The X Impulse
It's a stormy night in Deerfield, Illinois. I couldn't sleep, due to my astraphobia. So, I just sat on my sleeping bag, with a blanket over my head, trying to think happy thoughts.
Oh, forgive me. Where are my manners? My name is Rei Amaya Minamoto. But, my friends and family call me Ellie or Elle. I'm 15 years old, and, well... I'm not really your average high school girl.
Well, I am, if you get past my smarts and appearance. Though, that's not very easy for most people. I scare them out of their wits before I could even say 'hello'. I'll tell you why.
My soft and smooth skin is pastel green with a light green underbelly and cheeks. My hands are a bit bigger than average and my feet are a bit longer. Pointed elven ears and sharp canines. Basically, I look like a humanoid frog. My father said that my appearance is a result of a birth defect. I beg to differ.
My hair is dark sea green and is very long. So my mother ties my hair into a bow, which makes it reach my lower back. And my eyes are green with golden-yellow sclera, behind a pair of black-framed glasses. I need to wear glasses, due to being born with very bad eyesight.
Anywho, I'm rambling. My thoughts were broken by my best friend, Kitty, phasing through her bed and the floor, screaming. I gasped in startle and stood up. Without a moment to lose, I ran out of the bedroom and knocked on Kitty's parents' bedroom door.
Oh, I almost forgot. Katherine Pryde, or Kitty, has been my best friend since my mother and I moved to Deerfield. I was originally from British Columbia, but something went wrong one night. I was only 4 years old, and my family was attacked. Lost my father and my younger sister, when our home was set on fire. My mother, Leiko Minamoto, and I moved down to the States and made ourselves at home in Illinois.
Kitty was the first person to look past my frog-like appearance and became my friend. She's your everyday valley girl with long brown hair, that she ties in a ponytail, and light blue eyes.
Why am I at her house? Kitty invited me to a sleepover, since she knows of my astraphobia and wanted to make sure I was okay.
Lightning flashed and thunder roared. I squeaked and flinched in fear of the storm, "Ribbit!"
Kitty's parents opened the bedroom door and saw me.
"Rei? What's wrong?" Mrs. Pryde asked me.
"It's Kitty." I answered, "Something's happened to her. She fell through her bed!"
Mr. and Mrs. Pryde gasped and followed me down the stairs. Somehow, I was able to know where Kitty was. Like some sort of psychic link. Kitty's parents and I arrived in the basement. Kitty was in the center of the room and looked at her parents.
"What happened? Were you sleepwalking?" Kitty's father asked.
Kitty threw her arms around her mother, "No. I fell. I just- I fell through the ceiling!"
Kitty's father looked at me. I tried to answer, but the thunder and lightning was stopping me. I closed my eyes and covered my ears, fighting tears of fear. I felt Kitty's father wrap his arms around me and rubbed my back.
How is he able to look at me without screaming or running away? He's very open-minded, so he believes my appearance is a birth defect as well.
"Now, now, dear. I'm sure you were just having a nightmare." Kitty's mother cooed Kitty, stroking her hair.
Kitty's father looked up and gasped, "I don't think so."
Kitty, her mother and I looked up and saw Kitty's pillow and blanket hanging through the ceiling! It wasn't a dream! Kitty gasped in fear and thunder and lightning struck again.
"What am I? What's happening to me?" Kitty asked.
Once everything calmed down, Kitty's parents decided it would be best if Kitty and I skipped school and stay home. However, they refuse to talk about what just transpired.
*The Next Morning...*
Kitty and I got dressed into our casual wear and quietly tried to make our way to school. Hey, Kitty is an active girl. And I'm one of the best students. We can't miss a day, just because of what happened last night. It probably won't happen again.
Kitty's casual clothes consisted of a pink cardigan over a white t-shirt, a pair of light blue, 3/4 length pants and sandals.
My casual wear was my regular, black-framed glasses. A black choker with a frog pendant around my neck. A white collared shirt under a black dress. Black leggings and dark grey boots. Alongside a black, hooded poncho.
