Title: Rising

Author: Jade Hunter

Disclaimer: None of the characters and properties of Mutant X belong to me.

A.N: Well, I haven't written in a long while, mostly due to being so busy all I have time for outside of school is sleeping (barely) and eating. But this just called to me, simply because I cannot believe that they killed off Emma and just expected everyone to accept Lexa as a substitute. I like Lexa just fine, but it irks me that they had the team find out about Emma's death and take in her replacement in just one freaking episode (even though they were hostile, they still warmed up pretty darned quickly! If I was them, I'd hate her simply because she's taking Emma's spot, but no, realistic emotions are too damn real for a show!).

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For the first time in her life, she was completely free.

Free of all constrains, free of inhibitions, free of the limitations of life.

She had always felt awkward with her body – the reason she had trained so hard to become as physically adept as she could be. As a psionic, she had lived entirely in her mind, comfortable with exploring the possibilities it offered to her through her powers.

Now, there was no body. That didn't bother her. The body had always been just a shell that had encased and sometimes hindered her powerful entity – its absence was irrelevant. Of no consequence to her. Gave her no discomfort.

She was free.

The last thing she remembered was clutching frantically and uselessly at an increasingly vertical floor, the crack of glass, the sound of groaning steel, the roar of rushing water, the erratic pounding of her heart, and then – this all consuming sense of freedom.

She knew that she was dead, but that didn't bother her, either.

It was all nothing to her; the path she had taken in the duration of her life was now completely meaningless to her, as was the path ahead of her.

Time was of no consequence.

There was no up or down to go, no light to follow. Everything just simply was, and she marveled in it all the same.

Until she felt something.

A disturbance so distant and removed, it took her a moment to register the feeling, and a moment longer to match the feeling to the words of choice.

Something was…tugging at her!

Had she still been confined to a body, or even something resembling a physical form, she would have been frowning. Even in her life, she had always hated being interrupted during meditation, and this was the ultimate form of peace.

She tried to ignore it, tried to sink back into the marvel that had coursed through her just moments before – or had it been an eternity ago? – but failed.

Having no other choice, feeling the faint beginnings of something akin to frustration, she followed the feeling, traced it all the way back…to the body.

It looked just as she had left it, pale and wet and uncomfortable, and she didn't wish to return, but the tug was insistent. Reluctantly, she descended – and found herself stopped short by a barrier.

Perplexed, she looked at it again, saw nothing different about the body, and tried to enter again. Was again stopped just before her goal.

What was going on? Why couldn't she get back to the body? Time had passed, yes, but not that much time; the body should still carry her mind-signature, be pliant to her will.

And yet…

She drew up all the considerable force of her mind, concentrated it into a single point, and pushed it, like a battering ram, towards the barrier she sensed.

Ripples of discomfort lanced through and around her – to most, it would be pain, but how could she feel pain if her body no longer limited her?

Still, she pushed on, ignoring the strange feeling, and prepared for one last push.

Hitting the barrier again, which was slick and sharp with awareness this time, she concluded with some measure of intrigue that the barrier was not simply created of power – it was part mind as well. A psionic of some sort. Not of her caliber, of course, or power, but with a subtle difference in the essence of the power that befuddled her long enough for the other to take advantage.

She was aware of sliding past the body and plunging into a strange darkness, walls pressing in, powers suddenly much more limited.

Pain hit her like a bludgeon, no longer the distant thing from before, and she broadcast a loud mental cry of surprise.

She was no longer free.

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TBC…