A/N: Thanks to fanficreader137 for reviewing!

...Yeah, that's all I have to say. :P Enjoy!

The Necromancer's Matter, Part 9: A Glitch in Time (Part 4)

Chris woke up Jessica. By splashing water in her face.

"Hey, what was that for?" Jessica protested as she tried to dump the stinging cold liquid off of her, it dropping onto her blankets and clothes, wetting them as well as her face and hair.

"Well, I couldn't wake you up with a dang horn, what else was I supposed to do?" Chris asked. Then Jessica noticed Alexis and Esmee in the backround, laughing. Jessica growled.

"Anyways," Chris said. "Using Communication Stones-"

"Communication Stones?" Jessica cut Chris off.

"You write on special stones and send messages," Chris replied.

"Oh yeah, I remember Destiny and Jason having them," Jessica said. "Wait, you have one too?"

"When Jason first found them, he gave one to me to communicate," Chris said, clearly exasperated. "Anyways, I got word from Jason, Destiny and Ryan."

"Really?" Jessica leaped out of her bed. "What did they say?"

"Get this," Chris started. "They say that they've been trapped in time."

Jessica's hopes dropped by almost a mile. "Is that where the vortex took them?"

"Apparently so." Esmee said, startling Jessica.

"How far or back?" Jessica asked.

"I read over Chris's shoulder as he was messaging Jason," Esmee continued. "Right now its 482 A.C., and there its 562 A.C., so," She cut off purposefully so that Jessica could do the math.

But Alexis did it before her. "That makes it eighty years into the future," She answered. "Almost a whole century!"

Jessica sighed. "Ugh, why do those three always get the good stuff?"

"Maybe its because they're the head of the Order of the Spiral?" Esmee suggested.

"That kind of thing doesn't matter right now," Chris interrupted. "Basically, what we need to focus on is how they're gonna get out."

"Well, what was it caused by?" Jessica asked.

"Ryan put two of the Shards together, I think," Alexis said. "They were the Storm Shard and the Life Shard, weren't they?"

Esmee nodded as an answer to Alexis's question.

"Anyways," Chris said. "Here's another part you'll be interested in. Our spy among the Thorns, Noah Firewielder, has given word that Vladimir and Neela are currently holding Natalie."
"I knew we shouldn't have left her," Alexis muttered.

"Where?" Jessica asked.

"My guess would be Thorn Manor," Esmee said. "That's their headquarters. I remember because Destiny was assigned to spy on them once before we found you, disguised as Neela."

"I guess we need to get her, then," Jessica said. Then her face fell. "But what about Ryan, Destiny and Jason?"

"They're smart, they'll be able to find their own way," Chris said. "But we're going to need a plan to rescue Natalie."

"I guess you and I will have to go there and find our way to her, get her, and get out as fast as possible," Jessica said. "Seems good."

"Only one problem," Esmee said. "You left out Alexis and I."

"Exactly," Jessica said. "We don't need you."

"You just don't like Life and Ice, huh?" Alexis asked.

Jessica nodded.

"Well, like it or not Jessica," Chris said. "It's Thorn Manor. We'll need all the help we can get."

Natalie finally opened her eyes to find herself staring at a stone ceiling. She tried to get up, almost unable.

She looked around. Apparently she was in a kind of prison cell. She tried to sit up again. That's when she realized that her hands were tied behind her. She used the wall for support and finally brought herself to a standing position.

How had she gotten here? Then she remembered Ryan falling in the vortex and she had fainted. She hoped Ryan was okay.

She heard footsteps in the hall and braced for impact, expecting it to be Vladimir or Neela or someone like that. Who really entered was a boy about twelve years old with black clothing on and a hood shrouding his head. A necromancer, most likely.

"Who are you?" Natalie asked.

"My name's Noah Firewielder," He said, pulling the hood down, revealing short blonde hair and blue eyes. "I'm with the Order of the Spiral, so relax." He pulled out an athame and managed to cut through the bonds.

"Thanks," Natalie said, rubbing her wrists. "Man, I've read about people getting tied up in books and stuff, but man, rope really does dig through skin!" She looked around. "You know where the keys are?"

"Sorry, but I don't," Noah said, pulling his hood back up. "I've been looking for them everywhere." Then he grinned smugly. "But, I did manage to find your spellbook and staff."

"Can you go get it?" Natalie inquired.

"Sure," Noah said, hurridly leaving the room.

