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"Ha! Then we better not be seen together outside of campus."[ Thomas suggeted.

He listened to Alya as she revealed the plan for tomorrow. "Easy enough. My old man taught me some outdoor survival stuff so I should be able to keep up, Miss President." He added a smile at the end. "Always good to pack plenty of water. I think I might be able to use an old camping kit I have stashed away somewhere. I'd be sure to look for it."

When he mean by old man, he was referring to his Marine drill instructor and senior enlistee members in the Mithril that had trained him. But who's to know?

"By the way," he began but hesitated for a second. "You seem close to Jack. Are you two lovers? I don't want to cause any problems with my bluntness, that's why I'm asking."

That was in fact true. Thomas was only able to read Jack's permanent record and as everyone know, those things don't tell much. Even though his records are clean, he wanted to be thorough to be sure he's won't pose a threat to Alya. This was all unnecessary but coming from Thomas' background, these severe background checks are routine requirements.

"Bah!" He faked a complain. "Seven in the morning. Ugh. Alright. 7 it is. I'll be here. Even though I am one of those lazy crowds."
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"I don't care what other people really think, they are going to see us together anyway. We are going to be studying. I am just not a fan of rumors. If they want to know the truth they will have to ask." She smiled at him, and walked him to the door. "Being president does not mean I am the best. The shy girl Melissa now that girl is a spider monkey." Alya shrugged her shoulders. "I am just organized, and we wanted a climbing club."

Alya leaned on the wall next to the door as Thomas asked about Jack. "We were, but no longer. He and I are better off as friends. I ended it this spring brake." Alya shrugged her shoulders, and gave him a thoughtful smile when he mentioned he was lazy. "That maybe but your hands say differently." To her he was undershooting himself. She wondered what life he lead before school, and what brought him here. It was sudden after all, and in the middle of the semester. He had to be a good student, or the school would not of accepted him into it's classes.

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"Ah, ok. If you're ok with it, then so be out." Thomas nodded. To him, rumors are just rumors but there area advantages to using rumor to mislead others to your own liking.

"I'm sure you're still very good at it compared to me." Said in response to Alya's statement about not necessarily being the best. Then raised an eyebrow. "Melissa? I don't think I had the pleasure of meeting her. I guess that'll change tomorrow."

Taking the hint, Thomas returned to the bathroom and slipped into his clothes. They had dried enough and the slight dampness wasn't too uncomfortable to bear.

After hearing from Alya about what happened between her and Jack, Thomas couldn't help but apologize "Oh, I' sorry to hear that. Well, at least you two are still friends. Don't think many couples stay friends after breaking up. Would just be awkward."

"Ah?" Thomas was surprised of Alya's sharp insight regarding his hands. "Ah these. Well, I'm 25 years old and just started college. I've had some times to do things in the past 7 years since high school. Some I'm not proud of. I found out certain cities are dangerous places. Quite different from home. Oh I've said too much. I shall take my leave now. I'll see ya in the morning!"

Giving a farewell wave, Thomas left Alya's home and headed back to his apartment. Of course Dan and Kathrine were waiting as he stepped through the doorway and as he had expected, they asked him right away how it went with Alya. He wished he didn't have to tell them but he had to. Eventually, they developed a game plan for the rest of Thomas' team to follow them on the trip. This time, they'll remain hidden and take advantage of Arm Slave's cloaking system.

Thomas reached into his gears and took everything necessary for tomorrow's climbing trip. He still had a good pair of climbing picks and the long nylon rope he's used many times in his other missions. Grabbing his survival gear, he tossed them into a duffel bag along with the rope and climbing picks. Some of the items in his survival kit were fishing wires and hook, flint and tinder, sharpened knife, matches, compass and water purification tablets.

With the rest of his team packing and preparing for tomorrow, Thomas got some peace for the night and retired early. Not knowing what kind of danger a trip like this would bring, he'd make sure to get extra hours of rest. Hopefully, things will go smoothly like college and nothing will happen.

