School of Redemption
The group was seated at table in the very back corner of Frankson Dining Court. Hecate and Kasdeya had their phones out, looking at the assignment description for their class project.
“The most important thing is that we don’t lose any points from our own actions,” Kasdeya said. “I don’t know about you all, but that’s the single most important thing to me.”
“We can’t ignore other people though,” Mictian argued. “If I understand the assignment correctly, it doesn’t matter if we’re never caught. If we never catch anyone, our grade is still a zero.”
“Okay, so everyone,” Hecate started. “make sure to be on the lookout. Have your phone ready, and if you see anyone else from our class… follow them.”
“Slight problem,” Mictian said, concerned. “I don’t really know anyone from our class except us and Asami, and I am definitely not following Asami.”
“Don’t worry,” Kasdeya replied. “I’ll handle Asami.”
“And for the rest of us, we’ll just have to look up the class on the directory,” Hecate said. “We should be able to see it since we’re in the class.”
“Alright, Laverna and I will handle that later today,” Mictian replied.
“Is there anything else we have to cover?” Laverna asked, checking the time. Twenty minutes until noon.
“Are you in a rush?” Hecate asked. “We can stop there if you need to be somewhere.”
“Uh…” she hesitated. Mictian was giving her a concerned look. “I just…have to… use the bathroom.” Hecate and Kasdeya seemed to believe her, but it was pretty easy for Mictian to see through her.
“Are you okay?” he mouthed. She gave him a slight nod.
“I’m going to the bathroom,” she repeated, stronger this time. Placing her phone in her pocket, she stood up. “I’ll… I might be a while, so I’ll meet you in front of the dorm, okay?” Mictian nodded.
“We’ll probably split, but I’ll give Mictian my number,” Kasdeya replied. “And he can do whatever he wants with it.” Laverna instinctively scowled. She knew that Kaseya had tried to hit on Mictian before, but this felt like she was trying to pick a fight with her. She considered asking but decided a side eye glare would suffice.
“Whatever,” she muttered under her breath. She turned to Mictian. “Make sure you give them my number, too.”
“Will do.” With that, she picked up her tray and continued through the dining court. She threw away her trash but made sure to pocket the metal fork and knife. These were a few stolen things that could actually come in handy. Laverna stepped outside. The sun was blinding again, but she didn’t have time to let her eyes adjust. She checked the time again. Fifteen minutes until noon. Not much time left. She quickened her pace to a jog, intent to get back quickly. It wasn’t a large walk from the dorm to Frankson, but it could take a while at a meandering pace. Nervousness began to build up again inside Laverna, each step bringing her closer and closer towards potential danger. For a second, she considered running back to the dining court, but she quickly chased the thought from her mind. Even though she was a little scared, she was frankly quite curious. She already doubted that Asami had sent that text, so who else could it be? As nervousness tugged at her, she quickened her pace to a run.
Laverna slowed down as she reached the front of the dorm. She was out of breath and her heart pounded immensely.
“I really am out of shape,” she said to herself, chuckling. She took a moment to recover, resting her hands on her knees as she gasped for air. After a little bit, she stood back up and checked the time. Five minutes. Forcing her legs to move again, she went through the doors and up the stairs. She grunted from the effort as her legs burned. After what seemed like an eternity, she finally reached her room. Taking a moment to catch her breath, she awkwardly stood outside her door. A couple passed by, smiling politely as they made their way further down the hall.
It was her last chance to run. Her last chance to leave. She considered the option again, but she dismissed it just as she did last time. Her curiosity would not let her leave, even as adrenaline pumped wildly through her veins. She reached for the doorknob, but before her hand touched it, the door opened slightly. None of the room lights were on, but Laverna could make out a girl’s face peering out through the crack. Upon seeing Laverna, the girl’s face lit up and she opened the door further.
“Come in already,” the girl insisted, waving her hand. She spoke as if Laverna already had the opportunity to enter. “Hurry!” Laverna didn’t like being bossed around, but the girl seemed harmless enough, so she entered the room.
The girl closed the door softly behind them and flipped on the light. Two other people occupied the room: a boy and a girl. It took a moment for Laverna to realize, but the girl, who was sitting comfortably on her bed, was Asami. Laverna scrambled to take the knife and fork she had swiped from the dining court out of her pocket. Asami stared at her in confusion for a second but burst out laughing as she realized what Laverna was trying to do. It was a shrill, high-pitched laugh that seemed to pierce through the air like a hot knife through butter.
“That’s cute,” she said, still laughing. Her long dark hair swayed from side to side as she did, her bright amber eyes full of amusement. “But seriously,” she continued, immediately returning to a straight face. “You won’t need those.”
“Uhh…so sorry about the lack of introductions,” the boy spoke, drawing the attention away from Asami. “It seems you two know each other though.”
“I’m sorry, how did you get in here?” Laverna asked, annoyed. Now that it seemed Asami wasn’t an immediate threat, she had time to focus on the important thing.
“Your buddy isn’t the only one who’s good at getting where they’re not supposed to.” The other girl spoke as she slipped past Laverna to the center of the room. She sounded quite obnoxious, and Laverna already didn’t like her. “I’m Lilith by the way.” Now that the light was on, Laverna could see that Lilith had silver hair and eyes to match. It was hard to tell whether they were artificially colored, but Laverna was sure they had to be. Lilith wore a black t-shirt and shorts that perfectly contrasted her pale skin.
