The Ables

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Authors: Jeremy Scott
In some of our oldest historical records, he’s referred to only as ‘the one who can do all.’” Another huge pause ensued.
    “Elben was the leader of the Haladites, an ancient army of evil that spread over two-thirds of the earth before they were defeated. The Haladites were the first group on record to attempt to use their powers collectively for selfish gain—sort of the godfathers of organized crime and modern super-villains. Together their combined powers overwhelmed the protectors of that era, who were unprepared for such a concentrated effort.”
    “How were they defeated?” Freddie asked.
    “By perhaps the most famous group of custodians in history, an outfit known as the Ables. The Ables were the first group of custodians to band together for the good of the world, and of course, only did so in response to the rampaging Haladites. They were, quite literally, the only good-hearted six custodians left standing in the wake of Elben’s march across Europe. In one of the most famous battles in our secret history, the Ables leveraged cunning and quick thinking to trick the Haladites into thinking their numbers were much larger than they really were.”
    “Confused and frightened, Elben’s fearsome army panicked and scattered, and the Ables concentrated their abilities on the main villain himself, winning the day.” She paused, perhaps considering whether to finish this particular story. “Convinced Elben’s abilities posed a permanent threat to the entire planet’s population, they executed him right then and there in a place we now refer to as the Bleeding Grounds.”
    Mrs. Crouch took a very large deep breath before continuing.
    “So, children, ‘believers’ is a word used to describe modern-day custodians who are part of a kind of order—an almost religious group that not only believes the old-world stories are true but also believes he’s coming back.”
    I couldn’t help but interject at that point. “What do you mean, ‘coming back?’”
    “In some of our texts, some of the oldest ones, there are prophesies. And one such prophecy suggests—according to some interpretations, not all—that ‘the one who can do all’ will return. That one day, the world will see another custodian with all the powers at once. The Believers treat this prophecy the way Christians treat the Bible or Muslims treat the Qur’an. They treat it like a religion.”
    “You mean they worship this Elben guy? The guy that might come back?” Bentley joined the discussion. It never took more than a few seconds for him to become interested in whatever the topic happened to be. He was the most voracious learner I’d ever met.
    “Yes,” Mrs. Crouch declared. “They essentially worship an individual that may or may not appear one day.”
    Everyone seemed deep in thought for a moment or two before Bentley spoke up again. “Do you believe the prophecies, Mrs. Crouch?”
    She spoke so fast, she nearly cut him off. “Of course not,” she said dismissively. “They’re reading far too much into these texts—some of them are just markings on the wall of a cave! They see what they want to see. They infer what they want to infer.” For good measure, she added, “And I don’t believe in reincarnation either.”
    This was a huge relief to me. I probably sighed out loud. Mrs. Crouch had just told me about the boogeyman but then instantly squashed him like a bug. I wanted to hug her.
    “Now,” she continued, “that’s not to say the world will never see another multi-powered individual. In fact, there are people with dual powers that we know of. Some people call them Jekyll-Hydes, because it’s like two personalities. They have two powers, but most can only use one at a time, and it depends on their emotional and mental state. They’re rare, but they exist.
    “Basic logic tells you it’s possible for a person with all known powers to exist. It’s just math and statistics. It’s going to happen someday. It could

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