The Cale Storyline Redux Story 3 Chapter 4

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#1 Posted by RichGenX (987 posts) - - Show Bio

Author's Intro

Today, July 27th, after a very trying time which involved recovering from a work injury, a massive clean up of the apartment, and finally getting back to work, I am posting the second of two items today with the final rewrite chapter of Relatively Dangerous. Anyhow, with this posting, I finish this story's rewrite, and prepare to embark on the rewrite of the fourth story in the Cale Storyline, which is one of the key reasons I started this rewrite project. I hope you enjoy this rewrite chapter, and as always with these, I have links to the original incarnation of them.

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.

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Relatively Dangerous Redux

Previous Stories and Chapters
Previous Stories in The Cale Storyline (All links go to the first chapter)
Changes
Truth Be Told

First ChapterTrust(Original)
Chapter 2Family Secrets(Original)

Previous ChapterDreams Do Come True(Original)

Chapter 4: Revealed Truths (Original)

During the whole drive back to the school, Sean was worried. After the incident that happened after Richard had arrived, he was a bit worried what the current dream would mean. Would they return to a disaster, with all three students gone? Would they be walking into a trap when they got there? Or would they, he hoped, arrive to see all was well.

All the talk informing Daria about the threat that Emplate was hadn’t helped. While it was a good idea to give her some of the basics about their constant threat, it didn’t help him feel better about the situation they had left the others in. For that reason, the drive back felt like an eternity. The only upside to it was finding out about how Operation Zero Tolerance had worked, and it was amazing how they had secretly obtained all the security camera footage from the airport.

With all the tension that had built up during the drive back, the feeling of dread that had been building had finally come to a head. He saw the front door of the main building was in pieces. That only meant that the dream was coming true. When he finally stopped the van, he bolted out of it. He wasn’t alone, since he heard all the doors open. He rushed over to the door, noticing that everyone else came rushing forward, including the new student. No doubt they all had the same question on their minds.

Cautiously, they all approached the door, and entered the main hall. It didn’t look like anyone was about, but they could see the main hall was a bit of a mess. Pieces of the door were all over the floor, and some of the curtains were in ruins. It was enough to make everyone gasp in horror. Sean was even certain he could sense distress coming from Jono, which was only confirmed when he heard the lad say, “I knew I should have stayed behind.” He then saw Jono rush over to some curtains on the floor.

He did so as well once he realized what was there. He heard the rest of group behind him. Once they were all around the spot, he put a hand on Jono’s shoulder. On the floor was Paige, and he had a feeling that Jono was having some regrets about the events he had heard had happened at Thanksgiving. No doubt, Jono must have been thinking about those actions, and wanted to patch things up. He could understand that and had to offer some comfort. “Jono, we didn’t know what was going to happen. We knew almost nothing about the attacker, except that she was a woman. We didn’t even have a name.”

To both his surprise, and relief, they all heard a soft voice, and they all could tell it was Paige. She was obviously weak from whatever the attacker had done to her. At least she had enough strength so utter one word. “Aura.” It left him puzzled for a moment, but as he thought about it, he noticed something else. Paige had been carefully covered up, and he was certain that the attacker didn’t do that.

Sean looked at Jono, and noticed that he might not be much use in what might follow. He placed a hand on Jono’s shoulder, and said, “Get Husk down to the med center.” He saw the lad nod, and then he turned to Everett. “Synch, I want you to quickly seek out our intruder. It is very possible that the attacker is still her.” He then turned to Jubilation. “Jubilee, I want ye to get Daria to a safe place.” As he said that, he inwardly hoped that Jubilee might listen to the order, although he had a feeling her power might have an advantage in the battle.

To his surprise, the protest he had expected to come from her came instead from Daria. “Sir, I know I am new, but maybe I can be of a help.” A part of him didn’t want her to face this threat, but he also realized that she had probably seen images of stuff like this due to Zero Tolerance. He also tried to mentally weigh up the unknown nature of her powers. It would be a plus to have someone who might tip things in their favor when it came to an unknown power.

Before he could say anything more for or against it, he heard Everett say, “I think I found her, Banshee, if Skitz’s dream is correct about that part.” He watched as Synch’s aura headed down a hallway, and he didn’t have to give an order. Everyone who hadn’t been told to get down to the med center ran after the aura. He wondered if Synch would be able to fully use the attacker’s powers.

When they reached the spot the attacker was, he was horrified by the scene. First off, the attacker was obviously a blonde girl, probably between Richard and Yvette in age. While she wasn’t facing them, he could imagine the girl must have had a sneer on her face. She was standing in a way that appeared to have her hands clenched in front of her. In front of her was Richard and Yvette, hanging in midair. The two were obviously unconscious, and he had a feeling that one of them was just going unconscious.

