Night. Late. Joss. A common misconception about people who can go fast, like super duper fast, is that they can read super duper fast. Not true. Speed reading is a separate skill that you've got to develop, and Joss had not developed it. She was looking over Mika’s files for something, some sort of clue that the police missed. She was reading at normal speed, and Zoe didn't even notice her as she walked by her mother's office.
Zoe's mom often stayed up late looking into the files trying to determine whether the car accidents were just accidents or not. Zoe bobbed down the stairs listening to music, singing to no one. She went and got herself a sandwich, and on the way back she finally noted that it was Joss who was scrounging around her mother's office.
"What are you doing?" said Zoe with a mouth full of sandwich.
"Hey, how's it going?" said Joss.
"Nobody's supposed to be in here."
"I was not aware of that. Okay, I'm going to put everything back. I sincerely apologize for that," said Joss, and at super speed put everything back and cleaned it all up as she walked out.
"Guess I can't use that, can't use these," she thought. Well, okay, she would just have to gather her own resources; she could do that. She sat back down on the couch, took out her notepad and started scribbling on how to take the first steps in solving a murder, and wrote a big question mark.
"Seriously, what were you doing in there?" said Zoe.
"Oh, nothing. Can I say how much I appreciate your family letting me stay with them," said Joss.
"Oh, don't worry about that."
"Can I tell you something, a secret?" said Joss.
"Sure," said Zoe.
"I'm gonna solve the murder," said Joss.
"Why?" said Zoe.
"Because I suspect something bigger is going on, something in the universe, something secretive," said Joss.
"Really?" said Zoe.
"You think something universe-ending is going on in this case?" said Zoe.
After the night where everything went right for her (in a way), she had been rethinking how she was going to approach this super-heroics thing. And it seemed that hitting it wasn't the answer. Cunning and guile could be it. Nothing was more perfect for her than a to solve a murder case. She just had to figure out how to do it, because most likely this didn't involve the Illuminati from every detective book she had ever read on her universe. Well, the only detective books she had ever read were Dr. Night Owl's how-to guides, 95% of which were about the Illuminati, and a lot of stuff about the water being poisoned (he was not a well person), but Joss was sure that this was not a simple murder case.
She knew how these stories go. See, if one superhero proves to be a hit, more would pop up. This was actually like a law in her universe called the Burrowing-Owl Man/Stone-Spider-Lava Women Law, named for when Aruban superhero Burrowing Owl Man First popped into Aruba, and two weeks later saved Aruba by beating monsters from the earth's core. But the side effect was that they accidentally made the Stone-Spider-Lava Women, so the law says that superheros begat superheros. So the murder had happened the night she came. Yea that was a big...
"Maybe," said Joss.
"Neat. You got any leads?" said Zoe.
"Well, this is what I've got so far." She showed her the notepad with a smiling bird eating another bird who was not . Zoe was unimpressed.
"Did you find anything from my mom's files?" said Zoe.
"No, no, no. That was a total dead end. It was just the make and model and the crash report and, you know, nothing about the killer himself, or themselves. I should not assume," said Joss.
"Well, what are we gonna do then? We could ask questions," said Zoe.
"Wait, you wanna be part of this?" said Joss.
"I'm finding I wanna be part of most things."
"That's great, Zoe. I'm proud of you."
“So what are we going to do?” said Zoe.
"I have an idea," said Joss.
That thing that people do when it seems like they're grabbing an invisible subway holder thing and pulling the subway handle that they use when they're standing up and pulling it really close to their heart - she was doing that.
“Okay, so we're on a lonely road in the back woods in North Dakota. I crash my car and I see that there's a bunch of money floating around," said Joss.
“Ok, so murder victims don't talk unless we're dealing with something that is a horror thing, or they're ghosts. Maybe we picture it," said Zoe.
"OK. The money starts to come out of the car, and I see you staring at it, and I'm just about to take out my gun when I notice a kitten right on the road, and I pick it up and I just throw it against the tree," said Joss.
"Ahh. Were there any kittens at the crime scene?" said Zoe.
"No, no, no there weren't. I just did it to creep you out," said Joss, falling back on the couch.
"How about I be the murderer this time?" said Zoe.
"Okay," said Joss.
"Okay, the car crashes. There's a bunch of money around, and I see you staring at it. Wait. How do you know that the other guy didn't have the money?" said Zoe.
"Your mom's notes indicated very strongly that that was not a possibility," said Joss.
"Really? let me me try this again. It's the 1930s and I'm the Duce of Italy. My campaign in Zaire was a total disaster," said Zoe, as she fell laughing on the couch.
"Huh?" said Joss.
"Okay, it's harder than it sounds," said Zoe.
"I don't know what to do. What do normal people do?" said Joss.
"We could listen to the Talking Heads," said Zoe.
"Who are the Talking Heads?" said Joss.
"My favorite band. They're really cool. I really like their concert film Stop Making Sense. David Byrne is such a weirdo. It's great. I even like most of his solo work. Most people don't know about his solo work," said Zoe.
"Did you just say David Byrne?" said Joss.
"Yeah, the front man for the Talking Heads."
"Interesting. You know, in my universe David Byrne is a giant floating head who floats around and comments on things," said Joss.
"Really?... Could you take me flying?" said Zoe
"Yes, yes I can very much do that," said Joss.
"Great, let me dress in something warm." It took her five minutes to decide what to wear.
Joss stood out on the front porch looking at this very normal and plain-looking suburban street. Fortunately it was the middle of the night and nobody was around. Joss always liked the nights. She felt that the world was a private place for a short while. Zoe came out dressed in a parka that was wearing her more then she was wearing it.
"You ready to do this?" said Joss.
A long, deliberate pause from Zoe and then, "Sure, yeah, let's do this."
Zoe grabbed as tight as she could, and Joss took off. Joss soared, but not as fast as she could go.
"Oh my God, oh my God. I'm seeing what birds see. Look down on the ground. Only birds can see that, or people in hang gliders. I'm in that vaulted class of people, hang gliders and bird fans," said Zoe.
"It's pretty neat” said Joss. This was normal for her, but she was happy that Zoe was happy.
"I hadn't even thought about dying yet, because even if I fall off, you'll just catch me, right? Because you could go pretty fast?" said Zoe.
"Um," said Joss.
"Um!," said Zoe.
"Okay, so here's the problem though. you know how my arms are almost as strong, or as strong as steel, right? And if I were to catch you, at the rate you were falling, you would most likely break your back and be paralyzed for life," said Joss.
"Okay, I'd like you to go down now," said Zoe.
"Really?" said Joss.
"No,," said Zoe.
They flew around for a little bit more, and then Joss eventually dropped Zoe off on top of a beautiful, well beautiful-ish, art deco building. It was the tallest building in Bismarck.
The second they landed, Zoe laid right down on the building. "Oh my God, that was great. That was great. Hey, how did you get your powers to begin with?"
"Oh, it's a long story," said Joss, who laid down right next to her.
They fell asleep.