Chapter 16

Back on Track

"What in the world happened back there, Lily?!" Clive exclaimed as they drove through the crowded streets of downtown Indianapolis. "One minute you were mumbling something about pomegranates and the next you were jumping out of a fifteen story building with nothing but a bungee plant and me! What's up with that?"

"I—I honestly don't know. I just woke up and had a feeling that we were in trouble. It's like... like I knew it was going to happen. And I knew exactly how to get us out of the situation."

"Wow... jeez, Lily, this is getting so confusing. And now we have to find the Pool of Powers..."

Lily cocked her head to one side and looked at him curiously. "What's that?"

Clive chuckled. "That's right. I forgot you probably didn't hear about that. Plus, you probably haven't done a bunch of studying on the different wielding monuments."

"Wielding monuments?" Lily looked completely baffled now.

"Yes, wielding monuments. There's one for each power. The Pool of Powers is for, as I'm sure you've guessed by now, water. It's said that it gives chosen people the power their personality most reflects. So if you're an unpredictable, angry, blend in with the background, type of person, you're personality matches a lightning wielder's.

Lily threw her head back and laughed. "For a minute I thought you were leading to a firewielder's definition! Unpredictable and angry describe Safire perfectly, but she is definitely not a 'blend in with the background' type of person."

This train of thought made Clive laugh, too. "I can't imagine!"

Lily turned to him and noticed he was studying her closely. "What?" she asked. "Do I have something in my teeth?"

"No... no, I was just thinking."

"'Bout what?"

"About how... awkward it would be if you were a firewielder," he lied. In truth he had been thinking about Angel Adam's warning. "This one's going to go through some hard times. Make sure that when that happens, you're there for her. You're the only one she feels she can trust right now." What could she have possibly meant?

"Ha ha, that's a scary thought!" Lily laughed. "But anyway, you were talking about the wielding monuments."

"Right. The Pool of Powers was the one for water, as I already explained. No one knows where it is. It was never recorded in the elemental history books."

"Elemental history books?" Lily snickered.

"Oh, shush. Anyway, it's said to give you any of the nine powers..." He suddenly squinted and swerved to the side of the road.

"Oh, no, it's happening again! Clive? Clive, what's wrong?!" She shook him, but unlike last time, he seemed to be completely functioning. Angry drivers honked their horns and went around the crazy driver.

"Why didn't it dawn on me before?!" he shouted.

Lily was truly frightened now. "Clive, are you okay?"

He looked her in the eyes. "The Human Shadow!"

"What about him?"

"He controls shadows! I've never read anything about someone controlling shadows before! Could the Pool of Powers have given him his powers? That's the only logical explanation, even though I've never heard about it giving anything but the nine wielding powers..." He put his pointer finger on the bridge of his nose, deep in thought. "The next question: Is he the only one who has shadowwielding? And what about lightwielding? Every power has something that counteracts with it."

"Calm down, Clive," Lily said, rubbing his arm soothingly. "You'll figure it out eventually. Just give yourself time to think on it."

Clive nodded and said nothing more, shifting gears and driving again.

Lily thought about what he had said. Shadowwielding, lightwielding... it was all so confusing.

She brushed aside her thoughts, dismissing them as a job for Clive and all his expertise.

"Now that we're back on track," Safire began suddenly, snapping Flow's attention from the dense trees out her passenger side window, "I'd like to fill you in on some more details about the Pool of Powers."

Flow had been hoping for this. At that point, she knew nothing about the Pool of Powers other than it had to do with water. But she hadn't wanted to push Safire. She knew the firewielder would tell her more when she was good and ready. And now, it seemed, she was both.

Safire took Flow's silence as a green flag and proceeded. "The Pool of Powers is one of the nine wielding monuments. It represents the element water, if you hadn't already guessed. It's said that in the past, many people went on 'spiritual journeys' to that sacred place, but only a chosen few were given powers. Yes, the Pool grants powers that reflect the heart—or personality—for chosen people. That's actually how wielders came to be. The first ones, anyway."

"And the rest are all descendants of them?" Flow asked.

"More or less. Until the Pool was lost, a new wielder would occasionally pop out, freshening up things. The funny thing? The last ones to ever find it were the most powerful wielders. Yes, the MPWK's parents. They were ordinary humans who stumbled upon its rediscovery a few decades ago. They were all granted the strongest powers anyone had ever seen. That's how they came to leadership and/or rulership in their elements. However, once they left, the pool disappeared. They never found it again. Our job is to find it again."

"Why, exactly?" Flow questioned, unsure if she expected Safire to answer her.

"... Shadow wouldn't tell me. But I have a few theories." The drop on the end of her sentence said that she wasn't going to voice them.

"So where do you think it is?" Flow readjusted in her seat to face her partner, unable to keep the rising excitement from her voice.

"Here." Safire pulled the car into a hotel lot. The girls were surrounded by dense greenery. "The Rocky Mountains."

Disappear wearily leaned back against his seat, rubbing his forehead. To think, he was so confident in himself that he left himself open to a sneak attack. Perhaps... perhaps he had underestimated his targets.

One thing was for sure; he couldn't afford to slip up again. Shadow had made that much clear. Slip up again, and it would be the teen's head.

No, I need to think my plan through better this time, he thought. Leave no room for mistakes.

He'd watched Shadow that afternoon. He'd thought for sure the shadelings would be having wielder stew that evening. But Shadow's "prediction" had been right. They'd been rescued.

How, though, had The Human Shadow known that would happen? He'd been "predicting" various things for the past year. Including Disappear's failure, though the boy hadn't really believed the man when he first heard of it.

There was no way Shadow was really predicting all this stuff. The question was, how did he really know?

A/N - I realized about two weeks ago that I hadn't updated this since April, and I think I hit my head on the wall enough times to make a dent. ^^' For the longest time, this was my inspiration; the longest thing I had. I was extremely proud of my work. So, I'm starting up on it again. This chapter's short, I know, but I wanted to get something out. So... bear with me as I regain my bearings. Thanks, everyone. =)