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Attention: Generation X and their villains, as well as any other mutant mentioned in this work, is property of Marvel Comics. The character Richard Cale is one of my own development. There will be changes to some of the characters background, as this work is part of Marvel Mayhem on ComicVine.com.
Chapter 1: Setting Up
Charles Xavier sat at his desk, looking over a great deal of paperwork. The paperwork all involved setting up a second school, but at a location that had already been used for training mutants. Before moving forward with the set up, Charles knew he had to get some things together, some of which had already been done. He had already set up financial backing, as well as made sure the location was secure and well prepared. The latter part had already been allowed by the person who was about to arrive, and it was their request that they find someone else to back it.
He was brought out of his musings when a knock came from his office door. He knew who was there, since he had already picked up on their psychic signature, but he maintained the image of courtesy. "Come in, Emma." He looked up, and noticed the figure of Emma Frost entering. While she looked stunning in her business suit, which in his mind, was better looking on her than the white lingerie she wore when she was White Queen of the Hellfire Club, he could see she was not one hundred percent whole. The loss of her previous students had cost her.
He motioned to a chair, and watched as she approached and sat down. He was glad, however, that she got right to the point, which meant, in his mind, that she was closer to being better than some had thought. "Charles, I know you want me to head this new school, and that you want it at the Massachusetts Academy, but I don't know why. It would not be safe if my sisters found out about the funds, or if they see I still have ownership of it. They already made themselves controlling partners of my company."
Charles nodded, and steepled his hands in front of him. "Yes, I know, Emma. They swooped in when you were in that coma. I was surprised, since you kept the existence of your older sister very well hidden." He then moved the wheelchair he used out from behind the desk, and over to her. He took her hand in a caring way. "Trust me when I say I know how dastardly siblings can be, even if they are not blood related." He saw her nod in acknowledgement, and then continued. "Are you aware of an incident that happened at O’Hare airport in Chicago?"
He saw her nod, and then straighten up as she responded. "Yes. I heard some of the others over one of the communications. They said something about some sort of mutant vampire." He watched as her eyes went wide as she seemed to understand the situation. “You mean to say that…”
Charles nodded. “Yes, Emma. In fact, I believe that it is the first Emplate. Bishop has told us how hordes of those things roam about the future. Now we know how it started. Right now, that one is the only one, but that could change. Also, since the X-Men confronted Emplate, I feel that training less experience mutants should be moved to a new location, like the school you had.”
At that moment, he saw Emma shudder, and wrap her arms around herself. Obviously, she was still worried about running the school, but she finally relaxed. “Charles, I‘m honored that you are giving me this second chance, but aside from financial backing, I will need teachers. I would ask for Bishop, but he does disappear a lot.”
Charles smiled and turned towards his office window. “You don‘t need to worry about finances, Emma. I‘ve already found a person to help with that. The teachers, however, just need to agree, and I think they will be fine. They are both close to the age of students that will be coming to the school, and,” he lowered his head as he said the next part, “both have become experts at avoiding Emplate. I will admit that the confrontation with Emplate had happened because he almost had gotten the drop on them.” He then glanced up at the window, and saw that two figures were now approaching the mansion; the very two he was just telling Emma about.
Yvette looked at the mansion as she walked towards it. All her life, she had never been in a mansion. Of course, the past few years, the nicest place she had been able to spend a night in had been hotel rooms. It looked so nice, she felt a bit self conscious to be entering it in a plain tee shirt, and blue jeans. It just made her pull the jacket she had on closer around her. The action also led to a comforting arm to be placed around her shoulder, and familiar male voice saying, “Are you alright, Yvette?”
She moved closer to the man with her. He was only three years older than her, but Richard Cale, the young British man who save her, had become a special person in her life. It was his jacket around her, but he knew how self conscious she was. She calmed herself, and answered his question. “I‘m just a little nervous. We were just about to board the plain from JFK to O’Hare when we were approached by someone warning us that an attack would be waiting for us there. Then we were escorted to this place. I mean, how do we know this isn’t a trap.”
She felt him hold her closer as they entered the building, and started following the directions the person had given them. He had chosen to wear a black shirt, and black jeans. He was also carrying the carry-on bag that held all their possessions. It had been the norm for the last year or so, keeping all they needed in the bag. “I think they were trying to help us. I don’t know if you saw her, but I did. The spy had been at the airport just as we were leaving.”
