Beginning Flames

The Training Begins

Zephyr and I walked the vast halls of the large estate, asking each servant that we came across about the missing brooch. A few said they hadn't seen it, a few never even knew about it. But a couple was acting a bit off; their eyes kept darting back and forth as they talked, which made me all the more suspicious. They were twin siblings, brother and sister porcupines with gray fur and dark green eyes. I was going to question them more, but then thought I would wait a bit, and Zephyr and I continued on our way.

We kept walking about the halls until we came across a large set of doors.

"I wonder where this goes," Zephyr wondered, about to push it open. He stopped to look at me. "You're the detective. Your call."

I looked at the door a moment before nodding my head in approval. With a push, the door revealed the master bedroom. I kept questioning myself on how I knew it, but I shook it off and we went inside. Barrington seemed to have an easy life, what with the fancy luxuries, the servants, the entire rich life in general. We looked around the room, practically destroying the pristineness of it, but no luck. I let out an exhausted sigh. I glanced at the wall to my right, seeing a portrait of Barrington.

Man, that guy is so self-absorbed and arrogant, like the typical rich person. This self-portrait of him proves it. I saw something shining behind the portrait. I gently moved the portrait askew just a little before something fell onto the floor. Curiosity piqued, I picked up the mysterious item. It was indeed the Tao Dragon brooch. I instantly recognized Kyurem in the center with a white dragon on the left and a black dragon on the right. This is it! Barrington's heirloom! I flipped it over to look at the back and I nearly dropped it.

My name was written on the back in gold letters.

"Hey, Zephyr," I said. "Come here."

"You found it?" he asked, looking from the other side of the room.

"Yes, and one other thing."

He walked to my side, looking at what I was looking at. His eyes widened as well. "I've seen this before."

"You have?"

He nodded. "One other time. I thought that it was only a coincidence..."

I raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"

He looked at me, a serious expression on his face. "There was this guy I knew. He found a crest exactly like that in a very dark and cold cave, and on the back of it, it had his name written on it in gold writing. So by definition, it was his property. And you know what it's called when one takes another's property, right?"

I looked back and forth between him and the crest. "So... you're saying that this is mine?"

"Well, that is your name, right?"

I glanced at the name. Cheyenne Rowe. Yep. That was my name, alright. But it still didn't make any sense.

"We've gotta tell the others about this."

That pulled me out of my focus from the crest. "What?" I dazedly asked.

"Remember when we were talking with Silver and you said that there was nothing special about you? It seems you've misspoken."

No shit, Sherlock. But to tell the others? "I don't think we should tell the guys."

He looked questioningly at me. "Why not?"

"Vector would think I put my name on here when I know that I didn't, and when I would try to tell him, he wouldn't think twice about calling me a liar."

"Well, he hasn't known you that long, so that's one reason why he would doubt you."

I blew out an unconvinced sigh and rolled my eyes. "Yeah, sure, that's the reason." Then it hit me. "What about the twin servants we talked to?"

Zephyr raised an eyebrow. "What about them?"

"Well, they seemed to know something that we didn't. We explain to them this situation, and they could turn it over to Vector and show him the back. We act all surprised, everything's good-"

"But what about Barrington? He'll think that we're stealing his stuff, and he's gonna send the twins to prison."

"Technically, since my name was already on here, he had a hold of my property. As for the twins, they were only helping us."

Silence. Zephyr had not said a word about my plan. Suddenly, he started laughing. I didn't know why he was laughing, but that only made me angry and annoyed. He could have just told me that my thinking sucked instead of laughing at me.

He stopped laughing, a smile on his face. "You really think far ahead, don't ya?" he spoke. "I knew you were really smart."

I blushed a little. "Well, I'm no Isaac Newton or Marie Curie or anyone like that."

The plan was set into motion. We convinced the twin servants to give Vector the crest instead of me and Zephyr doing so ourselves. In the meantime, we met back up with the Chaotix detectives by the front door, after an 'unsuccessful' brooch hunt. Vector was more than upset about it, of course. Not too long after, the twins came. The guy was Cecil, the girl Cecilia. Cecil handed Vector the brooch, though the greedy croc automatically assumed that they had stolen it. As the croc greedily gazed at the heirloom, Espio saw the gold writing that was my name. Vector, of course, thought his teammate was seeing things, but then Cecilia had to flip it over so that he could see for himself. His expression: priceless. His eyes went so wide I thought his eyeballs were gonna pop out of his skull.

