Breakfast the next day was a solemn affair.
Forced to eat with the others chosen for the competition, Casady attempted to block out the sound of Lisha's obnoxious voice. Did the girl ever stop complaining? If she wasn't griping about the food being disgusting, she was relaying her disappointment when she realized her red lipstick was a dark shade of pink and not a true red. Or she droned on and on about how she didn't like the theme of the competition that year and wished they would've stuck to something more conventional than "The Monster Within."
Eventually, Casady excused himself, leaving his plate on the table. It was still almost as full as it had been when he had sat down. Worrying over Vinnia's fate, when coupled with Lisha's running commentary, was not conducive to a healthy appetite.
Rune stopped Casady on his way back to their dorm. "Hey, have you found out anything else about Vinnia?"
Casady shook his head, wishing people would leave him alone for even a few minutes. "No. I don't have any idea what's going on." He pushed his way past Rune. "Excuse me."
Rune called after Casady, "But you know her better than any of us!"
Fully exasperated, Casady spun around on his heel. "What do you want me to say, Rune? Would you rather me make something up about Vinnia's fate? I don't have a clue, Rune, and all I know is I'm supposed to be heading up a competition that's way over my head. She asked me to coordinate our group, if she's detained. By the looks of it, she won't be back in time for the competition - if she's ever back - which means I have to somehow figure out what I'm supposed to do with all the Singers. I know the notes. I know the choreography. I don't know the Force. I don't know how to play to the Force's desires or how to make a show worth watching. I just - " He broke off, unwilling to show any more emotion. The camera might catch it. They might suspect him capable of feeling deeply.
Rune waited, clearly trying to hide his shock at Casady's ouburst.
Casady leaned in so that he didn't have to shout to be heard. "I don't know anything, Rune. All I know is that there are fates depending on the choices I make, and if I make one wrong move, there will be consequences. That's all I know."