustin would make them drop to the ground like rocks.
Zoey's backpack had been very beautiful.
Fortunately, it was not for sale.
But some girl named Anastasia had taken pictures of it for the school newspaper. She had not yet been at the school for more than a week.
Strangely, I had already seen that girl somewhere.
The following days, Anastasia started selling ornated backpacks. They totally looked like copies of Zoey's.
This was not fair.
It may hacve delayed Zoey's fame as a backpack designer.
But it was certainly noy making me merge from Zoey's shadows.
10.4. Night Time Surprise
The sun had disappeared in the murky brine of the mighty Pacific.
I was now standing in the bushed near Quinn's banapple tree, armed with a can of passout spray.
The birds would pay dearly for attacking the unripe banapples.
But that was that?
I could hear steps approach. I swiftly hid in the bushes in order to watch the scene.
A girl approached the banapple push. She started fumbling with the unripe banapples.
I needed to record this deed.
Within a few minutes, the banapples had disappeared and got replaced by new ones.
Who the heck would do something like that?
That sounded so weird.
Too bad I had not got a night vision camera with me.
Quinn would sure provide me with one.
10.5. Who's That Girl?
The following night, I was hiding in the bushes, along with Quinn.
This time, we were equipped properly with night vision devices.
Quinn would later on improve these into certain "quinnoculars".
But for the time being, they worked well for their intended purpose.
The day had not been pleasant.
"Anastasia" had started negotiating with the campus store in order to get her plagiarised backpacks sold there.
That was annoying.
Noises were audible from the campus square.
Quinn stuffed my mouth and focussed her night vision camera. She gasped. "The wench is replacing the banapples again, and painting them!"
My fears had been true.
The intruder seemed to have noticed us and started to panic.
Quinn activated an electric torch. "Stop the thief!"
"Anastasia" squealed when feeling her eyes stabbed by the electric light. Actually, she was called Mindy Crenshaw.
I had found her again, on Megan's web site. I sighed deeply. "Mindy Crenshaw!"
The thief growled, "I don't know what you are taklking about. There is no such thing as 'Mindy Crenshaw'."
I moaned, "from San Diego Belleview, recently expelled from her former school, 'Belleview', for stealing a teacher's car and trying to get Drake Parker framed."
Megan had resolved the case.
Mindy had been able to flee and disappear. So, there she was.
Quinn was consternated. "Why did you do that?"
Mindy sighed. "I had been so close. I was on all honour rolls of my schools. And then Mrs. Heyfer, the one sucking bitch of a teacher, has given me a B+. She stinks!"
Quinn understood Mindy's anger, though.
But what did all this have to do with the banapples?
Mindy had been a super geek girl.
This could even be read on Megan's site.
Mindy had won all the science fairs in her life, recently with genetic engineering. Now she was excluded from those. "If I can't be known as the greatest genetic engineer of my generation, nobody should. Thus Quinn needed to get herself blamed." Mindy had been on the top of a giant wheel found on fair grounds.
But then the wheel kept on spinning.
Mindy was dragged to the bottom.
And on and on and on it would have gone.
Quinn gasped. "Maybe I would have even done the same."
That sounded rude.
Mindy admitted to having attached the fruits in the first place, and later on replaced them all the time, trying to fool Quinn.
That was really humiliating for Quinn.
She had not noticed the fruits to be fakes. But she should have done so.
As aforementioned, apples and bananas were completely incompatible fruits.
The result would not have been banana-shaped fruits with an apple-like outer skin/
Mindy explained, "The banapple tree would have born fruits for real, but not in their first year."
Quinn should have seen that coming.
I told them, "why can't you work together? This would annoy Wayne Gilbert."
Sooner or later, Wayne would be at the buttom.
And the girls would be again on the top.
That's the wheel of fortune.
Of course, Mindy had to promise to desist from plagiarising Zoey's backpacks.
This would turn out equally well.
Chapter 11. Perfect Matches
11.1. Middle School Dance
Each year, Pacific Coast Academy organised an annual middle school dance.
Of course, there had not been any girls at school until the year ago.
And even this year, girls were still severely outnumbered.
Justlike during the last years, the gap was filled with girls from other middle schools in Los Angeles county, such as Eastridge[], Silver Spring[], James K. Polk, Hollywood School for the Professional Performance Arts, or Palmwood.
This has often lead to quite some confusion.
This year, there was an additional trouble maker.
The boys and girls were not allowed to choose their dancepartner.
The whole thing was arranged by some stupid computer test.
Being an elementary school kid, I was not directly concerned.
Or so one would have thought naturally.
I looked at the next card on my talon. I sighed deeply.
There was a card named "Justice", the usual woman with a pair of scales and a sword.
Oops! Those scales remionded me so much of the balancing of the amount of boys and girls here.
It was a bit unfair.
Those girls from the other schools were probably ultimate loser girls.
Who else would have really dared to participate in such a ball arranged by computers?
Thus the girls here were certainly geteting the better deal out of this ball. They would get the best boys here.
Whereas the boys would be left with the most suckish wenches.
And with Zoey getting assigned a top boy, I would only become known as the little brother of Zoey, the shining blonde.
I had to do something about this.
11.2. Computer's Choices
The questionaries had been totally stupid.
What does Zoey's favourite animal have to do with zilch?
OK, so there were the results.
Zoey was stupidly assigned to two boys.
What was that?
One of them was Chase Bartholomew Matthews. He had stalked Zoey for over a weak in order to catch her answers.
That was so totally insane.
The other one was utter jerk Glen Davis[] , even worse than super dandy Logan Reese. He must have stolen Zoey's answers somehow.
Yeah, it was even possible to be worse of a jerk than Logan Reese, believe it or not!
Quinn Pensky was assigned to Mark del Figgalo.
That was totally easy to explain.
Mark del Figgalo was too much of a dork to be able to fill in his own questionary.
Quinn had to do it for him.
But then there was little wonder about the outcome.
Nicole Bristow was matched with some bimbo lad named Nicholas Webber.
He was probably from some hillybilly state somewhere in the middle west.
Logan Reese was "awarded" with capital punishment aka Dana Cruz.
The reckless tomboys bullies all boys, indiscriminately.
I had been often enough a victim of her evil rudeness.
That occurred often in Zoey's absence.
Michael Barret had got the worst deal.
His partner was Olivary Biallo, some sort of a boy.
But Biallo must have registered as a girl.
That was totally fishy.
But I had already seen Olivary Biallo … somewhere!
Oh, right, my fencing team had been facing that of "James K. Polk", just two weeks ago.
My opponent had been a certain William Loomer. He was worse a bully than Dana Cruz and Keith Finch taken together.
And Olivary Biallo was Loomer's henchman, better known under another name, Jerry Cronuy!
Hey, there was something totally fishy!
I had even been able to find out abouyt a secret of Jerry Crony.
He was the only male member of the textile creation club and too embarrassed to admit to this in the public, especially to his friend Loomer!
Keith Finch had been assigned to some equally brainless Suzanne Crabgrass.[]
But the thing with Zoey and Glen hurt me.
Zoey was even OK with it. She wanted to come to know knew pupils.
That was so dangerous.
I had to do something about this.
11.3. Miles Brody Strikes Again
Once more, I resorted to Miles Brody.
I had once fooled Nicole into believing Miles to be a cute boy.
But the dweeb was nowhere near like that.
Nicole Bristow had been disgusted to the death. She still wanted to kill me.
Miles Brody grinned. "OK, you could get Zoey to date that Jerry Crony."
I gasped. "The bully?"
Miles nodded. "He can't be a real bully. He has got a girly hobby. He just wants to hide this."
I looked puzzled.
But, OK, for Zoey, either would have been OK.
Then there was the problem with Glen Davis.
Chase was very easy to distract.
But Glen would have insisted vigorously.
So I needed to find a decent match for Glen.
Miles grinned. He had got a copy of the test on his laptop.
He entered a typical jerk profile for Glen.
And then he pusghed the buttons.
The laptop spit out some result.
Miles read, "Caterina Vega[] from 'Eastridge' School."
I shrugged. "I have never heard of her."
Miles sighed. "Probably not, as she is one of the hired girls."
That sounded reasonable.
11.4. Dance The Night Away
Trina Vega was as disgusting as expected. But she was one busty Latina.
Little wonder Ashley Blake got along with her fairly well.
And Glen Davis had not got any qualms trashing Zoey for the hot and dumb criolla.
Zoey's brain would have been wasted on Glen Davis, anyways.
Zoey did not mind getting to know hitherto unbeknownst Jerry Crony aka Olivary Biallo.
Chase Matthews and Michael Barret had been released from girls' matches.
For the better or worse, they had to be dance partners, or get lost.
Maybe this was not the worst combination, after all.
Nicole and Nicholas talked each other's easr of, like in a mirror and echo.
They would have been a perfect couple.
But, unfortunately, they were annoyed for no reason.
This had to be corrected, for justice's sake!
Logan behaved like a jerk, all thge time.
Dana stomped on his feet mercilessly, making the sadomasochist squeal for joy.
Miles' price was high, though.
I had to get him a date with yet another girl.
But that would be reveiled later on only.
Quinn had been so bored by the setup of the party, she could not help but disappear with Mark in some dark corner right at the beginning of the dance.
Zoey,on the other hand, was still talking to Crony, probably about fashion design and textile creation.
That sounded a lot like justice strike.
Chapter 12. Beach Party
12.1. End Of Term
The last days of the middle term were really stressy.
There were those stupid exams.
On the other hand, I always wanted to ask Zoey about the origin of the little babies.
She always alluded to that, but never wanted to talk about it. She must have had something to hide, something smelling very fishy.
The hanging fish was rotting from the head up.
I sometimes feigned needing her tutoring for the upcoming exams, and then asked that question inadvertedly.
But she always blocked the topic.
That was totally unfair.
Zoey would have to regret that.
Or so I swore.
There was some tradition at the end of the mid term of the academic year.
We kids celebrated a beach party.
Granted, the campus of Pacific Coast Academy was adjacent to the seaside of the Pacific ocean.
But the beach their was not big enough for thousands of kids.
Thus we had to rent a part of so-called mystic beach, a dreamy place down by the sea shores to the South of Los Angeles.
So there was at least sdmething to look forward to at the end of the mid term.
Zoey was busy tutoring everyone else. She had to teach French to Quinn. Zoey knew French better than the president of France. She regularly web chatted with people from France living in America.
I would have liked to come in the bus of Zoey and her friends.
That was more fun.
But then again, this was probably exactly not the way to get out of Zoey's shadow.
For the eighthgraders I was definitely nothing but Zoey's little brother.
And that sucked like vampires.
I still decided to walk past them in order to tell them my decision about going to the beach with my class pals.
Their lounge was all of a sudden so silent.
What was going on?
I snuck around the corner, seeing Zoey, along with Chase Bartholomew Matthews, Logan Rese, Michael Barret, Dana Cruz, Quinn Pensky, and Nicole Bristow all lying silently on the floor. I gasped. "Zoey?"
But they did not wake up.
A flask protruded from Quinn's pockets. It contained some pink essence.
I shrugged and picked iit up.
It promised a lot of fun.
Max, Jack, Henry, and Ashley grabbed me. "We have to hurry up!"
I sighed deeply.
Zoey and her friends were probably going to miss out on their bus now.
But I had to catch my own.
12.3. In The Bus
Before entering the coach, I stook a look at the next card in the talon.
That was a very strange one, "hanged Man".
Some guy hanging upside down from a tree was depicted there. He seemed to be meditating.
But what could that mean?
Ashley was talking about her impending tasks. Down at the sea shore of Mystic Beach, she would not just celebrate the end of the spring term, she would also work as a model for some fashion label from New York City.
Her task was that of presenting the beach fashion for tweens for Californian TV.
I took a look at the mystery essence in that test tube.
The container was closed with a rubber blob of some sort.
Ashley smiled. "It looks pink. I love pink."
Most girls in her age did.
I guessed, "maybe Quinn hads invented some new fragrance?"
Max, Henry, and Jack nodded.
That sounded very reasonable.
Ashley grinned in her usual cold manner, colder than the ice of the southern pole. "I'm a celebrity! I need to be the first person to use it."
It was hard, if nit impossible, to argue her.
I let her take the testtube.
Ashley unplugged the blob. "Smells like coconut. I love the smell of coconut! It is the perfect fragrance for my presentation at the sea shore!" She inhaled the pink stuff deeply. Then she claimed the flask for herself, in case of needing more of it.
I sighed deeply.
But then, something strange happened.
Ashley dropped out. She was now fast asleep, after just a second.
This fragrance must also have made Zoey and her friends fall asleep.
And now we were left with a problem.
Ashley had to give the presentation, but she was too fast asleep.
12.4. Little Beach Presentation
Finally, the bus had arrived at the beach … "Mystic Beach".
Needless to say, Ashley Blake was still asleep. She could not stay in the bus.
We had to carry the sleepy lass outside.
I had to do most oif the work.
Well, a few weeks ago, the diva had commanded her friends around and got me dragged into the girls' toilets.
That was not fair.
But Ashley's presentation came closer and closer.
Jack was looking out for the people from New York City.
The last bus arrived with kids from Pacific Coast Academy..
Zoey and her friends were among them. They had been waking up just in time. But they had not giot the time to take their luggage along with them. Now they had sto stay all the afternoon in their street clothes.
That wasn't exactly a nice beach party.
I told Quinn about the essence, and the problems which it caused to Ashley Blake.
The geek girl sighed. "Sorry! I will brew a counter medic."
I wondered, "how long will that take?"
Quinn shrugged. "two or three …"
I wondered, "minutes? Hours?"
Quinn nodded. "or maybe four …"
I was worried, "Days? Weeks?"
Jack arrived, "the guys from 'Mad Style' from New York City just arrived. A certain Amanda Cantwell is looking for Ashley!"
Ogf course, waiting for Quinn to invent the counter essence would be pointless.
Ashley would have woken up in a few hours, anyways.
Either way, the presentation was now.
Henry suggested, "we could carry Ashley around and make Amanda Cantwell believe in Ashley being awake!"
I gasped. "Hey! That sounds cool!"
Zoey was not really keenon that way of cheating.
But the name "Mad Style" made Zoey's heart beat faster.
As a professional fashion designer, a carrer at a firm like "Mad Style" would be a great dream for her.
I grabbed Ashley's left arm.
Max grabbed the right one.
We lifted Ashley up and made eher walk like a string puppet.
I had to try hard to fake Ashley's voice.
Amanda Cantwell was a very grumpy person. She was certainly not easy to please. "Why do you need to be escorted?"
Borroewing my voice, "Ashley" replied, "I'm a celebrity! I don't walk on my own! Others should do that for me!"
Amanda smiled. "Oh, well, that's the spirit!" She sighed.
Fortunately, Ashley Blake and Amanda Cantwell got along extremely well.
But now we had to redress Ashley.
Amanda shouted at a certain Coppleman, another employee of "Mad Style", forcing him to render us the new string tanga and fishnet bra for Ashley to present.
That Coppleman hardly seemed to say anything — ever.
That was a problem.
I was not happy about having to redresss Ashley.
Fortunately, Nicole Bristow was lucky to do so. "I would love to be a model and present hot tangas in front of cute boys. That would be totally cool. May you imagine anything cooler than walking half naked past a bunch of cute boys?"
Zoey and Dana grunted, "shut up!"
Nicole also restyled Ashley's hair and powedered her face.
Ten minutes later, the sleeping diva was rigged and ready for the presentation.
We grabbed her and made her walk as elegantly as can be, under those circumstances.
Amanda was very enthusiastic about Ashley's style of presentation. She decided to double the salary of the diva.
Our mission was complete.
Now Zoey would talk to some of the employees of "Mad Style" about possible internships.
I did not yet care. I just sighed for relief.
Ashley would thank us. She had increased her fame while doing nothing and letting the circumstances work for her, like the hanging man on the picture.
That was my lesson.
Chapter 13. New Year … New Luck?
13.1. Summer Break
My summer break had been a bit boring.
Zoey had not allowed me to do anything fun, such as climbing in trees.
That was totally annoying.
Not even summer break had allowed me to have some fun.
Zoey, on the other hand, had been in a summer camp for Mary Sues, or something like that. She had got a lot of fun. She had also been training to become an official bay watch.
13.2. Return To PCA
Nothing strange had happened during my trip from home to the campus.
I had not even made it accidentally into the girls' toilets.
That was totally boring.
Now I had to hope for more fun on the campus.
Indeed, Logan was looking for someone to carry a few cardboard boxes for him.
I asked, "are there a few bucks in it?"
Logan grinned. "But of course!"
And there was even more to it.
The cardboard boxes contained a new high fidelity entertainment station, complete with a video game box.
This was probably going to be much fun.
Zoey shook her head upon seeing my feet underneath some large cardboard container. She had got her opwn prroblems.
Dana Cruz had disappeared from Pacific Coast Academy. She was said to have gone to a French boarding school.
I had never liked that arrogant bully.
The bitching tomboy had always treated me like dirt.
This had happened alwways in Zoe's absence.
I had never told her about it.
She would have been very upset and possibly done bad things to Dana.
But now the ruthless bully was gone.
So all that did not matter any longer.
Zoey and Nicole Bristow were moved into a new dormitory hall, "Brenner Hall".
That building was named for Mr. Brenner, an alumnus from the sixties and early seventies, the times of the war of Vietnam.
It had been a time of big changes, even here at Pacific Coast Academy.
Before taking care of my own belongings, I took a look at my next card on the talon. I panted heavily and closed my eyes. I opened them again.
There was a skeleteon with a sctthe, riding on an evoil horse.
I almost squealed.
13.3. New Roomie
I had got a new room mate.
He was named Robert Carmichael[], also named Scooter.
He was also from San Diego County.
Even more, he was from "Belleview", the suburb also hosting the Parkers.
Thus his home was not far at all from that of Megan Parker and her family. It was really just across the street.
This flabbergasted me to some degree.
At home, Scooter had got a treehouse.
Zoey would certainly not have allowed me to have one.
It was "so dangerous".
Strangely, Scooter could be really nervous and timid. But he was also strangely bubbly at other times.
Zoey had also been assigned a new roomie.
The rooms were assigned by some grumpy old spinster, Ms. Burvich[].
Zoey and Nicole had tried to talk her into assigning a nice roomie.
But Nicole had messed it up completely.
The result was Lola Martinez.
Ashley Blake knew her. She described, "Lola is a totally annoying mediocre wannabe Hollywood diva, rigged and ready to do everything in order to attract public attention and fool people with her own acting prowess."
Maybe this was nothing but the pot calling the kettle black.
I pondered warning Zoey.
Lola was certainly up to fooling and making fun of her.
But I had also got to do my job for Logan.
13.4. Totally Noisy
The foyer of the dormitory hall of Chase Bartholomew Matthews, Michael barret, and Logan Reese was chock full and as noisy as hell.
Michael and Chase tried to learn something. But they failed miserable, due to the accoustic terror. They decided to leave.
I had written a little note fro Zoey. "Chase, Michael, if you see my sister, would you please forward this note unto her?"
Chase and Michael shrugged.
The miniature letter contained a warning about Lola's real character.
Then they were gone.
The noise was really terrible.
But tehre was that totally new and absolutely nifty video game from the Galaxy Wars series.
This was a an action space opera produced by Malcolm Reese, the emperor of Hollywood.
I was looking close to beating the game's high scores.
This would have made me a lot cooler than my sister.
And the games could begin.
The first few levels were really easy.
I would have mastered them with two arms tied to my back.
More and more kids complained about the extreme level of noise.
But Logan Reese did not care.
I wished them to go away. I would not have minded them return in a few hours.
The game had got one hundred levels.
The difficulty of the stages increased every time.
It was still a lot of fun.
I squealed on and off for increasing excitement.
There were now only three levels to go.
The sound from the boom boxes was loud, and it would not decrease.
The fellow kids were even a trifle louder.
And then I had reached level ninety-nine.
I yelled, "come on! Only one level to go!"
The end was so near.
I could already hearthe chimes of congratulation and the flashing lights announcing a new high score.
Butwhat was this?
All lights went down, not only here in the foyer, but also out on the campus.
The whole turmoil had had overburdened the power supplies.
And now it was all over.
A blasted power failure had killed all my dreams of setting the new high score.
That was so unfair.
I started cursing and swearing like an idiot.
Others screamed for panic.
How was I supposed to find my way home?
I was so afraid in the dark outside.
Robbie had got an electric torch, powered by a C-battery. He needed those things for sleepovers in his treehouse.
We were now building a convoy.
It was very hard to find our way in the darl, based on the light cone of an electric torch.
But finally, we had reached our destination.
I was exhausted to death.
13.5. Lola Martinez
Zoey found me at breakfast. She had received my warning and thanked me for that. "Lola has really tried to fool us. She acted like a very scary goth girl, pretending to talk to the dead. Weird spaz stuff, you know."
Nicole Bristow was accompanying my sister. "The dead are not so cute, really!"
Zoey sighed. "Nicole and I, we distorted our voices, feigning to be ghosts answering Lola. She screamed and ran away like an idiot."
Nicole chuckled mercilessly.
But now they had started getting along with the hot Latina.
I needed to start looking for a new chance to leave Zoey's shadow, though.
But time would come …
Chapter 14. Into The Future
14.1. Time Capsule
The library of Pacific Coast Academy still maintained a collection of our yearbooks of the past.
Many things therein looked strange for us kids of today.
Fortunately, times had changed.
But we kids had to wonder: "What will future generations of students at Pacific Coast Academy think about our times here?"
Zoey's homeroom class, taught by Mr. Bender, had therefore got a class project.
Each of the pupils had to sumbmit something for a time capsule to be hidden in a hole dug out for this purpose.
Of course, I was not in those classes. But I was still worried about the thoughts of future students on here about me.
For sure, everyone would remember my sister Zoey, the girl of girls here at Pacific Coast Academy.
Lola would certainly be a renowned actress.
Logan would be known for his money.
But I still feared about being forgotte or only known as "Zoey's little brother".
That was totally unfair.
Was there ever a way to find out.
It was already pretty late.
I decided to look at my next card in the talon.
It depicted an angel mixing two fluids or so contained in agjacent cups.
The liquids appeared to flow forth and back between the containers.
The whole thing was called "Temperance".
Did that make much sense?
I decided to hit the hay sack. I yawned my remains of awakeness out of my head.
The world went dark.
14.2. Waking Up
There I woke up again.
The night must have been very short.
It was almost high noon.
I must have overslept.
But what was that?
I had definitely fallen asleep in my own bed.
But this was a toilet!
The walls were all pink.
I was once more stuck in a girls' toilet.
My head felt dazed.
How had I made it there, once again?
According to my experience, Megan Parker would should up soon.
I looked around.
My expectations had not been cheating.
Megan walked up to me and grinned. "Ph, daddy, what are you doing here again?"
I gasped. "Has Megan just called me 'Daddy'?"
There was something fishy!
Megan pulled me out of the girls' toilets.
Strangely, the things looked a bit more modern than during my last visit here in the toilets of the girls.
14.3. Future Campus
Wow, I could hardly recognise the campus.
That was totally stupid.
I was hungry. "Let's go to 'Sushi Rox'!"
Megan laughed crazily.
I looked dumbfounded.
Megan grunted, "the sushi bar had been closed down years ago. Where have you been all the time?"
I choked. "Years ago?"
Many students roamed the campus.
But I could not remember anyone.
Megan lead me to some vendor machine.
All food was served here.
I took a look at the wrapping of some candy bar. "To be consumed until November 2027".
Wait, candy bars don't rot that slowly.
Now it was clear.
I was here in the future.
And "Megan" was probably our daugher.
I wondered , "where is mommy?"
My daughter answered, "at home, caring for my little bro, Drake. But you know that already!"
I smiled. "But of course!"
So this was now apparently my occasion to check my future renown.
I asked, "have you heard about your aunt, Zoey, as of recent?"
My daughter laughed, "oh daddy, you are very funny today!"
The girl told me, "we are still living next door. You don't have to worry about your sister!"
That was a bit disappointing.
Even as a married man with children I would hardly be able to move away from Zoey.
But this did not answer my question.
I should have asked somone from outside the family.
We walked past the campus cinema.
Movies with Lola Martinez were omnipresent.
The same was valid about Ashley Blake.
So they would be great stars by then.
My daughter told me, "sorry, I have to go to science lab classes. Ms. Pensky is very stern."
I wondered, "Quinn?"
My daughter grinned. "Of course I know that you know her. You have been really great friends, like, twenty years ago."
Maybe Quinn would be able to answer my question about our relative fame?
14.4. Seeing Quinn Again
The laboratory rooms looked a lot like Quinn's dormitory room, just a bit larger.
I had been waiting outside until the end of my daughter's science classes in order to catch Quinn Pensky.
Now it was time to face one of Zoey's best friends again.
But, hey! Was I still a friend of Quinn?
Or had we not seen in fifteen years or so?
That was very confusing!
Quinn looked as nerdy as ever before. She was now dressed in laboratory outfit, including an acid-proof apron. She wondered, "aw, hi, Dustin. You are certainly wondering about your daughter's school report?"
I gasped. "Certainly!"
Quinn smiled. "Come on! A 'B' is not such a bad mark."
I would not have complained, anyways.
Quinn nodded solemnly. "Zoey was much worse, I tell you!"
I gasped. "Really?"
Quinn cackled. "Absolutely! She has not got any reason for always complain about you and your family."
Quinn continued, "Zoey would never have made it anywhere without our help. And she knows it."
I sighed deeply. "That sounds interesting!"
Quinn grinned. "At least you have got a great wife and two wonderful children. And your elder sister flunks one relationship after the other."
OK, this sounded like a not so flattering future for Zoey.
Alas, I pitied her. I wanted to make it out of her shadow, but I did not want her to end up like a grumpy and arrogant spinster. I sighed deeply.
Quinn flumbled with her test tubes, in a way reminding me of the angel on the card.
Liquids appeared to float forth and back between the tubes.
Quinn remarked, "excact balance between the fluids is necessary, otherwise … oh no!"
My world went dark again.
14.5. Back Here And Now
I woke up.
This was definitely my room, and my bed.
That was a bit of a scary experience.
I liked a few things about the future, but I also disliked Zoey's future character as described by future Quinn. I had been floating forth and back between now and then.
Maybe keeping the balance was the lesson for me to learn, the balance between dream and reality?
Time would tell.
Chapter 15. Halloween Horror
15.1. Running For Every Presidency
Zoey had been running for class presidency for the freshmen.
So I had been feeling compelled to do the same, but of course for my classes.
This appeared unto me like yet another cool chance in order to make it out of Zoey's oppressive shadow.
Unfortunately, I had wasted this chance again.
Hollywood diva Ashley Blake had won with a landslide.
Zoey had not been able to win her elections, either.
Well, at least I had lost against a Hollywood diva.
But Zoey had lost to Mark del Figgalo, the dweeb of dweebs!
More precisely, both Chase and Zoey, originally suggested for this office, had retired in time because of not wanting to compete with each other. This way, they had left Mark del Figgalo as the only canditate.
Only a few kids had actually voted for him.
But that was enough, given the absence of other postulants.
Well, losing is never cool.
But my defeat was more excusable and less ashaming than Zoey's, wasn't it?
Whatever, it was by no means satisfactory.
I could not help but look up the next card in the talon.
My eyes were shut. They started opening slowly.
The horny pervert in person stared at me!
The picture was rightfully titled as the "Devil".
My heart stood still.
The shock was sitting deep under my skin.
15.2. Night Of Terror
Halloween parties had got a very long and impressive tradition, right here on the campus of Pacific Coast Academy.
Usually, the freshmen organised a haunted house for us elementary school kids.
This year, Logan Reese had assumed the responsibility over this project. And he was as diabolically arrogant as usual. He made incessantly fun of other people's worst fear.
That was one of the uttermost satanic and deprecable things to do.
Zoey was a bit pale.
There were two French visitors on the campus, Monique and André Chaumont[].
Zoey knew the French language French very well.[] But she feighned not understanding the visitors.
That was smelling excessivelky fishy.
Lola and Ashley were not around. They were said to be working downtown on a movie Walking Dead by Malcolm Reese.
15.3. Zoey's Plot
Zoey was really annoyed by Logan. She wanted me and my roomie Jack to participate in on eof her plots.
The goal was that of scaring the living daylights out of the snobbish dandy.
Basically, Jack and I were supposed to hide in a chest in the mansion.
Logan was then expected to believe in us having disappeared in a scary manner.
A voice should announce the name of the kid to disappear next. Ultimately, the creepy voice would call Logan's name.
This would teach him a lesson.
Or so Zoey supposed it to do.
But I had got my qualms with that plan.
Logan truly qualified as Satan incarnate, suitable for Halloween.
But I could not always allow Zoey to dfix those things for me. I panted heavily. Then I declared, "sorry, Zoey. but I have to face my own fears my own way!"
Zoey looked consternated and went pale. "Dustin? What are you trying to say?" Of course she had just wanted to help me.
But a boy like me needed to learn to help himself.
And Zoey was little helpful for that task.
15.4. The Entrance
The haunted hoise was about to open.
We were gathering over by the entrance.
Zoey was dressed as Marilyn Monroe.
Nicole Bristow, dressed as Dorothy from Wizrd Of Oz[] was out on the campus, hunting cute boys.
Quinn , dressed as Albert Einstein, was scaring others to death by talking some smart crap.
Michael, looking like a zombie, had been sent by Logan to the parking lot in order to await a delivery van with supplies for the party.
But Chase Bartholomew Matthews was there. He was dressed as a sorcerer. But he thought of himself as a vampire.
Nobody believed his words, though.
Finally, Logan opened the mansion and called us into the tunnels of horror.
15.5. Walking Dead
The whole mansion had hitherto been less horrible than assumed.
Logan had been bragging with it all the time. But now we were coming to the end of the mansion of horror.
It was pitch black.
Only one opening in the wall shed some dimming light.
And there it was.
A bleeding corpse swas hit by some ray of moon light.
A horrifing scream filled the grisly air.
Oh no! There were two walking corpses!
A distorted voice boomed, "say your last words, Zoey!"
Taunting laughter came from somewhere nearby.
My sister was deeply consternated. She stammered, "Ok, I admit it! I have gotten Dana sent off PCA. But it had been for Dustin. She had always been bullying him. Now let me die fast!"
Lights were turned on.
My sister was deadly pale.
My stomach cramped.
I had tried hard to become independed.
And that was a confession of another deed of Zoey's overprotectivity.
That blew so much.
Masks and costumes fell off the corpses, reveiling Ashley Blake and Lola Martinez.
Logan thanked them. "OK, you are in the movie, starting with next week!"
Lola asked Zoey, "oops, have I scared you?"
Zoey was still unable to talk. Was she even able to ever forgive Lola? She cringed and whimpered.
I had made it rather easily. I did not know how that was possible. But there I was. I had faced the devil in his den and survived unscathed.
Zoey, on the other hand, kept on shivering and trembling all night long.
Ashley just grinned.
15.6. Zombie Attack
Out on the campus, Michael had been discovered by André and Monique.
The French visitors were not familiar with Halloween. They had mistaken Michael for a zombie and thence followed him all over the campus, in order to take him to an infirmary.
Michael would possibly have escaped.
But then Mindy Crenshaw had blocked his way and delivered him to the Fench visitors.
Michael had been brought to our nurses' station, upon Mindy's recommendation, and tortured with several syringes with excessively long needles of the painful sort.
Michael's screams were still heard all over the campus.
That was real Halloween horror, plain and simple.
No vampire, no living corpse, no zombie, no werewolf would have been able to beat that.
Chapter 16. Trisha Kirby[]
16.1. Shaken Confidence
After my problems with bully Keith Finch, my elder sister had promised to refrain from messing permanently with my life and with my relationships here at Pacific Coast Academy.
And what had come out of this?
Zoey had screwed it up again by getting Dana Cruz removed from Pacific Coast Academy.
My confidence in my elder sister appeared now so fragile and untenable.
The knowledge about her inappropriate interaction had struck me like a thunder bolt from the middle of the sky.
And exactly this picture I found on teh next card from the talon.
The card was titled "The Tower".
It made me shudder for disgust.
Alas, I had only seen teh card after the fact.
But maybe it was not yet over?
There were probably more things to come, hinting into the same direction.
So I better kept myself prepared.
It was now time for my classes in science.
These were laboratory classes.
We had to obey to strict rules in order to avoid possibly detrimental incidents.
I was very careful here.
Mr. Gangrel[], our teacher for science, appreciated my responsibility big times.
Unfortunately, not all pupils were like that.
The worst of all nutcases was one Trisha Kirby, a dumb blonde. She was using a fake name, hiding the real identity as Samantha Puckett.
But I was not aware of that, not until that point in my life.
Her monozygotic twin sister Melanie[] was also a student at Pacific Coast Academy, but a far less problematic one.
They had been fromn a difficult family background.
Most of their relatives were in prison.
Trisha was very careless concerning laboratory rules.
Henry, her assigned laboratory partner, was overburdened. "She's crazy."
Mr. Gangrel made us trade places.
Henry walked over to Jack, while I had to take care of Trisha.
Alas, this was an incredibly tough task.
The blond poison tried to seduce me, as she had done to many a guy before me and would do unto many others after me..
But I would not give up on Megan for such a beast. And I told her so.
She appeared to give in, for the time being.
But trusting her was never a good thing to even consider.
I could only hope for Zoey to fail seeing Trisha's demeanour. She would get her expelled, as she had done to Dana, and then make me look like her little pet again.
That would have increased my humiliation.
16.3. Tough Trisha
The next day, Trisha wanted to talk to me in the hall of classes.
I was not keen on that.
She told me, "I have got a problem with my homework. I need your help."
I was walways proud of being a great heklp for my fellow pupils. I sighed deeply. "OK, what is it? Have you got it in your school bag?"
Trisha sighed. "This is not a good place for talking about it. Let's go somewhere else."
I gasped. "OK?" I followed her slowly around to some place hitherto unbeknownst.
Trisha thought me too slow and hesitating. She grabbed my wrists in order to speed it up. "Come on!" She kicked open one of the doors and dragged me into another room.
This was the girls' toilet.
I felt dizzy.
We disappeared in one cabin.
Sam grabbed me. "OK, it is about applied biology, and has to do with the monotony of boys."
I had to correct her. "It's 'anatomy' instead of 'monotony'."
Trisha shrugged. "Smart shitter!" She fumbled with my clothes.
I was close to puking and passing out.
The cabin door went open.
Fortunately, Trisha had forgotten to lock it.
And there she was again: Mega Parker. Would she believe me? Megan felt like struck by a flash of lightening.
I was innocent!
Megan growled at Trisha, "Sam! Do I see this right? Get your filthy fingers of Dustin!"
Calling her "Sam" was still confusing me.
Trisha stammered, "you know him?"
Megan gasped. "I know him? Dustin? Do I know you?"
I blushed deeply.
Trisha alias Sam growled, "how would I have known?"
I stammered, "I did not want that, she has dragged me hereto."
Megan nodded. "I thought to be able to trust you, Sam. But all you can do is that … Who needs this kind of friends?"
Sam sighed deeply.
Megan boomed, "remember, you would be in youth prison for good without my help. And how do you thank that?"
Trisha moaned, "OK, won't ever happen again."
I sighed. "No word to Zoey aboout it?"
Megan nodded. "I know. That would be very bad." She snuck around the corner. "The way is clear!"
The girls guided me carefully out of their toilet.
I wondered, "Megan, so what are you doinghere today, in the middle of the week?"
Megan sighed. "I just had got a dumb feeling … oh, really, my socker team is going to play against that of Pacific Coast Academy, in like thirty minutes. So I took the time for a surprise visit, one of a really shocking kind, apparently." She shrugged. "I have already met Ashley. She told me about Sam's attempts. And I was apparently no moment too early."
