Author : Krista Bunskoek

Racing down the barren street, she grinned like an escaped fugitive.

She’d done it. She’d done it again!

Taking away her network privileges! Ha!

It only fueled her flame. With more time to plot, to create, to be on her way to feel the thrill of freedom. Freedom once more!

And, well, what she really missed were her friends.

They hadn’t disconnected her ‘vital’ Education network. Parents!

Ha. She’d figured it out, of course. The tiny loophole in the code. The connection to the house network. She’d worked on it every day, chipping away like a rock hammer to stone. She found the way. Undetected – the network still showing her as grounded.

Her parent’s schedules. Easy-peasy. The small security changes made after her last breach – child’s play.

Then there was the house alarm. The multiple levels of security. This took some time, and a few errors which she laid squarely on her brother. But she figured it out. There was always a way.

With the house network hacked, she owned it.

Turning off the front door alarm, she was out!


It was dark. It was silent. It was the thrill of the forbidden.

No one went out at night. It was unsafe.

She was out, and it felt good.

Now she had to be quick. She had to make her way down the street to Alexi’s house. She was late. She hoped he got her message.

It was chilly. It was strange. The slight breeze left icy kisses on her cheeks. So this is what night feels like, she thought.

A street lamp flickered. She darted from its range.

Glancing upwards, she raced in awe.

Stars! Not one or two, but hundreds, no – thousands! Her heart skipped a beat. She thought briefly of her parents. Wondering for a second if she might find their space station flying in orbit.

It was live. It was real.

Mesmerized, she felt like a small part of this enormous universe.

This was freedom. This was like nothing she’d experienced before. This was like nothing left to loose.

A sharp breeze whipped at her, snapping her back to the hunt. She had given Alexi a specific time, and she could not be late. Too risky.

Her stealth instincts kicked in again, she focused on the pursuit.

Alexi’s house.

A rock. Solid and heavy.

Hurling the rock in the air, it banged in perfect precision on Alexi’s bedroom window.

No response.

Wait. A shadow.

Was it Alexi? Was that a signal?

Too late.

The front door opened. Alarms.


She stood frozen.

Too late.

The compliance police. Trapped.

She was put in the back seat of the extended unimobile, and zoomed silently to her house.

Her parents stood in the doorway. Glaring in disapproval.

Elana was sent straight to her room.



Dismally crushed once more.

She would always know, though, the thrill of freedom. A freedom so frightfully on the edge. A freedom so real, so rare.

This could never be taken away, and she knew it.


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