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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2208035-The-Journey-of-A-Hero-Part-1
Rated: ASR · Fiction · Sci-fi · #2208035
A story of a friend's OC's. Not my story, just sharing it. Hope yall enjoy it!
The Journey of A Hero
An original story by Officialkat14



Chapter 1: Notre Dame
         No matter where you look, you always see the same types of people. You have the outcasts, the wealthy, the peacemakers, the peacebreakers, and the in-between, who don’t have a role. When I look around, all I see is the peacebreakers and outcasts, the ones not good enough to even fit in the middle class. I see these people every day, trying to get by, but not being able to. So...they resort to violence and chaos, the one thing they’re good at and the one thing that makes them happy. It’s like a drug to these people. I always wonder why they even bother, why I bother, but then I realize that we all do this because this is how we were raised, how we survived, and I realize that this is home.
         In today’s world, we have heroes, villains, and commoners. Since 3030, people have discovered that they have abilities, Talents, as the government calls them. The year is 3068 and I, Notre Dame, A.K.A, Sarah Gray, am the top villain in New Jersey. I moved my way through the ranks, knocking down runt villains on the way, and made my way to the throne. Well, I’m here to tell you why and how I became the best hero in the galaxy
Chapter 2: Origins
         It all started in August of 3029, when a massive wave of eerie, purple light, passed over the earth. Several months later, around November, children at the age of 3 started experiencing strange abilities. One kid started levitating, one went invisible, and all the usual stuff you see in comic books. Starting in March of 3030, the new generation of children at the age of 3 started getting unique abilities. For example plant control, electric kiss, the hacker’s touch, etc, etc. The governments all over the world did all the tests they could to see what was happening, but after examining the children, they said it was like it was in their DNA. Almost like it was a natural process. So, after two years, the government started calling these abilities Talents and started making laws to keep these Talents under control. Shortly after the laws were made, the corrupt people of the world thought they could use these Talents of theirs for selfish purposes, like taking over entire cities. These people are classified as villains. For a while, the government couldn’t do anything about these villains, and entire cities went into ruin. Those who tried to use their Talents for good, to stop the villains, were classified as vigilantes since the government couldn’t control their actions either. Although, eventually, that changed, and people took a stand. We needed people who could control this chaos. The government then added the title “Hero” as an official occupation. Some people did it for good, others for the money. The fallen cities were repaired and cleaned up, returning to normal.
         In 3054, I was born as Sarah Evelyn Gray, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I was born a 3.4 lb, preemie baby, meaning I was born early. So even in the beginning, I was the runt and flaw of the family. My dad hated me. His line of the family consisted of a line of people with the Talent of pyrokinesis, allowing them to be the richest family in New York and New Jersey, which should say something. My mom didn’t like me, but she at least tolerated me. Her family all had Talents related to telekinesis and psychic Talents. Making them the second richest family in the area. My father tried to avoid me as much as he possibly could, claiming the excuse of “business meetings”. Mom took care of me at the bare minimum she could, only so she didn’t get arrested for neglect to her child, not that it would have mattered if she did. All that would have happened is she went to jail for maybe an hour, getting bailed out, and you’d hear about it in the news the next morning. Of course, she couldn’t have that because it would ruin her precious reputation in this oh-so-perfect world. I ruin her reputation in this world. In effect to me being the flaw, I was hidden away from the world for much of my childhood. I was still forced to wear frilly, pink dresses that I hated and act like a princess because I was the heir to the family companies. When I was about 3 and ½, I was hiding in my room, crying because father was angry with me, Father was trying to burn down the 6 inches thick, iron door (used to lock me away in my room) and as I was trying to hold the door shut, my hand slipped to the burning iron and something happened. For one moment, my hand was burning. The next, the door was turning into beautiful stained glass. Father was even angrier with this, as I didn’t have his or Mother’s Talent. In turn, he tried to grab me after breaking the glass and failed. I started falling out of the balcony window but grabbed the ledge. It turned to stained glass, cracking from the weight. I fell into the bushes below, leaving me with cuts and bruises. I sat crying in the garden until my mother came home. My mother took me into the living room and cleaned me up. After putting a bandage on my arm she said,
         “Now, go to the bathroom and clean yourself up. I want you to brush your hair and wash your face. We’re having guests over later for a business meeting.”
