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 Children of the Atom - X-Men

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PostSubject: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Tue May 27, 2014 1:57 am

In this world there exists an atom, the building block of life. Among those atoms there are bonds which tie them together into cellular structures of varying functions, which connect together to form elements, which have formed together to create the very planet we walk upon, the nature all around us. Nature like a suburbs on the outskirts of a city found in the United States of America, in which there are people, families, a community. In this community there is a family, two sons away from the nest, a mother, a father, and indeed a daughter.

It was that daughter who had caught the attention of one Professor, who had called for a jet that passed through the skies over that suburb at mid-day and landed in a field over a clearing of trees, which then cloaked to the human eye. From that jet came the Professor, as well as one of his closest friends, students, and fellow teacher at his school, and the traveled to that home that belonged to that family.

It was that Professor who knocked upon the door, and from his wheelchair smiled graciously, and with his English accent spoke like a longtime friend to the people he had never once met before.

"Good evening, my name is Professor Charles Xavier and this is Ms. Ororo Munroe. May we speak to you for a moment?"
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Tue May 27, 2014 3:00 am

Gina Neumann couldn't help but stare at Mr. Xavier and Ms. Munroe in surprise for a few moments before she realized her rudeness and gestured for the duo to enter. "Yes, of course. Please, come in."

She lead them down the hall to the kitchen/dining room, and motioned for them to make themselves comfortable. Gina busied herself with the kettle that was hissing on the stove. "Would you like anything to drink? I've just made tea, but there's water or soda if you prefer it."

The woman poured herself a glass of tea and leaned against the counter, curiously eying the two strangers in her house. "Your names sound familiar. Are you friends of my husband's?" She guessed. "He's not in at the moment, but he'll be home from work shortly." She didn't think he knew any professors, between the two of them that was more likely to be her, but with his job, who knew?

Her daughter Kim was listening at the top of the stairs and around the corner, hidden from view. This was how it always went when someone visited. Her mom would answer the door and talk, and she was supposed to stay in her room until they left. She was 'sickly', after all. It was 'dangerous' for her to interact with other people and the outside world. But she was bored and curious and lonely, dangit, so she listened in where no one could see her.

Just one more year, she told herself, and she would be able to go out to the real world.

Just one more year.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Wed May 28, 2014 2:53 am

"You have a lovely home, Mrs. Meumann," spoke Ororo, the tones of the country of Africa speaking through her lips. From her interesting accent to the long, white hair that hung down close to her legs. She carried herself very professionally, taking care not to step in a way that would seem aggressive. They were guests, after all.

Professor Xavier maneuvered his electric wheelchair in time to keep up behind Gina. If anything, Professor Charles Xavier was anything but shy, though he was wise far beyond even the years he had attained on this world. With a reason behind his visit, Xavier turned into the kitchen and found himself a space to sit his chair at the table.

"Actually, Mrs. Neumann, Ms. Munroe and I have come to speak to you about your daughter, Kimberly. I run a facility that assists young individuals with gifts, like your daughter, and teaches them to understand and control them."

In the back of her head, as if the voice had been there the entire time, the voice of the Professor in the kitchen spoke to Kim in words only she could hear.

"Kimberly, you may come downstairs now. Please, join us."
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Wed May 28, 2014 3:31 am

Kim pressed both hands against her mouth to silence any squeaks or gasps of shock she might have made. Her mind started racing at 100 miles per hour with things she would have said out loud if she were with the group downstairs. OH MY GOSH, how did you do that?! Are you a telepath or something? That's so freaking cool! What am I thinking of right now? Wait. If you can hear this than you probably know what I'm thinking because you can hear me. Nevermind. But that's so cool! Wow! How does it work? Can you hear, like, any thought? Can you actually hear what I'm thinking right now? Well, I guess you wouldn't be able to answer my questions if you couldn't hear them. Right. I'm an idiot. But MAN, this is the coolest thing ever!

The thoughts stopped for a moment, then, and if thoughts could be quieter, her next ones were. I can't come down, though. I'm supposed to be in my room. Don't tell my mom!

Meanwhile, the Professor's words raised red flags and steel walls for Mrs. Neumann. "I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about." She said, her face the perfect picture of confusion. "Kimberly is a very bright child, and I love her dearly, but I wouldn't say she excels in anything so far as to be called 'gifted'. And why would you want to control a gift in the first place?" Gina took a sip of her tea, and then added, "I think you must be mistaken or confused about something. My daughter is a normal girl. Perhaps you are looking for another Kimberly? Or another Neumann?"
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Wed May 28, 2014 4:16 am

Don't be afraid, Kimberly. You're among friends, now. Your Mother will understand.And yes, I can hear your thoughts. I can hear the thoughts of everyone in this house right now, and your neighbors.

Xavier had never once taken eyes off of Kim's mother, his professional smile still upon his face. This was nowhere near the first time he had encountered a parent who had reacted this way to his words, and the typical approach seemed to work the best.

Honesty.

"Mrs. Neumann, please, do not feel like you need to hide from us. Ms. Munroe and I are very similar to your daughter, born with "gifts" as I've called them. Ororo has the marvelous ability of manipulating the weather, and I..."

His voice spoke within Gina's head.

Am a telepath. We mean you, nor your family harm and we have no intention of exposing information you do not wish exposed. All I ask is for a moment to speak with your daughter, and for you to consider our offer.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Wed May 28, 2014 4:48 am

Gina dropped her tea, and the glass shattered on the tile floor.

