Diana Lopez's eyes sparkled as she gazed at the stars.
"What are you thinking about?"
Her father's voice startled her.
They were standing in the frigid Antarctic cold outside the small research base they called home.
Father and daughter were wrapped up in cold weather gear.
"Mom." Diana answered.
Her mother had passed away two years earlier when Diana was eleven. She'd died of cancer.
"Come on. Let's go in....Your nose is turning blue." Gregorio Lopez wrapped his arm around her shoulder and they walked towards the door.
Diana laughed at her father's words, "No wonder I couldn't smell your bad joke coming!"
Yumi was asleep in her bed.
Her eyes sprang open.
Huh? She thought.
Yumi Reynolds sat up.
A ball of lightning hovered in the middle of her room, illuminating the books strewn on the floor and her fish tank bubbling in the corner.
It glided towards her so it was over her bed.
She reached out a hand to touch it.
Her fingertips slid in.
Everything you know is about to change....
Yumi screamed as she was plunged into absolute darkness.
On a computer screen, a white line traveled across a green background.
It wavered in the middle.
Greg's eyes grew wide.
It wavered again.
Greg shot out of his computer chair. His coffee cup smashed on the ground as the chair spun aimlessly around.
Gregorio Lopez rummaged through a bunch of papers.
One read at the top, "Aurora Phenomena."
Another was a line graph showing a crazy line traveling to the top right corner.
A few were yellow folders filled with even more papers.
"Dad? Are you okay? What fell?"
Greg gaped at the papers.
"Nothing, honey...." He croaked.
"I said, it was nothing!"
Diana stormed in, passing the broken coffee cup.
"What did you find this time? You only break things when you discover some big scientific... thing."
Greg looked over his shoulder, his eyes sparkling.
"I finally found it....What we've been waiting for..."
SOMEWHERE IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN.....
Stars streaked past her.
She wasn’t flying.
She was falling.
A blue-green shape loomed into view.
She flung her pale blue hands in front of her face as she sank into the clouds.
Where am I?
Her eyes opened.
Some things seemed normal, but others...not so much.
Her hair swirled around her.
Her chest was on fire...what was wrong?
An ancient instinct drove her upwards in the strange bluey-blackness around her.
A few bubbles escaped her lips as she swam upwards, slender lily white legs scissoring back and forth.
Her head broke the surface of the water, air rushed into her lungs as she gasped.
She looked up, shielding her eyes from the sun.
A helicopter was overhead, a rope ladder unfolding downwards.
It slapped the water and strange words boomed down from the helicopter...ones she didn't understand.
"I don't understand!" She telepathed....but they didn't seem to hear.
She clutched on to the rope ladder like a drowned rat and began to climb - with no idea how she knew how to climb it.....Aia was in a whole new world.
"Open your mouth and say ah."
The doctor said, a tongue depressor at the ready.
Yumi opened her mouth.
"Hmmmm......." He pressed the depressor on and rubbed his chin.
He took it out and turned to Yumi's adopted parents, Mr. and Mrs. Reynold.
"I'm sorry, but we've done all we can. We'd need....well, a sample of this....anomaly to know if it affected her and where. Plus, I'm afraid I can't go past basic procedures unless I find something unusual."
Mrs. Reynold began to sob, clinging to Mr. Reynold. He patted her back, comforting her.
Yumi looked from the doctor to her parents, confused.
“What’s going on?” She murmured.
Yumi had always been shy. She had always been picked on and belittled by both kids her age and adults who should know better. Being the only Japanese girl in town was tough. Being Yumi was tougher.
“It –” The doctor stammered for words.
“Don’t you dare lie to her!” Mr. Reynold growled, his knuckles turning white as he balled his hands into fists.
The doctor sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose, his eyes screwed shut.
“It’s going to kill you,”
Diana looked at the papers scattered across the desk. None of them seemed to really correlate to her.
“Now do you understand?” Greg asked, searching her bright brown eyes.
“Not really,” She folded her arms.