Home » The Crystal Hall » Fan Fiction » Vibrissa - An Unfortunate Week (Maria Varis is not having a good time of things.)
|Vibrissa - An Unfortunate Week [message #59536]
||Thu, 07 June 2012 13:42
Registered: January 2012
- Tuesday, April 17, 2007 -|
I found myself sprinting through the endless shadows of mist, the path beneath my feet all but obscured by the dark fog - the flashlight in my right hand sputtering with the motion as the diminutive batteries clicked against the contacts. I wasn't entirely sure what followed, but knew it most certainly bode me no good will: its snarls and growls were something far more feral than any animal I had come across, let alone anything a human might be responsible for. To either side, cracked buildings bespoke decay, rumbling as if alive in their own merits, my mind sliding away from pursuing a better look at their vaguely non-Euclidian forms. Signs thereupon advertised a variety of horrors, parlors of the depraved and unknown, things no human would pursue if not for some obvious corruption.
As I found myself nearing the end of the cul-de-sac into which I had unwittingly wandered, I was brought to the fore by an architectural monstrosity: granite and brick twisted, I knew, into corrupt foci for the mechanisms to enslave a populace, a country, a world--
Aaaand as I began to finish that paragraph, I groaned at the sound of that piezoelectric buzz which every person on the face of the planet longs to ignore for as long as possible. My concentration shattered like an obsidian plate, and I reached over to slap the 'cease' button on the devilish alarm. "Fuck off, Joan, I'm up already," I complained to the simulated 'intelligence' which resided within our house. It wouldn't give me respite - it, or she, didn't understand anything but preprogrammed commands - but it made me feel better anyway.
A quick check of the house network gave me today's ten-digit code, and I quickly entered it into the system before it could start buzzing again. I would've done that two hours ago, when I woke up from my pleasant repose, but it wouldn't accept that: an overzealous failsafe against me staying up and dropping it off at midnight. Parents, don't you know. A classical refrain, Bach's Harpsichord Concerto #1, was the accursed machine's reply, and I murmured, "Joan, music off. Show me my schedule, please."
The requested planner popped up on the screen a microsecond before I said 'please', but it's always a good habit to keep up. Sure enough, just as I'd expected: a B-Lunch day, Gym first period, followed by the standard smorgasbord of 8th-grade classes. Two months remained in the year at this point, and I couldn't have been happier without a time machine or a sudden advance in cryogenics. With the aforementioned mention of the school board's predeliction for torturing their students, the vast majority of classes were just as you might expect:
- an English class so deprived that the students thought 'Fahrenheit 451' meant chemistry;
- a Maths class woefully unaware of the basics of algebra, let alone trigonometry;
- a History class which glossed over the rather unfortunate events in US History in a way which would make Josef Stalin proud...
...Well. I could probably go on, but you get the drill.
At this point in time, I'll admit, I was rather unfortunately predisposed towards certain views about the majority of the student body, as are so many at this stage. Primarily, I found myself of the opinion that the ever-hated 'Lowest Common Denominator', that group which the teaching institutions of this country pay so much attention to, were of the majority - the majority of athletes, the majority of cheerleaders, the majority of the masses. Perhaps it was true, but hubris blinds one to the realities of life: it demands that we consider ourselves the only ones able to comprehend a problem. But we'll get back to this soon.
After checking my schedule and noting a singular atypical event, I saved the file upon which I'd been working - on two encrypted thumb drives, named as a simple innocuous text amongst my standard homework - and proceeded downwards to the sights and scents of breakfast cooking. Errantly I noted that my father wasn't up yet, but had in fact set breakfast on 'automatic', and my tastebuds cringed for a brief moment at what he might've finished in the past day or two.
Ah - perhaps I should note this before I proceed: I, Maria Varis, come from a family of mutants.
