Today, November 5th, after a somewhat quiet election day, which kept recent headaches at a minimum, I am posting the first part in another rewrite. This is the start of Stranger And Stranger Redux, the rewrite of Stranger and Stranger. As you are all aware, I posted the fourth story of the Cale Storyline last year, and if you read the complete story, you know that when it was initially written, I had plans for an epic story to follow it. That fell through, and so now this rewrite will include new sections that would have been covered towards the end of that epic, and will make the flow to the next story better. For now, I want you to enjoy the fourth story rewrite as it gets posted.
|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.
Relatively Dangerous Redux
|Previous Stories and Chapters|
|Previous Chapter||Relatively Dangerous Redux Chapter 4: Revealed Truths||(Original)|
Chapter 1: Decisions (Original)
In the center of downtown Easton, there sits a museum. While it was still going through the finishing touches, it was one that people were in eager anticipation for when it opened. Every day, deliveries were being made for the various exhibits that the museum would house. It was for this reason that no one batted an eye when one package was delivered. No one took notice of who delivered it, nor what happened to the person who had rang the bell.
When the bell had rang, Godiva Cale, a brunette who was eighteen, came to the door. She was the actual owner of the museum and had used part of the inheritance she got when her grandfather passed away to get it going. The opening day was fast approaching, and there were still exhibits to get put up. Luckily, the on-site living quarters had been set up, since she had planned not only to live in the museum, but also planned to help out others who might need housing and a job.
She opened the door and was surprised to see the large crate there. It had been almost her size and would easily be the job for at least two normal people to move it. On the crate was an envelope addressed specifically to her. It didn’t raise any suspicions in her mind, mainly due to the fact that her hometown was a safe haven for mutants. Also, no one had any trouble with her preferred preferences in her love life, which for that day, was a blessing as well. There was also the fact that some locals were also offering donations to help set things up.
Godiva quickly removed the envelope and pulled out the letter inside. She had to read it over twice, since for a moment, she could have sworn there was something very familiar about the writing on it, even though the letters were a precise block letter format. She then read it aloud to herself. “Dear Miss Cale. I had heard about your museum for the unusual and had found something you might think fits. This is a statue of a demonic figure known as Emplate. It was said to plague one of the lesser known tribes of the world, and fed off the living, and enthralling some into being creatures like itself. I hope this does suit your museum. E.”
The description was all she needed, even though it didn’t give her an idea of what it would look like. All she knew was that she had to get it inside. It was something she was certain she could do all by herself thanks to her mutant ability. In an instant, her long brunette hair lengthened and wrapped around the crate, lifting it up like it was an extra strong extra limb. She picked it up with ease and brought it into the museum. She took it all the way through, through all the exhibits, and into the Gallery of Demons.
She placed it down on one of the open locations in the hall and proceeded to remove the crate. As she removed it, she saw the thing and understood why it had to be a demon. It had what looked like an elephant’s trunk, and mouths on its hands. She let out a low whistle and said, “You are definitely one hideous creature. If I didn’t have that note, I would have thought you were thought up by Giger. When the museum opens, I am going to have to show you to my cousin.”
She looked down at her watch at that moment, and quickly realized that she was running late. She would have to clean up the crate after her meal. She had to get to Kyuukai, since they were going to have lunch together. It was a rare treat in the current months, since she had been busy getting the museum together, and she wasn’t going to miss it. In fact, she had a feeling she might be cutting it close. As she headed out, however, she saw one of the people who had wanted to help her with the museum and decided to share the news of the recent arrival with the Algerian man.
Cartier St. Croix admired one of the more complete exhibits in the museum. It was one of the few projects he helped with outside of his ambassadorship, and his other duties. He had other reasons for helping with it, which included a promise to a late friend. Of course, the young owner’s promise to use a portion of the profits to help the town’s defense fund was noble as well. Ever since the Onslaught incident, the town, which was a safe haven for mutants, had to take extra measures for defending its population.
