Announce the Next Unfortunate SoulMature

They've been locked in this white room for a while, being called up one-by-one. They had been herded (in the case of Junior Agent Boyd, carried - by a team of fast-moving racing turtles - give the scientists a break, they get bored) into here, and then everyone but the stranger and the fifteen Junior Agents was escorted out. 

They're in shock, and each of them is clad in an aggressively orange blanket, except for the guy who lit his on fire accidentally. The nurse had just sighed and refused to give him another one. 

"Green, Ji." The man who has taken place at the front of the room is grim, and begins calling out names. "Observed changes: what appears to be a tree, or at least a living organism resembling a plant, growing out of shoulders."

The woman steps forwards, the branches coming out of her shoulderblades curving down in an approximation of a protective barrier around her throat. The man throws her an uncaring expression before his eyes flicker and suddenly scan her with a green light. She gasps and rocks forwards, her plant going staticky before suddenly popping out of existence. Junior Agent Green lets out a small wail, fingers going to her shoulders to search for her other part. They find only smooth skin. 

"They'll be back once a month, for a day or however long you're able to hold on." The strange man explains, voice flat. "Move to the back." He casts a blank look around the room as the woman stumbles away. 

The other nine Junior Agents are cowering against the walls, their expressions fearful and their bodies flat against the white structures, trying to hide from yet another scary development in what has been the weirdest/second-most-emotionally-scarring-five-hours-of-their-lives. 

"Matsumura, Eileen." He says next, and the woman mentioned walks forwards, having no difficulty at all with her new leg, head up and eyes haughty. She is a woman. She will not let that be a weakness. "Observed changes: left leg replaced with large black metal spike - appears to be able to bend."

She staggers, once, twice, when it is taken away, but then she stands up straight and walks back to her place (she only limps a little). 

"Boyd, Lana." Is the next unfortunate soul. She comes forwards looking painfully young, holding a disgruntled cat with what looks like a python coiled up and resting on top of her head like a particularly deadly crown. The turtles were removed from the room along with the scientists. "Observed changes: ability to influence and possesses likeability to animals and other living organisms, excepting plants and the like." 

She cries out in loss a little as the animals that had found their way to her when she was given her ability suddenly leave, and are, in the snake's case, returned to the lab, and in the cat's case, returned to its slightly-teary owner. 

And then comes, "Parks, Nathan." The young man's feet make barely a whisper on the floor, but his tattoos are shivering, coiling and uncoiling as though they want to squeeze his limbs so that he will know that they do not want to go. "Observed changes: semi-sentient imprints on skin, can move and change shape. It is unknown if they have any influence upon the host."

He accepts his due with a stoic expression and a gaping sense of wrongness as they are taken away, and only trembles a little when he goes back to the walls. 

"Moreno, Penelope." Is the next name called. Her face is a little red as she holds back the outpour of emotion, her third eye zooming in on minuscule details in the ceiling paint and unfocusing to see people's auras. "Observed changes: additional third eye in middle of forehead, seems to be able to focus and has accelerated and superior sight abilities." 

She runs into someone when she returns to her spot next to Nathan. She is having a hard time without the eye she had received two and a half hours ago and gotten used to far too quickly. The person, who she can still not see properly yet, does not comment on her blunder, they choose instead to respect her loss.

"Wilkinson, Nakia." The strange man announces, like the entire room is not so solemn because they are in mourning for their lost abilities. She comes forwards, her heavyset frame at odds with the fact that she is hovering 12 inches off the ground. "First, stand on the ground. Get down from there." The man's facade cracks a little, showing annoyance. 

Junior Agent Wilkinson just crosses her arms. "With all due respect, sir," She says in a tone that implies the exact opposite, "I can't." She's practically radiating insubordination.

The stranger narrows his eyes a little and grits his teeth together with a grinding sound that makes someone in the back flinch a little. "Fine," he says finally. "Observed changes: hovering, uncertain if there is the ability to fly too, seemingly unable to change altitude above ground."

There's green light and then she is crashing to the ground, feet unreliable under her. "Fuck," she groans, and Junior Agent Matsumura, walking like she isn't wincing with every step, comes forwards quickly to wrap arms under the other woman's, and dragging her back, not trying to make her stand up.



{Continued on next page}

The End

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