Sunday, July 14, 2013

sometimes i write short stories #6: the experiment

“One of you is going to die today,” the woman in the teal, metallic bodycon suit announced. “The other 29 will survive. This will occur because, in a few short moments, all of you will be given a tablet,” she poised the circular, blood-red pill between her slender fingers. “29 of the tablets do absolutely nothing. The single other, however, has been injected with the 26-E4 drug. 26-E4 is commonly given to patients suffering from a severe case of Attention Deficiency Disorder. To these patients to whom the drug is typically prescribed, 26-E4 acts to depress the subject’s energy levels to match, what we refer to as, the ‘normal energy level,’ as measured against that of the ‘average’ individual. However, to anyone else, 26-E4 has been known to depress said consumer’s energy level, and consequently, the consumer’s mood as well, to a profound degree. 100% of the time, this experiment has resulted in said intaker’s suicide. Now, we shall commence the experiment. Please follow me to the cafeteria where we will distribute the caplets.” Her black stilettos clacked against the dark, marbled floor. The thirty of us followed her. We were led into a spacious silver room. It reminded me of our high school’s cafeteria. Waiting at the serving window, another woman, this one in a purple, metallic bodycon uniform held a paper cup in her hand. We walked toward her, all of us feigning bravery and masking ourselves with stoic expressions. Placid lips. Dim eyes. “Patrick Leinhardt,” she spoke through fuschia lipstick and perfect teeth. I, the boy with the first name called, I walked toward her. She placed the cup in my shaking hand. I felt the pill rattle inside my cup as my hand quivered. I saw that at the other end of the room, a man in an orange metallic, bodycon suit stood, motioning me to walk towards him. He was holding another cup. In seconds, I learned this second cup held water. Then, after walking ten feet further forward, a woman in a sky blue, metallic bodycon suit watched me as I swallowed my red pill. She scanned my empty cups. Finally, a man in a silver, metallic bodycon suit guided me to a building several steps away. I stood inside and couldn’t trust my eyes as they gazed into the room. It looked just like our homeroom. I mean, just like itdesks ordered in a large rectangle around the perimeter facing the middle of the room, our teacher’s desk in the same place it had been all of Senior year, the same books on the shelves, the ugly speckled carpet...down to the posters we’d done as class projects hanging on the walls as crookedly as they had in our real classroom a few hours away, down to our teacher’s scrawl littering the surface of the uncannily identical whiteboard. I shuddered. Kaylen came in after me.
“Whoa,” she whispered when she saw the sight.
“Shh,” I whispered back. “They’re watching.”

(Two Days Ago)

“You suck!” I yelled at Kaylen after she’d killed me in cyberspace for the seventh time in a row. It was after school, and we’d come over to my house to study for our AP Chem final, but obviously, we’d found something better to do. Kaylen laughed, grabbed a pillow off of my bed, and threw it at me.
  “Maybe you could try defending yourself for once,” she teased. She was about to start another round of Firebirds when I grabbed her controller. “Hey!” She leaned towards me in an attempt to snatch it back, but I just tickled her stomach. “Stop it!” she giggled. The door opened.
  “Mom,” I took my hands off of Kaylen. “I thought you said you’d knock. I’m almost an adult. Can’t I have some priva-” I shut up. Mom’s grey eyes were wet. The left one let go of a tear it couldn’t hold any longer, and the shimmery droplet streamed down her cheek. “Mom,” I got up from my position on my bed to comfort her. “What’s wrong?” She looked with pity at Kaylen and me. “Kaylen, you might want to go home to your family.” Kaylen shoved her sweater, notebook, and colored pens into her canvas backpack.
“No,” I was shocked. “No. Not  us.” My mother nodded her head uncontrollably.


As I left the house, I heard Mrs. Lienhardt scream and choke down sobs. I held back my own tears, kicked my hoverboard, and flew home as quickly as my orange board could muster. When I pressed open the door, my mom and little sister had just opened the Mail-a-gram. Some woman on the hologram in a metallic, teal bodycon suit said, “Goodbye.” The hologram zapped away, and the sleek square’s interface turned completely black aside from the blinking red light in its center. “To replay,” it recited, “Say ‘yes.’ To turn off, say-”
“No,” Tessie said. She ran towards me and hugged me around my legs.

