Chapter 2:

Part 1- Chapter 2

Snowflake and Butterknife

Edwin and Harper returned to school a week later. The construction was short and there were still several parts of the school that had damage from the fighting. The autumn air was crisp as they walked across the campus.

“You got to do your weekly?” Harper asked.

“Yeah, i'll let you know when I get out of it.” Edwin said. They were excused from their last check up that would have been the other day on account of the events of last week. Now though he had to meet Mr. Demond for more check ups.

The check ups were used to evaluate whether or not Mageye’s should be promoted to a higher class, something Edwin was trying to avoid.

The two separated, Harper heading to her classes and Edwin to the large domes building. The place was a requirement for larger campuses, a training area for Mageye’s.

The inside was pretty much just a gym with hardwood floors and high ceilings. Most of the floors were cheap and easy to replace as they got damaged frequently. They were told to avoid causing damage but sometimes things happened.

Two others were already in the room. They both sat against the wall and chit chatted. One was Lucas, he was taller with flowing blonde hair and a lanky build. Next to him was Percy, he was short and non descript. He had black hair and asian heritage, yet he didn't seem to stand out too much.

“Yo Edwin.” Lucas said, noticing Edwin enter. “Heard about what happened, you look like ass.”

“I feel fine.” Edwin said, rolling his left arm. It had healed quickly, something he was thankful for.

“He always looks like ass Lucas.” Percy said with a sigh.

Edwin wasn't sure if he was being insulted or not.

“Thanks for sending me with Lucas.” Percy said. “Doubt I would have been of much help against that explosion guy.”

Edwin spotted Percy’s mark. It was under the sleeve of his shirt, a luxury that he was allowed. The mark showed a yellow theater mask. The mark of an Illusionist. Percy’s ability was the ability to alter his appearance, it was viewed as a threat due to the possibilities of what you could do with the ability.

“No problem.” Edwin said, taking a seat near them against the wall.

“Yeah well I handled them fine.” Lucas said with a laugh. Lucas’s mark was on the collar of his shirt, usually visible better when he wore a V neck like today. It was the symbol of a Green Leg. He was an Enhancer type, his ability allowed him to power up his legs in particular. Edwin had seen Lucas cause the most damage to the floors with his kicks and jumps.

“Yeah we got the easy one.” Percy said. “Plus you caught him by surprise, so it worked out great!”

The doors opened to reveal the last member of this training club. Justin was a shorter kid, a year younger then Edwin. He and Edwin were the only two who wore hoodies constantly, though for different reasons. He had long unkempt hair and a timid nature.

“Yo Justin!” Lucas yelled out. Justin visibly flinched. “Chill, fighting is over champ.”

Justin’s mark was on his forearm but was covered by his jacket. It showed a blue tornado. He was a Manipulator like Edwin. The term Manipulator was a recent change, they used to be known as Evokers and some people still call them that. It came from a misunderstanding of how the abilities worked.

Many believed that Edwin’s ability allowed him to create ice from nothing, or summoned it from somewhere else. But that just wasn't true, he manipulated the air around where his hand touches. He can lower the temperature and freeze the moisture in the air, though he noticed he can also add moisture to the air if it is too dry.

Justin’s ability was the ability to manipulate the air around him, forming a small tornado on himself. It was surprisingly dangerous, and gave him a form of flight. Though, he was scared to use it.

Justin took a seat farther away from the group and waited. Mr Demond was late, as usual. He didn't take this job seriously and tended to waste their time regularly. When he did arrive, he had a guest with him.

“Is that a priest?” Lucas whispered, but it echoed in the room.

He did look like a priest, that was for sure. The man was in his late thirties or early forties, he had short blonde hair that was well maintained. His black garb had the tell tale white collar of a christian priest. The man had kind blue eyes, and his hands revealed his Mageye nature. On the backs of both of his hands were two blue suns. A Manipulator.

“Alright you lot, today we got a guest from the Council.” Mr. Desmond said, waving at the man.

A member of the council? No, he was most likely a consultant of some kind, right?
“Hello there, it is nice to meet you all.” The priest said. The students had all lined up and he was looking them all up and down. “My name is Metatron, but please call me Met.”

What kind of name was that? It had to be a chosen name not one his parents named him right?

“As Mr. Desmond has stated, I am here from the Council. Though in reality I am a member of the Peacekeepers. I have been instructed to take over as your instructor from here on out.” Met said with a wide smile. “I hope we can all work together, does anyone have any questions?”

