Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and Happy Holidays to those who don't. This is the penultimate chapter of the Redux of the first story. That means I will be able to get the last chapter up before the end of the year. As you might know, I have started posting the original version of Truth Be Told up here, so after this one is done, the Redux of Truth Be Told will start showing up. Also, I shall be posting some of my other stories up here on Comic vine, as well as providing in my blog a listing of all the links the stories have. So please check these out as I post them up.
As always, this was originally posted under my name, Richard B Sampson Jr., on Fanfiction.net
Attention: Generation X and their villains, as well as any other mutant mentioned in this story, is property of Marvel Comics. The character Richard Cale is named after family relations. Any other reference to anything copyrighted is a chance happening.
Chapter 12: Triumph (Original version)
Emplate was almost surprised when Richard collapsed. He had deduced that when he forced his power on the mutant, there would be complications. The outward appearance seemed to be that of a person having an epileptic seizure. As it progressed, he started to see the physical changes taking place. The young man's skin turned ashen grey, and similar scars started to appear on his body.
He knew what would need to be done now, and was glad he came prepared. He looked at his manservant, and said, “D, bring over the spare respirator. It looks like Mr. Cale will be needing it.” He laughed at his own comment, as well as the pain Cale was going through. Judging by Yvette’s own actions, he knew she would be very afraid at this point.
As he realized that, he also noticed the seizures were stopping, almost as if Richard was regaining control of the transformation. Someone had to be helping him, and he had a small list of suspects on that one. It had to be one of the psychic mutants. He looked around, and locked his sights on Emma Frost. Her eyes were glowing, which was the tell tale mark of a mutant really using their powers. He pointed at her, and said "Stop her. She'll ruin everything."
As the command was said, he saw Murmur, his minion that looked like a mummy, kick Emma Frost in the midsection. To her credit, he noticed Emma only lost concentration. He did, however, hear a cry of pain from his sister, signifying that she felt the pain that Emma felt. It brought a smile to his face, and he coldly said to Monet, "This is for everything, Little Sister."
At this point, he noticed that Richard Cale had completely transformed. With Monet partially out of it, he took that moment to deactivate the chairs, and pulled Richard out of the one the boy had been in. Once that was done, he reactivated the chairs, and watched the young man. The transformation had been amazing, and other than the difference in height, Richard Cale had almost become a complete copy of him. He then watched as Richard looked at him, and saw that there was no fight in those eyes. The boy's will had been defeated by Emplate's own personality, and knew his place. "Master Emplate, how may I serve you?" It was the final sign of his victory. He had even heard a few gasps of defeat come from Generation X.
Now was the time to test his new servant. While the young man stayed near his side, no doubt recalling the distance limitation of his own power, Emplate asked the question he knew the answer to already. "Do you hunger, my servant?" He watched as Richard nodded, a slight bit of reluctance in it. He had expected a bit of reluctance, since he wasn't a true thrall. While thralls still could resist the urge, once they fed, the could not be turned back. Since Richard's powers were temporary until he held the ability for about a week, Emplate knew that any supping the boy did would not lock the hunger in on him. It would cause some psychological scars though, if the unthinkable happened.
With that in mind, Emplate directed Richard over to the one person he wanted to inflict a special pain on. With malice in his eyes, Emplate said, "Then for your first snack, I want you to sup on Ms. Lee. Not a lot though, since I don't want you to inadvertently set off a Fourth of July moment here." He still recalled the way Jubilee had tricked him last time, and if Richard had any fight left in him, Jubilee's power in too high a quantity might tip things in the wrong direction.
As Richard approached the girl, Emplate took delight in watching Jubilee panic. It was even in her voice as she started to plead, no doubt in an effort to get at what ever spark might be left in Richard Cale. "Rich. Stop. You don't want to do this. You don't want to hurt me. You're my friend, remember." Emplate wasn't sure how she thought that was possible, since Richard had only arrived here in the past few days. Friendships weren't something that could be formed overnight.
