What are We Going to Do?
Location: Townsend Tower, Atlanta - Headmistress’ Office
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse - 1 February 2012
Tamar knocked on the door to Syn’s office. She knew the woman had only recently gotten back, and not Tamar had to drop this on her plate. She gave Mary Ellen a side eye. The blonde teen was practically bouncing on her feet. Her blue eyes were wide, a bit dilated, and she had a very healthy glow to her skin. She also had a bit of a floral scent to her, lilacs or something. Some new perfume?
“Stop grinnin’,” Tamar snapped at her little sister. “This isn’t somethin’ ta grin about! Ya might’ve killed a man!”
Mary Ellen tried to look properly abashed. “I’m sorry, Tam,” she said. “I just...I feel so...alive!”
Tamar scowled. “More’n Ah can say fer Joe.”
“You liked him,” Mary Ellen said.
Tamar blushed. “He was a good man.”
Mary Ellen shook her head. “No, you liked liked him,” she said. “You thought he was hot. You wanted to bone him. I can smell it.”
Tamar gasped, eyes wide, and stared at her sister. “Mary Ellen Todd!” Tamar was red with embarrassment at the truth of it. “We...We do not talk like that!”
Mary Ellen giggled.
Tamar reached over and twisted her ear.
“Ow!” Mary Ellen shoved Tamar, and the redhead slammed hard against the wall. She winced and clutched her shoulder.
“Whoa…” Mary Ellen said, staring at her hands. “Damn, I’m strong!”
This was just getting worse.
The Academy’s headmistress stepped out of her office at the sound of a scuffle, and a slender brow raised over one red-reptilian eye. “If you lay one more hand on your sister, you’ll find out what real strength is, child,” she warned evenly, but seriously. She could smell the pheromones coming off of the younger Todd sibling, and that caused her to pause. “Come in. Something tells me that this may be unpleasant.”
Tamar rubbed her shoulder again and shrugged it. It wasn’t broken, just likely bruised. She gave Mary Ellen a look. The blonde stuck her tongue out at Tamar and followed Ms. Drake into the office.
“Unpleasant may be an understatement,” Tamar said as she shut the door behind them. “Joe Campbell’s in the infirmary.”
Syn had been moving towards her high-backed chair behind her desk, but paused and turned slowly. A furious concern lit in her odd eyes and she looked between Tamar and Mary Ellen. “I would suggest a rapid explanation,” the diminutive administrator said, her normally calm voice suddenly growing icy.
“He came on to me!” Mary Ellen blurted out.
Tamar shot her a look. That didn’t sound like Joe, but Tamar hadn’t been there.
“Ah don’t know what happened,” Tamar admitted. “Mary Ellen called me. Ah got him down ta th’infirmary as quick as Ah could.”
Syn laughed, but it was a cold, dark sound as her eyes landed on Mary Ellen. “I want the truth, child,” she demanded. “Do not make me pull it from your head, because I will, and I will show it to Tamar right here and now.” The look on Absynthe Drake’s face spoke to the level of ire that she was keeping in check, the seriousness of her threat. “I’ve known Joe for a good many years, and never once has his reputation been called into question.”
Mary Ellen flushed and lowered her gaze. “Sorry,” she apologized. “I...I’m not entirely sure,” she admitted. “It was all sort of...hazy.” She looked over to Tamar. “Coach Campbell is hot,” she said, catching Tamar’s blush. Of course, most of the girls on the team -- the ones that liked guys, anyway -- thought so too. “And we were talking in his office,” she looked at Tamar again, “and I just kept thinking how hot he was. And it just kept worming around my brain. And I was so hungry. I just...I wanted him. And then he was kissing me. And things kind of went red and hazy, and the next thing I know we were on his desk, and he’d just…”
Tamar was covering her mouth in shock at what her little sister was saying. She knew Mary Ellen had always been a bit boy crazy, but she’d never actually...at least Tamar didn’t think she had!
“Well, we’d just had sex. I told you he came on to me!” Mary Ellen protested. “And it felt so good. Wonderful! My first time…” The blonde blushed. “My whole body was tingling. The hunger was gone, and I felt so...alive. But...Joe wasn’t...wasn’t moving. He didn’t kiss me. And...I didn’t think he was breathing. Like...was I really that good? He certainly was!”
