Note: all stuff written here is mine (warts and all). It's probably first draftish stuff, and hasn't seen the inside of an editor's head yet, so be warned. And also, please don't steal it. Thanks.
I hadn't really gotten very far in my physics homework when my lab partner sent me a text. Being on this planet was cool – everyone had cell phones and text messaging was sort of the standard. It worked differently than back on Earth, but I didn't really worry much about the details of it. I plugged words into a gizmo. That gizmo sent those words to the person I wanted to see them and they answered back to my gizmo. Just because the gizmo sent the words to a contact lens instead of to a handheld device's screen didn't make it any less a cell phone and text messenger, right?
So, anyway, like I said, I was just starting my physics homework. Everyone thought I would be a physics whiz because of my dad, but I just couldn't get into it. Sure, the math was easy, but it was basically boring stuff. Physics here was enough like physics back home that there wasn't really anything new. Now biology! That was cool. But, back to physics. Yeah, I know. I get distracted.
I was working on a momentum problem – there was supposedly this spaceship that moved by exploding bombs and using the thrust to push their rocket along – when my contact rang with a text message. I'd forgotten to turn my contacts off. Dad wasn't the only space cadet in the family. So, instead of just letting my earring take a message – yes, that's where the storage was. Hey, you try to get 32 gigs of storage into a contact and you'll see why putting it in an earring stud makes sense. You use the post as the antenna for the blue tooth... except they called it red eye here.... anyway....
Jack texted me. He said there was going to be a flashmob at the local caffeine joint in 12 minutes and was I going? I wasn't supposed to bother texting him back – I was supposed to show up and text 10 other people. I didn't know 10 other people here on this planet yet. Well, I did... but not that I would text for a flashmob. There was my dork brother and a couple of his friends.... a few guys at school... that kid I met at the convention we popped into on arrival here.... not many others.
So. Was I going? I had this mountain of homework in front of me. I was supposed to be watching my dork brother – even though he was really old enough to watch himself. Ever since we arrived on this planet, Dad had been all protective and stuff and that meant I had to know where either my Dad or my brother was at all times. It seriously put a crimp into any dating possibilities that might arise. Not that any were showing up in the near future or anything.
My contact rang again. It was Xrecti with the same flashmob message. I clicked past that text and cleared the screen...uh, contact. Handy when the mouse is your eyeball and you click with a blink, huh? I really wish I could take some of this tech and get back to Earth. I'd make a million. But I couldn't get to Earth and I couldn't get a date and I couldn't get away from the laundry that was piling up here just like it did on Earth and...and... dammit yes! I was going. I'm 17. I can make my own decisions! And besides, I could use a cup of coffee... uh, tleca... whatever it's called here. I'm short of caffeine, so how was I supposed to do my homework, right?
I blinked and rolled my eyeball, bringing up my contacts list. The heck with that – I took the message that both Jack and Xrecti sent me, hit "forward to" and chose "random contacts, number=10." 10 of my friends were going to get the flashmob invite.
30 seconds later, I grabbed my sneakers, purse and scooter keys and was out the door. 90 seconds after that I was driving my scooter and again forgot to turn off my phone. My contact rang, and it was my Dad. Instead of letting that one go to my earring, I answered it.
Bad choice. The cops here are real hardasses about driving and texting. Their computers alert them to who is "distracted" while driving and out come the bubble-gum lights and on go the sirens. Damn.
So there I am, pulling over less than a block from the caffeine joint, reading my Dad's oh-so-fatherly harangue while tuning out the cop and watching my friends drive past to the flashmob. Again, bad choice. I should have signed off from Dad, let it all go to the hard drive and retrieved it later. I should have given my attention to the cop. I should not have watched Xrecti drive by, and catch his eye. Innocent enough with an earthling, or at least a human-derivative species. Xrecti was a squid-derivative species. He has to focus on what he's doing. If he gets distracted, startled, or upset, he inks. And if he hasn't inked in a while – don't ask, it's not a polite thing to talk about I guess... something that teenage Xrecti's take care of in the shower or something – anyway, if he hasn't inked in a while, it can get really messy. And I distracted him.
It took the HazMat team over three hours to get us, our vehicles and the surrounding half block cleaned up. And yes, the cost for the clean-up, and the ticket, is coming out of my allowance.