Published on

Chapter 6

  • avatar
    Maria Catalina Higuera

I could barely keep my eyes open as I stumbled down the hallway, I was just so tired, so exhausted...it seemed not only the lack of sleep but my fight with the Desolation and the way I used my power back there had finally caught up to me.

The energy within me o surge, practically shouting at me to use it to heal myself, to avoid having to sleep but I repressed it.... I wasn’t sure if the Desolations could still track me out here but I really didn’t fancy the idea of getting chased by those things on a ship, or that they would be waiting for me as soon as I stepped foot on land.

The clock I had passed on my way here had marked 2 a.m, it would only be a few hours till I was within swimming distance of my destination. Trip I had to do the old fashion way since the ship would exactly be stopping where I needed to.

Behind all the doors I heard heartbeats, all the cabins were occupied. I had considered sleeping somewhere else in the ship, one one of the many couches it had on the resting areas but that would look way too suspicious.

I leaned against a wall, resting for a moment, thinking of what to do.

“You poor thing”, A familiar voice whispered beside me making me snap my eyes open, I hadn’t even realized I had closed them.

Besides me, leaning against the wall in a casual stance was the same woman I had seen before, the one that had helped me back when I had been fighting the desolations.

“Great”, I muttered, pinching the bridge of my nose, “I'm hallucinating again”.

She chuckled, a soft sweet sound, “I assure you I'm not a hallucination”, she said, walking to stand in front of me.

I sighted, “Then what are you? I'm pretty sure randomly appearing around me counts as hallucinating”.

As if to strengthen my point, a young couple walked by us, giving me a weird look since I was probably talking to the air.

She winked at me, “You will find out eventually, but as for now... I will help you to find a place to stay the night”.

I frowned at her, “And how are you going to do that?”.

She winked at me again, “Just watch”, she said, before passing right through the wall like she was no more than a hologram, leaving me standing in the hall looking at the place where she had been standing with a dumbfounded expression.

The bustling of people moving out and about was what finally woke me up and I sat up in bed slowly, looking around for the mysterious woman, but she was gone.

Last night in the hallway she had returned eventually, appearing from another wall further down the hall.

“I found a place for you”, she had announced cheerfully, leading me to a place where the hallways were even more narrow which meant the rooms in the area were probably less pricey.

Despite her being able to go through walls I had no such power and therefore had to break the lock open. No doup security would eventually notice that, and the laundry room one but I hoped to be gone by then.

The room was small, and with now windows, it had two twin size beds that had not been made, they didn’t even have sheets put on them, nothing but the bare mattress but it looked like the best thing I had seen in days.

I thought of taking a shower, a good proper one this time but I was too exhausted, I didn’t even bother to take my shoes off before I flopped down on the bed.

“Don't worry dear”, the woman had said, sitting opposite me on the other bed, “I'll keep watch for you”.

Now it was morning, and she was gone, why did I keep imagining her? A person I had never even seen, I didn’t know who she was, why she had the same marking as me but the thing that was bothering me the most was, if she was a fragment of my imagination...how had she led me here? or had I found this place myself and dreamed she did?

I grabbed my head, “What’s happening to me?”, I whispered, was I going crazy? First the strange dream that warned me about not trusting somebody, then the mysterious woman that had appeared when I was awake not once but twice now and the dream where I wasn’t even in my own body…

The sound of footsteps coming down the hallway brought me down from my train of thought, reminding me that I could all of this out later, once I was safe.

“Security cameras saw him here”, a male voice said, talking to somebody walking beside him, “In cabin 139, he broke the lock somehow and went in”.

“Suspect might be arm be careful”, another female voice called over the radios the two men were wearing.

“Copy that”, both of them said, almost at the same time.

Damet, they had found me. I jumped out of bed and bolted for the door, throwing it open and running down the hall and into the elevator just seconds before the two security guards would have rounded the corner and seen me.

The elevator seemed to be crawling its way up painfully slowly as I fidgeted nervously. I wasn’t sure how far we were from land, but we should be close enough for me to swim now, I just had to get to a window, or the top deck.

To my distress it stopped two floors before getting to my destination, the door opening revealing a mother with three small kids.

