Greetings to you, my fellow Storm Hawks fans!
So, you know those stories about a girl from the real world being transported to Atmos, joining the Storm Hawks, and falling in love with Aerrow?
… Yeah, this is one of those.
I know, I know, they aren't always that great. In fact, they're usually a breeding ground for Mary Sue's and OOC. But fear not, for I have done my research one this. I made sure my OC isn't annoyingly cliché, the canon characters remain true to the show, the plot is has just as much action as romance, and the story is written fairly well (meaning not in the first person. I kinda hate when stories are written that way, the word 'I' is used way to much. No offense to anyone; just a personal biased opinion). So, if you're willing to give me a chance on this, I promise not to disappoint. However, if you're still not convinced, I'm not stopping you from clicking that little 'Back' button on the toolbar. The choice it yours.
As for me, I'm gonna go ahead and get this party started!
Storm Hawks and all related characters, locations, etc. © Nerd Corps (Actually, most of that doesn't really come into play until the next chapter. Still, don't wanna get sued)
Anything you don't recognize from the show © yours truly
Oh, and the lyrics are from Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls. Couldn't resist, I apologize.
Okay! Let's make it happen, Cap'n!
Chapter 1: Start of the Storm
A storm was coming. That's all Kaelie could think about as she stared off into the dark clouds brewing outside of the classroom window. Despite her long-held fear of thunder and lightning, she couldn't help but be fascinated. True, they were loud, unstable, and potentially dangerous, but there was also something beautiful about them. So much sheer power concentrated into an unstoppable force of nature, able to level forests and send man and beast alike running for cover. You'd have to be crazy to brave the wind and lightning of a raging storm. It was a force to be reckoned with.
The brown-eyed girl snapped out of her musings when the bell rang, signaling the end of the day. "Finally," she murmured under her breath, stuffing her books into her bag and swinging it over her shoulder as she exited the quickly emptying math room. The only thing on Kaelie's mind was getting out of the prison she so loosely called high school and going home. She stopped at her locker, entered the combination, and pulled. It didn't budge. She punched the cold blue metal and tried again, this time getting it open. Kaelie wasn't a patient person, especially not at times like these, so as soon as it was open she grabbed her jacket and slammed it shut again.
The hallways were already packed with students, and the claustrophobic feeling they were giving her was just another reason to get out of there. The brunette wove her way through the swarms of teenagers, flinching every time someone knocked into her without so much as a passing glance. She should've been used to it by now. Ever since middle school she'd been virtually invisible to most of the student body. 'Not that I'm much of a people person anyway,' she reminded herself. There were a few students who talked to her every now and then, but generally, most people gave her a pretty wide berth. In truth, it wasn't completely unwelcome. She'd rather being alone with her own thoughts than listen to the other sophomore girls rant and rave about clothing and cute boys on the football team.
Not really paying attention, Kaelie stifled a curse when she knocked into a bulky jock who'd decided to start up a conversation right in the middle of the hallway. Groaning in annoyance, she glanced around for a way past the impromptu roadblock. Instead, her eyes landed on a guy and his girlfriend making out next to a row of lockers. She scoffed and looked away, thinking how obnoxious it was that couples couldn't things like that in private. Or at least, trying to think it. Deep down, the prominent emotion was jealousy. Though she was loath to admit it, she wanted something like that, someone who cared about her and made her feel special. Kaelie shoved that thought from her mind as soon as it arrived. That wasn't going to happen any time soon. Most of the guys in her school were arrogant jerks, and besides, she was too plain looking to impress anybody. It'd better if she just forgot about it and moved on.
Finally, the jock in her path moved just enough for her to squeeze past, letting her get to the door and finally out of the building. Outside, the air was humid and smelled like rain. Kaelie was the only one who seemed to notice. Everyone else was too busy chatting with friends or complaining about the truckloads of homework they received. Intent on driving out the noise, the sophomore jammed a pair of headphones over her ears and switched her iPod on.
-And I'd give up forever to touch you-
-'Cause I know that you feel me somehow-
-You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be-
-And I don't wanna go home right now-
-And all I can taste is this moment-
-And all I can breathe is your life-
-But sooner or later it's over-
-I just don't wanna miss you tonight-
Had she been paying attention, Kaelie might have taken note of the group of junior boys running through the parking lot like a flock of headless chickens. Unfortunately, she didn't even notice them until she was rudely knocked off balance and landed face down on the grass with a small yell. Growling with her headphones askew, she pushed herself up onto her knees, intent on giving the knuckleheads a piece of her mind, when she noticed something shining among the blades of grass. Kaelie looked at it strangely, and, ever curious, gently wrapped her fingers around the object and brought it up to her face for a closer look.
The crystal was relatively small, just a few centimeters larger than a size C battery, and it looked like something that should belong in a museum or under a glass case in a jewelry store. The gem was cut flawlessly, its facets catching the light and shimmering like stars. Its color was similar to that of an amethyst, soft, deep violet with flecks of gold scattered within. Despite its size, there was something very impressive about the stone. Almost powerful.
