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[WhatIF] Whateley Academy: the Series (script proposal set #1)

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1 year 2 months ago - 1 year 1 month ago #64750 by Schol-R-LEA
Schol-R-LEA created the topic: [WhatIF] Whateley Academy: the Series (script proposal set #1)
[Scene 1: Berlin Airport, Berlin, NH, the arrivals concourse. Ayla, a fourteen year old student who appears to be a short but attractive female, exits the causeway, visibly tired from the flight. He has short black hair spiked in a Punk style, is wearing a Brass Monkey band tee shirt and a pair of black‘distressed’ jeans, and carries a large bag/purse. Ayla proceeds towards the bus stand, past a cafe table where Abby sits.

Abby, a who appears to be a woman in her late teens, picks up a photo and compares it to Ayla while trying to remain unnoticed. Her red eyes peer over a pair of sunglasses at Ayla. She nods, then takes out a flip-phone and makes a call, trying to keep an eye on Ayla as he waits for the bus. When the two buses pull up, their signs read, “Pickman Tours”.]

Abby (speaking with a distinct Boston accent): Hey, boss, that chick you wanted me to look for just arrived. Looks like she’s getting on some kinda tour bus.
Necromancer: Good. I will inform my... associate immediately.

[quick cut to the bus stop, showing a girl accidentally knock over a heavy bench. Ayla helps her right it.]

Abby: Looks like there are a buncha other kids getting on the same bus. Want me to follow her?
Necromancer: No. I need you to return to Boston immediately.
Abby: Ah, whatever. What’s all this about, anyway?
Necromancer (voice raised): That’s none of your concern, Vamp! Do I need to remind you again who is in charge?
Abby (rubbing the back of her neck, accidentally revealing some white hair from under a wig): N..n..no! I’ll get back right away.
Necromancer: See that you do.
[As Abby sighs, her illusion briefly flickers, revealing her as Alex, looking both younger and more androgynous than she seemed before.]


[Scene 2: inside the bus. Ayla get on board and goes up the aisle to a seat near two other kids his
age. He is greeted by Evvie, a stocky girl the same age, as he sits down. In the seat across the aisle from them is Kenny, a tall blond boy also their age.]
Evvie: Hey! Thanks for helping me out back there, I uhm, well…
Ayla: Don’t mention it, I get that these things happen. I’ve had problems with my powers, too.
Kenny (speaking with a thick Appalachian accent): So y'all going to Whateley, too?
Ayla (nods): Yes, they called me in early for some sort of ‘special orientation’, whatever that means. I take it that you got the same notice?
Evvie: Hey, yeah, that’s weird, isn’t it? I wonder what that’s all about.
Kenny: I got no idea. I’m Kenny, by the way. I, ah, well, I ain’t got a codename yet, so I guess I gotta work on that.
Evvie: Yeah, it’s tough y’know? Most of the good ones are already taken. I’m thinking of going by ‘Punch’, ‘cause, well, that’s all I seem to be good at lately, you know? My real name is Evelyn Chambers, but everybody calls me Evvie.
Ayla (somewhat stiffly polite): It’s nice to meet both of you. I intend to use ‘Phase’ as my codename, assuming it is available.
Evvie: That’s pretty cool, I guess. So, what’s your real name?
(Ayla, sighs, not answering)
Evvie: Uh, did I say something wrong?
Ayla: No, it’s just… (sighs) My name is Ayla. (looking deflated) Ayla Goodkind.
Kenny (visibly scared): GOODKIND?!?!
Evvie (looking puzzled): Really?
(Ayla nods)
Kenny: What! You mean like the Knights of Purity and Humanity First? Those Goodkinds? No way! (pulls away as far from Ayla is he can)
Evvie: That can’t be right, can it? I mean, there’s just no way… (upset) Ayla, please, tell him you’re not related to those Goodkinds. (Ayla stays silent) Ayla?
Ayla (head down, defeated): I wish I could tell him that. Especially after what they did to me when I manifested. But I am one of them. (quietly) Or at least I used to be.
Kenny (panicking): No way ‘m I gonna go to school with some mutant-hatin’ crazies like that! When I started changin’, those H-One assholes busted into our house and tried to kill me! You stay away from me! (gets up and moves to a different seat, dragging Evvie by the hand as he goes, with the driver, house mother Mrs.Horton, and other students shouting at him to sit down. Ayla sits alone, quietly depressed.)

[Scene 3: Billie, a tall Asian girl with purple hair which seems to defy gravity sitting a few rows ahead of them in the bus, peers back to see what the commotion was, then turns back around. As she does, Jade, an Asian girl with shoulder-length hair who appears to be ten years old, approaches.]
Jade (shyly, even bowing slightly): Excuse me, but would you mind if I sit here?
Billie: Huh? Oh, sure, go ahead. I was just wondering what that was all about (pointing a thumb back towards Ayla and Kenny)
Jade: No idea. (sits quietly for a moment, staring intently at Billie)
Billie: What?
Jade: Sorry…
Billie (amused): What, you never seen hair that looked like this before?
Jade: Not in real life. (pause, then asks nervously) How do you do it? It’s really cool! It’s (looking self-conscious) well, it’s like anime hair. Only in real life. (Billie looks nonplussed) Uh, sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it.
Billie: Naw, don’t get yer panties in a bunch. I’ve heard lots worse, believe me. (pause) Anime, huh? So… if I were an anime character, which one would I be? Which of ‘em has this kind of hair?
Jade: That kind of hair? Well, there are a lot of them, really, but of course, the absolute best, and most popular too, would have to be Tetsuan Atom.
Billie: Who?(thinks a moment, then gets upset) Wait, you mean Astro Boy? You’re kidding! How can you compare me to some ancient old wimpy robot?
Jade: He’s not wimpy! He’s got 100,000 horsepower! Besides, he’s the noblest! And he’s not ancient. They started the remake a couple of years ago. I think it’s still on, some places.
Billie: Look, just forget it, okay? Isn’t there anyone else I remind you of? Spiky hair, gorgeous body, that ring any bells? Come on, you must have some idea!
Jade: Well… if you had a tail, you could be a saiyan, but I don’t think I’ve seen any female ones. And the color would make you a perfect Aya, but she’s got a tail, too, come to think of it... though you’ve got her attitude right. (Billies smiles at this) On the other hand, if the color was black…
Billie: Alright! Enough already! Just drop it, okay? (Billie puts on a set of earbuds)

[Scene 4: Several students pile into the the second bus, including Nikki (who is wearing a hoodie), Toni (a black girl with an excited look on her face, who practically dances up the aisle), J.J. (a tanned blonde girl who seems hyperactive, and runs through the aisle at high speed bumping into others), Sharisha (an overweight and angry-looking black girl), Rip (a Hispanic girl whose hair shines as if it were wet), Brandon (a sly-looking boy who keeps flipping a coin), Benny (a boy with a wild look on his face who seems to be friends with Brandon), Gerald (a
scruffy white boy wearing a dirty looking knit hat and a mean expression; something seems to be moving under the hat), and Hank (a handsome boy with blond hair and gray eyes). When Nikki sits down, she puts her hood down, revealing red hair, an exceptionally pretty face, and pointed ears. Rip sits next to Toni, with Hank and Nikki across the aisle from the two of them. Once everyone is seated, a teacher, Mrs. Shugendo, stands up to make an announcement.]

