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Off the Air: Rena Vance

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    Off the Air: Rena Vance

    Rena had to fight to keep her eyes awake. It was the end of a late Friday shift... Saturday morning technically. Scheduling had been weird lately, and Rena was getting off later than she was used to. Lots of things had been weird around here lately, in fact. It had started when one of the other DJs quit. Not just working, but quit college entirely... the last time Rena saw her she was ranting about how she'd picked up a stalker and decided it was best to go back home to Iowa where it was safe. That meant Rena had to pick up some slack, of course, but it wasn't the only thing going on, far from it.

    As luck would have it, when Rena came down stairs from the broadcast booth to the ground floor she almost walked into what looked like a scene from a crime drama! The lobby area was only a few paces down the hall, and the normal way out of the building she took, but all the tall glass windows had been shattered, now replaced with bright yellow police tape. Several of the tables and chairs in the waiting area were flipped over, and there was a large pile of white powder in the middle of the floor attended by two people that looked like lab techs.

    Outside Rena could make out two police cars, lights going, but without sirens. A few police officers stood watch around the area, but didn't notice when she came down the stairs. They looked more pissed off about being up this late than anything, not really acting like they were on an active lookout for anyone. Rena also saw one of the building's security staff loitering about, on her side of the "crime scene". Jared was his name, if she remembered correctly. They were here to make sure no drugged up anarchists tried to take over the radio station again like a stunt that got pulled back in 1992, but more frequently were seen just dozing around in the break room. The whole scene was quite shocking, but Rena thankfully had a moment to take it all in.

    (Sorry, no pic )

    #2
    Re: Off the Air: Rena Vance

    It was another long night on the radio station. Rena loved it, but working the late shift was tough sometimes, especially with having to pick up so much slack lately. The DJ was rubbing her eyes with a soft yawn as she headed down the stairs when she stopped in her tracks.

    Rena stared at the scene in front of her. She blinked and rubbed her eyes again to make sure it wasn't a dream. Nope, everything was still there.. in all the strange surrealness of it all. She stealthily peeked around the edge of the stairs, trying to get a good survey of the scene.

    At first Rena was afraid, or at least concerned. It was just so unexpected. Once she got her bearings, Rena's heart thumped in her chest with excitement. This is intense! she thought to herself. It looked like some kind of fight or maybe even a chase. The white powder was weird, maybe drugs? Somebody left them and fled the scene? Rena momentarily wondered how she didn't hear any of this commotion, but then again she did keep her headphones pretty loud during the shift. No time to worry about that now! There was some kind of secret story here, and she had to report it. If they didn't want anyone to know about this, then that meant people had to know!

    The DJ quietly pulled out her iPhone from her purse to take a quick picture of the scene. If nothing went wrong, she'd sneak back up to the broadcast station. She quietly closed the door and trotted to her seat, flipping on the button to go "On the Air."

    "Hey kiddos! This is your very own Rena back again. Sorry to interrupt that lovely rendition of Kraftwerk: Computer Love, but I have big news to report, and computer loving just has to wait. There's been some kind of attack on the ground floor of the journalism building. This is full out CSI: Miami type stuff but right here at our very own Temple University. I mean, we've got yellow tape, grumpy policeman, and what looks to be a giant pile of coke! Looks like they want to keep this hush hush, but you know you can count on little old me to keep you filled up with the juiciest stories. Uploading pics to my facebook fanpage right now. Check it out for yourself, and feel free to call in with any thoughts on what it might be. This is intense!"

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      #3
      Re: Off the Air: Rena Vance

      Rena must have been more tired than she imagined, as she was snapped back to reality by a hand grabbing her wrist. "Hey, what are you doing!" She was still standing in a pose to take the pic, apparently having done so successfully from what her screen showed. Jared had come over, probably alerted to her presence by the quiet, but still audible click-click sound phones were required to make when taking pictures.

      "You can't take a picture of this! What are you... oh... you probably didn't even hear anything up in the sound proofed broadcast area..." He let go of Rena's wrist and sighed. "Look, some junkie flipped out in the lobby and attacked two students, probably over drugs." He pointed at the pile in the center of the floor. "I guess you didn't see anything though, right?" One of the cops looked over, now noticing Rena, but continued to watch the techs as they examined the area.

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        #4
        Re: Off the Air: Rena Vance

        Steadying her phone for the pic, Rena bit her lip until it was just right... *click.* Success! When suddenly she jumped back, trying to pull her hand away from her attacker.

        "Ack! What are you doing, let go!" Rena whispered urgently before realizing what was going and glaring at Jared unhappily. "Hey man, ya can't just go grabbing people ya know?" She folded her arms and surveyed the scene. "No I didn't see anything. I was upstairs doing my job," she added, emphasizing the last part. "And that's what I would be doing now too if you'd let me."

        Rena contemplated the scene before her. It was weird that there would be an attack over drugs here, she thought to herself. She knew all of the radio geeks, and they weren't druggies. What else would a pile of white powder be though? Rena didn't know, but she didn't feel like talking about it with this dope when she could be reporting breaking news!

