"Is everyone ready?"Mr. Scott asked. The six of us crowded into our billionaire adopted father’s limousine, prepared for our first mission as a team. I was only nine at the time, missing my mom and home. I remember my mom getting the call from Mr. Scott, the CEO of FutureStar, offering her more money than she knew what to do with just for me, a freak with the ability to manipulate the wind, to attend his “elemental” kids program. Little did I know, there would be five other nine-year-olds with abnormal powers like mine.
"Now, kids," Mr. Scott's face was dark and serious, "There is a suspected robbery going to happen this morning at about 7 am. Your job is to stay in the bank, hiding and making sure nobody sees you. After all, you aren't allowed in the bank without reason."
"So this is illegal?"Grace asked, her tone was annoyed. With her light brown skin, bright white hair and pale blue eyes, she was the obvious ice master of the group.
Mr. Scott stared at her edgily, "Not exactly. You just can't be caught until the robbers show up. Even then, you can't interrupt them in the act. We need proof that they were in fact committing a crime, otherwise, we are the ones committing a crime.
"Then this is illegal," Jamie interjected calmly. They were the earth specialist, growing plants and bending the rocks and dirt with their will. But you wouldn’t expect Jamie to be so powerful with their calm disposition, loose 4-c hair, oversized printed sweaters and flowers throughout their hair and wrists and ankles.
Mr. Scott scowled at him, "Not unless you save the bank from robbers. They are supposed to be robbing vault 372 or around that area, so make sure to hide near there. Sophia, your job is to use your wind powers to get the money and possessions out of their hands. Kyle and Eleanor, your jobs are to demobilize them. Danté, you will send a smoke signal so that the authorities know what is going on. Jamie and Grace, you need to block off all exits so that they don't escape. Is that clear?"
"How are we supposed to... d-demobilize them?"Eleanor asked nervously. She was our water spirit, with her tan skin, hooded dark eyes, and long dark brown hair. Her disposition reflected a placid lake, calm and shy.
Mr. Scott raised an eyebrow, "It's self-explanatory, Eleanor. You have water powers and Kyle has electricity powers. Think about it."
She gulped anxiously. Eleanor didn't seem the type of person to harm others. We'd been training so long but none of us were ruthless. We were still little kids. Only 9 years old.
"Is capturing the criminals or saving the money more important?"I asked him quietly. Kyle laughed at me but I remained serious.
"The money, of course," Mr. Scott replied, "Your job is most essential, Sophia. As long as they don't escape with the money, we've all done our jobs."
"If they capture the robbers and the money, then what's the point of my job?"Danté frowned. His fire powers seemed to reflect his impulsive, hotheaded personality. He was charming, sure, with his wavy brown hair, tan brown skin and mocha eyes.
Then there was Kyle, who was brooding in the corner. His dark blue eyes seemed to bore into my soul, with his pale skin and cropped blonde hair. His presence made me so uncomfortable. Apparently he had lived with Mr. Scott since he was a baby and was expected to save the world with FutureStar. Still, with his lightning bolt scar covering his entire face and power-hungry eyes, I didn’t quite like him on my team like the others. His freaky electric powers didn’t help.
"To alert authorities so they can take them to jail afterward," Mr. Scott sighed half-heartedly, "You all have important jobs. You are a team. Now, we are approaching the bank. I will go in to feign interest in investing in this bank. While I've distracted the tellers, you six go into the vaults and hide."
I glanced nervously at my friends. A large, marble bank came into view. It looked historical and giant. Mr. Scott encouraged us to follow him inside. We trailed along in our all-black uniforms. We had to look insane, like some weird cult or matching sextuplets.
While Mr. Scott spoke to the tellers, Kyle was first to leave. He snuck away nonchalantly without looking back, with Grace, Jamie, and Eleanor. I hesitantly glanced at Dante. He somehow looked even more nervous than me. I tried to nod at him encouragingly but he just grimaced. Once we made it past the main lobby, it started to get darker. There were vault doors along the walls. Kyle was leading us. I was on the tail end, making sure Danté was still going and not freaking out.
We reached vault 372. It wasn't anything unlike the other ones. I was curious about what was inside, but I ignored it and hunkered down in a tiny crawl space nearby. I realized I was in the air vent where the vent had been opened.
"Sophia!" someone hissed at me. I peeked from the air vent.
"Do you realize why it's open?!"Kyle whispered angrily.
"The robbers are coming through here, "I realized, "They came in and already opened it to plan ahead."
He nodded furiously, "Get out of there before-"
But it was too late. I heard loud bangs from behind me, in the vent. It echoed everywhere and my ears were ringing. My heart was pounding.
"Hide!"Kyle mouthed before he stepped in an empty vault with Eleanor and shut the door.
