|Stories # - L | M - Z | Authors
Where Storms Begin
By: Rebecca McQuarrie
‘Not again’, thought Thunder Shower as the crossbow bolt slammed into the wall next to her head. This was the third group of Thorns she had encountered in the park this morning and it was only nine o’clock. It’s not that she had any problems with taking down a few Archers and Mages every now and then, in fact, her life’s mission was to eradicate them down to the last minion, but this morning, she had other places she needed to be.
“I’m sure Zoe is tapping her foot and calling me names by now”, Thunder muttered out loud, “but how I can I resist?”
Calling on lightning, she quickly wiped out the small group, while barely breaking a sweat. ‘Thanks mom’, she thought, sending up a silent prayer, as she rose into the sky. She figured flying would get here there without any more confrontations. It also gave her a chance to think. Her birthday was coming up, which meant she had to figure out what to get Stormborn, her twin, for his. ‘He’s been difficult from the time we were kids’, she thought, which then sent her mind tumbling back to their childhood.
Storm’s Grace, was your average, run-of-the-mill, super hero. With a lineage of magic, and the ability to call up storms, she easily found a home with the supergroup S.P.E.L.L., Super Powered Environmental Lovers League. She couldn’t help it if she was a Tree-hugger above all else.
The main focus of S.P.E.L.L. was, naturally, the Circle of Thorns. Not only did they wreak havoc in the supernatural world, they did quite a lot of ecological damage in the parks and caves where they met.
It was on a routine mission, almost 30 years ago, that Thunder and Storm’s fates would be determined.
When the call came into the base that night, Oak’s Breath, Grace’s superior, refused to put her on the team.
“You’re pregnant Grace” he said, as if that statement was reason enough.
“Yeah, I think I know that,” stated Grace dryly. “I’ve been toting this kid around for 6 months now. It’s not as if I’m due tomorrow, and it’s just a quick patrol. I’ll fly. There will barely be any contact. Trust me. I know what I’m capable of.”
“Look, it’s against my better judgment, but if Celia and Rambler agree to baby-sit you, well, you’re an adult. I can’t stop you. I just want it formally noted that I protested. I don’t have a good feeling about this Grace.”
“You worry too much. I’ll be fine.” And with that, Grace was off to find her teammates.
The group reached the northeastern part of Perez Park shortly after sunset, but they were close enough to the war walls to not be hindered by complete darkness. Rambler spotted the cave entrance at the same time Celia was spotted by a wandering group of Thorns. Knowing that she should stay out of the fight, Grace hovered anxiously above the group, keeping a look-out and hoping to spy another hero who might help. Unfortunately, instead of more heroes, she spotted more Thorns. A lot of them. And they were heading in the direction of the struggling group below. Knowing she had to do something and fast, she summoned up as much magic as she could safely handle, and then, knowing it wouldn’t be enough, she drew up even more, pushing her body to the limit. Never before had she attempted to create a storm this big, but she was desperate.
The resulting glow around her was enough to attract the attention of the lead Madness Mage of the oncoming group. Sensing what she was about to do, he began to draw in his own chaotic energy, and summoned a matching storm.
Amid flashes of lightning and claps of thunder the group of heroes fought, slowly gaining an edge. As Grace zipped down once again to strike at an archer that was heading for Celia, the two storms collided in the sky. The resulting bolt of lighting was enough to send the entire assembly flying. As the heroes regained consciousness and the Thorns fled, they realized that they couldn’t find Grace. Hoping she had teleported to the hospital, but fearing the worst, they began to search.
How she managed to survive that direct lightning blast long enough to bear her, not one, but two babies, was never figured out. Grace moved on from this world shortly after giving birth. The care of the twins was to be given to MAGI, assuming they would inherit Grace’s magical abilities.
It wasn’t until the twins were toddlers, that they realized only Thunder Shower possessed the ability. Concerned that Stormborn, who was already showing signs of being competitive, would feel left out, the MAGI representatives decided to team with TECH to create equipment to put him on par with his sister. As the twins matured, so did their powers. When they reached the age of majority, naturally they chose to register as heroes and continue the work of their mother.
A piercing whistle brought Thunder back to the present. She looked down and, seeing Shandri waving her arms overhead, realized she had passed right over the team. She quickly landed, with a chagrined look on her face, and said “Sorry guys, I’m not sure where my head was. Hey Caderly, you’re a guy, albeit a sort of dead one, any ideas for my brother’s birthday present?”
Caderly just laughed and threw a withered arm over her shoulder. It was going to be a long morning.