Tom, our resident Summoner, started making funny, loud noises and flapping his hands wildly. Aviyah let out a keen mental wailing that seemed to spike with Tom’s vocal distress. We all felt the jolt, even the drugged ones, as we later discovered.
After we were all knocked out, the small cell would break away from it’s link to rest of them, and the wires would be shut down. The room would rocket until we landed in a mostly abandoned mountain valley. There, we would be found.
“Well, ho ho, what do we have here,” a kindly elder voice queried.
The sight that presented itself to me was anomalous to what my ears heard. My ears heard someone old, but what appeared in my eyes looked only a few years older than me!
“Um, hi,” I said, rocking back and forth with Aviyah, who had pressed herself as close to me as she possibly could. “I suppose we’re new here.”
“I suppose you are,” the strange person answered. “Would you like my help? My name is Reverend Phaddy.”
“Well, first, I suppose these others need to wake up. I’m not exactly in charge here, Reverend Phaddy.”
“Yes, I suppose it would be difficult to do my work without the rest of them awake,” the elder sounding voice said, and with that, my companions began to pop awake in various stages.
Alexander sighed, tried to roll over, caught himself, and then his eyes popped wide open.
Something in his voice and Aviyah’s fearful mental babbling told me that we had found the elusive other class E.
I was right. Reverend Phaddy was indeed the other class E. In his own words, “I am capable of giving presents. Bodies can be renewed, even neurons. Giving that sense of presence is what I do best.”
I wondered. Could this strange man renew even long fried and damaged neurons like mine? It was medically impossible in my world, but I had to hope…
“It’s medically impossible to do the things he does,” said Alex. “He could drop all of us where we stand, whenever he wanted, except maybe Aviyah. But nobody’s ever heard of him using his abilities that way.”
Ah. That explained her fear, then.
“These are the things I will do,” Reverend Phaddy said gently.
“Alexander, you are the leader of these. Your desire is to always be able to know when to protect them, and to have the strength necessary to do so.”
A swirling power seemed to come from the Reverend.
“Thus shall I make you capable.”
A metamorphosis seemed to take place. Alexander, plain old Alexander, suddenly looked like he had become more buffed. Did Reverend Paddy give him physical strength? There was also the alertness, and his now enlarged, angled ears seemed to twitch and move and make up for his widened eyes…. This power was awesome.
“Tom Warren, the child of bubbles. You will find it easier to divide your attention between tasks, to help your friends.”
He didn’t really get it, but he liked the thought of helping out his friends.
“Aviyah Williams, I see,” He said. I tried transmitting the idea that he’d noticed her, but he already had her rapt, undivided, and frightened attention. She was transmitting ideas that he was bigger than her in some ways, and that just should’ve been impossible, and she was afraid… ”To you, I will grant the ability to look outside the box, and to appreciate some new things. The noise will receive some buffers.”
Man, transmitting those ideas were difficult, but I think I managed. I felt her understanding, acceptance, and decreased fear. That was good.
“To Anantha, I give the ability to know who can be trusted, to discern the emotional contents of the heart.”
“To Aoiko, I give the simple ability to explain what you’re thinking.”
“To Mark, I will give the ability to manipulate electromagnetic fields, and the ability to focus on multiples at a time.”
“To Natan, may your imagination become vivid and your paintings reality,” he said, giving the boy a very special sketchbook.
“Who are you, to have this authority,” Natan questioned.
“I am Reverend Shinryo Phaddy,” he said, gently. “Nothing more or less than what I claim to be.”
‘Doesn’t Shin mean God, in Japanese?’ I pondered to myself. ‘Yes, but it also means Death.’
“To Myka, I give the ability to forget all ills and remember all else.” ‘You are more correct than you know,’ I thought I heard whispered into my subconscious.
“Lastly, to Maya Williams, I give the ability to control convection.”
With that, the valley was shrouded in mist, and we were again alone.