Chapter 6: The investigation Begins
Stratos led Leo and Pantsman into a new room filled with workbenches and computers. Leo could hardly guess at what all this stuff did and his head started to spin just thinking about it. Stratos showed them to a few chairs by a large computer and then sat down and started to type away at the monitor. "So, you want to know if that little girl is actually your friend Aeris, correct?" Leo simply nodded yes and sat quietly. The scientist turned back to the computer and made a humming noise as he typed away. "Hmmmm... Well, it appears that she is indeed Aeris Cole. The automatic DNA scan system did its job and found a match. Retests from a separate system confirm it." Leo sat there in an odd sort of relief. On one hand, that meant that he was right, and Aeris was safe with him and not kidnapped or something. On the other hand though, he now had to deal with a young Aeris and how to change her back, if it could even be done.
"How do we fix it?" Leo asked, his desperation leaking into his voice. Stratos scowled in thought and returned to typing. "Well, I currently have Vivian running some scans on Aeris while she is playing with her. But, I think I can rule out some possibilities. One, It isn't any kind of cellular reconstruction using nano-bots or some kind of biological weapon, the reason behind this is because both methods would either leave her with an adult mind with full memory, or no mind at all. The nano-bots or whatever the biological substance would have to mess with her brain, which would destroy her mind as it is. Because her mind just appears to have been rewound with some hold over memories from her current life, I can rule those two out. I can also rule out illusions because my scanners would have picked up on that as well. That leaves one more option, and luckily for you I am the leading expert in the field, the last option is some kind of Magic."
Leo and Pantsman stared at Stratos for at least a minute before bursting into laughter. "Magic? Seriously? Oh that is too good." Pantsman wheezed in between bouts of laughter. Stratos growled and mumbled some words under his breath. As he did so, a fire appeared on the eds of his pants/mask. Pantsman's eyes shot open as he felt the heat hot his head. "What the heck man?!" He yelled as he tried to beat out the fire with his hands. Stratos smirked. "Need a hand? Here, I'll help." He mumbled some words again, and suddenly Pantsman was hit with a blast of water from nowhere. "Ok, Ok! I believe you!" Pantsman stammered. Stratos stretched and made hand motion that repaired all the damage and mess that his demonstration had created. "Now, if you don't mind, why don't we go take a look at the patient and see what we are dealing with." Stratos said as he led the two out of the room and into a corridor.
They entered what looked like a large workout room. All of the equipment had been moved to the edges of the room, and in their place was a very large cushion/mat. Vivian could be seen tickling Aeris as she laughed her head off. As the approached, Leo couldn't help but notice the smile that appeared on Stratos' face before he could change it back into its normal look.
Stratos cleared his throat to get the AI's attention, and to let the little girl have a break. At the sound of his voice, Vivian started and turned around like she had been caught doing something. And Leo guessed she had been caught. If being adorable was something to be ashamed about. Vivian seemed to take a couple of extra breathes to regain her composure, something Leo would have to ask Stratos about considering she didn;t need to breath at all. "Yes sir?" She asked the scientist. Stratos just shook his head and motioned for her to come to the side and talk to him. They walked a ways away and began whispering to each other. Then Stratos walked up to Aeris and crouched down infront of her. "Aeris, my name is Stratos. I am Miss Vivian's friend. I just want to to check something ok? Would that be fine?" He asked her. Putting on a brave face, Aeris nodded yes. "Ok then. Just hold still and close your eyes." Stratos said as he put his hand on her forehead. "This may tingle." As he concentrated, a blue glow came out of his hand. Aeris squirmed a bit until she seemed to relax and get comfortable. As he finished, Aeris started to sway a little bit until she was caught by Vivian. Stratos opened his eyes and chuckled. "I didn't think she would be able to stay awake that long. Vivian, take her to a room and make sure she is fine when she wakes up." He said as he turned around to go back the way he came. "She's ok right?" Leo asked in concern for his friend. Stratos simply nodded and moved on.
Sitting back down in the workshop they were in before, Stratos ran his hand through his messy hair. "Ok, I have good news, and bad news. Which do you want first?" Leo gulped and simply said. "Bad." Stratos nodded then continued. "Ok, bad first then. Well, the bad news is that I am unfamiliar with the spell used to do this to her. I know multiple spells that could have the same effect, but spells tend to vary from user to user, so I can't really pin it down." Leo's ears fell as the news sunk in. "But, the good news is that it is obviously old magic." Stratos tried to help Leo's mood. "How does that help us?" Pantsman interjected. "It helps because that means someone didn't cast this spell on her. So most likely, she came into contact with some object or potion that had been prepared before hand, and the spell is old enough that someone couldn't have made it to target her. If you can locate whatever it is that she came in contact with, I should be able to find a way to reverse the effect." Leo's spirit lifted as he heard the news. "So whatever did that to her should still be in her room then. Come on Pantsman, lets go look around." Leo said as he shot up and made for the door, dragging Pantsman all the way. Stratos smiled and shouted out one final piece of advice. "Try to use gloves, we don't need another young one running around."
Sorry about all the dialog, that just appears to be my style. I also want to say sorry for how long it has taken me to update this. But, luckily finals are coming up, so once I finish those, I'll have some free time to write more. Thanks for reading!