Chapter 10:

Chapter 10: Selena's Choice


Selena woke up on the stage in a chair. Her head was spinning as if she had ridden a roller coaster with a few too many twists and turns. She could not even sit up for a moment and wondered where she was. As she finally did, she hit her head against something firm. Selena managed to muster enough strength to sit up straight and realized that she was staring into someone’s back. “But… I’m gunna…,” she said babbling and unable to form words.

The teleportation, unbeknownst to her, had zapped her of all motor skills and left her temporarily semi-paralyzed. She took a deep breath. The ringing in her ears was finally replaced by the roaring of the crowd. Selena could hear what they were saying.

“Round one over! Round one over! Round one over!”

Selena realized in that moment she had lost. She was mad. Where was that weird guy? She should use him like a punching bag. Looking around though, she realized that she could no longer see him. She looked to her left and realized that she was surrounded by the elite guards. Farther down the stage was the weird guy in seat three and his face looked pretty banged up. She wondered if she was the one who did it?
Fighting back a smile, she turned her face back around. A big television screen opened in front of the stage that she was sitting on, and it showed Ailita still on the arena floor. She performed the gesture of reverence and then raised her hands in victory. The crowd went wild. Ailita picked up what Selena assumed to be old spear and jabbed herself with it disappearing in a flash of light.

Instead of appearing in the chair marked for first place, Ailita appeared on the stage to a roar of applause. To that note, the priest said, “And with that, round one has now drawn to a close!” He clapped his hands and said, “Congratulations to Ailita from Protogenia on her victory! Now, the first round of the sphere selection process can begin!”

Two robed, hooded figures stepped onto the strange carrying a box in between them. One was dressed in all green and the other in all blue. The box opened revealing the spheres. “Now for the rules. You only get one sphere per individual. Once you touch the sphere for the first time, wherever it touches your body next, is where the sphere will be absorbed into your body. Should you make a mistake, you cannot re-do this part. Let me repeat, you cannot do this part over again, SO CHOOSE WISELY. Bear in mind too that that is the sport that you will tap to access your magic. So, should it be absorbed into your foot, you may have a problem in the future.” A few chuckles rang out from the audience.

“Do you have any questions?” the priest asked Ailita.

“None,” responded Ailita.

“Then by the power vested in me as the high priest of Altheggan, step forward competitor and choose your sphere!” Selena could not see anything other than someone’s back, so she had no idea what was in the box. Ailita gazed over the box twice and then reached forward, pulling out a sphere. “The first sphere is Darkness!” yelled the priest. The crowd roared in excitement. “Wow! What an amazing starting choice!” The priest carried on. “Now please make sure that the symbol, on the sphere is facing up when you touch it to your body.” Ailita placed the sphere on the inside of her left arm. Within seconds, she gently pushed it into her body and she was done. The sphere was gone.

“The sphere is waaaaaaaaaay bigger than I thought it would be,” Selena thought. She stood up and made sure that she was ready and camera presentable. “Come forward contestant number two!” beckoned the priest. Selena received a nudge from the elite guard and shot him a dirty look. She didn’t need anyone telling her what to do.

Taking a deep breath she stepped up to the box and prepared herself mentally for what she was about to see. She stole a good side glance at the hooded priest to see what he actually looked like. He had a long, rough, amber-colored beard. His eyes were a dark red too. The priest was expressionless when he was not speaking. A glance into his eyes showed that he was enjoying being the center of attention. His knuckles had deep scars over them as if he had fought long ago. She wrinkled her nose. He smelled of musk; a very heavy musk at that. Sliding a hand over her nose to try and block out the stench, he looked down at her from the podium.

“Are you ready?” he asked.

“Yes,” Selena said without a trace of hesitation. He gestured towards the box.

“Then choose one and go forth to the race of regeneration!”

Selena took a deep breath before gazing downward. Looking into the box, she noted two Sea spheres that glistened in the sunlight. Next, she counted three Earth spheres. After that was, … Selena stopped. She had reached the end of the box. Getting progressively more and more irritated, she realized that they were not all going to be shown the same box. This box contained those five spheres. That was it. She did not have the option to choose a Flame sphere as there were none. Instead of sticking to Michael’s plan, they were going to have to improvise. Selena was feeling her anger reaching a crescendo and she was close to short circuiting from anger, irritation, and frustration. She closed her eyes and reached forward. Someone would just have to deal with her choice. Either Michael or Jodoc was going to have to get over themselves. She felt her hands close down on a sphere and she held it up.