It is a story that while losely baised on some of the events of my life, uses magic and greek myths in modern days to overturn the governming body that was created after the fall of the gods.
Chapter 1 Discovery
I am flying above the world, above all those who thought they were better then me, I blink and suddenly I am throwing flames as easily as breathing, blink I am walking through shadows to a new place, I am reading the minds of all of the humans, suddenly fire is thrown at me and I sit up with sweat covering my body. That was so real, I really thought that I was wielding the gift.
Before I was able to get out of the bed, I heard mother call for me. When I looked at the clock, it read 7:30 which meant that mother was in the store font. I got up and headed toward her voice. She was indeed behind the counter of the book store she owned and operated, helping the early costumers. They were the old couple that lived down the road, they came in every other morning for the paper, new books, and companionship that mother offers them. The store was the same as it always is, with a desk near the doors, under the window, shelves from the floor to the ceiling all around the walls.
“Johnny, I need you to go and get the ginger root, and cactus needles from the garden please.” That was all she said to me as she continued to talk to them. I sighed and went to the garden. It was behind store, and in it my father tried to grow most herbs and plants that he could. The ginger root was not hard to find, as that was one of the things that we grew the most of, and the cactus nettles themselves was not hard to find either, only one of the two were grown for their nettles. I did take care to gently pull them out so that it could regrow them.
As I reentered the front, I was awake enough to take in mother and the customers. She was in her flowing black robe, with the hood down so that the customers could see and feel at ease. When she looked back at me, it allowed me to see her face. Her skin was very pale, and her eyes were a very dark black that most people said was dark brown. She held out her hand, and I put the plant parts into it. When she turned around I saw the old couple. The man had a very wrinkled face, and white hair that made the blue in his eyes pop. Beside him, a lot shorter woman with blond hair and blue eyes was smiling. She was as wrinkled as him, but she seemed to be more energetic, stronger somehow.
She turned to me pleasantly asked, “So this is your youngest, do you think he will take after you?” She had to be talking about the store, because I was the only one that was still working in it. My two sisters had moved out right after they got done with the training.
“We don't know yet, use the ginger root and the needles in a paste, add half to the area and use the other to make a tea with the boiling water. This should alleviate the pain, and help with the breathing.” Mother was a jack of all trades, and knew a little or a lot on every subject. Medicine with plants was one of the things she knew as well as possible.
They left, and that was all the normal traffic we got until noon on a Saturday. She looked at me, and then motioned me to follow me into the back room. The store was actually a double decker, with the top holding the rooms, in the back of the bottom, is the storage and the meditation room. Around six every morning, everyone was to meditate and control their thoughts, emotions, find a center of calm. This was supposed to make controlling the gift easier, but since I have never had it, the process always made me feel very foolish. The room was small, with three pillows set into a triangle. One was black, one was brown,and one was red. Mother took the black, and I took the red one.
“Mother, what was the ginger root and cactus for?” Mother did not mind helping, but she wanted to know the exact reason for her cures.
“Oh that, her joints were paining her, and she was too stiff to clean most days. That will lesson her joints and remove most of the pain.” That was it, then she closed her eyes, ignoring the world around her. Unless something happened that was huge, she would stay that way for a little over an hour.
I closed my eyes and regulated my breathing to every seven seconds, and then allowed my mind to wander. It was only a second later that I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked to see my father standing behind me. He was a large man, over three hundred pounds with the grace and confidence of a large cat. Before he could do anything, mother opened her eyes and just looked at him. She was not mad that he interrupted us, but she was waiting to see what he was doing.
“Darkness, the rest of them are here. They said that it was urgent, and most are here.” That was the name that she took for herself, and no one would ever admit to knowing her real name.
“I wonder what the coven wants? Thank you, I must go see and calm them. Why don't you and johnny go and see to the garden, and make sure the books on reservoir are whether coming or are here.” The coven is a group of gifted that looks to mother for guidance and acceptance. I believe there was a total of 30 in the city of Fresno. She was given the title of Crone to them because she knew the most, and because she was the most powerful of them.
She glided out of the room and I waited. I was not allowed to be seen by them, as I was of the blood, but have no power. My father looked at me, and waited, he did not motion me to go out back like she said, so he knew something that he was not telling. It took only a minute for raised voices to penetrate the door, and they were not happy loud. It was then that he turned and headed for the door she went through.
I had no option but to follow, and when I got passed the door, I saw a group of people across the store from mother, and she was standing up as straight as she could. She stood at 6'3 so when she tried, she was a scarey woman. The others were not cowering, but they did seem to not want to go into a straight up fight with her. Those in the crowed were all over the age of 30, but that was the only quality that was the same, they were of every race, gender, and age.
Their eyes swiveled to look at me the instant that I came out of the door. One man and one women stepped out of the group and came at me. Mother looked as if to head them off, but they waved her off, and she stayed. What a surprise, she never listen to anyone but father, and that was sparingly. The women was around the late 40's with brown hair and bright green eyes. The man was over 80 easily and his hair was gone, while his eyes sparkled with a gray that look like clouds. “Hello dear, we just want to talk” the women started, and from a grunt from the old man she continued, “ Do you know why we were chosen out of the coven?”
I had no idea and said as much, the man nodded and continued, “We were chose because we are the strongest at sensing, finding the ability and gauging its potential. You so far have shown no ability, or even the gift. On this, how old are you now child?”
“I will be seventeen this November, why.” I was completely lost.
“That is not good, most show their gift at the age of 8, and are able to use it at the age of 10. You so far have done nothing, so we are going to see if you even have the gift inside you.” That was all he said as I felt fire erupt in my head and slowly work its way down. My knees buckled in the first moment, and then the fire went away, but I knew they were still searching. I did not know what they would find, or not find, but the pain was no longer there. When it got to my stomach, I felt a vibration, and a hard one at that. That even passed shortly and again I waited.
I knew they were finished when they straightened with sweat beading on their face. “this was harder then anything we ever did before, most children it happens in a flash, wither you know they have it or don’t. The genes contain it so it is easy to see, him though, his body fought the flows, fought hard. If I had to guess, at this point I would say that he will never be a gifted, and that you should have him stricken from the records as your child.” The old man next to her nodded, and they headed back in to the crowed.
They left after that, but I had a bad feeling that this was not going to be over. The way mother was shaking, I thought she was going to explode, she stalked off into the basement of the store, which was hers and only hers. “She needed to know, and so did they. You need to go do your homework before school on Monday. Be prepared, the other three will know of this, and they may not be so nice anymore.” And with that my farther headed into the back yard to deal with the plants. I headed up into my room to start on the us history, chemistry, and advance math that had tried to swamp me this year.
It was only as I sat down to work that I realized that the other gifted that went to the school, there were only three others at Marshland High School , they did not apply themselves to the class, all of them failed every class. They did not care. In the next year they would go to the great school, it was a place that those with the power can learn and grow, and meet others like themselves. It was also a chance for the council to take the strongest. I had always feared the council, as they ruled by fear and strength alone, and humans that stood above their station usually found themselves in the councils hands.
I put all of that out of my mind as I dived into the molecular chemistry, and Presidency of Reagan and into the trig functions that plagued my waking days.
Chapter 2. School
When I stretched after finishing all of the homework, the clock read 7:30 pm. That had taken me the whole day to just finish the homework. I was taking the advance classes for the simple fact that school was one of the few things that made my life feel normal. I headed into the store to see if my parents were still running the shop, and if not, then I was going to close it for the night.
No one was in the store front so I went and locked the door and flipped the sign. We never had to deal with the windows because anyone stupid enough to wake them were in for the pain that received. After a very loud reminder that I had not eaten all day, I headed for the kitchen to grab a sandwich. My parents happen to be in the living room, which was about five feet from the kitchen, with open doors. They were talking but I could not tell about what. I made my sandwich and headed back into my room.
I finished the food quickly and laid down and tried to sleep. For some reason it was a long time in coming. I spent the time trying to understand what they wanted with me. They said that i as not to have the gift, that was impossible I was their child and every child has the gift if they do. The last thought that drifted was that they must be mistaken.
Sunday was like every other, taking orders for books, selling books, that was the whole day in a nutshell.
Monday started like any other, getting to school an hour before the first bell rings, and reading near the first period class. The day progressed with math, history, chemistry, English 11, and as lunch rolled around I headed to my sixth period class, and spent the time getting farther in the Anita books. After that it was french and PE, which was my hell class. Playing football was not so bad, but it was still a huge pain to go through every day. After that I walk the two mile to the store and then work at the counter doing homework until father comes in from the zoo. After that I am free to do almost as I wish. It was the same week to week and year to year.
It was on Thursday that I got the feeling that bad things were going to happen. The day started the same, and by the time lunch came about I thought that it was just me being worrisome. PE was horrible again but right as I left the locker room three people stood around me. One was black with dreadlocks in his hair. He was known for the fact that the one time a bully harassed him, the bully ended up bloodied right after. I believe his ability is with the dark. The girl was as white as he was black, and if you watch the plants as she walks, they always follow her, making me thing she was that of earth. The last was as white, and he was one of the smartest kids, but then he never studied and never did any work. I believe that his was the mind, and he was stealing from a much smarter student.
They stood around me and the girl grabbed me and dragged me around the gym. After were were about thirty feet from any of the other students they started talking.
“So you are not gifted yet, you have no power. Maybe if we prove that we can get the artifacts that your family claims.” She sounded like a bitch to me, and was way to hopefully. Artifacts were things that helped the old ones to do more with their power. My mother and father did a lot of collecting so we did have quite a few, but how did they know that.
“I said as long as I got Night, I don’t care what else you take. That swords belongs in the family of the Dark clan, and not some Hussies house.” The black one sounded like the leader and was confident, But then he had a prize to win. Night was the sword that Mother posses, it is supposed to be one of the legendary swords, and has more power then all of the others combined, the draw back was that only someone with the gift of darkness could wield it.
“I agreed to this, let just start with it already. There is no need to make this harder on him then it needs to be.” and that was the last one. He was the shortest and apparently had a shred of decency.
“Fine, then start, see if you can get him to do as you want then. That is the only reason that I agreed for her to tell you anything.”
“You are a fool, you think your parents are the only ones that speak. I knew. By the way, I would be more respectful as I am more powerful then you, and if I wanted I could hurt you badly.” So he was strong and kind, weird.
It was then that they refocused on me, and they did not look happy. There was perhaps one teacher on campus that would feel the power being used, and they would do nothing to help me. I was powerless and the only thing I could do was try and hold up, and with that they started.
The shadows expanded and wrapped around me, a tangible force keeping me in place. The second that it hit my neck, I felt something in my mind, a tickle or something, I kept my mind blank and did not listen to think to my self at all. This would hopefully counter the mind. The one that was holding me walked up and showed me his hand, and watched my face as he formed a blade out of the darkness. It was not complicated, just a condensing of the power from him, it was when he slashed through my shoulder that I lost it. As I screamed through the pain he smiled and made another mark across the chest. I thrust and wiggled as hard as I could but there was no moving, the binds were to strong. As I drew breath again I was gagged. I was forced to crying and screaming as much as I was able.
I only saw the others as they filled my vision, and all three drew the means that they meant to make me suffer, and as their weapons descended, they all swiveled to the left of us. A voice called out, “You attack my son and think that it will be unanswered? I think that it is time that I show the few that don't agree with me that there is a reason that I lead the group.” That had to be my mother, but I could not turn because of the gag held my head.
They tried to run, but each froze before they made it two feet, with the same darkness that held me. It was only at that point that it was removed and I was bale to move again. I turned toward her as fast as I could and she looked scary. She was clad in darkness in the middle of the day, and that was adding a few inches to her high. She held Night, a three foot log sword that was made of the blackest metal. It was thin and could be called a rapier if you did not know better. Just the sword and her head could be seen. She completely ignored me, and they were everything.
