A Return Trip Home

AN: This story uses characters of both Kate's and my creation, save for anyone from the game Persona. Thanks go out again to Kate for letting me use her characters! Please e-mail all comments to FrankMayn@comcast.net

Location: Windia
Windia High School, Courtyard

"It stopped snowing..." Lucy said calmly.

Just a couple of hours ago, Lucy Conwing and Ray Bendrel were released from Winlan Memorial Hospital after their mysterious illnesses just went away. Neither teenager could explain the odd dream that they both had shared. While both Lucy and her brother headed toward the school, neither one knew where Ray had gone. Wherever it was, he had taken his sister with him.

Brandon stretched his wings before looking around. "Odd... the snow did stop... but now... What is going on???"

Lucy and Brandon began to look around. A thick fog was starting to roll into the school's courtyard, making visibility near next to impossible. Both brother and sister scooted closer to one another so that they wouldn't lose each other.

"Brandon! What... what... OUCH!!!" Lucy yelled.

"Lucy! Are you okay??? OUCH! What? Now it's hailing!!!" Brandon had said before getting hit by a chunk of hail.

"Let's get into the school! Hurry!" Lucy yelled to her brother before she gritted her teeth in pain.

Brandon did his best to shield his sister from the hail as they both ran in the general direction of the building. Both teenagers ran abruptly into the front doors, letting out a cry of surprise. Brandon pulled both doors open and hurried his sister inside before following her in. The Windian abruptly slammed the doors shut before slumping against them, shrugging his wings in pain.

"Lucy... Did you get hurt?" Brandon asked his sister.

"Just a few bruises... Brandon! You're bleeding!" Lucy said in shock.

Brandon wiped his cheek with the back of his hand. Sure enough, there was a red smear along his fingers. The Windian gently probed his back and gasped in pain. He could feel the deep bruises and gashes there, along with the cuts, since the hail had torn the back of his shirt open.

The Windian closed his eyes and began to meditate for a moment.

"Life Forces...Please heal my wounds... Cure 2!" Brandon said as he touched his hand to his heart. Immediately, the Windian's body began to glow. If one was to look, all of his cuts, gashes, and bruises healed by either sealing and scabbing or recoloring bruised flesh back to its normal color.

"Nothing major, Lucy... Though I do need to change when we get home..." Brandon said as he shrugged his wings. However, he still winced in pain.

Magic does tend to heal the physical wounds of anyone who uses it. However, magic cannot overcome the natural processes of one's body when it comes to healing. Therefore, the wounds may heal, but the brain tells you that you're still injured.

Lucy continued to stare out the front doors of the school. The courtyard was soon engulfed in a thick fog and was quickly being covered in hail. What shocked her the most was that the hail varied in size, from that of a marble to the size of a baseball.

"It's so surreal... First the snow... now the hail and fog... Ladon... what exactly is going on?" Lucy said quietly.

Out of habit, Brandon began to tap the hilt of his rapier as he stared at the odd landscape.

Ladon... This is all so... weird... What is going on??? I wish I knew a bit more...

Lucy turned, thinking she heard a familiar voice from the Faculty Meeting Room. She continued to listen a bit longer before she confirmed who it was.

"Dad? Why is dad here?" The Windian asked no one in particular.

That immediately caught her brother's attention. "The captain's here? If anything, he might be able to shed some light on this situation... Come on Lucy... let's drop in on them."

The Windian teenagers made their way to the Faculty Meeting Room. Upon opening the door, they both saw some familiar faces, along with some unfamiliar ones as well.

A Windian with small, gray wings was sitting at the head of the table. Various others were seated as well, talking about what had happened and what was going to be done about it. After listening to various comments from around the table, the gray winged man stood up and addressed a golden winged guard.

"Maria... you're the one investigating this... Have you found anything on where my students may have disappeared to?"

Maria Avalon: A member of the Royal Windian Guard, underneath the command of Captain Matt Conwing. Currently, her rank is Lieutenant. She met Frank back during the Coliseum Incident when he had saved her life. Incidentally, she knows of Frank's origins and such, when she helped Jess care for him before he was taken in.

