Chapter 4: Angel
Dani whispered, “So, that’s who you are. Caden.” He looked at her again, then moved to cross the space between them. He again looked right into her.
“You know my name. And I know yours. Danielle, if I’m not correct. But, you must know something. I’ve never told anyone my name. I’m not exactly sure how you know it.”
“I don’t know either.” Dani replied. “Why haven’t you ever told anyone your name?” Sheer torture crossed his eyes for a split second, then his mouth curved into a smile.
“Later. Not now. You,” then he looked to Amanda, “need to get out of here.”
Amanda shook her head. “You don’t understand. There’s nowhere we can go.” She looked up, her eyes suddenly full of desperation.
Caden shook his head. “You think I don’t know that? This is why I came. We have to leave this dimension. It’s no longer safe for you. He leant forward and whispered in Dani’s ear. “But especially unsafe for you.” Dani’s head tipped to the side in question. “Too curious.” Said Caden. “That’s also for later.”
He gestured to Amanda with a slight tilt to his head and his wings began to move. “We need to move. Or they’ll be here soon.” He flew into the air, hovering just above them. Dani’s mouth opened. “We don’t have jet packs you know. Oh, never mind, you don’t know what they are. The point is, neither of us can fly.”
He grabbed Amanda’s hand and she shrieked in surprise. He looked at Dani. “You can fly. You know you can.”
A shock ran through her, a lightning bolt struck her soul. She took a deep breath and jumped into the air. There was no surprise, her body seemed to lift itself off the ground and she soared through the air.
As she glided through the air, she saw the glimmering lights of the city. It seemed so beautiful and innocent, but Dani knew it held secrets darker than anyone imagined.
Caden and Amanda were up ahead and she saw that Amanda now had a pair of translucent, shimmering wings attached to her back. She smiled and shook her head. Caden must have loaned them to her. She shuttled through the night sky and drifted up next to Amanda and Caden.
She looked at Caden. “Where are we going?” She had a feeling she knew anyway. She could almost see the portals in the distant. A faint shadow of grey light, that called to her and yet terrified her at the same time.
He glanced at her, quickly through his incredibly long lashes and then forward again. Dani could see a faint smile on his face. “Where do you think?” he replied, the smile now surfacing.
“The Shadow Portals.” Dani spoke quietly, more to herself than him. Caden matched her tone. “Right again.” He replied.
“You know what to do.” He said. Her head snapped up and she looked at him in bewilderment.
“Me?” she said in astonishment. “Caden, I’ve never travelled beyond my world. I don’t know what to do!” she exclaimed in desperation.
Caden again crossed the space between her and took her hand. “Yes you do. We can’t do this without your help.” He said softly.
He leaned forward to whisper in her ear. “I can’t travel back without you. I don’t have enough power left. I used too much in coming here. You have magic. You know you do.”
Dani closed her eyes and tried to think. Then she stopped.
Don’t think, she told herself.
Suddenly she did feel it.
Like thousands of tiny electrical currents, ten thousand violins, shards of glass exploding all around her.
She opened her eyes, light was a distortion all around her, waves of water shot up and encased the light and the glass shattered as the water hit, reflecting millions of rainbows all around the night sky. In that moment, a portal opened and Dani knew she could never go back to the land below.
Caden and Amanda shot through the portal and Dani followed quickly behind, leaving a trail of silver light behind her as she went. Dani took one last glance behind her, at the city and knew she could never go back.
The portals closed behind them and Dani began to behold even stranger things. Shadows, hundreds of shadows swirled around them as an unseen forced dragged them through the centre of the portal, whipped into a tunnel of shadows to the right, warped into a channel of grey to the left, suddenly travelling again down the middle and that was when she heard the voices again.
“You must choose.” They said.
She looked around her. “Choose what? I don’t understand.”
“You must choose a world. Quickly, now or you’ll go beyond the Shadow Veil and you’ll never be able to find your way back. You’ll be stuck there forever. Quickly now, choose before it’s too late!”
