Word count: 1059
Prompt: Hard Day's Night
My thanks to Kittenmommy for another great prompt and to Sparky for her beta help.
The wind whipped Sapphire’s hair, a whirlwind of icy blasts that snatched tears from her eyes. It plucked at her dress, chilling her to her core. She staggered back a step from the force of the gale. Sensing that she was weakening, it increased.
“I command you. Be gone. Be silent!” She tried to stand her ground, but she was tiring rapidly. The wind paid no heed, its howling mocking her voice. She took another breath and tried again, her eyes glowing blue with concentration. “I command you as I command Time. Bend to my will!”
For a moment nothing happened and then the wind abruptly stopped and Sapphire would have collapsed had not Steel caught her at the last minute. The familiarity of her partner gave her solace, for she knew she had failed.
I’m here. Be still.
You… you weren’t and--
And now I am.
Her shoulders sagged with exhaustion as she leaned into him. “I can’t do this,” she murmured, knowing that They had stopped the exercise. “I’m not strong enough. I haven’t the necessary experience. I can’t command Time.”
“You can. You are stronger than you know, Sapphire. Otherwise you never would have been partnered with me. You just need confidence and the will. For now, draw your strength from me. I have plenty to spare.” He pushed her away to arm’s length and studied her. “You are weary now. It’s hard to feel confident in your abilities when exhausted.”
She nodded and felt a warmth in her limbs, a resurgence of energy, both from Steel’s words and presence. “Thank you.”
“You are welcome. Come. Now you need to rest before attempting it again. You’ve put in a hard day’s work.” Steel led her from the room. “You can always try again later. There’s no time limit on these exercises. You progress as you see fit. Pushing yourself will result in nothing.”
“Technically it’s night.” At least she supposed it was. Here it was difficult to tell for Time didn’t exist here in the same sense that it did elsewhere.
“Then it was a hard day’s night worth of work.” He let the door slide open and they walked out, shoulder to shoulder.
“You never struck me as a Beatles’ fan, Steel.” Her voice was stronger now that they were out of the room
“The Beatle’s. I’m surprised you know what they are.”
“Earth insects, Coleoptera, I believe, coming from the Greek, koleos meaning sheath and pteron meaning wing, because most beetles have wings. I’m not very good with encyclopedic things. That is, I’m afraid, your specialty.”
Sapphire laughed and hugged him. “Steel, you are so wonderfully dense at times.”
“Thank you, I think.”
“The Beatles are a rock and roll group. They play music.”
“The two are mutually exclusive in my opinion.” He stopped abruptly. There was someone standing there, a stranger. There were no strangers here, not to him. He knew everyone just as they were known to his fellow agents.
This isn’t right, Sapphire.
“Hello.” There was a casual edge to his voice.
“You must be Steel. They warned me about your manners, or lack thereof.’ As to who I am…” The stranger smiled and shook his head. “I think not.”
Sapphire’s eyes glowed and she gasped, grabbing Steel’s arm. “It’s called Lawrencium! Steel, he’s a Transuranic.”
Steel stepped in front of her, a barrier between her and their enemy. “I thought as much. How did you breach our perimeter?”
“What difference does it make? I have and now I will leave to share my little secret with my fellow agents. Within the hour, or such as it is, you will be ours and as for the puny forms you protect, well, they will be no more.”
“You’ll have to go through me first.”
Lawrencium laughed and slapped his hands together in glee. “I was so hoping you were going to say that.” Steel crumbled to his knees, his face a mask of pain. “We know your tricks, Steel, so you will remain where you are. You see, one reason why they sent me, you see. I’m one of the few things stronger than even you.”
“Sapphire,” Steel gasped. “Take control of time! Do it now. Take it back.”
“You must.” Steel’s voice was strangled. “I can’t…”
She took a step toward him, torn between wanting to flee to alert the others and staying to help her partner. Steel cried out as he collapsed to the floor and Sapphire’s eyes narrowed. “NO!”
She raised her hands, a pulsating blue surrounding her body. There seemed to be a physical shudder of the fabric of time and suddenly they were back in the Exercise Room.
Steel didn’t waste a moment even though he was obvious still in discomfort. “Hear me, we have been invaded by a Transuranic in the outermost corridor. It’s Lawrencium - you must stop him. I can’t. Quickly while you have the element of surprise in your favor.”
He grappled his way to his feet and stumbled towards the door, bursting through it the moment it slid out of the way.
It was empty. Wonderfully empty. Sapphire caught his arm. “Were They successful?”
It is done. The threat has been stopped.
Steel sighed deeply. “See? I told you that you could do it.”
Sapphire grabbed him in a tight embrace. “I was so afraid. I thought he was going to kill you.”
Steel held her close, smiling as he stroked her hair, “He quite probably would have if you hadn’t been able to give us a few moments’ worth of surprise on him. Still, it would have been nice to know how he got in.”
“They will figure it out.” Sapphire let out a breath she didn’t even know she was holding as she broke the embrace. “If I hadn’t drained all that energy from you, you would have been able—“
“No, not him. Not even with Lead. He’s one of the few that I am powerless against. You saved me. You saved all of us.”
“Now I do feel as if I’ve put in a hard day’s night.” She took his hand. “And that’s nothing to sing about.”
Please to note that I sort of played loose and free with Lawrencium - for more information on the actual Element, check out