Chapter 3 (Strange Occurrences)

'The Legend of the Elements' was the title of the book Ariana was reading to the patients of the children's' hospital. She would often volunteer to help any way she could. "Legend has it that there was once good and evil. Wars would happen between the light and the shadows, but one person kept having hope and did everything he could to keep the universe in balance. That was when he came up with an idea, he had heard about a very powerful jewel that was kept in the Caverns of Mystery, so he did the unthinkable. He stole the jewel and replaced it with a fake, surprisingly, no one noticed. The man worked on separating the jewel into 7 pieces, they were meant to give the wearer extreme power. He gave them to his friends but kept one to himself. But things didn't go as planned, instead of giving them the same power, they became all the 7 different element holders, fire, water, wind, earth, metal, darkness, and light. Together they ended the war, but not everything lasts forever, eventually, the elements passed away, all except for the man. The universe chose him as the guardian of the universe, legend says, that he is still among us, watching, waiting, for 7 teenagers to take on the place of the elements." And with that, she shut the book.

"Is the legend true?" A girl with brown curly hair and white eyes asked. She was blind and just had a heart operation.

"Well, anything's possible." Ariana smiled.

"Why do wou have two diverent cowored eyes?" Another girl who looked about 2 asked.

"Well, I have this condition called Heterochromia, but you will learn about that in school. Besides, no one's perfect." Ariana smiled. "Come on, time for your nap." And she helped all the kids into their beds and left.

"I cannot thank you enough Ms. Ravenwood." A nurse with short blond hair thanked.

Ariana smiled. "Not at all, and just call me Ariana. I enjoy helping these kids. They remind me of myself when I was young, plus, I've been through what they are going through."

"Of course, you are colorblind, yes? Oh, I am sorry, I didn't mean to be too direct." The nurse apologized.

"I don't mind talking about it here." Ariana assured. "Yes I am colorblind, and I have Heterochromia and a little Albinism, but it doesn't bother me much. I just want these kids to have a normal life and not to be bullied, like how I was treated."

"Poppy!" A doctor came shouting. "You are needed in room 112."

Poppy was the nurse's name. "Of course, right away." Poppy turned to face Ariana. "I must go, thank you Ariana Ravenwood. See you next week, yes?"

"You got it." Ariana said smiling as she was watching Poppy leave, but as soon as she left, her mood suddenly changed. Walking through a few hallways later, she was surprised by her brother.

"Hey, sis!" Archer said with the loudest voice possible.

"What are you doing here?" Ariana asked, obviously surprised.

"Mom told me to um… pick you up?" Archer lied, he just wanted to see his little sister, to become her older brother again, to become someone she could look up to. "I heard you reading to those disabled kids."

Ariana got a little mad at her brother for calling those kids 'disabled' but quickly cooled down. "Please, don't call them disabled. They are not too different to us, they just have a harder time doing certain things than us but that doesn't mean they are useless. It makes them even hard workers, they work hard, day and night, to keep up the fight." She started to think about herself, how she was bullied and called 'disabled' and 'useless'.

"Alright, I'm sorry." Archer said with his hands in front of him. "That's not my point. I meant, it was really nice of you to read to them, most of them are orphans you know. They're lucky to have you teaching them they're stronger than their physical appearance. I just wish…" Archer just stopped.

"Wished what?"

"Wish I could've been there during your challenging times, to defend you, to be your brother. Instead, I was selfish and just left you." Archer looked down, ashamed of himself. "But, it's not too late right?" Archer's expressions changed quickly.

"You always do look on the bright side of things." Ariana admired her brother's thoughts, unlike him, Ariana had inflicted self-harm before and even tried to end her life. It was when she started to volunteer at the children's hospital she stopped. They both decided to leave, as brother and sister, because visiting hours were over.

But what they didn't know was that someone was watching them and thought they were worthy.

Meanwhile, Samuel and Alexa were in the park because their mother thought they could use some 'bonding time', but actually, their mother just got sick of all the arguing.

