“A dry soul is wisest and best”
Meena Allen. Meena Allen. Meena Allen. She loved saying her name to herself. Reminding herself of who she was. Some people didn’t like being defined by their name, their heritage. Not Meena. She was Native American and proud of it. She showed that pride every day. By helping her community, studying her past, and joining her people in protest when she could. Meena was damn proud to be a Native, and nothing would ever change that.
It was something she didn’t really enjoy. But, it was one of the only things she completely understood. Change was in her DNA. Good change and bad change. Her people were used to it. It defined them. So Meena decided at an early age she was going to embrace change. Become it. Study it, even. It’s why she dedicated her life to studying the climate. It changed every day, and that fascinated her. Some days, she found herself just sitting outside and enjoying nature. Being connected to the Earth. That was important to her. All of its warmth, and beautiful brutality wrapped her up, made her feel whole. Change was something she knew. According to her family, it was the only thing she knew.
“Are you going to get a job?”
“That’s not a real job, is it?”
“What are your long-term plans?”
“Is that it?”
“So, you’re happy just looking at clouds all day?”
“With your brains, you could be the next President!”
“Imagine that, Meena. My daughter, President of the United States!”
“You should apply yourself.”
“Your parents didn’t spend all this money for you to waste your life.”
She heard it all in the months since she finished college. And she hadn’t seen her family since then. Meena decided that if she was going to make something of herself, nothing good was going to happen back home. So, she decided to make the cross-country trip, with nothing but a few hundred dollars and some snacks. Now, she was in New York City. A city she didn’t visit too often, she barely remembered coming here when she was a baby. But she needed to be here. Proud as she was of her family, of her roots, Meena needed this. She needed to find her purpose in life. Actually, she knew her purpose. She just needed a way to turn those dreams into reality. All she needed was direction.
It didn’t take long for Meena to find that direction. At first, she was discriminated against at just about every job she had. But in time, she turned enough heads to secure a position as an assistant at a news station. From there, she worked her way up to become chief meteorologist, and at only twenty-five years old. Her aptitude for weather and climate were undeniable. And her love of climate change and global warming neared obsession. At least, that’s what her colleagues said.
Meena didn’t care though. She knew she was a genius in her field and her future was filled with nothing but bright things. She was even considering going back to school to get her Masters. Her family supported her as well. It was to be expected, they never understood her love for the climate or anything else, but they understood the money she was making. Even if it was something on the surface level, Meena was happy to be connected with her family again. Connected with her people.
One day however, her life changed. And although Meena had prepared every second of every day for a moment like this, it still hit her hard.
It all started with Meena losing her job. Her boss didn’t explain what it was. He just told her that they had probable cause to believe she was up to no good. What the hell did that mean? Meena didn’t let her mind hang on it for too long though. With her brains, her drive, she was sure to get a job soon, right?
Months went by. Meena was running out of money and she didn’t have enough to make her rent. Her family expressed their disappointment and refused to help her out. She felt abandoned. When Meena went to her landlord for an extension, he threatened to have her deported. He thought she was Mexican. It was a terrible situation. But Meena didn’t let her mind hand on it for too long.
Months later and Meena Allen is homeless. No family, no friends, and no place to go. Occasionally, people on the street will recognize her and take a picture. Some just want to take pictures because she’s homeless. But, she’s embraced change and lives her life. Whenever she wants to cry or wants to break down, she thinks of her people. They endured what America put them through. So Meena knew she could endure this. One day, she was outside when a man approached her.
“Hello there,” he said. “Meena Allen?”
“My name is Eli Little. If it isn’t too much trouble, I would love to take you out to lunch.”
Eli Little? Of course Meena knew the name, but she thought he was a ghost tale. A figurehead the media created to keep people in check. Yet, here was this bald, black man standing in front of her wearing the most expensive suit she’d ever seen. She was hungry too. So, she decided to accept his offer, but only this. Somehow, some way she would figure out how to get back on her feet. And not with this man’s help.
The diner they went too was nice. The man just ordered a coffee. So Meena did the same. He looked at her with a look of confusion.
“You’re a woman of pride,” he said smiling. Meena hated his smile.
“I get that,” he continued. “But I’ve studied you. Studied your work. You should be doing bigger and better things than working at a news station.”
Meena didn’t say anything. She took a sip of her coffee. It needed more sugar. But she didn’t say that.
