(ChaoticPeace and LYDIA)

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  1. Rhydian wrung his hands together as he pushed open the door of the library. He knew where she would be, yet was still relieved when he saw her sitting against the wall of the far corner of the library, away from everyone else, where she always was. Not that there were that many people to sit away from; high school lunchtime was generally filled with impromptu football games on the oval and fights. Not Rhydian's style.

    He was generally a confident person, but the confrontation ahead of him made him nervous. He walked as quietly as possible to the purple-haired girl as he rehearsed what he was going to say in his head. He hoped he wasn't wrong. If he was, then, well, he'd probably be locked up in a mental ward. Rhydian had debated whether he should actually approach the girl about his suspicions -- was it worth it?

    Yes, was the simple answer. He needed to know. He couldn't be the only one with strange abilities, and the prospect of possibly having found another person like him fueled Rhydian on.

    He sat right in front of her, folding his lanky frame into a cross-legged position that mirrored hers. She looked up from her book, and Rhydian noticed how beautiful she was for the first time. Rhydian took a deep breath and began to talk, the words flowing out from him all at once.

    "I know. I just know. How do you never get the questions wrong in class, even though I know you haven't been listening? How do you answer people's questions before they even finish asking them? It's like you can read minds, Loretta." Rhydian took another breath. He hadn't meant to say her name, because they had never spoken before, but Rhydian Loretta Stone's name from his extensive hours of Facebook-stalking. He was desperate for answers. "I can do things too. I can move objects with my mind, and I can bring things back from the dead." Rhydian was acutely aware of how crazy he sounded, but once he had started to talk, there was nothing that could stop the words from cascading from his mouth. "I've been able to do it since forever, and I thought I was the only one -- I'm a twin, and my sister can't even do it. I thought I was alone, then ... you. Please don't lie to me, I promise, I'm only here right now because I desperately need to know what's wrong with me. Please tell me."
  2. At first Loretta was confused. No one ever approached her. Be it the way she dressed or the unapproachable air she admitted she was unsure, but having a stranger walk up to her and sit across from her was enough to bring her attention from the homework she had been jotting down.

    Then she was shocked. Never, not even in her wildest dreams had Lorette ever thought she'd hear something like that. Her powers, to her, had always been a mystery. Her parents had brushed off the idea as childish horseplay in her younger years and never had she met anyone who shared her abilities; or had even heard of such things existing, for that matter. The longer the unfamiliar blonde spoke though, the more uncomfortable Loretta became. How did he know things things about her, really? And how did he know her name? They were in some of the same classes so she supposed it wasn't an impossibility, but... and his powers were strange to her. Bringing things back from the dead? She could control others, sure, but that seemed almost frighteningly extreme. Could he really have been telling the truth? But then again,

    "Look..." Unsure how to respond exactly Loretta shifted, using the excuse to let her leg brush against him. It was light contact but it was enough, pause letting her focus on collecting information. It came in pieces and such light contact wouldn't tell her everything she wanted to know in such a short time. But it would tell her something. His name was Rydian, he did have a sister. She was afraid to look deeper. Even the way he looked at her, blue eyes piercing and intense but earnest all the same, made Loretta want to believe him. But this all seemed so sudden, so strange.

    "I... prove it." Unsure how to handle all this information Loretta decided that she wanted to see it.

    "Move something with your mind. Anything." Letting her voice lower to a hush to avoid attracting onlookers or the nosey ears of the other students Loretta gave her challenge. If he really was like her as he claimed she wanted to see it. To know that she wasn't alone, that this wasn't some kind of elaborate, nonsensical cry. She didn't want to be mean, to reject those eyes, but her brain just couldn't accept it. She'd accepted long ago that she was alone, a freak. And suddenly this strange boy claimed that all those years she'd been wrong? It seemed almost too good to be true.
  3. When she said to prove it, Rhydian was relieved that she didn't call him crazy or prosecute him in any other way. He turned around and focused his gaze on a red book on the shelf behind him; Rhydian extended two fingers of his right hand and curled them inwards, like a person would beckon someone else with one. He felt a tug in his mind, and the book slid from the shelf and floated into his waiting hand.

