The rise of nine, p.6
Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font       Night Mode Off   Night Mode

       The Rise of Nine, p.6

         Part #3 of Lorien Legacies series by Pittacus Lore
Page 6


  I carefully move the coffee can to the floor next to the Chest and grab the dagger with the diamond blade, letting the handle extend and wrap itself around my fist. I turn it over, looking at the blade. I release the dagger and continue to sift through the items. I try not to dwell on the objects I don’t know – the star-shaped talisman, the collection of brittle leaves tied with twine, the bright red oval bracelet – and I stay away from the crystal that’s double-wrapped in towels and stuffed into a plastic bag. The last time I touched that crystal, my stomach convulsed and acid climbed up my throat.

  I push aside the smooth yellow Xitharis rock that transfers Legacies and pick up an oblong crystal that is full of memories. Its surface is waxy with a cloudy inside, and it’s the first thing Henri ever pulled out of the Chest to show me. When the cloud swirled, it meant my first Legacy was developing. This crystal was the beginning.

  Then I see Sam’s dad’s glasses and the white tablet Six and I found in Malcolm Goode’s office in the well. That’s enough to snap me back to reality.

  I look over at Nine. ‘Maybe something in our Chests can get us through the blue force field. I think the effect of it is weakened, anyway. There may be a chance we can get to Sam tonight. ’

  ‘Would be nice if something in the Chest would help us do that, that’s for sure,’ Nine says in a casual tone, his eyes focused on the purple pebble he is balancing on the back of his hand. It disappears.

  ‘What’s that?’ I ask.

  He turns over his hand and the pebble reappears on his palm. ‘I have no idea, but it would be a killer conversation starter with the ladies, don’t you think?’

  I shake my head and slide the red bracelet from my Chest over my hand. I hope it will propel me into the air or shoot a ring of lasers, but it just hangs there on my wrist. I wave my arm over my head, asking it to work, begging it to reveal its powers. Nothing happens.

  ‘Maybe you should try licking it?’ Nine laughs, watching me.

  ‘I’ll try anything,’ I mutter, frustrated. I keep it on and hope something will just happen. Everything in my Chest came from the Elders. Everything has a purpose, so I know it must do something. My hand brushes against the velvet bag holding the seven orbs that make up Lorien’s solar system. I pull open the bag and drop the stones into my hand and show them to Nine, remembering the day that Henri first showed them to me. ‘Are these what you’re looking for to find the others? Henri had these. This is how we figured out another member of the Garde was in Spain. ’

  ‘I’ve never seen those before. What do they do?’

  I blow softly on the stones and they glow, coming to life. Bernie Kosar barks at the sight of the orbs hovering over my palm. They have become planets and orbit the sun. Just as I’m about to shine my Lumen onto Lorien to see it in its lush, green state as it was the day before the Mogadorian attack, the orbs once again speed up and brighten and I can no longer control them.

  Nine comes closer and we watch as the planets collide one by one with the sun until there is just a large single ball in front of us. The new globe rotates on its axis and flashes a light so bright we have to shield our eyes. Eventually, the globe dims and sections of its surface rise and recede until we’re looking at a perfect replica of Earth.

  Nine is mesmerized. The Earth rotates and we immediately see two pinpricks of pulsing light one on top of the other. Once we can orient ourselves, we see they are in West Virginia.

  ‘There we are,’ I say.

  The ball continues to rotate and we see there’s another pulse of light in India; a fourth is moving north quickly from what looks like Brazil.

  ‘When I was showing Six and Sam our solar system a few days ago in the car, the same thing happened. It turned into a globe of the Earth. It was the first time it ever did that,’ I say.

  ‘I’m confused,’ Nine says. ‘There are only four dots on this thing and there are supposed to be six of us left. ’

  ‘Yeah, I’m not sure about that. When this happened before, a dot showed up in Spain,’ I say. ‘Then the globe went all fuzzy and we heard someone who sounded panicked yelling the name Adelina. We assumed she was another member of the Garde. That’s when Six decided to go to Spain, to try to find her. I figured this was how you planned to contact the others, but I guess not if you’ve never seen it before. ’

  Nine’s eyes go wide. ‘Wait. Oh my God, man. I haven’t seen this thing before, but I think Sandor told me about it. To be honest, when we opened my Chest the first time, the silver staff and the yellow porcupine ball were so amazing I only half listened to anything he said after. But now I remember, he told me some of us had a red crystal – which I do, and that’s what I thought I’d use to communicate with the others – and some of us have the solar system. ’

  ‘I don’t get it. ’

  He turns to his Chest, grabs a glowing red crystal the size of a cigarette lighter, slams the lid of his Chest, and turns back to me. I glance at the solar system and gasp. One of the blue dots in West Virginia has disappeared.

  ‘Whoa, hold on. Open up your Chest again. I want to see something. ’

  Nine obeys and a second blue dot reappears on the globe in West Virginia.

  ‘Okay. Now, close it. ’

  He closes it and the dot disappears again. ‘This is boring,’ he says. When Nine speaks, the Earth globe grows fuzzy and vibrates with a half-second delay of his voice. ‘Wait, what was that? Why is my voice echoing?’ The Earth vibrates again.

