Chapter Three (Battle)

(Kelvin's account)

The alarm of my clock radio buzzed.

I yawned. Half asleep, I fumbled around my bed, trying to hit the snooze button. However, my hands missed the clock radio entirely, knocking against my bedside lamp or table. I almost knocked my glasses off the table.

The buzzing sounded noisily in my ears. The shrilling screech finally knocked my dazed mind into consciousness.

I yawned and rubbed my eyes, sparing a quick glance at the huge red, luminous digital numbers on display.

7:01

"Oh, it's still early," I muttered. Normally I would get up at seven, and take my time with breakfast and washing myself up. Following that would be the dreaded fifteen-minute journey to school.

I yawned. I shouldn't have gone for my little adventure last night, I realized. Now I was tired from the lack of sleep.

Oh well, what's done is done. Might as well drag myself off bed.

I switched off the alarm and put on my glasses. I shut my exhausted eyes for a while before finally heaving myself out of the bed.

Time for washing up.

I yawned again as I opened up the mailbox at the front of my manor. I peered inside, and was relieved to see that it contained only a single letter, from my Uncle Sam. That meant I didn't have to clear so much junk mail.

After my parents died, I was supposed to be given into the care of my only living relative, Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam lived in Washington, but he was embarrassed about having a Chinese nephew.

Probably because he still had those beliefs about White superiority.

He was so different from Dad, despite the both of them being brothers.

So what did he do? Dump me in an abandoned manor to face ghosts, though I usually owned them (as in I had to face my own ghosts, sorry if you didn't catch the pun), and give me monthly checks to keep me happy and quiet.

Simply put, he was bribing me into staying silent about being his blood relative.

It would be disastrous for his colleagues to know, wouldn't it?

I opened the envelope and checked the check. Yup. Six thousand dollars. More than enough to pay the bills and meals for the month. I hardly used most of the cash, though, and over the years I had accumulated a small fortune. Although I am still not as rich as my uncle, who's a millionaire, I'm richer than the average High School kid.

I've got a few hundred thousand dollars in my bank account, which grew no thanks to interest.

Whopee.

I didn't know what Uncle Sam did in Washington, hut I had a vague idea. He earned millions working at the Pentagon (so that's where all the taxpayers' money go to). I believed that he was somehow responsible for the Army's recruitment program, pasting his picture up in posters and telling little boys to "join the army for glory".

The irony is that the invitation was only for Caucasians. Asians and Blacks were strongly discouraged to join the army.

My beliefs that he had put me in Springville High on purpose were becoming more concrete by the day.

After all, they shared the same traits. Most other schools didn't have such extreme prejudice and…

Wait, I remembered Uncle Sam telling me before sending my application to Springville High that it was his alma mater.

Well, that explains a lot.

I decided to cash in some of the check later. I would only need like, a few hundred dollars.

I meant, how much do I need for my meals? I'm not fat, am I?

Never mind.

Ah, my hazardous journey to Springville High had begun.

I treaded the roads lightly, watching the streets with eyes on the back of my head. You never know when you are going to get mugged. Granted, people out in the streets don't mug me for being an Asian or communist, but they still mug me for my money.

Not that they ever succeeded, of course.

I was right to stay on guard. A few minutes into my journey, while I walked along sores and buildings, a ruffian emerged from nowhere.

I didn't know where he came from. For I knew, he could have just dropped in by parachuting from a plane.

As if on cue, a plane roared overhead as it soared high in the sky.

Okay, maybe he did parachute down.

"You look like a rich guy," the hooligan sneered, approaching me. He stretched his hand out and shoved me to a wall at the side. There wasn't much of a choice; I was surrounded by buildings on both sides. And buildings have walls.

What?"

"Your money," the punk leered. "Give me all of it."

I glared at him in reply.

"Fat chance, asshole," I replied, flashing him the infamous finger.

"You bastard," the gangster growled as he raised his fist to strike me.

Reflexively, my telekinetic defenses kicked in.

The hooligan stumbled back, as if some invisible hand had pushed him on his chest. "Whoa!" he cried out, fighting to regain his balance. He didn't see what happened and evidently thought I pushed him.

Well, I did push him.

"You dare to push me?" the punk demanded, his face contorting in fury.

"You should smile," I told him. "You look really ugly when you're angry."

Whoops. Wrong thing to say. I blew a fuse in him.

