I paused for a moment. “Are you really seventeen?”
“You don’t sound like it.”
“Hitler didn’t sound like a tyrant; Vance doesn’t sound like a murderer.” He thought for a moment. “Not quite the similarities I was hoping for, but the first things that come to mind.”
“Did Vance really do all those things?” I asked, not really wanting the answer.
“Yeah. It wasn’t his fault technically, but I often remind him of his crimes. He’s been pardoned from them, but they still happened. I want him to feel guilty about it so that he’ll fight it. He can, I know he can. If he fights it, he’ll be able to hide it, just as I do.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I doubt you’d want to be sat here with a fiery demon from the pits of hell,” he pointed out.
“Oh. I do believe it’s your turn to tell.”
“I believe it is. What do you want to know?”
“Anything. What about your powers?”
“Well, they aren’t technically ‘powers’, more... gifts, seeing as my father could take them away if he wished.”
“What are they?”
“I can teleport short distances by opening portals into another dimension and creating another one wherever, as long as it’s within a certain radius. Azazel, my brother, has the full gift and can travel to different worlds. My other gift is being able to control a certain type of fire. It’s not exactly controlling it; it’s more like creating it from my own atoms. There is one other but I don’t like using it.”
“What is it?”
“I can make people feel pain and guilt about things they’ve done. It makes me stronger. I used to use it a lot when I was younger and slightly more evil.”
“What exactly were you imprisoned for?”
“Being born, I guess. I’d extremely irritated Azazel and he started scheming, eventually revealing what I really was. I was arrested immediately, well, after a long fight with my brother who left me too weak to escape. So that’s where I’ve been for ten years or so. The only reason I got released was because Azazel was going to try and destroy all humanity because they’d tried to arrest him. He seems to think he’s bound by the warriors’ code, but even we disestablished that decades ago. Anyway, Dusty said you’d never left this facility. Is that true?” I nodded. “Do you want to? Ashanti’s dying to get outside.”
“Okay,” I said, getting excited and nervous.
We both stood up and I moved towards the zip wire.
“There’s an even quicker way,” Rider said.
I stopped and turned to him. He held out a hand to me, which I took hesitantly. I trusted him, though I’m not sure why. I blinked once, and we were no longer in the lab. I suddenly felt extremely dizzy and fell over, rather embarrassing for me. To be embarrassed even further, I fell into Rider’s arms. He caught me and smiled to himself. There was a bark, which sounded more like some sort of laugh.
As the room came back into focus, I noticed Ashanti was sat about two metres away and Rider had turned pink slightly. I also noticed that we were stood by one of the doors.
“It’s common to feel dizzy the first time. I threw up when I first teleported, though I was being dragged through many different dimensions by Azazel. Not the best day I’ve ever had.”
Rider opened the metal door wide and gestured for me to go first. I hesitantly stepped out of the building. Ashanti rushed past me, sprinting away at full speed. The sun was setting – something I’d never seen before, only heard and read about.