Different Kinds

Once Isaac’s fiercely hot shield of flame had taken over seamlessly from her dark shield, Lisle was offered a little respite. She plopped down onto the ground, breathing heavily, and snuck a peek at him to see how he was managing. How could he handle his fire like that? It had been easy enough for her when the darkness had been a happily cooperative force, but forcing it to her will was a little bit harder. Being an Elemental...was going to be hard work. Again, she couldn’t believe that she was special here; she had been exceptional on Earth because she lacked a body, but that was irrelevant, because most people wouldn’t acknowledge her existence anyhow. Here, she was present and powerful. She had to admit that she kinda liked it.

Upon inspection, Isaac seemed capable. As opposed to her, he was holding his shield in place, and at the same time it didn’t look like it cost him too much effort. He was sweating, for sure, but so was she. Naturally, the perspiration was a result of heat and not exertion. Lisle wanted to rest as quickly as possible so she could lend some help to their defence once more. However, before she could rest she had to get something off her chest.

“Isaac, that was my sister out there,” she said timidly.

Isaac took a second to assign her statement some relevance relative to their current situation. At last he managed, “That was your sister? The little girl outside with the shadows?”

“Yes.” She was sure of it. “Alix is my enemy.”

“Are you saying she’s trying to kill you? Is she your sister or your double?”

“She’s both. Alix is my twin.”

Lisle’s deliberately odd phrasing confused him. Carefully, he said, “Did Alix exist before you came to this planet?”

All of a sudden, Lisle’s mood turned to irritation. “Of course. We were born together. That’s my definition of a twin.”

“If she’s really your sister, why is she trying to kill you?” Their conversation was circling back on itself, and that made Isaac somewhat irritated in turn. For the argument of simplicity, did Lisle really have to blow a sibling rivalry out of proportion, and turn it into a blood feud?

“I don’t know why she’s trying to kill me. She’s never tried anything like this before. Her behaviour just now was really not like her!”

Lisle brooded on the neutral malice that she had seen in her twin’s eyes. She had been all set to “settle matters” with Alix, as she’d called it earlier, but as a nine year-old all she’d been prepared to do was argue – words as her only weapon – and maybe rough around her look-alike a little. If they never got to see home a second time, she might not have regretted never seeing her sister either; Lisle was still that mad. But she would have limited herself to avoiding Alix studiously. Alix, on the other hand - if she had been thinking along the same lines as her, she had opted to start an attack on Lisle instead.

Any way you looked at it, it was strange for Alix to initiate a fight against her twin. Because Alix had never noticed when Lisle got mad at her, not once in nine years; Alix was always the conciliatory twin.

Isaac noted Lisle’s solemn silence and, plucking a stray thought from the air, he concluded, “If you know Alix as well as you say you do – as well as you should, being twins – well, then if you say Alix is not acting like herself...the only logical end is that she’s not herself. Someone else is controlling her, and I’d say the best candidate is the Darkness itself.” In response to her sudden glare, he qualified, “I don’t mean your darkness! There is another Darkness out there, trying to kill everyone – you and I included.”

Lisle hesitated. “I think I’ve felt part of that one. How do we stop it?”

“Good question. I’m still working on that.”

The End

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