Before he could say anything about being cautious, he saw Synch launch his aura at the girl. Somehow, the girl anticipated the move, as she turned, and kicked out at them with what appeared to be a sweep kick. The action wouldn’t have connected as they hadn’t gotten close enough to her, but he realized what was coming. He wasn’t ready though, since most of the group, including himself, got knocked off their feet. The only ones who didn’t fall was Jubilee, due to her gymnastic background, as well as combat experience, and Daria, who was out of range of the sweep.

The attacker, who had turned to face them, also made a motion which resulted in Richard and Yvette hanging in midair, but now next to one another, still unconscious. As they all go to their feet, she just coldly laughed, and said, “Wow, here I was worried, but you are all a bunch of pushovers.”

Sean didn’t care for the girl’s cocky attitude. He had gotten back to his feet, and he knew what he was capable of. It was possible for his sonic scream to knock a person out, and since both Yvette and Richard were out, he was sure he could knock this woman out. He didn’t take time to say anything but let one of his screams out. To his shock, he saw her cup her free hand towards them. It was then he understood what Paige had meant with her one word. The attacker’s mutant power was linked to her aura. She could manipulate it the same way Skin could manipulate his skin. That wasn’t good, especially as the full force of his scream knocked him back.

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Elane looked at group that had been trying to attack her. This was obviously Generation X, and she started to wonder what she had been worried about. She had noticed the glowing aura when it was around her. It coming out of nowhere was a tip off. She was able to counter the sonic scream from the other. She had been able to trip them up as well, except for the Asian girl in a yellow raincoat, and the bald one in the back. She had a feeling the Asian girl was going to be tricky.

She was still concerned. She didn’t know all the possible powers she was dealing with. Emplate hadn’t told her everything about this group, or their abilities. She also had to keep her grip on her quarry, especially if she had to keep them unconscious. To further complicate matters, the group now had her main way out blocked. She would either have to clear them out or find another way.

As she tried to figure out how to get out of there, she saw one of the group trying to launch a flying attack. She was ready for the attack, and swung her fist, letting her aura expand as it launched at the attacker. As she expected, the African girl went flying backwards, hit by the giant fist her aura had formed. The blow did even more, as it hit several of the group that had managed to get back up. The scene even made her laugh. “Wow. Here I was worried about your powers, and that I couldn’t counter all of them.”

She stopped laughing when she felt something start to wrap around her leg. She looked down, and saw something grey snaking around her leg, working its way around her. She followed it to its origin and noticed that one of the group that hadn’t been knocked down by the flying mutant was the source, as it came from his hand. She quickly realized that this guy had a power similar to hers, just instead of manipulating his aura, he manipulated his skin. As she locked eyes with him, she heard him say, “Guess what, chica. Someone else has an ability like yours.”

She sneered directly at him, and said, “Try again, loser.” She then brought her free knee up, and let her aura do the rest. Sure enough, she felt the thing snaking around her leg release as the guy reeled backwards from the blow. As he did so, she had to rub salt into the wound. “That should teach you to treat a lady with respect.”

She almost started to laugh, until one voice caught her a little off guard. She glanced over to the Asian girl in a yellow raincoat as she said, “Hey bitch, you need to be enlightened before you can consider yourself a lady.” She saw that the girl was also making a motion like she was going to throw something underhanded.

Elane was already moving her hand in a way to deflect the blow back to the girl. As she did so, and she saw the glowing object start to sail through the hallway, she started to respond to the odd choice of words. “Bitch, if that is the….” She staggered backwards then, as the thing exploded in midflight with a very bright flash. This girl had somehow created that glowing object, and then made it explode. This girl would be a challenge to get past. She had experience in fights, something that would be a problem if she wanted to escape with her prisoners.

She blinked a few times, hoping to clear her sight before the others had a chance to take advantage of her blindness. None of them had been ready for it, and even the Asian girl hadn’t attempted to make another move, unless her plan was to keep blinding her. Elane decided that her only move now was to push through enough to knock them down, and then bolt into some side path, and break through a wall.

Just as she was about to do that, though, they attacked. It wasn’t the group attacking her, but a growing swarm of metallic bugs. Somehow, they got around her aura, and swarmed at her. She tried first to block them with one hand, but her own fears took over. She heard her prey drop to the floor as she used her other hand to try and stop them. To her dismay, they kept coming. She turned and ran, shouting profanities and yelling “I freaking hate bugs.” She chanced a glance back, but as the swarm kept attacking, she noticed that the other girl who had been standing was starting to slump to the floor. Somehow, all the bugs were coming from her, almost looking like they had made her. The way that some of the group were acting, it was as if they didn’t even know that the girl could do that. Elane knew now what she had to do. She had to retreat. It was fine by her. She could always try again. She already made sure that Emplate wasn’t going to kill her for failing.

