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Across Worlds - Chapter 21

by Noelle

It had been weeks since Rhys was last in the lab. Ever since the locket had gone missing three months ago, he felt no need to continue his experiments. Why would he waste his time on experiments that wouldn’t work until he had the locket?

He figured he would at least try something though. Once he got the locket back, he’d have to know what to do with it. So he had found an old locket lying around – it must have belonged to his mother or some other strange relative – that he was using to experiment on.

The locket sat on the table in front of him, one of only three tables in the entire room. Although he referred to it as his lab, the room was nothing more than a windowless basement with tables. It didn’t resemble a lab in any way. He didn’t even have any equipment with him; no tools that could help him contain the magic.

Not that Agathi had much for him to take with him, really. When he fled the world, he took his equipment with him. All he had left was a few jars coated with a containment spell to store magic and a tiny magnifying glass. Rhys had lost the rest of his materials somewhere along the way.

But it didn’t matter anyway. The lab was going to be however he wanted it to be. The real goal was to prepare for a grand attack on all those who did him wrong. In the end it wouldn’t matter if he had a fancy lab with shiny equipment and plenty of space. As long as he had the leaders of each world bowing at the knee before him, it would be an accomplishment.

Rhys focused on the locket in front of him. It was a copper color rather than the shiny silver of the real one. He knew that this locket wouldn’t do anything, that the magic would just come right back out and bury itself in his body, but he had been able to get it to stay on occasion.

This time though, nothing happened. He closed his eyes, willing the power of the seers, the power to predict the future, into the locket below. A sigh escaped his lips as the magic detached itself from him and buried itself deep inside the locket. The heat of the magic was unmistakable as it left his body.

When he opened his eyes, he saw the locket shuddering, a deep red light pouring out from between each side of the oval piece of jewelry. He knew that it was childish to do so, but he crossed his fingers and hoped that the spell would work.

Just a short time later however, the locket shook violently and was flung open, dispelling the magic and sending it back into his body. It hadn’t stayed in the locket for more than a few seconds.

Rhys let out a frustrated scream and, in one huge motion, threw the locket across the room. It slammed into the wall next to the stairs and broke in half sending both pieces clattering to the floor.

Out of the corner of his eye, Rhys saw a man standing at the bottom of the steps, just inside the room. Rhys’s lips curled up to form a perfect smirk.

“You’re just the man I wanted to see.” He said, walking around the table and towards the wall to retrieve the locket. Picking it up from the floor, he held each part in both hands and thought of the piece of jewelry being back in once piece. It didn’t take long for the pieces to return to their original place.

“Really? And why’s that?” the man asked as he followed Rhys back across the room. “Need someone to cry with ‘cause you lost the real locket?”

Rhys slammed the copper locket on to the table and glared at the man. “No, Aidan. I need your help to get to your sister.”

“Oh,” Aidan said, his gaze shifting to the floor. “I didn’t think you’d ever actually need me.”

Rhys laughed. “You should know me better than that. Why would I bother keeping you here if I wasn’t going to use you?”

“You use me,” Aidan argued, looking up. “I take care of the place while you’re gone.”

“That’s not what I mean,” Rhys responded, waving his hand dismissively. He returned his focus to the locket. He stared at it, as if the answer to all his struggles would just pop into his mind.

It had all stumped him for too long. The real locket was strong enough to hold the magic, but only some of it. There was so much magic bundled up inside of him that he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to use enough to stay sane. At some point he was sure he’d go crazy from all of the magic demanding his time. If only he could figure out how to keep the powers inside of the locket, then he wouldn’t be as strong; maybe he’d actually be able to deal with the powers.

“What ever happened to you two?” Aidan asked suddenly.

Rhys hesitated. He knew exactly who Aidan was referring to. And he was in no mood to talk about it.

“Nothing,” he responded, shrugging. “She went one way, I went another.”

“But you two were always so close.” Aidan said, leaning back against the plain white wall. Rhys looked at him curiously, making him chuckle. “Don’t think I didn’t notice. My parents might have been oblivious to it all, but I knew you two were always hanging out. I knew that you were always over. Any kid that would go to that much effort to travel to another world had to have had a good reason.”

