Sihlk leapt out of the sea and came crashing back down again, laughing in the pale moonlight. She had taken the form of a dolphin tonight, loving the cold of seawater against her gray flesh. She swiftly swam through the water, looping around and just enjoying herself. She loved Creator-Father-Mother and his Realm of Chaos, but it was nice to get away from her every now and again and just… enjoy life.
Her happy thoughts of swimming, dancing and the occasional darting silver fish was interrupted by a strange sight indeed. Another Shapeshifter, it seemed.
Now, this was alone time for her, but that wasn’t what gave her pause – Sihlk didn’t mind someone else in her waters while she played, so long as distance was kept. What piqued her curiosity was the fact that the Shapeshifter in question was Shifting. It was always fun to watch another Shift – no two of her kind ever changed the same way. Some would force the changes through and heal the damage, others would go throw a smooth (albeit fake) metamorphosis. Sihlk personally opted for molding her flesh like clay and worrying about what went where later. The occasional brain damage or failed organ was easy enough to fix.
After watching the shape before her mold and crack for ten minutes, however, it became obvious that whoever this was wasn’t going to stop changing. Sihlk moved closer to the amorphous blob, and looked into red eyes as they opened along its sides. Fanged maws opened as well, and tentacles turned towards her.
Sihlk waved with a new tentacle, smiling broadly. It-he-she looked friendly!
It took almost a week for Sihlk to get the creature to a point where it could talk again. The two had gone to a nearby beach, sitting in the surf, and Sihlk had changed into a purple serpent. The creature called himself Ouran, and had only just now opened about his past.
“So you’re NOT a Shapeshifter then.” She tilted her head. “So what are you?”
“Dunno. Whatever Althra made me.”
She frowned at her name. “Ambition’s all well and good, but creating life?! She should’ve turned the task down.” Ouran grew a maw set in a permanent frown (angler fish, maybe?). “No offense to you, of course.” Sihlk held up a pair of draconic claws in a placating gesture.
“Of course.” Ouran said dryly. “So why should she have turned it down?”
Sihlk laughed. “Ouran, creating life from nothing is not possible, even for the gods, let alone a mortal wizard. Onore can’t make life. Volk destroys life wherever he walks. Gioco and Legion? Forget it. Creator-Father-Mother has a dead titan imprisoned in the Realm, so maybe, but even then I wouldn’t bet on it. The Titans made life, and then left it to its own devices. Only they can make life” Sihlk grew six thoroughly muscular arms and flexed them. “Gods can shape life as easy as we shape our forms – Creator-Father-Mother made the Shapeshifters from dolphins and sharks, for instance – but they can’t make it from scratch.”
Ouran heaved a little, and suddenly mucus shot from his mouth. Sihlk ducked down. “Yeah, I find it hard to believe, too.”
“That wasn’t on purpose, sorry. Althra’s stupid potions and all…”
Sihlk stared at the obsidian – make that viridian with a hint of orange – blob of tentacles, and stood up, now a draconic creature with mauve flesh. “Alright!” She proclaimed. “First thing on the agenda: You need to learn how to shift!” She pointed a claw at him. “Shift into a turtle!”
Nothing whatsoever happened.
“Wow, you’re doing great!” Sihlk grinned.
Ouran’s eyes all twitched.
“Now change into… a six legged pony with eye stalks and, oh I dunno, let’s say a glowing neon eye in its forehead!!”
“Are you high?!”
“I’m surprised you know what that means.” Sihlk smiled. “But you’ve already made excellent progress Ouran.”
“How’s that?! I didn’t change into ANYTHING you said!”
“Your initial problem was that you changed too often. But you haven’t changed once since I started naming random creatures.”
Ouran fell silent at that.
“Ouran. The first step in learning to shift form is learning how not to.” Sihlk said, snaking her head closer to look right into one of his bulbous eyes. “Memorize how it feels. Because that feeling in your head, the one that keeps you stuck in whatever form you’re in? That’s how we’re going to start…”
- Lord of Change – Part 2 (halftangible.wordpress.com)
- Lord of Change – Part 4 (halftangible.wordpress.com)