Warning: This story contains non-graphic (i.e. of the fade-to-black variety) rape.
"Please," the woman begged, gasping in terror as Ransik dug through her purse, "you can have all my money, you can have anything you want, but please—"
Ransik suddenly stopped, and looked at her. The very sight cowed her, turning her words into a whimper and a murmur. "Anything?" he repeated, a dangerous edge to his voice.
Her eyes didn't widen in comprehension until he forced her onto the ground, and by then it was too late to scream. He shoved his fist into her throat when she tried, silencing her; then, he gave in to a long neglected need and effortlessly yanked off her pink skirt.
It was over quickly. When he stood up again, she curled in on herself, too shocked to do anything but stare at him. Ransik looked at the blood pooling between her legs and felt his lip curl in contempt: this was what she and her perfect DNA deserved, what they all deserved for what they had done to him.
"I had fun, sweetheart," he said mockingly, and vanished into the night, taking all the money she had had on her.
A month later, he was about to rob a bank when he saw her duck into a health clinic. She glanced around before she went inside, as if she didn't want anyone to see her; then again, no one wanted to be seen walking into this particular clinic, which was rumored to offer abortions. Ransik discarded his plans—which would have likely ended with him in the backseat of a Time Force vehicle—and concealed himself in the shadows of a narrow alleyway.
She reemerged after an hour, wiping tears from her eyes. Her arms were folded protectively across her stomach. He followed her to an apartment building, noted the name she gave to the door robot, and slunk back towards the outskirts of the city.
Two nights after she arrived at the hospital clutching her abdomen, Ransik broke into the maternity ward and snuck into the nursery. The sight of dozens of babies, wrapped snugly in brightly-colored blankets and sleeping without a care in the world, made him angry. He had not been given that chance.
But he had come to see his own offspring, and not to harm the others, so he tried to ignore his growing rage as he scanned the nametags. When he came to the end of the row, his eyes widened: not one, but two of the sleeping babies had her last name.
Twins, he thought, stunned. What was more, both pink fleece bundles were assuredly humans; but she would have known that already, he mused darkly. The absence of unwanted mutant DNA was the only thing that had saved these children's lives: if tests had found otherwise, he knew, the pregnancy would have been terminated.
He looked closely at the twin girls, searching for any sign of their father in their features. Nothing. It was as if he hadn't been part of the process at all. That's what humans did: eradicate every trace of mutants, of imperfection, from their lives. He had seen what they were capable of, what they had done to other mutants.
The girl on the left was wearing a cap that covered the top of her head, pulled down almost to her eyes, but the girl on the right had tiny brown curls. He reread their names, then glanced back at the girl on the left. She was staring at him.
Ransik flinched, ready to bolt at a moment's notice if she started crying, but to his surprise she merely watched him—as if she were sizing him up, or wondering why he had disturbed her rest. The other continued sleeping.
He wondered why she was wearing a hat. It was some sort of stupid homemade thing, and the uneven brim suggested that it had been the maker's first attempt. This angered him. The woman had money, as did all humans; she could have bought something that didn't look ridiculous. He would have made sure that his daughter had the best hat, if he were ever allowed into a store.
Annoyed, he reached over and yanked the hat off. The baby smiled a little, as if she, too, had hated the hat. Yet Ransik drew back, stunned: where the other twin had ordinary brown hair, this one had tufts of fuchsia. The mystery of the hat was explained at once. His daughter was only an infant, and already they were ashamed of her.
It took him less than five seconds to make the decision. When he leaned over and lifted her out of the tiny bed, she didn't even blink; she even cooed, like she was excited to leave the boredom of the hospital behind. Ransik was surprised by how warm she was, and he briefly wondered what he was getting himself into—he didn't know the first thing about children—but he wasn't going to let her suffer the same discrimination that he had.
Then he hesitated, looking at her twin. The other sister was 'normal,' privileged in a way that the baby with pink hair could never hope to be. She would probably grow up hating mutants, hating everything that was different from the so-called 'perfect' human race. In any other circumstance, he would have marked her as a lost cause… but he didn't like the idea of separating them. Maybe, he thought, he could raise the human to understand.
He was reaching out for her when she woke up, her wide brown eyes focusing on him. Her reaction was immediate: every part of her face scrunched up in revulsion, seconds before she started wailing. Her cries woke up scores of other infants, whose screams began to fill the nursery in a hideous, shrieking cacophony.
Ransik recoiled, cursing the brown-haired child. "You filthy human!" he snarled, backing away. His guttural voice startled the few babies who were not already crying, adding even more noise to the chaos. Only his daughter was quiet—serene, even, watching the proceedings with an almost bored expression.
He was in such a hurry to leave the nursery, lest the orderlies discover his presence, that he almost forgot to check the twins' nametags. When he saw that the pink-haired baby had been given the hideously unoriginal name of Kate, he grimaced and decided that his daughter deserved better than that.
Five minutes later, when Ransik was long gone and the nurses realized that they would have to tell a mother that one of her children had been kidnapped—though they couldn't understand why the other, too, had not been taken—the brown-haired baby was still crying inconsolably.
Her name, one that Ransik would eventually recognize with an ironic smirk, was Jennifer Scott.