The rest of the week was far less eventful than Monday had been and as far as Astrid was concerned, uneventful was a good thing. As the weekend approached though, she began to worry about missing so much school. She would not only miss class that Friday, but the entire next week as well. After school Thursday, she arrived at the monorail station, her arms full of books to find her friends waiting for her. Though they too had their assignments for the next week, only Christopher was as weighted down as she was.
“Why do you have so many books?” Denise asked Astrid. “The rest of us have tons of work for the next week, but I happen to know that you’ve already done next week’s assignments.”
“I have,” she said. “But what about the other work?”
“What other work?”
“You don’t just do what’s assigned, do you?” wondered the girl inventor. “You do the other problems in the textbooks too, right? And you read the books mentioned in the references, right?”
Christopher nodded but the others shook their heads in bewilderment. Once they boarded the train, Toby sat down next to her.
“My dad is working late, and he told me that your parents were too.”
“That’s right,” agreed Astrid.
“Do you want to come over for dinner?”
“This isn’t a date either, right?”
“Of course not,” said Toby, rather too quickly for Astrid’s taste. “Aunt Gerta is going to be there. She’s making schweinebraten.”
“What is that?” Astrid asked.
“It’s like um… a pork roast.”
“I should have guessed that,” she reasoned. “It’s schweine, like swine.”
“Yeah, German is kind of cool like that,” said Toby. “So, will you come over?”
The monorail took them all to Maxxim City, where the gang said goodbye to Austin and began their walk home. After bidding the Valeries, and then Christopher and Denise goodnight, Astrid and Toby finally arrived at the point where their two yards met.
“What time should I come over?” she asked him.
“You can come over now,” he replied. “We can swim before we eat.”
“All right. First I have to drop all my books at home and get my swimsuit. Why don’t we meet there in twenty minutes?”
“Deal,” said Toby, before turning and heading toward his house.
Astrid walked across the lawn and pressed her thumb onto the pad to unlock the front door. Before she could enter, she heard the gentle hum of a hoverbike behind her. Turning around, she saw her cousin Gloria dropping from the sky to land on the lawn.
“Hello nerd,” said Gloria. “I just wanted to show you my new hoverbike. It’s so much nicer than yours, don’t you think?”
Astrid examined the vehicle. It was one of the sleek models, like Toby’s, only this one was purple with a black stripe.
“It’s very nice,” she said.
“I think it’s great that our company makes such cool things,” said Gloria. “I don’t see why you and your little friends get to get them before I do though.”
“Um, Gloria,” said Astrid. “I got the first hoverbike because I invented it.”