"Shut the fuck up, you bloody son of a bitch!" the ruffian screamed and raised his fist to punch me. He leaped forward, intending to land a heavy blow.

I merely shook my head and sighed sympathetically. "You're all so predictable," I muttered, holding up my right hand.

The hooligan froze in mid-leap. He struggled to inch forward, but his eyes bulged in horror when he realized that he was frozen in place. He looked at me with a comprehending dread of recognizing what I was.

"It's too late for any regrets no," I sneered. I flicked my hand in a slight motion and the poor ruffian was thrown across the air. He crashed into the roof of a red car that was parked nearby, caving in the roof from the impact. The car alarm began ringing shrilly.

"Ouch," I murmured. "That's got to hurt." I winced at the screaming noise of the car alarm, wishing for it to stop.

And just like that, it did.

Wow, my telekinesis had no bounds. Now you know why they never succeed.

"You're a mutant!" a man shouted. I snapped back into reality and turned to face the sound of the voice.

What I saw didn't surprise me.

An entire gang of anti-mutant activists were standing there, armed to the teeth with huge automatic rifles, all pointed at me.

Where did they come from? I wonder. Man, these guys are everywhere.

"You won't get away!" one of them yelled threateningly.

"We'll kill you!" someone else agreed.

"For a clean and blue world!" another shouted.

"You mean like how you blew up the train?" I asked scathingly.

"Shut up!" one of them snapped. "Great sacrifices must be made for the greater good of mankind. It's all your fault they died. You all should never have existed!"

"Your existence is to be blamed for their deaths!" another added viciously.

Great. Prejudice again. Only this time, it was no longer racial prejudice. It was genetics!

"Eradicate this worthless filth's existence," a guy who seemed to be the leader ordered.

The entire gang opened fire on me mercilessly.

An entire gang! Opening fire, on a single, unarmed kid!

That would be me.

Normally, I would condemn these guys for gathering in numbers and trying to shoot a helpless and unarmed teenager.

But I wasn't helpless.

In fact, far from it.

Almost as if bullet time, I watched as the bullets approached me. The lens of my sunglasses turned a shade of black, concealing my eyes, and I was wearing a black overcoat over a brown shirt and dark pants with black shoes to match. I raised my hand and stopped the bullets in midair, watching curiously as they stopped just inches in front of me. I arranged them in grids.

After all the activists spent their entire supply of ammunition, I spared them a careless glance and allowed the bullets to fall harmlessly onto the pavement. They clattered onto the pavement and bounced about harmlessly, making a metallic clang as they struck the concrete.

"Keanu Reeves…" one of them gasped. "He's the One…"

"Shut up and straighten out your thoughts!" the leader snapped. "He's not your idol, he's an abomination!"

The soldier, I mean, terrorist snapped back to attention. "Yes sir! But he peered more closely at me. But he really looks like Keanu Reeves!"

I did?

Only one way to find out.

I leaped into the thick of them and took them on. They threw down their weapons and tried to surround me, but I managed to punch one of them and knocked him down.

Ducking from a swinging arm, I countered the blow by shoving my palm up and shoving him on his chest. I dodged another punch and jumped up, kicking the aggressor down to his back.

"He can't beat all of us!" one of the guys shouted. "Grab hold of him!"

I rolled my eyes. Was the guy blind? Didn't he see me take out the hooligan and freeze all their bullets in midair? It was so easy for me to kill them. I was only having fun with them.

I evaded a kick and returned a high kick that snapped the kicker's chin up. He went down. I parried a punch, twisted around and flipped the puncher over. He landed with a grunt. I twisted around to block a fist meant for my face, and twisted the guy's arm so badly he dropped to his knees, howling in pain.

I ducked under a guy's flying fist, and punched his nose. The guy dropped, cupping his bleeding nose, but I didn't stay to see if ti was broken. I turned up to see a foot coming my way, but I twisted around and stomped on it so hard the owner screamed. I then backhanded him as a way of saying thank you.

Aw…I wanted to mimic the exact fight scene where Keanu "Neo" Reeves took on the entire group after freezing the bullets in midair.

But damn, these guys just weren't cooperating.

Didn't matter.

I hammered another activist's face before spinning and kicking another on his chest. The last guy pulled out a pistol and fired several shots at me.

