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Life Versus Living

By Faythren

Action / Adventure

Prologue - Liv

It's not easy being Olivia Hoskins. Or, at least, it's not easy being Vic Hoskins's daughter. She'd rather just be Liv, and most of the time she can be. Her parents are divorced, have been since she was little, and her mother has the majority custody over her. When she's with her mom, she's just Liv and it's easy. Her mom is the executive assistant to the CEO of a multimillion dollar company. Suffice it to say, she cares more about her boss than she does her daughter. Liv doesn't mind though, so long as she thinks of it logically. She's perfectly capable of taking care of herself, getting to school, making dinner, making sure her homework is done. She learned to be responsible at a very young age and she's good at it. She stays out of her mom's hair and the two of them cohabitate quite peacefully.

Every other weekend, though, Liv isn't with her mom. She's shipped off to stay with Vic, leaving Friday afternoon and returning Sunday afternoon. During those 48 hours she's not Liv anymore. She's Olivia, as her father calls her, despite the number of times she's told him she prefers Liv. During that time she's not just taking care of herself, she's trying to survive.

Vic has high standards for her, the bar almost unattainably high. She's allowed to get an A but not an A-, though an A+ is acknowledged with very little praise. She must be perfectly polite, not talk out of turn, and has to keep her nose out of his business. To fall even an inch off this line is met with severe discipline, and Vic decides that five years old is old enough to take a belt to the back or wrists. However, that leads to something none of them expected.

She's X-gene positive.

Genes are the building blocks of all living things. They determine hair color, height, the shape of a face. They can help determine a person's talents, if someone will be fast enough for cross country racing, if someone will have a natural disposition towards art.

However, the X-gene determines special kinds of talents, talents not all humans have. If someone has the X-gene, it can give that person special abilities which seem almost magical at times. The ability to control magnetic fields. The power to read and control minds.

It can activate either with puberty or because of extreme emotional and/or physical circumstances. Society calls those with the X-gene mutants, because they are a new form of human, one that is rare and outlier to the normals.

They find out she's a mutant when Vic gives Liv her first welt.

Her body reacts and before their eyes the welt heals, by itself, within minutes. The ability to heal oneself has been seen before in the mutant community and is commonly known as a healing factor. Vic makes her swear never to tell anyone she's a mutant, not even her mom. On one hand, she can understand it. She isn't too keen on letting everyone know she's a mutant either. Mutants aren't exactly accepted in the world with open arms. More like with fear and distrust. The ridicule in school alone would probably be more than she can bear, all because she was born different. All because she can do things almost no one else can.

Vic, however, uses it as an excuse to hit her as hard and as often as he wants. If she heals in minutes then it doesn't matter, right? Other than that he doesn't care about her mutation, though the way he looks at her sometimes whenever she heals makes her wonder if he really is as apathetic as he appears to be, though it isn't the usual fear. Whatever the truth, he hasn't tried to understand more about her abilities.

But Liv has learned.

It doesn't take her long to realize it's more than just a simple healing factor. She can sense the life in everything. It's like an aura she can see if she concentrates hard enough, colors overlapping with the real world like a fine mist or a fog. Plants are green. Insects are yellow. Animals are orange. Humans are red. It seems the more intelligent the life, the darker the color. And with humans and some of the more intelligent animals, like dogs, she can see the bonds that have been forged, between people and people, dogs and dogs, even dogs and humans. Relationships, families, lovers, friends, it doesn't matter so long as it creates a lasting connection between them. The bonds appear as a string of light running from one to another.

And to see it all is like a galaxy before her eyes.

She can do more than just see the life force in others, though. If she tries hard enough she can manipulate it. She can nurture it, make it grow and prosper, allowing her to make plants grow from a seed to a blooming flower in the palm of her hand, or heal a wounded animal. She imagines she subconsciously does it to herself whenever she heals.

Finding the time to practice has always been hard, but then the eighth wealthiest man in the world, Simon Masrani, buys InGen and invests the time, money, and resources into creating the dinosaur theme park known as Jurassic World. Masrani makes Vic the head of the InGen security division in charge of protecting the island and its inhabitants, and because of it Vic has to basically move to the island. Meaning on the weekends when Liv is shipped off to stay with Vic, she's shipped off to Isla Nublar.

Things change a bit between her and Vic after that. He lets her wander off to explore the island and the attractions, his job and status giving her VIP access, and so long as she causes no trouble and stays out of restricted areas, he leaves her alone, too busy with his own job to care. So she explores every nook and cranny, scouting out all the areas accessible to visitors, and some of the ones that aren't, and some she probably shouldn't go into but still does. Her mutation allows her to sense when guards are coming and it doesn't take long to figure out where all the security cameras are. With her knowledge she finds the places where she can be alone in peace and practice her abilities.

The island has become a sort of sanctuary, a place where she can be herself, a mutant, without having to fear someone finding out, and because of his job she hardly ever sees Vic when she's there. She's beaten less. She can almost convince herself that she's happy and that her family really isn't so bad.

But then InGen starts up a new behavioral research project with the Velociraptors and hires Owen Grady.

Then she finds out that her definitions of "happy" and "family" may not be the right ones.

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