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#1 Posted by RichGenX (983 posts) - - Show Bio

Author's Intro

It is December 23rd, and after recovering from yesterday, getting the last of the Christmas presents together, and working to prepare for a trip after Christmas, I am posting Chapter Twenty-Seven of X-Knights: The First Month. In what became the final chapter of this story, the group manage to launch a rescue attempt on Mr. Sinister's lair. At the same time, the Rippers try to infiltrate the school. What will happen, read and find out.

By the way, what I have left to post of old stuff, should get posted before the end of the year. But it probably won't happen until Saturday. Again, I hope you enjoy this.

Generation X Cale Storyline Disclaimer

Attention: Generation X and their villains, as well as any other mutant mentioned in this story, is property of Marvel Comics. The character Richard Cale is named after family relations. Any other reference to anything copyrighted is a chance happening.

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X-Knights: The First Month

Previous Stories and Chapters

Previous EntrySinister Effects

Chapter 27: Darkness Revealed

Kevin Mitchel looked at the building that was the lair of Mr. Sinister. It did look formidable, but that was because the building was so old. It was not as big as the ancestral home of the Cale’s, but it was close to it in size. Luckily, the plan that had been developed made sure the size of the building wasn’t a factor, at least not in the rescue.

He thought over the plan again, thinking that their part of the plan was the easiest. They were supposed to storm the building, obviously to rescue Lady Cale. Some of the students, and a majority of the teachers would use their talents to make their way inside. They were sure that there would be other guards, since it would be foolish to think Sinister would be there alone. In fact, Lord Cale felt it was certain that there would be guards, since it would have been certain that a rescue attempt would happen.

He then looked at the people who were in the forefront of the rescue team. Since they left the school, Lord Cale had insisted that everyone use codenames. Lord Richard Cale, who stood in the center of the force, was looking at the place to, and quietly said, "Ready yourselves." In that instant, he got to see the full range of powers that Generation X had possessed.

Kevin knew about Lord Cale's power, and remembered when he was told the headmaster of the school's codename was Skitz. Now he was stunned as Skitz's whole body changed. His limbs started to get narrower, and his fingers had become claws. His hair became spikes, and the eyes became a pure glowing brown.

Kevin then saw the other teachers transform. The newest teachers, Paige Guthrie and Jonothan Starsmore, had the most surprising transformations. Paige had ripped off her skin, and underneath, was a body of pure steel. Jonothan's face and chest appeared to be engulfed in a pseudo-fire, since he couldn't feel any heat from it. It now made sense that their codenames were Husk and Chamber.

He saw then Monet St. Croix, whose code name was Lady X, fly into the air, followed by Everett Thomas, who was now surrounded by a glowing aura. The aura did as his teacher's codename said, it 'synch'ed with the other teacher's powers. Right on the far sides of the line of teachers were the ones calling themselves Balam and Rage. Balam seemed to grow in size, looking like a giant cat, something he had seen before when the school had been attacked on the day she arrived. Rage, who was Ambassador Leveneque's bodyguard, however, seemed to radiate elemental power.

Behind them were the students, and some of the other teachers. Thomas Jacobs, known as Chance, didn't appear to have powers, but he had uncanny luck. Next to him was one of the newer student, Arron Aran, who had already changed into some thing that could fly. Arron's talent was the ability to transform into, of all things, video game characters. Those were the only students there, since most of the others were not fighters, and might be in serious trouble if caught.

The teachers in the back, however, were the ones that were not going to fight. They had other jobs. He looked at Clarice Ferguson-Thomas, known as Blink, and saw she was not happy staying in the back. He figured a good part of that was that she acted as Lord Cale's bodyguard. Now she was to use her teleportation powers to get them home, once the plan had succeeded. Next to her, with special earphones on, was Davis Skinur, whose code name was Harmonic. His eyes were glowing, which meant his power was active. He was pointing at the lair, and he said, "Alright, I've got it. Sinister will only see what we want him to see, until we leave. You're on, Switchover."

Kevin nodded when he heard his codename, and stepped up to the sidewalk that lead to the door. He also noticed the last of the adults stepping forward. It was the reporter, Graylon Walsh, but he still didn't understand why the man was here. Was Walsh going to do a story on the rescue? Lord Cale had been vague on that. All his teacher had said was that what Kevin would do would help Graylon.

Kevin just kneeled down, and touched the sidewalk. As he did so, it turned to metal. It actually appeared to be flowing out from his hands. The metal appeared to spread all along the sidewalk, until he could no longer feel the change happening. He stood up, and looked at the others. "All done." He then stood back, off of the metal, and waited for the next step.

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Jonothan had been impressed by the young mutant's power. Sure, he had seen Mondo alter his form to merge into walls and ground, but a touch to alter matter, that was amazing. It probably took a lot of will power to do that, but now was not the time to wonder about that. They had a friend to rescue.