As he suspected, and took delight in, Richard grabbed Jubilee's arms, and the process had begun. Both Jubilation and Monet howled in pain, but he heard Richard's voice mixed in with those howls. It was as if the boy was delivering a deadly blow of his own. "Survival is first and foremost. There's only one thing that would supersede that." While Emplate wasn't certain about that, he did know that the attack would cripple the morale of the group.
He waited for a moment or two before finally making Richard stop. He didn't want Jubilation dead just yet. He had planned to sup on her again, and then turn her over to Everett, after he enthralled Everett again. No, he had something special in mind for Richard. First, though, he wanted to inflict a few more blows to Jubilation's ego. "Richard, I would like you to test a bit of Ms. Lee's abilities on herself. I know she could reabsorb her own powers, but I don't think that works for someone else using her powers." He saw Richard nod, and then start to shoot Jubilee with her own powers.
As he expected, the powers weren't reabsorbed, and caused angry welts to appear on the Asian mutant, with similar welts appearing on his sister. It was perfect, and he felt now was the time for the ultimate test. He then glanced at the metal box he had Penance in.
Yvette could only watch everything that was playing out from inside her prison. She had cringed a little when she heard the screams. She realized what was happening. Emplate was making Richard hurt her classmates. She was aware that Richard couldn't help it, since it was Emplate's personality controlling him. She understood that, since she was once under that control. Luckily, the screaming stopped, but it was replaced with the raspy voice of Emplate, and he was talking to Richard. “Very good. Now it‘s time for your ultimate test. Are you ready?” She didn‘t like the sound of that.
She couldn‘t stop the shudder that went through her when she heard another raspy voice say, “Yes, Master.” She did notice, and it gave her some hope, that there was reluctance in Richard‘s voice. There must still be a part of Richard‘s psyche fighting what Emplate had done to him. If that was the case, could she somehow reach out to it?
She had a feeling she was going to find out before she could figure away to do so. The two figures were now approaching the box, and she saw one reach down to open it. She had a feeling that she was that ultimate test Emplate had mentioned. She was stronger now, not like the last time when Emplate tried this. Of course, that was because of Richard that she had the fight in her to resist Emplate.
At that point, light flooded her as the box was opened. She saw both Emplate and Richard looking down at her, and she saw Emplate point to her. It was then she realized what Emplate was planning. “Feast on her. Break her will. Enthrall her. Make her yours.” She glance at Richard, and noticed something now in his eyes. It wasn‘t the hunger that was always in Emplate‘s eyes. There was love in his eyes, as well as an internal struggle. After a moment, something happened that changed everything.
Richard was still fighting with Emplate’s personality, and he was losing hope. Emplate had made him hurt Jubilation, and in turn hurt Monet. It was a severe blow to his psyche. Now, as he was made to look in the box, he knew what Emplate wanted him to do. Emplate wanted him to feed off Yvette. He couldn’t allow that to happen. He wasn’t going to hurt her. She was something to him.
As he looked on, in his mind, he heard a figure behind him say, “There she is, helpless. You’d find her quite willing to allow you, and you’ll truly enjoy the feeding.” For the first time, he chanced a glance back, and he saw a figure behind him. It was an young man of African descent, and for a moment, he had a sense that he knew this figure.
He realized who it was, and why they seemed familiar to him. It had to be the spirit of Marius St. Croix, the foul figure that was Emplate. It was urging him to hurt Yvette in the worst way a man could hurt a woman. He wasn’t going to do that. He loved her.
In that moment, he spoke, and the words echoed in both his mind, and in the real world. He knew Emplate was behind him in the real world, glaring over his shoulder, right at Penance. Richard saw the fear in Yvette’s eyes, and he couldn’t bare to see that. While he couldn’t stop Emplate’s personality before, he could do it now. He felt the strength of his own self surging forward, fueled by the love he felt for Yvette.
In that moment, he said a few words, and when he uttered them, he saw hope in Yvette’s eyes. “There is one instinct stronger than the need to feed.” In that moment, he rammed his elbow back, catching Emplate in chest. The blow took the fiend by surprise, sending him flying backwards, and caused the villain to drop something.
As Emplate’s minions watched in shock, Richard quickly grabbed the object, and then picked up Yvette. He held her over his shoulder, and ran further into the Biosphere. He had to take this moment to put enough distance between him and Emplate. Once he had managed to do so, he could figure a way for them to stop Emplate.
