Well, I had this typed up a long time ago…on my other computer. Sadly, I was unable to retrieve it, but 'm starting over here and hopefully I will come up with something ten times better than what I had before. I was rereading Monster on the way to work during my last week of camp and I had so many ideas flittering in my head about where I would be going with this story. I have also been watching all the X-men movies to reacquaint myself with the plot since I had seen Wolverine for the third time recently and just felt the need to refresh myself of everything that came prior to that movie. Last story we had a couple of deaths, a couple of open ended relationships and a cliffhanger that even annoyed me so we will be picking up from that…after this chapter. Thanks for reading. I disclaim any ideas from anything related to the X-men.

~Rolyn~


"Lost the battle, win the war. I'm bringing my sinking ship back to the shore."


Prologue…


January 27th, 2019

"I think she knows why we're here,"

Darren's brow furrowed for a fleeting moment as he followed his companions gaze towards the second story window of the small suburban house they had parked in front of. Through the windshield he could see the fleeting image of a young face framed by wild red hair before the powder pink curtains were yanked shut. Darren laughed once through his nose and leaned back in the leather seat of the town car he and his partner had rented.

Rich Howling and Darren Hayden had been friends longer than anyone could determine merely by examining said friendship. They were uncouth with one another and held such spite for each other that people wondered just why they associated. They were always in competition with one another with Darren usually being victorious, but that never stopped Rich from walking around with his mightier-than-thou air that he was known for.

Darren and Rich didn't like each other in the slightest, but they were still the closest pair anyone ever did see. They still trusted one another. They still looked out for one another. They still supported one another, albeit with a hint of contempt. They were partners. They had to back each other up or everything they worked and planned for would all be in vein and neither man put in efforts for no reason.

"If her powers are anything like I suspect, then you just might be right for once, old friend." Darren breathed as he glanced up at the second story window one last time before turning towards Rich and smirking devilishly. Rich narrowed amber colored eyes at his partner before opening the driver side door and sliding out of the car. Darren's smirk grew when Rich slammed the door with a little too much force. The dark haired man loved getting under Rich's skin.

Following the other man's example, Darren pulled himself from the car as well and nudged the door close with his hip. Rich perked a brow at him, silently asking if he was ready. Darren responded by approaching the gate to the white picket fence that surrounded the entirety of the house. Just as Darren reached to unlatch the gate, the latch suddenly melted. The liquid remains of the lock slid and dripped to the ground, slowly taking form. Darren watched with interest as the melted metal solidified into the form of a hissing snake.

"She's crafty…" Darren mused.

"But still so naïve." Rich sighed. His amber eyes flashed for a split second as he crouched down. The nails on his right hand elongated obscenely, resembling the claws of some mythical creature from a nightmare. Rich stabbed the snake through the head with the claw on his index finger and chuckled to himself as he watched the snake struggle for a moment before finally dying all together.

"You never cease to send unpleasant chills down my spine, Richie." Darren grumbled as he pushed the gate open and approached the porch of the house. He took the five stairs to the door two at a time and searched for the doorbell. When he couldn't find one, he shrugged and rapped his knuckled and the red painted wooden door. Rich joined him at his side just as the door opened to reveal a woman no older than forty. Her deep scarlet hair was in disarray and there were bags under her eyes.

"Hello…" The woman greeted. In the time it took for her to greet the two men, Darren had managed to do a brief scanning of her mind. This woman was the girl's mother, Gwen Morris. Ever since the girl's powers manifested a year ago, Gwen has been run ragged. Darren pitied her, but at the same time he believed she gets what she deserved. She didn't know how to care for a metahuman child, especially one with abilities of her daughter's magnitude. He could taste the contempt this woman felt for her own child and how it was a daily struggle for her to accept that her one and only child was what this country saw as an abomination to all human kind.

"Hello Mrs. Morris," Darren greeted kindly. "I am Darren Hayden and this is my associate Richard Howling." Darren gestured to Richard who nodded towards Gwen with a lopsided smile. Gwen's brow furrowed. "We are here to talk to you and yours husband about your daughter."

Gwen visibly tensed. "A-And who did you say you worked for?" She questioned as she took a small step back into her home and inched the door closed just enough so that it wouldn't be obvious that she was threatening to slam it in their faces.

"We are an independent business who hopes they can be of some help to you." Darren smiled charmingly. "We mean you no harm, Mrs. Morris. You can trust us…" He added quietly.

Rich laughed once through his nose disbelief as he watched Gwen's entire demeanor change. Her shoulders relaxed and her pupils dilated to the point that it almost looked unnatural. Gwen nodded, muttering an okay and stepping to the side to allow the two men into her home with no struggle. Darren looked towards Rich out the corner of his eye before tapping his temple smugly. Rich huffed and pushed past Darren to enter the house first.


