Shade shrugged deeper into the small gap she had secured to hide away in through the day. The crisscrossed beams supporting the roof met and ended almost haphazardly at the tops of the large windows, the light streaming through the dirty glass left her in the gloom she preferred. It hadn't even been hard to climb the carved frame of the window, someone, for some reason, a long time ago, had decided to beautify this old warehouse, though she had suspicions it hadn't always been a storage building. Something about this part of the town, the buildings, the abandonment, hinted at something other then just old warehouses and shops, but their original purpose eluded her.

Her eyes shined in the half light, flicking from one direction to the next, keeping tabs on where everyone was. Noting their positions, she leaned back and closed her grey eyes, sleep would come, she needed rest, she had been unable to sleep recently, anticipating Kai's return to Russia, and now that he was here, she had no idea what to say to him. She needed rest, and planning.

Sleep came, but rest could not be found, dark dreams followed her, dreary colours blending, images blurred into one another till the confusion and disorientation made her sick with fear. One thing remained clear though, fresh in her mind, made worse by her imagination, the screaming never stopped.

Kai stretched in the light and slight warmth of the growing day. It was cold, almost bitter, but the weak sun brought a heat that kissed the skin, enough to make him shiver from the brushing sensation. The water that filled the trough was icy cold, but was glorious on heated wounds. He knew he should have taken better care of them, he was weaker then he had been, grown feeble in Japan with no harsh training or punishing drive. All he had taken was his memories and his beyblade, and now the phoenixes had been ripped from him, all he had was the disturbing flashbacks. He needed more; he needed to be stronger to be of any use against Biovolt.

Running water through his fingers, he ignored the whispers behind his back. Small groups had congregated to see what he was up to as he had strode outside to the trough, though only girls remained to watch as he'd stripped down to his boxers and began to wipe away the grime and blood from his body. He had started to feel clean till wolf whistles and cat calls had started from those braver and older then the others. He had felt his cheeks heating till he remembered they were just bored, and scared. He was a welcome distraction to some and so intended to ignore the goading. He could almost imagine Tyson now flexing his arm muscles, posing, oblivious to Max imitating his moves behind his back. Kai almost smiled, and then steeled his face. They were not a part of him anymore, they had betrayed him, they had let it happen, had been part of the plan to remove the phoenixes from him. He knew he cared for them still, deep down, but to win this he had to leave them behind. He had done such before, he would again! He had to.

He removed thoughts of what he had left behind by dunking his head suddenly under the cold water. Flicking his head back, he glared as the girls shrieked and shuffled to avoid the cold drops. What he wouldn't give to be alone, just to be left in peace, to find what he was looking for. He would gladly disappear from the world if he could, he had nothing left here.

The need to sigh was strong, but he pushed the urge down as he picked up his clothes and dropped them into the water, he had been self reliant for a long time, and was almost a comfort to immerse himself in the mind numbing chore of washing the grit from his clothes. It wouldnt be perfect, but it would do, the clothes would be mostly clean, except the stains. There was alsways stains, blood needed more then just water to clean it away. It seemed blood stuck to him, he could never get away from it, never be clean.

"You going to tell him?"

Tala almost jumped, he should have heard Ian coming up behind him. He glanced down at the smaller boy, his face as expressionless as always.

"No, not now, maybe not ever. He will find out, how could he not? He is the amazing Kai after all, he will find out on his own, and he won't thank me for knowing, so no, I will not tell him" the red head replied.

"That's cold Tala and you know it, he deserves something in return for what your about to put him through. He doesn't deserve your contempt; he didn't do what was done to you, stop using him as an excuse."

Tala sneered, though the hatred that normally entered his eyes was absent. "I do what I have to Ian, don't interfere!"

His tone held finality to it the smaller boy knew well, shaking his head, he backed away; he didn't see the concern that Tala couldn't quite hide anymore. Blue eyes watched him go, then turned away again. Tala knew Ian was right, but he couldn't be the one to tell Kai, the hatred for him was no longer real, though there was a bitterness that wouldn't leave, recent events had fixed it into place, the unfairness of the news he had received tore at him. How Kai could not know didn't seem real to him, but Biovolt was always thorough, making sure that everything was lost. They had slipped up, so slightly, and yet had managed to cover up their mistake without even knowing they had.

He clenched his fists, Kai would find out, of that he was certain. He would show Kai, if they ever survived this, he would push his old comrade towards the news that could well break the blue haired teen.

He might never get the chance to tell him, they might all die in the process. The death of so many children in a Russian suburb would destroy Biovolt, it would be the easiest way to ruin everything Biovolt was, but the instinct to survive that made them choose this path was what would destroy Biovolt down to its foundations. Some of them may be able to go on and live a normal life, and however few of them there were that could, they were worth the struggle. And maybe they could all find happiness. Maybe.

It wasn't an idea he could believe in, how could they live normal lives? How could he live a normal life? He wasn't even completely human anymore.

A dark storm surged, always on the horizon, now it was getting closer. No one knew what the storm was, or in fact, where this place was. The landscape and sky shifted tirelessly, unrecognizable yet still there. Light and dark, colours and bleakness, all existed here, fading, undulating, flashing. Here was shapes too, things beyond imagination growing and twisting, for all imagination existed here, blending, separating. This place could have been alive, almost. Realities existed here; things fell under gravity, only seemingly to remember at the last moment that those realities were also birthed through imagination, and so stopped, or faded, or changed, dependant on only whim. But whose whim? Whose imagination?