“So you want the sword, and you think that it is the source of my power, well it does help, but alone I can beat you. Now, do any harm again and I will make sure that you will never be able to think of it again.” With that they sank into the ground, and disappeared. When she saw the puzzlement, she remarked, “i sent all of them home, it is a warning of a sorts. Come on, she turned and walked into the shadows. I followed as quickly as I could, and as I hit the shadow, I was on the inside of the the stores inventory. She was flowing out of the room before I had a chance to say anything.
When I followed her, I saw that she still had on the sword, and she usually got rid of it as soon as she was home. That fact that she was still wearing said that something was really wrong. She continued top the store front where she locked up the door and shut down the shop. She then headed into towards the back year. I followed her and tried to fathom what she was doing. The backyard had no great secretes or anything else.
“Go over there, we need to talk before your father gets home.” She stood with the sword in her hand pointing toward the spot that I stood. “Before I left the school, I was the heir to the dark kingdom. I am the daughter of Anubis. When I left the school, the council gathered me up, wanting to make sure that I had the correct idea about the world. I believed then, and still do, that the gifted are not gods, merely stronger humans. You will find that this is the minority of people, and not just in the dark powers, all have high leaders that have this ideology. When they found out that I did not agree, they forced me to be a junior member, one that did all the things that the council wanted. This happened to fall into the part of torturing and killing humans. They assumed like many that with my power in the dark, that I would be twisted by it. What happened was that on the year anniversary, the presented me with Night. It had killed the other five that they had “given” it to. It was supposed to kill me, but it allowed me to wield it. After that, they made sure that the base was covered in lights, making a bridge almost impossible, because they forgot all that Night bestowed on the wearer. I needed a distraction, so when they brought in a young storm man, I was happy. He had the power to not only form clouds and control them, but also lightening, and water. That would be enough to get me out. I talked to him, after he had burned his first victim, and that had shaken him to the core.” She took a deep breath and continued, “I also met a man with the strongest second sight, and he said that I was to bare children that would change the face of the world, and that there would be an even brighter flame for the people to back. That was all he said, but I never saw him again, so I don’t know what happened to him. I met your father in the escape plan, where the power would be blown, and I would use Night to lead us away, Leo died that night, but your father was able to be released. You are gifted, it is time that I force you to show it.” and with that she got the sword ready and started counting.
Before she was able to get to two, I had grabbed the staff that was mine by right. I just got my hands in the right position when she came at me. While the staff was spelled against being chopped to bits, I think the magic in Night kinda nulled it, because the first hit with enough force to enter the wood a good two inched. I jerked backward, trying to take the sword from her, but it came out easily and flowed toward me as though she never had attacked. She kept pressing me until I was backed up into the fence, and then she backed off, giving me the room to move that I needed. She took a deep breath and then the sky started to darken, just above where we were practicing. It was so thick that seeing was an issue. I heard her move and that was the only warning that I got before her sword came down again.
I cleared my head as she kept coming and tried to sense her before she was trying to cut the head from my body. In the very back of my mind there was something, the little voice that always said she was someone to be scarred of. The second that I allowed that to grow, a rage filled me, she was trying to kill her own son. No matter the strength that was not allowed. I blinked my eyes and when I opened them, I could see through the darkness. I saw her standing waiting for me to move. She did not want me to be hurt, just get scared enough to grab on to anything. The rage was still there and it took the chance, I struck with something. Fire roared toward her, fire that came from me. The heat backwash toward me and knocked me on my ass, and she easily snuffed it out.
Chapter 3. Power and a Teacher
She walked up and all of the anger disappeared. There was nothing left, I had created magic, I had done something that I had so longed to do. When I looked at her, she was smiling, so this was normal.
“The first thing we taught all of our children is control, the others had problem with this, and that allowed them to grow. You latched on to the concept and distanced yourself from it, never giving the emotion a chance to bring the power. You I think will have almost no problem dealing with the power, no matter that it is extremely late in coming. We have until the next month to get you ready, that is the start of the new school year. You will be there for up to four years, and with that you will know what you must about the world of the gifted.
She took me out of the school system with a call, and that made the next part of the journey easier. She told me the first part was to see where my abilities lie, where on the star did my strongest power lie. The top three were called ,my ability, and they would guide what I learned to do. They were shaped by my personality and the person, and this made them unique to everyone. The first thing that she showed me the eight star, the top was occupied with fire, the bottom water, the left earth, the right wind, body was in the top left, mind in the bottom right, life in the top right, and death in the bottom left. These are what made up all of the powers that the gifted could wield. The power was mostly heritable, but it could skip generations.
I was also taught basic things like the levels of power in the society. Power was a major factor, if you had more, you did what you wanted. The council was the most well know and ruled over all others. The next were the individual heads of the clans. And then the councils that make up them. And it just goes into smaller forms, with the dark and earth clans having the most power. The water and the wind the least. It was because the dark had the arts of war, which is not true, just the others will not take part in a war in full force. The last war took place in the civil war, and that was just because the council was in America, the time before that it was the great Prussian war. The very last thing to actually get learned was my power.
That was hard going because she did not know what my ability was, and my power was still hard to read, even after showing itself. She thought it would be fire was the main, but I could barely light a candle after the first week. Wind I was hopeless at, and the strength of my body was not all that great, just a little above normal for a human my size. Darkness was the second strongest, and that was only because of her. Life I was as bad as wind, and water was about tied with fire. Earth was never allowed to be tested because mother would not believe that I had earth in my body. She claimed that it was impossible for me to be related to a god that would wield earth. I did not argue and continued to work on what she made me do.
By the end of the month, I was able to consciously control the magic to one degree or another. The power that others felt was small, and most thought that it was a sham with her giving me some of her power to hold, like a gem. I did not understand it, but I tried to explain it to them, but they never listened. It was only when one of the people in a brown robe talked to me that I realized where my power really lie.
“Hey, child do you control your emotion, try to stay in neutral and have no strong emotions. I even will bet that when you have friends that they mean a lot to you, right?” She was talking to me and have no idea what it meant.
“What of it Sherace? I know what you are doing and that will not work.” Mother had heard the question and sounded pissed.
“You have three children, admit that only one of them will share your gift for the dark. One is water and if I am even close then he will be one of the earth.”
“I will not accept that.”
I felt a draft and then Sherace replied, “And why is being of the earth bad, I am a little weaker then you, but without Night neither of us would win.” That was a threat if ever I heard one.
The room started to darken as the shadows stretched themselves toward mother, and the walls seemed to vibrate with the will to come together. She was right in one thing, if they did fight it was going to be messy and no one would be the winner.
“Mother what is the harm if I see if she is right, it may be my ability is earth, and I would hate to squander the power that I could have because you do not want it to be true.” I hoped she did not turn on me, I had no chance against her for real.
“Fine do what you want, if it is you true ability I would hate for it to be my fault that it did not fauster. If it is not, then I do not want to hear anything more out of you questioning me, got that Johnny.” She stalked away and I felt sorry for the person that felt her wrath.
“OK lets go out side and see what you can do” and she led the way out front. When we got there, she made me touch the ground and try to sense anything. I poured myself into it, and I felt a, resonance, that was the only word to describe it. When I looked up she smiled, and then I felt the power that was in her. It was the steadfastness of the earth, the knowledge that she was in control. It was strong, almost as strong as mother, but not there. The fact that she was close told that she was very strong. Mother was one of the strongest and with the artifact she might have been the strongest. “You are lucky, the control is the first step, and that explains why the power was so late. You had control from a very early age I think, and so you have it now. Earth may feed on the emotion as much as fire, and may be used in a rage, or a bout of sadness, but the true strength comes in complete calm. Now look inside your self and find the power that made the fire. When you have that push that into the ground and tell me what you notice then.” I did as I was told, and felt the earth, a small part of it anyway. I felt the plants, the minerals, and even the bonds between the earth.
When I told her this,she stated “It is in these bonds that we are able to shape the earth. I am told that you took chemistry right?' when I nodded she continued, “The bonds in the earth are no different from the bonds on chemicals, some are stronger and these go to the gems and stone. The weaker bonds go into the dirt and sand. We can make the strongest marble into sand by breaking almost all of the bonds. We can make sand into stone the opposite way. And anything in between. That is the main thing that we of the earth do, more advance things take this idea and expand. We will start on this tomorrow, and be ready, your power will grow fast once it is being stretched and used.” With that she left and I headed back inside, mother was there and she looked up when I entered.
“So were you able to do what she said?” She was hoping that I would say no but I could not.
“I was able to sense the bonds in the earth, and she said that we will start training in the morning so that I can do the basic things, like move and shape the earth.”
She nodded, “OK well then I will continue with your education of the dark, and all of the things that you will need to know if you face one of them.
About a third of the way through the month, we got a very odd costumer. She was as big as a large cow, and she was wearing a very very bright pink dress with matching purse and shoes. It was on of the most obnoxious colors. She got worse when she came up to the counter and demanded that I give her the book on magic, and the real history not this fake crap. History of magic, there was no true history. When I told her that, she looked at me, and said she wanted to see the manager.
I got my mother again asked what the women wanted. When she said she wanted a true history of magic, not the fake, mother looked at her and stated, “I am sorry but that cannot be sold to you, if you would please leave I will not have you thrown out.” mother was never like this with the costumers.
“You would throw me out because I want a book, I thought you could get any book that was requested. I would like the history of magic. What is the problem.”
“I have the right to deny service to anyone, and I do not want to deal with you, please leave.” Her voice was tight and that meant that she was loosing her temper.
The other women had light flash around her that blinded me and mother threw up a shield between her and us. When she dropped it, a women with golden skin and black hair the color of mother's was before us. She also dropped the extra weight, so she was as skinny as mother. Her eyes were the color of gray, a very dark gray. “Will you still deny me the service of the book I require?”
“Yes, although you must tell me how you were able to do that, you could never make an illusion before, Bridgett. All you could do is cause pain. How far did you get with that now.”
“So high and mighty, never able to do what is needed to get the power. Pain is a great motivator for most people, and the new talents came with the power.”
“How in the hell did you do that, before you were never even close to my power, and now it is to close to tell.” Mother was shocked and that was hard to believe. “And what happened to the two that always followed you. They were completely in love with in you.”
“They were holding me back, and now they will help me bloom into something that is greater then you.” she started laughing, and it was a sound that was sickening. Her eyes fell on me and she asked, “So this is the child of the great one, he does not feel so strong. Maybe I should destroy him, and that will let the world know how weak you really are.” I felt an itching in my shoulder blades and it got worse when Mother was drawing on her magic. She grabbed my shoulder and I felt her draw on the little power I had in my body. I saw the other women look and then frown, she was not getting the results that she expected.
“I told you that the power is not everything, you are not able to even touch us with the one thing that was yours and was one of your greatest thing. You cannot cause any pain here, and you want to know why, because the very weak boy is more then he seems. Now I believe that it is my turn, and I will make this hurt for Jared and Michel.” In her hand a blade appeared, it was not one of reality, just one made out of the darkness of the world. A smile appeared on her lips as a hand clutched Bridgett and kept her from running, or even moving.
“Mother, don't hurt her!” I did not like the that she could kill with such ease.
“Why, she will not thank you for this, and it will come back to haunt you. Her power is causing pain in the mind. With the added power of the other two, I believe she gained their power, and the talents for illusion, but I will allow you to make the choice.” She was amused that I did not want her to kill the woman. Amused!
“I cannot allow you to end her life, and I do not expect anything from her, I don’t like the idea of killing. I will not be like the members of the councils, who think they have the right of life and death.” I was as series about this as I could be. There was no need to kill her.
