Manipulating the controls was second nature at this point, I was able to watch the video feed from the camera attached to the mini-helicopter while flying it around and over obstacles - just like when I was flying. Scouting with the helicopter before my fly-through was something I did ever since I got chased for miles by a group of crows protecting their territory.
You know what they officially call a group of crows? A 'murder'. A murder of crows. I totally understand why.
There were some cool trees about a quarter mile to the east that would make good video. Posting clips to YouTube had been bringing in enough money to survive - to buy food, blankets, clothes, improved gear so I could take things to the next level.
Maybe filming some shots for snowboarders, or dirt-bike riders or something. It's not like I can just walk into Burger King with these things and apply for a job. If I just keep working at it, maybe I can get an actual room somewhere instead of perching in construction projects that were abandoned when the economy tanked.
I thought of Mom again and looked away from the screen for a second to look at the clouds. Don't worry, Mom, I'll figure something out. I'll make something happen. You'll see.
Looking back to the screen, I continued my route and froze.
What the .. This can't be right. No, this can't be right.
Right on my screen were two girls about my age - one had blue wings, one had brown. I zoomed the camera for a better look and felt my face flush.
I'm not alone. Oh, please, god, let this be true. I'm not alone.
I watch in stillness and the girls appear to be arguing about something. Suddenly, the one with brown wings takes to the air, says something, and flies off leaving the one with blue wings glaring after her. She stays standing there, rubbing her eyes and looking a bit angry and confused.
Ok, don't screw this up. Hurry. This may be your only chance to find out what is going on.
I pull off the parka I use to hide my wings and stretch them to full length. Flexing my neck to both sides, I hear a satisfying popping sound as I limber up. Bouncing up and down to warm up my calves, I rub my eyes and my palm comes away wet. I realize my heart is pounding and take several deep breaths to calm down.
It's fine. No tears, don't be a wuss. You're not alone. You can do this, just play it cool.
After a quick sprint, I take to the air and re-trace the path my mini-helicopter took just a few minutes before. Landing about 50 yards away from the site I saw the two girls, I decide to just leave the helicopter hovering for a while, I can't waste any time. I walk toward the girl and can see her wings have some purple mixed into the blue - it's possibly the most beautiful thing I have seen in my life. Holding my hands passively in front of me I say, "Hey. Hi. I come in peace."
I come in peace? What kind of crap is that. Get your head in the game, idiot.
She looks at me and is obviously not happy, "Oh great. Just great. And who exactly are YOU?"
"I'm Brian, but my friends call me Ditto. Look, I didn't know ... you know ... that there were others. I just want to know what's going on. I can help, just let me help," I say but she just glares at me suspiciously.
I can feel the nerves start to poke through in my voice. "Really, I need to know, what's going on here?"
She snorts a laugh and says, "What's going on here, Brian, is I think I am losing it. You just missed another girl with wings. Evidently, today is the day we all come out of the woodwork."
"Yeah, I saw her," I turn and point to the mini-helicopter hovering in the sky, "I was scouting around before flying over." We stood there staring awkwardly at each other for a few moments. Finally she sighs and breaks the silence, "I'm Quinn. You got any food? I'm starving."
"Not on me, but I have some cash. We can go into town for a sandwich or something. Let me land my 'copter and we can head out." She shrugs and leans against a tree, staring into the direction the brown-winged girl left.
I look at the screen and try not to let my eyes tear up again.
You see, Mom? It will all be ok, I found others. They can be my family, you don't have to worry about me. I'll make something happen. You'll see.