Then it was silent. Dani took the time to look around her and realize what seemed to be hundreds of tunnels in front of her and at the end of them, floating a planet, each of them looked different. Dani could see all the way to the face of each planet and saw that one of them held hundreds and hundreds of flowers in all shapes and colours that she had never seen before. Beyond them she saw enormous wolves, blurred figures, massed with forests, with silver specks floating through them.
She could see so much more, but it all blurred around her as she struggled to make a descision.
It was then that she knew. She had to go now, she couldn’t risk losing Caden and Amanda.
She had to shout because all of a sudden was indescribable, desperate music that seemed to warn her. “Caden, we’ve got to go now! “ she pointed at the blue planet. “Now. Let’s go!”
She looked to Amanda. “Are you ready? “ Not just to go, she thought, but to leave their world for good. “As ready as I’ll ever be. I don’t think life gets anymore crazy than this.”
Caden chuckled. “You haven’t seen anything yet. This is only the beginning. “
They all dove through the tunnel and it immediately closed behind them. All of a sudden they were in a new universe, unseen by the eyes of humans of the old world.
Caden said, “It’s too slow to fly. We need to get to a transporter.” Amanda cocked her head. “Is that some kind of teleporter?”
Caden stared at her. “A teleporter? What is that meant to be?” Amanda shook her head. “I’ll explain later. Where is this transporter, may I so humbly ask?” Caden grinned. “Watch your wings. It’s over by that star.” He pointed at a bright light some distance away.
Caden glanced back at Dani. “Are you alright to go? You must of drained your energy using all that magic. I can’t believe you opened an entire portal all on your own magic. And you’ve never even used your magic before. “ He shook his head in astonishment. “You surprise me.” Dani shrugged. “That’d be a first. I usually scare people.” Then she grinned. “Except for Amanda. A terminator wouldn’t even scare her.” Caden rolled his eyes. “For your information, terminators exist. On the very planet you chose. So she is most likely to run into one. “ They began to fly towards the transporter.
“What, are they some kind of enraged robot?” Dani laughed. “No, they’re more like –“ he paused. “It’s hard to explain. “
“Do they look like me? Like, human looking?” she asked.
Caden didn’t reply for a minute. “Well, sort of.” He said.
“Tell me,” she pressed, looking at Caden. “You’ll see for yourself,” he said. “You’ll see everything.” He said quietly.
“What do you mean by “everything?” she replied, just as quiet has him.
Just then, Amanda flew over to them. “Conversing rather deeply, I see? Hate to interrupt any soul searching, but where exactly are we headed?” Caden again pretended, placing a smile on his face at Amanda. Luckily, she didn’t see it. Sometimes Amanda missed things.
“We’re nearly there. The light is getting brighter. That star has been guiding us the whole time. There is a catch, however, that I forgot to mention. The transporter unfortunately will place everyone in a different location.”
“What!?” Amanda and Dani yelled, shocked. “How are we supposed to stay together? We can’t begin gallivanting all over the planet! We don’t even know where to start.”
“I knew that I had to leave,” Dani added, too quietly for Amanda to hear clearly, although her head turned to Dani with question in her grey eyes.
She glanced at Caden and knew he had heard. There was understanding in his eyes, narrowed slightly. If she looked closely, she almost saw answers in them.
She’d have to look later.
When Dani looked ahead of her, she had to shield her eyes and look up. “Caden must be forgetful. He didn’t say anything about how monstrously large it was! Or how incredibly complex this kind of machine is.” She thought. Marvelling at it, she floated around the gears and smooth, not silver, not gold, but somewhere in between exterior.
Then somewhere inside, a creaking began and then doors and windows all over the machine began to rearrange themselves so swiftly in a new manner that it made Dani’s head nearly spin to watch the complexity of the large machine.
