And yep Ange, this is before the wall comes down
Astrid couldn’t figure out what Little Pete meant. ‘The world will fall’? Did that mean that the gaiaphage needed to exist in order for the world to exist?
No, that didn’t make sense. The gaiaphage hadn’t been there since the world began. The world could exist perfectly fine without it.
She looked down at Petey, who she was leading further and further into the woods, where it was safer. Astrid stopped him and knelt in front of him.
“Petey, when you said ‘the world’, did you mean the FAYZ?” She asked him, speaking clearly. She wasn’t sure if he understood; he probably didn’t even know what the FAYZ was. “Petey?” She prompted.
He looked like he was thinking, trying to find the words. “The FAYZ.” He repeated, and then nodded. “Our world.”
Astrid was surprised that he actually knew what she was talking about.
But she also knew what this meant.
“Petey, we want this world to end. We want you to get rid of the Darkness.” She said, looking earnestly into his eyes, willing him to do it. “Bring the wall down, Petey. Let the adults back in.”
But he shook his head, and walked on.
Brianna and Dekka were shocked as they watched the Darkness murder so many.
“What do we do?” Dekka asked quietly.
Brianna looked at her. “We need to get to the Town Plaza. Or the town hall. People will be there.” Dekka nodded, but then Brianna held out her hand. “It will be faster if I drag you.” She explained. “You can cancel the gravity below you so that you float.”
Dekka did as she was told, and Brianna sped away with her being pulled weightlessly in tow.
It only took a few seconds for them to reach the plaza. They looked around. It was deserted.
But then they saw Edilio come out of the town hall cautiously. He saw them and ran over.
“Hey,” He said quickly, “have you seen Taylor?”
“No.” Brianna replied. “But I’m almost as fast. If you need me to do something, I can go.”
Edilio thought about it. He looked at Dekka. “Go and join Caine and Sam; they’re inside.” He said authoritatively, and she immediately left. “And Brianna, we need to tell the people at the lake. Round up the rest of the freaks, and my soldiers. The more powerful freaks can use the Jeep to get here; they’ll be needed more urgently.”
Brianna looked very eager to help. “You got it.” She said, and quickly faded into a blur as she sped away.
It didn’t take long for Brianna to run up the highway, but as she went, she saw a Jeep driving towards her.
The car stopped, and Jack came out of the driver’s seat. He ran over to her. “You’re safe.” He said, relieved, and hugged her tightly.
“Ow.” Brianna said. “A bit too tight.” She said, and pushed him away.
“Sorry.” He said sheepishly. “We know what’s going on. Taylor told us.” He explained. “You go back to town, we’ll be there soon. I’ve brought Lana, Sanjit and Orc. They were all we could fit with Orc in there. And Sanjit’s brought a load of Edilio’s guns.”
Brianna nodded, impressed. “Looks like you’ve come prepared.” She said, excited for the action. “Well, I’ll see you there.” She gave them a wave and sprinted back to town.
Edilio was still standing in the middle of the plaza, looking around slowly.
“What are you doing?” Brianna asked him, and gave him a fright.
He turned to face her. “I saw the Darkness crushing houses not too long ago.”
She nodded. “Yeah, I saw that too. I wish I could have done something.” She said sadly.
“Same.” Edilio replied. “But I haven’t seen it since. It’s like it’s hiding out somewhere, waiting.”
Brianna looked around. There was silence. “You’re right.” She said, starting to look more worried. “Where do you think it’s gone? Do you want me to find out?”
Edilio shook his head. “No. We don’t want anyone else getting into danger.” He looked at her sternly. “Brianna, promise me you won’t try and fight it on your own?”
She sighed. “Yeah, yeah. But there’s no point waiting for it to come to us. We need to go it. Attack it.”
Edilio started heading towards the residential streets. “I’m going to check and see if anyone’s still alive. You go to the town hall.” He said, but she ignored the order and followed him.
Caine was looked out of the window from his upstairs office in the town hall. “Hold on a second,” he said, looking harder, “where did it go? The gaiaphage. I can’t see it anywhere.”
Sam stood up and went to the window as well. “Maybe it’s too far away or something.”
But Caine looked didn’t look convinced. “No, you saw the size of that thing. It was almost four storeys high. You can see it from a mile away.”
Then Dekka spoke. “Maybe it’s hiding.”
Both Caine and Sam looked at her. “Hiding?” Sam asked. “From what?”
She thought about it. “OK, maybe it’s not hiding. Maybe it’s just...rethinking. Planning something.”
Sam didn’t like the sound of that. “We need to do something. We can’t just wait here.” He said, and looked at Caine. “Where’s Bug? I haven’t seen him in a while. Can’t he help?”
Caine seemed annoyed. “I don’t know where Bug is. He left a long time ago.”
Sam sighed. “He would have been useful. But right now, we still need to come up with a plan.”
Caine looked back out of the window. “Go ahead, Sam. Come up with a mighty plan.” He mocked, but then he saw a Jeep turning into the road and stop. Jack, Orc, Lana and Sanjit came out of it. “Some people from the lake have arrived.” He said.
Sam saw who had come. “That was quick.” He said, and then went out to meet them.
Slowly, but surely, they were building an army.
Taylor watched Diana comfort Aidan. It was weird to see her soft side with him. Diana had always been a witch, and now...she was a mother.
She stood there awkwardly, not knowing whether she should leave.
Diana looked up at her. “You don’t need to stay.” She said. “You could always bounce back to town and help out there.” She suggested pushily.
Taylor ignored her and sat down on the large bed. “Why did you call him Aidan? What made you choose that name?”
Diana smiled down at her son. “I guess I kind of liked the way that his name can be rearranged to make mine.”
“Oh, yeah.” Taylor said, realising. “I never noticed that before.”
“It’s kind of like another link between us.” Diana explained. “Just in case...something happens. Like, if something happens to me. Or if we ever get separated.” She said, and held Aidan closer in her arms.
Taylor actually smiled. “He’s cute.”
But then Diana looked up at her, troubled. “Could you touch him?”
“Just touch him. I want to see what happens to you.” Diana replied.
Taylor stood up tentatively and touched his face. She already knew about Aidan’s power. He could project the painful memories of those who touched him, as if it was playing out in front of them. It didn’t always work, though.
But as Taylor touched him, she was suddenly surrounded by fire and destruction. She was in Perdido Beach. And in front of her was a tornado. A tornado of black dust, which glowed green. It was slowly building up in height and strength. She could see people around her, people she knew, being sucked into it.
Taylor pulled her hand away. “What was that?!” She said loudly.
“What did you see?” Diana asked calmly.
Taylor was in shock. “That...that wasn’t a memory. That was...” She paused, thinking. “Oh, God. That felt like a premonition.”
Diana stroked Aidan’s face. “It was.” She said quietly. “He’s still a two-bar, but his power’s developing. Already, it’s developing.” She explained, and looked up at Taylor. “He shows painful memories, but this time it feels like your part of it. You’re no longer just watching it in front of you. And...he doesn’t just show memories from the past. He shows painful memories to come.” She sighed sadly, and a tear rolled down her cheek. “We’re going to be separated, Taylor. Me and Aidan. He’s going to get taken away from me.”
Taylor looked shocked. “Are you sure?” She asked, and Diana nodded.
“I saw it. They take him.” She said, and kissed Aidan’s forehead.
“Who takes him?” Taylor asked.