"The Polar City?" Jordyn said quietly looking up. The tops of the trees above her were mysteriously lined by black thick lines. In the distance tops of the trees there was the delicate flow of candlelight.
"Yes Milady, The Polar City," the man replied. "and forgive me, my name is Tylan, sorry for the silence at the beginning of this trip and now we must hurry and climb."
"Climb?" Jordyn said her teeth chattering in the night air.
"Yes, sorry milady, we'll get you into warm clothes soon, I promise," Tylan said taking her arm and leading her over to a tree.
He placed her hand on a wooden ladder stop nailed into the trunk of the trees.
"Up here Milady," Tylan said placing her other frozen hand on the stair, "just slowly up and I shall be right behind you, but we must go quickly."
Jordyn nodded and began to climb up; she could feel Tylan start up right behind her.
Jordyn stared at the trunk, she didn't even look up. Her breathing was shallow; she knew that she wasn't going fast enough. She looked sideways out to the forest and suddenly.
There was a rustling in her ears, she forgot how to breath. She clung to the trunk of the trees with her legs but her arms seemed to become like jelly, her breathing became short and the world began to spin.
Suddenly there was a warm presence at her back and a hand was turning her head inwards to the truck again.
"Look to the tree milady, ignore everything else, you are not going to fall," Tylan said very strongly, "Now reach up and grab the next stair. I'm right behind you."
The climb was long. Jordyn was kept moving only by Tylan whom stayed behind her. More than once they stopped and Tylan had to get her moving again. They created a rhythm to go up so he could stay behind her and she wouldn't dislodge him when she climbed.
After what seemed like hours Jordyn reached a hand up and before she could grab a stair, a hand grabbed her.
She unwilling looked up and met Taner's smiling face. With a great heave Taner hauled Jordyn forcibly over the edge of the platform almost dislodging Tylan in the process – he jumped from the ladder to hang from the opposite landing.
Jordyn stared panicked clinging to Taner as he hauled himself up to safety.
"Hey girl," Taner said holding her shoulders. "Whatever you do, don't look down," Taner said physically moving Jordyn's head from looking to the hole in the floor.
"Right, looking down would be a bad thing; same with looking up," Jordyn said holding Taner's head so their foreheads were touching. "I'll just look at you… do we have to be in really big trees?"
"I'm sorry, Jordyn," Ronen said coming to sit on her lap, "this is the safest place to be."
"Great," Jordyn said dropping her hands, "even the ferret is against me."
"I'm not a ferret," Ronen said grumpily. Taner just grinned as she mindlessly stroked Puck, the real ferret, on her lap.
Jordyn looked to Taner and sighed.
"I guess you are a part of whatever this is now," she said.
Taner glanced to Puck who was almost purring in his contentment.
"I think I was always a part, like you were," Taner said with a smile. Jordyn nodded slightly and looked down to the disgruntled mink.
"I'm sorry I threw you out the window, with your leg and all," Jordyn said, "how is it?"
"It didn't get any worse from it," Ronen replied unable to stay angry with her.
"Oh great you apologize to him, yet I recall you also threw me out a train window," Taner said.
"That I did, and I saved you from being tackled by those guys," Jordyn said stretching.
Tylan crouched next to the kneeling girls.
"Begging your pardon, but what guys?" he asked.
"Just a bunch of guys," Jordyn said looking up too him.
"Was this the first time this bunch appeared," Tylan asked.
"No, once just before I left my house," Jordyn said, "at least I think they were the same."
"They were," Ronen said.
Tylan ran a hand over his head, "well at least they cant Timeport into Polar City."
"Timeport?" Taner put in.
"Yes," Tylan replied, "hop time, go from one to another but they can only forward," he said.
"Well they can't come here you say?" Jordyn said, "that's good."
"Yes, but you can't stay in Polar City, you have more important business to take care of," Tylan said, "but how about first we get you a remedy that will temporarily keep you unafraid of heights."
Tylan helped Jordyn into a standing position, she clung to him fiercely.
"Yes, that's probably a very good thing," Jordyn said with a weak smile.
"And while we are at it, I think the representative from M.C.W. is with Grandmother and Grandfather," Tylan said.
"Your grandparents?" Taner asked following him.
"No, just the magic-elders of Polar City," Tylan replied.
He took them from the platform into a more secure stairway.
