Holoprojectors in the Sidekick Squad universe can do a lot of things, including display full color books and other interactive content. Bells Broussard is an active member of the Andover Heights High School yearbook. His primary job is doing layout and occasionally some art, but sometimes (and you 21st century yearbook folks would definitely know this) he has to juggle a few different hats and write some articles. So of course Bells would write about his two best friends…
I wrote these interviews for a special blog post for The Book Voyagers, who created a really cool virtual magazine featuring different YA books!
IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT by Bells Broussard
To most teenagers, getting a driver’s license is so unnecessary. Why drive when you can program your car to go wherever you like? Not to mention the extra expense of installing a driver-operated wheel and controls in the car and filling out all that extra paperwork for the Collective. But junior Emma Robledo thinks it’s worth it; she’s had her driver’s license for a year and loves the freedom of driving.
BB: What inspired you to get a license? It’s very unusual.
ER: With regular cars, you don’t always get where you need to be. If you haven’t updated the software in awhile or sometimes it’ll glitch, you know? And cars will always drive at the set speed, you know. So if you want to go a little faster, you can. [winks]
BB: Was there a ridiculous process to get a license?
ER: No, not really. Okay, yeah. I mean, you do have to wait awhile, so it wasn’t like after I turned sixteen I was able to drive right away. But my moms were great about helping me find what I wanted, and they helped me pick out a car in my favorite color— bright, bright red!
BB: Tell me about driving. What’s it like?
ER: You have to pay attention to the road, and the other cars and people around you, so you can’t just fall asleep or look out the window if the car is driving you. But I love when I put the top down on the car, and the wind is in my hair, and my best friends are with me and we’re just laughing and going wherever we want to go.
BB: Oh, hanging out with your best friends, huh?
ER: [laughs] Well, they’re the best.
EXPLORING THE UNKNOWN by Bells Broussard
You’ve probably seen the multiple warning signs outside of Andover if you’ve ever traveled through the Unmaintained zones to get to the Las Vegas hovertrain. Junior Jessica Tran isn’t afraid of radiation poisoning or wild animals or decrepit Pre-Collective buildings; in fact, she loves wandering out in the wilderness, going hiking on her own and exploring the desert beyond our fair city.
BB: What do you love most about the desert?
JT: It’s so calm and peaceful. I love the colors out here, all the reds and golds and oranges.
BB: Aren’t you worried about the dangers? The warnings are there for a reason.
JT: Well, a lot of those warnings would make sense right after the Disasters, but it’s been so long now, and we know that there isn’t danger from the radiation anymore. But because no one actually lives out there or knows much about what’s left, that the desert is this huge, scary thing and no one bothers to check it out.
BB: How did you start exploring outside the city?
JT: Um, well, I was actually just looking for some peace and quiet to… write! I write in my journal a lot, but it’s very noisy at home. My brother likes to build things, and a lot of them explode or fall apart. So I was driving one day and I was just wondering what was outside the solar fields… so yeah. That’s how I started.
BB: What’s your favorite thing about the canyons?
JT: There’s just so many trails to discover. People used to hike here all the time, but I guess now there aren’t that many people who appreciate it.
BB: Is hiking difficult? You must be very sporty!
JT: [laughing] No, no, I’m not athletic at all. I never really thought of myself like that, but I think hiking is something anyone can do. You just put one foot in front of the other and keep going, and you can see new things and get rewarding views. It’s awesome!
For anyone else interested in exploring the canyons, Jessica recommends charging your car completely before heading out of Andover, and to take the Blue Diamond road and follow the Pre-Collective signs, and if they’ve been graffitied over by Master Mischief, then you know you’re going in the right direction!