Return to A View from the Solarium.
Goto Crosswinds.
Goto Previous Essay: "William Matheson's 'The Artifact'". (99/00-2 #25)

The future of Sages of Time

This is it, as they say. The CPA chapter of Sages of Time is over, but look around for parts five through fifteen floating about in various forms of media. Unfortunately, there'll be nothing left of the original sages (Lori Walsh, William Matheson, a few others...) but the title. And no names of real people, either.

But that was an awesome idea, wasn't it? Using real-life people? It worked for a while, but I feel I've grown out of that now. Plus, it would get me into a lot of needless trouble. I also feel that this parallel universe that I've created lives and breathes and carries on of its own power. I continually feel the need to race back and write more stories. It's about time I responded to that need.

So just because A View from the Solarium has (finally) drawn to a close, that doesn't mean I won't keep composing shit for you to look at. =) There will be a page about Saint Mary's University to carry on the legacy! Won't they be pleased? hehe... Well, the good thing about all this is that Saint Mary's isn't an overgrown daycare like CPA. The staff and students there likely will have better things to do than torment me, so the stuff I'll be composing will be nice and calm and quiet (I hope).

A little bit of information on where I was writing this: I got this part of the story put together in Souris, PEI, where I always do my best work. =) But I was really forcing it out of myself. I had all the long-term plot in mind, but putting together the short-term story was a pain in the butt. "The Artifact", for comparison, went much easier. Maybe I'm growing as a writer.

Anyway, enjoy what little I did finish. Completely unaltered, right down to the lack of hyperlinks.

Return to A View from the Solarium.
Goto Crosswinds.
Goto Previous Essay: "Sleeping in the Solarium". (99-2 #21)
Goto Next Essay: ?? (S99 #23)

"Sages of Time" - The sad, sad prequel to "The CPA Revolution"... but not if our protagonists can help it...

Skip past Synopsis (not recomended)
Skip to Story Selection (for returning readers only)

I think I need to remind everyone that this work is fiction, although most of the characters are real people who have gone to CPA. Makes me wish I finished this before everyone graduated, but then maybe it makes the story that much more interesting.

Newsflash: "Sages of Time", the semi-comic prequel saga to the overwhelmingly popular "The CPA Revolution", has been cancelled. Author William Matheson has stated that he is sick of the "relative hackwork" and wants to move back onto his "contemporary fantasy" novel project. However, "Sages of Time" will be finished, and finished well, but with three parts instead of four. "I have enough twists and spins of a mechanical sense to fill four parts, and I know all the transitions between them by now. But there is simply only so much one can write in the obscure genre of high school comedy novellas, and I'm starting to feel very insignificant as a writer, especially that three quarters of my 'characters' have just graduated.", he says. He also mentions, among other things, that there will be a good deal of character turnover between Parts Two and Three. "I need to stay current,", he says about this. "I can't write a story to a 2000, 2001, 2002 audience about the class of 1999. No one will know what I'm talking about."
    Part Three is expected to hit the author's CPA website, A View from the Solarium, during the latter part of the next school year. Anyone with internet access can visit any of his sites like this one that are part of The Will Matheson Web HQ, which are located at ( and hosted by Crosswinds.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of still going on and doing the full four parts. We'll see...

Synopsis I

What?? Were you asleep or something?? <sighs> Alright, here you go:
Important locations. Some proper names. People. Middle names if I can remember / get them.

Prologue (real-time)

- William George Ross Matheson goes up to Admiral's Rock Park on his bicycle, and hikes inside straight through to the rocky shore of the Bedford Basin. Looking about with his binoculars, he notes that the Angus L. MacDonald Bridge is no more. Admist a snapping of twigs, Lauren Rebecca Weir sneaks up from behind, finally catching Will, who has not been behaving normally as of late. As such he gets very irate when she mentions Charles P. Allen High School. She convinces him that they should discuss what has been happening, and she volunteers to go first...

Part One: A Dramatis Personae of Sorts (as told by Lauren Weir)

- Lori Alison Walsh constructs a strange telepathic control device for Mr. Lincoln's Physics class. She uses it to convince Mr. Lincoln to give her 100 for her final mark by planting Mr. Whitman's voice patterns in his head to tell him to do so. (Not like she needed to...)
- Tyson H. gives the master edit of the 1997-1998 Video Yearbook to Colin MacDonald such that Colin will take it to the duplicating service in his new Cherokee.
- Theadore becomes rather obsessed with Devon Courtney Day. At this point, he spends a lot of time staring at her in the Solarium from the third floor.
- The rain beats down on Colin's windshield as he barrels down the Provincial Arterial Highway 102 towards Downtown Halifax. Something is about to go wrong...


- Will asks Lauren what went wrong. She proceeds to explain what she knows...

(as told by Lauren Weir)

- Colin and Cherokee get absorbed by a giant orange mass while speeding along. No one could find him.
- Student's Council President Jeremy Ross Strong takes up the position of Vice-President in Colin's absence.
- Three weeks later, Angela Ritcey meets her friend Lori at the Halifax International Airport. Lori was returning from a Florida Science Fair which she won. Her device is now called a Psi-trans. They leave the airport together without incident.
- Mr. Whitman writes a memo to parents concerning Fall River High, replete with his usual witticisms, and preliminary information about an upgrade to CPA.
- Laura Johnson tells Theadore that he should stop staring at Devon and just go talk to her. He attempts to do so.
- A strange interlude about stairs finds a home here.
- Gregory Baker and Jennifer Leonard sneak into the Ramp from the third floor. Greg gets on a skateboard, and Jenni shoves him straight away.
- Greg careens down the Ramp.
- Lauren finds Tyson in the halls and asks him when the Video Yearbook will be out. Tyson takes off.
- It is revealed that ramps don't like being skateboarded on.
- Ms. Beazley reports to Mr. Whitman that she got a message from Mr. Mead about Lauren chasing Tyson through the halls. Mr. LeRoux emerges from his office in a frenzy, complaining that it is far too small. When he gains his composure, he remarks that all the shennanigns would have to be nipped in the bud in short order. Mr. MacGillvary also reports seeing them. At that same moment, Greg zooms out of the Ramp, through the Lobby, and out into the Concrete Yard.
- An interpretation of the GM safety illustrations is shown.
- Greg crashes through the doors, zips through the Yard, his skateboard catches on the curb. He flies through the air, crashing through a Doritos delivery truck, passing a lamppost, and crashing through Josh's car. Greg meets Josh in mid-air, and gets the non-graphic beating of his life as shown by "Withdrawn by RSACi" messages. Greg is revealed to need medical attention.


- Will and Lauren laugh out loud at this point in the tale. Will asks what happened between her and Tyson...

(as told by Lauren Weir)

- Lauren stops Tyson and finds out that Colin had the master edit. She kicks him in disgust.
- One week later, Ms. Quinlan and Ms. Harbord report seeing the little ramp incident, and Ms. Quinlan bribes the correct officials, resulting in CPA getting an elevator!
- Most other people disagreed with Ms. Quinlan's interpretation of events, due to lack of evidence. So what happened to Greg, then?
- Greg comes to in Jenni's bedroom, restrained because of numerous casts and slings. Jenni explains that he would have been in a lot of trouble if he was found, so she did what needed to be done.
- Laura asks Theadore how things went with Devon. He tells her that he told Devon everything, and thus things went very badly.
- Three days later, Greg has settled into a quasi-comfortable routine at Jenni's house. Among other things, he and Jenni play board games together.
- Laura, while watching the elevator being installed, gets the idea to trap Theadore and Devon in the elevator.
- Greg discovered that he was long since healed, but Jenni would not let Greg leave, so he planned an escape. After Jenni gets herself ready (graphic descriptions were deleted / never written by the author), he knocks her out, puts on her clothes so that he could keep warm, and ventures into Kingswood.
- Mr. Lincoln leaves the Multicultural Comittee Office and heads for the Staff Room, looking for Mr. Sparks, but only to discover a new holographic system being constructed. He also recieves his new ID card. With the new 2050 somputer system, his very thoughts summon Mr. Sparks, but Mr. Lincoln is so flabergasted by the whole thing that he forgets what he wanted him for.
- Greg finds himself very cold and very lost in the twisting depths of Kingswood.
- Laura tells Theadore of her plan. He is very hesitant about it, but he agrees to go along with it.
- Greg begins to get frostbite.
- (The author included an interpretation of "... And He Built a Crooked House...", by Robert Heinlein, which was heavily inspired by Michio Kaku's own interpretation in his book Hyperspace. This was used to compare the Kingswood subdivision to fourth dimensional phenomonae.) Greg gets colder and hungrier as the nighttime temperature drops to -55ºc...