Mrs. Shugendo: All of you, listen up, please! I am Mrs. Shugendo. I’m the Dean of Students at Whateley Academy. If you need to use the toilet, there’s a washroom at the back of the bus. Unless you need to use that, please try to avoid moving around the bus once we get started. (looking around as several of the children raise their hands) Now, I know that you all will have a lot of questions, but, unless it’s an emergency, save it for when we get to the school. And please, don’t do anything that could endanger anyone while the bus is moving, or use any special abilities which might be seen from outside the bus.

[Scene 5: In the first bus, we see Ayla again. Vanessa, an attractive black girl with a thoughtful expression, comes over and sits down next to him.

[Scene 6: the two buses pull out of the airport. Cut to Toni, Rip, Hank, and Nikki]
Toni: You guys’re all freshman, too? (everyone nods) Cool! This is so great, right? I can wait to get started! I’m Toni, by the way. And you?
Hank: Hann… uhm, Hank, Hank Declan.
Nikki: Ah… you can call me Fey.
Rip (staring at Toni, clearly interested in her): My real name is Elena Neva Natividad Amicella Lucita Obregon… but you can call me Rip!
Toni: Rip?
Rip: Short for Riptide! (gestures, and a small wave of water appears in her hand)
Hank: Shhhh! You heard what the Dean said about doing things out in the open!
Rip (waves dismissively): Ah, c’mon, no one could see that from out there. Besides, what’s the point of having cool powers if you can’t have fun with them? So, what can you guys do?
Toni: Hmmn, well, if you gotta know.. let’s see… (pulls out several small items including a book, and balances them on each other on one finger) Cool, huh?
Hank: What is that, some kind gravity control or something?
Toni: Nope, it’s pure badass skill! (catching the items again) I’ve got something they call ‘ki mastery’, which makes me some kind of super-martial artist, right? Perfect balance, running up walls, super-powered punches, the whole works. All this stuff it would take a wise old master years to learn, I can just do it. Everybody’s kinda freaking out about it ‘cause they’ve never seen someone with this kind of power before.
Rip: Damn, chica, that’s some crazy power! (turning to Fey) How about you, hot stuff? What kind power you got under those elf ears?
Fey (hesitates): I, well, I don’t think there’s anything I can really do that wouldn’t, uh, cause trouble. I don’t have very good control over any of it yet.
Hank: Yeah, I know what you mean. About the trouble part, anyway. I’m getting pretty good with controlling my strength, but it’s not the sort of thing that you can do on a moving bus.
(Rip sort of huffs at that.)

[Scene 7: A series of images which give the impression of several hours passing. The buses turn off the highway and wind their way through the mountain passes of New Hampshire. As they pass one point, a pair of ordinary-looking school buses join them. As the four buses enter a hillside tunnel, the two new buses change to resemble the original ones, while the originals shift to look like school buses, though the interior is still like a long-distance coach. Cut to Fey perking up, as if she noticed something interesting.]

[Scene 8: Ayla puts down the book he’s been reading, then picks up another one, but Vanessa interrupts.]

Vanessa (Philadelphia accent): Hey, sorry to bug you, but how fast are you going through those books, anyway? That’s like the third one since we left.
Ayla: Oh, yeah. Just a part of the new talents, I guess.
Vanessa: Yeah, s’cool. I got some of that to, but nothing you like you were just doing. I mean, I thought I could read faster now, but that’s just nuts.
Ayla: Well, I was always a fast reader anyway, so I suppose some of it is the advanced techniques I was taught growing up.
Vanessa: Huh, if you say so. Anyway, I’m Vanessa Jackson. (looking out the window) Man, I can’t get over all this. I’ve never really been out of Philly before, ‘cept to visit family, and now I’m going to some sort of super-elite mutant high school. (Ayla winces at that, but Vanessa doesn’t notice) Isn’t it exciting?
Ayla: I suppose. (seeming distracted) I was kind of worried about the little Japanese kid up there. The anime fan looked like she was about to go postal on her earlier.
Vanessa: You were worried about the little kid, huh? Do you know her?
Ayla: No,I guess I’m nervous about all these other people with powers and not knowing what they can do. I just don’t want someone to get hurt before we even arrive on campus.
Vanessa (smugly): Y’know, I can stop stuff like that.
Ayla (worried, but curious): How?
Vanessa: PICK YOUR NOSE. (Ayla starts picking his nose, the stops, looking embarrassed as he reaches for a tissue.) See? I’ve got it covered.
Ayla: You’ve got the Siren power? That’s… (looking worried) interesting.
Vanessa: Yeah, it’s a pretty cool power, mostly, though I found out the hard way that people don’t take too kindly to it if you go making them do stuff. They remember it afterwards, you know?
Ayla: Ah, yes, I remember being briefed about that. It’s a well-known limitation of that power set.
Vanessa (looking at Ayla with a quizzical expression): Oookay. Anyway, I figure that I gotta be careful about that, I’m not looking to be a supervillain or anything, you know? Not really interested in being a hero either, for that matter, though I did stop this mugger once so I guess I could if I tried. Maybe I’ll be a singer, though. Hey, what about you? You lookin’ to be a superhero?
Ayla: Not really. I had one fight with a supervillainess back in California, and that was more than enough for me.
Vanessa: Really? Who was it?
Ayla: Some crazy firebitch calling herself ‘Sparkler’. Apparently, it was her first time robbing a bank, and she did a lot of damage along the way. But I helped stop her. They’ve got her locked up in Thunder Mountain awaiting trial.
Vanessa: Damn, that’s pretty wild.
Ayla: Trust me, it’s not as fun as it sounds. I’m not really interested in wearing spandex for a living.
Vanessa: Me neither. But this place is going to give me a big leg up. I just want to be a businesswoman and be a big success. Yeah, I know it’s lots of hard work, and lots of study, and stuff, but I’m ready to do all that. Our pastor says that top grades at a place like Whateley could get me into some of the best business schools in the country. Even with a minority scholarship for college, I’ll have to work pretty hard and take whatever jobs I can get, but if I stick to it I can get me into a good M.B.A. school. And the woman who came and talked to mom about Whateley said I could learn things here that no business school in the country could teach me. That’s what I want.
Ayla: Well, good. Because I’m going to be on the business school track too, and maybe we’ll have some classes together. What does your dad think of your big plans?
Vanessa (upset): No idea. I haven’t seen him since I was a toddler. He ran out on us and never came back. Mom and I live with granny, and mom works fifty or sixty hours a week as a clerk at Jefferson University Hospital to keep us going. I don’t want that. I want to give mom the life she deserves. (glaring at Ayla) Let me guess. Your folks aren’t divorced, and they have plenty of money, and you’re busy being the big rebel of the family.
Ayla (distressed): My folks are still married. And they have plenty of money. But that’s not much of a help for me, because they kicked me out when I showed my mutation. They hate mutants.
Vanessa: Oh Jesus, I’m really sorry, Ayla, I didn’t know.
Ayla: It’s not that bad. I’m not dead broke, and now I live at my big sister’s house, and she doesn’t mind that I changed a lot physically.
Vanessa (nodding thoughtfully): I guess a lot of us have it tough. You should hear what I heard in the airport about… (camera pulls away toward front of bus)

