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Strange Reaction - A Kindle Vella Story

Have you heard about Kindle Vella? If not, then welcome. Kindle Vella are episodic writings. I desired to create a series of episodes. Way to go, Kindle. You can enjoy the first three episodes for free. READ HERE or continue.

Episode One: Welcome to a New World Jeff Armbruster!

He walked out of the dorm for the last time, headed downstairs, and to his beat-up 1999 Honda. He had to hit the trunk on just the right spot to release the locking mechanism, and all of this only to load one suitcase and a box of books. The books were far more relevant than any worldly possessions he could carry in this world. He slammed the trunk lid shut and turned towards the driver's side door. Pausing for a moment's spin through his recent chain of events, he kicked the side of the door and came down hard with his fist on the roof. The metal caving slightly from the blow, he jumped in the driver's seat and fired up his old faithful, possibly the only faithful in his life. He drove towards the campus gates slowing briefly to present the farewell salute and remark, "Thanks for nothing. I'm getting the hell outta here!" Squealing the Honda's threadbare tires, he hoped someone nearby would hear and sense his disgust, anger, and betrayal. It was 1:12 AM on a crisp Fall morning.

The evening started in the boardroom of the administration building, where he was summed by the president, the Dean of International Relations, and several professors. Here was one of their shining students caught selling test answers after having hacked into the school's computer system. He was ingenious. He set about discovering the weak areas of his classmates and selling or attempting to sell the answers they needed the most. He had memorized the entire test, so there was no proof or written proof. It worked until the whistle blew, and the shrill sound it made called his name - Jeff Armbruster, a graduate student with an honors scholarship. The main question everyone was discussing was why? He's a smart guy. In the time it took him to hack into the system and memorize all the answers, he could have easily studied the material. Jeff had learned and read so much that his knowledge of the subject and language skills were so strong that he didn't need the test answers.

So went the questions in the board room on the 2nd floor of the administration building. "Was it for the money? Why did you do it, Jeff?" President Leslie Myer-Harrison inquired. "Jeff, this is a criminal offense. It's not only against this college. The decision we have to vote on is will we bring in outside authorities?" Jeff began to speak but found himself unable to care. "Second option," President Myer-Harrison paused in case Jeff was about to interject, "is to dismiss you and have you leave the campus immediately."

They had already voted and opted to dismiss him. They wanted to allow him to explain his actions, but there he sat, quiet, with no remorse. They liked Jeff. He had been a hard worker. He was competitive and not overly helpful with his classmates, but for some, that was a feather in his cap. He could be a shining star in languages and foreign affairs, and the college could use a bit of notoriety. The college had already spoken to several government agencies about Jeff's skills. He was being watched closely by the US Department of State with the possible recruitment as a negotiator for international high-threat situations. That's over. Jeff is gone along with his career. The incident would be on his permanent record.

1:12 AM on a crisp Fall morning, Jeff sped off campus angry and bitter with a vow on his lips, "No more mister nice guy! It's going to be all about what I need and what I want."


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