A couple of weeks had passed since Magneto attempted to destroy the human race. Awaiting their doom some parts of the planet had experienced levels of hysteria. But when the meteors didn’t come calm eventually returned. No one knew that the X-Men had been responsible for the Earth’s salvation. Rumours had gone around that the Avengers had stepped in to intervene in the situation although it had been denied by the team.
Magneto and the Brotherhood had not been active since the X-Men had stopped their plans. Although Magneto himself was still alive he was no threat to the planet. He was in a bed on his asteroid as his followers tried everything to awaken their fallen leader.
However many governments of the world were now pushing forward acts that would further alienate the mutants from the human societies. A few countries in Asia had already brought forward laws that mutants would greatly regret. The event had also brought more support towards Senator Robert Kelly’s cause. His calls for the Mutant Registration Act was gaining more support both outside and inside the US Congress. It only seemed like a matter of time before the Act would be voted in.
Meanwhile things had seemingly gone on as usual for the X-Men, they socialised and trained in using their powers. However one of the X-Men had gone through a couple of changes. The mansion’s security had been beefed up so that spies would have a more difficult time getting in and leaking out information. Forge and Beast had used this to experiment a little with some working better than others. Shortpack himself was still being held until Professor X had decided what to do with him. He would surely be killed if he handed him over to the authorities and he was still a risk to the team if he was let go on his own free will. Also during this time Forge was drawing up plans on a new and improved Cerebro since the previous model had been destroyed when Magneto attacked the mansion.
In a fashion store in New York Jean Grey was waiting outside the changing rooms. It was one of the few days she had chance to get out of the mansion and do some shopping. She wasn’t alone however.
“It’s no good,” said a woman’s voice with some distress.
“Come on it can’t be that bad,” replied Jean. She tried to sound more encouraging. “Come on out and let me take a look.”
Jean waited a few seconds before a very tall woman came out of the changing rooms. But this woman was no stranger to her. This woman was her fellow X-Man Kitty Pryde. She was no longer the average height woman anymore.
Within days of Kitty’s secondary powers activating she noticed that she was getting taller. At first she thought that she was being paranoid but as the days went on the change was becoming more noticeable. She gaining several inches in as many days and there seemed to be no way in stopping it. She feared that she could keep growing until she was truly a giant but thankfully her height levelled off at six foot two, a full eight inches taller than her previous height. Her height increase also made her the tallest member of the X-Men and she didn’t like it one bit.
Also during this time Professor X had encouraged her to explore her new powers even though she was reluctant to do so. However no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t reach the heights that she did when her secondary mutation first activated in Steele. In the Danger Room sessions she could barely go over seven feet but she also discovered that whenever she increased her size she couldn’t use her phasing abilities. She felt embarrassed when using her other powers. She much preferred her original powers and she decided that she would only use when absolutely necessary.
Unfortunately Kitty’s increase in height also came with another problem. Her casual clothes no longer fit her and she was finding it very difficult to replace them. Even when she was her previous height Kitty had very long legs and had some difficulties getting pants that fitted. Now that she had grown the task was almost impossible.
Even when she walked out of the changing rooms the pants she was trying on were too short even though they were the longest pair the store had in stock. She hated the fact that her legs were to her freakishly long.
“See Jean they don’t fit,” said Kitty. “Doesn’t this stupid store make pants that actually fit me?” She was getting annoyed and Jean picked this up.
“Calm down Kitty,” replied Jean. She tried to make her voice sound calming although it didn’t seem to be working very well. “Just get changed again and we’ll find somewhere else.”
Kitty walked back into the changing rooms and got changed back into her clothes. She was having to wear a short dress since she didn’t own any pants that fit her and a pair of flip flops. Again she didn’t own any proper shoes that fit her and for now this was the next best thing. She picked up her bag and left the store pants on a rack where other clothes were waiting to be put back on the shelves.
Immediately after Kitty and Jean left the store. Kitty was getting some looks since not many people had seen many women as tall as she was. She didn’t like all the attention she was getting and it wasn’t particularly a very warm day and the cold breeze froze her bare legs. This was further adding to her discomfort.
“Cheer up Kitty,” said Jean. “I know a big and tall women’s fashion store a few miles away. They’ll surely have something that’ll fit.”
“I hope so,” replied Kitty. “I hate wearing these clothes every day. And I want something that I can actually look good in.”
By now the women had reached the road and Jean hailed a taxi and she was surprised with how fast one pulled up. Normally she would have to wait a few minutes but this time it only took a couple of seconds. It was as if the taxi had been waiting for them. But as the women got into the back of the taxi Kitty was having some difficulties. Again her legs were working against her and she was struggling to get herself inside. She had to scrunch up her legs so that she could fit in her seat.
