Chapter Sixteen


The journey is short and brief yet harder than I expected.

First of all, I had to use nearly all of my energy to draw some from those trees. It was the trees that gave off that energy, the energy that reminded me of Lorien. I don't know why, but something in those trees, probably a stone of some sort, came from Lorien; or maybe Pittacus left a device that allows us to teleport in that clearing. Either way, I don't care—what I care about is where the heck we are now.

Secondly, the Mogadorians became a very, very annoying distraction. I had to use my Legacies while bonding my energy to the trees'. Therefore, while the energy surges outward, my Legacies also act with it. Electricity from the lightning I created outside mixed with the combined power of the trees destroyed all those Mogs—I hope.

Lastly, the force of the wind that bore down on me was powerful. In the middle of the teleportation procedure, my knees were shaking and my strength wavered, but I knew I had to be strong. I had to get us out of here. I don't consider teleporting a Legacy. Katarina once told me stories about Lorics moving from a planet to another, and ships were only back-up plans. She just didn't tell me how.

Until now, as I rest for a while, I don't know how I did all of those things. It's just that, when John brought us to that clearing, memories flashed through my eyes. What I remember from the travel to Earth was most vivid. I saw the other Garde horsing around while I sit by the window, deep in thought. I remember young Four sitting beside me once, handing me his toy to play with. If I'm not mistaken, I saw his cheeks turn bright red. I didn't remember why I was sitting by the window until I saw Zakarius.

I have dreamt of this place. It actually came to me during our year-long trip. I dreamt that I was walking in a green field, but not on Lorien. Lorien would have been prettier. I followed my name through that part of the woods until it opened into the clearing. I saw Pittacus standing there, in the very middle. He welcomed me into that place, and when I was within three feet of him, I bowed as an act of reverence. "The answers are everywhere, dear one," he says as I straightened up, "everything you need is right here." As a child, I didn't understand what he meant, but I nodded anyways. And then I remember waking up in cold sweat in spite of the good dream. Katarina, Four and his Cêpan were there, watching me, trying to wake me up. The memory faded away when John nudged me on the shoulder.

Being able to communicate with Zakarius is another thing. But when he first spoke in my head, it felt very natural that I didn't notice anything at first. Maybe it's because he's my ancestor's servant. I can't bear to call Zakarius a pet because no pet would ever, ever treat its master with that amount of respect.

Anyways, I'm the first to wake up in this place, even though I'm the most exhausted one. When we landed in this place I hit my head as well, yet I know deep in my subconscious mind that I have to pull myself up and take us home.

I pull myself up to my elbows and grunt slightly when I open my eyes. The pain in my head made me see multicolored stars. I blink them away and take my first real look of this place. The others are on a cold black tiled floor with their reflections on it. John is just beside me, his mouth half open. The Chimæras are nowhere to be found. I stand up uneasily and realize we're in a rectangular conference room, a planning room. There is a map of Earth on one side, and another unknown to me. I approach one, carefully not stepping on the others' sleeping bodies. The map parallel to Earth's is one I don't recognize. Loric symbols are underneath it, and for some reason, I understand what it read; Mogadore.

I look at the faded representation of the planet whose inhabitants destroyed mine. I feel my blood boil at the very sight of its barren lands, so I turn away and avoid the temptation to burn it—besides, it's not like Mogadore will burn to ashes if I do it. That map might be useful for planning battles, like the one that will decide our fate.

"Six?" someone asks behind me. I turn around, and find John on his elbows. He ruffles his hair once and stands up unsteadily. The others begin to wake up as well. Sam and Malcolm wake up last. "Where are we?" Sam asks.

"Let's find out," I say. I push past the others and face clear glass doors with pale blue handles. The handles are cold but they turn warm when I touch them. With a deep breath I push the doors open and, as John holds my hand in his, walk through the corridor on my left.

The end of the corridor is split yet again. "Let me lead. This reminds me of my other ship," Crayton says. "You have a ship?" Cole asks, unable to hide the disbelief in his voice as we climb the stairs.

"I'm a cargo man. I used to take goods back and forth between Lorien and other planets. Lorics only trade rare fruits and clothes and some common metals, but never the stones as rare as Loralite. It's forbidden. Pittacus decreed that we are not allowed to share with others the very reason why we win battles," Crayton explains. We reach the top and the floor we're on is filled with rooms. This must be the bedroom chambers.

"Wrong floor," Nine says, and we walk back down again. This time we make a turn on the left and Crayton nearly bumps into Zakarius. Sorry, I hear Zakarius say in my head, I did not mean to bump into your Cêpan.

"There's nothing to apologize for, Zakarius. He isn't my Cêpan, but he might as well be. He's the last Cêpan alive," I say. Zakarius nods his head and says, This way to the control panel. I myself will give you a tour after we have launched.

We follow Zakarius through the twists and turns. The walls are purely gray and black, stone and metal. "So, this is the ship?" Sam asks.

Yes, Zakarius says, and Nine, John and I repeat what he said in unison.

We pass a few rooms as well. Once I spotted a training room, and I make a mental note to remember where it is. John keeps a hold on my hand. Zakarius makes three right turns and a left one, and finally, he stops in front of a heavily armored metal door. The control room lies beyond. Only you, Zakarius looks at me directly in the eyes, can access it.

I loosen my fingers around John's hand, and after reassuring him I won't do anything stupid, I approach the metal door. Besides, I don't do stupid. It doesn't run in my vocabulary.

With a deep breath, I touch the door. My pendant grows hot and gives off that blue glow. At first I can tolerate the heat, but when I really feel the burn I had to take my pendant off. I notice the chain is burning hot as well, so I let it drop onto the floor. But when I take my pendant off, the feeling of weakness and being fragile washes over me and my knees start to buckle. I fall over, but luckily John is there to catch me. My breathing is shallow. I feel tired and frail. "Are you alright?" John asks as he settles me on the cold floor. I can feel cold sweat on my forehead. "No," I say honestly. Look, Zakarius says, and I force myself to look up. John helps me stand and lets me lean on him. He puts his arm around my waist and drapes mine over his shoulders. I watch my pendant float off the ground, ablaze and protected by blue flames. It's attracted to the door, like a magnet attracts metal. It makes contact with the door and I watch as the flames create intricate line work on the metal, weaving in and out, sometimes crossing each other. And then I realize—those are our symbols.

Once the fire stops carving symbols, it creates a metal clicking sound, and slides open. Inside, all I saw are fishes and water on the other side of the glass.

"Where are we?" asks Ella, and I feel her scoot closer to me. "I don't know," Crayton admits. I scan the control room. There are maybe fourteen seats before the cockpit in front, equally placed on both sides. On the walls are ancient pictures, but I didn't examine them. With John's help we move to the cockpit. Two rotating seats are there, in front of a thousand buttons and levers. "Crayton?" I say, "How do we fly this thing?"

The door behind us closes when Crayton, the last one to enter, steps off the door frame. "Excuse me," Crayton says. He sits on the right hand chair and pushes a big red button, and the others come to life. The radar in the middle beeps, and a map on the others illuminates with light. In the map I see we're in the very middle of the Bermuda Triangle.

"No way," Sam says, accidentally stepping on my foot just to take a look at the map. "We're in the Triangle!"

Master created these storms that persuade people to stay away from his ship. He also brought along another beast that swam these waters, eating intruders alive if they came too close, Zakarius says. "Everybody sit down! We're ready to launch!" Crayton says, and we hastily strap ourselves in. John grasps my hand and lets my head rest on his shoulder. After several pushes of buttons and pulling down of levers, the ship starts to ascend.