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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Sci-fi · #1727527
This is a story of a group of friends who are given great power.
My name is Conner and I am going to tell you about the adventures me and my friends have. I must warn you that much of what happens may seem ‘unreal’ and ‘totally impossible’ but everything is true for my friends and I. Every detail was seen by John, Brent, Brody and I, everything we experienced cannot be explained away as ‘swamp gas’ or ‘weather balloons’ or whatever else the government may try to pass it off as. I can’t say too much more or I’ll ruin the story but for now I will tell you that we were very ordinary teens when it all started.

John is the unofficial leader of our group, he’s the one who makes snap decisions and tells us what to do. Brent is the funny one but when it comes down to it he becomes extremely focused and unwavering. Brody is the loud, obnoxious one but no one cares, he’s the most determined of the entire group and when he’s angry he channels all of his energy into taking care of the problem. I’m the quiet and nerdy member of our group, typically formulating plans and thinking things through logically. We all have a wonderful, if slightly morbid, sense of humour that has kept us together as friends throughout our high school careers.

John, Brody, Brent and I had met in the park to discuss what we were going to do to celebrate the end of the school year. We sat on the swings as we talked and I soon began to swing. Brent joined in and we silently started a contest to see who could swing the highest. John and Brody, being competitive, saw what we were doing and quickly followed suit. Soon we had all reached our maximum, none of us could go any higher, and surprisingly we were all equally matched. Suddenly I realized that the swing set we were on was starting to sway back and forth. I began to warn the others that we should stop but before I could time seemed to slow. I watched as all four of us swung forward and as we all came level with the top bar at the same time everything went black.

I woke up in time to see that my friends were also just coming around. They all said they were fine and got up. That’s when we noticed where we were. We were standing in a vast white expanse with nothing in it. We turned full circle twice just to make sure that we really we alone. “I am the reason why you are here,” said a deep eerie voice behind us. We all jumped when we heard the voice, we were sure there was nothing around that could have done that. When we turned around we saw a man standing in front of us. “I brought you four here to give each of you a gift,” he said as he took a step closer. Suddenly four tall pillars shot up from the floor, one in front of each of us.

Each pillar was a different colour and had a different symbol etched into it. The pillar in front of Brody was a blazing red and the symbol emblazoned upon it looked like leaping flames. Brent was standing before an aqua pillar with, what appeared to be, waves cut into its surface. John’s pillar was almost as white as the surrounding expanse; the symbol carved into it looked like curling strands of smoke. The pillar that stood before me was a dark, rusty brown and it was engraved with an image of mountains. “Step forward and touch the pillar before you,” said the man. It was almost like the man demanded it but his voice implied that it was more of an offer.

We each looked at each other and put out our hands. “On three, John said, “Ready? One, two…THREE!” and we all slapped our hands onto our respective pillars. A moment passed and nothing happened. We were just about to say something when the man stoke, “You will each be given control of a different element.” the moment he finished the sentence a shockwave rippled through me and I was knocked unconscious, again. When I woke up I found myself lying flat on my back, on the ground, under the swing. I pushed the swing out of the way and sat up to find my friends doing the same thing. Wondermng if it had been real I asked, “Did you guys wind up in…” “…an endless void…” John replied, “…with four strange pillars…” Brent said, “…and a creepy old dude?” Brody finished. We all said, “Yeah” at the same time.

Figuring that the swings were no longev thg best option for discussions wg walked over to one of the picnic tables and sat down. We talked briefly about the endless void and the topic quickly turned to the four pillars and what the man had said. “What did he mean, ‘you will each be given control of a different element’ and what was up with those pillars?” I asked. John thought for a moment and said, “Each of those pillars was a different colour, right? And each one had a different symbol, correct?” we all nodded, “Well, what if each of those pillars represented a different element. You know, like earth air, water, and fire?” “Of course!” I said, “It makes sense. And if we take that man’s word then that would mean I have control over Earth…” “…I can control Water…” Brent said, “…I can control Air…” John piped in, “…and Brody can control Fire!” we all said in unison.

