“I can’t believe I let you talk me in to this,” I grumbled, looking up at the metal archway that led to the school’s grounds, at this point wishing I hadn’t been able to find a template for the holo-guise. Blast it. Why did I agree to this? “At least we have something to fill your extra time,” Clank said reprovingly. “Besides, this school is in the general area of the source of the anomalies.” “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know,” I said offhandedly, walking past the gate and into an empty courtyard. “Let’s just hope you’ve thought of everything we’ll need for me to actually get into this place.” I wandered slightly, unsure of where to go. Honestly, I’m lost. “Hey,” a voice called suddenly. I jumped at the sound and turned to face the speaker. Why is it that everything on this planet scares the fur off of me?! He was almost, though not quite, twice as tall as me. His large red sweatshirt and sweatpants seemed unfitting for the late summer/early fall weather. He had a whitish band around his head. Best guess: athletic director…sort of… “What are you doing?” He demanded, breaking my train of thought. “I…uh…um…I’m here to see the principal,” I stuttered. I wish Clank could say something! I had no idea what to do in this situation. “Then get where you’re going and stop wandering around like a ninny,” the man replied, glaring down at me almost like I was some sort of pest. Wow…I really hope the other teachers aren’t like this. I tapped my index fingers together nervously, a new habit of mine. “Um…I…don’t know where his office is,” I admitted. “Oh…” the man muttered, looking fairly dumb. He spoke loudly. “Well, come on then.” The man grabbed my arm and pulled me in a certain direction on the grounds. I found it extremely uncomfortable, but I reconsidered my complaints. I’ll probably do it later when he seems in a better mood. The man pulled me into a small building, led me down a few hallways, and into a room. A lady was tapping on a keyboard, ignoring the two of us as we entered. The guy pulled me across the room and, with barely a knock, entered a smaller space. Inside was a desk, covered in papers, yet somehow organized, with a really old computer. For a moment, I wondered how it worked before the man at the desk spoke. “Who’s this, Jim?” the man asked. The man – Mister Morales, I assume – shrugged at the question. “I found him wandering outside. He claimed he was here to see you.” The guy at the desk looked to me. “Hello, young man,” he said. “I am Jean-Pierre Delmas, the principal of this establishment. Welcome to Kadic Academy.” He stood up to shake my hand. I took his hand, trying to make a good impression. “Hello, sir. My name is Darkstar. Rixon Darkstar. I’ve been told I am to be enrolled here.” “Darkstar?” he asked, apparently finding it familiar. He released my hand and sat down. “Yes, I remember. I got an email about you yesterday. Did you bring your transcripts?” Ah, questions, questions, brilliant. “Yes, sir.” I had no reason to be nervous about this; Clank and I practiced a hundred and a dozen times! I shrugged off my bag and opened it. Clank was inside, set on standby mode. There were also a few folders. I grabbed the one that read TRANSCRIPTS on the front and gave it to Mr. Delmas. He opened the folder and flipped through the papers. “Everything seems in order.” He closed the file and set it down on the desk. “We’ll set you up in a dorm. Your schedule has already been made. Mr. Morales will show you around the school.” “Eh…sir?” I asked. He gave me his attention. “I don’t…have a roommate, do I?” Principal Delmas raised an eyebrow. “Is it a problem if you do?” “Um…kind of…” I shuffled and looked down, attempting to look nervous and embarrassed. Both men bought the act. “Why is that?” “I…I…” I tapped my fingers together, focusing on the ridges created by the holo-guise. “I have a sleeping disorder; it’s a kind of insomnia.” He prodded me for details. Good. This way I won’t have to worry as much about my little secret. I gave him the answer Clank had explained to me. “Basically, I’ll stay awake for about fifteen or sixteen days straight and be asleep for about a week. I’ve tried to break it, but…even with therapy, I haven’t been able to.” Principal Delmas folded his hands together, elbows on the desk. “Well, then, we’ll have to work something out. There’s no need for worry about a roommate, but your schedule may be a trouble. This could inhibit your studies.” “I understand that, sir. I was actually thinking about talking to the teachers about scheduled lessons,” I proposed. “I could occupy my nighttime hours by doing that school work.” Again, he raised his eyebrows. “An excellent solution, Mister Darkstar. Perhaps the teachers will be willing to accommodate you. Now, if you will excuse me, I have certain matters to attend to. Jim will show you to your dorm and give you your schedule.” I smiled pleasantly. “Thank you, sir. Good day.” The man I had first met, now known as “Jim”, led me out of the office, back into the courtyard, and into another building. I followed silently, but inside I was celebrating. I was in. Our cover was set. I was officially a student of the Earth school, Kadic Academy.