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Aberrant: Mutant High - Marco's First Day (Complete)


Marco Moreno
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Spring in a new school. No one ever liked being the new kid at school. Having no friends and being the outsider; it sucks. What made it worse was his condition. To his horror and shame, Marco had only recently discovered he was a Mutant, a freak, and finding that out had cost someone their life. True it was just another mutant, but the fact that he had killed someone still didn’t sit right with the young man. That this was a school set up and designed to handle mutants was a mixed blessing. At least he didn’t have being the only mutant around working against him but yeah… a whole school filled with these freaks.

Marco sighed and looked around the space that was to be his room. It was smaller than the walk-in closet of his parent’s bedroom. At least he didn’t have to share the room with someone else like the poor kids. Mr. Drumm and his lawyer slash guardian Mr. Lovell watched him expectantly and he smiled weakly at them. “It should suffice,” he said. His English was superb, with only a soft hint of his Spanish accent that added a sultry quality to his voice. He watched as they relaxed ever so slightly. Truth be told Marco was hoping he wouldn’t be here long enough for the lack of space to become an issue.

“I’m glad you are happy with it Marco,” Mr. Drumm said. “Well, now that everything is in order here, I will leave you to your unpacking as Mr. Lovell and I finish off the last of your paperwork. If you’d like, I’ll send one of the other students around to give you a tour of the campus. Your welcome package has a map and your class schedule, but we’ve found that having another classmate to show you around and introduce you to the rest of the student body can make the transition period easier.”

Marco looked at the head of the school new without a doubt that his smile was truly genuine. And then the voices came; first Drumm’s, then Lovell’s, then everyone else’s. A flood of disconnected images, feelings and thoughts from what must have been everyone in the building rushed through his mind and he turned away from the two adult before they could see the pain on his face. “As you wish,” he said dismissively as he tried to focus on his luggage. It wasn’t his intent to be rude, but the pain of the telepathic overload made it difficult to remember his manners. The two men left as Marco struggled through the pain to unpack and step up his iPod docking station. Techno-dance music echoed down the corridor of the dorm as the thumping bass and beat began to drown out the voices in Marco’s head. Slowly he began to relax and eventually he could think again. He spent the next hour unpacking and setting his things up.

Once his space was set, Marco switched off his iPod and grabbed his welcome package. He was feeling better after his little ‘incident’ and wanted to explore the campus a bit. Grabbing a jacket of his own design, a striking black number modeled off a Spanish bullfighter’s jacket and removing the little map of the campus he decided to check out the athletic facilities first. After a quick orientation upon discovering the map was less helpful than expected, Marco found himself in the gym. While no one would ever accuse him of being a jock, Marco did enjoy certain sports, fencing the foremost, and wanted to see if the facilities could accommodate his interests as advertised. He wasn’t prepared for what he found there.

Around 30 6th graders were split into 2 groups on either side of the massive gymnasium and were engaged in an enthusiastic game that involved throwing soccer ball sized red utility balls at each other vigorously. Apparently there was no restriction against using one’s powers and the sheer variety of power on display was staggering. There were kids in the air, bouncing off the walls, speeding around the floor. One kid had turned his hands into big fly swatters and was batting balls at the other team, a girl with four arms had a ball in each hand and was swinging for rafter to rafter by her feet, another kid was intangible, letting balls pass right through him and only becoming tangible long enough to throw a ball back and all the while kids were laughing, hollering and cat calling each other. It was a riotous chaos that bewildered and unnerved Marco. As he watched energy flash and kids shape shift or speed around the floor or any other number of impossible things, Marco felt his throat constrict and his chest tighten. Around him small unattended objects began to rattle, then jump and dance as he started generating uncontrolled telekinetic power. Fearing another attack, Marco fled from the gym. He jogged away from the building while trying to get his power back under control, stopping to rest under a large tree.

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Marco found himself drowning in the shadow of someone standing near him, two persons actually. He looked up to see a young man his age, denim jeans held up by a belt with a buckle that read 'Cocky', and a faded old Megadeth t-shirt that declared 'Peace Sells, But Who's Buying". He was handsome, despite his grunge look and shoulder length hair that screamed either 'rebel' or 'eurotrash model'. His companion was only abotu maybe eight, or nine, but as cute as could be. He had a shaggy bed head and was covered almost head to toe in dried mud in various small patches everywhere on him. He offered Marco a toothy grin that was adorable enough to make him smile back.

"Told ya I could find him Revenant." The kid looked up the older one and held out his hand. "Fie dollahs. Fork it over, bish."

The older one, 'Revenant', produced the cash and the kid snatched at it greedily only to find a stiff slap land upside his head. "Thanks, deals a deal, and watch your mouth or I'm not sneakin' you beers anymore."

The kid scurried off, happy as one could be. 'Revenant' crouched down, resting himself on the fronts of his feet like a mutant gargoyle. "You must be Marco." He tossed a small bottle of cologne in Marco's lap, one Marco hadn't unpacked yet, but he knew it was his... he was wearing it. "Stopped by your room, you weren't there." He left out the part where he picked the lock and helped himself to Marco's unpacked possessions. He thumbed in the kid's direction. "Had the kid find you." Still seeing the perplexed look in Marco's expression, he decided to explain. "See, he's blind as a bat. Couldn't tell huh? His olfactory senses and his vision are combined into a single portion in his brain. The kid literally sees the way the world smells. Makes pretty boys like you easy to find, you left a trail all over the school. Pretty cool huh?"