Maria Avalon looked grim. At the moment, her face was one of a person who had been looking for something, but couldn't find it. The Windian shrugged her wings before speaking.

"Only where and when the students disappeared. Frank Maynard and Kate Harlow were in the library when they vanished... Ellen Johnson, Janet Meyers, Alex and Diane Brandshire were at lunch when they disappeared... and get this. A coliseum fighter by the name of Tellka Chanikasu also vanished before a big fight. Recently, Nathaniel Trinity, known as Nate amongst the student body here, disappeared in the Tiger's Catch restaurant."

The gray winged Windian was silent for a moment. "Is there any connection between the fighter and the students?"

Maria shrugged her wings. "Mr. Stewart... the fighter is constantly with Kate. Apparently, those two are related some how."

Principal Stewart: Principal of Windia High for quite a few years now. The Persona Users consider him as nice as their old principal, Dr. Kotter.

An elderly Windian spoke up.

"Tellka is sort of like Kate's other guardian, Ms. Avalon. She's helping me take care of Kate."

Maria turned to the source of the voice. "So there is a connection. Thank you Ms. Harlow."

Carrie Harlow: Kate's guardian, who took Kate in after a series of events. Tellka brought Kate into Carrie's care after a possessed Windian Noble killed her mother.

Carrie nodded lightly. "No problem, Ms. Avalon... I just hope that..."

"Ms. Harlow, don't worry. I assure you that the guard is doing everything possible to locate the missing students..." Maria said with a reassuring tone to her voice.

Suddenly, a hysterical, female voice broke out in the room.

"Everything you can do??? If that was the case, then you would have FOUND them by now!!!"

The Windian male beside her stretched his wings slightly before giving his wife a hug.

"Janice... Calm down... I'm sure that they'll turn up eventually."

Janice Meyers looked at her husband. "Ben... I can't help it! Our baby! She's missing!"

Janice and Ben Meyers: Janet's parents. Janet's family bloodline is 100% Windian, which is extremely rare in this day and age. The Meyers are of noble status.

"What about Nate? Do you know anything about him?" A brown haired, bearded, gray winged Windian asked as he pushed his glasses up on his face.

Maria cleared her throat once more. "Mr. Leslie, Right?"

The Windian nodded. "Thomas Leslie, Ms. Avalon. Please, just call me Thomas or Mr. Leslie."

Thomas Leslie: Nate's guardian in Windia. He runs an antique shop called Angelic Relics. He treats Nate like the son he never had. He can't figure out why Nate is so cold and stubborn. Thomas is also of high status in Windia.

Maria shrugged. She was going to answer, when the man beside her jumped in instead.

"Unfortunately, Thomas... That's all we have to go on so far..."

Thomas just raised an eyebrow. "I see, Captain Conwing... But please, find them soon! I'm worried about all of them... When Nate never came home..."

Matt Conwing: Captain of the Windian Royal Guard, and Brandon and Lucy's father. Matt's a Windian, but lacks wings. He's a hard working individual who is well respected.

"I understand... If Brandon and Lucy just disappeared without a trace... I'd be worried too..." Matt said with a quiet, comforting tone.

A Woren female with long, red hair done up in a ponytail spoke up.

"Another odd thing..." She said as her tail flicked about in worry. "Their weapons... Frank's... Nate's... Ellen's..."

Maria looked at the Woren in question. "Ms. Rorins... Are you okay?"

Jessica "Jess" Rorins: A female woren, also Frank's guardian. She owns and runs The Reverse Edge Weapons Emporium. She took Frank in after he was nearly beaten to a pulp outside her shop. What intrigued her was that the spirit of Katt Chuan was beside him, begging Ryan, Maria, and her to help him.

Jess just nodded. Maria noticed that the Woren's ears were drooped.

"Maria... I'm fine... I'm just worried to no end... wherever those four went... I hope... I hope they're okay...

Captain Conwing nodded. "I hope so too, Ms. Rorins. Ladon... please make sure they're okay. Anyhow, Ms. Rorins... what were you saying about those weapons?"

