"Gentlemen, I'm glad you could all make it. I have some very interesting, and important, news for you all. If you would watch the screen?" the lights went down, and the huge monitor lit up. It showed a picture of a radar scan. An aerial photograph alongside it was showing the same area. It was a hospital. A lone figure ran out onto the roof, he was followed a few minutes later by first one and then more people. He jumped off of the roof, but didn't seem to be falling. He was holding a glowing red jewel. One of the men shot him, and he fell to the floor. Then the picture began to break up for a moment, it flickered and then returned to normal. The body of the boy seemed to glow, and then a huge pillar of flame rose from the still form and encompassed the rooftop. The camera shut down as the energy beam hit it, miles up in space. Moments later, the radar showed a huge form some three hundred feet long leave the exact same spot and travel at great speed away from the area. It flickered again, and this time showed a hidden installation,

"This was one of our best-kept secrets, now it is nothing but dust. All of this from two individuals. Watch." two forms exploded out of the building and proceeded to demolish it with fire and water. Then there was a picture of nothing but the ocean. A huge black mass was seen to rise out of the darkness. It became an island.

"That was our pioneering undersea research station, some of our people are still trapped down there. I am amazed that I managed to get out." doctor Molt walked forwards, under the light from the ceiling, "these children are...dangerous. They conceal some sort of power far beyond what we thought possible. Strange effects had been noticed and researched, but the act of a catalyst, this Steve, has brought about the interaction of all four of the jewels that we had been tracking. They are now missing."

"Mr Molt, tell us something we don't know."

"I was thinking as I woke up this morning, we've been going about this the wrong way."

"How so?"

"The forces barely controlled by the children are not under quite the same rules as the rest of creation, though I have no doubt that rules there are. All we have to do is apply what we know about phenomena that are similar in...feel...to these jewels."

"What are you saying? Rules don't work? What rules?"

"Science, my dear boy."

"They are not ruled by science?"

"I did not say that. What is true is that the branches of science they seem to control at will are far beyond the scope of even our people."

"Then you are saying that control of this...force...is impossible? That will not please the Board."

"No, no," hastened the doctor, "what I am saying is that we have to look to people who claim to have knowledge in these areas, and use their talents in conjunction with what we know."

"Are you saying that we should use...magicians? Faith healers, witches, mystics?"

"There are forces beyond our control that seem to be in theirs. Whatever they claim it to be is unimportant, all we need know is that it may indeed work, and we can employ that to produce a solution to our problem."

"A most interesting proposition, Brian Molt, most interesting. You may have the funds you need. We will be keeping watch."

"Thank you." said Brian Molt, as he wlaked out of the room. The screen was still showing more of the footage taken by satellites and hidden cameras, and pictures of the four now known to be a part of the group. The three turned away, "we were right in bringing the Molt unit back, he may solve this yet."

"Indeed, but the last unit would never have thought of something like this. He is different."

"Do not worry," said the third, taking off a mask, "you know you can trust me, whatever I do."

"Indeed, Alexander, we hope so."

"Now, if I am right, the children have a life-force that is far greater than any normal human's..." said Molt, logging onto his computer, "all I need to do is prove it." he loaded up a full-spectrum picture of the boat. He used the computer to provide, in false colour, a picture of the surrounding electromagnetism.

"Oh my, this is far more interesting than I could ever have hoped for..." for the computer screen was now completely filled with a multi-colour light that blotted out the actual picture. He zoomed out, at a twelve-hundred foot radius, the energy circle stopped.

"They reinforce each other...interesting. Now, if I were to power-up a normal bio-field to that kind of level, then introduce a sample of the blood into the system, would they survive? Without it they just shrivel up, it may be the breakthrough I have been looking for."

Many weeks passed inside this base, in which he stuidied ancient ways of energy healing. Eventually, he put together plans for a machine which could increase the level of a normal bio-electromagnetic field to a thousand times it's normal strength. Then he would introduce a sample of blood from each of the dragons into the subjects, and see if his hypothesis was correct.

