Chapter 1:

Birth of the conflict


“Wake up, my dear!” shouted Arsenio’s mom. Arsenio just moved a bit in the bed and continued dreaming. After five minutes his mom rushed into his room and shouted directly into his ear. He jumped out of the bed like a monkey and started to search for his clothes. Mom just smiled through her falling dark hair and left the room. Although she almost destroyed his eardrum, Arsenio was thankful to her for waking him up as always. Before he went to kitchen, he washed himself in bathroom, where he met his father. He was just treating his decent moustache, but he let Arsenio to use the washbasin. Arsenio didn’t really like to comb his long black hair, but he knew it would make his mom angry, so he did it and after a while, he was eating delicious breakfast with both of his parents. He really loved them, even though they weren’t his biological parents. He got into their foster care when he was just few months old, and he never thought of them any different as of real parents. When he finished breakfast, he kissed his mother’s forehead, waved to his father and ran to meet his friends.Bookmark here

Werge and Berek were waiting him on the usual spot, behind public library. Even though it was biggest library in the Elemental countries, it was built in common solar style as most of the buildings – a bricks of light colors, white pillars on the sides and a straight roof. Straight roof had really practical use, as most of the buildings had a terraces or a gardens on them. Arsenio heard at the school that sometime ago, there were many types of architecture, but he has never seen any example, not even on the photographs. Whole Stagar was built around a great lake, which everyone just called the Lake and where in the middle, floated king’s palace. King with his family lived there, but the biggest part of the palace consisted of offices and rooms with diplomatical functions.                  Bookmark here

The library was in the southern part of the city, about ten minutes from the school, so the boys needn’t to take the Public Earth Transport. “Yo, my friends.” smiled Arsenio. “Is the reason behind your good mood what I think it is?” asked Werge. „Yep, I’m really excited for our first lesson about elements, although I already know some stuff.” responded Arsenio. Berek annoyedly rolled his eyes. “Don’t tease me guys. I wanna learn about it so much, but I still have to wait three damned years! “ he lamented. It was funny for Arsenio to see his younger friend moaning about life, but he didn’t want to make him angry, so he just shrugged and the three of them continued their way to the school.Bookmark here

Arsenio awaked sharply on the sound of the school bell. He fell asleep! “I know I shouldn’t go to bed at two hours in the morning!“ he told himself. Luckily, it was just break before the element lesson. He wouldn’t be able to forgive himself for oversleeping such an important lesson. So, he took his writing tablet and ran to the another classroom. Just when he sat next to the Werge, teacher came into the room and closed the door. He was really tall and muscular, with medium long curly dark hair. He was around forty years old. “Hello class, I am Hex Alter, your teacher of an element theory." he said and put his writing tablet on the desk. Then he checked the attendance and started to explain. He was talking with deep, charismatic and sad voice. “I suppose you already know this, but I will explain everything from the beginning just to be sure. We have five basic powers called elements in our world. Fire, water, earth, air and the spacetime. Some of you may know about other elements like sound or lightning, but they are just parts of the main five. Many people can control one of these, except for the spacetime, as it is extremely rare and we know so little about it. That's the reason we will learn only about the four elements. Well, there is theory, that the four basic elements creates it, but we still have no proof. But more importantly, does anyone know how can human gain the element?” he asked and looked around the class. This was common knowledge between many people, but Hex was speaking so charismatically, that everyone stayed quiet just to let him explain more. “Fine, I suppose I need to explain really everything. So, let’s begin on the atomic level. Everything in this world contains special particles, which are bound to the every single atom. We call them realitions. Every atom contains realitions of all elements, but only one dominates in the amount. This is what determines to which group of the elements the atom belongs. That's exactly same with the humans. If someone has dominating amount of the fire realitions, he can control the fire element. But it makes sense that a child won't have as many realitions as an adult. That's why people are allowed to do the elemental activation at the age of fifteen. They are also.. Ah yes, come in.”. He couldn’t end the sentence, as someone knocked the door.  Bookmark here

Two young Elemental Peacekeepers, a man and a women walked in. “My name is Eitan Vokorinski and this is my partner Diana Kiron. We would like to ask you a few questions, mister Alter.” said the man. Hex showed no emotion, just spoke with absolutely calm voice: “Of course.” and walked out of the classroom. Students were confused and Arsenio wanted to listen behind the doors, but Werge stopped him. After ten minutes of waiting, principal came into the classroom and announced that all of lessons are cancelled because of technical issues and the students can go home. Arsenio was happy as well as other kids, but on the other hand, he wanted to learn more about the elements, so he was also a little bit disappointed. But since there was nothing he could have done about it, he packed his stuff and went out of the school with Werge.                                Bookmark here

