"What's up with her?" I asked Marc.
He shrugged, "She's psyched." Gradually the others appeared.
"What's happening?" Ben asked when he turned up.
"We're getting out! We're going to fight!" Zoey cried. It's about time, I thought but a small part of me was nervous (not that I had any intention of letting the others know that).
"Right, should we make a plan?" Jade asked, ever practical.
"Let's just go!" Zoey insisted.
"Up, up and away!" Ellie said and the others cheered. I felt cold at Ellie's eagerness. Was this how she felt when I had spoken out loud my desire to fight? I understood better now why she got so angry. Leaving here meant fighting, that meant there was a greater chance that Ellie would be hurt or killed.
My conflicting emotions were making it hard to concentrate. I badly wanted to get out of here but I didn't want to. I wanted to fight, I wanted to keep Ellie safe.
Well, I guess I'm just going to have to keep her safe, I thought as I watched Ellie fly up to check out the exit of the dome.
"How's it looking, Ellie?" Jade called. Ellie came back down and hovered a few feet above us. Show off.
"All clear," Ellie assured us, "Well no Black Ones at least."
"I've got an idea. What if Marc goes first. He could track if anybody was going to come. Just thinking," Eve offered. It was as simple as it was brilliant.
"That's a good idea, Eve," Ben said.
"Yeah, it is, now why didn't I think of that?" I said.
"Eve cleverer than you?" Ellie breathed and I shot her a look which she returned. I was about to make some witty remark when Lucinda interrupted.
"OK, how I hate to pull you away from your banter, or whatever, but we want to get out."
"Yeah, save it until later. I want to get out," Zoey chimed in.
"Can you lift me, Ellie?" Marc stepped towards her and held out a hand. I gritted my teeth and forced myself not to say anything. The truth was I didn't like seeing Marc offering Ellie his hand. It was stupid, cause technically Ellie and I weren't even together even if I did have feelings for her, so I kept my mouth firmly shut (it took a lot of strength to do that).
"Dude, I was holding you in the air not so long ago. And did I drop you then? No," Ellie snapped and I couldn't stop a smile crossing my features. Ellie grabbed Marc and they flew away.
We waited anxiously for them to return. No one seemed as anxious as me - except, maybe, Zoey and I wondered why that was.
"I hate not knowing what is going on," Zoey muttered. She sat down and tore up some grass as a distraction. I went and sat near to her. Most of the others sat too.
"I know what you mean," I consoled her, "The Black Ones could attack on the other side and, let's face it, they're not the strongest fighters." I had to get some of my worry off my chest.
"You're right, we should have thought of that," Ben stood up.
"Surely Marc would sense them and head back..." Zoey's voice trailed off.
"Not if they're not expecting it," Ben said grimly. OK, Mr. Invinsible was freaky me out big time. I had to know if Ellie was OK and I had to know now.
"What about if William flies a clone of Lucinda out to them. That way if anything goes on, at least we know about it because the real Lucinda can tell us," Jake suggested. It was yet another good idea and Lucinda seemed eager to do something but while it was good it wasn't fast enough for me. I'd have to make do.
"Yeah. That's a great idea," she smiled slightly and stood up too.
"What if I drop her?" William asked. Man, he was always worrying about her. Although I did sorta know how he must feel. Not letting anyone know that either (God, I hate it when Vanessa's right: I am proud) but on the other hand if he cared about her then it was a dumb question.
"God, Will. Always the pessimist. You love her, you wouldn't drop her," I sighed but resisted the urge to roll my eyes. In the next few seconds, Will and Lucinda No. 2 were gone.
"Can you see them yet?" Eve asked Lucinda. Lucinda laughed. She was laughing? At a time like this?
"Give us a chance, Eve," Lucinda said, still grinning, "God, we have to go so high. This is so weird." Lucinda's eyes were unfocused, she wasn't seeing us anymore.
"Once they are there, who should go next? We need to make it equal so someone stronger is with someone... less stronger," Jake said carefully. I saw his eyes flicker over to me guiltily but then moved them away so he didn't see me narrow mine in response. So I was 'less stronger' huh? I'd caught that implication.
"Well so far on the other side it's Will, Ellie, Lucinda and Marc," Zoey listed.
"Yeah but we need Will and Ellie to come back for us," Jade said taking the words right out of my mouth.
"Okay, Luce and Marc on the other side," she said again. Another error made by Zoey because -
"I'm here as well though," So Lucinda was as focused on us as she was on what her clone was doing.
"I should maybe go next," Ben said, "And maybe Eve." We glanced at each other and Jake nodded. We agreed too.
"Hey! I can see them. We can see then. We're nearly on the other side," Lucinda interrupted yet again but this time excitedly.
It was about time.