Thursday, 19 June 2008

The Helix Assignment [Part 1]

'All the somatic cells in the human body have 46 chromosomes.' Miss Madelina Caroll, Redfield High's one and only Biology teacher, began. 'All somatic cells have two sets of chromosomes: one set inherited from each parents. One set of chromosomes consists of 23 chromosomes. Hence, our somatic cells have 46 chromosomes arranged in 23 pairs or 2n=46.' She took a glance around the class and frowned. Half the class were day dreaming.

'Hey,' she said sharply. Disapproval was evident in her voice. Everyone snapped to attention. Miss Madelina continued. 'OI! Are you people listening to me or not? You see all the notes I give you? You know with all these notes I can make my own book and sell it and become rich and famous?'

Aqua Ryan Summers muttered softly to the person sitting next to her. 'Who's stopping you?'

Her neighbour, Elsa Moonstone, coughed to muffle the giggle. Miss Madelina's eyes flickered to her sharply, before turning back to the rest of the class. 'Now, pay attention! Females have XX chromosomes. Males have XY chromosomes. Understand?'

Lauren Knight, one of the juniors and star pitcher on varsity softball, looked up with mock interest. 'Really?' she said in a low tone. 'So what, if you have YY chromosomes, you're an alien?' Her comment drew muted laughter from the table.

'Good one, Pierce,' one of the guys, Jeremy, called out, using her nickname that was fabricated after Lauren's steely gaze. Pierce smiled. 'Or would you be a mutant instead?'

More laughter, but Elsa and Aqua weren't laughing. They exchanged looks, and Aqua turned to look at Pierce, who was known for her sport prowess. They didn't know each other that well, but the comment she made about mutants having YY chromosomes...well, it was a bit on the strange side.

At that moment, Pierce caught Aqua's eye, and as though sensing her thoughts, dropped her a cheeky wink.

'She couldn't have known about us, could she?' Elsa whispered to Aqua as they exited the class. 'I mean, I don't know Pierce that long, but if that's her sense of humor, I don't like it.'

'What don't you like?'

Joye Chezelle, the sophomore, bounded up to the two juniors. 'Nothing,' Aqua explained hurriedly. 'It just about a girl in class who made a comment about people with YY chromosomes being mutants.'

Joye's eyes widened. Elsa grimaced. 'Now you see why I'm so worried.'

Aqua, Joye and Elsa were mutants. The reason Elsa was so worked up about the comment Pierce had made was because Pierce was hitting too close to home. She'd probably have no idea that the trio were born with a defective triple helix gene, which allowed them to stay alive and defect-less like everyone else even though they only had YY chromosomes. Thanks to their triple helix gene, the trio were born with special abilities.

While Aqua was hydrokinetic, Elsa had the power of flight and telepathy. Joye, the youngest, had sharp senses and shapeshifting abilities.

'You didn't try to read her mind?' Joye questioned as they left the school compound. Elsa shrugged. 'Yeah. You remember, A, I followed her when she went to the restroom?' Aqua nodded. 'Well, I went in, and I don't know what happened, but the next minute I started chatting with her about Shane Harrison. I even got his number from her.'

Joye's jaw dropped. 'You have the hottie's number?' she said in horrified excitement. 'I want! Gimme!'

Aqua slapped Joye's hands. 'Can you focus?' she hissed. 'Didn't you hear what Elsa said? There's something fishy about Pierce. I can feel it!' she declared vehemently. 'Maybe we should ask Uncle Ben.'

'I agree,' Joye said, serious. 'Who knows?' She grinned. 'Maybe she'll end up being one of us.'

Elsa snorted. 'You can't be serious! Pierce is not sociable! She'll have your head for trying to engage her in a conversation. We should stay away.'

Aqua smiled. 'Sociable or not, if she has got what it takes to get Shane Harrison's number,' she said gently. 'I'm all for it.'

Ok ppl first chappie. Very lame beginning I noe but hang on. More's to come. Stay tuned!

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