Starlight

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Chapter 6

Leith made his way back to his room. Although exhausted from the non-stop training and work that he was put through by President Snow, Leith was content. He could feel that he was progressing from where he was a week ago when his training had started.

“That seems like such a long time ago.” Leith thought to himself.

The only downside to the routine of Area X was the fact that Leith had very little time to see his friends and Crystal. Leith interacted very little with them, the only major contact being in the morning for breakfast. This time was treasured as they swapped stories on how their training was progressing and judging their progress by how far everybody else had come.

Leith was about to open the thick wooden door to his room when he noticed something taped to the front of it. Leith stopped and scanned the corridor. Nobody was around, so Leith cautiously took the folded piece of paper off the door and unfolded it. Inside was a short message. It read:

“Come to Training Chamber 1 at 9:00 PM. Don’t be late.”

Once again, Leith scanned the corridor for any signs of life, expecting somebody to suddenly appear now that he had read the note.

Puzzled, Leith was about to open his door for the second time when he noticed one other thing. Notes, looking exactly like the one Leith held in his hand, were taped onto the door of all his friends.

Although the notes weren’t meant for him, Leith went around and took the folded papers off the doors. Every single one had the same thing scribbled on it.

Seeing as he was the first one back out of all of his friends, Leith waited patiently outside of his door for his friends to return. He wanted to talk to them about these notes which concerned them. Fortunately, he did not have to wait long before he could hear footsteps.

Coming back was Crystal. When Crystal saw Leith, she broke into a run, landing straight in Leith’s arms. She was spun around by Leith and set back down on the ground as he planted a kiss on her cheek.

“What are you doing back so early?” Crystal asked, burying her head in Leith’s chest.

Leith chuckled and responded. “Snow gave me a slight break today. I’m glad to see you though.” Leith raised Crystal’s chin with his fingers and gave her another kiss, right on her lips. Crystal sighed while giving Leith a squeeze with her arms.

“However.” Leith said. “I did find these notes posted on all of our doors.” Crystal looked up as Leith showed her the notes. Her face showed her confusion as it crinkled.

“What does it mean?” She inquired.

Leith just shrugged and said, “When the others get here, we’ll discuss it more fully.”

Leith and Crystal just stood in each other’s embrace as they waited for Ben, Jake and Jessica to return to their rooms. As they arrived, greetings were exchanged before Leith explained the mysterious notes that he had found.

“Now that everybody is here,” he began, “let’s decide what we should do. Any ideas?”

Nobody seemed to want to volunteer an answer first, so Jake gave the first one that popped into his head.

“I think we should ignore the note. For all we know it’s a trick to get us in trouble.”

A murmur of consensus followed until Ben said, “Or it could be a test from our trainers.”

A small argument broke out between everybody while Leith was deep in thought. He weighed up the options of going opposed to ignoring the note. Among the noise of the squabble from the rest of his group, Leith came to a decision. He looked up to see the other 4 looking at him, waiting.

Realizing he looked slightly confused, Crystal said, “We are waiting for your decision Leith, seeing as we elected you our leader and all.” She ended with a big smile that Leith couldn’t help but respond.

“My decision,” Leith said, “is that we go and see what this is all about. We were warned about other groups who would be jealous of us, and if this is the case, and we do get in trouble for being in the training chamber, we can always explain what went on. We have nothing to be afraid of because we haven’t done anything wrong. Sound good?”

The nodding heads of his friends marked their agreement. “Good. What time is it?” Leith asked.

Ben checked his watch, which he always wore, no matter where he was going or when. “It’s coming up on 8:30.” He said.

Leith thought for a second more before saying what he wanted to happen.

“We will make our way to Training Chamber 1 in 10 minutes. This gives each of us a bit of time to change and shake off the weariness from today’s training.”

Everybody agreed to be out in 10 minutes and dispersed into their rooms. Before Leith turned to finally go into his room, Crystal grabbed him and pressed her lips upon his. After a moment, Crystal broke the contact and said, “I love you.” Leith smiled back, seeing the twinkle in Crystal’s eyes, and replied, “I love you too Crystal.”

With that, Leith turned and entered his room. He sighed as he took off his shirt and threw it on his bed. He went to the sink and rinsed his head, shaking off any drowsiness and soreness he had from his muscles.

After resting for 10 minutes, Leith walked outside to see the others waiting for him.

