MORFS: To Hell and Back.
Chapter 2: Alteration.
“Where do you think you're going with that energy drink? It's nearly midnight.”
“I'm going to try and take a look in Jake's dreams. We've been here for two days now and we haven't heard anything from him yet. I expected some furious phone call by now.”
“How long is your range with that anyway?”
“No idea.” Which was true enough, I really have no clue where my limit as a dreamweaver lies. As a telepath it's about 100 kilometers, and the derived skill to relay conversations breaks off at about half that. But the dream part, no idea. I had once reached my dad when he was on a business trip to Australia.
“Well, have fun. And try not to break anything when you're in there.”
I grinned at his joke as I walked up to my room and sat on my bed. I put my back-up energy drink besides me and let myself drift off into darkness. I have once been told my eyes seem to glow white when I do this. I always found it a bit ironic given the complete and utter lack of light of, what I call, 'the space between dreams'.
The next time I opened my eyes, I was drifting in a familiar sea of infinite darkness. Slowly, tiny stars started to appear around me. Some close by, some far off, but every one of them, a dream and a person. I let myself drift on the waves, as the appearances became more frequent. More and more, until… no more. Only one star remained.
I changed the currents of the black waves around me, guiding me towards this last star. Minutes… hours… days passed as the star slowly neared. It did not become bigger. It was the radiance, the amount of light that was my only measure of the distance.
Then it all came to a stop. A blinding bright light enveloped me as I made contact.
Slowly the light faded and other colors came into view. Still it took a few more minutes before I could get a bearing on where I would be and what Jake was dreaming about. I just hoped it would be nothing erotic, that's always awkward.
Slowly, a floor came into view, and a strange one at that. I don't really know any floors with ceiling lights in them.
Slowly the rest of the room came into focus. Then, I recognized my location: I was standing on the ceiling.
Oh well, it's a dream, anything is possible. As I thought that, my vision cleared some more. As well as my hearing, I could make out voices, familiar voices. It took me a moment before I recognised the room. It's not every day you get to see the great lecture hall from this view point.
Above me, or better, beneath me, students were making their way to the seats. That's when I recognised a slightly younger version of Jake walking down the centre aisle. As my grip on the dream tightened, my hearing sharpened, allowing me to overhear some heated discussion.
“…dare you even be here!? Animals should be in a zoo, not in college! Now get the hell out of here, before I make you my first biology subject!” No doubt that was Jenny.
It seemed Jake was reliving a memory, introduction day in college to be more precise. It's not that uncommon to relive parts of your life in your dreams. Actually, for me it's a whole lot better than the generic chase dream.
I hadn't been able to be there that day in person, so I decided I could wait for a bit and see how the dream version played out. I had hear rumours about the 'legendary' first encounter between Jake and Jenny and was quite curious to know what really happened. And knowing Jake, the memory wouldn't be much different from reality.
Sure enough, Jake walked up to Jenny just in time to hear the last part of her ranting. And I recognised a mischievous smile on his face. This should be fun.
“Then please tell me why you are here?” Overly polite, making sure the girl got his point.
“Great, another animal. Don't you have something better…” She trailed off as she turned to see a 'pure' human standing behind her. It must have been quite a shock, but she recovered quickly. “How dare you call me an animal?! Do you really think they should have the same rights as humans?”
“First, I did not call you an animal. But seeing as you come to that conclusion, there has to be some truth to it.” Ow, here come the big guns. he's having her insult herself. Well, at least I know why Jenny would love to see Jake killed. “Now, as for the rights. I think him being here has proven him to be intelligent enough to have the same rights as the rest of us.”
Jenny had turned almost purple with the first remark, but had to refrain from a witty comeback when a teacher walked by and took a seat nearby. With some authority that close, she couldn't continue her verbal abuse, so she left it at that. For the moment.
Meanwhile Jake had seated himself next to the abused morf, who mumbled a hardly audible 'thanks'.