He looked at everyone, and noticed those unfamiliar to him seemed to stare at the fiery furnace that was the cause of his codename. He then spoke to them in the psychic version of his voice. "Listen up, since I know most of you here had never gone up against Mr. Sinister before. He is obsessed with genetics, and any powerful mutant family line. If your power seems powerful in his eyes, he'll do what he can to have you captured alive."

He saw the slightly worried looks across some of the students' faces. Some of the teachers looked concerned, but to the credit of his former Generation X teammates, the majority didn't show it. He glanced over at Richard, seeing his teammate nod, and noticed that Richard's skin was now as red as Yvette's was when her power was active. Talking would be hard for the mutant now, so he continued. "Skitz has said that as long as we stick to the plan, then no one will end up captured. Just note that while Sinister worked alone to capture Penance, he will most likely have minions here. I would not be surprised if they are some he genetically engineered."

He noticed at that point that Christy's tail twitched. She honestly appeared nervous for a moment as she asked an important question. "Do you think he has some sort of way of countering our powers?"

For a moment, Jonothan paused. If Sinister did have that option, which he had used to counter Yvette's powers, the consequences would be disastrous. If his power were to be fully suppressed, he would die. He was also made aware of Arron's own affliction, which if the boy was in his normal human form, any light would burn his skin. It was a humbling thought. He glanced at Christy, and wondered how power suppression would affect her.

It then dawned on him that it would not be a concern. Not only would it hamper them, but it would hamper Sinister's minions. He then said, "He won't use it if he has it. Since we are outside, he can't contain it. Also, if we can't use ours, his minions can't use theirs." He then released the blast, and in flash, the door was in ruins.

He was not surprised when two huge goons came out of the door. They had been anticipating that move, and had stepped out on the sidewalk. He was certain the students couldn't handle this. He wasn't even sure the Gen X members were ready. He was surprised when Graylon stepped up to the metal sidewalk, smiled, and said, "Allow me."

Jonothan was about to ask the reporter what he was going to do, when the reporter knelt down and touched the metal. The second he did that, he realized that Graylon was a mutant. Richard had hinted that Graylon would be useful, and no one questioned it. Now he saw why, as lightning shot from his hands, and jumped down the metal path. The two goons that had stepped out only had time to blink as electricity hit them and knocked them back into the wall. He glanced at Graylon, and the reporter gave him another smile, before asking, "Think they will fall for that twice?" When he saw the next goon jump out of the door, he already knew the answer.

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Thomas Jacobs, known as Chance on the team, knew the fight was on, and was only momentarily surprised to see Graylon Walsh was a mutant. He took it all in stride, mainly because he was relying on his luck powers. Normally, he'd use his luck to avoid fights, and out maneuver those who intended to hurt him. Now, he had to use his luck to assist him in a fight.

He moved forward with the rest of the group as more enemies came out of the building. Those who were the teachers rushed forward, each using their power to aid them in battle. He almost marveled when he saw the grace some of them used while wielding their powers. Some of it was like poetry in motion, when Lord Cale slashed at one minions leg, and Paige, who said her codename was Husk, rammed a fist into another's gut.

At that moment, something in him told him to look left. He turned just as one of the minions rushed him. Instantly, he crouched, which not only kept him from being hit by the minion, but also allowed Chamber to fire a blast at the goon, knocking him away. Thomas took a moment to shout back to Chamber, "Thanks." He didn't wait for a response, since his power already told him another attacker was coming.

He was about ready to spin kick the creep, when a huge form bounded over, and swatted it away. He then appreciated the extent of Balam's power, as the cat-girl watched the figure fly, but addressed him. "You need to keep on your guard, Chance. And don't just rely on your luck. Rely on your senses."

He saw the figure flying towards Rage, the body guard of the French Ambassador, who managed to harness the wind at that moment. As wind seemed to juggle the man in the air, he said to Balam, "My luck is helping me keep track of every one of the minions here on the ground. That one that Rage is keeping airborne will be no threat when he hits the ground.

He saw Balam shake her head, and he wondered if she was disapproving of Rage's methods, or the man himself. "Then you better be prepared to jump backwards soon." With those odd words, he saw her bound towards another foe. The words didn't make sense, but he needed to keep fighting. It was a key part of Lord Cale's plan. They fight until the get the signal, and luckily the students were keeping up with things.

He was on that thought when he finally noticed the growing shadow from above. Instantly, he jumped backwards, recalling Balam's words, and had jumped just in time to miss being hit by a fallen foe. He glanced up, and realized he had forgotten about the aerial battle. Some of their attackers had been able to fly. He inwardly cursed himself for forgetting that detail, and remembering Lord Cale's trick during their first lesson. He had to remember that his luck factored with things that were in his scope of knowledge. If he forgot, or didn't know something, it factored in to what his luck could do. He would not forget that again, especially as Monet flew towards another opponent in the air.

