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“What the- …Again?” I shouted into the darkness.
. Ever since we moved into this new house, power outages have been happening every other week. I sat idly in my bed, looking around in irritation. At this point, the outages weren’t really a surprise, but I definitely didn’t look forward to them. I stand up to walk over to my phone when something catches my foot. I stumble, attempt to catch myself, and instead fall face first. I looked up slowly and blinked into the darkness. Light, something people don’t really cherish until it’s gone. I mean, without it, navigating normally would be borderline impossible! But, I guess we won’t really have to worry about that for oh, I don’t know, a few billion years? You know, when the sun explodes. Picking myself from off the ground, I reach for my phone atop my dresser. I flicked on the flashlight app and shone it around the room… It was unbelievably dim, as if it wasn’t on at all. That’s what I get for buying a budget phone from a mall kiosk… I peered down to see what I tripped over but I couldn’t see anything.
That’s the annoying thing about the dark, it represents the unknown, the unidentifiable, and it represents 5:15 PM during the winter. Yeah I know, how pleasant. I fumble towards the door and exit into my upstairs hallway, and I make my way downstairs. My house was pretty warm at the time. Because I was already tired, the warmth was kind of putting me to sleep. I was looking around, trying to adjust my eyes, when my sister, Gwen, walked up behind me and grabbed my arm.
“Gah!” I exclaimed as I pulled my arm away from her. She just burst out laughing.
“Gotcha!” She snickered,
“No way… no way I let you startle me for the fourth time.” I groaned. “It’s so predictable and yet…”
“And yet, you still get scared every time, seriously, Jenny, no need to be so jumpy.” She replied, “... plus, it’s just as funny every time.”
I pouted in the dark. Peering around the room, I realize my eyes have finally adjusted. Can’t believe I keep letting her spook me like that.
“Whatever,” I mumble, “just help me find the fuse box.”
We walked to the kitchen slowly, because despite my adjusted eyes, I didn’t want to run into anything.
“I can’t believe the power went out again.” Gwen mentioned. “You know, I talked to some of my friends at school, and none of them had problems with their power. It’s like we’re the only ones in the neighborhood with iffy power.”
“Yeah, this house was probably cheaper than the others for a reason.” I mumbled.
My toe stubbed against the side of our island counter and I groaned as I fell to the ground.
“Whoa, are you okay?” Gwen asked.
“Yeah…” I whimpered through gritted teeth.
There was a slight pause and then she burst into laughter again.
“What? Seriously?” I croaked.
“You said you’re okay, so I’m allowed to laugh at you. It’s, like, rule 4 of being an older sibling.” she pointed out1.
“Bleh, dumb rule. Younger sibling rule 4 is far better.” I replied teasingly.
“Oh yeah? And what’s that?” she inquired.
“‘We inherit everything sooner or later’ I teased, holding up her supposedly lost lipstick
“Wh- You had it this whole time?!” she snapped, in shock
I rolled away and got to my feet. She snatched it out of my hand immediately. The moonlight began to peek from behind the clouds and shone through the windows, illuminating the house with dim blue light.
“I needed this, Ms. Prick…” she murmured. She stuck her tongue out at me.
I rolled my eyes and carefully maneuvered around the kitchen island and opened the cabinet which revealed a plastic container of fuses.
I grabbed an extra fuse from the container and walked in the direction of my garage. We were starting to run out of spares, I probably needed to ask Dad to order more.
My sister and I walk in and begin the search for the fuse box. Usually one of our parents would do it but since they left for a business trip, we had to do it ourselves. I was skimming my hand along the wall to find the fuse box when I saw something shuffle in the dark. First glance: I thought it was just my sister. Second glance: It was not. There was someone- no, someTHING in the garage. Calmly, but also kinda freaking-out-ly, I grabbed my sister by the wrist and pulled her behind my dad’s workbench.
“What are yo-,” she started but I quickly cut her off.
“There’s something in here…” I whispered
What am I doing!? There have been animals in the garage before, what's so different now? I slide out of hiding and take a nice look at what I’m up against. Kinda big, no ears on top of its head. It’s got a pretty long tail, curling in many different directions. Large teeth, definitely carnivorous. It had really effective camouflage for the dark, in fact, I can’t actually see any other distinguishable features on this thing. But, for only what seemed to be half a second, the lights flickered on, then went back to their usual pitch black. But that was all I needed. This… creature had dark, ripple-like spikes crawling down its back, a large white X on its jet black skin. But the thing that really lets me know something is up is that… well it had 3 eyes. Back to the hiding spot I go, I think to myself. My sister looks at me and even in the dark, I can tell she’s got a mildly annoyed look on her face.
“Well?” she whispered, “What is it?”
“I… I don’t know,” I reply nervously.
I could practically hear her roll her eyes.
