Poison Part 6

by EMW

Chapter 8

I sat once again waiting in the forest near a certain someone's cave. There was the nagging doubt that this time she would have upped sticks and moved. But I think even now she wanted to be found.

It was a lovely night clear and calm, the stars blazed in the sky like jewels. I sat and enjoyed the sky listening to the sounds of the forest. I hoped the plan Frankie and I had cooked up would work, there was a good chance if I could just convince Jamie to trust me.

I had missed her in the morning, half expecting her to be there requesting pancakes. I even put the cartoon channel on briefly, she had barely been gone a day and I was already missing her. I guess it just goes to show how much I was smitten with this quirky, pancake crazy, cartoon obsessed, friendly, loving, scorpion girl.

I heard the tell-tale rustle in the bushes of her announcing her presence, I looked over and saw a sad face peeking out of the bushes.

“I missed you Jamie,”I said.

She stopped there for a moment then shot out of the bushes like she'd been fired out of a cannon wrapping her arms around me in a surprise sudden rib crushing hug. I stroked her hair and held her for quite a long time. Eventually she broke the hug.

“They attacked me, and then a gang came to try and lock me away. Like I knew they would,”she said sadly. “The world doesn't want me there.”

“You'd be surprised,”I said, “I know you've got it in your head that they were coming to hurt you but it's not true.”

“You don't see it because you are the only good person in the world,”she said sadly, “I'm a horrible monster. Everyone else is against me just you love me.”

She hugged me again, crying silently. “What if I could convince you that not just me loves you. That there were others who wanted you back. What then? Would you come back with me?”

“How?”she asked face still buried in my chest.

“Well I'd need to bring someone else here, someone you used to know, they are waiting down by the lake. We can go visit them together and I promise they mean you no harm. It will show you that the world does want you and that you are not a monster,”She looked at me suspiciously. “Please, Jamie for me?”

She looked away then nodded slowly.

“Here,”I said opening a bag I had brought with me, “this will help.”

I handed her Pinky Bear, she grabbed it and clutched it to her stroking the bedraggled fur against her face. I put my arm around her and eased her up. She cuddled against me like a scared child but she came along without resisting. I pulled out the torch so I could see where I was going and made my way slowly towards the lake leading Jamie along gently.

We reached the edge of the forest and the trees thinned out so we could see the shore of the lake. I could make out two figures sat on the rock near the shore. Jamie stiffened and stopped.

“It's alright Jamie, I promise you they mean you no harm, I'm going to be right here with you,”I said gently massaging her palm to calm her.

She nodded hesitantly and then allowed me to lead her closer to the shore.

One of the two people saw us coming and made their way towards us he resolved into a tall middle aged man with greying blond hair and dark blue eyes.

Jamie froze in place staring at him like she had seen a ghost then she squeaked, “Daddy?”

“Yes Jamie sweet heart it's me. It's so good to see you I've missed you so,”he said coming closer.

Jamie began backing away looking confused shaking her head, “But but but you can't be ... I killed Daddy!”

“No sweetheart you didn't, it's true I got a pretty nasty shot from that stinger of yours but it just paralysed me for a while. By the time it wore off you were long gone. I searched for over a month, but there was no sign of you and we had no idea where you had run to. I tried to get the police involved but your mother told them I was hallucinating from drinking due to your death. She took your disappearance hard went a bit mad. She threaten to take Frankie away unless we moved house. I'm so sorry I didn't recognised you straight away, it's haunted me all these years,”he began sobbing uncontrollably.

“I thought I killed you,”said Jamie also sobbing.

The two of them edged closer together slowly as if scared the other would run off or something and eventually fell into each others arms.

“Oh my sweet Jamie I thought I never see you again,”sobbed Jamie's father.

“Daddy, I missed you. I was so lonely,”sobbed Jamie.

At this point Frankie came a bit closer and Jamie spotted her and got a nervous look on her face, she didn't let go of her father though.

“Who's that?”she asked.

“It's your sister Francesca,”said her Dad.

Jamie broke the hug finally and went a bit closer to her sister examining her, “Frankie?”she said questioningly.

