Within the worlds of the Glass Eyes, I sometimes explore the worlds within the glass eyes. The following story takes place in one of the worlds. In fact, it takes place in the world where Tsiuri's Uncle Wy has. It's a stand alone story which gives you an introduction to the world. The story opens an interesting world, but I don't know much beyond the current situation. Sometimes stories are like that - you have an opening, but that's it. What happens, where does the story go and other questions remain annoyingly unanswered.
Everyone is born with a power - a word is tattooed onto their body, and it is their power. Some are able to use water however they wish, others can manipulate fire or earth. At birth, we are registered with the government with our name, word and subsequent ability.
I was born with the gift everyone fears - the force breaker.
On my second day of school for my second year of high school, government officials arrived to round up those with water abilities. They were needed to divert a series of floods a group of terrorists had started. All water and earth elementals were needed, and the day before school started, the earth elementals had been taken.
In my school, only ten water elementals existed.
They returned the following week, tired, but proud of what they had done.
On the twentieth day of school, the government officials came looking for the air elementals as a major storm was coming towards the coast, and they wanted them to mute some of the dangerous winds.
Once again, a week later, the students - there were only five - returned, happy, but exhausted. The most common in my school were the metal and earth elementals. If the government needed both earth and metal elementals, our school would close for lack of students.
The government never needs me. I have perfect attendance, and I’m the top in my class. I have nothing else to do besides study.
Force elementals - of which I am - are extremely rare. I’m one of ten in the entire world, nearly ten billion people at last account. I am, therefore, one in a billion.
All that changed, however, one day in early spring when the government officials came looking for one person, and one person only.
“Su-Jin?” One of my friends - well, one of only two friends since most people feared me - cornered me in the girls’ bathroom between fourth and fifth period. The fact that this friend was male made the situation even more unusual. The other girls - there were three - scurried out of the room giggling.
“What are you doing here, Malcolm?”
“There are government officials looking for you.”
I looked past his shoulder. “Why?”
“Don’t know, but I don’t think they’re the good kind.”
I snorted. “And just how many kinds are there?” It was supposed to be a joke, but Malcolm knew more about government types than I ever would.
“The good kind, the odd kind, the normal kind, the bad kind and the creepy kind," he answered, ticking them off on his fingers.
“Are they normal or odd?”
He shook his head slowly from one side to the other. He lifted an arm and pointed it behind me. “Go through the window and escape.”
“Home. Get your stuff and meet me at the campsite. I’ll bring Karlie with me.”
Karlie happened to be his twin sister, and my other friend. We had grown up next to each other, our houses sharing the back property line. They had never been scared of me which always seemed strange. Karlie was a metal elemental whereas Malcolm was an earth elemental.
Outside, I skirted around the narrow cement ledge which had been ornamental, but now served a practical purpose. I never understood why people were scared of force elementals. After all, we had no special abilities whatsoever. I couldn’t bring the earth up to help me escape, or establish a barrier around me to protect myself. Really, in the great scheme of things, we were an evolutionary hiccup not unlike an eyeball on a toad's butt.
Once on the earth, I started running. The fastest way to the woods was straight across the soccer field, past the bleachers and into the high grass. I had to get to the woods where the trees disrupted every one's senses. Why, I never knew, but I did know no one entered them, and I also knew that once inside the woods, only my elemental abilities worked properly.
Malcolm believed some sort of nuclear sludge must lie beneath the forest floor.
Unfortunately for Malcolm, I suspected I wouldn't be able to go home, but I had to chance it nonetheless. The woods inched close to my house. Not quite surrounding it, but close enough for quick escapes. I had escaped from people beforehand due to the forest, and had long suspected the reason my parents bought the house was due to the woods.
A yellow sheet hung on the back clothesline. It was Mom's symbol for me to remain away for like on a traffic light, yellow meant caution. Slung over a high branch was a backpack with two changes of clothes, food, map and a few other necessities. At my position in the tree, I could look into Malcolm and Karlie's back lawn and see that their mother was also drying yellow sheets.
"What are they looking for?" A weak voice whispered.
"Me, of course," I answered my younger brother, Je-Wu. He was a water elemental, like our father.
"What do you want me to do?"
I descended the tree and returned to the depths of the forest to wait until the twins arrived. Our camp was actually a sizable tree house built in the center of the forest. We had started building it when we were ten, and now, five years later, it had enlarged.
Night had descended before the twins arrived, bringing their bags with them. "What happened?" I inquired once they had reached our platform and drawn up the ladder.
Karlie shrugged. "No one knows, but the other force breakers have also gone into hiding."
"Except for you know who."
Old Man MacPhearson was the oldest known force breaker. He was a legend among the elementals after having defeated one of the greatest villains in history some seventy odd years ago. He'd been twenty when it happened.
"Suppose he's on his front porch relaxing, eh?" I joked.
The twins smirked and agreed.
I had met him when I was seven. My parents insisted I meet each of the other force breakers to learn from them. I was the youngest of the ten.
"Your pendant is glowing," Karlie said, picking up the item in question.
The pendant was a gift from my grandfather who had been a force breaker until his death. He said that there was always a force breaker for a billion people. When one died, another would be born. I had been his replacement, but he gave me all the necessary information including the necklace which had nine shards connected to the other force breakers.
I touched the brightest of the shards and Old Man MacPhearson's voice could be heard. "Ah, there you are, my dear. How are you this bright morning?"
"It is? Ah, so it is. Are you safe enough?"
"Good, good. There's a new man in charge of the agency," he said without warning. "He doesn't like us and wants us all dead."
The agency was the international government group who kept eyes on the elementals.
"Remains to be seen, though if they get us all together, they might succeed. We're special, the ten of us like diamonds in a mine." His light dimmed for a moment, suggesting that he had left one room and entered another. He lived near a mountain which acted like my forest.
"What do you need me to do?"
"That's my girl. Nothing much at the moment, but I do need you to be ready for anything that might break. Are you?"
"Good. Stay safe."
I touched the shard again, and silenced my mentor.
"What do you think he has in mind?" Malcolm inquired.
I shook my head. "Whatever the case, we're going to be wanted from here on out, so we better sleep."
We remained in the forest for the next year, gathering the food we could find, taking what was provided by our families. The yellow sheets remained, and my brother became our sole contact, but we used the time to train. By the time the year had ended, the twins could use their elements even within the forest. I didn't know if that made them strong or just brazen, but whatever Old Man MacPhearson had in mind for us, we were ready.
"It could just mean we sit here and wait until he stops fiddling his thumbs," Malcolm complained one night after an especially hard day of training.
Karlie and I agreed, but didn't say anything.
My pendant glowed again that night. I placed my thumb over the entire group of shards, and was able to hear the other nine force breakers. "Everyone here?" MacPhearson asked.
"Here," we answered.
"Good. Now for the good news - we've survived. The bad news - we learned why the agency doesn't want us to survive. They're planning a revolt against the world governments, and we're the only ones who can prevent them."
MacPhearson's voice lowered. "I must know one thing - are you willing to help to stop them? We're the only hope the world might have from that maniac."
Without hesitation, we answered, "Always."