Jess shook her head, making her ponytail whip around lightly. "I don't know how to explain it... Frank and Ellen's rapiers... Nate's CloudSword... And their guns... they disappeared before my eyes..."

Matt was taken aback. "How so, Ms. Rorins?"

Jess shook her head again. "It's hard to say... it's like... Well... I saw a yellow butterfly... I turned around for a moment to find something to catch it with... Then when I turned around... It was gone... along with the weapons."

A Grassrunner woman wearing a labcoat removed her glasses and cleaned them. Both her ears twitched as she cleared her throat and placed the spectacles back on her face.

"Ms. Rorins, that is highly illogical. Someone could have just walked into the store and taken those weapons."

Jess turned to the grassrunner. By now, her tail was flicking in annoyance.

"Mrs. Wireman, I was alone in the store's research and development room. I had already closed down, due to the... circumstances. There was no one in the store with me!"

Jennifer Wireman: One of the teachers at Windia High. She is a favorite among both faculty and students. Despite living in a world of magic, she still classifies odd things as being illogical, due to the fact that the world had been at peace for a long time.

Before Mrs. Wireman could say anything else, another female woren broke into the conversation.

"Wait Jess..." the woren said, before running a hand through her short, brown, hair. "You said a yellow butterfly? That's odd... I saw the same thing in the restaurant..."

Matt Conwing raised an eyebrow again. "A yellow butterfly? Come to think of it... Some of the students said that they saw a yellow butterfly flying around the table that some of the students were sitting at... Thank you, Mrs. Chiba..."

Lorenda Chiba: Ryan Chiba's mother, as well as Ellen Johnson's guardian. She is the owner of The Tiger's Catch restaurant. Incidentally, she is also a widow, since she lost her husband to a mysterious illness about three years ago.

Maria raised an eyebrow before she shrugged her golden wings lightly.

"Okay... That may help. We now know that there was something that connects all this... But still... What does that butterfly have to do with it, if anything at all?" Maria said as she crossed her arms.

At that moment, Lucy spoke up.

"Dad!!!" The teenage Windian spoke out.

Matt Conwing turned to the voice of his daughter. "Lucy! How long have you been standing there?"

"For awhile, Dad... If there's anything we can do to help..." Lucy said quietly.

Matt looked at his daughter for a moment. "Lucy... you're Janet's friend, right? If there's anything that you can tell us about her disappearance..."

Lucy just shook her head before looking at her father. There was a frown on her face before she answered.

"I'm sorry Dad... There's nothing that I know... All I know is that she wanted to say something to Ellen... And... that was it. I know it may sound weird, but, I saw a yellow butterfly hovering above their table..." Lucy told her father.

Captain Conwing raised an eyebrow. "A yellow butterfly?"

Lucy nodded. "It hovered around all of them at their table... Ellen was surprised to see it... I turned around to eat, then that's when I felt something... odd... Wind, and it was laced with magical energy... I turned around, and they were gone..."

Matt nodded. "I see then... Thank you Lucy..." Butterfly? So it was there during their lunch hour...

Brandon cleared his throat before snapping his right hand to his forehand in a salute. "Sir, if I may... Many odd things have been happening today... A few hours ago, some students became mysteriously ill... then just like that, they were okay."

Matt looked at his son. "At ease... You said some of the students here became ill? Which students?"

Brandon lowered his hand before shrugging his wings. "Just some students, sir..."

A burly looking man that was dressed in work clothes and boots was sitting there thinking. As he did so, he rubbed the brown stubble on his face and ran a hand through his short brown hair.

"Excuse me... I know this may sound awkward... Though I am concerned about Diane and Alex... But... hasn't the weather been very... odd?"

Both Captain Conwing and his son turned to look at the man.

"Pardon, Mr. Brandshire? Come to think of it... you're right..." Matt replied before tapping his chin in thought.

Paul Brandshire: The father of Alex and Diane Brandshire. He lost his wife four years ago to a fire. While he is human, his wife was woren. Paul cares about his children very, very, much.

