Starlight

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Chapter 1

It was a bright sunny day in the capital of Scelsia. The birds were chirping and the grass was rustling in the breeze. Nothing could have improved Crystal’s mood as she merrily skipped along the pathway to town.

Well, almost nothing could improve her mood. As Crystal arrived at her school next to the town hall, she saw Leith. Now, Crystal had a crush on Leith, and has had one for a long time. Every day, he was sat on his own in the lunch-hall, or walking by himself to class. He always had his head in a book, or was doing schoolwork, which quickly made him the ‘nerd’ of the school, because he was so smart.

So there he was, on his little tree stump, not far from the town hall entrance, just like every other morning. Crystal walked over to him, and waited patiently for him to look up at her. She stood there for about ten seconds, and still nothing. She smiled, and lightly tapped Leith on the shoulder.

“Good morning Leith!” Crystal announced with a smile. “Are you, ready for school today?”

Leith jumped, not expecting the beautiful girl that stood before him, and quickly apologized for not seeing her, fumbling through his words the whole time.

“Oh, sorry Crystal. I didn’t see you there. And, good morning to you as well.”

Crystal smiled at Leith’s shyness. That was one of the things that she liked about him. She liked the fact that he fumbled with words around her because it meant that there was a possibility that he liked her too. He’s so cute when he’s shy. Crystal just smiled at him, and told him he had no reason to worry or apologize.

“Do you want to walk to class with me?”

Leith seemed a bit surprised at this request, as he was always walking alone.

“I uh…sure. I mean, if you don’t mind walking with me that is.” He mumbled the last bit of his sentence, willing it that she didn’t mind.

Crystal just laughed and grabbed his hand. “Let’s go!” she merrily chirped.

They walked together through the entrance to the school grounds, getting some confused looks along the way. When they were approaching their classroom Crystal turned to Leith.

“I have something to ask you. My family is having gusts over for dinner tonight, and I wanted to know if you wanted to come and join us?”

Once again, Leith seemed at a loss for words.

“Uh, well I don’t think I’m doing anything. If it isn’t too much of a problem, I’d like to go.” He said with a smile.

“Great! I’ll see you after school then!”

Just then, Jessica walked by, her face full of disgust. She came, put her arm around Leith, as if to shield him from Crystal.

“Just because you’re the most popular girl in school, doesn’t mean that you can take any poor guy, and try to get him to like you. You can’t have everything you want.” The venom was undeniable in her tone.

Jessica was right about Crystal being the most popular girl in school. Crystal was widely known throughout the town, mainly because she was such a beautiful girl. Her eyes were pure blue and sparkled in the sunlight, while her ginger hair glistened, complimenting her perfectly curved body.

In comparison, Jessica had dark black hair, and brown eyes. She didn’t have the same physical beauty that Crystal did, and always envied Crystal. She seemed to dedicate her time to beat Crystal in anything and everything, and to try to make Crystal feel as bad as possible about herself.

“See you later Leith.” Crystal said before shooting Jessica a dark look and storming off.

“Don’t worry about her Leith.” Jessica said. “She’s just mad that you like me better.”

Jessica laughed as she walked off, leaving Leith confused at what just happened. After a minute of Leith trying to figure out what happened, he gave up and walked into his classroom. He scanned the students, and quickly found his friends Jake and Ben. He waved, and made his way over to them in the back of the classroom.

“Hey Leith!”

“How’s it going?”

Leith recounted his morning to his two best friends and they just laughed.

“Don’t worry about it Leith.” Ben said. “We all know how Jessica is, and she just likes to upset every single person that she meets.”

“You’re right Ben.” Leith said with a smile. “I won’t let it bother me.”

Their conversation was interrupted by their teacher clapping her hands together and telling everybody to sit down.

“Alright class. Today is a special day, and as you guys may remember, once per year the government comes to our wonderful school to check the students for their ability to control elemental abilities.”

The whole class groaned as everybody knew that only the kids from richer families, who held high status, would be chosen to receive special training for having an elemental power. In truth, everybody can use their elemental power, but only a select few will be trained early in the ways of how to use it if they show potential. After schooling is finished, every citizen of Scelsia is put through training on how to use their power in case of a war, and because the powers are practical for everyday life.

