Jump to content
Dave ST

Aberrant: Mutant High - The Lion, The Wench and the Warzone

Recommended Posts

"Look, guys," Director Drumm tried to plead with his three gathered students. "It's not that big of a deal, okay? We're just going to meet a family who's interested in their daughter joining our family and I'd like for them to meet a few of our students here to help break the ice. Easy peasy."

"But... it's freezing." Aradia said calmly as they all stood there in the driveway waiting for the van to warm up. The quartet stood shivering. "We could totally keep an eye on things for you while you're gone, no problem. Just a normal day."

As if on cue a young mutant with redish hued 'psychic wings' flew past them at break neck speed, slamming into a tree a second later. His 'wings' fizzled out with a blink as he tumbled to the ground just before all the snow in tree buried him. The kids that were chasing him ran to the tree as he was digging himself out, apparently unhurt. He grounded mutant raised his hands, pleading to one of the others that was approaching. "Mucus tag!" The approaching mutant shouted before drowning the snow covered boy in a barrage sticky, slimy mucus balls he dripped into his hand from his never empty nose. The Director and his three companions simply stood there, mouths agape in disgust and horror at the rather rancid scene. This of course meant retaliation and in a matter of moments the booger soaked boy begain blasting the others with bolts of reddish psychic energy, leaving them all drooling in a heap upon the cold snow.

Jericho smiled brightly looking to Aradia. " Oh, how I yearn for normal. Get in the van." He ushered them into the van and turned to the poor snot soaked boy. "Hawke! Hawke, are they dead? They better not be dead. Or vegetables. I want no vegetables either."

The boy shook his head, trying not to cry at the humiliation of being covered in boogers. "They're just dreaming of Cookie Monster."

"Well, that's rather kind of you, I thought you baked their brains this time." Jericho was rather pleased at the restraint the young man showed despite how he was just treated.

"Not really," Hawke shrugged, still shambling his way to the front entrance wringing boogers out of his scarf. "They're the cookies."

With a stern glance the occupants of the van quit laughing hysterically. So much for restraint. Jericho sighed. "Just get inside and let someone know they're out here. We can't have them freezing. We'll talk when I get back."

He climbed into the van and began driving off and by the time the van had reached the end of the drive way, all four were laughing hysterically again...

Just a normal day.

About an hour later...

"Alright, we're here." The van pulled into the driveway of a rather nice home, apparently the parents did pretty well for themselves. "Now, remember..."

"No power use." Aradia repeated, with a roll of the eyes.

"Be respectful." Alex chimed up.

"We're here to set their minds at ease about the school." Natalie said on queue.

"Thank you. Now come on, try to have some fun with this. What's the worst that could happen?" He said with his typical charming smile.

The four stepped onto the porch and Alex rang the doorbell...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Caitlin, dear, would y'be an angel and get the door for me?" The mellifluous sound of her mother's voice drifted through the Kieran family home in Manhattan's Upper East Side. By any lesser city's standards, the small two-story house with its weathered stone facade would be comfortable, if rather modest. On the island, however, it was downright spacious, with a third bedroom that had been converted into a library and a fireplace that was part of the original construction decades before. "We're expecting that Drumm fellow from the school, you remember, and I'm just putting the kettle on. ...And don't you be rolling your eyes, missy!" Caitlin, who'd been doing just that, winced self-consciously as she dragged herself off the living room couch and switched off the television. How did mothers always know things like that?

"I'm not!" she protested defiantly, though she was fairly certain if she'd turned round, she'd have been fixed with Eileen's sharp glare as she peered at her daughter through the archway that led into the kitchen. She hadn't bothered putting on her "company clothes," as her mother called them, electing to meet this Drumm in faded jeans and a forest-green CPZ sweatshirt; why give them the wrong impression? Her running shoes thudded dully on the hardwood as she jogged the few steps to the front door, hesitating slightly before turning the knob. She didn't like the idea of having strangers in her home, especially if it meant moving to some weird boarding school, but her father had been pretty adamant about it. Her rational mind appreciated his logic: she was different now, and there were a lot of people who would dislike her, or be afraid of her, just on principle.

Her teenage mind thought it sucked.

"And smile!" came the stern admonition amid the clink of mugs.

Caitlin sighed, trying hard not to roll her eyes just in case her mother's version of ESP kicked in, and pasted what felt like a bright and bubbly smile on her face as she opened the door.

"Hi!" she greeted them energetically. "My parents've been-" Her vivid green eyes went slightly glassy as she took in the sight of the two devastatingly handsome men standing on her porch: one somewhat older, and roguish, and the other a literal golden boy. That anyone else was with them temporarily escaped her notice. "Ahm," she tried again, blinking dazedly as she stepped backward and into the house. "I s'pose you'll be wanting to come in, then." There was no sign of the typical Noo Yawk drone in her accent, but hints of a soft Irish lilt that suited the young redhead perfectly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Thanks." Alex said, giving the redhead a warm smile. Even having stepped back, she could feel it like a tropical afternoon on her face... then, as the four visitors wiped their feet and trooped inside, Caitlin realised that the warmth wasn't figurative. Once out of the winter sunlight, Alex's own radiance was obvious, filling the hallway with summer's golden haze as he took off the black wool coat he'd been wearing. Underneath, the young mutant was wearing dark jeans and a plain white t-shirt, his long golden hair unbound and falling past his shoulders as he looked around curiously. His eyes were blue, she couldn't help noticing. Very, very blue.

"You'd be Caitlin Kieran, then." the older man said with an engaging smile. "Jericho Drumm," he held out his hand which the girl, still a little dazed from the one-two-punch of Alex and Drumm, took on autopilot. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

"I'm Alex." Exhibit A said in a soft tenor as he likewise offered his hand to her. Small motes of golden light shimmered in his aura and under the surface of his skin where the sunlight touched it streaming through the window. "Nice to meet you, Caitlin."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Caitlin blushed furiously and stammered the appropriate pleasantries in response as she clasped his hand, marvelling at how warm Alex was, like a lion basking in the sun, and how bright. Everyone else looked fairly normal; the apparent diversity in students was some small comfort, at least.

"What in the-?" came a clear contralto with the subtly nuanced accent of a woman who'd spent several years stateside. As Eileen rounded the corner, following the sudden summery glow filling the tiny foyer, she froze mid-step, staring at the Director and his young companions. It was immediately obvious to all the visitors that this must have been Caitlin's mother. Her short, gingery hair was somewhat lighter, threaded delicately with silver at the temples, but her eyes were as vivid and green as her daughter's, if not slightly sharper due to the faint lines at their corners. If genetics had a strong hand in things, the girl would undoubtedly grow to be quite a handsome woman. "Oh, my goodness!" She took a few steps forward, tucking a strand of her bobbed hair behind her ear in a sort of girlish, self-conscious gesture, and extended her hand to the Director with a charmingly flustered smile. "Mr. Drumm. Or," she paused, eyeing him with a sudden shrewdness, "is it Doctor Drumm?"

"Please, Mrs. Kieran," Drumm smiled broadly, clasping her hand in both of his. "Call me Jericho. You're being gracious enough to invite me into your home, so how could I possibly insist on formality?"

