[Once again, a reminder that Subject 13 contains coarse language. The rest of the story is below the cut.]
"Natasha! Natasha, where are you?"
Nasty stared at her right hand as it glowed purple. C'mon, stop already!
"Natasha!" Her mother's voice became more insistent.
"In here!" Nasty called back. "Give me a sec!" Would you wait, damnit?
The door to the stairwell opened, and Maria walked on to the landing. "Natasha, what the hell is your problem now?"
Nasty spun on her heel and held her hand in front of her mother's face. "This!"
"That's it, Natasha. We are going to see someone about that."
"No, Mom. Forget it. I'm not seeing anyone. I am not going to be poked and prodded and treated like sort of freak!" I get enough of that as it is around here. "Don't I owe you a coffee or something?"
"I am not going to live with anyone who can destroy my home."
"Fine! I'll move out. That way, you don't have to worry about me at all. It's what you want, isn't it?" Nasty stomped downstairs.
"Natasha! Natasha, get back here!"
"No!" Nasty said, not looking back. "You want me out, then I'll leave."
Nasty stomped out into the main hallway and out of the school. I don't need her. I don't need any of this. Fuck her! I never wanted any of this. Especially that dammed school. She stopped to see where she was. Getting her bearings, she marched home, still stewing.
Inside her apartment, Nasty went straight to her room, slamming her door shut behind her. Standing in the middle of her room, she willed herself to calm down. She felt the tenseness in her arms and shoulders drain slowly. After several deep breaths, Nasty unclenched her fists, shaking her hands out to relieve the cramps in them, not noticing the purple glow had faded.
Without a word, Nasty started filling her backpack with clothes. She looked around her room, picking up odds and ends to pack. Finished, she hefted the backpack on her shoulders. Nasty walked to the kitchen. She grabbed a can of Coke from the fridge. I should take them all. Let's see Mom drink without a mix. With a snort, Nasty closed the fridge door.
She continued into the tiny living room. Dropping her backpack, Nasty slipped off her shoes and picked up her boots. Okay, where the hell am I going? she asked herself. Way to go, genius. Who is going to take you in? Aunt Christina won't take me in. No way I want to drag Grandma into this. There's gotta be someone. She slipped on her boots. Rennie.
Nasty picked up the phone and dialled a number. After a couple of rings, the phone was picked up at the other end. "Rennie? Rennie, it's me," Nasty said.
"Nasty? Is that really you? How're you doing?"
"Rennie, do you mind if I stay a night or two?"
"Sure. Problems at home?"
"I'll tell you when I see you."
"When are you coming over?"
"Is now good? I really need to get out of here."
"Sure," Rennie said.
"Thanks, Rennie. I'll see you soon."
Nasty hung up. She checked the time, then fell back on to the couch. Remembering the can of Coke, she opened it and drained it one long gulp. She crushed the empty can, then left it on the broken coffee table. Grabbing her backpack, helmet, and jacket, she left the apartment.
Outside, she got on her motorcycle. Adjusting her helmet, Nasty looked around. Still looking for the altie, huh? she thought as she noticed several sedans parked along the street. Nasty started up the engine, then roared away.
Nasty arrived at her friend's home ten minutes later. She parked her bike and hopped off. Taking her helmet off, she walked up the front steps. Rennie waited at the door. Nasty took off her helmet and shook out her red hair.
"Nasty," Rennie greeted as she hugged her friend. "What has your mom done now?"
"Can I drop my stuff first?"
"Sure." Rennie led Nasty to her bedroom.
Nasty dropped her backpack, then took off her jacket. Rennie stared at Nasty's blouse.
"So that's where you went," Rennie said. "People have been wondering if you dropped out or something. What's with the private school?"
"Mom's idea, not mine," Nasty said.
"What's it like there?"
"Okay, I guess."
"Why haven't you called me? It's like you just dropped off the face of the planet."
"Sorry, Rennie. Mom wanted me to break away clean."
"I can't believe she'd do that to you."
