Kinetic: The First Alliance Ch. 08bykineticalliance©
It was June and two months had passed since the team was fully assembled, but things were far from perfect. Shyra was learning a lot about human social culture from watching the five teens. Alex spent most of his time training, while Cassie appeared to be more of a recluse, only associating with the others when necessary. Christian spent his time cracking jokes and trying to get the attention of Tori who had horrible hygiene habits. She left her workout clothes scattered about the floor and dishes piling up in the sink as if she expected someone to clean up after her. Dimitri, who walked around like he had a chip on his shoulder, occupied his time working out. Shyra sat Dimitri down in her room and explained to him why she chose Alex over anyone else.
"I think you are a fine warrior, Dimitri Williams, and you have a lot of potential, but despite my efforts to channel your rage, so much more of it remains. Alex has a good head on his shoulders and is genuinely concerned about the team. He also has a clear understanding of right and wrong, which is what we need."
Dimitri didn't want to hear any of it. "He's weak, Shyra, and he's gonna get us killed."
"Not every battle is won with brute strength, Dimitri. Strategic thinking and brains are a lot more important to winning war. However, strength is a very useful tool in war, and our team covers all bases—everyone plays a role," Shyra replied.
Dimitri knew he couldn't fight Shyra with this decision, so he just agreed and walked away. The rest of the day proved to be tense, but Shyra had high hopes the next day would be smoother.
Shyra knew time was a luxury she couldn't afford, so she decided to train the team on how to defend themselves in a fight. She focused on teaching them a fighting style that resembled Kalrynian combat but on Earth was best described as Wushu.
"Alright, everyone, today we start working on hand-to-hand combat," Shyra announced.
"Finally, I get to show you guys my moves!" Christian jumped up in excitement. "Dimitri already knows what I can do. Remember the cut above his eye? Yup, all me."
"Shut up, Chris. Or do you want to go for round two?" Dimitri challenged.
"That's enough. Now let's hear what Shyra has to say," Alex interjected.
"Kiss ass," Tori said under her breath.
"Save it Tori, okay? Why don't you pick your crap off the floor sometime for a change? This place looks like a tornado ran through a beauty salon," He snapped back.
"Oh, I got your tornado!" Tori said,
"If you five are done acting like infants, I can get back to what I was saying," a silence swept over the room. "Now some of you know how to handle yourselves in a fight, and others do not know the first thing about defending oneself. The next two months will be dedicated to learning the advanced martial arts of Wushu.
The fighting style is similar to the techniques we use on Kalryn; your version is just more basic. Now the fact that a style close to ours is in the hands of Earth is entirely coincidental, so, no, we did not visit Earth and share our knowledge." Shyra went on, "First, it is all about clearing your mind; concentrate only on breathing. With every strike, exhale and use the power within to force your hand through your opponent. Speed is the key to winning a fight. Without speed, your enemies will dodge anything you can throw at them.
Shyra stood in front of her class while she went through the motions of the martial art taught on her home world. Like a mirror, each member of the class tried to copy her every move, learning what it took to effectively defend themselves. Wushu was its own practice but consisted of kickboxing, traditional Chinese martial arts, Muay Thai, and even a Chinese wrestling style that was known as Shuai Jiao. What is called the "Eighteen Arms of Wushu" utilized weapons and integrated them in the fighting style.
Each member of the group practiced to find his or her comfort zone within the art.
"We are a little behind schedule, so we need to move right on to the kinesis training," Shyra said. "I will have to do this one by one, because all of you have different abilities. In the meantime, keep exercising and keep practicing."
Roughly six months had passed since Alex's life was thrown into the chaos it is, and the team became proficient in hand-to-hand combat. The training was longer than they hoped for, but well worth it and they had a lot to show for it. Shyra moved on to what would undoubtedly be their most important lesson yet—how to master their kinetic powers. She decided to go in order of team members that she felt needed the most training. Shyra started with Cassie—she was the most strategic but lacked the knowledge and confidence in her power. Shyra was determined to get to the bottom of it and asked Cassie why she didn't like her abilities. She tried to get the truth out of her, but Cassie resisted. Shyra saw she wasn't getting anywhere and called it a day.
