The incredible adventures of mica and maddi
It happened on occasion and evermore frequently that Mica Ignis woke up on fire. Usually it wasn’t the smoke or flames that shook him from sleep, but Mica’s cousin, Maddi, bursting in with a high power extinguisher pointed at his face.
Tonight was of the flaming boy, bursting in cousin variety. Maddi’s exclamations were the thing that caused Mica’s eyes to shoot open.
“Nobody freak out!” She shrieked.
“I’m not freaking out!” Mica squawked back at her before taking a mouthful of plasma grade extinguisher. Fire danced in his peripheral, he felt it harmlessly on his skin.
Unfortunately, he was freaking out. Waking up on fire was nothing new but it certainly wasn’t something Mica really tried to get used to. Plus, it inevitably reminded him of certain unsavory past events he preferred to repress.
Fire wouldn’t hurt Mica, it didn’t want to anymore. In fact, if he tried, Mica could bring flames into his hands whenever he wanted to; he never wanted to.
“Calm down!” Maddi insisted. “They never go out until you calm down!” Mica tried his best to breath in and out and a normal human speed and attempted not to think about whatever nightmare had caused the flames.
Maddi aimed the extinguisher around the room until the fire was somewhat under control. A lamp was still smoldering when she flipped back onto the bed with a tired sigh. Mica sat up and pulled his legs to his chest to make room for her. And to try and stop the stupid shaking.
“That’s the second time this week.” Maddi sighed.
“That’s not so bad.”
“It’s only Monday Mica,” Maddi said. And then, softer, “were you dreaming about your parents again?”
“Gah! Maddi!” Mica shoved a pillow into his face, his go to avoid-the-conversation tactic. Ever since his parents died in a horrible intergalactic fire brought about by the heinous Space Mafia last year, Mica avoided talking about his parents at all costs. The incident not only seemed to be the cause of Mica’s strange flaming abilities, but thinking about his parent’s death always made him feel like he was on fire- sometimes he was.
“You have to figure this out with me Mica; we can only do so much fireproofing.” Maddi said, sitting up.
As Mica lowered the pillow from his face, the smoldering lampshade fell to the floor. In the not quite morning light streaming in from the window, Mica could almost make out Maddi’s absurdly long and absurdly pink hair, how it curled and framed her dark face.
Maddi looked like she had more to say but Mica was saved the lecture when they both heard the distinct ding-beep! of the house computer. The cousins looked at each other with wide eyes before racing down the hall.
The giant computer sat taller than the both of them, disdainful in all its chrome and LED glory. Mica and Maddie flew into the plush spinning chairs in front of the screen and eagerly read the news that prompted the alert. There was only one type of update the computer was set to notify them of: the Space Mafia.
Undeniably, Maddi’s mother, Marissa Cael, was deep within the evil throws of the heinous and already notorious Space Mafia. The very same Space Mafia that was responsible for the death of Mica’s parents. She had been kidnapped hardly a month ago- the house ransacked and the Space Mafia symbol, a ringed planet with a black star in the center, had been burned into the wood above the front door.
The Space Mafia was vicious and they sought control of all major space ports. Marissa Cael lived in a large Maryland home next to a popular bay-launch zone where ships would shoot out across the water before gaining enough speed to takeoff into the sky. The house had been a gift from Marissa’s mother but ended up drawing unwanted terror. The Space Mafia was after the property and they would go to extreme ends to control it.
The glow of the computer screen hardly lit up Maddi’s face at all when the bright realization of what she was reading illuminated her expression.
“Are you seeing this?” she breathed.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m seeing it.
“Are you seeing this?!” Maddi squealed as she grabbed her cousin by the arm. “Self-proclaimed members of the Space Mafia being held on Zorgon for atrocious acts and uproarious behavior,” she read. “The members will be kept on the prison planet until a distinct verdict is reached. Mica this is fantastic! If they’re holding S.M.s on Zorgon-”
“The Boss won’t be far away, he’s keeping an eye on the situation. Somewhere he can step in quickly if things get out of hand.”
“But not too close in case he decides to bail.”
Maddi’ dropped her hand from Mica’s arm and gasped, “Meconic. He’s on Meconic.”
“Yes! Of course!” Meconic was a small island of a planet located between Zorgon and Earth. The perfect watchtower and getaway zone. And, only a twenty minuet space drive from where Maddi and Mica currently sat.
“We have to go, right? We have to go right now.” Maddi babbled, already grabbing her phone and searching for the shuttle keys frantically.
Of course they had to go. This was the kind of opportunity they had been waiting for- The Mob Boss distracted and close enough to be considered on home turf. They’d corner him and his cronies and demand the release of Maddi’s mom. That had always been the plan. Unfortunately, the plan was starting to seem increasingly unrealistic
Thankfully, Maddi was full of resolve, “We’ll go. We’ll go to Meconic and if The Boss is there, we’ll confront him.”
The meaning of confront him was beginning to fully register inside Mica. They had a whole trunk full of space-grade weapons in the back of the shuttle and Mica was sure The Boss had plenty of his own.
Mica felt fire coming to his skin but quickly stomped it out.