It almost felt like he had just closed his eyes when the alarm clock buzzed noisily. Thomas woke up and found it was 5am already. He got up and did his morning hygiene routine. Made some lunch and packed them away properly. The last item he reached for was the pistol that was hidden away in his night stand. Opening the top drawer revealed a .45 caliber pistol which he took along with several magazines of ammo. Securing his weapon in the a hidden layer of his duffel bag, he felt satisfied and ran through his equipment checklist one more time. With all his equipments accounted for, he left the apartment with it and made a short journey to Alya's home.

(edit: Added a few things in the end.)
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They said their goodbye's, and Alya got ready for work. One of her fellow employee's picked her up, and work was as crazy as usual. They all did well, and she was given a ride home. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, but the feeling of being watched caused her to mess up two drinks, an drop a bottle. Her boss heard of her bike being stolen, and understood her behavior, and dismissed it.

Alya made it home late, and she put the extra tip money in a sock. The bulk of it went to paying her bills, and tuition. But she needed a new bike, and Alya could ear Noodles for a while. After she got showered, and into her night clothing, Alya set out her things, made sure they were all in proper order, and safe. She had a climbing bag all set out, and packed before she made her lunch, and froze some water bottles. Then she place the gear next to her door. What was not in the pack was strapped on with webbing or clips. She made use of every snap, strap, and web that was on the old climbing bag, and she modified it to work for her needs. It was going to be her temporary school bag until she could bye a new one or fix the broken one. But new to her was either way on sale, or yard sale second hand.

Alya only spent the big bucks on a few things. Her bike, climbing equipment (it was a matter of life or death thing), ski boots, and shoes. She could get the ski's after they had been labeled Demo, and say a paddle for kyacking. Her fishing gear was all second hand, but in great shape. Granted all of that she would always buy on sale, or get a discount because she knew someone. It helped when every penny mattered, and she never took advantage of it. She would always be willing to help them move a canoe, or move their furniture around or out. She would even be a pickup man for taxing up a mountain for skiing, up or down river for rafting.

Next morning, Alya woke. She again had strange dreams. They were the same as before. The big explosions, debris flying everywhere, Thomas pushing her out of the way from something. Why was he in her dreams? Maybe because Thomas had walked her home, or shared his umbrella with her? She groaned and stretched to only feel more comfortable about staying in bed longer, but she had about a half hour before people were going to be showing up at her door step. Squirt also found himself laying along her side, with both arms stretched above his head, his back legs apart, and his head under his own arm. He was contort-kitty, and stretched much the same way Alya did, or she like him. Either way they both stretched out as wide, and as far as they could.

Alya pulled on light clothing, but had extra in her pack in case it rained, or snowed, or for just in case s**t hit the fan. She pulled her hair into a long braid starting at the base of her head. Then she put on a ball cap, of her favorite hockey team, and ate some breakfast of cold cereal, with a half an apple. She pulled on her sun glasses, and jacket. The air was crisp from the night before. It rained most of the night, and just cleared up for a beautiful day. The sun was warming the area nicely, and she took in the sights from her elevated view.

Jack was about five minutes early, which was odd, but it gave her time to explain that they were going to have another person joining them. He raised an eyebrow at that, and agreed that it was okay. "I bet you five bucks he will be late or not show at all." He said with a smirk, thinking that he had Thomas pegged. Alya did not agree to the bet, but she told him that Thomas will show even if he is a little late.

He was on time. And Jack smirked, but said nothing. Melissa was already in the passenger seat, and she placed her gear into the back of the SUV. It was clear that Jack had money, it was a nice Black Land Cruiser. Gear was on top, along with a kyack that had not moved in a while. An extra fuel can was budgie onto the back, and the Land Cruiser needed a bath. The dirt fell from the under-carriage as she opened the back. "Here toss your stuff in, and glad to see your only late to class." She smiled at him, and held the back window open fo him to toss his things in.
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When Thomas came into view, he waved while letting out a large yawn. He still had bed hair as if he had just woken up not too long ago. Thomas left his hair untouched for the purpose of keeping his image of a college student. Thomas nodded to Jack before turning his eyes on Alya. Josh, who was responsible for watching Alya last night had reported to Thomas about Alya's mishaps at her bar. He wondered if the possibility of her being a Whispered is the cause.