He had been about to check out another of the completed exhibits when he heard Godiva Cale call to him. “Mr. St. Croix. I thought you might want to see the newest arrival. Someone donated a new statue.” Judging by the excitement in the girl’s voice, and given where she was coming from, he could guess it was for what was becoming her favorite exhibit in the museum.
He gave her an amiable smile, and responded, “I don’t see the harm. You have been doing a fine job getting this place together. I’m sure your family would be proud of it.” He then followed her into the exhibit room called the Gallery of Demons. To be honest, he found the room a little disturbing, given what he knew about some of the figures featured in the exhibit. Still, he wouldn’t let that show given her excitement.
As they neared the newest arrival, he had caught a glimpse of it, and his blood started to go cold. He had to hope he was being mistaken, but as they got closer, he knew he wasn’t mistaken. It was the worst thing he could hope to see there, and while it wasn’t a demon, it was actually worse. As he stared at it, he heard Godiva ask, “What do you think? Is it a fine addition to the museum?”
He turned to face her, and said, “Godiva, I want you to make a call to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. It is imperative that they get down here quickly.” He didn’t know how to explain it to Godiva, but he knew they would be able to explain it. Besides, he knew he was going to have to explain this situation to another friend.
He noticed that Godiva looked stunned at his statement. Obviously, she hadn’t expected this response from her newest exhibit, and it took her a moment to respond to his statement. “Wait a minute. Why do I need to call them, and if they do come, I have to give them clearance. That could take a few days.” He knew what she meant, having gone through it a few times in the past. Those clearances were to keep the people safe, since it was a pro-mutant place. He just hoped the process wouldn’t take long.
He looked her straight in the eye, and calmly said, “Just call them. Tell them that I told you to call. And tell them I said it is a family problem. They will understand.” It was the truth, and he felt they could better explain the danger that was apparent. He was already afraid for Godiva, Kyuukai, and the mutant population of the city. This city would be a feast for Emplate.
Luckily, Godiva nodded, and said, “Alright. I’ll do it. I just hope I’m not late for my meal with Kyuukai. This is one of the few times we’ve been able to have a lunch together in a few weeks.” He watched as she then headed off to her office in the museum, or to the in-building residence rooms. It was a special thing she had set up for visiting lectures. It was also good for guests, but he had reserved a room at the nearby hotel. Maybe he might have to change that for the next few days.
Once she was out of sight, Cartier St. Croix glared at the ‘statue’, and said, “Son, if you kill any mutant here, I will make sure you will never feed off another mutant again.” He turned to leave the room, hoping that the thought that his son was entirely evil had been wrong so long ago. As he left the room, however, he could have sworn he heard Marius laughing at him. He wasn’t sure, though, since it sounded a bit higher than the one he normally heard from his son.
At that moment, in Snow Valley, Massachusetts, Sean Cassidy was in his office, searching through the library he had gotten when his office was set up. Just like Emma’s, it had been stocked with books about known mutant abilities, as well as anything that could be a power. Unfortunately, he wasn’t always reading those books.
Ever since what happened two weeks ago, he had been trying to find something to help explain Monet St. Croix’s unique condition. It had been revealed that she was a combination of two beings: two twin girls, one of which was actually Monet, the other being her sister Claudette. Thankfully, he wasn’t alone in the search, since the one who seemed to pick up on the truth was helping him. “Find anything close to what ye figured out, lad?”
Paging through one of the books while standing by the one bookshelf was the oldest student in age, but the second newest student in the school, Richard Cale. He was reading the book but responded. “I’m still looking, Sean. I think I found something similar to Yvette’s ability.” Bringing that up, Sean noticed a look of longing cross Richard’s face. The lad had been so intent on helping find something linked to Monet’s condition, he was in the rare state of being in a neutral state.
Sean let out a small laugh, hoping it would comfort the lad. “Lad, ye and Yvette have been near inseparable since you got here. It is sometimes good to take time to yourself.” He paused in looking through the book he had and decided to ask something that was on his mind. “Lad, I was just wondering something. How much more family do you have? Ye really haven’t been open about your other family members.” Truth be told, the lad hadn’t spoken much about his past in the time he had been at the school, unless it came up in some sort of incident.
