This painting, thought Lance. It was exactly what he had dreamed about. In the painting there was a man wearing a long black coat, he was standing on a golden platform on a cloud and the scene was definitely in the skies. The five thrones were exactly as he had dreamt them. Although it was just a dream like any other, Lance could remember it very well. Even the positions of the thrones were the same. On the right side of the man was the throne made of trees and plants, on the left side was a throne occupied by a woman, the thrones in the front were the same as well. The ooze covered throne, the throne of pure black stone and the throne on fire. At the first look Lance couldn't figure out that there was something different but when he tried to remember his dream he realized what was different. The throne on fire was not occupied by the man in his dream; the one who had tried to attack him with black smoke. Instead it was occupied by the only person not covering his face with the hood. He didn't appear human. His eyes were on fire, so were his beard and hair. Lance couldn't tell if his long beard was on fire or made of fire. Why was this painting so much like his dream? Or why did he dream about this painting? He didn't know what to think.
'What is it Lance,' asked Selena.
'Nothing, it's nothing,' said Lance
'Oh shut up Lance,' said Hayden, 'don't lie to her. Go on tell, tell her the truth.'
Lance waited. How did this guy, Hayden know the truth? Or was he just playing smart.
'This picture,' said Lance, 'this painting, I have seen it before.'
'Really,' asked Selena, 'where? On the internet or on TV.'
'None,' said Hayden,
Lance stared at him.
'I've...I had a dream about this painting,' he said.
'You had dream about this painting?' asked Selena.
'Yeah, well, kind of,' he tried to explain, 'well, I was in this painting. You see that guy in the middle,' he said pointing at the painting, 'yeah that was me.'
Hayden was nodding his head.
'Usually people dream about things they have seen before,' said Selena, 'maybe you have seen this painting before somewhere, that's why you dreamed about it.'
'Maybe...' he started but was interrupted.
'Impossible,' said Hayden, 'I painted this and I haven't shown it to anyone. My painting is not public. Besides, there is something different in this painting and Lance's dream.' he said looking closely at the painting, 'Right Lance?'
'Ok, what the hell is going on?' Lance lost his temper. 'Who the hell are you people, huh? How do you know what I dream, and how does that freaky woman know what I'm about to say or what I'm thinking, huh?'
'Freaky woman,' laughed Hayden, 'that's, that's good... that's a... sorry.' He said quickly noticing the look on Angela's face.
'Lance, please calm down,' said Selena, 'don't create a scene. We still don't know what kind of situation we are in. We know nothing about these people.'
'Exactly Selena,' he said loudly, 'they are weird. I'm going back home now. I'm not taking a single step forward until and unless they explain to me what this shit is all about.'
Lance was angry now and he didn't even care what situation they were in. Neither Angela nor Hayden spoke a word. Hayden was no longer smiling. Selena was holding both her hands to her chest; she was too scared. Lance was neither scared nor nervous. He was tired of all the tension.
'Lance,' spoke Hayden, 'do you remember what I was telling you both in the elevator?'
'Some other world crap,' he said, 'and if you expect me to believe you, it's not going to happen.'
'Lance,' he said and now he was very serious, 'you are looking like a fool. If Selena were to argue with me over this it would be understandable but you. You dreamed this didn't you?'
'These are the worlds I'm talking about, man' he said, 'are you denying that you dreamt this?
'No,' said Lance, 'I'm not denying anything. How do you know what I dream?'
'I don't know what you dream,' he said, 'I simply-'
'That's a lie,' Lance interrupted, 'you just told me that there was something different in this painting and my dream. How do you know that? I haven't told anyone about my dream, not even my mother.'
'Lance,' he said, 'this was no dream. You simply saw a vision. Visions are true. They are not fantasy. I know the truth that was shown to you in your vision, nothing more.'
'Oh yeah,' said Lance, 'then tell me what my dream was.'
'I don't know what happened in your dream,' he said simply, 'but I do know that throne engulfed in flames was not occupied by The Father.'
'The Father?' repeated Lance, 'who the hell is 'The Father'?'
'I mean the guy with his beard on fire,' said Hayden, 'that throne was probably occupied by some man in the hood.'
'Yes,' said Lance, surprised, 'even after telling me that you are claiming that you don't know my dream.'
'I think I told you that it was not your dream,' said Hayden, 'it was a vision. What you saw was reality, regardless of your belief in it.'
'And what the hell is that suppose to mean?' asked Lance.
