We stood in front of two large doors. Something about this place made me feel…weird. “What’s this pressure?” I turned to Declan, hoping he’d have an answer for why I felt like a ton of bricks were laying on my chest.
“Pressure?” Declan asked. “You shouldn’t be feeling pressure other than- oh.” He fumbled in his pocket, pulling out the key Lucas had given him. “Is it this?” He held it up towards me, causing me to back up in pain.
“Why do I feel like this?” I eyed him nervously.
“This is an enchanted key, it reacts with the door. Only four of these are in existence, belonging to each occult leader. Purebred humans and occults shouldn’t be able to feel the pressure at all, but since you’re a half breed, that might be why you’re reacting so strongly to it.”
“This can’t be a good idea,” I mumbled, urging him to put the key away. “What’s behind those doors?”
“This is the Vault of Antiquity. Like I was saying before, only four people are able to enter it. Damian, Angel, Xepher and Lucas. So, what’s behind those doors is a mystery, even to me. I can only enter the opening chamber which really only has Lucas’ work desk. Each key will unlock the door and bring you to a different location. Obviously, this one leads you to Lucas’ study, but even he’s hidden stuff that only he should see,” Declan explained.
“So, I won’t be seeing anything other than a few documents?” I asked. Declan nodded. “Ok, go ahead and unlock it then so we can finally leave this area. I’m getting a massive headache.”
I watched Declan cautiously as he took the key out and held it up in front of the door. I saw it glow a bright shade of orange before I heard Declan’s dejected voice. “That’s weird, it’s never glowed orange before.” He tugged on the door to open it, but found it still locked. “What the hell?”
I instinctively placed my hand on my heart as I felt the pressure on my chest increase. More and more and more weight was being added to the stack…I couldn’t keep my balance and I eventually fell to my knees. “Make it stop,” I said in between harsh breaths. The pressure turned to pain. I felt sharp ticks as if someone was stabbing me multiple times. My vision was getting hazy. The image of the once beautiful Moonlight Falls was replaced by a much darker picture. One that didn’t belong to me. I was paralyzed. I couldn’t do anything but watch the events unfold before my very eyes.
Dad? Is that you? He looked so much younger than when I had last seen him. He was leaned up against the door of the vault, chest heaving up and down. He was moving and breathing. He was alive. Dad, can you hear me? Talk to me Dad!
“Stupid girl.” He sighed as he fumbled with the cell phone I hadn’t realized he was holding. “Ella, pick up.” After a few seconds of silence, the man got aggravated and closed the phone. “Why won’t you pick up? Please tell me something didn’t happen.” He turned to the vault and tapped on it before reaching down unto the handle to grab it tightly. He yanked it, and as if he expected it to, the door remained shut. “Come on dad, pull through for me just this once. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” Dad! Lucas isn’t here, but Declan is. Maybe he can help you? He continued on with his business as if he hadn’t even heard me at all. “Dad,” He whispered. “Please, this isn’t just about me anymore. I did it, I found him. The one you’d said would really care about me. I found him, and his name is Apollo Gray. I’m going back to his home world, and I need all the strength I can to fend off Damian. Please, dad!” DAD! I wanted to cry out, fall to the floor at his feet and beg him. Dad please come home. We miss you, daddy, please don’t go.
“Alistair!” I felt rough hands on my shoulder, shaking me. “Alistair, come on.”
I felt my breath returning to my lungs, and the image around me became much clearer. I looked around searching for him, but he wasn’t there. “Dad?” I breathed. “No, dad, where are you?”
“Hey,” Declan said softly. He kneeled at my level and held onto my arms firmly. “I don’t know what just happened, but your dad isn’t here.”
“What the hell? It felt so real,” I said in disbelief. “He was right there! In front of this door!”
“Stand up,” He urged, giving me a hand. “Come on.”
I let him pull me up. I still felt like I was in a daze. I looked around wildly once again. “He was right here, leaned up against this door, talking about how he met my dad.” I traced his outline on the door.