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Jubilation watched as the attacker escaped. Luckily, she had dropped Skitz and Penance. Part of her was tempted to follow the attacker, but there were more pressing matters to tend to. She chanced a look back at Daria, certain that she was the reason the attacker fled, and was almost startled by what was happening. The bald girl was slowly sliding to the floor, her body dissolving into the bugs that had swarmed the attacker.

She ran to Daria’s side, and calmly asked. “Daria, is this your ability? To generate those mechanical looking bugs?” While the ability looked neat in her eyes, losing control of it could be lethal. She would need to reel in that power before it killed her.

The problem was not lost on Daria, since she responded to the question in a voice that showed she was getting weaker and weaker. “I think so, but I’m not sure how to pull myself back together. It’s the first time I’ve ever done this.”

Jubilation was at a loss for words. While she had seen what could happen when she lost control of her powers, she never saw a loss of control result in this. She wasn’t sure what to say, and thankfully, she didn’t have to say anything. Emma had picked that moment to walk over and place her hands on Daria’s forehead. Emma’s eyes started to glow, and she calmly said, “Daria, allow me to mentally help you. I know you can pull yourself together. Allow my confidence to bolster your own. The first thing you need to do is relax.”

She watched as Daria absently nodded, and Jubilation saw the girl start to reform. All the metallic bugs flew back to Daria, and the girl started to recover. Once Daria was whole again, she heard her say to Emma, “Thank you.” She almost got up, but Emma just held up a hand, meaning that Daria should not move just yet.

Emma, however, stood up, and looked over the scene. Most of the others had gone over to tend to Skitz and Penance. In fact, some were already taking them down to the med-center. Due to her own history with the X-Men, Jubilation would sometimes consider herself an equal to Emma and Sean in these situations. She stepped over to Emma, watching as their unconscious friends were being carried off to the med-center, and asked, “Ms. Frost, what do you think about that girl who attacked? Do you think she can be a problem, or if she’ll come back?”

She noticed that Emma wasn’t looking back at her but answered the question without any remarks. “It is hard to tell, Jubilee. The only person who can give us any information on her is currently unconscious. I just wish that we would have known more about this before we left.” Just due to how Emma said those last words, that was the only thing that bothered Emma.

Jubilation then brought up the state all her classmates were in, and said, “What do you think she had done to them? It had to be serious since they tend to bounce back from an attack.” She figured that at least since she didn’t really get to see how well Richard used Yvette’s abilities, but had seen Yvette bounce back from an attack.

Before Emma could respond, they both turned to see Sean was walking over to them. As he approached, he seemed to respond to her question. “Well, I’m guessing that the attacker was Aura. That was what Paige had said when we came upon her. No doubt, given what we experienced, she can manipulate her aura the same way Angelo manipulates his skin. It would prevent her from having to actually touch Yvette when her power is active and keep any attacker at bay.”

She let out a low whistle, as she realized the full implications that could mean in a battle. “So, if she were to face off against the X-Men, it might be possible to stop any of them from reaching her, and even for her to knock them all out.” A mutant with that kind of power would be a serious threat to anyone. Jubilation also realized that she had one of the few abilities that could get through Aura’s defenses.

At that moment, Monet, who had taken Yvette to the med-center, had responded to her statement. As usual, she seemed to jump into her haughty tone, something she thought the Algerian member of their group was trying to drop. “Jubilation, nobody can be that powerful with an ability like that.”

She was about to respond to it, but thankfully, Everett was also returning, and defended her statement. “Actually, Jubes isn’t too far off. I could pick up on some things that were possible with that girl’s ability, and she could do some crazy things with it, some I couldn’t do. She could have a serious advantage when it comes to the X-Men. I think we lucked out that Jubilee was able to blind her, and then what Daria did.”

At the mention of the new girl’s name, everyone looked over at her, and Jubilation saw she was starting to get up. She walked over to Daria, and asked, “Are you feeling better, Daria?” She watched as the new girl nodded and started to move to the group. After two steps, she started to collapse, but Jubilation caught her. She then calmly said, “Maybe we should get you to the med-center as well.” When she nodded, Jubilation just led the way, figuring the others were following.

