Darius wasn’t in class on Thursday. He also missed Monday. Mark grew concerned. He could tell Jenna was, too, but that she was trying to keep the rest of the students focused on the task at hand.

“Something has happened to Darius.” Mark went up to Jenna after class. He couldn’t focus the entire time.

“Darius was very close to his supernova. Maybe it happened. He might not need to be here anymore.”

Mark shook his head violently, surprised at how upset he felt. “You know Darius would want to share with us if it happened.”

Jenna looked at Mark intensely. “Well, if he didn’t choose not to come then you know what the alternative would be.”

“That shit isn’t real. That was one exception. People aren’t that warped.”

The gauge on the back of her neck shone a soft red. She broke it free from its magnet and held it in front of him. “We choose to expose who we are freely. Ninety-nine-point-nine-percent of people in the next century will never have this feeling on their own. They want to find other ways to feel this power.”

“I bet it’s that brown dwarf clan that sits outside of the building. I know they’re brown dwarves.”

“No you don’t,” Jenna corrected immediately. “Don’t play into this mindset that is beginning to eerily resemble old power structures.” She took a long breath. “People will always be messed up and selfish. Brown dwarves or super blue giants or Cassiopeia. It doesn’t matter which grouping you identify the most with. There will always be someone somewhere out to get you for some reason.” She looked panicked.

Mark felt like there was something she wasn’t telling him. “I’m going to his apartment.”

@2015 Kayla Lewis