“So,” I said after a minute of silence, “How should we test to see if we do have control over the elements?” They thought for a moment and John said, “How about just trying? What’s the worst that could happen?” We all nodded, he had a point. “I’ll go first.” I volunteered. I turned my head and focused on a small section of ground just in front of the swing set. I held my arm out aiming at the small patch of gravel and willed it to lift. For one long, suspenseful moment nothing happened. Suddenly the gravel jumped slightly as a two¬≠foot square section of the ground rose up, right where I’d wanted it to. “It…it actually worked.” Brent said in astonishment, “I can’t wait to try my own powers!”

We all agreed to meet back at the park in one week, so that we could go home and practice controlling our elements. That week felt like it had lasted only an afternoon when we met back up. We talked and told each other what we found out about new powers. We all seemed to have gotten a power that “regular” heroes with our powers never got, however they were still related to our elements. John found that he could manipulate the content of the air, Brent found he had some control over objects that had water in them, Brody found that he could start flames just by rubbing his fingers together and I found that I could control metals. They all made logical sense, metals are made of minerals that came from the earth, but they were still slightly surprising.

“Do you want to see what I can do with metals?” I asked. They all answered, “Yes” at the same time. I smiled and stuck my hand into my pocket and pulled out a block of metal 2” x 2” x 5”. I set it on the table and placed the fingertips of my right hand onto it. I focused and the metal began to flow around my fingers and up my arm, creating a metal glove that moved as freely as cotton. I stretched my now silver fingers allowing the sun to glint off of them as John said, “Cool! But now it’s my turn!” He waved his hand in Brent’s general direction and Brent collapsed. I rushed over to him, but he was fine he had only momentarily fainted. “Oxygen de Gentlemanly?” I asked John and he smiled. He had gotten the idea from the manga Fullmetal Alchemist’s Colonel Roy Mustang.

Brent showed us how he could control things with water in them by having Brody repeatedly smack himself in the face. We all laughed, even Brody. Then Brody entertained us by creating intricate flame trails that sprouted from his fingertips. But just as we were about to leave we heard sirens. We all looked toward the noise and saw several police cars pull up to the bank across the street; someone was robbing the bank. John, Brent, and Brody all pulled their hats down to disguise their faces while I ran over to the swing set and used it to create a suit of armour for myself. “Stay behind me!” I called as we ran toward the bank, “I’m going to be your shield!”

We ran through the police blockade, much to the surprise of the officers, and up the steps of the bank. I pushed on the door but the bank robbers had already locked it. I took a half step back and twisted the metal hinges until they fell out and the doors crashed inward. I took one glance at the floor and sighed in relief, it was made of marble and would be easy to control if I needed to. We stepped inside to find the bank robbers waiting for us, guns drawn. They each fired multiple shots at me, creating many small holes in the floor. The bullets had bounced off my armour. They raised their guns to take more shots but their arms suddenly snapped to their sides.

Brent held the men’s arms at their sides while John altered the air content around them. You could see them begin to lose consciousness as John raised the oxygen and hydrogen levels. Brody snapped his fingers and the hydrogen combusted, creating a wet popping sound not unlike when you light hydrogen in a test tube. Brody then quickly dissipated the flames and we could see the robbers lying on the floor. They were unconscious and their skin was reddened from the heat but, other than that, they were fine. We snuck back out of the bank as the cops poured in to arrest the robbers. We gave each other high-fives as we walked back to my house.

When we got back to my house we all went downstairs into the rec room to watch some Fullmetal Alchemist. I popped the DVD into the player and turned on the TV. As the TV came on it displayed the news channel and the anchorwoman said, “…strange reports from the bank. We now go to Steven, live at the scene.” “Thank you Debbie,” Steven said, “Earlier today the bank I’m standing in front of was subject to an attempted robbery. Three teens and someone in a suit of armour thwarted the robbers. The police are still trying to discover the identities of the teens, in hopes of finding out who was in that suit of armour. Back to you, Debbie.” “In other news a swing set went missing from the park across the street from the bank…” Debbie began but I pressed the Input button on the remote and switched over to the DVD player. “Cool, we made it onto the news!” Brent exclaimed. “Yeah,” John replied, “but that’s not good. What if they find out our identities?”