"Well, when we spoke on the phone, I, ah... well, I confess I'd expected someone older!" she admitted, laughing. "Please, do come in! And you must call me Eileen, as well. Caitlin, dear, don't linger in the doorway, show them in!" Her mother took Drumm's arm, still smiling, and waved the now-glowering teen pointedly forward as she continued. "Michael's in the library, and I've just put some tea on. How do you take yours, then?"

As the adults moved down the hall to the cozy reading room, Caitlin tried her best to smile. They seemed okay, sure, but having a brilliant and vivacious mother could be kind of embarrassing when she decided to flirt with the guy who might be your principal. Or, dean, or director, or whatever.

"Right," she began, biting her lower lip as Aradia and Natalie trooped in. "So, welcome to Chez Kieran, coats on the stand just there. I'll be your hostess for this afternoon, please keep hands and arms inside the hallway until the tour's over, and please remember, no flash photography. If you'd like a souvenir, we'll visit the gift shop on the way out. Now." She clapped her hands together emphatically, hoping a bit of bravado would tide her over for a bit. "Any questions?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aradia shrugged out of her coat, revealing a somewhat artsy-funky type of outfit that complimented the streaks in her hair (currently dyed a pale green), in a bit of that 80's throwback look that was becoming so popular. She pulled off her sunglasses too, exposing brightly-glowing green eyes. While it was obviously impossible for Alex to hide his abilities, his incredible good looks and almost supernatural charm made people - at least some of them - less hostile towards him. Aradia's eyes, however, usually just freaked people out a bit. But this girl was a mutant, and her parents seemed to be dealing with it okay. Besides, it seemed rude to keep them on inside, so she tucked them in the pocket of her coat as she hung it up.

"Well, I think technically we're here so that you can ask us that, but I'm sure we can figure that all out later. I'm Aradia, by the way, and this is Natalie."

It dawned on Caitlin then that she hadn't bothered to get the two other student's names, and she started to make an apologetic noise, but Aradia held up both hands in protest, and shook her head.

"Not necessary. The first time I met Alex, instead of 'Hello', I accidentally said 'Yes please". He'll never let me live it down either."

She smirked playfully at him though, proving that - eventually - the slightly mind-numbing Apollo-effect was something a girl could get used to.

"Anyway, Caitlin, what do you do? What are your powers? I hope nothing bad happened to wake them up."

The concern in her voice was genuine - several of the kids who had come to the school had been through some pretty traumatic experiences. Aradia's hadn't been as bad as some, but it had still been a harrowing experience. She had real sympathy for the kids who had been through such instances, and treated them with a bit more sensitivity.. at least at first. All new students got Aradia-pranked, eventually. It was her way of letting you know you were truly a part of the LHA family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At Aradia's bantering tone Alex flushed, his smile a little embarrassed. It was plain that the young man was still getting to grips with his more-than-human good looks, as Aradia knew well from a discussion she'd had with Sonja regarding Alex's smile and whether or not he realised what it did. Still, he wasn't going to let Cirque off that lightly. During the distraction provided by Mrs Kieran, he leaned slightly towards her, his voice a stage-whisper that reached the ears of the other students, if not the occupied Dr Drumm.

"As I remember, your first word was 'Wow'." he reminded her with an expression of wide-eyed sincerity. Aradia reddened a little, nudging him with her shoulder, but Alex smiled impishly and added. "She recovered her eloquence enough to ask me to help her move a carpet, though."

"Move a carpet?" Caitlin asked, bemused.

"Through a window." Alex nodded, as though imparting state secrets. "After the opening statement, how could I say no?" Aradia fought both the urge to step on his foot and the one to giggle. Alex grinned and, after hanging up his own coat, took both Aradia's and Natalie's coats from them, hanging them up in turn. Some habits, especially the Old World courtesy, died hard - not that there were many complaints.

He remained silent after Aradia's question, though, wanting to hear the answer himself. Everyone had a different story to tell about their manifestation - some bad, some funny, some tragic - and he wondered what Caitlin's was. At least her parents weren't disowning her for being a mutant, though having now met Caitlin's mother at least Alex realised that Mrs Kieran - and likely Mr Kieran too - were considerably warmer and more loving individuals than his own 'biological donors'. He refused to call them his parents anymore - maybe once they had been, but they'd decided that they didn't want a mutant stinking up the old homestead. So be it. Alex wasn't over their rejection, not by a long shot, but he found it easier to deal with by telling himself that they weren't his parents anymore. Angst and bitterness didn't come easily to Alexander Andrews, but he was able to hang on to a small shard where his own family was concerned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Ah," she said, as if she'd expected the question, and there was a long moment of awkward silence in its wake. Caitlin pursed her lips, her chest heaving slightly as she slowly exhaled.

"Well, t'be honest, I'm not really sure what I can do," she confessed. "Not completely, anyway. I'm in perfect health, better than I've ever been. I don't shoot lasers out of my eyes, or fly, or, or..." She thought for a moment, her pensive expression softening slightly as she remembered Devin's over-excited barrage of questions. "Or control lightning, or teleport, or become huge when I get angry, or turn into metal, or anything like that. I s'pose I haven't really had the chance to try." Here, she shrugged slightly, a vaguely dismissive gesture. "It happened during my volunteer shift at the zoo. One of our old male Bengals hadn't been eating, so Dr. Ford- he supervises the clinic staff- decided we needed to sedate him and bring him in. He'd had some behavioral issues before, so we kept him separate. He, um..." Caitlin's fingers twitched briefly, spasmodically at her sides as she continued. "Something went wrong. I don't remember why, I wasn't supposed to be in there, but I ended up in the enclosure. Rajah had the vet tech cornered; he'd been so lethargic, I guess Jen was just careless. I remember thinking she was going to die right there, mauled to death for getting into a sick tiger's territory, and then I think I started running toward them?" Her voice was shaking, and she clasped her hands together, twining her fingers together nervously as she made every effort not to sound hysterical in front of a group of strangers. "I- I don't, ahm, I don't really remember. I could sort of taste the adrenaline, but everything's all hazy and reddish." She didn't mention the way the tiger had smelled, like something in him was rotting, like death. The young girl's green eyes widened, her pupils shrinking to tiny pinpricks at the memory. Hot. Coppery. Roaring in her head, roaring in her ears. Pain. Her breath hitched suddenly, sharply, and she blinked, looking for all the world like someone who'd just awoken from a nightmare and was struggling to remain calm.

"I woke up a few days later. The, ahm, the hospital staff were really attentive, and polite. My parents were there, and they told me what supposedly happened. I guess it was on the security cameras." Caitlin glanced at the new faces, wondering how 'normal' she'd seem to them now. "I attacked Rajah," she said quietly, twisting her hands. "I ran at him, jumped on his back, and started- started tearing at him. Both of us almost died. Jen was... okay, but, she..." Taking a deep breath, the redhead composed herself somewhat. "She's transferring to another part of the zoo. She's asked not to work with the big cats anymore. So, I'm out of school, now, and I guess this academy is probably the only place for me to go."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alex exchanged a glance with Aradia at the redhead's last statement, the expression on both teens' faces being somewhat similar: sympathy mingled with wry humor - the 'that sounds familiar' look - before Alex turned his gaze back on Caitlin and smiled, shaking his head in amazement.

