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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/campfires/item_id/917825-X-Men-Recreated-FULL
Rated: 13+ · Campfire Creative · Fiction · Action/Adventure · #917825
The adventures and happenings of a new generation of X-Men
[Introduction] This is a campfire for your own mutant character. They can have up to two main powers. Everyons character will eventually meet up, and will eventually go to Xavier's Institute, but when it will happen is left for you to decide.

Each person will be given 1 week to make their addition before their turn is skipped.

Romance is allowed, but please, nothing too graphic.

When making your first addition, please include a bio and a first entry. You should follow this bio:

Name and nickname:

Age and birthdate:

Gender:

Mutation:

Appearance:

Personality:

Likes:

Dislikes:

History:

Thanks, and have fun! *Smile*
Name and nickname: Talor (Jujube)

Age and birthdate: 15, almost 16. October 31st.

Gender: Female

Mutation: X-Ray vision and invisability.

Appearance: 5'5", thin and pretty, with long legs, and pretty strong for her appearance. Fair skin, long, slightly wavy dark brown hair, and one bright green eye, and one bright blue eye, earning her the nickname Jujube. Talor has a dazzling white smile and is very beautiful, usually wearing form-fitting jeans, small, nice fitting hoodies, and Band t-shirts. She usually has her nails painted bright colours, like bright orange, neon green, or hot pink. They are currently bright orange.

Personality: Very nice and lovable, people usually can't help but like her. Up-beat and realistic, but at the same time has a little bit of a hidden EMO side, which usually comes out in her Band t-shirts, with shirts like Taking Back Sunday and such. Talor is very kind and helpful, she is also a vegetarian.

Likes: junk food, dancing, singing, music, children, and animals.

Dislikes: Adults(secretly), seeing people sad, hurt, or arguing, bullies(openly), and meat.

History: Talor lived with her family until just over a year ago, when she started realising what her powers meant and hearing what her family thought about mutants. Talor ran away from her 13 year old brother and her parents, knowing they would never love her if they knew what she was.


Talor walked home from work, shivering in the autumn cold. It was mid October, there was a light layer of snow covering the ground, and still she hadn't bought herself a winter jacket. She had a job, but it didn't pay much, and what she made was put towards the rent of her small, one bedroom apartment and food to live off of. Talor had a fake id, new friends, and a new life. She missed her family terribly, but she couldn't risk them finding out about her being a mutant. So she lived life as if she was legally 17 and could actually live on her own. But she was sure having a hard time of it.
Name and nickname: Willow Penn (Mira- short for Miracle)

Age and birthdate: 14, She'll be 15 on Christmas

Gender: Female

Mutation: Willow has the power to heal herself and all around her. When she wants to heal someone a bright light comes around her hands and she just has to touch someone to heal them. The problem is to heal someone it is very painful. Like being electricuted. When using too much power she can knock someone unconscious. She can keep this power in her hands or she can throw it at a long distance. She also has a deep sensitivity. She can sense pain and emotions from people around her.

Appearance: Willow has short dark brown hair that is almost black. She's 5'4 and has a petite frame. She doesn't wear make up and from being on the street her hair is warm to be about as long as her shoulders and is stringy straight and in front of her face. She's skinny with fair skin and her head is almost always craned downward and her hands stuffed down in her pockets. She wears converses she adores that are falling apart and look (like the rest of her clothes) like she's been wearing them since the eighty's.

Personality: Willow is always keeping to herself. She has to supress her feeling that everyone needs help, which is hard when she can feel everyone's pain. So she keeps quiet. She is also very defensive. She is smart, but she doesn't put her mind to many things.

Likes: Reading, writing, to stay out of people's business, to daydream, boys (no one else would know that she really is as boy crazy as any other teenage girl).

Dislikes: The pain she feels from others, her dad, addicts, people who talk to much (especially to her)

History: When Willow was four her drug addict father found out about her healing ability when she healed a bird that ran into the house. Her mother was inactive in her life, but she was beaten a lot and ordered to heal her after her. With her sensitivity, her father might as well have been beating her. Her father called her a miracle worker and took her to high paying families to heal family members. She went to school, but often was taken out of school to an 'appointment'. When she was twelve she ran away, not wanting to lose oppurtunity to heal she lived with family members who were dying and needed her constant care. In turn they took care of her and posed as her parents or grand parents while she went to school. She's lived like this until recently.

Willow walked down the cold street at night and sniffed. It'd been two weeks since the Johnsons kicked her out. They said tensions with mutants were getting to high. Willow wasn't sad, she wasn't anything. She knew they were sorry and they were only trying to protect their son. Still now she was on the street and was passing by Nursing Homes to find another family to take her in.

No such luck. This dainty little town had no old people. Willow walked faster and suddenly realized she was scared. She was extremely scared. Paranoid even. She looked over her shoulder and saw nothing but fall leaves dance down the sidewalk in the wind.

"When are you going to pay us, Gerome?" said a husky voice. Willow stopped and realized that there was coming from the alley passing. Sharp pain in her stomach made her double over and fall to her knees. She knew the feeling. Someone was stabbed. Willow got her feet ignoring the pain and knowing she wasn't really stabbed. Someone else was.

Out of the alley came a man in a trench coat and bowler hat. She stood up straight and he walked passed her giving her a smile. Willow clutched her stomach painfully, and smiled with a nod. When he was out of sight she ran down the alley to see a little old hispanic man crying and praying. She knelt down beside him and tried to calm him.

"Sir, I'm going to help," she said in the soft voice that was hers.

"No quiero muerta. Tengo una familia," he said shaking his head and clutching his stomach with a moan.

"Um..." she tried to think back to her Spanish A class last semester. "Yo...dolar...nada mas." His face wrinkled in confusion. Willow shook her head to herself knowing she wasn't making much sense.

"Mi espanol es no bueno. Lo siento," she said clearly. She'd learned how to explain her bad spanish perfectly she'd had to explain it so often. He nodded and showed her the wound. The blood on his abdomen was no shocking sight to her. It was rare that she saw a wound that did make her uncomfortable.

She took her hands out of her pockets and placed made them glow with healing energy. The man looked confused and wide eyed. He started to twist away from her and she placed her hand on him. He screamed in pain and shock and Willow cringed feeling his pain. When she felt the wound in his stomach close. She took her hand away.

The little old man lifted his blood stain hand to see no trace of the wound except for the blood that had spilled from the wound. He laughed and looked at her.

"Angel," he said with smile. She shook her head and help him to his feet. "Quieres comida con mi familia?"

Willow perked. She'd understood enough in Spanish class to know comida meant food. Her stomach complained and begged her to go. But her morals kept her from taking his offer. If the man owed money then it would be rude to eat his family's food. She shook her head.

"No gracias," she said walking away. It was back to wandering the streets for Willow.
A Non-Existent User

Name:
         Todd Harker

Alias:
         Never made one. Goes by Todd.

Age:
         18 (Born 6-4-'86)

Gender:
         Male

Mutation:
         Generates waves (Light and sound so far, but who knows? *Smile*)

Appearance:
         Todd is solid and muscular, coordinated for his age. His green eyes poke out from a mop of long brown hair, and he's usually got on a t-shirt, jeans, and a high school letter jacket covered in wrestling medals.

Personality:
         Todd is a little unconfortable talking and joking around, so he's usually labeled 'the strong, silent type'. However, once he gets to know someone he loosens up considerably.

Likes:
         Hanging out with buddies, video games, and wrestling.

Dislikes:
         Being labeled 'the strong, silent type', really bubbly girls who say 'like' a lot, and prejudice in any form.

History:
         Todd was a Junior in high school when his powers manifested. First he could make soundwaves, then light; eventually he could hear radio stations and patrol cars in his head! He did his best to keep this hidden, but at one point during a lightning storm he got overwhelmed and everybody knew it - Todd was a mutie. He finished the last month on school and left. Since then, he's been on his own.


Okay, now my part of the story!



         Todd walked slowly down the road. The Arizona sun beat down on the landscape for miles, making it dance and twist in agony. Todd didn't notice. He had a sign in his hand that read, Anywhere. There was nothing in sight along either end of the road.

         It had been almost three days since the last time he'd had a drink, and food was even farther away - but it didn't matter. The sun was all he needed. It gave Todd the strength to keep walking, it turned his face and neck bronze, and it was pleasantly warm.

         The monotony of walking was so easy - step, step, step, step - that there was nothing to do but think. I wonder if I've gone nuts yet, he thought sadly.

         "Of course not, you're fine. Just keep walking, and you'll get there sometime." His words left no echo, no trace that they were even there.

         "Yeah, right. There's nothing in front of me, nothing behind, and there's...!" Todd's conversation with himself stopped short when he saw what was up ahead - a cinderblock compound with big, black towers set at each corner. He'd been walking so long it was almost a mile away when Todd had finally noticed.

         He immediately stopped, crouched, and started to melt away. Todd was absorbing all light around him, invisible as long as he was absolutely still. It had taken a long time to learn, but a thousand miles of road was plenty.

         He watched the building, completely still, until the sun began to sink into the scorched ground. He stood up, only to find a black-clad person standing not three feet infront of him!

         "Nighty-night." A hand whipped out, and there was nothing...
October 31st. Halloween. "All Hallow's Eve."

Talor had been asked by a few of her friends to hang out, but she declined. It was her birthday. Well, the birthday that her new friends didn't know about. She was utterly depressed and even though she knew she had friends that loved her and wanted to be with her, she felt completely alone too. Sweet Sixteen.

Talor sat alone in her dark apartment, the lights out, saving money. Precious money that she didn't have enough of. She was focusing on the wall, seeing through it, watching a couple kissing in the other room. This depressed her even further, thinking of how she had no one she was close with. No one she could confide in. No one to love her.

Deciding to make something of her birthday, Talor got off her ass and went to the coffee parlor down the street. There was a light snow falling outside, and the streets were swarming with kids in costumes, going from door to door.

"Heeey, look who it is!" Talor received a toothy grin from the owner of the coffee parlor, a large, balding man in his late 50's. Talor grinned at him.

"Hey Phil."

"How's it goin, Jujube?"

Phil and Talor had gotten to know eachother the day Talor came here. This had been the very first place she had come when she had arrived, and she always kept coming back. Phil was nice, almost like a father to her, and she liked him. She enjoyed his company, and he enjoyed hers. She was like the daughter he never had.

"What'll it be for you tonight, Jujube? The usual?" Phil asked.

"No, sorry Phil, I'm broke." Talor smiled at Phil. "Just thought I would come here and hang out."

"Sounds good, but you know I don't allow solicitors!"

Talors face fell.

"And thats why," Phil added with a wink. "You get coffee and cake, on the house." Phil poured a steaming cup of coffee and whipped out a peice of double chocolate cake before Talor had a chance to decline.

"Thanks Phil, you're too kind. You really shouldn't." Talor said, flashing her best smile, her dazzler.

"Anything for you, Jujube. You know you're my girl." Phil winked.

Sweet Sixteen indeed.
Willow had made her way up a fire escape and jumped onto a nearby roof wear no animals could reach her in the night. Though there weren't many snakes in New York, she'd always feared that she'd wake up with one in her sleeping bag with her. The night was clear and windy. Her hand was still red with the man she'd healed's blood.

Willow stopped and untied the sleeping bag that was strapped to the outside of her backpack. Inside the backpack was an extra bra, two pairs of underwear, three shirts, a brush (she'd stolen that from the Johnsons) a toothbrush, her journal, a book, and all her homework from her old school.

It was dark out, so Willow lit up her hands and set up her sleeping bag. She set down her backpack and crawled inside resting her head on the back pack. Wind nipped at her nose and she ended up putting her entire head inside and curling up like a cat. She shivered and sniffed putting her hood from her light jacket over her head. Great now her nose was running. Her eyes fluttered and finally closed.

Willow's dreams had been bad since she left home. They were always of her father attacking her mother and Willow feeling her pain as she always had when she was younger. She felt her mother's secret hate for her when she was being beaten and being able to sense emotions often happened. Then when her father was finished he turned to her and ordered Willow to heal her.

Willow obediently ran to her mother's side and knelt down to help her. The young Willow started to make her hands glow when her mother held her arm.

"Don't," her mother managed. She was going to die if she wasn't healed. Willow ignored her plea and started to try and heal her again. "Don't Willow, I need to die." Willow shook her head. That's when she found her mothers hatred for her again. Her mother took whatever strength she had and rolled on top of her daughter and hit her in the face. Willow cried.

"When will you learn that your father does not know best? Get out of here before he can control you completely. Get out of my house, go to school, and be a great person!" she screamed with no sincereness in her voice. Willow got up and started to run for the door. Her mother stood, she was sorry now and Willow knew it. Flashes of her calling her a little miracle came to her mind as her mother's emotions turned to love. But her mother knew that she had to be chased away. Before Willow could grab the doorknob she turned back for a final glance at her mother.

"Get out of here you stupid little mutant!" she screamed. That was the first time she ever abandoned someone in need.

Willow awoke and it was sunny on top of the rooftop. Her palms were sweaty and she her heart was broken. One thing she could not heal by herself. She picked up her backpack and started to roll up her sleeping bag. When she was ready to start down the fire escape.

Kids were passing by her in costumes and bags in their hands. She watched them in puzzlement. "Is it Halloween already?" she asked herself.

She shrugged and watched the kids going to school in their costumes. Some of them were funny, others were creative, and others were slutty. She hid her sleeping bag on top of the roof and started to go toward the ground. Then she started towards school with her backpack on her back like any other student. She would take a shower in the locker room and no one would know that she was homeless and sleeping on a roof or wearing the same underwear for the past two days.

Tonight she would even be able to go door to door and get candy, she thought with a smile. Her stomach grumbled with delight at the thought.
A Non-Existent User
Me already? Wow, this goes fast!

         Todd was in unbearable pain. It hurt so much he felt disconnected from
his body, just floating in a pool of fire...

         "AAAHHH!" Todd sat bolt upright. He was laying on the side of the road,
his sign folded over like a pillow. Was it all a dream? Maybe, but he couldn't
be sure. But then again... Oh, it didn't matter.

         When he stood up, there was no building in sight. No black ninja, no
pools of fire. "Get a grip, Todd. You really are going nuts."

         Funny, because there really was nothing in sight - not even the tracks he'd made from walking here! "That's weird. Sooo, which way am I supposed to go now?" He peered down each end of the road, empty and desolate.

         It was almost an hour before Todd could remember the mountains. "Of course!" He slappes his forehead. "The mountains!" Coming from Texas, he should be able to see the Rockies in the direction he was headed. It was unclear and hazy from the shimmering air, but the mountains were definitely there; a big, dark blotch on the horizon.

         "Well, looks like I got some time to kill." With the bright morning sun in his face, he set off toward California.
"You're...you're firing me?" Talor said with confusion and disbelief to her boss.

Talored had arrived at work the morning after Halloween, to the news that she was being "let go." Sure enough, her boss's next words...

"We're not firing you, we're...letting you go. I'm afraid we have to. We have too many employees and we've been forced to let some people go."

"But..why me?! I've worked here faithfully for almost a whole year! I-I do a good job, don't I? I thought I was one of your best workers!"

"You are, Talor, but I'm afraid there's nothing I can do. You can't forget, I have a boss too."

Talor stared at her for a moment, and then fiercly blinked away the tears gathering in her eyes. She nodded her head silently and looked away.

"I'm sorry, Talor."

Talor flashed her dazzler through her tears.

"Hey, no problem, right? It's fine." she said in a falsely cheery voice. Too cheery. Her voice came out high pitched and squeaky, nothing like her normal voice.

Talor gathered her stuff from the back room and left the store.

On Talor's way out of the building, she bumped into a stranger entering. Her eyes were bright with tears that were silently falling down her cheeks, and she glanced up and uttered a quick apology and flashed the stranger a smile. It was an elderly man, scrawny with thin, snow white hair, and yellowing skin and teeth. He nodded his head to acknowledge her, and the two of them went their own ways.

Back at her apartment, Talor threw her purse down on her counter and reached for her wallet to count how much money she had.

But her wallet wasn't there.

Talor's breath caught in her throat, and she searched frantically through her purse. There was no way she had forgotten it at work, she hadn't taken it out. And we was sure it had been there when she had picked up her purse to leave. Where the hell could it be? This couldn't be happening, not now, not right after she lost her job, oh god no...

But it was. Her purse was gone.

The only conclusion she could come to was the man she had bumped into on the way into the store. Now she was robbed and jobless.

She had to start all over again.
Willow had taken her shower and was completely clean aside from her dirty clothes. She would have to clean them soon. It was easy to clean clothes, all she had to do was put them in one at a time with someone's elses clothes at the laundry mat and then tell the person who'd cleaned her clothes that she left it in there when she used the washer before them.

She walked outside into her school's quad and waited for class to start. Pain hit her at once. It was in her leg. The left one. It was too much for her lean her weight comfortably. Immediately Willow started to scan the crowd. A football player was one ctutches and had a cast on his left leg. He had a posse of pretty girls and guys around him. Willow acknowledged it and continued to walk. He was already healing on his own and the further away from him she was the duller the pain she had to feel would be. Willow limped away.

Suddenly an emotion hit. Relief. She turned and saw the football player looking at her. He was a tall, sturdy, handsome Sophmore. Willow blushed and turned away.

"Hey, Miracle Girl!" said the jock. Her eyebrows furrowed and she turned around. He was talking to her! Her heart skipped a beat and she knew it was her own emotions acting this time. Willow hid a smile and pointed to herself. "Yeah you, Freshman. Come here I got a question for you."

Willow obediently walked towards the crowd of beautiful teenagers. "Yeah?" she said her voice scratchy. She quickly cleared her throat. "Yeah?" she said in a prettier voice.

"My mom and dad are friends with the Johnsons. They said you could heal anyone, anywhere." Willow's eyes widened and her breath quickened. They knew she was a mutant. She felt the heat of the crowd's eyes on her and she gulped with fear.

"I...um, that's ridiculous. I mean what do you mean heal?" Willow stuttered. They weren't buying it. In fact the kids around him seemed ammused. Someone whispered something about her being a freak in the crowd. The jock turned around and snapped at his friend.

"It's no big secret," said the jock. "But I also hear you are in need of a little cash. I got a game on Friday and the coach says I gotta sit out. The team needs me. Your school needs you." Willow's face fell seeing where this was going.

"You want me to heal your leg?" she said. He smiled a trusting white smile. Willow bit her lip nervously. "How much?" she asked greedily refusing to show any emotion.

"A thousand dollars," he answered. The others must have seen Willow's astonished face because they started to giggle. He held up a wad of twenties wrapped up in a rubber band. "My entire allowance for the last two months. I was going to save up for a car, but I talked my parents into taking car of it. So I need to play and you need money, correct?" Willow looked at the money her mouth still gaping at it. A thousand dollars? She would have done it for two dollars, but a thousand!

The jock waved it mocking in front of her face. "Yes or no?" Willow would not let herself be screwed over. She snatched it from his hand and pocketed it into her shirt.

"Deal, let's go somewhere private," she snapped in her all business mode. Willow was in control now. She led him and the group of 'high status' students over to one of the far edges of the school.

When they were in a private place Willow turned and faced him. "Sit down," she ordered.

"Yes ma'am," he joked making his friends laugh. Willow knelt beside him and looked at the cast.

"Okay, I'm going to touch your leg and it will be healed. The thing is though that when I do it, it's going to hurt a little bit before you feel better. Are you okay with that?" Willow asked. He laughed and looked to his friends.

"Hey, I can withstand a broken leg. I think I can stad a little sting," said the jock haughtily. Willow smiled realizing that this guy was a jerk. She suddenly couldn't wait to see him shocked by ability.

"Okay," she said with a cute smile. Her hands glowed a bright blinding, light and she brought them on him. The jock first screamed in surprise, then in pain. Willow closed her eyes and focused on the guy. When she felt his leg was healed, she pulled away. The jock was still twisting and writhing.

"Get her off!"

"She is off Chris," answered a cheerleader. He looked dazed and light headed. "What did you do to him?"

"I just healed him," she said softly. Then the jock opened his eyes and felt his leg. There was no pain to be felt. "See, he's okay now."

"That hurt!" the jock screamed. Willow shrugged and started to say something. She stood up and backed away. "She's crazy!" Willow gripped the straps of her backpack and started to run full speed down the halls. As she ran the bell rang and she switched directions to her first class.
A Non-Existent User


         Todd was walking steadily toward the Rockies when he noticed a slight change in the sun, a difference in the rays streaming down on him. He continued, feigning ignorance.

         Soon, a figure appeared, dropping onto their own growing shadow. It was another mutant; her body was covered in golden feathers, and no less than three pairs of shimmering yellow wings were visible. Two were folded behind her back, and four beat slowly as she descended a few feet in front of Todd.

         "Feel free to drop in!" Todd called sarcastically.

         "You know, I've heard that too many times lately. You don't mind if we, like, travel together, do you?"

         "Birds of a feather..." Todd got clipped by a wing for the comment, but it was playful.

         "So, what's your name?"

         "Todd. Yours?"

         "Icarus. So, what do you do? Somebody in the middle of, like, Arizona on foot has to be a mutant."

         Todd made a cup with his hands, and light seemed to fill it, flow over, and cover the ground with spatters of brilliance. It looked really cool, but was extremely difficult to do.

         "That's cool... at least they can't, like, tell you're a mutant by looking."

         "Well, they find out one way or another." Todd started walking.

         "Hey! Wait up; where you headed?" She jogged a little to match pace with Todd.

         "California."

         "Wow - really? I have a cousin in California. He, like, does welding stuff in a warehouse outside of San Diego. He always was kind of weird, but that's just like Eric. So, do you, like, have any family? I mean, like, you can't be with them now, but you know what I mean."

         Todd continued walking.

         "Hey! Wait up!" This time Icarus had to make a short flight to catch up to Todd.

         Todd sighed. This was going to be a very long trip.

         "...oh, by the way - do you, like, have any food? Flying takes a lot of energy, and I'm all out."

         "Nope. Don't need any." Todd hadn't eaten since last winter, when the sun was so faint it made him weak.

         "Great. Now what?"

         "I don't know."

         "I think I'm screwed."

         "I think you're right."
(If you guys know anyone that would like to be a part of this campfire, feel free to let them know about it. This is still open for invitations, I don't have a limit on the number of people in the group yet. Oh, and by the way, I made a little change to my first entry a while ago, to my characters mutant abilities. Just incase you didn't know. *Wink*)

Talor leaned against the fence of a school, standing inside the school grounds, staring hard at the wall of the brick building. She was looking through the wall into the classroom inside, watching the class in progress. It had been so long since she had been to a class herself. She never thought she would actually miss school, but she did.

Talor was watching one girl in particular in the class, sitting slouched over her desk, her pencil in hand, scribbling in a notebook. It would have looked to anyone like she was taking notes, but Talor could tell, using her X-Ray vision, that she was really doing nothing of the sort. It wasn't unusual that the girl was doodleing and scribbling little words and sayings all over her pages instead of actually paying attention to the teacher. So that wasn't what was drawing Talor to the girl. It was the fact that she seemed to different, so distant from all her peers. The students around her were whispering and joking and passing notes between eachother as the teacher wrote on the blackboard, and this girl just sat there, quietly, minding her own business. None of the other students talked to her, or even looked at her. It was almost as if she wasnt there.

Making up her mind, Talor concentrated hard and vanished herself, before stepping up the front steps and into the school, invisible to any bystanders. Looking through the walls, Talor found her way to the classroom she had been watching from outside. Thankfully, the door was left slightly open, and Talor quietly slipped inside.

Talor maneuvered herself around the row of desks until she came to be beside the girl. She had short, dark brown hair and a small frame. Talor crouched down beside her and peered over her arm to look at the girls writing. To Talor, the words were a confusing jumble of things that obviously meant something to the girl, something Talor couldn't figure out and didn't try to hard to do.

Talor studied the girls face. She looked fairly distant, as if she was somewhere far off from the room in which her teacher was writing notes on the board and her peers were having quiet fun amongst themselves. Talor resisted the urge to reach forward and brush the stringy hair out of the girls eyes.

Willow heard the empty desk beside her shift and creak. Willow looked up from her notebook and over to it. The shifting stopped. Someone in the classroom said something funny and the entire class erupted in laughter. Willow shrank back down in her desk and away from the class.

"Ms. Penn," said the teacher holding up a note. "They want you up at the office." Willow looked up and a yellow note was handed back to her. She quietly took the note and tucked her hair behind her ear to read. It she heard the chair beside her creak and she looked at it again. Willow stuffed her journal into her backpack and then her notebook. In the middle of class she had felt the urge to write about the happenings of the morning.

Willow put the straps of her backpack across her shoulders and squeezed them tightly. Why would the office want her? Maybe they found out she was homeless? Maybe someone else found out she was a mutant. She prayed to God that wasn't the case. Mutants weren't doing very well in court according to the media.

She pushed the door open that ligered a bit before closing on it's own. "I'm in so much trouble," Willow whispered to no one imparticular. She felt remorse and pity around her. Willow stoppped and looked around to see if anyone was listening to her. Where were these emotions coming from. New emotions stirred in the air. Fear and uncertainty.

Putting the two together someone must be watching her. "Hello?" she asked. The fall wind blew around her. Willow put her hands in her pockets and continued on her way and pushing her money deeper in them. She walked through the halls and she was going around the building to the front door when she passed by an open window.

"Mutants are a well known problem in society, Christopher. There should be no shame in reporting an incident with them. Now, tell me again what happened," said Principal Chillingsworth voice from inside. Willow paused by the window and didn't move. There was fear inside the room. Lots of it.

Willow looked to see if anyone was watching and she stood beside the window her back flat against the brick wall.

"She touched me and I felt like I was being electricuted! I think her power is electricity or something. When I tried to pull away she just kept doing it and it hurt. I was screaming and she wouldn't stop!" Willow's jaw dropped and she mouthed a curse.

"Hmm...interesting. Well I assure you she is getting expelled and the authorities will take her home to speak to her parents," said the Principal. Willow thought about going in and defending herself, but she stopped herself. She couldn't let the police take her home. She had no home to go to. Then she would be taken to a foster home and they would find out about her power. Then they would use her like every other family she'd ever had. More pity became ever clear in her presence. Willow looked up and the sound of the window shutting next to her made her jump.

"Who's there?" she asked. Her hands glowed defensively. More fear filled the air. Even more than she felt before. "I said who's there," she repeated her breath shaking. Willow stood up.

"I can't stand this. I'm going to just get a plane ticket. Fly to a warm place and buy a crappy car to sleep in," she said to herself. Willow's eyebrows lifted. That didn't sound like a bad idea. It wouldn't be long until everyone in the city found out there was a 'reckless' mutant on the loose. She had to leave anyway. Willow looked at the money in her pocket and smiled. "Yeah, I'll go to Bel Air where all the rich folk live and heal them, go to UCLA and become an emergeny room surgeon where I would never fail." Willow laughed to the nothingness around her keeping her voice quiet so the people in the office couldn't hear her.

Willow hit herself in the head and laughed. "Duh, why didn't I think of this before."

Two policemen rounded the corner with hand cuffs and a gun in their holsters on their hips. They looked at her and the yellow office summons paper in her hand.

