It is December 14th, and after two busy days, which left me a bit tired, I am posting the next chapter. This is not going to be the only posting today, since if I wish to get all of this up before the end of the year, I will have to make multiple posts a day. Hense, Chapter Seventeen of X-Knights: The First Month is getting posted now, and the next chapter should be posted later today. In this chapter, we see several characters recover from events, not only from previous chapters, but from many years ago. Enjoy.
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.
X-Knights: The First Month
|Previous Stories and Chapters|
|First Chapter||Darkness Reborn|
|Chapter 2||New Class, New Problems|
|Chapter 3||Old Friends, Old Foes|
|Chapter 4||Settling In|
|Chapter 5||First Sessions|
|Chapter 6||A Dark Strike|
|Chapter 7||Knights Of The X-Table|
|Chapter 8||Hitting The Fan|
|Chapter 9||New Tools|
|Chapter 10||Unexplained Occurrences|
|Chapter 11||Hidden Devils|
|Chapter 12||Childs Nights|
|Chapter 13||Unexpected Arrivals|
|Chapter 14||Shopping Disasters|
|Chapter 15||Welcome Retreats|
|Previous Entry||Overseas Developments|
Chapter 17: Recovery
Tasha Lewis floated through the Astral Plane. For the first time in days, she was able to use her powers. This was due to the fact that she had fallen victim to the mutant vampire known as Emplate. He has been supping on her powers and genetic material for days. Then, he had tried to use them to capture the school. Luckily, his plan failed, but she felt ashamed that he had used her. Now she could resume something she had loved to do since she learned about it.
Usually, when her mind was preparing to wake up her body, she would fly around on the Astral Plane. It was refreshing to do, especially since it also allowed her to hone her abilities. However, this time was a bit different. As she flew through the Astral Plane, she came across a beautiful palace. She flew around it a few times before entering it.
Once she was inside, she realized what the place had to be. It was the Cale Institute, but on a grander scale. Everything looked like it belonged in Buckingham Palace. She started to drift through the place, venturing all over. Something like this was a new experience, and she knew she’d ask Lady Cale about it later.
As she traveled, she heard things coming from various rooms. It was like she could hear the thoughts of the others in the building, but she couldn’t pick up on them. The only ones she could pick up on were powerful emotions. She finally froze when she picked up on one emotion coming from five different people. She had entered the dining room, and in the room were five people. Although it was only their images, she could tell who they were, and hoped that they wouldn’t sense her.
The first ones she noticed were Kevin Mitchel and Amy Johnson, and how much they cared for each other. Judging by how they were next to each other, Tasha had a feeling they would always be together. The next one she picked up on Anne Smith. Anne seemed to prefer staying to herself, but Tasha could sense she thought a lot about a boy, but one she couldn’t recognize, even when a brief image appeared in the air beside Anne. In the corner of the room, she could sense Davis, the one teacher of the school. His mind seemed preoccupied, as if he was daydreaming. By him, she saw the image of him kissing Monet St. Croix, and she quickly realized he had feelings for the teacher.
The last person was the one that truly caught her off guard. It was Prince James, and not only did she pick up on love, she picked up on concern. As she neared his image on the Astral Plane, she picked up on who he cared about. It shocked her, when she saw the image of her in the med-lab, covered up with a sheet, obviously sleeping. However, the most shocking was the love that surrounded him, especially as she saw in the image him approaching her, and kissing her. She never thought someone would care that much for her.
She quickly left the room, and decided to head to the med-lab, with the sole purpose of rejoining the waking world. However, as she moved through the halls of the Cale Institute on the Astral Plane, she had a brief encounter with a mental barrier. It was as if someone was hiding something. She couldn’t see the purpose, but a barrier like that could only mean someone was trying to hide something. She wasn’t sure who, but she was not about to try and find out. What she was going to do was inform someone when she could.
Lord Richard Cale sat up in the med-bed he was in, reading one of the Rama books. He wasn’t fully back up to normal, but after all the days rest he had, he would be soon. Everyone had paid both he and Tasha, who was still asleep in the other med-bed, a visit. In fact, it was Anne who left him the book he was reading. He would return it, especially when he saw the autograph inside the cover.
He looked up when he heard movement. At first, he thought it was someone coming to visit. It wasn’t that, but Tasha finally stirring. He placed the book down, forgetting about the fake glasses he had on. He only put them on when he was reading, mainly because it felt right. He might not need glasses now, but reading something to relax, it helped to wear them. He finally glanced over at the dark-skinned mutant, and said, “Welcome back to the land of the living, Tasha.”
