AlterNet Education

“…grant me: Clarity.” Greg’s words echoed around the bathroom with a supernatural timbre. Bobby froze at the bathroom entrance. He met Greg’s eyes in the mirror; they flashed with purple light as the strange student stared at Bobby.

“Uh. Wrong bathroom,” Bobby pushed the heavy wooden door to leave, but Greg stopped him.

“Wait!” Greg snapped. The lanky teenager turned from the mirror to face Bobby directly; his eyes still glowed with a faint lavender aura. “You noticed that?” he asked.

“Dude, your eyes are glowing! How can I not?” Greg’s backlit eyes grew wider.

“You can see the spell effect??” The lean student made a quick swiping gesture with his hand; a frosted, translucent pane of glass. It was more or less the size of a large computer monitor and hovered in the air between the two seniors. Greg swiped and tapped at the glass several times, then dropped his hand. He looked up at Bobby and narrowed his violet eyes.

“You shouldn’t be able to see the spell effects or my slate. But you can.” Greg held his palm out as if he were holding an open book. The thick, brown leather tome on the sink disintegrated into a white powder. At the same time, the tome coalesced into his hand from a cloud of white dust; it was open to a page in the middle with odd runes drawn on it. Greg spoke before Bobby could think about leaving the bathroom again.

“This calls for: Deep Study,” Greg’s words echoed oddly again; the violet glow of his eyes flared. Bobby felt tingles on his body while the taller teen stared at him. “Whoa..,” Greg smiled and the brilliant light from his eyes dimmed down again. He dropped the book; it vanished before hitting the ground.

“I’m Greg,” he extended a hand. “We should hang out.” Bobby hesitated to shake his hand.

“What were you doing? What’s going on?” he asked. Greg gave up on the handshake and tapped his temple to point at his glowing eyes.

“Taking a test next period,” he winked. “Just clearing my head to make it easier. Anyway, I gotta go before it wears off. Meet me in the courtyard after school. If you come over to my place, I’ll show you how to play.” He moved toward the door.

“Play what?” Bobby asked as he stepped aside.

“The AlterNet,” Greg replied stepping out. “The game we’re in.”

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