'I don't know about you but I'm feeling a bit weird, explaining this to you in this dark corridor,' he said, 'come with me. Please don't say 'no'. I know you're going to say 'not until you explain this to me'. Don't sweat it man. I brought you guys here to explain this to you so why would I not?'
He waited but didn't move.
'Help me out here Selena,' said Hayden.
'Me?' Selena jumped.
'Yeah you,' he said, 'calm him down. It will be easier for me to explain this to you.'
'Lance,' said Selena, 'look, I think they mean us no harm. Maybe if we calm down, we can get to the bottom of this.'
'I think it is pretty clear,' said Lance, 'that these people are a freak show.'
Selena looked timidly at Hayden and Angela. Hayden was smiling and had his hand on Angela's shoulder, stopping her from moving forward or speaking.
'They are speaking bullshit,' continued Lance, 'This guy is mad.'
'Look man,' said Hayden, 'You can leave after you've heard what I have to say.'
'Fine then,' said Lance, 'let's get on with it.'
Hayden turned around and started walking. Lance and Selena followed. Selena punched Lance in the head.
'What?' he hissed back, rubbing his head.
'Calm down,' she said, 'you are acting like a child. Even if we are not in trouble, you are going to get us in one.'
He calmed down a bit looking at the reaction on her face. He took a few deep breaths. He realised he was not alone with these people. His action would not only affect him but Selena as well.
They reached a fork in the corridor. It split in three directions. Hayden took the middle one. Even though the area was not so bright, it was better than the previous corridor. The paintings on the wall continued.
'Wow,' exclaimed Selena, 'you really like to paint.'
'Yeah,' replied Hayden, 'I'm really bored at work.'
'You don't work,' said Angela from behind them, 'I do all your work.'
'Hey, that's unfair,' he replied, offended, 'I sign the papers you send up to my office.'
They reached a room with a black door. Hayden pushed it opened and entered. This room was pretty much empty except for a huge armchair and four small armchairs.
'Have a seat,' Hayden pointed at the small armchairs.
They sat and waited. Hayden went to a small refrigerator and took out three colas and one ice cream soda. He handed one to Lance and one to Angela but Selena refused.
'I don't like cola much,' she said, holding her hand up.
'You want the ice cream soda?' he asked handing her the green drink.
'Ok,' she said after thinking for a while.
They sat for a while. Then Hayden opened a small cupboard and took out a huge book.
'Looks like an old granny is about to tell her grand children a spooky story,' said Hayden.
'I doubt what you're about to tell me is going to be any different than a story,' Lance retorted.
'You better not say that,' said Hayden, smiling, 'because you'll soon believe in that story.'
'I doubt that,' said Lance.
'As I was saying,' spoke Hayden, 'there are other worlds other than ours. They are in other dimensions. Just as our world has humans as the dominant species, so does these other worlds. The worlds know of the existence of all these worlds but the inhabitants of Earth are oblivious to this.'
'Why?' asked Selena.
Lance stared at her. What kind of question was that? Did she actually believe all this crap?
'Well as you can see,' Hayden answered, 'the dominant species of our planet Earth have advanced themselves in something they can actually understand and explain; science. We rely on science and technology when there is so much more to this world and universe.'
'Like what?' asked Selena.
'Like powers of nature. There is so much more energy in nature than we are aware of. The different kinds of energy manipulation, the fact that humans are much more capable than just using their brains to come up with little machines to help them in life but even have the ability to absorb that energy, change its nature through their body, create it into something physical. But instead they rely on everything else other than their own body. They underestimate their capabilities; they use their body only for physical work not even considering what they are losing.'
'What do you mean by 'losing'' asked Lance.
'Did you know that humans before us had much longer lifespan. They lived for hundreds and hundreds of years. And even they were not aware of their abilities but since they were not so dependent on things like machines and science, they had much more interaction with nature. They did not only rely on their brains, but as the time passed we grew so much dependent on the things we could create that we ignored our hidden potentials. Now it is too late for us. Our abilities are still buried in us but it is impossible for us to extract them. Some people are able to go to some lengths and get hold of a few of their powers but other than that it is impossible. The other worlds had a different case.'
'Are you saying that the inhabitants of these worlds are not creature of intelligence but of physical energy, in other words monsters?' asked Selena.
'Selena,' said Lance, 'there are no other worlds.'
'I'm not saying that,' said Hayden, ignoring Lance, 'they have as much intelligence as us, maybe even more but even though they can create these machines as we can, they do not rely on it. Since they did not ignore the powers of their body they are in perfect balance of their lives.'