“Jenny, if I look and there is just a spider dangling from a web somewhere, I’m gonna flip.”
She turned to see what I saw but it wasn’t there anymore.
She smacked her lips in annoyance, she probably thought I was scaring myself.
“Hand me the fuse, I’ll do it myself.” she said.
She stood up quickly and strolled over to the fusebox which actually wasn’t far.
“See? Nothing to wor-.”
Then, suddenly, the temperature dropped and something moved just a tad bit too fast for any human to see and Gwen was gone. The lights returned completely and I looked around quickly. Both the monster and Gwen had just vanished.
I gasped out of shock and then my brain couldn’t comprehend exactly what just happened.
Okay! Started freakin’ out there. The last time I checked, my sister can’t teleport, so I was a little concerned about her “simultaneous disappearing.” I checked around downstairs because honestly, a part of me knew that there was no possible way that she was just gone. I went upstairs (which, by the way, is much easier with light) and stepped up to her door. But instead of an actual door with a “Keep Out!” sign, it was a portal. Almost like a tear or rip in space itself.
“What the…” I whispered to myself.
It’s like everything just decided to not make any sense anymore. I eyed it carefully, and as I looked, I noticed that there was something on the other side of the rift. I leaned in a little closer, curiously examining the strange fracture in space, and all of a sudden, I felt a force pull me in. It startled me and I dropped my phone. It pulled me right through the rift, headfirst to the other side. My mouth opened to scream, but the sound came out fizzy and weak. A weight fell over my head. The sensation was hard to describe. It felt like I was being pulled through a tight tunnel of static. My skin rubbed up against the fabric of reality for a moment as it yanked me into the other side of the rift. The pulling stopped suddenly and I realized I was on the other side. As I turned, right before I could properly react, the tear just closed behind me, as if it was never there. I turn around to realize that I'm in a… small cave. It was extremely dark and cold, but there was natural light beaming in from cracks up above, which allowed me to see in the dim area.
“G-Gwen?” I stuttered.
I was completely shook up, but I did notice something useful- A way out. A threshold on my right that led to the outside world. I immediately ran out of the dark cave and the first thing I saw absolutely shocked me… grass.
Wait, no, that came out wrong.
I meant blue grass.
I looked at myself in the mirror and smiled. I had brushed my curly brown hair to more or less perfection, except for a stray bang, which swoops to the left all the time. My gray eyes shimmered in the Solight. Drops fell as I rubbed my face with water and shook my head. Honestly, I looked great. I rummaged through my cabinet and found my old compass watch, a half compass/half watch. My dad gave it to me when I went on my first adventure. I wrapped it around my wrist and grabbed my adventure bag and checked to make sure I had everything. I had tons of stuff packed already so-
“Zeke! You ready to go?!” my mom asks from downstairs.
“Coming!” I yell back.
I quickly put on my scarf (all the important guys wear scarves) and head downstairs to my mom.
“Do you have your toothbrush?” My mother asks.
“Yup! I even had time to-” I began.
“Your blanket? Your extra clothes? Did you pack your traveling dagger?”
“Yes, yes, and most definitely yes,” I assure her. “Trust me, I’ll be fine!”
“Okay, see you in a few forras. Love you, Zeke.”
“Love you too, bye, Mom.”
I shut the door and began to walk out onto the pathway headed towards the outer gate. I’ve never been to the Gaia district before. I couldn’t wait to see what it was like. However, something caught my eye… or I guess I should say, someone. Slowly, I felt the inquisitiveness spread from my eyes straight to my legs and I began to creep over into the field in front of me, where the figure was standing.
Has curiosity gotten the best of me? Yes.
Is this a bad idea? Absolutely.
Could this situation be easily avoided? Oh, most definitely.
I slowly approached the mysterious figure and peered closely. And identifying as much as I could with the bright Sol in my eyes, I concluded that the silhouette was a girl.
“Hey, you! Are you okay?!” I shouted at her. At first, she just awkwardly stared at me, then slowly, as if she hadn’t actually wanted to, approached me. After a longer than normal pause, she finally spoke up;
“Who’re you?” she asked
“I- I’m not important right now. The real question is, who are you, and why are you staring at that grass?”
“I’m... Jennifer Bell … and I don’t think this joke is funny,” she explains coldly.
“Joke?” I exclaim, “What joke?”
“Don’t play dumb, I know you Peterson boys love to pull stuff and this isn’t funny!”
“Uh, I’m not a ‘Peterson Boy.’ I say with air quotes. My name is Christopher Danterro”
“Look, I don’t care who you are, I just want to go back home, okay?”
I stare blankly at Jennifer, this very mysterious girl, and wonder what’s going through her head because mine is telling me that this doesn’t make any sense. Her eyes were jittery and unnerved. I wasn’t sure what was wrong, but I could just take her home and forget about it.
