THREE

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     "Okay, so," Ronnie said with her mouth partially full, placing her slice of white pizza back onto a paper napkin. "Here's what we know, an email was sent out at 9:23 this morning, which is about ten minutes after the start of the second class of the day."

     I had my laptop open on my lap in front of me. Nearly the entire staff was here, a group of about twenty of us, lounging in rolling chairs and on an unfortunate looking leather couch with uncertain origins. The newsroom was a surprisingly cozy place that felt more like a lounge than anything else. St. Joe's was an older building, but at least they put some of our tuition money towards renovations and genuinely helpful technology. Only a year or two prior to my freshman year, the layout staff had been working on desktop computers from 2004.

     Part of the thrill also came from the fact that we were entirely independent in this room. We had a faculty supervisor, Ms. Polaski, but her involvement was limited at best. She had little to no interest in student journalism and had really only done it because of additional pay benefits that came from supervising a student organization on campus.

     The sun was already starting to set despite it being just past four. It was mid-October in eastern Pennsylvania, and we all bracing for what was expected to be a cold winter. Temperatures had already started dropping and I was considering making the transition to my heavier winter leggings that the school uniform required while wearing a skirt.

     Staff meetings had been the designated street-clothes period for those who were interested. This generally just meant exchanging our plaid skirts for leggings or throwing on a sweatshirt over our button-downs, but it was a nice perk regardless. Most of the time we all just ended up wearing our school uniforms for the duration of the meeting, having already worn them for eight hours and not seeing the point in changing for an hour.

     This meeting, however, was expected to go much longer than the anticipated hour.

     I logged onto my email, making the decision to drag the email out of my 'deleted' folder. It was an action that I didn't want to do, but I knew for the sake of producing an article, it had to happen.

     Ronnie's voice continued on in the background as I read through. I didn't hesitate on the faces of the girls, I just scrolled until I reached the bottom where I was surprised to see a small message, probably in a font size no larger than 9pt.

This is just the beginning. - Eros

     "Who's Eros?" I asked, forgetting temporarily that there was a meeting going on around me.

     "Greek god of love," Jeremy Wexler, a lead editor from the sports section said. He wiped his hands on a napkin and leaned forward in his seat. "Did you catch the note at the bottom of the email, too?"

     I nodded. "Definitely a little ominous."

     "I'd say more than a little," he responded. "He was considered generally disobedient, but loyal to his mother, Aphrodite."

     "Interesting choice to use Eros instead of Aphrodite," I said. "Considering she's the goddess of sex, right?"

     "Yeah, basically," Jeremy said.

     "It might be a masculinity thing," Ronnie said and we turned to look at. She leaned against the whiteboard she was standing in front of, rolling the dry-erase marker between her palms. "If it's a guy—especially a guy from St. Joe's—who did this, I struggle to imagine them willing referring to themselves as Aphrodite. Plus, you just mentioned that Eros was a troublemaker, right? This is definitely the kind of thing that someone trying to stir shit up would do."

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