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         Z’Phora Jones enjoyed the dead more that the living. She had lost her family when she was young, all to mysterious diseases. Since then she had dedicated her life to unlocking the mystery of death. It had become an obsession with her. She excelled in school, especially in science, and enter university at the age of 16.

         Upon entering the university a new world was opening up to Z’Phora. Her non-science classes were nothing but boring chores to her. But exploring the worlds of biology, chemistry, astronomy, botany and zoology excited her completely. She spent hours alone in the science labs doing her projects. As a sophomore she was hired as a lab assistant for both the chemistry department and botany department.

         Any other person carrying 21 semester hours, 2 on-campus jobs, and working weekends as a bartender in THE HOLE IN THE WALL, a popular campus bar where she lied about her age to get the job, would have folded under the pressure; but Z’Phora excelled. She had her eyes set on graduate school and knew that she would need the grades to get her there. She was in her element and knew that one day all her hard work would pay off.

         Her senior year she received a fellowship from the university’s sister college in Rome. There was a doctoral candidate that was needing somebody of Z’Phora’s special talents. The fellowship did not state what she would be doing, instead gave her a plane ticket and a contact when she arrived in Rome.

         She packed all of her scientific gear and had it shipped to the Rome address. She also satisfied her intellectual curiosity and read as many books on Rome as she could and learn to read and speak Italian, Latin and Greek; which she somehow figured would benefit her on her fellowship.

         Arriving in Rome, Z’Phora was greeted by Zivania Bocelli, who introduced her self as Professor Gabriel’s assistant.

         “What is he like?”

         “He just arrived, I have been spending the last few weeks getting his office organized so I have had very little interaction with him. He keeps to himself mostly.”

         “Have you heard why I am needed?”

         “No idea.”

         That did little to comfort Z’Phora as she and Zivania drove to the university in silence. It was a beautiful campus. Zivania drove to the Orpheus Building that was surrounded by the most beautiful Olive Trees that Z’phora had ever seen. Zivania lead her down a long marble hallway to a little office at the end. There Z’phora was told to wait for Professor Gabriel. Zivania went into the side office and returned with an espresso and a scone for Z’phora to eat and drink while she waited.
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