[Scene 9: Billie and Jade. Billie appears to be nodding off, while Jade is busy reading a comic book. A jolt from the bus hitting a bump knocks Billie awake, causing her to go face first into the seat in front of her.]
Jade (amused): Wow! That looked just like you did a ‘face fault’. You see that all the time in anime.
Billie: Yeah, I guess you’re right. You’re really into anime, aren’t you? I gotta admit I am too. (pauses) Do you really think I have the attitude right? For Aya, I mean.
Jade: Well, yeah. I mean, we’ve just met and everything. But so far, you could do a pretty good job. Hey, we never actually introduced ourselves, did we? I’m Jade. Jade Sinclair.
Billie: You can call me Tennyo.
Jade: Sure! Hey, that’s a funny coincidence! I mean, you look sort of like Aya, and ‘tennyo’ means something like Heavenly Princess, and Aya’s a pirate princess from… space… (gasps) It isn’t a coincidence, is it? (Billie nods) That is SO COOL! Are you still changing? I mean, are you going to grow a tail and the whole bit? And what about all those cool powers! Naw, that would be too much, wouldn’t it? But if you could – wow! Hey, what were people like in the train station? How did they react to your hair? Did you do this on purpose? Please, can you teach me how? Not to look like Aya, of course, one is enough, but, uh…
Billie: Whoa, settle down. I think we’ve arrived.

[Scene 10: cut to buses pulling past a gateway with two ominous faceless gargoyles. Again, as the buses cross the gate, Nikki, Toni, Ayla, and some of the other students seem to notice something unexpected as they cross the school’s wards.]

Toni: What was that? (Hank and Rip, who didn’t notice it themselves, look at her puzzled.)
Nikki: I don’t know… but I think those must have been the wards Mr Maynard told me about. (thoughtful expression) If they were, they were more powerful than anything I’ve felt before.

[Scene 11: The buses make their way through campus before come to a stop in front of a quaint but large dorm. Students exit the buses, and some of them go to the side panels to get luggage out of the baggage compartment. As Nikki bends down to get her bag, she suddenly gets a shocked look her face. Behind her, Gerald give a yelp of pain, and the camera shows him holding his hand, as Nikki turns and glares at him. Nikki turns and leaves with an offended expression. The students are gathered together outside Poe Cottage, the dormitory which the buses parked close to, as the dorm mother, Mrs. Horton, calls them together in front of the steps. Mrs. Horton addresses them from the top stair.]

Mrs. Horton: Hello, and welcome to Whateley Academy! Now, you'll get the formal Welcoming speech from the Headmistress along with all the other Freshmen, but this little talk is just for YOU. Now, the reason that you were all told to come here a day ahead of the other Freshmen, and the reason that you're being put up in this dormitory, is that you all have something in common that sets you apart from the other students, even beyond your individual mutations. You are what is currently called 'Alternative Lifestyle' types. You are Gay, Lesbian, Transgendered, or so aggressively Bisexual that it is an issue for you. We don't condemn you for this; you didn't really have a choice in it, any more than you chose to be mutants. We realize that it's hard going through adolescence. We realize that it's even harder when you're a mutant. You have enough to put up with already, you don't need the extra aggravation of being branded a -quote- sexual deviant -unquote-.
Mrs. Horton (continues): Unfortunately, homophobic bias is so deeply ingrained in the American, Canadian and British school systems, and to a lesser extent in the European schools, that letting you go around openly declaring that you're Gay or Lesbian or Bi or Transgendered is just asking for trouble. So, we have Poe Cottage, a place where you don't have to worry about the kids down the hall finding out, because they already know about you, and you already know about them.
Mrs.Horton (continues): Now, while we are very proud of the fact that you were brave and honest enough to admit your… persuasion during on your admittance forms, I'm afraid that we're going to have to ask you to curb that honesty. I'm afraid that it's a matter of your continued safety. There are students here who have been victimized quite cruelly. And, unfortunately those who have been hurt that way tend to be the cruelest of all, when they find someone that they can pass that pain onto. And in our society, homosexuals and 'fellow travelers' are still considered fair game for that sort of thing. Given the abilities that students at Whateley have, a 'Gay Bashing' could turn deadly, even Apocalyptic. It is, simply said, easier for all involved, if it simply doesn't become an issue. If your sense of pride demands that you come out of the closet, then you have a right to. But please, have consideration for the other people here at Poe, and don't reveal the overall status here.
Mrs. Horton (continues): The reason that you were brought here a day before the more… mainstream Freshmen, is twofold - to give you a day to get used to the campus before the others get here, and so that you will sort of be part of the background when they get here. This will give you a certain… credibility that should allow you to make connections more easily…(cut to J.J. holding her hand up) Yes? You have a question?
J.J.: Ma'am, you've just pointed out that everyone here is queer or something like that. So, how is that gonna affect how we're paired up when it comes time to choose roomies? I mean, the brochure kept mentioning roommates like it was a given. So, like, are you gonna put us in Boy/Girl- which would make my mother, like, shit, fart and die! - or are is it gonna be Boy/Boy - Girl/Girl, which would be, really, like the same thing, but for real?
Mrs. Horton: It will be Boy/Boy - Girl/Girl. To have it otherwise would advertise that there was something unusual going on at Poe Cottage to everyone who looked at the roster. However, I must remind you that Carnal Relations involving students, whether between opposite sexes or the same sex, is Strictly Forbidden at Whateley, and any homosexual student caught breaking that rule will be punished as severely as any heterosexual student doing so! (cut to several of the students rolling their eyes and/or smugly grinning)
Hank (raising his hand): What are the rules about using your powers openly, like flying for instance?
Mrs. Horton: That question, along with many others, will be handled by the Headmistress at her Freshman's Orientation speech in two days. In the mean time, just try to keep a low profile. If nothing else, it will keep you from tripping into some of the more senior students.
Mrs. Horton (continues): So, if your heads are quite ready to explode from information overload, let's get you broken down into groups that we can actually work with. These three (gestures to three older students) are Steve Rossiter, Belle Forbes, and Rosalyn Dekkard. They'll be your Student Guides for today. You can also go to them for help after today, but you do so at your own risk. They'll show you around, answer your questions, and get you sorted out as to your sleeping arrangements. And so, I'll leave you with these words- Don't destroy anything.

[Scene 12: Steve, Rosalyn, and Belle step forward, clipboards in hand, and begin calling out student’s names. After a bit of confusion, there is a group of students in front of each of them. As she goes to Rosalyn’s group, Rip gives Toni a confused look, followed by a ‘call me’ phone gesture. The group with Belle consists of Ayla, Hank, Nikki, Toni, Jade, and Billie.]

Hank (whispering) : Do you have any idea why we’re in this group? (Toni and Nikki shrug)
Ayla (thoughtful expression): I have an idea, but I don’t know…
Belle (interrupting, speaks with a clearly affected upper-class RP British accent): Very well, Fresh-things, here's what's going to happen. We're going to have to discuss some rather personal things, and we don't want the others listening in, and vice-vicious. So, Rosalyn will show the Dykes in training around the cottage, Steve will show his little nancy-boys around the grounds, and I will show you changelings the school buildings. (the younger students all look at each other confused, before each one of them seems to clue in to what Belle means)
Toni: Changelings?
Jade (looking excited): You mean we're all...?
Belle: Ah, the light dawns at last. Yes, each of you is going over to the other side in the ages old battle of the sexes.