The family dinner was awkward and silent. No one knew what to say. My mom stared at me. My dad stared at me. My sister stared at me. All as if I would disappear right then. We’d heard of other families whose kids had been chosen for the experiment, but we never, not in a thousand-hundred years, thought this would happen to us. Say we were overconfident, but that’s only because there were literally a thousand-hundred high school students in Francely alone [ Note: at this time, France and Italy had somewhat annexed one another for economic reasons and merged into the single nation of Francely ], and the experiment picked 5 classes out of all the high schools in the entire world. Let’s just say that the chance of my country being chosen was roughly 1/190. Bad odds. My school 1/ 3,456. Better odds. My class, 1/1 million. Safe odds. Comfortable odds. Well, evidently not. Anyway, I hated the awkwardness. I hated it. I left the dinner table, and no one said anything, so I went upstairs to grab my phone to skype Patrick.
“Pat,” I said.
“My family’s acting a little-”
  “Indubitably... How’d ya guess?”
  “My mom and dad were staring at me all of dinner, both looking  on the verge of tears the whole time.”
  “Invite them over.”
  “Patty, tell your fam they’re welcome at my place. And bring Firebirds.”
  “Wait, Firebirds?”
“And your controllers. Let’s make what could possibly be our last night together and with our families awesome instead of awkward and sad.”
“It won’t be our last-”
  “Fine, fine,” I said. “Just... let’s get our parents and my little sister out of their misery and make them realize that everything’ll be okay.”

  There were only two controllers, so we got on teams based on families. Pat, his dad, and his mom versus me, my little sister, and my dad (my mom disliked playing video games, but got a kick out of watching them and cheering for our family’s red firebirds which battled against the Lienhardt’s orange birds). “I’m going to kick your ass,” I taunted.
“Kaylen Hui Saunders. Mind your language,” my mother reprimanded.
  “Tiger mom,” Patrick whispered in my ear. I shoved his arm playfully.
  “Don’t let her hear that.”
  There was laughing and popcorn, and we all forced smiles until we didn’t have to anymore after the tension had finally died away. It was two a.m. when everyone decided it was late, and we should quit.  “Tessie’s gotta go rest,” Dad said, swinging Tessie up into his arms.
  “But daddy, I’m not tired,” Tessie said very unconvincingly due to the fact that she yawned as she said it.
  “Thanks for inviting us over,” Mrs. Lienhardt said.
  “No problem,” my dad replied. The four parents exchanged tired smiles.


  Throwing rocks at your girlfriend’s window is a lot more romantic in movies, that’s for sure. The first rock I threw up at Kaylen’s window on the second floor rebounded against the metallic wall with a loud CLINK! and flew right into my shoulder which led to 1.) Kaylen’s neighbors dog barking and 2.) my release of a profane outburst due to my self-inflicted shoulder injury. The second rock missed by a landslide and fell into a bush. (Don’t even ask me why I thought it was a good idea to throw another rock after the first incredible fail. And don’t ask why I threw the third one either). The third and final try cascaded through Kaylen’s open window.

  I felt the area around my leg. A rock? Why the hell is there a rock in my bed? “Kaylen,” I heard from outside.
  “Patrick?” I checked my bedside clock, 3 a.m., before walking across the plush carpet to my window. Then, I sent down my orange hoverboard.
Patrick fell through my window and landed on the floor with a thud. “Jesus, Patrick. Any sneakier and you’ll wake up the entire neighborhood.”
“Shut up,” he smiled as his arms wrapped around my waist.
We kissed for a while, but then I said, “Sorry, Patrick. It’s like 4 a.m., and I’m actually really tired.”
“Me, too. Sleepover!” He plopped down on my bed. I laughed. Then, I went over to lay beside him, nestling my head on his chest. “I love you,” he told me.
“I love you more,” I said, and then, I drifted off to sleep.


“Good morning, Kay- Ohmygod. Patrick? What are you doing here? Mike! Call the Lienhardt’s. Tell them their son is in bed with our daughter.”
“Um, let me rephrase. Patrick’s here. With our daughter. In her room. They’re sleeping.”
“Uh, okay, honey. Paul, I think your son’s here...”
“Mom?” I said groggily.
“No, Patrick. This is Mrs. Saunders. Kaylen’s mom.”
I opened my eyes. Oh God. My face turned into a wannabe tomato. “I-I’m sorry,” I stammered.
“Patrick?” Kaylen was slowly drifting into consciousness.
“Your parents can deal with you when you get home, Patrick. Mike will drive you home. Kay, Get ready for school.”  
  I stumbled out of the bedroom and ran down stairs to face Kaylen’s dad. He just smiled at me kindly and drove me the few blocks down the street to my house.

