Thalia and Theo returned to their room almost immediately after their Tia disappeared. It took them a few minutes to regain their bearings after coming into direct contact with a small amount of her killing intent. Thalia cursed up a storm under her breath after her Tia left. Theo stopped feeling sorry for himself and helped his sister to her feet.
The following day, the two siblings woke up to the smell of bacon. After the two dressed, they rushed down the steps where two omelets and bacon awaited them. Their auntie was in the kitchen whistling and humming. She was dressed in her comfortable leggings and white crop top and wore her white "got bacon" apron.
"Hey, Theo, who cooked this omelet?" Thalia whispers to her little brother.
Taking a seat at their dining room table. Theo picks up his knife and forks, not wasting any time.
"I don't know, but it definitely wasn't Tia.
"I have tasted her cooking; she has two flavors, burned and undercooked." He said before choking from eating his omelet too fast.
"It doesn't matter all that much. I guess." She sits down and starts eating her omelet.
The omelet was by far the best she had ever had. Each bite had an explosion of flavor, causing her to want to eat more. She could definitely see why Theo almost choked.
After eating, they thanked their aunt. She smiled and giggled. "I'm glad you guys liked them, and you both will need the energy for today's process."
The two siblings looked confused by her meaning. Eventually, they shrugged her comment off after realizing she had no intention of explaining herself.
Thalia and Theo make their way to the monorail. Only this time, they aren't heading to the assembly hall. This time, they are to report to the box. The box is short for Pandora's Box. It is where the institute stores all of the relics they capture during missions. The relics are primarily retrieved from illegal contractor terrorists. There is also a collection of relics that were collected from dead registered contractors. Only graduates who are on special assignments are allowed to form a contract with a relic.
The monorail stops at the station. Thalia gets off first, and she sees a small dome building. Theo gets off behind her. "So are we sure this is the right place? Isn't it under-guarded to be the infamous Pandora's box?"
Honestly, Thalia was thinking the same thing. "Everyone talks about how Pandora's box holds all of New Roark's powerful relics. They say some relics inside the box could single-handedly destroy a district city block.
"That's less of rumor and more of a cautionary tale." A smooth voice rang into their ears.
Thalia raised her guard immediately and looked around. It was the weirdest thing because there was no one around. Also, since this area is restricted, it's not as if anyone can stroll in here. A special monorail only travels from the station to Pandora's Box. It is guarded by a team of elite contractors, all equipped with detection and defense-type relics. So, there is no chance an intruder could penetrate this far into their defenses without setting off any alarms.
"Hey, look over there under the tree," Theo says, pointing at a man in an all-black suit.
His top hat covered his face as he lay with his head against the tree. Thalia thought the man had loomed oddly, wearing white gloves and wing-tipped shoes. She felt he looked like he was leaving a funeral or about to attend a wedding.
As they got closer to the man. He popped up all at once without using his hands to help him up. He shook and wiped his suit off with a handkerchief that seemingly popped out of nowhere. The man flipped his top hat up over his shoulder-length blonde hair. His eyes were as blue as an ocean's tide and as flawless as blue diamonds. He smiles at the siblings. His smile was perfect and blinding white. However, it creeped Thalia out. It seemed oddly fake.
"Hello, madam and gentleman. How are you doing this fine morning?" The man says, still holding the same creepy smile.
"Ummm, we're fine. I don't mean to be rude, but who are you, and how did you get here." Theo asked with a puzzled expression.
"Great question!" The man says, still smiling.
There was an awkward pause where no one said anything. Then, the man spun around on his heels and started heading towards a small brown shed in the middle of the field.
"Hey! You didn't answer his question. And you are testing my patience." Thalia's patience waned.
Only the man was no longer within earshot and was already halfway to the building. It was odd, and there was no way he could've gotten that far. At least not between the time that Thalia briefly looked away. What exactly was going on here? Thalia thought before summoning the wind to her feet. She flew over to the man, dropping directly in front of him.
"Stop!" she commanded, holding her arm out and floating before the man. "If you go any further, I will not hesitate to attack!"
The clouds started rolling, and the once bright, sunny sky began to darken as the clouds covered the sun above them. Thalia's eyes begin to glow a bright blue. Raising her arms, the air begins to crackle, and electricity starts dancing up and down her arms and fingertips.
