The laptop data recovered from EyePhi's silo had a fair amount of information about the plans set in place, but one piece of data stood out - some anomalous energy signatures near the loop. Three different locations, in fact. After a little prep, the group decided to start searching the various locations. That Friday, Jan. 28, they headed out - after getting an invitation to a party of some sort.
The first location revealed... nothing. They weren't able to find anything out of the ordinary. Further investigation near the second site - a school - revealed a blobby, man-sized shape, barely visible to human eyes - though Alistair's ley-line-revealing eye-drops showed it as a bluish cloud of dust-like particles. The next location revealed even more - a field full of blobs! Some seemed recent, others less so. Confused, they headed back to the first location, widening their search to a park in the middle of some very, very nice houses. Alistair spotted a couple fellows in white polos, as well as another person-shaped blob - this one more recent still, and intact enough to make out some basic details. It was definately a man, wearing a jacket, apparently looking at his watch.
They spent a few hours poking around before the party - only to realize the party was at the house with the polo-clad frat bros! While LeTourneau isn't exactly a preppie kind of place, the residents of the house were, in fact, ultra-rich, and in some cases forced to go to LeTourneau as a punishment of some sort. They served a lovely snack bar, next to their heated pool; a few students were already there, and others drifted in. Those the group recognized were fellow adventure-hunters; Leslie, from Cryptid Underground, a few survivors of the Burn, and others they had at least met in passing.
After some hanging out - and realizing that the rich frat boys were stereotypically snobby and condescending - they noted a party-goer who didn't seem to fit in. Fairly average looking, wearing a leather bombers jacket, and staying off to one side... Any time someone tried to approach him, they were intercepted by one of the frat members.
One of the frat guys called for the party's attention. The reason for this little get-together was a treasure hunt, for a prize of $5,000; given a small number of clues, they were expected to find the location of a... watch-like object. Almost immediately, about half of the party headed off, some to the field where the group had found the blobs of ley-dust (or nanite-clouds, as it were), and others to various locations around the city. The rest stayed behind, hoping for more clues. Priya and Alistair managed to corner the jacket-wearing fellow, and demanded to know if he was mind-controlling the rich snobs. He laughed, and managed to excuse himself.
The group initially followed the students heading for the blob-covered-field, but Will got a phone call from Leslie - she said she was trapped in a closet, but had discovered something, and... then the line went dead. Quickly, they hurried back, and crept in a side door; searching the rooms, they found a bow and some other weapons, as well as a fresh-as-a-daisy nanite-blob in a closet, in exactly the shape of Leslie...
Just then, two of the snobby frat guys stepped into the room - one with a bow, the other with a sword. As it turns out, not only do you have to be really rich to join their frat, you also have to have an amazing skill. Granted, no matter how good your skill with a rapier is, if you have five angry students with spears, baseball bats, and pipe-wrenches, you're going to have a bad day. It didn't take long before the two students were knocked unconscious. Just down the hall, the group found the jacket-clad man, and engaged him in battle; he kept trying to slap Alistair and the others with a weird glove, connected to an odd backpack, but was knocked out before he could.
While Priya was making sure the students and the unknown man didn't bleed out, the others rifled through the man's pockets. They uncovered a watch, a single penny, a rectangle of clear plastic, and a heavy gum-pack-sized thing. Alistair put on the backpack and the watch, and... vanished. For about 15 minutes.
After some creative interrogation, the jacket-clad man introduced himself as Artemis, a time traveler from 3082 AD, sent to recover a dangerous time device. The various objects were a time machine (the watch and backpack), a communication device (the clear plastic rectangle), a battery (the gum packet), and... a gun (the penny), which he gifted them, in exchange for their help in finding and destroying the watch. He'd spent too long here already, and being from the future, he'd know if the watch were destroyed, so he was confident they would be able to do it. He mentioned it was known to fall into the hands of a number of people - one of which happened to share a last name with Alistair's roommate. Coincidence? No, actually; allowing the man to return to his own time (though keeping the penny that could turn into a gun), they went to Alistair's frat, and found his roommate, who grabbed the watch for them - it was smashed from holding up a wobbly table. Alistair, of course, instead of destroying it to keep the future intact, carefully repaired what he could, resulting in what was effectively a fancy holographic cell-phone.
Their adventure over, it was midterms week, and happily, they managed to pass. Only one more set of tests before the end...