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          #5
          Re: Off the Air: Rena Vance

          Jared sighed again. "Your shift is over, and you REAAAAALY can't get in the police's way. They're barely letting me stay here. You know how they are." He lowered his voice a bit when one of the cops looked over suspiciously. "Look, they're probably going to want to talk to you, but if you leave now I can smooth things over and save you the hassle. You can't go out this way though, it's a crime scene after all. You should go out the back."

          He thumbed over behind them, down a long hall with a set of windowless double doors at the end, and a standard "exit" sign glowing above. The low lighting of afterhours made the maze of rooms and branching paths look a bit ominous for some reason. "It should be safe, at least, they seem to have the area pretty well locked down. I wouldn't be wandering around out late tonight though if I were you." Jared had a rather protective tone, but also seemed to be paying more attention to the cops doing their investigation than to Rena.

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            #6
            Re: Off the Air: Rena Vance

            Rena gave Jared a look, still folding her arms. "Well maybe they should be looking for the attacker then instead of standing around oppressing DJs and free radio and eating donuts." The DJ rolled her eyes, her unruly wavy hair falling over her face before she brushed it back. "Fine... you can't stop the news forever though. It's like trying to stop a river with a wall of swiss cheese. Yeah... think about that..." Rena added pointedly as she turned and headed down the hallway.

            Walking briskly through the hallway, Rena pushed through the double doors and outside to the dark campus. She didn't have any intention of wandering around. It was the tail-end of the red-eye shift after all. She just wanted to get back to her dorm room where she could go to sleep and hopefully not wake up until the afternoon. Even still, Rena couldn't help but feel a little creeped out. There was always something about the quiet darkness of late night walks that separated them from any other time. And that was without the fun addition of violent drug addicts on the loose. Rena sighed, wrapping her arms around herself and quickening her pace a little bit. Her (kind of) comfy bed couldn't come fast enough.

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              #7
              Re: Off the Air: Rena Vance

              (Let's catch you up a bit )

              Jared blinked at Rena, a very confused look on his face after THAT metaphor. Apparently he wasn't yet acquainted with her weirdness. At least he seemed satisfied that she was going to stay out of the way, and turned back to the mess before she was even all the way down the hall.

              Once outside the cool night air hit Rena's skin quickly. The back alley was really dark, she could barely see even! The way the building formed was like a giant U, with Rena coming out at the bottom of the shape. The opening of the U was squared off with the fine arts building on one side and a big parking lot with the dumpsters in the alley. Generally not a good place to be after dark!

              Normally the situation would be beyond worrysome, but down by the exit was a police car with flashing lights, and an officer standing by as if guarding the place. Even if Rena thought them oppressive, surely they'd come running if some thug attacked her. As the door shut behind her, though, Rena saw the officer take out something from the trunk, then start rolling police tape across the gap that led into the parking lot!

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                #8
                Re: Off the Air: Rena Vance

                (Yay )

                "Geez..." Rena muttered to herself when the cold wind greeted her in the dark alley. She doubled down, wrapping her arms around herself tighter and wished she wasn't wearing a t-shirt.

                Rena stopped in her tracks again when she saw the flashing lights of the police car at the end of the alley. That wasn't good. She wasn't supposed to be here, but there wasn't anywhere else to go! The even crazier thing about the feeling was she wasn't even doing anything wrong, just trying to go home from a late night shift at work. It wasn't her fault the dumbass police blocked off every exit.

                She should have been able to just walk by, but Rena didn't want to be questioned by the police either. That was the whole point of going out this back exit! Rena stopped and leaned back against the doors in the dark alley, deciding to see if the policeman would go away if she waited awhile. If he was still there after waiting 5 minutes or so though, she would just go.

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                  #9
                  Re: Off the Air: Rena Vance

                  Waiting didn't seem to have much effect, so Rena was left with no choice but to advance. She realized now these doors were locked from the outside this time of night, too... As she got closer she noticed the police officer was a woman, and a somewhat attractive one too! Maybe she would be easier to deal with.

                  She noticed Rena and called out as she approached. "Hey, what are you doing? You're on the wrong side of the line." She looked kind of suspicious, though also confused. "Let me guess, just here late for something and trying to get out of the building eh?" The woman had a slight accent, well concealed, enough so Rena couldn't place it.

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                    #10
                    Re: Off the Air: Rena Vance

                    Tick tock tick tock went the clock in Rena's mind. She waited and waited and waited some more, but the policeman was still there. It felt like time was standing still, so Rena wasn't quite sure how long she waited, but eventually, she grumbled and decided to just go, hoping that maybe they were too busy eating donuts to notice her.

                    Not so lucky! Rena froze when she heard the policewoman call out to her. A shiver went down her spine, making her feel guilty even though she hadn't done anything wrong. Luckily for her, the policewoman reminded her that she just wanted to go home. Maybe this one hadn't been corrupted by the donuts yet. Rena sighed in relief, immediately latching onto that explanation.

                    "Yeah... I work the radio station on the night shift. I'm just trying to get back to my dorm room, but the security officer said it would be safer this way." Rena shrugged and did her best to look innocently hopeful which was mostly not an act given how tired she was.

