Author's Note: Yo there, Anters here to help introduce to you the result of many long hours of hard work in the form of what I believe to be my most popular, creative, and imaginative pieces, both here on Fiction Press, and outside this community of web pages: The Elements: Hours of Darkness
This piece is actually a re-write of the original Hours of Darkness still located within my profile, but you will find this one is both better written, and a more enjoyable version to read. The plot, characters, and setting are all the same, so there is no need to read the rough draft version, unless you wish to get a general idea of the storyline going into it. However, there will be differences between the re-write and rough draft, so read whatever you wish!
Now I shall stop my ranting, and allow you, dear reader, to begin the adventures of The Elements. Enjoy!
The Elements- Hours of Darkness
Chapter One: A Day in their Lives
"Life: It's created, lived, and destroyed merely by the interactions of the nine Spiritual Elements. The well-being of this and the other worlds rest within their cursed hands."
This was what I had always been told as a child by my grandmother. Her immeasurable knowledge of the paranormal and its behavior in this world and the next had always been a fascination of mine. At that time, I was too young to comprehend its possible meanings, but I memorized to varying degrees all the stories she told of the Spiritual Elements.
People had stated that my grandmother was a clairvoyant, and that she adorned herself suitably. I believed that this was the source to her knowledge of the paranormal, but one day, when my juvenile curiosity had gotten the better of me, I learned what my grandmother had been veiling that was truly her source of knowledge.
It was a beautiful necklace, with a perfectly globular diamond stationary within the center of an Ankh pendent. The pendent was not large, as it fit within my palm, and the compelling diamond was no larger then a small marble. I had found it one day, snooping through my grandmother's enticing effects.
When I questioned her about the stunning pendent, she told me the one thing I have remembered word for word over all these years, revisiting the scene in my memory of the time she told me on the clearest night I ever remembered looking at the dark sky above me.
"The galaxy and the planets throughout are in ever so precise movements and relations to one another: a tip of this ever delicate scale can destroy the essence of Life, and the Creator of this balance shaped protectors to this balance. They are the Spiritual Elements. These Elements live as we do, as ordinary beings residing to whichever planet they may, with no discernable features, traits, or personalities unlike our own. The only thing differentiating them from us is they can call upon their inner souls and manipulate the natural world around us. These Elements prevent the scale from being tipped, and from this universe falling into complete and inescapable darkness."
The next morning, my grandmother passed away. As I solemnly stood within her cabin, I remembered the necklace with the diamond sphere. Entering into the minute room that I had discovered the necklace, and opening up the small porcelain box that housed the necklace, untouched since my first unearthing, I found the box to be completely vacant.
As I grew older and older into my teenage years, and beyond, I delved into my grandmother's studies of the Spiritual Elements, reading every little thing I could find in her cabin of seemingly infinite mysticism. I learned the nine Spiritual Elements: Water, Wind, Fire, Terra, Yin (Darkness), Yang (Light), Lightning, Thunder, and Metal. I learned that nine individual beings each controlled one of these Elements, and controlled its natural powers limitlessly. I found countless, illegible pages in a journal of an ancient language no one knew even the name of, let alone how to decipher.
As I have aged nearly a century now, I am still only a small fraction as knowledgeable as my grandmother is when it came to the Spiritual Elements. She knew what the Element Cycle was truly all about, how it worked, and every little secret, and took it all to the grave with her. Nevertheless, I have come to a single conclusion through all my years of study of this highly enigmatic subject.
Indescribable power is intertwined blindly within each Element's life, and it is this power that is the basis to what the Element Cycle holds secret.
Evelyn watched impatiently as the seconds hand passed by the 12 on the clock above the whiteboard of her History classroom, displaying a time of 3:26.
"Only a few more minutes of this." She counseled herself and continued to watch the clock tick away. Blowing her golden chestnut hair away from her eyes in a sigh of anticipation, she looked around at her classmates, all of whom were as uninterested and on their own little worlds as she was.
