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.
Conveniently, the first of the two room is a TV room.
"Am I just paranoid or does this seem too convenient?" Joss asks - she looks noticeably on edge, one hand tapping her thigh restlessly, the fingers of the other hooked into the back waistband of her jeans.
"You're being paranoid, pet," Tamaris says with a surprising amount of ease. "Even if this place could rearrange itself to throw us off, I suspect they would really rather use it for things other than creating a TV room. Besides which, technical or magical, I reckon your gut would sense a change like this."
Rex meanwhile has gone to see if the TVs can in fact be turned on, he looks back. "Can't guarantee that," he points out. "We really don't know what's going on here yet."
There's a remote next to the Television on a small table. When the on button is pressed, the television turns on showing CNN with its typical early evening coverage.
"Well, that's anticlimactic."
"Peppa Pig would be worse," Rex says with a shudder of someone who knows that from painful experience.
Is there anything actually interesting on the news, or should he start flipping channels to see if they can find something more informative?
The news from Earth is pretty generic scandal of the moment stuff, If Rex is the sort to watch CNN at odd hours of the day on Earth he might be interested but otherwise no. Flipping channels won't reveal much besides that whatever this place is it's getting premium channels like HBO.
"Well. This feels like a bust," Rex sighs. (There's a rather distinct impression of a drooping tail.)
"But at least we won't be bored," Tamaris says, obviously trying to look on the bright side.
"Let's go look in the other room, I doubt it has any more answers. But I at least want to know we've covered everything."
"We can also check the news tomorrow. Maybe there'll be a story about all the partygoers going missing."
"Maybe," Joss doesn't sound too hopeful as she heads for the final room.
"Hey," Tamaris hurries after her, touching her elbow briefly, tone low enough that it's obviously not supposed to be heard, but isn't actually quiet enough to qualify as a whisper. "My parents'll care if you go missing as well. Remember that."
Alice smiles slightly, it's always good to see friends helping one another, but she doesn't comment. She and Zahn follow then. The final room looks like a hybrid between a small dance studio and a gym. The floor has a spring to it and there's exercise equipment, mirrored walls and piles of free weights resistance bands and yoga mats. There's also a couple gymnastics mats.
"Well this is nice. I mean there's going to be plenty of exercise in exploring this place but it's nice to have a safer space for when we're not exploring."
"And it'll be a great place to practice katas."
Rex looks positively enthusiastic as he goes to poke the free weights. He turns at the word 'katas'.
"What do you practice?" he asks tilting his head. "I mostly box, but I do some muay thai as well? And learned katas for a few others because they're good for discipline."
The free weights seem to be very well made. They're labelled in kilograms.
"A bit of a mix, I like Tai Chi because of how calming it can be but for sparing I like Karate a bit better."
"I'd offer to spar," Rex says brightly, "But, uh, different styles. And you'd probably kick my arse at Karate." He grins.
"Tai chi is supposed to be relaxing as well," Tamaris comments, nudging suspiciously at one of the mats with her foot. "I think Mama does it."
"It's good for staying centered. Most martial arts I've heard of have an element of that but it's emphasized a bit more in Tai Chi, especially the forms most popular in the US today."
Tamaris makes an interested sound. "I get the feeling that something relaxing might be in order," she comments.
Joss nods tiredly and rubs her hands over her face. "We should probably sleep," she says. "Maybe tomorrow this whole thing will just be one massive nightmare." She doesn't sound convinced. "Or at the very least we'll have fresh eyes for trying to ferret out clues."
"That makes sense. There's plenty of bedrooms."