They remained quiet during the walk, most likely because all the answers they needed about the attacker couldn’t be gotten since Richard was out of it. She just hoped that they could get the answers they needed before the attacker returned, if she returned. As they walked, she also noticed that Daria started to seem nervous. It took Jubilation only a moment to figure out why. She looked at the girl, and asked, “Nervous about meeting Richard for the first time?” She nodded, and Jubilation just remained quiet after that. In all honesty, she wasn’t sure how she should respond to that. She spent her first few days or so hiding in a make-shift place near the X-Men’s Australian base. She only truly joined the X-Men after the base was attacked, and she saved Wolverine.

When they all reached the med-center, she could already sense that Daria seemed confused. She already had a feeling why and placed her hand on Daria’s shoulder in a comforting way. When Daria looked back at her, Jubilation just said, “Don’t worry. You’ll get used to this. Richard likes to be with Penny a lot, so he usually takes on her abilities.”

She realized that her statement didn’t help explain why Richard had spiked hair, or that his hands appeared to be more like claws, and realized why that was when Daria asked, “Penny? I though you said her name was Yvette.”

She nodded in response to the statement. “It is. Remember how we told you on the ride here about his power. Well, when he first got here, he made a real impression on Yvette, whom we knew at that point only as Penance, or Penny for short.” She then leaned in close to Daria, and said, “I’m the only one who can call her Penny full time. She sees me as a sister.”

She saw Daria look at them again, obviously in thought about something. She also heard the new girl ask, “So he got to find out about her name and helped her control her powers. Do you think he can help me understand my ability, and how it is supposed to work?”

Jubilation gave her the biggest smile she could. She already knew the answer to the question, especially seeing how Richard’s power worked. She slapped a hand on Daria’s shoulder, and responded, “Of course he can. I bet he’d be able to help you understand it better, and quicker, than if he wasn’t here to help.” She saw a real smile cross the new girl’s face. Right then and there, she knew the new girl would fit right in at the school.

Jubilation then glanced at Daria’s head, noting the lack of hair, and an idea came to her mind. She pointed to the top of her head, and said, “I bet he could show you how to come up with a cool hairdo.” She then rubbed her chin, obviously thinking about something else. “Actually, Angelo could help with that too. He’s got tons of experience mentally controlling his extra skin.”

She saw Daria nod, and then turned to face her, while pointing up at her head. “Thanks. That was something Bastion had insisted on for all the girls. I still don’t know why.” It was an odd thing, and she wondered if it had something to do with Bastion himself, or someone he was related to. In fact, Jubilation was certain that any answer to the question could be found out from Richard.

In light of that, Jubilation decided to pass it off with a joke. “Well, since the organization seemed a bit military, and we found he had become a new breed of Sentinel, it could be the reason is an example of what they say about military and intelligence. They are two words that contradict one another.” The joke got a laugh from Daria, and it confirmed to Jubilation that Daria was going to truly be alright at the school. Now, all they had to do was wait for everyone else to recover. It would be some time until they all recovered, or at least woke up.

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Emplate sat in his chair, waiting for the return of Elane. He hoped she would return soon, as he was starting to feel drained. He would need to feed soon, or else he would be pulled into the Beyond. That was something he didn’t want right now, since it could take him days to fight his way out. Time also seemed to pass differently there as well. It would take a powerful mutant power to keep him out of it.

He was expecting that as well. Once Elane got back with Yvette, he would take pleasure supping on her power. Yvette seemed unaware of some of her own abilities, but he picked up on them. They would put other mutants with similar abilities to shame. He even used some of her own psychic abilities in his breaking down of her will power. In fact, the power level she seemed to have pushed back the grip of The Beyond. It also allowed him more time to gain magical power, something he had a knack for.

Then there would be the issue of Richard Cale. For some reason, the more he thought about the powerful new mutant at the school, the more an incident back when he was younger came to mind. Some details were fuzzy, but he kept recalling something about a baby. He needed an answer to that question, but he also looked forward to the mental torment he could put the new mutant through, as well as Yvette since she cared for the new mutant.

He was brought out of his musings when D.O.A. opened the door to his chamber. While he still had his grin plastered on his face, Emplate could already see that it was not as big as it usually was. Even his voice sounded concerned as he said, “Boss, Elane is back, but…”

Emplate held up his hand, and simply said, “Send her in.” He could already tell from the tone that she hadn’t been successful in abducting both Richard and Yvette. He just hoped that she had brought back one of them. In this case, he would prefer her bringing back Richard. It would be a strategically better move since it wouldn’t be obvious that she was working with him. While Yvette would be the better meal, he could sup on Richard’s abilities, even if he had latched onto Elane’s.

When Elane entered, he took note that she had obviously encountered the rest of Generation X. He could also tell she had not been successful in capturing either of her targets. That wasn’t good, but he had to know what had happened. At least he was certain that whatever he heard he wasn’t about to kill her. She had already proved herself to him, in more ways than one. “I take it things didn’t go as planned.”