"Excuse me?" one said. "Are you Willow Penn?" Willow stared at them panicking about how to react. So she did what she did best. Willow turned and ran.
A Non-Existent User

         Todd was praying. He wasn't a religious man, but when Icarus started to starve, he started to pray.

         Please God don't let this girl die...

         Todd walked steadily on, carrying Icarus in his arms. Twice a car passed by, shocked expressions when they saw the girl's wings.

         ...Just let me get to someplace with food before she starves, that's all I ask...

         Todd could see another car coming, but this time he wouldn't let them pass by. He focused all the light around him in a wall along the road, following the car and flashing its message:

She's dying. Please help!


         The car swerved away from the lightshow, only to find it appear in front of them. In a screeching wave of tires and gravel, the vehicle pulled over to a couple feet from Todd.

         "What in hell's the big idea, mutie? You and your kind can all jus' die, for what I care! Why don't ya just beam her someplace wit' yer superpowers?"

         "Sir, you have two choices. I can get in the car and you can drive me to a hospital, or I can tear the brains out of your head and drive her there myself. It's your choice." The bluff worked fantastically.

         "O-okay, you just stay outta my head, you hear? Keep away from me now, g-get in the back. I'll take ya to Saint Jude's."

         "Thank you for your kindness. Where are we, anyway?"

         "Yer just a couple hundred miles east of San Diego. That's where I'm takin' ya. There's a hospital there what treats mutants 'specially."

         "Really? Who built it?" Todd was surprised that anyone even cared about mutants.

         "Saint Jude's? Some old guy came in and convinced everybody to build it for him. I'd bet he's one o' yer kind anyway. Calls hisself 'Professer X'."

         "Great. Thank you, sir." Todd felt waves of relief wash over him. Everything was going to be okay...
Talor stood still for a moment, watching the girl running, and the policemen start after her. Should she follow the girl? She, Willow? had no doubt felt her presence, and was obviously a mutant too. Making up her mind in a split second, Talor stuck out her leg in front of one of the policemen who tripped spectacularly, bringing the other one down with him. Having bought her and the girl a few moments, Talor ran to keep up with the girl. She didn't know where they were headed, but she followed her, trusting her for some unknown reason. Maybe it was because she was the only other mutant she knew of in all the city.

Willow and Talor were running across the street a few blocks away from the school, the policemen roughly 20 feet behind them, when an expensive, silver car screeched to a halt in front of them. Talor almost tripped in her haste to stop and not fall into Willow, and she took a quick step back, dangerously close to coming in contact with the girl.

The drivers side window opened, and the back seat door swung open. The face of a man was revealed in the front, wearing very odd looking glasses, and a girl with white hair was in the back. Using a quick flash of X-Ray vision, Talor saw another man in the passenger seat.

"Get in the car, both of you." the man in the driver's seat said. Talor was immediatly shocked. Both of you? How could he see her? Was he a mutant too? Where they all mutants in the car?

Suddenly, Talor felt a very strange feeling. She looked down at herself and saw that she had reappeared. But she had not done it herself. She looked up frantically at the people in the car, and saw the girl in the back responsible for it. Talor quickly tried going invisible again, even though she knew the damage was done, but it only lasted for a few flickering secondd, before she became entirely visible again.

Talor was frantic. Willow was looking at her, shocked, and the people in the car seemed to somehow be interfereing with her powers. She took a cautious step backwards, incase they tried anything. She looked quickly around her, for any place to run, and saw the policemen had slightly closed the gap between them, but had stopped momentarily, staring in shock at Talor. They were obviously shocked at suddenly seeing another girl appear out of nowhere.

"Get in the car!" the man urged.

"We aren't going to hurt you, you must trust us. We are going to take you both some place safe." the woman in the back assured them.
Willow made no hesitation in getting inside and Talor followed after her. The car sped away. The excitement died down and the car was quiet except for Talor and Willow's breathing.

"You were the one following me?" she said. Talor nodded. Willow shook her head. "Don't think I'm not appreciative of you guys picking me up or anything, but I'm in a lot of trouble and I don't want to get anyone else involved. Now if you could just drop me off somewhere safe..."

"Why so you can live on your own again?" said the woman beside her with white hair. Talor looked across the seats at her. "Yes. You too, Talor."

Willow looked at Talor who seemed shocked. "How do you know about us?" Talor asked. "Who are you guys?"

"My name is Storm, this is Cyclops, and this is Wolverine. We're from the Xavier Institute for Gifted Students," said the woman. Talor and Willow looked at her. "It's a school for mutants."

"Well, thanks. But I don't have any money if your looking for a new student," Talor said.

"No need for money. It's run on a grant. Students live on campus, learn how to use their powers, and get schooling at the same time," Storm said. "Would you two be interested?"

Talor and Willow looked at one another. "Yeah," Talor said. "That sounds okay as long as no money is involved." They both looked at Willow expectantly. She shrugged.

"Sure. I couldn't get in any worse trouble than I already am," she said crossing her arms over her chest and looking out the window. She felt Storm and Talor's eyes on her. Willow felt bad for being so rude. "Thank you for picking us up," she added quickly to clear her conscience.

"Your welcome," said one of the men in the front said. Willow didn't acknowledge which one it was. She felt Talor shift to face her. Willow looked back at her to see her staring.

"You didn't attack that guy did you?" Talor said. Willow shook her head.

"I heal people. I don't hurt people, on purpose anyway," she said. "My power can heal anything, but it also hurts them until the healing process is done. That jerk paid me to heal him and I guess he thought I was trying to hurt him." Talor nodded.

"That's a cool power. I can turn invisble, as you've seen and I can see through things," Talor said suddenly happy to have someone to talk about mutants with. Willow looked at her and nodded politely.

"Can I ask you something...Talor, right?" Willow asked. Talor nodded. "Why were you following me?"
She shrugged.

"I was just bored...and I haven't been to school for a while," she said. "I don't know." Willow nodded as if accepting her answer and stared back out the window. Talor looked back out at the other people in the car.

"So where is this Institute?" Talor asked the others.

"Out of state. We'll be taking the jet there, but first we have to make another stop," said Cyclops from up front. He pushed his sunglasses up on the bridge of his nose and turned the steering wheel onto the freeway.
A Non-Existent User
Wowee - this campfire is moving fast! *Smile*

         Todd was asleep in the chair by Icarus's bed. The girl was hooked up to a saline drip and a nutrient solution - Todd knew because he'd asked the nurses so often they didn't come around anymore.

         Todd woke up with a start when four people started walking down the hall. Feigning sleep, he could feel the light in the hallway and knew there were two men and two woman, but couldn't tell any more.

         Todd started to panic as they turned into his room. It was too late for him to become invisible, they would see him. What are they doing here? Todd began to fear for Icarus and himself. What if they're the police, and they're going to put us away?

         "Where did you say they were from?" One woman asked. Todd was becoming more and more uneasy, especially when the shorter man started staring at Todd.

         "The one in the chair came from Houston, and the girl met him in Nevada. I'm surprised he got her here in time to save her." The short man wouldn't stop staring at Todd. He didn't dare look up, but he could feel his gaze. It made him very uncomfortable.

         "That one in the chair's not asleep." Todd nearly jumped, but stopped just in time. How could he know I'm awake?!?!

         "How do you know, Logan?"

         "He's givin' off fear like a Glade Plug-In. You wanna talk to us, boy?" Todd didn't know what to do. Should he blind them with a flash, and try to get away? Should he just trust them? No way. Besides, there wasn't enough light in the room to concentrate.

         "Maybe we should just take them both now." Said the taller man. Todd hadn't noticed yet, but there was a huge amount of ultraviolet coming from his eyes! Perfect, he thought. I'll just move that around a bit...

         "He's glowing." The short man said.

         "No, he's not. It's just the light from the window." Funny how the tall guy couldn't tell what he was doing.

         "No, it's not. I can feel the heat." Todd really wished Logan would stop looking at him.

         "News flash; the sun is hot." It seemed the two guys weren't on the best of terms.

         "No, see? He just flashed a little."

         "Hmm - you're right. Kid; you wanna stop, or what?" Todd decided now was the time.

         "What are you doing here?" He stood up, and commanded quite an impressive sight. Red light flew around Todd, creating the illusion of flame. He looked like he was burning! This is so cool!

         "Kid, don't. Put yourself out, now."

         "Oh, fine." The red light leaked off onto the floor. "That was fun, though. How do you do that?"

         "Who, me? I didn't do anything. You're the one who was burning!" The tall guy replied.

         "No, I wasn't. I do stuff with light and sound. Your eyes - that's where I got the light." Cyclops suddenly seemed embarrassed.

         "Oh. Um, that's just my power."

         "You shoot lasers out of your eyes? Awesome!"

         "If we're quite done here?" The white-haired woman interjected. "There's those two still in the jet. We should get going."

         "Oh, yes, of course. Kid, we're taking you and the girl to the mansion. Okay?

         "Mansion? Um, what do you mean?"

         "The X-Mansion. We're the X-Men. What do you say, want to come?"

         "She won't get hurt?" Todd motioned to Icarus, who was still sleeping.

         "Of course not. Once we get to the mansion, she'll go to the infirmary."

         Reluctantly, Todd followed the four up to the roof. There, a great black jet was waiting. Cyclops walked up to a console.

         "Open. VTOL sequence initiate."

         "Confirmed. VTOL will begin when all passengers are secure." A robotic voice answered.

         Todd and Wolverine helped get Icarus's stretcher into the bay. Once everyone was inside, Todd started asking questions.

         "You guys said you're the X-Men. Who's that?"

         "We're a team of mutants who run around saving the world." Wolverine said with a grin.

         "Hardly. Sometimes it gets pretty boring. Oh, by the way - I'm Jean Grey, this is Storm, you know Wolverine, and that's Cyclops."

         "Well, what do you do? I mean, I know what Cyclops does, but how did you know I was awake?"

         "I got animal senses and stuff like that. Plus..." Wolverine's hands tensed as six claws jumped out! They were long and looked extremely sharp.

         Todd snapped his head around when he heard something behind him.

         "Wh-who's there? You never said there was someone else here."

         "Oh. That's Talor. We're taking her and another girl with you two back to the mansion. Speaking of that, where's Willow?"
Talor looked around her.

"She was just........oh, there she is." Talor pointed to a far corner of the jet, where Willow was hunched over a notebook, scribbling into it. She glanced up and noticed the new arrivals, before stuffing her book into her bag and standing up, slinging it over her shoulder.

"Hi, I'm Willow." she said.

"I'm Todd. Nice to meet both of you." Todd nodded his head in greeting.

Talor gave him a friendly smile.

"Another mutant?" she asked Storm, Jean, Logan and Scott, whom had introduced themselves in the car on the way here.

"Yes, him and Icarus here, who is in critical condition. Now, if everyone would take their seats and buckle up, we can get going." Logan said.

Everyone took a seat in the jet, and Talor clasped her hands around the arm rests as the jet took off, trying to breath calmly and closing her eyes. She had always hated flying.

It wasn't long before Talor fell asleep, and so it didn't seem to take long before she was being jerked awake by the landing of the jet. A few minutes later, her, Willow, Todd, Scott, Logan, Jean, Storm, and Icarus on her stretcher, were getting of the jet and out onto a cement landing strip, looking up at a large, concrete building.

"This way, you three." Storm motioned to them.

"What about Icarus?" Todd demanded.

"She is being brought to the infirmary. I am bringing you three into the school."

Talor, Willow and Todd followed Storm through a side door of the school and found themselves in a long, hardwood-floored hallway.
(Yeah going REALLY fast, but its winter vacation:))

Willow was happy to get away from Icarus. She didn't like seeing people hurt or sick. Talor walked beside her down the ramp. "There's no way you could heal that girl?" Willow shook her head.

"I heal wounds, not sicknesses or conditions," Willow said stepping on the highly polished floor. Storm walked the teenagers into the different hallways and rooms showing where everything was. Finally they came to the top floor where the occasional kid passed by them tossing friendly glances at the other mutants. Todd, Willow, and Talor looked at them oddly and walked passed them.

"And remember if you ever get lost, I assure you everyone one here will be friendly enough to show you the way to wherever you're going. Breakfast is at eight and dinner is at six thirty. The kitchen is open to anyone who wants it as is everything else. Willow and Talor, you're bunking in this room right here. Todd is over here across the hall. Oh, and training is after classes at four," Storm said. "Go ahead and make yourselves comfortable." Storm walked down the hall and the three newcomers exchanged looks.

Todd shrugged. "I guess I'll see you two later," he said twisting the doorknob open. The girls nodded and went into their own room. Willow looked around and tossed her backpack on the bed on the left. Talor took the remaining bed on the right and laid down flat on the mattress. She heard Willow unzipping her backpack and looked over to see her put the clothes away in one of the drawers. The took out a journal and opened it up and started to finish writing about her day. After finishing her final three sentances she closed it and tucked it back into her back pack.

"You unpack fast," Talor commented. Willow looked up from what she was doing and nodded. She smiled at her.

"I've had practice." Willow perked suddenly. "What do you make of all this?" Talor shrugged.

"I have no idea. This is all happening kind of fast. I mean, training?" Talor said. "Training for what?" It was Willow's turn to shrug.

"I have no idea, but now I have a place to live and that will feed me. So I suppose there isn't much to worry about. And I figure if the things don't work out, whatever. I'm out of California and in the clear." Talor nodded.

"I know what you mean," she said. Willow laid down on her bed and felt the awkwardness in the room. She wasn't one to be a chooser, but she was suddenly wishing she had her own room. Privacy had been one of the finer points of being on her own. Willow turned on her side and looked at the tall frech window in between then and at the huge yard that surrounded the institute.

Talor sat up on the heels of her hands and looked at the door. "You wanna explore?" Talor asked. Willow looked at her. Explore? Why didn't she just ignore her like everyone else? Then again there was that huge library down stairs. Perhaps there was books she could borrow. Willow smiled at the thought and then realized she did want to go exploring. "Well?"

Willow nodded feeling more adventurous and curious about her surroundings then anything else. She took in a breath and considered it. Talor seemed nice enough.

"Sure," Willow said standing up. Talor also got up.

"Do you think we should invite the Todd guy?" she asked. Willow shook her head.

"We can try. I wouldn't count on him wanting to go though. He seemed really upset about his friend being hurt," Willow said as Talor opened the door outside.
A Non-Existent User

         Todd was putting his stuff away when the other two girls came in.

         "Hey. What's up?"

         "Oh, nothing. We were just wondering if you'd like to check out the mansion with us."

         "Sure. You mind if we hit the kitchen first? I'm hungry."

         "What? I thought you didn't need food."

         "Not during the summer. Days are longer then. But in the winter there's not enough light."

         "Ah. I see. To the kitchens!"

=|-|~|-|=


         Marilyn was dicing carrots in the kitchen when she heard the refrigerator door open. A bottle of Mountain Dew floated over to a table, followed by salami, cheese, bread, and some mayonnaise. She chuckled.

         "You kids. Just don't go poking 'round the freezer, you hear? Bobby's in there."

         A boy and girl materialized near the table, and another poked her head from behind a corner.

         "What do you mean, 'Bobby's in there'?"

         "Bobby Drake? You three must be new. Find out for yourself, then."

         Willow strode to the freezer door and opened it.

         "Wow." Willow could see a blue, translucent figure sitting in the back. She felt frigid air around her ankles, but the man seemed to be immune to the cold.

         "Is he hurt?" Willow stepped forward, into the freezing cold. She felt a soreness in both shoulders, but couldn't pinpoint the injury.

         "Hey, beautiful. What are you doing here?" Iceman said, before falling into a coughing spasm.

         Willow started in shock as she realized why her shoulders hurt - both of Iceman's arms were gone!

         "Bobby... I think I can help. I heal people, but it hurts. Is that okay?" Iceman looked up and nodded between coughs.

         She put her hands on his shoulders and concentrated. Hard. She could feel Iceman shaking under her electric hands, but he didn't cry out.

         It took almost a full minute, but when she was done, frost began to collect on Bobby's shoulders, and soon he had two working arms.

         "Thanks, Willow. I owe ya. Jeez, that hurts." He got up and walked out of the freezer. "It's still too hot in this place, though. Where's the air conditioning?" Todd smiled a little and introduced himself.

         "Hey, I'm Todd. This is Talor, and I think you know Willow. So what do you do, besides turn into ice?"

         "I can make ice, too. Pretty much anything with cold. See?" Bobby made a little ice slick and skated over to the table, where he proceeded to eat with great relish.

         *Munch* "Oh, by the way..." *Chomp* "What do you guys do? I haven't seen you around before."

         "Well, I can do stuff with light and sound. Like this." Todd filled the room with his voice, and then dampened every sound to a whisper. "And, if I'm right, Talor has X-Ray vision and can turn invisible."

         "Pretty cool. Well, thanks for the food, Marilyn. Todd, Talor, Willow, I'll see you later." Iceman took off back the way they had come.

         "Well, at least he left one sandwich for me... Ow!" Todd cried.

         "What's wrong?"

         "This thing's frozen solid! I nearly broke a tooth!"
(New character introduced here. Any new addition to this group is welcome to take him as their character.)

While munching on some food, the three teenagers told some more about themselves.

"You can call me Jujube, by the way. That's what everyone calls me, because of my eyes." Talor said.

"You can call me Mira, if you want." Willow said.

"You can call me Todd." Todd said with a smile.

A while later the three left the kitchen to get some exploring done. They came to a very large room, like a Rec room, with a tv and games and couches and stuff. Here, they saw a lot of kids sitting around and playing games. A few of the kids threw them friendly smiles.

"Wanna check out a few games?" Talor grinned to Willow and Todd. They agreed and the three of them went to see what different kind of games there were.

Caught up in a game of air hockey with Willow, Talor accidentaly knocked into someone behind her as she brought her arms up in a little cheer of victory, and stumbled a bit. She looked behind her quickly, ready to apologize, and saw a very good looking boy around her age. She pulled her dazzler onto her face.

"Oh, god, I'm sorry. Are you alright?" the boy asked, holding out his hands on either side of Talor, steadying her as if she was about to fall.

"Oh, I'm fine, don't worry about it. It was my fault." Talor smiled. The boy smiled back.

"You're new around here, aren't you? I'm sure I haven't seen you before, I would have remembered those eyes..."

"Yea, me, Willow, and Todd over there are new. Just got here today." Talor smiled, nodding over to Willow and Todd. Todd was engrossed in a video game.

"I'm Layne, it's nice to meet you guys. Do you have a name?" Layne asked, extending his hand for Talor to shake. She took his hand, smiling.

"I'm Talor. You can call me Jujube if you want."

"What kinda powers do you have?"

"X-Ray vision and Invisibility." Talor said, flashing her dazzler again, but looking away in discomfort. She still wasn't exactly proud of the fact that she was a mutant.

"Really? That's cool! Hey, you're into the Ramones?" Layne asked, gesturing to Talor's Ramones t-shirt.

"Uhm, yea." Talor said, smiling.

"That's cool, well hey, I guess I'll see you two later. In classes tomorrow?"

"Oh, yea, I guess." Talor said, a little taken aback at the thought of classes. It hadn't really sunken in that she was actually going to be staying here. And she hadn't been to school in so long.

Layne smiled and left, and Willow had a silly grin on her face when Talor turned back to her.

"What?" Talor asked her.

"You like him." she said.

"What? I hardly even know him! He doesn't seem like my type, but I won't deny that he's pretty good looking."

"Wanna go do some more exploring?" Willow suggested.

"Sure."

Talor and Willow pulled Todd away from his game and left to look around some more.

The rest of the day went like that going through the library and the studies. Even outside when they discovered the pool by the now very estatic mutants. All in all the mansion was impressive and it was easy to call it home by the end of the day.

The next day came along smoothly. Someone passing the halls said it would be a good thing to get to breakfast early, so Talor and Willow got up at seven in the morning and went across the hall to wake up Todd. He came out and then the three went downstairs to breakfast. Then there were classes which was different for all of them, since they were all different ages.

Then came the part Willow was worried about all day long. Training. That day for training the only people who showed up were Todd, Talor, and Willow. They had to changed into black jumpsuits they were told was worn whenever they went on a mission somewhere. They all shrugged and got changed into them. When they were finished Storm was there to meet them along with a bald man in a wheelchair none of them recognized.

"Good afternoon," said the man mentally evaluating the group before him. "My name is Professor Xavier. Most of the students just call me Professor X. The run this institute and the X-men. I wanted to meet you all because now you are part of both. Since this is your first training session, I wanted you all to get a feel for it and stress you'll be under in real life. So go ahead and take the elevator down to the training floor and get ready. Storm and I will be in the control station watching the rest of you. It will be about teamwork and using you abilities to complete the assignment given. Are you all ready?" Willow and Talor shugged and nodded.

Todd raised his hand. "Yeah. I'm as ready as I'll ever be, but I was wondering how my friend is doing in the infirmary?" he said.
A Non-Existent User

         "Oh, you mean Icarus, the girl who was with you?" Professor X said. "She's doing much better, and should be - ah! There she is!"

         Todd glanced over and saw Icarus walking out of the Infirmary doors. He quickly threw up a big, bright yellow sign that said,

Glad You're Back! What Took So Long?


         "Hehe, what's new, Icarus? I thought you'd never get better." Todd

         "Oh, nothing. So, Professor X says we're gonna do a Danger Room trial run together - sound like fun?"

         "Danger Room? How do you know this stuff? You've been bedridden for three days!"

         "Well, with that much time, reading pamphlets gets pretty interesting. Anyway - what kind of room do you guys want?"

         All three looked at Icarus blankly.

         "Oh, come on. You people never do your homework?" She sighed. "Each person gets their pick of a holographic opponent. We beat the Danger Room if we can all take 'em out in ten minutes! Here - take a look at this." She threw a pamphlet at Todd's feet.

         There were five total opponents: One heavy assault robot, a man with a gun, Bruce Lee, a burly guy with tattoos, and a woman with a knife. Todd passed around the pamphlet.

         "Well, when does this start? Do we get any time to warm up?"

         "I'm afraid not. The session starts in five minutes." Professor X replied.

         Todd passed around the pamphlet. "Well, everybody pick someone they think they could beat. I'll take the girl with the knife - how about you, Icarus?"

         "Bruce Lee. Hey - he can't fly, can he?"

---Cue the music!---
Everyone chose their opponent and was led to a starting point, which was a large, empty room. Each teen was put into a different room, and were told that they would hear a loud beep after 10 seconds counting down, and then it was time for each of them to try and defeat their opponent within 10 minutes.

Talor stood by the door, her heart beating loudly in her ears, as the counting started.

"10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1..."

BEEP!!!

All at once, the scenery in the room changed. It was filled with barrells and dumpsters, and a man with a gun, whom Talor had chosen as her opponent, appeared. The man drew his gun, and Talor froze in fear.

This WAS holographic...right?

Just in time, Talor tuned invisible and dodged behind a large barrell as the man let his shot fly. The holographic bullet the barrell and a bright green liquid began slowly pouring out in a very realistic way. Talor crept around her opponent, her X-Ray vision focusing on his body, looking for any more hidden guns.

One on his ankle, one on his hip. Talor made a mental note, and crept up in front of the man, who was stepping around the room, looking for her. She knocked the gun out of his hand and he spun around in the direction she had hit. Talor grabbed for the gun, and by the time she straightened up, he had another gun out. She spun and kicked, knocking that one out of his hand and across the room. Then she raised the mans gun in her own hands, and shot.

The first shot reflected off the wall to the left of the mans head, and Talor ducked the returning bullet. The man was pulling out his third and final gun, and was pointing it directly at Talor. She knew it was a blind shot, but it was very accurate. She kicked his legs out from under him and he fell in a heap to the floor. She pinned him down with her foot and fired a second shot.

Just as the shot would have hit him directly between the eyes, the images in the room were lifted, and Talor was once again alone in an empty room, crouched down on the floor.

"Opponent 3 defeated, 4 minutes and 38 seconds. 5 minutes and 22 seconds remaining." a loud mechanical voice said inside the room.
Willow waited for the room to change while she rocked her heels and hummed a little tune to a song she had just decided to make up. She nodded her head along to the song watching carefully for the room to change. Suddenly a robotic voice came through the speakers making her jump in surprise. She held her chest to calm her beating heart.

"10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1..."

BEEP

Suddenly it happened and she was in an empty bar, but the opponent was nowhere in sight. Willow was automatically on alert and her senses were open to any emotions to warn her that someone was coming. She felt nothing. The burly guy with tattoos was not here according her powers.

A thought occurred to her that she couldn't sense a hologram. It had no emotions. She perked instantly at the sound of the big motorcyle guy yelling and running at her with a chair. Willow got out of the way as he stopped and hurled it at her. She dived on the floor and the chair flew over head and over the counter smashing the glasses and wine bottle on the other side.

"This is so unrealistic. I'm a minor! What am I doing in a bar!" Willow grumbled to herself. She got to her feet as the guy grabbed a pool stick and started swinging away at her. Willow's hands were glowing. She knew that all she had to do was give him enough of her healing power to hurt him like she did with every person she healed. It would be at least enough to get him to slow down, but how was she going to get close enough to touch him? All the while she gathered more and more healing energy into her hands.

Willow ran over to the door. Locked. Figures. She stopped as he came closer and closer. Her hands were glowing as she motioned him to come closer. He swung at her and dropped to the floor and grabbed an uncovered ankle and released the energy with one hand. He screamed with more surprise than pain. Willow shut her eyes ready for the pain to effect her, but it didn't. You can't feel someone's pain when they don't have any feelings at all. Willow grabbed on with both hands and his screaming became louder. All at once the screaming was over and he fell over unconscious.

Willow looked up at the ceiling not really knowing where they were watching her. "I don't have to kill him right?" she said to the Professor and Storm, wherever they were she knew they were watching her.

"End session," said the robotic voice. "Time accomplished seven minutes and forty-six seconds with two minutes and fourteen seconds remaining."
A Non-Existent User

         "...So this is like the Matrix, right? I can get hurt, but I won't die. Right?" Somebody chuckled over the intercom.

         "Yes, of course. Just do your best. After all, ten minutes is plenty of time."

         "Holographic Training Course Code: Beta begins in T-minus ten... nine... eight... seven..."

         Todd cracked his knuckles. As the computer's voice sounded zero, the Danger Room around him disappeared, and in its place there was a samurai dojo. On the walls were various weapons, all of which looked extremely sharp. There were reed mats laid on the ground, creating a soft, rubbery surface to fight on.

         Todd was standing in the red circle on the left. On the opposite circle, a woman in an X-Men uniform appeared. She bowed, and said to Todd:

         "Greetings; I am Psylocke. Good luck, friend." The woman, still bowing, took a knife from behind her back and whipped it at Todd.

         He barely managed to dodge it in time. Todd could sense light reflecting from other knifes at her back and side, but the longest one was odd...

         Distracted by the knife, Todd had to duck and roll to avoid a lunging attack made by Psylocke. In the background, the robotic voice continued to drone on.

         "Double step from fighting circle; grade reduced."

         Todd snatched a sinister-looking blade from the wall and made several swipes at Psylocke. She dodged two, but the third left a thick lock of hair on the ground.

         "First strike - ten points extra credit."

         That voice was getting annoying. Todd took all the light he had and flashed Psylocke, attempting to blind her.

