L.A.S.H.

L A S H
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Chapter 1

Night Owl

I am Night Owl. The brains of the group. The leader before our true one came. Why? I was the first. One by one, we shall all share how our stories began. So, without further adieu, here is mine.

~~~

"Rikki!" My mother yelled up to me.

"Yeah?" I opened my little trapdoor to the third floor of the house.

"Dinner!"

"Kay!" I glared at my math work on my desk, then looked at the computer screen. "Sorry, Baljeet, gotta jet, dinner. Thanks for the help!"

"Bye, see you same time tomorrow?" I nodded and grinned, going to turning off skype as I headed out. I had met Baljeet when he had come to our school as an exchange student. He was staying with my best friend, so I saw him a lot. It turned out, he was good at things that I wasn't, like math, and every single academic class. Likewise with me. I was good at defending him, art, acting, and things like that. So, when he went back home to Surat, India, we gave each other our skype names and he started tutoring me over skype each night.

He may like me, because he sent over this wonderful lavender dress- I think it's called a sarees at one point. His mother is a designer for Anjali Fashions, so sending me an expensive looking dress wasn't a problem for him. He hasn't said anything about his feelings to me, so I'm not sure.

Throughout dinner I was really bored, just wanting to go back upstairs and draw. Maybe livestream some of it. Or, write some new story ideas down. Although, just sitting there skyping my friends sounds nice. Yes, I'll do that. After dinner was done, I put my dishes in the dishwasher and headed upstairs. Before I could even get to my room, mom called me back down.

"Dad and I are going to drop your sisters off at their auntie's, be right back." I nodded.

"Kay."

She was about to leave, then stopped halfway down the stairs. "Oh, there are these people from your school coming to test a theory out. They might pick you up while we're gone, don't worry." I nodded and she left.

"Wonder what that's about?" I said as I walked up to my room again. Or, the attic as most would refer to it as. "Ah, well," I turned skype back on to see who was on. Koral from England was on. I had a lot of friends from around the world. All have been to my small town in Canada at one point or another. Koral came here for vacation. Don't see why any tourist would want to come to our rainy oceanside town, but I guess I can't judge, because I'm not a tourist.

So I called her and the first thing I saw was her mop of curly blonde hair. "Hello, Englandish hair." I said, grinning as she glared at me when her face came on screen.

She was pretty, in all aspects of the word. With or without her bright red lipstick and designer clothing. "Oh, shove off, America." We both liked Hetalia, so she liked to tick me off by calling me America, instead of my patron country, Canada. We both laughed. "So, what's up? I mean, besides my horrible messy hair."

"Your hair is fine," I said, leaning back in my chair. "I don't get you sometimes. You try so hard to get pretty, and don't believe that you are. Even without all that."

"I shall believe you," She fixed her horrible quality webcam. "When I get a boyfriend," I laughed. "I'm serious! You've even had a boyfriend, and look at you!" I raised an eyebrow, grinning. "No offence."

"Whatever."

"So, how was India? Isn't it, like, four in the morning there? That guy is so pathetic for you!"

"It's a little after ten in Leeds. Little after two here. Why you up so early?"

"Well, I'm just about to head out with my friends, because, unlike some people, I sleep during the night," I rolled my eyes. "So, hear from Japan?" She asks while sucking on a lolipop. "That guys as slippery as a snake. Only talks to us when it's in his con... The doorbell rang and I interrupted her.

"Sorry, gotta go. I think that's the people mom sent to grab me, later."

She nodded. "Peace out, Canada!"

"Later, England," We signed out and I ran downstairs. I opened the door and a woman in bright pink was beaming down at me. Her crazy blonde hair was in almost a tamed afro. "Effie Trinket?"

"Trinity Efforts. I'm here for the... theory." I didn't like that pause.

I stepped back. "You don't look like anyone at my school. I would recognise you, most definitely."

"I'm not from your school, but he is." She gestured to my creepy homeroom teacher, Mr. Farnley.

"Oh, hey, Farnsworth." He grumbled a hello and I walked over to the car. Once I stepped in, though, they closed the door and gas was immediately filling the car. "Farnsworth! Farnley? Mr. Farnley..." I choked out before I slipped.

~~~

I woke up in a small cell. My back hurt as well as my head. I checked my pockets and found my cellphone. I tried calling but it didn't work. Texting worked. So far I had three new messages. All from Kurt and mom. Asking where I was. I tried texting them for help, but then the message started retyping itself and I ended up sending 'I'm fine, but the project is going longer than expected. I'll be staying out for the next week.'

