Prologue

"Have her back in by bedtime or I'm sending my mother out after you two."

The father laughed as he lead his eight year old daughter out the screen door and into the drizzling rain. "She'd just join us anyway."

The mother smirked and crossed her arms over her pregnant stomach. "I know, but what else do I have to threaten you with?"

The little girl tugged on her father's arm impatiently. "C'mon Dad! The lightning is starting!"

"Well? Get going, Kurt!"

The father scooped up his daughter and placed her on his shoulders as they darted across the slick grass to the barn. By the time they took cover in the red structure the rain was slamming against the wooden walls and thunder was grumbling moodily in the distance. The girl shrieked as there came an especially loud boom and then giggled.

"Now, which jar do you think we should use?" Kurt asked seriously, studying a shelf full of glass jars before him. His long fingers skimmed over the metal lids and lingered on a simple container covered in dust and grime, "How about this one?"

"Da-ad! You promised we'd use mine!" She held out a former pickle jar that was splattered with bright red paint and gold glitter glue. Feathers were loosely attached at odd angles and it still smelled of vinegar.

"How silly of me!" He took her jar and regarded it skeptically, "Oh, very nice, Laura. The artistry is unparalleled. Have you considered a career in painting?"

Laura snorted at the ridiculous notion. "No. I'm going to be a farmer when I grow up."

"Speaking from experience, I think that is a marvelous choice, considering you already live on a farm and can drive the tractor better than I can." He pinched her nose fondly.

There was another crash of thunder from outside and a bright flash of light that caused the child to laugh excitedly. She quickly ran for the barn door, intent on heading into the storm, but her father gripped her shoulder and pulled her back.

"Wait just a moment! What are you forgetting?"

Laura sighed. "You said that I'm big enough to come all the way out into the field with you now. You said."

"Certainly you are, but we'll need the sword if we want to do this properly - go and fetch it, will you?"

Her eyes widened tremendously and she nodded without a word. Darting off to a dark corner of the barn, Laura yanked up a floorboard and pulled forth a blade in the shape of a lightning bolt. Handling it with caution, she carried it with great ceremony to her father, who took it with a solemn nod and then a wink. He gave it an experimental twirl and then snapped it into a scabbard on his back.

"Well, we're ready then."

The two walked confidently through the farmyard until they reached the edge of the bean field. Kurt looked down to his daughter, which was quite a ways down considering his six feet and two inches and her three feet seven inches. Knowing he should say something memorable, he crouched down next to her and opened his mouth.

"Let's go be awesome."

They trekked into the field and stopped somewhere in the middle, both soaked through and sniffling. Kurt knew his wife would have a fit about how soggy the pair was, but he also knew that he had to do this with his daughter.

"Here comes one!" Laura gasped, watching a lightning bolt flash above them.

"Too far away. We'll get the next one."

"It already flashed."

"Then the next, next one." He pulled the sword from his sheath and held it with both hands above his head. He closed his eyes and called to the electricity, coaxing it toward him. The thought occurred to him that if anyone saw him they would either think he was crazy or call the police, but he continued to hold the sword firmly.

"Oh!" Laura yelped as Kurt felt a familiar energy hit the tip of the sword, run down his arm, and hit every nerve. After a few years he'd gotten used to the odd sensation and now almost welcomed it. He held onto the lightning and opened his eyes.

"The jar, please!"

Laura fumbled with the sparkly lid, but finally held out the jar. Kurt lowered the sword from its upright position and tilted it into the jar. He relaxed and let the sparks zoom into the glass.

When her father's eyes stopped glowing with power, Laura quickly slammed the lid of the pickle jar on and grinned. Holding the container to eye level, she watched the little lines of lightning zing around and hit the sides. She looked up at Kurt and beamed.

"There you have it. Your very own jar of lightning."

Laura had so many questions, exclamations, and compliments on her mind that she could barely think straight so she said the most prominent of the clamoring thoughts

"Why?"

Kurt blinked. "Why do you have a jar of lightning?"

"Why do you collect the lightning? Why does it come to you? Why do you have the sword?" She caught her breath and was about to ask more "whys" but her father pinched her nose.

"Shush," He held the sword out for her to see, "What's this?"

She gave him a look. "That is a sword, Dad."

"Right, and what are swords used for?"

"Fighting."

"Alright, and what is it shaped like?"

Laura sighed and rolled her eyes. "Lightning."

"What does lightning do?"

"Zaps things."

"Yes, and it lights up the sky in a storm as well."

"So?"

"The reason our family collects lightning is because we fight the darkness."

Laura stared at him intently for a minute and then slowly reached out to touch the sword. "Are we super heroes?"

"You could say that. There is another word you will hear to describe us. Some people will say it in awe and others in disgust. People like us, people who can do extraordinary things like catch lightning or fly - we are called Potentians."

"Are all Potentians super heroes like you?"

Kurt's eyes darkened briefly. "No. There are some of us who do not fight the darkness. Sometimes Potentians are the darkness."

The shadow left his eyes and he smiled at her. "How about we go show your mother this?"

Still thinking about what her father had said, Laura raced with him back through the bean field, clutching her jar tightly. She could still feel the electricity bouncing around inside and she found it to be comforting.