“No problem. Never thought a face could turn to so many colours in such a short time.” Jake replied. “You shouldn't let yourself be bullied like that, not like she got any real power.”
“Yeah. Unfortunately, she does.” Jake and the morf turned back to see who spoke up. “You do realize you just committed social suicide?“
“Nope, why's that? Who are you anyway?”
“Name's Ariana, I used to be in high school with her. Her parents know some pretty important people around town. And she has a habit of taking over the popular and or purist groups wherever she goes.”
“Ah. Not like I planned on joining those anyway. The weirdoes seem to have more fun.” This caused the morf to cringe away in his seat. “Not in that sense kid. It's more fun to be a snowflake then a raindrop.” That sums up Jakes view regarding purists and morfs pretty well. “Now, you going to introduce yourself or what? My name's Jake.”
“W-Warren.” He stampered.
“Nice to meet you.” Trying to cheer up a potential friend. “If you don't mind me asking, what kind of hybrid are you exactly? The gills remind me of some amphibian, but I can't point out which one.”
Warren seemed to take the hint, as he seemed to lighten up a bit. “Well, you're right about the amphibian part.” He smiled mysteriously. “It's axolotl”
“Really?” Both Jake and Ariana were genuinely surprised. But it was Jake who found his wits back first. “Where did you pick that up, not like you can find those in every ditch.”
“Got some spare DNA from my pet. An albino, which explains my lack of a tan.”
Now, I'm pretty much used to Gills' tan. But to most people he's pale as a ghost. And the lack of hair doesn't help much either. I thought back to the first time I met him. He is nearly completely white, except for his large black eyes, which seem a bit unnerving to the people still looking at the package.
“Hey, you guys want to hang out once we're done here? I heard you can play games on the campus LAN, want to try and see if we can download something?” This surprised me, I always thought it was Jake who started our gaming team. Turns out it was Aaron, or Ariana as he was called back then.
From there the conversation started to die down to small talk and I noticed Mr. Anders coming up stage. Now, I was not planning on listening to another one of his speeches, so it was time to do what I came here for.
I started by fading out everyone present, one at a time. Don't want to shock him awake, now do we. I don't think Jake even noticed until I removed Mr. Boring-speeches and Gills.
He jumped when I appeared next to him and tapped him on the shoulder. “Weaver?! What is going on here? And how do I know that name?”
“Take it easy Jake, it takes a moment.” Three, two, one…
“HOLY Crap… How could I forget all that?” He looked like someone had slapped him in the face.
“Don't worry about that, its normal when you're reliving memories. Now, how are you feeling?”
“At the moment, pretty well, I guess. Felt like crap this morning… Doctor diagnosed MORFS… Was planning to have my parents call you when I wake up tomorrow…” He trailed a bit as his 'waking' memory returned. “Wait… you shouldn't be able to do your dream-walking thing when you've just driven a car all the way to Austria?”
“I'm not, actually. And I think your sense of time is a bit off: its Sunday, maybe Monday by now.”
“That can't be right.” He said thoughtfully. “They said the pills should knock me out for about 18 hours, not three days. And I'm very sure I didn't down them all at once.” He must have noticed the look on my face.
“Then I guess something did not go according to plan.” I thought for a moment before I continued. “How about I update the rest of the gang on your condition, leave you hanging for another week or so and take another peek, let's say…Wednesday, second week of Christmas break?”
“Sure, by then I see only three options: 1, I woke up and know what's going on. 2, I'm still out and there is something seriously wrong. And 3, I'm dead.” The last was more of a joke than anything else, but I knew Jake did take it into consideration. I'd rather not think about that option though.
“Okay then, I'll leave you at it.” I closed my eyes and let myself flow back to my own body.
This can't be good. I didn't open my eyes, hoping I was still dreaming. Too bad the beeping matched my heart rate perfectly. At least I'm in a hospital, so at least I'm being taken care of.
