Alright. As you know, two years ago, I started posting the Cale Storyline up on Comic Vine. I had also started posted the revised version, which goes under the series title of Cale Storyline Redux. Then, I took a two year hiatus from it, due to getting overwhelmed with things in real life. Recently, I just started posting things in the original again, so now I'm going to try and get the rest of the redux up. My goal is to at least get the Redux of the first story up before the end of the year.
As always, this was originally posted under my name, Richard B Sampson Jr., on Fanfiction.net
|Generation X Cale Storyline Disclaimer|
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.
|Previous Stories and Chapters|
|Previous Chapter||Unwelcome Intrusions||(Original)|
Chapter 7: Bonding Part I (Original version)
Angelo Espinosa had wondered at first why these one on one sessions were going to be in the Biosphere, but it made sense. The biosphere was designed specifically for training purposes. It also made sense that he had seen Jubilee escorting Penance out of the building earlier. It was the best way for the new student to learn about their powers.
His attention was drawn back to the matter when Sean said from the control center of the Biosphere, "Alright, Angelo. Richard has decided to learn more about your powers in order of yur names. It's the best way to avoid any incidents like yesterday. I'll be sending Paige over in about an hour, that way it will give him not only enough time with your powers, but time for them to wear out."
He realized the full meaning of these training sessions now. He looked at the new student, and gave him a smile. "So, Rich, how do you wish to begin? Do you want me to tell you a bit about my powers, or do you want to use your power right away?"
He watched as Richard thought it over. Just for a moment, he could not tell what would be Richard’s choice. It was as if the new student was trying to build up an air of mystery. Then, the new student moved forward. "Well, we won't have much to talk about until I have your powers."
He noticed that the new student seemed a bit relaxed about it, but after a moment, he saw a puzzled look on his face. He knew way, as the guy's skin looked like it was melting off of him. Before Richard could ask him, Angelo just said, "Just concentrate on how your skin looks normally. Once you do, it will return to normal."
He watched as Richard closed his eyes, and then all the skin returned to a normal state. It took a few moments, but eventually Richard looked like he hadn't taken on Angelo's power. He also saw Richard reach up to press his fingers to his head. "Good grief, this is difficult. Does your code name help explain this?"
Angelo just laughed, mainly because he had gone through it. "It does, Amigo. I had the codename Skin. And after time, the headaches do go away. It also helps to have a sense of humor."
He watched as Richard nodded, and then said, "That explains the old bucket of water over the door trick. So what fun things can you do with this power? Or is this how you got the bucket set up?" He noticed that Richard raised his eyebrow, and Angelo wondered if the new student was expecting another trick.
Angelo raised his hands in a defensive gesture. "No tricks now. And I pull the pranks because I couldn't really pull them at home. I suppose you probably know why that is now."
He watched as Richard nodded a little. "I think so. I'll admit I've only picked up brief glimpses, something of a gang life that you gave up. For some reason, it's not as traumatic as I might have thought."
Angelo just shrugged. He could understand why that was. Since he had faked his death, he had been abducted by the Phalanx, almost killed by a cannibalistic mutant on multiple occasions, and to top it off, almost executed for ‘killing himself’ and ‘taking on his own identity‘. "Well, given what has happened to me in Generation X, I guess the hood seemed tame." He then recalled that whole event, and how he headed back home, in disguise. "Mind you, I saw how my 'death' changed things. I can't really go back now, since it would cause too many difficulties."
He noticed Richard was giving him a knowing glance. "Do you miss her?" He gave Richard a glance in return. He then saw Richard raise his hands in a surrender gesture. "Right, new topic. How exactly do your powers work? I can key in on the basics."
Angelo responded by launching out his skin, grabbing one of the trees, and then pulling himself up into it. He saw Richard nod, and successfully do the same. When they were both hanging in the tree, he just said, "This is the basic of my powers. I can use it to trip people up, and swing about like Spider-Man. However there are also some drawbacks to having an extra six feet of skin." He noticed Richard's eyes go wide at that comment, and decided to show Richard the benefits, and drawbacks of his power.
Paige Guthrie looked around the Biosphere, wondering where the new student was hiding. She was a bit nervous to have this one on one session with Richard, but if she was going to be an X-Man like her brother, Sam, she knew she could handle it. When it came down to it, this was one of the easier things to handle, next to the normal schoolwork. She knew Jubilee might disagree with her, especially when it came to math, but things like this were a bit more difficult, in her mind.
