Title: Worlds Away
Author: M. Bumbarger
Email: Worlds Away 2001
Fandom: New Series Tomorrow People
Summary: The Tomorrow People are swept away to a different world, where they must take up the lives of their alter-egos and try to find their way home . . . which won't be easy.
Disclaimer: The Tomorrow People (Adam Newman, Ami Jackson, Megabyte Damon, and Jade Weston) are the property of Roger Damon Price, Thames Television, ITV, Tetra Television and Nickelodeon. They are used here without permission, but not for profit. The lands, countries, customs, deities, and original characters are mine and mine only, springing from the depths of my imagination and should not be used anywhere else without my permission. Please do not repost this to any list or archive it anywhere else without my express permission.
Adam opened his eyes slowly, blinking into the brightness that pierced his pupils. He felt as though he were swimming upwards, fighting against a haze and fog that continued to threatened to overwhelm him and wash him away into the solitude and healing comfort of endless slumber. As he struggled to full wakefulness, he became aware of the steady, throbbing pain in his head. His body ached all over; he literally felt as though he'd been pulled through a meat grinder and put back together. And he hadn't been put back together very well.
He lifted himself cautiously to a sitting position. As he did so, vague and hazy memories flooded his awareness. The island . . . the beach . . . watching a storm front like nothing he had ever seen before rolling across the far too still waves . . . and the colorless and noiseless void that tore him limb from limb starting on the inside. The memory of the void was enough to unsteady him and he clutched his stomach. It rolled and heaved, but did not result in sickness. A few deep and steadying breaths and he had control of himself again. For the moment, at least.
"Whoa, cousin. Whatever that was, I'm going to suggest that you not do it again." An unfamiliar voice pierced his awareness, strong hands gripping him beneath the arms and dragging him to his feet. "As long as we're on the subject, however, what was that?"
As he was pulled to his feet, he took a moment to take in his surroundings — and felt his head swim yet again, this time in confusion. Where once there had been sand and open space for as far as the eye could see, there now stood the thick trees of a tame wood. None of the others were nearby, but rather, he was being lifted from lying prone upon his back very near the hooves of a horse.
"I don't know," Adam answered honestly, turning slowly to face the stranger. It was a man only a few years older than himself, with sandy blonde hair and dark eyes that screamed of mischief. "Who — where am I?"
The man immediately shook his head, his mouth turning up into a smile. "Very funny, Adam. Well, that settles it then," he paused and clapped Adam — roughly — on the shoulder, "You're quite all right if you're up to your usual humor."
"I'm not—" Adam stopped in mid-protest as realization dawned on him. This man knew him — or thought that he did. He had called him Adam. More than that, however, were the details that Adam's eyes were beginning to take in. The man standing with him in the wood looked precisely how he would expect a medieval rider to look. He was dressed in leathers and knee breeches, high riding boots on his feet. A horse pranced behind him, the bridle and saddle looking far older than anything Adam had ever seen. A quick glance revealed to Adam that he was dressed in much the same fashion, as was the horse he stood beside.
As a chill, one that was not caused by the cool wind, enveloped his body, Adam decided to stay quiet and take stock of the situation. Better to err on the side of caution until he discovered the depths of the danger of the situation.
More importantly, until he could figure out where he was, how he arrived, and precisely how far from home he was.
"I'm fine," Adam finished lamely, rubbing the back of his head. Whatever else had happened when the flash of light hit, he must have hit his head. He could feel the beginnings of a hard knot developing at the base of his skull.
"Good," the man nodded after a moment of weighing Adam with his eyes. "You wouldn't lie to me, would you? That spell — it didn't hurt you when it misfired?"
"Spell?" Adam choked on the word before he could stop himself. This man was talking to him about a spell — and Adam could only assume he was referring to magic and not the weather conditions. That made even less sense than finding himself in a strange wood with a strange man whom didn't seem to think that Adam was a stranger at all. A strange man who didn't realize that anything extraordinary had occurred.
The man rolled his eyes. "Right, I forgot. You don't like to talk about the ones you don't get right. Suit yourself, although that fragile ego of yours is going to cause you more than a cracked skull one of these days." Hoisting himself up on his horse, he gave Adam an impatient glare. "Well, don't you think we've tarried long enough? We can't keep your father waiting forever, you know."
