The walls of the school grounds loomed above me, cutting out the sun and throwing me into a dark shade. I shuddered. Wasn’t it enough being sent to a place like this. Having to share a room with one of them. Ugh. I was here for a full month. I shuddered again, not wanting to think about it. Slowly I walked to the iron gate. The design was beautiful. It twisted and turned into such an intricate pattern that I stopped to look. Slowly I smiled, tracing one of the spiraled designs with my finger. I recognized it. It was a kasu charm. A good luck charm. I pushed on the gate. I didn't actually think that it would let me in. I was right. Taking a few steps back I stretched my head back as far as it could go to see the top of the gate. If there were kasu charms there were more then likely protection charms. It was a code, a message. My smile broadened as I came to realize that all of the intricate design was no design at all.
ainult mõned võivad siia vaid neile,
kes seda kõige säravamaid teadlasi,
ainsana ei ole täidetud hirm,
meie heratege ja Meie lahke
I smiled again. “only some may enter here, only those with the brightest minds, only those not filled with fear, at our heritage and at our kind.” Smart. I traced several different designs and the gate swung open.
Mul ei ole karta, mu vend
sest ma olen teie mitterahalisi liiga
kuid neid, kes suudavad siia
on väga vähe
I have no fear my brother
for i am your kind too
but for those who can enter here
tere are very few
No wonder this is a school for the gifted. To get past that gate you had to know ancient fuddi, the dead language. Only a handful of people could read it and fewer still could speak it. I walked through the gates, straight to the office of Mistress Dala. I know Mistress. Ew. I knocked on the pine door and without waiting for a reply, I walked in. She was sitting at a desk that matched the door. It smelled like a forest in here. Everything was pine. She smiled at me. I didn’t return it. Her voice was one of those that made you want to pull your ears off. It was worse then nails on a chalkboard and it got under your skin. At he same time it was smooth and calming. Unlike her appearance. Her hair was red, fire truck red, with waves and just a hint of grey. Her eyes were green. So green and fierce and piercing that I felt as if she could look into my soul. She made an impression, that much was true. With a silk red chemise that matched her hair and jeans as black as the night.
“It’s an honor to meet you, Master Warrior Raevukas.” She put her left arm out in front of her and grabbed her wrist with her right hand, then brought it up so that the palm of her hand faced me, just in front and to the left of her face. I cringed. For one thing she had called me Master Warrior. I am a Master Warrior but the youngest one in a millennium and it still made me uncomfortable. She had also used my last name. Using those two titles together she had placed herself two classes below me. One class below called me Master Warrior Simmian, I was Grande Master Simmian to people in my level, and to others older then me I was Master Raevukas. She had also attempted the greeting of the Warrior Rahu. She had failed miserably. I wondered if she knew this. The look on her face told me that she didn’t.
“Thank you Mistress. I trust you know why I am here.” My tone was firm and tough. I was in charge here and she had better know that.
“Why of course. You are here to train are you not? And to hold a seminar?”
“Yes and I intend to hold the seminar first thing, for it will affect my training. Today would be ideal. This is not a request I am telling you that my seminar will be today.” Dala went from looking startled to curious.
“Yes Master Warrior, of course if it will affect you that greatly. I will make an announcement.”
I hated lying, especially to those who respected me, but no one was to know why I was truly here. Not yet. I smiled lazily, this would be fun. The Mistress had turned her back to me and now turned back to face me. I was told to go straight to Gym 3 to set up. Classes hadn’t started yet but they would in about an hour or so. That was enough time to get things prepared. As I walked to the gym I passed several classrooms. In some of these forsaken places were students who either had an early detention, were trying hopelessly trying to catch up on work they had missed or were there just because they had nothing better to do then to get their teachers special attention. Everyone looked as I walked passed. I knew I looked amazing. Don’t be fooled by my horrible guys’ name. I am female. I know that my eyes are blue. They are electric blue actually, and I know that many people are stunned my them. I also happen to know that I look extremely good in my Rahu uniform. It’s all black. Black spaghetti strap top that clung to me, black skinny jeans, black trench coat that came to my knees and black heels. The Rahu don’t like baggy clothes because it’s more weight and the extra material could ultimately be used against you in a fight. Heels however, we adore. My hair is short. The longest part is at the front and it just barely reaches past my ears. It’s a really deep brown. Like I said, I look amazing. Oh and um just to top everything off, the back of my neck and my shoulders are covered in tattoos. They are each for something I have accomplished. I love them, they are gorgeous and deadly and striking all at the same time. Beautiful yet lethal. Ignoring the stares I got walking down the hall, I kept my eyes ahead of me with a perfectly straight face. I had to keep this up to look deadly and I didn’t want to be mistaken for some frail, fragile prat. I opened the door and let the face go. I smiled. They had given me the biggest gym.
