For a few moments, the five of them spiraled through what seemed like an endless darkness. A void of nothingness. Then suddenly, the world filled in around them as if being painted at warp speed, and they all crashed into a shallow pool of water. They were no longer cats since they had never actually been cats. Juno had simply used her Ukeytar to create the illusion for the police officers that they were cats instead of humans. Now they were all soaking wet humans, with the exception of Bear who had remained a dog for the entirety of the ordeal.
“That is the last time I listen to instructions from a dog!” yelled Milo who was thrashing about angrily in the water, clearly the most upset about being wet.
“He got us out of there, didn’t he?” asked Charlie, wading to the side of the pond so that he could trudge up the bank.
“And where exactly did he bring us?” asked Milo. “Central Park? Because I can promise you that is not a safer place to be at this time of night.”
Bear barked as he paddled over to the side of the pond.
“We’re on the roof,” said Juno, wading onto the bank alongside Charlie and glancing up into the surrounding trees.
Charlie followed her eyes to find the tall cement ledge which confined the magical roof rising above them in the distance as well as the incredibly tall dead tree in the distance.
“The roof?” asked Charlie. “But how?” He turned to look at Bear who was now shaking himself dry. The corgi looked up at him, panting with his tongue hanging lopsided out of his mouth. “Is this … how you got up here in the first place?”
Charlie turned to look at the lake again. He looked up to the sky at where they had fallen from and was surprised to see several pieces of trash appear from nowhere and fall to the water below. A paper cup, a crumpled napkin and a plastic wrapper all morphed into different sized fish just under the water’s surface. They swam off into the pond and disappeared beneath its murky surface.
“Huh,” said Charlie, not really sure what else to say. Everyday, this place became a little more weird and unexplainable. And yet, it all seemed to make some strange kind of sense. The apartment building, all the residents, and their relics were oddities for sure. But somehow it all seemed to fit into its own strange ecosystem.
“Someone help me get demon-lady out of the water,” said Milo grouchily. Daiyu, who was still unconscious. She was floating peacefully with her face above water. Charlie and Milo went to her, and together they pulled her out of the pond. Luckily, she was incredibly light, made only heavier by the water logged in her clothing. They laid her gently on the bank of the pond, and then the soaked team stared down at her.
“I don’t really have a lot of experience with fighting with people and then bringing them home with me,” said Charlie uncomfortably. “What’s the proper procedure here?”
“We could always kill her,” said Milo nonchalantly.
Juno swatted his arm. “We aren’t going to kill her.” Juno bent down and touched Daiyu’s arm. “We need to get her somewhere warm and dry, and then we need to make sure she can’t just start beating us up again the moment she wakes up.”
“It’s her bracelet,” said Charlie. “It’s what’s giving her powers. I saw her using it when we were fighting.”
“I still say it’s not a relic,” said Milo.
“It sure seems like one though,” said Juno, examining the jade bracelet on the girl’s arm.
“We could always take it from her for now,” said Charlie. “Until we know more?”
“You can’t take someone else’s relic,” said Milo. “Not without a whole lot of pain.”
“Relics are made for one person and one person only,” said Juno.
Bear barked agreeably as if pointing out that his own relic was made just for him.
“One person or animal,” Juno corrected. Bear barked again in approval. “But I don’t think we need to worry about that.” She turned Daiyu’s limp arm to reveal a large crack in the bracelet. “I don’t think this thing is going to be doing anything until it gets fixed.”
“So let’s get her somewhere safe,” said Charlie. They all agreed and proceeded to lift Daiyu up before making their way to the elevator.
Not much to add on this one. It’s a short chapter but we finally have some answers about the pond and how it functions! We also have a new housemate, at least until she kills everyone. Hopefully that doesn’t happen though. Hopefully…