Brandon sat before his laptop with a new determination. They were on his turf now. After all, he may not have been a particularly impressive king, but he could use Google like nobody's business. He hunched over the keyboard, his fingers hovering above it, at the ready. This was one problem he would find a solution to, without the help of Alistair, Senny, Clover, Roary, or anybody else for that matter. He stared at the screen through squinted eyes before finally making a decision; his fingers rained down upon the keys as he typed Igladia into the toolbar. He hit search and waited the 0.27 seconds for the results.
Nothing! Brandon threw his hands into the air in frustration while Jaina gasped a little at the outburst. In the entire internet universe there existed nothing with the name of Igladia, not even an unheard of Hungarian alternative music group. Nada.
He went for the obvious and typed How to get back to a magical world and hoped for the best. The results yielded books, movies, games, programs, but no self-help pages, not even an ask.com article. Brandon felt defeated.
Finally, Jaina interjected. "Are we going to start searching for a way back now?"
After typing in phrase after phrase without any luck, Brandon finally glanced up at her. She stood in the centre of the room, looking around quite tentatively, and trying her best not to brush up against anything.
"That's what I've been doing," he explained, exasperated. Jaina peered down at the shiny, black rectangular object before him with more skepticism in her eyes than Brandon could take at the moment. "Okay, okay, we'll scrap the laptop." He closed the computer and pushed it aside. He looked around for more inspiration. "Why don't we jot down some ideas? You must have some idea of the magic involved for getting in and out of your world?"
Jaina stared at him blankly before responding. "Unlike you, I don't make a habit of zipping from one world to the next, thank-you-very-much." She crossed her arms and stuck her nose in the air in defiance, then added, "Plus, I'm a physician, not a magician!" She harrumphed in conclusion.
Brandon visibly deflated. "All right, we'll think of something. Hand me that pencil there, would you?" He pulled open a drawer in the side table and pulled out a notepad.
Jaina looked around, confused. "The what?"
Brandon pointed, "The pencil, there."
Jaina looked down at a rounded stick lying on the countertop behind her, pointed, and looked back at Brandon, eyebrows raised. Brandon nodded in encouragement. She tapped it once, twice against the counter but then handed it along to him, saying, "It's just a split of wood." Brandon took it anyway and began writing. Her eyes widened in confusion as words began appearing on the page. "But where is the ink?"
Brandon sighed a little, now understanding how silly he must have seemed to everyone in Igladia when he first arrived. "Nevermind that now, I'll explain later. I've just thought of something."
"What is it?"
"It's something Alistair said to me when I first arrived. I was just so confused about everything and he said to me, 'Well of course you are! After all, my Lord, it is all a very bizarre situation, as it always becomes when you arrive here. Yet, it seems that every time you have been here before, there has most definitely been a reason for it, that I am sure of.'"
"So, Igladia still needs me, doesn't it? Nothing's changed, I just need to do exactly as I did before I went the first time!" Brandon shot off the couch with inspiration and hurried into his room. Out he came, a moment later, wearing pajamas. He waved Jaina towards his room, "C'mon!"
She reluctantly stepped into the room, tiptoeing all the way. Brandon had already jumped into his unmade bed and pulled the covers to his chin. "Get in!"
Jaina looked affronted, "I beg your--?"
"It's the only way! Unless you want to be left here alone?"
Jaina sighed heavily but made her way to the bed. She slowly lay down atop the covers and shut her eyes tight. Before doing the same, Brandon grabbed his wristwatch from the nightstand and put it on. He took a deep breath to brace himself and, grabbing Jaina's hand, shut his eyes as tight as they'd go and started whispering, "Igladia, Igladia, take us to Igladia..."
A moment later, Brandon propped open his left eye and examined his surroundings. He let out a huff. He shut his eye tight again. Thirty seconds later, he opened it. Again, he huffed. He shut it once more. Finally, Jaina jumped from the bed and exclaimed, "Oh, get up! This isn't working! I have a better idea."
Brandon sat up and watched as Jaina hurried around his apartment opening doors. First she pulled open the door to the linen closet. She peered in but then closed it quickly. Next, the door to the bathroom. After that, the shoe closet in the entrance. Finally, with only one left, she wrenched open the door leading down a staircase, into the basement. She beckoned him over to the top of the stairs.
Intrigued, Brandon obeyed. "You think there's something in the basement that will help?"
"Well," She calmly began to explain, "You were nipped out of Igladia because your life was in danger, correct?"
"I suppose..." Brandon replied, trying to follow her logic, which, as it turns out, was much too slowly.
With that, Jaina gave him an almighty push.