-Inside the Crocus Magicka University tent-
Escorted by Professor Gasan, Diana stepped into a square tent which had electric lights hung on wooden poles near the top... Diana could hear the generator humming a short distance away. In the tent were rectangular wooden tables cluttered with stack of papers, old books with bookmarks stuffed haphazardly in between their pages, spiral notebooks filled with scrawled writing and hastily jotted calculations, and what looked to be astrological charts on corkboard. Some detailed the various constellations in the sky while others detailed the planets... Diana could not even begin to understand the charts because she was not an astronomer. Her job was to protect the scientists and help them with their work, not peek at their indecipherable charts.
"I see that you have more than a casual interest in our work, Miss Winchester. Are you an astronomer by any chance?" The professor asked her. Caught in the act, Diana abruptly looked away from the charts and towards the older man.
"I am afraid not, Professor." Diana admitted in a sort-of apology for peeking at their research without permission.
"That is a pity. I was hoping that I would get someone who could help me with these charts. My graduate assistants are trying their best to help, but they're not quite up to it yet. They've studied in the classroom for years and have made good grades, but they'll need more experience in the field before they can really be a help." He lamented. Then his eyes lit up.
"Speaking of which, I haven't heard from my assistants Tammy and Robert in some time. Five hours, to be exact. They were supposed to set up a telescope on some nearby hills, but that task shouldn't take five hours to perform. Would you be a dear and go find them?" Professor Gasan asked. Diana readily agreed.
"I will go find them." Diana replied in the affirmative.
"Good, good. I'll need their help for tonight's star viewing. I can't take notes and look through the telescope." He said to her before opening a medium-sized red book on astronomy. Sensing that she would get no more information from him, Diana left the tent to go perform her assigned task. She wondered how far "nearby" was.
-Outside, the Terasu plains-
Diana stepped out of the tent and walked towards a hill near the trail to get away from the electric lights so that she could better see her surroundings. According to the professor, his two assistants were setting up a telescope on some nearby hills, so her best bet would be to search for a telescope in the hills. Switching to her night vision mode so that she could instantly pick out human shapes, Diana looked all around her and spotted pairs of humans, but they were all walking on the trail and none of them had telescopes.
Diana walked further away from the tent until she could no longer see the glow of its electric lights, then looked towards the nearby hills again. She saw a pair of humans lying on a blanket between two gentle slopes with a basket of food and a cooler of drinks, so they were not the graduate assistants. Diana turned away from them and walked towards a tree on the plain. Maybe she could get a better look at the surrounding area from there. The blonde mage walked until she was standing under its leafy branches, then stopped and looked at the surrounding area again.
She soon saw a pair of people with a telescope on a tripod. Thinking that she had found them, Diana decided to hang back and observe before she went to get them. They might be travelers who were doing some stargazing of their own and she did not want to embarrass herself by treating them like the missing graduate assistants. Diana watched them peer into the telescope and make comments to each other about what they were seeing, but they did not take notes on the stars, nor did they have notebooks or other academic items with them.
Diana left them alone and started walking the plains in search of the wayward graduate students. She wondered where exactly they had went. They should not have gone too far from the tent and the professor... unless something bad had happened to them and they had not left the immediate area of their own volition. Had someone kidnapped them or had they fallen prey to wild animals?
Diana had no idea what had happened to them and it was her responsibility to find out. Due to the presence of civilians she would keep her weapons put away for the time being, but if danger were to present itself she would bring them out regardless of who was nearby. She would also have to take extra care when aiming so that she did not hit someone downrange from where she was shooting, but she did not anticipate any heavy fighting during this job.
It should be a simple job where she babysat astronomers while they did their work for Crocus Magicka University. However, there was seldom such a thing as a "simple" job. Complications tended to come up and it was a mage's job to adjust to circumstances on the fly. Diana took a deep breath and began to walk towards another campsite with a pair of tents sitting side-by-side. Maybe the occupants could point her in the right direction.
[Word Count: 926]
[Total Word Count: 1,876/8,000]