He saw Richard look up from the book he was looking at, biting his lip in the process before responding. “Thankfully, I’m not on ill terms with any of my other cousins. Only one of them is a mutant, and that is…” Richard stopped speaking as a ringing started in the room.
Sean blinked, and looked at the phone on his desk. It was set up with video as well as audio connections. Ironically, it was the video part that was signaling an incoming call. He pushed the call received button, knowing only he would see the person. On the video image, he saw a brunette girl, most likely in her late teens. She looked at him, and asked, “Excuse me, is this the Xavier School for Gifted Youngers?”
He nodded, and started to respond, noticing at the same time that Richard’s eyes had gone wide. He obviously recognized the voice of the caller, and he was surprised. Sean wasn’t going to let on to that as he responded. “Yes, lass. This is Sean Cassidy speaking. I’m headmaster of the school. And ye are?”
He noticed a relieved look on the girl’s face as she responded. “I’m Godiva Cale. I was told to contact you.” Sean raised an eyebrow, and discretely glanced over at Richard. He was equally surprised and concerned.
Sean could pick up on the unspoken words in the air, almost like he was reading Richard’s mind. “I see. And why were you told to contact the school, and who told you to do so?” He had a feeling it wasn’t someone in Richard’s family who had told her that. He also started to have a feeling that whomever urged her to contact them had a serious reason to do so.
He watched for a moment before the girl responded to the question with a slightly puzzled look on her face. “To be honest, I don’t fully understand myself. I’m starting up a museum, and one of the recent arrivals prompted one of my benefactors to insist I contact you.” Already, Sean was starting to get a bad feeling about this.
He chanced a quick glance over at Richard, and saw the lad looked a bit horrified. No doubt the lad was jumping to the same conclusions that he had been. He didn’t want to ask the lad, and he even was hoping they were jumping to the wrong conclusion. “Miss Cale, who was the benefactor, and what exactly did they say?”
She didn’t seem put off by his question, but she did seem like she was worried about time. She did answer the question though. “The benefactor is Cartier St. Croix; and he said it was a family problem.” Hearing those words, Sean was certain their worst fears had just been confirmed.
Sean closed his eyes for a moment, mentally running the scenario in his head. No doubt it was done to lure them there for the purpose of abducting both Yvette and Richard. In fact, he had a feeling that Richard would rush out of the school in a minute. Giving the lad another glance, he saw Richard sitting in a chair near where he was looking. It was obvious to Sean that Richard had gone pale at the realization.
Sean sighed, and then said to Godiva, “Alright, we will be down there in a few hours.” It would take a little time to get everyone together and brief them on the situation. Emma would also have to get one of her private jets ready as well. With the best of luck, they would be there late evening.
To his surprise, he saw Godiva shake her head. “Sir, that could be a bit tricky. The city I live in, Easton, is one of the few mutant safe havens in the country. We have to register all visitors to the city. It is for the safety of the mutant population. I will have to know who all is coming, and get that registered, or at least a number.”
Sean was about to protest that, when he noticed Richard doing something. The lad pulled out a pendant that he had been wearing. It was a small charm, which had what looked like a candle on it. Sean gave a slight nod, and then said, “I see. Some of our students have rather unique situations, so I couldn’t give you names. What I can definitely tell you is that we would need fourteen in total. How soon can those be ready?”
He saw her nod and respond. “I can have them overnighted. I’ll get that sent out, in your name. Each one will be linked to you and the school.” He made sure she had the details, and then she ended the call. Once the call ended, Sean looked over at Richard, and he could tell the lad was really worried now.
Richard sat in the chair, worried sick. He wondered how Godiva could have ended up in a situation that had to involve Emplate. He had to tell them a little about her since he came to the school, but nothing overly much about her. No doubt now he’d have to say more about her, especially with Emplate involved.
Sure enough, Sean was walking over to him, and as the headmaster neared, he could see some concern on Sean’s face. He was certain Sean wanted some answers since more was needed on the situation. “So, Richard, care to tell me a bit about Godiva? I know you told us she was yur cousin, but not much more.”
