Kinetic: The First Alliance Ch. 07bykineticalliance©
With the Pack Completed, an Alpha Must Rise
Not too far away, Alex waited for Cassie at the park.
"Shyra, I've picked up another esper," Alex communicated. "She'll be meeting up with me soon."
A voice beckoned back to him, "Good job, Alexander. I am ready whenever you are."
Twelve minutes later, Cassie joined up with Alex.
"How did it go?" he asked her.
"Well enough. So where do we go from here?" Cassie inquired.
Alex extended his arm toward her, but she looked baffled by the gesture. "Hold on tight and take a deep breath," he instructed.
"Are you getting weird on me again?" she asked.
Alex just smirked. "Shyra, we're ready," he said.
"Who are you talking to?" Cassie asked. She had her question answered immediately as she heard a voice speak inside her head.
"I am preparing the transport," the voice said.
Startled, Cassie asked, "Um, who was that?" With her last word uttered, she and Alex were gone—transported in a bright beam of light.
Cassie and Alex were brought back to the entrance of the ship, which was now cloaked to resemble a Shaolin Temple. Shyra was waiting for them. Cassie immediately hunched over and hurled her lunch.
"I apologize about that, Cassandra, but I promise you get used to it," Shyra said.
"Not really," Alex added, leaning in close.
Cassie slowly but surely raised her head and tucked her hair behind her ear. She was embarrassed. She had never vomited in front of anyone before, and it certainly wasn't the dignified persona she liked to exude. Hunched over and on her knees she murmured, "Never again ... I'd rather walk."
The atmosphere was a bit tense after that, but Alex attempted to break it. "Teleportation is still statistically the safest way to travel," he joked. Cassie just glared at him. Alex quickly continued, "Cassie, I'd like to introduce you to Shyra, the person whom I mentioned before—the person who found me and helped me to find you."
"Good day to you, Cassandra Daye. We have much to talk about," Shyra revealed.
The young girl simply answered back, "Okay, I'm all ears."
"Um, Shyra, quick question," Alex interrupted.
"Why does the ship look like a monastery now?"
"I have designed the ship to provide an adequate training ground for all of you, and this structure seemed most fitting. I downloaded the layouts from your Interweb."
"It's actually called the Interne—ya know what? Never mind. Looks cool."
After traveling all over the country recruiting espers for the alliance, four were assembled. They introduced themselves to each other, and Chris and Alex instantly clicked. After narrowing down the next esper to Los Angeles, California, Shyra described to her team the next target. "My ship's scanners have located the next addition to our alliance, she is an esper named Tori Hannon," she explained. "She is an aerokinetic and seems very powerful. Therefore she is to be considered very dangerous."
The team looked at each other and wondered what was in store for them.
"How dangerous can she be? She only controls air?" Chris asked.
"She can remove the air around you, extinguishing your flame," Shyra replied.
Chris looked down with an appreciation of his power's weaknesses.
"You are all going to California," Shyra ordered, but she looked confused as to why the team got so excited.
"I could use a vacation," said Alex.
"This is not a vacation. We are still on a mission," Shyra added.
"C'mon, Shyra. We have been working so hard—a little rest will do us good," Alex pleaded.
Shyra looked at her group; sometimes she forgot they were really just kids. "Very well, I suppose it could not hurt—but only after we recruit the next esper," she agreed.
Everyone prepared for transport and at twilight, the alliance found themselves in Los Angeles. The air was noticeably thick, and the whole town was lit up like a Christmas tree. People roamed the streets, enjoying the crisp night scene that Los Angeles had to offer. Many couples sat nearby water fountains that filled the atmosphere with love and passion.
The team focused on the mission at hand, so they could have a little bit of rest and relaxation afterward. They rushed to the last location they'd felt Tori's power. Tori was still around; she was sitting at a chic outdoor café and noticed the alliance before they noticed her. They clearly weren't California natives from the way they dressed, and the way they suspiciously looked around made them stand out like a sore thumb. When Tori realized they were there for her, she got up, left her money for the bill, and started walking away.
Alex, who was first to realize she was the target, signaled for the others to follow. Tori cut a corner and jumped up on the roof of a building to lose them. Tori began leaping with ease, almost as if she was floating from rooftop to rooftop.