I had no time to stop them. Instinctively, I fell back, almost feeling the breeze as the bullets whooshed past me. Time slowed down for me, and I could almost see the distortions in the air where the bullets created their paths.

It was almost too close for me. The bullets just blew past, inches away from my black coat and arms. The wheezed past my face, but thankfully didn't hit both my features and my sunglasses.

"You're dead," the guy snarled, fumbling to reload. I didn't give him a chance. I leaped back to my feet and pounced on him, knocking the guy off his feet and the gun clattered uselessly from his grasp. I delivered several punches to his face, giving him two black eyes and a cut lip.

He fell back.

I jumped back and surveyed the damage that I had dealt to them. They were all lying on the ground, groaning in pain. They slowly got up to their feet, glaring at me hatefully.

I think their pride hurt more than their bodies.

A few of them reached for their sidearms that were hanging on their sides, underneath their arms.

I sighed. "You guys never learn, do you?" I asked.

"You don't deserve to live!" the leader spat. "Mutants like you should be eliminated from the world!"

"Why?" I retorted. "It's not as if we did anything to you guys."

"Your foul existence taints this world," one of them sneered. "Your births are unnatural. You were abominations that were never meant to exist in the first place."

"Who gave you the right to judge us?" I demanded. "You're not God."

"You're right," the leader agreed. "But God Himself said all things that are unnatural are evil."

"You can't be serious!" I exclaimed. "I've read the Bible, and God wasn't referring to us. He was referring to…"

"A filthy abomination like you dare touch the sacred Bible!" one of them screamed. "You deserve death for desecrating God's word!"

"You're just freaking hypocrites!" I snapped. "You call yourselves Christian, and yet you're violating God's commandments?"

"We impose justice in God's name!" the leader roared. "I'll not let you disgrace our honor and name!"

"Just shut up," I growled. I threw a hand up and willed them off their feet just before they could squeeze the trigger of their sidearms.

They toppled over onto the floor like bowling pins.

But I wasn't finished with them. Not yet.

I raised my hand and swing it to the right. The anti-mutant activists rose into the air, as if held by strings controlled by invisible forces, and were hurled bodily in the air to smash into the wall on my right.

The brick wall cracked and shuddered from the massive impact and the bodies of the anti-mutant activists all toppled onto the ground in a heap, much like broken dolls.

"Not bad at all." A voice complimented me. I turned around immediately, and spotted a teenager my age approaching me. He was tall, and had a menacing aura around him. He had brown wavy hair, and his demeanor resembled a bully. He also had a cocky expression on his face. "Interested in joining me? We'll wipe out all humans, and including those other 'peaceful' mutants."

"And you are…?" I demanded. If he was like the other mutants I had encountered…

"Name's Rocky Beamer. You can call me Golem," Rocky replied, grinning cockily. He looked very self-assured, as if he believed that he could beat anyone.

I watched him carefully. "I don't think so," I replied, shaking my head. "I only attack humans when necessary." Or when they annoy me, I silently added. "Other than that, I generally leave them alone."

"So you won't join us, huh?" Rocky inquired, some of his humor evaporating.

"Sorry," I shook my head firmly.

"Then you'll be exterminated, just like all those others who refuse to join us," Rocky had lost his smile and was straightening up. My eyes bulged in surprise and his skin began taking on a gray tinge. Armor plates that looked like rocks were beginning to solidify from his skin. The softness of his pale flesh hardened into a rough rocky texture and his size grew from six feet to nine.

I blinked my eyes, unable to comprehend the impossible transformation that had just taken place.

"What in the world…?"

"Now you know why they call me Golem!" Rocky boomed. His voice had groan rough and hoarse, like wind blowing over sandpaper.

Once his transformation was complete, Golem hurled himself at me, who quickly snapped out of my shock and responded by raising both my hands and stopping him in midair. However, Golem was much stronger than most humans or mutants, and it took every inch of concentration I had to keep him hovering there.

"Not bad," Rocky sneered. "But you'll need more than that to stop me!"

I read his thoughts a few seconds before he executed his plan, and desperately pushed myself aside from danger when he launched an avalanche of boulders at me. Rocks seemed to materialize from nowhere and were thrown toward me. Fortunately, I rolled away in time, saving myself from being crushed.

"Damn," I muttered. This was a formidable foe.

Golem's massive bulk crashed heavily onto the ground, leaving a small crater.

