It seemed as if time itself had stopped during those dreadful weeks where no progress was made. Uncontrollable power swept across the cities in nearly every part of the world, drawn together in a series of chaotic events, and yet thrown apart with dark uncertainty. The world seemed to have tossed itself in the midst of this looming murkiness as religious leaders rose to their podiums to announce the wrath of their god or gods, dreamy voices filling the radio stations with tarot card readings and premonitions of certain demise, or even the occasional conspiracy theorist pointing a finger at the many governments. It was all a secret- a terrible, horrible secret, and even at this point is was no more truth for those involved. In fact, I was keeping from them vital information that they were not quite ready to understand or to hear. They were soldiers of the prophecy, marching on in blind submission to the task that lay ahead of them, their valiant devotion unwavering in the face of tentative moments where the clock ticked by, idling away the minutes in which the world was darkened with the arrows of doubt.
I hated those moments, knowing full well what I did and yet only able to speak very little about it. I could have exposed it all in the beginning, but the cost might have been great, and now that months had passed since I first found the elite elementalists, spilling such secrets would wreak more havoc in the world than was possible. I had to play the antagonist, and with any luck they would discover what I hid, and I was prepared to take the burden.
I can recall incidences during this time in which people seemed to produce more destruction than even Mother Nature could manage. Freak Earthquakes went unsolved while the cities spawned looters and renegade clans to commit the lands under rules which national laws would not bow to. The world began to spiral out of control, just as it had when the elementals tested their powers against adversaries long ago. People sought safety with their governments, but even within secured walls calamity broke free.
No progress was made for several months. The library was closed down and boarded up, sealed by magic and remained a ground of protection from intruders and a haven for those seeking refuge. The television broadcasted natural disaster after natural disaster, but by the good of what I know to be higher beings, my elementalists remained and, with the magic I taught them and my own, they and their families continued to be protected as much as possible.
It was only a matter of time before the world discovered who they descended from and of the millions of souls which woke within unsuspecting people, ready to continue a well aged battle.
"Every channel. Every bloody channel there is something about something going on, and yet we can't seem to beat even the fastest news reporter in finding out who is controlling hoards of animals or making paths of ice." Natalie spat, throwing the remote control to the ground, ready to stop on it.
Takara swept the remote from beneath her stomping foot, bringing it up to her hands with relative ease before flipping to another channel.
"Oh, that's right, use your powers right in front of me."
Natalie stalked off, grumbling. They were in the library, which meant she was, under no circumstances, allowed to even ignite a spark between rubbed fingertips. Takara gave a soft sigh, surveying the area. They still hadn't found any of the other elementalists and Ashlynn seemed to slip between their fingers every time the five of them thought they would encounter her. The only ones who had seen her were Alice and Emma. To Takara, it was somewhat of a relief. It was no secret that she thought Natalie too young to be putting herself in danger the way she was, and nearly everyone aside from Emma and Natalie herself seemed to agree on this.
"We should go to the northeast bridge, right here." Takara said, pointing toward the television where a reporter was filming a girl stuck in the middle of the bridge, screaming and clutching her hair as trees, clumps of grass, and a few shrubs were slowly moving toward her, "If we can't find the other elementalists, don't you think it's a good idea to get out there and actually do something about this mess? I tire of sitting here and watching it all happen."
Darren's vivid green eyes seemed to gleam with interest, but Alice spoke first before anyone could give a response.
"I think it would be reckless. Who knows what we're facing out there."
"It's all on the television what we're facing, Alice." Takara said with a collective sense of absoluteness, her own brown eyes piercing into Alice's, "I blame myself for the deaths I could have prevented. What good are our abilities if we can not utilize them?"
"And what good are our abilities if we risk our lives without the extra support we need? For all we know, it could be Nature's army out there wreaking havoc." Alice said, her eyebrows rising as she glanced to Natalie who sat off to the side, gazing out of the window.
