New Mutants Unlimited 9

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New Mutants Unlimited #9
Post by Marisol Morales on Nov 1, 2006, 3:25pm

A Current flash-back issue. My next piece will deal with Marisol, I swear. It'll be even angstier than this one though. This here is a bit too slice-of-life, with almost no action. Cannonball's dialogue sucks horribly, by the way. I didn't feel like putting much effort into this, and it shows. Seems kind of rushed if you know what I mean.
The bright side is that this has absolutely no new characters - ergo, no new Cerebro entries.

New Mutants Unlimited #9
The Case of Almond Quimby

Cover description: A "portrait" of Current, standing up and in civilian clothes, holding his cane in between his legs. He looks very benevolent, happy and polite, like the best grandfather in the world would look.

Setting: A week or slightly more before Mission #1.

As of late, Almond Quimby often got the idea that his life was quite exciting. Unfortunately, it was a monotonous, tiring kind of exciting, and it was starting to annoy him. While the thought seemed frightening and laughable, it seemed that his life was too easy. It was difficult to get out of bed in the mornings, and it was difficult going to bed in the evenings, but everything in between was a walk in the park. Well, at least in some aspects…

And it's not like he often slept in beds anyway… Whatever.

A new day was dawning. After waking up on a park bench, silently cursing for a few moments about his aching bones and then getting up half an hour later, Almond was starting to wonder what he would be doing that day.
It was his first day in a big city after strolling through small towns on the countryside for several months, and he felt tempted to do something special. Nothing came to mind… He settled for going to go and find some food.

Oh, wait. Where the hell was he, anyway? It was… a park. But which park exactly? Ugh, he'd remembered the name just last night. Buildings stood out through the trees in the distance, so he began heading that way, still trying to remember the name…

He didn't, however, so by the time he reached the outskirts of the park, he was in a sufficiently bad mood.

The grass was already teeming with activity: people walking, children playing, and so forth. That meant it was probably later than six o'clock, the time he usually woke up.

Before walking out to the streets, he shot down the kite of a small kid with an electric blast. Seeing the kid probing his broken kite with a dumb-founded look lightened his mood a bit, and he walked away with a healthy half-smile.

After a few minutes of walking down a random street, he found what he was looking for: a café. He entered, and walked towards a counter. There was a menu on the wall – he didn't bother looking at it.

“Fries and a coke,” he wheezily told the girl behind the counter. Brunette, a bit chubby, too old, not his type. He made a point of holding his cane so that it was sure to be seen.

The girl gave him and odd look, but delivered the goods. The service was fast, he liked that. He limped to a free table. He dealt with the coke quickly, but like so often these days, he found his hunger dissipating too fast. He didn't finish. After staring at ketchup-soaked, soft fries for a few minutes, he stood up and walked towards the door.

“Sir, you haven't paid for your meal yet,” said the girl behind the counter politely. Almond almost simply turned around, delivered a quick “Oh my, how forgetful of me!” and paid off… Instead, he looked back and sneered. He held out his hand, and theatrically snapped his fingers. The girl's expression acquired a pained, shocked look, and she clutched her chest, before slowly starting to sink to her knees.

“You'll live,” told Almond her quietly, this time without a wheeze, and walked out the door.

After walking down the street for some time, he suddenly realized that he had never really done that before. Usually, he sneaked out if possible, paid up if necessary. He never… attacked people. He'd never even tried giving somebody a heart attack before.

The thought struck him that he was getting worse, but he had no idea in what way… or did he…

He turned down another street and kept on walking. He suddenly felt angry.

He shouldn't have been this goddamned tired, period. He hated it so much. He hated the cold, hard and heavy cane he was holding, he hated this whole street and he hated his legs for hurting all the time… for failing him. He clutched the cane harder, but relaxed when he saw other pedestrians looking at him strangely.

He kept walking for quite a while. For some reason, he always did a horrible job keeping track of the time, so he didn't know for how long, exactly. Maybe an hour. He was in an unfamiliar neighborhood, the street names meant nothing to him… so he didn't know where he was. It didn't matter – he didn't NEED to know.

Finally, he gave in and sat down on a bench in a bus-stop. He propped his cane against the bench and rested his face in his hands.

He hated this so much. He felt like even his anger was starting to burn out from fatigue, and all that remained was something cold and ruthless. And he's continue on to be a freak every day for the rest of his life. Yes, all those long weeks ahead of him would be filled with bitterness and violence…

His reverie was interrupted by a passing lady throwing him coins. He stared at the handful of quarters with as much hatred as he could muster.

“Do I look like a bum to you?!” he called out after the woman. She didn't even look back. He had almost raised his arm to waist-level before he stopped himself. Even he wasn't senile enough to murder someone in plain sight, he thought.

Every day he thought about walking in the middle of a city block and blowing up everything he could see. Every day… It just wouldn't matter the slightest. Even if someone would stop him and take him in somehow, he'd die in jail a few weeks later, just like he'd die if he wasn't in jail. He was on Death's fucking Door already.

He really wished he could do it. It would be easy… just reach out your hands and concentrate… He could do it right now. Start with the dog pissing on a streetlight against the street, finish with…

He wondered why he never did it – why he wasn't doing it right now, right this second. He wondered how long it would take…

A group of teenage girls came along the street and stopped at the bus stop. They didn't sit down next to him, but remained standing (and talking loudly) a few feet off. They were around his age…
He only realized he had been staring at them when they gave him suspicious glances and walked off again. He looked down. The quarters were still there…

He suddenly found he couldn't stand to keep sitting there. He picked up his cane and took off.

