He found Sarah and Josh talking worriedly, and he sat down. He was concerned when he found that they stopped talking. They must have been talking about him.
"How was work Sarah?" Cal asked, wanting to avoid talking about his powers.
"It was certainly interesting. I can't believe..." She shut up when she remembered that she isn't allowed to talk about his powers without his permission. "what happened." She went quiet.
"As long as you keep you voice down, you can talk about it. But only to Josh, he is the only one who knows." Cal told her.
"Wait, you really aren't going to tell anyone? It's nothing to be ashamed of, your powers are amazing." She said to him.
He just waved her off the subject. "Seriously, how is work?"
She frowned. "It was pretty boring other than your test. So, is that really what your power is?"
He nodded. "Yeah."
She leaned back and sighed. "Well I'll be damned." Then she sat up. "Can you show us something?"
He shook his head. "You're helpless. Alright." He handed Josh the diamond from earlier. "I guess it wouldn't be fair to give just one of you a diamond. Here, give me your hand." He said to Sarah.
"Uh... what's the occasion?" Josh asked, confused about what he was supposed to be doing with the diamond.
"You'll see." Cal responded. Sarah set her hand in his and he flipped it over and held it open. Then he started taking the carbon out of the air and making it into a diamond in her hand.
"Holy shit." They said in unison. "That doesn't look like atoms to me, Cal." Sarah said with an accusing tone.
"You exhale carbon dioxide. I take the oxygen out and release it into the air and then take the carbon and make it into a diamond. It's all just atoms." He said, like he was revealing a magic trick and he knew that the truth would be more disappointing than the trick.
"Jesus, is there anything you can't do then?" Sarah asked.
"Yeah, lots. I mean I still can't control all that electromagnetic stuff like light and radio waves and everything. I might be able to make new elements, but I think it will make a fusion reaction, and I don't want to accidentally make a sun in the library." He told them.
"Wait," John interrupted. "Shouldn't you be able to control all that electromagnetic stuff, since electricity is all about electrons, and so is all of that?"
Huh. Well... yeah, he was right.
"Huh. Yeah, I guess." He thought for a moment. "Can you make a lightning jump between your fingers?" He asked Josh.
"Of course, that's easy." Josh replied. He made an arc between his hands, electricity flowing between them in a bunch of places.
Cal could see Josh form protons on one of his hands and then electrons on the other, then they snapped together in a flash of lightning each time. This meant that is looked like electricity was flowing from his right hand to his left.
"Can you make the electricity flow in the other direction and make it into one bolt?" Cal asked.
"I guess so." Josh said. The protons formed on the other hand this time and rather than forming like a mist around his hand, they all focused into one clump. He did the same with electrons on the other side, and there was a bolt of lightning flowing from one hand to the other.
Cal explained what he saw. "How do you make protons and electrons?" He asked.
Josh shrugged. "How does a fire elemental generate fire, or an electromagnetic one generate his electrons?"
Wait. That wouldn't mean...
"Holy shit. All elementals are the same." Cal said.
They looked at him weirdly. "No, what are you talking about?"
"Every one of them just has some control over the same things as me. That means I should be able to just make electrons, protons, and neutrons." He said, then looked at Sarah. "Wait. But what would life be?"
She demonstrated some healing for him, but aside from the physical change of the atoms of the cells moving to repair, he didn't know what life was made of.
He held his hand open and focused on making water molecules. Not from the pieces around him, just from himself. Drops of water formed on his hand. Just in case he did it by using atoms from his body, he tried to make tungsten. A small crumb of it appeared on his hand. He tried to make the process automatic and after a few minutes of everyone watching in rapt attention, he manifested a bar of tungsten in his hand.
They all stared at it in silence.
Josh tried to see connections between atoms the way that Cal described, but couldn't.
"Maybe as we evolve, we are just unlocking the real potential of our power, and I am just the first to get there." Cal said.
They sat for a while longer in silence, trying to process this. He was practically a god. He could just make anything, matter, energy, light, sound. The only thing he couldn't wrap his head around was life, but others had figured that out.
"I think I want to try to keep this quiet until I graduate. If anyone asks, just tell them I control water." Cal finally spoke. They nodded.
After a while of thinking and talking, the conversation slowly shifted back to lighter topics. They laughed and joked and relaxed for another two hours. Finally, Josh said he needed to get to class and they all said goodbye.