This message seemed to register to Takara as she looked at Natalie and gave a resolute sigh before glancing to Darren and Seth for some sort of support. Darren had a rather confused look to him while Seth avoided Alice altogether, standing off to the side and taking no part in the conversation. Emma was nowhere to be found, and as of late it seemed to be more common that they didn't see her. She'd often retreat to the back of the library, but no one could ever find her whenever they searched, even beyond the tapestry.
"Look," Takara started again, choosing her words carefully, "What efforts we can afford, we should." She said, standing up and biting her lower lip for a moment as if concentrating on exactly what she wanted to say, "Nature is probably out there collecting her army, influencing the decent people who are confused about what is happening to them to become wicked or follow her just to feel as if they belong to something. If we don't show our own efforts…" She watched Alice's eyes shift, a sign of resignation to this new logic, "then I don't think I could live with myself knowing I may have killed someone who is just confused and who was guided down the wrong path."
The room was quiet for a moment as the two girls stood there, staring at each other as if they desperately wanted to understand what the other was saying, and yet too stubborn to give in. It was a battle of silence, a battle of heart and integrity.
"Fine." Whispered Alice, glancing to Natalie before sighing softly, "Do what you think is right. Just…if something goes wrong, come back. Don't try to be brave, and take someone with you."
Before Natalie stirred, Darren stood immediately, which caused the young girl to huff and storm off out of sight, knowing exactly what he was doing.
"I'll go with her." He said while clearing his throat, smiling to Takara.
They both hurried out of the door, promising Alice they would be careful. The streets were heavy with military guards, and the skies filled with the hopelessly familiar sound of helicopters patrolling the area. People walked along the sidewalks with cautious looks and fear locked into their eyes. The world was changing, too unfamiliar to what it was before.
The two of them walked as quickly as they could without raising the already heightened suspicion of the guards. The closer they moved toward the bridge Takara had seen on the television, the heavier the guarding was.
"What should we do?" Takara breathed, ducking behind one of the shrubs on a lawn, hardly even able to see the bridge, "It's so guarded…I can hear her crying from all the way over here. I don't want to just sit here!"
Darren sighed, looking around, unsure of what to do at this moment. It'd be a little foolish to just walk up to the bridge or use any of their powers in front of all of the military people or other onlookers. Plants seemed to march right past them, heading for the bridge and the screaming girl. A finger rose to brush against the patch of hair beneath his lip, rubbing it in thought before his eyes landed on the shrub in front of them.
"I think I have an idea. Whatever is happening to these plants, it's as if they're conscious, which, for a plant, is impossible." His gaze settled on the house they were stopped in front of, making sure no one was peering from the curtains. "We're going to walk in there unnoticed."
Takara stared at him, unsure what his plan was, but when he started to climb into the shrub there was a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. Slowly, she climbed in as well. They both sat low toward the ground and his hands cupped the branches beneath them both, bending them into little wooden seats so they sat comfortably inside as if it were a room.
"I'm not sure how to do this, or even if I can, but if I'm the, uh, Earth," He said with a slight blush, still feeling strange about saying it, "then I ought to be able to move plant life."
They sat there, the minutes ticking by as he tried one thing after another, at one point nearly launching Takara right out of the shrub itself. Takara was naturally patient and kind hearted, but he blushed to see the frustration in her eyes as a branch swooped down to hit her in the face. After several muttered apologies, the shrub suddenly lurched as its roots were pulled from the ground.
"I am going to take us the long way just so we're not shot at." He said, glad that Takara seemed to agree with this approach.
The closer they got, the louder the girls cries became. She was hysterical in the middle of the bridge, calling for help as the plants continued to inch forward, but did not touch her. Several bullet holes lined some of the trees, and other plants were singed with fire, but it did not stop them from crowding onto the structure. The scene was quite frightening as willows tried to force themselves onto the bridge, hurrying toward the crying girl and extending their sinewy limbs her way. The bulbous bush in which Takara and Darren sat hidden went unnoticed as they walked alongside what seemed like a moving forest, right to the bridge before coming to a stop.
