Richard watched the small tornado whirling around his feet with wide eyes, wondering what was going on. He scooted back again, only to have the small wind follow him as if attached.
"What the hell is going on? What IS that thing?" He stared down at the wind warily.
"That's your magic." The girl said, raising her eyebrows curiously. "By the looks of your reaction, you had no idea you were an air magi."
"No, of course not!" Richard yelled in frustration. "I'm just a regular guy- there's no such thing as magic, not for real." He stared down at the wind. It looked real… he put his hand around the wind, feeling the churning air around the small tornado as it spun. It felt real… there was NO WAY it was real, though!
"I must be hallucinating or something." He said, a frightened chuckle coming out of him. "That's right… this must be a very realistic hallucination. I'm probably lying in the hospital somewhere unconscious." He said, trying to rationalize what he was seeing.
"Why is it so hard to believe that magic exists? It always has." The man growled in frustration, walking over to him. He took his large boot and stepped on the tornado, making it dissipate and Richard felt a sharp pain shoot through his chest, making him gasp in shock.
"Magic is connected to you- it's in your soul, and it defended you. If you don't believe in it, how can you seriously say you're sane? Everyone has magic to some extent- even the creatures in this world." The man insisted, the tornado still gone when he raised his boot again.
"Zack, calm down." The woman put a hand on his shoulder, making him grumble, but step back from Richard. She kneeled down next to him, watching him thoughtfully for a minute. "The healer said you were completely healed- and you obviously can function well. Do you remember what happened to you to get here? Obviously you fell in the stream-…what happened before that?"
"I was at the cottage- and I was just looking at a weird fish… I hadn't seen one like it before, and so I leaned in, an something pushed me into the water. Last thing I knew I was sinking." Richard explained relieved that the girl was so much more calm than her counterpart.
"Hmm… where were you when you fell in? Near Voltar?" She asked, tilting her head curiously.
"No… in Michigan. What's Voltar?" He asked, blinking in surprise.
The woman and man looked at each other uneasily before she turned back to Richard. "I want you to tell me what you remember about your past- who are you?"
"Hold on- I don't even know who you two are." Richard said suddenly, looking at them warily. "Why should I reveal everything that I am when I don't even know your names?"
"My name is Ariessa." The woman said simply, and pointed to the man. "And this is my brother, Zachary."
Zack nodded once in greeting, a frown still on his face. "We're both earth magi. Now tell us what you know."
Richard looked up at him uneasily before looking back to Ariessa. "I'm from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I studied Microbiology at Grand Valley State University." Richard rubbed his head, which was starting to throb from the stress. "I'm the first son of my family, and I work at L-" He froze, his eyes shooting open wide. "OH GOD! My job! What day is it- what time is it?" He yelled in terror. "I'll be fired- I can't lose my job, I'll lost my apartment too!"
"Calm down!" Zack yelled, knocking him in the leg with his boot. "Your health is more important that whatever an apartment is."
Richard groaned in frustration, rubbing a hand over his head in agony. "I have to find a way to get back soon… I can't be stuck here."
Ariessa raised an eyebrow in interest. "Stuck? What do you mean by that?"
"Well this obviously isn't what I'm used to." Richard said, looking around the room. "If this were a hospital there'd be machines everywhere monitoring me and there wouldn't be…" He looked down at the winding pattern of impressions on the floor. "Whatever this stuff is."
"Machines?" Zackary looked at him skeptically. "What's that supposed to be?"
"Oh God… this is not good." Richard moaned. "You don't know what a machine is?"
"Hey-" Ariessa elbowed Zackary to get his interest. "I think he means those strange contraptions the alchemists make."
"Oh." Zackary wrinkled his nose in distaste. "A non-magic device."
"You'll have to excuse him- he likes his magic a bit much." Ariessa said, seeing Richard's confused expression.
"Wait-" Richard said suddenly, reaching into his back pocket. He grinned happily when he felt his iphone in his pocket still and took it out, frowning when he saw the screen filled with water. "Crap." He cursed in frustration.
"What's what?" Ariessa said in interest, kneeling next to him to look at the strange object.
"It's a machine." Richard held it up to show her. "It's something that allows me to talk to others who have something similar to it, even though they're far away."
Zachary looked down at the device as well, trying not to look too interested.
"Interesting- does it work?" Ariessa took the iphone, turning it around in her hands to inspect it.
"I'm not sure… it may be broken from all the water." Richard frowned as he touched the screen, grinning happily when it lit up. He clicked the camera and held it up to Ariessa, who blinked in confusion as she noticed the small light blinking on the back before a bright flash filled the room.
"AGH!" She yelled in surprise, covering her hands as Zack moved in front of her, looking down at Richard angrily.
"Calm down- it's just a camera!" Richard said, noticing three more pebbles suddenly in Zachary's hand, floating threateningly in front of him.
"A-a what?" Ariessa asked, rubbing her eyes to try and get them focused again.
"Here- look." Richard turned the phone around to show her the picture of her looking curiously into the lense.
Zackary took the camera and stared at it with wide eyes, looking from Ariessa and then back into the screen. "What… did you do to her? Did it hurt?" He looked to her in concern.
"No, not at all." Ariessa said, taking the phone from him and looking at it with wide eyes as well. "Gods, my hair looks terrible." She muttered, running a hand through her hair as Zack rolled his eyes in dismay.
"It just takes an image of her. Think of taking what you see right now, and freezing it, and storing it in here." He took the phone, opening up his photo gallery. He handed it back to them to see. "These are pictures I took around town and the cottage." He shrugged.
Zack and Ariessa stared at the screen as the pictures scanned by in a slideshow, towering skyscrapers in a cityscape, a small fawn eating grass in a backyard, his lop-eared dog, his twin cousins out on a motor boat on the lake fishing…
"Ari… I don't think he's from around here." Zack said, his voice hitching from the shock of seeing such images.
"I don't think so either." Ari whispered in surprise. She looked up at Richard in surprise. "Where did you say you were from again?"
"Michigan." Richard said simply. "America- Earth if you need that too."
Ariessa and Zachary looked at each other, Zack putting a hand to his forehead as he tried to think through what he was hearing. Ariessa turned back toward Richard. "I think, Richard, you're from an entire different world. I have no idea how you got her, but maybe we can find a way to get you back."
Richard stared in shock for a minute. "What do you mean 'different world'?"
Zack chuckled uneasily, taking his hand away from his face. "Maybe we should show him the keep to prove what we mean."
"If he doesn't freak out like with the enox." Arianna sighed in frustration. She held out a hand to help Richard up off the floor and smiled wryly. "Ready for a bit of a shock?"
Richard nodded uneasily, wondering what they were talking about.