I heard someone walk into the room, then someone spoke: “Mr. and Mrs. Wilson.”
“Yes.” So my parents are here.
“Tests show your son is clear of stage 2 and he should be waking up between now and a few hours.”
I figured I could use at least a few minutes to do a quick 'body' count, before they discovered the change in heart rate and respiration from sleeping to waking.
Let's see: No weird things on my chest. You never know with morfs. No obvious changes as far as I could tell, but I did feel kind of numb in weird places, but couldn't point out where. Guess I'll have to 'wake up' for that.
I slowly opened my eyes and was greeted with the smiling faces of both my parents and the doctor just behind them. The first thing I noticed was the long black hair hanging in front of my face. That's strange, I'm sure I'm dark-blond. Then again, who knows…
“Oh, Jake. Your awake, how are you feeling?”
“Not too bad. I feel like I've slept on my arms for a week, but for some reason my arms feel fine.” That's when I first got a look at the rest of my body.
My skin was replaced with a smooth covering of small scales and my fingertips were topped with slightly curved black claws, about 1,5cm long.
I sat up, to notice I was sitting on something. The weird part was, I felt like I was being sat on as well. I tried to stand up, but was slightly off balance. I turned my head to see what morfs had stuck to my back, to have my full field of vision blocked with what seemed like a large patch of skin.
I was plain shocked and it must have shown, as my father tried to calm me down. “Easy Jake. Yes, MORFS really did a number on you. But you're still our son, no matter what you look like.” I don't think it worked as well as he'd hoped, cause I could barely keep myself standing. “Now, would you want to hear the verbal version first, or should we get you a mirror right away?”
I had to think about his question for a bit, leaning back against the bed, but then opted for the verbal version. At least I would be slightly more prepared for the visual shock.
Apparently the doctor had been waiting for this moment, as he dramatically pulled up a list on his tablet and started off. “Welcome, young sir, to the land of morfs-survivors. The changes we have for you today are as follows: Your entire skin has been reworked to a smooth layer of tough and surprisingly flexible scales. You now have a reptilian style tail, at the place it was intended to be, of about a meter and a half in length. The giant patch of skin you just discovered is one of your two wings. Both are approximately two and a half meters long, which adds up to a wingspan of over five meters. And before you ask, yes, with some practice, you should be fully capable of flight.” My question must have shown. He paused for a moment to take a breath, which allowed me to pick my lower jaw from the floor.
“Further: You now have butt-length Carbon-Nano-Tube reinforced hair. CNT reinforced nails, of which your finger claws appear to be at least partially retractable. And last but not least, your bones are now for more than fifty percent composed of CNT-fibres. As of this moment, you don't have any missing or extra internal organs.” He paused again. “Oh, and almost forgot: Your eyes changed colour, but I'll let you see for yourself.” He motioned to the back of the door.
I stumbled to where he pointed and noticed a full length mirror. How could I have missed that? I took a deep breath and looked up. The first thing to attract my attention were the eyes, not the wings, not the scales, but the eyes. They were completely cyan-like blue, with no whites and a slit shaped black pupil in the centre. It was like nothing I have ever seen before. I can't remember ever seeing an animal with such eyes and I wouldn't until much later. It was quite hard to pull my attention away from them. It was hard to even imagine they were indeed part of my new face.
Next up were indeed the wings. They were huge, though it seemed far less than the two meters the doctor mentioned, but that could have been because they had adopted a sort of comfortable resting position. They still felt kind of numb, but I guess any body part would have. I tried to spread them, but all I was able to manage was a sort of wiggle.
In the meantime, it looked like my tail had developed a little mind of its own. It didn't wag like a dog's or cat's would, but it did a good job at keeping me balanced. Guess I'm gonna need pants with tail-holes.