His attention was then drawn to the Land Rover and he faked a laugh. "This car must've seen better days! I take it that you guys go on these kind of trips regularly?"

As Thomas maneuvered around the vehicle to reach the back window, he noted the supplies that were already secured on top of the SUV. The things they packed were more then he would recommended but he had to give them credit for being well prepared.

"Ah ha, funny" Thomas said with a smile. "I kinda give off that impression don't I? Don't blame anyone of you guys for that. I just find college classes rather boring. I learn better hands-on then from books and this is the great outdoors, better then being cooped up in a class room. Let me warn you, you're about to see a very different side of me then how tend to show on campus. Heh."

After tossing his green duffel bag and rucksack into the back, he settled down into the empty backseat. He leaned forward and greeted Melissa. "I don't think we've been properly introduced yet. I'm Thomas, the flying student who mows down tables and chairs in the cafeteria and always late for class."

While Thomas is with Alya, Jack and Melissa, Dan and Kathrine had already headed out to retrieve their M9 Arm Slaves hidden on the outskirt of the town where it would be less likely to be discovered. Based on Alya's description of their trip, it was easy enough to locate the general area where Alya planned to go. Dan and Kathrine made their way there ahead of the group and scout for anything out of the normal. With he use of their cloaking device, they'll be invisible to the naked eye.

Josh, however, was asleep since he was on watch the night before. When he wakes up later in the day, he's not without a mission. On Thomas' request, Josh will arrange for a new bike to be delivered to Alya's home. It would be the same model as her previous bike and the sender would be anonymous. The second request was ordering a customized laptop focused on having a large amount of memory and storage capacity. The processor would most likely be multi-core rather then extreme speed, this way, the user could multi-task multiple things at once without being bogged down. As icing on top,a decent graphics card in case Alya decides she wants to study a digital 3D renderings of her geological materials. Lastly, Josh had the tough end of the stick, he had been given the task to somehow increase the funding the geological department were getting and making sure Alya's scholarship would no longer be jeopardized.
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"Yeah, we head out at least once a month, Alya keeps us busy when we are not studying." She smirked at Jack, and shut the window. Dust flew around, and she waved at it with her hand. The group laughed at Thomas as he introduced himself to Melissa. Melissa blushed, but offered her hand to shake. "Melissa." She said quietly.

Alya sat back, and let Jack do the rest. She was very tired from the night before. Only when Jack started to move onto the back roads and she hit her head on the window did she wake. "Sorry I dozed off." Looking to Thomas she gave an apologetic smile. "I had things to show you on the way out. Formations and what not. We passed by a river that was formed by a glacier run off. You can still see the glacier today. We are almost there anyway."

They bounced around, Jack proved to be a decent off road driver, slowing down when it counted, and adding the gas at the right time as well. Melissa was silent the entire way, though she would add to the conversation and laugh at Jacks comments. She seemed smitten by him. Natasha did not seem to mind.

Like Alya said they made there sooner then later. Jack pulled off to the side of the road along a turnout, and shut the Land Rover off. Alya climbed out, and stretched her long skinny body out exposing her abdomen a bit not really paying attention to who saw. She then turned and looked around at the view around them. The birds did not stop their song as they drove up, the chipmunks only clattered in anger at them for walking into their area.