"Whelp, let's go." He said standing up with a grunt that made him sound old. "Name's Warren, peeps around here call me Revenant, and Drumm has asked me to show you around. So, hop to it Cupcake, let's go."

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Marco was considerably calmer when warren made his introduction. He was startled by the presentation of what had to be the dirtiest child he’d ever seen, but that quickly changed to irritation at Warren’s revelation of his invasion of Marco’s privacy. Growing up in numerous private schools, he was used to having his privacy invaded and he knew Warren was testing him; feeling him out to see where he’d fall in this schools social pecking order and what he could get away with. That didn’t mean he liked it. Just one more reason Marco hated being the new kid.

“I trust I’ll find everything else in order when I get back to my room,” Marco said as he slipped the cologne into the messenger bag he perpetually carried with him. “And anything you’ve borrowed will be returned in the same condition you found it,”

Marco pointedly avoided talk about dirty child’s mutation. “So what are you going to show me? And why are you calling me cupcake?”

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"You trust in anything you like," Revenant started. "I don't borrow, I take. If you want it back, come take it back, but relax, you're new so I didn't take anyhing from you, just your bottle of stink so I could find you." He took Marco's hand and helped him up, giving him a smack on the back (gently), before leading him off towards the main campus. "We're going to do the grand tour. I'll show you the basic stuff, plus the stuff the faculty doesn't know about, or, rather, pretends they don't know about."

The two boys walked around and Warren didn't say much else for a moment just a few quips about the campus that Marco had already read about in the brochure when suddenly he came out of left field with an explanation. "Cupcake on the other hand? Because you're soft. I saw your room, a private little suite all to yourself? Must be nice. What? You too good to room with someone? Because you come from luxury you have to blessed with your own private suite everywhere you go?" Finally Warren stopped and spun about facing Marco eye to eye. "First rule of Mutant High, Cupcake. Your problems don't mean shit. No matter how bad you think you have it, there's always someone around here who has it worse. I've seen a lot of kids mope in the shade, Cupcake, and the first thing you need to do is get over yourself. There's people at this school with real problems, and trust me, you and I... any personal drama we could cook up doesn't even compare."

Nonchalantly he shrugged. "Second rule is: don't play chess with Curtis Shane." He rolled his eyes and shook his head. "I'll explain later. C'mon we'll grab a burrito then head to the science labs."

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Marco slid the small $1,000 an ounce bottle of cologne into one of the pockets of his ever present messenger bag as the pair walked and Warren ranted. Idly he wondered just what the admitted juvenile delinquent would have done if he actually knew how much that small bottle was really worth.

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"I see," he said thoughtfully. "So You are attempting to be derogatory because I don't measure up to what you consider tough? Or manly? Do you honestly think I care? I do not. Your opinion is irrelevant to me. I don't care what you or anyone else here thinks of me and I am not ashamed of how and where I spend my money. Whatever your problem is Warren, that is all you. I am not interested."

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Marco's voice had turned ever so slightly sharp as he spoke "Now shall we get this farce of tour and bond exercise over with so we can both go back to what we'd really rather be doing?"

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Warren grinned, adding a silent scoff as he did. Marco really didn't seem to get what his peer was trying to tell him, nor grasp the fact that Marco, as new a he was, barely registered on Warren's radar. His snarkiness was cute, the way he got attitude was kinda cute too. It was so nice to see people think he was just another 'tough guy' up until he actually did knock out a couple of their teeth. "No Marco, I don't think you care. i don't think you care at all, which is why Drumm asked me to be the guy to show you around. Because I don't care either."

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He hunched down and scooped up a paving stone. He tossed it about in his hand until the two passed one of the younger classes, collectively all around the age of five to seven or so. The pebble in his hand started to glow a purplish with a hazy aura about it as the molecules within it were excited to an unstable state. With an arc of his arm he threw the stone high into the air and it soared up and over the heads of the class at least a couple hundred feet. Then it exploded with like an industrial firework on the Fourth of July branching out into swirls of purple motes as the excess energy bled off. The kids all looked up and laughed and cheered on Warren screaming at him to throw up another one. The scowl from heir instructor told him it would not be appreciated. "But, I have to admit Marco... I'm starting to."

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They stood in the bustling cafeteria, which honestly was more like a food court with how busy it was at all hours of the day. "Welcome to food land." He said as he gave Marko a push to get him out of the way as other mutants were trying to get in to to eat. It was like dodge ball all over again and he was surrounded by genetic marvels all doing any number of strange things. They held their utensils with tails, the sped through like speed demons, they walked through tables like they didn't exist, some even reshaped what their food looked like, burritos and hamburgers three times their actual size with a simple touch. It was amazing and frightful all at once. "Yeah," Warren aptted him on the shoulder and point at the mutant making things huge. "If you want it Super Sized, Hector'll do it for fifty cents more. The kid makes a fucking killing. Oh, and if you need quarters or anything, he's the guy to go to too. Burrito's are this way Mr. I Don't Care. While we walk, why don't you fill me in, and I'm breaking one of the cardinal laws of mutantdom, but fuck it, right? What exactly is it that you do?"

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"Hey Warren!" piped a high voice from behind the two. "Look out, coming through!"

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The two tuff guys turned around to see a girl who looked at first glance to be half their height, though in reality she probably wasn't shorter than five foot. She just looked small for her size, in a way that only tiny, adorable asian girls seem to be able to pull off. She had long, straight black hair and dark eyes. When she smiled, she had dimples, and even in the chaos of the cafeteria she was smiling a carefree smile that looked like it belonged on a beach, chilling with a pina colada.