"Ok. I don't think anyone will see us if we just move through the plants. I hope I'm not being over confident in saying that I think I can stop them from moving or doing any damage to us when we go in there." He said, eyeing the now frantic willow trees.
Takara looked at him before glancing to the willow tree, hearing girl's continuous cries for help. It was as if she had been struck by something when she caught Darren's gaze.
"I…I don't think she's in trouble." She whispered, "I think the plants are actually responding to her."
Darren took a moment to understand what Takara was saying, but when he looked at the girl who stood screaming for help and the gentle caress of a willow tree trying to get to her, there was no denying the registration of the scene.
"You're right. You're absolutely right! It makes sense. The plants are doing nothing but gathering closer to her the more she cries for help. It's as if she's some kind of plant whisperer." He said, watching an orchid hurry past their shrub and between the thick roots of other plants, "We need to get to her, and quickly before Mother Nature shows up."
They took little time to step through the crammed trees, Darren managing to persuade them far enough out of the way for the two of them to peer from the foliage of a pine tree and right at the hysterical girl who sat huddled on the bridge, sobbing madly and flailing her arms, smacking away branches and flowers that came near her. Takara felt uneasy about the circumstances, seeing how upset she was. She wasn't expecting the situation to be as strange as it would become, but her voice penetrated through the screaming as calmly as she could manage.
"H-Hey, calm down, it's ok, they're not going to hurt you."
The girl shot a stare right at her, her eyes swollen with tears, blonde hair now in tangles around her face and face flushed with crazed fright. At seeing Darren and Takara, she screamed, half out of fear and half out of relief. Eagerly she scurried toward them, flattening a few flowers in the process.
"Help me, oh god please help me! I-I don't know what is going on! They followed me all the way here and the faster I ran the faster they would run. I screamed and screamed and screamed." She said, sobbing hysterically once more. Takara let her arms drape around the girl, gently stroking her back.
"It's ok. It's ok. We're here to help you, alright? But you need to come with us, somewhere safe, okay?"
The girl nodded, slowly standing up. Darren could see the military people close by with their guns at the ready, obviously concerned at the sudden halt of screaming.
"We need to go now if we're going to get out." He whispered to them.
Takara and Darren led the girl through the now still trees and right toward the bush.
"Get in, hurry." Darren whispered, keeping out of view of the nearing guardsmen.
The sobbing girl stared at them as if they were mad, pulling away and shaking her head, "Get in the bush? Wh-why? The guards are almost over here, why would I want to- I was just attacked by a bunch of plants and you…" She shook her head, starting to back away from them, ready to run.
Darren gritted his teeth. He was not looking forward to doing what he was about to do. One of the trees sprung to life again and the branches of the bush parted. The tree's root nudged the girl right inside as if shoving her into a spacious carriage before Takara and Darren climbed in. With what seemed like great concentration, Darren moved the three of them and half of the trees backwards toward the path from where they had snuck in. The girl inside looked ready to scream, but Takara kept a hand over her mouth, pleading with her to calm down.
They made it to a secluded park area before the bush took plant again and the three of them surveyed their surroundings, making sure no one was around. Once it was determined that the coast was clear, they stepped out of the bush. The girl pushed Takara away, looking murderously at them, an accusing finger snapping in their direction as she stumbled backwards.
"You! You are trying to kill me! You're making those trees move and the flowers- what do you want? Do you want money? My…my body? Well you can't have either! You'll have to just try to kill me and get it over with!" She growled, a nearby tree seeming to rattle with enthusiasm, but Darren quelled it with a raise of his hand.
"We're not trying to kill you." Takara huffed, "Or…take your body, or any of that. We're here to help you. Look-"
"Oh don't you start that! You want something, and-and-and you're picking on the wrong person. You're a bunch of freaks! Devil freaks! God is testing us and you're the spawn of Satan, here to rip me of my faith. I dare you to try! I am God's soldier!"