Alya walked around, and helped unload the gear. For as much as they had, it did not weight very much. Jack climbed up top, and tossed Thomas Melissa's back pack, and his. "Thanks." Melissa said, and slug it on her shoulder. Alya was sorting threw Jacks, and taking things out. "Hair gel?" Jack was about to complain, but one look from Alya and she left it in the Rover. but when she was not looking he put it back. He smiled at Thomas. "Hay I am the one caring it, and if we get stuck here over night I want to look good for Melissa." He ran his hair threw his gelled hair, and shook his head. She also took out a few other things that had no place being there. He wanted to bring the kitchen sink Alya thought to herself.

Looking to the group, Alya nodded. "Well at least we get to walk down hill on her way out. Jack you know the way." She gestured to him, and waved Melissa past her, she cough up to Jack, and the two started talking. Alya went next, and looked back to Thomas. "The first structure will be seen at the top of the hill." The sun was warming everything, though the higher elevation seemed to cool the air down a bit, it was going to be a warmer day.

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"Ah," Thomas said, seemingly understanding the situation. "So Alya's a study tyrant even off campus?" He said teasingly and took Melissa's hand for a shake.

When they were off, he focused his attention on their surroundings as they made their way toward their destination. Thomas turned just in time to watch Alya smack her head into the window when she dozed off and he snorted. "That's funny. Long night?" He noted watched Melissa's reaction toward Jack and noted the possibility of more then just friendship.

Thomas looked out the window as Alya explained about the glacier and river. He seemed pretty interested in the subject on the outside but he's learning this so he'd be more familiar with using the terrain in conjunction with his combat experience.

He wasn't bothered by the rough terrain since he's been through plenty himself, on top of that, while getting shot at. When they stopped, Thomas slipped out and stretched his arms back resulting in his body making cracking and popping sounds.

He caught his bag and strapped it onto his back and gave a quick thanks. Thomas looked over when Alya found hair gel. Raising an eyebrow, he quizzically looked at Jack. Speechless at Jack's excuse for bringing hair gel, Thomas just forced a chuckle. Thomas wondered who Jack reminded him of. After a moments pondering, he compared Jack to Dan. Both of them had this little perk about them being some kind of pretty boy.

However, Thomas did take a look to see what brand of hair gel Jack snuck with him. If they do get stuck overnight, at least Thomas would know here to find a flammable substance to assist in starting a fire.

"Ah, neat." He said and walked behind them. Then he questioned. "First structure?"

Dan was the closest to Alya's group in his M9. He remained hidden in a cluster of tall trees and just watched the group step out of the car with his cameras zoomed in. He exchanged light chatter with Kathrine about Jack being quite a well groomed guy and that's worthy of respect. f course, Kathrine was not pleased by this attitude and started scolding at Dan. Katherine's raised voice would travel not only to Dan but to Alya as well. Only when she was finished with Dan, did Alya get peace and quiet again.
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They both laughed, but Alya only shook her head with a smirk. "I am not that bad am I?" Melissa was the one that piped up. "Yes you are." She giggled.

Alya pointed out the type of rocks they were going to be studying, and picked up a piece of Granite. "Tree things make up this rock. It cooled slowly as you can see the large crystals in it. Potassium Feldspar, a type of Mica, and a Quarts. Remember these rocks don't all come in the same color each time. It depends on what pushed them together, and what other things were put into them. This feldspar is usually pink, but it can be gray, or even yellow. Quarts can be pink, white, clear. And the mica is either black, green, or gray. You can chip the mica with your finger." She showed him the rock, it was something else to look at a rock, however it was different when you knew what made it what it was. It no longer was just a rock.

Just as Alya was about to put the rock in Thoma's hand, her balance wavered, her eyes did a funny matrix thing, and her hands went up to her head. She heard the radio conversation, and in both her mind, and aloud she said. "Ouch, stop yelling!" As if it hurt her ears. Planting her feet solidly, her breathing stopped for a moment, as she pulled herself back from what just transpired between Dan, and Katherine. She could see them, but they were fuzzy. Her face showed in a small section that never showed images it was just a little screen like area. Up until then, it never really held a function. The addition was new, and only placed in their unit. It was a trial run, but not explained for what they were checking out until just now.

