Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Microstory 173: Stella Pelto

Stella Pelto’s was the weirdest ability out there, and one that could not easily be explained. Though anomaly abilities were extraordinary, they remained within the boundaries of physics. These physical laws may have turned out to be more wondrous than the present academic understanding of them, but they were real, and there for a reason. Stella first exhibited properties of adhesion; able to stick to and climb up walls and ceilings. Had her presentation ended there, the leading scientific experts within Bellevue would still have been suspicious, because it was unlikely that there would be such a perfect harmony between nature and nurture. Because her parents owned a glue factory, but not until after her birth. After leaving her community for an extended period of time on the suggestion of Bellevue, Stella found herself losing her adhesion, and instead developing properties of the flora around her campsite. Her skin was a kind of pliable tree bark, and leaves began to grow out of her body. Her hair became vines. It was...unusual, to say the least. The closest thing to her was Vivian Polzin, whose body expertly adapted to its environment, and prevented her from succumbing to it. But Vivian’s changes were still reasonable. As there were a limited number of dangerous environments, each permutation could have theoretically been programmed into her bloodline by the ancient rogue scientists. For Stella, however, there were too many variables, and too many changes that were not evolutionarily plausible. Something else was happening, and Bellevue scientists were desperate to figure out what.
Stella was able to take on the properties of practically anything, and later proved capable of doing this at will. After further genetic testing, they had gathered more information about what makes an anomaly an anomaly. All activated anomalies shared certain genetic markers. They shared a different set of markers with normal humans who had the potential to have been born anomalies. Anomalies with similar abilities shared markers with each other. Each anomaly carried a specific set of markers unique to them, based on whatever their bloodline had been imbued with. Stella’s DNA was, as expected, quite different. She was somehow both an anomaly, and not. It was like someone had replicated the original genetic experiments from memory, but with  different tools. This was the unsatisfactory explanation for why she broke the laws of physics. One day, Stella was walking through a room when she came across Cosmo Drexler. Passersby watched as the two of them stared for several seconds, and then turned around to walk right back where they came from, like they were allergic to each other. This gave Adam Nicks a clue as to what made Stella Pelto so exceptionally different. And then he noticed what her name meant. And also what Cosmo’s meant.

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