The boy Ayla pointed to shrugs, “Okay, as I said in the train station waiting room I used to be a girl named Sara. I was a pudgy girl with glasses and bad skin. The boys ignored me and the pretty girls picked on me. I generally managed to keep to myself and not get it too bad until this last summer. I was walking home from the library when I ran into a group of girls from my class. I swear they’d been drinking or something. They were all hanging on each other and giggling at nothing. One of them pointed at me and started whispering and then they all attacked me. They pushed me down and started tearing at my clothes saying they were no better than rags and calling me an ugly cow. When I saw they meant to strip me right there in the street I started fighting back and they all started hitting me.”
“I hope they’ve all been arrested since then,” Asuna says.
“No, they almost had me arrested because I started manifesting then. I threw them all off me and flew upwards,” he smiled. “Flight is still a very awesome feeling. I love it.”
“What happened after you flew away?” Ayla asked.
He continued, “Well I flew straight up for the longest time then I started getting the most awful cramps, like the worst period ever was coming. I passed out at about 15,000 feet. Fortunately our city has a hero who flies named Kestrel, she noticed and caught me. She took me to her HQ as she could see I was still mid manifestation and I woke up the next day in the little do it yourself clinic in her place and I looked like this.” He shrugged, “I’m sort of used to it now. She was great! When the girls told the cops that I had attacked them she gave evidence that I had obviously been the victim from what she observed and manifested in response to their attack. She agreed to take custody of me when my parents refused to believe I was actually me. She told me about this place and is paying my tuition. Kestrel is the best!”
“Thank you dear,” Ayla said. “I’m glad you found someone to help you out.” She pointed at the other boy, “Why don’t you go next?”
The boy with the rainbow eyes nods, “I’m Bobby now but I was born Roberta. One morning in July I woke up and my eyes had changed color. Not to this,” he lifted his shades and showed his current unusual eyes, “but from brown to light blue. After freaking out I told mom who took me to our G.P. He ran a set of standard eye tests and found my vision had gotten better. I had been 20/25, not bad enough to need glasses but worse than average. I tested out as 20/10 in his office. He did a more general check up and then gave me a referral to an eye specialist. The specialist had heard of this happening as a precursor to developing mutant powers and advised us of what might be happening. Another small freak out later, this time with my mom joining me, and we had handouts to read and were told to expect more changes.”
He gestured to his body and grinned, “I think this is a bit more than what he had in mind. Well fortunately for me Santa Fe is big enough to have it’s own hero team and they have a website with a contact number. It took a while and we had to convince several layers of assistants but eventually mom and I got to meet them in person. By then there were a few more changes and they confirmed that I was manifesting mutant powers. At first they were saying exemplar and esp but after I described to them the dreams I was having they decided I was some sort of avatar as well and the dreams were my spirit trying to communicate with me. The telepath confirmed that I had a spirit when I gave her permission to read my mind. Apparently avatars are easily detectable that way and my spirit provides me with some inbuilt protections from mindbendery which is cool. I used to wish it was a female spirit but after a few months of dreams I now mostly feel this body is right and normal. I just want to get a handle on these powers. I’m stronger, faster, and tougher like you mentioned Ayla but I can also speak and read Old Norse and have greatly enhanced senses, especially sight.” He sighed, “I can control the others so they do not overwhelm me but the vision powers still get away from me sometimes. I have telescopic and microscopic, I can see magic in use sometimes, and once I had something like x-ray vision and embarrassed the hell out of myself. I’m hoping that here I can learn how to use my vision powers or at least turn them off when they are getting in the way. I hope the spirit will get better at communicating with me because I’m told that the closer I am to it the more controllable the abilities should become. I am thinking of using the codename Heimdall if it isn’t taken because I like the sound and I wonder if perhaps there isn’t somehow sort of possible that the spirit started the legend. I do speak Old Norse now and the dreams have a Norse sort of feel to them too.”
“Thank you for sharing Bobby,” Ayla said. “If it does turn out to be the original Heimdall come talk to me, I have a few people you might like to meet.” She points to Asuna, “You're next.”
Asuna says, “I'm Asuna but you can call me Sue. I used to be a Japanese boy until early this summer. I'm like Bobby I've gotten mostly used to this body now and I like it. I even have a girlfriend now which I never did before. I can speak, read, and write Japanese and I've been learning martial arts from my father's dojo since I was about six. I'm an exemplar too, I'm guessing we all are, and a manifestor.” She created a set of silver bell hair ties and held them up to show everyone. “I can also do a sword and it feels like I should have one more but that may be because the Manga character I look like can make a large metal fan as well as a sword.”