Alya's eyes opened. She did not get a good look at the people, but her mind flashed the vision, and her face held worry. Was something wrong with her? Seeing Thomas's eyes was the first thing she centered on. Jack and Melissa just stopped, and looked back. "HAY, were here to climb the rocks." Melissa laughed, and neither of them seem not notice Alya's reaction.

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"Huh," Thomas said, acting impressed of what he had learned. "You know, before this, I never really knew a thing about this. Only time I saw them were used in jewelry or household decorations. And, that I know. My mother used to collect a variety of geodes for her collection. I never really understood it. I saw it as pretty rocks. Now that I'm learning it, I'm getting a whole new perspective."

Watching Alya, Thomas listened to her explain the difference in color due to how they were formed. He reached out for the rock Alya was about to give him and found the rock falling quickly toward the ground. His reflex snapped and caught the rock before it hit the floor. What surprised him the most was Alya's reaction. Reaching back, he was about to pull out his weapon but stopped as he watched how it played out with Alya.

"Alya?" Thomas asked with concern. "Are you alright? Who's yelling?"

When Alya acted irregular, both Dan and Kathrine became quiet and alert, thinking the enemy was somehow affecting Alya in some way. However much they looked, they saw nothing out of the ordinary but remained on radio silence for a little bit longer.

Thomas set the rock down and reached out to touch her shoulder, trying to let her know he was there to support her if she needed it.
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Alya blinked a few times, and felt Thomas's hand on her shoulder. "Fighting? Umm A guy named Dan was being yelled at." She put her hand on her head, and squeezed her eyes shut pulling herself back from where if she was taken. Her face was white as a ghost, then looked into Thomas's eyes. Fuzzy pictures of his past in a mecha flooded past, but it was a matter of a blink before they were gone, she felt like she drempt them. The radio silence helped, and every so often she would hear a bit of feed back. She pulled her camel back sipper to her lips, and took a pull on the icy water.

Alya took a deep breath, and gave Thomas an apologetic smile. "Look I am sorry. I am stressed, and have little sleep. I have tomorrow off, and plan on catching up on sleep. Trust me. I want to be up for this weekends field trip Professor Grayson has set up. This has been a regular things for the past week or so. I chalk it up to lack of sleep, and my stress. I should not let my bike being stolen bother me like it has." Alya explained her slight 'issue' just now. Blinking a few more times, she got the blurriness from her eyes, and guested for him to follow her. We are almost there anyway. Lets catch up. What she did not say, was she had always saw things, heard things, and drempt of things. But she never mentioned that he was in her dreams.

They crested the hill. The area around them was still well forested, but they were on a plateau type place. She pointed. There. "That is our [First rock formation]. See how the rocks are layered." She touched the formation, and smiled. "The layers were built over time, as of where we stand now, we were under water a very long time ago. You can even see the little petrified critters." Again she pointed at a little snail like rock in the rock. Jack and Melissa were sitting on a log sharing a protein bar. They continued on.

Soon they came to a large granite slab. It was a beautiful dome like structure that went up more then around. "Lets set up the top rope, and get this show on the road. Mel, tell Thomas our lingo for climbing." She crawled into her climbing harness, and clipped on her set of anchor setting devices, and pulled the rope over her shoulder. Melissa explained their safety lingo and it was pretty simple.

Soon Alya's voice rang out that the rope was on its' way down, and Jack, and Alya were repelling down from the rock formation. Jack was showing off a bit for Melissa, and Melissa shook her head. Melissa also explained not to step on the rope, and to not look up when someone says rock. "It happens to everyone, and you will only do it once." She laughed as she showed a small cut on her face that scared over from doing just that. "There all sorts of ways to climb this rock. Alya's is a bit simpler then Jack's, and each rope has at least three ways to go up. We just have to maneuver the rope a bit."