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Monet St. Croix kept up with the aerial battle with ease. It wasn't all that hard, given her powers, and the fact that she wasn't the only one fighting the battle in the air. Everett and Aaron were in the air as well, Everett in synch with her powers, and Aaron in the form of a huge bird. The only thing she could be certain about the form was that it could hold its own against the minions of Mr. Sinister.

During the battle, she saw one of the flying minions she had thrown heading right towards Chance. He had jumped out the way in time, but she noticed and apologetic look on his face. She glared at him, and said, "Remember to keep your mind and eyes on the battle, Chance. You can't neglect any of your senses in a battle." To demonstrate, she quickly hovered to the side, as one of Sinister's minions flew by, who was obviously trying to knock her out of the air.

She saw the young man nod. "Sorry, I forgot to take those guys up there into account. I'll keep track of them now. That way," he punctuated the last word with a quick upward turn of his fist to hit a minion coming from behind, "I will dodge them easier." She nodded in appreciation and watched as he continued his fight.

For a brief moment, she felt proud that the young mutant was mastering his powers over luck. The past month, while it had been very hectic, had shown great progress. In fact, all the students had shown great progress. However, this situation was beyond what any student of a month should expect. Granted, almost every member of Generation X had been thrust into battle within a few days of joining. Sometimes, being a mutant meant fighting in battles.

In that moment of pride, Monet realized she had forgotten what she had just told Chance. She lost track of the battle, and in that moment, one of Sinister's flying goons slammed in to her. She wasn't too worried about injury, thanks to the powers she had. However, since she was caught off guard, she lost control of her flight, and went flying.

As she fell, she tried to right herself, but it was not possible at the speed she was going. What would most likely happen would be she‘d end up knocking out one of her friends, and then they would end up captured. She took a bit of comfort that Arran had managed to strike the minion out of the air. It was also the first time she notice that the form the student had taken had a metal mask over the bird‘s eyes and beak. Obviously, that was the advantage the bird had over the others. Arron had chosen wisely.

She was lost in that thought for a moment when she realized she had stopped flying. She glanced back, and noticed Everett was behind her. “Geez, Lady X, I know it‘s been a while, but don‘t space out now.” He had flown over and caught her, before she could cause any problems. For a brief moment, she felt thankful, and regretful. For a time, she had wanted to be dating Everett, but fate paired him with Jubilation.

She nodded, and responded. “Indeed, we don’t need certain people getting jealous, Jubilation included in that comment.” For a moment, she thought Everett nodded, but then noticed the look in his eyes. He did love Jubilee, and that statement should not have been made. She then glanced over at Davis, and she remembered that she had someone now, too. At least, she hoped that was the case. Despite his past, Davis was a very nice person. She then returned to the battle, making sure to keep her mind on the plan.

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Clarice Ferguson-Thomas took a sharp intake of breath, and then let it out when she saw Monet returning to the battle. She hated standing in the background, especially with Skitz fighting in the battle, but she understood her part in the plan. When the time came, they had to make a quick escape, and if she had been taken out in a battle, that part of the plan would fall apart. Still, it was contrary to her instincts to fight, those instincts honed in the Age of Apocalypse.

She also knew that the latest turn in the battle was hard for Davis Skinur, who was standing next to her. He was now going by the codename Harmonic, but she knew that a relationship was just starting between him and Monet. She had heard his intake of breath when Monet had gotten hit, and could tell he wanted to go to her aid. However, his part of the attack was to take control of the security system. A part he was already doing, which was key to the plan. She took a moment to glance in his direction, and asked, "Are you alright?"

He nodded, although he looked a bit strained. "Yea, just didn't need that. It's taking a good deal of my power to keep the one sector from revealing the trick. I just hope I didn't falter when Monet got hit." She nodded in agreement, and then he asked the key question. "Any word yet?" She shook her head, knowing what he was asking. This part of the plan would end when they heard from Voice.

She returned her gaze to the battle, and watched as her teammates kept up with the goons of Mr. Sinister. She wondered why he hadn't gotten into the battle, but she put it up to the fact that he was more a scientist. He was the same way in her timeline, except he had done a lot more experimenting. It was partially for this reason that she wanted to fight with Sinister. She didn't want this one conducting some of the same experiments her version had done in her timeline, here in this timeline.

She was in that thought when she finally heard Voice speak, soft enough to not be heard by those in the battle, but loud enough for them to hear. "Mission accomplished. Target retrieved. Time to get them out of there.”

