Thursday, February 24, 2011


Gael sat there staring out at the stars, her face all red and puffy from crying too much. She was exhausted but not sleepy. Thoughts of last night with Uroko still flooding her mind made it bearable. Of course, talking about everything that had happened since helped too. The wind blew, causing her to shiver.

Caitlyn watched Gael, hoping to one day be like her. “What was it like?” She was a bit afraid the question would be too forward, but the two girls grew really close in the last few hours.

The classroom had been out of use the whole year, it was the best place for them to go. Caitlyn had her arm wrapped around Gael, and lead her to one of the desks. She was still crying, but it was mostly just sniffling now. She’d gotten the worst of it out of her in the hallway. Caitlyn pulled a chair over and sat facing her. Before she could say anything Gael looked her in the eyes, pleading to know the answer “Did....did I do it to him? It’s not my fault, is it?” Caitlyn shook her head answering “No, I don’t think you could ever do something...” Before she could finish, the tears were rolling down Gael’s face again “But what if it was my power? I’ve never really had one, what if this is it!” She grabbed Caitlyn’s hands, begging “Please! Can’t you read my mind or something? Can’t you figure out if I did this to him?!”

Caitlyn really wasn’t sure if this was possible for her, but she promised to try anyways. She closed her eyes and dove in. She was always warned by Dr. Sahlyana that diving into a persons mind when they were over come by negative emotions could be dangerous, but this was the first time Caitlyn had ever found out why. Gael’s grief over the situation was over whelming, she could feel it becoming her own, she could feel herself getting lost in it.

She tried several times, each time she had to stop. Finding both Gael and herself sobbing uncontrollably when she came back out. They sat there in silence for a while, before she thought of another way. She raised her head so suddenly that it startled Gael. “Did it happen here?” Gael was as confused as she looked “did...what happen here?” Caitlyn shook her head “Sorry. I mean, did you...did you kiss here? At the Academy?”

Gael understood what she wanted to know “Yes..” She turned away blushing “ happened on the roof.”

Gael wrapped her arms around her legs and put her chin on her knee, smiling. “It was...everything I hoped it would be.” She was so happy that Caitlyn was able to read the area with her power to find out the truth. All that time she hung around her brother or Uroko, Gael never really knew what it was like to have a girl friend. “Caitlyn...I...”

Suddenly, Caitlyn stood up and bolted for the rooftop door. Gael jumped to her feet, not sure what happened. She followed, yelling after her to wait. The hallways were empty, everyone else had been in bed for at least two hours.

Catherine bolted upright in her bed, sensing the same thing her sister had. From across the room two shadows rushed over to her. She threw the cover off her and began running for the door. Niht and Samuel looked at each other, having been awake the whole time waiting for Gael to come to bed. They rushed after her, whispering as loud as they could so they didn’t wake everyone. When they finally got past the dorms Niht yelled for her to wait “Could you stop for a minute! What’s going on?” She whirled around as quickly as she could “Either shut up and follow or go back to bed!” She was off again. Samuel and Niht shrugged and ran after her.

Caitlyn stood there at the foot of Uroko’s bed in the hospital wing, her eyes wide, skin ashen, with her hand over her mouth. Gael stopped short of the curtain when she saw that “Caitlyn? Caitlyn....what...what’s wrong?” She slowly walked over to look. Gael’s shocked scream shattered the silence of the clinic room. She fell backwards, scooting across the floor to get away.

Moments later Catherine, Samuel, and Niht rushed into the ward to see Caitlyn and Gael clinging to each other, both staring at the Uroko’s bed. Catherine and Samuel rushed over to Caitlyn, and Niht rushed over to Gael. “Gael, what....” Niht asked as he turned his head to see Dr. Sahlyana lying on the floor. He looked over to the others “Sam,watch them!” Before Samuel could say anything Niht rushed off to get the Nurse.

Minutes later, Nurse Forte ran in, her robe wildly thrown on. She’d rushed so quickly that she hadn’t had time to split herself. “What’s happened, Ms. Song!?” The sight of Dr. Sahlyana lying on the floor panicked her, she rushed over checking her vitals, trying to see if she would respond to her.