I quickly and quietly put my hood over my head. Kitty and I just opened the door, until a familiar voice stopped us, "Dear?"
Kitty sighed and I flinched. Busted by Mrs. Pryde.
"I thought we agreed you and Ellie were staying home today." She reminded us.
Kitty and I turned to her and Kitty snapped, "Yeah, well, like, what's the point?"
"You guys don't want to talk about it." I pointed out.
"And I'll, like, totally, go crazy sitting around here!" Kitty finished. You'll get used to her speech.
"But should you two really be at school?" Mrs. Pryde asked.
Before we could answer, Mr. Pryde's voice shouted from upstairs, "Kitty! Honey, where are you?"
I looked at Mrs. Pryde and put my hands together, "Please, Mrs. Pryde."
"Dad will make us stay." Kitty pleaded.
Mrs. Pryde looked away in thought, then smiled at us, "All right. Go on."
Kitty blew a kiss and I gave Mrs. Pryde a small hug. With that, Kitty and I left for school. Just across the lawn, I felt a sharp pain of worry hit my heart. Funny thing was I'm not worried and I don't believe Kitty was.
What the heck is that?
*Later, during School...*
Kitty and I went by classes fairly easily. But, I kept sensing strange things coming from the other students. Kinda like emotions and most inner thoughts. Such as I could feel Kitty being uncomfortable. And I know why. Physical Education. Kitty may be active, but she's not very good at sports, due to Riley Finn and her friend always teasing her.
Right now, I was at my locker, picking up my text books for homework. I share Kitty's classes, but I can't participate in Physical Education. Obvious reasons. Mum always made an excuse. My blood iron is low. I have either nimble legs, or turnbuckle-knee. That sort of thing. So, I make up for it with attending and completing my homework.
Once I grabbed my books and closed my locker, something at the back of my head told me something was wrong. I walked across the lockers, knocking on them.
I knocked on Kitty's locker and heard banging and a familiar voice shout, "Hey, who's out there? Can you hear me?"
My eyes widen in recognition, "Kitty? Is that you?"
As a reply, I heard the voice say, "Rei? Let me out!"
I stepped away from the locker and started fiddling with the combination lock, "Hold on. Just let me-"
Then Kitty phased through the door and rammed into me, tackling us both near the window. Kitty let go and looked at her hands in shock. My eyes widen in shock as well. She phased through something again!
Our shock was broken by a boy's voice, "Hey, you see what you just did?"
Kitty and I looked to see a boy, about a year older than us, smiling at us. He had shoulder-length light brown hair and dark brown eyes. He wore a brown vest over a black t-shirt, black, finger-less gloves, blue jeans and matching shoes.
Something about him felt different from other people. Similar to Kitty. Okay this sensory stuff is starting to really creep me out. Whomever's doing this to me, please stop it.
He had red spray-paint across his face. Did we bump into him?
"What? I- I, like, just fell out!" Kitty exclaimed.
The boy just smiled, "Yeah, man. Right through the door!" Then he pointed at me, "And your friend looks like a frog. That is so cool!"
I gasped, "Ribbit!" And felt around my head. My hood was off. It must've fallen off when Kitty ran into me. I quickly put my hood over my head and tugged it down, making it shadow my face. I should have worn a mask or something. Now people will know I'm a freak...
"You're crazy!" Kitty dismissed. She grabbed my hand, and we were about to leave. But the boy grabbed Kitty's free wrist.
"No, no. Wait a minute. I'm the one guy here who gets the beauty of it. Because you're just like me." He told us, "Really!"
Kitty and I gave him a look. He feels like he's telling the truth, but what can he do that makes him like me and Kitty?
The boy let go of Kitty's wrist and took a step back, "All right then. Check this."
He closed his eyes and motioned lifting something up. As he did, the ground shook violently and opened a group of lockers. It felt like the boy was creating a magnitude 3 earthquake.
He stopped the quake and looked at me and Kitty, "Getting the picture?"
Kitty shook her head, "No! You're just, like, some freak! Leave us alone!"
Kitty grabbed my hand and we ran toward the field.
