As the days turned into months, Tabitha became sort of a lab rat… as well as found out that Dr. Lindsey was not a doctor of medicine. But, she didn’t mind it; she was given a free roof over her head and free food to eat. All the tests that the professor was putting her through was for her own good; she was learning how to control her lightning ability as well as learning almost everything there was to know about lightning. In under a month, she was actually to a point where she didn’t have to tell herself to calm down or have a clear mind before she touched anyone or even let someone touch her. The eerie, electric, pins and needles feeling was still there, of course, but Tabitha was quickly learning to live with it. In a little under a year, Tabitha was able to even guide the lightning from her hands.
Because she basically lived in solitude, she felt like a freak. She wondered what good were her powers to begin with. She thought about the many things that required electricity and how she would be of help in that department. Other than that, she felt useless. As she sat back and watched the Lindseys go about their normal life, she could only wish that she was a part of one as well. She thought about calling her family, letting them know where she was and what happened. However, the more she thought about it, the more she thought against it. How would her family react to her transformation? She knew that her youngest brothers would marvel at her new abilities; the thought would make her smile ever so often. But her parents? She didn’t know how she would deal with their reaction.
Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard the professor come in the house, calling her name. There was some excitement in her voice and Tabitha had hoped for some good news. While she was happy that she was able to control her powers, the two still had no solid idea as to how she came to be.
Jamila came into the kitchen just to see Tabitha idly fiddling with her lightning. Bolts and currents ran smoothly over her hand as she transferred them to the other.
“Tabs! Are you trying to scare my babies away from you?!” she half scolded.
“… sorry…” she mumbled, feeling more like one of the children. Jamila caught herself and sighed.
“No… no worries. I’m sorry; even after you being here for so long, I’m still used to yelling at the kids!”
“You treat your students like that?”
“Unfortunately. I get this look but then they see that I’m serious and I don’t get no more lip!” she laughed. As she sat down, she slightly studied Tabitha’s hair, “So, I got yelled at but it was worth it; I cancelled my last class so that I could do more research. That sample you gave me last week? Got a lot of new info on it today! Remember how we’ve been trying to dye your hair?”
“You’re gonna depress me, doc…” she remembered. Ever since finding out that Jamila used “Dr.” as a title, Tabitha got a kick out of simply calling her that, just as the professor only called her Tabs.
The one thing that stumped Tabitha wasn’t her new hair color… but the fact that it would not hold any type of chemical. She had refused to succumb to a wig in order for her to walk the streets normally and so Jamila suggested dying it. However, it proved that no matter how much dye, what color dye or even how potent it was, it would not so much as darken her snow white locks.
“My bad. At least it grows…” Jamila mentioned. The one thing that stayed constant was that her hair could at least grow. It grew faster than it had ever grown, being thick and shoulder length, “Anyway; I found out why your hair is white… somewhat.” she tried to finish. Tabitha stopped twirling a lock of her hair around her finger and looked at the professor.
“I don’t know which one did it but one of the voltages you received was so high that… it stripped your hair of all its pigments. You ever seen an albino person?”
“I would remember seeing a white-haired person like that…” Tabitha noted. It was enough to make Jamila laugh. She got up to get the two something to drink.
“Albinos have no color pigments in their skin, their hair or their eyes. But, their hair don’t turn white, it’s like a… bleached blonde. So look at your hair in that sense; there’s no pigment to hold any type of chemical. Problem is… nothing else on you got stripped of pigment… which leads to the most important thing!” she sat back down, handing Tabitha a glass of orange juice.
“Promise me you’ll explain it in layman’s terms…” she eyed her. Tabitha’s favorite subjects in school were geography, history and art; her least favorite was science. Jamila sighed.
“The serum injected in you was made of certain components. Some were regular and basic but there may have been one or two that were new and unique; it had to be in order for the project to work. A couple of small jolts were needed to activate the new components but… I don’t think they had any clue as to what would happen if there was a higher voltage applied. I still don’t know which did it, the one that killed you or the one that revived you but it caused something amazing to happen!”
“No. Well… yeah… but… something even more! A DNA strand; an extra DNA strand… do I have to explain what DNA is…?”
“I’m not that big of a damn rock, smart ass!” Tabitha laughed. Jamila smiled.
“You just don’t understand; I was getting really frustrated. Because, here I thought that it had something to do with your brain but there weren’t any abnormalities. Wyatt actually pointed it out to me…”
“My best friend. He’s the DNA analyst; it’s what he went to school for. He thinks you’re a practical joke so… he wants to meet you in person…”
“And… I’m pretty sure he’s gonna want to get a fresh sample from you…”
“Doc! Really?!” her eyes widened.
“I’m sorry, Tabs. He told me that if you’re really real… he’s gonna need a fresh sample to see the status of the mutant strand. He sounded a bit concerned about someone having a second DNA strand…”
“… You think something bad is gonna happen to me…?” for the first time ever, Tabitha realized that her powers may not be a good thing, maybe even something deadly.
“I… no.” Jamila thought about her words, “There would’ve been some type of sign. The only thing that I know is that the strand is the reason for your powers. There’s so many possibilities of what that strand is going to do to you… but I don’t think it would hurt or kill you. Wyatt’s doing some research now so… if you want to go and meet him now, we can.” she tried to reassure. Tabitha shrugged.
“As much as I don’t wanna… let’s go.”
“Good! Albert should be home soon so we’ll leave when he gets here. I really wish that we could get a hold of that serum…”
“Why? So you could make more people like me?” it actually saddened Tabitha. Jamila blinked a couple of times and immediately shook her head.
“Hell no! I don’t like the fact that it was used to make human weapons of mass destruction. If anything, me and Wyatt would want to do some modifications, run some tests, and find better uses for it. If a huge voltage was enough to create its own DNA strand… that could make stem cell research obsolete! Okay; you’re home! The kids are playing in their rooms; me and Tabs are gonna go to the lab for a bit.” Jamila was already out of her seat, kissing her husband on the cheek. He switched glances from his wife to their roommate.
“Um… a breakthrough?”
“Sometimes I think she’s more scientist than professor!” she sighed and followed her new friend to her vehicle.