Rhys pursed his lips. “We’re not having this conversation right now. Let’s focus on what I need you and Niro to do.”

Aidan shook his head. “I still can’t believe you brought that guy in. He’s weak. Doesn’t surprised me that Akia was able to get away from him so easily.”

“Niro has proven himself in the past. It’s a shame that his skills aren’t what they used to be. None the less, he’s useful. And we need him. We need you.”

“Whatever,” Aidan snapped. “Just keep in mind that I’m only here because you won’t let me go. Akia is still my sister. Vertfay is still my home. If you weren’t holding my mother hostage, I wouldn’t be here.”

“Yeah, yeah, I ruined your family. I know already.” Rhys rolled his eyes. “You might not be all too keen about helping me, but I think you’re going to like what I want you to do.”

“Oh yeah? What’s that?”

“I’m letting you go.”

Aidan’s jaw dropped in surprise. “You’re letting me – what kind of sick joke is this?”

“No joke,” Rhys responded plainly. “I want you in Lightport to occupy Akia. I don’t want her in my way when I attack tomorrow night.”

Aidan stared at him, the surprise still etched across his face. “Attack Lightport? You can’t do that. Their barrier spell is too strong.”

“Why is it that everyone underestimates me?” Rhys snapped. “I can get past the barrier spell. Just keep Akia occupied so she won’t screw any of it up. And don’t get any ideas about switching sides on me. I won’t hesitate to kill your mother.

“A Warrior will escort you out. I assume you know your way to Lightport; it’s just passed the city that you used to call home after all. Get it done. I’ll see you in thirty-six hours.”

With that, he turned back to focus on the locket, not even bothering to watch Aidan leave.

“Why are you waiting to attack? Why not attack now?

The question caught Rhys off guard. He didn’t expect Aidan to suggest anything that would support his plans.

He turned to face Aidan. “My reasons and decisions are my own. And I can promise you that they are the right ones. Just get the job done.”

“What about my mother?” Aidan asked, his voice soft. “I can’t trust you to keep her alive.”

Rhys narrowed his eyes. “She will be alive when you return; only if you return. If you don’t come back for her, she’ll be dead. And if I double cross you and kill your mother, you are free to take my own life.”

“That won’t help the pain.”

“That’s your deal. Take it or leave it.”

Aidan shifted from one foot to the other. “You’re not giving me much choice, are you?”

“Of course not.” A smirk crept its way across Rhys’s lips. He had Aidan; he knew it.

Aidan narrowed his eyes, looking like he might actually have a comeback. But his gaze soon softened. He let out a sigh and headed toward the stairs.

Rhys turned back to the table, not even bothering to watch Aidan leave. He had more pressing matters at hand then to worry about Aidan any longer. Aidan was going to get the job done, Rhys knew it. The consequences were too grand for him to risk.

Rhys stared at the locket in front of him, deciding what to try next. A containment spell wouldn’t work; it wasn’t powerful enough. There had to be a spell that was powerful enough to contain all magic. Magic had boundaries. It wasn’t all powerful. If he could just find its weakness, he’d be able to capture it.

Sighing, he pushed away from the table and headed to the stairs. He would have to try again tomorrow. The more pressing matter at hand was how he was how he was going to get Akia out of Lightport. He had a plan, as he always did, but it was far from perfect.

When he reached the bottom step of the stairs, he paused. There was a small piece of white paper on the second step. Curious, he reached down and picked it up. He realized what it was the second he flipped it over.

He stalked up the rest of the stairs and made his way through his office. Fuming, he pushed through the door and into the hallway. Aidan was standing there, his arms crossed, as if he was waiting for Rhys to arrive.

Not being able to contain his rage any longer, Rhys grabbed Aidan’s shoulders and threw him back against the wall. He let out a small grunt of pain, but stopped short as Rhys drew a dagger and held it against his throat.

“Why?” Rhys said through clenched teeth, his voice wavering. “Why would you leave this for me to find?”

“Figured you’d want a reminder of who you are,” Aidan responded, oddly comfortable with the position he was in. It only fueled Rhys’s rage. “Or were, really. This whole thing about controlling all the powers and ruining the lives of these people? It’s stupid, Rhys. A fool’s agenda.”

