I’m fast asleep when it happens. It’s the middle of the night in London and I’ve found myself being blown out of bed by a surge of energy stronger than anything I’ve ever felt during my time as a Guardian. Images are flashing through my mind of the person this energy is attached to and I can’t see anything else through her visage. She’s tall, curvy, wears glasses and is glowing with power like nothing I’ve ever seen. She’s beautiful and, most shockingly, she’s on the other side of the planet. Brisbane, Australia to be precise and it looks like she’s found trouble. I quickly gather my things and, with a familiar rush of energy, picture my destination and take a step, emerging into daylight in front of a convenience store that’s quickly falling into chaos. Extending my mind toward those in the building, I take in the scene. The manager in the office has called the police and is panicking about what to do next and the two terrified young girls at the registers don’t know what to do now. However, none of them are the girl I’m looking for. I flick through a few more minds before I see her. The short vision I had of her before I left did not do her justice at all. She’s tall, has curves to die for, amazing legs, red hair almost the exact shade of that Disney movie Brave and from what I can see from her profile, a pretty face too. She is being held by a man with a gun. Looking into his mind I can see that he has every intention of using it. He signals two other men who take out a knife and another gun and they move to position themselves on either side of the doors. I could take them out, easily, but what I see in her mind stops me. Her name is Guinevere Faye, and she is perfectly calm. She isn’t worrying about herself, just the girls behind the counter, the guy who was stacking shelves with her who is still somewhere in the aisles and her manager in the office. So she’s beautiful, brave, strong and doesn’t back down. She’s a protector and a fighter. Suddenly this little mission has made being dragged away from London in the middle of the night worthwhile.
“Listen. Don’t worry about me,” she says. “Just do what they say, give them what they want and then let them leave.”
She has a gun to her throat and she is still managing to be the person in control. I decide to leave this up to her. I can always step in if things get worse. I’m curious about how she’ll get herself out of this.
The girl behind the counter tries to get to the silent alarm and I watch one of the men from the door move forward.
“Take control. Greg has lost it and now the bitch at the counter is trying to sound the alarm. Let’s make an example out of the four eyes.”
The knife-wielding idiot’s thoughts hit my mind just as he stabs Guinevere in the ribs. Flicking through to her thoughts I’m surprised by her reaction, again. The pain registers loud and clear in her mind but she doesn’t flinch, not even a slight wince.
“Touch the alarms or try something stupid and I slice her open, do you understand?”
The girl at the counter just nods; stuttering an apology and quickly stepping away from the alarm and phone.
The thoughts of the man with the knife take a nasty turn as he turns his attention back to Guinevere.
“She has a great rack. There’s no harm in making this more enjoyable for me and the boys.”
He slices down the front of her shirt. Grinning he says “That’s better. Getting a look at these will make our day so much better.”
Her mind explodes with anger. I take a moment to be surprised by her reaction, for the third time in as many minutes, before she begins destroying her attackers.
The gunman behind her begins to move away and she strikes, knocking the knife from the pervert’s hands and slamming her elbow into the gunman’s ribs. Turning, she makes quick work of the second gunman, kicking him in the stomach and punching him so hard that I, with my enhanced hearing, hear the bones of his face and the bones in her hand crunch all the way from my position out in the parking lot. The knifeman grabs her from behind and she quickly slams her heel down onto the arch of his foot, definitely breaking the bones it makes contact with and then spinning around and kneeing him so hard in the crotch that I’m certain his balls are ricocheting around his skull. There’s still a third man and as he moves towards her she bends and retrieves one of the fallen guns, aiming it straight at his head.
“Down on the ground or I pull the trigger.” Her voice is steady, confident and lethal.
He drops immediately and she doesn’t hesitate to walk straight up to him and knock him out too, leaving three very large and formerly armed men nothing more than slumped over piles of broken bone discarded on the floor, and leaving me in complete shock. She has surprised me at every opportunity and even now that her attackers are down she isn’t taking a moment to assess her own wounds. She just goes behind the counter to make sure her co-workers are okay and to tell her manager that it’s safe to come out of the office. She’s the most powerful Elemental I’ve ever encountered, her energy says that much, but she also seems rather selfless and definitely dangerous. I will have to approach her differently to anyone I’ve met before.
The police have finally arrived and it takes them seeing the video camera footage a few times to believe that Guinevere stopped the robbery on her own. She gives her statement several times, and to several officers, before the paramedics get to look her over.
I transport myself to the hospital and watch her receive fourteen stitches for the knife wound to her ribs and a further 10 to close her split knuckles.
She finally gets home and I sit on her roof and enter her mind, searching for anything that will help me. She doesn’t seem bothered by her injuries. A total of twenty-four stitches and two cracked ribs from being stabbed, but she’s doing dishes, washing clothes and curling up to read a book? She doesn’t think much of her life, or herself for that matter. She’s bored with everything, reading fantasy novels to escape her boredom. I spend a few minutes experiencing the way she reads, taking the words and transforming them into images in her mind. Every book becomes a living thing to her. She is a talented artist and can play a bit of piano. She prefers to be called Gwen, loves to swim and takes kick boxing classes for fun. She’s also a stubborn, level headed, easy-going, kind, animal loving, respectful and open minded person with a wicked temper when the occasion calls for it.
I’ve found all of these qualities but, after a few hours looking through her past I find no evidence that anyone within her family has ever been an Elemental. I guess I’m going to have to call home.
“Hank, how are you?”
“I’m good Derek, what do you need?” He’s straight to the point, a trait that I like about Hank.
“Did you feel an energy surge about eight hours ago?”
“Yeah, it was a doozy too. Did you find the guy?”
“It’s a girl and yeah, I found her and she’s confusing. I felt her energy from London. She’s in Brisbane, Australia,” I explain.
“Holy crap, really? You felt her from that far away?”
“I felt her from the other side of the world and, get this, when I located her she was in the middle of beating the crap out of three armed robbers. All men, all over six feet tall and built like tanks. Two hand guns, one knife that she’d already been stabbed with and she did it all on her own and unarmed. I need you to check into her history for me. I went through her mind to try and figure her out but I couldn’t find any evidence that anyone in her family was an Elemental. Her name is Guinevere Faye.”
There’s silence on the other end. I was hoping he’d heard of something like this and could give me some way to proceed but I guess I’m out of luck.
It takes him a moment but he finally agrees.
“Yeah, it isn’t a problem. I’ll call you when I’ve got something.”
I hang up and return to the problem at hand.
Who is this girl?