My heart was still beating rapidly as I emerged from the space tunnel and closed it behind me. A glance around showed that the large lobby of the hotel was now cramped from the number of people filling it. There was some blood on the walls near the reception desk, but I didn't hear any sounds of fighting. Obviously any danger had already been taken care of.
"What took you so long?" Derek asked me curiously.
I shivered remembering the look of the dragon's eye as it peered down at me. "The dragon came down for a look." I replied.
Derek shivered hearing that and seemed rather happy that he hadn't experienced it. "Where are the girls?" he asked seeming a bit anxious.
"Upstairs." I replied. Being closer to them I could feel the locations of everyone I had a bond with. Surprisingly it seemed like everyone was on the same floor including Michael.
Derek nodded then gave some orders. The soldiers would clear the rooms on the first floor. I didn't think that would be enough room for their numbers, but it was still better than having everyone cramped together in the lobby.
Derek, Marshal, and Rosa followed me to the elevator. The power was still on so I had no reason not to use it.
When the elevator opened on the fourth floor I was surprised to find Grace, Megan, Michael, and Karen all waiting for me. It seemed like they had prepared for a fight, as soon as they recognized me the three girls leapt into my arms.
"Didn't you pay attention to your bond?" I asked them. While I could feel their locations they could also feel mine.
"Been a bit busy." Megan replied irritably. "The twisted have been trying to come to this floor for a while now." she told me.
I frowned then looked to Derek wondering if his people would be fine.
"There shouldn't be many left in the building." Grace told me. "When I woke up I helped everyone here who was mutating, then those in Michael's group." she told me proudly.
"Thank you for that." Michael spoke up his eyes roving over Grace's figure.
Grace glared at him as she held onto me tighter. "Then I went door to door for a little while helping the other guests." she informed me. "I had to stop once the ones I hadn't reached finished turning. They were all on the first floor, but a blue appeared and brought most of them up here." she told me.
I frowned unhappily, "How did you handle them?" I asked as I guided the girls out of the elevator.
Grace looked a bit nervous, "I dropped them into a space and left them there." she told me.
I nodded,. "Good job, was anyone hurt?" I asked looking to Megan and Karen.
They shook their head. "They used the elevator making it easy for Grace to catch them all before they could get out and hurt us." Megan told me.
I frowned, "They used the elevator?" I asked surprised, weren't the twisted stupid?
The girls all nodded.
I wondered if it was residual knowledge from when they were humans. If not then there might be something different about these twisted. My parents had warned me that they could improve as well. If that was the case then this hotel was probably not going to be safe for long. It had only been a temporary location for all of us to gather together and observe the changes the third wave would bring. None of us had expected such a powerful wave.
"What of the other…" I started to ask when one of the doors ahead of us was opened and several more girls flooded out to surround me, soon the only ones of my girls not crowded around me were Rebecca and Tracy, but they stood in the hallway watching everyone else with a relieved look. That is until Rebecca caught sight of Marshal and Rosa.
I caught sight of her narrowing her eyes unhappily but she didn't say anything before retreating back into a room Tracy following after her quickly.
I reassured all my girls with a hug and a kiss on the forehead. Grace and Calidia refused to be satisfied with such treatment and captured my lips for a real kiss. I could feel the annoyance from both Karen and Megan but I also felt a bit of resignation. I would have to talk to them soon.
Once I had pacified all the girls and convinced them that I was alright we were able to move into the suite Grace's parents had commandeered.
Surprisingly Grace's parents didn't seem nearly as hostile as they had before.
I hadn't even had a chance to sit down before Joshua started asking questions. "What happened?"
I groaned as I sat down but related to them everything I had been through. They were just as horrified by the missile strike as I had been, they were even more surprised by the appearance of the inverted pyramid and the brown scaled dragon. If I didn't have the scale and the others there to confirm my claim I was sure they would have thought I was trying to prank them, it was that unbelievable.
"While not enormous dragon bad, things haven't been good here either." Megan told me.
"How bad?" I asked.
Megan bit her lower lip hesitantly then gestured at the big window in the room.
I stood up and walked over to peer out the window, Derek followed me.