Caitlyn sat there shocked, rocked in her sister’s arms “She....she’s empty..” was all she managed to get out. The nurse stopped dead in her tracks. She’d heard and seen some terrible things in her life, but this was the first time something really haunted her. Everyone turned to look at Caitlyn, the silence was deafening. Everyone jumped when Gael stood up, in her trance, and walked to the wall to create the doorway.

The Dean and Niht stepped through the doorway. The hissing sound as it close wasn’t heard by anyone. Niht had seen the Dr. on the floor but this was his first glance at Uroko. He understood Gael’s fright. His body was covered in scales again, but his face looked liked something out of a nightmare. The mask created by the scales looked like a real dragon with a large red jewel decorating it’s forehead. The beast looked like it wanted to devour him even though it wasn’t awake.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Solace of a Sister

The Dean’s office, located a floor under the student’s observation deck of the Simulator, was more sparse than most of the students thought it would be. The north end had a large window facing out onto the view of the front gate and mountains beyond it. The south end had a large window also, but this one held a view of the simulator room, his desk just feet away from it. Two chairs and a couch decorated the center of the room for guests. A row of three over flowing book cases took up the east side of the wall. The west wall had a series of photographs of the Dean with various influential people and his Alpha License framed.

Gael and Niht stood there beside Samuel, not that impressed by the license. Both, their mother and father had an identical license. So it was no surprise that some of the photos on the wall had their parents posing with the Dean. Samuel, though, was the only one in his family with powers, so he never thought he’d meet someone that could use their powers anywhere in the world without having to register with the local governments.

The door on the east wall beside the book shelves opened. Doctor Sahlyana and the Dean walked in, greeting the cadets and nurse Forte. The Dean stepped up beside the three teens, glancing at the photos behind them and then to both Niht and Gael “I heard from you father yesterday, he said he and your mother should be able to make it to the Grants Day celebration.”

Niht turned to his sister with a look of surprise from the news only to see it did not phase her at all. Sighing, he turns back to the Dean “I’m guessing we weren’t called to talk about preparations for a celebration three months away.”

The Dean took the hint “Yes, quite right. Would you all please have a seat.” He watched as Niht lead his sister to the couch followed by Samuel. Dr. Sahlyana had told him that Gael had been a bit traumatized by the situation, but he hadn’t know it was this bad. Forte and Sahlyana sat in the chairs. He waited till everyone was comfortable before speaking again. His eyes on the cadets “You three have already talked to Dr. Sahlyana about what happened, and she has relayed this to me, but I wanted to talk to all of you in person. Have any of you noticed Mr. Miyazaki acting unusual lately?”

Samuel and Niht looked at one another, Gael just stared ahead. “What do you mean unusual?” Samuel asked.

Dr. Sahlyana’s attention turned to Gael “Please Ms. Song, we aren’t here to punish anyone, but we need to know what happened last night.” This caused everyone’s attention to turn to Gael. She tried to fight the tears, but they came anyways.

Her brother was confused, looking from the Dr. to his sister “What are you....Gael? Did Uroko do something to you?!” The single word came out much louder than she meant “No!”

The Dean kneeled beside Gael “Ms. Song, we’ve known about Mr. Miyazaki sneaking out at night, and we know that was the first time you went with him. Please, we need to know more so we can help him.” Before anyone could stop her, Gael jumped to her feet and ran out of the east door. She wasn’t sure how far she planned on running, and wasn’t watching where she was going. Rounding the corner she bumped into Caitlyn, knocking both girls to the ground. Before Caitlyn could recover Gael was on her feet and running again, sobbing. “Gael, please wait! I can help you.” Caitlyn hoped Gael wouldn’t be mad with her for communicating telepathically.

Back in the office the Dean closed the door after calming down the boys. Niht, obviously, wanted to know why they weren’t going after his sister and what this was all about. The Dean turned back from the door, looking at Niht “Sorry about that. Your sister probably thinks this is all her fault, but she won’t speak to us about it.” He glanced out the window at the mountains. “Maybe Ms. Velez can get through to her.”

Samuel looked up, shocked “How did you....” The Dean turned back to the couch, answering “Mr. Hodges, we know more than you give us credit for.” The boy sat back and shut up quickly.

Niht was furious at the thought that Uroko may have done ‘something’ with his sister. He trusted Uroko and his sister, but they really liked each other. He shook the thoughts out of his head knowing Uroko wouldn’t do such a thing. He looked from Nurse Forte to Dr. Sahlyana “I don’t understand, what’s the problem with waking him up?”

