When I'm gone. When I'm gone. You're gonna miss me when I'm gone. You're gonna miss me by my hair, you're gonna miss me everywhere Oh. You're gonna miss me when I'm gone.{Anna Kendrick/Lulu and the lampshades - Cups}

Chapter One
The Glass Dome

Sam Manson stared up at the computer generated clouds and scowled. Everything in AmityPark, from the snobby kids at school to the artificial rain outside, was absolutely fake. Centuries ago, some moron by the name of Vlad Masters decided that they were better off without wild life, so the town created a glass dome around the entire city where illusions of reality stained the air. And thanks to the blooming technological era, Masters was able to be preserved somewhere in city hall. At least, that's what rumors spread around Casper High said, and every year the stories were less and less creative.

The seventeen year old reached a pale, delicate hand out the window, not the least bit surprised when the light rain disintegrated into tiny pixilated particles. After all, the citizens could not be worried about getting wet in a perfect world. Nature was an inconvenience; therefore, it was deposed of.

"You know," Valarie drawled over a virtual textbook, playing with the dark curls she had pulled into a high bun, "we could have been done by now if you'd just let me see your answers."

"It's called independent study for a reason." Sam pulled her hand back inside, leaving the window wide open. Her floor length dress, which she detested for being a ball gown, swished as she turned. Once she faced Valerie, she sent her a playful smirk. "What kind of friend would I be if I gave you all the answers?"

"Uh...The good kind," Valerie grumbled, glaring at the text floating in front of her. "I hate history! Why do we have to learn about something that's already happened?"

"So we don't make the same mistakes twice?"

Valerie made a face, picking at the black gloves that went along with her red ball gown. "It's common sense if you ask me." She commanded "off" to the screen in front of her. The pixels immediately evaporated into the air. "So, what did you do?" She glanced at Sam across the room.

Sam raised an eyebrow. "What?"

"No one gets into Casper High without doing something to upset the law." She smiled in a sarcastic way. "We're the scum of Amity Park."

Sam was quiet, listening to the fake rain hit the roof in fake droplets. Valerie rolled her eyes. "Nothing stays a secret here, okay? So you might as well fess up. It's better I hear it from you than someone else."

She considered her words and murmured, "I'm not a big fan of technology."

"So you're a Virus." Valerie shook her index finger, reciting the term like a vocab. word. "Someone who thinks we're better off without machines. Every man for himself, right?"

"Not exactly. It's just...nothing's real here. Not the plants, not the rain, not even the air. I've been living in a dream for far too long."

Valerie snorted. "So you want to wake up? Live in a reality that only provides a fifty fifty chance? It's an absolute nightmare out there."

"But at least it's real."

She couldn't help but roll her eyes. "No matter how real the world might be outside the glass dome, people will continue to be fake. Society is made up of a bunch of conforming idiots who only care about their wealth." Valerie eyed the opening beside Sam. "And close the window! Just because we can't get wet doesn't make the sound any less annoying!"

The soft pitter patter was unusually loud today. Sam walked over to the window and closed it, securing the latch.

"So," Sam turned around to face her new friend, "why are you here?"

Lightning struck outside, lighting the contours of Sam's slim silhouette. Thunder cracked like a rocket explosion; a prerecorded sound played over the main intercom. Both girls turned to the window, watching as the sky changed from light to dark. Gray storm clouds filled the air, forming a gloomy atmosphere.

The lights flickered before everything went a soft black. Valerie screeched and the sound of falling chairs followed.

"Val?" Sam called into the darkness. "Are you okay?"

"Does it sound like I'm okay?" Sam's eyes had adjusted just enough to see a dark figure lying on the ground. "You could help me up, you know."

Sam rolled her eyes and reached out her hand, pulling Valerie up. "I think there's a power outage."

Valerie blinked. "A what?"

"The main generator must be malfunctioning. If we can find a fuse box, I might be able to get this place running." She began making her way over to her schoolbag.

"Uh, you lost me again." Valerie blindly followed Sam around the room. The rain pounded against the windows, making both girls recoil in fear.

Sam dug into her bag and pulled out a flashlight. Unlike the high tech. society wanted, this one was old and only required shaking to get it working.

"So is this one of the reasons why you're here?"

She glanced at Valerie under her raven bangs. "Because I'm a girl who knows about technology? Not exactly." She moved around the rectangle table. "It only became a problem when I began rebooting the town's system. I put a shooting star up in the night sky."

"That was you? I heard some tech. wiz did that."

"He did. My friend, T.F., was the one to hack the main computer. He's taught me everything I know." She shook the flashlight and it flickered on.

"What kind of name is T.F.?"

"He's Tucker Foley." Valerie's eyes lit up in recognition. Sam was compelled to add, "The fifth."

"I read about him in our textbook," Valerie stated, referring to her schoolwork. "He was there pre-techno era in one of the rebel bases."

Sam nodded. "He's Tucker's great, great grandfather, but he hates when people bring it up."

"He sure does follow in his footsteps though."

"Tucker likes to mess with technology, but wouldn't dream of living in a world without computers."

They made their way to the door and Sam frowned at the square box bulging from the wall.

"Is something wrong?"

"Whoever thought a virtual fuse box would be a brilliant idea was clearly an idiot." She put her flashlight on a desk, dimming the room once more. "I guess we'll just have to wait for them to fix the main generator."

"Oh, goody. And here I thought two hours at the public library wasn't enough."

"This is exactly why technology is such a nuisance. We can't even get the doors open without power. What do they expect us to do if there's a fire?"

"I'm thinking human s'more."

"Exactly. The least they could do is supply us with an escape hatch." She began moving toward the shelves, listening as rain beat against the roof. She opened the window, staring down at the delivery shoot. The material curled down in a tube like matter, reminding her of a water-slide.

She held a hand out to Valerie. "Do you have anything heavy I can throw down here?"

She placed the virtual textbook in her hand. Sam looked to Valerie and raised an eyebrow.

"What?" Valerie smirked. "I loathe history."

Sam rolled her eyes and threw the pad down. It tumbled down before flying out the unfinished tube, creating a soft thud when it landed. It nearly took off the head of a passing bystander, who glared up at the two girls.

"Sorry!" Sam shouted, closing the window. She turned to Valerie. "Well, we're definitely not getting down that way."

"Great. We're stuck in the library of all places. We can't even read because all these books are virtual!" Valerie picked the book cover off a shelf, showing Sam it was a hollow object without any text. The girl's violet eyes trailed from Valerie to the bookshelf, where something caught her eye.

"Hey." She stopped Valerie's rant, reaching her hand out. "Is this thing leather bond?"

Valerie made a sound between a gag and a choke when Sam pulled her cob webbed hand back out. "That thing's ancient!" she cried.

Sam pulled the large object out and onto the table, where a thick cloud of dusk stained the air. She rubbed her hand over the cover, ignoring the poor condition it was in, to reveal the title. Sam couldn't read it for the life of her though.

Valerie gasped. "Is that a book?"

"Uh...yeah," Sam said, a little stunned herself. She aimed her flash light at it as she flipped through the pages, being extra careful with the brittle material. "It's real," Sam murmured.

"Okay, this is just getting freaky." Valerie backed up with her hands out in defeat. "Power outages, actual books. What's next? Is there going to be a real thunderstorm too?"

Sam glanced back at the window. Rain was twinkling in the dark sky like stars as they dissipated into the air. In moments the sun reappeared and the intercom sounded.

We apologize for the following technical difficulties, but there is no need to worry. Amity Park will continue to be the safest environment for you and your children. Please continue as you would normally. We hope you have a day that's crystal clear.