My dreams reminded me of what I was transforming into. I dreamt about Lynna’s world. I saw her people engaged in the ongoing war that she talked of. I saw the girl dressed in white, which I could only guess was Saladian’s child. She seemed so frail and small in comparison to the other immortals that passed us. She was smaller than me, a mere human by our standards. Tendrils from the shadowy beast snaked out towards her. The statue remained still. I expected it to move, but it failed this time. I reached out to stop its advance, but my hand passed through the darkness. The girl remained stationary as the shadow enveloped her. When it departed her body, she lay on the ground, shriveled and lifeless. Her rosy pink skin had turned the color of dead leaves, and her gorgeous molasses hair was now ash. Her body had dead, though I had no idea where her soul had gone. The ground around her withered and decayed, because the life within her had ceased.
The statue creaked and groaned as parts of it crumbled away. The world shook itself apart and islands littered with dead animals and lifeless vegetation drifted into the sky. They floated past me, one by one. None of them had any remnant of life on them. The immortals battled the shadow until they fell into the endless abyss that opened when the world split asunder. Some were decimated as they fell, while others simply were absorbed into the shadow cloud. The sunlight faded into a greenish mist that lacked the splendor and joy from the original star. The light was dull and sickening to behold. A single island floated by me. It held a crystal prism on it, embedded into the rock. A faint outline of Saladian’s form was imprinted within the crystal. She didn’t move, nor breathe as she floated past.
To my left, another chunk of rock appeared. A tall girl, with long blond hair stood on the rock, wearing a long billowing cloak of black and purple. At first glance, she looked like Saladian standing there. But as I stared at her, I noticed that she was missing the illustrious glow that surrounded the Empress. Her hair didn’t shine with golden rays; it was bland and marred by streaks of black and grey. Darkened high arched brows shaped her eyes as she sneered at the prism. Something small and misshapen moved by her side. The ball unwound, and the blond boy I’d seen from Saladian’s prison clutched the woman’s robes fearfully. Their skin was deathly white as they both lacked any color to contrast their features.
More islands floated past me; their inhabitants were gone the houses and hillsides were left to ruin. Decayed structures dotted my horizon. Dead trees, frozen waterfalls, and dried up lakes surrounded me from where I stood. Nothing grew anymore. Nothing was left alive. There was no more life in this world.
This will be…
The woman’s voice whispered in my head. I didn’t know who she was, I didn’t recognize her.
She will prevail… another woman whispered, though her voice was fairer and lighter than the first.
Unless you protect her… the first woman finished. She was louder now.
You have been chosen… the second stated anew.
The dead world disappeared from my sight. A faint figure shrouded in light filled my vision. I was approaching my target. I was meant to protect this person, Saladian’s child. I was finally going to meet her.
You have been chosen… the two unknown women whispered together.
The target was coming closer. I could see the outline of a white robe. The girl was getting brighter, her face was becoming clearer.
You have been chosen…
She smiled at me. I knew that smile. I had seen it before, not just in a vision, but in real life. A pair of green eyes greeted me.
You have been chosen!
My eyes snapped open. All that remained of the dream ended as quickly as it had begun. But now I was left with an unspoken thought, an unfinished resolution. Who was the girl? How did I know her? Did Lynna know of whom I was meant to protect other than her?
I squeezed my eyes shut, forcing myself to go back to sleep so I could finish the dream and the thought. But I couldn’t sleep. It would not come to me. I groaned and sat up in the bed, frustrated at myself for allowing my body to wake before I had completely seen the girl. The curtain between the beds was shut. I figured the nurse was bathing Lynna as I heard movement beyond it. I dressed from the stack of clothes my mother brought me. I was tired of lying around in a hospital gown.
I finished dressing when the curtain opened again. I turned around hoping I’d talk with the nurse, but I found myself face to face with Lynna instead. She was wide awake and fully clothed. The drain was out of her head. She wore a beanie, hiding the scar where they had shaved her hair away. There were so many things I wanted to ask her. There were so many things I wanted to say, but I couldn’t find the willpower for speech. Seeing her healthy was a shock, especially because I thought it would take her at least another day before she recovered from the trauma.
“Cass told me what you did,” she began.
“How are you?” I asked her before she could chastise me anymore.
She shrugged. “I could be in the market for a new body, my soul would be smuggled into the borders of a new country, and the life that I’ve built here could’ve been gone if you hadn’t of done what you did. Thanks to you, I don’t have to deal with that situation just yet.”
I didn’t know whether she was being sincere or sarcastic. But before I could ask her if she was truly alright she met my eyes and asked one of her own.
“Why did you save me?” She said this sounding as curious as possible, but I heard the frustration behind her words. She was upset about something.
“You were dying,” I mumbled.
