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  1. Tyto shot up. Her hands grasped at the ground reflexively. She found grass. Looking around, she was in a forest. It wasn’t like her home forest, however. The moon shined with a majestic sea blue radiance and was fully visible. Or, maybe there was some sort of filter. Tyto stood up, her gaze still fixated on the moon. Something felt off. A warm feeling seethed within her. It was unlike anything she’d ever felt before, except maybe love, but the two feelings only loosely resembled each other.
  2.  She looked back down at the landscape. Wind whistled through the grass nicely. A bird was chirping distantly. There also seemed to be a few fireflies who lit the night, searching for mates or prey. From what Tyto knew about the insects, that meant that there was a fair source of water nearby, but she realized that maybe they weren’t actually fireflies. She really had no idea what awaited her in this world.
  3. Her hands moved to rest on her hips. She noticed something odd. Looking down, she realized her clothes had changed. Before, she wore a light cardigan and jeans. Now, however, she wore a fluffy green coat. It felt like it was made out of wool and covered her entire body. She reached backwards to check for a hood. She found one resting comfortably on her back.
  4. It felt nice and cozy. It also appeared to have been tailored well from what she felt. Tyto was tempted to take it off and look at it, but she decided that she should focus on finding out more about the new world she was placed in. Everything was quiet. She thought it may even have been more peaceful than the woods she was used to.
  5. “Oh, you’re awake!” a familiar voice called out.
  6. God damnit.
  7. Tyto turned around. Her sister Salia stood there, looking smug as always. She wore a simple shirt and trousers tucked into leather boots. Tyto sighed.
  8. “I guess so, yeah.” She replied.
  9. “You sound happy about it.” Salia sarcastically remarked.
  10. Tyto sighed.
  11. “I should be thankful to be alive, shouldn’t I?” she asked.
  12. “Probably.”
  13. Her sister slouched against a tree.
  14. “We’ve always wanted to go out and explore the world. This is our chance.” She said.
  15. A smile grew on Tyto’s face.
  16. “It’s a little bit daunting, though. Also confusing. I mean, we’re supposed to save the world and all that because some omniscient being wants us to.”
  17. Salia hesitated.
  18. “Don’t think about it for now. Let’s just find out where we are, then we can try and wrap our heads around this whole thing.”
  19. Tyto raised an eye.
  20. “What?”
  21. “Nothing.”
  22. Something changed within her sister, and Tyto easily picked it out. Salia was always responsible, but preferred to be led unless she thought herself to be the only competent one in the group. Tyto wasn’t sure how she’d feel about the change, since she was often the leader despite being younger. Stress had recently overtaken her, however, and she figured the change would be good. Then again, she could just be over thinking things again.
  23. “I’m glad you’re here, Sal.” Tyto said.
  24. “Good. I’m glad you are, too.” She tossed Tyto a clay coloured coin.
  25. Tyto caught it. It felt too thick to be a coin. She looked down at it in her palm. She was right, it wasn’t a coin. It was a smooth stone with an abstract owl was carved into the middle, outlined by a perfectly round circle. She turned the stone around. It was flat, but not thin. The back of it was completely plain. Nothing to see there. She pocketed it and realized that her new coat’s pockets were huge.
  26. “I’ve got no idea what it is. I have one too, by the way, but mine has a small bird on it instead of an owl.” Salia said blankly.
  27. Tyto started to think. She could only pull one correlation.
  28. “I don’t either,” she started. “But I think it will be important. Where did you find it?”
  29. “At the place we’ll be sleeping tonight. Let’s go.”
  30. Tyto laughed.
  31. “Smooth transition.”
  32. “I’ve been working on it.”
  33. “Wait, how long have I been asleep for?”
  34. “Like an hour, don’t worry about it.”
