Okay, I’m posting this for the people on the HIVE forums. Please tell me if it’s rubbish and I’ll rewrite it.
‘Come on, we’d better get Sam, we’re going to be late!’ Megan pulled Jonah through the crowd, heading in the opposite direction to everyone else.
‘He’s probably already on the shuttle, you know him.’ Jonah tried to pull in the other direction. He didn’t want to be dragged around by Megan, he wanted to be on the shuttle. But Megan read his mind.
‘You just want the shuttle to be off so you can see her again.’ When I say she read his mind, I mean literally. It was part of her power, like it was part of Jonah’s to be persuasive. But he wasn’t persuasive enough for the mind reader. ‘Honestly, it’s bad enough that you’ll talk about her non-stop to anyone who’d listen, but then I have to hear you think about her every spare minute. Ever since the winter solstice, it’s got worse. Her powers are growing and you know it. The only guy she doesn’t have an effect on is Sam, which is why we need him to keep your head on straight.’ They arrived at Sam’s room. Jonah pounded on the door and called,
‘Sam, get out here, we’re gonna be late!’ No answer but a small shriek. ‘Sam, c’mon, Megs is killin’ me!’ Still no answer. ‘Okay, buddy, I don’t care if you’re decent or what, I’m comin’ in there!’ Jonah placed his hand on the door and it slid open. The room looked empty. He and Megan came further forward. The duvet was bundled up on the bed and it shivered as they came nearer. Jonah flashed a look at Megan and she went and stood in the doorway. Jonah reached his hand out to the quivering duvet and he tore it off the bed. A little girl hurtled towards him with her tiny hands balled up in fists. Jonah looked bewildered but grabbed hold of her hands. She was crying,
‘Go away! Leave me alone!’ Jonah was having difficulty keeping hold of the struggling girl.
‘Woah, woah, it’s okay! We’re not going to hurt you!’ The girl went still and glared at him suspiciously.
‘Promise?’ Jonah looked at her seriously,
‘Promise.’ He still had his hands around her wrists. ‘Okay, I’m gonna let you go, but only if you promise not to try and hit me anymore.’
‘Okay, promise.’ He let go and got a proper look at her. There was a little bit of Sam in her features, kind of like Jezebel but not quite. She had that sort of Native American look about her, high cheekbones, straight nose and dark eyes. Her smooth skin was a coffee with cream colour. Her eyes were a dark blue with a sort of iridescent quality to them. Her hair was raven wing black, and tumbled down her back in a waterfall of curls that Jezebel just didn’t have. She was very small, with tiny hands and even tinier feet. The whole effect made her look like a young Native American princess.
‘Who’d you reckon this is, Megs?’ He glanced at the doorway, but Megan wasn’t there. She was at Sam’s dresser, with her back to him, and something was in her hands…
‘Jonah. Come look at this.’ So he went over and looked over her shoulder. It was a photograph.
‘But that’s Sam and Jez. And they’re the professors. She can’t be…’
‘I think she is.’ They carried on talking like this for a little while, until the little girl got bored and said,
‘I don’t mean to be rude, but wouldn’t it be easier to just ask me who I am?’ That was the way her mum had brought her up, to be polite like that. Megan replied a little sheepishly at being reminded to use her common sense by a girl who was much younger than her,
‘I guess we should have done that in the first place. What‘s your name?’
‘Rebecca Mansell.’ Jonah and Megan exchanged glances. Jonah came forward.
‘Um, Becca? Can I call you Becca?’ Becca nodded. ‘Do you know any of these people?’ He handed her the photograph.
‘Of course I do, That’s my mum.’ She pointed to the woman that looked a lot like her. Then she gasped, ‘But that’s my dream brother Sam!’
‘Dream brother?’ Megan queried.
‘He visits me in dreams, he talks to me and I tell him about stuff. He told me he’s my big brother. I told my mum about him and she said it was just a dream. But now I have photographic evidence, like those detectives in TV shows, she can’t say he’s not real. Last time he said he’d try to bring my big sister with him. But I don’t think he’ll know where I am now.’ Becca looked really upset about this last bit. Megan sat down beside her and put her arm around her.
‘We’re Sam’s friends, you know. He’s a dream walker and he’s been really tired recently, so I guess he’s been using his energy to see you. This is Sam’s school.’ Becca brightened almost immediately.
‘So he’s here? Can we go find him?’
‘I’m sorry, sweetheart. I think you two got switched somehow. So he’s probably with your mum.’ Just then the door slid open, revealing a very harassed looking Sam.