"You know," he began conversationally "It doesn't matter how many different manifestation stories I've heard since coming to the school, they're all amazing. So's yours." He smiled wider. "You attacked a tiger?" he asked rhetorically. "You're going to fit in great."

"Alex is right." Aradia grinned a little. "It's not that it doesn't suck a little, what happened to you, but that's one thing you'll share with most of us: we're all at the school because its the best place left." She sobered a little, shrugging. Alex nodded agreement.

"It's a hell of a way to find out you're different." he said sympathetically. "But on the upside, if you hadn't been a mutant your friend would be dead."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aradia nodded firmly in agreement with Alex.

"Exactly. The same thing happened to me. I mean - not with the tiger and stuff, that's totally you! But it was like all of a sudden, BAM! You save someone's life, and instead of gratitude, you get shipped off to some backwater town in New York cause everyone's afraid of you? I was so pi-- mad. I was SO mad."

Her eyes flickered towards the library, as if somehow Drumm's "Good Impressions" radar might have gone off at her almost-indiscretion. But she could hear him chatting with Eileen, and she let out a little breath of relief.

"Anyway, I got over it. The school's a pretty awesome place, with a lot of cool people. It's a little like getting to go off to college early, you know? Anyway.. you wanna go have tea with your folks and Drumm, or you wanna hang out a bit, ask questions about the school and stuff?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit of laughter echoed from the library just as the doors slid open. The three teens looked in the direction, having not made it very far on the tour with their awakening stories going on and all, and as Caitlin's father escaped the room for a moment he approached them with an inquisitive expression. "Sweetie," He started, placing a hand on her shoulder. "All this school stuff and hostessing has to be boring you off your arse." His accent was thick, like a true Irishman that time in the states would never change. "Why don't you show them around a bit? Now, I don't know if your mother and I are willing to accept this Drumm gentleman's proposal, but these kids seem like decent people, so let's not drag them down in boredom by cooping them up in here for the hours it may take for this guy to sell us on his academy place."

"Well, I hope the pitch is good at least." Caitlin smirked. "An if he offers as extended two-year warranty on me, y'bettah take it. I'm the only daughter y'got."

He chuckled silently. "Here," He took a fifty from his pocket and placed it in her hand. "Take our guests out to the pizzeria, it'll far more fun than here. You're teenagers, y'should be out having a good time, so get. Oh, and sneak me back a few slices of meat lovers deep dish, an don't tell your mother..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Caitlin smiled up at her father, her mood buoyed by the big man's very presence. She knew he was as anxious about the business with the school as she was, about her being away from home, but she knew, too, that all of this was just a formality; he'd already made up his mind that the Lawrence Hunt Academy was their best option. Meeting Drumm in person just gave him the chance to size up the man who'd be looking after his only daughter's welfare. Looping one arm around his midsection, the redhead gave her father a quick sideways hug as she shoved the money in her front pocket.

"Thanks, Dad," she mumbled gratefully against his side. He clapped her shoulder affectionately and ambled back down the hall to interrupt his wife's chat with "Call me Jericho" before it exceeded the bounds of good taste.

"Soooooo," she drawled, when the teens were once again alone. "I've learned better than t' refuse a direct order when he gives it, especially if money's involved. Now that you've all had the chance t' see the foyer, anyone care for a walk?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"You had me at pizzeria - let's go."

And with that the three teens were off. Drumm had chosen wisely - between Aradia's outgoing cheerfulness and Alex's handsome brilliance, they were hard to resist warming up to. The shape-changer was the more outspoken of the two, offering up a rapid-fire rundown of the school, the grounds, and the cliques. And just when all that information started to get overwhelming, Alex soothed her fears with new-student stories and reassurances.

If everyone at the new school was this nice, maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Outside, it was the Upper East Side in winter, which meant it was cold, grey and the second snowfall of the day was already coming down. Inside the pizzeria, on the other hand, was filled with good smells and animated chatter, which washed over the three teens along with a gust of warm air as Caitlin pushed the door open and they all bundled inside, eyes bright and cheeks flushed rosy with the cold. Alex and Caitlin were still laughing at a quip of Aradia's, so it was a moment before the three realised they were drawing stares.

"Um, hi!" Alex said brightly, waving a little at the nearest diners. Aradia had slipped her dark glasses back on when they'd left the house, so for the moment he was drawing most of the stares as he unwrapped the white cashmere scarf from around his neck. With his blue, blue eyes, golden hair and skin, and summery glow, Alex was probably about the furthest one could get from the popular demonized image of the 'monstrous mutant'... but he was still a long way from looking human. It occurred to him that not all of the stares were curious/friendly. Some would be hostile, or hateful, or suspicious. He fought the urge to either a) turn around and walk out or B) fluff up like a tomcat looking big. Instead, he opted for c) - friendly and non-threatening, and waved at another staring group of diners, smiling.

"You done communing with your fanbase, Glowstick?" Aradia smirked out of one corner of her mouth as the buzz of conversation resumed.

"Quite done, thanks." Alex replied with aplomb, trying not to act too relieved that everyone seemed to be turning back to their meals at last. He looked at Caitlin apologetically. "Sorry for the awkward staring thing. You a regular here?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Mhmm," Caitlin replied, tugging off her woollen hat and gloves and unceremoniously shoving them into the pockets of her coat as she slid into the nearest empty booth. "My friend, Devin, he works here at night, does deliveries after he's finished with classes." It didn't show in her expression, flushed as her cheeks were from the chill air outside, but the slightly higher pitch of her voice betrayed more of the nervousness she'd shown in the foyer. Alex and Aradia were both really nice, and as long as she didn't look directly at the luminous young Helios she'd found she was able to carry on a coherent conversation, but... lots of these people knew her, knew her family, and...

...And she supposed it was something she'd have to get used to, eventually, since she couldn't exactly go back again. She was used to getting attention, but not like this. It just wasn't fair. Life was good, and then out of nowhere, bam! Mutation. It might as well've been the plague. Only Devin, of all her friends, hadn't completely bailed on her after the initial barrage of curiosity-seekers and gossip-mongers from school. A sudden rush of warmth flooded through her, following a sharp wave of irritation. Weren't identity crises supposed to wait until you were middle-aged to blindside you?

Dimly, she became aware of the petulant mask she was wearing and slouched back against the padded seat. Her brow unfurrowed and the tension around her mouth and eyes relaxed, replaced with the tenuous cheer of someone trying to make the best of an awkward situation.

"It's too early for him to be here, though," she finally added. "Though, that does remind me. Can you have visitors at this school, phone calls, that kind of thing? Thanks," she smiled politely at the waitress who brought them water, completely understanding why the poor distracted woman put every glass in front of Alex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With a certain air that said he was getting used to this, Alex simply redistributed the glasses while smiling and thanking the waitress. After being handed three menus as well, he let her wander away to collect her composure and handed them out too.

"We can have phone calls, plus we've got internet access in each room. I think the policy on visitors is pretty relaxed, though all visitors need to be cleared ahead of time. Plus, of course, all visitors have to go through the standard 'welcome to the zoo, please keep your arms and legs inside the moving vehicle' orientation, as well." He shrugged casually as he glanced down the list of pizza-type food then smiled over the menu at Caitlin, his blue eyes glimmering with the occasional spark of golden light. "General common-sense stuff, usually."

