Our three telescopes faced the starlit sky. It was a perfect night to stay late at the observatory. The sky was clear, and the chill wind seeped through my bones. I shivered as I looked over at my colleagues. Gavin was staring off, not paying attention to his work. Violet was furiously jotting down notes, and peering over her shoulder a me. Several unusual objects were reported falling into Earth’s atmosphere. Nothing was harmed, but we were put in charge of keeping an eye out. Our boss should have known better than to put us together on a project. It would have been easier for it to be my own assignment. Violet was more concerned with being our superior than the project itself, and no one at our observatory knew how Gavin was hired. I was more of a babysitter than a scientist with these two.
“Alice, look!” Violet hurried me.
I rolled my eyes and directed my attention to the sky. My mouth gaped as a glowing meteorite passed over the city and descended towards the desert.
“Let’s go get a closer look. We can take my car.” Gavin shrugged.
“It’s already late and we’ve been here for a long time. We should get some rest and wait until tomorrow.” I told them.
“Come on, Alice. It’ll make George happy if we finish our report tonight.” Alice insisted.
I sighed. I had a family and a comfortable bed waiting for me at home, but it would also mean I wouldn’t have to stay overtime with these two anymore. “Fine. We’ll go.”
Gavin drove us to the crash site. I reached for my pen and paper and stepped out of the car, coughing from the smoke. I covered my mouth with my arm and squinted my eyes.
The meteorite was relatively small, but the way it glowed made me uncomfortable. I had never seen anything like it before in my life. For a second, I felt dizzy staring at it, but then I noticed Gavin and Violet getting closer.
“Wait, guys. Get away from there.” I yelled.
Neither of them listened to me. They were breaking protocol for our observatory, and also going against what I think would be common sense. Besides, there was something about the meteorite that made me nervous.
“You know the rules. And besides, it’s late. Let’s take our notes and leave.” I determined.
The meteorite flashed. Gavin and Violet finally listened to me, and we walked back to the car. I climbed into the passenger seat, as Gavin took the wheel. He paused before igniting the engine.
“Let’s get out of here.” I said.
He shook his head to regain focus and we drove away.
“Do you even know how to drive?” I lectured as we arrived at the observatory. He had almost veered into the left lane and hit another vehicle. Not to mention the amount of missed stoplights. Gavin’s eyes were distant and glazed over, like he wasn’t listening at all. Violet was acting eerily quiet as well. She was probably angry, too.
“You almost got us killed.” I continued. “If you had too much whiskey you should have let me know. I could have…”
Suddenly, Gavin’s hand was wrapped around my throat. I dug my nails into his hand, but it didn’t even phase him. Black dots danced in my vision. Violet wasn’t doing anything to help. She titled her head to the side to get a better look at me. The same look was in her eyes. It didn’t make sense for her to be drunk, because Violet hated alcohol.
I swung my leg and knocked Gavin off his feet, freeing my neck. Almost instantly, Violet was on top of him, her hands out like claws ready to rip him apart. As I turned to run, I heard a sickening snap. She killed him. My body felt like ice. A good person would have gone to him, but I had to get away. I could hear her on my heels. The nearest thing to me was a storage closet, so I locked myself inside. There was banging on the door.
I cursed under my breath, knowing I had made a fatal mistake. I should have escaped and called the police. Something about that crash site drove them insane. Could it possibly have been radio waves coming from the meteorite? If that’s what it was, then why wasn’t I driven mad? It didn’t matter anymore. I pulled out my pen and paper and jotted down a warning for the person who would find my dead body in the morning. People had to know to stay away from that crash site.
The door was about ready to bust, but I wouldn’t go down without a fight. I grabbed a mop and held it with the handle out. It was all I had. The door flew open and I faced her.
“TWO LOCAL SCIENTISTS FOUND DEAD, ONE STILL MISSING”
The bodies of Gavin Lee, 27, and Violet Kaufman, 34, were found at the Klein Astronomical Observatory early Wednesday morning. Police are investigating the homicide as a murder. One other scientist, Alice Miller, 35, was suspected to be present. Her location is currently unknown, but police are searching for her as the main suspect in the homicides. More details will be released as this story continues to unfold.