The bell rang, signaling the start of classes. I glanced around me. Perfect. I strode confidently to the front of the gym. After 5 or 6 minutes the announcement started. Congratulations students, you have a day without classes. All classes will be cancelled for today as we have a VERY special guest speaker. I won’t tell you any more then that and you should all know that we expect your best behavior. Could all classes please proceed to the gym immediately, swiftly and without delay. Thank You. Wow. That was one heck of a message. It worked though. Not 2 minutes after the announcement classes started arriving. I heard excited then disappointed murmurs from the group of students. I heard it was going to be that guy from last year you know the one who – oh I guess not. Who is she? They couldn’t see my tattoos because of my trench coat. I mildly wondered who came last year. Ugh, I was looking forward to today but look at this person … she’s so bland and ordinary. This is going to be so borrrrinnng. A smile tugged my lips. I had my back turned to the door that was flooded with students. No one had seen my face yet. After a while the students began to quiet down. You’d think they were 5 to 8 not 15 to 18. I heard shush-ing and I turned around. I had my eyes trained on the floor. I walked to the center of the mini stage I had set up for myself. There was everything I needed. Mats, weapons, volunteers, but neither were the volunteers aware I had weapons nor were they aware that they were volunteers. The clicking of my heels made everyone abruptly stop talking. I faced the audience, keeping my eyes on the floor. I would not yell, I would not project. If I was quiet in the beginning everyone thought I was the exact opposite of what I was. Barely speaking I started.
“Good morning. I am Simmian Raevukas. I am here today to – “
“BOOOOOO!!!! You bore us!!” one boy shouted. He started a whole chorus of Boos and yelling from the crowd. I held up one hand. To their surprise they all shut up. I almost smiled. I looked up. I heard an intake of breath from everyone as they saw my electric blue eyes.
“Whoever started this commotion will stand now.” I said it calmly. I don’t like shouting. A boy about 17 stood up.
“ Justin Humsso”
“Hello Justin, I’m Simmian Raevukas. Do you know what I’m here for today?”
“You don’t do you. You would have known had you not interrupted me so rudely. Now you’re going to regret it.” Ooohs started from the students but were hushed up quickly.
“You don’t believe me? Why not? Tell me something Justin Humsso, do you think that you could win a fight against me?”
“Hells yeah. I could beat you any time anywhere just name the date.” He was smirking.
“Okay then. How about you fight me right now and right here. In front of everyone, unless of course you’re scared that you’ll be beaten miserably. You would have to sign one teensy paper though, is that okay?” I knew I had him trapped. He’d look like a wimp if he said no.
“Yeah come on, mind, I better not get no trouble if I hurt you.”
“That’s what this paper’s for now come on up Justin.” He slid out of his chair and walked towards me. Cheers went up. No one knew who I was. I laughed.
“What’s so funny?” he asked.
“Nothing, hurry up now Justin I’m not very patient. Do you have anything you would like to change into? Gym clothes perhaps?”
“No. I don’t plan on breaking a sweat beating up on you.”
“Okay then if you insist. Could you please help me set up mats?”
“No. I don’t fight on mats. I want you to feel all of what I’m about to make you feel. No soft landing.”