'What exactly are these worlds?' asked Lance.
'There are five other worlds than ours,' replied Hayden, 'all five of them are in five different dimensions. They have different inhabitants, different ways of living, different shapes....'
'Yes, as our earth is round, these worlds are not. Each of them is of different shape but there is only one thing in common about these worlds; they exist as a kingdom. Each world has only one ruler. Not like us, you know divided by different countries.'
A long pause followed Hayden's explanation, which in Lance's opinion didn't explain anything.
'Yeah well,' he said, 'it seems like we did go to school today after all Selena. Thanks for the history and astronomy lesson Professor Walker.'
'Astronomy?' exclaimed Hayden, 'this fool still believes that I am talking about different planets.'
Angela snorted with laughter, even Selena gave a small snigger. Lance felt embarrassed.
'But....' started Lance but was interrupted by laughing Hayden.
'No questions until I have reached the end of my lecture,' he said bursting with laughter.
It took Hayden several seconds to overcome his laughter.
'So why are you telling me all of this?' Lance asked.
'Well, as you can see, even though these worlds know the existence of each other, they mind their own business. But that is different from what the history tells us. Hundreds of years ago these world were at war with each other. The reason is not one; conquer the other world for the purpose of exploration, for more power and energy sources, for military power and advancement some had other motives. But in the end, two of the worlds decided that in order to survive and exist, they must obtain peace thus they came up with a peace treaty. The rulers of these two worlds formed an alliance. Since the other three worlds were left alone, they were at a disadvantage against these two worlds but the purpose of this alliance was not victory of the war, it was simply to urge the other worlds to join the peace treaty because if they refused they would be under the danger of provoking the wrath of these allied worlds. '
'So the peace treaty was a good thing,' spoke Selena.
'Exactly,' said Hayden, 'but the thing is there were a lot of issues. Since the other worlds also joined in the peace treaty, the wars stopped. The first issue was that what if the peace treaty was threatened, who would protect its terms and conditions. The two allied worlds said that they would but the proposal was not accepted by the other worlds. They were right of course because they didn't believe that the alliance between these two worlds would last forever. But they were wrong. These worlds not only had an alliance but friendly relations as well. Since it was three to two, they decided on a different system. The only world which was not involved in the treaty or the war will be the one to hold the peace of these worlds. In other words, our world Earth. Whenever the peace of the worlds is in peril, a human is chosen to stop this, in whatever way he can.'
'That is not fair,' said Selena, 'we are completely unaffected by their war, why do humans have to be involved.'
'That is wrong Selena,' said Hayden, 'we are affected by their war, by their very existence in fact. Since all the worlds exist in dimension, they are connected as well.
'This is all some cooked up fairy tale.' Said Lance.
'It's no fairy tale Lance,' said Hayden, 'these worlds have strong energies, energies that keep growing. These energies, these powers affect all of the worlds but the thing is that they had ways of defending themselves; barriers, shields, magical protection and many more methods that are a deeper topic. Humans don't have any way to shield themselves from the effect of these worlds' energies.'
'That's all good and fancy,' said Lance, 'but how do we fit into all of this.'
'Now listen carefully Lance,' said Hayden, 'what I'm gonna tell you is no joke and I'm also gonna prove it you. You have to take it very seriously.'
'Ok,' said Lance, 'let's hear it.'
'I just told you that a human is chosen to prevent any type of peril that threatens the peace of these worlds right. Well this human is no ordinary human. In every generation, some people are born with exceptionally strong hearts. Their hearts have strong energies' different from human energies, similar to the energies of other worlds. These people are mostly chosen. But the things is that there is always one such person in the world only this time around there were three and Lance you are one of them.'
'Yeah,' said Lance, 'no can do. Try the other two.'
'I'm not the one who decides Lance,' said Hayden, raising his shoulder.
'Exactly,' said Lance, 'I'm the one who decides and I say that not one word of this shit is true. We've wasted our time here today, I've would've been better off sleeping in my English Literature class.'
'Do you remember the woman in your vision Lance?' asked Hayden.
'Yes, I remember the woman in my dream,' said Lance.
'That woman is the one who decides,' said Hayden.
'I don't want to hear another word of it.' Said Lance.
He stood up and started to leave.
'You wanna see you power?' asked Hayden
'I told you that people with strong energies are chosen didn't I. I can show you what kind of power you possess. By this method we will also be able to find out if you really are the chosen one or not.'