Alya landed after Jack, and she disconnected herself from the rope, and dug into her pack for her shoes. They were smaller then anything expected to go onto a foot, but the others mimicked the motion. "Here." Alya said as she handed him a pair of shoes that also looked a bit small for his feet. "You will get a better grip on the rock face if more of your foot is touching. These are pretty comfortable, and I hope I got your right size." They were in good shape, and had a set of neon green shoe laces with black tar like material surrounding the bottom of the foot. The rest was made of leather, and had little card symbols of clubs, aces, diamonds, and spades on them in white.

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Thomas frowned when Alya mentioned Dan's name. This was what he had been looking for. Any sign that indicated she possessed the power of Whispered. There was no way this could have been a coincidence. He was also glad he came on this trip to witness Alya's probably power. But this also means his mission has just changed and Alya's priority just sky rocketed.

"Dan?" Thomas questioned. "Could it be an old time friend or someone from college?"

Thomas sighed and gave Alya a stern but concerned look.

When they began to move on, Thomas looked behind him, toward the direction he believed Dan and Kathrine might be. He made a simple hand signal symbolizing communication and then chopped the same hand across his neck. Both Dan and Kathrine recognized what Thomas was trying to say and turned off their communication radio.

Following them up to the first rock formation, Thomas looked up in awe and then looked at where Alya was pointing at. He brushed a finger over the fossilized shape and made a comment. "I bet it must've sucked a** to get trapped like this."

Now that they were at the next formation, he stared up in awe at how the formation had formed. Before long, Alya had Melissa give him the insider on their climbing culture. He nodded in as the lingo was explained to him. He had learned something similar so he was able to pick up on it fairly quickly. "Oh ouch, I'm sorry to hear that, Melissa."

When Alya got back down and presented him with a pair of climbing shoe. He looked over with intrigue. He had never used one designed for this kind of climbing nor ever gotten close to something that had such dangerously bright color scheme. "Thank you." Thomas said sincerely and tried them on. It was a little tight but it'll do just fine. He had always climbed with just his boots and he expected this experience to be slightly different.
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Alya shrugged. She could of known a Dan? It was a somewhat common name. Laughing at his comment regarding being suck like that. Though she agreed with him. "It would."

Alya's feet were soft and quite with every step she took. Her feet were strong from point ballet, and climbing in the past. Mucles formed in her back that were hidden when she stood normally. She was a fit woman, and made her way up the decent line she picked. As mentioned before Melissa was a monkey. She climbed and did things unheard of for her size. Her finger tips held her whole body in position as she found her next hold, and she pulled herself up to the next spot with her toes, and finger tips.

The climbing went well into the afternoon before they stopped and rested. Everyone seemed happy, and worn out. Alya had taped up Jacks hands, Melissa was rubbing her sore feet. Alya's soft hands did well with the rocks, but she had a few blisters and cuts from the sharp rock. The white chalk made the blemishes stick out even more. They conversed about everything from politics, to the weather last night, to going to the bar tonight. Alya decline the offer, and said she see's that place enough, and last night was not a good night. Commenting dropping the bottle, and giving the wrong drinks. "You should take a holiday. Maybe this field trip will be relaxing for you." Melissa said, Jack agreed. Alya nodded, and ate her sandwich. She quizzed the topics quickly with Thomas, and she asked him what brought him to the university.

They were pretty much done for the day. People could be seen walking on the trail, and every once in a while, Alya looked over her shoulder. She did not have any more of those feelings or visions from before. "Maybe it will do me some good. Do you know where we are heading?" Jack, and Melissa shook their heads. "He has set it all up with the dean, but said it was a surprise. You did not get it out of him, you talked to him for like five minutes." Jack said, and chomped down on his sandwich. "Rell at weast rou could of found out rearer rew were going." He said with his mouth full. "No we just talked about Professor Sutten. And his stoke. He said they were personal friends. Alya said on her second sandwich.