She was so focused on that thought that she jumped when a rustle cam from the tree in front of her, and Richard carefully lowered himself from it. "Sorry, Paige. I didn't mean to startle you. Angelo's powers just wore off." She could tell that as he lowered himself, it was a little awkward, like he didn't do a lot of climbing at all.
She calmed herself down, and tried to laugh it off. "It's alright, Richard. Ah take it you're ready to learn about my mutant powers." She wondered how he felt about taking on her powers. Some would think her power was disgusting, but she was alright with that. It had come in useful many times.
She watched as a wry grin crossed his face. "Well, given that Angelo only said that you rip your skin off, I'm both worried, and slightly fascinated." She then watched as he stepped forward. She waited for a moment, wondering how his body would adapt. After a moment, while no physical change had occurred, she saw him nod. "Alright. How does this ability work, and what is your code name?"
She rolled up her sleeves, and held up her one arm before answering. "Well, my code name is Husk. As for how the power works, first you focus on what you want the skin to be, and then you do this." She dug her fingers in to her skin, and ripped. To anyone unfamiliar with her power, they would have expected a lot of blood with the action. What actually happened was her skin ripped away like paper, leaving an arm of pure diamond.
She heard Richard let out a low whistle. "Whoa. And you can do the same with that?" She nodded, and she could see he was impressed. He then looked at his own arm and started doing the same. "I can only imagine the havoc this caused on your outfits. Also, do you change back on your own, without..." She heard him trail off, obviously unsure of how to continue the question.
She crossed her arms in front of her as he revealed a hand and arm of pure obsidian. "Yes, if I don't change back on my own, I change back over time. It is handy for enduring some fights, or quickly fixing some wounds." She looked at the stunned look on his face, and then said, "And yes it has caused some problems when I've shed a full uniform, and changed back. By the way, black definitely suits you."
She watched as he looked at his arm, and then blushed. "Thanks, but you better not let Penance hear you say that. She might get jealous of you." She then saw him regain his composure, and then look at her. "Besides, I think you have a guy here who cares for you. He's just unsure of how to express it."
She thought about that for a moment. Had that been Jono's problem at Thanksgiving, causing him to shout at her in anger. She wondered if he felt bad about doing it, and she quickly realized he did. It must have been something Richard had picked up on during his brief time holding Jono's powers. She was thinking about that until she noticed that Richard had managed to shed the skin he had changed.
All of sudden, an idea hit her. She looked at him, and then looked around the Biosphere. “Richard, Ah was just wondering if you’d like to join me jogging. I know you said you weren’t usually an early morning person, but it might help, since Penance is on the agile side.”
She watched as he thought about it for a moment. She wondered if he was already thinking about the possible future the two might have. She then saw him nod. “I think I might do that. I could use a little more exercise. What time do you usually go jogging?”
She smiled and responded. “Ah usually go out around 6:30, after I do a morning workout. We’ll meet in the kitchen then.” He nodded, and she decided that would be enough for today. Besides, she didn’t want Jubilee freaking out if when she arrived, Richard was using an ability that Jubilee had found disgusting.
Jubilation Lee quietly entered the Biosphere. Thanks to her time with the X-Men, and with Wolverine, she learned a bit about being prepared. Before entering, she had spoke with Paige, and heard how Richard had surprised her friend. Jubilee was not about to let that happen to her. If someone was going to surprise anyone, it would be her. Of course, it crossed her mind that this would not be the best way to introduce Richard to her abilities, but she was certain it would help Richard prepare for future encounters.
She spotted Richard sitting by a small little stream what was in the Biosphere. His back was to her, and she was good at being graceful. No one would believe she had taken gymnastics, but then again, she didn't advertise that. As she neared, she noticed Richard had raised his hand to his head, like he was having a headache. She realized what it meant, however, when she screamed right behind him. He jumped in fright, and as he spun around, she saw several pyrotechnic plasmoids fly out. They were, thankfully, low level, but they knocked her down. She did her best to absorb some of their energy, but she didn't think it would work. He had generated them, not her.
After a moment, she saw him look at her in shock. Then, Richard was helping her up, and in his panic, she was surprised to her a bit of her own speech pattern. "Geez, I'm sorry. I wasn't in control. It was, like, your own gut instinct, ya know." It was weird hearing that kind of speech from someone not from So Cal.
Once she was up, she brushed herself off, and tried to calm him down. "I know." She then thought back to the time she had been that scared. It had not been too long ago. She looked at Richard, and without even thinking of it, she just said it. "I know. The last time I was scared like that was..."