Evelyn caught eyes with a girl with shoulder length dark purple hair, and matching eyes. This was Lexsis, one of her friends, and the strange coloration of her hair and eyes was due to the fact Lexsis was not from Earth, but from a small planet named Sretna. Lexsis was sixteen years old, like Evelyn, had a face with soft features that went together with her shy and nonviolent personality, and a rather lean physique.
Lexsis shaped her right hand into the form of a gun, put it to her head, and mouthed the word "Pow" which received a small chuckle from Evelyn.
"Now class," their dreary History teacher went on, "all of this lead to the planetary governments of Wintra, Tehys, and Stygian to align with one another, forming an alliance still in use today, to make the once functional planet of Deoïx into a mere province planet. However, unlike sixty years ago, Deoïx is now its own functional planet again, and as many of you know from the news, is angry and bitter, and has declared war on the three pre-mentioned planets, as well as Earth and Sretna."
The bell rang, and there was a sudden noise of chairs skidding on the cold classroom floors, and voices erupting into conversation of the three-day weekend that awaited them. Evelyn grabbed her stray notebook and shoved it into her backpack lying lifeless next to her, and grabbing it, made her way out the classroom door with Lexsis.
"I hate having History eighth period, it's so boring, and I zone out all the time." Evelyn started conversation with Lexsis after walking several feet from the door.
"Not like we ever have homework in there though, so I think its okay." Lexsis said trying to say something to help Evelyn feel better, which she did on a regularly basis. The two headed towards at a set of lockers sun bathing in the bright afternoon sun that came from the large bay windows on the other side of the hall. Evelyn and Lexsis stopped at a girl pulling out a textbook from one of them.
"Lelu," Evelyn said sadly, putting her forehead on the girl's shoulder amusingly, "I need help in math again."
"What'd you get on your test?" the girl named Lelu asked, pushing Evelyn off her.
"Twenty-five percent!" Evelyn said with an over excited smile.
"Oh, yeah, I'd say." Lelu responded, shutting her locker with a slam, textbook in hand. Lelu was sixteen, like Evelyn and Lexsis, and had long silky black hair and stunning green eyes. Natively born on Earth like her brown-haired companion, but in the Philippines, she was often regarded as one of the most beautiful girls in school, and was one of the most likeable.
The three girls began walking down the rest of the hallway to the stairwell, and as they descended, the warmth from outside met them welcomingly. At the bottom of the stairs, and now fully outside in the pleasant summer heat, they turned towards a parking lot not too far away. A pleasing ocean zephyr was blowing in, which added to the day's beauty even more.
"This weekend would be a fantastic time to hit the beach, wouldn't it?" Lexsis asked, rolling up the sleeves of her thin long-sleeve shirt.
"Yeah, maybe the guys would like to come too." Lelu agreed, looking for any oncoming traffic through her tinted shades as they stepped into the student parking lot.
"Anything not school related sounds good to me!" Evelyn said lightheartedly as they approached a newer style green VW Volkswagen. Next to it, a dark blue Ford F-150 V8 was parked, with a guy leaning against the driver's side door waiting for them.
"Hey Crüsh!" Lexsis said as they approached. The guy named Crüsh stirred as if he was lost in thought while waiting. A grin spread across his face.
"Hey, there ya guys are." Crüsh said, standing up straight. Crüsh was a year older then all three of them at age seventeen. He was not natively born on Earth, but rather, from the planet of Tehys. He had blue eyes, which couldn't be seen now with his sunglasses on, dark mahogany hair that gave the appearance it was always wet, and clumped together to give the appearance of an S shape. Crüsh was a strong person physically, and also being just over six foot, gave the appearance of a tough guy, which he really was not.
"Where's Thor?" Evelyn asked, scanning the near vicinity through her sunglasses.
"Football practice, they're starting early this year for college ball." Crüsh told her, pulling a pair of keys out of his pocket. "Are you two riding with me?" He asked, pointing at both Evelyn and Lexsis.
"Oh, yeah, I've got to go pick up Allen, his car isn't working." Lelu told him, pulling another pair of keys from her handbag that hung from her shoulder.