“You look like a manga character?” Ayla asked.
Asuna nods, “One from Mahou Sensei Negima.”
Ayla smiles, “You won’t be the only one in Poe. I’ll introduce you to Tennyo after the tour. Now let us pass on to the next person.”
John nods, “Hi, I’m John. Well that’s not what my I.D. card says these days but I’d still rather you call me that. I live with my mom and three sisters. My dad is in prison, mostly for being a stupid asshole but technically for assault, battery, reckless endangerment, wanton property damage, and resisting arrest while on a drunken tear. He hasn’t had custody since the last time that happened but he used to have visitation rights.” John gives a mirthless smile, “I’m not sure if the townspeople are more upset at him beating on us or that his doing so has made two of us manifest.”
He shrugs, “I’m probably being overly cynical. My oldest sister graduated from here two years ago and is a policewoman there now. The Mayor even has an initiative going to get more exemplars on the force. The city is paying my tuition and in return mom and I signed an agreement that I’ll join the police and stay for ten years at least.” John pauses for a dry cynical snicker, ”He was a little put out when I started turning female but my sister managed to convince him it wasn’t a plot to make him look bad. So now all my I.D. shows I’m female and I have a new name. My two younger sisters are entirely too happy about things if you ask me but mom says they mean well and Mary, the eldest, says that as I’m going to be a cop I can forget all the girly stuff they are trying to push on me if I want.”
Ayla nods, “I know what that’s like. You know, even if you weren’t going in to law enforcement you don’t have to act girly. You can wear slacks instead of a skirt with your uniform and etc. If you have any problems along those line come see me.”
Asuna raises a hand, “Um, actually I still need to buy uniforms. I hope there is somewhere I can buy them today? I didn’t have the opportunity before.”
Ayla nods, “Yes, I will be pointing out the campus store and they do sell uniforms but that’s for later.” He turns back to John, “What are your powers John?”
John replies, “Um, well, they aren’t sure if I’m an exemplar or not because they say my change might be due to something called MATD. I manifest a what they call a “shell” and that shell gives me enhanced physical abilities and I can also create darkness. I can also “see” in the dark but they weren’t able to find out how since I can see even when there isn’t any light at all. The shell is very definitely female and I’m slowly changing to look just like it.” He shrugs, “Here I’ll show you.” He concentrates briefly and shadows flow out of his skin to form a matte black covering. It was so deeply shadowed that it was hard to see individual features except in outline. The outline was definitely that of a curvy woman though. “I might as well stay like this until the changes finish since they say there is no way to go back and being stuck halfway is worse.”
“Well you can do that today, as it is a green flag day today but tomorrow is a red flag day and there are far more of those,” she pauses and looks around. “Did you all get the flag color speech already?” Then she shrugs and goes through again, “So although I certainly sympathize with you, remember not to do that tomorrow. Okay?”
John and the others all nodded.
Ayla checks her watch, “Alright, one last origin story then we can go and see the campus without bumping into the boys and afterward you can pick rooms without bumping into the girls while the boys chat in private.”
The last girl nods, “Okay, I’m Steve, at least until I find a better name, and my “event” was triggered by my own idiocy. I almost got myself killed. My parents took me and my brother to the Grand Canyon for summer vacation. We were riding down on the burros and I was teasing my brother because he was scared of falling off. So just to be a showoff I stood up on the saddle of my burro right when it stumbled slightly and I fell off. I screamed and cursed and then suddenly I stopped falling and just hovered for a while. I couldn’t figure out what was going on or how to get down. Fortunately the Canyon Park Rangers have a flyer under contract to save idiots like me and he rescued me. He also told me I’m a mutant and about this place. Fortunately my parents are cool with it and can afford this place. I’m not sure what powers I have other than floating and when the Whateley application came in the mail I was already mostly female so I put that in and here I am. I want to become a hero if I can learn to control my flight and save people who aren’t as lucky as I was.”
Ayla smiled, “Paying it forward huh? An excellent idea I think and you might want to write to that ranger and ask him about job opportunities for when you graduate. You can help people that way even if you never manage to do more than float.” Ayla stands up, “Okay, next stop is the Homer Gallery to see a few bequests from Alumni.”
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudo!
Click the Good Story! button above to leave the author a kudo:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.