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Elementis: The Awesome Foursome – Chapter 11 “First Strike”
September 1, 2015
Only two days after the meeting with Fortuna, the four had need for her special service.
They were just finishing their evening meal when Green bustled in looking rather flustered.
“There is a matter of some urgency I want you to look into. I’ve asked Fortuna to join us shortly to take you on a little trip.”
Sara swung her legs round on the smooth wooden bench so she was facing Green. “What is it Green? You look concerned. Whatever it is, don’t worry about us, we’ll be fine.”
He relaxed a little. “Oh it’s not you I’m worried about, it’s the village.” He realised that he wasn’t making sense and hopped up onto the stone table before explaining. “You’re going to the Amazon Jungle. The logging companies that are decimating vast swathes of the rainforest are out of control. They’re supposed to be regulated and restricted to certain areas but they either ignore the regulation or they corrupt the regulators to turn a blind eye. Apart from the ecological damage they are doing they are displacing many indigenous tribes that have existed in isolation for hundreds of years, untouched by the blight of so called civilisation.
One such tribe, the Ennia, live in a village, which lies directly in the path of a forest clearing operation by a logging company called Transcor. They know of the Ennia and are supposed to leave a 50 kilometre haven space around them but as they have done many times before, they will ignore this directive, go straight through the heart of the community, scattering the tribe and effectively destroying their civilisation. This would be particularly tragic as the medicines they have developed from natural products over the centuries could be a great boon to humanity in the future, reducing its dependence on artificial drugs whose manufacture harm the Earth in so many ways. If their civilisation dies, their knowledge dies too.
Your mission is to protect the Ennia and make an example of Transcor, which will discourage transgressions in the future. Remember, most of the people employed there are just hired hands, doing as they are told, trying to make a living for their families. Make sure no harm comes to them but the same doesn’t go for their machinery.”
Ben jumped to his feet just as Fortuna appeared through the floor. “Leave it to us Green” he beamed. The Awesome Foursome is on it!”
The others joined him, and then joined hands in a circle with Fortuna and in a second they were gone, leaving Green alone, stroking his chin, wondering if he should have gone with them.
The first thing they were aware of as they materialised was the noise. A deafening metallic roar, which seemed to be coming from every direction at once. Fortuna pulled the four close to her in a huddle so they could hear her but even then she had to shout. “Good Luck little ones. Call me when you’re done” with that she melted back into the forest floor.
Sara pointed towards where the noise was loudest, “First let’s quieten things down a bit”
Within seconds they came to a clearing where the massive machines were performing their destructive dance. Each machine had a huge claw, which held the tree while a blade cut it off at the base. The claw then threaded the massive trunk through a stripping mechanism to remove all the branches before returning it to the blade to be cut into 5metre logs which were stacked up behind the machine as it moved forward.
Seven machines were operating side by side with ruthless efficiency, carving path two hundred metres wide through the rainforest. As far back as the eye could see there was a gash, like a huge straight Roman road, separating the forest. There were hundreds of piles of neatly stacked logs in the wake of the machines waiting to be transported.
The four lined up behind the machines and went to work in unison.
Ben raised his right palm and sucked the heat out of the pipes and hoses of the first machine causing them to freeze and fracture. He then transferred the heat across his body and out of his left palm, melting the hoses and pies on the second machine. Both shuddered to a halt.
Sara absorbed almost all the moisture out of the fuel in the third, turning it into a thick sludge. She formed the moisture into a ball of water which she dropped into the electrical system of the fourth, shorting out its systems. Bothe machines fell silent.
Rachel’s solution, typically, was a little more subtle. She simply caused air pockets to form in the fuel pipes of the next two machines, effectively giving them an embolism.
This just left one of the machines operating.
“Leave this one to me.” Logan said, “There’s something I’ve been wanting to try.”
He ran round to the front as six of the drivers were getting out of the cabs to see why their equipment had stopped. The operator of the final machine looked down from his cab at the young figure before him and stopped his machine but didn’t turn it off.
Logan dropped down on one knee so that his palms were flat on the ground, and then began absorbing the earth and soil around him. As the plant operators watched, the earth swarmed in a seething mass around him and he began to grow. When his mass had increased tenfold he stood to his full height of twenty metres, earth and roots falling from him as he did so. The last driver now leapt from his cab and with his colleagues scattered into the trees.
With head bowed in concentration he solidified his form into solid rock until he stood just fifteen metres tall. Still big enough for what he had in mind..
With one mighty hand he snapped off the giant metal claw and thrust it into the spinning cutter blade, which screamed as it shattered into a thousand pieces. Logan then thrust his other hand into the engine and tore out its metallic heart. Then, like the other six, it was silent. He then dragged them all together and stacked them up in a huge scrap heap.
Logan shrank down to his former size as the others came round to meet him. Ben patted him on the back, dislodging some loose soil still stuck to his back. ” Way to go, big guy.” He said as he rose slowly in the air until he was above the canopy of the surrounding trees with the hot South American sun on his back. He absorbed the solar energy, focused it into two thin beams out of his eyes and directed it at the pile of metal below. As the beams danced over the pile, the metal bubbled and hissed as it began to liquefy and run together. Sara signaled him to stop, and then doused the area with water, leaving a steaming tangled mass of equipment, now welded together.