"Wow," I said, my eyes widening at the dent in the pavement. "You really need to go on a diet."

"Shut the hell up!" Rocky roared and rolled toward me.

I jumped out of the way, almost feeling Golem roll past me.

"Wow…" I gasped. "That was close."

Rocky turned to face me, his now-yellow eyes glaring at me with hatred. "Die!"

Another avalanche of boulders was flung at me. I quickly erected a mental barrier over me. Unfortunately the massive boulders caused huge vibrations every time they struck my invisible barrier.

I mentally hurled Rocky off his feet, sending him flying a few meters away. Rocky soared through the air before crashing heavily onto the ground, creating another crater.

Golem growled angrily and threw several more boulders at me. I couldn't evade all of them, so I froze them all in midair.

I was almost caught off guard when Rocky threw himself at me. Literally. Fortunately, I managed to read his attentions before he could execute it in full. I constructed a barrier again, one he smashed into it heavily.

I gritted my teeth as I struggled to absorb the tremendous tremor that rippled across me. Rocky was strong. Very strong.

I was unable to hold him off for long.

I sent another psychic blast that sent him reeling, but he seemed mostly unaffected.

Golem slammed into a wall, courtesy of that blast, but he immediately got up, and like I said, seemed unscathed.

"Heh," he snorted. "My skin has the same density and tensile strength of steel and rock! What makes you think I can be hurt by your puny attacks?"

"Hope?" I suggested.

"You're truly pathetic," Rocky sneered and rumbled toward me, rolling his round, rocky body. He reminded me of the Pocket Monster Golem, which resembled a huge tortoise with a rocky shell covering it.

"Really?" I asked airily. I flung a hand at him and willed a stronger psychic blast that threw him off course and knocked him almost out cold. He smashed into the concrete pavement, burrowing another crater in it. Gravel and slabs of cement were thrown into the air. I observed that the street was starting to resemble the surface of the moon.

Rocky cursed as he got to his feet shakily. "You'll pay for that!" he swore.

"How?" I asked innocently. "I haven't got any money on me."

Swearing, Golem rained down an avalanche of boulders on me. I froze them in midair, but I quickly caught a peek into Rocky's mind. Dropping the boulders, I jumped away, hit the ground and rolled away, with Golem barely missing me as he executed his rolling attack on me, without waiting for the shower of boulders to cease.

Rocky tried to follow me, but I managed to get to my feet quickly. I threw myself off the ground, and just when I felt solid concrete pavement, I began rolling. I could feel tremors vibrating in the street, courtesy of Golem's favorite roll and crush tactic. But I managed to avoid his attack, which was what mattered.

Rocky continued rolling toward me and hurling himself at my position every few seconds. The street and pavement were littered with craters and any chance of escape I had didn't seem likely.

However, I didn't allow myself to be any easy target. I continued my routine of jumping and rolling away. However, I knew that it wouldn't last. Soon I would be exhausted, or Golem would figure out my pattern of escape.

My death was inevitable.

Still, I refused to give up, persevering my evasion of his accursed attacks.

Rocky was annoyingly persistent. After slamming into the ground so many times, he refused to give up.

But it was more than that. I was getting tired, and he knew it. He was planning to tire me out before crushing me at his leisure.

I refused to give him the satisfaction.

Gritting my teeth, I leaped onto a parked car that was nearby. Several people who were standing around struggled to get out of the way as Golem rolled toward me. It was then I realized that there was a huge crowd of pedestrians who were watching the fight. They had distanced themselves so that they wouldn't get hurt.

Damn them. Why weren't they helping me when they could clearly see that I was losing?

The answer came to my mind almost immediately. Of course they wouldn't help a stranger like me. They didn't want to die, but they didn't mind if either of us died. In fact they thirsted for blood to be spilled, regardless of whom the blood belonged to.

Such vicious people. They deserved death. What right did they have to wish for a combatant's death when they themselves refuse to intervene for fear of their own deaths?

They were really selfish people.

Cursing, I threw myself off the car just as Golem launched himself at me. I managed to land on the roof of another car, but the first car was crushed and smashed into smithereens by Rocky's massive bulk.

I panted, trying to catch my breath and ignoring the shrilling screams of the car alarm. People who were in the area were fleeing from there, caught off guard because they didn't expect us to move the battle there.