- Will complements Lauren on her understanding of fourth dimensional phenomonae.

(as told by Lauren Weir)

- Greg finally turns totally numb and begins to fade...


- Lauren asks Will if this event is 'creep(ing) (him) out'. He replies that he is now feeling guilty.

(as told by Lauren Weir)

- Greg dies, meets Jenni in the Hereafter (Pittsburgh?), but he is soon detached and brought back to life. Just before he spectrally departs, Jenni tells him "Don't go into the-". Coming to at the Cobequid Center, he gets angry at Will, who saved his life. He murmurs Jenni's name over and over again.
- Will, in desperation after sitting in the small secondary waiting room for hours, reads an issue of Cosmopolitan. A hauntingly beautiful girl (hopefully not his / the author's childhood crush!) seated next to him finally croaks from loss of blood.
- Devon is about to board the elevator (something people in her social class can probabaly get away with), when Theadore wisely chickens out and stops her. The pre-programmed doors close for one hour, with no one inside them. Devon may not figure the whole thing out until Part Three or Part Four... certainly not Part Two, at any rate. Anyone else getting tired of this little synopsis? I'm on page 29 of 64 right now, and I'm sure ready to stop now. But then some nutcase will probabally try to read Part Two without reading Part One or "The CPA Revolution" (a synopsis of which will be provided for Part Three and Four I think, when it becomes somewhat necessary), so I guess I must trudge on with this. I sure bloddy well hope someone appreciates this!!
- Will (momentairily labeled "the Betrayor"), wakes up Greg for a chat. Greg tells Will the whole shebang, getting less angry with him as time passes. Will remarks that he would never try to escape from Jenni's bedroom, and that the entire experience was wasted on Greg. (That part was easy to write...) Will shows Greg a map of Kingswood, and a Student's Council Release Form that Greg signs for immunity.
- Laura, forgotten by Theadore, is left in the elevator control room waiting for Theadore and Devon to board the elevator. When this does not happen, the SecurCheck system runs, and finds Laura's ID being used to open the door. The general alarm goes off, and Laura escapes into the ventilation ducts.
- Greg finally returns to CPA, and in the process of returning to the Yearbook Room, he has two weird 'flash-forwards' in which he gets a mild headache and sees parts of CPA2 Gray Sector.
- Laura continues through the ducts, unsure where to go. She almost loses her sweater on a weird snag of the duct, and comments that someone could lose something there. She continues on, and her foot finds a latch of some sort.
- Will finds Lori in Mr. Lincoln's class and asks her about Kingswood. (Gee, two of the biggest characters in the whole dang story... finally meeting up... and all they can talk about is a lousy subdivision!)
- Lori continues to investigate Kingswood on her own, making some interesting discoveries.
- Kendra Bernard, Catherine Ann Lutz, Erica Gee, and Kristina Kenny (among others) practice field hockey in the gymnasium. As Ms. MacKinnon begins to talk to them, there is a loud CLUNK!! sound from the celing. Erica freezes, and Lutz fails to prevent Laura from landing on her with a THUD!.
- Erica and Laura are admitted to the Cobequid Center... waiting room. They are put on 'tomorrow's list'.
- Mr. LeRoux sends a letter home to parents outlining the particulars of "CPA2". He says that the rumors that such a 2050 school can only last for three months are unfounded. Technicians begin work on the school, albeit there is a slight issue concerning fiscal sponsorship (involving Coca-Cola, Councillor Peter Kelly, Mayor Walter Fitzgerald, and perhaps half a dozen other people but who really knows?), but if you read Part One you'd remember what it was, and quite frankly, I'm too lazy to iron it all out again.
- Erica and Laure are admitted to the IWK/Grace. Erica attempts to watch some TV.
- Lutz attempts to find Erica.
- Much later, Lutz actually finds Erica. She is watching Teletubbies. Lutz staves her off of suicide by bringing Erica's Beastie Boys: Intergalactic CD to her.
- Some subliminal messages like "Laura Johnson is evil" work their way into the CPA Perspective during Greg's editorial hiatus.
- Laura, sitting in Mr. LeRoux's office awaiting punishment, has a 'flash' similar to Greg's. She is in Mr. LeRoux's old office in Gray Sector, just before the destruction of the school. Two people get off the elevator in the Lobby, one of them sounds like Will. The one who sounds like Will goes back up to Skydeck 30 again to hold the elevator for 'the others'. The school begins to fall apart, and Laura is pulled back. But she does not hear the elevator open again.


- Will tells Lauren that he doesn't remember the destruction of the school, or going up the elevator, or any of it. Lauren says it sure sounded like him to Laura. After a few moments, Lauren tells Will how Lauren built her '4D Actuator', then all of a sudden takes a spaz at Will about how he voted during Laura's impeachment proceedings...

(as told by William Matheson)

- Will enters Council Meeting (with a mention of Peter Wybenga and Jillian Geddes) and sees Laura in an eagle cage, then has a 'flash' of his own. He is sitting in the cage inside Room 305, and Devon Day is nearby in another cage murmuring things about Nicholas Carter. Two armed 'TSF' operatives comment on who is going to be hung, and it seems as if they are talking about Will. Will decides that he hardly knows Devon. Devon remarks that Will should be hung because everything is his fault... then says something about her pretending to talk to Will to help Shawn R Ahmed escape. Just as Will is about to ask for details, he gets pulled back. It turns out Jerremy Ross Strong and Kelly Brien are waiting for Will to cast the deciding vote concerning Laura's impeachment. Delerious, he shrieks 'No! Let her out!'. Jerr says that settles it, Laura is impeached. Will says that he didn't really vote and says he changes his vote to yes. Then Jerr says that settles it, Laura is impeached. Will asks which vote lets her out, and Jerr says neither, due to several obscure clauses in the new constitution. And since Jerr is both President and Vice-President and Ms. MacKenzie approved the changes... well okay, you really need to read this part to understand what's going on, and I'll have to give the details a miss here. Tempers flare. Timm Martin-Lyon joins in on the carmardarie. Everyone but Jerr, Timm, Brrian MacKay, Marrk Louch, Jonn Saunders cheers at Will's motion to overthrow 'Jeremy Strong', but due to another constitutional change, anyone who heads a motion against the President is automatically impeached. Will goes off on a tangent, one that makes Ms. MacKenzie cry, to his regret. Kelly Brien voices her disaproval of Will's constant nagging for a Treasurer's Report. Will and Laura leave the room, in all likelyhood never to return.


- Lauren apoligizes for getting so upset. Will remarks that every time he tries to think about Devon or the 'TSF', he gets a headache. Later, Will and Lauren fall asleep outside, beginning a short series of misadventures involving the seagull mating ground they were sleeping in, Lauren tripping into some pricker bushes, and a loose Doberman. They wake up in a tree at about 5:25am and begin shouting for help.
- Seven hours later, they try to get out of the tree and past the dog by showing no fear, but instead end up setting the Unofficial Bedford Tandem Speed Record over thirteen kilometers. They return to school the following day.
- Lauren meets Will in the halls of Blue 18, noticing that he has a special ID card that is a bit larger than the standard-issue IDs. She convinces him to take her up to Skydeck 30, where the Cheetah Lounge is located. On the way up the turbolift, at Skydeck 27, Mr. Whitman gets on board. He noticed that Will had an illegal ID card in the slot, but said little else than that he knew what had happened and that 'Jerr hasn't been behaving to specs...'. Lauren and Will disembark in the East Cheetah Lounge, and Mr. Whitman continues along to the North Cheetah Lounge. The East Lounge being deserted, Will and Lauren take a seat near the huge windows. Lauren remarks that something isn't right as dark clouds creep closer to the school. Will, as usual, still doesn't seem to have two clues about what is going on, so Lauren concludes this segment of her story...