"I guess so." Evelyn said, walking around to the passenger side. "Shotgun!" Lexsis merely laughed and rolled her eyes good-humoredly as she opened the backseat door.
"Okay, you got it."
"See you at home Lelu." Crüsh said as he opened up his truck door and stepped inside, slamming the door shut and starting it up, Lelu doing the same with her car. The two vehicles then made their way out of the school parking lot and towards the expectant weekend ahead.
Towerin was semi-large metropolitan area that was situated comfortably against the beautiful sapphire ocean of its entire west side, while healthy and gorgeous mountains lush with wildlife and plant life bordered the city's north, east, and southern sides. Due to such a location, the city had a very secluded feel to it, but most citizens would say they liked that feeling most about it.
Although one of the slighter big cities on the country, Towerin was also quite diverse in feeling. The northern divisions of Towerin were where most business of Towerin took place, including government. This was evident by the numerous skyscrapers that competed for height with the summits of the mountains around them. The biggest draw to Northern Towerin, and the symbol of the city itself, was the T.S.C. Building, the tallest building in Towerin. It served as one of the galaxy's leaders in great technological advancements, and everything about that building was kept covert.
The southern side of Towerin was a completely different feeling from that of the northern side, as it was made up of nothing more than quiet neighborhoods, gorgeous parks, and several schools from elementary to junior colleges. To the west, a beautiful beach ran almost the entire length of the city and was the main destination for anyone in the city on hot summer days.
The south-west corner of Towerin was where a harbor that filtered cruise and cargo ships in and out daily was located. Along with it, a wooden boardwalk with several seafood shops and tourist attractions was built over the ocean a ways.
To the far south, out of sight from the main hub of Towerin, was the Docking Station, used for intergalactic travel in and out of Earth. The Docking Station also doubled as an airport, with its own subdivision devoted to mere worldly travel.
Lelu drove slowly through the parking lots of Towerin University, which was one of the largest universities of the country, covering up almost half of Eastern Towerin and was a highly admired and famous campus. Lelu drove down a lane with great oak trees shading her from the sun as she peered around. Finally, she saw who she was looking for, and pulled to the curb.
The passenger door opened, and a guy sat down, shutting the door with him, throwing his backpack into the back seat.
"Hey Allen." She greeted, looking into her mirrors before pulling off the curb and making her way toward the college exit.
"Hey, thanks for picking me up Lelu. I need to fix my damn car tonight so you don't have to keep picking me up." Allen said, pulling on his seatbelt.
"Not like I mind." Lelu looked over at him with a smile. Allen seemed to be every girl's dream guy. He had very short light brown hair that spiked up very slightly, and mysterious grey eyes. Allen was born on Wintra, the strongest planet of the entire galaxy, and was the son of King Agor. Certain circumstances made Allen find himself living on Earth, but he knew that he would one day have to institute the role of king himself.
Allen was only eighteen, but had already done so much with his life, including being part of the Wintran Army during most of his teenage years. Allen was also the most physically strong person Lelu had ever met for someone his age. Allen was toned, and Lelu was never surprised to hear or know Allen had a single digit body fat percentage. Coincidently, Allen was the nicest guy she had ever met.
"We were thinking of going to the beach this weekend. Sound like a plan with you?" Lelu asked him, pulling out of the university and towards Southern Towerin again.
"Yeah, that sounds good. I have class Sunday morning though." Allen told her, searching for a song he liked on the radio. Before she could reply, Lelu began to pull into the intersection of a four way stop when she saw a speeding car shooting right at her, with three police cars chasing behind, lights flashing and sirens blaring.
"Hold on!" She yelled as she reversed the car quickly and narrowly missed being hit, although the speedster was sure to avoid her anyways. Allen looked at her seriously.
"We haven't been called though…" Lelu replied, but Allen could tell she was thinking about it.
"Come on, we haven't had some fun for a while now. Besides, they might call us really soon, and since we're here already…" Allen told her, smiling his gorgeous smile she loved. She fell for it.
