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The Hazing of Starlet | Edogawakun | 4


‚ÄčTrap or no trap, what's the harm? I can handle myself, so long as I keep my guard up. Besides, I'd be dumb to pass up the opportunity, and even dumber to not go since this could be them. I didn't expect to be starting this big, but if they think I'm worthy I'll give it a try. And it's not like I had anything planned for tonight besides circling the city a few times until I got tired. And if anyone was trying to trap me, why would they add in a handwritten message about my ass? It creates an evidence trail and naturally makes some people not want to go.

...But what if this is a trap and the trapper wants me thinking in reverse? That would mean I'm being manipulated with these thought processes. And what if they found a weakness in me and can easily capture or kill me?

ARGH! I hate this situation! It got my hopes up and now it's driving me up a wall.

The whole day whizzes by after that. I went to school as usual, but I couldn't focus at all. Once I was again and dressed as her, my mind was almost entirely devoted to that card and making sense of it. That quickly stopped when a teacher caught me day dreaming, and I told myself, "It'll be alright as long as you fear the worst and prepare for it," to focus myself. That didn't help much though. All that did was change the deduction process for truth into a pessimistic process of predictions. It wasn't until my mother called me for dinner I realized I hadn't eaten all day and finally heard my stomach rumble. However, I wasn't very hungry, the dark thoughts and repeated stomach lurches I went through today probably being why, so I just had a few crackers to settle my stomach. After a day of thinking, the only conclusion I had drawn for sure is I'm happy the meeting was scheduled for the day I was given the card. I don't think I'd be able to sleep tonight if the meeting was anytime after. Even the thankfully uneventful rounds couldn't bore me to anything close to sleepy.

With half an hour until the meeting, I break off my rounds and make for the building. In addition to wanting to be early if it is the Angels, I also want to scope out the whole scene for myself and ensure my own safety. And finding the building is going to be easy. It was in the real papers after someone bought the paper for almost triple the worth. Deep Delver was always considered to be a bit of a collaboration of fiction writers as opposed to real news and losing even one reader would have put them in the red. However, I have heard it's making a decent turn around now and is well on the way to being a big name sold in real stores instead of just in mini-marts and gas stations run by people with one hand on a weapon. That article was the first time I'd actually learned about this tabloid, the included picture of the new owner, some young nobody who eats too much, in front of the building being my guide on this mission. I could have always looked it up online, but I already knew the general location, and needing to do a search in that area for the building will help me look for anything suspicious.

9:26 and still nothing. I know I've been flying over the building and haven't actually set foot on it yet, but the person I'm meeting should have been here already. The writer said punctuality was important to the decision. A double standard if ever there was one. It can't be a trap to capture me or something, since anyone interested in something like that would have been on time. Now the worst that could happen is they wanted me out of the way for something else, but that can't be the case either. Even though the office itself is surrounded by several buildings that are significantly taller, it also happens to be located in the approximate center of the city. All I have to do is fly up and fly around a bit. Between my speed and the location, I can watch the whole city pretty closely while keeping the tabloid in eye shot. There's nothing unusual going on tonight. Well, nothing big anyway. And if nothing's happened by now, there's probably not going to be any "big job" tonight since some people would give up after less time than this.

Anyway, I suppose I can spend the rest of it on the roof. I can give it another half an hour before I head off and finish my rounds and just do a few stretches in that time. If the meeting's real, they wouldn't think of holding me here more than an hour. And if it's not, then I really don't know what to make of this whole situation. However, for the first time all day, my mind is at rest and I can feel my body at work. For the first time all day, it actually feels like my feet are on the ground. In fact, I think I'm more alert than ever, I can feel just about every little movement of all the muscles in my legs as I do a few jump squats. I can't wait to see if this has a few applications in areas besides workouts.

Ten o'clock and I'm still all alone up here. I wasted an hour chasing some fake offer to join the Angels. "Whatever," I mumble out, snarling slightly as I speak. At least it's behind me now and I can get on with my life. And it's not like it was a total waste, I did limber up a bit in case something does happen tonight.

Before I'm even three feet off the ground, I hear, "Where are you going?"

I look back down to the roof and see...


Who or what is on the roof?


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