The powers are able to work because they draw upon the person’s inner being and inner strength. The stronger a person is emotionally and mentally, the stronger their element will be. This is how the powers have always worked and the system remains the same for training people.

All eyes turned towards Drake, as he was the only such kid in the class. Drake didn’t waste a second, as he seized the moment and blew kisses of fire towards every girl and gave them a wink. The kisses disintegrated into smoke before the girls, and some of them pretended to faint.

Meanwhile Jake angrily whispered to Leith.

“I know he’s not the only one with fire ability. I know somewhere inside of me is the ability to be so much more powerful than him.”

Leith sighed at his old friend, as this was the same argument that he’d heard for over a year. Every time Drake used his ability when Jake was around, Leith would hear the same complaint from Jake.

“Alright class settle down.” Mrs. McCray chided. “The officials will be here any minute, so be on your absolute best behavior.”

As if on cue, the lights turned off and the windows had their metal plating slammed shut. Mrs. McCray looked slightly confused at what was going on, and the students nervously started to chat amongst themselves.

“Are we under attack?”

“Is this a drill? What’s going on?”

“I hope everything’s alright at the government building. Are we going to die?”

The panic started to build up because nobody knew anything that was going on. Nothing like this had happened before. After about two minutes of nervous darkness, three men filled the room.

Nobody had seen the uniforms they were wearing before. They all had black suits, dark sunglasses, and walkie-talkies with ear pieces. The class had been frightened silent when the first man spoke.

“It is of urgent matter that we speak to Mr. Leith, Mr. Jake, and Mr. Benjamin.”

Everyone looked at the three friends and the three shrugged back meaning they had no idea what was going on.

The three got up and walked to the front of the room where the guard told his companions to take them to Gold One.

By this time, Drake had seen enough. He stood up and said, “Hang on guys! I’m the one with the ability here. Aren’t I supposed to be taken away to receive special training? Live a life of luxury?”

The guard only briefly looked back while saying, “Then I suggest you work harder.”, and walked out the door.

The walk down the main hallway of the school was the longest walk Leith had ever taken. The anticipation of whatever it was they were being taken for was killing him. As they walked, Leith and his two friends were flanked on either side by the burly guards that intruded on their class. Luckily for them, they were spared embarrassment by other students because they were all in their respective classes.

Finally, the three friends reached the office marked, ‘Main Office’, and they were ushered inside. They had barely cleared the door when the secretary said, “Mr. Williams will see you boys in the back. You can go back now.”

Still confused, the three teens nervously tiptoed to the back, afraid of making a sound. At the end of this hallway was a room they had never noticed before. The door blended so well into the wooden panels of the wall that it was almost unnoticeable.

The trio jumped in surprise when the door opened and another guard walked out and brought them inside this mysterious room saying “This way please”.

Inside the room, Jessica and Crystal were already sitting down. Crystal was still displeased about earlier that morning, proved by her sitting as far away from Jessica as she possibly could. Leith sat down in the middle seat with Jake and Jessica to his left, while Ben sat down next to Crystal on his right.

As Mr. Williams walked in, the room was hauntingly quiet. You could hear each of his heavy footsteps, and the squeak of his shoe. When he sat down, you could hear the rush of air coming out of the seat cushion.

“Welcome.” He said with his deep rumbling voice. “I’m sure you all are wondering why I’ve called you here this morning. In fact, this is some urgent news, so we’ll get started right away.”

The five looked at each other, not quite sure what he was about to say.

“Reports have come in that your parents have just gone missing. With the exception of Jessica, we have no idea where your parents are. Jessica, being an orphan, has had no parents her whole life, but we’ve recently discovered who her parents are.”

Nobody said anything for about a minute then the room exploded with noise. Everybody began talking at once, and Mr. Williams let things go for about ten seconds before he slammed a ruler down on his desk for silence.

“We’ll speak in turns, starting on my left. Crystal, do you have anything to say?”

Crystal thought a moment before she spoke.