Upstairs, Kim was torn between the urge to smile and sigh. She did neither. Gosh that's cool. And I'm not afraid. I just don't want to upset my mom. Speaking of, you're awesome at reading minds, but you really stink at reading hearts, huh?

There was a long pause before Mrs. Neumann did anything. Then, very deliberately, she tore off couple of paper towels from the roll and began to clean up the mess. "My daughter," she said, voice unnaturally calm and even, "is a normal girl. There is nothing you need to discuss with her, and nothing further you need to discuss with me. Now, if you would be so kind, please leave my house and stay out of my mind."
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Thu May 29, 2014 4:11 am

I prefer to have the hearts speak to me instead.

It was as if the world around them had stood still, save for the three mutants who had been communicating telepathically. Charles examined the stunned form of Gina, knowing she would not register anything that would happen until he willed it. He turned his wheelchair around, maneuvering toward the bottom of the stairs where Kim was waiting at the top. As he arrived, he smiled brightly, a calmness to every move he made like a life-long friend.

"Kimberly, I'd very much like to speak with you again soon. I can tell you have a very strong heart and understand your parents' reasons for keeping you here. They're just confused, scared of things they do not understand, but they only have the best intentions in-mind. I just want you to know that you are not alone. There are many of us with these gifts. Do not fear them, for they are part of you."

Xavier nodded to her, then turned his head back to the kitchen.

"I'd like to avoid any trouble my presence here might have caused you. When Ms. Munroe and I leave, she will have no recollection of our visit here today. Don't worry, it will not harm her. In fact, it will be as if this visit never happened. It will be our little secret."

Professor Xavier playfully placed his finger over his lips to single being quiet, and then made his way to the door, Ororo opening it for he before the duo both exited. As the door closed, everything around them came back to action, Kim's Mother going on her business as if nothing had happened.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Sat May 31, 2014 1:40 am

Kim grinned, nodded, and mimed zipping her lips at the Professor's request of silence. There had been a split second of shock when he told her what he'd done, but his reassurances that her mom was unharmed and that it was only done to help banished the feeling before it turned into anything negative. As it was, she was left with only awe for the man as she watched him and his friend leave. He was really, REALLY cool.

She had never been afraid of her gift, as he called it. How could she be? Without it she would be dead thrice over. She loved it. Besides that her gift was, as the Professor said, a part of her. To fear or hate herself would be just plain pointless. If there was anything Kim hated, it was that she had to hide that part of herself from the world. She wanted to go outside, meet people, make friends, go to a real school, fall in love, travel the globe, anything and everything she was entitled to do as a human being. If there was anything Kim hated, it was that.

But she would never hate her gift.

Kim waited a while before going downstairs to check on her mom. When she found her she was throwing away the pieces of the shattered glass, looking not at all like she'd just had an argument over her gift. Professor Xavier was the coolest person ever. “Hey Mom.” She called out.

Her mom jumped a little, and glanced over her shoulder to look at Kim. “Oh, Kimberly! I thought you were in the family room. Wow, I'm really out of it today.”

Definitely the coolest person ever. “Long day?”

“Like you wouldn't believe. This one kid just couldn't understand z-scores now matter how many different ways I tried to explain it to him.” Mrs. Neumann huffed and shook her head as if to banish the frustration. “I'll tell you at dinner. What do you want tonight?”

Before Kim could answer, the phone rang. “Hang on, I'll get it.” Gina said as she went to pick it up from wherever it was hiding in the family room.

Kim sat down at the kitchen table in the meantime and debated with herself. While the Professor had wiped her mom's memories of the visit specifically so that there would be no trouble, he'd also unintentionally made Kim want to make trouble. Specifically, he made her want to go outside. That was a big no no with her parents, and even though the discussions ended the same way every time, it was still difficult to resist the urge whenever it came up.

She was still debating when her mom came back. “That was Dad, work's keeping him overtime again. You okay with a late dinner? Have you decided on what you want?”

Kim's mouth made the decision for her. “I want to go out.”

Gina paused only long enough for someone like Kim, who had spent countless hours with her mom, to notice. “Oh, you want take-out? Alright. How about Domino's? I'm kind of in the mood for pizza-”

“Mom-”

“Or maybe some Chinese? Your dad was talking about this little place that just opened up the other day-”

“Mom-”

“that sounded pretty good, but your dad has way too much Chinese-”

“Mom-”

“though it might be a nice treat for him after such a long night, I could ask him to pick some up on the way back-”

“MOM, I want to GO OUTSIDE!”

There was a long, tense pause that Kim was sure would last for eternity. But eventually Gina broke the silence with a long-suffering sigh. “Kimberly, we've talked about this-”

“I'm seventeen now.” Kim spoke up before her mom could say anymore. “I'm seventeen, and that's one year away from being a legal adult. I've been hiding away from the world for almost five years, five years, and I want it to end. I'm sick of it. I'm not a child and I can't stay here forever. I know you and Dad are trying to protect me but I can't do this anymore. I want to go out and see the world, make friends, go to school, travel, do the things that everyone else gets to do. I want to stop hiding and start to live, Mom. And I'll be fine. I won't get in trouble. Nobody's going to see anything different about me. No one will know I'm a-”

She cut herself off before she could say the M word, but it hung in the air regardless.

