It was late afternoon, bordering on evening, and Logan found himself in a residential area of Las Vegas. It had been a calm day, and he’d decided to go where his feet took him. Which ended up being here, a place he’d never been despite countless trips to the city itself.
He turned a corner, only for a kid to bump into him and nearly fall backwards. He muttered an apology and took off again, mumbling something about being late.
Logan tried to shrug it off, but something about that kid, the way he ran. He stuck in the mutant’s head for a while. He eventually made his way back to a park he’d passed earlier, deciding to sit for a while.
The kid he saw earlier came out of one of the houses with a bag of trash, went around to the side, and rushed back in. Something was off in his movements, they weren’t carefree like a kid’s should be, and he couldn’t be older than ten. It was like he was stressing out for an entire family.
Logan decided to keep his eyes and ears open for that house. Something about it gave him a bad feeling.
About ten minutes later, the kid came out again to check the mail, someone started shouting at him when he went back in. A woman’s voice. He was able to make out the words.
“Who are you? What are you doing in my house?! Get out!”
The kid came rushing out of the house with a backpack, slowing while crossing the street, until he sat down at a bench and sighed. He pulled out a binder, seeming to be starting some homework.
Logan sat across from him. “You don’t seem like the type to break into a lady’s house.”
The boy shrugged, but didn’t look up at him. “You don’t seem like the type to sit across from nine year old boys and talk but here we are.” The kid paused. “Wait, you actually heard that?”
Logan shrugged, the boy finally looked up from behind his bangs, and he saw them. His eyes, a reddish-orange, and they seemed to glow. The kid looked at him, scrutinizing, a look he’d never seen from someone under fifteen. He was looking for something, and his eyebrows shot to his hairline.
“You’re a mutant.”
It was Logan’s turn for his eyebrows to disappear. He said it like a statement, not a question, like he knew it as a fact and nothing you said could change his mind.
“How did you get that?”
He looked down, ashamed. Logan had seen that in so many kids in his life. Being ashamed for their mutations or other things that set them apart. Seeing that look on this kid made a protective instinct flare up in him.
“You’ve already seen my eyes. I don’t really do anything yet, but people get thrown off by them. Mutants look….different, to me. It’s something about the light, I’ve never been able to explain it properly, but I can just tell.’’
Logan nodded, and decided to change the topic. “So, who was the woman yelling at ya’?”
“My mom.” The kid seemed to know the implications of that and backpedaled. “She’s not… she doesn’t hurt me. Or, she doesn’t mean to. She’s sick, she sees things that aren’t there. Schizophrenic, the doctor said. Sometimes she’s trying to protect me from some invisible threat, other times she doesn’t remember me. It’s not her fault.” He took a deep breath. “It usually doesn’t last too long, and she doesn’t remember afterwards. She’s usually the best mom in the world, when she can be.”
“Where’s your dad?”
“I don’t know.” Was all the kid said, Logan decided not to press it.
For the first time, he looked at the boy’s homework. “Is that algebra?”
“I thought you were nine?”
“So, what are you, like, a genius?”
“I don’t think there is an accurate way to measure intelligence, but I do have an IQ of 187 and can read at nearly 5,000 words per minute.” The look on his face must have showed something he was used to seeing. “Yes, I’m a genius.”
Logan smiled at him. “You’re gonna go far, kid. I’m Logan, by the way.”
“You really shouldn’t give your name out to strangers.”
Spencer shrugged. “I’ve already told you everything else about my life.”
“Another thing you shouldn’t do.”
“I… I can tell that I can trust you.”
There was some shuffling from inside the house. Logan stood up and took a piece of paper and a pencil from Spencer’s binder. “If you’re ever in any sort of trouble, I want you to call this number, and I’ll be there. I might have to send somebody who’ll get there faster, but I’ll get there eventually.”
“What if you change your number?”
“I’ll mail you the new one.” Logan could hear the same woman’s voice calling the kid’s name. “Come on, Bubba. Your mom’s lookin’ for you.”
He watched as the kid quickly packed his stuff and went inside.
Logan left the area and went back to his hotel room, thoughts of the young kid still in his mind. He’d been a mutant, which always spelled trouble sooner rather than later. He’d grown attached in less than an hour, in that time he’d learned Spencer was someone worth protecting. And the clawed man also knew that he would protect the boy, would come when he called.
No matter what.