She was stunned when he completed the sentence with her. "when Sabertooth broke free in the mansion." She looked at him with complete shock on her face. How could he have picked up on that. Almost as if he knew the unspoken question, he answered it for her. "It was that traumatic for you. It was right there, but I couldn't pick up on the details."
Jubilee let out a slow breath, and was stunned that instance was still fresh in her mind, especially after all that had happened with Generation X. All that aside, she knew the reason it was still fresh in her mind. "It was the first time Wolvie wasn't there for me. The mansion had lost power, and Sabertooth got loose. I honestly thought I was going to die." She felt the tears welling up, but tried to hold them back.
She hadn't noticed that Richard had walked over to her, until he placed a hand on her shoulder. "If it's any consolation to you, I hope I never run into Sabertooth. I got the shivers when you just mentioned that incident." She let out a slight laugh, feeling a bit better.
She noticed a slight smile crossed Richard's face, as if the laugh made him feel better about bring up the memory. He then removed his hand from her shoulder and said, "Sorry about the plasma attack also. I also hope I'm not being mean in asking this, Jubilee, especially after bring up that memory, but what was it like, being an X-Man?"
That question startled her. After all her time with Generation X, no one wanted to hear her even utter the phrase 'When I was with the X-Men'. She gave him a dubious look as she responded. "You honestly want to hear those stories? No one here wants to hear them?"
His response was more surprising than the request. "Jubilee, don't take any offense at this, but what you lack in maturity, you make up for in experience. Heck, from what I can tell, you have to be at least seven years younger than me, and you have more experience in using your powers than I have using my own."
She almost beamed after hearing that, but stopped herself. Some instinct told her that he was enjoying this. She just gave Richard a wry smile, and said, "You are just enjoying this. How many others here do you plan to surprise in some way?"
She watched him act like he was thinking about it, before finally answering, "Well, it all depends on how jealous Penance might get. She is cute, and I don't want her to think I'm flirting." That made Jubilee chuckle. In fact, she was chuckling so much that she missed his next question until he repeated it. "So is Jubilee your code name, or your real name?"
She sighed, thinking back to another lifetime. It was not a name she used a lot, mainly because only her parents had used it. Still, it did not hurt to share that bit of information. "Yea, that's my nickname. My real name is Jubilation Lee. My parents had named me that after they arrived in America. Friends and classmates seemed to prefer calling me Jubilee. Sounds a bit better than my full name." She smiled, noticing that Richard was nodding in agreement. "Doesn't directly go with my powers, unless you figure that there are fireworks at a celebration."
She saw Richard nod in agreement, and then came the next question. "So how did you get to be with the X-Men? Did they come and find you, or.."
Before he could finish the question, she answered. "It's a long story, but it starts with me entertaining kids at a mall in So Cal, after my parents had been killed. I can tell you the full story later, but we should be focusing on powers."
She watched as he held up his hands, and she figured she answered a bit harshly. "Fair enough. Let me ask this, how powerful is this ability, and is it dangerous?"
She felt the life drain out of her at that moment, recalling one time when she let loose with her powers. It had been years since that incident, but it was still fresh in her mind. The anger that had been behind that blast. She then remembered how Richard reacted as she approached him. His actions had been like he was having a headache. "I won't lie. If I get angry, it is hard to control the sparks. One time, when I found the people who had killed my parents, the blast demolished a house."
She had not expected what Richard did next. Some people staggered back when they heard that. Richard went pale, and carefully sat himself down. “That’s not a comforting thought. I mean, that headache I had as you approached, I only briefly touched on those things. You may not think it, but your life hasn’t been as traumatic as others here. I don’t want to think what might happen if I have your powers, and I lose my temper.”
She blinked at that, remembering his reaction to finding out Emma probed his mind. “You mean you hadn’t lost your temper when you chewed out Frosty?” As reactions go, that one wasn’t one she’d call cause for alarm.
She started to worry when he shook his head. “No, that was nothing compared to the times I have lost my temper in the past. I have a bad habit of keeping my anger bottled up. Let’s just hope I don’t lose it if I have your power.” Her eyes went wide when he said that. All of a sudden, she had visions of something happening like the time Paige tried to kiss Jono. The only exception was that in the vision, it wasn’t a wall that was leveled, it was the campus. She now saw that if Richard’s anger was unleashed, he would be more dangerous than all of Generation X’s known foes combined.