The Dr. looked to the Dean, he nodded the okay. She looked back to Niht and Samuel “Mr. Miyazaki has always been difficult for me to read, and was actually able to keep his nightly escapades secret for some time. Even now, his thoughts seem hard to reach. That’s why we need to find out if something did happen that night.”

The Dean interrupted “Of course, there is also the chance that nothing even happened. This could all just be caused by over exertion of his powers.” He walked over to his desk and picked up a file, opening it “Mr. Miyazaki has been going out almost nightly by himself for the past month.”

Gael stood there, leaning against the wall just crying. “Was it my fault? Did I do this to him?” A hand touch her shoulder, and without caring who it was, Gael turned and fell into the person’s arms. She stood there crying on the girls shoulder. Caitlyn just stood there hugging Gael, not saying a word. The two stood there for what felt like eternity before Gael raised her head and said “ was just a kiss. I swear.” Caitlyn nodded and put her arm around Gael. The two girls walked to one of the empty classrooms down the hall so they could talk.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


The drone of the count down could be monitored everywhere in the locker room, littered with large digital screens above the door, shower, and even in the toilet area. Both sets of girls and boys locker rooms for the simulator were identical.


Jacqueline stood under the shower silently preparing for the upcoming battle. The rest of the team had always thought it strange to take a shower before the matches, but she found it relaxing, not to mention it was the only time before one of their matches that she could be alone. She didn’t mind the team, but she never knew what to say around people, especially in this country. She missed France.


The sound of the shower cut off as Kerra and Haley stood almost back to back at their lockers putting their gear on. The conversation hadn’t changed much in the last few days since they accepted the challenge from the team transfer students. Haley wrapped the bandages as tight as she could around her chest “I still don’t know see why they were allowed to start at such a high rank, I don’t care who they were at their old Academy.” She tightened the bandages, the discomfort only lasting a few seconds. “It’s not right that they get to start in third place.” She threw her sleeveless grey shirt on and turned to look at Kerra, “Are you even listening?” She turned to see what had taken Kerra’s attention from her and sighed “Go talk to her, you’ll never know if you don’t ask.” Kerra turned, eyes wide and blushing, whispering loudly “Shut up!” She turned back to see Jacqueline, seven lockers down, was mostly dressed. Her black and white long sleeve shirt damp from her ponytail, Kerra had a hard time not staring.

The other kids at the Academy were very tolerant of such things, but Haley was the only one she trusted with her secret. She wasn’t often this obvious about it. It was probably the stress of this fight against a team they knew nothing about, the distraction was nice. Kerra and Haley arrived at the Academy on the same night, and to say they formed a fast friendship would be an understatement.

The two of them, both seven years old, sat opposite each other in the waiting room outside the office that night waiting to be checked in. Haley was sobbing in restraints, having just been rushed in from Chicago. Kerra sat across from her, legs swinging, just watching her. A minute later, Kerra walked over to Haley and hugged her, not saying a word. When the Dr. came out to check on them both girls were giggling and talking like normal kids. From then on the two were always together.

Jacqueline made her way out to the briefing room shortly after she finished dressing, leaving Kerra and Haley to their conversation.


Seth sat at the end of the large table in the briefing room while Brandon and Jacqueline helped each other stretch off to the left. Haley and Kerra, finally finished gabbing with each other, came out of the locker room. Kerra’s eyes immediately found Jacqueline and Brandon, seeing them together always made her wince.

Haley piped up to quiet the little storm brewing in her friends mind “So we know what layout we’re getting today?”

Seth wave his arms over the empty holographic map table “What’s it look like, genius?” He usually spouted stuff out like this to Haley, something most people were too afraid to do. Everyone swore she was going to go berserk on him one day. Kerra told her it was just him crushing on her, and Haley knew he didn’t mean any of it. Haley let it go knowing it was just him being angsty as usual, they were all a bit on edge for the same reason.

They all sat there quietly, lost in thought, just waiting for the Simulator computer to give them the layout they’d be battling on. It never did so at a set time. It could be twenty minutes before the battle or three minutes, and with the team not knowing anything about who they were up against, the sooner the better.


The table map flashed on with a three dimensional map of the field they’d be presented with when the clock hit zero.