Richard nodded, and then sat back in the chair. “Yes, she’s my cousin. She’s Bastion’s natural daughter, and she’s a mutant as well. Of course, when we go down there, we’ll have to lie about Daria’s past, at least for now. I’m not sure how she’d take the news about her father.”
He saw Sean nod in understanding however a slight grimace showed a sign of disapproval of that. He then asked, “And how is it she can afford a museum?”
It had been a fair question. Richard sighed, knowing how painful the explanation would be. “Back when my grandfather died, which was after Bastion’s apparent death, his part of the inheritance was split amongst his children. I didn’t know what they got since at the time of my grandfather’s will reading, I had to stay with friends of the family, all part of some tradition when he passed. And before you ask, I got a share as well. Since my father was the oldest, our line got larger shares.” He then flinched for a moment, since he couldn’t recall parts of that week.
Sean then nodded, and said, “So she used her part to invest in a museum, or build one?”
Richard nodded. “Yes. She always said how she wanted to help the city with funds. Since Easton is a mutant sanctuary, it doesn’t get much in government support, and it has to incorporate things like anti-Sentinel defenses. That stuff isn’t cheap.”
He saw Sean nod. “Indeed. Emma stated that some of the things we have for protection aren’t cheap either, but it’s good we have powerful allies.” He sighed for a moment then, and then asked, “So the pendants we will have to get?”
Richard nodded, and again pulled out his own. “Something they started in recent years. Visitors get them when they arrive in the area, especially if they plan on spending more than a few hours in the area. They all have the city’s traditional holiday decoration on it, The Peace Candle. Ones requested by prominent citizens are special, since most tourist ones are only good for a few days.”
He watched as Sean took the information in, and then said, “And what about Godiva herself. What might her powers be?”
He answered the question, thinking of the best way to describe her power. “She has the power to manipulate her hair in ways similar to Angelo’s ability with his skin. She uses it like an extra limb. I’m one of the few things she can’t touch with her hair, given that we’re blood relations.” For a moment, he let out a little chuckle when he recalled a slight memory. “I tried to touch it once, and it formed a pocket around my hand. It was weird.”
It was then he heard Sean sigh. “Well, given all you said, the longer it takes for us to get down there, I’d hate to think what could happen. Not only would your cousin be at risk, but so is everyone in the town at risk.” Richard could only nod in agreement at that. Emplate would have a field day in his hometown.
He then sighed as well. “I know. Of course, the big question would be how he knew to strike there. I could guess he got the information from Elane. That’s the most likely source. He probably got it out of her when he was punishing her for her failure.” For the first time, Richard felt sorry for the person who tried to ruin his family. He tried not to be a vindictive person, but Elane had to have been pure evil.
He saw that Sean wanted to put a hand on his shoulder, and then thought better of it. Richard reigned in his ability for a moment, and just nodded at his one teacher. He was slowly getting control of keeping the range of his powers in close. For a brief moment, he felt Sean’s power coming into him as his powers mimicked it, but it was brief as the man said, “We better go see Emma then. I’m going to bet that she’s still searching for Monet’s father, and prying Monet for answers of where he might be.” Richard nodded, and then got up. Besides, the sooner they got that part done, the sooner they could tell everyone where they were going. He was also going to have to tell Yvette about this, since he had no doubt that she would be asking questions as well.
Emma Frost was starting to get a bit frustrated. Ever since Monet’s secret had been revealed, she had been trying to get in touch with Monet’s father, Cartier St. Croix. It was proving to be a very difficult thing. All the numbers she had only ended in responses saying he was unavailable. Even calling his home in Algeria had led to no answer.
To that end, she had called Monet into her office. The girl, as she still tried to think of Monet, tried to put up a front that she didn’t have any idea where Cartier was. While Emma did believe that was the case, part of her still had some doubts. She kept her frustration from showing, however, as she asked, “Monet, are you sure you don’t know where your father might be at? Every attempt I make, I keep getting no answer.”