"She's on the roof. After her!" Dimitri shouted.
At first, they climbed the building's fire escape and followed her. They came to the end of a building only to see Tori had stopped running. She was squinting one eye, while her hand held her head. Other than looking like she was in throbbing pain, she was gorgeous with a perfectly fit body gained from either extensive physical fitness or cosmetic surgery.
The girl was draped from head to toe in designer clothes. It was painfully obvious she paid close attention to how she looked in the mirror. Her blonde hair looked like a golden waterfall, with each strand falling perfectly into place, as if she had personal assistants who meticulously brushed it for hours. Even her bangs were perfectly linear. Her eyes looked as if they'd been cut from the highest quality green emerald, and she had the kind of slender nose and drawn out eyelashes that movie stars would kill for.
"Why are you following me?" she asked. "Is this about the blown over lifeguard tower, because I had nothing to do with that."
"No, we just want to ta—wait. What lifeguard tower?" Alex asked her.
"Don't worry about that. I know why you're here," Tori continued. "I'm obviously on a reality show. You really thought you could trick me? This kind of stuff happens all the time around here. You play some prank on me, and then hidden cameras pop out."
"What are you talking about?" Dimitri replied.
"If you guys want a show, I'll give you a show," she shouted back. With that, Tori pushed through the crippling migraine, and the wind started picking up to incredible speeds. The trees down below swayed and stirred as she began to hover, creating a small tornado around her.
"I've got her, guys," Chris said as he channeled his fire, his sleeves combusted into flames reducing them to nothing but ash. He blasted a fireball at her, only to have it sway and flicker violently before being extinguished in the raging winds. Suddenly, there was a change in air pressure and it felt as though they were being lifted up. Tori focused her wind speed at the team and almost blasted Alex, Chris, and Cassie off the building. Dimitri was the only one who stood his ground.
"Listen to me," Dimitri yelled over the wind's noise. "We need your help."
"Why would I listen to you? I can do anything I want, and I have everything I need," she laughed.
"If you help us, you'll have the chance to save the world. You can't be any more famous than the savior of mankind—they'll put a statue up of you in your honor."
The wind began to die down, and Tori slowly walked up to Dimitri out of breath and worn out. "Okay, but if you don't make good on your promise, I will literally snatch the air right from your lungs. We clear?"
Dimitri didn't take kindly to idle threats, but he swallowed his pride for the mission's sake. "Yeah, we're clear," he replied.
"Good. You know, you're kinda cute." Tori blew a kiss at Dimitri, who was still trying to catch his own breath.
Everyone else was surprised that Tori was willing to help out. Dimitri explained to the rest of the team her motives, and her bizarre obsession to be a famous reality star. Alex didn't like her reason for joining, but they weren't in a position to be turning away help. He reported in with Shyra and requested to start their vacation. After getting her consent, the group got two motel rooms for the night—one for the boys, and the other for Cassie and the newest member, Tori. Throughout the night, Alex had to continuously pull Christian away from the adjoining wall between the two rooms. Chris was obsessed with placing his ear to it, desperately trying to hear what the two girls were doing in their room. As he listened, fantasies of pillow fights and kissing practices filled his hormone driven mind. Hours flew by, and the boys and girls awkwardly did their best to bond while watching their provided free cable. But even Christian, who was the last one up on the guys' side called it a night after secretly going back to the wall a few times, and not hearing a single peep coming from the girls.
The next day, the team kicked back on the torrid sand and clear waters of Venice Beach.
Alex, living in Houston, had rarely been to the beach. Surprised that the water was so luminous and the sand so warm, he feared he would never want to leave. Alex swam toward Cassie and asked,
"So how do you like it out here? Any better than Florida?"
Cassie replied, "It's not so humid here. It's nice and breezy, but I couldn't handle the earthquakes."
"Sounds like the perfect place for me," Dimitri laughed as he floated toward them on his inner tube.
Anxious and wanting to start training to save the world, Tori whined about wanting to leave; the beaches were nothing new to her. She didn't appreciate how hard the other four teens had been working during the weeks prior.
"Hey, Alex, is the water getting warmer?" Chris asked with a menacing smile on his face.