“Good morning”, she called out, her kids echoing the greeting in tiny squeaky voices as she made an effort to herd them inside the elevator. . I swallow, trying to hide my nervousness, “Good morning”.

One of the kids, the older one, a girl of around seven or eight turned towards me, staring at my face fixely with big brown eyes.

“Amanda honey it's not polite to stare”, her mother said, giving her a look that every child understands.

“I saw you on tv”, she blurted out.

The energy within me seemed to leap as my muscles tense and I gritted my teeth as I held it back, not here, not now.

“I um...I get that a lot”, I lied, “People tell me I look similar to some actors”.

The mother smiled embarrassedly at me as she grabbed her childs hand in silent warning.

“Oh you do have the looks”, she complimented me, “Please excuse my child she...she doesn’t hold back on anything you know how kids are”.

I did my best to smile back at her, “Don't worry, it's alright”.

“But mom I saw him on the ne-”, she started but her mom sush her.

“Amanda”, she said in a warning tone and the girl, thankfully, went quiet but still stole glances at me resentfully.

It seemed forever before the elevator doors finally opened and I could walk away from those accusing brown eyes.

The eating area was as packed as it had been yesterday, but now the security guard were no longer pacing pleasantly around, they were all speaking frantically into radios, quickly closing the heavy metal gates to all the doors that lead out of the food court. I was traped.

The intercom came to life with a cracking sound, “Good morning ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking, you may have noticed we have entered into a temporary lock down, wherever you are, be so kind as to reach out to the closest staff member to bring you to a safe area,, if you're in your cabin, please stay there. Keep calm, don't panic, security will deal with this in no time, thank you very much and we apologize for the inconvenience”.

Despite the captain's order not to panic I could see scared faces all around me, people getting up and asking the staff what was going on, some shouting and demanding at them. Parents sheltered their children, people held each other. They knew there was a threat, they just didn't know what it was.

From the corner of my eye I could see security approaching me, slowly so as not to scare the people more but still coming in for me, five of them.

“Sir”, one of them ,a tall burly woman, said as soon as they had surrounded the table I was sitting in, “Please come with us quietly”.

I put on my best terrified face, turning to look at her with big wide eyes, “What...what did I do?”, I asked in a trembling voice.

“Nothing yet”, she said, not buying my act, “Now please get up swoly”.

Around us people were moving away from me, whispering and murmuring, a lot of passengers getting close to the gates despite the staff trying to make them stay seated.

I could run now, those doors wouldn't stop me, this people, not even if they brought a hundred more could hold me down, but I knew that if I did that people would run, stampede for the exits, there would be injure, maybe even some trampled to death, kids separated from their families in the chaos.

No, I simply couldn't bring myself to do such a thing, not when there was another way out.

I did as they instructed, slowly getting to my feet.

“Thank you for your cooperation sir”, the woman said with not a single hint of true politeness in her tone, “Now please come with us”.

I could feel everybody's gaze on me like venom, kids were crying, scared, people were scrambling to get as far away from us as possible. Some were beginning to make the connection, now that all eyes were on me I could hear them whispering my name like it was a curse, as they finally recognized who I was, glaring at me with hate. In their eyes I was nothing more than a dangerous criminal.

As we walked past a table I saw the woman from the elevator and her children seated around with a man I assume was her partner. I could see she had gone pale, horror in her eyes as she realized she had been so close to me, her children within touching distance.

I couldn't bear to see her face or any of the other passengers for that matter, I felt guilty, despite not actually having done anything close to what the media was claiming and I felt relieved when we were finally out of the place and into the hallways.

The moment we were out of sight a male guard handcuffed my hands.

“I thought I didn’t do anything?”, I said, being careful not to break them.

“Just a precaution”, the woman said, not even turning to look at me.

Now that I was out of the food court I took several deep breaths, trying to take all the scents around me, figuring them out. It was almost overwhelming, so much to decriple but I pushed on keeping my eyes fixed on the ground.

There...I thought triumphantly, it was faint, but it was there, the smell of land, of earth and snow and human population.

The group of guards were leading me towards a staff only gate, no doubt to guide me through the ships inner areas, the not so glamorous staff hallways where there probably wouldn’t be any window of opening I could use to get outside. If I wanted to save myself some time it was now or never.

