They say nothing's wrong. Over and over again. "Alarik, there's nothing wrong."
For one, I know for a fact that they're lying. The Councillors kill anyone who disobeys them, and sometimes just for sport. Fintan, Gisela, Ruy, Alvar, Gethen, Trix, Vespera, Alina, Noland, Ramira, Zarina, Velia. It scares me. Sometimes I think they'll just find me and kill me, but my parents have to constantly reassure me. Hence the common phrase.
But it's not the only reason they have to say that so much. They're sad. Sometimes I'll look at my dad and his eyes are full of tears. Maybe they miss the way things used to be in the Lost Cities, when everyone was free of fear and there were actually good Councillors.
Well, not all of them are bad. Just . . . fearing for their lives. They don't want to disobey the evil seven: Fintan, Gisela, Ruy, Alvar, Gethen, Trix, and Vespera. They're the ones that have made our lives miserable.
Today is Saturday. I'm supposed to be helping at Jewels and Things with my parents, but instead, I'm back at Deepvale doing my homework with Cyril.
My home is pretty small, with three levels, balefire torches all around and floor-to-ceiling crystal walls. I feel safe here, but never safe enough.
"I already know all this stuff about gnomes," Cyril groans. Oh, Cyril. Cyril Vacker. Son of Biana and Dex Dizznee. Strawberry blonde hair and teal eyes sorta like mine. He's the only one who cares. My cousin.
I raise an eyebrow. "Their cellular structure?"
The side of his mouth quirks. "And the organelles."
You might think, Why is Alarik doing this on a Saturday? Shouldn't he be out playing Base Quest with his friends?
Okay, for one, I don't have more than one friend. Cyril is my only friend. But I'm also a freak.
Call it what you may: Unique, gifted . . . but what kid has more than one ability? I'm an Empath, a Telepath, an Enhancer, and a Polyglot. Anyone can see, clear as day, that I am not normal. At all. I have to go to training sessions for all four of my abilities. So if anybody saw me playing Base Quest, that would only mean more attention toward me.
My attention from my homework is broken when my Imparter starts to chime from my satchel. "One second!" I tell Cyril as I grab my Imparter from inside of my satchel and run outside of my door. "Hello?" I ask, lifting it up. A man's face flashes to the screen. I've seen him before: immaculately combed blond hair, icy eyes. Ah, that's it. Cassius Sencen. A member of the nobility. The father of . . .
I nearly throw my Imparter out the nearest window, but he stops me. "Stop!" he yells. "I have to talk to you." The catch in his voice makes my hand squeeze tighter onto the Imparter. I can't help but look back at the screen.
"What do you want?" I ask.
He sighs. The rings beneath his eyes are especially prominent. Well, the ones beneath mine would be too, if my son was a member of the Moonlark's Revenge. The rogue group formed thirteen years ago after a woman named Sophie Foster with an apparently amazing destiny was tragically killed by humans. The two leaders, who are Cassius' son, Keefe, who was Sophie's friend, and Fitz, Sophie's husband, run rampant through the Forbidden cities killing humans because their minds broke from the grief, causing them to become very reckless and dangerous.
"I've been warring with myself for fourteen years," he sighs. "Well, more like forty-two."
"What is it?" I ask, tempted to just scream SPIT IT OUT! to the man. But that wouldn't do any good.
"You need to do something," he says. "You're the only one who can."
I snort. "About what? I'm a freak! I can't do anything."
"You're the only one who can . . ." his voice trembles, "because you are my grandson."
I can't help it. I burst out laughing. "What's going on?" yells Cyril from my bedroom.
"Nothing," I giggle. Tears stream down my face. When I finally gain my composure, which is about a minute later, I ask Lord Cassius, "So are you Kesler Dizznee now?"
He shakes his head. "You are of no relation to Kesler Dizznee."
"What are you talking about?" I yell. By this point I'm angry. This guy is insane. "My parents are Jensi and Bex Babblos."
Again, he shakes his head. "This is what I've been trying to tell you. I am Lord Cassius, your grandfather. Your other grandparents are Alden and Della Vacker."
I start to guffaw again. Now he's bringing in the parents of the other Moonlark's Revenge leader?
"Your father is Fitz Vacker. Your mother is Sophie Vacker. You are the child of the Keeper of the Lost Cities."
I stop laughing. I get this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. "You have no idea what you're talking about," I tell him. But he keeps on going.
"I am Sophie's father, a secret I've hidden for forty-two years. You need to believe me. You need to stop the Neverseen, stop the Moonlark's revenge. You can heal them. You can heal them all."
"Stop!" I yell. "Stop it! You're lying!" But I know he's not, even though I'm not right with him and touching him. I try to block the words, the words explaining why I am the freak, why I've always been different from my parents. If I should even call them that.
"Sophie Foster was an Enhancer, a Polyglot, an Inflictor, a Telepath, and a Teleporter. You can't have four abilities and not be her son. My grandson." He smiles, a pained grimace that deepens the rings beneath his eyes. "You may not believe it, but I've just explained everything. The world needs you, Alarik, whether you except it or not. You are the new Moonlark. Our only hope." The Imparter goes dark.