Rhys made a growling noise in the back of his throat. “You don’t care about these people. All you care about is your sister. Keeping your family alive is your only concern.”

“That’s one, yes. But I do care about the people out there. What you’re doing is stupid and selfish. Give it up.”

Rhys pressed the blade into his neck harder, grinning as Aidan’s face turned from content to fear. “You’re right, I am selfish. I don’t give a damn about your sister. She’s in my way and I need to get rid of her. I don’t care about our past. That was the past. This is the present. And the future is looking pretty good to me. So get your job done and stop trying to change my mind.”

He withdrew the dagger from Aidan's throat, content to see blood running down his neck.

Aidan raised a hand to his neck, touching the spot where the dagger had pierced him. “I will do my job,” he said almost robotically. “Just keep my mother alive.”

Rhys took the piece of paper he had been holding and ripped it clean down the middle, letting the two pieces fall to the ground. “Get it done.”

Without another word, he turned and stalked back into his office, stepping on the pieces of the picture of him and Akia as kids on his way. 


For the LMS contest. Word count: 2,061

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Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:36 am
AdmiralKat wrote a review...

Hello, Noelle! KatyaElefant here for another review! Let us see what we have here...

That beginning paragraph where Rhys is complaining about not having the locket is strange on Rhys's part. He could get the experiments working as he is looking for the locket so when he has the locket, he can actually do the experiments and not have to work on the experiments and have have the risk of loosing the locket. Though, every classical villain is bad at thinking ahead of time(If you watched Phineas and Ferb and how Dr. Doofenshmirtz always put the self destruct button on his genius machines, that can illustrate a picture of that for you).

I like the ambition of Rhys. As long as I have everyone bowing their heads down to me, I'll be happy. It's not THAT much to ask. I mean, it's an accomplishment. It's not the final step or anything. I could totally do something after I conquer the world! XD

Oh. my. gosh. Aidan is working with Rhys! This is why he was never caught in the house previously. Aidan probably helped to keep Rhys's identity hidden! I wonder how Aidan's sister will think when she finds out that Aidan is working with Rhys? That will be an interesting conversation. OH WAIT! Rhys is threatening Aidan! Oh! This might be interesting if his sister finds out only half of the story. All the misconceptions could occur right here.

I've been a little confused on who Niro is. Noelle(or Wolfare1 who stalks all my reviews), can you explain to me who he is? I really am a bit confused on who he is and what he does and all that. It's just a character that really didn't pop out to me at all when I was reading all of these chapters.

WHAT DID THAT PAPER SAY OR SHOW? I want to know! Will we ever get to see what it said? I really wish that you had ended the chapter, revealing what the paper had on it. That would have made me happy and I could go to sleep peacefully(this is my last review for the day). Darn it!

Keep calm and keep writing

Noelle says...

Niro isn't as developed as I wanted him to be so that would be why you're confused about him xD He definitely needs some work. He's basically one of Rhys's minions, but he does work for other people too. Like an assassin except he doesn't kill people. Not usually anyway ;)

The paper was a picture of Rhys and Akia. I mention it in the last sentence of the chapter but I guess I need to describe it better. Maybe by referring to it as a picture instead of a paper would work better?

AdmiralKat says...

Yeah because I just read it again and it didn't really stick to me that much. I feel like a little bit of imagery of the picture would be nice.

Wolfare1 says...

He must be like a bounty hunter, then. (I don't remember much honestly. But he does always just kind of seem there.)

Noelle says...

He has this whole backstory and was really supposed to be more important to the story. But of course I forgot to write it all in and couldn't find a way to fix it later on ><

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Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:57 pm
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TimmyJake wrote a review...

Timmy here

I love Rhys

*coughs* Well, as a villain, anyway. He is just the perfect evil guy, because he isn't the perfect evil guy... if you get my meaning. I just love how everything with him ties together so well, how his motives reflect his past and what he wants for his future (instead of blowing everything up because it's "fun"). He has a motive - a terrible one that makes me cringe for Akia, Falyn and their lot - and nothing is going to stand in his way.

