The doctor was not a medical doctor but she had enjoyed the title very much. She was actually a professor and she felt that she was a very good one. Not as good as her close friend who taught at the same college but she chalked that up as the two having a different passion when they were in college. However, she was all the more flattered that he had informed her of the phenomenon that was happening in the downtown area. He knew that while their other colleagues would have sat there and simply talked about it, she would find the time out of her busy schedule to investigate.
Dr. Jamila Lindsey was born and raised in Memphis, TN; a few years after attending Duke University and then Columbia University, she finally returned home to become a physics professor at the local community college. It wasn’t too much different from the career path that she wanted to pursue ever since the age of twelve; she had always wanted to become a meteorologist.
Jamila had always had a thing for weather, particularly the bad part of it. While attending Duke University in North Carolina, she wanted badly to be a part of the hurricane hunters; she couldn’t explain her fascination with them. However, she was let down when she found out that she would have to go through the military in order to do so. When she found out that hurricanes and tornadoes went hand-in-hand, she decided to take the risk and volunteer to help out storm-chasing teams. She learned more than she ever imagined.
The 5’5 professor dismissed her class early; she had put off her investigation for too long. She wanted to make quick work of her snooping around so not to worry her family. According to her good friend, Dr. Wyatt Rivera, there had been a series of unexplained deaths in an alley downtown. All of the bodies found looked as if they had been electrocuted. Any regular person would think that maybe they were unlucky victims of lightning strikes but there were two things that made Jamila believe that it didn’t make sense. The chances of lightning striking a person were very unlikely; it was possible but for the victims to be in the same spot, in the same alley? The professor was not buying that.
The other thing was that Jamila was a devout follower of the weather; there had been only one severe lightning storm in the past month. The deaths had been occurring almost constantly ever since that storm. The police had not ruled out that the victims may had been random targets for a bunch of bullying teens or young adults but she wondered, why that particular alleyway? Her close friend was right; things were not making sense and the only thing to explain it was that something phenomenal was indeed happening.
Jamila easily parallel parked her vehicle on the side of street; because of the sudden deaths, not a lot of people even bothered to walk on that side, let alone park there. The alleyway was not hard to locate; it was the only one on that side. She entered the alley as quickly and quietly as possible. No sooner than she did, Jamila smelt the stench of overflowed sewage, garbage and burnt flesh. It was no wonder no one wanted to go near the area; she had no idea which smell was worse!
Something stirring in one of the dark crevices grabbed the professor’s attention over the smell and she looked in that direction. It was one of the homeless people, she knew; seeing that they were there, Jamila figured that she could start her investigation with talking to that person. It was foolish, somewhat dangerous, she knew but she carefully made her way towards the person. As she gotten closer, she saw that it was an old woman curled up in a ball. Her white hair, the color of pure snow stood out in her dark and dank surroundings.
“H-hey… you okay?” she tried. When the woman suddenly jerked her head up, Jamila saw firsthand that it was no old woman! The white-haired… girl looked no older than twenty, even with her face covered with filth. She had been crying, Jamila could tell, and knew that she may have witnessed some, if not all of the deaths. Her eyes were swollen and moist as she looked at the professor in fear. Another thing that crossed the professor’s mind was why… and how did the girl dye her hair so perfectly white!
“N-no; don’t touch me!! Stay away!!” the girl’s lips quivered. Her accent was just as thick as the professor’s so Jamila knew that the frightened girl was from the area. The professor saw that she had been a beautiful girl once; her eyes were a pretty light brown, lighter than her own chestnut eyes. Her skin was smooth despite being marred by dirt. The girl’s eyes now danced with fear as she tucked her hands tighter underneath her arms.
“Wait… I wanna help. I wanna ask you something. Please; just let me…”
“I-I-I… don’t wanna shock you, too!!” she yelled, doing her best to inch away from Jamila. She came closer, stretching her hand out anyway. It was enough for the girl to widen her eyes, let out a terrifying scream and swat at her hand.
Jamila knew that if she would have told anyone what she had just witnessed… no one would believe her! As the girl swatted at her, a surge of lightning burst from her fingers, narrowly missing the professor as she jumped out of the way. It was her turn to narrow her eyes.
“Holy… shit; what are you?!” she managed but it only made the girl sob. She turned her head away from Jamila.
“G-g-go away… please!” she begged and continued to cry. Jamila calmed down and simply watched as electrical currents faintly flowed throughout the girl’s body. As scary as it was, she had to also admit that… it was simply amazing! Jamila took her glasses off, wiped at them and put them back on; the girl was still slightly glowing with surges. The professor had other things in mind than simply walking away from this phenomenon.
“Wait… I came here to help. Would you let me help you… please?” it was her turn to beg. The girl didn’t stop crying but looked at the professor.
“H-help…? N-n-no one can h-help me! If you touch me… you’ll die… what can you do?!”
“… I can help. Trust me.” she wouldn’t let up. Being a physics professor as well as a former storm-chaser, Jamila knew a thing or two about lightning; she had this sense that she would be able to help the girl.
The girl finally stopped crying and looked up at Jamila. She was still there, wanting to help. Jamila slightly smiled at her, “First things first; can you stand?” she waited for an answer. The girl slowly stood up and the professor immediately noticed two things; she almost towered over her and whoever the mutant was, she was military personnel, “What’s your name?”
“Did you… kill those people, Tabitha?” her question made electricity come to life around the girl.
“I… I didn’t mean to! I-I-I d-don’t know what…”
“Okay, okay, okay… I understand…” she carefully held her arms out, trying to calm Tabitha down, “I can tell you one thing, already; whatever you got, it’s going on emotions. You gotta calm down, okay?”
“I’m… so confused! What happened to me?!” Tabitha continued to panic. Jamila started to step back as the surges continue to flow around her, trying to snap out in all directions.
“That’s what we’re going to find out. But, you’re gonna have to calm down if you want to leave this alley.” Jamila explained quickly. After a few deep breaths and a couple of sniffles, the electrical surges calmed down and slowly dissipated from her body, “Good. See; we’re taking a step in the right direction! Now, don’t think just… do, okay? The good ol’ doc is gonna take care of you, alright?” she smiled. Tabitha continued to take deep breaths, clearing her mind but nodded. Had she heard right; was the woman an actual doctor? It relieved Tabitha and for the first time in a while, her mind was clear.
“You’re doing great, Tabitha! Now… I’m gonna come to you and lay my hand on you; don’t panic…” Jamila warned the girl when she saw that her eyes widened and a slight current started to form around her hands, “Just keep breathing deeply and concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.” she continued to explain. Jamila slowly put her hand on Tabitha’s shoulder, braced for a shock and was relieved that she didn’t feel a thing. She smiled at her, “Now… let’s get you out of this alley.”