The claws were a bit disconcerting, the ones on my feet were just a bit below one centimetre, but the ones on my hand were nearly twice as long. The doctor had said I would be able to retract these, so I tried flexing about every muscle in the vicinity.
My eyes shot wide when the claws suddenly grew another one and a half centimetre. Apparently they had been retracted all this time. I couldn't believe my eyes. “These are more like little daggers than anything else.”
I didn't realize I had said that out loud, but the doctor stepped in. “You should be very careful with those. According to the scans, the tips are nearly as sharp as a monomolecular blade.”
Okay, that does it. I'll never need a knife again.
“I should tell you however, that there were some complications during the first stages of your change. When your skin finished its remodelling, you lost the ability to sweat, as well as every single body hair. This in combination with the strangely isolating properties of your new skin caused you to overheat and slip into a coma. Afterwards, we kept you under, in case there would be any other complications. There weren't. But I think I should warn you about wearing lots of thick clothes.” I nodded again while letting the news sink in. “Now, if you're feeling up to it, I'll go get your release papers and give you some time to get dressed. Unless you plan on walking out in that gown.” The doctor's jokes did help lighted the shock a bit and I nodded a go-ahead.
My parents handed me a stack of my own clothes: standard issue sweater and some jeans. Apparently my mother had already modified the pants for my tail, probably somewhere during my self-examination. And after a bit of arguing with my new appendage, I got it to fit through the hole. The sweater didn't go that easily, as there was no way I could get the wings to obey me. It eventually worked by forcibly folding them around my body, then keeping them there with some kind of bandage. To be honest, it didn't feel all that uncomfortable. Think I should do that once I got some more control.
I moved to spent some of the spare time in the bathroom, emptying my rather full bladder, when I made another discovery.
My parents rushed to the door, which I, thank god, had locked. “Are you okay, everything all right in there?”
“Y-Yeah, j-just a moment.” My manhood had somehow acquired a sort of protective sheath. Everything was still there, but when it wasn't needed, it would retract to leave very little visible. Basically I could prance around naked, without showing anything.
This will take some getting used to.
Once I regained my ability to speak, I answered my parents. “Don't worry, everything is fine. Just a little change around the crown jewels.”
“Ow, you poor dear..”
“No, mom, nothing like that. It's all still there. Just a bit more… uhm… covered up.” I wasn't planning on showing them this part of my new anatomy. Though they might find out sooner or later anyway, they were my parents after all.
I re-joined my family just after the doctor had returned, signed some papers. Then we left to make my appointment for a check-up next Tuesday.
The ride home was pretty uneventful though a little uncomfortable, as I wasn't used to sitting with a tail. My brother nearly freaked out when we got home, but I think he'll get used to the new me eventually.
The following few days were filled with me practicing my wings and getting used to my new claws. No-one got hurt, though I did spill an entire bottle of coke across the kitchen floor… claws went right through the plastic.
Come Monday afternoon, I had pretty good control. I could hold the wings in one position without much trouble, but moving still took a lot of concentration. I had been musing about what my life would be like now, wearing nothing but a pair of modified jeans, when I heard a car park on the driveway.
I guess news travels quickly. I thought, as I recognised it as my uncle's.
From my room in the attic, I could hear my uncle come in, followed by a cheerful squeal. Hm, I guess Lisa couldn't contain her curiosity.
My parents had made arrangements with the rest of the family, that they would celebrate new year's eve at our place. They figured it would be a good time to re-introduce me, while still having some time to get used to it myself. Of course, the original idea had been for me to be in Austria. Planted face-first in a pile of snow, with a snowboard strapped to my feet.
I guess little Lisa had exerted her 'Little-Girly-Parent-
I was pulled out of my daydream by the sound of a small earthquake. Followed by a shocked squeal of: “AAH, MONSTER!”
“Aw, come-on. It's not that bad.” I said as I turned around to face my bunny-girl cousin.