I wished they stayed though. I really wanted them dead. Such selfish people didn't deserve to live.

I would have killed them myself, but at the moment I had my hands full.

The irritating car alarm went off as Golem grounded it to the road, along with the remains of the car.

Rocky turned to continue his pursuit of me. He rolled toward the car I was on. I heaved myself directly at him. I struggled to stand on him, but I forced myself to run, going along with the rolling motion underneath my feet. Golem cursed as he crushed and ran over the car I had been standing on only moments before.

I struggled to keep myself balanced. Believe me, the rolling and rocky movements were making it hard. I wondered how hamsters did it. I mean they never seem to fall off even when running on their wheels.

"Get off me!" Rocky bellowed, enraged that I took him as a hamster wheel.

"If you stop trying to kill or hurt me, I will!" I retorted.

Rocky swore an oath under his breath and promptly rolled a wall of a departmental stall. His tough, rocky exterior would survive the crash, but my vulnerable, soft human structure wouldn't be able to withstand the blow. It was just like driving a truck at 100mph into the wall of the departmental stall.

Even if the driver were wearing ten-inch thick armor and padding, he probably wouldn't survive.

What more, unprotected me.

I dove out of the way, bruising my shoulder as I landed on the hard ground. Golem didn't stop, smashing into the wall of the departmental store. Even as the building crumbled all around him, Golem emerged from the other side, unscathed. He rolled and smashed through the remains of the devastated building, intent on crushing me

It all seemed very familiar as once again I leaped out of the way and rolled on the ground. Golem left yet another crater on the ground, and rolled after me.

Why isn't he tiring? Rocky wondered furiously. His frustrated pierced into my telepathic mind.

Truth was, I was tiring.

Fortunately, I had adrenaline to keep me up and running.

"Enough playing around," Rocky snapped, finally losing his last vestiges of patience. He ceased rolling after me and jumped to my horror, he was heaving himself toward a fleeing mother who was carrying her child in her arms in an attempt to crush them. At the same time, he launched several boulders at an unfortunate old lady who just happened to be nearby when she tripped and was sent sprawling on the floor.

"Now who will you save?" Rocky mocked me. "You and your precious humans. You can't save all of them!"

"No!" I shouted, horrified. Instinctively, I threw out my hand and halted Golem in mid-flight. Unfortunately, I wasn't strong enough to save the old lady. With my concentration still on holding Golem in midair, the boulders fell onto the sprawled form of the old lady, who looked up at the massive rocks in horror.

She screamed.

Her screams were cut off when the boulders landed, crushing her to death. A pool of blood began to spread beneath the fallen boulders.

The frightened mother cradled her baby in her arms and fled for safety, sparing terrified glances at Golem and me.

"I win, sucker!" Rocky jeered gloatingly.

"Shut the hell up, you fucking bastard!" I screamed. Embroiled in rage, I unleashed a huge wave psychic energy at him. Rocky screamed as psionic waves lanced through his body, breaking his bones and paralyzing his nerves. It pierced his nerves, causing them to scream with excruciating agony.

Rocky began to foam and bleed, ruptured blood vessels began to leak blood from under his skin, but some escaped through his eyes, nose and mouth.

Despite his heavy armor, he was unable to withstand my psionic powers.

I threw him off. He flew a few hundred meters away and smashed into the ground with earthshaking force, adding a fresh wave of pain to his already battered body.

He was alive, but barely.

His rocky armor began to melt away as he lost consciousness.

I panted, my mind and body shaking from the exertion. I had managed to keep enough control over myself to stop myself from killing him.

Spare his miserable life, a voice in my head told me.

I stumbled away from the battle scene amidst the stares the crowd was giving me.

"You got a problem?" I snapped.

"You're…a mutant…" one man gasped.

"So?"

"They were right," another guy piped up. "You guys are dangerous. You deserve to be locked up and eliminated from the face of this earth!"

The guy was lifted bodily off the ground and thrown across the air. He struck a brick wall of a building nearby and fell, blood trickling from his scalp.

I could almost sense the hatred and fear from the people who were watching me. But I was too angry and frustrated to bother about them.

I left for school. Suddenly, there was a bright flash of light behind me. I jumped and spun around.

"What in the world…?"

The crowd was looking around blankly. They seemed confused of their surroundings.

"What happened here?" one of them asked, perplexed. "This looks like a war zone."