But he didn't feel like walking… He wanted to do something.

There was a liquor store on other other side of the street. His lips wrenched themselves into wry smile. Yeah, he'd enjoy forgetting for a while…

He marched in the front door. Luckily, there was no one there except the sales-guy. Middle-aged, short, balding. How boring. The shelves behind the counter were lined with sweet, sweet alcohol, however, and nothing else mattered.

“I'd like to purchase the strongest stuff you've got,” he declared.
The sales-guy raised an eyebrow.

“Have you got money?” he asked, but already reached for a bottle behind him.

“That's a good point,” said Almond, “Actually, I don't have any money at all. But let's not let that stop us, shall we?”

He raised his hand with a grin. There was a barely visible flash and several dozens of the bottles exploded. Almond snatched away the bottle from the cowering sales-guy, who was now bleeding from some minor scratches by shards, and was looking at Almond in fear.

Almond found it strangely satisfying. He blew up more of the bottles above the man… It's not like he could carry more than one bottle anyway.

He'd never really thought of himself as a super-villain before, but it did seem kind of obvious. What else could criminality and super-powers equate, other than super-criminality? He was surprised that he didn't find the thought frightening at all. He wondered when he'd meet his first superhero, and what would happen then…

How unfulfilling his life ultimately was… He wished there was something more to it than traveling from town to town, robbing and stealing everywhere he went. It was monotonous and tiring. He almost wanted to do something… noble, but that was just out of his reach.

He suddenly realized he had once again, fallen into thought and had been staring into space. The man at the counter looked frightened for his life. Almond felt a bit like throwing up… He turned around and walked out the door, still holding the bottle in his hand.

He just wished he could be… redeemed somehow. Before it was too late.

He didn't get to step three steps, when destiny knocked on his shoulder.

“Almond Quimby, right?” he heard someone behind him say. He turned around slowly, and looked at the speaker. It was a young man. He looked to be in his early twenties, had blond hair and seemed kind of excited.

“Yeah?” said Almond casually.

“Hello, Almond,” said the stranger, “I'm Samuel Guthrie and I'm a mutant.

“I see,” replied Almond quietly, “I'm glad you're proud of what you are, my son.”

“I know that you're a mutant too. I also know how old you are… and what you did in this store right now.”

He gestured at the liquor store slightly. He seemed very serious, but not judgmental at all. Almond stared at him with a scowl.

“What do you want?” he asked harshly.

“Er… Well, I'm an X-Men, and I'm… well, putting together a new team. I've come here to ask you to join us.”
He smiled unexpectedly. Almond didn't reply, but stared at him with suspicion.

“Have you heard of us?” continued Guthrie, “The X-Men are mutants who use their powers for the sake of humanity, battling forces that threaten both humans and mutants. When I was your age, I was part of the junior team called New Mutants, and now I think it's time to recreate it. I already have several people-”

“Is this some sort of joke?” asked Almond, “Why me?”

Guthrie hesitated slightly before answering.

“Professor Xavier's goal isn't just to train mutant peace keepers, he also wants to provide guidance for young mutants who've lost their way. Don't you feel that way? Don't you want to give us a chance?”

Almond felt confused. There was a slight scribbling deep in his heart. An excited feeling he hadn't felt in a long while. He ignored it, and blasted Guthrie with a torrent of electricity. To his surprise, the man just evaded it diagonally by rising into the air on top of some sort of explosion. Almond stared at the figure above him, until he realized he was about to come down right on top of him. He rolled out of the way just in time and landed on his knees a few feet away. His bottle simply broke on the asphalt.

“Your mutant power, huh? I'm impressed.”

“Don't do this, Almond, just listen to me,” warned Guthrie desperately.

Almond didn't understand why he wasn't doing that… He was trying to convince himself that this was some sort of trick or, or deception to capture him. It wasn't quite working. Like he'd come to get used to, he tried to escape his fear with rage.

He sent out another wave of energy. This time, Guthrie blasted straight through it, with no ill effect. Almond realized that he was coming straight at him. He tried to will himself to move out of the way, but he just couldn't do it. Guthrie didn't quite ram into him, but skillfully caught him and slowed down again.

Almond struggled out of his weak grip and launched himself at the ground, groaning loudly at the same time. It had the desired effect.

“Wha-? I- I'm sorry, I didn't mean-?” Almond thought he looked almost genuinely worried…

Then he simply reversed his electric field and climbed to his feet as the flabbergasted Cannonball was pushed away from him. He hesitated before following up with another bolt… Guthrie seemed all too aware of his conflict.

“I'm not just offering you a education, or friends, or a home… I'm offering you redemption.”

Why was he even fighting back? It just felt… unbelievable. He lowered his hands. His mask slipped away too…

“Okay,” he said simply. Guthrie smiled.
“Come on, I'll tell you more about it…”

Re: New Mutants Unlimited #9
Post by Marisol Morales on Nov 11, 2006, 3:22pm

Nobody is noticing this… ;_;
(Yes, that's a crying smiley. )

</bump in disguise>

Re: New Mutants Unlimited #9
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Nov 11, 2006, 4:26pm

I notice!

It's nice to see Quimby again, even if it's in a flashback role. Hopefully we'll being seeing him in the flesh…or whatever passes for flesh…soon, but this is to tide over.

Re: New Mutants Unlimited #9
Post by Marisol Morales on Nov 16, 2006, 4:02pm

You might see him in literal flesh one day… or someone very similar…

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