For a moment, Yvette felt herself start to tense up, but she got control of it. Only her long red hair spiked up for a moment from the anger she felt. "Damn that bitch. Why is she out to get us? Does she like helping that monster?" The spy, as they called her, was a mysterious girl who they started seeing show up at places they had gone too. Usually after spotting the girl, Emplate would show up, trying to recapture her, and use her as a meal. No doubt, he would also use Richard as a meal as well, or somehow take advantage of the young man's power. She would not want that, since she loved Richard.
When they reached the door to the where they were supposed to go, Richard quietly said, "I have no idea why, however, I think her actions got the attention of the X-Men. I mean, this is their home. Of course, that can't guarantee safety here. They do have enemies that attack them here." That bit of information worried her, but it also gave them an added edge for when they changed locations again. Emplate could have no idea where they would go to from here. She bet he didn't even know the X-Men had gotten involved. That didn't mean, however, that she would tell them. If that monster got a hold of one of the X-Men's powers... That thought made her shudder, which only made Richard hold her closer.
She wanted to ask him what they should say to the X-Men at the moment, but before they could, a voice called from behind the door. "Please come in, Miss Yvette, and Mr. Richard Cale." She almost gasped, and then looked at Richard, and he just nodded. She tentatively opened the door, a little concerned that her nerves would activate her powers, but nothing happened.
They entered the office, and Yvette was amazed at how nice it looked. Everything about the room seemed to fit with the elegance of the mansion. She then brought her attention to the man in the wheelchair, and the woman in a white business suit. Her nerves started to kick in, and her hair started to tense up. Before it got too far, she heard Richard's calming voice in her mind. "Calm down, Yvette. You don't want to shred that outfit, especially since you only have one outfit left at the moment." She quickly controlled herself again, but she noticed the others in the room had raised an eyebrow.
After she had calmed down, she saw the man in the wheelchair motion to two chairs in the room. "Please, sit down." Both she and Richard did so, but she was thankful that the chairs were close enough for them to hold hands. Once they were settled, the man continued. "First off, I want to thank you for coming here. I'm Charles Xavier, the one in charge of this school, and leader of the group known as The X-Men."
She nodded, and Richard just said, "I had a feeling we'd be meeting you." She noticed, just from holding his hand, that he was nervous, despite the calm tone he had in his voice. "I must ask, however, why you summoned us here after we arrived at JFK?" She knew he had a feeling why, after what they talked about walking in, but like him, she wanted to hear it from Professor Xavier as well.
She watched as Professor Xavier just smiled, and responded to the question. "Of course, that would be at the top of both your minds. When you had boarded the plane in Paris, you had been observed by someone who is helping a threat the X-Men have only heard about. My sources were very credible, and I thought I should intervene on your behalf. As of right now, my X-Men are dealing with that threat in O'Hare. A threat you both call Emplate."
Instinctively, she tensed at the sound of her tormenters name. In that instant, her hair spiked up, her fingers lengthened into pointed claws, and her own body contracted. Instantly, she reigned in her fear, and relaxed herself. She was thankful that the jeans didn't appear cut, nor the jacket. The tee shirt, however, she felt might be ripping under the jacket, but she wasn't about the check that while they were sitting in this office. Richard, thankfully, was quick to explain her reaction. "You must forgive Yvette. That monster had her captive for a long time, until I rescued her. He's been quite persistent at trying to reclaim her. We've had a few close calls."
She then heard the woman in the white suit speak, and she turned her attention to her. "I got that feeling. The fear that came from Yvette was one of the first emotions I detected from either of you." She noticed that Charles Xavier was nodding in agreement. She blinked at that, and noticed how a prolonged silence was taking over the room at that moment. She still didn't know who the woman was.
Finally, the silence was broken when Charles Xavier realized that they didn't know who the woman in white was. "Ah yes, forgive my lack of manners. The woman here is Emma Frost. She will be headmistress at a new school, one I would like both of you to teach at." She was taken back by the last part. Richard was old enough to at least be in college, but she wasn't even of age. She was only three years younger than Richard, so she really shouldn't be in that position. Who would take her seriously?
As if Charles was reading her mind, he said, "Simply put, since you both have been avoiding Emplate, and escaped from him, you both have more experience dealing with him. Let's face it, my X-Men were able to fight him off at O'Hare, but they were unprepared. You two have that experience, and it would also benefit you two to have a stable place to stay."