[break. Depending on how the time is going, this would make a fair end point for episode one.]

Ayla (growling): OR, were drafted by the wrong side!
Belle: That's all in how you look at things. (gestures for them to follow her) Come along, we have a lot to cover in not much time. Don't dawdle, please! (noticing that Ayla is still glaring at her) Yes, yes, I'm sure that it was all very traumatic. Now keep up, keep up! We ARE on a schedule! [Ayla continues fuming)
Toni (to Hank): You are getting more feminine?
Hank (chuckles): Nope, I’m going the other way. I was born a girl, but right now, I’ve
sort of have both sets of equipment. But the doctors tell me that my, uhm, female equipment is shutting down.
Toni: Hey, Dewwwwd! Not to worry! You got the recipe for Studmuffin, and all the makin's! (Hank looks a bit embarrassed)
Nikki: And you're sooo cute when you blush!
Belle: The cottages are laid out in three big arms, the girls-only arm, the boys-only arm, and this one, where the co-ed cottages reside. (winks) And you can't get much more co-ed than our little group, can you? (gesturing to a large hotel-like building in the distance) Over there is Melville Cottage, the home away from home for most of the children from families with more money than sense. They fancy themselves to be rather our social superiors. Everyone's social superiors, if it comes down to it. The girls-only dorms Dickinson and Whitman are over there, while in the other direction are the boy’s cottages, Twain and Emerson. In front of us is the Crystal Hall, which is the main dining facility for the school, and behind that is Schuster Hall, the main administration building. Now, let’s keep moving!
(As they walk past a number of wrought iron benches, Nikki seems to draw away as if frightened. Belle notices this.)
Belle (whispering to Nikki): Ah, yes, cold iron… don’t worry, I’ll try to keep us away from
those if you like. We can talk more later.

[scene 13: the group walk up to a large bronze statue of a man dressed in 19th century clothing.]