"It's you isn't it? You're like a walking water heater." Alex said then splashed him.
"Oh my God, gross! That better be your power!" Cassie yelled.
The teens were finally having fun and enjoying each other's company, but it all ended prematurely.
Shyra contacted the group telepathically.
"Everyone needs to get back now."
"What's going on, Shyra?" Alex questioned.
"We have a situation at home. I will brief you when you get here."
"One of you guys is a telepath?" Tori asked. "That is so impossibly cool."
The original four gave Tori a puzzling look but decided to let it go. The alliance quickly changed from their swimsuits to regular clothes.
"Finally," Tori said to herself, although it was loud enough for the others to hear. She looked very excited to finally get in the spotlight. However, she did not know of the Zenakuu or of any alien species.
They rushed so not to keep the impatient Shyra waiting.
"Alright, Shyra, we're ready," said Alex.
"Very well. Teleporting now."
The gang of five found themselves in the quiet, secluded parts of the Colorado mountainside, high above civilization near Shyra's spaceship—what they would come to know as their training grounds. Tori appeared to be a little queasy, but completely blown away at the tall evergreen trees that swayed in the wind and surrounded the compound. She had never seen the sky so blue, and the breeze that brushed against her face was gentile and cool. The peaceful climate that Colorado had to offer was ideal for anyone looking for some tranquility.
"Nice place you got here, but I don't see where you would install the tanning beds. So yeah—what's the situation with that? Tori asked, but only received puzzled looks in response.
Hesitant at first, Tori started exploring the area. She saw the area where they would train. There were already trees knocked down, burnt grass, and turned up ground. Tori wasn't quite sure what abilities the others had yet, but she was eager to find out.
"I think a proper introduction is required," Tori declared.
Alex did an about-face. "Seems fair enough. My name is Alexander Carter. Over there is Cassandra Daye, Christian Mercado, and Dimitri Williams."
"Okay, next question," Tori continued. "Why did we have to come here in such a rush?"
At that moment, Shyra stepped out of her tremendous spaceship, which took up a large amount of the mountain. Shyra didn't look like any person Tori had ever seen. "Oh my God. What the hell is that thing!?" she blurted out.
"That thing is named Shyra, and she is the alien preparing us for the war," Alex corrected her.
"This whole thing is about aliens?" Tori asked.
"Easy, Tori. She's on our side," Cassie said.
"Enough of introductions," Shyra interrupted. "We have to begin training to master your abilities. The Zenakuu will undoubtedly send a scouting party to canvas Earth. I need to get you five warriors ready for the fight."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Who are these Zenakuu or whatevers, and what scouting parties? I demand to be filled in before we start anything," Tori said.
"Just us five? I thought we would have an army of espers, Shyra," Alex said.
"Sadly, I am afraid not. You five are the only ones I could detect, and now that you are all here, I will explain how you received your abilities. After the invasion, the council of Kalryn wanted to start training neighboring worlds in the ways of kinetic abilities—a power that usually lies dormant but resides in every living being in the universe. However, some of the council opposed the idea of being forced into war. They had enjoyed peace for so long and had hopes of resolving these issues. But, as planets began to fall to Zenakuu, Kalryn set their plan into action. They sent some of their most powerful lygokinesis practitioners to scattered worlds across the galaxy, praying they would have enough time to teach them defense before the Zenakuu arrived.
"My father Rayvaar, one of the most revered Savants, saw Earth as a planet of simple-minded simians at first, but I knew of your world from my intergalactic studies. While a little rough around the edges, your physiology showed immeasurable potential for kinetic power, perhaps even greater than my species. Though my father did not want to listen to me, I finally convinced him to send a trainer to Earth. He was a low-level guide named Kadir who was supposed to more or less warn Earth of the impending doom, but failed in his mission. Kadir was meant to arrive on Earth without notice and locate the more heightened earthlings still young of age and train them in solitude until Zenakuu attacked. Unfortunately, in his brilliance, Kadir did not think to activate his cloaking device. According to his last transmission, he was shot down and crashed somewhere around these mountains. I scanned the area but found no sign of wreckage. Your government must have retrieved his ship."
"Okay, but that still doesn't explain how we got the powers," Dimitri said.