‘Is she in here? Have you seen-’ He cut off when he saw Becca, his anxious face broke into a smile of relief. ‘Oh, thank God.’ Becca cried,
‘Sam!’ just when Megan started,
‘What the hell did-’ Sam cut her off whilst hurrying inside and hugging Becca tightly,
‘I didn’t do anything. I’ve just got hidings off Mum and Dad and I’m hoping to God Jez doesn’t find out or she’ll give me one too.’ He turned to Becca, ‘God, I was so worried! When I found out you were gone I thought something terrible had happened! You must’ve been so scared!’ He hugged her even tighter. But Megan was a mind reader, she didn’t let go that easily.
‘How do you explain the switch then?’
‘I honestly have no idea. I swear on my life I had nothing to with it. Why would I want to swap myself with my seven year old sister? It makes absolutely no sense.’
‘How did you get back?’
‘Did you forget my mum’s a teleporter or something? She brought me back. She’s in Dad’s office now, talking about what might have happened and what they should do about Becca.’ Becca piped up just then.
‘Why do they need to do anything about me?’
‘You weren’t meant to know about any of this until you were ten and then you wouldn’t even come until a year later.’ Becca looked confused.
‘But what’s wrong with me knowing and being here a few years early?’ Sam was about to answer, but the door slid open again. Sam groaned.
‘What’s the matter, Sam? It’s almost as if you’re not happy to see me.’ Jez was being cold, her way of showing anxiety.
‘Dad’s talked to you.’
‘However did you guess? He wants to see you and Becca.’
‘Did-’ Jez cut across him.
‘He said to bring Megan and Jonah.’ They followed her out.
Becca kept her head down and very close to Sam as they passed through the crowds of students. People stopped and stared at her, whispering to each other. Megan knew precisely how scared Becca was and touched Sam on the back. He looked at her and she nodded to Becca. Sam understood and wrapped his arm around the little girl. The student who were staring got the hint and carried on as if they weren’t there. When they finally got to the door of her dad’s office, Becca noticed a plaque on the door that said ‘Headmaster.’ Jez knocked and went inside, the others followed her. The room was huge and had very impressive furnishings. Becca’s mum was sat on a sofa but got up when they came in. Her dad was sat next to the spot she had just left and he pulled her back down into sitting position. Megan’s eyes widened as she heard the thoughts coming from the headmaster. She hurriedly sent Sam a telepathic message.
He’s decided to wipe her memory.
Sam’s message came back just as quickly.
I’ll sort it.
Just trust me.
Maybe I will if you stop blocking me.
Sam had put up walls of protection around certain things in his mind. All Highers were in some way telepathic, but Megan was stronger because she was a sensory.
Sorry, no can do.
You’re so annoying.
He sent her a telepathic grin. Professor Mansell spoke to her and Jonah first,‘I believe you two were the ones who found my daughter.’ He didn’t even wait for an answer, a trait Jez had picked up. ‘For that I thank you, you may go.’ Neither of them minded the dismissal, anyway Sam would keep them up to date with every word that was said. ‘Sit down you three.’ Jez sat in an armchair, while Sam and Becca sat on the other sofa. ‘Samson, for the last time, just tell us what you did.’
‘I didn’t do a thing! Why on Linaky would I want to scare the living daylights out of my little sister?’
‘You seem to keep trying to do that to Jezebel!’
‘But Jez is Jez. She annoys me, I annoy her back. It’s not the same with Becca.’
‘Rebecca is just like Jezebel!’ A quiet voice broke in,
‘No, I’m not.’ Her fathers eyes went straight to Becca.
‘What do you mean?’
‘She’s powerful, I’m not. She’s thirteen, I’m seven. Her name’s Jezebel, my name’s Rebecca. Her hair’s straight, mine’s curly. I’m not cracking up laughing and she is.’ Every word she said was true, Jez was trying to stifle her laughter because her father had walked straight into that one.
‘She can’t stay here.’
‘Why not?’ This was Becca, not Sam who the statement had been directed at.
‘You’re too young. You’d have to be revealed to stay. And about a thousand different reasons that I can’t expect you to understand.’
‘Why is it always ‘You’re too young.’, I’m sick of it! I just want to be able to find my own limits, not have them set for me by someone else. I’ve been lied to, made to forget, even lost a brother and sister all because I was ‘too young to understand.’ Try me for God’s sake!’
‘What- what do you mean?’
