"I'm intrigued, Ms. Shannon," I said as I regained my metaphorical footing.  "I'd really like to see how this system of yours works."

"I'd be happy to show you," she began, but I held up my hand.

"I know you probably have cameras and what-not, but since this little... discovery, many things have been thrown into question."

Shannon nodded, unruffled.  "Naturally, Inspector.  I understand.  Do you have equipment with you?"

"As a matter of fact I do."  I pulled out a small cylinder camera not much wider than a pen and not much longer than one of those old film canisters, attached to a spoked earpiece.  I slid the the camera over her ear, making sure the earpiece fit snugly over her ear.  I thought it was a trick of the dark, but to my amazement she actually absorbed part of it into her head.  "More secure," she said, shrugging.  With a smirk she added, "We don't want it falling off, now do we?"

"That would be a shame," I replied, pulling out the monitor that went with the camera and testing it.  "You're to go out, do your thing, then come back here."  She nodded.  "I'll stay here, keeping hidden if necessary."

"There's a compartment in the back of the linen closet; your signal'd be both enhanced and hidden, so I'd maybe start out there."  I placed the garnet in her hand, where it immediately melted into her palm.  I shuddered.

"It's like quicksand: a solid one minute and like a liquid the next."

"Except faster and it acts like a compartment.  Besides, I can actually get the thing back out again."

So that explains the pen the other day...

She straightened her hat in a mirror, then closed her eyes again.  As if someone slowly poured a can of paint over her head, her entire body slid into a matte black.

"Ms. Shannon," I remarked with awe, "you're a living shadow with sapphire eyes."

"Let's just hope this camera can keep up."  She noiselessly slid open one of the windows and fluidly leaped out.  I peered out after her, barely catching a glimpse of her land on a ledge five stories below and disappear into the night.

The End

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