She kept her eyes on Monet as the young girl shook her head. “I’m sorry, Ms. Frost, but I have no idea. There have been times when he would leave without notice, and other time when he hears about a good cause. When it comes to those, he likes to make donations, and even help in person.”
Emma lowered her head. She didn’t want to look at anyone as she controlled her temper. This was one of those rare times she felt she had to do so. Since she now had to acknowledge that Monet was not a girl of one mind, but two, she would inwardly wonder which one she had been speaking to in past interactions. She was momentarily broken out of that question when she heard Monet say in a nervous tone, “I take it you want to find out more about the situation with ‘us’.”
Emma raised her head slightly when she heard that. She wasn’t sure, but for a moment, she thought she might have heard something else in that last word. There was a slight edge to it, and Emma wasn’t sure what the tone was implying. Was it a taunt? Was it fear? Regardless of what it was, the truth was still hidden, and it was something they should all know. “Yes, Monet. It is about you; both of you. Ever since you revealed your little secret, we’ve been wanting to verify what you have told us. You never mentioned Emplate at first, and now you were forced to reveal this.” She started to come out from behind her desk as she continued talking. “Is that all the secrets that you are hiding, or are there more?”
For a brief moment, Emma thought she caught a glimpse of something in Monet’s eyes. It was brief again, but this time, she felt like it was a response to what she said. Part of her wanted to try and probe that something, but she had a feeling that the action, while possibly necessary, might do more harm than good.
Thankfully, Sean and Richard entered her office at that moment. Both of them had a grave look on their faces, but given how Richard was carrying himself, and moving to the farthest corner in the room, it was dire. She looked between the two for a moment, and reeled in her thoughts and anxieties before asking, “What’s wrong?”
It was Sean who was the first to answer the question. His voice was as neutral as his Irish heritage could allow. “Well, we just got a bit of good and bad news. The school just received a call from Godiva Cale, and before ye ask, she’s Richard’s cousin.”
Instantly, Emma came to certain conclusions. If Richard’s cousin was calling here, something must have happened to his family. She looked over at Richard and asked the first question that came to her mind. “Richard, is something wrong with your family? Is it something you need to head home for?” With all that had happened in the past few months, she was starting to worry about his safety.
To her relief, he responded with an answer she was glad to hear, at least at first. “Nothing is wrong with my parents. I didn’t even speak with her, but I heard the call. There is a family problem back home, but its not my family.” Something about the way he said it put Emma on edge.
She turned her attention to Sean, hoping she was coming to the wrong conclusion. He had said there was good news and bad news. With all the searching trying to contact Monet’s father, she was hoping the good news wasn’t going to be what she was certain Sean was about to say. Her hopes on that were shot when he said, “The one who told Godiva to call us was Cartier St. Croix.”
Emma turned to look over at Monet. The girl looked genuinely surprised by this information. No doubt that her father being in the states was a serious surprise. The fact, however, that he was in contact with Richard’s cousin was an even bigger one. It made Emma wonder if there were more secret that these two students had that maybe they weren’t fully aware of.
Monet St. Croix felt like she had been slapped in the face. She had no idea her father was in the states and was even clueless that he somehow knew Richard’s cousin. To her internal relief, even Claudette was clueless about this news. She could feel the surprise in Claudette’s mind. She had no doubt her sister might have some sort of retort ready, but she had to say something, and keep control. “Richard, are you saying that Emplate has somehow gotten to your cousin? If he is down there, that must mean he’s doing it to lure you there.”
She watched as Richard nodded, as if he was confirming what she had said. “That is how it looks. Emplate somehow found out about Godiva, and then went down there to lure me down there.” She watched as he started to pace. No doubt he already figuring out if there was some sort of trap in place.
She then heard Sean say, “Yes, that is what we have figured. If we could rush down right away, I’d say we do so. The only thing that keeps us from doing that is the fact that the town is designated a mutant safe haven.” For some reason, those words seemed to strike something in her memory. Something her father had said about a family friend living in one.
She then heard Emma sigh. When she turned to face Emma, she heard the headmistress of the school say, “So we have to wait for some sort of thing to allow us all into the town. That is not a good thing. Her life would be at risk, as well as the mutants in that town.”