  “The experiment,” the hologram said. It was the same woman in the teal, metallic bodycon suit who’d been recorded on the Mail-a-gram, “has been performed for over twelve decades. Each year, five high school-aged classes, randomly selected among all of the high schools on Earth, are chosen to take part in furthering the benefits of science. This year, your class is among one of the selected.” Several of us groaned. Mrs. Maslin looked at all of us sympathetically. I held Kaylen’s hand. “In a few hours, a hydro-bus will transport yourself and your entire class to the head ScienceStream facility located in Paris, Francely-” God. That would be so close for our class. I imagined kids from the Antarctic high schools or one of those 56 states having to take the hydro-bus for hours over oceans before reaching that place. “-where the experiment shall commence. The total time stayed in the facility is a mere 24-hours or less, after which, you can be sent home. It must be noted, however, the results of the experiment always yield a sacrifice, so we thank you in advance. For science!” The hologram powered down. The classroom was dark, so Mrs. Maslin went over to power-on the solar lights. My friend, Lizzie Baker, was crying.
  “You’ll be okay, Lizzie,” Kaylen said.

  The chrome-tinted hydro-bus landed at the front of the school. The entire student body had gathered to see us off. Nobody was smiling. We boarded the bus one by one, each of us hugging Mrs. Maslin at the bus’ entrance. “You were like, the best homeroom teacher,” I told her before climbing up the silver steps.
“Thank you, Patrick.”
I took a seat next to Kaylen. Behind us were Niko and Lizzie, our best friends. I’d always thought it was lucky we’d all had homeroom together. I was kinda thinking otherwise now. I wished my friends were somewhere safe. The hydro-bus started its journey toward ScienceStream. "Ah," I sighed. "Might be the last time we see the leaning tower of Pisa."
"Say something sad like that again, Pat, and I'll kick your butt to the Eiffel Tower," Kay said.
"Damn, I'm gonna miss that pasta shop that floats over the canal by Lizzie's place," Niko sighed.
"Same goes for you!" Kay said, twisting around so she could swipe Niko's beanie off his head. 
"Yeah, guys. I mean, this could be our last time together. We should make it a positive experience," Lizzie interjected. I laughed as I took Niko's beanie from Kay and dumped in onto Lizzie's head. "Ugh," Lizzie scoffed. "This totally does not go with my outfit." Niko reached over to grab his beanie back. Kay, Niko, Lizzie, and I were the only ones talking on the whole trip. I guess the others were trying to let go of friendly ties. Ya know, just in case.

(Back to where we left off)

  “So, what happens now?” Niko asked.
  “Shh,” I told him.
  “I don’t care if they’re watching. I’m not going to spend what could be my last day alive afraid of these scientist bitches,” Niko retorted.
  “Niko!” Lizzie squeaked nervously as she came in.
“I don’t think it matters guys,” I said. “They already probably know we’re friends. I mean... look. We’re the only ones in here right now. They’ve already grouped us together.”

  “Observant girl,” Susan noted.
  “Yes. Very observant,” Jackson replied.
  “Is she the-”

(Two months ago)

“Levanta su mano si pueda-”

“I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of Amer-”

“Watercolor is a very permanent medium, so meticulous planning must be involved before paint-”

“And the periodic symbol for Potassium is-”

  “What’s that term, you know, how they used to change channels all the time on televisions back when our grandparents were young-”
“Exactly. That’s what I was aiming for. Thanks, Susan. Honestly, though. All of these classes seem a bit too...”
“I was thinking more along the lines of monotonously identical and downright boring, but I guess that’s equivalent.”
Yes. Andrew Jackson was a douchebag, and Teddy Roosevelt was a badass.”