“How can our parents have gone missing? We live in the capital of an amazing country, hey were supposed to arrive back home an hour ago from their holiday trip. What’s going on?”

Mr. Williams seemed to be prepared for her question because he answered immediately.

“I’ll answer your questions because I’m sure the others have similar questions. First of all, your parents haven’t been able to tell you where they’ve really been. Haven’t you wondered why they leave so often and sometimes get back late? They work for us, the government. Your parents had really strong connections with their abilities and were able to perform things other couldn’t. They formed, and are our elite group of special operations.”

He took a pause to let everything he just said sink in.

This time Leith spoke up.

“If they work for you, and did all that to hide who they really were from us, then you know what happened to them. They didn’t just go missing. What actually happened to them?”

Leith wasn’t sure, but he thought he saw great sadness in the old man’s eyes. It took Mr. Williams awhile to find the right words to say.

“Veltron got ‘em.” Was what he finally managed to say.

Leith leaned back in understanding. His parents talked a lot about the two countries. Besides Scelsia, there was Galaxia. Veltron was the tyrant of Galaxia and was always trying to put raids or attack son Scelsian borders. Leith now realized that his parents probably knew they were telling him too much, but they probably did it on purpose.

Jake just sat there, seemingly stunned. He didn’t seem like he could find words to say. Fortunately for him, he didn’t have to. Ben spoke for him.

“So what do you want with us?”

Mr. Williams seemed slightly confused.

“Pardon?” he said.

“Why bring us here to a room that is so obviously concealed, escort us with guards and put us under such high security? The government doesn’t protect just anybody, so why us? What use do we have to you? What do you want with us?”

Mr. Williams smiled while he leaned back in his chair. He ran his fingers through his hair.

“I’m so glad you are as intelligent as they claim you are Ben. You’re right. We don’t just use this high security for anybody. You guys are special to us because you all have the same potential that you’re parents had. Or more.”

He emphasized the last two words heavily.

The room fell silent, nobody daring to ask the inevitable question. Mr. Williams, in seemingly no hurry, leisurely sat back in his chair while drinking his cup of coffee. Finally, the tension was broken when Leith asked the dreaded question.

“Do you want us to be your new pawn? You’re new ‘secret service’?”

Leith could see the sadness emitted from the old man’s eyes. He showed signs of sorrow and pain, but his next words were masked with confidence he’d learned to show over the years at his position.

“Yes. We want you guys to perform for us the same service that your parents did. I wish I did not have to ask this of you, seeing as you guys are still teenagers, but this is how it must be.”

“I’m in.”

Every pair of eyes fell on Jessica as she spoke those words.

“Pardon me?” Mr. Williams inquired.

“I’m in. I’ll be part of your new squad, or whatever you want to call it, and I’ll fight Veltron. What’s more to get?”

“No I’m sorry. The suddenness of your acceptance into this new special operation group caught me off guard. I figured you’d be the hardest to get in because you have no reason to fight. The rest of them have at least one reason: To avenge their parent’s deaths.”

“I have nothing to lose. Staying here is doing me nothing, and there is no way I can get a better life here so what the hell? Let’s give it a shot.”

Mr. Williams nodded and turned to the other four.

“So what about you guys? You in? We can’t have special operations without multiple people. We need you, the country needs you. Finish what your parents started.”

Crystal was the first to speak up.

“I’m in too! If there’s one thing I won’t have, is the fact that our parents died for no good reason. I’m in to avenge their deaths.”

“Good.” Mr. Williams gave Crystal a warm smile. “I’m glad you’re in as well. It’s heartening to know we’ll have your enthusiasm Crystal.”

Mr. Williams turned to the remaining three, Leith, Ben and Jake.

“What do you say boys? Are you in?”

The trio seemed to be deep in thought, wrestling with their two potential futures.

“I’m in as well. My heart sets on fire thinking about my murdered parents and that’s enough incentive for me.”

“Well put Jake.” Mr. Williams stated. “Your drive will set ablaze anything in your path.”

