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Chapter Twenty-Nine: Diana

I rolled on the concrete floor in agony for two reasons. The first, a large mass of invisible energy rammed into my gut, thrusting the air out of my lungs and knocking my organs into each other. Secondly, my back smacked the cold, unforgiving concrete immediately after.

I couldn't do much but think about retrieving the air forced from my body. I needed the oxygen too badly to care about what Natalia was doing or why she smacked me with...with whatever she smacked me with.

Finally, I managed to roll to my knees. I was hunched over, sucking in oxygen as fast as I could. My body was glad to have the precious molecule coursing through my arteries once more. I looked up to see if I could find Natalia in my vicinity, but I found no trace of her. She was gone.

"Diana!" I pushed myself up onto my shaky legs. "What happened?"

I sucked in one more lung full of air before I spoke. "I found Natalia."

Stella nodded. "Did she do this to you?" The look on her face told me she was ready to pick a fight with the powerful Molecular.

I rubbed my lower back, feeling a little bit better than I did after the initial impact with the concrete floor. "Yeah, but I didn't really help the situation. I was acting crazy and she was acting crazy. Things got out of hand real quick."

Stella continued nodding. She was going to leave it alone...for now. "Did you get what you needed from her?"

I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up; I looked behind me. There was a large silver light glowing among the buildings right before it vanished. "What the...?" I walked in the direction of the light. It was drawing me in with its mystery.

"Diana!"

I ran from building to building looking for any remnants of the silver light. A mass that big couldn't vanish into thin air. There was no way.

I turned the last corner of the boy's dormitory to find the residual of the silver light hanging around a crack in the air. It was disappearing quickly. I needed to find someone who could tell me what this thing was.

"Diana!" Stella stopped next to me, panting.

I pointed to the crack in the air. "Do you see that?" I didn't dare take my eyes off it. I couldn't have it disappearing on me, not yet.

Stella looked directly where my finger was pointing. "See what?"

I poked at it; the crack thrummed under my touch. "You don't see the silver light?"

Stella grabbed my arm, turning me around so I would look at her. "Are you feeling okay?" Stella asked.

I shook my arm out of her hand. "I'm fine." I glanced back at the crack. It was still there with the beautiful silver lining around it. "Maybe a Telepath will see it."

Stella stepped between me and the crack. "I think we need to take you back to the hospital to get checked out. Something's not right."

I shook my head. "There's no time. It's disappearing. I need to find a Telepath."

Stella bit her lower lip. "Will you talk to the Telepath about what's going on?" I nodded, trying to rush Stella. "Jesse's our in-house Molecular. He might know what's going on with you."

An image fo a boy flashed to the front of Stella's mind. I got a quick glimpse, but I knew who he was. His jet black hair and emerald eyes provided me a different name than the one Stella provided me. He told me his name was Johnathon at Anthony's party. I knew he lied to me.

"Help me!"

I whipped my head toward the voice. It sounded like the person was standing directly behind me. "Did you hear that?" I asked Stella.

Stella followed my gaze into the empty path. "Hear what?"

"Help!"

I pointed to the back of the warehouse, a place I'd never bothered to venture to. "That."

Stella cut off my path. "We don't have time to find Jesse. You need to see a doctor now. Whatever was done to your mind is still effecting you."

I shook my head. She wasn't understanding the importance of finding Jesse so he could inspect the crack in the air. She was too focused on me. "Stella, there's no time." I took a step toward the back of the warehouse.

Stella shoved me. "You need to make time. You could have brain damage the doctors missed."

I looked down at my best friend. There was a little black cloud literally hanging over her messy red curls. "I'm fine. You don't need to worry."

Stella's muddy brown eyes pooled with tears. The little black cloud grew above her. "I do have to worry because you aren't. Please come with me to the hospital. Please."

"Help me! Please!"

I shook my head. "Not yet. I have to do something first."

