The news of Michael dating two women at once made the atmosphere in the room uncomfortable to say the least. I was jealous, I can admit to that.
"It was my idea." Karen added with a smile as she looked over at Courtney sitting on the other side of Michael.
My phone vibrated so I glanced down at it to see a message come in from Marshal, 'Almost back, Reb not doing well, help'
I stood up quickly and rushed out the front door.
I heard them call my name behind me, I could guess they were misunderstanding things. Not hard to do.
Outside I waited by the street staring in the direction that Marshal would come from.
I heard the door open behind me, a glance back showed that Megan had followed me out. I wasn't disappointed, I had grown used to it. Despite the pain it brought, or maybe because of it, my friendship with Karen had not survived her dating my step brother.
"Emily's father is almost here, he texted saying her mother wasn't doing well." I told her.
"I thought that might be the case." Megan replied.
"Are you confident?" Megan asked worriedly.
"Depends on her condition." I replied then spotted Marshal's car come around the bend. "Here we go. Please keep Emily away until we know her condition." I told her.
Marshal came at us fast then parked on the wrong side of the street right in of me. I could see Rebecca in the passenger seat. She was shivering and shaking like Marshal had been. Normally Rebecca was a slightly overweight brown haired woman with pale green eyes and a kind smile, unfortunately right now her skin color was red, not turning red, it was red already. We didn't have much time.
I ran around the car to her side then pulled the door open. As I reached for her arm the shivering stopped. She looked over at me her entire eye had turned black and looked particularly unfriendly.
I grabbed her arm anyways, the feeling of her mana only confirmed my worst fears. The mutation was already complete. The woman in front of me wasn't Rebecca Ritner anymore.
My mind raced as the red skinned mutant became aware of her surroundings. I had no time, seeing how they fought on TV, I knew the red skinned mutants were fast, and strong. In a actual fight I doubted I could win against her. I started to panic a bit, but a scream pulled me out of it. Emily had come outside and was staring at her mother in horror. I had no idea how she recognized her, she had slimmed down and gained muscle, her skin was red, and her eyes were completely black. If I hadn't known it was Rebecca I wouldn't have believed it. Yet Emily still recognized her. I knew I could cure a recently turned mutant, the information I got from my core said so, but I had no confidence. Emily couldn't watch this, if I failed I would have to try and kill her. No child should have to see their mother killed, their neighbor either.
With my hand still on Rebecca's arm I shifted the both of us into my space.
The shift into my space seemed to disorient Rebecca but she wasn't the only one. There was air to breath, so we wouldn't suffocate, but nothing else about the space was comforting.
I forced my mind to stay focused, I could look around later.
With a thought I changed the structure of my space. I wasn't being careful and I hadn't thought this out very well before coming in to the space. A lot of the items already in the space were moved around as the shape of the space shifted. The cooler with the ice fell over spilling it contents onto the floor along with the piles of other items shifted about.
I shifted the space until the walls of my space wrapped around Rebecca tightened enough to hold her in place. In retrospect I could have accomplished the same thing by dropping her in a hole the squeezing it until it was skin tight, but I was panicking. I could try the other way if I had to do this again later.
Once I was sure I had her immobilized without risking suffocating her I placed my hand on her again. With the thought of curing her in my head I could 'feel' what I needed to do to accomplish it. As she had just mutated I still had time.
To my surprise curing the mutation was similar to stopping the mutation. The biggest difference was that with stopping the mutation I just let the excess mana flow into me. As the mana needed somewhere to go, it went willingly with little trouble. To cure the mutation I needed to pull the mana off of her physical body, as it had already settled onto her body it didn't want to move anymore.
To me I could only describing it as reaching into her, grabbing onto that mana and pulling with all of my might. If someone had been standing beside us observing they would have been able to see mana leaving my mana core and invading into Rebecca's body then attaching to the mana that coated her body before starting to pull it off with force.
Was there another way to do it? Possibly, but I didn't know it. This was what my feeling was telling me to do, so this was what I did. It wasn't easy, in fact it was incredibly difficult. It also gave me an understanding of why there was a time limit. Once the mutation was complete the mana had remolded her body by force and was holding the changes in place. With more time the mana would be completely absorbed into the body and the changes would become permanent.
By ripping the mana off of her I was letting her body return to its original shape. My biggest worry was the mind. I had noticed the mana moving towards the brain in Marshal's case. In Rebecca's case I could see it in her brain, moving things around, isolating portions, and stimulating others. Like the body molding the changes weren't permanent, yet.
I pulled with all of my strength and was eventually rewarded as it came free little by little until it had been pulled off her completely.
Before my eyes the red skin faded back to the tanned tone I was familiar with, her eyes regained the usual whites and previous pale green iris. She didn't regain her flabby belly though.
The mana I had pulled off of her turned to mist in my grip then flowed back into Rebecca. Like the mana that came off of Marshal after I absorbed the loose chaotic mana, it felt tainted.
I kept my hand on Rebecca and watched as the mana reentered her inner space then form a mana core followed by a body ability core, and finally a water ability core. I had no idea why the mana couldn't have done that in the first place, but I was relieved to see all the mana forming abilities. After a few moments all the mana was gone.
Unfortunately there was no pure mana for me to absorb like in Marshal's case, it had been an all work no reward kind of situation.
I took a moment to look around my space, there was air, but that could be because of the space and air merger I had played with earlier. Beyond that nothing about the space felt right. The walls seemed solid yet appeared to be made up of a dense gray mist that was constantly shifting about making the walls look almost fluid. Beyond that there was a feeling that I didn't belong there. I tried to understand why that was but I got nothing from either my mana core or my space ability core.
With nothing else to do inside but clean up a bit I decided to leave it till later and shifted myself, Rebecca, and all the ice out of my space. No reason to leave that in there to melt and make a bigger mess.
We appeared beside the car. Rebecca was unconscious but breathing fine. Around the car Marshal was holding onto a sobbing Emily while everyone else had gathered in front of the house to see what happened. Megan seemed to be explaining to the others who looked confused.
When we appeared Marshal was the first to notice us. "How is she?" Marshal asked hurriedly moving closer to see his wife.
"Fine, I got to her in time." I replied then had to grab the car to support myself, a wave of exhaustion and dizziness overcoming me.
Marshal didn't even notice my issues as he moved closer to check on Rebecca. I didn't want to mind it, he was worried for his wife, but his rush to her side nearly sent me onto my ass in my tired and dizzy state.
Megan appeared by my side to hold me up. I smiled at her in appreciation but she was watching Rebecca. I was too tired to care, I leaned against her as I watched Rebecca too.
After a minute her eyes started to flutter then opened.
"Mommy!" Emily yelled excitedly then threw herself out of her father's arms and onto her mother.
Rebecca seemed startled for a moment then held her daughter tightly.
"You did good." Megan pointed out.
I nodded. Seeing Emily reunited with Rebecca like that made me feel really good. Maybe I could understand a bit better why people wanted to be heroes.
"You really need to get that body ability, your frickin heavy!" Megan complained ruining my moment.
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