“Actually that wasn’t for me but again if you insist. Just one moment Justin before we begin” he was up at the front with me now and everyone’s eyes were on us. “You may not want to change but I however would like to take of this coat.” I turned my back again to the crowd and took off the trench coat. I heard gasps as I revealed my tattoos. I faced the crowd. “Hello everyone.” I had everyone’s attention this time and my voice was strong and powerful. “My name is Simmian Raevukas and I’m here today to teach all of you to fight.” Justin paled. I walked towards him. “When you are ready Justin, you may attack.” He stood there for a moment looking as if he might pass out. Then he went for a punch. I dodged it easily. He threw more and more punches and kicks, he just kept on coming. I blocked or dodged every single one of them easily. After about 7 minutes, I started my attack. I punched, knocking the breath out of him, grabbed his wrist and flipped him. Silence. No one could believe what had just happened. That this sweet looking girl had just beat up Justin Humsso. I helped him up, almost laughing again as I saw the dark patches of his shirt where he had sweat. I had not one drop of perspiration.
“Thank you, you may return to your seat now.” He begrudgingly walked away, and I knew that he wanted to fight me a second time. All eyes were on me.
“Now that I see that I have all of you attention it is time for me to reveal a big bad secret that I kept from you. But first has anyone heard of the Rahu?” A shy looking girl raised her hand. She had long blond hair and brown eyes.
“The Rahu are a group of people who fight to keep peace. Or they were. They were the most well trained warriors on the planet, and they also fought for other planets too. No one could beat them in a fight. They were unstoppable. Now though, they’re just a myth. There hasn’t been a battle where the Warrior Rahu fought for peace in over a millennium.”
“You are quite right. Now, does anyone know the martial art in which the Rahu trained?” The girl raised her hand again.
“It was an art that had no name and it took years to learn. It was the most intense fighting and self defense art that you could take. And um... Ms.Raevukas? Isn’t it kind of disrespectful to just call them the Rahu? They were the Warrior Rahu.”
“Yes you’re probably right. I should call them Warrior Rahu. Now would you like to all know my secret? I am not just Simmian Raevukas. You will NEVER call me Simmian when I am on hours. You will call me Grande Master Warrior Raevukas or you will call me Rahu kõige suurema oskusi. You should be honored ladies and gentlemen. I am the first female Rahu in millennia, and you just made my acquaintance.
The room was completely silent. Even the teachers looked dumbfounded.
“Now answer me honestly. How many of you thought I was weak or fragile. Not threatening at all.” Almost all of the students raised their hands. “How many of you still had that opinion when you saw my eyes?” About 75 out of the 500 put their hands down. “My tattoos?” half of the remaining students put their hands down. “You may put your hands down. Why do you think that you thought I was weak? Was it because I appeared shy? Students, your greatest defense is your appearance! I know from experience that I can’t teach 500 of you at once. However I will show you some techniques and weapons. Then you will return to class and I will come to each class throughout the day. Any questions you may have will be answered then. If you come up with a question later then do not hesitate to ask. I am here for the full month of April.” After about an hour of basic training I sent them all back to their classes in awe. The rest of the day continued like this. I went to different classrooms, moved desks, taught fighting for about half an hour then answered questions. I had to go to 12 different classes and after 6 hours I was done for the day. I wasn’t tired but I was worn out. Not from exercise, but the same questions over and over can wear down on me.
“Grande Master Simmian, can I talk with you?” the voice was thick, deep and male. I was startled as I hadn’t shared my other titles to any of the classes. I turned.
“How did you learn my title? You are never to –Alvaro!” I started to run towards my best friend, taking 3 or 4 steps before stopping suddenly. I looked at him and I could tell he understood. There would be enough time to catch up later. I had to look fierce while I was here, and my outburst had drawn attention from the students. I walked calmly towards him the rest of he way. Stopping a few feet away we preformed the Rahu greeting that Mistress Dala had failed miserably at. We grabbed our right wrist (hand in a fist) with our left hand framing our bodies at a 90 degree angle. Then we reached out in front of us with our left hand and grabbed our wrist with the right hand, brought the hand directly to the left of our faces (still holding our wrists) and slapped out thighs with both hands. This greeting took a maximum of 75 milliseconds and usually left people wondering what happened because to them it had been a blur. After the greeting I walked towards him and shook his hand.