Here it is, part 2! (Still on another device)
"Okay, seriously, what's wrong?" Cyril comes out into the hallway next to me. My heart is pounding a million beats per minute. My racing mind tries to keep up with what he's saying, what he's telling me, but I seriously can't cope with what I've just found out.
My whole life is a lie. My mother is Sophie Foster.
"At least you're still my cousin!" I laugh deliriously as the world goes dark around me.
When I wake up, Mom, Dad, and Cyril are leaning over me on my bed. No, not Mom and Dad, my mind reminds me.
"Are you alright, Alarik?" asks Bex, I guess I should call her. Still, the feeling is alien. Not knowing my own mother. Not knowing anyone truly. They have all betrayed me. Except Cyril. But did he know all along?
"I can't believe--" I start loudly, my blood pressure raising. But before I can finish, I break down into angry tears. Great, now I'm some sort of monstrosity and a baby.
"I think he's found out," my - er - Jensi murmurs.
"Found out what?" asks Cyril. Yet Jensi and Bex ignore him.
"Who told you?" asks Bex.
"L-lord Cassius," I blubber. "He-he's Sophie's father!" I manage to regain my composure and wipe my idiotic tears off of my face.
"That imbecile," snarls Jensi. "Two children and you'd think he'd learn to treat them right!"
"Alarik, " Bex says in a soothing voice. "We knew you would find this out eventually. We were trying to protect you. You can't always hide from your past, but we didn't want you to feel all of those negative emotions. Imagine what you'd feel of you knew your father abandoned you! Your mind would break." I touch her hand. Love. Sadness. Truth.
It's hard to stay mad at Bex. Especially since I always knew I was different. This explains everything.
"So you mean to say..." drifts Cyril's voice, "that you are the son of Fitz and Sophie? The Fitz and Sophie?"
"Yes, Cyril," says Jensi. "And it's very important that the council never finds out. They'd kill him on sight. The only way your parents recovered from being on Sophie's side is making weapons for them."
I sit up, the blood rushing to my head. I watch the color in Cyril's face drains away
Somehow I'm not surprised anymore. A sort of numbness has set in, one that I'm not sure will ever go away.
Sorrry for the long wait, really! I know you all love it, thanks for the support <3 (I'm back on my regular device, lol)
I've been thinking about what you all should call me, and I've figured it out: TelepathLinh. So you may call me that, and here it is, part 3! *whoopee*
Also, as a side note, I think I'll take away Alarik's Telepath abilities. You'll see why.
I'm at the table, drinking a bottle of youth. For the past hour, they've been telling Cyril and I about everything: how they are forced to create weapons for the Councillors and how their memories are searched every night for illegal doings.
"This is how our friends Linh, Wylie, and Tam were killed," explains Bex. "They couldn't sit still while the Councillors destroyed our world. So . . ." She lowers her head as tears drop from her eyes. Something inside me wants to comfort her, but I hold it back as Cyril pats his aunt's shoulder.
"We're telling you this," - Jensi kneels down in front of me, noticing the blankness in my eyes - "because we won't survive to tomorrow."
I gasp. My heart thunders. "But -" Once again, terrible tears flood my eyes. I can't stop them. The only father and mother figure in my empty, terrible life will die tonight.
"It's okay, Alarik," says Jensi. He embraces me. Feeling this terrible sorrow is worse than being broken, unfeeling. "Bex cloaked the truth about you in our minds from the Councillors' telepaths. Saying it out loud uncloaks it. I'm afraid we won't be able to hide it again."
"Why can't you, Bex?" asks Cyril. He's been crying too.
"I'm a weak telepath," she sighs. "The first time I cloaked memories I nearly died from the effort. Now there's a memory of us telling you, so that makes two, at least." She shakes her head, tears brimming over.
"Can't you wash them?" I ask, choked.
She shakes her head. "I'm not a Washer. Cloaking is different, and very difficult."
"Wouldn't you rather die by your own devices than by the Councillors?" As I ask the question, a spark of hope lights Bex's eyes.
"I think I can . . . break us. So at least dying won't be as bad," she says to Jensi, grim determination set into her face. "And it would hide the memories. It would keep Alarik and Cyril safe."
Jensi nods. "That won't be the worst way to go."
"But -" Cyril and I protest through tears.
"We have no choice," Bex says gently. "And I'm very sorry, boys, but the Lost Cities isn't safe for you anymore. You must go to a Forbidden City."
"But how come you can't come?" I ask.
"Because we are weak. And if we came, the Councillors would come after us," says Jensi. "They won't suspect you. And also . . ." he smiles, "you have your whole lives ahead of you."
This is too much. Once again, the information overloads in my brain. "Where do we go?" I sigh.
"Your only hope . . ." Bex sighs. "Your only hope is your father, Fitz Vacker."