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GM

 

FCU Campus

3PM, January 6th, 2021

 

It had been a normal day for Jennifer. Which meant classes. Lots of classes. While leaving the final class of the day, she had been joined by the professor, one Martin Stillwell. He was a relatively new teacher at the campus, having taken over Jennifer's Computer Forensics class just a few months ago. He was somewhere in the early thirties, with short black hair. He was supposed to be something of a genius in his field. He pocketed his small round glasses as they left the building, heading out into the campus proper.

 

The afternoon sky was starting to grow darker, with grey clouds hanging overhead. The forecast had the possibility of snow, but nothing so far.

 

Stillwell was silent for a short while as they headed in the same direction, before finally speaking. "So, what do you want to do after your studies are finished? Any specific field you're hoping to enter?"

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The air was cool and crisp as Jennifer exited the building, classes over for the day. The clouds were a little darker then this morning but the promised snow still hadn’t arrived. Professor Stillwell walked with her as they started across the campus. She was enjoying his class as he really seemed to know his stuff.
 

6 hours ago, RocketLord said:

Stillwell was silent for a short while as they headed in the same direction, before finally speaking. "So, what do you want to do after your studies are finished? Any specific field you're hoping to enter?"


“Hmm?” Jennifer had been lost in thought for a moment, then she smiled. “Oh, honestly, I was hoping to get into criminal forensics. I really hope I can help people someday.” She sounded hopeful if not a little embarrassed. “I know, it sounds a little cheesy. But I love science, and it’s been my dream for years.” 

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GM

 

Stillwell smiled, nodding at Jennifer. "A bit cheesy, maybe, but there's worse things than cheesy."

 

He paused for a moment while they continued to walk.

 

"You do know that all those CSI shows aren't how it really works, right? I mean, its all very exciting, but that's not quite how everything works."

 

He smiled again and shook his head. "If you knew how many disappointed students I've seen..."

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Jennifer chuckled. “I know, which is a good thing since I don’t think I can pull off the pigtailed goth look.”

Her smile turns a bit rueful. “Sometimes though, I wish it could be that simple. I think a lot more people would get the closure they deserve.”

Jennifer smiled again “If I can help bring that closure, this will all be would be worth it.”

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GM

 

"The campus rules forbid me from answering that," Stillwell replied with a quick laugh in his voice. "And that's good. That's a good way of looking at things."

 

While they talked, Jennifer couldn't help but notice a hint of movement above. A slim figure moved across the rooftops of the buildings on campus. It was difficult to make out any colors or exact forms in the darkness, but it looked like a slim woman, who was almost dancing across the rooftops, like she was gliding along.

 

She found her goal, it seemed, slipping into an open window on a building housing scientific research.

 

"I'm sure you'll do just fine, but make sure to finish your studies. Trust me, the real world will teach a lot, but you'll need to figure out the basics first."

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Jennifer continued to smile as they walked. Movement caught her attention and she looked up towards the roofs as Professor Stillwell spoke.

“hmm?”

She tried to follow the figure without being obvious, but quickly turned her attention back to the professor.

”Ah ya, I plan on making the most of my studies. Besides, my mother would skin me if I wasted the track scholarship I was offered.” Jennifer said jokingly even as she noticed the figure slip into one of the science buildings. Anyone entering a building through an upper story window probably shouldn’t be there.” She thought to herself. “I should probably check that out.”

Glancing at her watch Jennifer gave a quick excuse. “Oh shoot, I just remembered I’m suppose to meet my friend Sammie.” She gave Professor Stillwell a friendly smile. “I’m sorry Professor, thank you for walking with me. I’ll see you in class.” She gave him a quick wave and hurried off towards the science building.

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GM

 

The professor looked after Jennifer as she left. "Have fun. Don't forget to read for the class tomorrow." He seemed completely used to the thought of students running away from him eventually, then turned and continued walking.