"Shut up." Takara snapped with calm assertiveness, eyeing the girl as she straightened her posture, "You are correct when you say you are a soldier. We're all soldiers." She raised her hand for silence when the girl looked as if she'd interrupt again, "But know that we're not here for the conquest of Satan, or the will of your God. We're here to help you and to help everyone. You…you have a gift of sorts. A long time ago there was a war that was never finished, but postponed somehow. Mother Nature sort of became power hungry and hexed a bunch of warriors to be reborn again and fight. That's what has been happening to the world with all of these natural disasters, and that is what is happening to you. You were one of those souls meant to be reborn."
The girl stared at them with disgust. Her puffy eyes held them both in a calculating hazel glare while wild blonde hair settled on her peach, tear stained face.
"You're both mad."
"We're not mad!" Darren pushed, unsure of what to say, but knowing he had to say something, "We want to help you. There are two sides to this war- our side, or the side which is what you would call evil. They're power hungry and cold. They'll stop at nothing to win."
The girl tossed her tangled hair back, wiping at one of her eyes as she gazed toward the sky as if this all was just a bad dream. Her head shook slowly, unconvinced.
"We'll leave you be, but you have to do just one thing." Takara said slowly, staring at the bush in which they had all exited from, "Call for it to help you. You're emotions are high and uncontrolled, leading the plants you seem to be able to control harder to keep under your will, and therefore just as frantic as you are. That's all I ask, and we will let you decide what you want to do next."
The girl took a deep breath, her eyes rolling. "This is so stupid. This is all just a crazy dream." She said, her eyes welling up with tears again, staring at Takara and Darren, "And you will leave me alone if I just ask the bush for help?"
The two of them nodded eagerly.
"Fine. Fine…" She looked to the bush, cracking a smile as if to say that the whole thing was ridiculous. "Help me." She stated firmly.
The bush did not move, not even an inch. The girl shrugged her shoulders and turned around to leave, shaking her head and muttering under their breath as if to say that they were lunatics.
"Well well well." A slithering voice said, slowly stepping from behind the once quivering tree and exposing its owner. Ashlynn stood there in her dark jeans and black tank top, smirking as her freckled arms crossed, "I underestimated your brain power, it seems. What an ingenious idea to walk up to the bridge concealed in a bush! I was going to turn into a newt to get to her."
Darren at first seemed cheerful to see Ashlynn. He had not spoken to her in such a long time and had thought that she wasn't interested in him. He had no idea what had become of her, but Takara seemed to regard her with an air of uncertainty.
"Hello." She smiled at Darren, then to the girl who stood there and seemed unsure of whether to keep walking or to stay put, "Either way, you did the work for me it seems." She eyed the blonde, smirking, "And they're not lying about your capabilities. A gift from above, wouldn't you say? Something that raises you above the rest?"
The girl sucked in a breath, startled, and quickly began to walk away. She wanted no part of this, not with more crazy people.
"Ah ah!" Ashlynn snapped, the ground in front of the girl suddenly erupting into a tall barricade, blocking her path. The girl screamed in fright, stumbling back, "Now dear, it's best if you come along with me. Someone with your capabilities shouldn't go unnoticed."
"Ash!" Darren shouted, staring at the wall of sidewalk and stone that had spontaneously risen up. "You're…You're an elementalist too?" His heart raced in gladness for this sudden turn of events. He stepped forward, but the ground beneath him began to rumble.
"Keep where you are, Darren, lest I have to hurt you." She said, narrowing her dark blue eyes, "Because I will."
The girl quickly scrambled to her feet, whipping around and staring at Ashlynn, "Who-Who are you?" She stammered, feeling as if she were going crazy, her hand clutched tightly around her necklace from which hung a thin, golden cross.
Darren looked just as confused as the blonde girl, standing there and staring at Ashlynn as if she had lost her mind. His eyes met Takara's, who seemed less convinced that she was insane, and more convinced that she was an enemy. Already Takara looked like she was ready to fight, even if she had promised Alice she would not engage in anything that might risk their lives.