It was only a few minutes before Noah returned with a Mooshu staff and spellbook with cards littered among the pages. "Here you go," Noah said, handing the equipment to Natalie through the bars. "Now I have to get out of here before anyone realizes you've escaped with my help." Noah hurridly can out.

It was only a matter of minutes before Natalie had casted a Kracken and he helped Natalie destroy the bars and blasted her way out. The Kracken chased people within the manor while Natalie ran the other direction.

This is good, she thought. Really good.

Natalie grinned like a madwoman as she ran away and casted spells.

"How do you think we got here in the first place?" Anthony asked Cody and Antonio.

Antonio shrugged while Cody replied, "I think Ronan or whatever his name is fused the Shards. So all we have to do is find him and track down the Shards and use them to get out of here,"

"How do you think we're going to find these Shards you speak of?" Sarai asked.

"We need to track down someone, or a group, that possesses them," Cody informed. "They'll try to withhold the Shards from us, though, so we're gonna have to fight."

"Why would they withhold them?" Sarai wondered.

"They're bad poeple," Antonio answered. "Simple,"

"Any idea where they're at?" Anthony asked.

"I guess we'll have to search the worlds," Cody said. "Here, Sarai, you patrol Wizard City. If you hear a grandmaster pyromancer, magus diviner, or adept necromancer looking suspsious, attack them. They'll most likely be in a group together."

"Got it," Sarai said, nodding.

"What do I do?" Anthony asked.

"How about you patrol Krokotopia?" Antonio suggested.

"Sure, I guess he'll do that," Cody approved.

"What'll you do, Cody?" Sarai asked.

"I think I'll stay and look in Marleybone," Cody said.

"What about me?" Antonio asked. "Let me guess, I look in Mooshu?"

"Actually," Cody started. "I kinda have other ideas. Marleybone is a big place, so why don't you stay with me and help me look?"

Before Antonio could protest, Sarai said, "Marleybone being a big place... that's true. I think Antonio should stick with Cody."

"Same here," Anthony supported.

Cody nodded as they reached the Marleybonian Spiral Chamber. Sarai was now without her dragon mount. She went to Wizard City after saying her farewell to Cody, Antonio and Anthony. Then Anthony left for Krokotopia.

Cody turned to Antonio and grinned wickedly. "We are alone now," He said, as if Antonio was blind. "Nowhere to run now."

The shock Destiny felt rushing through her body and viens when she heard Connor say her own last name was intense, gripping her and never letting her go.

I'm not the Descendant of Balance, She realized. It's Connor. Connor Seagem.

She now lay on her back, it being night. All of a sudden she wondered how much time she had spent here. Not that it mattered. Time was fuzzy now.

"Hey, what's up?"

Destiny stood and turned around. It was Nicholas. "Oh, hey," She said.

"You seemed upset when Connor said his last name was Seagem," Nicholas said. "Why?"

"Because Seagem's my last name, too," Destiny grumbled.

"So what?" Nicholas shrugged. "Shouldn't you admire the fact that you two have the same last name?"

"It's not that," Destiny admitted. "Its that I was hoping to be something, and apparently its Connor."

"How do you know?" Nicholas asked.

"Lets just say it has to do something with being a sorcerer," Destiny answered. "And I'm no sorcerer, Connor is, so lets face it, I've got no chance of being that person."

"How do you know?" Nicholas questioned. "And by the way, there is always a chance of something happening or someone being something. Sometimes it may not be very great, but there's always a chance. The choice is whether or not to expand that chance."

Destiny had nothing to say to that. Nicholas was right. There was always a chance of something.

"Well, I guess that chance of me being that someone is low then," Destiny finally said. "And no, I can't expand it. It's impossible."

"Impossible is a word only found in a fools dictionary," Nicholas countered. "As one of my favorite figures from the past had said. And he's right. Impossible can become possible. We just don't how to transform it that way. You just don't know how to expand that chance."

"Wise guy," Destiny muttered.

Nicholas shrugged. "I try to be," He said. "I might be younger then Garrett and Connor, but they look down to me. I can tell."

"How?" Destiny questioned.

"I've had a lot of experience here and there," He said. "You live and you learn. I've experienced a lot, so I've learned a lot. I guess that's what makes people so wise. Just plain experience."

"I thought you become wiser from knowledge," Destiny said. But before she had even finished Nicholas was shaking his head.

"You don't," He said.

Before he could say any more, a new voice said, "Destiny! You need to hear this!"