“Fine,” I say, “Where do you live?”
“Tch- I’m not telling you where I live!”
I blink twice. “What?”
“I’m not telling you where I live-”
“How do you expect me to take you home if you won’t tell me where to go?” I say, “Look… What’s your district code?”
“My what?” She asks. Although I can’t see her face, I can tell by the tone of her voice that she’s getting a bit annoyed with me, even though I’m trying to be reasonable. Jennifer sighs heavily,
“Where am I?” she asks.
“This is the Priemery District.” I answered, “and that’s Viridian Cove, right other there.”
“... Priemery District?! Viridian Cove?!” She throws her hand up in frustration and puts her face in her hands.
“Well…” I say, trying not to make her too upset, “What’s your Affinity? Most districts are based off of-?”
“Affinity!?” She replies, “Ugh… listen, you’re not making any sense!”
Well, surely she has amnesia or something, because even I’m not that oblivious. Although… She did remember her name pretty clearly. Weird.
“Okay, obviously you’re a little lost. I probably can’t help you, but my mom can,” I say to her calmly. She hesitates and then follows slowly behind me
I reopen the door to my mom’s house and take a step inside.
“Hey, Mom,” I say.
My mom turns around to see me standing in the doorway with Jennifer. A bit confused, she tried to piece something together.
“Have you… already made a new friend?” She asks curiously
“Um, you could say that...” I replied.
Jennifer steps into the house and I can finally see her clearly. Jennifer has short, brown and yellow hair with curls at the ends. A pair of round, black glasses and electric blue eyes. She’s got these, like, dots on her cheeks (I don’t have a clue what those are) and she’s wearing… pajamas?!
“Wh- whoa wait, why are you wearing pajamas?!” I ask
“It’s not like I had time to change…,” she murmured.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“It's… a long story.” She answers.
‘Well, you can tell us about it later,” My mom chimes in, “in the meantime, why are you lot here?”
“I don’t think she knows what her Affinity is…” I answer.
My mom examined her carefully.
“Zeke, she doesn’t know what it is because she probably doesn’t have one.” my mom tells me
I gasp quickly.
“You’re not from around here are you?” I ask
“Honey, which district are you from,” my mother says calmly
Jennifer steps away from my mom and looks at both of us.
“Uh, yeah, I think I’m gonna go?” She asks nervously
“What do you mean?” my mom answers. “Have you remembered where you live?”
Jennifer takes a step back.
Oh, man! She probably thinks we're crazy. Which is totally reasonable. She takes another step back and reaches for the door.
“Wait!” I shouted.
But no, she just left. There was a bit of a pause before I realized I had to run out after her.
“Get away from me, weirdo!” Jennifer yelled
“I swear, we’re not crazy!” I yell back
She kept running, faster even. We were beyond the limits of the district, into the Novias Woods. The Novias Woods is not safe at all. After all, you need to be at least a rank 5 Affinity user to travel here safely. And… I’m rank 2. Jennifer got a really good head start when she burst out the door so I can’t catch up. But I remember that I have something that she doesn’t… Psyix.
“Hey, Jennifer! Watch this!” I shouted
Although she didn’t slow down, she did turn her head slightly, just enough to glance at me. I closed my eyes and focused all of my being into becoming energy.
Starting with my hand, my body began to transform into pure light and I launched forward at what felt like lightspeed, sending me up and over Jennifer. I flicked and spasmed in the air. Surprisingly enough, this move is actually harder to use during the day because the light that forms around me wants to dissipate and split apart to reach the dark. She finally stopped running and watched me in shock as I flew through the air. The light around me flickered and faded, slowing me down tremendously. I tumbled to the ground in front of Jennifer. Landing into a roll, I quickly got up and turned toward her.
“See?!” I said, recovering from the rush of the moment.
She just stood there, watching me, for about 10 seconds and the only thing that came out was,
“Wh- wha..?” her voice faltered as she squinted at me and covered her face.
“I- what? What just-? I just-...” she stammered
Jennifer shut her eyes and silently stood there for a bit. All I could do was watch. She opened one eye slowly and all she saw was me. More silence; this was getting really weird. She just gazed at me for what seemed like forever. And then, she gracefully fell on her back, in the middle of a tree-less grass patch in the woods, and just looked up at the bright blue sky. I crept up to her and slowly sat down in front of her.
“Are you okay?” I ask.
“No! No, I’m not okay!” She yelled, “I’m in the middle of who-knows-where with a bunch of magic-using crazy people!”
I waited for a second, trying to think of the best possible response, but at the moment, there really wasn’t one, was there? So I didn’t say anything. I just laid back and looked at the sky with her. The moment was frozen in time... the silence was almost a bit calming. But then, just as the situation was beginning to get a little more mellow, an Ecraz showed up. Ecrazes are really annoying. Large, bulky, gray monsters with long arms and a nasty underbite. But they are as dangerous as they are annoying, and like I said, they’re really annoying.
