“God, I hate this place.” Verity pulled her hat lower to cover her ears from the cold. “Who on this god forsaken planet would live in Antarctica?”
“I told you,” Neela bounced around in attempt to keep herself warm. “Her mom’s doing some sort of research and it has to be done in Antarctica or something.”
Verity rolled her eyes. “Whatever, it sucks that I can’t control the snow here or else we’ll start attracting some Hunters. Come on, we have to find her. What was her name again?”
“Portica. Clyde gave me a picture somewhere.” While Neela tried to find the picture in her pockets, Verity took a good look at their surroundings. The sun was up and it made all the snow and ice sparkle, she was only joking with Neela about hating this place. In fact, she loved it here, everything about it made her feel like she was in her element. It was a shame she was forbidden from using her magic, or else she’ll start attracting unwanted attention. It seemed strange to Verity that Portica’s name was so similar to the Latin word for portal, porta.
“Found it!” Neela waved the photo around.
“Neela, don’t lose it!” Verity took the photo from Neela’s hand and took another look at Portica. The photo showed a girl in an awkward angle with wavy blonde hair and very blue eyes. “This isn’t a very flattering photo is it?” Verity made a face and handed it back to Neela.
“Well, I’m assuming she wasn’t posing for the guards. Most likely it was taken without her knowing.”
“As if that isn’t freaky,” Verity muttered. “Shall we get started?”
The two girls walked and tried to focus on sensing any magic floating in the air. After 3 hours Verity had to stop.
“This is impossible. I can’t sense her magic or anything! We need to find her using magic. If we stay out here any longer, you’re going to turn into a dam ice sculpture. Maybe you should head back.”
“Tell me something I don’t know,” Neela’s skin was beginning to turn blue from the cold, and Verity could tell that she was trying to keep her teeth from chattering when she spoke. “It’t doesn’t matter, I’m not leaving you alone. We have to find her before we can both go back.”
Verity looked at her friend and grimaced, she didn’t want to know what Neela felt like. Verity was born with the ability to manipulate water, but more specifically she is able to form and manipulate ice, so technically she didn’t mind the cold too much. Neela on the other hand was born with the gift of fire, she was able to manipulate and use fire at will, and based on the current situation Neela was completely out of her element. She was about to use some of her magic to contact either Clyde or Erick but she heard voices suddenly.
“Mom, what are you doing?” The girls laughed echoed in the vast emptiness.
“Oh my god,” Neela looked at Verity, “you don’t think?”
“We’re going to find out.” Verity ran towards the voice and found that it was coming from behind a snow bank. She carefully climbed it and peeked over to see a girl and a woman laughing and disassembling some sort of contraption.
“What is that thing they are taking apart?” Neela had made it up with Verity and was looking at the machine with alarm.
“I don’t know, but it seriously looks like a torture machine. Do you think they tortured the guards because they thought they were stalkers or something?” Verity muffled her laugh in her gloved hands.
“Verity,” Neela lightly punched her shoulders, “that isn’t funny. Anyways, how do we get her on her own and –”
A startling screech interrupted Neela. “Mom, watch out!”
Verity and Neela quickly turned their attention back to the Portica and her mother. Verity’s stomach turned when she realized what had happened, someone had shot an arrow thought the older woman’s head. Death wasn’t something either of them were uncomfortable with, Guardians and Knights witnessed and avoided death on a daily basis, it was just slightly different to see in happen in the human world.