At these words I got excited. “Can I come out today?!” I asked in eager excitement.
My mother looked at me with cold eyes and said sternly, “You will NOT come out of that room. You will not speak or move from your room unless your father or I were to say so. Do you understand?” I nodded. After that conversation, I had gone to the bathroom to do what she had told me. Mother hadn’t figured out my Talent yet. She didn’t see the result of the previous event as Father had someone immediately replace the door and the balcony railway. As I grabbed the hairbrush, it turned to glass, but surprisingly, the brush tips were still rounded. I ignored it for the time being and began to brush my dark brown hair. After I finished brushing, I went to smooth down any loose bits, but as a result, my dark brown hair turned into a multi-colored mass of stained glass. I started freaking out. Mother and Father would literally kill me for having such an imperfection. I tried to break the glass off of my head, to see if my hair would grow back, but instead, glass grew back. I started crying.
         After calming down, I went to wipe my eyes. Well, you should guess how that turned out. My silver eyes turned to stained glass as well, only, this time it was different… I could still see normally. The only thing to change was the eyes themselves. I tried experimenting with my Talent, after running and hiding in my room before Mother or Father saw me. I tried touching my dark skin, only to find the power didn’t work. I took my shoes off of my feet, leaving my feet exposed to the soft rug below them. The rug turned to glass, and I quickly put my socks back on. What was I going to do?! I was a walking impurity to the family! This would only make things worse. The butler, Jenkins, was the only one who cared for me. Jenkins walked past my room to close the newly installed, iron door and saw the rug. I was already scared, but I was sure that Jenkins would tell Father. I backed up to the corner and sat, my orange satin dress laying around me. Jenkins stopped what he was doing and walked toward me. He reached a hand out toward me. I cowered in fear. “Don’t touch me, Jenkins. I don’t want to hurt you. If I touch you, you’ll turn to glass like the rug.”
         Jenkins nodded. “Alright. I’ll be right back, Miss Sarah.” I got scared. I ran toward the door, blocking his path.
         “Jenkins, you can’t tell Mother or Father. Please, Jenkins?! You know what they’ll do if they find out!” Jenkins chuckled.
         “Miss Sarah, I had no intention of telling your parents. I’ve worked for them for as long as you’ve been alive. I know what they’re like. I wouldn’t do that to you. I simply went to go get a pair of power dampening gloves that allow you to touch things again.” My face lit up in excitement.
I moved out of the way. “Thank you, Jenkins!” He chuckled again and walked out of the room. Several minutes later, he returned with the gloves and I immediately put them on. I bounced up and down in excitement, not realizing I was making noise. Jenkins quickly stopped me, but he was a few seconds too late. I heard Mother walk up the grand stairs and towards the direction of my room. Jenkins tried running to the door to close it like he was supposed to do in the first place, but Mother entered the doorway just as he reached the door. He was paralyzed in fear. I quickly realized that it wasn’t fear paralyzing him. Mother was using her psychic Talent on him. She was choking him, pulling him up into the air. “You disobey direct orders, cause a noise that made the guests question things, and this is the last time. You’re... Fired.” She was killing him. I couldn’t just stand there, doing nothing. I panicked. Running towards her, ripping off my gloves, I pushed her. She took a gasp for air. About 10 seconds later, she had turned completely to stained glass, her face in permanent panic and fear. Jenkins fell to the ground, recovering his breath. Father had heard the loud thud that was Jenkins hitting the ground and came up the stairs sounding furious. He saw my now stained glass mother and stood in silence. A moment later he looked at Jenkins, then at me in pure hatred.
         “Don’t come near me,” I warned. “Or you’ll end up like her.” Surprise rose in his eyes, seeing as this had been the first time I revolted against him. Father turned and started heading toward the grand stairway. “And don’t you dare think of hurting Jenkins, or it’s the same consequences!” I yelled toward him.
         After that day, Father started drinking. There were no more business meetings at the home, no more parties. News of Mother’s death had been opened to the public, but the news just said that the killer was unknown and never caught. I was able to go anywhere in the house now, and if Father objected, I warned him of the consequences. From that day forward, I wore the gloves around Jenkins and throughout the house. I started going to the store by myself at the age of 7. No one knew of Father’s drinking habits except Jenkins and I. At the age of 8, Jenkins died of pneumonia. It was quick and unexpected. For 2 months, I lived in my room, only coming out for food and drink, which I scarcely did. He was the only person to ever care about me, and now he was gone...