“She not only killed the others who followed her, but she took the spark that allowed them to work magic, so she took all of their power, that in and of itself usually requires a death. You will understand the true meaning of it” She turned to the other women, and tighten the holding until Bridgett started to turn a dark purple in the face. Mother decided that was enough and then carried her into a dark corner of the store. From there, I felt the tingling in my shoulders grow as the shadow turned into a corridor leading somewhere else. She waved her hand and Bridget went flying through the darkness into the new place. I did not even ask where she was sent. “Dear child, aren't you supposed to be learning right now?
I sighed and agreed, because I was supposed to be with Sherace. I decided that it was time leave and go get a little farther in my studies. Sherace lived a little over a mile away from the shop, in a little brown house with a flourishing garden. She was able to grow the yellow roses all year long, and it made them pop. It took a little over twenty minutes to get there, and when I knocked, a child opened the door. Sherace was the mother of twins, one girl and one boy. The boy was the one that open the door, and I said hello to him. He took after his mom and was able to move and shape earth easily. For eight, he was right on line for the same lessons I got. We took them together, which always made me feel like I was an idiot.
“Tom mother wants us now, not later, Hello johnny, I am glade to see that the affair at your house did not stop you from joining us.” Shelly called over her brothers shoulders. She was a little smaller then Tom but was the more imposing. She had the talent for knowing things that were happening, and it was not always in her control. That was the worst part of that, and the reason that it was not that well accepted. All magic was under conscious control, and hers really was not.
“I know that Shelly, she did call both of us, come on Johnny she may not be as bad as Darkness but she is still plenty scary.” And with that Tom moved and allowed me to enter the house. We followed the corridor to a room that they used for the meditation. It was larger then ours, but that was to be expected. Sherace was there already, in a dress of blue with a white apron around her. It appears that she was just cooking a meal.
“Sit children, and be quiet please. Meditation will not be taking place, I will be teaching you accepted terms and some theory so that you do not go into the school blind. AS you know the Gift is the ability to work magic, for lack of another word. Our ability is know as the top three of the eight point star, again as you know. Your Talents are the things you can do with the abilities and the gift. The main one is healing, and the second most know one would be a type of weather control. Some of the Talents have to do with what the three are, some have to do with your nature, and some are just what you are predisposed to in the bloodline. The sight in Shelly comes because from the bloodline. You will learn your Talents as you move farther in your studies. These are the main thing that you need to know going in. Now lets go practice a little.” She was straight to the point on every talk, and then practice. Usually between the two we meditate to gather the power inside and then steadying it.
Her back yard was a lot bigger then anything we could own, she lived on a corner lot. “OK, raise a bolder the size of a small dog. Hold it, then shape it into said dog.” I closed my eyes, breathed slowly, and gathered the power into my middle. From there I let it sink into the ground, and gripped the earth in the correct size. Cutting the bonds between my piece and the ground, I slowly raised it. Once out, I the started moving it around to get the shape that I wanted. I was going for a weiner dog, with the correct legs. It was as I finished shaping I thought that I should harden it, making it stay that way when I was done working with it.
I hardened every bond between it, and then used heat and pressure to bind and seal the outer coat. When I opened my eyes the dog looked like it had been made from rough stone, not dirt. The shape and detail could still be made out. Tom looked like a Irish wolfhound, but it was still brown and form the look, if he took the power form it, it would crumble. Shelly's was even worse, trying to create a terrier, all it was was a brown mess. Before I was able to see what Sherace thought, the world wavered and I felt like falling.
She caught me before I could, but even my knees felt like they had no strength in them. Creating the stone dog out of the earth seem to taker more energy then I had expected. “You need to be careful, even jobs that feel right and easy while working with them can exhaust you to the point of death. You need to know your limit well, and not experiment, especially with combining the magic right now. Understand the earth first, and you will learn the rest.” She was using a kind hard voice, that while she sympathized, she would not allow it to happen again.
They were fine, having done what they were required. When Sherace called for us to pull and circle 3 balls, I tried to collect and use the power, but it was impossible. The power was elusive, and when I did get it together, I could not draw it to be used. After three minutes of trying, she stopped me and sent me home for the day, as their was nothing more that I could do. I had reached the maxim, and even trying to do anything else could do real damage to me.
When I got home, I was so sleepy, that mother sent me to bed without any questions or comments. I awoke to the sound of knocking at my door. I looked at the clock at it read 7:30pm. I had gotten all of about three hours sleep, and it felt like I had not gotten a single restful one. I called groggily, “What!?” The knocking stopped, and in stepped the last person I thought to see. A women that made my life a living hell with her gift was standing in the door way. She was the spitting image of mother, except she was shorter, and her eyes were not the pools of darkness mother had. She was my oldest sister, and she had moved as soon as she was able.
“Hey little man, think you are a big man now that you have power?” She smiled to take the sting out of the words. Now that she was out of the house, we got on a little better.
“Now why would I think that, it is not like I am strong or anything crazy like that.” I got out of the bed, and when she motioned for me to follow, I did so grudgingly. I was still tired from the effort. She led me into the store front, where it was empty save a table sitting in the middle of the room. Everyone was sitting at their place, with mother at the head. She was the leader of this family, and everyone knew it. Mother waved to the open chair opposite her, and that was my clue to sit.
Once I had taken the seat, she spoke, “We are here gathered to test our latest member. We shall see what relative they shall pay homage to, and the extent of the growth of their power. For this, we need everyone to agree, are they.” She waited a second while they nodded, all three of them. Father Kory, the one that got me, and Lucy, she was a blond haired blue eyed princess. Lucy was the spitting image of my fathers mother. Not a lot of people believed that she was the daughter of darkness. The only clue came in her high, she was a tall girl.
“Then I will continue, this table has been in the family Hades used, with a little blood, it can tell some of the future, some of the past, and some of the present that will affect you greatly. It will also tell the rest of us how much power you will obtain during your life time.” She spread her hands and I felt her release her power into the table, but it was not just hers. The others added theirs to the mass that was growing above the table. When it was large enough, the power was spread on the table top int the correct patterns. The table split in the middle, producing a small hole in the center. “Add your blood to the blood of the ones before you. They are the ones that are powering this, we are merely activating and channeling the flow. You will get the most of the energy, as that will lead to your visions, we will only be getting a backlash, and that tells the power. When you are ready.” She left it open because it was not hard to figure out what she wanted.
I looked around the table and spotted a small knife on the table. It was a single edged blade sitting it a hilt that was designed with bears surrounding it. I took it and braced it over my hand, thinking which I should do. When I looked at mother, she just watched me with no facial expression at all. I scanned the rest of their faces and it was the same for all of them. I took a deep breath and slit my fore finger. Blood welled up quickly, and I held the cut over the hole. It only stung, but did not hurt that much. As the blood dropped and disappeared into the darkness, the power in the air built.
Sight and sound vanished as visions took control. I was in a place of open marble, with columns holding up the roof that was thirty feet high. Three men were gathered around a fire with two women watching. Avery heated conversation was taking place, one where energy was being given in amounts that almost drowned out everything else. I crept closer and their voices began to make sense. As I got closer I saw them more clearly. They all had beards, but one was bald, the other two had gray hair. The one one the left wore a blue robe/toga while the right wore a white one. They were of the same size, about 5'6. The one that was bald was saying that, “We need to take precautions, we are waning. It is time we stopped deceiving ourselves.” The one wearing the white yelled, “NO, I WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS. WE ARE THE GODS!!!!!” One of the women, a dark haired one with an owl scoffed, “THIS war is killing us. We have already lost contact with the others, and know that five of the others have died. Artemis is dead! Accept the facts.” At that point Someone rolled themselves into the room. He was a larger man with a hammer on his back. “These are the best that I can do, it took everything I had. They are the best that I could create. The these five artifacts will help each of you in a way that your power works. Night, Day, Light, Zephyr , and Spirit. I will still be wielding Gaea, Atlas has Core, and Apollo has Ember. Not a weapon but a formidable item.”
The world swam, and my house reappeared. I saw my mother taking but I could not make heads or tails of it. While me head was still spinning, the world shook and changed. I was outside in a thunder storm around me were simple building, Eight people were standing in a circle, one raised on a small podium. In the middle of the group was a man in shackles, no cloths save his under cloth. Lightening flashed next to him, and he was kneeling with his back erect. I could not mover closer, but from the look, I was betting a trial. Form the way it was going, it seemed that he was going to be found guilty, and that did not scare him. The one on the podium swept his cloak away from his body to show his hands, an the ring on his index finger seemed to catch the reflection of a passing lightening bolt perfectly. The winded died and the night was silent when I head, “That which was healed can be taken away. For your crime we sentence you to death, I vocant tue vite in me!!” the wind picked up and took any other words, but the effect what very visible. The man in the center started to bleed, and dry out. It was only a matter of seconds before he was dead, and the ring glowed with a light that could be seen for miles. The one on the stage laughed and celebrated, and then this would shook like the time before.
I was back home for once more, and this time I heard mothers voice enter my ears, “Only one more, remember, this is for the future that will come to pass.” And with that I lost sight again. I was standing outside of another circle, this one made of different color cloaks. There were eight in this circle as well, but they were all standing on equal ground. The one in brown started it, and the others follow suit, Around them a structure started to be build. It was one that resembled that of the temple that I saw in the first vision. It grew with such speed, that the amount of power that they poured into it must have tremendous. That had to be members of the council to do such a feat. When it was finished, they started to take off their hoods. The first one was in the white, and as the hand raised to grab the edge of the hood, I saw the ring that had glowed. Before I could see that face clearly, I was yanked back to the real world. It felt like I was getting squeezed through a small tube.
I was shaking and sweating horribly. None of the others had moved, and they were all around the table like nothing had happened. I shook my head to clear out the pictures of what had just happened. Even as the moments passes, the clarity and vividness dimmed to that of a pale memory. When I asked about this, I was told that it was normal, it keeps the person from brooding on what is seen. After that I was bullied off to bed, and I was in no condition to fight mothers urgings.
Chapter 4.Gifts and a final lesson.
As the beginning of July came ever closer, we were getting ready for me to pass out and enter the first real experience of magic. The temple/school was in the mountains somewhere in Colorado but it was thought that that was one entrance, and that there were some from around the western world. Mostly we worked on my ability to sense the power being used, and the amount of power. The next thing was my ability to tap into it, and just hold it with no objective. This I was told was one of the things that would make sense as I grew stronger. It was only in this time that I realized how little my family used the power for mundane things. They would not use the power to fetch something, or to clean, or another hundred uses that would have saved a lot of their time.
August 31 come and with it was the fact that I was leaving. My mother found me in the morning and gave me a list of supplies that I need to pack. Some of it was a no brainier, such as cloths and books, but weapons were a surprise. She gave me only about an hour to gather everything that I needed, and then she expected me in the store.
I entered the store front with the pack, and mother stood with two boxes, and father had a bag in his hand. Mother started “After you leave, you will enter the would with different rules then those you know. While the other students know the human worlds rules, they also know and expect others to know the rules of the Gifted. In this you know not, and for that I apologize, I never expected you to have to go. Before hand though, as we gave your sister, so to we give to you.” She opened one of the boxes, and in it were twin knives with blades that looked to be about 8 inches. The hilt was gilded with ravens and spiders, in a black material. It was as beautiful as it was creepy. “I know that you do not understand, but these are the blades that I stole before I left my fathers house for the council so long ago. They would have gone to Raven, but for some reason I kept them, and now they deserve to be given to the next generation. By this also, know that the handles will become slippery wist blood or sweat not. And that when called they will fly to their master. Their names are not important right now, and no I will tell you, for their names have great power. The second comes form your father.”