"Crash landing over the continental United States and mortally wounded, Kadir must have known he was not going to make it. It is only a theory of mine, but I believe he concentrated his kinetic power and exploded into pure energy. The radiation from the resulting aerial shockwave must have expanded outward and changed the DNA of a few kinetically sensitive humans. He sacrificed himself with the hope that it would reach enough people to give your world a fighting chance. He may not have been the brightest among us, but his courage will never be under question. After reports of his death, I volunteered to be the next guide for Earth. Of course, my father highly disagreed; he did not want his only daughter to risk her life for—in his words—a worthless planet like Earth, but he could not see what I did. No longer wanting to be coddled like a newborn baby, I snuck out and set toward Earth, despite my father's wishes. He did not know what I did until it was too late. I was halfway across galaxy."
It was a lot to digest for the teens, but Cassie spoke up. "Shyra, about how long ago did that happen?"
"If my calculations are correct, I would say roughly about twenty or so Earth years ago."
"But that doesn't make sense. I wasn't even born yet," Cassie said. "That must mean it happened to my parents, but I'm pretty sure they don't have any superpowers."
"No, they would not. You see, Cassandra, unlocking your brain's kinetic ability is a lot for the mind to handle. It is mostly likely that your parents' minds were too old to adapt to the change, so their powers never manifested. With their genetic coding changed, though, they could possibly pass the recessive gene on to their offspring whose minds would be young and fresh enough to be successfully kinetically altered."
"Oh ... I guess that makes sense in a weird, sci-fi novel kind of way," Cassie replied.
"Yes, well by the time I arrived on Earth unnoticed, the espers were pretty far along in their lives and somewhat aware of their unique powers. It is by no means as many as I was hoping for, but we have run out of time. We have to make up for eighteen years of unexercised kinetic power in presumably less than a year."
"Sounds like fun," Tori chimed in.
"Tori, come with me. You were the last one here and still do not know why this war is being waged. The rest of you practice your meditation." Shyra brought Tori into the monastery-looking vessel; even though it was the rudimentary workings of a tangible illusion, it was still quite breathtaking. The front of the building had huge pillars that were almost as high as the trees around it. There were a dozen stairs leading up to the ten-foot entrance doors. In the open area when Tori first walked in, it looked like an endless foyer with several rooms to the right and left. When not cloaked, this foyer would appear as the control room of the spaceship.
Shyra gave Tori the complete tour of the ship, so she would feel at home. She went from room to room, showing her where everyone resided. Each room was a personification of the person who dwelled in it. Shyra showed Tori to her own room; it wasn't the luxurious accommodations she was accustomed to, but she tried to get used to it.
"We are in the middle of a war with an advanced alien race known as the Zenakuu. Once a peaceful planet, they are now hell-bent on revenge," Shyra explained to Tori.
"Revenge? Why?" Tori asked.
With a heavy heart, Shyra explained to Tori everything about the Zenakuu and their conquest. Tori was in disbelief at first. All her problems seemed petty and insignificant in comparison to what was going on out there. Knowing what she had to do, she joined the others who were outside in meditation while they waited for Shyra to give the next order.
"Okay, I know we got off on the wrong foot," Tori announced to the group, "but I want everyone to know I'm actually a really good person. Yeah, I was born to a wealthy family and was kinda given anything I wanted. I guess I took advantage of that ... but I'm not like that anymore, I've changed ya know? Like I really wanna help," Tori smiled and continued "I've only been around you all a couple of days, but I feel a stronger bond to you than I have with anyone else. This is as close to a real family that I have ever had."
The group was speechless. There was a long, awkward pause as they stared at her, trying to figure out where this change of heart had come from.
"Right," Tori continued, breaking the silence, "other than that, I guess you could say that I can control the air around me—also slow or speed up winds to create vacuums and stuff." Shyra stood in the shadows as everyone expressed themselves while waiting to start the real training.
Chris continued breaking the ice with his background. "I had to leave my family for this which sucked, but the cool thing is it made my dad really proud. Let's see, what else? I read a lot of comic books, but they're nothing like this. I don't make friends easily, so I'm glad I met you all. Oh, and I really think we need to be careful, because the government is going to try to capture us and experiment on us." The other three teens shot an even more befuddled look at him than they did Tori.