Helena felt a jolt shake her body before a spike struck her brain, making her gasp. Teeth clenched, she opened her eyes to blackness. Where… Her passive electroreception started to take shape in her mind; the bioelectric signals of seven bodies came into focus around her. There were electronic wiring of some kind eight feet away that fed into some form of devices, disappearing beyond her five-meter radius.
There were echoed sounds of dripping water, she heard the steady rush of shallow breathing, and the air was frigid and stagnant. Am I trapped underground! Regaining control of her mind, she took a slow and meaningful breath, wincing as another pulse struck her psyche. I have a migraine … am I low on Focus? The sharp ache began to ease as her mind cleared.
It sounds like I’m in an enclosed area and what’s with these people around me? Judging by the size of their bioelectric activity, they were children like her. She took a moment to assess her body. Pushing down the small amount of saliva that lingered in her mouth, she could taste some metallic residue underneath her tongue and her muscles felt sore and stiff. Nothing immediately threatening, but she felt cold.
The combination of cold and stagnant air sent a shiver down her spine. It smells like the deep caves around the Estate … did I fall into one? Why can’t I remember? Pushing herself off the smooth cool flood, she rubbed between her eyes. I was on the way back to the mansion… Nothing, she couldn’t remember where she’d come from or what happened along the way.
Licking her lips and swallowing again, she frowned. This taste … Drake gave me something like this before … a sleeping drug? Who’s Drake … my brother. Why am I having such a hard time remembering? Frustration started building in her chest. Drake, yes, he’s my brother and that drug he’d given me was to help my mind calm down to sleep. For it to have this kind of effect…
Thoughts shifting to perform the proper formula, she began the calculations to use her active electroreception while extending her natural electrostatic field to its max five-meter radius. Her migraine struck again, forcing her to refocus as the three-dimensional visual image of her surroundings birthed in her mind; a sharp gray view of her environment while everything producing electricity showed as golden scratches, indicating their electrical activity.
She reached up to brush her hands against her ears as she felt and saw something attached to them. Her static-field keeping them in place. Are these cartilage earrings?
Attention returning to the electric and bioelectric activity around her, she studied the level of output each produced. The level of activity in each of their brains indicated three held cognitive awareness, while the other four were unconscious but alive as their heartbeats implied. Studying the electric activity near the edges of her awareness, she frowned. With the level of resistance, they were likely copper wiring and spaced in the semblance of a wall. The wiring fed energy to some kind of square devices.
Her attention shifted to the other children. Are the three conscious people investigating the situation like I am? She centered on one of the alert children as they began to stir. She strained her ears to catch the sound of rustling clothes.
Warning signals shot off in her brain as another spike struck her mind; her internal vision became faint, giving a weaker view of the area. What’s going on? Why is my energy being drained so fast? My Focus should last a lot longer than this. Attempting to strengthen her field, she studied the child again as they looked around. In her mind’s eye, she found another body rising.
The first person that rose asked, “Where am I?” His heart started to quicken. A boy and his tone suggested he was scared, but there was a hint of suspicion undertoning it.
The second said, “No idea.” A girl, she sounds more confused than scared.
Helena scooted backward, slowly inching toward the wall with the electrical feeds and felt her body start the shiver as the chilled air slid across her bristly skin.
“Still there?” asked the boy. Surprisingly, the fear was gone and his heart’s rhythm started evening out.
“Yeah, give me a second.” The girl’s hands lifted and joined as if to cup water.
Helena closed her eyes, her hands shooting up to protect against the sudden onslaught to her retinae as a flare of blinding light chased away the darkness. The shock had disrupted her calculations, blacking out her internal vision. She rubbed her eyes and wiped away the tears that started to gather. Tentatively opening them, she slowly started to survey the now illuminated space.
The girl with the light looked to be around ten years old. She had bronze skin, long tangled brown hair that fell to her shoulder blades, green eyes, thin crescent eyebrows, bow-shaped lips, and a high forehead. Her nose was shaped between aquiline and straight. She wore some kind of rough cloth top and shorts with hand-woven flat soft-leather cross-strap sandals.
The girl was looking around in surprise as she peered at their containment space. Brown hair is rare in Elestveeve. What kind of heritage does she have … what kind of heritage do I have? I know I lived in an Estate, am I some kind of Noble?
The source of the flickering radiance was orange and yellow flames that danced in the palms of her cupped hands. Helena’s sharp eyes caught a yellow glint of something at her neck. The girl quickly broke her cupped hands, bringing her left hand up to tuck it back into her shirt. The flames flickered in her right hand and she connected her left hand again to stabilize the flames.
Helena quickly dismissed her self-reflection for the scene unfolding in front of her. She’s a Pyrokinetic. No wonder she’s not shivering, her natural field keeps her warm. What are the chances that two espers wake up in the same confined space? I must not be near the Estate grounds; I’ve never seen her before. Where am I and who are these people?
She knew she was an Electro Master type esper and generated a natural electrostatic field that she couldn’t completely suppress, like all espers and their natural fields. She could generate, manipulate, and sense magnetic and electromagnetic fields within her perception radius.
Through the earth’s natural magnetic field, she determined she was somewhere in the northern hemisphere. However, anomalies kept her from determining a position and her mind still felt hazy. Could I be in the far north of Elestveeve or maybe on some northern state of the Eastern countries? Possibly even further East, Verlish, and the monster territories.
It was an unpleasant thought and would require her to be transported a long distance. With her stiff muscles, it wasn’t too far of a stretch and she had been drugged. By whom though? Drake?
