Defenders International: Chapter 1-01

17 March 2067 (Log b#6945)

It was too early to be awake, the neighborhood was rough, and it was pouring rain so hard it was hard to see three feet away – but little things like physical comfort and imminent danger never kept Canaan Matthews away from training.

The rain, in fact, was something of a comfort as she jogged through what she was assuming was a brick road.  She was regretting her choice in clothes: black sweatpants, a blue t-shirt, and a white hoodie.  The jersey material was drenched and clung to her skin in the worst way, weighing her down as she ran.

Never gonna beat my time like this, she thought almost menacingly.  Drops of water on her bare hands shuddered.

But, annoyed as she was for choosing such cumbersome running clothes, she was still satisfied when the clouds above opened.  It had been a rather uneventful 4 a.m. otherwise.

She’d been running for more than 45 minutes, 35 of them in the rain, when the downpour let up enough for her to take a look at her surroundings.  She was running through a tree-lined residential street towards a small park.

“Not that bad,” she mused, grinning.  With a swipe of her hand, Canaan curled some raindrops into a small circlet of water.  “Maybe I’ll get some practice in, too.”

Trotting over towards the playground, she dismissed the circlet with a wave of her hand and hopped up on the rain-slick swing set.  Her sneakers skidded a bit on the surface, but with a few twitches of her fingers, the water solidified and held her in place as she grabbed the chains of the swing.

The rain had reduced to a brief drizzle, and a hazy pre-dawn light was spreading through the streets.  Canaan swung back and forth gently, muscles lightly flexing.  She had slept only about five hours the night before, but she didn’t feel tired.  She could never be quite sure, though, if it was because of her training or because of her abilities.

She had only a few months left until her eighteenth birthday, meaning there were only a few months left until Canaan could take the examination for Defenders International.

Canaan had spent her entire life counting down to her DI examination.  Her parents, God rest them, were part of DI until the day they were killed when Canaan was four years old.  She could hardly remember much about her parents, but she knew they died defending someone who needed to be protected.  There was hardly a nobler cause.

She’d spent so much time training lately that she felt sure she would do well on the exam.  Grinning to herself, she flexed her arm muscles as she swung.

Down the street, she heard a loud clang.  Canaan halted the swing, jumping down from the seat.  There was someone walking down the residential street she had just been on, kicking over metal garbage cans.

Gross, she thought.  She started towards the street, in a mind to confront the person, but stopped when she felt the water droplets on her forearms trembling.  Something else was nearby, though the dim predawn still kept that something hidden from her view.

What should Canaan check out?

  1. She should go with her first instinct and stop the person from knocking over garbage cans.  That’s really inconvenient for homeowners.
  2. She should figure out what the other thing is first.  It sounds super creepy.
  3. She should just stay where she is and let the other two come to her.
  4. She should run away.

Published by Feliza

Feliza Casano is a writer and editor with a love of speculative fiction, graphic novels, and good books. She writes and edits at Girls in Capes ( and contributes to other websites on science fiction and fantasy topics.


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