Metal tapped sharply against metal, the echoes of each ring blending into each other.

"It seems they are doing well," a dark voice noted, figure cast in shadows that were highly contrasted by the bright, vivid images in front of him.

"Yes…there powers are developing nicely indeed."

One image flared in bright oranges, seemingly drowning out every other scene.

"Hmm, yes, picking /this/ one was indeed the best…..however, it seems /they/ have taken an interest in her."

A sigh could be heard, "It doesn't matter. Some control would be…appreciated, and it would simply herd everything into one place."

Another image flared to life to the left, and the sudden tension could be felt in the air.

"Ah…well, this is unexpected."

Creeping ever so slightly closer to this new scene, the figure's tapping resumed.

"I must….recalculate. However, this should not change my final result. Not if I add in a few…precautionary measures."

A sharp noise, like fingers grinding against a chalk board, pierced the air.

"It seems as though this Lady may soon serve her purpose."

Somewhere in Seattle, Washington:

Necia sprinted down the side ally, glancing over her shoulder. She groaned as she tripped and went sprawling face first into the ground. Hastily, she pulled herself up again and kept running. They couldn't catch her, they wouldn't. Suddenly shouts rang out behind her.

"Stop! You're under arrest. Officer Williams, head her off, quickly!"a man's voice rang through the air.

Necia willed herself to go faster, to make it to the end of the street before the policewoman did.

She let out a sigh of relief as she neared the end of the road. If she could just make it out of here then she could find a way….out? She skidded to a halt as a uniformed woman seemed to just materialize in front of her, directly in her.

"Stop right there, kid!" the woman shouted. "We just wanna talk to you."

"Yeah right," Necia replied, backing away. However, she was trapped. With one police officer behind her and another in front, there was nowhere she could go.

Suddenly, there was a shout from behind her. The woman's mouth opened in surprise, "What the….?"

Necia spun around just in time to see the man lifted into the air by an invisible force and go flying forward. He knocked over the woman as he landed and both went sprawling to the ground. A group of what looked like teenagers in bodysuits appeared at the other end of the ally.

One of the girls, a red head, raised her hands in the air. Necia glanced back to see the two police officers, who had climbed to their feet and drawn their guns, staring in shock as the weapons were tugged out of their hands and thrown to the side. The pair pulled out their sticks and advanced forward. However, they were promptly thrown backwards. Suddenly, another girl melted up through the ground, grabbed the woman around the waist and, in the woman's surprise, was able to drag her through the wall of a side building. The girl reappeared again and grinned at Necia's surprise.

"Hi, I'm Kitty. Like, we're here to help you…one sec." She ducked as a bolt of energy went soaring through the air and hit the man in the chest, knocking him into a wall where he slumped, unconscious, to the ground. The other girl sighed.

"Like, way to go, Scott!" she shouted at a brown haired boy with a ruby red visor over his eyes.

The boy ignored her. Instead he called,"Kitty, get Necia and come back. They won't be out of the way for long."

Necia reeled around to face the girl and took a step away from her. "How does he know my name?" she demanded.

Kitty waved her hand dismissively. "Like, forget that, we'll explain on the way back, but you've got to come like right now." She reached out and grabbed Necia's hand and began to pull her toward the group.

Necia jerked her hand away and continued to back up, looking for a way out. "Look, just leave me alone. I don't want to hurt you."

Kitty's eyes widened in surprise and she laughed. "You don't get it; we're the good guys."
"Yeah, I can see that," Necia motioned to the unconscious policeman.

Kitty blushed. "Yeah, well, we kinda had to. They were gonna arrest you. But they'll be fine, trust me."


Kitty blinked in confusion. "Like, what do you mean?"

"Why should I trust you?" Necia demanded.

"Cause we're here to…hey watch it!" She dove out of the way as Necia in a panic sent a superheated rock at her head.

"You're not…you're not going to…just stay away," Necia hissed. These kids, whomever they were, looked dangerous. Yeah right, she was gonna trust them. They had just popped up out of nowhere and knocked out a policeman.

But they were trying to help, another voice argued.

However, from her experience, people didn't ever /help/ someone like her. Necia bit her lip as she thought of how she had been chased away from the orphanage, they only home she had ever known.

And just because I'm a mutant! A fierce anger rose up inside her. People were untrustworthy, she was certain of that much at least.

But they /were/ trying to help, her logic piped.

Suddenly, her thoughts were interrupted as she felt herself rising into the air. She struggled to get free, but the girl was using her power to hold her in place. However, her hands were free. She raised several bricks lying scattered in the ally and, after causing them to glow white hot, hurled them at the group. She felt herself dropping to the ground as the girl's concentration broke. Laughing harshly, Necia raised several more bricks into the air.