The loud boom of thunder roars from the dark clouds above. "I won't repeat myself again. Who are you?" Thalia's aura overflowing, glowing a bright blue while electricity dances around her body. She looked like the human embodiment of a lightning bolt.
"Tsk tsk, so the rumors are true. You are something of a firecracker. Aren't you!" The man replies. He takes a step forward, pulling at his gloves.
Thalia has had enough. She wouldn't kill the man but maybe fry him until he soils that lovely suit. She sends a surge of electricity straight toward the man. The man sidesteps, dodging the electricity, or at least he thought he dodged it. The current switches direction in midair and follows the man as he begins jumping, weaving, and rolling.
"This power you possess is impressive and unorthodox. Are you controlling the flow of this lightning with your will?" The man asks while dodging the lightning bolt's trajectory seamlessly.
Thalia was obviously a bit flustered by the man's indifference in the face of her "homing bolt." Irritated, she decides to step it up a notch.
"I tried to go easy and spare your life, but you left me no choice." Thalia raises both hands. Her brother Theo looked up in horror and started running back toward the monorail platform.
"You crazy witch! Did you forget I'm even here?" He yells, still retreating, trying to get out of the range of her attack.
Thalia places her hands together like she is about to pray. The thunder begins to roar again, and the largest cloud above shifts. Until a thunderbolt flashes overhead. Thalia pulls her hands apart right before the thunderbolt hits the ground.
Her eyes glowing a bright blue, she yells out, "Lightning shower."
The once uniformed thunderbolt breaks off, shooting electricity in all directions. The only place untouched was where the bolt should've initially hit. The blue streams of electricity crackle and pop as they expand outward in all directions.
"I want to see you dodge this!" Thalia says, grinning.
The man stops and watches as the electricity spreads across the land, jumping and getting closer to him with every breath. His smile widens even more as he cocks his head to the side. He places one hand out right before the electricity reaches him. Thalia's eyes grew large halfway, expecting the man to combust into flames. She at least thought he would try to run like Theo did earlier.
She almost feels terrible. If she had known he was suicidal, she would've used a less destructive move. "I guess it's time to report this incident. Damn, I was really looking forward to entering Pandora's box."
Thalia wills the wind to push her toward the monorail platform.
"Marvelous! Absolutely smashing." The man says, surrounded by the hum of electricity.
Thalia froze midair, peering at the man whom she thought she had turned into a fried kabob. He was standing unphased, the electricity surging around him. His hand still held out, but the closer she looked, the more she noticed the electricity wasn't surging around him. It was being magnetized and drawn into his hand. Creating a barrier around his body, or to be precise, it looked more like a shield.
"Alright, you pass!" The man says before flicking his hand down, dispersing all the electricity in the area.
Truly intrigued and honestly a bit stunned, Thalia drops to the ground next to the man. "Who are you exactly? I thought at first you were an enemy. However, that can't be possible."
"Oh? And why is that?" The man asks, frowning for the first time.
"It's obvious I have not felt any killing intent or aura from you, nor have you counterattacked. So that tells me two things. The first is that you're very powerful, and the second is that you have no ill will or intentions. So, if I were to guess, you're the gatekeeper." Thalia replies.
Theo sensed that the worst of the conflict was over and came running up behind them. "Hey, sis, why did you suddenly stop your attack?"
"Impressive, both of you." The man says, clapping.
Theo huffed, trying to catch his breath from running back over to them. "What are you talking about? I didn't do anything." Theo says, wheezing.
"I see you even if no one else does. You quickly analyzed my battle strength in comparison to your sisters. Then, you examined my mannerisms and actions and judged that I was not a threat. So you know your sister's personality allowed her to do what she does best. While you stayed out of the combat zone close enough to enter the battle and help or call out for assistance."
Theo rubs his hand through his thick brown hair and looks away.
"Honestly, I would rank your analysis skills the highest I have seen out of a cub." The man says with a devious grin.
"So you are the gatekeeper for Pandora's box?" Thalia asked begrudgingly.
"No, however, I am the person who will be your new teammate and vice-captain of your squad. My name is Alexander Numek." He says, flipping his hat off his head and bowing.