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Even a small loss can affect the lives of many people. For Allysa Stone, the loss wasn't small. Her sister had been killed in an aqualyce accident. Though the incident had happened about a year ago, Allysa's sister, Rose, had been like a best friend to her. As soon as the accident had occured, Allysa had pushed all her other friends away like a distasteful meal. She and Rose had been twins. Not just any kind of twins - they were cerebstasis twins. They could hear each other's thoughts - each and every one of them. They never argued for longer than a day, and never spoke to one another. They helped each other on tests and got the exact same grades. Altogether, they were one copy of the same person because they shared all their experiences.
It started when Rose had gone outside to the front yard to water the flowers. Their neighbor, Thomas, waved and yelled a greeting. He was playing with his morphoplast ball that changed shape when thrown. He missed the ball as it declined from high in the air, and it bounced into the street. Seeing how he was three years old, Thomas wasn't allowed to go into the street without a parent holding his hand. Tears began to pour out of his eyes. Rose ran to retrieve the ball.
Allysa was working on trying to work on homework in her bedroom – it was hard to block out half your thoughts – when she felt Rose fill with fear. She dashed to the window as Rose thought, "Why the heck is the ground shaking?" She quickly grabbed the ball and threw it to Thomas. Both Allysa and Rose were panicking because the shaking in the street was getting more and more violent. They screamed as Rose fell to the ground. There was roaring blast that echoed throughout the whole neighborhood, and the street tore up as the pressure of water was released. There was a huge geyser as Allysa fainted, feeling part of her brain shut down. That was all she could remember until she woke up in the hospital hours later.
She heard people discussing something in low voices before her eyes were open. The words "aqualyce" and "telepathy" and "gone" seemed to be used most. She heard sobs that were her mother's, and an angry voice that was her father's. Her eyes flickered open, and there was a group of people around her bed that all looked sad and scared in some way. Mrs. Stone rushed forward to hug her daughter as she realized that Allysa was awake.
A man in a white suit stepped forward. He introduced himself as Dr. Platinum. Then, he put on a sorrowful face and said, in a quiet voice, "It seems to appear that the aquadynic pressure of the H2O in the appendage of a recently installed pipe affected the magniflue in a way that broke the pipe, causing a very disasturous aqualyce."
Allysa, still groggy with a huge headache and feeling like a part of her was missing, slowly blinked and turned her head to her mother.
"It means that a pipe broke and caused an explosion," she quickly explained. Then she added, "Your sister... she's..."
"I know, Mom," replied Allysa. Mrs. Stone rushed forward for another hug.
"Whoever put the pipe in... They'll pay. I'll sue..." said Mr. Stone in a harsh voice as the doctor ushered him out of the room.
"How do you feel? Lys?" asked Mrs. Stone.
"I - I - I don't." Allysa replied.
"You don't know? Well, does anything hurt?"
"No..." she lied, not wanting to stress her mother any more.
"Alright, then... I'm going to go calm your father down. Get some more rest...you'll need it. I know Rose and you had that cerebstasis... I was just checking to see if... you know... you could still talk to her... No? Oh. Well... tell me if anything hurts. The doctors don't know much about anything relating to your case, so every little feeling is important. Well... See you in a minute." And with that, Mrs. Stone hurried out of the room. The door must have been antiphone, because the moment it was open there was a lot of yelling. When it closed, there was silence, and it was then that Allysa broke down in heartfelt sobs.
That had been a year ago. Far back. Now Allysa was thirteen, and, for all her parents knew, missed her sister but was living with it. No, she was not living with it. She had gotten used to feeling empty, and having her head aching all the time. But nothing could recover her fully. She cried every nigt, silently, until she was dry of tears. Even the Circumceph Therapy with Dr. Platinum couldn't save her.
Long ago, she had pushed away her friends. Her parents didn't have time to talk to her much; they were too busy with work. Her mom was writing a book about loss, and her father took up two jobs writing articles for magazines and newspapers. Nobody had talked to her since who knows when. Even her teachers at school avoided her if they could help it. And when the year had ended she had quit her therapy, convincing her parents she didn't need it.