I blinked, surprised. Don't they remember? I wondered.

I tried to read their minds, but they were all blank, with their memories wiped clean.

How?

I frowned. Who wiped their memories clean? And did that have something to do with the bright flash of light earlier?

I guess I would never know.

I sighed and turned away, leaving the people in their confused state. The police and ambulance would be arriving any minute now, and I had better get away before they did. I didn't want any trouble with the authorities.

(No longer Kelvin's account)

Janice woke up in a dark room. She checked herself and was relieved to see that she wasn't hurt or violated in any way. Raymond had managed to fight the temptation the last minute, instead carrying her out of the alleyway and stashing her somewhere.

Where was she?

Janice frowned. She didn't recognize the interior or the surroundings.

The door opened, and Raymond entered the room, carrying a tray. When he saw her up, he smiled.

"Ah, so our sleeping beauty has finally awaken, hasn't she?" he said with a mischievous smile.

"Where am I?" she demanded. Somehow she had a feeling he wouldn't hurt her…unless she tried something reckless.

"You're in my humble abode," Raymond replied, smiling. "As you can see, it really isn't much, but after I get some cash and blood, I'll be able to upgrade."

"Do me a little favor," she said. "Let me go."

"Why not have some breakfast first?" Janice's mouth watered when she saw what was on the tray. Bacon and eggs, along with a glass of milk. "And listen to what I've to say."

As Janice gobbled down her food, Raymond sat by her bedside. "I'm sure you've faced similar abuses from the anti-mutant activists," he began.

"Yeah," Janice agreed without looking up from her food. "Those bastards."

Raymond grinned, amused. "Well, I'm trying to gather others like us, others who can serve the mutant cause and wreck vengeance on the very human society that hates and reject us." He leaned closer. "All that talk about us being abominations and unnatural and dangerous are just bullshit."

"Hear, hear."

"So why don't you join us?"

Janice contemplated her options. If she refused, she would probably be stuck in the room for a long time, especially since Raymond didn't look as if he was going to let her go. But even if she did join his cause and group of little mutant misfits, it wasn't as if she had anything to lose.

A smile crept up her face. In fact, she could stand to gain everything.

"I would love to," she said coyly, placing her hand on his. "I'm sure we'll be very…happy together."

Raymond looked please. Janice smiled, relief bursting from her heart. It would be easy to seduce Raymond. He looked like the leader of his little band of misfits, but a powerful leader at that. Pretty soon, she would be the one reaping the harvest and pulling the strings for the organization.

She had plans. Big plans. Ambitious ones.

And this would be the foundation to put them in place.'

Mrs. Strawberry looked grim as she surveyed her teachers. The entire staff of teachers had gathered for the usual contact time, except for…"It seems that Mr. O'Neal, Ms Palmer, Mr. Kierson and all the other 'nice' teachers are still down with their illness," she remarked glumly. "I'm hoping to find an opportunity to tell them how the cause of their illnesses is due to that bloody communist kid!"

Crinkey shrugged. "They will never learn," she said bitterly.

Outside the principal's office, a different kind of conflict was taking place.

Tony Terrison walked into the locker room. Lessons were starting soon, so he figured that it was best to get some of his stuff out for the following lessons.

However, something interesting was happening today.

The dark brown haired teenager, with his average height and nice face, didn't attract as much attention in the room, mainly because he was, well, a guy.

The center of attention was on a very short brunette. She had long dark brown hair, a pretty face, complete with kissable, pouting lips. She was thin, with nice hips. And it was probably these features that caused a few guys to hit on her.

"Hey, baby, wanna go out on a date with me tonight?" one of them drawled.

The brunette, Sandra Gonzales, snorted. "Back off asshole," she replied.

"Did you hear what the bitch called me?" the guy cried.

"Back off, loser," his friend sneered. "Sandra won't go out with you. She'll go out with me."

Sandra snickered. "No way, loser. You're just as bad as your friend. It'll be a millennium before I'll ever go out with assholes like you, so get lost and quit wasting my time."

"I say we shag the bitch," one of them suggested, glaring at her.

Sandra raised an eyebrow. "Oh really? Can you?"

As the guys approached her threateningly, she raised her hand and flicked it at them casually.

"I'm sorry," she said, not looking apologetic at all. "But as a fair warning, you guys should back off. Now."