It was a tempting offer, and she was honestly thinking about it. It would be good not to be on the run anymore. She looked at Richard, and she could sense that something was bothering him. Most likely, it was the same issues she had been thinking about. She turned back to look at the other two in the room, hearing Emma say, "The school would have special rooms for teachers who need to stay on campus. I can make sure you each have a room to stay in."
At that moment, she heard Richard speak up. "We'd be fine with one place. We've literally been living together since I rescued her from that monster's lair.” She felt comforted by that statement. He had become a big part of her life, and recovery. “The only question I have is who is funding this. Something is telling me that neither of you is funding the school, at least not directly. Besides, who was the source that let you know about us, and that we were on our way to JFK?"
She watched as Charles nodded, and answered the question. "Someone who has been keeping tabs on you, and trying to help you out from time to time. Haven't you ever wondered why you still had access to your funds since that day you didn't return home?" She felt Richard's hand tighten on hers a little, but she realized why. On some of the quieter nights since her rescue, he had told her of the sometimes tense relationship he had with his parents. A key part of the problems seemed to be from his father, but he even admitted that the man wasn't cruel. They just would butt heads when it came to any topic. In fact, the answer, when Charles said it, wasn't a surprise, but it did cause him to tense up, and his hair spiked, and his hands started to turn into claws. She responded with a slight tensing up, realizing he would not forgive himself if he hurt her.
Richard Cale realized he was about to hurt Yvette, and then relaxed a bit. Hearing that his father was the one paying for the school, as well as keeping an eye on him made his blood boil. He always had this feeling his father would never be happy with his choices, unless it meant following in the man‘s footsteps. Of course, he should have suspected his father was somehow following his path, if not actually doing so. He then noticed a look on both Charles and Emma‘s face, and he figured they might have guessed at his own mutant powers, but he would not elaborate on them. “Why is my father financing this school?”
He waited for a moment, and was about to get up and leave when Charles finally spoke. “There are a few reasons, one of them being that Miss Frost can not safely fund the school. Due to circumstances, all her assets are now being watched, and the school was the only thing that she could say was her own. With your father financing the school, it will remain in the control of good hands.” He wanted to roll his eyes at that, but held his cynicism in check. He knew a few times when his father didn‘t do things he thought was good.
Charles continued with his next statement. “Second, since you had disappeared years ago, your father kept an eye out for you. He figured you had a good reason for not returning home, and when he heard about you, and Yvette, and the threat chasing you, he did what he could to help, knowing that if you knew, you‘d refuse it.” Richard had to admit that that would have been true. It also explained how some of the hotels they crashed at, or stopped at, seemed to have a room set aside for them.
It, however, raised another question. How had his father known about what was happening to them? He looked at the others in the room, and simply asked, “How, exactly, did he hear of Emplate? That monster is good at not being seen. Some of the closer calls we had were linked to the fact that my own power seems to be able to pick up on him when he‘s invisible, or out of synch, or whatever he calls it.”
For a moment, he noticed that he wasn‘t the only one looking at Charles. Apparently, his question struck a cord with everyone in the room. He was sure Yvette was thinking it, too. Finally, the man broke the silence when he answered the question, in what Richard thought was one of the vaguest ways. “Apparently, one of your father‘s friends told him about Emplate. He wouldn‘t elaborate on that, but he contacted me prior to today, asking if I had known about the threat. He then told me about the flight plans for today, as well as that he had heard Emplate was planning to ambush you two at your final destination. If we had not gotten that warning, would you have been ready for the ambush?”
He glanced over at Yvette, and she looked at him. For the briefest of moments, in their mental link, he heard her say, “We would have been caught. Right now, we haven‘t slept for almost twenty-four hours. We owe them for that. Besides, we‘d be helping others, warning them about Emplate and what he does.” He had agree with that. It would also be nice to have a place they could call home. He doubted he could safely return home until Emplate was gone.
He nodded to Yvette, and then faced Charles and Emma. “Alright. We‘ll accept the offer. I‘d just suggest you have some way to keep the school from prying eyes. He has been known to use spies. Heck, I spotted one at the airport, before we boarded.” He noticed both Charles and Emma nod at that. Maybe they were both familiar with this. He then said, “Just one question. Are we going to be heading there directly from here, or will Yvette and I be able to get some rest before we go there?”