         After Jenkins’s death, I gathered common materials and turned them into stained glass, shaping a statue of Jenkins in the garden. After finishing the memorial, I went to my room and sat on my bed, remembering that day with Mother. He was protecting me my entire life. From the time I was born, until now, the age of 8. So much of his teachings had molded me into the person I am now. I just hope he’s in a better place.
Chapter 3: We Stand
         Eventually, I got over the death of Jenkins. I didn’t have much to do other than go to the store for food since Father didn’t want to leave his chair in the living room. He kept quiet and calm when he was in that chair with a drink. I focused on making sure the house was livable. Although sometimes, things were different. Since Father wouldn’t go to work, we started running out of money, so I started working several jobs. I started saving up money to move out. I was only 10, so I worked some odd jobs here and there. Since I was technically under the legal working age, not many people hired. One day, I was working late and came home exhausted.
         “You’re late!” screamed Father from his chair. I ignored him. Today was my birthday, and I wanted to enjoy my time home. I bought myself a small cupcake and a soda from the store to celebrate. If Jenkins were here, he’d celebrate with me. He never forgot, but I had to ignore that thought. I started toward the stairs. “Don’t ignore me!” I turned back toward the living room just in time to dodge a fireball thrown at me. That was the last straw.
         “That’s it! I’m done with you! I’m done with this house! All it’s ever brought me is pain. The only good thing that came out of this house, died a year ago! I’m only 11! I shouldn’t have to be working 3-4 jobs a day! I shouldn’t be celebrating my birthday ALONE! I’m out of here.” With that, I ran upstairs, packed the essentials, grabbed the money I had been saving up, and started down the stairs. “Shoot,” I said, remembering I forgot something. Going back upstairs, I grabbed the steampunk goggles Jenkins had given me when I turned 7, put them on top of my head, and went back down the stairs. I was approaching the door, when suddenly, Father was standing in front of the door, a fireball in his hand.
“Where do you think you’re going? Cause I don’t think you’re going anywhere,” he said letting out a chuckle. “Get. Out. Of. My. Way,” I warned him. At that, he shot the fireball toward me. I jumped and it grazed my foot. Now, I was mad. “I warned you, you old man.” I ripped off my gloves and calmly walked up to this infuriating man. He was so drunk, he didn’t know what was coming. I tapped his chest. “Bye-bye, Daddy.” His face lit up with fear. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six… This man who had hated me my entire life now met his end from these hands… from the Talent that “ruined the family”. I pushed my now stained-glass Father to the ground, shattering anything that remained. I let out a small huff of approval. Putting on my gloves, I walked out that door and down the large hill our house sat upon. I called a cab and went into the city. I was eleven. On my own. What was I going to do? I was going to survive.
Chapter 4: Surviving
As I entered the city, I saw the beautiful lights. The tall New Jersey buildings outlined the night sky. I got out of the cab and paid the gentleman at the wheel. I walked around for about an hour trying to find somewhere to go. Unfortunately, since I was under the age of 16, I couldn’t rent an apartment. Although, I wouldn’t have been able to, even if I were sixteen. I didn’t have the money. Apartments in Jersey are expensive. I was walking down a dark, thin alleyway when suddenly I was attacked from behind. Someone tried to take my wallet and goggles. If it were just the wallet, I wouldn’t have cared. On the other hand, the goggles meant the world to me. They were the only thing I had left of Jenkins and of a family. I elbowed the person in the ribs with my elbow, turned around, took off a glove, and touched the person… Ten seconds. The person is a glass statue. I proceed to take my things back, grab their wallet, and walk off.
I guess this was the life I was going to live now. A life of crime… No, a life of survival. I found a small alleyway, that seemed abandoned, and hid next to a dumpster. I took out the now smushed cupcake, put a candle in it, and lit the flame with some matches I had packed. I started quietly singing “Happy Birthday” to myself and realized that I had started crying. I blew out the candle, curled up in a ball, and cried myself to sleep.