(as told by Lauren Weir)

- Lori, standing in a Metro Transit bus shelter, gets tired of waiting for the actual bus, so she rigs up her 4D Actuator and a bunch of other sensor and programming gizmos I wouldn't dream of repeating here to bring her out of temporal suspension when the next bus runs through. Before she knows it, she's getting on the bus, and... well, there must have been another fare hike, eh? $1,650.00! She pays out of her bank account... through a DNA identity validation. The bus driver even credits her $500,000.00 for one of her dollar coins! Lori notices that the MacDonald Bridge is missing, then decides to continue her shopping trip.
- She lands at the Toronto Dominion Bank and asks for a cash withdrawl. The teller calls up the manager.
- She asks politely...
- Lori withdraws $100,000.00 in '1998 scrip' that was about to be dumped by the bank.
- Lori happily leaves the bank with enough money to buy groceries (but a few years earlier...) and hits the road again.
- Lori wakes up in her bedroom and puts her bedroom computer terminal on standby after giving it some instructions. She then puts it on the bed. She wraps it up in paper, and points her '4D Actuator Mark III' at it, causing it to disappear. It returns ten seconds later... in pieces. Lori realizes that it did not work and she kneels down and weeps.
- A kind non-threatening male truck driver lets Lori off at the location of CPA2, on the way out to the Fall Badlands. She hikes up the Gray Sector driveway to find... a big CPA2-sized brown patch of ground. She finds some flowers, and a plaque with a poem and a press release. The poem, about all kinds of fun negative things such as death, was written by Angella Ritcey and dated November 2010. Lori attempted to read the press release, but a headache struck her before she could get very far. Then, in an instant, she remembers something... and is headed for the King Charles Health Sciences Centre. She walks in and asks for Angela Ritcey, whom the receptionist is unable to find. She does, however, find an Angella Ritcey, in a room at the Redridge Organ Sciences Building in Sackville, New Brunswick.
- Much later, Lori somehow gets there and walks into Angella's 'room'. Angella looks like she is in her late twenties, but very sickly and frail, hooked up to a lot of machines and surrounded by doctors, but no family or friends. Angella slowly tells Lori about some of the things they have been doing to her, then suddenly some machines start beeping wildly. A doctor remarks that they should stop the expiriment, but another says that if the specimen can survive the Catastrophe, she can survive the expiriment. All Angella manages to say to Lori is 'you fool... just make it stop' before she falls sideways into Lori's arms and dies.

And now, the continuation...

Part Two: The New Age

            It was fall.
            It was overcast.
            Lauren shivered. Skydeck 30 was not without its problems, for cold drafts plauged the Cheetah Lounge. The giant single window looking out onto the miserable gray sky further reduced her sense of warmth.
            "That was... sad.", uttered Will.
            "I suppose it was...", sighed Lauren.
            "Should we go?"
            "It's almost-"
            BEEP. "It is now lunchtime. Please proceed to your intended destinations in a calm and orderly fashion. Red Sector Lobby and the Green / Blue Transfer Level are accessible via the express turbolifts. Thank you." BEEP.
            "... lunchtime."
            "Oh-no!", gasped Lauren. "We have to leave... now, before all the preps come up here!"
            "How? All the lifts servicing this sector must be in use."
            "How about the stairs?"
            "Sounds good...", Will and Lauren made a dash for the south-east side of the Cheetah Lounge.

[stairs sign]

            "We can't open this!", exclaimed Lauren.
            Will nonchalantly inserted his card into the nearby slot. "Deactivate general alarm for ten seconds. Disable all audio and visual warnings and indicators. Authorization Matheson Nova One."
            There was no way of knowing whether or not the computer complied. But taking a proverbial step of faith, Will removed his card and pushed the door open.
            Lauren breathed a sigh of relief as they stepped inside. Will quickly shut the door behind them... and just in time too! From inside the sounds came:

            Staaahhhrrr Waaarrrrsss... thatmagicalStarWars... thatwonderfulStarWars.... it's on yet again....
            Staaahhhrrr Waaarrrrsss... thatcrazy'olStarWars-

            "Hey Marrk! Check this out!", shouted Tyson H..

            Ooohhh... boobies!

            Lauren and Will ran like hell down the stairs until they were well into Blue Sector. The stairs themselves were of the narrow steel sort, and the stairwell was of the gray concrete sort that was suprisingly well lit. The pair slowed down to a leisurely pace, pausing in front of doors like "BLUE 22", hearing lots of noise and wondering what was going on.
            "Where are we going?", asked Lauren.
            "I don't know.", Will replied. "Where would you like to go?", he smiled.
            "Can we go to Gray Sector?"
            Will stopped. "Why?"
            "Because I haven't been there since they built CPA2. I want to see what's down there."
           Do you really?
            "Ugh, I don't.", Will said. "Haven't you heard all the stories?"
            "Yes, but how can they be true?"
            "I don't really want to go, but if you insist, we'll take a look. I'm a little curious myself."
            At length, they finally came the bottom of the stairs, somewhere in Red Sector. The sign said RED LOBBY.
            "Red Lobby... Gray Secor is still quite a trip from here. We'll have to face quite a bit of traffic."
            "Well it's not like there'd be less traffic anywhere else... and we're not going to go through the actual Main Lobby part of Red Lobby, right?"
            "Yeah... okay, we'll give it a shot then." Will put his card into the slot by the door and spoke the same commands that he did back at Skydeck 30, took out his card, then opened the door.
            At least a hundred people at their lockers turned in suprise to see the never-opened stairwell door open and Lauren Weir and William Matheson, of all people, walk out.
            "Uh... hi.", Will managed, then shut the door.
            "Good thing there's no teachers here...", Lauren whispered to him.
            "Yeah, really, then we might be in more trouble than we would if we had to rely on a hundred people who probabaly hate my guts to keep their mouths shut about us commiting a Level One security breach..."
            "Whatever... let's just get going, okay?"
            They set off down the halls, following the signs on the celing that pointed the way to Green Sector, their destination for the moment.
            "I think people are starting to associate me with you...", Lauren said to Will.
            "Hmm? What do you mean?"
            "Well, look! Even the people I know are snickering and jeering at me!"
            "Oh, you'll get used to it..."
            "Get used to it?? You never got used to it! You always take a spaz whenever it happens to you... you run up to the person and yell in their face!"
            "Well I was talking about you, wasn't I?", laughed Will.
            "Yeah... hehe..."
            Soon they arrived at a short connecting corridor. A sign said GREEN GROUND FLOOR - Main Cafeteria (3F ^), Main Gymnasium, Upper Deck Seating (3F ^), Auditorium, Box Seats (3F ^), Transfer Level (3F ^).
            Stepping into Green Sector, Will and Lauren discovered that the signs, paint details, et cetera, had all changed from Red Sector. Will, liking these sorts of things, was mildly excited. Lauren was just bored.
            "I guess we'll go into Gray Two first then, huh?"
            "Yeah, whatever..."
            "Man, I used to really like this kind of stuff when I was little... maps, diagrams, sectors... I still do, in a way. I like to write all these outrageous systems into what I write and sometimes I think I put in a little too much for people to enjoy the story and-"
            "Shut up."
            Will and Lauren continued through more corridors... relying on Will's mysterious sense of direction, for there were no signs pointing the way towards Gray Sector.
            About six minutes later, they arrived at a large bank of lockers on the north-west extremity of Gray Sector.
            "How can we get in?", Lauren asked. "There's no door. I wish we had a way in..."
           Be careful what you wish for!
            "Yeah...", Will mused. "Let's move some of these lockers..."
            Just as Will was about to grab a set of six lockers and move it away from the wall, Kristina Kenny walked up to them.
            "Wait! Don't you know what grade the homeroom here is?", she asked Will.
            "Um... no, I don't, actually."
            "It's a bunch of tenners! Let me help you!", exclaimed Kristina.
            "Ha-ha... okay!", agreed Will.
            The three of them made short work of moving and rearranging the bank of lockers...
            "Hey, what's this??", Kristina asked.
           "Huh?", asked Lauren and Will.
            Kristina had just uncovered a dust-covered door, but it looked more like a hatch. The door itself said "GRAY TWO". And it was nailed shut.
            "Blast!", Lauren said as she tried the door without success.
            "I guess we just weren't meant to go in there...", commented Will.
           Give the man a prize!
            "Wow, you two act like you're hearing voices!", exclaimed Kristina.
            Will and Lauren laughed nervously at her suggestion.
            "Wait a minute...", said Will. "Didn't Laura say that I went from the Old Lobby all the way up to Skydeck 30 in a turbolift?"
            "That's right, she did! That must mean..."
            "... that the Gray Sector has elevator access. The elevator that they put in where the ramp was a long time ago must connect to the main turbolift nodes. Man, I feel like an idiot."
            Kristina was confused. "Why do you want to get into Gray Sector so badly? Haven't you head all the stories?"
            "Yes, but how can they be true?", said Will in his best sarcastic falsetto voice.
            "Har-har...", muttered Lauren. "Everyone's a comedy writer."
            "Well you shouldn't stand here wasting valuable lunch time.", Kristina said. "Hurry and get on the elevator!"
            "Kristina, this is a tragi-comic fantasy novella. We gave up going to class a long time ago."
            "Oh, of course... Hey, can I come with you?"
            "Don't see why not... what do you think, Lauren."
           Don't! Not yet!
            "Maybe you'd better not. You might get in trouble...", explained Lauren.
            "Oh..." Dejected, she walked away.
            "Why'd you do that?", Will asked Lauren.
            "I... don't know...", said Lauren.
            "Argghh... oh well... let's just find the nearest turbo and-"
            "... shit."
            "The power went out...", observed Lauren.
            "Do you think that we're not meant to go to Gray Sector today?"
           Well, d-uh!
            So it came to pass that Lauen and Will spent the first half of Part Two sitting in the darkness of the Green Sector halls telling stories...