Sam growled. "OK, a smoothie?"
Megan nodded. "After teh football match. Do ypu want to watch us? Weare going to dismantle your team like a flash of lightning."
I sighed. This year, I had not made it into the soccer team.
They sucked. They so deserved getting their butts polished by Megan's team.
16.4. The Stink
A few other kids followed us to the soccer pitch.
Suddenly, Michael and Chase passed by us. They stank like seven devils at the same time.
I had to vomit.
Megan sighed. "Thye must have encountered a stunk. It's very hard to get rid of the stink. They should rub their skin with Peruvian puff pepper. Mind you, not eat it! It causes kidney failure."
I shrugged. "Oh, that. They have probably deserved it." I grinned.
Megan and Trisha grinned diabolically.
Chapter 17. Web Show
17.1. Nicole's Distraction
As already mentioned, Nicole Bristow was totally obsessed with cute boys and ways of getting at them.
This was a very obnoxious attitude.
Unfortunately, she had also included me into the circle of those boys.
Of course, Zoey was not asupposed to hear about this.
Dana had already been sent away.
Sooner or later, Zoey would have gotten all of her roomies expelled, one by one.
The annoying bimbo wench wasn't really dangerous for me, she was just a pain in the guts.
Of course, her obnoxious obsession was more of a danger for herself.
Nicole had started sucking badly in those classes with a high share of cute boys.
17.2. Chase And Michael Show
Chase Bartholomew Matthews and Michael Barret had had some extremely bad idea. They had started their own web shows.
To be precise: Web shows were probably very cool, if done by the right kids in the right way.
But this did not include Chase and Michael, and it certainly did not include their concept of a web show.
First, they lacked a decent technical producer. They had got a cheap web cam, and they were just sitting in front of it.
A real web show requiered an expert for handling those devices, and for digital technology and media design in general.
The Chase and Michael Show was deprived of either of these. It had been derived from some class project gone awfully astray.
The kids had been supposed to deliver some short web presentation.
Chase and Michael had been working together.
This could not have gone well.
They had got nothing but mindless nonsense on their minds.
Thus the show had come about.
Now they fumble with pointless video clips and toons about themselves.
The criticism was brash.
Especially the Daily Stingray, the school's journal directed by one Jeremiah Trottman, also chief reporter of PCA News Channel, was very clear about the lameness of Chase and Michael Show.
I really wondered about the possibility of a good web show on the campus of Pacific Coast Academy. I picked the enxt card from the talon.
It was a strange naked person at night, pouring a strange liquid into some lake.
A big star adorned the sky above the whole scenario.
The whole thing was thence called "The Star".
Was this supposed to make any sense?
17.3. Asking Megan
I clicked once more on meganparker dot com.
This was not really a web show.
But she had got so many cool things suitable for a web show.
I left her a message, talkimg about the possibility of one.
I also mentioned the lame character of the Chase And Michael Show.
17.4. Trisha Helps Out
I was sitting alone in my dormitory room.
Jack was busy with a school project not involving me.
I read my mail.
Megan had already read it and left an even more enigmatic reply.
I sighed deeply.
There was a noise at the door.
Suddenly, the latter went open.
Trisha Kirby alias Samantha Puckett walked in.
I gasped to death. "No!" I feared her once more in her mean, seductive mood.
Trisha sighed deeply. "Aw, I knew that." She sighed deeply. "I'm not here for that."
I peered puxxled.
Trisha panted. "Megan told me about the web show thing. She deemed me a cool co-moderator." She shrugged. "I do definitely not know. I am awfully lazy. Where is the enxt ham?"
I shook my head. "No fridge in here …"
Samantha moaned, "but you still need a tech director. And they are lame losers."
Sam alias cackled manically.
17.5. The Technology Creep
I could not do anything better than look for some tech freak able to work as a technical producer.
My first choice would have been Quinn Pensky. But the nerd girl had already refused to do that for Chase and Michael. She was too busy with other things, such as looking for a way in order to get Nicole to refrain from getting distracted by cute boys.
The same was valid for Melinda Crenshaw.
Wayne "Firewire" Gilbert cackled too much.
Thus I was once more left with aforementioned Miles Brody.
Fortunately, a tech producer would only be responsible for the technology, and not for the content of the web show.
Otherwise it would have become even more lame than Chase's and Michael's.
The show of the two annoying creeps viz. Chase and Michael had taken a strange turn.
Logan and Zoey had accidentally started some argument about boys versus girls in the background during a live session of the show.
The viewers had deemed this as planned, and they started liking the show for that random incident.
A bit later, the whole show consisted of arguments between Logan and Zoey, becoming popular this way.
Zoey as a future web star would always leave me in her shadows. I had to hurry up.
Their controversial character was horribly contagious.
Dean Rivers thence deemed the show illegal.
OK, Zoey's career as a web star was thus on a halt.
But it did force me to be more careful.
Especially Trisha was all too ready to let the web content slip into the area of distasteful jokes.
Also, a local broadcast corporation had offered Zoey and Logan to give them theri TV show.
This was even worse for me.
Now I would always be the little brother of a TV star.
17.7. The First Session
Miles counted down the seconds. "Online in five … four … three … two …"
There was no "one".
Miles deemed it uncool.
I introduced my self as Dustin.
Trisha introduced herself as Sam.
I also introduced Miles, against better conscience.
Our first live session consisted almost exclusively of Megan's video clips featuring her pranks of Drake and Josh, or "Boob and Boob".
We called the segment "iBoobs".
Ut would be a regular one for the next months.
But it was only a start.
17.8. Web Stars
There was still a long way to being web stars.
But the first step had been done.
The Daily Stingray praised our show to some degree, not all too much, though.
And Dean Rivers did not yet find a reason to object.
Zoey had got her TV show cancelled, by the way. She wanted to force Dean Rivers to withdraw his sentence against the show of Chase and Michael.
The headmaster gave finally in.
But Chase and Michael were too lazy to continue their own catastrophical show, anyways. They were now just making their and tried to get them published by Toon Juice, a third-party owned web show concentrating on cartoons.
So, this was only a start.
Chapter 18. Creepy
18.1. Chicken Pox
Sometimes, camping many kids together was very disadvantageous.
The standard diseases for kids spread like wildfire on our campus.
And now it was time for a storm wave of chicken pox.
The infirmaries were chock full.
Fortunately, we elementary school kids were now taken care of by a nice nurse, no comparison to the old fury.
The latter was still responsible for the high school kids.
I had to be particularly careful. I had not yet been exposed to this sort of illness.
And it was so easy to spread.
I avoided contact to most other kids and used some strong germ killer invented by Quinn Pensky.
This spray had got it's downside, though. It smelled terrible.
Noone wanted to play with me.
I was bored and picked up the next card from the talon given to me by Megan Parker.
The card was very creepy.
There was a crab creeping from a lake.
A dog and a wolf were howling to the moon.
A long, sneaky path connected the pond with the world beyond the background.
It was certainly no more pleasant than the devil.
As of recent, Quinn had started to try to stop Nicole's obsessive addiction to cute boys by means of hypnotical suggeston.
This had already worked for Lola.
The young diva had also been distracted easily, not by the presence of cute boys, but by other concerns.
Her former teacher for acting, a certain Sikowitz, had hypnotised her in order to get her to concentrate fully on her rôle.
Quinn and Lola had tried to be very careful.
Nicole was suggested to mistake any of the cutest boys of her classes as her grandad.
This had basically worked.
But for Nicole, it was a very creepy and disgusting experience. And now she stuck even more to hitting on younger boys not in her classes.
As aforementioned, this even included me, and also my aforementioned roomies and pals Scooter, Jack, Max, and Henry.
All but scooter were disgusted enough to run away from her.
But Robbie alias Scooter was a bit strange. He did not take Nicole serious or did not see her stupid intentions.
For me, the difference did not matter.
Unfortunately, Robbie had been one of the victims of the chicken pox. And he had now got Nicole struck by the the same virus as well.
In any case, Quinn Pensky would have to work more on the issue of curing Nicole.
18.3. Roof Of Maxwell Hall
The roof of the high school freshmen boys, viz. "Maxwell Hall", was really bright and sunny.
Boys and girls liked to relax up there on weekends and after classes.
"Brenner Hall", the residence building of Zoey and her girl pals, had got a roof, too.
But there was that oak growing nearby. It took away all the sunlight in the afternoon hours. In addition, it sheltered many giant squirrels.
Oh, I hate giant squirrels.
Those beasts can bite!
Fortunately, I had recently overcome those fears.
Zoey was not really afraid of them, anyways, but she was disgusted by the stench of their excrements.
It was really smelly up there.
Thus the girls preferred hangingout on the boys' roof.
But Logan was against it. He had also incited other boys, especially Chase Bartholomew Matthews.
According to Logan, the boys needed a place for themselves. They could not be really themselves in the presence of girls.
Logan was of course totally wrong.
And I so knew it.
He needed to learn a lesson, the hard, creepy way.
18.4. The Situation
Nicole Bristow was still in the infirmary. Thus she was unable to contradict Zoey's decision to exclude the boys from the girls' lounge in "Brenner Hall". Nicole wanted to see the cute boys in there.
But Zoey remained stubborn. "No girls on the boys' roof means no boys in the girls' lounge!"
Of course this was totally unfair.
The boys assigned to other halls than "Maxwell" were by no means responsible for the ban from the boys' roof.
There was still a long, sneaky way through the darkness to the place in the sunlight, past the mutual prejudices of both the boys of "Maxwell Hall" and the girls of "Brenner Hall".
At the same time, Nicole Bristow was suffering from severe symptoms of withdrawal due to the lack of cute boys at the infirmary.
Boys with chicken pox pimples in theur face were not exactly mega cute in Nicole's book.
This would lead to an increased obsession after her return to health.
And Zoey's decision to exclude boys from their lounge would not be exactly helpful and please Nicole to the extreme.
Quinn Pensky was better thinking a some greater idea for getting Nicole out of her stupid addiction. She needed to use her hypnotical skills in order to dig deep into Nicole's subconscious, the bottom of lake hosting the crab on the card.
This was by no means easy.
A few weeks ago, Logan and Michael had got a cruel encounter with some skunk.
The little best had been hiding in the bushes.
Logan could not tell it from a kitten.
Both of the bad boys got covered with a penetrant stink, worse than that of my germkiller essence.
Quinn had found a stink killer.
But its side effects had been detrimental as well.
The chemicals had dissolved the fibres of Logan's and Michael's garments.
Quinn was now about improving the stench killer in order to avoid the side effects.
But Michael and Logan were still horribly afraid of skunks.
Likewise, Chase was afraid of racoons.
Maybe making the boobs believe into the existence of skunks and racoons on their roof would have the effect of scaring them away from their own "girl-free resort"?
This was not really a fully fledged plan, of course. But it was something to ponder about.
But how was it possible to make them believe?
A web show popular all over the campus would sure be able effect quite a few miracles, in the case of the goal being that of spreading rumours.
Chapter 19. Brilliant
19.1. The Blonowitzer
Our science club, captained by aforementioned Wayne Gilbert, participated in the war droid league.
This was a contest for teams with remote controlled warrior droids fulfilling certain size limits.
Wayne Gilbert deemed his robot very strong.
But was it really?
I had got my doubts.
According to Melinda Crenshaw, a team from her former school was also participating in the whole mess. They had got a most dangerous warborg known as the "Blonowitzer".
This model was named for co-engineer Eric Blonowitz.
Honestly said, Eric was not even aware of the desctructive property of his construction. He was a pacifist and would hardly have designed and built such a dangerous droid on purpose. He nmust have been tricked into this.
Another member of their team was archdangerous Joshuah Nichols. Or, rather, Josh was archridiculous.
Megan Parker had told me a lot about this creep.
The big headed dork happened to be Megan's utterly worthless step brother.
Megan's web site was full of hilarious pictures of this uttermost embarrassing boob.
And I had already used some of the video clips riduling that worthless cree o for my web show.
All this sounds like a reason for not taking the team from "Belleview" around the "Blonowitzer" any serious.
But that droid was really dangerous. It fired mini shrapnels and laser weapons.
Wayne Gilbert's warborg was not nearly capable of doing anything like that. It just relied on solid infight tactics, on crushing and slamming.
I did not mind them just losing. But I was really opposed to an embarrassing defeat. I did not want any team of Pacific Coast Academy to turn into a joke figure.
And with the limited abilities of Wayne Gilbert, this was inevitable.
But the girls were still excluded from the science club.
19.2. The Worminator
The "Blonowitzer" was not the only star of the Californian war robot league.
The team of another school had not yet tasted defeat.
And this school happened to be multiply aforementioned "James K. Polk".
The star of combat droids happened to be the "Worminator". It was lso named after one of the constructors.
Albert Wormenheimer was the leading head behind the concept of this warborg. But he was not the head of the team of "James K. Polk".
This honour was in the hands of Simon Nelson Cooke, generally known as "Cookie".
Simon was supposed to be really a cyborg himself. He was rumoured to consist essentially of micro chips.
Nobody could be more predestined for such a victory than the very Cookie himself.
Their team was completed by geniusses like Lisa Zema, Lance Widget, and Evelyn Kwong.
The "Worminator" was known for acid attacks. But it was really feared for its rumoured yet not demonstrated ability of creating wormholes for sucking the opponents away.
As demonstrated by the presence of two girls in the team, viz. Evelyn Kwong and Lisa Zemo, there was no reason to exclude the firls from science club.
They could very well contribute to an improved result.
19.3. Swaying The Freaks
Samantha Puckett was interested in showing live pictures from the Californian finals of the war robot league in our web show. As already insinuated, she loved explosions and flying smithereens and bleeding wounds and the stench of smouldering wires and burning wrecks.
I was not really keen on those.
But they were part and parcel of life.
Alas, with such a poor excuse of a team it would have been a big embarassment.
I scratched my chin and picked the next card from my talon.
It was known as the "Sun".
After all the dark backgrounds of the last cards, "Death", "The Devil", "The Tower", "The Star", "The Moon", there was this one scene in the bright shining daylight.
It depicted a kid riding triumphantly in the brightest sun light.
This was my idea of the victorious team.
But could it be ours?
I tried hard to move Wayne and his pals into a different directions.
But Wayne called them spazzes.
Even the example of Lisa Zemo and Eveluyn Kwong was not really helpful.
According to Wayne, those girls were just appendices in their fairly big teams.
Of course I did not know it for real.
But I had learned more about the history of the contest.
Three years ago, a girl, Phoebe Nachee[] had won the warborg league, all alone.
Hey, the named "Phoebe" is derived from a greek solar deity!
Wayne gasped. He suggested "OK, I will work together with Quinn and Mindy if they can defeat my warborg."
I sihed deeply.
Maybe they were able to do so.
But we were still one school.
I asked myself, "Why should our teams destroy each other?"
For me, it all sounded like a waste of time and material.
Samantha would have liked the idea.
But I had got something better. "You can destroy other targets for practice."
Wayne shrugged. "OK!"
19.4. The Quinnterruptor
Mindy and Quinn had built a fairly small model.
Quinn had not really been wiilling to build something desctructive.
But it had to be like this in order to sock it to the arrogant freak known as "Firewire".
Sam had placed some idential obstacles. "Destro them and make it to the final line, over by the campus fountain."
The first robot to make it there would be the winner.
Wayne laughed bout the small size of Quinn's and Mindy's machine, the "Quinnterruptor".
But their laughter was now dissolving into silence.
Without moving, the "Quinnterruptor" started firing away at the hostile targets, clearing the way at once.
Their secret was a miniature photon cannon.
Firewire's eyes bugged out.
His world went dark.
19.5. Bataille Royale
The finals of the Californian league for war robots were now taking place in the abandoned factory halls of some old company operating in downtown Los Angeles.
About a dozen of teams were qualified.
The last six standing teams would now all be engaged in one bataille royale, i,.e. instead of a duel, they would face all at once in the arena.
Miles Brody counted the seconds. "Online in five … four … three … two …"
I greeted the viewers of our web show.
Samantha cheered, "aw I love big bangs and smoke and dust. Yeah, baby!"
The umpire was a certain "Cal"[] from "California Institute for Technology". He counted the seconds until the big clash and clang.
The initial whistle was blown.
The first smithereens were flying.
After only one minutes, only three teams were standing in the arena, those of the "Quinnterruptor", the "Worminator", and the "Blonowitzer", respectively.
Smoke and dust kept on filling the arena.
It was hard for the remaining operators to see and to direct their own warborgs in a controlled manner.
Quinn had developed special spectacles for this situation, improving her vision significantly.
Maybe this was her decisive advantage.
For, all of a sudden, the "Blonowitzer" and the "Worminator" resolved in a cloud of smithereens.
"Cal" declared Quinn and oour team as the winners.
Eveleyn yelled at Cookie, "you screwed it up, you nut!"
Cookie sighed deeply. "Sorry!"
Evelyn grabbed Cookie and pulled him closer. "Kiss me, you dork!"
Unfortunately, I had swallowed a bit too much of the dust. I felt sickish and went to the toilets.
19.6. Megan Again
Unfamiliar with the toilets at this factory, I was misguided and opened the wrong doors.
Welcome back to the girls' loos!
And as usual, Megan stood there. She shook her head.
I feared her to be upset because of the result of the bataille royale.
Megan grinned. "Josh has totally deserved it." She shugged.
Megan praised my work as a moderator for the web show. "Today, you have won many viewers."
I beamed brighter than some thousand suns.
Chapter 20. Sandy Baldwin
Tuba mirum spargens sonum
Per sepulchra in regionum
Coget omnes ante thronum
The wondrous sound of the reed reaches for the surrounding tombs, collecting everyone in front of the throne.
20.1. Lola's Tutor
Winter was coming to an end.
Most of us were already looking forward to spring.
It was usually the season of blossoming feelings for many a student on here.
Now Lola Martinez needed some kind of sort of tutoring, and more precisely in biology.
It was about that touchy flowers and bees stuff.
My sister suggested Chase to take over this task.
The bushy head appeared to agree, for whatever reason.
Strangely, the flower and bee crap was for elementary and middle school kids.
High shool students were long past this.
I immediately sensed something thoroughly fishy.
20.2. The New Girl
A few minutes later, Zoey came into my lounge.
I wondered, "what is she doing here?"
She walked up to me. "Hi Dustin!"
I growled, "hi!" I deemed her ready to go on my nerves again.
Zoey said, "OK, there's a new fight grader girl, Alexandra Caterina Baldwin[]."
I shrugged. "And so?"
She might need a bit help to get started at Pacific Coast Academy.
I have talked to her elder sister, Tracy[] .
You would certainly be great at helping Sandy.
I shrugged. "Maybe?"
Why did Zoey have to stick her nose into everything? She gave me ten bucks. "OK, Dustin, you may invite her to cinema." She also told me which movie.
That was obvious.
She did not want me to watch an inappropriate film.
But since when did "getting some new student started" imply watching a movie in the campus cinema?
Zoey was probably wishing for more than just my assistance for Sandy Baldwin's start. She wanted us to date.
This would have enabled her to effect more controle on my life.
That was a total bummer.
It would certainly have gotten me locked forever in Zoey's suffocating shadow.
Of course, I had already got Megan Parker, and I would not have wanted to change that the dimmest bit. But I wanted to keep it as secret as can be, especially secret from Zoey.
But was it possible to keep it a secret without appearing rude?
I decided to pick the next card in the talon.
It was named "Judgment".
An angel blew a long trombone.
People below left their tombs.
That was totally puzzling.
It sounded like the impending end, the last judgment days and stuff.
I shuddered a bit.
20.3. Telling Sandy
I wanted to keep it secret from Zoey. But I probably had to tell Alexandra Baldwin.
She did definitely not deserve getting fooled around with.
So, there was the moment.
I met Sandy in her lounge.
She was nice and kind.
This did not make it easy for me.
I panted heavily and closed my eyes, ready for the gauntlet.
Sandy looke estranged. "Dustin, is something wrong?"
I sighed deeply. "Sandy, I have to tell you …"
She replied, "you're gay, or a Catholic priest, or already married …"
I choked, thinking "what is that?".
A moment later, it looked really like a standard line from angsty love comedies.
I sighed. "Almost. I do have a girl already, or at least I think so …"
Sandy sighed deeply. "OK, it is good to know it as soon as possible."
I nodded, sighing for relief.
Sandy wondered, "who's the lucky one?"
I sighed and hesitated answering.
But with Megan far away, it did not really matter.
You do not know here.
She is not a student at Pacific Coast Academy. Megan Parker lives in San Diego.
Sandy gasped. "Megan Parker from San Diego Belleview?"
I coughed. "You know her?"
Sandy choked. "Hells bells! I am from Belleview." She panted heavily. "Megan was my class mate during the last semester."
My head was turning around,
I wondered for myself, "is this a good thing or a bad thing?"
Sandy sighed. "Is Megan not awfully arrogant?"
I shook my head. "She is just really enigmatic."
Sandy shrugged. "Good luck with her!" Somehow, she did not believe in the possibility of this going well.
Honestly, I had wondered myself.
It seemed to be a matter of destiny.
But it was probably no longer possible to keep it a secret.
Sandy was probably going to talk to her elder sister about it.
And Tracy was not unlikely to tell Zoey.
This was going to cause quite some turmoil.
But I had to go through it.
20.4. Lola dates Chase
I was now snooping the meetings of Chase and Lola.
There was something fishy.
They talked about perverse stuff like the flowers and the bees.
That was disgusting.
And then Lola asked Chase for a date.
According to Nicole, Lola had even asked for Zoey's permission beforehand.
That was really stupid.
I had to keep on spying.
20.5. Truth Dawns
I strolled the campus.
Quinn stood there with her trombone. She made a lot of noise.
I wondered, "what is that gouing to be?"
Quinn gasped. "you don't hear it? It is Mozart's requiem!"
I shrugged. "Whatever."
Quinn was insulted.
I suggested, "Megan, the little sister of Drake Parker, is probably able to play it on her oboe."
Quinn's eyes bugged out.
She felt challenged. "Megan what? No way!"
I moved on.
Ashley Blake crossed my way. She grinned mischievously. "You have turned down the little Baldwin for Megan. Wow!" She appeared to know everything.
The rumours must have spread like wildfire.
I shrugged. "And so?"
Ashley asked, "alas, the real question is: 'will Chase turn down Lola Martinez for his secret crush Zoey Brooks?'" She laughed mercilessly.
I scratched my head. "That would be interesting, right?"
Ashley laughted like a kingfisher. "Lola is only playing with Chase. She does not need tutoring in fifth grade biology. She needs acting practice in order to compete with me for Malcolm Reese's next movie, Jerk In The Fountain. It's about dating a dweeb."
Lola was just using Chase as a cheap target for practising flirting with an unattractive boy.
But maybe Chase was not deserving it any better?
Ashley grinned and staggered away like a real diva. She had probably also fooled boys with her acting practice.
That was not my concern.
Spotting a rapidly approaching Zoey, on the other hand, was a different subject.
She has probably already heard about Megan Parker. She started preaching lessons.
I did not understand half of it.
But she was very rude.
I gasped. "I don't care about your judgmental opinions! I am going to make my way."
Zoey choked. She had never heard me talking like that. Now she was really mad. What would she do?
I did not really care. I had made my choice.
It was time to say good bye to Zoey's stupid ideas about me.
Chapter 21. Spring Breakthrough
21.1. Santa Barbara
Spring time was now seizing the airs of Malibu.
It was time for our annual spring break.
Malcolm Reese, the father of Logan Reese, had invited some of us to the summer residence of the Reese family in Santa Barbara county.
Zoey was among them.
I wagered the residence to be really big and spacy and luxurious.
For Logan, it was just mediocre.
His real house in Beverly Hills was a trifle bigger.
Malcolm Reese insisted in four boys and four girls.
As for the letter, the choice was obvious: Zoey, Nicole, Lola, and Quinn.
But only three of the boys were that obvious: Logan, Chase , and Michael.
Zoey had suggested me as the fourth boy.
I assumed Malcolm up to making sort of a movie with us kids.
This triggered those exact numbers of biys and girls.
And given the description of the Reese estate, the offer was excessively tempting.
Maybe we were going to be Hollywood stars.
But I was more careful.
Accepting the offer would always have made me Zoey's little brother, the one to make it to Hollywood because of his sister's contacts.
For me, this thought was apparently unbearable.
I picked the next card of the talon.
It was labelled "The World".
Now I could not made much sense of it.
There was a nude dancer in an oval frame made of laurel or ivy.
That was a bit creepy.
So, maybe the movie would make me known around the whole world.
But that would have been due to being just Zoey's little brother.
I wanted to become well known in my manner. So I declined it.
Zoey gasped. "What?"
I confirmed my decision. "Quinn would sure be more happy with Mark del Figgalo as the fourth boy!"
Quinn nodded vigorously.
Mark, Chase, and Logan sighed.
I had of course stay alone at Pacific Coast Academy during said break. Or I could return to my home.
But mom and dad had not counted on me.
It would have been totally boring.
Thus I decided to stay on the campus during spring break.
Zoey sighed deeply.
21.2. Field Trip
Staying locked on the campus would of have been a bit boring.
But it was not quite as strict.
There were a few guided trips to nearby locations.
I had signed up for a trip to nearby Santa Monica.
Jack, Henry, Max, Sandy, Ashley, and Sam had done the same.
Now we were entering the bus.
Our responsible adult was Mr. Bender.
Mr. Lowe[] , our bus driver, started the engine.
We were looking forward to shopping in Santa Monica, a fabulous experience.
21.3. Hotel Chambrolay[]
We passed "Hotel Chambrolay".
This was one of the most noble establishments in the whole metropolitan area of Los Angeles.
About everything seemed to be made of pure gold.
I felt the standard need to discharge my bladder.
Sam giggled and made a few jokes of it.
I was now accustomed to it and decided to ignore her perversity. I asked Mr. Bender for the permission to take a trip to the hotel toilets. "My dad knows one of the managers of a different branch of Chambrolay's hotels[] … just in case."
Indeed Dad was a friend of some big guy of some Chambrolay in Hawaii.
Mr. Bender grinned and gave me the pass. "Oh, Dustin, this is the … girls' toilet …"
It was too late for the warning.
21.4. Megan In Santa Monica
I had just made it into the toilets.
A well known face emerged.
I should have seen it coming.
Megan Parker shook her head. "Aw Dustin …"
I sighed deeply. I told her briefly about my situation.
Alas, Megan had got a much longer story to tell.
This spring break, I have wanted to go to Denver in order to visit my friend Jessica[] .
Drake and Josh were in charge with taking me to the airport.
Drake really screwed me up. He put me into a flight to Los Angeles instead of Denver.
And all flights from LA to Denver have been cancelled because of excessively bad weather.
I took a room here in this hotel, thanks to mom's credit card. I am in "President Suite".
Well, Drake and Josh followed me with the following flight from San Diego to Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, Josh had decided to cause a few troubles. He got his G.O, confused with another passenger's device containing the pictures of bank notes.
Those guys are money fakers. Of course they have wanted their devices back. Now they have kidnapped the boobs.
I know approximately where they are.
I started shivering and trembling all over the place.
We had to help Megan, Drake, and Josh.
Megan did not want to put us into trouble.
But I did not care.
Sometimes a real man had to do what a real man had to do.
21.5. The Hunt
Mr. Bender was consternated when hearing about Megan's story. He told us to stay in the hotel. He was alerting officer Vega[] from Los Angeles County Police.
I had been looking forward for a real hunt.
Having to wait here in the hotel was going to be boring.
Or so we supposed.
We sat down in the foyer, waiting for news.
Sam had donned some dark spectacles and a bandanna, for whatever reaon. She looked around in a strange manner.
I wondered why.
A few minutes later, Sam nudged me and whispered, "this is the boss of the gang!" She pointed at som soinister man in the foyer, wondering "how do you know?"
Sam replied, "don't ask me! Just do something to catch the sucker!"
I stood up, panted heavily, and started charging into the direction of the vistotor. I lowered my head and slammed it full force into the spot right between the legs of the consternated visitor.
He squealed for agony, floundered, staggered, and keeled over, slumping mercilessly to the hotel floor.
The hotel staff was upset. "What are you doing here?"
Sam stood up and walked up to my victim. "Dad!" She removed her bandanna and her spectacles.
The mean looking guy replied, "Sam?"
The blond demon kneeled next to her father and grabbed him by the collar. "You have told mom to be back for dinner. But you never did!"
Samantha's dad yelleed for help.
The security guard of the hotel arrived.
Sam declared, "this is the father of organised crime in Seattle, Milo Creery[] !"
Sam's dad denied this.
The doorman called the police.
We were kept armlocked by the security guard.
Finally, officer Vega arrived. "Hells bells! This is Milo Creey, the most wanted criminal of the west coast!"
Milo slantered against his daughter for her treason.
Officer Vega told Megan, "Drake and Josh are now safe. They are on their way to 'Sunset Studio' for a concert."
Unfortunately, our scheduled return to the campus of Pacific Coast Academy was now already almost due.
We could not go to the concert.
Likewise, Megan had to catch the next flight to Denver.
Officer Vega was now talking about an award for us kids.
The reporters from some nearby news channel were already here, guided by Miles Bainbridge[] for interviews. They took pictures of me.
But Mr. Bender had to deny them an interview.
I would be in the news channel, anyways, with a big grin on my face.
Before leaving for the bus, Megan wrapped her arms around me, still in front of the running cams. "You're the best, ever!"
Chapter 22. Horror And Relief
22.1. Sushi Rox Ablazing
One week had gone by since the spring break.
Zoey and her gang were actually on TV now, but just some lame show named Gender Defenders.
I could not care any less.
We fifth graders had got a much earlier curfew than Zoey's gang, of course.
Tonight I was fast asleep.
But before midnight, some panic on the campus woke me up.
I watched from teh window.
"Sushi Rox", located all across the campus, was ablazing.
Smoke and brimstone stench filled the air.
Most of us kids woke up pretty fast and were excited.
The dormitory advisors told us to calm down.
The fire brigades were already on the campus and about to control the situation.
Nevertheless, we had to leave our dormitory rooms and walk out to the campus yard.
We could return to the halls son thereafter, though.
22.2. Smoked Tuna
The next morning, "Sushi Rox" was reveiled as beyong repair.
Kazu was already on his way off to his sister in Alabama. He could not afford to rebuild the Japanese bar.
Zoey and her friends felt a bit guilty. Barring Quinn Pensky, they had been among the last visitors of the pub last night, right before curfew.
And Quinn had ordered some sushi at that late time.
Zoey had ordered the last fried food, tempura.
Chase had been in charge with delivering teh sushi. He had been overburdened and dropped down the staircase.
Kazu had gone in order to look after this. Thus he had neglected his recently rekindled stove.
This was the reason for the firey accident.
Zoey could not afford to pay for the restoration, either.
Only Logan was able to. But he wanted to make the girls sweat for it and humiliate themselves.
That was so not fair.
22.3. Raising Funds
Zoey and her gang was now trying to raise funds for the restoration of "Sushi Rox".
I wanted the Japanese Pub to be rebuilt, too.
But Zoey should not be known as the hero rebuilding "Sushi Rox", leaving ne with the infamous renown as the little brother of the reconstructor.
I picked the next card from the talon.
There was a picture of a wise priest or so, named the "Hierophant".
Was that something like an elephant?
I shrugged cluelessly.
Zoey, Lola, Nicole, Michael, and Chase sold themselves in a people auction.
That was really stupid.
I was going to report about the event in a special session of my web show.
Samantha insisted in saving the sushi bar this way by raising more funds from the viewers.
22.4. Certified Cook Needed
Chase and Michael had been left with some really bad luck. They were sold to Coach Keller,.
This trainer of the basketball team was really mad at them for destroying "Sushi Rox" and forced them to do some slave work.
The girls had sold themselves to Logan Reese, the worst nightmare of all.
We received the first reactions to the live report.
Some kids had sent bucks and free bus tickets.
Unfortunately, Garth Burman[], executive chairman of the board of Pacific Coast Academy, had seen our web session. He had to tell us ex cathedra, "it is not legal to request money from kids over the interweb."
We were thus forced to send the bucks back.
Burman was also worried by the lack of a fire insurance. "Mr. Bradford would not tolerate that."
I started shivering.
So, we did not just need money for the reconstruction of the restaurant, we also needed to pay the fire insurance.
To make things worse: Kazu was not a certified cook.
And the fire insurance insisted in competent supervision.
Only an officially certified chef would be accepted.
This was like a thunderbolt striking all of our hopes.
The certification could take really long.
Thus we needed to find some other suitable chef for "Sushi Rox".
Of course, our web show would be deployed for this purpose.
Garth Burman could not find anything wrong with that.
22.5. Looking For A New Chef
Miles Brody counted the seconds. "Online in five … four … three … two …"
I preached the usual chorus.
Samantha added her own sermon.
Then we talked about our separation.
Samantha put it this way: "So if you know a cook able to prepare sushi, chicken wings, pork chops, and so on … and friendly to kids, then don't hesitatate dropping us a message."
I nodded vigorously.
Samm moaned, "too bad it is not possible sending us some samples of your cooking abilities over the interweb."
Her mouth was turning as watery as can be.
Miles Brody's eyes bugged out.
He announced, "hey! There's a first reaction!" He forwarded a video chat to the big plasma screen.
A guy of fourteen years appeared. "Hey! My name is Edmond Bigby, from James K. Polk Middle school".
As aforementioned, that school was not really unknown to me.
Bigby continued, "you may call me Ned." He continued, "Well, I may only recommend Roemary pepper, the chef of our cafeteria. She can cook, and she can deal with kids."
I wondered, "why do you want to get rid of her?"
Ned replied, "really, I don't. But next year, I will be at high school, and that means for us: A different cafeteria and a different lunch lady, anyways."
That was a great argument!
Samantha insisted in employing Rose on site.
Of course we would have to await the new academic year first.
22.6. Lunch Lady Rose
Rosemary Pepper appeared totally competent from the very start. She was also very careful concerning safety rules. She was really the pope, the hierophant of kitchen management.
Garth Burman declared himself rigged and ready to pay for the insurance fees. "When I was a student, food at Pacific Coast Academy had been lame. But now I can afford to save 'Sushi Rox'm, so I will do that." He told us to have fun.
The lunch lady would also teach home economy classes.
I was already looking forward to those.
Sam of course was even more keen on home economy, her absolute favourite subject.
22.7. Alpaca And Depression
Quinn had got several small pets at Pacific Coast Academy.
But her biggest pet was still at home in Seattle.
Otis was an alpaca, something like a llama, and thus too big for hiding from the scrutiny of the staff.
Pets were still illegal at Pacific Coast Academy.
But Otis missed Quinn a lot, and vice versa.
Quinn turned deadly sick from that problem.
Our web show was once more used in order to look for an expert.
Strangely, Megan Parker was the first to answer. She had got a zebra[]. "I can't keep it at home. So I looked for a suitable ranch. I found Faye Dunnaway's[] , not far from the campus of Pacific Coast Academy."
Fay was said to be the high priest of equitation.
Unlike zebras, alpacas were not too closely related to horses.
But Otis was not very picky, anyways.
Fay Dunnaway proved optimal for Otis.
This way, Quinn and Otis were able to meet one or twice a month.
But from then, fellow pupils started to bother us for our help with similar problems.
Our interweb show would turn more and more into a sort of high priest for its viewers.
This was still a fledgling process.
But the fact would become more evident later on.
Chapter 23. New Year At PCA
The summer break had been very boring.
Zoey had worked as a beach guard and saved a few people from drowning.
Nothing bad ever happens.
So why do they set up bay watches anyways?