Sara then turned to Rachel. “Just do something about those piles of logs, they look much too tidy to me.” Rachel smiled, signalled for the others to get behind her, and then faced the path, cleared by the loggers with its seemingly endless piles of stacked tree trunks.
As she held out her arms, the air began to move and circulate at the end of her fingertips.
A small whirlwind, like a horizontal Texas Twister, formed in front of the young girl and as it intensified it moved swiftly down the pathway, snatching up the piles of logs as it passed until it became a swirling maelstrom of wood and debris. For two minutes it raged and raced down a kilometre of the path, then Rachel simply closed her hands and the wind was gone. For a split second the logs seemed to hang in the air before falling to the earth with a thunderous thud leaving a pile of logs and earth, fifty metres high.
Sara put her arm around Rachel, who was breathing heavily after her exertion, “That looks much better.”
The drivers of the machines that now resembled some huge, grotesque piece of modern art had ran back to the base camp screaming of monsters and demons and Diablo. The foreman and his two-man security team had jumped into a jeep and sped to the scene just as Rachel had finished her rearrangement of the logs.
Frank Martinez was a wiry little Mexican who had worked in the Amazon for Transcor for years and he had encountered many things but he had never seen anything like what lay before him now. He didn’t know what surprised him most. The still steaming pile of what used to be his plant and equipment, the mountain of his log stock, barely visible in the distance or the sight of four young teenagers, standing calmly in front of him.
He leapt from the jeep, followed by his two armed guards, one of whom was holding two large snarling Doberman dogs on a leash.
Unperturbed, Sara stepped forward and said, “Good afternoon sir, can I assume you’re in charge.”
Martinez spat out the soggy remains of a cigar that had been lodged in the corner of his mouth and stood in front of her. “You, young Lady, had better tell me what happened here.”
“I would have thought that was obvious. We shut down your operation.”
“You expect me to believe that you did all this” he snarled then turned to his men, “Get them in the jeep.” Before they could move, Ben stared at the handguns they held, which began to heat up and glow, forcing the men to drop them to the ground. The shock caused the man holding the dogs to let go of the leash and they ran growling and slavering towards the four. Ben waved a fist, which had now burst into flames, in front of the dogs and they scurried off mewling into the forest. Rachel, breathing steadily once more, swept the two guards up on a carpet of air and deposited them in the canopy of tree a hundred metres away.
Sara purposefully walked closer to Martinez, who shaken and confused, stumbled back and fell on his backside. She crossed her arms and looked down on him.
“You can believe whatever you want but know this. What you and your company and other companies like yours are doing, has to stop. You will, no longer be allowed to destroy the lungs of the planet. The rain forests and the cultures and creatures they sustain are now under our protection. Go back and tell your superiors that although they flaunt the laws of man, if they flaunt the laws of nature, they will answer to us.”
Martinez was scrambling back to his jeep, like a frightened crab. “Who are you?” He croaked.
“We are you’re worst nightmare.” Sara said coldly. “We are Elementis.”
When Fortuna delivered them back to the cavern, Green was waiting for them, beaming like a proud parent. “Well done, my young friends. You conducted yourselves excellently.”
Logan looked at the others and asked the question they all wanted answered. “How do you know”
Green chuckled and tapped the side of his nose, “You should know by now that i have eyes everywhere.”
Rachel had another question. “I know we did good today but will it really change anything? Won’t they just carry on if we’re not there?”
“I think not and I’ll tell you why.” He replied, “The human species are largely driven by greed and self interest, especially the movers and shakers and the big corporations and conglomerates. You cannot appeal to their morality or their good nature or even to their good sense. You will only ever get their attention and eventually their acquiescence by hitting them where it hurts, in the pocket. If you ask them to be good, you will have more chance of platting fog than getting a reply.
If you do something that reduces the share price, then they will listen. Today you increased their costs, and threatened to continue to do so, thereby reducing their profits, which will reduce the share price. It’s true you may have to make examples of a couple more companies out there but word will soon get round and when they realise it makes sense economically to stick to the rules, that’s what they will do.” He turned on his heels and began to walk away with a positive spring in his step but paused and looked over his knobbly shoulder.
“Now that I know you can look after yourselves,” he said with a smile, “I’ll see if I can’t find you some real work”
As Green disappeared, as he often did, into the floor of the cavern, the friends looked at each other with satisfaction and a growing mutual respect.
“It feels good to do good,” said Ben, “but there’s one thing I want to know Sara. What is Elementis?”
“It’s us. The four of us.” She explained.” I love the Awesome Foursome thing but I think Elementis sounds a bit more, well, serious.”
“Is it a word?” Asked Rachel, “and why not Elementals, that seems to describe us.”
“Well, it’s a word now, ” Sara said defensively, “and I did think of Elementals but I vaguely remember reading a comic called that a few years ago and the last thing we need while we’re off saving the world is copyright or trademark issues.”
Logan walked over and kissed her cheek. “Well I love it.”
“Me too” agreed Rachel looking over to Ben who threw his arms in the air and smiled.
“Elementis it is then. But I’m still going to get us all t-shirts with The Awesome Foursome on when we go on the Jonathan Ross show.”
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