“Well,” I said, “Let’s worry about that later. I’d really like to watch some FMA right now.” “Fine, but I still don’t like that we may have been caught on film.” John said. I nodded in agreement and selected ‘Play All’. Part way into the pilot episode I began to wonder if I could create Automail with my new powers. I quickly jotted it down on a piece of notepaper and pushed the thought out of my mind. Just as I did however I began to wonder if we might be able to heal our wounds with our elements. I pressed pause just after the episode ended and asked my friends the same question, “Do you think that we could heal ourselves with our elements?” “It makes logical sense that we should,” John replied, “but how do we test it without putting anyone’s life on the line?”

“What if we cut off someone’s hand?” Brody asked, “That way we can see if it works and if it doesn’t, well, at least they’re not likely to die.” “Real comforting thought there, Brody,” I said sarcastically. “Well,” Brent said, “we wouldn’t have to go to such extreme measures. We could, say, stab someone in the arm with a pen.” “He has a point. It would create a fairly severe wound that would not heal quickly yet not cause problems if we can’t heal ourselves.” I replied, “Besides, we can always make it look like an accident.” “But there’s always a risk of infection.” John said, “If I wind up doing this and getting an infection, I really don’t want to live life with only one hand.” “Well, I was thinking that I might be able to create Automail.” I told them, “I’ll see if I can. If not, we have to come up with a safer option.”

They all nodded in agreement and we watched one more episode of FMA before they left. The moment they were out the door I dived into my basement workshop and dug out all the scrap metal I could find. I put my laptop onto the workbench and put a number of screenshots from various FMA episodes so that I could try and recreate Ed’s artificial arm. I spent the next three days holed up in my workshop constantly tinkering and only “surfacing” to get food and go to the bathroom. At around noon on the fourth day I put the final piece of armour on the limb and sat back. I actually recreated it, I thought to myself, a perfect replica of Ed’s Automail. “However, I still need to test it and I really don’t want to cut off my own arm to do it.” I said to myself, “There has to be a better way.”

I looked around my workshop and spotted an old, 1995 vintage computer. “Of course,” I said as I slapped my forehead, “I should have thought of it before. The parallel port on that old thing would do perfectly.” I quickly grabbed the computer and placed it onto my workbench. “Wait a minute. I should really get some sleep. Plus, I could probably get Brent over here tomorrow to help me hook up the wiring.” I went upstairs and lay on my bed. I stared at the ceiling for a moment before falling asleep. The next morning I woke at around 10:00, yawned, and walked over to the phone. I dialled Brent’s number and he answered on the third ring. “Hi, Conner. Did you finish the Automail?” he asked. “Almost,” I replied, “I have it completed but I need you to help me hook it up to this old computer I have so I can test it.” “Sure, I’d love to help. I’ll be over in half an hour.”

Thirty-five minutes later Brent and I started hooking up most of the major wires from the arm to the computer. After a few unsuccessful programs I finally managed to create one that would move the arm in such a way that we could see if anything was wrong with it. As I finished, Brent placed the arm into the table-mounted bracket that I had created while waiting for him. Seeing that everything was ready I ran the program and much to my surprise, it worked! The Automail worked just the way it was supposed to even if it was a bit slow. Figuring Brent would be wondering about the speed I said, “I’ll replace the wires I have in there now with some superconductors. The lag will completely disappear, I guarantee it.”

The next day I managed to perfect the Automail and promptly called my friends. When they arrived the told me everything about what they did while I was working. They had managed to figure out how to fly using their respective elements. I was slightly upset at that knowledge but I didn’t say anything. Instead I showed them the Automail. “So anytime you’re ready to try the healing thing I’m ready to go.” I said, “Who wants to go first?” “I will,” John volunteered, “My element is all around us and we can actually see through it too.” “Ready?” I asked. John nodded and held his left arm forward. I picked up a small block of steel, transformed it into a knife, and sliced into his arm. John let out a stifled yelp and clutched his arm. A moment later the large 4” gash in his arm stopped bleeding and started to close up. Seconds later the wound was healed and, to our astonishment, there wasn’t even a scar.

