Rozena stood looking out of her bedroom window at the street far below. The sun was setting behind the buildings opposite and the sky was tinged with orange and grey.
It was the day after the disastrous Rising Star competition and her meeting with the SCRAM kids.
It had been a frustrating day. She’d been suspended from school, so she had to spend the day cooped up in the flat. Her mother was working evening shift, so most of the time Rozena had to be extra quiet while her mother slept. Now her mother had left for work so she was alone.
The events of the previous day kept going through her head. One moment she felt excited by the things Zazi, Colin and Trevor had told her about how she would work with SCRAM to clear her name. The next, she felt terrified and hopeless at the thought of the accusations that had been made against her.
The worst of it was that she had nobody to talk to. Her mother had grounded her, refusing to let her leave the flat, or to let Emma visit her. And she had taken her phone; confiscated it.
Rozena had no idea what plan SCRAM had to help her. All she knew was that they had arranged to meet her this evening, after her mother had left for work.
A car caught her eye. Could that be them? Yes – she recognised Zazi in the window. Quickly she let herself out of the flat, suppressing the pang of guilt at disobeying her mother.
What am I supposed to do, anyway? Just sit around and wait, she wondered.
Outside, she found Colin in the driver’s seat of the big, black car. Trevor was in the passenger seat, and Zazi was holding open a back door.
“Hey! How are you? Get in!” she said, and Colin smiled a greeting as Rozena slid into the car beside Zazi. But Trevor just looked at her, lifting an unimpressed eyebrow.
The car smelled new, and its engine gave a deep, throaty rumble. As they pulled off, Zazi was already talking. “So. The bosses – the SCRAM bosses – sent us the plan this morning. What we have to do is to prove that Devon planted those drugs. That helps you, because it clears your name, and it helps SCRAM, as it exposes the drug ring in the school that we want to close down. So, here’s how we’re going to do it.
“Trevor seeing him plant the stuff is not good enough. We have to get Devon to confess that he did it. Now, apparently there are no security cameras in the exact corridor where Devon planted the drugs in your case, but the bosses say that we can use the school’s general security cameras to trap Devon anyway.”
Colin took over the instructions. “The bosses want us to get recordings from the cameras, find anything that shows what Devon’s been doing. If we can get evidence of him giving or receiving money or packages from known criminals, we’ve got him. SCRAM will use this information to scare Devon into agreeing to cooperate with them.”
“He’ll have to confess to planting the drugs on you, Rozena,” said Zazi.
“Otherwise SCRAM will expose him for doing whatever serious crimes we can get evidence of. So, he’ll simply have to confess, and you’ll be fine!”
“But … why would he confess at all?” None of this made sense to Rozena.
“Thing is,” said Colin. “Devon’s father is a rich guy. While they would suspend somebody like you just for having drugs in your possession, a guy like Devon would only get a slap on the wrist. He can afford to confess.”
“It’s not fair, is it!?” said Zazi with a shrug. “But that’s how it is.”
“But how are we going to get recordings from the school’s security cameras?” asked Rozena.
As she spoke, the car came to a halt and she saw that they were at the back gate of their school. It was quite dark now, with the street lights throwing halos of light down on the parking area.
“We’re going to break in,” said Colin.
“We’re going to what?” said Rozena, aghast.
“You’re the computer expert, aren’t you?” said Trevor, speaking for the first time. “We’ll get you into the headmaster’s office. Then it’s your job to hack into the security system and get those security recordings.”
Rozena stared at Trevor, speechless with astonishment but before she could protest, Zazi pulled her out of the car.
“Come on!” said Zazi. “Let’s do this thing!”
Tell us: Do you agree that a rich kid’s word will count for more, compared to the word of someone like Trevor?