It is December 16th, and after a busy day. most of which was away, Chapter Twenty of X-Knights: The First Month is getting posted now. In this chapter, certain individuals and groups now have to deal with the results of what was found out in the last chapter. For some, this means reworking their future plans in hopes of achieving their ends, while for others it means changing their position entirely.
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|
|Chapter 16||Overseas Developments|
|Chapter 18||Sinister Things Afoot|
|Previous Entry||Gains And Losses|
Chapter 20: Surprise, Surprise
Alexandra silently sat in her room, and thought about the situation she was in. It was one she had dreaded since her powers developed, but since she started working with Graylon Walsh, she feared it would happen. Her fear was that her powers would be discovered by someone she was spying on. What made it worse was that she had to go undercover, and use her powers more to hear from Graylon.
Thinking about Graylon made her think about how she first met him, and her powers first manifestation. Graylon had come to her school investigating a claim where a group of rich kids were getting away with things. He had started looking into various things, and she knew he had been getting close to something. She heard he was even planning a live broadcast, and before that, she approached him.
Prior to it, she had overheard some of the boys planning something humiliating for her. She had been a beautiful girl, but she was also smart, and wanted nothing to do with them. That day, she heard them planning to do something to her, and then ruin her reputation at school. While she told Graylon about that, she heard the one boy’s father trying to intimidate Graylon’s boss. When the time came to do his broadcast, he addressed his boss about it, live on the air. His boss had been so shocked that he admitted the intimidation had happened, and he was glad Graylon brought it to light.
After that, she started working for Walsh, using her powers to bring some big secrets to light. She had discovered some of the manhunts that Scotland Yard was on, which in turn sped up the apprehension of the subject. She also help reveal some of the scandalous things the noble classes were doing. Then she was asked to keep her ears on the Cale family. With Lord Cale being advisor to the crown, Graylon was sure of big secrets being kept. However, until the school opened up, they started really showing up.
The recent events and discoveries were what lead to her predicament. When the corpse had shown up, she had overheard the teachers talking, which included the name. She let Graylon know, and then after he showed up, and apparently said the name, they came inside. Before too long, she caught the name of the one teacher, and remember the past of the character, especially as the one X-Man mentioned it. She was quick to go off and notify Graylon, and was then caught.
As she thought of that, she heard Graylon talking to her, from where ever he was. “Alex, I’m going to be at the school soon. Apparently Lord Cale wants to talk about the corpse, and I’m going to bring up Skinur. I bet he can’t get himself out of this one. Try to let me know what he’s up to. I’m betting he’s been trying to keep things under wraps, especially with those two others arriving. By the way, why haven’t you let me know who they are?” As the statement ended, she heard a knock on the door. With that knock, she could tell her fate was about to be decided, and the knock sounded like a death march. She got up, and headed over to the door, to find out who was sending her to her fate.
Jubilation Thomas was about to knock on the dorm room door again, when it opened, revealing the girl they had known as Samantha Cain. She looked at the girl, and she could see that the fact that her fate at the school being uncertain was bothering her. She just motioned to walk along side of her, and the girl quietly obeyed. She could understand in part what the girl was going through, since her days at a mallrat, and then hiding out in the one X-Men base, but she had never been a spy.
As they started down the steps, she heard the girl speak for the first time since her spying had been discovered. “What’s going to happen to me?” She glanced at the girl, and something in the tone told her that there was a lot of things going on in her mind.
Jubilation slowed her pace down, and watched as the girl did the same. She sighed, and then decided to answer as best she could. “It all depends. Richard does tend to stay level headed, unless it’s an extreme situation. However, he does believe in second chances. It also depends on what he’s learned about you.”
She watched as a puzzled look crossed the girl’s face. “What do you mean by that? Is he telepathic, or is the proper term a psi-mutant?”
Jubilation smiled, and then shook her head. “I wouldn’t say that.” She then leaned her head back, letting her black hair flow a bit behind her. Since her days with Generation X, she had let it grow a little past shoulder length. Everett had really liked it when she did that, and she decided to leave it that way. “Richard’s main power has been full mimicry of sorts. If a mutant gets too close to him, he takes on their powers, memories, and even personality. However, if he get’s too close, he takes those things on, but maintains his personality.”
