"Whoa," Jake said. "I've never seen the gym from here before."

He and Charlie were looking down from high up in the metal rafters of the gymnasium, surrounded by hanging, bell shaped floodlights. They lay belly down with their heads peaking over a piece of plywood ceiling, so no one below could see them. It had been one of Charlie's tests to see if he could make it up here. They had been the first ones to gym class, and Jake was more than ready to accept the challenge. He had jumped and climbed up the grid of steel beams on the wall to the ceiling. Charlie however had simply floated up.

Down below, it was a free period and all the other students were playing basketball or tag, or some other sport. They ran around on the sandy brown, polished wood, covered with black lines that marked the basketball court.

"I thought you might like the view," Charlie said. "You and I are the last ones who need gym class anyway. Today I'm going to show you something rare, something only I can do."

Jake's eyes widened in anticipation. "What is it?" he could hear the sound of shoe bottoms squeaking as they slid across the floor.

"Do you trust me?" Charlie asked seriously. "Because you can't actually see what I'm about to tell you. Like I said, it's something only I can do. If you don't trust me, then you won't believe me, but it is real and it's the thing about my Firepower that I am most proud of."

Jake could feel the importance in Charlie's words. "Yeah, I trust you completely Charlie. You know that. Please honor me with your secret."

"Alright then," Charlie began. "As you know, everyone has Firepower within them, but almost no one knows how to use it. They may not know it, but it's there, flowing through their body. But Firepower also resonates around the outside of the bodies of living things, wrapping them like a coat. It's a weak, natural barrier called aura. Most people can't see it, but I can. Whenever I look at someone, I can see their Firepower radiating around their body."

Jake raised his eyebrows. "What does it look like?"

"It's different for everyone," Charlie continued. "It's a moving flow of color that outlines you're body. But for each person it flows at different speeds, different directions, different thicknesses and most importantly, different colors."

"What do you mean different colors?" Jake asked.

"You saw me glowing that day you met me right?"

"Yeah, you were glowing white. Is that what you mean?"

"No, Firepower turns white when it is compressed tightly enough, whenever there's a lot of it in one place. That was my aura, when it was strong enough for you to see, but I can see deeper than that. My parents told me there were two nerves were crossed in my brain when I was born, and it mixed up two of my senses, although I never had this ability until I learned Firepower. They called it synesthesia, or something. To me everyone's power is a different color. This is because a person's Firepower is influenced by their personality and feelings. I've learned to tell what someone is like just by their color. That's how I knew I could trust you that time we met."

Charlie spread his arms wide. "There are thousands, millions of shades of colors. Some people have more than one color. Most people have one or two dominant colors and just a little bit of many others. Some people have a color that there is no name for, each one a different kind of person and I see them all every day."

Jake was astounded. "Wow. What's my color?"

"You are white and red," Charlie said.

"I'm pink?" Jake asked confusedly.

"No, you're aura is streams of white and red flowing all around you in twisting, turning rings. You have small splashes of a bunch of other colors in there too, but they're just emotions and feelings that everybody has. The white is for your purity and uncompromising goodness. The red is for your intensity and passion."

Jake looked at himself. "Wow, do you really think I'm like that?"

Charlie smiled. "I would know that even if I couldn't see your color. Only someone like that would be friends with me."

Time seemed to stop as the two lay there, admiring and appreciating one another.

"So can you see your color?" asked Jake.

"As a matter of fact, I can. I am indigo, a very deep purplish-blue, though I don't know what that means because I've never seen another indigo."

"What? Never in your whole life?"

"Never. As far as my parent's research found, indigo is a unique type of Firepower that only I have. It is the most flexible and potent of all, with the most broad uses, and the most destructive power."

"It just shows how awesome you are," Jake then looked at all the people around and asked. "Can, you see their colors too?"

"Yeah," Charlie turned around and pointed to a younger boy who had possession of the basketball. "He is an ocean blue." He then shifted his finger over to an older girl with pigtails. "She's bright yellow and orange." Then he pointed at the obese, bald gym teacher watching all the children. "He's a very dull brown."

The two of them laughed.

"Wait," Jake said. "A person's personality can change. Does that mean their color can change too?"

"Yes," Charlie replied. "Certain colors flare bigger and brighter in a person when they feel a certain emotion. Once or twice I've seen a person's color change immediately and drastically, more often though, I see people whose colors are slowly changing. For example, both your dominant colors have gotten brighter since I met."

"Is that good?"

"Yes, it means your feelings are more intense."

"What is Gabriel's color?" Jake asked seriously.

"People like Gabriel don't have much a color," Charlie said. "They're just watery and translucent. That's what they look like to me when they've given up on life or are severely depressed. I've only ever seen a handful like that, but they're out there, with Gabriel being the most dangerous. He used to be bright yellow, but now it's mostly clear with a dark, dingy, yellow tint."

Jake thought for minute. "Can you tell whether a person is good or evil, by their color?"

"Sort of. Technically I can only see their feelings, but I can almost always pick out an evil person by their feelings, but that doesn't usually make a difference. I see evil-looking people doing nice things even though their hearts are not in it and I see good-looking people acting like villains."

Charlie pointed to one of the older boys who were sitting on the bleachers. He was doing nothing, but looking upon all the others with contempt in his eyes.

"His color is evil," Charlie said. "He is solid black. He enjoys the pain of others and feels hatred toward most everyone around him."

"What?" Jake said as he sat up. "Well, we have to do something!"

Charlie grabbed his shoulder. Jake turned around and Charlie shook his head. "It doesn't work that way. He's done nothing wrong. If you attacked him now, you would be the evil one. I admire you Jake, and I know you're almost always right, but this is something I know and you don't. People can control their feelings. People with evil intentions can hold them in all their lives and never act on them, because they know they're wrong. They are some of the strongest people of all and I've been friends with some before. Sometimes, if they are very strong, they can change their colors to good ones. Still, others have evil colors that mix with their good ones in all kinds of ratios. If I looked hard enough in you, I know I could find some."

Jake lay back down, a part of him shattered. "Man, that's so deep. It makes it so much harder to be a hero. How am I supposed know what to do? Where is the line drawn?"

"That's one of time's greatest questions," Charlie said. "You have to stop thinking in black and white, no pun intended. There's not just good or evil. There are degrees of it, motives and reasons. You can still be hero with this knowledge. In fact, it makes you a better hero, since you can judge what kind of punishment is deserved, if any. There are times when you have the right to stop a person from their evil actions and I think you, of all people, know what they are. That's the real reason I brought you up here today, to teach you that."

Jake grabbed his chest, relieved and breathing heavily. "But you see things like that all the time. How do you deal with that kind of knowledge day in and day out?" he asked.

"I didn't," Charlie admitted. "I started seeing them after I unlocked my Firepower when I was seven. I couldn't take it and I think I almost went insane, but I had Gabriel and my family to help me out. Now I have you, Jake. As long as I have a friend like you, there's nothing I can't handle."

The two climbed back down when everyone else had left. Jake's happy, competitive countenance returned and he looked at Charlie with new respect, despite the heavy knowledge he had just been weighted with.

"So you can tell what people are like just by looking at them," Jake said. "That is definitely gonna come in handy."