When Zarya goes out one day after weeks of unexplained freak weather, she accidently stumbles into another world. As she learns about them an unexpected attack drives her back home. Now she is alone, with all of her questions still unanswered.


1. 1

I toss and turn as yet another streak of lightning flashes and another clap of thunder sounds. It's not like I'm scared of it, it's just that I'm not used to it. And I don't like being woke up by it. My alarm clock tells me it's 10am. There's no point in going back to sleep so I get up. As soon as I am dressed and fed I leave the apartment. One thing I cannot stand is being stuck inside and because of the freak weather we've had lately - thunderstorms, high winds, heavy rain even a threat of a tornado which I don't think has happened here before - I have not been able to go outside. 
  The storm has cleared and the temperature has gone up. Different from a few hours ago when there was lightning and it was extremely cold. Add that to the things-that-never-happen-but-have-happened-in-the-past-week list. But I shouldn't complain (even though this weather won't last about two hours). 
  I walk around aimlessly, only pausing to buy a drink and call my mom. I didn't tell her I went out. The only thing she had to say was be careful. About an hour later I end up at the park. I don't have a sudden urge to play on the swing set (probably because I'm not five) so I just decide to walk through the park and continue the journey from the other side. 
   The park looks very nice today, picturesque almost with its trees fully green and flowers around. The only thing that ruins it is the fact the wind destroyed most of it. I'm so distracted by this that I almost don't realise that everything has changed. Almost. 
   The cold air hits me first. Then the overwhelming sense of fear. This is not where I belong. I should not be here. I turn around to go back the way I came but the path is unrecognisable. Everything is.
  Where there was benches is now a large stream. Where the path I was walking on lay is now grass, a shade to green to be natural. All colours seem to be artificial. The sky too blue, the flowers too bright. Even the people in front of me look wrong. There's a boy who looks short and stocky with hair so white that it looks like snow and a girl about my height with hair that seems to be a dark green.  
  They both turn to look at me. They wear all black clothes and have strange markings on their body. As they come closer I can see that the boy has silver swirls on his incredibly pale skin that seem to be painted all over his body, even on his eyelids. I can't help but notice that his irises are also a pale silver. The other one has what can only be described as green cracks on her skin that stop at her neck, except two branches continue right up her face and stop at her emerald green eyes. 
  That's it. I've gone insane. I'm dreaming. Except I can feel the coldness seeping into every layer of my body. The fear building. I try to move but my feet are frozen. I look down and see that there is actual ice on my lower legs and it is traveling up my body. 
   The boy stops a few feet in front of me and smiles while the girl circles me. 
  “Well, well, well. What do we have here?” she purrs. “A mortal!”
She stops and studies me. She continues to say something but I can't hear what. The ice has covered my whole body, leaving only my face exposed. I am too cold and am already beginning to black out. The last thing I see is the flames of a fire before I black out completely. 
    I wake up in a small room which contains a bed, a table, a chair, a mirror and a window. I try to stand up but I am tangled up in a large pile of blankets. Suddenly I remember the ice and the girl and I free myself from all of the blankets. I am in different clothes and my skin still feels cold. 
    I get up and look in the mirror. My long black hair is tangled and there is a wild look in my vivid blue eyes but I still look the same. My skin is still pale and I can easily see my blue veins, as always. 
   A breeze comes in from the open window so I turn to close it but as I reach out a voice behind me says “I wouldn't do that if I were you.”
My head whips round to look at the boy and I scream. He sits on the chair and leans back manner of ease but I can tell by the look in his eyes that he's trying not to frighten me, but his eyes frighten me more. They are a pale blue colour like the sky, with what looks like white wispy clouds dancing in his irises. 
  He stands up with his hands up and walks cautiously towards me. “My name is Ilmarinen. I'm not going to hurt you,” he says softly. 
“What are you? Where am I?” I ask him, my voice surprisingly steady, even though he just scared the crap out of me. 
He doesn't answer me. Instead he asks “What is your name?”
“Have you ever been here before?”
I shake my head as a response. 
“Do you know what you are?”
This question takes be aback. 
I think about the green eyed girl. 
“A mortal,” I answer. “That girl called me a mortal.”
“Dhara? About your height and looks green in general?” He asks looking thoughtful. He doesn't even wait for my reply. Ilmarinen opens the door and ushers me out. “Follow me and I'll tell you all you need to know.”
