“Hey man, wanna go to a party?” Luke had walked in on me in the target practice training center, where I was shooting arrows into moving targets, next to a girl Named Kathryn. She must have known Luke, because she turned to him and asked “Is it the one at Ember’s place?” He nodded excitedly, and I also noticed that he blushed ever so slightly. I decided not to comment on it, just as I decided not to comment on the fact that I didn’t realize normal teenage parties occurred here.
“That’s the one!” he said to her.
“Alright, cool! I gotta tell Hannah!
“Hey Santos!” she yelled across the room, to a girl who was shooting flaming arrows in to a metal dummy. Kathryn ran across the room to join her.
“Sure, I’ll go to a party.” I said to Luke. “So, who’s this Ember chick?”
He definetally blushed this time. “well, she’s been my friend for a while now. She only just got her true name recently, about four or five months ago. The name she was born with is Robin. She’s really awesome and mad funny.
“And really cute.” He added, this time turning bright red.
I laughed, but refrained from teasing him. (It was tough, but I managed.) “So, how did she earn her true name?”
He looked relieved at the change in subject. “She was sent on a mission to receive intelligence on how to best save a couple of captives from our tribe. Instead, she took the opportunity to straight up save them. She risked her life for them. So Starfire awarded her with her true name. She was really excited about it.”
“Wait, so Star is in charge of that?”
“Well, it usually has to be someone higher up, but it’s usually her, yea.”
“What, does she just have to make it up on the spot?”
“Yep, pretty much that’s how it goes,” he replied, sounding unconcerned.
I shot another string of arrows into the dummy’s chest, hitting his fake heart every single time.
When me and Luke arrived at the party, it was already packed. The house was huge, and looked kind of like a mini castle, which was how all the houses were set up here. Most people were in the backyard though, so that’s where we headed. A small band of kids were playing regular party music on those weird looking instruments that seem to be able to play anything. Everyone was dancing and having a good time. There was a punch bowl full of some bright orange liquid, which I looked at nervously.
“That’s lava.” Said Luke, following my gaze.
“Legit lava?” I asked, stunned.
“No, fake lava.” He said sarcastically. “Of course it’s real, you idiot. Imported from Hawaii.” Suddenly, a girl ran up from behind and nearly knocked him over with a rather violent hug. He got up, laughing and blushing, and hugged her back, but much more gently than the first time around.
“Flame, this is Ember. Ember, this is Flame.” He made introductions. I nodded at her and smiled, but she was much more interested in Luke. It was very clear to me why he found her attractive. She was, well, she was sexy. She had full lips, a perfect body, and dark shiny red hair. Plus, she obviously liked him, A LOT. With Luke preoccupied, I was alone, so I wandered around a bit. Loads of girls talked to me and more than a couple got REALLY close (i.e. Head on lap, lips in ear, HANDS IN BACK POCKETS, and other inappropriate things of that nature) but all I saw was Eva. Like a ghost, she followed me everywhere. Every laugh sounded like hers, every smile looked like hers; every call across the room sounded like someone else wanted her too. It was insanity. None of these girls wanted me because of my personality, or because I was cool or hot or special in any way. They just saw me as some sort of celebrity. Eva saw who I was on the inside, and actually cared. I was about to go looking for Luke, so I could beg him to let me leave, when it happened.
A flash of bright light appeared, and then boulders the size of Volkswagens came crashing in through the yard, People screamed and jumped out of the way just in time. The boulders stopped.
“Is anyone hurt?” I called when the chaos died down.
“Nah, everyone’s good” some guy called back. “Where the hell did these come from?”
“I don’t know” I muttered, but we all simultaneously breathed a sigh of relief. Big mistake. Out of nowhere, out of nothing, Earth warriors appeared. I whipped out my dagger, which I always kept on me, and ran forward. People around me were falling, blood was everywhere and the screams were deafening. I took down one after the other, but it wasn’t enough. There was so much confusion, and almost no one was armed. I couldn’t keep track of what was going on. One moment, all I see are teens fighting armed men with their bare fists, the next *boom!* Starfire arrived and began tearing through the enemy, her ruby sword taking down three men in one swing. Soon, one of the Earth’s shouted “Retreat!” and I blinked, and they disappeared. I looked around at my fellows, adrenaline still pumping in my veins, creating a heightened feeling of panic. But there was no need too. Everyone was standing, with no life threatening injuries. I was about to turn to Starfire to ask her how the hell those guys got here, when I heard a gasping, retching noise, cut in with sobs. Someone else was crying too. I ran toward the source, to find Kathryn, with a silver dagger protruding from her chest. I froze, watching the blood spread across her shirt as she gasped, clinging onto life as her friend Hannah gripped her hand so hard I was sure it was painful. Hannah was also sobbing.
“Why Kathryn?” she wailed. “Why did you do that? Why did you save me?”
Kathryn turned a tear stained face towards her and struggled to get the words out of her mouth. “Tell my parents… and my brother… that I … I love them!”
I watched the horrifying scene, not knowing what to do but feeling more terrified that I had ever been in my life. Starfire pushed through the silent, watching crowd and kneeled by Kathryn. Starfire grasped Kathryn’s free hand and held tight.
“You saved Hannah?”
Kathryn nodded, no longer capable of words.
Starfire looked at her directly in the eyes and said slowly, loudly and deliberately, “Your true name is Spark. Thank you so much for serving the earth as well as you did, Spark. I am so proud of you.”
Starfire kissed her lightly on the top of the head and said a quick blessing. Kathryn, now Spark, smiled and closed her eyes, never to open them again.
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