He watched as she walked over to him, and he noticed a slight seductiveness in her walk. She didn’t have to do that, since he wasn’t going to punish her for failure. After she gave him a quick kiss, which he enjoyed, she responded to his statement. “No. They both hid in some sort of secret passages, and by the time I caught them, the others returned. While I could handle most of them, the one girl managed to blind me with some sort of fireworks, while another seemed to send mechanical bugs after me.”

Emplate knew automatically who one of the two were. He even grumbled as he remarked on that. “Jubilation Lee. Known as Jubilee to most of them. She has the distinct honor of having been part of the X-Men. No doubt she has learned battle tactics during her time with them as well. That other trick, however, is not one I know Generation X has. That must be a new student to the school.”

She saw Elane nod in agreement. “No doubt. I had the impression that they seemed unaware of the one girl’s abilities as I made my getaway. Luckily, they had no idea I was helping you.”

He had to admit that that was a plus to the whole situation. It didn’t solve his one problem about needing to feed. Even his own thralls would not be able to delay his return to The Beyond to be tortured. He would not want to sup on Elane. For some reason, he didn’t want to do that.

To his surprise, he felt her take one of his hands. “Listen, Marius. I can tell you need to feed. I know you were hoping to feed on them, to relish their anguish. For the time being, I want to offer you what you need.” He then saw her eyes go wide, and he knew what she must be seeing. The hands that would pull him to The Beyond were starting to reach for him.

He locked his sight on her, and he saw a few things in her now. For one, he saw she wanted him to feed off her. He also saw that she had planned to guide his hands to someplace no one would see. He then saw she had a plan in mind, one that could obtain his goal, and cause more pain to those he wanted to capture. He finally nodded and let her guide his hand to where she wanted as he responded. “Alright. First, we tend to this, and then we start on your plan. I do hope this plan doesn’t take long to implement. I don’t want to drain you.”

She smiled as he felt her place his hands under her top. “Since I’m doing this willingly, I don’t think it will drain me that much. Besides, I think we can start implementing it soon. If it helps, in the meantime, you’ll find others you can attack where this plan takes place.” That made him happy, and once he felt where she placed his hands, he was happier still. She was going to be the perfect one for him. Soon, he’ll be able to implement this new plan, and he knew it would yield results.

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Paige came to in a bit of pain. She slowly opened her eyes to take in her surroundings. The last time she had regained consciousness, she was in the entry hall. She had told the rest of the team about her attacker’s name. This time, she was certain she was in the med-center. Her waist was still sore, and she was certain there were some injuries.

She took a chance to turn her head and noticed that two other beds were occupied. She felt reassured when she saw who they were. It was both Richard and Yvette. Obviously, the others had been able to stop the attacker just in time. It made her feel better, even though Aura had must have caused Richard and Yvette some injuries. It had to be something serious, however, since Yvette seemed to be able to shrug off minor injuries within moments. Seeing them like that made her feel bad for not being able to handle the attacker.

Paige stopped her brooding for a moment when she noticed another figure move at her bedside. She turned to look at them, and to her amazement, it was Jono. She should have expected him to be near. She briefly remembered him being there when she had come to in the entry hall, but she had been only partially with it.

She was then surprised when he sat down next to her and took her hand. She noticed there were some tears in his eyes, and the way he took her hand was very light. The words she heard from him, through his psychic abilities, told her a lot. “Welcome back, sunshine. I was waiting for you to wake up before I said I’m sorry.”

The words momentarily had her confused. At first, she thought he was saying sorry for not being there when Aura first attacked. She wanted to reassure him that he didn’t need to be sorry about that. It had been a risk she willingly took by staying back. She was about to say that when she realized it wasn’t about that.

She reached up, trying to sit up more, and took him in a big hug. She realized he was apologizing for the incident at Thanksgiving, and while she hugged him, she responded. “Oh Jono, Ah’m sorry too. It was a bit much taking you to my family then. Ah also shouldn’t have fought with you.” She tried to fight back any tears that were coming, since she was glad to be able to say something about it, but she was relieved to finally be able to say it.

She released Jono from the hug when she heard a new voice in the room. It was Sean’s, and she could tell by the tone in his voice he had been concerned about her. “Nice to see ye awake, lass. Ye had us a bit worried for a moment. How are you feeling?” She sat up in the bed, and for a moment, she felt a breif pain in the area that had been crushed by Aura. She would have to take a bit of time for that to recover.

She took a moment before answering. While it did still hurt, the pain wasn’t so bad that she couldn’t move. She finally responded, and said, “Well, the pain isn’t as bad as when Yvette ran amok, but it is lasting a bit longer.” She made sure she smiled when she said that, letting them know that at least she was in better spirits.

