Reactive Adaptation: supreme (rank 3)
Getting back to school my existing persona of that "weird nerd girl" had been upgraded to "weird nerd girl who was in an unexplained coma for two weeks." Suffice it to say I enjoyed the air of mystery I had about me as I walked through the halls and heard the faint whispers going on behind my back. Unfortunately this did not extend to the faculty who were hell-bent on making an example of the girl who always talked back in class.
I looked out the window during algebra class thinking about something or other when all of the suddenly Mr. Stork broke me out of my mini daydream. He was a man who felt math was paramount over every other subject and has been accused of leering at a tenth grade student.
"Is there something more interesting out there then in here Ms. Winters?"
"Everything is more interesting Mr. Stork" I said as the class let out a collective "ohhhhhhh."
"Well that's too bad you're not into the subject because we're about to have a pop quiz. Now you can all just get your pencils out, bags on the floor because...."
Mr Stork's voice started to fade but not from my usual tuning out. I looked down and watched as my chest expanded and contracted. “Mr. Stork I think I need to go see the nurse.”
"Ms. Winter let's not use 'the poops' as an excuse to get out of... good golly girl what's wrong with you?"
I started freaking out as I could hear t he thumping of my heart beating so fast the sound reverberated through my body into my ears. I began to panic as Mr. Stork grabbed my arm and guided me to the nurses office.
When we finally made it there the nurse told me to lie down as I did. She took her stethoscope to my chest. Mr. Stork paced in the room as he said “this better not be some elaborate scheme you got going on here.”
The nurse turned and scolded Mr. Stork as she said “how dare you! Her heart rate is off the chart! It's beating so fast it's like you're a humming bird. We should send her to a doctor, at least send you home."
As soon as those words were said my chest sunk down. The constant beat from my heart started to slow down as I felt the sweat form on my forehead. The nurse kept her eye on me as I sank into the examining seat before she pulled her stethoscope off.
"It seems to be back to normal. Regardless I'm calling your parents and sending you home. Some rest will probably do you some good."
As the nurse left to get me a release note I looked over at Mr. Stork and his face red with anger. He put his fingers up to his eyes and pointed them back towards me as he stormed out. I on the other hand looked forward to my shortened day.
Claws and Pincers and Fangs
Natural Weaponry: standard (rank 1)
"Mom, dad, I got sent home." As I entered my house I dropped my bag off in front of the door as I went into the kitchen. Grabbing a Coke Zero from the fridge and closing it I saw the note left there by my parents.
"Dear Pumpkin sorry but your mother's uncle has passed away and the funeral is back in America. We'll be away for the rest of the week. We've left some cash for you and for tonight there's a frozen pizza in the oven. We'll call you throughout the week. No parties. Love Mumsy and Daddykins."
While I was a little ticked off about the sudden disappearance I did see this as a bit of a blessing in disguise. Ever since I got home from the hospital mom and dad have been a little too smothering. I know, they almost lost their baby girl, but come on I'm also a fucking teenager.
Anyway I turned on the oven and get my home work started as I sat in my kitchen. My belly rumbled from the smell of pizza slowly cooking as I heard the bell ring. I wasn't sure why I was so famished but I just couldn't help myself as I pulled the pizza out and let it set as I rooted around the drawers for the pizza cutter.
"Where the fuck is it..." I muttered as I went through every drawer before opening to dishwasher only to see a pizza cutter sitting there encrusted with two day old pizza sauce.
"God fucking damn it how am I going to cut this..." I started my own personal mini rant when suddenly my right hand felt hot. Stopping myself a moment to investigate I screamed as I saw my hand had been replaced with a large lobster claw.
"WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK IS THIS FUCK! WHERE THE HELL IS MY HAND! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO.. oh wait..." In a strange moment of clarity I gripped the pizza in my grotesque claw as I snapped it down, cutting it in half perfectly. I continued as I cut the pizza into eight even slices. Calming cleaning off my claw I watched as it reverted back to my hand.
Grabbing a slice I leaned against the sink as I said “holy shit. I think I have super powers.”
Burrowing: standard (rank 1)
Swimming in Phys Ed had to be some cruel joke devised by some bitter former cheerleader whose better days were served in high school prior to her constant need for botox injections and vomiting after dinner. I say this because it creates an environment where it’s impossible to hide whatever flaws commercials, boys or more than likely your own dumb mind makes you think you have. As I sat the water’s edge in my plain white one piece I noticed Suzy and her little band of cheerleader cronies in their breaking-dress-code-but-no-one-will-do-anything-about-it bikinis. After passing a few girls and making comments they decided to make a bee line towards me.