"What on earth?" she exclaimed as the other girl, Kitty, tackled her. "Get off me!" she snapped rolling away from her. But it had given the team of teenagers time enough to get close to her. Two of them grabbed her arms and pinned them behind her back. She struggled to break free. Several of the bricks hovered threateningly near them.

"Hey, chill out," the red haired girl exclaimed. "We're trying to help you; we're /like/ you."

"Yeah? Prove it," Necia growled.

"Look," the girl said more gently, "my name's Jean. I and all the rest of my friends are mutants, like you. We go to a school run by a man named Charles Xavier. He's a mutant too. He helps us learn to control out powers so we can help people. We found you on a machine that tracks mutants. We want to help you."

"…What the /heck/ are you talking about?" Necia said. "Is that /seriously/ the best lie you can come up with."

"It is true," a disembodied voice echoed through the alleyway.

Necia blinked in surprise.

"Hello, Necia Rane. My name is Professor Charles Xavier."

"Get out of my head," Necia groaned raising her hands to her face.

"Not until you listen to what I have to say. We want to help you learn control. Your powers are strong, but you lack the discipline to handle them properly. I can be of assistance there. Will you come quietly?"

Necia sighed. "Fine, but you had sure better be telling the truth."

Xavier chuckled faintly. "We are. In time, you will learn to trust us."

"Fat chance," Necia muttered as the team led the way to a sleek black jet parked on the top of a building.

The streets were unusually crowded that evening.
That was the major thing Tiasalle noticsed as she made her way home. She didn't know why, but they were. The tension and excitement set her on edge. Pushing past a pair of rather intoxicated men, she ducked her head, beginning to move even faster. She stopped by a crosswalk, looking around as she waited for her signal to walk. This continued several times, and eventually something became very clear: The man in the trench coat had been there every time. Swallowing, she quickly ducked into the next convenience store she found, pushing through the aisles.
Just to be safe.
A few minutes later she headed out again, continuing on her way home. At the next cross-walk, she looked back again.
He was still there.
Tiasalle's breath hitched in her throat, and she made a sudden turn to the side, beginning to jog down the street. A few blocks later, and he was still in sight. In desperation she turned into a near-by park.
/A place to lose him, a place to lose him.../
She turned off one of the paths, darting into the trees. She began running, her black flats catching on the grass. Eventually, she reached down and tore them from her feet, running even faster.
/Gotta lose him, Gotta lose him, Gotta lose him!/
She came to a gasping stop, pressing her back up against one of the trees.

"Everybody spread out," Scott commanded. "We'll have a better chance of finding her if we split up." He turned to Necia,"Try not to scare her, ok?" He smiled superiorly. "We don't want any injuries."

Necia scowled at him. "The same goes to you, laser eyes."

"Hey, I'm just saying that..."

"Whatever," Necia muttered, shoving past him. She couldn't be bothered to deal with Mr. Perfect Summers right now. There were more important things at stake. She breathed in the smell of the trees and a faint smile crossed her face. Being cooped up in the mansion for two weeks with nowhere to escape to but school had been driving her crazy. Everyone had their friends but she had no one. Well, Rogue was nice to talk to, but she was as much of a loner as the girl herself. Whatever, as long as she could be free for a moment, she was content. A cool breeze stirred her black hair. She absentmindedly reached up and fingered the blue streak. People generally avoided her anyway. Her punk appearance wasn't exactly very friendly looking.
Well, forget them, she thought.
Suddenly, a slight noise in the trees ahead of her interrupted her thoughts. Crouching down, she crept forward for a closer look.

Tiasalle let out a sigh of relief, taking a step forward. It seemed she had lost him. Now she just had to-
Her thoughts cut short, her breathing speeding up again.
Wh-where was she? She had just started moving randomly without thinking to try and escape but now-now...
She was lost. Hopelessly lost. Wait...she had her phone. She could use that, right?

Necia pushed past the foliage, shielding her face from the thorns. After a few minutes, she spotted a clearing. A girl was standing, looking slightly panicked.
"Hey,"Necia called. It must be the one they were looking for.

With a gasp, Tiasalle turned to the side.
"You...wh-who...who are you?"
Her hands balled into futile fists at her side, and she reversed her step, once again finding herself pressed up against the bark of the tree.

Necia held up her hands and smiled grimly. "I'm your worst nightmare coming to destroy you." She laughed. "What do you think? I'm a friend, trust" Necia trailed off as the full irony of her words hit her.

Tiasalle shook her head.
"I-I have no idea who you are. You're a stranger, in the city. Th-that's..."

"I'm a mutant," Necia said flatly. "And so are you. Now," she stepped forward, grabbing the girl's arm,"if you'll kindly come with me, I will explain everything on the way back to the school."