The cuffs around my hand came apart like they were toilet paper, all of the guards turning to look at me wide eyed, their hands moving to their waist where they had tasers and batons, but no firearms, good, that just made it easier for me.

I ran through them like they were nothing, pushing them to the ground and taking off towards the nearby stairs that would lead me to the top deck.

“¡Hey!”. Several of them screamed, scrambling to their feet and running after me, others rapidly speaking into their radios, communicating with other security personnel for all the good that would do.

“Sorry, gotta go”, I shouted over my shoulder, climbing the stairs two at a time, not being able to resist seeing the woman's expression as I moket them.

Outside the sky was cloudy, a light snow falling like white confetti, the ocean dark grey, and beyond it I could see land, and the small brightly painted houses of the port town of Sisimiut, the place where the coordinates my father had left me lead. The place where I could get help to rescue him.

I didn’t even falter as I ran toward the edge, the first of the security guards bursting from below just in time to see me jump over the railing and into the cold ocean below.

The earth was cold and frozen as I finally got out of the arctic water and flopped down on dry land, or as dry as it can be covered in snow.

Above me the sky had opened its gates as some might say. A blizzard was in process of reaching its full swing, never had I been more thankful I couldn't feel the cold as I sat up, looking at the horizon and at the cruise ship that was sailing on and away.

It probably was out of their paycheck to bother coming looking for me, the most they could do was alert the Greenlandece goverment of my presence, but that also unlikely, no human would have survived the long swim I had to take to reach land, if anything they would be searching for a body.

Beyond me I could see the town of Sisimiut, even in the middle of the white wall of snowflakes I could tell it was quite a picturesque place with pretty colorful houses and small but well made churches and box style buildings.

Dad had told me that once I was here I had to ask for “The Den”, and there, finally, I would reach the end of my trip.

It had felt like forever but it had only been two nights since me and my father got separated, the two most trying days of my life, but I had made it here somehow.

I got to my feet shaking off the snow from my clothes, looking back at the town, I was almost there, my goal was somewhere among those buildings, within walking distance.

Suddenly I couldn't wait a second longer to get there and I was running through the blizart and towards the place that offered me the only hope of ever seeing my father again.

It was a low, flat roof building that, like most of the others around it, was built like a box with no windows.

It was painted pine green and on its side, on big white letters, it read.

“THE DEN”, and below it, in a smaller font, “Powerlifting gym”.

It hadn't taken too much asking about to find the place, I could have probably stumbled by it just from walking around that should have told me that I wasn’t about to find a state of the art, top notch facility, but I had still expected something more than this.

It almost felt like a joke that I had gone all this way just to reach some random ,weirdly named gym, like following a treasure trail just to find old socks, but I trusted my father, he had sent me here for a reason and I had to see this through.

I moved through the piling snow and towards the door, my own reflection looking back at me as I took one final deep breath and pushed it open.

The smell of leather and sweat hit me as the door swung open revealing a small office, most of the space occupied by a shabby receptionist desk.

There was a young woman sitting behind it, her bleach blond hair tied back messily and she wore an oversized baby pink sweater and loop earrings and didn’t even look up as I entered, too engrossed in scrolling down her phone.

In a death-bored monotonous voice she began speaking, it sounded like a question but I didn't exactly know since I didn’t speak Greenlandic and that's what she was probably speaking.

“I um…”, I began but didn’t get the chance to finish as she immediately switched to English without so much as missing a beat.

“Welcome to The Den, the best powerlifting gym in town, do you have a membership card?”.

I stared at her probably wearign a prety stupid expression that she, lukily, coudn’t see since she was still lookign down at her phone, “I...dont think so?”.

“Here”, she said, extending a clipboard with a black ink pen on top of it. “Fill this out to start your free trial at The Den, at the end of the seven day period you can pay your first mensuality to become part of our big fitness family or leave it for another time, up to you”.

All through her little exposition her tone remained the same monotonous tone and she still hadn’t and she still hadn't bothered to look at me.

“Um...I'm not here for the gym…”, I said, fidgeting impatiently, my eyes going around the small room with pear green walls and covered in posters of super muscly men and women lifting ridiculous things and winning competitions.

