Yancy Adams High. It had stood in that location for over 300 years, since it was a farmhouse. It was used to educate the children of the third colony in Virginia with it’s one teacher, Zelda Adams, who was fiftieth in line for the royal throne before she decided to travel to the new world, primarily to educate children to be good citizens of England, just before the American Revolution, or as she would refer to it, “that kerfuffle out in Boston.”
In fact, many of her students personally rose up against England several months before the first shots were fired in Lexington, but this did not make the papers as most of their exploits ended up in the most epic pub crawl Fairfax Heights had ever seen. This was not as impressive as many people thought, as Fairfax Heights only had the two pubs, so it just involved a lot of shuffling back and forth and two huge, unpaid bar tabs in the name of liberty, and in the name of Benjamin Franklin who still owes a debt to these pubs to this day, and has been ordered arrested on sight should he ever venture into the tiny suburb of DC known as Fairfax Heights.
The barn belonged to Yancy Adams, the lesser known fourth cousin of John Adams, and it bore his name when Zelda Adams took it over. She had proposed that they change the name to “Zelda Adams’ School” but everyone forgot when the kerfuffle started, and they forgot even more when the town itself declared its independence from England and she was pretty much run out of town. Since then, as the town grew slightly, then managed to pull back and surround itself with trees and farmland to pretend it wasn’t only two miles from some of the busiest interstates in the world, Yancy Adams High became known throughout the county, then eventually, the state, as one of the finest schools imaginable. It was through Logan Pierce, class of 1915, and first investor in what would become the horseless carriage (it was an actual carriage run by people who couldn’t pay their debts… thus, no horses) that he was able to buy a plot of land just outside of incorporated Fairfax Heights, then build a public school on it, and change Yancy Adams High into the best private school that the country had to offer.
Quint went over this information as his dad pulled up to the school.
“Do I really have to know all this?” he said, turning the pamphlet over. There was more, but he really didn’t have the time to read it.
“Hell if I know,” his dad was extremely eloquent. And annoyed he had to give his son a ride to school. And pretty sure that unsupervised, his daughter was going to miss the bus, too, “just play nice with the other kids.”
“Or take the biggest kid in the yard down,” Quint muttered under his breath.
“That’s original, compare school to prison,” his dad handed him his backpack and lunch from the back of the car,” play nice.”
Quint never had a problem “playing nice.” he got along with people plenty, especially those when he was about to move. He didn’t need to be told, but he supposed it was his father’s way of wishing him well. They weren’t a hugging family. This was even more evident by the fact that his father’s car had already vanished when he turned around to say goodbye.
Of course Quint had taken a tour of Yancy Adams High a few weeks ago in a big orientation group. Well, biggish, or he had been told it was big but it consisted of four other students who were transferring mid-year and managed to make it on an assigned day that they were all told to come in over winter break. Two were freshmen who had such a psychic conniption with their parents that they didn’t have to say a word, they just thought it and their parents asked it.
“What are you going to do about bullying?”
“What if a teacher wants to give my child an F?”
“Will you be praying? Billy needs to say his prayers first thing.”
It was beautiful in a horrifying way. The other girl was in his grade but only caught her first name, Zoe, because he was cool and not into stalking her even though she had the most beautiful curly blonde hair he’d ever seen in is entire life. Maybe she’d be in one of his classes? He shook his head, again, he was playing it cool, and he wasn’t going to go drooling over some chick he met his first day. There would be plenty of time for that later.
Stepping into the school again, it didn’t SEEM like a fancy prep school except for the large amount of uniforms. And the strange wrist-thingys that everyone was wearing. The weird thing, besides the fact that they were all wearing them, was the fact that they were different colors. Some were black like his. A few were wearing red, some were green, and very few were white. Not like, “I’ve been sitting on the wrist of a high schooler and they’re probably a little dingy,” but white as in gleaming. He was pretty sure Angels strove to get their robes this white. But he only saw a few of those, one on a big jock looking guy and another on a tall skinny girl with glasses so thick he wondered if she could see the moon.