“Yeah it's me Jamie, I see you got my message, I'm so glad,”Frankie said pointing at Pinky Bear.

Jamie lifted up Pinky Bear and reluctantly offered him to Frankie maybe thinking she wanted him back. “No that's alright sis you keep him, he's your bear I gave him to you.”

“You look different,”said Jamie.

“You too,”grinned Frankie.

“I missed you too Frankie,”Jamie said in a quiet voice.

“I missed you too Sis. It was no fun growing up without you,”Frankie said with tears in her eyes.

Both sobbing they embraced and their father came and hugged the two of them, I felt like I was intruding. But then Jamie broke the hug and came over and grabbed my hand leading me back to her family with a big grin on her face.

“This is Thomas, he found me in the forest, we're special friends,”she said grinning.

Frankie smirked at that and Jamie's father raised an eyebrow, the fact that me and Jamie were quite close hadn't really come up in the conversation.

Her father grinned at me, “Given that he's reunited us with you I'd say he's a fine young man in my book.”

Frankie chucked at that but Jamie beamed and took my arm in hers.

Jamie's Father took her other hand and looked up at her, “Come back to the village with us Jamie, we have so much catching up to do. I'd love it if you came back with us to the house. You could stay a while, there is a spare room you could stay in.”

Jamie turned and looked at me, “Is that OK with you?”

“Of course it is, why wouldn't it be,”I said to her.

She smiled and said, “well I mean you'd be all alone then.”

“He could stay too, the guest room has a double bed,”said her father looking away.

“Yay!”cried Jamie and leaped into my arms nearly knocking me to the ground.

With that we made our way back to civilisation and to Jamie's fathers house stopping off en-route at the hotel to grab our things. The house was a three storey fairly spacious place with a rustic feel to it. The spare room was a nice sized room with a comfy looking double bed in the middle. Jamie's Father, who insisted I call him Richard, made the four of us tea while we sat at their old wooden dining table and talked. The full story of what had happened for their side came out over mugs of tea.

The car Jamie had been thrown from had continued down the hill and hit a fuel storage shed, where the forest service people stored fuel for their vehicles. It had all gone up in an intense fireball starting a large fire that had destroyed a large area. When they had gotten the fire out they found no sign of Jamie in what little was left of the car they assumed she had either burned up or been blasted into the adjacent lake. They had done some searches and dredged the lake but found nothing. Jamie's mother had taken this very hard and had been inconsolable. Then a week or two after she had gone missing the new Jamie returned and the events at the house ran their horrible course leaving Jamie in the woods and her father paralysed.

When he recovered he had frantically searched for Jamie but to no avail. He had tried to get the police involved but they had been sceptical especially after Jamie's mother denied the whole thing and told them he had been drinking a lot due to the grief.

Jamie's mother became more erratic after Jamie returned insisting on moving, Jamie's father Richard didn't want to in case little Jamie came back again. So she threatened to divorce him and take little Frankie away and not allowing him to see her citing his nonexistent alcoholism and fabricated violence. He capitulated not wanting to lose two daughters. They moved far away from the village though both Frankie and Richard still wanted to go back there to see if Jamie would one day return.

The marriage between Jamie's Father and Mother deteriorated quickly and eventually ended. Frankie chose to stay with her father rather than her mother still blaming the woman for driving Jamie off. Jamie's Mother married a man from her work she had been having an affair with and started a new family, Frankie and Richard moved back to the village. Frankie grew up and was currently attending university and by a happy coincidence had just come back for the holidays working in the pub to earn a bit of extra money to pay for a holiday. Richard worked locally both Frankie and Him had given up hope of seeing Jamie alive and were overjoyed to have her back.

The three of them talked long into the night and when we finally went to bed we fell asleep almost immediately Jamie snuggling up to me with a happy grin on her face.

I was woken in the morning by Jamie crouched over me still dressed in her teddy bear pyjamas, “Pancakes!” she said and shook me, “Wake up Daddies making pancakes!”

I gave her a sleepy grin and said, “I'm up I'm up.”

I put on my clothes then followed a very happy Jamie out to the kitchen. Sat at the table was a very sleepy looking Frankie and their Father Richard was at the hob making pancakes.