"My friends," he said, "you are to be the first in a line of defence against a foe who is incredibly powerful. They have...powers beyond anything science can normally reproduce."

"Then why are you getting us to fight them? We're just kids. The four of us are barely out of school, let alone college."

"Do not worry. You will be enhanced to a level at least equal to those you are fighting."

"Meaning what? We'll still be human? I mean, you can't alter our genetic codes, can you?"

"No, no. We are many years away from that. Do not fear, you will be human, you will just have powers far beyond the norm. Will you step into the machine?"

"If you say so, I mean the pay's good." Jim walked into the booth, and the door closed with a hiss. Molt went to the computers and pressed a few buttons. Machines started up with a hum that was just below the threshold of hearing. Lightning sparked between electrodes, and surrounded the booth,

"he...he's gonna be okay, isn't he?"

"Fine, he'll be fine. Stand clear, the process is almost finished."

There was a sudden pulse of power, and the door to the booth sprung open. Jim fell out clutching his arm, "why the hell did you inject me?"

"You needed it to complete the process, now watch everybody, this is going to be exciting." Molt stood back, and rubbed his hands together, Jim put his hands to his head and groaned, he gritted his teeth and screamed. The triple-glazed windows shattered in an explosion that rocked the building. When the air cleared, Jim was on the floor,

"what the hell was in that?"

"Nothing much."

"Nothing much? It's...I feel so pumped up. What the hell is this tingling I feel? And what happened to my watch?"

"It's stopped." said Helen, Jim put his hand to his shoulder to rub it, and sparks jumped the gap,

"Hey! my hand feels like it's on fire, but it isn't damaged. Doc, just what powers will we have?"

"You, my boy, control the element of Fire, Helen shall have Water. Adrian will have Air and Sharron will have Earth. You are to fight those who came before you. they stole the prototypes. They are the prototypes. You will have to kill them, claim their jewels and return to me."

"What? We have to kill them?"

"They're not human anymore. They are...somewhere between you and dragons. They can assume either form. Do not trust them, do not listen to them. The safety of the world depends on you destroying them. Do not fail me."

"If they're the prototypes, how much are we like them?"

"I cannot tell."

"Can we assume dragon form also?"

"You may."

"Cool. Guys, get powered up. We're heading out."

Somewhere off the newely-formed island near the Mariana Trench, there was a small boat. It housed porbably the most powerful beings on the planet. They were arguing.

"I want to watch MTV." said Steve

"Aye? Well ah want to watch Highlander. Out o' ma way." said Amy

"No you don't, I have the remote."





"Will you two stop it? You know we can't get worked up, your powers are too difficult to control." said Mike

"Our powers?" snorted Steve, he pointed at a few replaced pieces of the boat and raised an eyebrow

"Okay, okay, but I haven't got quite as far as you yet, and she's been at this too long. She won't tell me how to control it though, says we have to discover it on our own. It's part of the Plan."

"Indeed," said Desiderata, "what kind of immortal needs lessons in being an immortal? If you're to be Gods, you have to find it out on your own."

"I never said I wanted to be a God." said Steve

"That's where you're all headed," she said, "you can give it up, but can you trust this power to anyone else? You are nearly all-powerful. You could remake the world, even at this early stage. Don't tell me you don't want it, now you have this?"

"But what do we do? I cannot change into a dragon for fear that I lose control."

"You need not worry. Even if you lose control, this is your planet to lose control in."

"What about all those who die?"

"What of them? They are mere humans, humans who run in fear of you, who would cut you up and see what makes you tick if you give them half a chance, and if they don't they would lock you up. I know these things." she sounded angry, "besides, you do that and you'll learn the single aspect that gives you control all the quicker, and you'll discover the limit of your powers, however far off that may be. My advice is go for it. Sod that lot with not enough brain to realised what you are."