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                      #11
                      Re: Off the Air: Rena Vance

                      The officer looked pretty sympathetic. "Yeah, I figured as much. You can just go that way without disrupting anything, right back to the main street." It was the other dark and dusty alley way, complete with overflowing dumpsters and spray paint graffiti... The kind young women really shouldn't normally walk through. "Don't worry, I'm right here if any stupid punk is hiding that way" The officer seemed to know how cliche it was, but gave Rena a little wink.

                      She stood unmoving behind the police tape, so it really did seem like the only option. At the very least this cop didn't act like the "donut monsters" Rena typically imagined. As they stood there her radio squawked and the woman frowned, turning around to answer the call and kind of moving away so Rena couldn't hear.

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                        #12
                        Re: Off the Air: Rena Vance

                        Whew... Rena sighed in relief when she learned she wasn't in trouble. She knew she'd done nothing wrong, but it still felt nervous to talk to the police at this time of night at such a weird crime scene. As much as this strange story piqued Rena's curiosity, it'd been a long day and an ever stranger night. She just wanted to get under her cozy blankets and go to sleep. Nothing could ever get to her there, under the safety of her covers.

                        After the policewoman pointed out her path, Rena stood, looking dumbfounded for a moment. It didn't quite register where she had to go at first. Rena was so tired, she almost just headed forward, but then she stopped in her tracks. Rena looked over the dilapidated alleyway, frowning, but it was when the policewoman explained that she shouldn't worry about being mugged "because I'm right here," that Rena's lips really curled into an unhappy frown. Her lips dropped open, then closed again, then opened... and closed again. Let me get this straight... Rena thought to herself. You look at that path and think... that looks just the place like someone might get mugged! Then you think... Oh no problem Rena should go that way by herself, and it's okay because ya know... you're over here talking on your walkie talkie, not giving fuck all about what happens to me? WTF?!?!?!

                        Turning back to the policewoman, Rena tried a different approach. "Ummm hey? I dunno, that doesn't look very safe. Isn't campus safety supposed to have an escort service or something? That alleyway is giving me the creeps." Rena felt a shiver course though her body, and this time it wasn't just from the cold. "I know your busy and all, but aren't you supposed to be protecting me?"

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                          #13
                          Re: Off the Air: Rena Vance

                          The police officer turned back to Rena, a small annoyed frown on her face. She looked back across the parking lot, towards where there were some other police, then back and Rena, then at her radio, as if she was thinking. Eventually she stepped under the police tape, but with a scowl. "I can walk you back to the main street I suppose." For some reason the woman wasn't exactly eager to go with Rena, and she didn't elaborate. Rena got a good glance at her sidearm though, so at the very least she was armed and dangerous! Any street punk would think twice about messing with them now!

                          The officer stepped close to Rena and gestured with one had to the alley, standing a little too close for comfort, at least in normal social situations. Perhaps it was some sort of habit police developed to assert dominance. "After you then."

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                            #14
                            Re: Off the Air: Rena Vance

                            Rena watched the police officer nervously, following her gaze each time she looked around. She certainly didn't seem very friendly! Then again, maybe she was just annoyed about working the night shift like Rena. The radio DJ smiled in relief when the police officer agreed to come with her, letting out a nervous sigh. "Thanks..."

                            As the police officer stepped close, Rena looked up but didn't think much of it. Truth be told, she was just glad to have someone with her for the walk. She started to walk but then stopped and looked over her shoulder. "I know it's probably annoying, but I really appreciate it. It's been a weird night, and I just feel... scared..." Rena said with a small, apologetic smile before heading forward again.

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                              #15
                              Re: Off the Air: Rena Vance

                              The officer mustered a small smile, though somehow there was something else behind it. Was she being condescending? At first she really had seemed friendly, but this was causing a clear personality shift. She stayed very close behind Rena as they walked, her shoes making a distinct *click click, click click* as they walked down the alley.

                              Then, suddenly, the noise stopped, though Rena could still feel the pressure from the woman right behind her. Indeed, out of the corner of her eye she could still see the faint shadow on the wall moving along as normal. They were about halfway down the alley now, passing some doors to the other buildings, when she shadow changed. Suddenly a third silhouette appeared, right behind them!

                              As if on cue, Rena felt a very strong hand clam down on the back of her neck, in such a manner as a mother cat holds onto it's kittens to prevent movement. Rena was whirred around and brought to the woman's side, who was the one holding her. They were facing a man dressed in a dark cape, wearing some kind of eyes only mask. He looked to be in his mid 40's, and when they turned, he stopped. His face twisted into a snarl and he shouted something, but no sound at all came out. Out of the corner of her eyes, Rena could see the woman's face twist too. Her incisor teeth were showing, protruding like fangs. She shouted something too, also muffled, but moved Rena forward a bit between them while still holding on. She gestured and pointed wildly, sometimes and the college radio host, which caused the man to cross his arms and assume a posture of less threatening annoyance, but that hardly made the situation any less frightening.

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