Dusty lived in an era of perfection. Nearly everyone strived to be perfect, nearly everyone strived to be the same. They didn't even know what they were doing. Of course, no two average girls in her high school would ever wear the same skirt as their friends on the same day, but they all owned the same clothing and it would often appear as if the school had some kind of uniform. They all watched the same music videos and listened only to the "hottest" pop hits, which, of course were all made by Mistress Lulu, who was the same as all the other "different" and "groundbreaking" pop stars. Then there were the books. The Daybreak saga was the only book series the popular crowd ever read. The plot was a sad sequence of romance, depression, and car chases and the characters didn't have any personalities. And, of course, there were the boys. A clique called "The Nine" consisted of the basketball playing jocks that spent all day looking in the mirror. The popular girls followed them to the end of the earth, or across the fine line between drinking and drunk.

But even though the majority high school was bent on perfection or popularity, Dusty and her friends were not. They walked through the hallways and never worried about what anybody thought. Most of her friends enjoyed it. But a few had an undying desire to be the leader of the pack, and thought that that could only be achieved through popularity and fame. Alt was one of those people. Dusty always had to remind him that, in the end, the popular people would all die out and they would go on.

"Why does being different mean that we will survive in a worst case scenario?" Alt asked Dusty one night at her house in the woods. Most of their friends have left to go to the creek except her, Alt and John who was playing a computer game on Dustys' moms' laptop. Dusty dipped a cleaning cloth inside a smelly liquid and cleaned the barrel of her Colt 45 with a sigh.

"Because, when people all become the same, they abandon their real talents to pursue more 'fashionable' ones such as clothing design, big time acting, sports, and sometimes the worst of all, singing. They take all the jobs that should be filled be people that actually have those talents and ruin the world for the rest of us. They fail to develop the talents necessary for human survival, such as farming, shooting and using weapons, building shelters and making flower beds out of tires." Dusty looked up from the gun she was cleaning and smiled at Alt. "Especially making flower beds out of tires.".

Alt generally thought that she was insane, but this actually started to make sense to him. How else would you explain the failed amount of pop singers in the world who barely make enough money to buy a couple eggs at the grocery store? How else would you explain the unemployment?

"You see, I'm doing O.K. So are you. What are you going to do if you become one of them? What am I going to do? Is there anyone else who can answer all my questions about cells? I don't think so. The reason all of us get along so well is because we are all very different. We all have our own talents and are good at what we do.". Dusty clicked the pieces of the revolver into their correct places and admired the machine. The materials shone and everything worked and clicked just the way it was supposed to. "John, please stop torturing the computer and go outside. We are almost ready to leave."

John pushed his glasses further onto his nose. "But I'm not done!" he complained. "I'm on level seven and if I quit now, I'll lose it!". John hesitantly stopped playing the game and stood up. "You should get a new computer, Dusty. Yours is as slow as the computers from the stone age.".

Dusty got up from her chair and stretched. She put on her leather coat, stuck the revolver into the worn holster, and slipped on a pair of rubber camouflage boots. "Let's go you guys." she said. Alt lifted the food supply pack and John picked up the tent. "Time to set up camp in the most hell bent place on earth. Beer Woods Creek!"

The screen door was the last thing that separated Dusty from the miles and miles of wilderness and danger that lay ahead. She kicked it open.