“How he met your dad?” Declan thought for a moment. “It can’t really be true, can it?”
“Of course it can, I saw it with my own eyes!” I cried out.
“No, not that.” He looked deep in thought. “There was a legend my dad told me as a child, about a boy who could see into the future. I mean, that’s obviously not you, you’re seeing things from the past.”
“You mean like visions?” I felt the corners of my lips flip down in a frown. “What the hell.”
“I’m not sure, but whatever just happened isn’t good for you. You can’t handle magic as well as us, you’re only a half breed.”
I glared in his direction. “I fucking get it. I’m a half-breed. Now shut the fuck up, you don’t have to keep bringing that shit up,” I growled. “Stop saying it like I’m less of a person because of it. I’m no less than you.”
Declan crossed his arms over his chest. “Like I said before Gray, you don’t belong here. If you did, you wouldn’t have been doubled over on the floor a few minutes ago. But you’re Lucas’ grandson, so I’ll babysit you for now.”
“You pompous asshole. Stop thinking about your stupid career for once and just realize what’s happening around you.” I purposely bumped into his elbow as I passed him, feeling the dizziness returning. “Call the taxi.”
“Let me get this straight, Mr. Gray, you had a vision, correct?” Lucas asked. “And it was prompted by Declan’s attempt to open the door?”
I nodded. “It was so strange. I really thought he was in front of me. It didn’t register that it was a scene from the past.”
“It was that vivid, that it had you fooled?” Sienna asked.
“I don’t want to talk about it anymore please,” I mumbled. It was over. I didn’t ever want to see my father’s face so vividly again. Unless he was here, with me. I wanted to hug him one more time, and tell him all about this crazy journey I was on. But it was impossible, and since I couldn’t, I wanted to never ever have to think of him again. I wanted him gone so the pain would go away. I thought I was doing a good job at suppressing my feelings, but I realized that I was only pretending they weren’t there. Seeing that vision triggered a new sense of emotion and I wanted nothing but to curl up in my father’s bed and cry. Instead I was faced with four strangers.
“We have to,” Lucas said. “Unfortunately, how else are we going to diagnose what’s happening to you?”
“The legend you told me.” Declan looked at Lucas. “Could Alistair maybe be a part of that?”
Lucas stood up and walked to the far end of the dining room where he gathered a large box. His footsteps were loud in the quiet atmosphere. He slid the box in front of me and stared at me expectantly. “Does this look familiar to you?”
Slowly, I picked my head up. Couldn’t he see that I didn’t want to be here right now? Sighing, I examined the box that was placed in front of me. “No, I’ve never seen this thing before.”
“Ah, of course, I didn’t think you would have. This box is from over 3 centuries ago. It was originally owned by someone from the Darich lineage. They are very esteemed historians, except for their current heir, Robin, who has gotten a bad reputation over the years. The poor guy has aligned himself with the wrong people and wonders why his business is making no money. It’s a shame, his father was a gentleman and a scholar.” Lucas stopped talking as he noticed our eyes on him questioningly. “I’m sorry, I’m getting off topic.”
“What do you mean by that?” I asked. “Why are the people that Robin hangs out with so bad?”
“From your history, I know you realize how much of a threatening force Damian is,” Lucas began. “Well, some people have thought that if they can’t take Damian down than they could escape his grasp. What they don’t realize is that when they leave they must forsake their occults, either denouncing their supernatural abilities or suppressing them like Ethan had. They eventually adjust to being humans and if they can’t they risk exposing us all to those who don’t understand. When humans don’t understand, they stop at nothing to find the truth, and I fear they’ll destroy the sanctity of who we are.”
I knew it. It’s what I had been trying to tell Sienna the entire time. “So, if these people can’t adjust, they risk exposing everyone in Moonlight Falls?”