Lisa was the first, and so far only one, in the family to morf, two years ago at twelve years old. She had turned into a bouncy bunny-hybrid. I can't imagine she did not get bullied because of her looks, but she was always overly cheery. A very fine down of black and white fur, slightly protruding rodent teeth and floppy ears, combined with her personality, made her a very manipulative girl.
Still, she had a knack for cheering people up, no matter how depressed they were at that moment.
I guess the sight of my new body must have been quite a shock. I know my parents hadn't said anything about the direction of the change, just that it was quite a big one. They have the same habit of dealing with spoilers as I do.
I squatted besides my cousin and scratched her lightly behind her ears. Causing her to giggle.
“You look amazing.” She said, before she rattled off. “Can you fly? Did you get powers? Are those nails sharp? Why do you have long hair? Why do your eyes look so strange?”
“Wow, wow. Easy there girl, one question at a time.” I was a bit taken aback by her enthusiasm. “Now, let's see… The answers are: not yet, don't know, yes, can't cut it and blame morfs.”
“He he, okay, want it slower?” She nodded. “Okay. Yes, I might be able to fly, but I don't have enough control yet.” I wiggled my wings a bit. “I don't know about any powers, I'll have my check-up tomorrow. Yes, my new claws are very sharp. My hair is nearly indestructible, so I can't cut it with normal scissors. And my eyes are because MORFS decided to pull a prank on me.” Lisa slowly nodded and giggled at my last remark.
“Lisa, you still alive up there?” Called my uncle Martin from downstairs.
“I'm fine, did you think he would eat me?” Lisa joked back.
“You never know with morfs. Now, come down here, so we can go home.” Uncle Martin was a bit of a joker.
“But, don't you want to see Jake?”
“Nope, I'm gonna stick to the deal we made and find out tomorrow.”
“Okay, I'm coming. Bye Jake.” She left and I waved her off.
The rest of the day was fairly quiet. I went to bed early, so I could at least be somewhat ready for my check-up the next morning.
The following morning, I found myself at the post-MORFS centre, at the ungodly time of 8.30. There were not many people inside, so I didn't have to wait long. After about ten minutes of feeling nervous I was called to the examination room.
“Ah, hello and good morning. You must be Jake Wilson. I'm doctor Flint, just call me Walter.”
“Good morning. Yes, I'm Jake. So, what do we start with first?”
“I usually leave that choice to my patients. The options are: the annoying tests or the embarrassing tests. You'll have to do both, but at least you get to choose which will be first.” He answered.
I chose to start with the embarrassing part, in the hope it wouldn't get much worse after that. The embarrassing part involved a lot of poking and prodding in places a man does not want to be poked, a lengthy inspection of my new groin protection. And a blood sample, for a database of sorts, which turned out to be more embarrassing for Walter than for me. It seemed he couldn't get the needle through my skin, so I had to make a small nick with a nail. It was the first time I've ever seen a doctor this stressed while trying to take a blood sample, pretty funny actually.
When we were done with the poking and prodding, it was time for what Walter called the annoying parts. This was more of the regular post-morfs stuff. Or at least the part where people tend to tell the results to their classmates. First up was a balance test: apparently I'm better than an average human, but not extremely so. Followed by a strength test: looks like I can lift about 150kg… per arm. Walter mentioned something about advanced muscle structure, which sounds reasonable as I hadn't turned into a bodybuilder. I hadn't mastered flight yet, so I'd have to find out my air-lift capacity later. I also hardly gained any weight. Guess CNT bones are a lot lighter than normal bones. Next there were some tests hardly worth mentioning.
Until we got to the last two: My chart had shown the increased isolating properties of my skin, so 'naturally' he wanted to test that. He had set up an idea where I would have to place my hands in increasingly hot or cold water, until it got uncomfortable. The idea was to stick with water, but we ended up with something a little stronger. One hand on a patch of dry-ice, 'borrowed' from storage, and one hand in some sort of high end toaster. With me only registering: chilly and pretty warm. Looks like I won't burn or freeze easily, will be a problem to lose exes body heat though.