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"Oh, you must be new!" she chirped amiably. She transferred her tray, stacked with food, to her left hand and offered Marco her right. It was dainty and soft and tan.

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"I'm Kia. Welcome aboard!" She gave Warren a beaming smile that seemed out of place directed at a sourpuss like him and asked, "Do you guys have a table yet? You can come sit with me!"

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Marco breathed a small sigh of relief at having a distraction from Warren's question. He didn't even want to think about his powers let alone talk to anyone about them. "A pleasure to meet to Kia," He said with a genuine smile while taking her hand. "I am Marco; Marco Pullés Moreno. It would be a pleasure to sit with you."

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"Come on! Hurry up!" some of the kids in line behind them yelled. "Get outta the way!"

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Marco nodded his head at the kids behind him as a mia culpa and turned back to Kia. "Excuse me, let me just get through this line and we'll be right over." Up until now Marco had been focusing entirely on the line of food in front of him so that he wouldn't have to think about what was going on behind him. All those kids with all those powers was still unnerving and he didn't want to have another 'episode.' Marco filled his tray and turned to find where Kia had chosen to sit. The Panoply of mutant power held him in awe for a moment even though he was better mentally prepared for what he was witnessing. Even if he'd never say it out loud, he had to admit some of these power were kind of cool. Who wouldn't want to fly? It's just a shame it came with genetic mutations.

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Spotting Kia, Marco began weaving his way through the tables to where the friendly young Asian was already seated. He didn't even bother to see if Warren was following him. As he passed various tables and overheard bits and pieces of their conversations, he began to realize that they were the same types of conversations kids had been having in lunchrooms everywhere. It made him feel a bit better about all the craziness that was going on around him. In the end these kids really were just kids.

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Marco slid into a seat across from Kia and smiled. "Hello again."

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Sakurako was in seventh heaven. She finally was let off of punishment, actually a little later than the others as Drumm was making apoint as to how dissapointed he was, but once she was let off having her budget return to normal and finally getting her birthday presents her Aunt held back was an added plus. So she decided to celebrate, by super-sizing her lunch. Then again having three slices of pizza with bacon on it turned into the size of a proper pizza pie on her plate was... decadent. Outright sinful.

She loved it.

Mouse and the other lower-totem-pole nerds in the school had started conversing, and she had nade in-roads, but the main students of the ciques were still very suspicious of "The Rat" in their midst. She just hoped she wouldn't have another encounter with Onecazilla.

But she brushed that away from her mind, her purple with white collar blazer over a lighter purple dress shirt with white tie and a pair of slacks that matched the main color of her blazer made her look more at home at the bridge of a spacecruiser than as a student. Then again she made the outfit mostly herself, practicing her sewing. So she let herself make whimsical things for practice.

At least to her whimsical.

She started to walk by Kia and sees the new student in their presence. Adjusting her pinkish glasses she smiled, moving a lock of her pinkish-purple hair. "Umm... Hello." She said to the new student before seeing Kia. "And Hi Kia!" She said with a smile. Kia was there at a dark moment in her life, and life seemed to just brighten up.

"I got some pizza to share if you wish, Kia. Hector was quite generous today... of course I put down a bit extra... I feel bad taking advantage of his gift, I mean even when I pay him... so I gave him a little extra..."

She had a honest look on her face, her guilt showed through a little, feeling what she did get was ill-gotten gains.

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Kia beamed at Marco, and managed to say 'hi' again before Sakurako showed up. She welcomed the other girl to the table, scooting over a bit to make room.

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"I took plenty of food, thanks though!" Kia demurred the offer of pizza. "And don't worry about Hector. He loves it. The money too, but mostly he just likes showing off, and I think he likes feeling useful too, you know?"

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She smiled across the room at Hector and waved when he looked their way.

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"So, Saku-chan, this is Marco and he's new to the school. I really don't know anything else about him yet though."

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Kia took a quick bite of her mac-n-cheese, chewed and swallowed, then said, "Marco, tell us about yourself! What classes do you like? Do you...play sports? Give us the scoop, the full exclusive interview."

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Sakurako smiled as she sat, cradling her head in her hands and looking Marco over.

She could tell immediately he was tense from his body language, but then again, he was a new student and she was quite tense when she started out, didn't help she was as socially inept as anyone could be without being called Autistic.

"Well I'm sure we'll know in time, Kia... I think you're making the man a little nervous." She said, playfully rocking Kia on her shoulder with a free hand before starting with her pizza. Ever since her mutation activated, her body has craved different foods, as it repairs the damage her now cured disease caused throughout most of her early life.

She kept her smile, taking her first bite. She seemed a bit child-like in her expression, although she tried every effort to be mature. something that for Sakurako is a very hard thing to do. "Although I wonder if he likes Bacon..."

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Marco could only stare at the tacky pink outfit standing in front of him. It was hypnotizing in all it's horrible glory, like a giant walking bottle of pepto bizmo. His first reaction was to ask her if she'd lost some sort of wager, but thought better of it. The clothes were clearly hand made, most likely be the girl herself and she didn't seem embarrassed by them. No need to humiliate someone on his first day here. What kind of message would that be sending?

