Presidential Manor, Basindale, Godotvia May 28, 2097
Ding-dong! Ding-dong! Ding-dong! Ding-dong!
"Stop that infernal racket, Devon. I heard you the first time."
"I'm...I'm sorry, Uncle Gerald." said Devon Aalio meekly. He wasn't, in fact, sorry-he would have rung the doorbell again for good measure, if not for the fact that his uncle looked rather...what was the word? Homozygous? Homophobic? Homicidal, that was the word. As much as Devon liked to annoy people, being homicided (was that a word? It was probably a word) seemed like a rather steep price to pay. He was only twelve, after all-he still had his whole life ahead of him!
"Why are you here?" his uncle asked coldly.
"Um...Rory missed school today, so I went to her teachers and got her homework for her, so I was going to give it to her...if that's okay."
Gerald gaped. "Well, Devon, that's...unusually responsible. Of course you can go and give it to her. She's in her room. I'll be in the courtyard with Uncle Sherman if you need me. We're just discussing the possibility of universal health care."
"Universal health care? Like they've got in America and Russia and England, right?"
"Yes. Of course we're different from America, Russia and England, so how we react to stuff like that needs to be different. You'll understand when you're older. Speaking of which, how are your studies going?"
"Um, great." They weren't. Devon had no interest in being a stuck-up businessperson like the rest of his family-hell naw. There was a lot of things he wanted to do in his lifetime. Micromanaging was not one of them.
As Devon walked up the stairs to Rory's room, he wondered why they didn't have universal health care already. His father had explained to him a million times that there was a reason why Godotvia didn't have any-they had less money than America and the others, and because of that they couldn't afford to spend that much money on people. If that was true, then why was the staircase made entirely of gold? If people could live this well, why couldn't everyone have health care? It perplexed him to no end.
Rory was lying on her bed, her face pale.
"Sorry, Rory. I didn't bring your homework." Of course Devon had been lying-he'd just wanted an excuse to see his cousin. Rory had been absent but there was no mention of her going to a hospital or anything. That meant that something was amiss-Rory was very dedicated to her studies. She'd probably drag her ass to school if she had cancer.
Rory stared at him. "I didn't expect you to, Devon."
"Good." Devon laughed. "Now, why weren't you in school today?"
Rory sighed and rolled over in her bed so that she was facing the wall instead of her cousin. "Migraines suck, Devon."
"Listen here, Rory," said Devon as he rolled her over so that she was facing him, "You don't get migraines. I know for a fact that I don't get migraines, and my dad doesn't get migraines, and Grandpa doesn't get migraines, and neither does great-grandpa, so there's no way that you get migraines."
Rory sighed. "Migraines aren't only genetic, and even if they were I could've gotten them from my mom."
"But it wasn't a migraine, was it? I've never seen you get a migraine before."
"Fine. I guess the jig's up."
"What jig? What's a jig and how to you put it up?"
Rory smacked her face into her bed. "It's an idiom, Devon."
"What did you just call me?"
"Oh. Okay. So what do you need to tell me?"
Rory sighed. "I don't know who to turn to, Devon. I think you're the only person I can trust."
"But what about your dad? You can trust him, right?"
"I wish I could say that I can, but he's the reason that I can't trust anyone anymore."
"What? Why?" Devon was shocked. His uncle was strict, sure, but doing that to someone...
"If I tell you why, you have to promise not to tell anyone, alright?"
"Yeah." Devon knew Rory quite well, certainly well enough to know that she wouldn't lie to him.
"Devon, there's something I need to tell you...about our family."
Devon smiled, oblivious. "What is it, cuz?"
Rory sighed and looked down at her feet. There was really no easy way to break it to him. "Devon...what would you do if I told you that your father...and your uncle were planning something bad? Really bad?"
"Like what? Are they not getting you a birthday present or something?" asked Devon.
"N-no, they're getting me a car, of course! What else do you get a girl for her sixteenth birthday? It's much worse than that."
"What is it, then?"
"Well...there have been some...problems in the Basindale area."
"Problems? What do you mean?" asked Devon. His face was beginning to show signs of worry-the implications were beginning to sink in.
"And...father and Uncle Winthrop...they're going to do something...and it's probably going to end up killing thousands of people at the least."
Devon gasped in shock, staggering backwards until he walked right into Rory's dresser. "Kill...thousands of people? No, I don't believe you!"
"Well, believe it! I hate to say it, but come on-would I lie to you?"
"Well...no," muttered Devon slowly.
"Exactly! I overheard them talking about it. They're going to dump nuclear waste into the lake!" She sighed and looked up at the ceiling. Devon knew Rory well, so he knew that she rarely cried. At that point, however, it was beginning to look increasingly likely.
Rory choked out a muffled sob. "I just can't believe this! My own father! If Lake Florence is polluted people could die! No, people will die! And this is supposed to be for our family? How is this for anyone's good? If this is how he wants to take care of us, I don't need to be taken care of! I have to do something about this! Come on, Devon! What are we supposed to do about this?"
Devon sighed. He was about to cry himself-it was somewhat shocking, seeing his usually tough cousin like this. "Well, you're the smart one, aren't you? You're the one who's going to be a politician someday-everyone says you will. Come on, you're smart-a lot smarter than me. You have to come up with a way to stop them!"
Rory sighed. "Well, I grabbed this file from his desk." She reached underneath her pillow and held out the file to Devon. "There was this business card paper-clipped to the front of it. It said E. Wright and Co.-prosecutorial and investigational services. The file only has four words to say about them."
"What?" asked Devon, genuinely intrigued.
"Avoid at all costs. If my father wants to avoid someone, why don't we do the opposite?"
Devon smiled. "Now you're thinking, cuz."