“Alvaro you have no idea how glad I am to see you.” I said everything with a straight face and in a language that the students didn’t understand, not giving anything away by words or facial expressions.
“Yeah well, I thought you could do with some company.” He replied as I had, in the ancient language of fuddi.
“How long are you here” he had trouble hiding his smile.
“As long as you are …. Callaghan sent me to teach with you. But I’m only to be your assistant; you are Grande Master after all.”
“You can’t call me that in front of the students, they’ve been told what they are to call me.” He nodded knowingly.
“Come on Ana, show me where we’re staying.” I almost fell over.
“I’m sharing with you! Praise the Night Lord!” I had known Alvaro for years and he was like family to me so it wasn’t awkward sharing a room with him. He almost always called me Ana or Rae, he knew I didn’t like my name. I led the way to the room, watching the reactions of the students as they saw the new man dressed in black, and of them realizing he was a Warrior Rahu as well. I collapsed on my bed as soon as the door was closed.
“You have no idea. The same questions over and over, repeating the same exercise, guys! The guys here are the worst yet!” Alvaro laughed and I shot him a dirty look. “Don’t laugh, though maybe it won’t be as bad tomorrow with you around.” Alvaro and I had done such workshops and training before in different schools. He was the only one who could push me to my limits without making me hate him so we were basically together for life. I was glad he was here with me. Out of experience I knew that when I had Alvaro with me, the jeering wasn’t as bad. He’s 5’8, blue eyes like mine, though not quite as intense and brown hair, but he’s intimidating. People often mistook us for brother and sister, or a couple, and that’s why the jeering wasn’t as bad. He smiled at me and I smiled back. I got off the bed and gave him a hug.
“I really am glad to see you.” He hugged me back.
We got up the next morning at four. Changed into our uniforms and went to begin training. I led the way to the huge track and field ring. It was about as long as three swimming pools, and was maybe a football field wide. I grinned. I loved running. This ring was bigger then the one we usually trained at but only by roughly 100 meters. We had reached the starting line. As we started stretches I noticed that we weren’t alone. There was one girl there. She had long blond hair and was in work-out wear. I punched Alvaro in the stomach and pointed out the girl.
“She could be the next one.” I whispered.
“She’s dedicated all right but we don’t know her at all. I’ll get her to join the classes.”
With that plan made, we started our run. After one lap to get the feel of the track we decided to run 15 kilometers. Usually we only ran 13 but we had mastered that and we were both show offs, especially in a new environment. The girl was still there, but she was watching us now.
“Ready and … GO!”
We took off at full speed and after half an hour we were done. We finished at the same time, out of breath but not tired or sweating. There was now a crowd on the bleachers with the girl who we saw earlier. All of them were amazed at how fast we had run. I looked at them, hard faced. Then I turned and walked off the track with Alvaro at my heels.
“You can run now if you wish, we’re done our warm-up.”
“Yes, but if you don’t mind we’ll be training at the center.” The stares continued.
“Warm-up? Are you kidding me! That looked like one of our intense practices and you’re saying it was a warm-up! Wow man, you guys are intense.” That came from the girl with blond hair. Everyone else on the bleachers just nodded their heads. Me and Alvaro exchanged glances, reading each others mind.
“What’s your name?” I asked the girl.
“Amilianne. People call me Ana.” I almost smiled. Alvaro did. She was the next one for sure, we shared the same name.
“Well then Ana, why don’t you come to our class on Friday. It’s in Gym 3 at 7:30, invitation only. Come here” I took my special pen out of my pocket. “Give me your hand” she gave it to me shakily. I wrote one symbol on her palm. “Don’t worry, it’ll go away and you don’t have to come. But I would if I were you.”
Leaving her confused we walked to the center of the racetrack where no one could overhear our conversation.
“Whadda ya think? I mean, what should we do with her. I’m not sold on idea that she’s next.”
“Well Rae, It’s your call. I’m just the assistant. Though I honestly, am having my doubts as well. We’ll see Friday. I can’t believe that you WANT to teach when you’re here to train!”