    He turned back to Loretta and handed her the book. "There. Is that good enough?" he asked tentatively. He didn't want to sound rude, but Rhydian wanted her to to believe him and maybe even help him find out what was wrong with him.
  4. Loretta had learned horrible histories from objects at a touch, had controlled people into doing her will and yet she still sat amazed by this blonde's display. He wasn't lying. No matter how she rationalized it, he was telling the truth. He could do everything he claimed. It was impossible and yet there the book was. Tentatively taking it in her hands, lithe fingers running over the old, wrinkled paper of the cover Loretta looked on in silent amazement. He was impossible. And yet, so was she. But there they were.

    "I've been able to do it since I was a kid too." She spoke a little hesitantly, eyes darting away from him. The confession felt foreign in her mouth, sinful. She'd always been terrified to tell people about her powers. It had been enough to drive her parents apart, to drive her mother away and she'd always promised to keep her mouth shut. But he could do it too. So she wasn't crazy... or perhaps she'd just slipped deeper into insanity.

    "Not that exactly but I just... know things. I touch someone, something and I just know." She glanced at him as she explained her own abilities, waiting to see some sort of disbelief. Waiting to see the suspicion in his eyes, to be told she was crazy. But of course, he didn't. He was no less odd than she, after all.

    "And sometimes... sometimes I can, um, control people." She shifted as she related this ability, hand fiddling with a vibrant lock of hair nervously. She supposed that was no crazier than being able to bring things back from the dead but the thought of his reaction still made her nervous.

    "I don't know how or why, though. I just can." Finally she met his eyes, admitting that she wasn't going to be as hopeful as he had likely been hoping. He'd told he he needed to know what was wrong with him, and as much as his expression made her want to tell him, to speak something of consolation, she couldn't. She was in the exact same position as he.
  5. "I have no idea how I do it," Rhydian whispered. "I brought back a dead bird when I was nine ... I just looked at it and I wanted it to be alive again, and it did. It flew away, and I ran to my sister Jennifer, who said I was making it up ... "

    Rhydian shook his head and laughed weakly. "You have no idea how happy I am, to find someone else who can do things like this ... "

    Suddenly, he shot his hand out and nodded at it. "Take it. You'll see what it was like for me, to literally be able to reanimate dead things and have no one believe you. Was it the same for you?"
  6. Loretta couldn't help but smile a little when Rhydian did. How happy he was at simply finding out someone else could do the things he could, that he wasn't alone, was endearing - and his smile was pretty adorable. But she had to admit that she felt a swell of joy in her chest too. She wasn't alone. She wasn't crazy. Everyone else had been wrong, and Rhydian was proof.

    Blinking a few times as the teen before her shifted, blue-green eyes shifted to see a large hand extended towards her. After a quick glance up at it's owner, as if asking if it was really ok for her to delve into something so personal, Loretta raised a hand.

    "Kind of... I mean who's going to believe that a three year old can control other people on a whim. My 'stories' made my mom so mad she up and left." Loretta confessed with a bitter chuckle. It was unlike her to be so honest, so forthright, but there was something so oddly comfortable about Rhydian. The words had escaped her lips before she'd even really thought about them.

    After another moment Loretta slipped her hand into his, shoulders dropping as she focused on the task at hand. With a moment and a tug at her brain Loretta was in Rhydian's head. Eyes falling closed she continued to focus, looking for what he'd specified. It wasn't hard to find - it obviously bothered him quite a bit. Not that Loretta could blame him.

    More than seeing, Loretta could feel his pain. Anger, frustration, confusion, all wrapped in a thick blanket of sadness. It was almost suffocating. No one believed him. No humoring, no trusting his word. And for years it had been a wound that had festered, torn open just often enough to keep it from healing. When Loretta pulled away she struggled not to recoil, mouth forming a flat line as she tried to keep herself composed after being washed in such emotion.

    "That must have been really hard for you. I'm-- I'm sorry."
  7. "Don't be sorry. It must have been just as hard for you."