Alexa always loved mother nature and now that she got the chance to get out, she wasn't going to waste it on her brother.

The park had a one-hundred-year-old oak tree and that had always fascinated Alexa. Luckily, she never leaves home without her book on plants and her notebook. Just when she was sketching the tree and looking it up in her book, a rock hit her on the head.

"Hey!" Alexa shouted she turned around just to find her brother's hands full of stones. "Why did you do that?"

"I HATE hanging out with YOU! This is all YOUR fault! If you had just stayed put we wouldn't be in this situation." Samuel yelled.

"Well, if you hadn't torn apart my textbook, maybe I didn't have to tell mom to buy me a new one. You have rage issues." Alexa was quite mad.

'Rage issues', those two words triggered Samuel. He just ran towards her, took her notebook, ripped it apart and threw the remains in the nearest lake.

"No!" Alexa tried to stop him but it was too late. Tears flowed down her cheeks and her face turned red. "THAT'S IT! I'm sick and tired of you, I'm sick and tired of being your punch bag!" Samuel's fist headed towards Alexa's head but before he could hit her, she leaned and that caused Samuel to fall into a bush of poison ivy. "And there you go, that's how you use nature's gift, or in your case, nature's curse." She smirked and just left to go to the stationary store to get a new notebook, leaving her itchy brother covered in red spots.

The same person that inquired Ariana and Archer was listening in to their conversation, he knew that Alexa had some talent but wasn't so sure about Samuel.

Jason and Joanne were taking a stroll on the streets for Joanne to look around. The streets were pretty crowded, but Joanne managed to get a glimpse of a sign that read: 'It's a lovely day, but I can't see it'. There, sitting on the ground, with his eyes closed and holding a jar, was an old man. He was indeed blind.

Joanne stopped and got out her allowance. "What are you doing?" Jason asked her.

Joanne ignored him and just gave him a 20-dollar bill. Then eventually replied Jason. "I'm helping him." Joanne turned to face the man and said one thing, "Don't give up." And they both left.

"That was really nice of you." Jason admitted. "The world really needs people more like you." They both smiled.

The person that was watching them sensed a strong presence from Jason and saw Joanne's kindness, they were perfect.

Ethan was at the West Heart Animal Shelter with his dog, Max. Ethan had always loved animals, the West Heart Animal Shelter was where Max came from, and from the day he met him, he vowed that he and Max would help in any way they could.

"Thanks for your help Ethan." The manager of the shelter thanked. "How 'bout you head home early today, I can handle the rest."

Ethan nodded and washed up. He went straight home with Max close behind, on the way he just got bored. "What do you want to do boy?" He asked his dog like he was going to reply. "How about some band practice? I could text the others, what do you say?" Max just looked at him and blinked. "Alright, let's get you home then text the others."

Once they got home, Ethan fed Max and just flopped on the couch. He got out his spotted phone and started to text everyone in the group he created for his bandmates.

(Ethan) Hey! Anyone there?

It took about 5 minutes for someone to reply.

(Jason) Me!

(Joanne) Me too!

(Alexa) Alexa here.

(Samuel) …

(Ethan) Where's Ari and Archer?

(Joanne) IDK

(Samuel) What did you want?

(Ethan) Just wondering if anyone's up for a quick band practice?

(All) Anytime!

(Ethan) K. See you all at 6, we're having pizza. I'll call Ari.

Ethan started to dial Ariana's number, she gave it to him on the first day they met. His phone started ringing until he heard a "Hello?"

"Hey, Ari, Ethan here. What are you doing?" Ethan asked her.

"Hi, Ethan. I was at the children's hospital with Archer, I volunteered to help a week ago. Did you need anything?"

"Oh yeah, I was wondering if you and Archer were coming to band practice at 6. My dad works at that pizza place downtown, we will go there to have dinner."

"Sounds great, see you then. Bye."

"See you Ari." And with that, Ethan hung up.

