2009-09-20: The One That Got Away



Date: September 20th, 2009


Upon being caught flying by a girl at school West plays it off as he has more important things to do. Giving her his number and meeting later to hang out West soon discovers Zoe isn’t what she seems. A well oiled robot is lurking just beneath the girl's kind exterior.

"The One That Got Away"

College Campus, Oregon

It's a beautiful day in Oregon, even though the air is starting to get crisp as fall takes over summer. On this particular college campus, it's lunch time for the students who don't happen to have class. A group of young ladies heads toward the edge of the campus grounds, in a grassy, tree-dotted park that's yet to be flooded with student bodies.

West was wearing his usual button up shirt over a dark blue undershirt. Flying through the air high above the campus the boy finally began to calm down. How could he have been so stupid that he left his backpack unzipped? His midterm paper was due today and thanks to that slip up he lost his assignment, along with a few expensive books, who knows where. His stuff could have fallen out anywhere from Costa Verde to Oregon. 'Think clearly West, there's got to be something you can do.' The boy thinks over and over in his head trying to get an answer. Looking at his watch he notices it was lunch time and that would give him a good thirty minutes to look for his stuff. Not that it would help.
The boy began flying down toward his usual landing spot, the park just on the edge of the school grounds. Not paying much attention as his mind was full of much more important stuff West flies right over the girls before landing behind a tree. Readjusting his backpack on his shoulder the student now walks out from behind the tree and proceeds to walk past the girls. That was if they didn't do anything to ward his way.

While most of the girls don't seem to notice the flyboy as more than a breeze that ruffles their hair, one of the three does: a tall brunette in the middle. Rather than making a big deal out of it, however, she distractedly smiles to her friends and excuses herself, turning around the way she came while the other gals carry on. Clutching a red binder and chemistry textbook to her chest, she jogs after West. "Hey!" she calls out, friendly. "Rosen, right?"

Just before the girl interrupted with her greeting West had it. The solution to all his whoas. He had a backup copy saved on his computer at home. All he needed to do was zip home and get back to school before class started. He could do that. Right? Either way he'd be in trouble so West decided his best bet was to take off home and attempt to get back in time. "Hm?" He'd pretty much make a sound in surprise before turning to the girl.

As the information slowly got to his brain West would reply. "Um.. yeah, that's me." He says anxiousness apparent in his voice. He needed to ditch this girl, and quick, every second was another second he lost in the race to get his paper restored. "I'm in a bit of a hurry. Mind if I catch you later?" West quickly spat out hoping and praying she'd just say yeah and he could move on.

Not so fast, mister! The young woman tucks her hair behind her ear and jogs up to West's side. "I'll walk with you," she offers — even keeping her pace fast, as if to show she can keep up. "I'm Zoe— I think I'm in a class with you. Chemistry?" she shifts her books to flip the text book on top. Is she really in one of his classes? She probably doesn't look especially familiar. "Listen, I know this is totally left field, but just a minute ago, I could have sworn I saw you…" she trails off conveniently.

Seeing as the girl practically attached herself to him, West would roll his eyes in annoyance. Could this day get any worse? Then the mention of just a few minutes ago. Wait a second, she couldn't have seen him just a few minutes ago, he had been looking for his missing stuff ever since his last class let out. Panic hits West at once but he quickly subdues it. She couldn't prove a thing, once more she didn't mention flying, and West figured she wouldn't as it would sound crazy. I mean come up. A boy flying though the air without wings or anything? No way. No one would believe it for a second. "I get around." West would state in reply to her comment of swearing she saw him. He takes her leaving off and acts as if it was just a statement, totally ignoring the implied part.
"Anyways, I really need to get going. I lost my assignment and it is due today. So I'm going to zip on home and print another copy of it. Maybe I'll catch you after Chemistry?" West says thinking that maybe offering to hang out would be enough to get her to release him from her clutches for now. He wasn't even sure if she was in his Chemistry class or if High School was the last time he took Chemistry. He probably came off rude but all that mattered right now was that he got home and quick.

Plus, she's not running away screaming "freak!". Good sign, right? She's all friendly smiles and curious eyes … maybe too curious. Then again, maybe she's just into him. "Wait," Zoe exclaims, making a quick grab for West's arm. "Hang on a second. It's just that I thought— " She pauses, but not for long; too long and he'll get away for good. "I thought I saw you…" Zoe's eyes roll up, up, up… and she points subtly at the blue sky above.

Upon being dragged back West would look the girl sternly in the eyes. The urgency of his situation hopefully being transmitted. When she finally got out what she wanted to say West would give a smile, hoping it would come off as if he found the idea of it amusing. "Look, I'm sure you're a nice girl, really, but now is just not a good time. I'm not sure what you thought you saw but this is getting a bit weird. So I'll just be going now and maybe we can catch up later." West says before turning to leave. Then something deep inside him would call out. He wanted to be accepted so badly and she hadn't went running or complexly ignored him. Maybe if he were to get to know her first. He didn't expect he'd ever reveal his secret but a friend would be a nice thing to have.