         "Aaagh! Mrrff-" She covered her eyes, then whirled around and swung her katana at head height. Todd blocked it with his own sword, but noticed why Psylocke's blade had seemed odd. It was glowing!

         "Your sword..." He asked, simultaneously trying to trip his enemy.

         "Hahaha, you noticed!" She dodged his foot easily. "It's a mental projection. I'm psychokinetic."

         So that was it! I wonder how she does that...

         Todd whirled around with an attack of his own. His saber whistled through the air, and then-

         "Ha-HAH!" Psylocke shouted in truimph while Todd stared at the broken stub that was his sword. She prepared to srike... "Hurgh.. Mhg.." Psylocke gurgled and blood trickled down her lip as Todd shoved the sword in to the hilt. The computerized voice sounded again:

"Kill: Successful. Points detracted: 15. Extra points earned: 10. Total Grade: 95%. Pass."


         Todd was about to drop the sword when it dissolved by itself. He looked at his hands for a long time, standing in the Danger Room. Iceman walked through the doorway to congratulate him.

         "Great job, dude! You took out Psylocke in four mintues flat. That was amazing! Hey - what's wrong?" Todd continued to look at his hands, as if the blood was still on them.

         "I... I just killed somebody, Bobby. I mean, it's just-"

         "Hey, don't worry! It's a hologram." He waved to the projector array. "See? No blood, no big deal."

         "And that, Iceman, is where you are wrong." Professor X was coming through the doorway. "You've never killed anybody before, Todd. It's hard, the first time - even in the Danger Room. The X-Men try very hard to stay honorable, but sometimes it's impossible. I understand if you'd like to be alone for a while."

         "N-No, that's okay. Thanks, though, Professor. I'll just go see how everybody else did now."

         Todd got up, wiped his hands on his pants, and walked out.
Name: Tina Windwalker

Alias: doesn't have one

Age and birthdate: 16, Born 12/21

Gender: Female

Mutation: Animal shapeshifter

Appearance: Black hair with brandy brown eyes, Tina stands at 5'5" with a slim athletic build from lots of running and rock-climbing. Tan to reddish brown skin from her enjoyment of the out doors accentuates her native american heritage, though she doesn't know from which tribe she hails from. Wears shorts and a beaded buckskin vest with a white ruffled shirt that wouldn't be out of place in a rennasaince fair with boots to match.

Personality: Quiet yet happy-go-lucky. Shy, and unobtusive, and dislikes intruding on people, tending to keep to herself unless invited. And then only if she's practically dragged out. If some one could get her to actually start talking, she can tend to ramble on, going into more depth on whatever more than nessassarry. This which she does out of nervousness.

Likes: nature, rain, climbing anything, extra cheese pizza, beef jerky, boys, reading, sorbet

Dislikes: Math, people who disrespect the earth, hunters, biggots (she actually feels sorry for them), unprocessed milk (allergic)

History: Tina was raised by her mother when her father dissappeared at a young age of five. The first few years of her life was spent moving around the New England states until her mother eventually re-married. Tina was then ignored by her step-father, who saw her as a reminder of a previous marrige and a mutt, and her mother as a mistake. She was eventually taunted by her younger siblings, which grew worse as the years grew on because neither parent did anything to stop them, but contantly stopped her when she brought it up. Eventually, she found refuge in camping and hiking trips with the school and her friends, spending most of her weekends in the woods and mountains of Pennsylvania and upstate New York. Her shifting ablility came on one of the trips when she became seperated and lost from the group. Scared, and hearing the wolves howling in the distance, she instantly thought of them, becoming one herself. She found her way back to camp and was able to shif back before anyone saw her, even though she didn't realize what she had done herself.
          Soon after, when her younger brother came at her, fearing to hear her step-father's wrath if she retaliated, she ran from him as he weilded an aluminum bat, chasing her into the forest in the back yard. She changed into a deer, which her brother saw; he ran back to tell on her. When she returned hom, both parents stood at the door with a duffle bag, saying they want no 'muties' in the house, especially a half breed one like her. She took the bag that held her things and left the house on to the road, not knowing where to go.

          Tina washed her face in the cold water of the stream up a ways from the road. The days were getting colder and she still hadn't found a spot suitable to stay for the night. The next town was still a ways off, though she doubted that she could get a job there for very long. Still, a hot meal or peice of pie would be nice. In the last town, she had heard of rumors of a school for 'mutants', though she could find no trace of it anywhere. She had missed the bieginning of the new school year, having to have left Lilly's house, kicked out as well because of her "mutation". Lily shrugged and said that she's still her friend. Stupid parents.
          Hitching her back onto her back, she headed back to the road to hopefully get a ride into the next town. The cold November air rushed passed her bare skin on her legs, bumps prikling the skin quickly. She snugged her wolf-furred coat around her ears and stuck out her thumb that was covered in a self made mitten, also of wolf hide. It wasn't long before a bike came roaring up the highway, and stopped a few feet in front of her. A little dissappointed that it wasn't a car, she knew that she could at least get to town faster. Besides, she had learned how to cover her skin in wolf fur without actually turning into a wolf. She jogged over to the rider who took off his helmet.
He looked back at her as she came up to him.
         "A little cold to be wearing shorts in this weather don't you think darlin'?" he said in a gruff voice. With a sniff, he also frowned. "Seems you've been poaching wolves too," he said indicating her coat.
         "Yes, it's cold, a little," Tina said, rubbing some warmth into her legs. "Sir, if you wouldn't mid too much, I could use a ride into town. It would be much faster than for me to walk all the way there. And I didn't poach the wolves. They were already dead." The man raised an eyebrow and tossed her his helmet.
         "Get on then," he said, waiting for her to strap the helmet on and climb on back.
         "I'm Tina," she said, adjusting the straps on her bags and sitting behind him, wrapping her arms around his waist. "Don't you need a helmet?" she asked as she thought about being wolf enough to put a winter fur coat on her legs. He looked down smelling the change.
         "Nope," he said starting off the bike and heading down to the town. "But I know a place where you c'n get warm and get some schoolin'" he said.
         So he hadn't missed the fact that she was a minor. Tina wasn't sure that that made her feel more comfortable with this stranger or not. When they stopped at the first light indicating that they were nearing town, he glanced back.
         "Name's Logan." and with that, he raced off towards the other side of town.
Willow woke up and immediately rushed towards the breakfast table. It felt good to have the constant feeling of a full belly. She passed by a few kids in the hall that she had even felt good enough to give them a cheerful smile. This was strange. Willow hadn't smiled at someone she didn't no without a reason in ages.

She got into the elevator and watched the blinking lights until she reached the bottom floor. She was immediately greet by Logan and a girl who was just a bit taller than her. Logan smiled which Willow gladly returned.

"Willow, this is Tina. I would show her around, but unfortunately I have some business to attend to with the prefessor. She'll be hanging out with you today," he said bluntly entering the elevator as Willow stepped out.

"She will?" Willow said.

"I will?" Tina repeated. He nodded.

"Storm doesn't have enough time to get her a schedule so just let her hang around you," he said.

"But..." With that the elevator doors closed and Tina looked her with her things in hand. Willow shrugged.

"Hi, what's your mutation?"

"I can change into animals," Tina said quietly. "What about you?"

"I heal," she said. "Come on. We have to get to the breakfast table early. The students here are quick and we gotta eat to survive." Tina smiled and followed Willow to the table.

The two girls sat in the two seats between Todd and Talor. Icarus was on the other side of Todd. Plates were passed around and Willow started to assume her roll as a guide. "Hey guys. This is Tina. Tina, this is Todd, Icarus, and Talor. She's new." Tina smiled at them at either side of her and took a plate of pancakes that was coming her way.

"Newbie," Todd said cheerfully. "You have to be called that for at least a day because we all had to go through the same thing." Tina's brow furrowed.

"Oh...um, okay," she said.
A Non-Existent User

         "You're in luck - it's Health Day today." Todd said sarcastically. Every Wednesday, Marilyn, the cook, tried to show kids how tasty carrot sticks and salad plates were - mostly by taking everything else out of the refrigerator.

         "Hmm, so we got carrots, cucumbers, and ranch dressing. Lettuce, olives, and skim milk. But never fear, the Todd is here!" Todd whirled around dramatically with a plate full of hot dogs and chips. He set them down with a flourish.

         "What the-this isn't hot dogs!" Cried Talor when she grabbed for a bun and felt lettuce.

         "Ah ah ah, my friend. Seeing is believing-see?" Todd gestured, and the food flickered back to salads and veggies.

         "Well then, let's chow down!" And the five sat down to a wonderful meal of ranch hot dogs and lettuce-flavored potato chips.

         Willow had just finished cleaning up when a message over the intercom shattered the air.

         "Attention students: Please go to your dormitories and wait there. Do not leave your rooms until further notice. This is not a drill."

         "What's that all about?" Todd asked.

         "I dunno. What should we do?"

         "Duh, get to our rooms and wait there!"

----|--||--|----


         There was a Sentinel landing outside the Mansion. Todd could tell even though the windows were covered in heavy armor.

         "What's happening, Todd?" Willow asked nervously.

         "There's a Sentinel. Logan and Xavier are meeting it outside. They're too far away, but I think Logan wants to destroy it."

         "Well, why doesn't he?" Tina commented.

         "Because. It's not an attack, it's a message. It dropped a communicator or something on the ground, and not it's taking off. Xavier's looking at it, and now he threw it away."

         "Well, what'd it say?"

         "I can't tell, we're too far away. Logan's running into the Mansion, and now everybody's out on the grounds."

         "Everybody? Who? Why?"

         "I don't know why. But all our teachers are there. Mr. McCoy, Bobby, Logan, Mr. Summers, Mrs. Grey, Mr. LeBeau, Mr. Wagner, and... and her. They're waiting for something." By 'her' Todd meant Psylocke, he still felt uncomfortable killing her hologram.

         "What are they waiting for? Todd? Todd!" Willow asked.

         "Oh, no." Todd said quietly. "There are more Sentinels. Lots more." Suddenly the ground started to shake from tons of metal landing on it. Nobody needed Todd to fill in what their imaginations were telling them.

         Todd stopped and looked around rapidly. "What're you doing?" Tina looked up from the door to explain.

         "Well, are you guys going to just sit here, 'cause I'm sure not. Who's coming with me?" Tina tried to rally the kids to no avail.

         "What can we possibly do? I mean, um... Oh fine, I'm going." Todd relented under Tina's bitter gaze. He got a running start and shouldered the door's latch open. All five marched out grimly.

         Logan was shredding the neck of a Sentinel when he got the scent of skinned wolf.

         "What're you doin' here, kid?" He cried. "You're gonna get yerself killed!"

         "Hardly. Watch a master, my friend." Tina called back. She shifted into a mouse, then clambered up inside a Sentinel, up where the soft wires and connections were.

         Todd put all the light he could into the cameras of another Sentinel, and used sonic waves to crack its fuel reserves. A spark, and the Sentinel was immolated in blue-green fire.

         The five kids worked almost as efficiently as the X-Men team themselves, taking out select areas and choice joints to cripple the robots. But there were still quite a few more.

         Willow helped by ripping out wires, praying noone would get hurt but ready just in case.

         Icarus was doing remarkable, dodging lasers and destroying cameras on the Sentinels' unprotected faces.

         Talor also sabotaged the robots fantastically, using X-Ray vision to find weak points and then cutting them with great enthusiasm.

         There were almost no Sentinels left when a robotic threat stopped everyone in their tracks. One of the Sentinels was targeting Xavier!

         "Mutant team leader: Execute." It called with a cold voice. Xavier sat there, looking smug. "Mutant leader: Exec... Mutant... Command..." The robot's speakers gave way as Tina removed the generator's backup wires. It's cannon stopped glowing, and the whole thing dropped to the ground in perfect dramatic style.

         "Well, you five may have just saved the day." Xavier congratulated the group as a whole. "Now, would you like to explain why you were outside when directly ordered not to?"
          Everyone was quiet; the only sounds between the adults and the kids being the random spark or whir from one of the downed Sentinals. Professor Xavier looked at each student in turn waiting for a reply.
         "It's my fault, Professor," Tina squeeked in a small voice. "With so many...Sentinals I thought that there were too many for the teachers to handle alone. So it was well, my idea, I guess, and the others just followed along."

         "You got guts there kid," Logan said folding his arms.

         "Yes, that was very brave of you all," Xavier said looking at them. "However, you did go against the orders of the teachers, putting yourselfs in very real danger. The X-Men have been trained for these instances and were quite capable of handling the threat to you students and the school."

         "In other words you didn't really need our help," Icarius said looking a little down hearted.

         "But it was appriciated," Storm added in a kind but stern voice, placing a hand on the girls sholder.

         "Yes, though I belive that a punishment is in order," Dr. McCoy said, placing his hands behind his back. The five broke into protests, when he added, "You did break a rule, however, since no one was hurt..."

         "...Speak fer yerself bub,"

         "Ahem, as everyone is alright, I belive a week's worth of detenction should be enough," Dr. McCoy finished.

         "And I belive that there will also be no danger room sessions for a while as well," Professor Xavier added. This brought the mood of everyone down-except for Tina who didn't know what the 'Danger Room' was. "Now, if you will, head back up to the school while we clear the grounds." he turned to Wolverine, "Logan, I'm putting those five into your care. Make sure they don't get into anymore trouble."

         "What!" the man said surprised, "Hey Prof, I'm no baby sitter!"

         "No, and I don't expect you to be one," Xavier said, steepling his fingers, "just keep an eye on them and keep them out of trouble."

         "Right," Wolverine said turning to watch them head up to the school. "An I suppose that you want me to take over their traning as well."

         "Very good, Logan," Professor said with a small smile. Cyclops patted Wolverine on the sholder.

         "We'll make a teacher out of you yet," he commented. Logan growled at him.

         "And I'll make you mush food," Logan said in reply, moving off to help with the clean up as Willow entered the building.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          "Whoa, Wolverine's going to be our instructor for the Danger Room," Todd said in the hallway.

         "What is the Danger Room?" Tina asked for like the tenth time up to the school.

          "It's like a room where they put you into situations to get out of to practice using your power."

          "Oh. And we're grounded from using it for a while now," Tina said frowning, "I suppose it can't be that long if the Professor put Logan in charge of us." The others shrugged as Professor Xavier's voice sounded through the halls again.

         "Classes will resume in one hour, you are free to roam about the school until then."

         "Okay, so um, how about a tour then?" Willow asked Tina who just gave a shrug. She turned to the others, "Comming?"
The others nodded and followed Willow inside the mansion. "Sorry, if we get lost. We were kind of the newbies before you came along."

"You all arrived at once?" she asked. They all nodded in response. "How long ago?"

"About a week and a few days," Todd answered looking around casually and stuffing his hands in his pockets. All of the mutants stopped by the windows and watched the others clean up the mess from the battle.

Icarus gave a sly grin to the to the others. "That was just about the coolest thing in the world," she said nodding toward the mess." The others joined her in the smile.

"Heck yes," Talor agreed. Willow lifted the corner of her mouth and looked down at her hands. If they were going to be fighting machines, how was her power supposed to be any good to her? Willow was an expert with humans. Not so much with machines. She gave a deep sigh and then put her hands away.

"Come on," she said to Tina. "I bet you haven't even seen your room yet. I'll show you." Professor Xavier turned his head and looked at the five looking through the windows.

When they were leaving Professor Xavier cocked an eyebrow and thought for a moment. "Logan."

Wolverine turned around almost impatientally. "Yeah?"

"I think that Willow may need some help developing her powers. She is just now realizing that her power is an excellent weapon as well as a useful skill. There is more she can do with her healing energy than she uses it for," he said.

"How do you know?"

"A mutant knows their own powers. Willow feels guilty for not being in the battle her friends were in. She knows there was something in her power she could do. She just doesn't know what," he said. Logan sighed.

"Okay then. What can I do about it?" he said.

"Well you have a healing ability as well, though you can't project it outward to other people like her. And you are skillful in the art of offense. When you train them I want you to take that into consideration." Wolverine sighed and nodded an okay. Then walked away grumbling and extending a claw to cut through the metal of the robot's hide.
A Non-Existent User

         "You know, I'd give quite a bit for the Danger Room right about now." Todd commented sarcastically. Wolverine had taken it upon him to teach the kids himself - every subject, every day. This was okay, because it meant no math and no science. However, when it came to the Danger Room section, it was much worse.

         "Again. Faster this time." Wolverine commanded, holding a sheathed katana. Nobody knew where he'd gotten it, and nobody had the courage to ask. But everybody was glad he'd kept it in its sheath.

         Todd threw himself at Wolverine, arms outstretched and ready to attack.

         "Rrrgh-whoulf!" He nearly threw up as air came blasting out of his lungs. A quick tap on the head, and Todd could feel a new bruise forming.

         "Better. Next time, I want you to try and trip me. Now Willow; go!" Todd could see Willow rush forward, and just as quickly she fell backward.

         "Aww man, I'm gonna be black and blue 'till next week!" Icarus got up painfully, rubbing her right wing gingerly.

         "Hey bub - time to try again." Wolverine was enjoying this. Suddenly he stopped, sniffed the air, and dropped the sword.

         "What is it, Logan? What's wrong?" Tina asked, just about to start her ninth try at him.

         "I know that smell. You five, stay here. I gotta take care of something." Wolverine picked his way into the bushes, and Willow cringed as she felt his claws extend.

         Tina was about to say something when everybody stopped her at once. "No, no, no. Not again."

         "Hey - I wasn't going to say that! I'm staying too." She sat down, defeated. All of the kids were sitting and talking when Willow fell over. She made a little moan, and then just toppled over.

         "Hey! Willow! What's wrong!"

         "She's out cold, kid."

         "Well, what do we do? She can feel pain, so it must've been enough to knock her out. Is Logan okay?"

         Tina shifted into a chickenhawk and flew toward the Mansion. "I'm getting the Professor. Just don't start fighting without me!"

         Todd looked at Icarus. They could hear Willow's shallow breathing, accompanied by muffled thumps, they were pretty regular. Todd was about to say something when he realized they were his heartbeat. Maybe everybody's too tense, he thought. Maybe it's not even a fight.
Tina flew into the window of Professor Xavier's office and changed back as quickly as she could.
"Professor!" Tina said as soon as she could, "Logan ran off when he...noticed someone comming, saying that he's got to 'take care of something' and and and Willow fell over, and she's out cold!" She took a deep breath, only then realizing that Xavier wasn't alone. Storm was there as well, the two talking about Tina's sceduling for school, to adjust her curriculm a bit.
They both looked at her.
"Miss Windwalker," Xavier said calmly, "Please, calm down and go over everything that has happed again." Tina nodded, going over the story again, worried over her new friends, but knowing that rushing wasn't going to solve anything any faster. Finally, when she had finsihed her story for a second time, this time with all the details that she had left out, she waited while both of the adults thought the situation over.
"Ororo, please take Tina here down to her fellow students. I will have Jean meet you there to see to Willow. It sounds as if Willow's healing ablity gives her a strong empathy to those who needs her aid. Whether she feels the injury that Logan has given or susstain remains in question, but we will need to get to the bottome of this in either case."
"Yes Professor," Storm said standing. She guided Tina out through the front door of the office, where they proceded to go out to the front door of the school to get to the grounds where the others were. Tina hated thinking about going the long way when it would have been shorter to just fly out the window, but she supposed that it would have been harder for Storm to fly out the window as well, so she relegated herself to running as fast as her legs would carry her.
Talor was the first to see Storm and Tina coming back.

"Tina! What's going on?" Talor said from her place on the floor, holding Willow's head in her lap.

"I don't know, they haven't let us know anything yet. They're bringing Jean down here for Willow." Tina said, rushing over. Sure enough, a minute later, Jean came striding into the room.

"What happened?" Jean demanded, kneeling down beside Willow and taking her pulse.

"Logan left, and suddenly Willow just moaned and...and...fell over. She didn't get back up, she's out cold." Todd said.

"Do you have any idea what caused this?" Jean asked.

Todd, Tina, Icarus, and Talor all shook their heads.

"Xavier has gone to find Logan now." Storm informed Jean.

Quickly, Jean pulled a needle filled with bright pink liquid out of her long white lab coat. She grabbed a cotton pad and some disinfectant and dabbed some onto the pad before swabbing Willow's arm with it. She then injected the needle into Willow's arm, emptying all of the liquid.

"What...is that?" Icarus asked.

"A medicine I've recently created. Don't worry, it won't harm her." Jean answered.

The group silently waited. A minute later, Willow stirred. She moaned quietly and then her eyes fluttered open.
"Ow," were the first words to come out of her mouth. "Whoa, what happened? Is someone hurt?" Icarus knelt down beside her.

"Is anyone in pain?" Icarus asked. Willow rubbed her head.

"I think so. Unless that headache is mine," Willow said getting herself up and still feeling a little dizzy. Jean got up with Storm and they looked to Todd.

"Which way did Logan go?" Storm asked. They all pointed toward the garden where Logan had disappeared to and Storm and Jean rushed down to help. Willow held her head for a moment from the pain and then looked to the others.

"So, are we going or what?" Willow asked them.

"Are you sure you feel okay?" Talor asked. She shrugged.

"I'll live, now come on. No one told us to stay here," Willow said with a smile. Smiles spread across their faces and Tina rubbed her hands together with a small laugh.

"I love a good loophole. Let's go," Tina said getting up and offering her hand to Talor who was also on the ground. The five of them started in the same direction as Jean and Storm. Todd who was up in front skid to a stop at seeing Xavier, Storm, and Jean surroung Logan who was unconscious on the ground.

"All of you, go back inside," Xavier said automatically. The kids all stepped out in the open. "Whoever did this is still out in the open."

"Is there anything we can do for Logan?" Willow asked.

"I assure you Logan will be fine. Now all of you get inside the mansion," Storm said at Xavier's side. Todd sighed and looked to the others.

"Come on. Let's go," Todd said leading the others away. Under the trees that seperated the institute from the garden that they were in before. "I hope that he's okay."

"I believe the professor. He'll be okay," Willow said stepping over a pile of leaves and broken branches. It was obvious there had been a struggle. They walked in silence until Talor stopped them all at a sound.

"What is it?" Icarus asked.

"Shh!" Talor hushed scanning the trees and seeing through branches. "There's something out there. I heard it." Willow's hands were glowing out of pure instinct. Todd spread the light in the dark parts of the trees like a lantern.

"I don't see anything," Todd said. He looked to Talor. "Are you sure you're not just being paranoid?" Talor nodded.

"Oh, I'm sure. There's something out there stalking us," she said. The group suddenly turned in one direction all at once where another sound was heard in the distance.
A Non-Existent User

         Todd stretched every sense to its fullest. He could hear the wind go through every individual blade of grass. There was nothing.

         "I can't hear a thing."

         "But it was there! I could see three figures with my X-Ray vision. They were just floating..."

         "Talor. I can sense everything from gamma radiation to microwaves, and I can feel every vibration that makes its way through the air, even ones bats can't hear. How did you feel this and I didn't?" Talor bit her lip, embarrassed by Todd's biting comment.

         "I-I don't know. But I can't deny what I saw. Even if you didn't, I saw something." Talor stood her ground, confident of what she'd seen.

         Suddenly, Talor lunged forward, clawing savagely at Todd's throat. She screamed like a wild woman, and Todd barely kept her away from his eyes.

         "Get her offa me! What's wrong with you, Talor?" Todd scrambled out from under her, and Talor continued to attack the ground, fury and rage flowing from her eyes in bright droplets.

         Willow was trying hard to feel Todd and Talor's pain, but the serum Jean gave her dampened her powers considerably. She could feel scratches and bruises on her chest, and suddenly there was a searing pain in her chest!

         "Aaagh!" Talor screamed in pain, then spat blood on the ground. She struggled for breath, and lay prone on the ground, unmoving.

         Willow had a revelation. "They're projecting another reality into her mind! Jean told me - some people can do it, and for a few, it becomes reality. We've got to find those figures in the woods, and now."

         "But how can we find what we can't see?" Todd asked. It was a good question.

         "We need Jean. She'll know what to do. Can you get a message to her?"

         "I can't be sure that it's her; I'll just tell everyone." Todd amplified his voice to alert the entire mansion and grounds; a few seconds later the message echoed off the mountains, hardly diminished in volume.

         "Nice one. I think I'll go deaf."

         "Before you do, you better get to Talor. She's not moving, and her heartbeat is slowing down." Todd suggested before running into the trees.

         Jean came sprinting into the clearing, Storm, Tina, and Professor in tow. "What's wrong? We heard the message..."

         "We're dealing with someone who controls minds. Todd is going to find them, and he said for you to scan for any mental activity. Repeatedly." Jean shook her head.

         "Wouldn't matter. I know who this is anyway. Jason Wyndgarde, also known as Mastermind. We'll need to call Miss Frost, as well as Sage. Right, Xavier?" The Professor nodded.

         "That's right. Jean, if you could send a message out to those two, I'll check on Todd. He's bound to be in trouble by now." The words were humorous, but the tone definitely wasn't.

|------|----|---|--|-|

         Todd hacked his way through the jungle. He knew it wasn't really there, but the action was mostly to be sure he doesn't run into any trees in the real world. Should I do it now? He thought. Stop thinking about it, or it won't work! Trying hard to clear his mind of any thoughts at all, he simply pressed on through the brush. Once, just once, the hallucination slipped, and he caught the barest glint of silver through a couple trees.

         Now! Todd switched his vision from normal light to ultraviolet, broadening all the way from gamma radiation to neutrinos. It was a bizarre spectacle. Ultraviolet still showed hints of the alternate reality she projected, and radio waves were almost useless, but somewhere just beyond microwaves was perfect.

         Microwaves showed a strange landscape around him - trees were fuzzily indistinct pillars of black, while the sun was so brilliant that he could hardly bear to look at it. But still, he could see the real world - and not his tormentor's alternate.

         The wavelength must be so far from normal, she can't visualize it, he mused. Further thoughts stopped as he got within view of the man that had caused so many problems.

         "You! Stop right there, and don't even think of trying anything!" Todd bellowed. She didn't seem impressed.

         "Hahaha! You think you can beat me? I am Jason Wyndgarde, aka Mastermind! Even if I can't make you see my projections, I can still beat you bloody, kid!" The guy was well-built, but still seemed small enough for him to take on.

         Todd began with the offensive, running and making an uppercut that should have ended the fight right there. Suddenly...

         A gorilla jumped out of the underbrush, charging Todd in a bloody rage! Damn. He must have gotten to the microwave spectrum. Todd was out of wavelengths to see by, and the gorilla was getting scarier by the minute. Todd heard Jason laugh with a cruel humor, and then everything turned upside down....

Name and nickname: Braxton Myers (Backlash)

Age and birthdate: 17 (01/28/88)

Gender: Male

Mutation: Ability to counteract the mutant power of others. This power can be very unpredictable depending upon the other mutant’s ability, how it is being used against him, and whether Backlash is trying to control it. His mutant powers naturally react to the presence and actions of other mutants. Backlash has no control over how his power reacts, but he has learned to rein it in when he wants to, although he typically leaves it unrestricted. As a side effect, Braxton can also sense the presence of other mutants within a 25-foot radius.