"Like don't stare." Aradia said with a grin, just loud enough to be heard by the nearest tables. "And if you see a strange gadget laying around, don't pick it up."

"And don't eat the meatloaf." Alex added. "Though I think that rule's universal. To be honest, though, I'm not one-hundred-percent on the visitor rules. There's not been much call to use them. Sonja's folks visit sometimes, I think. Some of the other kids too, who have cool parents like yours. Most of us... don't." There was just a tinge of sad darkness to the glowing youth's luminous eyes, just for a moment. Then he smiled and shook his head as though brushing the darkness away, and the blue sky of his gaze was once more unclouded.

"So what're we getting?" he asked cheerfully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Well, if you're okay with just drinking water, we can get two Sicilians," the redhead replied after a moment's consideration of how much food they could get with the money she'd been given. "They're the big square ones," she explained as an afterthought, leaning forward slightly to make herself heard over the sounds of animated chatter in the busy pizzeria and the traffic outside. "My dad and I usually get the all-meat with pancetta, pepperoni, bacon, capicolla, and Italian sausage, but... I'm willing to negotiate if either of you are vegetarian or something." Please, don't be vegetarians. "That should be enough to tide us over, I think." Caitlin paused, her nose crinkling slightly as she grimaced. "Well, probably, unless you eat like I do, in which case we may be washing dishes."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Sounds pretty good to me, though - here, hold on..."

Unlike most girls, Ari didn't usually carry a purse. Not for everyday stuff, anyway. She dug into her back pocket, pulling out a fairly worn (but with leftover remnants of purple and sparkly) wallet, and tossed a twenty into the mix. Aradia always seemed to have a little cash on hand, something most of the other kids assumed came from her uncle, whom she was on good terms with and came to visit her every few months.

"There - I get pretty hungry too, so we can have sodas and a round of wings or something."

The waitress approached, still looking a little dazed. Aradia, who was also apparently used to Alex's effect on the opposite sex, grabbed the waitresses attention with the deft skill of someone used to it.

"Hey, hon - you're Tricia, right? Tricia, try to focus on me for a minute, k? Good. We're gonna take two all-meat Sicilians, that's a deep-dish thing right? Cool, we're gonna take two of those, with an order of wings and some sodas. You got orange soda? Yeah, I'll take that. You two?"

Ari waited until Caitlin and Alex had ordered their sodas, then politely urged their waitress to let her check the ordering slip before she headed off, to confirm that she'd written down everything correctly. After Ari thanked her, the waitress headed back to the kitchen, and the teen acrobat took a deep breath of the pizza-scented air and gazed wistfully at a pie being carried out to a neighboring table.

"God it all smells delicious. I didn't have a chance to eat anything before Drumm nabbed me this morning. So Caitlin, what are you into? You a sports girl, or an art geek, or what? Tell us about yourself."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Mmh." Caitlin quickly swallowed the water she'd been drinking, nodding as she did so to acknowledge the question. "Soccer, volleyball, and track mostly. I didn't have time for much more, so basketball, tennis, softball- all that was out. At least as far as extracurriculars go. I'm not really good at the whole 'artistic self-expression' thing, honestly. My stick people look pretty much the same as they did when I was in kindergarten. I'm just glad my dear mother doesn't still post them on the fridge." A rueful, slightly self-deprecating smile tugged at the corners of her lips for a fleeting moment before she continued, "I was on the JV teams, so things got pretty hectic with practices and games, but since I didn't do band or anything else it was manageable. My parents've been really supportive, even though work takes over their lives. 'S not their fault, though. Just the nature of the beast, I s'pose."

She pursed her lips, a tiny crease appearing between her brows as she considered the question further. "I planned on going to college, maybe majoring in veterinary medicine, but under the circumstances I'm putting all that on the backburner for now. I've still got a few years before I have to decide, and who knows?" She shrugged, the exaggerated rise and fall of her shoulders an eloquent expression of her thoughts. "I might decide I'd rather do somethin' else anyway. So." After a few moments of silence, the redhead took another gulp of water and looked expectantly at the other two teens. "You guys?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I actually... have no idea." Alex blinked his brilliant eyes for a moment, as though mildly surprised to discover this about himself. "I'd always kind of assumed without thinking about it that I was going to go and do something. Study languages at uni then go into the Foreign Office, probably." he added with a shrug. "Follow in father's footsteps, path of least resistance stuff." He frowned slightly.

"Not much chance of that now."

"Yeah, not many countries call for their overseas diplomats to glow." Aradia said with a smirk.

"I was thinking I'd work on the intelligence side of the Foreign service." Alex shrugged, starting to smile again. His eyes met Caitlin's and he winked before straightening imaginary cuffs. "Andrews... Alex Andrews." he said in his best suave voice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Y'know," she mused, resting her chin on the heel of her hand, "I'm not sure what would be the better part of that job: the toys, or getting to say that line."

Tricia arrived then, another waitress in tow; the latter stared dazedly at the youthful Apollo until the former nudged her with an elbow and urgently whispered something that sounded very much like, "I told you!" Fortunately, they'd also brought a basket of hot wings, a tray of drinks, and two large, square pans loaded with meat and bubbling cheese. With practiced ease, Aradia adroitly maneuvered the two ladies around the table, making sure neither of them suddenly lost muscle control and dropped their meal.

"You have to do that every time you go somewhere with him, don't you?" the redhead asked, partly curious, partly conscious of her own inability to look in Alex's direction, and mostly amused.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The three mutants bobbed and weaved in the lenses. The cold soldier's hands shivered slightly making it difficult to keep his assignments steady in his view. Beside him another soldier in the same gear was peering through the scope of a high powered sniper rifle. "Targets confirmed, sir. Alex Andrews and Aradia McConnel are in 'Nick's Pizza, 1814 Second Avenue'. Genetic signatures match what's in our database sir, readings are coming back 98% accurate. The McConnel kid's spiking like crazy on the meter, sir. Should we prepare for the worst?"

"Negative," came a modulated voice over his earpiece. "Teleporters have the effect on the equipment sometimes, techies aren't sure what causes it. Proceed with providing support and support only. We're sending in a special operative to retrieve them. The brass wants to let their new lap dog out for a walk, lest he starts peeing on the furniture." Everyone on the channel within the seven block containment area for the retrieval of the mutants teens all snickered in unison like a group of immature frat boys.

All except one...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Very funny." The blonde Goliath stomped across the street on his way to Nick's Pizza. The seven foot tall beast of a man ignored the looks of the pedestrians he passed on the street as his breath plumed up in the frozen New York air and trailed trailed off behind him. He didn't have on a thick winter coat despite the cold, no, his body was covered by an old leather vest that looked like it had seen its fair share of the road along with leather pants and heavy boots to match. "Just so y'know soldier boy, when I'm done here I'mna find you, and kill you. Still think that shit's funny?"