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"Me, Nervous? Hardly," he smiled warmly as he spoke. "New social situations don't really bother me. I am used to them," But not used to this freakshow! He thought to himself. He turned back to Kia careful to keep a pleasant smile on his face. "I have taken a lot of business classes at the insistence of my father, but I don't mind. I play polo and I fence, but what I am really passionate about is fashion design. I plan on becoming a fashion designer as soon as I can get out of school. Oh, and I don't eat bacon much. Certainly not the way you Americans seem to consume it."

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"Ah, what else would you like to know?"

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Morri had caught the new scent earlier today. She didn’t know who it was, which made her nervous. One of the best things about being at an isolated school was that there weren’t many strangers wandering in and out. That allowed Morri to feel as if her territory was stable and safe. It was a Good Thing for her mental stability. The issue is that when new people did arrive, Morri was instantly thrown into a small fit of anxiety. She didn’t do anything overt like create blood weapons, but her body immediately tensed. Her red eyes darted around, looking for Son-Ja or Alex or Kia or anyone Safe, but they were probably in clas.
She was supposed to Go To Clas, where she would sit at her desk and listen without understanding what was being said. She was the oldest student in the room; all of the others were around six. They didn’t seem to know what to make of her, which was fine. Morri knew why she was there, so she could Learn. The Learning happened after class, when Miz-Lip-In-Cot would two door her alone. She knew she should go to class; Miz-Lip-In-Cot was so excited about Morri’s progress. She’d be disappointed if Morri wasn’t there.
But the new scent was there, and Morri Had to Know.
She took off in a lope, tracking the new scent, trying to follow it to source. It meandered around the school, crossing all the areas, and Morri felt her tension grow. Another scent, War-Ran’s, mingled with it, and Morri wondered why. War-Ran’s scent was usually mingled with Oh-Sneak-Ah’s. Shaking off the question she would never have answered—or at least, never understand the answer even if she got it—she followed their path. It led the cafeteria.
The smell of food was not enough to distract her. The feral slipped into the room, eyeing the room. There was War-Ran and there was the stranger. Something passed through her, leaving the feral uneasy as she watched him. The new male was… interesting. Her eyes liked to watch him. That had happened before, but Morri wasn’t bothered by that because everyone liked watching Alex and Son-Ja. But this was a stranger.
Kia was not and Morri relaxed at her friendly greeting to the new one. Even in the cafeteria, she heard the offer to share tables. Moving carefully, the red-eyed mutant snaked around the room and slipped under the table. It was Kia’s usual table, and Morri decided that Kia would likely bring the new boy there.
Her hunch paid off, and soon Morri was surrounded by feet and legs. Most of them were familiar and she ignored them. Instead, she sidled up to the dark slacks holding the stranger’s legs and carefully sniffed. Like a cat, she scented with her mouth open, allowing her taste buds and nose to work together. He smelled strange and Morri leaned a hair closer, trying to identify all the smells he carried in his skin and clothing.
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Sakurako adjusts her glasses. Her brain was stripping apart and analysing his every word at this point.

His reaction changed on my appearance... He did look me over... I guess my design was too out of the ordinary... Well the first creation isn't necessarily the best... She thought.

Although his interest in Kia released some of Sakurako nervousness. Good... he is paying attention to Kia more... if there is anyone who can defuse a social nuclear holocaust it is her..

"Seems my first attempt at sewing was just a playful romp through the fabric bin." She said with a giggle... not realizing her words might hurt more than help... then again self-depreciation may be a good tactic at this point... Social situations were so difficult in real life. "Fashion design isn't my strong suit."

She eats some more of her Pizza. "But it's mine. Made of my own hands..."

There was a look on her face that made a couple people near Saku nervous. They saw it before. She was insecure suddenly, and she was emotionally near being compromised. She knew she was at that point.

Feeling things well up she falls silent again. She knew she let slip something of her internal monologue there...

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Chuck was playing around with a few friends after they finished their lunches by throwing around a Nerf football, and seeing how far they could throw it. He had made some friends in the short time he had been here, among what others would consider "Jocks." Throwing the nerf football higher than he intended, Chuck winced as the football bounced off a lighting fixture hanging from the ceiling near Marco's table. The football landed with a splat in Marco's food, knocking the bottle of water he was drinking from over onto him. Chuck yelled over the din of the dining hall, "Sorry dude. My fault."

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Kia looked at Sakurako and leaned over to grab her hand and squeeze, "I think it's super-cute," she assured her.

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Then she was back to paying attention to the new boy.

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"Fashion design, well that's pretty cool. A creative pursuit, something artistic." She tilted her head, inspecting his features. "So if you're not American, where are you from?"

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Marco smiled at Sakura. He didn’t have million dollar super good looks like some of the other students but he was still attractive and his smile at least seemed genuine.

“Fashion Design is an art but it takes practice to get really good at it. Keep at it. There is nothing quite like the feeling of wearing something you’ve made with your own hands,” He contemplated saying more but he could tell the little Asian girl was nervous and self-conscious and Marco didn’t want her to think he was picking on her.

Turning back to Kia he said. “I am from Spain. My father’s business is based in Barcelona but we have a villa about 10 minutes outside of Cadiz, near the bea…” *Splat!* The three stared dumbly at the soft foam football nestled snugly in the remains of Marco’s bean burrito. Bits of food had splattered them and Marco’s water bottle tipped over, spilling it contents over the edge of the table and onto his lap.

“Well it appears I am finished lunch,” Marco quipped, in an attempt to be nonchalant, as he pushed his chair back to dab at the spilled water on his pants with a napkin. As he looked down, he was greeted with a pair of glowing red eyes staring quizzically back up at him.