* * *

            The format of Part Two is delightfully different from that of Part One, and Parts Three and Four (if I write Part Four, and that is a very big 'if'...) will be more 'normal'. This... it's kind of a weird short story collection, where the stories connect to each other in the end, but at this point they're independent little muses.
            Yeah, you have to read them all... preferably in order. A lot of major events happen in them, and they're not too long, and kind of funny. A few are mini-tragedies, while others are pure slapstick comedy. I think it's a wonderful mix. And it's a far sight better than my original idea, which I will bore you with in the appendicies.

"Enter Brian Haas"
"The New Age - Chapter I"
"Desires, Peeves, and Rehearsals"
"Short Storyteller, Tall Character"
"The Great Joseph of SCHOOL"
"Interview with the Coffee Vixen"
"Say 'Slash' and Die - Alpha"
"The New Age - Chapter II"
"A Seemingly Obvious Secret"
"Think That She Is Cute When She Is Mad But Do Not Say It"
"We Never Get To Have Exciting Field Trips Any More OR Let's Have Some Better Story Titles"

            This may be a partial list. Some titles or storytellers may give away things that shouldn't be given away at this time. Then again, it may not be.
            There is a point in Part Two where I decide to stop wasting time with the mundane build-up bits and get on with all the action I had in my head from the outset. You'll know it when you see it.

"Enter Brian Haas" (as told by William Matheson)

            Will and Greg sat alone in the Yearbook Room. Greg sat behind the desk, busily preparing for a math test. He had his related supplies laid out in a smorgasboard over his work surface.
            Will, by contrast, sat in a small chair beside the desk flipping through Grad write-ups and making comments. He was not wearing his glasses.
            Greg tried his best to ignore him, but his consience kept getting in the way. Will was kind of funny, but... "Crap! I'll never get this!", he shouted. "What's cosine plus fourteen sine over wxyz plus abcdef?!"
            "What's cosine?", Will responded.
            "Uh... I think it's-", Greg began.
            "Is it like a number that doesn't change or something?"
            "Yes, but-"
            "Oh! I know! It's... um... 3.1415 something, isn't it? Yeah, that's what it is!", he said with an exuberant conviction.
            "No, it's-"
            Will, as he usually does at the wrong moments, had many more related thoughts all coming to him at once. "Gee, maybe I can make my own numbers!"
            "Uh... okay, fifteen is 'alpha', and 'gamma' is nine-hundred sixty-nine!"
            "You can't do that!", laughed Greg.
            "Yes I can! Someone made the other letters and crap mean stuff!", he said happily.
            "What's gamma plus one?"
            "Nine-hundred seventy!", Will shouted with glee.
            "Uh... no.", said Greg with a smile.
            "Yes!" Will paused. "I got another number! This one is called 'delta'! Bet you can't guess what it is!"
            "No, I can't."
            "'Delta' is..." Will took a very deep breath. "Nine decillion, nine-hundred-ninety-nine nonillion, nine-hundred-ninety-nine octillion, nine-hundred-ninety-nine septillion, nine-hundred-ninety-nine sextillion, nine-hundred-ninety-nine quintillion, nine-hundred-ninety-nine quadrillion, nine-hundred-ninety-nine trillion, nine-hundred-ninety-nine bilion, nine-hundred-ninety-nine million, nine-hundred-ninety-nine thousand, nine-hundred-ninety-nine!" Will collapsed, gasping for air.
            "No it isn't!", laughed Greg.
            "What's delta plus one?", asked Will.
            "Why ten decillion of course!"
            "Yay! You got it!", cheered Will.
            "So what's delta plus gamma minus alpha?"
            Will stared at Greg with a look as blank as a chalkboard in July. "You got me...", he said.
            "And I don't know either. I gotta study now."
            Will left Greg to his own devices. And in the next moment, Brian Haas walked in.
            "Oy vey!" Greg tossed his papers in the air. "What have I done to offend the gods?!"
            "Hello!", Brian shouted.
            "Hello, Haas...", muttered Greg, resuming his valiant effort to study. "Ahh... 'Welcome to the exciting world of Math is /23.'..."
            "Will?", Brian asked. "Can you do me a favor?"
            As Will opened his mouth to respond, Brian's head began to throb. "- do me a favor?"
            William was still there in front of him, but they were no longer in the Yearbook Room. They were standing in a huge upholstered and carpeted lounge with a low celing and full-length windows around the outside, looking out onto the clouds. It was a beautiful day, no overcast or dark clouds. Signs on the walls nearby said 'Cheetah Lounge' and 'Skydeck 30'.
            Brian didn't know what to make of it.
            "Do you know what favor?", Will asked jokingly.
            "Uh...", Brian started. He was too confused to remember.
            Jeremy Strong leaned up beside Brian. "You were going to ask him to get some magazines you left in Brown minus six.", he whispered.
            "Yeah... uh... I left some magazines in-"
            "-Brown minus six..." Brian looked around and saw that he had returned to the Yearbook Room.
            Greg was staring at Brian in a wide-eyed shoked sort of way. "Haas, what happened?! Suddenly you were wearing torn and dirty clothing and trying to get Will to get some magazines you left in a place called Brown minus six!"
            "Oh... uh... Will?"
            "I left a magazine in my class downstairs... Mr. Lincoln's class, could you get it for me?"
            "Why can't you get it?"
            "I'm sick... and now I have a headache too..."
            "Oh, okay..." Will got up and left the room.
            Greg got up out of his chair and approached Brian. "Where did you go?"
            Brian opened his mouth to speak, but then thought the better of it. He paused. "What do you mean?"
            "Look, the same thing happened to me, and maybe even Will."
            "Seriously? I thought I was... dreaming."
            "You weren't. In my case, I saw the areas I was standing in as they look sometime in the future... I didn't actually switch like you and... Brian did."
            "You were in CPA2."
            "What's that?"
            "I don't know, but it seems to be some sort of addition to this school... the sectors seem to be colour coded. This area is known as Gray Sector."
            "Gray Sector..."
            "I haven't figured out what causes these flashes... but I'm working on it. It's the strangest thing I've ever seen."
            "What happened to Will?"
            "He 'switched' too... but only mentally. He says he found himself in a cage like the one they were using to imprison Laura during the impeachment proceedings."
            "Look, let's keep all this to ourselves. Don't tell anyone about this."
            "What about Will?"
            "He wasn't wearing his glasses. He probabally didn't notice."
            Just then, Will stormed back into the room. "What the hell is this?"
            "Huh?", Brian spoke as he turned to face him.
            "This is an issue of Cosmopolitan! This is yours?!"
            "I was casually stolling through the the halls with... this, letting people in every classroom I walked by see that I was carrying a specific magazine... and I find out just now that it's this damn Cosmopolitan... hell they might as well just name it 'Sex Techniques For Women Monthly', from what little I saw of it!!"
            Greg just laughed.

