Around 3 months ago: -Hazel Brightwood
I run down the hall, struggling to keep my wings from unceremoniously whacking the walls.
"A new recruit!" I think happily. "I can't wait to meet her!!!"
Just then, I hear a high-pitch noise that forces me to cover me ears and cower against the wall. Grimacing, I remember that a noise like that would never have been so severe back before I had my wings. After all, wings aren't the only things you get from a transformation! Along with them comes enhanced hearing, vision, smell, and apparently you can detect other hatchlings. At least, that's what Vytanni told me. She says that you don't have that until your wings and other senses have almost entirely developed. Some of the other recruits and I can sense it every now and then, but it's pretty uncommon. I've only sensed a new hatchling once, but by the time I got to the place I felt was right, there was no one there.
I crawled across the floor with my wings doing most of the work. My legs kind of helped, but my hands were still on my ears. I finally made it to the doorway and peered through.
The first thing I saw was a red-haired girl laying on a bed. When I saw her, it was almost as if something woke up from a deep sleep inside of me. Before I knew what was happening, the ground gave way beneath me; transforming into a swirling black tunnel. I screamed as I fell into its infinite blackness, but it was almost as if the sides of the "tube" absorbed any sound I made. Eventually I stopped screaming, and I sort of got used to the feeling of free-falling—that is, if someone can get used to falling with no end. In fact, I was getting so unusually exhausted that I fell asleep, only to be awoken as I landed with a 'thud'. Surprisingly enough, it only felt like I'd fallen a few inches onto a carpet of some sort.
I gingerly opened my eyes to what I later thought of as the "Crystal". I seemed to be sitting on a crystalline floor with a purplish hue that spanned as far as the eye could see. See-through walls were everywhere, in random places—sometimes appearing out of nowhere.
I sat there, totally, hopelessly, dumbfounded. "Great. This is just great."
Over the period of the next few days, I wandered around aimlessly, searching for some sort of doorway that would lead me back home. I soon learned that I wasn't able to explore the entirety of the "Crystal", because I was trapped in a massive room with walls surrounding me. Nevertheless, I continued my search for the portal I had come through. After days of tireless searching, I slumped to the floor; utterly defeated. I wanted to get back to the sanctuary, I needed to get back to the sanctuary.
With every ounce of strength left in me, I cried out to the Great Engineer. "I feel hopeless and lost, and honestly, I don't know if I'll ever make it back to the sanctuary!" "My only hope is in YOU!" "I believe that you won't leave me here. I trust you with everything I am. Please, please help me."
Suddenly, a strange sense of peace flooded me, penetrating my soul to its core. "I love you." "You are my child, and I will never leave you." He spoke to my innermost being, His words of truth dissolving my doubt and replenishing my strength. I began my efforts to solve the mystery of why I was here.
"First of all," I thought, "This happened when I saw that girl with the red hair." "So, it was most likely her who transported me here." "Wait, that can't be right—she was asleep when I saw her, and I've never heard of anyone being able to use their powers while they were asleep. Then again, I've never heard of anyone being transported to another dimension, either." I sighed. This was obviously getting me nowhere fast. "Well," I said to myself, "I guess the easiest way to solve this is probably through trail and error. I mean, on the off-chance that I caused the portal, I could probably open another one just as easily, right?"
First, I tried holding one hand steady while spinning the other. Well, that didn't even make sparks. Next, I tried vocally commanding a portal to open. That one didn't work, either. These were just a couple of the many experiments I tried, when, in the middle of my trying to draw one in midair, I could see Vytanni! I was exuberant. Something had actually worked! "Vytanni!" I yelled. She didn't even flinch. It was then that I realized that she was simply being "projected" onto one of the walls. I could see her with a boy whom I had never met. She was talking to him while sitting at her desk.
"Vytanni" I yelled again, desperate for a glance in my direction. Nothing.
I ran up to the wall and smacked it with my hand. To my delight, this caused a piece of paper on her desk to move, ever so slightly. After a couple smacks, I was able to write the following:
(Except it was much more scribbly and barely readable, if at all.)
Over the period of a week or so, I learned that I could see anywhere in Aethasia on my little TV screen. If I tried, I could focus anywhere I liked, but that sapped my energy over long periods of time. When I stopped trying to change the images, then it would give me three pictures, one of Vytanni, one of the boy whom I now know as Lightscape (If I've learned anything from my stay here in the "Crystal", its that I'm not too bad at lipreading.), and a blurry image of someone or something that I am never able to quite make out.
Over the weeks I've been in here, I have sent little 'messages' to the ever-growing population of wyngeds in the sanctuary. The simplest method I've discovered is writing my name on a piece of paper, or shoving a book out of its place on a shelf. For a while, I was satisfied with this method of communicating with the outside world. I would spend all my time at the screen, hoping someone would notice my little signs. (I never felt the need to sleep or eat in the 'Crystal'.) Yet, surprisingly enough, no one noticed, much less even realized I was gone. Sure, it was frustrating for no one to notice my efforts at communication, but for them to entirely forget my existence? Well, that was pretty confusing.
I came to the conclusion that I would have to get myself out of this; the only question was, how? I gave up on trying to communicate via the screen, and became content with simply watching what was going on at the sanctuary.
Thinking back to when I had first been transported here, I remembered the strange shock of emotion I had felt upon seeing Fae. I guess her abilities activated something inside me? This realization convinced me that I must have been on the right track when I was trying to re-open the portal. Then again, nothing I had tried before worked. "Wait a second," I thought, "it was a wave of emotions that activated the portal, so maybe all I need to do is focus on the sanctuary with some sort of emotion?"
I closed my eyes and focused on the emotions I had felt during my time at the sanctuary. "I had first experienced relief, and an overwhelming sense of joy when I welcomed into a real family."
I felt something new, almost like a spark of some sort.
"Vytanni was the first person I had met at the sanctuary. Seeing another wynged gave me comfort."
The spark was igniting a flame...
"Being at the sanctuary gave me hope that I really was someone important, it gave me belonging."
The ground gave way beneath me and became a swirling purple tunnel.
"YESSSS!!!!" I shouted as fell into the blackness. This time, I spread my wings; using them to glide out of the portal. I landed with a welcoming 'thud' on the floor where I had been the first time I had transported to the 'Crystal'. Tears of joy sprang into my eyes. "HOME." "Thank you, Great Engineer, for never giving up on me."
I scrambled to me feet and jumped out the nearest window. Spreading my wings, I flew up above the clouds. Feeling the glistening dew on my wings was so good that I can't even begin to describe the feeling it gave me. I could use my wings again! I Could see the sky again! I hovered in the clouds for a moment, taking a clean, fresh breath of air. Then I pulled my wings against my back and dove, headfirst, towards the ground. Before I went totally out of control, I spread my wings and toppled happily into the lush, grassy field below. I lay there for a few minutes, relishing the smell of dirt, of grass, of the outdoors!
Then, I realize that hardly any of the wynged even know that I exist! I hurried back to the sanctuary to make some...introductions. The only weird part is that I feel like I already know everybody here. Once I'm in range of view, I land in front of Nola, catching part of what she says. "Vytanni's sort of... Busy. "