“So it looks like a coma did wonders for your waist line.” Suzy crossed her arms and titled her head as her friends gathered behind her.
I smirked as I looked back at Suzy “look I could insult you but that’s hardly a challenge given your C average.”
“So what are you going to beat me in then? Being a freak? Playing video games?”
Looking over at the pool I wasn’t sure why I was confident it would work but I just blurted out “swimming.”
Suzy looked at me a she said “you do realize I am the captain of the school’s swimming team and if memory serves me correctly you spent all of Melissa Gentry’s pool party sitting in a Konnichia Neko! Floaty while eating chips.”
“I know, so do you accept?”
“What do I get when I win?”
“I’ll be a slave for your little group of airheads.”
“Fine I accept!” Suzy started to make her way to the water’s edge as I followed her.
“You didn’t ask what I get if I win.”
“Somewhat irrelevant but make your token demand.”
“You stop leaving creepy voicemails on Steve’s phone.”
I watched as Suzy’s face turned into a deep crimson hue as she didn’t even wait for a countdown or anything. She dove into the water kicking her feet as I wasn’t even sure if we really started but sloppily belly flopped in after her. She was a good half second ahead of me and expanding the gap as I tried to swim after her. I felt my arms burning as I gulped in water with air. I could barely see in the blue pool water except for the flesh colored blob in front of me getting further and further away.
Suzy touched the wall as she turned and faced me, taunting me underneath the water as I finally touched the wall, turning around as I felt my legs taking over. Suddenly I was kicking as my body twisted up and down. I saw Suzy was far but instead of the blob getting further it started to get closer. My vision underwater started to get clearer as I noticed I was only half a body length away from Suzy. Gasping for a breath a different instinct kicked in as I leapt out of the water, squeaking as I did before crashing back down diving perfectly. The wake of my water slowing and confusing Suzy as I quickly over took the lead. Pushing harder and harder I stuck my hand out touching the wall as I threw my head out of the water as the other girls cheered. Suzy finally touched the wall as her underlings pulled her out of the water.
Looking over at her I smiled and said “you going to make good on your promise?”
“Whatever Katie, you’re still nothing but a big freak” Suzy said as her entourage stormed back to the change room.
Smelling and Hearing
Enhanced Senses: superior (rank 2)
The final bell rang for the day as I quickly tried to get my things in order. My backpack hanging off one arm I tried to balance myself as I shoved my books into the bottom of my locker. Turning around I watched with one of his lacrosse buddies walking by as I waved at him.
Steve stopped as he said “hey there, heard you kicked ass at the pool. I didn’t take you for the sporty type.”
“Well you know, I can only gorge on so much junk food before it would catch up to me.”
Steve smiled as he said “I like it. Maybe go out for the team this year.”
“I just might. Hey do you want to hit up the comic shop later tonight?”
Steve pulled away as he said “need to make a rain check on that. The team is going out for a team building dinner. See you tomorrow night?”
I nodded as I said “ok see you tomorrow.”
While I was putting my jacket on my ear started to twitch as I heard Steve’s voice with his friends as they turned the corner of the hall.
“So are you like dating Katie?”
“What? No! We’re just good friends you know.”
“Thank god! I know she’s your buddy but she’s kind of a weirdo. A little freaky even.”
I heard Steve nervously laugh as he said “well she can be at time but…”
As I slammed the door to my locker I stopped listening in on their conversation and made my way home.
Juggernaut Momentum: standard (rank 1)
I started to storm my way through the halls as I burst through the doors to the quad. It was my usual shortcut turned into a mess by my own forgetfulness. The clubs were in full swing and had their recruitment drives as over eager students tried to get people to sign up for their teams, clubs and leagues.
“Shady Oaks LARP!”
“Anime club! I saw you at the con last year!”
“You shouldn’t waste those legs on swimming Katie. Track team is where it’s at!”
“Debate club Katie! You’re always arguing!”
I don’t know why they stormed on me this year. Or maybe they do this every year and I just had a better grasp at annoying all the chatter. The groups of people blocking my way as I shoved past them only compounded the problem as I heard her voice behind me.
“Aren’t you popular? Almost makes me want to ask you join the cheerleaders.”
Suzy walked past me with her friends. Standing in my way as I said “hey not really in the mood for your crap right now so why don’t you just let me go.”
The girls formed a human wall in front of me as Suzy said “sign up and we’ll let you pass. We promise we’ll make it fun for you.”
Suzy kept shoving the clipboard against me as I slapped it out of her hand.
