Chapter Four

Kate's World

Kite Rider

I whirled around, ready to tell this bub who was boss. I heard a familiar laugh. I tightened my fists, becoming very annoyed now. A figure appeared from the shadows of a corner. He could have easily been a shadow himself. He was dark-skinned, but not Indian or African-American. He dressed in dark jeans, a black t-shirt featuring Grateful Dead. And he was none other than Lance de Barrera.

"Gee, it doesn't take much to startle the Great Kate anymore." Lance sighed, drumming his fingers. I growled. He was so irritating! He playfully jerked my chin. It was so aggravating that he had grown. I was tall for my age, 5 10" 2/5, but he was so keen on annoying me that he had grown to 6 feet. I had to look up at him. I swatted his hand away.

"Leave me alone." I muttered, a lame excuse for a comeback.

"Really? Kate dear, you're losing your touch." Count to 5, the counselor had told me. Control your anger. I couldn't contain it. The guy always managed to pluck my nerves like a guitar. I turned around and stomped off to Computer Programming.

"Um hello...Freestar Ochocki Here." I know. Absolute weirdest name for an Asian girl. But when a Native American gets starry-eyed for a tiny Japanese girl...

"Hello Freestar Ochocki Here. I'm Kate Maximum Bond." I said, just to be irritating.

"You're in love with him." Star said clearly (The swelling on her lip had gone down)

"No." I said, dropping it. I know what you're thinking.

Who's this Lance character?

Is he hot?
Did you guys ever date?

Well...To not answer your questions, I'm not going to tell you. Tough luck.

I arrived at Computer Programming eight minutes late. The nice old fellow that ran the class sighed as I waltzed in, my bad encounter with Lance forgotten. I picked out a seat next to Renee, and Star felt her way over. Our lesson today was simple: Hack the computer before the time ran out. It was a lesson to know the importance of time. If we were in enemy territory, we would have to be quick and decisive. When the time ran out, you were dead. Iris looked hopelessly lost. Renee was trying to concentrating, but then she spied a cute boy out of the corner of her eyes and started to play with her hair. Which left Star, hard at work hacking the program with a fast flurry of typing. It seemed impossible yes, that the blind girl was the only one who could hack, but it was the sad truth. Hm. I decided to peek inside her head to see what was going on

UP-UP-DOWN-LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT-B-A-ENTER

Beta English Pirate DOWN DOWN LEFT ENTER

httml:/rowanhack*gtl* UP DOWN UP ENTER

Unix code C _koltv_ LEFT RIGHT LEFT ENTER

I tried to mimic Star's typing and it worked... a bit. I couldn't really keep up, but Star was now done. I concentrated hard, but an ERROR screen popped up. I balled up my fists, ready to punch a hole through the computer screen. "Hands of the keyboard!" Our teacher called. I smashed my hands down on it in irritation, and a pop-up…. Popped up. I sighed, this was never the class I excelled in. To cheer myself up, I grabbed my iPod from my bag and scrolled through the songs and found a bass-a-plenty song

WHUB WHUB WHUB WHUB WHUB The subwoofers shaked. I had nearly forgotten I had given it to Star to fiddle with…

Oops…

"KATE BOND!" My teacher roared, storming up to me. He snatched it out of my hand. "Your foolishness never gets you anywhere! Please report to the main office immediately! And someone tell me how to turn this off!" He spat, spit flying everywhere. He was so close it felt like he was going to eat me, which wouldn't be pleasant because his teeth were crusty yellow and his breath smelled horrendous.

"Not a problem, Mr. Estoof." I said, casually wiping myself clean of spit, and slipping out of my seat. "I'll report to the headmaster right away. He and I are tight! I dashed out of the class, eager to get away from Mr. Esteemed-Bad-Breath. I got to the door and bowed, then looked at Renee and sent her a thought. Do NOT tell him how to turn it off. She smiled and gave me a thumbs-up, and I knew the class was in good hands. My last view of the class was guys in the corner raving, Iris plugging her ears, Mr. Estoof screaming at the indifferent face of Renee, Star grinning from ear-to-ear and Lance winking at me. I stuck my tongue out at him and then went off to the headmaster's office.