"Ashlynn…" Darren pleaded.
"Shut up!" Snapped Ashlynn, a sudden gust of wind whipping her choppy red hair about, "Who am I? Why I'm a part of you." She began, smirking and holding her hand out to the girl, "I'm Mother Nature."
Darren's eyes widened, stepping back as if she had just swung something heavy at him. Ashlynn was this wretched creation all along? This quiet, witty, and insecure girl he had accidentally bumped into one day? He couldn't believe it. Takara, however, could, and immediately stepped forward.
"If you touch that poor girl I swear I'll-"
"You'll what? Breeze me to death? I've got more up my sleeve than you've got seconds in your life. Don't test me. This war was not something you were ever meant to fight. You can not even remember. You're not a warrior, you're just a confused little girl with powers you can't explain and a history you're unfamiliar with. I however have the memories. I recall what happened and the life that was taken away from me and my unwanted creation. I possess everything you are and more. Go home."
"Why? So you can destroy this planet without someone to oppose you?" Takara growled.
"Destroy it? This is my planet! This has always been rightfully my home. I am here to preserve it, to wipe the filth that has desecrated my oceans, my animals, my mountains." Ashlynn said between her gritted teeth, slowly losing her patience.
"In other words," Darren spoke up, quietly, "You're going to-"
"Yes, to destroy every last human who has brought my planet into suffering. I will rule those who kneel before me with mercy, but there will no longer be buildings or garbage. There will be no one who opposes me. I am the ruler of this planet and I decide how it is run. One foot out of line, and one may find themselves with only one leg to stand on if they're lucky."
Ashlynn turned to the side suddenly, another stone wall erecting in front of the blonde who tried to run away again. At this point Takara issued a sudden jolt of wind that slammed into Ashlynn as though she had been struck in the chest with a mallet, sending her backwards in a surprised stumble, but she only laughed. She took her gaze off of the frightened girl and focused on Takara, sending back flames. Takara spun her hands as the flames seemed to form into a blazing cyclone, making the air around her quite hot.
The other girl began to run for it again, seeing as how the attention was taken off of her. A rather short figure suddenly jumped in front of her, her black hair streaked with yellow to look like lightening bolts and yellow, cat-like contacts peering at her with slit pupils as her hands raised up, seemed to ripple with electricity. Her face had very intricate makeup. Her eyes were surrounded in what looked like gold dust, lips the same color. Two bolts over each eye extended down her face, outlined in black and colored in a white hot shade to resemble the cracks of lightening. Eyebrows arched high and cheeks were a rosy color, making her look like she were an intricately painted doll dappled with glinting metal piercings.
"Going somewhere?" Muzzie said with an audible laugh.
Darren was pulled between helping Takara who fought off an onslaught of flames with all she had, and helping the other girl who seemed to be suddenly cornered by a rather odd looking woman whose face seemed to glint with metal piercings. His palms grew sweaty, not wanting to put the other girl in any sort of danger, and then not wanting to hurt Ashlynn, but wanting to save everyone at the same time. Just when he thought he had made up his mind, a shrill scream sounded from his right. He looked over to see the blonde girl shuffling back from a flailing tree that was going right after the other girl with strange makeup, nearly knocking her through the air a few times as she retreated and sent jolt after jolt of electricity through it, but the tree did not waver. In fact, it was completely un-phased by the waves of electricity. It wasn't until an elongated shock that one of the branches caught on fire when Ashlynn took sudden notice of this. She turned around and brought the tree to a halt, but Darren's eyes narrowed.
His hand shot out in front of him, his breathing becoming calm as the tree came to life once more. Ashlynn was still holding off Takara while trying to keep the tree from moving.
"Muzzie, get him!" She snapped.