But that’s where things started looking bad. Immediately after the wound had healed John started to sway and he clutched his head. Brent immediately grabbed John’s arm to steady him. “Are you OK?” I asked. “Yeah, I’m fine,” John replied, “Just a little light-headed is all.” “That just indicates how much energy is required to regenerate using our elements.” I said, “If we tried to regenerate even a single hand we’d likely be out for a week!” We sat in silence for a minute before Brody said; “Well at least you can create Automail for that.” I nodded before replying, “I agree. At least this way we would only have to try and seal the wound.”

We all walked to the rec room in order to watch TV. When I turned the TV on I saw that ‘Steven’ was live at the scene of some crime. “I am standing in front of a bank with a supposed bomb threat inside,” Steve told the camera, “Apparently the robbers are looking for ransom on the hostages they have taken…” Not needing to hear any more we all dashed outside and went to confront the bank robbers. As we raced toward the scene I created steel masks for the four of us, each one with a pattern displaying our element. I passed them to John, Brent, and Brody telling them to put them on so as to conceal our identities. We didn’t need anyone coming after our families and friends.

We carefully skirted around the crowd and police perimeter and snuck down the alley between the bank and the neighbouring building. Fortunately there was a back door into the bank, however it seemed the cops didn’t know about it. Quietly twisting the steel door off its hinges I pulled it toward us and turned it into a shield that we then used as we carefully snuck into the bank. Once inside we hid behind one of the counters, the door/shield hidden by the tall work surface. John carefully made each of the criminals pass out. I then took the opportunity and carefully brought the door/shield over the counter and out in front of us we then raced over and stood guard over the criminals as Brent ushered the hostages out of the bank. He quickly returned and dragged the unconscious criminals outside with the help of John and Brody. I stooped down and tried to figure out how to defuse the bomb. John, Brent and Brody all rushed back in to see if they could help me.

Suddenly a digital timer flashed on and began counting down, 21:00, h1:00, E1:00, 51:00. Suddenly I realized that the stupid criminals had wired the display on UPSIDE DOWN! Panicking we raced toward the door with 8 seconds on the timer unfortunately we didn’t quite make it. The bomb exploded and we were engulfed in light. To my surprise I woke up. What wasn’t so surprising was that I found myself in ‘The Void’, as I had decided to call it. I sat up and rubbed my aching head. My hand felt surprisingly cold and when I looked at it I found it was made of metal. My entire left arm and right leg had bee replaced by Automail. Spotting my friends nearby I found, to my astonishment, that my friends had Automail limbs too. John’s right arm and leg had been replaced with Automail as well as Brody’s left arm and leg, and Brent’s right arm and left leg.

I walked toward them and asked if they were OK. Fortunately they too were fine except for the fact that they too had headaches. As I helped Brody to his feet the strange man appeared before us. “Who are you?” I demanded, “And why do you keep bringing us here?” “All in due time,” he replied, “But for now you may call me ‘The Writer’.” “Ok, mister ‘The Writer’.” John said, his voice dripping with sarcasm, “Why have you brought us here this time?” “Simple,” the Writer said, “I have brought you here to show you the new faces of evil that will plague your city. You have just finished grade twelve so I will have to make them quite challenging. The new faces of evil will have to be…you four.”

“What?!” we all exclaimed. “I have deemed that the most powerful villains you could ever face are yourselves from grade nine. Your younger reflections given the powers you wield today should pose an adequate threat.” And with that the air shimmered next to him in four different places. The shimmers solidified and we saw our reflections from three years previous. “The time we can spend in this ‘Void’ is limited and I must send you back however we will meet again,” the Writer said. A moment later I awoke at home lying on my bed, almost as if it had been an elaborate dream. However when I saw my Automail arm and leg all doubt that it was real was erased from my mind. Then an idea popped into my head, what if the Writer did this to indicate that we need to rest for what is to come? Figuring sleep would be a good idea either way I rolled over and drifted off.

The next two weeks were relatively normal. We saved some citizens and put several criminals behind bars. By Thursday of the second week we were being called ‘The Elemental Four’. It was late the next Wednesday night when our first issues with our Niner selves arose. I was channel flipping and found myself looking at a destroyed supermarket. From what I could make out from the footage the ground beneath it had risen up and turned over completely. Adding insult to injury it had then been sunk into the ground and flooded with water. I quickly called up John and asked if he had seen the news. “Yeah, I did,” he replied, “And I just got off the phone with Brent and Brody, they say that they saw the footage too.”