Once he was certain he put enough distance between them and the site Emplate had claimed, he put Yvette down and asked, “Are you alright, Yvette?” Deep down, he hoped she would respond, even though his outward appearance was that of Emplate. He needed to be sure she was alright.
To his relief, he saw Yvette nod. “Yes, now that you are back to being yourself. I was scared for a moment, until I saw your eyes change.” She then held up her shackled hands. “But can you do something about these? I’m defenseless with these on.” He blinked, and then remembered the other thing he had picked up. It was a control, and he was certain it was the way to release Yvette, as well as the others.
Emplate got up, but not before Richard had ran off with Yvette. How had his plan gone wrong? Obviously, he had not realized how deep the feelings this new person had for Yvette, and that was just in three days time. It also made things worse that Richard had managed to get the control unit for the restraints. With that control in Richard and Yvette’s hands, the other members of Generation X could be freed. He had to find the two before things went too far out of his control. Once Emplate was back on his feet, he said, “This is only a minor set back. Once we find the two of them, we can…”
He stopped talking when he heard Jubilation Lee laughing. It was not a good sign, but it wasn't something he couldn't turn in his favor. He just had to know the reason. He glanced over at her, and he saw an almost gloating look on her face. "Looks like a repeat of last time." He quickly glanced over at the chair his sister was in, and saw she had left. He hadn't heard the click that caused his sister's release, but she was free, and no doubt tracking Richard and Yvette.
He did, however, notice something else. Every one of the Generation X members still had the special collars on them. Richard had obviously not found the release for the collars. He glanced over at Vincentte and said, "I think Ms. Lee is having some problems breathing. Why don't you assist her?" He watches as his minion nodded, and turned into his gaseous form.
As the purple gas flowed into Jubilee, he heard her start to cough, and he smiled. He decided to add insult to the injury, by saying, "No, this will not be like last time." He then glanced up in the air. As Jubilation was choking, he saw his sister fall towards the ground, and where she was falling wasn't to far away. He could be there in a matter of minutes. No doubt that when he got there, he would regain control of Richard, and then all of Generation X would be his.
When Monet heard the click, she took to the air. It was easy with the confusion caused by Richard breaking free of her brother's control. Now, with Richard and Yvette being the only capable members of Generation X being free, she had to find them. Part of her hoped that while she was in the air, Richard would deactivate the collars. If he didn't, she figured her brother would hurt one of them to hurt her.
When she finally saw Richard and Yvette, she started to fly towards them, and she realized she was right about her brother hurting someone. She was having a hard time breathing. She was choking, and losing consciousness. With that, she lost control of her abilities, and fell to the ground.
Before she was about to hit the ground, she was surprised to feel someone catch her, and the sensation of choking stop. She looked at the person who had caught her, and was surprised to see it was Richard. At least, she was certain it was him, especially when he asked, “Monet, how did you get free?”
She realized that he was unaware of the fact that he had released her. She did notice that Richard hadn’t grab her with his hands, since the shackles that had been around Penance’s hand and feet were in his hands. She got on her feet then, and said, “I’m guessing that you must have deactivated the chair I was restrained in when you were working to release Penance from her bindings.” She pointed at the device which Richard still managed to hold on to in his hands. “We need to use that to remove the collars from me and the others.”
She reached for the control, but Richard pulled it back. “Wait. I’ve had an idea. We just need to get yours off for now.” She watched as he looked over the unit, and the pushed a button. To her relief, she felt the collar that was around her neck release. To her surprise, she saw Penance grab it, and for the first time, Penance didn’t have claws, but delicate hands. She even noticed that Penance’s hair was no longer spiky, but a flowing mane of red hair. She was still in shock when Penance said, “Richard wants us to sneak this on Emplate when Emplate gets here.”
Instantly, Monet understood Richard’s plan. “I get it. Penance sneaks the collar onto Emplate somewhere, and then when anyone strikes the others, he feels the pain. But how do you plan to get him close enough?”