Mrs. Neumann seemed to shrink in some sort of defeat, and her eyes grew shiny with tears. Guilt and fear hit her daughter like a freight train. Professor Xavier had told her not to be afraid of her gift, but even if she was there was no way it could ever be as terrifying as her parents crying. Her strong, invincible, pedestal-placed parents. “Mama-”

“You won't be fine.” Gina forced out, her voice strained with tears held back. “All it takes is one slip, baby girl. One little accident, one tiny mistake, and then everyone will know.”

“But they won't.” Kim tried to reason with her. “What's going to hurt me in a place like this?”

“It doesn't have to be anything big.” Gina countered. “You grew scales for hitting the punching bag too hard once.”

Kim couldn't deny that.

Her mom went on. “And even if people here miraculously didn't do anything once they knew, they would talk. That's what people do. They talk, they gossip, and eventually someone who shouldn't will hear and they'll take you away from your dad and I.”

Kim shook her head. “They wouldn't do that. They can't. My...I can't die, Mom, it keeps me from dying.”

With a shudder, Mrs. Neumann's tears finally spilled over and she grasped her taller daughter in a desperate hug. “They wouldn't have to. They could just take you away to some lab to study you, like some animal. They would poke and prod at you, find out ways to make you bleed, ways to make you scream, just because you're different. And they wouldn't care if they hurt you. You'd only be an experiment, and since they couldn't kill you they'd just keep you alive forever, their immortal guinea pig. Locked up and tortured and alone forever...there isn't anything magical or beautiful out there in the real world, baby girl. Just monsters and madmen that want to hurt you.”

Tears began to fill Kim's own eyes as her overactive imagination filled in the details of the scene for her. “Mama-”

“And your dad and I are only keeping you here to keep you safe from all of them. Because we love you, and we're the only ones who accept all of you and love you knowing. Knowing all of you.” A few gasping sobs escaped Gina before she could continued. “We just – we just try so hard to keep you safe and happy. We moved away when we learned just in case someone else had seen. So that we could start again where no one would question you being a sickly child. I had to quit my real job, your dad has to commute a long way to work now, but we did it. We gave up everything. All for you. And we try to keep you entertained here. We bring you games, books, movies, everything we can think of so you won't be bored. Is it not enough? What else can we do to make you happy? To keep you safe? We love you so much, baby girl, what more do you want from us?”

“I'm sorry.” Kim choked out as she finally hugged her mom back. In the end, all she could ever do was apologize. “I'm sorry, I love you, I'm just selfish, I'm sorry, I didn't really mean it, I don't want to leave, I'm sorry-”

The two cried together for a long time, but the tears eventually stopped. Gina pulled away first. “Are you hungry?” She asked, doing her best to continue on as if the entire situation hadn't happened. “Dad will be a while, so I can make you a snack in the meantime.”

“I'm...not really hungry.” Kim told her with a shake of her head.

Gina smiled at her daughter understandingly. “Okay. You have a preference for dinner?”

“Pizza sounds good.”

“Alright. I'll get your favorite, how's that sound?”

“Good.” Kim wiped at her eyes. “I'm gonna...go to my room for a while. Maybe take a nap.”

“Okay. I'll call you when dinner's here.”

Kim almost made it to the base of the stairs before she turned and blurted out once more. “I'm sorry.”

Her mom still had that understanding smile. “I forgive you.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too, baby girl.”

With that, Kim retreated upstairs to her room.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:19 am

The night had fallen upon the city as it had done every night since the inception decades if not centuries before, and the moon hung high and as large as physically possible in the slightly cloudy sky. The heads had long since been placed down upon the pillows and drifted off to sleep, preparing for another day of work. This made the sounds of yelling from the shopping district much harder to be heard, and if they had, there would not have been much help.

Single footsteps hit the sidewalk, followed by the beat of at least ten more sets of legs charging up behind them. It was a sight out from the pages of a Mary Shelley novel, the angry mob with hate in their eyes and hearts to the things they don't understand chasing down the thing they could only call, "monster!" That "monster" had been in this exact same situation three times this month, only the faces and the stolen goods in his hands had changed, though the real fear on his face stayed the same.

His green eyes, slit up the center like that of the serpent darted around the landscape for anywhere that could lead to an escape, all while he kept the black rags wrapped around his head pulled up on his face, never letting what hid beneath see the street lights.

"You damn freak, gimme my bread back and get your beatin'!"

The roars from the mob only made things worse, though he had toned them out to an extent, keeping focus on the sounds of his feet running and the flap of his black jacket in the whipping wind. A lamp post set ahead on the corner, the perfect height to lead to the roof tops, and from there, the trees. He always lost them in the woods, his silent moving always keeping the pursuers two steps behind until they had given up.

In one-motion, he hurled his bag containing three loaves of bread up onto the roof, hooking the lamp post and jumping into the air, the cloaked young man scurried up the post and lunged to the roof before the men behind him had a chance to act. He had practiced that move dozens of times before, now following through like it had been a natural bodily function. He had heard their hollers and the crash of bottles thrown up in an attempt to hit him, but didn't turn back. He leaped into the nearby trees, disappearing so that he could eat his dinner in peace.

He had survived another night.

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

(Back on the streets)

"Gentlemen, a word."

A resounding wave of "huhs?", "wahs?" and "da hells?" emerged from the group still collecting their bearings after being avoided by the "green monster" once again. The rough and edgy men had turned to the center of the street, a man far out of his own waters standing in the center of their territory. While they wore basic t-shirts, baseball caps, and blue jeans, he had a flair for the luxurious. A white suit covered his form, black dressings underneath the blazer and upon his feet in brightly shined shoes. In his right hand he twirled a gold pocket watch, snatching it out of thin air to check the time.