"The New Age - Chapter I" (as told by Lauren Weir)

            His father's car stalled. No matter... He hopped out, leaving the vehicle to it's own fate.
            There were people everywhere. In some strange way, people made him feel uncomfortable. This troubled him, for it was rather uncharacteristic of his Devil-may-care behaviour and attitude.
            He was... he didn't know anymore. But her could destroy. He wrapped himself up in hate and anger as if they were blankets. That was characteristic. That fact comforted him. He then proceeded to fulfil his purpose that particular day...

            Angela and Lori happily strolled through the first floor halls into the Lobby.
            "Wait...", Lori whispered. "Who's that?" She pointed to a cloaked figure before them.
            "Can I help you?", asked Angela nervously.
            "No. But I can help you.", said a feminine voice from inside the cloak.
            Something in his voice mad Lori jump in a vicarious sort of way.
            "What do you mean?", replied Angela.
            "Things are changing. Do you want In?"
            "'In'? In on what?"
            "Everything... it can all revolve around you."
            "At what cost?", interupted Lori.
            Both figures stared at her.
            "All I need is some information... once I get you Inside."
            "Inside... inside where?", asked a frustrated Angela.
            "Everything... but of course I know that all this Pre-Catastrophe stuff can be so confusing, so I will put it to you in simpler terms that you can comprehend..." She paused. "How would you like to be Secretary next year?"
            "Seriously?!", laughed Angela. "Of course!"
            Lori was frantically shaking her head 'no'. "Angela... this isn't a good idea..."
            But Angela did not listen to her.
            "Then it is done.", the figure said. "Farewell!"

            As Lori and Angela walked away, the figure realized something... Will was not there. He was never there. His mission to find him at CPA had failed... fueling his rage even more.

Later that day...

            "Angela, I don't like this!"
            But Angela was oblivious to her friends' concerns.
            "You and I both know that you can't run for Secretary! You only have a seventy average! And, well..."
            "Well what?"
            "I was going to run for Secretary... I don't think I could run against you."
            Then the classroom speaker crackled. The voice of Brian MacKay came on. "Goooood morning CPA, and would everyone pleeease stand for the playing of our national anthem.", he spoke with great energy.
            Angela and Lori instinctively stood up. Ms. Lavallee just remained in her seat.
            Lori looked at her quizically.
            "It hasn't started yet, I'm saving energy! Why not sit down?", she explained with her natural exuberance.
            "Haas, where's the anthem?"
            "I thought you cued it!"
            "Wait... let's try this button!"

            Please allow me to introduce myself
            I'm a man of wealth and taste (woo woo)
            I've been around for a long long year
            Stole many a man's soul and faith (woo woo)
            Pleased to meet you
            Who can guess my name? (woo woo, woo woo)
            'Cause what's puzzling you
            Is the nature of my game (woo woo, woo woo)...

            "That's the radio!"
            "Guys, it's 10:54..."
            "Sorry, Mr. LeRoux!"
            "Press this button..."
            "Wait! This one!"
            Lori collapsed into her chair. Hopeless... everything's gone to hell...

"Desires, Peeves, and Rehearsals" (as told by William Matheson)

            He sat across the room from her, facing her.
            "I don't like to read!", she stated.
           So what do you like to do? Heh-heh-heh... "So what do you like to do?"
            He immeadiately regretted that comment. Gemma rolled her eyes in offense.
            "That was mean, Will!", said Janelle. "Why did you say that?"
           The very question I have been asking myself... "I don't know..."
           Why do you hate me, Will?
            You're mean, Will...
            What the hell is wrong with you?!
            Shut up, Will!
            Will, your comments are good... there's just so many at the wrong time!!
            Nobody cares, Will!
            ... he stirred.
           Do I deserve this? Of course I do... Do you say anything not to slander? Why?! "Ergghhh!" Will yanked at his own face in rage.

            At least Drama class was there to put Will's mind to ease...
            "Boy, I hope Connor remembers his lines...", Kristina whispered to him.
            It was time for what Mr. Zinck called an 'Italian Line Rehearsal'. William often wondered if it had something to do with painful things... the Mafia? 'Italian Cement Shoes' where they take the concrete and... nah. Well, anyway, an Italian Line Rehearsal was where everyone would sit around and they'd go through the play really really fast without their scripts. And the best part was when... oh, it was so amazing this author can barely type it... if they forgot their lines, they got to ... start all over again. This is why Connor McKenzie is such a popular person, even unto today.
            Well into the rehearsal...

SARAH MCCANN: Hi mom! I'm home!
CRYSTAL BUTLER: Hi, honey. How was your day at school?
SARAH: Oh, it was a blast! I got a 150 on my Advanced Quantum Cosmology exam!
CONNOR: And when you're done eating, go to your room! You're grounded!
ANDREW DUKESHIRE: Here's your dumb potatoes!!
(ANDREW tosses the potatoes into CONNOR'S face.)
MR. ZINCK: Alright, back to the begining! From the top, Erica!
CLASS: Connor!!
ERICA GEE: Alright...
SARAH: Hi mom! I'm home!
CRYSTAL: Hi, honey. How was your day at school?
SARAH: Just great, mom! I got a 754 on my Sex Ed. exam!
ANDREW: Are we still going to Paramount Canada's Wonderland like we planned?
CONNOR: Well, your mom and I thought about it, and we decided that we could both manage another baby if they devise a system where the man has the contractions.
ERICA: Your line is "... both manage a day off work.", you cretin!!
MR. ZINCK: Back to the beginning!
CLASS: Connor!!
SARAH: Hi mom! I'm home!
CRYSTAL: Hi, honey. How was your day at school?
SARAH: Awesome! Me and my boyfriend crawled under this table during a fire drill and-
ANDREW: Are we still going to take out a second mortgage and go to Paramount Canada's Wonderland?
CONNOR: Well, your mom and I thought about it, and we decided that we could both manage a day off work.
ANDREW: Yayy! This is so great! Ever since I became a depressed rebellious teenager, we never do anything together as a family anymore!
(JENNY ALLEN presses a button on MR. ZINK'S cd player...)
(Sound of a cow mooing.)
CONNOR: I'll get it. (Picks up the phone.) Hello? No, we donated last week. (Hangs up.)
CLASS: Connor!!
SARAH: Hi mom! I'm home!
CRYSTAL: Hi, honey. How was your day at school?
SARAH: Pretty good, but there was this weird guy named Will who kept staring at me and asking questions about my knee brace.
ANDREW: Are we still going to sell all our worldly posessions and go without food for a week and go to Paramount Canada's Wonderland like we planned?
CONNOR: Well, your mom and I thought about it, and we decided that we could both manage a day off work provided that she goes on a date with my boss.
ANDREW: Yayy! We never do anything as an abusive family anymore!
(JENNY presses the track select buttons again...)
WOMAN: Oohhh, Johnny...
CONNOR: I'll get it. (Picks up the phone.) Hello? He did what?! Oh, okay. Sure. Thank you for informing us. It won't happen again. (Hangs up. Takes a seat.)
ANDREW: Can I take a friend?
CONNOR: Where?
ANDREW: To Paramount Canada's Wonderland, of course!
CONNOR: You're not going anywhere! Your shockingly beautiful teacher just informed me that you... ... um, what was that again? Kinda lost my train of thought... eyagghhhh!!! (MR. ZINCK begins pounding CONNOR on the side of the head with a baseball bat.)
ZOË: Uh... I can cover his lines!!
EMILY SMITH: Get out! You should have stayed in our class earlier!
(ZOË slumps her shoulders and walks away degected.)
WILLIAM: This sucks... why can't I be in Drama 12?
MR. ZINCK (pausing his assault on Connor): Will, those are the kinds of comments that are very destructive to this class.
WILLIAM: Riigghhhttt...