“Gah, she woke you up too,”said a grumpy looking Frankie.

“Don't mind her,”said Richard, “she's not had her coffee yet.”

“Well Jamie gets very excited about pancakes,”I said with a grin.

“You're not kidding,”said Frankie, eyeing her sister who was sitting next to her cutlery in hand waiting for the food.

I think in this case her enthusiasm stemmed more from the fact that it was her father that was making her pancakes than anything else. Richard came over with a plate of pancakes he had done and a caffitiere full of coffee which Frankie grabbed right away pouring herself a mug and taking a few mouthfuls of coffee then giving a satisfied sigh.

I grabbed a mug myself and had one of the pancakes before Jamie devoured them all. After a wonderful breakfast Jamie went to get changed into some proper clothes and we sat down in the living room to work out what to do next. Frankie was looking much more alert now that the coffee had kicked in and there was generally a more serious mood than there had been at breakfast.

Jamie's father started, “So there is a lot we need to sort out.”

“Like what Daddy?”asked Jamie looking lovely in a pink baby doll t shirt with a cartoon giraffe on it and matching pink shorts.

“Well you've been officially declared dead years ago, we need to try and sort that out, there is also the various post MORFS tests that were never done. From what Thomas has told us you have a gift for healing and the testing people will be able to tell you more about your capabilities. And, though I hesitate to bring it up to spoil your good mood, the matter of those men attacking you and your response. I've no doubt the local police will want to resolve matters.”

Jamie suddenly looked a little frightened and gripped my arm, “They'll lock me away!”

I put my arm around her and held her tight and her father took her hand, “Shush darling, from what Frankie said there were plenty of witnesses that saw what happened you were held down by four men while this other one beat you. You reacted and tried to make him stop, it had unfortunate consequences but it was not fatal. If it comes to it I know a very good solicitor who can help us but as it stands I would hope the police will see it as self defence, Okay?.”

Jamie nodded her head doubtfully.

“Besides we've only just found you again we're not going to let someone take you away now,”her father said with a smile.

“Damn straight, no one's taking my sister away!”put in Frankie looking very determined.

Jamie burst into tears and then began hugging everyone in sight, it took some time and many hugs before she calmed down again.

“Because of your change we will probably need to prove your identity,” Jamie's dad continued, “Maybe the MORFS clinic can help with that. Anyway the most important part of this is your commitment Princess. This is going to take a long time and probably be emotionally and physically painful. Do you want to rejoin society again, come back into the land of the living?”

Jamie looked at each of us in turn then nodded and quietly said “yes”

“We'll be here to help you through it, every step of the way,”he said with a smile.

We had a long road ahead but it seemed like the hardest step was behind us. I looked forward to the day when my sweet beautiful Jamie would be a citizen again and also able to walk the streets and control her destiny as was her right. It would take some time but she would get there and I would be at her side all the way.

To think how such a little thing as slipping on some mud had changed my life for the better. Not only that it had freed Jamie from her exile and given her back her family. With so many lost years to make up for and missed experiences for Jamie to discover it was going to be a fabulous adventure. Without delay the four of us set the wheels in motion and began the slow process of recognising legally what had already happened in our hearts, bringing the lost Jamie home.

Chapter 9

(Sanura)

It was another long day at the office. Looking after the worlds elementals is tough job but someone's got to do it. I was just about done and looking forward to getting home to Amy and the kids almost on time for once when one of my alerts flagged a news article for my attention.

I pulled up the information on my screen and saw it was from some trashy tabloid news outfit in the UK. I sighed expecting it to be another celebrity seen out with an known MORFS survivor or some probably misleading story about an attack or some other waste of my time.

The headline read, “Man Mutilated By Half Human Half Scorpion!”I braced myself for another bigfoot esq story.

