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Rave New World
an SAT/ACT vocabulary novel

Chapter 3

Part 2

Jaden’s mirth after this bit of retribution was short-lived. By the end of his interminable day, he’d seen a total of four repeat addicts, a whopping half of the eight clients he treated that day.

He knew he should feel better now that he knew nothing was wrong with his equipment, but he couldn’t help wishing Baqer had said, “Ah, I see the problem. Here, just a little screw loose.” A couple of expedient twists and he would have been cured.

But it hadn’t been that simple. There was absolutely no mechanical reason for his clients’ vices to be resurfacing. That only left one option: Jaden’s powers were fading, and on the eve of the paramount day of his eighteen years.

He couldn’t face the rest of the department that night, especially Reth. Maybe a drive would clear his head. As he ducked down the side corridor to the aero-car hanger, Kim flagged him down. Unable to feign that he hadn’t seen her, he stopped.

“Make sure you’re in by bed-check. This second-level Ripper Squad exam tomorrow is going to be formidable. It’ll be more arduous than anything I’ve ever thrown at you.”

“I know. I just need some night air so I sleep well. You can trust me.”

“I’d better be able to. Another bungle could cost you my recommendation,” she said and stalked off.

That woman seriously needs to lighten up, thought Jaden.

Jaden proceeded onward to the top of the center, where all of the flying cars were parked.

Flying cars. Of all the cheesy things Jaden hated about the year 2157, flying cars were the worst. If he had lived a century or so earlier, he would have driven something cool. A Chrysler 300C would have been his style. But no one drove on the actual roads anymore—except in the Unemployed Zone, of course.

Jaden was still wallowing in his distaste for contemporary culture when he turned the corner to his new red Phoenix 5000 sports aero-car. He started to roll his eyes at the vehicle, then stopped short, flabbergasted.

There, leaning against the driver’s side door, weeping, was Ally Fayre.

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