I had not been able to see Megan much during the summer break.
My family wanted me usually at home.
This was not much fun.
So I was finally glad to return to Pacific Coast Academy.
Many new kids were very sad when making ito a a boarding school like Pacific Coast Academy for the first time in their life.
I had be so and so in my case.
This year, Adelaide Singer, a good friend of Megan Parker from the state of New Jersey near the boarder tro Pennsylvania, was new at my school. She had been quite a few times in California in order to visit relatives. This way she had also stumbled into Megan and aforementioned Wendy Gellar.
I had already seen her on some videos from Megan's web site.
Addie had supported Megan's pranks.
I was now pleased to meet her for real.
Addie was now a high school freshman.
This makes her like eight years older than me at the time of leaving home for a boarding school.
But she was much more addicted to her happy family.
Well, her elder brother Ben had sometimes caused a few troubles.
But her parents had always been wonderful.
And even Benjamin Singer, now a senior at Pacific Coast Academy, had never done any deliberate harm to her.
Unfortunately, Addie's mom was now going to work in Australia for a few years as a real estate agent.
Her dad would follow sooner or later.
Addie had got a choice between a girls only school near hwer home, run by evil nuns, and the Pacific Coast Academy.
Megan had finally talked her into the latter.
The campus of Pacific Coast Academy was of course inviting enough to make many kids forget about being far away from home.
So, Addie tried to enjoy life here as much as at home.
Finally, Ben was no longer as bad as back at home.
So there was still some trace of a family idyll left.
The hardest part was probably that of missing out on her boyfriend Jake Behari.
Adelaide Singer had always hoped for a future family with Jake, similar to her own childhood.
But was that really an option?
23.1. Shocking Discovery
Now I arrived with Zoey on the campus.
She had got a new plush pet, a blue squid.
It looked really funny for a girl of fifteen years.
But OK, there we were.
Suddenly, Chase Bartholomew Matthews came along. He was running like an idiot, stumbling here and crashing there.
That looked typical for the bushy dweeb. Usually, he would have offered to help Zoey with her luggage.
Zoey had also wanted to talk with him about his vacations.
Chase had always enjoyed being with his family during the summer break, especially with one of his grandmothers.
Chase was too fast. He needed to make it to his dormitory room as fast as possible.
It was a race for the single bed.
I did not care. I betetr helped Zoey this time around before meeting Addie Singer, ready to help her, as sugegsted by Megan.
Unfortunately, Zoey had forgotten something half the way.
Chase had knocked part of her luggage to the ground.
I hurried up.
But what was that?
Chase was talking to some busty Latina.
I rememebered the dumb wench.
She was no other than aforementioned Trina Vega.
Was she making out with Chase?
That was so absurd.
Chase had been hankering after Zoey for almost two year. And now he was going for a girl with no brain and no talent for anything? Had he forgotten about all the cool little things having brought him and Zoey pretty close?
That did not make too much sense.
I had to snoop a bit in order to figure the reasons.
A nearby shrubbery appeared the optimal hideout.
After listening to them for several minutes, the facts became clear.
Trina was paid by Chase in order to feign being his girlfriend.
It was one dirty trick deployed in order to make my sister jealous.
Not even Zoey deserved getting treated like this.
Chase had just spoiled the pure and unadultered idyllic innocence in his potential relationship with my sister.
Such an excruciatingly perverse and disgusting fraud cried for severe measures.
Sooner or later, Chase was going to rue the very day, until the times of dystopia.
Or so I swore.
23.2. Zoey's Rage
The missing luggage was now safely deposited in Zoey's dorm.
Nicole Bristow was no longer with Zoey and Lola. She had been sent to Eastridge, aforementioned school for girls only, due to her obsession with boys.
Quinn was now predestined for moving in with Zoey and Lola.
I did not deem that a good idea.
Lola was now happy about getting the top bunk. At home, she had often lost it to her little sister, Shelby Marx[], properly Salvia Maria del Consuelo Martinez.
Shelby was younger, but incredibly much stronger than Lola. She was an aspiring martial artist.
Otherwise, Lola had never had a reason to complain about an unhappy family.
Zoey had not had either. She may even have considered having her own family with Chase later on, although she preferred staying best friends.
But my news about Chase and Trina was thoroughly destroying these hopes.
Zoey was about going to tell him some excessively serious words. She could not stay best friends with someone paying another girl in order to make her jealous.
Things would never be the same.
My cellular phgone rang.
Itwas Adelaide Singer. She had just arrived at the drop site.
I panted heavily, ready to get her and Benjamin started.
Zoey sighed deeply. She was now left alone with her luggage.
Of course I had been helping my sister voluntarily so far, we were still one happy family..
But new students needed now more help.
Chapter 24. Drake's Top Fan
24.1. Wendy Gellar
Adelaide Singer was not the only friend of Megan nedw at Pacific Coast Academy.
There was also aforementioned Wendy Gellar. She changed her first names pretty often. But she always returned to the name of her choice, Wendy.
I had encountered her just a few times.
She was just new as a student atPacific Coast Academy, but she was already fairly familiar with the campus.
One of our encounters here had been in the gitrls; toilets during Drake's spring fling perfromance.
Megan had kept on talking a lot about Wendy.
And that was essentially a report about Wendy's main obsession.
She had got an unrecoverable crush on no other than Drake Parker, rock idol and elder brother of Megan. She did really stupid things like distributing posters of the teen star all over the town. She had not only announced to be Drake's future wife, she also wanted to be the one and only person responsible for his future career.
I was expecting the whole campus to get adorned with announces of Drake's next public concert.
Drake had been totally annoyed in the beginning and was sometimes really rude to Wendy, turning her deeply depressive. Then he had started treating her as a second little sister.
This seemed to have resulted in a relaxation of the situation.
But this impression had been totally superficial.
Wendy's obsession was still up and running. She had even learned dutifully about rock composition in order to be able to be the one and only column of his career.
Drake just did not get to notice it.
This was due to some insane efforts performed by Megan.
The latter was usually able to insulate her friends from her family.
Now Wendy was no longer in San Dieego in her daily life.
Was that going to lead to a further cooling down?
Those hoping for such a thing were thoroughly disappointed.
And Wendy was still suffering from imagining Drake with other girls.
Yet unbeknownst to me, Michael barret would soon be in a similar situatiuon concerning a new student named Lisa Perkins, a participant of the popular casting show America Sings[] .
24.2. Nicole's Removal
In some sense, Wendy's possession by her crush on Drake was similar to Nicole Bristow's mindless obession with boys in general.
Nicole always wanted to have all the cute boys for herself.
Of course this was way beyond her limits.
Quinn had tried to hypnotise Nicole in order to help her to overcome her obsession.
But this had been all in vain.
During her last weeks at Pacific Coast Academy, Nicole's situation had turned worse and worse.
Zoey now had to admit to having denounced Nicole's severe misconduct to her parents.
This lead to Nicole's transfer to nearby girl school Eastridge.
Alas, wasn't Zoey equally overburdened by trying to fix everything for her roomies and other pals?
Well, it certainly seemed like that.
But Zoey was way more dextropus handling this than anyone else. And she apparenrtly knew when to drop the burden and delegate it to more suitable people.
This had already been the case with Dana Cruz.
Zoey had at some point no longer been able to contain the bully tomboy, and she had thenceforth delegated her safely to aforementioned boarding school in Paris.
Maybe Megan had done the same thing with Wendy.
But was I expected to get along with Wendy Gellar?
Megan must have clearly expected that.
This implied quite some responsibility for me.
But was it still possible for us to visit Nicole every now and then?
Well, there were those security guys throwing out each and every boy spotted on the campus of Eastwood.
Ad Nicole did certainly not get a pass for leaving the campus.
That was such a pity.
Of course, the girls were still able to visit Nicole.
Zoey seemed to be glad about having disposed with her former "best friend forever". She did not admit to that.
But I could sense it clearly.
24.3. Basketball Fever
Traditionally, two of the most popular sports teams at Pacific Coast Academy were that of basketball and football.
The expectations were extremely high.
Their coach was now Mr. Keller, a totally lame excuse of a coach indeed.
This was absolutely detrimental for the team.
And the school's sports teams were burdened with insane expectations of our sponsors.
A good football team meant some insanely great publicity for them.
At least the cheerleader problem had been fixed.
Before the time of coeducativity, our cheerio squad considted of a bunch of reluctant guys and some hired girls from other schools from Los Angeles county, such as Eastridge et alia.
Trina had once been such a loan cheerio. But now she had become too lazy.
Male cheerios were totally embarrassed and usually unable to handle the burden of the shame.
Mark del Figgalo, for example, had been ruined for life after having been a middle school cheerio. He was now totally depressed and intimidated, unable to get along with the pressure of having been a cheerio boy.
Even during the first two seasons of coeducativity girls were a vast minority.
I have already mentioned this when talking about that middle school dance.
It had still been necessary to borrow cheerleader girls from other schools, just to a lesser degree.
This year, the situation was changing.
Girls were now now longer a blatant mninority.
Thus our school was finally able to do completely without loan cheerios.
And this was very good for the Pacific Coast Academy teams for football, basketball, soccer, hockey, volleyball, and baseball.
But those teams had to do something with it.
The burden was now all theirs.
Not all pupils could get allong with this pressire.
Logan Reese, for example, was totally unable to handle the new expectations. He used to be one of the best throwers of the football and basketball teams.
But now his performance was about being flushed down the drain.
Especially his ability for free throws was suffering completely.
Quinn tried to submit him to some extra training, making him chase after a chicken and making him catch tennis balls thrown by some machine.
This worked for some extent.
But the base problemn was not resolved.
The pressure on our teams was now insanely high.
And Logan was not the only one likely to break down from the burden.
Chapter 25. The Diva
25.1. Helen Baxter
I've already talked a lot about the most spoiled lass of my classes, Ashley Blake.
She had been the greated kid star of Hollywood durimng the last five years, the greatest after over a decade of silence, maybe even since Helen Baxter.
The latter was now a rich boss of Première Theater, California's biggest chain of cinemas — ever!
The main branch of that theatre chain weas that in San Diego Belleview.
Joshuah Nichols, the dorkish step brother of Megan, worked for Helen over and over again, inspite of getting treated like dirt.
Megan was right.
Joshuah was such a "boob".
Helen had been portraying a little girl in some family soap of around 1980. She was now no longer known for that in public. But she still had got most of the money gained back then. Of course, she had invested it in order to build up the formerly run down chain of cinemas.
Josh was not the only employee.
The two other most important ones were Gavin Mitchell and Steve Quincy Johnson[], generally better known as "Crazy Steve" due to his many sociopathic excesses.
Gavin was more of the silent workhorse of the theatre.
Helen was really stubborn and hard to bear for her employees.
As suggested by its name, Première Theatre hosted many Hollywood premières.
Ashley Blake's premières had always been in Helen's theatre in San Diego.
This was due to the good connections of the Blake family with the syndicate of producers responsible for aforementioned family soap.
That trust included bonzes of the Hollywood business such as Malcolm Reese, Gustavo Rocque, Arthur Griffin, and many others.
The supreme boss of all was one filthy rich Mr. Fujisaki[]. He was all stiff and motionless for all the bucks.
It was hard to tell him alive or dead.
Helen was not for no reason whatsoever the biggest adult fan of Ashley.
The young diva would probably more or less become the secons Helen Baxter, sooner or later.
25.2. Ashley's Arrogance
Ashley was immensely proud of her rôles. She treated many people with less achievements at Hollywood with contempt, including most of her school pals.
Megan was a bit worried.
Ashley was certainly a gifted actress. But she had owed about everything to the contacts of her family. Yet she refused to be aware of that and took her whole wealth and fame for granted.
According to Mergan's predictions, this could not go well forever.
For that reason, Megan told me to keep good care of Ashley as well, just like in the case of Adelaide and Wendy.
The reasons were of course completely different.
25.3. Ashley's Siblings
Ashley was not the only star in her family.
Her elder brother Vince was the main column of several sports teams at Pacific Coast Academy. As aforementioned, he had been the most important member of its hockey team back at middle school. As a highschool boy, he had made it immediately into the football team, and, moreover, was crowned as the regular quarterback after less than one year.
Most quarterbacks in the history of Pacific Coast Academy had made it into that position as juniors.
Some had made uit as sophomores due to the injuries or other mishaps of the former quarterback.
Vince Blake, on the other hand, had just come, seen, and conquered.
Like in Ashley's case, this was by no means just the result of his individual efforts, but of the great influence of the Blake family on the board of Pacific Coast Academy.
Of course they could not really compete with the money of the Reese family.
But it was enough to push Vince through the lines.
Unlike all the other members of the most important sport teams, Vince did not aoppear to suffer from the pressure and burden mentioned above. He was now also the bodyguard of Ashley.
Her family had previously hired some other creep, a wardrobe with no brain and only muscles.
But keeping it in the family was now supposed to be a more relaible alternative.
Miles Blake[] was certainly the black sheep in te family. He seemed to be no good for anything, not even for carrying Ashley's suitcases. He thus even achieved getting fired his diva sister for excessive incompetence.
Finally, there was Peggy Blake[] , the nerd in the family. She was way smarter than her siblings altogether. But she wanted to be respected in the Hollywood world as well.
This was not really easy.
25.4. Life Of A Diva
Ashley was able tro pay her roomies for doing all the dirt work for her, such as cleaning the room or doing her laundry. She was very strict at that and tolerated no deviations from her orders.
This was a bit like Logan Reese, the biggest jerk ever.
Fortunately, Ashley was often away for shooting scenes at the studios of Hollywood.
This seemed to be quite some relief for us, especially for her roomie viz. Sandy Baldwin.
Ashley used to practice sometimes for her rôles during class times. She did not like learning characters' scripts, though.
Of course, Lola Martinez did have to practise as well. But she had worked a lot harder on her career and read a lot of Shakespeare and other works of the old masters.
This was absolutely not the style of the one and only Ashley Blake.
The child diva deemed it as her given birthright to be an eternal star.
Ashley and Lola were often enough at each other's throat, for whatever reason, most likely for professional envy.
It was not advisable for me to intervene in their fights and come to stand in the crossfire.
Chapter 26. Cold As Ice
I have already talked about Mindy Crenshaw, the ice cold nerd queen.
She had really fooled Quinn for quite some time with her banapple fruits. Even more than Zoey's geek pal, Melinda Crenshaw was about as cold as the eternal ice of the Antarctis.
Megan had confirmed this several hundreds of times at least.
Mindy's strikes were sudden and merciless.
Without Megan's intervention, Drake would have been busted.
And Megan usually did not pity Drake.
Noone else had ever brought her that far.
Only Melinda Crenshaw was able to do that.
And I still remembered the backpack problem.
Mindy had shamelessly plagiarised Zoey's design of the best backpack ever and made money off it.
And I'm not just talking about a few bucks here at Pacific Coast Academy.
The plagiarised backpacks were sold in many other places.
This fact was not easy for us to find out.
Mindy had not admitted to that.
Well, the money was now on an account not accessible befor Mindy's eighteenth birthday.
She had promised to pay Zoey a fair yet hard calculated share of it.
So, how had Megan found out about about the existence of that contract?
The key to all that was a mail friend of Mindy Crenshaw: Claire Sawyer.
This was an afro-american girl from James K. Polk school in Santa Clarita. She was hell bent on going to law school and becoming the most rigorous shark ever. She named herself "the future lawyer" ands offered her services as a shark to her fellow pupils.
Mindy's professional appearance in the aforementioned honour council suit against Drake Parker was so totally due to Mindy's old acquaintance with Claire Sawyer.
Atb that moment, Mindy had already snooped the lives of Drake and Josh in the most thorough manner. She had paid some hitherto undiscovered detectives for doing so.
This was not exactly my business.
Mindy had shamelessly abused Drake's secret sketches about his fantasies about cruelties against Ms. Heyfer. And in order to discount Joshuah Nichols as a witness for Drake's innocence, she had used a video clip made by Megan and Adelaide.
The girls had demonstrated in this short movie the tenacity of Josh's sleep.
Josh had not noticed any of the excessively disgusting things going on in his face in any way whatsoever. He would thus never have noticed Drake coming or going during the night.
Of course, Claire Sawyer had never taught Melinda Crenshaw to get anyone framed for Mindy's own deeds. Unlike most other sharks, Claire Sawyer took the law business serious and did not abuse it in the uttermost shameless manner in order to become rich or influential, viz., in the worst case, for an envisioned political or diplomatic career.
This was all the addendum of no other but the very Mindy Crenshaw in person.
Finding out about Claire Sawyer had sounded like an incident.
But I had stiopped believing in incidents many months ago.
Megan's cards had been the reason for this.
During the bataille royale for the finale of last year's California robot league, I had encountered a few onlooking kids from James K. Polk.
One of them was Jennifer Mosely, generally better known as "Moze".
But I prefer to call her Jennifer.
She was very well acquainted with Claire Sawyer, and she was one of the best friends of Simon Nelson Cook. She had been a bit disappointed about the defeat of her school's team. She had called Claire Sawyer for checking the rules. She did not believe in the legitimacy of the construction of the "Quinnterruptor".
But the rules of the war robot league were not Claire Sawyer's concern.
This was my first time of hearing about Claire Sawyer, future lawyer.
Trisha Kirby alias Samantha Puckett was interested in contacts with a lawyer, just in case of getting arrested for pushing some teacher downstairs, one of her favourite topics.
Thus we started to contact the afro shark.
Claire complained a lot about a boy with some perverted crush on her.
The guy did not even have a real name. He was just known as the "backpack boy".
Of course I had to remember the case of Mindy's backpack plagiarism. For that reason I had told Claire about the whole story.
And Claire was not really surprised. But she was sad, anyways. She had not supposed her pen friend to do something like that.
Really, the backpack business of Claire's stalker had started flourishing beyond any limit just a few days after the events involving Zoey's backpacks here at Pacific Coast Academy.
And this must have been due to a delivery of new backpacks from a source hitherto not known to Claire.
The future lawyer just needed to add the loose ends in order to conclude — in a manner colder than antarctic ice — the following: "Mindy Crenshaw has sold those backpacks to the 'backpack boy'."
Even worse, Claire had even been the reason for Mindy to know about the dealer. Now she was trying to do everything in order to get away fro the dirty business. Did she have remorses?
I was not able to answer that question. I just did everything to make Mindy admit to her business and to share with Zoey in a fair manner.
Needless to say, the "backpack boy" from Santa Clarita was only one of many vendors in the state of California dealing without Zoey's knowledge with her copied backpack designs.
There was about one at every greater school, especially here in the county of Los Angeles.
This included schools like Eastridge, Palmwood, Silver Spring, and "Hollywood School for the Professional performance Art".
I could only imagine a girl with no feelings at all able to do something like that, exactly like her war robots or other spoulless inventions, such as the hyperbolic photon cannon.
But the really scary feeling about Mindy was the folowing:
This year, she was assigned as a tutor for Samantha Puckett alias Trisha Kirby. She would also tutor other kids.
But the case of Sam bothered me really.
Megan told me to observe Mindy closely and thoroughly.
Otherwise the world would be at stake within a few months.
Chapter 27. Eating And Drinking
Eating and drinking was not the main purpose of students at an expensive boarding school such as Pacific Coast Academy.
But it was still a very important part of our life.
It was impossible to learn and worek without proper nutrition.
And being together in one of the oubs or the cafeteria after the hard lessons was increasing the morale of us students to some considerable degree.
This justified the presence of cafeterias and bars on the campus.
As aforementioned, Rosemary Pepper, formerly the lunch lady of James K. Polk Middle School, was now officially responsible for Sushi Rox.
Edmond Bigby, the guy to recommend her, had been the boyfriend of aforementioned Jennifer Mosely, for what it matters.
But this relationship was doomed for excessive failure from the very get on.
The new Sushi Rox, on the other hand, should not go a similar way.
Rosemary Pepper was not only responsible for the Japanese bar, she was also working for the cafeteria. In addition, she took turns with Kazu in teaching home economy.
Addie Singer wanted to learn cooking like her mom. She missed mom's kitchen.
Megan Parker's mom, i.e. Audrey, had learned many recipes from Adelaide's mom, such as stuffed mushrooms.[]
Many students had already begged the cafeteria to consider including the recipes known from home into the menu.
I was one of them.
My mom was agood cook.
But dad was even better. He made the best French fries of San Diego county.
This integration into the menus was not always anywhere near possible.
But Rose promised to think about it whenever feasible.
27.2. The Coffee Cart
For snacks and drinks outside the opening times of the cafeteria and the pubs, there was also a coffee cart.
It was usually run by excessively perverse Calvin[].
This year, Benjamin Singer was going to complement the cart team. He had been working as a barman at teenage pub The Juice.
Adelaide and her two best friends, Zachariah Carter Schwartz and Geena Fabiano, loved to hang out at that pub.
Addie coould not always get along with her brother. But she did never have any qualms letting the stuff of The Juice subtract her own expenses from Ben's salary.
Unfortunately, Ben could be a pervert as well, hitting obnoxiously on female customers. This way, he had also got finally rid of his girlfriend of almost two years, a certain Jen.
Addie suffered a lot from that inconsiderate demeanour, at least at occasions.
27.3. Home Economy
Now it was time for our first real classes in home economy.
With 'real' I mean classes taught in a kitchen with actual stoves and stuff.
The previous classes served for the purpose of learning security rules in the kitchen.
Many kids were already disappointed. Thedy had expected to just come, cook, and eat.
But security was very important.
At least the fiery accident of Sushi Rox had taught us this lesson in an extremely hard way.
Certainly nobody wanted the kitchen to burn down.
We had to build groups of two for cooking.
I was already fearing the worst thing, viz. being forced to build a team with Ashley.
My first choice as a partner was thus Jack.
When signing up for the kitchen class, I had thus indicated him as my desired partner. But this way, I screwed it up completely.
Surprisingly, Jack had already chosen a girl as a partner.
So Rose had to reassign me, and precisely to … "Ashley Blake!"
I choked violently.
The consequences were most likely catastrophal.
I was now supposed to do the whole work for her, from preparing the workplace to cleaning up after the classes.
Cooking could be so difficult, regardless with whom.
At the end of the lessons, I was no longer hungry.
Having to do all the dirt work for Ashley had spoiled my appetite.
But for most kids, this was the best part of cooking classes.
Now I stood in front of the coffee cart, waiting for a strawberry smoothie.
Unfortunately, the machine did not work well.
Ben complained, "what stupid machine is that?"
Calvon shrugged cluelessly. "They are provided by Blix."
Ben shook his head. "The machine is utter crap!"
Calvin disputed that.
Benjamin Singer stated, "at The Juice, we use machines from Bristow Soft."
This was the softdrink company of Nicole's family.
Calvin was obstinate.
Along came Adelaide. "Those soft drinks here suck." She wanted those from her home down.
I gasped. "Let's ask Nicole!"
Ben wondered, "Which Nicole?"
I explained, "Nicole Bristow, the dauhter of the boss of Bristow Soft!"
Ben choked. "You know her?"
I nodded vigorously. "She;s at Eastridge, a girl school at the eastern ridge of Los Angeles."
Ben and Calvin growled. "Yeah! Girl schools!" They started swooning upon anticipating a visit over there.
Ben sighed deeply. "So, the picture on the bottom of the smoothie blenders is that of Nicole?"
I did not know about the machines.
But this sounded reasonable.
Alas, boys were not allowed at Eastridge, not even as visitors.
But Addie could go there and ask Nicole. Of course she should get accompanied by someone familiar with the bimbo wench.
I had to ask around.
Zoey feared Nicole's wrath for having denounced her to her parents.
Quinn was too busy with her scientific exoeriments.
Thus Lola was the first choice.
27.5. New Smoothie Bar
Nicole had been pleased by Lola's visit.
Addie was slightly annoyed by Nicole's demeanour.
Nicole even thought of Ben as a very cute boy, annoying Addie even more.
Claire Sawyer had already prepared a contract of five hundred pages of small print between Bristow Juices and Pacific Coast Academy.
The new smoothies, prepared with Bristow's blenders. stuck like a cannon ball.
The cart was too small for handling the necessary assault of customers.
Thus Ben would soon receive a stationary smoothie booth, similar to his pub at home, The Juice.
It would be the new favourite place to hang out, not only for Adwelaide, but for many of us students of Pacific Coast Academy, including myself, of course.
Chapter 28. Palisades
28.1. Stacey Dillsen
So, Nicole Bristow had been removed from Pacific Coast Academy, upon Zoey's intervention, for her stubborn obsession with cute boys.
But there were a few new girls now at Pacific Coast Academy.
One of them was a certain Stacey Dillsen from Swampscott in Massachusetts.
Her sister Suszanne worked as a nurse for St. Steve's Hospital in Mississippi.
Her hobbies included acrobatics, astrononmy, and especially building things with cotton swabs and white glue.
Stacey talked with a penetrant lisp.
This made her extremely unpopular.
Her cotton swab structures got often shattered and made burst into smithereens.
But Stacey faced all this like a true man, er, woman, and did not give up.
Unfortunately there were a few things better given up on by the cotton swab queen.
And these included boys like Logan Reese and other hotties.
That sort of guys comprised usually all sorts of penetrant jerks or jocks of the worst.
And those guys hardly had got an understanding for the sensitivity of Stacey and of cotton swabs or star gazing.
Stacey Dillsen was to some considerable extend a worthy successor to Nicole Bristow.
The latter had hardly ever come to see behind Logan's cuteness. "Oh well, he's a jerk, but he's a cutejerk."
And Stacey was not all that much better in this aspect. She hankered after perverted jocks like Logan Reese and Vincent Blake.
Ashley made a lot of fun of the latter attitude. "Vince would rather squish Stacey and all her cotton swabs to goo than even consider being seen anywhere near the creepy freak."
Of course, a sister in law like Stacey Dillsen would have been an excessively abominable embarrassment for a brilliant tween diva like Ashley Blake.
But Ashley's statement about Vince's opinion about Stacey was certainly not quite inappropriate.
Staxcey's history classes was currently treating the time of the colonialisation of northern America during the sixteenth through eighteenth century, especially the British expansion into the new continent.
Wooden fortifications, complete with palisade fences, had not been completely unusual back then.
For that avail, Stacey was now working on a cotton swab model of such a fortification.
And this construct pretty much iconified the mindset demonstrated by Stacey Dillson, solid and inaccessible for advices.
But a log fortress was certainly fairly weak to fire, unlike one of brick and mortar.
28.2. Chase's Toughness
Chase Bartholomew Matthews had been totally shocked by the fast failure of his thoroughly perverted plan of abusing Trina Vega in order to make my sister jealous.
Addie Singer understood him somewhat. She remembered her own rhythmically returning fits of burning jealousy during the last two years.
But for almost everyone else, Chase was such an incredible loser.
Zoey was hardly ever going to forgive him. "The creep doesn't deserve any sort of mercy whatsoever." She expected from her boyfriends to fess up straight instead of feigning to be "just best friends" and then using cheap old jealousy tricks.
Chase was certainly going to despair. But he had it totally coming. By the way, he had been incited by Lola Martinez.
Trina alias Rebecca and Lola were cousins.
Lola had not been able to survive in the permanent unresolved tension between Chase and Zoey.
Well, the resuklt was devastating.
Zoey was now even distrusting Lola and thenceforth inclined to look for a different room, maybe even that of Stacey Dillsen. "Stacey is at least honest, unlike certain friends of mine!"
Quinn had not been quite uninvolved, either. She had been equally tired by Chase's and Zoey's inability to find together on their own. She had been up to support Lola's plans by feigning ignorance about the real purpose of Trina Vega.
Needless to say, Zoey's friendship with Quinn was thenceforth scratched severely.
28.3. Wendy Screws Up
Even worse than Stacey's insanity was that of the one and only Wendy Gellar.
The latter was still obsessed with Drake Parker. She was hardly able to tolerate any other fmale fan of the rock idol next to herself.
Alas, Pacific Coast Academy was chock full of fan girls of the greatest rock star of our generation.
This was barely surprising.
Drake Parker had performed here at our spring fling already a few months after his first public performance.
Zoey had been the driving force back then.
About each and every girl at Pacific Coast Academy had then become a Drake Parker fangirl.
Of cpurse they were not all as obsessive as Wendy.
Zoey, for example, had been able to stay totally calm, from the very first moment until today.
But such an attitude was by no means acceptable for Wendy Gellar.
The self declared number one fan was up to fighting and destroying all of her "competitors".
This sounded like nothing good.
Wendy was even rude to Ashley and Sandy, inspite of claiming to be their friend.
28.4. Coco goes nuts.
Whereas Wendy was still stuck in wishful dreaming, dormitory adviser Coco Wexler was caught in a stable unstable relationship, viz. with break up recurring reliably after each and every other weak.
Her fiancé was Coach Carl of the baseball team. This time, he had dumped her by means of a short message service.
Coco must have been more dickheaded in order to stay in such a state of recurring catastrophes. Up to nowe, she had only Zoey and her roomies to listen to her.
And teenage girls were only able to advise a woman around thirty from the frying pan into the kettle with boiling water. They had tried to match Coco with completely incompatable guys.
Fortunately, lunch lady Rosemary Pepper was now around and able to talk some sense into Coco.
Coco was addicted to some of Rose's traditional recipes.
This made it a lot easier for the matron of the cafeteria to control Coco.
Tonight, I was dining with Wendy in Rose's pub, in an attempt to calm her down. "Zoey does not try to steal Drake from you. She has got different problems." I sighed deeply.
Zoey was really down because of the perverse plans of Lola and Quinn.
And I was by no means whatsoever able not help her.
Zoey would not accept the help of her little brother, or any other tween for that matter.
Wendy may or may not have believed me. But she started talking on and off about the popular family talk show of some Opera Winfree[].
This was very tiring for me to listen.
Who could compete with Opera?
My little web show with Trisha was certainly not up to that competition.
Chapter 29. Fabulous
Being all famous and rich. Ashley Blake liked to spend a lot of money when shopping.
And someone had to be stupid enough to carry all her purchases.
Today, this foolish someone happened to be me.
Fortunately we sixth graders took turns.
Being a totally fabulous star, Ashley did not even have to show her credit card in some of the shops.
She was well known there in years.
But in all other places, I had to type in her personal identification number.
The sound of "cash or card?" really hurt me and almost made me cry.
But that was usually at the end of some extended torture.
Chosing clothes was so trouble some.
Ashley was excessively picky. She had a lot to complain. Of course she was too snobbish to talk to the staff of the shops. "I'm a celebrity. I don't talk to people on the street. I let others do that for me."
And these others included me, of course.
I was always embarrassed when forwarding Ashley's exclusive wishes to the staff.
And then there was that procedure of trying to fit the clothes on.
Normal people would pick the interesting clothes and go to the cabins in order to fitr them on.
But Ashley Blake was a celebrity. "I can't walk to the cabins for people from the street."
The cabin had to come to hwer.
And I was the one to get embarrassed by having top ask the staff for building a cabin around her.
Of course this was not a wish making the staff member nod for joy.
Often enough, it was plain impossible.
In these cases, Ashley wanted to be carried to the cabin.
And who was then supposed to give her a piggy back ride?
Ashley was taller than me.
Giving her a piggy back ride was oh so totally awkward.
Sometimes, I was forced to move on my hands and my knees, letting Ashley sit on my back.
She sometimed used to punch my neck and my shoulders with her fist in the case of being too slow.
Physically, this did not hurt much. She was not Shelby Marx.
Shelby's punches were like thunder strikes. They would have made me bleed and die.
But it was humiliating to get treated like a stubborn donkey.
She had to complain a lot when fitting the clothes.
This time, it was for the outfit for the next première party.
The clothes needed to be better than those of vulgar actresses like Lola Martinez.
Too bad there was not enough time left for Ashley Blake to fly to New York City.
Her aforementioned friend Amanda Cantwell, vice president of most renowned fashion label Mad Style, would have created her perfect outfit.
Zoey could have done that, as well. She used to do things like that for Lola.
But Zoey's designs were "absolutely vulgar" in the eyes of Ashley, probably precisely because of Lola.
OK, the last stop of the day was the candy booth.
Ashley bought various chicolates. She also bought a whole bag of diversely coloured gummi worms. But she hated green ones.
I was forced to sort them out. At least I was allowed to keep the green ones.
All the pains were now forgotten.
I was already looking forward to the next shopping trip with Ashley Blake.
29.2. Première Party
And now it was the great evening for the latest movie by Malcolm Reese, Galaxy Wars VI.
Ashley Blake portrayed the daughter of the star rôle. She did not have to say much.
This was hardly a surprise, given her allergy to having to learn texts.
I had to come with Ashley, most likely as her slave.
At least she paid me well.
This was one evening among the rich and the beautiful.
Many actors were present, of course.
Helen Baxter organised the whole party.
Malcolm Reese was around as well.
Trina Vega had begged long enough for making it to this party, She deemed herself perfect for the female star rôle of his next production, Newtown High[], a soap copmedy for teenagers.
Many students of Pacific Coast Academy were already looking forward to it.
Lola was considering trying out for the female star rôle as well.
But Trina deemed herself as more gifted.
Lola may be entertaining.
But I will make the viewers sart missing their heart beats!
Lola Martinez, on the other hand, was not coming to the party. She was disgusted by Ashley's presence.
Malcolm was now giving a long and boring speech.
Trina was trying to flatter Malcolm. But she did not get close enough to him.
Josh was the fool chosen to serve the party banquet.
Megan had announced pulling a few pranks on him. She was unfortunately not here at the party.
But Ashley was assisiting her. "There's a bug in my sauce!"
The "bug" was really a little bomb in beetle shape.
Josh had to check it.
And the little "beetle" exploded right in the boob's face.
Trina stuck her finger into Josh's face and licked it clean. "Yummy!" But she admitted to missing some garlic.
Helen commanded Josh to fetch some garlic from the Italian restaurant across the street.
Trina grinned. She anticipated the time of being rich and famous, due to her excessively great talent as an actress, a singer, and a dancer. She had been cheerleading at Eastridge and modelling for some local cosmetic vendors. Now she deemed herself ready for the big show and the huger bucks.
But was Malcolm Reese keen on this?
I was not so sure.
A good model is not necessary suited as a character actress.
And while cheerleading and dancing were certainly related to some degree, either of them required a lot of practice.
And Trina appeared increasingly lazy.
Her busty Latina figure did not guarantee a career in the show business.
Trina also tried to flatter the main actors of the movie, such as a guy only known for his rôle as "Nug Nug"[]. She insisted in being pictured with said Nug Nug.
Fortunately, the poor guy did not have to suffer from Trina's saliva in his face.
His costume protected him.
For me, there were some candy left … green gummi worms!
I wanted to come to those parties more often.
Chapter 30. Chemistry
30.1. Zoey Needs Tutoring
My sister was absolutely not dumb by any stretch of the word.
But this year, there appeared to be problems with her chemistry classes.
This was of course totally the fault of her excessively inept teacher for chemistry, Mrs. Bromwell[].
Mrs. Bromwell was also the teacher of the hatha yoga classes. She was also treating Stacey Dillsen, the only girl taking hatha yooga serious, like dirt. But her real passion was hairstyling. She had been hairdresser before studying chemistry. Nowadays, she was rather obesessed with talking about the chemicals in the kids' hair.
This was expecially valid in the case of Chase Bartholomew Matthews.
His bushy hair was all natural.
But the dumb teacher was not able to believe this plain and straightforward fact. She belived in Chase's usage of special chemicals in order to achieve the particular shape of his hair.
What should one have expected from such a creepy teacher, anyways?
And the dirty wench dirty wench was mean enough to assign a C plus to Zoey's latest test.
That was of course totally absurd.
Noone had hitherto dared to give Zoey anything worse than some B-ish.