She saw Sean nod, and then noticed that the others were entering the med-center. As they did, she heard Emma say, "That is understandable. From what we found out, you had some bruising as well as some cracked ribs. Your waist had been crushed, but I have a feeling the attacker didn't want you to die, and if they did, it was supposed to be a slow death."

Paige thought about that for a moment. While she wasn't a psychic, if she had to judge by the woman's tone, that was likely. There had been a good deal of hate in that voice. She then looked over at Richard and Yvette. “How about them? Were they in a similar state?”

Emma answered her question, in part with a nod. “Yes, they were. They had similar injuries, and when Richard was dropped, scans detected some extra trauma. Yvette was in a similar state, but for some reason, the injuries didn’t seem as severe. Of course, we don’t know if this woman was capturing them to torture them later or trying to kill them.”

Paige nodded, and started to wonder how long she had been out. She decided to voice this concern. “Miss Frost, I seem to recall that this Aura person attacked not too long after you all left, like she was waiting for you to leave. Any clue on how they eluded her so long?”

She saw the headmistress nod again, and say, “If that is the case, and judging that they had gotten into their uniforms, it was at around two hours that they were ducking through the underground parts of the school. Obvious this Aura had no idea about that, and possibly waited around the entry hall figuring they would try to tend to you. I can only guess that your ability managed to minimize the damage caused by ‘Aura’.”

Paige felt relieved hearing that they utilized the underground parts of the school to last so long. The fact that they even got into uniform meant they realized they had a serious fight on their hands. She just kept an eye on them, noticing how everyone gave Richard’s bed some space. All of them except for one whom she didn’t noticed before. That must be the new girl.

Catching her glance, she heard another familiar voice, that of Jubilation, say, “Sorry Paige, but that’s Daria, the new girl. You have got to see her…” She heard Jubilation trail off as she noticed that Jubilation was now looking in Daria’s direction. “Daria, don’t get too close to…”

It was too late for the warning, as Paige saw Richard’s body start to convulse, like he was having a seizure. It was obvious to her, and the others what was happening, but apparently Daria was caught off guard by it. The new girl looked a bit panicked when she asked, “What’s happening to him?”

Paige saw Sean pull her back from Richard, and to everyone’s obvious relief, he calmed down. She wondered if that might bring him too sooner than everyone expected, but everyone was turning their attention to the new girl. Sean was calmly saying to Daria. “Lass, do ye remember what we’ve said about Richard’s abilities?”

She saw Daria nod, looking a little embarrassed. “Sorry. I didn’t think it would happen when he was unconscious.” She then saw Daria look at her, and one of the first real things she could notice about the girl was that she was bald. She then sheepishly smiled, and said, “Paige Guthrie, right.”

When Paige nodded, the girl extended a hand. She took the offered hand and smiled back at Daria. “Indeed. Sorry Ah couldn’t meet yah at the airport, but Ah volunteered to keep an eye on Richard and Yvette. Didn’t do a good job of it, but…”

To her relief, Daria took it in stride. “It’s alright. I heard all about what was going on. You don’t have to explain your power either.” Paige was a bit taken aback by that statement, but then she didn’t have much time to ask about that statement. It was at that moment that Yvette started to scream.

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Richard jumped when he heard the scream. For a moment, he had even thought it had been his own. He wasn’t entirely sure what had happened, but someone must have gotten near him while he was unconscious, and he had lost Yvette’s ability. Of course, the jumping didn’t help the pain he was in. He sat up, carefully, and managed to look in the direction of the scream.

Yvette was the one screaming, and her limbs were flailing. He could see Sean and Emma were trying to calm her down, but both were also trying to be careful as her hands alternated between claws and normal. He even noticed that Emma was trying to calm her down psychically. He knew it would be a trial for Emma, and he couldn’t help, since her power had left him.

He took a glance around and saw the whole team in the med-center, including Daria. He studied her for a moment, since he was now her legal guardian. She looked exactly as she did in the picture, and for a moment, he wondered what her power might be. He thought he might have an idea, since the odd occurrence was so unfamiliar to him, it wasn’t someone that was here already. Something about it, however, was disturbing. It wasn’t as disturbing as the unease he felt around Monet lately, but it would have to be addressed in time.

He turned his attention back to Yvette, and said loud enough that it caught everyone’s attention, “Yvette, calm down. We are safe. We’re in the med-center. Calm down, love.” Almost instantly, he saw her start to relax. The sheets of the bed were in shreds, but she did stop alternating between her tense form, and her normal form. The scream even stopped, and she started to take normal breaths.