He held out his bag, and when I took it, the weight surprised me. When I opened the bag, I saw a trench coat. It was a deep brown, and when I grabbed the collar and flourished it, it was my size. I sliped it on, and it fit perfectly everywhere, even the length of the arms. It was soft on the inside, and yet not to fragile. It was a great gift. His only words were “It took three of us to make that, it is a simple design and the only magical making left to us. Use it well.”
Mother held out her last box, it was slender and not that long. “Now this will be of little use, but as you grow, this may be of great benefit.” she handed it to me, and when I opened it, I saw a locket on a chain. It was in the shape of a heart, and when I touched it, it felt warm. It was of simple design, and only three things made it special, the small intricate swirls that ended with a tiny gem, a picture of a fire blazing in the middle of the spirals, and a lizard by the blaze, getting warm, yet not touching the spirals. It was old, that was easy to tell,anything else was lost on me. “The energy in this will help you in a time of great need. Both your father and I have pour our power into it, and so should you, when you get the opportunity. There is but one more thing you must see to before you are free for the day, go see Sherace, she has something she wanted to give you, and could not make it here.” And with that, she headed back into the storage for some reason.
I looked at father, but all he did was say go as he headed into the back to presumably work on the garden. I headed out to see what my teacher wanted, I had one day, and although I did not have any plans, I did want to get ready. I sighed and started to run so I could get back in time. It took all of twenty minutes to get there, which for me was doing great.
I knocked as calmly as I could, as I was winded and I wanted was to sit and rest. Shelly answered, and she had a question by the look of her face. “What can I do for you Johnny?”
“i need to talk to your mother, I was told that she wanted to talk to me.” It made me wonder why the younger ones got their power, but they did not get to go learn?
“Come, she is in the backyard, practicing.” and with that she led me into the back of the house. The backyard was the same as it looked the last time I made the dog. It was even still there, with the earth around it looking very disturbed. Sherace was practicing with magic, and she had a stone dog of her own, and while it was better looking, from the look of her power in the object, she was having a very hard time turning it to stone, if that is her intention. I was still not that skilled at diversifying what another was trying to do. She looked up as I came closer, and smiled. Her power receded from the animal, and it turned back into dirt, and then fell back to the ground. “I have spent a lot of time trying to duplicate that damn dog, but unable. I tried recreating the shape, then improving it, even something simpler then it, to no end apparently.” she seemed draw herself inward and continued, “but this has nothing to do with what I called you for. You need to know what it is like to face another of the gifted in combat if you had to. While most of the technique will be taught there, and in a way that will leave you hating life, right now all I need to do is get you through the basic. In this there are multiple ways that they can attack, but mostly it will start with something close to the body and then thrown. This is because it takes less energy to create something, or affect a great change near your body. You will find a style that you like to deal with this, and there are a few. You could subvert the energy, combat it, move it, or take it over. Only do the last if you are sure that you are stronger then them by a fair margin. You will see what I mean when we start, ready your self.” With that, she raised a piece of rock to her hand, and let it float there for a second.
It came shooting toward me, and I tried to react. My power was sluggish, and because of that, when I finally got it concentrated and ready to wield it, the ball had slammed into my shoulder, knocking me to the ground. The pain was only like a baseball hit, so it was not serious, and as I rose, it did not bother my strength or movement, so I put it out of my mind. When I looked back at her, she was waiting with another ball in her hand, ready to throw. When she let this one fly I was ready, and I poured my power to try and over take the ball. What happened was the ball did not weaver at all and struck my other shoulder at full force. A fine rage was building in me, and I tried to squash it. I did not show or express anger, not in the force that I now felt it in. As I rose for the second time, she had a new ball floating in her hand, and was smiling, waiting patiently. If this was what consisted of a real fight, I was going to get my ass handed to me on a silver platter.
The ball flew at me like the others, but this time, I reacted with out thought. My power flowed into the ball, and because of that, I was able to nudge the ball off the path that it would have taken. As it neared, she must have realized what I was planning, as the resistance to the new path grew. She must have wanted me to feel this before hand, because it was all I could do to concentrate on what I wanted the ball to do, and keep the flow of power to have it get done. With her fighting me, it needed more and more effort, which was leaving me very tired and mentally exhausted.
The ball flew past me, and then she release it, with only my power keeping it floating, I with drew my power as well, the ball dropped the five feet to the ground. The energy in me was significantly smaller then it was when I gathered it after the first ball. I must have used more then I thought. She broke in as she called from across the yard, “You did well! It only took 3 to stop it from hitting you, that is an accomplishment for one with no practice, and against me. I am not the strongest, but I am no pushover. Earth is a slow power, so just work with that, your power will continue to grow, and be quite a force, but you need practice. Come inside so that we may talk on what needs done, and there is more that you should know.” She headed back into the house, and when I looked at the sun, it was already hidden behind the roof of the house. It was after 4 already, so much for my free day.
She went into her room, and called for me to follow. When I walked in, I realized that it had a fire place, and in it was a cauldron that was cold and black from the lack of fire. She saw that I was looking at it and laughed, “Yes we are like the witches, those of us that need it uses potions and others things in it. Many of everyday things can be amplified with our power, and this cauldron allows most the ability to activate their properties, although that is not what I had in mind to say to you. What exactly did you mother get for you, as I was one that helped create the coat.”
I recounted that I got 2 knives of raven hilt, and a necklace with spirals, flame and a lizard. She took a sharp breath on the knives, and gasped when she heard about the necklace. When I asked she replied, “The knives are powerful. She should not have given them to you, but there is nothing I can do now. The necklace is one of the more particular artifacts that survived. That is a holder of power, but that in and of itself it not that unusual. The funny thing is that I believe that it is able to actually form a change in the world. It is said that when it opens, something that is needed will be released, and that more power will be granted then any but the great ones. Some have said that it is a great one, but none have been able to prove that, as all of the great ones have been hidden and covered up. The only one that was not hidden was Night, and no one really know why it never went into hiding. Some say that the objects hid themselves, others claim it is a conspiracy on behalf of the council. This talk of philosophy is not what I wanted to discuss. You have been my student for a little over a month, but in that time you have grown. The speed is impressive if nothing else, but there is one more thing that I want to give you.” she left me goggling at the new information while she went to closet, and reached into the floor. When she came up, she had a ring. She brought it over and handed it to me, claiming that it had no name, or none that she knew.
There was nothing that I could do so I said, “Thank you, but why are you giving me jewelry?” I barely understood the reason for the necklace, and I don’t think that the ring would do as much.
She looked shocked, and just stared before telling me that, “Have you not realized that while we are not the best equipped, if one of us finds an artifact, we hoard it. And have you not been able to prod one to see what it does? You have one hour, tell me what the ring does, and why then ponder why I would give it to you? Do this by the time I return, see you then.” With that she flowed out of the room, leaving me with a ring that I did not understand, and an impossible task.
The ring was like many others, there was no ingratiation, no gems, nothing to set it apart. It was a simple band of a silver colored material. Since the sight did not aid me in what I needed, I drew on the power within me, and sent it into the band. It took only a few seconds before different things became clear to me. The ring was composed to 3 different compositions, but I could not make heads or tales of what they might be.
I had not been examining it for but a few minutes before it got away from me. The power flowed into the ring at a faster rate then I would ever have allowed. IT circled around the ring, glowing brighter and growing bigger by the second. When the ball around the ring was half a foot away from it, it stopped and started pulsing. The colors changed with each pulse, going from black, to white, to red and blue, pink and peach, and lastly clear and brown. It was when it hit the brown that the ring started to vibrate. The ball receded, and then disappeared, leaving the ring with a slight glow. My power was no longer being drained into the ring. When I tired to put it into the ring, it met a force that kept my power at bay. The more I forced, the more that I wasted, as nothing was touching it.
She came into the room with me still trying to get power back into the stupid ring. She looked at the ring and started laughing. “Have you figured out what it does yet?”
“I have no frigging clue, it took my power, glowed and now I cannot touch it with the power. I have no idea how I am supposed to tell you what it does without examining it.” I was very frustrated.
“You need to calm yourself, I told you that it is only in calm that we can do what need done. Think for a second, and if you still cannot get it I will tell you.” She sounded amused but also stern, as there was no room to argue. OK what are the facts, when I put my power into the ring, it took control, and then would not allow me access. “Does it take the energy from a source, and use that to keep other magic from touching it?” That was hard to even conceive, but it fit all the facts of what happened.
“You are a lot smarter then you look you know, that is exactly what it does, except that it is not just the ring, it is the whole person. It stops energy from hitting the person, that being said it does not stop real objects, even if they are magical in origin. That is why I do not mind letting you have it, it is not exactly rare for this to happen, most will have something that does the same thing. You should probably go home, and get some sleep, you leave in the morning to Colorado” She then led me to the door, and kinda pushed me out of her house. When I went out side, mother was waiting outside, with her sword.
“Are you ready? I thought you might want a quick way home.” and with that she headed toward a patch of darkness that was pitch black. I ran to catch up, and she disappeared into it, I hit the darkness at a full run, sliding into the hall that mother created with her gift. After all of two steps, I was in the store front, two miles away from Sherace's house.
“Mother, you all talk like I have to go, but why. Is there a way for me not to go to this place. You went, so you could teach me could you not?” I did not want to go to a place that I was going to be the weakest and stupidest.
“You will have fun, and you get to meet your friends that will last a life time. It is also the time to learn all of the skills that you need, and one of those is control. It will also leave you in a position where you know the rules and laws of our people. You will go and have fun, for nothing else, and as for teaching you, I don’t have the energy to teach you. Go to bed, and tomorrow you will board a plane to Colorado. I will give you the rest of the instructions tomorrow.
Chapter 5.Group 15
I awoke the next day to a flurry of activity. Mother stormed into my room at midnight, telling me I had to be at the airport at three. When I got up and tried to help, she just told me to get my bags and make sure that I did not forget anything, because once I left, I was going to be gone for a while. She had only one bag ready beside what I had, and it was small in and of itself. My bag was a backpack with books, my presents form yesterday, and that was it. She packed into it, a little food. That was all I was allowed to take, or that was all I was willing to take to this place.
As 2 came around, we got into the vehicle that my father drove, and that happened to be a large van. In it , mother, me and father all piled into it, with me in the back. All I could think of was what was this going to be like, and did was I going to be able to compete with these people. When I asked my mother about it all she would tell me that, “it is a place that is carved out of a mountain. You will a join a group of six people who will be your housemates. From there, you will learn everything that you need to, from basic history, to out legends, to manipulation of the elements. It is fun, and you will not forgive it.” she sighed and for once I knew that she was tired of the life that had been dealt to her. “If I had my way, none of my children would have went, but it is mandatory or the council comes and finds out why you did not send them. If they found that I did not send a child that was of age and had the gift, they would have showed up, and I could not handle that.” She did not utter another word, no matter how much I pestered her.
AS we neared the airport I saw that it was pretty large, with over fifteen flights landing or taking off per hour. The time seemed to float after that,with the metal decorator not going off for anything that I carried. I thought that the knifes would have, but they were not made up of a metal that they picked up apparently. After that I boarded the plane, and it was a 4 hour flight to Colorado. I was on the ground a little after seven, and while the Denver terminal was huge, there were clues to follow. Signs and hints were all around if you able to see and decipher them. After I followed a sign for a boarding school for the Gifted, I found myself outside with fives buses. I saw a man standing out side the one nearest me.
I headed toward him, and asked “Is this the ride for the Gifted to get to a school of sorts?” he looked a little surprised, but nodded and said to get on any of the five. I thanked him, and went to the door not a foot beside him. When I entered the bus, I saw that it was mostly packed, and with most of the people caring more luggage then I was. There was only two seats not taken, one was in the front of the bus with no one sitting there, and one toward the middle where someone looked like their were holding a seat. I took the one that was empty. I placed my bags as close to me as I could, so I could keep an eye on it, and it would be out of the way.
