Starry Night

Starting on Square One

Steam rose from the coffee cup in Stella's hand. Her other hand was in her coat pocket as she walked down the street briskly. It was her day off and she'd taken the opportunity to wander the city in blue jeans and a black long sleeved shirt.

"Come on, one apple's like, what, fifty cents?!" An angry girl's voice shouted, catching Stella's attention. She was wearing black jeans and flip flops and a tight, black, sleeveless hoodie. A brown shoulder back rested on her right hip and bounced when she moved.

"Get out of here, you lousy little pickpocket!" The man shouted.

"One apple-just one-and I'm gone!" The young girl persisted. She couldn't have been older than twelve, tops.

"Go back to the orphanage, goddam scavenger!" The man grumbled, turning for a second.

"Fine!" She shouted back, storming away. She kept her head down as she rounded the corner and headed into an alley.

"You're pretty good." A strong voice called from behind her. "I didn't even see you pocket it. Let me guess, when you slammed your hands on the side boards you hooked one with your fingernail and slipped it in your pocket when he turned."

"You know that trick?" The girl asked.

"I know it's one hundred percent St. Basil's." Stella said firmly, her brows matching her frown. "If you're a basilisk, what are you doing here? Bumming fruit no less."

"You know how it is, take what you can get and what you can't get, take." The girl shrugged somewhat sadly, fingering her trophy. "Can't be picky these days, you know?"

"I know, I was there, but this isn't the answer to anything but the question, 'Can I have a criminal record?', so give me the apple..." Stella looked at the girl with caution. She had long black locks tied in a low-ponytail and jagged side bangs that hung around and over her dark eyes. They appeared black at first glance, and more reflective than mirrors, but when one got closer, their auburn color was crystal clear. It was an amber color mixed with red to create a light vermillion.

"At Basil's, they all called me Stella, but that's not my name. I can't remember exactly what it was, but I think it was Nami." She smiled, shrugging.

"Nami, that's a nice name." Stella said sweetly, her maternal kicking in for the young girl. "I'm Stella Bonasera."

"Hi..." She smiled gently. "Miss Stella."

"Nami-"

"There she is!" A gruff man's voice shouted.

"Get back!" Nami shouted, pushing the older woman back out of the alley. She grabbed a gun from her shoulder bag and took aim at the metal ladders on the building lining the back street. The sun gleamed off the polished metal of the browning nine mil. Four pulls of the trigger and deadly aim brought the fire escape crashing down on top of the dumpsters and in front of the men.

"Nami?!" Stella called worriedly, struggling against the fleeing crowd. "Nami!"

"Dammit!" One man cursed, hitting the mass of bars and rungs.

"When are you guys going to give up?!" Nami shouted to him.

"When you're dead!" He spat back, trying to reach her through the bent bars of the ladder that blocked him.

"Good luck with that." She scoffed, wiping the gun off with a cloth and throwing through the bars. It landed on the concrete with a metallic clink. "You won't be seeing me."

"When we catch you you're as good as dead!" He yelled.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before." She sighed.

"NYPD, please calm down!" Stella repeated for the fourth time to the flustered man. His wig was slipping onto his left ear and he WOULD NOT stop shouting to "Don't take my brain!", and aliens and such. "Sir, there are no aliens, please calm down!"

"They're coming for us!!" He belted, running off.

"Alright-y then." Stella sighed to herself.

"What's his problem?" Asked a familiar voice.

"Nami!" Stella whipped her around to see the young girl standing with her hands in her jean pockets. "Are you okay? What happened?"

"I'm okay, Miss Stella." Nami said quietly with a small smile.

"I heard gun shots, and so did everyone else..." Stella looked at the crowd briefly then turned back to Nami. "What happened?"

"I-"

"Stella!" Mac called from behind the tape as he ducked underneath, kit in hand. "I got a call about there being gun shots!"

"Hey Mac!" Stella waved her friend over, putting her hands on Nami's shoulders. Nami looked at the man skeptically before her gaze came to rest on the badge attached to his hip. Her eyes widened before they skidded from the police cars to his kit. Her shoulder only twitched once before she tore away from Stella's grip and took off down the alley again. "Nami!"

"Who's that kid?" Mac frowned, jogging to her.

"She was in the alley when I heard the shots!" Stella told him breathlessly as the two went to follow the girl.

"Stella, I don't see her." Mac said rhetorically.

"Where could she have gotten to? Where'd she go?" She frowned.

"Did she tell you anything?" Asked Mac.

"She's a basilisk!" Stella snapped. "She's from St. Basil's!"

"St. Basil's?" Mac turned to her sharply with worry.

"Yeah, she's a basilisk. Any one in Basil's knows that if you're over the age of ten chances of you being adopted are one in a million, so if you're not adopted by age ten you're a basilisk." Stella explained from her personal memory of being a basilisk. "I was one."

"Do you think she went back to St. Basil's?" Asked Mac.

"We should try there first, though she's probably smart enough to know not to go back there yet."

"It's worth a try." Mac shrugged. "I'll drive."

"Why do you get to drive?"

"Because if you drive we'll break the sound barrier."