I'm standing there, mouth wide, just looking at Circe. It seems impossible, but I'm shocked and...there's still a blush on my face. She's standing there, looking beautiful and innocent and I'd almost fall for the act, except...Noah's an ice sculpture that's sitting right next to me on the couch.
So, to recap to myself, she told me her life story involving the island, she turned Noah into an ice cube and she told me that she loves me. One part of my brain's dancing a spazzy, happy dance while the other is freaking out. I don't know what to do, how to react. Nothing. I'm just sitting here, looking up at her.
"Rex..." she says, climbing right onto my lap and wrapping her arms around my neck. "Rex..."
Now she's rubbing my cheek with the back of her hand and her face is so close. Her hand moves from my cheek to my hair and her fingers start combing through it, softly and gently. I look into her face and she smiles back, using her other hand to tilt my chin up.
"I can show you all of the secrets of my sorcery," she whispers. "You can help me protect my island and my friends...Then I could turn everyone back into humans, set them free, and the island would be pure once again. I've been waiting for you to come, Rex..."
Now she was pressing the tip of her nose right against mine and she had a strong scent of some kind of flower. Whatever it was, it was my new favorite scent.
"You probably know my father as the sun god Helios," she continued. "He told me that one day someone that was my equal in sorcery would come to the island. I sensed your magical aura as soon as I found you on the island. And now that you're here, I finally have a soul mate. As long as we're together, we'll be two of the most powerful beings in the world, Rex. We're demi-gods and this is our island, Aeaea."
Now she was just confusing me; has she been in the sun too long or something? Last time I checked, I'm an evo that can generate mechanical arms, legs, a sword, wings, and such. And she's an evo that's got a super sonic scream power. But then again-I can't believe I didn't think about this sooner-she's living in a hut on a bizzaro island who-knows-where and last I checked, she was tagging along with Van Kleiss' baddies posse. When did Circe decide that she was the daughter of a sun god that turned people into animals?
"I think it's time you knew what you were capable of," Circe says in a really strange, sinister tone of voice.
She backs away from me and grabs my hand, spreading my fingers apart. Then she places her hand, fingers spread, right on top of mine. Some weird purple glow comes from her hand and...a red glow comes from mine. When Circe pulls her hand away, trails of the purple glow start to slither off of her hand and into the air and she's chanting something. Trails of the red glow come off of my hand and they start to intertwine and wrap around the purple...
I'm mesmerized by the strange light show. It's a really weird thing to say, but Circe looks like she has a terrible stomach ache the entire time she chants. My stomach's beginning to twist into a huge ball of knots. Something's not right here. I can't help feeling suspicious, on edge.
"The red glow is your magical aura," she explains as soon as she finishes chanting. "It's the powers that you received from your father, Rex. My powers come from Helios, so my powers are strongest when he is out in the form of the sun. I'm not sure what time of day your powers would be at their strongest, but if your powers are anything like mine, you can use them any time of the day; they'll just be at their most powerful at a certain time of day..."
Chills run down my spine as Circe reaches out and clasps both of my hands in hers. "My method of controlling my magic is by channeling it through sound," Circe says, squeezing my hands. "You need to discover how you channel yours...Use your powers to unfreeze Noah. Focus on your powers, let them flow through your body, and then that's how you get the magic to happen. You must say these words or else it won't work..."
Circe whispers a couple of words into my ear that I swear sound more like gibberish than something magical.
"Why'd you freeze Noah in the first place?" I've finally found my voice. Took long enough.
"I'm going to freeze him again once this exercise is over," she says. "As I said, you're my soul mate...I can't bear to live without you, Rex. I need someone here besides the animals. I want you. I need you. I love you!"
A couple of minutes ago, she became my teacher in magic I didn't even know I had and now...she's desperate? This isn't Circe. I don't know why I didn't realize it sooner, but this is not Circe. My Circe isn't some kind of magic, desperate chick that says she can't live without me. I can't deny that she's hot, that I fell for her, but...she's not Circe. This can't be Circe! This isn't Circe! Circe! Circe! I can't seem to stress this point enough.
There's this huge grin on her face and her eyes are wild, spinning; she looks like she's lost a few sprockets or gears or something. She's so close to me. My heart's beating a million miles an hour now and all I know is that I gotta get outta here. I look over at Noah. Still frozen.
That magical light show was pretty convincing, so I decide to give "my magic" a shot.
"Gippity gibby goo!" I yell at Noah, wriggling away from psycho-not-Circe and feeling like a complete moron.