He watched as she slowly sat up, making sure she held the sheet over her. Yvette had made him aware of Tasha practicing a naturalist lifestyle in her dorm room, and that during the time of Emplate’s attack, all she wore was a bathrobe. However, he was glad that she was keeping this practice to her room. When she was finally sitting up, he noticed the puzzled look on her face before she finally spoke. “Did something happen to your eyes during the attack?”
He placed the book on the table next to the bed, and then placed the frames on it. “No. I usually wear the frames when I’m reading. A habit that’s hard to get out. My eyes are fine. How are you feeling after all that sleep you’ve had?”
He watched as she moved her head back and forth. “I’m feeling much better. How long was I asleep?”
Richard Cale sighed. “I think since Saturday afternoon, and it’s now Tuesday afternoon. Emplate must have really drained you.” He watched as she shuddered, which he realized was due to the marks on her body. Yvette had told him where a majority of Emplate’s feeding marks were located, and part of him wasn’t surprised. He had done it before to his cousin Godiva.
He shook the thoughts of the past out of his mind when Tasha looked at him. He could tell she had some serious questions on her mind. It wasn’t surprising when she asked the question. “So who and what is Emplate? You’ve only told us a little about him. We should know a bit more.”
Richard nodded. “Fair enough. Emplate is a very dangerous force of evil. He has the power to learn everything about you on sight. He has vast magical abilities, and worst of all, he has the power to absorb powers, via ingestion or absorbing attacks. He’s literally a mutant vampire, and can pass his curse on to others.”
He watched as a scared look crossed Tasha’s face, as the girl looked at her hands. “He controls who he passes the curse on to. He left you free of it. However, we feel he has a growing army. I hope you’ve at least heard about the ‘Rippers’.”
He watched as a stunned look crossed her face. When the look finally passed, she said, “You mean Emplate is behind the Rippers? If that’s the case, he could cause a lot of problems. And with some of the people keeping secrets here, that could be a big problem.”
Richard was taken back by her choice of words. He glanced at her, with a serious look crossing his face. “What other secrets?” Inwardly, he was worried that the secrets Tasha was talking about were the ones about Davis’s past. However, he had to be sure that it wasn’t that. He was sure none of the students knew about Davis’s time as a criminal.
He was stunned when Tasha finally answered the question. “I’m not sure, but something in me thinks that whatever it is, it isn’t good for the school. I didn’t try to find out what it was.”
He was glad she had shown some restraint in her powers. Even on their first day, he had stressed not to use their powers on each other. Of course, with Tasha’s powers, peering into another’s mind would be very tempting. However, given her concern, he had to do something. He closed his eyes for a moment, and finally spoke. “Tasha, I’m going to give you a special assignment, one that will test your powers. I want you to do an empathic search. Someone hiding something that would be detrimental to the school will no doubt have some malice in them. However, be careful while doing this.”
He opened his eyes the moment she asked the key question. “Why? Are empathic searches dangerous?”
He sighed as he answered. “In a way. When you deal with anything on an empathic nature, you can become influenced by others emotions. It can also lead to acting on those emotions. It could take time to find out who might mean the school harm.” He saw a relieved look on her face. Apparently, his words had relaxed her. He turned to face the door to the med-room open, and saw Sean Cassidy, his children Richard III and Ashley, and Grimore enter the room. The sight of all of them made him feel better about everything.
Richard Cale III quickly ran over to his father. He was glad his father was awake during this visit. The past visits he had come in on, both his father and the girl named Tasha were asleep. This was the first time they were both awake when he was here. He was glad about that, since they were both attacked by the same monster that threatened him. When he was finally at his father’s side, he asked the only question on his mind. “Dad, is the monster gone now?”
He was happy when his father nodded. “Yes, son, the monster is gone.” He almost leapt for joy, but something in his father’s words told him there was more. Sure enough, his father continued. “He’s gone for now. However, we need to be alert in case he tries to return.”
He nodded, and felt scared. He could also see a scared look on his little sister’s face. He realized he needed to be brave now. The other times the monster showed up, Ashley had never seen him, or what it could do. This time, she knew. He had known that the monster had attacked his father weeks ago, but now the monster had attacked someone else. It seemed more dangerous now, than it had before.
Before he could say anything else, Richard III heard his grandfather say, “Lad, do ye have any idea on how he had gotten in?” He could tell his grandfather was talking about the monster, but he wondered how he was sure the monster was a he?