“Mary Ellen!” Tamar gasped. She almost had tears in her emerald eyes.
“I thought he was dead. Had a heart attack or something. You know, like you see on TV or in the movies. So I called Tamar.”
Syn reached up and pinched the bridge of her nose, sighing heavily. “Pheromones. Mary Ellen, your powers revolve around pheromone production and control. Have you lost control over that? Has anything like this happened before?” The tiny dragon lady’s eyes opened and she looked at the girl again, her gaze softening, but still serious.
“What? No!” Mary Ellen said. “My pheromones just...make people listen and pay attention. Like, it’s barely a power!” she protested. “Nothing like this has ever happened be--” The teen cut off, her eyes widening.
“What, Emmy?” Tamar urged, straightening.
“Jessa,” Mary Ellen said. “Back in the mall, at X-Jeans. Jessa and I were trapped. I was hurt. I think my leg was broken.”
Tamar frowned. “You never said that. You were fine. Not a scratch on you.”
“I know!” Mary Ellen said. “Because...well, Jessa was hurt bad. And...well, that was when I first felt this...hunger. Like there’s a hole in your stomach, and no matter how much you eat, it just won’t stop. And...And I remember kissing Jessa as she was trapped there. And she died. And...And my leg felt better, and I was strong enough to push the shelving off of me and get out.”
Mary Ellen gasped and covered her mouth. “Oh my God! Did I kill Jessa?”
Syn ran a hand down her face and shook her head. “Mary Ellen, listen to me,” she said, stepping a bit closer to the teen. “It sounds like your powers have undergone an evolution,” the small Asian woman said softly, then sighed. “A dangerous evolution, to be certain, but one nonetheless. I need you to hear what I’m saying though. Jessa’s injuries were fatal. She was crushed in the explosion. Your evolution may have hastened her death, but we can’t be sure of that just yet.”
Turning to Tamar, Syn laid a gentle hand on her arm. “Take Mary Ellen to Danger Room Three. We need to run some tests and figure out exactly what’s going on.”
Tamar had tears in her eyes. “Oh, my gosh!” she said. “Ah...Ah’m so sorry, Syn.” She looked at Mary Ellen.
“You’re going to lock me up?” Mary Ellen said.
“No,” Tamar assured, hugging her sister. “It’s just to run some tests.”
“But...But we have a volleyball tournament. And...And Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I don’t have a date to the dance yet, and...and...what will all the students think? And my friends?”
“Don’t make me have to carry you there myself, Mary Ellen. This is serious,” Syn said, turning back to the stammering girl. “You may have killed a man. While I’m willing to accept that it was accidental, we can’t risk another incident like that. We need to know what’s going on, and how to teach you how to control it, before I can even consider allowing you to interact with the other students. We need to run tests, and the safest place for all concerned is in a danger room where your powers can be controlled and you can be monitored. Is that clear?”
Mary Ellen swallowed. “I...yes, ma’am,” she said. “Am I...going to jail?”
Tamar shook her head, her red curls bouncing. “No, Emmy!” she said, hugging the teenager again. “It was an accident. And...Joe isn’t dead yet.” She looked hopefully at Syn.
“I’m not sending you to jail, child,” Syn said, shaking her head. “I’m trying to figure out the best way to deal with this situation. Tamar will take you to a danger room so that we can get answers about your evolution. I will go and check on Joe. We do have rather competent healers here, so I’d say that his chances are far better than they would be had this happened anywhere else.”
Mary Ellen clutched onto her sister. “I didn’t...I didn’t mean to. I just...it felt so good. I just kind of...it just felt so good…”
Tamar frowned and put her arm around her baby sister. “We’ll figure this out, Emmy,” she promised. “Thank ya, Syn,” Tamar said. “Ah’ll get her situated.” She turned to guide Mary Ellen out.
Syn waited until the pair had left then called down to the infirmary. Once she got the report, she sighed heavily. He had avoided death, but narrowly and was still unconscious. “When it rains, it pours,” she muttered, then made her way out of her office, locking it up behind her.
Absynthe “Syn” Drake
Headmistress, Townsend Academy
NPC Xander Carlisle
Mary Ellen Todd
NPC Xander Carlisle