Two weeks after Peter Peach's arrest.
Alex Rider was sitting in Mr Donovan's maths class, trying to listen to what he was being taught, and failing miserably. He was falling asleep in class, when the phone he was given for the assignment beeped.
Alex looked at the Caller ID.
"Sorry sir," he apologized. "It's Professor Eppes."
Mr Donovan nodded in acknowledgement, just managing to keep a smile off his face.
"Hello," Alex answered the phone.
"How's life?" Charlie asked.
"Perfect Professor," Alex replied.
"Charlie," he corrected Alex's address automatically.
"Just perfect Charlie," Alex repeated, knowing that Charlie would have a hard time not correcting his response. Nothing was perfect; nothing could ever be perfect, except the golden ratio.
"Keeping your math skills up?" Charlie asked conversationally.
"Yes Charlie, particularly as I'm in maths class right now," Alex answered, conscious of the class watching him.
"All the equations?"
"No, not yet."
"Don't worry. I'll teach you over the net at eight tonight, your time."
"Thanks Professor. I've got to get back now. The class is staring at me."
"Ummm…Sure Alex. Talk to you later," Charlie replied and hung up.
Alex did the same on his side.
"Sorry sir," he repeated.
"That's fine by me. Professor Eppes is renowned for his enthusiasm," Mr Donovan answered and continued teaching.
"That was quick," Don said, watching his brother hang up the phone. "I'd have expected you to talk to Alex for hours yet, before I had my go."
"Well, he was in class," Charlie answered. "Math class."
Alex had tuned out of class once more, thinking back to the debriefing Blunt and Jones had given him when he had returned to England.
"Good job Alex," Blunt had said. "It seems like you've formed a strong relationship with the Eppes brothers."
"We kinda had to, and we did get on well," Alex replied.
"You did very well Alex," Mrs Jones reinforced.
"Yes, very well, even if Munchie did get blown up. I'm not happy about it. And Peach was captured alive," Blunt agreed.
"And we don't have to give you a medical certificate this time," Mrs Jones added.
"The reason for your quick return here, is that you met a teacher that bullied you around. You injured him whilst defending yourself, and it was cleared up while you were still on the plane home. The teacher was then arrested and fired. None of this will be added to your public file," Blunt said.
"Thanks," Alex replied. He didn't think how he could explain it to his friends if they asked.
"And Colin. Remember him?" Mrs Jones asked.
Alex nodded. Colin was the guy that started off all of this. The guy that had taken the class hostage.
"He got into the school by getting a visitor's pass from the school secretary. She thought he was the probationary new computer technician, there for the job interview," Mrs Jones continued. "Thought you might like to know."
"Thanks," Alex repeated.
"Once again Alex, you did a wonderful job," Mrs Jones congratulated whilst Blunt just nodded in agreement.
Alex had left then returned to school the day after.
"Alex!" Tom Harris hissed, breaking into his thoughts.
"Yes Tom?" Alex asked.
Tom just jerked his head at the head teacher standing in front of the classroom in response.
"Sorry sir," Alex apologized. "Just tired."
"Understandable, considering…," Mr Bray – the head teacher – said. "So Alex, what's the answer to question two on the board?"
Alex looked up at the blackboard, taking all the figures and diagrams.
"The square root of two," he answered within thirty seconds.
Mr Bray looked at Mr Donovan, who nodded.
When the day finally ended, Alex headed home.
"Hi Jack!" he yelled into the house at Chelsea. "I'm back!"
To which Jack Starbright, his housekeeper and close friend responded.
A/N: Thanks for all of you who have kept with me throughout the journey, and have had the patience for this story. Thanks for all of those that have reviewed and given their support and words of encouragement. I hope I have answered all your queries, and cleared up all the confusing sections of the story along the way, if not, just give me a yell.
As for the disclaimer, for those that are wondering, it is just the standard: the characters belong…and ya di da di da… you all know how the rest goes.
The sciency stuff was made up, I don't even know if it is true or not.
I hope that my lack of interaction with you, my dear readers, didn't cause any offence.
Well, I hope to see you next time.