(Written from Jill's perspective as if she were talking to a close friend.)
(August 2, 2004)
Last week, I was normal. I was just a 17 year old Hispanic street girl who was adopted by a couple of rich Anglos. Right, that's so not normal! And I've had three last names in the last six months. I was Malarapa, but now she's dead. Only she's not, supposedly she's just in Federal custody forever. Then I was Forrester, that's a name I was handed to hide me from meta-haters so I could be stashed in the California Juve' system. Then I was "miraculously" adopted when everyone knows no one wants to adopt older kids, especially girls.
But it got really weird. The zoo thing happened with the robot having the self-encounter session, talking to itself. That's how I found out I wasn't normal anymore. Life was bad before, but at least I didn't have 30 foot robots after me. I thought the bit with the FBI hiding my past was supposed to be the end of people coming after me, but no, now its robots. They are coming after me cause I'm a meta and I don't even know what I can do.
I wish I could just go back to my old life, but my new parents say it won't help since the robots can find me anyway. They're right, I'm better off staying where I can be protected. I'm just really scared cause no one knows what they really are and I can't help being a meta. I wish I never found that stupid drink, I was better off hungry. So anyway, I'm glad I got invited to the Team Liberty trainer so I can learn about what I can do. At least I can find out what is so dangerous about me that I have to be hunted.
(August 3, 2004)
The Team Liberty trainer is this huge gym room with StarWars in it. There is this computer that can make objects appear anywhere that you can touch. It can make the objects do things too, like guns that can shoot at you and stuff. There are other rooms too, like doctor's office rooms and science labs and stuff.
Yesterday was good. I learned how to control when I change back and forth from me to this meta thing. Now I don't have to glow in the dark when the moon is full anymore. That took most of the day yesterday, but we also did some basic tests to see how strong I was, how fast was, stuff like that. I can lift a motorcycle, not just stand it up, pick it up. That's not all that strong compared to other metas but its ok. I can also run, really run. They tell me I'm not as fast as the Bat, but supposedly no one is that fast.
Today we worked on more basic stuff. They tested my coordination and found out I was really really good at hand to eye stuff, that I can move really fast, faster than anyone they ever tested except the Spider. They said I might even be able to be as good as the Bat except no one could ever get that much training. I can react to just as many attacks as most of the stronger metas too. They said since I was in the hospital for so long I probably had a lot of powers we'd learn about as we went along.
Next I had to take on this computer trying to sneak in and out of places it made up in the trainer to see how good I was at stealth, and it kept buzzing at me all the time saying "Target: Jill, detected,..." doing whatever it was I was doing. It was almost like one of those robots except it had a different voice. I thought I failed it or something, but they said I was ok and could probably get by most security if I was careful.
(August 5, 2004)
Yesterday was really kinda boring, they had me plugged-in to a bunch of equipment and pointed all kinds of scanners and sensors at me and did blood tests and brain scans and just a bunch of hospital stuff. They said they needed the results of all these test for the rest of my discovery and training. I was glad to get out of there. They were done by like lunch, and we went shopping. At first I thought, "Oh great," cause shopping is always so boring for me, but its different now. Dad has money and Mom, that's Jacque, knows how to spend it! Shopping with money is fun! They said maybe another day we'd go see the sights like the churches and stuff. I'm thinking, "Oh boy," but hey, this new life with the squares has been fun so far, and sight seeing back home is always a good time.
Anyway, that was all yesterday. Back in the laboratory as I now think of it, I get to be a rat again, but its cool, at least I'm finding out about my powers. First thing after breakfast we sat down and had this long this long 'briefing' (nothing brief about it) where they gave me all this mumbo jumbo they found out from all the tests yesterday. Dad said the 'Reader's Digest Version' was that my mutations all have a lunar theme. I asked for the layman's version, he said, "you imitate the moon." The scientist type who did all the tests said, "rudimentarily expressed, but essentially correct." Oooooooooo-K!
So then we started figuring out my powers. First thing they told me was that some of my stuff only worked when I changed so that I was all white, they called it, "in meta form." The rest, they said, worked all the time, which is where they said they wanted to start.
They told me they thought I might have prehensile hair. I asked what that meant. They said it meant I could move my hair like a tail or an arm. I made it cover my face so that I was hidden, then made it part so I could see them through it and asked, "like this?" They kinda looked startled. I said, "yeah, I knew about that." Then they gave me the bad news, that the more I did that, the easier it would be for Sentinels to find me when I was not in meta form. So when I was playing with my hair in the dark in the Nocturnal Creatures exhibit, I gave myself away to a Sentinel that was in the area. As Dad would say, "Safety tip, try not to do that anymore."