My heart was lodged in my stomach and I started hyperventilating. I had never been claustrophobic before but the walls started closing in on me. I took a deep breath and started crawling to the left, away from the robbers coming in and the vent entrance. It was so dark and stuffy I could barely see anything. I crawled until I hit my head against a wall. A dead end. I turned around. I was completely visible. I huddled in the corner of the vent end and prayed they wouldn't look to their left. Hopefully, they would be so focused on getting out they wouldn't see me.
I shut my eyes and tried not to cry because I felt so trapped and scared. I heard them come near. They were right at the entrance. I opened one eye to see them starting to crawl out. There were two men in all black. I sighed in relief. They didn't see me.
"Did you hear that?"
"Something's over there, "One of the robbers said and motioned in my direction. I covered my mouth to silence my breathing and took all my concentration into blending into the wall around me. They started crawling left, towards me. They had guns attached to their belts. I curled up as tight as I could and shut my eyes in fear.
"Huh?" one of them said, "That's weird. I thought there was an animal or something but it's... it's gone."
"Gone?"The other one responded, "You're going crazy. There was never anything over there. Come on, we don't have all day."
They turned around and crawled back towards the entrance. Weird. I was right in front of them. Of course, it was dark and I was wearing an all-black suit, but still. They should've seen me. I sighed and ran my hands through my hair... but I didn't see them. I gasped. My hands had... disappeared. I looked all over and I couldn't see anything. I was invisible!
"I heard it again!"
"You're hearing things. Shut up and help me get out of here."
I wanted to shout in excitement and cry at the same time. I could turn invisible! But I didn't know how to turn back visible. What if I stayed like this forever?
The robbers struggled out of the vent entrance and stumbled into the bank corridor. They snuck up to vault 372.
"Achoo!" came from a vault.
"Bless you, "One of the robbers said.
"Thanks, "Eleanor's voice muttered automatically. And like that, their cover had been blown. The robbers opened up the vault door that Eleanor and Kyle were hiding in and held their guns up. I peeked through the vent to see Eleanor and Kyle stare at the guns shyly. It took a second for Kyle to react. He sent a bolt of electricity to the guns and made them sizzle. They both shot them and Eleanor and Kyle flew back. They scrambled to the floor to avoid the bullets. The robbers laughed and left the vault with the door closed and locked. They couldn't get out. All the other kids were busy. It was up to me. I saw the shape of my fingers coming back. They slowly appeared as mysteriously as they had vanished.
"Little kids in superhero costumes, "One robber laughed heartily, "Weird stuff in here."
"Yeah," The other said, "Important stuff too. Hurry up and help me get this vault open.
They pried off the vault door and inside were stacks of cash and papers in a loose-leaf folder. They both grinned at the papers and took them. They then pocketed all the cash, probably thousands of dollars worth. Not a ton of money, but there must have been something important about those papers.
"Where are you going?" a young voice came from around the corner. Kyle strolled out from nowhere with the darkness across his face. He did look intimidating, even for a nine-year-old.
"I thought we took care of the kid, "The robber sighed with annoyance.
"You took care of one of them. Not me," Kyle growled and readied his hands with lightning. Electricity crackles in his fingers. He stared at the robbers with rage.
"Get lost kid, "The robber sneered, "Before things get ugly."
"Ah!"Kyle sent electricity whirling at the two, shocking them violently leaving them to fall to the ground in pain. I leaned out of the entrance to lift the papers up to me. I reached down to grab them but one of the robbers grabbed my arm and yanked me down. I fell with a thud and groaned. He pulled me to the floor with him. He scrambled to pick up the papers, but I used the wind to sweep them away from both of us. Kyle helped me to my feet and I ran to pick them up. The robbers were stuck on the floor but still raised their guns. Kyle managed to kick the gun out of one of their hands, but the other fired. I heard the bullet whiz right past me and land in one of the door vaults. I clutched the papers and leaned against the door, trying to gain my composure. The thought of being shot terrified me. I was so close.
"Little brat! Give those papers back! We need them!"
The robber without the gun had gotten up to pick his up, while the robber with the gun remained on the floor, still writhing in pain from the electric shock. Kyle backed up next to me so we were facing the robbers at a distance. The standing robber pointed his gun at us. I glanced at Kyle and we seemed to be thinking the same thing. We raised our hands in sync and shot wind and lightning together at them. An electrically charged air bubble surrounded them. It trapped them inside so if they tried to leave, they would be shocked. He fired his gun as we sent the magic towards him, but it ricocheted off the bubble right back at him. He fell back in pain and blood puddled on the ground. I grimaced at the blood and violence.
Kyle didn't seem bothered. In fact, he looked satisfied and confident at a job well done.
"You kids work for FutureStar?"The robber without the bullet wound strained from the floor, where he was paralyzed from the shock, "You have no idea what you're in for."
"What are you-?"
"Don't worry about him, Sophia, "Kyle shook his head.
