Go read Box: Detach instead!
It had been twelve full hours since Rivin vanished.
Ten minutes after we left the training room to let Rivin take care of the cleaning, I had went back down to if he needed some help. He hadn't joined in the training even once despite how much fun it actually was, which was already strange enough, but then he wasn't even there like he said he would be. I had played it off like it was nothing at first, thinking that maybe he snuck past all of us detected back to his own room. It wasn't difficult to imagine that that would be the case.
But then an hour passed, and then another, which was when everybody in the house started to panic over Rivin. It wasn't like him to just leave without notice, just like mom. The first thing I did was to immediately review the security footage from the camera in the training room, which showed that Rivin had walked into the underground cavern and then simply disappeared into it. Since the quality was horrendous, none of us could accurately see what had happened between the one frame when Rivin was still there and the second frame where he was also gone. Losar had made the connection that the tunnel itself was a warp gate right away, to which he called over every remaining Aerilosac left in his Division to our house.
They had spent their time so far tirelessly hammering away at the rock formations and the surrounding areas of the tunnel, and they had even peeled off the adjacent sections of the metal wall to see if they could examine the warp gate. All the engineers and technicians wanted to find was any hints of mechanical wiring or technology buried within the rocks, but alas, there was nothing. Even now, as I'm sitting on the living room couch holding a cup of water, they were still drilling downstairs past the working hours. The tools they brought over were quiet so we wouldn't disturb the neighbours, but I knew that I wouldn't be able to sleep at night anyways.
A warp gate? A goddamn warp gate was underneath the house?
It wasn't conclusive, but it had to be the only explanation as to how Rivin just disappeared like that. Losar had also personally walked into the cave and came back out no less than two minutes later, saying that the tunnel eventually got so cramped and small that he could no longer squeeze through. The sole engineer in his Division was now working outside in the lawn to modify a drone small enough that could be sent in through the hole, but I knew it wouldn't find anything of note. It'd simply hit a dead end, or the hole would continue to shrink in size until even the drone couldn't fit through.
Leki was shouting orders down in the training room along with Losar, which almost made me want to storm down there to tell them to shut up. At this rate, they were going to flip the entire house up on itself to find what wasn't even there in the first place.
My memories had jogged the moment I realized that the cavern was there all along. I hadn't seen it when we were training, like my mind had automatically blocked it off from my eyes as a defensive measure. I read about these in books before, how the mind tries to protect itself by deluding itself.
I wasn't sure about anything anymore.
But I did know that there wasn't any such thing as a 'warp gate' inside the house, despite how much Losar argued that there had to be.
For starters, a warp gate had to be a two dimensional plane. Rivin had evidently taken more than a couple of steps even after he entered the tunnel, so what was the logic behind making the plane a few steps into the tunnel? Why was the tunnel even there in the first place then, when mom could have just chiselled out a little indentation into the rocks and wired the gate around it? It was just stupid and impossible.
Second, to travel through a warp gate, both sides of the gate needed to be linked to each other. It won't allow travel if only one side of the gate was trying to reach the other. Both sides need to be reaching out to join together the warp in the middle. Since Rivin obviously had no idea about the warp gate before it was too late, he wouldn't have known how to operate it, especially when there was no console panel or remote anywhere in sight. He couldn't have 'reached out' to anyone's gate, even if the other side was deliberately trying to warp Rivin over to them. Besides, who would want to do that in the first place?
I held my knees and drew them to my chest, feeling tears about to escape from my eyes. Where did he go? First, mom left, and I was fine with that. But what if she never comes back?
What if my brother never comes back?
He could be anywhere. He could be galaxies away from me, and I wouldn't have any way of knowing.
Just then, I rubbed my eyes to keep Lyla from seeing my face. She took a seat next to me on the couch, and I could see that she was tired, too.
She didn't say anything and just draped a hand over my shoulder, rubbing it comfortingly like how a mother figure would. I found it slightly amusing that she was here with me instead of being with Losar. They must've thought they were being quiet back in the car, because everyone could hear what they were talking about. This must be the worst first date that they could ever have as normal people and not Aerilosacs.
What do I do now? Do I just wait and continue to live my life like nothing strange had happened? How am I possibly going to explain this to the school if my brother never shows up again?
He can do it.
Rivin is strong.
Whatever is happening, he'll manage to get through.
That's how he's always done it, and he'll do it again.
Until the end of time.
So, the only thing I need to do...
Is to pray that wherever he is, the people there spoke English.