Muzzie began to rub her hands together as sparks flew and, pulling them apart, a ball of electricity was cupped in her hands. Soon, this ball formed into small balls which she began to hurl at him. He jumped back quickly, narrowly avoiding one of the balls as it hit the ground next to him, frying the grass in a perfect circle. The next one was blocked by the shrub in which he had traveled in. He sent the shrub forward like pawn, taking all the hits it could get while readying to attack, but it soon burst into flames and was easily kicked away, leaving a clear shot at Darren. Muzzie kept throwing one after another until, with a cry of pain, Darren dropped, clutching his shoulder where an obvious scorch mark had burnt through his shirt and onto his chest, sending waves of electricity through his body.
As he lay on the ground, stunned, Muzzie moved toward him and raised her hands, ready to deliver the final blows when a branch roaring with fire swept down and knocked her to the side. The blonde haired girl stared at him from behind the tree, seemingly concentrating on it as her eyes moved to Ashlynn. The tree began to move like a warrior ready to battle, aiming for the red head. Ashlynn dodged the wild swings of the tree, her foot stamping on the ground and sending Takara into the air on a sudden gust of wind. Takara took flight with ease, using the air as her source of stillness above ground, just as surprised that she had the ability to do such a thing as everyone else. Taking this as a good hint, Ashlynn too became airborne and, grabbing hold of Muzzie, retreated as fast as she could.
"Darren!" Takara cried, hurrying toward him when she caught sight of his wound, "Oh, oh dear! Come on, we've got to get you back to the library!"
"Wait for me!" The blonde cried out, hurrying up to them, "I didn't think- I just…oh, I just knew that after I made that tree move that this was truly a gift from God, and no one who loves God would ever condone the riddance of his personal creation. I believe he has chosen this destiny for me." She said with a nod, still clutching her cross.
The three of them hurried back toward the library. They had to conceal Darren's wound as best they could so as not to raise suspicion as they traveled back toward the library, and when they entered there was a great commotion.
"I told you not to get into any fights!" Alice cried, staring at Darren's wound, horror struck.
Natalie and Seth loomed over him, both of them hammering him with questions. Takara sat with the new girl, trying to ignore Alice's constant "I-told-you-so"s as best as she could.
"Did you kill anyone?" Exclaimed a gleeful Natalie, watching as Alice helped to take off Darren's shirt.
"Wow, she got you good. What did this 'Mother Nature' girl look like?" Seth asked quickly.
To this question Darren glared hard, sitting upright suddenly and pushing Alice away from him before she could examine the wound.
"Just…just leave me alone for a while." He snapped, a hand roaming through his black hair as he moved off, throwing his shirt at one of the bookshelves in frustration.
"What the hell was that all about?" Seth growled, crossing his arms.
"Well," Takara spoke up, blinking at Seth, "When she appeared he seemed to have known her. I think he might be upset about that."
Alice shook her head, reminded again about the fact that they had broken their promise not to fight, forgetting about Darren's sudden outburst, "Well, if you would have listened to logic and reasoning this wouldn't have happened!"
"If I would have listened to you," Takara said smoothly, "We wouldn't have Lily." She said, motioning to the blonde girl beside her who looked considerably much calmer since their first encounter. "Apparently she can control plants as if they become conscious beings. She saved our lives."
Lily slowly stood up, straightening herself and catching Seth's eye, smiled. Alice glanced at Seth, who smiled back, and her nose wrinkled before nodding to Lily, her weight shifting to one foot. There was obvious tension at that moment as Lily stood there, very silent. Takara rested a reassuring hand on her shoulder and invited her to sit back down to talk a little more.
"Don't go picking on her because you think she's an easy target. She's vulnerable right now." Alice said, glaring right at Seth, her voice low.
Seth said nothing at first, just staring into Alice's penetrating glare. "I'm not going to pick on her." He said, trying to read Alice's emotions. A slight smirk curled on his lips, shaking his head and running a hand over it. "I actually think she's rather pretty and rather cute when she looks as if she's had a roll in the hay."
Alice glared harder at him before storming off to where Darren went, un-amused at his sense of humor. When she finally found Darren, she could see him sulking in one of the corners, several holes along the walls where he had obviously punched through. She stopped for a second before slowly approaching and taking a seat in front of him.