“I think.” Ben started, thinking carefully about every word before he spoke. “I think I’m in as well. Reason dictates that we will most likely die as well, but if we put reason aside, we get to the feelings and reason to fight. So I’m in.”

The old government official slumped back in his chair relieved. He gave a half smile before saying, “Ben it is a pleasure to be able to have your insight and knowledge against Veltron.”

Crystal gave a small giggle and started to chatter to Jessica while Jake gave Ben a high five while telling him how nice it will be when they face the enemy together. Even Mr. Williams seemed to have relaxed a little bit when a guard came in bringing him another cup of coffee.

Leith stood up, and found his way to the back of the room near the door where they all entered. His head was whirling with the arguments for and against joining this new team. His mom had always told him to be careful and let nobody take control of his destiny, to take control of it himself. He wondered if that’s what she’d allowed Veltron to do, take control of her destiny.

But another thought was in the back of Leith’s head. His father had always told him to be wary of the government because they would turn people into their pawns, letting them carry out their own dirty work. He used to say, “Never agree to help the government do anything unless you are certain that your aims are exactly the same as theirs.”

Leith now wondered if his dad’s aims exactly coincided with the governments. Well he joined their first spec.ops. so he must have. If his dad was strong in belief about stopping Veltron, Leith would carry out his work.

When Leith turned back around, he realized Mr. Williams was intently watching him. He silenced the talking four and asked, “You in Leith?”

Leith slowly nodded his head and responded with, “Yes. I’m in.”

Leith’s friends all welcomed him in, telling him how happy they were that he would be joining them, and that they feel a lot better that he’ll be with them every step of the way.

Mr. Williams let their happy chatter continue for a couple of minutes before he moved on to his next order of business.

“All right settle down. We’ve gotten through the hard part, which is getting you all on board with the plan willingly. The next thing we need to do is a couple of ‘housekeeping’ things, but we need to do these none the less. We now need to choose who will be your elected leader. This will be the one who will command you in the heat of battle. The one who you’ll all listen to and trust without question.”

Mr. Williams let the gravity of what he wanted sink in before he asked his next question.

“I’d like you all just to think a couple of minutes about who you think will be your elected leader, between the five of you, and then we’ll take a vote.”

As the teens were thinking about what he’d asked, the experienced agent looked at each person individually trying to figure out what they were thinking. After about five minutes, Mr. Williams stopped them and proceeded with the vote.

“All right, I’ve given you guys’ adequate time to think about who you want to be your elected leader, now it’s time to cast the votes. We’ll start with Leith. What do you think?”

“I vote Ben.”

“Why?”

“Ben is a very intelligent kid, and always seems to know the best route to take or the quickest way to take to reach where we are going. And that’s aside to the fact that I trust him with my life.”

Mr. Williams nodded while saying, “Good vote Leith. Jake we’ll hear what you have to say next.”

“I believe that Leith should be our leader. He is always fair and I’ve never had a time when he’s disappointed me which means I’ve got complete faith and trust in him.”

“Another good vote. Ben, who do you think should be leader?”

“I agree with Jake on his nomination of Leith. He’s been my brother and best friend since I can remember and I trust him with my life in a tight spot. So I nominate him.”

“Excellent. Crystal, what are your thoughts?”

“I agree with Ben and Jake. I trust Leith completely.”

“It seems like we have our elected leader.” Mr. Williams said. “But we still need to hear Jessica’s opinion before we can make anything official. So Jessica, who do you nominate as leader?”

Jessica seemed to think about what she wanted to say.

“I’m in agreement with the other three. I pick Leith for the same reasons they have and the fact that I absolutely adore him, meaning I’ll follow him without question, so that’s my reasoning.”

Crystal scrunched up her face while mumbling, “Stay away from him Jessica, he’s mine.”

After a quick glance at Crystal, Mr. Williams moved the agenda along.

“Alright we need to get going, it’s getting a bit late. We’ll be lucky if you can get in a lesson or two on how to use your powers before dinner. Let’s get going.”

Mr. Williams stood up and ushered the newly formed group out the door. He instructed his guards to take them to HQ where they were to start lessons on how to use their powers. As they were leaving he sighed and thought, “Nothing is ever easy.”