"Wha...?" The door opened and Effie walked in.

"Yes, found out about the auto texting? If you text somebody something we don't like, we will change it," I nodded. I may have underestimated Effie... Trinity. She seems much more smarter and lethal. "We are using you for an experiment. We are seeing if we can turn a under-achieving brat into a brilliant girl," I waited for her to continue, and she did. "Then we thought, might as well combine two projects and make her part animal, too. So now you are part owl, isn't that fitting?" She put her hands in the air, as if to say 'Ta-da! Now you're a freak. Not only that, you are a SMART freak!'* I didn't give her the satisfaction of an answer and she left, realizing I wasn't a very appreciative audience.

~~~

After a while of thinking, and talking with Kurt in code, I figured that I can retract and pull in my owl wings when i want, so there's no need to worry about that when I get home. I also figured out, that when you give someone infinite knowledge, you should leave out the stuff about lockpicking and criminology. In two seconds I was out and flying high enough so they wouldn't be able to catch me.

"That was easy enough," I turned a three-sixty. "Now, home isn't far off. I'm still in the rockies, i can get home easily from here." So I did. Honestly, though, I helped multiple people in different situations on the way back. It felt good, to help. I decided I would help in any way possible, as soon as possible. When I got home Japan was calling me, as soon as I snuck into my room through my balcony door.

It was three in the morning, three days later. Sapporo, Japan time was eight in the morning, eleven in Leeds, four thirty in the morning in Surat. Conference call, most definitely. I accepted his call.

"Hello, Rikki. How are you-"

"Yeah, can you wait one moment, Shinji? Just gotta call up Koral and Baljeet, too. I have something I need to tell you all." Then I saw it. Ireland was actually on. Wonder where in the world he was now? I added him to the conversation, too. "Riley!" I said as he popped up on screen. "Baljeet!" He grinned at me. "Koral!" She waved. "It's been a while since we've all been on one call, how are all of you?"

"Great, and, I MIGHT just have a boyfriend now?" I grinned at Koral.

"What happened to you yesterday and the day before, Ri?" Baljeet asked. "I tried calling both your skype and phone and it didn't work."

"I was... I'll explain later," I looked at Riley and Shinji. "So, what have you two been up to? Last time I saw Riles was when he was in Hawaii! Where you at now?"

"Morrocco!" He beamed at me. He was just adorkable. Admittedly, I had a slight crush on him. That's why I approached him when he was fishing on the Prince Rupert docks. That, and he was fishing in the wrong spot. "It's amazing here! I love the rugs!" So enthusiastic.

"And Shin?"

"I've been... Busy."

"What have you hacked into this time?"

"The pentagon. I almost had what I needed before they cut me off..." He balled his fist and almost punched his monitor. "I'm too slow." I loved his accent, it just made him seem that much more epic. "So, I heard you haven't been on for a while. What's up?"

"That, right," I sat up straight. "Well, first off, y'all might need a glass of water and a seat..." So I told them of what had happened.

"Holy shi-"

"Koral."

"Shilling. Holy shilling," She fixed her almost curse. "That's crazy." I nodded.

"I love helping people, though. It gives me this satisfying feeling deep in my chest."

"Then why don't you be a super hero?" Riley said.

"Yeah! Me and Baljeet's mom can think up a costume for you!" Koral said, all of the sudden excited.

"Baljeet's mother and I, Koral," I shook my head. "If you want, you can," I looked at Baljeet. "That okay with you and your mom?"

He nodded. "Great, now a name?" Koral said.

"Night Owl?" Shinji said. "It makes sense. She is always asleep at night, and she has wings. She also has a vast amount of knowledge. Owls are the symbol of wisdom."

"That's brilliant! If I could hug you through the computer, I totally would!" Koral squealed.

I rested my chin on my hands. "I love how I'm just sitting here as you four decide my fate."

"Well, wouldn't that be awesome though," Riley said as Baljeet and Koral signed off to talk to each other over a different call. "A fifteen year old super girl-" Something crashed on his side and the camera shook. "Oh, holy mackerel, what was that?" The camera focused again on his confused freckled face. His mop of brown hair was revealed after his rainhat fell off. "Uh... I gotta go, guys. See you if I can find an internet connection." With that he signed off and it was just Shinji and I.

"So, I see you've gotten rid of the ponytail," I grinned. "Again." He was always changing the way he looked.

""It just wasn't me."

I yawned. "Whatever, I haven't slept in days. See you... Whenever." I waved and signed off, flopping into bed. Little did I know of the adventures ahead.

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