An invitation to a party appears on various university billboards inviting people to the Kappa Alpha Frat house located in the mostly finished Castle Commonwealth mall on the edge of town. The notice instructs people to follow the access road at 67 Lost Nation drive and enter through the back door and promises that signs will be posted to guide people to the party itself.
"So, less worrying topic of conversation, Zahn, what are you studying?"
"Computer science. What about you?"
"Nice. I'm engineering."
"Medicine," Miriam says, grinning proudly.
Arla doesn't immediately offer an answer.
"I wanted to be a doctor when I was younger but as it turns out I'm a bit too squeamish."
"Yeah, that sounds like a bad trait for a doctor," Miriam agrees grinning.
"Turns out Miri is basically impossible to squick out. She watches slasher flicks and asks why they're supposed to be scary and explains why they're impossible."
"That sounds like a fun hobby, I like pointing out the absurdities in sci-fi stuff."
"That is fun," Dan agrees.
"You do it too," Miriam points out, reaching out to tickle her.
Arla fends her off expertly, and laughs. "Okay, okay."
Zahn smiles and laughs at their antics.
Tamaris abruptly appears, at speed. "Where's Joss?" she demands immediately.
"She went to run with Alice and Rex, while I walked back with our new acquaintances. What's wrong?"
"I-" Tamaris exhales sharply, turns away and shakes her head before turning back. "It'll be easier to just show you, and none of us are going to catch up with those three now. C'mon."
She doesn't bother to introduce herself, just turns to head back indoors, still moving faster than the languid pace Zahn will have been used to from her.
Zahn raises an eyebrow but moves faster to keep up.
The other three speed up as well, keeping pace.
Tamaris leads them back to the TV room where she's got a news channel playing.
The ticker at the bottom declares: Neutron star expected to do minimal damage while passing through the sun.
The anchor meanwhile is talking about a related matter. "We're getting reports of intense fighting in and around Jerusalem. The IDF is engaging with insurgent forces who seem determined to take control of Jerusalem, apparently not believing the claims that this isn't the end of the world."
"Tell me a neutron star passing through the sun isn't going to do bad enough damage. Convince me."
"I... I'm not a physicist. I usually trust scientists but I wouldn't be entirely surprised if the government is leaning on news agencies to sugarcoat things."