(I am so sorry for the delay in posting this. Unfortunately real life and my muse have not been very cooperative. But here finally here is Chapter Twelve. Again I am making no money by writing these stories. I write because I love The Lost World and all its characters and to keep interest alive. So onto the story.)

Legend Chapter 12

For several moments no moved or spoke. Veronica was nearly frozen in place as she stared at the spot Ned had vanished. She couldn't believe this just happened. Just a few days ago they'd been enjoying themselves, she'd stayed by his side when he became so sick only to vanish in the strange light that was attacking Eden. Marguerite came to her friend's side and gently touched her hand. She said nothing, as there were no words that would comfort the blond.

"This has to end," Challenger said shaking his head. He too was shaken by the disappearance of their friend but he quickly hid his expression behind the mask of a scientist. "Where is this stone? We need to find it as quickly as possible."

"The stone is just on the other side of this hill," Adrik said moving forward. "That is all the farther anyone has ever been able to go. All have returned after reaching just beyond the stone."

"We're coming with you," Erol said. Albion nodded in agreement.

Adrik smiled and patted the man's shoulder. He nodded and started again in the direction of the stone.

Marguerite glared at the Edenites. The voice of mistrust she had heard before was echoing in her head.

"It takes one of our friends to disappear to convince you to help?" she nearly spat at them. "The disappearances began before we came and you threatened a sick man but have done nothing to stop this or investigate. You don't trust us? Maybe it's we who shouldn't trust you."

Adrik looked very uncomfortable as he couldn't meet her eyes. For a moment he looked like a vulnerable child rather than a grown leader of his city and Marguerite almost regretted her outburst but her anger still fueled her as she turned away.

"Marguerite, please," Challenger admonished her. She continued to glare but she did grow quiet.

"This sounds almost like a prison rather than a free city," Roxton said as he walked beside her. "People come through that so called gate but no one can leave."

Challenger looked at him. "All of this sounds very artificial and not natural. Whatever has been 'protecting' the city, sounds as if it's breaking down. Like cracks in the foundation of a wall which may explain how we were able to come here. But this light is too controlled to be random."

"But so far only the Edenites have been taken," Veronica spoke as she came over to them. "Why then would it take Ned?"

"You saw," Adrik said with a wave of his hand. "Melos fell and your friend went to assist him."

"We can sit here and keep arguing," Veronica added. She picked up Ned's pack and slung it over her shoulder. "But if we don't move it we won't find Ned or anything." She then took out the ball Graeme had given her. "I have this to return to its owner as well."

She didn't look at them as she started walking up the winding slope. She returned the ball to Ned's sack and gripped the strap tighter to her. The others fell in behind her. She needed answers…she needed Ned back with her.

Where was he? Where were the others? He couldn't move. It felt like he was floating and he could hear voices as though he were under water. He couldn't make out everything that was said but heard bits and pieces of the conversation. "Stranger...from outside…not pure…" Were they talking about him? He tried to call out and ask where he was. There were flashing waves of light…"Intruders approaching…Edenites…more strangers…" A different voice spoke. "Continue…"

He tried to talk to ask again but no words would form. When he sensed a presence beside him he flicked his eyes to look and saw a human figure leaning over. He felt a sharp prick in his chest and he tried to scream but darkness overcame him and everything faded. His last thought was for Veronica.

To be continued…