“Hey, you! You looking for the daycare?” he chastised in a very grainy, very raspy voice.
Kind of like if sandpaper could sing soprano. He’s obviously making fun of my age. I'm only 13 and most of the people who come into the Novias Woods are in their late 20’s, early 30’s. Or they’re just stupid… which, I guess is the category I fall in. I stand up and turn toward the Ecraz. This whole time, Jennifer hasn’t said a word, completely distraught. I glance up at the Ecraz and try to stay calm in this life or death (mostly death) situation.
“Heh, heh, uh, no… we just got a little turned around… but, we’ll be heading back now…” I explained nervously.
He peered at us and began to snicker, then he kinda chortled a little, then he chuckled, then he broke out into a full-on laugh.
“Bwah, ha ha ha!” he bellowed, “Sorry kid, but didn’t your mommy ever tell you that you can’t come into the Novias Woods? Avaryxian adventurers such as yourself aren’t exactly welcome in these parts. But,” he smiled, or whatever it was, I can’t tell because of that underbite, “I was gettin’ kind of hungry anyway.”
“What!?” Jennifer shouted
“Uh, you wouldn’t happen to have a weapon on you, would yo-,” I was just asking a very simple question but the Ecraz had already smacked me about 20 meters away. I landed on my back and tumbled a bit. Looking up, I see this Ecraz here was almost to Jennifer, and there wasn’t much I could do. Except for one thing.
I aimed my hand towards the Ecraz. He looked towards me, only to be met with a blast of wind that knocked him into the air. Gale Burst, my go-to Psyix movie. Jennifer ran over to me before he could recover and asked,
“What is that!?” she yelped
“I’ll explain later” I answer, “if we survive this...”
“What did you just say?” She asked
“Nothing, nothing” I replied back with a small smirk.
The Ecraz had finally gotten up and he was ready to kill us. I pull out my dagger from my backpack. (Y’know, maybe that’s why I never caught up with Jennifer, I never took off my traveling backpack.) I raised my dagger towards my large opponent. Feeling a random burst of confidence, I shout,
“Hit me with your best shot!”
He growled and charged me. Jennifer stood up quickly. Flight or fight kicked in, I guess. He was running towards us, ready to strike, but I remained surprisingly calm. Maybe it’s the adrenaline or what not but, I’m feeling very heroic. Just as he was about to smash us into the ground we both quickly dodged out of the way.
“Okay, adequate attempt… let’s try with more vigor this time, no?” I said jokingly.
I looked back at Jennifer. She stood back, her eyes wide. I turned back and held my hands out in front of me. The Ecraz growled before turning to charge again. But, I decided I wasn’t going to let it.
I jumped forward and spun on my heels, building wind around me, it became a whirlwind and I let the momentum build into a moderate twister.
The cyclone appeared in front of me and it sucked the Ecraz into its clutch.
“Stand back!” I yell over to Jennifer and she steps back. I gesture my dagger in a sharp forward direction, which causes the whirlwind to grow. It got bigger and bigger until we couldn’t see the Ecraz anymore and then it flung it deep into the woods.
Jennifer and I exchanged glances and I gave her a thumbs up. She looked at me slowly and held herself.
“What… is this place?” she whimpered. I looked back at her.
“Hey!” I called out.
She looked up at me, her eyes were shaky, but she was focused.
“I can help you, okay? I need you to trust me though. You seem pretty lost.” I explained.
Her eyes darted hesitantly, trying to decide if I was trustworthy.
She took a deep breath and began nodding slowly. I walked past her, in the direction of the town and gestured to her to follow, which she did. However, she kept her distance and walked slowly. Luckily, we managed to avoid running into any other life threatening creatures.
I opened the door of my mom’s house once more and stepped inside once again. My mother saw us and walked over.
“So, did you work everything out?” She asked.
“Not exactly.” I admitted.
She crept inside and sat down at the table. I sat beside her and watched her calmly.
“So… first question,” Jennifer started, “Where am I? And give as much detail as possible.”
I paused and thought about it for a bit.
“Well, the name of our planet is Avaryx. We’re in the Northwest Region, this district is the Priemery district, which you already know, and we are in district code 2553.” I answered as best as I could. Jennifer thought deeply about what I told her and asked the next question.
“So… this isn’t Earth?” she asked quietly.
“Is that where you’re from?” I ask
“Yeah.” She answered.
“Well… No, this isn’t Aerth.” I say,
“Earth.” She said sharply
“That’s what I said.” I replied in confusion.
