Chapter 1

The Eyrie Building

Arizona, 1820

Elisa adjusted her sheriff badge and scratched Cagney's neck, looking out toward the darkening sky. The Eyrie Building was still visible. It could have been mistaken for a second sun. She frowned. When did it get so many lights?

Elisa remembered when the town was nothing more than a few wooden buildings. She was a little girl then. The town grew as more people started to go west. It expanded rapidly when both Renard and Xanatos decided to put down roots. Her grandfather had passed before the Eyrie Building was built. She knew he would have hated the sight of it.

It was a massive building, reaching the clouds. Every few floors had a different architectural style, Gothic, Modern, Federal. If she didn't know any better, she'd think the lopsided building would collapse some day soon. And it was topped with a medieval castle, still covered in vines.

She closed her eyes, slipping into the past. She was a little girl walking back home with her grandfather. He was a kind, strong man. It was getting dark. Elisa looked up. Thousands of stars twinkled in the sky. Then there was a streak, and another, and another! Elisa pointed to the sky, calling out for her grandfather. He rushed to her then smiled as she showed him the shooting stars.

Elisa opened her eyes. She wouldn't let Xanatos hide the stars from everyone. She knew there must been a way to stop the glow from seeping out, but she wasn't talented enough to figure out how. But perhaps pointing it out others would help her cause. She hummed, satisfied. Cagney flicked his tail.

"C'mon, Cagney, let's go home." She urged the gray horse forward.

When she's thinking about her grandfather, she's using the Hopi word for it. I got conflicting information when I tried to look it up. His name is Carlos, but I don't think Elisa would call him by his first name. I meant for this to be about Elisa's thoughts on the Eyrie Building, but it turned into this instead.