She watched as a frightened look crossed the girl’s face. “You mean, he got into my mind? He knows everything about me?”
Jubilation put a hand on the girl’s shoulder. “No. He’d have to spend a lot of time with you to do that, and ever since the days in school, he’s learned to control the range of his power. Most times now, he keeps a tight reign on them. It helps him maintain his own personality. Let me put it this way, what if you walked up to a person, and just by doing that, you forced your memories into their mind.”
In that moment, she saw a look of understanding cross the girl’s face. Before the girl said anything, she answered the most likely question. “Right, it’s not a pleasant thing, especially if the powerful memories are traumatic. However, it gives him insight to what kind of person you are.”
She paused for a moment, as she felt a wave a nausea go through her. She had been feeling like this for a few days now, and something made her think that something wasn’t right with her health. It was possible this was an illness, but there was another possibility that she needed a doctor in town for. During that moment, the young lady they had all known as Samantha Cain spoke. “So, he’d know if my underlying motive was just to show the truth?”
She nodded, and noticed they were getting closer to Richard Cale’s office. However, they were heading to the room right next to it. As they entered that room, she answered the girl’s question. “Indeed, but I’ll tell you something, some times, the secrets we keep are kept secret for a reason.” As she said that, her mind raised, remembering all the secrets that had been exposed. There had been so many, including Monet’s brother being Emplate, the fact that Richard’s uncle turned out to be the head of Zero Tolerance, as well as the past of Darrett Thomas. She also then thought about the secret might need to engage in, until at least she spoke with Yvette Cale about the local doctors. With those thoughts running through her head, she closed the door to the room, and sat down next to the girl, and waited patiently for the moment she would no longer be escorting the girl.
Graylon Walsh pulled into the Cale Institute ground, surprised that he was being asked back, especially after the incident the previous day. However, with the information Alex had told him after that, he felt like he finally could expose the dirty little secrets that Lord Cale was hiding. He had a feeling that the advisor to the crown had some sort of secret motives. Of course, he was sure that a mutant school was one of those. He didn’t understand why Lord Cale had waited so long, unless it was a plan to look like he wasn’t planning to set up a group of mutant heroes, like the X-Men.
Things started to look like they were going his direction when shortly after an incident at the school, he had heard about Lady Cale’s father being the leader of the almost militant X-Corps. He had heard the group had been destroyed, and that the leader had his throat slashed, but never learned how the man had gotten the best treatment. He heard of some Interpol connections, but he didn’t think they were the reason.
As he got out of his car, and headed towards the door, he thought of the task Alex was doing, exposing the school from the inside. She had been the one to tip him off to the incidents at the mall, the protest on the lawn, and the apparent attack inside the school. Deep down, he was glad for the protest, since he wasn’t a fan of the Knights of Humanity. He thought they were involved, especially since he had found out that a store that Lady Cale dealt with on an exclusive basis, was one of the ones trashed. The woman there would not admit it, but he was sure she was trying to protect Lady Cale.
When he reached the door, he was surprised to see a blonde lady on the other side. From what he had gathered, none of the woman at the school were blonde, unless this was one of the two people who had fingered the one person as a criminal. Before he could even say his name, the woman spoke with what he could be sure was a lovely southern drawl. “You’ve been expect, Mr. Walsh. Come with me, and Ah shall escort you to Lord Cale’s office.”
He nodded, and started following the lady. As they walked, he studied her for a moment, trying to recall where he might have seen her before. As they moved through the halls of the school, it suddenly hit him who she was. “Aren’t you one of the X-Men? If I remember right, you look to be the one known as Husk.” He noticed she nodded, but didn’t verbally answer. That was fine by him, since it only gave him more fuel. The X-Men, started in America, was done as a school as well, but only a select few became part of the X-Men. While they were heroes, one had to wonder why they would have to be trained to fight.
Soon, he noticed the lady had stopped, and motioned to a door. “Lord Cale is in there. He’s waiting for you.” He nodded and started to open the door. As he did, she started walking away, but she made a statement that seemed odd. “Ah’m sure you are going to be very surprised.” Something about that statement worried him, but he was sure that what ever was said, he could spin it to make himself look good.
