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Paninya loved being up high. Ever since Dominic had made her new legs and given her back the ability to stand, she had loved to be as high as she possibly could and delighted in jumping from rooftop to rooftop, her own personal highway across Rush Valley.

If someone had asked why she felt so at home up among the slates, corrugated iron and pigeons, Paninya would have shrugged, given a bright smile and made a smart-ass remark about the great view.

But no one ever asked.

This was, Paninya admitted to herself while leaning against a chimney one sunny afternoon, partially her fault. She had turned to thievery to repay Dominic after all. That meant that any question directed at her tended to be something along the lines of 'you damn thief, where's my wallet?'

Which was fine and grand, Paninya decided. She had stuff to take care of and she didn't need someone asking her questions about her habits or her favourite colour or silly things like that. That was time-wasting crap for girls who didn't owe Dominic for two legs and an arm and she didn't need to bother with it.

Besides, she thought as she pushed away from the chimney, it would only be a lie anyway. Who would care about her real reason, besides Dominic, who knew what it was and therefore knew never to bring it up in front of her.

She bent her knees and sniffed the air as she backed up to get a clear jump to the next roof. The air smelled of iron and dust, mixed with the promise of oncoming rain. Paninya smiled and rocketed forward with a whoop of joy, launching herself into the air.

This is my place, she thought as she flew. Up here where everyone has to look into the sky to see me. I might still be covered in dirt and dust, but now I'm flying towards the stars.