The last test was one of my own request: “How sharp are these new claws actually?”
The answer to that came in the form of a series of scratch exercises. Starting from paper, then working my way up to thicker and tougher.
As expected, paper was easy. So was cardboard, sheet plastic and plywood. Walter seemed to get a bit nervous after I sliced through a piece of copper pipe. I wonder why? My limit came just after violently ripping through a piece of sheet steel: some titanium alloy that just wouldn't budge.
Finally done with the physical part of my check-up, I was allowed to take a break before heading to the telepathic part. So I returned to the waiting area to grab a coke from the machine.
When I turned to take a seat and enjoy my break, I noticed some ruckus outside the entrance. As I didn't have to get to the telepath right away, I figured I might as well take a look. When I got outside, I saw a group of high school kids, fifteen maybe sixteen years old, kicking away at some form. Looking closer, the form turned out to be a morfed girl who had her arms replaced by feathered wings. There was no way she could ever protect herself, I on the other hand could probably handle them all at once with my newfound strength and claws.
“YO!” That got their attention. “What has she ever done to you?”
Quickly all eyes were turned to me. “Oh, look. Another one of those animals. Come to save the parrot?” Snarled one of the kids, probably the leader.
Calmly I replied. “Yes, I have. Now could you please move, before I do some real damage.”
“You think you can scare us, you fucking lizard? I think you better get moving before you get hurt.” Yelled another, as several pulled out pocket knives.
I merely smiled as I held my open hands up towards them. “Heh, I got ten of those.” I said, extending my claws to their full three centimetres.
Most of the kids made a step back, but one of them attempted a swing anyway. I did not see it coming until it was too late to block. I tried to dodge which turned a full on stab into a scratch. Quickly I grabbed my attacker's arm and dug my claws just deep enough to make him let go of the knife. Unfortunately, this move left me wide open at the back. I turned as fast as I could, but was just in time to see the steel blade coming straight at my face. I was sure this was going to kill me, when something happened.
Time seemed to stop, the boy and his knife just froze up. Right along with everything else. Suddenly, I felt something 'ignite' within me, something I can only describe as a spark. And not just in my body, it was like it rested itself in my very soul. I could feel it do something, but couldn't tell what it was, just that it had something to do with the boy and his knife.
As quickly as it stopped, time started up again. The boy finished his swing at my face, only to have the blade break off at the hilt a few millimetres from my left eye. His hand lapsed back from the returning force and he cried out in pain. The rest looked at me in shock, looked at the broken knife on the ground, then back at me again. That's when they ran, dropping everything they were holding. As the two wounded boys recovered, they noticed their friends had made a run for it and decided that it was the best course of action.
In the meantime, I was still too amazed at what happened to even notice what was going on around me. By the time my own shock had worn of, I realized what had started this little exercise. I walked over to the girl lying on the pavement, picking up the broken knife and kicking the intact ones into the bushes along the way.
I picked her up by her sides and set her to her feet. “There, there. They're gone, don't worry.”
“sniff… Thank you for saving me, sir.” It was little more than a whisper.
“You're welcome. Just call me Jake, what's your name?”
“M-May.” She answered a bit louder.
“Nice to meet you, May. Did you come here for a check-up?” She shook her head as I proceeded to gently guide her into the building.
“No, I'm here for my weekly appointment with June. Do you work here? I've never seen you before.”
“No, I don't work here. I'm here for my post-MORFS check-up.” I said, then looked at my watch. “Speaking of which, I'd better get to the telepath. Maybe I'll see you when I'm done.”
May nodded and I left her in the waiting room.
The room I needed to be at was the one opposite to the one I had left about ten minutes ago. I knocked on the door and was immediately called in by the young woman sitting behind the desk.