When he fully entered the office, he closed the door, and looked over at the desk. He could see Lord Cale looking over a folder, which he was sure was something related to a student. That was even better for him, since when he would mention the criminal he knew that was here, it would catch Cale off guard. With out looking up, Lord Cale motioned towards a chair opposite his desk. “Please have a seat, Mr. Walsh, we have a good deal to talk about.”
Graylon walked over to the chair, but he didn’t sit down. He was going to maintain control of this situation. As long as he didn’t sit down, he wouldn’t turn control of the interview over to Lord Cale. “Indeed we do, Lord Cale. I would like to know more about the corpse found on your ground, as well as you connection to Sean Cassidy. However, the big thing I want to talk to you about is the criminal you have here. I’m sure you are already aware of who I’m talking about.”
He watched as Lord Cale looked up, and nodded. The look on his face was stone cold, but Graylon could see that he must have anticipated what was going to happen. “I am aware of the criminal here, and I’m sure she’ll have a stake in this meeting as well.” Graylon nodded, but then he ran through the statement in his mind. Lord Cale didn’t say ‘he’ll’, but ‘she’ll’.
Before he could remark, he saw Cale push a button, that had to be an intercom, and say, “Let her in.” He then turned to see a door open, and Graylon was shocked when he saw entering through the door was not the man he had pegged as Davis Skinur, but his own assistant, Alexandra McNeal. He then looked at Lord Cale, and saw the man had a slight smile on his face. Right then, and there, Graylon knew he had lost control of how this was going to go, since he also realized that the reason he never heard back from Alexandra was that she had been discovered.
Lord Richard Cale sat calmly at his desk, watching as Graylon realized that his spy had been discovered. He took a little joy in the situation, however, he didn’t dwell on it. When he had discovered who the girl known as Samantha Cain really was, his powers also let him find out why she did what she did. Her powers had allowed her to stop a great wrong that was happening, and one that would have victimized her. He couldn’t fault her from stopping that.
He also couldn’t fully fault Graylon for his actions. The higher society did have a tendency to try and hide their shames, which included wicked things. He could understand why the press hounded them, but watchdogs like Walsh tried to find evil in every person.
When Graylon turned to look at him, he could still see some shock on his face, and that told Richard he now had the reporters full attention. “I see you recognize Alexandra McNeal. I have to admit that at first I didn’t realize she was a spy. In fact, it wasn’t until yesterday, when you said the name of the corpse, and her own actions after a little incident that I put two and two together.” He then looked at Alexandra, and calmly said, “Believe it or not, this is why mutants need to train their powers. Some times, their good intentions cause more problems.”
He looked back at Graylon, who appeared to be putting on a strong face. “So you found out who my spy is. That’s not going to stop me from telling the country about the murderer you have as a teacher. I looked into the background of that teacher, Davis Skinur. I know you even testified against him and put him away.”
Richard stood up, but remained calm. “Did you also read where his actions were later found out to be controlled by the mutant known as Apocalypse?” When Graylon looked dumbfounded, he continued. “Did your research also discover that his sentence was reduced due to that fact, and he has returned to his normal self? I’m guessing it didn’t. I do him a favour by not bringing up his past.”
Graylon stood silent, and Richard could tell that he had shattered Graylon’s scoop. He then walked closer to the reporter, controlling the range of his own mutant mimicry powers, and said, “Now, I’m offering a chance to do your spy a favour. You are aware that MI5, Scotland Yard, and various others are looking for the source of all their leaks. They all don’t like having information leaked out, even though it did help them. The simple fact is that they are the most secure organizations in England, and a breach of security is a serious issue.”
He wasn’t surprised when Graylon turned to face him, and he saw a bit of anger in his eyes. “What are you proposing, Cale?” He wasn’t sure if Graylon was aware of it, but in that brief moment of anger, he saw a slight bit of blue in the pupils of the reporter’s eyes.
Richard looked square into Graylon’s eyes, and said, “Personally, I don’t want to send your associate to be prosecuted as a threat against the King. I’d rather she learn to control her powers, so she doesn’t make the situation worse. I also don’t want to see you go to jail to protect your source. I’m giving you the opportunity to help her, and even yourself. All I ask in return is you leave the staff, students and our families alone.”
