Chapter 2:

Defects of peace


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Diana ran into armoury, where Eitan and Axel with three other peacekeepers were packing up their equipment. “That idiot has escaped!” she shouted. “What the hell are you talking about, Diana?” asked Eitan surprisedly. “Hex Alter has somehow escaped from interrogation room!” she continued shouting. Eitan turned to Axel and two peacekeepers. “Well guys, I guess you have to revise that case on bridge without us. Arresting and interrogating Alter was our job. “ he told them and the two groups parted their ways. They met again in the garage, but just waved to each other and got into aetheric transporters. Aetheric transporters were commonly used vehicles with prestarium technology, able to fly from few tens of centimetres up to three meters upon the ground. Most of the people had one, but they used it rarely, because of the reliable Public Transport. Eitan was user of wind power, so he could boost the Transporter to fly even higher and faster, which he did, while Diana was infusing the prestarium projectiles with her earth powers. They were flying in the direction in which Hex was reported escape and carefully observing the streets. A little further away Axel. and his comrades arrived in the Junkie park.Bookmark here

Axel jumped out of the aetheric transporter. “Galen, please check the whole park if there aren’t any other people. Yann, park the transporter somewhere and come to me.” ordered Axel and ran on the bridge, where he saw terrible scenery. Young blonde girl was holding older woman, probably her mother and trying to wake her up. She was all wet, so without hearing her sobs, Axel wouldn’t realise that she is crying. But what shocked him way more, were litres of blood spilled over the whole bridge, and two mauled, beheaded bodies near the girl and her mother. He ran to the girl, paying attention to not step into blood. “Hey, what happened? Are you alright?” he asked the girl. “Ye-Yes, I’m okay, b-but my mom is not breathing!” she said through tears. “Don’t worry, doctors will be here in a few seconds.” said Axel and was right, because Yann was running to them with medical team behind him. “Galen hasn’t found anyone else in the park and he is guarding the road.” shouted Yann. Then girl’s mom started to breathe weakly. Axel helped girl to stand up and put his jacket around her shoulders, while Yann put his sweatshirt under her mom’s head and the medical team gave her first aid. “I am Axel, fire peacekeeper. Can you tell me your name and what happened here?” asked Axel the girl and gently grabbed her hands, trying to comfort her. “M-my name is Kimia Isira. I went for a coffee with my m-mom, when two thugs attacked us. I w-wanted to help her b-but one of them throw me out of this bridge. I f-fell into the water and I.. I killed them.”. Axel was shocked. Kimia looked too young to have elemental power, and even if she would have one, she shouldn’t be able to kill two adults with it. “Kimia, you need to come with us for now.” said Axel. “Don’t worry, your mother is already breathing normally. You can see her later.” smiled Yann. Bookmark here

Arsenio, Werge and Berek were trying to get into an old abandoned warehouse. They were terribly bored, and they wanted to get inside out of pure curiosity. No one actually remembered who owned that building or what it was used for, but the fence was still unbroken. At least until Arsenio hung up on it. He tried to climb over it, but the old fence cracked and fell on the grass with Arsenio. When Werge and Berek saw it, they immediately had a fit of laughter. He cursed and shouted on them, so they helped him to get out of fence. Luckily, he was uninjured, so they walked into the warehouse area. The building was really big, overgrown with ivy and other creeping plants on concrete walls with cracks. There was really tall grass in the whole site, so they had to be careful not to fell in some hole. When they came in front of the main gate, Berek noticed something. “Look guys, a footstep.” he said and pointed on the gravel path, the only place in the area which wasn’t overgrown with grass. A single pair of footsteps was lying there in the dust. “It looks pretty fresh to me.” said Werge. “Do you think someone is here? But why is there only one pair?” asked Arsenio and looked around. Then he saw broken window above the main gate. But what was even more interesting, was the fact that ivy around the window was freshly ripped out. In that moment, Arsenio realised that they are surely not alone. But before he could warn his friends, the gate has opened a little and someone’s head has shown up. It was their teacher of element theory, Hex Alter. “Oh, it’s you, boys. Would you like to come in? I will show you something interesting.” he said with his calm, but also excited voice. Arsenio knew they shouldn’t listen to him. He knew something was wrong with him. After all, peacekeepers took him right away from their lesson. But curiosity is often stronger than fear, so the boys accepted Hex’s invitation and walked in. The warehouse seemed to be even bigger from inside than from outside. There were metal bridges in the four meter height all over it’s circuit. Old wooden boxes and barrels were in the corners, and in the middle, stood something what looked like prestarium altar for elemental activation, built from scrap. “Do you know why elemental activation can be done only in official event?” asked Hex. None of the boys knew the answer, so he continued to explain. “The government just don’t want people to be strong, as they could become uncontrollable. As you may know, you need to spill your own blood on prestarium stone in order to activate elemental power. But the government is using specially modified stones, which will activate the element, but not in the full strength. I must admit that it is really good strategy to maintain the public safety and peace, but I hate liars. That is why I built my own prestarium altar without the weakening modification.”. Arsenio was scared, but also fascinated. “So.. What are you going to do now?” he asked. “Show the truth to the world.” said Hex. “And.. Can I try to activate the elemental power?” asked Arsenio with hope. He always dreamed of controlling one of the elements, and now with Hex’s help, he could become even stronger. “Unfortunately, no. This is one thing government is not lying about. You kids just can’t do it, since your bodies are unprepared. It could activate element in you, but your body wouldn’t be able to stand it. And I already have enough problems.” Then he frowned as if he heard something. “Damn, they are here!” he cursed. “Go hide behind those boxes!” he commanded the boys. They immediately listened to him, and just when they disappeared behind large wooden box, prestarium arrow pierced the window and hit the floor right in front of Hex. In a fraction of second, cage made of floor tiles and concrete grew around him. Diana and Eitan jumped in through broken windows. Hex cursed in anger and broke the cage like it was from glass. The fight began. Bookmark here