"We will start this again in the morning," she said. "In the meantime, join the others and think about how we can get further in your training."
It took about a week of personal counseling to open up, but Cassie revealed the time she almost killed her younger sister in their swimming pool to Shyra. That day was forever seared into her mind.
"Cassandra, that is a grave misfortune, but it is all in the past. You must not let past mistakes control your future. These gifts that you have are Earth's only hope for salvation, and you and the rest of the team must utilize them to defend this planet against any threat. I know you will come around Cassandra, but for now, we need you to understand and have full control of your powers."
"I didn't ask for any of this Shyra. I feel like these gifts are really a curse and someone is going to end up dead because of these powers, if not from our own hands but from the hands of others."
"The more we train and better control your abilities, the less likely any misfortune will occur by your hand. These powers you all have are meant to protect the ones you love, not hurt them. Ask yourself this, Cassandra: with the power you have, do your friends and family stand a better chance of survival with you doing nothing or standing up and fighting?"
The words resonated in her mind for a while; Cassie turned her head and gave a look at Alex as he was practicing his electrokinesis. She turned back to Shyra, "I understand."
"Okay, so we can start training immediately." Shyra was in haste, because she already missed a couple of days trying to get Cassie out of her shell.
"With hydrokinesis, everything flows—from your mind to your hands and feet—it is all fluid," Shyra explained. "Your kinetic energy is a current that travels throughout your entire body. First, we will practice the motions. Never rushed but never too slow, the perfect medium—water is all about perfection. There is no form it cannot take, and with enough force, there is no place it cannot venture."
Shyra showed Cassie the basic motions of a successful hydrokinetic. Her arms swayed up and down, left to right, mimicking the motions of streaming rivers and waterfalls. "You have to connect with the water," she said. "Become part of the water, and the water will bend to your will with ease. Now it does not seem like you can create it, but you can certainly manipulate water."
"Right, but what if I'm not around water, Shyra?" Cassie asked. "I'll be useless."
"Not true, Cassandra, in my studies of kinetic power, I have learned about your specific ability. Keep in mind, there is almost always water around. You are special because you may have two abilities. I will teach you the possible other half of your power—cyrokinesis, the ability to control the temperature of liquids. There is always hydrogen and oxygen in the air, and with that, you will always be able to make water. The more you train, the faster you will be able to do it, and that is what I want you to practice. From there, I will try to teach you how to freeze it at will." The training went on for the next two weeks until Cassie was able to memorize each motion of hydrokinesis.
Alex was next up for training. Even though Alex had been with Shyra the longest, that didn't mean he was the most advanced. As Alex was learning the basics of electrokinesis, she explained to him that lightning and electricity are almost impossible to predict. It took a level of focus that not many were able to achieve. She taught him that his strikes needed to be quick and precise; his ability was one of the most dangerous and without the proper control, he could harm the very ones he wished to protect. Along with the setbacks of electrokinesis were the rewards; the ones blessed with this power may not have been the fastest flyers, but they were without a doubt the fastest runners. All of Alex's track-and-field trophies stood as a testament to that. His power was not only great for offense but defense as well.
Shyra went over extensively how to create continuous streams of electricity, and in a short while, Alex learned that the capabilities of his powers were endless. He spent the next two and a half weeks shooting bursts of electricity from his palms. He was getting used to the sensation, but the current of electricity always made his arm twitch and tingle. Every hair on his arm stood up at attention from shoulders to hands as the current surged through.
Chris was up next, and Shyra understood firsthand how deadly and powerful his ability was. Pyrokinesis was all about destruction.
"Christian, there is not much I can teach you, I am afraid. You seem to have a firm grip on your gift, but to perfect it and not let your emotions affect your powers is a whole other fight. Only deep concentration and dedication will allow you to have complete control. I want you to think of the fire as an extension of yourself. Think about the attributes of fire. What can it do?"
Chris looked at her, "I don't know. Burn stuff?"