As the words sunk in, he saw Graylon calming down. He could see that Walsh was actually concerned for the girl’s welfare. In a moment, Graylon turned to face him, and there was a calm look on his face. “I take it that also means the family of Angelo Espanosa. Tell me, why did you want to keep his discovery hush hush? Answer that, and I have no problems what so ever. I’ll still agree, but I just want to know.”
Richard could tell Graylon was being honest. In that brief moment, he had extended his own powers, and picked up a bit on who Graylon was. He nodded, and just said, “Simply put, before we ever met Angelo, Angelo had appeared to die in a gang related incident. Since that day, his family believed him dead, and he wanted it to be kept that way. He didn’t want them thinking he was a monster.”
He watched as Graylon nodded, and then turned to Alexandra. “I’m beginning to think this place isn’t the problem I thought it would be. Alex, I want you to remain here, and learn how to control you abilities more. I’ll even let your family know.”
Richard placed his hand on Walsh’s shoulder, and calmly said, “You’re welcome to stop in as well.” He saw Graylon look at him with a puzzled look, and he held up his other hand, which he now had surrounded in an electric blue aura. “I know about your powers. I think you thought you had caused the problem yesterday, but it was my doing. If you really fear it, you are welcome to come and learn. I even offer the chance to teach if you want.”
He was relieved when Graylon nodded. “I think that’s fair.” They then shook hands, and he watched as Graylon left the office. He also noticed a relieved look on Alexandra’s face, which was similar to Walsh’s. He wondered how long they had worked together, but put that out of his mind as he summoned Clarice to escort her back the girl’s dorm, as well as mentally informed the two bodyguards to notified two student to come to his office.
Clarice Furgeson-Thomas escorted the girl that she had known as Samantha Cain out of the office, and back towards the girl’s dorm. As they walked, she could see the girl was happy. She knew why, since they had all discussed the options of what could happen. As they neared the girl’s dorm area, Clarice finally spoke. “He gave you a second chance. We all figured that might happen.”
She noticed the girl turned to face her with a surprised look on her face. “You knew he wasn’t going to send me away?” Clarice shook her head, and the look was replaced by one of puzzlement. “I’m confused. You mean I might have been sent away?”
Clarice nodded, and started up to the girl’s meeting area. “It was possible. Richard explained about how you were being wanted. We all discussed the possible options, weighing the pros and cons. In then end, it was decided that the final option would be up to Graylon.”
As they entered the room, she wasn’t surprised to see no one in there. Some were still in their special Friday classes, but she knew they would be returning soon. As they went over to two chairs, she heard the girl speak very nervously. “You mean if Graylon choose to, he could have had me sent to jail?”
She motioned for her to sit, and then Clarice did the same, answering the girl’s question. “Honestly, I doubt he would have. Reporters have a long history of protecting their sources. He would never have let you go to jail. However, things are not going to be easy for you. You are going to have to prove yourself to them, since they now know you had been spying. At that will be toughest with Tasha Lewis.”
Even after saying it, she thought about the African girl, and how, after the kind of life she had live, it would be hard to trust some one like Samantha, or as the file she had seen said, Alexandra. Thinking of that, she turned to the girl again. “They are also going to have to get used to your real name.”
She heard the girl sigh. “It will feel good to hear it again. I don’t have to worry about letting it slip out. I never really wanted to go undercover, but Graylon felt it was best, since Lord Cale was constantly looking for bugs. I think Graylon was afraid that Lord Cale would find a way to prove a bug was here.” Clarice chuckled at that, but remembered the stories of tricks pulled on Angelo.
Thinking about Angelo almost made her cry, but before she could feel bad, she heard the girls in the hall. She looked over at the door, and called out to the girl. “I want all of you in the lounge right now.”
As they all entered, Clarice wasn’t surprised to see that Tasha Lewis, the African girl, was the first to notice the girl sitting there. It had been her that told them she was a spy. She stopped right in the door, and glanced right at the girl. “What’s she still doing here?”
When the other girls remained at the door, Clarice stood up, and gave them a stern look. “She is remaining here, as a student. It’s either this, or she ends up in prison for life, and Graylon didn’t want that to happen to her. She also wants to use her power for spying on people. It’s is part of why schools like this are developed. I do hope you ladies can give her a second chance.”
