The La-Iin Series
“All right, La-Iin,” San-Kyung said, cracking his fingers, “do you remember what today is supposed to be?”
“…” La-Iin stared blankly at San-Kyung.
“I don’t feel that good…” She sighed. San-Kyung slapped his forehead.
“Look, I know I just told you about it today, but I’ve been planning this for a while and you know it! We’re going to coax that power out of you if we can manage it.”
“Can we manage it? It kind of seems out of hand.” Dosa-Mina said.
“Where have you been?”
“Bathroom. Anyway, so that power activates when she gets angry, right? Tell me how you’re supposed to control a power that activates when you get angry.”
“Or emotional.” La-Iin said.
“That too. If your power is really activated by your emotions–which is honestly the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard–then there’s no real way to control it. It’ll activate whether you want it to or not.”
“There has to be a way to control it, though. It’s a transformation power. As far as I know, all transformation powers are conscious.”
“Not the AP one if you don’t know it’s coming.”
“Yeah, but it’s not like it’s a surprise as to how it happened. Your transformation power is conscious as well. So there’s got to be a way for her to consciously activate hers.”
“I guess you have a point. There’s an actual Vampire transformation power, which is the power to transform into a vampire bat. Unfortunately, it’s not a power that’s universal among all Vampires.”
“Shut up, rival-boy. Stop making comments.”
“I’m trying to give my input! Look, I’m curious too, because I’ve never heard of a power like this before. Transformation, yes. Vampire transformations, yes. But your transformation seems to be one to transform into an overpowered Pureblood Vampire. I wish you could explain to me how that works. Even if I transformed myself to look like a Pureblood Siren, I still couldn’t kill people with my singing.”
“He does know a lot about transformations, La-Iin. Both of us do. We’re the people who could best help you. And argue about Dosa-Mina’s presence all you want, but he has a little more experience with transformations than I do.”
“…fine. Alright, rival-boy, then tell me what you know.”
“Well, transformations work in different ways for lots of species. For Sirens and half-Sirens, we transform because of a song. These particular songs that transform the Siren who sings them cause a vibration in the vocal chords because of the nature of how they’re sung. This signals to the body that a physical change needs to be undergone. Even after years of living in societies, the bodies of Sirens and half-Sirens are still equipped for situations in which we need to disguise ourselves. So singing that song signals to the body that we need a disguise. In the end, it’s not the lyrics of the song that matter, although there’s no real point in deviating from them. It’s just how it’s sung. Sing it wrong, and you won’t give that signal to the body. Which means no transformation.”
La-Iin blinked at Dosa-Mina.
“In the case of Animated Pumpkins, it’s a power surge. In normal Animated Pumpkins, this power surge just heightens the powers they already have. But in Aesthetically Normal Animated Pumpkins, since their powers are slightly weaker than that of Animated Pumpkins due to their body structure, it’s too much power for them to take. If they had that much power in that form, they’d experience severe bodily damage. So in response to this the body transforms. It’s also a sort of ‘dangerous situation’ type thing.”
“Told you he knows a lot.”
“As far as Vampires go with their transformations into bats, it’s a little different. In that case it’s not a disguise mechanism or a way to keep the body from dying, it’s more or less a means of heightening the senses. It depends on the Vampire in question whether they can activate this consciously or not. Since it’s not as dire as in the case of Sirens and Animated Pumpkins, the transformation isn’t as serious and the Vampire’s body doesn’t experience changes that are too drastic. Just a little furriness and a few aesthetics.”
Dosa-Mina put his hand to his chin. “That’s why I’m wondering about your transformation. I doubt it’s actually caused by your emotions. I’d be tempted to say it works a lot like the Vampire bat transformation given that you are half-Vampire, but you kept saying it was caused by your emotions, which makes me think it’s something in your body reacting to something. A Siren’s body changes when it gets the signal that it needs a disguise, and an Animated Pumpkin’s when it needs a way to keep itself alive during the surge….so if yours happens whenever you feel over-emotional, then what exactly is it that your body feels like it needs? It’s got to be something like that.”
“If it’s something like that then how am I supposed to consciously activate it?” La-Iin asked.
“Sirens can consciously activate their transformation.” Dosa-Mina said.
“Animated Pumpkins can also transform shortly before the power surge.” San-Kyung said.
“And given that the Vampire one is almost entirely conscious, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a way to activate it. Maybe it activates because you feel threatened. So your body changes to that form to accommodate more power so that you can fight back against whatever’s threatening you….that’s just a theory, of course. I’d need multiple cases of half-Vampires transforming into essential Purebloods in order to prove it and they’d all need to transform under similar circumstances.”
“Rival-boy, your knowledge dump is annoying. And it’s too much to take in at once.”
“I made sure to brush up before coming here just so I could make sure I have my facts straight. I love talking about this sort of stuff, though. So this is a lot of fun for me. Though so confusing as well…”
“Well, how could she make it so that she feels like something’s threatening her to activate it without us having to constantly piss her off? Eventually her body will realize it’s being tricked.”
“That could make it let down its guard and keep that power from activating in a situation she actually needs it to. Unfortunately, I don’t think Vampires have an activation method like Sirens.”