She turned around again to find Ryan and Jason. "I went out again tonight," Ryan continued. "I found this!" He held up a piece of withered parchment with a few lines of words in cursive with red ink. It was only until she saw the red ink that Destiny reconized what it was.

"The Prophecy of Fire!" She said, smiling as she clamored up to them. "The next few lines, huh?"

Jason nodded. "But they're pretty grim, to be honest."

Destiny's smile faded. "Here, lemme read," She said, taking away the parchment from Ryan, careful not to do any damage to it. She read the next five lines.

Five of Balance will be found in the glitch in time;
Five to start;

But one shall not pass the test;

Another will turn to the enemy;

And in the end only three shall remain.

"Oh no," Destiny muttered. "We're going to loose two of them!"

"Two of what?" Nicholas asked, looking over Destiny's shoulder.

Destiny yanked the parchment from out of Nicholas's sight. "Nothing, nothing," She said. "We're just talking about stuff, that's all."

"Stuff isn't nothing," Nicholas countered. "But oh well." Nicholas walked away.

After she was sure that Nicholas couldn't hear, Destiny hissed almost under her breath, "What does the test refer to, though?"

Jason and Ryan glared at her. "I think you know," Jason said.

She did. Destiny didn't want to admit it. Her face paled. "The Ordeal," She said.

"And you know what the consequence of not passing the Ordeal is?" Ryan questioned.

"What?" Destiny asked, not really wanting to know the answer.


Destiny furrowed her eyebrows in confusion for a second, but when she realized where Ryan was getting at, her face became a death-pale white. "Oh no," Destiny muttered.

Jason nodded. "I'm sorry. One of the descendants will die."

Destiny looked around the spiral chamber, with the inhabitants the descendants, who were siblings. Who would die? Would it be Emma, who Destiny had met in the Balance school? Would it be Dylan, who was told to be a treasure card ripoff? Would it be Nicholas, who was so kind as to try to comfort Destiny? Would it be Garrett, who was nice enough to take Jason and Ryan under their wing? Or would it be Connor, the bearer of her surname?

None of them deserved to die.

Then the next line bothered her too. Another will turn to the enemy. The enemy had to refer to the Thorns. None of them seemed to be bad enough to turn to them, either. Well, Dylan had a chance, from what she was told. But not great enough to become one of them.

Before she knew it, tears stung her eyes.

And crying was something that she did on very rare occasions.

Sarai Storm had followed Cody's directions and gone to the Wizard City spiral chamber, desperate to find a way to her own time once again.

Why would someone be so horrible enough to block their only way out of this mess? Sarai thought. It was too much for her, even though she had gone through a lot and was a master diviner.

But then another thought came to mind, setting up a sinking feeling in her stomach, like a dark room that longed to be lit, and the match was the answer to the thought that came to mind.

Why do I suspect that there's something that Cody hasn't told me, or even Antonio or Anthony?

Little did Sarai know was that she was passing that answer right along in the dark as she walked out of the Wizard City spiral chamber, somehow not noticing the group of camping wizards.

"What use are Alexis and Esmee?" Jessica moaned as the quartet approached Marleybone.

"What is it that you have against Ice and Life?" Esmee asked once more.

Jessica shrugged. "Dunno. Oh, wait, apparently I do know, its because they're weak."

"Oh, I'll show you weak-" Esmee challenged, but was cut off by Jessica.

"I'll show you weak?" Jessica mimicked in a high-pitched tone, sounding nowhere near Esmee's voice. "Ha! You don't know the freaking definition of weak! That's how weak you are!"

"Listen up, you little-"

"Girls!" Chris said, butting in between the middle of them. "Stop fighting for Merlin's sake! This is not going to get Natalie out of Thorn Manor! In fact, I think it'll bring the chances that we'll all be caught higher!"

Jessica huffed. "Humph," She grunted, meekly agreeing.

"So what do we do?" Alexis asked, trying to bring Esmee and Jessica off-topic and forget about the argument they had less then a minute ago.

"Here's what we'll do," Chris said. "Jessica and Esmee will team up to distract the guards-"

Jessica groaned.

Chris was silent for a while then continued. "As I was saying," He said. "Jessica and Esmee will distract the guards while I go in there and find Natalie myself-"

"Why do you get to go there yourself?" Jessica complained. "Why can't I go in there and you and Esmee distract people?"

