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The darkness did not follow me after that. It was almost like it just vanished. It felt wrong. What exactly was happening in the city? Why was it following me? I did not dare pursue the answers. What I did do was look up Dr. Wells in the Medical Index. Graduated from the Ao Academy of Medicine with a PhD in Medicine, enrolled as a medical leader in the Steel Forces. With healing abilities. It seemed... normal. Aside from the fact her husband is deceased. That was not a fun read.

I laid back in my bed, 6 days after the faint, or whatever you should call it. I flipped open The Winds of Winter to page 37 and closed it immediately. I couldn't, for the love of god, get her out of my head. She was bothering me too much for my liking.

Tuesday: Normal, Wednesday: Normal, Today: Normal. Tomorrow's the assessment day. I wondered if the cold air and her aura were just malfunctions of my senses. Besides, these couple of days I have been exercising less and having less sleep. Mostly due to work. That must be it. So I checked my watch. 6:49 PM. Thomas doesn't come until an hour later. And I say Thomas, because I don't have any other friends, despite Thomas being one of the more popular guys around. And despite me being son of head of security for Ao. I guess something about me just repels people. I don't know what.

My father told me it was 9:26 PM the night I was born. That's less than three hours away. I got an itch thinking about what kind of power I would get, exactly. I honestly hoped it wouldn't be anything consequential. Life right now is... acceptable. So I fell asleep when I got bored. My body shut down, darkness consumed my eyes, and I drifted away... away...

I was shook awake by my father.

"Whoa! Who?!" I shouted almost like an alarm.

"Thomas is here," my dad says in an anticipating tone. I yawn and throw my clothes on, hopping down the stairs like I always did " except, this time I tripped and crash landed onto ground floor like some kind of crappy superhero. Graceful.

"Hey," the black haired Italian stood in front of me. Did I mention Thomas was Italian? I don't think so. "The day has come my little Gin grows up, isn't it?"

My father was standing on the sides with a look of uneasiness stirring around him. I knew that face all too well for him to try to conceal it.

"Come on, food's ready," my father lifted me up with his muscular build like I was tissue.

"You know, your dad should learn to eat pizza with his hands. " Thomas poked me and drew another stringy cheese covered pizza from the center of the table. Honestly, I was surprised my father was such a good cook. If he was, he never showed a hand at it before. Then again, he could've just had his butler cook it for him. Byron was a good man. A good cook. It felt like the jovial atmosphere relieved me of all my troubles... the mysterious auras, the unintended senses, my father had a talent to work his way around a man.

"Well, Thomas, I have to look at some paperwork right before joining you for the ceremony," my father said, slicing a piece of pizza with his knife.

Thomas looked at me weird, with his eyes wide open and his mouth scrunched up as if going to say something witty, making me have to shove the pizza in my mouth before the laughter could break through.

Tick, tock, tick tock. I felt the chill of the air again. It was 9:25 PM, and something was coming upon me. I felt it coming... my power was drawing closer and closer from the distant lands, ready to jump into my body and consume everything I once knew. The thing felt sinister, dark, demonic as The clock striked 9:26 PM. My father was watching me, Thomas was watching me, both with anticipating eyes stuck into their heads.

"Just breathe," my father said as the second hand inched closer to the 12. The anticipation was burning sensationally inside me. Although I had told everybody I didn't want to be blessed with a high ranking power, the truth was I only wanted to be unique; to become one of Ao's best without the help of a power. But now that I was seconds away from being chosen, I didn't mind it anymore. And my thoughts were cut off.

"Aghhh!" I yelled as the heat burned through my. A fire that didn't look like a fire, for it was black, shrouded my body and raged through every orifice on my body, trying to get in. It was like I was being possessed. Father and Thomas stood there, transfixed on the couch with their jaws dropped open.

The heat was building, hotter and hotter, until my sight was blinded by the darkness. I wasn't sure what was happening, but I don't think that people are supposed to be like this when they obtain their power. Something big was going on, just like Dr. Wells said. Something unexplainable. The cold, dark aura I had felt earlier. I was feeling the same thing, but a thousand times fold, and it scraped my body to the bones, filling me with unfathomable darkness. It seemed to vex on for eternity. While I felt my sanity being depleted, I felt myself surging with unknown power. I felt undefeatable, as"

And then, it was over. The power that I felt left me, and I felt on the verge of death. I didn't know it was possible for the tables to turn this quickly.

My father drew in a deep, shaky breath. "G... Gin?"

"Yo, Gin," Thomas sat on the edge of the couch.

I looked at my hands, which were completely normal, looked at them, and collapsed, merely exhausted of energy. They rushed forward to catch me and lowered me down gently.

"Dad," I called out under my breath. "What happened?"

"I'm not sure, but that kind of power hasn't been recorded in the databases yet."

"So, this is normal," Thomas asked pleadingly. "Right? Mr. Zolcs, tell me what's happening to Gin is completely normal." His eyes were shaking like the day he lost his father.

"I'm not sure. I don't know the protocol for first powers, but I think he'll be alright, Thomas," my father assured him, to his relief as he relaxed.

"Gin, I think you should rest," my father said as he lifted me up and carried me up the stairs, with Thomas trailing behind. That shift in my position made me feel something in my hands. Something that I didn't notice before.

"Son, you rest well and I assure you everything'll be fine in the assessments tomorrow," my father said in his gentle, reassuring voice that soothed me down. "Okay?"

I nodded my head and my father left to his room, probably to continue on his paperwork or logging my unidentifiable power into the databases.

"Ye know, that was pretty cool," Thomas joked as he sat on my bed and munched on the rest of my chips and Dr. Peppers.

"You rest well," he said. "I'll see you tomorrow at the assessment venue, ey?"

"Yeah, buddy," I replied, and he slapped me on the back with his signature chuckle. I watched him walk out of the door and I was left alone, in the darkness. I opened my hands to see whatever was in it. It was a die. A black die, with red indications on. Whenever I closed my eyes, I could feel the darkness inside me rising into my eyes. When I opened them, the darkness would retreat, blinded by the light. I didn't dare to sleep that night. Something was coming to Ao, and fast.

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