Belle: This is the statue of Noah Whateley, the man who founded this school back in 1878. Honestly, I think they only put this thing up because a school is supposed to have a statue of its revered founder. Actually, the school that he founded was mediocre at best- the highest that any graduate of the original school ever reached was a Congressman for Vermont. Anyway, after about eighty years of producing complete non-entities, the original Whateley Academy shut down and was foreclosed on by the bank. Then it was bought by a group of mutant superheroes in 1966, because they wanted a remote place to train emergent mutants in how to use their powers. They kept the name, mostly so that the school would appear to have a long and presumably illustrious history.
Belle (continues): Very well, now that we have that tiresome bit of trivia out of the way,
let's get down to it, shall we? First, we'll tour the Administration and School buildings, so that what we have and do here won't be a complete shock to you. Also, this will give the girls a chance to get their luggage upstairs and choose their rooms, without tripping over us. After a decent interval of viewing the torture chambers (coughs) I mean, classrooms, we will return to Poe, and you will lug all of your stuff up the stairs and pick your cells. When all of that's settled, we'll thrust out again, this time to tour the grounds, athletic fields, and the Combat Training Areas. (several of the group seem startled by this)
Belle(continues): Yes, Combat Training Areas. No, you haven't been kidnapped by a Mutant Terrorist Cell, or drafted into the military. Whateley's policy is that the students are left completely to their own devices to make up their minds as to things like politics and philosophy. HOWEVER, given the nature of many mutants' powers, the bellicose nature of humanity in general and the viciousness of Anti-Mutant militants in particular, it is quite likely that - whether you want to or not - you will be faced with situations where you will have to fight. And it would be a criminal waste of all this expensive education if we let you graduate, just to let you die a week later because you couldn't defend yourself.
Belle (continuing, sitting down on the pedestal of the statue): And here we come to one of the reasons that we split up as we did. Young ladies, Gentleman, we are a group apart. Even more than being a mutant or being (ahem!) of 'Alternate Sexuality', we have yet another distinction. Whether as a matter of deep-felt conviction or as a matter of our mutant forcing it on us, we are all changing into members of the sex opposite from that which we were born in. Others, even the Gays and Lesbians, may sympathize, but they don't really understand. So, while we're here, we're going to have to rely on each other much more heavily than the other students do. I have to admit to you all that having Six transgender students is a trifle unusual, especially at the beginning of the year. Normally, we only have one or two TGs at the beginning of the year, maybe with one or two showing up later in the year. Still, the rule is that the TGs room together and help each other out. With six, we have the makings of a nice little team. At least, that's what we're going to try for.
Belle (continues): So, while we're here, out of earshot, I'd like each of you to introduce yourself, tell the others about your background, how you feel about your change, what you want to make of that change, and - Whateley's version of 'what's your major?'- what your mutant power is. Let me start off.
Belle (continues): My name is Kendall Forbes, and I was born in the outskirts of Bristol, Yew Kay. My family was a perfectly respectable Professional class one. And in keeping with sacred tradition, my parents packed me off to a 'decent Boys' School' the first chance they got. What they didn't realize was that I wanted to be packed off to a decent Girls' School. At any rate, I was in my Second Form, I started seeing wispy things floating around. I started having nightmares about a ghoul that I called 'Gnashitty Rippit', a foul thing with a wide befanged mouth and grasping betaloned hands. Then one night, I woke up in my bed, and Lo And Behold!, there was Gnashitty Rippit, floating over my bed, licking his chops. The demmed thing chased me all over the school before it cornered me. Then I screamed at it to go away. And strike me down, if it didn't! It turned out that not only did I have complete control over Gnashitty, but I had actually created him, out of that wispy stuff floating around. That 'stuff' is called 'Ectoplasm', and I have the power to gather it up, mold it into whatever form that I want, and set it to doing things. (gestures, and a sort of goblin – the same Gnashity Rippit she just described – appears in front of her, startling the younger students)
Belle (continues): I, being a sane, stable, responsible young man of Twelve Summers, immediately started one of the most horrific hauntings in the history of England. Severed heads floating down the halls, blood dripping down the walls, gawd-awful screams in the dead of night, horrible things turning up in the Masters' beds - Lord it was wonderful! They wound up sending the Gray Wizard, one of Britain's foremost superheroes, in to investigate. It took him a solid week to figure out that it was me! I'll give him this, he was a sharp one - the only reason that it took him that long was that his scryings indicated that a Girl was behind it all. Y'see, I'd discovered that I could also use the old Ecto to disguise myself - (sweeps a hand down in front of her, and suddenly turns into Marilyn Monroe, dressed as she was in that scene in 'The Seven Year Itch' where the gust from the grating blows her skirt up, before gesturing again and returning to how she looked before) – which I did whenever I was pulling any of my little jokes.
Belle (continues): Well, when he finally figured out who was behind it all, the Wizard took me aside, explained that I was going about it all the wrong way, and set me up with an interview with an agent from Whateley. He even explained it all to the Mums and Dads, which went a LONG way towards me not getting my backside shellacked.
Belle (continues): When they sent me to the doctor, to see if anything else unexpected was growing in me - you know, forked tail, cloven hooves, unspeakable writhing mass, that sort of thing - the doctor discovered that I was showing the first signs of puberty. A Girl's puberty. It seems that by disguising myself as a girl, I was affecting my body so that it was conforming to the image that I was projecting. The doctor told me that if I kept disguising myself as a girl, that it could affect the progress of my puberty.
Belle (continues, smiling broadly): So, naturally, I started disguising myself Twenty-four/Seven. They had no choice to enroll me here at Hogwar- I mean, Whateley as a girl at Poe.
Belle (continues): Now, just to wrap up, as I said before, I can gather up or generate Ectoplasm - though just gathering the stuff up is a lot easier - and I can mold it into various things and animate them. (gestures, and manifests a dove, which flies away before vanishing) So[/i], now that you know my story, I think we should all hear yours. (pointing to Hank) Mr. Declan, you're the odd man out- and in this group, that's saying something! Why don't we start with you?
Hank (somewhat hesitant): Uh, OK. my name is Hank Declan. It used to be Hannah Declan, but that doesn't really fit anymore. I'm an Army Brat, I was born at the Military Hospital at Fort Dix, and I've lived at four different postings. That I can remember. I'm the oldest child -
Ayla: Oh, don't tell me it's the old 'my father always wanted a son' gag!
Hank: Ahhh, no, Dad was always happy with a daughter. He never saw anything wrong with a girl going out and roughhousing with the boys - especially not with some of the female Non-Coms that he's served with! As a matter of fact, I didn't have any real problems with being a girl! It's just, (seeming a bit forced) when my body started changing, it just seemed so… right! Y'know, it was like, of course! That's the way that it's supposed to be!
Belle (looking skeptical and muttering): Oh, really? (normal voice) How did your parents take it?
Hank: Well, they were weirded out, all right. All their ideas of what the rest of my life was gonna be like kind of went out the window. The one that was really freaked out was my little brother. And he really went nuts when it turned out that I could lift five tons without even straining, let alone when I found out that I could fly!
Billie (interested): You can fly?
Hank (looking embarrassed): Yeah. It came in real handy when my little brother went to one of the Sergeants at Bragg who had a hate on for mutants a foot wide a mile long, and told him that a mutant was holding his parents hostage.
Toni: Your own little brother did that to you?
Hank: Well, it was a lot more involved than that. A lot of melodrama went down before that happened. Anyway, Lennox came at me with an entire squad armed with assault rifles and LAWS rockets. I managed to get away, and there was a lot of noise, with Lennox screaming that there was a dangerous mutant terrorist at large, and my Dad screaming back at him that that 'mutant terrorist' was his daughter, and Lennox screaming back at my Dad that he was under some kind of weird mutant mind control, and Jay -that's my brother- backing him up.
Belle:Dear, that's two 'Ands' too many.
Hank: Uh, yeah, right. Anyway, after a week of dodging Army helicopters, a Ranger team caught up with me and convinced me that Dad had convinced the Colonel that Lennox had his head up his ass, and they brought me in. While they weren't going to press any charges- I sort of had to wreck a couple of patrol jeeps and a tank getting out of the Camp - it wasn't a very good idea for me to stay at Bragg. Y'see, while Lennox didn't exactly follow procedure, he was using proper initiative in a High Risk situation, so he was still on base and he still has his stripes. Then some people from the Academy showed up, and did some weird tests and stuff, and they talked my Dad into signing the papers so's I could come here.
Belle: Still too many 'Ands', Hank. Remember, Grammar always. You said that you could lift five tonnes and fly. What exactly are your powers?
Hank: Well, they said that I was a 'High Level Functioning Non-Ranged Psychokinetic' or something like that. I sort of generate this telekinetic field. I can lift stuff with it, includin' myself, and it can stop bullets and things with it. Oh, and they said that I was a 'Level 3 Exemplar', whatever that means.
Belle: Ah, yes, perhaps a bit of explanation is in order. There are some terms like 'Energizer', 'Warper', 'Shifter', 'Deviser', 'Wizard' and of course, 'Exemplar' that describe the basic function of what a mutant does. The more powerful or extreme the traits are, the higher the level. This is not necessarily a good thing. You see, the further you stray from the baseline human mean, the higher the likelihood that you will develop gross physical deformities is, and the higher the chance that your mutation will turn lethal.
Nikki: Gross physical deformities?
Jade: Lethal?
Belle: I hate to be the one to break it to you children, but being a mutant isn't all fun and games. The more powerful the mutant ability that you have is, the greater chance that something's going to go wrong with your body. Last year, five students died during training. Some of them burned out, some of them had seizures during practice. One guy just upped and died in class. Nobody noticed anything until everyone got up at the end of class and he didn't. The girl who sat next to him had a panic attack that laid her up for a week. (waves this aside) Now, where were we? Oh yes - Exemplars. An Exemplar is a mutant who has the power to slowly shape their body according to an ideal that they've formed somewhere in their subconscious. They make their bodies stronger, faster, tougher and usually cuter. Hank, when they say that you're a Level 3 Exemplar, that means that your power pushes your strength, agility and so on to a level that is just above the maximum that a normal, unaugmented human can achieve. Anything more, Hank?
(Hank shakes his head no)
Belle (continues): Very well. Next--- let's see--- YOU. (points at Toni)
Toni bubbly: Hi! I'm Toni - that's Toni with an 'I'- Chandler. I'm fourteen- I'll be fifteen in February- and I'm from Pleasant Oaks. That's a suburb of Baltimore. I come from a big family, and I don't have any really traumatic 'trigger' stories or anything. I was practicing at my Aikido dojo, and I was facing off against Danny Mancell, who's a 14 karat jerk, and he was giving me shit about being a wimp and stuff. Anyway, I was trying to focus my Ki anyway, I was trying to focus my Ki like my Aikido sensei told me to, and suddenly Bang! Ifeel this force flowing through my body, and I hit Danny with it, and he goes flying across the Dojo and smacks into the wall on the far side.
Belle: Too many 'Ands', Dear.
Toni: Sorry. Anyway, at first, I just think that I'm really hot shit with Aikido. But then my eyes changed from plain old Brown to this- (pointed at her Amber colored eyes) and they got the clue that something might be up. So, they took me to a doctor, who referred us to another doctor, who referred us to the Academy, and well…
Ayla: So, basically, your shtick is Super-Martial Arts?
Toni: Well, sorta, but there's a lot more to it than that. I can see how Ki flows in other people and how it flows through the Earth and the stuff around it -
Billie: Wait a minute! The Earth doesn't have Ki!
Toni: Of course it does. Or at least it has a sort of magnetic field that's somehow related to Ki. And beside martial arts moves, I can use it to increase my strength and speed and toughness even beyond what being an Exemplar makes me, I can use it to increase my running speed and how far I can jump, and--- well, let's just say that if you saw it in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, I can probably do it.
Nikki: And it's all tied in with this Ki you're telling us about? What exactly is that, if you don't mind me asking?
Toni: Well, that's kinda hard to explain. Ki is this real big deal in Asian mysticism. It's supposed to mean 'breath', or 'strength', or 'life' or a whole bunch'a things. It's sorta like a life force that runs through everything that lives. In China and like that, they've been studying how to concentrate that life force into really tight areas, to do stuff like make their arms stronger, or to resist getting stabbed, or to heal their bodies. Only, with most people, they gotta train real hard for years, just to do the tiniest thing. Me? I just do it, like it was second nature.
Ayla: That doesn’t explain why you’re a changeling, though, does it?
Toni: Oh, oh yeah. Like I said, I’m also an Exemplar, so it’s all great!
Ayla: Hold, on, as I understand it, the Exemplar power makes you into your ideal self, so… does that mean you wanted to be a girl?
Toni: Hell Yeah! (squeeing) I always secretly wished I was a girl, and just about went crazy being stuck as a boy. This is like a dream come true for me!