He pauses a second before turning back to face her. Pulling out a piece of paper and writing his number on it West hands it to the girl. "Maybe we can hang out sometime. Now if you don't mind I've got to get home and print that paper off." West states before heading off toward a thicker area in the park. He'd need cover if he planned to take off. Mixing together truth and lies was something that West used often. He found out early on that if you tell some truth that it will come across in your sentence as a whole. He pushes the conversation out of his head for now as he walks off toward the thick area. Hopefully alone.

Zoe doesn't chase after West this time — instead, she hangs onto the paper with his number on it and simply watches him take off (not literally, this time). Narrowing her eyes, she jogs off in the opposite direction after a moment.

* * *

The next day is cloudier than the last. In a quad-like area of the campus — outdoors with buildings all around, a fountain in the center — Zoe is supposed to be waiting to meet West. The friendly co-ed is nowhere in sight yet, but it's only two past noon. A rarely used area of the campus, there's no one around.

West lands a half a mile or so away from the meeting area just to be double safe. Walking the rest of the way to where the girl had asked to meet West would be seen coming across a nearby street. Waving to the girl as he approaches West was breathing harder than usual as it had been a pretty good work out for the usually airborne adolescent. "West Rosen." He offers with his right hand outstretched. My as well get her name now that he wasn't worried about failing. "So what are you?" He asks his trade mark question with a judging stare.

Emerging from a door of one of the quiet college buildings just before West arrives, Zoe spins around in apparent surprise in time to take his hand. "Zoe Roy." She breaks into a sunny smile. "Sorry about being kind of pushy earlier, but— what do you mean 'what am I'?"

"Don't worry about it."(I would have been pushy too if I saw someone fly) West replies before Zoe asks him what he meant. "Are you a robot or are you an alien? See, robots do what they are told. Aliens, they do their own thing and aren't afraid to stray from the beaten path." West explains a bit of his crazy theory. "So, I ask again. What are you?" With the question reinstated the boy watches Zoe closely gauging her reaction. Being judgmental wasn't one of West's better traits but more times than not he'd find himself putting people he had just met on the spot like this.

The girl gives West a weird look, lifting her eyebrows. "Well…" Seeming to consider the bizarre question of category, Zoe wanders over to the fountain and sits on its edge. "Let me guess: you're an alien."

A door to West's far left inches open. It's dark within, dark as the gloved hand that holds the weapon that noses the door's edge.

A door on the other side of the quad, in the opposing building, opens in the same instant. There aren't students in there. No, these are armed men, dressed in black tactical gear from head to toe, and their weapons are pointed at West.

Zoe shrugs. It would be apologetic, if it weren't so stiff and cold. "I'm a robot. I'm just doing what I'm told, West."
"What you're told?" The boy asks with a bit of a confused look. It wasn't her answer that caused him to give that look. It was the way she had said it, like she was actually told to meet with him here or something. Nah, no one would believe her. Letting logic calm him down again West stands there innocently waiting for an explanation on what she meant. The college freshman had no idea what was awaiting him behind all those doors.

Suffice to say, West is about to get a clue. Zoe stays perfectly still, not answering— in fact just staring coolly at the student — while those doors nudge open further. While the advance of the armed men is quiet, they do step into sight to get in range. The agent on West's far right fires the rifle-like weapon in his hands; a taser, not a gun, the red-flagged, electricity-packing bolt sails toward the young man with no hesitation.

As the girl just kept staring him down West gets the hint that something weird is up. "Well this is getting a little weird, so I'm just going to leave now." West says as he turns around. West’s intensions were to walk away as he didn’t want to prove he could fly to Zoe just in case she was making him feel in danger to purposefully get him to fly in front of her. As he turns around West sees a gun pointed at him and immediately jumps into action as the gun shot out its teaser. As soon as he gets to about cloud level the boy darts off toward home at supersonic speeds. Frightened and having his body pump him full of adrenaline West stays in the hyper flight mode for a few minutes.

Finally slowing down to normal speeds West thinks on what happened. That girl, she set him up? And those men were going to kill him? Then another troubling thought hits him. He had given her his phone number which meant his house wouldn't be safe for long if it was even safe anymore. Without a change of clothes or much more than what he was wearing West was looking at some tough times ahead. He was still pondering making a quick trip home but was it worth his life? And if he didn't go home where would he go? Would he ever be safe? Was the man with horn rimmed glasses after him again? This and more run though West's mind as he keeps on the path to his house.

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