“AAAAAHHH!” He screamed and in an attempt to push the chair even further back, ended up tipping it over and landing on the floor sprawled on his back; the resultant calamity bringing him to the attention of those closest to the table. A few students snickered until they saw Morri crawl out from under the table, her eyes never leaving the boy she had so recently tracked.

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Sakurako has multiple stressors occur at once.

See, she was actually semi-complimented and encouraged by Marco... something that she actually liked.

Then the Football.

Immediately her brain shifted into countermeasures against a "Condition Gallagher" as she called it. But just as she starts to rationally break down a potential crisis... Morri appears.

"EEP!"

Sakurako tries to get up quickly to get some safe distance from Morri, but forgets that there was a chair behind her, she stumbles and falls over, as her school bag catches the chair, and she hits the cafeteria floor hard. Her glasses sliding along the floor some distance away. That and her forehead got grazed by the chair as well. While there was no real trauma other than a small cut on her forehead, the crying starts.

She was 100% Afraid, and now she couldn't see and there was someone who would turn her into Sakurako sushi just a few meters from her. And she wasn't very accustomed to pain.

She whimpered, sobbing a little, hoping that Morri wasn't still angry at her... that and the fact her otherwise well managed fall still hurt. At least to her sensitive skin.

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"Oh, Morri!" Kia blurted in startled amazement. "What are you doing under there?"

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Trying not to add to the stress of the situation, knowing it would just rile Morri up, Kia forced herself to speak conversationally. No more yelps or wild accusations or demands. She just pretended it was normal. Later on they could try to explain why people shouldn't do things like that, but this wasn't the moment.

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"Morri, this is Marco. He's new to the school. I've been talking to him and he seems very nice though. He's from a different country, a place called Spain."

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Kia looked down at Marco then, and leaned forward to offer him a hand up.

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"Marco, this is Morrigan, but we all call her Morri. She's one of the students here. She's had a very challenging life, and sometimes doesn't understand things we all take for granted. She's really sweet once you get to know her though. I'm sure she didn't mean to scare you. She was just...uh..."

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Now the high schooler looked back at Morri.

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"...what were you doing under there?"

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Morri watched the chaos without any of the normal reactions of a teenager; she didn’t laugh at the two flailing teens or offer to help, as Kia was doing. She just watched with a blank expression that gave away little yet communicated that she was intent on situation. It was the wary gaze of a wild animal.
Internally, Morri was privately delighted that the stranger was so scared of her. It made her feel safer that he feared her. She had acknowledged Alex’s superiority and realized he wasn’t going to hurt her. She was still figuring out exactly how he would be so strong yet so weak, but Eileen was the same: weak yet brave, willing to go to Af-Ri-Ka to pull Morri out of trouble.
She didn’t know Mar-Ko, so until she did, she wasn’t going to let him think he could dominate her. He was an unknown mutant, and she was afraid of what he could do. Until she knew whether he was weak or strong, she wouldn’t relax around him.
Then Kia asked her a question, and Kia was her friend. “Trac-King.” She wasn’t sure if that was one word with many sill-ah-bills, or two words, so she smashed them together and hoped it was right. Miz-Lip-In-Cot had explained sill-ah-bills and how some words were many sounds and not all sounds were one word. It was confusing.
Kia got that look on her face that she got when she asked Morri a question that Morri answered wrong. “Uh, what were you tracking?” Morri pointed at Marco, her expression not changing. “But… why would you do that, Morri?”
“Stran Ger.” That was two words, right?
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Kia had had some experience by this time puzzling out Morri's fractured speech. She caught on faster than she would have before.

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"Ohhhh... Marco, she must have seen you or...or smelled you, it's okay her nose is really sensitive, it's not a body odor thing...and she didn't recognize you so she just wanted to make sure you were okay. It's like..." like a dog checking out someone as they come in the door, but I don't think I should say that. She shook her head.

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"Marco's okay, Morri. He seems really nice."

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Of course, everyone seemed really nice to Kia. It was a side effect of being really nice; it brought that out in people around her. She rarely saw the dark side of anyone.

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Marco had been quiet for a moment, and Kia looked at him more closely...a little concerned. "Marco? Are you okay?"

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Sakurako fumbled about for her glasses before with her farsightedness she finally spots them, putting them on she starts to brush herself off, while still sobbing.

Seeing Morri was in "curious" mode calmed her down, but her head still stung.

She went over to her large bookbag and grabbed a day-to-day first aid kit she whipped up for herself for thigns like papercuts or scrapes. Looking in a makeup mirror she sees the abrasion on her forehead and the blood that was trickling.

"I.. I... guess it could be worse."

"I was being a klutz everyone... I don't fault any of you."

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If Marco could have answered Kai, he probably would have tried to laugh off the incident as nothing major, despite being more than a little freaked out by the red eyed mutant girl who had just seconds before been hiding under the table sniffing his pants. Unfortunately, and for the third time that day, Marco’s control over his telepathic and telekinetic talents slipped. He was locked eye to eye with the strange, feral girl standing above him, her head cocked slightly to the side in a way that reminded him of the behavior of dogs and cats and she boldly met his gaze. All it took was that instant and telepathic contact was established.

--
Morri found herself in a small but lushly appointed room. Instantly and on some instinctual level she knew what had happened. She was in the strange boy’s mind. His ‘scent’ was everywhere. Morri ran her hand along the back of a plush chair as she scanned the room. Her first impression, the word that first came to her mind was soft. This boy was soft and weak, or so it seemed at first glance.

