String Theory MUX

Registry of the Evolved Database
Name: Mika Iwasaki - Aliases: Sara Bright, Elise McKenna
Status: Unregistered Evolved
Ability: Age Shifting
Age: Unknown
Eyes: Brown - Hair: Black
Residence: New York, NY - Employment: Varies
Parents, Siblings, Marital Status, Children: Unknown
First Seen: How to Fix a Flat - Last Seen: United We Stand, Part III
Profile: A quiet person who has come into town, quite mysterious. She's opening up a tea house, and seems to keep to herself...


Amato has a run-in with a little girl who turns out to be so much more than a little girl...

August 15, 2010

The Garden

Sometimes, you just want to throw off all of the ropes of obligations. Run around, be free, act like a kid again.

Or, in Mika Iwasaki's case, actually be a kid again.

The soft sound of a child's giggle can be heard through the area as Mika runs through a clearing not far from where Amato's rabbit trap. The little Japanese girl, who appears to be no older than ten, wears a pair of jeans and a t-shirt that has a crown on it, and says 'Self Rescuing Princess'. The little girl is running through the clearing, having a grand time of catching fireflies.

Around the time that Amato comes to the trap and finds it empty, he hears the little girl's gleeful report. Narrowing his eyes, he looks out from behind a tree to watch her for a moment. It's a curious sight, especially given the locale. He looks around then, trying to locate a supervising adult of some sort.

"It's getting close to the time where all little girls should be in bed," Amato says in the voice of his American alias, Benjamin Sall.

There is no supervising adult around. No parent standing in the wings to be sure that their beautiful little girl isn't hurt. The girl skids to a stop with a firefly in her hands, turning a baffled look to Amato, her brows raised high. It's when she turns to look at him that he may notice that there's something off about the little girl. She certainly looks normal, yes, but her eyes contain a look of intelligence and wisdom that most children certainly don't possess. The little girl has old eyes, in some indescribable way.

The little girl watches the firefly flutter off, its rear flashing in green glows. Then, she's approaching Amato, that carefree smile still on her face. "I've lived here since before the bomb. That was a very terrible day." She raises onto her tiptoes to peer at him curiously.

The child's smile only brightens as he confirms that he's not, in fact, a bad man. "Well, then I am lucky that today, a good man has found me instead of a bad man." She extends a hand toward him in offer of a handshake, giggling softly. "I'm Elise McKenna. What's your name?"

It is rare that Amato has the opportunity to see a child's sins. From the look of Elise, she can't have been accruing indiscretions for very long. What few she may have will be as innocent as sneaking a cookie before supper.

So it is with a smile that Amato bends his knees to put himself on the girl's level. "My name is Ben," he says as he raises a hand to take hers.

As the smiling child takes Amato's hand, he certainly does get to see her sins. And it is quite possibly far more than he would have ever expected, or even prepared for.

To start out with, it's simple. Little thefts of sweets and foods from the kitchen counter while her mother prepares food. But the setting is all wrong. The housing is old, primitive, not from this time. A little shack in the mountains of a strange, foreign land. She pushed a little child down and called her names, made the other little Japanese girl cry.

Then, the setting changes, an obviously Asian style mansion of sorts in the vision. She stole makeup from a senior Geisha there and then lied through her teeth about it.

Then, her teenage years come. She smashed another girl's chances at a dance audition, taking the lead role herself. Flash to an old shed, losing her virginity to a young boy who worked at a food stand in the Hanamachi. More sins come, unwed sex with random partners, entertaining married men as a Geisha. Unwed sex with a man who would later become her husband. The sins then become less for a time as she nears her thirties. Children appear, with occasional little fibs told to them to keep down unwanted behavior.

Then, she abandons her children and her husband, leaves them never to return. She goes to Tokyo, seduces American men; strangely enough, she's young again, a woman in her prime once more. It's the late 50's, and World War II is finally winding down. She convinces a man that she loves him and wants to marry him, and they fly off to America. She abandons him and flees to California.