They heard movement approaching them, and she saw Penance duck into some nearby shrubs. Richard then said softly, “I’m going to use your nightmare to our advantage. He’ll see me going to sup on you, and he’ll move in. I’m betting when his personality goes to reassert, it will bring the flaw with it. He can’t sup on you because your siblings.”
Monet nodded, and softly said, “I see, but that means when it happens, you might get thrown, or knocked unconscious.” She saw him nod briefly, and she knew he was aware of what it meant. She also realized he knew it was the only choice they had.
She saw the fear in his eyes, especially as he said in a quiet voice, “If this works, tell Yvette what to do to keep me safe. I may need medical attention.” She nodded, and was almost puzzled by the use of the name, until she realized who it referred to. She then braced herself, and prepared for the attack, since she saw her brother approaching.
Richard heard the sounds of Emplate’s approach, and tried to put himself in the proper mindset. He had to make sure Emplate thought he was back in his control. He already felt the presence enter his mind, trying to reassert control. This would be tricky, since it was possible that it might read the plan in his mind. Thankfully, Monet had already braced herself for what had to be done.
Thankfully, she was starting with a perfect scream of panic. He had put his hand on her shoulder, and held as tight as he could dare. He didn’t want those mouths starting to eat before Emplate got close enough, and before Yvette did what she had to do. It would be hard, since Monet was almost hysterical in her scream and pleads. “No, Richard. Don’t do it. You’ll kill me.”
He had to remain quiet, and concentrate. It was obvious that Emplate was too focused on him, because he heard the quiet click of the collar, and no sound of surprise when Emplate said, “I see you’ve return to my control. Now let me get close to make sure you don’t slip again, and so I can enjoy this show.” He heard a pleased tone in Emplate's voice.
He had to make sure he sounded convincing when he spoke. He hoped he got the tone right as he said, “The master has always wanted you dead.” He then started the sickening process. It was short though, as some sort of psychic explosion hit him, and he felt his body go flying through the air.
He hit the ground at the same time he heard a groan and another thud, like Emplate just hit the ground. He wasn’t entirely sure of it, since he was starting to give in to the darkness of unconsciousness. In fact, just as he went unconscious, he uttered four, hope-filled words. “I got you, Emplate.”
The second Richard hit the ground, Yvette came out of her hiding spot, and went over to him. So far, it appeared Richard’s plan was working. His eyes were closed, and she had no doubt that Richard was unconscious. That made her relax, since she realized Emplate’s power would soon be leaving Richard. That thought even made her smile.
She then heard Monet call to her. “Penance, take Richard to the med unit and stabilize him.” She looked over at Monet, and her teammate, the sister of the monster that plagued her life, told her exactly what she needed to do. She was glad Monet didn’t linger over the details, since she didn’t know how soon Emplate would start to stir, but once she had them, she picked up Richard and ran.
She was glad that no one stopped her as she ran. There were a few explosions, which told her the reason why no one tried to stop her. No doubt that Monet had now managed to release the others from their own bindings, deactivating whatever hindered her friends’ powers.
When she finally reached the Medical Center in the school, she laid Richard on one of the beds, and did everything Monet had told her. She even realized that it was the same bed she had woken up on so many times, usually when Emplate was again trying to assert mental control over her. She knew those battles had been intense, and her time with these people who cared about her made her stronger, allowing her to last longer before he gave up. It gave her a sense of what Richard was going through.
She placed a now delicate looking hand on Richard’s chest, ignoring the fact that he still had on the respirator that made him look like Emplate. She didn’t know if he could hear her, but she sat down next to him, saying “Don’t worry, Richard. I will stay by your side.” She didn’t want to chance Emplate somehow getting at them here, and Richard being vulnerable to him. She then laid her head down on his body, and waited for the fighting to stop.
Jonothan realized something had changed, and it was in their favor. His mutant abilities were coming back to him. He also noticed that all of Emplate’s minions were staggering in pain. Something serious had happened to Emplate, and they needed to take advantage of the moment. The new student had managed to break free and rescue Penance, and Monet had somehow gotten free. Had the two cooked up a plan at the last second? If they had, it was obviously working.