Then they blew my mind, they said I could regenerate. It blew my mind cause when I asked what that meant, they said I could heal really fast and could probably even re-grow lost limbs and organs. "Probably?" Dad asked. They asked if I had ever had my tonsils or appendix taken out. I told them I had my tonsils out when I was 8. They told me my tonsils were fine and they were right where they should be. That would explain how come all my teeth were back. Dad did one of those things he does, looking at me with that smile he has when he tells me things are going to be good for me now.
The bad news they said was that any time I got hurt, I would regenerate. "How is that bad?" I asked. They said while I was regenerating, a Sentinel could detect me. They said the Sentinels probably didn't bother me when I re-grew my teeth and my tonsils cause it probably happened in the hospital and their agents figured they had me under control then.
They spent a lot of time asking me a lot of questions about what else I knew about my powers since I knew about my hair and my teeth, but I didn't really know all that much. I told them again about what happened at the zoo. Beside that, now I knew that I could "hide" from Sentinels by staying normal if I didn't "play" with my hair.
They did some more tests with more weird antennas and probes and stuff pointed at me, plus stuff taped to my head and arms. They asked if I minded if they resumed work on Saturday. I was happy to hear it, that meant tomorrow off! Dad went one better, he said, "How about Monday." Sometimes I just totally love him!
(August 9, 2004)
We spent the weekend at some big business deal my parents were part of. It was really fun. There were more rich people there, and I got to hang out with them and their kids the whole time. Squares really can have a good time! My parents had to speak on stage, but they seemed to like it, plus during a break they got on stage and started dancing to "Wipe Out" again. They seem to really like that song, plus they are total show-offs. It was cool though, they were good!
Then we went back to New York and the laboratory! In the next few days, they said, we were gonna discover the rest of my powers, the ones that required me to be in meta form. That meant I had to change so that I looked like I was all white with shadows all over me. No color as the science type put it, just shades of grey. He said that my, "appearance was consistent with the lunar theme." Great, I look like the moon!
First thing they worked on was how I made it dark. Since I was trying to hide at the time, that is how they had me start. In a hour, they had me making it dark when I wanted, where I wanted. Cool! Just like an eclipse, they said, 'cause I was, "in effect, preventing light from reaching the affected area, thereby eliminating reflection of light and so preventing optical perception." Yeah. From there they taught me to make it light where I wanted, when I wanted and then they taught me to deal with it if someone else made it dark. So in one day, I learned how to pretty much control if there was light to see by or not anywhere I wanted.
(August 10, 2004)
We started the day figuring out how I broke the Sentinels eye. The Sentinel said, "Anomaly: Random Reality Alteration," when I did it, so that's where they started. Turns out I can affect people or things in general. The mumbo jumbo they said was that, "I can affect the short term future of a specific sentient, influencing non-specific events toward positive or negative results relative to the specified sentient's probable desires." Translated, that means I can make thinking things like people or robots have good or bad luck. And I know how to do it now! I just can't do it to myself; too bad, Las Vegas!
After that they had me work on the next thing the Sentinel said, "Mental Assault: attempted perceptive alteration, threat negligible." According to the results of my tests, the science type said, I could directly affect the perceptions of others, but only living beings. After some "classroom time," we went to the laboratory again and I learned to control what people see, hear, taste, feel, and smell. Depending on how well I pay attention to what I'm doing, I can make someone see a red car instead of a green one or I can make them completely believe they're in a totally different place with totally different things happening to them. They said the bad side, besides it's wrong to do that to just anyone, is that, "it is a major power and has a strong signature, greatly enhancing the chances of Sentinel response." Yeah. Anyway, from there it turns out that a related power I have is the ability to make someone change forms if they have more than one form. Like I was able to make Kitty be solid when she was "desolidified." They told me that I could do the same thing to Vampires, Werewolves, shape-shifters, people that had been turned into toads, and so on. By the time he said all that, I was laughing so hard my sides hurt. "Vampires! Werewolves! What are you talking about?" I tried to ask though my laughter. The science guy just looked at me like he'd never seen anyone laugh before. It dawned on me he was totally serious. Ooooooooooooooooo-K!
(August 11, 2004)
Today, we worked on what Bill, (I call him "Bill Nye, the science guy) said were, "significantly more powerful manifestations of my ability to control the reflection of ambient energies." Yeah. Basically that turned out to mean that I could hit people with all kinds energy so hard it could hurt them. Cobblestone volunteered to be my target, and they taught me how to use my power as an attack. It worked! I actually made it hurt Cobblestone. I felt bad cause he's really nice, but he said it was ok 'cause he wanted me to learn.
They said we had 4 more, "wave patterns sets to analyze" and I'd be done. Translated, that meant there were 4 more things I could do. One they thought was pretty easy, they said I would just need to stand in the middle of the lab and they'd empty all the air out of it. "What?!" I exclaimed. My parents looked a little surprised too. The science guy (his real name was Reed something) assured me they were "pretty sure," and that I was "in no danger, since any injury I suffered would regenerate momentarily." I wasn't so sure.