The TV camera panned across the street. The TV now displayed a small office building with people running out of it. The escaping office workers were covering their noses and clutching their stomachs. Suddenly the entire building exploded and burst into flames. “Methane,” I muttered, “Niner-John filled the place with methane and Niner-Brody set it on fire.” “We are so getting blamed for this,” John said. I had forgotten for a moment that he was still on the line. “Call up Brody and Brent. We need to meet at the park and deal with our Niner selves,” I told John, “11:00 should do it. In the mean time I’m going to try and contact the Niners.”

I paced back and forth in my room as I wracked my brain trying to figure out how I could contact my younger self. “Can’t call them, don’t know where they’re staying, the only way to contact them is though the Internet. But, how? I never used Facebook, I only discovered Writing.com in grade eleven, didn’t have a DeviantArt account then either…wait, that’s IT!” I exclaimed. I realized that I could just email myself; I checked my email all the time back then. I dashed to my computer and quickly wrote up an email that I promptly mailed to my own account knowing that I’d wind up checking it sometime within the next hour. I told ‘myself’ to meet me at 12:00 at the park and a message that said ‘I’ should check my email every night at 10:00, just to ensure that any future messages would get through.

Brody, Brent, John and I met at the park at precisely 11:00. The unfortunate thing was that my Niner self had gotten the same brilliant idea as I had. So as we stepped into the park from the south end the Niners entered from the north end. Creating a stone sword and shield I stepped forward to confront myself. That was probably my biggest mistake. I charged into battle as John, Brent, and Brody all prepared to face themselves. I swung my sword and caused huge chunks of stone to shatter off of my rival’s shield. He took three leaping steps backward, repaired his shield and lunged. His sword caught mine with such force that I was knocked to the ground. I glanced around before getting up only to find that my friends were doing no better.

Moments latter the entire park was a devastated wasteland. Fires had begun to burn uncontrolled on some of trees while hurricane winds from both directions ripped up the smaller saplings. Huge craters pockmarked the ground, many filled with water from the ruptured sewer pipes. As I stepped back to attack my Niner self he too stepped back. However he was not preparing to attack. The other Niners stepped back with him. The wind picked up and large droplets of rain mixed with it cutting our visibility to almost zero. I felt the ground shake as a large section of it tore itself lose. As soon as the whirlwind had started it stopped and we were left to watch our Niner selves float off into the distance. I went to give chase but was pelted by several large rocks and knocked out.

I awoke not too long after and picked myself up. I then noticed that my friends had been knocked out as well. Shaking each one awake I told them we had to get out of there, someone was bound to arrive and try to arrest us. I helped support Brent home seeing as his Automail leg had become damaged in the fight. The rest of us weren’t any better off, John’s arm had lost much of its protective plating and a few wires were severed, Brody had suffered a severe concussion, and my left hand had been smashed beyond repair. Fortunately we made it back to my house without too much trouble considering the state we were in.

I immediately began repair work on my hand so that I could fix everyone else’s Automail more effectively. As I did I asked the obvious question, “What did we do wrong?” “I think I know,” Brent replied as he lifted his left leg onto the couch, “We made the same mistake like every movie where the good guys have to fight their mirrored selves. We fought our reflections and not one another’s” “Makes sense,” Brody said as he held an ice pack to his head, “Our elements are useless against themselves. We need to swap out who’s fighting who.” “I have a plan,” John said as he slipped his right arm into a sling, “Once we’ve recovered will call on the Niners again. This time Conner fights Brody, Brody fights Brent, Brent fights me, and I fight Conner. That way we have the upper advantage and with the Niners being so naive they’ll think that they’re the ones with the advantage.” “But in reality we’re the ones who will have the upper hand,” I said finishing John’s thought, “Brilliant.”