When Barrington came home from his mani-pedi appointment to check on our progress, he was shocked to hear the news about his 'family heirloom.' He tried to persuade us that the name on the brooch was the name of his great-great-grandmother. Zephyr called bull and said that the name of his great-great-grandmother was actually Sylvia Maher-Williams. Barrington was at a loss for words, amazed and confused about how the timberwolf could've known such a fact. Cecil and Cecilia seemed to have known that already because of how their eyes kept avoiding my own earlier. Barrington declared 'absurdity,' didn't pay us a single cent, and demanded we leave the premises or he would call the cops. Of course, despite Vector's yelling and protesting about not being paid, the rest of us had to drag the angry crocodile out, crest in hand.

"This... SUCKS!" Vector yelled, sitting down on one of the couches. "I can't believe that rich bastard didn't pay us a dime because of a stupid brooch that wasn't even his."

"Speaking of which, how did your name end up on the back of it, Cheyenne?" Espio asked.

"I honestly don't know," I answered. "I'm still surprised by it." I looked out the window. The sky started to grow dark. I instantly remembered what tomorrow meant for me. The beginning of something incredible. I wished that I didn't have to go through with it, but no matter what, I had to. I had to meet Silver, Blaze and Marine at the Temple of Hajime. I glanced back at the crest I held in my hand, then thought if anyone there would know why my name was on something I may or may not be part of.

"It's getting late," Zephyr said from the couch opposite of Vector. He got up and walked to the door. "I should probably head that way. I gotta say. Today was very interesting."

"Aw, don't go!" Charmy spoke, his eyes big and sad.

"You'll see me around, little bug. You know that." He smiled, then turned to me. "I'll see ya later, okay?" He went out.

"Okay, what was that?" Vector asked.

"What?" I asked back.

"He looked at you before he left."


A smirk came upon the crocodile's face. "Don't act like you don't know. It seems you two have a connection." He chuckled.

I glared at him, then turned my head away. "We're just friends. That's all."

"Then I guess... you play for the other team, then."

"SHUT UP, BIG MOUTH!" I turned and threw a pillow at the croc. It hit him in the snout. "You think you know everything, but you don't!"

"Damn, girl. Seems you got a bit of fire in ya, after all. See, Espio? I told you she'd toughen up."

"She yelled and threw a pillow at you because you got her mad," Espio explained.

"Hey Vector," Charmy squeaked. "What did you mean by she plays for the other team?"

Before either Vector or Espio could answer, I quickly said, "You'll learn about that when you're older."

"Why not now, Chy?"

"Because I said so. Now go upstairs and go to bed."

"But I don't wanna..."

"You heard her, Charmy," Vector said, pointing to the stairs. "Get."

"Aww..." The little bee unhappily flew upstairs.

I woke up early the next morning, grabbed the Tao Dragon crest, and quietly walking out the front door. I couldn't remember how to get to the Temple of Hajime at first, but I was able to make my way to it. I was about to go inside when I heard a loud sound from behind the place. I walked to the back and saw what appeared to be an intense training ground. I felt my jaw drop slightly in awe. It was something you would never find in a high school workout room. It was a whole lot better than that.

Ay caramba! This is something else!


That voice... Now where's Marine gonna jump at me from?

I looked up, and sure enough, the little raccoon jumped from a tree and wrapped herself around my torso.

"G'day, Sheila!" she said. "Are ya ready for your first day of trainin' today?"

"To be honest, Marine, I'm a bit nervous," I said.

"Aw, no worries. You'll do fine. I'm sure it'll be a breeze."

"You sure?"

"'Ey, you heard Arceus, Sheila. I'm here for moral support. There's no way you'd be blue for too long."

"Oh, you're here already," I heard Silver speak as he and Blaze walked toward us. "Good. Now we can get things started."

"But before that, do you have the crest?" Blaze asked.

"She's got it right here!" Marine answered, pulling out the crest. I felt my pants pockets, feeling nothing there. How did she pick-pocket me?! Marine tossed the crest to Blaze, who caught it mid-air.

"In that case, welcome!" Silver said. "Now, since you're half immortal, your powers will need time to build and develop, so try not to rush yourself, okay? Also, you will be able to use elemental abilities. In your case, that would be the Inferno Element, otherwise known as Fire."

"Fire?" I questioned. "That's completely random."

"Actually, it's not."

"See the white dragon?" Blaze pointed on the crest. "That is Reshiram. He and Zekrom have world-destroying powers. Zekrom controls the Galvanic Element - otherwise called lightning or electricity - and Reshiram controls the Inferno."

I looked at the white dragon Reshiram. His wings were where his arms would have been with four long claws, has a double collar sort of thing around his neck, a long flowing ponytail type mane that diverts into two separate halves, sky blue eyes that seemed to shine, and a torch-shaped tail that looked like a fire-spewing cannon.

So if Reshiram has world-destroying powers... does that mean I have the same capability?! "World destroying powers, huh?" I said nervously. "Oh, boy..."

"No worries, Sheila!" Marine spoke, then climbed on my shoulders.

