Introduction to the Game

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Outside Hawkings Building, 6:30 p.m.

Rowena had seen the blonde guy next to her, the blue eyes that would rival Paul Newmanís own baby blues. It was break as the class headed for the vending machines, digging in her pocket for the change that would pay for a small pack of trail mix and a bottle of Fruitiopaís Peachberry Quencher she moved to one of the tables. Sitting down she returned to drawing her magna. She saw him grabbing a bottle of water and a bag of pretzels.

Ryan Richardson seemed to be in his early twenties, peak physical condtion and quite handsome.She did a quick sketch of him as best she could magna style, when she was caught in the middle of what she was doing. He began heading her way, Rowena prayed she could keep her calm as he sat down.

Rowena didn't have good luck with guys,The one she didn't like were the one always hitting on her. The ones she liked told her that she wasn't thier type, they either though her too artsy, distant, cold, not intrested, opininated, or too weird. She hoped this time Ryan wouldn't think any of these things.

"Hey," Ryan said as he sat. "Iím Ryan Richardson, most people call me Richie."he paused looking at her magna. "Your Rowena Adams?"

"Yes and no, Adams is the name of my adoptive parents, my real last name is Ritzenacko. Nice to meet you, I hope you didnít mind." she said turning the sketchbook around to where he could see it better.

"No, wow, thatís good for, uh, what is it?" Richie asked.

"Magna, its Japanese anime comic book style." she smiled. "Ever seen Dragon Ball Z?"

"Canít say that I have, but Iíve see something like this, uh Rama?"

"Ranma 1/2, thatís it." she smiled. "Oh, were late!" she said noting their classmates had gone.

"Not again!" he said.

They had managed to make it just as the rest of their classmates were setteling into thier previous spots. The next half hour had bored her to tears, she was trying to maintain concentration when the Professor had annouced that they were dissmissed. Rowena blinked, looking down at her watch. Rising up she was bumped five or six times and the last one hard enough to knock her sketchbook out of her hand and send papers flying.She rolled her green eyes.

"Damn!" she musterd out from between gritted teeth.

"Let me help." Richie said helping her pick up the loose papers. "so why have you begun college?" he asked casually.

"Me?" she asked glancing up at him "I would love to be a writer, artist, or something Iím good at, but mom says go for somthing pratical, minor in one of those," she looked up at him again. "you?"

"My guarden is threating me with my head if I didnít get some serious studying done." he said neating the stack "How come you werenít in my other classes Rowena Ritzenacko-Adams?"

"I registerd by phone, yeah, computers hate me, I called the day they had a glitch and this is my only class." she smiled. "Call me ambitious," she took the papers from Richie "Thanks."

"Welcome." he said walking out of the vacant class room with her. "Can I walk you to your car?" he asked.

Rowena's green eyes got wide for a second, her logical side said that Richie was a creep, not to trust him as far as she could have thrown him. However her hormones were screaming yes, that she could trust her gut feeling about him.

"Uh, no offense, but, no, call me parainoid." she smiled. "Iím parked a block away," she said thinking out loud. "you know what, thanks, I think Iíll take you up on it. You hava trustworthy face." she grinned pulling out her keys, the strap bering an ancient tribal pattern.

"Iíll be on my best behavior." he said with a grin.

They chated the lenght of the block, and soon arroved at the magenta 1997 Dodge Neon. Rowena offered him a ride rembering him being out of breath when he arrived at class. Richie said that he agreed only because he didnít want to walk the distance. As she unlocked the passenger side door. He climbed in and reached over and unlocked her door. Rownea got in and started the car, the raido blaring the Marrideth Brooks song "It Donít Get Better" she appologised.

Richie gave her directions, when they arrived he thanked her and got out into the crisp fall night. Walking up his dorm he dug out his keys as she drove off honking. He smiled and then felt the buzz. Reaching into his jacket grasped the hilt of his foil as he unlocked the door. He heard voices and found the light on.

"Will ye two quit, Iím gonna shove ye in the shower!" the familiar Irish brough caught his ear.

"No, you wonít." Duncan's barritone found Richie.

