The Followers of Alex Mack #1: Five Year Reunion

Summary: Alex Mack has finished high school and gone off to college to come home and find out that she has a group of followers-five kids who were also accidentally dosed with the chemical compound GC-161. Someone is after the five kids, and they need Alex's help. But what can Alex do?

Prologue Alexandra Mack looked at the vial in her hands once more before deciding what she had to do. She stashed it once again in her pocket. It was the logical thing to do; Alex could always take the antidote later, but she could never get her powers back.

Alex sighed as she prepared to lie to her parents again, but this time, she wasn't going to let anyone else in on her secret. Nobody could know, not even Ray or Annie. Alex couldn't risk anyone finding out ever. She would be scorned as a freak for life, and she was already having a hard enough time getting through high school.

Alex felt a little strange as she entered the house, but she knew what she had to do.

The next morning, Alex had felt so guilty about lying to everyone. She really wanted to tell somebody, but she knew that she could never let anyone into her secret world ever again. She knew she could trust Annie and Ray, but then again, she had given Louis too much credit, too, and he had almost gotten her killed.

Alex called Ray up early. It was a Saturday, but she had to do something. She just felt like she had to.

"Ray, come with me to PV Chemical," Alex requested after he had answered grumpily.

"Alex, it's seven am on a Saturday," Ray groaned. "Are you insane?"

"Ray," Alex sighed with a pang of sadness.

Ray moaned. "Man, Alex! You've got to stop doing that to me!" After a pause he finally conceded. "Fine. But can we go a little bit later?"

Alex and Ray agreed to meet at nine that morning and they'd walk down to the plant together, even though Alex never did say why.

Eight forty-seven that morning, across town near a blown up chemical plant, four preteens were walking in that general direction to explore. However, the two nine-year-olds--the dirty-blonde, green eyed Marina Hapsher and the red-headed, kind of dorky Tommy Wilkins--and the two ten- year-olds--the sandy-haired Jason Hawking and the mousey brunette Meaghan Walters, were soon stopped when they heard an all too familiar voice.

"Wait up for me!" the raven haired eight-year-old girl cried, her pigtails flopping.

The group, led by Jason, turned around and gave her a demeaning stare. "Go home, Jackie! This isn't a place for kids," Jason warned.

May Jacqueline Hendy stopped in her tracks and gave them a stare of disbelief. "You're kids," Jackie pointed out.

"We're older kids. This could be dangerous, and we don't want to be responsible for you," Meaghan replied pointedly.

"And just who's going to be responsible for you?" Jackie pressed.

"We can take care of ourselves," Marina responded, trying to come off mature, looking at her cousin Jason for support. She was ignored.

"I can take care of myself, too," Jackie protested.

"You're too young," Tommy said off-handedly.

Jackie gave him the most incredulous look she could muster. "I'm only a year younger than you!"

"Jackie, go home. We're doing this for your own good," Jason told her in a pseudo-polite manner.

Jackie thought about this for a minute. "Okay, I'll go home," she agreed. "And then I'll call the cops and tell them about four naughty kids on their way to PV Chemical."

The four resounding "NO! s" from the older kids almost knocked Jackie off her feet. "Group meeting," Jason announced, not taking his eyes off Jackie until the group of kids was huddled.

Jackie walked up closer to the group to try to hear their deliberations. Jason and Marina got into a shove fest, Tommy kept pushing up his thick-rimmed glasses up on his nose, and Meaghan kept sighing audibly, even from Jackie's slight distance. They finally broke up and gave their decision.

"You can come," Jason told her, sounding defeated.

Jackie smiled as Marina added, "But just don't get us into any trouble."

Jackie agreed, and the five-some trotted off to explore a blown-up chemical plant.

The kids had never been so close to anything so cool. They were careful to avoid the broken and twisted metal and be cautious of the debris. They were having the time of their lives.

That's when Jackie made the discovery of a lifetime-leaking chemical barrels.

The kids gazed from a distance at the mysterious gold chemical. They spent some time trying to decide what it was and what it could have possibly ever have been used for.

That's when Meaghan asked, out of the blue, "Did anyone hear about that Alex Mack girl in the news?"

It took a moment for the obviousness to set in. "That could be GC- 161!" Tommy cheered. "Wasn't it described as a gold chemical?"

"We could douse ourselves in that stuff and become all powerful!" Marina agreed.

"We could have the powers Alex had!" Jackie jumped.

"That would be so awesome," Jason agreed.

Meaghan rolled her eyes. She regretted giving her friends such hope. "Get serious," she groaned. "We can't douse ourselves in that stuff. It might not even be GC-161. It could be some sort of toxic chemical that could melt your skin off in large doses."