There was a long silence as Jennifer took in the information. I guess she had to realize that she wasn’t familiar with the things around her anymore. She murmured a few things to herself, and I only heard bits and pieces.
“Avaryx?... planet with life… impossible… What happened to Gwen?... This is insane…” she whispered
After a very long silence, I decided that I could probably ask my question now.
“Okay, my turn… How did you get here- if you remember.” I ask
“Oh, I remember alright,” she says. “So, the power had gone out in my house and I was gonna see what the problem was. That’s when my sister, Gwen, decided to startle me. She was just joking around, but I honestly didn’t enjoy the joke. Anyway, we both made it downstairs and I grabbed a fuse for the fuse box-”
“What’s a fuse bo-” I questioned
“Lemme finish first, So we walk into the garage-” she started
“What’s a gara-” I asked.
“Dude. Save your questions for the end.” She says, “I walked into the garage and while we were looking for the fuse box, I noticed something in the dark. I grabbed my sister and hid behind my dad's work bench. I decided to take a look at what was there and it was some sort of strange creature. I tried to tell my sister, Gwen, about it, but when she looked, it had already gone. So, she got up with the fuse and walked over to the fuse box, but before she could do anything else, something moved really fast and she disappeared. I was looking all over the house for her when I finally found her door, which was now a portal and I walked through. Then all of a sudden, I’m in a cave. I walked out, and that’s when I met you.”
I looked at her and she looked at me.
“I know it’s a lot.” she said.
“... What’s a fuse box?” I ask again.
“Is that seriously the only part of the story you were worried about?” She asks.
“No! Of course not,” I say, “I also want to know what a garage is.”
She blinked twice and glared at me.
“Sorry, just trying to lighten the mood…” I say “So, what did the creature look like?”
“Alright, it didn’t have ears, it had black skin, and a big white x on it’s back. Also, some purple spines and like, 3 eyes. I know that doesn’t sound believable but I swear that’s what it looked like.”
This time, I blinked twice and looked at her.
“There was a Null in your house?!” I ask, worriedly. “Um, okay don’t freak out but your sister could be in trouble.”
“What?” Jennifer exclaims. “What’s a Null?!”
“Oh y’know, nothing crazy, just one of the most dangerous creatures in Avaryx…”
Jennifer stared right into my soul.
“Are you telling me that my sister is possibly with the most dangerous creature on this planet? Even more dangerous than that thing we fought earlier?”
“What thing?” my mom chimed in.
Wow, I totally forgot she was standing, like, four feet away.
“You two got into a fight? With who?”
I look at my mother and think of how to sugar coat this correctly. Fighting an Ecraz is a pretty big deal and… yeah forget it, she’s not gonna take this well.
“Oh you know, wefoughtanecraz...” I mumbled quickly
“What was that?” she pressed
“We fought an Ecraz.” I said again, more clearly. The look on her face was just… wow, like whatever you’re imagining right now, it was probably 10 times worse.
“You what!” She exclaimed. Jennifer leaned over and whispered in my ear,
“Are we not supposed to fight Ecrazies or something?”
“Technically, Ecrazes are considered a life threat to rank 5 Psyix users, I’m rank 2, and you don’t use any Psyix so…” I whisper back
“Do you two have any idea how dangerous that was!” she shouted.
My mother was livid, there was steam coming out of her ears. No, seriously! Actual steam! (That happens when Aqua Psyix users get mad) I was genuinely concerned for my safety.
“Okay! Yes! But we beat him! And look, not a scratch.” I reassure her
She glared at me so hard, I had to check my pulse to make sure she didn’t kill me with her eyes. But, she eventually just sighed and placed her hands on her hips.
“Well, at least you two are alright…” she mumbled.
Jennifer tilted her head a bit.
“Was that actual steam?” she whispered. Then, she shook her head.
“Wait! What about my sister?”
“Oh, she… she’ll be fine.” My mom says slowly.
I looked up at her, she looked back at me and nodded slowly. I looked back at Jennifer. I punched my fist to my palm and said,
“We better get looking then!”
Jennifer nodded and smiled then it disappeared as she looked down.
“Uhh…” she said, gesturing towards her pajamas. My mom handed me some Quartz
“Go buy her some adventuring gear.” she suggested. I nodded and we headed out the door. Before I did though, my mom stopped me.
“Zeke… I need you to promise me something.” she started quietly.
I gave her a questioning look. She put her hand on my cheek.
“Promise me you’ll be careful. If you can, avoid the Null at all costs. This girl needs her sister back, but there’s a reason a lot of people don’t come back from a Null abduction.”
I smiled and placed my hand on hers.
“I promise.” I said.
She took a deep breath and stepped back. I reached for the door.
“Zeke?” she spoke out to me.
“I love you.”
“Love you too, mom.”
And I stepped out of the door.
