Don't like the title. / I couldn't come up with something that wasn't spoilery or too similar to what I'd used before. Same with the chapter title.

Another Option

By Dark Ice Dragon


"Undefended?" she repeated, intrigued.

The leader nodded, his smirk still visible under the shadowy hood. "Crystal use was... forbidden," he said mockingly.

"Hmm." She mulled this information over. The terra had driven away her nightcrawlers through Crystals but that was because they had had help from the Storm Hawks. 'Of course,' she thought in disgust. If there was one squadron who had the luck of being right there just as the nightcrawlers had arrived, it was them.

"You didn't say that there were two of the female Storm Hawk," he hissed in the silence, a little accusingly.

Master Cyclonis' eyes snapped to his, all her attention on him. "What?" she said lowly.

"There were two of the same female Storm Hawk," he repeated, then paused. "Twins." He watched her for any reactions; if she showed any kind of weakness in front of him, they wouldn't listen to her anymore.

"She doesn't have a twin." She knew; she'd checked. Piper didn't have any siblings and the rest of her family consisted of only her mother and father. She had thought about kidnapping Piper's parents and using them to make Piper join with her. Once. For some reason, the idea had unsettled her and she didn't think about it again. She was fairly sure that it was because she wanted Piper to become a Cyclonian willingly. Maybe.

The nightcrawler narrowed his eyes. "I know what I saw. There were two." He didn't quite cross his arms, but his stance changed slightly, being more aggressive.

There were no records of twins at birth. Though... There were stories of doubles. People born at exactly the same time, looking exactly the same in nearly all aspects. Interestingly, the doubles's intelligence were reputedly similar as well.

"You saw her on Clockstopia?"

He nodded.

She could use this. The terra may have driven the nightcrawlers away, but they wouldn't know how to properly use the Crystals yet. She wouldn't send the nightcrawlers in again anyway; that would be foolish.

Grabbing the double would be easy. Teaching her about Crystals possibly easier, if she took to Crystals like she'd heard Piper had, especially if she was interested in learning about something that had been previously forbidden.

But... the double wouldn't be Piper. It wouldn't matter if the double eventually knew as much about Crystals as Piper did, if she was coached to act like Piper did, to talk like her, Master Cyclonis just knew that it wouldn't be the same.

She sighed, turning away. "That will be all," she dismissed him. "The Storm Hawks will most probably be defending the terra now." It could be true. And if it was, there was no doubt that Piper was teaching the people how to use the Crystals properly.

The nightcrawler snarled angrily at the name but didn't add anything as he bowed his head and left.

There was no point in thinking about this anymore. She shook her head, directing her thoughts to other, more important matters.

She did have an empire to run, after all. Friends weren't something that was needed for that. Or anything else.

And maybe, if she told herself that enough times, it would become true and she wouldn't feel so lonely anymore.

Again, meant to be a drabble. :P The ending changed quite a bit from what I'd planned. I was having a feeling that it could have ended up with an ending that meant I could just carry on but... It didn't fit. I gave this reason why MC didn't go after Piper through another way and then with this double, she seemed to through it out the window and that it was decidedly creepy where her thoughts were going. / So. Changed it.