Her ease didn’t lift. “But it could’ve been easier on you if I had died. You wouldn’t have had to keep wondering about my origins or those of my family. You wouldn’t have to keep asking those endless questions I couldn’t answer. You would’ve forgotten about them. They would cease to exist inside your mind. You could have moved on.”
I shook my head. “You wouldn’t have.”
She cocked her head and relaxed. “My wants pale in comparison with human desires. It’s better if you’re far away from me and my kind. I can’t tell you anything that involves us because of the oath. Every day I might let loose some secret that you were never supposed to know, and eventually I will put your life on the line. I should’ve left when I had the chance, because my presence is putting you in danger. This would’ve been easier if you’d let this body die.”
I stepped closer. Had Cass not told her everything that happened yesterday? I couldn’t believe for one second that it would be any easier on her if she suggested what I should’ve done. “It would not have been easier. I weighed the options. Cass told me that you would still be alive, but in a different body, in another part of the world. Even then I would’ve come after you. You would still remember me. You would remember us all, Ella, Drew, Clara and Teresa. Despite how they feel towards you I decided that I couldn’t live with the knowledge that you would be out there somewhere. And you know you can’t live with yourself knowing that I know your secret.”
Her eyes searched mine. “How could you make such a decision anyway? You wouldn’t have had to worry about me anymore. Don’t you realize that?”
“But it’s not just you that it affects, Lynna. This isn’t about me either. It’s about us all,” I stressed.
“But you would move on. That’s what humans do when the people they love die. You would move on and get over it. Don’t you understand? You can’t be involved in my world. It’s complicated and I can’t describe what that entails. You are in danger, Ella’s in danger, and now Drew and Justin are in danger because of what happened at the game! This is happening all because I am around you guys! If I was gone by now, the attacks on you would cease. You’d be safe.”
“Safe until what? You said it yourself, ‘they’re attacking in the open.’” I shook my head. “It doesn’t matter. I’ve made my decision to help you Lynna no matter the cost. Even if you had left and been reborn I would’ve sought you out again. I’m drawn to you and I always have been.”
She looked defeated, but she didn’t budge from her mindset. “Why would you do that? You could be at peace. Cass should’ve never told you how to save me.”
I sighed heavily. “He told me because I asked him to. He almost didn’t, thinking the same way you are right now.”
“Then how come he did tell you? He risked ending your life.”
It was clear now that he hadn’t told her that part. “He told me because only your life was at risk, Lynna. I remember everything from the day you saved mine. I remember the oath; I remember how he asked me to promise to protect you, tricking me with his words that I didn’t understand at the time. I remember what you told me about the immortals and revisited the vision that you gave me that night. And I know that you saved me by breaking the code.”
My last statement got her attention. Her eyes widened.
“If I had let you pass on and be reborn I would seek you out again. I couldn’t just let you disappear from my life when you changed so much of it. How could I have acted the part of a destroyed and upset friend over your death when I knew that you would be reborn in this world?” I shook my head as she sat down on the edge of her bed. “None of that matters anymore. What’s done is done. I made the decision. You can remove me from your life if you choose to do so, but I need to talk to you first. I’ve been given a vision of your future, the Immortal’s future.”
Her face snapped back at me. “What?”
Before I could tell her anything, Cass burst into the room.
“Lynna?” he started. He caught my eye and glanced away hurriedly. “We’ve found Harrison, or at least his body.”
She stood up quickly.
“He’s dead. No soul was present; I don’t know where he went.”
“Where was he?” she didn’t sound concerned, but her face looked it.
“An alley outside of St. Petersburg.”
“What was Harrison doing in Russia?” I asked him. They hadn’t told me about this current event and now my interest was piqued.
Cass sighed. “He was scoping out a new location for us if Lynna didn’t recover. I can cross Russia off the list of safe havens now.”
Lynna sighed and sat back down. “I see the warden has allied himself to her.”
Cass shrugged. “Not necessarily. His son lives nearby. We should visit when it’s convenient. Kelly and I will go.”
Lynna nodded. “Alright. Grab the papers for my independence so you guys can stay at the house.”
Cass nodded. “Will do.” He left the room, closing the door behind him.
“It looks like I’m going to need your help after all.” She bit her lip.
I scooted the bed closer and sat down across from her. Gently, I took her hand. She would take Harrison’s death hard. He was the only one in her family that seemed to care deeply for her and took her side on matters that counted, like my life.
“Tell me about the vision,” she asked of me before I could console her.
I launched into the details of the dream, but we didn’t discuss what it meant. Lynna had enough on her plate. Eventually Ella’s parents asked for Lynna’s release, so they could provide care for her with a private doctor at their house. Drew awoke later that day, and both he and I were released into my mother’s care. We received visits from the rest of the team regularly. A few days later we all reunited once more at school for the trophy pictures with the whole team. Due to the gross efforts of the other team to knock us all unconscious, the Wolves forfeited due to their actions. We won by default, which described our winning season.