“How did you managed to kill them?” asked Axel. They were sitting on a terrace on the third floor of Peacekeeper Central and drinking coffee. Kimia was handcuffed with one hand to metal chair because of the regulations, but she was completely calm and cooperative. “I’m not really sure, but in the moment my body touched the water, I saw something weird. It was as if the world around me disappeared for a while.” she said. “I was standing on a water surface in a plain dark world, where was only giant ocean to be seen. Suddenly, I saw some figure approaching me. It was really tall and majestic, way more perfect than regular human being. But it’s facial expression was somehow familiar and friendly to me. Then, it said that I am good girl and that it is too early for me to go. I was so scared when it came closer to me and absorbed me. After that, I remember only waking up near the corpses with the feeling that I killed them.”. Axel was listening to her really carefully. He was slowly realizing what happened, although it was very unlikely. He waved to his comrade Galen, who brought them glass with water. “Could you please try what I'll tell you?” he asked Kimia. She agreed, so he ordered her to concentrate all her hatred on the glass of water, as if it was the reason behind her tragedy. Kimia took it seriously, and was concentrating with all her power. After few seconds, water started spinning and small vortex appeared in the middle of it. She looked surprised on Axel. “I knew it. Kimia, you somehow gained the power of water. No one knows how it is possible, because the only known way to gain elemental powers is the activation. But now, we have no doubts that you have killed the attackers with your water powers.” He confirmed confidently. “So.. You trust me, mister Axel?” she asked with hope. “Yes, of course. So now I will go report all we have talked about to general Almond. Then he will decide what we will do about you, but don’t worry. He is strict, but also very kind person.” he said and walked to the door, where he turned back to her and smiled. “And for the next time, you can call me just Axel.” he said, and left the terrace. On the end of corridor, he got on the elevator to the last fifth floor, where was the office of general Richard Almond. He had the greatest position among peacekeepers through whole country, as he was the leader of Safety Council. Everyone had respect before him, but Axel knew that in reality, he is really friendly guy. He knocked on his door and walked in. General Almond was short, older man with asian facial features, bald hair and slim moustache. He was sitting behind his desk and smoking cigarette with some herbs. “Hello Axel, so how was the interrogation?” he asked. Axel sat on the chair against him, and told him about everything. General listened to him with great interest. “This is really irregular case.” he said. “That girl may have killed those thugs in self defence, but double murder is double murder. She may be dangerous for the society. How could we ensure that she won’t do any harm to other people? ” he asked. “I took that into consideration sir, and I think that we should train her.” said Axel. “She may be too young, but why would we imprison her, when she can benefit us with her power, while living normal life?”. General asked Axel for a little time to think about it, and after a while, he agreed. Axel was ready to leave, but general had one more task for him. “Few hours ago, a strange natural phenomenon happened in Kurmbor, small town near Tidensby. Stagar has to send inspection there, as we are main city of all elemental countries and Safety Council is based here. Can I count with you?” he asked. “Of course general.” agreed Axel. “I will prepare for it and leave as soon as possible.”.Bookmark here

