Chapter 3

It was raining outside when I woke up. I could hear the strange pattering on the ceiling above and outside the walls of the room. At first I didn't know what rain was, but the boy explained to me rain and clouds when I felt we were connected in our minds once more. "Rain feels good in the hot summer," he told me. "The drops are cool and if the ground or buildings is really hot, you can see steam form like a fog. Its neat to watch, but rain makes me sleepy when I'm at home. Mommy says its because I get bored easily when I'm not outside."

I felt myself laugh. You enjoy being outside rather than inside? I'd have to agree. Anything is better than this cage...

In my mind, I saw him smile, laughing as well. The two of us floated in the dark abyss of our shared mind. But despite the lighthearted aura he gave off, I could tell the boy was slightly saddened by my reply. He felt the same way about our world, our cage. The boy was like a small sparrow, locked in a cage and wishing to be freed. It hurt me to see him so sad, when I knew that he was a shining spirit when happy. Don't be sad, I told him. We'll be free one day and we will be able to leave our homes and pasts behind. We will find happiness one day. I know it.

He looked up at me with watery eyes. "R-really?" he asked, hope in his voice and eyes.

Before I could reply, a shout in the distance caught my attention as the boy began to fade from my mind. There was red all around us now, and an extreme heat began to tear at us. I saw myself fading as well, as if we were being pulled from our connection. Sirens and alarms could be heard around us, and I could see a great fear in the boy's eyes. What's going on? I asked, not hearing the fear in my own voice. Why does it feel like everything is burning around us?

"I...I don't know! Everything is.... so hot.... It burns!" He held his arms to his chest, as if trying to block the world out. He began fading more and more until all that was left was a faint phantom crying and hurting. Around us, the shouts were getting louder. They were scientists, those I've never heard before.

"Sir, there's a chemical fire! We have to evacuate!" one shouted.

"Wait! This is his chance. He has the power..." This one was calm, despite the circumstances. His voice gave me shivers. This was the one who was in charge, I knew it. "Come on...Put out the fire..."

"Help me!" the boy shouted in his mind, having not heard the scientist's voice. "It burns...It hurts!"

Calm down! Please, little one, you have the power to put out the fire! I pleaded with the boy in our minds. I reached out to touch him, but when I did, my hand passed through him and became as chilled as ice. I could hear the voices of other scientists now, my scientists, yelling at one another, saying I was unstable and in danger. Concentrate, little one! You must use the powers they've been enhancing and put out the fire! Otherwise, we're both going to burn together! You can do this, I know it. You just have to believe in yourself!

At first I was afraid he'd vanish like Amber and the others, and I felt tears form in my eyes once more. Then the boy let out a shout and a strange blue light pierced the darkness of our minds. Everything was suddenly cold as the light covered the red fires. Before me, the boy solidified once more, floating in the cool darkness. The light had passed almost as quickly as it appeared and I knew whatever spell or magic the boy had cast worked. I took hold of his shoulders; the boy limp and appearing asleep in my hands, and gently shook his shoulders. Wake up...please wake up little one...

"But I wanna sleep..." he muttered, not opening his eyes. "I'm so tired..."

The voices of the boy's scientists spoke once more. "Sir," the first said. "He's stable and all vitals are functioning properly. Do you want me to administer a sleeping injection? The spell weakened him."

"Yes, yes. Of course." I heard the dark smile in his voice. "The entire room was on fire...and now covered in a layer of ice. He's a complete success...Superhuman strength, quick-analyzing and information gathering mind, superhuman speed, and now this...The ability to cast spells and magic without a supporting chant or item of power...He's a success...My son is a success."

A sudden burning anger swelled in me as the boy slept in our mind. What kind of human...would experiment on their children? What kind of madman would put his own blood and breath in such danger?! Why do humans do this to each other? Why must innocents suffer at the hands of those more powerful and higher than them? It doesn't make sense...Amber...the boy...the others...Why must we suffer? Why must we be caged?

These thoughts rang in my mind, but the voices of my own scientists dulled my thoughts. "He's stable sir," one spoke. "It must have been a seizure or panic attack. I've never seen mental readings like these since..." The voice trailed off as if not wanting to finish its own sentence.

"It appears he has a telepathic connection with another..." This was the voice of the superior, whose daughter was the lost Amber. "They must be able to feel each others pains and emotions...That's what's been happening over the past few days...I can feel it." His footsteps began to fade as he walked away. "We can only hope that they will support each other and that they live...for the sake of science..."