Paradigm of Thought

by Jeanne M.

Usual: Characters? NOT MINE. Money? NONE HERE. All recognizable characters and works of literature belong to someone who's not me. I don't speak German, or spell it. This is set after normal students were admitted to the Academy, and before everything went to hell. Other than that, as far as I'm concerned, continuity can take a nice, long, vacation. Warning: this is a nutty little short-short I wrote in my psych notebook one day during lab. Quote is taken from Peter Gray's Psychology text. That said, Onwards.......

Mutations are errors that occasionally and unpredictably occur during DNA replication, causing the "replica" to be not quite like the original. In the long run of evolution, mutation is the ultimate source of all genetic variation. All gene differences in any species are believed to have originated from mutations. As would be expected of any random change in a complex, organized structure, new mutations are more often harmful than helpful, and natural selection usually weeds them out. But occasionally a mutation is useful, producing a protein that affects the organism's development in a way that increases its ability to survive or reproduce, and the gene arising from that mutation increases in frequency from generation to generation......

Jubilation Lee looked at her psychology textbook with sad eyes. Around her, she could hear her classmates arguing over the psychological impact of mutations, and if this theory was valid since Gray had written it before the X-factor mutation had become widespread. They didn't know she could 'hear' them on another level too. They had no way of knowing that she could hear their molecules singing to her. That she could hear the atomic dance and that pure flame was racing in her veins. That she could twist fire out of nothingness and destroy them with a thought by igniting their own traitors molecules. And it was taking all her willpower to keep from doing just that. She leaned back against the wall, thankful her desk was in the back, and rubbed her temples. All this bigotry and arguing was giving her a headache. And the source of that headache was actually a very angry young man sitting two rows over from her.

**Jono, luv, m'heart, you're projecting. It's giving me a headache and just riling up the herd even more.** Jubilee winced at her accidental use of the insult. She just hated it when Emma's vocabulary slipped into her own.

It didn't go unnoticed by the dark figure in the corner. **Herd?** His eyes crinkled at the edges and his voice became tinged with amusement instead of anger. **Been hanging out with Frost much?**

Jubilee let out a pitiful telepathic wail and pointed an imaginary finger at the woman dressed impeccably in white who was at the front of the room trying to stop the chaos without using her own formidable mental powers. **Blame her! I can't help being psi-sensitive, and she's being quite clear about her opinions about these flatscans, I mean humans! I'm concentrating so hard on keeping from leaking paffs, that I can't shield her out!** She suddenly felt a warm, comforting presence, as Jonothon reached out and wrapped her in his own shielding, and the hate from the rest of the room receded. Jubilee grinned as Jono's telepathic 'glow' entwined with hers, strengthening both their defenses and creating a temporary private link. **Ah..........much better. Thanks Jono.**

**My pleasure. Anything for a pretty gel tryin' to keep from committing homicide.** Jono laughed mentally as Jubilee blushed and slid down in her seat to keep her classmates from noticing. **Don't worry, they ain't noticing our little talk. They're all too busy being blind bigots.** Jubilee winced as she felt anger edge into his voice.

**Not all of them are assholes, Jono. Why do you think they're arguing so much? It's not over who hates 'muties' the most, they're fighting about what the text says. They're squabbling about that if mutation is the next step in evolution, then that makes us human. Which means some of the 'normals' are defending us. Listen!** Jubilee quickly sat up and leaned toward the front of the room, Jono following her example with a puzzled look on his face.