That was an inconsiderate insult to the Brooks family honour, not to be forgiven in this world, nor in any other whatsoever.
Mrs. Bromwell was now going to rue the day. She would rue her obstinacy until the apocalypse.
Endless nightmares were the absolute minimum deserved by the bitchy matron for her pernicious deeds.
And then she did not even grant Zoey a presentation in order to earn extra points in order to improve her marks.
This was so excruciatingly unfair.
Instead. Mrs. Bromwell forced Zoey to go through tutoring.
That was absolutely unheard of!
Zoey was the kind of student to tutor others, not vice versa! She had always dragged her class pals through the term exams.
This was especially the case for one Logan Reese, the dumbest of all dummies at Pacific Coast Academy.
But who was able to tutor Zoey?
Quinn had already given up.
Zoey was unable to understand any of the words of the geek queen.
30.2. Once Jerk — Always Jerk
Zoey started hanging out with Logan Reese.
This was totally perverse.
But, actually, Logan turned out as the tutor.
How was that possible?
Megan told me something interesting:
There was a book about molecular chemistry, written by one Prof. Reese from Caltech.
Needless to say, a connection, even blood relationship, between Logan and said teacher for chemistry at California's most renowned university for future scientista and engineers was not totally unlikely.
Megan was not a science geek. She coukld get along with it.
But reading a science book for college students was as much a nightmare for her as it was for me.
And I'm not the dullest bulp in the socket, either.
Josh had forced her to take a look at that stuff, back in fifth great. He had been assigned as a student teacher for her science class.
And then all of Megan's class pals had started hating Megan for being the step sister of that corrupted boob.[]
Megan had pulled some terrible prank on return and sabotaged one of Josh's lessons badly..
Josh's career as a future teacher was now rightfully destroyed for good.
He had totally deserved that absolutely appropriate treatment.
So, Logan had propriably learned something from the eolder Reese and was now able to tutor Zoey. But he was most likely abusing this in order to hit on mys sister in the most inappropriate manner. Even worse, he deliberately tortured Chase Bartholomew Matthews with his demeanour.
In the beginning, Logan and Zoey had been hanging out secretly.
Chase had only accidentally come to sumble into them and started turning insane.
Well, maybe itwas not really an accident.
Logan must have been up to doing so.
Chase should have understood to have lost Zoey for good by using Trina deliberately in order to make her jealous.
But his hopes were not yet gone for good, anyways.
Needless to say, Zoey was by no means pleased by Logan's thoroughly creepy demeanour, inspite of having actually learned something.
Ultrajerk Logan Reese was by absolutely no means anywhere near proud of kowing something about chemistry. He was even thoroughly ashamed of it and did not want to pass as a nerd. He hated nerdiness rigorously at any cost.
Whatever the reasons, Zoey needed a new tutor,
Mindy Crenshaw was up to the task, wasn't she?
30.3. Dismay And Dispair
One week had passed since the rebuke of Logan Reese for his horribly distateful demeanour.
Zoey had tried hard to learn from Mindy Crenshaw, inspite of her former bad experiences with the cold hearted plagiariser.
The nerd kneww of course an insane lot about chemistry. And she was trying hard to make it stuck to Zoey's brain.
Alas, things did not work out.
Mindy was now turning desperate.
This was unbelievable.
Failing in teaching something to Drake would have been acceptable.
Drake was a bonehead without a trace of a brain.
According to Albert Einstein, a back spine would have been enough for the jerk.
But Zoey was nowhere near like that. She was ab;e to think with her own grey matter.
But still, Mindy's ice cold intellectualism had been incredible hard, no, plainly said, impossible for my smart elder sister to connect with.
And totally unlike Joshuah Nichols, Mindy could not accept this. She was downruight terrified by these problems.
According to Albert Einstein, having understood something nimplied being able to teach it to a little kid.
And Zoey was not certainly less capable of understanding than an infant or toddler.
Mindy banged her head against a wall. She was now about being stuck in a crisis. She could no longer bear the tension.
Something must have gone horribly amiss.
And Mindy would not find any sort of peace any longer until finding out, not in this world, and not in any other world, before or after, above or below, within or without.
Well, at least this was not a bad insight.
But what could I do in order to relieve Mindy's pains?
Megan expected me to be able to do something. She had recently been able to revive the career of stuck master illusionist Henry Doheny[] .
I sighed deeply. Would I be able to do the same with Mindy Crenshaw?
Chapter 31. Say good-bye to it all!
31.1. Addie's Songs
Songs in exile had been very popular throughout the history of music.
Megan loved to blow the slaves' choir from Giuseppe Verdi's great opera Nabucco on her oboe.
And for Addie, the move from the northeastern states down to southern California was kind of sort of an exile.
Thus Megan blew the tune on and off for Addie to listen to, hoping to be able to soothe her aching soul.
I chanted along.
Va, pensiero, sulle ale dorate,
Va, ti posa sui clivi, sui colli![]
Today, Adelaide Singer had got troubles with her brother.
But this was a rare exception since her move to Pacific Coast Academy.
They had grown a bit together ever since.
Benjamin wants to dress as a girl and sneak thusly into the building of Eastridge. He was hell bent on meeting Nicole Bristow. He had seen her picture several times on the blender machines.
And Nicole smiled on there in such a seductive manner.
Ben was unable to resist. But was he already aware of her excessively bubbly demeanour?
Addie had tried to dissuade him from such a deed.
Getting caught would have got the potential of Ben getting expelled.
Adelaide would have started feeling even more alone.
But was that necessarily a bad thing, at least for a while?
Addie was a great artist. She loved writing poems ad perform them as songs on her trusty accoustic guitar.
Honestly, as a guitar player, she could not hold the dimmest candle to someone like Drake Parker.
And she could not really make decent tunes.
Wendy would have to come to her rescue here.
Similarly, Chase was a great poet.
But Michael needed to back him up as a composer in order to come out with decent songs.
Adelaide's favourite poet was Edgar Allan Poe.
This great master of American literature was particularly well known and estimated for his short stories and poems. But he had also written a great novel: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantuckett.
But who is that Mr. Pym?
Basically, Arthur Gordon Pym from Nantuckett, the unfabulous harbour island not far from Boston, had been travelling the world and the seven seas, going through numerous unforetold adventures.
And big journeys necessarily lead to many departures and new begins.
According to the conclusions of various critics of literature[] , the adventures of Mr. Pym may be seen as an ongoing search for unity in a world of bits and pieces.
The journey of the great hero of a novel is always a reflection of the journey of the author.
This had been as true for Edgar Allan Poe back in the nineteenth century as it was in our times for Adelaide Singer.
Addie had already written many a poem before coming to California.
Those works already present an ongoing departure, a search for the hitherto unbeknownst.
The step from the northeastern states to california was really but yet one other mile within her long journey.
Unfortunately, Edgar Allan Poe had been quite underestimated, both in his own times and ever since.
But this was a blatant error.
Many critics are just plain stupid fools, unable tro determine the proper complexitity of the works under criticism, whether intended by the author or accidental.
Great poets like Adelaide Singer may have committed quite a few mistakes, but they would not be themselves without those, would they?
31.2. Nicole's Journeys
Benjamin Singer's suddenly emerging interest in Nicole Bristow, the daughter of the provider of the new smoothie blenders, had made me think about that bimbo wench as well.
Nicole Bristow was from Kansas, definitely not a coastal state. She hated that area. "The boys are boring and by no means cute."
I had never been very far from any coast.
Kansas was only known to me through the Wizard Of Oz, a great modern fairy tale by Frank Baum.
And indeed Nicole had once been dressed as Dorothy, the tale's hero.
So, Dorothy was a tween girl from Kansdas, travelling the imaginary world of Oz.
Of course, this journey was also some kind of sort of a search, maybe more than just a search for a way back home. And the journey started with a departure from good old Kansas to the new and unbeknownst world of Oz.
This was also a bit strange.
Adelaide Singer's old world had been cold and grey.
Life at Pacific Coast Academy, on the other hand, appeared colourful ad heated.
This was of course the case for many of us students at this boarding school, including native Californians.
Well, California was not just Hollywood and Pacific Coast Academy, for that matter.
But in the case of Addie it seemed particularly tempting, as it must have been for Dorothy from Kansas in the wonderful new world of Oz.
Unfortunately, Nicole Bristow had not had too much luck with her field trip to our world.
Her obsession with cute boys had been so overwhelming.
This was different in the case of Adelaide Singer.
Nicole's departure from Pacific Coast Academy for Eastridge, however, was quite a different breed.
I was not able to visit her.
But those lucky enough to do so have reported her current situation.
Of course, the separation from the boys here had done nothing in order to decrease her obnoxious boy crazyness.
Some things were simply meant to never change, rgardless of the amount of departures and arrivals.
Nicole's hysterical obsession was just one of them.
benjamin had not yet given up his project of sneaking into Eastridge for the aforementioned purpose. He was just looking for some good disguise.
The custon storage of our theatre group was chock full with wigs and similar stuff.
It should not have been hard for Benjamin to find the right things.
But would he be pleased by the outcome of this adventurous departure for Eastridge?
Chapter 32. A Load Of News
32.1. Football Fever
Never ever had our football team made it into the Californian state finals.
Well, at least nothing like that had ever occured during my time and life at Pacific Coast Academy.
But this was about to change, all of a sudden.
Of course there had bee reasons for that.
The cheerleders were now really a big motor of motivation for the team.
There were no longer embarrassed cheerio boys or poorly integrated cheerio girls borrowed from other schools.
The captain of the cheerio troop was now a certain Miranda Franklin alias "Makeout Mandy"[]. She was very picky with boys, only choosing the hottest and coolest.
Of course, Vincent Blake, the quarterback of the increasingly successful Pacific Coast Academy football team, was totally fitting this exclusive bill.
Melanie Puckett was another respected cheerleader. She hated her sister Samantha, inspite of feigning being nice to everyone. But she was up to each and every little sting hurting her monozygotic twin sister in the most sensitive places. Really, she was the one of the Puckett twins not to be trusted.
But that's a different subject.
Melanie had been one of the first female cheerleaders of Pacific Coast Academy.
Mandy Franklin was a different case. She had formerly studied at Belleview High in San Diego, or, in other words, the illustrous school of kids like Drake Parker, Joshuah Nichols, Megan Parker, Eric Blonowitz, Wendy Gellar, or Melinda Crenshaw.
Trina Vega was now also a cheerleader at Pacific Coast Academy. She was rigged and ready to trump all the others.
But the competition was excruciatingly big.
ew cheerio girls were always feigning to be the number one fan of the quarterback.
It was by no means a lot of different from the case of Wendy Gellar, the absolute master fan girl of Drake Parker, in her worst time of stalking the rock idol.
Unfortunately, this cult centered around Vince Blake was not restricted to the cheerio girls.
The latter at least deserved Vince. They were thoroughly athletic and interested in football. Or at least the proper cheerleader girl was like that, especially Mandy Franklin.
Cheerleaders and football stars belonged naturally together, period.
But also some completely unworthy girls hankered after Vince.
This included Stacey Dillsen. The cotton swab queen hurled a freshly opened package of cotton swabs aloft, making it rain down on her fellow pupils like a shower of little arrows. Stacey could not tell a football from a basketball. But she was totally stalking Vince.
Ashley Blake was not at ease. She had got very strict rules for girls willing to date her brother. She expected them to be hot and popular, as completely opposed to the cotton swab princess from Swampscott in Massachusetts. As a consequence, Ashley was by absolutely no means willing to tolerate Stacey Dillsen's inconsiderate crush on Vince.
The cheerioes were not only addicted to Vince, but they were especially addicted to the new cheerio outfits.
The latter had not been designed by Zoey.
My sister was absolutely not keen on the whole cheerio business. She would have designed some standard outfits for them.
But Mandy Franklin wanted them seductive and provoking.
This was absolutely not Zoey's style.
There must have been another designer behind all of them.
Addie sensed it. She had not been the only girl from her old class at Rocky Road Middle School to make the move to Pacific Coast Academy.
And it was not a reason for joy.
Quite the contrary, her worst and most hated enemy, Maris Bingham, a spoiled rich blonde daughter of a cosmetic vendor and fashion retailor, had taken a step into the same direction.
At the beginning of the year, Addie had been hit by these news like by a shower of poisoned arrows.
32.2. Drake's New Girlfriend
Drake Parker had got loads of girlfriend, about a new one every other week.
Wendy was not keen on them, of course. She still wanted to be the only girl in his life.
But the lots of girls were not really a reason for Wendy to worry. Quite the contrary, they even served excessively well for the purpose of keeping on nourishing Wendy's exaggerated claims on Drake.
More precisely, Drake did not leave the impression of being able with the same girl for over ten days or so.
And this circumstance calmed Wendy down.
But now this fact was no longer a given.
So, what had happened?
Drake had hit on yet another girl, a certain Carlotta Tranelli[] , usually known as Carly.
By absolutely no means whatsoever is she to be confused with Carly Shay, star of iCarly and here alter ego of Megan Parker!
Carlotta worked for a shop for music records and instruments near Drake's school. She played the guitar and was a good kisser.
At first glance, this just looked like yet another throw away relationship.
But for the first time in Drake's life, he appeared challenged and forced to be honest to one of his girlfriends.
Og course this was by no means an easy task for the creep and jerk.
Logan Reese would have failed utterly and completely, no matter what.
Nobody would have expected any different from Drake Parker.
But things turned out a bit different than predicted.
Drake had admitted to his worst deeds of the past and looked for the pardon of his former victims. He felt embarrassed.
Carly Tranelli bought this excuse wholesale.
This way, Drake had gone boldly beyond any point ever reached before with a girl.
And this sudden change was some shocking news for Wendy Gellar.
She had hitherto always supposed Drake to return to her, one day.
But with the arrival of Carlotta Tranelli, things were now totally different.
Would Wendy be able to get along with this new situation?
I surely did have my doubts. I had to observe Wendy and try hard to dissuade her from committing any stupidities.
Chapter 33. Working On It
33.1. Newtown High
As aforementioned, Malcolm Reese was now starting the production of a new and improved teenage soap opera, to be known as Newtown High.
The title already suggested the content.
The show featured a variety of students at a high school in fictive city Newtown. It could as well be a spoof off our lives. It was way more than your average teenage soap, or so it claimed to be. It was planned to become the queen of teenage soaps.
Wait, Newtown High was not a private boarding school. It was a fairly normal district school.
But, really, was there something like "a normal school"?
All teenagers are insane in their way.
This was especially the case here at Pacific Coast Academy.
But the situation at, let's say, Belleview was not massively different.
And that of equally aforementioned James K. Polk was totally the same.
Actually, the script of Newtown High would turn out as being totally based on Edmond Bigby's notes known as The Declassified School Survival Guide, just spiced up for high school kids.
Ned had written the nose during his secenth and eighth grase at James K. Polk.
But Malcolm Reese wanted to make it a show of at least four seasons, if not more.
This was not going to be an easy task.
But he was looking for a competent playwright able to stretch the survival guide into a script worth at least four seasons, no, at least six seasons.
Was Chase Bartholomew Matthews up to such a task?
Many well known young Hollywood stars were now trying out for the most popular rôles in that teenage soap melodrama.
Among them was also Ashleuy Blake. Honestly said, she was a bit too young for being believable as a high school girl.
But this simple fact could not stop the little tween diva.
Malcolm Reese could not simply rebuke the child star. He needed to have a good reason.
But there was a simple way out.
The high school kids had possibly little siblings.
Granted, there was nothing about that in the collected notes of Edmond Bigby.
But a good producer was always looking for new possibilities.
For the time being, Chase was not done, but he was most definitely working on it.
For the same way, potential actors and actresses were already practising hard for the rehearsals.
Now, who would have to assist Ashley's practice?
I sighed so deeply.
33.2. Football State Championship
But of course not only the little Hollywood diva was about warming up for the big rôle.
Her brother Vince was struggling hard for the football team.
Today, coach Keller was out with them on a cross country field trip.
The school required decent marks from the pupils in the athletic team.
The same was valid for all extracurricular activities.
The latter were not supposed to be a reason for ruining the success in the curricular activities.
Those staying too far behind and in need of tutoring were thus excluded from thos bonus schedules.
In turn, only those mastering their regular subjects with ese were allowed to sacrifice some curricular classes for the sake of extra training sessions.
Sometimes it was hard to belief.
How could Vince Blake achieve the two of them?
For quite some time, this would remain a mystery.
But this is definitely a subject for later.
Our web show was willing to broadcast some interviews with the successful players.
Sam sighed. "Vince's muscles are bigger than my brain."
Honestly said, I was absolutely not surprised.
Miles Brody, still our lame tech producer, better kept some distance.
Vince would easily have puréed his head, complete with skull and brain, in the case of having to listen to some of his "smart" remarks.
The first opponent in the state finals would be the team from Golden Bay Bridge High in San Francisco.
This happened to be the school of Christina Saunders[], an almost alike looking cousin of Samantha and Melanie Puckett.
I had not yet been in Frosco.
But they were not playing worse football than kids from Los Angeles.
Or so it was said.
Chris had got a really stupid crush on Ashton Donovan[], one of the football players of her school.
Ashton Donovan was still a middle school, but he was uttermostr definitely nobody to mess around with.
Vincent Blake and his pals were better going to prepare as well as possible.
I have not been talking about our fencing team since quite some while.
But it was still there.
needless to say, I had to train quite a bit in order to stay in form.
Trisha alias Sam helped a lot for that purpose. She kept on throwing apoples at me.
I had to catch them with the tip of my rapier.
In the beginning, this appeared awkward.
I got often enough hit by the apples i the most painful spots.
Samantha used to laugh about my mistakes. She would never have shown any trace whatsoever of mercy.
I better learned fast.
Afterwards, Samantha took used to take the weapon off me and shoved in down her throat in order to eat the apples off the blade. She was already pretty fast.
It used to take her less than five seconds to devour three apples stuck on my rapier.
And Sam never hurt herself with the razor sharp blade of the sword. She must have practised an insane lot with it.
Or maybe it was just an inherited ability of the Puckett family.
Melanie did not attempt it. She deemed the abuse of food for entertainment barbaric and disgusting.
Zoey agreed with her.
Thus we were better off practising in the secret.
The regionals were soon around the corner.
And I was not up to losing.
Sooner or later, Sam would get tired by throwing apples at me and move on to bigger stuff.
Unfortunately, our web show was now reduced to one episode per month.
Chapter 34. Fun Or Reason?
34.1. Mindy's Crisis
Mindy's crisis was growing worse pretty fast.
She had not even been able to complete her work for this year's science fair.
Even an incomplete invention by Mindy was more than expected from the vast majority of students at Pacific Coast Academy. But of course it was by no means able to compete with the works of Quinn Pensky.
And the latter was completely unable of thinking about a way to help Mindy.
34.2. Healthy Snacks
Quinn Pensky was now working on a different project.
Our vendor machine sold a few yummy snacks and candy.
But according to Zoey, most snacks were totally unhealthy. She was still excruciatingly upset when catching me red handed with those coloured sugar balls.
But without candy, I would feel myself dying from the inside.
Megan Parker was particularly asddicted to Japanese candy, available from Kazu's Sushi Rox.
Wendy had to send her some every other week.
For that avail, a more healthy substitute was searched.
According to my judgment, "healthy" and "tasty" did not go together. They were completely incompatible qualities.
Megan had told me about Peruvian puff pepper[].
This was one of the most delicious spices of the whole world. It grew only in South America. Really, it was not really a kind of pepper, actually a form of a member of the genus of Capsicium, just like bell peppers or Cayenne peppers.
But tghis was not so important.
The annoying fact was the following:
Peruvian puff pepper contained a substance able to cause chapped lips and even permanent kidney failure. And for that reason, it was nowadays illegal in almost all of the United States of America, including especially good old California.
Megan had once used this fact in order to get Drake and Josh disqualified from a salsa cooking contest.
Those utterly perverted boobs had so deserved this just punishment.
Megan allowed them to steal one bell pepper pod, making them believe in it being a pod of Peruvian puff pepper. Then she made them, unaware of the legal status of the spice, admit to having used it in their quite delicious salsa.
The upset umpire could not help but boot them and declare Megan instead as the winner.
Well, within the legal limits, the salsa had still been great.
But only a salsa with original puff pepper would have really rocked the world.
Zoey had still not forgiven Quinn and Lola for their dirtily perverted plans of making Zoey jealous, involving Lola's busty cousin Trina.
Quinn now really wanted to show it to Zoey. "Without me, you would just be a little creep!"
Lola was hell bent on supporting Quinn in her enterprise. "The blond Mary Sue can't even find her butt without us!"
Zoey could not believe it.
Her roomies had turned so mean.
But maybe Zoey was just about killing her own life off with her ice cold demeanour. She was not all so much different from Melinda Crenshaw, her former archenemy and failed tutor.
So, Quinn Pensky had found so called moon bars on some web site.
Those were very healthy snacks from the east coast.
But, as previously mentioned, I douvbted very much their tastiness.
The girls refused stubbornly to listen to me.
I was doing my researches.
The moon bars had most likely been around for a bit longer in New York City and other places in the Eastern states.
So I decided to ask people from there.
Samantha had got an almost alike looking cousin named Ann Turzo alias "Pinky"[] living in the city of the Broadway.
In addition, Addie and her brother had been living in those regions until the summer break.
So there were quite a few kids to ask beforehand.
I started with Adelaide Singer.
She coughed. "Moon bars … are you sure?"
I nodded solemnly.
Addie panted desperately. "they make you puke your guts loose!"
I started shivering and squealing.
Listen, Zach had recommended them. He is an ecopacifist and particularly keen on vegetable poweder based snacks.
Geena and I tried it once.
The school toilets were stuffed shut for three days.
Ben had wanted to sell some in The Juice.
But manager Mike[] deemed this insane.
And I totally understand why.
OK, so I understood it as well. And I had totally seen that coming.
Addie was not alone with her impressions concerning moon bars.
Samantha Puckett had just received a reply from her cousin Pinky.
Sam's clone from New York City replied, "I have used the moon bars in order to punish teachers for assigbning me too much homework."
Said teachers were still suffering from cramping intestines.
Sam deemed that cool. She could imagine a few teachers deserving such a treatment, even more at her other cousin's school in San Francisco.
Now I had to warn Quinn and Lola.
34.3. Cactus Of Guadalapecho
Quinn and Marx had recently been assigned a class project in biology involving cactus plants.
Mark even dared to sit on one of those needle plants.
His butt was now full of cactus thorns.
So, there were many sorts of cactus plants.
And one particular species, known by Quinn as the cactus of Guadalapecho, contained some excruciatingly creamy juice with no fat and calories. Unfortunately the species appeared to be very rare.
But for Quinn, this was the solution.
She just needed to inject some of the cactus juice into the moon bars.
Th snacks would thereupon turn outrageously delicious.
34.4. Like A Drug
Alas, Megan had figured something about the juice of Guadalapecho.
Accordin to Eric Blonowitz, already her source for the informations about the Peruvian puff pepper, the juice of guadalapecho was about as addictive as marijuana. Unlike puff pepper, it was not yet illegal.
But this was probably just a matter of time.
The cactus was very rare.
And the addiction could be dangerous. It had already caused a fatal civil war in Guadalapecho.
Already Hernán Cortés, one of the first leaders of the colonialisation of Mexico, had warned about the dangers of the juice of this plant.
It had had an excruciatingly bad influence on the efficience of his soldiers and of the native slave workers.
Some clerics of the Spanish inquisition, active in the colonialisation of the new world, had thereupon supported the issues of Cortés, calling the cactus of Guadalapecho a tool of Satan.
I had to shiver more and more.
Later, a civil war over the cactus plants had extinguished the civilisation of Guadalapecho.
This was much worse than the addictivity of the Japanese candy preferred by Megan.
So I could not recommend Quinn's plans.
Was there no compromise in sight?
Chapter 35. Silver Hammers
35.1. Snob Club
The Society Of The Silver Hammers were some snobbish club, alias a "Brotherhood" exclusively active at high schools and colleges of coastal southern California, from Santa Barbara to San Diego.
This included in particular the metropolitan complex of larger Los Angeles and Hollywood.
Members recruited as high school kids could look forward to an almost certain continuity into colleges, universities, and the corporal world of that region, and that could as well mean: around the whole world, given the global significance of Hollywood and other economic heavy weights based in Los Angeles.
Many politicians, scientists, artists, financial titans of all sorts, and on and on and on it goes, got their career boosted to a significant degree by their former membership in the Silver Hammer Society.
Needless to say, the most elitary club of the Silver Hammers was also heavily represented at California's most exclusive boarding school, viz. Pacific Coast Academy.
After all, membership in the society was one of the top goals for the majority of the high school kids at Pacific Coast Academy.
High school kids of today were so full of dreams and illusions.
And the Society Of The Silver Hammers apparently stoked precisely those.
During the first two years of coeducation, the Pacific Coast Academy branch had only recruited boys.
The reason for this had been the lack of known girls among the high school kids at Pacific Coast Academy.
This was about changing.
Girls had ceased being a striking minority. And they were more and more in the focus of the public interest.
There was now no way left around assuming girls into the list of the members of this distinguished society.
These days, the elders roamed the campus, armed with a famous silverish looking hammer. They knocked lightly any potential new member, such as Zoey, Lola, Michael, Chase, and many other sophomores.
Chase had refrained from joining though. He hated those clubs for snob creeps.
The description of the society sounded perfect for Logan Rese.
But the spoiled dandy had wasted his chance by attempting to bribe the elders. He was now abusing Chase's pin, trying to get into the club, anyways.
35.2. Ben To Eastridge
Lola had chosen a particulasrly long haired wig for Benjamin Singer.
This should so totally suffice for creating the illusion of a female Ben.
The security guards would never suspect anything.
Or though Lola expected in her wild dreams, the dreams of the infallibility of the perfect theatre masquerade.
Alas, Ben had to work on his generic female voice.
Lola was basically disgusted by Ben Singer. Thus she refused to work with him on that project. She had to do better things with her time. In order to get really accepted into the club of the Silver Hammers, she needed to shave the elders all over for a whole week. She was disgusted by male hair. But she assumed them to be excellent kissers.
All knocked postulants of the Society Of The Silver Hammer had got a task assigned for the upcoming week.
Addie sighed deeply. She was still not convinced of her air headed brother's project of sneaking into Eastridge as a girl and then try to hit uttermost mercilessly on Nicole Bristow. But she gave in and tried to teach hinm talking properly with a girl's voice.
The task was not easy.
Alas, Addie had got their dreams of Hollywood as well. She wanted to make it as a gutarist and song star to the bug stage.
Gustavo Rocque, the boss of Rocque Records, was one of her greatest idols by now.
So, after all, Addie did not have a reason to complain about her elder brother's possession of wild dreams.
Her own dreams would be best expressed in her lyrics.
Onece more, her great idol Edgar Allan Poe came to her rescue.
In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed-
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted.
Ah! what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turned back upon the past?
This poem by the great master of American poetry had accompanied Addie all the way across the continent. It was her inspiration for the start of a new life here in California.
Another poem by the same god of poetry would have fit even more to Addie's whole unfabulous existence:
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
Yet my favourite poem by Poe about the topic was still Dreamlands.
I muttered unto myself:
I have been happy, tho' in a dream.
I have been happy, and I love the theme:
Dreams! in their vivid coloring of life,
As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife
Of semblance with reality, which brings
To the delirious eye, more lovely things
Of Paradise and Love-and all our own!
Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known.
For many of us, this expressed the still living remains of our hopes.
Benjamin Singer was by no means really happy with the outcome of his intrusion into Eastridge.
The security guards had actually been fooled.
And Ben's generic female voice was now very hard to distinguish from Addie's day job voice.
The wig was also sitting well.
Thus Ben had made it very close to Nicole. He had promised to sneak her out of that boy-free zone.
Nicole had been very excited. But she had then started talking Benjamin Singer's ears into obliteration.
Ben had startled and floundered, screaming. He was not accustomed to overbubbly bimbo girls.
In the process of Ben's surprise, he had let his wig slip and drop.
Needless to say, the presence of the male intruder had caused some excruciating panic among the school girls.
And this dismay had alerted security.
Ben had been grabbed and guided outside, the hard way, of course. Now he was full of scars and bruises of the most painful sort. He would never ever dare again to sneak into a girl school.
Others were disappointed by their illusory dreams of an easy way through life, too.
This was especially the case for this year's postulants for membership in the Society Of The Silver Hammer.
Their assignments had been really disgusting.
But they had fooled themselves into believing "soon, everything will be perfect".v
But this was by no means the case.
The postulants had to vote against one of theirs.
And this had lead to chaos and turmoil.
The elders could not help but send all of the postulants away. Now they were left with no new members at all. They even decided to ask Logan once more.
And the creep accepted.
I did not want to hear about that society of jerks and perverts again.
Chapter 36. Perverted Crush
36.1. Logan challenges Chase
Over a year ago, I had been totally addicted to some video game about space invasion.
Only aforementioned power failure had stopped me.
Otherwise, I would have held the high score record of the game.
The official arcade high score of the very game had been established recently by some Wendell[] from Frisco.
I was still feeling totally challenged.
But, really, the obsession belonged to the past.
Such a power failure was now totally unlikely to occur again, though.
Quinn Pensky and Wayne Gilbert had upgraded the power supply system.
It had basically been based on Mindy Crenshaw's idea.
But her crisis had prevented her from working on it with the necessary concentration.
However, there were of course many other fans of many different video games.
Chase Bartholomew Matthews and Logan Reese, for example, were totally adicted to some cart racing game.
It appeared totally onesided.
In their internal statistics, Chase was clearly up front.
Of course, neither of them understood anything about statistics.
But that was a totally different issue.
In any case, Chase bragged mercilessly with his superiority.
Logan was not accustomed to such a demeanour. He used to be the one able to breag with everything. For that reason, he claimed, "You may be the best in a video game. But you would lose out badly to me in a race with real carts."
Chase did not want to accept the statement.
This meant war.
Or, rather, a bet was now due.
It involved a race on the campus with real carts.
Each of the two of them was supposed to fetch a race cart somehow and then participate in the death match race on the established race track.
The sad loser of the race would face one humiliating destiny, such as having to cross the campus in some girl's outfit.
36.2. Mindless Michael
Michael Barret was now up to a challenge of quite some other sort. He was still perversely obsessed with future pop star Lisa Perkins.
Lisa would soon participate in America Sings. She was probably going to be famous.
Michael was not necessarily up to the eternal fame and the burning spot lights. He would most likely lose his nerves and his mind completely.
Lisa was by no means Michael's first date.
Already in his last year of middle school, he had screwed the head of Farfalla[] , the sister of Olivary Biallo. And as a freshman, he had been making out permanently with one Vanessa[] . Honestly, Michael had never even broken up with any of those girls. He must have forgotten about them.
This underlined his mindlessness.
Some boys are really perverted by the vicinity of certain girls.
And Michael was most definitely one of them. He had already committed many silly things, such as getting stuck in Zoey's scooter with the zipper of his pants, of course in Lisa's presence.
Quinn had to cut him free with some heavy tools.
In order to help the lovesick creep with his issues, Zoey was making the worst possible move. She registered Michael for the upcoming Open Mic Night and talked Lisa Perkins to sit in the front row..
36.3. Worst Case Scenario
And this was the night of teh nights for Michael Barret.
He entered the stage and saw nobody but his own crush in the front row. Now he was completely lost, He had never been really able to sing, anyways, just to parodise big artists.
And in his current mood, even this was bound for being a complete failure.
Michael started puking onto the shoes of Lisa Perkins.
This was so foul and disgusting.
Lisa had to go and get them cleaned.
36.4. Michael's Despair
Needless to say, Michael was now totally out of his own head. He could not do anything but hide from everyone and play his flute.
Lisa had made it even worse. She had now started dating someone else, another victim of the warm, stinky torrent gushing forth from Michael's filthy mouth during the Open Mic Night.
Michael was now ready to die for Lisa. he deemed this the last possibility to impress her.
Wendy had once been very close to that point. She was still not over this, She had planned a kamikaze onslaught upon the life of Ms. Hayfer.
Michael was certainly up to something similar.
And this was the right moment for her to walk up to Michael and tell him something to the avail of
You are not alone there.
I know about your current feelings. I really do.
And there was someone else able to help Michael. And this was no other than Samantha Puckett, usually not the one person known for her excessively huge sensitivity.
But that's a different issue.
Wendy, by the way, had been slightly dismayed by one of Megan's recent statements.
Against Wendy's more or less evident yet unspoken wishes, Megan had not yet done anything in order to make the relationship between her elder brother and his girlfriend Carlotta Tranelli go belly up.
And there was a reason for that.
Megan had hitherto suffered a lot from the instability of Drake's relationship. She did not want to end up like a Don Juan. And for that avail, she had decided to at least tolerate, if not promote, their relations for a few weeks more.
This was Drake's first serious chance on a relationship with a girl.
And Megan did not want it to end up like all those dozens of wrecked dates before.
Wendy was shocked. She was now starting to doubt in Megan's friendship.
But Megan did not want to hurt Wendy with her decision. "Wendy can certainly do better, regardless of Drake's feelings for Carly." She deemed "Carly" a cool name. "I would definitely choose this as a fake name, i the case of having to run away and to take cover."
Of course I did not hope for Megan to have to do such a thing at any point whatsoever.
Michael was still hard to convince.
Wendy had made him ponder. But she knew, "it took me several years to recover from my first obsession." Thence she concluded, "Michael would not do it in several days."
That sounded reasonable.
It was a tough challenge, after all.
Chapter 37. Awards
37.1. Junior Oscar
As aforementioned, Ashley Blake may already look back to a great career as a teenage Hollywood star.
Even Lola Martinez, older by almost four years, was looking down to the list o=f Ashley's presences in both movies and TV shows.
And this was not without consequences.
Today, we received some extremely important news from Helen Baxter.
Ashley Blake had been voted for the Junior Oscar as the best female main rôle.
This message stoked Lola's inflated envy even more.
She had never wom such an award during her preeteen life. Now she was too old for that avail. She was now aiming for the real Oscar. But she would have to face some worse competition than ever before in her life.
Of course this crowning was not going to go out without some special ceremony.
Helen Baxter had already announced the details for that event.
It was just around the corner.
Dean Rivers was already dishing out the passes for the event. He had been paid by Malcolm Reese and was now fairly generous in this respect.
I would be in the number, as well.
As pretty much well know by now, Ashley Blake was not exactly keen on talking, especially not in the presence of people below her dignity.
And these included almost all of the paparazzi.
They were really a deprecable brood of vipers, by the way.
One of the worst paparazzi of all was Jeremiah Trottman, a class pal of Zoey.
This was so totally embarrassing.
Trottman was especially competent for sports, homecomings, and fatal accidents on the campus.
This competence included especially cheerleader accidents.
Also, Stacey Dillsen had recently strained a muscle in her butt during yoga classes.
And Trottman was picking at her like a vulture.
That was so totally deprecable.
I would only encounter one worse teenage paparazzo during my school time.
And this guy was a certain Robert Shapiro from Hollywood School for the Professional Performance Arts. Fortunately, he was now only a middle school boy playing with his dolls.
But of course grown up professional journalists were more dangerosu.
The most feared tabloid journalist of the United States of these days was one Kitty Monroe[] from Red Carpet. She was worse than a pack of hyenas, randomly making fun of and preying on the reactions of consternated entertainers.
One of the more competent but still annoting journalists was Jessica Warner[] from Backstage Hollywood.
I did not want to have to do anything with any of them, to say the truth.
Unfortunately, due to Ashley's refusal to talk into the microphone, someone else had to do it for her.
We Pacific Coast Academy kids had to cast dice for that purpose.