Clarice turned and nodded at Davis, and he understood. The mission was complete, and it was time to pull out. She then turned to the fight, and shouted, “Fall back. We need to regroup.” At that instant, the fight changed. Every member of the team kept up their fight, but made sure all their blows were stronger, and knocked their foes far enough back to allow escape. The sudden change surprised the few minions still standing, and it took them a moment to realize the change. The minions didn‘t realize they were in what appeared to be a winning position until she opened the portal, and team members started teleporting away. It was not all the way home, but to the vehicle they had taken. It was a key part of the plan, and she was sure Mr. Sinister would discover the truth in a few moments.

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Mr. Sinister watched from his command center at the remarkable change in events. He had not been surprised that Generation X had attacked. He was certain they would try it after he had abducted Yvette Cale. He was a little surprised that they had brought some of the students from Cale‘s school. The real surprising thing was that all of sudden, they were turning tail. The X-Men would not run away after a few hits. That told him they had lost their confidence. They realized they were out classed. In fact, not all of them were fighting. He noticed the man with the lavender mutant, and he appeared to have some sort of portable stereo on him.

For a brief moment, he recalled something Apocalypse had mentioned. There had been a mutant who could do anything when he had music around him. He also heard that the mutant had broken free of Apocalypse’s control. This had to be the mutant, and he was certain the mutant was helping protect Generation X and their charges.

He turned on his communications device, and said, "Make sure you capture some of them, and that they are alive. There is great potential down there that I want to study." He then glanced at the monitor that displayed Yvette Cale still in her cell. While it was true that her partnership with Richard Cale might have yielded powerful offspring, he wanted to see what other mutant couplings could result in.

Mr. Sinister returned his gaze to the battle, and grimaced. Many of the attackers had fled into a portal created by the lavender mutant. If he recalled right, her codename was Blink, and that this one came from another timeline. He also remembered that she was one of the bodyguards of the Cale's. Again, he saw another source of potential gene pairings. The sad thing was that his underlings were being kept at bay, and all the mutants were escaping. It would be no matter. No doubt they would come back, after his initial sample gathering was done. He had worked all night to prepare the equipment so Yvette's healing factor would be sufficiently hampered.

He got up, and left his command center as the last of the mutants escaped. It would only be a temporary set back, since he still had Yvette Cale. No doubt, tomorrow, or the next day, they would attack again, and he would be better prepared. He would make those preparations in a bit. As he left the command center, he briefly noticed one of the monitors flicker, but that was just a fluke. The one who used electricity, the reporter Graylon Walsh, which he would make note of later, must have had a lingering effect.

He passed through his lab, grabbing the equipment he would need, and then headed down to Yvette's cell. As he did so, he couldn't help but whistle. It was rare when he could tap into the kind of potential held by the Cale's, and he was going to enjoy it. He'd first hamper her healing factor, and diamond sharp skin. Then he'd either knock her out, or get his sample while she was still awake. Either way was fine by him.

He entered the cell area, and approached the cell. "Well, Lady Cale, it seems your husband tried to rescue you, but underestimated me. A shame I couldn't bring him here, but it will…..” He stopped talking when he reached the cell, and looked inside. For a moment, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing, but then it all made sense. He had thought the mutant whose powers involved music was protecting the attackers. No, he was messing with the equipment. The flicker on the screen made sense now. Even the sudden turn around of the battle made sense. He started to laugh, however. “Very clever, Cale, very clever. However, this is only a minor set back.” He turned around, and headed back to his lab. He would need to think of a new way to obtain his goal, since he now learned that Generation X and their charges were as wily as the X-Men.


Tasha Lewis sat in the main hall, surround by the others who had remained behind. She didn’t mind being left behind, since they were prepared for what was coming. It didn't make the wait easier, but their job was simple. They were to keep the door closed. Thanks to Alexandra Cain, they knew what was coming, and figured that someone was going to try and fool their way in. For that reason, she, Prince James, Ambassador Leveneque and his daughter, Eloise, as well as a few others who had not gone on the mission sat quietly. The only ones not in the room where the teachers Jubilation Thomas and Darrett Thomas-Ferguson, and her fellow classmates Anne Smith, Amy Johnson and Alexandra.

For the longest time, the room had been silent, and she glanced at Prince James. She could see a range of emotions on his face. She could see a bit of let down, since he had not been allowed to go on the mission, as well as concern for those who had gone. She placed an arm around his shoulders, and then said, "Worried about everything?"

She saw him nod, and didn't pressure for a response. After a moment, the Prince finally spoke. "Everything that has happened so far has been a bit much. I know Lord Cale said it was not easy being a mutant, but it seems we have enemies everywhere. People want to kill us because we are mutants, or experiment on us, and given what you just told us, how can we even trust our teachers?"

