It was quite by Chance that as soon as the strange light entered the sky, Aden Pratchet looked out of her dorm room window. She didn't make a sound, though she did stop breathing. The light plunged across the dark horizon like a blazing chariot, forcing her to closer her eyes; then, with a soft percussion, it hit the earth. For several seconds, the entire University grounds were illuminated.
Aden could see the glow receding into the forest beyond the library. Her heart was hammering. Had anyone else seen the apparition? It took her a long moment to decide what to do. It was a mere few hours before sunrise and she had an exam in the morning... but she was also being presented with an opportunity for her first applied fieldwork.
Her eyes traveled to the window. She hesitated -- then grabbed her jacket, shoving a leather notebook into her belt. She pulled on her boots. It was the chance of a lifetime.
She dashed out the door.
Crossing the University grounds was always an eerie experience, especially at night. She shuddered in the shadow of the library, a towering Gothic structure with a massive clock proclaiming the early hour. Everything had a silent, oppressed quality, as though bowing its head. The silver light appeared to have left its residue on everything, illuminating the details in the gray stone.
When she reached the forest, she was enveloped by trees. She moved swiftly, familiar with the area; the light was continually fading, but she followed where it seemed the strongest. Within minutes she found herself needing to shield her eyes. The grass was crusted white.