“You know what the element activation is, right?” he asked Arsenio. “Well, it’s the process where a person gains the elemental power, if you haven’t realised it. “ responded Arsenio ironically. “I know that, but I meant how it works. I suppose that those realitions or whatever it is called are inactive till the activation, since we still can’t use them.” continued Werge. “Animals are also unable to use the elemental powers, but mister Alter said that everything, which also means every being, contains it. So basically the activation shows you the element you can control and it will allow you to control it, somehow. “. Arsenio was so immersed in the conversation, that he haven’t even noticed a blonde girl, who will affect his life the most, passing by with her mom. Bookmark here

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That day was really special for Kimia. It was her fourteenth birthday, and her mom invited her for a coffee. It may not be special for anyone else, but moments like this were really precious to Kimia.  Her mom was working as a nurse in a busy hospital in the northern part of Stagar, so they couldn’t be together every day. They were happily talking about their days while heading towards their favorite coffee shop. Kimia suddenly stopped. “Look mom, the lights in the shop are turned off. It looks like it’s closed. “ she said, and she was right. There was a paper on the door saying that the shop owner is on vacation for whole week. “That’s a pity.” said Kimia’s mom “I don’t know of place where they can make better coffee than here. But we won’t let this little problem ruin our program, right? “ she smiled on Kimia. “Nope.” she smiled back. “I know of one smaller coffee shop, where I went once with my classmates. It’s about one kilometer away, behind the Junkie park.” explained Kimia. Her mother wasn’t very enthusiastic, but she didn’t want to make her daughter sad, so she agreed.     Junkie park got it’s name after the group of people, who were gathering there every evening. The peacekeepers took many actions against them, but they always returned there after few days. However, this was the last day anyone would cause the problems in that place. There was an old bridge connecting park with the small, less frequented street where the coffee shop was. Noone was in the whole park and Kimia thought it was suspicious, but she haven’t said anything.                                               Bookmark here

When they were in the half of the bridge, an older man and a stout redhead boy stood there, each on other side of the bridge. Kimia’s mom tried to ignore them and continued crossing the bridge, but the man closer to street stopped her. He could have been around thirty years old, but it was clear that he doesn’t care for himself, so he looked much older. “You know madam, I’m not gonna pretend I have a good intention. Just gimme what ya have in your wallet and you can leave with your girl. “ he said with drunk voice. Alcohol stinked out of him. Kimia jumped in front of her mom and aggresively looked on the man. “Stay away from us, we don’t want any trouble.” she said. Suddenly, the other man, who was on the other side of bridge a moment ago, grabbed her mom from behind and started to choke her. Kimia was so scared, but she pushed the fear away and ran to the man who was choking her mother. She tried to kick his leg, but he unexpectedly pulled out a knife and cut Kimia’s knee. She screamed in pain while the other man punched her in face and grabbed her around waist. “Stop screamin or I’ll throw ya off bridge! “ he shouted. She tried to slip out of his grip, but he was holding her tightly, so she punched him in the stomach with her elbow. He mumbled some dirty words but didn’t release the grip. Instead of it, he lifted Kimia and threw her out of the bridge. The last thing she saw was her mother, with her face blue due to the lack of oxygen. Then she fell into the deep river. The bridge was four meters above the water surface, the current was incredibly strong that day and she couldn’t swim. A weak girl like her had no chance of surviving in these circumstances.Bookmark here