I grab Noah by the wrist and start running, dragging him right out the front door of the hut. Next thing I know, I've let go of Noah's wrist and we're running like a pair of idiots. I can hear high-pitched screaming. One look over my shoulder: the gal's leaning out of the door...screaming and I think she's casting a spell or something...
"Gippity gibby goo! Gippity gibby goo!" I yell as I turn back around. I scream it at the sky, at everything, trying to drown out her screaming. Once we're in the plants and surrounded by palm trees, my lungs are burning and the sound of her screaming is resonating everywhere, making my ears ring, shaking the world around me. Suddenly, Noah and I come to an immediate halt: there's two hungry lions licking their chops right in front of us.
I bump into something. Turn around and I discover a couple of white tigers right behind me. Noah looks like he's about to pee his pants. I can definitely relate right now. I'm saying the magic words over and over now, like a ridiculous mantra, but as I look around, I can see that they're doing absolutely nothing. And my voice sounds so raspy and wimpy, to add insult to injury.
"Shut up, Rex!" Noah yells at me, his eyes wide and scared. "Stop saying gibbity whatever and attack them or...just do something or we're kitty food!"
I'd say something witty right now if I wasn't scared out of my mind. The big cats are creeping closer, eyeing us like we're a pair of Prime ribs.
That's when not-Circe shows up, behind the white tigers riding on the back of a pudgy wild boar that's had way too many meals. Not-Circe doesn't even look anything like Circe now; she's bright red, crimson eyes, flaming hair that's literally flames. "If I can't have you, then nobody can!" she screams. "NOBODY!"
I swear I'm gonna explode. The cats are coming closer, showing their sharp, sharp teeth now. I'm remembering Noah's debut as a lion, how my powers wouldn't work. I squeeze my eyes shut and think about kicking evo butt, kicking, punching, blasting. I so wish I had my powers...
That's when a loud beeping noise, an oh-so-familiar beeping noise fills my ears. I open my eyes and I'm looking at my huge pair of metal fists.
All of the kitties are running full throttle now. I spin once and my fist knocks all four of them out. They go sliding, yowling and one flying into the sky. "Strike!"
The cats aren't down and out yet. Two climb right back to their paws and rush at Noah, fangs bared and claws out. All I have to do is put my fist right in their direction and they both run headfirst right into it. Both fall back, looking up at the sky and seeing stars now. Confident that I've taken out all of the cats, I turn my arms back to normal, smiling and letting the fear sail away.
I turn towards Fiery Babe, watch her sitting there glaring at me, clenching her fists, glaring. "You can't be a crazy cat lady without your cats," I say, smirking. "You must have a jumbo can of cat nip and a couple of huge yarn balls for your house pets."
She doesn't seem to be a huge fan of clever one-liners, 'cause now she's jumping off of the wild boar and Piggy's coming at me full-tilt. Before I can generate anything, Piggy hops on me, pins me to the ground and knocks all of the air outta my lungs. Really tough pig. I'm struggling with the pig, but the more I grapple with it, the tougher Piggy seems to get.
"LET ME GO!" Still struggling to get out of the pig's wrestling hold, I look over and see that Fiery Babe has a hold of Noah's wrist and there's smoke coming up off of where's she's holding it.
"I can and will burn his hand off!" she yells at me.
I grunt, doubling my efforts to get the freaking pig off of me. Enough time's been wasted on Piggy. Only one of my arms is free from the wrath of Piggy, so I turn it into my Big Fat Sword, lash out and pierce the thing, right through the middle. It's gross, but I ignore Piggy, tossing him aside and quickly scrambling to my feet.
Now I'm running towards Fiery Babe, wielding my Big Fat Sword. It's enough to get her to let go of Noah's wrist and she lashes out with her bare hand, catches the Sword's blade. And she melts the metal, with something that I could swear is lava. I cry out it pain. It hurts! It hurts so bad...
Right away, my hand returns to normal and I fall to my knees, screaming in pain as I clutch at my hand. Carefully, I bring my hand up to my face and it's covered with a nasty red mark. It's a constant, painful, painful throb. I can even feel tears forming in the edges of my eyes.
"Are you alright?"
When I look up, I'm looking at Fiery Babe. She's so twisted; her red face has morphed into Circe's, wearing a concerned expression. It makes me angry, so angry, that I turn my one working hand into a giant fist and swing at her, but unfortunately, she jumps out of the way and dodges my blow.
"You're not Circe!" I yell at her, swinging again while clutching my burnt hand to my chest. She dodges again and again and again, none of my blows connecting.
