The fourth chapter of the first installment of The Legacies Saga
Natasha opened a door off to the side. From the inside, it did not look like any more than a box. But then, it didn't look like more than a box from the outside, either.
That's why Marrell felt the sting when Ermot, along with the others, were pushed inside. Natasha closed the door.
"I'll take these Mainworlders back to Bunker 10," Natasha said. "James, bring this anomaly..."
"Marrell," Marrell said firmly. "My name is Marrell."
"Take Marrell the anomaly to Julia. You know the way. I'll catch up with you."
James nodded and took Marrell's arm. "You want to know about the Upperworld? If Julia thinks you're worthy to know, she'll tell you everything."
Marrell understood perfectly. James started walking at what Marrell thought was north - according to her studies, the inake had been able to judge cardinal direction by the position of the sun. A dark thought crossed her mind. These people - James, Natasha, Julia, the Upperworlders - were they inake? She'd thought they had all wiped themselves out with war and global warming centuries ago, but what if they'd been living here in the Upperworld all these years?
Marrell shook the thought. Curiosity would only give her ideas that were inaccurate.
The truth would come from...
Julia Rodriguez waved her hand. Resa and Marcus nodded and stepped out of the room. The two of them had just finished a mission involving a particularly violent group of Scythian dracanae on the intersection of 100th and the Great Road. The third member of their team, Kassy, had taken some damage on the mission, but was in the nearest infirmary at the time. Resa and Marcus had shown up to Julia to confirm that the mission had been a success.
Even without the gods, their mission needed to be done. For everyone.
The door slammed open and two people walked in. James Pierce... and a girl that Julia didn't recognize. A hidden citizen? A Mainworlder? An empousa or some other monster?
"Julia," James said, snapping her out of her thoughts. "This is Marrell Tanaquas. Natasha and I got a few dozen teenagers from the Ekinta. Marrell here is what they call an "anomaly," which is-"
"An individual who does not meet the typical standards," Julia interrupted. "Though in Mainworld culture, they are those who have a strong connection to the ways of the inake, their word for the ancient individuals who inhabited the world prior to the construction of the Hidden City. They make up... what percent of the Mainworlder population again?"
"Beats me," James said. "Marrell was the first one I'd ever heard of."
"I want to know about this place," Marrell blurted.
Julia raised an eyebrow somewhat suspiciously. Marrell lowered her head. "You live on the ceiling," Marrell said. "You have trees. You utilize dictions distinct from the standard, you send 2-D terrorists to capture children. What. Are. You. People?"
Julia grinned. "She reminds me of you, James. Alright, I'll tell you. But I doubt you'll believe the truth."