“I also want to know how to stay in that form for a long time,” La-Iin said. “Every time I go into that form, it always wears off when I calm down.”
“That makes sense. It’s probably a bit of a strain on your body, so it deactivates when it realizes that there’s nothing wrong anymore.”
“None of this seems like her power would have a way of activating consciously,” San-Kyung sighed.
“There’s always drugs if she’s desperate,” Dosa-Mina said.
“I know. But I want to see if she can activate it without help from an external source.” He stared at La-Iin. “Do you think there’s a way you can convince yourself that you need to transform?”
“Or maybe give your body a rush similar to that of feeling threatened,” Dosa-Mina said. “Actually, what other emotions have you felt when you transform? It could help if I knew.”
“Just answer him, La-Iin.”
Dosa-Mina blinked. “Oookay…that’s not what I expected to hear.”
“Actually, I have something else that might help you, rival-boy.”
“What’s that? And could you please stop calling me rival-boy? In this situation it’s really distracting.”
“With you and I hanging out a lot now, I don’t want you to think we’re friends. In any event, earlier this year before I could fly, there was one day where I went into that form and I was sort of slipping in and out of consciousness and I was in a lot of pain. It was so bad that Mama called over Dami and they talked about it a little. Dami said my powers were probably developing.”
Dosa-Mina’s expression changed to one of surprise. “Okay, now that doesn’t make much sense at all! I know that Animated Pumpkins get signs that their transformation is looming, but that sounds a little abnormal and way more drastic than a normal transformation. And you said you went into that form? Just when I thought I had it too…” Dosa-Mina sighed.
“How come you didn’t tell us this?”
“I didn’t remember until I started thinking about it.”
“Well, now I don’t know. Unless…that might have just been your body dealing with the pain of going into that form in the first place….but then why would you go into that form to deal with the pain? That’s the part that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever!”
“This is so frustrating,” San-Kyung sighed.
“It is for me too.”
“Well now I have no idea how you would activate your power, save for feeling threatened and it happening automatically. I don’t know how you can do a conscious activation and now I’m not even sure it would be safe. Did that ever happen to you again? I know you activated it past that point. You had to have.”
“I’ve been in pain before after it but never like that.”
Dosa-Mina made a puzzled groan. “Why can’t this be easy….” He flopped backwards onto the ground. “I don’t know, La-Iin. I guess you’d just have to ask a professional. For all I thought I knew I’m completely stumped by this one. And that’s disappointing. I really thought I’d be able to get this.”
“You did well though, Dosa-Mina. I know you’ve told me that stuff before, but I was surprised by how much you knew.”
Dosa-Mina smiled. “Thanks, San-Kyung. If there’s one field I know a lot about, it’s transformation.” His smile dropped and he sighed. “Apparently La-Iin’s is out of my realm of experience though….”
“Well, I’ve never seen or heard anything about it either, and it sounds like her parents haven’t as well. There has to be something though…some sort of trigger for it. Like you said, maybe there’s a way for her to simulate a threatening situation to trick herself into transforming.”
“It might not be safe for her to transform,” Dosa-Mina said.
“We don’t know that for sure though.” San-Kyung looked up at La-Iin. “You’re the one who we’re talking about. Don’t you have any ideas?”
“A trigger….” La-Iin stared at her arm. An idea popped into her mind, but she was reluctant to try it.
“I have an idea.”
“You do? Let’s hear it then.”
La-Iin fought off her reluctance, plunged her fangs into her arm, and started to drink her own blood.
“What the–!? La-Iin, that’s dangerous!” Dosa-Mina yelled. San-Kyung’s words were drowned out by his.
La-Iin let go. “That tasted horrible.”
“Why would you do that!? Isn’t Vampire blood bad for Vampires to drink?” Dosa-Mina asked.
“I’m only half-Vampire. And that’s what I was hoping for.”
“Don’t do stuff that’s suicidal!” San-Kyung yelled.
“Oh, are you worried about me, San-Kyung?” La-Iin asked. She smiled at him. San-Kyung rolled his eyes.
Before La-Iin could follow up her words, a familiar feeling came to her. She felt the sensation of her senses being heightened, and started to feel more powerful.
She clenched her hands into fists as her whole body transformed.
“What the hell!?” San-Kyung and Dosa-Mina exclaimed.
The moment felt like it lasted a while to La-Iin, but it was over in a matter of seconds. She had transformed.
“I wish I had a pen and paper,” Dosa-Mina said.
“I’m in complete control,” La-Iin said.
Dosa-Mina held his head in his hands. “It’s starting to make a little sense to me….emphasis on ‘a little’.”
“A little bit of a hint is better than nothing!” San-Kyung exclaimed. He sounded excited to La-Iin; his voice squeaked slightly when he spoke. “So you’re in control?”
“Well, regardless of whether it makes sense or not, I think we found a trigger,” Dosa-Mina said. “God, I wish there was a completely reasonable explanation for this.”
“I don’t care. It makes a little sense to me.” San-Kyung stared down at La-Iin with a smile. Her wings started to flap in excitement.
“Finally, you can control that damn power of yours.”
“Mama, guess what I can do?”
Mit-Sun turned around, shrieked, and nearly fell to the floor.
“Guess who can control her power now!”
For La-Iin, today was one of the best days of the year.