Chapter 25~Or You're Gonna Get Burned

The ice fell away in cracks on the floor and swiftly melted into puddles of water. Aisling grabbed her arms and started rubbing them to get herself warm while Kimi just seemed to look around in confusion. Nala even jumped out of Aisling’s bag and shook from head to paw, spraying water everywhere.

“What is going on,” Aisling asked, looking at the ball of fire that I was using to protect us, and most likely noticing that I couldn’t hold on much longer. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I was getting tired from the constant stream of fire that was slowly trying to burn us alive and I had never used this much of my own power like this before.

“We’re getting attacked by some crazy collector who is using the power of fire to try and burn us alive,” I told her, summing up everything that had happened in a single sentence. “Also, not to alarm anyone, but I can't keep it back for much longer.”

“What can we do?” Kimi asked as she looked all around at the fire. Aisling also jumped to her feet and I saw her mind racing a mile a minute.

“I’ve got it! Kimi, get your bow out. This is the power of Fire, which Apollo told us is drawn into your bow. We’re going to send it right back at this guy. Ash, get ready to drop the shield,” Kimi said as she directed us into position. Kimi took out her bow, with a bit of hesitation, and pointed it right up at the sky. When she pulled back, the fire seemed to be drawn to it as it pushed inside my shield, creating cracks in the bubble. All the fire seemed to flow into the arrow and away from me or Aisling.

“Alright, get ready,” she said, but I noticed her lower herself to the ground and put her shield up.

“Nervous?” I asked her, a bit nervous myself, but she just smiled.

“Now!” she yelled and I lowered my sword. The barrier I made crumbled as more cracks formed in the sphere. However, all the fire was instantly absorbed into Kimi’s bow and arrow. As I looked at her, the flames seemed to spiral around her in a dazzling display. Her long coat flowed behind her and she reminded me of my vision, with Fire walking through the forest in a dress made of fire.

“Cut the power!” the man said as he noticed that his attack was only making us stronger. “Change to the C-1 and C-3 cannons!”

Once all the fire was absorbed, Kimi looked at her target as flames and sparks danced around her. The cannons on board the flying ship seemed to rotate around and the ship itself seemed to be backing away. Kimi fired her arrow and it went sailing right for the deck of the ship. The cannons in retaliation fired a combination of fire extinguisher chemicals and a beam of solid ice. While they didn’t stop the arrow, it did deflect it enough to hit one of the turbines keeping the ship afloat in the air.

“Palinurus, get us out of here before we crash,” the man ordered and the flying ship turned headed North. “You won’t prevent me from completing my collection. Hopefully in the future you will even help me.”

“I don’t think so,” I spat back and the man just shrugged as the ship sailed out of sight. As he got further away, the ice in the area melted and the sky cleared up.

“This isn’t over is it?” Aisling asked as we all just looked up at the sky overlooking the Grand Canyon.

“No, this is only the beginning,” came a rocky voice as a form rose from the earth. “The Collector only has the essence of Fire, but not her sphere or the sphere’s of the other three Elementals. Plus, you currently carry mine, away from me. And how do you feel my dear.”

“I’m not sure. When I was controlling the fire, I felt like it was a part of me and I was a part of it. I can't explain it, but I think I know who I am now,” Kimi said, as if sorting through her mind. I wondered how much she had figured out, but if she asked me about herself, I don’t know what I would tell her.

“That’s only natural. However, this battle has drawn the attention of the other Elementals. It is not safe for any of us to remain here. I can provide you with a way back to Camp Half-Blood, but remember to be careful in the future. No place is safe, remember that. I will contact you if I can,” Earth said as he looked at the sky and the river below before melting into the ground. Then, the rocks behind us began to shift and I watched as a staircase formed in the ground, going down into the darkness.

“Ladies first,” I said and both of them gave me an annoyed look. It seemed kind of weird as Aisling and Kimi were almost complete opposites as far as personality went, but to see them agree on something just seemed weird. Even Nala gave me a weird look from Aisling’s backpack. At that moment I made a promise to myself to find some guy friends on my next quest.

“Oh how chivalrous you are,” Aisling commented as she grabbed Kimi’s hand and lead her down into the cavern. We walked a good distance and began to wonder how exactly we were going to walk underground from Arizona to Long Island, New York. However, we saw the end of the cave after only about a half hour of walking. “This isn’t possible,” I said as I looked out over Half-Blood hill. The stone staircase rumbled for a moment and the stair were replaced a second later by smooth earth.

“The child of the belief god can’t believe that we walked to Camp Half-Blood, a place filled with children of the ancient gods from Greek mythology who now live in America. Not to mention we just got back from a mission to learn how to stop the Elemental forces from fighting each other while some crazy collector is using them for his own purposes. Does anyone else see something wrong with that?” Aisling joked and Kimi broke out in laughter at my expense. I on the other hand simply shook my head at her joke. “Oh you know it’s funny.”

“Come on, we need to tell Chiron what is happening,” I said and we all marched toward the Big House.


Previous: Chapter 24~Don't Play with Fire
Next: Chapter 26~Your Plan from Here on Out

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