'Mr Gavin McWalter a local construction worker was brutally attacked by a half human half scorpion monster. Mr McWalter was walking home from a local pub when he was set upon by the beast completely without provocation. The monster, by Mr McWalter's description, was 15 feet tall generally human shaped but covered in jet black plates with a lethal tail and pincers for hands, attacked Mr McWalter who was able to fend off its physical attacks but then fell victim to some terrible power. The skin on half of his face and one of his hands has been changed into what appears to be black shell. Mr McWalter is in constant pain as a result and is confined to the local hospital. Doctors are baffled and even the staff bioelemental was unable to reverse the change claiming the damage is too extensive and that it was done at a level beyond their own abilities. Speaking off the record a doctor at the hospital said they also found the changes bear an energy signature that suggests a very powerful bioelemental made the alterations. Mr McWalter now hopes to see a specialist bioelemental at the St Giles MORFS special medical unit in London.'

The article then went on to talk about his problems as a result and how he had lost his job and girlfriend and so on. I looked at the pictures of a man with a face half covered in black plating. Something about this trashy story reminded me of something else I had seen earlier in the day. Then I noticed the name of the village where the construction worker lived it had also been listed on an unusual new entry in the database. A young woman outside the usual age range of MORFS suddenly being entered as a very powerful bioelemental. It had struck me as strange when I saw it and I'd made a note to investigate. But a powerful bioelemental suddenly turning up in a small village where a man is attacked seemingly by a powerful bioelemental, that couldn't be coincidence. I looked up the entry and another piece of the puzzle fell into place it listed her as a Scorpion Hybrid only 5 foot 8 as opposed to 15 feet tall but still I would have to investigate.

I sighed, another trip away, Amy was going to be miffed. I checked my watch. It could wait till tomorrow no one would be awake there for a while yet. Another rampaging elemental was not what I needed right now.

I decided if tomorrow was going to require overtime then the rest of today's work could wait. I packed up and told the various staff that I would be out of the office tomorrow.

I got in the front door and was ambushed by a cute bundle of white fur, “mama!”cried Faline leaping into my arms, she was getting heavy.

“Hey Kitten,”called Amy as I walked into the dining room, “what gives you're almost on time for a change. You get time off for good behaviour?”

“I decided to cut school early today, I've got another business trip tomorrow,”I replied depositing Faline in her chair having some trouble with her tail that had wrapped itself around my arm and gripped me possessively. I ruffled little Blaze's hair affectionately as I passed his high chair.

“Where to this time,”sighed Amy tolerantly.

“England; looks like some Bioelemental running amok.”

“Well you better bring me a souvenir this time,”admonished Amy.

“Will do.”

“Well since you're here you can help me with dinner. Come along kitten,”she ordered with a smile. I followed her quickly into the kitchen, I never could turn down her commands not that I wanted to.

Ludicrously early the next morning I got up trying not to wake Amy. I dressed got my briefcase then quickly formed a disk of dark matter and spun it focusing on my desired destination. Space twisted in front of me and a picturesque village appeared at the other end. I took a breath and then prepared to jump through. I never seemed to get used to travelling this way. I jumped through, landing neatly on a cobblestone road. I sealed the portal behind me and strolled down the road to get my bearings. It almost immediately started raining and I cursed myself for forgetting to bring an umbrella, this was England after all. I compromised by forming a shield above me that kept the rain off.

First stop would be the local testing centre which seemed to be attached to the same hospital the victim of the attack was in. Hopefully I could kill two birds with one stone, find out about this new bioelemental and find out something about the condition of the man who claimed to be attacked. The local police might be helpful but it was always a job to explain who I was and why they should talk to me, when I was acting in a medical capacity things always seemed to be much smoother.

I made my way into the post morfs testing centre and headed for the reception area.

“Hello can I help you?”asked a nurse from behind the desk with a pleasant smile.

I pulled out my ID, “Hello I'm Dr Miller with the International MORFS Registry we received an entry from this testing centre that tripped a few flags and I've come to investigate the particulars.”

“Right,”said the nurse looking a little surprised, “We don't usually get many visitors from the Registry, I'll see if I can get you some time with our Doctor.”

She went away into the back and after a short while returned smiling. “Doctor Howard is just on her lunch break but she's got time to see you before we get our next wave of appointments in,”she turned to indicate where to go, “If you go through this door make a right then the break room is first door on the left. She's just in there.”