"I...I can't do that!" Steve was at war with himself, part of him wanted to rage, "I'm too much like them."

"At the moment." her reply sounded ominous, "believe me, one day you will not feel as alike."

"Something I have to live with, but I don't want to be like that, just yet."

"You will, once you reach a hundred and still look twenty-five. Anyway, that is your decision, and we must all respect it, and each others'. You want my advice?"

"Not really." said a sullen Steve

"Well, you're going to hear it. We've been here for months now, and nothing has happened to us. Nothing bad, and nothing good. You need to start exploring your powers. you must learn your capabilities. Become a dragon, not through fear or need but through your wants. You will have control, your brain is powerful enough, you just need to see how."

"But...what if I don't have control? I only changed back last time because that part of me wanted to bring in Air."

"Was it?"

"Can I take that chance?"

"You eventually will. One way or the other, what is in your nature will shine through."

"You guys," said Mike, "I think we may have the cahnce. I see something."

"What?" asked Amy

"I don't think they're helicopters, but planes can't fly that low..."

"Let me see." asked Steve, moving towards Mike, in the bow of the boat

"Come here, they're over there, and approaching fast."

"They look like...people." exclaimed Steve

"People? But...we're the only ones who can pull of such a stunt!" said Mike, "Aren't we?"

"I don't know...something feels very wrong about them, and very familiar...it can't be!" Desiderata suddenly sat bolt upright, and ran to see, "they have the same feel about them as you three do, and there is one who feels like...like me. They have our powers."

"They feel like us?"

"Their auras are powerful, almost as powerful as yours and mine. Somehow, they are also Earth, Air, Fire and Water."

"Four more Elementals? How? Why?"

"They don't have the crystals, there are only four, on this planet. It is always the way. Another from a different world would just be a rock here."

"Then...what they are is an impossibilty?"

"I did not say that. They have your powers but without your source. This is manufactured power."

"What? Science did this?"

"I believe that is what I said. They feel like...us."

"They must have some part of us in them, somehow, which is linked to our powers. how powerful can they be?"

"I do not know. As you are, they can fight well. I am the strongest, but without another willing to become a total part of the powers within them, this is going to be one hell of a fight."

"Meaning what?"

"We can't destroy them?"

"No, but the cost will be high. We would win, but only after a long battle. Millions of lives would be lost, and that is not right, not for something which should not be fought over."

"Then what do we do?"

"Who says we have to fight them? I'll go out there and try to talk." said Steve

"You'll be okay?"

"Course. I'm the real thing, they can't hurt me." with that, Steve took off


Some way out to sea, Steve stopped, Molt's group did likewise, "what do you guys want?"

"We have come to take back what you stole from Molt."

"Molt? We killed him, well at least got rid of him."

"You lie, he created us."

"Created you? Aren't you human?"

"Of course we are human!" said another


"Jim." said apparent leader, "I've got control of Fire."

"Helen, I control Water, whatever that means."

"Adrian, Air."

"Sharron, Earth."

"You guys really are copies of us. How? We've got the only stones."

"Yeah," said Adrian, "and we want them back."

"Back? What the hell has...your Molt told you?"

"That they are his. He created them, and you stole them."

"What? That Molt's as nasty as ever. They are our stones. You want a demo? Here, take it. I don't want you to have it, and it doesn't want you to have it either. Try it, but don't say I didn't warn you."

Jim reached for it, as he took it he cried out, but kept a firm grip on the rock, "stop it burning!"

"I'm not doing anything, and I can't stop it. It is mine, it fell from the sky and knocked out my friend," Steve landed on the water and stood there, heaving up and down with the waves, "now it's mine."

"You lie! it...will...be...mine!" jim gripped it tighter and tighter,

"Stop! you don't know what it will do! You'll kill yourself!"

"Ha! If you won't give it up, I'll destroy it!"