It was only a few minutes later that two more boarded the bus. One was a tiny Asian, who could only have weight 80 pounds, and stood at max 4'10. If he was over the age of 13, then I was as skinny as a limb. The other was directly behind him, and it was only after he passed that I got a good look. She was of average height, with black hair and skin of light brown. When she looked around the bus, I caught sight of her eyes, and they were a very sharp green, like that of leaves in the direct sunlight. She looked around the bus one more time, and then sat herself next to me, which was apparently the only seat not taken by another. All she carried was a sac, and it was tattered almost beyond where it could be used. It was a pale green, and that was it for her possessions.
I sat back and prepared to wait, I had books that I could have read, but the conversations that I heard were really interesting The people around me were either bragging about their own skill or strength, or that of their family. I even heard one claim that they had one of the great artifacts, and from the gasps there were idiots that believed. A smile split my face as the gasps grew a little louder as more people fell into the story. That was what almost all conversations turned to, also did he have it, and if so how to steal what ever it was from him.
I was so lost in the conversations that I did not notice a person at the head of the bus until he cleared his throat. I turned to see that man that had told me to get on a bus of my choosing. I got a good look at him, and he was a little older then middle age, with brown hair and bright brown eyes. He was a little taller then average, standing taller then me from the angle, and had an air that said he demanded and got attention. He cleared his throat again, and as the people still did not shut up, he smiled.
All he did was clap, but the sound reverted around the bus with the force of a herd of stampeding cows. Everything was silent if only for the fact that you could not hear anything else for the moment. His voice broke into that silence and it was full and rich, like the sound of honey,a dark honey. “Good, now do not make me get you attention again. First thing, is there any here that do not have power, but their family still sent. It is rare but if you feel that you are, stand up now and you will be tested. If you don't then when you are found at the cave, you will be doing hard manual labor for quite a while, so stand up now to be checked!” The second it was clear that he was done talking, five stood, and I started to.
The women next to me grabbed my hand and clearly stated, “You have no need, while you are not the brightest star on this ride, You are by far no where near weak enough to fear not having it. It seems untested with you, which is odd, but it is yours, have no fear of that.” She shook her head and fell silent. I lowered myself back into the eat, while I processed what she said.
“How can you know what my power is, or that of any others?” I was curious as to how other peoples abilities and talents worked. So far I knew only a little of my abilities, and none of the talents.
“It is my eyes” She started, “i have been able to see the flow of power in both the nature and in people. With some it is brighter, indicating strength, and is dimmer in others. Yours is a little weird only in it does not seem to have solidified yet, not to the point of normal people. With proficient people, it is steady glow. With novices it is a small flicker between brightness levels, not a lot and hardly noticeable.” She looked at me and squinted a little, “Yours though, is like ones in six and seven year old's, new to the power. It is a flickering of not a little but a lot. Some of the time you are dimmer then even those standing, where I would say it does not exist, to being one of the brightest on the bus.” she seemed to catch herself in that she drew a breath and looked away. I think she reveled more then she had ever anticipated.
When he spoke he confirmed what she said, “All of you do have the gift inside of you. Please sit back down. You will be split into groups of 7, which will be your roommates and other things. For the first week you will be separated and kept that way, under the tutelage of one how has an understanding of the power. First off, it will be called magic from not on instead of just power or the gift . This is because it does take on properties of what the outside world depicted as magic. Everything else will be explained by your main teacher, so get comfortable it is a 5 hour ride to the cave.” He sat on the isle and leaned back against the seat as though to settle down for a nap.
I could not believe that he was going to be a teacher, but I pushed it out of my head as I leaned back and tried to sleep, it was only now that sleep deprivation hit me.
A screeching sound filled my ears, and I slowly awoke to see what had caused it. The buses were stopped, meaning that we were at the caves. The man stood, and looked around and then called, “OK, we are here. You will enter the caves and stay together. You will be silent as you are told instructions on how this will work, so if since we are agreed, exit the bus quickly.” With that he turned to leave, and tripped on his own feet. He caught himself but he still appeared to stumble out. I stood, and followed the girl out, as we were the first to try and leave.
Once out, I made sure that my backpack was secured on my back, and headed off in the direction that the man had. He stopped moving at a clearing, with 6 other around him. They ranged from bother sexes, and all appeared to be middle aged. Their race also varied, with an African American, two Asian, 2 Mexicans, and two white people, the one from my bus being one of them.
The rest of the people started to trickle up, and when I looked around, I saw only a small portion compared to what I expected. There was lucky to be 250 students in the clearing with me. In the whole of the united states, that was a tiny amount. I did not know that there were so few of the gifted children in the country. All of the students grew louder, and that drowned out all of my thoughts. The seven on the top of the slight hill in the clearing, waited, and the people grew louder, the more time that they did not move.
The man in the middle raised his hand and clapped, and the second that his hands connected, a wave of fire bloomed and grew, spreading over the heads of all of the people. Silence fell in seconds, as people feared to breath. The black women smiled and started to talk, “I am so glad to see the next batch of gifted. There are many paths that you can take from here, but at this moment you are all the same. Family means nothing here, I mention this because we do have two member of the dark house hold, and if we even hear of you taking advantage of this, you will be severely punished. Now you will be split up into groups of seven, and those in your groups are also held accountable for any misdoing or accomplishments. We do have electricity of a sorts, but there is no internet or phone service.” She finished and the Asian man continued.
“You will have one week to prepare with your sponsor, and we will have a small tournament, to see which group is the strongest. From there you will enter the teaching of others so that you learn what you need with other groups. When you get far enough, you will be singled out by your power and taught form a proficient member of a similar ability. All of the other rules will be explained by your sponsors, so without further adieu, let us go.” All seven turned at the same time and headed away form the students.
The mob started to follow and pushed me along with them. I just followed and tried to not get trampled. It took less the to top the hill, and then the true mountain came into view. It was huge, way larger then any of the surrounding mountain tops. At the base there was a small black hole, and the leaders were making great time , already a quarter of the way there, which looked about two miles away.
It was a somewhat short walk, only an hour and a half, until the crowed got to the cavern opening. It was quite a bit bigger then it appeared, with ten feet wide and at least 8 high. Once we got there, the leaders turned and disappeared into the darkness of the cave. The group stopped and peered into that mouth of that mountain, and waited to see what happened. It was only when a voice called, “If you do not hurry, then we will have to come and get you, and you would not want that.” that we all moved again.
Once the light was dimmed, I tried to move away from people. When I was no longer touching anyone else, I walked in a straight line away from the light of the outside world. It took only a minute before it was perfectly dark, and there were screams as people touched each other. It took only five steps before light returned in the form of flickering candles. A tunnel could now be made out, and it was lined with these candles, it was kinda awesome the way the light flickered. The path ended in a chamber that was dwarfed everything else that I had scene. It was 20 feet tall, with a diameter of at lease 30 feet. Just outside of the walls, to the left, there stood a platform with a desk. They were all seated, and waited for all of us to file in.
I looked around to see if I could spot the girl that had rode here with me. I saw people in capes, some in Gothic cloths, some in geeky cloths, and I even some in expensive ones. There were people from every walk of life, but I was not able to spot her. The mans voice came again, “My name is John, and this will work very quickly. I will call your name, and your number. The number is both your group's number and the room that you will be staying in. Billy, 12. Shawn 3, Marcus 10.” I lost track after that as it was not important what the other people got. I did keep enough attention to hear mine, and was lucky I did. I took less then a second for him to call out, “Johnny 15.” and then he was saying another name.
I was in 15, that was OK, not that I had anything against the others. It took him what felt like 10 minutes to get through the rest, and then they all stood. “This year there are only 20 groups out of the 75 that this can hold. You will have the rest of today to get to know one another and relax, and then tomorrow morning be ready to meet the sponsor and start learning.” With that, they all clapped, and everyone started moving.
Some man stepped into my sight before I had gone three steps, and blocked my path. The others moved around him like he was not there, and they were flowing down the different corridors. He stood about my height, a little taller, and when I looked into his face it was clean shaved, with bright blue eyes, and dark brown hair. He was confident, and before I was able to intake anything more, he spoke, “I'm sorry to stop but I was drawn to you, and I must wonder what in you calls so strongly.” His voice was deep and soothing, and it drew me like he said I did him.
I smiled and could not stop the response of, “No, I'm sorry that I am not like that and am in no way interested in you. I am sorry if you thought otherwise, as for me calling to you, save it for someone that could care.” The second that it left my mouth I wish I could take it back, but I knew that he was going to be offended, and tried to leave.
Be burst out laughing, it was a slow chuckle the grew into his throat until he threw his head back and let it out. He was shaking and laughing for what felt like ten minutes before he came back to the conversation with me. “Funny boy, that is good. I am not like that as you so kindly put it. Actually in your gift called to me, it has the feeling of some that was my friend a long time ago. She was the most aggravating and wonderful creature. She was a firm believer is all that was good and white, while her power predisposed her to the darker side.” He smiled and it was one that you see when someone was in love, an old love that was biased on better memories then fact. “She was taken after the first year, but already she was surpassing everyone that was here, she learned extraordinary fast.” He seemed to realize that he said to much, “Anyway, I just wanted to get your name so that I could keep an eye on you, for the future, you know?” He looked at me very, as though trying to read my very essence, to see if I was like this female from his past.
“My name is Johnny Saunders, and I come from a very weak branch of the earth clan. I'm sorry that I am not anything that you could be looking for.” most of that was the truth, my last name was changed. My father was actually on the lower end of the earth clan, although not as far as I made it out to be. He was fifth in line for the leadership, and a first cousin to the family in charge.
“Let me be the judge of that, youngster,” He looked around and it dawned on him that there was no one else around. “I think I have taken enough of you time for my day dream, ill leave you to get settled into your room.”
He turned to leave, and I did not know how to get to the room, “Hmm, excuse me, but I need to know how to get to the room group 15 has.” I was hooping that he would give me directions. He did not even slow down, and started to walk, when he waved his arm, and a white figure was beside him. I heard him tell it to take me to the room, and he kept going.
The white thing turned toward one of the tunnels and headed into it at an alarming rate. I hate to jog to keep up with it, and before the thing rounded the first corner not 30 feet for the entrance, I was getting winded and wanting to slow. By the second corner I was huffing and puffing, and barely able to keep moving. Thankfully it stopped at the door not to far from it. As I approached it at a much slower pace, I watched it dissipate as though it never was.
In front of the door, I took a deep breath and tried not to think about the people that I would be shearing this space with, or what I could have to deal. When the courage came to me, I grabbed the handle, and entered the rooms.
What I saw blew every idea of what this was going to be like to smitherings. The door led into a wall, with a painting of a lake in winter. To the right there was a large area with two sofas and five armchairs wrapped around a table, with stand next to each. Right behind that, there was a fire place with logs next to it. That was all I could see to the right, and to the left, I saw three door, and a hallway that led farther, indicating the rooms. I headed to the living room to see what it would be like.
When I got to the table in the middle, I saw beside and behind the fire place was a small pool, only ten by twenty feet, the wall ran along the length. And both of the widths. I walked up to the edge, and saw the that the bottom was far below. That would be fun to play with latter, but I did want to see what the rest of this place offered. I followed the edge of the pool away from the fireplace, and when I came along the wall, I saw a door not 2 feet from the edge of the water. Not only that, but to the right, there was what looked like a kitchen, with a stove and everything.
It was only at the moment that I saw the kitchen area that I noticed that light bulbs lit the space, so it must have electricity. That made this place even more like a resort and not like the rustic camping that I had thought. Since I was not hungry at the moment, I headed back to the couches to lie back and relax.