Arriving in the front yard, Laura's gaze was transfixed on the lightning still. As they walked towards the porch Kurt stopped in his tracks and gripped his daughter's shoulder to keep her from taking a step farther. Startled, the girl looked up at her father's face to find it stony and filled with an emotion she couldn't decipher. She'd only once seen that expression before and that had been at her grandfather's funeral.

"Dad?"

"What a coincidence, we were just talking about this." Kurt growled, stepping toward the front door with clenched fists and fury in his eyes. Starting to run after him, Laura paused when she noticed the black muscle car in the muddy drive. She stared at the vehicle for a moment, wondering how it could possibly be so shiny sitting in the mud, and then entered the house.

"Mr. Blackwell, I suggest you leave." Laura heard her father snarl from the living room.

"You can hardly force me to. A fight between you and I would leave this quaint house in ruins." The new voice, that of a man, was mysterious and alluring, but not as refined as Kurt's British accent.

"What are you doing here?"

Laura peered into the living room, clutching her jar of lightning and watching. A man whom she did not recognize sat comfortably in her grandmother's favorite chair. His long, tanned fingers were sprawled out on the armrests and his legs were crossed casually. His face, which was handsome and sported a small goatee and mustache, smiled knowingly.

"I was in the neighborhood and thought I'd stop in to say 'hello' to some old friends. It's not as if I've broken into your home, Kurt." A thick black brow raised mockingly.

"Elo, are you okay?" Laura's father turned to her mother and gently laid a hand on her cheek. She nodded and flicked a glance at the man in the chair. She seemed to want him to leave as much as Kurt did.

"Eloise is the one who let me in, why would you be worried?" The stranger clasped his hands together, "I may be bad, but even I would not stoop so low as to threaten a pregnant woman."

"Why do I not believe you?"

"Perhaps because I've threatened a pregnant woman before," He grimaced jokingly, "But you know I would never hurt her."

"What do you want? Or am I going to have to guess all night?"

"I see you've lost your manners. That's alright, I have enough for the two of us, farmer. How have you been? How is your daughter? She must be - what? Seven by now?"

"Eight!" Laura snapped and then instantly regretted it as his cold brown eyes turned on her and he smiled.

"Hello there, Laurie. How are you this fine evening? I've heard you've been learning about the family business."

"My name is Laura."

"Oops, that's right. Terrible with names. Regardless, I suppose you want to grow up to be just like your daddy, hmm?"

Feeling angry at the man for making her father so unhappy and for treating her like a child, she crossed her arms in the most impertinent way she could and nodded. He chuckled and looked back to her parents.

"You want to wave that sword around and fight villains, do you?" His hand reached into his finely tailored suit and pulled forth a gun. Inspecting it closely, he continued, "Villains like me?"

"Walton, just get out of here." Laura's mom pleaded.

"You know, I hope as you grow up your realize how dangerous being like your daddy can be, Laura. It could get you killed," In a flash, the man was standing with his gun barrel placed on Kurt's temple, causing both Laura and her mother to shriek, "Consider tonight a friendly warning. I won't tolerate your heroism in my streets much longer, farmer. Put down the sword and get back to your rake before I'm forced to do something that won't make anyone of us very happy."

"You know I won't stop."

"Then you'd best get your affairs in order because neither will I." The man snarled.

It was then that Laura noticed the golden sword was in her father's hand and at the visitor's throat. Both men slowly lowered their weapons and took a step apart, hatred burning in their eyes like flames. The stranger holstered his pistol and nonchalantly tucked his hands into his trouser pockets, though rage and warning filled his eyes.

"I'll give you time to think over what's best for your family, but don't expect me to be too patient waiting for an answer."

"And here I thought patience was the one virtue you possessed." The sword was still in Kurt's hand and his jaw was clenched.

"My Scoundrel's want you off the streets. They don't care how I take you off."

"Get out."

"Nice to see you all. Pleasure meeting you, Laura. Remember, dear old Dad may not be as wonderful as you think," He patted her head on his way out, "Goodnight!" He waved and let the screen door slam behind him as he made his way across the mud and into his glistening vehicle.

The family watched the headlights turn and head off of their property before they let loose a collective sigh of relief. Kurt finally put the sword away and collapsed onto the couch. Eloise sat down next to him and he pulled Laura onto his lap.

"Are you going to do what he says?"

"I can't. I couldn't live with myself if I stopped doing the one thing that was requested of me."

"But you won't live at all if you don't listen to Walton." Eloise clutched his arm anxiously.

"Walton Blackwell doesn't scare me."

"So what are you going to do?"

"Keep fighting the darkness."

A/N: Well hello there, thanks for reading all the way through my prologue - that was very nice of you. If you have followed any of my work before then you might know that I had a story on here called "Heroes". That was going to be this story, but it had a rough start. So I'm redoing it with this new title and hopefully it will be better this time around. The plot is changing somewhat and some characters are going to be changed or left out, but it's still the same idea. I hope you enjoyed this, thanks ever so much for enduring this less than extraordinary prologue. :) You guys are da bomb.