Portrayed by Britt Robertson
|Birthdate:||December 30, 1994|
|Journal:||Labels are for Soup Cans|
|Player:||Available for Applications|
This character is currently unplayed, but is open for applications. If you are interested in applying for this character, you can contact the mods at x_moderators @ googlegroups . com and you can find the application form here.
Layla is mistakenly believed to be a newly manifested mutant with a power most would envy. She gives life to the dead. According to Layla she raises zombies. She is currently at the Attilan school, learning in a mutant-friendly society.
Character Journal: x_butterfly
Real Name: Layla Miller
First Appearance: October 3, 2011
Date of Birth: December 30, 1994
Place of Birth: Hell's Kitchen, NY
Relatives: Patrick and Melissa Miller (both deceased)
Education: high school Junior
Relationship Status: In a relationship with Sarah Vale
Occupation: Student and general annoyance
Team Affiliation: New Mutants
Layla was born to Patrick and Melissa Miller in the winter of 1994. Her dad was a firefighter and her mother a schoolteacher. The Millers adored their blue-eyed baby girl. They were hardly well-off people but they were pretty simple. They’d spend most weekends in parks, go ice skating in the winter, take trips out to the Bronx zoo (which little Layla loved) and hung out in their neighborhood. The Millers had grown up in Hell’s Kitchen, both of their families having been there since the late 1800’s, and their ties in the neighborhood went deep. Despite the gentrification of the neighborhood they stayed.
Layla did well in school. She liked stories and animals so she tended to pay attention to animal-related biology, history and english classes the most. Her mother claimed she learned to be a tomboy from her father, often hanging around the fire house when he was working. It was some of the guys there who first introduced her to a skateboard and taught her how to ride one. For her 9th birthday Layla even finally got her own skateboard as a group present from all the guys at the fire house. She was in love with it but it was too icy out for her to put it to immediate use.
Two days later all her post-Christmas, post-birthday happiness would be obliterated. Layla’s parents went out for New Year’s Eve and left Layla with their neighbors whose own child was a friend of hers. At approximately 3 am New Year’s Day 2004 Patrick and Mellisa Miller were hit in a head-on collision with a drunk driver while they were returning home. Mellisa was pronounced dead at the scene. Patrick died on the way to the hospital. Layla was woken up at 3:30 am by the Ryans telling her there was an accident. Mr Ryan went to the hospital where the Millers had been taken while Mrs. Ryan and her son Daniel stayed at home with Layla. The young girl stayed with them only until the Department of Social Services showed up to take her away.
The Ryans applied to be foster parents so they could take Layla in but their application was denied. Numerous others who were willing and able in the neighborhood who knew the family tried as well. After she had been separated from the Ryans Layla had fallen in to a sort of stasis. The girl's causality mutation had manifested and outcomes of actions and decisions kept springing up in her head non-stop for every little decision she or anyone else around her made. She was literally paralyzed with the bombardment of information and quickly succumbed to insomnia. Social Services believed the girl was paralyzed with fear of making the wrong decision and winding up dead like her parents. It was put down to an extreme reaction to grief and Layla’s first foster family wound up being people she knew who had some experience with traumatized children. But Layla just wasn’t the same kid she had been before the accident. Her effervescence had been snuffed out by the death of her parents and the manifestation of her powers. The little girl was left feeling lost, not even registering the familiar surroundings. She was put into intensive therapy, which she hated. Her subconscious learned to cope over the next year. The therapists thought she was getting better and dealing with the grief of her loss but really her causality was getting shut down by her own mind so the girl could do something other than worry about where every single decision might lead her and which outcome was best. Layla just thought she couldn’t stop thinking. She was put on medication for insomnia at this time as well as for depression.
Passing her former home was difficult for Layla when she finally was able to function again. She hadn't had the time to really cope and grieve that everyone had thought she had due to the problems with her causality. Even though she was now much more responsive and able to get along she was still far behind where they had hoped she'd be in her grieving process. Her social worker was concerned that Layla’s mourning period showed no signs of coming to a close more than a year after the deaths. Her foster parents tried to give her time and space to grieve and cope but they couldn’t pull her out of the hollow state she seemed to exist in still. Her social worker pulled her out of the home, assuming the home was contributing to the problem somehow.
Layla was moved out to Queens next. She was ten now but only stayed for a few months before she was moved again, this time to a home that would possibly turn into an adoption. The girl rebelled against the idea of becoming anyone else’s daughter so soon. She did everything in her power to make those people change their minds about adopting her. And it worked. She talked back, stayed out late and rarely listened to them. They gave her back. Her social worker marvelled at the girl’s ability to cause trouble so easily, and often seemingly out of nowhere.
This isn’t to say Layla had a terrible time in foster care. She had a lot of people who genuinely wanted to help her and be there for her and support her. She had a few who were just out for the check and that sort of worked for her because it meant they left her alone. But it didn’t really help and they could sort of be dicks to deal with when they were inconvenienced by having to deal with her or her school for anything. She also had some problematic foster kids in some of her placements who made life difficult. Mostly she did pretty well with her foster families, which is why no one understood why over and over she would suddenly start doing exactly what would drive the foster parents to suggest moving her to another placement.