It was roughly 3rd period when we were approached for the first time. We didn’t sit in the dining hall or eat the school lunch, we sat outside under the unusually warm April sun eating the Warrior special; water, an apple and cheese, special health pills and a banana. The boy who approached us was confident. He had black hair, brown eyes and just from his build and his muscles I knew that he was a swimmer. He looked about 18, one year older then me and one year younger then James. He must’ve had a free period because we purposefully ate when the students had gone back to class after their lunch time. He got straight to the point.
“Who are you? You weren’t here yesterday at the presentation.” This question was directed at Alvaro. He looked over at me to get permission to answer this boys’ question. I nodded and he bowed his head respectfully, then he turned to the boy.
“You are very observant. If you must know why I came later then the answer is simple. I was at the dojo, training. It is several hours from here. In fact, she didn’t even know I was coming. However, Master Callaghan though that it was a good training experience for me to be here. Was that a sufficient answer?”
“So how long have you known each other?” this kid wasn’t just asking questions, he was digging deep. I answered this time.
“I have known Praktikant Makendeat for several years.” I stood up, taking control of the situation “if I may ask, what exactly is your name?” He seemed startled as if he hadn’t planned on being confronted.
“I’m Calvin Madison. I’m 18 years old and my dad owns clothing branches all over the world making me one of the richest people here. I excel at all sports and can have whatever girl I want. That includes you Raevukas. I always get what I want.” Man, his ego was huge. I really wanted to take him down a peg or two.
“In this case you don’t” he was pissing me off “and I suggest you don’t try.”
“Sure, you say that now.”
Sensing my agitation – which I hid quite well but Alvaro knows me best – Alvaro looked up at me, he was still sitting on the grass, and simply said
“Go for it.” He lay back to watch the scene. I flashed a grin at him and then rounded on this Calvin fellow.
“Well thank you so much for that little autobiography but it means nothing to me. It’s plain that you’re as shallow as can be and you care for no one but yourself. You’ve always had what you wanted haven’t you? I can tell that you’ve never lost someone or something precious. I don’t go for guys like you Madison, because you don’t know how to feel. Deep down you’re a coward. You couldn’t stand up in a fight like I have. You haven’t felt pain as I have, I am Grande Master Warrior Raevukas and if you ever call me just ‘Raevukas’ again” I grabbed the front of his shirt and lifted him off the ground even though he was taller then me “I’ll kick your ass” I dropped him and me and Alvaro walked off.
“That was classy.” He was almost laughing. I stole a look back at Calvin, who was rubbing his sore derriere. I had let him fall hard. I grinned at Alvaro. We both burst out laughing and kept walking. Alvaro’s smile faded and he became very serious.
“Rae, as posh as this school is, it’s still small. Word travels fast and I have a feeling that you just pissed off someone well known.” He was right. Over the course of the week we kept our eyes open for possible targets, recruiting each one and drawing the character on their hand with my pen. We eventually had roughly 10 people signed up, I guess you could say, for our class on Friday.
I was looking forward to finally teaching something, when Friday came around. I had spent the week training but it was only half-heartedly. Once I had a reason to fight, I would be able to concentrate. There were 9 kids we had recruited for our class but I didn’t know how many would show up. Each one was marked with a symbol.
水 尘 空
The characters all meant something different. Water, fire, earth or air. I thought about the elements, as James and I made our way towards the gym. As soon as we got there, we were swamped with people. Apparently Calvin was well known and not well liked. There must have been 40 students there either trying to interrogate me or wanting to join the class. Then I saw her. She could have been my twin. Her hair was the exact same colour, we were the exact same height and her eyes were only a shade less intense then mine were. The only noticeable difference was that her hair came down to her shoulders.
“Who is that?” I whispered to Alavaro.
“Shiloh, I tagged her when you were at lunch” All of a sudden I realized how loud the atmosphere was.
“QUIET” I barked. Everyone fell silent. “If you were not recruited then leave immediately. If you have any questions about anything then you may talk to me at a later date and IF you all come again at the next meeting then there will be severe consequences, DO YOU UNDERSTAND.” There were mumblings of yes’s and everyone who wasn’t invited cleared the narrow hallway in front of the gym doors, leaving a small group of scared looking students in their wake.
