They have drugged me… to neutralize me… but I do not understand why? Am I a danger to them? What have I done that has warranted the need to be neutralized? I feel my mind darkening as unconsciousness overtakes me, yet at the same time, something keeps me aware… awake; a presence nearby. The bow tie of the man-in-black hovers in my mind’s eye. Was my vision playing tricks on me or was the tie really a brilliant indigo color? Why was the man wearing such a glaring color?
It is then that I realize the hovering image is growing in my mind. The butterfly shape of the bow is expanding and with it, my awareness. Whatever it is, it brings with it an energy that awakens every fiber of my being! Fear is replaced by hope.
Now a face begins to appear out of this indigo shape. The rounded bow slims to arms and legs grow from the center. Before my vision, a bow-tie morphs into the shape of a boy.
Somehow I shout his name, so relieved am I to see him again. Why am I relieved? I do not know this boy, yet something in me knows that we are bound together. Is it because of a common danger or something more? I do not know, but so relieved am I to know that I am not alone that I actually reach for him.
The sudden movement must catch him by surprise, for he recoils from me for a moment. It is then that I realize the world around me is different. I am not standing on a solid floor, reaching with arms of flesh toward a physical person. The room around me has not changed, but I am no longer connected to it in the way that I had been. I am floating in its center, hovering above a bed with white sheets covering a body dressed in white… the body of White.
It is me! My body lies below in the bed. Yet I do not reside in it. Somehow, I exist outside of that shell. I see the physical, but I do not reside in it. And then I realize that Azurite doesn’t either. He floats before me, hovering above the floor. He isn’t even in the room with me. He has stopped outside the walls to look at me. But the walls no longer have any consequence to either of us. The walls of my room have become insubstantial, like everything around me. In fact, the most solid looking thing in my view is Azurite.
Is this why he drew back from me? I must look like a ghost to him, rising up from the still body on the bed beneath. Yet he is in the same condition. We are both spirit!
Something inside me leaps at the realization. I am free! They cannot contain me for Isabelline White is more than physical! White exists on a level they do not understand. Their instruments cannot monitor this form!
“Isabelline,” Azurite speaks my name tentatively. Something frightens him, although we have met like this before. Perhaps it is the surroundings this time. Our last meeting seemed more a meeting of minds, almost a dream-like state in which I found him. This time, he has come to me. This time his presence feels closer.
I realize that he needs some reassurance, though I am not sure how to give it. These experiences are so new to me. How can I be assured myself? Yet somehow I am. I feel more confident, more alive… more powerful than I can ever remember feeling. Somehow I know that our coming together is… destiny.
I smile at him.
“Azurite. How did you find me?” I ask him. “Where did you come from?”
He tells me his story. He tells me of his new friends and how they came to this place and began to discover their individual powers. It all seems so strange. None of it makes sense. The only thing that is clear to me is that the military men are behind this… the same men who took Father from me, the same men who tried to… neutralize me. I decide at this moment that Azurite and his friends are my allies. Whatever else is going on, I must trust them. We are all in this together.
“Isabelline, where exactly are we?” Azurite moves closer, entering the room through a wall that has no substance on this plane of existence. He looks around. “Wow, this is so weird! I can see walls and objects in whatever room I’m in, but I can’t see anything on the other side of the walls until I pass through them… except for you! I mean, I can see you all the time.”
“It is the same for me.” I answer. “I could see you through the wall, but I could not tell what environment you were standing in beyond my own.”
“It’s like that from long distances too.” he says. “I could see you from the other side of this complex and several levels below, but I couldn’t tell what was beyond each wall of floor until I passed through it. It was the strangest thing. Maybe ‘see’ is the wrong word to use. I mean, eventually I could see you, but at first it was more like… well, don’t take this the wrong way, but…”
He reaches up and rubs the back of his head awkwardly. “Well, it was kinda like I could… smell you. I just followed my nose. Does that make sense? I don’t mean you stink or anything. I mean, don’t be offended…”
I shake my head and smile again. “No. I understand what you mean. And I am glad. Azurite, we are in this together it would seem, though I’m not certain what ‘this’ is. What I am certain of is that we, you and I and your friends, must work together and escape this place. There are evil men who wish to use us for some dark purpose. They wish to use you and your friends for something called Project Rainbow and somehow I’m involved as well, though I don’t understand how. My body is sedated because they said they needed to neutralize me. And they don’t want us together. I heard them say specifically that you and I should not meet. They seem to fear that.”
“Why?” Azurite asks. And then as if a dam bursts, he floods me with the rest of his questions. “Why are you here in this creepy facility on an island in the middle of… wherever… several levels underground strapped to a bed and sedated? Who are you and why are they treating you this way? How are you connected to us? Shoot, we don’t even know why we’re connected to each other. I mean, we’ve all got rainbow names and they call this thing Project Rainbow, you said. And we’ve all suddenly discovered that we have powers and all, but… it’s all so confusing! And why did they capture me especially? It’s pretty scary stuff, Isabelline! Tell me what to do! How do we get out of here when our bodies are both strapped down to beds and neither of us can affect the physical?”
He was right. As much as his presence lifted my spirit (quite literally), I now realized that we were both still very much prisoners. But as quickly as the realization struck me, another replaced it in my mind.