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The activity was slightly weird for Thomas. He had been trained to navigate up and down the rope as quickly as possible for his missions, never once had he climbed slowly up the side of a cliff as a recreational activity. He was fairly impressed by Alya's group. Despite their appearances, they handled themselves like professionals. It was rather relieving to see them this happy at what they do best. Thomas wondered when was the last time he had actually enjoyed doing something for himself.

Thomas sat down and inspected the climbing shoe Alya had allowed him to use. He was impressed by the design which allowed him to navigate up the cliff fairly comfortably. He just thought it was too bad that it was only designed for that purpose only. Done with marveling his shoes, he looked over and saw the unsightly scene of Jack. Thomas sighed and chuckled.

"Agreed." Thomas cut in. "Heck, if you don't rest up at home, I'll personally come over and tie you down if I have to. Now don't mistaken my intentions." He looked at Melissa and Jack, guessing they probably were thinking about something inappropriate. "Whatever the Professor-"

Thomas hesitated when he spoke about the professor, then took a breath and continued. "Whatever he's planning. It would be incredibly dangerous if you're not well rested. If you made a mistaken climbing today like you did at the bar the other night, well, you know what I'm getting at."

Thomas then wondered if he came off a little harsh there or not. It wasn't his intention but worrying about Alya's welfare is his mission now. He'll put his life on the line if anything threatened her. It's just a pity that she doesn't know who she is yet. Heck, Thomas didn't completely understand what the Whispered are.

"Err..." Thomas tried to change subject quick. "Honestly, I just wanted to travel far and wide. See all kind of lands and survey through them. I grew up as a hunter so when I'm tracking my targets, I get this serene feeling navigating through the land. It's just fascinating when I'm slipping through the forest looking for disturbed earth, hinting where my target may have been. I'd figured after awhile, I should give college a try to see if I can learn more. Though geology turned out to be completely different from what I had in mind."

In turn, Thomas asked them the same question that was brought up to him. "Why did you guys sign up for college?"
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Alya smirked at him. 'Let him try to tie me up, I will beet the snot out of him.' Granted she might get a few good punches in, Thomas would be able to take her down in a second. "Yeah I understand, and I will take heed of your advice." She pitched a pebble to the side, and seemed to think about how they were right. With all the crap she had been seeing as of late, it got a little spooky, that she might have something wrong with her.

The group listened to what he had to say. Alya was slightly taken back by how he described his hunting trips. Not that kill an animal was a bad thing. She had not had the chance to hunt before, so her option she left out. However when he spoke of the things he hunted as 'Targets', Alya hoped they were all animal, but she had a feeling they were not just the four legged kind. There was more to Thomas then she thought. Melissa and Jack failed to pick up on the mention of this, and she left it for another conversation at another time.

The other two answered the question with pretty straight forward answers. Jack was because he folks made him, and he was enjoying himself that is why he stuck around, Melissa wanted to be come a scientist of some sort. Alya was a little stumped. "Well I joined because I wanted to make something of my self. It will all depend on what offers I get when I leave school, Geological engineering would be fun, and I would be able to travel."

It did not take long to gather things up, a storm was threatening to come, and spoil their afternoon. Small sprinkles of rain had started to come down. Alya had the ropes in their bags, and her gear was put away. She tied her shoes on, but left her socks in the bag. The hike down was getting a bit slippery from the sprinkling misty rain. Jack lost his footing twice, and Alya slid a few feet but held her balance.

The group was ready to go have a beer, but Alya asked to be taken home. Jack and Melissa headed on their way. Alya turned to Thomas as Jack drove off. "Are you sure you didn't want to go with them. They enjoyed your company. Thanks for being the forth man, and I hope you learned something today?" She asked. She then eyed a large box outside of her apartment. It had her name on it.