Theft and lies abound in this chapter, as the woman lives homeless for nearly a year. Then... the biggest sin of all. She goes to an orphanage, and makes herself into an infant. She is adopted, raised by this family for a full eighteen years, with another eighteen years of sins. Then she abandons her family on false pretenses.

And she does it again, raised by another family. When she regains her cognitive functions around the age of five, she calls her family, only to find that both of her second parents had died. Another lifetime of sins follows, lies and deceit and theft from people who were completely unaware of the fact that they were housing and feeding a woman who was old enough to be their grandmother.

Lies and deceit lead her to New York, with lies about her identity, use of her two alter egos to get ahead in life. They lead all the way up to this moment, where she lied to Amato about her name being Elise. It's really Mika Iwasaki, and she is, in truth, 91 years old.

And she is a con artist like this world has never seen before.

There is only one other person Amato has ever seen the sins of that could even compare with this little girl - this old woman wearing the shell of a child. With a shudder and a gasp, Amato pulls his hand out of Mika's grip and staggers to his feet, looking at her with wide-eyed horror.

He gulps, trying to get his breathing to level out. But there are beads of sweat on his brow that weren't there before, and a trickle of blood seeps from his right nostril. So many sins over so much time packed into the breadth of a handshake and the elongated blink of an eye. "So," he finally says, rolling his bottom lip beneath his top row of teeth.

"How about you let me walk you home, Miss Elise?"

Well Aged

August 16, 2010

Through the Looking Glass Teahouse

Mika, in her favored mid-twenties, has been a delightful business owner all day, earning customer loyalty as she is prone to doing so well. The shop smells of the many delightful varieties of tea that the shop provides.

This is Mika Iwasaki's little haven, just as much of a treat to herself as is is to her customers. It's peaceful, comforting. A pleasant change from her former days.

But tonight, there will be a visitor none the less, as the past comes to catch up with the future in a way that Mika Iwasaki is unused to.

Now he's walking back into the life of one of both of those organizations secrets, a fringe information gatherer and reconnaissance specialist. It seems like once you're in, you're never out.

The petite woman backs up as the slender man stops her from closing the door and slips in, taking a few steps back to allow him room to enter. "I'm sorry sir, but we're closed for - " She's cut off by the man lifting his hat, her eyes trailing to that familiar face, and for just a moment, her jaw drops open briefly, before closing once more. Her youthful face drops into a peculiar expression, one of mixed feelings, and she quickly shuts the door, throwing the key in the lock and locking it.

"It's not been so long as you think, but time is relative when you hit my age."

Pulling out a chair and sitting himself down, there's a look up to the deceptively young woman and a motion of the bearded man towards the chair opposite of him.

"I need you to perform a long-term infiltration mission for me, at least four months, maybe less... I need you to let Richard think that he has some advantage over you and some power... so I'm going to need you to compromise your ability in front of him or one of his employees. Engender yourself to him, to his sympathies. What I need you to do is play up the role of a defector. Maybe 'accidentally' let her see you switch ages, look afraid, need help. Feign weakness to get into their graces."

The calm, calculating look of a woman seasoned in this level of espionage graces her features, one familiar to Rupert as the face she wears when she is memorizing her mission. It's certainly not out of her range of abilities, acting being a particularly good skill of hers. You get good at it when you live a life like Mika does. Or multiple lives, really.

She regards the man, her eyes trailing over the lines in his face that have appeared since she last saw him. He grows older by the second, while she is quite free to experience any age she wants, at any time.

A small, tight smile appears on the woman's face, her expressions resembling those of the elderly more than the youthful, as it were. It's always strange to see her not acting, really, not hiding those old eyes she has.

"I have to admit, it will be very nice to get back to work. I really don't feel right with myself unless I'm deceiving somebody."

"I must say that I appreciate the opportunity, Rupert. And it's always so good to see you. You age so well." She offers a warm smile up at Rupert, flipping her hair away from her eyes.

Clean Up On Aisle Three

August 17, 2010

Whole Foods Select

Whole Foods Select also happens the place that one Mika Iwasaki happens to shop at for the tea shop's lunch menu. The contents of her cart are slowly growing in mass, with cheeses, breads, fruits, and vegetables. The young woman, perhaps in her mid to late twenties, mumbles to herself as she goes over her shopping list.

