This is a fanfic about the origin story of Io.
Io the Cat
Ricard the Mystic Hedgehog
Selene the Divine
Various Magic Spirits
Ricard awoke slowly. "What happened?" He thought to himself. He'd had the strangest dream, and he thought it was sign of some sort.
Ricard was the youngest member of a family of mystics. His parents had taught him the family practice, but they told him not to practice without their supervision. Of course, being a teenager, he wasn't going to let the rules get in his way. He needed advice, from an unconventional source. The spirits.
Ricard looked around. In the middle of the night, he knew it was the perfect chance to sneak out. He got out of bed, quietly got dressed, and grabbed his own staff. He was ready.
Making his way outside, he lit a small lamp. The glow was enough for him to make out his surroundings. He took a trail to a clearing, the clearing his parents used for doing spells outside. As he walked along the path, he recounted what he had seen in his dream. He was lost in his thoughts, until he arrived in the clearing.
The clearing was exactly how he remembered it. Tall trees came up on all sides, and the edges were lined with large rocks. He knew what he had to do.
Taking out his staff, he started drawing an ornate pattern. A rune. His staff left a trail in the dirt and grass as he traced the pattern. He worked quickly, eagerly. When he was finished, he tapped his staff in the center. As the lines he drew became illuminated with a soft glow, he took a knee at the edge of the rune.
When everything seemed to be going according to plan, the light from the rune became far too bright. As Ricard shielded his eyes, he knew what he had done. He had made a mistake, working too quickly. He was horrified, thinking about what might happen. He could become cursed, or die....
When the light cleared, Ricard hesitantly glanced back toward the rune. At the other end of the rune laid a cat. He was a bit puzzled by the odd occurrence. Who was she?
The cat girl appeared to be unconscious. "Wake up..." He whispered, giving her a gentle prod. He stopped, held up his lamp, and looked at her closer. She was a black and white, striped tabby cat. She had short ears, and a very long tail. She was wearing a long black skirt, and an orange top.
Ricard felt the need to protect her, so he picked her up and took her back to his house. His parents were still asleep, (and it was quite the miracle that he didn't wake them up), but he managed to fix her a makeshift bed. His mind was still reeling with questions, so much so that he couldn't sleep. However, he did rest, and eventually fall asleep.
"Ugh. What happened..."
"You tell me... huh? Who's there?"
"What the... who are you?"
The cat woke with a start. To her surprise, a hedgehog was standing there, looking at her. The hedgehog quickly backed up, caught off guard by her eyes. They were strange, two different colors. One eye was light blue, and the other was a stormy grey.
"No. No, we weren't...."
"Yes, we were."
"Hello." The hedgehog introduced himself, albeit awkwardly. After rudely backing away, he didn't want to embarrass himself again.
The cat sat up, and stared at him. She clearly understood him, but she said nothing.
"My name is Ricard. Who are you, may I ask?" He said, politely. "Can she speak, even?" He thought to himself.
"We're here on equal terms, so we need a name for ourselves. Fast."
"We could pretend we don't remember anything, to buy us time."
"That'll have to do, for now."
"...Hello..." The cat mumbled, finally saying something.
"Ah, she can speak." Ricard thought. "Who might you be?" He asked.
"I- I..." She faltered. She turned away, as if she was trying to remember.
"What's wrong? Do you remember anything?" The hedgehog asked, worriedly.
The cat shook her head, innocently. However, what Ricard was unaware of was that the whole ploy was a fake.
Then, the door opened behind the two of them. "Ricard?" A woman's voice came from behind them. It was Ricard's mother. "Ricard, what are you doing? Who is she?" She asked, demandingly.
"Oh brother... What have we gotten into?"
"A lot, Airion. Relax, it'll be fine."
"If you say so..."
"Mom, I can explain." Ricard answered.
"Well, you'd better do it quick." The mother replied.
"I found her outside last night. She doesn't remember anything." Ricard explained. He wasn't really lying, he was just being vague.
Ricard's mother clearly didn't know what to say about it. She could sense something wrong about the girl, but she figured it wasn't much of a problem. "Well, OK then. She can stay for a while, I suppose ." She said. She than looked right at the young cat. "You must be hungry. Want something to eat? We were just about to have breakfast."
