Zenon skidded down the hall, desperately trying to avoid getting detention- this was her last tardy her holographic teacher would tolerate.

And she slammed into the closed elevator doors. "Ow," she moaned, rubbing her nose. "Vega omega, I'm gonna be so late!" she squealed, and pressed the button repeatedly.

Frustrated by the slowness of the instant transporter, she groaned and hiked up the stairs when a beep on her pager made her halt and dig for it in her backpack. Nebula's face greeted her.

"Z, I-"Nebula began when Zenon interrupted her. "Not now, Neb, I need to get to class I'm already late. Speaking of which, why aren't you there? Never mind." And with that, Zenon clicked it off.

But she was still late for class.

Later that afternoon, Zenon sat in her seat at detention, eyeing the locked door gloomily. They had even taped up the ventilation shaft so she couldn't escape through there. Bored, she got out her video phone and dialed Nebula's number.

"Hello," came a hoarse voice. "Nebula, sorry I-"Zenon stopped, shocked. Neb's face was completely red and her eyes were swollen. "Neb, what happened?" she exclaimed.

"I tried to tell you this morning!" Nebula exclaimed, wiping some wetness from her eye. "But you couldn't talk." "I can now," Zenon consoled her friend. "What's wrong?"

Tears sprang to Nebula's eyes again. "Joey dumped me!" she cried, almost dropping the video phone. "He said he wasn't ready for a girlfriend and besides there was this girl who went to his school, and she was closer and prettier and smarter and-"

"Neb!" Zenon exclaimed, starting to cry too, "you are way prettier and smarter than that girl is, I'm sure! You're way stellar! And if that guy can't see it, then his loss! Why should you let him ruin your life?"

"Because I love him, Z," Nebula whispered. "Can't you understand that? I just got rejected! You have no idea how bad that stings."

"Oh, Neb," Zenon whispered, feeling hopeless. If Nebula had been on the Spay-Stay, she would have just hugged her, but she couldn't over the video phone. The sound of Nebula's quiet weeping filled the room as Zenon sat in silence, unable to help.

"Zenon, sit down," her mom said. "Uh-oh," Zenon said immediately. "This is bad. What happened?"

Her parents looked at one another, apparently nervous to tell their daughter the news. "Honey," her dad said hesitantly. "We've made a decision." "Your Aunt Judy called today," her mom continued, her eyes looking worried, "and we decided that you aren't doing very well here."

"Mom, Dad," Zenon said, her eyes darting from one to the other, "what are you thinking?"

"You're not doing as well as you can here on the Spay-Stay," her dad explained. "So...we decided that it would benefit you if you went to stay with your aunt Judy for a while down on...Earth."

"Earth? EARTH!!!!!" Zenon exclaimed. "Mom, Dad, no offense, but-been there, done that. I didn't do so well in their schools there either."

"That was a public school," her mom said. "We're sending you to...boarding school."

"BOARDING SCHOOL?!?" Zenon shrieked. "HOW CAN YOU SEND ME TO BOARDING SCHOOL??? THEY MAKE YOU WEAR UNIFORMS AND SHARE A DORM WITH ANOTHER GIRL AND...AND..." "And you would benefit there," her dad said firmly.

"You leave within the week," her mom said, trying to sound confident. "This could be a good learning experience for you. You'll be with Judy on the weekends."

Zenon looked at her parents, looked up at the ceiling, closed her eyes and screamed a scream that reverberated throughout the Spay-Stay-and kept on screaming.

This could not be happening to her.

This could not be happening to her.

"Oh, my gosh," she realized with a start. "It is happening to me!!"