(Ayla rolls his eyes)

Belle: All right, then. (pointing to Nikki) Your turn, luv.
Nikki: Well, my name is Nikki Reilly, That's short for Nichole now, but it used to be Nicholas. I from Kansas City, Missouri, and was a pretty normal kid up until recently. My dad left when I was ten and took my little brother Andy with him but Mom has a pretty good job, so we were doing pretty well. waving her hand along her body As you can see, I’ve changed into a kind of faerie or elf, something they call a Sidhe. My powers are related to Ley lines, the energies of the earth gather into these lines and intersect at various places, sending out secondary lines. Every thing on Earth has these lines in one form or another and I can see them as different colors. One day I just kind of reached out to feel one and got a near electrical shock when I did. I discovered that I was able to tap into these lines for power, energy, whatever you want to call it, and use that energy to kind of weave the lines I wanted to affect into different things.
Toni: Wow! You can see those lines like I see Ki!
Nikki: Yeah! I can also tap into anything natural and use it for power, like flowing water, rain, wind, they're all lines I can see and use. Then… as I learned all this stuff about what I could do, that was when I started to change. I never was what anyone would call 'Jock Material', but I was at least pretty average as a guy. Once the changes started, I got thinner, a little shorter, and started filling
out like a girl. Everything got switched around, and even my hair changed color. All my features more or less rearranged themselves to what you see now within a few months.
Belle: Really? That sounds rather fast.
Nikki: It caused problems for me at school like you wouldn't believe! Well, OK, maybe you guys would. I became a target for bullies, and I had promised my Mom that I wouldn't use my powers to get back at them. Until some guy literally ripped my shirt off in the hall one day. (Everyone cringes)
Jade: What did you do then? Did you zap him?
Nikki: Not exactly. I sort of tried to, but I was so angry, that I lost control over the magic. When I don't control it very carefully the energy kind of takes on a life of its own. The wizard I got examined by call these pieces of loose energy hobgoblins. They’re usually pretty harmless, but they can be really annoying. This time, they came out as crazy-colored squirrels, which ran all over the school messing things up. Two of them crawled up the bully's pants and started discussing whether they wanted to eat the nuts they found there or take them home for later. (everyone starts giggling) They made such a huge mess that they had to shut down the school for the rest of the day, and I ended up getting expelled for the last three weeks of classes. That’s why I ended up coming here.
Nikki (continues): I don’t know why my power doing is changing me like this. I'm told that I should be completely, functionally female by the time I'm about seventeen. But as the power changes me I keep getting more and more inhuman in appearance.
Belle: You look just fine to me, dear. You are going to be an exotic beauty, that's pretty clear, and the outward physical changes are just about finished up, aren't they?
Nikki: Pretty much, yeah. Oh, and there’s another thing. I wear all these silk, satin, and linen things because I'm allergic to synthetic materials. I break out in a nasty, bumpy rash and turn bright red if I wear any of those and it itches like crazy. As if that isn't bad enough, for some reason connected to my power, plain iron gives me mild burns, like a sunburn. Steel and other alloys don't seem to bother me, but don't expect me to sit on any wrought iron furniture or handle cast iron skillets.
Belle: Ah, yes, that explains it. We’ve had other Faerie students here who have had the same problem, or so I’ve heard.
Toni: Well, that sure explains why you call yourself Fey, doesn't it? (Nikki nods)
Belle: You say you weave the lines you see into other things? Then make those into something else, like a natural spell caster, correct? You don't have to use books, diagrams, or anything like a prop to do this?
Nikki: Right. Also… (hesitates) I can, ah, hear things. Everything, actually, unless I shut it out. That almost drove me nuts, hearing the walls, trees, and even grass talking, singing, or
just droning on and on. But I can pick and chose what I listen to now, thanks to the wizard teaching me how. I also seem to be able to communicate with animals on a very limited basis. It's more empathic than telepathic, but I get their general moods and feelings, while I'm able to send them mine.
Belle: Well! I'd say you have lots of potential there Fey. But you're going to need to work hard to be able to use it right. Fortunately, we have teachers here at Whateley who can work with you on that kind of thing.
Nikki: That’s, uh, really great to hear. I’m really going to need it.
Belle: Very good. And now for a few words from are cranky punker girl… (points towards Ayla, who glares at Belle. Belle does the mature thing and sticks her tongue out)
Ayla (sarcastic): Well my story isn't as action packed as Hank’s or Nikki's story. But
here we go anyway. (pauses, as if dreading this) I was born Trevor James Goodkind. (gasps from the others, which causes him to stop)
Belle (quiet and serious): Go on, dear.
Ayla: I’m sure you all know that my family are some of the richest people on the planet. I guess you also know that are some of the main backers of the Mutant Commission Office and groups like Humanity First and the Knights of Purity. All my life I’d heard about how terrible mutants were, and how baselines had to be protected from them. I never imagined I would end up being a mutant myself.
Ayla (continuing): All that changed about two months ago. I was heading down the stairs for breakfast and was about to walk by one of the maids when suddenly I got the feeling that I was
completely naked… and the next thing I knew, I’d fallen right through the maid who was in front of me. (the others try to suppress giggles) OK, it sounds pretty funny now I guess, but at the time, I was in a total panic! I was just lying there completely naked!
Toni (breaking into hysterical laughter): You walked right out of your clothes?!?
Ayla:Bingo! Well once the world stopped crashing down around me the maid took off in a run as fast as her heels would carry her, while I tried to figure out how I ended up naked. I looked up at the top of the stairs and saw my kid brother David holding my clothes and looking at me with a freaked-out look on his face… (sadness comes over him as he starts to cry) he… he… his face turned all pale and he shouted freak, then he ran down the stairs and passed me. I scrambled to get up the stairs and dressed again before he came back. When he did, David brought my mother with him. He explained what he saw and I watched, as she grew as pale as he had. When I moved to hold her, she backed away and screamed not to touch her. Then she ordered me to my room and… and…
Ayla (continuing): When my father came home, he wasn't alone. He brought Dr Hammond from one of the labs he runs.
Belle (freaking out a bit): Emil Hammond? He’s alive?
Ayla: Yeah. My family have been secretly funding his research at a lab on our estate. (crying again) That bastard jabbed me with a needle and I woke up on one of his damn tables a few hours later. He spent the next day studying me like I was some damn lab animal!
Ayla (continuing): Thankfully my older brother Paul made the mistake of calling my brother Greg. Sh... He must have gotten a hold of mom and dad because the next thing I knew I was back at the mansion watching two maids pack me a bag to go stay with Greg.
Ayla (continuing): What I didn’t know at the time was he wasn’t Greg any more. He’d been kicked out of the family years before, and I hadn't seen or talked to him in nearly six years, as my father had disowned him and told us never to mention Greg's name in the house again. When I got to Los Angeles, I was shocked to find out that Greg is now Gracie.
Belle: You mean she’s a Changeling, too?