“Let’s go then,” he said, sounding braver than he felt. Grabbing the keys from under a pile of papers Maddi hadn’t searched yet, Mica ran to the garage and started up their rusting space shuttle. Maddi was beside him in a second, taking the pilots seat.
As she adjusted the controls, Mica watched the green lights of the ship’s indicators dance across his pale skin. Still trying to escape him, fire burned under his fingernails and behind his pale blue eyes. Then they were going, the ship humming around them, away from the house and across the water.
Space ran away from them in a familiar way as they made their way to Meconic. The route, Mica mused, was similar to the one they took to the anti-gravity pool in the summer.
“Almost there.” Maddi said tentatively, her hands tight around the control wheel. Mica brushed icy white hair from his eyes and fixed his gaze on the rock fragment they were quickly approaching.
Meconic was a small space island, home only to a community park and local watchtower. From where they were zooming through the galaxy, Mica and Maddi could already see the tall striped structure.
Maddie eased the ship down onto the space island, careful to park in a discrete location. Hidden behind some likely synthetic bushes, Maddie turned to her cousin.
He nodded, “are you?”
Maddie smiled in response and reached back to retrieve a small but notably powerful plasma gun. Tucking it into her belt, she looked to Mica in question. He merely swallowed and shook his head. Graciously, Maddi nodded and the cousins leapt down from their shuttle, the vehicle creaking as they stepped away.
Without question, they made their way to the watchtower, both a mess of nerves and determination. Mica felt fire tingling in his fingers and made his hands into fists in order to keep himself from igniting as they began the trek upward.
Access to the tower’s top floor was attained only through a series of rusting metal ladders. On the second to last platform, the cousins stopped to catch their breath.
“Here we go,” Maddi mouthed before swinging up the final rungs. Mica followed closely and emerged on the tower’s gated top floor to a scene he had expected but inwardly denied. Sparks flew from the goosebumps he couldn’t help.
Before Mica stood the notorious Mob Boss of the Space Mafia, back turned to an unshakable Maddi. The girl had her weapon clutched in both hands, aimed at the dangerous man in front of them. Slowly, he turned around.
The flickering florescent light above them did little to make this this scene any more bearable in Mica’s world. Shadows caught in all the dips of the Boss’s face, he was terrifying, gigantic and clad exclusively in kaki and leather. In his hand was a small device- a screen lit up presumably by hijacked security camera footage on Zorgon.
“I’d ask but it’s obvious,” his voice was like gravel, defiant and real. “You’re looking for your mother,” he spoke coolly.
Maddi said nothing, just jerked the gun slightly in her hands. Suddenly Mica felt incredibly out of place. He shoved his hands in his pockets.
The Boss just cackled a boulder of a laugh.
“Just like Marissa, same hair, same face, and same stupid determination.”
“Where is she?!” yelled Maddi. Laughing again, he adjusted the screen in his hands so they could both see it.
“I’m afraid the person you’re looking for may not want to be found,” I looked at the screen. Across the bottom, over the grainy footage was scrawled:
SELF PROCLAIMED SPACE MAFIA MEMBERS: HELD FOR DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR
And then, one of the figures behind the bars shifted. A swirl of pink and dark skin. Was it…
It couldn’t be.
Maddi let the gun fall half an inch.
“What is…? Why is she being held on Zorgon?” Maddi aimed to keep up a threatening demeanor but Mica could hear the edge of something nervous cracking in her voice.
“Being a part of the Space Mafia is a crime,” the Boss drawled. “And your mother is a very active member.”
Mica thought he might explode right there. His head was full of heat and his fingers were turning red like smoldering coals. Maddi screamed. The Boss pulled out a gun of his own.
“Get out, there’s nothing you can do for your mother, she chose this life!” The Boss growled.
The gun was aimed at Maddi’s head; the fire was practically on Mica’s skin.
“Maddi,” he tried urgently. They needed to get out before-
“What the-” The Boss stared confused at the floor by Mica’s feet where a flame had just leapt from his arm. Maddi looked at Mica then, her gaze fierier than his and they dashed out of the tower. All the way down the rusting steps and falling apart platforms, Mica felt patches of his skin catching fire.
As soon as they reached solid ground Mica slammed shut the door to the tower. He could hear the steps of The Boss not too far up. In the tower was the man who had taken Mica’s parents and now, it seemed, Maddi’s too.
Mica didn’t try to get rid of the fire this time. He called it up, everything he could manage and put two hands to the tower.
He closed his eyes.
“Maddi, get back!”
Everything was going to blaze. Mica was going to let it.
Through his hands, the fire transferred to the tower. Stepping away and looking up, Mica watched flames grander and more terrifying than he could ever have imagined take over the watchtower. The world was full of fire, but now, Mica was Ice.
FICTION / SCIFI & ADVENTURE
THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF MICAH AND MADDI
Sophia DeRise grew up in small-town Pennsylvania and currently lives in Philadelphia, writing stories, reading books and studying film.
EDITOR L. Naisula
GRAPHIC DESIGN Shompole N.L
ORIGINAL IMAGE Duy Nguyen