History, if understood correctly, can really explain the present. Paul Barton loved history. And he knew what was going on now, and it made him chuckle. The formula had been released, and delivered on it's promise. People grew twice their normal height, society changed, and the world was never the same.
Word leaked that a lab was trying to come up with the right compounds for a second formula that would help people grow to two and half times their projected normal height, and make them even more resistant to illness. And once that was out in the open, the race was on, as lab after lab worked day and night, twenty-four seven, holidays, it didn't matter. They had to be the first.
Finally, it was down to two. And in the race to become the first one to release the second formula, shortcuts were taken in the testing phase. Who was first would determine who would make the money.
Paul hopped on the oversized school bus. His best friend John was seated near the front. Many kids Paul was friendly with say in the first four rows. They were the last of the Betas. Everyone else in school was either an Alpha or a tweener. Their seats were the only normal sized ones on the bus. But after that, the real fun began.
You had two groups of people that took the formula. For one group, the formula worked exactly as planned. Heights of 11, 12, 13 feet were reached. And with their size came great strength and an attitude to match. They were the Alphas. They ruled the school, and if you valued your health, you avoided them like the plague.
The other group took the formula, but it didn't work as intended. They still grew, but only reached heights of seven and a half to nine feet, nor the promised strength. The variant they took did not have the strict testing that the other formula did. And families paid good money for a product that didn't deliver.
And worse, matter how much they tried, the Alphas treated them like second class citizens. They were neither Alphas or Betas. They were the tweeners. And it caused some odd behavior.
Some tweeners went overboard trying to impress the Alphas, including being extra mean to Betas as well as their fellow tweeners.
And it didn't matter, the Alphas still considered them to be inferior.
Some tweeners kept to themselves. They didn't want to make any waves, or cause any trouble. They just wanted to be left alone.
And some tweeners were very nice. They treated the Betas with respect, a rare occurrence in school, and some even went out of their way to help Betas as best they could.
Paul was only average height, reaching 5’10” like his father. And with sophmore year upon him, it was when he saw her. A tweeners. Paul couldn't see how tall she was, but she was definitely about two feet taller than him.
She was sitting alone. Paul guessed that she was new. His friend John was talking to a girl across the aisle. Paul decided that he was going to introduce himself.
He approached her row. He could see he was eye level with her, even standing. But he introduced himself as Paul Barton to her. She looked at him, and seeing a friendly smile on his face, replied that her name was Linda Mills. Paul asked if she was new to the area. She replied yes, that her family had just moved in from out of state. Paul asked her if he could sit in the open seat, and she said yes.
Paul climbed up the two big steps that allowed him to reach the seat, and as he was sitting, heard the commotion from the back. He and Linda and everyone else on the bus looked as a tweener with an Alpha fixation overstepped an imaginary line and was slapped by an Alpha girl. His face reddened and swelled quickly, and tears were running out of his eyes at a fast rate. Paul saw it was a girl named Alice. Alice and her friends really loved to push the boundaries. And Paul was thankful it wasn't him that got slapped.
As the boy ran back towards his seat, he could hear Alice and her friends bust out laughing. This made the boy cry even more.
Linda looked at Paul, who then started to explain the school dynamics to her. She didn't know if he was joking or not. He asked her if they had the same issues at her last school. Linda replied that she was home schooled, but since her parents both had to work, she needed to attend an actual school.
Paul had never met someone who was homeschooled, and he didn't know how to respond, except to awkwardly say that the teachers were nice. He also noticed how big the seat was. He could fit a second person in it comfortably. All he could think to himself was wow.
He quickly glanced at the boy who was slapped, and noticed that his face was still swollen, and he stopped crying. He thought to himself that this was the reason one avoided the Alphas.
The bus pulled up at school, but not before the boy who was slapped headed towards the back of the bus and apologized to Alice in front of her friends. She told him that if he ever spoke to her again like that he wouldn't be so lucky. Then she dismissed him, like he was a child. The boy apologized again and quickly made his way back to his seat, as Alice and her friends laughed.