I balance on my toes carefully, looking across the Earth as far as I can. The land is so dreary and rainy, it instantly makes me feel sad. Sticking out my lower lip in a pout, I toddle back to the spot of the floor where I was working before, plopping down and going back to my drawing. I don't like it when it rains; it always seems dark and hopeless, like nothing will get better.
But it will and I know it. Even though I'm only four, I know a lot. I know that I am part of the Garde, and that I am Number Ten. I know that Papa is my unofficial Cepan, but I always know that he is my Papa.
Nothing that happens/ nothing that happened on Lorien will ever change that. I know that I am Loric, and that I was escaped because my real papa sacrificed himself so that I could make it to the second ship blasting away from our destroyed our planet.
I don't remember anything from the night, but I know that ever since it happened, Papa has been protecting me when we crashed on Earth. I have always felt when I'm being him, and I am curious about everything he has to teach me. He tells me that one day I'll be a really strong fighter too, and that one day, I will restore our home planet.
And I know I can trust him, because he never lies to me, even though I'm only four.
"What are you drawing, Ella?" he asks, calling me by the same he gave me when we came to Earth for the first time.
"I drawing Lorien!" I say happily, showing him a picture that he calls beautiful. He looks shocked at it, and I giggle, knowing that makes him happy.
"That is an amazing picture," he tells me, kneeling down to my level and looking over it slowly and carefully, "that's vivid detail, sweetheart. I am very proud of this."
"Oo are?" I start bouncing eagerly, my hair bouncing in it's two pigtails rabidly with my speed, "oo mean it?"
"Yes, I do," he chuckles, picking me up into his arms and giving me a tight hug, "I know you're going to make an amazing Legacy –holder one day."
"Me know too!" I crow in my four-year-old language, snuggling into his chest and watching it rain outside the window of the small house we'd found one of the first night on this strange new planet.
"I love you, Ella," he coos in my ear, and I smile widely, feeling like he was the right Papa for me, even if my real one was now dead.
"I wove oo, too," I smile, "forever and ever and ever."
I am brought back to reality by Crayton gently touching me on the shoulder. I still call him 'Papa' and think of him as such, and he was right by saying that I was going to be a powerful Legacy-holder when I was four in the flashback I just got done having.
I do love him, and it breaks my heart a bit to have to be left at this strange orphanage alone in Spain. Even if I don't remember anything about it, being left alone when Lorien was hibernating and the Mogodorians were on Earth now as well….the thought kind of bothered me. I am still young and I know it, and I feel like I need to be a part of a team.
Crayton-Papa- and I are a team.
I don't want to leave anywhere without him, but I know I have to be brave. I may only be eleven, but I am smart and fast. I can make friends with Seven, I'm sure- and then we will unite the other numbers, too. I just have to keep my mouth shut and have faith Papa is nearby to help if things get too serious, or if the Mogodorians come.
"I love you, Papa," my voice is muffled as I hug him tightly, already shifted into my seven-year-old girl form.
My cover is simple: I'm an innocent seven-year-old Earth child who's parents died in a horrible automobile collision, and now I have nowhere else to go in Spain. This is the cover I must uphold, even though I already know I'm actually going to hate this cruel excuse of an orphanage, and I already have a bit of distaste for Spain. Ever since Papa and I arrived, people hadn't exactly been very nice, like they had been in America….well, more or less, it was just in this forgotten town people were bitter and unloving.
That I can tell so far, anyway.
"I love you too, Ella," he says softly in my ear, rubbing my small back a couple of times for encouragement and comfort, "try and stay out of trouble, and remember that it is vital you become allies with Seven. Understand?"
"I do," he uses the words 'allies', but I have a feeling deep in my gut that we will become friends if I just show her I am not hurtful or mean, and that I truly do care for her wellbeing.
Maybe she'll care about mine, too.
When the heavy oak door is opened and the nun standing in the doorway sees me, a small, teary seven-year-old, she instantly ushers me in. I catch Papa's eye once last time before she ushers me inside, shutting the door behind both of us. I feel smaller than ever, which helps my scared, quiet act along as the other girls greet me by saying their names as they stand beside their beds, like they are being forced to do so.
Already I don't like it here, but Papa is surely near me. So I don't have much more to fear than what I usually do with the Mogadorians. When I see Mariana, I somehow feel a connection deep within my gut, and I somehow know that she is Number Seven.
Maybe we can be a team.
I had to find her chest for her, and I could do it for sure because I was really good at climbing high and finding the best hiding places, one's nobody looked in. As I am dragging the Chest back to Marina, I see that four other girls are attacking her, and I know I have to help her.
But when I jump down, I am slammed to the ground. My right leg is broken, and so are two of my fingers…Papa always taught me to be strong and to not make a fuss, no matter how bad it hurt. But it hurt so bad….I couldn't help but start to cry as Marina struggled to comfort me, to figure out how to fix me.
Papa…please help us….I think weakly, and that's when she does it. She heals my bones with a Legacy I didn't know she had….
She's just as amazing as him, just in a different way.
I can tell Marina is surprised at my abilities.
This flatters me a bit, I will admit. Papa always said that it was an amazing Legacy and that no other Gaurde would have it, which made me very happy and feel important. Even though I am actually eleven, Marina obviously likes me better a seven-year-old, and honestly, I've grown used to the form.
She's older and I know she will protect me no matter what, and while I am glad about this as well, I also know I will protect her as well. No matter what, her, Papa and I are a team.
And nothing will hurt us as long as we're a team….that's what Papa said, at least.
Olivia is dead, which makes me very sad. At least Number Six, Marina, and Papa are all alive, and we're heading to American to find John Smith/Number Four and Number Nine. I have a feeling in the pit of my gut that things are about to change a lot, but I hope the change doesn't mean the death of any of us.
The charm is broken. It's vital to keep each other alive if we're to win the battle.
At least I've still got them.
Six is strong, and so in Marina. I have faith in both of them now; we're all a team. And then I still have Papa.
I will always have them….right?
Author Note: I know that kind of sucked….sorry, but I love Ella to bits, so I did a small centric of her 'cause I was kind of bored ;)
P.S. I haven't read "The Rise of Nine" yet, so no spoilers in the reviews, please! :)