“My dad sent me”, I said, putting my hands on top of the desk, trying to call her attention.

She only extended her hand and with one hot pink acrylic nail pointed to a part of the application form, “That goes right here”. She said, signaling a paper that was both written in ,what I assume was, Greenlandece and English that read, “How did you hear about our gym?”.

I felt energy rise within me as I resisted the urge to grab the stupid clipboard and smash it again the closest wall, quikly loosing patience with the entire situation.

“My father's name is Dion”. I said, leaning toward her so I didn’t have to say it too loudly.

The effect was immediate, it was like she had been electrocuted, slamming down her phone on the desk, making her nearly pen cup jump.

“What did you say?”She hissed, looking around the place, her eyes going toward the black wooden door that probably led to the actual gym.

“That my father's name is Dion”. I repeated, relieved that I finally seem to be getting somewhere.

“Dion what?”, she asked, greyish blue eyes digging into me.

“Dion Hexun”. I answered.

She cock her head slitly, “And what's your name?”.

I wasn’t sure weather to answer her, she could be an enemy in disguise or her reaction could have come from the fact she recognized me from tv so I was reluctant at first but finally shook my head, I had to try everything, I had to believe this was really the place my dad had sent me too, “Im...Im Asher Hexun”.

“Asher”, she repeated getting up, making me realize she was as tall as me, “Okay then Asher… show me your markings”.

My stomach seemed to make a somersault at her word, energy surguign within me and I bit my tongue trying to hold it back.

“I...dont...what are you talking about?”. I asked, trying to sound confused despite the fear that settled in my chest, the energy that rose as a response.

“It's okay”, she assured me in a more gentle tone, her hand going to her sleeve, “I have them too”.

She pulled it back, revealing a marking that started at her wrist but didn’t even reach half way to her elbow, not to mention it was a lot lighter than mine and didn’t have the lichenbers tipe markings.

She must have seen my uncertainty because she chuckled, “I said I had them too, not that they were the same as yours, we are planets apart Asher”.

“I um…”, again I wasn’t sure of what to do, she could be an enemy in disguise, but an enemy would have probably already jumped at me, not bothering to ask all these questions.

“Okay…”, I said, slowly pulling my gloves off and extending my hands towards her, allowing her to fully see the markings that became narrower and ended at the center of the back side of my hands.

She observes them for a while before nodding to herself and smiling at me, “It does appear to be you…”. She said, excitement slipping into the tone as she quickly turned around and grabbed her office phone, dialing a number.

“We have a new package”, she announced, and I could hear the person on the other end of the line make a surprised sound, “Whait what really?...I mean...ehem, bring it in, we will be ready”.

She rolled her eyes good naturally at the phone like the person could see her, “Come on now Asher”, she said, putting the it down with a click and opening the small wooden door behind her that I had, at first, assumed was only a maintenance closet, “Let me show you the real Den”.

Behind the door there was, like I had expected, a small storage room packed almost full with cleaning products and tools, so much so I had to walk behind her since we wouldn't fit side by side.

When she got to the end of the room, a wall with old built-in shelves, she didn’t stop, instead walking right through it, the wall swallowing her like it was a watery membrane.

I stopped a foot away from where she had disappeared, looking at the wall uncertainty.

“You coming?”, she asked, her face poking out of the wall, which looked quite perturbing, like one of those mounted animal heads except human and talking.

“What is this?”I asked, touching the area, a rible going through the wall, or whatever this was.

“Protection barrier”, she told me, “So nothing but us can get through, don't worry, it's perfectly safe”.

“Um…”, I said, putting my hand through, it did feel like I was touching water, just one that didn’t soak up my clothes, apart from that it didn’t seem like something that would hurt me, “Okay…”, I told her.

She beamed me before disappearing again and this time I followed her.

The world beyond the membrane was vastly different from the one we had left behind, no longer a cramped maintenance closet but a wide tunel carved into black rock, illuminated by torches shining with blue fire that reflected on white marble floors.

“Wow”, I exclaimed, looking behind me, and to the place where I had gone through, the membrane was invisible unless it was toach and the small closet was no longer visible, a wall of black rock in its place.