I ran into the abandoned area of the warehouse alone. The cries for help were growing louder and louder as I approached a single building in the very center of the abandoned section. There were locks all around the walls, keeping in whoever was inside. But these locks were different than a typical human lock. These glowed with the same silver that lined the crack in the air next to the boy's dormitory.

I reached toward the door knob; there was a little zap against my fingertips. I pulled my hand back, drawing my tingling fingers to my mouth. "This day keeps getting weirder."

I heard pounding against the wall. "Help! We're trapped in here."

I looked back at the door. Whoever trapped them inside didn't want me or anyone else to help them. "I can't get in!" I shouted back.

"Get Natalia. You need her to let us out."

"I don't know where she is," I shouted back.

"Go find her!" I grabbed the door knob in my hand instead, with the idea that the zap was a one time ward to scare people away, boy was I wrong.

Electricity traveled up my arm, causing my muscles to contract involuntarily. I locked my jaw as I pushed through the pain to yank my hand free. If I didn't, I'd surely land myself back in the hospital for another extended stay. I yanked on my own arm. There was too much electricity coursing through my system. My heart would surely give out sooner rather than later.

Weirdly, the electricity stopped moving up my arm. It hovered around my shoulder before slowly retracting back to the door knob. I heard a pop and then nothing. There was no electricity and better yet, nothing stopping me from opening the door.

Inside the building, there were two rooms split by a one-way mirror. I stood in front of it, peering inside with the knowledge they couldn't see me. Jesse was the one pounding against the wooden wall, calling out to me. He was the one trying to escape this prison. Todd was the other one sitting in the room. He sat in his wooden chair, content with where he was.

I opened the door to the other room. Todd perked up and Jesse flipped around. "What are you guys doing in here?" I asked. I had a feeling why Todd was here, but Jesse's reason was a mystery to me.

Jesse and Todd looked at each other before looking directly at me. "How'd you get in here?" asked Jesse.

I stood in the threshold, not liking the looks on their faces. They were confused and puzzled. Their eyes were focused on me as if I was a specimen under a microscope. "The door."

"You're Diana, right?" asked Jesse; I nodded. "Where's Natalia?"

I shrugged. "I don't know."

Jesse moved closer to me, but Todd stayed put. "How did you find us?"

My eyes darted around the room. He wasn't going to believe me. Hell, I couldn't believe it. "I heard your cries for help." It sounded even crazier aloud than in my mind.

Jesse's eyebrows furrowed, causing creases in his forehead. "What?"

I took a step back. "You were screaming for help."

Jesse didn't move. "Telepathically."

I tripped over the threshold. I was on the ground, looking at these two Telepaths confused. "I...uh..."

Jesse took a step closer to me. "You were the girl in the coma, right? The one Natalia tried to help?" I nodded. "She must've done something weird to you when she tried to help."

I scurried to my feet, wanting to stand if I had to run. "Uh..." There was something I needed to ask Jesse.

Jesse placed a blank mask over his face, hiding all the curiosity and confusion running through his mind. "Do you need something?"

The cogs in my brain started turning. "I found something."

Jesse stepped over the threshold, closing the door behind him before locking Todd in the room. Todd didn't try to run or object. He had come to terms with his capture. "What?"

I cleared my throat. "It'd be easier if I showed you."

I walked Jesse over to the boy's dormitory. Stella was still standing there with tear stained cheeks. I couldn't meet her eyes when I approached her, there was too much pain in them.

Jesse looked around. "What am I supposed to be looking at? There's nothing here."

Stella crossed her arms across her chest. "That's what I've been trying to tell her."

I dragged Jesse further around the side. The crack and its silver lining were barely visible now, so much of it was lost to the passing of time. "Right there. Don't you see that?"

Jesse reached out toward the crack, brushing his hand down the smooth line. "I feel it."

Stella rushed over to us. I was glad I wasn't crazy after all. "What is it?"

Jesse ripped open a black hole like the one from the memory...dream...nightmare of Thalia and Nate. "The remnants of a portal."

Stella peered around me. "Where does it go?"

Jesse sighed. "Efland."

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