Behind us, I could hear the boy say with a smile, "You can run, but you can't hide because I'm gonna rock your world."
*Later, on the Field...*
Kitty got changed into her Physical Education outfit, while I grabbed my homework, and we arrived at the field.
The Coach noticed and blew her whistle, "Pryde, you're late."
Kitty jogged over to the Coach, "Sorry, coach. I was, like..." She glanced back at Amy and Riley, "Having trouble with my locker."
I stepped forward, "Kitty lost her combination code, so I had to help."
Amy and Riley snickered. Then Coach spoke up, "All right, you three. To the long jump." She looked at Kitty, "Pryde, you're tardy, so you're first."
Kitty sulked and joined the others. While Kitty, Amy and Riley were warming up for the long-jump, I sat on the bleachers, catching up on my science homework.
While I was writing down a formula equation, I heard voices speaking from the roof of the building beside me.
"Shut up with the clodding around." A boy's voice whispered.
"Stow it, Griff!" Another boy snapped, then asked, "Can we bust in through here or not?"
"Not. It's wired into the alarm system." The first boy, Griff, answered.
"Well, now what, Alvers? We got no way into this stinking office and mid-terms start in the morning." The second boy asked and pointed out.
Realization hit me by the mention of the name. Of course, Lance Alvers. An orphan, living with a foster family, here in Deerfield. Lost his parents due to an... Earthquake, when he was just a baby.
He was the boy Kitty and I met.
Since when did my hearing get better? *Annoyed Sigh* Great. First I was born looking like a frog, then sensing the emotions of other people, and now my hearing. What next, I'm gonna be able to jump high, stick to walls and have a long prehensile tongue, like an actual frog?
"Exam answers ain't exactly gonna fetch a prime price after the test." Griff explained, then asked, "Can't you just, you know, make a door?"
"Sure. And have them know we were in?" Lance pointed out in a sarcastic tone, "They'll change the tests! I got a sweeter idea. Her."
I looked over to Kitty, who was stretching. Lance was talking about using her on a mid-term test heist, just because she can phase through walls? Not on my watch!
"What? Are you gonna have her long jump through the wall?" Griff asked, "Come on, get serious."
That must've triggered Lance's temper, cause the ground shook as he asked, "You riding me, Griff? Huh? Are you?"
"Sorry, man. I was just-" Griff tried to apologize.
Then the second boy calmed Lance down, "Whoa, whoa. It's cool, Lance."
The shaking stopped and Lance spoke up, "You two losers just line up the costumers. I'll snatch the answers."
I closed my science textbook and put in my backpack. I got off the bleachers and made my way to the long-jump. Kitty ran, to start the jump. But she tripped and fell into the sandpit. In frustration, she punched the sand.
"Kitty-cat's got a temper." Amy teased.
I clapped my hands and smiled, "Good job, Kitty. Keep practicing."
Kitty looked at me and gave me a small smile. She knew I was being sincere and helpful.
"Take notes, Pryde." Riley spoke up, walking to the starting point, "This is how athletes do it."
Riley dashed toward the jump and an earthquake started shaking the field. Once Riley jumped into the air, the sand erupted and threw her to the ground. Kitty gasped. I looked at the sandpit and saw a large crack next to it. I followed the crack and saw it originated from the roof, with Lance, Griff and the other boy. Lance waved. I grabbed Kitty's hand and lead her away from the field and from Lance.
On the way, Kitty and I bumped into a girl. A high school senior with long ginger hair and green eyes.
We ran past the girl and arrived in the empty theater. Once we closed the door and everything was quiet, Kitty let her frustration out. She kicked a chair over and leaned against the table. However the table tipped over and the bowl of fruit flew into the air. Kitty tried to catch the bowl, but it phased through her hands and fell to the ground. Thank goodness it was made of plastic. She went to her knees and tapped it. Her fingers didn't phase through. Kitty looked at her hand with wide eyes.
"Fascinating..." I muttered, my eyes not leaving the bowl.
Kitty looked at me, "What is?"
"This phasing thing is linked to the way you think." I answered. I looked at her, "Try clearing your thoughts and touch the bowl again."