All of a sudden, it was an incredible shape, something of the like that Dani had never observed before. It seemed to move in a waving motion and quiver which each pulse of the shining star just next to it. It was curved all over, but then it jutted out at the top and split into, so that it reminded Dani of something like cascading water erupting from a fountain. Then it went out to the left and right respectively and formed to large spere like shapes, but still curved all over, like a rippled golf ball. Then at the bottom of it, the material curved out into rods and then spiralled in a helix like structure. When she took it all in, it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen, a leap of technological beauty and still with an element of fractal symmetry.
She breathed in as she noticed there was an opening in the machine. Dani realized that was walking in to the machine. As she walked past, she saw that every curve and ripple was mirror like and she saw millions and millions of stars reflected into the mirror - like ripples of the structure.
Caden and Amanda were already in the machine and she felt a strange connection with it – almost as if she could control it. She moved her hand closer to the structure and she could feel a bubbling electricity under her skin. When she moved her hand away from it, the ripples seemed to liquefy and were drawn to her like a magnet. She gasped and dropped her hand to her side. The electricity fizzled out and the ripples drew back and retreated back to its natural form.
Amanda hadn’t seem to notice as she was busy staring at the blue lights and the waves the machine cast through the air.
Caden did notice and he too drew in sharply.
“You can control the elements? No, that can’t be right. You can’t control the ones on earth. But you can control the ones here. I don’t understand,” he said quietly in astonishment.
“That’s not possible. I can’t do things like that. It’s just not – it’s a mystery.”
“You are a mystery.” He said. “It doesn’t make sense why, because I feel like I understand you like no one else.” He shook his head and then looked up at the waves of blue light and touched it, almost as if he were caressing a small child.
He looked back at Dani. “It’s like an antithesis.”
Dani felt as if her soul was frantically trying to attatch itself to something. But what? She was confused yet calm. She had know Caden only a few hours, yet what she felt right now went beyond merely knowing him.
She felt like she was a reflection of Caden.
Then before she could stop herself, she blurted out, “It’s like I’m a reflection of you. Not exactly like you, but an element of you. “
The corners of his mouth twitched slightly, as if holding back a smile.
“Like you’re me in female form.” He spoke softly now.
Dani shook her head as if coming out of a trance. “We should get going. How does thing work anyway? There are so many facets of it. I’m scared to touch it again.”
“You’ve exhausted your sources. I’ll have to use mine.”
He couldn’t do that! He might burn out! She wondered what he was thinking. “But – “
He cast a glance at her.
“You shouldn’t try to read my mind. It could hurt you.” Pain flashed through his eyes for a split second, then vanished.
“But you can read mine.” She whispered.
“It’s hard to tune you out.” He replied.
Then something incredible happened. Light shone from out of his wings, like he was exctracting it from himself. It transformed into bright points of light, like microscopic glass and Dani brushed her fingertips through it. It moved over to her and shone silver and then turned white again.
“It’s responding to you.” He murmured. “It can’t help itself. I can’t help myself.” He said, so quiet Dani nearly didn’t hear him.
“Neither can I.” She looked up at him and watched his face carefully. He seemed conflicted, a little tortured. She wanted to understand why.
“I have an idea.” Dani closed her eyes and she became still. Perfectly still, like a marble statue. Then again, she felt it. Like she was spiralling through the air and electricity whirled endlessly around her.
Then she opened her eyes and she was sheathed in light like Caden’s, only a rich dark red. Microscopic particles that seemed like crystallised glass, suspending itself around her and then warping constantly.
Caden’s light moved slowly around him and then all of a sudden rushed towards Dani, no warning, yet somehow she was almost expecting it. Dani light rushed forward to meet his and then they coiled around each other, tighter and tighter, until it was indistinguishable where Dani’s magic began and where Caden’s ended.
Amanda now noticed and was staring at the spectacular display in amazement and awe. She reached out to touch it and seemed to make music as it did. A small smile played on Amanda’s face.
All of a sudden Caden and Dani’s magic exploded out in all directions. Dani instinctively reached out to protect herself but then realized she was protected by magic.
But not her own.
Why was he wasting his magic, his strength on her?
Of course, if the situation was reversed, she would gladly spend hers on him.
But she wasn’t important. She never had been.