The walls were a rich burgundy; the high backed chair sat in the center of the room and was upholstered in black velvet. A small walnut table stood beside it and on it was a delicate looking lamp with a burgundy lamp shade. The room was otherwise bare save for a walnut door in the center of the wall that the chair faced.

Since there was little more here to discover about her prey and the only place she could go was through the door, she stepped up to it and turned the handle. It opened to reveal an impossibly long hallway with doors spaced at regular intervals. The walls were burgundy, like the room she just left and the hall ended at the entrance to another room that had no door. On the walls in between the doors were framed pictures. The frames themselves were gold and in each was a sketch or drawing of an article of clothing. The drawings were amateurish and crude to begin with but as she travelled down the hall they got better, more professional looking and more artistic. Morri felt a mix of thoughts and emotions coming from the artwork and she knew without a doubt that this was the boy’s passion. He lived to make pretty clothes.

The few doors she tested as she traveled down the hallway were locked and eventually she gave up on them and made her way to the open room at the end of the hall. It opened onto another room, much like the first but twice as big. In the center of this room was a marble statue of Marco. It was pitted and chipped as if someone had been striking it with a heavy object yet there were also signs that someone had attempted to repair it. On one wall were hung portraits of Marco’s family. Morri again knew this instantly. His Mother and Father; Carmen and Angel were in one gold frame, His older sister Beatriz in another and his younger brother Javier in a third, The images left her cold, and shivers played up and down her spine. On the wall opposite the family portraits was one of Marco, and his onetime Mate, Peter. They were holding hands and smiling but Peter was faded away to almost nothing.

Morri stalked around the room, exploring everything in great detail when a door appeared across from the entrance that had brought her into this room. The door opened of its own accord and she could hear voices beyond. Stepping through the portal, Morri found herself in what appeared to be some sort of office, much like Jericho Drumm’s office but bigger and shinier. Marco and his father were there and they were arguing with each other. She couldn’t understand them as they were talking very fast in a language she didn’t understand but she could understand the anger, the rage that Marco was feeling in that moment. As their argument reached its crescendo, the double doors of the office burst open and a feral, half-canine mutant pounced through the splintered entrance. The man-creature scanned the room a roared when it saw Angel Pulles. Both men were terrified; Morri could feel Marco’s fear run through her. As the men stood stunned, the man-dog leapt at Marco’s father.

Morri could feel something stir in Marco, although she would never be able to put it into words. In the split second before the man-dog connected with his father Marco’s hand shot out and a near invisible pulse of energy shot toward the feral mutant. The creature stopped in midair. He hung there in some sort of field that looked like a heat distortion. The creature continued to roar and thrash as it remained aloft, the sounds slowly changing to yelps and cries of pain as Marco slowly closed his open palm into a closed fist, exerting unbearable telekinetic force on the mutant as he did so. Marco’s father was shouting at his son now as Marco brought his other hand up to his forehead. Morri could feel the mental energy lash out from Marco’s mind to the mutant in his telekinetic clutches.

Morri felt it as Marco destroyed the mutant’s mind with his telepathic power. The creatures wailing turned into a desperate and horrific keening before it was abruptly cut off. With a slight motion of his head, Marco sent the mutant flying across the room to crash into the big office window. The window cracked but did not shatter. He pulled the mutant back and slammed him again; and again. On the third hit the window finally shattered and the broken body of the now dead mutant went sailing out the window to the ground below.

Darkness.

--
When Marco came back to himself he was breathing rapidly, almost hyperventilating. “oh, oh god,” He whispered both to himself and to Morri. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” Marco tried to be strong but he couldn’t hold back any more. Tears began rolling down his cheeks, he covered his face with his hands and sobbed.

