Matt was first, glorious in a blaze of white hot light. Behind him, fifteen of the finest Telcontar warriors stood, hovering a foot above the ground. Their small wings were beating furiously, but it did not ruin their majestic dignity. The light that they radiated illuminated the laminate flooring of the corridor, drenched in greenish-black congealing blood. Anna felt sick. Only five of the creatures remained, of the eighteen that she estimated had arrived. The Telcontar were just in time, for the three girls had been close to defeat.
“Anna! Are you okay?” It was Matt, and leaving the battle to his fellow warriors, he swept down, landing lightly to give her a hug. She rested her tired head against his shoulder, and it was only then that she wept.
“I’m sorry,” she said, sniffing, as the tears ran down her cheeks as though they were trying to escape the turmoil in her brain. “It’s all a bit much.” Matt stroked her dark hair, matted and sticky with the blood of the Celryn.
“It’s going to be okay, Anna, honestly it is. Don’t worry about it.” He held her close for a moment, as his companions defeated the last of the Celryn. Suddenly, Anna realised what was wrong.
“My parents!” she screamed. For it was true. In all the chaos, she had not realised that Angie and Greg had been taken, and Kathryn had kept quiet when the fight was over. “They took them! The Celryn took them!” Matt held her close, trying to restrain her, but she broke free, throwing his strong arms off her as though they were nothing. “I’ll kill them for this!”
“Anna, calm down!” said Callie, her face smeared with the oddly coloured blood. “It’s going to be all right!” But there was no calming the girl. This girl, who had faced creatures of nightmare without blinking, who had killed ten of the creatures who were threatening her friends and home … and who now was possessed with fury for the abduction of her parents.
“I’ll kill them for this!” Her eyes were bright with the reflection of the carnage around her. “If it’s the last thing I do, I’ll kill them for this!”
“Anna, please, be sensible! Your parents are not dead, simply abducted!” Matt yelled. Anna stopped screaming and turned.
“Oh, and that’s not bad enough?” she replied. “I’ve got to save them, Matt, I’ve got to!” Callie ran forward.
“Anna, who knows where they’ll be now? You need to calm down while we go through all this. You can’t just go tearing off like nobody’s business.” Anna shook of Callie’s arm.
“I know where they are, and I know how to get there!” she replied, but she was no longer shouting. “I know where they live, their planet… I can do this!”
“No, Anna, you can’t! And you won’t - I won’t let you!” said Matt. He lifted Anna in his arms as though she were weightless and carried her to the living room. At first he could not understand why she had stopped struggling, but after a minute it became apparent that she was unconscious.
“She needs the rest. Can’t you just leave her?” said one Telcontar. He stood a little bit away from the others, and his face was older.
“I know she does, but we need to talk with her,” Matt replied. “It’s time she knew the truth.” The Telcontar looked at him, knowing he was right.