Chapter Twelve

Jing-Mai

Jing-Mai was rudely awoken by B****. "Get up and come to the living room. It's time for… Well, come on."

Jing-Mai looked up at her, squinting. B**** had opened the curtains and the light was hurting her eyes. "Can't I get dressed first?"

B**** frowned. "If you want. But be out there in two minutes." Her floor-length black skirt trailed after her as she turned and strode quickly from the room, closing the door behind her. The woman dressed like she was in a fairytale.

Jing-Mai looked to the other bed in the room and saw that Elena wasn't there. Good. She'd put on quite the show the night before. Anna had sequestered herself away conferring with her pet for what must have been half an hour, before finally letting Jing-Mai back in to get some sleep. And when she had, Jing-Mai had made no effort to hide her disdain from Elena. If they were going to be that obvious about their charade then she was going to be just as obvious about knowing what they were up to. Surely there was no point in pretending to be taken in when they'd know she was lying? Although that did make her wonder why they were trying it in the first place. Well whatever. English lessons? Elena could go **** herself.

When she finished dressing (she was so sick of the crew-cut t-shirt) and went to the living area, she saw that the others were already there. Lefu and Anna's spy were dressed too, but Erik was still in the grey sweatpants and t-shirt that was their sleeping-uniform; he hardly ever seemed to take them off. Except to walk around shirtless occasionally. Not that Jing-Mai objected - he was a little too…Hollywood for her taste, all perfect blond hair and blue eyes, but he did have a very nice dragon tattoo. Half on his back and half on his chest. Very nice. With idle thoughts of running her hands over it, Jing-Mai went to sit against the wall next to Lefu, to face the inevitable, incomprehensible lecture from B****. Sure enough…

"Good, everyone's here. Okay. Well, I think I've kept you all in the dark long enough. About why you're here and everything else. Elena told me you've been…suspicious of her because you think she's lying. It's only natural, I suppose, but still it's time for me to put a stop to it." She paused for a second, frowning to herself. She had an odd manner, B**** did, and Jing-Mai couldn't place it. It reminded her of something, but she could never say what. "I've told you all before that you weren't chosen at random. You were taken because you have…powers. Abilities that others don't."

Suddenly, the kitchen table lifted clean off the ground. It hovered there, about a foot up. "…Like that," B**** said.

Jing-Mai's mouth hung open for a second, until the logical part of her brain kicked in. She'd seen that kind of trick done a thousand times before.

Erik guffawed. "There are totally wires."

"Yeah," Jing-Mai agreed. Then she screeched as…something…picked her up. Jing-Mai looked around her as fast as her head could turn, but there was nothing. How was she so high off the ground? There was nothing attached to her, nothing supporting her. She heard herself whimper quietly. Erik was yelling, in the same suspended position as her. Jing-Mai was breathing very fast, and it still felt like she wasn't getting enough air. Slowly, her feet started descending towards the floor. As soon as they touched it, she staggered dizzily. Her vision was full of black spots. It wasn't until they started receding that she realised Lefu was the only thing holding her up. She found her own feet unsteadily. And then she saw Anna.

Her eyes were…glowing, like the brightest headlights she had ever seen. Jing-Mai had to put a hand up to shield her own eyes. And her skin…her skin was flushing shades of green in great waves.

Erik was backed up against the wall, looking like terror itself and shouting. But none of it made any sense… "It's you! You were in my dream! How… Who are you?"

All of a sudden, Anna's eyes and skin were back to normal. She frowned. "I think someone already told you who I am, Erik. And, all of you, I'm sorry. I know that must have been frightening. But there's really no other way to show you. You'll all be able to do things like that, eventually. You should be ready to handle your powers, now that you're adults. Many others of your kind didn't have the luxury of a normal life for so long. But no matter how ready or not you are, you have to learn these things. Because it's your job to protect the world from…things that shouldn't be here."

Jing-Mai stood leaning against the wall. She didn't know what to think. Was this real?

Anna was still frowning. "I think I've told you enough for today. I know how overwhelming this is. But you'll get used to it in time. For now…just don't think about it too much. And before you know it, it'll all seem normal." With that, the woman turned and walked into her and Elena's room, shutting the door behind her. Suddenly, Jing-Mai wasn't so eager to find out how she'd been getting in and out of there.

Jing-Mai looked around at the others. Erik was still backed up against that wall. His narrow eyes were as wide as they could go, and his chest was heaving like he'd been running. Elena was sitting on a chair, face frozen. She stood up abruptly, then sat down again. Jing-Mai supposed…she supposed she really hadn't been a spy. Which meant that all the things she'd said the night before were true… Jing-Mai blinked, trying to squash the thoughts. They hurt her head right then. Lefu was standing beside her, staring intently at the floor. It seemed odd to see him stunned. Of course he was; how could he not be? But it still seemed odd. For once though, Jing-Mai wasn't in the mood to comfort. Or even to talk. She slid her back down the wall, and sat on the ground.

She stayed there for a long time.

AN: Okay, so...this is the last chapter I planned on posting, since it's the end of the first quarter kind of. I really don't know how many people are sort of following this, but if you'd like to read the rest, leave a review or PM me, and I'll sort something out (don't worry; whatever it is, it'll be free).