"Let's see . . . we're going to need lots of water and food. Oh, and flashlights. Lots of flashlights." Our mission director, Zeeba Caran, the crazy little old man calls.
I suppose I should be grateful. It's because of him I'm on this expedition. He's my uncle, see. I don't like him that much. He's a little to weird for me. But, what can I do? I'm stuck with him. You're always stuck with family.
My uncle is this crazy Techature. It means he's obsessed with technology and nature. And, I suppose, that's why he was picked to lead this impossible dream.
And as much as I don't like him, he likes me. Thinks he has to protect me, sense my parents are gone, blah, blah, blah.
"Where is she . . ." that's my cue. Wait for it . . ."MELENE!" Told ya. And so, with a sigh, I get up from my comfortable position on the cold rock and trek my way to my uncle, red curls of hair bouncing on my back as I skid downhill.
"There she is." My vibrant green eyes meet my uncle's gray as I reach the bottom.
"You called?" I ask dully.
"There's, ah, someone here to see you." Oh no. No. No. No.
"Mel, darling." Strong arms embrace my tiny frame before I have time to run for it. I recognize the voice immediately. Brace Prince. The annoying, blonde haired jock who thinks he's perfect. And, who's liked me sense we were teenagers.
"Brace." I reply through gritted teeth.
"How are you? There's no need to ask me back, I'm absolutely perfect. I always am." I can feel his wink. Yuck.
Squirming, I get out of his strong grasp.
"I'm fine." I snarl, flexing my wrists.
"I have a surprise for yoouuuuu." Ugh. No more surprises.
"And what would that be?" I cross my arms.
"I'm coming on the expedition with you! You're uncle thought it would be a good idea." He squeals.
"He what?!" I can feel the steam coming out of my ears.
"Thought it would be a good idea!" Brace replies, completely oblivious to my anger.
"UNCLEEEE!" I roar. That little brat. He knew I hated Brace. He would pay dearly. I finally spot him cowering a few people away. I storm over to him.
"Uncle, dear, did you invite that man," I point in Brace's direction, "on to the expedition you forced me to go on?" I ask coolly.
"Maybe." He replies quietly.
I explode. "How could you? You know I hate him!" I accuse.
"Melene, I thought you could use a friend. And Brace here, volunteered immediately."
"Could this expedition get any worse? Underground for a month, no showers or any means of bathing, hiking everyday, and, now, an idiot of a man to accompany me. And all of these were surprises. Any more surprises? Because I'm starting to get sick of them." I snap.
He bites his lip. "Well, once the team gets back with our supplies we'll be ready to go." I grunt. Of course. Of course we leave tomorrow. This just keeps getting worse and worse.
He shakes his head.
"Good." Then I march off, to who knows where, getting as rid of family as I can, for the time being.