My green eyes stare back at me in the mirror, full of uncertainty for the unknown. I brush my sandy blonde hair out of my eyes and look up at my father, one hand on my shoulder. "Are you ready son?" He asks in a gruff voice. "I'm ready," I say, trying to stand a little taller. But the truth is, I'm not ready at all.
My Father has had high expectations of me, since I am the son of a man who holds power. But my Father and I are very different.
Every year kids are chosen from a list of the best trainers, the best swimmers, the best athletes. Or for short, the best warriors. They go out on missions far from home, specifically on land. My Father is one person out of a group of men called the Council that chooses the kids to be put on the list. My name is on that list this year. I usually mess up doing big tasks like this, so I'm not so sure if I should be going.
"Let's join the others, it's almost time." He leads me out of the room, his hand still on my shoulder. We walk through the familiar hallways of my home until we reach the launching center, where we are instructed to wear "casual human clothes".
Our instructor gave me a faded red t-shirt and some blue jeans out of a bin for me to wear, and did the same for the other kids in line behind me. one bin for the boys, and one for the girls.
I changed my clothes from wearing our normal green and blue, tight training jumpsuits to human clothes. The clothes are uncomfortable to wear, different from what I’m used to. I walk over and get into a line that has formed around a circular pool in the middle of the room. It's almost time to begin launching.
I glance towards the back of the big big room, where I know my parents are standing, watching from the stands for their children to be sent off. I catch my father's eye, but he doesn't notice, instead watching the other kids. I feel a stir of resentment towards him, but quickly shove it down and instead focus on my mother standing beside him. Her gaze is not focused on the other kids, but on me.
I admire her for a moment, her eyes as blue as the ocean with the same short cropped blonde hair as mine. As usual, she notices my discomfort and gives me a reassuring smile. I give her one in return. As soon as I look away my impatience grows. A little longer and I would throw myself into the water just to get the wait over with.
At least I'm not alone in this. I noticed that a boy in front of me, who looks to be younger than me, had started tapping his foot and biting his nails, which soon got annoying.
But as I'm thinking up ways to cut the line or get out of this mess, the director's voice cuts through the chatter.
"Every year we give these young Aquarius members a chance to take the leap that will change their lives from here on, and to earn their place among us. They will be sent out on a mission to complete on their own, above the sea where no mercy waits," the director then turns to those of us in line and continues, "Good luck to you, and may the ocean guide you."
Silence follows his words, echoing around us, seeming to make a hidden promise. I take a deep breath as the director steps back, letting the first girl in line step up to the edge of the diving pool.
She backs up a few steps, then takes a running leap, diving into the water. It looks as though her body had been swallowed by the water, leaving no ripples in her wake. A shiver runs through me as the next girl disappears under the surface.
Time seems to go by faster now, fate not wanting to wait another minute to hurl me into what is sure to be my failure. Before I know it, I'm taking my first steps to the edge of the clear, deep water. The closer it gets, the farther it seems to be.
I can do this, I was practically born in the water.
I take one deep breath, trying to control the shaking starting in my hands. I give a last glance back at my Mother, who gives me another smile. I turn around, and without stopping, dive into the cold, deep water.
I pump my arms and legs as fast as I can, using my Mother's encouraging look to fuel me. Feeling the current take hold, I let go of my senses and trust that it will take me to where I need to go. I close my eyes then, and do what only us Aquarians can do. Communicate to the water.
I focus on the water enveloping me, feeling the hum and the energy of it, the sound of the currents past my ears, and know that it understands. Immediately the current picks up speed, and I know that I'm almost there.
I unfold myself from the little ball I was in, and start paddling again. The force of waves starts to form under me, pushing me, preparing me for my arrival onto land.
I already knew what was going to happen from our training before this. The waves will build up, high enough so that when I wash onto land I'll make it at least to the end of the beach. I crouch, getting ready for the last force of waves until land, but something else catches my attention.
A pulse through the water. Echoing and vibrating, creating an electric hum stronger than the water from before. An echoing fills my ears, almost like the course of the sound is calling to me.
The sound of waves crash on the beach, where my destination is. But the pulse is in the opposite direction, west. I can see my time running out as the beach sand is almost below my feet. I make a last minute decision, and swim out of the wave in the direction of the pulse. The parking lot just above the beach.
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