There's an interesting example of the bell curve, when kids are asked what it'd be like if their parents turned out to be mutants (or just 'plain' supers). The vast majority say 'That'd be cool!' They're thinking of superheroes, or even just parents with superhuman powers, much like we imagined them to be when we were five years old... and they're mostly baselines. A smaller percentage waver: they're thinking of the ups and the downs. And finally there are the kids whose parents genuinely do have mutant powers, or kids whose parents are H1, and they'll tell you the same thing: That would /suck./
Young'uns whose parents were, or /are/, supervillains, especially active ones, are constantly watched. They're watched by the FBI, they're watched by the Syndicate, they're watched by anyone who has a thumb in the pie, groups constantly waiting to see who's going to jump first. There are supposedly - SUPPOSEDLY - private schools outside that jurisdiction, but they're rare and there's always the chance that one or more can be a front for... well, /anyone/.
Kids whose parents are superheroes have it even worse. If their parents were ever, /ever/ outed to the media, they'd have to move away from all their friends, they'd have to readjust and change things up time and time again, and if they ever let slip, then things get bad. VERY bad. We are talking about entire families, huge groups of people dying, just for the sake of a supervillain's revenge. Some people, like Dr. Diabolik, from what my parents have told me, are more respectable, more gentlemanly in their behavior: they only go after the principals. ONLY the people who've wronged them.
That still means the kid winds up an orphan.
Finally, there's the third class: the mutant who stays outside the public eye, who are just trying to live their lives in peace. They don't drag themselves into huge fights with superheroes or villains. They don't evade the law, because they've done nothing wrong. Hell, if the IRS scanned mutants' tax data, not a one of them would likely spot any irregularities or issues. But there are still two worries which every mutant, heroic or villainous - or neutral - has: the Mutant Commission Office, and Humanity First!.
Humanity First! [sic] is simpler. They're Klu Klux Klan, 2.0, and however much they like to deny this, their actions taint their every word. They've steeplejacked various churches throughout the United States (and doubtless other countries), working under an absurd pseudo-religious doctrine which they claim offer them religious immunity in some places, and authority in others. In the United States, they've set up several 'mutant-killing' camps through neo-Pentacostal churches, every syllable and every breath radiating hatred. However, unlike the MCO, they do not yet have official authority.
The Mutant Commission Office [MCO] are not a true governmental organization in a sense; while they have been granted power by the US government, they remain under their own cognizance. (The NSA must be so jealous.) Nonetheless, they began as a benign effort to keep the population from being slaughtered, en masse. As time has continued, they first became immensely more hateful towards mutants (no doubt due to the Fools' Fight, in 1991) before that searing hatred began to drop away. In all likelihood, the vast majority of current MCO agents aren't racist against mutants anymore - quite the opposite - but the organization's continued inability to answer for the disappearance of mutant children remains a concern.
Neither of these elements would be a factor, save for this: if a kid suddenly manifests as a mutant, let alone a dangerous one, both the MCO and Humanity First! would rise up against them - particularly if that mutant weren't under adequate protection... and it's from there that you begin to hear the stories of Isobel Anaelez and Charlie Denver.
As for my family in particular... ...well, we'll get back to them soon.
After a fairly short breakfast - toast in mouth, as I readied myself - I found my way to the school down the road, along your usual inner-city sidewalk. I was still at odds with how my family, capable of choosing any private school within the locale, had dropped me off here, but I was nonetheless determined to make the best of it. In my case, that meant the laptop case slapped against my side with a regular tattoo, containing some state-of-the-art equipment. How else, after all, would I be expected to struggle through the day of mind-numbing torture called 'Middle school'?
I was greeted just outside the doors by Brian Welsing, one of those few folks I'd actually managed to make friends with, and who knew and shared my habit of 'rise early, sleep long'. He gave me his standard scruffy grin as I brought myself in, his words carrying a bit of a dry chuckle. "Going for the plain approach?" A brief glance compared his clothes with mine; he was in dress shirt and clip-on tie, with dress pants and an actual /belt/ - far from his normally stained t-shirt and ripped pants - while I was in some fairly rumpled jeans and long-sleeved shirt, mostly for the sake of weather. Then it hit me.
Oh, crap. Photo day!
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