It's there that she notices Jaiden, her brows raising. "Jaiden! Hello!" She giggles. "You aren't following me around, are you?" A flirty smile is tossed toward the man, the woman leaning toward him, perched on her cart.

The man's voice is calm but beneath the surface, anyone who can hear it can sense the bubbling of tension beneath the surface. "I've got a gun, and I want what's in the registers and the safe. Now." The gun he pulls from his jacket is a small chrome revolver, but the shot he fires into the ceiling? Remarkably loud.

As the shot rapports through the large building, Mika's cart is shoved away from her, suddenly, the little woman ducking down and putting her hands over her head with a terrified squeak. For a moment, she stays there, turning a terrified look toward Jaiden... then, suddenly, the little woman is moving as fast as she can, ducked down low.

At the gunshot, Jaiden hits the floor, his chair clattering back as he watches Mika scamper off to wherever she's going.

Little Mika pulls a small three-inch knife from her purse, still hidden from her vantage point. She peeks around the corner of her hiding spot once more, getting a gauge of the situation.

And then, suddenly, the tiny Japanese woman becomes much tinier. Her clothes sag, until it is only her shirt that covers her body like an oversized dress... and in her place, a child of perhaps no more than five or six stands, tiny fingers clenched around the knife that suddenly looks so much bigger. An almond-eyed gaze is turned briefly toward Jaiden, the little girl placing a finger to her lips, before turning to watch and be sure she'll remain unseen. Then, moving far more gracefully and silently than such a young child should, she darts out, moving her hiding spot to behind the register furthest from the men.

Mika's not the only 'kid' who's moving about. Coming down an aisle not in direct view of the cash registers, Marlena with the loaf of bread clutched to her chest comes around the corner, eyes cast up towards the ceiling and lost in her own little world. The perils of not being able to hear, or being aware of your surroundings.

Jaiden stares as the woman does something that can only be explained as 'becoming' a little girl. Still, in his years he's seen many odd, interesting things and the fact that there's an evolved that can change shapes like that - or ages, he's not sure and will be certain to ask when things are finished - shouldn't come as too much of a shock.

"Hey you!" That comes out remarkably un-stuttering, the shotgun swiveling toward the nine-year old. "G... g... get over here!"

The tiny Asian child stops once she nears the stuttering man. Her eyes land upon the little girl, before flicking toward the stuttering man. Tiny fingers clench around the knife tighter as his attention is turned toward the nine year old, her eyes widening. Silently, she army-crawls a little closer to the man's feet while his back is still turned, lifting that knife and holding it ready for a slash.

Her tongue sticking out of the corner of her mouth, she edges closer... then, without a sound, the little six year old swings the blade, aiming to cut one or both of the man's Achilles tendons, her little face wrinkled into a sneer.

She can't hear. The problem with telling her to come over is that unless she's looking at him, Marlena doesn't hear a drop. Brennan stands slowly, hands where they can be seen with his wallet in one. "She's my daughter and she's deaf, she can't hear you, let me just.. get her and she'll be out of your hair" Brennan informs while inching towards his daughter. Who drops her gaze as the loaf of bread drops with wide eyes at the men bearing weapons and people on the ground and her own father moving towards her.

Luckily for him, or for Brennan's self-esteem, it's at that very moment that the unexpected attack from Mika catches his attention by neatly severing his left Achilles tendon with the sweep of her blade. With that integral part of his anatomy removed, he shrieks and fumbles. The shot also sends the crowd scattering, lunging for the door, screaming.

It's not a little girl who lunges out from beneath the register this time, but the tiny Asian woman, Mika, all five feet of her. She's clad in only her t-shirt and undies, her legs and feet completely bare.

She's on him in an instant, even as he's going down. Her right hand clasps at his gun, doing her best to keep it from pointing at her as she attempts to wrestle it free of his hands; her left hand brandishing the knife, slashing at his in an attempt to make it easier to liberate him of his weapon. All of this is done without a single sound uttered from the woman.