Kitty gave me a look, closed her eyes and reached for the bowl. Her hand phased through it. I smiled in interest. Kitty's new gift can make her move around like a shadow.
Our thoughts were cut off by a female voice speaking, "Kitty?"
Kitty and I gasped and turned to see the ginger-haired girl we bumped into. She wore a lilac top, beige khaki pants and a pair of sandals.
"Kitty, Rei, are you girls all right?" The girl asked in a kind and gentle tone.
I narrowed my eyes at the girls, as Kitty hid behind me. I sensed something powerful coming the girl's presence. Something incredibly powerful, but she's not aware of it. What is that shadow?
Wait, how did she know our names?
"That 'Rah-Rah' Riley a friend of yours?" Kitty asked, grabbing the mask on the wall, "Because, you know, like, I had nothing to do with what happened in the sandpit."
The ginger-haired girl nodded, "I know. And I'm not Riley's friends."
"You look like you'd be her friend." I noted, folding my arms. Kitty held the mask close to her face.
The ginger-haired girl walked on to the stage, "Kitty. Rei. There's no need for masks. I know what's going on."
Kitty lowered the mask from her face and shouted, "You, like, don't know anything! And neither does that creepy guy, out there!"
"Who, Lance?" The girl asked, sitting on the table, then scoffed, "Forget about him. This is about you. You, Rei and your wonderful new gifts."
I folded my arms, looked away and leaned against the doorway, "Ribbit..."
"I don't have any gifts." Kitty snapped, "Just a curse."
The girl frowned, "Only if you let it be. We'd like to help you understand it. Together-"
Kitty cut her off, "Look, I don't want any of this! It's, like, hard enough just being normal, you know?"
I just continued to look away and said nothing.
"Kitty, look. I want you to watch me for a second." The girl asked of Kitty, standing up, "Please?"
Kitty looked at the girl. The girl lifted her hand to the mask. Kitty let go of the mask and it was floating on its own. With a few waves, the mask returned to its place, on the wall. The girl lowered her hand.
I smiled and clapped my hands, "Amazing."
Jaw-dropped, Kitty asked, "How'd you do that?"
"The same way you can pass through walls." The girl answered, placing her hand over Kitty's shoulder, "Just like you, one morning I woke up and I had this power. And trust me, I hated it too."
Kitty looked away, "I-" Then she moved her shoulder away, "I don't believe you! This is a trick!"
The girl shook her head, "No. No, you do believe me. I know, because of my other ability. I can read your thoughts."
Kitty clutched her head and shouted, "No! Stay out of my head! No!"
Then she ran out of the theater. I reached out to my best friend, "Kitty, wait!" But she was already gone.
A gloved hand touched the girl's shoulder. The girl turned and it was Lance Alvers.
"Piece of advice, red. I'm the only friend that girl's gonna need. And I'll be teaching her what's what. So you just back yourself off." He threatened her.
I marched in between the two and pushed Lance away from the girl, "Hey! How about you back off, Alvers?"
"What are you gonna do about it?" Lance asked me with a glare.
I narrowed my eyes, "Kitty is my best friend. I know what you're up to. Do anything that will hurt her, and this Tsukumo no Gama will have your name written in stone."
I hissed at him and Lance quickly left the room in fear. We exit the theater and walked into to physical education field.
The girl looked at me with a smile, "You really care about Kitty, don't you?"
I nodded, "She's my only friend in this school."
The girl nodded her head in understanding, then picked up her cell phone, "Please excuse me. I have to call someone."
She dialed a number and made her way to the track field.
"I agree. And he is reaching her." She spoke on the phone.
After a few seconds, she hung her phone and turned to look at me.
A thought came to me, "Since you know mine and Kitty's names. What's yours?"
"My name is Jean Grey." The girl, Jean, introduced herself with a smile and an extended hand.
I looked at her hand in uncertainty. But I shook it, "Nice to meet you, Jean. I'm Rei Amaya Minamoto."
"Minamoto..." Jean repeated in thought, "That's make you Japanese, right?"
