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 ~ Ch 18 ~ Ch 19 ~ Ch 20 ~ Ch 21 ~ Ch 22 ~
Ch 23 ~
The six boys stood in a semi-circle in front of the still pool. Ravi strained to see the other side of the cavern, but the lighting didn't extend back that far. It almost appeared as though the water passed right through the back wall.
"This is a specially shielded cavern -"
"Why?" asked one of the boys.
Ravi couldn't remember his name, but he remembered the boy was from the year group that came after his. Because he'd passed his tespiro early, he was advanced ahead of his year mates. He felt a wave of sympathy; it must be hard to have to leave your year mates behind.
The Elemental appeared to be a little more open to questions than their instructor would have been. "Newly gifted Elementals can be a danger to themselves and others. We shield the areas used for training to prevent any accidents to the rest of the compound. As well, there's the added danger of someone extending their power too far and creating a problem with the volcano we're living under."
The Elemental paced in front of the group. The boy from earlier shifted and looked like he was about to ask another question, but the boy beside him poked him in the side.
"Can anyone tell me what a Water Elemental can do?"
"Put out fires?" the boy at the furthest end of the line suggested.
"That's pretty obvious, but true. What else?"
"Cause it to rain, to irrigate crops?"
"They can also cause it to stop raining by redirecting the storm somewhere else," the Elemental added. "Over the next few weeks you will learn to become one with your element. You will be able to manipulate the water in the pond behind me, and you might even be capable of pulling moisture from the air around us."
The boys looked at each other, whispering.
"Another reason this area is shielded is because in order to learn to control your element, you must be able to reach it. And to do this we need to amplify your gifts with this device." He set what looked like a black metal box with a glass egg on top on the rock beside him.
"When I turn the device on, you will feel a slight change. Don't be alarmed, this is perfectly normal. It's the amplification of your gift."
This was only a partial truth. Instead of amplifying the boys' gifts, the device would actually reduce the effect of the suppressors implanted in their heads, allowing them the full use of their newly awakened gifts.
The Elemental turned the switch and there was a ripple of movement through the line of boys. Ravi shivered as a sensation like phantom fingers brushed over him.
"Search within yourself, feel your element," they were instructed. A ball of water formed in the air in front of him. "This is what we are aiming for today."
Ravi tried to do what he was told but to be honest, he'd never really thought of his element before. What was the point? They were here for the breeding program and when they were gone there would always be other to take their place.
"Think of water, the soft silky feel of it, the coolness. Think of the individual molecules and draw them towards you."
The Elemental's voice was sonorous, mesmerizing. Ravi sank down into his own awareness and tried to do was he was instructed. He could sense . . . something, but every time he got close it shifted away.
He opened his eyes, not realizing he'd shut them, and looked towards the Elemental, intending to ask for assistance. From the looks of it, the other boys weren't having much luck either. Ravi decided to give it another try before giving up.
Again he reached, deep down inside of himself. There was a flicker of awareness. He could sense the body of water in front of him, the water molecules in the air surrounding him. What had the Elemental told them? Reach and pull. He reached, grasping the fat molecules that represented water, and pulled them towards him.
His concentration was broken suddenly as he was dowsed in cold water. The shock and the volume was enough to tumble him to the ground. Chest heaving, he gasped for air. He wasn't the only one. The boy on the end, and the younger one, were also wet, though they were still on their feet.
The Elemental sighed. "Again everyone."