"Are ye so sure of that?" Eallerica asked.

"Yes." the Brittish accent of Methosís voice annouced Mac and Eall were not alone.

"Whyís that?" she asked.

"Weíre just too charming," Methos said catching a glimpse of Richie "ah the diligent pupil arrives."

"Look at him," Eall said grinning "Heís all grown up."

"Okay," Richie said holding up his hands in surrender "I get it, funny, now if youíll excuse me Iíve got homework."

"Wait a minuet," Duncan said confused "did I here him say heís going to do homework?" he looked at Eall and Methos.

"What did you do with the real Richie Ryan?" Methos asked.

Richie explained that he had a lot of homework to do and he need to get started. Pushing past Duncan and Eall he sat down at the table. Pulling out his books and opening a folder and begining.

"Nothing, its just time I started to get seroius." he said. "Now if youíll excuse me Iíve got to get this done."

Eall walked over to the table and closed his book, scattering his papers "Goddess help the boy find order in chaos!"

"Eall," Richie said reaching for the papers "come on give me those!" hesiad reaching around her.

"Wouldnít you like me too." she said wagging her brow.

"I would." Methos said under his breath.

"So would I." Duncan said hearing him.

"I heard that, besides wouldnít Amanda be a bit jelous?" she said looking at Duncan giving Richie his papers. "Besides, Old Man, you had your chance." she grinned.

Eallerica looked around for a sign of a roommate, seeing no one she asked the inevitable question and Richie who was picking up papers told her that he hadnít arrived yet. Four heads turned when the front door opened up and in walked Richieís roommate.

The boy couldnít have been over ninteen and he was about Richieís height. Shoulder lenght brown hair, blue eyes, dressed in a pair of black jncos, a white tee shit that simply read Ďrage against the machineí and a pair of combat boots to top it off. The Boy was followed by his mother who was short and rather plump, rosey cheeks and red hair, a tiny nose, she had dressed in a pair of blue jeans, a red and white sweatshirt that was maked with Indiana University logo and seal. She was followed by her husband a tall man who was in his late fiftys, black hair streaked with grey hair, dressed in tan kackiís with a thick sweater and his jacket over that. Everyone exchanged looks and then the boys mother spoke up.

"Iím sorry we were informed that classes didnít offically start untill tomrrow." she appologised. "Iím Rose, this is my son Vincent and this is his father James." she tugged at a glove.

"Hi," Richie said. "Iím Richie, this is my Uncle Adam, my older brother Duncan, and my little sister Ea-Kathrine." he said shaking Roses hand.

"Oh, my your a handsome one arenít ya?" she asked.

Richie blushed and grinned, Duncan was smiling broadly as well as Methos who wore a slightly amused grin.

"Oh, I see it runs in the family." she grinned at Methos and Duncan.

"Aye, that it does." Kathrine said winking at her. "Well, Richie, we should go." she said walking over to him and hugging him. "Go hug Uncle Methos." she said in his ear.

"Come Ďer Uncle Adam." Richie said walking over to Methos.

"The Old Witch set me up." Methos whisperedd patting Richie on the back.

"Yep." Richie said turning to Duncan "Come here." he said grinning.

"Kathrine do I have to hug him?" Duncan asked, the playful grin on his face.

"Mom would never forgive you." she grinned.

Rose and James began unpacking Vincentís things as the Ďfamilyí scene played out in the living room. The two parents began exchanging looks as Vincent stood and watched as Richieís family leave.

Then Rose asked Richie a question as to why his sister, his older brother and he did not share looks. Richie explained that they were step-siblings and that married life hadnít been kind to thier mother. The explination seemed to satisfy Rose and they unpacked Vincentís things, Rose starighting his clothes, James assembling his desk. When it came time Richie gave them the privacy to exchange goodbyes.

Rowenaís Dorm

Rowena had shared her room with a good friend from high school she and Lena had shared the same likes and dislikes. They hadnít been childhood friends, but from apperances they could have been. Just the two of them, last semester they had to share the doorm with a thrid party who was not the nicest. They were doing homework and watching the local news.