    Rhydian smiled softly again. He didn't remove his hand from hers, because the physical contact with another 'gifted' being was quite comforting. He caught her gaze, looking into her deep eyes, and saw all the bewilderment and sadness and loneliness he had felt all of his life, being subsided by joy and relief. It was like looking into a mirror.

    "Do you ever wonder how you can do it?" he murmured, finding himself subconsciously leaning in towards her. "It can't be genetics because my twin sister doesn't have it, either. Maybe there's something wrong in our minds. Maybe we messed up real bad in our past life and karma decides to do this." He smiled to make sure she knew he was joking.
  8. Though the touch of his hand was a little embarrassing, nearly sending Loretta into a fluster (especially when she noticed the glances and whispers of a few of the other students that dotted the library) she didn't pull away. She didn't even contemplate it. There was something about his touch, constant and somehow... warm. Warmer than others. They had never spoken, but it was almost as if she could feel the connection they shared through their skin. It was embarrassing and strange, to have her hand locked with a boy she'd just met, but it was comforting as well. It was right, somehow.

    Loretta was about to answer the posed question seriously, but the joke Rhydian made at the end made her crack a grin, opting to go along.

    "Hm, maybe. Do I look like I could have been a murderer?" She joked back, "Perhaps you started a drug trafficking ring." Shaking her head Loretta giggled a little. It was odd to joke about this, something she'd taken so seriously for so long.

    "Well, some crazy karma or not, it looks like we're partners in crime now." Loretta kept her grin, a gentle look sparking into her gaze. Now that she knew someone else had these crazy powers, maybe she'd let herself be crazy enough to think they could get to the bottom of them if they worked together.
  9. Rhydian nodded in agreement. "Partners in crime," he repeated, before smiling widely. "I like that."

    The bell rang, signalling the end of lunch. Rhydian sighed. "Ew. Class. Look, I'll meet you next to the flagpole after school, okay? There's something I should show you.


    Rhydian waited at the flagpole, stressing that Loretta wouldn't show. He needed her there. He needed to show her the thing he had found in the woods.
  10. Class had dragged by at an almost painfully slow pace, minutes seeming to crawl into hours that leisurely ticked by until finally, finally the bell rang, signaling that the day had ended. Though she had been waiting hours for this, watching the clock and just waiting until she could see what Rhydian could possibly have wanted to show her (and hoping that it would shed some light on their situation) Loretta found herself strangely hesitant to meet him. What if she was getting in over her head somehow? The discovery of someone else with similar abilities to her own was big and could prove life changing. Was she really ready for that?

    Sighing Loretta shouldered her bag, lagging in the halls as she headed to the flagpole. Ready or not she had agreed to meet him, and she wasn't about to ditch the poor boy. 'Besides, you're partners in crime, remember?' With the mocking thought Loretta reached the courtyard, speeding up when she saw that Rhydian was already waiting for her. She hoped he hadn't been there too long...

    "So what did you want to show me?"
  11. Rhydian sighed in relief and smiled when she joined him at the flagpole. "Would you be alright with coming into the woods with me? I swear, I'm not going to attack you or anything ... I need your help with this."

    Rhydian lead her into the woods behind the school. They walked in silence for about five minutes, with Rhydian holding back branches as Loretta passed and helping her over logs and boulders. Finally, they arrived at the site Rhydian had discovered a week previously.

    A dead fox lay at the base of an old, leafless, twisted white tree. Its red fur was stained with even redder blood. Flies were whirling around the corpse, and Rhydian lead Loretta right up to it. "I found it the other day, and I was going to necromance it back to life, but I found this." Rhydian reached behind the dead fox and pulled back a small, wooden pendant with an eye carved into it. "I didn't know what it was, but then, after you said today that you could hear things after touching objects ... I thought maybe you could see what it was about."