“Could all of you please hold out your left hand.” They all did so. I took out my pen. “Each one of you has been marked. If you complete this training, and if you’re who we think you could be, then these symbols will expand over your left palm. If not, they will disappear and they will never reappear.” I traced my special pen over each of the students characters and it glowed a faint purple. “Let’s begin” I opened the gym doors and turned on the lights. The 9 students made admiring noises and I almost smiled. The gym had been transformed into a dojo. There were bamboo mats and paneling, dragon paintings on the walls and leafy green plants in the corners. It did seem impressive to those who had never seen it before. I, however, had grown up in the dojo that this was replica of. So to me, it wasn’t impressive. It was home. I strode into the room with Alvaro and I motioned for the students to sit.
“Today, we won’t be fighting. Today is a day for questions and answers. This may seem easy but it’s the hardest part of all. I will ask you things that you won’t want to answer. I expect you to answer every question truthfully. I will know if you are lying. If you tell more then three lies it means that we cannot trust you, and you will be asked to leave. Let’s begin. First introduce yourselves.”
There was Amilianne, the blond girl we had spotted at the track. Catregenna, she was small with dirty blonde hair but she was passionate about her beliefs. Elenia, who had hair black as night and cat green eyes. Desdemona, she was average, height, weight, and looks but she was a real badass. We had caught her almost running over a kid with her Harley. Brasilia was quiet, smart, gorgeous and Korean. Fatimah was a real prankster and was one of the least girly girls here. Mathieu was a good looking football player who wanted to be a doctor. Then there was Aaron. He was hot. He was smart. He was badass. He and Desdemona would make a good couple and it seemed as if he thought to too. She, however, showed no signs of interest. And Shiloh. The girl who looked like me. Seven girls and two guys. This would be interesting. James and I received the usual questions. How had we met? Where did we learn to fight? How long had we been training? So on and so forth. Then it was our turn to ask questions.
“Desdemona, why do you act the way you do?” was the first question I asked. I expected it to be something about how she was raised but her answer surprised me.
“Because it’s the way I protect myself. If someone’s scared of you they’re less likely to hurt you.”
“But doesn’t it affect your relationships?”
“Yeah, not with my friends though … but with guys. I started this image after going out with a guy who broke my heart. Since then, I act this way so that I don’t have to show my feelings, and I get hurt less in that respect too.” I smiled slightly. Aaron looked shocked, and so did everyone else. Who would have thought that this tough chick had a soft side.
The rest of the session went on like this. Random questions and answers, many of which surprised me. No one lied. I was glad of that. It meant that I was a good judge of character. When the class ended, I saw people looking in through the windows on the gym doors. Their peering faces shattered my reality, taking me back in time. It was no longer the faces of my students’ friends I was looking at. It was them. They were looking at me through the hospital door. Some were stern faced, some tearful. Then the others … I can’t describe how they looked at me without my heart breaking again. It wasn’t my fault! They must know that! I had told her –
“Master Raevukas?” it was Alvaro. His voice steadied me for a moment. But then I saw the anxious faces of my students. Their faces were so similar to her family’s anxious faces. I nearly fell back. I would have, if James had not been there to catch me.
“No. No not again!” I was talking to myself, not caring if anyone heard me. My students were still in the room. Most likely wondering what was going on.
“Ana? Ana? Rae.”Alvaro. Trying to bring me back to the room. He was whispering in my ear, but the room was filled with such a dead silence that his voice sounded like a megaphone. I knew that every one person in the gymnasium had heard.
“Hon, it’s in the past. Come back to the present.” His arms were around me, comforting me. I pulled out of the memory on the brink of tears. I gave James a backwards hug just to let him know that I was myself again. I made my voice strong and then addressed my class.
“Your session is over for today. There may be more of you next week, but we’ll have to see. You all show promise, because you are trustworthy and honest. Usually, I welcome you to stay behind and ask questions if you have any. However, enough questions have been answered today and your friends are already waiting for you.” I turned my back to them. “Goodbye.” As soon as I was sure that they had all left, I burst into tears on the floor, with James sitting beside me, telling me that everything was fine. It was all over.