"Don't, somebody else tried that, well they tried to destroy me. There's nothing left!"

by now, the crystal was smoking as Jim was squeezing it, but neither appeared to be giving way, Steve felt a sudden explosion of power inside his head, and he fell to his knees, having list all control of his powers, the stone disappeared from within jim's grasp, Steve floated up off of the sea and into the air, he began glowing a bright red colour, "I warned you!" hisvoice was subtely different, "now you will pay!"

"Oh shit, Molt never said anything about this. Let's get out of here."

"Whoever you are," said another voice, it was Mike, "come with me. You've got to get away, even I can feel the power coming off of him."

"We're with you. Come on!" the five of them ran for it, at a great speed towards Mike's boat. As they landed, there was a sudden boom of imploding air, and then an explosion so great that it threw a mass of water up into the air at least three miles. The shock waves were a mile high, Amy barely managed to protect them,

"What the hell was that?" asked Adrian

"You fucking idiots didn't listen to him, did you. He didn't want this to happen."

"What? We were only following orders from Molt."

"Alexander Molt?"

"No," said a bemused Helen, "Brian Molt."

"His brother?" said Mike

"Don't be stupid," said Desiderata, "he doesn't have a brother."

"He does'na? Then who the hell did we get rid of?" asked Amy

"Alexander Molt." said Mike, "and now we have the same person, only under a different name. Brian."

"Hang on, you think it's a coicidence that the first's name began with an A, and the second a B?" asked Desiderata

"He's a clone?" said Helen

"Can they do that?" asked Mike

"Don't talk to them, they're lying, you heard Molt."

"Yeah, but can't you see that?" said Sharron

"Where's the kid?" asked Jim

"He's not dead."

"He lived through that explosion?"

"He was that explosion. my god, it's happened. He's changed form, and for the last time."

"Last time?"

"You made him drop his guards, the full power and fury of our alternate forms is now raging through his immortal, invincible body. he won't want to change back, you have let free an almost-irresistible force upon this entire world. We've got to stop him!"

"How powerful can he be?"

"Did you hear of a disaster hitting Orlando, by any chance?"

"Yeah, some type of bomb, I heard. Went off and destroyed most of it."

"That is only a fraction, far less than one-percent, of the full power of the Fire Dragon."

"You're kidding?" said an amazed Helen

"No. Any of us four could destroy this world just like that, atom by atom. And then remake it on another whim. The state he's going to be in, who knows what's going to happen." and she was right, for out in the center of the trauma was a bright light. It solidified into a well-known shape.

"Bloody hell. That's him, isn't it?"

"Indeed, and the madness is within him. Now he will rage until he discovers the power to control what you have unleashed."

"What, he hasn't got control?"

"No, I do not detect his full consciousness in operation, he will not answer me."

"Full consciousness?"

"When you meld with the crystal, you meld with a part of something that has always been a part of the forms you can now take on. That is not there in him."

"Where is it?"

"I do not know, the crystal has hidden itself within his being, and in so doing has hidden that part of it that is dragon."

"What the hell is she saying?" asked Jim

"Quiet, you caused this. We're trying to save him. You just shut up until we've finished, clear?" shouted Mike

"Woah, sorry."

"Right, now you're saying that the real dragon-mind is not there? Then what is?"

"Nothing but animal rage. His intelligence is hiding within the crystal, I fear. The crystal has a kind of will of it's own, and it was hurt. However insubstantial that attack was, it did not like it."

"Don't we know it." said Mike

"But...what are ye saying?" asked Amy

"The crystal will not let him free until he has come full circle. The crystal will not change back, ever, it must be a part of him."

"I still don't know where this is leading..."

"He can no longer be human."

"What? He's got to stay as that, forever?"

"No, stupid, he just can't give anyone else the crystal." replied the cat, who had come up to watch the show

"So, what does he need to do?"

"He needs to gain control of the dragon body from what is left of his human mind, the animal rage part that is within everyone. He must find the key. Meanwhile, his body will be on a rampage."

"The key? How long will that take?"