            And so on. It would take them a week just to get through an additional page of script. And who has that kind of time?

A week later...

            "Well, we finally got through an Italian without anyone messing up a line!", Mr. Zinck congratulated his class. "To reward you all, we're going to go see Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde today!"
            The bell rang, and the class left the room. Mr. Zinck turned the lights off and shut and locked the door behind him.
            Connor, tied up and gagged in the corner, finally came to the conclusion that they probabally weren't going to take him along.

"Short Storyteller, Tall Character" (as told by Lauren Weir)

            Laura Johnson sat alone in the Solarium, which looked into a dark sky and pouring rain. School had just let out, and there were lots of people walking by.
            All of them coldly ignoring her.
           Why? Was it what she had done to get impeached from Council? Was it her, or everyone else?
            Theadore walked by. Theadore. Even Theadore ignored her. What a snake. He's so mean... Mean. There was simply no better word.
           Why is he so mean? She had many curious thoughts about this, but none of them could articulate well enough to register as hypothesises. Theadore disappeared into the stairwell.
           Time... anger... I wish I understood it all.

            "Hey Theadore!"
            Theadore spun around and looked up the stairwell to face the female voice. "Wha? Oh, Devon!"
            "Oh, I'm so happy... I just had to tell someone!", she said excitedly.
            "What is it?", asked Theadore.
            "I got a date to the Prom!", she said excitedly.
            Theadore's heart sunk several kilometeres upon hearing her say the words. He had been planning to ask her out for the last four months... but he just couldn't. Now it was too late, and everything was crashing down around him.
            Theadore was not aware of the expression on his face, nor how it shocked and alarmed her. He didn't want to be aware.
            "W-w-who?", he stammered.
            "Mark Louch...", she said. She eyed him with concern.
            "Mark Louch?... ..."
            "What's wrong?"
            "... ... ..."
            "Theadore? Are you okay?"
           Was I ever?...
            "... ... ..."
            Theadore fainted.

            While running down the stairs, Laura stumbled upon Theadore.
            She kicked him.

"The Great Joseph of SCHOOL" (as told by William Matheson)

            As William, seated on the other side of the bench, attempted to sing bits of "The Boxer" by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, Joeseph MacMillian was busily reading yet another book published by TOR Fantasy. And they were bored.
            So everything was status quo.
            "In the clearing stands a boxer,
            And a fighter by his trade
            And he carries the reminders
            Of ev'ry glove that laid him down
            Or cut him till he cried out
            In his anger and his shame,
            'I am leaving, I am leaving.'
            But the fighter still remains...
            "So do you get this Q-Basic stuff yet?", he asked Will.
            "Yeah, sorta... want to see my source code?"

PRINT "This is William Matheson's Q-Basic Program"

            "Erggh... I still don't get it.", resigned Joe.
            "Yeah... I guess if it wasn't hard, Mr. Farrow wouldn't have us on this same exercise for six weeks."
            "What time was he going to let us back into class again?"
            "He said 3:25, and it's almost 2:20 now..."
            Will sighed.
            "Do you smell something?", Will asked.
            "It smells like an electrical fire..."
            Suddenly a high-pitched female scream came from inside the lab.
            "Oh, it's just Victoria's computer acting up again.", said Joseph.
            "So are you getting through 'Secret of Mana'?"
            "Well, I would be but... I just don't have any time anymore. I hope I remember to give it back to Adam Kidson before the end of June."
            "What would you do if you forgot?"
            "Well, you know how I've been saying that I'm going to write this novella when I'm in Souris this summer?"
            "Well, I think maybe I'll put some obscure reference to my not having returned the game yet and how I'm really sorry and I'll give it to Shane next time I see him and how Adam's a really cool guy and it was a pleasure to know him."
            "Yeah, maybe then he won't tie me to a wall and torture me with hat pins for three months."
            "Hehe... How obscure is this reference going to be?"
            "Well, it will be obvious enough for him to pick up on it, but not to the point where anyone else reading the novella would notice it. To the average reader, it will just seem like a regular dialog between a primary character and a secondary character introduced for the purpose of the reference."
            "Cool, so no one else will notice it?"
            "Nope. It will slide down just as easily as the rest of the novella."
            "Well, best of luck."

"Interview with the Coffee Vixen" (as told by Lauren Weir)

            Lauren walked into the Yearbook Room. Already seated were Marsha Lovett, William Matheson, and of course Greg.
            Greg looked at Lauren. "What do you all think this place is, the drop-in center?!", he said.
            Lauren looked at Greg. "You promised to interview me.", she said.
            "Oh... that..." Greg sighed and put away his math texts. "What did you want me to interview you about?"
            "I want to talk about the Student's Council! Those snots have gone too far this time!"
            Will and Marsha suppressed chuckles.
            "I'm serious!", Lauren stated. "And I wanted to put an article in the newspaper about it but I got turned down!!"
            "Well, I could address that issue for you. It simply wouldn't be in the best interests of the newspaper to publish an article defaming the Student's Council seeing that the Council helped fund their startup costs.", explained Will.
            "Will! It's her interview!", Greg laughed.
            "Oh... sorry..."
            "Maybe they should...", Lauren started.
            "Yeah...", Greg finished. "Maybe they should leave!", he emphasised, indicating Will and Marsha.
            "No, please let us stay! You won't even know we're here!", said Will. "Right, Marsha?"
            "Of course!", she answered.
            "Hmm... allright...", Greg murmured. "Okay... Lauren, why do you continually call down the Council yet not participate in order to strenghten your opinion?"
            "I try to participate!! They won't let me!"
            "Can you give me an example?"
            "Okay, like there was the time they were having the Grade 10 Orientation and I wanted to be one of the guides-"
            "I remember that!", Will shouted.
            Lauren turned around to face Will. "Yeah, and Jer said I could help out, right?!" She returned her attention to Greg. "But the next morning, Ms. MacKenzie said I couldn't help because I didn't talk to my subject teachers!"
            "Yeah, and she was in a real pissy mood that whole morning too. I don't know what was up with her..."
            "Will!!", Greg shouted.
            "Whoops... sorry."
            "Okay... well what else did you try and get involved in?"
            And so it began. The interview ran for well over half an hour, with Marsha and Will interupting all the time to laugh out loud. Until they all hit upon a strange anecdote...
            "Does anyone notice that we're seeing less of Jeremy Strong lately?", Lauren asked.
            "Well it's the President's perogative... maybe he's tiring of the day to day duties now that Colin's gone...", said Will.
            "And where is Colin?"
            "They say he disappeared on the highway.", contributed Marsha. "But that's all anyone knows."
            "Interesting...", murmered Greg.
            "I saw Jeremy though. Just last week, in fact.", said Marsha.
            "You did?!", gasped Will. "What happened?"
            "Well I saw him in the Cafeteria stairwell. He looked really upset and shaken so I ran down to him and asked what was wrong but he only replied 'Errggh... help me... Jerr is going to get me... help me...', and I looked at him closely and I noticed that he had all these needle scars all over him. So I asked about those, but before he could reply, Ms. MacKenzie came up the stairs from behind and took him by the arm, and while she took him back downstairs she was saying to him 'Now Jer, you know better than to leave Jerr all alone in your room like that. I'm sure he'll be all upset now, thanks to you.'.
            I told all my friends about it, but few of them believed me. I told a few teachers but many of them just said they couldn't tell me for my own safety, and the ones who didn't tell me that were new here and didn't even know what I was talking about. I still didn't know what to make of it so I told Mr. Whitman about it. He didn't tell me anything but 'Thanks for telling me about this, we'll look into it right away'.
            And this morning, I got kicked off the Cheerleading Team..."
            Lauren gasped. "They've got you blacklisted too!"
            Suddenly Ms. Starrit swung open the door. "Would you mind being quiet!? I'm trying to teach a math class here!!" She eyed Lauren and Marsha. "Greg, get those two infidels out of here!" Then she noticed Will. "Oh, but you can stay dear...", she said as she patted him on the shoulder. "Would you like anything to drink?"
            "No thanks, Ms. Starrit, I'm good.", Will replied.
            "Oh, splendid... Are you deaf, Greg?! Get those girls out of here before I cut off your extra help priveliges!!"
            "Sorry!" Greg got up and pushed Marsha and Lauren out of the room, locking the door to keep them out.
            "Those lousy preps... I'll get them for this someday...", Lauren muttered.
            "Yeah... they should know better than to cross you.", agreed Marsha.