Eventually, as everyone watched, he saw her turn her head to face him, and then watched as she sat up in her bed, her one hand cradling her head. She started to sound apologetic as she spoke. “I’m sorry, everyone. I had started having a nightmare.” He watched as she looked over at Emma, and he could tell there was some accusation in it. “In it, Emma was trying to hand me over to Emplate. I don’t recall why, but she was determined to do so.”

He saw Emma stagger back, as if struck in some way, but he thought it was the mere accusation. He even noticed that Sean was giving her a look. He knew that Emma had not always been a good person, but he couldn’t think of anything so bad now that would have Emma do such a dangerous thing. He took on one of his most calm tone, and said, “I don’t think Emma would do such a thing, and if she did, she would make sure he didn’t get away with you.” He then glanced at Emma and said, “Besides, she knows I wouldn’t stand by and let her do that.”

Almost to break the tension that was being formed by this dream, Richard heard Sean ask a question that he knew was coming. “Lad, before today, were you ever planning on telling us about Aura?” He looked down when the accusation hit. No doubt everyone had to deal with her, and he really started to feel bad about that. There was a lot about his past that he didn’t want to face. The tone Sean used as well made him feel bad about keeping that secret.

He sighed and looked to face all of them. “While I have no doubt that I have no ground to make demands, I would feel better if my secret isn’t the only one reveal, although,” he looked at Daria, and then Monet, “it is possible that they don’t fully know their secrets.” He noticed that Monet looked like she was scared, but Daria looked confused. That only confirmed what he sensed during what had happened before he woke up was something that she was unaware of.

The statement appeared to catch everyone off guard, but Emma was the first to respond to the statement. “Richard, just what are you talking about, and what does this have to do with this Aura person.” To be honest, Richard wasn’t sure if it had anything directly to do with Elane, or this name she was using, Aura, but he thought these things were equally important.

He responded by first looking at Daria. He again dropped into a kinder tone when he did this. “First off, Daria, welcome to the school. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to meet you. I take it that you got near me earlier. I got an idea of your powers, but there was something more. You went through some trauma, and I have a feeling it affected your powers.”

He watched as she nodded, and finally responded. “Yes. All people who were part of Zero Tolerance went through a process to make them into Prime Sentinels. It was done in phases, but Bastion never had me go through any of the other phases.” He nodded, recalling some of his uncle before he became the leader of Zero Tolerance.

He then heard Jubilation say something that he was unaware of, probably because he had been unconscious at that point. “That could explain why you started turning into a swarm of metal bugs. Possibly the process added to your powers, giving you a new power in the process. You just need to learn that extra control.” The last statement made him wonder how dangerous those metal bugs could be if she didn’t fully learn that control.

He put that thought out of his head, however, as he looked right at Monet. He could see there was some fear in her eyes, but he saw something there he hadn’t seen before. Still, he had to voice his concern. “Lately, I’ve been getting an odd feeling when around Monet. It’s a feeling that brings one word to mind. Gehstalt. What is the reason for that?” He noticed how fast Emma’s head turned as she looked at Monet. Obviously, she knew what the word meant, but not how it related to Monet.

This was further verified when Emma said, “Monet, you seem to be full of surprises. Care to explain this new revelation? I have noticed a few times certain mental blocks in your mind during some of the classes I gave you. What else are you hiding from all of us?” He kept his eyes on Monet the whole time, and he could tell something in her was in a panic.

Monet then sighed and answered the question. “I’m sure you have heard I have twin sisters, but that isn’t entirely true.” There was a flash of light then, and Richard had to blink his eyes a few times to recover from it. When they did recover, he noticed not a single teenaged girl there, but two children that looked identical. The one even appeared to be slumped on the others shoulder. The one supporting the other then spoke in a very familiar voice, “We are the twins. We merged to form what you know as Monet, but I’m actually Monet.” She then motioned to the twin, and said, “This is Claudette, and she’s the autistic one. Merged was the only way we could function.”

He took a glance around and saw that everyone was wide-eyed at this revelation. He was probably the same way, since nobody expected this. The silence the moment caused, however, was broken by Emma, who seemed to figure something like this was going to be revealed. “I see. It is unconventional, but I suppose it is alright to resume this, as long as there is nothing else about this situation that we need to be aware of.” Something in the tone of those words made Richard think that Emma thought something more was part of this issue. There was something Monet wasn’t telling, and Emma suspected it.

He saw Monet nod, and soon there was another flash of light. Again, he had to blink his eyes a few times before they recovered again. Once they had, he noticed that everyone was now staring at him, and Emma said, “Now, Richard, let’s discuss Aura. Who exactly is she, other than a cousin of some sort?”

