It wasn’t easy to surprise Lynx. He was a well-traveled Estrella that had seen most of what the multiverse had to offer; including sights that most others never would. Estrellas have the ability to travel between universes at will; but, they can also see the true nature of anything. That true self is represented by an aura in humans. Lynx could tell what someone was just by looking at them. Zero, Unique, Fae, and worse were all easily distinguishable with a glance.
Lynx felt like he’d seen it all and wanted to slow down to appreciate the small things. Instead of universe-hopping he took a job as a deckhand on a cruise-liner. He chose to work cruise ships because he felt like he could help if there were ever any accidents at sea. Lynx never considered himself a jerk; but, his traveling from Earth to Earth highlighted how much more he could be doing to help in small ways. It was this habitual helpfulness that made a decision for Lynx before he could process it. He was too busy being surprised.
“What are.. whoa…..,” Lynx stared at the huddled pair of teenage girls. Their faces were filthy and underfed. Their fear opened their eyes wider which made them sink even further in their sockets. Their clothes consisted of grimy layers of rags covering the holes in themselves. One had vibrant green, stringy long hair while the other’s hair was just as malnourished. Except her green hair was several shades lighter. It wasn’t their urchin-like appearance, nor even their green hair that surprised Lynx. He’d found stowaways before; and, he’d seen every color and type of hair imaginable. What stunned Lynx was their auras; their aura.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” Lynx said. He felt he needed to say something so his stare wouldn’t be so awkward. He’d never seen anything like it. The twins were Unique Souls #11, the Cantaloupe; and, #28, the Watermelon. Lynx flashed his star sight as soon as he spotted the stowaways and saw their auras.
The one on the right with the darker green hair was #28. Her aura consisted of a long golden vine spiraled around her. Small, ethereal, golden-green watermelons were growing out of the vine.
The one on the left with the lighter hair was #11. Her aura resembled her twin’s. Instead of watermelons, her golden vine sprouted ghostly golden cantaloupes. However, Lynx had never seen two auras connected the way these twins had theirs. It wasn’t easy for him to differentiate the two Auras at first because they were both engulfed by a single vine.
“I’m going to help you,” Lynx said. “Come on, let’s get you some food and better clothes.” The girls relaxed at that, and Lynx was again amazed. Auras are active. They move constantly, more or less in accordance with what a person is doing. When Lynx surprised the girls, they froze and stopped their auras. As they started to stand up, the aura vines around them began spiraling around them again. Lynx watched the spot where their vines connected move from between them to circle around the one with darker hair.
“What?” He tilted his head as the vine continued to undulate around her. He noticed that as the connected spot moved, the rest of the vine did too. For a moment, while the girls made their way to him, both auras were around both girls. The vine around the darker haired one was no longer just watermelons. She had cantaloupes on her vine too. Lynx checked the lighter haired one and she also had both as the vine flowed between them. The best skill Lynx picked up in his travels was how to keep cool when weird things were happening. Most of the weird things that happened to him turned out to be awesome once he took a moment to understand them.
“I’m Lynx, an Estrella if you know what that is,” Lynx pointed at the golden stars in his eyes. “What are your names?” he asked while he kept his attention on the vines. The watermelons and cantaloupes switched completely. Now the watermelon vine surrounded the lighter haired one.
“Sidra,” the one with dark green hair said. It looked like they both said it; each of them mouthed the word. However, only Sidra vocalized it.
“Canta,” the other one said in an identical voice. Again, mouthed by both of them.
“This way,” Lynx said. He walked out of the storage room and down the cramped hall of the lower decks. He dismissed his star sight. “Are your parents with you?” he asked.
“No,” he heard Sidra say. But, something bothered him about the way she said it. Lynx froze in his tracks. He turned around slowly, not wanting to scare them off. He needed a question but didn’t want to sound like he was interrogating them.
“So, what’s first? Food or showers?”
“Shower,” Sidra said. Both girl’s mouths moved. Something bothered Lynx and he felt he was almost there. He needed more questions.
“Okay, well I’ll go get some food after I drop you girls off in a room you can use. What do you want?” He asked and focused on Sidra’s mouth.
“Pizza,” Sidra answered. Both mouths moved, but this time Lynx caught on. He looked at the girls and let a big smile take over his face. He wanted to let them know he wasn’t mad or scared.
“Son of a bitch,” he thought; amused. “You can hear me, can’t you?” Both girls blinked.
“You’re not scared?” Sidra asked. This time, neither of their mouths moved.
“We’re sorry,” a different voice said; Lynx guessed it was Canta’s true voice. “Talking is hard,” she said in his mind. He heard Sidra laughing too, while both girls stood in front of him seemingly emotionless.”Yeah,” Sidra laughed in his mind, and finally body as the girls relaxed completely. Sidra grinned and raised her arm to point at Canta, who was smiling too. Despite their activity, Sidra’s voice still came into his mind and she didn’t bother with mouth movements. “She can’t even do it yet!”