The next day Kaelyn wakes us up just before the sun rises and we all agree to scout for a better hiding spot, one with food, water and shelter close at hand. Celeste and I stick together as usual although the group of girls do not separate completely. We space out by ten metres or so while we search through the forest which was slowly getting thicker and thicker.
We all agree to stick by the stream for water and eventually the landscape becomes more rocky and we have to watch our steps. It was unnatural and weird to have so many rocks scattered over the forest floor like they had been hailed down out of the sky, but this wasn’t Earth.
There were also white flowers everywhere, popping up between the rocks. They sparkled and some gleamed almost transparent like diamonds. Even between the rocks, in the dirt, were tiny micro diamonds scattered all over.
The rest of the forest, although vibrant in rainbow colours, was nothing like this section of the forest. All the chatter ceases as we reach down and run our hands through the glittering dirt or pick off a gleaming flower to admire it’s beauty.
The sun has nearly reached the middle of the sky. Grey clouds are also swarming in, giving the air a slight chill. It is at this point that we make an even more startling discovery.
As I’m being careful stepping over the smooth and sometimes jagged rocks, stepping carefully between the gaps and trying not to trip, I hit something invisible ahead of me. I lose my balance and I’m not the only one.
I slip, falling backwards as do the majority of girls walking close by.
I just narrowly avoid slipping onto a jagged rock near my head and I let out a breath of relief as I slowly get back to my feet. I hear soft laughter ahead of me and see Celeste, who is further ahead, looking back grinning.
“Well aren’t you clumsy,” she jokes and I look over at the other girls that tripped and try to walk forward again – this time with ease.
“That wasn’t a coincidence,” I state, many of the other girls muttering the same thing. Celeste just shrugs and as we walk on, we abruptly find the rocks end and we get to jump down onto soft, clear green earth, less trees and more space.
We hear Kaelyn’s signature whistle, designated as the meeting signal and we all turn to meet her in the middle.
The girls look tired and hungry by the time we all congregate together.
“Did anyone else hit an invisible wall back there?” Kaelyn asks and many of us nod, “Ok, that’s weird but we got through a second time so... right, look, I think we better have a break. I don’t think we’ve been followed yet. I need half of us to find shelter in this place, the other half you better find some fruit or berries or something, we’re all starving.”
“Sounds good to me, I think it’ll rain soon so we better get some cover,” I pipe in and everyone wholeheartedly agrees. Kaelyn splits us off down the middle and Celeste and I are on the side to explore the area for good shelter.
As we quietly begin to explore, it isn’t long before one girl calls us all over and we congregate to look on in awe at her discovery.
Out in the centre of an open space was the stone remains of pillars, covered in vines. There were three steps covered in moss that led to a flat stone tiled ground between the pillars.
We all hurry up the steps, no one speaking, just looking.
Within the pillars of the temple-like structure, at the back of the over grown tiled floor is a wall of rock. It was at least ten metres high and ten wide. It was completely over grown with vines and moss.
The top of the pillars was open, these were only the remains of something great.
“The roof use to be filled in with natural branches,” Celeste says.
The girls hear her speak and turn to face her.
“You remember?” Kaelyn is with us and comes up with wonder in her eyes, “What else do you remember?”
“Earth,” Celeste whispers, “I helped build this place.”
“How?” Kaelyn presses on and it’s not long before Celeste raises her arms above her head and stares hard at the surrounding forest.
“I think – I think like this,” Celeste replies and for a moment nothing happens.
Abruptly, however, the ground literally shakes as trees bend over, some groaning with the pressure as branches stretch, multiple snapping and trunks bursting in half.
“Look out!” I point to a falling trunk and we all run out of the way as one massive tree falls as if in slow motion, but then gains speed as it fully breaks from it’s roots and crashes down into the middle of the temple.
I’ve pulled Celeste back with me, her arms now by her sides and shock on her face.
“What the hell was that?” Kaelyn snarls from the other side of the huge felled tree.
“Sorry,” Celeste apologises, trembling as she looks at her hands.
“It’s okay, you said you belonged in the forest, just like I belong with water, remember?” I try to reassure her, to help her make sense of what happened.
“Sapphire!” Kaeyln calls out, climbing over the trunk she grabs my attention and points to the stone wall, “Look! Seraphine!”
“Holy crap,” I mutter, noticing the whole stone wall is now free of vines. Half the roof is covered in twining branches and vines mingling together. Celeste had drawn the forest inwards, creating a semi-complete roof with gaps in places and the felled tree down the middle of the temple.
Now that the stone wall was clear of vines there was a very faint, but huge, outline of the word Seraphine and one other word below it, Obsidian.
Another name to add to the list.
“Seraphine was real,” Kaelyn calls out excitedly, pumping her fist into the air, “You girls were right!” She grins as she looks to Celeste and I.
The other girls are still confused about the whole forest bending to Celeste’s will as Kaelyn comes bounding over to us, jumping with new found energy.
“This is amazing,” she says, “The Seraphine Rebellion Squadron has a home, this temple. This can be – was and now is again – our headquarters!”
“You seem pretty sure about that,” I state, but not disagreeing with her.
“This is our haven, clearly the men have no idea where this is,” Kaelyn states like its obvious.
“Come over here!” One of the girls has gone directly up to the wall and is reading something else under the huge letters above.
We all run over, eager to see what else there is.
In a different language there is a long etched sentence into the stone.
“What the hell does that say?” Kaelyn wonders, while my mind races and I slowly form the answer in my head.
“No idea,” Celeste shrugs and everyone agrees.
“How the hell did you do that?” The girl who found the extra writing turns to Celeste and points at the ceiling, “You moved the forest.”
“We’re not human, Lilo” Kaelyn snaps like its obvious, “We all have power – she erased our memories,” Kaelyn points to Celeste and everyone hesitates before glaring at her.
“What do you mean, she erased our memories?” Lilo speaks up again and a tense vibe suddenly changes the atmosphere. Anger was rising.
“Yes, but, I can’t remember why I did it –” Celeste admits, nervous from all the attention.
“You don’t have to,” I snap, my eyes still focused on the foreign spelling, “I know what this says, I don’t know how but I can read it!”
“What the hell does it say, Sapphire?” Kaelyn asks just as the sound of light rain starts to hit the newly formed roof of the temple.
“To recite... uh, to recite the lineage, is to regain... lost thoughts...!” The girls go silent as I quickly drop to my knees and look at the smaller print below. It wasn’t a long list.
“I hope you can read the rest of that,” Kaelyn says dryly, “That’s the lineage, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” I can read it clearly, this part was easier than the first. The names stick out to me.
Drusilla Maderia Citrine.
Isa Maderia Citrine.
Valencia Maderia Citrine.
“I’ve got it,” I prepare to tell them the names, I knew Kaelyn was going to get a surprise. I was also fully aware as soon as I spoke them aloud, my memories were about to all come flooding back to me.
I only hoped I was prepared for the consequences of doing so.
“Don’t keep it to yourself,” Kaelyn hisses, impatient, “Speak up!”