“Thanks very much,”I said and made my way through, the break room turned out to be just a room with a single table a few chairs and a sink with a kettle and an assortment of mugs next to it. Sitting at the table was a young woman with brown hair, dark eyes, and a Mediterranean complexion dressed in a white doctors coat.

“Doctor Howard?”I asked.

“Yeffs,”she replied with a mouth full of sandwich.

“I'm Doctor Miller from the International MORFS Registry, I look after entries on elementals and one of your recent entries tripped a few flags a young woman outside our normal age range very powerful bioelemental scorpion hybrid.”

The woman swallowed her sandwich, “Oh yes Jamie,”she looked away for a moment, “such a sad story and yet such a lovely young woman if a little scared of people.”

“I don't know any details beyond what was in the entry,”I said wondering what she meant.

“Living in the forest all those years like a wild thing,”said the doctor seemingly not hearing me, “Lost thought dead then chased away by her own mother, tragic really. To think there was a little kid living out there for years and no one knew.”

“I ...”

“Hard to imagine that she managed to survive out there, even more amazing that she isn't a complete basket case as a result. Then to come back only to be attacked by those anti-morfs nutters. She put one in hospital you know, did some pretty nasty damage to his face with her elemental abilities, not that she realised she could do that poor dear. Still at least it had a happy ending what with her finding her family again,”She paused then shook her head and looked back at me, “Oh here I go again rambling on when you had something you wanted to ask me. What was it you wanted to know about?”

There was a great deal I wanted to know about from her little monologue but where to begin.

“So you're telling me that this woman Jamie, was living in a forest?”

“Oh I assumed you knew?”

“No this is news to me.”

The woman then went on to tell me a fairly fantastical tale about a young girl going missing thought dead who had actually undergone MORFS and was living in a cave in the forest then being rescued by a hiker.

“That sounds like something from a fairy tale!”I told her.

“I know, but it checks out as far as I can tell. The poor dear was trapped in a cave while she changed. Made her way back but she got chased off by her mother. Spent the next decade and a half living in the woods.”

“She must have been pretty young?”

“Ten.”

“How did she survive?”

“Some of it is down to the new body MORFS gave her, it's very very tough, and it came coupled with some senses and instincts that helped her hunt and survive. She's armoured like a tank incredibly strong equipped with a number of physical weapons, a set of pincers a venomous tail. Add to that her bio elemental powers make her immune to toxins pathogens and any physical damage she did receive would be regenerated.”

“How powerful is she?”

“Well we don't get a lot of morfs survivors with powers due to the incidence rate being low and the relatively small communities around here and even then I'm not sure we've had a bio ele like her before. But even given that I'd say she's incredibly powerful. One of our staff had an old leg wound that she received as a child. Very deep damage her parents were anti morfs types so refused her MBE care and she's never had the money to have it fixed. Jamie saw the damage from two rooms away through several meters of concrete and fixed it without even moving. Gave the girl quite a shock, but her leg is as good as new no sign that it was ever damaged.”

“Impressive, so she was relatively unharmed by her experiences in the forest?”

“Well I wouldn't say that, physically she is fine but mentally is another story. I've recommended she see someone more qualified to judge how to help her. She has been basically alone in the forest for most of her life, she's missed schooling and a lot of the normal social development that would go with that. As such she's going to have a difficult time reintegrating into society.”

“Is she a danger?”

“She could be dangerous as could a lot of people, she's had to fight to survive so she has a fairly refined killer instinct. She's had to hunt and kill to survive at a level most of us are never likely to experience. But she also longs for companionship and family. While she has that I think she will be happy and make the effort to try and fit in.”

“What about this incident where she attacked someone?”

“Well that's an interesting case. They're still not quite sure what she did to him most of the MBE's they got to take a look ran out screaming.”

“Really?”

“Well ok no, though one did turn rather green and had to get some air, but take my word for it it's not a pretty picture. Anyway as for an attack it was a little more complex than that, there were four of them holding her down while this guy attacked her with a bat. She reacted and fought back did something horrific to his face and one of his hands. The guy tried to have her done for assault but with the witness testimony and the circumstances they didn't prosecute. She's got to get some training to know more about her powers though, so that sort of thing doesn't happen again. The medical people will figure out how to reverse it at some point, and until then the guy can just eat his meals through a straw.”