The door to Nick's swung open and the large mutant stomped towards the table where the teenagers were enjoying their meal, apparently laughing at some joke Aradia had just made about Alex. In his usual good spirit Alex smiled and played along with the joke. With a swipe at his ear the beast-man retrieved and tucked his earpiece away in a pocket and continued his approach until he was standing at their table, all seven feet of his imposing frame. The trio awkwardly staring at the 'man' noting his bestial features and sharp, black talons on the tips of each of his digits.

As they sat there, pizza resting in their hands and mouths agape, their brains still unsure whether a bite was preferable to taking their eyes off this monster who just invited himself into their bubble. Caitlin finally managed to muster the will to break the awkward silence. "Can we, uh... help you?"

"Nah." The man said, casual as you please, like the Janitor from Scrubs. "I'll be out of your hair riiight... about..."

The glass shattered as two sniper rifles discharged their rounds. Aradia snapped forward from an impact in the back of her neck and Alex was thrown back as something struck his chest. Quickly the darts in the teens released enough voltage to drop an elephant, causing them to fall into a painful, limp vegetative state; fully awake but unable to make their minds or bodies do anything they asked.

"Now." He didn't hesitate scooping up the two limp mutants, carelessly grabbing each by the back of the neck, and dragging them out of Nick's as if they weighed nothing to him. "Enjoy your pizza kid. Window broke, better eat 'fore it gets cold."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was glass in the pizza, glass in her hair. The other patrons were making an assortment of panicked noises in the background, exclamations of surprise and fear that grew louder as the sense of collective shock began to dissipate; Caitlin remained where she was for several interminable moments until it seemed decades had passed since her last breath. Her face felt hot, and the manic beat of her heart was a jackhammer inside her ribs. Some psycho (with accomplices, a heretofore silent part of her brain chimed in, reminding her of the shooters outside) was walking off with her two new potential friends, and friends were something she desperately needed. Who knew what would be done to them?

Without thinking, Caitlin slid out of the booth. She didn't bother grabbing their coats; it would take up too much time, and she couldn't afford to think about whether they'd even be needed in a few minutes, anyway. For just a brief moment, she was back in the enclosure at the Central Park Zoo, back in that moment just before-

"Hey!" she shouted at the big man's back as the distance between them diminished. "Let my friends go!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The large mutant sighed at the sudden redheaded inconvenience. Shaking his head he slumped the limp bodies over the bench of one of the booths and took a deep breath as he turned and faced the petite redhead. Her scent assaulted his senses and he could smell the myriad of emotions swirling through her. She was determined and he could smell her adrenaline level raising... this little girl was actually going to try and stop him. The thought almost made him burst into laughter but instead he inflated his chest with one last sigh and gave her a look that bordered on pity.

He rolled his eye and looked to the heavens, shaking his head. “Every time, some dumb ass always has to be a hero. Snipers just shot your ‘buds’ and I’m a seven foot tall mutant who is about to walk right out the door in broad daylight with thirty plus witnesses to watch me do it.” He leaned in and smiled and she saw the his sharpened canine teeth elongated, slowly pushing themselves through his gums until they were quite intimidating and quite capable of tearing large chunks of flesh from the unfortunate. “What part of this situation tells you that I’m just fuckin’ around?!”

She didn’t see it, she couldn’t have. He was swift and experienced in distracting his prey. His left arm swung up and patted her aside like she was weightless. His forearm was the thickness of Caitlin’s thigh and it made an audible thud as solid muscle smashed across the Irish girl’s jaw, sending her reeling backward and soaring through the air. Her lower jaw shattered and reflexively swallowed two teeth, three others shattered and the taste of blood filled her mouth. Her shoulder slammed the durable wooden benches of the booths, tearing out of the socket as her ribs cracked violently without her arm in the way to cushion the impact.

He smirked. “Fuckin’ humans. You’re all to soft, shame too, you were kinda cute.” Guttural laughter grated through the ears of the witnesses and they cowered in fear of his malice as the big man turned to reclaim his two prizes…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Her world a sea of of blood, pain, and shattered bone, Caitlin lay stunned as her nerves exploded in blistering agony. The redhead had a solid grasp of anatomy, and some distant part of her brain took a mental inventory as she slowly slid into shock. She had to be bleeding internally- it was what she'd imagined it might feel like to be hit by a car. She was going to die, this psycho was going to take Alex and Aradia, and there was nothing she could do about it. Already, she could feel herself trembling, feel the world growing

Hotter?

Her heart, if it was possible, was beating harder than before, and instead of the cold, numbing embrace of unconsciousness, a terrifying enough prospect, Caitlin was experiencing something altogether more unnerving. The pain didn't stop; if anything, it intensified, burning through her chest and face until it tore out of her in a wrenching scream that sent gouts of blood and bits of bone and tooth spattering the bench and the front of her shirt. As horrible as it felt having her ribs broken, the sensation of having them snap back into place was too excruciating for endorphins to counteract. Rolling onto her side, she gasped for air through choked sobs and spat out the bloodied roots of her damaged teeth.

It felt like an eternity before she was able to get to her knees, the horrified onlookers whimpering at the sight of the teenaged girl whose face was bathed in the crimson of her own life's blood. Lifting her head, however, Caitlin could see the lackadaisical swagger of the fanged maniac as he sauntered back toward the two paralyzed students. The part of her that wanted to run, that was desperately urging her to just wait there until the police came and go home to her parents, was abruptly silenced as she caught sight of Aradia's face and another voice took over.

It sounded a lot like her own.

"You... you hit... like a girl," she ground out as anger welled up in her abdomen, igniting the spark that smoldered there.

He didn’t see it- he couldn’t have. He may have been swift and experienced in distracting his prey, but the element of surprise was a fickle thing. The musclebound freak spun leisurely around to administer a parting quip to the dying teen and instead felt only the impact of her full weight against his midsection before his boots left the ground. They shot through the glass of the pizzeria's storefront and slammed against a lamppost outside with enough force to bend the pole as his back wrapped around it; Caitlin, crashing into him, was hurled aside, tumbling to a stop several feet away on the sidewalk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The beast-man clutched his ribs, three were broke and the impact has slipped several of his disks. With all the charm of hawking a lugie he inhaled and spat a wad of thick mucus filled blood on the sidewalk. He straightened his back, his own rapid healing taking effect made every disk slipping back into place a gruesome sound of cracking and popping. Caitlin was new at this, Primal wasn't, the endorphins were like a high for him and as they hit his system he was on her like cat toying with a mouse.

"Oh, yeah... now that's what I'm talkin' about Kitten." His voice was mingled with the under echo of a growl. Caitlin struggled to get to her feet and by the time she did he was on her. She swung at him like he was some playground bully but he caught her by the wrist and smirked. Slowly he twisted her arm outward, and Caitlin buckled screaming in pain, but he didn't stop. Sadistically he twisted until he couldn't buckle any more and the bone simply twisted into splinters within her flesh.

"C'mon girl... can't play with the big dogs..." Letting go of her arm he swiftly swung his arm up and palmed the side of her face, lifting her as he forced her head into the hood of a parked car. Metal crunched and dented under the impact as over and over again he lifted and destroyed Caintlin fine Irish featured with flakes of white paint and sharp, jagged and bent metal. He let go and her body slumped to the ground, blood from her face smearing down the fender. His massive boot met her gut. On lookers stopped counting at seven, or was it eight, as Caitlin, still barely concious still tried to protect her self by placing her one good arm in the way, when she was able. "Stay the fuck on the porch."