The commotion starts and Brennan lunges for his daughter, not giving a fuck that he's trampling over bread and other groceries as he grabs Marlena's hand and yanks her down into an aisle, putting shelving between them and the robbers.

The little Asian woman seems to be doing a fair job of keeping the gunman busy for the moment.

Stuttering Vince, as he's known to his companions on the street, tumbles to the ground with an Asian woman on top of him. This is something he'd normally pay ten to twenty dollars for an hour or, but this time? No thanks! Mika, being on top of him with her knife slashing at his hands prevents that from happening easily, and the shakes meth withdrawal is giving him makes it even more difficult.

Vince has just enough time to realize that he's hurt and bleeding badly when someone yells at him. He turns to look in the direction of the yell, still trying to fight off Mika, when the whole world goes black as the heavy glass bottle collides with his head.

As the gun clatters to the floor, Mika is off of the injured Vince, pouncing on that gun like a cat on a piece of string. A grateful smile is cast toward Delia along with a thumb's up; then, she silently makes her way closer to the office, putting a nice solid counter between herself and the office door as she examines her new acquisition. It's quite strange, seeing such a tiny little girl, wearing only a tank top and panties, pumping a shotgun like she has been doing this all of her life.

Her eyes narrow as she sees inside of the office. A finger is briefly lifted to her lips toward the manager as she sneaks closer, closer to the door while the thief rummages in the safe. "Hey, dumbass. Look at me." The shotgun is held up and at the ready, and the look on her face states that she's not afraid to shoot. He gulps and lets the gun drop to the floor with a thud, lifting his hands in surrender, the manager retrieving it and pointing it at him, holding it in both hands.

The scantily clad woman slowly raises to her feet, nodding to the manager respectfully. Once she's absolutely certain the situation is under control, she darts over to her clothes and purse, quickly pulling them on even as she is running out the door.

Little Girl Lost, Old Woman Found

August 18, 2010

Redbird Security Lobby

The door is very suddenly flung open, and in bolts a tiny Japanese girl that Jaiden might recognize quite well as the little girl who pretty much single-handedly took out two would-be grocery store robbers. She's wearing comfortable-looking clothes to match the weather, with a pair of capris and a tank top.

And the little woman looks terrified, as if she's running for her life.

"Miss Mika. Who's chasing you?

For a moment, she looks hesitant, glancing between Elisabeth and Jaiden... then, suddenly, she changes. It's as if she just de-aged 15 years, her form shrinking just a bit until it's a child of no more than 12 that stands in the lobby, her pants laying in a heap on the ground, with her shirt being used as a dress. She hurriedly grabs these up, throwing them behind the desk.

"Please... you two have to help me... I... "

Seeing something like that again, right in front of him, does give Jaiden pause. His brain tries to figure out where the extra mass goes when a person can shrink or de-age herself and, well, let's be honest, fails miserably. He shakes his head and gives Mika-teen a warm smile, tottering up to peer out the door along with Elisabeth, as if the magical shrinking girl was the most common thing in the world.

Elisabeth's gaze narrows slightly, her posture shifting subtly as her gaze sharpens on the clearly Evolved girl/woman.

The child relaxes visibly, sinking down onto her rear with her back up against the desk, rubbing at her eyes. It takes her a long moment before she finally begins to speak, her childish voice high from distress.

"I... I worked with them. I didn't do any of the stuff that they did in the news, though. I was... a head hunter, of sorts. Scouted Evolved talent" The little girl shudders, hugging her shoulders as a bit of a terrified look forms on her features.

"And once you get in with them, you can't get out! I'm scared... I think they're gonna kill me!" And then, the child is crying.

"You're a metamorph of some kind?" Elisabeth asks mildly. The girl - or woman - has already used her ability in front of both Jaiden and Liz, after all. "I'm going assume that you're on the Registry since you just openly used that ability in a public venue without any compunction," she says as her blue eyes flit back to Mika. "How old are you?" she asks then. "Do you have family to go to?"