"Sir..." Brandon started. "For one thing, we've had snow, hail and fog, all of which is very unusual for Windia."

A Highlander man took a look at Brandon and noticed that his clothing was torn. "Oh my... that must have been bad... What happened to your clothing?" After saying this, the highlander began to wring his hands nervously.

The Windian shrugged his jet black wings lightly before turning to his teacher. "Hail, Mr. Jamerson. Plenty of it... I was shielding Lucy on our way into the school. Both of us had to stick together so that we wouldn't get lost in the fog."

Greg Jamerson: A highlander who teaches history at Windia high. Many students fear his near-impossible tests and exams.

Mr. Jamerson stood up and quietly made his way to one of the windows in the faculty room. Behind him were both Mrs. Wireman and Principal Stewart, as well as Maria Avalon and Matt Conwing.

The three teachers and the two guards were watching as now a mixture of both hail and snow began to come down hard on the fog covered school grounds. Suddenly, a giant piece of hail slammed into the window that they were staring out, causing all five to jump back in surprise. Where the hail had hit left a giant, spider web pattern on the window. Maria and Matt both looked out the window once more, only to notice that it now stopped hailing and was just snowing. What confused both of them was the odd, swirling fog that seemed to engulf the area.

Maria continued to stare outside. As she did so, her golden wings began to twitch spastically. Soon enough, the golden winged Windian was soon lost in thought.

Ladon... what the heck is going on here? All these things... disappearing students... Odd weather... The last time that strange things happened was back in the coliseum... When those demons... overran... Wait...

Frank... He was involved in the Coliseum Incident... So was Kate and Tellka... And all three disappeared... I remember... before falling asleep in the armory there... wasn't there... Yes... a yellow butterfly... I never did ask Frank about that... I forgot... It's so odd... Him... his powers... when I helped Jess take care of him after Sree's thugs jumped him...

Wait... there was a yellow butterfly there as well... Then he explained everything... his powers... where he's really from... I didn't believe him at first... neither did Jess or his friend, Ryan... but when Nina Winlan emerged from him and talked to us... That's when I believed...

It's not a farfetched idea... but maybe they were taken to his hometown? And something's happening there that's causing this? What did Frank tell me about that butterfly...

Think, Maria... what was so important? Wait... he said that's how the God who gave him his powers shows himself... Philemon... If that's so, then something big happened back home, causing him to be brought back... But why the other students...

"Maria?" Matt Conwing asked the younger guard.

Maria just shook her head lightly before running a hand through her long, blonde hair.

"Just thinking, sir. When we get back to headquarters, I really need to talk to you."

Captain Conwing nodded. "Okay then... Remind me later, okay?"

Mrs. Wireman continued to stare out the window.

"This is highly illogical! There's an explanation to it..." She said as her ears twitched impatiently.

Mr. Jamerson turned to the Grassrunner. "Forget it, Jennifer... I don't think there really is a way to explain all this..."

"Nonsense, Greg! It's just a shift in the weather pattern! An unexpected cold front! That's all!"

Mr. Jamerson shook his head. "Just give it up..."

Principal Stewart cleared his throat. "All right then... this meeting is adjourned..."

Captain Conwing cleared his throat. "If anything else comes up, we'll be sure to alert all of you."

With those words, the concerned parents and teachers silently got up and left the faculty room. The only ones left were Brandon, Lucy, Maria, and himself.

"Brandon... take your sister home, okay? Maria and I need to go back to headquarters to clear something up? Tell your mother that I'll be home soon, okay?" Matt Conwing said to his son.

Brandon saluted once more. "Yes sir! All right Lucy... let's get going."

Lucy offered a simple nod before following her brother out of the room. When both were out of earshot, both Maria and Matt turned to leave.

"Maria... you wanted to talk to me about something?" The captain asked the younger guard.

Maria nodded. Both had left the school and were now in the fog covered town of Windia.

"Yes sir... something important came up... remember what happened in the coliseum?"

Both guards continued to talk as they made their way back to the headquarters of the Royal Windian Guard.

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