[CHAPTER 4 - INFORMATION OVERLOAD]
“Ain’t it crazy how you think you got your whole life planned,
just to find that it was never ever in your hands.
There was a knock on the door. Alex ran to the balcony and closed the doors behind him.
“Come in,” I called.
The door opened and Dad walked in. He smiled at me and came to give me a hug. “I’m so glad you’re awake.”
“How long was I out for?” I asked. The question had just occurred to me.
“3 days,” he answered. “We were all so worried.”
“I’m alright,” I said. “I mean, I could be worse.”
“I know,” he said. “Listen I know you want to know everything but I can’t tell you. The Crosses are coming over soon so get changed and come downstairs as quick as you can, okay?”
“Okay Dad,” I answered. When I was taking a shower, I noticed that I had a black six-pointed star on my stomach, above my belly-button. It looked like a tattoo! Where did it come from? I decided to ask Edward about it later on. I changed into blue jeans and a plain white T-shirt. Tying my hair into a side pony, I put a necklace with a silver cross on. It was then I realized that I didn’t have my charm bracelet on. I must have left it in Alex’s bedroom. “Dammit.” I would get in back from him later. I slipped a pair of flat, black shoes on and went downstairs.
As I approached the living room, I realized that the Crosses were already there. I entered the room and all eyes turned to me. My mom jumped up and gave me and hug that suffocated me.
“Mom,” I said. She didn’t let go. “Mom, I still hurt.”
She let go of me immediately. “I’m sorry honey. I’m just so glad to see that you’re awake.”
I sat down and the two women went into the kitchen. Mom came back with a coffee for me and then left again.
“I’m going to explain everything to you Tori because I know that you are probably curious to know,” Edward said.
I nodded to confirm what he was saying. I was aching to know. Literally.
“For centuries, there have been creatures in the world. Evil creatures that kill and hunt humans. So 100,000 years ago, a group of people made an organization called The Order to hunt and kill these creatures and protect humans. There were 12 families that were selected by The Order. One person was chosen from within these families and it was their responsibility to rid the world of all evil. There were 6 males and 6 females. These 12 were granted with special powers to help them with this. To keep this secret from others, The Order branded each of the 12 with special marks. There were 6 marks that were used. The 12 were paired using these marks. Each mark made a couple and these couples were to carry on the legacy by having children and passing on the powers that they got. Whenever there is danger, these powers are activated inside the chosen ones and they must fight to protect everyone.” He took a sip of his tea.
“What are the 6 marks?” I asked.
“Star, Diamond, Spiral, Triangle, Circle and Square,” he answered. “When the original 12 were paired they had no idea who their partner was. They found this out during a planetary alignment ceremony which occurs once every 5000 years,” he explained.
“Wow!” I whispered.
“I have been searching for this generation’s 12 for so long. We need all 12 in one place for the planetary alignment to reveal the partners. The 12 aren’t allowed to know anyone else’s mark until that night or their powers will not be granted. And now that we have all 12, we are finally ready,” he sounded excited.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I’m part of an elite team of superheroes. This sort of thing doesn’t happen. I was silent and no-one else spoke as I took in this new and shocking information.
I swallowed and decided to speak. “What was with the Minotaur?”
“That was initiation. All of the 12 have to be initiated so that their mark will appear on their body. Also, the initiation confirms that you are one of the 12 because if you’re not you probably wouldn’t be alive,” Alex explained. “Have you found a mark on your body?”
I nodded. The star.
“You have to be careful and make sure that no-one else sees your mark. None of the others must know your mark, whether you show them on purpose or they see it accidently,” Edward said. “Do you understand?”
“Yes,” I said.
“The marks also have a hierarchy,” Alex said. “The couple who have the stars are the leaders and they are expected to lead the entire team and take charge whenever necessary.”
I was about to scream ‘what?’ but I realized that they would find out that I was a star. I have to lead the group with one of the guys! “So we have to accept whoever we end up with.”
Edward nodded. “I know it sounds unfair but there’s nothing I can do. The Order are the only people who know who the couples are. They can change the marks if they want to but they never have,” he said.
This was getting worse and worse by the second. I had to be with one of them for the rest of my life and I couldn’t do anything about it. Then I realized something. “What about Helia and Flora?” I asked. “They love each other so much. It’ll destroy them if they don’t end up together.”
“They know that and they have accepted what could happen,” Edward said.
I sighed. “Is there anything else?”
“Once the ceremony is completed, The Order will test all of the 12. The leaders will be tested more so than the others. The others will only be tested as a team of all 12,” Alex answered. He paused and looked at me for a moment before asking: “Are you alright?”
“Honestly, I really don’t know,” I answered. I put my elbows on my thighs and rested my head in my hands. What if I couldn’t do any good? What if I got someone killed or got killed myself?
I felt an arm around my shoulder and I looked to see who it was. Dad. He was smiling at me. I smiled back slightly. “Don’t worry. You’ll do just fine. I know it,” he said. It was like he had read my mind but I know it was just because he knew me too well.
I hugged him. “Thanks Dad.”
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