“Which is why Emplate would expect me to head down by myself, if that is his plan. I already have one of the pendants that would allow me free entry. These are supposed to help safeguard the people and mutants of the town. There is a level of screening for long term visitors, and people moving to the town. The price we pay for being a pro mutant town. Anyone who is part of the founding families, like me and Godiva, can obtain guest pendants at any time, at a moment’s notice.” She saw Richard had pulled out a pendant she couldn’t recall if she saw before or not.
As she looked at it, she heard Claudette’s voice in her head. “Well, well, well. Our dear father has one of those pendants. This is an interesting turn of events.” Those words caused all sorts of possibilities to run through her head. Were the ties between her family and Richard’s deeper than she thought?
After a moment, she shook her head, and said, “And why can’t you get everything we need? You can obviously get the pendants so we can get down there tonight. Why don’t you call? Think of all the people who are at risk with Emplate down there.” She was angry at him for what was obvious to her to be a mistake.
To her shock, Richard glared at her. “Think for a minute, girls. If we go down there before Godiva sends the pendants, it raises questions. Godiva isn’t aware I’m at the school. Also, Godiva isn’t totally at risk. If Emplate has chosen to use her as a lure to get me there, killing her would definitely work against him. There are appearances that need to be kept at this point.” She watched as Richard then turned to the door, and he paused for a moment. “We can only hope that Godiva has already got them in the mail and had them overnighted. The longer it takes, the more my hometown would become Emplate’s smorgasbord.”
At that moment, Richard left the room, and Monet felt her head reeling. She usually held herself up as superior to the others, yet he had taken into account the one thing she hadn’t. Of course, there was one thing she knew he hadn’t taken into account, since it was something only she could keep control of. Right now, that thing, Claudette, was happy, and no doubt trying to figure out how to use this.
She was distracted from that thought for a moment when she heard Sean say, “Sorry if he treated ye a bit harshly there. I think this has him a bit more worried than he’s letting on.” She had a feeling she knew was Sean meant. The use of the word ‘girls’.
There was a small part of her that couldn’t blame Richard for saying that. She still hadn’t told them the full truth about her and Claudette yet. She didn’t want to, so she decided to shrug the comment off. “It’s alright. I just hope those pendants arrive tomorrow. I’d hate to see what my brother would do if he’s given too long a time there.”
She started to leave the room as well, since after she said those words, she heard her sister speak up in their mind. “Oh, let’s hope they get lost in the mail. I’d love to see what abilities dear Marius picks up in the meantime. Maybe I can even tip him off on how soon we’ll arrive.” She really hoped that Emma wasn’t picking up on that little outburst from Claudette.
Several years in the future, he ran with his mother through the wastelands of a former city. They were being careful, as they were the only two free mutants left in this world of Emplates. To be honest, he hated being in this situation. The world had gone to hell that day many years ago. His mother always told him that.
As they ducked for cover at the sound of an oncoming horde, he heard his mother say some calming words. “Relax, Darrett. If the information was right, we are nearing the place where the item is.” It was a small comfort in his mind. For years, his mother, as well as the members of the former resistance to the growing horde of Emplate, held onto the belief that an ancient relic held the secret to fixing what happened in the past.
Deep down, he hoped they were right, but given where the information had been found, he doubted the truth of it. He did, however, look out to see if the coast was clear. Luckily, it did appear that way. “Well, if it is, we better move quick. It seems the closer we get to where it is, the number of Emplates increase.” He didn’t look back to his mother. He didn’t need to. He knew she was nodding in agreement. It was something they had noticed since they started making their way to the location. The numbers were growing, like they knew the object was there as well, and wanted to stop them.
Inwardly, he sighed. He really did wonder how one magical relic could stop an abduction all those years ago. He even doubted if the abduction had actually happened in the first place. For all he knew, the evil ones had willingly gone with them, planning to overthrow them all along. It wasn’t that he doubted his mother on this. He just found it very hard to believe after all this time.
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