The cat nodded, grateful, as Ricard's mother walked back out of the room.
She slowly tried to stand, and fell over.
"Well, this is different. Something to get used to."
"Practice makes perfect, they say."
"Will you give it a rest?"
The cat tried to stand, again. She wobbled a bit, but she did manage to stand up. Ricard quickly came to her aid, and let her lean on his shoulder.
"Thank you. " She said, quietly.
"My pleasure. " he replied.
As the family had breakfast with their guest, Ricard's parents iintroduced themselves.
"Well, it's nice to meet you. " Ricard's mother said, sincerely. She then seemed to remember something. "Ricard, there's a few events on the star chart that are happening tonight. Maybe you can take your friend here out to see. " She suggested.
"Sure, Mom. Of course. " Ricard answered.
"Friend? Well, that was quick. "
"Agreed. Odd. She doesn't think we're suspicious at all...."
Deeper into the forest, a group of magic spirits were gathered, seemingly having a meeting of some kind.
"Lady Tempest!" One spirit said, turning to face another. At that moment, the small group parted, showing a tall, majestic spirit. Lady Tempest. "How goes the search, Esther?" Tempest asked, sounding confident and regal.
"Not well, ma'am. " The other spirit, Esther, replied. "We haven't seen Airion."
"Hm. Did you check the house? It could be worth checking. "
"No, ma'am, I did not. I will do so now. " Esther answered, before taking off.
Back at the house, Ricard was showing the cat around. She pulled back a curtain, curiously, to find a room filled with mystic's tools and items.
"Well, that makes sense. "
Ricard turned, toward the sound of the rustling curtains. Well, this was unprecedented. "What are you doing? Come on!" Ricard said, trying to get his friend away from the mystic items. Who knows what trouble she could get herself into in there....
But, the cat ignored him, and went in, seeming perfectly at home among the mystic tools. She took a deep breath. The room smelled of spices, and some potions. Perfect.
Ricard went in after her, stunned by how at ease she was. "That's weird. " He thought. Usually, most people would be freaked out at the sight. However, he held the girls hand, and continued to show her around the house. "How strange....." He thought to himself.
Later that night, a different group of spirits had gathered. They chatted amongst themselves, uneasily, until the leader stepped up. "Has anyone seen Celeste?" Asked the leader.
A male spirit took a knee. "No, Selene. Celeste has not been found. " Replied the spirit.
"Perhaps, the mystic's house would be a viable place to search." Selene suggested, motioning to the spirit that he could stand, which the spirit did.
"Yes, ma'am. I shall do so." The spirit answered. He bowed, before taking off, into the night.
Meanwhile, Ricard was on the small porch of the house with the cat, peering into a telescope. "And... there. You want to take a look?" Ricard asked, letting the girl look in the telescope.
"That's a moon called Io." Ricard said, matter-of-factly. "Almost as mysterious as the girl right next to me." He joked.
"Wow, it's so pretty..."
"Speaking of which, you don't even remember your name, do you?" Ricard asked, to which the cat replied with a nod. "Io, perhaps? I think it suits you. You like it?" He asked.
"Well, that gets us out of our predicament."
The cat laughed. "That sounds great!" She chuckled.
"Io. An interesting name, for an interesting girl." Ricard joked again, and the two both laughed.
That's when the spirits found their friends. Esther, and the other spirit, who had introduced himself as David, had met in the midst of their searches, and decided to work together. When they made it to the house, they turned invisible, not wanting to be seen by the mystics or the cat. Not now.
"Huh? That cat..." Esther said, staring at Io, but only David could hear her. Esther could feel a wavelength coming off from Io. It was identical to the magic spirits. "A living girl... With a wavelength of the spirits. That makes no sense...."
David could feel the wavelength as well. "We'll have to go closer." He said, walking up to the porch of the house. Neither Ricard nor Io could see them, but Io could tell something was off.
"Do you feel that?"
"They've found us. What do we do? They can't hear us from here."
"Do they recognise us, even?"
"They probably will."
