"Perfect," Marc said just to me, kissing my hand. I flushed bright pink, heart flutting, knowing that he had seen. I wish I didn't turn so red everytime Marc said something to me. He continued to look me in the eye, and I feared I was becoming more and more of a tomato, so I pulled away slightly and turned to Patrick, standing nearby.

   "When will we be able to return to our families?" I asked. "Will we ever?"

    Patrick gave me a curious glance, "On Earth?"

    "Yes...," I slowly answered.

    He furrowed his brow, "I am not sure. I'll have to speak with Harriet about that...you must realize, Zoey, that this is an important moment. The Black Ones could attack at any time. We can't have you all getting seperated to go visit your families. It would be instant defeat."

   Disappointed I bit my lip. Marc ran his thumb over my knuckles, and I realized he was still holding my hand. "It'll be alright," he murmured, attempting to comfort me.

   "How late is it?" Ellie inquired, stifling a yawn. 

    Patrick looked at his watch, "Oh, it's late. We've been bad hosts, I'm sorry. There are ten bedrooms in the back. You all can retire for the night. "  

    I noticed how tired I was, my eyelids heavying. Nodding, I stood, Marc following. We all walked in the way that Patrick had motioned, and shuffled to our bedroom doors.

    Marc claimed a bedroom next to mine. I put my hand on the door knob and pushed it open. "Good night," I smiled mildly.

   "Good night, Zoey." he answered, and disappeared into his own room. I flicked on the light in my room, and closed the door behind me. It was simple; a twin-sized bed with a white quilt, and windowless, white walls. Kind of creepy....like a jail cell.

   There was a small pile of PJs on the bed, but I didn't bother, flopping onto the covers. I looked to the white ceiling my eyes drifting closed. Though I paused, sitting up. There was a small white nightstand besdie my bed, an old looking telephone sitting upon it. Curiously, I picked it up.

  A woman's voice could be heard, "For local calls, press one, for Earth calls, press two, and for Universal calls, press-,"

  Universal calls?  I shrugged and pressed "two". Instantly, ringing could be heard. Who was I calling?

  "Hello?" my Mother's voice sniffed on the other end.

   "Mom!" I jumped to my feet.

   "Zoey!" she exclaimed. "Oh, thank God! Are you alright?"

   "Yes, yes, I am fine," I smiled, sitting down slowly on my bed. Though something in her voice was off. "What's the matter, Mom?"

   "Jason-he's gone! Is he with you?!" she inquired, her voice pleading.

  "What!?!" I cried, standing once more. "No! No! No!"

    It was silent at the end of the line...the phone had gone dead. "Mom!" I shrieked. "Mom! Mom!" Frustrated, I threw the phone at the wall. It broke with a loud THUMP! and was in little pieces on the floor. I was panting, my fists clenched, as I felt tears developing in my eyes. Hercules. He had told me!

   My door opened slightly, and Marc's head peered around the corner. He saw my state and hurriedly shut the door behind him, coming to my side. "What's the matter?"

   My voice was choked as I tried to hold back shouts and sobs at the same time. "Here, sit." he said, beckoning to my bed. I obeyed, trying to calm myself.

   He took my hands-they were sweating by now. "What's the matter?"

  "My brother!" I cried. "They have my brother!"

   His eyes widened. "No, that can't be."

   I nodded, tears overflowing. Marc continued to ease me, "I'll track him, see? I will."

   "Really?" I gazed up at him hopefully. "Can you track that far away? We are virtually in another universe. Please try! Please!"

   He closed his eyes, focus contorting his face.  After a few moments, he opened his eyes, and murmured, "I could barely sense it...but in your family...how many of them are there?"

   "Mom, Dad, a sister and a brother." I was hanging on the edge, my voice trembling.

    "Four...that's what I tracked. There could be someone else there other than your brother, but I sensed four." he gazed down to me, and stroked my hair with great care. I glanced down to my hands. There was a chance....a chance."I will try again...,"

    He titled his head, his eyes flashing open once more just as he closed them.

   "Wait...Eve's not here."


The End

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