She had no response for that, but was surprised when Jean Levenique answered. "It is something one has to judge for ones self, your majesty." She noticed the words seemed to sober James up, and the Ambassador continued. "The truth be told, at one time I was an enemy, and had I not been duped by another person, I might have remained that way. I know one of the people you call a teacher had been an enemy as well at one time. It is difficult to know who you can trust, and sometimes we make mistakes. It is something that is the same with humans and mutants alike."

She could feel some of the tension leave the room at that moment. Tasha knew that the Ambassador's words were truthful, and part of her wondered what the man's past had been. She was about to ask on that, but there was a sudden pounding at the door. For a moment, they were all quiet, and the pounding happened again. It was Eloise who got up, and headed to the door, looking out through a window along side the door. "Eet ees Lady Cale."

She glanced around the room, and noticed everyone was nodding. It was what they had been expecting all this time. Tasha got up, and walked over to the intercom that was on the door. She activated it and said, "How can we help you?"

She remained calm, even though she could sense both joy and hostility on the other side of the door. "It is Lady Cale. I managed to escape from Sinister, but his minions are following me. Open the door and let me in." It was very convincing, and she almost wanted to open the door. She glanced out the window, and on first glance, she would have been certain it was Lady Cale.

At that moment, she heard Jubilation Thomas say, "That is serious. We'll be opening the door in a moment." She turned back, and saw everyone was doing so. Entering the main hall was the others, but they were being followed by who she was certain was going to open the door. She could see then that the plan had worked, and Lady Cale had been rescued. It was also unfortunate for whomever was on the opposite side of the door, especially as she saw the pure blue in the eyes of the woman approaching the door.

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Necra watched from her hiding spot as Lady Dark pounded on the door, and then spoke to someone on the other side. When they had arrived at the school, they waited, since they were unsure when the rescue party would leave. When it finally happened, Lady Dark said it would be best to wait for a half hour. The reason for that was so that when they pulled their stunt, it would be to little interference.

She knew the plan was perfect. Lady Dark would easily fool them into thinking she was Lady Cale, who had escaped from Mr. Sinister. After they open the door, they would attack. Jack had some of the Rippers to swarm in, and Necra's own frightening form would cause them to be frozen in fear. In a few moments, the Ripper's would be feasting on the mutants within the school.

Just as she thought that, she wondered where Jack was. He should have at least joined her where she was concealed, with a group of the 'Rippers'. It didn't make sense for them not to be here now. A failure at this point might cost him his head. That didn't bother her too much, since he was right under Lord and Lady Dark. She would not mind being their second-in-command.

She put that thought out of her mind when she saw Lady Dark motion to her to be ready. While she only heard the people on the other side of the closed door when the intercom was on, she figured Lady Dark knew they would open the door. She had a feeling that Lady Dark has some latent psychic abilities, but it was obvious that the leaders of the 'Rippers' did not rely on them too much. Of course, one would have to be a fool to attack a person with Lady Dark's powers.

Necra readied her body to spring to action when she noticed a slight movement in the door. The door was obviously being unlocked by what ever morsel was behind it. Given her current state, she didn't need the food, but it was fun to partake in it. She had to control herself, and hoped Jack and his group would also hold back their attack. The attack was not supposed to begin until Lady Dark crossed the threshold.

That moment, Necra realized, was not going to happen, as she saw Lady Dark go flying backwards. When it happened, she saw what had to have been a bolt of lightning coming from inside the door, striking Lady Dark's head. She noticed Lady Dark looked like she had gone limp, but the figure was just groaning. She knew that whomever had done that would be slaughtered, in a slow, painful matter.

She then gasped as she saw who was coming out of the door. She could not believe it was possible, since that was the person the school was supposed to be rescuing. Had the news of recent events been a ruse to bring them out into the open? Then Necra remember the one young mutant Jack had told them about. A mutant who could fold time and space. They would have had her use her powers to rescue the woman at the door, and stage an attack as a diversion. That also meant one other thing. The identities of Lord and Lady Dark was known to the school, and maybe even the world.

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Lady Yvette Cale stepped out the door, and glared at the person who had been at the door. She had already been told who it was, and it sickened her. The turn of events that created this entity made her sick, but not as much as the fact that the events that originally created Lady Dark had been prevented. She should not exist, yet here she was. She also knew the people still at the school had followed her out the door, and were flanking her. She was glad they were there, since she didn't think the figure who was stirring was alone.

She focused on Lady Dark, who locked eyes with her, and she over came the oddness of looking into her eyes. She wasn't sure if another psi-bolt would work on her, but she was certain that her foe wasn't prepared for that kind of combat. Lady Dark, she could tell, was angry with the fact that her plan had not worked, and that her identity had been found out. That was evident in the hiss that crossed her lips as she spoke. "How did you get back at the school? You should be in the lab of that bastard Sinister."