Chaménos was shocked. The redhead woman, who introduced herself as Nurimi, willingly explained him everything he asked, because he pretended to lost his memory. The truth was that he had no memory about what happened to the world at all. That’s why he felt so desperate when she told him that the world consists of five states known as Great Elemental Countries and that people are using elemental powers, whose appeared more than thousand years ago. That wasn’t the world he knew anymore. But when she was describing him how elemental powers works, he realised what should be done. Bookmark here

“In the name of the Elemental peacekeeper force, we urge you to not resist!” shouted Eitan with powerful voice. “Eitan! Just fight him!” screamed Diana and dodged the concrete ball, which almost hit her. When Hex broke from cage, he immediately started to attack. Diana knew that it will be a tough fight, as he was also using the earth power. When two people with the same element were fighting, it was really difficult to tell who will win, as they could manipulate each other’s attacks. However, Eitan was fighting alongside her, so she was confident. Hex was forming concrete balls out of the ground and throwing them at Eitan and Diana incredibly quick with intention to kill. Both of them were blocking or dodging his attacks pretty easily. Eitan was moving the balls away with wind, while Diana caught some of them and threw back at Hex. He did the the same thing, so their fight looked like a dodgeball match for a while. Suddenly, Eitan pulled out his sword and jumped above Hex, who immediately threw three balls at him. However, Eitan charged all of his power into the sword and sliced all the balls like apples. Then he aimed his attack on Hex, who dodged it in the last second and did something unexpected. He buried himself underground like a mole. Of course, much quicker. “What did he just do?” shouted Eitan on Diana. “He is most likely trying to escape by forming tunnels from the ground and closing them immediately.” she said. “Can’t you just trap him?” asked Eitan. “No, he is too strong! All I can do now is just sense the direction where he is heading. Wait! He climbed out in front of the gate!” she shouted, and started to run. But before she could reach the gate, the front wall collapsed. She didn’t react in time, so it would have killed her, but Eitan used his wind powers and held the ruins until she created concrete pillars whose supported it. Then all of the walls started to collapse at the same time. Arsenio, Werge and Berek were almost dead from fear. They didn’t knew what was happening, because they were hidden all the time. But when the buliding started to fall apart, they have ran out of their hiding place in desperate attempt to survive. Diana and Eitan were rushing away from the warehouse, and they saw the boys, but it was already too late to save them. The warehouse collapsed with the boys inside. “No freakin’ way!” screamed Diana with tears in the eyes. “Why were there children? How were we supposed to save them? ”. Eitan hugged her. “It wasn’t our fault, Diana. There was nothing we could do about it.” he said to comfort her, but in the inside he was broken even more. “We need to call for a reinforcements from both peacekeepers and medical team. And we have to continue pursuing Alter.”. While they were deciding what to do, Arsenio, Werge and Berek were sitting behind the ruins of warehouse with minor injuries, but alive. Few seconds before the falling roof and walls could have killed them, three figures in capes and masks appeared and took them outside with incredible speed and strength. Now the two of them were standing in front of the boys. “Thank you so much for saving us, but who are you?” asked Arsenio, but their saviours were completely quiet. They were just watching them from under their silver masks without mouths or nostrils. “Aren’t you The Shadows?” asked Werge. One of them moved a little and started to talk with completely emotionless voice. “Yes, we use that name sometimes. We are a group that is not controlled by the by the King or the Elemental peacekeepers. We are observing the country from shadows, and when there is a problem greater then anyone else can handle, we strike. Peacekeepers have become weak because of peace. They are lacking training and experience, so there had to become something stronger.” he said. “Does that mean that you will try to catch Hex Alter?” asked Berek. The other Shadow started to talk. “No, we won’t try. We don’t need to try. When we said we will catch him we will. Well, I suppose our colleague already did it.” he said confidently, and was right, because two streets away, a Shadow was putting handcuffs from pure prestarium on unconscious Hex. Just a few seconds ago, he climbed from underground, when he saw the Shadow jumping at him. He quickly made a wall from dirt and stone, but the Shadow just did two extremely fast jumps around it and kicked Hex in the face, knocking him unconscious. Then he handcuffed him, put him around his shoulders and carried him to Eitan and Diana. They were looking at him as a miracle, but he just phlegmatically threw Hex in front of them and went to his comrades. When Arsenio saw what the Shadow has done, he started to think about life more seriously. If the Shadows hasn’t come, he and his friends would be dead, and he could not have done anything about it. In that moment, he realised that just gaining elemental power is not enough. He has to become stronger. No, he will become stronger! Those were the thoughts of naive boy who never experienced any horrors of war or greater conflicts. He was living in the world where Elemental peacekeeper force among all countries had more representative rather than an army or police function. And the peace among countries was so fragile, that it could destroy itself. Bookmark here

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