The Darwin Chronicles, Book One: The Mountain Ranges

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Chapter 34

"Sit, sit. Have some hot chocolate," The woman said. Emmett pulled out a chair and sat awkwardly in it as she fetched another mug and a plate of cookies. She placed them in front of him and sat down across the dining table from him.

The house was a smaller version of Emmett's, which made him homesick. Even the mug.

"Thank you, ma'am," He said.

"Call me the Adviser." She waved her hand, and a huge clear sphere of water appeared above the table, floating between them. Emmett's mouth dropped open.

"How-"

"Magic, Emmett. Magic. I believe you want to know more about your companion, Amelia?"

"Uh-yes, actually."

"Well, you've come to the right place." The Adviser waved her hand, and a sequence of images appeared in the floating bubble. A younger Amy, seven years old, stood in the corner of the clearing back in the Briarlight woods, watching two men in fascination. One had honey golden hair and piercing, grey eyes, just like her and her siblings. He had a handsome smile as he said something reassuring to Amy, then turned back to the other man. You could tell that she was his pride and joy. But the other man made Emmett's breath catch.

It was Darren, his father.

He looked about nine or ten years younger than when he had died, but still looked the same.

They joined hands, and a warm light filled the air. Wind began to blow. They were performing the Awakening. But after a few minutes, you could tell something was wrong. Both men's faces began to contort in extreme pain, sweat dripping from both of their faces.

"Dad?" Amy cried, starting towards them. Her father began to literally smoke. "Dad! What's going on?!"

The light became almost blinding, then the fire started. The blonde man simply burst into flames, and Darren broke contact, eyes wide in alarm.

"Dad!" Amy wailed, running towards her father.

"No! Amelia!" Darren held out a hand from his place on the ground to stop her, but the wind pushed her back. There was a final searing explosion, and it stopped, all traces of the man gone. Amelia screamed, a sound that shattered Emmett's heart and ears.

"You see," The Adviser said, "Her mother did not blame Legends for her father, James's, death." She waved her hand again, and another image started to play. This time Amelia was about four, sitting in the clearing, holding hands with her father. "You see, her father loved his daughter so much. James was so proud that one of his children was a Legend, so he thought he could try to Awaken her powers, although they must be in different Tribes to do that. When two Legends are in the same Tribe and perform the Awakening, it is unsuccessful, and the Giver is cursed. They cannot perform the Awakening ever again. Of course, no one knew that. So when James performed it on your father, it cost him his life.

"That girl aches for love. But the thing is, so many people have hurt her, both intentionally and unintentionally. So she's afraid of loving and being loved." The image changed to the present day Amy, climbing a mountain to a huge cave.

"And that's what Isaac knows. He is in that cave, waiting to find her without you. He will tempt her with love. Love that she needn't to fear."

"What?!" Emmett jumped to his feet. "It's a trap."

"Indeed, Emmett. Go now. Help your friend. I wish you luck." The Adviser waved her hand, and the bubble floated off the table and to the space in front of Emmett, where it expanded. The image of a cave loomed in front of Emmett. He knew it was a portal.

"Thank you." He stepped into it.

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