The funny thing was, though, Layla had wanted to stay with some of those people. She had tried to do exactly what they needed her to in order to seal the deal but then it would blow up in her face. She had similar problems with maintaining a couple friendships, with the first girl she had a crush on and some misguided attempts to help people getting shoved around by bullies. It didn't happen too often so she put it down to seriously bad timing of shoving her foot in her mouth or her brain completely disconnecting from her ability to speak. Having important stuff blow up in her face only reinforced Layla's detachment. She kept losing stuff she wanted and pushing away people she didn't want to keep her which kept her pretty lonely despite her friends.
After years of Layla seeming to remain largely disconnected and sabotaging almost every single placement, her social worker thought it might do her some good to put her back in Hell’s Kitchen. It was the first time she’d been back since she had left that first placement. People remembered her. People recognized her. People were happy to see her. It really was like coming home. She even went to see her old apartment once. The people who lived there let her come in and walk around for a few minutes. That was kinda nice but it also opened old wounds she had worked hard to pack away over the years. Layla wound up crying on a rooftop for hours afterward. She didn’t notice the dead bird a few feet behind her take in a sudden breath and fly away.
The emotional strain of confronting her past and the memory of her parents caused Layla to manifest. What she and everyone else didn’t realize was that this was her secondary mutation manifesting, not her primary. Her causality is not something Layla has ever realized she has. She’s always just thought she was really clever with things like strategy and reasoning out likely consequences of actions. Layla has always thought about this as having really good intuition and street smarts. No one else has ever realized it happens at all.
At sixteen, however, her genetic status was indisputable. In times of high stress or emotional turmoil dead things would come back to life. A lot of road kill got up and walked off, disgusting everyone near by. Spiders would come back time and time again no matter how many times she tried to kill the damn things. They didn’t follow her home and she couldn’t control them, but people noticed it always happened when Layla was around. Holidays and birthdays were particularly bad and she did her best to give dead things a very wide berth, including graveyards and refusing to participate in a dissection for her science class.
Her foster family felt entirely out of their depth. The goldfish came back to life which wasn’t that bad. But when the rat with a broken neck that was still in the spring-loaded trap came back to life only to die from suffocation and repeat it again in front of their daughter they had to draw the line. Layla’s social worker was informed she was a mutant and that she needed a placement that could deal with her “particular situation.” That’s when Xavier was contacted.
Charles Xavier: Home for Wayward Children
Charles Xavier had never picked up Layla on Cerebro in the near seven years since she had manifested. She had been lost in the crowd of mutants in NYC, not to mention the global herd. Her social worker, Sandy, went digging for a suitable placement for a mostly rehabilitated, slightly troubled mutant girl. Over the years Layla had done a good job of pretending she was well-adjusted and had coped with the loss of her parents, an act she had learned out of a passionate desire to ditch the therapists. She had her quirks, so to speak, but she was generally a decent kid. It was just that her mutation was, well, disturbing.
Sandy's digging didn't have to go too far before she found Charles Xavier. He had a decent relationship with Social Services in more than one part of the country and fairly recently another young mutant from New York had been placed with him successfully. She contacted the professor and discussed Layla's case with him. Over the years Sandy had taken to trying her best to place Layla with people the girl approved of in hopes that it would help her reconnect and find a stable placement. Charles agreed to send a member of his staff out to talk to Layla about the school and what coming there would mean. If she agreed then Sandy would happily deal with the extra paperwork to place the girl somewhere out of the county.
Layla was successfully placed at Xavier's and quickly managed to settle in. She did however arrive just in time to get caught up in the Halloween Madness. Although Layla was unaffected by the possessions she ended up hiding with Sarah Vale in the maze to escape from the Big Bad Wolf. Sarah went on to become one of Layla's closest friends, and afer months of falling asleep watchin movies together the girls finally admitted their mutual attraction to one another and started dating.
It wasn't long after Layla and Sarah started dating that the girls found themselves caught up in the middle of a struggle with the island of Genosha. Layla met Philip Moreau while he was staying at the mansion and spent some time talking with him about the mutant situation in Genosha. Shortly after Philip was kidnapped Layla and the other New Mutants took part in a Mutant Awareness Rally which took place in District X. As members of the Friends of Humanity started to manifest powers Layla tried to stay out of everybody's way. Along the way she picked up a lost kid and brought him with her as they looked for a place to hide; unfortunately Layla was unable to protect her new charge and he died in front of her. Unconsciously Layla accessed her powers and using her ability to reanimate the dead brought the kid back to life. As he recovered he picked up her coat and left leaving a barely conscious Layla to be found by a searching David Haller. After she recovered Layla took part in the anti-Genosha demonstration which occurred outside the UN. While there Layla was kidnapped by the Genoshans along with the other students and staff at the demonstration, when she woke Layla found that she and the others were now prisoners of the Genoshans. In the aftermath of the X-Men's abortive rescue mission Layla wasn't able to stop herself from verbally taunting Thomas Moreau and was horrified when he killed Rachel Kinross in front of them. Layla was inconsolable, blaming herself for the younger girl's death. While on a trained being transferred from one holding facility to another Layla was amongst those rescued by Jenny Ransome, Layla joined Ororo's team in their assault on Prenova. After they escaped the team gathered to recover and plan their next move, and assault on Moreau's headquarters. Layla was part of the team that faced off against mutate Yvette, ultimately winning by taking out her handler. Layla then joined the assault on the giant upgraded Thomas Moreau, using her power of causality to help direct her teammate's fire to maximum effect.