“And I’m Steven,” the boy said. “You may remember me from the CRI 126 class.” Laverna nodded. He was tall and skinny with black hair and brown eyes. He was pretty average looking with no especially outstanding features.
“You’re the one who…” Laverna replied, trying to remember. Her eyes lit up as she remembered. “You hacked your school or something, right?”
“Yep, that’s me,” he said, nodding.
“Enough chit-chat,” Lilith commanded. Laverna scowled. She really didn’t like her. “Steven, tell her why we’re here.”
“Shouldn’t we give her a little test first?” he replied, concerned. “We still don’t know for sure.”
“You’re right.” Lilith turned her attention back to Laverna. “Who do you work for?” she asked. Her face conveyed no emotion as she spoke.
“What is this? A movie script?” Laverna thought she remembered seeing a movie with Mictian that had a similar situation. Asami laughed her shrill laugh.
“She’s just joking,” she said.
“I am not!” Lilith exclaimed. “We need to be sure--”
“She fine,” Asami replied, gesturing towards Laverna. “I trust her.” Laverna was genuinely surprised at Asami’s words. She didn’t take Asami to be one to mince her words, but she found it hard to believe that she would trust her for seemingly no reason. Even though Laverna was confused, Lilith seemed to find it acceptable. She nodded the turned to look at Steven as if signaling him to start speaking.
“Alright, let’s begin,” he said. He looked Laverna dead in the eye for a second before continuing. “How well do you know Hecate and Kasdeya?”
“Not super well, but they seem like nice people.”
“And your boyfriend…what’s his name?”
“Mictian,” Laverna paused. “And he’s not my boyfriend.” Steven held up his hands in front of him.
“Apologies. How much do you trust Mictian?”
“I’m sorry, what does this have to do with anything?” Laverna asked, confused and becoming annoyed.
“Just answer the questions,” Lilith commanded. Laverna seethed.
“Don’t tell me what to do,” she said sternly. “But I will answer the questions. Not because you told me to, but because I want to.” Lilith put her hands on her hips and breathed in in preparation to speak again, but Asami grabbed her shoulder, shaking her head.
“Stop.” Lilith fell silent.
“I trust Mictian with my life,” Laverna said, looking back at Steven. “Whatever you plan on doing, leave him out of it.”
“You misunderstand,” he replied. “We need your help. Who else you bring in is up to you, but it is imperative you do not tell Hecate or Kasdeya.” This got Laverna’s curiosity going even more.
“What do you mean?”
“You know that murder that happened in Kuro Hall yesterday?” Flashbacks flew through her mind as she remembered the traumatic events.
“Yeah, I do,” she replied. “And you’ve got the murderer right there.” She pointed at Asami.
“Like I tried to tell you yesterday, it wasn’t me!” Asami’s voice sounded desperate. A flash of doubt sprang into Laverna’s mind, but she quickly dismissed it.
“Like you expect me to believe that. We saw you yesterday.”
“If you saw me, then you would know it wasn’t me!”
“Quiet!” Lilith yelled. “I’m tired of this.” Laverna sighed deeply.
“So if we assume for a moment that Asami didn’t do it, who did?”
“We don’t have definite proof yet, but we think Kasdeya might have something to do with it. And because of their closeness, Hecate may be involved too,” Steven replied.
“And where is the evidence that made you think this?” Laverna asked, still suspicious. Steven glanced at Lilith who shook her head.
“We don’t have the proof with us, but we can show you in the future.”
“So let me get this straight; you threaten my only friend’s life, break into my dorm with a murderer in tow, and try to get me to believe some crazy claim with no evidence?” Steven, Lilith, and Asami glanced at each other before looking at the ground. There was an awkward pause.
“Maybe we didn’t think this through fully,” Steven said finally.
“And who’s fault is that?” Asami complained, glaring at Lilith. Lilith glared back and scowled.
“We’ll get your evidence.” Steven’s voice brough Laverna’s attention back to him. “Meet us again tonight. We’ll show you what we know then.”
“And if I don’t show?” Laverna was still very annoyed by the whole situation.
“Then that’s your choice, but I would highly advise against missing the meeting.” As much as she hated to admit it, Laverna probably would end up going just to satisfy her curiosity.
“If that’s all, get out,” she said firmly. As she spoke, she cleared the way to the door, waving her hand to usher them out. The three got up, passing by her one by one.
“Keep a look out for the message,” Steven said as he opened the door. “And thanks for having us.” Lilith gave Laverna side eye as she passed her, growling as if she had done something to slight her. Laverna glared back, refusing to break eye contact. Just as Lilith finally stepped into the hallway, Laverna suddenly felt arms around her. A light flowery perfume filled her nostrils as she recoild. Asami was squeezing her like a bear trap. Laverna tried to bat her away, but Asami’s thin arms were surprisingly strong.
“What are you doing?! Get off me!” Laverna yelled, panicked and tugging helplessly at the cage surrounding her. Asami let go after a second and looked her straight in the eye.
“Stay safe for me, will you?” she said, voice strangely full of concern. This thoroughly confused Laverna. What was Asami playing at?
“Yeah…” Her voice trailed off. Seemingly satisfied with the answer, Asami left the room.
“Thanks for having me!” she exclaimed cheerfully. As the three turned to walk down the hallway, Laverna spoke up.
“One more thing,” she said. “Never break into my dorm again.” She slammed the door, sliding the deadbolt. Finally able to breathe, she sighed. “I need a shower.”