The “backlash” does not always react the same way. For example, if Backlash was attacked by Cyclops, Backlash may deflect the energy beam, or absorb it and redirect it, or simply be protected from the impact. (or something else)

Sometimes the “backlash” can turn the other mutant’s powers against them. For example, Backlash’s power would not do anything against Wolverine’s claws since they have nothing to do with Wolverine’s mutant powers, but if Wolverine was attacking Backlash and was close enough to him (within 10 feet), Wolverine’s healing power could be turned to become a fast-acting cancer-like agent (or something else).

Limitation: Backlash’s powers do not work against non-mutant threats. If someone shot at him with a gun, threw a brick at his head, or a non-mutant punched him in the gut, his power would not react.

Skills: Braxton was trained in military hand-to-hand combat as well as several weapons.

Appearance: Braxton is about 6 feet tall. His eyes are dark brown, almost black. He has bright, blonde hair, which he wears cut short and stylized up away from his forehead (kind of like Val Kilmer in Top Gun).

Personality: Braxton is a very caring person. If he is befriended, he can be a really fun guy, but typically, he is standoffish, guarded and suspicious.

Likes: nature, the simple life, some poetry, loves dogs

Dislikes: Braxton does not like to be around mutants, not because he hates them like his father did, but because he has to keep his power under control all of the time. Also, if he stays away from mutants, then he is just a normal kid like everyone else and doesn’t have to deal with the conflict between man and mutant.

History: Braxton’s mother died when he was 4 years old so his dad raised him as an only child. When he was six, he and his dad moved to the Compound in the wilderness of upstate New York. The Compound was the base of operations for an extremist mutant-hating group called the Man Militia. Braxton grew up fairly oblivious to the nature of his father’s hatred since his father and the other men kept their true intentions and activities hidden from their families.

When he was twelve, his father brought him to one of the secret meetings where there were some mutant prisoners they planned to slaughter. Before the executions, as one of the initiation rituals, Braxton and other young men were thrown in with the mutants to be beaten. This was done so that the boys would learn to hate mutants. The mutants had been tortured so much that they would attack any human they encountered, however the Compound had developed restraints that could suppress the mutants’ powers.

When the mutants began to attack, Braxton’s own mutant power manifested itself and caused havoc with the other mutants, unintentionally enabling them to break from their restraints. There was a fierce battle and many mutants, as well as members of the Man Militia, were killed. However, several mutants escaped and formed into a group they called the Mutant Militia.

Braxton and his dad survived with several other militia men, but his dad knew that Braxton was a mutant, even though Braxton didn’t know it himself. His father was about to kill him when the Mutant Militia attacked the Compound and killed every human they could find, including his father. Braxton survived again by nature of his own mutant abilities. He was invited to join the Mutant Militia and was even celebrated as their liberator. Braxton stayed with them for a while and learned how to restrict his ability. However, he did not like their vengeful goals against mankind. He left and has wandered alone every since, making a few friends here and there, all the while avoiding other mutants.

_______________________________


Braxton stood in front of the iron gate. What am I doing here? he thought. This is the last place I should be. He remembered his encounter with the mutant, Logan, from three months ago.

Braxton sighed and looked down again at the card Logan had given him to make sure this was the right place. No one was at the entrance so he walked through the iron gate, which was slightly open, and made his way towoard the front door. Suddenly he sensed a mutant nearby, and thought he heard something move behind him.
Name and nickname: Sydney D. Turner (Morph or Mimic)

Age and birth date: 16 (May 23rd)

Gender: Female

Mutation: Shape shifter her genes are susceptible to change if she's seen it she can be it down to the DNA level that includes inanimate objects and people. She also has the mimic mutation which allows you to mimic not only the appearance but the voice of another person

Appearance: blue eyes her natural hair color is a blonde that is almost white she is 5’4 and 140 lbs. she has a rather curvy figure No one is sure if she wears clothes because she can shift rumor has it anything she keeps on all the time shifts with her anything new doesn’t. She has a prehensile tail she tries to keep hidden under a large coat

Personality: She is very social she tends to like to stir up trouble she likes to break the rules but not get caught she likes to play pranks but not the point of actually hurting someone just for the sake of getting them to laugh she does things for reactions more than personal gain. She is a bit of a flirt. But would change her ways if she found the right guy. She is very mature for her age

Likes: practical jokes, boys, pictures, music, Dancing, partying, competition, alcohol

Dislikes: rudeness, Drunks, people who come between her and her goal, people who hurt her friends, people without a sense of humor,

History: Her childhood was fine and dandy she seemed completely normal until one day she got really mad and in order to try and get what she wanted she Shifted into every scary thing she could think of trying to intimidate her mother. Her parents were calm about the whole thing until the first time she impersonated her mother to give her permission to go do what she wanted. By the time she was 10 they kicked her to the curb tired of her crap. She permanently shifted into some Canadian chick she saw on TV She first found a mutant ID forger who gave her legal documents so she could start a new life ( he didn’t know how young she was) and proceeded to get a job as a waitress and she got a boyfriend who taught her to drive so she could take her driving test and get a license so she has a legal ID as a Sophia Carbonet age 22 and now has a job as a Bartender

----------------------------------------------------

Sydney awoke the nest morning and tried to crawl out of bed quietly so as not to disturb her boyfriend who had crashed on the bed after a long night of partying. She jumped in the shower got dressed glanced at the clock and hurried out the door she was late to work again. She finnaly got there an hour late and her boss was waiting for her

“SOPHIA in my Office NOW!!!” he said

Sydney with her head bowed followed him to the office.

“Sit Down Ms. Carbonet” He said still angry
She complied not saying a word not looking him in the eyes.

“Now you know I don’t want to fire you. You are a great looking girl who works hard once you get here but I can’t keep someone around who's always late I just can’t the only person I am hurting in that situation is me and the business so IM sorry I have to let you go. Here is your last paycheck” He said in the softest kindest voice ever.

Sydney nodded took a deep breath. “Thank you for your time.” She said on the verge of tears. She got up and started towards the door.

“Sophia… I am gonna miss ya.” He said.

She tried to smile but it just wasn’t going to happen. She got home this point in tears just as her boyfriend was leaving.

“I got to go to work dear I hope your better when I get home we can talk about it then.” He said as he kissed her on the forehead.

She curled up on the couch and shifted into her original self she hadn’t looked like herself in a long time. She packed a few things left a note that said

I am Sorry
-Sydney

She had contemplated signing it Sophia but decided against it knowing he would never see her again unless she wanted him to. She left the key on the table the rent check in the mail box and her paycheck in her pocket. She had no idea where she would be headed but soon enough that would be decided for her. She came to a church that would let her stay without asking about parents or anything and she hid out there for several weeks and had to move on she was sitting on swings at a near by park when these two women approached her one had hair like snow pure white and the others hair was a reddish color.

“Hi there.” the one with red hair said

Sydney was growing very nervous and it must have read on her plainly.

“Hey calm down we are actually brining you an offer. We give people like you a safe place to call home and to learn and we really can’t safely talk here so if you would come with us that would be appreciated.” the one with red hair continued.

“I am Storm and this is Jean and we would like you to come with us to Xavier’s institute for gifted youngsters. But like Jean said its safer to talk else where why don’t you come with us.” Storm said.

Sydney decided her only chance of escape was to shift into a mouse and run so she looked around shifted and she hadn’t gotten 2 feet when she stopped couldn’t move.

“We really just want to help you out but if there is something out here with staying for by all means” and with that she was let go.

Sydney wanted to run but instead just said. “I will go with you under the condition I can leave if I don’t like it.”

“agreed” storm said.

Sydney shifted back and followed them to a car. Sydney climbed into the back seat and took a long car ride to the school.
A Non-Existent User

         Todd was hanging out with Wolverine, trying to teach his tutor the guitar. It was a humorous sight, but everyone had too much respect for Wolvie to laugh.

         "No, see - your middle finger has to be on the first fret, not the third." Todd pointed out the source of a sour chord.

         "Rrgh. Okay, so I do it like.. this?" Logan finished the chord beautifully. Todd was about to continue showing him the guitar when Logan's head snapped to the sky, searching for something. "Jean and Storm are back. I can hear 'em."

         Todd strained his powers and managed to see the two women driving back, almost ten miles off, with a girl in the backseat. "Huh - they're bringing someone new back. Let's get to the driveway and say hi."

         "Sounds good. Let's go." Todd smiled. He and Logan were getting to be friends, although Wolverine was extremely cryptic about his past.

-

         Todd had a splitting headache, when he had fought Jason Wyndgarde, his powers were stretched to the limit. Storm had explained to him that his powers were a lot like muscles; they could be overextended if used too much. That was what happened to Todd back in the forest last week, and if Prof. X hadn't been able to drive Jason away, Todd might well have been dead. Using his powers to see Storm's car was almost too much.

         Todd had met up with Icarus, but Talor and Willow were nowhere to be found. The three were standing outside the Mansion as Storm and Jean pulled up slowly in a sleek blue convertible.

         "Nice. So who's this one?" Wolverine motioned to the car with his head.

         Jean replied in hushed tones, "Careful, Logan. She's extremely nervous and she's serious about leaving anytime. It's good you two are here, though. You'll probably be able to connect with her." Jean motioned toward Todd and Icarus in her last sentence.

         Just after the sentence was finished, Storm opened the back door courteously.

         "So this is the place? Wow." The girl was tall and slightly tan, with smooth brown hair and striking green eyes.

         Todd forgot his headache instantly.
Tina came out of the bush, shaking water and leaves from her greyish white fur coat. She looked at the boy in front of her through the yellow eyes of a wolf, being able to sence more than she would have been able to in her human form. She came up and sat infront of him curious as to who the new person was. He took a step back, but not out of fear; the wolf in her told her out of caution. He didn't trust her.

"Your a mutant," he said looking down at the card, then to the house and back to Tina again. Tina tilted her head, and smiled. With a thought, she shifted into her normal self, runing her hands through her hair and strightening her wolf-skin jacket that was the same in color as the wolf she shifted from.

"So, I guess are you," Tina said finally crossing her arms. She smiled again and looked at him with the same penetrating stare that she had as a wolf. "I'm Tina. You are?"

"Braxton. Braxton Myers." He looked her over implementing her into his memory to be able to put name to face later. "So, you can change into a wolf?" he said, wondering if his mutant power would protect him from her, though somehow he doubted it. Tina shrugged.

"Yea, I like being a wolf," She said nonchalantly. "I can cange into any animal I want, really. As long as I've seen them before anyway."

"So you could change into a panther?" he asked. Tina nodded. "That's pretty cool. So is there something you can't change into?"

"Sure, loads. Dinosaurs for example. And like Um...tazmanian devils." she grinned. "You just got here right?" he nodded. "Come on, I'll show you where Professor Xavier's office is." She gave a smile and indicated for him to walk with her.

"So, you can't change into things that don't exist then?" he asked to keep her talking.

"Not exactly. Tazmanian devils really do exist," Tina said with a shrug. "I read about them after watching a Taz cartoon. But other than for Taz, I've never seen one, and the encyclopedia says that Taz looks nothing like a Tazmanian devil. As for Dinos, well, all I have to go off of is their bones, and pitures in books might or might not be true, but well, I tried once, and it wouldn't work. But if I saw one, I could."

"So then if you had to see an animal to change into it, how can you change into a panther?"

"The zoo is a wonderful place, Braxton," Tina said with a grin, opening the door into the school for him.
[ Backlash (Braxton) ]

“Wait a minute!” Braxton stopped. “I don’t know who this Professor X is. I came here to find a man named Logan.”

“Logan? Yeah, he’s here. He’s our main instructor, but Prof. X runs this place.” Tina replied.

“If it’s all the same, I’d like to see Logan first. However, I didn’t really place him for the academy instructor type.”

Tina laughed. “Well, he’s not your typical instructor.”

Braxton smiled. “I suppose not.”

He was still a little suspicious of this girl, but she seemed nice enough. He at least felt comfortable enough to keep his power restrained. He was also glad that she hadn’t threatened him when he met her in wolf form. His “backlash” was in full force until he realized that Tina posed no danger. At least for now. He had no idea how his power would have worked on a shape shifter, but he was glad he didn’t have to find out. Still, until he met Logan, any encounters he had had with other mutants had always led to trouble. And he wasn’t convinced yet that he had just walked into a whole bunch of it.

“So how do you know Wolverine?” Tina asked. When she saw Braxton’s confused look, she clarified. “Logan, I mean. We have code names here.”

“Oh. Well Logan and I had a run-in a few months ago.”

“Do tell. I would love to hear about an instructor’s activities outside the school.”

