“Don’t you see?” Max’s glasses were fogged by humidity and excitement, his eyes glittering behind nearly opaque screens. “This is a chance to get even with everyone who’s ever pushed us around. It’s our chance to make things fair for everybody and make the town a better place. Hell, the world could be a better place.”

“I…don’t think you’d agree if you could hear yourself, Max,” said Sasha. The…thing…pulsed angrily behind Max, shifting colors from aqua to crimson, and the “veins” that twisted over its surface recoiled with what could only be described as anger. “We’ve seen what this thing will do when it gets bigger.”

“That’s with nobody controlling it, or with someone bad doing it,” Max cried. “With one of us, one of the geeks, in the driver’s seat…it’ll be different.”

“You can’t control it, Max!” Corrie said. “If anything, it’s controlling you!”

More red hexagonal “arms” crystallized from the central, but they were thinner, sharper, than the thick central core of the…thing. “You guys can either get onboard or get our of here,” Max said, a note of menace evident in his squeaky and occasionally broken voice. In school even he laughed at his voice sometimes; no one was laughing now. “If you try to interfere…you’re not going to like what happens.”

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