"It depends on how awake his mind is, and in what state. To him, he is in a dreamworld more complete than any yet experienced, as he is mentally awake but without physical laws to govern the control of his intelligence."

"Huh?" asked Adrian

"His conscious and unconscious may not be seperate. Only the stembrain is acutally in a physical form, and that is beyond our reach."

"So, what the hell can we do? I mean, if that stone is aware, in any way, then it would have gone to whoever it wanted to."

"And it did."

"And if it is not, then we can't take it away again. We need to stop him."

"That's the one good thing that has happened to you humans, these powers give you an outlook onlife that is far from the norm. You are actually using your brains. Amazing." said the cat

"What's with him?" asked Helen

"You can hear him? Oh well, he's just a smart ass." said Mike, "but I wouldn't want him any other way."

"I think that's a compliment."

"Then, what the hell do we do?" asked Helen again

"We're in with these guys?" asked Adrian

"Looks like it." said Sharron

"We stop him. Somehow." said Mike

"I'm afraid not. You can't, all you can do is hope that he figures it all out." said Desiderata

"Then ye can stay here! Ah'm tryin' to save him. You lot, come wi' me."

"Okay, but we're not too hot on the powers side, yet." said Jim

"Don't worry," said Mike, "if you are anything like them, you will. I just hope that Steve's okay."

"Ha! He's having a ball, we've got to get after him. Come on already."


Through the swirling mists of blackness, an image formed. First it looked like a cheap drawing, then a finely-crafted work of pencil and paper, it continued to improve in such a way, adding first colours then finer details, a visible light source, other creatures, and finally the third dimension. Steve stepped out into...a green park.

"What? What the hell is this?" he said, his voice didn't echo and there was no breeze. That thought, though, and there they both were.

"Hallo?" he called, he went up to a tree and looked closely at it, it still looked real. He had a feeling that it wasn't, however, "last thing I know I'm...in the middle of the ocean. I think that was all real...the crystal, the dragon-powers...woah. Maybe it was all just a dream. And I'm here, I was here all the time. Nah." he looked about some more, and spotted some great big gates. He walked up to them, they were resolutely shut. He knocked on them and they still refused to budge.

"Hey, what is this! I can't get out of here."

"Can't you?" said a voice

"No. Who said that?"

"Don't you know me? I'm the one who gets to trample through your dreams."

"You look like me."

"I am you. Don't worry about it, your not going mad or anything, think of this as another dream."

"A dream? What's through those gates?"

"The real world."

"I need to get back there. How do I get back."

"Don't you want to find out more about yourself? Come with me, I'll give you all the knowledge you want."

"Hey, aren't these things normally all about self-discovery?"

"Duh, I'm you, remember?"

"Oh, that's okay then. Where do we go from here?"

"Follow me." said the doppelganger, rising into the air

"Hey, I can't fly. Remember?"

"What? Did someone hit you on the head?"

"I could never fly in dreams."

"Ha! That's all you know. You were always doing it, you jsut never remembered it. Now you fly in real life, so why not here?"

"That really is real? All of it?"


"Even the bit with the cat?"

"Yes, even the bit with the cat. Now, you need to find out all about what you are, what you can do."

"Okay, I'll try to fly." he did, infact, rise into the air, "can I see what's happening out there?"

"Of course." the double gestured, and showed the dragon destroying various buildings

"Ooh, that's bad. Is the dragon in control?"

"No, you aren't in control."

"That's not what I asked."

"It is, you know. You must accept that you are the dragon."

"But I'm human."

"Then you will never get out of here. Follow me, this may work." the double sighed, "and there I was thinking you were so smart." the double flew up into the clouds, as soon as they could see the tops, the scenery changed, the clouds were not just white, they were golden, red, blue, green, all the colours of the rainbow.

"Wow, this is nice."

"Pleasure centre."

"Can I come back here?"

"No. I, we, have work to do."