“OK, but let’s talk along the way.” Tina led him forward. “Let’s see where should I start…”

~~~~~~~Back Flash~~~~~~~~~~~
He had been in Kansas at the time, in the small town of Clover. He had found work with a local farmer who gave him room, board, and a modest wage. The Palmers were very nice people who had made him feel like part of their family, and after a while they had stopped asking them questions about his past. He loved the manual labor and rustic living. In some ways, it reminded him of his life on the Compound, at least the life he remembered before he knew the truth. He had been in Clover for almost a year, the longest he had stayed anywhere since he discovered his abilities. That’s because he hadn’t run into any mutants in Clover. Not until that day.

Braxton went into town to pick up a few supplies. As he was getting in his truck to leave, he felt that very familiar, unwanted sensation.

Not again, he thought. No more mutants!

He looked around and spotted a short, stocky man across the street wearing a flannel shirt and smoking a cigar. Braxton knew this was the mutant. The stranger wasn’t looking at Braxton, but instead was watching the Grainger family, especially their little girl, Emily. The Graingers had recently moved here from Vermont and bought some land down the road from the Palmers’ farm. Braxton left as soon as he could, determined not to get involved.

It’s none of my business. Every time I get involved with mutants, something goes wrong and I have to leave. I’ve got it made here in Clover. I can’t blow it!

However, all Braxton could think about that evening was that a little girl was in danger. He had to do something; so he decided to at least visit the Graingers and warn them about the stranger. As he approached the house, he sensed the mutant. Braxton turned around just in time to receive a blow to his head, knocking him unconscious.

When he came to, he was laying in the same place, in front of the house. He sensed the mutant was still on the premises, but couldn’t place where. Then he heard a little girl’s scream from the barn. Braxton rushed over to where he could peek in through a slit in the door. He saw Emily cowering near a pile of hay. He turned to view her attacker, but was surprised not to see the stout mutant he had seen in town, but instead a large man wearing a suit. He was approaching the girl with a shotgun.

“You’ve been a liability for too long, little miss.” He pumped the shotgun, loading the shells; and Emily cried out in horror.

I have to do something! he thought Braxton crashed through the door to charge the man. At the same time, he saw something spring down from the rafters. He heard metal ring as if swords were being unsheathed and then saw the attackers gun fall in pieces to the ground. He looked up to see the mutant stranger, pinning the large man against a post. The mutant had long blades, like claws, protruding from his wrists, with one of them pressed to the man’s throat.

The mutant turned to Braxton and said, “Get the girl away from here.” His tone did not invite questions. Braxton went to the sobbing child and picked her up in his arms. He brought her to the house and tended to a bruise on her forehead. He found her parents bound and gagged in their bedrooms and untied them so that they could reunite with their daughter. Later, he returned to the barn to find the man in the suit dead. When the cops arrived, he told them everything he knew, except for anything about mutants.

Apparently, Emily had witnessed a murder in Vermont and the Graingers came to Clover to escape the killer. So much for that idea. Although Braxton spoke of another person involved in Emily’s rescue, he was viewed as the local hero. He did not appreciate the extra attention. Somebody might suspect something. And someone did.

A couple of days later when Braxton was out building a fence, he sensed the mutant again and saw him standing near a tree, smoking a cigar.

“What’s your story, bub?” the mutant asked.

“Not much to tell really, “ Braxton said sheepishly.

The mutant moved closer, poking his finger at Braxton. “Look, kid, I saw you eyeing me in town the other day. What were you doing at the barn that night? “

Braxton backed away. “Please don’t threaten me.”

“Why not?”

“Well, you’re a mutant and I…”

“Got a problem with mutants, bub?” The mutant extend three claws from his right hand and approached menacingly. Suddenly, he stopped and fell to his knees, grabbing at his ears and screaming. Braxton noticed that blood was pouring from the mutant’s hands where the claws had emerged.

Braxton closed his eyes and concentrated on pulling in the effects of his powers. When he felt they had been contained, he opened his eyes and viewed the stranger. The mutant was getting up slowly. His hand had stopped bleeding and looked perfectly healed.

“How about that,” the mutant mused. “You’re a mutant too, aren’t ya? You really sent my heightened senses for a loop.”

“Now look, I don’t want any trouble. Just leave me alone please. I just want to be like everyone else. Nobody needs to know.”

The mutant didn’t say anything right away. He stood there sizing Braxton up, and seemed to be weighing some kind of decision. After a charged silence, the mutant smiled. “Hey look kid, I like you. I’m not looking to ruffle any feathers here. Your secret is safe with me.” He leaned closer. “But let me give you a clue, kid. You’re a mutant. You will never be like everyone else.”

Braxton didn’t know what to say. He was grateful, but troubled. The mutant pulled a card from his wallet and handed it to Braxton. “My name’s Logan,” he said. “If you are ever looking for someone to help, this is where you can find me.”

“Thanks.” Braxton said, and he meant it.

“See you around, kid.” Logan walked away through the field.

-------------------------------------------

“Wow! Who would have known that Logan was out saving children?” Tina exclaimed. They had made it into an indoor common area with a couple televisions and several chairs and small couches.

“So where is he?” Braxton asked

“Well, the last time I saw him, he was here with Todd, playing the guitar. I don’t know where he is now.”

“Guitar? Are we talking about the same guy?”

Tina giggled. “It was his first lesson. Well, I suppose I can page him over the intercom.”

They heard a voice behind them. “No need for a page. We found you instead.”

Braxton turned around to see Logan with two woman and three younger persons. They are all mutants,he acknowledged. I’m in deep now. How did I talk myself into coming here?

“Braxton, I didn’t think you’d come.” Logan called. “Watch out, Tina. This kid gave worked me over the last time I saw him”

The three other students looked at Braxton with incredulous respect.

Tina replied with a twinkle in her eyes. “I know. I just heard.”
When Sydney got out of the vehicle she was greeted by a man who they called Logan and a rather cute boy a little older than Sydney is but definitely not looking any older than she does in this shape. His name was Todd and there was a girl named Icarus. Sydney stared at Icarus memorizing her interesting form knowing how cool it would be to shift into her appearance.

“so you guys been here a while?” Sydney asked

“A while but we are fairly new also” Todd said.

“So what do you do? Why are you here?” Sydney asked Todd.

As they walked towards the building.

“Braxton, I didn’t think you’d come.” Logan called. “Watch out, Tina. This kid gave worked me over the last time I saw him”

Logan suddenly talking to this guy ended Sydney, Todd and Icarus’s conversation.

They looked at Braxton with incredulous respect.

Tina replied. “I know. I just heard.”

“so I guess he’s new here too?” asked Sydney under her breath.

Todd just nodded.

“so you guys get new students left and right or what???” Sydney asked under her breath

Todd either didn’t hear her or choose to ignore the question, which was fine by Sydney. She started to look around and beginning to get a little antsy about staying, but on the other hand Todd was cute. Icarus who was hanging pretty close to Todd gave Sydney the distinct impression that they might be together she just didn’t know how close yet and Sydney if she was going to stay didn’t want to step on any toes the first day.


Name and Nickname: Tryce Smith (Doesn't have a nickname yet)

Age: 19 Born April 6th '85

Gender: Male

Mutation: His entrie body is always coarsing with electricity. He can shoot electricity, absorb electricity, he can manipulate anything electrical or anything that needs some type of electrical current to work. Tryce doesn't have
full control of his powers and doesn't really understand how to turn his power off or if there is an off "switch." Because of his mutation he has acquired
"super human" agility and "above mutant" like speed. If he absorbs too much electricity he can become a magnet to anything containing metal including people. Because of this he has to discharge electricity daily otherwise it will
constantly build up within him.

Fighting style: Trained in Jeet Kwon do, and Kenpo. Knows how to use katana's
and bo's/staffs.

Appearance: Caramel coloured skin. 5'7 160 lbs. Very defined (because of his power) It looks like he has no body fat. Purple eyes, (His eyes turned purple at the age of 13 when his mutant abilities started to bloom.) Shaved head. He
usually wears dark coloured clothing mostly black. Almost always wears a tanktop (mainly to show off his muscles) and loose fitting pants. (sweat pants, tearaways, etc.) And a trenchcoat that is two inches shorter than him.

Personality: Now he's really dark. Doesn't say much to anyone. He usually sits around in his trenchcoat just observing people. If not he's in his room writing poetry, playing video games, or listening to music.

Likes: Music, poetry, video games darkness, and silence.

Dislikes: Sunlight, overly cheerful people, Has a hard time trusting girls.

History: Tryce use to be one of, if not the most popular guy in high school. He had a lot of friends and was always partying, or throwing a party, or hanging out, whatever involved him being with a lot of people. This one day he found
out that his girlfriend had cheated on him with his best friend Shane. Tryce got really angry and went to confront Shane. When he did, Shane played it off like Tryce deserved it and it was no big deal. Tryce got incredibly angry and his eyes started glowing white, every muscle in his body flexed, and white electricity surrounded his entire body. Glass began to shatter and walls began to shake. Everyone became terrified and ran away right before that entire section of the school came crumbling down. A few minutes after everything had come down Tryce emerged from the reckage only to pass out. His x-girlfriend was
the one who took him home before the authorities came and took him away. His parents had his things already packed by the time he came too and kicked him out. He was able to make hitch hike his way to New York and works at a bouncer
at a night club.


It was about 10 o'clock at night and Tryce was working the door at his night club The Drink. The Drink was one of the most popular clubs in town and there's always people trying to start problems and tonight was no different. Around 10:30 a black s.u.v with tinted windows pulled up by the front door where Tryce was working.
"Hey, I told you I'd be back." Said one guy as he came out of the passenger side door. One other man came oput of the sliding door from the back and one from the drivers side.
"I told you last week man you're banned from here, now get leave before someting bad happens to you." Tryce raises his hand and makes a gesture which signaled to the other bouncers insid ethat there was a problem. The two guys came up on either side of him while the first guy got in his face.

"No where to run, and nowhere to hide." The first one takes a wing at him but Tryce blocks his punch grabs his arm and throws him into his friend than turns his attention to the man on his right. That guy threw a few punches and kicks but tryce was able to block all of them. He then grabbed the guy and threw him into his friends. Tryce looked arouns and saw four more guys running at him but before he was able to do anything else the three guys had grabbed him from behind. Two of them held an arm while another was on the ground holding his legs. Tryce looked inside ans saw tat the other bouncers were being attacked aswell. one of the guys holding his arm leaned over and whispered;
"Told you I'd be back, heh heh heh."

One of the four walked up to Tryce and slapped him in the face. He turned around and laughed a little as did his friends behind him. He then quickly turned back around and hit Tryce with a hard right hand to the body. He got in a few more shots before Tryce screamed and his eyes started glowing white. The guy who was hitting him stumbled back and the other three behind him started backing up slowly.
"No way... this guys a mutie!" Said one of them in a shacky voice just as the three men holding him started getting electrocuted as electricity surrounded his whole body. The four guys infront of him tried to run away but he shot them all with large bursts of electricity leaving them twitching on the ground. He surrounded the black s.u.v with electricity and was able to pick it up. He moved it over top of the guy who was hitting him. The guy was barely able to roll out of the way before the car came crashing down.

All the other "gang bangers" that were in teh club came out to beat up Tryce. He shot his electricity into teh ground and cracked the concrete makin a semi circle infront of him.

"C'mon! I dare you!" He yelled at the crowd of "gang bangers" as they seemed to be coming out of every exit of the club.
Talor was wandering around the halls of Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters by herself, not knowing where anyone else was. She felt pretty foolish for thinking that she might make some new friends here. All the others seemed to be bonding pretty well, but she couldn't feel any real...connection to them. She had spent most of her time with Willow, and even then she felt a little weird around her.

Just then, Logan came running up behind her, his claws unsheathing themselves as he came.

"What's going on?" Talor asked, stepping out of the way.

"We have an out of control mutant in New York. Have to get there ASAP."

Talors curiousity got the better of her, and she starting running after Logan to keep up.

"Have you told Professor X yet?"

"What do you think I'm doing right now, kid?" Logan growled. "But I can't seem to find that damn man-on-wheels anywhere!"

"I'll help you." Talor said, and she used her x-ray vision as she went to search the rooms beyond the walls for any sight of him. She spotted him a floor up in his study.

"Upstairs, in his office." Talor said to Logan.

"Thanks kid." he said, and he was off. Talor stood by the front door, where she had stopped running, and watched Logans retreating back. She would give anything to go with them right about now...not to mention her family lived in New York.
Willow walked along the fence by herself with her head down and hands stuffed into her pockets. The kids were all so much older than her inside. She thought this was a school for kids and yet everyone here was a teenager. An older one. Not too mention they had much cooler powers. Willow stretched out her feelings and waited for someone happy to walk by. Maybe then she could feel someone's joy to replace her feelings.

"Hi," said someone on the other side of the fence. Willow jumped at the sound and looked out the black gate. There was a boy who was younger than her by maybe a five or four years standing out there with a smile on his face.

"Hello," she said.

"Are you a mutant?" he asked. Willow's muscles tensed with her own fear.

"What's it to you?" she barked defensively. He shrugged.

"Nothing. I just think it's really cool," he said. Willow brightened.

"Really?" she asked. He nodded.

"My name is Kent. What's yours?" Willow smiled.

"I'm Willow," she said hesitantly. Kent leaned forward and grabbed the bars.

"Can you read minds? Can you make fire come out of your hands? Can you see the future?" he asked all at once. Willow laughed a little and shook her head tucking her hair behind her ear only for it to fall in front of her face again.

"No nothing like that," she said blushing a little.

"Well, uh...Can you move things with your mind? Can you turn into a monster? Can you do anything cool like that?" he asked. Willow shook her head.

"Sorry buddy, I can't do anything that's cool," she said grimly. Kent cocked his head.

"But you're a mutant. You're supposed to be able to do cool stuff," he said. Willow sensed his disappointment and reconsidered.

"Well, I can do one thing," Willow said. The boy leaned even farther forward to find out. He seemed to actually be trying to slip through the bars he was so eager. Willow's hands lit up and she showed him. His eyes glimmered with awe and the light that came from her hands. Then he gasped.

"Whoa," he said slowly. He reached out his arms toward her. "Can I touch them?" Willow's hands snapped back toward herself.

"No!" she and another voice said at once. Willow looked down the sidewalk on the other side and saw a boy running up to Kent.

"What are you doing to my little brother, you freak?!" the older boy shouted. He seemed to be exactly like Willow. Dark hair and dark eyes, and his skin was tanner. She could tell by just looking at him that he was like her. A social outcast. A social outcast among non-mutants. For a moment she felt sorry for him. He was as much of an outcast as he could get without being a mutant. But then again. That only lasted a moment.

"I'm not a freak!" she shouted back. "You're the freak."

"You're a freak! A mistake by nature!" he said looking her up and down. Willow was sensing something strange about him. Something that made it even more irresistable to hold back a comment to snap back with.

"Yeah, well at least I don't look like a freak of nature," she said. Kent's brother froze and narrowed his eyes. She didn't sense any anger though.

"Luke, be nice to her. She was just showing me her powers," Kent said being dragged away by his older brother.

"What would Mom say if she saw us talking to a mutie?" Luke asked. Kent rolled his eyes.

"Well, Mom isn't here is she, Smarty Pants?" Kent said. Luke glared at him. "Besides, you're not one to talk. You're a mutant too."

"Just because I have a photographic memory doesn't make me a mutant," he said. Willow put her hands on the fence bars and leaned against him.

"Yeah, just a freak," she teased. Willow never thought that there would be a time when she would have the right to call anyone else a freak. Kent laughed and Luke gave her another look. Now of all times he was insulted. They looked at each other for a moment sizing up one another and trying to look tougher than the other.

"We have to go home to take care of Mom. She's not feeling well today," Luke said guiding his brother away. He looked back at her and gave a taunting smile. "See ya later, mutie."

"Looking forward to it, normie," she said back to him. Then he was gone and Willow stepped back to think about what happened. Did she just call him a normie? Wow, that was lame. Wait a minute...Did he also say he would see her later? That's odd. When would she ever see him again?
Braxton and Logan talked briefly for a few minutes; the X-Man gave Braxton the quick low-down on the school, and said that the Professor would let him stay for as long as he felt comfortable. And, as he was 'just a kid', he have to get an education here as well.

"Logan, come meet me in my office, we have a situation," Professor's voice said cutting through the conversation. He said something else to Wolverine, but it was telelpathic, so unheard by the teens standing around him. Logan muttered something under his breath ans and his fingers through his hair.

"You kids look out for each other," Logan said gruffly, "Stay out of trouble," he added as an after thought before heading off to find the professor. The four looked at each other.

"So, um, is there any part of the place you'd like to see?" Tina asked looking at Braxton. "Course, if your not comfortable, we'll just leave you alone to explore on your own," Tina said added. She looked at Sydney and gave a smile. "I'm Tina," she said realizing that she hadn't met the girl that was with Todd and Icarus.
"What can you do?" Sydney asked curiously, looking at the jeans and fur vest that she was wearing.
"Um, shape-shift, I suppose," Tina said self-consiously. "I can change into a wolf and bird at will, but anything else takes practice, though if I get scared or something, I can seem to do it without any control. Well, I don't have much control anyway."
"My name's Sydney," she said looking at the two and then around the place. "This place is huge," she added as an after thought. Tina gave a nodd of agreement.

"No kidding," Braxton added as well, looking about. He found Logan, only to have the guy run off to find this Proffessor X guy, leaving him here with Tina and the others; he could tell by the feel that they were all mutants, though Sydney seemed as skittish as he did, if not more so, about being here.


[Braxton]

“So Braxton,” Tina said. “You have to tell the rest of these guys how you met Logan.”

Braxton sighed within himself. He felt somewhat of a bond with Logan and felt a little guilty telling tales out of school, so to speak. Maybe he shouldn’t have told Tina.

“I don’t know if I want to rehash it all again.” he replied.

“Do you mind if I do?”

“Knock yourself out,” he murmured.

Tina hesitated at his tone, but he smiled, and she went on to recount the story to the other mutants. Braxton noticed that Sydney wasn’t too interested in the story. He approached her.

“Not interested?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know Logan.”

“Yeah, I guess not.”

“But I wouldn’t mind getting to know you?”

Braxton turned to look at Sydney. She didn’t break eye contact, but kept her silence with a slight smile, waiting for him to respond. This girl was openly flirting with him. He’d never experienced that before. He started to feel flattered and then a thought struck him. The last thing I need is a mutant girlfriend.

He turned away. “There’s not much to tell,” he said.

“Hmm”

Braxton could sense a bit of annoyance from her. He was glad that Todd broke in.

“Dude, I can’t believe you took on Wolverine like that. That’s awesome!”

“Well, I didn’t ‘take him on’,” Braxton said. “Things just happened.”

“I guess they did,” Todd went on. “So how did you end up in Kansas. Where were you before that?”

“Lots of places.” Braxton was beginning to get uncomfortable.

Suddenly, Logan came storming in with two other girls. Mutants, Braxton noted. Logan ordered, “Okay everybody, we are going to New York. We’re taking the Blackbird. I’ll fill you in on the way. Let’s move.” Everybody started following Logan. Braxton paused and wasn’t sure whether to follow or leave.
“Come on, Braxton,” Logan called. “You, too.”

By the time Braxton caught up with the group, they were entering a large hangar. He looked up to see a massive black stealth jet. After following then up the gangplank, Braxton grabbed Logan to stop him. Again, he noticed silent looks from the other mutants. Obviously, none of them would have approached Logan this way. He dismissed it.

“Logan, what’s going on?”

“There is a mutant causing havoc in New York and we need to stop him, and possibly bring him back with us.”

Braxton pulled back. “Whoa, Logan. Recruiting out-of-control mutants? I didn’t come here to—“

“Look, kid,” Logan said impatiently. “It’s your choice. But we have to get moving, so either sit down or get out.”

Logan headed for the cockpit. Braxton looked around at the other mutants getting buckled in. He stared at the open exit intensely. Finally, he sat down in an empty seat and adjusted the straps.

Logan turned around to see Braxton still with them, and smiled. “Good,” he said. “You’re my secret weapon if everything goes bad.”

The jet engine engaged and the exit closed.

I should have stayed in Kansas, Braxton thought to himself.
Sydney had noted the apprehension that Braxton approached things it was similar to hers but he had a slight advantage he knew this Logan guy. Sydney Knew that she had been a little forward with Braxton and hoped that he would just start talking but unfortunately he seemed surprised at her and she hoped she hadn’t offended him in any way. He was a big guy for a teenager but with an ability like Sydney’s she could not only look like him but be him except I mean she couldn’t do the whole mutant power thing. She thought about shifting into him and then she realized none of them in here new her power so she didn’t . Tina had said she was a shape shifter too maybe they could work together on there power.

“So is this considered a field trip?” asked Sydney

Logan kind of shot a glance back. Sydney turned to Braxton “SO.. Braxton was it??? I am terrible with names.” Sydney said giving him a smile. He nodded but he didn’t seemed thrilled. “That is an interesting name I wonder where the name originates.” She thought for a moment. “must be English after the town…” She thought some more. “Your not from West Virginia are you?”
There were sirens blaring and guns firing. The "gang bangers" had either run away or lay motionless. Tryce was somehow able to protect himself in an electro-magnetic force field to protect himself from the bullets.
"I'm not getting outta here alive." He thought to himself. "I'm not too surprised though; it's a fate that'll come to all us mutants eventually gotta think fast."

The firing all of a sudden stopped Tryce looked around and saw that most of the police had ducked behind their cruisers.
"Probably reloading. Now's my chance!" Tryce brought down the force field then displelled as much electricity as he could in every direction he could. Glass shattered, police cruisers tipped over, guns started to explode. Tryce held this up for about 15 seconds before falling to his knees panting heavily. He looked around him at the destruction he had caused. He felt bad for a second than suddenly cats away his guilt and replaced it with anger.

"This is your fault!" He yelled. "If you humans just left us mutants be this wouldn't have happened!" His voice cracked and tears started streaming down hs face. "Your fault... not mine... yours!" He fell to his knees again and cried. Everything that had happened to him since Highschool until now came back to him. All the hardships he had to endure, the people he had hurt, and tonight the people he may have killed, and all because of these powers.

He heard a gun cock to his right. He whipped his head around quickly to see a single police man holding an M-16 semi-automatic. He quickly rolled out of the way as bullets started to spray in his direction. (He has super human agility.) He shot a burst of electricity at the officer with his left hand. It hit the officer in the leg and he shot randomly before falling down. Tryce took three bullets in the left arm and screamed. He lost control. Using his right hand he shot a stream of electricity at the officer. He picked him up while he was being electricuted and threw him 50 feet in the air and about 50 feet back.

The Blackbird began to descend on him. Tryce started floating as electricity shot out of his hands and eyes.

"Geeeeene! Yelled Wolverine." and she put up a telepathic shield to protect them from the blast. Tryce stood with his eyes glowing and viens bulging everywhere, levitating about 15 feet off the ground and looked up at the Blackbird which was about 150 feet above him. The door soon opened and out flew Storm.
"Clouds here my cry and bring forth lightning!" She chanted. Clouds started to collect quickly. Logan jumped out next, claws unleashed and decended down on Tryce. Tryce titlted his head slightly. Then shot electricity at Wolverine and held him in place about 50 feet above him. Then threw him into a wall. By this time the clouds had collected and darkened and lightning started to shoot down on Tryce. Tryce held his hands up and drew in every bit of electricity as he could.

"Winds create a mist and blind our foe!" Storm said next. A fog started to appear around Tryce.

The teens not knowing what to do waited anxiously. Todd was the most anxious of them all. He unbuckled and headed for the door but Gene stopped him with her telekinesis.
"You can't even see him." She said to Todd.
"No he can't but I can." said Talor
"And I can sniff him out." Said Tina then she morphed into a wolf."
"And theres always room for another one of me." Said Sydney as Wolverine.
"Maybe I can help too," Said Braxton reluctantly. He was sweating trying to contain his power around all these mutants and was having a really rough time doing so. Gene nodded and encased them all in a telekinetic orb and descended them down.

Wolevrine and sniffed Tryce out in the fog and lunged at him. Tryce heard Wolverine's growl and caught him in the air and used his own momentum to throw him. Wolverine landed on his feet and Tryce took a fighting stance. Wolverine backed up and dissaperared again in the fog.
(Quick question..who knows if it's really Jean or Gene? I'll stick with Jean for now like I usually used, but Peter Parker seems to know quite a bit about X-Men, what with knowing the name of the Blackbird and all, maybe he's right with Gene. *Smile*)

"Let me get closer to him." Talor said to Jean.

"He could seriously hurt you Talor, I'm not about to do that." Jean declined.

"He can't hurt me if he can't see me. Just let me talk to him before any of you hurt him or he seriously hurts any of us." Talor said, turning invisible. With a sigh, Jean stretched the forcefield out towards the angry mutant. Jean then moved Talor closer to him, careful not to get too close so that she was safe from his power. Talor leaned in and brought her mouth close to the mutants ear.

"You have to calm down." Talor said. "We aren't trying to hurt you, we are here to help you. We are all mutant too, you have to trust us."

The mutant screamed and blindly threw a shock of electricity on the direction her voice came from. But it rebounded of Jean's forcefield.

"I CAN'T TRUST ANYONE!" he shouted.

"Trust us. Trust your kind." Talor said urgently."

Breathing heavily, the mutant slowly went back to the ground, bringing his arms down. Talor looked around and saw that the other X-Men had stopped a whole ago. Professor X had probably told them what she was doing. Talor became visable again and Jean took off the forcefield and let all of them back onto the ground.

"Nice work, kid." Logan said as he passed her. Talor shrugged. She hadn't really done anything. The others would have been able to help a lot if she hadn't been able to talk the mutant out of hurting all of them.
Willow put her hands down at her sides. Great. Another mission where she hadn't done anything. She sighed and looked down while everyone else whooped and hollered. Willow sat in the back of the X Jet. The new kid was up in front talking to the older X Men. Why was she even invited to go along?

She hugged her knees and looked out the window while pushing away the joy of success in the room. When Willow awoke it was almost light outside. Talor shook her shoulder. Willow blinked and rubbed her eyes.

"Wakie, wakie. We're home," she sang still excited. Willow half smiled. She nodded and got up from her seat.

After getting up from her seat Willow got dressed and ready for the day. Somehow she wasn't in the mood for more sleeping. She was depressed and feeling useless. There had to be something Willow could do around here other than stupidly watch the action and faint. Suddenly an idea struck her. She still had a thousand dollars. A slow smile crept up on her. Willow reached into her bag and felt the heat of the money that she'd forgotten about. School would have to wait. Willow had some major shopping to do.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was surprisingly easy to get out of the school. The gate had simply let her out. Willow watched as the gate moved to one side and let her out. She was going to pay for this later. But she was sure that regaining her self esteem was more important than classes today.

Willow ended up at the mall with ten hundred dollar bills sizzling in her pocket. She'd never had the money for a shopping spree before. so she let go and bought everything she liked. After a while she stopped even going into the dressing rooms. It was just a waste of her spending time. She put everything on hold though. She'd go to the mall later with Talor or someone to help her take all of her bags home.

The last store Willow went to was pounding with metal music and had painted black walls. She examined the journals with fairies drawn professionally on the covers and examined it. After a while the thought of doing something rebellious made her bob her head to the screaming music even though she wasn't particularly fond of it.

But suddenly that glorious feeling was interrupted. "Shouldn't you be in mutant school?"

Willow slammed the journal shut and placed it back on the shelf in a hurry. Then she looked and saw the normal kid she'd met before. What was his name? Oh yeah, Luke. Willow smiled.

"Shouldn't you be in normal school?" Willow countered. He half smiled.

"They're not going to miss me for one day. But I sure hope that mutant prison school is missing you. Otherwise, I don't know what America's taxes are paying for," he said. Willow narrowed her eyes angrily.

"I don't live in a prison, stupid. It's just a school," she spat. Luke frowned.

"Really though. What are you doing here?" Luke said. Willow flashed him eight hundred dollars and his eyes widened. "You're pick pocketing?" She huffed.

"Why do you think I'd be pick pocketing?" Willow asked putting her hands on her hips.

"Because you look dirt poor," he laughed. Willow raised her eyebrows surprised. Luke felt remorse in an instant and Willow felt it too. She walked up to the counter and bought the journal without looking back. That insult was one too far. Luke sighed and went after her.

"Mutie!" he said. The store clerk perked up and looked at Willow. Willow blushed as the store clerk looked around wondering how to react. Luke stood behind her the metal on his jacket shook and jingled with his steps.

"You don't have to tell the entire world that I'm a mutant," she hissed under her breath, still upset by the remark. The store clerk handed her the journal. Willow asked if she could go back for it later. The clerk nodded and Willow stormed out of the store. Luke followed.

"So Mutant," Luke said walking beside her. Willow walked faster. She already forgave him for his remark. After all, he was just an ignorant, normal human. But teasing him was...well, fun. "Where are we going for lunch?" Willow turned to face him.

"Excuse me? Why should I go to lunch with you?" she asked. Luke sighed.

"So you're going to have lunch all by yourself?" he asked. Willow nodded.

"Apologize," she said. Luke shrugged.

"Anything for a burger," he mumbled loud enough for her to hear. "I'm sorry." Willow stepped into the line at the food court and bought a single meal. "Hey..."

She scoffed. "Just because I tell you to apologize doesn't mean I'm going to provide you with food. Get your own." She walked off with a slight strut in her walk and sat down. Luke followed her find a seat across from her. She ate her burger and he picked at her fries while they talked.
A Non-Existent User
Todd was getting a second meal from the refrigerator, mostly because he was hungry, but also because he was trying to be friends with Tryce. The kid hadn't talked to many people, and for the most part scared everybody peeless. Blasting people with electricity does that.

"So whaddya want? There's turkey, ham, and lots of cheese, so I'm thinking sandwiches." Todd rummaged throught the refrigerator to find mayo and horseradish.

"Well, sure. I don't really eat, but at least I have a digestive system. Poor Maggot." Tryce was talking about one of the other students, who had two insectile pets that were his stomach and intestines.

"I didn't know you could use electricity for energy. That's pretty cool. I can do something like that, but with light." Todd set out the food, and both kids created towering heaps of meat, mustard, and horseradish.

"Well, if you can eat light," Tryce asked around a bite of sandwich. "why do you bother with food?"

"Well, there isn't enough sun poking through the cloud cover. Besides, winter has shorter days than summer." Todd emphasized his point with glowing stickmen made of light.

"Ahh, I see. Neat trick, by the way. Here, let me try." Tryce held his hands out, one above the other, and created a marionette of surging electricity. The little guy pantomimed a short act before Tryce swished it out of existence.

"Sweet - it must be a lot harder to do with electricity than light, huh?"

