So here is the stuff:

I wrote a story with this plot line a few months ago. Then, I accidentally deleted it. Don't ask why. Don't ask how. I almost cried. I had over twenty chapters and over three hundred reviews. Seriously. Depression.

So I'm giving it another go. The plot is changed a little bit, but don't let that kill your opinion of it. Just read. And maybe review.

"You know what would be really cool?" Gazzy says, spitting food all over the table. We're sitting in the food court of a museum he, Angel, and Nudge really wanted to go to. Since the only thing on today's schedule is avoiding any and all Erasers and/or other malignant beings, we're not exactly busy, thank God.

"Don't talk with food in your mouth," Nudge grouches, wiping chewed french fry off her arm.

"What's that, Gazzy?" I say, checking out the exhibit of a herd of stuffed mammoths behind him. You gotta love taxedermy.

"To meet a mutant." He dips another french fry into his ketchup.

Shock leaves my mouth hanging open. Is he in serious denial? Is he stupid? Or, worse: did the School somehow wipe out his memory?

"Are you kidding me?" Iggy asks in disbelief. Fang raises his eyebrows (whoa!).

"Not ones like us." Gazzy rolls his eyes as if we're the ones with mental issues. "I mean, the kind of mutant who's born with his powers, not the fake ones, like us."

Ah. It's a great feeling, being reduced from orphan (ish) mutant freak to faux orphan-ish mutant freak. Drinks all around.

It seems that ever since we managed to escape the media (after what felt like years they finally stopped hypothesizing about those weird winged kids), new mutants took our place. Everywhere I look nowadays--TV, newspaper, whatever--the only thing I see is mutants. Mutant Rights Vetoed! Mutants Under Constant Surveillance! Mutants Incarcerated! Hip Hip Hooray!

"Max?" I look to see Angel pulling softly on my shirt. "I think you should look at those people over there." She points. At a table in front of us and to the left are a group of about six people. On one side are a bunch of leather-jacket sporting, greasy-haired hoods. One has an unlit cigarette in his hand. On the other side are three other, much more eccentric, people. It's not the way they dress, though the girl does have white streaks in her, but probably the weird presence they have. They just look unnatural and out of place.

"They're mutants," Angel whispers. "I'm sure of it."

One is definitely not that bad looking, with spiked blond hair and very nice eyes. He has his arm draped across the shoulders of the white-streaked girl, who in turn is glaring at the one sitting next to her. He's flicking a lighter on and off. His mousy brown hair is greased back. He's got an arrogant smirk on his face that makes me immediately want to hit him.

"I'll ask one more time," the hood with the cigarette says.

"It's a simple question," his friend adds, just as menacingly.

"And I'll give you a simple answer," the mutant with the lighter says.

The smoker hood glares. "Do you...have...a light?" he draws out slowly, voice icy.

The lighter mutant looks up, like he's thinking hard about the question. "Sorry, pal. Can't help ya."

"Knock it off, John," the girl says worriedly.

"Please," her boyfriend annunciates, flicking his gaze anxiously towards the hoods.

"Sorry, guys," John says, smiling smugly. "Besides the fact that this is clearly marked as a non-smoking environment I couldn't bear knowing that I contributed to this young man's slow, tumor-ridden death."

Just as he flicks the lighter closed, the smoker reaches out and grabs it in a quick motion. John startles, snatching for the lighter, but he holds it just out of his grip.

"Whatcha gonna do?" the other hood asks. He pauses, waiting for a reaction. "Not so tough now, are ya?" The smoker smiles and lights his cigarette, blowing the smoke into John's face.

His eyes glaze over with fury. Suddenly, the ember from the cigarette seems to blow up, setting fire to the smoker's jacket. "Aah!" he yells, falling over.

The blond jumps up and reaches his hand out. To my amazement, ice streams from his palm, putting out the blaze. Everyone in the food court goes silent, gaping at this display.

"Jesus," I hear Fang say under his breath. Out of the corner of my eye I see a man in a wheelchair approaching. Everyone stands still, and I realize none of them are moving. They're frozen, but not from the ice. They're just...standing there. Unmoving. A girl on her cell phone has her mouth half-open, in mid-sentence. A man drinking out of a soda can is poised in the act, while the soda splashes all over his neck.

And I realize that none of my Flock, nor John, Blondie and Girlfriend, nor the wheelchair-ed man nor a cluster of about twenty other kids are frozen.

"The next time you feel like showing off," the man in the wheelchair says, glaring at the three teenagers, "don't." His attention is caught at the sound of the TV. I look over there, too. It's turned to a news station. The headline reads: Presidential Assassination Attempt by Mutant.

A man wearing a cool pair of shades comes up behind him. "Professor, I think it's time to go."

He nods. "I think you're right." As they exit the building, I look around at my Flock. "Follow 'em? Yay or nay."

A chorus of yays, followed by one pathetic nay by guess who.