    While he extended the pendant to Loretta, he couldn't stop himself from helping the fox anymore. He stared at it and let his consciousness fix onto the fox, onto the aura it had once possessed inside its body. Rhydian willed it to jump to live, to breathe, to live again --

    -- and it did. The blood on its fur disappeared and the gaping hole in its flesh sealed itself back up. The fox drew a ragged breath and climbed slowly to its feet. It then walked to Rhydian and curled around his foot. "This happens all the time. The animals follow me for a bit after I reanimate them ... "
  12. "Comforting." Loretta's words were sarcastic as Rhydian assured her that he wasn't about to attack her. Simply hearing him say that, voicing an idea that hadn't even occurred to her, wasn't exactly convincing. However not once had Loretta gotten a creepy vibe from him, even in the two times she'd read him. Besides, even if he did try anything she could simply will him off of her. She wasn't sure how another power-wielder would react to having such a thing done to them, but she presumed it would be similar. Nevertheless Loretta followed her new friend back into the woods, nearly gasping as she saw the dead creature. Sympathy touched her features. The sight was gruesome and the scent of death hung in the air, making her scrunch her nose.

    "Poor thing..." She stared at the poor creature. Why had he brought her here? Was he to prove that he could regenerate other creatures? She certainly hoped that he would, as the longer she looked at the deceased creature the more her heart bleed for it.

    Moments later, true to her wishes, Rhydian did bring the creature back. Lo and behold, just as he had said, the fuzzy woodland critter slowly healed and began to draw breath again. Loretta had seem some amazing things in her time but this was... wow. She couldn't help but stare for a little while, parted lips slowly curving into a smile as she watched the creature curl up to it's new human friend. The sight was adorable and honestly a bit heart warming. It distracted Loretta so much in fact, that she nearly forgot all about the pendant until reminded again.

    "Ah, sorry!" Quickly taking hold of the strange object, Loretta felt a wash of familiarity rush over her as she took it. It was a strange feeling, as she was sure she'd never seen the object before in her life. After giving it a furrowed brow Loretta let herself concentrate, eyes falling closed as she tried to focus.

    Moments later her mind lit up, washes of colour and sound blurring into her head. A few moments later and she'd managed to focus them as far as they would allow her. She heard voices, muttering. It was unclear what was being said but the speaker was definitely a man. What she saw next was all a blurr. Flashes of light, a sensation of pain, and a face. It was unfamiliar to her, completely and utterly, but for some reason the semi-focused countenance of the strange man made an icy hand grip her heart and a gasp tear from her throat, brain suddenly on fire. In her shock and fear her hand opened, letting the pendant fall to the ground.

    "What... what was that?!" Panic stricken by the strange vision Loretta quickly backed herself up against a tree for support, breath turning to gasps as she tried to make sense of everything she had just seen. Why had that filled her with such a profound sense of fear and apprehension? Who was that man?
  13. "What was it?" asked Rhydian as Loretta backed into the tree. He walked toward her slowly and carefully, the fox sitting obediently where it was, and Rhydian gently placed his hands on her shoulders. He towered over her; Rhydian looked down into her eyes as he said, "What did you see?"

    The meaning of the pendant had been caving in Rhydian's head since he had found it. What could it mean? And why was it so specifically hidden under a dead fox in the woods, where Rhydian spent a lot of his time? He felt like the fox had been left precisely for Rhydian, and the pendant ... the pendant could have been left for Loretta to read and find the meaning of.
  14. Loretta looked up at Rhydian with a quaking expression, lips a tight line and skin several shades paler than it should have been. There was something terrifying about that pendant, and something important. The weight of it nearly drove her into a full blown panic.

    Seeing the intensity in Rhydian's eyes once more Loretta swallowed, realizing perhaps for the first time how much taller than her he truly was. Taking a moment to compose herself Loretta began trying to put what she saw into proper words. This was easier said than done however, as she was having a hard time collecting it all in her mind, let alone trying to express it verbally.

    "I-I don't know. It was just... there was a man, but he was so fuzzy." Her head was ringing, spinning; she hadn't felt this before. What was that pendant?

    "There were voices, a lot of white, bright lights. And a face. His face was so... I could hardly see it but it was so familiar. I have no idea who he was but..." Brow furrowing, eyes falling to stare into the middle distance Loretta tried to make sense of it all. It was so hazy, though, so strange...

    "Maybe this symbol means something." Crouching Loretta picked up the pendant again, hesitating before taking it into her hands, "Have you ever seen anything like it before?" Loretta was sure she hadn't but it washed that same familiarity over her again. It was all so strange...
  15. Rhydian took the pendant and stared a the symbol. "It's just an eye ... Illuminati, maybe?" he joked feebly, attempting to lighten the mood a little.

