Luce finds her way into Sword & Cross, dragging along a red suitcase and a sense of uncertainty.
Luce's already ten minutes late for the tour, so she asks the attendant, Randy, to repeat all she has previously said.
Randy does so, but grudgingly.
The run-down is that there are three rules: meds, beds, and reds.
Meds refers the place in the dorm where students who take medication go to get their doses.
Beds refers, obviously enough, to the dorms, where the students sleep.
Reds refers to cameras, of which there are many on campus, watching students for bad behavior and monitoring their every move.
Is this school or boot camp?
Luce also has to dump her cell phone without even reading the final texts from her BFF Callie and from her parents, who, Luce guesses, probably didn't know about the weekly fifteen-minute phone block per student.
Yep, this place is definitely boot camp.
After getting the run-down of the scene, Randy pairs Luce with Arriane, a student with one of those strange tracking bracelets that makes her one of "the shackled" (1.132), who Arriane herself calls "total effing psychos" (1.137).
Don't be so hard on yourself, Arriane; you're not shackled, you're just outfitted with a cool bracelet…that happens to give you electric shocks if you step out of line…
Should someone call child protective services about this?
Arriane gives Luce a tour of the real ins and outs of the school: all of their classes take place in one building, the gym used to be a church that the campus inherited, the Augustine building is where all the social functions happen, and there's a Civil War-era cemetery on the edge of the property.
Meanwhile, Luce is trying not to tell Arriane exactly what she did to wind up at Sword & Cross in the first place.
Time for a flashback.
Luce used to be the top of her class at Dover Prep, but then, one spring evening, she was out with her classmate Trevor and somehow he died—he just burst into flames. As the only witness, Luce didn't have a choice but to try to relive the murky memory, even though she couldn't explain how it had happened.
Now, because Luce feels like she can't tell Arriane what really happened to Trevor, she asks Arriane to drop the subject as Luce cuts her hair.
After the haircut, Arriane takes Luce around the rest of the campus, and then she tells Luce about some of the other students, who, despite all wearing the same black-on-black uniform, know how to pull it off in different ways.
It may be a school for students who need special attention, but they're still clique-y as heck.
At this moment, Luce sees a student from across the path, the only student wearing a pop of color in an otherwise all black uniform.
Cue the required love-interest scene.
Arriane explains that the boy Luce is drooling over is Daniel Grigori, and he and Luce share an intense stare before he flips her off.
He flips her off? Seriously?
Geez, tough crowd. Clearly, Daniel needs to work on his people skills. Apparently, he went to the Edward Cullen school of first impressions.
Luce tries to shake it off, but she still feels like she knows Daniel from somewhere, even as the bell rings and she has to go to her first day of classes.