"Because I was friends with Vladimir," Chris explained. "I've been there, and I know my way around. Its best I do it, or else we have a higher chance of getting caught."

"That's great," Alexis said. "But what do I do?"

"Stick around and heal me or Jessica or Esmee if we need it," Chris said. Then he thought about it. "Actually, Natalie may need some tending too. Maybe you should come with me."

"At least I don't have to put up with the theurgist too," Jessica grumbled.

Alexis pretended she didn't hear that. "Lets go," She said.

Chris nodded. "We better go quick," He said. "I can't imagine what horrors Natalie is facing."

"Take this, stupid dogs!" Natalie yelled as she cast an Orthrus treasure card. As they were distracted by the huge two-headed dog, Natalie avoided them and ran. As she ran, she called after them, "You make horrible security! I'll tell Mr. Thorn that!" Then she muttered as she ran away, "Or maybe I won't."

I find this strangely fun, Natalie thought. I guess its the thrill.

Natalie turned through corners and through the halls, up a few stairs, down a few, having no idea if she was nearing the exit or running away from it. I wonder how Destiny and Alexis were able to make their way out, Natalie thought. If I run into Noah again, I guess I'll ask if he can guide me.

Natalie came to a fork in the road. She looked both ways, then quickly decided to take the left. She took the left. Then she ran into a teenage boy with blue eyes, long blonde hair wearing yellow Dragonspyre clothing.

She ran past him, and shouting, "Hey!" He gave chase to Natalie.

Oh no, Natalie thought. Must be working for Vladimir! Must get away!

But she couldn't. Natalie staggered back as all of a sudden an Orthrus was blocking the way she was running. She turned around. Heading the other way was that conjurer she had just past, who was walking towards her. Nowhere to run. But she could fight. But not with spells.

Natalie was a person who thought quickly on her feet, Ryan complemented that all the time. So she already had a plan.

"Are you working with Vladimir?" She asked.

The conjurer nodded. "Why else would I be here?"

"And where's here?" Natalie asked. She knew the answer. Natalie was just asking to test out how dumb he was.

"Thorn Manor, Marleybone," The conjurer boasted. "And you can't get out."

"You're right, I can't," Natalie said, trying to get him overconfident. "But why take me here in the first place?" She added.

"When Vladimir found you unconsious at the raid," The conjurer began. "He saw that if he took you hostage that you could be a good barganing chip for the Shards."

"Shards?" Natalie asked. Once again, testing his dumbness.

"I don't know what they are," The conjurer admitted. "Vladimir hasn't told any of us. He told us to guard these little pieces."

"Huh," Natalie shrugged. "Why didn't I see you at the raid?" She asked.

"Vladimir didn't trust me and my friend Jose," He said. "Because we lost one of the Shards."

Natalie forced herself not to grin. Now the moment of truth; she had gotten the conjurer hooked, maybe forgetting that they were enemies! "That's unfortunate," She sympathized. "What're you doing with the Shards now?"

"Well, I think Antonio had this green one," The conjurer began. "And I'm pretty sure that Vladimir left Anthony with a red one, and I think that's it." The conjurer smiled. "By the way, I'm Adam."

"Nice to meet you, Adam," Natalie said. "But one thing,"

"What's that?" Adam asked.

"Did you forget that we're enemies?"

Before Adam could respond, Natalie cast a tempest, leaving Adam in the waves. She turned and ran the other direction: The Orthrus wasn't there anymore. Natalie ran as fast as she could.

When tempest was over, Adam started to give chase to Natalie, but was stopped by Vladimir having a panicked expression on his face. It was odd to Adam because he usually seemed so confident.

"Thorn Manor is under attack!" Vladimir shouted.

Sarai glanced out into the Commons at night, looking for the trio Cody had described.

Instead, she found someone else.

"Looking for someone?" A sweet voice asked behind her.

Sarai immediately turned around to see a girl that was completely white. Literally. She had long white hair and white skin. She wore an odd mix of a white Victators Helm, Monk's robe, and Krokotopian boots. Sarai could make a trace of faint blonde in her hair. She held a long white staff with crystals adorning it all the way down the handle and another huge crystal at the top. They, of course, were white. The only trait that wasn't white were her eyes- they were a deep purple.

"Are you one of those people?" Sarai asked.

"My name's Taryn," The girl said. "But don't listen to those boys. You don't need the Shards!"

"How do you know?" Sarai asked.

"Because I myself can get you out," Taryn said simply.