“You ready Leith?” Jessica asked.

“Let’s go find Training Chamber 1.” He replied.

Starlight set off in the direction of the Training Chamber, which were located in the middle of Area X. Winding corridors led the way for Starlight as tension started to grow at every turn.

Finally, Training Chamber 1 stood before Starlight. After a slight hesitation from Leith, he opened the doors. Strangely, the lights were already on, and people were standing in the middle of the chamber.

“We were wondering if you would show up.” Said a voice.

Leith motioned for Starlight to follow him inside as he advanced to meet the unknown hosts. As they got closer, Jake whispered one word. Nightwalker. Starlight reached the edge of the combat square and Anna hailed Leith.

“Leith!” She called. “Glad you could make it.”

Leith, not liking the way he and his friends were being messed around with, demanded, “Why have you asked us to come here?”

Still maintaining a friendly demeanor, Anna started to laugh.

“There’s no need to get feisty Leith.” She said. “We’re only here to practice fighting against you so we can prove to everybody we deserve to be the special forces, not you.”

The last sentence was delivered with such venom that Leith inadvertently took a step backwards. Thinking on his feet, Leith responded. “We’re not going to fight you or Nightwalker Anna.” Leith motioned for Starlight to leave as he started to walk towards the exit.

The first step had not even been taken when Leith took the hit. A fireball, thrown by Anna, hit Leith squarely in the back of the head. Although not seriously injured, Leith was knocked to the ground by the impact and unexpectedness of the blow.

Starlight reacted immediately, positioning themselves between their downed leader and the now menacing Nightwalkers. Crystal, engulfed by rage, screamed at Anna.

“Just who do you think you are?” She yelled. “You are so full of yourself! STriking people when they least expect it just because you don’t get what you want! If you’re going to attack or insult somebody, at least do it to their face!”

Anna, laughing off Crystal’s harsh words, posed a question. “Is that a challenge dear one?”

Caught off guard by the challenge, Crystal faltered. She was at a loss for words and looked desperately at Leith, who was now kneeling, for help. Leith rose from the floor and answered Anna’s challenge.

“Alright Anna.” Leith stated. “We’ll do this your way. Just give us two minutes to discuss before we brawl.”

After hearing Anna’s consent for the two minutes, Leith turned to his friends.

“Does anybody know anything about team fighting?” Leith asked.

His heart sank as his friends indicated that they did not know how to fight as a group. Leith’s head started to churn as he tried to come up with an idea how they would proceed with the fight he had locked them into.

“Well.” Leith slowly said. “We know how to fight one on one. That’s what our training has taught us. So if we can get into small one on one fights, we will have the best chance of winning. So the goal is to find somebody to fight and stick with them.”

“Your two minutes are up Starlight. Come and fight.” Toby said, his deep voice echoing throughout the chamber.

Starlight turned to meet the advancing members of NIghtwalker. Before any fighting bega, Leith reminded his team what the plan was.

“Remember, fight one on one.”

The members of Nightwalker quickened their advance upon the nervous members of STarlight. Anna, Toby, Rika, Priscila, and Oscar all had their arms at their sides, energy balls waiting to be used. Leith was the first to move, hoping he would spur his friends on so they would not submit to a beating.

As Leith began his charge towards Anna, he bellowed, “Come fight me Anna!”

Anna stopped advancing and barked, “Disperse!”. Toby and Rika, wielding rock and water respectively, leapt in a wide arc to the right of Anna. Priscila and Oscar, wielding fire and air, leapt in a wide arc to the left of Anna. This left Leith and Anna in the middle of the chamber.

50 feet from Anna, Leith channeled all the energy he could into his right hand. He let his arm swing back so it was behind him, exactly as President Snow had taught him. Inches before Leith collided with Anna, Leith threw all his weight on his left foot and used his energy charged hand to throw a punch at Anna. Although expecting the attack, Anna was caught off guard by the speed and power of the blow. She skidded backwards half a foot before regaining her balance. Anna smiled and charged her power.


Crystal tried to calm her mind as she saw Rika land in front of her, halting any advance. Crystal found herself next to Jessica and also saw Toby land in front of Jessica. However, she didn’t have much time to watch how everything else was going. Out of the corner of her eye, Crystal saw a water sphere hurtling toward her. Reflex took over and she was able to bring her shield up just in time to have the water sphere dissipate.