Lance was a bit curious now. What power? He thought. 'What method is it exactly?' he asked.
Hayden smiled. He reached out his hand to Angela. She placed a beautiful purple crystal in his hands. The crystal was no bigger than a small battery. It was glowing faintly. Lance had never seen anything like this before. He had never seen a crystal glow before.
'The source of you power is your heart.' Said Hayden, 'if I bring this crystal close to your heart it will glow even more and if I merge it with your heart, we will find out if you really are chosen or not.'
Lance gulped. Selena didn't speak a word which he found irritating. He wished someone would tell him what to do.
'Are there any risks in this method,' asked Selena from Hayden.
'Lance has a strong heart,' he replied, 'that much we are sure of. The fact that he was shown the vision also proves that he is the chosen one. Angela doesn't believe me. I am only doing it to prove to you guys that I am right. There is no risk to Lance but we all will be in danger. This will be his first time, he might kill one of us.'
Angel snorted with laughter.
'What?' said Lance. He didn't know why but her reaction offended him.
'She doesn't believe that you are the one with the power,' explained Hayden.
'Well she has a little bit more brains than you, there is no power and this is all some joke you guys are recording to show on the TV.' That was right, he thought. No one would tell a lie of this sort until and unless they were mental and since they were the people of such a huge company they were obviously not mental. There was only one possibility left and Lance just pointed it out. They were obviously in on some kind of live joke.
'You see Hayden,' spoke Angela, taking her seat, 'this wuss cannot possibly be the chosen one.'
'I admit that his powers are way low than the other two but Angela,' said Hayden, 'She chose him. We can't say anything.'
Lance was really angry now. Did this woman just call him a wuss?
'Do whatever you want with that crystal of yours man,' he said exasperated, 'just let us go after your little joke is over.'
Angela was about to say something but Hayden raised his hand.
'As you wish Lance, but let me warn you; you might feel a little bit of pain when the crystal touches you.'
'I thought you said that you will just bring the crystal close to his heart,' said Selena.
'But if he is the one, the crystal will enter his heart.'
At this, Lance jumped up and took a few steps back. He ran for the door but right in front of his eyes the ledge on the door locked itself. He jumped back in shock.
'Angela, don't do that,' said Hayden, 'he will freak out. Lance, I didn't say that it will pierce or stab your heart. It will simply float in. It will be an unnatural sight for you but it will help you better understand what I am trying to explain to you.'
Lance waited. Selena stood up, walked up to Lance, stood next to him and held his hand.
'You promised that we are not in any kind of danger,' said Selena.
'You are not.' Said Hayden simply, 'and you I also promised that after you have heard what I have said you are free to go home.'
The door opened and the guy named Daemon walked in.
Lance and Selena exchanged questioning looks. To Lance it seemed that Selena had no answers. He took a few deep calming breaths. If this concerned him than why was Selena also suffering mentally? He could see his only option to end this bullshit. He stepped forward.
'Do whatever you want,' he said.
'You won't regret your bold decision,' said Hayden.
'Bold?' Angela snarled, 'it took a whole day for this fool to simply understand we mean him no harm.'
'Shush Angela,' said Hayden calmly, 'be a bit patient ok. You are acting like a child. Try to look at things from his perspective ok.'
'I'm sorry,' said Angela after a little while, 'it's just that I am a bit curious and anxious and this fool is taking forever.'
'That's enough,' said Hayden standing up. He signalled Lance to come near him.
'Now, pull off your shirt. I will slowly bring this crystal close to your heart. Keep looking at it. It will glow as I bring it closer to your heart.'
'What if it is not some magical crystal,' said Lance. He was sweating like a pig, 'what if I'm part of some kind of freak experiment.'
'Look,' said Hayden, 'it doesn't glow if I bring it close to Angela's heart.' He took it to Angela and pressed it on her chest. The crystal didn't glow anymore.
'You pervert,' said Angela, pink patches appearing on her cheeks.
'What?' said Hayden, 'Lance asked me to do it.'
'No he didn't,' spoke the guy, Daemon as if trying to clear some misunderstanding.
'Oi Daemon,' said Hayden, 'shut up man.'
Lance removed his shirt and stood straight with a huge lump in his throat. He was drenched in sweat.
'Stay ready Daemon.'
'I'm ready,' came the reply.
Lance was sure nothing was going to happen. But then why was he so tensed.
'Angela and Selena, please step back a little.'
