Chapter 5:

Chapter 5: Choices


“Crap. Crap. Crap. Double Crap. And then more crap. How had this happened?”

Michael had just answered everyone’s request with a simple well-rounded argument, and suddenly in a matter of less than thirty seconds, he had been elected, against his will, the leader of this group. He groaned again. This time, he didn’t try to hide his feelings.

“Well… we are waiting for your vote,” Iovita pushed with a giant grin. Jodoc had an equally large grin plastered on his face. Michael wanted to smack that smug smile right off of her and her brother’s faces, but alas, he could not.

“I mean it’s not like I really have a say anyway because you all have made up your minds about this,” Michael said.

“Well, you were the first in the room,” pointed out Selena. “You also were the one who tried to take charge in the beginning to introduce yourself which shows you know when you need to get things done.”

“She is selling me up the river. Ugh I don’t want this.” Michael was not thrilled at the prospect of being a leader.

Now it seemed Jovoc wanted to keep the flow up support going. “You were totally cool about it when I was rude in the beginning. That shows us that you can be responsible as well and you aren’t easily swayed.”

“You also were very patient listening to everyone talk about what kind of rule we wanted to establish within the group. That’s why I think you’re qualified,” chimed in Luna.

“No, no. I actually was daydreaming while you all were doing that. Crap. Crap. Crap.” Michael sighed and took a deep breath. “Well I guess that if it is the will of the group, then I supposed it is settled. I will be the leader. Thanks for choosing me.” With a group of nods all around, everyone was in agreement. They still did need to fill out this form.

At a glance, it seemed like a pretty standard contract form. It had the seal of Altheggan along with that of the temple next to it. Michael started skimming it while reading aloud. “We the members of group four… blah blah blah… agree that we will affirm a leader… that leader is… Blah blah blah… I write my name here,” he said showing the form to the group. “Then you all have to write your names and sign next to them underneath. That is what seals this deal.” It took less than thirty seconds for them to finish the form. Now that everyone was so calm, it flowed actually quite easily. Michael glanced at the clock. 8:25 am. They needed to get rolling on what they were going to do about their elements.

“I’m sorry to cut everyone off, but now we need to talk about the sphere selection ceremony and what elements we are all going for. We can’t afford to choose the same elements, so let’s decide now what we are going to do. We do have a slight advantage since we have a fifth member; but this could also mean that the other teams get an additional member instead too. It could potentially give us a leg up on our competition.” Jodoc and Iovita grinned looking at each other.

“Well then leader, why don’t you go first,” they said in unison. Michael was now sold on being the leader. At least this way, he could get the element that he wanted. “Well we have six elements to choose from: Flame, Sea, Earth, Sky, Light and Darkness. If it’s okay with everyone, I would like to choose Sea. Is that okay?”

“Aww,” Iovita countered, I really did want Sea, but if you want it…,” she winked at him, “then I guess I need to let you lead us in the way you see fit.”

“Oh man. She’s cute. It’s official.” Michael said to himself.

Selena was next to speak up. “Then why don’t we agree to be polar opposites and I will choose Flame.”

“Is that because it matches your eyes and temperament?” Jodoc teased snickering.

Selena looked across the table at him, eyes full of rage and simply said, “I. will. end. you.” Jodoc put up his hands in surrender, laughing, and Michael decided it was time to keep it moving.


Luna quite eagerly threw her hand in the air and said, “Light!”

The longest pause followed as everyone turned and stared at Luna. They could feel time moving, the pause was so long. “You’re joking right?” said Jodoc.

“Why would I joke about my element?” Luna countered with a semi-hurt expression.

“Because you’re dressed in all black from head to toe, and Light doesn’t seem like it would be your forte,” Michael thought. Thankfully, everyone was spared because no one said it. “Okay so then twins, Jodoc and Iovita, what do you two want?” Michael asked.

The twins suddenly had a very serious expression and it seemed as if they were almost communicating telepathically. “We suppose then, we will go after Earth and Sky. That way, there is another set of opposites that are balanced since Jodoc and I are evenly matched,” Iovita stated.

Jodoc decided his two cents were necessary saying, “Well actually I am slightly stronger, but it is a very good point. Another balanced pair like us sounds like a great idea. I vote yes.” This earned him another smack upside the back of his head and a huff followed by a glare from Iovita.

“Okay so we have myself with Sea, Selena with Flame, Luna has Light, and then Jodoc has Earth, and Iovita has Sky. Does this sound agreeable to everyone?” Michael asked. “Yes!” was the resounding response.

Michael took another deep breath. He still hadn’t told them about what Squawky had said. He explained his encounter to the group regardless to ensure that they understood that while these were the elements that they wanted and hoped to receive, it was not guaranteed. “Well this sucks,” Jodoc said afterwards.

Selena was looking irritated too and said, “I really wish that they would have told us this beforehand!”

Luna and Iovita were looking upset and Michael decided to spearhead it before it got out of control. “Does anyone remember how the selection process went last time?”

“Oh I do! It was a lottery,” Selena exclaimed. Catching herself, she cleared her throat and was oddly calm as she explained. For the last couple of Races for Regeneration, or RFR for short, there was a lottery and everyone was assigned a number. Once your number was called, you had three spheres to choose from at random. The problem was, the next two people have to choose from the same lot, so the second person has two to choose between, while the third person had no choice. That was how, a few races ago, one team ended up with three Sea spheres and lost horribly. The worst part though, is that each individual was locked in a soundproof box that was completely opaque. So, you could not see what the previous person had chosen until after you made your choice. Everyone was a little on edge since Michael had just told everyone what Squawky had said about this year being different.

The piano music began to play softly in the background again.

“We all need to show a strong face because public opinion is everything. If we show a united front, even though my planet isn’t doing well, and neither are Selena’s nor Jodoc and Iovita’s, it could help us greatly. Everyone loves an underdog. That is a fact.” Michael looked at the group. “We just need to keep one final thought in mind. Due to the fact that there will be a member from Protogenia somewhere amongst us, we need to make sure that we always stay one step ahead of them in this race.” As soon as he said this, everyone looked down.

Protogenia was the final planet in the race because the Temple of Altheggan was on one of its moons. The race would always slightly favor the group that had the Protogenia in it because the temple was not about to let anything negative happen to their own planet. Not to mention too, Altheggan resided within the temple. Well, his presence did. So, naturally he was going to give them a slight advantage. Which in retrospect, was really unfair, but the temple always did try to keep the race slightly fair by rotating the Protogenian through the pairs of different candidates each time. It was almost a blessing when the Protogenian was paired with a group from a constantly losing group of planets because not only did it give them the upper hand, but the public also viewed them favorably. There had never ever been a time in the history of the races that a Protogenian had been on a losing team. It just was something that did not happen. Remember, even coming in third or fourth, was better than last, because nothing happened and the planet itself would just continue as is.

They all decided as a group though, that they would stick to their original elements as need be. The group continued to chat and make small talk for a while, and before they knew it, it was already 8:55am. “Well I guess that about sums up everything that we have the luxury of being able to talk about for the time being,” Michael stated. They chatted for a bit more.

Michael consciously noted that the piano music was once again playing in the background.