The group of guys looked at her incredulously. "Can you believe her?" one of them sneered. "She, threatening us?"

Another guy shrugged. "I say we bang her. Now. The teachers aren't here to help her, they're in some kind of contact time…"

"Hey!" Tony called out. "But I'm here. I'm not going to let you…"

The group of guys began laughing upon noticing Tony's average build. "You, save her?" one of them guffawed. "Fair chance that will be."

Tony shrugged. "On the odds that you'll beat me, the scale will probably amount to a hundred."

"Say what?"

"You got some nerve, kid."

"Aren't you a kid as well?" Tony pointed out.

"Enough of this," Sandra muttered. She tried to shove her way past them. "I'll leave it to you guys to fight it out. I'm going." She roughly pushed several guys aside.

One of them grabbed her arm and slapped her. "We're not done with you, bitch," he snarled.

Her cheek stung from the slap, but she glared at him defiantly. "I warned you," she growled.

Unnatural winds began to whip about them, even though the locker room was enclosed and there were no windows. What mystified most people was the sand that came along with the winds.

The large, coarse sand seemed to appear out of nowhere, whipping across the entire room. The guys surrounding Sandra stumbled back, shocked, their eyes bulging in horror.

"You…you're a mutant!" opne of them exclaimed.

"No," Sandra corrected. "I'm a Goddess."

She grinned evilly, narrowing her eyes at them. "And judgment day has arrived."

Tony's eyes widened, backing away. "Uh oh," he murmured, watching the ever-growing sandstorm.

Several more students entered the locker room and screamed upon the sight of a vicious and raging sandstorm that was whirling in the room.

"No one gets away," Sandra said, chuckling. "Now that you've seen my secret, I can't let anyone live."

The sandstorm howled loudly, growing at an incredible rate. It engulfed everyone in the room.

Tony brought up his hands to shield himself, but the rough sand was blowing hard into him, their coarse texture scraping the flesh off his body.

"Ow!" he hollered as the sand ate away his skin, stinging his nerves with incredible pain. "That hurt!"

He realized in shock that there was a very high possibility that she was serious about wanting them all dead.

"Looks like I've no choice," Tony grumbled. "I might as well blow my cover as well."

Focusing, he willed a slight breeze around him. The breeze whipped around him, forming a small whirlwind that got stronger every moment as it began to spin faster and faster, increasing its noise as well.

The howling tornado blew the sand away. Tony stood in the vortex, the eye of the tornado where everything was calm and still. It was in fact, vacuum, but Tony's body had adapted to survive the harsh conditions that his mutant power bestowed upon him.

Unfortunately, even as he fought off the sandstorm, everyone else in the room was scraped to death. Both storms twirled and twisted around each other, ripping the locker room apart. The winds grew bigger, and as the ceiling was ripped off by both sand and wind, they grew tremendously in size and ferocity.

Sandra's raging sandstorm bit and scraped at the tornado barrier that protected Tony, but was unable to get through the brutal winds.

Even as they fought each other, the size of their storms had grown so large, so enormous, that each of them was enough to engulf the entire school.

Meanwhile, in the office, Mrs. Strawberry perked up as she heard the noise.

"What's that?" she inquired, concerned. "It's getting louder."

"What's what?" one of the teachers asked.

"That noise," Strawberry replied, frowning.

"Ah, it's probably just the students," Ms Lona waved her hand dismissively. "They're always this noisy."

Strawberry looked concerned. "No, I don't think it's the students."

Ms Wheatfield looked worried. "It sounds like a storm," she said nervously.

The teachers looked at each other, too afraid to move.

Mrs. Crinkey got up. "I think the only way is to check it out. Ms Helding, why don't you take a peek outside?"

Ms Helding looked startled. "Why me?" she cried.

"Because you're closest to the door," Crinkey replied firmly. "Now do it."

Ms Helding stood up defiantly. "You can't tell me what to do!"

"Yes, I can and I will. Ms Helding, open the door and check it out," Crinkey ordered.

Helding opened her mouth to argue, but Strawberry stopped her.

"Just do it, Ms Helding," she said. "I'm sorry, but you are the closest to the door."

Ms Helding wanted to protest but…

The two storms raged in ad ripped the door off its hinges, ending all debate.

"What in the world?" Ms Tassador cried. "How did a storm…?"

Her last words.