"Okay, fine, here we go!" She said with a smile, and turned and raced to catch up with the speeding cars that had just flown by.
"Awesome." Allen said, pulling out what appeared to be a cell phone from his pocket. It had all the bearings of a standard cell phone, but on the sides, there was six buttons, each a different color: blue, green, grey, yellow, purple, and teal. Allen pressed down on the teal button, and the screen lit up with a symbol of a "T" and "E" intertwined with one another.
"Hey guys, car chase in occurrence towards the highways heading north. Lelu and I just passed the intersection of Wright and Moreno. He'll probably turn off towards the highway on Martin and Cuffe, try and get there as quickly as you can." Allen spoke into receiver. After a few seconds, the blue, yellow, and purple buttons began flashing.
"The others are coming?" Lelu asked, speeding through traffic carefully.
"Crüsh, Evelyn, and Lexsis are. I'm thinking Thor is busy." Allen replied. "Too bad, he'll miss out on this." Allen was pumped; he had not done this for a while.
Lelu hit the brakes hard, coming to a sudden stop as they rounded a blind corner only to find the three police cars stationed strategically to parry the bullets flying their way from four thugs with nine-millimeter handguns. They had rounded the corner too sharply, and there get away car was now tires up on a patch of lawn in front of an apartment complex.
Allen and Lelu exited the vehicle, staying low until they reached the nearest officer, who was ducking behind his car door, radioing for backup.
"Oh, thank God you are here." He said as they saw them duck behind the door with him. Allen peered cautiously around the door to get a look at the positions of the thugs, looking around the other two police cars parked in front of them as well.
"Looks like three behind their car, one behind a bus stop a few feet away." Allen reported to Lelu. She rolled her eyes.
"Of all days to wear a skirt." She turned back to the officer, who was radioing another message. Lelu mouthed a few words to him, in which he read off into the message.
"Yeah, two Elements have just arrived, and they want you to radio the others that we're in front of the Towerin Heights Apartment Complex on Cuffe Lane, about a mile and a half from the freeway off-ramps going north." He radioed. Lelu gave him a thumb up sign, and turned back to Allen.
"Ready?" He asked her. She simply smiled at him. He smiled back, and then positioned himself in a kneeling position, looking towards the attackers, as did Lelu.
"You first!" Lelu yelled in excitement. Suddenly, in a burst of wind, Allen launched himself into the air, Lelu following right behind him as they floated a few feet above the police vehicles. It took a few seconds for the thugs on the ground to realize who they were before turning their guns on them.
The second they did so, Lelu whipped her hands upwards as they began to be surrounded in a green aura, and in a blink of an eye, a solid rectangular piece of earth from the road below flew up in front of the two, protecting them from the gunfire. Lelu then motioned her hand as if she were pushing something, and the rectangular block flew straight into the thug's car, crushing it further, and causing the three thugs behind it to stop firing for a few seconds.
Allen quickly flew down along the street towards the bus stop, and as he neared, shot his hands forward, before shooting straight up into the sky. Little did the thug from behind the bus stop know that Allen shot of an air blast before shooting upwards, and a blast of wind hit him like a brick wall, launching him to his back and making him drop the gun from his hand.
"Lelu!" Allen yelled out from above her a ways, "they're running off!" Lelu looked to where he was pointing, and saw the three thugs from the car running off in separate directions. Quickly, Lelu made another hand gesture, and three individual stone walls erupted several feet into the air in front of the runaway thugs.
They turned around looking at the two with anger in their eyes.
"Uh-oh…" Lelu said aloud to herself. She swiftly crossed her arms in front of her chest, which caused a large stone bubble to wrap around her safely, as more shots began to fire. Likewise, from above, Allen was re-directing the bullet's paths as they fired at him by controlling the air around him, also like a bubble, in hurricane force winds, bouncing the bullets around.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the three thugs firing abruptly stopped, as Allen watched a single bolt of lightning from behind the police cars slam into one guy. The second stopped as a blast of water hit him with incredible force, knocking him down, and the last didn't even see what happened as three very thin, and very swift light disks shot through his gun, slicing it into four pieces.
