Scott lands the jet lightly in an abandoned parking lot. The team rushes out immediately, but of course, I stick behind for a minute or so. I exit the jet once they are about 100ft away and almost out of sight. I ignite my hair immediately. I know we're supposed to be extinguishing (ugh, I hate that word) the fire, but I feel safer and more useful this way. I notice the noise before anything the familiar roar of flames, the commanding voices of the fire fighters, the terrified shrieks of civilians, begging for their loved ones to be rescued. And then, I see my team. They work so efficiently, of course. Bobby has created a large wall of ice in front of the fire, to prevent the spread of the flames. Jean uses her telekinesis to push the flames apart that block the path of the fire fighters. I see Warren swoop gracefully into a fourth story window of a burning building and feel the fear pulse in my chest - this is real, we could lose any one of us today.
"Evelyn. Can you hear me?" Scott's voice breaks through my daze, into my mind. I scan the area and see him about 50ft away. He shoots a falling metal beam with his powerful optic blasts, deflecting it and so, ensuring it does not crush the working fire fighters below it. He's such a hero.
"How can you communicate with me telepathically?" I think strongly, hoping he can hear me. I watch as the fire fighters he just saved stare at him in awe and fear.
"Jean has built a temporary bridge between our minds, so that you can distance yourself from us, as you wished." Even his thoughts are organized and calm. He truly is the perfect leader. "But, right now, we really need you to absorb as much of the fire as you can, okay? Bobby and Jean are working on holding the flames back, but only you can stop this, Evelyn.
"Okay." I try to make my thoughts sound strong like his, but my apprehension is more than evident.
I rush forward and soon I am stood in the centre of the burning street. With my hair alight, it is not long before I am spotted.
"She must be working with him - the one who did this!" One man cries in fear, as I raise my hands up to the buildings on each side of the street. "Run!"
I then close my eyes and will the flames to come to me. For a moment, nothing happens, but then I feel the full force of the fire hit me from both sides. There's so much of it. But I can't let go. I have to do this!
I let my eyes slide open. I can't see anything but flames; I must be encased in them. I feel my eyes start to water as the pressure of the fire pushes against me more and more. Every bone in my body goes from a dull ache to a harsh pain.
"S-Scott..." I try hard to focus my thoughts. "I-I can't take much more!"
"Just a few more seconds, you're almost there!" He begs in my mind. I have to do this for Scott.
"Argh!" I scream, unable to hold in the sounds of my pain. And then, it stops. The last of the fire around my body seeps into my skin and there are no more flames in sight, even my hair now extinguished. I have absorbed it all. Every ember. Every flicker of heat. It's all mine! The pain fades almost immediately and is replaced by the sense of raw power. I feel the fire pulsing through my blood and I feel alive. I want fire. I want it all. This power feels incredible. I have to-
Strong hands taking my shoulders pull me from my thoughts.
"Evelyn, I can hear what you’re thinking. You need to calm down and get out of here!" Scott's voiced is laced with panic and concern. Why has he suddenly lost his calm demeanour?
"You don't understand, Scott. This power... It feels-"
"No, Evelyn, it's too much for you. You need to leave, now!" He cuts me off. Does he really think I'm too weak to control this? It's fire! I was born to control it! "Please. I'm begging you!"
"No!" I exclaim, pushing him off me. "I can-" I stop, when I see my reflection in the thin lens of his visor. My eyes are two bright orbs of glowing yellow light. I look like a monster! Is this what this much power does to me? Part of my mind still fights my sane thoughts, telling me to burn it all. Burn down the buildings I just saved. Burn the street to ashes. Burn the people. Burn Scott. But I focus my sane mind to overthrow these thoughts. Scott's right, I need to get out of here! To somewhere I can expel the excess flames safely.
"Warren!" I can hear Scott's voice, but it sounds distant, although he is holding me in his arms. The strain of suppressing my negative thoughts is tiring me. "Get her out of here, please. Get her somewhere safe."
"Scott, p-please. H-help me." I stutter, my voice nearly inaudible.
I feel my sane and insane thoughts fight each other; it won't be long until I lose this fight. I'm going to kill them all. My team - the people I love. I'm going to murder them.
Warren takes me in his arms and I let my body sag into his grip, I need all my energy in my mind right now. I feel us lift from the ground, but see nothing as my eyes slip closed. He's going to get me away in time, I won't hurt anyone. I-
I feel the pull of the power inside me. I sense the pleasure that comes with it. Although part of my mind says 'no' I feel that I must give in to it. I open my eyes and look up at the boy who is flying me hundreds of feet above the ground. He glances down at me.
"No, Evelyn, please. Hold on for a bit longer." He begs. But his pleading just fuels my feeling of power and superiority. "We're almost there!"
I don't want to suppress it anymore! It feels so good. I want it all to burn. I want him to burn. I flick my hand upwards and a burning ember ignites his right wing. He screams in pain and I feel the satisfaction throughout my body. Now, I let my flames engulf my entire body and feel his arms pull away from me, in reflex reaction. And finally, I'm falling.