I raised an eyebrow, “That's not a very sympathetic view.”

“No I guess not, but the guy was basically trying to trap her. He even left a man trap in the woods for her so I hear, wanted to sell her as a slave to one of those overseas circuses or something. He was a low life anti-morfs bigot before she did this to him I've no doubt he'd be the same if we removed it tomorrow. We don't look too kindly on his sort round here, we're a very close knit community.”

I got a few more details about this girl then decided it was time to head over and to see what she had done to her attacker.

“Thank you very much for your help Dr Howard,”I said.

“Oh call me Ruth, it's been my pleasure anything else you need just let me know Dr Miller,”she replied with a warm smile then went back to eating her sandwiches.

“That's most kind and please call me Sanura,”I said preparing to leave.

The doctors eyes suddenly bugged open and she went bright red and nearly choked on a bite of sandwich, “Not the Doctor Sanura Miller the famous elementoligist head of the elemental database!”she squeaked once she was able to breathe again.

“Yes that's me, take care now,” I gave her a wave as I walked out she was looking mortified like she had made some terrible faux paux. It was nice to know she was that helpful to anyone and she hadn't realised who I was in advance.

The doctors were a little reluctant to let me see him until I told them I was an elementologist they told me they had been having quite a lot of issues reversing the damage. Surgery would have meant removing half of his face then having to find new skin to graft back on. With the hand they didn't even have that option they found it almost impossible to remove the shell it being too tough for most of their normal tools to cut. With the face they had an edge they could go under if need be. Most of the MBE's they had brought in didn't really know what to make of the changes to the tissues, some had tried reversing the effect but lacked the power to do much more than small changes.

The man was restrained he apparently had been trying to cut the blacken part of his face off. It was a pretty chilling sight, most people forget that though most of the time bio elementals just fixed things that went wrong with peoples bodies, anything they could fix they could also break. Half the man's face was a twisted black plate the edges where it changed to normal flesh looked red and infected. That side of his face was frozen into a cry of terror. One of his hands solid as if turned to stone frozen in a claw shape.

I was just wondering what to ask him when he became extremely agitated.

“No NO NO! She's come to finish the job! NO!”he cried trying to get out of the bed pulling feebly at his restraints looking wildly at a point somewhere behind me.

I looked round and saw a normal looking man accompanying a figure in a large coat that hung on them oddly like it wasn't made for their shape. They had on gloves and the hood pulled up over their head. The figure reached up and pulled the hood back revealing a young woman with solid black eyes and long blonde hair whose face was covered in shiny black plating.

She looked over at the screaming man and said, “I just want to fix it.”

There was a strange sensation like a pulse of static running through the air and a sense of pressure and the man on the bed's cries grew in volume. I turned and watched the black plate on his face seemed to be folding in on itself and turning to skin again. Soon his face was returned to its previous state and his hand was gradually loosening and changing back. The man looked at his hand for a bit then passed out. The feeling of pressure went and I heard a slight sigh from the figure. I turned to see her sagging against the man who was trying to hold her up. I went over and helped him with the girl, she was heavier than she looked.

“You must be Jamie,”I said helping the young woman to her feet.

“I feel so tired,”she said.

“It's common when you over extend your abilities like that, with practice you should be able to manage your energy level better.”

She nodded, we helped her to a seat while the doctors fussed over the passed out patient.

“Who are you?”she asked as we got her settled she gripped the hand of the man she was with tightly obviously a little nervous to be here eying all the doctors and nurses worriedly.

“I'm Dr Miller but you can call me Sanura, I work for the MORFS registry and I was looking into your case due to its unusual nature,”I said. “I'd like to ask you a few things about what happened to you maybe take a few readings.”

“Oh! You're like a kitty cat,”she said pointing at my tail, “I had a book a long time ago that said I might turn into a kitty cat but I didn't, I did grow a tail though. I want to go back to Daddies house I don't like the hospital much. Would you like to come along?”

“OK I'll come along,”I replied and the girl smiled a little then got to her feet a little unsteadily.