"You two don't understand. Those papers don't belong to the bank and they sure as hell don't belong to FutureStar and that pig Albert Scott. If they get into the wrong hands, it could be the end of the world."
"What do you mean 'end of the world'?"
He grunted in pain then continued, "Greedy hands. You have to give them to us."
"Give them to you?"Kyle scoffed, "You greedy criminals? Ha!"
"What are these papers?"I asked him curiously.
"You're too young to know, kid," The robber sighed, "You've made a huge mistake, you two. When my boss gets his hands on you- "
He was cut short by Kyle zapping him again. He lay unconscious at his bleeding friend's side. Kyle wiped his hands with finality.
"You should get the cash, too, "He mumbled to me. I felt numb. I just got a man shot. He was in pain and bleeding on the floor and it was my fault. I choked back tears as I used my powers to lift the cash wads out of their pockets. One was covered in blood from being in the injured robber's pockets. I winced at it and refused to pick it up, but I held the rest of the cash.
"We did good," Kyle grinned at me. I frowned at him. I felt awful.
"What's wrong?" he asked me. I shakily took a deep breath.
"The blood... he's wounded, "I choked out.
"Yeah?"Kyle shrugged, "He did it to himself. Plus he deserved it."
It still left a bad taste in my mouth.
"W-we should get Eleanor, "I mumbled.
"Yeah," Kyle rolled his eyes, "Like she did much."
I glared at him, "They trapped her in there! There's nothing she could have done."
"I didn't get trapped," He responded shortly, "Neither did you. What did you do back there that turned them off you, huh?"
I stared at Kyle's power-hungry blue eyes. He looked scary in this dark lighting, especially after seeing what he'd done to those men. I didn't trust telling him.
"I-I don't know, "I stuttered, hoping to feign ignorance.
"Come on, Sophia, what did you do?"He nudged me but I ignored him and walked over to the vault Eleanor was trapped in. I didn’t want him to know. I was too scared to even acknowledge it.
"Can you open this vault?"I asked Kyle. He grinned and used a lightning laser from his hands to cut a circle into it.
"Sophia?!"Eleanor gasped. I peeked inside and got attacked by a hug. She hugged me and laughed in relief, "You're alright! And the robbers, you stopped them! And you got the money! You're a hero!"
"Yeah, she did everything," Kyle scoffed. I looked inside the vault she was trapped in. It was drenched, covered in water.
"I tried using water to open the door but nothing worked, "Eleanor explained, "Those stupid guys. I'm so happy you caught them."
"We have to go tell the others."
"And just leave them like this?"Eleanor asked, "What if they escape?"
"They won't escape," Kyle's eyes glinted confidently, "Trust me."
As if on cue, the electric force surrounding the bubble zapped. I heard groans from the men inside. It made me cringe a little.
At the top floor of the bank, Danté was tending to a fire by the chimney. He seemed to be having a hard time making the smoke into signals.
"They're not traveling!"He shouted in exasperation, then turned around to see us.
"Oh!"He was startled, "Eleanor, Sophia! Kyle... you-you got them?!"
I nodded and Kyle smirked.
"Sophia trapped them in this bubble and managed to get all the cash and possessions back!"
"Why does everyone keep forgetting about me?"Kyle groaned angrily.
"That's incredible!"Danté smiled proudly at me. I felt my face get hot. I didn't feel proud about what I'd done, I was more scared and unsettled.
"I can't seem to get these smoke rings into the sky."
"Say no more," I replied and used my powers to send them into the sky, billowing at ten times their size.
"Thanks, Sophie, "He winked at me. I rolled my eyes.
"We should go find the others," Kyle mentioned, "Or Mr. Scott."
"Children?!"Mr. Scott's voice called from the bottom of the steps. We raced down the stairs to find him, Jamie and Grace, and a group of bank tellers huddled around the electric bubble. The injured robbers were still inside.
"There you are," Mr. Scott grinned, "Very good job, Sophia and Kyle. I'm assuming you two are the creators of this trap?"
"Yes sir," Kyle nodded proudly.
"And I see that you have the valuables, Sophia."
"Yes sir," I answered quietly, clutching the papers and cash. The one bloody was of cash lay on the ground next to the bubble.
"I can't praise you enough, Sophia. Those papers are extremely important and can be dangerous in the wrong hands. That is why we are going to give them over to the bank, and eventually their owner."
"What are they?"I asked curiously. I should have just looked before.
"Not my business to tell," Mr. Scott replied and put his hand out to take the papers. I hesitantly handed them to him. The robber said something about his boss and the end of the world. I shuddered at the thought. I was still deathly curious about it. I tried peeking but Mr. Scott handed them and the cash to the tellers.
"Did you two shoot him?"Mr. Scott asked us seriously.
"No!"I shouted defensively, "H-he shot his gun and it deflected against the bubble and hit him... we didn't do it!"
"No need to be so defensive, Sophia, "He smiled coldly, "I'm not mad. Impressed."