Chapter 21: The City Of Healers
We landed in the center of the city, everyone around us stood still looked over at us then back to what they were doing as if it was nothing out of the ordinary. “Really, you people must have problems. We just fell from the sky, and we get no attention not even a greeting.” Annabella said as she pushed off me and dusted herself off, mumbling about how perverted I was. “Oh, stop it you know you liked me carrying you and you need to relax. To these people you aren’t that weird, falling from the sky is how anyone gets here. Though falling without ropes or anything is a bit different.” I said back to her laughing a bit.
I walked and took her hand. “Come on, it’s time for us to find a place to rest.” I said as I pulled her along. “What do you mean us; you need to find me a place to rest away from you, not together with me, you big pervert trying to get me alone.” She said to me, oddly enough, she wasn’t pulling her hand out of mine, but she was still hitting me. Such a weird woman doesn’t even know what she wants herself.
I took her to the center of the town marked by a tall building. I walked into it and was greeted as I entered the doorway. “Daniel it is so good to see you again, it has been too long.” The voice of an old woman said from behind a desk across from the door. “Hello again Miss May, It’s been a long time I’m surprised you remember me.” I said back to Miss May walking up to her and hugging her. “This is Annabella; I’m going to need a room for the two of us if you have one. I’m not sure for how long I will be here, maybe a few days or a few months I’m not sure yet.” I said to her while I looked around the inn. Nothing much had changed in the forty years since I was last here. Well, almost nothing, the old woman use to be a girl just about to come of age, now it looks as though she is running the inn, her parents built and from the looks of this place she is doing a good job of it too.
My attention was brought back to Miss May as she began to speak again. “You can have the room you were in the last time. I don’t get a lot of people this time of year; you do remember the way to the room right.” She said to me as she walked around Annabella. “Oh, by the way do you need a room for her to or is it just the one room.” She said as she walked back to her desk and opened her book. “No the one room is good, I’m sure she won’t mind one bit.” I said with a smirk, which was quickly followed by a slap. “The one room is just fine, not like that pervert won’t try and come in the other room if there was one anyway.” She said as she took the key to the room and walked off.
I just smiled, then I walked in front of her heading to the room, I opened the door as I started to speak. “Let’s get some rest tonight ok and I will show you around the town in the morning ok. It’s actually a very nice city here I’m sure you will love it.” I said to her standing next to the open door to let her in.
That night was very quiet, I assumed it was because we spent all day climbing that she had no energy to complain about anything. And before I could even try to say something to her, I realized that she was already asleep. So I let myself out of the room to go out for a bit I needed to check on the drug. I headed to the house of one of the healers I knew the last time I was here.
“Hey Paul, it is Paul right?” I said as the door opened and a tall man stepped into the doorway. “Yes, it is. Do I know you?” He said, as he looked me up and down. “Wait is that you Daniel? Oh, wow, it is you. You haven’t changed a bit; I mean wow, how do you do that.” He said again jumping to me and hugging me. The last time I had seen him, he was just ten years old, and one of the smartest chemist in the city and I don’t mean for his age, he was better at chemistry than any of the adults. I just wonder how much better he had actually gotten since I was last here.
“Come in, come in, what brings you to see me today my friend.” Paul said as he showed me inside and to have a seat. “Well, I need your help with something that’s very important to me. Well, actually, it’s not just me, it’s important because it’s a drug that gives people extra strength, but slowly kills them as a side effect. Not just that, but it’s very addictive. I want your help looking for something to counter it, so that I can use it to help get whoever on it off and stop them from using it.” I said to him. “Well, that’s something I can and will be more than happy to help you with. Just one question I want to know why you want my help. Why is this important to you?” He said to me as he leaned forward in the chair he was sitting in. “Well, it’s because the drug gives the person that takes it an ability that I have spent a very long time learning to do, so it’s my fault that it’s even something that people can get addicted to. So, I want it gone.” I said, answering him.
“You haven’t changed a bit have you, well I will help you, do you have a sample of the drug with you or a blood sample of someone that has taken it lately.” He asked me laying back in his chair. I pulled out one of the vials filled with the drug and handed it to him. “Oh yeah, I wouldn’t take any of it if I were you, by the way.” I said as I stood to my feet about to leave. “What does this thing do to a person anyway?” Paul said as he held the vials above his head, looking up into it as it swirled and glowed. “This?” I said and as his eyes came down to me, I vanished from them, tapping on his shoulder from behind the chair making him jump up. I smiled as he turned then I vanished from the house.