“This is Thomas,”she said nodding to the man and putting her arm around him.

“Pleased to meet you,”I said offering my hand.

He gave me a guarded smile and shook my hand, “likewise, Dr Miller.”

The girl Jamie pulled up her hood and stayed close to Thomas letting him guide her she seemed fearful of being exposed she would press herself closer when ever people came near. They walked over to the car park, Thomas helped Jamie get into the passenger seat of a fairly new SUV. He shifted some camping stuff in the back so there was room for me.

“Sorry about the mess I've not had a chance to sort it out,”he said with a smile.

We drove away from the hospital and along a road leading around a valley with a lake in it. We soon came to a small village, it was the sort of place people imagined when thinking of a rural English village old stone cottages some even had thatched roofs, dry stone walls, and windy cobblestone roads. Thomas drove us to a three story house, we went inside and we were met by a tall middle aged man with greying blond hair.

“How'd it go Princess? Who's this with you?”he asked.

“This is Dr Miller, she works for the MORFS registry and wanted to talk to Jamie about her case,”Thomas filled in.

“I'm Richard Dasley, Jamie's father, would you care for a cup of tea Dr Miller,”he asked politely.

“That would be lovely,”I replied.

Jamie had taken off her coat giving me a clearer view of her body. She was wearing a small tshirt with a picture of a bear on the front and a pair of shorts. Every inch of her exposed skin was covered in shiny black armour plating, her forearms had some odd structures covering them which from her file I understood were deploy-able pincers, a fearsome looking tail arched up behind her tipped with a vicious looking barb. The tail flexed a little as she moved the barb at the top hinging about as if she was stretching. I can see why people would be afraid of her, her body was very menacing and a human sized scorpion triggered all manner of phobias in people.

Jamie sat down at the table she had a stool to sit on so her tail didn't get in the way. Thomas offered me a chair then went to sit down next to Jamie taking her hand in his. I noticed he was gently stroking her palm which was one of the few bits of her not completely armoured. Now that she was back in her element with her family she seemed a touch more outgoing. She made eye contact much more frequently though she still seemed a little shy of me.

“So what exactly do you do for the MORFS registry Dr Miller?”asked Thomas.

“I look after the elemental section of the database, as I said I'm Elementologist and have extensively studied Elementals and their powers. As part of my work I investigate elementals to learn about the effects of MORFS on people. The more we learn about its effects the more we can help people who are MORFS survivors and the better chance we have to usefully apply it's effects,”I replied.

“Apply like how for example?”

“Well take for example Jamie's Bio-elemental abilities judging by her little demonstration earlier with training she could fix almost any illness or injury in others and going beyond that scar free re-constructive or cosmetic surgery to any number of applications at the biological scale. We have many years of working with elementals of all types to help them to control their powers as well as maximizing their potential. Also the more we study these abilities the greater chances of duplicating some or all of their effects or find new ways to apply them. Imagine the boost to medical science it would give if we could duplicate even a fraction of someone like Jamie's abilities.”

At this point Jamie's father entered with a tray carrying tea and biscuits he placed the plate of biscuits down in front of Jamie giving her a fatherly wink.

“Here you are,” he said putting a mug of tea in front of me, “help yourself to milk and sugar and try and get one of the biscuits before Jamie eats them all.”

“We can also help in other ways, from what I understand Jamie has been cut off from any sort of teaching for many years and also been very isolated. She will have missed out on many normal parts of school and development, we can help you get some training and psychological help. In exchange for that we study her a little nothing more than some slightly more elaborate versions of the test the post morfs centre already performed.”

“I assume this serves as a monitoring function too, watching to make sure Jamie doesn't go round attacking people,” Thomas said seriously.

I considered what to say, “I'm not going to lie to you, there is an element of protecting the public. All powerful elementals, myself among them, are recorded on the database and based on their level of threat watched to make sure they don't pose a danger to the general public. However what I am proposing is taking advantage of the monitoring that would happen anyway to get schooling and psych help. We only work with the best why not let us foot any bill.”