And the unlucky one in charge with feigning Ashley's vvoice was once more me.
It was probably not an accident.
My rhetorical abilities were very much appreciated at Pacific Coast Academy in general.
Ashley really deemed me best suited for that task.
Of course this meant a whole lot of work.
The honoured stars were supposed to giove some kind of sort of speech upon receiving the well deserved award.
Anbd I better started working on my, opps, Ashley's speech right away.
Of course, it had to appear once more like Ashley talking.
This would probably not be too hard for me, after lots of practice.
But it was not only Ashley's oral communication.
Megan had organised her a web account at some social network site.
Most Hollywood stars of our era had got something like that. And they were supposed to run a weblog and answer to the most stupid questions of their fans.
And of course Ashley was not exactley the greatest author and giver of answers.
So, who would have to do all the writing stuff?
Oh, that was once more up to wretched me.
37.2. Californian Speller Bee
Of course Ashley was not the only one at Pacific Coast Academy middle school up to receiving some award.
I had been a member of my spelling bee squad for several years already.
We had never been disappointing.
But, as pretty much well known, we speller bees did by no means get near the attention of star athletes like Vince Blake, actors like Lola Martinez or Ashley Blake, and pop stars like Lisa Perkins.
Speller bees were usually deprecated nerds.
This year, our team was about getting very close to winning the Californian state speller bee for the first time since my move to Pacific Coast Academy.
Jeremiah Trottman did not take any notice.
And that was probably not a bad thing.
I did not mind some attention. I just hated the wrong one.
Unlike during the last years, my pals were really competent.
I did not have to do the whole work on my own.
Sandy Baldwin and Robert Carmichael were prepared very well for the contest, way more than just confirming our good and solid performances of the previous years.
Together, we had been totally convincing in the regionals.
But our openents in the state finals were not too feeble.
I feared especially Sheldon Thompson[] from Golden Bay Bridge, the school of Samantha Puckett's aforementioned Chris Saunders.
This cried for a war amomg cousins.
Another important opponent would be one Nolan Bird[] from Cedar Valley , a cousin of aforementioned Edmond Bigby.
I was a bit afraid of the ugly umpire, a certain Denzel Crocker from Dimsdale, a fairly northern Californian town and seat of the state finals.
Tootie, one of Trina's cousins, had been living there for quite a few years.[]
One of Megan's cousins. Timothy Turner, was also living there.
Megan had told me about strange things going on up there.
I better refused to trust Crocker. But in any case, I was up to taking the challenge.
Speller bees sting!
Chapter 38. Turbo Booster
Finally, Chase and Logan had readied their race carts for the deadly showdown.
I had always been against the stupid race.
Dean Rivers should never have approved of it. But he was occupied with totally different things, propably his evil wife Tipper.
This had allowed Logan to sneak the pass for the race past him.
I was thoroughly disappointed by Zoey.
My sister had never tried to dissuade Chase and Logan from their murderous plans.
As completely opposed to me, Samantha Puckett was absolutely keen on the cart race. She loved the sound of crashing cars bursting into flames.
I could have asked Garth Burman to do something about this dangerous race.
But the vulgar mass of students loved that enterytainment and was not willing to let spoilers get away alive.
Thus we had to make a live session of our web show dedicated to the mega eventof theweek, the death match between the two sophomores.
Logan Reese had bought a new race cart. Of course he had got the money for doing so. Thus he smiled triumphantly, expecting clearly to win against each rusty vehicle.
Chase Bartholomew Matthews lacked the bucks. He bought a cheap wrecked from the junk yard dow the road.
The trash site was run by greasemonkey Joe Braxley, a totally dull but nice guy.
Of course Logan had made a lot of fun of it.
But Chase was not doing the real construction work.
Quinn Pensky and Mindy Crenshaw were properly behind the plans and the tuning work.
Logan was shocked when discovering this fact. "Some of the manipulations do not conform with the rules!" Was he up to calling Clairer Sawyer in order to enforce a disqualification of Chase for violating the guidelines laid down and agreed on beforehand?
Well, there had not been any restrictive rules.
Mindy and Quinn were now explaining the usage of the buttons installed by them in order to controil the actions of the cart.
Unfortunately, Chase was not the brightest bulp in the socket. He was so up to confusing the things.
Well, expecting some mean trick from Mindy Crenshaw was vertainly by no means unjustified.
Whenever challenged, Mindy was totally likely to resort to tricky and deceitful demeanour.
This had been especially the case when trying to get Drake framned for her own deeds against Mrs. Heyfer.
Mindy's extremely astute attempts of plagiarising Zoey's backpack design had obviously played the same tune.
Of course there had been many examples ever since.
As of recent, Mindy had devised some mean tricks in order to fool Dean Rivers into selling selling cereal fruit bars on the campus by means of the vendor machines.
Dean Rivers preferred unhealthy food. He seemed to make a lot of money with that.
At least Mindy had been able to dissuade Quinn from her plans concerning the cactus juice.
Needless to say, Mindy's plans for Chase's race cart were full of tricky devices.
The same was also valid for Quinn's plans.
But the latter were more straightforward.
Quinn had not wanted to overcharge Chase's brain. "Boys' brains do not work very well."
Ice cold Mindy did not care about that.
For Michael, the danger of the race was a particular opportunity.
He was up to protecting Lisa in the right moment from a stray race cart, or flying wheels and other pieces of a wrecked vehicle. "This will make her reconsider …" Of course he did not confess to those astute and calculating thoughts. He still played the infinitely sad boy, provoking the pity of others, especially Zoey Brooks.
But his true intentions were evident for anyone looking at the situation with an objective eye.
And Zoey's mind was apparently clouded for some reason.
Thus she was so hopelessly naïve in that situation.
For me and Sam, it was totally clear, though.
Lola Martinez took the banner in order to start the race. She did that in order to be seen by the cams.
Not only Miles Brody's cam was present, taking pics dfor my web show.
Jeremiah Trottman polluted the atmosphere again with his reports. He was probably looking forward to an impending bad accident on the campus. He was the ultimate expert for those things.
It would have been the greatest thing to happen for him since the strained muscle in Stacey Dillsen's butt cheek.
Of cpurse the race track was somewhat insulated.
But this protection was excruciatingly feeble.
A bunch of hay stacks would never have been able to stop an astray race machine of any sorts.
So, the race is on.
Jeremiah Trottman tried to interview Quinn. But he had to feel some laser beams in his face for this inappropriate attempt of an interruption.
Logan was in the leading position.
But now Chase started rto play with the buttons.
Suddenly, a laser beam shot forth, obliterating the hind wheels of Logan's cart in virtually no time.
The dandy was in a stinky mood.
His cart was unable to continue.
Mindy giggled vigorously.
Chase just had to reach the goal line.
Alas, Quinn and Mindy had disabled the servo brakes in order to boost the turbo propulsion.
In other words, Chase Bartholomew Matthews was not able to stop his deadly machine.
Now, as if planned by Michael Barret, the cart was magically approaching Lisa Perkins.
Herr current boyfriend ran away, leaving Lisa behind.
But Michael took his big chance and leaped forward in order to save Lisa, risking his own feet.
Michael's left foot got badly hurt in the process, but it was left in one piece.
"You have saved my life!" Now Lisa Perkins considered her opinion about obnoxious Michael Barret. "I love you."
But this was a folly.
Lisa was lying to Michael, and she was fooling herself.
Sam shook her head when seeing the situation. She had got a story to tell.
Last summer, I was in a camp.
One of the guys there, a certain Eric Noseby[] had got a crush on me, kind of, sort of.
I did not care about him, at least not in the beginning.
Knowing about my obsession with ham, he subscribed me to an international ham delivery project.
I would receive each month some special hamfrom another region of the world.
That sounded absolutely like heaven in my ears.
I was really happy.
But was that subscription a reason for dating Eric Noseby?
I had to think about it.
It clearly wasn't.
I did not love Eric. I loved his deed of subscribing me to the programme.
The relevance for the situation of Michael and Lisa was clear.
Lisa did not love Michael. She just loved having been saved by him.
Michael was nothing but Lisa's ham.
They had to understand Sam's reasons and hitherto refrained from the fatal stupidity of dating, saving themselves from ongoing terror and corruption.
Chapter 39. Childhood Memories
39.1. The Balloons
Zoey's evil teacher for psychology had ordered her class to attach their most embarrassing qualities to an helium filled balloon and make them soar away into the blue Californian sky.
What was that in the case of Zoey?
I should not have cared.
My sister was older by four years.
I did not know everything about her.
And that was probably for the better of mine.
Today, the balloons had been released.
Shrinks were all insane, no exception whatsoever.
What was the very purpose of that stupid project, anyways?
Alas, Chase's balloon must have been interceived.
How did I know?
Last night, an arrow of a length of about two foot had come flying through the barely open window of "148 Maxwell Hall", the dormitory room of Chase, Michael, and Logan. It had impaled itself into the wall next to Chase's bed.
The tip of the arrow had broken upon impact, though.
Fortunately, none of the boys had been hit.
But, more important than anything else, there was a little scroll of paper attached to the end of the projectile.
Chase and Michael had unwrapped the attachment.
It was a message, written with newspaper letters, cut and pasted and arranged in order to make sense.
Of course Chase had read it.
The anonymous sender was threatening to reveil Chase's darkest secret, unless …
Little doubt, there was a connection to the balloons.
What was the condition by the unknown poser of the threat?
Chase had to dance in the campus square, in the plain daylight, wearing some girls' dress. He had to sing the Macalana[] .
This was a terribly perverted song about some excessively loose Latina.
This was even more embarrassing than Chase's secret.
Well, I did not know that secret.
But what was worse for a boy than having to act as some particularly loose girl?
Chase did probably not know Spanish, at least not enough to be able to understand the song, and thus did not get its utter perversity.
The first question was:
Who was the anonymous sender of the message?
Also, shooting an arrow into a room through some hardly open window required quite some expertise in archery.
I could not think off my head of such a person.
Anyways, who would do such a thing to Chase?
Zoey was not that mean, wasn't she? She had not yet forgiven his evil deed of trying to hire Trina Vega in order to make her jealous.
But, hey, there was an idea!
Trina and Chase had not been able to complete their deal.
But Trina expected Chase to pay for it, anyways.
So, maybe this blackmail was the "due payment"?
I had to find out, in one way or the other.
39.3. Songs Of Times Long Gone
Megan Parker was able to play many tunes from great operas on her wonderful oboe.
One of my favourites was aforementioned choir from Verdi's Nabucco. It also reminded Addie of her times as an elementary school kid.
Arpa d'or dei fatidici vati
Perché muta da salice pendi?
Il memorio nel petto riaccendi!
Ci favella del tempo chi fu![]
This made Addie take a sad look back.
At the age of seven, Adelaide Singer had made a long lost of things to do until turning fourteen.[] Last year, she had been frightened by the result.
Only a few things had come true.
Addie had decided back then to never listen again to her younger self. She had almost forgotten about her resolution. Now she panted heavily and decided to do it again. "Never again shall those stupid memories, good or bad, distract me!" She sighed deeply.
Such a vow was so ininitely hard to obey to.
Likewise, the psychology project of the sophomores was doing something similar to the sophomore kids.
Maybe Chase was not so much embarrassed by his dark secret, but by his childhood memories in general, and the inevitable disappointment of his childhood dreams.
39.4. Convicting Rebecca
I had asked my beloived Megan parker for help against Rebecca.
She admitted to notb being able to do so directly. But she knew someone able to:
Malika Dooley[], the new room mate of Melanie Puckett, was really a teenage witch, an expert for telepathy. She had come to Pacific Coast Academy upon the recommendation of Megan. She was also a member of my speller bee team. But she had not yet been totally convincing. So, how was she going to get Rebecca to admit to everything?
39.5. Dance The Macalana
Half a week had gone by.
I crossed the campus square.
Miles Brody followed me with the web cam.
I started talking, "welcome to our big Latino Rock festival!"
Samantha grinned. "Oh, yeah, baby! The biggest ever on this campus!"
I continued, "This would be nothing without a decent band." I looked around. "Welcome the one and only Drake Parker!"
Megan had forced her elder brother to show up on the campus tonight.
He was still a bit shocked about this suddenly arranged concert. He held tight to his guitar.
I announced, "Wendy gellar has written a song for this event, using the input of the hottest Latina on the campus, Lola Martinez!"
Flattered Lola coughed. She was dressed in a fluffy costume as a huge banana. During psychology classes, she had admitted to being afraid of fluffy costumes.
Drake started playing the tune dictated by Wendy.
Lisa Perkins chimed in with her voice.
The text had been provided by Addie Singer.
The bypassing students cheered enthusiastically.
After that song, I announced Chase and his Macalana.
Lola admitted, "My ancestry is from that region in Spain."
Chase waved around and started singing, applauded by the mass of onlookers.
In these atmosthere, it was not even difficult for Chase to admit to his dark secret. "As a little boy, I had been the flower girl at the wedding of one of my uncles."
Many of his fellow students chimed in.
Zoey's baby butt had actually been in TV, some ad for sun blocker or so.
But that had been before my birth.
And on and on and on it went.
Malika had confirmed my thoughts about Chase's memories. "He was really not embarrassed by admitting to having been a flower girl."
Really, the event made Chase think of his favourite grandmother.
He remembered those days with her, days meant to never end.
But what about Trina?
Chapter 40. Triumphal Ode
40.1. Wendy's Song
Wendy had put quite some efforts into the Latino rock song for Drake. She had expected a lot more recognition by the jerk for that, even though not the kind of attention expected years ago. She was no Latina, but seemed to get very along very well with Hispañola rhythms.
Alas, the song had struck like a nuclear bomb. And it became immediately known outside the campus of Pacific Coast Academy.
One morning after the Latino rock event, the megaphone started yelling Wendy into the administration.
We were just in biology classes.
Ashley Blake wondered, "what bad things has she committed?"
I shrugged solemnly.
Unbeknownst to mew, Ashley knew pretty well the reason for that action. She was not quite innocent. But at least she whistled innocently.
I would see Wendy again during the big break, though.
40.2. Wendy Rocques
And there we were, all excited.
Wendy was returning from the administration office.
I wanted to know the reasons.
Wendy panted. "Gustavo Rocque was there!"
I choked. "Gustavo Rocque from Rocque Records?"
Wendy grinned. She reported, "he seems to like my song."
I looked puzzled.
Gustavo Roxque was known for being excessively critical, at least. He often yelled at the artists in a way making the whole city of Los Angeles tremble like after an earth quake of no less than Richter three.
And Wendy was now just short of being offered a contract for several years.
Of course, there would be some period of probation.
This was standard.
I advised Wendy to let Claire Sawyer proofread the whole thing.
Euphorical Wendy was way too prone for deciding too fast.
Wendy did not want to hear any objections of whatever sort, though. in this hour of her greatest triumph.
40.3. Californian Champion
Not only Wendy's activities as a song composer appeared to get crowned with success.
This was my long awaited day of the Californian speller bee championship.
The competition had been as hard as expected.
But in the end, both Nolan Bird and Sheldon Donovan were stumbling over "A … n … t … i … d … i … s … e … s … t … a … b … l … i … s … h … m … e … n … t … a … r … i … s … m."
And that was my great chance.
During the last years, I would probably have floundered and messed it up in the very last moment.
But this time, it went all well, like magically.
Hey, was the presence of "Magic" Malika the final momentum necessary formy success?
I really did not know. I was just happy about the victory.
Now the students at Pacific Coast Academy would remember me making it shine.[].
40.4. Victorious Return
Megan Parker's team had not been as successful in the Californian state finals as mine.
But she had not pulled punches in order to let me win. She would never have done that kind of sort of stuff, and she never have expected anything like that from me.
But there was a surprise after my return to Malibu.
Megan and her oboe were awaiting me. "A song for the greatest winners of all times!"
"Coconut Head", a student of unknown real name from James K. Polk, was going to sing the vocals of the triumphal ode from Giuseppe Verdi;s great opera Aida.
The team of James K. Polk had already been eliminated ealier.
Since the graduation of Simon Nelson Cooke they had not got a decent speller bee.
Megan's Oboe filled the air of Malibu with lovely music.
Gloria alla PCA
A Dustin Brooks
Che la sacra spiaggia regge
Inni festosi alziam
Gloria a Dustin[]
Did the greater mass of students at Pacific Coast Academy understand the words of the song?
I was not sure about that.
It was very flattering, anyways.
Zoey was a bit puzzled. "Why does a girl from San Diego make all the way to Malibu, just in order to perform a tune for a guy from a totally different school?"
Anyways, the song went on.
S'intrecci il lot al lauro
Sul crin dei vincitori!
Nembo gentil di fiori
Stenda dalle arme un vel![]
Many kids started hurling blossoms aloft and dance around.
Chase was the leader of them. He was absolutely no longer embarrassed by the times as a flower girl at the wedding of his uncle.
The music went on.
Danziam, figlie della PCA
Le mistiche carole
Come d'intorno al sole
Danzano gli astri in ciel![]
We winners walked along.
Megan blew the wonderful tune of the march of victory all for us.
I rejoiced in the perfect sound of the oboe.
The march went on.
Usually,winners of a speller bee, even of the nationals, would never havebeen celebrated like that.
This was clearly due to Megan's subtle influence.
How had she achieved that?
I would never know.
Megan Parker was not only here for my sake. She was also going to congratulate Wendy Gellar for her first contract as a record composer.
Claire Sawyer had actually checked the contract and found a few hitches. But she had been able to right those wrongs. She was dauntless enough to not get scared by the shouts of Gustavo Rock.
Kelly Waynright, the secretary of Gustavo, happened to be a second cousin one remote or so of Claire Sawyer.
This simplified everything.
Malika shrugged and grinned silently during the whole celebrations. She probably knew something, but she did not dare to tell me.
So, what was it?
Chapter 41. The Party
41.1. Where To Go?
Ashley Blake was still stoked to no end for having obtained the Junior Oscar.
This award made her feel a little bit generous.
Ashley was thenceforth in the mood of throwing a big party for all of her fellow sixth graders.
Of course, it could not be just your average normal party.
A snobbish diva like Ashley would never have allowed for such a pointless farce.
Her parties had to be something completely unforgettable.
The Pacific Coast Academy did not appear to be the right place for such an illustrous event.
A space shuttle, on the other hand, appeared very tempting.
Richard Blanton[] was a rich creep selling vacations out in the orbit.
His last customer had been aforementioned Mr. Fujisaki, the biggest of all guys of Hollywood. He was already fairly old and hard to tell alive or dead. He had gone through so many futile attempts of entertainment on earth.
They had started to bore him completely.
Thus the trip into the orbit had appeared the right thing.
Another recent guest in the orbit had been Maximillian Madigan, the very boss of aforementioned fashion label Mad Style.
Having won the Junior Oscar, Ashley Blake would have obtained the necessary credit everywhere.
In the case of such a diva, the banks of California were totally blinded and did not even ask for her age and stuff.
But there was of course some bigger obstacle.
First, the shuttles were too small for several dozens of kids.
Three guests at a time had been the maximum hitherto allowed.
In addition, potential space travellers were submitted to various tests.
Quinn Pensky was totally familiar with those procedures. She had already co-developed many devices for the NASA.
Among other things, there was a minimu size for potential space guests.
And I did not reach that height.
That was no exception.
Most of us sixth graders were failing this important criterium, including the very diva.
Ashley tried hard to get us to walk on stilts or so.
But this worked out miserably.
Ashley needed someone to hold her during her attempts.
I was struggling with the stilts and definitely not able to support Ashley.
Other tests included robustness with respect to nausea and vertigo, let alone cosmoclaustrophobia.
After all, only two or three of us kids would have satisfied all the necessary criteria.
But this would have defied the purpose of Ashley's party for the whole class of sixth grade kids.
So, aspace vacations were off the list.
Ashley Blake moved on to the next extravagant solution. She chose submarine vacations.
Megan Parker's divorced dad, Commander Shay, woeked for the marines and the air force of the United States. He was now crossing the seven seas with a yellow submarine.
That particualar submarine vassel of Mr. Shay was not up for vacations.
But was still the right person to contact.
Unfortunately, there had been criteria and tests for potential submarine tourists as well.
The rules were not as strict as those for vacations out in the orbit.
But it was still not possible for everyone among us sixth graders to comply with them.
So there went another set of hopes.
Thus we had to stick to more conventional solutions.
We had got two options left:
A trip with a giant cruise yacht, or vacations in the snow covered mountains.
Either of the possibilities looked very promising.
Ashley Blake let us vote on this alternative.
Living in a very warm region and next to the beach, a trip into the snow appeared the more exotic solution for most of us.
I was undecided.
Ashley respected the will of the majority.
A helicopter hired by Malcolm Reese had been taking us from Malibu to Aspen in the middle of the snowy mountains of Colorado.
Our hotel in the white landscape belonged to the dad of Jessica, aforementioned friend of Megan Parker.
She was already waiting for us.
Megan had of course informed her.
There were usually not many children spending their spring break up here.
Jessica was also going to teach us skiing.
This looked very exciting.
Mr. Bender, our responsible adult, was not able to ski, either.
I had never been out in the snow and the mountains to even dare to try it.
We were now sent to our guest rooms.
There was a real chimney for wooden logs in the big foyer of the ski hotel.
We were distributed into groups of four.
Jessica took me, the elexted most responsible guy among the sixth graders, to the storage for the skis for us guests.
I had told Robbie Carmichael to look after my luggage.
Ashley was of course very picky concerning her skis, especially the colour.
This was even more valid for the ski suits and the shoes.
Ashley wanted to wear an exclusive catsuit out in the snow.
Unfortunately, there were not too many choices for kids of our size.
But I still had not got any troubles finding some cool outfit fitting me perfectly.
After a few hours of rest, we were now left out in the snow in order to ski into the sunset.
Ashley was not willing to ski on her own, though.
I had to carry her around.
A true tiger would never have changed its stripe, either.
Nevertheless, those days out here in Aspen would be among my most unforgettable times during my whole existence as a student at Pacific Coast Academy.
And after the skiing classes, it was the perfect time for a snowball battle, followed by the best of all pyjama parties … ever!
Chapter 42. National Science Fair
42.1. Deliberate Destruction
Mindy Crenshaw may have hurt many people with her inhumane intelect. But she had also made many useful inventions, either alone or alone with Wayne "Firewire" Gilbert and Quinn Pensky.
Many of their efforts had been put into the warrior robots.
THere was one significant difference between the approaches of Quinn ad Mindy.
Quinn Pensky had initially been very reluctant to indulge into the business of deliberately destructive machines. She did not want to do deliberately harmful things.
Of course, many of her inventions had been leading to dangerous consequences.
Quinn had not planned those side effects on purpose, but she had not been able to avoid them.
I could tell many a story about this. I had been involved many a time as a test object for her theories and experiments.
And these experiences could be fairly painful.
There were of course reasons for Quinn to engage in the business of purposefully harmful inventions.
Quinn needed to be insulted in her honour and thence feel urged to prove something.
This had been the case when challenged by Wayne "Firewire" Gilbert's accuses against female scientists in general.
And Wayne had for quite some seemed to have deemed Quinn particularly weird.
Her warrior robot had corrected his opinion in some shocking manner.
Unlike Quinn Pensky, Melinda Crenshaw had got absolutely no qualms getting involved in the research and promotion of deliberatelty destructive technologies, from the early get on.
This had already been the case before her arrival at Pacific Coast Academy.
Megan Parker had told me a bit about that.
Melinda had produced elaborated plans and sketches for a nuclear bomb. She just did not have enough radioactive materials at her disposal for turning her theories into practice.
Should we be scared?
I took it easy, for the time being.
Wayne "Firewire" Gilbert, for the records, was a bit different, not for being male, but for having got significant other interests. He was seriously involved in fantasy comics such as those of the DC and Marvel series, and in role playing games such as Word of Warlords[]. He liked to go to costume fests and to similar conventions of freaks. He was also maintaining a permanently growing collection of related merchandise, such as action figures.
For many onlookers, this trait of Wayne Gilbert appeared irrational and incompatible with science. But those inept and misguided critics were way too stupid to understand higher reason.
But Wayne was not that important during these days.
42.2. Power Inventions
Melinda Crenshaw and Quinn Pensky had become best friends forever pretty soon upon their reconciliation following the drama concerning the banapple plants.
Much of their work had ever since been shared.
This was of course the case with their activities for the robot league.
By the way, after having been fairly successful, they started building other robots as well, robots for indiustrial works and other useful purposes.
But they had always insisted in an acribical division of their individual contributions to their common scientific activities.
For this year's science fair, they had decided to work essentially on two projects.
One of the them was Quinn's main idea, the anti gravity chamber.
Mindy, on the other hand, had been working on an ultimate power converter, able to supply the whole of Pacific Coast Academy with energy drawn from cosmic radiation.
Each of those projects were excessively ambitious.
I did not understand much about them. But I better hoped them to refrain from causing chaos and destruction.
42.3. The Winner
Today, we received the message from Mr. Jamerson[] , the responsible umpire of the National Science Fair.
Needless to say, Mindy and Quinn were now very much excited. They closed their eyes before opening the message.
I was told to count down. I panted. "Five … four … three … two …"
For some reaon, the "one" was deemed uncool by freaks.
I did not understand why.
They were just weirdos.
Mindy remarked, "OK, Quinn, you open your eyes first!"
Alas, Quinn wanted Mindy to do the first step.
I shook my head and read the epistle on their behalf. "Yeah!"
Quinn and Mindy had won the national fair with one of their projects, more precisely, the universal power generator and transformer.
This cried for some celebration of some sort.
I panted heavily before telling them about the decision by Jamerson.
They did not want to believe me in the first moment.
I sighed and repeated the message from New York City.
At least after having heard it thrice, and not just from me, Quinn and Mindy finally started believing.
Now a public demonstration of the miraculous powers of their freshly crowned engine was ultimately overdue.
I just hoped jeremiah Trottman to stay away from the whole mess.
The paparazzi would have easily screwed up a demonstration and undermined all of the necessary security measures.
Since the problems with the race track, I had lost all confidence in Dean Rivers.
The principal was by no means taking his contractual obligations to care about our security serious. He was probably blinded by the increased public interest and the due praise for the scientific tradition at Pacific Coast Academy.
Honestly said, there was no such thing as a solid scientific tradition.
The whole success of Mindy and Quin was due to their own efforts and their perfect contacts with aforementioned Cal from California Instutute for Technology. It was certainly by no means the fruit of the work of competent teacjhers and advisers.
Our teachers for physics and chemistry, as opposed to those for the humanities, were severely incompetent and misguided, as best seen in the case of Mrs. Bromwell and Mr. Beringer[] .
Quinn Pensky and Mindy Crenshaw were of course pleased by their great opportunity of showing their extreme intellectual superiority. They would y absolutely no means be ready to listen to any warnings.
Maybe it was better to inform others beforehand.
I did not trust Mr. Bradford.
But Garth Burman was certainly OK. He was my last hope for avoiding a second catastrophe on the campus, comparable to the insane race of Chase and Michael.
Chapter 43. Death Of A Grandma
43.1. The Birthday Party
Chase Bartholomew Matthews and his favourite grandmother had been born the same day of the year, of course with many years inbetween.
And their common birthday was now just around the corner.
This cried for a birthday party.
According to Walter Nichols, the most well known weather reporter of Southern California, the weather during the next days would be warm and sunny, perfect for a beach party.
But Megan told me to refrain from believing in the forecasts spread by her inept step father. "He's just an adult boob."
The most trustworthy weather reporter of California was a certain Bruce Windchill[].
His hair style was a lot better than Walter's uttermost stupid one, either.
Thus everyone right in his mind would have preferred Bruce Windchill over Walter Nichols.
And Bruce had predicted one of the worst raion storms hitting the Californian costs since the start of the millennium.
Unfortunately, nobody wanted to believe him.
43.2. Rain Keeps Falling
And this was Chase's birthday.
The sophormores had organised a hell of a pyjama party for him.
Of course my pyjama party over in Colorado had been much more impressive.
Recklessly perverted Logan Reese would have preferred a bikini party, down by the beach. He enjoyed — beyond any trace whatsoever of shame — gazing in an excessively horny manner at almost naked girls.
I was too young for a party of high school kids. Thus I had tto stay out.
Suddenly, heavy clouds shadowed the usually most beautiful sky avbove Pacific Coast Academy.
Walter Nichols had been so abhorrently wrong. He now owed a public excuse to about everyone in California.
Bruce Windchill had been right.
Megan Parker had not for naught suggested to trust him rather than Walter.
The pyjama party was taking place in the lounge of "Maxwell Hall", anyways.
A beach party would have been a complete failure.
I had got a hard time falling asleep.
The rain drops kept on hammering mercilessly against the window glass.
Robbie was really intimidated. Fortunately, he was fairly safe in here.
A night in his treehouse would have been impossible to bear now.
The building was able to withstand normal rainy nights.
But this was a heavy rain storm.
I had to crawl into Robbie's bed in order to calm his tears.
43.3. Horrible News
The next morning, we slouched into the foyer of "Maxwell Hall".
Some of the guys had been celebrating all night through.
But Chase was not among them.
I was asking Michael.
He had got a hard time talking.
I remained patient.
Finally, Michael was fessing up. "Chase's grandma is dead."
I was gazing dismayed all over the room.
Michael sobbed. "Chase has disappeared from here upon hearing those news." He could not tell us whereto. He just did not know.
Chase had not been able to make it very far during the rain storm, had he?
43.4. Malika's Revelation
During the big recess, I stumbled into "Magic" Malika. I was still consternated by the death of Chase's grandma.
Malika sighed deeply and sobbed. "I had seen it coming!"
I gasped. "You have predicted the rain storm?"
She had seen the death of Chase's grandma. She had not found the words to tell anyone about it in advance.
This was really sad.
At the Latino pop concert, Malika had tried to figure Trina's thoughts. An d she had succeeded. But she had not wanted to bother Chase with it. She had deemed it a minor issue, compared to the upcoming strike of destiny. Malika had tried not to overburden Chase in that moment. "He would have left the campus without permission, just i order to save his grandpa, or at least to die with her. At least he would have wanted to see her on last time alive."
So, what was the secret of Trina Vega?
Malika suspired. "You are completely right."
In other words, Trina Vega had been the one to blackmail the living hell out of Chase Bartholomew Matthews.
That was so mean.
And now she was potentially able to rub salt into his wounds, in the case of finding him.
Malika tried hard to concentrate in an attempt to find Chase telepathically.
But maybe his bushy head was an obstacle for that?
I did ot know.
43.5. Grandaunt Bertha
Addie Singer immediately remembered the death of her great aunt, Bertha[]. She was a bit consternated. She had , at first glance, ignored being even touched. But Adelaide had been really scared inside. Sghe had thought tro be over it.
But here in a new home, old forgotten emotions tended to come back, and more powerful than ever before.
I decided to look for Chase along with Addie.
She may feel hurt by having to remember her grandaunt's death. But she was the one able to understand Chase best.
We had to be faster than Trina.
Addie started thinking of some song lyrics to write. "It should decribe Chase's ways of missing his grandmother."
I was finally able to find Chase down by the beach.
Malika's precautions had been totally in order.
The bushy head was still totally screwed by the news.
Sending him top a plane trip across the continent for a funeral would have been absolutetly irresponsable.
At least he could impossibly do so all alone. So, what to do?
43.7. The Funeral
As a solution, Addie and Ben were now accompanying Chase Bartholomew Matthews on his flight to New York City.
Megan Parker was about joining in.
Upon Addie's recommendation Chase wanted her to blow a requiem at his grandmother's funeral.
And Megan was an expert for medieval penitential hymns, such as the Dies Iræ, Dies Illa from Giuseppe Verdi's requiem.
Adelaide Singer appeared to be some outrageously big help for Chase during these days in more than just one sense.
Chapter 44. Wendy's Probation
Gustavo Rocque did of course not let Wendy Gellar take over the whole record label scene over night. He was not a pleasant fellow to deal with in any case.
Wendy was now forced to go through a long series of tests and probations before getting admitted as a fully professional rock composer.
And her first task was preparing a few new tunes for a charity concert of Justin Bibber[].
Wendy was totally excited. "Justin is cool. He is absolutely like Drake, just a few years younger." Was she moving from the frying pan into the open volcano?
I did not think so.
That was just her way of talking about the stars.
Justin Bibber would have disappointed the same way as Drake Parker. He was in the running cast of America Sings.
Gustavo Rocque was among the judges. And he had been totally convinced by Justin.
Unfortunately, Canadian record producer Nicholas Cage[] had been a bit faster.
But the upcoming charity concert, organised by Carmine Charity[], was basically served by aforementioned Mr. Fujisaki.
And Rocque Records was strongly associated with the trust of Fujisaki.
For that avail, Gustavo had to cooperate with Justin.
And this was his chance for buying Justin out of his contract with Nicholas Cage.
But this required a perfect programme for aforementioned concert.
And Wendy was now challenged to do that.
Gustavo Rocque was now busy with other stars.
Wendy had come pretty fast to one important decision. "Justin Bibber is lame without a female backup voice."
This was a totally stern judgment.
Just was still at the begin of his career.
But, according to Gustavo Rocque, there was absolutely no doubt about Justin's exceptional talent.
Wendy did not see it really differently. But she had got that feeling. And she was not willing to submit dutifully to the judgment of Gustavo Rocque. She had got her own will and was not going to be the slave of Justin Bibber. She had been that of Drake Parker, in a really obnoxious manner. But now she was about finding her own strength in her own instinct for good and bad rock music.
And her intuition tiold her to find a female duet voiuce for Justin.
Only this would make his performance perfect.
Like Gustavo Rocque, Wendy was not willing to accept just "good", she wanted "fantabulous".
44.2. A Partner For Justin
Gustavo Rocque did not really approve of Wendy's vision of Justin Bibber and some random girl as a duet.
But Wendy had got her own head and was fully up to using it. She wanted to audition potential partners for Justin at Pacific Coast Academy.
That was quite some mess.
Wayne Gilbert was now up to doing the technical stuff. He was also replacing Miles Brody as a tech pro at my web show. Now he had gathered and readied the necessary equipment, especially some microphone.
Miles Brody was going to graduate in a few weeks from Pacific Coast Academy, just like Mindy Crenshaw.
There was the first interested partner for Dustin.
We sat in Wendy's dormitory room in order to receive her.
The door was opened by Wensd.
My breath froze like in the antarctic mid winter air.
Trina Vega was about entering Wendy's room. "Hello! You are looking for big talent? You don't have to waste your time any longer." Trina squealed. "Here I am! I am the definition of talent!" She dared to face us, just a few days after having tortured Chase mentally. And she was still refusing to show any mercy concerning his feelings, after the death of his grandmom.
I would have loved to kick her out.
Why was there no trapdoor in Wendy's dormitory room, leading straight into some moat chock full with crocodiles and sharks?
Wayne had readied the microphone and was now expecting Trina to sing, anyways.
Trina grinned. She started singing something from the works of great Frank Sinatra, more precisely, I did it my way.
Trina's way would lead steraight into the next trash bin.
Or at least I hoped so.
Her performance was terrible and not to be accepoted.
Gustavo Rocque would kill anyone daring to shop up with such a voice.
Wendy wiped some sweat off her head. "OK, we will tell you within three days!" She moaned and spuspired. "The next one please!" Wendy loved Frank Sinatra. She was not ready to watch him getting ruined and perverted by excruciatinly inept artists such as Trina Vega.
Unfortunately, thoase two or three showing up after Trina were not really much better, just a trifle less arrogant.
Wendy would have wanted Lisa Perkins to sing side by side with Justin Bibber.
