The Labyrinth

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Chapter 6

The Premonition / The Chaos

- - O N E -

It was raining for a third day. The thick clouds which covered the sky above the city just wouldn't leave.

Sia was staring across the school yard with a hypnotized look. Sebastian and her still hadn't exchanged even a single word between them on the subject of what they had heard from Katsu Ito. As if nothing had ever happened, Maria, of course, as always in her own distinctive way, said nothing and just simply settled for throwing a rational look over her shoulder at both of them while nodding as if she had unravelled everything in her mind.

The only thing that puzzled Sia out of all this was the unexpected and inexplicable reaction of Sebastian after he'd heard it all. She had never seen him so… terrified. Usually he was the coolest of the three of them, so calm and able to bridle his feelings. She sighed inwardly. It wasn't her cup of tea to question him, and now, it was too late to learn anything.

"Remember that after the course, the whole class will go down into the room of Interplanetary Travel, as today is the scheduled routine visit to the planet Ta'ar to closely observe the religious ceremony in honour of the Sun God." The drawling voice of the professor reached her ears. She turned her head to see that the whole class were gathering their belongings up hastily.

Sebastian helped Maria into her wheel chair. "You're not coming?" He asked Sia.

She lifted her gaze. For a moment everything around her darkened. Her heart began to beat faster while the air became stuffy and heavy. "Something is about to happen..." She stammered.

Sebastian's eyes widened in surprise. Even the forever indifferent Maria turned her head and remained looking at her with deep concern imprinted clear on her face.

"Sia... It's a routine procedure. What can go wrong within the twenty minutes when our bodies will be here on Earth and only our minds will be transferred to Ta'ar?" Sebastian asked. "Get up! I'm sure everyone is waiting for us…"

Putting the helmet on her head, Sia felt electromagnetic waves on her body scanning her psychosomatic condition. An invisible fibre network had embraced whole body creating the necessary net to complete the successful transfer of mind to another planet while retaining all nine senses, keeping them intact. Next to her, Sebastian was drumming his fingers nervously on the handles of the special seat in anticipation of the completion of the process.

'Everything will be fine.' Sia assured herself, trying to remain calm. She closed her eyes. Electromagnetic pulses began to permeate her body.

The transfer process had begun.

Over Ta'ar, the three suns had risen to the highest point in the sky. The prayers of priests and the sacred chants of the choir vibrated through the air. Sia inhaled and with the oxygen came the scent of alien incense. She craned her head to the right to see Sebastian standing next to Mary.

Suddenly, their forms began to flicker. Black lines began to appear in various parts of their bodies. Surprised, Sia opened her mouth to yell. Her eyes however, fell over her hands. Surprised she lifted them to the light to see that the same thing was happening to her. Black lines proliferated rapidly over her body. She lifted her gaze to see Sebastian and Maria disappearing. At the same time darkness covered everything around her. Thoughts of her unexplainable sudden urge to sleep were all that crossed her mind before before losing consciousness.

The smell of burnt plastic reached her nose. Sia sneezed. She bounced and her head hit the helmet still placed on her head. Darkness prevailed in the room. Feeling nausea and weakness at the same time being imposed entirely on her body and its muscles, she pulled the helmet off her head and attempted to get up from the seat. But she failed to move her feet. She fell on the floor feeling dizzy.

Everything around her had lost its outline. Her vision was blurred. Laboriously, she struggled to lift her head to look at the seat beside her, where Sebastian lay, unconscious with his eyes closed. A stream of blood ran down his cheek.

Everything froze inside of her. She turned to the other side just to see Maria collapsed beside the seat. She tried to lift her legs but they didn't obey. She was forced to drag her body over until she finally reached the redhead. She put her ear to her chest to distinguish a weak heartbeat.

"Maria," She mumbled sleepily. "Maria."

Maria's eyes remained closed. She breathed with difficulty. But she had no external wounds and her pulse was stable. Sia's heart tightened.

We are losing valuable time!

She took a look around.

The room was mired into semi-darkness. Of what Sia was able to understand, none other than her had regained consciousness. Obviously something had happened that had returned them back in such a violent way.

She turned her head to Sebastian. His white face was steaming slightly below the helmet. Pushing herself forwards, she lifted her right foot and stepped on it. At once a thousand small needles pierced through her appendage with a sharp pain as if they were waiting for this moment. Sia bit her lip and drops of blood splattered the school's shirt. 'I don't have time for this.' She thought as she sat up while dragging her second leg. With small but steady steps she moved forward, her eyes fixed on the sleeping form of Sebastian and the dried blood.

Finally, her quivering hands caught the helmet attached on his head. She jerked it off violently. Her gaze settled on his chest, which was rising and falling steadily. Feeling panic permeate her completely, she was on the verge of losing the last remnants of logic. She made a makeshift prayer inside of her and faltered for a second to apologise for what she was about to do.

"I'm sorry Sebastian." She slapped him with all her remaining power.

Some seconds – which felt like hours to Sia – passed before Sebastian's eyelids finally flickered open. He took a deep breath and sat up as if strained to do so. He looked as if he was recovering from a heavy hangover. His eyes ran over the place until they stopped on Sia's face.

"Where am I? What happened?" He asked, whispering anxiously.

"We were transferred to Ta'ar," Sia replied. "You don't remember? And then something happened and our trip was interrupted…"

Sebastian shook his head. "I don't remember anything from last night…" He mumbled, his eyes wide with terror. Sia looked at him for a few moments, a sympathetic expression visible in her eyes. Despite the fact that she was facing a very unusual – and most likely dangerous – situation, she felt somewhat calmer now that Sebastian had regained his consciousness.

"We have to get help… Something is not right…" He choked out in a hoarse voice and coughed, spitting blood.

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