All right everybody. I want you to practice now. Focus like I ve shown you, and feel your power. Then, when you are ready, create an element sphere for me. This is the basis of all other things you will do with your power, so it is essential that you master this technique before we move on.

The five pupils focused their thoughts, took deep breaths, and tried to create an element sphere. Zeke, their personal trainer, watched with a twinkle in his eye as he saw small signs of success. Crystal was the most impressive, managing to create a full element sphere on her first attempt. Jake, Ben, and Jessica were able to create small element spheres, which was still quite impressive considering they were two ours into their first lesson.

Leith on the other hand, was unable to create anything resembling an element sphere. Zeke could see the concentration and clear mind that Leith possessed, but was still unable to produce anything. As he continued to watch, he saw Leith’s frustration grow, as he was unable to produce anything, until he was so frustrated he gave up trying.

“Good job everyone. It’s time for a break. Go grab some refreshments on the other side of the chamber.”

The element spheres fizzled out as the group burst into chatter. Everybody was commenting how good it felt, and how happy they were to be making progress. That was, everybody but Leith. He was so frustrated that he couldn’t form anything resembling an element sphere.

“Leith can I talk to you for a second?” Zeke inquired.

“I’ll be over there in a second.” Leith called out to his friends. He walked over to Zeke and said, “Yeah?”

“I noticed that you couldn’t make an element sphere. I can also see that this has really upset you. Am I right?”

Leith hung his head and stared at the ground, not able to respond.

“Hey. Don’t let this upset you. Not everybody can do it so quickly; others take some time to master this technique. However, there could be another reason to why you are unable to create this ball of energy. Tell me Leith, is there any doubts you have about being here?”

Leith took a deep breath before he responded. “Yes. I doubt that I’m supposed to be here learning this stuff. I have no confidence in myself that I can lead these four people, my friends, potentially to their deaths. I mean, if our parents didn’t have a chance, what chance to we have? I have no idea what I’m doing.”

Zeke nodded, and gave him a warm friendly smile.

“Now that we’ve figured out why you can’t create an element sphere, let’s try to address the problem and fix it. The thing you have to understand about your power is that you have to be confident in whatever you use it for. You have to believe that you’re supposed to be here, that you indeed are worthy to have this power. That is the first step in using your power. Your friends over there, they have no doubt that they are supposed to use it, they have never even questioned that, so they have complete confidence in what they’re doing.”

Leith tried to process everything that Zeke had just said to him. Even though he’d known Zeke for less than three hours, he trusted Zeke, and knew that he was a good man.

“Listen to me Leith. Before your parents set out as their group of spec.ops, I taught them all. I knew Dean and Alexa well. They believed whole heartedly that they were in the right place, doing the right thing. They believed that they were supposed to use their power to help others that were less fortunate and not able to fully use their power to the potential they were. They would be proud to know you are carrying out their legacy, and would support you if they still could.”

Leith took a couple minutes to register what he’d just heard. The fact that Zeke taught his parents gave him a new sense of respect for the man, and a new sense of purpose.

“May I try again?”

Zeke smiled as he nodded to Leith, giving him a confident nod. Leith closed his eyes, cleared his mind and focused everything he could on the power of the sphere. As he was channelling his thoughts, he felt the power growing. He opened his eyes, and saw the element sphere right there in between his hands. He smile and glanced at Zeke. But instead of congratulating him, Zeke barked “Channel the energy towards the dummy on your right!”

Without thinking, Leith thrust his arms in the direction of the dummy like he’d seen his parents do while practicing over a hundred times. He gave a shout of glee when he saw that he was channelling a Shadow Beam into the dummy.

“That’s enough Leith.” Zeke said with a grin. “That was very well done. It’s almost as if you’ve done that before.”

“I’ve seen my parents practice the motions when they were at home sometimes.”

Zeke gave a laugh as he praised Leith. “I knew you could do it Leith. You just needed a little bit of faith and confidence to get rid of that doubt worming around in your head.”

As Leith’s friends gathered around him to congratulate him, Mr. Williams and President S. were stood watching the events through transparent glass.

