Part I: Boy Meets Girl, Shit Hits
Are You Alright?
Through a fog of grey Torin could feel someone shaking him. "S-s-t..." He managed to make out.
"What!?" Katrina replied, and started slapping him in the face to get him to open his eyes.
"St... Stop!" He exclaimed and pushed her
He was lying on the intimidating rock that
he had previously tried to avoid, and he couldn't help but
painfully chuckle at the irony of being brought to safety on
"I was trying to avoid you... heh...
he-owww..." He said to the rock before curling up in
Katrina was kneeling beside him and stared
at him wide-eyed.
"Are you alright?" She asked and started
to press on certain areas of his body. "Does any of this
Torin tried to take a deep breath, but it
caught short and he started coughing.
"I'm... just... dandy." He managed to make
"Are you sure!?" She asked in disbelief,
"You have no idea how hard you just ate it."
Torin found himself able to laugh without
too much pain. "Yah." He replied with a strained voice. "I've
always been able to bounce back pretty quickly from
He rubbed his face gently with his hands
to feel for any damage. After a few seconds of poking and
prodding, he came to the conclusion that he had made it more or
"You don't have any recovery nano-machines
installed do you?" Katrina asked
Squinting his eyes, he blinked them a
couple times in an attempt to clear the little black stars that
kept popping up. "No... no," he replied. "My Father refuses to
let m-..." Torin's sentence trailed off as his eyes finally
focused on Katrina and his mind registered the scene in front of
Katrina was less than a foot away, and her
wet clothes had become somewhat...
His eyes went wide for an instant, and
there was no hope to disguise his unabashed
"HEY!" She said angrily and turned away.
"Don't be a perv!"
Torin snapped his eyes shut and tried to
roll away. "Sorry! Sorry!" He apologized between labored breaths.
"I didn't mean to look..."
Torin's pain was the least of his worries
now, as his heart was beating faster than when he was at the top
of the ledge and a pounding warming sensation was traveling all
throughout his body. He needed to get into the water
"Its just that at the height and velocity
you fell at," Katrina began as Torin slipped off the rock and
began to slowly submerge his body into the water. "You should
have a few broken ribs at least."
Fully covered in water, Torin opened his
eyes and tried unsuccessfully to keep his gaze locked on
Katrina's face. "Yeah... you know..." He rambled, completely
mesmerized by the beauty of the girl so close to him. "It, uh...
wasn't that bad."
Torin could feel his heartbeat in his
eye-lids and a strange choking sensation that began in his chest
made its way slowly up to his throat. He swallowed repeatedly in
an attempt to remediate the strange tickling, but it didn't
Before the intense feeling could overwhelm
him completely, a small beep from the T-Unit managed to draw his
attention away from Katrina.
"TORIN!" A gruff man's voice yelled from
the T-Unit on Torin's robotic arm.
The suddenness of it made both Torin and
"Torin, are you all right?" The man's
voice asked. "I'm detecting a sudden increase in heart rate and
blood pressure... have you been bitten by a
Katrina started laughing so hard that
tears began streaming down her face.
Torin quickly turned away from Katrina to
hide his beet-red face.
"No Dad..." He said angrily, "I'm
"Alright, alright Son." Torin's Father
responded calmly, "Just making sure... I'm almost finished out
here." He continued. "Should be back in the
Torin glanced back at Katrina who was in
the process of slipping off of the rock in her
"Ok, sounds good." Torin replied shortly
as he motioned erratically with his arms for Katrina to be quiet.
"See you then."
"Oh! And Torin," His Father said
excitedly, "How has the new A.I. version been treating you? That
was a developmental beta version by the way." He added. "Cost me
an arm and a -- er... you know what I mean."
"I'll tell you about it later!" Torin
responded in an exasperated tone.
"Ok, Ok, Torin," His Father replied
warmly, "Love you son..."
"Yeah, yeah," Torin said impatiently, "See
you tomorrow." Torin checked for the small green indicator on the
T-Unit to turn off before turning to Katrina.