The next morning I woke up to the sound of a gunshot. I jumped in surprise. Peeking over the edge of the dumpster, I see a woman standing next to what looks to be a man that looks like the moon, lying on the ground with a gun in his hand. The woman takes his wallet and a watch he’s wearing. Trying to stay quiet I duck back down, accidentally kicking an empty can. The noise alerted the woman and before I got the chance to duck, she turned her head sharply, spotting me. I quickly grab my bag and try to run, but this woman is faster than I am, without using a Talent. I wasn’t the quickest of people. I would have to work on that if I wanted to survive here. She is suddenly in front of me, startling me, making me trip. I fell and tore my lilac, short sleeve shirt. My black jeans don’t seem to be affected. The woman is wearing a long, pale yellow shirt with a black jacket of some sort. Her peach leggings give me a headache to look at. Her platinum blond hair glows bright in the sunlight. Her amber eyes gleam like two gems stuck on a statue. Her golden skin makes her look like a model. She reaches out a hand to me. I reach for her hand, reluctantly. After she helps me up she sits looking at me for a moment. I remember my rule. Trust, no one. I snatch my hand away from her. She pulls off my glove in the process. I reach for the glove.
         “Uh, uh, missy. I believe you saw something I didn’t want you to.” I look at her for a second.
         “And I believe you have something of mine. Besides, who am I gonna tell? The boogie man? Oh, or maybe Santa Clause will believe me?” Oh no. What am I saying?! This woman just killed a man!... Then again, I’ve killed three.
         The woman laughs. “You know, you’re really gutsy for what, a five-year-old?” She continued laughing.
         “I’m twelve, you jerk! Now I want you to give me back what belongs to me. Now.”
         The woman looked surprised. “I was only joking kid. You’re awful young to be out on the streets like this. What, your folks get mad at you or somethin’?” I looked around, looking for a weapon I could use. “You could say that,” I said in response. The woman reaches and grabs my arm. She goes to kiss my hand. Gross.
          “I wouldn’t do that, if I were you,” I say. She stops and looks up at me.
          “And why not, little girl?” I take my other glove off with my teeth and touch a box sitting next to me. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two… “Voila!” She looks over at the now stained glass box. She drops my hand. “You’re the missing suspect that killed those two rich weirdos.”
         I laughed. “They were more than what magazines said they were, that’s for sure.”
         She stared at me in realization. “You were their kid?! How come the news never told anything about you?”
         I rolled my eyes. “Look at me. I’m a walking imperfection, especially to the ‘family name and fame’ or whatever. They basically disowned me. I skipped a few days ago.”
         She nodded and grinned. “Well, we all gotta start somewhere… Hey, wanna know what I can do?” She then grabbed a bird from nearby and kissed it on the head. The bird lie limp. “Electric kiss. Pretty cool, right?” Well, that was new. It was also useful if there was ever the need. “The name’s Voltaic Storm. Yours?”
         I looked at her for a minute, comprehending her name. “Sarah Gray…”
         She wildly glanced around. “No, no, no, no, no. Don’t EVER say your real name. It will get you killed. You need to make up a name for yourself. A villain name. Something that represents you.” I thought on that for a moment.
         “Okay. How about Notre Dame?”
         “Our Lady? Smart.” I shrugged my shoulders.
         “Yeah, I guess. Reminds me of the South Rose, the stained glass window at the church of Notre Dame back in 2016.” We stood there for a moment in silence. I picked up my bag off the ground with my gloved hand after putting my glove back on, and reached my hand out to Voltaic. She looked puzzled for a second. “What?... Oh, right, your glove!” She handed it back to me. I put my glove on and put my goggles on out of my bag. Voltaic stared at my goggles. She went to grab them, but I slapped her hand away
         . “Don’t. Touch.” She raised her hands in mock surrender and backed away.
         I turned to walk away.
         “Hey, kid,” She called. I turned to face her.
         “Where do you think you’re goin’?”
         "I dunno."
“Come on,” she said. “I’ll take you somewhere where you won’t get mugged in your sleep.” I hesitated but figured there wasn’t anywhere else I could go.

                   Chapter 5: New Beginnings
         After about an hour of walking, we got to an old, abandoned warehouse. We went to the back and Voltaic knocked a pattern of knocks on the door. A slot slid open and a pair of mint, snake-like eyes looked peered through.
“Who’s that?” The man says in a deep, growling voice.
          “She’s a new friend,” Voltaic replied with a sneer. The man opened the door to reveal himself as a tall, muscular man whose green skin looked like a Komono dragon. He slid out of the way as Voltaic strutted through the door.