Shyra knew this to be true, but it wasn't the mind-set she wanted the young hero to have. "Yes, but so much more Christian," she said. "With your power, you can create weapons and attacks, and more impressively, you will be able to fly. I will show you the motions of pyrokinesis. Use powerful and explosive movements that cater to your kinesis. Practice these moves, and your kinetic energy will be gathered and released with explosive results."
Chris was a fast learner, and Shyra only had to show him a few times before he mastered the basics. In only a few weeks he could send powerful balls of fire from his hands with almost pinpoint accuracy.
It had been seven and a half weeks since Shyra started kinesis training. She approached her most withdrawn student, knowing it would take a lot to get through to him.
"Dimitri, you are up," Shyra said. "Please step forward. Everyone else continue practicing."
Try as he might to hide, Dimitri was really curious what new techniques an alien could teach him about his powers that he'd had all his life.
"Dimitri, your ability has the potential to be the most powerful out of everyone. You can control Earth itself. When you are ready, you will be able to move the very mountains we train on." Shyra showed Dimitri the movements and let him practice picking up and throwing various kinds of heavy stones.
"Remember that the moves for a geokinetic are very solid and grounded—no pun intended. Strike hard and fast when you attack. Feel the earth move underneath your feet with every kick, and envision the rocks flying at your enemy with every punch thrown. This planet has bestowed upon you a great gift, and you need to use it wisely. Every natural mineral out there is a weapon at your disposal. Use them well."
"You are strong and tough, Dimitri, but do not forget about your allies," Shyra reminded him.
"Protect them with your power. Together, the five of you can do anything." Two and a half weeks passed, but by the end of his training, Dimitri was much better at causing earthquakes and separating the ground.
Tori stepped up to be trained next. "Unlike the others, Tori, you embrace your powers and most likely have the greatest understanding of them. I expect the most from you."
"Great, and here I thought there was gonna be pressure," Tori sarcastically stated.
"I do not follow you, Tori," Shyra began, obviously confused. "The only pressure is that your species' survival rest in your hands."
"No, Shyra, I was being sarcas ... never mind. What tricks do you have to teach me?"
"Aerokinesis can be the most deceptive power of them all; while it may not appear sinister, when concentrated the wind can cut through almost anything. The motions of an aerokinetic are closely derived from the phrase 'go with the flow.' That is what I want you to practice. Your goal is to remove any stiffness and rigidness. Your movements need to be swift and razor-sharp. I will also teach the power that should come natural to you—the ability of flight."
Tori's eyes lit up. "I knew it! I knew I'd be able to fly. I feel it sometimes, ya know? Like I've always been able to kind of glide and stuff, but this is awesome."
"Yes, Tori, as your people say, I suppose it is awesome. Now, as I was saying, you must learn to extend that feeling you get when you are gliding. Remember that gravity holds no bearing with you. Feel the current of the wind lift you off the ground and ride the wave, so to speak. Supersonic flight is only the tip of the iceberg with your powers. Aerokinetics can create hurricanes, tornados, cyclones, and so much more. With practice, you will be able to do it all."
Shyra spent the next two weeks helping Tori master her craft and then summoned the rest of the team.
"Everyone, there is something that I want you all to know. On my home world of Kalryn, the Savants that govern my planet did not want to involve your world in this battle. Their plan was to let this world fall victim to the Zenakuu, because they did not believe you could change the course of the war. I believe them to be wrong; there is something very special about your species that I believe they are overlooking. You each have unfathomable power and potential. Together, we shall prove them wrong and drive the Zenakuu back to the darkest regions of space. Now that everyone is somewhat on the same level of understanding with their kinetic powers, all we have to do is keep training and practicing. The Zenakuu scouting party will most likely be here soon. In the time we have left, I want you all to continue mastering your power," Shyra revealed.
For some of the espers, the time went by slowly. For the others who weren't looking forward to fighting an alien race, the seven months felt more like seven days.
Now in November Shyra gathered the team. It was time to reveal names and send them out into the real world to gain much-needed experience. "Gather around me, team, and listen. On my world uniforms are point of pride among my people. They represent honor, loyalty, and teamwork. You five have demonstrated all of these qualities, so I have a surprise for you all."