Everyone was quiet.

Met chewed on his tongue. “Okay, well lets start with introductions. Oh Mr. Desmond you may leave now.”

“What but.”

“That's okay Sir, your services are no longer needed, you may leave.” Met said, cutting off Mr. Desmond before he could finish his thought.

Mr. Desmond gave Met a look, but left. Did this guy pull that much weight that he could be rude like that to him?

Met watched as Mr. Desmond left, then turned back to the group. “Alright then, will you all introduce yourself to me now?”

Lucas raised a hand. “I have a question.”

“Oh sure, you may ask it after introductions.” Met said, a small vein appearing on his head. It was clear he was patient, but he was getting annoyed at being ignored.

“My name is Lucas. Why are you replacing Mr. Desmond?”

“Oh good question Lucas.” Met said with a big smile. “I was asked to come here for your protection. As you probably know attacks by the ACO have been happening frequently in this area. In order to hopefully counter them quicker I was stationed at this school. Who’s next?”

“My name is Percy sir.” Percy said.

“It's nice to meet you Percysir.” Met teased.

“No it's Percy.” Percy said shyly.

“Sorry, just a little humor, it is nice to meet you Percy.”

“I am Justin.” Justin stated, stepping forward for the address, then back when he finished.

Edwin was all that was left. “Edwin.”

“It is a pleasure to meet you all. Now, I would like to do a little test of your abilities, is that okay?” Met asked.

They all nodded.

“Great, so for you combat based users I would like to have a short spare with you.” Met said.

“You want us to fight you?” Justin said in shock.

“Yes, I of course will not try to hurt you, just repel you.” Met said. “I will also inform you of my ability so you have an idea of what to expect.” Met raised a hand and the light around it began to solidify into a whip like substance. “I manipulate the light around me into these whips, they are solid and can cause some damage if you are not careful. I can also manipulate the state of the whips, making them blunt or sharp for example. Oh I am also not limited to whips, I control light entirely. I just prefer this method.”

Light manipulation was an interesting ability to Edwin.

“Okay, Edwin, you will go first. I understand you are an Ice manipulator correct?” Met asked.

“That is correct.” Edwin said with a nod.

“Great, this will be great, everyone please give us some room.”

Edwin lowered himself to the ground to prepare for an assault. Before he attacked he came to a realization. This man was testing him, to see if he should be promoted to A class. That in mind, Edwin had to hold back.

He tapped the ground and sent his ice out at Met. Edwin had put in the effort to make sure the ice did not spike up, instead staying as blunt chunks. As the ice neared Met, it shattered. Met had slapped the ice with his whip and that was enough to break it apart. Was it heat from the light?

Edwin didnt waste a breath and began to circle Met. Met was right handed, wheres Edwin was left handed. He decided to go for Met’s left side, his opening. Using his right hand, Edwin sent the ice out again. Met whipped the light out at the ground where it dug into the wood floors. Using the whip, Met pulled himself out of the way of the attack. Then, using his left hand, Met created another whip and lashed it at Edwin.

The light struck him across the chest, sending him flying back in a tumble. He was getting a little tired of these people treating him like a ragdoll.

While still tumbling, he twisted his body and let his feet lift him up. The force threatened to drag him back to the ground, but he stabilized in time and was rushing forward headlong. Edwin had to stay close to the ground to use his ability, as such he had learned how to lean so far forward that he could just about tap the ground without much effort.

Edwin wasn't thinking clearly, the lash across his chest had aggravated him. He used both hands and sent two waves of ice out at Met, aiming to trap him between the two. Met let the trap resolve, leaving him stuck in a hall between ice walls.

Edwin went to send the final wave into the center, but stopped. He spotted Met’s wrist twist, sending a light lash at him. The option was simple, hit Met and get hit himself, or dodge and let Met escape his trap.

Swearing under his breath, Edwin chose to dodge by creating a path of ice, then letting his body slide across it. The lash flew over head and swung around to hit one of the ice walls.

“Stop.” Met said sharply.

Edwin panted as he stood from his ice path.

“Good, nice work.” Met clapped. “The ice is an interesting ability, and you had some interesting ideas to fight with it. You even have mobility with that ice path of yours. You could be a great warrior someday.”

Shit, that wasn't what he wanted Met to see, he got to blind sighted by the damage he took on.

