2.0 Prologue

My name is Andromeda but everyone calls me Romi and I used to be a ghost!

It was when I  was about 7 I realised there was something strange going on.  I had always noticed people pointing, staring and randomly hugging me but the thing that made me realise something was not right was when Hydra, Juno and Pandora were about to turn 5.  On mine and Silver’s birthday mum is usually buzzing about the place with extra time off work to make arrangements for the photographers.  When I was 6 I noticed but never thought anything of it but 7 was the year that I found out I had been transformed.

I sat down on the kitchen stools, Tempest as usual trailing behind me, and asked mum who was baking the birthday cakes, “So when do the photographers turn up mum?”

She went stiff and I think she hoped I didn’t notice, “They aren’t coming Romi.”

“But they always come when it’s mine and Silver’s birthday.”

Mum put the tray down.  “Come sit down on the sofa’s we need to talk.”

I could hear Tempest behind me saying you knew this day would come.

I sat on the sofa and mum sat on the one beside me I prepared for what Tempest thought I would ask one day, which made no sense to me.  Tempest sat at the end of the couch listening to it all.

“Andromeda,” not good, mum never called me that unless I had done something bad or Aunt Cassie called to say I wasn’t paying attention in school again.  “When you were a baby you were like me, a ghost.”

“What!?”  That’s impossible!

Let her say what she has to say Romi.  

I try and act all grown up like Tempest is always saying I should and I say, “Alright I’m listening.”

Mum smiled at me and started again,  “When you were born you were a ghost, like me, Hydra and Juno.  But a year after you were born a woman came to the house posing as my sister and kidnapped you.”  This was nuts, I wasn’t a ghost and why would anyone kidnap me?  “You were gone for three days and the whole town was searching for you.”  Why had I never seen any photos of me as a ghost?  “When you were found you were transformed to who you are now.  The woman took you to make you normal.”  I could see mum was trying to hold it together, but she wasn’t doing a good job of it, she had tears in the corners of her eyes.  “She was put in jail for kidnapping you and transforming you without our permission.”

I looked at mum then Tempest who nodded that it was true, “OK say this is true and that I was born a ghost like Juno and Hydra, why would anyone change me?  And why are there cameras here for mine and Silver’s birthday but not the others?”  It was unbelievable if Tempest wasn’t here and nodding in agreement I would think it was all lies.

“This woman hated me, and the fact I am a ghost, she was trying to make it so that any ghost like me, your uncle Jupiter, Hydra and Juno would have to change.  She took you to help her cause, it backfired and well there had never been a kidnapping in Lunar Lakes before so the town fell in love with you, and when you came back changed the town loved you more.”

“But that doesn’t make any sense, why would they love me, they don’t know me.”

“You have to understand  Romi everyone is required to have a child in Lunar Lakes, its the law, so everyone one of these people are parents, that is why we think it never happened before, but when you were taken they all felt our pain.  They wanted you back in our arms as much as we wanted you back.”  I guess I could understand that.

It all made sense suddenly, the stares, the pointing, the random hugs, “Then why do they still care?  Why the camera’s?”

“After the woman,” was it just me or was mum hiding who she was from me?  “went to jail, there were press all over the house all the time.  The town still loved you, you were home and you were safe but you were still the first kidnapped child, and transformed as well, no matter what we said or the wards we put around the house they wouldn’t leave.”  I knew all about my personal wards mum topped them up every year around my birthday.  “Your father and I made an agreement with the press, they would leave the premises and not pester you as you grew up in exchange for pictures of you every year on your birthday.”

So all those years I had been having birthdays and the whole town knew about it.  Not only that they were waiting to see my birthday pictures, no wonder I was never allowed a party with more than my aunts, uncles and cousins.  “Who was she, why did she hate you so much to change me?”

Mum looked like this was the question she didn’t want to answer the most, so I was right she was trying to hide it from me.

She deserves to know.

“But she’s so young.”  Mum said back to Tempest.

That’s not fair, she can understand what you’ve just said she can understand this.

