I woke everyone up early, so we could try to stop the person who has Storm. They would probably be slower, thinking that it would take a few days for our team to catch up with them. We had to use their cockiness to our advantage. The element of surprise.
Arden called room service for some food, for all of us. He asked us to be out of view while he got the food so that no one would get suspicious. Once we ate I got Kalama to try to feel what floor and what room they could be on. We followed Kalama two floors up and 17 doors down. She stopped in front of a room, and I kicked it open, sending splinters into the room.
When we looked into the room there wasn’t anyone there. There was what appeared to be a broken chair and a broken window.
“Thay have to be wherever the energy line is,” I said. “Kalama can you sense them?”
“I can try,” she replied. She led us to a pedestrian intersection. “They portaled to another world. I think I can get us there.”
I nodded, “Ok. Let’s do it.”
She opened the portal, and I stepped through first this time, being careful to be alert. No one would sneak up to us. Brook came through the portal next, followed by Camden, Arden and then Kalama, who closed the portal behind her. We were in the middle of a shadowed forest. I looked up and saw a floating hunk of earth, a city on top of it. There were people flying around, big wings flapping.
There was a big crater in front of us, probably where the city initially came from. I looked around in the sky and saw a person flying straight towards us. I summoned fire to my hands, getting into a fighting stance. I heard my friends do the same behind me.
It was a middle-aged man who landed about ten feet from us, making a whooshing sound as he landed, sending small pieces of debris flying away. He walked into a small bit of light that was peeking through the forest, and his hair glinted red, almost the same shade as mine.
“Who the hell are you?” I asked as he walked closer.
“I’m Raphael,” he replied. “And you are?”
Arden answered for me, “We’re from Elamantti. One of the Chosen was taken, and they keep portaling to different worlds. What world are we in?”
“Everyone here is born with wings,” he said. “That’s really all the information I can give. I live here on the ground, where not many people live.”
Something dawned on me as they kept talking. His name was Raphael. My father’s name is Raphael. This man has red hair, and white wings, like an angel white.
I interrupted the conversation Arden was having with the man, “You weren’t born here, were you?”
Raphael looked surprised at the question but nodded, “How did you know?”
“What’s your last name?” I asked instead of answering his question.
“Laflamme,” he answered.
Arden looked back at me, eyes widened. I nodded.
“As you already know, one of the Chosen was taken,” I said. “We’re on a mission to get him back. Camden is another one of the Chosen, and so am I. My name’s Blaze.”
Understanding dawned in his eyes. And tenderness too. He knew who I was now too. And my friends, my team now knew he was my father.
“We have to get going,” I said. “We have to catch the kidnapper. Kalama,” I turned to her. “you do your thing. Tell us where they went.”
She nodded and started getting to work. I turned back to Arden and Raphael, “Arden, you go and make sure Kalama doesn’t walk into the pit.” He left, nodding in acknowledgement that I was in charge of this team.
I turned back to Raphael, “You can be on you’re way. We don’t need your help.”
“Blaze,” he said breathlessly, lovingly.
“What?” I snapped, trying to keep myself quiet.
“How did you know I was your father?” he asked.
“I looked through the Laflamme family tree.”
“How did you get into that part of the library? All the family trees are locked up tight.”
“I broke in. Picked the lock while the librarian was busy, and not paying attention.”
I crossed my arms over my chest. I was done with this conversation.
“The people you’re looking for won’t be leaving anytime soon,” he said.
That got my attention. “How do you know that?”
“I felt the pulse of power from both portals opening, and the first one was faulty. When they made the portal, it was unstable, which meant that they used too much of their power to try to keep it stable. They’ll be resting for a few days. You and your friends can stay with me for the next day or so, to rest. I can already tell that one of your friends is using too much power, and another is having a hard time controlling them.”
“How do you know that?” I asked icily.
“I’ve always had a special ability to sense others abilities, and what happens to them. If they are drained, I usually know. It’s also why I can sense portals.”
I looked back at my group. Brook looked drained, and unhappy, from not being able to use her power. Kalama was probably tired too, from using her power too much. So I had to comply. They needed to rest. Hell, even I needed to rest. I hadn’t slept since Storm was kidnapped.
“Alright,” I said. “We’ll stay for one night to rest. Then we’re going to find whoever took Storm.” I walked over to Camden. He was leaning against a tree, watching everyone. “We’re going to stay with Raphael for one night.”
Camden looked at me surprised, “Really? But what if they get away?”
“He’s positive they won’t,” I replied. “He said he sensed that the portal they made was unstable, which caused them to be drained of power. And everyone needs time to rest. Kalama has been using her power almost non-stop, and Brook hasn’t been able to use her power at all. She needs to spend some time on it, and Raphael may be able to help her. He seems to know a lot about powers, and how they work.”
Camden nodded, “We’re all tired, I think. Although none of us has used our powers at all, except Kalama, so she must be exhausted. Are you sure we can trust him though?”
“No,” I said. “But we have three fully trained elementalists, and, even if Brook can’t use her power, she still knows how to fight. Kalama can use her power, too, once she rests. I’d say we’re pretty safe.”
“Okay. We’ll go with him.”
I was happy he agreed. I needed him to be aware of the danger as much as I was. Arden was too trusting, Kalama was too tired, and Brook was too unhappy. None of them would see if Raphael was up to something.
I rounded everyone up, and we followed Raphael to his house. I was willingly walking into my father’s house. I didn’t think I would actually ever meet my father. And I was hoping I never would.