by Kat Otis
About midnight, the party came to a crashing halt when one of the dive team seniors arrived with a case of beer.
Izzy had a split-second to wince before dozens of iChaperones lit up in angry technicolor. They swarmed down from the ceiling to hover around the heads of their respective underage protectees, screens flashing the cutesy drink icon that alerted them to the presence of alcohol. In case that wasn't enough to convey the message, the control unit on her wrist began a continuous buzzing that sent vibrations all the way up her arm.
Annoyed, Izzy jabbed at her control unit. Chill out. Her iChaperone cut off the light show and the vibrations ceased a moment later.
"Your parents gave you override privileges?" A wide-eyed freshman--Izzy thought her name was Mary or maybe Maria--stared at Izzy in awe. The girl's own iChaperone was going crazy overhead and would probably start with the alarm klaxons soon.
"Mary, is it?" Izzy guessed. "Butterfly stroke and medley?" The freshman nodded, looking completely star-struck now. It made Izzy feel older than her seventeen years, but that was nothing new. She took Mary's arm and began guiding her towards the back door, joining the general exodus of Chaperoned students. "I've got first-level override privileges, yeah. But on the flip side, if my blood alcohol level hits point oh two, it reports me to social services."
"Ouch." Mary belatedly glanced up at her iChaperone, which was still flashing the drink icon and had added a countdown timer to its screen. They had thirty seconds to get out the door to the alcohol-free backyard, or it would escalate its warnings.
Being klaxoned was embarrassing, but not the end of the world. Some of the Chaperoned students must have thought otherwise, though, because they began pushing and shoving at each other to get through the door. Someone shoved Izzy a little too hard and set off her iChaperone again. This time it came to hover silently over her head while her control unit buzzed a rhythmic interrogative that was supposedly old Morse code.
"Crap." Izzy let go of Mary and jabbed at her control unit again. The last thing she needed was it calling the cops to come rescue her from a mere traffic jam. Not in danger.
They had five seconds to go when they finally broke through the bottleneck and into the backyard. A few students shook off the incident and headed for the pool, but Izzy wasn't the only one who headed for her car instead.