As soon as I am out of the door, I take notice of a man who is waiting for me at the end of the corridor. He must be the one the old lady was talking about. Judging by his face, he should be in his mid-twenties. He gives me a curt nod and starts leading the way without a word. He takes me towards the elevator and presses the button for the 4th floor.
When the door of the lift opens, a double door comes into my view. While the man is leading the way, I do a double-take at the door. I am feeling curious. The door is different from others, is there something special behind it? For a second I think about asking the man beside me, about the door but I drop the idea soon. We are not familiar enough to ask him such questions.
In all honesty, I am not feeling as scared I was feeling before. It is because I have seen the atmosphere of this place. There are so many people in this building, it is making me less scared. I know I have people around me. It is a kind of comfort, to have companionship in such a situation, even it is only more namesake.
He takes me to the third door on the left side. He motions at me to enter first so I push open the door. As soon as I enter the room, he closes the door behind me with a soft thud. Did he just lock it? I look at the handle. No, he didn’t lock it, he just closed the door. I look back at the closed door before turning around to examine the room. As I examine the room my eyes land on the familiar old woman who is sitting on the sofa, but this time, two young men in their thirties are also present.
Those two men also look at me when they hear the sound of the door opening. After giving me an inquiry glance they go back to drinking their coffee. I am not worth their time. Ignoring them, I continue examining the room.
Turning back, I look around the room. I can tell I am in an office based on the arrangement of the room. There is an office table with a chair behind it and two visitor chairs in front, definitely an office.
“Take a seat, child.” says the old woman.
She has a kind smile on her face. I almost wanted to give a mocking smile in return but I suppress my urge and take the seat quietly. First, she kidnapped me, now she talking to me so kindly, as if I am a guest, not a hostage.
She doesn’t say anything immediately. She takes a sip from the cup one last time and keeps her cup down to talk. “First listen to what we are going to tell you then you can ask as many questions as you want and after listening if you still want to go back then we will let you.” She says slowly, letting me digest all her words.
It takes me a second to process her words. They will let me go? So easily? I didn’t think they will let me go so easily. Fair enough, I will listen, it is not like any harm will be done by listening. And if they are lying, I can tell by observing their actions and listening to their word carefully.
I can tell if someone is lying. I have met a fair amount of liars in my life, unfortunately, and fortunately. It helped me understand the world around me better so I am not sure if it was a good thing or bad.
I can also tell that they are not lying, for now.
“My name is Ada, and this is Jayce and Cai.” She introduces herself before pointing at the blonde man and the Asian man respectively. Cai gives me a nod but Jayce doesn’t even turn to look at me. He ignores me completely so I ignore him as well.
They can’t expect me to greet them with ‘Hi’ and ‘Hello’ after kidnapping me. So I only stare at Ada and glance at Cai when Ada introduces him. I don’t even glance at Jayce. I ignore him completely.
“Nadya, right?” She says my name and I give her a nod. It is not surprising that she knows my name, after all, she kidnapped me. I expected this much.
“Do you know where you are?” Asks Ada,
I shake my head. How would I know that I was asleep when they brought me here, they kidnapped me, do they expect me to know?
“You are in Transvius, currently, capital of Pantazen,” says Ada. I have never heard of this place. Trans...what? Is there even a country like this? I am not that good at geography but I think I can easily tell the names of the countries. What is this place?
“It is at the same place where China is in your world.” Is she joking with me? What in the world is she talking about?
Without minding my shock, she continues explaining, “You have already seen there is a uniform here. People who are wearing those are Extanders. We select these children from around the world and train them for becoming Extander. Just like you, now you are also one of them.” Ada continues.
“Many are originally from here itself, but some were brought here from your side, like you. Now you are one of them. And if you allow us to train you, you will become one of the Extanders, otherwise, we will let you leave. The choice is in your hands.” She picks her cup again.
“What are Extanders and what do you mean by ‘your side’?” I question them. Does she think I will really believe it? I will entertain them for now but I can’t believe such absurd words without any proof. It is not logical.
I never expected to be kidnapped to hear words like this. “Extanders are trained magicians and by ‘your side’, I meant this is not earth. In a way, it is but you can call it a parallel universe, just like when you are standing in the front mirror there is a reflection. This place is a reflection of earth, the only difference is that surface is not divided into countries, this is united land. And the technology here is more advanced. Plus there is the presence of magic.” says Ada. She has done this many times, by the way, words are rolling out of her mouth says it all.
“I know you will not believe me, so why don’t I show you?” Seeing my meek expression, she guessed what I am thinking. After saying this put the cup down and she closed her right hand. I am not eating her words so now she is trying to use a new trick. What is she trying to do now? Is she using her magic? Does magic even exist?
Though I don’t believe in her words, her confidence and calmness are making my resolve weaker. It’s like she is telling the truth but my logical side doesn’t want to believe her words.
It is not logical.
Though there have been many theories about the parallel world but nothing has been proven till now. We all know about some theories like but it’s a purely different thing if we are one experiencing it.
Ten seconds later she opened her palm. And in her palm is...A magic circle that was suspended in the air.
