φ Satellite Academy φ
。01: Teachers' Meeting 。
A glowing pillar of light streaked across the sky, overlooking orange canyons that arched to the horizon on all sides. The pillar was hazy like a cloud, its edges fluttering like fabric. It began to curve downwards, streaming toward the rocky ground. It passed earthen walls and pillars, landing in a burst of light and smoke. After it dissipated the elemental Zac raised his head from where he crouched.
The white-robed man held his staff in one hand, white wood that wrapped around his spherical yellow crystal, the size of a T-ball. He had a satchel bag over his shoulder. Straightening up the young elemental ruffled his untidy brown hair, scratching and looking around.
"Damn, I drained my magic before getting there…" reaching into his satchel he started digging around.
In hindsight, Zac knew it would've been better to take a spaceship or jet. It wouldn't have been too hard to acquire one, but that flying spell was something elementals could learn, and it was really fun. So he'd decided to charge up and use that instead. He couldn't simply teleport to wherever he wanted to go, like Blake could. Even Chris could teleport short-distances through shadows. Zac, it seemed, would have to walk.
Pulling out a flashing sonar pad he started trekking in the right direction, his sandals kicking rocks and gathering dust. This place was known as the Carnivorous Canyons and it was on the Godrid side of the Half-World. Hundreds of kilometres east of the border. There weren't any living things in the Carnivorous Canyons, as far as they knew, Chris just enjoyed naming things with alliterations.
This walk was going to take him twenty minutes – luckily Zac was the type to always be early. Punctuality was something Chris drilled into him since his youth. He hadn't seen the enormous spacecraft they were supposed to be meeting at. So huge that it could only be built and kept out here, in the middle of nowhere. Satellite Academy was almost operational. In his satchel bag were ten folders of the crushers Zac had taken time and care to create. Ten teenagers with superpowers, he'd watched them grow their bodies in cryotanks and adjust to their new life with the teariness of a proud parent.
The stats of the ten Anjelo crushers were superb. Better than superb, actually. But Zac couldn't help worrying about them anyway. Were they lacking in other developmental ways? They all seemed healthy, and highly intelligent. But time would tell.
Zac spent his walk musing, trekking an upward slope until the shiny metal dome of Satellite Academy peered into view, reflecting beams of the harsh desert sun. Zac found himself sweating in his robes, waving his loose sleeves to fan himself. As he got closer he could appreciate how massive the space station really was. A space-bound school for students with superpowers. He'd need to slide carefully down into the deeper canyon and then head up the ramp to meet his elemental seniors.
It took him a few more minutes, but then he was scaling the giant ramp up to the hanger entry. Once inside his black-robed mentor appeared, strolling out to meet him. His staff was similarly black, ebony wood that sprung up into a hook, his diamond-shaped ruby crystal suspended inside. It was much cooler up here, to Zac's relief.
"There you are Zac!" Chris spoke in his civilised but snippy prose. "The meeting is going to begin in a few minutes, you're almost late!"
"Sorry Chris," Zac hung his head sheepishly.
Even though they were both elementals – the highest rank of wizard you can be – there was still a great difference in experience between them. Chris was many thousand years Zac's senior and he'd been the one who created Zac, who started off life as a crusher. They were even biologically related.
"Well we certainly can't dilly-dally for any longer." The hooded man whipped around and the two strode quickly through the enormous facility.
Zac stared out in wonder at the shiny metal surfaces in the hanger bay. The robot workers must be in other areas of the ship. The two passed down the arched hole of a corridor. It took them a while to navigate to where they were supposed to be. Zac barely spoke, he was still fretting about his crushers and absorbed in the possibilities of a new school for crushers. Satellite Academy, wow.
The meeting room was big and metallic like the rest of the ship. It was dominated by a large flat table surrounded by wheelie chairs. Several hovering drones were ready to project holograms of the other elementals they'd be meeting with. But what Zac hadn't expected was who was already here in person.
"Why hello Zac." Squeaked the two-foot-tall midget wizard as he spun around in his wheelie chair.
He had a shock of brown hair and circular glasses on his round face. He wore brown robes and was an elemental like them, almost the exact same age as Zac because they'd known each other when they were human. Though Jamie had been completely human, not a crusher like Zac.
"Jamie, it's so good to see you!" Zac said as he approached. "You're the only person here? I thought for sure Blake would be."
"Blake has been charged with finding Kane and bringing him here." Chris spoke matter-of-factly and straight-backed. "While Kane agreed to join the school he went on a typical bender on one of the gambling worlds of Cato-Rinn and needed… er, rescuing."
"Typical Kane." Jamie shook his head, bunched together his own extensive crusher documents.
"Blake left the Half-World to meet up with Lysander, but instead had to take the necessary detour to collect Kane's drunk ass." Chris sniffed.
"Anyway Jamie," Zac whipped back to his old friend. "What have you been up to? It's been so long."
"I've been sticking to my hobby." Jamie answered in his comically high-pitched tone. "Magical artefact collecting. Travelling to ancient planets and exploring ruins."