He felt a little scared when his father shrugged. “I don’t really know. It’s very possible he had help, possibly from D.” Just from how his father said the letter, Richard III knew it was bad.
However, he started to focus on happy things. He looked at Ashley, and he saw her smile as she said, “Daddy, Mummy says we have a few people to tell about the school. There’s one girl who seems like she’s always listening for something, and a guy who can change into video game characters. He did it once, and he was a Goomba.” It made him feel better when he heard his father laugh. He missed hearing his father laugh.
When his father’s laughter subsided, he saw their pet cat, Grimore jump up on to the bed. For as long as he could remember, he knew the cat was different. Not many cats spoke, but Grimore did. However, the past few days, Grimore didn’t speak much, and no one had told the new students about Grimore yet. However, he was glad when the feline spoke. “Sir, I needed to tell you about some concerns.”
Richard III could tell his father already had an idea about what Grimore was talking about. He then looked as his father. “Dad. Are you going to introduce everyone, and tell about Grimore at dinner tonight?”
He watched as his father thought about it, and finally answered. “Introductions yes, however I think we may want to hold off about Grimore. After all that happened, the new students might not be ready for Grimore’s secret just yet. Now, I want you all to run and play. But be ready for dinner at six. I’m sure your grandfather would love to play a game with you.”
Richard III looked up at his grandfather, and saw the smile on his face. It was another thing that told him things were better now. He ran out of the room, with his sister and grandfather, and headed off towards the front yard. In the process, he passed Prince James, who like him, had visited Tasha and his father everyday. He wondered how the Prince would react now that everyone was awake. He put the thought out of his mind for now, since all he wanted to do know was play.
Jubilation Thomas sat behind the desk in Richard Cale’s office. Part of her duties since the attack had been damage control. It wasn’t something she wasn’t used to. Thanks to her time at the Chicago branch of Paladin Technologies, and with the X-Men, she had learned a few things about the process. Of course, her main task was making sure the stores that got damaged at Lakeside Mall got reparations, and that they remained anonymous.
During this process, Jubilation had learned a lot about Richard’s family, which included the vast wealth of the family. Of course, Yvette had helped her with some of it, but it still surprised her. It was from one of the accounts that the Cale family had for many years that she made sure the reparations had come from. She had finally figured out the expected cost to pay for the damages when the phone rang. She reached over to the phone, and almost out of instinct, answered it, “Paladin Technologies, Jubilation Thomas speaking.”
“Paladin Technologies? I thought this was the Cale Institute.” The voice on the other end made Jubilation gasp in surprise. It was the voice of Graylon Walsh, the reporter that had been a pain in the side to the school, and to the Cale’s.
It took her a moment to realize she made a mistake by answering out of instinct. Richard still owned the company, but left all duties related to it to Godiva. She quickly composed herself, trying to remain calm about it. “Pardon, I’m visiting his Lordship, and he asked me to help for a moment. Is there any way I can help you?” She had been careful not to say much else. If she mentioned his name, it would make things worse.
“If you are visiting, maybe you can enlighten me about what happened at Lakeview Mall?” Jubilation realized the question would come, but maybe she could spin things in the opposite direction.
Quickly, an answer came to her. “You’ll have to forgive me, but I’m not too familiar with England. My husband and I are from the United States. Is it like the malls over there?”
She listened for a moment at the stunned silence on the other end of the line. She was wondering if Walsh was trying to form a response to her question, or if he was deciding to think it was a bunch of lies. Of course, part of it wasn’t a lie. Since their arrival at the school, they had been on the grounds almost all the time.
It wasn’t long until Graylon finally responded. “You mean to say you don’t know where Lakeview Mall is? I find that hard to believe. Are you claiming to be unaware of what happened there over the weekend?”
Jubilation knew she needed to think quick. Graylon had already made a report about it, and she and Yvette had managed to calm all the parents down, assuring them that their children weren’t at Lakeside Mall. In fact, before they had left, Everett had synched up with Davis, and tried to repair the damage caused in the bookstore. “I’m afraid I don’t know what happened there. I still want to know where the place is.”
She heard a frustrated sound come over the phone. “Well, if you weren’t at Lakeside Mall, then might you know about the protest that was held on the ground?” Jubilation froze when he asked that. She didn’t think that he might ask about the protest, and she didn’t know what had happened with that. It was even possible that Walsh didn’t know about what happened inside the school.
