As the portal closed behind Rafe, Ravel, and Angelika, Tyrus saw someone come out of the shadows from the corner of his eyes. He knew immediately that Tyndal was in trouble, although he wasn’t sure from whom, or what he could do to help. If he made a sudden appearance, it would announce the presence of a portal to the outside world, which could cause a calamity of epic proportions. Deep inside, his instincts were ringing warning bells. The gloom created by the storm made it hard to see, but the figure in the background reminded him of someone. To know for sure, he was going to see what Merika remembered from thirty years earlier.
The portal itself made the choice for him when it slammed shut. It was clear it sensed the danger and was protecting their world from harm. Tyrus figured that no one knew the implications or full extent of what was happening there.
The return of Rafe, Ravel, and Angelika to their world had eliminated a part of the threat, but not all. The shadow coming out of the forest towards his friend had been ominous, its intent malicious, but not in a way he considered pressing to Tyndal’s immediate life. He got the impression, however, that it would only be a matter of time, which meant he needed to give this his immediate attention. He needed to go back into the outside world to save her. But first, he had to let those he loved know where he was going and why.
Merika didn’t need to ask Tyrus anything to know something was wrong. One look at the worried expression on his face told her all she needed to know. Kodac wasn’t quite as perceptive, but even he knew something wasn’t right. Again, there was nothing he could do about it at the moment. He needed to see to things in their own world to make sure it stayed secure. This meant making everything look like things were back to normal, even when they weren’t
“Do you remember Ted Adam’s son?” Tyrus asked Merika.
Merika thought for a moment and then answered, “Vaguely. He was a lot like his father in character, but he seemed to have more of a conscience when it came to dealing with others. I don’t remember him talking a lot.”
“It seems there was a reason for that,” Tyrus reminded Merika, without going into details. “But as I didn’t know much about Tony, do you think you can remember if he resembled Ted much?”
“Tony was a younger version of Ted,” Merika confirmed.
“That is what I thought,” Tyrus commented, then added, “I am sure I saw someone in the shadows watching Tyndal as the portal closed. Although the lighting was poor, I could have sworn I was looking at Ted Adams, but that is impossible. According to all the reports I received Ted Adams died a few years ago. They say his son is obsessed with finding a youth serum, something we all know doesn’t exist.”
“Why would he be stalking Tyndal though?” Merika asked.
“Tyndal and Angelika are close, and they just parted after living in the same house for the last four years,” Tyrus pointed out. “Also, have you looked in the mirror lately?”
“I haven’t noticed anything different,” Merika stated.
“Exactly my point,” Tyrus answered. “Tony Adams saw the same thing, a woman who appears to have aged five years in the last sixty. With his obsession, he will want to know why.”
“I see your point,” Merika agreed. She still couldn’t think how this had anything to do with Tyndal though. “But why would he fixate on Tyndal?”
“I can only assume it is because of our association with her. She also knows where the portal is and who knows what he has come up with in his mind about that,” Tyrus added.
The revelation shocked Kodac, and although he hadn’t met Tyndal, he needed to ask, “What will happen to her?” He had been close enough to Tyrus and Merika to hear what they were talking about and couldn’t stay out of it. In his mind, Tyndal had taken on the feel of one of his daughters, if only by association. This meant she needed his protection.
“I don’t know, but I have a suspicion that whatever he does, it won’t be nice,” Tyrus concluded.
“In other words, Tony Adams will try to break her to get the information he wants,” Kodac frowned at the thought of anyone wanting to do anything like that to a woman.
“He might try, but Tyndal is not the type to share secrets with anyone she doesn’t know.” Tyrus explained before adding. “If he is holding her prisoner, she will not trust him with anything.”
“Is there anyone else out there who knows where to find it?” Merika wondered.
“Only the guides, and there are only a few of them,” Tyrus informed Merika. “Tony Adams would need to know which ones they are and whether they had any relevant information.”
Kodac inserted, “Most of the people who work anywhere close to the portal have no idea it exists or how it works. They try to avoid the area as well. That is part of the general make-up of the crossover.”
