“Something dangerous is afoot.”
“That is nothing we haven’t dealt with before. Just send the top specialists to clean up the mess.”
“This is not like those other times. Whatever is upon us is far more powerful than we’ve ever been faced with before. The top specialists won’t be enough. We need to round up as many soldiers as we can. We should send the collecting teams. All of them. Remember, this situation is dire.”
“I am confused. What is this…thing? And how do we stop it if we don’t know what powers it may posses?
“We only have one option.”
“You don’t mean…”
“I do. We already have life. Now, we need to find death. Send him after her, you know it’s our only option. We all knew this day was coming, now all we need to do is stop it.”
“But it’s impossible, and not to mention very very dangerous. We don’t know what uniting them might mean for the fate of us, of the world.”
“He’s the only one who can find her. You know that.”
“She could be unstable. She was raised in the human world. What if she can’t control her powers?”
“Without her, we have no way to stop whatever is coming. It could wipe us out.”
“She could wipe us out!”
“And yet, she’s our only chance. Send him with somebody. I don’t care who. Just someone he trusts. United, they are…”
“Well, I sure hope you know what you’re doing. Because if you’re wrong…well, I don’t want to think about what would happen if you’re wrong.”
“Then it’s settled. Send the collection teams out and send him to retrieve the girl. Oh, and do stress the importance of his success.”
“I’ll do that.’
“Wait…don’t tell him who exactly he’s after. We have no idea what he’ll do.”
“Umm, pardon me for not knowing but how do we know where she is?”
“He’ll know. Just tell him to follow his gut instinct.”
“Once again, I hope you’re right about this. Or else, God help us all.”
“But, I’m not a collector. I’m a healer, there’s a big difference.” I say.
Dr. Alabaster sighs, “Yes, and you’re the best healer we have. But you are the only one who can do what we have in mind.”
I bite my lip. It’s been a long time since I’ve tried to get out of CLS(Central Learning for Specialists). The last time didn’t go so well.
The stars had just come out and the darkness seemed to wrap around me like a blanket. I was really little, probably seven years old. The CLS was my cage, and I yearned to know what was outside of it. The entrances and exits were guarded 24/7 to keep anyone from getting in...or out. There was no way I was going to get past the guards with their heightened senses. Luckily(or unluckily, depending on how you think about it), I knew a few tricks. Namely, tunnels running under the whole facility, probably remains of an old sewer system.
I snuck into the forest to find the entrance which I had buried under some dirt, leaves, rocks and sticks. One had to know exactly where to look to find the wooden doors or you wouldn't know what was regular forest floor and what was secret tunnel entrance. Unless of course you jumped around the whole forest seeing if there’s a hollow sound beneath your feet. But that would be kind of time consuming and you had to know what you were looking for.
I dug out the door and unlached it. It made a creaky sound and I looked around to see if anyone came running. After all, guards who can hear really well are good, but not when you’re doing something you’re not supposed to. No one came and I breathed a sigh of relief. I looked at the dusty staircase, took a deep breath, steeling my nerves and started to climb. When I got to the bottom, I walked. And walked. And walked. Finally, finally, I reached the end.
There was a door, but instead of wood, this one was made of thick iron. I reached out to wipe away the dust on the sign hanging on the doorknob. It said, Here in the catacombs lies the brave heros of the Civil War. I inhaled sharply. Catacombs?! I can’t be in the catacombs! Not with my powers! I’ll-
My thought was interrupted by a long, agonizing moan. I whirled around, and this time I ran through the tunnels as fast as I could, being careful not to touch the walls. When I finally got to the staircase, I darted up it and flung myself out of the dark, and now slightly alive catacombs. I slumped down on the ground, panting. To this day, I have never gone back to the door, always avoiding it any way I can during my trips to the forest.
I must looked pretty weary because Dr. Alabaster is quick to console me. “You can bring one other person, anyone you choose. Just make sure it’s someone you trust completely.”
“Okay” I say, “If I have to.”
“Very good then, pack up, you leave tomorrow.” Dr. Alabaster says in a fake cheerful voice.
“Tomorrow!” I say. This must be pretty serious if I have to leave tomorrow. Normally, collectors are given a week to prepare.
“Now go on, you have to get up early in the morning,” Dr. Alabaster claps his hands as a sign to hurry up.
“But I-wait, you haven’t given me any information about what I have to do, where I have to go, or even who I have to get!” I say, because that’s the information the collectors get when they’re assigned to a person.
“Well...all you’re supposed to do is collect the specialist and bring them home. We don’t know where you’re supposed to look, and all we can tell you about who is that it’s a girl your age and she’s very powerful. I cannot stress the importance of this mission enough.” Dr. Alabaster responds coolly.
“Huh? How am I supposed to know where she is, and how can I even tell who she is if I see her if I don’t know who she is or what she looks like?” I ask, getting more confused by the second.
Dr. Alabaster only smiles helplessly like this isn’t his idea and says, “You’ll just know.” Then he turns and walks away, leaving me alone, scratching my head, wondering how in the world I’m going to pull this off.
Eventually I give up on thinking it over and shuffle back to my dorm room. Inside, Nick, my roommate and best friend is playing bowling on the wii. “Hey,” I say to him.
Nick stops playing. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing” I say
“Oh come on Zach, you don’t hide secrets from your best friend. I can see right through you, and I know something’s wrong.” Nick says. He’s right, he can always tell what’s up with me. Sometimes he uses his powers to make me tell him, but this time, he doesn’t have to.
I sigh, “I’m supposed to find some girl and bring her back here. I leave tomorrow.”
Nick raises his eyebrows, “But you’re not a-”
“That’s what I told them!” I cut him off, “I’m a healer, not a collector, I don’t know the first thing about collecting.”
Nick gives me a pointed look, he hates being interrupted. “Do you know who or where she is?”
“No! They either didn’t know or wouldn’t tell me!” I shout, finally letting some of my frustration out.
“Okay, calm down. Do you know anything?” Nick asked.
“No, but apparently, I’m just supposed to follow my gut.” I say, imitating Dr. Alabaster’s fake cheery voice.
Nick snickers at my despair. “It’s not funny! What am I going to do?” I moan.
Nick thinks for a second, “Follow your gut I guess.” I groan. Nick can be very annoying at times. He did just calm me down though. Then I have an idea.
“Hey Nick, do you want to get out of here?” I ask.
“Would I ever. You’re lucky.” Nick says.
I grin, just the response I was hoping for. “ Then it’s settled.”
Nick looks confused, “What’s settled?”“You’re coming with me.”