“Hold on,” Jackson peered at the scene displayed on his digipanel [ScienceStream facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including the world’s largest digipanel system, a large, boomerang-shaped table with a glossy screen surface that can display up to 3580 px UHD -ultra-high definition- quality video as well as having every capability of a computer/smart device known-to-man]. He pressed his fingers against the video to enlarge it before swiping the digipanel’s surface in order to set the video feed into hologram mode. The scene unfolded in real-life scale before Jackson and Susan. It was as if they were actually standing in Mrs. Maslin’s classroom. The whole class was laughing. “Thanks for the analogies, Niko. Now, Patrick, you’re up!”
“The best and worst presidents in American History, in my opinion, had to be Abraham Lincoln and Eric Stream.” Jackson dropped his Chinese takeout onto what looked like the ugly speckled carpeted floor of Mrs. Maslin’s classroom but was actually the shiny crystal floor of Science Lab Room 0.
A lanky, red-haired Senior stood before the class. He had bright blue glasses frames that constantly slipped down his smallish nose. “Eric Stream is, as we all know, the 92nd president of the United States as well as the creator of ScienceStream, the most infamous laboratory in the world. “For Science” was the slogan of his campaign. Yes, he ran during the 3rd Great Depression when his country was faltering under his feet: Overpopulation, starvationproblems that America had faced only scarcely before were now immensely plighting his country. And yes, his slogan gave people hope that he, with his ingenious mind and biochemical talents, could cure his country of its seemingly imminent downfall. And he did it, too, with science, as promised. But in doing so, he started this crazy world-wide obsession with doing anything “for science,” even going as far as forcing the entire world, not merely his own country, to comply with his “greatest experiment of all.” This is the experiment that everyone knows about, but nobody knows about simultaneously. I mean, each year, his successors take 5 random high school classes. Someone from each class dies, and that’s some great accomplishment for science? Why are the results kept so covert and classified? If everyone’s at risk of giving up their life or the life of someone they love, why doesn’t anyone know what they’re risking their lives for? Since he’s been president, 600 innocent kids just like us have died “for science,” which feels a lot more like “for reason at all.” This is why Eric Stream is America’s worst president thus far-” Jackson swiped the room away.

  “We’ve found our fifth class, haven’t we?”

(Once again, back to where we’d left off)

  “So, what happens now?” Niko asked. “Do we just like wait for someone to kill himself or herself?”
“I guess so,” Kaylen replied.
“I don’t wanna have to watch,” Lizzie commented.
  “I don’t think we have a choice,” I said. “Look.” Now that everyone from our class was inside our quasi-homeroom, a web of thin, silver laser beams had appeared across the entrance. Niko started walking towards it. “Niko, what are you doing?” I reached out to grab his tan arm.
“Don’t worry, man. Just gonna,” he took a gum wrapper out of his pocket and tossed it at the web. We  heard a ZAP! as the paper departiclized. “Shit.”
  “Niko, language.”
  “Huh?” We turned around to see Mrs. Maslin behind us.
“Mrs. Maslin!” Lizzie exclaimed.
  “Wait. That’s not M-dawg,” Niko said.
  “What? Of course that’s-” I started.
  “When was the last time M tried to reprimand me for profanity?”
“Kay?” I watched as Kaylen walked up to Mrs. Maslin. Kay touched the woman’s arm, but her hand went straight through it.
“Hologram,” Kaylen said.
  “Those assholes,” Niko muttered. “You hear me?” he looked up at the ceiling and glared. “You guys are ass hats!”

  “Ugh. Mouth on that one,” Susan said. “He must have taken the pill.”
“Actually, I think he’s just like that.”

The hologram Mrs. Maslin walked over to the front of the classroom. “Everyone, take your seats.” The voice similarity was uncanny and creepy as fuck. Everyone except Niko, Kay, Lizzie, and I listened to the projection.
“Guys,” I tried to explain. “That’s not-” The class shot us an angry glare. It was unanimous. Like, in those old t.v. shows, we got, how do you say.... oh yeah, “voted off the island.” Everyone just wanted to get this horrible day over with. Someone would die, and I guess they all had accepted it already. I didn’t accept it though, especially if one of my friends had taken the 26-E4 pill. I wouldn’t let them kill himself or herself.There had to be a way to stop this experiment.
The hologram Mrs. M didn’t seem to notice that we hadn’t taken our seats or that we were searching the classroom for a way out. The rest of our class ignored us. God, were they really just gonna sit there and wait for somebody to feel the effects of the pill and die?

“What’d ya want for lunch today? Indian or Chinese?” Jackson asked.
“Ehh... I’m kinda feelin’ in a Chinese mood today.”
“You’re always feeling in a Chinese mood.” Susan searched for Indian-Chinese places nearby. She swiped the digipanel screen, accidentally waving her hand over the section monitoring Lab 5. The quasi-Mrs.M’s homeroom feed was blocked by a digital restaurant menu.

