Chapter 7: Burned
The first sensation to reach Sebastian’s hazy mind was the sharp pain of bits of wood and metal in his back and a strange angry pain that started in his chest and spread throughout his body.
He opened his eyes, he was lying in the room where he had tried to rescue Gabrielle. The place was absolutely trashed. It looked like a disaster zone.
There was a gaping hole in the roof that moonlight filtered gently through but the rest of the classroom was a mess of debris. The chair Gabrielle had been tied to was a burnt mess and the lightning Elemental was nowhere in sight.
Sebastian gritted his teeth as he tried to get up out of the rubble his chest smarted and throbbed and he collapsed back as a wave of dizziness swept over him. Cold fear stabbed through him, how badly was he injured?
No one was going to come for him, they would all think he was dead, his uncle would know the Peacemakers had attacked but he would not know that Sebastian had survived.
Unless… Unless Sebastian could use the water in their apartment to signal for help from his uncle. No, that wouldn’t work because his stupid stinking powers never did what he wanted them to do.
“I have to try something though, I can’t just lay here, what if they come back” Sebastian would much rather die than be taken prisoner. He had to do something before they came back and realized he wasn’t dead.
Sebastian pulled one of his arms free of the rubble and placed his hand palm down on the ground like his uncle had showed him. He closed his eyes and tried to clear his mind of everything but the soothing coolness that was his power.
In his mind it was blue like his eyes and flowing like a river, he tried to grasp some in his mind-hands but it kept slipping away. Sebastian could feel himself sweating with the effort and was starting to get frustrated.
“Please I need you to go to my uncle… I need…” Sebastian was so weary from the pain and panic of the last few hours that the exertion of trying to control his rebellious abilities sent him to the edge of unconsciousness. Uncle help me, please uncle I need you.
Sebastian didn’t know it but his powers had listened to his desperate cry for help. The blue swirling force churned out of Sebastian’s still outstretched hand and into the ground. Where it travelled through the sewage pipes to a lonely apartment block.
Daniel Stone slumped at the rickety kitchen table a warm mug of tea in his large hands. Tears slowly dripped down his cheeks and into his tea but the burly man hardly noticed. He blamed himself for the passing of his nephew and the loss of the girl he had tried to protect. Sebastian was young, he shouldn’t have expected so much from him.
“Oh my boy, I am so sorry. Your mother would skin me alive if she knew I let you…” he choked back the word he could not say out loud. He couldn’t say dead. He’d lost his Sister, his Brother in-law, and now his nephew.
Daniel heaved a sorrow filled sigh reaching to sip his tea and wiping the tears from his eyes. There was a hiss to his left and the ground shook as Daniel jumped out of his chair.
The kitchen faucet was shaking, vibrating as though something large were stuck inside it. The silver tube sputtered a few times and a jet of frozen water squeezed half way out and then stuck. It was a single Icicle hanging out of the faucet and Daniel knew exactly what it meant.
He tore out of the kitchen and grabbed his thick green coat, the ground rose and fell with his hopes but he did not stop to quiet the earth as he usually did. Let the Peacemakers know where he was, for his nephew was alive he was sure of it.
Sebastian drifted in and out of consciousness and it was one of the strangest things he had ever experienced. In was cold and sharp, being in hurt a lot, it burned and stabbed so he tried to stay away.
Out was warm and dark, so dark you could lose who you were and where you came from. It was while he was drifting that Sebastian recalled memories he would rather forget.
“Mum!” Sebastian banged with all his Nine-year-old strength at the front door of his house. It was on fire, and Sebastian had arrived home to a sea of pedestrians and firefighters watching his house burn.
His parents were inside, he could hear his dad’s gruff reassurances and his mother frantically pleading with someone. He was trying to let them know that he was there, that he would get them out as soon as he got the damn door down.
“No! Not Sebastian! Not my baby boy! Run, Sebastian Run!” his mother was screaming and Sebastian was crying and yelling trying to get her to hear him over the flames.
“Mummy! I’m here Mummy! Daddy! I’m going too free you! I am!” his hands were bruising but Sebastian kept pounding the door in vain. It was made of willow and he wouldn’t be able to break it but it was the only way in and out that wasn’t belching smoke.
The house let out a groan but Sebastian didn’t care, he had to save his mother, his father, why wasn’t anyone doing anything? didn’t they know that he needed their help? Suddenly the house shuddered and strong hands were wrapped around his waist pulling him away as the house collapsed.
He tried to break out of their grip but the hands belonged to his uncle and they were so, so strong. Sebastian knelt with his uncle’s hands around him in front of the smoking ruins of his home. His mother wasn’t screaming anymore and he knew that his parents were dead.
“Noooo….” someone was shaking him, he was tired, he didn’t want to get up yet. Couldn’t they just leave him? if it was the Peacemakers he’d rather stay here with his worst memories.
“Sebastian, Sebastian for the love of the elements wake up!” he knew that voice, although usually it wasn’t so soft. He cracked open his eyes and met his uncle’s strangely subdued gaze.
“U-Uncle, are you crying?” Sebastian had never seen his uncle cry before no matter what happened. He was usually as brutal and unyielding as his element. Yet here he was kneeling in the rubble in tears.
“I’m just glad you’re alive, though not without injury I see” now he sounded more like the uncle Sebastian was used to. Sebastian winced as his uncle gently lifted his tattered shirt to reveal the charred skin underneath.
“Definitely a third degree burn, you’re going to take a while to get over this, why didn’t you use your powers to protect yourself?” Sebastian was injured, dirty, and lying in a destroyed school classroom but his uncle never missed a chance to criticize his lack of ability.
“I don’t have enough power to do that uncle” Daniel snorted and pulled his shirt down much more roughly then was needed causing Sebastian to writhe in pain for several long seconds.
“You’d have more than enough power if you listened to me when I instruct you on how to fully access it!” although this was not the time or place to be getting angry Sebastian felt the blood rise in his face as he began to see red.
“I don’t have the kind of power you think I do! You lied to me when you said I was powerful!” If Sebastian could have stood and walked away he would have but as it was he was stuck.
“I did not lie Sebastian, you are powerful, I have known this ever since you were small. All you have to do is prove it to yourself” his uncle was calm and steady as the ground beneath his feet but Sebastian was becoming more and more agitated.
“No! You’re lying! I can’t do that! I can’t do it!” Sebastian struggled to stand and managed to get to his feet but hunched over the pain of his burns he could only walk a few steps before he sunk onto the ground and sobbed.
“If I had that kind of power, I could have protected Gabrielle! I could have saved her!” Sebastian fell face first into the rubble as his tired body finally gave up.
He felt his uncle gently pick him up as though he were made of glass, despite being a foot shorter then Sebastian his uncle had no problem carrying him. Daniel heaved a deep sigh and ran his fingers through his fallen nephew’s hair.
“One day my boy. you will find the key to your power, and when you unleash it even Eric Fairless himself will tremble with fear”.