Descent

Disclaimer: Characters and Premise are borrowed from the Marvel, I'm not making any money.

Part 1

As the watcher shifted there was a slight sound, the rustle of feathers, the scrape of metal against metal, it was hard to tell. Ice blue eyes with the predatory sharpness of a hawk never left his prey.

He would have liked to say it all started with the demon-child below him but in his heart of hearts he knew it had started almost a year before he'd laid eyes on the boy. It started with an idea and a decision.

Seventeen years old, staring in the mirror seeing the reflection of an angel, he'd thought there should be something more to his life than learning to take over his father's corporation. He'd decided to be a hero.

An angel sent to Earth to right the wrongs. It had sounded great in theory and for the first few months it had worked in practice. A few high flying rescues, people staring up at him in worship, they didn't see a mutant when they looked at him they saw a miracle. Classically sculpted features, crystal clear blue eyes, slightly wavy golden hair and of course, huge, driven-snow wings, the stark, absolute whiteness of his feathers catching any light, giving them an almost glowing appearance. He wanted to be an angel in deed as well as appearance.

And then he'd met them; six mutants like him and nothing like him living in an abandoned subway tunnel on the ragged outskirts of society:

Chloe possessing acid sweat, an avid reader and a college student before her mutation had manifested and forced her to flee her life and the angry mob her former friends and neighbors had become. She was the one who had given them the name Morlocks in place of the human last names that no longer seem to apply.

Cat with a mouthful of sharp, carnivorous teeth, gold-flecked hazel eyes with slit pupils and a supple flowing way of moving that made other people feel like prey. The quiet one, he stuck to the shadows, seemed to have little use for the group, but he'd been the one to find both the little ones and it was him that they turned to when the nightmares came.

Flick disrupted electric currents. At first glance she wasn't too different from his classmates, long brown hair, pulled into a ponytail, clothes that had only begun to turn ragged. She still had a habit of rattling on about football games and how her boyfriend, the linebacker, was doing. Then she'd remember herself and go silent, remember that she had to watch the games from the roof a building overlooking the stadium because if she'd gone in the lights, the sound system, the electronic score board and all the appliances in the concession stands would have died and maybe people wouldn't have realized she was to blame, it hadn't happened yet anyway, but normal life in the modern world didn't exist without electricity and electricity didn't exist around her. So she'd left, unable to control her abilities and unwilling to disrupt their lives.

Danny, gray skinned, blocky in form and ponderous in movement. His presence was as solid and stable as the granite he resembled. His past was a mystery. His dreams and goals unknown, Danny simply was.

Then there was Anna-Marie Jones who sat in the corner and rocked, her arms with their long, clawed fingers wrapped around her waist. They'd learned her name from her driver's license. They saw that she ate and didn't freeze to death on cold nights because she was like them, but for the most part they ignored her, because the knowledge that they could have ended up like her was too close to the surface.

And finally there were the little ones, born mutated and abandoned shortly afterwards. Cat had found them and the group had taken them into their hearts.

Sarah was five and three fourths, as she'd proudly tell anyone who asked. Bones protruded painfully through her pale skin, but she bore it with the ease of someone who had never known different.

Michelle, Mike for short, was ten and beginning to realize that a world existed beyond her familiar tunnels and that with her horns and scaly, bronze skin, she wasn't welcome there.

They needed food and blankets, a dry warm place to sleep, new cloths and better access to facilities, but a bitter pride kept them from accepting all but the most urgently needed items from Warren.

They need psychiatric help and to learn how to control their powers. They needed friends and family who hadn't turned on them. They needed a world where they were accepted rather than feared for things outside of their control. They needed so many things that Warren didn't even know how to begin looking for.

They didn't need a hero, but he couldn't quit coming back. Doing his best to help despite their wary, ingracious reaction to his offerings. Society saw him as a miracle and them as monsters but deep down Warren knew there was no real difference between them. So he helped them as they helped Anna-Marie and tried not to think about lucky breaks and how things might have been as much as possible.

Now, looking back across the years he wondered what had become of them. If they'd suffered as he'd suffered.

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