"You're not here to take her away, right?" Mr. Morris questioned. Jeffery Morris looked just as worn and haggard as his wife. Darren and Rich could not have shown up at a better time. They were almost at the end of their rope as parents wanting the best for their child. They had no idea what to do and were leaning towards an alternative that Darren wasn't too fond of when it came to handling the metahuman race.

"Not in the way you think, Mr. Morris." Darren said as he leaned his elbows on his knees and smiled as encouraging as he could.

Jeffery nodded. "That's good…it's just that ever since Lara had gotten…sick…"

"Sick?" Rich inserted gruffly. Jeffery blinked in surprise as the amber eyed man gave him a dirty look. "You think your daughter is ill, Mr. Morris? Let me assure you, there isn't a single thing wrong with her. In fact she is probably better in every sense of the word than you and your wife will ever be seeing as she is the next step of species in the human race."

"Richie," Darren said in a warning tone. Rich made a noise in the back of his throat and sat back in his seat.

"I-I didn't mean it like that," Jeffery stammered. "I know Lara is special, it's just that what with everything that's happening with the government being against her kind and them even taking people from their homes…you can't say that what she is isn't more of a curse than a blessing."

"Her kind," Rich growled.

"Please excuse Richard," Darren said quickly before Rich could ruin this opportunity any more for them. "The subject of metahumans is rather touchy, considering we are a part of the growing race of evolved humans." Gwen scooted closer to her husband. "I already said we mean you no harm. We just want to meet Lara considering her powers are…quite formidable."

The girl had enough power for Drew to sense it five states over so there was no doubt that what they were dealing with was well beyond anything they've come across before. It was worth looking into.

"As long as you're not going to hurt her…" Gwen murmured.

"Never," Darren reassured her. Gwen nodded.

"Lara!" She called. A beat of silence passed before the stairs nestled in the corner of the living room squeaked under the weight of the eight year old girl who was slowly making her way down the stairs. Darren watched her carefully, taking in her fiery red hair that fell to her waist. Her eyes were big and glossed over. They were the color of jade and her skin was like alabaster. She was a gorgeous little girl. No physical evidence of a mutated gene at all. "Lara, this is Mr. Hayden and Mr. Howling…they've come to talk to you."

Lara looked towards the two strange men. She took in Rich but quickly moved onto Darren when she saw the look in the man's amber eyes. Darren stared right back at her trying to get a read on the girl, but he got nothing. Her mind was heavily protected and all by the girl's own means. He blamed her powers. How could he ever expect to read the mind of the girl who could morph reality?

"Hello Lara, it is a pleasure to finally meet you." Darren said sweetly as he smiled at the eight year old. Lara blinked at him. "Don't be afraid, Lara, Mr. Howling and I know what you are and we do not judge you. We understand what you're going through."

Lara finally spoke. "Leave, please."

"Lara, don't be rude…" Gwen chastised. Lara ignored her.

"Get out, now!" She said a little bit louder. "Go away! Get out!" The entire house shook as her words became a little more firm. Jeffery's eye's widened and Gwen's breath hitched in her throat.

"Mr. Hayden. I think it's best if you and your associate left." Jeffery said quickly. Who knew the consequences of his daughter's emotions getting out of control? She was eight. She had little control of the tremendous power that kept on developing. He wasn't going to risk anything for these two men.

"Yes, I do think it's best we take our leave now." Darren said as he stood to his feet. "Thank you for allowing us this time Mr. and Mrs. Morris. We will be on our way." Darren nudged Rich and the taller of the two men stood to his feet as well before following Darren to the door. He glanced back at the red haired child. Her green eyes were wide as she watched him in turn. His eyes flashed dangerously at her and in turn her nose wrinkled and the house shook again.

"Goodbye Mr. Hayden, Mr. Howling." Gwen ushered them out the door a bit faster before swiftly slamming the door behind them.

"What the hell, Darren." Rich growled.

"I know what you're thinking Richie…her powers are too unpredictable now. She's a child. She has no control. She could kill us both without a single thought." Darren said as he went down the stairs of the porch and made a beeline for their rented town car.

"So what do we do now? We can't let power like that just pass us by."

Darren glanced back at the house. His hazel eyes trailed up to that second story window. He curtains were rustling. "We wait."


Extreme X-men: The Last Stand intro feel for this prologue, but we'll veer off this path from here on out…hopefully. I need things to flow correctly and I never know how to make it flow until like the last second. I don't know how often I'll update this story…maybe once a week or once every three days. Since I am currently self-employed, I have wiggle room when it comes to typing. I think things will pick up more in October because by then I won't have all these things going on in terms of volunteer work and finally moving back home. I hope you all enjoyed this first chapter and weren't to confused.

Feedback would be wonderful.

~Rolyn~