The Pursuit of Power: Part I

Kaimana Arc I: The Pursuit of Power

Part I: Foretelling

Our feet padded softly through the sand, kicking up particles behind us. My dad lead me closer to the shoreline, and we stopped before the sand became wet. Light settled along the horizon as the sun descended, casting us further into shadow. Dad knelt in the sand and I sat cross-legged in front of him. He scrutinized the piles of sand that filled the space between us. I couldn’t fathom what he saw in the tiny granules.

My father’s abilities made him skilled at abacomancy, a type of divination, and rarely used his abilities in front of others. He didn’t often like to share the predictions he saw either but he made exceptions for special occasions. I could think of no greater time, having just received an acceptance letter from Ravenhold Academy this morning.

That meant, from the school’s perspective, I had potential. Which was just the long-awaited affirmation I needed.

I closed my eyes and listened to the waves behind me. It gave me something to do while I waited to hear the results from my dad.

After a while, my dad said my name, gaining my attention. I opened my eyes. All around us the sands formed pathways, looping and twisting, down the beach.

“So…” I said, looking up at him anxiously as he rose to his feet. “What does all of this mean?”

He brushed me off and I realized, annoyed, that his reading was far from over. He walked alongside the patterns in the sand, following them up and down the beach. I watched him, seeing for the first time how crazy he looked doing so. At times he would squat, trace the flowing patterns with his finger, study the sand intently and then move on to the next area of interest.

I grew tired of watching him and walked towards the ocean. The water was cool and swept the lingering sand off my feet. I walked along the shore, kicking the waves as they reached my ankles.

Increasing my pace, I began to run. I was met by a rush of speed as my powers kicked in and every step I took sent water flying up around me. On either side of me, beach and ocean went out of focus. My hair flew through the wind, bending and tangling. The burst of power ended as abruptly as it started and I tumbled into the sand.

I couldn’t have been running for longer than a minute. “Come on.” I muttered under my breath.

At sixteen, my abilities were supposed to be powerful. Not only was my dad a mutant like me, but so was my mother. Everything I’d ever read or heard about mutants insisted that children of mutants were supposed to be exceptional. Some even manifested powers before puberty, as was the case with my younger brother, Anakoni. He was just ten years old and he was already displaying phobikinetic abilities stronger than my own super speed. It was completely and utterly unfair. He had no intention of becoming a superhero either; what a waste.

From the other side of the beach, my father called to me. “Mana!”

“Yeah?”

He waved me over. “We’re leaving.”

Confused I ran back to him. At an ordinary, tiring, human speed, not a mutant one. My footsteps broke the patterns of the sand as I went.

My dad ignored me as he got into the Jeep and started the ignition. I climbed into the passenger seat. “So… are you gonna tell me what you saw?”

He shook his head. “I couldn’t get a clear reading. There wasn’t enough…” he searched for the right word. “Agreement.”

My future was still uncertain because a bunch of sand couldn’t get along? Well that sucked. I slumped in my seat, vexed.

Dad chuckled. “Don’t worry. I’m gonna try again with ash when we get back to the house.” He placed a hand on my shoulder. “We’ll get you some answers.”

***

I knew for a fact that my dad preferred using his powers with sand. He never exactly told me this directly, or gave me an explanation as to why, but I could guess. I think he felt a stronger connection to the sand and the beach. Sand had strong relations to water, of course, which had a much more serene reputation than ash’s partner, fire.

My dad always needed a little bit of a, shall we say, boost before an ash reading. He’d start a fire in the fireplace and if he was looking for answers for a specific person, which in this case he was, then he’d need something from that person to burn. I gave him something I wouldn’t miss; last year’s math homework.

I watched the flames crush and consume the paperwork. Throwing sparks in the air as it burned. When the last of the fire began to disappear, my dad sent me away so he could focus.

Pacing back and forth I couldn’t stop myself from wondering what Dad was seeing. Or hearing. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure how his process worked exactly.

“Knock it off.” My brother said from his room beside mine. The house was quiet enough that he didn’t have to yell.

I folded my arms. “Knock what off?”

A groan sounded from the other room and the kid made his way into my room. “Your fear.” He said, blankly. “It’s annoying. I’m trying to sleep.”

My stress melted away but fury rose in my chest. “What have I told you about using your powers on me!”

He rolled his eyes and walked sluggishly back to his room without a glance back.

“What a brat.” I said, sitting on the edge of my bed.

I felt wrong. The only thing on my mind was my dad’s readings and I was physically incapable of feeling stressed about it anymore. So now I just felt empty.

I hated to admit it but maybe Anakoni’s powers were handy for once. Because minutes later Dad came in, and he looked like he’d gotten all the answers he needed.

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