Chapter 5: Familiarly Strange

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Aderyn crash-landed on an unfamiliar roof top.

Instinct had gotten her into the air, but once there, she'd had no idea how to control her impossibly real appendages, and keep herself suspended.

Three times she'd nearly plummeted to the hard, cold ground, catching herself just in time to avoid the fall.

But once she'd gotten hold of her new abilities - just barely enough to control the direction in which she flew - she'd found a way to direct herself towards the city, clawing clumsily through the air, and praying to whatever deity she could think of that she was as invisible now, as she had been just before.

Only... when she got there, she was shocked to find a place she barely recognised as The Lights.

The gloriously white buildings which she had called home were now replaced by a collaged assortment of bricks and wooden slats, of stone and of cement, of tiles and of glass.

What on Earth is going on?

She'd chosen the tallest nearby building; a business-hotel combo, by the look of it, and had aimed for its flattened roof.

But she'd had no experience of landing before, and she'd discovered the significance of that fact almost immediately.

Ryn let loose a groan, as she pushed herself to her knees, once more struggling to fold her wings against her back.

She looked over her shoulder, trying to catch a glimpse of the feathers, but was surprised to see only empty air.

Reaching back a hand, her fingers scraped against the cold, smooth surface of glass.

They were there....

She could feel them.

But, just as she had been only moments before, they were rendered invisible.

Ryn could feel herself beginning to rise into a panic. She forced herself, with much struggle, to take in a deep breath, followed by another, as she rose, shakily, to her feet.

'It's okay, Ryn,' she told herself, the confidence in her tone belying her own tsunami of alarm. 'It's okay, you can get through this. You can get yourself through this. Just breathe..... Breathe....'

Eight deep breaths later, her mind had calmed down enough to allow intelligible thoughts to be formed.

'Try to go through what happened,' she thought, remembering the process which her mother had taught her, when she was younger, after a nightmare had woken her up in the early hours of the morning. 'What happened, Ryn?'

First, there was the storm; the mighty raging edifice of lightning and thunder which had broken her Teleporting device, and left her stranded atop the cliff face.

Next.... She had fallen.

Then, unimaginably, she had woken up, alive, surrounded by the forest she had always known to envelope The Lights.

Only... this forest was different.

Or rather.... What she found in it was different.

The warehouse, the Legacies' base.

Quentin.

Colt....

And then....

Her wings had sprouted, as though manifesting from the very air that swum around her.

Wings....

Wings made of glass....

A single name voyaged through her mind, echoing back and forth like a ripple of water.

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