Kaelie carefully examined the crystal with interest. Who would lose something so beautiful? Surely, the perfect stone must have cost a small fortune. She'd never seen anything so delicately fashioned, and the substance itself unique and dazzling. This was the kind of object that was kept locked away in glass cases, not carried around in backpacks and dropped on the side of a parking lot. Taking one last look at the artifact, Kaelie tucked it securely into her jean pocket. She'd figure out where it came from later. Right now she had to get home or her mom would start texting her and asking where she was. Standing up and straightening her headphones, the teen trudged homeward, one hand clenched around the strange stone in her pocket.
Her mom's SUV was already in the garage when she got home, but her dad's compact wasn't. Yet again, he was on a business trip to a country halfway across the world. When Kaelie was little, her dad would always bring her back little figurines and souvenirs from his travels, but now that she was older, that didn't happen nearly as often. Now, he was just plain gone most of the week and working from home the rest of it. Honestly, she didn't mind too much. Hers was one of those fathers who'd grown up in a family of perfectionists, and quite frankly, Kaelie preferred not to be criticized on everything she did.
As silently as possible, the teenager pushed the door open and snuck inside. As per usual, her mom was in the kitchen seated at her computer, probably checking her emails. Kaelie crept towards the stairs, slowly and quietly. Maybe if she was lucky, her mom wouldn't-
"Kaelie, can you come here for a second?"
The girl in question groaned quietly from one of the middle steps. So close. Reluctantly, she made her way back downstairs and over to the desk where her mother was sitting. Kaelie knew from experience that if her mom needed to talk to her, it probably wasn't about anything good. "Yeah, Mom?"
Her mother looked up, her expression unreadable. "I got a call from your history teacher today. She says you haven't been turning in your assignments." Kaelie swore mentally. Why was she the only one who couldn't get away with anything? The other students in her classes didn't do half of the work that she did. "Care to explain why that is?"
Kaelie sighed. "It was just two worksheets, Mom. It's not a big deal."
"You were supposed to have done them for homework over the weekend." Despite her mom's calm tone, she had to suppress the urge to flinch. Being spoken to quietly was far worse than being yelled at. You could clearly hear the disappointment in a person's voice when their speech was even.
"I'm sorry. I just forgot to do them, okay?"
"It's not okay. This isn't the first time you haven't done your homework. School is your job right now, Kaelie. You can't just choose not to do the work."
'Maybe if the work wasn't so pointlessly boring, that wouldn't be a problem.' "I know, I get it, and I'm sorry. Can I go now?" She turned to leave without waiting for an answer, wanting nothing more than to lock herself in her room for the rest of the day.
"Mikaela Angeline Radshaw, do not walk away when I'm talking to you." Kaelie halted, cringing at the sound of her full name. Her parents only ever used it when she was in real trouble. She heard her mom stand up from her chair, but refused to turn and face her. "I don't know what's gotten into you, but it has to stop. You used to be a straight-A student, now the grades on your report cards are low B's and C's. This is the year when colleges start looking at your grades and deciding whether or not they're going to accept you. You've got to buckle down and start doing some real work from now on, alright?"
Kaelie didn't respond. She wanted to tell her mom that it was hard to focus on work when the days were all the same and seemed to blend together. She wanted to tell her how going through the school day with virtually no one to talk to was anything but enjoyable. She wanted to explain that high school wasn't the same as it was when her mom was a student, that there were more cliques and it was almost impossible for people like her to fit in. Instead, she opted to remain silent, knowing that her mom probably wouldn't understand how she felt anyway.
Behind her, her mother sighed. "Look, I've got to go to Nick's basketball game. Please do some work while I'm gone? I'll be back in a few hours." Kaelie remained silent and motionless, listening as her mom grabbed her purse, pulled her jacket on, and left the kitchen. As soon as the car started up, the girl stormed up the stairs and into her bedroom, locking the door behind her. She knew it was pointless, since no one else was there, but the locked door gave her a sense of peace and security. It let her know that she could be alone with her thoughts for a little while. Dropping her heavy backpack onto the carpeted floor, she flopped facedown onto her bed, sorrow and anger bubbling up inside of her.
She hated this. She hated being alone all the time, even in a school with hundreds of other kids. She hated that she couldn't ever impress her parents, unlike her older brother, Nick, who was the star player of every sport he did and always seemed to make them proud. She hated that she was expected to do everything right, even though she was just human. Most of all, she hated the boring routine she had to deal with, day in and day out. Nothing interesting ever happened in this town, especially not to her. She couldn't understand how everyone else could possibly be content with living such an uneventful life!
Sitting up on her bed, Kaelie stared blankly into the mirror on her dresser. A short, slightly tanned girl with plain brown eyes and unruly brown hair stared back at her, wearing a dark purple t-shirt and a pair of worn out jeans. She wasn't particularly pretty or thin, but not unattractive either, she supposed. She didn't have any particularly unique features. Just a perfectly ordinary girl, sitting in a perfectly ordinary room, doomed to lead a perfectly ordinary life.