"Say 'Slash' and Die - Alpha" (as told by William Matheson)

            William walked into Ms. O'Leary's Law class almost fifteen minutes before it was technically over. But it didn't matter, everyone had put away their books and were standing by the door waiting to leave long ago.
            Beth MacQuarrie notcied him and waved. William approached her timidly.
            "How was class?", he asked her.
            "Pretty good, actually. Craig Brown finally wore down Ms. O'Leary in class today. You should see the size of the ring he got her!"
            "I thought she was already engaged...", said Will.
            "Yeah, but he got jelaous because of Craig and broke it off. I wonder why she doesn't sue Craig for ruining her life!"
            "Yeah, really. So what else is new?"
            "Not much."
            Will was about to launch onto a new topic when he noticed Ms. O'Leary and Jamie Gibb having a loud argument.
            "This is the week before final exams and you still haven't turned anything in to me!!", she shouted. "How do you expect to deserve the passing grade that even a total moron would know for sure I'm going to give you anyway?!"
            "Hahaha. Shaddup. When I'm a deputy officer of the TSF, I'm going to decree that you become my slave!!", Jamie retorted.
            "Hahaha to you too! You'll have to fight Craig Brown and Tyson H. for that!", she shouted back at him.
           TSF?, wondered Will.
           Slave? How could he do that to her?, wondered Beth.
            "Do you think he's kidding?", Will asked Beth.
            "I don't know... I hope so.", she replied.
            "This is most frightening...", Will said.
            "Yeah...", she agreed. She looked at her watch. "Oop!", she exclaimed. "It's ten minutes to the bell, time to leave!" She left Will standing by himself in the room, waving 'goodbye' as she entered the hallway.
            "Rats.", muttered Will.

"The New Age - Chapter II" (as told by Lauren Weir)

            The story of the construction and testing of Lori's 4D Actuator and her Psi-Trans, the story of Angela getting more and more inclined to work with the TSF, the story which this whole dang part is named after.
            And it sounds pretty boring, so we're just going to skip right over it.

"A Seemingly Obvious Secret" (as told by William Matheson)

Sometime when Will was in Grade Ten...

            Will stormed into the Student's Council's Office, his fists clenched with rage, and the taunts of nearly a hundred jerks he met in the lunchtime halls ringing through his mind.
           Someday... someday I'll kill them!! Hahahaha!!
            The office was filled with grade elevens and twelves, most of them quite unknown to Will. "Which one of you is the President?"
            "I am!", six of the guys in the room answered simultaneously.
            "Hahaha...", Will muttered, then left the room.
            "You should run, Will...", someone said.

Sometime when Will was in Grade Eleven...

            "This is outrageous!!", Will shouted at Tim Holland. "I came in from Sandy Lake Academy, so I missed out on the grade ten election, and I was expelled during last year's election!! When do I get to vote, huh? Can I run?!"
            "I think you can run..."
            "Oh, the heck with it... no one would vote for me anyway."

            But later, Will heard an announcment that signaled that anyone interested in running for Student's Council next year should come down to Ms. MacKenzie's room. So, on a whim, he did just that. And there, at the front of the room, he saw... Devon Day! Yes, the woman of his dreams! She was running for President! And so it followed that William ran for Vice-President, just because he wanted to be on the Student's Council with this person!

Four weeks later...

            Having lost Vice-President, Will decided to run for Grade 12 Rep. Also running for Grade 12 Rep were Brian Haas, Tim Martin, Mark Louch, Kendra "Bergman" Bernard, Laura Johnson, Edgar Sullivan, Tim Holland, John Sheridan, Kristina Kenny, Julie Brownell, Citan Uzuki, Amy Kikuchi, Alex, Luna, and Ramus, Gavin Beck, Lauren "Slash-Beth" MacQuarrie, Fei Fong Wong, Cortney Oland, Frodo Baggins, Nick Carter, Elhaym Van Houten, Joseph MacMillian, Sailor Saturn, Zoë Bigio, Jenni Leonard, Ricky Martin, Jeffery Sinclair, Dave Barry and the Olsen Twins. Will won, paving the way for many many great things to happen, and-

* * *

            "Will! Would you quit making things up to be funny, and just get on with it?!", yelled Lauren.
            The small crowd that had gathered in the darkness to listen murmured their agreement.
            "Does anyone think something is missing from this little saga being told to us?", asked a listener.
            "Yes... of course... exactly...", the crowd agreed.
            "See?", said the listener. "You need to introduce a real problem. Even though I didn't start listening until now, I can tell you've filled up a great deal of time with your characters and events, but no common problem. You can't just keep your characters jumping at shadows for three parts. You'll drive yourself crazy trying, and you'll have no fun."
            "But these stories are real!", Will protested. "I'm telling you the truth!!"
            "I know...", the listener whispered almost inaudibly. "Either way,", the person spoke up, "you need to get things rolling. Give us some bad guys. Introduce us to the causes now, not the effects."
            Will considered this advice and thought for a few moments.
            "Alright...", he agreed. "You asked for it..."

* * *

"LAN at CPA on a SHOESTRING" (as told by William Matheson)

            Chris Spencer (Eric / Cindy) stomped out of the computer lab, fuming.
            "What's wrong?", Katrina Boyce, his stunningly attractive girlfriend, asked him.
            "Everything! Everything's wrong!! Hmmph... grrr... the powers that be won't do anything to get new computers for our school! And have you seen our website?!"
            "Wait a second... actually, yes! I have! There was a link on Will's page-"
            "That's what I'm talking about! And half the school thinks that he is running the official school page... that that GeoCities-"
            "-Crosswinds page with all the crazy stories and the sorriest layout and use (or lack thereof) of graphics that I have ever seen outside of CRS class... is the official school page!"
            "Does he have a hit list on it like everyone says?"
            "Heck, go to /solarium/secret/hitlist.html and see for yourself! But... all this is beside the point. Our website is so pathetic and useless... so much so that the only website getting any attention around here is Will's. This has to change."
            "I agree."
            "And we need new, reliable computers too!"
            "I thought they just shipped in a truck load of TRS-80s?"
            "Arrgghh... see?! No one around here knows enough to tell the difference!!"
            Katrina drew him close to comfort him. "I will.", she said in the most soothing voice she could muster. "Teach me everything you know."
            "I'll try.", he smiled. "Someday, I'll-"
            "Hey! You! Katrina Boyce's boyfriend!", came the familiar shouts.
            "Oh-no...", Chris groaned in dread.
            Will Matheson ran up in front of Chris. "Oh, sorry, am I interrupting anything?", he asked.
            "No, of course not.", Chris replied, brimming with sarcasm.
            Will didn't even notice. "Hey, uh... Mike... when are we going to have that web page meeting?"
            'Mike' looked at him. "My name is Chris."
            "Chris!!", Will groaned. "Of course!! I keep forgetting, you see! Sorry! Anyway, Mike, uh..."
            "-Chris... uh... so when are we going to gather all the information and have that meeting?"
            "Oh...", he wondered aloud with an air of sudden brightness. "Well... first we have to..."