  ‘This is not boring. This is incredible,’ I say, staring at the globe. ‘The reason we don’t see all six of the Garde members on the globe is because the orb only reveals the members of the Garde who have their Chests open at that exact moment. Watch. ’ I lift the lid of Nine’s Chest.

  Nine whistles. ‘Very cool, Four, very cool. ’ Half a second later we hear his voice through the globe again. Nine puts his crystal down, having figured it out.

  ‘But judging by the speed of this guy here,’ I say, pointing to the dot in motion, ‘whoever is in South America has to be on a plane. It’s covering too much ground too fast to be doing anything else. ’

  ‘Why would they have their Chest open on a plane?’ Nine asks. ‘That’s stupid. ’

  ‘Maybe they’re in trouble. Maybe they’re hiding in the bathroom trying to figure out what all this stuff actually does, just like we are. ’

  ‘Can they see us right now, too?’

  ‘I don’t know, but maybe they can hear us. I think if you hold on to that red crystal, any of us with this macrocosm Earth can hear you. ’

  ‘If half of us have a crystal, and the other half have the power to get this big glowing globe up and running, then –’

  ‘The only way for us to actually communicate back and forth would be if a couple of us teamed up first,’ I interrupt.

  ‘Well, now that we’re together, maybe we should try to talk to the others. You know, in case their macrocosms are going,’ I say. ‘Maybe another pair has gotten together like us. ’

  Nine grabs the red crystal and holds it near his mouth like a microphone. ‘Hello? Testing one, two, three. ’ He clears his throat. ‘Okay, if any of you Garde members are out there standing in front of a glowing ball, listen up. Four and Nine are together and we’re ready to meet up with you. We want to train and end all this bullshit and get back to Lorien. Pronto. We’re not going to say exactly where we are in case any Mogs are listening in, but if you have your macrocosm going you’ll see two dots together, and they are, uh, us. So, um . . . ’ Nine looks at me and shrugs his shoulders. ‘That is all. Over and out and stuff. ’

  The skin on my wrist suddenly feels numb under the bracelet. I shake it and my arm begins to tingle. ‘Wait. Say we’re about to get out of here and for them to make their way to the United States. That’s where Setrákus Ra, the Mogadorian leader, is. Tell them we’re going after him and we’re going to rescue our friends as soon as we can. ’

  The Earth in front of m
e buzzes to life with Nine’s echoing voice. ‘Everyone come to America ASAP . Setrákus Ra has shown his ugly face over here and we’re aiming to smash it in and take him down real soon. We’ll send out another message tomorrow. Stay tuned. ’

  Nine drops the red crystal back into his Chest, looking way too pleased with himself, then kind of embarrassed that he just talked into a ball. I frown. My right arm has gone ice cold, and I’m about to rip off this bracelet before putting the orbs back into the velvet bag when the Earth grows fuzzy again. Then there’s the sound of an explosion, followed by a voice I know well. It’s the same girl I heard before, the girl Six went to Spain to seek out. She’s yelling. ‘Six! You okay?’

  We hear a scream and two more explosions rock the fuzzy edges of the globe. I grab Nine’s crystal out of his chest, frantic to try to communicate with her.

  ‘Six!’ I yell. I would jump into the thing if I could figure out how. ‘It’s me, John! Can you hear me?’

  There’s no response. We hear the faint sounds of the blades of a helicopter before the globe goes silent again and the Earth’s edges grow solid. The pulsing light in India is now gone. Suddenly, the globe shrinks and reforms into the seven orbs, each of which falls to the ground.

  ‘That did not sound good,’ Nine says, scooping up the stones. He drops them back into my Chest, and take his crystal out of my frozen hand.

  Six is in trouble – the kind of trouble that involves explosions and helicopters and mountains. And all of this is happening now, halfway around the world. How am I going to get to India? Where can I get on a plane?

  ‘Six is the chick who gave you the map to the mountain? The one who abandoned you and your boy to jet off to Spain?’ Nine asks.

  ‘That’s her,’ I say, kicking my Chest shut, fists clenched tight. My head is swimming. What’s wrong with Six? Who is the other girl, the one I’ve now heard twice? I notice my arm feels strange. Hearing her voice distracted me so much I forgot about the growing discomfort there. I try to remove the bracelet from my wrist, and it burns my fingers. ‘Something’s going on with this thing. I think something may be wrong with it. ’

  Nine shuts his Chest and reaches over. ‘The bracelet?’ As soon as he touches it he rips his hand away. ‘Damn! It zapped me!’

  ‘Well, what do I do?’ I try snapping my arm out, hoping I can fling the bracelet off.

  Bernie Kosar trots over to smell the bracelet, but stops midstride and jerks his head up to stare at the front door. His ears rise and the fur on his back bristles.

  Someone’s here, he says.

  Nine and I look at each other and start to slowly back into the room, away from the door. We’d been so engrossed in everything in our Chests, and in hearing the voice through the globe, that we’d let our guard down, and weren’t paying attention to our surroundings.

  Suddenly, the door is blown off its hinges. Smoke bombs fly through the windows sending glass shards everywhere. I want to fight, but the pain from the bracelet is now so intense I can’t move. I fall to my knees.