"She's right," Silver said. "You're a long way away from doing too much damage. But for now, it's time to begin your training. I know you've seen some of the training equipment that we have."

"Yeah, it's quite incredible," I said. "But there's so much of it. It's like you're preparing me for a war or something."

"Immortals happen to be extremely tough fighters, regardless of appearance. They either use their elements or their weapons to fight. Of course, since you're just starting, we won't be giving you weapons right away. You'll need time to develop some fighting skills."

"Oh. Alright. I can live with that. Quick question: have you, uh, trained other Half-Blood Immortals?"

"Well, there was one. He was pretty decent by the time he finished basic training."

"What's his name?"

"That's on a need-to-know basis," Blaze interjected.

"Oh, uh, I see."

"And of course, you know that you're not to tell anyone about this."

I lifted my right hand in the air. "I swear not to tell another living soul. I'd like to think I'm good at keeping secrets."

"Alright, then," Silver smiled. "In that case, let's get started."

From the rest of the morning to sundown, when I returned to the agency, I was exhausted. So many workout exercises, so many sore and tired joints and muscles. I wanted to lie on that couch and stay there for the rest of the day. I won't go into too much detail, but I can say that the beginning of training was very intense. Of course, Vector wanted to know why I was tired, so I said that I took a walk early in the morning, got lost in the woods for a moment, met up with Zephyr and hung out with him for all the afternoon. Once again, the croc had assumed that I had a really deep and bad crush on him and I wanted to punch him right in his crocodilian nose. But I was too tired and sore from all those exercises, so I didn't bother.

Later that evening, I once again couldn't get to sleep. It wasn't from Vector's sleep apnea induced snoring, nor from the aching muscles of my body. My mind was very active, not wanting to shut down for the night. It was as if my brain was still trying to process the entire day like it were an older computer trying to upload pictures on a website. What's worse is that I had to go back tomorrow.

And I don't wanna be even more tired than I am now. So, finish up what you need to, and help me fall asleep, okay brain? ...Geez, I'm so tired I'm actually yelling at my brain while in my thoughts. Damn...

I got up and went outside to the porch to at least try and clear my head a little. It wasn't long until I heard the buzzing sound of Charmy flying around.

"Chy?" he squeaked.

I turned to the door. "Yeah?" I asked.

"I had a nightmare. Can I sleep with you?"

I felt sympathetic, some maternal instinct kicking in. "Oh, poor thing, of course. But why'd you come to me?"

"Vector's snoring too loud and Espio's ignoring me."

I took a deep breath and started back inside. "Alright, let's get you settled." I set up the other couch for him, but he insisted that he wanted to cuddle with me. I didn't argue, so I let him do so. Something, then, I felt had to be asked. "Hey, Charmy."

"Uh-huh?" he sleepily asked.

"I've been wondering this for a while, but why are you working in a detective agency at such a young age? What do your parents think about this?"

I looked down at him and his eyes turned big and sad. "My parents... I don't have any..."

My eyes widened in surprise. "Are you saying you don't know your parents, or...?"

He shook his head. "I knew them. I even had a sister."

"A sister? Really. So, what happened?"

"It was just a normal day at home. I was playing with my sister when these robots came out of nowhere and tried to get us. Our parents tried to keep us safe, but..." His eyes quickly filled with tears. "And then they took my sister from me. Turns out the guy behind everything was Eggman, and I was so mad... But I couldn't do anything. I was all alone until Vector and Espio found me and let me be a member of the detective agency. That was the happiest day of my life. Even if Vector yells at me, or if Espio ignores me, or if they don't wanna play with me, it's okay because they're my friends. My family."

As the little guy spoke, tears started forming in my eyes. I tried so hard not to cry to no avail. To think this little guy went through so much and is still able to smile and be happy. He's so brave...

"Chy, are you okay? You're crying."

I wiped away the tears. "Yeah, I'm fine, I'm fine," I quickly said with a sniffle. "I just can't believe a little guy like you could be incredibly strong."

"What do you mean?"

"You went through a really hard time, and yet you're able to really smile. There's no way I could pull that off easily. I'm kinda jealous of you, Charmy."

He perked up, a smile on his face. "Really?"

I smiled back. "Really. Someday, you'd be as great a detective as Vector. Maybe even better."

His eyes brightened. "You mean it?"

"Totally." I paused to let out a yawn. "It's late, Charmy. Let's get some sleep. Detectives especially need their sleep."

"Okay." He let out a yawn. "Goodnight, Chy."

"Goodnight, Charmy." I closed my eyes, holding the little guy close in my arms.

"Hey, Kid, wake up," Vector's voice blared in my head, followed by him poking at my forehead.

"What?" I grumpily said, swatting his big hand away.

