12.1 || O O P S

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Cadell's first hallucination of Elijah was close to the "blood-crying demon" from the train on the terrifying scale

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Cadell's first hallucination of Elijah was close to the "blood-crying demon" from the train on the terrifying scale. One moment the boy was goggling at Cadell's notes, and the next, with a crack of his knuckles, his clothes were ablaze. The engulfing fire hissed and crackled.

This isn't real, Cadell thought but he quickly realised the reminder was useless. It didn't matter whether the hallucination was real or not. The knowledge didn't change the fact that it felt real.

 "We need to work as a team in this," Elijah said casually. "I want to help you make a difference but I can't if we're not on the same wavelength. You can't leave this place without my permission. You're not ready to save anyone and I'm not just talking about physical ability.

Cadell squinted, trying to figure out what the flaming Elijah meant. Did it symbolise rage? No, he didn't look too angry. Maybe it was intensity or..."

Elijah sprung to his feet, gripping Cadell's shoulder with an arm. "Cad, listen to me. You know more than anyone how dangerous this illness is. I need to make you a suit which will prevent you from going Psycho no matter the circumstances. Promise me you won't leave until the suit is ready."

"No can do," Cadell said. "I'm not waiting here to live your superhero fantasy. People aren't going to save themselves. Give me a short-term solution."

Elijah's hallucination dissipated as he deeply sighed. "Fine, fine. Let's work on the portal first. Attempt to create one."

Cadell closed his eyes for several minutes but nothing happened. "It's no use," he said. "I've been trying this forever. I'm trying to imagine my chosen destination but nothing works."

Elijah frowned. "How did you trigger the portal last time?"

"I did exactly what I just said. Well, apart from almost falling flat on my face."

"And the portal was on the ground waiting for you before you hit the ground?"

"Uh-huh and don't ask me to fall over," Cadell said, rubbing his forehead. "It didn't work."

"The portal acts as a defence mechanism but other triggers must be at play. There must have been something else you did cognitively. What were you thinking back then?"

"Nothing much. I just wanted to go to the Dome really badly."

"So you were determined. Desperate. You knew the stakes and a clear goal was in mind, fuelled by strong emotions. Do it again but don't just focus on location. I think you need to have a purpose. Why does the portal matter?"

Cadell didn't even need to close his eyes. A swirling mass of purple hovered ten metres away at a corner of the cage. The distance wasn't as planned but it was decent for a first try.

"Well, that was easy," Cadell said.

Elijah followed Cadell's gaze. "It's just as I feared. I can't see it. Where does it lead to?"

Cadell sprinted towards the portal.

"A bathroom, I need to take a dump! I'll be back!"

"Wait!" Elijah yelled, hurling an electronic band in the air. "Put this on!"

Cadell leapt towards the portal and turned around just in time to catch the mysterious device.

And then he was gone.

Moments later, Elijah swore

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Moments later, Elijah swore. "He better not have--"

 "He better not have--"

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Sara screamed.

Cadell's bulging eyes gazed at a tiled floor. Oops.

"HOW ARE YOU HERE?!" Sara wailed. "I REPEAT, HOW ARE YOU EVEN HERE? GET OUT!"

"Seriously?" Cadell said "Out of all the places you had to be, it had to be here. Just my luck. Calm down. I'm not peaking or anything. I just need to take a--"

"GET OUUUUUUUUT!"


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