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Marco took his own trip into Morri’s head, though he would be forgiven for assuming he’d accidentally landed in a lower circle of Hell. She’d gotten a hallway that resembled his old home, and he was given her cage in Africa.
Heat and humidity pressed down on Marco/Morri like a weight. Somewhere, he could hear people screaming, the cries of the tormented and the conquered. The stink of humans pressed close, the smell of blood heavy in the air. The cage wasn’t very large; it was eclipsed by the tent next to it. Inside the tent, a carved wooden figure stood at a table, a wicked syringe in one hand and a key in the other. Marco knew that this was Ford; there was a flash, as a movie screen appeared and showed him two images of Ford: in one, he hurt and drugged him/them and in the other, he opened the cage with a scared smile. Another carving stood next to Ford, but where Ford’s menace had felt muted or unsure, there was no doubt here. The wooden figure loomed tall in menacing black and red colors, a cane clutched tightly in one hand. Vyse was the name of that came with that statue. Another flash of memory: Vyse beating Marco/Morri with the cane, screaming, “You will fucking fight!
There were items in the cage, too. A glowing golden guitar named Alex leaned carefully against the bars, while a pink coat called Sonja was folded neatly and plumped like a pillow. Both of those objects radiated feelings that Marco would have called love and contentment but Morri had no words to describe. A pendant hung from a hook; it was named Eileen. There was love here, but it had that twinge of authoritarianism that made teens uneasy. There were other objects there too: a grinning skull, a flower lei, a dancing black flame, a pair of glasses and more. They all had names and people attached to them, people Morri knew and loved—or at least tolerated.
Behind him was a camp; wooden carvings were frozen in various moments of daily life. Women with downcast eyes carried water or hurried about other chores; men cleaned guns, sharpened knives or did various other ‘masculine’ tasks. There were people having sex, and it took Marco only a second look to realize not all of it was consensual.
Strangely, though it sounded and felt like there should be a jungle beyond the camp, there was only a sudden drop; the world seemed to end at the edge of a cliff. But when Marco focused on the horizon, he could just see that there was something else beyond the edge of that sundering. With the effort of mental will, Marco moved to see what was beyond that cliff—
Morri’s mind rebelled, pulling him away from the cliff and the cave and the tent. For a moment, all was confusion, then he stood naked in hot sand. It didn’t hurt, and he didn’t have time to notice it. Instead, he was suddenly aware that something was very wrong. His heart pounded in his chest; his mind was clouded. Drugged, I’m drugged. That was the only coherent thought he could manage in the overload of adrenaline and chemicals.
A village was before him; the cheap huts were filled with people. Marco/Morri tried to stop, tried to think, but there was no stopping the chemical-induced rage building inside him/them. He felt a curious tingle on his arms; then blood began to seep from his pores. This was all right, though; he knew that was supposed to happen. The blood ran down his arms to pool in his hands; a simple desire turned it into short spears.
They were meant to kill this village, every last person. The girl that-Morri-was-at-this-moment tried not to move forward. Marco, riding along on the memory, watched helpless as the young woman fought the drugs, and lost. It was not a battle that Morri won, and Marco couldn’t change the memory. With a scream, Morri/Marco burst into motion. She/They killed indiscriminately, mowing down the humans with ease. Men, women and children fell to their blood-blades. Some tried to defend themselves, but they had no real weapons and no chance.
It was in the rage that Morri/Marco struck a woman trying to shield her daughter. The memory was perfect in its clarity: the feel of the blade cutting through both bodies, the smell of blood and the cries of pain were all clearly preserved.
The image of the dark-skinned mother trying to protect her child burned through the drugs to give a moment of terrible clarity. The horror of what she’d done—killing a woman who reminded Morri/Marco of her/their own mother—filled the young woman/man. There was a second where Morri/Marco reeled with shock—and then Morri/Marco’s mind shattered. The past, hints of a life somewhere in a first-world country, were torn away and shoved somewhere far away, where Morri/Marco wouldn’t have to feel them, somewhere they wouldn’t hurt.

Morri screamed as the mind meld left that memory at the top of her mind. The kids closest to the group immediately scattered; Morri’s reputation as a violate mutant meant that everyone knew to get the hell away if she acted even remotely aggressive. “Morri! Morri!” Kia shouted, trying to be heard over her cry. “It’s okay, no one’s going to hurt you!”
But they already had, and the mutant didn’t have the words to say so. The pain of remembering was two-fold: not only was there the horror of what she’d done, but it reminded her that she had been more once. There had been a happy girl who had been normal in her once and part of Morri wanted to be her again. Another part, the larger part, knew that trying to be normal again would require her to face some things she couldn’t face.
With another shriek, Morri ran. She needed Alex or Son-ja or I-lean. She needed her protector and her friends to make the happy girl go away again. She needed them to patch together her broken, feral mind.
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Morri bolted.

,,

In a way, Saku was relieved. But now there was a scared, dangerous human with feral instinct and mutant powers running through the school.

,,

"Umm... should we call the faculty about this? I got my cell phone." She said, a look of grave concern on her face. "Might have to assist the school nurse if students get hurt too..."

,,

She sighed... it almost seems she can never enjoy pizza day at the cafeteria, as she straightened out her blazer. She sighed... She loved everyone here... yes, even people like Oneca. They were her classmates. But Morri needed more than that.

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Kia looked up, startled, as Morri fled like a bat out of hell. That was out of left field from her experience. Marco still seemed shellshocked, but at least he wasn't hurt, and didn't seem to be about to flee.

,,

With a squeeze on his shoulder, Kia said, "Stay here, okay?" To Saku she added, "Would you call the office and get Eileen's number. I'm going to try to follow her and make sure nothing...bad happens. Text me the number so I can give her a call when I find her."

,,

She hurried to the door Morri had run out through and followed at a more cautious pace. Her goal was just to shadow her and make sure she didn't do anything she'd regret later, not try to confront.

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As Sakurako lately had been having conversations from time to time on her own social issues, she had Eileen's number in her phone's index. She starts typing in a text to send to Kia, and a alert to Dr. Chase as well in case there is injuries.

Then she looked over to Marco...

"Sorry? About what?"

Sakurako was confused about Marco's reaction. "This wasn't your fault."

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Casually Warren sat down like he wasn't shocked, nor surprised that something went wrong, not that he knew, nor cared, what. Everything on his tray was twice it's normal size, including the bean and cheese burrito that would force Alex to complain all night and possibly crack a window for health reasons. In reality, it's the only reason he super sized the damn thing.

,,

He picked up his burrito and took a bite, trying to keep all the filling in as he wrestled with it. "Way to go shit dick." He said to Marco. "Don't cry about it, dude. It's Morri, the little hound whimpers and runs from her own shadow on the daily. She's messed up, even by messed up standards."

,,

"Eat, water works. We got shit to do."

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Marco gathered himself together and stood up. Anger welled up in him towards Warren but he wasn’t sure if it was his emotions or the residual feelings he’d experienced in Morri. He clenched his fists and took a step toward his fallen chair and without touching it, it righted itself. Taking his messenger bag from where is had hung from the back rest he turned to leave the cafeteria. Over his shoulder he said through clenched teeth. “Don’t trouble yourself. I am not staying. I do not belong in this freak show, with all you monsters.”

