Isaac starred into the fire. That was all. Fire always seemed to have a hypnotizing effect on people, and he was no exception. It flickered, changed colors, and yet always stayed a constant barrier. When he took the time to think about it, it still seemed impossible that he could control this. And now...
Now he had a little girl. A little girl who would be looking to him for answers. He was no mentor. No teacher. What would he say when she asked how exactly this whole thing works? I don't know? Don't even go there, it nearly got me killed? And The Hunters... Once they got back home, how could he explain The Hunters to her?
Then the flames flickered out. He tried to call them back, and they would come. But then they'd blow right back out.
"Lisle!" She jumped, instantly startled awake. He helped her to her feet, but Alix was already coming, the shadow creatures by her side.
A flash of white light brightened the horizon, and it seemed to grab their attention. "Lisle, can you make a dome around them the same way you did us?" The shadow creatures attention snapped back to them. "I can try." muttered.
Isaac held his breath and watched as shadows, whether they were the shadow of a mountain or his own, started to tremble and jumped at their dark doubles, engulfing them in darkness.
Isaac reached for his fire again. It was still there. He tried to bring it forward again, and this time the flame ignited in his palm. But he felt fairly certain that if it happened once, it could happen again. And whatever had caused his flame to burn out was probably that white light on the horizon.
"Come on, we've gotta run." he said as he started out. Lisle ran up to catch him. "Why, where are we going?"
The dark force raked it's invisible cold claws over his skin. And he felt it again. Heat, welling up inside of him. Ready to burst. But it never went this fast. Usually it would warn him, it would show some sign. It doesn't matter you idiot, the girl!
"Lisle, run! Get away!" He shouted. He dropped to one knee and clutched at where his heart was. She wasn't moving. "Now!"
She started running, but his eyes were slammed shut. He was holding back as best he could, only the drum beat of her footsteps sounded her retreat.
He felt a flare over his hand. No! They started bubbling over his body, bursting from his skin wherever they could. He tried to open his eyes, but he couldn't see. But he could still hear, and he could still feel, so he knew he hadn't gone to the Realm of Minds yet.
"Sleep." a hoarse, crackling voice ordered. "Sleep and I can help you, and your friends. I can take you back to your families. Don't you want to leave this place?"
Isaac felt his control slipping. But why should he fight? Last time he fought someone when he first found them, it had been an ally. "Sleep." the voice commanded again.
He let his control slip, and he fell into the swirling, quiet world that he had come to know so well.
"Isaac!" a frightened shout echoed through the black space. A different voice. I really need to see a psychiatrist about this.
"Isaac, you mustn't believe him! He'll do anything to get what he wants, and all he wants to do is kill!"
Isaac knew that voice from somewhere. But where? And was he going to have more unexpected guests, coming in and scaring him half to death?
"Who are you?" Isaac yelled into the blackness.
"That doesn't matter! You have to get control back! If you don't he will use you. He will use your fire. Back on earth, he captured the other elements. The only two remaining are you and Lisle. Once he has all of them..." Isaac hardly heard anything after that. What did it mean back on earth? Was something similar happening back home? Picturing a shadow double running around in his neighborhood made him shudder.
"Isaac, pay attention!" the voice thundered. Then the strangers voice clicked. "Hey, you're that same guy from before! The one who sent Anna and me back."
The voice sighed. "Yes, but that's beside the point. Kaos is going to kill everyone Isaac. I can help you with those already lost as long as you stay in control of yourself. Can you do that?"
"Who have I already lost?" Isaac yelled now. It wasn't truly anger, just suppressed fear. But he wanted to be angry. Who did this guy think he was, anyway? Telling him what to do and how to do it. And what did they know about him?
"Isaac, just answer the question. Can you keep control of yourself?" The voice was bordering on exasperated.
"No, actually I can't. Every time this weird power comes, I - "
"Ah, so he has touched you." the voice said. "I can help with this as well."
A few seconds passed and nothing. Just when Isaac was about to say something, his entire chest exploded into flames. "Ah!"
Three white insects flew out of the fire and shriveled up. As soon as they left his body, he felt a weight removed from his shoulders, like something had been weighing him down. And his head seemed a little clearer.
Then, next thing he knew, he was laying in a scorched crater on the ground. "Talk about deja vu."