Alya looked to Thomas, and shrugged her shoulders. "Well I will see you on Monday then. We have a test on those minerals I showed you, we can get together and recap before the test on Tuesday if you would like?" Alya asked, and pulled out her pocket knife. She opened it with the flick of her wrist. She ran it down the tape, and it fell open. Alya jumped back to see the bike she had just stolen from her. Her eyes went wide, and she looked for was note, but there was none. There was only a receipt, and where it was purchased. She would have to stop by and ask questions. "Wow." She looked to Thomas with questions in her eyes. Thinking he would not know any more then she did.

Getting into her apartment, Alya noticed something was a bit off. Her old laptop looked different, and lacked the coating of dust, and it was even a different color. Red. On top there was a yellow sticky note. 'USE ME!' it said. She opened it up and saw the whole computer had been catered to her needs. "What the?" Alya was not sure if she had reason to be nervous, or happy. She had not received many gifts in her life.

The next few days were the same. Her dreams were getting worse, and she seemed more tired then usual on Thursday morning. The test were all handed back, and she did fair enough on her other subjects. The three day weekend doing what ever Professor Grayson had planned, was going to be a nice brake. Her boss gave her the weekend off. Walking to the lab that day, Alya was half paying attention to what she was doing, and nearly ran into Professor Grayson. He smiled down at her. "Oh watch yourself there Alya. Oh to remind you we leave 0.500 Friday morning." He made sure not to touch Alya, as he moved around her. She smiled, and said she would make sure Thrie made it to the van on time.

Alya headed to the cafeteria.
ThrieTheTiger's avatar

Omnipresent Lunatic

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"It's always about the traveling." Thomas smiled.
~

"Yes, I'm sure." Thomas responded to Alya when she questioned if he wanted to stay with the others. "Besides, I think we should all leave Jack and Melissa alone. Those two seem good together. Not to mention, I don't think rubbing someone's feet the way Melissa did was the result of simple friendship."

"I should be the one thanking. It was you guys who allowed me to tag along. After all, I was just the student you were supposed to be tutoring. Surprisingly, I didn't expect to learn as much as I did today. More then I would normally take in studying by myself."
~

"Monday it is!" Thomas cheered. "For once, I'm actually looking forward to the test. I feel like I know a thing or two now so yes, I'd like that recap just to be sure. I'm actually thinking about getting a better grade. The trip today was enjoyable and if I knew trips would be this fun, I might've studied a little harder. I'll definitely aim for that field trip."

"Uh..." was all Thomas could say in response to Alya's surprise packages. "All I can say is this usually never happens. Unless, karma? Yeah, well. Maybe you got yourself an admirer, or worst, a stalker. Least his actions are kind, yes? But if you ever feel insecure, give me a call. I'll stick around if you need me to, it'll be my payment for your hard work teaching me!"

Thomas gave his farewell to Alya and returned to his apartment.

"That was a rather dumb idea." Thomas said coldly toward Josh. "The bike was outstanding but the laptop? Even a toddle would find that strange when their belongings get swapped out suddenly."

"Thomas' right on this issue." Kathrine cuts in. "Usually Thomas isn't this romantic about his girl, but he's right this time around. Though I wish he would practice that attitude on me before saying this and that with Alya. Oh how I envy her. But anyway, after what happened yesterday and then seeing the bike and laptop, Alya might even be more suspicious now."

Josh sulked and apologized.
~

Thomas returned to his usual late to class antic, only occasionally meeting up with Alya for studying, recap and questions about why he was marked wrong on some of his answers. He did better then his usual quiz score so he was glad he had just a high enough school to attend the field trip. Though, even if he wasn't eligible, he would still attend the field trip with the use of his Arm Slave. We was not about to let Professor Grayson get close to Alya not that Thomas knew Alya has something special and he could tell it's affecting her as days pass. He wished there were some kind of drug back in Mithril that could temporarily suppress her abilities so she could get a few nights of actual rest.

Thomas grumbled when he found out when they'll be leaving for the field trip. "It gets earlier and earlier doesn't it?"

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