Ayla: Not exactly. She’s not a mutant, but she is transgender. When she turned eighteen she went off in secret to use this Devisor drug called Anlage, which made her intersexed. She looks like a woman now, but she still has her male, uh, stuff, between her legs. She’s married to a woman named Janet now, but they also have two roommates name Amy and Tiffany who are also transwomen. They live in a part of West Hollywood called ‘the Square’, which is where a lot of trans people go. (pause)
Ayla: The only ones in the family who knew what she’d done were my parents and our brother Paul. I had no idea until she came to meet me at the airport, and, well, I didn’t take it so well. (pause) It all seems pretty ironic, now.
Ayla (continuing): While I was in the lab, I’d been kept in a high-tech jumpsuit, and I still was wearing it when we got to my sister’s house. When I got the suit off, I… (chokes) my body had changed. I was now almost entirely female, except for my crotch… just like my sister. But I never wanted it!
Belle (quietly): I'm sorry. I had no idea.
Ayla (nods): I hadn’t changed entirely yet, but it kept going. My power is density control. I can become as insubstantial as a ghost or as hard a steel, and if I switch modes while passing through something whatever I am inside gets disintegrated. But I had trouble controlling it, and kept ruining my clothes and wrecking Gracie’s home. And the more my powers activated, the more I changed.
Ayla: I was also having trouble with living in LA with my sister and her family. I’d gone from being one of the richest people in the country to being almost completely broke overnight. They didn’t have a lot of money, and I acted like a total spoiled brat for the first several days.
Ayla (continuing): Within a few days, I’d changed so much that there was no way I could have passed for a boy. Eventually I gave up calling myself Trevor and let Janet pick a new name for me. I didn’t have a lot of choice, because there was a social worker who was giving Gracie a hard time, and no one wanted to admit to her that I hadn’t always looked like a girl.
Ayla (continuing): After about a week, Gracie and Paul talked our parents into meeting with Gracie, because there was no way that I was going to be able to live with Gracie without their help. It went really badly. My mother kept crying and saying that Gracie had done something to cause me to change like this. (shudders) They even got Hammond to look me over again. But in the end, it worked out. I’ll admit that Gracie kind of played dirty, threatening to go to the news about me if they didn’t give me at least part of my inheritance. While it’s not nearly as much as we used to have, she was able to negotiate for them to give both of us several million dollars in exchange for staying away from the rest of the family.
Ayla (continuing): The next day we went to the bank to make sure they’d transferred the money. But as we we heading into the bank, there was this explosion, and a woman in a costume walked in demanding money from the tellers. She called herself Sparkler and when the guards tried to stop her she, she burned them alive.
Belle (aghast, clearly recognizing the name): Sparkler? Oh, Lord, what was Sarah doing this time? (thinking) Hold on. There’s no way her powers could cause that sort of damage, her fireworks aren't that powerful.
Ayla: That’s what the police said later. She was using these Devise gauntlets which buffed her power level. Anyway, all I was trying to do was protect Gracie and Janet, but she ends up coming after me. By the time it was all over, we were both hurt on the ground, and I was almost completely naked after her fireballs burned away my clothes!
Belle (sighs): That’s Sarah, all right. Well, I think we can move on, then. How about the baby of our group, then?
Jade: Hey, I’m not a baby! I’m fourteen, just like the rest of them! I know I look like a kid, but I am! (pouts) OK, my powers, well, the day I got my powers, my old man was drunk and he…(pauses, and stares at the ground) Well, the details don't really matter, do they? What's important is what I can do. (pulls out gloves and a small speaker) Oh, might as well add my jacket. (takes jacket off) So anyway, what I do is, I'd guess you'd call it, I bring stuff to life. (then she lets all of the items go, at which point to float in the air into the form of a girl the same height as Tennyo)
Jinn: How do I look?
Belle (looking thoughtful): Is it telekinesis?
Jinn and Jade (together): How should I know? (Jade alone, gesturing to Jinn) You first.
Jinn: I'm my own person. The body-me isn't in charge of me-here - not once I'm charged. Oh yeah, 'animated' was the word you used. But we can go our own way, do separate things. I've got a complete life of my own. Well, until my time limit expires. I'm up to just over sixty minutes on a charge. When that happens, or when I let go of the last piece of whatever I was 'charged' into, then *poof*, I'm gone. (the jacket suddenly fell limp. The gloves, still floating as if worn by an invisible person, caught it, then helped Jade put her jacket back on. Then they handed her the foil-covered throat disk, then, one by one, the now empty gloves.)
Jade: I call my spirit-self ‘Jinn’ when she’s charged into something. And as soon as she vanishes her memories are instantly back here. (tapping her temple) It's like I've just been two places at once, and now both of me are back here. (shrugs, then looks at Belle) So you tell me. Is she 'ectoplasm'? You said you could bring things to life. Or is she more like one of Fey's hobgoblins?
Belle: I didn't see any ectoplasm about her, and I didn't feel anything like I would if she were. She didn’t seem to be magical, either. (looks towards Fey)
Nikki: Hey, I'm still figuring this stuff out, too. I don't really know enough to say whether it is or isn't like a hobgoblin. But when I was looking at it - at her - she seemed to have a thread like a normal person... Only fainter. It was a lot like yours, Jade, only different, if that makes sense. And... I couldn't quite see it, but there was a hint of another thread connecting the two of you.
Jade: Huh. Weird. Anyway, I got examined for traditional telekinesis and stuff, and I just charged up Jinn and let her do it all. So the school entered me as a mid-level PK subject with clairvoyance and clairaudience, whatever that is. Level two, I think they said. And... there was this weird thing that happened just yesterday when I Jinn charged into... well, let's just say it was something that felt awful. I hope I never feel something like that again. But they haven't given me any real in-depth examinations yet, like the rest of you guys have had.
Belle: Very well, then. And were you going to share anything with us about your sexuality, dear?
Jade: Do I hafta?
Belle: At least enough to let us know what you'll be becoming. It's only courtesy.
Jade (extremely upset): Nothing! I'm turning into nothing! I'm just frozen, and I'm probably not even going to have puberty, which is FINE with me, because what if I turned into a boy? But I'm a girl! Didn't anyone see me? Could anyone see Jinn? She's a girl! She's me! That's what I am, inside! I… I...(stops, and begins sobbing) That's all, I guess.
Belle (soothing): That’s all right, dear. That's all we need this time around, and thank you for sharing it with us. I'm sure that everyone here would be more than willing to help you as you need it. Please remember that all of us are here to help each other whenever and wherever it may be needed.
Jade: Th-thanks… (wiping her eyes)
Belle: Ok, now that we have that part of the introductions over, let's get moving, shall we?
Jade: What about Tennyo?
Belle: Oh? Oh, yes, I beg your pardon, you’ve been so quiet I entirely forgot. Well, Tennyo?, is it? I thought you name was ‘Billie’. I take it you’ve already chosen a codename, then?
Billie: Yeah, my real name is Billie Wilson, but I prefer going by the name my Aikido sensei gave me. It… just seems right to me. My old name was William Wilson, and I have two brothers named Larry and TB, well, that’s what I call them anyway. I was going to be a sophomore this year, but what with the new identity and having to learn how use my powers safely, everyone thinks it’s better if I start over here. Also, there are some people trying to find me and they think changing the records might throw them off or something.