    Ilmarinen leads me upstairs and into a large room with shelves and desks lining three walls while the other is made completely of glass. Three people sit around a large desk in the middle of the room. Ilmarinen introduces them as Gayan (who looks like  Ilmarinen), Anali and Vachlan. 
    Vachlan greets me warmly and invites me to sit down. Does everyone here look strange? Gayan has the same eyes and pale blond hair as Ilmarinen. They even have the same swirling marks on their bodies, which are only slightly paler than the shade of their skin. Vachlan is older. He has black eyes and blue hair like me. You can even see his veins on his pale skin although his are much more vivid and are unnaturally blue. Anali stands out from the others though. She has dark skin, red hair and red eyes that flicker like flames. 
   Vachlan speaks first. He wastes no time. “We are part of a race called Elementals. Each and every one of us can control an element. Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Ice.” He pauses and looks at me. “You shouldn't be here. Only one of us can pass through the veil and into our world.”
“She looks like you,” Anali chirps. She is one of the ones that can manipulate fire. 
“She does,” Gayan agrees. Ilmarinen nods too. “Maybe she is one of the Water ones.”
Vachlan seems to consider this. “Your name is Zarya? The name means water which suggests she is one of us. Her physical appearance also points in that direction.”
From what I've gathered, your appearance shows which element you belong to. Both Gayan and Ilmarinen belong to Air, Anali belongs to Fire and Vachlan belongs to Water. I'm guessing that the boy and Dhara belong to Ice and Earth. 
“It is possible,” Ilmarinen says. “But how would she survive. Those of Water can't live to far from water.”
At this Vachlan looks at me. “Maybe she is half Water. She can't be anything else.”
He sees my puzzled expression because he says "Those of Water cannot live or go too far from a water source. There is a lake outside near this building. That's how I'm here. If you are half water, you aren't bound to a water source like the rest of us." I'm beginning to understand more now but not everything is clear. I still have a few questions. I look at Ilmarinen. "How did you get into my room earlier?" I ask. At that he grins. "The window," he replies. "I can turn into Air and back again." I stare at him. "You could've used the door. It's in a perfectly good condition," I say, irritated. I don't like the idea of him floating into my room or whatever it is that he does. "Where's the fun in that?" he pouts. Gayan laughs.
I roll my eyes and turn to Vachlan. “Maybe I am half Water,” I say. “But I still want to go home.”
Vachlan looks at me sadly. "I'm afraid you can't just now,” he says. “Not when there's a war going on.”
He continues to explain how the population is split because of laws and other arguments. This led to fighting and because almost everyone is involved, the war is starting to affect my world. This is the cause of the weather. 
Just as I am about to ask him what will I do, thunder rumbles out side. A strong gust of wind hits the windows, causing them to shatter. 
Ilmarinen grabs my arm and leads me to the door. Anali follows and Gayan stays with Vachlan to fight whoever is coming. "Something's coming," Anali whispers. "Someone," Ilmarinen corrects. "And it wouldn't be the first time." Then he runs.
I run as fast as I can trying to keep up with Ilmarinen and now Anali who has overtook me. We run downstairs to the front door. Ilmarinen blasts them with a strong gust of air, opening them. We keep running and that's when I see them. Dhara and the other from yesterday. 
“Go! Run!” screams Anali as she throws a fireball towards the ice boy. He ducks and throws a spear of ice at Anali'a head. She melts it and attacks again. They circle one another. The boy tries to freeze Anali but she melts the ice, turning it to water. Ilmarinen and Dhara have begun fighting. Ilmarinen is faster but Dhara is stronger. She tries to punch him but it's like...trying to hit air. She can't. Ilmarinen just keeps moving.
Instinct takes over and I start running. I run up a nearby hill, in the direction we were heading and only have time to hit the ground as a ball of ice sails past. I turn to see Anali grabbing the boy from behind and burning his face. He screams and attacks her.
The top of the hill is flat and bare except from two trees standing side by side. As I run towards them the ground shakes and I fall. I turn to see Dhara running towards me. She almost reaches me when Ilmarinen lands in between us and blows Dhara back. 
“Run between those two trees,” he says quickly. “Go home. If I can I'll find you but you need to go.” And with that he runs off and fights Dhara. She hits the ground, causing it to shake and throw up large pieces of dirt and rock. I keep running and reach the trees. Suddenly everything changes and I'm back in the park. I'm alone, Ilmarinen is gone and I no longer know who I am now.

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