By Kachi Ugo
All rights reserved.
The black Cadillac Escalade rolled into the dark compound of the large barn. When it came to a definite halt, several hooded men exited the front entryway of the barn and approached the SUV. They stopped short of the door and bowed in reverence, while one stepped forward and opened the door.
Once the door was open, he stepped back and together they chorused, “Welcome, Madame.”
Sarah Justice stepped into the cold night air. Unlike her fighters who wore colored hoodies over jean pants, she wore a regal blouse, black jeans, and boots that reached past her shin. Her thick dark hair hung loosely over her back, tousling with the wind.
Sarah looked past the men bowing before her to the huge barn. Through the high windows, she could see firelight, and through the open entryway, she could hear soft chants.
They had gathered.
“You may rise,” Sarah said to the men.
They obeyed her, but kept from making contact with her eyes. The one who had opened her door however looked her in the eyes and said, “Madame, we have gathered as you have called us. We await your instructions.”
Sarah merely nodded and walked past him. The men fell into place behind her and followed her into the barn.
The moment she set foot in the large cavernous room, the crowd that had gathered erupted in a resounding cheer. The riser was on the other side of the room, so Sarah marched purposely through the hailing crowd. She climbed the riser and waited for the men who had come out to meet her to climb the stage behind her.
They were her leaders. They were her Seven Strong Men.
Then, she raised her hand and a sudden calm presided over the barn.
Sarah started by scanning the faces looking back at her. They were mostly that of teenagers and young men and women. Determination and readiness to die for their cause shone on their faces like shining torches in the darkness.
Beyond that, they all wore hoodies of four distinct colors, which showed the magic they possessed. White for air, Golden for fire, Green for wood, and Black for earth. The torches here and there, which flickered in the soft wind coursing through the barn, gave light to the whole area.
There must have been over a thousand of them in the barn.
Sarah cleared her throat and said, “It’s been six months since he was stolen from me.” It had only been ten words, however, Sarah could feel grief choke her. She fought the tears that had not stop coming since that night. She failed, and for the next one minute, hot tears flowed unhindered from her eyes.
During this time, no one dared speak or move. It was how she had raised them: to fear her. It was how Sarah ruled them: with utter surety.
She wiped away her tears with her blouse and said with a surprising sneer, “We’ve been training. We’ve been recruiting. We’ve been preparing. But that time is over…”
Her face hardened, her voice took on a compassionless snarl, and her hands formed into hard fists. “Now, we are going to wage war!”
The crowd responded with a deafening scream. Following this was a harrowing chant. “WAR! WAR!! WAR!!!”
Sarah Justice raised a hand, and the crowd came to a definite silence with one word: “WAR!”
In the silence that followed, Sarah took her time to work through her thoughts. Six months, she had been devastated. Six months, she had not stopped looking for the man who had overpowered her and kidnapped her child. Six months…
She had searched the entire world. She had turned over every barren rock in every barren nook and cranny of the world, tracking down the man who had stolen her pride and joy. Her baby boy. With her power to shift and manipulate Earth, it hadn’t taken her too long.
She had turned up empty.
She would naturally have given up at this point. But then, she had gotten wind of a rare ability amongst her kind. The ability to open portals through the very fabric of time and space. She realized that the man who had stolen her baby could have come from another time.
Like she had come to believe, when you eliminate the possible, the impossible becomes possible. If her son was nowhere on the Earth—at least, not in this time—then it stood to reason that he had been abducted into another time. She guessed it was the future, since no one in the past would know of his existence.
So, diligently, Sarah Justice located one who possessed the power to tear a hole in the fabric of time. The only problem was, he was imprisoned in a fortress not too far from their present location. A heavily fortified fortress.
Knowing she couldn’t just ask nicely and the Time Traveler—as they had come to call this special one—would be released to them, she decided from the start that she would have to take him by force.
Already, she had been amassing a following of eager and powerful Elementals who were willing to fight till death for ideals she had help craft. Now, over one thousand of them had heeded her call. They knew what the mission was. They knew it would end in the deaths of many of them. Yet, they were here. And not grudgingly, but zestfully, full of life and awaiting her order.
There had not been an Elemental war in hundreds of years—the GEA (Global Elemental Authority) had seen to that, keeping the peace and enforcing Elemental laws. But she was about to start one.
She would burn the whole world if it was what it took to get her child back.
Sarah started speaking again, this time softly. “You know, when this happened, I went to the GEA. They did nothing. I went crying. I went begging. But they dismissed my claims as spurious. So, I took matters in my hands.”
Sarah got some nods and a few acquiescence in the way of murmurs from the crowd.
She continued, “When I realized how utterly helpless the GEA was, I decided to cry for help. And when I did, you came!”
This time, the crowd went wild.
Amidst the raucous, Sarah jammed her fists into the air and roared, “YOU CAME!”
The yells immediately heightened, forming into a frenzy. Even behind her, the Seven Strong Men were screaming her on.
Still roaring atop her voice, feeling every anger she had felt since the incidence course through her bones, Sarah Justice said, “And now we will release the Time Traveler and we will get justice!”
“YEAH!” roared the crowd in response.
Sarah threw her hands in the direction of the fortress. “To death or to victory!”
The crowd responded with equal zeal: “TO DEATH OR TO VICTORY!!”
A huge wind blew into existence and scrapped away the roof of the barn, revealing the glittering sky. Immediately, hundreds of Air Elementals launched into the air under spiraling tufts of wind. Like surfers at sea, surf boards made from the earth formed under Earth Elementals, which shot forward, carrying them along.
Fire Elementals and Water Elementals joined their brethren in the air and on the earthy surfboards. The rest entered vehicles that were packed out back and raced after their comrades.
Everyone headed in the direction of the fortress: to death or to victory.
Sarah Justice returned to her waiting vehicle. Once she was safe inside, the vehicle leapt forward and followed after the advancing army. Her Seven Strong Men entered SUVs of their own and followed her, forming a cocoon around her vehicle with theirs.
Sarah let her mind rest. She let go of her anger, and let her Earth powers fill her senses. She took in a deep breath. Pure, undiluted power rushed through her being, unhindered. Now, there was only one thought on her mind.
To Be Continued…
Let me know what you think about this. Also, if you spotted a typo, do tell me. Cheers!
Like. Comment. Share.