I headed back to the inn for the night, I was actually really tired, the past few days I have been pushing it none stop and not getting very much rest. And even though I couldn’t die, I could still pass out like anyone else. Which is what I felt like doing at this point, I didn’t even think I could do another phantom step. Which I wasn’t about to try and do anyway, I just wanted to lay down and sleep the day away well, maybe the next few days, but I knew that wasn’t going to be happening, so waking up late the next morning would have to do for now. Until I got things in order anyway, then I was going to take a few days for myself just to sleep.
The next morning there was a tug at my arm, I felt as if someone was trying to wake me up earlier than I wanted to. So I did the right thing in my mind, and just ignored it until it stopped. Eventually I woke up and got out of the bed to find that the room was empty. “That’s odd, I thought she would still be sleeping here too, I didn’t think she would leave after I didn’t get up this morning. Oh well, I’m not missing out on anything now am I. Man, why do I still talk to myself after all this time, I really need to stop doing this.” I said to myself, then walked to the window, looking out of it to see what was different about the city since the last time I was here. It didn’t look as if anything had changed, besides paint on the buildings.
Down stairs, I saw Annabella waiting for me to be up talking to Miss May. “About time you woke up, your lazy self-up. You promised me a tour of the city, now it’s time for you to keep your word, I’m waiting.” She said as I walked up to her. “Yeah, I know don’t rush so much I was coming to find you so we can go so just take it easy ok.” She looked at me, lifted her hand as if she was going to slap me, then she just put her hand on my cheek and patted it softly. “Good boy.” She said with a smile, then turn back to Miss May. “Thank you for everything I will be seeing you tonight someone has to take me out today.” She said to her. “Well, you have fun now and don’t let him get out of line with you ok.” Miss May replied as Annabella stood up and began to head for the front door.
We walked out of the inn and I pointed to a tower that was close by. “Up there is where we will start. I have something to show you.” I vanished and reappeared at the top of the tower, she was close behind me. “What is it you have to show me that we need to be up here for, it better not be something perverted or I will kick you off of here got it.” She said with an annoyed voice. I just laughed for a second, then I pointed out. “Just look around.” I said to her.
What was around us was what made this city so special of a place. The city wasn’t built on top of a volcano, but it was built inside of one and it was an active one too. At the side of the city, lava could be seen flowing out from under the city. The entire city was designed to keep the volcano from erupting and to keep the people in it safe.
First off, most of the buildings were in the center of the city, which was lower than the sides. This way the weight of the city itself would push the lava to the sides of the city as it came up. The sides of the city had large carves dug into the ground that would release the pursuer from the lava that was being pushed out, by letting some of it run out and off the sides of the hills.
However, the part of this that was most ingenious was the pumps that pumped water up from the bottom of the mountain and from a Lake two miles away from the bottom of the volcano. How it worked was so simple yet it worked so well. It was the lava; at the sides of the city where the lava flowed out it would push against metal panels that blocked the outlets, the force of the lava would move the panels and turn a gigantic pump. However, that pump wouldn’t be nearly strong enough to pump water up so high. Therefore, what they did was use a pressure pump that pumped more water the harder it was pushed down. The lava flowed out right on top of the pressure pump, and would push it all the way down pulling the water up from the lake. Then, once the pump was pushed all the way down the top would lean and pour all the lava out.
The water was then pumped into a large pool at the center of the town, which connected to small gutters that run out to help cool the ground of the center of the city and to provide clean water to the city at the same time. Which was also heated all the time to kill almost anything that could get someone sick. Which was one of the reasons most people here became healers, so that when people came here to relax in the healing waters they could go to the healers in the city for anything that still bothered them. I explained to her as I pointed everything out. “But won’t that water get dirty after a while.” She asked with a confused look on her face while looking into the crystal clear waters.
I laughed, and then spoke. “Aww, I thought you figured it out. The water is pumped in there, then pumped back out to all the homes in the city, then it is pumped off of the sides to cool the lava and help things grow. Also a lot of it simply boils away in the center of the town, the water there is clean because it’s always fresh water coming in and water going out and no used water coming back.” I said to her with a smile. “Let’s go for a walk and take it easy for the next few days we have plenty of time before we need to get started with anything.” I said to her, then took her hand and headed to a door that was behind us.
We spent the next few days just relaxing and wandering around the town. I also took the time to get to know Annabella a bit better; I wanted to know why she took the Shadow in the first place. But I really wanted to know if she was involved in anything, or if she was being used like she said she was.