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Mutants & Masterminds: Future Imperfect - [Fic] In Treatment

Travis Kincaid

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"Mr. Kraig, do you know why you are here?"

Thomas rolled his eyes at the woman, "Yeah, I'm here because the suits think my head isn't in the game. I'm here because it was that or not be given more field work."

The dark haired woman sighed, "That's not what I meant. Do you know why you've been sent to me? If the director had wanted to punish you, to keep you in line, they could have done that without me. So. Do you know what you are here?" Those emerald eyes bored into Thomas like green lasers.

"They think I'm unstable. They want you to evaluate me, to tell them that I'm not going to snap and go all melt down on them and level a city or something." Thomas stared at the ceiling, it was better than looking at the woman doctor, she was hot, undeniably hot, and she had shut him down so fast during their first session that he wasn't even going to look at her. No matter how nice her legs looked in that skirt.

"Something like that yes. More specifically they are hoping that you will open up to me and let me help you. We already know you are not entirely stable. The previous psyche evals said as much, but there are never enough Class Fives, especially those willing to work for an organization like this. You got through on the merits of your prior experience and capabilities, despite what the evaluations suggested."

"Which was?" Thomas was pretty sure he knew. The Company wasn't exactly known for the breadth of its methodology.

"Termination." He could hear her shifting, uncrossing and recrossing her legs; those long legs that had made him very appreciative of her presence in the office prior to this. "Mr. Kraig, the Directors don't know what to do with you. Your body count on the last mission is twice that of the combined kills of all the other agents in the field for the past year. They need a scalpel, not a weapon of mass destruction, and whatever is wrong with you is impairing your ability to function as they need you to. If I cannot-"

"If you can't get me to play by the rules by finding out what's wrong with my head they'll bench me, or tank me, or maybe just bury me, if they can. I get it." He sat up and looked at her. He could suppress his libido for a while, when he wanted, no matter how gorgeous she was. "OK, Raven-"

"It's Dr. LaCroix-"

He smirked at her, "OK, Raven, how do we begin?"

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"How do you want to begin? I can only guide you through this process, you have to be the one to open up."

Thomas rolled his eyes again. He sat there, hunched over, elbows on knees. "I'm sick of the way this world works. The normals they don't care, not about each other, they hate each other as much as they hate mutants sometimes. The directors send me after a bunch of stupid blips who are endangering people; not just mutants but other blips too, ya know. These guys they blow themselves up to prove that their religion is better, or blow up some company because they test on animals, or they kill their own countrymen because of some tribal dispute that goes back so far it was probably just a dumb argument about dirt. I go in there and ... these people, they want to die. They're willing to kill, or be killed, for their stupid causes." His eyes narrowed and he leaned forward, looking at the woman across from him, "So I oblige them. They can't touch me, but they try, and so I kill them. If the directors don't want me to rack up a body count maybe they shouldn't give me missions where they expect me to deal with stupid blips."

"So, you'd rather deal with mutant organizations?" Her pencil hovered over the notepad on her leg, just waiting to make a note of his reply.

Thomas shrugged and say back, "At least they'd be a challenge. Killing blips, it's like stomping on ants. An ant can't hurt you, but you see one and you crush it because a lot of them, like a real lot I mean, enough of 'em can bring down a house if they keep chewing and chewing. They can ruin your picnic you know?"

Raven jotted something on the pad, "So you see non-mutants as insects? Beneath you?"

"Maybe I do. Maybe they are. Some of them certainly don't do anything to show otherwise. When you find ants in your house you don't just kill the one or two, you spray, and put out baits, and you try to destroy them all. When they send me in I'm going to do it right the first time. If I can wipe out a whole cell I will. If I can wipe out an entire group I will. They don't deserve to live. They only want to hurt people, normals or mutants it doesn't matter." He looked around and then settled on staring at the ceiling again, "For every one class five there are dozens of class fours, hundreds of class threes, and thousands of ones and twos. Those ones and twos aren't like me, they can't do what I do. I have power enough to make sure that these morons don't hurt people. I use it."

"You sound like you think that there is a divide between normal people and mutants." Green eyes regarded him curiously.

"You don't? Sure, right now its peachy. The best of us protect ourselves and all of them. We're heroes or some shit, but what happens when they see us in anything other than the rosy glow of the celebrity and the hero? They'll turn on us someday. Maybe sooner than later. Maybe the blips will get sick of mutants reminding them that they are blips."