Jacqueline spoke first. “I know this layout, I’ve practiced on it very many times.” She was rarely interrupted by anyone on the team, they all loved hearing her French accent.

Everyone looked to Haley, the usual leader of the team. She didn’t mind the role, but she was never sure how she earned it. “Well, Jacqueline, you know the layout that well and you know what each of us can do.” Haley took a turn looking at everyone, and then back to Jacqueline. She took a coin out of her pocket and tossed to Jacqueline “You up for it?” It was the first time Jacqueline had been chosen to lead a match, practice or real.

Jacqueline nodded, placing the coin on the table in front of herself. “Seeing as we do not know nothing about this other team, I have a couple of plans in mind.”


The five of them stood at the door, their assignments buzzing through their heads.


The buzzer sounded with each tick of the clock, signaling the start was near.


Thoughts racing with excitement and fear, they stared the door down ready to dash out.


They readied themselves.


They knew they couldn’t lose


The door rushed upwards as the loud bell sounded the beginning of the match.

Jacqueline rushed out into the false bright sunlight first, and began climbing the nearest building setting her on the course to try and get some reconnaissance done before the other team got too close.

Seth spotted the pile of rubble Jacqueline pointed out in the planning and built a doll the size of himself. He then ran down an the alleyway, sending the doll in the opposite direction. Controlling it with his mind, he’d be able to see anyone coming from either direction.

Kerra took a left down the third alley that lead to a straight shot clear across the broken city. If she could get close enough to one of the opponents she could get a feel for at least one of them with her mimic abilities. She was to mimic them and retreat back to Haley as quickly as possible.

Haley stood back near Brandon and waited for Kerra. If the plan worked, Kerra would bring at least one person trailing her for them to jump. If all went well Brandon could telepathically transfer the opponents power at any time to Jacqueline after they knocked him out.


The Dean announced the match over, declaring the victors as a team of nurses checked to make sure Haley, Kerra, Brandon, Jacqueline, and Seth were okay, then placed them on stretchers and carried them to the medical wing.

The crowd stood there in silence not sure what had just transpired, but all were glad they wouldn’t have to go against this new team.

Nurse Forte turned to the Dean “That was unexpected, sir.” She stared at him as he sat there at his desk. His hands propped in front of him as he viewed the Simulation field through his office window, thinking before he spoke “Dean Mendrick did say they would win.”

The Dean looked over to Nurse Forte “How’s Uroko coming along?” The nurse looked out the window allowing time for her copy to ascertain Uroko’s current condition. A few seconds later she looked back at the Dean and replied “Dr. Sahlyana just informed me that she hasn’t made any progress, he seems to be resisting her. As for his vitals go, they have not changed at all.” The Dean nodded and stood up “Please inform his team mates and the Dr. that I’d like to see them in my office.” Nurse Forte nodded and then reviewed the files of the transfer students again, her other selves would pass the Dean’s request along.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rising Theta

Gael stood at the observation window looking down into the training simulation room. She was fighting not to scratch the throbbing itch her wound was causing. The wave of pain from scratching was much easier to deal with. Like many of the people watching from all sides, she was there to watch the second and third place Theta teams duel.

That first day she was assigned into a team with Uroko, Niht, and Samuel was one of the best days she’d had at the Academy. Like all teams, they started in last place. They stayed there until Gael snapped during their twelfth match and started giving orders. Uroko flashed her a smile as they were off to follow her plan, she melted inside. That was the first day they tasted victory.

They rose through the ranks simulation after simulation. Some taking minutes others taking hours as they flanked the other team around the large circular room that measured a quarter mile in diameter. Then the day they finally championed their way out of the Omega ranks beating the lowest team in the Psi rank. Everyone was so happy, jumping and hugging, she felt like she could accomplish anything. They chose their challenges quickly, jumping three places at a time. It wasn’t long before they crossed into the second highest rank class, Xi. They reached second place in just over a month, faster than any team in the history of the Academy. They were ready to take on the first place team so that they could finally get a chance at the Theta ranks. That’s when Gael started feeling nervous, like she wouldn’t be able to lead them to victory. They faced probably the second best team in the Academy. A team that was more interested in keeping the lucky weak out of the high rankings than moving up themselves. Being the leader, Gael had to make the official challenge, but she kept putting it off. Until Uroko found her one night staring out at the sky. “Are you just going to stand here and look at the sky forever?” At first his words seemed cold. Until he placed his warm arms around her waist, his wings began to beat around her and they lifted off the ground “Or will you trust us to help you touch it?” After that night they did not come close to losing another fight, making it all the way to first place in the Theta rank. And no team since has been able to take that away.