She was surprised when the one to step forward was the Asian, and non-mutant, girl, Kiana. She stepped forward and shook the girl’s hand. “If Lord Cale can find it in his heart to give you a second chance, than I shall do the same.” Clarice was glad when all the girl’s did the same.
Just as Tasha stepped up, Clarice looked at all the others and said, “I’m glad you all did that, and allow me to introduce you to Alexandra McNeal. Treat her with the same respect you treat your teammates with.” She then pulled Tasha aside, and quietly said, “Tasha, Lord Cale wants to see you in his office. Why don’t you head down there?” She saw a puzzled look on the girl’s face, but she did as she was told. Clarice then watched as the girls got to know the real Alexandra McNeal, and hoped that no one would feel differently about her.
Kevin Mitchel was still in shock as he walked through the halls towards Lord Cale’s office. With all the events of the past week, which included the attack on the weekend, the discovery of the corpse, and then that the new girl, Samantha Cain, was a spy, he was afraid his parents want him to come home. Deep down, he knew it must be either that, or that Amy Johnson, the girl he cared about very deeply, was going home.
As he approached the office, he started to worry more, especially when he saw Tasha Lewis coming up along side of him. He knew a bit about Tasha’s home life, since it was part of why she was at the school. If the school closed, she would have to return to her parents, and that was a fate worse than death. He was also aware of her psychic abilities, so he wasn’t surprised when she looked at him, and with a slight panicked look in her eyes, said, “Please don’t think that is why we are coming here. If that was the case, he would have called all of us down.”
He thought about it for a moment, and realized she was right. Lord Cale would have called everyone to the office. However, it didn’t put his mind at ease. It could be that they were in some sort of trouble because of the whole incident at the mall, but that didn’t make any sense since Tasha wasn’t there.
He was so worried, he didn’t notice when Lord Cale had opened the office door. “Kevin, Tasha, I’m glad you are here. Please come in.” He followed Tasha in to the room, and moved to sit in one of the chairs in the room. He turned to look at Lord Cale when his teacher closed the door, and walked to the desk.
As Lord Cale reached the desk, Kevin was surprised to hear what Tasha said. “Does this have anything to do with the spy staying with us?”
Her statement caught him off guard, and he looked at Lord Cale. “That girl is still staying with us?!”
He was stunned when Lord Cale nodded, and then answered the questions. “Yes, she is. If she didn’t, she would have been imprisoned, and what she needs is to learn to control her powers properly. That is the nature of this school. However, why I called for you two is a different reason. I’m sure you are both aware that our first few weeks have not been easy. We have come under attacks, and while I did not want you to be fighters, you have had to.”
Kevin could understand why Lord Cale thought that way, but he did understand the need to defend themselves. They also had to look out for one another, which is what he did at the mall. He felt a bit proud that he had done what he did. However, he didn’t dwell on it too long. He put it out of his mind and faced Lord Cale. “Sir, I know you didn’t want us to be fighters, but you have to feel good that we can do it when the need arises.”
He watched as his teacher nodded. “You are right, but there is one thing that will be needed, and that will be team leaders, which is why I selected both of you to be team leaders.” In that moment, Kevin was truly at a loss for words, since the whole time coming to the office, he was expecting the worst, and this was far from it.
Tasha Lewis felt as stunned as Kevin Mitchel looked. After seeing the spy was still at the school, she didn’t think anything could surprise her more than that. However, that bit of news hit her like a bombshell. She was so dumbfounded that the only thing she could say was, “Why us?”
She wasn’t surprised when Lord Cale looked at Kevin, and gave his reason for picking him. “Well, in Kevin’s case, he’s shown insight, a bit of inquisitiveness in searching out thing about my past.” When those last words were said, she could see that Kevin was proud, especially as a big smile crossed his face.
It was the next words that surprised her even more. “As for why you, Tasha, you have qualities that make you a good leader. Like Kevin, you’ve shown deductive reasoning, discovering there was a spy here, and locating them. To be honest, I had never thought about remote hearing as the way things were found out. You knew when to take risks, by using your powers to guide the others in helping with the ‘Ripper’ attack. You also have the ambition, given the image your parents have managed to give others about you.”