The little Japanese girl takes this all in stride, tears still streaming down her cheeks as she watches Elisabeth. Her knees are hugged to her chest, and the little girl wipes at her eyes with the back of a hand, all but hysterical. "I-I'm not a Metamorph, ma'am. I can change my age at will." Elisabeth's next question prompts the girl's eyes to widen, and she shakes her head quickly. "Please, ma'am, I'm not Registered... please, don't call anyone. Please." Those tears only come swifter, and the child sobs slightly.

It's through her sobs that she answers the blonde's next questions. "I'm 91 years old, ma'am. I don't have any family to go to, and... well, I'm scared to go back home." The child really is a mess right now.

One eyebrow shoots up. 91 years old and ... . after nearly a century of life and all that she had to have seen and lived through, the woman is falling apart like the 12-year-old she appears to be.

Jaiden has actually spent the time that they were talking retrieving Mika's clothes, folding them neatly over the arm of a chair before sitting on one of the desks pushed against the wall.

Liz is carefully watching, but more to the point... she is carefully listening. To the heartbeat of the petite woman in front of her, to the tone of voice. She's watching how facial reactions are presenting themselves, how or if Mika meets her eyes when she's being questioned.

As Elisabeth wanders off to make her calls, Jaiden and Mika-teen are left alone in the quiet of the foyer, Jaiden on the desk, Mika in her T-shirt and underwear, still looking all of 12 years old. "Well, Miss Mika." Jaiden chuckles softly, rubbing his left knee idly, sitting up straight. "It was a shock watching you shrink to child-size in the market, and now, seeing it happen again in front of my very eyes." He shakes his head. "Amazing to see."

The Japanese child nods slowly up at Elisabeth, her heartrate slowing as she is rewarded with a sense of safety among the pair. "Th-thank you, ma'am. I really do appreciate that... I just don't want to be out there, alone, with the red scarves. I may be old as sin and able to change my age at will, but I get hurt just as badly as anyone else, and I can die just as easily." She suddenly raises to her feet, offering both Elisabeth and Jaiden a very traditional Japanese bow, deep and respectful for the two who have apparently just saved her life.

She nods quietly as Elisabeth excuses herself to make her phone calls, turning to peer quietly up at Jaiden with an expression that would look more suitable on an old woman than a child. After a moment, she offers the barest hint of a smile. "I'm sorry to shock you so much, Jaiden. I saw that guy waving a gun around at innocent people, and I certainly couldn't just sit back and watch while they robbed the place." She slowly raises to her feet, pulling the t-shirt down a bit. It makes a pretty good dress. She probably wears such long shirts for such events as this, when she has to change.

"It seems a girl... woman... " he catches himself. "A woman like you would have experience and contingencies on top of plans, just in case things happen. That knife that fits your child form, for instance." He gestures to Mika in her seat, giving her a smile. "The world moves in mysterious ways and pushes people together or pulls them apart. I just never thought bumping into a 91 year old who looks 12 would be part of it."

It seems the girl has calmed down, though an occasional nervous glance is cast toward the door as she speaks to the hydrokinetic. "The knife is good for any form I take, really. It's small enough to be easily concealed, but large enough that it can cause some damage." She offers a smile to the man, leaning back in her chair and kicking her legs a bit, not unlike a 'normal' child would do, her feet not even reaching the ground at the moment.

A kind smile is offered to the man, the girl still fidgeting at the hem of her t-shirt dress.

Jaiden gives Mika a small smile. "So... how did you learn you could change ages?"

The child cants her head toward Jaiden after sparing another worried glance to the door, as if she expects someone to come barging through the door at any moment. "The Kami are the spirits that are in everything. According to Shintoism, even your desk has a spirit of its own." She smiles softly to the man, relaxing a little against the back of the chair.

"In the 1950's in Japan, I had children. One day, I was watching them play in the rice fields, and I wished that I could be their age again, play like they did, have a life like I had given them." It's suddenly like she's in another place, her eyes trailing up to a spot on the ceiling and losing their focus. "And suddenly, I was eight years old again. I ran away after that... my children are probably grandparents, by now."