Yvette did not let the words phase her. She just glared at Lady Dark, and smiled what one would call a wolfish smile. "I think you may have an idea on how I got back here. You were just hoping to fool everyone, and it could have worked, had we not found out your little secret." She saw the look of shock cross Lady Dark's face, and she now understood when people would say about seeing the look on your own face. Had this little situation been not expected, she might have found humor in it.

She was not surprised when Lady Dark started getting to her feet. She had already figured Lady Dark would have a similar recovery time to her. She also noticed that her foes hands were starting to tense up into claws. She could also hear the venom in the woman's voice, which was now starting to stutter with building fury. "Y-y-y-you c-c-c-could n-n-not h-h-have kn-n-n-now."

For a brief second, while she kept her gaze focused on Lady Dark, she pitied the woman, the one who had been turned into an Emplate. However, she knew better than to afford the woman too much of that. She had been turned into a monster, but the next words would deliver a blow more powerful than any strike. "In all honesty, we didn't until last night. Our one student had stumbled upon your little secret, and we pieced it all together. It explained the focus on Mancer." She pointed to Darrett as she said that. "As well as the growth of the 'Rippers'. You must have lucked out when Emplate had returned, since you knew we would think he was behind your group. We know the truth, Yvette." She said the last word with such power that Lady Dark was stunned in shock.

While Lady Dark was in that state, Yvette shifted her attention to movement from one of the hedges on the large lawn. A figure had emerged, and was running towards them. At first, she thought it might have been one of the group that was distracting Sinister, but she saw them arriving back. She then noticed the rotted appearance the figure had, but the look in the eyes wasn't of a mindless creature, or a monster. The eyes were of a sentient human being, or mutant.

At that moment, instinct kicked in, and she immobilized her attacker. Again, she launched a psi-bolt, and the second it hit the new figure, she realized the truth. The figure, which had to have been a woman, had the power to animate the dead. However, as the figure collapsed to the ground, she realized the woman had been using a majority of her power to remain alive. In that moment, she wanted to throw up, because she had killed someone, but she realized that the person had been dead to begin with. She then turned her attention to the twisted version of herself.

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Lady Dark was coming out of the shock of what had happened. She had been found out, and in turn, they knew the identity of Lord Dark. What was worse was the fact that who delivered the news was Lady Cale. She had not been aware that Lady Cale's psychic powers had been so far advanced. She had already been aware that her alternate had those powers, but she figured she didn't rely on them. Of course, her own lack of psychic powers could have been because of when she had been abducted from Generation X in her timeline.

She dropped that line of thought when she saw Necra collapse. The zombie, animated by its own mutant power, had been a loyal follower, but she was glad to be rid of it. She hated seeing a past meal shuffling about. It also allowed her to focus her hatred on the lucky version of herself, as well as end the stutter her fury caused. "I bet you think you've won, now that you know who leads 'The Rippers'. Well, think again. ATTACK!"

As she shouted the last word, she heard Jack and his group of Rippers come running through the wall at the far end of the yard. She figured that the small group of people here would still be no match for the Rippers she had brought with. She was even certain they were frozen in fright. They had to be stunned by the number of enemies coming for them.

She was confused when none of them displayed any signs of fear, until she heard the fighting. She dared a glance in the direction of the fighting and was shocked to see the ones who had gone on the rescue mission were fighting the 'Rippers'. How had that happened, and then she noticed the woman with lavender skin. She had heard rumors about her from the one they called Portal, the one who had allowed them here. It could not be the same one, unless, some how, that one ended up here had created a clone of themselves.

Lady Dark pushed that thought out of her mind, remembering that this fight was the key thing. The problem was, the battle was not going her way. Her minions were being held off, some even being slain by some of the defenders. If they didn't retreat now, she might even end up captured. She did see the one thing that would distract them all, and allow her to escape.

In an instant, she tensed her own skin, and it was so tense and sharp, she was certain that if her target didn't die, he would bet out of action for a long while. She looked at Lady Cale, who she heard say, "It's time you gave up. Your forces are being wiped out, and you are outnumbered." She noticed that Lady Cale was already tensing her own hands, but not to the sharpness she had.

She glanced over at the fight, and then smirked at Lady Cale. Since she had more practice with this power, she had no trouble speaking when tensed up. "All it takes is the right target to be struck." She then lunged at Lord Cale, whose back was turned. In an instant, she raked his back with her claws. There was an ear shattering yell of pain, and she vaulted over the crowd as it froze.