“It didn’t bother Tyndal to get close to it,” Tyrus noted. “In fact, she seemed drawn to the area and might have tried to follow Angelika and Ravel into our world if it weren’t for her insecurities. I think she also heard sounds of an intruder getting close and remained behind to act as a decoy.”
Rhys arrived during the conversation and now wanted to know more, for this affected his world too. He asked, “What bothers me is, if others are affected in a negative fashion, why wasn’t he?”
“Some have a natural resilience that others lack, or so I would assume,” Kodac spoke. “We don’t know everything about how it works.”
Rhys understood Kodac’s point, but it didn’t solve the problem of Tony Adams and what they should do about him. He couldn’t be allowed to get away with information he knew about their worlds, no matter how miniscule, especially if it proved their existence. The word of a single person might not mean anything on its own, but if he were a man who knew how to manipulate the masses, that could be serious. “So what are your plans?”
“We can’t leave Tyndal in his hands. She is a friend and an ally,” Tyrus stated. “She has spent the better part of her life fighting for justice and the protection of our people.”
Rhys agreed, and he decided it might be a good thing if Tyrus didn’t go alone. However, who would be best suited to travel with him? He was tempted to think this person would be Merika, although she might not be very pleased about going back out into the outside world so soon after returning. Not only that, but if Tony Adams and his people knew about her, that could put her at peril too. They might be best suited for the task because they had proven themselves to be worthy in the past, but this was a life-changing situation.
Kodac glanced at Tyrus, telling him without words not to counter whatever he was about to say, “Merika is tired after her last trip. The outside world is not kind to our women, and I would rather not expose her to the harsh elements there any more than we need to. I would say Teryka, unless one of the men steps forward to face the dangers rather than her.”
“I don’t want Teryka to go, she is needed in our world,” Rhys stated. “It is one thing for her to be missing for a few days to see her daughter. It is another to send her on a mission that could be dangerous. If we lost her, the results could be catastrophic.”
“I don’t know what is throwing the balances in our worlds off so much over the last few years. But, now that things seem to be in order again, we need to be careful not to rock the boat, or we might set things off kilter again,” Tyrus agreed.
“Rhys, why don’t you go with Tyrus?” Kodac asked.
“Me?” Rhys was surprised at the suggestion. He couldn’t think of anyone less qualified. “I know nothing about the world beyond the portal. What good would I be out there?”
“Actually, that isn’t such a bad idea,” Tyrus agreed. He knew that for whatever his reasons, Kodac wanted Rhys to go after Tyndal. He was tempted to suspect his father was matchmaking again, and in this case, he agreed with his choice. He could see Tyndal and Rhys together as a couple. He remembered clearly what she used to look like, and what she would revert to on this side of the portal. Things, as they were finding, were very different here than they were in the outside world, including how time had a different aging effect on people.
“What makes you think I would be able to help in the outside world?” Rhys wanted to know.
“The person I saw heading for Tyndal knows me or at least what I look like,” Tyrus explained. “You will not be someone he can easily identify. We need to be able to get close enough to get her back. You might be our only chance.”
“Is it that dangerous in the outside world?” Rhys had heard rumors, but until now, he hadn’t given them much thought.
“I have a feeling that we are about to do will be unpleasant, but not as deadly as other things going on in the outside world. People there are basically decent, but these are some that can make life difficult for everyone,” Tyrus repeated.
“There are people like that everywhere, but I guess I will be finding out what you mean first hand. When do you want to leave?” Rhys wondered.
“The sooner the better,” Tyrus stated. “We are beginning to notice a few of our powers can work in their world. So, the hotter the trail, the better the chances we have to track them.”
“We will need several changes of clothes,” Rhys spoke, as he turned to head for home to pack.
“Where we are going, our clothing doesn’t suit their lifestyle,” Tyrus informed Rhys.
“So, what do we do? Get new clothing in the outside world?” Rhys asked.
“It is quick and easy, especially as I know where this person lives,” Tyrus stated. He didn’t tell Rhys straight off that the Angels’ Headquarters was close to their destination. He figured there would be time for that when they travelled. He would bring Rhys up to date on how these people lived while they were in the sky.