Our house was about one thousa from Vix’s shop. So we could walk. We headed out the door and started on the path to the clothing shop, monsters not included.
As we walked, Jennifer kept looking around. Her eyes danced with thought.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“Hm? Oh, yeah… I guess this stuff is all pretty new to me. It’s… it’s just a lot. All I gotta do is buy adventurers gear so I can go find my lost sister and retrieve her from what might be the most dangerous creature on the planet I’ve never been to, no pressure, and then I gotta make sure I don’t die before I do. Because based on what I’ve seen, Avaryx is nothing but volatile and-” she stopped herself and sighed, holding herself again.
“...I’ll be fine. I’m gonna be okay.” she reassured herself.
We walked quietly for a while. Almost the whole way, Jennifer’s eyes glanced around at me and the sky and the grass and everything else around us. I wondered what rapid thoughts she was having, because it was obvious she was having them.
Then, she glanced at me.
“How did you do all that magic earlier?” she asked curiously
“Mah...jick?” I replied. I’ve never heard of ma-jick, but it sounds interesting.
“Yeah, when you turned into light and you made that wind come out of your hands.” She made a faint pushing gesture, similar to the one I made earlier
“Oh, you mean Psyix?” I made a tiny, cutesy spiral of wind in my hand.
“Yeah, that.” She confirmed. I let the mini-twister fade and looked up, trying to think of a way to explain it.
“Well, I don’t completely understand it all myself, I mean, I’m only rank 2,” I began, “but, the best way to explain it is, there are 8 Affinities, Pyro, Aqua, Gaia, Gale, Shade, Shock, Vital, and Astral. Affinities are the different types of Psyix that a person can use. For example, I have the… Gale affinity, which is why I use air and wind type Psyix-”
“Like Pokemon!” Jennifer blurted.
“What? What’s that?” I asked
“Oh well-, you know what, nevermind. Please, continue.”
“Well, Affinities are chosen based on Heartstone reactions, and they stay like that for viennas”
“Viennas?” She interrupted.
“Yeah, you know, like 324 days?
She just looked at me.
“This planet is sooo weird.” She groaned.
“I- wha- says the girl with weird dots on her face!” I remarked. It was a brash reaction but I guess I took more pride in my planet than I thought.
She put her hands over her cheeks and blushed.
“Don’t make fun of my freckles!” She grumbled
“Freckles? That’s the weirdest word I’ve ever pronounced,” I murmured. We both continued to walk. I looked away from her and silently watched the tall, wide Cicette trees. The pinkish- white Cicette flowers were blooming and their petals floated in the wind. The blue grass shimmered with light as the clouds let Solight through. I like my planet, maybe it is weird, but I like it. I turned back to see Jennifer looking at me. She quickly turned her head away. She scratched her head and sighed.
“I’m sorry I called your planet weird,” she began, “It actually seems like a really cool place.”
“No, I get it, it’s probably super strange for you, you are on a different planet after all… Sorry I called your dots weird.” I said.
She just turned away.
We continued to walk, the wind guided my scarf through the air behind me and it made me feel tranquil. I looked back at Jennifer and she was looking up. There was definitely something going through her head. Then, suddenly, her eyes lit up and she gasped.
“Oh, so you guys’ days are longer than the ones on Earth?” she asked.
“It’s shorter on Aerth?” I asked.
“Earth,” She said once more, “But, yes! Rennas must be hours, and viennas are years!”
“I’m not entirely sure what that means but if you get it then, great!” I replied.
“Wait, what about weeks and months?” She asked. Before I could ask what that meant, I realized that we were at the clothing shop.
“Hey, we’re here.” I announced, pointing up at the shop.
We stopped to look at the clothing shop. It was tall, the walls blocked the Solight coming in from the other side. The walls were made entirely from brick, the shop had supposedly been here for hundreds of viennas but the bricks never looked worn down, looking brand-new even. The roof was made from Sturdy Cicette wood, so that would explain why it looked so solid. It was a pretty mighty looking building, even though it’s just a clothing shop. But, it’s not just any clothing shop. This is Vix’s Clothing Shop. It’s where I got my adventuring clothes, white, loose leggings, with a grayish-blue long-sleeve shirt with a white hood. Silver coated chestplate armor with the Gale symbol. Whitemetal elbow-pads and knee pads, and a pair of leather gloves with silver knuckle-guards (I even got “Wind Power!” engraved on them). I think Jennifer is gonna love picking stuff out. We walked in, and Jennifer glanced around at everything. The shop has a very wooden and homey feel on the inside, very warm and friendly. Not to mention it’s full of neat clothing options. Fabrics, shirts, leggings, chest plates, boots, hats, hoods, gloves, scarves, all types of things.
“So,” Jennifer began, “I can get anything in here?”
“Yep! Y’know, as long as it’s within budget,” I replied, showing off the Quartz.