"Have you ever looked in on them to see how they were doing?" Jaiden asks quietly, looking toward the staircase where Liz wandered up. "Looked to see how they grew up? If you're a great grandmother?"

The girl slowly shakes her head, a sad expression forming on her features. "No... I haven't. I left Japan some time ago, in 1958, with an American." She smiles to Jaiden, looking far older than the 12 years she appears to be, for a moment. "I don't know if I could handle seeing them, to be quite honest. I... well, I don't grow old, you see. I could choose to grow old and die if I wanted to, but... I'm certainly not strong enough to put my foot down and decide to die of old age."

"How many people are? We, as a people, are generally wary of anything that would cause us to lose our mortality and shuffle off this mortal coil. Most people aren't given a choice. It seems you've got the best of both worlds - immortality until you grow tired of it."

"If you revert forms to the age you are when you die, they'll have killed an innocent old woman. If you don't? A innocent little girl. They'd be boned either way in the press."

Elisabeth adds, "And I highly recommend you make yourself over into someone of legal age and don't use your ability while you're in his home, because I don't want him to know you're Evo."

She raises to her feet, making her way over to the desk and picking up her pants. She puts her feet in her pants, pulling them up. As she does so, she grows, re-aging up to perhaps 17 or 18. Fastening her pants, the girl glances to Jaiden. "W-would that be safe?"

"We find a small hotel, kind of out of the way, with a little kitchen, a fridge, and the like. Set you up there with a week's worth of food, a cell phone so you don't use the hotel phone, and a number or two so you can get someone we trust just in case you need 'em." Jaiden smiles. "We could get you some clothes, too, so you're not going around in the same threads for four plus days."

After a moment, an elderly woman is standing in the teenager's place, probably in her late 60's. She follows Jaiden at a slow shuffle, smiling up at the man. "Thank you so much, Jaiden. I really do appreciate the help, from both of you... "

Jaiden slows down his pace, even offering Mika-ba-chan an arm to hold on to, like he's a nice boy leading an elderly friend around for a walk.

Standard Fare

August 18, 2010

Random Hotel Room

"Some of the things you asked for were hard to find, but I think I managed to get most of the things you wanted. And you're welcome. WE help because you're in trouble. It's not just because you're cute - it helps, but it's not just because you're cute. " He winks.

The girl flops down on the bed the moment they're within, spreading her arms out and heaving a sigh. "I do miss the politeness of Japan. If people were venomous or hateful, it was usually behind other's backs." She tucks her arms behind her head, smiling to Jaiden as he sets the bags on the bed.

The clothes are sorted through, with sets for each age she tends to frequent. The main thing, a set of PJs, is quickly snatched up. As he compliments her and calls her cute not once, but twice in the same sentence, she offers a smile complete with a wrinkled nose and a slight blush. With a small giggle, she makes her way into the bathroom, closing the door behind herself. "Thanks for the compliment?" This is called through the door.

"You're welcome." Jaiden calls through the closed bathroom door as he makes himself busy, cleaning up, hanging the clothes that need to be hung up, putting the clothes for separate ages in separate drawers - younger on the bottom, older on top since older folks have a problem bending sometimes.

When she comes out of the bathroom, she's wearing the slightly baggy PJ pants and its matching tank top, and she leans against the door frame to watch him with a thoughtful expression on her face. Her brows raise slightly, a hand running through her hair, followed by a little stretch.

He does pause, looking her over with an approving grin. The tank-top does little to hide her curves.

He looks over as she flops down, her tank top going up to reveal her belly just a bit, smiling and shaking his head. "I'm not that interesting, Mika."

"First you change my tire, then you're around when I'm taking out would-be grocery store robbers, then you're there when I'm on the run from a terrorist cell." She rolls onto her side, then, stretching out.

Gaining Leverage and Perspective

August 20, 2010

A Motel

It's boring here in the seedy hotel that Mika has been staying in for the past few days.