“Ah, Jake. Welcome.” She smiled as we shook hands. “I was hoping Walter would be done sooner, but I guess it can't be helped. Nice to meet you, have a seat. I'm June Morgan, but you can call me June if you want.”
As I sat down in the chair she had offered, I realized something. Besides the somewhat eccentric doctor Flint, she had been the first one to not do a double-take on my face. Guess it has something to do with the amount of morfs they get to see.
“Nice to meet you too June.” I tried a polite smile, did not know if I succeeded. “So, what's the menu here?”
“What do you mean.” She looked a bit confused.
“Well, Walter allowed me to choose what tests he started with.” I explained.
“Oh, yes, that. He tends to do that.” It sounded like she had hoped he would just behave like a normal doctor. But then continued in a friendly professional tone: “What I do here is basically a little talk to get to know you and see how you are coping with the change. As well as a telepathic reading to see if you have any powers.”
I shrugged. “Well, I think I'm doing pretty well, given the circumstances. My family has accepted the new me and I know my friends will. Besides, it's only been a few days and I think I have quite good control over my tail.” I accentuated that by using it to scratch behind my ear. “Though my wings seem a bit less obedient.”
“So you don't think you'll run into any problems with your looks?”
“I wouldn't put it like that.” I hesitated for a moment. “There are certain groups at my school.”
“Ah, yes. I know the kind. They think they are superior just because they haven't caught MORFS yet. You should remember that those people don't have much power in the real world.”
“The Purists?” I smirked. “Oh, I'm not worried about them, they hate my guts anyway. Mostly because of the people I chose to hang out with. No, it's the supremacists I'm worried about.”
June didn't quite follow me, so I tried to explain. “The supers at my school have their own little club, there are only two ways to get in. One is to prove you are powerful enough to join. The other is the one I'm worried off. The Twins can decide to invite you. Mostly they do this based on powers or sometimes looks, but I have no intention of joining them.”
“Then what's the problem? Just say no.”
“That is the problem. The Twins are the self-appointed leaders of the gang and have rather volatile personalities, who won't take 'no' for an answer. I'm very sure they aren't related, but Jeremy and Kevin look exactly alike, hence their nicknames. Couple that with their other nicknames and I think it's pretty clear what the consequences will be. J and K are also called Fire and Ice respectively… Last guy who said 'no' had to dodge a fireball, good thing the kid was a speedster.”
“Then I think you should either not say 'no', or find a way to defend yourself.”
“I think I'm pretty safe from their powers, don't know if you have Walters report around. It's more the collateral damage they will most certainly cause and then try to shove it off at me.” I replied. “Besides, I'm very sure I have at least one power of my own.”
“Oh.” That surprised her. “And what makes you think that?”
“This.” I simply said as I took the broken knife from my pocket and dropped it on June's desk.
“Oh my… So it was you I felt at the front door.” I nodded, wondering what she might have felt. June must have read it, as she continued. “Few things have such a distinct feel to me as a power being awakened. I do have to thank you, by the way, for chasing off those kids. They have been causing trouble lately, claiming it as their territory. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to catch them red-handed.”
“You're welcome.” It was nice to know I had done something to help. “Now, I don't want to be rude, but as doctor Flints tests ate up nearly my entire morning…”
I left the question hanging, but June understood. She asked me to relax so she could do some probing. The entire procedure took only about ten seconds, then she pulled back with a thoughtful look.
I wondered what was wrong, so I asked her.
“It's not so much as something is wrong. It's just that I can't seem to place it.” Now it was my turn to be surprised, I had thought it to be her job to recognise powers.
“What do you mean, can't place it?”
“It's just that. I can try to explain though.” She took a breath and started off. “To me, powers and abilities tend to look like little flames, like those you find on a candle. Their colour represents their base and the way they move represents the way they manifest themselves. Awakened powers appear clear and bright, while dormant powers seem a bit fuzzy.”