My hand keeps throbbing, throbbing with the beat of my heart. But I'm so angry, I don't care. Tears are falling down my face, tears from the sheer and intense pain from the burn. I glare at her, bring back my fist and watch as she walks over, slowly and calmly. It's so unfair that she can do that, while I'm in so much pain.
"Of course I'm Circe," she says, taunting me. "I'm the real Circe, unlike that little dark haired whelp that arrived here with you. She was insulting me, pretending to be Circe...there can only be one true Circe and that's me..."
She continues walking towards me. "I locked her up in a cave with some of my pets. They've probably eaten her whole by now..." She frowns a little. "I saw how enamored you were by her, so I pretended to be her, much as it pained me to do so. But now, I realize that that was just a waste of time. After seeing you fight...You're no demi-god. You're the same strange brand of creature that little whelp pretending to be me was..."
"What a shame. I was truly hoping that you were the one..." Her words are like poison, angering me more and more. "You're quite affectionate, though and seem to be quite receptive to my magic. That's probably how you unfroze your friend...temporarily absorbing some of my magic...You'll make a great house pet-"
A huge root comes out of nowhere and wraps around Fiery Babe, constricting her and cutting off her next sentence. My eyes are wide and I climb to my feet, dazed. Somehow, Noah's standing next to me and we're both looking at the huge root. It keeps tightening, more and more and Fiery Babe keeps writhing, struggling in it's grip.
"Hello Rex. Fancy meeting you here." Anger instantly boils up in me. Van Kleiss walks out of a nearby line of hedges, smirking as he clenches his fist and tightens the root's grip on Fiery Babe. It doesn't make any sense that he's popped up out of nowhere...and he's attacking somebody that was attacking me...
Fiery Babe melts her way out of the roots, smoke coming up off of her and breathing in gasps, Van Kleiss just smirking at her. She runs at him, but he stops her by tripping her with a root. As she falls, Fiery Babe turns her face into a funnel and shrieks, high and loud. I instantly reach up to plug my ears. Van Kleiss has to plug his ears, too and she's using it as an opportunity to climb back to her feet and rush at Van Kleiss again.
Suddenly, Noah yanks at my arm and my attention's directed away from the strange fight. He takes off running and I run after him. We run for several minutes and I'm fighting the urge to look over my shoulder at the battling baddies. Noah has the right idea: we escape while the baddies have their attention and energy focused on each other. For the next several minutes, our only focus is escape, running, breathing. Survival.
The world's a blur as I'm running and I'm sure that neither one of us knows where we're going. As I run, I can't help replaying the strange events of the day over and over through my head as if I'm watching a movie created by a mad man. The night's felt like it lasted an eternity. Around me, I can see sunlight breaking in through the leaves overhead.
After running what felt like a fifty mile marathon, I fall to the ground. Lying there, I'm so out of breath and my heart's gonna bust out of my chest. It's been beating so hard and so fast lately, that I'm surprised it's not broken. I roll over and see that Noah's a few feet away, looking blankly up at the sky. He looks over at me and smiles a little.
"At least I'm not a lion..." he says, trying to laugh. "No more catnip or mice for me..."
Keep trying, Noah. Maybe someday you'll have as many clever sayings and one-liners as I do.
I'm so tired...Exhausted...That's when I just close my eyes and fall into a heavy sleep, leaving the now extremely weird and unexplainable island of Aeaea and the rest of the world behind...
"Hey Rex...Looks like you finally woke up..."
I'm waking up and...looking into the smiling face of Doc Holiday. Yeah, that's a great way to wake up. So why do I feel so terrible...? Looking away from Doc, I see that Six and Noah are in chains attached to a cave wall. They're not the only ones...
Right across from me, Circe-my Circe, the real Circe- is in chains on the cave wall. Her eyes are closed, and she has a bloody lip. The rest of her body looks so limp and she's paler than usual.
Is she dead? I can't help the thought from entering my mind and it's frightening, more frightening than anything else I've encountered on this island so far. Right away, I remember Fiery Babe and I'm filled with rage. She's responsible for every last obstacle that all of us have had to face on this stupid island...
And she's going to pay a pretty heavy price for it as soon as I can get my hands on that 'whelp'...
"Rex! Can you get us outta here?" Noah looks at me and he looks just as mad as I feel right now.
Before I can generate anything, there's a low growl that fills the cave. Where we are is dimly lit by a small fire and the rest of the cave is pitch black. There's a pair of bright green cat eyes in the darkness, growling softly as they get closer.
I'm gonna get us out of here, but I have to take care of the kitties first.
"Here kitty, kitty."