It scared Merc when the guy came out of the cave. It scared him more than he would ever care to admit. What scared him more was the feathers. The guy had feathers, his wings were huge, and he hardly fit in the cavern.
Merc had been exploring, scooting around on his skimmer. He had just been able to get it, being fifteen years old and going into the Early Aquaneers program. The program was designed to train people to be aquaneers, right out of school.
Finally able to go places, Merc had found a rock under the water. He had put on an air globe and investigated. The cave had air in it, trapped there from when it was above water, any years ago, long before Merc was born.
There was a strange light inside of it, which was strange because it was a cave.
There was a ledge on the left side of the cave. When Merc had swum over to it, he had found a set of clothes. They were standard clothes for a Cloralan, but they were very long. For someone very tall.
Merc glanced around, looking to see if there was anyone else around, when he heard the music.
It was the most beautiful music Merc had ever heard, and he vaguely felt that it must not have been Cloralan.
Then the light had come, and Merc realized that something very strange was going on. The light was swirling, bright, and was a color Merc could not put a name to. It grew larger and larger until the guy stepped out.
"Hobey…" Merc muttered. He hardly noticed the light and music fading into nothingness. This guy was taller than him by at least two or three heads. And the feathers…
There were feathers poking out of the guy's jean cuffs and from the back of his shirt. He swam out of the water and to the ledge, but did not see Merc, who was hiding behind a rock.
Merc almost jumped when the guy took off his shirt and unfurled his wings, which were white and stretched across the cavern.
When Merc realized he was watching this guy undress, he decided he should show himself. It would only be polite, even if this guy probably was only a figment of Merc's imagination.
"Hobey-ho," Merc said, stepping out from behind the rock. The winged teen jumped into the air and hovered there for a moment.
"Holy cow!" he exclaimed. "You scared the crap out of me!"
Merc stared at the guy as he touched down in front of him. He had no idea what a "cow" was, but he ignored the comment and asked, "How... What did you just do... What was the lighty musicy weird tum-tigger you just came out of?"
"You're talking about the flume... I have no idea how it works. I'm new to it."
Merc just stared. His question still wasn't really answered.
"So I figure you aren't the Cloralan acolyte?" The guy was putting on the Cloralan clothes, neatly folding his other clothes and stacking them on the ledge.
"Who are you?" Merc asked. "And do you have..."
"Yes, I do have wings. And my name is Eagle. Nice to meet you, ..."
"Merc," said Merc. "Welcome to Cloral, Eagle." He was still staring at the wings, which Eagle was folding and putting inside of the bodysuit.