“Thank you.” she breathed softly, and walked away to browse, and I walked over to the store owner, Vix.
“Hey Zeke! You having any problems with those gloves?” He asked
“Well, they are starting to rust a bit, but that’s not why I’m here.” I replied. He raised his eyebrow in curiosity. Vix was a tall guy, at least 6’2. He was skinny but not scrawny, and he had warm, brown eyes which matched his dark brown skin. His hair was curly and black, with a strand of blue hair jutting from his bangs. A very friendly smile, paired with a very respectable, gentleman’s mustache. He wears goggles sometimes, but he didn’t have them at the moment. He was an inventor, an honorary member of the Tinkerer’s Union, but his inventions often went unfinished, so he kind of stopped working on them and started a clothing shop instead. However, he still maintains his status in his Tinkerer’s Union. I always wondered if he’d ever get back to inventing. He’s really handy.
“I’m getting ready to go on an adventure with a new acquaintance.”
“The girl you walked in with? …Is she your girlfriend?” He asked teasingly.
“I- I knew you were going to ask that! I saw it coming from a thousa away.” I griped.
He laughed, “Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.”
Vix is usually a pretty mature guy, but he always finds a way to tease me.
“Well, who is she then?” He asked. I looked around quickly to make sure no one was listening, then turned back to Vix.
“She’s from Aerth.” I told him
“Aerth?” He repeated. “Which district is that?”
“No... she’s from another planet.” I whispered. I was expecting him to gasp or his eyes to go wide or like, some form of shock. But instead, he just put his hand over his face. He sighed heavily,
“Zeke, you mean Earth?” he asked
“She did keep saying that.” I replied.
I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to see Jennifer in her new clothes. She had a red short-sleeved shirt with a Blacksteel chestplate. She had Blacksteel wrist gauntlets and white cotton gloves (no custom knuckle-guards though, ha ha). Her boots were steel-toed with black and silver linings. She was wearing dark blue pants with lighter blue trimmings. She has Whitemetal pads like me. She spun around.
“How do I look?” She asked.
“You look great, perfect fit for your first time picking out adventuring clothes.” I answered.
She grinned. She handed me her pajamas, readjusted her glasses, tightened her gloves, and tied her bootlaces. She looked up to see Vix, standing there.
“Uhh… hi,” she greeted. Vix cleared his throat,
“Hey there, what adventure are you traveling with Zeke for?” he asked
“I’m going...,” she paused while picking out a hood, “to find my sister.” She settled on a yellow one.
“Your sister… What does she look like? I’ve had a lot of customers, maybe she was here.”
“Well firstly- she’s got long blonde hair-” she started. Vix and I collectively gave her a confused look. She rolled her eyes.
“Her hair is yellow looking,” she clarified. We both nodded in understanding. She continued, “her eyes are blueish-green, she doesn’t wear glasses like I do, she’s average height, like 5’7. She wears lipstick a lot, even though she’s not supposed to.
“Lipstick?” I ask
“Her lips are different colors sometimes,” she replied nonchalantly.
Right, and my planet is weird.
“Um, I’m pretty sure she was wearing a blue shirt when I last saw her, but I can’t remember
clearly,” She continued, “That’s all I can remember…”.
Vix shuffled behind the counter, reached down, and grabbed a flippad. He handed it to Jennifer. He clarified what it was for too.
“You can write down her features as you go along. Besides, nothing wrong with making a note or two.” She looked at the notepad and back at Vix. She adjusted her glasses again and
grabbed the notebook.
“Thanks,” she said. Vix looked at me, his eyes widened, and then he turned back at Jennifer. He
“So I hear you’re from another planet.” She looked at me and then back at Vix.
“Yeah… I’m from Earth,” she clarified.
“Right..., we Avaryxians have some history with Earth.” He replied.
“We do?” I piped up.
This was certainly news to me. Vix turned to me.
“Of course, you ever wonder why Jennifer here speaks a very similar language to ours, and why
she looks the same, and how she got here in the first place?” He asked. I blinked twice and shrugged.
“I don’t know,” I admitted while looking at Jennifer, “I thought it was just a coincidence.”
“No,” Vix replied, “coincidences like that don’t happen. Avaryxians were evolved from the people of Earth. Many viennas ago, the first Null was born. As we know, Null’s need the energy of people with strong Affinities to stay alive and evolve. So, that Null needed to find energy, but there were no Avaryxians to take that energy from. Because of this, the Null had to go somewhere else, and using rifts, that somewhere else was Earth. It took one person from Earth, and began to take their energy. But eventually, that person escaped. The Null went back and got another person from Earth. They too, escaped. Those two people were Leonardo and Sabrina, and they were the creators of the Avaryx we know today.”
“So, Avaryxians are just magical humans?” Jennifer asked.