"You wanna explain what the hell this is?" He pointed to Charmy, who was still asleep next to me.

"Charmy said he had a nightmare last night. He said that you were snoring too loud and Espio was ignoring him, so he wanted to cuddle with me."

"That's a lie. I don't snore."

"Thou art the liar!"

"The hell are you talking about, Kid?"

"Ye knows-" I cleared my throat. "You know exactly what I mean! You just choose not to say anything to cover it with."

The croc just rolled his eyes. "Whatever." He walked to his desk, sitting back in his chair.

I let out a heavy sigh. He's so impossible to please...

"Don't mind Vector too much," Espio spoke, sitting cross-legged by the opposite wall with closed eyes. A smirk appeared on his face. "He's merely jealous that a lovely lady never cuddled with him."

"That's not true! I have a way with the ladies that makes 'em want me."

"What way is that," I asked, "saying they're guilty of stealing your heart? That is one of the worst one-line clichés I've ever heard." Then I remembered the training. "Hey, uh, what time is it?"

"About 9:30," Espio answered.

"Oh crap, I'm late!" I quickly got up, brushed my hair - Vector finally got me a hairbrush after one of our cases, and ran out the door before anyone could question me where I was going that was so important. I ran as quickly as my sore legs could go, as far as they could take me.

I can't believe I slept in! I hope this doesn't affect anything... When I got to the temple, Blaze, Silver, and Marine were all waiting for me. "I'm so sorry I'm late," I apologized. "I sorta slept in a little."

"About time, Sheila!" Marine unhappily said. "I was waiting for ya to show up early like yesterday."

"Calm down, Marine," Blaze coolly spoke, then looked at me. "Yesterday, we worked on the physical aspects of your power. Today, we'll work on the elemental aspects."

"Yay..." I quietly said as I sat on the grass, not wanting to stand anymore.

Blaze sat down cross-legged across from me. "Since you have the Inferno Element, I'll be the one to teach you to control it."

"What can you do to teach me?"

She held out her hand and fires suddenly came out. My eyes widened at such an incredible sight. "I lived with these fires my entire life. Everyone picked on me when I was younger, and I would get so angry. But as I grew up, I learned that I control the flames. They don't control me." The fires died down, leaving her hand completely unscathed. "Now, hold out your hands."

I held my hands out in front of me.

"Close your eyes."

I slowly closed my eyes.

"Imagine your power starting as small candlelight. Now imagine the small flame starting to slowly grow until it closes around your hands."

"Like it's holding them?" I asked.

"Um, yes. But be sure to always breathe. Always keep focus. Don't let your emotions interfere."

Breathe... Keep focus... Don't let my emotions interfere...

"And never, ever lose sight of what is really important."

Never lose sight... of what's really important... As I repeated Blaze's words in my head, I felt my hands getting warmer each second. Then the warmth turned real hot, real fast. But I wasn't getting hurt. It felt good. Real good. I opened my eyes and saw yellowish-orange flames engulfing my hands. I was so happy and excited that I could do something so spectacular. I probably got too excited. I quickly stood up and threw a fireball into the air. Blaze, Marine, and I watched it fall back to the earth aimed right at Silver. Silver, unknowing of the fireball, looked up at just the right time and quickly moved out of the way. Had he not have seen it, he would've become Hedgehog a la King. I apologized like a dozen times for nearly roasting him alive.

"That was totally ripper!" Marine said with a laugh. "Do it again!"

"You want her to burn me alive?!" Silver said surprised.

"No, Silver, mate, I want her to make another fireball! It took the other guy, like, two weeks to make a lightning ball, and she made a fireball in less than a day! It's ripper, mate!"

"You think so?" I asked the raccoon.

"Of course, Sheila!"

"Although, it is a little strange," Silver said. "It should've taken you longer to do that sort of thing. Even though Immortals with the Drake Element are powerful, they need time to get a good grip on their powers. For you to suddenly conjure up and throw a fireball in less than ten seconds... How'd you do it?"

I shrugged. "I don't know. I was just concentrating on Blaze's words and then there was a fire in my hands."

"At this rate, it looks like you might complete basic training in less than four months," Blaze pointed.

"By the winds of the north! A greater trial still waits upon mine solid path to the cradle of the gods. A glorious and triumphant feat it shall be!" I cleared my throat, feeling my cheeks burn in embarrassment. "Sorry, I... I can't seem to control the Shakespearean lingo."

"Reshiram and Zekrom were born under the Shakespeare era," Silver explained, "so it's perfectly normal. The other, uh, Half-Blood, as you put it, Cheyenne, didn't have a problem with that."

"How can I control it? It usually happens whenever I get excited, angry, or even just musing about."

"I think, for now, just try and ignore it."

That's as easy as getting Vector to not snore...

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