| prologue |

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THE LIGHT, UPBEAT convenience store music was all too familiar to the stationary young clerk as she combed through the small bunch of cartons on the counter. Her eyes seemed focused, but dreary as it was the third night she'd had to cover for her useless assistant manager. But none of that mattered more than the event that was about to take place.

It was only mere coincidence that it would align with the arrival of the youthful and determined woman whose mind was focused on nothing but her much needed afternoon cup of coffee. As the young woman fetched the styrofoam and filled her cup with the most caffeinated option of all the brewed pots, she felt…something.

Nothing that resembled danger or triggered too much alertness, but something different. A stirring feeling inside of her that raised the hair on the back of her neck. It nearly made her spill the coffee onto her hand, but she was quick to set down the pot before that could happen.

The coffee girl's eyes, in their innocent doe shade of brown, found the closest person to her- the clerk, who was too distracted with her chore of stocking the cigarette shelves to have noticed anything abnormal. It was almost as if she had simply imagined it. But with everything that had happened to this particular girl, the possibility was too low to be taken lightly.

Fastening the lid onto the cup, the coffee girl made her way to the cash register and readied her wallet as she glanced out of the store window. Outside, a breeze picked up that began to shake and rock the branches of the many trees that surrounded the area. Her eyebrows furrowed as the skies, previously a brilliant and peaceful warm orange and red with shades of pink, grew a gloomy and suspicious gray, and a light erupted from behind the cluster of clouds.

"A dollar sixty four," The redheaded clerk charged. The young woman turned to face the cashier and opened her wallet to retrieve the money when the clerk suddenly gasped. "Oh my god… Are those asteroids?"

Confused, the coffee girl once again glanced out the window and this time, was breathless. Falling from the darkened gray skies were brilliant streaks of light, thousands of them. They were absolutely radiant, and beautiful, bringing with them a feeling of awe and calm.

And yet also with the sudden appearance of the clerk's "asteroids", the winds picked up and the lighthearted instrumental tunes of the store's radio began to fade in and out of static. The buzzing lights began shorting out, and thundering miniature quakes in the ground made the clerk and a couple less obvious customers scream and duck for cover.

But not her. The young woman looked around the show of chaos and remained still. A small smirk played at the corner of her lips as a faint ringing erupted in her ears, sounds of pain and helplessness. She grinned when she realized what was happening, and happily laid the ten dollar bill down onto the counter for the frightened clerk that was on the floor.

"Keep the change!" The girl insisted, raising her voice over the ringing as the windows of the store imploded, the glass bursting through the air.

She fetched her phone out of her pocket and dialed a certain number as she exited the store and walked to her polished vehicle. The man on the other end of the phone answered as she reached the Corolla.

"Something wrong?"

"Not at all," She assured him. "In fact, it couldn't be more perfect. Set up the dummies, will you? I might be getting closer sooner than I thought."


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