He looked at Emma as she answered the question. “Since you agreed, it will be best to get you there right away. The X-Men had fought with Emplate, and he may try to retaliate here. Besides, if he figures the X-Men are hiding you, leaving here will leave him wondering where you disappeared to. It’s an added level to your plan of booking two flights.” He had to nod in agreement with that.
He returned his focus to her when she continued. “Also, since you two will be teachers, you will have to set good examples for the students. That means no using your powers on them, nor doing anything that would be typically considered inappropriate behavior.” He was alright with that latter rule, since he tended to prefer the times they were playful to be in those few sanctuaries they could find. Yvette, on the other hand, appeared to be blushing. Of course, she had been playful since she had gotten her freedom back, not that he minded that. Their time on the run sort of cemented their love for one another.
Richard returned his attention to Emma as she stated the last of the rules. “Finally, you will need to have proper attire, as well as attire to handle your unique powers. Richard, I’m guessing you are some sort of mimic, since I noticed when you got upset, you appeared to have Yvette’s powers. I doubt both of you want to have, to put it in the current jargon, wardrobe malfunctions.” He then noticed where Emma was staring, and he turned to look at Yvette.
Almost instantly, she gasped, and he tried to help her. It was the gentleman in him, and he got out of the chair, and tried to zip up the jacket he had lent her. Obviously, when she panicked earlier, her tee shirt had ripped. While from Emma Frost’s and Charles Xavier’s angle, they only saw a rip down the center of the shirt, his position allowed him to see more, and even though he had seen that sight a few times since he rescued Yvette, he knew no one else should be seeing that.
As he got the zipper up, he heard Yvette say, “I’m sorry about that. One of the times we had to make a quick escape had been at night. I felt a bit embarrassed that at the time, I only had a nightshirt on, and I had been in such a rush, that not all my clothes ended up in our travel bag.” He took a deep breath, knowing full well the night she was talking about, and remembering how long ago it actually was. Since that night, in part due to her playfulness, she went without the item in question, which was also why he lent her his jacket.
He sat back down in the chair, and was glad that he did so when Charles said, “That would be a bit understandable, had it not happened two years ago.” At that moment, he felt his face go red, and saw Yvette’s had done so as well. The awkwardness of the moment finally passed when Charles just smiled. “It is alright. You two have good psychic defenses, since I was only able to glance at the time it had happened. You two don’t have to worry. Maybe before you two leave, we can have some of the others here offer some clothing, and we can order some for you at the school.” He nodded, and both he and Yvette got up. Before they could leave the room, however, Charles said one more thing. “Also, you two, you aren’t the first couple we’ve seen form, just try to keep it to yourselves. As teachers, I’m sure you don’t want a student walking in on you two.” Again, he blushed, but they then left the room to prepare for this new task in their lives.
Emplate arrived back at the building that was his lair. On the outside, it appeared to be a lighthouse on a hill, but in actuality it was a Transdimensional building on an island. With the right information, he could use it to go anywhere, in no time at all. He had hoped that he was about to recapture Yvette, as well as the mutant that had helped her escape. At first, he had thought the young man had powers identical to her. Those thoughts had changed after the one narrow escape they had made. That was upsetting to him then.
Today’s fiasco, however, was more upsetting. He had not expected to run into the X-Men at O’Hare airport. It had been a confrontation he had not wanted to happen yet. He needed more like him before he could subdue some of the most powerful mutants on the planet. Until then, he had planned to lie low.
Now, if he still had Yvette, and the vast array of powers she had in his grasp, he would have been able to challenge the X-Men. The young girl had the power to make her skin so sharp and dense that she would be a lethal shadow. She had also been gifted with a unique telepathy, and a healing factor that would put Wolverine‘s to shame. It would have kept him an unbeatable force. It was the main reason he kept hunting for her, relying on his spy to find her.
Unfortunately, that spy had seemed to fail. It was possible that his quarry had out smarted him, but he didn‘t think they had contacted the X-Men. It was just as likely that they had gotten the attention of the X-Men somehow. Xavier‘s mutants were not ones to be handled lightly. He would need his own team.
He had a few, and he had to get them together. He entered his inner sanctum, and was grateful his little manservant, D.O.A., was there. The little man, who always had a grin on his face, could always tell when he was upset. Even before he could say anything, the little man just said, “Did you miss them again, sir?”
