Chapter 5: -A Friend-

A hand grabbed her and pulled her back up.
Her head was above the water again.

A sparrowman had her right hand but was starting to sink as well.
He forced the water away from them with a gesture, and they were now standing in a pool only one inch deep. He pulled them onto the bank and the water returned to its original place.
Alivia coughed and was choking on water, trying to breathe.
The sparrowman knew that CPR was not needed, because the fairy began to breathe on her own. Instead, he took off his outer cloak and put it around the fairy's shoulders.
"Thanks for saving me. Thank you so much."
"No problem. I'm just glad you're okay."

Now that Alivia was breathing again, she took a look at her rescuer.
The first thing she realized was that his glow was blue! Dark blue edged with a lighter shade.
He was slightly taller than her, with short, clean-cut black hair. He was thin, but had a confident posture. He was dressed in dark blue, generally matching his talent's color.

"My name is Caradoc. But I prefer 'Doc.' As you can see, I'm a water talent. What is your name?"

"I'm Alivia Voe. But I prefer 'Alivia.' My talent is fire and skill in battle. It's nice to meet you!"

"The same. You're lucky I was here. I was cooling the stream from the factory's output reservoir and was about to leave, when I heard you calling for help."

"Thanks again."
"Don't sweat it; what else was I supposed to do? Anyway, I have to go finish my work elsewhere."

"Wait. I'm new and my guide left me. Would you please show me around? I would like to visit the Scouts and Warriors."

"Well, I'm not a guiding talent-"
"I've had enough of them to last awhile."

"Alright, I'll get a messenger talent, telling my colleagues that I'll be busy."

"So, did you hear the things they've said about me?"
"Yes, I have, but I hear it about every Incomplete. Don't let it get to you. I call the ID-talents 'Idiot talents'-"
Alivia laughed.
"That's funny! Are there many Incompletes besides me?"
"Yes, there are a sizable amount. You'll run into more."
"The ID-talents didn't single me out?"
"No, and they seem to enjoy having nothing better to do. I mean broadcasting people's faults like it's a skill in an entrance to the Pixie Hollow Games is *low*, especially right after they've been born."
Alivia felt better hearing this, but dreaded what it might mean...
Doc continued, "…As you can see from my blue glow, I'm Incomplete as well."
"I'm glad I'm not alone! Thanks. Did you see me arrive today?"
"Yes, but again, don't sweat it. Everyone has some kind of 'problem'. But it's a matter of perspective really and how each fairy and sparrowman makes of it. Not everything labeled is a crippling disease." Doc said.

"Thank you. You're like a doctor for emotional support."
"Nah, I'm not a medical talent. Nor am I a therapist talent. But the Idiot-talents need to see the Behavioral Improvement-talent."
"Behavioral Improvement?"
"The ones who help those who are violating the laws, like pranksters, thieves, or vandals."
"Oh..." Alivia said, distressed again and looking down at the ground.
"What's wrong? I don't think you need to see them. Did you nick my extra dust or something?" Doc added, jokingly.

"No, I...I..." stammered Alivia.

She told him about her run in with Fieva and all that had happened until now.

"Yes, the Chemist Fieva is always angry, bitter, cold, and doesn't care about anyone. I'm sorry you had to visit her, and that everyone's treated you like you're a plague. If it makes you feel better, tons of Incompletes are discriminated against and ostracized. But eventually it stops bothering you. At least you have a respected talent."

"Thanks," said Alivia quietly.

They walked along, Alivia enjoying the sights with her new guide. They were not alone, there were some fairies and sparrowmen working close by.

"So you can manipulate water?" the fairy asked.
"Cool, I'd like to see that! I can manipulate fire!"

"That's neat, not many have your talent."

"I'm not too experienced yet, but maybe after the tour, I can practice more."
"We could practice now."
They found a stone quarry, where certain talents were already practicing their talents.

There were pools of water, firewood, magnifying glasses, seeds, food, and other experimental supplies.
Doc raised his hand and water slowly swirled around in front of them. He pulled a sphere of water out and held it in in his hands. Alivia watched in amazement as the water changed into different shapes which were very similar to paper origami. Doc then froze the designs and melted them back down.
"Wow! You can freeze and melt water too?"
"Yes, and boil it. Water is an art form, but it can be devastating. Water in the form of natural disasters causes great damage occasionally. The fairies and sparrowmen of my talent do our best to repair the destruction and utilize water in innovative ways."
"The designs are beautiful."
"Thanks, I would like to see fire," said Doc, as he turned the water into steam, quickly disappearing from sight.

"I'll try, but I'm still a beginner."
"I didn't learn mine overnight either."

She pointed towards a pile of wood, and snapped her fingers, making a spark. She hurled some sparks at the wood, but it didn't light.
"You'll get it."

She tried again, this time by kindling.

A flame took life, setting leaves and twigs ablaze.

"I did it!"
"Yes, great start!"

In Alivia's delight, a flame appeared in her hand, startling her, as she tried to put it out.

"Aaahh!" she screamed quietly, but then started laughing.
Doc laughed as well, but not at her, just pleased to see that she was happy after being so close to death.

Overcoming her timidness, Alivia then had her whole hand on fire, feeling no pain, hardly noticing the heat. Her face lit up and she smiled.
She then constructed a teardrop-shaped ball of fire, hovering above her hand.


"Try throwing it at the woodpile."

She lowered her hand, the flame following. She paused and tried to throw it. Instead, the fire vanished.
"It's okay," reassured Doc.

The fairy built a new one, and this time concentrated on what she was about to do. She closed her eyes and took a breath.
Doc noticed the strength and size of fire changing as fire-talent pondered.

She held her breath and threw the inferno at the wood.
It struck and spread to more parts of the fuel.

"Yes! I did it! Did you see that?"

She made more and improved her accuracy, adjusting size, heat, and color.

"You've got skill! That's for sure." other fairies said, always happy to see a new talent learn her powers.

"Not many learn that quickly, and even some who are experienced still struggle with white fire," said a sparrowman.

Alivia was not sure about white-hot fire yet. She felt that it would take more time to develop. Next, she made shapes with fire, lines in the air, circles, and even a basic drawing of a mountain in the distance.

"It's like water, isn't it?"

"Yes it is! I'm very impressed! I've never seen shapes last that long before. You even have a picture! The art-talents would like to see that."

"I know right? I had no idea I could do this!"

They laughed and chatted, both happy that they had ran into each other. They had fun and their anxieties melted away like the steam and kindling they disintegrated. They even playfully threw spheres of water and fire into the air, extinguishing as they collided. Alivia was relieved that Doc didn't seem to care about her being Incomplete, nor about her "diagnosis."

She was again, happy to be alive.