The smell was pretty much the same from any High School in America. The same chemically/food smell that hit up the cafeteria permeated the halls, which were painted a dull green and instead of cheesy lettering or books, they held the pictures of former headmasters and the current Student Council. Both Jock and Moon Glasses were on there, but he really didn’t understand their titles. Jock was head of Collections, and Moon Glasses was special Whip in Charge of Elections, which as far as Quint knew was something that only existed in Congress. There were other weird names, too, but the hallway was busy with activity, and he was missing it.
The floors were hardwood, and had Quint known anything about construction or fancy building he would know that it was actually very expensive wood from a tree that was extinct in it’s natural habitat but was grown specially in a forest in South America for use in the fancier places like this. Once in 1983 during the great food riots, a piece was accidentally broken by Alfred Knowles when he stepped on a plank that actually had been rotting for three years. The price to get it replaced bankrupted his family and caused them to lose a their third home in Boca Raton.
Quint, however, was just surprised that it was that stupid laminate he saw everywhere.
Even the the trash cans were high-end, placed in out of the way areas as if to remind people that they didn’t actually produce waste.
The first chime rang, and the chatter in the halls slowly died down as people went to their home rooms. The chime sounded less like an annoying bell and more like a guy, walking through the hall, lightly tapping a wind chime. It hardly sounded loud enough to tell a bunch of teenagers what was going on, but still, as if directed by an unseen force, all members of the student body filed obediently to their classroom. It was then that he noticed that the chime was being sounded by a balding short man in a suit, followed by a very large man in a much larger suit. He wore sunglasses and had an earpiece in. Not that he was inclined to bother either man, the earpiece had an air about it that said, “If you mess with me, you’re going to taste your own socks for dinner.”
Quint, having memorized his room, headed to Zebra 19. That was the room number. An animal followed by a number.
He just rounded the corner when he smashed into another student, sending papers and books all over the hall.
“Sorry!” Quint said, not entirely sure that it was his fault.
“No problem,” the kid said, starting to gather his supplies, “I was headed in the wrong direction. Just trying to get out of here.”
Cutting class? The idea intrigued Quint briefly, “Where are you going?”
“There’s a Student Council Meeting.”
Quint didn’t remember seeing him on the board with Jock and Moon glasses. He decided to mention this, and the boy laughed.
; “You new here?”
Quint nodded his head.
“We’re in the middle of elections. I’m the Master of Elections, so I have to be on call, and there was a dispute between to candidates, I just got the news on my pager.”
“Pager?” Quint wondered if he stepped into a time vortex or something.
The boy must have noticed the look on his face, “No. You didn’t step into a time vortex or something. A strict rule was made, when cellphones first came out, that they wouldn’t be allowed in classes. Pagers are allowed. thus, if there’s an emergency, I use a pager.”
Quint wondered what type of school held it’s elections after winter break and used pagers, but at this point it was too late. The kid was already gone, vanishing around a corner with his questions.
Slowly, he turned around and started to head to class when he heard the chime again. This time, he was confronted with the smaller man and the larger earpieced man.
“Quittin’ School are we?” the smaller man asked in a thick Cockney Accent, “I think we need to take ’em to the Principal, wot you think Mr Jones?”
The larger man that Quint assumed was Mr Jones replied, “I think you’re spot on, Mr. Jones.”
“You’re both Mr. Jones?” Quint said, not wanting to meet the Principal on his first day.
“Oh, we got ourselves a wise one,” The smaller Jones said.
“I think we do, Mr. Jones,” the bigger Jones replied.
Why are you both talking like you’re in a bad Neil Gaiman novel? Quint thought better of saying. But the silence was too much. The larger Jones slapped a meaty hand down on Quint’s not so meaty shoulder. He thought that he’d try to explain that he was new, and about the Election Kid, but he was pretty sure that wasn’t going to go over very well.
Without further explanation, Quint was on his way to the Principal’s office.