It took all afternoon and part of the evening for me to fix my hand and get it functioning again. Brody had gone to sleep off the concussion in the guest room and John and Brent were keeping themselves busy playing numerous card games. I then packed up my tool kit and carried it over to where Brent was sitting. “You’re probably going to experience some discomfort while I’m fixing your leg. Thought I might warn you,” I said, “In the mean time, John, you may want to get some sleep. It’ll take some time before Brent’s leg is repaired.” John nodded and got up. “Do you mind if I sleep in your bed?” he asked. “No, not at all. Besides what are friends for if not to be there when you need them?” I replied. “Thanks,” John said as he climbed the stairs, “See you in the morning.”

Dawn came late the next morning because a heavy storm had sprung up at around 3 o’clock. Finishing Brent’s repairs at 7:00 I got up and went to the linen closet and pulled out some blankets. I left John a note telling him to make sure that Brody got plenty of rest. As I came back into the rec room I noticed that Brent had dozed off on the couch. I threw a few covers over him and carried the rest with me over to the armchair. After wrapping the blankets around myself I curled up in the armchair and fell asleep.

When I woke up it was dark outside and the clock said that it was 2:35 in the morning. I yawned and stretched, “Wow, I must have really been beat. Looks like getting the stuffing knocked out of you really wears a person down. I probably shouldn’t push my luck but I think I should at least try and doze off again.” With that I turned over in the chair and fell asleep again. I woke again at 8:00 to the wonderful smell of pancakes and maple syrup. When I stepped into the dining room I found that Brent and John had cooked breakfast. “Thanks guys,” I said, “I appreciate what you’ve done.” “You didn’t get any food yesterday and we figured you’d be hungry,” John replied. “Besides, you’re the one repairing all our Automail,” Brent said, “We figured it would be a nice way to say thank you.” I smiled at my friends and bid them to grab some of the food themselves. “Once we’re done here I’ll fix your arm,” I told John. He nodded in agreement.

It was almost a full week after our skirmish with the Niners before we felt almost well enough try and enact John’s plan. In the meantime though the Niners had destroyed our standing as heroes and had left the city’s population on the brink of becoming an angry mob bent on destroying us. “It’s now or never,” I told my friends, “Either we stand up, destroy the Niners and save the city or we get run out of town by a rioting crowd.” “I’m not sure if we’re ready,” John replied, “Plus Brody really needs to continue to recover from that concussion.” “John’s right, but we can’t afford to be kicked out of the city,” Brent said, “We need to confront the Niners and we need to do it as soon as possible.” “We can expect to be fighting by high noon tomorrow,” I replied.

I emailed ‘myself’ and told him to meet me in front of City Hall and to bring the other Niners at 1:00. I immediately went back to my friends and explained what I had said in the email and told them that we were going to get there at 10:00. “In the mean time,” I said, “I’m going to create swords that we will then imbue with our respective elements. That way we can get in close and hit them with the full power of our elements.” “Good idea, Conner,” John complimented, “However I think that when we defeat our opponent we need to step back so that we don’t get in each other’s way.” We all agreed.

I then went into my workshop and pulled out all the scrap metal I could find. I separated the steel into four piles, no of which were the same size. It took about an hour to complete the swords and another two to get them comfortably balanced for everyone. I made everyone’s sword fit their personalities and fighting styles. Brent’s was a katana, Brody got a pair of machetes, John’s was a large broadsword, and I made myself a rapier. I then grabbed my dad’s old leather working kit and carefully created a sheath for each weapon before attaching the sheaths to belts.

The next morning I brought all the weapons upstairs and set them out on the table. When we imbued our weapons with our elements the swords began to glow. Brody’s looked like they were made of molten metal, John’s had become translucent, Brent’s was coated with a thin layer of condensation, and mine looked like it had rusted from point to hilt. We all strapped our weapons on and threw large overcoats on to hide them. We took our time walking toward City Hall. As we did we were met with hundreds of angry glares and when we got within a block of City Hall a television news crew had appeared and were following us. But we kept walking with purpose and, what was left of, our dignity.

As I had expected the Niners showed up not long after we got to City Hall, they had been watching TV. The Niners approached with evil smirks on their faces, they still thought they could beat us. They stopped twenty feet from us and waited. I whispered, “Three, two, one.” And on “one” we all pulled off our overcoats to display our swords. The Niners to a half step back when they saw our weapons. We then pulled out our swords. Holding them at arms length we ignited them and they became encased in our elements. I looked again at the Niners and saw that their smug smiles had been erased. Lifting our weapons to attack position we charged at the Niners.