Belle: Hold on, why are these people trying to find you?
Billie: My family has some enemies that have tried to kill me, and I was kidnapped at the same time that this happened to me. (points to her body)
Belle: They tried to kill and kidnap you? Not just one or the other?
Billie: It’s complicated. Anyway, to make a long story short, it started when my younger brother got a hold of a package that was sent to my Dad. It had a sample of some chemical in it that was supposed to act as hypnotic on normal people, and he decided to use it play a trick on me by putting it into some candy so he could then order me around for a while. I think it was payback for something I did, well, didn’t, ah, whatever.
Billie (continues): The note it came with said it was harmless to ordinary people and
would wear off in a few hours, but that it'ss fatal poison to mutants. TB figured that since I hadn't shown any mutant signs up to that time, that it was safe for him to use on me. (shugs) He was wrong. As soon as I ate it, he told me act exactly like my favorite anime character, Pirate Queen Aya. But before he could finish tell me to do the rest of it, I started to burn to a crisp. It even set our house on fire.
Belle: What? That sounds like a level five burnout! No one survives that. There hasn't been one like that in years, and you're obviously alive, so what happened?
Billie: No one’s really sure, but Mr. Tanaka thinks that I had some sort of latent shapeshifting powers, and because I hadn’t manifested yet, I didn't die immediately when the burnout was triggered. I was already under the hypnotic influence of the compound and TB was trying to embarrass me by making me act like Aya, so somehow all that power went into turning me into her. I'm probably alive now because instead of burning me out, the power surge was used up changing me.
Nikki: You mentioned being kidnapped and someone trying to kill you.
Billie: Yeah, I was still burning up myself and everything around me at first. TB ran to get help. Somehow, after that, the power kicked in and was diverted to changing me. He ran past some guys outside when he ran next door. He saw them run in. When he could get back, the fire was starting to run down and they weren't there. Neither was I.
Billie (continues): We think that that group took me so they could blackmail my parents. They took me somewhere that could hold dangerous mutants. When I woke up about a week later, I heard some people talking about killing some girl. They disappeared suddenly because they couldn't find me and thought it might be a trap. That's when I realized I was a girl now. I wrecked the place in my panic. I could suddenly project energy and made a mess of the place. After I calmed down they told me I had become a danger to everyone and was being kept where I was to protect people. They wouldn't tell me anything else and I let them move me to a new hospital.
Billie (continues): I wanted my parents but they wouldn't answer my questions and kept me locked up. A few days of that and suddenly I started to feel kind of sick to my stomach. I yelled until a nurse came and led me to the bathrooms. When I sat down there was blood everywhere. The nurse followed me into the stall and started laughing. When she started to talk, I realized that she was one of the people who had been talking about killing me before. They had figured out I was a girl and come in to finish me off. They were working for someone else than the ones who kidnapped me and wanted me dead so the others couldn't use me. When she tried to touch me I somehow blasted her into the wall and ran for the door. It was locked and I didn't know how to blast it. I was doing things by instinct alone. I suddenly formed a sword that cut through the door and ran out. When I got to the roof, I thought they had me trapped, but then all of a sudden I was flying away from there.
Billie (continues): Somehow, I found my way back to our house, but it was surrounded by
police tape and there was no sign of my family. I then went to my family doctor, Dr. Tanaka, and he and his wife hid me and found a way to get in touch with my folks.
Ayla: How the hell did they know it was really you?
Billie: Uh, well, I didn't know it until then, but the Tanakas are mutants, and Mr. Tanaka can read minds. At first, when I flew in, they thought I was someone who knew where I was being held. Mrs. Tanaka is my also my Aikido instructor, and was ready to really put some hurt on me before her husband set her straight. I don't know how I could have gotten the help I needed if he hadn’t, but they were ready to help me all they could after they had found out that it was me.
Billie (continues): After they realized it really was me, they took me in and cleaned me up. They got my parents and together figured out what was going on. Turns out, my parents are mutants, too, and they secretly work for the government. They were causing grief for some biological terrorists in the area and they were being targeted because someone had leaked information about them. There were actually two different groups. The ones that kidnapped me were trying to get a sample of the stuff that TB used on me. The bad guys thought my father had it and were trying to get it from Dad. The other group had sent some hired assassins to kill one of us to make a point. They realized that the other group already had me and decided to kill two birds with one stone.
Billie (continues): Between them all it was a wild mess. Because no one was expecting what happened to me, it threw all the plans out of whack. Mom, Dad, and the Tanakas decided to send me to Whateley, hoping I would be safer here, and that I could get trained enough not to burn out again.
Nikki: How is your family taking this?
Billie: Well, like I said, my folks are mutants, too, and so is my older brother Larry. I think TB might be, too, but he’s younger than me so we’re not sure. Overall, they seem to be taking it OK.
Ayla: They're all mutants? Your whole family? And they managed to keep this a secret from you?
Billie: They wanted me to have a normal life. They thought that I would be better off not knowing. Especially if I wasn't a mutant. I didn't show any signs of it until TB gave me that drug.
Jade: What about the blood?
Billie: Huh?
Jade: You said you were bleeding right before you escaped. What happened?
Billie (blushing): Oh. That.
Jade: Well, what was it?
Billie: UH, well, uh, it was, uh, nothing really important.
Jade: Aww, c'mon...
Billie (upset): It was my period! Okay? Happy now?
Jade (awestruck): Really?
Billie: Yes! (going from angry to just sour) I had another one just before I headed out this way. I really don't want to discuss it right now, do you mind?
Belle: How do you feel about this? Becoming a girl and all?
Billie (upset, but resigned to talking about the topic): I dunno… Everyone seems to feel that I should be a lot more upset about it than I am. Mr. Tanaka did some digging, and discovered that when I was born I was intersexed, with female parts on the inside. I had an appendectomy when I was nine, and I guess when the doctors found all that, they removed it but never told my family about it. I just sorta feel that I have gotten back something I lost a while ago. (pause) The fact that the male part burned out at the same time doesn't really bother me too much. I'm much more concerned about the fact that I am very likely to burn out again if I can't get trained enough to prevent it from happening.
Belle (impatient): Okay, then, so what kind of powers do you have? You mentioned flying, and energy blasts, and something about a sword?
Billie: Well, yeah. No one is really sure about all of it, but we know I can fly, I'm stronger and faster than I was, and I can sometimes do energy blasts and this energy sword thing, but that seems to be when I am under a lot of stress and sometimes it just happens by accident. I don’t know if there’s anything else yet.
Belle: Well, it’s all to the good, that's what Whateley is here for, to teach all of us how to find things like that out, and how to stay in control of our abilities once we do that. (standing up) Let's move on now, shall we?

[break.]

Out, damnéd Spot! Bad Doggy!
Last Edit: 1 year 1 month ago by Schol-R-LEA.

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