“Guys,” I whispered.
“FUCK! SHIT! BITCH!” The entire class and the hologram were ignoring Niko’s outbursts. “Dammit, man. Not gonna listen to me either. Probably think my anger management’s the result of the pill, and I’m like, gonna kill myself with my hoodie string any moment.”
“Guys...” I grabbed Patrick’s hand.
“Kay? Kay! No. What are you?” I threw a pencil out the door. It landed on the concrete. “Let’s go.”
The four of us ran out the doorway. No one else followed.
“FUCKERS! WE’RE FREE!” Niko screamed.
Lizzie yelled, “Yeah! We can leave!- Ah!” Her boot which was still part way through the doorframe began to departiclize.
“Damn,” Niko said as he grabbed Lizzie’s arm. “That was a close one.”
“What about everyone else?” I asked. Then, we all heard a blood-curdling scream from the room next door. I stopped at the door entrance. The sign read “Lab 4.” We tried peering in, but the silvery web was impossible to see though. “How did we get out?”
“I dunno,” Patrick pondered. “The shield just stalled for a minute or two. Glitch, maybe?”
“Maybe it’s part of the experiment,” Lizzie said.
“Possibly,” I replied. “Hopefully they open this door, too-” The web dissolved. A girl ran out of Lab 4 crying her eyes out. The rest of her class followed out.
“Guys,” I whispered. “Into the classroom. I see a scientist coming.” Patrick grabbed my hand. Lizzie grabbed onto mine and Niko onto hers. This lab room had been simulated to look like a chemistry class. We snuck in before anyone noticed us and tried to find somewhere to hide, but not before we saw the burned corpse laying over a bunsen burner. Chemicals were spilled all over the black desk beneath its body.
“That’s a sad way to go,” Niko said.
We all crawled into a fairly large cabinet used for storing lab coats. We heard footsteps inside. “That was very quick,” the voice of a woman said. “Crazy how the pill gets to these poor things.”
“Susan,” the man said.
There was a long pause. “Nothing, uh. I just don’t know how to get this body cleaned up-”
“Jackson. I’ll take this one if you take care of the next one. I guess you can go send those Japanese kids back home.”
After the room had become completely silent, the four stepped out of the closet. The room ceased to look like a Chemistry room. Now, it looked like a state-of-the-art ScienceStream lab.

“Whoa,” I said. “Is that a digipanel.”
“Sick,” Niko said. “How does it work?” He moved his hand over its surface. It gleamed on. "Awesome.”
“Guys, we should probably get out of here,” Kay whispered.
“Relax, if the room’s already changed back, there’s no reason they’d keep a monitoring cam still in here, right? And if it is, they’re probably not paying much attention to it.”
“True,” Niko said.
“What does this do-” Lizzie swiped a section of the gleaming digipanel. The video feeds from Labs 5, 3, 2, and 1 popped up.
“Oh my god,” Kaylen said. Lab 5 was their own classroom. Lab 3 looked like a Spanish class. The hologram was conjugating the verb estar. Lab 2 was an art studio. Lab 1 was just a bunch of kids reading copies of Hamlet. Back in the Spanish room, one kid was getting a little too friendly with his Spanish book. It looked as if he were kissing it. No. His head was planted into its pages, and he was crying into it. His classmates were looking away. “We have to go to room 3! That kid. He’s trying to suffocate himself.”
We ran to the room next door. “Crap, the web,” Kaylen said.
“Don’t worry.” I ran back to Lab 4 and swiped around the Lab 3 video feed.

The door guard dissolved. The class ran out crying and screaming. “No,” I whispered. Niko, Lizzie, and I went back to Lab 3 where Patrick told us he was sorry. He’d figured out how to turn the web off a second too late. But, he did figure out how to turn off the webs for Labs 5, 2, and 1. There was a still hope to save everyone.
“Well, well, well,” a too-familiar voice stated. “I think you four are in the wrong room.” The woman in a teal, metallic bodycon suit sauntered toward them.
“Just tell us what you’re doing with us!” Patrick persisted. “PLEASE!” But the web reengaged, trapping the four of them back in Lab 5 with their stoic classmates and fake teacher. Patrick smacked the bookshelf.
“Pat, don’t,” I took his hands in mine.
“This is shit,” Niko leaned down against the bookshelf. Lizzie sat beside him and rested her head on his shoulder. Pat and I sat down next to them. “Whatever happens though, just know that I love you guys. Like, really. I don't usually get all mushy and shit, but I fucking love you guys a lot.”
“We love you, too,” Patrick said.
“Yeah,” I replied.
“Friends forever,” Lizzie smiled at us.
The clock read 8 p.m. We’d been here since 8 a.m. Half-way done. Maybe, just maybe, all of us would get out alive. I wonder how many rooms are still active. There are only Labs 1, 2, and 5 possibly still going. The four of us started doodling on binder paper and laughing obnoxiously. Some of the kids in our class had started to sleep on the ground. We stayed up until 3 a.m. When I woke up, it was 7 a.m. Almost over, and no one’s died yet. I looked over at Pat. He was standing by the doorway facing the web of lasers. “Pat?” He stepped into the web. Patrick departiclized, and the web disappeared. I screamed so loudly that everyone woke up.