"Sorry about that." He said
This time even Katrina had a little bit of
color on her face when she pulled herself back onto the
"Who would have thought that jumping off a
cliff wouldn't have been your most... umm... heart-racing
experience." She said with a devilish grin.
Torin laughed nervously. "Yeah, who
would've thought." He said wryly.
Feeling a bit more in control of himself
after the initial shock of his Father's interruption, Torin
brought the upper half of his body onto the rock and looked at
Katrina in a calculating fashion.
"I think I deserve to know more about this
girl I jumped off a cliff for." He said with the tiniest hint of
mischief in his voice.
Katrina smiled. "Oh really?" She said smugly, "Not going to be an asshole this time around I hope?"
"Nah." Torin responded with a grin, "You
could say that I had a change of heart after a recent
That drew a laugh from
"I still don't know how you came out of
that unscathed." She said in an amused tone. "Your legs kinda
went like this..." She gestured with her fingers awkwardly, "Then
your neck kinda did this..."
Torin couldn't help but smile at the
hilarious description of his ungraceful fall.
"And then SMACK!" She said and clapped her
hands together for effect. "Human pancake."
As their laughter rang off of the canyon
walls, Torin couldn't help but think that today had been his
lucky day. Not only did he crack the new A.I. version in the
first attempt, but right afterwards he had met a beautiful
girl... who of all things thought he was cute! If
good things came in three's, then he had no
idea what the next surprise could be, but he was definitely
excited for it.
Torin took a long sideways look at Katrina
"So..." He said with amusement in his
voice. "Who 'are' you anyhow? Besides the crazy girl who spied on
me, made fun of my arm, scared me half to death, and then jumped
off a cliff?" He added as if reading a list of
"You know who I am." Katrina responded
playfully and grinned.
"I do?" Torin responded in
"Of course you do..." She nodded
confidently. "I'm Katrina."
"Oh come on." Torin said in a mildly
annoyed tone. "You know what I mean."
Katrina averted her eyes and smiled
softly. "Yeah I know..."
They sat in awkward silence for a few
moments before Katrina looked at him and raised her eyebrows in
"How about this!" She said mischeviously
and smiled. "Tonight I will tell you all about myself..." She
looked around at the still canyon in mock suspicion and
whispered, "When we are in private..." Leaning forward she gazed
into Torin's eyes and mouthed the words: "At my
Torin was certain his heart stopped for a
There was the third surprise. He thought
to himself as he felt the blood start to rush through his body
again. And it was the best yet.
Clearing his throat, he shifted uncomfortably on the rock before responding.
"Yah... ha." He laughed nervously. "You
never know when someone could be watching... from a hidden ledge
above you in a canyon... right?"
Katrina grinned at him and winked
seductively. "Exactly." She said as she pulled a stray hair
behind her ear.
Torin took a deep shaky breath and rubbed
his forehead with his hand. "So uhh... where? Umm..." He mumbled
as he struggled to find the right words.
"You can meet me at the Inn." Katrina
smirked as she began to slip into the water.
"In, uh, in town?" Torin asked
"Yes of course." Katrina responded as she
turned and started to swim towards a section of the lake where a
climbable part of the canyon lay above. She was more than a
stone's throw away when Torin remembered something
"Hey!" He shouted with mild concern in his
voice. "What time!?"
Rolling smoothly onto her back mid-stroke,
Katrina glanced at him. "At sunset!" She yelled in
Torin leaned back on his hands and watched
Katrina as she made her way over to the canyon and began to scale
it in quick nimble jumps. Of all the girls Torin was lucky enough
to meet, he was positive that he had just met one of the
funniest, most outgoing, and attractive ones out
Torin waited until she had rolled over the
top of the ledge and counted silently to sixty in his head.
Knowing that she was probably long gone, he lifted his arms high
into the sky and yelled in triumph.
For the first time in his life, Torin had a date.