This serial is presented in draft form and will be updated each Thursday. Your comments are always welcome!
Prologue ~ Ch 1 ~ Ch 2 ~ Ch 3 ~ Ch 4 ~ Ch 5 ~ Ch 6 ~ Ch 7 ~ Ch 8 ~ Ch 9 ~ Ch 10 ~ Ch 11 ~
Ch 12 ~
Ch 13 ~ Ch 14 ~ Ch 15 ~ Ch 16 ~ Ch 17 ~
"I really don't want to bring Arjun in on this, we've had to consult him too many times as it is with this one."
"I don't know what else we can do. His body is rejecting the inhibiter."
"The anti-rejection drugs aren't helping?"
"No, in fact I think they're making it worse."
"What's the point of trying to create a more powerful Elemental when the ones that come close have their abilities suppressed."
"Why don't you just go ahead and ask Arjun yourself?"
"Because I'm not suicidal, that's why."
The two med-techs looked down at the sedated boy in the bed. He'd passed through his tespiro and was out of danger, but the inhibiter implanted in his brain was causing him intense headaches.
Dr. Arjun had come up with the inhibiters early on in the project, when one of the first time participants panicked during a breeding, with disastrous results. She had been a Fire Elemental of the fifth power - they both perished, depriving the program of two very valuable assets.
The inhibiters did not suppress an Elemental's powers entirely, merely curbed them so that the more powerful individuals were not a danger to themselves or others. They retained enough of their ability to learn how to control it, but not so much that it could get away from them.
"He's not going to like this."
"No, he's not. Are you going to contact him? Or shall I?"
"I'll do it. You start coming up with other options."
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Dr. Arjun frowned as he read the documentation supporting the findings of the two medical technicians.
"I should have anticipated this," he said, taking them by surprise. "It took us several years to perfect the inhibiter implants, in the beginning we often had difficulties with resulting headaches. The more powerful the element, the worse the headaches. AE-03-85-07 is the most powerful Elemental to date, it's only to be expected his body would reject it."
"We can't keep him sedated forever," one of the med-techs said.
"No, he wouldn't do the program much good then, would he?" the doctor said dryly. "Fortunately, the implants aren't our only way of inhibiting an element." He produced a wide cuff which he fitted on the boy's wrist.
"This will do the same thing, only on a much larger scale. It has a magnetic lock," he told the technicians. "It takes a special code to remove it. It will reduce the power of his element with much less trauma to his mind."
"Forgive me doctor, but what should we tell him?"
The doctor arched an eyebrow in question.
"The purpose of the implants is to suppress the more powerful gifts without the Elementals knowing about it. There's no hiding that cuff."
"I'm sure you'll come up with something plausible," the doctor told him. "In the meantime, remove the implant and take him off the sedation. Let me know if there are any further complications."
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Kairavini stirred in his bed. He waited for the pain that usually preceded him waking up but this time there wasn't any. Opening his eyes, he blinked a few times to clear his vision, his mind feeling like it was finally clearing.
"How's the head?" the med-tech on duty asked him.
"It feels fine," he raised his hand to touch his head and caught sight of the wide, black band around his wrist. "What's this?"
"It's something to help with your headaches. You'll need to come back periodically to have it adjusted, and let us know immediately if your headaches return."
"Does this mean I can return to the dorm?" It felt like forever since he first woke up in the infirmary.
"Not quite yet. We want to keep you for another day, just to make sure there's nothing else wrong. But let me be the first to offer you congratulations, young man. You've succeeded in passing your tespiro and are on the way to becoming a very powerful Water Elemental."
Ravi couldn't help the grin of satisfaction that crossed his face.