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The Earth

The young woman sat up, carefully, and looked around. There was dim light coming in through a crack in the wall near the ceiling, but she couldn't tell from it whether it was natural sunlight or some sort of artificial lighting. Looking around at the room, though, it was clear to her that nothing else had changed: she was still in the same, sparse, concrete walled cell as before, and nothing had been added or removed. She held her hand up to the wall, and sighed as she got the same result as when she had tried earlier.

"I didn't sign up for this," she sighed, as she fell back into a lying position on the bed, no longer interested in getting up. She rested there, motionless, hopeless, for an amount of time she couldn't count, until she heard the sound of footsteps approaching. She sat up again, and looked toward the cell door, as a loud screech of rusty rods sliding around the mechanism echoed through the empty room. 

She had to cover her eyes as she looked to the door, as the opening frame let in a bright, blinding light. After a moment, a shadowy figured stepped into the light and entered the room, followed by a second, shorter than the first. They closed the door behind them, and the one in the front turned on a lantern in its hand. "Good to see you are awake, Earth," the man revealed by the light said with a grin.

"What do you want now," she said with a reply, falling backward into a lying position once again, because she was beyond caring at this particular moment. She held her hand up to the wall again, and tried focusing again. Still no result, so she followed with, "as you can see, this cell is supressing my power pretty well." 

"Well of course," said the other figure, a woman, who had stepped forward and put her arm around the man after securing the door closed. "We can't very well allow you to be using your power here, after all, because otherwise it would be pretty difficult to hold you hostage."

The woman turned to look at the two, and then rolled her eyes as the man stole a quick kiss from the girl before they both returned their attention - and a matching pair of sinister smiles - back to her. "Yeah, you had said that before, about the hostage thing. Just how long were you planning on keeping me hostage, anyway?"

"Oh not much longer," the man said. "Fire is now in play, and he's an outsider. And no doubt he will be coming here soon."

For some reason, that thought worried her much more than her captivity did, and she sat up in a panic. "Are you serious? He is out there now?"

He laughed, and turned to the girl at his side. "I don't know. What do you think, Air, do you think I am serious?"  She laughed as well, and removed her hand from around his side. Slowly, in an intimidating fashion, she stepped toward the woman on the bed, and with every step her heart seemed to increase in speed.
"Why of course," she said, raising her hand and placing it to the side of the woman's face. "Water is right, of course." She tapped her hand against her face a couple times, then stepped back, laughing. "Fire will come here, its only natural. And once he is here, we will gain control of him as well."

A full blown panic set in to the woman, as the other two simply laughed. As long as Fire wasn't in play everything was fine, but now that it was, the situation could no longer be predicted. She had been hoping, had been praying, that the game wouldn't begin while she was in captivity, and all their research seemed to indicate that would be the case.

But as she looked at the two, who simply laughed some more and turned to leave the room, her heart sank, as she realized their research was considerably wrong already. There's no way these two would have passed through the background checks if the information was correct, they were already a far more unstable element than their plans had been expecting. They had relied on it being carefully controlled for years, but now with so much instability, there was now a real danger to the world. Laying back once again, she began to think through the situations. Now, with Water and Air's instability, and Fire's currently unknown factor, there was now a real danger that life on the planet could be destroyed.

Mon, 17 Jan 2011 13:00:00 -0600

The Fire

The young man fumbled with his keys, struggling to find the right one that would open his door and let him in to his apartment. He longed to be inside, where he could at last turn on a heater and warm his body some, granting him a slight reprieve from the freezing blizzard that continued to rage outside. Finally finding the key, he shoved it into the lock before his shaking hands made him drop them, and unlocked the door.

"Your a hard man to find," came a voice from in the room, startling him as he closed the door and making him drop his keys. He turned, looking around, but could see nobody from which the voice might have come. Cautiously, he pulled the gloves from his fingers and grabbed for the wooden bat by his door, and walked into the walkway into his apartment's kitchen. There wasn't anybody that he could see in that room, either.

"I've been looking for you for weeks, you know." The voice came from behind him, and he quickly turned and swung the bat toward the sound before he could even see it. A hand blocked it, and before he could react further it pried the bat from his frozen fingers and tossed it aside. It was a haggard looking mand, with long, unkempt hair and a face full of wrinkles, but what set him off the most was the man's eyes. Instead of whites they were as black as coal they sat in his sockets, but with irises as red as a ruby.

The old man smiled a wide, toothy smile, as he began to reach into his weathered trenchcoat for something. Taking a step back, the young man darted his eyes around, hoping quickly that some other sort of weapon was within arm's reach, a gesture to which the old man simply laughed. Removing his hand from his trenchcoat, the old man didn't show a weapon, but simply a cube. "It's a new year," he said as he held it forward, "and time for a new game to begin. But too bad for you, the other's have already started playing."

Cautiously, the young man took the cube, after the old man shook it towards him a few times. The cube was roughly the size of his palm, and ornately detailed with gold, silver, all sorts of precious jewels. On four of the faces, around the sides, there were carvings of triangles: two of them pointing up, two of them pointing down, and with a line running through one of each of them. "Have you wondered," the old man said with another smile, "why the weather is so strange as of late?"

"You see," the old man continued, turning and walking out of the doorway to the kitchen toward the front door. Cautiously, the young man followed, still holding the cube in his hand. "The Ancients were more right than modern science believes. Things can be reduced down to just four classic elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. These four elements control every aspect of life, lord over all elements of modern science, and keep the weather in a delicate balance." He turned back to the young man, and smiled again. "And the power to control them comes from that cube."

The old man held out his hand for the cube, but before the young man could hand it to him he quickly touched something on one of the free sides. The box suddenly began to vibrate, and the young man tried to drop it, however it stuck to his palm. One of the triangles then lit up, glowing a bright red, and a strange feeling overcame the young man. He was no longer cold, no longer still struggling to move from the chill that was lingering in his body. He felt warm, as if a gentle fire was coursing through his veins.

"You are now Fire," the old man said, as he grabbed at cube and removed it from his hand easily. "Four elements, four players, a new year brings the game to begin again. But unfortunately for you, the others started early." The old man placed the cube back into the recess of his coat, and with his other hand turned the door handle and pulled the door open. A pickup of the wind blew it into the wall and snow flew in through the opening, but strangely, the young man did not feel cold from the wind or snow.

"This blizzard is not natural, you see," the old man said. "Water and Air started started early, and have allied themselves together. And they have taken Earth as a hostage, which leaves you the only free player left to fight them." The old man turned to walk out the door, but before he could, the young man reached forward to grab at his shoulder. As he put his hand on the man's coat, a sudden flame burst from his hand, and began to spread across the coat.

"I don't understand," the young man said, and was met with a laugh. The old man did not react otherwise, as the flames spread out along his jacket.

"You have to bring the elements back into balance," he said in reply, face suddenly serious. "Or human life on this planet will probably ceace to exist as the weather shifts into an ice age from Air and Water's collaborations."

"I don't want that on my hands! Don't I have a choice in this?"

"No," the old man said, as he stepped out into the snow, vanishing in another blast of wind and snow. "You have no choice," came his voice, echoing on the wind.

Sat, 01 Jan 2011 15:00:00 -0600