“Pretty cool right?”, the girl asked me as I put my hand back through the membrane, making sure it would actually let me out again if I needed to run.

“Yea...how does it work?”I asked her,pulling my hand out again at the same moment I heard another set of steps coming down the long tunnel.

“Why don't we leave that explanation for later?”, the approaching figure said in a voice I had become unfortunately familiar with.

It was the masked man, Lionel, even without seeing his face I could recognize his salt and pepper hair, his arrogant stride.

“What are you doing here?”, I snarled, taking a few steps backwards.

“Hello to you too”, he called sarcastically, coming to stand a few feet away from both of us, still wearing the same black suit and gloves I had seen on him before, “And to answer your question, I work here Asher, you will be seeing a lot of me from now on”.

“Fantastic, maybe I should just leave”, I said.

“Good to see you spirits are as high as usual”, he said, shaking his head, “Aniway, we should get going, you are probably tired from your trip here.

He turned towards the woman, “Thank you for bringing him in Taylor”. he said, “But it's time to return to your post”.

Her cheery expression didn’t waver but I could still hear the disappointment in her voice as she spoke, “Ofcourse, right away sir”, she said, disappearing through the wall.

Now that she was gone he began walking down the hall and I reluctantly followed, the sound of our footsteps making loud echoes on the otherwise quiet tunel.

“Where's your father Asher?”.he asked as we walked, he few feet ahead of me.

The question made me flinch, a reaction that didn’t go unnoticed as he turned to look back at me. “He...um…”, I felt a knot in my throat as I tried to tell him what had happened, “They caught up to us and…”.

He sighed, “Ah, I see, but I did warn him, didn't I?, such a shame, he ended up like his mother”, he shook his head, “If only he had listlen when I-”.

“He isn’t dead!”, I shouted rage boiling within me at how he was talking about my father like he had been a pet, no more than a disobedient dog, and this time I couldn't hold the energy back, my marking flash yellow as I struggle to get a hold of my temper again, “He isn’t dead”, I repeated in a more controlled voice, “He was capture...he, he told me to come here to get help so that...so that I could recuse him”.

My words made the man completely stop, turning to fully face me and I could feel his eyes studying me from behind his mask and I held my breath, awaiting his response.

“Your father did the right thing”, he finally assured me, “We will help you here Asher”.

I felt like a terrible load had been lifted off my shoulders as I heard his words, “That's...good, thanks”. I said not realizing just how tense I had been for the last few days, how good it felt that somebody was promising to help me find my father.

“Ofcourse, but first let's get you inside”, he said, gesturing towards the end of the tunnel that led to a single pair of black steel elevator door gates, “Everybody is waiting to meet you”.

There was no floor marker inside the elevator to show just how deep we were going, but it felt like a lot before the shiny black doors opened and I found myself in one of the most surreal places I had ever seen.

It was as big as a football field, with a ceiling so high that for a moment I thought we were back outside and what was above us was the night sky. Like the tunnel, the place was carved right out of the stones with marble floors and doors leading to other tunnels on all sides of it.

The area had a bluish tint thanks to the giant blue fire pit in the center of it that served to illuminate the entire place, giving it an almost surreal appearance.

“Wow…”, I breathed, that was all I could manage as I looked around, trying to take in the masive place.

“Welcome to the Den Asher”, the man said, apparently enjoying my bewilderness.

All through the place there were people walking around, most looked like normal civilians, which I found surprising. I would have expected that for a place like this, people would be dressed in either futuristic style clothing or medieval fantasy one.

They all range in age, from kids around ten of nine to people in their seventies. At first I hadn’t noticed anything too unusual about them, but as I observed them more closely I began noticing that some had markings, some more than others but most of them had at least a little patch of them somewhere on their arms or legs which reminded me of Tailor back above and the faded markings on her arm.

“They are-?”, I asked, Lionel, who still stood besides me, giving me time to take it all in’

“Are they like me?”. I said, nodding at the people, some of whom had begun to take notice of us, especially since the elevator opened to a raised platform of marble steps making us a lot more noticeable..

“In a sense”, he said, choosing his words carefully, “But there is still a big difference between you and them”.