She looked at him, and, in hopes of breaking any tension that this talk created, said “Richard, remind me to stay away from you when you are mad.”
She decided to step back for a moment, and heard Richard say, “Jubilee.” When she looked right at him, he just smiled. “Jubilee. Remember to stay away from me when I’m mad.” The tension that moment had created was gone, and Jubilee couldn’t help but laugh. She then decided maybe now was the time for a quick story, and decided to tell her new classmate about the time she saved Wolverine.
Mondo entered the Biosphere and walked in Richard's direction. He could see the new student still had Jubilee's power, seeing that the young man was shooting sparks from his finger tips. Even now, he thought that Richard's ability had to be similar to a combination of Everett's and his own. Of course, he had not fully witnessed the reformation of Richard's body after having Jonothan's ability, but it seemed like his reformation after using his ability. He quietly approached Richard, and waved a greeting. "Greetings, Richard."
He saw Richard look in his direction, and smile. "Hello, Mondo. I'm just waiting for Jubilee's power to finally wear off. While we wait, could you tell me about your power, and what your code name is?"
Mondo just smiled at the question. He figured this would be a slight surprise, since Richard had just gotten done learning about Jubilee's powers. "Well, my name is my codename. Life just seemed to have things work out that way, as it arranged for me to be here."
He saw a surprised look on Richard's face. After a moment, he saw Richard shake his head and smile. "You have an interesting look on life, Mondo, but you did not answer the other part of the question. You did not tell me about your powers."
Mondo did not let the kindhearted jibe bother him. With his power, he wasn't sure if he could do justice to explaining what his power was. In fact, he had only heard one word that seemed accurate in explaining his power. "Well, I guess the best term to describe my ability is that I am an omnimorph. Watch." He then placed his hand on the ground, and let his ability kick in. Soon, his hand started transforming into the ground he touched, and the transformation started moving up his arm.
He noticed that Richard had a look that could only be described as dawning comprehension. Then the new student moved forward, and did the same. "It looks simple, but something tells me this is only a small part of it. Let me try." Almost instantly, Richard had taken on his power, and was doing the same. Mondo was both amazed and impressed as both of them now appeared to be the same ground they were touching. "This is an interesting ability, Mondo, but what all can you do with it?"
Mondo smiled with delight at that question. It was one of his favorite things to do with his ability. "Ah, now this will make it more interesting. Come along." With that, he and Richard melted into the very ground they were absorbing. Soon, they had traversed the entire length of the Biosphere. It was easy to lose track of time in that form, but Mondo did not worry about that. However, he noticed that Richard was starting to return to normal. He worried that it wasn't voluntary, since he could not be certain if he had distanced himself from Richard or not. He quickly returned to human form, and tried to steady Richard as the new student seemed to stagger. "Is everything alright?"
He noticed the new student looked a bit flushed. Richard nodded slightly, and answered, “I’ll be fine in a few. It’s just that with all this going on, and my early wake up, I forgot to take the medication to control my epilepsy.”
That was all Mondo needed to hear. He left the Biosphere, with Richard at his side, and walked to the main building. As they walked, Mondo wondered how often Richard needed to take this medication, and if that could become a serious issue. There might not be time to do that, or the chance, if they came under attack.
As they entered the kitchen, he saw Sean there, fixing sandwiches for Artie, Leech, and Franklin. As he did so, he figured Sean must feel like a father. That thought was confirmed when he saw Richard, and concerned crossed his face. “Good grief, is something wrong?”
He was about to answer, when Richard volunteered the answer. “Nothing serious, Sean. I just lost track of time, and needed to take the medication I’ve been on to handle my epilepsy. It’s actually something I’ve been tapering off, since most signs of it have gone into remission. In fact, I’m down to one a day.”
Mondo noticed there was still a concerned look in Sean’s eyes, as he looked at Richard, and said, “Lad, surely that wasn’t the only option open to ye for treating that problem.” Mondo had wondered that as well. While he had only been in the states a short time, he had learned that there were other ways to handle that medical problem.
When Mondo heard Richard’s response, he finally understood something about the new student. “Honestly, sir, at the time I was diagnosed, the only possible treatments were medication and brain surgery. I thought the medication was the better option.” As Richard got some food together, he just said, “A lot better than the state the surgery might have left me in at the time.” If such an option had been presented to him, he would have thought the same as Richard, and maybe even had some of the views on life he had so far shared during the short time he’s been at the school. He then wondered how much that would change, as the time at the school increased.
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