"Indiana Jones style. Nice." Zac nodded.
"I probably have enough stuff in my collection to rival the Elgard Archives."
Chris scoffed and Jamie turned to correct him "It was only an expression." He looked back at Zac "What have you been up to anyway?"
"Just learning stuff in the labs. Mostly crusher work, but also technology sciences and planet information, terraforming." He clutched his folders tighter. "I'm a little worried about my crushers, to tell the truth-"
He was interrupted by the hovering drones who all began flashing. Chris clapped his hands loudly.
"Meeting time! Get to your seat, Zac!" The wrinkled man swept to the head of the table and blue holograms filled the room until ten people were present. "Welcome all! Thank you all for coming. How you doing? Anyway thank you all for agreeing to be the ten teaching staff to make up Satellite Academy's council of elementals. Once the ship is up and running I can't wait to greet you all properly in person."
Zac looked around the room at all the elementals. Many he hadn't seen in a long while and some he'd never met. Kane's hologram was slumped on the table, the reedy man barely conscious. Blake's hologram was at the other end of the table.
"Nifty set-up. Well as the elemental Dynor, the rank bestowed upon the strongest living elemental and establisher of the Zorgon Dynasty, I will began with introductions for our newer associates." The white-robed white-bearded man seemed more annoyed than usual, undoubtedly from the stress of having to rescue Kane from himself. His staff stood balanced beside him, white Lemon Cyprus wood and a spherical cyan-blue crystal. "I am Blake. Eleven-thousand years old."
"And I am older. So introductions should be based on age." Chris snipped moodily. "Thirteen-thousand years old. Redeemed shadow elemental."
"Next oldest is Kane at six-thousand." Blake spoke up, indicating with his head to the slumped dark-haired man. "But as you can see he's not quite conscious at the moment."
"Did we have to involve Kane?" Jamie squeaked. "His crushers always end up… weird. If we were bound to human rights laws I'm sure he'd be violating them."
"Oh can it, bar stool." Blake snapped.
"I am an Elemental!" Jamie whined furiously "and you'll give me the respect I deserve!"
"Right. Next up is Elrich." Chris indicated to an elemental Zac had never met before.
Curious. Elementals could change the age they appeared to be. Chris and Blake both liked to look old, give off the wisdomy look. But Zac had never met an elemental who made themselves look like a child. Elrich looked to be no older than eight-years-old, though obviously carried himself with the dignity and intelligence of a full-grown man.
"Yes, my name is Elrich." He said in a mature but childlike voice. "I'm four-thousand years old and don't know most of you, though am glad to be involved."
"The rest of you are all babies. Weren't even around during the Galactic War against the last Dynor." Chris shook his head.
"Pretty sure I'm next." Layla, a woman with purple-haired bangs and wearing white raised her hand. Zac smiled at his old acquaintance. She was married to Micah, the dark-skinned Elemental beside her. She was a skilled scientist. "Three-thousand years."
"I'm also above the three-thousand year mark." The blonde Lysander with the black metal arm made of Avantium spoke next. His left eye was red and slitted, the Dragon's Eye which he had transplanted.
"Sorry again for not being able to meet with you, Lysander." Blake shot another disgruntled look at Kane.
"No worries. I should reach Satellite Academy in a month or so."
"We're all pretty divided across the galaxy aren't we?" A blonde woman with an air of authority spoke up next. "I'm Ethel, just above the three-thousand year mark. Temporarily leaving the politics of my planet Amalthea behind me to join you all in this school. Learn more about crushers and magic from the rest of your experience."
"I'm Micah. Two-thousand years, relatively young. And married to this wonderful lady." Micah and Layla gave each other the lovey-dovey looks that made several members across the table roll their eyes. In one hand he held a steaming mug of coffee.
"Alright, and then there's me." Squeaked Jamie. "Young enough to still count centuries. Twelve-hundred years old."
"And same with me." Zac spoke up last. "I'm an elemental apprenticing under Chris who is business partners with Blake."
"Good for you, son." Layla said and Ethel crossed her arms.
"I'm actually quite impressed to finally meet you." Elrich began with his eyes on Zac. "Elementals can only create a planet every century, but at the famous time of your graduation from Evellet's Education for Elementals, you immediately created the Anjelo Nebula which has almost a hundred stars."
"Yeah…" Zac scratched his head, abashed as the other elementals murmured agreements. "None of those stars have planets yet or anything though, just protoplanetary discs."
"You're too modest." Elrich replied.
"Indeed he is." Chris agreed, then returned to being curt. "And now that introductions are out of the way we can begin discussing what's on the agenda. Satellite Academy will be home to one-hundred crushers, each of us contributing ten to the student body. The station will lift-off in a matter of weeks and become space-bound. We will travel closer to the galactic centre to meet up with those of you further away. But now, onto business…"
Everyone except Kane leaned perceptibly closer, their interest peaked.
AN: Finally got around to making this. Review if you want me to continue!