Sheriff Moseley stood watching the door of the Roadster Bar & Grill, as Sally Blevins had disappeared from his sight. Like most things, this had not surprised him in the least. Confront an abused child with the abusive father, and what you get is instant panic. Sally had been a runner all her life; he had learned that much from reading up on her. It was a safe be she’d run from her father, too. The reason he was still watching the Roadster’s entrance, was another predictable response. Just as he expected, Bill Blevins came stumbling out of the Bar about a minute after Sally had vanished into the woods. He looked around; searching for a glimpse of his daughter, and looked a little panicked himself. Time for the Sheriff to get involved.

“Evening, Bill.”

“Evening, Derek” he responded, not looking at the sheriff.

“You looking for something, Bill?”

“No… No, why do you ask?”

“Well, since you came running out, and you are even now looking around the parking lot, I figure there’s something you’re trying to find.”

“You’re wrong Derek. I’m just trying to find my car… I always forget where I parked” Bill Blevins lied.

“Now that would be a problem, Bill. I could smell the booze on your breath from my car, and there’s no way I’m gonna let you drive all the way up to Limefield when you’re on the sauce.”

“Oh… Oh, yeah, I guess you’re right. Better sober up a little, first, eh Derek?”

“Right you are, Bill. I’m of duty, so why don’t we go inside and have a cup of coffee and a bite to eat? After that, we’ll see about you driving home. What do you say?”

“That would be great, Derek. You eh… You go inside and get us a table, and I’ll get something from my car… I won’t drive of….”

“I know you won’t Bill, see you inside”

Sheriff Moseley went inside, but stayed near the entrance, looking at Bill Blevins, as he walked across the parking lot, calling his daughters name. “So predictable”, the sheriff thought, as he sat at a table and asked for a menu.

*************

After ten minutes of a full speed glide through the forest, Sally Blevins stopped. Her extreme speed at getting away from her father and avoiding the obstacles a night-time forest has to put in your way had taken so much concentration, that she had almost forgotten what she was running from. Now, when she finally slowed down and came to a stop, the horror of meeting her father came back to her at full strength. At first, she screamed her lungs out. Why had she not gotten the hell out of Galloway county as soon as she realised where she was? Why had she tried to relax and get herself together here, so close to the place where she had been scarred for life? Why had she even agreed to come with that goddamned sheriff in the first place? What did she want? What was she looking for? AAAAAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!

 

With that, Sally exploded into action. She had her force field up at full strength, and started lashing out at anything that surrounded here. It is quiet amazing how hard you can hit something when your hands are protected by a nigh impervious force field. She used a tree for a punching bag, and splinters flew of with every time she hit it. After that, she started gliding around the trees, gathering speeds and using that momentum to shop of branches of trees. Then she started jumping and kicking at the smaller trees, again at full force field strength, and she kicked a mall berk-tree down. Up next, ever more irrational, she started yanking out the shrubbery, and throwing it around. All the time she was destroying the patch of forest around her, she was thinking about the teachers who had thought her how to fight. There had been so many. There was Callisto, the Morlock leader who had taught her how to fight dirty and look for week points. Then there was Cyclops & Jean, who taught her to focus on controlling her body and maintaining control of her force field. After that there were Wildside, Forearm and Reaper, who had taught her how to do the most damage with single hit-and-run attacks. Thinking of the MLF made her even angrier. After that, there had been Colossus and other Acolytes, who had tried to teach her some actual fighting skills. So many teachers, all teaching her how to be a soldier in the mutant-wars. At least Bobby, in her time with the X-Corporation, had only seemed to be interested in ogling her in tight fitting clothes when they were in the gym together. Finally, there had been Magneto. She had been with him in training only once, and he tried to show her the absolute limits of her force field by bombarding her electro-magnetically. To this day, she had never pushed herself and her power that hard. She so wanted Magneto to be proud of her after he had released her from MLF control. Sally wanted Magneto to be her saviour, her hero, her fa…. AAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!

Sally came to her senses and looked around. All around her, she saw trees destroyed, and literally pushed away. She had extended her force field explosively, extending it almost 6 meters in all direction, and doing so she cleared a circle around her in all directions. Realising what had happened, Sally managed a thin smile. Her head was bursting, her nose was bleeding and she dropped to her knees, noticing her force field had shut down. Every muscle in her body ached and she collapsed on the forest ground, her last thoughts being of how proud Magneto would have been of her, before she lost consciousness.

