CHAPTER 1: INTRO

He stood looking out the glass doors, yearning for a taste of the welcoming warmth and freedom the outside world had to offer. Being on a school fieldtrip to the South Dakota Biological Experiments Crew (S.D.B.E.C) science show, Richard Junior Storm - R.J as he was known to his friends- was as miserable as any 17 year old could be. He would have much preferred being outside putting his 5'6 heavyset body to use in a game of football.

He was almost tempted to go outside because he found it "unfair" that he be trapped inside on such a day. He had been waiting all week for the skies to clear up from the recent rainy days and now that they had, he was stuck in a science exhibit. R.J wasn't much interested in science or museums; he was more of an outdoors person. He didn't care much for scientific breakthroughs or new discoveries and the prestige of the scientists behind them; he was much more interested in his own street reputation. Despite being a Jehovah's Witness, R.J was a brawler, often getting involved in fights just for the sake of his own pride or that of his family. On occasion, he would fight to defend people who weren't capable of doing so themselves. While at times his values and judgment were rash, R.J always had his mind set to do what was right.

His large ears picked up the sound of footsteps coming from behind him. "What's up R.J?" Affan said as he shook hands with R.J. Affan was one of R.J's best friends and R.J considered him family. Coming from a mixed background of African American and Egyptian descent, 15 year old Affan had a lighter skin tone than R.J and had long, curly black hair that reached down to his neck . He stood 5'5 tall and was also on the heavier side of the scale, but not as far as R.J. He wore glasses-or at least he was supposed to- and had been wearing braces for 2 years. He was a bit uncoordinated due to his over-protective parents leading him to be a bit of a "wimp", as others called him. Affan was certainly not what one would call athletic, though he did enjoy playing basketball from time to time. While he usually had a non-confrontational attitude, Affan was quick to fight if he needed to defend his family, the one thing that mattered most to him.

"This is torture," R.J replied. "I should be out there, playing football out in the fields or something. Not in here at this nerd convention!"

"You should be happy our classes were some of the few chosen to attend such an exciting event. Don't you know today is the day they'll finally reveal one of those secret experiments to the public? This is the first time in the history of the Lab that the public has been allowed to come and view one of their experiments and watch them in action. This is history dude!"

"Ugh, I hate science and I definitely hate history."

"Well, be glad you're not stuck in a 3 hour history class like Mahmoud is right now."

"Well I'd prefer to be out in PE like Rashad, at least he gets to shoot some hoops in the gym right now."

"You can 'shoot some hoops' on your own time," R.J's teacher Ms. Baker interrupted. "Right now during school hours you'll do what we decide and we've decided to bring your ungrateful behind here to learn something. I'm assigning a five page report on your experience and the knowledge you gained here, due tomorrow so you'd better pay attention."

"Five pages," R.J groaned. "Isn't that a bit much? I mean, I came, I saw some dudes in lab coats, they're about to talk about their boring experiments, and then showcase them, and we leave. How can I stretch that out on five pages?"

"I can make it more if that's what you're asking."

"No."

"Okay then. Now, come on, you too Affan, the first presentation is about to begin." R.J and Affan followed Ms. Baker into one of the many rooms where the experiments were meant to be displayed. They took their seats in the room, except for R.J who was muttering curse words as he leaned against a wall after realizing there were no more seats left. The lights were turned off and the show was about to begin.