But the former was already horribly busy and thus not able to follow the suggestions. She had not yet heard much of Justin, either. Soon she would hear a lot more …
44.3. Tori Vega
Two days later, a girl in the likeness of Lola Martinez was awaiting us. She was in some excessively stinky mood. She turned out as Victoria Vega, the little sister of Trina Vega, and thence yet another relative of Lola Martinez.
I feared bad things.
Tori growled, "how dare you to treat my sister like this?" She panted heavily. "Now she's all consternated and refuses to eat, sleep, and drink."
I looked aghast.
Sam said, "the wench has got absolutely no talent, so what?"
Wendy nodded vigorously.
Tori was feeling mightily hurt in her family honour. She started to direct some excruciatingly insulting rock songs against us. For example, she parodised Bill Haley's See you later, alligator! to See you later, asslickator!
This sounded really mean.
I was fed up by the whole family.
Tori Vega disappeared again, just a few moments later.
I was totally dismayed and could not recover from the terror.
But Wendy stated, "perfect! That's the dream voice dfor a duet with Justin Bibber."
I gasped. "Who is? Tori Vega?"
Wendy nodded solemnly.
I did not get it.
Victoria Vega had insulted the living hell out of Wendy.
And now the latter was ready to offer her a career, side by side with Justin Bibber?
My head hurt.
But Wendy Gellar was hell bent. She had got a vision of the perfect pop rock duet for the next decade. "There's that fire in her voice, and her perfect moves, and her stunning looks …" She started swooning.
And nothing was going to stop her now.
Chapter 45. Ashley's Demise
Ashley Blake had been a child star already back at nursery school age.
This childhood career had recently been crowned in a most impressive manner by her election for the Junior Oscar.
This was of course mostly due to her family's connections.
Now Ashley had always taken it as granted to become an equally great teenage star, and thenceforth a perfect adult star.
But family connections were only a little part of a life's career.
Unfortunately, Ashley Blake had never been realy prepared for the drastic switch from a prepubescent actress to a pubescent one.
It was by no means as automatic as expected.
Ashley had grown physically a lot within the last months.
Her appearance had changed visibly in a more than drastical manner. She was now no longer eligible for child star rôles.
And child acting was definitely not exactly the same as teenage acting, just a few years later.
As a child star, Ashley just was, no strings attached, period. She felt well in the focus of the spot lights, and she definitely knew how to laugh and to smile, to growl and to cry, and to say a few short sentences, everything in exactly the right moment, and to finally wait for the safely warranted applause.
A teenage star had to work harder on the character to portray, and he had to learn more complicated text scripts.
I knew that from Lola's activities.
Theoretically, Lola may have still passed as a child star, inspuite of her sixteen years. But she had worked a lot on her acting prowess since the age of ten. She had never been in the danger of falling into a gap like Ashley Blake.
So, Ashley had always believed her life as a Hollywood star going on forever, all consequences of growing up notwithstanding. And now she had to learn about the contray, And she was taught the hard way.
Her postulancy for Newtown High had been all in vain.
For a decent rôle in such a movie, she would have been forced to study the characters to portray with more vigour and efforts. And she had failed right there.
In addition, Vince Blake had recently been convicted for having cheated in tests. Fortunately, he had already won the state championships in football. Thus he would not suffer too much from the punisjhment, expulsion from all extracurricular activities for the rest of his life at Pacific Coast Academy and several weeks of suspension.
Ashley was sticking up in the public for her brother.
This costed her a lot of popularity.
I had asked Hewlen Baxter to help Ashley.
Helen had been a child star like Ashley.
But her career had essentially been ending at the age of twelve.
The problems had been comparable to those of Ashley nowadays.
Helen had made the same mistakes, and she had never been able to correct them for real. She had stayed in the business, but she had never made it back to the big stage as a star. She had stayed closed to the business by working for a cinema, to the degree of finally taking it over.
Her money had been really helpful there. But it could not buy everything, especially not a smooth continuation of an actress's career across the fire wall of pubescence.
Would Helen be a big help for Ashley?
I doubted so.
Granted, Ashley may have been content with going Helen's way.
But this would have been a waste of her personality.
Ashley Blake had really got the stuff to be successful as a mass entertainer at just any age. But she had never even tried to work on that. Granted, she had often treated me like dirt. But she had often enough been there for me, too, even though only because of being friends with Megan.
Was it really impossible to find someone havinh had Ahley's troubles and overcome them at his time?
I did nopt know any of the Hollywood actresses well enough. So I had to ask some expert.
Lola was certainly familiar with the lives and times of many of her older colleagues and examples to live up to.
Unfortunately, there was now some sort of blood vendetta.
Lola felt insulted by my brash way to judging Trina, one of her cousins. She told me even more about the current situation of the ungifted wannabe. "She doesn't talk to anyone, doesn't sleep at night, just disturbs everyone trying to sleep, she yells randmly at family members and neighbours, she pukes out all her meals in the most unexpected places …"
Did I want to hear the bloody details.
By the way, Wendy had also got an extremely hard time reaching Victoria Vega and trying to talk her into giving Justin Bibber a chance.
This was not completely unexpected.
For Tori, Wendy was still an obsessively mean and aggressive monster.
Samantha and I were not really getting away all that much better in her eyes.
After begging Lola over and over again, she gave me some examples of actresses of the kind potentially usefull for Ashley Blake.
The person on top of the list was one Jenna Lotrell[].
I had certainly heard that name before.
Jenna had apparently been starring in several Hollywood movies. Nowadays she had switched more and more to the Broadway in New York City.
I needed to find a way to contact that shining superstar of both the past and the present. But I did most definitely not have all that much money on me.
Was there a cheap opportunity for consulting a superstar?
I did have to hope so.
Regular agents of stars used to charge huge sums just for the permission to talk to their clients for a measly little moment on the phone.
But Helem may have been familiar with Jenna.
This sounded like one of the few last straws to look out for.
And I would be better off by not breaking it.
Chapter 46. Bacteriology
46.1. Mark The Cheater
During those days, Lola kept on practising a lot for a new rôle in Newtown High. She had to scream a lot for that avail.
This was totally annoying.
During one of those screams, Zoey must have run into some hitherto unbeknownst Danny.
The two of them were starting to date.
This was of course totally creepy and perverse.
Zoey would never be able to sink any lower.
That was so disgusting.
I felt really ashamed.
Quinn Pensky was stuck in a different hole.
Her pointless boyfriend Mark del Figgalo was probably cheating on her with Maria Misa[].
At least Mark and Maria kept on hanging out too much with each other for Quinn's taste.
And this made the queen of nerds as jealous as can be.
Honestly said, Mark had never been any good for Quinn.
Quinn had tortured Maria insanely with laser beams and stuff. And she was now brewing some new bacteria, along with Mindy Crenshaw. Was she doing so in order to poiuson Maria Misda? She denied this.
And now the inevitable had just happened.
Infuriated Quinn Pensky had accidentally spilled the liquid with some new and strange bacteria.
The authority for biological accidents had to be informed.
Security guards had to shut off "101 Brenner Hall", leaving Quinn Pensky and Lola Martinez quarantined.
Of course Quinn was worried. She was stuck in a room with Lola for quite some time, maybe the rest of her life, and forced to listen to her practice screams.
The authority for biological hazards would have to test the bacteria and check their potential dangers.
What had rthe bacteria been planned to be used for, anyways?
Quinn was not up to dusing them deliberately as a means of mass destruction.
In the case of Mindy, I would never have bet both halves of my hindside on one card.
And Mark had now got all the time in the world in order to make out with Maria.
And for that reason, Quinn had ordered me to spy on Mark.
Espionage was cool.
Megan Parker knew a lot about that business. Unfortunately she was not exactly able to send me much of her espionage equipment usually used on the couple of excessively worthless boobs, viz. Drake and Josh. Butshe could still tell me a lot of tips and tricks.
And I was an habitually fast learner. Now I followed Mark and Maria across the school park.
The girl was staring dreamily deep into Mark's eys. "I have to be able to imagine you any time a day, in the morning, during lunch, in the evening, at midnight …"
I was filled with excessive disgust, immediately upon listening to their converstaion. I used my cellular phone in order to report back to Quinn.
Sooner or later, the batteries of her cellular telephone device would run out of power.
OK, she had probably got an accumulator and a power plant in her dorm.
But nothing would hold forever.
In any case, my reports appeared to confirm Quinn's assumptions. "mark is cheating on me!"
46.2. Dinner For Two
I had met Mindy and asked her about the purpose of the bacteria.
Mindy sighed deeply. "You remember the cactus juice?"
I gasped. "Guadalapecho?"
Mindy grinned. "Oh yeah, you are so right."
Minduy continued, "The bacteria are here in order to turn the juice of regular southern Californian cactus plants into something as delicious as the juice of the cactus of Guadalapecho, but without the alcaloid."
The alcaloid mentioned by Mindy was the substance responsible for the addiction.
In other words, Mindy wanted some substitute for the juice of the rare cactus, but without the potential as a dangerous drug.
This was a really noble goal.
But there were also tricky motivations behind it.
Mindy and Quinn always avoided talking about them, though.
But this was not relevant for my job as a spy.
Maria and Mark had just agreed on a dinner for two in Sushi Rocks.
Thus I snuck in.
Kazu would not have noticed me.
Unfortunately, Rosemary Pepper was not as sloppy.
I was caught when trying to infiltrate the guests. I stammered, "I'm the new dish washer?"
And now I was forced to wash the plates and chop sticks.
By the way, knives and forks were also available at Sushi Rox.
But using them was just deemed uncool by my sister.
So you had to request them secretly and were banned to some table in some excessively lonely corner, behind a wall of bonzai trees.
Hey, the bonzai trees were the perfect hideout for a perfect spy, as already suggested by Megan Parker.
I was now hiding right Quinn's quinnoculars, I was able to zoom in on Mark and Maria.
Samantha had already suggested to use the pictures for the web show.
Does Mark cheat on Quinn?
I did not really like Samantha's idea.
Anyways, the show had to go on.
Maria gazed more and more thoroughly at Mark. She was talking a lot about colours, reflections, shades, and also about more or less perfect proportions in Mark's face.
I shuddered thoroughly. I was even more disgusted by the thought of Zoey and said Danny dating at the same time.
My brain hurt.
I had to get out there.
46.3. The Real Reasons
I met Wendy Gellar in the lounge during the next breakfast.
She had heard about the whole "Mark and Maria" thing. And she compared it immediately with one or the other things learned from the show of Opera Winfree.
Sometimes, Wendy's quotes from Opera were annoying.
But now it was not too bad.
Wendy was talking about case of false accusations of adultery. "The guy was going to learn dancing for his wife, from another woman."
That would have been a sweet surprise.
But the whole jealousy stuff had ultimately ruined their marriage.
Maybe the same thing was valid for Mark and Quinn?
And, indeed, all of Maria's talk about Mark's face had served only ione purpose. She was about painting a picture of Mark, a s a sweet surprise for Quinn.
Her jealousy was now ruining the whole thing.
But mark and Quinn had got no future , anyways.
Wendy suggested them to break up on site.
Quinn's distrust was unbearable.
The bacteria was by the way harmless. And it did not do the things expected by Mindy and Quinn, either.
The geek girls had thus got themselves embarrassed totally by the whole dirty affair.
And this was nothing new, of course.
Their power transformer and their antigravity chamber had recently shown unexpected side effects.
For example, the chamber made Lola's cellular melt down, set itself ablaze, and finally explode.
That was one terrible setback.
They were able to fix it.
But their self confidence was scratched severely now.
Chapter 47. GO Blues
47.1. Old Miser
We kids at Pacific Coast Academy were often in need of some portable entertainment.
This was especially the case during the big recesses and the times of waiting in the long queues in the cafeteria.
The most popular devices for this purpose were so-called GOs. They allowed for recording, downloading, playing, cutting, shuffling, and sharing gazillions of audio files at the same time.
This was really cool.
Especially the new, upgraded version was quite popular. But it was not exactly cheap.
Only a very small amount of us Pacific Coast Academy kids were able to afford it right away.
Chase had asked his grandpa Joe, not the husband of his recently deceased grandma, for the money for a new GO. He was so desperately hell bent on buying one.
Unfortunately, Grandpa Joe did not have Chase's address.
There was a simple reason for this.
At the begin of his freshman year, Chase had still been totally obsessed with my sister.
And at that point, Chase had been assigned his current dormitory hall. But he had been so excited and unable to think about anything but Zoey. For that reason, he had written his grandpa about his new dormitory room, but using "101 Brenner Hall" instead of "148 Maxwell Hall".
Of course, Zoey had ever since left that dorm due to her problems with Quinn's and Lola's demeanour and support for Chase's plans of using Trina Vega in order to get her jealous.
Thus, as a matter of fact, the parcel for Chase ended up with Lola and Quinn instead of Chase.
The parcel was empty, barring a note saying "I did not have anything but this for entertainment, back at high school times."
In other words, Chase's grandpa Joe had not had anything for entertainment.
Those had been excruciatingly hard times.
But now Joe could have been nicer. He was apparently one creepy miser of the most deprecable sort.
Chase's reaction to this parcel would have been terrible. He would certainly have been insulted and started sulking.
Lola sighed. Of course she pitied poor Chase. "I wish to be able to spare a few bucks for Chase and his G.O. But I have already spent all of my weakly change on my cosmetic set." She needed to stay all beautiful for her job as an actress, especially for her rôle in Newtown High.
That ws not exactly cheap.
Of course, Lola made some bucks by acting.
But those were on a bank account adminstrated by her parents and only accessible after turning eighteen.
That was such a pity.
Quinn Pensky, on the other hand, had already spent all of her bucks for ingredients for her research. She had to fix the anti gravity chamber and the universal power transformer. And now she also needed to patch the lost tribe of bacteria and so on.
Mindy had got a new idea for creating some delicious cactus juice.
And that was not exactly a cheap one.
Quinn Pensky had already thought severely about selling her collection of her toe nails.
Her right foot held siz toes.
This was a really rare anatomical incident.
For that avail, certain freaks would pay some insane amount of bucks for her toe nails.
For me, it was just too disgusting and would have made me puke all ocver and over again.
I had got a different idea. "Zoey has got an old radio from our grandma. She never uses it, anyways."
Quinn and Lola shrugged.
I deemed Quinn and Mindy able to turn an old radio[] into a new G.O. But I had maybe overestimated their technological abilities.
That was really embarrassing.
Anyways, Zoey would have noticed it and probably turned upset. She was not into doing any good to Chase, anyways.
Having hired some cheap bitch like Trina in order to make Zoey jealous was probably beyond any potential of being forgiven, anyways, not in this life and not in any other.
Thus I better kept my mouth shut.
In the end, we would have to give Chase the empty parcel, with an excuse for having opened it. We were so embarrassed.
47.2. What remains
Addie and Chase walked the park.
Chase had told her abou his disappointment.
Addie could understand him. "I often wished too much from other people, either."
Chase sighed deeply.
Addie continued, "at least you have still got the memories of your grandma."
Chase nodded sadly. "And I have got you."
Addie blushed deeply. She had not expected to find another boyfriend so fast after having lived apart from Jake Beheri. She picked her guitar and started playing a song for herself and Chase.
At least Chase was not getting too much wasted by the lack of a GO. He saw more valuable things in front of his nose now.
Addie had already learned this thoroughly during the course of quite a few long and painful months. And now she was there for Chase Bartholomew Matthews. But she also had to think about the current project of her best friend forever, Wendy Gellar.
Tori Vega was still so much insulted by the rejection of her totally worthless sister Trina.
I would possibly have sulked, too, in the case of Zoey getting turned down.
But Zoey workked hard for her dreams.
Trina, on the other hand, was not exactly doing anything like that.
But for Tori, this was such a pity. Maybe she would never find another great chance comparable to that one.
One day, Justin Bibber would be a star of world wide renown.
And Tori would die for her anger about a missed occasion.
What had Trina ever done for Tori?
Zoey at least hadalways done a lot for me.
I was not always able to appreciate that.
But this did not negate it.
Trina, on the other hand, did not deserve siblings of whatever sort, elder or younger, male or female … She was one plain disgrace for mankind, about as much as Logan Reese.
Chapter 48. Tori With A Chance
48.1. Waiting For Tori
The date for the great charity concert was moving closer and closer.
Carmine was already annoying Gustavo Rocque for the lack of a detailled schedule, complete with the names of the stars.
Apparently Victoria Vega was one excruciatingly tough nut.
Before the aforementioned concert, there was a dance contest at Pacific Coast Academy.
And we needed some music for that.
Maybe Tori was just too embarrassed to sing in front of millions of viewers somewhere out there.
But the dancve contest was at most seen by our web cam and Trottman's Pacific Coast Academy channel.
OK, the latter was probably as creepy as the big broadcasting stations. I better disabled the creeps … somehow.
Megan was a big expert for arranging things. A few weeks ago, during the aforementioned stormy night, she had arranged Carlotta Tranelli to come to sit next to two of Drake's ex girlfriends, right in front of Drake's nose.
This had been sort of a litmus test.
Megan would have liked to see Drake and Carlotta as a steady couple. And she had hitherto believed Carlotta to be bettern than Drake's average girlfriends.
Unfortunately, the outcome of her experiment had been devastating.
Carlotta and Drake's ex girlfriends had been chatting about usual girls' crap, and making fun of Drake.
That was not Megan's idea of an optimal girlfriend for Drake.
But that's a different story altogether.
There needed to be a way to get Tori to appear here, without letting her know about Wendy as the driving force.
And I had got an idea.
The dad of Tori and Trina was aforementioned officer Vega.
Even stubborn Dean Rivers could understand that.
We just had to ask him to take over our security team for that night.
Of course, his family as also invited.
He had done already quite a fea cool things for us and was now our first choice.
48.2. Dancing Queen
And this was the night of the dances.
Zoey was present as well.
Originally, her dance partner would have been one Gene[]. But he had been runover by some golf cart.
Fortunately I had found some due substitute in time.
Zoey's new and old dance partner was now no other but aforementioned Olivary Biallo alias Jerome Crony. He had been dancing with Zoey back at our middle school dance.
They had not git too much fun. But they definitely did get along.
And that was already a lot for a guy dancing to the moon and interested in cool fashion design.
Zoey seemed a bit disappointed. But she accepted it. "Better than a jerk like Danny."
Two years ago, Zoey's motivation had been that of making new contacts.
This time around, she wanted to win a contact, just like our grandma, an extraordinarily gifted dancer from the times of Vietnam. But she did not mind the former. Otherwise she would not have chosen that Gene creep in the first place.
Dean Rivers talked a lot of crap, opening the contest.
The music was coming from the electronic synthesiser of Wendy.
Yet she was not visible. Otherwise she would have scared Tori away.
Unfortunately, Trina was here, too. And she wanted to dance and prove her talent as a good dancer. No, she really caimed to be the best dancer of all. By, she had not yet got a partner.
Her presence was of course inevitable.
We had explicitly invited the whole of the family, hadn't we?
Trina chose Lance Rivers, the son of the dean, as her partner.
Zoey's eyes bugged out.
She looked so … jealous?
That could not be.
Lance was a disgusting jerk.
Did Zoey have any intentions with him?
A few weeks ago, I had deemed Zoey at the bottom of her possibilities when seeing her dating Danny. I had been wrong.
Lance Rivers was worse, He had inherited the worst qualities of both his father and his mother.
Trina dictated the music for her dance.
And Tori decided to sing along, thus cheering for her.
Her voice started filling the hall.
That was an excessively welcoming exoerience for your ears.
Elvis Presley and Bill Haley would have gone downright pale in their tombs.
Trina, of course, would make her own dancing performance responsible for the earthquaking applause triggered by Tori's voice.
But this was not the reason.
And everyone in the room knew it.
Zoey and Olivary Biallo were dancing to the moon.
At least this had been Olivary Biallo's explicit wish.
Wendy chose to perform Meadhan Oidhe Air An Acairseid[].
Zoey and Olivary performed really well, at least upon consideration of the lack of common practice.
But Trina was selected by the judges.
This was certainly not quite fair.
Tori's voice had conquered the masses.
Trina's moves were not bad, though.
Dancing was definitely her thing, unlike singing and acting.
Anyways, my plans concerning Victoria Vega were about turning out perfect.
Tori was left without the excuse of lacking any talent.
There was a whole hall of Pacific Coast Academy kids left as witnesses for the perfect rock and pop voice.
Alas, Zoey was certainly not pleased.
It hurt me somewhat seeing Zoey lose.
She would deem me a traitor and backstabber.
Even worse, I was opposed to her interet i Lance Rivers.
Was my sister trying to crawl into the ass of the family of the Rivers for the reasons of a career?
That would disappoint me to no end.
Now I just could wake and pray for Zoey to do the right thing at some point, before the border to the land of no return.
I would rather jump from the Empire State Building than accept Lance Rivers as a bro in law.
Chapter 49. Let's hang on!
49.1. Jenna Lotrell At PCA
Jenna Lotrell was, as aforementioned, one of my last trumps to be deployed in order to save Ashley Blake from going down to completely.
Otherwise she would have been likely to take drugs or similarly evil stuff of the worst sort.
Or so I feared.
many a failed starlet had gone the way of self corruption.
I had wanted especially Helen to contact Jenna.
But there had been an unexpected better option.
"Magic" Malika was coming to my rescue.
I was a bit surprised.
Quite a few stars and starlets of Hollywood and Broadway regularly consult witches and mediums.
I could tell you stories.
Well, until ow, nobody has come to me.
But I am still a bit young, ain't I?
Now, Jenna Lotrell had consukted once upon a time the greast living witch of the whole of the United States of America.
This seeress is a certain Kreuftlva[]. She is my "witchmother".
Sorry, I can't think of a better word.
But you are able to imagine the significance of the term, ain't you?
I nodded solemnly.
It must have been sort of a teacher.
The witches apparently understiood themselves as a big family, even though not biologically related.
I was a bit scared by that.
Malika was all nice and stuff.
So don't get me wrong!
I had never got a reason to distrust her.
Finally, Megan was sort of a witch as well. And she had done a lot in order to restore the career of already dead Henry Doheny.
The illusionist was now more alive than ever before.
But was that the only way to get Ashley back to her feet?
OK, it better did the trick!
I was still a bit feeble in my head.
Well, this Kreuftlva appeared to be really great.
In any case, Malika's contact to that master witch from the city of the Empire was getting Jenna Lotrell to visit us again here in Malibu.
Jenna had said good bye to Hollywood quite some time ago.
Thus her presence in Los Angeles was not a given.
49.2. Fixing A Diva
Jenna was really surprising. She was not just regularly consulting Kreuftlva, she was sort of a medium om her own right. She was able to read the aura of bypassing people.
The first victims of her abilities on the campus had been Coco Wexler.
Jenna was disgusted. "She only thinks of the joy of food." Jenna was so right.
I had to shiver a bit. Did I want to hear her opinion about my aura? I was really hesitating. I decided not to ask.
Malika had sometimes made a few remarks about reading auras. She tried to avoid that.
It would only distract her from concentrating on more important things.
What were those things?
I had never even dared to ask, either.
And now Jenna spotted Ashley Blake.
What would be her judgment.
Jenna gasped. "Oh my goodness!" She shuddered.
Was that any good?
I definitely feared the contrary.
Jenna wanted to be alone with Ashley.
And that was definitely not such a bad idea.
I was totally exhausted after having to bear the divas together for just a few seconds.
49.3. The Outcome
Ashley Blake returned a few hours later from her talk with Jenna. Was she feeling any less wretched than before?
I could not tell.
Jenna had to leave now. Really, she was scared by the mass of her fans crowding on the campus. Jenna did not like fangroups.
Ashley, on the other hand, did look a great deal more confident than before. She was no longer up to doing bad things to Lola and stuff, as announced a few days before.
Thus Jenna's visit seems to have worked in some way.
Ashley was now going to hang on to her remaining abilities. And she was still an extremely gifted actress, she just needed toi do something and not rely on connections and bucks. As a consequence, she was now ready participate as an actress in the upcoming talent show of Pacific Coast Academy.
49.4. Zoey And Lance
Zoey's potential feelings for Lance, as reveiled at the dance contest, were still scaring me like nobody's business.
Everything was so fishy.
Should I have talked to Zoey?
She would most likely just have rebuked me, "none of your business!"
But I could not watch Zoey send her soul to hell.
And Lance Rivers was the firstborn of Satan.
I don't mean Dean Rivers.
Our headmaster was occasionally decadent and corrupt, but he was still just human.
The same was valid for his psychopathic wife, Tipper.
This was all so unfair.
Why did Zoey have to do something like that?
I did not recognise my caring elder sister any longer.
And that was so evil.
She appeared now like an average career greedy opportunist, holding on tightly to and finding safety in some stupid values of wealth and social impact. Maybe she wanted to become a politician?
The Rivers family had been active in the local politics of the county of Los Angeles, as representants of the conservative wing of the Republicans.
Some day, Zoey would crawl up her way to the top, become the wife of a senator, or a governor, or even the first lady. But she would no longer be my elder sister.
That was absolutely horrible.
But was it possible to do anything about it?
Or was Zoey lost for good?
Of course I asked Megan for advice.
But even she was consternated. "Zoey could have accepted to marry Logan Reese years ago in order to become rich and influential. And she resisted that evil for two almost three years, just in order to succumb to another creep of the same sort?"
It did not make sense to anyone consulted by me.
The situation was hopeless.
Chapter 50. Geek Break
50.1. Jatie Hawthorne
Zoey's favourite chick flick author, Jatie Jawthorne[] , was coming to town tonight.
Zoey was really excited. She did not want to miss out on the presentation of Jatie's latest book. She was especially hell bent on getting a hand signed copy of it. She also wanted to ask one or two questions in the open interview session. For that reason, she neglected me more and more.
The great Pacific Coast Academy middle school talent show was taking place tonight.
But Zoey would be off the campus in order to see Jatie instead of watching my performance, as promised unto mom.
That was totally unfair.
So, Zoey needed to make it to the library hosting the presentation right in time. But she had not found any transport yet.
50.2. My Talent
My original idea had been that of sawing a virgin into half, just as good old Henry Doheny.
But the trick was a bit run down.
A few months ago, Doheny's career had been deemed history.
But then Megan had got him killed by Drake and Josh in a fake trick, and then she had been able to resurrect him the third day, right at his scheduled funeral in front of the united civilisation of San Diego Belleview.
Unfortunately, the talent show was only going to last for a few hours.
Resurrecting anyone the third day was thus absolutely no option.
Samantha suggested, "I could make a whole fried elephant disappear from the stage withing a few minutes … hereto!" She rubbed her tummy and giggled cheerfully. Beyond any doubt, Sam would have been able to do so.
Her stomach was much huger on the inside than the whole of Samantha Puckett on the outside.
We had also got a new tech guy by now.
Fredward Toplin Benson[] was a new pupil at Pacific Coast Academy. He was an expert for everything multimedia. He refused to believe in magic, but he would take pics of the trick, anyways, and use them for our next web show. A few weeks ago, Freddie had tried to hit mercilessly on poor Megan.
She had to rebuke him brashly.
This made him sound a bit scary.
Now Freddie was going to take some timeout from girls.
Unfortunately, Sam was taunting and teasing hin all the time.
But that was fairly harmless.
The two of them would have been a cool couple.
But I better kept my mouth shut instead of pushing myself into their crossfire.
Megan suggested me to let Sam disappear and reappear again in some totally different place.
But was that not already Malika's trick? Yes, it was.
And Malika was going to support my endeavour. But Freddie would in turn have to go with her to the next middle school dance.
Alas, Sam had got a problem with being forced into a narrow place and told to wait there until further notice.
Chase Bartholomew Matthews had been reading many fantasy comics as a little boy.
This had been the consequence of his uncle's job as a vendor of books for kids.
Chase had just been bored. Now he was more or less embarrassed.
But there was one little mistake …
Chase had been listening to some conversation of Wayne "Firewire" Gilbert's discussion club for DC cartoons.
The guys had made some mistakes when quoting various back issues of their cartoons.
And Chase had slipped into correcting them. He should better not have done so.
The consequences of this revelation of Chase Bartholomew Matthews's knowledge concerning the works of DC and Marvel were disastrous.
Wayne and his pals were now hell bent on voting Chase for the president of their book club.
Chase was by no means keen on that dubious honour. He was now better going to run and to take cover. But would he be able to escape a pack pf fanatcic cartoon lovers forever and one day?
That was not so easy.
Malika should have witched him invisible, or something like that.
But quite a few toon heroes were able to do so or something like that.
Wayne would thus have expected Chase to be still around, visible or not.
Chase would by no means have been safe. Now he just had to run for his life.
Now Mindy appeared on the scene. "Hey guys!" She had been bored these days, sidelined because of the recent problems with various inventions.
In addition, Mark del Figgalo had carelessly destroyed Quinn's hard disk.
The geek girls were forced to redo a lot of work.
Mindy and Wendy had succcessfully suggested Quinn to fire useless Mark, preventing that kind of decadent accidents from happening again.
Wayne cackled. "What are you doing here?"
Mindy grinned. "I want to be the president of your little club."
The freak boys looked puzzled.
Wayne had always thought Quinn and Mindy to be strictly opposed to their activities as toon fans. "You don't know zilch about DC and Marvel!"
Mindy grinned. "I am Wondergirl![]"
Wayne did not want to believe her. He cackled. "You can't be a girl, period!" He assumed girls not to be interested in both superhero toons and science.
Mindy fumbled with her top and started approaching Wayne. "You want to see?"
Wayne started trembling profoundly, still afraid of girls.
Mindy sighed. "OK, I will prove the claim by doing her miraculous deeds!"
The guys gasped.
Malika could easily help Mindy's plans.
We decided to integrate Mindy into our talent show.
Sam was not comfortable with her rôle in the whole game, anyways.
This would beat the living hell out of anything.
By the way, Zoey had not found a lift to the library downtown.
A chain of circumstances forced her stuck on the campus.
But maybe Jatie Hawthorne would come to Zoey, some day?
50.4. The Performance
Our trick was obviously great.
With Malika's background support and my rhetorics, Mindy kept on appearing in many different shapes during the evening hours.
The audience was shocked each and every time.
The whole thing was beating the hell out of Henry Doheny's best times.
Wayne Gilbert could not help accepting Mindy Crenshaw as the new president of the DC and Marvel Discussion Club.
And Chase would thenceforth be totally safe from the creeps.
But we were sidelined and awaiting the decision of the umpires.
Chapter 51. In Our Victory
51.1. The Best Performance
Our presentation at the middle school talent show had really rocked.
The umpires were forced to give us the first prize.
Zoey was still deranged. She forgot about congratulating me.
That was so unfair.
Her future career as a politician had totally clouded her mind, her heart, her body, and her will.
Dating Lance Rivers was part and parcel of her plans.
Another column were her organised events.
One of them was a barbecue party at Pacific Coast Academy.
51.2. Hot Ribs
Recently, our grand uncle Morris had died.
This was nothing compared to Addie's grandaunt Bertha or Chase's grandma.
We had not even known about him.
He seemed to have been into the meat industry. In any case, he had left Zoey a truck load of pork chops.
In o4der to get rid of them as fast as possible, a barbecue contest appeared the appropriate means.
We middle school kids were absolutely not allowed to operate a charcoal grill.
An umpire was necessary for the whole contest.
Zoey wanted to use Coco Wexler for that purpose.
But I suggested in favour of Garly Coleman[], inventor of the particularly popular Gary grill.
Megan had got contacts to that genius, for some dubious reasons though.
The high school kids were up to forming a few small groups.
Originally, Chase Matthews wanted to be in a group with his room pals Logan Reese and Michael Barret.
But there was one impassable problem.
Logan Reese and Michael Barret were bickering over the barbecue recipe.
Logan Reese wanted to use an exclusive spice mix known as the "Reese Rib Rub", an old traditional recipe of the Reese family containing only the most expensive spices of the world.
Michael Barret wanted to use a barbecue marinade come down from his grandma, a master cook.
The chasm was way too wide to bridge.
Chase thus decided to be in a team with Addie Singer.
The two of them wanted to create the most unfabulous barbecue mix.
As a jew, Adelaide did not eat pork chops, at least not openly and on a regular base. But she was still keen on being with Chase and helping him with his stuff.
Stacey Dillsen asked to join them in.
Adelaide nodded solemnly.
Logan Reese had of course got no problems finding new partners, especially female ones. And he was now ganging up with Trina Vega and Mandy Franklin.
Finally, Michael Barret and Zoey were building one more team.
The contest was now open.
Smoke billowed forth from the coleman grills provided generously as commercial gift by Gary Coleman for our event and started blowing across the campus.
The event was shown live on my web show.
Freddie was moving around with the cam in order to take pics and to interview all the teams.
Stacey Dillsen started talking about cotton swabs and the art of barbecue.
Fredward was not exactly keen on listening to her theories.
Stacey was disappointed by Freddie's foul attempts of avoiding she started weeping.
Adelaide and Chase had to comfort her.
Stacey finally calmed down.
In addirtion, Gary Coleman was not exactly keen on finding some cotton swab in Stacey's ribs.
Logan's spiced chops appeared excructiatingly delicious to Coleman.
But the same could be said about the marinade.
It looked like a close race.
But Gary Coleman had not yet considered everything.
Megan had urged me to take care of the typical problem.
Not all spices were legal in California.
And aforementioned Peruvian puff pepper definitely was not.
Logan had boasted like hell with his illustrous spice mix.
I could not trust this.
There must have been some sort of hitch.
But how was it possible to prove it?
There was sort of some test tube proof.
I had talked with Quinn about this before the contest.
Her upstream source, aforementioned Cal, had sent us a few of the reagents in no time.
I had got a hard time daring to ask the great Coleman about the problem.
Fortunately Wendy helped me. She talked also about Opera Winfree.
Gary Coleman was a big fan of Opera.
This made it a lot easier for Wendy.
Gary was consternated by hearing about the possibility of the usage of illegal spices in this contest.
This would cast a dark shadow on this advertising event.
But the control had to be.
I deployed the test tubes and the reagents.
It would take a few minutes.
Freddie played along some taped music in order to bridge the gap.
But then the results showed up.
We took a close look.
Both Logan's rib rub and Michael's marinade contained Peruvian puff pepper.
The creeps went pale.
Gary had to disqualify them and recalculate the winners.
After five minutes, the greatestmaster of the barbecue was to be chosen.
Coleman suspired, "and the winner is … team Ribs and Swabs."
These were Stacey Dillsen, Chase Matthews, and Addie Singer.
Coleman sighed deeply. He fad to forgive the swab in his ribs. But, on the other hands, he deemed swabs very useful fro cleaning the grill, but only after having let it cool down.
In no case was it advisable to insert a swab near the gleaming charcoal.
Already Rosemary Pepper had taught us about this.
Stacey, Chase, and Addie kept on celebrating.
Unfortunately, the ribs had disappeared faster than expected.
This was all alone Trisha's faukt.
She had even ignored the warning about puff peppers.
Fortunately, Pucketts were immune or hardly vulnerable to almost every sort of poison.
51.3. The Record
Fredward's camera proved one remarkable thing.
Samantha Puckett had beaten the record for eating pork ribs.
We wanted to submit it to the very redaction of the JONAS Book Of Records[].
But there was one hitch.
The power puff pepper was most likely going to destroy Sam's claim.
The redaction was not keen on promoting the usage of illegal spices, among other things.
Samantha was thus in a stinky mood.
Fortunately, there was some relief.
She was up to repeating the record with fat cakes instead of pork chops.
Rose and Kazu were already planning to make enough of those for a new record.
And next time, an official team of the redactors would supervise Sam's attempt.
Was she going to succeed?
Chapter 52. New Plans
And this was the day of the very first charity concert of Justin Bibber and Tori Vega.
Gustavo Rocque had arranged it to occur on the very campus of Pacific Coast Academy.