************

Toby came upon the prone form of Sally Blevins, just after she had collapsed. He had not dared to get any closer while she was still furiously destroying the forest around her, and he was glad he had kept his distance when he just managed to get out of the way of an uprooted tree. He had never realised the girl was this powerful, and from her puzzled reaction to the final burst of power, neither had she. Still, Toby proceeded with caution as he approached her. That last display cost her so much energy, that she collapsed, Toby figured, and he relaxed a little. He looked at her face as she lay unconscious, and it looked as troubled as ever, Toby thought.

“I guess this is why my nightmares don’t affect you as much. You’re having them all the time anyway, with or without my interfering,” he whispered.

Looking at her clenched features, the little boy actually felt sorry for her. “After the real life nightmare of meeting your father, you deserve some rest. This one is on me…” He whispered, and he closed his eyes.

***********

Sally was feeling positively giddy as she stood in the waiting room, wearing her wedding dress. She couldn’t believe the day had finally arrived, the day on which she got up as Sally Blevins, and would go to sleep as Sally Collins. Jean Grey had just left to join the rest of the guests after helping her with her dress, make-up and hair. She had told her how proud Scott had been of being asked to give her away, even though he knew he had been second choice. Magneto, after all, would be officiating her marriage to Rusty. The door to the waiting room opened, and in walked Tabitha Smith, Boom Boom, her bridesmaid. It was obvious that she hated the light blue dresses Sally had picked out for all her bridesmaids, but Sally was very happy that she had been persuaded to where it anyway.

“You know I’ll get you for this, right?” Tabby said, pulling at the dress that actually made her look quiet lovely.

“Of course. Are you going to keep those sunglasses on?” Sally asked smiling.

“Don’t push it! The shades stay. I already got rid of my gum for you!” Tabby said in mock indignation, “I can’t believe you’re really doing this!”

“Sometimes I can hardly believe it myself! I’m getting married!”

“Yeah, well, whoop-de-doo to you, girlfriend! Now you and Rusty can really become the Scott & Jean of our generation, all love-y and stuff. Excuse me while I vomit!” Tabby answered, but it was obvious she didn’t mean a thing about it. She was really happy for her friend to be getting married, and everyone knew it.

“Oh, Tabby, this is absolutely the best day of my life. Maybe someday you and Rictor will…”

“ Aaagh… ‘scuse me???????” Tabby reacted, almost choking on the gum she had not thrown away.

“Oh… Eh… No, I didn’t mean you & Rictor, I meant you OR Rictor!!!” Sally hastily corrected

“That’s better! And I don’t see Rictor as the marrying type. The way he looks at Shatterstar, you’d think… Anyway, me? Never happen!!”

“You never know. Maybe some day Sam’ll pop the question!”

“Yeah, and then I’ll pop him one!” Tabby said defiantly, “Whatever, we’re ready for you!”

“All right then! Hit the music!” Sally said and seconds after Tabby left, the Genoshan national Anthem started. Sally had requested it, as a show of respect to Magneto, the man she considered her surrogate father, who would perform the marriage between her and her beloved, Rusty Collins. She took up her bouquet of flowers, all roses, and walked out into the Hammer ay Cathedral.

Scott was waiting for her, looking incredibly hansom, and sporting an ear-to-ear smile. She could sense the pride he felt into walking the young runaway he found so many years ago down the aisle. Everybody she knew was there, from her former teammates in the New Mutants, The X-Men and the Morlocks, to her recent friend from Genosha and the Acolytes. They were all looking at her, but ally only had eyes for the man standing at the Altar, Rusty Collins. God, he looked great. His red hair combed back nonchalantly, I his smart looking black suit. She couldn’t wait to be alone with him. Magneto gave a moving speech about the beauty of love and marriage, Tabby tried not to cry, Rictor fumbled with the rings, but all Sally could do was look at the face of Rusty.

“I now pronounce you man and wife” Magneto spoke, “You may kiss….”

EXPLOSION! What happened? There was screaming and shouting, and Sally looked at the burning carcass that lay where Magneto had stood. The ceiling of the Cathedral had been ripped of, and through it the head of a giant Sentinel was visible. Sally screamed, and another blast hit, taking out the front row in the church where the New Mutants had been sitting. Powers flared, and all sorts of energy flew at the Sentinel. Sally was fixed in place, paralysed with shock. She heard Rusty shout her name: “Sally!!!!” and another blast hit, vaporising her brand new husband. All she could do was scream: “No no no no!!!!!!”.

 

Then, someone grabbed her, and shook her. She looked the person in the face, and she saw a tiny, brown skinned demon-like creature, shouting at her to wake up.

Waking up with a little scream, Sally was still lying on the ground in the forest, and looking at her was a little six-year old boy.