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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Spiritual · #2090369
The hidden pool had powers WC 1589

Nickle stumbled beneath the weight of his friend. The ground around him exploded and heat blew his body backwards. Fighting to stay upright he heard the groan of the heavy burden of Mercury.

"Hang in there buddy, we'll be at the medic station in no time." He adjusted Mercury and the man's ammo belt dung into his back and shoulder. I should have dropped the thing.

"Just drop me. I'll be fine." Mercury's voice ordered in his ear.

"Not a chance. Just shut up. I can't talk and walk at the same time."

"I know. You're a dumb-"

"Don't say it!"

Silence followed and from the dead weight he knew the man had passed out again. He wished he had some of those special gifts Mercury was always talking about. He could use a few right now.

The trees before him lifted with the explosion. This time the blast lifted the two into the air and dropped them on the other side of the bushes. Nickle spit dirt and wiped his eyes. "Merc!" he looked around but saw nothing in the dense fog of dust and debre still swirling in the air. "Merc! Where are you?" Louder this time. He didn't care if anyone heard him.

"Here," a weak voice responded.

Nickle crawled toward his friend. Dirt and sand covered most of Merc's face. He used what was left of his sleeve to wipe it away.

Merc's hand gripped Nickle's arm. "I'm not going to make it."

"Yes you are. I'll get you to the medic."

"Look man, there are things I haven't told you. You gotta trust me on this."

Nickle looked into his friends eyes. "Its a given. bro."

"Hang on and what ever happens don't let go." Merc gripped his forearm and he returned the grip.

Suddenly he felt like his body was being sucked through a straw. He couldn't breathe. breathe bro. He gasped and air filled his lungs. His feet felt as if they were miles away from his body yet he didn't let go of Merc's arm.

Their bodies twisted and turned like the taffey he loved to eat at the beach. Finally his body slowly stopped its journey and his feet were connected where they were supposed to be. He didn't open his eyes but he knew everything returned to its normal place.

A loud groan broke the silence and he opened his eyes. He was in a cave. There was an eerie light shining on the water of the pond. He reached out and touched the water. It was warm.

"Carry me into the water." Merc gasped. "I don't have much time."

Nickle stood. His body wasn't tired. He shook his hands and shoulders, not an ache or soreness. he reached down and lifted Merc as if he were a blowup raft.

"Get me into the water. You'll have to hold me. I don't have the strength to stay afloat.

There was no question. He carried the broken man into the water and let the warmth cover them both. Immediately he felt his body respond to the water. His muscles relaxed yet he could feel a renewed strength. He flexed his biceps. The responded with a strength he'd never felt even after a good workout.

His thoughts were clear. Memories flooded that he thought he'd long forgotten.

A bright light flashed and then another and another. He tensed, "What the-"

A woman stood before him dressed in formfitting jeans and a lace edged tank top.

He swallowed hard.

"How is he?" She asked.

He didn't answer, she wasn't talking to him. A man appeared in his view. He looked like a human. He wore sport shorts and no shirt. His muscles were ripped and Nickle looked away not wanting to stare a another man. He felt Merc's body move away from his grasp and he hung on.

"You can let go. We have him. We'll take it from here." The woman's voice flowed over him and his grasp eased as the two held Merc. Then they pushed him under the water.

"Hey!!" He flung his body at the two, trying to lift Merc's head above the water.

"Its alright. He can breathe." The man swung his head at Nickle and Nick flew back into the water submerging. For a moment he fought for his balance, but slid on the rocks to a deeper part of the pond. He swallowed water and almost choked, but the water disappeared in his mouth and he could breathe.

Hands slid under his arms and lifed him up. He started to fight, Stay calm. You'll be fine. He found his footing in the soft sand and stood up to see another man and woman on each side of him. They both wore jeans and flannel shirts. Bits of straw and dust floated on the water around them. we were working on the farm when Mercury sent the signal.

Nickle swung his head toward the man. He wasn't talking out loud. Nickle was hearing him in his head. He concentrated to block out the voice.

"That won't work, but if its more comfortable for you to speak then we can talk." He rased his eyebrows at Nickel.

"What is going on here?" He took a few steps backwards glancing around for an escape route.

"I know this is a bit of a shock to you. I'm Michael and this is Sheila. the three over there helping Mercury are David, Rachael and Sandra."

"Whats wrong with the woman?" Nickle saw she held on to Merc but had colasped in the other woman's arms.

"Rachael is one of our healers. She can absorb all the pain Mercury is feeling so he can relax to let David work on him to heal him from the inside."

Nickel didn't speak. Thoughts ran through his head. Healers, absorbing pain, what demension had he been transported to?

"None. You're deep in the Applelatchein Mountains. This underground ond has healing properties for us. Notice the water lights everything around it?"

He nodded. Their skin looked white in the clear water. as if the water itself was light.

"The water is made of energy. That's why you didn't choke when you swallowed the water. Why Mercury didn't drown when he was pushed under. The energy from the water and David has begun to do its magic." He chuckled at his own joke.

"What are you?" Nickle wondered aloud, almost afraid of the answer.

We are Kindred. A race of people who came here eons ago. We assimilated into earth's society. You are one of us. Even though you deny it."

Nickle swallowed the rebuttal he almost made.

"Tell me what it was like when you were a child?" Sheila asked.

"Why do you want to know?"

"I think there were clues you were different. How did your family deal with them?"

Nickle didn't have any reason not to tell them. He was here and for all intents and purpose he was staying for a while. "I heard voices. When I told my mom she ordered me to ignore them. block them out, never talk about them to anyone especially my stepdad. If I told anyone about what I heard I would be sent to a hospital where they would disset my brain. They might keep me in a cage and watch me like a monkey. I didn't want weither of those things so I blocked out anything I heard. I learned how to block all the voices of my classmates and their private thoughts. One I wanted to help a girl I liked and when I answered a question she'd been thinking she looked at me and walked away. She never spoke to me or looked at me again."

"All your life, any time you discovered an ability you had that wasn't normal you denied it."

"Until I got in the service. My abilities sometimes kept me and those around me alive. One of the guys asked me how I knew the enemy was in the building? I had to lie and say I saw someone move by the window."

Rachael let go of Merc and Sandra pulled her to the edge of the pond so she could lie down on the rocks at its edge. David continued to hold his hands over Merc then he moved them slowly up and down Merc's torso. Merc's eyes opened and he lifted his head out of the water.

"Hey Bro." He looked at Nickel

"Hey yourself. You OK?"

"I'm fine thanks to David here." David guided him to a standing position and then toward Nickle. "How are you doing? A rough trip?"

Nickle gave a wry laugh,"You might say that."

Merc looked from Nickle to Michael. "You OK with what you saw and heard?"

"Do I have a choice?"

"I guess not. I knew you were one of us, thats why I asked for you to be in our platoon."

Nickle frowned. "All of the guys are...ah...like you?"

"And you."

"I guess I have a lot to learn."

"Yes you do." Marc scooped his hand in the water and sent a wave crashing into the trio. Michael jumped into a dive toward Merc as he escaped into the depths of the pond.

Nickle wiped the water from his eyes and shook his head. "Follow us, we'll catch up to them down through the underwater passage."Sheila dove and he followed right behind her. He had no choice and as of right now, he didn't want one.

WC 1589
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