Before she could formulate her answer, Walsh spoke up again. “Or was that protest just an inconvenience due to something else happening?” She didn’t know how to respond to that, but it did tell her that the school still had a problem. Walsh was aware that things had happened.
It was no use playing dumb now, but she was not about to let him know anything. She stood up, and calmly said, “I don’t know what you might be hinting at, Mr. Walsh, but nothing happened here.”
She stood up, and went to hang up the phone. Just before she did, she heard Walsh shout, “How did...” He was cut off by the satisfying click of hanging the phone up. She then headed to the door, wondering how Graylon Walsh knew about the attack on the school, or if he was just guessing. However, just as she was about to leave the office, she opened the door to find a very startled Davis Skinur.
Davis Skinur froze as he was about to knock on the office door. The tall blonde mutant was stunned when Jubilation Thomas opened the door, and the look that crossed her face told him she was upset. He lowered his arm, and put the most apologetic look on his face he could muster. “I’m sorry if I’m bothering you. If it’s a bad time, I could talk to you later.”
He watched as she relaxed and then motioned him inside. “It is a bad time, but I wanted to talk to you. Come in.” He was thankful that she was letting him in, and was also glad she had calmed down. Ever since his incarceration ended, Davis had changed, especially since he was free of Apocalypse’s influence. After spending time helping Godiva with her museum, he had learned many things. One of the most important things was that anger never heightened the beauty of a person.
After she closed the door, he watched as she turned on the music in the room. Since it was Richard’s office, he realized the music playing was something New Age. Once the music was playing for a few seconds, he heard Jubilation say, “Make sure no can hear us except for us right now.”
He focused on his powers, and worked to acknowledge the strange request. Soon, with the music playing in the background, he set up a field to absorb their voices. When it was finally in place, he looked at Jubilation. “Ok, what’s going on?”
He watched as she looked over at the phone, and then back at him. “I just answered a phone call from Graylon Walsh, that reporter that had been focusing on Rich, Yvette, and the school. Apparently, he found out about the attack on Saturday.”
Davis shook his head in disbelief. “How could he? There were no bugs here. And, before we left the mall lot, Everett and I tried to make the stores we were in back to normal.” He then thought about the idea of a bug, and he used his powers to scan for bugging equipment. Again, nothing turned up. He looked at Jubilation again. “I just checked for bugs, and nothing. I hate to even suggest this, but is it possible there is a spy in the school?”
He watched as Jubilation thought it over. “I had thought about that, but this problem has been before the school. Yvette wrote me once that Walsh was finding out things that weren’t even planned yet. Just ideas that were being discussed. Maybe Walsh has another way of finding out.”
A few thoughts crossed his mind at that moment, and all of them were bad. If Walsh had been a villain, they would have known how to handle him, and what to expect. However, Walsh was a reporter, and must have had access to many resources, which would include past stories about Soundwave. Davis shook his head at that thought, and sighed. “Maybe I should leave the school. It would minimize the potential problems, even in the possibility that there is a spy here.”
He wasn’t surprised when Jubilation shook her head. “Listen, Davis, with everything that happened in the past, and how turned your act around, I’m sure Rich won’t hear of it. Besides, he’s the one who got your name cleared. That was in the papers too. Besides, if he didn’t think you could help here, he wouldn’t have called you here.”
Davis nodded, and turned to leave the room. “You’re right, Jubilation. I’m glad you all have faith in me.” He left the room, and then sighed. He knew for a fact that not everyone trusted him here. In actuality, one person didn’t have faith in him, and it was the one person he had feelings for. He just hoped that after the whole mall incident, Monet St. Croix could see he wasn’t a bad guy anymore.
Lady Yvette Cale sat in the bedroom, near the desk. Grimore was perched on the bed, which was his custom during the day. The feline familiar had come into the room after his visit with her husband. She hadn’t gone down today due to the classes, but she had come back to the bedroom to dress nice for dinner. With everyone now feeling better, a nice dinner was planned for tonight. She had just put on a casual, yet nice outfit, when Grimore’s ears appeared to perk up. She looked over at the cat, but remained calm. She had seen this action before, and knew it only meant something was about to happen, but it was not a bad thing. “Grimore, what’s happening?”
She wasn’t surprised when the cat just yawned. “I believe a call you are expecting is about to come in.” Just as the cat finished his statement, she heard the one phone on the desk ring. It was a private line, which had been installed shortly after they arrived in England, and was reserved for calls from important people, like the King.