"What?" Tiasalle murmured, but her confusion was cut short as Necia grabbed onto her arm.
"Hey! L-let go of me!"

Necia sighed, "Please let's not do this the hard way. I already told you, I'm a friend. Please, Scott'll try to kill me if I freak you out, and then I'll have to kill him in self defense. And that would tick off Jean and a whole bunch of other people, so...yeah. If you'd come with me." She started to pull her away from the clearing.

"No! Let go!" Tiasalle jerked backwards, trying to pull herself away. She shook her head frantically, a few pieces of fringe flopping around her face.

Necia glanced around irritably. Where were the others when you needed them? Suddenly, she spotted Kitty through the trees.
"Kitty! I need backup!"
"Like, coming," Kitty called, spinning around and sprinting toward them.


"Come on!" Necia hissed in irritation. "What do I have to do? I told you twice already.!" She spoke slowly, putting stress on each word. "Look, I'll prove to you that I'm not lying." She released the girl's arm and took a step back. "Watch," she commanded. Raising her hands, Necia closed her eyes, focusing. Abruptly, a ring of grass burst into flame around them. Necia opened her eyes, grinning. "See? I wasn't lying. I /am/ a mutant. And you are too."

"What are you...what are you..." Tiasalle shook her head, clutching at her hair.
" it! Go away...STOP!"
Her shrieking voice reached its highest pitch, and she could feel a sudden burst run through her. The bare soles of her feet first started tingling, then felt as if they were burning. The grass around her began to thrash wildly, and at some point small blades began to rip themselves from the ground. Even the tree behind her creaked a little, moving ever so slightly. More and more blades began ripping from the ground, and strips of crimson began to appear on Tiasalle.

Necia sighed, "Fantastic. Look will you calm...down?" She stared in horror as blades of grass began being ripped from the ground by an invisible force. She took a step back. Kitty skidded to a halt, eyes wide.
"Like, what the crap did you do, Necia?" she asked.
"Nothing," Necia snapped defensively. "I just showed her that I was a mutant, like her. Even Principle Kelly wouldn't have freaked out like /this/." She gestured wildly to the destruction around them.
"Hey, look, calm down!" she called to Tiasalle, ripping several clumps of the grass up herself and superheating them just in case things turned ugly.

"No...nonononono! Put it down! Down! Go away!" More and more grass detached itself from the ground, and even a few large chunks of splintered from the tree. More and more, as well, the lines of crimson began appearing.

"Hey, ok ok!" Necia said hastily. Reluctantly, she let the burning grass fall back to the earth.
"Like, you need to calm down," Kitty spoke reassuringly to the girl. "We're here to help you. My name's...what the?"
She stared as Jean appeared and lifted the girl into the air telekinetically. Scott, Spike, and Nightcrawler were close behind. With a 'bamf' Nightcrawler appeared next to them, grinning.
"Vhat's up? I'm Kurt Vagner, also known as Nightcrawler."

"Put me down! Leave me alone! Leave...go...stop...," Tiasalle's voice slowly began to fade. "Who..." She blinked down at the dripping blood over her form, then up at Kurt. "Wh..." She suddenly slumped in Jean's hold, eyes going blank.

Carefully, Jean lowered the girl to the ground. The rest of the X Men rushed over to help. Necia backed slowly away so as to be out of the line of fire when the blame started being directed.

"Is she alright?"Scott asked.

"Yeah, just unconscious, she got hurt pretty badly," Jean said, bending over to feel for a pulse.

"Oh man, the Professor's gonna kill us!" Scott moaned. His gaze landed on Necia. "What did you do?"

Necia clenched her fists and glared back at him. "Look, I was just trying to show her that I was the same as she was, that there was nothing to be afraid of. It's not my fault she freaked out."

"You should know better than to..." he began, but Jean cut him off impatiently.

"Kitty, what happened?"

Kitty glanced at the their faces nervously, "Yeah, well, it was kinda like what Necia said. She just kinda freaked out. I mean, Necia, you could have been a little more...gentle about it, but..."

Scott looked satisfied that he was right so all he said was, "Alright, team, let's get her back to the jet. Kurt, can you teleport her back?"

"Right away," Kurt bounded over, grabbed the girl's arm, and was gone in a poof of smoke.

The rest of the team started the trek back to the plane. As they walked, Necia caught a few snatches of Scott and Jean's whispered conversation.

" accident, Scott. Really, you shouldn't be so..."

"Jean, she could have seriously hurt Tiasalle. Even more so than she already is..."

"...still new to her as well. She just needs time..."

"...gonna tell the Professor. I'll let him deal with it."

Jean sighed and quickened her pace. Scott hurried to catch up with her.

Necia scowled at her feet. Great, now she had someone else who hated her. Well, it really wasn't that much of a surprise. She sighed and ran to catch up to the others.