Joseph Trance

X-Men Recruit

     He could feel her loneliness in the dark.  She was hiding in a back alley under a dim street lamp.  He mind watched her.  She was about ten and dressed in black jeans and a gray sweat shirt and sneakers with holes.    She stood, leaned and hovered there, a moth drawn to light, then crouching, she wrapped her legs around the pole, arms hugging it for comfort.
He walked five city blocks and moved slowly to catch her off guard; quietly and carefully…but it wasn’t enough.  He was about fifty feet from her when he stopped.
“No.”  She whispered, still hugging the pole.
He felt the air around him change.   First it was a loose bed sheet that covered him, then a blanket that hugged him, then a straight jacket that bound him.
“Let go,” he said.  He morphed smaller, his bones condensed and he slipped through the jacket.
He felt her mild surprise, and waited.
She adjusted quickly.  The air slipped off him and became a weight on his head, pressing him down to the ground.
He morphed again and became liquid.   “Hmm…” he heard her say.
She made the air become a vacuum tube that sucked him up.
“Nice,” he said.
He solidified to a limp balloon in the tube and took a breath in.  His form expanded and shattered the tube from the inside.
Despite herself, she giggled as the vacuum air molecules became transparent marbles and rolled away and then came together.
He recomposed himself and waited again, watching the marbles.
She looked up at him and closed her eyes.
He felt her probe.
She opened his mind looking for vulnerability.
He imaged and pulled a black curtain over it with a skull and cross bones symbol in red.
She put a smile on the symbol and pulled his curtain apart.
“Cute,” he said.
He formed a three foot thick steel vault door in front of her and shut her out.
She imaged herself in front of the vault and kicked at it.
“Really?”  He questioned.
“Is that it, little girl…?”
She reached into a pocket and pulled out a small bottle of acid and threw it at the vault doors’ locks.
“Owwwww!  Not…nice.”  He said in the natural.
He felt a burning hole in his head.   He imaged a water hose and doused out the fire.
“That’s it,” he said.
He turned the hose on her and drenched her.   She took in a sharp breath and shook off the water like a dog.   She glared at him and clenched her fists.  He smiled.   He blew a freezing wind over her and turned her to ice.
She was frozen solid.
“Good” he said.
He waited…and waited.
The light inside the ice started as a soft red glow.  At first he thought he imagined it.  But it slowly grew stronger.   He looked closer and could make out the ice melting from the inside.  She was tough.  Strong, an creative.  He liked that.
He looked again at the melting ice and then entered into their molecules.  He shivered his way through the layers closer to the light, an old fashioned cigarette lighter.   She must have seen one in the old magazines.  He moved a layer away from the flame and calculated how fast the melting was taking place.   He had about three hrs.  He emerged from the ice prison and reformed himself.
He touched his forehead and spoke into the air.
“Got one,” he said.
“Level?”   Asked the voice from Recruitment.
“I’d say about a seven.”
“Age?”
“Ten…maybe eleven-twelve.”
“She’s young.  How’s the attitude? “
“Definitely has one.  She is tough, scared…alone.”
“ Typical.   We can work with all that,” said the voice.
“What about her attitude?”
He looked at her before answering.
“She’s cold.  But she’ll warm up.”
“Bring her in.”
“It may take some time for her to warm up to me,” he said.
“Whatever it takes,” said the voice.  “Take your time…just bring her in.”
“Will do,” he said.
 


 

 

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Published on e-Stories.org on 07/26/2014.

 

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