Chapter Eleven

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Keeping It Together

"This better work." Ryhan snapped.

"It would work better if you actually put some effort into it." Alex responded.

Ryhan looked at her as if she wanted to choke her, "What do you think I've been doing all morning?"

"Then why isn't it working?" Alex asked then added, "It certainly isn't because of me."

On and on it had went for most of the morning. Evangeline was sick of it. They had been trying to create steam, an idea she had given them when she recalled the events of the Trogess attack, hoping that it would help them form some sort of bond. The two of them were not a good combination, fire and water did not mix well.

Though their powers influenced who they were, from their physical traits to their emotional characteristics, they should still be able to control themselves. She was not sure how it escalated so quickly, Thad probably had something to do with it, but she turned just in time to see Ryhan lob a fireball straight at Alex.

Alex's reflexes were sharp and she responded by summoning water from deep beneath the ground to put out the fire just in time to be doused with a puff of steam.

"You are going to pay for that." Alex yelled.

Ryhan started at her.

"ENOUGH!" Evangeline shouted and forced them away from each other with her mind.

They both stared at her from the ground.

"What is going on? We shouldn't use our powers on each other." She pleaded with them, "Can you please just find some sort of middle ground?"

Neither of them said anything, just looked around at anything except what they should really have been facing.

"If that is the attitude you both share, then we have already lost." Evangeline said sadly.

She did not know how much longer she could stand the tension. Walking away from them, she told the others their rest was over, time to keep moving. It was her shift to guard Thad. The one hour she dreaded more than dealing with Ryhan and Alex. He affected whoever was closest to him the most.

The only time he stopped influencing their emotions was when he slept, but even then, they all seemed to have nightmares. She was not sure what his plan was, he had refused to speak since they captured him, but it was obvious by his silence that he was working for Axiom. As she settled into a slow pace next to him, she felt his sway start to take effect.

It fell over her like a fine mist, making her skin cold and damp even in the heat of the afternoon. She did her best to block it out, but even her best only dulled the sensation. Irritation set in and she quickened her strides. She found it helpful to put a good distance between her and the others when it was her turn with Thad. It kept her from taking it out on them.

"You can only resist for so long." Thad sneered.

"Ah, he speaks!" She replied sarcastically. "And what profound things you have to say."

He shook his head, "Jest all you like, you'll give in eventually."

"I liked it better when you said nothing." She said.

"Tsk tsk, I thought you had better control than them." He nodded toward the others.

She said nothing.

"Don't you want to know why I'm here?" He asked.

"It doesn't really matter! You betrayed all the people who cared about you, and joined with Axiom." She said indifferently.

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