When no one answered her question the first time, she repeated herself, this time with more tenacity than necessary. “Alex, who is she and why is she here, she’s not one of us?”
“I rescued her. Her parents were brutally murdered. She’s here to help us. They’ll be after her as well, she’s here to join our fight, Tegan.” Alex explained, ignoring the startled look on Cora’s face when he said fight.
“It isn’t a fight, Alex, we’re on the run.” The girl named Tegan looked like she wanted to put her hands on her hips, but she physically couldn’t; her arms were instead leathery wings with elongated, bony fingers spread apart in the stretched skin. She looked normal, every other aspect of her appearance looked normal, except for her arms – they were bat wings.
Cora wondered how it would feel for them, if some of them felt the same way that Alex did, about wanting to be normal, and being so close to it, but still having to live as an animal. She wondered how many of them desired normalcy, desired having a life that was different from being not totally animal but not being completely human either. She wondered if they were all teenagers, or if there was young children, or even adults here. If all of them had families or had been orphaned, and that was why they were transformed in the first place. Cora couldn’t see the individual features of each person, but she contemplated the lives that each person had lived prior to being here, to who they are now. She wondered if any of them had lived human experiences; if they had fallen in love, suffered heartbreak, money problems, or if they had grieved over someone passing. All the experiences in life, Cora realized, that maybe she had taken for granted, and didn’t know how much someone might want the privilege to just be human.
“Tegan, everyone, you have to realize that she’s on our side. She isn’t against us; she wants to be here with you all.” Alex defended her, and was authoritative towards the parahumans.