I was happy Tempest stood up for me but now I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

Mum sat up, “The woman is my half sister, we share a mother but your grandad is not her father.  She hated me because I am different and it became her lifes work to make me normal like her.”

“So I was changed due to a vendetta between sisters.”  I couldn’t help it I was mad now, I could have been like mum, the town would have left me alone, I wouldn’t be photographed all the time and hugged by complete strangers if she could have managed to keep her sister from hating her.  I know I could be difficult with Silver but we always made up in the end, why couldn’t they?

It wasn’t that easy Romi.

 I stood up out of anger, I couldn’t site there anymore “And you, you kept this from me too.  How could you?”  I knew if anyone Tempest wasn’t at fault but she should have said something, after all she was always nearby, we were best of friends after all.  I went upstairs not saying another word to them.  All I could hear was the two of them saying that could have gone better as I got to the top of the stairs.

I stayed in my room till dad came home a few hours later, doing research on the net about my abduction.  About ten minutes after getting home he knocked on my door.  “Romi can I come in?”

I got up and opened the door, it wasn’t dad’s fault it wasn’t his sister.

“I understand you had a talk with your mum.”  He saw what I was looking at on my tablet, “Oh dear, I really wish you wouldn’t read all that.”

“Why shouldn’t I they are about me right.”

He sat on the chair at my table.  “Yeah they are.  Believe me your mother tried to keep you from Georgia.”

Of course I knew at this point her name was Georgia and her sons were in my class, which made sense as to why they never came near me.  I was the reason they never saw their mum.  “Well she didn’t try hard enough.”  I pulled my bean bag chair over near my desk, taking  a seat I didn’t want to have this conversation with dad standing up.

“Romi that’s not fair, your mother has always tried to protect all of you, no one expected Georgia to take you.”

“But she must have known about this ghost bill of hers.  I was the test dummy.”

“I really wish they had never printed anything about the bill.”

“It was in the court case records.”

“They are locked Romi.”  I looked at the floor, of course I had hacked into them, I wanted to know more about my case, after all didn’t I have a right to know everything now?

Dad sat forward, a look of love and concern in his eyes.  “We thought her target was always your mother, we never thought she would hurt an innocent.”

“Well she did, and now I know.”  I was still really upset and why wouldn’t I be, I had been a ghost and then someone came along and fundamentally changed me.  Now I was like dad, normal and I hated it.  I hated Georgia for doing it and I hated the town for constantly wanting to know more about me, when they don’t know me.

“We would have told you, we just wanted to wait till you were old enough.”

“And when would that be dad?  When I’m 20?  When is there a good age to tell someone as a baby you were kidnapped and changed from who you were?”

He looked at me with such sad eyes, I hated upsetting my dad but I wasn’t wrong.  “I don’t know, we wanted to keep it from you till we thought you were ready.”

“Well done dad, well the cat is out of the bag.”  He looked like he didn’t know what to say to me, I wasn’t mad at him but the fact is when would they have told me?  Why did they feel it worth keeping from me I was going to find out eventually.  I’d had enough.  “Can you just leave me alone please dad?”

I loved my father and the sadness in his face right now hurt but no more than I had already been hurt.  He stood up and looked at the tablet.  “Romi, if you have any questions ask us, please don’t read it in those articles, or in the court records, I’ll tell you whatever you want to know.”

Of course he couldn’t tell me what it meant to me, this morning I was Romi a girl who took after her father and grandfather, this evening I was a girl who was a ghost.  How does one come to terms with that?  Being something, no someone else than you had been when born.  Who would I have been if I had remained a ghost?  How had it changed me?  What kind of horrible person would you have to be to change a person against their will and at such a young age.

Authors note:  

I’m trying something different by running the text colour in white and the animals in yellow.  Let me know if this reads better or if you prefer it the other way.  I want to find the best reading style for you.  I know the background isn’t great for text but I love it too much to lose it.  If it works better for you I will go back and change all of Thyone’s posts to the new style or I will change this to the older style.

Also we have the Gen 1 Q & A still running the Generation Q&A’s will happen at the end of each gen and will run till the tenth, so remember to check back at it often and see if someone asked a question that gives you an answer you never expected.

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