The bell sounded loudly, waking Peter up from his seventh-period nap. His head snapped up from his crossed elbows, and he glanced dazedly around.
“Wha—?” A string of drool connected his bottom lip to the surface of his desk.
“Jesus Christ, Lee!” Blake Turner jeered. “Wipe your fucking face!” Blake shouldered his backpack over his varsity letterman jacket and walked out the door.
Peter’s eyes narrowed in rage. He reached into his zip-up hoodie, grasping the multi-function weapon (it looked like a pen, but could also morph into a knife, garrote, or a high-voltage taser) he called “The Buttfucker.” His fingers danced along its ridges, pushing its triggers in a five-key sequence. A few seconds from now, Blake Turner would be shucking and jiving to the tune of 50,000 volts, seizing up so goddamn hard that—
Peter sighed. His thumb grudgingly clicked along the Buttfucker’s surface, deactivating its taser. Blake’s dad was a top-ranking member of ANOS, and was not to be messed with. He could order Eun Yin raped to death, or have his twisted minions eviscerate Reptar.
As Blake stood in the hallway, yucking it up with some fuckfaced jocks, Peter glared at his enemy’s pubically superior body.
There will come a time, you sack of shit-corn, when we will meet in battle. And when that day comes, you’re gonna wish your daddy pulled out early, you piece of—
“Huh?” Peter looked over his shoulder. Eun Yin was staring down at him.
“School’s over. Want to go to yoga?”
His face twitched with murderous rage; he was still fantasizing about attaching sparking electrodes to Blake Turner’s ballsack.
“Ugh!” Eun Yin exclaimed. “Gross!” She reached in her blouse, produced a Kleenex, and reached towards Peter.
Peter scowled. “What’re you—”
“Hold still; you’ve got a giant booger hanging from your—”
Peter leaned back, twisting one way, then the other. “No! Don’t—”
“Peter, just let me—”
“LEAVE IT!” Peter thundered.
Their math teacher, Mr. Holfin, looked up from his laptop. He cast a dull glance at them, then resumed surfing the interwebs. This wasn’t unusual—the teachers at Atherton knew full well that the inmates ran the asylum.
Eun Yin made another attempt to brush off the booger. Peter waved her irritably away.
“Goddammit Eun—it’s a mark of honor! Leave me be!”
Eun Yin scoffed. “Mark of—what the hell are you talking about, Peter?”
“Let the world see,” he muttered. “Let them all gaze upon humanity’s darkness.”
A strained sigh. “Seriously, Peter? You’re going to yoga with snot on your face?”
“The purpose of yoga is to propagate harmony.” Peter stood up and shouldered his backpack. “Propagating harmony means embracing the darkness.” He gave her an evil smile. “And darkness includes boogers.”
Eun shook her head, exasperated. “When are you going to grow up?”
He opened his mouth to reply, but she cut him off with a raised finger. “Rhetorical, Peter. Come on—let’s go to yoga.”
Kaelee’s yoga class was incredibly popular. It made perfect sense; pretty much every parent at Atherton was involved in dark-ass weapons research. Slaving away at robot-spiders or forced alertness vivisections was a surefire way to raise your stress levels. Consequently, the students at Atherton got a second-hand dose of what the fuck am I doing dissecting live Insectoids, or: Dear God—why the hell did I create a miniature civilization and contain it in a bottle, only to tyrannize it with nano-vampirics?
Atherton dinners were ruled by grave silence, accented by the lonely clack of utensils, occasionally interrupted by a quietly voiced could you please pass the butter.
Students formed into rows and laid out their mats. Peter unfolded his mat (emblazoned in its center was a prominent amanita muscaria mushroom) and flapped it onto the ground. Eun Yin, who was standing directly to his right, recoiled in horror.
“Oh my god,” she gasped, pinching her nose. “Peter—how long has it been since you’ve washed your mat?”
He gave her an irritable look. “Come on; it doesn’t smell that ba—”
A boy behind him retched into a cupped hand, then fled from the gym as if his life depended on it. Other students scuttled away, leaving Peter a ten-yard radius of empty space. Cries of outrage filled the air:
“What the fuck? Your mat smells like hobo bukkake!”
“Jesus Christ—it’s like road-kill sushi wrapped in fermented foreskin!”
“That thing smells like a yeti’s scrotum!”
Peter lowered his face to the mushroom, took a sniff, then gave the students a puzzled glance. “It doesn’t smell bad— it smells kinda good, actually.”
“Peter!” Eun Yin screeched. “It smells like a casserole made of rotten fish and unwashed assholes!”
Peter shrugged. “Whatever. You guys are all—”
Kaelee’s speaker-amplified voice echoed throughout the gym, cutting him off. “Everyone cross your legs and take a seat. Deep breaths. Deeeep breaths…let your awareness settle into your bodies…take note of how you’re feeling…don’t judge, just observe…this is your safe place…this is your ‘you’ time…”
In a few minutes, the students were going through down-dog, sun salutations, and chaturanga pushups. Peter followed along, pushing himself as hard as he could. The space around him was maintained throughout—no one wanted to smell his unspeakable evil.