         As we entered, I looked around to see several barrel fires, with about 6 people at each. That was 36 people. Thirty-six untrustworthy people. There was graffiti littering the walls. I followed Voltaic. We went to a pair of rusted stairs and walked up to what seemed to be an office and bedroom. I saw spray-painted lighting bolts and music notes on the floor and walls. This was Voltaic’s office.
          “So, what do you think, kid?” she asked after sitting down and propping her feet on the desk. I shrugged.
          “It’s shelter, so I don’t know.”
         “Fair enough… We’ll have the introductions later… And don’t worry yourself with these people. The most dangerous person down there is Mosaurus. The rest are just small-time criminals. You know, car break-ins, small bank robberies, etc. etc.” I was puzzled. “Mosaurus,” I asked?
         “The snake man downstairs. You know, the one who guarded the door.” I looked toward the window that showed the downstairs.
         “Ah, okay… So, you’re the leader of this place?” She laughed.
          “You’re correct. I am their so 'called fearless and merciless’ leader.” I nodded. I walked toward the window and looked down on the people below. I thought to myself, “One day… One day, I’ll be the leader. In order to survive, I’ll rise up.” I hadn’t realized I zoned out. The goggles on my head started slipping down behind my head and I quickly turned to grab them before they fell. When I turned, to my surprise, Voltaic was attempting to take my goggles.
         “What do you think you’re doing?!” I asked in surprise. “Hey, we all gotta survive. I gotta make money somehow,” she said, sitting back down on the bed. I was furious.
          “I just saw you steal at least $250 off of that man you killed. You don’t need to make money. You’re just a sly, greedy, corrupt woman who, in reality, is scared like a little girl, of me!... I will break you! You touch these goggles again, and I’ll kill you.” Voltaic had a hint of fear and frustration in her eyes, but she didn’t say anything. She knew I was right. She was terrified.
          “Come on Notre Dame, I’ll get you somewhere to stay,” she said cold and quiet. She stood up from the tattered mattress and walked toward the door. Opening the door, we saw Mosaurus standing there, out of breath, looking panicked. Voltaic spoke.
         “What’s wrong? What’s going on?”
          “They’re here! The Elements are here! And they’re looking for you!” Panicked, Voltaic ran down the rusted stairs and toward the center of the room.
         “Quickly! Everyone, get anything you can find and barricade any doors and windows. Now!” Everyone ran to find what they could. People found nails, wood, barrels, broken furniture, and anything else they could. People with metal Talents melted the nails and other metals together to form a large metal bar, covering the door. Those with wood abilities boarded up the windows. Two Talentless people moved the broken furniture and barrels. After they finished, everyone was wiped of energy, but it still wasn’t enough. I went to the broken furniture and touched it with my hand, mending it together with stained glass. I did this several times with each piece, to ensure that it would hold.
BANG!... BANG!... BANG!... BOOM!
         The barricade came crashing to the ground!
CRASH!
         The already cracked windows were shattered completely!
A large group of people stormed through the front door and through the windows. At the lead of this group, was a tan-skinned, woman with milky brown, short hair with several green streaks in the shape of thorns. Her eyes were the color of dark cherry blossoms. She had on a hot pink cropped-top with a bluish-green jacket over it. She wore short, blue jean shorts with a pair of lime green, see-through leggings underneath. Her pointed ears held two ruby earrings. Her lips were the color of dark cherries. Her dark green shoes looked new. Overall, she had an eerie kind of beauty to her.
         “Well, well, well,” the mysterious woman hissed. “Voltaic Storm, hanging out with a bunch of nobodies. Tsk, tsk, tsk. How low you’ve gone. You used to be one of the greats, but then, you started killing them… I gotta say, it’s not going to end well for you,” she said looking at her crimson nails. Voltaic looked terrified, Mosaurus too. To be honest, I was terrified too, but I was better at hiding it. Voltaic started sweating.
         “You didn’t really think that we wouldn’t find out you killed Artemis, did you?” Voltaic stepped forward. She spoke in a shaking voice.
         “Y-yea, so what? He came after me a-and I took care of him.” Mosaurus looked toward Voltaic in pure fear. The woman stepped forward and looked around at the group of misfits we were. Her entourage was grinning their smug smiles. The woman looked me directly in the eyes and said,
         “So, who’s the runt?” I answered her witha glare
         “S-she’s a new recruit,” stuttered Voltaic. The woman turned toward Mosaurus.