Lelu unearthed herself from her shield, and saw Crüsh, Evelyn, and Lexsis step towards her. She smiled at them.
"Shessh, we didn't even get in the door before you called!" Evelyn complained. "But… I'm glad you did, looked like you needed the help."
"I guess we're a little rusty, haven't done something like this for a few weeks now, no crimes have been happening! And it's hard to fight properly in heels." Lelu replied as Allen landed next to the other four.
"Oh, watch out for that guy." Crüsh said calmly as the guy from behind the bus stop stood up and ran for the gun that had gotten away from him. Evelyn rolled her eyes, and crossed her left arm across her chest, her hand near her head when four light disks erupted between her fingers. Swinging full force across, she released the light disks, which traveled in the blink of an eye at the lose gun, skewing it.
Meanwhile, as the thug stopped and witnessed his weapon go useless, Crüsh shot a stream of water along the ground at him, which upon contact with him, froze into ice and made the thug stationary until Crüsh's choosing.
The last thug still on his feet stood shaking in anger and fear, looking at the five teenagers who just took them down without breaking a sweat. Evelyn could see the fire within him was burning with pure hate and anger.
Lexsis pointed a single finger towards him and a massive bolt of lightning shot at him from her fingertip. The thug, miraculously, ducked, and the lightning slammed into one of Lelu's stone wall's, blasting it into ruble across the vicinity.
Before another one of them could act, the last thug went down as a pure mass of black energy hit him from one of the rooftops of the surrounding buildings.
"Looks like Thor didn't miss out on the fun!" Allen said as a black substance appeared before them, and materialized into a sixth teenager. He had black, buzzed cut hair, with matching sideburns and slight goatee. He had matching black eyes, and had a strong physique similar to Allen. He was seventeen years old.
"Ah, I missed out on some real fun I guess." Thor stated, looking back at his friends.
"Personally, I never find this sort of thing 'fun.'" Lexsis said, frustrated. "Mind if we head home and forget about this?"
"Whoa, sorry I said so; I just haven't shot anything in awhile." Thor smiled as Lexsis walked back towards Crüsh's truck, which was parked near Lelu and Thor's car behind the police, who were now underway of arresting the thugs.
"Hey, I thought it felt good too!" Evelyn agreed as Crüsh, Allen, and Lelu followed Lexsis's lead. Thor smiled at her.
"So how was your day?" He asked her, putting his arm around her shoulder as they walked back together.
"Oh, the usual, failing school, kicking some bad guy ass, and telling you that you need some deodorant because you haven't showered from football practice!" Evelyn said back, breaking from his grip with a smile and running towards the others.
"What else is new?" He asked himself, sighing. The news reporters were now lining up and were hungry for their stories. As Thor tried to push past them to his car, like the others, one woman stuck her microphone in his face.
"Thor, you are the Element of Darkness, correct? How do you describe the events of what just happened, and how do you deal with it?" Thor looked at her with annoyance.
"A mere day in the life of Elements Team."
Evening hit, casting the skies above Towerin into a flurry of pinks, yellows, and orange. The shadows of the skyscrapers in North-West Towerin gave buildings in its path a premature nocturnal life.
As the sun slowly sank into the ocean to the west, commuting traffic in and out of downtown grew larger and larger, soon breaking any serenity in the evening sky with strident honks or horns, skidding brakes, and other nuisances.
Far away from the racket of the evening, in the peaceful side of Towerin south of the skyscraper jungle, a teenager of eighteen walked silently along a broken up sidewalk, small weeds protruding from the cracks.
He wore a black sweatshirt, the hood up so that the dimness helped veil his face from onlookers. Other than that, he looked relatively normal, with brown jean shorts worn baggy at the knees and a pair of worn out black shoes, with melted red gel mixed into a design once immaculate but now dirty and worn.