Yvette was sure she knew who would be calling. She picked up the receiver on the phone, and calmly spoke. “Cale Residence, Lady Cale speaking.”
“Bonsoir Lady Cale. I had heard you needed to speak with me.” Yvette had recognized the voice the second he spoke. It was Ambassador Leveque, who they had first encountered over five years ago in Japan.
Since their first encounter, when he had been duped into believing her husband to be a threat, they had formed a friendship, which turned the man’s focuses around. He was difficult to get a hold of from time to time, but his mutant charisma always calmed people, even if they only heard his voice. Yvette, however was already at ease when she spoke. “Bonsoir Ambassador Leveque. I’m glad you called back. I have news for you. Over the weekend, I received news of a visitor at Godiva’s museum in the states. It appears she may be your daughter.”
There was a moment of silence on the phone. She wasn’t sure what was going through the Ambassador’s mind, and she didn’t want to tap into it. She knew he was immune to most forms of psychic scans, and that hers was one of the few able to get through; however, she wasn’t going to pry now.
Finally, the silence was broken. “Eloise is there? Is it really her?” Yvette could tell in his voice that there was hope that she was right. She wondered how long that hope had remained over the years he had been around.
“Yes. Godiva had mentioned that she said her name, in French. She had appeared out of thin air. She was also surprise at how she has a likeness to me.” Yvette had wondered if that was too much information, or merely a fact that he was already aware of.
She heard a slight chuckle on the other end of the line. “Oui. In fact, when I first saw you, Yvette, I had thought you were my daughter. However, I realized then it wasn’t the case. However, I don’t doubt that it is her. In the time I have known you and your husband, I never told either of you about her, and that’s how I know you are telling the truth. She had disappeared many years ago, and I thought she was dead. If I remember right, it was one Nathaniel Essex that was pursuing her.”
Yvette gasped when she heard the name. It was one of the villains that the X-Men had encountered, and Sean and Emma had made sure they all knew about them. Nathaniel Essex was known to the X-Men as Mr. Sinister, and he seemed to study the genetics of mutants. She had even heard rumors that the man had even conducted experiments involving cross-breeding mutants. She was glad that Generation X had never crossed his path.
She quickly returned her mind to the phone call. “If you would like, Jean, I can get your daughter here to the school my husband and I run. We will keep her safe, and you can pick her up here, when you can.” She knew that the school wasn’t entirely safe, but it was someplace safer than a museum. She didn’t doubt that Godiva had given Eloise a room in the living quarters that were hidden in the museum, but she knew they weren’t completely safe.
The answer she received was almost what she figured it would be. “Oui. I have been kept busy as of late. I’m sure you are aware that my Ambassador duties, as well as undoing some of my misguided efforts, have kept me busy. There are also a few individuals who show up who still believe I’m evil.” Yvette knew exactly who he was referring to, but said nothing. She didn’t know if he was aware that Richard had allowed them a place to stay at any of the company apartments as repayment for helping them in Japan. “I will notify you when I am in England. I trust you have means to get Eloise there discretely.”
Yvette thought for a moment, and then remembered what Clarice had told her. “Yes, I do. In fact, one of our students will be able to help in that. Until later, Ambassador.” She hung up the phone and looked over at Grimore. She could tell the cat appeared a bit apprehensive about the phone conversation.
She walked over to Grimore and petted him. “Something unnerving you about the whole situation, Grimore?” She heard him purr for a moment as she petted him. She was sure that was more of his feline nature than his mystical nature.
After a moment, he spoke. “Just the fact that you want to involve one of the students. I suggest you pick one who has been here for a while.” She didn’t fully understand Grimore’s statement, but she had already picked out the student who would help her. She stopped petting him, and used her powers to summon the one student who would help her best.
Anne Smith had been sitting in the girl’s lounge when she received a psychic summons. It has been quiet, since all the other girls were busy. Tasha hadn’t gotten out of the med area yet. Amy Johnson was most likely with Kevin Mitchell. Kiana Asahara was usually studying in the Cale secret library. She would have spoken with Samantha Cain, but the girl had disappeared, claiming to have a phone call to make. Of course, now that she had been summoned, it didn’t matter who was where.
She quickly made her way through the halls, and to the room that was Lord and Lady Cale’s room. When she finally reached the room, she saw the door open, and watched as Grimore walked out of the room. As the feline passed her, she heard Yvette speak in her mind. “Come in, close the door, and sit down.”