“Magical?” Vix asked in return.
“Uh, like, Avaryxians are just humans who can use Psyix, right?” She clarified.
“For the most part, yes,” Vix answered, “but, we are not like how those humans used to be. Different Avaryxians, especially from different regions and districts tend to have different, eh, attributes,” he said.
He flipped his bangs up to reveal a small pair of horns. I knew about the whole “different Avaryxians have different features” thing, but I didn’t know Vix had horns. I wonder what he uses them for. Or maybe they're just decoration. Kind of like my attribute. I actually have wings, they just don’t… work. They’re so small and weak, they can’t even get me off the ground. I’m not the only one though, there are a bunch of Avaryxians in the Gale District with wings. That was actually my original journey, to get to the Gale District, I mean. If I could get there, maybe I can figure out how to grow them. But, until then, I keep them tucked away in my shirt.
“Wait,” Jennifer started , “so, humans can have Affinities too?”
“Oh yes,” Vix answered, “most creatures do. Null’s and some monsters are exceptions.” Jennifer looked down at her hands
“So… can we do Psyix?”
“I’ve never seen or heard of a human using modern day Psyix. Maybe you’ll be the first.” he said.
“Well, if you’re gonna try Psyix, you gotta find out what your Affinity is.” I told her
“How do I do that?” Jennifer asked
“Each district has an Affinity Identification Device in Midtown.”
Jennifer looked to the side for a second and then looked back at me.
“An A.I.D?” Jennifer asked
“Yep.” I answered.
“Well,” Vix added, “you two better head back to the Priemery District, so you can see what it is.”
“Right,” I replied, “Well, it was nice seeing you again, Vix.”
“You too, kid,” he said back. Jennifer waved her hand around and walked out. I smiled and waved and Vix waved back gently.
We got back on the path to the Priemery District which wouldn’t take us too long. Jennifer was watching the path when she began to ask,
“Hey, why did that guy- Vix, that’s what you called him, why did he call you ‘Zeke,’ and your mom too? I thought you said your name was Christopher...”
“Well, it is, but people I’m close to call me Zeke.” I answer. She was quiet for a few seconds.
“Can I call you Zeke?” she pressed. I stopped walking and she shook her head.
“Unless that’s awkward or someth-”
“Only if I can call you ‘Jenny’.” I negotiated, while smiling. She stopped, thought about it, and kept walking.
“Fine,” she said.
We continued for a while before she said something else.
“Hey, Zeke, how did you use that Starlight Speed Psyix move? That sounds like an Astral thing.” She asked
“Well, Jenny, it is,” I reply, “I do have a Gale Affinity, but back when I was a kid, before I learned my Affinity, my dad taught me Starlight Dash. I was never the greatest at it, but I can kind of do it.”
“Your dad? I didn’t see anyone else at your house,” she muttered
“Yeah…-” I started.
“Oh my gosh! Is he dead?! I’m so sorry!” She shouted, placing her hands over her mouth.
“What? No. Why would you assume he’s dead? He’s an adventurer too, he just went out on a journey,” I answered quickly.
“Oh. Sorry, it’s just most of the time-,” She started to say something but she quickly stopped.
We walked some more, Jenny was looking up at the sky.
“Hey,” she began, “How come your grass is blue?”
“Yours isn't?” I asked
“It’s green on my planet.” She explained
“Oh... well, I don’t know, I’m an adventurer, not a biologist,” I confessed. “Okay, enough questions from you, now I get to ask a few.”
“That’s fair,” she mumbled.
“So… What is a fuse box?” I asked
“You have got to be kidding me,” she said in a dreary tone
“Nope, that’s my question.” I replied. She giggled and sighed.
“A fuse box is a small metal box full of a bunch of… switches I guess, called fuses and the switch controls the power or energy in our house,” she explained, “Sometimes, the fuse burns out and the power synced to that switch shuts off, and you have to get another one,” she explained.
“What about-” I began.
“A garage is a room that holds vehicles, and there is a big door that opens and closes whenever you want to move a vehicle in and out. People use them for other stuff too.”
She explained before I could finish. I laughed.
“Okay, okay, serious question,” I began, “So, humans have never used Psyix?”
“Well,” she answered, “not that I’ve seen, of course, but I think the whole idea of magic might be based on it. I mean, there’s no way people came up with all those fantasy stories and had nothing to base it on, right? Maybe that’s why there are so many concepts of people who actively use magic on Earth.”
“That’s interesting, actually, because not every Avaryxian can use Psyix straight out of their own bodies like I do, and they compensate by using Sorcery Psyix, which requires books. Maybe humans can do the same thing.” I said
Her eyes lit up like a solar flare.
“So, you think that humans might be able to use Psyix too?” She asked excitedly.
“Maybe.” I told her.