He had known it before checking, but some form of repetition did the body good.

It was not the watch that had caught the attention of the mob, but what he held in his other hand, propping himself up. The cane was made of a marvelous, dark wood, silver accents on both ends of the item. A shade a few levels lighter than the oddly gray hair upon his head for his age, which he ran his fingers through after putting the watch away, and the matching eyes that stared right at them, or rather, through them in an un-amused fashion.

"The hell you want?"

"Vulgar in approach to new faces not of your own liking or familiarity, how predictable. What I want is a very vague and utterly uncorrelated question to the moment at hand. First, what is the name of this town?"

The men looked between them, their confusion growing. He was not surprised by this. He was never surprised.

"You're in Crenshaw."

It was as if entire libraries worth of history had poured like water into the endless ocean that was his mind, scene after scene and volume after volume setting down into place.

Crenshaw, founded in 1813. Original population of 27, current population of 120,057 due to natural civilization expansion and a prime location outside of a major metropolis. Locations containing homes spread out between close clusters and further, more separate lanes......ideal for hiding from those you don't wish to find you. Four major wooded areas as well connecting into longer stretches of trees, also prime areas for masking your location. Due to the balance of hiding locations mixed with the general count and reaction to the kind, as displayed just now, the mutant population of this town logically will amount to........

.....347, an exceptional recruitment.

"You have my thanks, gentlemen. Now, I require one more item from your time."

"And what would that be?"

The man in the white suit tapped his cane down in front of him, resting both hands on top of it. Those eyes never twitched, never showed a trace of emotion other than an overwhelming apathy for the world that passed by.

"I shall now administer your punishment for your transgressions against evolution. You must pay for your crimes against mutantkind."

It was like a switched had been triggered in all of their heads, the m word setting them all off to the identity of the man in the suit. The mob had crept slowly closer, circling around the newcomer to their town. He was not amused.

"So you're one of them, huh? You wanna stick up for your buddy there, freak?"

"You're a monster."

"You're an abomination!"

A silence fell over them, and with one movement, the mob lunged forward, seeking to pile on the man and beat him while he was subdued. Their motions played to him in still frames, all angles presented to him at once. He saw over their shoulders, their strikes, their intentions, and he had not left his spot in the center of the road. With the flick of his wrist, a shine emerged for his cane.

Radial assault, ten men, average build, untrained in combat. Wild haymakers main source of attack. Rear flank first to move, first target. Slashing motion to chest, beginning from Pectoralis Major leading to Axilla, eliminating dependent striking limb, sense overwhelmed with pain, target eliminated. Piercing strike to right leg of second, puncturing Gastrocnemius, leaving immobile. Second target eliminated.

His process continued at speeds unheard of, all while his attackers, to his train of thought, seemed to be suspended in mid-air. He had systematically taken them down, leaving the last one, the speaker of the group.

Frontal attack, twitching in left eye result of nervous reaction, fear of being upstaged. Alpha male of Homo Sapien shrewdness. Instills hatred and fear for mutants resulting from evolved sense of racial supremacy, branching off into own species. Example must be made, proverbial head of snake removed. Lethal strike necessary. Slash to Coratid artery, followed by twisting puncture to heart. Damage far too severe for recovery, even in prime daylight. Mortality of infliction guaranteed.

In an instant, life returned to normal speed, the man's plan that had unfolded in a true sub-second coming to reality. Men fell form mid-air as the blade that had been extracted from his can bit into each and every one of them, lacerating arms and necessary ligaments, leaving them bloody and useless, writhing in pain on the ground, save for the man they had all secretly thought of as their leader. His roar turned to a gurgle as the blade met his throat, then turned like a screw into his chest in the blink of an eye. He fell motionless to the ground, and would move no more.

The man in white, surprisingly still clean without a drop of blood (a side-effect of his plan) on him, swiped the blade to his side, removing from his pocket a handkerchief with which he wiped his blade clean, and then returned it to his cane. Punishment had been distributed. As he tossed the handkerchief to the street, he removed a cell phone from his pocket, sending out a call.

"The town of Crenshaw will produce suitable recruitment numbers. They've experienced the prejudice, thoughts of payback will be growing. I require a purging of some.....remains, as well."

He listened once more.

"Ten, save the one wearing the deep red shirt. The dead one. He is to be found. Yes. Quite..........Moriarty out."

He placed the phone back into his pocket, and moved on as if nothing had happened.

This town was indeed ripe for the picking, and the hand that had been chosen would choose only the best.

The best for The Brotherhood.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:15 am

Far away from all the ruckus, Kim walked the streetlamp-lit sidewalks of Crenshaw, a small smile on her face as she took in the sight of town and the starry sky.

She'd run away again. It wasn't something she did often, and especially not after one of her and her parents' discussions, but she did give in to the temptation on occasion. Sometimes the well-intentioned cage became just a little too much for her to bear, so under the dark of night she'd sneak out and take a walk through the town.

It was wrong of her, she knew, to do this. To risk everything her parents had set up for maybe an hour or two of freedom. And they did so much for her, giving up their lives and happiness, just to keep her safe. To escape and worry them like this (because they always found out and they always found her) was wrong on pretty much every level she could think of. She put not only her own safety into question doing this, but theirs. She caused them great distress talking to them about doing this, and the act caused even more. She shouldn't do such a thing to such wonderful and loving people. Kim should have just stayed home, as they wanted her to.