Finally he backed off her, cracking his neck from side to side and his sadistic grin was burned into her mind. "That's right, Kitten. You just lay there and bleed, and while you die out, just know that your friends, are gonna get poked, prodded and dissected until some goon is satisfied, or they die. Think on that shit while you fade to black, Kitten." He laughed loudly and it echoed in her ears as her world, indeed began to blur, and fade...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was impossible to get her bearings, and every attempt to right herself resulted in the worst case of vertigo she could ever have imagined. The light throbbed slowly, fading to near blackness and brightening to lens-flare brilliance in a disorienting cycle that would have been nausea-inducing if not for the pain in her gut.

Ah, yes. The pain. Despite her system being flooded with every beneficent neurochemical known to man, and at least one or two that hadn't been properly studied, there were no words she knew to describe what she was experiencing. She'd been afraid of dying before, but now the idea was rapidly gaining appeal, if only to make it stop. She instinctively wanted to cry, to retch, but it was physically impossible to do either; she could only lie there in a crumpled, broken heap of blood and flesh and bone and wonder why, if there was a God, He wouldn't just let her die. Unconsciousness hovered tantalizingly at the periphery of her awareness, held at bay only by the adrenaline coursing through her- the same adrenaline that pushed her to her knees as her vision began to clear.

Pieces of tooth and jaw exited Caitlin's lips in a spray of bright scarlet as she spat the useless remnants onto the sidewalk; one arm hung limply at her side. Unsteadily, she braced herself against the hood of the car that still bore the marks of having had her head smashed repeatedly against it, and though she didn't quite know what compelled her to get up again, she leaned against the buckled mass of steel, just breathing. It wasn't possible that she was still alive. Rationally, she knew that. People didn't walk away from the injuries she'd suffered, injuries that this thing, this psycho doled out gleefully. If he'd done this to her on a whim, what was going to happen to her friends? The more she considered it, the more the wrenching pain of broken bones and mangled flesh faded into the background, replaced by something infinitely more seductive, a soothing balm for her wounds that brought with it a surprising sense of clarity.

"'s'that all?" she called after him, panting softly. The sound of his laughter marked his approach, and within moments, his outsized hands grasped her shoulders, squeezing the joints like iron vises until she was sure those would shatter, too. He hoisted her up, smirking at her pathetic attempt to trash-talk despite being on the very cusp of death; she obviously didn't know when she was beaten, which was almost cute, in its own way. Primal opened his mouth to reply, and his world exploded in a bright flash of red as her forehead slammed brutally into his nose. Shock and instinct overcame common sense, and the leonine mutant dropped her, only to buckle as her foot shot into his knee, snapping the bones backward into a painful parody of a real lion's anatomy.

Without thinking, the red-haired teen moved, pushing off the blood-soaked sidewalk and rocketing toward the blond nutjob's back as he toppled. Her feet struck first, right in the center of his spine, while her good arm encircled the big man's head, covering his eyes and helping her maintain balance as he stumbled forward from the impact. "If yer gonna play that rough," she hissed through clenched teeth as she slung her injured arm outward, grimacing at the sensation of splintered bone shards snapping simultaneously back into place, "y'should really have a safe-word. I'm thinkin' teacup." The oversized mutant tensed, moving to fling her off, and at precisely that moment her fist crunched into the side of his bare neck, shifting his larynx violently to the other side of his throat. The left side of his face flushed livid purple as blood vessels and nerves exploded- his eye was an orb of solid crimson.

Ignoring the thrill surging through her veins, the bloodied teen vaulted back and away, landing in a crouch and panting heavily as she waited for his next move.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The big mutant roared in pain, followed by a strange gurgle as he flailed about grasping his injured neck. It was a solid blow and the beast couldn't remember the last time he'd been hit that hard, let alone the the last time he'd felt pain like this girl could dish out. After a moment he managed to gain his composure, standing straight he twisted his neck from side to side allowing the young woman to hear the cracking of his joints has his rapid healing disgustingly shifted every dislodged portion of his larynx and throat back to their rightful place.

Caitlin honestly expected some witty retort, some quip or jibe from the man-beast, but all that she heard was a low growl. The man's eyes narrowed and he flashed his teeth before he emitted a roar like that of a lion. People covered their ears as windows vibrated and pedestrians who'd been watching from a distance cowered for their lives. His blackened nails slid out from the tips of his fingers like unsheathed daggers and like an angry jungle cat he leapt at her without warning. The voice in her mind, Instinct, screamed for her to move to the left, and she did. His claw missed her by mere inches, raking through brick and mortar and sending maroon shard of debris in all directions. Instinct told her to move again and she leapt to one side, landing in a roll just has his other claw tore into the door of a parked H3, piercing the door easily like it was tin foil.

He looked at her and exhaled loudly, the frozen air from his lungs was expelled through his nostrils mimicking the smoke from a bulls snout one might see in a cartoon. He clenched his fist and the H3's door folded like putty in his hand. He popped it off his hinges with little effort, carried it with him a few steps as he approached her and casually tossed it aside like dead weight. He lunged and she ducked. Knowing she couldn't keep this up all day she took the initiative and swung around to his left, landing a solid blow to his kidney that staggered him several steps to his right. He didn't slow however and lunged again, she swayed back and his claw came within an inch of her face. She could feel the way it sliced through the air, baseball pitchers would kill to have an arm like this guys'. She lunged in herself, catching him after the swing and pressing his swinging arm up against his chest, trapping it close to him as she pushed him back with everything she had, launching him into the alley corner his own claw just took a large chunk out of.

She was strong, incredibly strong in fact, she thought to herself after launching him back several feet like he weighed nothing at all, but none of what she had seemed to be able to stop him, he enjoyed the punishment it seemed, every injury was just another cause for his body to launch those endorphins through his system. He ran towards her his heavy footfalls like thunder on the pavement and her mind screamed at her to get out of the way. She dove to the right but he was on to her tactic and his swing made contact, tears four deep wounds into her leg. Muscle tore and ligaments were severed in a gory slash that exposed bone. Her dive was cut short by the impact and she tumbled to the ground in pain, clutching her leg only briefly before she told herself to be on her guard. She gripped the pavement in an attempt to pull herself away from him, to gain distance and regain her composure...

A blackened blade dug deep into the back of her uninjured thigh causing her to cry out in pain while he sadistically dragged her closer to him. "Oh, no Kitten." He finally spoke, his voice was low and mingled with the growl. "You've had your fun, but I got places to be." Blood gushed down her leg, neither noticing the wounds were getting smaller and smaller with every passing moment. He rolled her over and snatched her up, holding her high in the air.

"Now, Kitten." He squeezed and Caitlin's face immediately turned as red as her hair. His grip was like a vice as she felt blood vessels burst and her bones crack under the power of his hand around her neck. She could tell, strangely enough, he wasn't enjoying this aspect of the days business. Like ruining fine china she was a work of art, a formidable challenge he would never face again. "You die."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A surge of terror, all-encompassing and overwhelming, completely overrode Caitlin's thinking brain as she flailed ineffectually at the taut, corded muscles of Primal's arm. It shut out the pain, the cold, the worry, the stares of onlookers, and all rational thought. She tried reflexively to swallow as her mouth filled with blood, tears streaming forcibly down her dirty face, and the instant she realized she was actually going to die, something snapped, and Caitlin was gone. Something inside her, way back in the lowest, darkest part of her reptile-brain, remembered the metallic taste on her tongue. It remembered sweat, remembered pain, remembered fear. Remembered...