**Shhhh!!!** Her eyes narrowed at the mob in the front of the room. **The boy with the brown crew cut is saying that everyone is a mutant according to Gray's theory, some have simply mutated further. The blond girl yelling at him is claiming that mutants are freaks of nature, not an evolutionary step.** For one moment, Jono saw her eyes swirl a brilliant neon blue. **And I think Ms. Frost has a migraine.**

**And if you two would cut the telepathic chatter and help with crowd control she may even be able to keep from killing some of these silver-spoon fed brats.** Emma's voice cut smoothly into their private channel. **Tsk tsk. Having a private conversation, in the middle of class, in front of a superior telepath. How rude. I ought to give you both detentions.**

**Yeah, that'd be a bitch to explain to the norms. "Oh, I got detention for talking in my head." I can just see myself going from outcast street-chink to outcast looney tune.** Jono felt Jubilee's sarcasm lash outwards. **C'mon teach, make 'em shut up already.**

**As tempting as making these plebeians behave is, I cannot violate certain parts of your dear Professor Xavier's code without Sean getting in a tiff. Dealing with these children is the lesser of two tantrums, believe me.** Emma sighed, pushing a stray lock of white-blond hair out of her eyes. "Please, children! This is psychology class, not "Promotion of Ethnocentric Biases." If you wish to continue this rather crude and uninformed dissertation on the evolutionary processes outside of my classroom, feel free. Until then, Sit Down. Now." And even without using her telepathic magic, Emma Grace Frost made twenty-eight angry and rowdy students sit down quietly just as the bell rang. **It's a miracle. A damned miracle.**

Mutations are errors

Jubilee looked at the simple little paragraph that had started today's fight as she put the rest of her things into her bag. So innocent, really. Written by a man who most likely never even knew what the word "mutant" would come to mean.

mutations are more often harmful than helpful, and natural selection usually weeds them out.

Jono watched as she slammed her book closed, a look of disgust crossing her normally composed features. **Hey, luv? It's only an old text book. The old bugger prob'ly didn't mean anything hateful by it.** She looked up at him, eyes bright with unsaid words.

affects the organism's development in a way that increases its ability to survive or reproduce

**Only a book.** The sorrow in her words made Jono jump the desks between them and pull her into a hug. **Yeah Jono, it's only a book. So's Mien Kampf. They're only books. Just books.**

and the gene arising from that mutation increases in frequency from generation to generation......

**We aren't the first.** Her thoughts were muffled, almost as if she was speaking into his coat. **You realize that, right? For us to be this powerful, to be able to use our powers like we do, that means there were others. In our families. Going who knows how far back. Alpha levels don't just randomly appear, we evolve from somewhere, don't we?** Jono's eyes darkened as he tightened his hold on the trembling girl, not noticing the silent figure at the front of the room eavesdropping effortlessly.

and the gene arising from that mutation increases in frequency from generation to generation......

**Hey gel, those brats have probably forgotten all about the quarrel by now and are playing Sega or something. How about we go do the same?** He looked down into her eyes with all seriousness. **Don't think about it gel, trust me. Yer just gonna go insane trying ta think about it.**

and the gene arising from that mutation increases in frequency from generation to generation......

And the figure at the front of the room departed silently, opting not to tell her students the answer to the questions that churned at the back of their minds. She decided not to tell Jono about his gypsy ancestress that was hung by the townspeople of London in 1722 because she was a little too good at reading palms, or about his great-uncle who could always offer the advice you needed, even without knowing the problem. She didn't tell Jubilation about how her mother's body didn't burn in the car crash, despite the raging inferno, almost as if it had an immunity to the flames, and the police had just written it off as sheer luck. Or about the concubine in ancient china who could make colored fire dance with her, without regard for the laws of chemistry or physics. Because that information would do them no good right now, and there are some things they were simply better off not knowing until they were able to understand. With a simple, delicate thought, Emma Frost lightened the worry from their minds, sending them out into the Academy in search of ice cream and movies. There was simply no other option. If they had continued down that course of thought, they would have come to one horrified, painful conclusion: the legacy of power they would pass on. The death and destruction that any future possible children would have running in their veins. Passing on the intense pain and rejection they had both experienced was a concept neither of them were capable of accepting, so she erased the idea, leaving instead a craving for some pancakes......

and the gene arising from that mutation increases in frequency from generation to generation......