“Fine,” the man said. “Let me reason with you some other way. We’re cut from the same cloth, Meena. And by same cloth I mean brown skin.”
“The world only allows us to be on top, by ourselves, for only a certain period of time. There’s this law of nature I feel, that only lets colored people succeed if we work together. I have a feeling that this is true. Would you agree?”
Meena didn’t doubt anymore that this was Meri-Tech CEO Eli Little. She stopped looking at her disgusting coffee and looked at Mr. Little.
“I’m building a team. The world is different now, Ms. Allen. And I need someone with your background and expertise on my side.”
Meena scoffed and continued to drink her coffee.
“My apologies,” Little said. “I tent to sound like a white man on more than one occasion. But I’m serious. Your background, your connection to the weather. I think I can amplify your love of the climate. I can get you a literal connection to this world, and everything around it.”
Meena had heard enough. She wasn’t going to be a puppet to this man’s game. She got up from the booth and left the bald man to pay for the nasty coffee.
Weeks went by. Meena had secured a job washing dishes at a local diner. It wasn’t much, but she thought of others, past and present, who didn’t have what she had. She scrubbed those dishes with pride. Still, she needed a place to live.
One day while walking Meena could smell smoke. She never liked the smell of smoke, but she didn’t hate it either. Following the smell, Meena found its source. It was a fire. But it wasn’t just any fire. It was one of the biggest, most vicious fires she had ever seen in her life. In the fire she saw a lot of things, but she saw one thing over it all. Change. Fire represented the most amount of change in life. Whenever fire appeared, whatever it touched would be changed forever. Meena saw the change happening before her and tears started to come to her eyes. Happy tears or sad tears she wasn’t sure. Everyone’s story would be different with this fire. She started to look closer and noticed something about this building. It was her old building.
Meena began to look around. There were people that she recognized standing on the street. They recognized her too. Some acknowledged her. Meena didn’t see her former landlord though. Maybe he was somewhere else. Of course, not everyone who lived in this building would be here, in this exact place right now. But something inside Meena told her that the landlord didn’t make it out. She didn’t have proof, but she didn’t need any. Change happened.
“Intoxicating, isn’t it? I must say, the smell of fire is something I’ll never get used to. It’s—well, I think I already said the proper word. Intoxicating.”
It was Eli Little. Meena’s first instinct was to hit him and run away screaming.
He was right, though. It gave her life.
“I did this Meena. And I made sure that evil landlord didn’t escape. And you know what else? I’m going to buy this building after this fire. Turn it into whatever you want.”
Meena looked at Eli Little.
“What do you want?”
“To make this world better. That young man across the street? He’s with me. Part of the team we’re building.”
A young light-skinned man across the street waved. He smiled at Meena, but she just stared at him.
“You think we’re broken,” Meena said. “You’re trying to fix us.”
“You misunderstand me,” Eli said. “Life has dealt us each a hand. I’d be lying if I said mine was a bit better than most. But you? And our young friend across the street? You two have gone through great change in your lives.”
“And I don’t think anyone would handle your situation with the class you have. Definitely not the young man across the street. You’re not broken, Meena. Far from it. You just need new parts.”
Eli Little’s persistence was paying off. Meena still didn’t trust him. But if he had the money and influence he said he did, she could make some change. She could impact the world in a positive way and give back to her community. She could become change itself.
These are happy tears, she thought to herself. Happy tears.
INTRODUCING MEENA “THE BURNING HAWK” ALLEN
Meena Allen is a scientist and geographer. Her “Native American Science Institute” is one of the fastest growing schools in the country and a hub of free-thinkers and progress. Meena’s rise and fall and rise again has made her an internet star and viral influencer. Some call her the female Steve Jobs or the Native American Zuckerberg. Meena, like all of us, is fueled by oxygen. The more she gets, the more her powers amplify. She changes the flow of combat. She can create fire from within her body, manipulate it, and use that fire to fly. When she does, she looks like a gorgeous, majestic bird. But she can change into whatever form she wants.
END PART 2.
The team is coming together. But what is Eli planning? Is he really a billionaire who has been inspired to help others? Or is Meena right? Are there things we don’t know about Eli and his motives? You’ll have to keep reading to find out. I hope you enjoyed this second part of this story. It’s up a lot later than I wanted, but it’s all coming together. Part 3 will be up soon, and just to give you a hint on the type of story and element. It’ll be really….down to Earth…okay I’m done now. Enjoy your day everyone. Until next time!