Scolding herself for letting her guard down, Crystal fully cleared her mind and brought her hands together. AFter channeling some energy, Crystal thrust towards Rika. The power of her water beam destroyed the two more water spheres already flying at her. Not quick enough, Rika shrieked as the beam caught her arm. She stumbled to the side, trying to nurse her wound. Crystal took this time to move in closer.


As Toby landed, he laughed, seeing that he was going to fight Jessica.

“Do you want to surrender now?” He mockingly asked.

Jessica responded by angling herself and stamping her right foot to the ground. A shockwave rumbled toward Toby and when it reached him, rock shards sprayed out of the ground, forcing him to his knees.

“I don’t.” Jessica laughed. “Do you?”

Toby angrily leapt off the ground and threw two rocks at Jessica. She sidestepped the first rock and made a rock wall to destroy the other. When Jessica lowered her rock wall, she was met with a rock beam. Unable to block in time, Jessica lowered her shoulder and took the hit. Pain exploded in her shoulder as she fell to the ground. Toby laughed again and advanced towards the fallen Jessica.


Ben jumped and propelled himself into the air with the power. In doing so, he managed to avoid a lesser tornado that Oscar had created. Gently setting himself down, Ben created an air sphere in both hands. He crossed his arms and released the energy, sending them to his sides.

Oscar called out, “Hey! I’m over here! Do you not know how to aim?”

Ben just smiled as he slowly uncrossed his arms. This motion directed his air spheres to collide with Oscar on both sides. He fell to one knee and growled, trying to hide the pain.

“All right. Let’s play.” He muttered under his breath.


Jake gritted his teeth as his fire wall collided with Priscila’s. For a moment, it seemed like it was an inevitable stalemate. The two walls wavered as the balance of power was being struggled over. Slowly, Jake felt his wall being pushed back towards him. He relaxed his shoulders, like he was taught, and lowered the force he put into his wall. As a result, Priscila’s wall started to hurtle towards Jake.

When the walls were a foot away from sweeping Jake away, he put every ounce of power he could into sending his fire wall at Priscila. He tightened his shoulders and shoved toward her. The result was an immense momentum shift as Jake’s sudden burst of power caused Priscila to falter and have the walls crash into her.

She collapsed unconscious. Seeing as he was in no immediate danger, Jake scanned the chamber. Every fight looked balanced, so Jake decided to tip the balance of power. Ben was the closest to him so he shouted, “Ben! Catch!” Jake lobbed a fire sphere at Ben and started to charge up a fire beam.


Locked in hand to hand combat, Leith growled as he threw another punch at Anna. They had been exchanging blows that ranged from element punches to element kicks. The fight seemed even, though it may have been due to the fact that neither of them had extensive hand to hand combat training.

Anna easily blocked Leith’s attack and went for a kick. Leith jumped to the side, avoided the kick, and let a right hook fly. His fist was caught by Anna’s hand and she threw a right hook at Leith. Mirroring the movement, Leith caught Anna’s fist. The standoff started as both of the teens attempted to gain leverage over the other.

At that moment, Leith heard the familiar voice of Jake.

“Ben! Catch!”

Momentarily distracted, Leith turned his head to see where the sound came from. This gave Anna the second of advantage she needed. Pushing off of Leith, she spun around, took a step forward, and hit Leith in the chest with a powerful fire thrust.

Leith flew backwards from the force of the attack and lay crumpled on the floor. He groaned, dazed, as Anna advanced toward him.


Crystal was getting the better of Rika at every point of the fight. She was quicker, stronger and knew more about the water element then Rika. Little did Crystal know, this was because she was a very talented wielder.

Once again, Crystal charged her power for a water beam while Rika was trying to recover from some more pain. Too slow, Rika took the full force of the beam, dropping to the floor in surrender. Crystal eyed her hesitantly for a moment before scanning the chamber.

She saw Jessica rolling on the floor to dodge rocks that were flying at her. Right as she was going to get up, Crystal heard a voice shout from the other side of the chamber. Jessica stopped on one knee with both hands on the floor and looked toward the source of the sound.

Toby took Jessica’s hesitation and sent two boulders, rumbling along the ground, at her. Crystal, seeing her teammate in danger, leapt into action. With water, Crystal created a ramp that would send the boulders safely over Jessica’s head. Noticing the boulders at the last minute, Jessica covered her head with her hands, preparing for the worst.

