Chapter 3: Crystal Magic

“What the fu-” exclaimed Chase scrambling back. “Did you guys see that?”

“See what?” asked Dreyah over her shoulder as she reached the base of the escarpment, unhooked from the line, and gave the rope a twitch to let Taliesin know that she had landed.

“Kat … just …” he stammered.

“Where’s Katra?” Dreyah asked, looking around the cavern.

“Disappeared,” he squeaked.

“What do you mean ‘disappeared?’”

“I mean, she just fucking disappeared, that’s what I mean.”

Dreyah turned toward her brother, having never heard the edge of panic in his voice before. Looking at Taliesin, who had just finished his descent, she was sure her face mirrored his concern. Her skin prickled from the palpable energy in the cavern. Gooseflesh rose on her arms.

“Feel that?” she asked.

Her cousin nodded.

“Chase,” Taliesin said in the voice he used when his cousin got angry. “Breathe, man. Take a breath and tell us what happened.”

On shaky knees, Chase staggered over and dropped onto the rock where Ela had sat to copy the runes. He closed his eyes, drawing in slow, steady breaths, hands on his knees, using his yoga training to calm himself. When he felt his shaking subside, he opened his eyes and peered around the dim cavern. Dreyah knelt before him, both of her hands on his. He grasped her fingers and squeezed gently. His sister always could calm him when he felt in over his head. Her touch settled him even more.

“Tell me,” she said, looking into his eyes. Dreyah felt Taliesin’s hand on her shoulder.

“She was here,” said Chase.

He stood and shuffled over to the crystal he had seen Katra touch. As the trio approached the translucent stone, Chase dropped one of Dreyah’s hands and reached for the formation. She reached up to squeeze Tal’s hand on her shoulder.

“Then she walked over to this crystal,” Chase touched the rock.

Their world vanished.

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