"How would I know?"

The two joked around and ate for a while until Icarus strode down, looking for something.

"What are you looking for?" Todd asked. He noticed that as soon as Icarus came in, Tryce was quieter.

"Have any of you seen Willow? I can't find her anywhere!"

Tina strolled the forest that was at the perimiter of the school-strolled being more like a prowl- in her wolf form alone in thought. She hated being a mutant, hated being kicked out of her home, haveing to run from the life she knew. Not that it was a good life, but at least...

Looking at the wolf face in the reflection of a stream she came to, she wacked at it with her paw as if to banish the image. She gave a sigh and lay at the edge of the stream, snorting air through her snout to ripple the water. It's better to be a wolf, Tina thought, changing her thoughts from the past to the now. Wolves don't judge. Wolves don't throw you out because you're diffrent. And they don't play favorites. She turned her head back towards the school, seeing it through the trees.

I dunno if I actually belong there. They all seem nice enough, and they accept me because I'm a mutant. But I don't want to be a mutant. Maybe a wolf, but not a mutant. Tina sighed and figured dinner was about to be served. Reluctantly getting up, she made her way back through the grounds wondering if perhaps she should just stay out here. As she came to the edge, she saw a figure she reconized, who seemed just as uncomfortable here, if not more so- probably more so- than she did. At least she accepted she was a mutant, though she didn't like it. He didn't seem to accept the mutant part of him anymore than he like the fact of being one. She came slowly out of the brush so as not to startle Braxton. He seemed to know that she was already there, however, and just watched as she came out.

"Hi, Tina," Braxton said, remembering their first encounter. Tina shifted into her human form so that she could answer back.

"Hi Braxton. Sorry I bothered you," she said, running her hands through her hair. Braxton shrugged.

"Change into a wolf often?" he asked, looking around for any of the others. "I thought you could change into any animal you want." Tina gave a nod.

"I like wolves. Besides being the first creature I've ever changed into, they aren't judgemental like humans are. I hate being a mutant- I hate all the pain it's caused me- but when I'm a wolf, it takes some of that away. I could go find a pack and they'd accept me as their own without question. They're loyal and unbiased." Tina grew quiet, wondering if she had said too much, but wanting to say it to someone. She didn't know why she told Braxton, but it was out and she couldn't take it back. "Plus, they don't go killing their own kind for being diffrent." she whispered. "It's almost dinner time, you'd better get up to the school." She turned to go.

"Aren't you going?" he asked. Tina shook her head.

"No, I ate already." Tina said, turning back into a wolf and walking off. She didn't feel like being around people anymore than she had since getting back from getting that electro-boy. Besides, it was a year to the day that she had been thrown out of her house. Braxton looked at her as she shifted and started off, thinking.
[Backlash]

Braxton watched Tina walk away in wolf form. He thought about calling her back, but he didn’t. He felt somewhat of a kindred spirit with her. There was also something about her that intrigued him. He was reminded of Sydney’s flirting. He had hesitated to respond to her, but should he be more open? Worrying about girls was always so frustrating. Braxton had avoided the issue for years by telling himself he couldn’t get involved with anyone because he was a mutant. What that wrong? No, he was right to be protective. His first relationship had proved that.

Braxton sensed a mutant nearby. He looked around, but didn’t see anyone. “Tina, is that you?”

“Who’s Tina?” came a voice in front of him. Braxton recognized the voice, and before he could say anything a smiling face—only the smile and a pair of green cat-like eyes—appeared before him.

“Cheshire, what are you doing here?” Braxton asked, dismayed. Cheshire was a member of the Mutant Militia, which Braxton had left many years ago. Cheshire could make things invisible including parts of his body. He also had the mutant ability of persuasion and charisma, being able to charm people into doing whatever he wanted. However, it had never worked on Braxton, who found him to be very annoying.

“That’s what I like about you, Braxie, you’re never happy to see me. So who is Tina? A girlfriend? How will I ever tell Cassie? She will be crushed.”

Cheshire fully appeared in front of Braxton. He stood about 7 feet tall, wore a blue militia uniform, and had blonde hair surrounding his head, face and neck to form a “lion’s mane” effect.

“I don’t have a girlfriend. I don’t plan on rejoining the militia. And leave Cassie out of it.”

“Okay. Okay.” said Cheshire, holding up his hands.

“So what are you doing here?”

“Well, as you know, we are always looking for new recruits. We have learned that this school is a mutant training center, so what better place to enlist. I never dreamed I’d see you around a place like this. I thought you were on a quest to disappear into a mutant-free life experience. So, what are you doing here?”

“To be honest, I’m not sure. I met someone who I trusted and that led me here.”

“This Tina? Is that who you trust?” asked Cheshire, leering.

Braxton sighed. “No, It’s nothing like that. Look, Cheshire, I don’t know much about this place, but I can tell you that you are wasting your time. The people here are not interested in your militia. They are looking for peaceful solutions, not retaliating against mankind.”

“Don’t be so sure, Braxie. I’ve already found a couple of interested parties.”

“Who?”

“Sorry, Braxie. I know you don’t want to get involved in mutant matters. Go stick your head in the sand..” Cheshire disappeared accept for his eyes and mouth. “I’ll give your best to Cassie.” He gave Braxton a wide smile and disappeared completely.

Braxton waited until he felt Cheshire’s presence go away, then he headed toward the mansion. We needed to warn Logan, and maybe this Professor X, about Cheshire recruiting for the Mutant Militia on campus. It could only lead to trouble.
With classes going on Tryce had wandered into a workout room where he was now practicing his Jeet Kwon Do in the dark. After about an hour or so of practicing Wolverine walks in. He goes over and turns on the light. Tryce does nothing to acknowlege his presenec he just continues practicing. Wolverine watches for a few minutes before addressing Tryce.

"Don't you have class Sparky?" Tryce doesn't answer he just keeps practicing. "Hey, disrespect doesn't go a long way here, and it sure as hell goes an even shorter way with me so I'd appreciate an answer." Tryce stops and turns to Wolverine.
"I'll answer, but first let me ask you something. I'm kidnapped, brought here where theres nothing but teenagers running around, Have no idea how I got here, little idea what this place is about, have said teenagers trying to befriend me, which was less than enjoyable might I add, have my arm in a sling, and you wanna come and talk to me about respect? Where's mine!?!"
"You lost it when you decided to attack all those people last night."
"That wasn't an attack, that was self defense. Now if you'll excuse me." Tryce goes back to practicing.
"My answer..."

"I don't do highschool. I finished, I graduated, I don't need to do highschool."
"It doesn't mean you don't do anything else. What, are you gonna be a bouncer the rest of your life?"
"What does it matter to you, why are you so interested in my life. Better yet why am I even still here. I can leave on my own accord you can't stop me."
"We can." Wolverine said bearing his claws. "But he wont." He retracts them then Tryce heads for the door.

As he walks passed Wolverine, Wolverine said: "We just ask that you talk to the professor."
"The professor." Tryce replied with his hand on the door.
"C'mon Sparky, it can't hurt to hear what an old man has to say." Wolverine said trying to coax him. Tryce opens the door and stands holding it open. Wolverine complies and walks through to lead Tryce to the professor.
"And don't call me Sparky."
Talor was having a horrible time here at the school. She wasn't making any friends, she was hardly talking to anyone, and she couldn't understand her classes, having been away from school for so long in the time since she had run away.

And what was with that Tryce guy? She had saved him from being seriously hurt by one of the X-Men, and he hadn't said a word to her. She had an idea of what he was thinking, alright. He thought of them all as petty little teenagers, and he didn't want anything to do with any of them. He thought he was above them.

Oh god, what had gotten into her? Talor wasn't usually one to think like this, she was an understanding, non-judgemental person. Who was she kidding? Tryce was probably just feeling as uncomfortable here as she was. As for everyone else not talking to her...well, same goes for them. The ones that had just arrived here, anyway. But the people that had been here longer then her, they should have at least welcomed her. But maybe everyone here was afraid of new comers.

Talor tapped her pencil absent-mindedly on the desk. Her paper was blank, even though the teacher was writing a bunch of mumbo-jumbo on the board at the front. Talor looked down and examind a hole that was starting to form in her jeans, and then started on her t-shirt, which today was a black one with a splash of green on the front, along with a large pair of bright orange headphones on the chest, saying Jimmy Eat World underneath. One of the bands she liked, and one ofher favorite shirts.

Talor sighed and went back to tapping her pencil on the desk.

"Talor? Are you paying attention?" the teacher snapped, and Talor sat up straight.

"Yes." Talor said automatically.

"Then tell me what I just said." the teacher said, standing in front of the board so that any normal student wouldn't have been able to read what she had last written. But Talor used her X-Ray Vision to quickley scan the board and answer.

"Genetics in mutated human beings."

The teacher looked at her hard, and then tapped her chalk on the board as she stepped away from it.

"Very good Talor, but I want you to pay attention from now on, and no more of using your powers to get out of trouble."
"So, little mutant, what are your powers?" Luke asked from the other side of the table in the middle of the mall. Willow bit down on the fry and then held it between her fingers lazily and graceful. She cocked her head and pretended to think.

"No," she decided after a moment. "I don't think I'm going to tell you." Luke shook his head.

"I bet I can figure it out," he said. Willow snorted and he ignored her. "Your hands glow. Are you a walking lamp?" She squinted her eyes at him and leaned forward to mock him.

"Yes, I am a walking lamp," she mocked. "Well, I guess technically I could be."

"Do your hands hurt people when they glow?" he asked. Willow froze and looked down.

"Well, yes and no. They do more good than bad in the long run," she said tentatively. She pulled her hands close to her chest on the table top."I don't like to talk about my power. Or talk about being a mutant. It invites people to judge me. What about you?"

Luke didn't react, though she felt his surprise. What was he surprised about? That she had other characteristics other than her being a mutant.

"Well, Mutie. I am not nearly as interesting as you are. My name is Luke Wilson. I have a younger brother, a mother that doesn’t work because she was hurt in a car accident recently so she's not working, and then there's me. Technically I am a genius, which is why I can afford to skip school whenever I please. I want to grow up to be a nuclear physicist so I can make 'safer' bombs. Bombs that with enough force to hit their target, but not ruin the land forever. Or maybe a biological weapon that only focuses on DNA. So that it releases a poison that will reach certain people instead of innocent civilians. That way there are not as many innocent casualties." Willow nodded.

"That's mighty kind of you," she said sarcastically. Luke frowned.

"I'm trying to find a way to make war safer for humanity in general," he said.

"You're promoting war," Willow corrected.

"No, I am saving the world from being completely obliterated into billions of tiny bits in a war that has little to do with the public anyway. By the way, what's your name?" he asked. Willow laughed and grabbed her soda.

"You don't even know my name and we've been talking for about an hour," she said. There was a pause in the conversation. Willow sat there looking at him and him at her. Awkward. It was too strange to detect his feelings. They were all jumbled up together. "Miracle. You can call me Mira."

"Miracle? What's that supposed to mean?" he laughed. Willow wagged a finger at him.

"That would be telling you too much," Willow said. Suddenly without warning a blade struck the center of the table. Both teenagers jumped simultaneously at the sudden movement.

Willow cringed at the feel of pain and realized instantly what the blade and pain meant. Luke looked up horrified. Willow looked up and gave a guilty smile. "Um...Hi Logan."

"Kid, you got some explaining to do," Logan said in a dark deep voice. Willow got up and picked up her tray.

"Later, Luke," she said suddenly feeling guilt and worry tug at her.

"See ya, Mira," Luke said quietly.
A Non-Existent User
Sorry but I have to go. This is it for me. :(

Todd was getting more and more control over his powers. He'd started out with simple light and sound, but now something new was happening in the Danger Room: Microwaves.

Todd was starting to learn how to use other wavelengths to his advantage, and with it came passive abilities. The noisy crackle of television bandwidths, scattered squawks on police radios, Todd could feel it almost as well as he could feel light and sound.

He sat motionless on a bench by the pool, concentrating on the light patterns under the water. It was hard, but helped tune his powers much better than simple exercises.
The woods looked as inviting as ever from the classroom window as she sat doing a math test. All that could be heard was the scraping of graphite against the rustle of papers as Ms. Frost oversaw the test, also making sure that none of the telepaths 'cheated' on their tests- or at least that's what Tina assumed anyway. It was rather unnerving to her that there were people who could do things in real life. But then, real life was hardly any diffrent it seemed than books that she read as a kid.

When the bell rung, she handed in her paper and headed towards the door, ready to get the day over with with her last class.

"Tina, a word if I may?" Ms. Frost said before she could take more than a dozen steps to the door. The others filed out, leaving the two alone.

"Ms. Frost," she said, turning to the woman.

"You've seemed to have missed dinner last night, and your roomates said that you didn't come in either."

"I didn't leave the grounds, it that's wht's your askeing," Tina said looking at Ms. Frost. She didn't want to say what was on her mind, but somehow, she could tell that Ms. Frost could read it, making her feel even more uncomfortable. "I just, decided to stroll around until I got tired. I...must have fell asleep, that's all. I did get dinner, just not with the other kids." Tina ran a hand through her hair. "I'm going to be late for my next class." Tina left then, though she had the distinct feeling that that particular teacher wasn't done with her yet. She frowned as she headed of towards her lituraure class, running into one of the other students in her in attention.

"Sorry," she said.

[Braxton-Backlash]

Braxton turned to see who he had just run into. It was Tina.

“So we meet again,” he said.

“Yeah, sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.” Tina replied.

“I thought I ran into you,” said Braxton. “I was in a hurry.”

“Where are you headed?”

“To see this Professor X. I tried last night, but he was either busy with Logan, Willow, or the new guy, Tryce.”

“I’ll go with you.” Tina stated.

“Why? Don’t you have classes?”

“Yeah, that’s why I’d rather go with you.”

“Okay”

They started walking though the hallway. Soon, they saw Talor walking down to hall toward them. She seemed kind of melancholy and wasn’t really paying attention. She would have walked by without seeing them, but Tina called out to her.

“Hey, Talor, we’re going to see Professor X. You want to come?”

Talor brightened at seeing someone she knew. “Um…sure…why are we going to see him?”

“I don’t know. Braxton needs to talk to him.”

“I didn’t mean for this to become a field trip,” Braxton mumbled. He saw Talor’s eyes fall and realized that she probably felt unwanted. “But,” he added, “I don’t mind having two good-looking girls as escorts.”

That was a little overboard, Braxton thought to himself. He just didn’t know how to act around girls. However, his comment seemed to make the girls happy as they were all smiles. Probably best to let the compliment stand and The trio headed on down the hall. They got past all of the school classrooms and began walking through the training area to get to Professor X’s main office.

“So, Talor, you did a great job in New York. No one got hurt and we succeeded in bringing Tryce back.”

“Not that he appreciates it much.”

“Yeah, but I think once he—“

An explosion interrupted them. It was directly around the corner ahead. As they turned the corner, they saw smoke, debris, and a hole in the wall.

“That’s the Danger Room!” shouted Talor.

Through the smoke, they saw Icarus run up from the other direction “What happened?” she asked them.

“We don’t know. We just got here.” replied Braxton.

“I was coming to meet Todd for a training session in the Danger Room. Have you seen him?” Icarus asked.

They all shook their heads. Then, flashing lights began coming from the hole in the wall and Braxton thought he heard loud voices. The group cautiously stepped through the hole and Braxton instantly sensed the presence of two additional mutants. As they walked past the smoke, the scene became clear. Before they saw Todd and Tryce battling each other. There were bursts of electricity and laser light shooting sporadically from the duo, but the bulk of the fighting was blow-by-blow and brutal.

“I don’t think they are training.” Tina observed.

Before they could do anything else, Todd shot a laser that caught Tryce in the arm. Tryce screamed in rage and then spun around to grab Todd by the head with both hands. As they watched in horror, electricity began to flow from Tryce into Todd’s shaking frame.

“Todd!” Icarus shrieked. She flew into the air toward the two combatants.

“Icarus, no!” Braxton called after her. He turned to Tina and Talor. “You two, go get help, I’ll take care of this.” He knew what he had to do.
Tina and Talor took off down the hall. Hopeing to run into anyone who could help. The first person they ran across was Sydney.

"Hey whats up is there a fire?" Sydney asked the two running girls.

"NO"

"Todd... and Tryce... Must..get.. help"

they continued running

"Todd? oh my" Sydney said following after them

Then Sydney not paying any attention trying to keep up with Tina and Talor ran right into Willow.

"Oh God I am sooo sorry I didn't mean for that oh man.. here let me help you up Sydney offered Willow a hand. Oh I got to catch up with Tina and Talor they said Todd and Tryce needed help." Saydney said as she took off again.

Willow allmost didn't go she thought. "What do they need my help for any way. What if one oof them is hurt." She followed Sydney just incase.

When the four girls got there Todd was lieing on the ground and tryce was kneeling in front of Braxton his muscles twitching every once in a while. Icarus was kneeling over Todd. Sydney rushed over to Icarus is he ok.

"Oh my Is he no.. He can't be Dead can he." Sydney said.
Icarus was in tears. Willow aproached.

"Step Back Please." Willow said quietly.
Icarus and Sydney looked at her as if she were crazy. Sydney took a step back and was watching Willow carefully her hands were glowing and as she placed her hands on Todd he screamed in pain.
Sydney moved towards her to stop her and then Todd opened his eyes and she fell back onto her haunches and removed her hands from Todd. Willow stood and looked at Sydney in the eyes for a brief moment and nodded. Sydney then helped Todd to his feet.
“Tryce, allow me to show you something.” Said Professor X as Tryce entered his office. By this time Logan had run off. Something about someone being off the institute grounds. Professor X directed Tryce’s attention to a computer screen he had on his desk. It showed a picture of an older man in red armour and a list of details on the person: date of birth, marital status, children etc.
“Who’s the old guy in the armor?” Asked Tryce curiously.
“His name is Magneto, but who he is isn’t what I want to show you, look at that number right there.” Tryce read the line that the professor was pointing to.

“Power Level: 8800”

“Power level, 8800. Is that impressive?” Asked Tryce confused.
“Quite impressive actually.” The Professor opens up another profile this time of himself. “As you can see, my power level is also 8800.”
“I’m still missing the point.”
“I’m getting to it, just bare with me for a while.” The Professor goes through various profiles of other mutants some of them X-men some of them not. After around 20 mutant profiles, a profile of Tryce comes on the screen. He’s standing around a bunch of people with his arm around a very attractive girl.
“Hey, where’d you get that picture!?!” Tryce asked angrily.
“Don’t worry about where the picture came from Tryce, I’d like you to read over your profile.” Tryce huffed, and read over his profile.

“Well according to this my power level is 2000 so I guess I’m really weak. I’m still missing the point.”
The professor switches to another screen of Tryce fighting with the X men last night. The screen starts playing where Tryce began to levitate as the Black Bird descended on him. The readings of his power level were fluctuating between 5500 and 6500.
“Your power level is 2000 when your powers are dormant. When your powers are active they rival that of some of the most powerful mutants.” Tryce started laughing.
“I don’t know what happened last night. All I know is, after that cop shot me, I blacked out. So this, to me, is utter bs. And lets just say, to humour me, my power level did reach 6500, I wouldn’t know how to get it back to that level. Besides if that video feed is correct it looks like I’m flying, something I know I can’t do.”

“As I suspected - you were acting unconsciously. Tryce, it seems that in the face of danger, your body has the capability to act on it’s own.”
“You guys keep getting weirder and weirder. Just a recap of the events that have happened to me in the last 24 hours: kidnapped, thrown in a huge “institute” with a bunch of high schoolers, getting called sparky by a freak with claws, and now being told that I have the potential to be really powerful. Well it’s been fun but…”
“Tryce, don’t go. You don’t really want to leave I know that much, your just really confused, I can help you… if you let me…”


`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

“Yeah he’ll really be happy, to help me now after what just happened.” Tryce thinks to himself than was snapped out of his day dream by Willows scream. Tryce stands up and looks around to see everyone’s eyes transfixed on Willow and Todd.

Tears start streaming down Willows face as she screams in pain taking on Todd’s pain as she tries to heal him. She suddenly stops just as Todd suck’s in a breath of air, and passes out. Tryce shrugs his shoulders then walks out of the danger room
Talor

Talor was shaking with fury at Tryce. What an unbelievable asshole! She wanted to knock him senseless and claw out his eyes and rip off each and every single one of his limbs one by one and then shove each one down his throat! How could he do such a thing, only to shrug it off and leave!

Not even stopping to ask if Willow or Todd was alright, Talor ran after Tryce. Without knowing it, she turned herself invisable and Tryce never saw her coming.

She ran full force and hurled herself into him as he sauntered down the hallway, landing on top of him, one leg on either side of him as he lay on his back. Of course, he couldn't see her, and had no idea what was going on.

Not saying a single word, lost in a frenzied anger, Talor threw punch after punch into Tryce's face, power surging through her veins. Tryce screamed and thrashed around under her, trying to knock an invisable nothingness off of him.

"How do you like being beaten senseless?" Talor screamed at him. "How do you like it? You're getting a taste of your own medicine! You're lucky I don't have any other powers or I would have squeezed you into oblivion by now!"

Talor was screaming so loud her words were barely coherent. And without knowing it, her invisability flickered and went out, and she was left in full view of Tryce, continuing to throw punches into him.

His eyes widened as he saw who it was, and with a strong, quick movement he had Talor off him and was pinning her against the cold floor of the hall by her wrists. But she continued to scream and kick at him.

The next thing Talor knew, she was being held on by someone else, her feet on the floor but her body collapsed and not holding itself up as someone else held her under the arms. Tryce was across on the other side of the hall, breathing heavily as he got to his feet, cursing at Talor.

It took Talor a moment to catch her breath and realise that it was Logan holding her. Tryce had three long gashes across his chest, and Talor suspected that was how Logan had gotten him off her.

"What the hell is going on here?" Logan yelled at them.

"That crazy girl was just trying to beat the shit out of me!" Tryce said, and his face was developing the bruising as proof, his lip steadily dripping a small amount of blood. Talor just realised then that Tina, Todd, Icarus, Braxton, and a supported Willow were standing there too.

"That son of a bitch was trying to kill Todd!" Talor screamed, trying to get to Tryce again, but Logan held her firmly.

"Stop this immediately, all of you." A deep voice said as Professor Xavier showed up at the end of the hall.
Willow, still feeling a little dizzy, watched the chaos from a distance. Such a strange feeling in the room. It felt like pure insanity. What was going on? She steadied herself by leaning on a wall.

Jean came down the hall looking urgent. "What's wrong? I heard someone was hurt." Willow pointed to Todd.

"It was him, but I took care of it," she said drowsily. She turned and pointed to Tryce. "But then Talor beat the crap out of him so you might want to check him out." Jean watched Professor Xavier giving a lecture to mainly Talor. Tryce still seemed mildly embarassed for losing control on Todd.

Professor X was finished and he rolled himself back to his study looking slightly frustrated. Which was far more than usual. Jean took one look at Tryce. "He looks okay. Thanks, Willow. You saved the day." Willow snapped out of her daze.

"Huh?" Jean was too far to hear her. Willow gave a genuine smile. Tryce and Talor began to glare at each other. Further tension was brewing. Willow put herself in the middle of the two.

"Hey Talor, I have a favor to ask you? I went on a total shopping spree this weekend. Can you help me pick the stuff up this weekend?" she asked. Talor gave a deep sigh.

"Yeah sure, Will," Talor answered. Without another word she turned down the hall. Tryce also began to leave the other direction. Willow turned her head and saw Tryce leaving. Well, as long as she was still healing...

"Hey," she called out. Tryce took a moment to turn around. It was like he couldn't believe she was talking to him. Willow walked beside him. "Are you okay?" She'd meant his injuries from the two fights he'd just had. But he seemed to take it a completely different way beacuse his emotional pain worsened. Emotionally he wasn't feeling very well at all.

"I don't want to talk about it," he said. Willow understood.

"Well, are you hurt anywhere? I can help you," she said. Tryce shook his head without looking at her.

"It's nothing that can't heal on it's own," he muttered. Willow nodded.

"Okay then. Don't put too much strain on that arm. It could be fractured from the fight. But it's not likely," she said. Tryce looked at her suddenly bewildered oh how she knew the injury he had the most injury about. Willow looked back at Todd who was still a little in shock from Willow's power. She'd used a lot of it to save him. "Take it easy, man. I know how sorry you feel."

"Erm, thanks," Tryce said feeling a little confused by her reaction to him after he'd done something like what he did. Willow met down the hall where Icarus was and helped her walk Todd to his room.

'I got to help the X-Men,' she thought proudly.
A Non-Existent User

Todd woke up slowly and painfully. He hurt all over. Parts of him he didn't know he had, hurt. He woke up underneath a bright white light and an insectoid robot's hovering arms.

"Aaaah!" The arms, glistening with a reddish liquid, retracted from his side. They stayed within a few inches of his skin, as if wanting to continue through, but somehow stopped. Todd scrambled off the large table and onto the floor... of the X-Mansion's hospital wing.

He looked at his side where the robots were working and saw a rib's broken end sticking out of a small incision. It made him want to throw up. In fact, he did - but managed to get it all in the drainage catch.

He prodded the end of his rib experimentally - nothing hurt,except for the dull ache in his bones. Must be the anesthetic, he thought. Jesus - what else did Tryce do to me?

Todd stood up shakily, then walked over to the Nurse Call button and asked someone to come over soon, please.

"Why certainly, Mr. Harker, but why are you awake? The robot should -- I'll be right over!" A masculine voice started fatherly, then ended with concern as what had happened sunk in.

In less than a minute, Hank McCoy was barreling through the door, followed by two nurses. He walked over to Todd, who was trying not to pass out from pain. The anesthetic had worn off, and every breath was full of fire.

"My God, what happened?" Beast asked. Todd tried to answer, but breathing alone was too difficult.

Beast turned quickly to the robot, talking to himself. "The robot was supposed to do a checkup on you, not actually make incisions! Willow had healed you fully - we just wanted to be sure. What the-" Beast recoiled in shock. "Someone's reprogrammed this robot!"
After Todd was taken off to the hospital wing of the Mansion, Jean made sure that the others went to class.

“Why don’t we try and get to see Professor X after this class?” Tina whispered over to Braxton. He gave a nod instead of a verbal reply because of the glare that they received from the teacher as she was reading to them from a literature book.

“Tina, since you seem to want to talk so much, why don’t you read the next passage for us,” she said, bringing the entire class’ attention to her. Tina shrunk down in her chair and gave a nod and looked at the page where the teacher had left off. She knew the story by heart, books like these her only friends when she was stuck at home before she ran away.

“Yes ma’am,” she replied. Taking a deep breath, she began, “Mivax stared hard at the regal black wolf, hoping to catch his eye. She must somehow tell him that she was starving and ask him for food.” Tina read the entire chapter and looked at the teacher who gave her a nod.

“Wolves are just animals,” a kid near the back said once she was done. He seemed to be playing with his pencils, levitating them around his desk.. “They can’t talk, there’s no way that that could possibly happen.” The teacher looked at him, along with half the class.

“So you don’t believe it possible to run with a wolf pack, Nickolas?” the teacher asked. He shook his head and she looked around the room. “Does anyone agree with that? Does anyone want to dispute that?” she asked. Tina raised her hand, and put it back down looking at Nickolas.

“Wolves are some of the most intelligent creatures on this earth,” she said in all seriousness, “They will judge and respect you on you, not because you are different from them. Just because you can’t talk with them doesn’t mean that they don’t have a language.”

“Okay, so they have a language, wolfie talkie,” Nick said, “But a girl can’t possibly survive on her own like that.”

“No?” Tina asked, “I did.” He glared at him coldly, bringing looks of astonishment from some of the others. The bell rang, and the teacher gave them their homework as they packed up their books to get to their next classes. She stormed out of the class and waited for Braxton in the hallway. She couldn’t quite figure it out, but she felt more comfortable around him than any of the other mutants with ‘obvious’ powers.

“Still want to try and get to the Professor?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he said, the two walking down. “Did you really pull a Julie of the Wolves thing?” he asked. Tina looked at the ground and nodded.

“I miss the pack that I ran with, but, well, when…Logan picked me up, I wasn’t really feeling up to spending another year out in the snow.” Tina said just low enough that it wouldn’t carry too far. She saw Willow when she looked up, and this time Braxton iniciated the invite.

“Hey, Willow, we’re heading to see the Professor, want to join us?” he asked, seeing that Tina stopped. She looked at them, and gave a smile.

“Sure, Then maybe you guys would like to come with me to go see Todd? Dr. McCoy still has him.” They gave a nod.

“That’s strange,” Talor said joining them, “I thought you healed him,”

“I did,” Willow said as they saw Tryce coming towards them from the doors that led to the auto shop. Apparently, they had him helping to teach classes, though he still didn’t look too happy. “Dr. McCoy wanted to do a check-up on him or something.

Tryce stopped the group briefly, “Have you guys seen Todd?” he asked.

“Why?” Talor replied darkly, “So you can continue to beat him?” Willow held out an arm to stop her from adding anything else.

“He’s down in the Medical room,” she said. “We’re going there after we go see Prefessor X, if you want to come,” she offer.

“No, I’ll go now, thanks.” He said, moving off towards the stairs.

“Okay…”Tina said, starting off again. “I think he was almost nice…” she said absently.
The office door opened just before Braxton could knock. Logan stood at the door with an inviting gesture. An older bald man sat behind a large desk—he must be Professor X.”

“Come in.” said the man behind the desk. “I was hoping for the chance to talk to all of you.”

Braxton, Tina, Talor, and Willow filed into the office.

“First off,” said the Professor, “Braxton, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Logan has told me a lot about you. I’m Charles Xavier, technically the administrator of this school, although my senior staff do most of the work nowadays.”

“Nice to meet you, sir”

The Professor went on. “Now I know you all have questions, but please permit me to talk to you a little bit about Tryce. I know some of you don’t like him much.” He looked at Talor, who was already scowling. “And given the incident with Todd in the Danger Room today I can understand your emotion. However, there is something you must understand. There is an element to Tryce’s powers that is beyond his control. Sometimes, mostly when highly agitated, Tryce’s consciousness becomes dormant, and something else, his “powers”, take over. Even Tryce doesn’t understand the extents of his powers,”

“And if one of us gets killed in the meantime, that’s just too bad, huh?” Talor blurted out.

“No, Talor,” the professor said sternly. “All students’ safety is of the highest priority. Tryce’s powers and his lack of control present a big problem. We must take measures for protection. All I am saying is, do not judge Tryce as a person, by his violent actions today. It is not his true nature.”

“He’s no darling either.” Talor murmured.

“The purpose of this school is to help mutants like you and me learn to control their abilities and use them for the benefit of mankind.” Professor X explained.

Talor stepped up, “I know I’m being difficult here, and I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but what about the benefit of mutant-kind?”

Now Braxton came forward. “It’s the same. If I have learned anything in my life, it is that when you try to separate mankind from mutant-kind, it creates a level of prejudice, regardless of your intentions, that will taint anything you do with pain and destruction. That mindset caused my father to torture and kill mutants, and I’ve seen it cause mutants to do unspeakable things. That is why I wanted to see you, Professor. I need to warn you and everyone on campus about the Mutant Militia.”