Spring collided with summer, and school ended. Allysa woke up Saturday morning and walked to a creek nearby her house. She climbed a Dendrchloro tree, and sat in it, watching the Domesticentomo grass blow in the ectonemo.
She heard a crunching sound, like a person walking. Then, as the sound got louder, she realized that it was not one but two people. A boy and a girl, both identical, were walking side by side. They both wore glasses designed to diminish the level of antiopticosis, and they both had light brown hair and hazel eyes. They were wearing jeans and t - shirts. They didn't talk, they didn't look at each other, and as she watched them they both turned to look at her at the same time.
She spoke, but her voice was raspy because she hadn't used it in so long. She tried it again. Better.
"Who- who are you?"
"I'm Lexee," stated the girl, while the boy said, "I'm Dillon." Then they both said, "Who are you?"
"Allysa. What are you doing here?"
"Walking," they said, at the exact same time again. And then, "How about you?"
Allysa shrugged. She really didn't know why she was here. She wondered if they were cerebstasis twins, or just some mean kids from Rubigeo Middle School, playing a joke on her. So she asked. After a pause, only Lexee answered. "Cer - cerebstasis? Is that what it's called? We've been wondering; we don't have the money to get a good doctor. How do you know? Do you know somebody who is like us?"
Allysa didn't want to tell her story. She was afraid she would cry. So she said, "Yes, I actually have met somebody with the - uh - same condition as you."
"Oh, really?" Dillon this time. "Where are they from - around here?"
"No, not really."
"Do you wanna come with us?" asked Lexee. "We've been staying in a levidomestic house we built a while ago. It's in the mesoboreal part of this forest. We've been living here since our parents moved away. We still go to school and all, though."
"Uh... sure. I'm not really that busy today. Or any day, actually. I haven't been feeling up to anything lately."
"Okay, great. We've never really had any visitors except for the occasional Cyanavis or Cuprio Squirrel, so excuse us for the mess. But come on! Follow us!" said Dillon, excited.
The forest was larger than Allysa had thought it would be. It took about an hour to get to the tree house. Unornithopteras hopped along the path, searching for seeds. They were birds in every way, but they didn't have wings. Along the way, the twins told about their life, starting with when they had been in first grade.
They had built the tree house with their father when they were seven years old. That was when things had become agitated. There wasn't enough money to feed everyone, and the electricity bill was long overdue. One eosol they woke up and their parents were gone. They left the house, which wasn't in good condition at all, and stayed at their new levidomestic house. They went to school every day, because they had always been taught to do that. Lexee would babysit, and Dillon would work at a sports shop to earn money.
They'd had their share of enemies, too. There was a man that would monitor them and try to take them out of class. They said he was bald and had a brown mustache, and that he usually wore a white suit. The whole description sounded vaguely familiar to Allysa, but she couldn't recall where she had seen him.
Finally, Dillon said, "We're here!" They were facing an Stenochloroe tree, with pieces of wood nailed into it. Foliumflor vines hung from the top. It looked extremely hard to climb. Lexee, as though she knew what Allysa was thinking, laughed and said, "Don't worry! There's an easier way. Watch."
She stepped up the first few wood pieces, and grabbed a one of the vines. She pulled it as she jumped down, and a rope ladder unrolled. She climbed up. Dillon followed. Cautiously, Allysa put one hand after the other and didn't look down. After what felt like half an hour of climbing, Dillon and Lexee hoisted her onto a platform facing a wooden epidia. Lexee began fumbling with a key. She stuck it into a lock, and the door clicked open.
Inside looked like a cabin, and Allysa had to keep reminding herself that she was high in a tree. Dillon pointed out a window and said, "Nice view today."
Allysa glanced out the window and gasped. The only thing visible was the tops of trees. She pulled her eyes away to look at the rest of the cabin.
The cabin was divided into quadrons. In one corner of the room there were bunkbeds, neatly made. "We dried lots of floriodos to stuff the matress," Lexee explained. "When I was little, I had a really bad case of insomnia that would keep Dillon awake, too. But when we started stuffing the matresses with these dried flowers, I could finally sleep again!"
In another corner there were cupboards made out of a special Cupriwood and counters made out of lithotomes. There was a box with a screen on it on one of counters. "That's our energy efficient light! We combined the forces of the sun with the power from the nearby waterfall. It's my best invention! It's called the Flusolaqua," said Dillon, excitedly.