Before she could complete her sentence, the entire ceiling was ripped off. Infinite amounts of sand poured in, scraping past the teachers with brutal force. Their skin was ripped out in ribbons, their soft eyes eaten away by the ravenous sand.

It wasn't over.

Just when they thought their agony couldn't get any worse, they were swept off their feet and sucked into an enormous tornado bent on sucking everything. Unfortunately, the tornado had also sucked in a limitless amount of sand, which was whipping around at incredible speeds.

Unfortunately, it wasn't the only tornado. A few more of its brethren had sprung up from nowhere, and was ripping the school and its students apart.

Not to mention, its staff.

Impossible, Mrs. Strawberry thought, gasping. This storm…it's not natural…

Whatever thoughts she had perished along with her body as the sand engulfed her and scraped her dry.

Both violent storms totally annihilated Springville High School. No one managed to survive the raging twisters and the raging sandstorm that blew about the school. No one. Except for the creators of the storm.

As the storms subsided, all that could be seen was the wreckage of the school.

No, it wasn't wreckage. It was much worse than that.

It was a mere skeleton of its former self, blown into pieces by the storms. There was not much of the school left, most of it being reduced to shattered and broken rubble lying about the place where it once stood proud and tall.

As Tony called his tornadoes to a halt, he was shocked to see that Sandra was gone.

She probably died in the storm, Tony deduced. But somehow he had a feeling that a mere storm like this wouldn't kill her.

He had a feeling that she would be back.

He stared blankly at the school before walking off, leaving behind his alma mater.

Or rather, what remained of it.

From a distance, someone watched him carefully.

And smiled.

"Time to make my move," the person said.

Kelvin finally reached school, only to find it in pieces. Literally.

He stared at the wreck, blinking in surprise. Wow, he thought. I guess there's someone who hates the school more than I do.

The police were all over the place, taping a yellow line to surround the area, and arguing with each other over what had happened.

Kelvin looked around and spotted a couple of policeman nearby. They were jotting down notes, but they looked relatively less busy than the others, and a lot more friendlier than most of the scowling officers that were prowling the area.

"Excuse me," Kelvin said politely, approaching the policemen. "What happened here?"

"Good question. Very good question." One of the policemen was obviously agitated. Apparently, and according to eyewitnesses, the whole school was ripped apart by a sandstorm and a few tornadoes. We couldn't find any survivors. Everyone we found had their skin scraped off till they were mere skeletons. Most of them were further ripped apart by what was theorized as air pressure caused by being caught in a tornado!"

"What?" Kelvin gasped. "Are you sure? That's not possible!"

"Why aren't you at school?" the other policeman with the pen and notebook demanded. "Why are you here?"

Duh, Kelvin thought irritably. Obviously I go to this school.

But he didn't tell the policeman that.

"I go to this school," he replied instead. "This is the High School I go to."

The policeman raised his eyebrow quizzically. Kelvin could tell from his distrustful thoughts that he didn't believe him.

Kelvin felt a flash of annoyance. "Can't you accept that I was late for school this morning because I was delayed. Look, I swear I've nothing to do with this…this demolition. I was held up by something this morning, that's all."

"Leave the kid alone, Phoney," a familiar voice said. '"I know him. He goes to this school."

"Officer Washington," Kelvin greeted him, relieved. "Thanks."

"I'm sorry if Constable Phoney gave you a hard time," Washington apologized, reclining his head. "But everyone's tensed and stressed out by this. You've a very unfortunate school, with two disasters befalling it on consecutive days. I mean, what's with that? Just yesterday, a whole bunch of kids got slaughtered for a sacrificial ritual, and now this…"

Kelvin knew what he meant. He bowed his head. "Yeah, it's all so sad."

Phoney seemed to less suspicious now, any suspicions he once had about Kelvin evaporating as he watched Washington's conversation with the kid.

"Well, go home, son," he instructed. "Nothing you can do to help us out around here. You're lucky you were late today. And if you've any information regarding this, please don't hesitate to call us." Phoney wrote his number on a page of his notebook, tore it off and handed it to Kelvin.

Kelvin nodded as he took it. "Sure thing," he mumbled, staring at the number, dumbfounded. He turned and trudged away slowly, in the direction of his home.

Lucky? His mind sneered. I almost got killed this morning!

Kelvin continued his long walk home. It looked like it was going to be a long day.