Sydney walked into the hospital wing after class trying to see how Todd was doing. When she walked in she saw him laying on the table unconscious and a man muscling it out of the room. Two nurses seemed to be allmost fussing over Todd. Sydney approached quietly. and saw the broken bone sticking out of Todd and she gasped in horror. The two nurses looked up.

"You should defently not be in here right now." One nurse said.

"Todd will be back on his feet soon and you can see him then." The other nurse assured me.

Sydney didn't want to leave Todd but she didn't have much choice. She placed her dog tags that read "Sophia Carbonet 4199 grey St New York City NY" and on the other side etched by hand "Sydney"

She walked out quietly those tags had allways helped her through tough situwaytions maybe they would help him.
As Sydney walked away from the infirmary she saw Tryce stumble towards her. He bumped into her almost unconciously and nearly fell but leaned on a wall off too his side.

"Hey watch it! Just because you don't particularly like people doesn't mean you have to purposely..." Tryce slowly raised his head to look at Sydney. He looked very someber and weak and Sydney gasped at the sight of him. "What happened to you?" Tryce sighed deeply and continued toward the infirmary. "Hey you're not allowed in there." Sydney called out to him but he didn't pay her any mind and kept going.

Tryce looked over and saw Todd lying in a pool of his own blood. He continued to scan the room as if looking for something.

"Excuse me," said Jean Grey who was acting as a nurse. "You're not allowed to be in here." Tryce continued until he found what he was looking for then begun to walk towards it.

"Your not allowed to be in here, please leave." Said Jubilation Lee the other nurse. Tryce kept walking forward. Jean saw that he was headed toward the ECG. (Electro-Cardiogram)

"What is it Tryce?" Jean's demeanor had now changed to curiosity now wondering what Tryce could possibly want with the ECG. He finally apporached it and to the surprise of Jean and Jubilee was able to turn it on.

"Tryce what are you doing?" asked Jubilee as Tryce pushed himself up against a wall and waited for the ECG to charge. When it was ready he placed the two pads at his chest.

"Wait Tryce don't..." Jean tried to stop him but had already released the electricity into his chest. He hunched over and coughed for a while as he waited for the ECG to charge again.

Jean ripped the pads out of his hand with her telekinesis before he could shock himslef again. Tryce looked up and saw Sydney and Beast standing at the doorway to the infirmary watching in bewilderment at what Tryce was doing.

Tryce took a deep breath and was now looking a little better, which confused Sydney even more.

"I - need - power." Tryce said sounding as if he had just run a race.

"Power?" Jean questioned.

"Electricity." Jean looked at Beast who nodded. She brought the ECG pads close enough to Tryce so he could take control of them. He shooked himself over and over again every time looking stronger and stronger. After about 5 minutes of shocking himself he once again breathed deeply and shut the ECG off. He ran his hand against the three claw marks on his chest that have now closed up and become scars.

"I was out of power, after today and last night my body didn't have much time to recharge, I could have just eaten a lot but I was too weak and that would have taken too long. Sorry about that." Tryce reasuuring everyone about everything.

"What about those." Asked referring to the scars. Beast had spent this time tending to Todd.

"They should be familiar too you I'm sure you've seen them many times before. I didn't know ya'll got off on attacking your students. I'm quite impressed." Tryce added sarcastically.

"I'm sure if Logan did that to you he had good reason."

"He should have done it to that little bitch that jumped me. But hey it's cool. I spent the rest of my energy closing the wound. I'm ok now." Sydney was speechless at everything she had just heard and witnessed. "If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna get something to eat I've got energy but I'm still hungry."

Tryce headed for the door but turned to beast before he left.

"Hey Blue."

"That's Mr. McCoy or Beast whichever one you prefer."

"Blue, is he gonna be alright?"

"Yes. I've already reset the bone and closed him up. He sleeping soundly right now."

"Oh, did I..."

"No, but were not to sure who did."

"Really? You'd think a place like thsi would have better security."

"You are leaving right?" Tryce nodded and continued past Sydney and out of the infirmary. Beast cleared his throat loudly to break Sydney out of her trance.

"Sorry." She said as she hurried out behind Tryce.

"Good you're both here." Storm said to the two as they rounded the corner. "The professor is talking to Talor, Willow, Tina, Icarus, and Braxton, he wants you two there aswell." Sydney nodded and headed off. "Tryce, I don't expect to ask you twice."

"I'll go can I atleast get something to drink though I havent eaten much."

"That's alright I guess but be quick about it. You should also put something on."

"Yeah, I'll do that."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tryce had just got something from the fridge and was about to head off to the professors office.

"So Tryce is it, I'm quite impressed." Tryce stopped and looked left and right by only moving his eyes. Electricity began to coarse around his free hand as he slowl backed up towards a wall. Take it easy. We're all friends here." Said the voice again.

"Friends, but you don;t even show yourself." Tryce was feeling very uneasy. "What are you? Another teeni Bobbin' teenager who can go invisible?" Tryce had a feeling he wasn't dealing with a student.

"I assure you I'm not a teenager." The voice said as a pair of cat like eyes and a wide toothy smile appeared a few feet infront of Tryce.
Talor

Talor listened to Braxton talking of the Mutant Militia, silently fuming.

Well, if they take care of humans who want nothing more then to harm us, and mutants that want the same, I see nothing wrong with them. Talor thought to herself. But she was scaring herself slightly. She usually never thought like this. Braxton was telling horrible stories of the Mutant Militia, and she was thinking they were fine? She didn't like what the school was doing to her.

Little did she know, she wasn't exactly controling her own thoughts.

Sydney was now with them, and everyone was listening intently.

"Thank you, Braxton." Professor Xavier said when Braxton finished. "I have known about the Mutant Militia for quite some time, but you have given me some useful information. I assure you that we are taking all the necessary precautions against them, and that you have been of help."

Wild thoughts were going through Talors mind, and she was more afraid of herself then she had ever been of anyone else. Clearing her throat and shaking her head slightly, as if trying to get the thoughts out of her mind, she spoke.

"May I please be excused?" she asked quietly, not looking at anyone. She felt the Professors eyes look inquiringly upon her, and could sense that they help some pity.

"Yes Talor, you may. If you have any questions, you may ask any of them, and they will be able to answer."

"Thank you." Talor nodded, and quickly left the room. She closed the door behind her and leaned against it, her head back and her eyes closed, breathing deeply. When she regained her composure, she opened her eyes again. She was startled to see someone standing there in front of her, a young boy of maybe 18 or 19 years old. She hadn't seen him at the school before, his hair, eyes, and skin dark, and a small smile on his face.

"Hello." he said.

"Er...hi." Talor said. The boy held out his hand.

"I'm Casper." he said. "A member of the Mutant Militia."

Strangely, even after all Talor had just heard, she didn't feel frightened.

"You don't feel like you belong here, do you, Talor?" Casper asked. Talor didn't even wonder how he knew her name.

"What are you talking about?" she said, trying to avoid this conversation. Somehow, she knew what it was going to lead to.

"We can make you feel like you belong. We could use you, you could be greatly needed in the Mutant Militia. You'll be powerful, you'll be envied and feared, and you'll be above all the rodents in this school, where the mutants want nothing more then to brainwash you." Casper said quietly.

I could be. My powers would be of great benefit for them, and I would fit in better then I do here. Talor found herself thinking.

"Think about it for a bit. I will come to speak to you about it soon." Casper said, and disappeared down the hall. Talor stared after him. She didn't know it, but he had been the thoughts inside her head. He had searched for a weak mind, one doubting her place within the other mutants, and he had found it. Her own mind was his weapon.

Silently, Talor turned in the opposite direction of Casper and strode away from the Professors office.
Willow walked away from the chaotic situation. This was all a little too weird for her and frankly she didn't want to be part of the mass drama. She grabbed her journal and walked outside. She could see Tina in the garden taking a nap in the sun, in her wolf form on the ground. Willow walked quietly around her, making Tina's ear perk up in her sleep. Willow sat down on a concrete bench and slowly stretched her feelings out toward street. She observed the feelings of all the people walking by.

Some people were horribly depressed and some were moderately content. Willow tried to put words to people's feelings and then tried out some poetry. Suddenly she noticed someone standing in front of the fence peering on the inside. Willow defensively looked up quickly ready for whatever they had to bring whether it be the police or the mutant militia. She sighed when she saw who it was.

"Luke," she said surprised. He tossed her sly grin.

"Hey, Mutie. Whatcha doing?" he said. She shrugged. "I'm surprised to see you still alive when the psycho came to get you."

"Watch what you say around a bunch of 'freaks'. You don't know if any of us has supersonic hearing," she said. The color left Luke's face just briefly. Willow rolled her eyes. "Don't be such a baby. I'm just kidding." He tilted his head to the side and gave her a look. Willow mockingly did the same. Things felt so much better to be outside the institute. Too many crazy things were happening on the inside. She wondered if any of the normal humans knew their secrets of their chaotic life when this place was supposed to be a protective enviroment for mutants.

"What's that? A diary?" he asked. Willow and he walked side by side on either side of the fence until she got to the gate and met him outside. She looked down at her hand and held her journal. She hadn't expected to run into Luke outside. But now she held her secrets in her hand. Her poems, her feelings, and worst of all a record of her life and the happenings of all she had been through. The latest additions being of her stay in the Xavier Institute.

"No," she lied. Luke smiled.

"You're not a good liar, Mira. Lemme see," he said with a mischevious grin. "I want to see what mutants think about." Willow pulled away.

"No! Have you any sense of privacy?" she said seriously. Luke still thought it was a game.

"Fork it over," he teased. Luke grabbed her hand and Willow gasped. The only way she knew how to fight back was with her powers and this kid was a son of a very prejudice mother. No need to give mutants any worse of a name. So she held back her instincts. Luke grabbed it with ease.

Willow backed away trying to think of a way to get it back. "Luke, quit playing around. I need that back." Luke licked his thumb and opened to the first page. "I swear to you if you don't give it back..."

Luke raised an eyebrow. "Is that a threat from a mutant? I think that can get you in a lot of trouble."

"This is not a game!" Willow screamed. Luke began to read.

"August 14, I can't believe I'm still at school. You'd think by now they'd figure out that I'm..." Luke started. Willow couldn't take hearing her thoughts out loud. She gathered her wits and jumped onto his back. "Hey!" She dragged them both down to the ground.

Willow grabbed the book out of his hand with one hand and held the other hand above him glowing. Luke gave off an immediate sense of fear. Willow was too mad at him to care that she really was threatening him. Luke and her were wide eyed and staring at each other.

"Do NOT touch my journal," she whispered threateningly.

"You mutants really are crazy," he said as if it'd just suddenly been clear. He tried to get up and Willow pushed him back down.

"No, Luke. We're not crazy. We are people. People don't like to be discriminated against or used for their talents or special abilities. You think you have me all figured out and that I'm just fun to tease because I tease back. But once my privacy is invaded it's personal. So please just don't," she said. Willow saw the teenager's slightly horrified and slightly confused face. She felt embarassed and silently took her journal to her room inside the institute.
A Non-Existent User
         Todd walks down the halls slowly, his hands trailing along one wall. Walking this way, Todd practices sensing the electromagnetic forces in the walls. After being in the X-Mansion for less than a month, he's already moved into two completely different wavelengths of energy.

         Who knows, maybe next I'll see Psychic Energy and Cosmic Waves or something.

         He could feel Tryce more than see him, at this point he was completely blind to light and focussed solely on electricity. Tryce appeared to be the Invisible Man in the rain: tiny arcs of electricity spattered around his body, while Tryce's skin itself absorbed every bit of voltage it came in contact with.

         Todd decided to put something to the test. He reached out mentally and focused the energy from a wall socket into Tryce's jugular artery. The electricity was diffused through his circulatory system like smoke behind glass. Tryce noticed at once and a lacking spring returned to his step. From Todd's point of view, the Invisible Man filled up with water. Now electricity arced out of Tryce's supercharged body, straining to escape the giant battery.

         Todd pulled out of his powers and returned to normal sight. He walked over to Tryce and tapped him on the shoulder.

         "Hey, 'buddy'. Feeling juiced up? Of course, even if you were halfway full I wouldn't take you up. At least, not until I fully learn how to control electricity." Tryce showed no signs of surprise. He shouldered Todd to the side and said over his shoulder,

         "Don't count on a rematch anytime soon. I'm not about to let myself get out of control again. And besides, I had you beat before we started using powers, remember?"

         "And that's what I'm going to change." Todd and Tryce each went their own way down Xavier's hallways.
Professor X's words still rung in Braxton's head: "I assure you that we are taking all the necessary precautions against them, and that you have been of help."

What a patronizing idiot!
Braxton thought. This Professor was totally overrated. Precautions my foot. Cheshire told Braxton that he already had some interested recruits and the professor didn't even know that Cheshire had been on campus.

Well, Braxton had done his part, he figured. He had warned them. He had come to visit Logan because he was intrigued by the thought that someone might be able to help him, but now he wondered if this school of mutants was just full of itself. Maybe it was time for him to move on: go back to Kansas or someplace else.

He was kind of dissapointed. He had been beginning to hope that there was a place for him in the world, a place where he could be of use. He was even enjoying feeling part of a group and getting to know some of the students. Oddly, he thought of Tina.

Just then he felt the pressence of another mutant. He had hoped to sneak away without being noticed. The the mutant approched and spoke.

"Long time no see, Brax. Cheshire said you would be here, but I didn't believe him."

Braxton knew the voice. It was Cassie.
"So you see Tryce we have similar goals and similar beliefs. If control is what you seek I can assure you we too at the Mutant Militia can assist you in controlling your powers. So make the right - intelligent decision and join us." Cheshire said finishing his speech.

"You're right. I have to agree. We do have similar goals and similar beleifs but there's one big difference between the two of us. You sound like one of those insane mutants that want to eradicate mankind. Maybe you forget but mutants originated from man and I for one as much as I may not like peoples actions I still respect where I came from and believe that man and mutant can live side by side."

"Of course they can live side by side Tryce but what about peace and fear? Was it not through fear why they attacked you last night? Is it not through fear all the hate crimes that are commited against mutants? Is it not through fear that new laws are being made daily that threaten our very exhistence."

"If one attacks me I will defend myself in anyway I deem fit. Fear is what drives us all into doing things. You fear your own extinction so to prevent that you would do what humans do, think like they think; kill, or be killed. That isn't how I think and not what I do. So I suggest you leave before something bad happens to you."

"Really Tryce?" Cheshire's gives another big toothy smile. "And who is going to make that happen? You?"

"No, me." Said an authoritive voice from behind. Cheshire whips around to see a muscular man standing behind him wearing ruby red glasses. "I don't know who you are and I don't much care. What I do know is that you'll be getting out of my home if you know whats good for you." Said Cyclops holding his glasses as his optic energy s flickered around its perimeter."

"Fair enough." Chershire said turning his back to Cyclops to look at Tryce. "I'll be back, you haven't heard the last from the Mutant Militia." Then Cheshire disappears

Tryce eyes Cyclops who is also eyeing him still holding his glasses.

"You know, I really don't know whats with you guys. First Logan slashes me than you're looking to hit me with your eye blast. Ya'll are something else."

"How do I know you didn't let him in, then changed your story just cause you saw me."

"Stand down Scott." Tryce said as he moved toward the counter to pick up his soda. "No one quite likes me and I don't really like anyone myself. Regardless of the fact, I've made my decision. I want to control this power of mine. I also want to stand for something for once in my life. Besides as my leader you should be setting an example for not only me but these new recruits. Further more seeing as how this is my home also I have every intention of protecting it." Tryce said than took a sip of his soda.

Cyclops re-adjusts his glasses, on his face. He eys Tryce for a few seconds more than said, "So you think there are anymore of them in here?"

"I'm almost certain."

"Then lets get this Mtant Militia out of our home." Tryce smiles before downing the rest of his soda and following behind Cyclops. Cyclops waited for him to finish before turning and heading away from the kitchen."

"Hey Scott." Cyclops stops with his back towards Tryce. "Thanks."

He doesn't say a thing just continues on with Tryce following behind.
Talor

"Woah, Willow, slow down." Talor said soothingly, holding out her arm to stop Willow, who seemed to be on a mission. "Where are you going?"

"To my room." Willow snapped, and when Talor felt hurt, Willow's angry face seemed to soften and she apologized.

"What about that shopping? You still want me to help you pick all that stuff up?" Talor asked Willow. "We can talk about everything then, if you want."

"That would be great." Willow smiled.

"Come on, we can skip this afternoon's classes. It's not like anyone will miss us." Talor said.

**

"How much crap did you buy, girl?" Talor exclaimed as they walked to the food court, both of their arms ladden with parcels of Willow's purchasing. There were a few bags here and there containing some clothes Talor had thrown in for herself, consisting of a couple band t-shirts and some cool bracelets, rings, and earrings, along with a new pair of jeans.

Willow just grinned at Talor and they unloaded their arms at a table.

"How's dinner sound? My treat." Talor said. She knew something was bothering Willow, and Talor's unnerving thoughts about Casper would have to be pushed to the back of her mind for a while.

"Thanks, Talor."

The girls sat down to a meal of grease-dripping burgers and deep-fryed fries. (Sounds appetizing, doesn't it?) Talor's burger consisted of veggie meat, of course.

"How's a girls night in my room tonight sound?" Talor asked, inhaling a few fries soaked in ketchup.

"Awesome, I'm up for it." Willow said, and Talor smiled.

"So...you feel like talking about what's bugging out?" Talor asked.
Willow shrugged. "I guess. But only if you tell me what's bothering you too." Talor stared at her blankly for a moment. Then reached over and stole a fry.

"Spill it," she said avertingly. Willow shifted and then stood up straight.

"Okay. There's this guy. He's really...prejudice against mutants. But he still hangs out with me and we make fun of each other," Willow said. Talor already looked confused. "I know it's weird. But he's an outcast just like us. Only he doesn't have anyone to relate to. Anyways I think I might have scared him. He took my journal. You know. As a joke. But the things I have written down is my life in the past few weeks. Including all the drama with certain mutants attack other certain mutants. I didn't him to, you know. Be proved right. That he does have something to fear mutants for. So I got mad and my hands were glowing. I didn't touch him. But I got my journal back. I still think I scared him."

Talor rolled her eyes. "If he's a jerk who makes fun of mutants than he, especially, isn't worth your time or feelings." Willow dropped her eyes. That's what she'd expected to hear. But still wasn't completely convinced. Luke was not as bad as he appeared or acted. Suddenly Willow sensed something. Confusion mixed with worry.

"Well you heard my story. What's bothering you?" Willow asked.

"Nothing," Talor asked quickly.

"Liar." Talor started picking up the shopping bags and putting her food on the tray.

"Listen. I'll tell you later at girl's night, okay?" Talor said. Willow didn't sense entire sincerity in her words. So she made a note to remember this.

"Okay. Meanwhile let's pick up some movies and popcorn. I think we've earned some junk food today," Willow said appearing as happy and not worried for Talor as she could.

"I agree," Talor laughed.
A Non-Existent User
         Todd stood, awash in thought, studying the myriad complexities of a cooking book. Okay, milk, flour, sausage, bread. So simple, yet so difficult... There was a scoop of flour, a cup, and some frozen sausages in front of him, waiting to be turned into gravy. The pan wasn't hot enough yet, so Todd checked the biscuits. They weren't done yet.

         He threw the sausage on the pan to cook and mixed the flour with the milk until it was 'slightly thick'. Todd turned quickly as he heard a laugh behind him. There was nothing there, not even in the infrared spectrum. However, Todd knew he heard a laugh. He shrugged and turned back to the sausage.

         Todd's suspicions were confirmed when he sensed something appear in the visible spectrum behind him. Todd turned around and came face-to-face with a large disembodied grin.

         "Who are you? Another new student?" The grin widened, then teeth parted to speak. A head and body materialized around the mouth to form a nineteen-something kid.

         "A new student? Hardly. I'm just here to offer you an invitation. There is a group of people known as the Mutant Militia. We don't stay in one place for long, so if you're interested in joining and learning the full potential of your powers, now is the time."

         "Sorry. Unless you have the kind of Danger Room technology the Mansion has, you're just blowing smoke, trying to recruit for some shady guerrilla team. Right?" Todd smiled as the stranger's grin disappeared. Todd wasn't one to be taken by wild promises unless they could be backed up.

         "My invitation still stands. If you.. change your mind, I'm always watching."

         "Watching? Watching what? There's nobody here but you." Todd bent the light around him and became as invisible as he could. The militia recruiter made an angry Hmph and disappeared. Todd waited until he was confident the mutant was gone, then returned to visibility.

         He stepped over to the neglected gravy and stirred furiously. Luckily, the mixture hadn't burned. Todd opened the oven door and a flood of black smoke poured out. The biscuits now had the texture and appearance of charcoal. Ooh, that kid is gonna pay if I see him again...

         Todd grabbed a Mountain Dew in replacement and went upstairs. It was 5:14 AM, and Talor's 'Girl Party' was still going strong. Todd sat down to his computer, turned on some Metallica to drown out the girls' giggles, and started the end of a report for Ethics class.



Mutant Influence on Society, Page 12


         ...Many would say that mutants have brought out the wrath of humanity, their hatred, their endless red tape, most of all their prejudice. But that is a misguided concept. Mankind has always had their hate, their burning rage. Now, however, they have a common enemy to direct these forces toward: Mutants.
The friday afternoon was warm and Tina was talking full advantage of it. Walking through the grounds with her hands in her pockets, she let the sun hit her skin full on, basking in the rays.

"Like this place, do you?" a figure said comming up beside her. She turned her head to look at a boy a bit taller than her, and fair of skin with a smile that just seemed to set her on her guard instinctually. "Where are all your friends?"

"Who are you?" She asked, looking at him, the hair on the back of her neck raised.

"A friend," he replied with the same smile. SHe stopped walking and looked at him.

"Who's friend?" she replied, narrowing her eyes. "What do you want?"

"Sheesh, no wonder you've got no friends with an atitude like that," he said lifting a dropping a shoulder. "I can change that you know. I bet I know why you're so closed up."

"Good for you. Who are you?"

"I'm Casper," he said with that same knowing smile, "And your Tina, right?"

"Yes, that's right," she said, lowering her guard a bit. "You're new tot he school then?" Casper shook his head.

"Nah, wouldn't want to go here. I'm part of the Mutant Milita. We figured that you'd like to be a part of us...get revenge on your parents perhaps? They threw you out when they found out you were a mutant, didn't they?"

"Yes, they did." she said with a shrug. "Not that big of a deal really."

"But you got thrown out of all of your so-called human friend's house too."

"So I did. What's your point?"

"My point is that they are scared of you. They had no right to do that to you, and you should make them pay."

"THey have nothing to pay for." she turned to go.

"Your right," he said reacing out to grab her arm. She swung around, turning into a bear cub as she did so to swat him away. She changed back as he hit into the hedge.

"Don't. Touch. Me." she said coldly. "I don't know what you're trying to pull, but I'm not going to go attack people just because they're scared. I finally found a place where I can feel safe and comfortable, and you say that this place sucks? Man, you have some serious issues. Three hots and a cot as my uncle said once, is good enough, but here, I'm also getting a good education in school and my abilities, and I'm not about to give that up."

"But you're closeted here," he said, wiping the side of his mouth. "Locked away safe from the world that loaths and fears you."

"So then you can leave. When I am ready, I will do so."

"My invite stands open when you decide to grow up," he said stalking off. Tina looked at him as he dissappeared from sight.

"Are you growling?" a voice said comming up from behind her. She turned to see Braxton there, looking at her. She looked defencive, then relaxed when she realized who it was.

"Uh...I guess I might have," she said, sheepishly, looking back at the area where the kid turned a corner out of sight. "There's this new kid, and I don't like the smell of him. Talking of revenge and blah blah," she said with a shrug. "Something about him just seemed...off."

"Oh."

Tina shrugged again looking back down the path. "I was just minding my own buidness, thinking about home and what's happened since I got here when he just intruded on me." she ran her fingers through her hair. "You know, this is the first place I've been where I've felt that I could be me. Change on a whim, sleep outside or in, and just be myself. Logan doesn't even get mad when I come to class as a wolf."

"Or a bear?" Braxton asked, having seen her wack Casper into the hedges. Tina gave a small smile then frowned.

"You saw that?" she said, almost ferafully. "Please don't tell? This place might be stuffy with it's rules, but that kid deserved it. I don't want to get kicked out or anything..." she ran her fingers through her hair.

"Heh. A few days ago I was thinking about leaving. There really isn't much holding me to this place." she leaned on the hedge, "But after that kid, I realized that it's more than I've got out there," she nodded her chin to the gate leading off grounds. "I don't have to hide. And for me, that's a start." Tina tilted her head to the side. "What about you? Staying or going?" She looked at the gate a moment, then the grounds. "If you go, I'll go with you. Friends stick together, right?"
Talor

After finally going to sleep during what was supposed to be a Willow/Talor sleepover but had turned into a giant slumber party, Talor woke up groggily.

"Where am I?" Talor asked suddenly, sitting up. This was not her room. This wasn't even inside. She had been laying on her back in a small clearing of what looked to be the small woods at the school. She was still in her pyjamas, only boxer shorts and a tank top.

"You're still at the school, don't have a hissy fit," a voice said behind her. It sounded slightly familiar, and Talor turned around. It was Casper.

"How was your sleep?" he smirked at her.

"What do you want?" Talor asked. She had a nagging feeling in the back of her mind that this Casper could only bring bad things. And it wasn't just the fact that he was part of the Mutant Militia.

"I told you I would be back so discuss my proposal. Have you had enough time to think about it?"

"I..." Talor stuttered. What was she doing? This should be easy. Just say no. She didn't want to be a member of the Mutant Militia.

...Or did she? That voice in the back of her head was scaring her. She couldn't bring herself to say No to Casper. She didn't know if she wanted to take part in it or no. Part of her did, really did, but the other part knew it was wrong.

"Perhaps another day or two. But you should know, the offer can't stand for long. I need an answer by my next visit. You better have it." Casper said, and left. Talor remained sitting on the ground in her pyjamas, staring at the place Casper had been. She finally got to her feet and started on her way back into the school.
Willow awoke to find something odd in the room. Behind the clutter of bowls of melted chocolate ice cream there was an empty sleeping bag where Talor should have been. She blinked her tired eyes and brought herself up.

"Oh good timing," said a voice. Willow jerked up with her hands in the air and started to open her senses to find some sort of emotion.

"Who are you?" she demanded. Suddenly a teenager seemed to step out from nowhere with a huge grin on his face.

"You need to relax, kid," said the guy. He knelt down to get to her eye level. "My name is Cheshire."

"Let me guess. You're with the mutant militia?" she said in a smart aleck tone. He laughed a little. "You are a smart girl. And how did you know that?"

"You don't look like you're up to any good," she hissed lowly. "Get out of Talor's room...Wait a second. Where's Talor?" No answer. "WHERE IS SHE!"

"Hey, pipe down," he hushed her. "She'll be back. She just left to get some water. I'm here because I want to talk to you. You look like you're not reaching your full potential here. Almost to a state that you're not even benefitting from this place."

"That is not true," Willow argued. "I have a roof over my head and food. I'm happy."

"And yet you still feel everything. Even the pain of you're own healing. Why should you have to? Their pain and emotion is their own, why does it have to be yours too." Willow didn't say anything. She just stared at him. "Haven't they helped you to overcome it?"

"I can't overcome it. I've tried it. It's going to be there until I die," Willow said sorrowfully.

"Has the professor even tried?" Willow's lip started to quiver. Tears brimmed and she felt Cheshire's feelings. "Go away! Go away you jerk!"

"We could help you?"

"How! How could you help me?" she asked frustrated. "You can't!"

"Take it easy," he coaxed.

"No! Get out of my room before I scream! If Wolverine or Cyclops finds you-"

"You'll feel every claw and laser beam that strikes me," Cheshire countered. Willow was quiet again. "In the Mutant Militia..."

"I don't want to hear this." Willow got up to her feet and started walking away. Cheshire grabbed her hand. The shock in his body, bounced back to her and they both screamed out loud. Cheshire grinned through his pain at her tauntingly.

"Willow?" someone knocked on the door. Willow turned around and Cheshire was gone. Jean opened the door and poked her head inside. "Are you okay?"

"Yes," she said unsure of herself. "I had a nightmare." Jean nodded slowly.

"Where's Talor?"

"Right here," Talor said from behind Jean. "I just had to go to the bathroom." Willow cocked an eyebrow suspiciously as Talor slipped through the doorway.

"Okay," Jean said. "Good night then. You can tell me if you're having any problems you know."

"We know," Talor and Willow said together.
A Non-Existent User
         Todd turned off the music and listened intently. Was someone just yelling? He stretched his senses to the fullest and found nothing but the white noise of Talor's party.

         He shrugged and continued writing the thesis. But this time he left the headphones sitting on the desk. In about thirty seconds he heard a snigger. It was in the hallway right outside his door! Todd got up quietly and listened, leaning against the door.

         "Yes." There was a pause. "I think I've got two students interested already. I'll stay here for another day or two. Everyone else can leave, but I'll need Flashbang and a Twin to stay behind."

         Suddenly, Todd's hand slipped on the doorknob and he fell in a pile in the hallway. He heard a cry and saw the paintings opposite his door move, but there was nobody there.

         "..Cheshire?" Todd looked around. Soon a disembodied grin showed itself.

         "Yes? Changed your mind, have you?" The grin widened.

         "..sure. When do you want to leave?" Todd gritted his teeth to keep his composure. Does he believe me, or is he just playing along?

         "Why, right this minute. I've got two people you really should meet." Cheshire became fully visible and waited while Todd snatched a bag of clothes. With a quick swipe, he pulled both his cell phone and an XMen locator off the desk. This will come in handy...
"Good going, Windwalker," Tina mumbled to herself as she rummaged around in the kitchen for a midnight snack. "'I'll go if you do', How lame is that?" She found some left over pizza and poured some juice, sitting down at the counter in her sweat shorts and tank top. "Braxton must think I'm like the lamest person in the school now," she said to her food before tearing a bite out of it. "I mean, who really says stuff like that? Tina turned and looked at the fridge continuing the conversation with herself, otherwise known as thinking outloud.

"You like him, don't you? Just admit it." She frowned thinking the idea over, "Um, yeah, sure. But, that's probably because he's the one person I feel the most comfortable around." She took a bite of cold pizza, "Why is that?" Chasing the food with some sweet juice, "Probably cause he doesn't have any powers like the others," she turned finished the peice in her hand, reaching for another, "But he's not called Backlash for nothing, is he?" A pause, "No, I suppose not. But well, what of my mutant ablility is there to backlash? I affect me and only me. I think his is more a defencive thing, like if he got attacked with some mutant power or something. If I like actually attacked him, it wouldn't really be a mutant power, woould it? It would like, still be mucsle and what not." Tina turned facing the door. "Who's there?"