I nodded smiled sweetly, "Ribbit." Then I sensed Kitty's presence. I looked over to the office building and saw Kitty phasing into the wall.
I nudged Jean's shoulder, "We've got a problem."
The girl looked and was able to see Kitty's sandal, until she was completely gone.
"Oh no..." Jean grimaced.
I quickly grabbed my cell phone, "I'm calling Kitty's parents."
Jean nodded and ran off somewhere. I called and informed Kitty's parents what has happened. In minutes, a man in a wheelchair arrived. He was bald, but you could tell he was brunette by his eyebrows. Strong brown eyes, and wore an olive blazer over a dark green shirt, black pants and light brown shoes. Something about the man made me feel like I could trust him. Like a kind and calm father figure.
Have I met this man before?
Jean returned in a black and green full-body suit.
I explained everything to the man. Then Mr. and Mrs. Pryde arrived.
"Where is she?" Mr. Pryde asked.
"She broke into the office." Jean answered.
"She's never done anything like this before!" Mrs. Pryde exclaimed.
I folded my arms with a small glare, "10 bucks says it's Alvers."
"Go with them, Jean. I'll catch up." The man told Jean.
Jean nodded. I lead her and Kitty's parents to the office. The door was locked. Lance made sure no-one interferes. But, he forgot who I am in this school. I dug into my pockets and got out the spare keys. The Principal entrusted me to keep the spare keys safe from anyone who would cause trouble. Good thing I never used them, until now.
I got the door unlocked and opened the door. The room showed Lance grabbing Kitty's wrist. She must've changed her mind, once she realized what Lance wanted in the first place.
"Let go of my daughter!" Mr. Pryde shouted.
He ran toward them and Lance snapped, "Far enough, old man!"
Lance created an earthquake, the bookshelf tumbled over, about to topple over Mr. Pryde.
"Mr. Pyrde!" I cried. I leaped toward Mr. Pryde and pushed him away from the falling bookshelf. The bookshelf landed on top of my and hit me on the head, hard. I regained myself and looked at Lance, as an angry fire started to burn in my heart.
"No, stop!" Kitty pleaded Lance.
Lance just tightened his grip and pulled her toward another wall, "They're just gonna confuse you, Kitty. We're out of here!"
"Kitty, please. We can work through this together." Mrs. Pryde pleaded.
Kitty tried to get out of Lance's grip, "Let go of me!"
Lance created a large hole in the wall, "We're in control now. We make our own way."
Jean got the bookcase off me and leaned it against a steady wall. Mrs. Pryde helped me back to my feet. Mr. Pryde ran over and checked on my head. I assured him I was alright. A little dizzy, but alright.
Mr. Pryde looked at his daughter, "Kitty, I've pushed you to this, I know. I wanted to pretend nothing was wrong. I'm not perfect. I'm learning. Just like you are."
Tears welled up in Kitty's eyes, as she looked at her father, "Daddy?"
"Forget them! Come on! I'm bringing this place down!" Lance shouted.
He created a stronger earthquake. The ceiling began to crumble and collapse on top of us. Jean used her telekinesis as a shield around us.
"You called your gift a curse." Jean reminded Kitty, "If you go with him, I guarantee you it will be."
"Please, Kitty. Listen to her!" Mrs. Pryde shouted, so she could be heard.
"Sweetheart, we love you." Mr. Pryde told Kitty.
"They're too late! You're with me now!" Lance told Kitty, dragging her into the hole.
Kitty phased her arm out of his grip, "No! I'm not!" Then she made her way back to her parents.
Lance lost his temper and a portion of the ceiling was about to fall on top of Kitty and crush her.
My blood ran cold, "Kitty, watch out!"
I pushed her away from the falling rocks and they fell on top of me. The last thing I heard was Kitty crying out my name, "Ellie!"
I opened my eyes and I found myself inside a dark heap of rubble. I tried to push some of the rocks to give me an opening to escape, but they weren't moving anytime soon. How can I do this on my own?