She took a small break to let me process. Though I thought it was quite clear, maybe because I had once heard a similar explanation from Weaver. Though that had been about discerning people's dreams.
“It seems you have at least two powers. Your active power looks like some kind of telekinesis. But its movements seem mirrored to the typical TK, which would suggest its manifestations are also mirrored.” This time I understood directly what she meant.
“So, instead of adding movement to objects, like a typical TK, I would remove it?”
June nodded. “Sounds like the most logical conclusion. Besides, I think the results speak for themselves.” She pointed at the broken knife on the desk. “I'd say you made a sort of shield, by removing any motion in that area. Do you think you could repeat it?”
I mentally felt around for the 'spark', then nodded once I thought I found it. “I think I can, just wait a moment.” I thought for a second, then added: “When I hold up my hand, could you throw a piece of paper at me?”
She looked confused for a moment before nodding.
I concentrated on what it had felt like ten minutes ago, trying to use that spark again. The moment I 'touched' it, I felt the effect and held up my hand. I opened my eyes again, just in time to see the promised piece of paper bounce back somewhere halfway.
“Hey. Your eyes… they… glow.” June looked at me in shock, but recovered quickly. “If I had to guess, I'd say your power also has some link to a group of light emitting cells in your irises.”
I raised an eyebrow. Do I still have irises? Sounds cool though, would scare the crap out of people. I'm sure June heard my thoughts as she shook her head.
“Wait, what about my other power?”
“That one is still too fuzzy to determine, but I'm reasonably sure its base is similar to a heat-elemental.” I nodded.
Sounds like a nice set of powers. A small wicked smile crossed my face. Wonder if Jenny will get a heart attack when she sees the new me.
“Sure it does sound nice, but you shouldn't try to use your powers to scare other people. No matter how bad they seem at first.”
“Then I'm very sure you haven't met Jenny yet.”
“Oh, and why might that be?” June raised an eyebrow.
“Jenny is pretty much the incarnation of everything the CGP stands for.”
“And how would you know what the CGP stands for? If you don't mind me asking.” June asked.
“That's because they took over the local church a few years back. I've been there once.”
June raised her other eyebrow, so I continued explaining. “ 'Know thy enemy.' Anyway, since they added that famous double helix to the cross, it's nothing but a cult of hatred and lies, hiding behind a mask of Christianity.”
June looked a bit unsettled, but I continued anyway. “You know how the sane part of humanity likes to throw bible quotes at them?” She nodded. “Won't do any good, they hardly know what a bible is anymore. You can look in my memory if you're curious.”
I felt a light tingle in my head, as she looked at the memory. “Ouch!” June looked like she had been slapped or something.
“What happened, are you okay?”
“Yes, I'm fine now. It seems you have something else inside your head.” She took a breath. She was clearly not ok yet. “Do you know how people often refer to a telepaths defences as shields?”
I nodded. “Are you saying I have those too?”
“No, you don't have telepathic shields.” Then what was the point in starting about it? “You do have defences however. The closest thing I can think of which is similar would be mines.”
“What?! I have mines in my head?” Awesome.
“No matter how 'awesome' you think it may be, you should warn other telepaths about them. I just tripped one with a probe and got a hefty piece of empathic-feedback.”
“Yeah, I don't think Nick will be happy to hit one every time he wants to talk.” I mused.
“Friend of mine, he's a telepath. So I think I'd better warn him.”
“You'd better do.” June smiled. “Now, to wrap things up: I'm going to clear you for school, but I do want a weekly appointment at first to keep track of your progress. Got any preferences for day and time?”
“I'd like to do that Wednesday morning, as I don't have classes till eleven.”
“That can be arranged. Is 9.30 okay?” I nodded and she handed me some forms. “Now, I need you to sign these. Do you have any other questions you want to ask me?”
I signed the forms and handed them back. “Yes. Would you happen to know a place where I can buy pants with decent tail-holes?”
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