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Sep 24, 2019 4:52 AM
Smol Hulk cousins get Miracled
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Jennifer Walters is not putting up with her guardians one more day.

She's sick of this overcrowded shack in the Colorado woods. She's sick of the way her uncle's yelling makes her cousin Bruce shrink into himself, and the way her aunt's consistent disappointment makes him forget his own abilities. She's sick of of the threat of going without dinner if she doesn't get her chores done. She's sick of her father's rants about "genetic purity" and "Anglo-Saxons" and "damn mutants" and some people being better than others because of the color of their skin.

But worse than all of that is the conversation she overheard between her father and her uncle. The conversation where they talked about how Bruce and Jennifer are "the two purest kids they know" and how, when they're older, they should marry each other, have kids with each other, rather than "mix their blood" with anybody else. That is absolutely not an option, and neither is staying under the same leaky roof as someone who's planning to insist on it.

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Bruce agrees to run away the moment Jennifer tells him. He probably would have agreed to run away even without that; he'd rather be with Jennifer than his parents by a long shot.

He does, however, persuade her to wait a few days. To hide some cans of food and the spare can opener, to grab their toothbrushes and a change of clothes and a flashlight and batteries and get it all into a pillowcase stuffed behind the woodpile. It's Jennifer's idea to tell the adults they're going out looking for edible mushrooms; that buys them a few hours head start, and they time it so it will be dark when anybody starts looking for them.

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At the very least, it's summer out. 

The daylight leaks out of the sky, until the pair are surrounded by tall, thin bodies of trees shadowed by the moon.

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They make sure to jump across a couple creeks so their footprints will be hard to find. Jennifer votes for sleeping in a tree so they can't get eaten by bears; Bruce votes for sleeping on the ground because they might fall out of a tree. It's looking like Bruce is going to win the argument, due to lack of climbable trees.

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There does seem to be a small hollow over there in some rocks...

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Bruce points out the hollow, whispering "Maybe we can hide between those rocks and nobody will be able to see us." Jennifer nods and scrambles up the rocks for a closer inspection; her cousin follows.

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There's already an occupant--of sorts. A long, oblong mass of something sticky, warm, yet strangely solid. A child's contented looking silhouette lies within.

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"Woah. This must be one of the mutants they were always talking about."

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"Woah . . . I wonder what it's like in there. Other than slimy."

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The child within--much as any details can be made out at all--doesn't look to be distressed. They might notice some clothes stuffed into a corner.

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"I guess if bears haven't eaten them they probably won't eat us either," says Jennifer, looking for a less occupied crevice to sleep in. 

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Bruce doesn't say, "If you were a bear, would you eat that?" because he doesn't want to start the argument again, but he sure thinks it while he's helping look.

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There's a couple that'll probably suit for the night. Perhaps tomorrow they could try heading towards what remains of Denver.

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Denver is in fact their destination; they know the general direction to go in and figure they'll be able to at least hit the outskirts and find a road to follow.

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These rocks aren't as comfortable as a mattress, but after hours of walking Bruce could probably sleep anywhere. He passes out immediately, and Jennifer follows not long after.

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In the morning, the cocoon is empty... and about half their food is gone.

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"That thief! What a sneaky, no-good thing to do."

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"Yeah, that's so mean! But I guess we didn't see any food with them, so maybe they were starving."

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"I guess . . . Hey, they left their clothes! I'm gonna say finders keepers, since they took our food. Now let's go, we need to hurry if we're gonna reach Denver before what's left runs out!"

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Whenever they near Denver, they start hearing some grinding noises and low booms.

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They end up supplementing their canned food with wild blackberries and, ironically, some actual edible mushrooms. The sounds are pretty frightening, but turning around won't help and finding out what the noises are is probabpy better than letting their imaginations run wild about it. They creep toward the source of the noise.

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Which happens to be a naked, rainbow coloured child in a flying bathtub trying to avoid the fists of an oddly pastel coloured giant robot.

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"Surrender to the Steel Sentinels!"

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They stare at the rainbow kid and the giant robot for a bit. "Which one is the good guys?" asks Jennifer. 

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"Can't we be friends?"

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The robot turns into a tank and tries firing at the boy.

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