Anne did as she was instructed, quickly entering the room, and closing the door. She then saw that one chair was moved to be facing Yvette, and sat down in it. After she sat down, she saw what she thought was a flash of light, and in moments she was standing again. She was also standing across from Lady Cale, and they were both dressed as they were, except Lady Cale’s outfit seemed a little more fancy.
She also noticed that the room had changed entirely. Before she could ask, Lady Cale spoke. “We are on the astral plane. I have recreated a room that is in Godiva Cale’s museum in America. This has something to do with the reason I summoned you here.”
Anne looked around the room, noting all the statues of creatures. She turned to face Yvette again. “Why did you summon me here? Does it have something to do with my powers and Lord Cale’s cousin’s place?”
She wasn’t surprised when Yvette nodded. “It has a lot to do with it. Many years ago, Lord Cale and I had made an acquaintance with a French Ambassador. Over the years, we have kept in touch, but that first meeting was not the best.”
For a moment, Anne forgot who she was talking to. “Does this have anything to do with Iron Chef?” She quickly covered her mouth when she realized what she said. She had always wondered about that, and something made her think about it right then and there. She also realized she said the wrong thing when Yvette just stared at her.
She was nervous now, especially when Yvette said, “I take it you found out about the bootleg tapes out there. We were made aware that some tapes of what had happened had been sold.” She relaxed when Yvette sighed. “Yes, it does relate to that. You see, at that taping was the French Ambassador, and at the time, he was doing some things that were not the right thing to do. In fact, he had been asked by someone to try and kill Lord Cale. As things played out, the truth about what had happened was discovered, and we became friends.”
Anne nodded in understanding, however she was puzzled about why the museum was where they appeared to be. “How does the museum play into all this?”
Yvette smiled at her. Anne figured it was the kind of smile that The Doctor gave his companion whenever a clever explanation was forthcoming. “Very simple. Over the weekend, Godiva Cale contacted me, telling me about a woman who arrived at the museum. She is the daughter of that Ambassador. I spoke with him just a few moments ago, and he wants her brought here, discretely.”
Instantly, Anne put two and two together. “And you are showing me this room in the museum because you want me to transport us there and back.” She watched as Yvette nodded. All of a sudden, she was scared. It was an aspect of her power that scared her. “Lady Cale, I don’t know if I should. It’s one thing to open a ‘step’, but it’s another thing to pass through. It can be draining to me if the step is from one city to another. But for the step to be between two continents, I don’t know if I’ll be able to use my power for hours.”
She watched as Yvette nodded, and the image of the museum room disappeared from around them. In a brief flash, she realized she was sitting in the Cale’s room, opposite Yvette. She watched as Yvette stood and put her hand on her shoulder. “Trust me, Anne, we aren’t heading into a battle. We won’t be walking into the arms of a villain. What we will be doing is going to my husband’s cousin, and rescuing a lost girl.”
She looked right at Yvette, and in that moment, she saw Yvette’s face, framed by her long red hair. In that moment, Anne saw Yvette as a concerned parent, which she was well aware she was. She stood up, still with Yvette’s hand on her shoulder. “I’ll help. When do we leave?”
She walked with Yvette towards the door. “We will have to leave late at night, since we should arrive after closing at the museum. After dinner, I want you to get some rest. Is that understood?” Anne nodded, and Yvette smiled. They then continued towards the dining hall. As they walked, Anne couldn’t help but wonder what other surprises were about to arise for the school, besides this new person that she had just agreed to help.
Quinn Taylor walked through the current hideout of Claudette St. Croix. They had moved from hideout to hideout for the past five years, and this one had been the most stable. That was a good thing considering where she was heading in the hideout. The room she was heading to was a combination lab and prison. Over five years ago, her boss, Claudette St. Croix, teamed up with Apocalypse. During the team-up, plans went wrong, and a formula intended to be used on Claudette’s sister and Yvette Cale ended up being used on Claudette. As punishment for this, Claudette insisted on bringing Dark Beast with them, so he could develop the cure.
As she entered the room, she saw him toiling over a set of beakers. Upon first sight, he looked exactly like Beast from the X-Men. He even sounded like him, but those were the only similarities. In Dark Beast’s mind were many ideas that the real one would never think of. In fact, the formula that had been used on Claudette was the creation of the Dark Beast. In fact, the only thing keeping him there was a mental suggestion that Claudette had placed before her powers initially failed. Now, all that kept her boss’s powers going was the outfit she wore.
