Chapter 1


The Golden Gate Bridge was busy as usual. The cars looked like small ants to Jake as he sat up on the Northern tower. Jake looked up to the stars dreaming of what was up there. Someday, maybe, he would become an astronaut and see for himself. Of course that was out the question given his extremely unique situation. His phone rang, Luke. Sometimes he was baffled at the reception atop the bridge.

"Jake! Man, where have you been? After practice you just bailed and I haven't seen you since, thought we were going to work on that calculus homework?"

Jake laughed, "You mean I was going to do the calculus homework and you were going to copy mine."

"Technicalities. Anyways, as much as I would love to stay up till one in the morning with you working on calculus, I'd rather not. Early morning workouts remember? Coach Lord is killing me and I need my beauty sleep. Meet you in fifteen?"

"Sure. My house. See you there Luke." Jake hung up the phone and got up, his dark brown hair rustling in the wind. Jake laughed to himself as he thought of Luke. For his lack of talent in academics Luke sure made up for it on the soccer field. He was probably the best on the team, well second best. Jake made sure of that. Luke had been Jake's best friend since freshmen year when Jake moved to San Francisco. They bonded over a mutual obsession with soccer and had been inseparable since.

He looked in the direction of the city. He longed to stay up here all night and just take it all in. It was the clearest night of the year and he could see every single star up in the sky. He looked up at the moon and felt a wave of energy come over him.

Well, better run I guess. Luke will freak if I'm not on time. He looked down at the dark water of the Golden Gate and jumped.

The sensation of free falling was exhilarating. The wind rushed past faster and faster as he neared the water. He yelled in pure joy as he passed the main part of the bridge. He caught a glimpse of someone turning their head as they ran. Right before hitting the water Jake arched his body and curved in the direction of the city. Flying was the best part of his day and wished he could do it during the daytime. He turned sharply and crossed under the bridge gathering speed. As soon as he was on the other side he jerked upwards and shot to the very top of the bridge and followed it towards the city.

His muscles ached but he flew faster and faster following the 101. He turned off in the direction of Golden Gate Park and followed Fulton St. to his small house. He landed lightly on the roof and observed his surroundings. His dad's remodeled 1980 Porsche 911 turbo sat in the driveway next to his mom's mini-van. Soccer moms. No one was outside, so Jake flipped and landed right in front of the car. He turned around and punched in the code to the garage just as Luke pulled up. He waved for him to come on in and went through the garage into the kitchen.

He could smell the sweet aroma of cupcakes before he even saw her. His mom looked up from the sink as he walked in and smiled at him.

"Jake. Have a nice flight?"

"Luke is here mom. We are going to do some homework." Jake awkwardly inclined his head toward the garage to point out he was coming in. His mother made a motion indicating her lips were sealed and called out to Luke.

"Luke? I've got some leftover cookies-and-cream cupcakes from the shop today if you want any," she yelled through the door. At that Luke started running up.

"Mrs. G you are the best! And this is why we come to your house to study Jake. Remember when my mom offered you some killer meatloaf? But seriously, killer, I'm pretty sure that's why our cat died."

"Luke, stop. Your mother cooks just fine. Isn't that right Jake?" Jake squirmed a little. His mother was too nice and knew exactly what Luke was talking about. She was the one that nursed him back to health after he had gotten food poisoning. He would never eat meatloaf again.

"Ummm..sure…yeah. Great cook. Lovely lady," he replied and forced a smile. Luke laughed at his pained expression.

"Mrs. G, really? Jake was sick for two days. I thought he was going to die. He looked like hell! Which, speaking of looking like hell, why is your shirt wet? And why does it look like you just blew dry your hair for an hour straight," Luke asked. Jake pulled at his hair and mumbled something about running home.

"Jake why don't you go wash up. Luke can have a cupcake before you start. Go on. You smell like fish anyways." At that he rolled his eyes and went upstairs. His dad was asleep on the couch in the game room snoring loudly. He had been at the hospital the past two days performing some complicated surgery separating two twin sisters. Jake went into his room turned on the light.

The room was spotless. Everything neatly in its place exactly how he liked it. It was a simple modern room with grey walls, and black furniture. Some pictures of friends and trophies from his soccer achievements lay on a shelf near his window. He sighed and walked into his bathroom. He turned on the shower, threw his clothes in the hamper and stepped in. He gasped at the cold water and stood there letting the water heat up to its highest temperature. He felt oddly at peace and completely relaxed just standing there under the shower. There was a soft tap at his bathroom door and his mother spoke, "Jake? Honey, you've been in the shower for an hour. Are you O.K.?"

An hour? No way, I've only been in here for a couple of minutes? "Yeah mom, but I'm pretty sure it hasn't been an hour. If you don't mind…"

"Sure honey." And with that she left. He quickly washed up and turned off the shower. An hour? How is that even possible? He was so sure that he had only been in the shower for a couple of minutes. Well, I guess I'll add that to my list of exceptional things I can do, passing time in the shower. He laughed to himself and pulled on a white t-shirt and shorts and went downstairs. On his way past his parents' bedroom he could hear them murmuring inside.

"He was in the shower Rick, for an hour. He told me it was only a couple of minutes."

"He is seventeen Cassie. You know what happens at that age for them…" Jake flew downstairs before he could here anymore. Ugh, we better not have the whole hormone driven teenager talk again. I won't be able to stand it.