One.

The rhythm. In one moment, Primal was slowly squeezing the life out of a red-haired teenager as she tried, absurdly, to somehow force his arm away. Her life was dimming, fading out in his massive hand like a guttering candle, a flame snuffed before it had even begun to truly burn. In that moment, she was struggling, weakening, as he'd expected, and he was watching her die in the same vaguely interested way people watch documentaries about Ancient Rome while they flip through the newspaper.

In the next, he was blinking as her pretty, bruised, very youthful features contorted into a savage snarl, and searing pain lanced up his arm in two brutal swathes of crimson. Where once had been a thick, inhumanly dense forearm comprised of sinews like steel, there was now only a broad expanse of wet, glistening meat and bloody bone. Without muscle and tendon to control it, the lion-mutant's hand went limp and the redhead dropped to the pavement, though she didn't stay there. As he roared out his pain, Primal lunged, his undamaged arm flashing out to catch her under the chin.

Two.

Caitlin literally sailed upward with the impact, her body tracing a graceful reverse arc like some sort of macabre gladiatorial acrobat as gore trailed from her clawed hands. He was already moving to intercept her, pink tissue creeping up to rejoin wrist to elbow and sheathe the bone between, leaping to meet her in the air and drive her into the concrete, there to bury her. His uninjured arm shot out again, talons still wet with her blood, toward her abdomen; her eyes, blazing green with fury, locked with his as the grievous strike connected.

Three.

The ground reached up, and all was a haze of red, of smoke, and of dust.

None of the witnesses who'd had the nerve (and the stomach) to watch could reliably say afterward what precisely had happened; some believed the girl had just gotten in a lucky shot, and some believed she'd intentionally taken the hit. Some were sure she couldn't have stopped him, and some were certain he hadn't seen it coming. The only thing that was clear, when the two became visible once again, was that both should be tossing coins to the ferryman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both mutants fell to the pavement, both bleeding from wounds that would have killed lesser humans and even as their injuries slowly knitted themselves closed as they regained their strength, each was looking at the other. They were waiting. Waiting for one of them to make the wrong move. A twitch, a breath, a sound, something that the other could use as a moment to strike and end this. Finally both stood up. Primal was a mess but he'd been through all this before. Bullets, swords, knives, fire, you name it- the guy had felt the pain and braved the wounds and already he was regaining his focus.

Caitlin on the other hand was still riding the high. All she saw was red, all she tasted was blood, all she smelled was prey. She was still bleeding, her clothes and jacket were but mere tatters barely preserving her modesty and her hair was blood-stained tangles that hung low, concealing her shimmering green eyes. Her claws, like his, were sharp, tough, and at the ready.

"Wow." A sudden voice came from their left. "You know, asking her for her phone number is the way I would have gone, but please, don't let me tell you how to pick up girls, because really... you have a gift for diplomacy, Primal. Anyone ever told you that?" Both mutants turned their heads to face the voice so fast that a whip-crack sound effect would not have been uncalled for. Director Drumm leaned back a bit and raised his arms, indicating that he didn't want any trouble. "Woah, relax you two, I'm unarmed."

"Sounds more like you problem than ours." Primal replied with a low growl as he wiped some blood from one of his eyes.

"Come now, Primal, you've had your fun and it's time for you to leave." Drumm was eloquent but the tone in his voice was anything but intimidated by the large mutant. "She and the other two students are coming with me."

Primal laughted, and levelled a skeptical glare at Drumm that held all the doubt he could muster. Sure, Caitlin was good, but she was still a newbie and he could tell she was getting tired. He had several more rounds left in him and Drumm wouldn't last the second it would take the Jungle Lord to raise his hand. "Sorry, Drumm, but you ain't holding any cards here." He took a step forward towards the small human and Caitlin moved to intervne but Drumm just held up a hand, warning her to stop.

"It's okay Caitlin. It's okay. Just calm down, he won't hurt me." He looked up at Primal and stared, unshaken into the mutant's amber eyes. "No cards, Tyler?" He took a moment to straighten the lapels on his suit. Primal snarled with rage at the use of the name and brought his clawed hand down on Drumm's shoulder who stood, unflinching. "Do you, by chance, remember that business we discussed not long ago?"

The large hand stopped and Primal stiffened up, regaining his composure. His claws slid back into his finger tips and suddenly he resembled something that almost looked like a man again. "Then, it's done? You did it?"

"Not me, per se, but yes, it's done. Which means you owe me." Jericho tilted his head slightly, giving Primal a moment to choose his next actions carefully. "That's why I'm walking out of here with Caitlin, that's her, Aradia and Alex." He pointed to the booth where their unconscious bodies were slumped. "That's them, Alex is the glowing one."

Primal snorted and turned away. Reflexively Caitlin slipped into a defensive posture, but he dismissed her. "Relax Kitten, it's over. Your keeper wins this round." He turned and faced Drumm, pointing a thick digit in his direction. "This is your one Drumm, next time, I do my job. You or any of your kids get in my way, and they bleed. No games, no playing around. Am I clear?"

"Crystal. Keep in mind though, Primal that I'm not some comic book kook in a wheel chair that's preaching to these kids world peace, love and happiness for all. I'm teaching them life. How to survive in a world that doesn't want them, and how to survive bullies like you and those you work for." He motioned for Caitlin to come over to him and as she approached the pain began to set in as her adrenaline waned. He draped his coat gently over her shoulders. "You? You're living in your Hell Primal, and one day when the last of what you are is pouring out onto the rocks you're going to remember the people like us. All that you could have been will choke on the crimson of the beast you became."

Primal stood for just a moment, his back to Drumm and Caitlin and then just marched on. After a few steps he stomped once, then twice, then leapt high into the air, catching a fire escape and launching himself from it to the building across the way only to disappear over the roof. Drumm stood for a moment and hugged Caitlin tightly, assuring her that everything was going to be all right.

At this point the main portion of the thread is completed. Any further closing posts will be set after everyone has returned to the school (so Aradia and Alex will be conscious and recovering). Simply pick up the scene from there in any manner you see fit. You're adults, talk it over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aradia let out a low groan, and her glowing green eyes blinked open slowly.

,,

"Thufuck? Wha.. ohhhh.. headache."

,,

"Aradia? No, don't sit up, you've been sedated. Look at me."

,,

The acrobatic young mutant blinked again, trying to focus. Slowly, the two Dr. Chases hovering in front of her condensed into one, and she drew in a shaky breath as the school's resident physician started to examine her. Then, suddenly, the glow in her eyes flared to life and she sat up, looking a bit panicked.

,,

"Alex! And the new girl - where are they? Is everything okay?"

,,

"Calm down, Aradia. Alex is right there, see?"

,,

She glanced over at the still-unconscious heartthrob, and breathed a little sigh of relief.

,,

"What about Caitlin? What the hell happened?!"

