Chapter 13: A Friend in Danger

The Empress grinned evilly and Gabriella and Ryan noticed they were surrounded by guards. They were unsure if the guards could see them, but it was clear that the Empress could.

"How can you see us?" Gabriella asked, frightened.

"My dear girl, I have many powers and I sensed your presence," said the Empress in her cold tone. "I am not sure how you managed to make yourselves invisible, but you didn't really think you were going to make it out of here without me knowing it did you?"

"What do you want with us?" she asked.

"Not too much," said the Empress. "I just don't want that prophecy to come true. So I'm afraid the two of you will be coming with me."

"Were not going anywhere with you," said Ryan.

"I think you will," said the Empress smiling evilly. Ryan and Gabriella shifted uncomfortably. "After all I have something of yours. Something you might want back."

"What do you mean?" Ryan asked, confused.

"I found a young girl wandering through the woods not far from here," said the Empress, pointing to some nearby mountains. "Pretty. Blonde. She looks and awful lot like you. I wouldn't be surprised if she turned out to be your sister. She locked up for the time being, but I can easily change that. It would be much easier to just kill her, that way I would no longer have anything to worry about. Now, I believe you will be joining her in the cells just up ahead. I'm sure she would love to have some company."

"Gabriella?" came a whisper in Gabriella's ear. She looked behind her briefly but their was nothing there. The Empress noticed her wandering eyes, looking to see what Gabriella was looking at.

"Thinking of running, Miss?" the Empress asked. "You won't get far. Every gate in this village have guards. Even if you escape you will only be able to head towards Isis' valley which is already being run by my men. You have no where to go."

"Gabriella?" she heard again. She realized she was hearing Troy whispering in her ear. She remembered that the others were waiting back at camp for her to wake up. She looked at Ryan and then back to the Empress.

"We don't have to run," said Gabriella. "We're not even here."

The Empress looked at her confused. As the guards were about to rush upon them, Gabriella grabbed Ryan's arm and thought of the trail where they made camp. Their surroundings began to fade and suddenly everything was black. Gabriella opened her eyes. She sat up to see Troy looking at her. The others were also surrounding her.

"Are you okay?" Troy asked. "You were out of it for a long time."

"It's fine," said Gabriella getting up.

"What about Sharpay?" Ryan asked startling the rest of them.

"I don't know," said Gabriella. "But we can't leave her there. The Empress knows we are all here which means that she might try to kill Sharpay so that the prophecy won't come true. She already said she doesn't actually need her for anything."

"What are you talking about?" Troy asked, confused.

"The Empress already has Sharpay," said Gabriella.

"Is she okay?" Troy asked.

"For now," Gabriella said looking at Ryan. "She has her locked up."

"Do you know where she is locked up?" Troy asked.

"Yes, she said she had her in some cells in the village we were just in," said Gabriella. "Right before we made it back here she was going to lock us up with her."

"I suppose that explains how Ryan managed to astral project to a place he has never been," said Tyrene. "If he was thinking of his sister then he would be able to travel to her location."

"So now we know where she is," said Troy.

"You are not thinking of going to get her are you?" Glee asked.

"Of course we are," said Troy. "She's our friend."

"And my sister," Ryan added. "We can't just leave her locked up in that village. What if the Empress decided it is more beneficial for her to kill her?"

"The Empress wants all of you," said Tyrene. "Going into her land is very dangerous for anybody, especially you. You can't go walking right into her hands. That is probably what she wants. To catch all of you by using Sharpay as bait."

"Well, we can't leave Sharpay," said Taylor.

"You said she wants all of us," Gabriella interrupted. "So she doesn't have Chad yet. As long as only a couple of us go then she won't have the opportunity to capture all of us."

"Still, it is not a good idea," said Glee. "It's very dangerous and you won't be able to escape as easily if you are caught."

"This prophecy can't be played out if all six of us are not together," said Troy. "We have to get Sharpay and find Chad, otherwise this prophecy can't come true."

"You don't even know exactly where the cells are in the village," said Tyrene.

"That's why were going to find out," said Gabriella.

"Find out?" Glee asked. "Do you really think that the Empress is just going to lead you right to her cell and give her up to you?"

"Of course not," said Gabriella. "We are going to sneak in and the guards are going to tell us."

"What?" asked Tyrene. "Thats crazy."

"Maybe, but I think that it can work." said Gabriella. "We can dress as one of the Empress's soldiers and we are going to pretend we are coming to relive Sharpay's guards. They will lead us right to her."

"You can't be serious," said Glee.

"I think that could work," Troy stated. "More than likely they don't actually know what we look like and the soldiers are always wearing helmets."

"What if your caught?" Tyrene asked. "She could kill all of you and all of Everworld would be doomed."

"We won't get caught," said Gabriella. "But we will be prepared to fight if anything goes wrong."

"When are we going to do this?" Taylor asked.

"I think the village is just down this path a little ways," said Gabriella. "The Empress mentioned that the path from the village would lead to the Valley of Isis. I think we are on that path. We can walk for the rest of the night and then sneak in tomorrow."