But things could never return to the way they were. Not now. Her home town had become a locked down quarantine zone, parts of the beautiful cityscape destroyed. Her smart, wisecracking but loving mother was host to the murderous god-queen of an alien race of extradimensional beings. And even if she managed to make all that right, if she were able to set the clock back to when things were alright again... she wasn't Natalie Grayswift anymore. Not Natalie Grayswift, the girl that everyone in school knew from somewhere on the tip of their tongue. Not Natalie Grayswift, the C student with an aptitude for physical ed. She was Natalie Grayswift, host to Echelon, and holder of a secret that, she now realized, was almost impossible to keep.
Her mind wandered to Jacent as she sat against the wall. She had spent her childhood thinking that she wanted to be Captain Comet. But it wasn't true. In her fantasies, she was a friend to Jacent, who sacrificed everything to save the day. And she would help! But after the villain of the day was beaten, her mother would call her for lunch, which she would hungrily eat, and then take a nap on her soft, warm bed.
Jacent didn't get those things. He didn't get the peanut butter sandwich or the comfy sheets. He didn't get the caring friends or the safe home. He had chosen this life that she idolized... but now that she had it, even with his own tutelage... she didn't want it.
She didn't want to be Captain Comet, and it terrified her to admit it. Well, of course it did! She couldn't admit it now, it was too late. Everyone was depending on her. Reality had spitefully granted her deepest wish, and now that she realized what a mistake that was, it was determined to continue to punish her, all the way to the finish. It made her sick to her stomach. She shook, clutching herself. What was she supposed to do? Admit this to her friends? What good would it do? Would it become a choice between admitting she wasn't cut out to do the thing she'd dragged them all into... or holding this secret inside until she finally... possibly failed?