Rhea struggled in the hold of the shadows. She wriggled and screamed loudly, begging someone-anyone-for help. Three figures appeared before her and the tallest one threw back his black hood.
“Well. Well. Well. What do we have here?” The man chuckled sinisterly.
“An innocent girl.” Rhea snapped.
“Innocent?!” The figure on the left guffawed loudly, “You? Innocent?!” “Ya here that Asha?!”
Rhea’s head snapped up and she looked to the figure on the right who stared at her feet.
“Asha?” Rhea breathed, “is it you?”
The figure nodded silently and Rhea ran forward. She clutched Asha’s hands but Asha pulled away.
“What happened to you?” Rhea asked.
Asha looked at the man in the middle and he nodded.
“I joined the shadows.” Asha’s voice calmed Rhea.
“Why? You’re a photokinetic!” Rhea cried softly.
“B....be..because...because! I’m not a photokinetic Rhea! I’m an umbrakinetic or whatever it’s called. The darkness prevails over light Rhea. Light is weak! Shadows are the right way to go! Join us. Join the darkness.”
Rhea stared at Asha wistfully and saw a glimmer of Asha in her eyes. The Asha that used to tell Rhea stories. The old Asha.
The kind Asha.
“No. I don’t believe you.” Rhea stood tall; her chin held high. “Asha wouldn’t say that.”
The figure on the left laughed again. “Asha literally just said that!”
“Not this Asha. The old one.”
Rhea held out her arms and crunched her eyebrows in concentration and a beacon of light shot out of her palms. Asha fell backwards in pain and let out a strangled cry.
It hurt Rhea to do this. To hurt the only person that ever stood by her-apart from her parents-when she was afraid of her power.
She never made many friends in her childhood. Rhea was always practising with the stars or writing in her journals, meaning that Asha was one of the only people that helped her. The figure on the left threw back his hood-revealing a burned face covered in scars. He threw out his fist and shadows curled out of his knuckles. They covered Asha’s thrashing body, protecting her.
Asha’s arms trembled as she shakily raised her arm to the sky, creating a bright swirl of black and white. Using this much of her strength hurt her, but she had to do this. She grimaced and used all her strength to send all that energy into someone.
But not Rhea.
Her boss. Her master.
Rhea fixed her gaze on Umbra who let out one final shriek before he fell to the ground. The only figure of shadows left was the man who laughed at Rhea. He circled her quietly, shadows swirling around his fists. Rhea hissed quietly and snapped her fingers.
The two lunged at each other and the forces of dark and light deflected off each other-sending Rhea and the man flying. Rhea stood up rapidly and fired another beam of light towards the man-knocking him out for good.
Rhea sped towards Asha and grabbed her hands. “Asha. Asha. Wake up. Wake up please!”
Asha rolled over onto her side and her eyes fluttered open. “Rhea.” She said happily.
Rhea fell forward onto her knees and burst into tears. “I thought..I thought I lost you.” she weeped.
“I’ll never leave you. You’ll never lose me,” Asha smiled.
“Then why did you leave me?” Rhea pouted.
Asha looked away. “I didn’t mean anything I said back there. I mean...I am an umbrakinetic but I’m also a photokinetic. I just....I don’t know. They controlled me.” Asha motioned to the two men beside her.
“With shadows?” Rhea asked cautiously and Asha nodded.
“I think so. I honestly have no idea.” Rhea smiled at Asha’s cluelessness and helped her up.
“Let’s go home.”
After a long ride through the towns and the forests of Stellarshade, Asha and Rhea finally returned home. Asha was still quite sore from the fight so Rhea steadied her as they walked up to the door quietly.
Rhea knocked softly on the door and heard a yell inside. “WHO THE HECK IS KNOCKING ON MY DOOR AT ELEVEN PM?!”
“Looks like dad hasn’t changed a bit” Asha laughed nervously and Rhea rubbed her arm supportively.
Celeste opened the door and her groggy eyes opened wide as soon as she saw who was standing in front of it.
“Surprise?” Rhea grimaced.
Celeste stood there for a moment, giving Rhea a chance to look her up and down. Celeste looked tired and weary. Like she hadn’t slept in days.
“Rhea honey you-” Celeste noticed Asha and stopped short. “Asha....”
“Celeste? Who is it?” Aster appeared at the door looking as sensible as ever and his eyes widened when he saw the short haired woman standing behind Rhea.
Aster went through a lot of emotions in that short period of time. Sadness, happiness, anger and shock. But he settled on happiness to everyone's surprise. He leaned forward to hug his eldest daughter for the first time in about six years.
He cried and cried. Asha buried her face in his shoulder and held on tight.
She was so happy. She had a family once again.
Soon Asha got called to the Stellarshade court for a hearing. Aster wasn’t allowed to be one of the “judges” so he was sitting in the stands along with Rhea and Celeste.
“Asha Solo, you have been called before the council for an extremely serious reason. Do you know what that reason is?” Councillor Isa towered over the courtroom.
Asha nodded silently. “I know that I made bad choices but I sincerely apologise for my actions.”
The hearing went on for hours before the council came to a decision. Asha would be under close watch for six months and if no suspicious activity happened she would be released from watch and have three months of service. If any sort of treasonous activity occurred she would be sentenced to jail time-the period depending on the activity.
Rhea was ecstatic. She could live with her older sister once again. The family was reunited and happy. And that was all that mattered.
“Asha! Come here!” Rhea called into the house.
Asha walked out of the house and sat down next to her little sister. “What are you looking at?” She asked
Rhea pointed to a cluster of stars in the sky and smiled. “Remember?”
“Ophiuchus...” Asha said quietly, “I do.” “It’s very rare so you’re lucky to see it.” Asha laughed as she quoted something she said very long ago.
Rhea laughed with her and they joked around for a while before settling down.
Rhea put her arm around Asha and leaned close to her ear. “I’m glad you’re back.” She whispered.
“Me too Rhe. Me too.”
Rhea held Saturn’s hand and pointed to the stars. “You see that star right there?” Rhea asked.
Saturn shook her petite head in confusion and Rhea chuckled-tilting her daughter's head in the direction of a bright star.
“It’s Ophiuchus.” Rhea said. “It’s very rare so you’re lucky to see it.”
Saturn stared at the bright sky and cocked her head to the side. “Where’s Saturn?” She asked innocently.
Rhea laughed and gave her daughter a hug. “Where do you think it is?” She asked and Saturn shrugged.
“Over there.” Rhea pointed to a small dot in the endless sky and Saturn clapped her tiny hands together and a spark of light shot out from her palms and into the sky.
Rhea looked at the light floating up into the air and looked back down at her daughter.
“Do you want to know how I do this?” Rhea called a star down from the sky and bounced it in her palm as Saturn nodded eagerly.
“Ok so....” Rhea placed her hands on her daughter’s and smiled.