I swung at Niner-Brody only to have him leap backwards and out of the way. Niner-Brody then dragged his partners back and Niner-Conner created a large, rock wall between them and us. I immediately new what they were doing and began to laugh. I told my friends that the Niners were making their own swords behind the wall and they started laughing too. We all knew that with such little time their weapons would be poorly crafted and terribly unbalanced. Suddenly the wall sank into the ground and the Niners stepped forward, all four of them looked scared. “FOR THE CITIZENS!!!” we cried as we charged again, “eep” was the reply from the Niners.

Our swords collided with the Niners’ and sparks flew. With every hit after that our sword would spew small amounts of our elements at the Niners, pebbles, water and fire flew in every direction as gusts of wind swept through. The fight raged on as the wind began to pick up, rain pelted the ground, rocks flew and flames all engulfed the Niners. All of a sudden everything stopped, the Niners had been defeated. As they lay there bleeding they shimmered out of existence and we knew it could only mean one thing. The world faded into a white expanse and we found ourselves in the void again.

We stuck our weapons back into their sheaths as the Writer appeared. “You performed admirably,” the Writer said, “To honour you, and fulfil the promise made by the title, I will give you a new ally.” “Wait,” I said, “What do you mean ‘fulfil the promise made by the title’? This is our entire existence there is no title for that.” The Writer didn’t answer right away, instead he made a sweeping gesture with his hand and our friend Andrew appeared in the void. “Who, what, when, where, why, how?” he sputtered incomprehensibly. “I will give your friend powers too,” said the Writer, “Then I will explain everything. Well, almost everything.”

A pillar shot from the floor in front of Andrew. One half was as yellow as the sun, the other half was as black as the void of space, and tracing down the centre of the pillar was an engraving of a lightning bolt. The Writer spoke to Andrew privately and moments later there was a flash of light. Andrew turned around and said, “This is why you guys weren’t hanging out with me. You were too busy being the Elemental Four.” “I guess we’ll have to change it to the Elemental Five now,” I said, “Hey, wait a minute. The ‘title’ wouldn’t be ‘The Elemental Five’ now would it?” “Indeed it is,” the Writer replied.

“I guess I should elaborate,” the Writer sighed, “It began a long time ago, I got an idea for a story and wrote it down. I then transferred it to my laptop and that’s where it gets weird. As I was typing it out the story began to take on a life of it’s own, I could influence what happened but otherwise it wrote itself. I then realized that I could, quite literally, put myself into the story. The story I’m talking about, is this one.” “WHAT!?!” we all yelled. “Yes,” the Writer continued as he began to change shape, “You’re nothing but fictional versions of me and my friends. My real name…is Conner McFadden.”

“But…that’s…you…” I sputtered. I was looking at a perfect replica of me minus the Automail I had aquired. “Please, let me finish,” Conner said, “This is going to get confusing if this goes on any longer so, here it is. This ‘Void’ is the monitor of my laptop and your world is the hard drive. All of this was my idea except for adding Andrew to the mix and setting your Niner selves on you, those were my friend’s ideas. Now like I said before our time in the ‘Void’, I like that name better by the way, is limited and I must send you back. But before you go I must tell you that there will be another story written about you. It will be set about a month from now and, like in my world, you will be going back to school for a fifth year. So you will have to balance saving the world and doing homework. Goodbye, for now.”

Suddenly we found ourselves standing in front of City hall again. We turned to see a cheering crowd that surged forward and hoisted us onto their shoulders. They carried us into City Hall and deposited us in front of the Mayor. The Mayor personally thanked us for ridding the city of evil and apologized for blaming us for what the Niners did. We thanked the Mayor and citizens before we left, flying off to my house. On the way back however I took a detour and picked up a ton of scrap metal from the junkyard, I knew I’d need it for something. After we landed at my house my friends went into the rec room to watch TV. I continued on, unloaded the scrap metal into my workshop and began working on a bladed weapon for Andrew.

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