I sipped my tea, Jamie's father was giving me a thoughtful nod, “It was something that concerned me how we were going to get help for Jamie to help her learn the things she needs to know. I want her to be able to make her own choices in life and for that she may need to learn things I can't teach her.”

He smiled at Jamie who was munching on a biscuit who grinned back.

As I watched the scorpion girl munch her way through several biscuits I was a bit concerned that everyone, myself included, was dictating what Jamie would do with her life. I wanted to study her to increase our understanding of elementals, her family wanted her to be out in the world, but were we just pushing her in the directions we wanted not taking what she wanted into account.

"A lot will depend on what Jamie wants to do, we can have all the best intentions but she's going to be the one who has to put the effort in."

Thomas nodded, "I can see you're concerned we are pushing Jamie into this and speaking for her but I can assure you she does want this and she's fully aware of how hard it's going to be. And she can speak for herself."

He gave her hand a squeeze and looked her in the eye's with a light smile, Jamie returned the smile and looked over at me. She was obviously very shy and she hesitantly met my gaze.

"I ... I do want to learn to live in the outside world," she looked away her expression sometimes hard to read due to the plating but she looked pensive, "I spent a long time in the woods and it was very ... lonely. Then Thomas found me and brought me back to Frankie and Daddy again. I want to be able to stay out of the woods and for that I need to know how to hunt and feed out here."

She turned back suddenly spearing me with a very intense gaze her unblinking piercing black eyes giving me a glimpse of the predator lurking beneath her seemingly shy demeanour the survivor that had lived in the woods for 10 years, "I'll do what I need to whatever it takes so I can stay with Daddy and Frankie and Thomas outside the forest."

She looked away again and I let go a breath I hadn't realised I'd been holding. When she wanted to be Jamie was quite terrifying. Even though I knew rationally she meant me no harm and with my powers I could almost certainly take her in a fight her form and intensity were hard for the non rational mind to cope with.

It was only partly due to her body with its armored shape built for combat her massive stinger arching behind her periodically flexing as if keeping ready, it was also those rare moments when she focused on you and you with her whole body still and silent like a statue with her eyes boring into you watching evaluating. That glimpse of the predator, that part of her that had allowed her to survive, the instinct to kill and hunt a part of her reactions that no matter what she might learn or become she would probably never lose. An edge that most people wouldn't have.

Her power was another factor she was very new at using it and even so she was terrifyingly powerful. If she had a will to she could unravel the very fabric of a human body from quite a distance. Right now she tired easily but that would change.

She was in every sense dangerous and needed careful watching but there was great hope for her. She had survived in a situation that would have destroyed a lesser person and while she was far from unscathed by her experiences she seemed to have maintained a friendly and positive personality. What she wanted out of life now was not revenge or some other dark purpose, she wanted friends and family, love and companionship. I suspected with careful coaching and help she could be a great force for good.

"I can see you're determined and ready to face up to the challenge ahead of you. I'll see about organising some training and help in teaching Jamie some of the things she needs to know. There will probably be more tests we want to run on your powers and physiology that might require some trips to various facilities but I'll make arrangement for that," I said, Jamie shot me a worried look at the talk of trips away and I saw her clutch Thomas' hand tightly," Your friend will be quite welcome to accompany you."

I saw her relax a bit her fear of new places and new people still obvious she would need to overcome that perhaps even some specialist help.

"Anyway it's been nice to meet you all here is my card in case you have any questions and I look forward to seeing you Jamie in future," I said and rose to leave.

I shook hands with Jamie's father and Thomas who led me to the door, "Do you need a lift back to the hospital?" he asked as exited onto the street.

"No," I grinned, "I can make my own way but thank you for the offer. Goodbye Thomas."

"Goodbye Dr Miller," he waved and watched me walk off down the street. When I was out of sight and unobserved I opened a portal aiming for the little town center, I still needed to find a gift to bring Amy.

Normally I would investigate cases and then leave the locals with instructions if need be but I sensed taking a personal interest in Jamie's progress would be of benefit. You never knew when you might need the help of a extremely powerful bio elemental and even better one who could protect themselves if need be. Yes I would keep an eye on this one I had a feeling that she would be very useful to me at some point in the future.

 

The entire MORFS  Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/

 


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