The Spark of a Leader
Chapter 1Chapter 1
Dallin crept along a wall cloaked with a Concealment. Of course, it wasn’t his true ability. He had always had a talent with lightning, so he wasn’t the best for sneaking around. The temporary stripe the Spark had left on his palm allowed his invisibility to be possible. It would wear off soon, but he might enjoy it while it lasted. It wasn’t often that he could get out into the city alone. He saw the movement of a shadow at the end of the filthy alleyway he was currently sneaking through. He groped for one of his spheres and prepared to smash it against the ground as he sprinted toward the figure.
The Sparks were simple magic to use. After the sphere shattered, the energy inside could be used for different purposes depending on the Spark’s type. When the spell was completed, often a temporary stripe was placed on the person’s arm, some lasting longer than others depending on the power of the spell that had been cast. Dallin had marks that had lasted since when he first discovered his ability as a lightning maker and Spark trigger.
The shadow he was chasing was standing still. Well of course, they can’t see me.
The figure in front of him raised his hand and tossed a sphere into the air. The pale gray glow emanating from the Spark told Dallin that it was a revealer. The orb shattered on the ground in front of him. The chunks of transparent crystal melted away into smoke and the gray mist in the Spark drifted toward Dallin.
The mark on his hand began to fade as the Revealer’s magic touched him.
“I see you,” said a female voice emanating from the figure at the end of the alley, “You can give up your act. You cannot hide.”
Suddenly, Dallin heard the soft tread of footsteps behind him. Dallin spun and saw another dark figure rushing toward him, flames trailing from their hand.
A Fire Maker! He though as he focused on the lightning energy contained in his body and let out an arc of lightning. At the exact same moment, the silhouette jumped to the side and flung a stream of fire at Dallin. It splashed down short of its mark but still close enough to singe its target’s eyebrows.
This was getting too risky. Dallin reached into his satchel and found his only Gravity Spark. He threw and activated its energy and flung himself toward the wall to his left, where the ball had landed. He managed to jump sideways as he plummeted to the wall as the next symbol was put onto his arm. He sprinted up the wall and disengaged the spell with a neutralizer Spark. He gripped the top of the building with his fingertips and then pulled himself up, wiping the sweat from his brow and running his hand through his dark brown hair, pulling up his hood to do so, letting the night air wash over his face.
When he was sure he was no longer in danger, he took off across the rooftops, his cloak rippling in the night wind.
When he got back to his barrack, he walked in and collapsed on his cot.
Dallin had been in the royal army for years, even though he was only twenty-one. When he was sixteen, his parents had wanted him to be apprenticed to a blacksmith in the industrial section of the city of Diasa, but he had always had a mind for strategy. So when his parents sent him off, he had made his way down to the recruiting office and signed up to fight in the war against the Ciceans. His lightning ability made him able to jump ranks faster than most men and he became what he set out to be, a middle-ranking officer in Lord Aeseri’s army.
Now he was on his last month here. After that, he would most likely find a nice home in Diasa and start a new life there. It sounded dreadfully boring.
“Hey Dallin, is that you,” said a baritone voice, making Dallin jump.
“Yes Simon, it’s me,” he replied.
“Where were you?” he asked with a quizzical tone.
“Checking on the men,” Dallin lied. “I noticed that Jerson’s foot twisted today during the drills, and thought that I might take him to a surgeon.
“I thought you did that earlier today,” Simon said skeptically.
“I did but…”
“Have you been sneaking out again?” Simon asked.
“You know I can’t defend you much longer. I’ve already risked my position for you several times.”
“I know but…”
Suddenly there was an explosion outside, the shouts and screams of men waking the whole camp.
“That was the armory,” Dallin said with tension in his voice.
They both rushed out to help those men who had been on guard. The armory was burned almost to the ground by the time they had put out the fire in the armory, but the surrounding buildings were still ablaze, Simon was a Water Maker and did much of the work. He almost passed out a couple times when he over exerted himself.
“We’re almost done,” Dallin assured him.
When they had finished with the armory, Simon sat down alongside the nearest barrack, blonde hair drenched with sweat.
“Did we do it?” he asked in a fatigued voice.
“Yes, we did it,” replied Dallin, kneeling by his friend.
Suddenly, two streams of flame hit next to Dallin, right where Simon was sitting. His scream was brief. Dallin quickly jumped to his feet and shot twin bolts of lightning into the dark where the flames had originated. He then took out one of his Sparks and crept to the place he had hit. His lightning had left a patch of scorched earth next to barrack eleven. The corpse he had expected was not there. Unless they had a Static Spark or Shield Spark, there was simply no way anyone could have survived that hit. Dallin had used that attack in battle before even against warriors with more skill and experience and only two had ever walked away from it. It was clear that this was the same Fire Maker who had attacked him in the alleyway. Dallin then remembered poor Simon. He rushed back to check on him. Sure enough, he was dead. Much of his flesh had been charred off. Dallin would get to the bottom of this. But now was a time for mourning. Dallin wept.