This was of course essentially due to the extremely admirable efforts of no other than Wendy Gellar.
Dean River had at first glance not been willing to allow for the concert.
But Gustavo had growled him into smithereens.
Of course, even after the wonderful dance contest, Tori had not been persuaded easily.
Trina had won the dance contest.
This fact had diminished Tori's anger.
But the main problem had thenceforthe been that of Tori's disbelief in her own talent.
Fortunately, Gustavo Rocque was was one rock solid professional i that branch.
Victoria Vega and her parents deemed it better to agree with his sovereign statement.
Admittedly, Gustavo's approach was a bit intimidating.
He used to call his future stars "dogs" and "monkeys".
This was not exactly inviting.
Fortunately, Gustavo Rocque had got a much nicer assistant, a certain Kelly Waynright.
The latter was finally able to take Victoria's fears away.
Nevertheless, Tori Vega was very nervous. She had never seen or heard Justin Bibber before.
But, according to the infallible judgment of Wendy Gellar, Justin and Tori harmonised all naturally.
Thus there had not been all that much need for endless practice.
The whole event was also shown live in my web show.
Unfortunately, Freddie Benson seemed to have got the hots for Tori.
This was aboslutely no good for him.
Starlets and Fredwards don't fit together at all.
Tori would just laugh abiut him and treat him like dirt.
But I was not able to dissuade my tech producer.
He would definitely have to learn it the hard way due to his lack of an ability to listen to us.
And Tori was annoyed by Freddie's attempts of hitting on her.
This inappropriate demeanour had got the potential to make Tori upset at all of us, the web show and Pacific Coast Academy.
Tori's blossoming career would thus be again at stake, after weeks of struggles in order to get anywhere near off the ground.
Freddie was also responsible for the accoustics of the whole event.
Gustavo Rocque was glad about saving the costs for a professional technical production team.
Fortunately, Samantha Puckett was perfectly able to wedgie Fredward back to the place of his duties.
This must have been quite some embarrassing experience for Freddie.
But he had so definitely had it coming.
In order to honour Tori's latina heritage, Wendy gellar had decided to start with some traditional song from the Latino world, but with a rock version of the tune.
This would heat the atmosphere on the campus.
Or so did Wendy hope.
Freddie and Wendy were responsible for letting the synthesiser do its duty.
Laton rock music filled the air.
Justin Bibber started singing Wendy's rock version of Cielito Lindo[] .
De la Sierra Nevada
Un par de ojitos negros
The audience listened carefully.
Wendy's version really rocked the living hell.
While singing, Justin glared dreamily deep into Tori's inviting eyes.
Was that just for the show?
Or were there really a few flying sparks?
I better refrained from reading too much into the scene.
But Wendy would swoon over it later on.
Then Tori and Justin sang together.
Ay ay ay ay
Canta y no llores!
Porque cantando se alegran
The onlookers started melting away like nobody's business.
But would that be enough to get Tori to stay in the business?
Basically, she had only agreed on this one event.
But her continuation would have been vital for Gustavo Rocque and his records studio.
As aforementioned, Justin Bibber had been contracted by Nicholas Cage, but just as a solo artist.
One of the backdoors in his contract was the following:
Justin cioould opt out in the case of being offered a contract over a band or at least a duet.
With Tori Vega, Gustavo Rocue would have had such a duet partner and accordingly been able to buy Justin out of his contract for an affordable fee.
Claire Sawyer had seen that gap when assisting Wendy Gellar with her legal stuff.
Needless to say, Tori's continuation would also be vital for the job of Wendy Gellar as a rock composer.
This was perfect.
Now it was up to convincing Tori.
She still saw herself as a one time gap filler.
Trina Vega, by the way, was still convinced of being the more gifted of the two of them.
This was an obstacle for Tori.
Wendy started swooning. "Aren't Justin and Tori a really cute couple? Oh … so cute …"
This almost sounded like Nicole Bristow in her worst days … ever!
Sam was now the one to try to talk some sense into Tori. She was by the way preparing for her big day.
The Jonas Book Of Records had agreed on a date for the attempt of beating the fat cake record.
For that avail, Sam was not exactly allowed to eat all the snacks offered at the buffet.
This made her a bit grumpy.
Her stomach was already roaring like a fiery dragon.
Tori would have had to submit to many changes.
Gustavo Rocque would have forced her to switch schools, more precisely, made her go to his School Of Rocque, a set school for his young talents.
But Tori liked being in classes with several pals and friends.
As a compromise, Tori and Justin were offered a place at Hollywood School for the Professional Performance Arts.
This sounded a bit better.
But Justin had to beg Tori on her knees to stay his duet partner for a professional career.
Tori sighed deeply. She could not resist Justin's eyes.
No girl could.
So, finaly, a new duet was born.
And Wendy's career as a rock composer was now now no longer to stop.
Chapter 53. The Big Audition
Ashley had really suffered from the downfall due to the forced switch froma childhood career to one for maturing girls.
Jenna's intervention had appeared as the vital parachute.
But what had her influence on Ashley been worth?
The time of truth was about to come.
Ashley had not been chosen during the first auditions for Newtown High.
The works on the first season had already started.
Malcolm had recently launched the broadcast of a sneak preview for the pilot.
The feedback was earth shaking.
According to aforementioned Jessica Warner, Newtown High was the French revolution of the history of teenage soap operas.
The consequences were reaching far.
Malcolm decided on site in favour of not only starting with the preliminary works of the second season, but also to produce additional episodes of the first one.
New auditions were necessary for accomplishing this goal.
Some other rôles had to be extended and recast.
And this was a chance even for Ashley Blake.
The former child diva had to demonstrate the things learned from great star Jenna Lotrell.
Maybe she had already improved a lot.
But one thing had not changed.
Ashley still needed some kind of a slave doing her dirt jobs during the events.
And this time, the dice had chosen me … again!
So I had to hold her script up in front of her nose.
But also many other actors and actresses were present.
One of those future stars was particularly gifted teenage actor Beck Oliver from Hollywood School for the Professional Performance Arts. According to Ashley, Beck was hotter than some thousand suns.
I better did not try to mess with a girl's judgment about the hotness of boys.
Too bad Quinn Pensky had not yet invented an instrument in order to measure that. And she was always keen on inventing things to measure everything under and beyond the sun.
Thus it was still a subjective impression of the girls.
Ashley grunted, "OK, make me stumble randomly into Beck Oliver!"
I wondered, "randomly?"
Of course it just had to look for Beck Oliver like some random accident.
Ashley wanted to stumble deliberately right into his arms and get caught by him.
I was not feeling well with this. Thus I sighed deeply.
In addition, Beck Oliver was already supposed to have a girlfriend named Jade West.
This was an excessively mean and creepy goth cultist. She was by absolutely no means whatsoever suited for Beck Oliver.
Their "relationship" can't have been but a mutually abusive one of the very worst sort.
For that reason, I did not have any qualms justifying Ashley's wishful claim.
But it was very much terrifying.
Almost no girl would react kindly when seeing her boyfriend stolen.
And Jade looked oh so particularly mean.
In other words, I was about sending Ashley Blake and of course also myself into deepest trouble.
Ashley announced, fifty bucks extra!
I sighed deeply. I needed some more money for new candy and for a new version of my latest favourite video game.
Malcolm started the auditions.
Trina Vega was the first to show up. She had still not given up on the big career and featured herself as the top star.
But Malcolm had always been of a diametrically different opinion about Trina's talent for the character acting business.
And this was hardly going to change any moment soon.
There was one exception, though.
I still remembered Logan Reese in Chase Bartholomew's plat about saving an alien girl.
By the way, the play was becoming the base of a new episode of Malcolm Reese's Galaxy Wars dodecalogy.
But this was still not a mature project.
As well known, Logan was able to perform well as a seductive jerk due to being precisely a seductive jerk in real life.
And a teenage soap opera was nothing without the occasional "Trina type" teenage girl.
This was the chance for Trina Vega.
But there was no star rôle, not even a recurring side kick, planned for that avail.
Thus Trina would have had to stick to a minor rôle.
Hey, the rôle just had to appear big in Trina's eyes.
I definitely had to talk to Malcolm about this possibility.
It would have been the best for the inner peace of the Vega family.
Oh no, talking about that family made me dizzy.
Lola was here, too, at the auditions. She had already got a sidekick rôle for the first season of the show. But she was here in order to give prompts for some of the guys trying out.
Lola's rôle was that of a popular and attractive teenage girl.
Well, that was not exactly too far off her real life rôle, either.
One of the guys to audition was a very great teenage starm Spencer Carter, a junior at Hollywood School for the Professional Performance Arts. He was the greatest actors ever acting as Romeo in any performance of Romeo And Juliet at any middle school or high school in the counbtry. He was frequently borrowed by other schools for their school plays.
Edmond Bigby, author of aforementioned school survival guide, the base of this show, had made very bad experiences with Spencer.
The hotshot had stolen Ned's declassified crush Suzanne Crabgrass, back then the "Juliet" at their school play.
Apparently, Lola did not exactly seem unimpressed by the girls' top heartthrob.
Her eyes inflated to heart shaped balloons.
For the moment, I could not watch this any longer. I had to take care of Ashley's trial.
She seemed to have improved a lot.
Malcolm was totally astonished.
It was still not enough for a star rôle.
But it was better than a merciful background job.
Ashley needed to work some harder. But now she was up to some bonus scene.
Beck was actually passing by.
I had to feign tripping Ashley accidentally. I closed my eyes and twitched with my right foot.
Ashley was finally falling … straight into Beck's direction.
Surprised teenage star caught her gracefully.
Ashley wanted of course more. She thanked Beck for his salvific deed.
Beck growled at me. "You perverted klutz! How dare you to trip a girl?"
Ashley was moving her lisps very close to Beck's face.
Beck sighed deeply. Was he going to reply her feelings instead of having already got a girlfriend?
Jade West was watching us.
Regardless of Beck's actual feelings for Ashley, or the lack thereof, the scene, when watched from afar, had most likely given the impression of Beck and Ashley making out.
And Jade was well known throughout the whole county of Los Angeles for her absolutely perverse jealousy.
This could not mean any good whatsoever.
Chapter 54. The Head And The Heart
Quinn and Lola were sitting in the lounge.
Lola was talking a lot about aforementioned Spencer Carter. But she was not really fessing up to her feelings.
Alas, Quinn just had to fit the pieces together. "You are hankering after Spencer Carter? Wow!"
Lola Martinez tried to deny. Inspite of being good at pretending, like all professional actors, she could not really fool her best friend.
Quinn just knew her roomie too well.
Lola explained, "Spencer is an exquisite kisser."
Quinn did not care. She was still not over the dirty end of her affair with Mark.
And good kissers were not necessarily reliable boyfriends, quite the contrary. They used to cheat on their girls at each and every occasion.
The best of all examples was Drake Parker.
Lola had got kind of a theory. "It is possible to recognise a good kisser by his way of eating apples."
Quinn looked puzzled.
According to Lola Martinez, this was already seen from the Biblic Book Of Genesis.
Eva had offered an apple to Adam in order to test his kissing qualities.
They had been expelled thereupon from pariadise by some jealous enviar.
Lola must have been really smart in order to make that conclusion.
But, really, she had just freely interpreted some of the exegesis made by Wayne Gilbert.
He was actually talking about some clone of that scene from one of his fantasy action toons.
But Quinn could not leave it exactly there. She needed a scientific way in order to examine Lola's claims.
Along came Mindy Crenshaw.
Quinn stopped her and started talking about Lola's theory.
The science nerds had been a bit in a crisis since the problems with their aforementioned projects.
Thus a little excursion was welcome.
But Melinda was not really in the mood for tht topic. She sighed deeply. She was just coming from the meeting of the toon freak club.
Quinn Pensky asked, "was Wayne Gilbert mean to you?" She remembered the days of Wayne's insane prejudices against the girls' scientific research.
Mindy shook her head. "It isn't that."
Quinn suspired. She wanted to know the real cause.
Mindy panted heavily before replying, "I am in love with Wayne." She choked, not believing in having actually admitted to that.
Lola puked on site. She excused herself in order to return to her dormitory room and take some medication against her stomach cramps.
The thought of a girl in love with "Firedweeb" was way too much for Lola Martinez and her delicate digestion to bear without screwing up completely.
Wayne had occasionally tried to hit on Lola.
For the excricuciatingly attractive Hollywood starlet, this had always been tantamount to smelling the scent of rotten meat and vegetables.
This time, Lola was really overwhelemed by that virtual stench.
Quinn Pensky was not affected all that much by the news. But she looked a bit puzzled at least. She had not exactly seen that coming. "He is creepy and hates girls." Quinn had apparently misunderstood Wayne Gilbert.
Melinda Crenshaw would never have come anywhere near understanding, either.
But some conversation with telepathical genius Malika Dooley had changed the situation.
Mindy explained, "Wayne does not actually hate girls. He is afraid of them.".
Quinn sighed. She should have seen that coming. And she knew that.
But why had Wayne Gilbert been hitting on and off on Lola? He had alsoe pestered Zoey Brooks, and even Trina Vega or Mandy Franklin.
Really, all of those girls were excessively disgusted by freaky dweebs like Wayne Gilbert.
And this was exactly the whole purpose of his foul attempts.
None of these girls would ever have considered Wayne, not even in their most perverted and corrupted night mares … ever!
This way, Wayne was absolutely secure in the knowledge of just scaring the girls away.
At the time of the start of coeducation at Pacific Coast Academy, the science club had been closed for girls, upon the request of club leader Wayne Gilbert.
This way, "Firewire" had maintained a safe haven.
But the war robots had made it impossible for Wayne and his pals toupkeep that bastion.
Quinn and Mindy had taken over the science club.
Wayne immediately created his toon club.
Girls were said to be interested in action fantasy toons even less than in science.
Or so it was said.
Thus there had been a new safe haven.
But Wayne had not been taking Melinda Crenshaw into account.
Mindy had not been talking about this before, not to anyone. Only today she slipped into telling Quinn.
But her geek colleague could have easily picked it up from bits and pieces.
Truth spoken, Mindy had been in love with Wayne since his junior year, even before the war robot crash. She had been totally fascinated by his combination of conspirative fantasy and scientific rigour.
Thus two years had gone by in silence.
Initially, Mindy had not been interested in fantasy action toons. But she had deliberately started to do some research about the series of DC and Marvel.
Her absolute favourite figure had been the female wonder twin.
This explained her choice of this rôle in order to get accepted into the toon club, even more, the task of the president.
Mindy had tricked Wayne. She had already tried to trick and fool many others, such as Drake and Zoey.
But in the case of Wayne Gilbert, it had definitely been for the better of the "victim".
So it should not have been confused with her old demeanour.
Of course, Wayne would have felt upset.
Mindy did not want to hurt Wayne and make him hurt her. But she loved him too much to sneak away.
That was one cruel dilemma.
But at least Quinn was now here for her colleague.
Head and heart were not always easy to combine.
And this was not just valid for Mindy Crenshaw.
Ashley Blake expected my help in order to pry Beck Oliver loose from the murderous grip of Jade West.
I so felt Ashley much better suited than Jade for Beck.
Malika had confirmed the mutually abusive and suicidal character of the relationship between Beck Oliver and Jade West.
But messing with Jade West and that stupid perverse girl code would have meant infinite pain and torture.
So, which way was there to go?
I felt my heart stabbed by heavy spades, unable to come alive again.
Chapter 55. Chasing Addie
55.1. Elder Siblings
Inspite of having felt excruciatingly cornered and oppressed by Zoey's overwhelming shadow and her merciless protectivity, I had also been prone to missing her on occasions. After our second common year at Pacific Coast Academy, I had left her shadow and was no longer just known among the pupils at Pacific Coast Academy, regardless of which grade, just as "the little brother of Zoey Brooks".
Of course things had not yet turned out reversed completely.
In other words, Zoey was now not just known as anything more than "the elder sister of Dustin Brooks".
Some pupils just knew me as Zoey's little brother, others knew Zoey just as my elder sister, but many knew us as "the Brooks kids" or something like that.
Of course, Zoey had not just been the oppressive and overprotective elder sister. She had always been able to be one of my best friends and play mates.
And as such, I was now missing her more and more.
Of course she preferred to hang out with the high school kids instead of little me.
This was pretty normal.
But I missed the good old times above all.
Some may have deemed me crazy for this.
I had got many friends of my age, right here at Pacific Coast Academy and a girlfriend always on my mind inspite of living in San Diego. Why did I miss Zoey, anyways?
At least I was not alone in my situation.
Ashley Blake missed Vince badly.
Physically, he was the best protector ever. But Vince was not around in order to give her mental relief in rough times. He was just a jock.
Megan had sometimes told me about missing Drake and even Josh. She had always been forced to prank them in order to get some of their attention.
Maybe some kind of sort of a prank was now in order, too.
Addie even missed out on Ben, once upon a time or even more often.
And the situation between Sandy Baldwin and her sister Tracy was by absolutely no means any different.
Now, there was a plot.
Logan's father was about making a movie in Japan about the conspiration of the samurai. He had sent Logan a parcel from Tokyo.
The delivery contain some Japanese horror movie Shinusha.
It was a movie about black ninjas.
Samantha Puckett had always wanted to become an invisible ninja[]. She was by absolutely no means scared by horror movies of any sort whatsoever. "But Fredward would sure run to his mom!" She chuckled mercilessly.
Addie remembered Ben's attempts of impressing his former girlfriend, a certain Jen, with a horror movie.
Unfortunately, he had been the one unable to stand the grisly terror and to puke out his guts.
It had been a Japanese horror movie as well, generally known as The Liver Eater.
So, the plan was plain and simple like that.
We "little siblings" were going to watch the movie along with Logan, Chase, and Michael. Then we would feign being horrified and intimidated.
Our elder siblings would be forced to take more care of us, just like during the good old times.
The boys had not expected us.
Chase objected to our presence. "Zoey has not allowed you to watch this."
That was correct.
Likewise, Tracy Baldwin did not want Sandy to be here.
Vince was not keen on Ashley viewing the horror movie.
Addie was older than us.
But Ben would not have felt comfortable, wither, given his own bad experiences with Japanese horror movies.
Logan did not mind. "The more — the merrier!"
We had git enough supplies of pop corn and similar for watching the exciting film.
Addie had purchased them from Ben's salary.
The movie started.
Logfan also activated his Japanese J-phone, another item contained in the delivery from Japan.
Those devices were still illegal in the United satates for some reason. But they were able to download movies over night, probably movies like this one.
So there were sure more occasions for us.
The movie was keeping on running.
The beginning was smooth.
But the thrill and horror was building up from minute to minute.
The grisly high light were a gang of frenzied ninjas stabbing their foes to death with the aid of chop sticks.
I would never be able to enjoy my sushi as much as before watching the movie.
My teeth started rattling.
Maybe we did not have to feign too much when sneaking to our elder siblings?
Even the big boys did not get left in peace.
Michael finally understood, "for that reason, we call them 'chop sticks'."
Adelaide Singer, the oldest of us little siblings, seemed to be the most intimidated. She could not even walk staright enough to leave the room. She decided to snuggle against equally intimidated Chase Bartholomew Matthews.
Apparently, they were thusly able to soothe each other's mental cramps triggered by the horror movie.
I was still able to move along.
Off to Zoey's dorm was my way!
Zoey and Stacey were already back from their girls' evening, whatever.
Stacey picked one of her packs of cotton swab. She squealed terrifically.
Something had been hiding within the swabs. And that something was me.
I screamed equally. I was still intimidated by the chop stick onslaught.
Zoey looked puzzled.
I begged for being allowed to stay in her dormitory room.
Fortunately, there was a third bed.
Stacey made a few remarks, but she did not try to dissuade Zoey from letting me stay here.
Zoey nodded. "Everything will be much better tomorrow!" She sighed deeply. "Chase, Michael, and Logan need to get their head removed!"
I suggested to use chop sticks for that.
Zoey looked at Stacey's works. "Or cotton swabs!"
55.4. Next Morning
The boys of "Maxwell Hall" had got a very rough night.
There was not only Shinnusha.
Some fire alert had been triggered.
But there had been no fire.
Acrtually, the fake alert was due to Logan's illegal J-phone.
But this fact was not known.
Addie had not been able to separate from Chase, due to their common fears of ninjas.
So they had been caught in flagrante delicto by the alert.
This was not cool.
Likewise, Ashley had stayed in her brother's dormitory room. That was no more legal than my presence in Zoey's dormitory room.
There was no exception for little brothers in the girls' dorms, or for little sisters in the boys' dorm.
Stacey and Zoey wanted to fire balls made of cotton swabs at the thre evil guys. But they were too late.
Michael was stuck in a basketball hoop, head down.
This was Vince Blake's work, the punishment for letting Ashley see some horror movie.
Logan was all wet. He had spend half of the morning in the campus fountain.
Tracy Baldwin had stuffed him there, as a punishment for letting Sandy watch Shinnusha.
Addie and Chase had escaped the wrath, as of yet.
But now they were forced to fess up.
Benjamin Singer would only allow Chase to get away in the case of admitting to being Addie's fiancé.
Adelaide grinned. She must have seen that coming.
It was now time for promise rings at Pacific Coast Academy.
Chase and Addie, for always and ever!
Chapter 56. Critical Prospects
56.1. Coming Out
My shock triggered by the frenzied ninjas from Shinnusha had been waning until the morning.
But Zoey had taken care of me for the first time in quite some while.
We were even playing video games together.
That was plain wonderful.
Thus I refused to return to my room.
The situation was by no means different for Sandy and Ashley.
But this could not go on forever like this.
Stacey had been patient. But she was living in permanent fear of getting the cotton swab colection disordered.
I was not quite keen onlistening to her lisped songs.
That was certainly one mean night mare.
Mark del Figgalo, the room mate of Vincent Blake, had not yet had the guts to complain. But he looked really stupid with the remains of Ashley's makeup in his face.
Tracey's roomies were annoying bitches, especially Mandy Franklin.
The latter was afraid of Sandy abusing her bras in order to appear hotter.
That was of course plain stupid. Sandy was no loose girl, xccompletely unlike Mandy Franklin.
Zoey would not believe me forever. Sooner or later, she would have tp inform dad and mom.
That was no good.
Poor Nicole had already been taken off Pacific Coast Academy because of parental worries.
Mom and dad would certainly not do react in any different manner.
I had been playing at high rishk.
And this was not unlikely to backfire.
Thus I decided to come out. But I would not have done that without the support of the rest of the "little sibling" gang.
56.2. Zoey's Reaction
After having come out in the girls' lounge, I git dragged into some silent corner by Zoey.
Ashley and Sandy must have been experiencing the same from the hands of their own respective little siblings.
But I was all alone with my sister.
She panted heavily. "You honestly want to make me believethat?"
I started trembling.
Zoey hugged me fondly. "OK! But I don't understand why! I am not outr of the world."
I started talking about her recent changes, especially the thing with Lance Rivers.
Of course this was not really my business.
And Zoey made me feel that. "But am I really so much different?"
I nodded saddly. Then I started talking about the whole career greed. "Two years ago, you wanted to do something more fun, such as fashion design."
Zoey gasped. She had almost forgotten about her whole creative time and become a mindless zombie of her political ambitions. She still cared dearly about me, but in a much colder manner than during her first two years at Pacific Coast Academy.
Zoey's obsession with a poliutical career was almost the same degree as Wendy Gellar's obsession with Drake Parker.
But Wendy had come to work hard on her skills. She had started learning rock composition for Drake's sake. But she was now actually able to discover an dpromote new rock talents, as perfectly seen in the case of Justin Bibber and Tori Vega.
Maybe all Zoey needed was getting her version of " Rocque".
So, who was the absolute rocking idol in the fashion designers' branch?
Well. Ashley Blake had already been modelling for a few fashion labels.
Of course her pubescence kind of changed her potential activities as a model as well.
But this was less of a problem.
She just needed to switch to a different line.
I had already been present at one of her presentations, down by mystic beach.
She had fallen asleep.
And I needed to make her look awake.
The label had been Mad Style, run by Maximillian Madigan.
This was probably the counterpart to Gustavo Rocque in the fashion label branch.
So I had to find Mr. Madigan and take him to my sister.
56.3. Wendy goes on.
The same day, Wendy was showing me the her first draft of a complete album for Justin Bibber and Tori Vega.
The draft sounded wonderful, like magically suited for that dream couple of Hollywood's current rock scene.
But Wendy had to make some hard decision in order to go on.
The start of her intrest in rock composotion had always been with Drake Parker in mind.
But Tori and Justin, inspite of being superficially related to Drake's style, were something fairly different.
This was not easy for Wendy to swallow.
She almost felt like a traitor.
But she had already crossed the Rubicon and was now unable to turn back.
A steep career for Justin and Tori was awaiting the Hollywood rock scene.
And Wendy's fertile work was its launchpad.
56.4. Mad Max At PCA
Ashley Blake had been ready to help me with my request for an audience with Maximillian Madigan.
Amanda Cantwell, the vice president at Mad Style for female fashion, was a friend of Ashley. But she was not pleased by hearing that request. Basically, she was jealous of Zoey's talent. She had heard of it not only from Ashley, but also from some competitors of Mad Style.
The news about Zoey's perfect backpacks had definitely made it over to New York City.
Fortunately, Maximillian Madigan was on a trip bound for Los Amgeles, anyways.
And this was the greart opportunity for getting him to stumble into Zoey.
Zoey had missed out on Jatie Hawthorne.
But Maximillian Madigan was way more important for her life. And there he was, right on the campus of Pacific Coast Academy.
I picked my cellular phone in order to call Zoey for a valid but secondary reason.
After some hesitation, Zoey arrived at the campus square. She knew Maximillian from various journal covers. Now she was consternated. "Mad Max?".
Mr. Madigan grinned mercilessly.
Zoey started trembling all over. Once upon a time, she had wanted to work for Mad Style or some similar fashion label.
Max Madigan appeared to my sister like a phantasm of times gone by.
There were stories abounding on the campus, stories about the restless spirit of some former student named Charles Galloway.
This had made Zoey a bit scared.
I did not deny ghosts and curses. But I knew Max Madigan to be real.
Sooner or later, Zoey would understand the same.
There was now nothing eft for me to do.
Everything would go its destined way.
But the ultimate decision was up to Zoey, and nobody else than her.
56.5. Zoey trashes Lance.
THe trick worked out well.
Max Madigan offered Zoey a position as a vice president at Mad Style.
Zoey followed her own will, working towards her dream of becoming a great fashion designer, instead of doing as originally expected from her, viz. law school and political career.
Chapter 57. Play the game!
57.1. Juicy Toons?
As aforementioned, Chase and Michael had given up on their lame excuse of a web show and continued exclusively in the fun cartoon business.
Chase's and Michael's toons had been submitted successfully to Toon Juice.
And now they were even paid for those.
But it was now necessary for them to submit regularly an agreed amount of toons.
Unfortunately, they were excessive dullheads without a decent amount of fantasy whatsoever. They must have seen the toon business as a way of making money easily, in a totally playful manner. And now they were as disappointed as only possible.
Toons were hard work.
And those of Chase and Michael were now bone dry.
As a consequence, they had to resort to plagiarism.
Logan had told them to make a toon of two bowling pins afraid of getting hit by the bowling ball.
That was lame and old.
Indeed, Logan had recently watched the same thing on toon channel.
OK, it was lame, period, original or not.
Of course, the victims of the plagiarism were upset and requested some high fine for this inappropriate plagiarism.
Chase and Michael were now duly in trouble.
Their only hope left was Claire Sawyer, future lawyer.
And that was my idea.
Fortunately, Claire had got the time for taking care of that case.
But it would not be as easy and playful as expected.
57.2. Dance with Logan!
The very Logan Reese himself was now into another branch of the entertainment business. He was producing a DVD known as Dance with Logan!.
According to the dandy of Hollywood, many lonesome girls at Pacific Coast Academy had always been waiting for such a great thing.
Logan performed a great variety of playful dances of diverse origins.
The Texan lasso dance appeared to be very impressive.
But, of course, there was not all that much original in his idea.
Logan had plagiarised in an even significantly worse manner than Chase and Michael.
The victim of his inappropriate deed was now Simon Nelson Cooke, one of the afoirementioned geeks from James K. Polk.
Logan had deliberately plagiarised one of Simon's amateur videos, Cowboy Cookie[].
Back then, Simon had tried hard to hide that video.
The whole thing was absolutely embarrassing for a nerd.
Somehow, Logan must have gotten hold of that stupid video clip. And then he had made it part and parcel of Dance with Logan!
I could not have cared any less.
But Logan expected us to show a demo of his dancing DVD on our web show.
Sam moaned, "why not Dance With Ham!?"
I chuckled gleefully.
Sam glared at me. "So what?"
Freddie was afraid of plagiarism. He was thus more careful in checking the material than anyone else. He would not have recognised the similarity with Cowboy Cookie at first glance.
But Claire Sawyer had counterchecked it by accident. And she did remember Simon Nelson's uttermost embarrassing performance, and its extreme similarity with Logan's performance.
Sending Dance with Logan would thus have meant nothing but excruciating trouble with some cyborg.
Fredward Benson refused to take the responsibility on himself.
Logan was pretty much upset.
But there was no way for broadcasting this clip without Simon Nelson Cooke's permission.
And asking him would have been troublesome.
He was still deadly ashanmed and not ever willing to hear again about Cowboy Cookie.
Or so Claire assumed.
57.3. Ashley's Conquest
As aforementioned, Ashley Blake had bween participating at Pacific Coast Academy middle school talent show with a solo performance fromn some experimental theatre play.
My team had won the contest.
Thus Ashley had not won. But she was not mad at us and had congratulated in a fair and honest manner.
Of course this had been totally surprising for many of us.
Ashley had been accustomed to getting all the awards for her grandiose performance, at least up to aforementioned Junior Oscar.
Only the crisis caused by her pubescence had changed that.
And since her conversation with Kenna Lotrell, Ashley had discovered the fun of acting.
Her performance was now a lot mor playful than ever before.
Maybe this was the one decisive reason for Malcolm Reese to gi=ve her a better rôle than that of a puffed up background actress.
So, today, Ashley had to appear for the first shootings of her new rôle on Newtown High.
Of course, there had to be one slave for her dirt work. And I had to be once more that poor little fellow..
Beck Oliver was already present.
I did not spot Jade West.
But she was around and watching jealously over Beck, in her usual corrupt manner.
That was for sure.
Ashley stumbled across Beck. She sighed deeply.
Beck wonered, "what's wrong, Ashley?"
The diva suspired. "I have to tell you something. Last time, I had not been tripped into your way. I was stumbling on purpose."
Beck gasped. "What?"
Ashley nodded. "Dustin had to pretend. Hewas paid for it." She sobbed.
Beck did not want to believe it. "Why would you do that on purpose?"
Ashley blushed. "because …"
I suspired and started talking for Ashley. "Ashley is in love with you, unlike Jade West."
Beck sighed. "Jade does what?"
Ashely blushed deeper and deeper.
Beck could not resist her. He wrapped his arms tightly around the little diva and caressed her tenderly.
Jade was now totally forgotten. Of course, the creepy goth girl would not react exactly in a kind manner.
But that was not my business.
Beck and Ashley were an absolutely cute Hollywood couple.
57.4. Drippin And Flumby[]
At first glance, Claire Sawyer had deemed the case of Chase and Michael hopeless. But then she had made an interesting discovery.
Toopher Lane. the producer plagiarised by Chase and Michael, had been using the words "flumby" and "drippin" in some of his works.
Those slang words had been created by Michael Barret, just a few weeks ago.
In other worse, there was an even worse case of plagiarism in the opposite direction.
Claire deemed that worthy of suing Topher Lane in turn.
In the end, both accusations were dropped.
Claire was a bit disappointed. But she had to move on.
Logan cut the Texan scenes from his DVD.
There was now no longer for getting Cookie upset.
Oh, there were still girls addicted to that DVD.
Too bad for Logan Reese: Stacey Dillsen was one of them.
Chapter 58. Doubt is like a mountain.
58.1. Charles Galloway
Quinn Pensky had been busy comforting Melinda Crenshaw over the pains of her heart for quite a few weeks.
This had prevented her from joining some stupid venture.
Chase Bartholomew Matthews, Michael Barret, Logan Reese, and my sister were studying national economy in the classes of Mr. Hotchins.
For Zoey, this was a very important class.
She needed excellent marks for her admission to the best colleges suited for law school.
Well, this was the case before the mind changing visit of Maximillian Madigan at Pacific Coast Academy.
But Mr. Hotchins, already eighty years old, was one mean and perverted teacher.
Good marks were almost impossible in his classes.
This had been the case already during his first years as a teacher at Pacific Coast Academy.
Many horrible legends abounded here and there.
This was normal after over fifty years.
But the most horrible legend involved a former student at Pacific Coast Academy known as Charles R. Galloway.
Charles had been one of the first pupils of Mr. Hotchins right here at this school.
During some of the classes, the evil teacher had shouted insanely at Charles Galloway.
The student had not been able handle it. He fled immediately off the campus and had never since been seen by anyone of note.
Nevertheless, the last rest of Charles Galloway was rumoured to be located in the nearby canyon of Redstone.
As imagined, this was a very barren region, reachable on foot from the campus of Pacific Coast Academy.
Logan Reese and Michael Barret had been hell bent on finding the wild tomb.
It was essentially just Logan's wish.
Of course, the creepy dandy had only got the most selfish interests. He wanted to have the exclusive rights for filming the true legend of Charles Galloway. He needed some proof for its autghenticity, probably some unique treasures from the tomb.
Zoey and Chase did not want to go through the trouble.
Lola had been ready to join the venture.
Some guy named Lafe Berkowitz[] had offered himself as a guide to Redstone Gulch. He was apparently some good kisser, according to one of Lola's litmus tests, such as the infamous apple criterium.
Lola had happily traded him for Spencer Carter ever since. She deemed the latter an infinitely much better kisser. But she wanted to be the main actress of a possible film about Charles Galloway, or at least seen on a picture with the tomb, just in order to become a trifle more famous.
But the whole field trip to the canyon had failed miserably due to their inept means of navigation.
Without the help of a variety of quinnventions, the crew was lost out in the wastelands.
Mindy was now no longer in despreate need of Quinn's support.
Thus Quinn could help the field trip.
Normal cellular phones did not work reliably in the wastelands.
But Japanese J-phones did, at least after some clever manipulation by the hands of tech freaks like Quinn Pensky. Of course they were still not legal in the United states. But after Quinn's modifications and tunings, they did no longer trigger fire alerts.
And there were no such thing as fire alerts in the desert of desolation, not even at Redstone Gulch or elsewhere in the wastelands near PCA.
I was still not at ease.
Where had those rumours come from?
Nobody had ever seen Charles Galloway die.
But everyone pretended to know the location of his death.
That was really scary.
And who had buried the deceased former Pacific Coast Academy student?
I could not handle the tension. I asked for Megan's help.
She would have raised Galloway from the dead, just as in the case of Doheny.
But Galloway's flesh had probably already decayed.
In anycase, Megan was now in San Diego and could not make it fast enough to Los Angeles to prevent the desert travelers from marching into their obvious doom.
I had thereupon consulted Malika.
She was unfortunately not proficient enough in the discipline of necromancy.
That was a pity.
But Malika could at least confirm my fears and doubts.
Was that any good?
Bothering the last rest of an unblessed tomb was indeed not unlikely to trigger the wild hunt.
The cursed tomb was guarded by an undead spirit of Charles Galloway.
But there was only one thing to do in order to save the campus of Pacific Coast Academy permanently from doom and gloom.
The undead spirit had to be banished into the abyss.
Malika knew one person able to do so.