I sat down with my legs crossed and rubbed my chin in thought. Then something came to me; If I look like a frog, do I have the abilities of one? I looked at the ground and placed my hand over it. It felt soft enough to dig through. With my hands, I started digging a hole big enough for me to fit through and started burrowing through the ground. I followed where I could sense Kitty, Jean and Kitty's parents were, and then burrowed up. I popped out of the ground and climbed out of the hole to meet up with Kitty and her family.
The rubble collapsed. Thank goodness I got out when I did. Kitty threw her arms around me in relief, then looked at the others, "Okay. Like, everybody grab onto me. I'll get us out."
Kitty's parents took Kitty's hands and Jean and I put our hands behind her. Kitty used her phasing ability and got us out of the torn down building with no harm.
Professor Xavier was outside, waiting for us. He saw us and smiled, "Yes, Kitty. It is a gift. And you've used it well."
Kitty hugged her mother, "Mom, I'm so sorry." Then looked at her father, "And, Daddy, these people, they, like, want to help me. I trust them."
Mr. Pryde nodded, "I know, sweetie. And so do I." Then he looked at Professor Xavier, "Professor, I think we have some things to talk about."
Professor smiled, "Yes, we do."
Suddenly, a dark green SUV drove down the road and stopped just a few feet from us. The driver's door opened to reveal a woman exiting the car. She had long, blonde hair and light blue eyes. Light Caucasian skin and wore a white t-shirt under a pink blouse and dark brown pants with matching shoes. The woman turned to look at me and gasped.
"Mum..." I gasped with wide eyes.
The woman ran up to me and threw her arms around me, "Oh, Sweet Pea. Thank goodness you're alright. I got a call from Rebecca and I had to come as quick as I could." She released the hug, then turned to Professor Xavier, "Charles. Fancy meeting you again."
Professor Xavier smiled warmly, "It's been a long time, Leiko. And I must say, your daughter has some extraordinary gifts. Just like you."
And so, my mother and Kitty's parents talked to Professor Xavier about what he had in mind about me and Kitty and our gifts. It turns out he has an institute in Bayville, California, that is programmed to help youngsters, like us, learn to control our abilities and accept them as a part of us. Kitty loved the idea to learn more about her phasing ability. I liked that there are others like us.
My mother and Kitty's parents happily accepted Professor Xavier's invitation and Kitty and I moved in the next day.
The Institute turned out to be Professor Xavier's huge mansion of a home. But, it had a beautiful view and scenery. Kitty and I were able to meet and get to know the others that stay in the institute as well. Some of them turned out to be our new teachers.
Scott Summers is the self-proclaimed leader of the group. He has short brown hair, but we can't see his eyes, due to hiding behind a pair of ruby quartz shades. His gift is that his eyes emit a powerful optic laser, however he can't switch it off. So, the shades act as a protective shield, for us and him.
His 'X-Men' codename is Cyclops.
Ororo Munroe, a woman of African ethnicity, is one of the teachers. She's a very kind woman. Her ability is related to the weather. She can control the weather patterns, but it has a habit of draining her energy, if she uses it too much.
Her 'X-Men' codename is Storm.
Logan is one of our teachers as well, but he truly is a man of mystery. He's clearly Canadian, with dark blue hair and matching eyes. His abilities are linked with animal-like senses, retractable claws made of a very strong metal, and a healing factor.
Logan's 'X-Men' codename is Wolverine.
Last, but not least, Kurt Wagner. He was a mischievous jokester. But, his appearance doesn't do him justice. It turns out Kurt is different, just like me. Indigo-blue fur, two fingers and thumb, two-toed digitigrade feet, long, barbed tail and has darker blue hair and yellow eyes. Kurt has the ability to teleport, and is extremely acrobatic.
His 'X-Men' codename is Nightcrawler. Really fits.
Professor Xavier is a powerful telepath and his 'X-Men' name is Prof. X, and Jean doesn't have one. Kitty and I came up with our own. Kitty chose 'Shadowcat' because of her phasing ability. And I chose 'Anura' because of my frog-like appearance.
Now, I can't wait to see what the world has in store for us. Whatever it will be, it's gonna be a blast.