A little something different for this week.
Zoe stood on the steps of the library and looked out across the quad. Behind and above her, the campus clock tower struck three. The tolling bells were accompanied by a tune that she really couldn’t place, but was sure she’d once heard in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
Only a few lights were on in the windows of the dormitory halls on either side of the tree-lined quad. Zoe had never been to college—life had gotten in the way—but, she thought it was odd that there weren’t more people out and about, even this late on a week night.
“Geez,” she muttered. “I thought college was all about non-stop partying.”
Although, Zoe wasn’t here to party. Or to study, for that matter. No sir, she was here to work.
Her green eyes scanned the darkness, paying close attention to the pools of light created by the old-fashioned, wrought iron lamp posts placed at regular intervals around the perimeter of the quad, as well as along the footpath that snaked through the center of the well-manicured grass. The entire scene was a bit disconcerting, especially when compared to the organized chaos and riotous energy of the quad during the day.
But, despite the illusion of serenity, Zoe was sure someone was here. Lurking. Waiting. Planning. That’s why she was here, after all. She had been sent to investigate the recent string of break-ins on campus. The victims ranged from students to faculty; and, whoever was responsible, had made off with everything from cash to cell phones to laptops. So far, no one had been hurt.
Actually, there had been no interaction with the thief at all. Campus security had no evidence of forced entry and, where available, security cameras yielded no footage of the perpetrator. That pointed to the likelihood that the person responsible was…special. Of course, the others could have handled a shapeshifter, a telepath, or an energy manipulator. Zoe had been sent because she brought something unique to the table.
To Zoe’s left, about halfway across the quad, there was a strange flicker of light and shadow. Almost anyone else would have missed it, but Zoe’s eyes were trained to notice things moving at higher-than-normal velocities. The flicker coalesced into a trail of ghosting images. She was able to make out a figure, tall and slender, dressed in jeans and a black hoody.
“Speedster,” Zoe said, grinning to herself. “Takes one to catch one.”