The Butterfly Effect
by Kathryne

The Chaos Theory claims that a butterfly flapping its wings in Japan will create a snowstorm in America.

Ororo is much larger than a butterfly.

She can summon hail on a sunny July day or melt the snow in December, but nothing comes without a price. Years of being worshipped as a goddess in the Serengeti, where it was far too easy to take so much moisture from the air above one village that the next village over would suffer, had taught her that her weather-warping abilities could have a far different effect than what she had intended. Success required a delicate balance, a gentle touch, an intimate understanding of the way the weather patterns interacted.

Always very conscious of her responsibilities to her villagers, Ororo would sit for hours, her body still but her mind flying on the breeze. Her senses would float out, feeling the winds flow by, gauging what would happen if she pushed here and what she'd need to do in order to change it back. Ororo had never heard the word "physics" before she began teaching at Xavier's, but she spent hours at a time in contemplation of the axiom, "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction."

Two days ago, Ororo spun dozens of tornados from whole cloth above Westchester; today, she created a deluge above the White House, complete with thunder and lightning, without so much as dampening any of the other buildings on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Yesterday her best friend died.

She has had neither the time nor the energy to put the weather patterns back into order, but she is finally going home; as she concentrates on the Blackbird's controls, she feels an ache in the back of her head and knows that she will have to make up for her negligence, and soon.


They land just before sunrise and exit the jet to find a gaggle of students awaiting them, babbling wildly about the President's speech, which they had watched from the Mansion.

"What did you -"

"He said -"

"Did you see -"

Amidst the cacophony, it is easy enough for Ororo to slip out of the hanger and up the stairs to her attic room. She does not run, but she walks very quickly.

She strips off her uniform and collapses back onto the bed, hands over her eyes to block out her surroundings. The pain in her head has developed further, accompanied by sound, a constant susurration that makes it hard for her to focus enough to do what she must. Sliding off the bed, she assumes a lotus position and concentrates on her breathing, expanding her diaphragm and inhaling so deeply that her chest almost hurts.

Over the years, she has grown more comfortable with her mutant abilities. Wind, rain, sun - all manifest themselves as patterns of energy like threads humming through her.

She plucks a string and follows its vibrations back to its source. It leads her to a terribly tangled mess, threads tied up with each other as though someone's sewing kit has exploded. As she expands her perceptions, she realizes that similar clumps have formed in many nearby areas. She accepts her penance with a sigh and sets herself to teasing the tangles apart.

The job is even more difficult than she expects; it seems that every time she releases one knot, it triggers a burst of violent weather that she must diffuse. She is sweating freely as she tackles the last clump, barely keeping her emotions in check.

She thanks the Goddess that this last one is easier. Ororo plucks it apart with little difficulty, until just one knot remains, one that closely resembles a hangman's noose. As it finally straightens out, thunder rumbles outside and it begins to rain.

She stands and crosses to the window, opens it and floats out just in time for the first drops of rain to splatter against her exposed skin. As she flies - to nowhere, anywhere, somewhere - they mix against the salt on her cheeks and fall to the earth.


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