But she was a very, very selfish girl.

Besides, it couldn't really be all that bad, could it? Nothing would happen to make anyone find out - there was rarely even anyone out at this hour. And people weren't that cruel. Sure, there were differences in opinion, and the unknown scared people, but no one would hurt her because of that. People, while all unique, all deep down were good. No one would take her away. No one would make her be alone forever. They wouldn't do anything like that.

She had to believe in that.

She just had to.

Forcing herself to smile a bit wider, Kim picked up her pace and wandered farther into town.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:25 am

In this world, ignorance would end you.

With a tap on the hood of a red sports car left in a drive-way for the night, the doors became unlocked, and the alarm had been silenced. A young woman of no more than 18-years-old tossed her head to the side, her auburn hair removing itself from her rather unimpressed face. As she stepped away from the vehicle, two hands excitedly grabbed onto her head, a young man a year younger than her planting a joyful kiss on her cheek. He couldn't yell, that would defeat the purpose of the "job", but he whispered as enthusiastically as he could.

"Sis, you're a freakin' miracle worker!"

"Yeah, whatever, just get in."

The boy chuckled, almost giggling as he admired the new car that they had just "repossessed". He was always a fan of a classic, and this baby had classic written all over her. He couldn't wait to wear out the tires on this thing! He opened the door carefully, ready to take his spot in the driver's seat. If he had kept his focus there, there would've been no problems. Instead, he had just randomly looked down the street, and when he did, he made eye contact with a girl walking down the sidewalk.

A girl who should've just stayed in her room.

"Sis, that one right there."

"Tch, damn it."
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:08 am

Kim paused in her walk as she looked at the siblings, eyebrows raising in surprise and a small bit of panic. What were other people doing out so late at night? In all her escapades she had never once run across another person, let alone two. She made it a point to go out late enough that there wouldn't be a soul awake. So why were these two out so late?

She had looked at them in time to see the girl's 'miracle', but the thought that the girl was a mutant was completely foreign to her. Kim was convinced that she herself was the only mutant in the small town of Crenshaw. As it was she just wondered how the heck the girl managed to unlock the car just by tapping the hood. Was it a fancy foreign model or something that let them do that? And why were they going for a drive so late? And so sneakily?

It occurred to Kim all of a sudden that they might be stealing the car.

Kim frowned. There was a strong urge to scream or shout or get someone's attention, to do something, anything to make them stop, but that was a bad idea for a number of reasons. She herself was at the top of that list of reasons. It was bad enough that she went outside, but to call attention to herself? And possibly get the attention of the police, if she managed to be loud enough? Worst idea ever. Much as she wanted to stop them, this was something best left alone. Besides, maybe they weren't stealing the car. Maybe she was just overreacting.

Unlikely, but she had to try and convince herself.

With a sigh, Kim waved at the duo, spun on her heel and started back the way she came. She'd take the corner instead, she hadn't been down Harris Lane in a while anyway...
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:58 am

Typically, waving to the criminals wasn't the best idea when trying to avoid a conflict. They should've, by all means, hunted Kim down and broke her ankles, but she had just....turned around. The young man scratched the back of his head, his right eyebrow raised about as high as physically possible and then going even further as his face warped to inhuman proportions, his eyebrow moving to the top of his head in the ultimate mutant, "the f**k?" face.

"I.....I......we should run her down, right?"

He turned to his sister, who had already seemingly lost interest with the girl, made her way back to the vehicle. It wasn't going to steal itself, after all.

"Sherrie, we gotta run her down, right?"

"Get in the damn car, Trevor."

The boy now identified as Trevor turned back to the girl disappearing into the night, shaking his head as he did as he was told, somehow slipping his entire body through the small space in the passenger's side window his sister had made for him, filling back out in the seat.

"Did you really have to do that?"

"If you got it, flaunt it, sis!"

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

Kim wasn't the only one who had observed the delinquent siblings as they went about on their grand theft auto. In fact, this was not the only night they had been watched. It had been every night, every single time they had stepped into the town of Crenshaw, the emerald eyes of the watcher in the trees had always seen them, made sure their acquisitions had never caused more harm than need be, while keeping himself hidden.

His sharpened teeth, fang-like, sunk into the loaf of bread he head in his hands. They had decided to leave the girl, foolishly on the streets this late, alone, but that wouldn't be enough assurance. He downed the remaining piece of bread in his hand and slipped the black, ragged covering around his neck and head back up over his mouth and nose, and quietly took to running the tree branches.

He would make sure the girl found her way home safely.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:07 am

Kim grinned as she reached her favorite spot in Crenshaw, an all but abandoned park and playground at the edge of the woods. According to her mom it had been rather popular once, but between a decrease of children who lived in the area and the cost of upkeep being better spent elsewhere, no one visited anymore. That, and being so close to the forest put it at risk of animals deciding to visit.

Kim chalked that last one up to maternal paranoia more than anything else. What, did they expect a bear to attack? As if.

With a bounce in her step, Kim made a beeline for her favorite part of the playground, the swings. She checked it to make sure it was still useable, and after determining that it was, sat down and began to play. It wasn't long before she reached the peak of height for the swing, at which point, with a whoop and a laugh she launched herself off so that it felt for a moment like she was flying. She landed safely, but the momentum caused her to stumble and fall, and she laughed at that too.