The training simulator took up a large portion of the Academy. It could produce many solid holograms based on real or fictional places, some up to five stories tall. Any texture could be created It could create the texture of anything, but for all its complex capability, it lacked the ability to create the proper temperature to go with many things. Some cadets had found themselves waist deep in “lava”, eliminating them from the training exercise, but not killing them. Some exercises took place on four story buildings, being tossed off could cause the computer to create a soft place to land. The observation deck that circled the room was solid glass. Large monitors were set up all over the place to give those watching a closer view of the battles.

She had found the least populated area, not wanting to be bothered. The monitor beside her was counting down the time until the match began, 0:12:43. She looked at the glass in front of her, separating her from the simulator field, replaying Uroko’s attack over and over in her head. She felt a hand come down on her shoulder and tensed up, but immediately calmed down when she heard his voice.

“Hey, you okay?” He sounded really worried, though she couldn’t blame him. “The nurse and Dr. Sahlyana are working together to try and figure out what happened to Uroko.” he looked out at the field. “The Dean and Dr. Sahlyana want to see us later today. They sounded like they were nervous about something.” Niht looked over his sister. She hadn’t taken her gaze from the field. Then he noticed her arm “Gael, you shouldn’t be scratching it.” She looked down to see it had started bleeding again. “Come on, let’s go get that cleaned up.” He’d be able to watch the file of the match later, he was more worried about his sister.

On the other side of the observation deck Samuel walked up to the Velez sisters, placing his arms around them “How’re my two favorite twins doin’?” They were the only other set of twins in this Academy. Catherine was the more dangerous of the two, and hated Samuel with a passion. Caitlyn was more understandable. She didn’t try to harm him, but she never let his advances go further than the surprise hugs.

Catherine threw his arm away and turned so fast he thought she was going to slap him “Go evaporate somewhere you puddle of piss!”

He took his had off Caitlyn and gave a faux hurt look. “I love you too Kitty.” He winked knowing that using her most hated nickname would earn him a bad headache for days. Surprisingly it didn’t come.

Caitlyn quickly interrupted “How’s Uroko doing?” She wasn’t sure why, but she had a soft spot for Samuel, even though he caught an eye full of her on one of his perverse jaunts into the girls bathroom one day. But that’s not to say she didn’t send him away hurting badly. He was never really sure why she didn’t hate him like her sister, but he was glad and careful not to get near that line with her.

His mood changed quickly. “He’s still out. The doc is trying to see if she can get him to wake up, or at least find out what happened.” He looked sheepishly at Caitlyn, “Actually, I...I was hoping you could do me a favor.”

Catherine burst out laughing, catching quite a few glances from other cadets as they backed up. “You have some nerve you perverted asshole! Why the hell should she do anything for you?” She looked from Samuel to her sister and knew her sister would help. “You’ve gotta be kidding, You don’t owe this jerk anything!” Caitlyn turned to her sister, “Maybe not, but he is asking for help.” Catherine knew there was nothing that would change her stubborn sisters mind so she threw her arms up in the air, frustrated, and stomped off.

Samuel looked from Catherine to the ground “I know I have no right to ask you, and I’ll never understand why you don’t hate me like your sister does. But even so, this favor isn’t for me.” He looked Caitlyn in the eyes with more feeling than she’d seen in him since that night. It wasn’t rare for him to be sincere, but he wasn’t usually the begging kind either.

Caitlyn understood. “Is it Gael? You’re worried about Gael?” She’d seen Gael since the incident and could sense she was breaking inside. “Have you tried talking to her?”

He sighed loudly “You know she likes me about as much as your sister. But, yes, I did try. She isn’t even talking to her own brother.” That last sentence stung him more than he thought it would. If she wouldn’t talk to her own brother, he wasn’t sure if anyone could get to her.

Caitlyn put a hand on his arm. “I’ll see what I can do, but if she won’t even talk to Niht I doubt I can do much. At least without being intrusive.”

Samuel half smiled “Thanks, Caitlyn. I owe you way too much.” And with that he walked off to see how Uroko was doing.