    Rhydian walked backwards until he reached the fox. He sat down beside it, and it crawled into his lap. He always felt a strong connection to the animals he resurrected, which only lasted until the animal got bored with him, but in his life of relative solitude he greatly appreciated the attention.
  16. "It has to be more than that. It's gotta mean something, I can feel it." Loretta shook her head, staring down at the carving as her hand brushed across it. What it was a symbol for she didn't know, but it put an itch in the back of her brain. It was one she couldn't quite scratch but she knew, she just knew that the answer was out there somewhere. It had to be. Maybe if she focused harder, thought about it more...

    "Do you think there could be anything on the internet about it? Maybe it's from an organization or something. Like a logo?" Glancing over Loretta found Rhydian sitting, fox now curled up peacefully in his lap. The sight made her smile despite herself. Her mind whirled and whizzed about more serious matters, but somehow such a strange but sweet sight was enough to distract her. A part of her wanted to reach out to the creature but she doubted it would be as friendly with her as it was with her companion. She hadn't been the one to bring it back to life, after all.
  17. "I tried to Google it," said Rhydian, stroking the sleeping fox's fur. "All that came up was the Illuminati symbol and the sign of the Deathy Hallows from Harry Potter. God, I love Harry Potter. I feel like Voldemort with this necromantic ability," he joked.

    An idea came into Rhydian's head. He frantically patted the ground beside her. "Try reading the fox, please," he requested.
  18. Loretta grinned a little at Rhydian's joke, but his underlying mood wasn't lost on her. He seemed a bit disappointed that she couldn't read the necklace better than she had, but she really couldn't blame him. She was too and she hadn't been waiting God knows how long to figure these things out.

    When Rhydian posed his idea Loretta's eyes lit up, but she quickly assumed a more hesitant expression.

    "Are you sure I can...?" Unsure how the fox would react to her touch Loretta stuck a hand out, letting it stiff her gingerly. Relying on a few reassurances from the creature's current seat Loretta slowly put her hand on the creature, smiling despite herself when she touched its vibrant fur. It was softer than she'd expected.

    A few seconds passed and Loretta slipped into memories she should not have possessed. There was a man's face again, that same man's face. It was clearer this time though. He was big, intimidatingly so. Brown hair, perhaps middle aged or a little younger. And he was terrifying.

    Forcing herself to keep focusing Loretta delved deeper into memory. There was an explosion of pain following a gunshot, and then wispy fading figures. Then the revving of an engine... a car! And that meant...

    "A licence plate." Gasping as if she'd just resurfaced after being held underwater Loretta's eyes shot open. She looked around frantically for a few moments, holding the imagine in her mind as she fished out one of her notebooks, writing the letters and numbers down with shaking hands. She usually didn't use her powers so much in one day and seldom saw anything so exciting.

    "I think... I think someone left this poor thing here on purpose..." Loretta knew that sounded crazy, but that was the only way to explain whatshe had seen. Had someone wanted them to find it? But why?
  19. "That's what I thought, too ... " whispered Rhydian. "The fox for me, and the pendant for you ... "

    Thoughts and ideas and conspiracies whirled around in Rhydian's head, each trying to fight to be the centre of his focus. He immediately felt exhausted at all this new information. He wanted to go home and sleep for a million years.

    "I don't think this was a coincidence," he whispered, afraid to break the silence of the woods. "We're not just freaks of nature -- someone must have done this to us and then let us grow, then left the fox and the pendant for us to find ... "
  20. "But why?" Rhydian's solution seemed possible, almost to be the only possibility, but it was still the craziest thing Loretta had heard all day, perhaps in all of her life. How on earth would someone just do this to them? She'd never heard of a genetic experiment like that outside of a comic book. On top of that, how would it be kept so secret? And why were they the only ones? It seemed it was a solution that left her with more questions.

    "Even if that is the case I'm not a damned detective. How are we supposed to find all of this out? And what if it's dangerous?"
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