"I miss this." Kim announced to the air as she flipped over to lay on her back and look at the stars. Thinking out loud was something she did constantly at home, but it was something she usually had to repress on these walks for fear of being to loud and waking someone. However, there were no houses or buildings near the park, so she was free to do it as she pleased. "I really miss this. This was always the best, just hanging out at a park or someplace and going absolutely nuts with all my friends. We'd try to out swing each and see who could fly farther - I always won - or see who would last the longest on the merry-go-round - that was usually Dawn - and play hide and seek without our parents consent and drive them all mad looking for us...I still kinda do that last one now, I guess, but it's not as fun. Gosh, I miss all my friends. I wonder what they're doing way back across the country? Are they all still friends? Did they drift apart? Are they doing well in school? I wonder if Sam ever told Josh she liked him? Eh, doubt it, she was super shy. Wonder if they remember me. We left so quick that I didn't even have time to tell anyone. Gosh, I miss them. I miss all of it. I miss all of this. But! Just one more year! Then I won't have to worry about anyone of that because I'll be an adult and can go off on my own! My parents won't have to worry about me anymore because I'll be all grown up and I can travel and go to college and all sorts of things! So no point dwelling on it. Yup. No point at all."

With a resolute nod, Kim pushed herself off the ground went to launch herself from the swings all over again.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:44 am

He wondered what it was like to miss being able to play, because he had never had the chance to do so. The green eyes that watched Kim from the shadows of the tree tops darted nervously toward the swinging girl, and away again. She spoke of friends. What were they like? What would it be like to walk into a group of people and just....exist? He tugged on the black wrappings around his head, thinking back to the few attempts he had tried.

The names were never fun to hear.

He hadn't heard anything from her on her parents, but the words felt familiar to him. Kept inside where no one would see, hidden from the world, but that was where their similarities ended. He had not been kept inside by parents who loved him and cared for his safety. He had been hidden by parents who were embarrassed to say that the snake in children's clothing was their child. He had been kept there for so long.

And like her, he had broken free.....but he never went back.

The slit-eyes weakened with the thoughts of "friends". She was so lucky. Though he was ignorant to her true species, appearing human was a gift he envied her for.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:19 am

After a dozen more times launching herself off the swings, almost making herself sick on the merry-go-round, several slides down the slide and a long and probably more dangerous than it should have been game on the jungle gym, Kim finally took a break from playing. According to her internal clock, she had about forty-five more minutes until her dad woke for work, checked up on her and found her gone. Which meant she had just a bit longer than that to keep playing and exploring before he went driving around the town looking for her. Darn. If only nights were longer.

"Wonder where I should go next..." Kim thought aloud once more. "After the fight with mom and then this I'm gonna be grounded for like, a month, so I gotta at least make this one worth it. I passed the garden street and came here, so those are done. Passed by the schools, and the cemetery...the lady with all the animals too...I've been to all my favorite places and I don't really feel like aimlessly wandering anymore. And I only do this every three or four months or so, and I won't have to do this for much longer, so if I don't want to wander then it'll just be a waste to do it. So what should I do now?"

She huffed and frowned a bit, glancing around as if the surroundings were going to give her an idea. And surprisingly, as her eyes landed on the forest, they did.

"You know, I've never gone into the woods before." She said as an excited grin slowly spread over her face. "Where people lived was always more interesting, more exciting. But why not now? I'm sure it'll be a great place to explore and I've got an awesome sense of direction. I won't get lost. And hey, maybe I'll even get to see if there's any truth to that whole bear thing." She gave another resolute nod. "Woods it is!"

Kim ran into the woods with that excited grin still on her face. Lucky for the boy in the trees, she did not look up.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:46 am

He had followed her just as fast as she could move. In fact, he had to slow down slightly just to make she he didn't lose sight of the girl he had dedicated the night to guarding. He still couldn't help but notice the direction they were moving in, though. It was a direction he had moved through hundreds of times before, though this time he had to worry for the fear of being found.

His camp was just ahead.

He was stuck between the rock and the hard place. If he called to her and told her not to move ahead, she would see him, but if she found his camp it would be known that someone would be living here, and the "someone" would easily be identified as him. What to do? He had decided that there wasn't much of a choice to it. He would just let her run and hope she didn't go in the wrong direction.

He had no reason to attack her, and he just plain didn't want to.

But he'd be lying if he said his heart wasn't racing.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:43 am

Kim skid to a halt all of a sudden, eying her surroundings with a grin that just kept growing. The moon was bright and unobscured by clouds, and even under the treetops it was well lit enough to see rather well. The woods were beautiful, and she found herself wishing she had explored them sooner. She could have had so much fun playing here.

"Ladies and gentlemen!" Kim suddenly boomed in a very announcer-like voice as she jumped on top of a stump. "When we last left our hero she was scouring the jungles of the Amazon in search of the fabled golden treasure of the warrior princess, which she found after a perilous journey involving a pit of snakes, a river full of piranhas, and a severely misplaced volcano." Her adventure back on the jungle gym, if the boy watching had been listening. "Now we find her in the heart of the mythical Kokiri Forest, a place filled with fairies and magic, as she searches for the Emerald of Courage! Will our hero succeed in her quest?"