Lexee strode over to the kitchen area with the cupboards and pulled open a door. "This is a like a refrigerator, but it works way better. It's called a Cryostasis. It keeps your food cold and doesn't need any electricity! The chemicals in a capsule in the back make it cold, and they remix every few hours so that it stays cold!"
Allysa was impressed. "Wow! Those are both pretty cool!"
“Also, for a couple of days a month on Lunicand, we stay up because it is really hard to block out the moon’s light. We get too tired and fall asleep usually after neonoct.
In yet another corner there were chairs and a table, and in the last corner was stairs leading up to another level.
"What's upstairs?" she asked.
Dillon led the way. "There's the bathroom. A pipe runs down the tree trunk and disposes the waste far underground. The shower is filtered water from the creek. We carved out this dendroconvex branch, and if you pump this up and down, you get water! Here's the dressing rooms, and there's the closet."
"Mostly my clothes," Lexee laughed.
"Well... that's are house! Did you want something to eat? Drink?" asked Dillon.
Allysa wasn't sure if she should except or not. She was hungry, as well as thirsty, but she didn't know how much food and supplies they had. Her stomach gave her away, though, and Lexee said, "Let's go eat lunch!"
It was about mesosol when they finished eating their sandwiches with bread made from ground nutrianth. The twins accompanied Allysa back on the path that led out of the forest. As they were walking, Allysa heard a faint beeping. It was the same orthostasis noise, keeping the same rythym. At first, she ignored it, but it grew louder. She looked at Lexee and Dillon. They shrugged, and kept walking. Still, the beeping went on, growing louder and louder as they followed the path.
They turned a corner, and the twins started running. Allysa, confused, hurried to keep up with them. Suddenly, Lexee screeched as a bald man jumped out from behind some macrolithons. He had a pile of gear strapped to his back. He reached back and grabbed a gun, which he pointed at them, then hit a switch on his shoulder. The beeping stopped.
It was then that Allysa realized that this man was Dr. Platinum, from the hospital. He smiled, his eyes glinting.
"It's you two, again. And I've seen you've met Allysa. Very good."
"We can call the police! We'll tell them, we'll tell them all about you following us everywhere!" Lexee said angrily.
"We're not going to your stupid hospital so that you can give two people a sip of sanaqua and have them know each other's thoughts! We will not be tested for our entire life, or killed in the process! And we know you will myodiatoxicate us so that we have no clue what is going on, and that we think life is perfect!" exclaimed Dillon.
Dr. Platinum's smile widened. "You don't understand," he said calmly. "You three are all children. This situation is ultracereb for you. Your pathopedie can be cured. And you can call the police all you want. When they find out you're homeless, it'll be straight to an orphanage. And if I say I am your great uncle, then you'll be under my custody. You might as well give up before anybody gets hurt, you cerebfreaks. All I have to do is perform a simple, peritroph neurotomy, and then watch the heterocult. In fact, I could also give you special powers. I could make you pneumopyric, or give you hemosclerosis. I could make you aposbrachiarthro, or make you unisocosta."
“If those powers are so great, why don’t you give them to yourself?” Lexee demanded. Dr. Platinum couldn’t answer this question.
"And I? I, with parents who have custody over me? How are you going to work that out?" Allysa asked forcefully.
"Allysa, Allysa. Don't you know I've watched over your entire life since you were born? Your parents ignore you completely! The endocular device in your house proves it all! And I have so many weapons, if you leak one word about this to anybody, you can bet that your friends will be no more. You may go. But these two must come with me."
Suddenly, Lexee fell to the ground. Allysa knelt down, and found she was sobbing. Dillon knelt with his back to Dr. Platinum, and Allysa realized the plan as Lexee's hand clasped a macrodend that was on the ground. She stood up, wiping her eyes, and Dr. Platinum had no idea about the large stick in her other hand.
"NOW!" yelled Dillon, and she flung the stick as they ran. A shot fired, but didn't hit anybody. There was a crack, like a branch breaking from a tree, and yelling.