  35. Tyto nodded, and the two set off east.
  37. ***
  39. Tyto strolled along as her sister marched forward with her back straight as a plank. It was a subtle march, but a confident one nonetheless. Tyto smiled. It was relieving being able to just sit back. She only hoped that Salia wouldn’t change too much. Although the two did bicker often, Tyto knew that she really did appreciate Salia’s headstrong attitude. She supposed becoming a leader wouldn’t change that trait so much as enforce it, though.
  40. The trees started to become more and more scarce, and as they did, Tyto realized that this seemed to be an area with very little human influence. Salia told her that she found them a place to sleep, which Tyto hoped to be a village. Sadly, it seemed more and more likely they would be sleeping somewhere out in the wilderness with God knows what.
  41. Still, the woods they walked in were beautiful. It seemed almost like a dream, the way the green landscape was lit by the deep sea like colour the moon seemed to project. Small rivers seemed abundant, but wildlife was definitely scarce. Would food be a problem? She assumed that “God” had placed them in a suitable location to survive, though. She looked around her, scanning for objects she could base his nickname off of. The first thing she saw was a slender river that seemed to stretch endlessly.
  42. River. Blue. Water. Flow. Smooth. Serene. Relax.
  43. Something swelled within her. It was that feeling from before. Had she forgotten about it? She felt her chest. Nothing weird here. She checked her pulse. Normal. It wasn’t painful, so either it was nothing to worry about or she unluckily came into contact with some sort of alien disease. She decided that it would be best to ignore it. Back to finding a name.
  44. Channel. Pour. Overflow. Flood. Tide.
  45. It happened again. It was different, though. Instead of swelling, it seemed to ripple. Tyto didn’t know how she recognized the feeling as the same one from before. Now she was interested. A majestic tree caught her eye on the path ahead.
  46. Grow. Tower. Overpower. Conquer. Overwhelm.
  47. The new emotion swirled inside of her. It was intense.
  48. Flow. Smooth. Serene. Relax.
  49. It calmed down. Tyto smiled, accomplished. She tried to pull more thoughts and theories, and realized that maybe the stone might have something to do with the feeling. She pulled it out of her pocket. It looked the same as before.
  50. Sharp. Quick. Nimble. Rapid. Spring.
  51. The feeling swayed. The eyes of the owl in the stone glowed. Tyto’s mouth opened as if she were going to say something. She looked up at her sister, who moved along proud and smug as ever. Tyto decided to experiment more when they settled into a living location. Pocketing the stone, she looked forward.
  52. “Hey, Sal.” She said.
  53. Her sister turned back, smiling warmly.
  54. “What’s up?”
  55. “Do you remember how we’d come up with nicknames for people?”
  56. “You say that as if we stopped.”
  57. Salia slowed her march down so her sister could catch up.
  58. “Try doing it for the omniscient guy.”
  59. “Okay, um.” Salia said, looking around.
  60. “Big.” Salia said.
  61. “No, in your head. To yourself.”
  62. Salia smiled.
  63. “All right.”
  64. She stopped moving and concentrated. Tyto found it odd that Salia had difficulty thinking so hard about something she did so absentmindedly. She wasn’t too surprised, though.
  65. “Does Gower sound good?” Salia asked.
  66. Tyto paused. The feeling was definitely unmistakably unusual.
  67. “You don’t feel anything special?”
  68. “Uh, no I don’t think so. Should I?”
  69. “Weird. I got this kind of overwhelming emotion when I tried doing it. It felt powerful, I don’t really know how to describe it. Watch.”
  70. She pulled out her stone and did it again.
  71. Proud. Calm. Focused. Motivated. Powerful.
  72. Nothing happened. Maybe those words weren’t related. She decided to recite the word group she remembered.
  73. Grow. Tower. Overpower. Conquer. Overwhelm.
  74. The feeling came and the eyes glowed again, as expected. Salia’s eyes widened, and a big smile spread across her face.
  75. “That’s definitely something important. It looks like whatever you’re doing doesn’t work for me, though.”