Kim jumped off the stump and crouched low, doing her best to sneak through the underbrush and stay in the shadows. In spite of this, her voice was no quieter. "Our wise hero knows well that many fearsome creatures roam these woods. The terrible Deathwolves hunt in packs and tear any creature they find limb from limb, as they are ever hungry. The horrible Skyscreamers watch from above for someone unguarded who they can pluck from the ground and take to their nest to feed their chicks. With these monstrous monsters and more, it is no wonder our hero does her best to remain unseen as she makes for the Verdant Temple!"

A twig crunched obnoxiously loud under her foot, and she gasped and stood up straight. "But alas! Despite our hero's best efforts, she has attracted the attention of the formidable Mamabear! These creatures are near impossible to escape. What will our hero do? Why..." Kim leaned down a picked up a large stick, which she then posed with as if she were holding a sword. "...she will fight it, of course!"

Kim pretended to battle some large invisible foe, swinging her 'sword' and dodging out of the way of unseen strikes. "With our hero's impeccable grace and skill, she is an even match for the Mamabear. However, our hero is awesome in her wisdom, and knows that Mamabears do not have the best stamina. It is a battle of endurance-"

The stick suddenly went flying from her grasp. Kim stared at her empty hand stupidly for a few moments before spinning on her heel and making a mad dash. "Our hero has been disarmed and has no choice but to flee! How will she escape the inescapable foe?"

She ran for a while, and eventually came to a tree that was snapped in half. It made a perfect ramp for her to run up, even if it was dangerously high at the top where she stopped. "Our hero is trapped! A chasm of unknown depth on one side, and a deadly Mamabear on the other! Her only hope is to call for help from the native fair FOLK!" The last word became a gasp and Kim started wheeling her arms backwards when a gust of wind pushed her forward. Regardless of her attempts to not fall, she fell.

She didn't see the half broken tree with a top sharp enough to stab her through that she was falling towards, but her body somehow knew anyway. Incredible heat raced through her veins, and she felt her stomach begin to shift and twist. Not half a second after that, the wind was knocked out of her by the broken tree ramming into her stomach, and she fell to the forest floor.

Kim coughed and gasped until she could finally breathe, and then took several deep, slow breaths to calm herself. When she was calm enough, she looked down and pulled up her shirt so she could see her stomach. It was covered in stone-like scales.

"Our intrepid hero has fallen into the chasm and been impaled." She announced in a less announcery voice. Kim sighed and let her shirt fall. "Great. Just great. What will she do now, ladies and gentlemen? How will she survive the wrath of her parents if they ever find out? Tune in next time, if there is one."

She sighed again, curling up and hugging her knees as she tried not to cry from the thought that her mom was right.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:45 am

It had all made sense within that moment. The being hidden in her home, the walk through a town dead with sleep when no one else would be around to see. His eyes went wide with the sight of the scales, but it was not a fear that Kim's parents had tried to explain the outside world would fear. It was disbelief, and at the same time it was joy. There was someone else that could understand at least part of what he had gone through, but again, she wouldn't know the dangers of being seen. Anything she could've heard in her room were only rumors.

Out here was very, very real.

He slid down the side of the tree as quietly as he could, sticking to the shadows as he moved through the brush, heading closer to the girl who had survived the bite of Mother Nature. As he arrived close enough to be heard, he stuck to the tree, speaking out in no more than just-above a whisper. He didn't want to scare her away, but she had the advantage of not being known around town as a mutant. If she were to be caught here, it would be hell for her and her family.

"You....shouldn't be here. It's dangerous."

His S's held for a split-second, reminiscent of the reptile, but not long to sound comic. From afar, all that could be seen was a slight silhouette from beyond the trunks of the trees.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:31 am

"I know, I know..." She responded, the sound muffled as she hid her face. Kim would have been surprised that there was another person talking to her, if the other person registered as such. She was so used to being on her own and talking to herself, however, that hearing a voice that wasn't hers wasn't all that unusual. She liked to converse, after all, so she often had to make up someone else to talk to. "I just...I wanted her to be wrong, you know? To prove that I would be fine out here on my own. And I was! I even saw two people earlier! People, in the flesh, for the first time in like five years! And it was fine! I didn't talk to them, they didn't talk to me, and nothing bad happened. Nothing bad has ever happen on these walks. Nothing! At least...not until now."

Kim hugged her knees a little tighter. "But she was right huh? 'One little accident, one tiny mistake'...and it happened, and if anyone saw I'd be doomed. Whisked away to some lab, poked and prodded and experimented on, alone...dad mentioned the whole super-soldier thing once, when he got really upset. But would any of that really happen? People can't actually be that bad, can they? I mean, we're all people. Why would they do that? It makes no sense." She paused, and then chuckled out of nowhere. "Unless by 'here' you means the woods and by 'dangerous' you mean bears. That has yet to be proven."

Kim chuckled again and raised her head, mood slightly lifted by the ridiculous notion of bears. It was then and only then she saw the silhouette of the boy, and realized that the voice had in fact been another person.

"BWAH!" She cried out in shock, scrambling back until she ended up hitting the back of her head against a tree. She hissed and cradled her head. "Ow ow ow ow..." Kim whined, and then glanced up again to view the silhouette. She grinned sheepishly. "Uh...hi?"

She was so dead.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:56 am

He cringed as she smacked her head, then frowned a bit, though hidden in the dark. People typically jumped and screamed when he spoke to them. He wish he was used to it, but he really wasn't. She was afraid of him, and he didn't want her to be. All he could do was try and talk her out of it. He tugged on the wrappings around his head nervously, but decided he had to continue. There would be just no way he could ignore this girl who obviously had no idea how the outside world worked for her kind.....for their kind.

