Chapter 5: The Prophecy
My heart started steadily beating again. I managed to open my sore eyes and looked around me, but my vision was just a hazy blur. I tried to figure out where I was, and what made my body ache so badly, but there was a blank wall blocking my thoughts. There was a cold breeze all around me. I lifted my arm and noticed there was something familiar about the silky quality of the air, and how my limbs seem to float on their own. All of a sudden the wall in my mind collapsed; I was underwater.
When I attempted a gasp at this impossible thought; my lungs filled with water and I was being strangled, pulled down to the bottom of the glass tank. I ignored my heavy lungs and screaming muscles, and kicked as hard as I could, flailing my arms reaching for the surface.
As the wall I in my mind cleared away, I remembered everything. The betrayal, the fighting, the bitter defeat, all weighing me down even further. I kicked harder and finally broke through the surface, gasping for air.
I instantly started looking around me to try and see where I was. I was in a big warehouse-like-building with a small bed off in one corner, a big screen with a huge keyboard below it, and in the center, a glass tank filled to the brink with ice cold water.
I slipped and struggled trying to get out of the tank until my tired muscles forced me to sink back into the water. I pushed against the tank again, and vaulted over it. I hit the ground a few feet below in a crouched position. I felt energized as the water sank into my skin. As I looked down I noticed that the arm Drake stabbed was almost completely healed except a small white line.
“Well done, well done. See I knew keeping you in water would heal you,” came a voice from beside me.
I stood up, whirled around, and saw Matthew standing and smiling. For the first time I saw him in the light. His hair was a sandy blonde, he was about my height, and he, like Nicholas, looked to be in his thirties.
“What?” I asked brightly. “But I thought you didn’t trust me.”
“Well, when Nicholas brought you here after you almost killed yourself by fighting against the Guardians I had no choice, but to believe him.”
“Nicholas saved me? Why didn’t he just let me die there, his job would’ve been done,” I said bitterly.
“Why don’t you ask him yourself,” Matthew said.
“I don’t want to hurt you,” Nicholas said coming out from behind the corner, “I was going to, I admit, but I changed my mind when I saw you save that girl from the bullies. It reminded me that I have a choice to fight back against this.”
I looked at him trying to see if there was any hint that he was lying, but his face was the same sincere, unwavering mask.
“All right, I believe you.”
“Then it’s time I show you something,” Matthew said leading me to the big screen.
“I assume that Nicholas has told you there are others like you,” he said.
“Well they’re going to help you-“
“But they’re…dead. Aren’t they?” I interrupted him.
“Not exactly,” he replied, “When the Guardians defeated them they didn’t just die. They took form.”
“What do you mean ‘took form’?”
“They turned into an object related to their powers and stayed that way forever; waiting to one day to be brought back by the most powerful of them all…you,” Matthew said.
“Who exactly were these people?” I asked ignoring what Matthew said about me saving them all.
“They are people of the Prophesy.”
“Wait, what prophesy?” I asked.
Matthew shot Nicholas an accusing look, sighed, and began to rummage through a file cabinet filled with piles of yellowed and frayed papers.
Finally, he pulled out a round, gray stone. The front side of the stone was divided into four parts. The first said Earth and had a leaf, the second said Air and had a swirl representing a gust of wind, the third had a flame and said Fire, and the last said Water and had a droplet of water on it. I turned it over and there was a poem on the back.
He handed me the stone and I read it out loud:
“There’ll come once a day on which Mother Nature will retire.
‘But who will take my place?’ she did inquire.
So forth she will send for four heroes to one day arise.
She will anoint the parents who will soon after demise.
First will come the woman of the Earth, as happy as could be,
Until she’ll be killed oh so mysteriously.
Next will come the man of the Air,
Whose life will end in a way so rare,
Hiding away safely, or so he thought,
Until redemption one man sought.
From the desert will come the man of Fire,
He will put up a fight before his time will expire.
When all hope is gone,
A new age will dawn.
An age of battle led by the last.
This war will end far from fast.
The dictatorship will fall,
And, in the end, one will reign above all.
“After Mother Nature decided this she created me to be the caretaker and teacher of the Elements,” Matthew said.
We all stood in silence not knowing what to say next until I ask, “So…what were they like?”