I snuggled into the white one that was nearest the fireplace. I had always wanted one, and being near it was neat to me. It was not a minute before I heard someone take the place on a sofa. When I looked, it was a plump female, holding a book with people wearing very little. It was one of the romantic book, we sold a lot of them to older females at the store. She looked at me, as I watched her, and after a few seconds ignored me and having settled, opened and read from the book. She was wearing jeans, with a shirt that was blue. Nothing out of the ordinary for a normal person.
I got board after all of ten minutes in the chair, and sense naps were denied to me, I decided to go see my room. When I entered the hallway, there were rooms doors on one side, a door on the other, and one at the end of the hall. On the left, which contained a lot of the doors, I saw one of them open. I headed toward that one,to find that there was no one occupying it. It also contained the staff from home, and the bag that I carried into the place. When I saw it, I remembered that I did not have it the moment after the dark section in the cave. I wonder why I did not notice it at the time?
I quickly checked to see if everything that was supposed to be in it were, the knives and the coat. Both were, and so was the ring, glittering in the light. I stood looking at it trying to decide if I was going to where it around the rooms, or to wait until we were on the field. My back prickled as someone was doing something strong with power, and that made up my choice, I put on the band onto my right hand middle finger. That done, I looked around the room. The staff was above my bed, on the wall. The bed itself was a queen, large with a brown sheet and blanket. There was a dresser beside it, and a night stand on the other side. That was it, nothing else in the room. The walls were stone, with a grew tone in them. With everything important checked, I went back to the front room. The fat girl was still there, and so was the one that sat next to me on the bus.
There was a loud knock at the door, that woke both of the girls out of their books. I was the closest so I opened it to show the man that was at the head of my buss, and the main speaker in calling out name and group. He walked through the door, and forced me to back up and admit him. He was a very imposing man.
When he was clear of the door, he looked around and apparently saw that there was not everyone present. He call rather loudly, “Assemble NOW!” I saw doors open and people rush to follow his voice. Once everyone was assembled “My name is Helios. I am your patron for your time here, and I will be your main teacher until I determine that you are ready to move on.” I looked around and saw that the ratio was five to two, the girls being out numbered.
“Seven is the number that defeated the old titans, seven is the number of remaining gods after the last battle, and there is a prophesy that said seven will bring the light. For these reasons the groups are seven in number. Are there any questions before I go on and explain everything else?” He waited a moment, and one of the males started.
He was a little taller then with with puffy hair the color of hay. “How are people put into the groups, I find it unfair to put strong people with weak or smart people with stupid ones.” His voice held confidence, as though he knew he was the strongest and the smartest. What life could he have lived to give him that impression?
“Good question, the groups are picked out of the wind by those who can hear on them. The groups are followed after, and for the composition, you will find that in the end, the group is around the same intelligence and strength, just keep that in mind, OK.” He waited until it was clear that no one else wanted to talk, and then he continued, “Then there are things you need to know. In one week there will be a tournament between all groups. The strongest get lessened chores, first choice on the meals, and will be mentioned to the council. The winner of the second get to meet members of the council and most likely get recruited and taught by them. If not, the most of the major clans will take you in in a heartbeat. Along with that, you will be learning 'spells', history, and most importantly ambient magic.”
He lost me at the end, and I started to ask when I was overrode by the one to my right. He wore a Hawaiian shirt with sandals and a pair of shorts. It was freezing outside, and that was what he brought? He called “What is the difference between ambient magic and spells, and why is ambient taught most?”
“The difference is hard to see in some, and in others it is obvious. It comes down to what is innate, and what is taught. For someone in fire, like myself, creating and controlling fire is not a matter of putting the different powers in a specific way, it just happens. But something like creating a wall of pure iron, for me, takes an very exact pattern of earth, fire, and light. For some it is a very fine line difference, but that matters not right this moment. What we need for the week is to practice some basic fighting technique, and getting you guys in a group mentality. I have seen VERY weak groups win because they had that early on. So tomorrow we will start, I suggest you get to know each other, and start the bonding.” He did not wait for us to say anything, he just turned and headed toward the door. As his hand touched it he called over his shoulder, “Every group is on lock down for the first week, so don’t try to leave. The backyard is open to be used though.” And with that, he left the room, the door seemed to close with a slam.
I looked at everyone closely for the first time. We were all the same age, give or take a year. Of the seven, all but two looked white, and they looked Mexican. They were all skinny for the most part, but two may have a little husky, there was only one that weighted as much as me. Apart from that, they just looked like teenagers. Nothing to say they were gifted, that they had any power at all. There should have been a difference between humans and us, something that was visibly different. Something that allowed the to know.
I sighed, and let those ideas flow away. I headed back into the front room and watched them interact with each other. The two white boys, both of those that spoke to Helios, were arguing. I could not hear what they were arguing about, but it seemed like it was an old one. They walked over to the heavy chick, the one that read the romance book. She snapped at them, and they went away. It seemed like they knew each other. I looked over to the other two, and saw that they were laughing and joking around. The Mexican and the last guy seemed to know each other also. Was I the only one that came into this knowing no one.
Someone grabbed me, and I jumped. I swung around and I saw the last member of the group. She was the other, and her eyes still seemed to glow. “Hello, why are you so jumpy?”
“I did not expect anyone to grab me. Why did you grab me?” She did not say anything on the bus, how was I supposed to know she had a sense of humor.
“Because you were people watching, and that left you open. Why else? And you seemed be the only other one that is alone here.” She finished and she took a seat next to me on the sofa
“So, what did you mean on the bus, what is your gift?” she said she saw, which was odd.
“My gift is body. And what I meant is that I saw your power,” she closed her eyes for a second, and then opened them. After a second she spoke again, “Your power is dimmer now then it ever was before, but it is more steady. I don’t understand. That should not have been possible, what is your abilities, that might explain some things?” She spoke not to me, but as to the air and she lost in thought.
“I have earth, and darkness, but I have not found the third. Even knowing two this early is rare so I am not that worried. And if you see power then it is probably dimming because my parents are giving me the energy to have a gift. I told you I thought it was all a joke to them.” A tear came to my eye, and there was nothing I could do.
“That explains a lot. Earth hides its power a lot more effectively then others. The strongest of them only register as middle to others who sense. That is why I think you are stronger then you claim. Remember that, so, what's your name?”
“My name is Johnny Sunders. And what is yours, oh mysterious girl?” I was still going to use the new last name as long as I could.
“I'm Cassie, Cassie Long Tooth. My parents thought it was funny to name me after out ancestors. Little did they know I would take after them.” Her voice cracked a little at the end. I don’t think she meant it as a joke, it probably hurt her.
“Wait, do you mean your parents are not gifted, they don't have abilities, or powers?” It was rare, but it did happen that the blood skipped generations. It mainly happened in the American Indian culture. No one that I had met knew why?
“Yep, you can imagine how much they loved me, the freak!” she was pissed, drew a shaking breath, and then just headed off to her room. I looked around I knew that it was the best thing. I got and entered my room, where I laid thinking that this was absolutely weird.
I fell asleep at some point, and when I awoke, my stomach told me that I neglected it again. We were told that there was food, so I headed to where the stove was, and hopefully the food. When I got there, there was a pantry, and a refrigerator. I opened the door to the pantry, and saw that it was full of junk food, chips and and cookies. With that, it also held cereal, rice, beans, and canned everything.
The refrigerator held milk, juice, cheese, and meat of all kinds. This place held a lot of food, and they replaced it every two weeks, unless on lock-downs, what do they expect us to do, eat every minute? And there was a hall that served food otherwise. I got a glace of apple juice, and started to pour me a bowl of cereal.
I was cleaning my dish, when the other female entered the room. She was a little shorter then me, and she went looking for something to eat in the pantry. Once I finished I saw that she was eating toast with an orange at the table. I went over to her, and sat down, looking at her. She had brown eyes, with flowing black hair. She looked up and calmly said, “Can I help you?”
“What were the others fighting about last night, and how do you know them?” I was rally curious.
“Oh, That was Joseph and Kenny fighting about the same crap they always are. “Mine is more powerful” mine is “REAL” her voice jumped as she mocked their words. She was very friendly. “We went to school together in California, while I HATE Kenny with all of my being, I just have to keep Joseph in his place, which is below me. I'm Lori by the way, and who are you?”
“My name is Johnny, why do you have to keep Joseph in his place?” it was weird the way that she phrased is.
“It is not that, he comes from somewhat powerful parents, but they are off from the main branch of the mind clan. While they command respect, any of the center can command them. He is powerful, of that no one will argue, but he has the personality that has to prove it, and point it out at every possible time.”
“Hey, my parents told me, but I don't understand, what is the clan branches and the significance that you spoke of?” My father only told me that he was fifth, and that he was on the first branch when it came to clans.
She looked at me like I was nuts, “You have to be kidding me. Where you fall on the clan tree is how much influence over the lower class in the same clan. Power only matters on the same branch and lower ones. The 'trunk' is the ruling persons immediate family. It can change, but it is rare. I happen to be a first branch, and am showing to be one of the strongest. What about you, which clan and branch.”
“Which parent do you claim if they come from different clans?” I was learning a lot.
“Then you could do one of two things, the one your power takes, usually. But in some cases, the one where you are higher can claim you, and they get the claim if the one the power is does not protest.”
“OK I have only one more question, are the people automatically in the clan?” I was starting to understand.
“No, you are in it up to the age of twenty one. And then you either get asked, force your way in, or you get stricken from the clan. Each clan has an animal, guide that is said to have been the main teacher after the gods disappeared. So what is your name and rank?”
“My name is johnny and I am first branch of the Earth clan. Apart form that I know nothing. It does not seem to be a big part of our family.” And that was the truth, no one talked about clan, or anything close to it. “Hey what is your clan then, since you are almost in the trunk.” I was earth, Cassie was body, I just wanted to make sure that we were diverse.
She smiled, and moved her hand through the air. Into it a ball of water formed, completely whole and clear. When it was the size that fit into her hand, about six inches in diameter, it started to freeze. Once it was solid, she offered it to me. “Water is mine, and I need to make it perfect.”
There was a knocking on the door, and I went to see, it was Helios again. HE looked a little worse for wear, but other wise the same. “Hey. Can you get everyone and meet me outside, we need to talk.” he blew past me toward the other door, and I went to the hall to get the others up. Knocking on the doors was enough to get them awake and threatening me. Once I was sure they were awake, I moved on.
When I went into the yard, it stopped me. The yard was huge, with benches on the side, and had a water part of the field, an earthen one, one in complete darkness, and one in bright light. It was the perfect place to train, as it gave advantages and disadvantages. It was almost better then the room. I was shoved in the back, with an obnoxious “move” called as they went passed. It was either Joseph or Kenny, I did not know which.
In the center of the ring was Helios. We all circled him, and when all seven were gathered, he took a breath, and then sighed. “WE have one week to get you working together as a decent team. You have to be able to fight as one, be cooperative, know your own and your partners weakness. Once you know them, you can compensate with the teammates and you will be strong. Today we will work one at a time so that others can see and comment on the performance.” He smiled. It brightened the air around him, and added light to the area, which was odd when you think about it, it added real light.
“OK so who will go first today?” He waited for a second, and when no one moved, then I will take you, he pointed to the one that had asked so pointedly asked what happens when we were grouped with weaker people. Knowing what that girl, Lori said, he was probably Joseph.
He walked up there with an almost cocky stride. Once he was in front of the teacher, he looked at him, starring, like he was daring the teacher to prove him wrong. “So what do you want from me, oh teacher.” His voice was a confident and a little scornful.
“I want you to be able to move this bench across to the other side of the arena. Do that, and you will prove that you are strong.” That was it, just move a bench? That seemed a little normal, and not all that hard.
