We stop near some hanging rocks. Libby has gotten back early and fixed. There are two and we manage to fit everyone inside. We lay out our mats and such and lay down. Libby volunteers to take first watch. I told her to wake me up when she got tired. I fall asleep but of course my spirit is up and running. I walk over and sit next to Libby in spirit form. I only talk through her mind.
“What’s wrong Libby?” I ask her. Libby looks up from her head in her legs and stares down at me sleeping.
“Are you awake?” she asks.
“My spirit is, not me though. I am right next to you though,” I comment. I put my arms around her. Suddenly I feel a pull and I wake up. This time I actually get up and go over to her. She starts to cry and I feel super sorry for her.
“Do you want to go somewhere private?” I ask.
“Well, don’t we have to keep watch?” Libby says through sniffles.
“I’ll get Justice to watch,” I say. I walk over to her and rustle her awake. Of course she has to be sleeping with a knife. She comes out of her deep sleep, flips me over, and holds the knife to my throat.
“Happy early morning!” I say with a smirk. I push her off and pull her up. “Can you take watch? Libby and I need to talk,” I tell her and wink.
She nods her head and sits down on the floor in front of the rocks. Libby and I climb up on the rock sculpture and whisper to each other so Justice can’t hear.
“What’s up?” I ask genuinely concerned.
“I got to the infirmary and… my…” Libby tries to finish and can’t.
“What’s wrong?” I ask scared.
“My brothers were there in casts!” Libby yelled.
“Your brothers are here?” I ask confused.
“Wait they're here!” Justice calls up.
“Yes!” Libby says and bursts into tears. I don’t know how to fix this so I bring her inside and let her lay down. She doesn’t get any real sleep though.
When we wake up, we are all drenched in rain. Everywhere. We stay in the rock alcove for a little while but when the rain dies down, we come out. We truck a little farther down the road before I hear someone crying. I look at Libby but she’s fine. I still hear the crying though. We walk for a little more and by then the sobs have turned into whimpered ones. Finally it is bothering me so much I break.
“LIBBY!” I snap and turn around, stopping the group. “I get it, you're sad and scared, but that doesn’t mean you have to cry this much!”
Libby looks at me with a weird look on her face. So is everyone else.
“Trin, I haven’t been crying at all. Are you ok?” Libby replies.
I can still hear the crying whimpers.
“Then who’s crying?!” I say and whip my head around.
“Wait… ” I hear Sydney say. She hears it too! I think.
I do. It sounds like someone our age, she thinks back to me. She grabs a stick from the ground and heads in the direction of the crying. Everyone else can hear it too. She finally touches something and jumps back. Everyone else jumps back a foot, scattering us around. Suddenly, Sydney drops the stick and walks to where she was. She reaches out into the abyss and suddenly there is a girl standing there. She looks about our age with long dark brown hair down to her waist. On her back is a pair of light purple wings.
“Hello?” Sydney asks. “What’s your name?”
“Emily. Emily Burkhart,” she replies.
“Why are you out here?” Justice asks, walking up cautiously.
“Well, I was just recruited and HM said to come join your group. I was trying to find a way to go up and say hi but I got scared and started to cry,” Emily explains. Suddenly she doesn’t look our age, in fact she looks about 8 years old.
“Well you're here now Emily. Let me introduce us. I’m Trinity and this is Faith, Justice, Sydney, Melody, Jewel, Jake, and Libby,” I tell her.
“By the way, there were some other kids with me who were supposed to come out here and join you but…” Emily starts. “We got attacked and they got severely hurt so I ran both of them back to the infirmary. Poor boys. I think they were only seven.”
Right then a strangled noise escapes out of Libby’s mouth and she throws herself to the ground. She starts to cry.
“Did they have red hair. Bright red hair?” I ask, hoping not to confirm Libby’s suspicions.
“Yes. I think their names were like… I can’t remember. All I know is that they both were with M’s.” Emily tells.
That sets Libby off and she runs out and sits by a tree.
Wait, I think. She knew this was going to happen already… so why did she act surprised?
I think she did know and didn’t want us to, Sydney tells me in my head.
“So what are your powers? I have speed and strength and water.” Emily said excited, apparently forgetting about Libby. I walk away and let the others deal with her. I walk over to Libby and sit down next to her.
“So…” I say awkwardly.
“Go away,” Libby says with her head in her hands.
“Ok,” I say and walk up to the tree behind us. I start to climb up. In no time, I am at the top. I watch as Libby looks small and helpless at the bottom. I think of something and I know it’s risky. I raise Libby off the ground with a finger and gently set her down on a branch next to me. She opens her eyes and does the first thing you shouldn’t do in a tree: look down. Of course Libby bugs out and screams. I grab her by the arm as she almost falls. Well actually, I don’t. The tree does. It takes two branches, grabs her, sets her down on another branch and straps her in like a seatbelt.
“What the hell?!” Libby screams and starts batting at the tree to let her go.
“Libby stop! The damn tree just saved you life!” I yell at her annoyed.
“Wait. I thought you did?” Libby questions. She gives up logic and gives the tree a pat on the back. Well on the branch that is. Suddenly the tree starts talking.
“I am Gladamere,” it spoke. “Libby, I didn’t hear a thank you.”
“Sorry. Thanks,” Libby says with a smile.
“Trinity,” Gladamere says with a calm voice. “Sit down. I have something to show you,” I sit down on a branch and it seatbelts me in.
“Hold on,” Gladamere says as the branches lift us into the sky. They lift us so high we can see everywhere on the savanna. It is so beautiful. Until me and Libby hear the scream. The scream of three little girls.
“MELODY!” I scream.
“JEWEL!” I hear somewhere below.
“EMILY!” I hear.
“Glada-” Is all I get out as I am zoomed to the ground along with Libby. We land in the sand and Gladamere lets go of us.
“Go children! GO!” The old tree yells. We run to the others.
“Where are they?!” I ask Justice.
“They went to the distance cause they said they saw water,” Justice replies.
I knew I saw a small pond in the distance. I run out as far as I can and stop, out of breath. Of course that was only twenty yards. Then something speeds past me. FAITH! I think.
“FAITH!” I yell to her. There is flash and Faith is next to me.
“Get on!” Faith yells as I hop on her back. She races to the pond and when we get there we stop short as a flash of light blows up in flames. I hear someone yell Trinity but I am not completely conscious. Except I can see everything. I see the gang running up and trying to find the girls. I see Jake find me and start to weep. I see myself for a second too, dilapidated and gross. Then I see her. Melody’s not 10 feet away from me. I try to say her name but my mouth and limbs are stuck, unwilling to come out of the shock of pain they are in. I see her. Laying on the ground with a gash on her arm and leg. Then I know who did this. Him. That snake of a man. I watch in agony as a hovercraft shows up and comes to the ground. People come out and pick up Melody. That’s when I break. I feel my legs ache along with the rest of my body but I don’t care. I get up with my mind telling me to get down, to rest, to die. NO! I think. I am not going out like this! I run, well at least try to, and make it to the ship as my sister gets there. I collapse at the entrance, my body exhausted. I feel someone lift me up and carry me inside. The last thing I see before I black out is Jake’s face staring down at me.