When Quinn was near Dark Beast, she looked at him with disapproval. “Is the cure finally ready?” She felt a slight satisfaction when Dark Beast jumped. He had been so absorbed in his current task, that he had not heard her enter. That was fine by her, since she knew that the cure was the most important task.
She watched as he finally turned to look at her. In what she could see of his eyes, she could tell he was already plotting some fate for her, and the others of Claudette’s group. She didn’t care, since all they were were thoughts. Finally, the evil scientist spoke. “Yes. It’s ready. I’m sure it will work, the test subject obviously shows the cure works, however, it was distributed too late.” He then motioned to a corner of the room.
Quinn walked a little to see the corner. On the floor was a grate, which emptied into a container underneath the room. What was lying on the grate was a face down mutant. She could tell the mutant had pink hair, and most likely been female. However, now they were dead, and portions of the grate still had what looked like blood on it. As she looked on, she heard Dark Beast say, “She had been a very powerful mutant, more powerful than I had expected. If I had known how powerful she was, I would have given her the formula a little later than I had. You must thank that summoner again for bringing her to us.”
Quinn turn and headed towards the door. As she approached Dark Beast, she stopped. “Grab the cure, and head to Claudette’s room.” She watched as he picked up a syringe with a blue liquid in it, and watched as he left the room. She smirked when she thought of how much time that Dark Beast had devoted to perfecting that formula. Of course, over the years, several mutants had died in the search for the cure, and that was part of the reason they had moved so often.
When she was sure Dark Beast was out of ear shot of the room, she picked up another syringe filled with a green liquid. She had seen it used on all the victims. She took a great deal of satisfaction in seeing it used on male captives, and each time hoped he wouldn’t find the cure. However, now that a cure was found, and all that was left was the two syringes, she had orders to make sure they could never be used again. That meant using the last of it, and Quinn knew who the last was to be used on, especially as she left the room, and headed for Claudette’s room, stopping only to get Henry.
Dark Beast walked down to the room that was Claudette’s. In all the lairs that his captor had over the past five years, this was the biggest. Of course, his being confined to his lab was one thing he both loathed and loved. He had longed for this day to arrive. He knew that Claudette had planted a suggestion in his head, but part of the reason it took so long was that he started other side projects; one for each one of Claudette’s little group. None of them were complete, but that was part of his plan. Once the cure worked, he would be dismissed, but instead of leaving, he would return to the lab, and finish them.
As he neared Claudette’s room, he stopped thinking of the devices, and how they would make Claudette and her group submit to calling him master. It was always wise to put such thoughts out of one’s head when around telepaths. He entered the room, seeing that almost every member of Claudette’s group were there, with the exception of the deaf/mute Golden, and the young mutant, Henry. As he stepped forward, he bowed slightly. “I bring you the cure, Claudette.”
He watched as she smiled, and motioned to the teenage demon summoner. “Arisa, bring the cure to me, as I prepare for it.” He watched as the Asian teenager walked over and took the syringe, and as African born leader removed the special outfit she wore. Dark Beast knew that outfit was the only thing that allowed her to maintain her powers as the formula did it’s insidious task. What he never told her that the outfit was only a temporary solution. If he had delayed a few more months, the suit wouldn’t be able to keep up with the formula’s effects.
He remained calm as the Asian walked over to Claudette, noting how fast the formula effects were now. He calculated that if this did not work, by the time it could be determined, she wouldn’t be able to get her suit on again. It would mean his death, but he would have at least had revenge on his captor. He then watched as the Asian injected Claudette with the cure. After it was injected, he watched as the girl stepped back, a bit nervous.
He paid attention to Claudette’s face, watching the look of pain that was crossing it as the formula did its task. Soon, the look of pain started to lessen, and become replaced by a look of relief. He also watched as her form started to revert to what it was before the injection years ago. Soon, a smile was crossing her face, as she started to float in the air. Her powers were obviously restored. He wasn’t surprised when she faced him. “You’ve finally done well, Dark Beast. To that, I give you a special reward. Quinn, give him his reward.”
He smirked when he heard that. Quinn Taylor, known to them as Q. T., had been a thorn in his side. Always checking up on him, lording over him how the mighty had fallen. He would feel satisfaction at her giving him his reward. He turned to try and face her, figuring she was behind him, but stopped when he felt a pain in his shoulder. He spun around, only to see her step back, standing next to Henry, and holding an empty syringe in her hands. “What did you just do,” he half asked, half growled.
