p data-p-id="f76e119ff4402336e9f27373b611a4ef"Charles was horrified as he saw his surroundings change to something much more alien. Buttons he didn't recognize in the slightest surrounded him, as well as a window out into the vastness of space. As a comet whizzed by in the distance, his mind checked out, with his eyes rolling in the back of his head and him promptly hutting the ground./p
p data-p-id="f7bb8a628d34dded4d64d22125ddc541""Yo..."/p
p data-p-id="8f8c6e952aa8c1c1a8d48763a671c25b"If Charles didn't know any better, he'd have believed that some kind of ghost was haunting him./p
p data-p-id="0d0985630651749b77e269ca2a295514"Unfortunately, this was no nightmare. The invisible boy was standing over him, translucent in the light up above. Reluctantly getting back up, he asked, with his voice being a perfect cocktail of exhaustion and irritation, "Where am I?"/p
p data-p-id="16f9802592557e5e3c3b141cfec4c7b4"The elderly woman stepped in for an answer. "You are on my ship, young golem."/p
p data-p-id="e627f218c268663cd85acc3b2ede4ab8"Charles tilted his head. "Excuse me...?"/p
p data-p-id="7d57e8bcd2bed6848bcadc6a891ab045"The woman collected herself before her gaze turned steely. "That is indeed what you are. You picked up the amulet, after all..."/p
p data-p-id="ec5d6c870e3ae7c1b240cce326d5086d"Instinctively feeling for his neck, he remembered the trinket that turned him into this...thing all too well. So it appeared that it wasn't merely cursed, as he had assumed.../p
p data-p-id="346e2d0dbc7a72e45a32c0984d88f323""The five golems that stand guard over the universe. And you are one of them, to be sure. You would have had to have been potentially pure of heart to obtain that amulet."/p
p data-p-id="6221711c1713deb6ead57c8ce33d0093"The following moment of silence was smashed into a thousand pieces by the uproarious laughter of a certain half-invisible boy./p
p data-p-id="64de4df74359c827e0ab9dc8029a07db""Pure? Yeah, right." A glare from the woman silenced him./p
p data-p-id="5b7972276d4a06077eef7b82cad06953""Potential, is not the same thing as actuality, Derek James."/p
p data-p-id="edae7b5e28f17702326ebf1ac1ea47af"Derek bit his lip. "How do you know my..."/p
p data-p-id="c41067a39cc2fcdf2f5ef703bce3b027""Name?" The woman interrupted. "Simple. I scout minds before I interact with the populace of a planet."/p
p data-p-id="6df16f7cf80fc4276457ea42dd484fab"The look of shock on Derek's face might have made Charles laugh if he wasn't dealing with the ramifications of knowing this information himself./p
p data-p-id="e0c220b51659250c3f02e822c841cab1""Yes, Charles, I read your mind, too."/p
p data-p-id="7c3c70a0fbe69264a83a9edea588c323"The woman said it so matter of factly that any potentially venomous retort died in his inanimate throat./p
p data-p-id="fe3081ffe54129e74f40dbb973c47f8f""You're a freak, lady!" Derek quipped, clearly not sure whether to bust out laughing or leap out of the ship. The woman ignored him for the moment./p
p data-p-id="e53fb47940183fa2e88802a193b5dbf3""I know you regret what happened to your family and..."/p
p data-p-id="191fa3cd8c5f0d7637443d7d24649e05""Don't pretend you know me." Charles spat, the full weight of her words fully coming down on him./p
p data-p-id="9ef7a95f83b738f8b73b64d3d6af1c83""But-" Charles cut off the woman before she could finish. "I don't care. Where's the exit on this crate? I'll find my way back to sanity somehow..."/p
p data-p-id="7e7eaab7d53d65678a4b6aebd62df0c8"BOOM!/p
p data-p-id="0319476f3d0b60decf59a885eb5ddb69""What's going on, Lady?!" Derek scrramed over blaring alarms./p
p data-p-id="2f15441a22d3b6af4be1dfcb920b96cc""They are here..." The fear was draped all over the woman's ancient features before suddenly darting to Derek. "We need to- What do you think you are doing?!"/p
p data-p-id="fd0bb3ba0d8d7a9ba4251f958c80d08e""Getting us out of this!" Derek used his glove to smash at what appeared to be the controls, hoping that the ships lurking ominously outside the window, the very ones that had shot at them, would just dissappear./p
p data-p-id="972df0f95cbf25fdb32351f7bb9ae7cf"It did. Just as Charles was trying to pry Derek off (it didn't help that he couldn't get a grip on the boy's constantly fading frame), the surroundings changed again.../p
p data-p-id="f314f25f3c0f3a832a38e6417bb8e28c"Just as a shot hit something far more vital to the ship./p