Currently, Mika is in the kitchen, chopping up vegetables for what appears to be home-made Ramen. She's in her mid twenties today, her favorite years. She's been cooking like this for the past few days, and her freezer has a nice array of leftovers frozen. Gifts for her visitors, whenever they finally show up. As she chops, she hums softly to herself.

Like Cardinal, Peyton is wearing her sunglasses indoors today - they serve a couple of purposes. One, they hide the dark circles beneath her eyes. Two, they keep the bright light out of her eyes, which is more important, given her hangover.

She's dressed casually for the meeting - capri jeans with wide cuffs, red ballet flats, a black-and-white striped shirt. Her dark hair's down, the Betty Page bangs and the Jackie O Ray-Bans completing her retro look.

Standing on the tips of her toes, she peeks through the peep hole... and smiles quietly to herself.

Reaching out, the short Japanese woman takes Peyton's hand as it is offered, nodding quietly to her. "Mika Iwasaki, yes." She watches the man quietly, her head tilted toward the side. "I - I'm glad that you came."

"Just a matter of security, Miss Iwasaki," she says with a smile toward the woman who looks to be just a few years her senior, though is purportedly much older. If she's 90-something years old, it feels strange to call her by her first name, no matter how young the woman looks.

"I'm also known as Sara Bright, and Elise McKenna. I am ninety-one years old." She closes her eyes. She runs a hand through her hair, looking back up at Peyton with a furrowed brow.

Suddenly, she shrinks, in the most literal sense of the word. When she's finished, there's a child of no more than six sitting in her place, peering at the two.

Her eyes narrow a touch when suddenly Mika is shifting, suddenly swallowed up by her clothes, now swimming in the too-large garments. "Is that like a nervous tic or something, like, involuntary action, or can you contain yourself, Ma'am?" The tone of the last word is a touch on the ironic side, since she's now addressing it to a child much smaller than herself. "I'm not sure why just changing your age would make you any more adept at collecting people, though I'm sure it would come in handy at getting information. People tend to underestimate what kids can understand, even when the kid is actually a kid." She stands and glances at Cardinal, moving away toward the window to peer out of the blinds for a moment.

Cardinal looks back to the 'youngster' sitting on the edge of the bed.

You paged Mika with ‘not that she'd know but peyton is all touchy about the age manip thing because she's recently MET for like ... 20 minutes - her father who was an age manipulator before he basically killed himself by letting his age catch up to him/instead of going with company agents, etc.’ You paged Mika with ‘and she's kinda not dealt with it, so the age shifting is making her RAWR>’

"Yes... a power." She frowns, looking back to the ground. It's rather strange, hearing what comes from the child's mouth next once Peyton is done with her tirade. "My apologies. I will refrain from changing my age in your presence, Miss Peyton. I was only attempting to illustrate my point." She dips her head in a respectful bow toward Peyton.

"We were told by the others what you could do. It's just a little ... disconcerting, I guess," Peyton mutters her apology. "Will I sound like I'm breaking up with someone if I say it's not you, it's me?" she says, a little smirk tilting her lips as she attempts to be humorous.

The child looks down to the ground, adjusting the tank top that acts more as a dress right now to ensure she's properly covered. "History repeats itself. I've been alive for 91 years, and I can tell you better than anyone that it does. I've seen wars, famine, death like you would never believe. I've seen the skeletal ruins of Hiroshima after the bomb landed, before it was rebuilt." Quite strange coming from a little girl.

She scratches at the back of her neck, peering up at the pair with the wide eyes of a child.

"And I've met Adam," says Cardinal in dry tones, "I suspect that immortality's more of a curse than a blessing."

The child raises her eyebrows toward Peyton, though she offers a shake of her head, turning to look to Cardinal. "It's quite the curse. I had children once... I'm sure they're grandparents by now." She smiles faintly. "I'm sure it will only lose its glamor as time passes. I'm still fairly young, all things considered. There are those older than me who don't even have my ability." She chuckles.

Suddenly, tears well up in the little child's eyes. "I'm not ready to die yet... "

She sighs a little, her eyes turning back to Mika as the child-woman speaks.