She cleared the line of battle, and passed all of them, yelling, "Jack, get the remaining 'Rippers'. We must depart." She heard them following her, but she chanced a glance back. She saw most of her attackers crowded around Lord Cale. She then glanced at her claws, noticing the trickle of his blood on them. It didn't bother her, since he wasn't Lord Dark. What did bother her was the fact that she could not see any hint at a pool of blood. It didn't make sense. Then she realized the obvious fact. Her version had accepted Emplate's power. This one had accepted Penance's power, which meant he had the healing factor. Regardless of that, she knew he would be hurting for a bit, at it would give them time to retreat.

No Caption Provided

Jean Leveneque ran forward as the Rippers retreated. If he had not seen his own fair share of odd encounters while he had Asylum Seven running, he would have been severely shaken by seeing an evil version of Yvette Cale. He could determine what had happened to that one, having noticed the mouths on the hands, the mark of Emplate. Obviously, in the past, she had been fully enthralled to Emplate, and no doubt in the timeline she had been from, so had Richard Cale.

That thought brought him back to matters at hand. He ran over to Richard, joining the others who had rushed to his side. He could tell that the cuts were bad, but was surprised that they were already mending. Still, he could tell the man who helped get him off his destructive path was in no condition to move on his own. He glanced around, and shouted, "Someone, help me get him inside."

He grabbed one of Richard's arms, and then saw that the person who grabbed the other arm was Balam. The action confirmed to him that she no longer saw him as the evil person she always had in the past. As she helped get him inside, he noticed a nasty cut on her own leg. For a moment, he wanted to tell her to get help for herself, but she cut him off. "I know, but it will heal. Richard is in worst shape at the moment. Besides, I think he was closer to Thomas prior to the time it happened. From what I've been told, he's got a way with good luck."

Jean blinked, and then heard Richard speak. "She's right, Jean. It hurts like hell, but I can tell no major organs were hit. I think she missed all major arteries as well. I remember saying years ago that I would never want to get on Yvette's bad side. Now we know what it's like."

As they got him inside, he heard everyone following him in. He also noticed Sean Cassidy running down into the main hall, followed by the little kids. "Faith and begora, what happened?" He noticed that Sean was trying to keep the kids back, obviously to keep them from seeing their father in this state.

As if she was the only one who could provide the answer, Clarice answered, and her tone told Jean that she was upset, not only at the situation, but with herself as well. "Yvette's counterpart snuck a nasty attack in while we were fighting off her minions. I think Richard might be out of action for a little bit."

For a moment, he almost panicked as Richard started to collapse to the floor, but the young man caught himself, almost with a slight laugh. "So my back is a bit tender, I'll recover. Considering what we accomplished, if this is the worst that happened to us, we should consider ourselves lucky." He then noticed Yvette rushing forward, as well as Clarice. The two women each took one of Richard's arms, and escorted him off to what they called their med center.

As everyone started talking with one another, and Sean and the gentleman known as Darrett tried to comfort the children, Jean noticed Balam was now sitting down in a chair, trying to check her leg. For a moment, he remembered the past, and inwardly cursed himself for being the foolish hate filled person he had been before. He then walked over, and asked, "How soon will it heal?"

He noticed her look at him, before she sighed and responded. "It will take a few days. Makes me wish I had a healing factor like the Cale's have." He saw her stop checking her leg, and stand up, noticing a slight wobble as she did so. He reached to help her, but she held up a hand, and then steadied herself. He had to admire that independence, even though he was sure it was part of her own cat-like nature. He noticed that she was now giving him a slight smile. "It might give me some extra time to convince Kevin that you’ve changed your ways."

He nodded in agreement. "Yes, but I'm not really going anywhere. I think this place will be best for Eloise right now." He noticed Balam blink in surprise, but he just continued. "I'll be staying at the French embassy for a while, until Eloise is fully settled in and comfortable. I may even ask Lord Cale if Rage can help teach from time to time."

He heard a slight laugh come from Balam at that moment. "I think he and Blink might enjoy a rematch. I've noticed how they eye each other. I'm guessing something happened in Japan."

He laughed as well. "She left him stranded on a mountain top." He then sighed, and noticed she was giving him a concerned look, like she was picking up on what he was going to say, before he said it. "I have corrected my ways, but one individual has changed the part of Asylum Seven that he was in control of. He had turned it into his own set of thugs. I tell you this because it is someone Kevin knows. I want you to tell him, and the Cales, that Dio is coming."

He heard her gasp. "That is not good. Even our own altercations with Dio left us wounded. If he were to come here..."

He nodded, and completed the thought. "He'd see the opportunities. The Cale's fortune and status. The Prince of England, a student here. Eloise here as well. Add to it the powers some of these kids have. Kevin would do better helping here with Dio running about, then going after me for my past sins." He saw her nod in agreement. He then noticed that everyone was leaving the main hall.