And this was precisely Jade West. The goth girl had tattoed the seal of Solomon onto her right arm.
This was a pentagram, a star with five points.
It provided protection from the destructive powers of the undead and the fiends.
I sighed deeply.
Beck Oliver had been stolen from Jade West by Ashley Blake, a student of Pacific Coast Academy, with the help of mine, another student of Pacific Coast Academy.
So the chances of getting Jade West to banish a demon or ghost haunting our school were exactly what?
58.2. Mindy And Wayne
Mindy was no longer desperate. But she was still totally in love with Wayne and did not even dare to fess up because of his fear of girls.
Accoording to Malika, the fears must have had to do with one of his cousins known as "Lulu".
I had to talk to Wayne about it.
By the way, he had only accepted Mindy as the president because of wondergirl being an alien instead of an earthly human.
That was a bit weird, of course.
Making Wayne believe in Mindy's terrestrial humanity, while, at the same time taking his fears of her away from him, appeared like a task too much for little me.
Time was running out.
And there were those two overwhelming tasks left: Getting Jade to save Pacific Coast Academy and getting Wayne to like Mindy.
Chapter 59. Perfect Harmony
59.1. The Incredible Stench
Quinn Pensky was about makind some new invention, side by side with Mindy Crenshaw.
Their goal was a oral deodoriser.
Granted, the squirting oil invented in order to neutralise the bad order received from the skunk's glands had been really powerful. But it was not exactly meant to be incorporated in any way. It was not absolutely unlikely to cause permanent kidney failure, just like the fantabulous Peruvian power puff pepper.
Thus Quinn had to create some essence anew.
And this medication was to be presented in our web show.
Of course Quinn needed some test person.
Not really surprisingly, Samantha Puckett volunteered.
The job of the test person relied on eating lots of disgustingly smelly stuff, such as cheese, fish, and onions.
And it was excessively hard to think of anyone significantly better suited for this than our dear Trisha alias Sam.
Not long ago, Sam had conquered the world record of eating butter cakes.
Freddie counted down. "Online in five … four … three … two …" He was perversely superstitious and deemed the "one" totally uncool and used to leave it out.
Quinn distributed gas masks for the rest of us.
Otherwise, the stench of the rotten grocery products would have killed us slowly and painfully.
Lola swang a flag, indicating the start of Sam's eating frenzy. She did not look very cute with a gas mask.
But it had to be.
Sam devoured like a fury.
Unfortunately, someone had to smell the whole junk.
We had cast dice before the start of the show.
And the unlucky one was once again little me.
I sniffled briefly. Fortunately, I did not have to inhale.
Vut that was already enough to make me puke.
Sam remarked, "that's OK!" She grinned. "Fredward will clean uop the studio after the show."
Freddie wanted to protest.
But Quinn Pensky shut him up on site.
Sam cocluded, "OK, now I stink worse than a skunk." She glared at Freddie. "So, where is the deodoriser?"
Quinn grinned. She held some squirting flask aloft.
Sam shrugged. "Will this help?"
Quinn nodded. She held the container next to Sam's mouth and pulled a trigger.
Some nebulous fog shot forth from the flask and penetrated Sam's jaw.
Sam had to cough a bit.
Quinn forced me to sniffle again.
I sighed deeply, close my eyes and dared to open my nose next to Sam's mouth.
The stink was gone, indeed.
I sighed for excruciating relief.
Sam started cackling.
Quinn smiled triumphantly, but she wondered, "is that funny?"
Sam shook her head. But she continued laughing hysterically.
Was there no button to stop Sam's laughter?
The whole cackling noise was heres then a hoard of demons' laughter.
Sam started talking nonsense. "Where are my thumbs?" Actually, they were just hidden by her other fingers.
I told her about that fact.
Sam contunued laughing like a fool.
Lola was desperate. "I often wished to be able to laugh like that, in front of the running cans, for example."
Quinn nodded solemnly. "My deodoriser also seems to work as a laughing gas." She shrugged.
Sam could not stop laughing like a hyena and talking unrelated stuff. Finally, she said, "Freddie has got a hot butt!"
Lola protested. "Are you insane?" She grunted, "Freddie is a dweeb, right?"
Fredward gasped. "Now Sam is completely out of her head!"
Melanie might have said something like that. But she would never have eaten that much crap.
Maybe Melanie was the solution? As Samantha's twin sister, she was the most likely to know a secret getting Sam to stop laughing.
I decided to cal her on my cellular phone.
The infernal laughter went on and on.
Melanie was already on her way. She was watching the show and had started reacting faster.
That sounded totally promising.
Finally, Melanie walked in.
We were looking forward to her intervention.
Melanie nodded, leapt forward, and kissed Freddie straight on the lips.
Sam choke and thundered, "Melanie! How dare you!" She was apparently a hell of jealous.
At least her laughter had stopped on site.
And Sam had not been talking nonsense.
Melanie had seen that coming, by the way.
How was Freddie going to digest that?
There were already some viewers reactions.
Addie explained, "Chase may eat just anything. For me, he will always smell like nectar and ambrosia."
That was due to their perfect harmony.
Addie had been able to make the step from childhood idyll to her own perfect luck with Chase Bartholomew Matthews.
Was such a thing also possible for Freddie and Sam?
It seemed so incredibly hard to believe.
59.2. Hands On Nicole
Blix, the famous software vendor, used to tour ther Californian schools with a campaign. This year, they were connecting it with a contest.
The winner would be allowed to fly to place of his own choice with the Blix jet.
But Pacific Coast Academy was excluded from the tour.
This was because of the cancellation of the frenchise contracts.
Benjamin Singer had replaced Blix completely with Bristow Juices.
For most people, this was disappointing. They would have loved to win something.
So Nicole came down in order to give us some replacement for the contest by Blix.
The latter were ready to grant the flight to the one able to leave at least one hand on the Blix van for longer than anyone else.
Nicole's contest was totally similar.
But, instead of a van, Nicole required to be touched.
And only cute boys were admitted to the contest.
That sounded totally discriminatory.
The prize was one candle light dinner with Nicole.
Wasn't that a promising prize?
Unfortunately, Nicole's bimbo talk scared most of the cute guys away.
This includsed especially Logan Reese.
The dandy had worked hard on finding a place to be safe from Nicole.
Unfortunately, the place was already occupied with Stacey Dillsen.
The dismayed playboy screamed almost to death when pushed caught by the furious cotton swab queen.
Only one cute boy was able to touch Nicole for more than five seconds. And this happened to be aforementioned Nicholas Webber, the bimbo guy from the middle school dance.
Back then, they had annoyed each other. But today, after more than two years of awkward exoeriences with ugly people, they were sticking together as birds of a feather. They kept on dancing the whole day through.
That was almost as perfectly cute as Chase and Addie.
The dinner would be served by Kazu and Rose in Sushi Rox.
Chapter 60. The Pageant
60.1. The Announce
New posters adorned our campus. They had been made and distributed by no other than Logan Reese.
Logan announced the orgnisation of a beauty pageant for the high school girls at Pacific Coast Academy.
There would be but one referee.
Of course Logan Reese himself assumed that incredible burden.
Officially, the pageant served for Logan's College application.
What sort of college was that? It must have been some sort of a college for excessively perverted playboys.
But there were no girls at suuch a school.
And Logan would no longer be able at a school for boys only. Why did he need a college, anyways, as a future top model?
OK, many girls squealed for excitement upon the announce of a pageant.
The first prize was that of being on the cover opicture of one of the next editions of Buzz, a journal for excessively shallow teenage girls.
Lola read it regularly on a voluntary base. And she hardly ever read anything at all besides a few inevitable class assignements.
So, Buzz was her absolute favourite lecture. Well, it apparently consisted more in pictures than in text. It was just perfect for brainless girls.
Little wonder, Lola was hell bent on making it on the cover page. She expected from this more fame and more money, and better acting rôles, and thence even more fame and more bucks.
My sister was usually opposed to beauty pageants. "They are sexist!"
This was even more the case for pageants organised and arbitered by Logan Reese, the king of perverse playboys.
Unfortunately, Zoey seems to have change her mind on site.
This was eclusively the fault of one Katie Packerman[] .
The latter had been a student at Zoey's previous school. She had once claimed Zoey to be ugly. In other words, she was one mean lying rear opening.
And Zoey just had to sock it to her. She had hardly freed herself from the stupid duty of becoming a honourable politician. And now she was slipping into the next zombie like attitude.
And one thing made the whole crap even worse.
Zoey also welcomed the evil contest as an occasion to punish Lola for having incited Chase into the perversity of hiring Trina Vega.
Oops! Trina Vega was participating, too.
That spelled some royally fatal kind of trouble.
60.2. The Catwalk
The high school girls had to appear in fashionable outfits on the catwalk, marching past the one and only umpire, viz. Logan Reese.
Zoey had of course designed her own gown.
It was really cool.
But Logan was not a real appraiser of good fashion.
Our web show was reporting live from the event.
That was all Fredward's fault.
Well, Freddie had just read the opinions of our viewers.
Sam did not seem to feel very comfortable with that. As an elementary school kid, she had been participating in beauty pageants. Now she was embarrassed of that.
But I was not aware of this fact until much later.
Melanie Puckett participated in the whole mess quite naturally.
Addie refrained from doing so. "Logan will prefer Maris, anyways."
Maris Bingham was designing poutfits, too. But she had retired in last minutes, in favour of her friend Trina Vega.
Trina's outfit had obviously been designed by Maris as well. It was the loosest of all.
Melanie Puckett was the first girl on the catwalk.
Logan grinned. Could he tell Melanie from Sam?
But this harsdly mattered, anyways.
More girls started following.
Lola was one of the next.
Logan had already told her to choose her as the winner.
But she would have to kiss his lips in turn, in front of all of the pupils.
Lola was disgusted. But she did not take him serious there. "Logan makes many distasteful jokes."
Zoey was consternated. She wondered, "Where did Lola get her dress from?" She had expected worse from Lola.
The outfit was from some Hollywood taylor. It was for Newtown High.
Anyways, Lola would suck at the interview segment.
Or so assumed Zoey.
The worst walk had been that of Stacey Dillsen. She had worked so hard for the contest. But she just made Logan Reese puke on site.
Lola was of course the only one to ask the questions.
The girls just had to answer him.
Zoey expected the usual questions about hungry children or the global warming.
The latter was less likely.
Logan ony cared about the warmth of his whirlpool. Logan asked, "what would you fdo for peace in the world?"
Zoey had prepared a long sermon for this.
Her former political ambitions appeared to pay off for this pageant.
But Logan just yawned when listening to Zoey's answers.
Trina Vega was the next. She answered Logan's question with
I don't know.
War is not bad, is it ?
Well, ket the soldiers all look at me. They will be overwhelmed and pass out.
Logan grinned. "Finally someone understands me!"
Maris Bingham stuck three thumbs up for Trina. Oops, she had just got two of them.
But you get me, don't you?
Zoey looked a bit dumbfounded.
60.4. Talent Presentation
The last part of the pageant were the usual talent stuff.
Zoey had got many talents, of course. This time, she convinced with some modified hatha yoga exercises, wearing some self designed yoga cloth.
This was a big relief after Stacey's cotton swab acrobatics.
Lola was performing some monologue from one of Shakespeare's works. She was even convincing in a man's rôle, viz. as Hamlet. "Too be or not to be that is the question …"
Logan was not really convinced.
Melanie made some ballet performance.
Logan almost fell asleep.
The programme was finally concluded by Trina Vega.
The former fake girlfriend of Chase Bartholomew Matthews opened a modern belly dance.
The melody had been written by Wendy Gellar and by Michael Barret.
But Trina had not informed them beforehand. They looked aghast.
Wendy had worked so hard on finding her own stuyle instead odf slavishly following her duty as Drake's number one fan. And now she saw her song used by someone bowing mindlessly to the expectations of Logan Reese, the jerk of jerks.
That did not sound nice.
Trina's outfit for the dance was even more loose than that worn for the catwalk.
Increasingly horny Logan Reese, on the other hand, watched Trina with excessive glee.
60.5. The Award
After all, the winner was easy to choose for Logan.
Trina Vega was the one to make it to the cover page of the next Buzz.
Both Lola and Zoey were excessively disappointed.
Stacey Dillsen broke into tears.
But that was absolutely well deserved.
Pageants just weren't meant for Stacey.
Maris and Trina high fived, crying "burn!"
Wendy and Michael were disappointed once more.
The song played for the winner was Sweet Victory[] , their composition, with lyrics by Chase and Addie.
Zoey had to puke now. She had never been feeling that much humiliated.
Michael and Wendy held each other closely. They would now concentrate of finding more talents.
Soon, Michael would be well known as the song writer fror freshly discovered supertalent David R. Couleda[] .
Nothing would stop the two of them anymore.
Chapter 61. Inner Wealth
61.1. Air Bra
Quinn Pensky has now come up with yet another invention.
This time, it was an air bra, basically an inflatable bra used like an air bag in order to moderate the impact or crashes.
Lola Martinez was interested in that thing. She did not think about its proper purpose. She wanted to make her frontal curves appear bigger, especially to movie producers and tabloid journalists.
This would potentially increase her fame and popularity by a lot.
But Lola needed to find a way in order to pay Quinn.
Most of her bucks earned as an actress and dancer were frozen on some account only accessible after Lola's eighteenth birthday.
Some other students, on the other hand, did have less problems spending higher …
61.2. The Half A Million Dollar Car
Logan Reese, for example, showed up with a car worth several hundred thousands of bucks.
This was insane.
And he had always failed the test for the drivers' license, due to giving stupid answers to questions about the traffic rules and security, and because of irresponsible demeanour in the practical tests.
According to Logan, expensive cars had got an automatically built-in priority at any sort of crossing.
In addirtion, the mirrors in the car served exclusively for checking the looks of the driver bound for a date with girls or some event with paparazzi.
To his fellow pupils, Logan lied by making himself younger than sixteen. He woulkd always be "fifteen".
But his expensive car served a purpose, viz. hitting on girls, very well.
One of his unadmitted girlfriends, Mercedes Griffin, had similarly wasted that much money for jewels and makeup. She wanted to trump his wasteful demeanou by showing off her own financial capacities.
His father, Malcolm Reese, had definitely not expected Logan to waste that much.
The same was valid for Mr. Griffin.
As a consequence, the rich spoiled kids got their credit cards withdrawn on site.
This was also quite some shock for certain other spoiled rich kids.
61.3. Ashley And Beck
Both Ashley Blake and Beck Oliver had been of a similar material background as Logan Reese, just not as extreme.
For that reason, the news about the treatment of the dandy of the county were somewhat consternating.
Ashley wondered, "would Beck like me even without the bucks?"
I sighed deeply. Did I have to answer that question? I scratched my head. "Erm …" I started panting heavily.
Ashley was staring around, growing more and more impatient.
I really could not answer.
But there was maybe a way to find out.
The drama club was about performing a modernised form of Lohengrin by no other than Richard Wagner.
The tunes have been improved and upgraded by Wendy Gellar and Michael Barret.
The lyrics have been overall straightened out by Addie Singer and Chase bartholomew Matthews.
The Pacific Coast Academy version of Lohengrin still contained the romantic bridal chorus.
Of course, Ashley and Beck were still more than half a decade from being actually able to marry.
But they could exchange promise rings.
A play wedding working as a real life promise ceremony seemed perfect for the fledgling Hollywood giants.
In such an atmosphere, even Beck and Ashley would show their true minds.
61.4. Faithful And True
And this was the day of the big performance.
Beck was actually allowed to give a guest performance in a Pacific Coast Academy school play.
Ashley and Beck were the couple of Lohengrin.
Megan Parker was here, too. She was rigged and ready to blow the chorus on her oboe.
Stuffing Vince Blake into a slighty too small swan costume was not easy.
He was moaning a lot.
But it had to be,
Lola explained, "it's the only swan costume in our theatre storage." She sighed deeply.
The boat of the champion was to be drawn by said swan.
And with Vince, it was a real turbo swan.
The football star had got a hard time believing in the possibility of a boy liking Ashley for anything but their family's contacts and bucks.
Today, this was going to be tested.
Fredward Benson was responsible for the illumination and the accoustics of the stage. He counted down the seconds. "The curtain goes up in five … four … three … two …"
I was responsible for cleaning the mess after the performance.
Dean Rivers had not been really convinced of my idea. He was watching sternly.
Zoey had made some of the xcostumes, supported by her faithful assistant Olivary Biallo alias Jerome Crony.
Robbie Carmichael had been forced to sing the chorus along with me.
Megan's oboe filled the air of the big hall of Pacific Coast Academy with lovely music.
Faithful and True
We lead you forth
Where love's triumphant
Shall crown you with joy.
Star of renown
Flower of earth.
Blessed be both of you
far from life's annoy!
Vince coughed and moaned in his swan costume.
The performance proper went on smoothly.
Enshrine you with bliss!
Splendor and state
In joy you dismiss!
Finally, the proper performance was over.
Beck's character had returned to Avalon.
Vince burst forth from his swan's costume.
Cheerleader Makeout Mandy chuckled playfully. "Now he's just the usual ugly duckling."
Vince grunted and chased his beloved head cheerio across the stage. He finally caughed her.
The two of them started smooching.
Ashley and Beck did not really care.
According to Wagner, the groom disappeared because of too many useless questions asked by the maid, violating her original promise.
But here in Chase and Addie's version, the groom was willing to return, but expecting some new promises.
And this was now the live reality part of the play.
Ashley and Beck promised solemnly until each other to respect and love each other due to their commonly discovered inner wealth, for always and ever.
Vince, on te other hand, swore to never wear a swan's costume again.
Jade had been watching the whole scene in disgust, But now she broke into tears. Soon thereafter, she would banish the ghost of Charles Galloway and restore the eternal peace at Pacific Coast Academy.
The promise rings were just cotton swab imitations, but carefully crafted by, of course, Stacey Dillsen.
Dean Rivers almost passed out for awe.
I sighed deeply for relief.
Things may have turned out a lot worse.
I hi fived with Megan and her oboe. "That was cutem wasn't it?"
Megan smiled sweetly. "Our day will surely come …"
Chapter 62. Finale
Mindy was still disturbed by her excruciatingly dangerous feeling for Wayne.
And now there was one of her possibly last chances.
Mindy was about to graduate and mobve away to the headquarters of the NASA for something as cool as a research internship.
The war robot league still existedm, but it was no longer featuring the mutual total destruction of the opponents.
This had been Quinn Pensky's achievement.
Rather, the robots had to fight their way across some obstacle course, destroying the stuff in their way as it goes.
Just like two years ago, the three best teams of California were qualified for the big finale. These included, once more, the teams of Pacific Coast Academy, that of Belleview and finally that of James K. Polk.
The respective names of the combat droids were again the "Quinnterruptor", the "Blonowitzer" and the "Worminator".
But the robots had been reconstructed several times since the last royal battle.
The referee was this time around aforementioned Mr. Jamerson.
The obstacle gauntlets was very tricky, chock full with traps, testing the defensive and evasive abilities of the roboyt teams.
Fredward Benson made a few remarks when visiting the details. He took close pictures of some of the obstacles. "This point will be very critical!"
Samantha already anticipated the impending destruction. "I love explosions!"
Freddie glared aghast.
Sam pulled Freddie's panties, making him squeal. Then she chuckled merrily. "My future husband still needs to feel some mental and ohysical pain."
After having been defeated by Quinn and Mindy, Wayne had almost given up on robots. But he was going to watch, anyways.
His brain was on fire, remembering the good old times of the science club restricted to boys only.
But those times were buried in the past forever, destroyed by a laser cannon built by two of the absolutely greatest power geek girls ever.
Wayne was not sure whether to cheer for the girls, or whether to sulk into a corner and close his eyes.
Eric Blonowitz, patron of the "Blonowitzer", adjusted his machine. He was the first to send the robot across the challenging gauntlets.
Each robot had to do that twice.
The order of the robots was reversed between those two legs.
Lola Martinez was about to swing the flag.
Eric grinned. "Hey , hottie, would you join me for a cup of coffee after the combat?"
Lola felt throwing up. She choked violently. But finally she was able to swing the plaid banner. But she could not refrain from poking Eric's butt with the tip of the glag staff, making hin squeal in agony.
Maybe this costed a few seconds.
Finally, the "Blonowitzer was running nicely."
Stacey Dillsen came along. "Hey! Wait for me!" She was carrying a cotton swab model of a battle robot in her arms. "This is the trophy for the winner!"
Unfortunately, not all of the participants were exactly fans of cotton swab sculptures.
Eric did at least not yet care. He was very busy with the course.
Albert Wormenheimer from James K. Polk was already preparing the start of the worminator.
The "Blonowitzer" was on the last yard. It had been hit by falling rocks and dropped into an acid pool.
The navigation was now a bit crazy.
Josh Nichols yelled for his navigator.
Finally, the time was over.
But Eric was not sure about his ability to repair the robot for the second leg.
Things looked very bad for Team belleview.
The traps had to be relocked and reloaded.
Now it was time for Albwert Wormenheimer's demonstration of his skills as a robot commander.
Simon Nelson Cooke stood close by his side.
Evelyn Kwong yelled from the background.
The kids from Santa Clarita had watched their first opponent closely and knew now better about the traps.
This was the reason for the reversed order in the second leg, with an obstacle course built anew.
The time did not look too bad.
Quinn and Mindy were already sweating.
The "Worminator was reaching the goal line."
Mindy and Quinn knocked on wood, actually on plastic.
Quinn took the remote control after having asked Mindy for one last time. She needed to be a trifle faster. Otherwise she would have been in a bad position, given the reversed order of the second leg.
Mindy closed her eyes for excitement.
Quinn told her to stay awake.
Mindy shivered a tinsy little bit.
Then the race was on.
Lola stuck two thumbs up when leaving the starting line with her flag. "Those guys are incredible dweebs."
Quinn replied, "Hot guys don't become nerds."
Lola sighed deeply.
The "Quinnterruptor" made its way across the parcours. smashing obstacles left and right.
Jamerson took the time.
Mindy steered towards a new record time.
But it was not all that much better.
The suspense was retained for the second leg.
Eric and Josh walked up to the umpire. They had to retire. "Our droid is beyond repair!"
Stacey walked in. "Hey! Don't you at least want a consolation prize?" She held a cotton swab model of the Blonowitzer aloft.
Josh guessed, "It must have taken you quite some time." he remembered many attemppts of creating something artistic.
But Drake used to mess it up.
I am Stacey Dillsen from Swampscott in Massachusetts.
My sister Suzanne works as a nurse at St. Steve Hospital in Mississippi.
My hobbies are acrobatics, astronomy …
Eric's eyes flashed.
He replied, "you like to watch stars? Have you got a telescope?"
Stacey nodded solemnly. "My favourite stars are Saturn, Sirius, …" She grabbed Eric and guided him away. "Maybe we can watch some shooting stars tonight."
Eric smiled. "Your eyes are the brightest stars around."
Stacey replied, "do you think so?"
They disappeared from sight. They were certainly one cute couple of stargazers.
Then I heard Megan's voice next to me. "Hi sweetie!"
Megan smiled. "Oh, hi, come on!" She whispered, "let's go to the girls' toilets!" She was just joking, of course.
We were now watching the second leg.
Mindy made a fantastic race, inspitwe of being the first in this leg.
Wayne cackled when watching from the sidelines.
Sam made loads of stupid comments.
But I did not care.
Mindy asked Wayne. "How was this?" She walked up to him.
Wayne shrugged and tried to stammer some reply.
I remembered now the great words of Evelyn Kwong during the previous royal battle. I closed my eyes, suspired, and thundered at Wayne, "Kiss her, you dork! You do like yer! You know it!" I kicked his rear muscles.
At the same time, Megan pinched Mindy, making her stumble slightly forward.
Wayne and Mindy fell into each other's arms. They wrapped their arms tightly around the other.
Wayne's fear was now all forgotten.
I hi-fived Megan.
That was overdue.
Albert had already started steering the "Worminator" across the gauntlet.
This did not look too bad.
But was the droid faster than Mindy's and Quinn's?
It was certainly close.
The robot was close to the goal.
But the clock was almost up.
We looked at the clock.
Jamerson announced, "It's a tie!"
Quinn and Albert looked at each other in a disbelieving manner.
Quinn asked her opponent, "how did you calculate the trajectories so fast?"
Albert started talking about the differential equations used for his ballistics.
Quinn mentioned her computer system. "Quinndoze may implement your algorthm like thrice as fast!"
Albert gasped. "I want tro see that!"
Quinn nodded. "Come to my laptop!"
The cute nerd couple walked silently away, talking about cool algorithms for navigating robots.
Sam had finally found the way to the next food booth.
I was now left alone on the campous backyard with Megan.
We were holding hands.
Megan grinned. "Have you watched your cards lately?"
I almost had forgotten aboiut them since my big achievement of being no longer "Zoey's little brother".
The minor cards are divided in four serious.
The cards with the clubs show the way of Wendy Gellar form a slave of her obsession with Drake to a free develeopment of her own willpower.
Those with the coins show Ashley Blake's way from her blind reliance on outer wealth and fame to exploring her inner wealth.
The cards wit the cups asketch Adelaide's way from her given childood idyll back at home to her discovered harmony with Chase.
And the swords deppict Mindy "Wonder Girl" Crenshaw's walk from her cold intellect to her new, higher reason, shared with Wayne.
And you have guided them through all this, after having found your own destiny.
My eyes bugged out.
So many destinies had been fulfilled since my first encounter with Megan.
That was realling astonishing.
Now she pulled me into a very close hug. "Close your eyes, close your mind, and do't say anything!"
[ ]This star of Drake & Josh is identified with Carly Shay from iCarly and Paige Howard from Zoey 101 : Paige At PCA
[ ]from Drake & Josh : Little Diva
[ ]star of Unfabulous
identified with same actress's cameo as Addie in Drake & Josh : Honour Council
[ ]Drake's stalking fan from Drake & Josh : Number One Fan
Surname and later character traits are taken from same actress's rôle in Camp Rock
[ ]Jerry Crony is frequently shown as a member of a bully gand and the textile creation club in Ned's Declassified SSG.
He is here identified with Olivary Biallo, viz. Michael Barret's male dance partner from Zoey 101 : School Dance.
[ ]from various Ned's Declassified SSG episodes
[ ]Spencer is from Ned's Declassified SSG : School Plays.
The surname is from same actor's cameo in one episode of Amanda Show.
Do not confuse him with Spencer Shay from iCarly!
[ ]from Big Time Rush : Big Time Party.
She's identified with "Missy Meany" from Ned's Declassified SSG.
[ ]This recurring character from Zoey 101 is here identified with same actress's cameo in iCarly : iStart A Fanwar
[ ]This occasional Drake & Josh - character is identified with same actor's character from iCarly : iStart A Fanwar
[ ]from Zoey 101 : School Dance
[ ]from Ned's Declassified SSG.
The surname is from same actress's character in some third-party owne show.
[ ]according to Zoey 101 : Robot Wars, Zoey was born there.
[ ]various cameos in Drake & Josh
The actor is the same as that of Zoey's and Dustin's father in Zoey 101 : Pilot.
[ ]cameo in Zoey 101 : Pilot et al.
[ ]cameo in Zoey 101 : Bad Girl
[ ]from Zoey 101 : Defending Dustin
He is identified with same actor's cameo as Cleeshay in iCarly : iFence
[ ]from iCarly: iLook Alike
[ ]mentioned in Zoey 101 : Defending Dustin
[ ]cameo in Zoey 101 : Bad Girl
[ ]mentioned in Zoey 101 : Webcam
[ ]from Ned's Declassified SSG : Speller Bees
[ ]mentioned several times in Drake & Josh, fourth season
[ ]from Zoey 101 : The Play
[ ]cameo in Victorious : Tori The Zombie
[ ]from Zoey 101 : Robot Wars
[ ]Watch out, bull fighter!
It's an Aria from Georges Buzet;s opera Carmen.
[ ]from Zoey 101 : A date For Quinn
[ ]This star of Drake & Josh is here identified with same actor's guest rôle from Zoey 101 : Spring Fling
[ ]cameo in Drake & Josh : The Guitar
[ ]from iCarly : iAm Your Biggest Fan, identified with same actors' rôles in Zoey 101 : Chasing Zoey.
[ ]third-party owned song by Drake Bell
[ ]mentioned in Big Time Rush : Big Time Break
[ ]from Just Jordan
[ ]from Zoey 101 : School Dance
[ ]identifies Suzie Crabgrass from Ned's Declassified SSG with some anonymous cameo of the same actress in Zoey 101 : School Dance.
[ ]Trina Vega from Victorious, identified with Rebecca from Zoey 101 : Chase's Girlfriend et al. and with same actress's anonymous cameo in iCarly : iPsycho.
[ ]cameo in Drake & Josh : Treehouse, identified with same actor's cameo in Zoey 101 : Favor Chain as "Scooter"
[ ]cf. Zoey 101 : Back At PCA
[ ]from Zoey 101 : Haunted House
[ ]cf. Zoey 101 : Little Beach Party
[ ]third-party owned book by Frank Baum
[ ]from Zoey 101 : Bad Girl
She is identified with same actress's co-star rôle as Samantha Puckett in iCarly
[ ]cameo in Zoey 101 : Bad Girl
[ ]from iCarly : iTwins
[ ]cameo in Big Time Rush : Big Time Break
[ ]from iCarly : iGo Nuclear
[ ]This identifies Sandy Balwwin from Zoey 101 : Lola Likes Chase with Katie from Drake & Josh : Megan's New Teacher
[ ]from Zoey 101 : Lola Likes Chase
[ ]various cameos in Ned's Declassified SSG
He is identified with same actor's cameo in Drake & Josh : Foam Finger
[ ]cf. Drake & Josh : Drake and Josh go Hollywood
[ ]according to Zoey 101 : Chasing Zoey, Mr. Brooks knows the chief of the branch on Maui
[ ]mentioned in Drake & Josh : Drake and Josh go Hollywood
[ ]various cameos in Victorious
[ ]cf. Drake & Josh : Drake and Josh go Hollywood
[ ]from Big Time Rush : Big Time Life
[ ]from Zoey 101 : Spring Fling
[ ]cf. Drake & Josh : Sheep Thrills
[ ]cf. Zoey 101 : Quinn Misses The Mark
[ ]from Zoey 101 : iFight Shelby Marx
[ ]cf. iCarly : iRock The Votes.
[ ]This identifies Crazy Steve from Drake & Josh with Quincy Johnson from Best Player
[ ]from Big Time Rush : Big Time Party.
[ ]cameo in Drake & Josh : Little Diva
[ ]Peggy is from Big Time Rush : Big Time Crush.
The surname is taken from a different rôle of the same actress in some third-party owned show.
[ ]cf. Drake & Josh : The Storm and Unfabulous : The Book Club.
[ ]from Zoey 101 : Dance Contest and Zoey 101 : Coffee Cart Ban
[ ]mentioned in various episodes of Drake & Josh
[ ]movie mentioned in Big Time Rush : Big Time Breakup
[ ]cameos in Drake & Josh : The Battle Of Panthatar and iCarly : iCook
[ ]cameos in Zoey 101 : Zoey's Tutor and Zoey 101 : Michael Loves Lisa
[ ]cf. Drake & Josh : Megan's New Teacher
[ ]cf. Drake & Josh : The Great Doheny
[ ]Move along, oh thought, on golden wings, go and settle down on the hills and ridges!
[ ]cf. e.g. Edward H. Davidson Poe : A Critical Study, Cambridge, 1957
[ ]A "Makeout Mandy" is mentioned in Zoey 101 : Chasing Zoey. She is here identified with Mandy the cheerleader, a cameo in Drake & Josh : Football.
[ ]This is Carly from Drake & Josh : Who's got game? and The Storm.
The surname is chosen according to a rôle by the same actress in third party owned show Men Of A Certain Age
[ ]star of Best Player
[ ]This is Ash from Best Player.
The surname is taken from same actor's guest rôle in one episode of The Troop, yet another show by Nickelodeon
[ ]cf, Drake & Josh : Peruvian Puff Pepper
[ ]from True Jackson VP : Amanda Hires A Pink
[ ]various cameos in Unfabulous
[ ]from Best Player
[ ]cameo in Zoey 101 : School Dance
[ ]cameo in Zoey 101 : Dead Alpaca
[ ]from True Jackson VP : Red Carpet
[ ]cameos in iCarly : iFix A Pop Star et alibi.
[ ]Sheldon is from Best Player
The surname is taken from a rôle of the same actor in third-party owned movie Swingtown.
[ ]star of Shredderman Rules
[ ]Timothy Turner, Denzel Crocker, Tootie, and the town of Dimsdale are from Fairly Odd Movie.
[ ]mentioned in iCarly : iSaves Your Life
[ ]cf. Zoey 101 : Zoey's Balloon
The title of the song is a spoof off third-party owned Macarena by De Los Rios.
Properly, a Macarena is a girl from a certain region in Spain.
"Macalana" is here understood in the same sense, but no actual region in real Spain is intended.
[ ]Golden harp of the prophets, why do you hang silently like a willow? Rekindle the memories in our chest, tell us about the times gone by.
[ ]cf. Unfabulous : The Birthday
[ ]This is really "Magic" Malika from iCarly : iSpeed Date.
The surname is taken from a cameo rôle of the same actress in some third-party owned show Drop Dead Diva.
[ ]allusion to the title song of Victorious
[ ]Hail PCA and Dustin Brooks, ruler over the sacred beach. Let's soar solemn hymns. Hail Dustin!
[ ]Let lotus and laurel intertwine in the winner's crown! Let a gentle cloud of flowers veil the arms!
[ ]Let's dance, daughters of PCA, the mystic carols, just like the stars in the sky dance around the sun!
[ ]from iCarly : iSpace Out
[ ]mentioned in iCarly : iStart A Fan War
[ ]from True Jackson VP : True's New Assistant
[ ]cameos in Zoey 101 : Paige At PCA and Roller Coaster
[ ]mentioned occasionally in Drake & Josh
[ ]from Unfabulous : Braces
[ ]bameo in True Jackson VP : True Concert.
It's a spoof off Justin Bieber.
[ ]from Spectacular!
[ ]cf. Zoey 101 : Walkathon
[ ]from True Jackson VP : Red Carpet
[ ]from Zoey 101 : Quarantine
The surname is taken from the rôle of the same actress in third-party owned S
[ ]This identifies the radio from Zoey 101 : The Radio with that from Zoey 101 : New Roomies.
[ ]from Zoey 101 : Dance Contest
[ ]third-party owned song by Runrig
Title means "midnight at the anchorage"
[ ]from True Jackson VP : True Parade
[ ]mentioned in Zoey 101 : Favor Chain
[ ]This identifies Freddie Benson fom iCarly with same actor's cameo in Drake & Josh : The Battle Of Panthatar
The cameo is anonymous, but in some places credited as Toplin.
[ ]alludes to the same actress's guest rôle in third-party owned show Smallville.
[ ]from Drake & Josh : The Gary Grill
[ ]cf. iCarly : iWant A Record
[ ]Mexican folk song
[ ]From the Sierra Nevada, oh sweet little sky, a pair of black little eyes comes down in the way of bandits.
[ ]Sing and don't weep! For hearts lighten up by means of singing.
[ ]cf. iCarly : iChristmas
[ ]cf. Ned's Declassified SSG : Lost And Found
[ ]cf. Zoey 101 : Drippin
[ ]Lafe is from Zoey 101 : The Curse Of PCA.
The family name is from same actor's guest rôle in some third party owned movie.
[ ]mentionied in Zoey 101 : Miss PCA
[ ]really from some episode of third party owned cartoon show Spongebob Squarepants.
[ ]from iCarly : iRock The Votes
spoof off David Archuleta