Today we get to meet our second main character in Legend: June Iparis. June is a student at Drake University. She describes herself as a prodigy, so I’m guessing she’s younger than most of the other students. I’m also guessing that it’s a military based program that she’s in because she was pulled out of class where the lesson was about loading and unloading a rifle. She’s also in trouble, sitting in the dean secretary’s office.
Before we get too much into June’s story, I wanted to mention that in the paperback (and probably the hardcover too), the Day sections and June sections are printed in different fonts and different colors. That’s cool. Not sure if it would show up in the ebook format or not.
Anyway, the first thing you really learn about June is that she is very perceptive. She could tell that the dean secretary, Ms. Whitaker, has injured her hand because her typing was irregular. Ms. Whitaker takes June’s comments as a slight (which it probably was, at least unconsciously) and snaps back that even though June thinks she’s smart, once she leaves school and gets posted somewhere, her superiors won’t take her attitude.
Let’s learn a bit more about June’s background, shall we?
I don’t just think I’m smart. I’m the only person in the entire Republic with a perfect 1500 score on her Trial. I was assigned here, to the country’s top university, at twelve, four years ahead of schedule. Then I skipped my sophomore year. I’ve earned perfect grades at Drake for three years. I am smart. I have what the Republic considers good genes — and better genes make for better soldiers make for better chance of victory against the Colonies, my professors always say. And if I feel like my afternoon drills aren’t teaching me enough about how to climb walls while carrying weapons, then . . . well, it wasn’t my fault I had to scale the side of a nineteen-story building with a XM-621 gun strapped to my back. It was self-improvement, for the sake of my country.
I like her. She’s smart and she’s got spunk! According to my calculations, she is fifteen years old. Also interesting is that she knows who Day is. He’s part of the reason why she was scaling the building in the first place. There is a rumor that Day was able to scale a five story building in eight seconds, which is pretty damn fast. She wants to be able to catch him and, by extension, be a better soldier.
The intercom announces that June’s brother, Metias, is there to pick her up. He is a Captain in whatever their military is and has custody of June since their parents are dead. Apparently he has had to come down and pick June up several times before when she has gotten in trouble and isn’t happy about it. Also, they had to get three helicopters to get June down off the building because they didn’t have anyone who could climb after her. Hahahaha!
They leave the campus, passing other students running drills. One student yells out to ask how high up June made it up the high rise – fourteen floors. Metias is not happy about the fact that June has been suspended for a week. They get in a jeep driven by another soldier named Thomas (who seems friendly but is not speaking up for June at all). As they drive, we are informed that they are in Los Angeles, the school being downtown. We also get to see a bit more of June and Metias’s relationship.
After a few minutes, Metias continues in a calmer voice. “You really scared me today,” he says. “I was afraid they’d mistake you for Day and shoot at you.”
I know he doesn’t mean this as a compliment, but I can’t help smiling. I lean forward to rest my arms on top of his seat. “Hey,” I say, tugging his ear the way I did when I was a kid, “I’m sorry I made you worry.”
He lets out a scornful chuckle, but I can tell his anger is already fading. “Yeah. That’s what you say every time, Junebug. Is Drake not keeping your brain busy enough? If not, then I don’t know what will.”
I liked this because it makes them seem closer than I originally thought they were.
June really wants to go out with Metias on one of his missions, but he is not having it. She did get to go with him once as part of school assignment, but she broke three ribs and got a knife wound in her leg while chasing a POW. Metias is very protective of her now, but he is also impressed with her abilities. He asks her how fast she climbed the fourteen stories. Turns out – six minutes and forty-four seconds. Dang! That’s fast! It causes Thomas to pipe up that he disapproves of the fact that Metias is encouraging this behavior at all, especially since she is the only family he has left. Their parents died in a car crash and while Metias has lots of memories with them, June was still very young when they died and doesn’t remember much at all. All of her childhood is wrapped up in her brother.
They arrive at their home and June and Metias get out of the jeep. Metias asks June to please stay home as there might be a power outage due to needing extra energy for the airfield base. Metias is leaving again right away and June asks to come with him, which of course, he declines but promises to be home as early as possible as he climbs back into the jeep and heads away.
That’s the end of this chapter. I really like June. A lot. I still don’t know quite what to make of the Republic, but I like the new details we learn about the world here. I definitely want to learn more!