That night, roar of flames drowned out most of the noise, except for the frightened shouts of the lady behind the wall of fire. Her terrified shrieks for help broke through the hot air like a knife.
She tried dosing the scorching flames with a half empty water bottle in an attempt to break the wall separating us. The fire reluctantly died down for a split second and my mother took her chance and she jumped into the flames, towards me. She reached me, her skin sticking to mine, melding us into one. She grasped me, sobbing, cradling me like I was the one going to break and not her.
When the firemen reached us, there was only embers and ash smoldering around the pair of us. My mother’s skin had turned so red and raw that she was left a shell of previous self. I was pealed from her and lead outside to where an officer informed me that I was the only survivor of that fire. My skin showed no mark of that night, but my soul was now scared knowing that everything that happened that night was my fault.
It seemed strange that I remembered that night when I was in the middle of chemistry class. The thing that snapped me back into the present was the repetition of Mr. Phillips’ voice, “Ms. Thelen. Excuse me Ms. Thelen. Ember!”
“Hmm, Oh! Yes Mr. Phillips. I’m sorry but what was the question again?” I responded.
Mr. Phillips shot back, “The question is whether or not you want to be here in this class Ms. Thelen.”
I tried to answer but he cut in, “You know what I have had enough with you, detention. After school. My room. Maybe you and your hooligan friends can concoct more ways to get into trouble, you guys seem to have a knack for that kind of thing.”
So later that day that’s where I ended up, in the back of a freezing science class room with my friends, staring at a wall with a small poster of a dog saying “Rough day?” My friends and I, all of us suffering together.
First there is Everette and her twin Ansel. They have glorious hair, long, curly and dirty blonde. Their hair length is appropriate considering that they both are six feet tall. Their hair also accentuates their mixed green and blue eyes so they pop. Ansel is a little full of herself but they both have a great sense of humor.
Next is Nesta who also has long hair but unlike the twins, is dark black and is in ringlet curls at the bottom. She is extremely tan and and has a strikingly beautiful face, one that is occasionally able to render people speechless. Although she is short, her personality makes up for it; she is the funniest person and is not afraid of most things.
Finally there is Nova, she has wavy chocolate brown hair and similar colored almond-shaped eyes. Her fierce features gives Nova the look of a fighter, and she has the matching personality. She is about the same height as me so we make a great pair when solving any problem.
Yet here we are, all in detention together. But we were here for a reason.
The school bell rang and Mr. Phillips walked in. He ungracefully sat down in the desk facing us and glared at each one of us with a flicker of emotion I couldn’t quiet identify. Probably hatred, after all we were the reason he was in this horrible classroom.
His watch flashed and his face became set in grim realization. He to walk over to the computer on the desk in the corner and smirked at us. His hand strayed down to under the desk and the next thing my friends and I knew we were flying down through darkness.
After a solid minute of falling, we emerged in an underground facility that had a wide variety of weapons displayed. I immediately knew where we were, the underground facility of the secret organization I work for as a hobby. The Sector of Supernatural Control and Containment, or S.S.C.C. for short.
To my right, Everette and her twin Ansel were already to the wall with our suits on them. To my left, Nesta and Nova were already dressed and stocked with the few weapons they needed. They finished gearing up and grouped together in the corner, along with Principal Phillips -Agent Phillips, discussing our next move. I raced over to my suit and threw it on and strapped on my back up daggers.
With the help of the subtle orange glow on the sides and the fade of gray to black, my suit gave me the appearance of a living flame. It went seamlessly with my abilities, blurring the lines between where I begin and where the flames and ash emerge. I strutted over to the group, blending right in. Everette was wearing the illusion of a wave, Ansel wearing her webs of lightning, and Nesta and Nova wearing simple, yet deadly silhouettes of black. Together we were the definition of fierce.
Agent Phillips started, “Your next mission is-” when the lights sparked. Ansel instantly dove towards the light, acting on instinct, swirling the loose power into her hand. Just as the situation seemed to be under control, a glowing blue figure emerged from the lights, drawing electricity to him as if he was made of it.
The lightning man finally became a full form and growled, “I am Living Lightning and it’s time this city came into the light.” Instantly flames erupted in my hand and Ansel reached out drawing the lightning making up Living Lightning’s body to her.
Just as it seemed like Ansel was destroying Living Lightning, he unraveled himself and escaped through the lights. Agent Phillips turned to us with that familiar grim look on his face and my friends and I came to a haunting realization. Our city was under attack and we were the only ones who could save it.
As soon as Living Lightning escaped, the tech agents of S.S.C.C. went straight to work.
One agent in the back piped up, “I was able to follow his track through the electricity grid. Currently he is just bouncing between- wait, he has stopped at, Midtown High.”
Agent Phillips called out to all of the tech agents, “I need to know anything and everything about this electric man: his actual name, his life, how much power he takes up, his weaknesses, everything. Agent Julie,” Agent Phillips pointed to the small agent in the back, “You are in charge of compiling all of the information everyone else finds and then you send it to the X squad.”
Nova commented, “So does that mean we are to go to the high school, or are we going to stand here and let it be destroyed?” Agent Phillips shot her a nasty look then recouped himself.
Agent Phillips snarked back, “We aren't going to let it be destroyed, you are right now since your team isn't out there saving it. Now tell me why your team isn't out there right now, we didn't recruit you guys to stand around and look pretty in those special made suits.”
Nova just twirled around and stalked to the elevator. Everette and Nesta giggled under their breaths and followed after her. Ansel and I started after them when Agent Phillips stopped me.
“You are the leader of this squadron but remember you still answer to me. This, Living Lightning character, he’s dangerous. A sacrifice on your part might be made to save this city, our city. Just be prepared to make the tough decision because I won’t be there to make it for you.”
I nodded and he released me. This grim truth settled into my core and I couldn't let it shake me, so headed off to the elevator to meet up with the rest of my team. I plastered a confident look on and delivered the motivation my team wanted to see as the elevator doors closed and we shot up to go save the school and stop Living Lightning.
The elevator doors opened and right away there was debris on the floor and dust in the air. Part of the celling had collapsed from the sudden explosion of the power line within the foundation. The lights were flickering as if they could overcome the power of Living Lightning. Distant shouts and the smell of smoke clouded my senses as my team and I struggled to exit the elevator.
I turned back to my team, “Ok, make sure your coms are working, we are going to split up. Ansel, Nesta, Everette, you guys are to look for Living Lightning and if you can, stop him. Nova and I will go and sweep for and stragglers.” Each group went in opposite directions, Nova and I heading upstairs.
We got to the second floor landing only to be met with the heat of a fire and shouts coming from the end of the hallway. One frail woman approached us, the gray soot making her dark skin and hair feel muted.
She coughed out, “There, there are two students trapped in, in there.” She stuck out a shaky hand and pointed to the room at the end of the hall emitting a faint orange glow.
I nodded and put a hand on her shoulder, “Thank you, now please get yourself out of here, it’s not safe.”
Nova and I started off towards the classroom when the teacher shouted, “We were doing a lab in there today. The gas lines caught fire when the lights sparked. Just be careful.”
I twirled around and smirked, “Don’t worry, I got this under control,” and ran off to the burning classroom.
I ran inside and met up with Nova. She shouted over the familiar roar of the flames, “There are two kids behind the wall, under the table. I have control of their minds, I’m currently trying to calm them. What’s your call?”
I shout back, “I will get them out, you keep them calm.” I turned back to the trapped students and started to figure this problem out.
To be continued…