6:00 pm, everyone arrived at Ethan's house. They decided to set up in the garage then head for some pizza.

"Have you guys read 'The Elements'?" Archer asked suddenly.

"Yeah?" Ethan said.

"Once or twice." Jason continued. "Remember the incantation?"

"Who could forget?" Alexa started. "Earth, wind, fire, water. The first four elements…"

"Metal, darkness, and light. Everything comes together…" Joanne picked off where Alexa stopped.

"With darkness there is light. With fire there is water. Wind blows through the earth. Metal gathers it all…" They all chanted. Suddenly, a blinding light surrounded them and almost knocked them unconscious.

When each of them opened their eyes one by one, they found themselves in an empty space, everything was white and there was no ground.

An old man wearing a white cloak suddenly appeared before them and started talking. "Welcome, Elements."

"What? Elements?" Samuel asked confused. "Are we dreaming or in heaven or… something?"

"I am Luke. Guardian of the universe, but of course, you know all about that, don't you?" Luke introduced

"The legend? It's real?" Ariana asked.

"Darkness, light, fire, earth, wind, metal, and water, they are all real. I have watched you for a long time, you have shown bravery, responsibility, passion, determination, and kindness, that is why I chose you." Luke continued in his old man voice. "I am over 1000 years of age and I cannot keep the universe in balance forever, that is why I need your help." He stopped before continuing. "The universe is in danger, we all are in danger. Our sworn enemies have returned, stronger than ever. You are the 7 that are meant to protect. Do you accept?"

The 7 elements nodded and stood up. Luke took off his hood and underneath was an ordinary man who looked as if he was in his 70s. He was almost bald but had some grey hairs sticking out, he also had pink eyes and his skin was pale. He handed them each suits and masks of green, purple, black, white, blue, red, and silver.

"Hold up." Alexa said. "This is happening too fast. How can we be sure this isn't just a trick?"

"You have a love for nature, correct?" Luke asked. "Alexa, you represent earth. Jason, you represent wind for your personality of letting things go and not thinking too much. Joanne, water for your kindness and ability to go with the flow. Samuel, fire for your um… temper? Ethan, metal, you have a strong heart. Archer, light, one of the most powerful elements. And Ariana, darkness, I know that you are just putting on a brave face but deep down, you are broken. I was not supposed to give darkness to anyone, but not all villains harness dark energy, many use light, but be warned, if darkness is altered, it will become evil. Darkness and light are hardest to control but you will get the hang of it. Put these on. No one must know who you are." Luke continued. "I know that not all of you have experience and I will coach you to use your powers, but the rest is up to you." Luke gave them all yet another 'gift', this time it was a bracelet with a flat jewel in the center in the same colors as their element. "Use these to communicate with each other. Follow me."

Luke waved his hands as a plain house appeared in front of them, they were back in Sun City. He led them into the bricked house, but it was enormous from the inside. A U-shaped purple couch was sat in front of a huge TV. A small kitchen was beside the couch.

"Archer, I'm putting you in charge for now. And here's a map." Luke handed them a map which depicted a huge tower, including all of their rooms.

But before they could 'explore', an alarm went off and a clip taken from the security cameras was shown on the TV. A crystal-like creature appeared to be crushing the buildings in a small village.

"What are you waiting for? Go!" Luke shouted.

They changed and put on their masks as quick as possible and left.

At the battle, the village was already half destroyed. Ruins, that was all that was left, no living things in sight.

"What are we supposed to do?!" Alexa yelled. The monster heard her and turned around.

"Well, we could… RUN!" Samuel shouted.

The monster chased them through the ruins until it lost track of them. Everyone looked to Archer for a plan.

"We need to do what we can to stop this… um… monster. We don't need our powers, not like we know how to use them, just try your best." Archer directed. "Split up!"

Samuel tried to throw a fireball at the crystal monster, but instead, his whole body lit up in flames. "What's going on? This was not intended." He said, trying to put the flames out. The monster just punched him and caused Samuel to crash into a building, causing a fire to spread. "My bad!"