As he looked over, he saw Graylon Walsh walking over to him. He noticed a concerned look on the reporter's face, but he wasn't sure if it was because he overheard them, or because of what happened to Richard. He got his answer when the reporter spoke. "Hey, Richard wants us all to come to the med center. He's alright, except his back is a bit tender. He just wanted to talk to us about everything. It's been a hell of a month." Jean had to nod in agreement, and they all headed out of the room.


Richard Cale sat on the bed in the med center as everyone gathered around. He didn't want to lay down, since his injuries were healing. Also, he felt it was better to address everyone while standing. He looked over everyone as the last of the people were entering the room. Once everyone was in the room, which seemed a bit smaller than it had before, he began. "Well, this has been a very eventful month, hasn't it?" He noticed a few murmurs, but ignored them. "We have only had this school open a month, and we have made some rather outspoken foes. However, I think we may have put a slight dent in their forces."

He glanced around as some people nodded, but he looked over at Graylon Walsh, the reporter who had been hiding his mutant power. "In fact, we lucked out in turning one who thought we were up to something into an ally." He saw Graylon nod, and then he looked over at Tasha Lewis. "And we also put a severe cramp into a few hatemongering groups." He saw her blink twice before she realized what he said.

He then looked over at Jonothan and Paige, and he smiled at them. "We also managed to rebuild some bridges that had been thought burned." He then returned his attention to everyone. "However, there are still some threats that are out there, ready to strike at us. Emplate and his minions. Mr. Sinister. Even Claudette and her group. All of those, we managed to surprise, and even cut down on their numbers." He glanced over at Kiana, and said, "You were key in one of those events, Kiana, and if you choose to leave after we get your cousin into a more secure facility..."

He didn't get to finish as the Asian girl shook her head. "No, sir. I'm hoping to remain here. I know I'm not a mutant, but I'm hoping to learn more about my own mystical skills from you, and more tolerance from being here." He nodded approvingly at that statement.

He then looked at all of them again. He looked at the students who had done so well both here, and at Sinister's lair. He noticed how some seemed to stand more towards others, but also as a group. He had been aware that some of the students might have been falling for one another. However, all of that would be tested by the revelation they had all now heard about. “The most dangerous thing we now must face are 'The Rippers'." He noticed that some of the group were nodding in agreement. He sighed, realizing how hard this topic would be. "Many of us are already aware that multiple timelines exist, and run parallel to ours. Some of those were thought to have collapsed, after the key events were altered by someone from that timeline. 'The Rippers' are led by two of those refugees, and it is my grim news to tell you that those two refugees are evil versions of Lady Cale, and myself."

He was thankful when no one gasped, but Darrett had decided to continue the explanation. "I'm also from that time line. I had been sent back to alter the key moment that created it. Rescuing Richard and Yvette from Emplate at Godiva's museum several years ago. If he had been successful, what would have happened would have gone like this. Emplate would have forced his ability on Richard. Richard would have enthralled Yvette. They would have learned of Monet's nature at the time, and lost it. They would have then eliminated Generation X and Emplate, while turning the world into an Emplate paradise. It seems they found away to escape the collapsing timeline."

Richard nodded, and then said, "For now, they have avoided making themselves known. I'm guessing that after Yvette's abduction, they figured they would have an excellent opportunity to take our places. Had Alexandra not stumbled upon them with her ability, we would have been taken by surprise, and maybe not survived. However, we proved that, while our abilities may not be overly aggressive, they are strong in their own way. We'll need more training, but now we know who our adversaries are." He saw everyone nod, but he wasn’t sure what to say after that. How would they combat these evil doubles? He wasn’t sure, but he knew they would have to figure that out soon. There was no telling when the next attack would come.

He was thankful when Yvette just smiled and motioned to everyone in the room. “Alright. I think we all get the idea. Starting Monday, when we do our training classes, we will increase what we cover. We may have a good deal of time before someone else decides they want to attack us. So let’s make the most of it.” He saw them all nod, and then he saw his wife motion for them to leave. “As for now, let’s just say you’ve earned a long weekend.” He noticed a few faces brighten up at that, and then saw everyone leave the room.

Once they were all gone, he turned to face his wife, and said, “I’m glad we got you back. I think we are going to have to try and figure out a way to prepare them for the fight we know is coming.”

He saw her nod. “I know. My counterpart is definitely evil. The way she talked, and the fact that she was the one who killed Angelo. I have a feeling yours is going to be worse than that.” He shuddered when he heard that. While Yvette’s counterpart had no problems slashing his back, he didn’t want to think what his counterpart would be capable of. However, he was sure they had to be ready for it.

Richard looked his wife in the eyes, and then said in their mental link, “This will be tough for all of us. Maybe it was best that we found out now, since all this time, we thought it was Emplate.” He saw her nod in agreement, and then he hugged her. It was the best thing for the moment. He was certain more difficulties were going to arrive in the coming months, and they would need all the inner strength the could muster together.

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