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Ginger is blind. She also happens to live in the year 324 NCE (New Common Era), a time wrought with conflict over the civil rights of Semi-Organics, the preferred term for people who are part human, part machine. The ratio makes no difference. If even only the tiniest appendage is robotic, then you are semi-org.

If you're an Org girl, what are you supposed to do when the boy who gets you the best is only Semi?

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2. the first day

I woke up at six a.m., took a shower, brushed my teeth, combed my hair, and put on my school uniform. After I ate breakfast, I picked up my cane and started my walk to school. I had practiced this walk with my father several times throughout the summer so that I knew each crosswalk and turn by heart.

I approached the third crosswalk. A faint beeping on the crosswalk sign told me it was my turn to cross the street, so I stepped into the road. Halfway across, I heard the squealing of wheels turning too fast and sirens following not far behind. The engine roared towards me and I froze from fear.

Arms wrapped around me suddenly and I was pulled out of the way as the cars sped past me.

"Are you okay?" asked a smooth male voice.

"I am, thank you," I said and tried to straighten myself up.

I was missing my cane.

"Where's my cane?" I asked, panic rising in my voice.

"Oh," he said and stepped away from me for a moment only to return and place a handful of broken sticks in my hand. "I'm sorry, I guess I couldn't save that, too."

I bit my lip. I hadn't been very grateful, but how was I supposed to make it to school without my cane? I should have just listened to my mother and let the chauffeur take me, but I was stubborn.

"We go to the same school," he said. "I could walk you the rest of the way. I wouldn't mind helping you the rest of the day, too. I'm sorry about your cane."

I hated pity, but I don't think that's what this was.

"I would appreciate that," I said softly. "Thank you."

"My name is Hunter," he said.

"Ginger," I replied and put my hand out.

"Nice to meet you," he said and shook my hand.

I smiled. "Nice to meet you, too."

He helped me thread my arm through his and walked me the rest of the way to school.

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