Joanne immediately saw that and wanted to put the fire out, but when she tried to do that, the pressure of the water caused her to fall backward.

When Jason saw Joanne get hurt, he sprinted to her side, but he mysteriously levitated halfway there. It was uncontrollable.

Alexa tried to use rocks to hopefully break the crystals, but instead, she hurt herself when a rock was too heavy and fell on her.

Next up was Ethan. He tried to charge at the monster, but again, something went wrong. His body turned to solid gold, causing him to sink into the ground, unable to move.

Archer saw the others getting hurt and decided to take matters into his own hands. He projected a huge amount of light and energy and aimed it at the crystal monster. The monster reflected the light, because it was made of crystals and crystals reflect light, and it headed straight for Ariana.

"Ari! Look out!" He shouted, hoping it wasn't too late.

Ariana closed her eyes and braced for impact, but instead of what she was expecting, a black forcefield surrounded her. The light was cracking it, looking down at her hands, she found that black auras were surrounding them. Ariana took the only risk she could and just pushed the energy inside her out. Her eyes turned black for a split second.

The forcefield exploded and a beam of dark energy just cut the monster's hand clean off. It got angry, grabbed her, and swung her around.

"Hey!" Archer shouted. "No one messes with my sister!" He projected yet another beam of light, but once again, it backfired. It hit Archer, causing him to fall unconscious with scratches on him.

Joanne directed a stream of water that grabbed onto the monster's hand that was holding Ariana captive. "Jason, a little help?"

Jason got his balance and readied a gust of wind. "On three! One. Two. THREE!" He shouted.

The water stream tightened around the monster's hand and a gust of wind was enough to shatter his hand. Ariana fell, but luckily, Ethan caught her just in time.

"You alright?" Ethan asked Ariana, looking down at her.

"Yeah, fine." Ariana said catching her breath. They stared into each other's eyes for 10 seconds, of course, Ariana's hair was still covering her one eye, and they would've kept doing that if Ariana didn't speak up. "Um… Ethan? You can put me down now…" She told him awkwardly.

"Oh, right." Ethan said embarrassed and let Ariana stand on her own. "Samuel, I have an idea to shatter this crystal, but I'm going to need your help." He turned to face Samuel.

Ethan closed his eyes and turned his whole body into silver. He held out his hand to already-flaming Samuel.

"You sure dude?" Samuel asked. Ethan nodded so Samuel just transferred his heat to him and cooled down, back to normal. "That feels nice." But he still gave his sister a mean look.

"Alexa, I need a boost." Ethan told her, signaling her to levitate the ground beneath him.

The boiling hot Ethan charged right at the center of the monster, causing it to explode into shards. Ethan landed and turned back to normal.

"Looks like we did it." Ethan said proudly.

Jason helped levitate Archer back to the base. But before they left, Ariana heard silent sobbing close by. She asked the others to go ahead and get Archer to safety.

Ariana walked past all the ruins until she came across a short blond-haired girl, she was crying next to a dead man.

Ariana kneeled down until she was the same height as the girl. "Hey, what's wrong?" She asked, there was no reply. Ariana put her hand on the girl's shoulders and the girl looked up. Ariana assumed the girl couldn't hear and used sign language to communicate to her. 'Hello, I am Ariana. What is wrong? And what is your name?' She signed.

'I am Rachel. This is my father. And have you seen my mother?' Rachel signed back. Rachel had violet eyes.

'I am so sorry. Your mother might be in the shelter, I can take you there.' Ariana signed, holding out her hand to Rachel.

They walked for minutes until Ariana heard a woman call the name Rachel. Ariana pointed to the woman and immediately, Rachel ran towards her.

"Rachel, my dear daughter." The woman with light brown hair sighed in relief while holding the 4-year-old. "Thank you for bringing my daughter back to me, what do I owe you?" The woman asked.

"Nothing. Just let her have a normal life and a good future, and I wish you both the best." Ariana said and turned to leave.