“People of many species, press, leaders, mentors, officials of this school, and, of course, close friends. Today I shall do the impossible. An experiment that shall never be matched ever again!” My greatest student stood in front of the crowd, boasting. “This experiment will change all of creation itself.”
I cheered just as loudly. He’d been working on this experiment forever, making sure that everything was perfect. Today would be his unveiling. The entire team had worked hard, but none more than him.
I watched his hands wrap around the device to activate it. A bright light shone as proof of their success. If I had known then what I know now… I would’ve stopped him sooner.
The room rocked, and a wave of cold air blasted through. The rest of my students fell to the ground, shivering. I fought my hardest, but the cold claimed me as well. I collapsed to the ground with a harsh thud.
My eyes raced through the crowd, searching for my star pupil, hoping that his overconfidence in the project had not led to such drastic failure. My eyes focused on what appeared to be a portal that stood in his place. He and his ally were gone, sucked into the vortex.
I reached out, but the screams gave me pause. Painful echoed from the other side of the portal. Their terror twisted my soul. I had to save them. As I reached out, space itself pushed me back. “Please, I need to save them!” I begged, knowing no one could hear me.
Everyone; frozen in place by an unknown forces that kept them alive, but unmoving and unphased by reality. I was the only one aware. A reality I wished would stop. A reality I wanted to change. “I’ll do anything!” I don’t know what made me ask this, and I don’t know why I expected an answer, but I got one.
“Will you do anything to help them?” Loud, venomous laughter echoed behind me.
“Yes...” I hesitate to turn around and see the owner of the voice.
“Because they are more than your students, they are… family.” The voice belonged to a woman, ancient in tone. She spoke with kindness, yet every word she breathed only brought terror.
“I’ll do whatever you ask, save them!” Later I would regret this deal, but I would never regret...
Much to my horror, a large tentacle stretched out from behind me, picked up some papers I had forgotten were on the podium, and threw them into the portal.
Before I could question her, she whispered, “Everything I do, I do according to the circle.” The tentacle returned and wrapped itself around my face. “I need you to leave your students and find someone for me. Do not return to them until you’ve found who I am searching for.”
A costly action, especially with everyone in a state of danger. Did she mean leave now or later? More questions than answers. One thing stuck within my mind. “You can change everything with a single action!” I answered back.
The tentacle retracted and left my line of sight. Her voice faded, leaving behind echoing venomous laughter.
I didn’t know how to react to her demands or even what they meant. There was no time to ponder anymore as the portal shook. Free from the unknown force holding the others in the room down, I pushed myself forward, through the pain, using my arms to drag myself closer to the wavering portal.
My plan was to reach in and grab my students. I did not know where the portal led, or if they were even on the other side. I had blind faith and sheer will to go by.
I stopped cold in my tracks as two shadows flowed out from the portal. They were too tall to be any of my students escaping. I didn’t know if they had any connection to the voice before, but something deep inside told me to not reach out to them.
They were like images of legend: a soft angel, and a cackling demon.
Before I could process the two figures more, the entire room shook. The unknown force returned, only this time, it lifted everyone into the air. Without warning, a bright green flame shot out of the portal and engulfed everything.