Marko stalked towards the door, telekinetically pushing things out of his way. Empty chairs flew across the room to crash against walls and pillars and a trashcan went skittering across the floor, tipping over and spilling its contents. Unlike most other times this use of power was fully under his control. Something inside him, a part of him that took immense satisfaction from exercising power had been given a small window by the savagery of the feral girl he’d recently been linked to.

He was half way across the campus when the adrenaline from his connection to Morri began to fade. With is came the realization that not only had he broken his promise, there was a release of tension and pressure that he’d been holding for weeks. Something that he hadn’t even realized was there. His pace slowed, although his determination to leave this horrible place remained firm. There was no way he was going to stay here, with these people.

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"I don't belong with this freakshow... with all you monsters..."

That was all she heard as Marco walked away.

There was a look of concern on her face as she calculated her response.

"You're not locked in here with us... we're locked in here with you!" Sakurako shouted, as terse and as affirmative she could. She stood up, looking down at the table. "You think you're the only one... yet look around... Goddamnit you're a special snowflake, Marco! How you think we're going to respond to you throwing chairs and trash around! This is our school and you were enrolled here for a reason. Deal with it. or you're going to eat yourself alive in your loathing unless you get it through your damn thick skull you aren't special!"

She trembled. "How you think I feel!!! I can't use my powers in public! I can't be free because of the prison people made for us that think like you do, Marco! Your behavior is illogical, and self destructive!"

"Umm, Saku-chan..." One of the nerd crowd said, a girl with the ability to see through walls using a form of quantum-tunneling vision. "The tornado left the trailer park."

Sakurako looked up. "Good. We don't need him here if he wants to behave like that."

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"Shit." Warren stood up and walked swiftly after Marco. The spectacle was impressive, and he found himself barely able to dodge a couple of the things Marco tossed about. The guy had some speed in those fastballs, that was certain.

,,

He ignored Mouse's yelling, and pushed on past everyone who was now gathering around the drama. The one kid who didn't get out of Warren's way he literally threw aside, letting the kid slam against that wall. "Mouse. Shut up and help the kid up. Do something, besides yell." Was all they heard as he disappeared out of the cafeteria.

,,

Warren was like a whirlwind of motion as he sped off across the campus, Marco had a head start but her knew the area better. In full on freerunning mode there was nothing that slowed him down. He soared over obstacles and tumbled past students in dramatic flips and acrobatic vaults. Eventually though he had made some ground and there was Marco who looked winded himself. Warren's pace slowed and stopped close hunkering over and resting his hands on his knees while he caught his breath. "Nice show." He opened with. He knew Marco didn't want to stay, hell, Warren didn't even want to stay most times, he was used his freedom and this place could get so stuffy. "You uhh... gonna leave or did you have some kinda epiphany?"

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Marco kept walking, brushing past Warren. "Did you misunderstand or was I unclear? I do not belong here and I have no intention of staying. Goodbye." He said curtly, not bothering to look back to see if Warren was still following. As he continued towards his dorm he pulled out his iPhone and dialed a number. While he doubted that Mr. Lovell was still at the campus, he still held a sliver of hope that his guardian was still there and he wouldn't have to spend any more time here than was absolutely required.

,,

He was perturbed when there was no answer, but he left a quick message explaining that he'd decided not to stay after all and that he expected to be picked up as soon as possible. Marco tuned out the noise of the campus as he entered the dorm; it seemed as many kids were out of class as there were in. He made his way to his room past kids that payed him no more attention than anyone else and locked the door behind him. He leaned against the door and wondered how his mother could have sent him to such a place. This was supposed to be a place for him to contain and control his mutant aberrations but the kids here reveled in them. They were allowed to run wild and use their abnormal abilities freely. He shuddered at the thought of him using his own abnormalities without discretion. Just using his telekinesis in the lunchroom had caused havoc and as much as he didn't want to admit it, it had felt pretty good to unleash.

,,

Marco shook his head. He didn't want to think about mutants or what he'd done. Doing that would bring up what had happened between him and Morri and he certainly didn't want to think about that. He moved over to his desk and pulled a sketch pad out of his messenger bag. Drawing and designing always mellowed him out so he flipped his pad open to something he'd started working on but hadn't finished. Surely Mr. Lovell would get back to him soon. Surely.

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"Heya Warren. What's the rush?" There was a shimmer of golden light, a swirl of warmth and disturbed air, and Warren's roommate landed effortlessly beside him just as the figure of Marco stormed into the dorm building. Revenant scowled up at Alex before straightening up and taking a few more breaths. As usual, Glowworm was looking the picture of mutant health and poster-boy charm. Both mutants looked a little ruffled, Warren from his run and Alex from his flying, though naturally, Alex looked impossibly stylish when wind-ruffled, rather than roguishly scruffy.

,,

Dick.

,,

"Saw you running flat out and wondered if you were in trouble." Alex explained in answer to Warren's continuing silence.

,,

"'m not in trouble." the other young man said, waving a hand in the direction of the dorm. "Got somethin' to do." He started after Marco, aware of Alex falling into step.

,,

"That the new guy Drumm asked you to shepherd?"

,,

"Except for the fact he's a mule not a sheep, yeah. He went a little batshit."

,,

"So... trouble?" Alex asked, the one word question somewhere between concern and an offer to tag along.

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