"In the beginning," I began, looking at Flame seriously. If he wanted answers, then I had to start from the very top. "There was nothing. And then our Queen of all Queens was born. From nothing but the stars she arose, beautiful and perfect, with all the powers of air, earth, fire, and water. She created the earth and gave birth to four children, Air, Earth, Fire, and Water, who guard it and control it. She still lives to this day, but no one has seen her for thousands of years.
"At first, all four elements lived in harmony, each complementing the other. Air could make Water rise and strengthen Fire. Earth would fuel Fire as well, and Fire in turn would help create new beginnings for Earth. Water was essential for the growth of the Earth, and Earth was grateful for it. All was peaceful.
"But over time, there was quarrels. Small, pointless things that broke out into something much bigger. The elements found each other's weaknesses and exploited them. Water would douse Fire, Fire would burn Earth to nothing, Earth would block Air's path, and Air could completely control the Water's course. The four broke into separate clans, and their children, their grandchildren, their great grandchildren, so on so forth, forgot that for nature to survive, for the world to keep turning, they all had to work together, as one. And now, a rivalry that has existed almost since the dawn of this world has driven us all to a war. Nature is at war with itself."
Flame - I simply refuse to call him Alex any longer - had been watching me intently this whole time, and I could tell he was not satisfied with this explanation.
"But why?" he asked me, and I dearly hoped he would accept the answer I had available.
"Many reasons. The Earth Clan blames us for forest fires, volcano eruptions, and almost anything destructive that has to do with heat. Earth blames wind and water for storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes. They are to blame. But it is necessary. Everyone in this war is being irrational. There are no teams, no taking sides. Nobody would back up our tribe, for we are believed to be unnecessary and dangerous. Air and Water hated each other from the start, because Air can control Water."
"But what about prisoners? Why do we take prisoners?"
"Flame, the only prisoners we take are those who trespass on our land and attempt to harm our people or gain intelligence. We do not plunder through other tribes and take people against their will. We are fighting for this war to end. But we couldn't ignore it any longer, and the time for peace treaties has long passed. We had to act to get the attention of the other elements. Only then will talking come into play. It is the only way for the war to end."
I stood up. Tamwyn had been in the corner, silent and watching throughout the entire story. He walked out, and I followed him. It was only when I reached the door did I turn back to Flame.
"There is one more thing you must know. Our tribe is hated eaqually among the other elements. We are considered to be violent, war loving, and destructive. You will not lead our people until you understand why Fire is just as vital as every other element."
I walked out, leaving Flame behind.