Of course, there are the issues that he always does seem to have. Complications. The locket seems to be the foundation of all his issues, or at least it's the one he is most concerned about at the time. He does like using his violent side against everything when it doesn't work. That's what I always say, anyway. If the thing doesn't work, break it all the way so you dun have to fix it. The locket seems to be the center of all his issues, and the center of the solutions to them. But something I can't help but wonder is how the locket came to be so important, and why don't I remember anything about it from previous chapters? There are at least two things I could possibly attribute to that. 1) I just forgot all about the locket, which is probably the most likely possibility. Or, 2) This is a new idea and the introduction to it was a bit sudden and unexpected, so it took me by surprise and I didn't get the full idea. Whatever the case, I think you need to work on that part just a little bit to make sure that the reader completely understands. Like the locket being gone for the past three months? I had absolutely no idea a locket even existed, much less was gone for three months. If it had been gone, he would have been searching in all the scenes we saw him in, right? Perhaps he was, and I have just forgotten. Bleh. Yet another thing that comes with being a slow reviewer. I fall behind (or just take longer to catch up), and I spend too long in-between chapters and forget the important parts. Oh, well. What will be will be, I guess. Maybe someday I will be fully caught up in this.

So this guy Aiden is working for Rhys to... what? Keep his mother alive. Got it. And how does he accomplish that by working with this jerk? Someone seriously needs to take a look on how things are running. xD He seems like a cool guy, but doesn't really know what to do in order to keep those he loves alive. One thing I am really curious about is his job, because you don't actually tell us what his job really is, only say he has to finish it. I hope you mention it in the next chapters, because I am sure it isn't plumbing or geek-work Aiden is doing for Rhys. A totally different job, I think. I guess if he's keeping his mother hostage, then Aidan has to do whatever Rhys orders him to... if he wants his mom to remain alive. Ugh. Doesn't work out for him either way, does it?

He figured he would at least try something though

Comma after something

But it didn’t matter anyway

Comma after anyway

In fact, with a lot or most of these words you tack onto the end of your sentence - like anyway, however, though and more - you can most of the time just omit them completely from your work and nothing is lost, and nothing becomes weaker. If anything, your sentence becomes much stronger because 1) you have fewer weightless words, and 2) there are less jerks in the sentence, and everything can floowww through.

In the end it wouldn’t matter if he had

Comma after end

“Why are you waiting to attack? Why not attack now?

PENGUINS. They are responsible for the removal of that quotation mark at the end there.

This piece was very enlightening to me and really explained what Rhys was feeling at this time. Why he wanted to take over and do all this stuff so bad. and him and Akia were close. :( It makes me sad, realizing those two are enemies now and used to be so, so much more than that. They used to be more than friends. The picture Aidan pulled out was simple a genius move, and very well executed (although I think you should have explained the picture earlier as I was confused until the end of the chapter - and not in a good way). I really enjoy all this conflict and fun you give your characters.

~Darth Timmyjake

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Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:14 am
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Holysocks wrote a review...


Well, Noelle, I must say: I LOVE THIS FREAKING CHAPTER. Honestly though! It was humorous in its evil, diabolical way, and full of surprises!

“You use me,” Aidan argued, looking up. “I take care of the place while you’re gone.”

This is a good example of the humorous factor. ^_^ ...Or, at least, I found it funny. Dry humour is the best!

I really liked this sneak peak into Rhys life, actually. There's a side of him that shows up in this chapter that I didn't know was there. He's not really all too sure what he's doing, is he? I mean... he is super powerful, and he learnt quite a bit... but he is really rather naïve. He reminds me of a tween, or something... it's like he never really grew up. O.O

To tell you the truth, when I first saw Aiden's name I almost died. I immediately thought
betrayal, but I was surprised to find out that he wasn't actually bad after all. :( I guess it is for the best that Aiden is still good, and just bound by the love for his mother and sister... but still, it was a fun thought. I suppose it's far better ( or worse ) for him to be keeping Akia from stopping Rhys.

I liked it, anyway. :-D Keep it up Noelle!!!


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Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:13 pm
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Deanie wrote a review...

