After dinner, Taryn went back to her room to change. She looked through her wardrobe to try and decide what to wear. Elven semi-formal or human…
Her closet was made up of both human and elven attire. While most of the rest of her family had assimilated into human culture and thus never really bothered with traditional, or even modern, elven clothes, Taryn liked how they looked.
After sifting through her clothes, she settled on a tan button-down with jungle green vines stitched into it. She then also grabbed a matching, hip-hugging skirt. Upon looking at herself in the mirror, she smiled. Both!
Once again, Taryn opted to stay away from the makeup, letting Bobby take her as she was. As she adjusted the final touches and fixed her hair, her arm band lit up, and a Sentinel appeared, “Taryn, it’s 7pm, Bobby will be here any minute.”
“I’m almost ready.”
“Now I understand why women are often stereotyped as being late for everything.”
“Well your disturbing me is not helping!”
Sentinel shrugged as he watched her fiddle with a braid. She finally had everything done up the way she wanted it. Her pointed ears tucked the hair back away from her face and the braids held everything else.
Taryn once again turned to the mirror to inspect herself. As her eyes made contact with the reflective glass, a dark figure in black robes appeared behind her in the reflection. She gasped and immediately turned around. There was no one there.
Spooked, Taryn turned back and looked at the mirror. A frightened girl looked back at her, but the figure was gone. Goosebumps ran down her spine as her eyes darted around the room, “Sentinel, did you just see that?”
“Is something the matter? Your heart rate just spiked and you are moving around erratically.”
She looked down at the AI suspiciously, “That man in the mirror, who or what was he?”
“Man in the mirror?” Sentinel asked. “Query; what man in the mirror?”
Taryn was becoming annoyed, “The man in the mirror in a dark robe! Who was he? How did he get in my room? Didn’t you see him?”
Sentinel’s projection shook its head, “I didn’t see anyone else in the mirror except you and a particularly well-assembled artificial intelligence unit.”
“This isn’t the time for jokes. Someone was in my room! Scan the area.”
“Processing.” Sentinel replied. “I’m detecting 14 people in the building, 6 humans, three dwarves, three people possessing both human and dwarven traits, and three people possessing human and elven traits. None of them have been in your room in the past few minutes.”
Taryn couldn’t believe what she was hearing, “Is there any sign that there has been anyone else in my room in the last few minutes?”
Sentinel looked like it was in deep thought, “Processing… I’m not picking up any indentations in the floor that would not have belonged to your feet and nothing about the room’s internal atmosphere indicates any sort of change that another living creature would have caused.”
Taryn put a hand to her head, “What’s going on…”
Sentinel took a moment to run a diagnostic. Upon finding no trace of any malfunctions, the figure turned back to Taryn, “All of my internal systems check out fine, there is no sign of malfunction, so my readings must be accurate. Hallucinations can be a sympton of stress and lack of sleep. Between your upcoming next week, your situation with Bobby, and your night terrors, you do fit the criteria.”
“Great,” Taryn replied, “you’re saying that I’m seeing things now.”
“I’m suggesting that your personal health maintanance has been somewhat lacking over the last few weeks. You need to take better care of yourself.”
Taryn nodded, “Fair enough… okay if I survive this week, you can set me up a health plan, deal?”
“Your proposal is acceptible.”
“Great…” Taryn replied, knowing full well that she had just signed on for weeks of torment from her computer.
A knock on the door startled Taryn, who was already on edge. She turned and looked up as Sentinel disappeared, “Who is it?”
“Bobby, are you ready?”
A grin appeared on Taryn’s face as she quickly turned around for one final look in the mirror, “Yes, I’m coming.”
She opened the door to see Bobby standing on the other side in a white button-down shirt and black pants. His eyes lit up when he saw her, “You look awesome.”
“I’ve never seen you braid your hair.”
“I usually don’t.”
Bobby looked at her oddly, “So what made you do it now?”
Taryn frowned, “You don’t like it?”
“I didn’t say that, you’re just usually a lot more devil-may-care when it comes to your looks.”
“Oh thanks! So I look like I don’t take care of myself?”
Bobby raised a hand defensively, “What, I didn’t say that there was anything wrong with that. You’re one of the few people who can pull off looking good with little to no prep work.”
Bobby reached out his right hand to Taryn. She looked at it and smiled as she gave him her left and the two exited her room, “So, any idea where to go for dinner?”
Bobby nodded, “Yeah, I’ve got a few ideas and we’ve got a late movie, so we’ve got plenty of time.”
Bobby led Taryn outside to his car. To Taryn’s dismay, Bobby drove a ’74 Boeing Streamline hovercar. It was a nice car in its own right, but she wasn’t a fan. Part of her wanted to offer to take them on her bike, but that would mess up her hair and probably insult her date. There was no way around it, she’d have to bite the bullet on this one.
Bobby opened the passenger door for her and waited as she got in. He then ran over to the other side, got in and pulled out of the parking lot, heading for the small movie theater.
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