"Powers” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2016 written by Chong Rui Ern, Kuala Belait, Brunei Darussalam.
A long, long time ago, deep in the Universe, living things thrived on a planet more extraordinary than Earth. The planet was called Star-ton. Star-ton was a big blueish red planet with a triangular prism-like force field to protect it from incoming things like space rocks, meteors etc. Star-ton absorbed light from the triangular prism-like force field, which in turn, sucked light in from space. The planet gave out light only when it had too much light inside the triangular prism-light force field.
Living things that lived on Star-ton were humans, plants and animals. Some of the humans were special, gifted humans from birth, some of the plants were special defending plants, and some of the animals were mutated animals. Some humans’ powers came from their ancestors. Some plants had powers from their species. Animals’ powers depended on luck.
This story began when a child was born into a small villa. The name of the child was Ronald Van Pauton. When Ronald was in the baby cradle, he swung his hand and suddenly there was no sound; nothing was moving. His parents were there too and they realized that Ronald had the power to control time and space, which was a very rare power indeed. The parents asked themselves, “Why does our child have power, when we are only normal people?” Anyway, we know Ronald is not the only one in Star-ton who had power.
When Ronald was 9 years old, he went to a special school which taught academic subjects and also how to balance and control their powers. The school’s name was Mutants’ Place. Ronald met a lot of new friends there: Friends such as Fiora who had the power of speed, Maten who had the power of creation, and his best friend, Jad who had the power of imitation and many others…
By the time Ronald and his friends reached high school, they had already fully mastered their powers even though their final lesson had yet to be taught. Their final lesson was ‘being fair’. ‘Being fair’ was about ‘we cannot look down on people without powers; we are all at the same level’. It was a very important chapter to learn for people who had powers because, if such people held themselves in too high a regard, they would destroy mankind. This was the nature of such people on Star-ton.
One day, when Ronald was studying in school, one of his friends became paralyzed. Ronald thought someone with powers had caused this, so he quickly rang Jad up and asked him to accompany him to investigate what had happened, but he got no reply. He thought Jad was too busy studying to answer his call so he decided to go and investigate by himself.
While he was investigating, he saw many roads crack, buildings fall and many more disasters. Suddenly, he saw somebody who was very close to him destroying mankind. It was Jad all along! He had imitated one of their teachers’ power, ‘paralyzing’. So Ronald decided to take him on, one on one. Jad was more powerful than he had been before, because he had imitated everybody on Star-ton. No wonder, he had not been seen for a very long time.
Ronald used his time power to stop everything from moving but it was of no use because Jad had the power to reflect. So he could undo Ronald’s time stop. Now, Ronald’s power was of no use to him. So, he got the idea of asking his friends and normal people for help. Normal people had invented many powerful technological devices. So, now it became easy to defeat Jad. When everybody fought Jad, he was easily defeated.
Jad’s character had become destructive because he did not want to study the last chapter ‘being fair’; he thought he was already good enough.
Jad’s punishment was to stay in a very strong force field prison for life.
Image courtesy: twinenigma.deviantart.com