            "Okay then.", Will said. "I'll get that stuff for you tomorrow! Bye!"
            Katrina turned to Chris. "Well, now that Will's gone, can we-"
            The bell rang to end lunch.
            "Dammit!", Chris muttered.
            "Well, maybe we can get together after class.", suggested Katrina.


            "Anyway, so Jillian says to me, she says, 'Pixels? I thought you said jpegs!'."
            Chris and Katrina laughed. "Tell the one with the four guys buying a Cyrix, an Intel Celeron, an AMD K6-2, and a PowerMac!", Katrina said.
            "Okay... so there's this middle-aged guy walking into the Radio Shack looking for a Compaq Presario, right? And then-"
            "Hey! Mike! Katrina Boyce's boyfriend!"
           Hehe... at least he remembers my name..., Katrina mused.
            "Not again...", groaned Chris.
            "Hey, I'm not interrupting anything am I?"
            Chris opened his mouth to reply, but Katrina stepped in and said "No... go ahead.".
            "Oh... okay. Mike, when do I have to have that Guidance information in for?"
            "Uh... sometime next week would be good...", 'Mike' replied.
            "Okay. Thanks!", Will ran off.
            Chris returned his attention to Katrina. "Anyway, so this guy walks up to the counter and-"
            And as if on cue, the bell rang.
            "Dammit!", Chris muttered.
            "Well, maybe we can get together before the busses leave.", suggested Katrina.


            "... and like I said, things are terrible. It's getting so that when you flip the light switch on or off, the server crashes."
            "Hehe... it sounds like someone like Jamie Gibb could just go in there when another operative planted a disk and made alterations to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file the previous day, and just push the spacebar and cause the whole lab to blow up and creating a big commotion, and causing the school to be nearly destroyed!"
            "Hehe...", Chris laughed. "As if that would ever happen! But then I guess all it would need is-"
            "Hey! Chris Boyce! Mike Myer's... uh... whoops..."
            "Arghh...", gleeped Chris.
            "Oh, sorry... Am I interrupting anything?"
            "Oh... okay... well I got this great computer joke to tell you! There's these two webheads... one with a nice 600 megaherts P3, 128 meg RAM, cable modem, et cetera... and the other webhead has... a 486DX4!! Ha-ha! Anyway-"
            "I heard that one already!!"
            "Oh... well then... um... hey, look at all those people in the Pit! Aren't they stupid, or what?"
            "Yes, of course. Quite the morons. Now-"
            "Hey look! There goes your bus!", Will shouted cheerfully.
            "Dammit!! Dammit dammit dammit!!", Chris yelled.
            "Well, maybe you could get on my bus, come to my house, and come up to my room and-"
            "Leave the rest to the readers' imagination, maybe?"
            "Sure!", laughed Katrina. She naughtily pulled out her calculus textbook. "Wanna try... chapter sixteen?", she whispered.
            "Can I come too?", Will asked brightly.
            Katrina and Chris turned in suprise. "W-why?", they asked in unison.
            "Because I just missed my bus too."
            "Dammit!! Dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit [CENSORED] DAMMIT!!", Chris yelled.

"Think That She Is Cute When She Is Mad But Do Not Say It" (as told by William Matheson)

            In the quiet lunchtime that it was becoming, Sara Hutchinson reached into her lunch bag and removed a worm-ridden apple.
            "Eww...", she commented.
            "Are you going to eat that?", Hughie Grant asked her.
            "Uh... no, you can have it!" She tossed it to him.
            "Eeyuck...", said Will. "That's so totally disgusting!"
            Hughie shruged and devoured the apple, worms and all.
            At that point, Scott Cluney walked up. "Is it true you and Ross Long are going to take over the world?", he asked Will.
            Will thought for a moment, something the third floor Upper Solarium area was conductive to. "Hmm... Well, should the opportunity present itself, yes.", he answered.
            "Great, just great...", muttered Scott.
            "Hey that reminds me of a song...", Will said wispily.
            "Don't!!", shouted Scott.
            "Okay... man... 'sorry."
            Hughie, the apple being only a memory to him now, walked up to where Sara was sitting against the wall and reached for her lunch bag. "Got anything else in here?..."
            "Fuck get away from me!!", Sara shouted.
            Will laughed, amused by the sound of her voice. "Hehe... What's this about me and Ross taking over the world?", he asked Scott.
            "Well... maybe it's just a rumor then. But you didn't hear that from me."
            "I can't tell you..."
            "... I have to go."
            "Bye...", Will said after him.
            "What was that all about?", Sara asked Will. "It seems kind of- Fuck get away from me!!", she shouted as Hughie tried to grab a Ding Dong.
            "I don't know. Poor Ross... there's been so many rumors going around about him..."
            "Fuck get away from me!!"
            "Huh? What did I do?"
            "Sorry. Just a reflex."

"We Never Get To Have Exciting Field Trips Any More OR Let's Have Some Better Story Titles" (as told by Lauren Weir and William Matheson, constantly interrupting each other)

            "Devon! Would you hurry it up? We're going to miss the bus!"
            "Yeah, yeah..."
            Amy Kikuchi, having enough of waiting at her friend's locker, finally pulled Devon away by her arm.
            "Ouch! Hey! You made me drop my Official Nick Carter Schoolbag™!"
            Amy, almost half-curious, stooped down to the hall floor to pick the bookbag up for her.
            "It's... empty.", she remarked upon giving it back to her.
            "Of course it's empty! Why would I desecrate Nickypie's bookbag by actually putting my own dirty filthy belongings in it?! Boy, Amy, sometimes I wonder about you...", she said as she rolled her eyes skyward.
            "Of course, Devon.", she smiled, then when no one was looking, rolled her own eyes and silently mouthed her own concerns. They walked down the third floor hallway towards Guidance and the Main Stairwell.
            "Are Mark and Will coming too?" (Author's Note: Devon is asking about William Brayley, Amy's boyfriend, not William Matheson. But hey... you never know, right? j/k)
            "Yep..." The mention of her boyfriend put a slight jovial spring in Amy's step. "If we hurry, maybe we can sit with them!"
            The time was 10:00am. Amy and Devon and a whole heck of a lot of other people whom the author doesn't want to mention now because he may suddenly decide he wants them in later were going on a bus trip to see Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, preformed by some amateur theatre group whose name escapes the author at the moment because he didn't go and is just going to make the whole thing up so he hopes that's okay with you. Anyway, Devon and Amy walked out of the lobby onto the Concrete Yard and straight onto the bus.

* * *

            "Can't you make it any nicer than that?", the mysterious listener interupted.
            "W-what do you mean?", asked William.
            "Well don't you like Devon? I thought you liked her, and now you're insulting her by making her sound like some obsessive desparate person! And you didn't comment on her clothes, or appearance, or anything!"
            "Well... hmm... I don't know. I kind of talk about everybody that way."
            "Hey...", interjected Lauren. "Can I tell some of this? I was there too."
            "You were??", both Will and the listner asked in suprised unison.

* * *

            Lauren sat near the back of the bus, watching.
            Alone in the seat in front of her, Lori Walsh was reaching into her handbag and looked to be fiddling with something.
           What's she doing?, Lauren wondered.
           Possibly saving all our lives. Please don't call any attention to me.
            What was that?? Did she... could she? No... Lauren dismissed her suspicious thoughts and relaxed into her seat.

Possibly saving all our lives... Mmm, what a wonderful line. Maybe someday I'll finish this story. But probably not. I could tell you why she's saving their lives, but I think it would ruin the story for you. =)

Thanks everyone, it's been great. Stay tuned for SMU.

Return to A View from the Solarium.
Goto Crosswinds.
Goto Previous Essay: "William Matheson's 'The Artifact'". (99/00-2 #25)