"It gets worse," Nasty said, sitting on the bed.
"Because of the news?"
"You saw, huh? Bunch of vultures."
"What happened, Nasty?" Rennie asked, sitting beside her friend.
"A bunch of jerks thought they'd put me in my place. They've been after me for weeks."
"And they're not in the hospital?" Rennie asked.
"Not funny, Rennie."
"Go on. I'm waiting for the juicy parts. What'd the principal say?"
"This school is majorly fucked, Rennie. The first time I did anything on campus, I got hauled in. I expected to be chewed out, like old Burns did. Only, the principal at Seward doesn't do that. She sends me down to the counsellor, who calls the jerks in so we can have one big happy discussion. Sheesh."
"A fucking talk. Like that'd change the jerks' minds."
"What got them on you?"
"They found out about me and Mom somehow. Since I don't fit in, I'm their target. Yesterday is what set Mom off. The jerks cornered me in the weight room at lunch. The four of them tried to get me going, but I just kept pumping weights, ignoring them, y'know? That's when one of them dropped a weight on my shoulder. Someone heard the noise and came in and looked, so none of us starts anything. The jerks leave, but the kid who came in sees me working my shoulder and goes gets a teacher. The teacher walks me down to the nurse's office. I guess she then talked to the principal who then called Mom while the nurse looked me over."
"Geez. How is your shoulder?"
"Bruised, sore. I don't think anything's broken. Anyway, when Mom gets home, she starts tearing into me, accusing me of starting a fight. We start yelling and shouting, so I leave, to take a ride. Just get away from her and everything."
"Out to the beach?" Rennie said.
"Yeah, there. To cool down a little and just have some peace. No idea how long I was there. I just sat there and watched the sunset."
"Then why were you on the news?"
"I wish I knew. I came back home after dark. Some idiot cut me off in traffic and got into an accident. I wasn't feeling pleasant when I got home and found the jerks waiting for me."
"The same ones as on TV?" Rennie's eyes widened. "Geez, Nasty, you saw that altie."
"There wasn't any altie, Rennie. Those shits created the story so that their rep wouldn't include being trashed by a girl. I beat the crap out of two of them, and then they ran away. I went back up to the apartment, and Mom's there getting smashed again. We picked up the fight where we left off. She never went to bed last night. She just drank until she passed out on the couch. God, I hate her at times."
"You can stay here for a while, Nasty. Mom's husband's on the road and won't be back for a couple of days and Mom won't mind too much. I can handle her."
"I really appreciate this, Rennie. I'll find my own place. I just need to get away from Mom."
"So how are you getting along with your mom's new husband?"
"Ray's okay, I guess. Better than Dad's wife. Makes your mom look half-decent."
"That'll be the day," Nasty snorted.
"You haven't met her, have you. Dad robbed the cradle. Paula just got out of college. She's three years older than I am."
"She's still older than Mom was when she had me." Nasty felt her stomach growl. "Rennie, I forgot to eat. Mind if I get a sandwich?"
Maria returned to her apartment after talking with her daughter's teachers. I swear, if that girl leaves me stranded like that again, I'm going to smash that bike into pieces in front of her. She slipped off her shoes, then walked into the kitchen. "Natasha! Natasha Teresa, get your ass out here!" Maria shouted.
When her daughter didn't react at all, Maria walked down the short hallway to Nasty's room. Without knocking, Maria barged in. "Natasha Teresa Giuliano, you do not ignore . . . me . . .." Her voice trailed off as she saw Nasty wasn't in the room. "Where the fuck is that girl?"
Name: Adam McCarthy
Birthdate: November 6, 1966
Birthplace: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Hair: Light blonde
Mother: Jane McCarthy (nee Sidowski)
Father: Lewis McCarthy
Extrusion of a sticky, web-like substance from his fingers. Tests have determined that the strands have a maximum rating of 500 pounds.
Subject 6's parents have had him declared legally dead.
[End issue 6]
Next Issue: Maria gets a visit from men in black.