         “And this monstrosity?” Mosaurus looked to the ground in shame. “That’s M-Mosaurus, my right-hand man,” Voltaic studdered, trying to sound more confident. The woman chuckled. She turned back toward Voltaic.
         “Your people belong to me now. And as for you… well, honey, you’re dead.” Voltaic’s eyes widened.
         “No…, please. Please, Briar, have mercy?! Don’t hurt my people! I’ll pay for what I did, but please, don’t hurt them!” Voltaic started crying and clinging to the woman.
         “If you can’t say my full name like a respectful little soldier, then shut your mouth. As for you all"she said, looking toward the crowd, "you will call me Bitter Briar...I don’t have time for your groveling. Get off of me. Besides, there’s nothing you can do now.” At that, she snapped her fingers and three fierce-looking people stepped forward.
                   Chapter 6: The Death of a Friend
         The three people moved forward toward Voltaic. A man with wild, crimson hair was the first to move. His orange eyes sent a shiver down my spine with their crazed stare and their flame-like marks on the sides. His pointed ears, devil-like horns, and tail made him even more unnerving. His black leather jacket covered a scarlet shirt and his dark black jeans seemed too long. Along his back was a katana, sheathed into a dark blue case that looked like someone had thrown ink on. His ruby-colored boots shined in the light. He gave off an eerie kind of feeling, one I didn’t like.
         The next to step forward was a woman who looked to be in her late twenties. Her stone gray skin made her silver eyes seem even colder. Her gray wings and tail made her look like a gargoyle. Her sterling hair, wrapped in a delicate bun. She wore a flowy black and white dress with a pale blue belt. Her dark gray leggings were mostly covered with a pair of black, tall boots. I couldn’t read her countenance.
         The last to step forward was a boy that seemed to be about two years younger than Voltaic. His black hoodie covered his dirty blonde hair with its small black streak and a gold-colored t-shirt. He wore a pair of thin glasses over a pair of uniquely different eyes. The left eye was a faded turquoise with a lightning-shaped scar underneath. His right eye was the color of copper and showed no color resemblance to the left. His black sweatpants tucked into a pair of black, lace-up boots. His gloved hands were curled up into tight fists. He wore a pair of dog tags around his neck and a small lightning-shaped pin on his hoodie. He seemed frightened and concerned. But why?
         After these three stepped forward, Bitter Briar waved for them to come closer. After stepping forward, they stood, awaiting commands. Bitter Briar shot out thorny vines out of her hands that wrapped around Voltaic’s torso like an anaconda snake, tightly squeezing her until she could only just barely breathe. After the vines were pinned into the ground, Briar turned toward the three. She looked at the crazed man and nodded. He laughed maniacally and unsheathed his gleaming blade. He burst into a sprint and ran in a circle around Voltaic, dragging his katana across the ground. Then, he screamed, reaching his hands to the ceiling. After he was done, there was an inferno of a pillar that reached toward the ceiling, circled around Voltaic like a cage. He ran for a moment more around the entire warehouse, blade still out, until Bitter Briar yelled, “Hey Ember, we got work to do! Now get yourself back over here and put that sword up. You can play when we’re done.” The man she called Ember ran back to his previous position and hesitantly sheathed his sword.
Briar then turned to the frightened boy, glared her eyes, and pointed to Voltaic behind her. He didn’t move for several minutes.
          “We don’t have all day! Get it over with! I have more important matters to handle tonight!” He jumped in fear and shuffled in the direction of the fiery cage. Ember let out a sharp and shrill whistle which seemed to make an opening in the pillar. As the boy walked in the pillar, it started closing. I ran and slid into the pillar behind him as Mosaurus reached for my arm. I could hear the muffled sound of Bitter Briar yelling in frustration. I had to be there. I knew there was nothing I could do for her. Her fate was set, one way or another. Voltaic looked toward me, tears forming in her eyes.
         “I’m sorry, I couldn’t do more.”
         I nodded and said, “It’s okay. I know you did your best and I’m sorry for all those terrible things I said about you.” Voltaic smiled a small, pitiful smile.
         “Take care of them. You’re strong Notre Dame. They need you. My brother needs you. Mosaurus needs you. You’ll be a great leader.” She then turned toward the boy. He spoke for the first time.