Hi Noelle!

Ergh, I want to get to the next chapter! It sounds like it is going to be an amazing storyline or something, and I can't wait to get to it. Sorry that I am so late here as well. I've been tackling the mound of ever growing homework and well, that is more than enough to keep me busy! What I like a lot about this novel at the moment is that you're playing with their past and showing us slots of it from different points of view, which is weaving the story and building it up into what it is right now. And I think it's really clever because you're gradually revealing more characters and plot twists into the story, which can only make it more interesting. I'm hooked and I just want to know more about these characters. Honestly, it's great ^.^ There were a few iffy points that made this almost perfect chapter a little dimmer, but I will get to those now.

Once he got the locket back, he’d have to know what to do with it. So he had found an old locket lying around

You've got locket twice close together here and I feel like it gets a bit repetitive. In fact, the word locket gets a bit repetitive all through the beginning of this chapter, but it is kind of needed wherever it is mentioned. But maybe you could think of some substitutes, just because the word kept sticking out and being so noticeable? Was it a golden chain or a necklace or... those are potential words to be used as replacements? As well as that, it was convenient that Rhys easily managed to find an old locket to practice on. Yes, you fleeting mention it was probably his mothers, but it might be nice to have a bit of a description of it. Lockets can be all sorts and totally different from each other in the end. And it would be nice to see how this one compares to the one he is actually looking for.

As long as he had the leaders of each world bowing at the knee before him, it would be an accomplishment.

Is this his ultimate goal? Because then it is quite different from what I thought it might be. I thought that, due to events, his accomplishment would be having all the people that took his powers away bowing to him, the leaders included, and also Akia, having to suffer the humiliation and acceptance of bowing down to him after what she'd said. I thought having Akia in there might make it a bit more ... personal? And even though it is entirely plausible to have the dream that you've stated, I also thought this was all geared more towards revenge than simply wanting world power or something. :/ This is completely up to you because it's your story, but this is just what I thought I felt like was being implied previously.

Hm, Aidan doesn't seem like he hates Rhys or anything. Especially as the guy is holding his mother captive. He seems far too laid back, and if you hadn't mentioned that he had something over Aidan, I would've just presumed the two to be best friends and Aidan to be a betrayer of his family. So maybe there should be a little bit more tension created there? I know that Aidan is supposedly the "laid back" character here, and not really bursting into anger and hating Rhys full on for what he is doing. But I do feel like he is acting a bit too blasé if he knows his mothers life is depending on Rhys. I guess it must be hard to find that balance here, but I am sure you would be able to do it? You're an amazing writer, Noelle, and I am sure you'll be able to find that difficult but perfect balance between the two.

“Why are you waiting to attack? Why not attack now?

You forgot to have the closing speech marks at the end of that dialogue.

I felt a little bit like the emotions were, lacking, if that's the right word, in this chapter? I can't put my finger exactly on to the reason why (which is probably really unhelpful seeing as this is a rule) but I could feel Rhys's emotions supposedly going from casual and leader to angry and annoyed at having seen that picture. But I couldn't really feel it myself. I think what I am looking for is more a description of what Rhys is feeling as his emotions take that sudden turn. How is he feeling? Is the blood rushing through his veins and he thinks back to how "weak" he had been when he was Akia? Let me into his mind a bit more, so that we can see the rush of emotions overtake him. This can be a little bit trickier in this third person tense, but you've done it before and can definitely do it again ;)

I wonder where they are right now? Sure, it's his make shift lab, but it must be a pretty big place if he has a mother captive and is working from this base. Aidan mentioned how Rhys had to travel worlds to go see Akia in the past. So are they in a different world? Or are we closer to Lightport than I think? Although you do describe the setting wonderfully, I would like to know the location as well.

I don't really have anything else to say! There are only minor tweaks necessary here to have a super cool and totally absorbing chapter, which I am sure it soon will be. Can't wait to read the next part...

Deanie x

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Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:52 am
PeanutPhoebe wrote a review...

I'm sorry. I have no clue how you expect anyone to review these chapters. They just getting more and more perfect and I love them! I am wondering how Aidan came to work for Rhys and how his and Akia's mom got captured though... I love/hate all your cliffhangers. I love them because that's the sign of an amazing author, but I hate them because I want to know more! Anywho, I'm done. Great job!