A pall of calm descended on the gym. Inhale, exhale, contract, extend…it all flowed effortlessly together. The students’ anxiety dimmed and receded, lost in a primal sequence of focus and release. They were temporarily freed from the pull of ANOS. Everything was chill; everyone was copacetic.
Peter Lee was the one exception.
I’ll show you bitches, he thought, straining to hold the best damn warrior III in the entire history of yoga. I will crush your unenlightened, piece of shit bodies.
As he went through his poses, he threw mad-dog glares at everyone around him. He hoped—no, he dared—these slack-ass motherfuckers to try and best him in cobra, headstand, lotus…hell, he was glad his mat stunk—it was the ultimate form of psychological warfare. Can’t maintain satori while smelling bdussy? Then get the fuck out, because yoga was for the strong, yoga was for the worthy, yoga was for the—
Peter’s rage built and peaked; he dropped down and started knocking out pushups. Spittle flew from his lips as he shoved and grunted, veins prominently displayed around his narrow eyes. His face became beet-red—to the point where he resembled an angry tomato—then he switched to burpees. As he clapped his hands at the top of each rep, he voiced a loud “FUCK YOU!”
The entire class stopped to watch. It was pretty impressive, actually; Peter was churning through a set of ball-busting calisthenics—back tucks, jumping pistols, handstand pushups—that could have served as a bonafide soul-crusher in the Crossfit Games.
It lasted for a couple more seconds, then he snatched up his mat and fled from the gym, screaming in rage. As he busted through a set of double-doors to the outside courtyard, his scream gave way to a frenetic epithet:
“FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU AHHHHHHH!!!!!”
The doors swung shut, booming ominously loud in the now-silent gym. No one spoke; everyone’s eyes were fixed on the exit. Eventually, his hate-filled shriek dimmed into a far-off gibber.
Kaelee cleared her throat. “Um…okay. Let’s keep going, shall we?”
After yoga, Eun Yin headed to Peter’s. He was in his room, shadowboxing. (Much to her relief, his disgusting yoga mat was nowhere in sight.)
“Eun.” Peter threw a question mark kick, a double-leg shoot, then a sprawl. “Good to see you.”
Eun took off her backpack, cautiously eyeing him. “Um…where’s your yoga mat?”
“Soaking in Axe Body spray.” Peter transitioned into a Keysi elbow-guard, and aggressed forward using short, chopping strikes.
“Peter can you just—”
“HYAAHH!” He threw a spinning wheel-kick.
“ARRRGGHHH!!!” A ten-punch straight blast.
He stopped flailing and glowered at her, sweat dripping from his evil, Han-filled gaze.
She rolled her eyes. “Okay, Emperor Palpatine. You know that tonight is—”
He chuckled. “Good pull.” (Eun knew a lot about Star Wars, but not by choice; Peter was always babbling about who would win in a fight—Old Luke versus young Yoda—or who had the bigger cock: flaccid Chewie or hard Lando).
“You know that Holly’s throwing a party, right?”
He dug in his nose with a sweaty finger, pulled out a booger, inspected it, then flicked it away.
Eun winced in disgust.
“Yeah,” he said, wiping his hand on his shorts.
“Are you going?”
He gave her an irritated glance. “Yeah—why?”
An exasperated sigh. “Because it’s happening right now, Peter!”
His eyes widened. “Oh shit! What time is—” He clicked his phone on, and saw it was a quarter past seven. “Oh SHIT!” He grabbed the nearest can of Axe (there were like seven of them scattered throughout his room) and began spraying down his lanky body.
Eun fanned the air, trying not to inhale too much of it. “Peter, it’s okay to be late; it’s not like they’re—”
“No!” Peter stretched his boxers open and doused his nuts. “Tonight is special!” He fixed Eun with an ominous glare, and gravely intoned:
“Tonight will herald the birth of the Fuckrising.”
Her reply was flat: “I don’t even know what that means.”
“You will,” he muttered, raising his left arm and blasting Axe into the pit. “They all will.” He clunked the can onto his desk and scrambled into a button-down shirt and jeans. “Let’s go!” As he strode through the door, he grabbed his lapels and snapped them down—like he was about to spit out a chart-topping rhyme.
On his way out, he grabbed an innocuous green vial. Into his pocket it went.
Eun Yin noticed this…and dismissed it. As long as she wasn’t being held at gunpoint by black-ops ninjas, she didn’t care. Peter had apologized for letting that happen, and promised that nothing of the sort would happen again.
Eun Yin hopped on her bike. Peter hopped on the Bitemobile.
They made their way over to Atherton High.