I frowned at his words, and especially at the tone he used, like implying I was somehow more important than them. “That doesn’t seem right”, I said, observing the people as they moved around, going from door to door, apparently occupied in their own matters, the scene reminded me a lot of a busy train station.

“You will understand eventually”, he told me, beginning to walk down the stairs, hands clasped behind his back.

I rolled my eyes at him, despite him having his back to me, was it just so hard to give me a straight answer about something for once?.

“If you say so”, I commented sarcastically under my breath but still loud enough for him to hear as I walked after him, suddenly conscious of all the eyes that were turning to stare at us, and especially at me.

There was whispering going on in the crowd, a lot of it.

“Another complete?”

“Yeah look at his hands”

“I haven’t seen a new one in years”.

“Is that a grey one?”.

“He looks like it”.

“Damn I've never seen one of those...”.

From among the crowd people in suits emerge, both men and women with masks just like Lionel’s.

“All right people”, A woman, probably the leader of them, called, loud enough for everybody to hear, “Let's give him some space, you will be properly introduced later”.

There were few unhappy mutters but people began doing as she said with a chorus of “Yes mam”. Most still glancing at me as they walked away.

“Ignore that”, Lionel said, apparently unbothered as he walked towards one of doors that lead to another carved tunnel, “People are a little...excited to see you, a new one of your kind hasn’t been brought here in years”.

“My kind?”, I repeated, “Care to elaborate”.

He chuckled, “All in due time”.

I sighed as we went through one of the open doors in the wall and back to a tunnel, this one with black steel doors periodically on its sides, “You know I really hate you”.

This time he outright laughed, “Ha!, you are just like your father boy, he used to tell me that all the time”.

I'm not sure for how long we walked, or how many turns we took, the entire place beginning to feel like a giant maze, but eventually we arrived at an unmarked door looking like all the ones we had passed before.

“What are we doing here?”, I asked Lionel as he pushed the door open revealing a white room looking awfully normal for what was outside.

“Gotta get you checked over by a doctor”, he said, “But from what I've seen you probably don't need it”.

“Hu? doctor?”, I asked, but he had already pushed me inside and closed the door behind us.

Now that I was inside it was easy to notice that the place was quite big and with a lot of medical equipment that looked just like what you would find in any normal hospital and other that I had no idea what it was.

In one corner of the room there was a woman with her back to us, the one thing that caught my attention was her long curly blonde hair she had tied back in a ponytail and the fact she was wearing a white lab coat as she arranged some glass vials on a shelf.

“Hi”, she said cheerily, turning around to face us, “I was just-”.

The smile melted from her face as she caught sight of me, her bluish violet eyes going wide.

“Dion?”, she whispered.

Her words hit me like a slap in the face, “No...Im sorry...Im not him I-”.

She shook her head, the smile back on her face, but not a wide, not as genuine, there was sadness behind it.

“I'm so sorry about that”, she said, “I don't know what came over me...you just...you look exactly like him”.

“Yeah...I've noticed”, I said, attempting to speak through the knot that had formed in my throat.

“Well your hair is black”, she added, apparently noticing my discomfort, “Guess that’s from your mom”.

“I don't know...probably”, I admitted, “I never met her”.

She gave me a small sad smile, “I see...well, that was a little bit of a rough start but...let me introduce myself, I'm doctor Grace and I'll be checking you over today since you just got here”.

“Um...okay”, I said, unsure of what to do, I had never been to a doctor's office, much less gottem checked by one.

“Don't worry boy”, Lionel said, taking a seat on a nearby chair, “She is one of you”.

“Oh yea”, she said, rubbing her left shoulder, “I have some markings here”. For a second her eyes seemed to be lost in a far away memory, before she smiled at me again, “Look at us, getting carried away, here”, she said, handing me a plastic bag with what looked like hospital clothing in it.

“There's a changing room there”, she said, pointing to a small white door in the wall, “Leave your old clothes there and put this on”.

“Um...all right”, I said, clutching the bag and opening the door.

“And make it quick”, Lionel called, making me decide I was actually going to take my time.

“Stay still”, Doc. Grace said as she leaned close to me, stickin another white patch to my bare chest, a small blue light coming to life in it as soon as it touched my skin.