  76. Tyto thought about it. The words all represented something. There was a connection somewhere.
  77. “Think about it. Let’s get moving, it’s getting kind of chilly.” Salia said.
  78. She was right. The wind started to pick up. Nodding, the two began walking again. Tyto started to think again.
  79. Where’s the connection?
  80. Growth, speed, relaxed, composed, flood. These were what the word groups were centred on. They were all emotions. No, not emotions. Traits? No. Abilities. Tyto nodded to herself. It was starting to come together. These must have been those powers Gower mentioned. She didn’t do anything except for provoke the feelings, though. It still made sense. There was most likely something else she had to do to trigger the “gifts.” Something with the stone, probably.
  81. Tyto looked up. They stood infront of a dark blue, rocky mountain. It was rigid and high up. There seemed to be a little slit on it it, which Tyto assumed led into some sort of cavern.
  82. “I swear it’s more comfy inside.” Salia asked.
  83. “Let’s head in then. It’s getting cold.”
  84. Salia went in first. The slit was just wide and high enough so that they fit in comfortably. That was good, at least. Tyto followed, sliding in naturally easier because of her smaller size.
  85. Her sister didn’t lie. It definitely did look a lot cozier on the inside. The shade of blue resembled the foreign planet’s moon, but was a bit darker. Aside from the leaves piled on eachother in the corner of the “room”, the cave was empty. That was something that could be fixed, however. Tyto stepped forward, trying to get a better feel for the place. Behind her, Salia pushed a rock to cover the only entrance and exit of the hole. Tyto smiled at her. It was kind of like a fort that the two would make as young children in trees. To be fair, they weren’t very well past those days.
  86. Upon further inspection, Tyto realized it didn’t actually look cozy at all. It looked like a normal cave, though to be fair she’d only ever been in two others. Something about it felt very warm and homelike though. It was almost as if Tyto found the place nostalgic, but it was after all the first time she had ever set foot inside it. With a few decorations and furniture- and maybe an animal companion- the room could be a suitable home if Tyto’s assumptions about this planet being devoid of human life were correct. She dearly hoped it wasn’t, though.
  87. “So, what do you think?” her sister asked, exhaling a bit. She seemed tired.
  88. “I think it’s great. It’s obsolete, hidden and still cozy. The only downside is this place might be hard to find.” Tyto replied. She wasn’t lying, but she did find a few things about the cave strange. Mostly the feeling that she got from it.
  89. “Nice. Hopefully we can find some village or town or anything that will welcome us soon. For now, I made two beds out of leaves. I think we can sleep in those.” Salia said, yawning.
  90. “Yeah. Good work finding this place. Let’s call it a night.”
  91. Salia nodded quietly, moved across the room and curled up in her leaf bed. Tyto found a little space separating between the leaf bed. She slept on the one to the right, closely next to her sister, but not close enough for it to be annoying.
  92. “Night.” Salia said.
  93. “Good night.”
  94. Her sister was obviously tired, but Tyto wasn’t. Even if she was, she knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep with an unsolved mystery she had a potential answer for. She planned to pretend to sleep for a good fourty minutes, then quietly get up and try using the stone for a little bit, then go back to sleep. A genius plan, truly. Probably.
  95. This is gonna be hard without a clock.
  97. ***
  99. Tyto carefully moved the rock, making sure not to produce any sound. Slowly, she leaned the rock against the adjacent wall and stared outside for a little bit. The lighting hadn’t changed at all out there, even though Tyto had taken a three hour “nap.” She didn’t fall asleep, but her eyes were closed so she still had a decent sense of time. She hesitated, though, when she started to think about what could go wrong. She could come into contact with a hostile beast and not figure out how to use her powers and die. She could get kidnapped by a neighbouring tribe. She could realize the air’s oxygen turned into some unbreathable element during the night. She thought that maybe it would be better to just go back to sleep, but she knew it wouldn’t work.
  100. I need to stop pussyfooting around.
  101. But it was more simply said than done.
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