Outside the window was a view of the highway and several of the other buildings in the area along with a park on the other side of the highway. It was the chaos that Megan wanted me to see. There were crashes and stopped cars all along the highway, twisted were everywhere, not a single human was in sight unless you counted the bloodstains and horrific remains left after the twisted got a hold of them. The buildings around were also swarmed with twisted, while I spotted some strange movement in the park in the distance, with my increase in body ability all my senses had been enhanced. With the improvement to my sight I could focus on something in the distance and 'zoom' in on it. It wasn't as great as a pair of binoculars, but it was enough that I could see packs of dogs and other animals fighting with twisted in the park. The problem was the dogs were all three times the size they used to be. Then as if being sneaky a tree lowered one of its branches to skewer a twisted in the chest and drag it up into its branches.
Birds bigger than anything I had seen before flew through the sky occasionally dive bombing both twisted and beast alike. When one flew by the window I noticed that it was a pigeon the size of a large dog completely covered with dark grey feathers. Worse there wasn't only one, but a whole flock of them. That alone would have been enough to turn this place into a wasteland, but there was a battle in the sky too as the pigeons fought for dominance of the sky with a flocks of even larger crows and cat sized finches.
It was utter pandemonium. Seeing all the chaos I didn't want to stay in the hotel any longer, but I didn't think we could leave without using the space tunnel, and even with that I had no idea where we could go. We had a lot of people with us now and nowhere near enough supplies to feed everyone.
Before I could turn my attention back to the others and ask the questions that needed to be asked I caught sight of something that made me shiver. A purple twisted had appeared. It was a large male that was now twice the size of any of the others around it. As a purple all the lower tiered twisted immediately fell under its command. Yet that wasn't what scared me. Looking at the twisted I could feel a greater pressure from it than I had any other twisted. There was also a glowing gem on its forehead. A word Calidia had said when we had first met came to mind.
"Calidia." I called her over to my side then pointed out the purple twisted.
"A Gemmed Twisted!" she gasped in horror.
Jorrimus was at my side in a second looking out the window at the twisted. "It's a teardrop." he confirmed. "But they shouldn't start appearing until after the fourth energy wave."
"There aren't going to be anymore energy waves." I told him. "At least I can't sense any. Somehow the nuclear warhead changed things, making the energy wave much harsher and stopping others from happening." I told him.
Jorrimus thought about it for a moment, "Perhaps, but not necessarily. After the fifth energy wave no one is able to sense the sixth until there is only a year left to the next wave." he told me.
I frowned but I couldn't argue, if the next wave wouldn't come for a while I wasn't sure if I would be able to feel it. "So you think the missile attack released several waves of energy all at once?" I asked.
"I would if it wasn't for the pyramid and its guardian." Jorrimus told me. "That is something I have never heard of before."
I sighed and wished I could contact my father and ask him, but I still couldn't feel anything from him. It figured that I couldn't get a hold of him when I actually needed him.
I looked at everyone as they looked back at me. "I am open for ideas, I can only come up with one myself." I told them.
"What is it?" Derek asked me.
"We need to secure supplies, that is the highest priority with the numbers that came with us from the base, then I have to focus on forming a haven." I replied.
"A haven?" Derek asked me.
"It is a pocket in space, somewhere between the different worlds. One that isn't unpleasant for humanity to exist inside of for an extended period of time. With the right resources it can be turned into a paradise for us that is nearly self sufficient and almost completely protected from the twisted, mutant beasts and plants." A cheerful feminine voice spoke up to answer the question. Problem was I had never heard that voice before.
Turning to face the source of the voice I spotted a pretty woman with long black hair, deep blue eyes, and a great figure. While I had never seen her before I felt like she seemed vaguely familiar. "Ellina, Zelia, or Annitte?" I asked.
The woman stared back at me in surprise as her eyes lit up. "Daryl?" she asked in return.
The woman laughed. "I came to find the woman's brat and found you instead, how great!" she laughed.
"You were looking for me?" Calidia asked.
The woman glanced at Calidia then froze for a moment then glanced back and forth between Calidia and I, "Well isn't this an interesting twist." she said with a smirk. "Oh and it's Annitte little brother."
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