Author's Note: Hey people! Well, here it is! My first little trip into the X-Universe. As always your feedback is very welcome.
Disclaimer: Mutants and all that other stuff belong to Marvel Comics. Yadda, yadda, yadda...
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Two searchers stood dressed in hiking gear on a lonely path in one of the forests that dotted rural Pennsylvania. They had come here searching for something and they weren’t going to go home until they found it.
“Are you sure we aren’t out on some wild goose chase, Paul?” asked the young blonde woman.
“Trust me, Marie. There’s a mutant around here somewhere and I’m going to find him or her. Besides, didn’t you see that little light show in the sky last night? Are you going to try and tell me that it was just some kids playing with fireworks? I mean, the 4th of July isn’t for weeks,” responded her dark-haired male companion.
“Point taken, Paul. So, are you going to use those woodsman skills you’ve been bragging about to find our target or are we going to stand around and let the mosquitoes feed on us some more?”
“I told you not to buy the cheap kind of bug spray,” grumbled Paul. He then bent down and spent a moment examining something on the ground. “We’re close. Real close,” he said.
“That’s what you said an hour ago, Davy Crocket. I still don’t see any mutant.”
“Whoever we’re looking for probably knows these woods. They might have some kind of hideout out here,” Paul stood up and pulled a geographical map out of his pack which he spent several seconds studying.
“Admit it. We’re lost. We’re never going to find this mutant!”
“We’re not lost!” said Paul as he continued to look at the map. “Honestly, I don’t know why you insisted on coming along. Not to be insulting but a city girl like you is a bit out of place here.”
“Well, I’m sorry but growing up in Baltimore I didn’t get many chances to go and stumble around in the woods!” flared Marie.
“Yeah, well, I grew up in Idaho and I spent plenty of time “stumbling around in the woods” with my dad. He was a master tracker and taught me everything he knew.”
“Well, oh Great White Hunter, show me the mutant!”
“Ask and ye shall receive!” said Paul as started down the path. After a moment Marie sighed and followed. Soon they came to a small creek which had a ridge on the other side and Paul stopped.
“What is it?” asked Marie.
“I’ve found our mutant. In there.”
“Look closely.” Marie squinted at the ridge and after a second was able to see what Paul was talking about. There was a small cave obscured by the brush.
The two quickly crossed the stream and cautiously entered the cave. “Hello! Anyone here?” called Paul.
“Please come out. We aren’t going to hurt you,” said Marie.
Silence. And then “Please go away! I’m a monster! I don’t want to hurt anyone!”
Paul and Marie exchanged looks. After a second Paul raised a questioning eyebrow and Marie nodded. She then stepped forward, closed her eyes and extended her hands toward the voice. Her hands then began to glow with a blue light.
Within seconds a figure encased in the light was pulled from the back of the cave and deposited before two searchers. It was a boy of about fifteen with straw blonde hair. He wore black shoes, black pants, and white shirt, a black jacket and a straw hat. “I don’t believe it!” gasped Marie. “It’s an Amish kid!”
“Well, considering where we are is that such a big surprise?” asked Paul.
“Please, Sir and Madame, leave me here and never return! I am a monster! Not fit to be with good folk!” begged the boy.
“You’re not a monster,” said Marie as she again made her hand shimmer.
“You’re like me. Different but not a monster.”
“Not a monster?” said the boy staring at Marie’s hand.
“No, you’re not a monster. Look, do you know what a mutant is?” asked Paul.
“Mutant? Yes, I have heard the Elders use that word. But they always said such conversations were not for my ears,” relied the youth.
“Uh, do you have a name?” asked Marie. “I’m Marie and this is Paul by the way.”
The boy hesitated for a second. Then deciding to trust the strangers he said “Eli. My name is Eli Penn,”
“Well, Eli, would you mind telling us how you ended up here?” asked Paul.
Eli hesitated. “Please, Eli, it’s important,” said Marie.
After a second the boy nodded. “It began several weeks ago. I started to have terrible headaches. My mother became very worried and feared I might have to go to a hospital. Then, just as quickly as they came, the headaches went away. Everything returned to normal until three days ago. I was doing chores with my sister when the headaches come back. A thousand times worse than ever. I screamed and lost consciousness.
"When I awoke I was in my bed and there were many people around talking. They were all very afraid. I asked what was wrong and my sister said than before I collapsed a great beam of energy had shot from my body and destroyed part of my father’s barn.
"Then the minister came forward and accused me of making a pact with Satan. I proclaimed my innocence but none, not even….not even my mother believed me. That was went to became afraid of what the would do with me. Not knowing what else to do I jumped from my bed and ran. The others gave chase so I hid in the forest. I spent that night in terror. People I had known since birth cursed my name and shouted treats of what they would do to me for consorting with Satan!” related Eli.
Paul and Marie looked at each other again. “Whoa, the whole Frankinstein bit. That’s got to be rough,” said Paul.
“It was horrible, friend Paul. Somehow I managed to evade them and find my way to this cave where I have been since. Such a fate is worthy of a monster such as I,” finished Eli.
Marie knelt down beside Eli. “Do you think you’re a monster, Eli?”
“What else could I be?! My own mother called me a--”
“No,” interrupted Paul, “the question was do you think you’re a monster? In your heart do You believe that?”
Eli was silent for a long moment. “No,” he finally said. “I have always been humble before God, loved my family and obeyed the Scriptures. I am…I am…a good person!”
“Yes, you are, Eli. People tend to fear what they don’t understand. They fear people like us. Mutants,” comforted Marie.
“You are both like me? Both mutants?” asked the boy.
“Marie is a mutant. A telekinetic. I’m a regular human,” answered Paul.
“But Marie said that people feared--” Eli began.
“Not all humans, Eli. Paul and I are part of what is called the Mutant Underground. A group of mutants and humans working together to protect persecuted mutants like yourself,” informed Marie.
“If you want, Eli, we can take you to someone who came teach you to control your powers. You’d never be able to return here but we can help you build a life somewhere else,” said Paul. “Unless you would rather send the rest of your life hiding in caves that is.”
“You…you would do such a thing?” asked Eli.
“Of course. That’s what the Mutant Underground is all about. Humans and mutants working together helping each other,” answered Marie.
The young man was silent while he contemplated what he had just been told. “Yes, I think I would like to leave this cave. I have heard much of this outside world and would like to see it,” the young mutant said.
“You’ve made the right choice, Eli. Now we’d better get out of here. According to my map the nearest Amish village is twenty miles from here but if we saw that little light show of yours last night it’s possible someone else did too,” said Paul.
“Can you really help me control these powers?”
“We can do better than that. We can show you how you can use your gift to help others,” promised Paul.
“Are you ready, Eli? Are you ready to leave this cave and start over?” asked Marie as she extended her hand.
After a second Eli took it and smiled. “Yes. Yes, I would like to leave this place!” With that Marie and Paul lead Eli out of the cave and into the sunlight.
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