"Impressive," a voice said clapping as the boy entered the room, a sly grin on his face. "You know, you would make an interesting addition to our team." He looked around the empty kitchen. "Talk to yourself often."

"Only when I feel like it," Tina said looking at Casper as he neared her. "I told you to go away."

"So you did," he said, picking up an apple from the bowl of fruit on the counter. "I just wanted to know if you'd change your mind." Tina felt something in the back of her mind, something telling her that she probably should take him up on his offer. She looked at him, thinking the thing over.

"Okay, thought about it," Tina said, standing.

"Knew you'd see it my way."

"The answer's still no. Dissappear now before I really get hungry," Tina said shifting into a panther and scowling. She licked her chops, taking a few steps towards him, making him back up.

"Fine, have it your way," he sneered, "Looks like your nothing but an animal anyway." Tina changed back, watching him leave.

"Yes, maybe so, but at least they don't abandon their kind due to stupid diffrences." Tina picked up the cup that held her juice and moved to drink the rest of it down; stopping just as the cup reached her mouth, she turned and threw it against the wall, shattering the container and splattering the juice across the area.
Braxton woke up to a hard mattress and stiff sheets, but when he felt the softness next to him, he remembered where he had spent the night…and with whom. He turn his head slightly to see Cassie curled up next to him in the hotel bed, still asleep. Her pale face was squished up in the pillow, causing her to make an awkward, yet strangely still attractive expression. Cassie’s brilliant white hair was matted around her head and partially covered her eyes. It then flowed over her shoulders and under the covers.

Braxton rolled back over. For the first time in his life, he felt like he could do anything. Braxton and Cassie had talked late into the night in each other’s arms about their future. She wanted to leave the Mutant Militia and run away with him. In fact, she was quite emphatic about it. They didn’t need the Militia or the X-men--just each other. Sure, it sounded sappy, but that is how he felt.

“What are you smiling about?” Cassie asked.

“I don’t know. You, I guess.”

“It’s nice to see you smile again.” She edged over and kissed him.

Braxton looked into her green eyes. “Are you still up for this?”

“With you…more than ever!” Cassie replied, while standing to enter the bathroom.

Braxton stood and stopped her, wrapping his arms around her slender frame. “You know, Cassie, leaving you was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I couldn’t stay with the Militia.”

Cassie looked up to meet his gaze. “And I couldn’t leave,” she said glumly. “I nearly died as I watched you walk away.”

Braxton hesitated, not wanting to get into old arguments. “So what’s changed?”

He felt her shoulders droop and she looked at the floor.

“They just have, Brax.” Then she looked up at Braxton pleadingly. “Let’s just go, okay.”

“Yeah, okay, let’s go, you’re right.” Braxton turned away to grab his clothes. He struggled to keep the frustration and doubt from rising to the surface. All the mysteries were still there.

“Brax,” Cassie called from the bathroom door. He turned back. “I’m not going anywhere,” she said with a smile.

“I—“

Suddenly, the main door burst open. “Housekeeping!” came the gleeful cry from Cheshire as he entered the room pointing a rifle directly at Braxton.

Braxton chided himself for leaving his guard down. He had held back his power to be close to Cassie. Now, as he released it, he could sense three mutants besides Cassie and himself.

“Cassie, get out of the bathroom!” he yelled. “There is someone in there.”

Cassie came quickly to his side. Braxton handed her some sheets so that she could cover herself.

Cheshire just laughed heartily. “Ooooh, what a sight! You two look perfectly ridiculous. I literally caught you with your pants down.” He continued to laugh.

“What do you want, Cheshire?” Braxton said indignantly.

“You, dear boy. We were very surprised to find you with the X-geeks, and we don’t want you interfering with our plans. So, you had to be contained.” Cheshire turned his head to the side, but kept his eyes, and the rifle, pointed at the captured pair. “You can come in now Flashbang… You too, Radar.”
A Hispanic woman came in behind Cheshire wearing a red uniform and a blue bandana/mask tied around the top of her head, covering her long raven hair, with slits cut for her eyes. A man came out from the bathroom. He was short, wore sunglasses, camouflage pants, a tee-shirt, and a flak jacket. He chuckled mischievously as he passed Braxton and Cassie to join his companions.

“I see you’ve already got some new recruits,” said Braxton.

“Well, we had to find someone to replace Gunner after what you did to him.” Cheshire’s voice became bitter.

“I warned him not to attack me.” Braxton replied quietly.

Cheshire continued. “Radar here is a living tracking and surveillance system, while Flashbang can effect some major damage. And then there’s Cassie, who you are quite familiar with.” His malevolent laugh returned, earning him playful grins from his cohorts. “Dang, girl, when you are given an assignment to distract someone, you don’t hold back. I must commend you on your dedication.”

Braxton quickly turned to Cassie. She looked as if she had just been kicked. She looked up pitifully into Braxton’s eyes. “It’s not like that,” she pleaded. “I used the assignment as an opportunity to—“

“Yes, yes, “ Cheshire interrupted, “We heard all about your plans to run away together. How pitifully romantic. But you knew we couldn’t let that happen, darling. We just let you entertain each other while we attended to other items. Now the question is what to do with you.”

“You can let us go.” Braxton suggested.

“And let you interfere with our business with the X-geeks?”

“We won’t. We just want to go.”

“What about Tina?”

Braxton was silent.

“Yes, that’s right. We have business with your other girlfriend, too.”

Now it was Braxton’s turn to face Cassie’s eyes. “It’s not like that,” he told her. Then he turned to Cheshire. “But she is a friend. What are you going to do with her?

“Well, there seems to be a theme developing. She’s about to run away with you as well.”

Braxton was confused at first, but then it came to him. “Twin?”

“Very smart, Braxie. “ Cheshire leered. “Twin had quite a interesting conversation with Tina last night. Of course, she thought she was talking to you. What is it that makes these women what to run away with you? Well, he ended up disappointing her, but I directed him to reconsider and round her up this morning.”

“I won’t let that happen!” said Braxton.

“What are you going to do about it, tough guy? Your ‘backlash’ powers can’t do anything against these bullets.” Cheshire sneered at Cassie with a smug smile. “And I know Cassie won’t risk using her powers.”

Braxton looked at Cassie. “What does he mean by that?”

Cassie didn’t answer, but looked at Cheshire in barely confined rage.

Braxton stepped toward Chashire “I don’t need mutant powers to obliterate that smile from your face, you dirtbag.“

“Bring it on, Braxie. I’ve been waiting for this.”

The two were locked in bitter stares.

Then, Braxton abruptly dropped to one knee and swept his leg under Cheshire’s to bring him down. If the others came at him, Braxton could use their powers against them. Cheshire did fall, but he twisted his arm to point the rifle directly at Braxton’s chest. Cheshire smiled and pulled the trigger.

“NO!” Cassie screamed. A brilliant white light enveloped all of Braxton’s senses.
Todd who had followed Braxton and Cassie last night had burst into the room after hearing the gunshot and used his powers to blind everyone in the room. Surprisingly Tryce was with him and had ascended on some sort of disk on the outside of the window. Unfortunetly Braxton was unable to fully control powers and Todd was blinded aswell.

Tryce tried to use his powers to Break open the window but his shot was redirected at him but fortunetly didn't hurt him.

"That was differen't," he thought. Everyone was starting to regain their bearings so Todd tries to use the moaning from everyone to temporarily deafen them but instead he couldn't hear anything and became conused. Braxton heard someone shout: "Oh my God, I think I'm deaf!" And looked over to his left to see Todd holding his ears with tears welling up in his eyes. He heard a crash behind him and turned to see Flashbang diving out the window at Tryce. He took Tryce off of the disk he was gliding on and they both fell out of sight. Radar grabbed Cassie from behind and threw her face down into the bed using his own body weight to restrain her. Braxton got back to his feet and was going to try and help Cassie with his good arm because the he took the bullet in his right shoulder but was stopped suddenly by the hearing the cocking of the gun behind him.

"You're dead Braxie." Cheshire laughs in a way that Braxton had never heard before. It was the most sinister thing he'd ever heard. Braxton turned around slowly to face Cheshire. Cheshire pointed the gun downwards and shot Braxton in the his right leg. Braxton screamed in agony and felt as if he had no powers at all. "Im going to enjoy this." Said Cheshire fiendishly. "First Im..." Todd regained his senses and had dove and gotten hold of the gun. He and Cheshire were now on the floor both trying to over power the other and get control of the rifle. Braxton was unable to do anything because of the two bullet wounds he had.

Cassie was unable to fight off Radar or do anything to help but Todd was able to wrestle the gun away from Cheshire. Before Todd could do anthing with it Cheshire growled and dissapeared. Less than a second later Radar dissaperared as well. Cassie got up and ran to Braxton. "Braxton you're hurt it's all my fault I should ha.."

"There's no time for this we gotta get Tryce and get you back to the academy asap." Said Todd as he and Cassie tried to help Braxton to his feet.

Just the the walls of the hotel started to shake.

"No way..." Todd and Cassie walked Braxton over to the window to see Tryce holding Flashbang up over his head with one hand. But it looked as though Flashbang was hovering over his hand and the ground around him was shaking. There was blood on Flashbangs hands and they all knew it was Tryce's but because he had his back to them they couldn't see where he was bleeding from.

"Backlash, can you shut him down?" Asked Todd. As he turned to look at Braxton, Braxton eyes turned backwards and his head dropped.

"I think he passed out from blood loss," said Cassie. ?We have to get him out of here now where are the rest of the X-men?"

"As far as I know back at the academy. I decided to follow and you and Braxton and brought Tryce with me. The bad thing is right now he's out of control Braxton is dying and we're in way over our heads." Tod said as he heard sirens in the distance.
Talor

Talor and Willow were walking down the School's hallway when Logan, Jean, and Storm ran past them. They two of them quickly shuffled out of the way.

"What's going on?" Talor called after them.

"There's an emergency. Braxton, Todd and Tryce are in danger." Jean called back. Suddenly Storm stopped, turned around, and grabbed Willow's arm.

"We might need you, Mira. You should come with us," she said urgently. Willow stared at her, bewildered.

"There's no time to explain. Just come! We'll tell you on the way." Logan said, and Storm ran, still holding Willow's arm.

Talor was left alone in the abandoned hallway, staring after the group in somewhat of a daze. What the heck was that all about? What had Braxton, Todd and Tryce gotten themselves into? Whatever it was, it couldn't be good.

What did they need Willow for? Was one of them seriously injured, and they needed her healing powers? As much as Talor felt left out, she hoped they would all be alright.

Talor sighed in resignation and continued down the hallway, all the way her thoughts haunted by the memory of her frightening conversations with Casper.
Willow ran behind Logan, Storm and Jean. The pain in the place was already letting her know what was wrong.

"Kid, we need an update," Logan said.

"There's still some tension. Bullet wounds," Willow said. They burst through the door to find Todd and a girl, who Willow didn't recognize on the ground beside an unconcious Braxton. The girl hesitantly stepped away from him. Willow pushed her way passed him.

"Bullet wound in the leg..." Willow said kneeling down.

"Tryce is outside," Todd said. "We think he's unconcious."

"Can you take this Jean? He needs to get the bullet out. I think Tryce needs me more," Willow said in an all professional mode. Logan stopped her.

"No way. Someone's still out there with him. Focus on this one," he said. Storm followed him. Jean and Willow hovered over Braxton for awhile.

"Can you tell me where the bullet is lodged?" Jean asked using a nearby blanket to clean off the wound. Willow pointed. Jean followed the entry of the wound a telekenetically started to pull. Blood oozed out and dripped off the side. Willow picked up the blanket wiped it.

"Got it," Jean announced. Willow nodded and placed her hand on the mutant's leg. The light filled the room momentarily. Willow closed her eyes and bit her lip until she felt the wound close entirely.
Having several of the teachers leave in a hurry was not something that was kept hidden at the school. Tina was roaming the grounds thingking about what Braxton had said when she saw Storm Jean Logan..and Willow? run off in a hurry. Being in her wolf shape, she could smell the worry and confusion comming from them and a little bit of fear comming from them as well. The fear was mixed in with the worry, telling her that it was for someone else rather than them.

All of that passed withing a second in her mind as she wondered where they headed off to. Heading back towards the school, she shifted to walk upright so that she could perhaps find out what was possibly going on.

After nearly an hour of gathering information, she felt no closer to what was happening than she did when she first started. She went to her room and looked out of the window, sitting on her barely used bed. Stareing off towards the treeline, she perked up when she heard the sounds of the group returning. She turned out to run down to go see if she could find out what the mission was that required Willow and perhaps get the low down on what had happened.

That's when she saw them come back.
Storm rushed out to join Wolverine and Todd outside the hotel room. Several other residents had also gathered. It never failed to amaze her how people always rushed to the sight of danger. The X-men weren’t much better, but at least they could do something about it—hopefully. Tryce was still standing there holding up someone above his head, however neither of them seemed to be doing much of anything. Then she noticed that the sparks of electricity that were surronding Tryce began to increase.

“He’s building up energy!” Wolverine shouted as he noticed it too.

Tryce levitated off the ground and began to spin around. As he did, they noticed that Tryce had a large wound just below his chest that was bleeding. The person he was holding—a woman they could now see—was jerking as electricity flowed though her.

“I know that look in his eyes,” said Todd. “He is not in control anymore.”

“Gone beserker, eh?” Wolverine said. Storm knew her friend had been there himself.

Storm took command. “Todd, you get these people away from here. Logan, I will try to distract him, so that you can sneak up on him from behind.” Wolverine instantly took off into the woods nearby. Todd hesitated, but moved off toward the crowd. Storm took off into the air and flew above Tryce while throwing heavy wind blasts at him. She didn’t want to bring in storm clouds or lightning that he could draw energy from. She just wanted to distract him. She wished Braxton wasn’t out. They could really use him right now.

As she made a close pass, Tryce threw his captive at her forcing her to veir awkwardly so she could avoid being hit and then try to cushion the other woman’s fall. Storm didn’t know who she was or how much Tryce had hurt her, but she didn’t want the woman to die, for moral reasons, as well as practical. She might be able to provide some information to them.

Suddenly, Storm was interrupted by a burning blast on her right leg. Tryce had taken advantage of her distraction. She lost control and fell to the ground in great pain. Tryce was slowly hovering toward her with a wild, enraged look in his eyes, although he was silent. She tried to move, but intense pain went through her as she received another jolt from Tryce and felt more of her strength sapped away. She began to focus a concentrated cold spot around her and Tryce knowing that extreme cold was the least favorable conditions for electricity, yet she knew she could not stop him in time. A less intense, but still painful blast assaulted her

A blinding flash or light burst to the side of them, casing both of them to shield thier eyes. Must be Todd, she thought Then as Storm turned back, she saw Wolverine jump onto Tryce’s back and deliver a head butt to the back of his head. Tryce fell unconscious.

-------------

Cassie watched as the woman and the girl administered care to Braxton. He was still out cold, but she could see his chest moving. This was all her fault, she thought.

“What about his arm?” she asked

Both women turned to stare at her, the younger one quite contemptuously. She remembered that she was only covered by a sheet, and quite inadequately so due to all of the action. She avoided their gaze.

The red-haired woman inspected his arm and seemed surprised. “Oh yes, he’s been shot here as well.”

The young one blurted, “The bullet went through. It’s not serious. Just needs to be cleaned.”

There was an awkward silence. Then the red-haired woman said pleasantly, “My name is Jean. Maybe you can help us out by telling us who you are and what happened here this morning.”

Cassie replied. “I am Cassie. Braxton and I were…here together.” She wasn’t sure how to explain. “We planned on leaving—getting away from all of this. Then Cheshire arrived and—“

“You’re one of them, aren’t you?” The young girl shouted. “You’re with them, the Mutant Militia. Am I right?” She was very scathing.

“Willow!” Jean interrupted. “There is no reason to be rude. Cassie is trying to—“

“She is trying to cover her tracks.” Willow demanded. “For all we know she could have shot Braxton. And she hasn’t answered my question. Are you with the Mutant Militia?”

“Yes, I was, but—“ Cassie hurried to speak over Willow’s accusing grunts. “I was trying to get with Braxton so that I could get out. I only wanted to be with Braxton.”

Willow continued her inquisition without listening. “Are you a mutant? What are your powers?”

“I am a teleporter.”

“Why didn’t you use your powers to teleport Braxton and yourself out of danger if you care for him so much?”

“That’s enough out of you, young lady!” snapped Jean.

Cassie couldn’t hold it in any longer. She began to sob and crouched on the floor.

She spoke very quietly though her tears, “They injected nano-explosives into my blood stream which will explode if I use my power. I wasn’t strong enough to sacrifice myself to save to one I love. So, yes, you’re right, it is my fault that Braxton almost died. If you hadn’t…” Cassie broke off in racking sobs.

------

As Tina reached the bottom of the stairs, she turned a corner and ran into...Braxton. They both kind of stumbled back a little.

Braxton laughed. “Where’s the fire, sweetie?”

Sweatie? That greeting made Tina blush a little. “Oh..Braxton...I was going out to meet the others. They left in a hurry and took Willow. I want to find out what happened.”

“Whatever happened doesn’t really matter for you and me, does it?” Braxton said.

Tina was confused. “I’m not sure what you mean.”

“You and I are different. We don’t really fit in here. As you said, there is really nothing to keep us from leaving, is there?” Braxton just stared intently into her eyes with a lazy smile.

“Braxton...what are you saying? The other night... I don’t know. You seem different.”

“I am different.” Braxton said quickly. “I’ve thought about what you said yesterday and it’s made me feel different. I want to get away from here, and I want you to come with me. I’m going now. What do you say?”

Tina wasn’t sure what to say. Isn’t this what she wanted? Is this what she had been dreaming about? Braxton did seem different, but how much did she know him anyway. Not nearly enough as she wanted to. She was attracted to his enthusiasm. And he just kept smiling at her with those pleading eyes. She pictured herself and Braxton out on their own, alone together.

“Okay, let’s go” she said. “Let me gather some things.”

“There’s no time,” Braxton said. “We have to go now while everyone is distracted. Let’s go out the back way so that no one sees us.”

[Just a reminder: This Braxton with Tina is actually Twin of the Mutant Militia]
Talor

"Degrading, isn't it?" A voice behind Talor spoke, and she jerked around. At first she didn't see anyone there, and then the now familiar face of Casper materialized out of no where, along with his body.

"What are you talking about?" Talor said. She was sitting out in the courtyard, planted firmly on the grass with a small clumb of trees around her.

"Everyone gets called off for help besides you. It doesn't look like they need you all that much, do you?"

"I don't know what you mean. And besides, I didn't come here because they needed me, I came here to get help with my powers." Talor retorted.

An eerie grin came over Casper's face, and he leaned a little closer to Talor.

"But it doesn't look like you've gotten that, either, have you?"

Talor was silent for a moment. Then,

"Of course I have," she lied. Casper's grin became wider, and he leaned in even closer. His mouth was now mere inches from her ear, and his voice came in a whisper, his breath moving Talors hair just slightly.

"If you come with me, we can help you with your powers. We'll make them greater then you ever though possible. We'll make you greater then you ever thought possible. You can help us, and we can help you." Then, Casper leaned back to a normal sitting position. "Unlike this place. They don't really need you here, Talor. Admit it, you need us, and we need you."

Thoughts were swimming in Talors head that weren't hers. Thoughts that were trying to convince her that Casper was right. Of course he was right! Everyone was getting action at this school, but what the hell was she getting? Nothing! Not a damn thing!

"So what do you say? Do we have a deal?" Casper held out his hand, his eyes locked onto Talors, a small, eerie smile still on his face. Talor couldn't take her eyes away from his, and, slowly, as if seeing it happen to someone else and not feeling it coming from herself, her hand went out to meet with Casper's, and they shook.

"Deal," she said. Casper's grin widened.

10 minutes later, Talors things were packed and she was far away from Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.


(Dun Dun Dun!!

p.s. Talor doesn't really want this, of course. She doesn't want to work against the X-Men, but Casper has mind control powers, and is planting thoughts in her head. Her own thoughts are being buried deep under Casper's sugar coating.)
Willow finally finished healing and she rocked back on her heals beside Braxton. She looked at the crying girl feeling the pain coming from her. Willow felt the pain and felt little sympathy. She did care about them. Lots of people cared about the people she treated. But some of the worst thing that ever happened were created with the worst intentions. Willow had seen people die from these kinds of happenings.

The building jolted shaking the foundation all the way up to the hotel room. Willow steadied herself on the floor. Jean held onto Braxton and once things settled down she continued to check him for any injuries that Willow couldn't heal like a concussion. She leaned over her and shined a light in his eye.

"He's out cold," Jean mumbled mostly to herself.

"Is he going to be alright?" Cassie whispered.

"Can I go outside and help? They might hurt him, Willow asked.

"No," Jean answered almost immediately.

"But I can knock him out," Willow argued hesitantly.

"We won't risk someone with lack of experience," Jean explained. Willow accepted this frustrated, but tried to get into a spot where she could see the battle better.
"Where are we going?" Tina asked as she left the grounds with Braxton. For a moment, doubt flew across her mind as she thought about the three hots and a warm bed that she was leaving. Then she looked at Braxton, he gave her a smile.

"I have a few friends that we can go stay with," he said in an easy manner. "They'd be willing to help us..." he looked at her, "If your willing to help them."

"What do you mean by that?" Tina asked, not really like the tone in his voice.

"You'll see."

Tina nodded, walking down the road in silence as it led into town. The two made their way in silence, a grin on Braxton's face as they strolled down the street.

"I'm glad you came, Tina," he said, wrapping an arm around her shoulders, causing the girl to blush a bit. She took in his scent, and thought about turning into a wolf just so that she could take in every bit of his smell. But that would have been rude, and she didn't really want for him to let go. "It'll be easier to stay with my friends this time with you there with me." Braxton kept looking ahead as they walked, talking as if he was thinking aloud, "With you, we can be strong, and no one will bother us, or shun us ever again." He looked down at her.

Ït's why yo joined that school, right?" he asked, "To feel like you belong? So that you didn't have to feel shunned just because your better than everyone around you?" Tina nodded numbly. She wasn't really sure if that was the reason that she decided to actually go to the school, but it sounded like a plausible reason as any. Braxton squeezed her shoulders in a hug, guiding her down the street to where they would be meeting up with some of the members of the Mutant Milita. Twin's grin was there as they slowly made their way towards the bus station that would drop them off by the hotel that his friends were staying at.
Braxton woke in what seemed to be a medical facility. As he tried to move, he winced at the pain in his leg and arm.

“Try to lie still,” Cassie said standing above him with a soft smile. “I’m glad to see you awake.”

Braxton was glad to see her. Then he jolted with alarm “Cassie, where are we? Where’s Cheshire?”

“He’s gone,” she replied. “We don’t know where to, though. The X-Men showed up at the hotel. You were shot and your powers went wild. Willow healed you, but you lost a lot of blood.”

“Good ol’ Willow. I wish I knew her better. Did you thank her for me?”

Cassie looked down. “I don’t think she likes me much.”

“Why? What did—“

The opening door interrupted them. Beast entered. “Well, Braxton, I am elated to see you are faring well,” he called. He turned to Cassie. “Are you ready, my dear?”

“Yes.” She said softly

Braxton was confused. Cassie explained about the nano explosives in her bloodstream. Beast was planning to operate on her and hopefully remove them.

“Can you do it, Dr. McCoy?” Braxton asked.

“That can only be determined once I get started. It should be relatively simple, but there are many variables.”

“Is there anything I can do?” Braxton urged.

“No, just relax and recuperate.” Beast left to go into the OR. “Whenever you are ready, Miss Cassie.”

Cassie turned to Braxton. She looked worried. “I’m sorry we never got away from all this,” Cassie said.

“Hey,” Braxton said grabbing her hand. “Who says we won’t? You’re in good hands with Dr. McCoy there. And when both of us are mended, we can pick up where we left off. OK?”

“OK.” Cassie bent down and gave him a kiss. Then started to leave.

Braxton watched her and then sat up with a sudden memory, ignoring the pain. “Cassie, what about Tina? Did anybody warn Tina about Twin?”

Cassie returned. “I told the X-men about Twin’s plans for Tina. When we arrived here, she could not be found. Another girl was missing, too. A Taber?”

“Talor.” Braxton corrected.

“Yes, Talor. Wolverine and some of your companions went to track them.”

“Well, at least they are going after her.”

After Cassie left, Braxton laid back down and tried to relax, but he kept having impulse the that he needed to help in the search for Tina and Talor.
Willow sat on her bed looking out the window. She was curled up and hugging her knees trying to focus on anything but the operation that was happening downstairs. She sighed and squeezed her eyes tight. She then opened them and struck out her pen and journal immediately scribbling every thought in her brain. She paused only to read over them and continued again. Her hand was in a flurry writing down every little detail. Some of the details wrote a poem that she didn't approve of, but she didn't cross it out. This went on for a few moments as she pieced the string of sentences together in her mind with her pen sticking out of her mouth.

Her cracked her hand and wrist as she read. Despite the pain she wrote one more thing.

"Luke."

Willow read it wondering why she had written it down. Then she picked up her eyes looking out the window that was directly in front of her. There he was at the gates as usual. Willow looked back down at her journal in amazement. She shrugged and headed downstairs. In a moment she was in the front of the institute looking passed where Luke was looking in. She stopped and was quiet.

"I overreacted," Luke said. Willow waited not saying anything. The crickets chirped as the sun was going down. Everything was silent. She blinked once and didn't move. Luke sighed. "I'm sorry." Willow smiled. She couldn't believe he'd brought himself to apologize.

"I...overreacted a little bit too," she said clutching her journal to her chest. "My life has been a secret for so long. Friends?" Willow held out her hand. Luke jerked back a little bit. She felt his fear. His fear made her angry, but she'd felt the sincerity of his words. This was his test, she decided. Luke stared at her hand obviously wondering whether it was a trap or not. If her hands would glow again and possibly hurt him.

In one swift motion he took her hand and shook it. "Friends," he said. Willow let out a breath of relief. A true friend. That was rare. They let go and it was silent again aside from their awkward giggling.

"How's school?" she asked. He shrugged.

"I'm a straight C student," he said. Willow shook her finger at him.

"I thought you were supposed to be smart."

"I am. That's why I don't feel the need to do my homework," he said. They laughed again. He looked her in the eye and his smile gently faded. "I missed ya, Mira." Willow blinked in confusion.

"My mom's a lawyer. A popular one. She's dealt with a lot of mutant cases," he said. "They can do some bad stuff." Willow refused to show up any emotion.

"Yeah? Do you think this genetic defect, the 'X' gene effects the psyche as well?" she asked trying to match his smarts. "Are we all crazy?" Luke looked down and laughed.

"I don't think you're crazy," he said.

"Then that is what we in the writing world call a hasty generalization," she said with a smile. "You're not as hard headed as you think you are, normie."

"You're the first to think that," Luke laughed. Willow shook her head.

"I'm not saying you're not," he laughed again. His smile quickly faded. She tilted her head to the side letting her hair fall over her shoulder.

"You wouldn't be walking by this fence tomorrow by any chance, would you?" Willow asked.

"You never told me your power," Luke teased.

"Maybe I'll tell you tomorrw," she said. He nodded.

"After school. There's a test tomorrow so I have to go. See ya," Luke said waving as he left. Willow could not get rid of the giddy feeling she had inside herself. A friend. A real friend from outside the institute.

"See ya," she said. It was a nice break from the drama within the building.
A Non-Existent User
Todd was acutely aware of how conspicuous he was, walking off campus with a duffel bag. Cheshire was nowhere to be seen (or sensed) but the eerie mutant had said that midnight tonight was the deadline for their escape.

Todd ducked out the main door and stepped off the road into the woods, just slightly west of the path. Just like Cheshire had said. Then Todd sensed something weird.

It wasn't like an invisible barrier, because then he could have used X-rays or microwaves to see through it. It wasn't like a solid object, or even like a mental projection. (Psychics usually forgot about sound waves being refracted) It was just... different. A border that, although everything beyond it was normal, the border itself was distinctly strange.

Todd decided it was some kind of teleportation field, steeled himself (who knows what teleporting feels like?) and jumped in.
Tina and Twin arrived at the hotel where they were suspose to meet the rest of the Mutant Militia, only to find the place empty and somewhat destroyed. It was also crawling with offical looking types.
"Braxton, any idea what could have happened?" Tina asked Twin as he led her past as casually as possible.

"No idea," he said eyeing the place, seeing that the room where Cassie and Cheshire were susppose to meet him was covered in tape.

"I want to go check it out," Tina said turning to go back.

"No, there's tooo many people," Twin said with a shake of his head and a firm grip on her shoulders.

"Isn't that where we were susspose to meet your friends?" Tina shrugged out of his arms and turned towards the hotel, shifting as she did so into a long haired wolf, trotting into the shadows and away from Twin. She could smell the frustration comming from him, but ignored it as she made herway into the courtyard of the hotel, keeping to the shadows like a stray dog. The group of people were dressed like government agents for the most part, though a few were grungy looking. Their smells told her who they were before what they looked like did. Logan, she knew as well as Cyclops, but the other two she didn't.

What were they doing here? did they come to try and get Braxton's friends into the school like her? Three free hot meals and all she had to do was school wan't a bad thing, and if they were all there, she wouldn't have to leave. She sniffed the scents in the air and seemed confused at the smell of burnt ozone that was fading. The woman in red specks looked straight at her and pointing, drawing Wolverine's attention to where she was hiding.

"Tina, is that you?" Logan asked looking into the shadows where she hid. Tina jumped away, finding a new spot to hopefully stay out of trouble. He turned to the woman, "Don't worry, she's harmless," he said goig back to the conversation at hand.
"As were these children," Sable said indication the area, "We have them back at the institute, Braxton and Cassie in the infimary, and possibly more to come," the human computer said. Wolverine help up his hand. "Careful, darlin' I don't want to know statistics." He turned and headed off towards the area where Tina dissappeared off to.

She ran back towards the area where twin was, to see him watching as she came up the alley.
She changed back into her human self as she did so, stumbling a few steps as her bones re-aligned themselves.
"Braxton..." she said looking at him and shaking her head. Braxton was right infront of her, just fine and waiting. "Braxton..." she repeated.

"See all you wanted to?" Twin asked. Tina was silent as she looked at the other figure in the alley.
Sorry guys, but 1) this campfire really isn't moving along anymore, and 2) my membership is expiring, and I'm going to have to let it go back to basic. That is, if I've understood correctly. I could be horribly wrong and end up with no membership at all and lose all my (and our) work, but as of December 15th(or is it 5th? I really need to work on my memory), this can be no more. In the case that my membership goes backwards, it's going to allow me only 5 items. And it will be choosing those as the first ones created, and I wanted to make sure I got to decide which ones were kept. In the case that my time here gets deleted entirely, well...

I had a really great time guys, and I wish it could last.
Keep up the great writing, and I may be back! *Heart*

The End!

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