He glanced over at Everett, and noticed his teammate’s mutant aura was glowing, and spreading out. If that was happening, then he was certain he could use his powers to communicate again. “Synching up with my ability, Synch?”
He saw his friend nod, and then heard him use the ability to speak on the same level with him. “Yep. Think we can break all the bonds with a combined blast?” He nodded, glad that Everett had the experience to predict his thoughts. He then saw Everett let loose with a psychic blast almost exactly like his own abilities. He followed it up, and the sounds of two explosions echoed through the Biosphere.
His ears rang for a moment, but he did see that everyone of the Generation X members were now on the ground, with most of them standing. Everett had rushed over to Jubilation, as did Sean. She had had the worst done to her, and he hoped she would recover quickly. While Jubilation could be annoying from time to time, her experiences with the X-Men had also allowed her to develop quite the tactical mind.
It was at that moment he saw Monet fly into the clearing, taking in the sight of all of Generation X standing, and Emplate’s own goon squad starting to get back on their feet. Before he could even ask her, she said to him, at least, “I had found Richard and Penance. He came up with a plan. I won’t say more, except Emplate now has the collar I had been wearing.” Jonothan processed that for a moment. He remembered seeing Monet suffer whenever something was done to one of the others. If that item was now on Emplate, Emplate wasn’t aware of it.
He wasn’t going to get a chance to fully mull it over. He saw Emplate erupt out of the foliage, and he saw pure anger in the fiend’s eyes. He obviously didn’t feel overly set back by all of them being free. He did have an advantage in that moment. Almost everyone was still recovering from being restrained for so long. They weren’t ready to fully fight yet. That didn’t stop Emplate from pointing at Monet and saying, “I am not losing this time, sister. Everyone will suffer for this, and you’ll feel all of it. You’ll even beg for me to kill you.”
Jonothan might not be up to full strength for pulling his maneuver, but he he would take advantage of what Monet had just told him. He started to run at Emplate, saying, “Well, you won’t recapture us too easy then.” He was not going to use his power on Emplate. He had already felt having his power turned against him. Besides, he figured Emplate might not fully expect an physical attack.
What happened next took him by surprise. It wasn’t the fact that Emplate backhanded him to deflect his attack. He was already prepping to fall when the attack was delivered. It was the fact that as he felt, he saw Emplate stagger back in a similar way, obviously taken back by what had happened.
While Emplate was stunned, causing his minions to hesitate some more, he heard Sean come over to him, and help him up. “Lad, are ye alright?” The question was then followed by Bulwark showing up next to Sean, and striking the Irishman in the stomach. That action was also followed by Emplate, who had just gotten back up, to act like he too had been struck in the stomach.
That move had been followed by what appeared to be fireworks sending the big brute flying. Jonothan could see it was Everett doing it, since the fireworks were that same rainbow aura. In that moment, Jonothan also saw that some of Emplate’s other minions were starting to retreat, like they knew they were at a disadvantage.
As everyone one of the Generation X members gathered into a group, he saw Emplate struggle to get to his feet, a look of comprehension in his eyes. He saw Emplate look down, especially to one leg, and then heard a growl come from Emplate. “I see now.” The gaze was then turned back to them, and Emplate just said, “It seems I underestimated the ingenuity of Yvette and the new student here. I won’t make that mistake again. Next time, you won’t be so lucky.”
Before anyone could react to the statement, Emplate faded out of synch with reality, disappearing in thin air. The rest of Emplate minions ran as well, the last being the big German brute, Bulwark. He wanted to rush after Emplate, but he knew it might not be the wisest move. Still, he couldn’t help but think that this little retreat might be an attempt at a fake out.
Before he could say anything about his suspicions, he heard Monet speak up. “I think he’s fled. He had not expected Richard to break free of his control. It may be some time before he strikes again, and we need to get Jubilation some treatment.”
He had to agree with that one, a little surprised by the statement as well. He knew Jubilation and Monet weren’t exactly the best of friends. They were both seeking the attention of Everett. Of course, the concern could also be a bid for that affection. He put it out of his mind, especially as they all started to move to the med center. Emplate may have left, but for some reason, Jonothan felt certain another surprise was waiting for them.
End of chapter.