Dr. LaCroix shook her head, "I don't think that would happen."

Thomas laughed grimly, "Tell that to the Jews."

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Another day, another session ...

"So, you've said you think that there's a divide between mutants and normal humans."

Thomas' face said it all, Really? You don't? He nodded, "Of course. Who doesn't? We are different. We're mutants. Even the weakest of us can do something that a human can't. Never mind the physical differences that some of us have. They didn't label us mutants without reason, I can't fault them there."

"I see. So then you don't have a problem with it?" More notes. Thomas wondered what she wrote about him in that notebook.

"Of course I have a problem with it. Did you see the last census they put out? 'Are you a mutant?' That was only overshadowed by the follow up 'If yes, what are your powers and Classification?' I mean come on, that's one step from some kind of registration. It's bullshit." He expected her to say something, she was a mutant too, after all, but instead they were both quiet. "They fear us. Even as they admire us, they fear us I think. Not all of them, but the ones in power are the only ones who matter."

"You really believe that?"

"You probably think I'm paranoid. Though with your powers you could know for sure, more than any of us." He'd been only a little surprised to know that the Company's shrink was a powerful telepath.

"You know I can't do that."

"No, I know you can do that, but you choose not to. I'm not saying that it's right or wrong, but be honest, they tell you you should do that, that you can't do that. There's moral issues for you, I get that, but-" Thomas threw his hands up, "How long before they use that to justify banning some powers, and then using that to ban more, until everything that makes us special has a law against it? The F-A-A wants to force flyers to register with them. To get a licence to use their powers and to make them file flight plans. That shit is happening. It's happening and it's not right."

"You're angry."

"Shouldn't I be? Shouldn't you be? Shouldn't all of us mutants be angry and wary and maybe even a little afraid?"

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The room was silent. Thomas looked around and for the first time saw the little office for what it was. Paneled walls lined with books, comfortable furniture, a couple of plants, and even a fake window with fake sunlight. He wondered how crazy he must be that he actually enjoyed the idea of that deception. It's the thought that counts. Or something like that. Raven sat in that wingback chair, her pen hovering over her notebook, watching him, waiting. "Well doc, what do you want to grill me on today?"

"I don't want to grill you on anything. This works better if you want to talk, but, since we've been sitting here for fifteen minutes and the only progress I can note is that you haven't spent it staring at my legs or my breasts ... fine. Why don't you tell me about your childhood."

Thomas turned to face her, a sour frown on his face, "Before or after my dad killed my mom and tried to kill me?" The woman merely looked at him, waiting. With a roll of his eyes and a shake of his head he sighed, "You know, they were happy before me. Like really happy. Then they had a son who wasn't normal. I don't remember ever not having my powers. As I understand it I always had them, that's how class fives work, we're born with them to some degree or another. It depends on the person and the power, and they aren't strong, but yeah. Even as a kid I didn't get hurt when I fell. I burned myself once, when I was like three. I remember my mother telling me about it later on, when I was like seven after ... anyway, she said that even though it was barely a burn at all I hollered all kinds of holy hell because I had never hurt myself before then. So in that respect I wasn't even close to a normal kid. I used to fall down the stairs for fun. It didn't hurt."

"I'm told you still do that."

Thomas sputtered, "That's ... no ... I don't."

"To get sympathy from women who don't know better, as I understand it. Your reputation as a womanizer is also well documented Mr. Kraig."

A sullen look flashed over his boyish features, "Anyway ... So, I guess my dad couldn't deal with it. The Supremacy wasn't active yet and so we were looked at as freaks more often than not. He started drinking when I was like three or something. It got worse from there. He couldn't touch me, not and have it mean anything to him in his drunk belligerent state. So he hit her, took it out on her, blamed her. I was a freak because of her. She was terrified of him. I can't recall them before that." He broke off and swallowed hard looking down at his hands.

"What happened? Your file says that he tried to kill you both."

"Kinda. I was only ten, it all happened so fast. I honestly don't know if he hoped it would work or if he just wanted to try, but he tried to shoot me. My mother wasn't thinking, she might have lived if she had thought that maybe it wouldn't hurt me. Instead he shot her. She was protecting me. Even though I scared her, I know I did, she still loved me."

"And then he shot himself in the-"


"No? Your file-"

"Is wrong. He didn't kill himself. I killed him. I grabbed that gun with nothing but hatred and fear of him and turned it to his head and blew the bastard's brains out the back of his skull."

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