She didn’t expect to enjoy college life as much. Tabitha always thought that she wasn’t smart enough; one of the reasons why she decided to go into the military right after high school. She had told herself that she would eventually go, maybe to a community college first to get her used to taking courses. However, even that small idea was scary to her.
She had always seen how college life was betrayed in movies (she was a huge movie buff; there wasn’t anything else that interested her back home) but knew that a lot of times, it was far from the truth. She knew that the classes would be hard, there would be little time to study and there would not be a party going on every hour! However, as she started to get used to things, Tabitha discovered that she didn’t mind the classes at all. Grant it, she was going through the first half of her freshman year and all of her courses were a part of the core curriculum, it gave her a taste of what was to come.
Befriending Samantha had proven to be a good move as well (much better than her idea of giving her slight shocks in her sleep); the blond was a very popular sophomore and introduced her to several groups of people. They were instantly drawn to her t-shirt head wrap and her southern twang. She had gone from isolated to very sociable in a little over a year and a half.
She didn’t lose focus on her initial agenda, however. While she wasn’t scheduled any classes pertaining to DNA study until possibly her sophomore year, it didn’t stop her from researching. She had to get an early start; she had less than two years to find a cure. The one thing that she was glad for was that she was taking biology; she had found others who were also interested in becoming geneticists and molecular biologists (she figured early that Dr. Lindsey had dumbed it down for her, calling Wyatt a DNA analyst instead of what he really was: a geneticist). They had actually taken a liking to her theory of a mutant DNA strand and worked with her as far as studying.
The one thing that she was really glad for was that her classes and research were interesting enough to try to keep her mind off of how the city of New York was. She knew that crime was everywhere however movies did not do the city any justice. She knew that the university had already lost at least five of their students to violent crimes in her first semester alone; Tabitha really wanted nothing to do with New York’s night life!
She had hit a brick wall with her other researchers as far as the DNA study. It was for the best; they all had to think about what was more important: their actual studying. Tabitha fell in love with the fine arts class she was taking; modern art. With a lot of practice and studying, she eventually learned how to control the degree of her lightning ability; her second semester found her creating artistic, abstract works of her own: she had learned how to weld using her powers. Their assignments were supposed to be simple projects however Tabitha wanted to push herself. Her art pieces soon became all the rave at the university, with even the fine arts professors wondering how she designed the pieces with so little time and with the illusion of the smoothness they gave out. To prove that she wasn’t simply buying the pieces from an art store, they made her construct a small piece of art in front of everyone, using only simple tools. No one was the wisest as to how she actually did it… but no one ever questioned her, again.
While her roommate was out and about as usual for the weekend, Tabitha decided to stay in her room to catch up on some studying and come up with a design for her next art project. She was satisfied with thirty minutes of studying and decided to go ahead and start work on her design. She had learned from the very first time that although she had abilities, it was very painful to handle heated metal; Tabitha put on her insulated gloves, grabbed one of the various metal rods she kept handy and began to work her magic. The currents flowed even through the gloves, and the rod immediately gave way. She started to bend it easily and added another rod. Before long, she had molded the two rods into a small frame of an unfinished home that reached her ankles.
Studying the beginning of her masterpiece, she realized what her subconscious was trying to do. She missed her home in Chattanooga. Tabitha had yet to call her family to let them know that she was okay. She had been putting it off, especially now that she was really busy with school; she hadn’t even called Jamila as much.
She let out a sigh and mentally made a promise to herself; as soon as she had found the antidote to her mutant strand, she would give her parents a call. In the meanwhile, she decided against making something that personal and began to reshape the frame into something abstract. Tabitha had forgotten how she could lose herself in her work, only concentrating on the piece that she was working on and nothing else. It was actually hard work; she had to make sure that she applied just the right amount of lightning to her elements. Before she knew it, sweat was dripping from her face. She quickly grabbed a towel to wipe her brow but immediately yelped as she felt the sharp tinge on her forehead.
“Aw, shit!!” she threw the hot towel almost across the room. She continued to curse herself mentally for being so careless. That was when it dawned on her. How did the towel travel so far? She looked at it and expected for it to be seared or at least in pieces but it was still intact. She took her gloves off and picked up the towel to examine it; the cotton material was a bit coarser. She poked at the coarsest part and saw that it was very sturdy, “Hmm…” she started to wonder. What made the towel not burn but actually become tougher? She sat down and tried to think what that towel had gone through. Nothing out the ordinary, she realized. It was the same towel that she had used earlier that day to dry her hair; because of the thickness of her hair, the towel had still been a bit damp.
She widened her eyes at the towel as she remembered something that she had read a couple of weeks ago. Water was an excellent conduit for lightning. Well, not all water, she reminded herself. The thought sidetracked her a bit; that meant that the water used in the building wasn’t pure. She made a disapproving face but perked back up. That’s not important, Tabby, she told herself.
Forgetting about her project, she rushed out the room and to the bathroom. She doused the towel, made sure that no one was around and applied the same amount of electricity she did whenever she welded. Just as she suspected, the towel didn’t go up in flames or even burn but immediately dried up. She waited for the towel to cool off before grabbing it and running back to the room. She used all of her strength to tear the towel but it didn’t rip.
“… Whoa…” she marveled at the new creation. The towel had not only held her electrical surge; it was indestructible.