“I’ll show you,” Matthew said his face suddenly lighting up. The screen directly above him flickers to life and a picture of a painting depicting a girl in her twenties. She has long, black hair; olive skin; and warm, green eyes. She was standing in a grass field wearing a cowhide dress and light brown moccasins. She also had a bright green ribbon tied around her forehead.
“Who is this?” I ask.
“This is Faith, the first of the Element controllers. She was born May 5th 1601 and became Chief of the Abenaki near Plymouth Rock. When Faith learned about her powers, she used them to help save her tribe by replenishing all the grains stolen by a neighboring tribe. The more she showed all the wonderful things she could do, the more widespread her stories became.
“Soon her stories reached a man in Europe who started the Guardians, and he knew the Prophesy had begun. He immediately sent all of his recruits to kill her. They boarded the Mayflower disguised as Pilgrims and sailed to Plymouth Rock. The night they arrived they sought and found her tent, stabbed her with a dagger, and escaped in the cover of darkness. When Faith’s tribe members came to greet her, they saw her and, in their grief, blamed it on the Pilgrims. Her tribe had decided to let them starve as punishment by not teaching them how to grow crops in this new land. Luckily her brother came along later to help them.”
I glanced over at Nicholas who was staring intently at the screen.
“Did you know her?” I asked.
“No, not really. I was one of the men sent to kill her, but I couldn’t do it. I could only watch as my friends killed her. I couldn’t go back with the rest of the Guardians, though, I knew Master would be ashamed of me so I stayed. I met Matthew there and learned he helped train her and was seeking the next Element controller, so he could train him in advance. I realized then, that I could return to master and tell him about Matthew.”
“And ever since then they’ve been searching for me, but they’ve never found me,” he said, “But no worries all those years of hiding are worth it now that you are going to save us all.”
“Then is Air, right?” I asked quickly, trying to change the subject.
“Yes,” he said completely forgetting what he was just saying as the screen automatically switched.
It was a portrait of a man with curly, blonde hair and eyes so blue they seemed purple. He looked like he was in his twenties, he was wearing a deep, purple suit and had a serious look on his face. I noticed he had a purple band on his wrist with the Air symbol on it.
“This is Michael. He was born November 15th, 1835 in London, England. He was a scientist working in the field of air travel. He toured around giving speeches of the possibilities in this field without revealing himself. People began to listen to his speeches and believe in his ideas.
“As the Guardians heard of him, they planned his assassination. I, who had heard of this, immediately took Michael away to hide him.
“I’d met him since he was five. I saw him making a model out of twigs of what would become the first plane in a fish market while I was teaching a group of mind readers. He explained to me how a plane would work. I immediately knew there was something different about him. When he mentioned how he was adopted by a fish vendor, my suspicions were confirmed. I told him about the possibilities of his powers, the dangers of the Guardians, and the supreme secrecy of it all; managing to keep his inevitable death out of it.
I watched Michael grow up like he was my son, and I began to believe the Prophesy was wrong, and that maybe he would survive. Then came the threat. The Master now knew a way to get to the Element controller, through me. He sent troops around the world to leave a message. If you give up we won’t hurt you, we only want him. Finally, the message got to me and I decided to bring Michael into hiding. We took refuge in an old laboratory and explained the rest of the story to him.
“Since Faith’s death, he had become a special agent of the Master and was sent to find me to kill Michael. He searched the globe, looking in each and every continent, country to country, visiting every village and city in sight.
“Finally, he ran into me while I was on journey back to London from a nearby town where I stayed with some old friends. I invited him to join me on my journey home, since I was unaware that he was working for the Guardians. He accepted my offer; but little did he know that Michael was hiding away in the back of the horse buggy. When we reached the lab I figured I could trust him so I told him about Michael. The next day he left while I was giving a seminar to my students in the town to round up his troops lodging nearby. Nicholas came while I was still teaching with only his second in command. Just before stabbing him he stopped, again unable to do it, so he had his best friend do it. Then, he locked his best friend in the back of his buggy to starve, not wanting the Master to find out about his second failed attempt. When I came back to the horrid scene I didn’t even suspect Nicholas; I figured the Master heard about me and came to kill Michael himself, but that was crazy, the Master would never do his own dirty work.
“When Michael was alive and giving speeches about air travel had begun to shape the world. The Wright Brothers’ great-grandfather, Jesse, had attended one of these and began to come up with some ideas of his own. These passed down, generation to generation until it reached the Wright Brothers. They, as you probably know, created the first airplane based off five year-old Michael’s sketches.