"To my house," Allysa said softly. They sprinted around the corner as fast as we could. Suddenly, a hyperauto van drove up behind them, and pulled over the curb. They were running across the street around it when Dillon over a rhizoblastotars, which caught around his foot.
"Stop!" cried Dr. Platinum, and they had: to help Dillon up. Dr. Platinum grabbed Lexee's carpal and threw her into the back of the van. Dillon tried to reach for her, only to be pushed in himself. Allysa started running, when Lexee screamed. She looked back and saw a curvifractor around her neck. "Come back here, or I will kill her!" Dr. Platinum screamed. There was a screeching sound, and a man dressed in black jumped out of another car and grabbed Allysa. He pushed her into the back of the hyperauto van. Lexee was pushed back in after her. Doors slammed, and the van sped away.
They were in a white cell, with one door in the back. An octocular was hanging from the low ceiling. You had to stand at a gonceph, the enclosure was so cramped. Allysa moved to stand in front of the camera. Dillon tried to turn the door handle - locked.
"I hate concaclaus places like this," moaned Lexee.
They all sat down, crowded together. The road got bumpier by the minute. All of a sudden, after about thirty minutes of driving, the van stopped. They heard a couple of voices – “Come over here!” and “Stop!” Then, the box started shaking, and they felt themselves being lifted into the air. Lexee screeched, “Ouch!” when they were roughly dropped to the ground. Allysa’s head hit the roof of the ceiling, and she bit her tongue. Dillon fell sideways onto his elbow, and his shoulder blade jammed into his jaw. The doors opened, and they were seized and blindfolded. They entered some sort of building, where it was extremely cold. After walking around a bit, their blindfolds were removed and they were shoved into a large, roomy cell with two doors. With a slam, they were all alone in a bare room. Another octocular was hanging from the ceiling.
They all moved to a corner, and started whispering quietly. Allysa tried to show that she wasn’t nervous, and so did Dillon and Lexee. They murmured about school, family, and friends. Just when Allysa was going to tell them a little bit more about her, she had an idea. She took her sweatshirt, which was tied around her waist, and hung it over the eight sides of the camera. “Wow,” she thought. “That helped a lot.” But Lexee pulled a device out of her pocket. On the side, it read, "Agon - Appendage". She held it up to the doorknob. There was a tiny click, and the door swung open.
Dillon led the way. They followed a steep, dirt path down a chloroconvex. Lexee and Allysa followed. As soon as the hyperauto was out of sight, the three of them ran down the hill. It was then that Allysa pulled her cell phone out of her pocket. She hadn't used it before; there hadn't been a time where she wasn't in view of the evil doctor. After a few rings, her mom answered in a wary voice.
"Hi - mom? It's me. There's this crazy person trying to kidnap us, can you just have a car ready at the corner of our street? A fast one, preferably the Cyandynamobile. We're on the road that leads up the chloroconvex by our house. Just hurry, please!"
"Okay! I'm in the car right now. Who's trying to kidnap you? And who's we?"
"Mom, I'll explain it to you in the car. Bye!"
At the bottom of the hill, Allysa, Lexee, and Dillon scrambled into the car. Allysa's dad was driving; her mom was in the passenger seat. "Where to?" asked Mr. Stone, and they were soon speeding to the acromanu station as Allysa, Lexee, and Dillon explained the story, first to Mr. and Mrs. Stone, then to the police.
As the were sitting in the lobby of the police department, Lexee said, "We know about Rose and you from a previous encounter with Dr. Platinum. Why didn't you tell us?"
Dillon added, "It was one of his protologies - seeing what would happen to you if the cerebstasis connection was broken. That "accident" was on purpose."
Angry tears sprung to Allysa's eyes as she heard this. She hated this man even more now. Suddenly, they heard a commotion outside. An officer rushed in, introducing himself as a Crypterg Detective for the acromanu department. Then he said, “We found him.”
Dr. Platinum was questioned multiple times, brought to court, and sent to prison for the rest of his life.
Allysa’s life grew better after this turn of events. She now had friends, and her parents had agreed to adopt the twins. She knew she could never bring Rose back, and she knew she could never get over the fact that she was gone forever, but more and more people realized how she felt. The small loss would never disappear. But with Lexee and Dillon, it could get a whole lot smaller.