“Ophelia commits suicide by drowning herself in the river,” the hologram instructor explained. Amber looked unsteadily at the water bottle on her desk. She’d always been afraid of water. She’d never been able to swim no matter how hard she’d tried. Suddenly, she felt as if she were drowning, and she was. She was sinking in the pool in her English class. Why was there a pool in her English class? Oh, anyway, she was so stupid. Never learning how to swim. She was so stupid at school, too. The only thing she was good at was singing, but then she'd lost her voice because of some freak car accident that sent shards of glass into her neck. She was nothing. She was- Amber coughed up water. “What’s going on?” her weak voice asked.

“Damn, I hate watercolor,” Bryce told the kid painting on a sheet beside him. Ella didn’t reply. She simply continued painting flawless water lilies on a perfect pond. He stared at Dylan to his left. His landscape was gorgeous. The clouds looked better than any he’d ever seen in the sky.  Bryce struggled to draw his bowl of fruit in front of him. Apple wasn’t round enough. He accidentally painted the grapes orange. The banana looked so stupid. He felt hopeless. He’d never be good at art. Fuck it. He’d never be good at anything. He couldn’t draw, and he never got the girl. The last girl he’d asked to the Spring Fling laughed at him so hard that the ramen noodle she’d been eating came out of her nose. He walked over to the art supply cabinet to find a pair of scissors. He made a cut into his forearm. It felt so good to be able to control his pain. He found a blade and was ready to plunge it into his heart.
“Oh, no you don’t.”
(4 a.m., this morning)

There has to be some way to find this room’s digipanel even when it’s disguised. I’ve already pulled every book. No secret passageway like in those old movies. Wait. What if -
I walked over to the Mrs. Maslin hologram. I swiped my hand over her face. It wasn’t what I’d hoped for at first. I’d hoped to find a way to turn the laser web off again. Instead, the video feed from Lab 0  appeared above the hologram.
“Huh, they’re all asleep,” Jackson said.
“We have to fix that,” the woman in the teal, metallic bodycon suit said.  “We’re running out of time, and we sure as hell haven’t collected enough results.” She swiped the pad over classrooms 1 and 2. The windows poured out bright light. The hologram woke up the students for the day’s continued lesson from yesterday. Hamlet and watercolor.
“Why do some kids die faster than others,” Susan asked quizzically. “I mean, I understand that the pill has less of an effect on those with A.D.D., but it seems like all of these kids don’t have that. They’re so... tranquil. Well, except for the 4 from Lab 5, but anyway, don’t all the pills have the same dosage of 26-E4?”
“You didn’t tell her, did you?” the woman asked pointedly at Jackson.
“I guess it slipped my mind.”
“Tell me what?” Susan asked. “Jackson? Jade?”
“The pills,” Jackson began.
“Are all ineffective,” Jade continued. “What we’re testing here is the placebo effect.”

“Hold your breath,” I whispered to Amber. “Shh.. let everyone think you’re dead. Then, your class will be free to go. ” Amber smiled and nodded.
“Thank you,” she whispered. I hid behind a bookshelf. Before the scientists came, I gave Amber an extra lab coat from Lab 4 (which they didn’t bother re-webbing), and told her to wait for me outside.

I told the same thing to Bryce. “Smudge the red watercolor all over your shirt.”
“Who are you? Are you a scientist?”
“Nah. Just a high schooler in a stolen lab coat.”
“Awesome. You saved me, dude.”
“Shh, pretend you’re dead...” Frenzy of students running out the door. Lab coat. I told him to find Amber and wait for me. Then, it was my turn to die.

“What happened to the bodies?” Jade asked Jackson and Susan.
“I thought you got them,” they said to each other.

Amber, Bryce, and I snuck onto my school’s hydro-bus before my class escaped out the door. We hid in the bus bathroom which (luckily) had an out-of-order sign plastered to it, and thank God hydro-buses are smart-driven and don't require a human driver. When we reached my high school, we waited for everyone to unload before sneaking into the research lab where I downloaded all the footage I’d recorded on my Goog-Glasses 3000 (which no one noticed because I’d disguised them with fat, bright blue frames) to the interwebs so that everyone could finally see the truth about the world's greatest experiment for science.