A New Year and Attilan
Returning to the mansion Layla attempted to put the events of Genosha behind her, settling in the spend some time with her girlfriend before she went to college and catching up with her studies. Successfully surviving the new school year Layla had to deal with a rash of new students who started to arrive at the school. She settled in with her new roommate, Susan Storm - Phase 1 and the rest of the class for a hopefully quiet year of study. Layla managed to avoid any major mishaps in the run up to Christmas and announced in the new year that she was going to take a semester abroad in Attilan. That semester extended into a longer stay, as Layla decides what she wants to do with her life.
Weight: 117 lbs
Other Features: none
Layla has the ability to, literally, bring things back to life. The unfortunate drawback is that when she does this the soul doesn’t come along for the ride as well. The animal or person walks, talks, reasons and lives as if nothing has changed, but has no morals, conscience, empthy, sympathy or ethics. Even the most kind hearted person would return to life as a psychopath, essentially.
The limitations on what Layla can reanimate are based on mass and decomposition. Currently she can't reanimate anything bigger than about the size and mass of an 80 lb dog. Eventually she will max out at about 350lbs of mass Her powers return physical life, but cannot regenerate. Once connective tissues have decomposed, the heart has been removed or a brain has been damaged her mutation cannot fix it. For this reason, she is limited to the recently dead whose vital organs (brain, heart, lungs) and veins/arteries are intact. It’s possible that something can be reanimated which has had extensive physical damage, such as a rat half eaten by maggots. The rat, however, will wind up simply bleeding out as its heart pumps.
Exhaustion follows when she pushes her reanimation, as does soreness and aching. When performing at her upper limits Layla can wind up unconscious before waking with seemingly insatiable hunger and thirst, a fever, weakness and general serious illness of the sort which would reasonably land her in a hospital for a few days of observation though she would be fairly ill for weeks. With training the kick back will lessen, though never disappear.
Without proper and extensive training Layla will be unable to ever reanimate more than one animal or person at any given time. The larger the target and the longer it has been dead the longer it will take her to reanimate as well. With enough training a minor regenerative quality will become possible, but only insofar as to restore what is necessary for something to breathe, keep blood flowing, move and think.
Layla has no control over the individuals she reanimates and she does not have the power to deanimate them once she has brought them back to life. Any animal or person reanimated through her mutation can be killed in any way which would have killed them the first time around.
Causality is essentially seeing the cause and effect chain of events. Layla’s causality is, as of yet, unknown to her or others.
Layla's causality starts with the end result and only when she picks which result she wants to attain does she get the individual dominoes she needs to push over in order to get there. Getting this information happens just as quickly as it would for anyone reasoning through a situation in a “if I do this then that is likely to follow” way. The anchor or starting point is always anchored to an action being performed or a decision to act being made. She does not get visions, she simply knows things as she thinks them through.
This power goes off randomly without any apparent trigger and is highly unpredictable as a result.
There is a very short timeframe during which it can function. Currently Layla can only go through a chain of events for up to about a minute and a half to two minutes. Her causality is also limited in terms of outcomes. She gets five possible outcomes which have the highest probability of occurring. If a situation doesn’t have any clear possibilities that are more likely than others she simply cannot get a read on things.
Causality readings are also have a variable margin of accuracy depending upon the combination of total possible outcomes, free will and events which follow outside her “viewing window.” Eventually she’ll be able to get a viewing window, so to speak, of up to about fifteen minutes and will be able to “see” up to a dozen different outcomes, though the more outcomes the longer it takes her to see the bigger picture and the more information there is to process the more likely she won’t go through it in detail and therefore miss details (some of which may be vitally important).
The problem with her causality, aside from flaring at random, is that her causality is caught between her subconscious survival instinct which shuts her causality down for anything aside from fight-or-fight, danger scenarios and her Id. Somehow in the middle of that continuous struggle of what she needs to see to survive and what she wants to see she gets backlash. The more often she uses her causality the more likely she’ll get a bad reading. She may pick the best possible course of action only for it to turn out she was tricked to pick the worst one. Her powers essentially make things blow up in her face.
Chaos powers/magic and anyone using precognition or other future reading sorts of powers on Layla while her causality is in effect would wreck havoc with her timeline reading. Things would suddenly change in the middle and become such a jumble as to be incomprehensible as actions and decisions would change based on each person’s reading of the future, essentially nullifying any advantage Layla’s causality could grant her.
Her skateboard goes everywhere she does.
The only reason Layla isn't currently a year or more behind in school is that she spent several summers in summer school making up for missed time just after she first manifested her causality.
Player Icon Base: Britt Robertson