She lowered her head, and softly spoke. “I don’t deserve this, sir. You should make Amy the other team leader. She and Kevin work well together.” After hearing what her teacher had said, she did feel like she didn’t deserve that honor. Besides, it might put her at risk of losing her sanctuary status at the school.
She didn’t hear him move, but she realize he had moved when she felt a hand on her shoulder. “There are other reasons why I choose the team leaders like I did. I picked you because, of the other girl, you were best. Anne’s power could lead to difficulties, and she does seem to focus on her science-fiction books. That isn’t a bad thing, but at her age, it can colour your thinking. Kiana isn’t a mutant, so I can’t put her in charge. And with Kevin leading the guys, I didn’t want to put Amy in the same position. There could be some problems in who to help first in case of trouble. However, you’re powers are over all the best reason for you to lead. Not only can you keep in touch with others, you can communicate ideas quickly.”
Hearing all those reasons boosted her self-esteem, but she was still unsure about it. Before she could say anything more, she felt another hand on her shoulder, and saw it was Kevin. “He’s right, Tasha. You could be a great team leader. Besides, I bet if we had disguises, you wouldn’t have to worry about being discovered.”
She thought about that for a moment. It would be good to be able to leave the ground and not worry about being found out. The more she thought about the idea, the more she realized that she wasn’t the only one thinking about it. She was picking up on the thoughts of Lord Cale. She glanced over at him, and she could tell that he knew she picked up on his thought. Before she could even say anything, he just smiled. “Yes, everyone is getting an outfit. Besides, you aren’t the only one who would draw attention. Imagine what would happen if someone found out that the Prince was fighting crime.”
She smirked when she heard Lord Cale say that. It was a funny thought, but if Lord Cale was allowing the spy to remain, it might also mean that Graylon Walsh might be leaving the school alone. However, that didn’t mean they would be out of the woods. It could even help if they ever had to deal with her parents. Part of her even wondered what her parents might be up to, and realized what ever it might be. it would be bad.
Henry Meier sat behind the desk in his office at the Knights of Humanity headquarters. He wasn’t alone in his office, since the Lewis’s were in there with him. He knew they were upset at the way things went at Lord Cale’s school, but he did have a back up plan. It was one he wanted to set in motion when news crew had arrived when the mutants attacked. However, when the mutants never came out, and the police showed up first, his plans were halted. Now, after hearing that something happened at one mall, and that a corpse had been left on the school lawn, he had another opportunity.
He started to reach for the phone, when he heard Mr. Lewis say, “So what’s the plan now? How are we going to rescue our daughter?” Henry could detect something in the man’s voice, but he wasn’t sure what it was. What he was certain of was that the man who was talking was hiding something from him.
He put his hand on the receiver and looked at the man. “It’s simple, Mr. Lewis.” He never liked using first names with the members, and preferred code names when they went into a situation. “I’m going to contact the press, and notify them of your daughter’s abduction. I had hoped to do that when they attacked at the school, which I’m sure didn’t happen because they weren’t there.”
He watched as Mrs. Lewis leaned forward as he started to dial. “Why didn’t you do that before?” It was obvious to him that she didn’t understand the subtleties of the staging of the protest. If he hadn’t started dialing, he would have taken the time to explain the situation.
As the phone rang, he thought of how delicate the situation was. Lord Cale had somehow gotten into a position to brainwash the King in to thinking mutants were good. He then planted the idea of a mutant school in to the head of the monarch. He always wondered how a mutant had conned their way in to such a high position, and one that gave him so much power. Henry knew that the King wasn’t making his own decisions. He came out of his thoughts when the phone was finally answered. “Graylon Walsh speaking. What’s the scoop?”
Henry smiled at the Lewis’s and calmly spoke to the reporter. “Hello Mr. Walsh. I would like to inform you of a crime committed by a Lord. It appears that Lord Cale has abducted a young human girl, claiming she’s a mutant.”
He heard the reported make a sound like he was clearing his throat, before the reporter spoke. “That is a serious accusation. Why not go to the police with it?” Before he could come up with an answer to the question, the reporter just continued. “Let me guess, you don’t think the police will buy it. What might the kid’s name be?”