They were right. When they finally put the air back in, they told me they had, "done some other tests" while I was in there. Nice of them to warn me. It turns out I'm immune to extreme heat, cold, radiation and vacuum, and I don't need to breath when I'm in meta form. So I can't drown.
I thought to myself, "That should be handy if the tide ever comes in!" That was when the lab flooded. Actually it didn't all flood, just part of it. Water started rising up out of the floor around us. I stood where I was and I didn't seem to be affected. Cobblestone stood where he was, but he wasn't happy about it. He couldn't swim 'cause he's too heavy. My parents were swimming, and so were American Pryde and Bill (or Reed or whatever). Kitty went de-solid and stayed with me. Then I heard Bill yelling at me to let the water go. "What? What do you mean, 'let it go?'" That's when all the water drained away.
Mom and Dad, American Pryde and Bill picked themselves up off the floor. There was water dripping off them and they were wiping their face and brushing wet hair out of their eyes. I realized I had made it flood and I was afraid everyone was going to be mad at me. Bill just held his clip board up, watching the water run off the soaked paper and said, "that explains one set of wave patterns." Kitty and I sort of lost it, and Cobblestone had a good time with it too. Mom got over being drenched and laughed and Dad seemed to be ok with it, so I figured it was gonna be ok. Weird, I guess that was the tide or something!
We took the rest of the day off after that. Did I mention I kinda like shopping now?
(August 12, 2004)
Bill wanted to do "something special" to show me my last two powers. He said one of my wave patterns was "comparable to that detected when Domovich teleported away, but was a softer, purer signature." When asked what that meant, he demurred, asking me go stand at the far end of the lab. He then had the test computer put a doll on a table about 30 feet away from me. He told me to "stand right there" and went up to the control room and fiddled around with his controls for about an hour before he came back. We were all doing our own thing by the time he got back. He apologized and said he couldn't figure out why "one of my wave sets seemed to be unresponsive," and he asked us to come back that afternoon.
When we got back to the lab, the roof was gone. He said not to worry about it, that it would all make sense very soon. American Pryde asked if the roof was really gone or it was part of the program. "It's gone," Bill told her. She followed him to the control room animatedly asking him what he thought he was doing and generally peppering him with a zillion questions. I felt sorry for him, a little.
Once in the control room he had the computer set up the doll on the table again and told me to, "go get it." As soon as I started to take a step, it was gone. "To, slow!" he exclaimed over the loudspeakers. "Again!" It disappeared again. "To slow!"
After the third or fourth time it got old, and I told him so. He taunted me with an insult in Spanish! I was furious! I was ready to give him a piece of my mind when he interrupted me, "Again!" I was so mad I grabbed the doll and and shook it at him, yelling a string of stuff in Spanish that would make a pimp blush. He was just standing there in the window with his arms across his chest grinning. American Pryde was gaping at me through the window. Dad was standing right next to me and the table looking at me astonished; he used to be across the room where the table had been.
I was trying to figure out what happened when Cobblestone exclaimed, "She teleported!"
"Lunaported!" corrected Bill over the loudspeakers.
"What?" Dad asked.
"She can only do it to or from places that have direct line-of-sight access to the moon. She lunaported!"
"There is no such word!" one of Bill's assistants said.
"Doesn't matter, that's what she did!" Bill said. "That's why I had to take the roof off, she had to have line-of-sight access to the moon."
"Yeah, well put the roof back before someone decides to drop in on us!" Pryde ordered.
"Wait a minute," Bill said and had the computer remove the doll from my grip.
"Hey!" I yelled, "Give me that!"
"Take it then," he said, restoring the doll to midair, about two feet above my head. I jumped for it, but it rose when I did and dropped when I did.
"Keep trying!" he taunted.
This time the doll stayed up when I came down, slowly dropping back to its original place. I determined to get it and jumped as hard as I could, but the doll rose to just barely beyond my reach. Straining to reach it, I somehow stayed in the air, just a finger length away from the doll. I strained to reach it and thought I was gonna get it when it slipped just out of reach again.
"She's flying!" Cobblestone exclaimed from somewhere below me. I looked down and saw the floor about twenty feet below me. I forgot the doll and fell to the floor.
Dad would probably say my Spanish was "unladylike," if he could understand it. Bill just taunted me and told me to pay attention and fly. I told him I was hurt. He said I'd regenerate and called me a baby. By then was I really mad. I flew up to the control room and he jumped back. When I couldn't get through the glass, he grinned out at me. I teleported into the control room. American Pryde caught my wrists and congratulated me on my performance. Bill echoed her sentiments. I calmed down.
That, Bill said, was that. "All your powers have been revealed. My work here is done," he said and left.
American Pryde Looked at him as he walked away and asked, "Who's gonna put the roof back?"