,,

"You owe Caitlin a very big thank you, Ms. McConnell. She kept you from getting abducted. She's doing fine.. by the time you all got here, she was completely healed, nothing for me to do."

,,

"I don't remember any of that! We were just.. I think we were waiting for pizza? Or maybe we had gotten it, I can't.. it's still a little fuzzy."

,,

"I believe you were knocked out before the fight."

,,

"The what? Man... I miss ALL the fun!!"

,,

Dr. Chase rolled her eyes, and forced the young mutant back down into the reclining position.

,,

"Tragic as that might be, I think you'll endure. Stay there, and no teleporting out of this room until I release you, do you understand?"

,,

She nodded meekly, and settled back into the pillow. Truth be told, she still felt a little fuzzy and weak, and was in no hurry to go anywhere. Besides, whatever Dr. Chase said, she'd rest a little better once Alex had woken up, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once her parents heard what happened, they'd gone through the normal parental reactions: anger, concern, anger again, and then resignation. Truth be told, they'd taken it far better than Caitlin had expected, but it'd been so close to home... She'd always imagined she might be able to "fix" whatever had happened at the zoo, but with so much damage at the pizzeria, and so many people who'd recognize her, she felt the first real inklings of fear. Devin hadn't even tried to call, and she couldn't blame him. She really was a freak. Her mom and dad would be fine, of course; everyone would understand why they sent her away, and no matter how awful she felt about it, there was nothing she could do. The feeling of being a disappointment, the crushing weight of guilt- strong as she was now, it wasn't a burden she was sure she could bear.

,,

Squaring her shoulders, she left the nurse's office after checking on the two students who'd been with her, and headed up to finish her transfer paperwork.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first thing that Aradia noticed as she half-dozed in the infirmary was that it was getting hot. This caused her to open her eyes and glance at the bed beside hers. Her eyes widened. Alex was glowing brighter than normal. The glittering points of light that appeared to be under his skin were sparkling in fast, erratic patterns as some sort of energy moved through the teen Adonis's body. Beautiful, Aradia mused, then her fascination became alarm as she realised that the heat pressing against her face, from a distance of ten feet, was getting more pronounced.

,,

"Uh." she cleared her dry throat and looked around "Dr Chase?" She didn't see the doc, so raised her voice. "DOCTOR!" Running footsteps did little to allay her alarm, but at least someone was there who might have more of a clue what to do. The doctor skidded to a stop and stared for a moment, then glanced at the display on the wall above Alex's head.

,,

"Do I smell burning?" Aradia asked pointedly, masking her panic under snark.

,,

"It's his sheets." Dr Chase said calmly. "He's giving off temperatures approaching 100 degrees Celsius, and climbing very, very fast." She picked up the wall phone and pressed a button. "Code 4, Code 4 in the infirmary." Having given the alert that a student's powers were imminently out of control, she quickly stepped to Aradia's side. "Let's get you clear-"

,,

There was a FWOOSH as the air around Alex suddenly ignited, the flames nearly too bright to look at, but Aradia and the doctor could make out the young man's body as his back arced and he floated a foot above the flaming bed. Searing, golden light played across their startled faces, and Aradia was just about to risk a double 'port and damn the consequences when flames died away. It was as though they had been sucked into the solar mutant's body like water into a sponge, not even glowing embers remaining behind on the ruins of the mattress. Alex was floating above the bed, upright now and with his glorious mane of golden hair playing around his head and shoulders. Sparkling blue eyes opened and he looked down at Ari and Dr Chase, his expression growing puzzled, his usual soft glow illuminating the room like a friendly sun.

,,

For a long moment, it didn't even occur to the two women that he was naked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ari stared at him, her eyes wide with fear and shock. She swallowed, and when she spoke her voice was a muted whisper, even if her words were still Aradia-like.

,,

"Holy shit, firefly.. you just went totally phoenix on us. D-do you feel okay?"

,,

He gazed back at her with an angelic smile, a dreamy and slightly confused look on that god-like face of his.

,,
"Yeah."
A smile best described as 'angelic' spread across Alex's face. "I feel grea-" He stopped and looked down. "Naked."
Her eyes flickered over his body, as if she were also just absorbing that fact herself, and then she blushed crimson, realizing how obvious she was being. Dr. Chase stepped up with a subtle clearing of the throat, and draped a fresh sheet over her still-hovering patient as Aradia gathered her thoughts.. and her hormones. Then the good doctor stepped back, critiquing him for a moment before nodding with approval.
"You seem alright now, Mr. Andrews, but I'd like to check your vitals to be sure. Give me a moment to update the Director."
She stepped out of the room for a moment, and Aradia glanced at Alex, her cheeks still a bit pink.
"Nice.." Glowstick. "..recovery. Thought you were gonna turn us all into a triple-serving of blackened mutie for a minute there."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Sorry about that." Alex apologised, chagrin evident in his voice as he looked around at the scorched bed and walls. "I was..."

,,

...floating in blackness, hearing the stars singing, their voices mingling into a lullaby that called you home, where you'd never be alone, never be sad, never be afraid, and all there was - was the song of energy and the dance of light, and you could leave the world behind...

,,

"...kind of spaced out. I remember the pizza place and then-" he glanced around, one hand keeping the sheet fastened over his glowing form. "Then I'm here."

,,

"We were going to be kidnapped, but Caitlin saved us! There was a fight, and stuff. And we missed it!" Aradia sounded definitely aggrieved over that last. "And we never got pizza- What?" Alex was smiling at her, a warm, amused smile that reached the perfect blue of his eyes and sparkled there in the firefly motes of gold in their depths. Aradia felt a blush coming on. "Aaaand I'm babbling and now you think 'Hey, Aradia got her brain fried'."

,,

"You were babbling." Alex nodded, his smile faintly mischievous for a moment before returning to the genuine article that acted like a shot of brandy, spreading warmth through one's whole body. "But I'm actually thinking I'm glad you're not hurt."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She felt her heart skip a beat, and she smiled back at him softly, trying to fight the blush but failing. "You too, light bright." She wanted to just lay there for a moment, soaking up the warmth she felt radiating off of the force that was Alex.

,,

"You know, every time we hang out, you end up unconscious. We should probably work on that."

,,

He chuckled softly, and nodded. "Yeah.. it's not the company, I promise."

,,

Wow.. you're not just flirting, you're flirting. You so have a crush on him. I mean, you've totally flirted with him before, but you're actually crushing on Alex Andrews, aren't you? This doesn't seem like the best idea, there's no way a guy like that could--

,,

Sadly, their brief conversation (and her inner self-reflection) was interrupted by the door opening, and Dr. Chase stepped back in, accompanied by the man himself, Director Drumm. "Well, how are you two doing? Dr. Chase says you seem okay, but I wanted to check on you both myself..." Drumm stepped up between the two of them, still talking, but Aradia didn't really hear anything else he had to say. Alex was okay, Caitlin was okay, she was okay.. and that was about all that mattered for now. By the time Director Drumm left, she'd drifted back to sleep. Alex was released right away, since he felt good enough to head back upstairs, and Aradia was released several hours later, once she finally woke up again. And for now, everything went back to normal...

,,

--FIN--

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...