Too many questions existed here, and they could never be answered. This place wasn't't real, but it was here. Things lived here too. They hadn't always, there was a

time when all was developing shapes, colours, chaos. There was still no order, but it had been harnessed somehow, like fire, controlled, changed, yet still completely

unpredictable. The chain that held this place was so very weak.

One man had used this place for his own, changed it from a land of shifting Gods and colours, to a home, almost. The harpies hadn't been happy here, yet they had

thrived on its pure chaotic energy, growing, gaining power. But they didn't belong here, it had changed them, twisted them, nothing could live here and not change.

Now two more entities made it their home, two phoenixes were becoming one, not just when summoned, but always, maybe then they would be powerful enough

to help Kai, maybe they could escape. There was no certainty, but they had been through far too much in their long lives to end it now. This place may have birthed their kind, they were not about to let it end them.

Leon watched Tadashi from one of the many cameras that dotted the building. He knew she was after Boris, he had decided to let her have him, one less thorn in his side. He could concentrate on more pressing matters, like finding all Biovolts little runaways, and how he was going to gloat over how he was better then Voltaire. He smiled at the thought, imagined himself lording over all Biovolts little minions, Voltaire's stern face, turned to an old mans visage, broken and mourning. Yes, this is what he wanted, it was all his fingertips, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. He was king of his castle, and it was glorious! He continued watching his sister until she slunk off to her own quarters, most likely to rest, she had been stalking Boris for the best part of the day, and the drugs were probably doing strange things to her, they were untested after all.

He was still unsure wether or not to kill Kai outright, or to use the drugs on him. Either way would be satisfying, but first he had to find the blue haired teen, and see how Tadashi handled the drugs, so much to do! This was what he had been born to do, not be Voltiare's pet, his crocodile smile was now his own, real, and far more untrustworthy. He got up and stretched, it was time to talk to the scientists he had managed to keep when Voltaire was incarcerated. They had been working on the old mans strange dimension. Leon had been dubious at first, but it had proved to be real, as real as another plane of existence could be, yet they were unsure how it was connected to our world. It seemed that when Voltaire had placed his bitbeasts there, he had placed more questions then answers for the scientists, and now Leon was getting impatient. They couldn't even seem to recreate the tube, with personnel missing, and Voltaire refusing to assist in what he saw as betrayal, they were missing what seemed more then half the information they needed. It wouldn't do, the small braids against his neck swung as he shook his head, it wouldn't do at all.

Everyone sat round the room where they could, plates balanced on knees and laps, precariously perched on the remaining spaces on the table, enjoying the varied breakfast that had been ordered for them. Samantha didn't eat anything, instead she sat closer to Tyson's father, taking comfort in his warmth. He put his arm around her shoulders, understanding how she was feeling. He had a son, he couldn't imagine Tyson suffering the way Kai had seemed to, and he'd taken a shine to the troubled teen. He'd taken a shine to all the kids! He'd seen the panic in Kai's face when faced with a needle, and the stoic hardy attitude he adopted when in pain so bad others would have been left screaming. No one could understand the boy, but they had tried, they wanted to help, why he had ran off was anyone's guess, but they were not going to let him go without a fight.

Mr. Dickenson dabbed at his lips with a serviette and pushed his empty plate away from him. "I have been asking around this morning and it seems the Sea Squirt is only a day away, so plans are to be made. I will see to any last minute travel needs, though it seems our fears may be confirmed, the Sea Squirt was believed to be making a trip to Russia".

This was met with a small riot of groans.

"I know, it was not what we were hoping, and we cannot know for sure till the boat is back, but I shall be making plans for a trip to Russia, for all of us, and I hope you will all be ready. This is positive, it could be a very good direction to follow, as we know where he will be if he has gone, and we need to find him".

No one wanted to voice what was left unsaid, of what they were all fearing. None of them could even begin to think why Kai had gone back, or what had happened to him. There were too many questions and no answers, and it put all of them on edge. None of them knew how they would find him, and a few were beginning to doubt they even knew him at all.

Ray leaned back to rest his head against Mariah's knee, shifting his weight to settle on the floor more comfortably. Kai had called him a friend once, so long ago now it seemed. Would the blue haired teen still feel the same? Had they betrayed him somehow when they went to rescue him? All they had wanted was to help him, save him, and now he'd gone, and there was no way to really bring him back. He hadn't even left them a note, a goodbye. Were they really going to save him, or to find closure for themselves? He glanced over at Max, their eyes meeting across the space of the room. They were both worried over the same thing, they'd tried bringing it up to the rest of the group, to no avail. No one else would believe it was for themselves, this was for Kai they said. He needed protecting, he needed them, but for some reason, Ray couldn't shake the feeling it was the other way round.

Scare me

Holding on to stubborn pride
Waiting for the pain to bite
Sweet eyes so wide
Drinking in the darkening light

Twilight blossoming across her eyes
Hiding behind shades of lies

She watches the rivers form on her skin
Feels the ache grow from the trauma
Fear growing within
Her trepidation your euphoria

Sunset pouring from her lips
She tastes her life as it drips

Her limbs tremble with anticipation
Of the next bitter caress
The air charged with friction
She cannot live without this

What she hates she also needs
'Scare me', she breathes

Regarded with hate and lust
To think of incites shame
Yet engaged with complete trust
Two halves of the same

Only pain will be enough
All in the name of love