The polar cit was much more extensive then the Board walks Jordyn could see from the ground, and she was relieved to see that the house were all encased like proper houses – only in trees. The upper levels of the city had railings on the edges of the platforms to keep the young children from falling. All in all it looked very much like a regular city square just one hundred feet up in the air.
Tylan led them into a large house, which turned out to be what would be used for feasting hall during the regular hours of use. Now it was empty aside from three people sitting at the table near the front. Jordyn was acutely aware, from the trees that lined the walls there was no solid trunk underneath their feet.
Tylan led them to the three at the far table. Two looked like they belonged to the City, Grandmother and Father no doubt, to the Polar City, skin tunics with little cotton or other such linens. They had their grey hair tied back into a braid. They looked like distinguished warriors perhaps past their fighting prime.
But the third ember was very different then the other. He was tall and rather handsomely featured. He had short black hair, muscular stature, with sparkling silver-flecked black eyes.
He rose when they came close. His clothes were of poor cloth and it looked as though he had been traveling recently. He carried a bow slung on his back and a long sword at his waist.
Tylan spoke before anyone else.
"Grandmother do you have anything for this girl? She is not so good with heights," he said.
"Of course, and then you will be acquainted," Grandmother said. The traveler gave a nod. Grandmother produced a bag of ground herbs, she poured them into an empty wooden bowl, shallow and small, then poured wine into it. After a quick stir she handed it to Jordyn.
"That was fast," Jordyn commented.
"I preserved that you would arrive with this problem. This will temporally allow you to live among the trees with fainting from terror," Grandmother replied.
"Thank you." And Jordyn swallowed the drink quickly.
"Now down to business?"
Jordyn replaced the bowl to look to the boy who spoke, his eyes where fixed on her though it seemed that he wasn't exactly speaking to her.
"We will removed ourselves," said Grandfather, "we will speak before you leave I think," he said to Jordyn.
She nodded and the two left the building Tylan followed soon after with a bow to each of the three remaining.
"What's business?" Taner asked sliding her arm in Jordyn's and placing her feet on the table. Jordyn felt a sudden warmth and gleefulness that Taner had shown up on this wild adventure.
"Business of getting you too Caimen," the boy replied.
"Is that a person or a place?" Taner put in taking a drink from the table.
"And perhaps we should be introduced before start bringing other people into the equation," Jordyn said sharing Taner's drink.
"Person," the boy said to Taner then spoke to Jordyn. "My name is Dameon."
"Well Dameon it's nice to meet you," Taner said with a grin.
"You're Dameon?" Ronen said looking up from Jordyn's lap, "the half-demon? From M.C.W."
"Dameon the demon, wonderful," Jordyn teased.
"Aside from my name and heritage can we get to the point please?" he asked.
"Alright, what's the point?" Jordyn asked.
"You are in danger," Dameon said.
"Thank you Mister Obvious, tell us something we don't know," said Taner with a grin.
"And they can't be that dangerous, I've avoided them twice and given one a good head fracture I'm sure," Jordyn added. And who are those men anyways?"
"We're not sure," said Dameon, "those who work for your enemy."
"Well, only people with nothing to lose can Timeport, so there is nothing that we can relate to these men, they are no one."
"Annoying, powerful, and dodgy no ones," Taner said taking a sip.
"I'd have to agree," Jordyn said.
Dameon watched her silently his eyes trailing her bright red hair; he then looked to Taner.
"I was only aware that One was coming," he said thoughtfully.
"One man?" Taner asked.
"One of you," Dameon answered.
Ronen stood up slightly, front legs on the table, he winced somewhat from the wound in his hind leg.
"On the Train Puck from his Companion," he explained, Taner gave a little wave, "although they have no part in this they should stay together and Puck must stay with me."
"So I must go too," Taner said happily.
"Yes it seems so," Dameon replied, "though you are less affected by the fountain, for your hair is not as red."
"The fountain?" Jordyn and Taner said in unison.
"Fountain of God," Dameon cleared, "those chosen and gifted by God to do the work Mother Nature cannot correct by herself. Each child is marked by flaming hair and walking souls."
Jordyn glanced at the animal curled in her lap to her long red hair cascading over her shoulder. Taner's own hair was less brilliant and more brown colour but she could still see the resemblance.
"Okay," Jordyn said surprised that she is not more surprised at the while situation.
"Do you accept your mission?" Dameon asked.
Jordyn looked carefully at Taner, her last connection to the real life, Taner nodded once solemnly.
"Yes," Jordyn replied. "What must I do?"