The woman stood motionless.
She was more of a girl, really, not much older than twenty, and small, almost fragile, with long dark hair and vaguely Asian-looking features that did not betray a single emotion. Blood was trickling down her temple but she either didn’t notice or didn’t care. Her dark eyes were fixed on the pile of rubble that had once been her home.
For a moment, pain flickered over her face, but it was gone again in the blink of an eye, giving way to that perfect, almost eerie composure that people had always half-admired, half-feared in her mother.
The air around her was thick with dust and dirt, the shadows of the surrounding buildings illuminated red and blue by the police cars, and people were watching her curiously from where they stood scattered in small groups around the destroyed house, whispering to each other, eyes never leaving her still form.
“The poor girl.” a woman whispered to her husband. “Her whole family was in there. They say no one made it out.” The husband, older than his wife and with less sincere sympathy on his face, nodded and then asked: “Do they know what happened yet?” His wife shrugged, but another woman chimed in, her gaze nervously flickering between the girl, the house and the couple she was now talking to.
“Regina told me that they believe it was a bomb.” she said, her voice hushed and laced with something like excitement. “Someone did this on purpose.” “Well…” the husband murmured, not finishing his sentence, but it was clear to anyone listening what he’d meant. They had it coming.
His wife shot him a disapproving glance, but before she could say anything, silence took over the group of spectators as they watched one of the policemen approach the girl.
She turned around abruptly, as if he’d startled her from a deep trance. “Yes?” she asked, the slight tremor in her voice giving away that she wasn’t as untouched by the whole incident as her face suggested.
The policeman gave her a sympathetic smile and hesitated for a second before he said: “I’m incredibly sorry for your loss and I know this must be very hard for you, but we need to ask you a few questions. It appears that the explosion was caused by a bomb someone planted in your house.”
She did not even flinch, as if she’d already known that this hadn’t been an accident, and the policeman seemed to be slightly taken aback for a moment before he continued. “I need you to tell me if there is anyone you can think of who might’ve wanted to hurt your family.”
The girl shook her head slowly, very slowly, and when she spoke, her voice was as calm and unmoved as her face.
“No. No one at all.”
The woman – and she was really a woman now, for any childish naiveté that had still remained on her face before had given way to a cold determination – stood motionless again, her back pressed against a wall and her fingers wrapped tightly around the guns in both her hands.
Her breathing was slow and steady, her face as perfectly composed as it had been the night her family was blown to pieces, and then, as if she’d been waiting for some undetectable sign, she raised her guns and kicked in the door to the old factory building she’d been waiting next to.
The people inside didn’t stand a chance. Bullet after bullet found its target, blue light illuminated the room as lightning seemed to spring from the woman’s hands, and she dodged hits and knifes with a sort of playful elegance, as if this was all a game to her. It took merely minutes before the ground was covered in blood and bodies and the woman stood victorious in the middle of it, with blood dripping from an already healing cut in her side and a smile on her face.
With slow, precise steps she walked across the room to the opposite wall where three computers stood. She plugged in an USB stick and typed a few commands with fingers that almost seemed to dance across the keyboard, and in a matter of minutes, she had what she wanted. She was already at the door, the USB stick stored away safely inside her jacket, when a sudden sound had her turn around again.
Not everyone on the ground was dead. There was one young man still alive, slowly, desperately crawling towards the door, leaving a trail of blood behind him. He was even younger than her, maybe eighteen or nineteen, and his face was that of a child, contorting in fear as she walked over to him.
For a brief, strange moment, they looked like children playing some bizarre game of catch, but then she put the barrel of her gun to his forehead and they were adults again, caught up in a war they were much too young for.
“Tell me where Victor Ford is.”
The woman’s voice was in no way threatening, but the gun to his head was enough to make him tremble in a mixture of fear and pain. “I don’t know.” he whimpered. “I swear I don’t know. Please don’t kill me. Please.”
Something twitched in her face but her voice remained calm and cool as she asked: “Do you know who I am?”
He shook his head frantically. “No, I don’t, I really don’t, please, please let me live, please don’t kill me.”
She cut his begging short with a flick of her wrist. “Did you ever kill anyone? One of my kind?”
Again a frantic shaking of his head before she asked her last question. “What’s your name?”
There was no begging this time, just a single word forcing its way out between trembling lips. “Leon.” Something like a smile grazed across the woman’s face. “Skye.” she said. And then she did something he hadn’t seen coming.
She tore off a piece of the blood-stained shirt of the man lying right next to her and pressed it to the bloody wound on Leon’s stomach. “Keep pressure on it.” she said. “The police should be here soon, someone probably heard the gunfire. You’ll be fine.” Then she got up and left the room as quickly as a ghost, leaving behind only the bodies on the floor.
Outside, Skye turned around one more time and looked up to the camera right next to the door. “Hi there, Victor.” she said, a cold, joyless smile on her face. “I know you’re watching this. You killed my family. And you did it quite masterful, too. But you made one big mistake. You left me alive.”
Her smile vanished and left nothing but pure, burning hate as she continued.
“And now I am going to hunt you down.”
It was long past midnight when Skye drove past the sign welcoming her to Beacon Hills.
She did not see the glowing blue eyes watching her arrival from the dark woods.