The train arrived in only a few minutes at the large, three-story, modern school building that was Rachel Carson High School. The school had its own internal monorail station on the top floor. Stepping off the train, the kids gave each other a quick wave and hurried to their lockers in the team rooms. Astrid and Christopher walked together, since they were in Team One.
“Well, we’re four weeks in,” said Astrid. “How do you think school is going so far?”
“Good,” said Christopher. “I have to say I’m enjoying Medieval History more than I thought I was going to. You?”
“Oh, everything’s great. I’m first chair oboe, you know, in Orchestra.”
“Aren’t there only two oboes?”
“You’re getting back at me because of that romance comment, aren’t you?” said Astrid.
“Maybe,” Christopher laughed.
“Are you kind of sad that you and Denise don’t have any classes together?”
“No,” he replied. “I’d rather not be distracted. How is being a teacher?”
“Kind of fun, actually.”
“Well, better you than me.”
Having dropped off their backpacks in their lockers, the two friends headed off toward their respective classes. Advanced Orchestra was Astrid’s first class, and she was first chair oboe, the only other oboist being Mark McGovern. The heavy-set boy had been very unfriendly to Astrid and her friends in the past but seemed to be making an effort to be more pleasant now. This was possibly because she was his teacher for Robotics, or it might be because more than a few of his relatives worked for Maxxim Industries. The class was working on Bernstein’s Divertimento for Orchestra.
“Astrid,” said Mrs. Werner, the orchestra teacher, as they were packing up. “You know that the concert is the seventh of next month.”
“Will you be able to be with us?”
“Sure,” said Astrid.
“You’re not going to be in space or on an expedition to the center of the Earth or anything?”
“I’ll make sure I’m here, Mrs. Werner.”
“Don’t you go into space anymore?” asked Mia Escalante, a sophomore viola player.
“Oh, sure. I’m going up next week, but I’ll be back in plenty of time for the concert.”