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And so it went. They came. They saw. They stole. Clementine Phillips continued to wander along.
As she passed one booth, she noticed a sign that read: BUILD THE WORLD. One guy, wearing yellow work clothes, called out to her.
“Hey, how would you like to clean up the world?” he asked.
“My mom thinks I should clean up my room first!” Clementine replied.
“First the world, then your room,” the guy replied, “c’mon and sign up! We need young people like you to travel to Nicaragua and Costa Rica to help clean and build houses for the underprivileged. Just sign here!” He handed Clementine a clipboard.
Clementine looked the clipboard over, signed, then handed the board back to the guy. He glanced at her signature.
“So you are, Hayley Williams?! Is that correct?” he asked.
“Correct!” Clementine answered.
“Okay,” the guy continued, “do you have any identification so we can make sure you are who you say you are and you’re at least 18 years of age!”
“You have to be 18 to build the world?” Clementine asked.
“Uh, yes,” the guy replied, “it’s the law!”
“Well, I’m 15!” Clementine said.
“Okay, thank you, Ms. Williams,” the guy disappointingly replied, scratching Clementine’s fake signature off the list!
Clementine shrugged, then moved on.
They hit three more marks in the next 20 minutes, netting a cool grand!
As they circled back on the convention floor, a man walked up to Clementine.
“Excuse me,” he said, “how would you like to change the world?”
“What if the world doesn’t want to change?” Clementine replied.
“Well, young lady,” he began, “my name is Hans Vaneeghen, I’m a field recruiter for Octagon Global Recruiting. We’re looking for young people, young people just like you, who don’t want to just sit on the sidelines and watch the world go by, but want to jump up and help change that world for the better!”
“I have a problem just jumping up out of bed in the morning!” Clementine noted.
But Vaneeghen either didn’t hear her, or chose not to, because he just keep talking.
“I represent a great opportunity,” he continued, “an opportunity to get involved in cutting edge technologies and ideas! I represent a forward thinking organization called THE NEW DHARMA INIATIVE! And I’d like to invite you backstage to watch a DVD describing all the opportunities joining the Iniative will entail!”
Just then, James Ford walked by. When he glanced at the booth and spotted the all too familiar octagon symbol with the word DHARMA in the center, he immediately sprang into action. He walked over, grabbed Clementine by the arm, and dragged her away.
“Hey!” she called out, “what are you doing?”
“Getting you the hell away from there,” Ford replied, “you stay away from that booth!”
“Why?” Clementine wondered, “I think they were pretty funny!”
“I assure you,” Ford answered, “what they do, ain’t funny at all!”
“How do you know?” Clementine asked.
“Believe me, baby doll” Ford answered, “I just know!”
Next: Chap. 24 “A Con or a Cop?”