The sky was a clear, chilly blue overhead,
still holding the last vestiges of winter as spring tried to get a foothold on
the ground. A brisk wind raced through the streets of Orias, a rather sizable
county in northern Illinois, almost laughing at the grumbling adults it passed.
While quite a bit of the land was made up of residential suburbs, there was a
bit of a big city air further inside, with tall buildings and assorted
businesses pressed together for maximum space.
Children congregated around the
toy store and ice cream parlor in the early afternoons, and teenagers lounged
at the local pizzeria and arcade in the evenings, trying to entertain
With the weekend in full swing, all of these places were filled to
bursting with noise and chatter, staff rushing to fill orders or keep the
hubbub to a minimum.
A park sits across the street, slightly frosted but slowly
being freed from the snow. Sprawled on the damp grass, Casey breathed in the
cold air like a starving man might inhale food.
Pretty good comparison,
Red hair darkened with moisture, she twisted her head to watch Faye
tumble by, laughing as she rolled head-over-heels. Grey eyes bright with
childish glee, the multi-colored teenager collapsed in a fit of giggles with
Ally, whose own green eyes were wide with wonder and amusement.
“How’d you do
that?” The blonde wondered, eager to play.
“Easy.” Casey interjected, grinning.
“All you have to do is go absolutely bonkers and let gravity do the rest!”
only smiled in agreement, tie-dyed hair bobbing as she nodded.
“Yup! Trust me,
“Don’t you dare!” Ma voiced, dark eyes narrowed in a scolding glare.
“We don’t need another Faye running around here!”
“Aw…” Casey and Faye
whined in unison, teasing the brunette. “Why not?”
“If you reevaluate the last
ten seconds or so,” Kim stated monotonously, dark blue eyes flicking up only
momentarily from her sketchpad, “You would know the answer to that.”
girls paused to do just that, and at least Casey had the decency to look
Ally pouted, a bit disheartened, and Ma left
the tree’s shade to put an arm around the younger teen’s shoulders.
you want to be like Faye, anyway? You’re plenty fun just being Ally. Right,
Said preteen looked up from watching her elder sister draw, big blue
eyes blinking in confusion before she nodded happily, her mass of blonde curls
bouncing along her shoulders as she smiled.
“No one tells stories like you do,
The older blonde smiled in return, fiddling with the ends of her darker
hair almost shyly.
“Would we lie to you?” Ma retorted kindly.
“Shut up, Kim.”
Shrugging, said teenager returned to her work, completely
Rolling onto her stomach, Casey watched her friends with a smile
before noticing one perpetually-silent member of the group was still not
“Hey, Bee. What’re you working on?”
Said brunette jumped at suddenly
being addressed, purple eyes wide as she looked up from her laptop.
“Yeah, what are you looking at?” Faye agreed, looking very much like a puppy as
she shuffled over to see the screen.
“J-Just some weather reports…” Bee
answered softly, gaze flickering around nervously for a moment before returning
to her research. “Th-There’s been some w-weird fluctuations lately…”
moment, as if by fate, the world went unnaturally dark.
“…Like that?” Ma voiced
The sky, once clear and blue, was now dark grey with clouds that
had not been anywhere in sight only a minute ago.
“A bad sign.” Kim stated,
closing her sketchbook with a snap.
“What’s going on?” Rocky wondered, pressing
into her sister’s side for comfort.
“A freak storm?” Casey suggested uneasily.
“Do those happen a lot?” Ally questioned, eyes locked on the roiling sky.
“N-Not really…” Bee admitted. “I-It’s more likely than s-seeing an Aurora,
Everyone fell silent as colors weaved through the clouds, flashing
brightly against the dark in ribbons.
“…Who else wants to get a lotto ticket?”
Six pairs of eyes turned to Faye, mostly in glares, and the teenager shrugged.
“What? I’m feeling lucky!”
Before anyone could find any words to say to that-as
if there were any-a sound like thunder split the sky in a black tunnel, the
inside swirling like stars being sucked down a drain.
“…Still feeling lucky?”
Casey wondered sarcastically.
“…Not so much now, no.”
Slowly, the group stood,
as if faced with a wild predator instead of some strange phenomenon of nature.
“What is it?” Ally questioned, peering up at the silent vortex with cautious
“I-I don’t know…” Bee confessed, curling into herself out of
anxiety. “A bl-black hole would h-have sucked up the pl-planet before getting
s-so close, and a r-rip in the space/time c-continuum would be causing
“So it’s…good?” Rocky piped up, clinging to Kim’s arm
“What’re those?” Ma voiced, drawing everyone’s
attention to the seven spinning dots at the end of the tunnel, each bright
white and shining a different color.
Orange, blue, red, purple, green, silver, yellow…
The sight was hypnotizing.
Up until they realized said dots were heading
straight for them, anyway.
Moments later, the little meteors
Dirt, grass and snow sprayed upon impact, clogging the air and
making it difficult to breathe for a few heart-pounding moments.
from her hair, Kim sat up, quickly looking her younger sibling over for
injuries. Casey groaned as she shoved herself upright, blinking snow from her
lashes before turning towards her friends in concern.
“Yeah…” Ma replied, brushing some cold dirt off her shoulders as she helped
Ally and Faye find their balance.
“Yeah, I think we’re alright…”
dust from her eyes, coughing weakly, before noticing Bee standing a few feet
away, purple eyes wide in wonder.
This drew everyone’s attention to the
seven perfect little circles in the ground, a soft glow coming from within.
Driven forward by insatiable curiosity, Bee shuffled over the one nearest her,
taking in the purple light pulsing from within.
Was something inside?
The hole was as wide as her palm, so maybe…
That was when all the lights
brightened, and what looked like soap bubbles floated up before each of the
Casey, always one to do before thinking, grabbed the orange
bubble out of thin air, feeling a weight in her palm as it popped.
When no harm
befell her after a few moments, the others followed her lead, and each found a
strange device had been hidden within. Flat and white, it was only big enough
to be concealed in a fist, with a blank screen and two buttons taking up the
Turning it over in her hands, Kim’s eyes narrowed minutely.
“Any idea what these things are?” Ma wondered, holding the device close
“Nope.” Faye replied, tossing hers from one hand to the other like one would a baseball. “But they’re so cool!”“Look!”
Rocky’s shout had the group looking up, and they found the vortex had not
closed even after releasing it’s cargo.
Or so they thought.
else is going to try and kill us?” Casey grumbled, frowning.
“Maybe this will
be a nicer present.” Ally suggested, optimistic.
“Or worse.” Kim noted darkly.
Ma only had the time to glare, riling herself up for a good lecture-
of light shot from the sky, hitting the dirt and upturned grass in a soundless
burst of harmless colors.
It was like lightning, a jolt of electricity through the veins and a vague sense of another heartbeat…
And Casey found herself
staring into a set of big red eyes.
“Hi, I’m Koromon! I’m your new partner!”
Looking up at the suddenly-absolutely-normal sky, the redhead scowled.
couldn’t make this easy, could you?”