He sat back, feeling completely relaxed, knowing his plan was working. “Her name is Tasha Lewis. She was abducted from her loving parents, under the heinous claim that she is a mutant.”
He was stunned when a laugh came over the phone. It wasn’t the response he was expecting, since he was aware of how Walsh had been targeting Lord Cale in all his news broadcasts. However, what surprised him was the reporter’s next statements. “Tasha Lewis. I remember doing a story about her. She won a spelling bee a few years ago, until someone called fowl, claiming she cheated. It turned out the claim was unfounded, and she kept her prize. From what I found out, it was a bright spot in a tarnished life. No one even mentions it. And before you even say anything else, it was her own parents that cried foul, who didn’t even show up until the last day of the spelling bee.”
With those last words, he heard the phone hang up. He glanced over at the Lewis’s, who had heard the phone call as well. He could see a bit of shock on their faces, which told him that they had been hiding something all this time. He sat back in his chair, and gave them a stern look, one that told them they better talk or the consequences would be dire. “I’ll give you both one chance to tell me the truth.” Before he could even finish, they were blurting out their story, how they were going to exploit her, and then kill her, or dispose of her in some way. How they had made her seem a dreg of society, which in his mind they didn’t need to do since she wasn’t a human being. As he listened, he started to form another plan, but it would take time to implement it, and they had some.
Lady Yvette Cale entered the private room of her and her husband, followed only by Grimore, the mystical cat that was part of the Cale family. Her reason for entering the room now was because of a question she was asked earlier by her friend, Jubilation. However, from time to time, Yvette still thought of Jubilation as a sister, even though they weren’t related. As she closed the door to the room, she heard Grimore speak, as the feline jumped onto the bed. “Getting ready for some phone calls?”
She walked over to the desk, just at the moment the phone started to ring. She looked at Grimore, not surprised that the cat was aware the phone would ring. “Only one. Jubilation asked about my doctor, and I set up a discrete appointment. She’s probably calling to let me know the results.” She picked up the private phone, and answered. “Lady Cale speaking.”
She wasn’t surprised when she heard Jubilation on the other end. “Penny, it’s me. Your doctor is amazing, and she confirmed it.” Even though she didn’t see it, Yvette could see and hear the smile in her friend’s voice. It also explained the current changes in Jubilation’s actions during the past week.
She smiled, knowing that Jubilation couldn’t see it. “You are excited about this. You don’t call me Penny that much anymore, ‘sis’. Do you want me to tell the others?”
She wasn’t surprised when her friend answered. “No. I want to tell Ev first. We can tell everyone tomorrow at dinner. I should be back in a little while. Until then, keep this our secret.”
Yvette nodded, although she was sure Grimore figured it out. “Not a problem. Trust me, it’s an experience you’ll love, even through the rough times. Just be careful getting back.” She then hung up the phone, and looked at the cat. “Well, that’s the call. We better get back to the others.”
She got up, and started to head for the door, but the cat remained on the bed. She turned to look at him, and saw the cat was just looking at the phone. As he did that, something started to worry her. Grimore knew another phone call was coming, and was silently tell her that it wasn’t over. She wasn’t sure who else would call, unless it was Jean Leveneque, the French ambassador secretly known as the mutant Canon. Of course, since there encounter back in their Generation X days, Canon had been shutting down his more illegal ventures.
Almost as if her thoughts triggered it, the phone rang again. She walked over to the desk again, not sitting down this time, and answered the phone. “Hello, Lady Cale speaking.”
It was just as she suspected when she heard the charismatic voice of the French Ambassador. “Yvette, it is Jean Leveneque. I do hope Eloise is fitting in well there.” It was almost uncanny that he called at this time, but there was no way of him knowing about Jubilation’s situation.
She sat down for a moment, and told him. “She is getting along well. One of the other teachers here is helping her learn some English, and is helping communicate since she is fluent in French. She is also the daughter of an Ambassador.” Yvette decided not to mention the death of that Ambassador, since she didn’t want to hint at it.
She heard some happiness in Jean’s voice. “That is good. I plan to stop by there sometime in the next week. I may even let Eloise stay there, while I shut down a few more Asylum Seven operations. I hate to say that some bits of that organization are still operating, albeit independent of what I wanted. Knowing Eloise is still with us has change me more for the better than the past five years has.”