“Seems you were right Paul.”

“Mr. President, with all due respect, I had complete confidence in his abilities, and I thought you would have learned to trust me by now.” Mr. Williams said, teasing his old friend.”

“I’m sorry Paul.” President S. said dryly. “It’s been a stressful few evenings and I do trust your abilities to spot talent. His parents, Dean and Alexa were strong, so he’ll be the same way. I just miss them dearly.”

A sense of sadness descended on their room. “I know, and I wish we didn’t have to throw these kids into this. They should never have had to be involved.”

The two men fell silent, watching the training grounds as Leith enjoyed his break with his newfound team.

Back down on the training ground chamber, Leith has having a laugh with his friends. Even Jessica seemed to be having a good time.

“Remember when we were in R1 for Maths? We always would toss paper airplanes around when Mrs. McMurphey wasn’t looking?” Jake said while laughing.

“Yeah it was a good year. Ah, if only we could be there now Jake, oh the time we would be having.”

“Okay you five, break times over.” Zeke interrupted. “We have exactly two hours before dinner, so let’s learn one more thing today. What I want you to learn how to do is an element beam, like Leith did earlier. This will give you the basics for fighting and combat.”

Murmuring excitement, the teens strolled over the center circle they had drawn in the floor. Forming a semi-circle around Zeke, they awaited his instructions.

“I want to see if you guys are able to produce an element beam. For this particular exercise, we’ll take turns trying so we can all learn from each other.”

Zeke looked at each face that stood before him. He saw expressions of excitement mixed with wonder. He suspected they were all nervous, save Leith, about if they could produce an element beam or not.

“We’ll start with Leith as he’s already been able to produce such a beam and you’ll all be able to learn from his success.”

Leith moved to the center of the circle as the rest of the group moved behind him. He took a deep breath and exhaled.

“Just remember Leith, calm mind and confidence. Now, show that dummy what you’ve got!”

Leith closed his eyes and felt the power of the shadow sphere forming between his hands. He prepared to fire the beam when he felt that there was enough energy. Leith thrust his arms towards the dummy with his hands pushed together, palms facing out. Unlike last time however, Leith shouted “Darkness!” as he fired the beam.

Just like last time, the beam shot out from Leith towards the dummy as expected. However, this time something was different. In addition to the beam, two more Shadow spheres were created next to Leith. They whizzed towards the dummy, knocking it over.

When Leith’s power had subsided, everybody was in shock. Zeke looked quizzically over at Leith.

“How come,” he said, “that whenever we try something new or again, you manage to surpass what we expect?”

Leith just shook his head staring at the ground.

“Oh well. I’ll just explain what you’ve managed to accomplish. You still did an element beam, you’ve just managed to transform it and up its power with a keyword. Thus the two extra Shadow spheres were created next to you and the power of the beam was increased so much that it knocked over the dummy that was bolted to the floor.”

Leith nodded to Zeke as he stepped out of the circle. When Zeke went to fix the knocked over dummy Crystal whispered, “That was awesome.” to Leith. He couldn’t help but crack a smile that sent the whole group into laughter.

Their laughing was soon interrupted by Zeke saying, “Let’s have someone else try an element beam. Don’t worry about anything that Leith has done with a keyword, just focus on creating the beam itself and hitting the dummy. We’ll have Crystal go next.”

Crystal took a deep breath and stepped into the circle. She calmed her thoughts and put her hands together, feeling the coolness of the Water sphere forming in her hands. When the sphere was fully created, she thrust her arms out in the direction of the dummy, just like Leith had done.

The result was satisfying. Crystal had managed to produce a Water beam at max power just like Leith. She let the energy run out of the beam and turned to the others who all except Jessica, smiled warmly and congratulated her. Jessica glowered at Crystal, envying her ability to quickly reproduce the task given to them.

The remaining three pupils had their turns and everybody was able to produce an element beam, even if they were at varying strengths due to the quality of their element sphere. In high spirits, Zeke took the teens to the other side of the chamber and through a series of corridors to get to the dining hall, where they were warmly greeted by the staff and shown to their table for dinner.

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