Normally, he might have snapped at that remark, but it was the truth. He had indeed missed catching them again. “They alluded me again, D. What was worse, the X-Men are now aware of my existence. We are going to have to be more careful in our endeavors to capture those two. I would not be surprised if Xavier is already planning to bring them into his school for protection.”
He watched the little man nod, then start to head for the exit. “Shall I get the others together? We can have someone stake things out, since they can‘t stay on his grounds indefinitely.” He felt certain about that fact as well. Thanks to all his efforts to capture them, Yvette, and the man who rescued her, Richard Cale, might take advantage of any sanctuary they might come across.
He finally nodded, responding to his manservant. “Get all of them together, except for Murmur. He has a little time yet until his mistake is forgiven.” Murmur had been the one whose powers had gotten latched onto by Richard Cale. The young man had the power to mimic any mutant he got close to, but only one ability at a time, unless one became permanent. He had no doubt that Richard Cale had Yvette‘s powers, but that theory got tested when they attacked as a group. Apparently Murmur had been close enough to Richard to allow the mutant to use that power to escape.
D.O.A. then nodded his understanding of the order, and left the room. While the little mutant was good at most things, and loyal, what Emplate had to do now required the time he had as solitude. He closed his eyes, and focused his mind, and powers, on the person who was helping him. Soon, the image of her appeared in his mind‘s eye, and he let sternness enter his ethereal voice. “Your latest information proved to be worthless.” At that moment, he felt the fear come from his spy. Of course, that was because he made sure she already knew the price of failure.
At first, when Emplate appeared to her, she almost flinched. She had been lucky that she had been alone at that moment. No one knew her bond with the monster, nor what he held over her. It was either that, or bare the same curse as the monster. When he said her information was worthless, she did flinch. She tried to calm herself as she responded to the accusation. “I told you they had booked two back to back flights, sir. They had done it because they thought you were after them. Were they not at the second destination?”
She waited for his response, but when she got it, she was stunned. “No, I got there, and a bunch of the X-Men were waiting. It appears my quarry has found a momentary sanctuary. I suggest you either find a way to get at them, find me some new quarry or…”
She didn’t let him finish that thought, since it was too terrible to consider. “No. I’ll find you some easier prey, and also figure a way to get at them. They still don’t know who I am, thanks to the item our servant gave me.” She stopped speaking when she swore she had heard her father call for her. She hoped she hadn’t made any vocal noises. Emplate didn’t need any more ammo to control her with, other than what he had now.
She froze for a moment as she felt his gaze upon her. While he was not in the same room, she could swear she could feel him gauging her as a potential meal. He had made her watch as he fed on another mutant, one she led him to. The death cry still haunted her dreams, but it was either that, or her secrets be known to the world. Finally, Emplate spoke again. “For your sake, you better would.” Then the image of Emplate disappeared from her sight, and she collapsed to the floor, shuddering.
Emplate had somehow found out her biggest secret. It was what had happened the day her powers manifested. He knew what had happened, and that scared her more. Had he been near her the day they manifested? It was possible, since she had found out he could be out of synch with reality. She quickly put out of her head the implications that line of thought brought about. That could mean he already had information on her family. That last thought made her remember that her father had been calling her. She quickly got up, making sure to dry her tears, and left her room.
She made her way to where her father was, and noticed him looking over some paperwork. When she arrived, he kept reading over it, but spoke to her. “It’s about time. I had received some mail today about a special school planning to open for mutants. It’s not Xavier’s school, but it will apparently be affiliated with it. Seems to me that it would be a good thing for you. In fact, they want you for the first class.”
She gasped in astonishment, since the implications this meant were staggering. She could offer more prey to Emplate, and maybe find a way to find the quarry he had been after. Of course, there was the risk of them finding out who she really was, and what she was being forced to do. What ever it would be, she kept her voice calm and neutral as she spoke. “I see. When do they want me there, Father?” It was the safest way to address him.
His eyes still remained on the paper, but he answered. “End of the week. It won’t take long to get you there, or do you want to do it yourself, and I send your stuff.” She wanted to think about it, but her father spoke up again. “I’ll send it separate. That way, you’ll get to know others that are around the same age as you. It can’t be good for a girl your age to keep to herself.” She wanted to say it wasn’t, but then she would have to tell her father about Emplate, and she didn’t want to burden him with that. She would just have to join the school, and then betray them.
Next installment: Incoming Class