“Simply put Alistair, you’re the only living person who can switch so easily between these two worlds. That’s why you are getting these visions. You told me yourself that you were genetically engineered in the future. You realize that this process isn’t natural. You cannot replicate a human brain so seamlessly, and to pass down Ethan’s powers…how exactly do you think that was done?”
“I don’t understand, when you say he’s from the future, you mean, the future future?” Declan asked.
“Yes, Oasis Landing. Alistair is reacting so negatively to Moonlight Falls, not because he doesn’t belong here, but because he doesn’t belong in this time. Alistair, I suspect Ethan had figured this out and was helping you cope with the time you were growing up in. Even in the future it’s impossible to artificially create a human being with no complications. Your brain contains some sort of chemical that is reacting to something in the past that isn’t present in the future, and I think it may be the atmosphere. You’ll have to talk to someone from the future for a more scientific explanation.”
“What about Pandora? She shares both of my dad’s genes as well. Will she have these reactions?” I asked.
“No, she won’t because she was raised in the future. So, her brain had been fully developed before she arrived in Sunlit Tides. Yours hasn’t. It developed in Sunlit Tides, and being the only case like this, no one could have known that taking you out of the future would cause these reactions,” Lucas answered.
“Will he be okay?” Sienna asked, a worried expression forming on her face. “What’s going to happen to him?”
“I’m not sure,” Lucas answered honestly. “But, he will be okay. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that my grandson stabilizes and stays healthy.” He looked at me and for once, I felt the genuine family connection. He had cared, below that cold exterior, at least for a moment. “Alistair, we’ll have to have extra magic lessons as I’ve mentioned before, and I want you to be with someone at ALL times in case another vision occurs.”
I heard Declan sigh. Apparently he wasn’t happy with this arrangement either. “Lucas sir, with all due respect, why do we have to babysit him?” I was an adult. I didn’t need babysitting, especially not from him.
“You will treat my grandson with the utmost respect, do you understand?” Lucas looked at Declan and it was the end of that matter. I flashed him a big grin when I was sure that Lucas hadn’t noticed. I had now drew the grandson card and could play it at any time.
I did as I was told and stayed after magic lessons to work with Lucas. A few weeks had passed and Declan and I had no new leads on what we were supposed to be doing for our group project. But, at least I had felt a little bit more comfortable with my spellcasting. In Sunlit Tides, I would have never pulled out my magic wand, and it showed by how awkwardly I held it when Lucas instructed me to cast a fire spell. Now, I wielded it with much more confidence. “Alistair, has there been any more visions?” He asked one day.
“No, it was just the one,” I admitted.
“I think it may have something to do with Ethan’s presence. Your vision was triggered near the vault of Antiquity, and that place meant a lot to Ethan. He spent almost every day there. It’s even where he first met your father,” Lucas said.
I let out a long sigh. “Now that you mention my dad, in my vision Ethan was calling out to you, asking for your help. He seemed pretty desperate. I know that he mentioned my dad by name, but I couldn’t really focus much on anything, I was pretty emotional.”
Lucas looked deep in thought for a moment. “Could these visions be Ethan’s spirit manifesting itself? Trying to tell you something?”
“No.” I shut down that thought instantly. “There is no way thats possible and I cannot have that idea in my head. It’s just that future nonsense you were talking about before. I’m going insane.”
“But do you feel insane?” He asked.
“I feel like I don’t belong,” I answered. “I feel like an outcast. I’m a half breed test tube baby. It shouldn’t even have been possible for me to be born. What am I supposed to feel?”
“Lessons are over for today.” He began to wipe the boards clean.
“That’s it?” I asked in disbelief. He had asked me such a personal question and left it open ended. I had actually felt like we were getting closer. He didn’t answer me, but moved to continue clearing any signs that a magic lesson had even taken place. Sighing I picked up my bag to leave.
“Alistair,” He called after me. “It’s a miracle that you were born. Despite being told that it couldn’t happen, you somehow broke the mold. Don’t you think thats extraordinary?”
I felt a small smile tug at my lips as I left the small basement.