“Cancelled? How can my ticket be cancelled?” Yollie was almost beside herself and only long practice stopped her making a public spectacle of the type she most deplored.
“I’m sorry, Miss, but it seems you’ve been flagged as a minor travelling without parental authorisation.” The check-in clerk smiled apologetically. “You need your parents’ permission to get on a flight, or a court order. A social worker from the Juvenile Authority is on their way over to take you into care now. Please take a seat and we’ll get you some hot chocolate and cookies to be going on with.”
“But I’m going away to school!” Yollie could see her chances of a future where she wasn’t her siblings’ carer slipping away. “I have a place at Western Lakes University. They’re expecting me.”
“I’m sorry,” the clerk smiled sympathetically, “but the law requires us to ensure your safety. The terminal security guards will make sure no-one bothers you,” Yollie looked around involuntarily and saw at least four guards minding the check-in area, “and those refreshments will be right out.”
Yollie dejectedly took one of the indicated seats to await the social worker who’d surely drag her back to the family home. The promised hot chocolate and cookies arrived almost immediately, delivered by a steward and stewardess wearing the line’s first class cabin uniforms and served on a freestanding portable table.
The stewardess was just pouring Yollie a second mug of the best hot chocolate she’d ever had when the social workers arrived. Mz Lennix, who Yollie knew already, was busily talking to an unknown big, solid, olive skinned man.
Mz Lennix made introductions, “Yolanda, this Mr Georgiadis. He’s new to the department and is working with me for a few weeks. Zeus, this is Yolanda Renver. Two of her siblings are part of my caseload – special needs.”
“Ah,” Mr Georgiadis nodded understandingly and took one of the cookies from the plate Yollie proffered. “So, why is your arm sore, Mz Renver?”
This is now followed by Null and Void 2.