"Not all people are bad."

His whisper had a bit of denial that even his own words were true, but from the treetops he had seen so many things that he could've used to prove the point to himself. Families on a picnic, the assisting of the poor. Not all of humanity were like the ones he had ran from hours before, but if those men found her here, they would see her mutation, or even worse, mistake her for the one in the wrappings. For him.

"People are afraid of things they don't understand. They're confused, and in confusion, they lash out. There are a lot of good people in this world......but there are a lot of bad ones too. That's why it's dangerous here. I don't know about being experimented on, there's way too many of us to find and I doubt the MRD has taken the search to the smaller towns. Just, if you get caught here.....they might think you're me and that just won't end well."

He wasn't as good as calming people down as he thought.

Guess not talking to anyone for a few years hadn't helped his cause.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:15 am

His words about there being good and bad people helped calm her down some, to his credit. Confirmation that good people did exist was nice to hear. But Kim's eyes only got wider as she continued to stare at the stranger. "Uh...okay, I'm confused. Too many of us? MRD? Think I'm you? I really don't know what you're talking about right now."

She honestly didn't. Far as she knew she was the only mutant in Crenshaw, so talk of 'us' meant nothing to her. MRD was a meaningless group of letters, and she had no idea who the stranger was, or if she was supposed to know him.

It occurred to her that she should leave, stop talking to him, but she couldn't make herself. This was the first time she'd talked to someone that wasn't family in like five years. There was no way Kim could pull herself away from that. Besides, he was a good person, wasn't he? He had warned her of danger, and wasn't trying to hurt her. So he was good, and there was nothing to worry about, right?

Right.

So she stayed.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:32 am

"They really don't tell you anything, do they?"

He, in a way, felt bad. It was one thing to be out there in the world and face all of the terrible things it could bring. It was another to be kept from it altogether and told it never existed. She had no idea what he meant by "us". She just didn't know. He didn't want to show his face, but there was something almost compelling him to do so.

"Us......you know, Mutants. There's hundreds of us around here, thousands or millions or something in the world, I don't know. You don't know there's more of us?"

He stepping gingerly closer, not growing close enough to reveal his face, but the moon above had cast a beam down in the perfect angle to show the very worn blue jeans, brown shirt, and black jacket that covered his body. His hand could be seen, pale, though with a slight green hint to it. His fingernails were a deeper shade, almost black.

"I heard there's places that'll take us in, make it so we don't have to be afraid anymore. I don't know how true that is but....it's something."

He had specifically ignored the questioning of who he was. If she didn't know his reputation, he wasn't about to tell her.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:56 am

With the admittance that he was a mutant, any lingering trepidation Kim had was instantly lost. She jumped to her feet, eyes still wide and her grin even wider. "What? Seriously? You're a mutant? There are others in Crenshaw besides me? Whoa! That is so COOL! I totally thought I was the only one! Awesome! What can you do? Wait, it's probably rude of me to ask before I tell you mine, isn't it? Right. Sorry. Um, basically I can't get hurt. Like, something dangerous happens and my body kinda changes so it won't hurt me. I dunno if you saw, but I almost got impaled by a tree but my stomach grew scales so I didn't. So. What can you do? Wait, is your hand green? Dude! How cool is that! Is that your gift? That you're green? Man, what an awesome color to be."

Kim was just about on cloud nine that there was another mutant in town, so she didn't notice his evasiveness about who he was, but she was still grounded enough to recall the day's earlier events. "I think I met someone today who ran a place like that. Someone named Professor Xavier, he said he had a school for mutants. For us." Somehow she managed to grin even wider at the word 'us'. "He was super cool! He could read minds! And apparently his friend could control the weather! It was awesome!"

"By the way, my name's Kimberly. What's yours?" Kim asked as she stuck her hand out for a handshake and finally shut up.
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PostSubject: Re: Children of the Atom - X-Men   Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:48 am

The young man in the shadows felt his heart skip a beat at the mention of the name, "Charles Xavier". He almost couldn't believe that those rumors had been true, that the institute that he was told about by the whispers of other wandering mutants was real. He stepped forward, needing to hear those words again, not thinking that the moonlight would reveal the rest of his form. His face was not actually visible, wrapped over almost entirely in black bandages that hung down at some points, tufts of black hair with the slightest highlight of green to them spiking out from places where the bandages had loosened, the lower-half of his face completely covered.

But his eyes, deep emerald with black slits like the reptile within, were caught with amazement and the need to know more, and they almost glittered in the light.

"Charles.....Xavier? THE Charles Xavier is in Crenshaw?"

He stepped even closer to her.

"What was he like? What did he say? Did he tell you where he was now? Is he taking the mutants to the institute?"

The young man stopped himself, realizing he was going on a near-manic tangent. It started to set in, all the things she had said. She found his skin......cool? She thought it was awesome? It hadn't been so awesome up until that point, but he did find himself a little happy with his own skin, but not by much. He examined his hand, then turned back to her.

"Part of it, I guess. I can....poison.....things. I have poisons inside me."

He wished he had a helpful power like this girl he now knew as Kimberly had. Something that didn't just hurt people, something that could help them. He turned away slightly, knowing the ridicule that would come from the mentioning of his power. It always came after the mentioning of his powers. Still, she had asked a question, and Kim hadn't been the only one without real human, or rather mutant, contact, at least within the context of a conversation. He figured he had nothing to lose.

"I'm....Cameron."
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