In for a penny, in for a pound, Adam mused to himself as he turned to look towards the other horse, which he assumed to be his. This was either a dream, or he had truly been somehow displaced in time, but standing around this wood wasn't going to answer his questions.
He swung himself into the saddle, grateful that he remembered some skills from his days of riding at his grandmother's ranch. At least he would appear to be whomever — or whatever — this man thought that he was. "Lead on, MacDuff."
The man smiled and chuckled, spurring his horse to a slow trot. "You're a strange bird, cousin."
You don't know the half of it, Adam thought as he followed the other man's lead.
Adam rode silently beside the still unnamed man, his mind going in continual circles. During his time as a Tomorrow Person he had some strange experiences, but this one seemed to be the strangest of all. If he wasn't dreaming — and he still wasn't entirely convinced that he wasn't — then he had been somehow transported to a different world, or transported back through time. It was a world and time when he was still Adam — he was still called Adam — but there was the possibility that he was not the Adam Newman he had known himself to be his entire life. But considering that he also was no longer living the life he had been living, that made an odd bit of sense. After finding himself unable to contact the others telepathically, although he swore he could sense Megabyte and Jade on the very fringes of his mind, he decided to simply "go with the flow" as Megabyte would say. Or as the American would have said, had he been present.
If it was dream, he would wake up soon. If it was not a dream . . . well, Adam would cross that bridge when he came to it.
In the meantime, he took in all of the details of his surroundings. They rode through a wood, and while it was a tame wood, it was not a modern wood. This was the type of wood where animals still lived and bred, the type of wood that survivalist types looked for because it had not been touched by the ravages of the modern world. There was no 'riding path' as would be found on his world, but his companion navigated the undergrowth with ease.
"Why did my father send for me?" Adam asked, drawing his horse up closer to the other man's.
The man spared him a quick glance. "As if he told me. If he told me what he wanted, there wouldn't be any reason for you to see him, would there?"
"I thought you might at least have an idea."
"Well, without King Palgar scratching at our borders, it can't be war. That leaves only one thing that it can be." The man gave Adam a smile that he sensed was supposed to be roguish and teasing, but caught in unfamiliar territory, Adam truly didn't know what he was being teased about.
"And that would be?"
"Your father received a missive just this morning from Albarasque. A courier from the Sun Palace came flocked by an honor guard and delivered the scroll directly into your father's hands." The man looked over both shoulders, as though he was guarding his words, although the well-tended path was clear in every direction. Still he lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. "It is supposed to be a secret. No one in the kingdom is supposed to know of the courier, but I have my ways, few secrets are kept from me.
"Speculation would say that it includes the Damia's 'requests' for the wedding celebration. And your father will of course adhere to every word and letter of that missive. After all, it isn't every day that two of the most powerful kingdoms this side of the Spire Mountains are united by treaty and marriage."
Adam stopped riding. The action was not intentional, but rather reflexive. As though it was not strange enough that he was not in an unusual place with a strange man, his confused mind was able to put two and two together very quickly. He was getting married. Well, not him precisely, but whomever he was supposed to be in this place.
"I'm getting married." Adam spoke aloud although he didn't intend to.
From the look that passed across his companion's face, it was clear that his words were taken as sarcasm or a joke. "And have been for the last three years. I thought you had acclimated yourself to this idea by now." The man grinned, a teasing and sly smile if Adam had ever seen one, "Besides, just because the crown heir of Albarasque has been hidden from sight her entire life doesn't mean she's as ugly as speculation implies."
"Crown heir?" The words dropped from Adam's lips as his eyes flew to the other man's. He couldn't have heard that right.
The man shook his head, "Now, you're merely playing at foolishness." With a laugh, he spurred his horse to motion again, "Come along now, Your Highness. I think we've kept your father waiting long enough." Then, before Adam could utter another word, the man and his horse galloped off into the distance.
Unsuccessfully willing himself to wake up, Adam gave another sigh of resignation. Urging his horse ahead, he followed his companion and hoped that when they reached their destination he would have a few more answers.
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