"Okay then," sighed Steve, and followed the double up through the sky. They emerged into a darker place, until Steve gestured. it lit up, showing a huge hall, it was filled with books and objects, end to end. There were comics and novels and colouring books, radio's and CD's and records, tapes. On the walls were pictures, scenes from his childhood. They went right up to the present, whowing a picture of himself looking at himself looking at himself, "and so ad infinitum." he shivered and moved on, "where is all this leading?"

"There, see that big pedastal?"

"It's got my head on it, only it looks like it's made of stone."

"Whatever. You can ask it one question, one single question, and it will answer truthfully. You could ask why you are, why you four are here, anything. It, you, are a part of the great Cosmic Intelligence that pervades this entire universe, and everything is known to it."

"And I can ask anything? Anything at all?"

"Anything, one question, no more."


"Take your time. Just remember, you get one chance."

"Right, I think I know what it is."

"Already?" asked a sceptical Steve


"Okay then, step up and ask."

"Right, I want to know one thing, and one thing only."

"This is it, I feel it! The Moment of Truth!"

"How'm I doing?"

"What? What kind of dumb-ass question is that?"

"You have asked, and here is the answer..."

"No, no! That's not it!"

"I feel good!" said the head, and a golden hand sprung up out of the floor, giving a thumbs up.

"Solid." said Steve, "Cool."

"Idiot, you wasted your chance."

"Yeah. Nineteen-carat officially fine." Steve gave the statue a thumbs up himself and turned away

"Why did I bother? I should have left him out there."

"Right," said a beaming Steve, "we're off. Can I see the status of my...bodies."

"What? Oh, if you must. You're going to be here a time, I can tell. Come on then." the Steve-double lead the way, and they appeared in a smaller room, it was still huge beyond measure though, it contained one small pedestal, currently empty, a larger table on which was another copy of Steve's body and a larger red dragon's body

"These are all mine, aren't they?"

"Yeah, they are."

"I suppose that little spot there was where the crystal was...hey, why is my human body so cold?"

"It's dead, that's why you are in here."

"Where is here?"

"Your mind, what there is of it."

"If my body is dead, how can I be in my mind?"

"You've got to figure it out for yourself."

"I know, that's why I asked that question. Anyway, I'll get through this. Right, the stone has been changing me slowly, apparently for the better. Now, my body is raging not because I am a dragon but because I am still thinking human, right?"

"What? You actually figured it out?" the double disappeared with a flash

"Hey, come back!" said Steve, but nobody did, "okay, think. If I am a dragon, I have powers over body and mind that transcend all known boudaries, including the one known irresistible force, death. I am a dragon, and as such this is my body now," said Steve, wandering over to the dragon-form, "and I want it. Now." the dead human shell crumbled away into dust, "now I die. And shall be reborn." he closed his eyes, and slowly his image lost coherence, until it was nothing more than a light floating in the air. It filled the dragon's form, which began to writhe. Fire flashed through the mental dreamscape,when it cleared the the scene had changed into the picture of the Earth, not as it is but as it was, flat. A quarter of it glowed red, to match the quarter that was green. Everything shattered into a million bright pieces and light flooded the infinite inner reaches of the dragon's mind.


"Hey guys, somethings wrong with him." said Mike

"He canna have anythin' wrong, he's a dragon."

"Look, he seems to be...it looks like he's in pain..." said Jim

"You're right, but how?" asked Helen

"Soemthing has happened to him, not to his body but to his mind, I feel it in turmoil...I feel the madness being taken over, replaced..."

"The madness wasn't him, not even the dragon would create this kind of devastation...would it?"

"He's...coming back to us?"

"No...it's not Steve, not in quite the way he was. I can't tell what has happened though." Mike shook his head, the dragon in the air seemed to gesture once with his claws, and vanished, "where's he gone?"

"Home." said a suddenly startled Amy, "he's gone home!"

"What? England?"