          “Lynette, I’m so sorry. I don’t have a choice. I don’t want to do this! I don’t want to hurt you! Will you ever forgive me?!” She smiled once more.
         “Brother, I could never be mad at you. I know what you have to do and why you have to do it. It’s okay… Just promise me something. Promise me you’ll get out of there. Help Notre Dame lead my people. Promise you won’t ever doubt your gut again.” He nodded and tears started rolling down his tanned face.
         “I promise. I’m sorry,” he said hugging her in a tight embrace, the thorns tearing his yellow shirt. then, he raised his hands, sending electricity every which way, hitting the walls of fire. I curled into a ball, avoiding the bolts.
She was gone and her brother was forced to make the final move… What kind of person, makes someone murder their own sister? Bitter Briar, that’s who.
The fire parted and Bitter Briar was standing in the opening, the gray woman behind her. “Is it done?” Briar asked. The boy nodded, ever so slowly, in a painful-sorrow.
          “Then clean yourself up. We don’t have time for crybabies. Come on.”
         Then, his sorrowful face turned to one of pain and anger. “No! I’m not doing anything for you anymore! You’re cruel and cold-hearted! You just made me murder my own sister! I mean, who does that?! Well, I’m done. You can kill me if you want. At least then I’ll be with Lynette.”
         Briar let out a short, barky kind of laugh. “We’ll deal with you in a second. Drekary?” The quiet gray woman looked up. “You know what to do.” Drekary nodded and walked toward the now dead Voltaic. She whistled. Ember looked away from what he was doing and ran toward the pillar. Drekary pointed toward the vines and Ember drew his sword and slashed. I looked away, afraid they were going to damage her body. When I looked back and Drekary was lowering Voltaic’s body to the ground. Drekary folded Voltaic’s arms by her side. She then swished her tail around and laid it on Voltaic’s body. For a moment nothing happened. Then, all of a sudden, Drekary’s eyes were a pure white and Voltaic’s body slowly started turning to a glossy marble. After she was done, she gently picked up the statued Voltaic and sat down at the base of the statue. She then used her claw-like nails to carve 'Here lies Voltaic Storm. Real name Lynette Ross.' She then nodded in approval and stood up, folding her arms delicately by her stomach. Bitter Briar let out a shrill whistle. Ember let down the pillar of fire. Drekary stepped back as Bitter Briar walked to the statue.
          “I’ll let you all keep this as a reminder of what happens to those who dare defy The Elements!” Bitter Briar yelled to the crowd of Voltaic’s people… My people. People cowered in fear of her booming voice. Bitter Briar turned back toward Voltaic’s brother and I.
         “You two are in a world of hurt now.” She looked him dead in the eyes and said,
         “Do you wish to suffer the same consequences as your dear beloved sister?” He gulped then something changed. His posture changed into one of confidence. He stood straight, chest puffed out, chin up. He spat in her face. I was shocked. Apparently so was she, because she wiped her face and what was left was pure fury. She reached out her hand and a thick thorn vine started reaching toward his neck. I stepped in the way and took my glove off. Touching the vine, I cut my hand but the vine started turning into stained glass. The stained glass was inching closer and closer to her hand. She realized this and cut off the vine from her hand.
          “Leave him alone and leave my people alone. Leave my home. Now, before you become like that thorn vine,” I stated, glaring at her.
         She chuckled. “So, she left you in charge. I mean, you have an interesting ability, but you’re just a kid.”
          “I’m old for my age.”
         Drekary tilted her head in curiosity. “Peculiar.” I turned toward her. She jumped in surprise of my glare, then looked away.
         “Whatever runt… I’ll be back… Just you wait,” Bitter Briar said turning to leave. She made a circled wave with her left hand and everyone from The Elements, except for Voltaic’s brother, started to leave. As the main few were walking out the door, Drekary turned her head once more toward us, turned back and left.
                   Chapter 7: The New Leader, A Kid?
         For a long while, everyone sat in silence, mourning Voltaic’s terrible demise. Eventually, everyone moved back to the fires, struggling for warmth. As I was helping some of the wood and metal workers to board up any windows, Mosaurus stormed up to me and grabbed me by my collar, lifting me into the air. I thought something like this would happen with that stunt I pulled earlier, so I wasn’t mad. He started yelling.