"Hey." She said quietly, earning no response from him, "I'm sorry about what happened. If there anything I can-"
"There is nothing you can do." Darren interrupted.
The two of them sat in a few minutes of silence.
"I really am sorry." Alice whispered, unsure of what else to say.
Darren slowly rubbed a hand over his face, sighing a deep breath before looking at her. He smiled a little and shook his head ever so slightly, his eyes fixed on his hands that moved to fold in front of him.
"I don't like the idea of hurting her. Not when I know her, but she's so bent on hurting others. I'm just shocked is all, I'm sure I'll gather myself soon."
Alice nodded toward him, placing one of her hands on his folded ones, "It'll be ok, Darren. Really, it will."
They seemed to stare at each other for a moment. Darren very slowly shifted forward, his face getting closer to her, feeling her warm breath on his lips, wanting to kiss her. He didn't know why, but he wanted to feel her full lips pressed against his. They were nearly locked when Seth rounded the corner.
"Hey, I just wanted to say- Oh." He cut his sentence off as Darren and Alice pulled away from each other quickly. Seth seemed to eye Darren with the intent to kill before laughing, "Hah. Haha…sorry. Didn't mean to ruin the moment between you lovebirds." He said, the last word quite articulated with spite as he moved away.
"Well, that was embarrassing." Darren said, sitting back in his chair.
Alice let out a soft laugh, and they sat in silence again.
"Well." Alice said, and they both looked at each other and laughed uncomfortably, "I-I guess I better go see how Lily is doing."
Darren nodded, waving at her as she left. He sat there, gripping his shoulder and thinking about what had just happened. Was he really attracted to Alice? There was no doubt she was a beautiful girl, but images of Ash kept popping up in his head, and his gut wrenched with the feelings he still had for her.
"Darren, I take it?"
A cheery face popped around one of the bookshelves, a woman who looked to be in her thirties with dark black hair that fell just below her shoulders, straight with a slight damaged look to it. She was a very motherly looking woman with heavy cheeks and a bulbous nose, but with the kindest eyes one could ever imagine. Darren nodded his head, noticing her at once as the librarian's assistant. She sat down on the seat Alice had left empty, straightening out her plain cut, floral print dress, adjusting the white cardigan on her shoulders. Her accent was thick and unmistakably Irish when she spoke.
"My name is Mirna. Mirna Bailey. I work for Emma here, as you know." She said cheerfully, looking to his shoulder, "I couldn't help but notice you had a bit of a burn there. My my, we'll have to get you all fixed up!"
"I'm fine, honestly." Darren said, really wanting to be alone right now, especially after what had almost happened between him and Alice.
"Oh nonsense, boy. I'll have you fixed up without a problem." She chirped.
Mirna lifted her hand onto Darren's shoulder, and a sudden, cooling sensation overwhelmed the wounded area. It almost stung as if ice was forming over his skin, but just as quickly as it had arrived, it left again, leaving him painless. When Mirna pulled her hand back, he could see that, even though his shirt still had the hole in it, his skin was completely healed.
"Ah, there we are! Good as new. I suggest you be a little more careful. You're lucky you got away with just that!" She said, standing back up and straightening herself out again. "Well, that's all, son. I just wanted to heal you up. Listen to that Alice girl. She may be overly cautious, but she's got a head on her shoulder that one."
With a nod, Mirna gave him what he secretly wished for in his head, alone time. However, when she left, he couldn't help but feel along his healed area. Something didn't quite add up to him. There were only elemental powers in the world, so how could Mirna have healed him? He wished Emma were more available because he had a lot of questions to ask her. Instead, he sat alone, completely forgetting about the other troubles that haunted his mind and instead pondered how healing was anything even closely related to being elemental. Something was missing, but he decided to keep the suspicion to himself. He was sure everyone else had more to worry about, and they needed to stay concentrated on finding more elementalists. He wanted to bring it up with Emma first before running his mouth.