Nothing seemed real at this moment in time. People and things that shouldn't be around are, and they are after him. Gideon sat upon the curb of the street that he stood upon, and placed his face in his hands. Da Vinci sat beside him while Michael watched for the return of Aaron Burr.
"Gideon, I realize that you think that this is all a joke of some sort, and I felt the same way when I was approached by the Elder who awakened me. Your life will never be the same, but for now, I think it's safe to return to class. Don't you?"
Gideon could here slight hints of da Vinci's native Italian in his voice, and for some reason, he suddenly felt at ease.
"Y-yeah. I think that's a good idea..."
"Good! We can finish learning of Einstein's theory of relativity! And, I believe Ms. Evans will be waiting for you."
Isabel. He had completely forgotten about her. He ran right past the room earlier, not thinking to stop and tell her about what happened. What would she think?
"Right. Let's go."
He stood up and walked back into the school with his teacher hot upon his trail. The pair navigated through the complex hallways of the high school with ease and came upon the classroom rather quickly.
The class sat in silence with a temporary substitute watching over them. Da Vinci opened the door with vigor and a smile upon his face, as usual.
"Ah, many thanks Mr. Johnson! Mr. Devereaux and I had some business to attend to just now."
"It wasn't a problem Mr. Vincent. You have a very well behaved class here."
"And I expect nothing less! Thank you again."
The man nodded and exited the room, closing the door behind him.
Gideon took his seat next to Isabel Evans and leaned back in relief. She was glad that he was alright. When she had heard someone yell in the hallway, she thought something had happened to him, but him being back in the classroom with no harm done to him reassured her of his safety.
Class resumed as normal and Mr. Vincent continued his lesson on relativity. No one asked any questions of what had happened earlier that morning, and everything, for now at least, seemed as normal as it was before the incident.
The electronic bell chimed at the end of the class period, and everyone rose from their seats like clockwork, all but Gideon. Isabel "Izzy" Evans stood up, waiting for her boyfriend to accompany her.
"Gideon, aren't you coming?"
"Uh, I think I'm going to stay after and see if Mr. Vincent could help me out a bit with this new formula. I'll call you later today. Okay?"
He smiled at her reassuringly and she smiled and nodded back. Mr. Vincent smiled at her as she exited the classroom, and shut the door behind her.
"Gideon...I will not lie to you. There is a chance that you will not see her for a very long time."
"It's fine. As long as I can speak to her every now and then, it'll be fine."
"I think that can be arranged. Now, we have to get you out of here, and to your training."
"Where are we going?"
"We're going to England, a very dangerous place for us. The Dark Elders control much of the country, but once we reach our location we will be safe."
"Okay. Who's going to train me? Michael?"
"Oh, lord no. His methods of training are much too vigorous for you at this time. He would train you for days with no rest. You will be meeting a legendary man; a warrior, a king, and a betrayed father. Arthur Pendragon. He is believed dead by the Dark Elders, but we have kept his presence hidden from them. The subject of family is an extremely sensitive one when dealing with Arthur, so we must not mention anything of the sort. His son still lives, and is sided with the Dark Elders. Remember this, for it may determine whether or not you live."
"I see. I guess I should be more surprised than this, but if you're alive and well, why shouldn't King Arthur?"
Gideon laughed nervously, but da Vinci's face remained in an unusual serious manner.
"The thing is, you must be awakened before we leave, and fortunately there is someone nearby who may do it. I will not beat around the bush and hint at his name, I will just tell you up front. We're going to meet the neutral Elder, Zeus, who is located in New York City. He resides in a private penthouse located in the Empire State Building. It seems as though the height reminds him of his previous residence at the summit of Mount Olympus."
Da Vinci checked his wrist watch and remarked at the time.
"We must go now, time is of the essence."
With that, da Vinci exited the classroom and started walking down the hall. Gideon got up as fast as he could, and followed the ancient man down the hallway. Down the stairs, down the hallway, and out the back door; there, was located all of the staff's cars. In the distance, Gideon saw da Vinci approach a black Mercedes Benz sedan, and saw the lights flash as he unlocked it. He ran to catch up with da Vinci and got into the passenger side of the car.
"How can you even afford this car on a teacher's salary, it must be fifty-thousand dollars!"
"My dear boy, I've made a countless number of fortunes in my lifetime, and lost twice that amount. The amount of money I have around the world is ten times that of William Gates."
Gideon laughed, and they were off. As they passed the front of the school, Gideon remembered their forgotten companion.
"da Vinci, where did Michael go?"
"Ah, yes. A very enigmatic character, don't you think? I believe he will meet us at our final destination. You need not worry about him. You've witnessed his strength first hand and lived to tell the tale. Most are not so fortunate."
"You know, the day doesn't seem all that bad right now."
"I'm glad you're coming around. Just be prepared, what happens now will change your life forever. Once you are awakened, the Dark Elders will always be hunting you. Whether or not they're fearful, I have no idea. Are you still willing to go through with it?"
Da Vinci nodded, and continued driving through the crowded streets. They passed through Times Square, and then Koreatown, and suddenly, the obelisk of the Empire State Building lay before them. Da Vinci pulled his Mercedes into a parking building nearby, paid the tenants, and took off down the streets. As usual, Gideon was lagging behind, but managed to catch up to the surprisingly spry old man.
"Hurry Gideon, I do not think we have much time left on Zeus' good side."
He began to run, and Gideon followed suit. Together they sprinted down 5th Avenue toward the Empire State Building. Like in the photos, a sudden bolt of lightning struck the tip of the skyscraper. They reached the spinning door of the building, and entered as quickly as possible. At the main desk, a man stood in a green suit.
"Gentlemen, can I help you?"
"Ah yes my good man, I believe the observation deck is still open, correct?"
"Yes sir, for another fifteen minutes."
"Perfect. We will be down before you know it."
The suited man nodded, and da Vinci headed to the elevators. The machine chimed as the doors opened, and they walked inside. The doors closed behind Gideon, and da Vinci hit the button for the observation deck. The elevator lifted with a slight jerk, but it did not affect either man. As they hit the fifty-sixth floor, da Vinci picked up the emergency phone. A voice could be heard at the other end.
"This is da Vinci. The elevator is on its way up. Please redirect to the penthouse....Thank you."
The elevator suddenly stopped, and jerked as it slid back, and resumed its trip up the building. The floor counter was blank as the cube continued to rise. A minute later, they came to a stop, and as the doors opened, the doors chimed.
Awaiting the pair behind the doors was an older bearded man. He stood at a height of 6'4" and had the physique of a casual bodybuilder. His hair was fully greyed, and not as white as da Vinci's. He stared at Gideon with bright green eyes, and approached. He threw his hands down on Gideon's shoulders, and laughed.
"So this is the boy who is supposed to save us all?! Ha!"
Gideon was surprised at the man's audacity. Da Vinci leaned forward and whispered in Gideon's ear.
"Gideon, allow me to introduce Zeus, the king of the gods."