Luke was downstairs at the kitchen table bent over his books. He wore a pained expression as if some silent force was torturing him.

"You know staring at the book isn't going to help you. Maybe actually writing something might do you some good," said Jake as he slid into the chair next to him. 'What problem are you on?"

"It's pointless Jake. Your mom helped me with the first couple. For a cupcake shop owner she is actually pretty smart. But I'm just an idiot when it comes to this stuff. If I can't kick it, catch it, throw it or score with it then I'm pretty much useless."

"Would you stop saying that please, it's a little annoying. Look, it's a simple limit. If you look at the figure the graph continuously goes to right and steadily increases. Therefore the limit is infinity."

"I hate you. You've been down here for five seconds and solved a problem I've been working on for ten minutes."

"What can I say, I'm pretty much the perfect human being."

"Sometimes I'm not so sure you are human. You do everything too well." At that Jake squirmed a little in his seat. "What's wrong with you? Can't take a compliment?"

"Nah, I know I'm superior. Here, I did the homework during English today. Just copy it. It won't help you, but here you go."

"And that's why we are friends." Luke snatched the homework and began copying it. Jake suddenly felt exhausted. His muscles ached from the flight back home. He had never flown as fast as he did and assumed that's why he felt so tired.

"Finished! Listen, I'll see you bright and early for morning workouts O.K.? I'll pick you up if you want."

"I'm good. I'll meet you at the school tomorrow. See you then." At that Luke nodded and got up from the table. He walked into the kitchen, grabbed another cupcake and walked out through the garage. Jake laughed at him.

"What? It's for the road. I'm a growing boy."

"See ya," said Jake and he closed the garage. He turned around and walked back upstairs to his room. He went into his bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror. He looked awful. His skin was pale and dark shadows had formed under his eyes. Sweat clung to his t-shirt and he tore it off. He turned on the faucet and splashed water on his face and instantly felt better. He looked back into the mirror and gasped when he saw his eyes. His eyes had always been a light green with golden spots flaked throughout the irises. Now his eyes were blue, then green again, then grey, then a brown. This isn't possible thought Jake. His eyes were changing color rapidly. He put his head under the faucet soaking his head with cold water.

"Jake? Are you alright?" Jake jumped. It was his mother. She stood in the doorway to his bathroom arms crossed with a worried look on her face. He looked back up into the mirror and his eyes were green, and stayed green, just like they always were.

"Y-yeah, I'm pretty sure. I think I just pushed myself a little too hard today." His hands shook as he looked up at her.

"Tell me what happened." His father was sitting on his bed. Jake looked at him and remembered the first day he caught him flying. His father wasn't surprised or even mad. He just sat him down and told him that he couldn't do it in front of anyone.

"I flew a little too hard today I think. That's all. I threw myself off the Northern Tower of the bridge, banked left crossing under the bridge and then curved back up to the top. I was completely in control." His father looked at him. Jake felt as if his eyes were penetrating right through him, studying him.

"Is there anything else that happened that you would like to tell us about?"

Yeah, my freaky eyes, "No, not really. I let Luke copy my homework if that's what you're asking." His dad smirked a bit.

"Alright Jake, but tell me if something else goes on. You don't look well." His dad walked over to him and put his hands on his shoulders. "You know you are very special. We love you so much, but we can't help you unless you talk to us all right? Promise me if something happens you'll come to me." His father's eyes were hard and serious but there was a sense of worry. Jake, for the first time, wondered whether his father was scared. He was never scared of anything but his hands were trembling on his shoulders. Jake felt guilty for not telling him about his eyes and looked at his mom. She smiled and nodded her head in agreement.

"My eyes. They were changing color." His father breathed out deeply.

"Anything else," he replied. His mother spoke next.

"Your shower. You said you felt like you had been in there for a minute right?"

"Yeah. But it was really an hour. I swear it felt like I had just got in when you came to talk to me. I must have fallen asleep I guess." His father looked up to his mom.

"When did your eyes start changing color," he asked.

"I came upstairs and felt hot so I rinsed my face with water and they started changing. I rinsed it again and then when mom came in they stopped." Jake's heart was pounding. He felt sick and wanted to lie down and sleep.

"Alright Rick, that's enough. He needs his sleep. Look at him. Jakey come on, lay down. And you're not going to early workouts tomorrow, I'll call Coach Lord. You need your rest." She walked him over to his bed.

"Am I going to be alright dad?" Jake's voice was strained. His father looked up at him.

"Yes. You're going to be fine. We will talk tomorrow Jake. I love you." And with that his father shut out the lights and left his room.

Jake closed his eyes and fell asleep the moment his head touched the pillow.

He sat atop the Northern Tower watching the sky. Bright lights were twinkling in the sky, like airliners flying through the night. Fear crippled Jake as he watched the speckles of light grow bigger and bigger. The heavens themselves looked as though they were falling, falling right towards San Francisco. He couldn't move. He was stuck on the bridge. Suddenly the sky burned bright with fire and the streaks of light flew past him. There were three balls of fire, each shooting into the waters of the Golden Gate. There was an explosion as they hit the water and a noise rang through his head unlike any he had ever heard. He looked to his left and there was a girl standing there. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. The first thing he noticed was her eyes, they were shifting colors rapidly. She looked at him with a blank expression. Her mouth moved with an alien elegance,

"They are coming. Prepare."