         “How could you do that?! You were there! You could have saved her! You could have saved our leader! Instead, you risked that stunt of yours just so that you could watch her DIE! And how dare you call us your people! We were her people!” I remained calm, my heart caught in my throat. “I was her right-hand man… and I stood by doing nothing… like a coward…” he said dropping me and collapsing to the ground. “I loved her… How could I do this? I just stood there, trying to stop you. But you were there for her when I wasn’t… I-I’m sorry.” Mosaurus started crying, burying his face in his hands. I sat down on the ground next to him, wrapping my arms around him.
         “She entrusted me to do this because she knew you would be hurting a lot more than I. She wanted me to be there for you… for all of you. In giving herself up, she was protecting you all. And I believe she loved you too. And you can’t blame him,” I said looking toward her brother, whose name I had yet to learn. “He didn’t have a choice. He would have been killed otherwise. He’s family now.” Mosaurus looked up. He wrapped his scaled arms around me and broke down. I didn’t care that my shirt was getting soaked. I didn’t care that his scaly skin was scratching mine. I only cared about helping these people now. I knew what it was like to lose someone you loved. We sat like that for an hour until Mosaurus composed himself.
         “I have to help in what ways I can, to honor her wishes,” he said standing up, his mint eyes red-tinted from crying. I nodded and stood up myself. He walked away, going to check on those injured from the ambush. I smiled, concerned. She left a bigger impact on these people than I initially thought. I turned toward her brother who was grieving silently. I walked toward him. When I walked closer, he tried pulling his hood farther over his face. I approached, pulling his arms away from his hood. I nodded toward her office/bedroom. We started walking up the stairs and into the room. I closed the door as he sat on the bed, his hands clasped in front of him. He looked up, saw me turning, and quickly looked back down.
         “Hey,” I said. “What’s your name? It doesn’t have to be your real name.”
         He started twiddling his thumbs. He mumbled something. “
         What was that?”
         “My name’s Victor Ross but my villain name is Galvanic Storm.”
         “Nice to meet you, Victor. I’m Sarah Gray but my villain name is Notre Dame.”
         He looked up at me. “I’m sorry… I didn’t want to hurt her. They were making me… They said if I didn’t do it, they were going to kill me, but I had to stay alive.” Seeing my confusion, he continued. “ Both of us were in the Elements , once. Before she left, she made me promise that I would get out of there. That I would do whatever it took to leave and take them down. They’ve hurt so many people, and she didn’t want that… She may have not shown it, but she cared about everyone. She was kind-hearted. When she was little, she said she wanted to grow up and be a doctor. I was the younger sibling, so she always took care of me. See, our parents died when I was about two-and-a-half years old in a car accident, so she did whatever she had to do to keep me safe. Her dream of becoming a doctor quickly faded away. She was about six or so when they died and we didn’t have any other family. So, we mainly lived on the streets for a while. She always made sure I was fed, even if that meant she was hungry. She always made sure we celebrated my birthday and that I had something to open on Christmas. I never fully realized how much she suffered for me until she left The Elements. She and I joined The Elements so we’d have somewhere to sleep and somewhere where there was always food.
         "Did you know at the age of ten, she was forced to kill an innocent man, for his wallet? She went through so much pain, just so I could have as normal of a childhood as possible. So many sleepless nights, she would go to the practice room, getting stronger so we could get out of there. Eventually, she did. And now I have too, I guess.” We sat in the silence for a while.
         “I don’t blame you for what you did. Like you said, you had no choice. But now, you’re one of us and you’ll never have to make a choice like that again. I will do my best to strengthen and protect you all, so The Elements never hurt us again.” I walked over to her desk. There was a photograph of her and Victor when he was a baby, with their parents. They looked so happy, so peaceful. Innocent even. I picked up the photo and ran my hand over it, clearing off the dusty frame. I walked to Victor, placed the photograph in his lap and walked to the door.
         “Hey Notre Dame,” Victor said in a shaky voice. I turned. “Thank you. For everything.” I smiled and nodded at him. I opened the door and walked out, closing the door behind me. I heard his quiet sobs as I walked down the stairs. I debated whether or not I should stay and help Victor through this, but decided he needed some space. I walked down the stairs, wiping my gloved hand across the chipping railing. As I walked toward Volt--my people, I realized how little these people had. I started toward Mosaurus and mentally began planning our next move.
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