by Happy Dragon
An allegory of the Bible, packed with meaning, action, and morals.
"Well done!" Selodiar boomed. "You have begun developing your skill. It is my job to help you hone these skills and become comfortable and fluent with them. This is your fitness training, your mental training, and your special skill training."
"Selodiar?" asked Noxtar.
"What exactly are our powers? I know I can build weapons, Reshan can turn into animals, and Auhsor can get like... electrically charged, but what else can we do?"
"Noxtar, you can build any object, as long as you understand how it works. The more complex an object is, the more energy, concentration, and time it takes to build. The wooden spear you made in the mock fight was about as basic as it can get. That is why it took practically no time to build. A complex machine such as a computer could take hours to build, and you would have to know exactly how to build it. Reshan, you can turn into any animal. You must know of the animal and the animal must exist in order for you to take its form. While an animal, you can understand the language of an animal- that is, body language, growls, etcetera- in perfect English as well as being able to understand human English. Auhsor, you are, as Noxtar said, electrically charged when you want to be. You can control the power that culminates in your hands by the energy you pour into it." All three boys nodded. "You three are probably exhausted. You will find a building with three beds and a meal due South a ways. I have business to attend to."
As Selodiar spoke Reshan noticed for the first time his aching muscles and smarting bruises. Selodiar was right. He was exhausted. Selodiar and the threesome turned and walked in opposite directions. They reached the building that Selodiar had mentioned in less than a minute. It looked like a normal house: black shingles, brown stone siding, three windows, one level. Reshan wasn't expecting such a warm sight. As they opened the door, a delicious scent rushed into their nostrils and a booming voice hailed them.
"Welcome!" A huge black man stood next to a table set for four, spooning out some sort of dish onto the plates. "I am Khoharar, your chef." He offered a giant white smile. "And your caretaker. And your individual-homework-giver."
"Wow," said Noxtar. "We have a cook!" Then he frowned. "And a school-teacher." But his mood brightened almost immediately. "What's for dinner?"
"Come and see," replied Khoharar.
Each boy sat at a chair. Rice, an odd sautd vegetable, an odd purple fruit, and some delicious smelling meat were arranged nicely on their plates, though the servings seemed very small. Reshan studied the house. It was small. An open kitchen, a dining room, a bathroom, and a bedroom could all be seen from the front door. That was fine. It wasn't like he and his friends had brought their belongings from Earth.
"Thanks, Mr. Khoharar," said Reshan. The other two echoed his gratitude, though Noxtar said "Cooky," instead of Khoharar. The man didn't seem to mind. "Don't thank me," he said, smiling again. "Thank the King. He provides for all His soldiers."
The three boys set to their meal with a vengeance. Reshan, who usually ate his food one item at a time, started with the lush fruit. He took a huge bite. Wonderful flavor rushed into his mouth and icy juice cooled his throat, making him feel refreshed and revitalized. He finished the fruit off as if he was eating pie and ice-cream, remarking several times how good the fruit was. Each next course was just as good. The meat was tender and savory, the vegetables spicy, and the rice tangy and satisfying. The food was so delicious and filling he didn't even notice how small the servings were.
When he and his friends had finished, Reshan looked out the window. The sun was getting close to setting. Khoharar rose from his seat, walked to the counter, and grabbed a handful of papers, and handed them to Noxtar and Reshan. "This is your homework. Study them well." To Auhsor he said, "Come. We will train outside." The two walked out, and left Reshan and Noxtar to study. Reshan flipped through his papers. They were filled with information about animals. Reshan loved to study animals. This could be fun. He glanced at Noxtar, who was also flipping through his homework. It looked like diagrams of machines and weapons, and he could tell by the boy's face that he was happy with what he saw. Reshan started reading. It was time to learn his animals.
About an hour later, Reshan finished his reading. Noxtar was still on his last page. Reshan rose and walked outside. The setting sun painted an orange glow onto the evening sky as wind gently rustled the leaves of the surrounding trees. Auhsor was being mentored by Khoharar on how to control the power coming to his hands. Reshan joined them. Auhsor had picked up a stick and was concentrating on it.
"See if you can make it burst into flames," Khoharar was saying. Auhsor closed his eyes and tilted his head upwards, a frown forming on his face. He stayed in this position for about a minute, his frown deepening every second. Finally he gave up.
"I can't do it!" he exclaimed, his voice dripping with frustration against himself.
"You can," said Khoharar. "You will. Try again." Auhsor complied. He gripped the stick firmly and stared at it, gritting his teeth. Several minutes passed this time.
"It's not working."
Khoharar studied him for a few seconds. "Auhsor," he asked, "Do you know from whom your powers come?"
"Selodiar?" Auhsor guessed, looking confused.
"Close. Your powers come from Selodiar's Father. The King gave you your powers. You are, after all, his soldier. As you learn how to use this gift, remember that it is in His Name that you do it."
"OK," said Auhsor, frowning thoughtfully. He gripped the stick once more. Taking a deep breath he closed his eyes and concentrated. Immediately the stick exploded with a sound like a gunshot. Splinters flew like missiles, bouncing off trees and rocks. Reshan shielded his face, turning away and yelping like a dog. When the explosion had ended, he turned to the younger boy, eyes wide. Khoharar was also gawking at Auhsor, but he had a huge smile on his face.
"That was amazing!" he exclaimed. "Selodiar will be happy that we've made so much progress." Then Khoharar noticed Auhsor's slumped shoulders and exhausted face. The huge burst of energy had him spent. "Come on," he said to the two boys. "You've had a long day." He led them inside, told the three comrades to get washed up and go to bed, and left.
They found the beds soft and comfortable. Reshan lay down and thought about his home and his family. He would miss them, he knew. But he was a soldier now. He would be the best soldier he could be. He would learn, train, and fight. And it would all be worth it. With that, Reshan drifted into unconsciousness.