"Now this is more like it!" Chris shouted.
"I fashioned some uniforms and have chosen names for you all to protect your identities, so I hope you like them," Shyra continued. "Christian, here is your costume. You will be known as Irascible Flame. Your pyrokinesis will reduce the ones who stand in your way to ashes."
He held up his costume and awed at the attention to detail that Shyra had put into it. It had broad, armored shoulder pads. The chest plate had a ball of fire with an intricate design of what would appear as flames spreading throughout the lining of his body. Matching plated gloves and boots looked like something lifted from one of his comic books. The color scheme was black, red, orange, and yellow. The straps that held his body armor were golden and matched the clips on his gloves and belt buckle, which was another flame symbol. His boots were multicolored and consisted of a heat-resistant hard plastic type of armor that ran up to his knees. The pants were charcoal black and had flames that ran up the sides of each leg. Every inch of his costume was lined with flame-retardant materials so it did not burst into flames. Chris finally added a full-body, black trench coat with crimson red trim to finish the costume. The training that the team underwent transformed him into a very fit, muscular kid. The once pudgy teen now possessed the physique of a Greek god.
Next, Shyra turned her attention to Tori. "Tori, you have grown so much since you got here, and I am happy to present you with your new name and costume. You will be known as Whisking Wind. You will use your aerokinesis to take your enemies' breath away."
Tori's outfit was breathtaking to say the least. Sporting the color white with black trim, the tight-fitting costume contoured to every curve on her tone body, which was ravishing to begin with. The high leather boots were sewn into the kneepads, which made for an easy change of clothes if need be. Her gloves climbed all the way up her biceps; her left glove sported two little black padded cushions, while the right had only one. The same setup was on her legs, only reversed. She had a symbol of a small tornado on her abdomen and her belt. The cape Shyra gave her was black on the outside but white on the inside. It was a half-sized cape that came down to the small of her lower back. Tori smiled at Shyra, and secretly leaned in to whisper to Cassie.
"Kalrynians aren't much on color are they? I wish she would have talked me before designing this thing, there's like no space for accessorizing," she complained.
"Shh," Cassie hastily responded.
After the first two costumes were presented, the rest of the team waited with bated breath, anxious for their turn. All the regrets from this adventure were forgotten for a brief moment. Almost a year had gone by since Alex and the others were summoned by Shyra in this almost surreal event that had been forced upon the five exemplary teenagers. Overwhelmed with excitement, there was only one who quelled his eagerness. Dimitri was in the back of the crowd still in disagreement with Shyra on the matter of who should be leader and the thought of running around dressed as "superheroes."
And then it was his turn. "Dimitri, please come forward," Shyra said.
"I'm up? What you got for me?" he replied.
"Dimitri, you have made incredible progress since you have been here, and I am glad you can make peace with your inner demons. This is yours." With that, Shyra handed Dimitri his costume. "From now on, you will be Seismic Earth. Your geokinesis will be the cornerstone to our victory."
Dimitri's costume was tailored to his personality. It was a myrtle green leather hoodie with the sleeves cut off to show off his muscle definition. He also wore a predominantly black biker's glove on his right hand, while the other forearm was wrapped up in boxing bandages. The brawler of the group had an outfit that gave his hands and arms freedom and loose movement. Baggy black-and-green cargo pants and work boots helped him stomp out anyone crazy enough to be looking for a fight. Around his waist he sported a forest green samurai-inspired custom kusazuri, a thick cloth that shielded the hips and waist. The symbol on the left side of his hoodie was a blue Earth symbol with a crack through it, representing an earthquake. The hoodie was lined with white, while his undershirt was solid black.
Shyra walked over to Cassie, placed her hand on her shoulder, and smiled. "Cassandra, what can I say? Your strategic prowess and intellect have almost challenged my own. You are levelheaded in combat and will be the deciding factor in any skirmish. This outfit was designed especially for you. Your new moniker is Effervescent Rain." Shyra handed the costume to Cassie. "Use your hydrokinesis to wash away the sins of the universe.