============== Rotation 6/21/XX
Freja stared down the volcano, heat tickling her caramel-skinned bare arms. The glowing lava flooded a caldera at the elevated top of the lofty volcano, with a small black sand beach in one corner. Taking a fire-proof wristband, she pulled her cherry-red hair into a tight ponytail, her gold and silver wrist guards gleaming in the light. She struggled out of her combat boots and began to wade into the magma.
Freja and the rest of Team Fire always stayed to the shallow end of the caldera, where the healing lava recharged their powers. The entire team could withstand the lava's heat, but due to their nature, it came as naturally as swimming in water -- which they couldn't do.
"Freja! You were supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago!" called another girl, brown hair pulled up into a topknot.
"Agnayi," Freja nodded in greeting, "Training late."
"You know to call me Aggie. Come on, Bridget and Adoh are already in the rest area." Agnayi swam over to Freja, sinking into the lava a bit.
Aggie needed the lava more than Freja or the twins -- her powers were directly tied to the volcano. She could summon orbs of lava from her palms.
None of the girls could stay in the volcano very long, for their clothes' sake. They were fire-resistant, sure... but let's just say experience gave them some insight.
"Let's go," Freja sighed.
Aggie and Freja swam over to the 'rest area', an especially shallow part of the magma-filled caldera that had bench-like shelves submerged around the perimeter.
"Primary ma'am!" one of the girls saluted Freja as soon as she entered the area, and Freja waved it off.
"You don't have to do that every time I enter a room," Freja chuckled at Bridget, who looked like a deer caught in headlights.
"It's our solstice, Freja. You can't just train the night away! The three of us are spending most of the night in the volcano," Aggie sighed, "You need to recharge. Look at your lava spots!"
Freja glanced at her shoulder, where she had a permanent marking of her fire powers. There was a section of skin on her shoulder that gave the appearance of magma, orange and glowing and had little 'boulder' patches of skin that dotted the magma. All the girls had them, in different places.
Freja's lava spots were duller than usual, a sure sign of overusing one's powers.
"I had a good reason!" Freja protested, "Sparring with the Primary of Team Aether."
There was a collective intake of breath.
"You did what?"
"Did you win?"
"Why are you allowed to see the other teams?"
"Shush! One question at a time." Freja sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose.
"Okay," Adoh began, "how'd it go?"
"Jenn is surprisingly agile, but I won eventually." Freja smiled, rubbing her bruised leg under the lava's surface. Jenn was indeed the Primary of Team Aether, and all of their team got wings. Jenn had powerful bird wings that shone in the sunlight.
The Primaries of each team were allowed to see each other occasionally, to spar and talk about the progress of the team on honing their powers. That night was a solstice, one of the days when powers were the strongest. The Summer solstice belonged to the Fire and Aether teams.
"So why can't we see the other teams?" Aggie asked gently.
"I... I don't know why," Freja said cautiously.
YOU ARE READING
The IslandGeneral Fiction
Sixteen kids. Four elements. Four teams. Three ranks. Three days. One fate. The Island is a place of forgetting -- no one can remember more than a few weeks of their life there, despite inhabiting the island alone for a number of years. Fire, Ai...