Now that I had the time to study her with more of a clear head I realized just how beautiful she was, with delicate features and big doll-like eyes, she reminded me of Sara, despite her probably being in her early twenties.

“So...how do you know my dad?”, I asked, bringing my eyes down and away from her face, suddenly embarrassed at currently wearing only hospital shorts.

“We...grew up together”, she said, “Or well...at least most of our teenage years...he was twelve when he got here”.

“Oh…”, I said, as she began stickin the little patches down my arms, “He...never mention you… or this place at all”.

She sighed, “It was...probably for the best “, she whispered, turning to glance briefly at Lionel who was still sitting down and leafing through a “Fashion today”magazine.

“But I do wish I could have seen him again...it's been more than sixteen years…”

“You will”, I promised her, “I'll rescue him...and you can see him again”.

She averted her eyes from mine as I stared firmly at her, “Ofcourse…”, she said, giving me a smile that looked forzed, “That will be great”.

Something in her tone conveyed that she didn’t believe a word of what I was saying. I wanted to reassure her, more for me than for her but something told me it would be fruitless and instead we both lapse into silence.

“Okay”, she said, once she had stuck patches in my forehead, down my arms and legs, and especially in my chest and over my heart.

“I'm going to test your soul energy levels” she explained, “Normally we leave this for after I run medical tests to make sure you are all right and not injured but...I think in your case we can skip that, and get right into the fun stuff”.

She grabbed a tablet out of a nearby desk tapping a few things on its screen, “Okay Asher, what I need you to do is activate your power, think you can do that for me?”.

“Um…”. I looked down at my hands, the marking in them, “I'll try”.

This part of the procedure seemed to interest Lionel since he put the magazina away and came to stand besides Dc. Grace, both looking at me expectedly.

All right, activated my power, it shouldn't be hard right? I had been holding it back for a while now as I seemed to spike with my emotions, unfortunately now it had no particularly strong emotion to latch on too, which made it harder.

“Take your time”, Dc. Grace said, probably noticing I was struggling, “We can do this tomorrow if-”.

“No”, Lionel interrupted her, “We don't have time to baby him, listen to me Asher”, he said, walking closer to me, “You want to save your father? Then learn to use the energy within you or you will never see him again”.

His words struck a nerve within me, I felt anger steering within me, and with it I could feel the energy, now easier to discern and clasp on to it.

My markings began to glow yellow, the effect of using my healing without having to actually heal anything was intoxicating, I felt stronger, powerfull, my sense sharpening to the point I felt like I could see every particle of dust floating in the air around us, hear every little sound.

“Wow”, Dc. Grace whispered, looking at the tablet, Lionel peeking over her shoulder, “What you make this?”.

He took the tablet from her, making a whistling sound, “Quite impressive, especially compared to the others, the council will be pleased”.

I saw a flash of anger cross her features at his words but she quickly hid it, “Yeah...the Council, he still had to meet them”.

If Lionel noticed her brief change in expression he didn’t show it, handing the tablet back to her before crossing his arms as he still observed whatever was on the screen with interest, “The normal V.R.T ‘s won't work on him”.

“I don't know, maybe?”, she said, also looking down at the table as well.

“Maybe it's not good enough”, he snapped, “Get to work and bring me one just for him by the end of the day understood?”.

The tone he used with her made me want to shout at him, and I could see her eyes widen as the energy within me surged and the tablet began making a beeping sound.

“It’ll be ready today”, she promised him, giving me a quick but firm look like that was easy enough to understand, calm down, I got this.

She put the table down, “All right Asher, you can turn it off now”.

I had been so focused on glaring at Lionel it took a few second for her words to register with me, “Uh...yeah ofcourse”, I said, shaking my head to get rid of the intoxicating effect, swallowing my anger at Lionel as I reluctantly let go of the energy, stoped harnessing its power.

“All right I know I said no medical exams”, she commented, sounding apologetic, grabbing another device, this one was vaguely shaped like a water gun but made of metal and the place where the water would go was smaller and more shaped like a test tube.

“But I need to get some of your blood”, she said, placing it against my neck, “I hope you aren’t afraid of needles?”.

I thought back to our fight with the desolation, and how I had literally torn my insides open to get the harpoon out.

I gave her a small smile, “No...not at all”.