"No! The island! Come on, we must find him!" the group of six turned around in the air and hurried back the way they had come, through all the rubble of smoke of the destroyed landscape and out over the sea again. They approached the island, to find it subtley different. There was a mountain, a volcano in fact, and at the top of it perched the fire dragon. As they approached, he turned and blinked. An image shimmered in the air above the volcano, a floating head. It was in Steve's likeness, "my friends, I have returned. I am sorry for the devastation."

"I...It was our fault. We should never have listened to Molt."

"You could not have known, people like that can deceive most ordinary people without...the Sight, shall we call it?"


"ESP, in humans it is rare, but not as rare as you would think. I have noticed it."

"Since when?" asked Sharron

"Mike possessed it, to a greast degree, and many others talk even now, in half-formed whispers. I hear them."

"You...you're fully telepathic?"


"Steve, why are ye no' human?"

"What? I don't understand." the dragon seemed to be waiting

"You're a human, aren't you?" asked Amy, "or did ye leave that behind when the crystal went off?"

the dragon nodded, "I am no longer human. I can assume any form that I desire, but it serves no purpose."

"But...are ye Steve?"

"All that he was, I am." the vision disappeared

"Steve? What happened?"

An image like a hologram, of Steve, appeared before them, "what happened was the future: This is where you are all headed, all four of you."

"What about us?" asked Jim

"You must make your own future," said the fire dragon, "I have become the fire dragon utterly, for there to be an intellect needs must I leave behind what was put in my place. I am fire, not only do I control mere flame, but all the ramifications. Lightning, lava, the spark of life within all things, electricity and magnetism. All are my domain. This is not just Magic, it is science evolved beyond the realm of human knowledge, a SuperScience if you will. And it is mine." the image turned to look at the dragon, "I care not for returning to human form just yet, but we have things to do." the image disappeared, and so did the dragon. Steve came walking out of the undergrowth to meet them, "my friends, I feel a presence that must be seen to in the heart of those who oppose us."

"What?" asked Mike

"There is one in The Corporation who leads the rest. I must speak to him."

"The leader...the president of The Corporation?"

"If not him, then the force behind his power."

"Meaning what?"

"You think we are the only powerful beings in this world?"

"There are others?"

"Of course. What else would have the insight to look into four beings from all over the planet through many ages and piece together what we are? I, Fire, have always been here, but Steve has not always been Fire. Just another aspect of the merging between Steve and the stone."

"Can you quit talking about yourself in the third person?"

Steve grinned, "sorry, but it's the only way I can really explain it. There's me in here," Steve tapped his head, "but there's also more. I can do almost anything now, including that teleportation trick and many others. My powers are...incredible. I see now that whilst there are only four elements, each encroaches on the other, for you as controller of water control clouds, and therefore rain and lightning, but I also control lightning as it is a form of fire. I can cause earthquakes, to a degree, because I can generate huge electromagnetic fields that disrupt the natural balances."

"But to give up your humanity...isn't that a high price?"

"I had to pay it, they...hurt the crystal. It defended itself by a complete merging with my being. Besides, I'm still here, and I'm still me, mostly, it's just I have a more complete understanding of the world around me. Come, we must go to the one who is behind all of this." Steve brought up his hands and clapped once, the sound of it rebounded like thunder, and the world twisted. They appeared in a corridor of a dimly-lit building. Lights suddenly came on, "I have been waiting for you." said a voice, "they said you would come. I don't know how or why they knew, but they were right."

"Alexander Molt?" asked Jim

"No, you know that is not my name." Molt looked uncomfortable

"He's telling the truth," said a surprised Steve, "but he feels...I don't know, confusion I suppose."

"Molt, there was one who looked like you before. His name was Alexander. You say you are Brian? Was he your brother?"


"He's kind of out of the picture."

"I have no brothers, or sisters, and I am the only Molt working here."

"Check the records better, my friend, there was an Alexander Molt working here before you were, I expect. He's not dead, but they needed a replacement. You are it."