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Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:43 pm
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SpiritedWolfe wrote a review...

Hello, Noelle. Wolf here for a review.

I'm speechless. This has to be, by far, your best chapter. It was fantastic through and through. Everything flowed well, I was very engaged, and I really got a good grasp on what was happening and really connected with the characters. For the entire time I was reading this, I was convinced I was reading some excerpt from a real novel. Wonderful work.

Not really much to critique on, because you decided to make this chapter perfect, for whatever reason. There is so much more that we learn, such as why Rhys is so desperate to get this locket. His powers are becoming too much for him, and he might be going a little funny in the head. Is this maybe why Rhys and Akia split up? Why Rhys got so mad at her? Is his judgement slipping, or is he afraid to admit he did wrong, that he got in way too far over his head?

You do a really awesome job of connecting the two chapters, which just seems like a given, but it feels important. Every bit of information given to us in the last part has a purpose, it always does, but the purpose in some surface quicker than others. For instance, learning that Aidan is Akia's brother. It is reinforced in this part, but as soon as I saw his name and being with Rhys, I gasped. Later on it was made clear why he was there, but it still felt like a betrayal. Obviously Aidan doesn't like Akia as much as his mother. How rude.

The paper, though never directly told to us what it was, was a really nice touch. The way he reacted to it was perfect. I assume it was some picture of him and Akia, though I'm not sure. A huge part of me sees Rhys as some big lovable teddy bear with some anger issues because of things gone wrong... LOTZO! (xD) Though, there is some real hate there. I still really want to know why they had that fight. WHY AREN'T THEY FRIENDS!

As you can see, my emotions are slipping. Once again, fantabulous job, and I anticipate more, very anxiously. Keep on Writing,

Noelle says...

LOTZO!!! Oh gosh, now I'm picturing Lotzo running around instead of Rhys. What a great mental image xDD

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Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:03 pm
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r4p17 wrote a review...

Knight Rudy here to review this work, Noelle. Check out my new avvie! :P I am so excited to read this chapter. It's a bit long though... ;P I am going to kill you if it ends with a cliffhanger. Anyhoots, I better get on to reviewing this! I certainly hope that this will help you!!!

Just to let you know, you for got to say whose POV this chapter was being written from. You may want to do so since it might confuse people when they see that it is from Rhy's POV. It would also be helpful if you were to inform us when this is all taking place. Is it still a sort of flashback or is it happening chronologically?

but he crossed his fingers and hoped that the spell would work.
By crossing his fingers I assume you mean like crossing your fingers when you aren't telling the truth or not sure if something will work?

“A Warrior will escort you out.
Why is "Warrior" capitalized? I'm sure you have a good reason, though I just wondered. I assume they are different form "warriors"...

And if I double cross you and kill your mother, you are free to take my own life.”
Ha! If you are strong enough to destroy a city you can kill man easily!

Well, this chapter changes things.... I can wait to see what happens this time though. You better be glad I am patient today. I enjoyed reading this chapter!!! For once :P

One thing I thought I would ask you is, why would Aidan want to help Akia (sort of) when she treated him so poorly in the last chapter? That is kind of confusing. Maybe I just misunderstood something, but it sounded like deep down he really didn't want to help Ryhs. I would also be interested in finding out how he got to work for Rhys and how Akia's parents got captured. Anyhoots, (I love saying that) that is all I have to say. Happy writing!!! :D Better go. Therese is going crazy in chat. :P

This review courtesy of

I saw that remark as well. Don't think I'm not stalking you, btw. I told you that I see everything.

r4p17 says...

What? You did go crazy wanting me to look at your club... -_-

Noelle says...

You two are like an old married couple xD

r4: Warrior is capitalized because it's the nickname for a Hund Warrior, which are like Rhys's lackeys. I don't think I've mentioned them in a while (I probably should) and the last time I mentioned them was before you started reading.

Once you have people's attention, you have a greater responsibility to tell them something of value.
— Tobias Forge (Ghost B.C.)