While Lillian walked through the hallways between lunch and English, she noticed that new bio teacher Carrie had been raving about over the weekend. And just like Carrie had said, the lady was using a camera to look at students. It was probably that infared one Carrie talked about.
That’s really creepy, Lillian thought.
But even more disturbing was the fact that that teacher, Mrs. Johns, lowered her camera to stare directly at Lillian.
Eww! Why the crap is she looking at me like that?
Lillian quickened, trying to disappear into the crowd, but the hungry eyes of Mrs. Johns still bore into her back. They reminded her of muggers, or what they probably looked like, only sadistic and deadly. Lillian gulped hard and tried to erase the red-frizzy-haired lady’s cruel smile from her head.
At lunch, Theo was unusually quiet. He even admitted it to himself. But something simply didn’t sit straight with him.
It was that new bio teacher. What was her name? Mrs. Johnson? Mrs. Johanne? Whatever. It didn’t matter. She’d already freaked him out.
Based on what knowledge he’d gathered from Carrie, Theo had decided a few things on Mrs. Whatever. The first was that she didn’t know her biology very well. The second was that she was eccentric. And the third was that she noticed something special about Carrie and Lillian.
Carrie hoped it was her potential, but Theo agreed with Lillian. That lady was very suspicious.
Forget it, Noel thought back at him. He hadn’t meant to transmit his thoughts over the internet, wary of the school’s wireless tapping, but it sometimes activated subconsciously.
You’ve been watching too much TV, Noel chided him, just because you have telepathy doesn’t mean you’re in a superhero world.
How many times do I have to remind you, Theo inwardly groaned. His eyes flicked towards the people at the lunch table. It’s not telepathy.
Whatever. It’s my turn to read anyway. Noel’s thoughts began to turn back to Shakespeare, and the relations between the characters and her own group of friends.
Theo dove back into his mind-room, watching information fill itself in on a massive whiteboard. Some facts about Mrs. Whatever…
Well, she liked to look at people with her infared camera. That was disturbing. She taught from the book. Like, straight from the book, with book answers. Mrs. Whatever was outgoing, and talked more about phase change and physics than she did biology.
That was the one thing Carrie didn’t like about her, the lack of biology. And Theo decided that was a little odd as well. They’d talked about the Bose-Einstein state that day, utterly confounding Carrie. Even Theo’s chemistry teacher hadn’t explained Bose-Einstein.
Noel was done reading. Hey Noel, he thought, what’s the Bose-Einstein state?
Stop it, Theo! I’m trying to listen to other people! And besides, if you can talk to me over the internet, why don’t you just go search online right now?
Even though simply prompting her to think about it had gotten him an answer, he took her advice to fill in the blanks.
The internet was a scary place. In one frightening millisecond, he could search through literal mountains of information. He could blink and suddenly appear thousands of miles away from his original location on the information superhighway. His mind was a tiny red car that traversed an ever-expanding world. It was breath-taking, really.
As it turned out, the Bose-Einstein state was a state when atoms came so close to each other with so little energy that their electron shells sort of overlapped.
Theo figured that quantum mechanics was just as scary as the internet.
Mr. Wills called Yvette for a special appointment that afternoon, and she was not looking forward to dealing with him, or his comments about her friends. Nonetheless, he was her superior.
So she stood silently at attention while Mr. Wills stroked his beard and clicked away at his gradebook.
He finally looked up, his face serious and grim. “I have something important to say to you.”
“It’s not about that teacher, is it? That would be stupid. She’s only eccentric. Carrie is absolutely enthralled by her, so I doubt the lady-”
“That’s not it,” Mr. Wills interrupted.
“I’m demoting you. It’s clear you have far too much attachment to make clear decisions regarding this case.”
Yvette fell silent. She breathed in. “Mr. Wills, if I may, I have a suggestion.”
“One suggestion won’t keep you from being demoted.”
She brushed the comment aside. “You said the device would lower the temperature of a living being, correct?”
“It’s just that we might use that Mrs. Johns’s idea.”
The man’s bushy white eyebrows perked, making him look almost comical. “What do you mean?”
“We could use an infrared camera to find where the temperature is below one degree,” she said, then reconsidered and added something. “Well, supposing the quantum device still exists.”
“And wouldn’t you love it if the device had burned in the atmosphere?”
“Mr. Wills, I have told you many times, the device is priority.”
“Ah, but is it priority enough that you’ll place it above your friends?”
Yvette straightened her face. “Of course.”
Chuckling, Mr. Wills stroked his beard and rose to his full height. Yvette figured he might have been taller than Abraham Lincoln. He looked down with smug superiority, like an aristocrat priding himself for abandoning a kitten. "I should hope it is. And don't worry, I've already placed your tactic into good use."