Review Responses:

Nyltiak: I'll be including all those you listed, including some that I created. Though I can't promise that their powers will be completely designed by me since I'm not an expert in regards to which powers the X-Men franchise has already included. Thanks for reviewing!

Thanks also to: lilacsecretsDragonandthewerewolfEvieBeastBoyBlitz, and SheScreamsInSilence, for your reviews! I know this chap is short, but the next one would be impossibly long if I didn't cut it in two. I wanna try to keep chapters relatively around the same length, ya know? Well, without further ado, here's chapter two! XD

Hello: thoughts
Hello: telepathy

Chapter Two: The Rally

"There's something inside me
That pulls beneath the surface,
Consuming... Confusing,
This lack of self-control I fear is never ending."
Crawling, Linkin Park

"Guys!" she hissed, looking fearfully at the screen. The others halted, eyes widening as they recognized the missing member of their group; even Blaez looked paler.

"Why doesn't she shadow out of there?" Rissa whispered, fear shining in her eyes for her friend.

"She can't," Ryan replied in the same sort of low tone, "Not when people are holding her."

"We have to get her out of there," Phoenix growled, rage sparking in her eyes.

Blaez recognized the look. "Oh no you don't," she said immediately, grabbing Ayla's arm. "You're not going to get caught too."

"Sienna is our friend!" Phoenix hissed. "You know what they'll do to her!"

"We need to think about it first," Venom urged softly, "They can't kill her in public, they're just a rally group."

She glared. "You want to bet on that?"

"Give us time to come up with a plan, Ayla," Blaez pleaded. "We don't want any of us to get caught too."

"We don't have time! The authorities will be here any minute!" she snapped. "With that damned registration act in place, there's no telling what they'll do to her when she's out of sight!"

"Ten minutes, alright? Give us that much." Said Ryan, ever the peace maker.

"Fine," Phoenix growled. But she had no intention of waiting.

As soon as her friends had started heading towards a shaded alley, Phoenix slipped away into the passing crowd crossing the street. Sienna! She called as soon as she sensed her friend. Don't panic, alright? I'm comin', I'll get you outta there. Be ready to shadow! She felt fear and hope at the same time, coming through the link to her friend's mind. As the rally came into view, she sensed that her other friends had noticed her disappearance. She could practically hear Blaez cursing colorfully under her breath. Taking refuge behind a large semi-truck just a few feet away from the rally, Phoenix closed her eyes and concentrated, reaching out with her power. The first one she'd gotten, the one she in truth didn't hate, for she hadn't killed to take it.

As she concentrated, the earth near the rally began to stir. It vibrated, trembling from the movement of the roots beneath it. The trees began to sway, bushes slashed at the air, even the fallen leaves swirled in an unfelt wind. Suddenly, the ground was still, then, an explosion of movement! Massive roots tore free of the earth,swiping the protestors off their feet, breaking a few ankles and legs in the process. Thorns leapt from their branches, burying themselves in the flesh of those who called for mutant blood. Anger surged through Phoenix, fueling her strength, her power, her need. The vengeful thirst she'd felt in her dream returned, welled up, forced its way out. She couldn't hold it all back, so she let it all loose.

People screamed, but still a few held Sienna, who was trying desperately to escape. Phoenix roared and emerged from behind the truck and slammed her power at those in her way. Her mind picked them up effortlessly off the ground, shoved them out of her way, causing them to hit the ground and fall unconscious. Enraged, some of the braver humans ran at her, smacking her with their signs, kicking at her. A gunshot went off, Phoenix's arm blossomed with blood. Furious, the roots and branches of the trees and bushes wrapped around those nearest them. But now the police had arrived, along with the SWAT teams. They rushed Phoenix, large shields and guns in front of them. Suddenly, the ground before them hissed and sizzled, melting away as glob after glob of acid sprayed the street: Venom had arrived.

Headlights went on without a key being turned, blinding the people in front of them. Lightning sliced through the air: Blaez had got to work.

Water burst from fire hydrants, firing massive columns ofliquid at those nearest Phoenix and Sienna. Others were trapped in spheres of water, unable to move; only their heads remained out, so they could breath: Rissa had lent a hand.

As a gun-wielding man aimed at the new-comer mutants; Ryan removed his glasses and calmly gazed into the man's eyes with his own hypnotically yellow ones. Immediately, the man froze; not moving, not breathing, not dead: paralyzed.

Phoenix continued to fight and slam her way through to Sienna. She would not let her friend be taken to a place that one. She herself had hated it, had nearly lost her mind to it, had nearly lost hervery life to it. She would not let Sienna go through that sort of pain. She was so close to the center of the crowd when the semi she'd previously hidden behind lifted itself up off the ground and crashed on top of the police cars. Flames billowed into the air with a roar, and a large spray of water went to it. But instead of diminishing, the flames only got bigger, defying the natural laws for some reason. Phoenix was swept back by a mob of fleeing people, she cried out as elbows, guns, signs, and batons slammed into her ribs, arms, and face. But she had to keep moving. A man ran towards her, shouting wildly, a gun flailing in one hand. Out of instinct, Ayla slashed at him with her arm. There was a sickening crunch as his neck snapped. He fell to the ground.

Ayla dropped to her knees, suddenly sick in her stomach. No, she groaned, not now, not this close... But her mutation would not heed her plea. A massive headache rose up in her head, threatening to split open her skull. Pressure built up inside her, filling her lungs to the point of near-bursting. Agony tore through her. She'd killed someone, now she had to pay the price; again. With a scream of pain, the power ripped out, the pressure tore from her, swallowing those near by. They fell to their knees, overwhelmed, and Sienna was freed. Crying, she turned to shadow and fled the scene, moving towards her friends, who were struggling to get to Phoenix. They didn't know what was happening, they just knew it was bad.

Walls of ice surrounded the SWAT members, guns were jerked out of the owners' hands, storm clouds formed in the bright blue sky. Winds picked up, people screamed and ran for cover as more explosions were caused by cars falling on top of each other. But Phoenix was not aware of it, not really. She heard the screams, saw the lightning, felt the heat, but she did not know why they were there, she did not know what was happening. Then she heard someone calling her name. "AYLA!" they screamed desperately."AYLA! GET UP!"

But she couldn't, the pressure was just too much. Though it was no longer inside her, it was around her, pressing her down, threatening to push her into the abyss. Her vision swam, though she managed to seethe fuzzy forms of her friends trying to get to her, but blocked by the ice walls that appeared. "AYLA!" Blaez's unmistakable voice shouted over the din.

I'll find you...Phoenix thought back. I'll find you... get Sienna out of here... all of you... go... it's not... safe... I'm not safe...

She heard her friends' protesting shouts. The ice sizzled as acid struck it again and again, helped along by lightning and water. Go... please... she begged, growing weaker by the second. I'll find you... I promise... She saw the shadows of her friends ushered away by strangely-dressed people, as she herself disappeared from view, covered by a new rising of flames. But the flames receded, drawing away from her. She heard footsteps, saw someone kneel next to her. "She's breathing," a voice said.

"Bring her," replied another, older one. Phoenix tensed, struggling to get away from her captors. "At ease, dear girl," said the second voice, "We are here to help."

"Help...which...side?" she demanded through pain and gritted teeth.

"Our side," he replied, "The Brotherhood of mutants." And that was the last thing she heard before she succumbed to the pressure, to the darkness.