A Broken Promise
"Chase, are you home?"
"Yeah, why, where are you?"
"I'm turning onto the street," Aurora said. "Can you meet me outside?"
Chase groaned. "I just sat down," he said. "What's the problem?"
"Well, put it this way, if you don't come out and help me, you won't be eating tonight."
"What did you bring?"
"How does pizza sound?"
"Sounds alright, you outside yet?"
"Pulling up now. Hurry up."
"I'm on my way." He hung up. Aurora stuffed her phone into her pocket and turned to Kendall. The scientist was staring at her PDA with a look of confusion.
"What?" Aurora asked, slightly unnerved.
"The energem signature," Kendall said. "It stopped moving."
"That's a good thing, isn't it?" Aurora asked, removing her seatbelt. She had turned off the engine the minute she pulled up to the house and was now in the middle of getting out of the car. "I mean, at least now we know where to look after dinner."
Kendall nodded. "We're not going to have to look far," she said. "It's here."
"What, here as in here in this street?" Aurora asked. She opened the back door of her Jaguar and reached in to unbuckle Chloe and Jenni.
Jenni looked exhausted and Aurora wasn't sure how much longer she was going to stay awake, whilst Chloe run from the car the minute she was free. She carried a plastic bag in her hands as she ran up the path to the front door.
"Chloe, tell Chase to hurry up," Aurora called.
"OK," Chloe said, disappearing into the house.
Aurora shook her head, withdrew from the car and hurried out the side to Jenni. She opened Jenni's side and pulled the little girl into her arms. It was obvious that Jenni still hadn't grown accustom to the change in time zones yet.
"No, here has in here, here," Kendall said, getting out of the car and looking up at the house.
"You mean my parents' house?" Aurora asked.
Kendall nodded. Her PDA made a sudden beep, one that startled Aurora, causing her to jump.
"What was that?" Aurora asked.
"The energem," said Kendall. "It's on the move again. It's heading our way."
Aurora frowned at the scientist and looked up towards the front door. She held her breath, waiting to see who would walk through it, that person would be the one bonded to the black energem.
Aurora stared at Chase.
Chase stared at Aurora.
Neither of them could believe what was happening, and then again neither of them was exactly sure what was happening. All they knew was they had been selected by a tiny crystal and bonded to a prehistoric dinosaur.
Aurora now had the aura of a Giganotosaurus, also known as a G-Rex. A creature that dwarfed a T-Rex and was dwarfed by a Spinosaurus. It was also a creature that hadn't been seen, except for in fossil form, since millions of years ago.
As for Chase, it seemed that the black energem had chosen him as a worthy candidate after he had risked his own life to save the feline, Tabitha. He had confessed that after receiving the black energem from Wanda he had been getting terrible headaches, and every time he closed his eyes he would see the prehistoric reptiles known as a Parasaurolophus, or for short, a Parasaur.
"This can't be happening," Aurora said, breaking the silence.
"Why can't it?" Chase asked.
"You're joking, right? You're a kid, Chase; you can't be caught up in all of this."
"Why not? I think it's kinda cool."
Aurora pinched the bridge of her nose. "Exactly. This isn't about being 'cool', Chase, this is serious."
"I can be serious."
"No, you can't," Aurora said, shaking her head. In all the years she had known Chase she had never seen him be serious once. He was a goofball, he loved to mess around and besides, he was still a kid.
"I'm eighteen; I can make my own decisions."
Aurora sighed. He had a point. There may have been a six year age gap between her and Chase and she felt responsible for him, but he was legal and he could make his own decisions. If he wanted to be a part of Kendall's mission then he had every right to say yes, and she couldn't persuade him otherwise.
"Please tell him this is serious business and there's no room for childish antics," Aurora said looking at Kendall.
"She's right," Kendall agreed. "I'm not saying that to discourage you, but there's no room for childish behavior, the fate of the planet is at stake."
"I get that," Chase said, taking back his energem and pocketing it. "But I still want to be a part of it. I want to help, Rory, please?"
