-B13-

She stepped down dry creek bed, and combed her fingers through her long, dark hair.

“Okay... So... I survived that fall. Okay. That’s apparent. But, how? I guess I’m invulnerable? Or just super tough? I don’t feel that way. Maybe it’s just went I’m in danger? God, I don’t know.”

She darted her far off stare between tall canyon walls, gazed ahead, and groaned.

“How the hell am I supposed to get out here? My car is like a hundred feet up behind me on that access road.”

A low whistle echoed faintly behind her. She stopped, blinked confused, and slowly pivoted around. A distant figure low on the horizon grew larger into view. Barely contrasting against the moonlit scenery beneath a starry sky, a young man flew out from a dust cloud, and coasted above the ground head first. He closed the distance between him and her, tilted back to right himself, and slowed to a hover. With a few steps of clearance, he landed on the ground, darted wary gazes around, and panted, “You need to come with me!”

She blinked, glanced to either side, and puzzled, “Um... Okay. I don’t think this is the weird thing I’ve experienced, yet, but it’s pretty close. Um, did you just FLY here?”

He furrowed his brow, nodded his head of short, blonde hair, and smirked. “Um, yeah. I did. I can totally tell you everything you need to know. But, we REALLY got to get out of here. Like, NOW.”

“Okay, he seems pretty serious. Looks worried. And just flew down into this canyon like it was nothing. What am I missing?!”

Shaking her head, she held her hands up, chuckled nervously, and smiled awkwardly. “Okay. I want to get out of this canyon anyway, but... Who are you? I’m sorry, I’ve had a really WEIRD night.”

He slowed his panting, straightened his posture, and twisted his face into a grin. “Yeah, I remember my time, too... Um, my name is Charles. And, I’m trying not to be too pushy or anything, but we really need to get out of here. There’s some people coming for you that are not going to be nice to meet.”

She blinked, stepped back, and quickly scanned the area suspiciously. “What? What are you talking about? No one should know I’m out here. That’s why I picked this area. It’s almost in the middle of nowhere.”

Charles pointed over to the far off train bridge, frowned, and sighed. “Yeah. Um, by the way, railroad companies literally put cameras to watch every piece of track they own. They initially called the cops when you got ready to jump.”

With a hard wince, she groaned as she buried her face into her hands. “Dammit, now the police involved! Crap, this night is not going to end.”

Shaking his head, Charles grimaced and gritted his teeth. “Yeah, they WERE involved. But, higher authorities have taken over. They took over after they saw you hang on the girder, fall, and WALK AWAY.”

She blinked blankly and gawked.

“Shit... That actually happened. I didn’t just imagine it as part of some delusion. This is actually happening. What is going on?!”

Charles turned around, squinted his eyes to the distant horizon, and grumbled. “Ah, shit.”

He spun around, stepped up to her, and held out his hand. “Listen. Things are going to get really, really crazy in the next few minutes and just go nuts from there. You need to come with me. We’ll get out of here and we’ll figure out things. I know people who are going to help you through all this.”

Her green eyes widened and started warily towards Charles. She glanced around at the impassible canyon walls, and narrowed her gaze to activity on the bridge. Flashlights shone around the top deck of the bridge, spot lamps searched the chasm ground, and distant figures in matching black suits moved around the scene.

“Fuck me running... Are those federal agents? Wait, men in black? Some government shadow op?! Shit. Shit! SHIT! This is like the crap you read in comic books! Oh, this is REALLY bad! What do I do?!”

As fear grew in her expression, Charles donned a pleasant smile, extended his hand out further, and gazed at her. “I’m sorry. This is going to be a lot to take in. I know from experience. So... Let’s start easy. What’s your name?”

She blinked back to awareness, studied his genuine gaze, and matched with an uneasy smirk. “Um, Cynthia.”

Charles nodded, grinned, and chuckled. “Cool. Cynthia, have you ever flown before?”

Cynthia shook her head. Charles smiled, and motioned his head towards the sky. “You want to?”

Noticing the searching spot lamps scanning closer, Cynthia glanced down at Charles’s hand, reached out, and gripped tightly. “Sure. Okay. This is just going to be my night, huh?”

Scattered groups of figures in the darkness moved swiftly with bouncing glows of illuminated ground in front of them. A low rumble of of helicopters thumped in increasing volume overhead. And, faint yells crested over the remote arid ambiance. Charles cracked an uneasy grin, shrugged his shoulders, and sighed. “Pretty much. It’s going better than my first night. So, you’re doing okay so far.”

“Wow. Huh. This is doing okay? What have I gotten myself into NOW?”

Closing his eyes, Charles concentrated, and levitated up along with Cynthia. “Hold on, the takeoff is a but of rush.”

“The what is a wha-!”

Cynthia reflexively yelped in surprise as her and Charles zipped off low along the open dry divide between the canyon walls, just as spot lamps swung towards their footprints in the dirt.