Lance felt a bit weird seeing Selena backing away from him like that. It was like he was a time bomb about to go off any minute. Hayden slowly brought the crystal closer to Lance's chest. To his utmost surprise the crystal started glowing. The closer it got the more it glowed. Lance looked at Hayden; he was smiling. Lance didn't know what to think. He was scared out of his wits. After what seemed a like an hour to Lance, Hayden touched the crystal to his chest, right above his heart.
'The more you get tensed, the more it will go out of control. Try to relax.' Those were Hayden's last words to him. Then the crystal starting going through his chest like it was water. At first Lance felt a strange tingling sensation in his heart. It was like his heart was moving, like it was a separate living thing inside his chest, moving like a fish out from water. The sensation changed. It turned into pain. It was slight at first, but then it got out of control.
The crystal was completely in now. Lance fell to his knees. Then the pain started spreading; from his heart straight to his brain. With his hands clapped tightly on his chest, he started trembling. The pain was too extreme. He had never experienced this kind of pain before. He was going to die, he was sure of it. It was the end for him. He would gladly chose death above this maddening pain. His body was trembling. He was now unable to move his entire body. He fell sideways and his head banged onto the floor. He didn't feel an ounce of pain.
Then a shriek reached his ears. It was Selena's voice. She was screaming his name. Then he heard other voice around him too. He heard Hayden's voice trying to calm him down. He eyes were shut. He tried to force them open. He saw a blur at first. He couldn't open his eyes because of the pain in his entire body. But he wasn't dying. If there wasn't death after this much pain, than what. What? He forced his eyes open. Selena was on the ground, still screaming. Hayden was on the floor too, beside him. Lance felt strange feeling in his hands. It was like they were going numb.
'It's coming,' he heard Hayden's voice, 'Selena! What are you doing? Stay away from him.'
Just when Lance thought it was over for him, the pain finished in an instant. Then shot back up again. Then went down again and shot up once again. The pain was like a heart beat. Lance looked at his hands; there was something different about them. Not in appearance, in feeling. Just as he trying to think through his pain, he saw it. Something blue went up his wrist. It was instantaneous. It was a thread made of blue light. Then he saw it again. More thin threads of blue light appearing and vanishing with a strange sound. The sound had a bit of a buzz and a sharp ear piercing characteristics.
Lance kept looking at his hands. He didn't even realize that the pain was decreasing. He looked up and saw Hayden holding Selena back. She was crying. When she saw him looking at her, she wiped the tears out of her eyes trying to get a good look at him. The hellish pain had ended but his heart was still aching. He put his hand on his chest above his heart. It was thumping madly.
Since the pain was finished, the voices around his started reaching his ears again. It was weird; as if his sense of hearing had been turned off.
'Lance, Lance,' screamed Selena, 'are you alright? You said nothing will happen to him.'
'Selena,' spoke Hayden, 'trust me he'll be fine.'
Lance stood up.
'LANCE DON'T,' screamed Hayden, 'your body is at it's limit trying to hold it in, if you divide your strength, you will lose control.'
Lance didn't listen which he came to regret. He felt his heart swelling.
'HE'S LOST IT, DAMMIT,' shouted Hayden, 'ITS COMING, EVERYONE TAKE COVER. SELENA COME HERE.'
He pulled Selena to his side by her arm. She went flying just in time. Lance looked at his body, daring himself to believe what he was seeing. Huge waves of what looked like electricity were covering his body. The area of his heart was engulfed by almost thunderbolts.
Then it struck everywhere. There was a huge sudden explosion in the small underground room. The walls of the room were blown to bits. The entire place was in rumbles. Smoke and dust rose everywhere. Chunks of rocks and stone were falling on him. Hayden was right; he was at his limit. He was barely standing. What had just happened, he thought. This was unreal. If this was a dream, it was the perfect moment to wake up. It had to be a dream. SELENA, he thought.
He looked around to see the fate of others. If something had happened to Selena, it was all his fault. He saw Angela and the guy Daemon standing perfectly fine, only their clothes seemed a bit singed. Hayden was on his knees. His clothes were singed and steam was bowing out of them. Selena was behind Hayden. She seemed perfectly fine. Her clothes weren't even singed.
And that was all that he remembered. He passed out but not before hitting the ground first. His head banged with the floor and his shoulder hit a broken piece of stone. With Hayden's smile as the last thing he saw, pain in his head and shoulder the last thing he felt and satisfaction as the last emotion he had at Selena being fine, he stepped into the darkness of his blackout.