He nodded and started to explain. “A cousin of sorts is correct. Elane is my mother’s brother’s adopted daughter. She’s not a blood relation, which should be obvious since our powers can be used on one another.” He saw Emma had raised an eyebrow when hearing that. No doubt it was because he didn’t call her Aura, but Elane.

He heard Paige make the obvious statement about this revelation he was sure was coming. “If she was so dangerous, why didn’t you tell us about her on day one?” He saw several others nod in agreement, so he didn’t know if they would accept his reason. The only one who didn’t seem to be nodding in agreement was Yvette, and he was thankful for that.

He lowered his head, and said as calmly as he could, “Because I didn’t know if she was still an issue or not.” He looked up and saw either shocked looks, or perplexed looks, so he knew he was going to have to explain this. “Years ago, my uncle, on my mother’s side, had adopted a boy. A few years later, after the boy pleaded for a sibling, they ended up adopting a girl. That was Elane.”

He took a deep breath, and before anyone could ask a thing, he continued. “Elane had come from a broken home, one that I’m sure she had broken. She had an attitude, and many of the family tried to welcome her to the family. Soon, the adoption was complete, and she was officially Elane Bonstein. It was only then that she started to show her true nature.”

He saw Sean was about to interrupt, but he put up his hand. He wanted to finish this. “It wasn’t until my birthday that I met her for the first, and what I thought, the last time. It was obvious that she didn’t care for my family, or she just didn’t care for people in general. I had thought to greet her. When I got near her, I learned she was a mutant, and I even saw her plans. She was planning to use her power to first control my uncle’s family, and then our own. She thought by doing that she could eventually control the world. I told my uncle, who had that prediction ability, and he addressed her right then and there. It wasn’t pretty, and she ran from our house, cursing us all, especially me.”

He lowered his head, feeling drained, but finished up the tale. “The police were informed, and they searched for her, but found no trace. I lived my life as I could, but eventually came to believe that she either forgot about my family or vanished. No one in either family will talk about her, and we won’t even acknowledge that she was ever there in the first place. I’m sure some of you know what that is like.”

There was silence in the room as everyone digested this information. It was a lot to take it. The only person who seemed worried about him was Yvette, as he could see that she had her hand to her heart. He was very thankful for that, but wished he was still holding her ability so she could have mentally comforted him.

The silence was finally broken when Emma spoke a question that was on his mind once Elane had broken in. “That explains her past, but now we need an answer to the question of how she found out you were here.” He saw her shift her stance to one that showed this situation annoyed her. “I doubt she hacked into the computers here, since they are locked down. I have no information regarding the school on any of my business’s computers.”

He nodded, and said, “And she couldn’t get it from my family, since when I came here, I left strict instructions not to tell anyone without my permission. There is only one person I could think of that might have helped her, and if I’m right about that, I’m betting she’s dead for failing.” At least he hoped that was the case, if he was right about his thoughts.

It was Monet who said the name, and no one seemed surprised by what name she said. “Emplate.” It had been accompanied by several nods of agreement. Emplate was the only one who knew that he was at the school, and the only foe he had made since coming to the school.

Yvette then chimed in with one detail that he was unaware of. “If Emplate had helped her, then she was acting like she didn’t know we were an item. I heard some of her shouts, and she kept saying that she hoped he had a girlfriend.” He saw Yvette shiver at that, as if she were contemplating what Elane might have done to her.

It was Daria who voiced what he hoped was a farfetched idea. “Maybe Emplate didn’t tell her or instructed her not to let on to anyone here that she knew. It would be a strategic plan in case she didn’t get away.” While it was far-fetched, it made sense, and it made him wonder just how much Zero Tolerance knew about Emplate, and how much she had been allowed to observe.

The comment left the room in silence, since all were contemplating the idea that Emplate thought that out. He wouldn’t disregard that Elane might have thought that part out as well. If she had managed to evade all those looking for her for years, she could have met up with Emplate and since they shared a common foe, she would hide his involvement, or hide her plans from him.

After a moment, it was Jubilation who said one thing that bothered him more. “You know, both of those are very possible. The only way we can find out the truth is if she attacks again, or she surfaces again.” It was a sobering thought to hear, and even think about. If they did cross paths with her again, they could get answers to their questions. It was also possible that the answers to those questions could all be lies.

After thinking about it for a moment, Richard lowered his head, wanting for this day to be over, and this whole event to be over. “To be honest, I think I’d prefer the idea that Emplate is the unforgiving type, at least with Elane.” He had a feeling everyone was looking at him, but he didn’t think any of them could blame him for his thoughts. They now had an idea of how Elane was and saw what she was capable of. If they were lucky, that would happen. He, however, had a feeling they wouldn’t be so fortunate, and that they would cross paths with her again.

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