Aurora stared at her younger brother. She wanted to argue and say no, she wanted to tell him that he couldn't be a part of the mission because she wanted to protect him, but she knew that she'd have to have a solid excuse and saying he was too young was not going to work.
"What about Chloe?" Aurora asked. "We can't both bail on her, it wouldn't be fair."
"She's going to summer camp," Chase said. "It won't matter to her if we're here or not because she won't be here anyway."
"Please," Chase begged. "I promise, I'll behave and besides you'll be there with me. You can keep me in line, like you always do."
That was true.
Aurora closed her eyes for a second and then let out a heavy sigh. "OK," she said. "Fine. You can come -"
"Yes!" Chase cried, punching the air.
"But -" Aurora interrupted him. "But... you have to swear to me that you will take this seriously. If you can't, or you act like a child then I am putting you on the first plane back to New Zealand. Do I make myself clear?"
Chase resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "Yes, mum," he said, unable to contain the excitement welling inside of him. He was finally going to get out of New Zealand. He had always wanted to travel, ever since Aurora had announced that she was going to Africa and then Europe, he had wanted to do the same, and now he was going to get that chance.
Aurora shook her head at her brother and turned to Kendall. "When do we leave?" she asked.
"I have to be state side in the next 48 hours," Kendall said. "So as soon as possible."
"If we're on the first flight tomorrow morning, we should be in the states by early afternoon Friday," Aurora said. She had caught enough last minute flights to know the routine, add that to the time zones of each country and she was able to plan ahead. "Will that be quick enough?"
Aurora stood and walked to the kitchen door. "I'll grab my laptop," she said. "Book the earliest flight I possibly can, then I suggest we all get some rest, we need to be out of here before dawn breaks."
"What about packing?" Chase asked.
"Pack light," Aurora said. "Only the essentials. We don't know how long we're going to be gone for, if we need anything more we'll have to go shopping."
Chase made a face. He hated shopping.
Aurora shrugged. "Sorry, buddy, it's the best I can do on such short notice," she said, her hand on the door handle.
"What about Jenni?" Chase asked.
"What about her?"
"Are you taking her too?"
"I have too," Aurora said, pausing and turning to her brother. "I'm her mother now, Chase, I can't leave her behind."
"Fair point," Chase said. "What about Mum and Dad? What are we going to tell them?"
"Don't worry about Mum and Dad," Aurora said. "I'll deal with them. You just go and pack what you need. I'm going to book our flights."
Chase nodded and Aurora pushed open the kitchen door. There was a light 'oof' and a thud from the other side, and Aurora peered behind the door to see Chloe lying on her back in the hallway. It didn't take a genius to figure out that she had been listening, and the look upon her face was anything but happy.
"Chloe," Aurora breathed.
Chloe glared at her older sister, jumped to her feet and ran for the stairs. She thundered up them as fast as she could, and dived into her bedroom, slamming the door as Aurora and Chase reached the top step.
"Chloe," Aurora called, stopping outside her youngest siblings' bedroom. "Chloe, open the door, please?"
"Go away!" Chloe shouted from the other side. Her voice broke and Aurora's heart clenched at the tearful sound. She didn't care if she woke up the whole house. She was mad at her older siblings, mostly Aurora. Aurora had promised that she was there to stay, and now Chloe had learned that she was setting off again. She should've guessed that Aurora wouldn't stay for long. Ever since her trip to Africa, Aurora didn't stick around for much longer than a week. A couple of days was a new record, and worst of all this time she was taking Chase with her.
Aurora sighed and pressed her head against the wood. She could hear her mother and father shuffling around inside their room, and Jenni was calling from the room at the end of the hall. But right now all she could focus on was her sister's betrayed cries.
"Chloe," Chase tried.
But Chloe was having none of it. She yelled at them to go away, her emotions getting the better of her and becoming light sobs. But it was two words that broke Aurora's heart in two, and they were the words that Chloe was uttering over and over again - "You promised."