"The Campus at Ball State has reported that a murderer is loose in the area. Details of the murder are still comming in at this hour, seems as though he kills his victims by beheading with a sharp knife or sword,witneses report following each murder he the sound of break glass in all surrounding windows, and see sparks flying, if you hear or see either of these signs please dial 911. Unitll police catch this man they advise against going out at night, and police advise that if they choose to do so please go in groups. Weíll have more on this as it progresses." the television news caster blared.

"Ro," Lena asked "sounds like one of your Sci-Fi channel favorites." she giggled.

"Lena, thatís not really funny, whomever that was that got killed last night died horribaly." Rowena said looking up from her Math homework.

"Your right." Lena said returning to her Ancient Greek & Roman Humanities.

The news continued for fifteen minuets andthe news ended, Lena picking up the remote turned it off and wnet to bed, Rowena continued with her homework untill she wasnít making any sense out of it, then turned the light off and headed for bed.

The Square, around noon

Richie had Humantities and Biology that morning he was glad to see lunch come he could do his reading and homework then go to a club meeting. He had just begun Biology glancing around for a familiar face, no luck. An hour later, he had finished his lunch consisting of a salad, a roll, and a large protion of ziti with a spicey marinara sauce. He had not only finished his lunch, but a chapters worth of reading. decding on taking a break he sat eating the peice of chocolate cake and watching those around him.

His blue eyes fell on a familiar form, Rowena, there she sat, back against one of the oaks, sketching in her book and intensely focused.He flet a faint buzz again, gathering up his thing he decided to join her. Richie thought heíd made enough noise, but she was a bit startled when he sat down.

"Rowena, you okay?" he asked grinning.

"Yeah you scared me, thatís all." she smiled at him. "So how were your classes?"

"Biology, its a bit boring. Humanities is good I like it."

"Can I ask who your professors are?" she sketched an action scene.

"Biology I have a Dr. Crabtree and Humanites a Professor Nichols." he said.

"Nichols is good, she's nice." Rowena said drawing on a character that looked like her. "Crabtree, I donít know about, must be new."

"That you?" he asked gesturing with his fork.

"Busted," she loked over at him "yeah its me and my life as a superhero, she sees all, hears all and can kick some ass." she grinned "Unlike me."

" Your kidding," he said looking at her tennis shoes "You havenít been working out have you?" he asked.

"Do you consider Yoga a work out?" She aked her brows arched."The last time I tried anything severly physical I lost my shoe."

"No you canít be that bad." Richie said grinning. "Listen Iím on my way to a martial arts club that meets here on campus and seeing as how I donít know anyone but you and my roommate I really appreciate it if you came."

"I donít know, your talking about a major klutz and martial arts."

"Will you give it another try for me, if you fall or something I wonít make you comeback ever." Richie said with a sad look on his face.

"Okay, okay, just kill the Oliver look." she chuckled.

The two of them remained in the Square until it was time for the meeting then Richie and Rowena gathered their things and headed for the gymnasum. Talking and getting to know each other better. Arriving in the lobby, Richie asked where the locker rooms were the young man directed him to the back of the buliding. Rowena followed and spotted the ladies locker room.

Ten minuets later Richie emerged and found Rowena standing inside the gym itself, he made sure it was her. She was dressed in black tights with a double white stripe down the sides, a white tank. Rowena turned around after being tapped on the shoulder she turned to find Richie in his gray sweats and fade dark blue tank, grinning they talked noticeing the other there with them. A young man about twenty four walked into the center of the room clearing his throat to get everyones attention.

ďHello, welcome to S.A.M., student assocation of Martial Arts, Iím Devin Jones, Iím the recent elected presedent. I see some returning faces as well as some new ones.Ē he smiled at Rowena. ďUh, we usually spend the first meeting of the semester getting to know each other and a little bit as to where you are. How about we start with you two in the back?Ē he said nodding at Richie and Rowena.

ďYou start Ro.Ē Richie said with a grin.

ďOkay, uh Iím Rowena, and Iím not sure thereís a level for me, but I recently tried kickboxing.Ē she said with a shy smile.