Her eyes flickered to the boy that had first risen. He seemed near thirteen and he had fair skin, thin rumpled blond hair, light blue eyes, blond eyebrows, high rounded cheeks, thin lips, and a straight nose.
He was wearing a light blue collared shirt, dark brown pants, and hard soled western formal shoes. He’s dressed too well to be lower than middle class. He probably lives in Augnecia. Augnecia? It took a moment for the name to click. The Deity Faith’s Capital. It’s only two hundred kilometers away from the Estate.
He’d begun examining the room with a curious expression. She sensed the third awake child stir due to the light stimulation, but he tried to conceal the fact he was conscious by lying inert. He appeared to be slightly older than the blond boy, perhaps fourteen. He had an oval shaped face, fair skin, thin curly black hair, thick black eyebrows, high cheekbones, full lips, and a turned up nose. He was taller and more muscular than the blond boy.
He was covered in brown thick clothing and had dark brown boots. The hairstyle and clothes were customary among the farmers of the Deity Faith. Her eyes flicked to the Pyrokinetic; her clothing suggested that she was from a fishing village.
Helena’s hands came up to brush against her ears and found something attached to her ears. Her eyes catching a red glint against her wrist. Studying it, she found a red diamond, platinum held bracelet gleaming against the bright flames in the girl’s hands. She removed the object in her ear, it was a cartilage earring piece which was made of the same material as the bracelet. Her brow furrowed as she examined the large diamond burning in the fire’s light.
Replacing the earring, she brooded over the pieces. All of us had to get here somehow and if I were taken by someone, why would they leave these precious pieces of jewelry with me? Drake gave it to me … as a birthday present for my fourth birthday, when I was sick. It must mean I’m higher born, but that still poses the question, why am I here?
The four other bodies’ bioelectrical signals began to hasten as their minds stirred from the light shining across their faces. Three more males and a female; the room holds a three to five ratio in gender.
She scanned the room in the firelight. No doors are visible and freeze-dried packages are in the left corner opposite me. It only seems enough for two or three days with rationing. A small depression in the floor on the right side of the room could be drinking water.
The last unconscious girl had awoken and was lifting herself off the ground. Blinking blurrily as she examined the light source in confusion.
She had medium toned skin, raven-black hair, gray-blue eyes, thin eyebrows, high cheekbones, down-turned lips, and a slightly upturned nose. Wearing a white plain v-shirt, pants, and soft sole shoes covered her feet. Helena didn’t recognize the style. She could be ten to twelve, but Helena wasn’t sure.
Two boys were stretching on the ground as they rubbed their eyes. They seemed to be twins and around the age of twelve. They both had fair skin, red hair, hazel eyes, thin eyebrows that matched their hair color, thin lips, and snub noses. They had black tops and pants with the same soft sole shoes as the black haired girl. The only difference in their appearance was their hairstyle.
One had short and well-maintained hair, while the other had long shoulder length hair. Their hair was dyed; roots showing their blond original color. Where else, but Augnecia can you buy dye? Are they citizens of the Deity Faith?
The final boy had fair skin, smooth black hair, cornflower blue eyes, short curved eyebrows, a heavy lower lip, and flat nose. He seemed to be the same age as herself, eight.
Appraising the seven other occupants for another second, she closed her eyes and massaged her temples, working around her tongue. It seems that the drug is wearing off, assuming that the others had been drugged...
Her eyes snapped open as the flames in the girl’s palms began to weaken, making the long silhouettes across the room deepen, giving a sinister cast to the occupants.
Refocusing her active electroreception, the image began to fuzz slightly as the gray textures scratched black. Am I using too much Focus to map the room? I should be able to last another hour at this output, what’s happening?
With the Pyrokinetic in the room, she decided she shouldn’t waste her Focus. Retracting her static-field, she only used her passive reception to map the children’s bioelectrical activity. The gray contrast faded away, only leaving faint pulses of bioenergy and the wiring in the wall.
Quickly, Helena began scanning her inner images, trying to refine her image of their bioactivity. The Pyrokinetic won’t last much longer; it must take a decent amount of Focus and concentration to keep that fire lit.
She watched small droplets of water fall from the ceiling to land within the pool, creating a slight disturbance and making the reflected firelight dance. Are we really supposed to drink that water? It doesn’t matter. I’m thirsty, but I’ll survive. More importantly, the devices in the wall aren’t visible, just smooth stone walls, they’re hidden. This cave or room has been modified.
The blond haired boy shifted toward the Pyrokinetic in panic as the light dimmed again. “Hey, what’s going on with the light, why is it dimming? Don’t let it go out!”
The girl’s face contorted with concentration. She closed her mouth, biting down on her lower lip, while her head shook in concentration. “I don’t know.” She muttered.
Helena brought her left hand down to the wall where a trace ended. She lightly rapped her knuckles against the area. It’s not solid. That heightens my theory of concealed mechanics.
She mused over the thought, but quickly shifted her attention as she picked up a tingling sensation that reverberated up her spine. Someone has their eyes trained on me, the boy my age. Her vision flickered toward the boy to study his appearance. He was frowning as his eyes moved from her to the space she had tapped. He saw. What will he do?
The Pyrokinetic’s voice was strained. “I’m trying—it keeps—getting harder!”
Distracted, Helena turned her mind away from the all-too-observant boy and thought about the matter at hand, eyes moving to the girl holding fire in her open palm. It seems like our abilities are weakening unnaturally. Why?
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