When Michael was killed he was twenty-two years old.” he concluded.
My heart started to sink as I think about how bad this really is. Killing innocent people just isn’t right. I suddenly felt disgusted to be standing next to the man who did this, but I remind myself that he never actually killed any of them and that he has changed.
The screen flickered again and the final man appeared on the screen. It was a picture of a black and white photograph that showed a man of average height standing in full cowboy attire, gun, boots, hat, and all. He had glinting amber eyes and spiky black hair.
“This is James, the man of Fire,” Matthew began in a sadder tone, “He was born July 17th, 1910 in Columbia, California, a gold mining town. I found him when he was seven. I was currently living in Chicago with Nicholas because the Mater found out he killed his best friend and banned him from the Guardians for not only for murder, but also because he failed to kill Michael. He remembered me and asked to stay with me.
My friend, who was a doctor in Columbia, told me about a boy sleeping in a barn when it suddenly burst into flames. The fire department immediately came and put out the fire. They ran into save him, but realized he was still in the middle of a deep sleep. They rushed him to a hospital. He had no damage from the heat or anything. The doctor knew to contact me because there was defiantly something strange about the boy. I traveled out to California with Nicholas tagging along, and asked the boy what truly happened that night. The boy said he was having a nightmare about his parents dying and he could vividly remember the look on his dad’s face. The boy was angry that death had claimed his parents and was frustrated trying to bring them back in his dream. I knew exactly what happened; the boy was angry and it triggered his powers.
“I explained to him about the Guardians and who he was. Over the years I trained with him I began to love him like a son, even more than with all the others.”
He paused, his gaze far away. He continues staring like that and says, “I remember his last day. It was dusk of a warm summer day. We had been expecting the Guardians for a while by then. Nicholas claimed he wasn’t feeling well so he stayed home that morning. James and I stayed waiting and staring at the horizon. Finally, we heard thunderous horses making their way across the dry, cracked ground. We saw hundreds of them making their way towards us, and we began to prepare ourselves for the impact. It wasn’t until they got close enough that I recognized the man riding in lead, Nicholas. He barreled through first and knocked me off my horse while I was still in shock. He turned around to go after James. James threw a flame wildly as bewildered at him, as I was that it was Nicholas. Nicholas reacted quickly and threw something in the path of the fire to protect himself, but it still managed to burn his horse. He dismounted with sword in hand, and he pushed James off his horse and…and he…” Matthew faltered. “I have to go,” he said then rushed out of the room in a hurry.
“Wait!” I called, but he was already gone.
“He doesn’t like talking about James,” Nicholas explained looking down in shame.
“Um…so what happened next?” I asked.
“When I stabbed James he didn’t die, but he was dying. I fled to Chicago after I stabbed him, and he felt angry and betrayed so when I returned to Chicago he created what became known as the Great Fire of 1910 to try to burn me down. I managed to escape, however, with only minor burns,” he paused, rolling up his sleeve to show me a burn scaling all the way up his arm. “Then James took from. No one was with him and he left no signs so we’re not really sure what happened to him.”
“Who is the ‘Master’ you keep talking about?”
“He is the Head of the Guardians…and my father. He’s also leading the expedition to kill you,” Nicholas concluded.
“M is your father?” I asked as Matthew reentered the room.
“How do you know his name is M?” Matthew asked.
“Well, I’ve been getting messages from him. He told me your name and said that you would fight me at my old school. I went there out of anger, but neither you nor him were there. Only Drake was there, who I guess is your brother.”
“So they know for sure who you are now. Then that means we’re going to need to start our mission immediately.
“Mission? I thought the plan was just to hide me from the Guardians.”
“No, we’re not just going to be spending all our lives hiding, we’re going to fight,” Matthew said smiling.
“You know how the Prophesy said you would defeat the Guardians? Well obviously from what you’ve seen with Drake you’re going to need some trainings and reinforcement. We are going to find the Elements and bring them back to life. You’ll train with them until the Guardians attack but by then we’ll be ready for them,” Nicholas explained.
“And I get no choice in this?”
“Of course you do. You get to choose whether you fight or you die.”
“Then I choose fight.”
“Good,” Matthew said, smiling. Then he walked out of the front door and into the sunlight.
I followed after him, trying my best to ignore the sinking feeling in my stomach, telling me I just made the wrong decision.