This serial is presented in draft form and will be updated each Thursday. Your comments are always welcome!
Prologue ~ Ch 1 ~ Ch 2 ~ Ch 3 ~ Ch 4 ~ Ch 5 ~ Ch 6 ~ Ch 7 ~ Ch 8 ~ Ch 9 ~ Ch 10 ~ Ch 11 ~ Ch 12 ~
Ch 13 ~ Ch 14 ~ Ch 15 ~ Ch 16 ~
Kairavini swam closer to the surface of true consciousness and immediately wished he hadn’t. His whole body ached, as though he’d been pummelled thoroughly and then something heavy placed on him. The ache in his head was rivalled only by the nausea in his stomach.
Automatically he reached out with his mind for Nereida, a frown crossing his face when he failed. There was a blank spot where her presence should be. A cold dread filled him. Why couldn’t he feel her? Did the tespiro sever their link? It’s not like he could ask anyone about it. He’d know if something had happened to her, wouldn’t he?
Ravi tried reaching out again, pushing hard with his mind. He thought he felt a flicker of awareness before a shaft of pain went through his mind, causing him to break off the attempt. He groaned and tried to open his eyes.
It took a couple of tries but he finally succeeded. At least the thought he had. All he could see was white.
“I have something that’ll help if you think you can keep it down,” an unfamiliar voice told him.
Blinking rapidly, Ravi tried to focus on the person who was helping him sit up. A shaft of jubilation went through him as he realized he was no longer in the tank, but in a bed. That must mean he’d made it through his tespiro.
“Don’t worry about your vision,” the voice continued. “It’s going to be blurry for the next couple of days. An after effect of being under water.”
“Under water?” he croaked. His throat was incredibly dry.
“More like a saline solution, but it helps with the transition for Water Elementals.”
Ravi sipped gratefully from the glass that was held to his lips. The liquid soothed his parched throat and helped clear his head a bit.
“I have to tell you, you took us by surprise. You were very resistant to the drugs. We had to create a special mix, just for you.”
The figure holding the glass was still too blurry to make out clearly. “How long?” Ravi asked.
“From the time you collapsed in the corridor? Fifteen days. It was touch and go there a few times, I don’t mind telling you. Doctor Arjun himself took an interest in your case.”
“The longest tespiro on record. Now, how are your limbs, can you move everything?”
Ravi tried raising an arm – he felt so weak. Frowning, he turned his wrist outwards. “What—”
“That’s your completed designation,” the medical technician told him. “The new number is your power level. You should be very proud.”
He didn’t feel proud. He felt weak and confused. The newly etched number seven on his arm meant nothing to him. Once more he tried to reach out to Nereida but was blocked by the pain in his head.
“My head . . .”
He heard the sound of a medical scanner and was barely able to see the glow from the device in the blurred figure’s hand. The faint sting of an injection took him by surprise.
“That’s just a little something to help with the pain. If you’re head’s still hurting when you wake up again, let someone know immediately. Don’t try to tough it out – it might be the sign of something serious.”
“Wait,” Ravi called as the figure turned away. “What happened to the other one?”
The figure move closer again. “What other one?”
“The other Water Elemental. There was another tank, with a girl in it.”
“You must be mistaken, there was no one else.”
“There was,” Ravi insisted, the cold feeling in his stomach expanding. “There was a second tank with a girl in it. She came in at the same time I did.” At least he hoped she had. His memory was a little vague. Maybe he’d been mistaken and Nereida hadn’t gone through her tespiro yet. But if that was the case, why couldn’t he contact her?
The figure shrugged. “If there was, then she came and went before I came on duty. Like I said, yours was an unnaturally long tespiro. She could have come in with you but passed hers more quickly. Or . . .” the technician’s voice trailed off.
“Or?” Ravi prompted.
“Or she may not have made it through the transition,” the technician said quietly.