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Eitan sipped from the hot raspberry tea and opened the door to the interrogation room. “Would you like some tea, Diana, mister Alter?” he asked. Diana was sitting at the small desk in the middle of room against Hex. “Thanks Eitan, but maybe later. “ she smiled. “I don’t care. “ mumbled Hex, but then, he looked at Eitan and raised his voice. “I still don’t get why did you brought me here. I’m not any dangerous criminal or anything.” he said. “Dude, if you would answer my questions honestly, you could’ve been already at home.” said Diana annoyedly. Eitan meanwhile sat next to her and some papers from the desk’s drawer. “It is written on your Personal information card that you don’t posses any of the elemental powers, but we got few reports saying that some people witnessed you doing something.. Well let’s just say something a person without the elemental powers wouldn’t be able to do. Do you mind to explain?” asked Eitan. Hex ran out of patience. “I already told your ignorant colleague that I don’t know anything about it!” he shouted. Diana suddenly grabbed Eitan’s mug of tea and threw it on Hex. He barely catched it while the raspberry tea spilled all over him. “What the hell you think you’re doing?” he asked surprisingly calm. Eitan rolled his eyes at Diana. “I’m terribly sorry for her misbehaviour, mister Alter. I di..” apologized Eitan, but Diana interrupted him. “It was no misbehaviour, Eitan. “ she said. “I just wanted to test whether is mister Alter lying or not. I expected him to catch the mug with wind power or just not let the tea spill over him with water power. But since he didn’t, he may be saying the truth. Or not.” she explained. Hex was glad first time in his life for having such terrible reflexes. Then someone knocked the door and without waiting walked in. It was robust young man, probably the same age as Eitan, with really short black hair and trimmed beard without moustache. “Hi Axel! What’s the matter? “ asked Eitan. “We have few urgent reports guys. Also, general Almond wants to see you, so you need to left this lad for a while.” responded Axel. Bookmark here

Hex didn’t even bother to say a word of protest, and when they left him alone, he bent the iron handcuffs as if they were from plasticine. He wouldn’t be able to escape if they’d handcuffed him in prestarium cuffs. Prestarium was common mineral, with interesting properties of absorbing elemental powers when mixed with titanium and lead. But more interesting property was that a pure prestarium could store the elemental power and release it when activated. This was the most important technology in world, being used almost everywhere. Hex came to the window and looked from it. The Peacekeeper central was on the eastern side of the Lake. Investigation room where he was locked was oriented on the center of lake, where he was able to see Peacekeeper academy connecting with palace by long bridge. The front side of central was connected to city with three bridges. He assumed that there is no safe way to escape from the central, as in the Academy part, candidates were training on the court and the front side was as much frequented as always. He was standing before the window and thinking, when he heard steps in the hallway, so he decided. Diana has returned just because she forget some papers there, but she saw completely shattered window and bended iron bars. Of course, Hex Alter was nowhere to be seen. She cursed in anger and ran to get help.Bookmark here

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Far, far away in the Northern Federation, fifty kilometres from the main city Tidensby, a strange phenomenon occured. Two children were playing on the big pile of gravel near the seashore, when they heard terrible sound. At first, they thought it was thunder, but it didn’t end after few seconds, and it was getting stronger and stronger, as if the sky was being torn. A weird, black shapes appeared where the sound was coming from, forming irregular circle. The children stayed paralyzed with a fear for a while, but when the circle was completed and the sound was unbearable, they covered their ears with hands, jumped from the gravel and ran away. The circle looked like a window to another world, but there was deadly darkness in it. Suddenly, slim figure of a man appeared in the middle of it. He was levitating there for a few seconds and then he fell down. If there wasn’t the big pile of gravel under him, he would be certainly dead, however he still broke few bones, as he fell from great height. Being totally exhausted, he couldn’t even stand and felt unconscious. When he woke up after few hours, he was lying on the old matress in the garden of family house. Few kids were watching him from the safe distance, but when he looked at them, they pretended that they are playing. He standed up and felt terrible pain in his left hip joint. His right arm was fixed with bandages onto his chest. He also felt pain in the right side of ribcage, but he just cursed quietly and crookedly entered the house’s hallway. There he found tall mirror in which he looked and measured in horror. The man in the mirror so different from him. He was slim and malnourished, with sunken cheeks and dark circles under eyes. He had shaggy hair long down to chin, and unadjusted dirty beard. He looked like dead vagabond. “Hello sir, are you feeling better? “said pleasant female voice. It was young, redhead woman with ponytail, smiling from upstairs on ruined man. "Where.. am I?” he asked and was surprise, that his throat isn't dry and he can talk without problems. “Ah, you are in Kurmbor, fifty kilometres from Tidensby in Northern Federation. Where are you from?” she asked. The man was just standing in hallway and looking at her. He never heard of those cities or Northern Federation. He began to realise what happened, and he started to feel terrible anxiety. “What year it is?” he asked. “Thirteen eighty-two, but could you tell me your name at least?” she asked a little nervous. Total despair was in the man’s eyes, as he responded “I am.. Chaménos.”.Bookmark here

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