"Okay, the crying? A bit much," Cardinal states, hand lifting a bit, "Emotional blackmail isn't gonna help you here, I know you're not actually a little kid. Honestly? Kind of creepy."

Mika's eyes turn to Cardinals, sniffing softly. "I - I'm sorry. It's... force of habit." The tears slowly come to a stop, the girl wiping at them. "I've been doing this for far too long, I think. Not many others have known about my ability, and... I forget how to act normal some times. Please, bear with me." She takes a breath, before looking at the two with a much more steady expression.

Then, she suddenly fills her clothing up once more, growing twenty years in the span of but a few moments, offering the pair an apologetic look. "In my flash, I drove my SUV into a mall filled with rioting people. I had a gun... something I've never even used before. I ran over people, shot them as I drove past. I killed so many people... people who didn't even deserve whatever hatred I had for them." She looks down at her hands. "Then I crashed into a wall... I think I may have died, or was close to it... "

The youngest of the three in actual years turns away again as the woman begins to grow, clearly not wanting to watch the aging process sped up like a time-lapse-photography nature film, limbs growing longer and flesh more filled out, the clothes once more fitting the body they belong to.

"Well, wanting to avoid that is certainly a point in your favor," Peyton says lightly.

United We Stand, Part III

November 7, 2010

The Ruins of Midtown

"I am still wary of this girl. Even if she is a hostage of some sort, she very well may have an ability which Rupert plans to use as a weapon."

"Rupert," the little girl sitting on the stage suddenly asks as she looks up from her magazine. "Didn't you say that Mister Riggs was supposed to be with us tonight? I haven't seen him or his insects around in a while." The dark-haired thirteen-year-old little girl huffs a breath and blows a lock of hair out of her face, folding the magazine closed in her lap.

Benjamin Washington - better known by most as Knox - looks up and over to the little Asian girl. Both of Rupert's brows lift, and the little girl huffs again and pushes up to her feet, white flats brown from dirt scuffing over the stage, Layered tights keeping her legs warm beneath her loose skirt.

"Jesus - Christ, Mika, can you please be quiet? For five minutes? Act your age for - like - I'm trying to listen to NPR and we get shit reception here, okay?"

His dart spears for the unknown quantity, the little girl, both shots aimed for the mid section to have the highest chances of landing their targets.

Mika screams, and screams with a sandpapery voice as she reaches up to grab her face as the quick-acting negation drugs begin to take effect. Her face sags, sloughs and then begins to wrinkle and crack. Her bones make popping noises as she begins to grow in size, hair turns from black to white like snow dusting pavement, and her fingers curl into her hair as eyes go white with cataracts.

Soon the young, peppy teenage girl is transforming into a hideous, bony old crone dressed in ill-fitting little girl's clothes. She collapses to the floor from Melissa's sustained pain, her wailing banshee cry piercing the theater floor.

Age shifter, Gael clicks in his head, huh.

"Oh god," Peter hisses from the doorway, watching this carnage unfold, watching Mika's horrible transformation. He advances, but only a few paces.

Mika is teetering on the edge of death by 'natural' causes.

The wizened old woman suddenly launches herself up into a seated position with an expression of rage painted across her withered, ancient countenance. Mika pops back up with one of the AK-47 assault rifles in her bony hands.

Having unloaded her magazine as much as she can, Mika collapses back onto the stage, wheezing and choking, breathless as her AK-47 falls from shaking hands, pawing - grasping for the weapon with the blind hope of having the strength to do it again. What did they do to me? races through her mind.

A smaller stream of pressurized water diverts, moving to push the gun with force away from Mika, while the larger stream is mostly there to overwhelm/delay/annoy the old woman.

The old woman is first pushed away from the pile of guns, and rather gently, as well. He doesn't want to hurt her. She may very well just be another pawn.

A blast of pressurized water whips up onto the stage, striking Mika square in the face, sending her frail and light body bouncing across the wood, scuffing and skidding until she's pressed up against a faded stage background, one arm hanging broken at her side from the impact of brittle bones, a bloody compound fracture lancing through her skin.

The End