He saw a malicious smile cross Quinn’s face. “I’ve given you the first part of your reward.” He then realized which syringe it was. It had been the one with the last of his formula, the same one that had been used on Claudette. Horror struck him as it started coursing through his body, undoing the effects of his mutant powers, and channeling them elsewhere. He turned to face Claudette, and saw the same malevolent grin on her face. He then realized that all this time, he wouldn’t ever get revenge, and that from what happened over five years prior, was a death sentence.
Claudette St. Croix watched with delight as the realization of his fate crossed Dark Beast’s face. She floated towards him, and wickedly smiled. “Did you honestly think I would let you go, knowing you might plot revenge against me, and possibly recreate that wretched formula. I bet it’s painful right now, feeling all your powers being redirected elsewhere. Quinn told me of what your formula did to men.”
She smiled more as Quinn laughed. “It’s a shame I had to use the last of it on you. After you blabbed about who you had used this formula on in your timeline, I thought about using it on them here.” Claudette could detect that Quinn had been torn about that part, but it had been agreed far in advance.
Claudette smirked as Dark Beast’s body started to revert to something more human. She then hovered closer to him, being almost face to face with him. “You do realize that unless your powers are re-injected into you, you’re as human as the rest of the humans in the world.”
She floated back just as Dark Beast when to lunge at her. “I can build something before too long. I still have the plans for your suit. I just have to make a few modifications.” She then watched as Henry morphed into his brutish form and held down Dark Beast.
Claudette laughed at his struggles, and smirked again. “I don’t doubt you could, however your reward isn’t complete. You do deserve a kiss for good luck. Quinn, if you would do the honors.”
Another look of horror crossed Dark Beast’s face. He realized what a kiss now meant from Quinn. She knew this was the only thing Quinn liked about men. She watched as Quinn positioned herself to be face to face with the struggling Dark Beast, or what was left of him, and proceeded to kiss him. She could mentally tell Quinn was enjoying the effects her deadly kiss was having on the former mad scientist.
Soon the figure stopped moving, and Quinn got up. “He’s gone, and so are his formulas. What shall we do now, boss?”
Claudette floated down, and stood on the ground next to Quinn. “Very simple, we start planning a strike on the school that Lord Cale now has. Maybe a demon distraction will allow us to get in and humiliate the school. By the way, good job at having Henry with you for this.”
She watched as Quinn smiled. “Not a problem, he’s good at following orders, given his gender. Shall I get Golden to help in the planning?”
Claudette shook her head. “No, I’ll send him to you in a bit. He’s been waiting for this day for over five years.” She then walked out of the room, knowing how Quinn thought about men, and walked to where Golden’s room was.
As she walked, she used her newly regained powers and reached out to her brother. “Marius, it’s your little sister telling you I have my powers back. I do hope all is well with you.”
She wasn’t surprised to hear a response back. “They are not the best, since some of my minions were defeated trying to capture Cale and his group. This is only a temporary setback. I plan not to fail again.”
She smiled at hearing that. She loved the power her brother had, and would love to rule the world by his side. Just the thought of it excited her, which was good given where she was heading. “I’m sorry to hear of your defeat, brother, however I plan to weaken the Cale’s severely in the future. Maybe you can come in and finish what you started.”
As she reached the door to Golden’s room, she heard Marius remark. “I’m sure you would love that, however, I don’t want you trying to merge us again, or I will kill you.” She laughed at that, knowing she wouldn’t attempt that again, unless she could remain in power.
“Don’t worry. I won’t. When I have a plan together, I will let you know. For now, I’m rewarding one of my followers.” She then opened the door to see Golden watching a video. It was one of his guilty vices, a certain anime series. As he looked at her, she saw his eyes go wide. “As you can see, the cure worked, and now it time for your reward for being so faithful.” She had longed for this for many years. She closed the door to the room, knowing it would be a while until they left it.
|Next Chapter||Sinister Things Afoot|
|Future Chapters and Stories|
|Chapter 19||Gains And Losses|
|Chapter 20||Surprise Surprise|
|Chapter 21||Flirting With Disaster|
|Chapter 22||Dangerous Party Crashers|
|Chapter 24||The Person We Know|
|Chapter 25||Bogus Bobbies|
|Chapter 26||Sinister Effects|
|Last Chapter (Chapter 27)||Darkness Revealed|
|Future Stories (All Links go to the first chapter)|
|The Wrath Of Dio|
|Library Page||RichGenX's Library - X Knights 1 - The First Month|