He walked for a while, until he reached the piers within Towerin Harbor. Large cruise liners were docked in the harbor, but there were a few tour ships but most people were out for the atmosphere of buildings and shops built on dubious pieces of wood over the ocean.
He soon found the location sought out, a small alley on tangible grounds between a shrimp shop, and a storage facility that was boarded up, with a sign stating "Closed for Repairs." Half looking at any possible people that might be watching him, the teen walked into the alley, the light from the sunset vanishing behind the wall of the shrimp shop.
"I see you got my message." A deep voice rang out to the teen from the darkness. The teen looked around, his eyes still adjusting to the light change, until he could make out the figure that spoke to him. He was tall, about twenty-one years in age, and buzzed cut blonde hair. He wore a white tank top, showing large biceps with great strength trained into them.
At the sight of him, the masked teenager pushed his hood back, locks of dark red and brown hair falling over his matching red eyes.
"Yeah, I came. I was curious." The teen said, shaking his head a few times back and fourth so that it made his ear-length hair feel comfortable and out of his eyes.
"How long has it been since you last saw me? I never noticed the—" he cut his sentence short, rubbing his clean-cut chin, which signaled as the last word of his sentence, as the red-haired teen also had a matching goatee.
"Why did you call me here Adar?" the red-haired teen asked, cold as ice, as he disregarded the gestures the other teenager, obviously named Adar, was making.
"Hell, you're pretty serious nowadays, aren't ya?" Adar asked in amusement. The red-haired teen stood completely still, arms crossed, glaring at Adar without blinking. The smile on Adar's face quickly vanished, and he cleared his throat several times, sounding as if he was getting into serious business. "I got word from them."
A concerned look appeared on the red-haired teen's face, waiting for more information. When none came for a few seconds, the red-haired teen broke the stillness. "How sure are you this time? You seem to be a hub for false hope, you know."
A grin once again appeared on Adar's face, before pulling something out of his back jean pocket. He handed it to the red-haired teen.
It was as slender as a floppy disk, vaguely larger, and with a black color. In the center of the device, a spherical shape lifted from the thin piece of metal, and petite neon blue lights dotted the boundary of the half-sphere, with a single blue light in the center of the half-sphere as well.
The red-haired teen held the thin device in one hand alone. He applied a slight bit of pressure, and the half-sphere burst to life, opening up to expose the inside, which was a large neon blue light. As it opened entirely, a transparent figure appeared, standing in the center of the light.
The figure in the light was hidden completely by red armor, which seemed rather weak, as it still gave the figure normal human proportions. The helmet shielded the entire face from view, but small holes with tinted glass for eye-slits were present.
"I hope you know that it's about to begin." The figure said at once, giving no introduction what so ever. "I've set up what needs to be done. It will be there before long, and the Elements will pay for what they had once done. This time, it will be too big of a threat for them to defeat. Once they are crushed, Earth will be reclaimed, as it should be. Destiny is being fulfilled."
The light then faded, and the figure vanished. The half-sphere regained its position, and the device had returned to the way it was. The red-haired teen slowly handed the device back to Adar, his face showing deep thought.
"I told you." Adar taunted, slipping the device back into his pocket. The red-haired teen did not acknowledge him, still lost in the thoughts of his mind.
"Thanks." He finally said after a few anxious seconds for Adar. He grabbed his hood from behind his head, and slipped it on once more. He then turned his back to Adar, and walked out of the alley, back into the dimming sunset.
Adar watched him peculiarly until the hooded teen turned the corner, and was out of his sights.
Well, as with most pieces of writing, this opening chapter was accentually an introduction, and rather lengthy. The length was probably because I put the prologue and the introduction to characters in a single chapter. I will try to limit the lengths in the future (because way too many people complain of chapters being to long.) For any questions or thoughts, drop a review and/or e-mail (located on main profile.) All reviews and/or e-mails are responded to, unless they are mere flames with no constructive manner to them, which are laughed at, disregarded, and then deleted. Massive thanks to Anya Tempest for being a beta-reader and WyrdWolf for the support and advice. –Anters-