‘Well, I’ve obviously been made to forget I have a brother and sister and in a way, that’s losing them. I’ve always been told I’m an only child and that was a lie. It makes sense to me.’ All the while Sam and his father seemed to have been communicating telepathically.
‘Please, Dad, just let her have one day here. Give her something helpful for when she comes back to this planet.’ His father sighed,
‘I suppose it can’t do much harm. Now, it’s good that you two are already in uniform, because we need to be going.’ Sam and Jez were in their uniforms of white shirts, black ties, black shoes, in Sam’s case, black trousers and in Jez’s case, a black pleated skirt and black tights. The colour of the tie showed how powerful they were, while the sign on their chests said what type they were. On the collar, they both had three silver studs which showed what year they were in. Becca’s mum took her hand and they wound their way to a small station where a sort of cable car was waiting. The car took them down the hill, leaving them a short few minutes walk down to the hall where the festivities were taking place. The hall wasn’t large, the population of the planet Linaky was about five hundred and they all lived here, in what was basically a large village. You could stay there for a month and know who everyone was, what they did for a living and who they were related to. So you can imagine, a stranger like Becca showing up out of nowhere caused quite a stir. The family kept to the back of the hall while the plays, poetry, songs, dances and speeches were going on on-stage. Jez and her parents joined in when the chairs were pushed to the sides and music was played by the band, everyone was dancing, eating, drinking and laughing. The summer solstice was a very important date for them all. There were two viewing boxes which Sam pointed out to Becca, one for the Lady Mina and her guards and the other for the Whites, the most powerful people after Lady Mina. Lady Mina was the only female White in the history of Linaky. Whites had the power of the Light, a tremendous gift that was also a curse. The Light could do practically anything, but it was very difficult to bear. Whites were the rarest of all of the powers, Blacks like Sam and his family coming second in the scale of power. He explained the whole hierarchy of Linaky to Becca. The least powerful were Orange, Purple, Pink, Turquoise and Lime. Lime lowest and most common, Orange highest and a little less common. Turquoise, Purple and Pink fitted in between in that order. They were known as Lowers. The Highers were Yellow, Green, Red, Blue, Black and White in that order with Yellow being lowest and White highest. As you went higher the rarer they got. You couldn’t really tell the difference until you got to Green, Yellow was a sort of mid-point. There were only twelve Whites, including the Lady Mina, in existence at that time, six of those being children. Because of their rarity, they were revered, the Lady Mina especially so, as she was the only female among males. Becca was very interested in it all and badgered him with questions. Sam didn’t mind, he liked being the smart one for once, his twin sister always overshadowed him at school. He told her that there were only two schools on the whole planet and, as she knew, her father was the headmaster of one of them, so they were a respected family. There was one school for everyone, there simply weren’t enough people to warrant more than that, but the Whites had their own school because they had to be taught how to control the Light and many other different things that he didn’t know about. They all lived on an estate, Lady Mina with her own house, the professors with their house and the children in another house, taken care of by a house keeper. All of the people at the schools were above the age of eleven. Their parents would have taught them how to read and write and do mathematics at home, though there was talk of building a third school for teaching the children from the ages of five to eleven. As soon as a child turned eleven, they had a revealing ceremony at the hall. This ceremony told them what power they had and what colour they were and they were sent to the according school. The population was mainly made up of children so education was very important to everyone. When you went to school, you learnt skills that would keep you alive, so everyone paid attention. What job you got depended on what colour you were. Whites and Blacks were charged with defending the village. There wasn’t any money here, you traded everything. Whites and Blacks gave protection in exchange for things that they needed.
‘But why do people need protection?’
‘Well, there’s a lot of things that don’t like us being here. The animals here, they’re different to normal animals and they didn’t like us coming here and setting up a place to live. So they attack us when they have the chance, that’s why we’ve got to be careful. We avoid all of us getting together like this if we can, but the summer and winter solstices are very important to us, so we always get together and enjoy ourselves.’ Later on that night, what Sam had warned Becca about came true. They were right near the doors so they had a full view of everything that happened. The doors burst open and a pack of incredibly large wildcats leapt right towards them. Right towards Sam.
‘No!’ Becca’s voice was filled with an echoing power. She threw herself into the air and seemed to explode with light. It sped towards the animals and Becca hung there suspended in a beautiful vortex of Light. It spiralled out from her and drove the animals back. It pushed them back towards the wilderness. It gave another spasm that that threw them into the air, throwing them far into the dense forest. Once the threat had disappeared, the Light pulled back into Becca and she fell to the floor, her hair white as snow. Sam ran straight to her, her eyes were closed and her breathing erratic.