v Brothers, Twins
Not just his mom that he knew, but the one he didn’t. But how did that make sense? He knew that he was born in Gaelea but could it be that the mom he thought he knew from since he was born wasn’t his true mother? How would they have kept it a secret for so long? So many questions, so slight answers. Precariously, he trotted after Genesis as she led them into an open field. Cypher’s heart skipped a beat. He had glanced over his shoulder, and had seen a shadow quickly evade being seen. Cypher shook his head. It had to be his imagination… or was it?
Later, when the field was crammed with all sorts of inventions, Cypher followed along with Ceres, Jason and Phoebe. Even he was excited. Finally, his friends would be able to relate to him at the fullest! But he too was a little nervous.
“All right! Are you all ready?” Genesis asked.
“Yes we are… definitely!” Phoebe exclaimed happily.
“So, what I shall do with you is run a few tests to bring out your powers! I’ll also occasionally ask you how you feel,” proclaimed Genesis. “Don’t hesitate the slightest bit; just do what your instincts tell you to do.”
Phoebe went first. Genesis gave her a paper, to be more specific; a questionnaire. It had all these weird questions like ‘Can you often sense how people feel?’ and ‘Do you have a fiery temper?’ plus some weird question about the mall. Phoebe filled it out. Suddenly, an obstacle materialized out of thin air. It was a wall with pictures of animals all over it; a tiger, a gorilla, an eagle and a bear. Phoebe looked puzzled.
“What am I supposed to do with this?” Phoebe asked.
An unfamiliar, deep voice answered, “Touch the picture of the tiger. Then, think hard, focus only on the tiger. Block everything else out.”
Phoebe did as the voice said. She strutted over to the mural of the tiger. She then laid one hand on the tiger. An invisible force guided her other hand to her heart. Phoebe closed her eyes and focused, blocking every other thing around her into darkness. It was just her and the tiger; alone. She relaxed herself, and let the tiger’s aura flow into her own. And then… she changed. Her body slowly changed. Her arms and legs grew fur. Black stripes were sprouting all over her. She fell to her knees, and looked at her furry hands. They morphed into paws. The minute she took her focus off a picture of a tiger in her head, the voice came again.
“Don’t lose focus,” it said calmly.
Phoebe regained focus quickly. She felt her tailbone change into a…well, an actual tail! Her ears grew smaller and then she was done. She felt powerful. She could finally look up. Cypher, Ceres and Jason were awe struck. Their jaws dropped. Phoebe roared with pride. For a second she lost consciousness. All she wanted to do was run after prey. Then she realized that the tiger’s mind was crammed next to her own. She had to resist its instincts to chase. An expression of awe spread across Cypher’s face and stretched his lips into a crooked grin. She tried to smile back, but ended up growling instead.
“How’s this?” She asked. She realized she could still speak.
“Terrific,” Cypher said, still grinning.
Still overcoming the tiger’s own mind strength, she thought back to her own body. Tall, dark-skin, gray eyes. Her spine elongated and stretched upwards. Her bones broke and reformed in other parts of her body. The fur faded and she was back to normal. She walked back to the group, and awaited Genesis to speak. No one did. “You have stripes all over you,” said Jason, taking a large step back.
“Oh, sorry guys.”
She shut her eyes again. The stripes vanished quickly. She went and touched the other two pictures. She was about to turn into the bear, when she heard a faint sound coming from behind Cypher. Her eyes were transfixed on the figure behind Cypher. She instead began her change into the eagle. As she felt the last of the feathers meld together, the transformation was finished. Her eagle eyes scanned the figure behind Cypher. It was running towards them, a sword in its hand. Phoebe zipped toward the person, making Cypher splutter feathers out of his mouth. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!” he yelled angrily.
“Saving your butt!” she exclaimed in his mind. Her sharp talons raked the figure’s wide shoulders causing him to drop the sword. She squeezed her claws and took flight, still holding the boy.
“Ahhhhhhhh!” he yelled attempting to jump to ground. He flicked out his hands. A deep purple swirl of space opened in the air in front of Phoebe. It was like a vortex, with murky darkness waving inside of it. She let go of the boy quickly and tried to turn. Phoebe squawked in terror as the vortex drew closer, and her last breath nearer. She flailed her wings and struggled against the force but she couldn’t keep it up. The boy fell to the ground on his feet and quickly yelled, “Be gone!”
She was too late. Too late to do anything. Too late to know what would become of her friends. And then, it was done. Gone. She wasn’t there anymore. Cypher balled his fists and stared at the boy. “Where is she!” he yelled.
No answer ever reached the tip of the boy’s mouth before the question was repeated more angrily. “WHERE IS SHE!!!!?”
The boy’s lips curled into a smile at the sight of Cypher’s insolence. Cypher charged at the boy. The boy put his hand out, his palm facing Cypher. Cypher was about to plow right through his hand when he was knocked back by an invisible force. “Your impudence amuses me. Assuming I am weak is the wrong choice,” the boy said. “I am Murtaugh.”
The name sounded slightly familiar to Cypher. If this Murtaugh guy was going to fight with Magick, so would he. Blind to the fact that he could use Delphin, he charged. Without even thinking, Cypher yelled, “Encirclement of fire!”
Sparks appeared out of nowhere and scorched a circle around Murtaugh. Flames sprouted from the ground and danced and flickered around Murtaugh. They grew taller, and taller and taller. He was trapped in a cylinder of yellowish flames, helpless. “Aqua Protecto!” said Murtaugh, yelling.
A whitewash of dark water swirled around Murtaugh, putting out the fires. “Necromancy, rise!” exclaimed Murtaugh. Cracks split through the earth and slightly opened. Standing over it, Murtaugh let the blood from his shoulders trickle into the fissure. He pulled himself back quickly and fell to his knees. The Magick had taken a lot out of him. Shadows slid out of the hole that had opened in the ground. An ominous wind whistled through the air, as the clouds darkened threateningly. Skeletons of Wizards, baby dragons, Darke creatures and more sprawled out of the ground like grounded spawn and crawled toward Cypher.
“Cypher!” Jason yelled.
“Obliterate!” a voice yelled. It was Murtaugh’s. A bright wave of power surged from the center of its source—Murtaugh—and washed over the skeletal figures. They immediately crumpled to bones and melted into the shadows of the murky pit in the ground. It soon closed up. “Did you say…Cypher?” asked Murtaugh. “Cypher it’s me, Murtaugh! Remember?”
And finally Cypher understood the familiarity of the name. It had been heard by Cypher first 13 years ago; on the day he was born. Murtaugh. It was Murtaugh. His brother… his twin.