The kids decided that Meaghan may be right, and decided that they had had enough fun for one day. They started to leave when Jackie slipped backwards and into the gold substance, becoming completely doused.

"Jackie, are you okay?" Jason called out.

"Help me!" Jackie whined, trying to get out.

Without thinking, the four climbed into the golden mess to pull Jackie out, themselves getting covered too.

The kids had just started to examine themselves when they heard someone call out, "Hey, you kids!" Alex and Ray were walking to the plant, Ray trying to get Alex to explain what they were doing, but Alex not budging.

"I'm your best friend, Alex," Ray said. "You can tell me anything."

"Ray, a girl has got to have some secrets," Alex replied blankly.

Just then, five sock clad kids ran past the two, followed from a distance by FDA agent Gino Lawless. Agent Lawless stopped just short of Alex and Ray, out of breath. "Darn kids," he muttered to himself before gazing up at Alex and Ray. "Those five kids, did you see where they went?"

Ray was going to say something, but Alex interfered. "No. They ran by so fast. Are they in trouble or something?"

"That's official business," Gino said, looking once more past Ray and Alex, and then headed back to the plant in defeat.

Ray was confused. "Why'd you lie, Alex?"

Knowing that she saw the kids glowing, Alex told Ray, "That's not my secret to tell."

With the recent plant explosion, all the kids' parents were home- except for Jackie's dad. He was a contractor, and his company had recently been asked to take the bid to rebuild Paradise Valley Chemical, so he was at an important meeting. This gave the kids perfect opportunity to use Jackie's garage as a safe house.

Ditching their shoes in a pile in the middle of the garage, they quickly started to get cleaned up. Tommy had noticed the footprints they had been leaving behind, and his mother was a forensics scientist. He knew that they could use the footprints to find the exact shoe that made them, and that the footprints could be used to determine the height, weight, and age of the wearer. They had to ditch the shoes for good, or else they might be toast.

The shoes weren't as big a problem, the kids soon discovered, as the fact that they were now glowing.

"Thanks a lot, Jackie!" Jason bellowed, cowering over the little girl. "You probably got us all contaminated with some toxic chemical that'll melt our skin off or something!"

It took Jason a second to realize he was looking up at a frightened little girl. He had lifted Jackie well over his head! He could never do that before.

"Thanks, Jackie!" he replied sincerely, setting her carefully back on solid ground.

"You're welcome," Jackie told him, her voice cracking. She had honestly thought that he was going to turn her into a human puddle.

"If we throw out the shoes, someone else could find them and get contaminated, too," Meaghan warned.

This worried poor Marina. Not only were they contaminated with a potentially dangerous chemical, but someone else could if they kept the evidence. And if they didn't get rid of the evidence, that man who had been chasing them back at the plant could find them. This caused Marina to do something she always did when she was nervous.burp.

But this was no ordinary burp. Marina had actually burped up a bubble.

"Cool!" Tommy observed.

"Not cool," Meaghan corrected. "We don't know what that's doing to her insides." Meaghan looked at the shoes in a pile on the garage floor. "If only we could get one of those empty boxes off the rafters. We could store the shoes in there, and nobody would even think to look up there."

As Meaghan said this, one of the boxes flew off the rafters and landed next to the shoes. The shoes managed to find their way into the box, and the box flew back up onto the rafters.

"Whoa. Did I do that?" Meaghan wondered.

"Do you think that this is not cool now?" Tommy asked her as he leaned back onto the dryer in Jackie's garage. It gave him a slight shock, and he jumped, a flash of energy surging out of his fingers and turning the dryer on.

"That was way cool," Meaghan conceded, and the others agreed.

Almost. "Hey, where's Jackie?" Marina pressed.

"Over here!" a strange, gurgling voice called out. The kids looked down and saw a puddle on the floor.

"Oh my gosh!" Jason called out. "You were right, Meg! That chemical caused Jackie to melt!"

After Jason said that, Jackie reformed right in front of them. "No it didn't," Jackie told him. "When you lifted me, I thought I was going to be a human puddle, and I was. Then I thought about my normal self, and once again, I was. Try it."

The kids thought this strange, but they did as Jackie requested. They all concentrated on being human puddles, and sure enough, they were. They thought of their normal selves, and soon enough, they had reformed. Jackie had been right.

"That must have been what happened with the boxes on the rafters!" Meaghan concluded.

"And the super-strength!" Jason added.

The kids really had found GC-161, it seemed. But they all knew one thing.

They could never let anyone else know. Not even their parents. The chemical plant might want to find them and turn them into some experiment. But it appeared that they weren't so average anymore.