“Fine, that should be easy.” That was all he said before the bench rose about three inches off the ground and floated away form the group. I thought he was going to be able to do it easily, when I shuddered and then thudded to the ground.
I watched as his face contoured, and the chair rose and moved again. It only went three inches, before it stopped and then fell. Again, he tried, and it only rose before it fell, not even moving. He was shaking, and the chair refused to move. His face in pain constricted my chest a little, and I could not stop from my self. I reached into my power, my center, and found the light. I then pushed the power into his form, trying to give him my strength. I wanted him to succeed, he was powerful, and something like this should not stop him.
I heard a gasp, and I looked up to see him looking at the chair as it rose and gracefully landed where Helios had first stated. He looked at Helios with a smug look, one that said I had won. Maybe he did it alone, there is no proof that I had any effect.
“Don’t give me that look, you got help from something or someone, but I could not tell where. Since it is team work that we need, I will not complain, and I must compliment how it was done. Good job, you can go sit down.” Joseph came towards us, and sat next to Kenny, talking softly. “You next.” he was pointing to me.
I was terrified, I could not do what he just did. I was panicking, and it took him yelling to get me up and before him. That was when I got a good look at him. He was a little taller then me, clean shaved, with short hair. When I saw that his eyes were a bright red, I jumped, and flinched away.
“It is OK, I will not ask anything that you that you cannot do. That is why I am your teachers. You are some of the best and strongest, but that will only be the case if you believe it. You may not all be high in the clan, but each of you hold the potential for great change. For you, I need you to lift a hand size rock.” That was it, nothing more.
I reached into that place that I went to when I was trying to help Joseph. I found it, in my belly, and it was a light and warm place, but calm and in control. I put it into the earth, and forced it into a sizable chunk, and then willed it is raise it. It was only a second before a pressure built, and I lost grip on the center. With that, the power drained out of the earth, out of my control. I tried this three more times to the result of me losing my breath, and getting a headache. “I am sorry, I cant seem to do it. I think I am not one of those you spoke of.” I could not help it, a little catch entered the next part, “I. I just cant seem to be able to.” A tear rolled down my cheek before I realized it, and I tried to stop the others.
He smiled, and I almost lost lost it completely. “You may not have been able to do what I asked, but there is not a single one of you that could without help. I meant to make a lesson out of the arrogant one, but you worked. I did not expect you to be so forceful. Yours is a slower and quieter power. I don’t think any of the others felt how hard you fought. Be proud, and remember not everything is the same, and that you can be just as good if only different.” With that, he turned away. I kept my head down, and sat where I had before I was forced to get up.
They tried so hard to notice nothing that is was obvious, all but Cassie. She warped her arm around me and whispered, “He is right, I saw the strength, you could give the him a run for his money when you try.” and with that, she headed to get tested. I did not notice any of the testing, I was too engrossed with my thoughts of what was, is and will be.
He came every day, and he slowly worked with the others. I stayed and watched all of the work, but I refused to participate. This went on for three days, and on the day before we were supposed to fight, he lost it. When I refused he yelled, “You are needed, so grow up and accept it. You failed once, in a task that was impossible. Deal with it. Now get up here and show them what you have, and be a contribution, or I will roast you where you sit.”
I just looked at him, I got control of my emotions not five minutes after I fell apart, the days before, and now I had them in a very tight rein. I would not answer, I had seem them do the impossible for three days, and he had the audacity to say that needed to let it go because I can not do something impossible. Lori was able to create and hold a large body of water out of the ground, Joseph was able to move six objects independently of one another. Cassie was able transform into an animal in under five minutes. The Mexican was able to create a whole scenery and maintain it. Although it had no real substance. Kenny could create and control fire, like Helios just smaller. And the last was able to move winds, and sounds, even creating them out of nothing. It was all amazing.
He raised his hand and fire formed, he looked at me, with an eyebrow raised. I got up and slowly went over to him. When I was before him again, he winked the flame of existence. “It is time that you do your part. You have three attackers, three sensory and auxiliary. They need a defense. A true defense. Lori can manage if she needs to, and I think that Joseph could if he thought of anyone but himself. Now, I need you to make a wall, and it needs need to be strong enough to hold back my blast. You have thirty seconds form now.”
HE again made fire in his hand, but this time to emphasis his point. I really did not want to get hit, so I went inside myself. When I found it, it was merely a spark. Not even the room that I found last time. I put that spark into the ground, and tried to force the earth to cover me. The earth started to raise in front of me.
“Oh, you thought I was going to hit you, no, them.” With that, He threw the ball at the others. My power moved without my thought, a wall went up right before them the moment it left his hand. Not only did it raise, but it was thick enough that when the fire hit it, the wall took no damage. I just stared at it, trying to understand.
“Very well done!!!!” he went over to it, “Three inched thick, and made with just pure dirt. Not bad at all. With a little prepping, I think you could add the stronger parts for better effects.” he chuckled at his own joke. “I told you, you are a defender. You power know it, and so do you. There is no other reason that it flared like that, for people you did not know. And your power is stronger then that little spark that raised the wall in front of you.”
I looked at the wall in front of me, and saw a hill that was not in form, and could barely take anything before it would falter. I looked at the one in front of them. Its top was level with my eye, and its walls were straight up. Where the fir hit was a small scorch mark, but it was well done. I found the spark, and it was just a little weaker, not like I had done that wall at all. I poured my power into it like I had the ring, and I felt that it was structured. I felt the bonds between the molecules, and they were as rigid as stone. When I did it to the pile, there were a lot fewer bonds, and they were no where near as rigid. It was like limp noodles. It was hard to believe that I made that stone thing.
I looked at him, and laughed at him, “There is no way that I made the dirt wall. It was done using a technique that I did not know how to do. I can tell the difference, but I don’t think that I can make it. I also felt my power, and it did not take the hit that would have been done if I had done that.” I motioned to the wall. “I don’t know why you would lie to me, but it will not work.” I turned away, but he grabbed me.
“Fine, lets see if I would protect you from this.” I felt the heat, and I moved without thought. I slammed my fist into the hand that was holding me, and with a quick pulse sent me sliding away from him, as his fist flew through where I had been. Without thought, five missiles rose and aimed. He stood there, looking at me. He flicked his hand, and a fire ball came roaring at me. One after another of the rocks were sent toward him, and the fire I slammed with my power.
It was different then when I was dealing with the earth. It was raw emotion, all emotion, just as earth is none. Fire was its own entity after being created, while earth was also alive, it was more stubborn then willful. I used energy to force it to my will, and that was to slow down and to stop. When it was three feet away, it slowed and stopped at a foot. It was not until then that I realized my breath came in gasps, and when I looked at Helios he was blurry and slowly moving in a circle.
When my legs dropped from under me, the fire disappeared. I heard him walk over to me, and felt him place a hand on my forehead. I could not open my eyes, that seemed to have fallen when I had. “You should NEVER try to over take someone elses magic unless you know that you are stronger. I could have bleed you dry, and you would be dead. Your rocks were well placed, and that gave you the time to stall it, which was well done. Are strong, and your innate talent is surprising. We have found your second, and that is fire. That is the only way you could have stopped it. Well done!” He stood up and walked away.
I looked around, and most of the heads just nodded. One was shaking his head while his body trembled. I was tired of being the joke, of always being the outcast. I just ignored Joseph and walked inside, hoping to avoid talking to anyone. When I got inside, I headed to the library that we had. It reminded me of home, with books to the ceiling and knowledge bound into the pages of these books.
I looked through all of them, and the ones that caught my eye were both the history of the gift as we know it from the “gods” and the creation of order after the fall of said gods. I took three of them, ones on the history of all of the clans. Only the clans had the truly detailed history of themselves, but these were a good place to start. When I got them to my room, I took a good look at them. Two were only a few hundred pages, but one was a tomb, with what looked like over a thousand pages. It was a wonder that I did not notice the weight of it.
I put it aside and took on the two smaller ones. One was bound in almost a wood, while the other one was the traditional cloth binding. I took the cloth one and opened it very carefully. From the first sentence it was interesting.
Most of what is said here is speculation. No one know how the old ones really disappeared, or why. Some say natural causes, some said they allowed them selves to dissipate. I believe that there was more, there is evidence to show that a war broke out right before they vanished. Either way, there are some things that are know, that the beasts that were used as companions were smarter and more powerful then normal. Each became the head of a clan, or at least the teacher of the clan. While being a part of the Life one, I know that Michel is the one that taught the first of us to truly use the light. The gods never shared their power with their children, never allowed the demigods to grow to their strength, but that is not the point here. What is, is that these being did not fade like the gods. They exist both a part and detached to the world, which is why they still thrive. There are nine know, but I believe that there are a lot more that have never reveled themselves. Back to the clans, the archangel Michel is named after the head of the Life clan. I know for a fact that the spider is the head of the Death.
Anyway, these being called the demigods and gave them not only a purpose but knowledge. Most of the gifted did not know it, and what they did was not noticed, knowing when a storm was coming, being able to foresee a couple of seconds into the future, that kind of thing. It was when they were just beginning to group that the Romans were said to have hit, and shattered some of the efforts. With this, out blood spread. It was only after a thousand years that the gifted would learn that they were not as alone as they thought. The introductions of the American Indians was a shock to everyone. By this time we had not spoken to the heads for a couple of centuries. While we live long, they had become myth to all but the oldest, and even then it was not an accepted truth.
I am getting off topic again, what matters is that while all of the clans were being built, they were not done so at the same rate of time. It was only through luck that they did not kill each other off. It was only in the time of the true middle ages that the first council was created, and that is the matter here. The council is the real that I am writing this. They came into power to keep the clans form killing each other and to keep the peace. It was only after fifty years, did any begin to see the corruption that was taking place, but the leader at the time, Kelly, made sure that the strongest from all of the clans were apart of the council. This became a tradition as much to hold power, as to make sure that no one though they were powerful. From that time, there have only been two big battle to topple them. Both have failed, but there is supposedly a prophecy from Apollo to tell of the coming of the gods, and a new golden age. This one would be better or worse by far then when the titans ruled by how the the ones are raised. I have not been able to find this prophecy, or anyone that had. Once in a while a person will pop up that has the sight and have spoken of such written on a wall, but they are always made to disappear.
That is not the point of this at all. The council is, and they are always ruled by 7 members, and the only one that is missing is earth. It is said that they were the protectors, and they would decide who to support on their own. While they pay dues and keep the same laws, the earth clan has a lot more leeway, and that is because without the earths support, a rebellion would he a lot hard to suppress in a large scale. The Dark clan is the strength, but it is the earth that are the backbone of their armies, back when they waged wars. They fight in all of the major wars, but earth was needed only when the council declared all Indian blooded magic be wiped out. That war almost took out bloodlines, before the earth was forced to act, and it is said that they are the reason that the Mayans just seem to vanish. After that, they vowed to never join in any war without a majority for it, and the good of everyone one the earth, both gifted and human. Even in world war two, where darkness ruled, Earth did not get involved. It was stated that id earth had, then the war would have been shorter.
I looked ahead and he wandered through the rest of his writing. It was fascinating, and alluring, for it held more knowledge then I had seen both on things left unsaid and hinted and about the dynamics of clans. The history of it made me wish that I could find the author, and the time that it was written. It had to be recent to have world war two in it.
I set it aside, and picked up my second choice. I thought it was like the first, about clans and society, but the first page proved me wrong. The inside name was Power's, How to do the impossible, and what is actually possible. I quickly turned to the first page and read.
There is so much that can be done without using the traditional 8 powers, control the weather, make lightening, control plants, make objects, understand them, and even searching for things. Each use a combination, and ones that anyone can learn. While some are predisposed to being able to controlling weather and harnessing lightening, even someone from the earth can do it.