It looks like Doctor Strange’s magic circle, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind. Doctor Strange is the only Marvel movie I have watched twice.
The magic circle is around the size of her palm. Yellow in color and I can see an electric spark above it time-to-time. My mouth was slightly opened in amazement.
She closes her palm and opens it again but the circle has disappeared.
There is no expression on her face but I can feel the amusement from her eyes. She is definitely enjoying this. She proved me wrong and cleared my doubt. Cai and Jayce are also bored, as much I can gauge their expression. Only partially listening to our conversation. They must have had this conversation with many people.
Now that I don’t have any choice other than to believe her words, I don’t know if I should be fascinated or feel dread. They chose me over so many people. Should I be happy or sad that I was kidnapped? But I do know one thing.
I am feeling tired.
The impact of her word just hit me. It is seriously draining my mental energy. I don’t much emotional impact, maybe because I have yet not fully realized the situation. It will probably take me some time, I will feel the panic soon. But I am relieved about one thing, they will not hurt me. They have not brought me here for any kind of ill intention.
“Why did you choose me and how did you know I was there at that time?”
“We select young adults whose age lies in between 17 and 22 to train them so they could Extanders because magic is mostly present during these ages, so it is easier to train them. We check the data of all the people once they reach this age and asses them without them knowing. We judge everything starting from academics to mental state. Personality is the most important for perusal. If they are able to reach our expectations to become an Extander we bring them here and give them a chance.” Ada tells me.
It was taking me some time to process this. To know someone was testing you, keeping an eye on you, it make me fearful inside. I gulp a large amount of saliva.
I didn’t even notice them. In fact, I am always careful of my environment and even then I never noticed them. Just how good are they in hiding? Since when were they keeping an eye on me? What and what did they see?
Did I even have privacy?
“Since when?” I ask hesitantly. I don’t want to know but I also need to know, to see how much they know about me. It is a weird feeling. Did they see any of my embarrassing moments? I will be more self-conscious if I get to know that they did saw my embarrassing moments. How will I face myself in the future? I am not worried about my secrets because I don’t have any secrets in the first place.
“The day you turned 17.” This time Cai answers me. It’s the first he speaks since I came here.
I become quiet, I don’t know what to feel about this. I try to recall all the major events that took place after I turned 17. I snap out of my trance when I hear Ada’s voice.
“Why don’t you stay for one day and then decide if you want to take this offer,” Ada suggests. She thinks I was thinking about her offer, in fact, I was just thinking about all my embarrassing moments.
“Cai, why don’t you tell Nadya more about Extanders? It will help her in making the decision.” Ada says as she looks at Cai. It looks like she really wants me to stay. Cai puts his cup down before looking at me.
“Of course,” says Cai. “To become an Extander you must go through physical and mental training. Trainers will be appointed according to the test we will conduct soon. In this test, we will check your current mental and physical condition.” He is the in-charge of informing us about the procedure and training. Now I know why he is here. Till now Ada was the one talking so he was quiet but now his turn had come.
I don’t interrupt him because I am genuinely interested in knowing, how these people get their powers. It is a different kind of feeling if you have some kind of hidden power that others don’t know about. Like a superhero or magician. They must feel good about themselves. Having something only one can imagine.
“And don’t worry about your parents. If you decided to stay here we will convince them somehow to let you stay. Leave that to us.” Says Ada,
I feel a huge amount of relief when she says that. She doesn’t know how worried I was about them, especially about my mother. They must be trying to find me but how would they know the condition I am currently in.
They can’t imagine it nor would they believe me if they tell my parents what Ada told me. But I am curious about how will they try to persuade my parents to let me stay here.
No parent will believe a stranger’s word. My family will try their best to get me back. How will they convince them? It will not be easy.
“You will also be given your own house and salary. Plus you can keep studying in the college, specially made for Extander.” Says Cai.
These two were my main worries but now they also have a way to solve both the worries. I was hoping to use this as a way to refuse their offer but I can’t do that anymore. Now the only thing which will lead to bad blood between us is the case of kidnapping, they brought me here without my consent. But it’s kidnapping so I can’t really give them my consent.
But I kind of understand, why did they have to bring me here in this way. They can’t really expose the secret about the ’other side. They will be labeled as intellectually disabled, no one will believe them.
The offer is really good and it would be exciting to use magic, these thoughts are breaking my resolve. But I knew I still need time to analyze and think about this offer. They will not give me this much unless there is a catch.
“What do Extander do? They are provided salary so they must do some work?” Who even earns for free?
As soon the words left my mouth their expression becomes grim. They look at each other. Just what do they do to make an expression like this? This time Ava answers my question.“They risk their lives ....” She does not finish her sentence. “Rest we will tell you if you decided to join us. I think knowing that you will be risking your life for others will be the best job description.”
Now, I am curious, that is for sure. And about the ‘risking lives part’, I am not shocked. I expected it. Why would they learn magic if it is not to save others? I have seen a handful amount of superheroes movies to guess this much. I think Extanders are kind of police officers.
It would be interesting to become one of them.