TITLE: The Quantum Chase
Cappie James stepped onto London’s Euston Square Underground station escalator, a battered leather satchel slung over one shoulder and a stack of books tucked under her other arm. The evening rush hour was on. The man standing in front of her hadn’t used deodorant for a while. The woman behind her reeked of cigarettes.
Church bells bonged gently. With a start, Cappie dumped the satchel at her feet and dug a phone from her inner coat pocket. She didn’t recognize the number, and her heart beat faster. It had to be Professor Carrington—disheveled hair, big brown eyes, shabby clothes, and muscular body—calling about the research assistant job Cappie had applied for. She took a steadying breath, then tapped the phone.
“Hello? This is Cappie James.” Good, her voice was steady, well-modulated. She sounded definitely intelligent.
“It’s me, Nic.”
A wave of disappointment flooded through Cappie. Not, in fact, the world’s most attractive archaeology professor, for whom she would practically kill to work, but a fifth-grade, four-foot-five headache. A book fell onto the stair behind her, and she scrambled to pick it up. The woman behind her shifted her feet, catching Cappie’s little finger.
Cappie flexed her finger and rose. The woman stared at Cappie with disinterested eyes. Probably she squashed whole hands, maybe stomped over bodies, on a daily basis.
“Are you at the house?” she said into the phone.
“No. I need help! Someone’s chasing me—“ Nic’s words were overwhelmed by a series of rapid clicks. Then silence.