Chapter 1: Arrival

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Some people change over time.

I've met that one person that hasn't changed for over centuries…

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Liathente, Massachusetts; 6:35 pm EDT:

A wave of hot air blew into my face when I got off the plane. I've had a nice flight and the weather was great. The perfect day to visit a friend. Some of you may wonder who this friend could be; well I'm not going to tell you. You'll meet her later anyway, but I'll say this much; she's totally wicked. About me, there's probably not much to say. Low self-esteem, shy and watchful I am. Someone who would be suspected to have done something bad the last. The personification of innocence. Or at least the major part of me is. I'm not going to mention how the minor part of my personality looks like, you'd be too shocked afterwards. The minor part of me however is the part I have to hide from the people of this time. Back then, there was no need to. But you know. People change, seasons change, tastes change; I just hoped she hadn't changed at all. I hadn't seen her for a long time.

I was making my way down to the baggage claim area and watched the people around me. They didn't really notice me, and the few who did gazed after me like they had just seen some unique animal. Well, they'd forget my face in time. Years ago I wouldn't even have noticed that people are staring after me, but that was a time before I met Angel.9.

"God finally," I had spotted my traveling bag; a big, heavy, blue thing that was already bursting at the seams. I balanced it from the baggage carousel and headed towards the exit.

The thermometer had already reached 90° Fahrenheit and the following days should become even hotter; an ordeal for everyone who hates hot summers. I however wasn't bothered; it couldn't be hot enough outside for me. I should probably move to the desert.

Outdoors A9 was already waiting for me in front of her motorbike. She was wearing her favorite platforms in which she was a head taller than me. She hadn't changed much. Her hair was dyed black and she was wearing rocker duds, but that was it. She was still the same old Angel.9.

"Heya Lil. How are things?" She smiled one of her cross smiles.

"Things are great, thank you!" I reached out my hand. "Pleased to see you after such a long time, A9."

She took my hand and said. "Pleased to see you, too." She turned to her motorbike and asked. "Ready to get going?"

"Of course I am." I climbed onto the seat behind her. "Please drive carefully, ok?"

She raised an eyebrow and chuckled. "I'm always driving carefully." She started the engine and dashed down the highway at full throttle. We arrived at her house in a blink.

"You call that carefully?" I giggled.

"Sure. You said careful, not slow. By the way I didn't do any stunts didn't I?"

"Well then, I should express myself more clearly next time, huh?"

"Agree." We both burst out laughing two seconds later.

"All right I think we should go in now. I for my part have had enough fresh air for today." she said.

We went inside and the first thing I noticed was a guitar hanging in the back corner of the room.

I asked her if she still played.

"Yeah, once in a while, if I have the time."

"Cool." I looked around with curious eyes.

Angel.9 gave me a pat on the back and said. "Feel free to take a look-around."

I was beside myself with joy. "Yay. Great, great, great." I went through the house twice and opened every single door. I found a lot of cool stuff in her room. There was a lot of jewelry, and when I say a lot then I really mean it.

She was lying on the sofa in the living room. "Just as manic as always, aren't you Liathente?"

I stopped in the middle of the movement and turned around to look at her. I couldn't tell what shocked me more, the fact that she spoke Atlantean, the fact that she used my real name to address me or the fact that she was showing me her Atlantean self as a matter of fact. She stood up and came closer. Anjelnin had to hide her true self from the Queen back in the 5th Age, because of a tool called the Nightmare's Collar, which disappeared mysteriously at the beginning of the 6th Age. I can tell you, I was the one who stole it, to make sure Anjelnin was safe.

She now stood right in front of me and asked, "Do you remember my real name?"

"Anjelnin, mel'jnayl njil'lata Anjelnin[1]," I said. "How would I dare to forget the name of the Terror of Atlantis?"

She smirked. "Yeah. How would you? Guess you knew that I'd knock the stuffing out of you if you did." She gave me a weird glance. "You'd better take a look in the mirror. You were so shocked that your shape shifted through no fault of your own."

Well, now I have to tell you this. We're all shape shifters. Every higher Atlantean had its own two individual shapes. The first was to hide and blend in, the second to intimidate, fight and defend against enemies. I however had just changed to my second shape, even though I didn't see Anjelnin as enemy.

My eyes widened. I went to the mirror in the hall. „Swell! What now?" I shook my head in disbelief. "I should definitely learn to get a grip on that." My hair had turned dark blonde my eyes bright blue. I raised one hand to take a look at my long white sharp nails. "Oh well, I can't go out like that."

Anjelnin grinned. "Oh but those nails are super cool. A total attention grabber."

"Exactly," I took a look over my shoulder at my white shimmering wings and sighed. "I haven't shifted since the beginning of the 6th Age. I'll try to shift back later, but for now I'll enjoy being Liathente for a while. Acting like I was someone else was getting on my nerves anyway." I laughed.

"Oh, you're a little dweeb, you know that?" She joked. "I shift every single night just for fun. I guess you haven't trained your combat skills either?"

"You guessed right."

She pulled me towards the garden and said. "Then let's have some fun."

[1] Transl. Anjelnin, you're Anjelnin.

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