Instead of feeling the pain of the boulders, Jessica heard the whoosh of water and air above her, followed by a crash behind her. Quickly glancing around, Jessica spotted Crystal who was now attacking Toby. She saw that Toby was untrained in how to defend against water attacks or was just too surprised to react. Within a few attacks, Crystal had Toby trapped in a water vortex, spinning wildly out of control.

“Jessica!” Crystal shouted. “Finish him!”

Happy to oblige, Jessica kicked a rock from the ground. She then element kicked the rock and sent it hurtling toward her helpless opponent. Jessica and Crystal were rewarded with the sound of Toby flying to the floor by the contact of the rock.

Jessica gave a quick thanks to Crystal before they both took stock of the Chamber. Noticing Leith as in trouble, both girls took off to help their leader.

Smack!

The teen girls collapsed in a heap on the stone floor. Jessica, nursing her seemingly bruised shoulder, said “Why did you stop?! We have to help Leith!”

Equally annoyed at the sudden jolt, Crystal responded, “I didn’t intentionally stop. Look.”


Crystal tapped on the transparent wall that now stood between her and her love. All she could do now was look on and watch.


Oscar was down on one knee; throwing up every shield he could to stop the onslaught. The air and fire spheres were proving to be too much for Oscar to handle. Ben and Jake nodded to each other and charged up their beams. On Ben’s command, they shot the beams towards Oscar. They smashed through the small shield Oscar had managed to throw up and sent him sprawling across the floor.

Quickly glancing around the room, Ben and Jake saw Leith get thrown to the ground.

“Leith.” They both said simultaneously and took off towards him.

Smack!

The boys ran into another invisible wall, blocking off any access to the center ring of the chamber where Leith lay crumpled.

Ben screamed, “Leith!” and pounded his fist against the oppressive wall in anger.


Anna towered over Leith, two fire spheres ready, shaking her head at Leith. Leith was slowly crawling backwards, holding his hand out, hoping to prevent a further attack.

“I thought you would be better than this Leith.” Anna taunted. “People said you would be even more powerful than your parents.”

She let her words sink in and decided to press her advantage over the fallen Starlight leader.

“But.” She said, putting every ounce of venom in the word she could muster. “They died to Veltron. So I guess I shouldn’t have expected you to be any stronger.”

Anna threw her hands together and shot a fire beam at Leith. He threw up his arms in defence, managing to block the beam from tearing through his body. Not wanting to relent, Anna continued channelling her energy into the Fire beam. Her goal was to destroy Leith and claim ultimate victory.

The standoff began with Leith absorbing the fire beam, trying not to let it break through his shield, while Jessica channelled all her energy into it. Leith, consumed by rage, flicked his head up and glared into Anna’s eyes. Losing her nerve, Anna couldn’t break away from Leith’s now dark black cloudy eyes.

Leith started the struggle of standing up and slowly advanced towards Anna, all the time fighting the full force of Anna’s beam. Anna, not sure what was unfolding in front of her, started to take a few steps backward. They met face to face and Anna lost let her beam fall. Leith spoke slowly, yet with authority, while pushing Anna back.

“You do not talk about my parents in that way.” He said, hatred gleaming from his blazing black eyes. “You insult me if you’re going to insult anyone, but never my friends or my family. I will show you the meaning of pain.” The last sentence was said with such coldness that Anna halted, petrified.

Taking her by the shoulders, Leith shoved Anna back until she was pressed up against the wall of the chamber. Grabbing her by the neck, Leith lifted Anna off the ground, starting to suffocate her. Now fighting for her life, Anna threw all the fire she could at Leith. He took the full brunt of her attacks but was too consumed by hatred and rage to feel anything.

Starting to lose strength and vision, Anna fell limp in Leith’s hand. The chamber’s loudspeaker came on and Leith heard, “Leith! Put her down!”

Shaken, Leith returned to reality. He realized he was holding Anna’s limp body in his hand and dropped her, horrified. He felt burning sensations all over his body as he began to feel the pain of the wounds Anna had inflicted while fighting for her life.

Staring at his hands, Leith slowly turned around and saw figures rushing toward him.

“Leith!” was all he heard before he collapsed to the ground unconscious.

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