Yvette was glad for that, and then remembered how some of the people reacted to the last time they encountered each other. “Jean, I do want you to know that some of the Generation X members are helping with the school here. They may not have fully forgiven you for the events in Japan.”
She heard a sound of acknowledgement in his voice. “I understand and except that. It’s will be hard for my bodyguard to accept it as well. I’m sure you have heard of Equilibrium, however, he as decided Rage would be better as a code name.”
She remembered hearing about the bruiser, and how Clarice had teleported him far away, and stranding him there. “Indeed. I do hope he doesn’t cause a fight, especially with our one bodyguard. I will let the others know that you plan to arrive, and if we can, we can keep it discrete. I’ll let you get back to your tasks, since I need to get back to mine. Take care, Jean.” She then hung up the phone, and started towards the door.
She was also to the door, when she notice Grimore was still perched on the bed. She turned to look at him, and she heard him make another of his typical cryptic remarks. “There is one more surprise coming.” Before she could even ask, the phone rang again. He just smiled, and in that moment, she felt her body fill with unease. Knowing that the Ambassador planned to arrive made her mind race to another conclusion. Even though Canon was giving up his evil ways, there was probably still two people who believed he was up to something. The same two people that Richard had rewarded by letting them stay at apartments in the Paladin Technologies office buildings. She was aware they followed him, and feared that the call was one of them. She thought of what might happen if they came to the school at the same time, and was scared as she picked up the phone.
Balam was thankful when she heard someone pick on the phone. She even smiled when she heard the voice of Lady Yvette Cale speak. “Lady Cale speaking.” She did notice a bit of nervousness in the voice, like she was expecting some bad news.
Balam smiled and then spoke, hoping to calm their benefactor’s nerves. “Yvette, it’s Imbalamque. I know it’s been a long time since we spoke, and Kevin and I are still grateful for allowing us to stay at the apartments in your husband’s company. However...” She wasn’t entirely sure how to complete the next statement.
She glanced over at Kevin Dallas, who was standing on a balcony overlooking Rome, which gave a good view of Vatican City. He had left the door open as he smoked a cigarette. Over the years, he still smoked, but his hairline had slightly receded. She wondered if it more stress than genetic, but never pushed it. The stress was caused by one man, and Kevin’s attempts to put an end to his evil. However, with out turning to face her, he just said, “Just tell her that we got a tip that Canon is heading to England.”
She returned to her call, and said, “We just got a tip that Canon is heading to England. We called the branch in London, and they said they have no apartments there, since the Cale’s stay in their ancestral home. I was hoping we could stay there. Kevin’s been trying to stop Canon, and the past few years, someone has been destroying all of Canon’s operations, or they are being shut down by him. Kevin thinks something big is up.”
Again, Balam heard some surprise in Yvette’s voice. “I see. Well, when you do arrive, it will be to a school. We have turned our home into a school for mutants. That means Kevin will have to be on his best behavior.” She understood what Yvette was hinting at. Kevin wasn’t a crude person, but he was rough around the edges.
She sighed, and then said, “He will be. Odds are once we find out where Canon is, we will be out of there. It’s odd, but almost every time we get close, one of Canon’s bases is either shut down, or destroyed. We are hoping that this time, we’ll catch him.”
She then hung up the phone, and turned to Kevin. He had just come in from the balcony, and the look in his eyes said he wanted to know. After his latest death, his personality seemed to be in flux, like it wasn’t sure what it should be. “We are able to go, but you have to be on your best behavior. They are running a school, and I think they are worried you’ll be a negative influence.”
She wasn’t surprise when he made a sound of disgust. She felt her ears twitch as he said what she expected. “Canon’s the real negative influence, and they are aware of that. Hopefully, they will be able to help us finally defeat Canon once and for all.” She then watched as he walked into the apartment’s bathroom and closed the door. She then sighed, hoping truly that they were at the end of this road. Kevin had died a couple of times, each time his power reviving him. Before one of those prior deaths, he had briefly had a premonition, which foretold he would eventually die, and not come back. She hoped that this mad quest would end before it really did kill him.
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