 

Reaching the science building, Jennifer would find it just as active as one would suspect at 3PM, with students and professors coming and going, doing whatever they did in there. The window was still open. So far, she had not seen anyone leaving by the window again.

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The lack of screams and panic was a good sign. Jennifer tried to judge the location of the window and threaded her way through the bustle of the student, heading for the elevators.

She tapped her foot as she waited patiently. Sure, she probably could run the stairs faster, but that could draw unwanted attention if she passed people. Once inside, she pressed the button for the floor of the open window. Mentally, doubt crept in for a moment.

 ‘What am I going to do if someone did break it? I should call the cops.’ Curiosity poked its nose into her thoughts. ‘What could anyone be after though? It’s a college science building, not Astrolabs or something.

Jennifer supposed she was just going to have to find out for herself.

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GM

 

The elevator seemed to take forever to reach the sixth floor in the building. The kind of elevator that just barely seemed to move, endlessly, slowly, creeping along.

 

The, finally, the big 6 lit up on the display and the doors opened into a dark floor.

 

The lights were turned off. The floor seemed empty, with an open office plan, littered with desks and computers, some open spaces reserved for a number of larger projects, including what appeared to be some sort of virtual reality project, with goggles sitting on a stand in front of a screen, a threadmill and a large robotic arm. Each corner of the floor had a large room with the walls made of some shaded see through material, enough that you could see if someone was moving around inside, but without being able to make out any details. Each of these rooms had a large door that seemed to be unlocked with an access card.

 

One of the rooms, close to an open window, was open.

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Jennifer tried to creep quietly into the office space, her eyes squinting in the darkness as she peered around. Spotting the open window she had seen from below she took note of the door nearest to it standing open. Inside the walled off room Jennifer could see a silhouette moving around.

The hair bristled on the back of her neck and she licked her lips nervously. A familiar tingle crept over her skin, the symbiote responding to her tension began to spread over her flesh like creeping techno-organic vines. "Take it easy." She thought at it. "Maybe there's a perfectly sensible reason someone snuck in through the window... to rummage around an empty office... in the dark." She took the tingle of the symbiote on her cheek to mean it doubted her assumption. "Your objection is noted."

As the symbiote covered her nose and mouth Jennifer tried to slip up to the open door and peek inside.

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GM

 

Jennifer peeked inside the door, into the open room and... the room seemed perfectly neat. A desk with a computer, with wires from the computer attached to what seemed to be a high tech arm. The kind of thing you would see on cyborgs in science fiction movies. It looked futuristic, made out of plastics of some kind, probably with parts built from the 3D printer on the desk in the corner.

 

A young African American woman in a skin tight costume kneeled by the computer. The costume was dark and light grey, with the main parts of the costume being cast in the darker color. The side sides of her abdomen, her thights and the inside and back of her legs were in the much lighter grey color. She wore orange inline skates with bright red wheels and fingerless gloves in the same dark grey as her costume. Her arms and shoulders were bare. She wore a helmet with an orange visor in front of her face, the rest cast in lighter greys, her hair hanging freely from the back of it. She seemed completely absorbed in the computer, rapidly clicking through the menus. 

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Jennifer didn’t... No, the symbiote was out, she was Chimera now... Was ever going to get use to this?

Chimera didn’t recognize the girl’s costume, not that she was all that well verse in the hero community. She was going to have to start checking the news more to try to keep up. If the girl was one of the good gals, there shouldn’t be any problem. If not, this could be trouble. Taking breath behind the techno-organic mask Chimera steeled her nerves and stepped into the office.

“Don’t suppose I could see your university ID?”

She tried to sound casual, but confident as she stood there and crossed her arms. The tendrils of silvery-gray wrapping and twining around her arms, legs and torso. Patches of her jeans and blouse visible underneath it all. Her mouth and nose were covered in a mask like covering, framed by her short black hair. The black of her irises seemed to blend in with her pupils in the dark of the room.

”Nailed it.”

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