"Hey, Ricard! Come inside, I don't want you to freeze out there! It's cold." Ricard's mother shouted from inside. "Coming, ma....." Ricard replied, disdainfully, as him and Io walked in.
Once the door closed, Esther and David started to continue talking. "Do you think it's them?" David asked.
"It might be." Esther replied. Then, she stumbled a bit, despite the fact that she was floating.
"Ooh. You're a day spirit, aren't you?" David asked, his voice suggesting that he knew how it felt. "Tell you what. We'll come back tomorrow." David suggested, to which Esther replied with a nod. "Thank you." She said, before vanishing slowly. David gave the front porch of the house one more curious stare, before hovering back into the woods.
Inside, Ricard's parents were talking to each other.
"Something's wrong with that girl." The mother said.
"I agree. But, what exactly?" The father asked.
"I don't know for sure." The mother replied. "Perhaps we could...."
"Perform a ritual? That sounds good. Ricard said that she seemed at home around our tools." The father suggested. The mother nodded. "Tommorow."
Io was about to go to sleep, but couldn't.
"Do you mind, Celeste? I can't stay up this late."
"Are you kidding? This is my time to be out. I'm a night spirit."
"And not mine. Why am I stuck with a night spirit...."
"I'll be quiet, if you want to get some sleep. Deal?"
The next morning....
"Io? You're up awfully early." Ricard said, walking out into the kitchen.
"Yeah. I don't sleep much." Io replied.
"I get it." Ricard replied. "No problem."
Io shrugged. "Thanks." She said.
"I can only imagine how panicked Lady Tempest is...."
"Relax. You're such a busybody. Don't you ever tone it down, and take a break?"
"To be frank, no. I don't have the time. Which is why today, we're headed back to the spirits. Where we belong."
"Okay, okay, didn't hurt to ask. Geez, I'm tired..."
"Hmph. My turn, I suppose."
"Io? You all right?" Ricard asked, noticing the weird series of looks on Io's face. She looked like she was arguing with herself, but not actually talking.
"Huh?" Io answered, looking back up at him. At that moment, Io's eyes changed, transformed to both grey. "I'm fine."
Ricard stared at her, shocked. "Io? Your eyes.... Are you feeling okay?"
"Uh-oh. What have I done?"
Io gave Ricard a reassuring, if not a bit forceful, nod. "I'm perfectly fine." Io replied.
"O-okay, I was just checking." Ricard said, walking away, past his parents.
"Yes! This is my- our chance to get out of here. "
Io went to place her hand on the door, but was interrupted by Ricard's parents, who were holding various mystic tools. "Where are you off to in such a hurry? Please, stay for a minute. We were about to invite you... To a ritual..." Ricard's father said.
"Hmm... I don't want them finding out.... But I can't be so rude...."
"Oh! Okay then." Io responded, a tad bit surprised.
Io watched as the mother and father set up. They drew a medium sized rune, and placed a shallow pan of clear water in the middle, almost like a scrying pool.
Io sat down, along with the parents, legs crossed. She closed her eyes, held her hands out slightly, knowing what to do.
The parents made a similar gesture, but kept their eyes open, with the mother staring at Io, and the father looking into the pool of water. "Hmmm.... I see. This form was not your intention. In your mind, this was a mistake." The mother said, thoughtfully.
Io nodded slightly, somewhat tense. She couldn't let them find out her true nature. Ricard watched, a bit nervous. If his mom found out what really happened, he was in deep trouble.
"You are strange. You are on a completely different wavelength than us." The mother said, concentrating.
"Oh no.... We're busted...."
"Tell me, Io. Where do you come from?" The mother asked.
"I can't lie. She'll know if I lie. I can't tell her what we really are. I could just be vague..."
"I come from the Ether Forest." Io replied.
"The place of the magic spirits? Are you a friend of them?"
Io nodded in response, but she grew even more tense, more nervous.
"Please, calm down, my friend. You musn't be nervous." The father said, noticing ripples in the pool of water.
"This is getting difficult..."
"Hm? I sense another presence... Just awakening." The mother said, tilting her head curiously to the side.
"Yawn.... What's all the fuss about, Airion? You woke me up."
"Shh! Celeste, not now!"