Sighing, she opened her side table drawer and pulled out a small sketchbook. Pictures of bizarre creatures and fantastic landscapes greeted her as Kaelie flipped through the pages, lying back on her bedspread. This was the kind of life she wanted, one of adventure and excitement, where she was never quite sure what was going to happen next. She'd often close her eyes and imagine herself flying, free as a bird with no ties to anywhere or anyone. She wanted to travel through the worlds she read about in her books, where good and evil clashed time and again and danger was always right on the brink.
A gust of wind rattling the windows snapped her back out of her daydreams. The storm was starting. Fat raindrops were already beginning to pound against the side of the house. Glancing out the window warily, Kaelie reached into her pocket and pulled out the crystal she'd found earlier.
She clicked the light on the bedside table on, intent on getting a better look at the stone. It was beautiful, almost ethereal looking, and it felt warm in her hand. She couldn't imagine who had shaped it or why, but there was something unique about the stone, as if it had been cut with some greater purpose in mind.
Kaelie groaned, shaking her head. Once again, she was fusing fantasy with reality to satisfy her own desire for excitement. It was just a crystal, completely ordinary in nature. It was pretty, but not magical, no matter how much she wished it was. "I really have been reading too much fiction," she muttered, looking at the gem in her hands. "But thinking about other worlds in the only thing making this one tolerable." Sighing, Kaelie closed both hands around the stone and closed her eyes. "I wish I could get out of here."
A blast of thunder shook the house, almost giving the poor girl a heart attack. The lamp flickered for a moment, and then turned off completely as the electricity was cut. Outside, storm clouds had blotted out the sun, turning day into night and making it next to impossible to see. The darkness was held at bay as a soft glow appeared, slowly growing larger and brighter. Kaelie slowly opened her hands, revealing the now luminous crystal. Every instinct screamed to drop the object, but she was frozen on the spot. Soon the entire room was bathed in lavender light, forcing her to shut her eyes against the brightness. This couldn't be happening, not for real. This was nuts!
An explosion of blinding light, a howl of gale-force wind, and everything went black.
A groan escaped from Kaelie's throat as she woke up with a splitting headache. It felt as if someone had turned the inside of her skull into a demolition derby. She kept her eyes shut and tried to think of absolutely nothing until the searing pain died down to a manageable throb. "I have really gotta stop falling asleep while listening to my iPod," she muttered, slowly opening her eyes. What she saw threw her for a loop.
This wasn't her room. The violet paint and sketches posted to the walls had been replaced by heavily blocks of stone and a cold cement floor. There was still a door and a window, but they were effectively blocked with thick metal bars. This room wasn't a bedroom in any way, shape, or form. It reminded her instead of a cell one would find in a medieval dungeon. The only difference was the lamp that glowed dimly above her and the dormant red lights lining the hallway outside the door, proof of electricity or at least some kind of power.
Kaelie lifted herself off of the ground slowly, trying to make sense of this. This couldn't be real. It had to be some kind of crazy dream. It was then that she noticed the crystal she'd found earlier was still clenched tightly in her hand. The events from before she blacked out came back all at once. The strange light, the storm—and her wish. Had the crystal...?
"Hello?" Kaelie's voice echoed off of the thick walls around her, giving it an eerie, hollow sound. This whole place was way too real. Usually her dreams were clouded and bizarre, and made little to no sense. Everything here was solid and tangible. She pressed a hand against the wall and could feel the rough, unpolished surface biting into her palm. "What is going on here?" she whispered, almost afraid of the answer.
Confused and getting more anxious by the second, Kaelie turned to the window. Maybe if she figured out where she was, things would start making a little more sense. She strode towards it, the rubber soles of her gray converse sneakers scraping against the ground. Instead of finding answers, though, what she saw caused her to ask more questions. There were storm clouds, just like there had been at home, but no rain. She must have been pretty high up, though, because the clouds were above and below her line of sight. And since when were bolts of lightning an ominous shade of crimson? Sharp, curved crags of stone pierced the clouds like claws, but other than that there was nothing. No buildings, no land, nothing but stormy skies.
The teenager jumped back as something big flew past the window out of nowhere. She hadn't gotten a good look, but she had seen metal, so it wasn't any kind of animal. Creeping back to the opening, she quickly realized what she'd seen. There were people flying out there, riding weird contraptions that looked like the cross between a biplane and a motorbike. All of the pilots were dressed in dark uniforms and carried weapons with them. Even the vehicles themselves looked intimidating, their wings razor-edged and sinister vulture-like emblems on their sides. Kaelie watched as the group of soldiers flew into the clouds and out of sight, wishing she could follow them or at least know what was going on.
"Well, one thing's for sure," she muttered humorlessly to herself. "I am definitely not in Kansas anymore..."
Well, whad'ya think? Not so bad, now was it?
Seriously, though, I'd love to hear your opinions of it so far. Not that's there's really that much to comment on at the moment, but still. Just the writing in general. And what do you think of Kaelie? Too much, not enough, any comments at all? I'll probably any suggestions you have to offer.
Oh, and the little one-sided discussion between Kaelie and her mom? I get that all the time from my own parents. Felt kinda nice to use that in a story.
As usual, read, review, flame, worship, whatever. Anything you want to say, I'd like to hear it.