“Alright, can you clear this ice and we will continue on?” Met said.

They were dismissed after sparing was completed. Edwin gathered his things but was stopped by Met.

“Can we talk for a moment?”

The two stood alone in the room as everyone left. Edwin eyed the man intently.

“Well, you impressed me.” Met said with a laugh. He had sat on the floor with crossed legs. He offered a seat for Edwin, which he awkwardly took.

“Thank you.” Edwin said, wondering what to expect.

“Skills like that would make you a promising Peacekeeper.” Met stated.

Edwin flinched.

“I see, you aren't interested in that. Tell me what are your career aspirations?” Met asked.

“I am studying to become a history teacher.” Edwin stated.

“A teacher, what a fine profession.” Met said happily. “What encouraged that idea?”

Edwin held back. He didn't trust this man, and he wasn't big on sharing his passion.

“Just what I want to do.” Edwin said. Not many people knew why Edwin had picked the teaching field, his parents hated the idea, and Harper loved it. It wasnt complicated, he wanted to teach the next generation. He wanted to help get in their heads that Mageye’s were good people while they were young. He hoped to kill the hate towards Mageye.

Met, never breaking his smile, eyed Edwin. It felt like he was looking directly into his soul.

“Why are you dressed like that?” Edwin asked after several awkward moments.

Met looked down at his clothes. “Because I want to. You see, I am a bit of a preacher. You can find me at a nearby church on sundays.”

“But, do people even still believe in god?” Edwin asked. Religion had died out over the last sixty years, on account of magic becoming common place. The population was over eighteen percent Mageye, reports saying that within the next ten years it will increase to twenty five percent. Made people wonder if there was a god. Most of those people were non Mageye who thought they were good enough people to earn blessings from gods. Weirdly, those same people now are anti Mageye groups.

“Their faith in god is low.” Met stated. “But religion teaches other things. The bible can be viewed as a guideline for how to be a good person.”

Edwin wasn't the biggest fan of religion. His parents were religious nuts, they thought they were good people because they went to church. Thinking that just doing that alone was enough to be good people, yet behind closed doors they were anything but.

“You should come to one of my lectures. I do not push belief on people, but instead try to instill principles and tolerance.” Met said.

“Why even do that?” Edwin asked.

For the first time, Edwin saw a hint of what was behind Met’s smile. In a fraction of a second, Edwin could see the pain and anguish behind the man's eyes.

“I was once a soldier.” Met stated. “I served on a squad with many other Mageye, we fought over in Australia a good twenty years ago. I saw some terrible things there. When I returned to the states I decided I wanted to make a difference. I began to study religion to help change this world, even in a small way.”

Edwin didn't have a response. He was talking about the war that broke out before Edwin was even born. It was the first time Australia had risen up from the ashes, and were quickly snuffed out again. They say the war was devastating on both sides. It had been organized by the Mageye Council, the ones who govern over the Mageye’s, and back then they were far more strict on recruitment. Even C classes were conscripted to be soldiers back then.

It served as a reminder to Edwin that they were one war away from losing their dreams. If a war broke out now, Edwin would be forced to give up on school and become a soldier whether he wanted it or not.

“What did you want to talk about?” Edwin said. “I have somewhere to be.”

Met regained his smile. “Right, sorry. I was hoping for you to assist me. If you hear any rumors about ACO members, bring them to me. I also wanted to tell you, I will do whatever I can to make sure you do not get promoted.”

Edwin’s eyes shot up. “Wait, what do you mean promoted?”

Met stood up to leave. “Based on your abilities, you should be made into an A class. Be glad that idiot Desmond was lazy or you would have been already. I will be trying to keep you from being promoted as best as I can, I dont like that the council wants to add A classes to their armies. We are in peace times, its time to focus on rebuilding. If we keep removing all promising youths from our communities, Mageye acceptance will go nowhere.”

Edwin stood. “Thank you.” He said, in shock. He qualified for A class, but this man who was sent by the council itself was trying to keep him from it. Maybe he was safe.

Met began to walk away with a wave. “Just let me know if you hear anything about the ACO.”

Edwin stood in disbelief. Once he regained his composure he began to leave. He would meet Harper near the cafeteria. As he walked, he spotted Justin. He was looking shifty. Edwin was sure he didn't mean to, yet he couldn't help but notice. Why did he look so nervous?

He decided to ignore it, and went to find Harper. 

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