“Azurite, do you know how far away from your body you can travel in this form?” I ask.
“Not really.” He answers. And then realization of what I am saying strikes him and he gets excited. “But I’m willing to find out! Come with me Isabelline! We can go together and talk to my friends! We can tell them where we are and how to get here to rescue us! Their powers are all physical… well, mostly.”
Those were my thoughts exactly. I want to go with Azurite, in fact I feel compelled to stay near him, but even as he speaks, I realize that I cannot leave yet. I must find out what I can about Father. And it occurs to me that this is the perfect way to do it. While absent from my body, the military cannot track me.
“I can’t go with you Azurite.” I tell him. “There’s something I have to do first. But if you go to them and tell them where to find us, we will both go with them when they rescue us.”
Azurite’s face falls as I tell him this. “But I don’t know anything about this whole military base thing or how to find my way out of here. How am I supposed to guide them back safely?”
I realize that he’s right. Even I would have trouble knowing the exact ways around the facility that I’ve called home all these years. There are so many areas I’ve not been allowed to wander. If only I could wake up. I look down dejectedly at myself sleeping in the bed.
“Wait a minute!” Azurite suddenly exclaims. “I’ve got an idea!”
Moving around the room, he begins to examine my things. I don’t own much, but of course, there are clothes in a plain dresser, clipboards and books, pens, paper, study materials. I’m not sure what he’s looking for, but he begins mumbling to himself as he searches.
“I don’t know if this will work outside my body, and it’s only happened a couple of times before when I didn’t even try… but it’s worth a shot. Maybe… just maybe it will work if I can find the right…”
Suddenly he stops as his eyes fall upon a pen that lies on the bedside stand. He stares at it and his eyes go wide in silence. I don’t know what is happening, but I remain silent, not wanting to break his concentration, hoping that what he’s doing is important. He has a far away look in his eyes and they seem to be moving as if watching something that isn’t there.
After a nearly a minute, he finally blinks. Turning back to me, he suddenly seems to breathe again and his eyes come back into focus. And then he smiles, a big winsome grin. His hair seems to almost glow with exuberance!
“Woah! It worked!” he exclaims! “I wasn’t sure it would, especially on command, but it did! Awesome! I think I know how to get out of here now!”
“What?” I ask excitedly, almost exasperated by his lack of coherence. “What worked?”
“It’s another power I have! I don’t know what it’s called or how it works exactly, but somehow I have this ability to see visions about objects.”
“I know, it’s really weird, but it’s true! I focused on this ink pen on the table and suddenly it came to me!” He is so excited as he’s talking that I find him still hard to follow, but I think I get the gist of it. “I could see all the places the pen had gone as it was carried in someone’s pocket all through this facility! It was like time travel except I was mentally following a pen back in time!”
He paused a minute as something dawned on him. “Wow! It’s a good thing nobody carried that pen into the bathroom with them! That could have been gross.”
He snaps out of his reverie and apologizes and then continues.
“Anyway, the cool thing about these visions is they are like photographs in my head… like movies that I can rewind and call back to memory any time. They’re kinda burned into my brain! Now that I’ve had this experience, I should be able to retrace the steps of this pen and find my way out. At some point, I definitely saw somebody carry the pen outside. Not only that, but if I can do this again, maybe I can find another object that will take me farther! Maybe a gun carried by one of those goons who captured me! That would take me all the way back to the mansion! I don’t know, but I think I can make it now!”
Coming to the end of his rant, he pauses in thought, “But what about you then?”
Our eyes lock and I am torn. Everything in me wants to go with him, escape from this white prison that has turned to black. But then I am reminded that it is not really an escape at all. My body would be left behind and I would be forced to return anyway.
“I’m sorry, Azurite. But you must do this alone.” I assure him. “Use your gifts to contact your friends and show them the way back. With the powers they possess, I’m sure they will be able to help both of us. But be careful! The military has been watching you and they seem to know a lot about all of you… probably more than you know yourselves. It seems you may have been lucky that they haven’t discovered the extent of your powers, but do not underestimate their knowledge of the rest. As you said, they’re powers are more physical, easily monitored and measured. Try to sneak your friends in any way you can find that does not require confrontation if you can. I will be waiting.”
He looks as if he might protest, but the determination in my eyes leaves no room for it. I will not abandon my father, not while I’m in the perfect position to search for him unnoticed. Azurite reluctantly begins to turn.
“I won’t be long,” he assures me this time. I can see the guilt in his eyes. He must feel like he’s abandoning a maiden in distress. The notion is sweet and I find myself drawn all the more to this young man with the electric blue hair. Almost, I waver. “I’m sure the others are looking for me. When I find them, they’ll come quickly. We’ll get you out, don’t worry! I won’t leave you alone for long.”
“I know you won’t, Azurite.” I smile at him and he blushes, I think. It is hard to tell in this ethereal state where physical reactions are but a memory, but the idea reminds me of the warmth that emotion ignites and my smile deepens. “I trust you. You are my knight in shining armor and your quest is valiant. You will not fail me.”
And then we part. I watch him go, walking through the wall of my room and out into the ether until he is only a flicker of indigo in a world of shadows. And with his going, those shadows seem to press in around me once again.