“Some is getting feisty!” Suzy and her friends kept laughing at me. I could feel my blood getting hot and flush in my cheeks as I shot my arm out and pushed the bubbled headed blonde onto the ground.
“I said get out of my way!” The other cheerleaders started to stand in front of me as I pushed through them. Keeping my head down while throwing my elbows I heard the little prissy bitches squeal as I shoved my way through the crowd.
“Someone stop that little freak!” Screamed Suzy as I felt the hands of her friends try and pull me back only for me to scream out again and free myself from their grip. Hapless kids who got in my way were knocked down as my eyes focused n the other set of doors on the other end of the quad. I finally made it as I pushed on the metal bar and pushed into the other end of the school running towards the exit.
Like A Mother Grizzly
Berserker Physiology: standard (rank 1)
I kept hiking through the ravine wile kicking a pile of leaves formed from the tall trees shedding them in preparation for autumn. The Sunset Ravine was somewhere I always went when I “ran away” from home. I never really ran away, it was more of an idle threat I’d toss at my parents or my teachers when I wanted to get away and be by myself. While Pandora Falls changed from sleepy little town to bustling suburb Sunset Ravine remained constant. Even now I know where every worn path, every marked tree and every perfect photo spot existed.
Including my favorite spot to just sit and look at the sky. Dead Man’s point was a hike up the escarpment and had a breath taking view of the city and the entire woods around the ravine. I sat on my usual boulder as I looked out at now purple sky and the houses slowly turning on their lights in intervals all around the city.
“What the hell am I doing here?” I muttered to myself without really thinking what I meant by that question. I was shifting in my seat as I looked down at the boulder and saw something from my past; the scratched “Steve and Katie – 2005” we put on that boulder when I first took him here.
Jumping off the rock I walked around it, observing its shape and size before I got behind it. Gripping it tightly in my hands I started to push it, feeling the boulder first slide then roll in my effort as I pushed it closer and closer to the edge of the escarpment. I gave the boulder one last heave before I sent it over the edge, watching it fall quickly through the air before landing with a hard thud.
“Katie what the hell are you doing?”
I stopped and stood up straight as I didn’t say a word. Turning around slowly I saw Steve standing there.
“Everyone said you were pissed when you left class. I didn’t hear till one of the guys on the team got a text and I blew them off figured you’d come here and…”
I didn’t let him finish his words. Instead I just ran up to him and wrapped my arms around him.
Fur and Hide and Scales
Armor: standard (rank 1)
“Are you cold?”
I shivered visibly as the autumn night descended on us. “No.”
“I can give you my jacket.”
“I’m fine Steve.”
Steve started to try to put his jacket over my shoulders as I felt my skin grow tough and line itself with soft white fur as Steve jumped back. I crossed my arms as I looked away from him.
“See I told you I’m fine.”
Like A Bird
Flight: superior (rank 2)
“You know Katie it might not be my place to ask but I just saw you push a boulder and grow fur. Plus everyone was talking about how you swam like a dolphin. I guess I’m just due for an explanation.”
I stopped walking as I tried to hold back everything inside me. “Steve, friend of mine, you think you’re due for explanations?”
He walked beside me as he grabbed my hand, holding it and squeezed it tightly. “I’m you friend Katie.”
“Well Steve let me answer your question. I don’t know what’s going on. I barely have a handle of what’s going on. I woke up from a coma and now my body is acting all weird. I mean I’ve already been through this ‘magical changes to your body’ bullshit once why do I have to do it again? Sometimes I think it’s cool and then someone calls me a freak and before it was just a word but now I actually AM one.”
Steve squeezed my hand while he moved in to hug me “Katie you’re not a freak.”
“Am I not? Then answer my question. Why this?”
“Why the hugs and the hand holding and the waiting for me in the hospital? Why hang out with me? Why all this concern for me Steve? And then you go and date a girl like Suzy.”
“Katie I didn’t…”
“You didn’t know? You didn’t know I was crazy about you? I MIGHT believe that if you were some other guy but you’re not an idiot.”
I pulled my hand out of Steve’s as I started to walk faster. Steve stood there for a moment as he said “I just thought you wanted, or we wanted to be friends.”
“Well you thought wrong.”
I kept walking faster as Steve ran after me “come on Katie let’s talk this through. I mean at least let me walk you home.”
I stopped and turned around with Steve right in front of me. I looked up at him “no more of this. I don’t need you to be my white knight. Not anymore.” While I said that I felt my body growing weightless. Soon I was floating above Steve, darting through the air on my way back home.