It continues form there, explaining how to make a searching/ investigation spell, how to sense and work with plants, how to redirect and control lightening, to even creating it. I absorbed all that I could, and was part of the way through the plants, when an annoying knock broke into my thoughts. I looked up to find Joseph in the door way. He nodded to me and said, “My name is Joseph, and that was very impressive today. You should have seen Kenny's first attempt. It was pitiful. Dinner is almost completed, so you should come and join us.” I noticed that my stomach rumbled, and agreed.
He continue to talk about not only his own success, but also others failures, and all that he enjoyed. It seems that he play an instrument, the Violin. He also took his studies seriously, and was bound to graduate valedictorian. I never had a chance with that, but I was intelligent. He continued on how he like the card game Magic, which he said was very much fun.
When we got to the dining room, which sat behind the kitchen which was next to the back door, there was hamburgers, salads, hot dogs, and chips. Everyone dug in with gusto, but even though I was hungry, I only took one burger, and tried to keep to my self.
I was only half way through my food, when One of the two that I still had not got acquainted with called, “OK we have one more day until the fight. Helios said that he would test us as a team, so we need to decide what out strategy is as a team?”
“Come on Ryan, I am almost done, cant we wait until we leave the table to discuses this?” Joseph called.
“Finish as we discuss this, we need a real plan. I know that the others will have one, and I want to have ours at least known.”
“Why plan, we don’t know enough about each other, or the strength and weakness. How do they plan in a week for us to be a good team.” This was from Lori, which was the first time she had spoken.
“We need some sort of idea for tomorrow, that is all I'm saying, not that I have a plan.” Ryan was trying to make sure that the was understood.
“OK what is the most likely attack for most of the groups?” This was from Cassie. She seemed to understand that fighting did not help.
“I would go for an all out attack if I thought the other teams were a real threat. I would want to hit them before they could muster a counter attack, and hopefully long before they get any defense up.” Kenny stated that without any preamble. He then when into a side story, “Like the one time when we went camping, we were practicing and I noticed that they usually fell into the blitz if they felt like we could win. Also because most major magic takes time an energy, while small can be done quickly.” it was intelligent reasoning.
“Fine, then by that reasoning, if we can get a strong defense up fast enough and strong enough, then we will throw them off a little, and slam through them. That sounds like a fine plan.” Joseph was just full if optimism, it seemed that he did not make the jump that I was the only one that was true defense.
“Can we just worry about it tomorrow?” I asked trying to get them to see that this was no good.
“Are you kidding, this is not even close to a plan. Can you even be used in defense? I me today was impressive on a small scale, but can you do it on command?” I understood Ryan’s concern, and it was legitimated.
I gave the only answer that I could, “I have no idea. I know how the wall was made, but it was not my power. Not that I could tell. I am still not certain that I could replicate that at all. I just don’t know. I am sorry, but I am dead tired, and wish to get some sleep. See you in the morning, tell me what you decide.” I moved to leave the table when Cassie did that same. When I walked to my room, she jogged ahead to her room, and came out with a book.
She came into my room after me, and handed me the thing. All she said was that it would explain some things, and then she glided out. It was hypnotic the way she moved sometimes. With a little difficulty I pushed that out of my head, and looked at the new book. It was medium sized, with a red cover. There was no writing on the front, but when I opened it, it looked like a note book of someone. The writing was by hand, and it was a little messy. When I flipped through the pages, there was only five that were filled out, the rest were blank. They must have finished, ran out of time, or lost interest. I had tried to write before, but I always lost interest before I could finish the piece.
I started at the beginning, and it was about a young women, one that had the power to shape the world, but was crippled by her doubt and lack of confidence.
Her power was forced to act out of her control, and her subconscious had most of the control. This was horrible, in that what she desperately wanted could be done without her knowledge, or regard for how it would affect her. She was bedridden for a whole month once when she accidentally moved all of us over fix miles up a mountain to save us time. It almost killed her, and she claimed that one of us had done it. We broke her walls and forced her to see reason, and she grew a lot more closed. While she no longer did things without her control, she also lost a part of herself. Her power grew to be stronger then predicted due to the earth, but she lost a small part of the humanity and became a vicious person, doing what needed to, to get what ever she decided was important.
That was the conclusion of the work. It went into her past but that was not important. The fact that she gave it to me and told me that it would help, is that she thinks that I am like the women in the story. She had the power in her, she just could not see it, I did not have that problem. So one thing had happened that they laid at my feet, I still think it was Helios.
I shook my head to clear the thoughts, we were in for a battle tomorrow, and the day after was the Fight.
I awoke early, and quickly got up to grab the bathroom, as it already had the bad habit of being used a lot in the mornings. Once I was done, I went back into my room and started getting ready. This was supposed to be full battle simulation, so we needed to be completely prepared. I grabbed the coat that my father had made, slipped the two raven blades with no names into their wrist sheaths. I put the ring onto my middle finger of my left hand, and lastly grabbed my staff before heading out.
I entered the kitchen to see that I was not the first to rise. Cassie was there, making a breakfast for the others it appeared, form the mountain of food that she was making. I set the staff against the back door, and sat at the table, making sure to watch both the sleeves and the sheaths so that the sleeves did not give the other away. I was making sure that I need everything for today
“So, what are you doing up?” I was curious. It was 30 min before we needed to get up, and an hour and a half before Helios came.
“I could not seem to sleep, so I thought I would make a meal before today. I don’t see how trying to use the power we have as a weapon is in any way good. Why?” she came with a plate of pancakes, set them down next to the others, and then sat herself.
I could not help myself, I took a plate and started eating. It was really good, with real fruit in the middle. After my first bite, I answered, “because the society that was created after the gods was biased off of power, and they needed strength and a willingness to use it to be in the children. It is still used today because despite what everyone thinks, we do not breed as fast as average humans. No one has been able to tell why, but if it came to a fight between the two, we would loose.” I took another bite and savored the taste. Mother never cooked that often. When she did it was good, but this was excellent.
“OK, why do you have knives on you? No one will attack you here.” That caught my attention. I looked at her and truly tried to see her. I may not be the best, but it took someone good to spot the movement, and make the connection. Her black hair came to her collar where the shirt made a little bow outward. There was something around her neck, something that was hidden from sight. I looked down, and the same thing was around her ankles. Something was causing her cloths to move in a way that was not natural, but as for as I could tell, there was nothing under it.
Her eyes were sharp, but while I wore glasses, mine was to. I closed them, and put power into them. It was something that I just did. What I saw was a flash of silver around her wrists, and a shining around her collar and pants. The wrists took the shape of animal heads, a wolf attached to a cats, attached to a birds. It was gone the next instant, as though never there. I rubbed my eyes, and tried to see while they wanted to close. It left me tired to even try.
“Ill tell you about the knives, when you tell me about the amulets that you have on.” They had power, to hide from sight, and to glow the way they had.
She froze, like a deer in the headlights, and she barely breathed. It lasted a second, and then she relaxed. She looked at me, and then she put her arm forward. When she set it on the table, the charm appeared. It was made out of wood, with silver mixed in. It was made with care, and if the metal was any indication, it was old. “I got this a while ago. It was blessed when it was made to help, and it gives me control that I need. I got it charmed from a local witch to keep them hidden. The others amplify this. Now spill about the knives.” she was serious about all of it, that I did not doubt a word of it.
“The knives were a gift, and I was kinda told not to bring them to light.” not in so many words, but as I was claiming just the earth heritage, bringing the raven blades seems wrong.
“I will not tell. Plus you are the only one that knows about the charms. Show me the blades, and if they interest me, ill tell you more about my power and life. That seems a fair exchange for just a little look a the blades don’t you think?” She had a point, but still... what were the chances that she would recognize them for anything more then blades.
I raised the sleeve very carefully, and slid the right one free. It was the same, with the raven still glittering as the hilt with the black hilt. I held it to Cassie, but she just stared. After a minute, I was getting ready to put it up, when she said, “Don’t put it up, I think I know that blade.” And with that she was running toward the rooms.
She came back with a book, and set it in front of me, carefully away from the plate that I had finished. On the page was a blade that looked exactly like mine, It even had the cracks in both the blade and hilt, that I had not noticed before. “I don’t understand what is the point of this?”
“That blade has the Crow as its hilt, which is the markings of the major house of the dark. And we know it is the dark by the spider webs that are over the whole peace. It has a twin, and when wielded by a master, it is said that they could rival the legendary Night. Either way, that blade belongs in the dark leader's house, how did you get a hold of it?” So if it had the power to rival Night, then why did mother give it to me. And only when the twin is working with it. I pulled out the second blade out of my left sleeve, and I heard her gasp.
“You have both!” she sputtered. “What is your past to have them?”
“That was not what was agreed to. You are interested, that is obvious, not talk about your past.” I head a sound behind us, toward the rooms. When the slam of a door was then sounded, I knew that the others were waking, and I slipped the blades back into their sheaths.
“We'll talk about it later.” she rose and headed back to make sure everything was heated correctly, everything was done, and done correctly.
I relaxed, waiting for the rest actually get up. So the blades were marked not only with the dark sign of spiders but of crows for the high family. That makes them almost useless to me. If the dark clan finds me, they will rip me apart for the knowledge that I have. There was nothing for me to do about it at the moment.
Someone grabbed and shook me. I looked up to see Kenny grinning, “Come on we have a battle to win.” He took the fire a little far, but then again he really does like to battle. I rose and followed them out back, making sure to pick up my staff before leaving.
They must have eaten when I was thinking, because everyone else was already outside, getting ready. Lori was talking with Joseph. Kenny over walked and stayed near Joseph. Each had a weapon near them, and most had jewelry on of some sort. I had my staff, Kenny had the sword, Lori carried daggers, Andrew and Ryan both seemed to be forming weapons, as they lasted a moment before changing, Cassie seemed not to have one, but that was just unlikely. I moved toward Kenny, because he was the only one that talked to me, besides Cassie and she was hiding something.
Joseph was talking about the plan, which was not a plan. He was claiming that single-handedly he could win, that there was no reason for everyone to feel paranoid. That our weapons were a wast and the show of scared children. Maybe he could, I don’t know. There was no reason to trust him, but the opposite could also be true, so I listen to him without saying a word.
A flash of power, and of heat, signaled the arrival of Helios. He appeared in a bloom of fire, and once the light disappeared, he was standing there with two other people. One was a smallish Asian, which was a little surprising as not many Asians came here. While he was not small in height, he gave off the appearance of being dainty. The other one was a women, a big women. She was at least 4 inches taller then me, and not that skinny. If her arms were any indication, most of it was muscle.
|10 May 2012|| Scott dean mattocks|
if you do get to read the whole thing, tell me what you think. if there is anything wrong, anything you feel damages what i am trying for, please inform me.
|17 May 2012|| Lynn K Hollander|
I find the presentation difficult. Double spacing between paragraphs is kinder to the reader Scott dean mattocks
replies: "i tried to fix it, and i am having problems separating them for this format. i even tried the cut and paste on the second and have had no success. if there is a way that you knew that i could fix this i would be glad to try."
|24 May 2012|| Lynn K Hollander|
I don’t have that same problem. I use Open Office. Standard paragraph spacing, but no tab indents.
If you have Word, you might try a search and replace for the Paragraph glyph, changing it from one glyph to two. (Control F, then find the paragraph character under ’Special’.) Or try double spacing as you write. (I know, this is awkward and hard to remember.)
You might also try FAQ in the Forum sections.
Good Luck. Scott dean mattocks
replies: "i also use open office, but no matter the spacing i set, single or double it smushes it together. unless you mean to actually hit the enter bar twice on each paragraph to fix it?"