“Where to ladies?” asked the driver. The driver had a distinctive scar on his right cheek and New York accent.
“Molly’s Big and Tall please,” replied Jean.
“I’ll get you there in a jiffy.”
The taxi calmly pulled off and made its way down the street. The women didn’t notice that the doors had been locked and the driver had put on a small gas mask. The pair were chatting to one another before Jean began to sense that something was wrong. But she felt herself begin to blackout. She realised that they were being affected by an odourless gas, she tried to warn Kitty about it but she saw that she had already succumbed to the gas and within seconds she too went into a deep sleep.
Around the same time in Salem Centre the other members of the X-Men were going around their daily businesses. In the mansions gym Logan lifting weights trying to increase his strength. Many people ultimately assumed that he had superhuman strength like Spider-Man or the Hulk. In reality his mutant powers did not affect his strength levels in the slightest, his strength level was around the peak any normal man could achieve.
Normally Logan would be training in the Danger Room but it was currently offline while Hank was upgrading the programs. Logan wasn’t all that fussed with fancy terrain trickery or lightshows. All he cared about was whether it was up to his training standards. Many a times he had been severely disappointed.
At first Logan did not notice Bobby enter the gym, but he could eventually smell the young X-Man. He looked over to him and Bobby just stood leaning on the door frame. Bobby began to lower the temperature in the room until it was the same as an industrial freezer. Anyone would think that he was trying to sabotage Logan but this had been done at his request. With the temperature being lowered it was pushing Logan further towards his limits. He panted as he lifted the weights time and time again, but after several minutes even he had had enough. He dropped the weights on the ground and brushed the frozen sweat off his forehead.
By now Bobby had stopped using his powers and the temperature of the gym began to slowly rise again. He walked over to where Logan was sitting and he seemed to laugh at his tired friend.
“Was that good enough for ya Logan?” asked Bobby. “If you want I can make it as cold as the South Pole.”
“Next time popsicle,” panted Logan. “I’m beat.”
“I thought you never got tired.”
“My healing powers do a lot but even I need rest. And besides I bet you couldn’t lift any of my weights.”
“Yeah right. I bet you ten bucks I could.” Bobby’s confidence seemed to be growing. As of yet he had never lost a wager with Logan.
“You’re on popsicle.”
Logan then moved to one side and Bobby sat down on the chair. He attempted to pick up the dumbbell weights but he couldn’t budge them. He took a firm grasp of them but he still couldn’t lift up the weights. Logan began to laugh as he watched his friend struggle to lift the dumbbells.
“Having trouble there?” laughed Logan.
“No just warming up,” grunted Bobby. He was tensing his muscles and continually trying to lift the weights but there was still nothing.
“You gonna give up?”
Bobby’s face was turning bright red as his muscles were seemingly failing him. Logan was continually laughing at him and all this seemed to do was motivate the young mutant. But even he eventually admitted defeat. He let go of the dumbbells and like Logan before began to pant. He then reluctantly took a ten dollar bill from his pocket and gave it to Logan. Logan then sniffed the bill.
“You know what they’re right,” said Logan. “Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”
But suddenly Logan began to smell a scent that seemed to be strangely familiar to him. He continued to sniff the air and there was definitely something that was catching his attention. He stopped laughing at Bobby and began to look around, at first there didn’t seem to be anything off at first. Bobby could see that there was something bothering his friend. But he could not tell that anything was wrong.
“What is it Logan?” asked Bobby with some concern.
“I smell something,” replied Logan. “Something I’ve not smelt since I was a…”
“Jedi?” interrupted Bobby trying to be funny.
“No popsicle. Something far worse.”
Just then out of thin air a figure appeared wearing a red and black suit that covered every part of his body. He had twin swords strapped to his back, pistols in holsters on his sides and a strange oval device on the centre of his belt. His sudden appearance caught both X-Men by surprise and instantly Logan extended the claws from his knuckles and Bobby iced over his body to create an ice shield.
“Hey there Logan long time no see old buddy old pal,” said the mysterious stranger so fast that it was hard to pick up what he was saying.
“Wade!” snarled Logan.
“Oh please that name is bland and boring. Call me Deadpool I’ve heard the ladies love it.” He then pulled out his semi-automatic pistols and began to fire at both the X-Men. But each time he fired a shot he would shot BANG.
Bobby created a larger ice shield in front of himself. But unexpectedly Deadpool tapped a button on the belt device and he disappeared once again. He reappeared immediately afterwards behind him. He then knocked the brave X-Man in the back of his neck knocking him out. His intentions had never been to kill him, he seemed to want Bobby alive.
Everything had happened so fast that Logan didn’t have enough time to protect Bobby from Deadpool. But by now the remaining X-Men were aware that something was wrong. Xavier had sensed what was happening and alerted the others.
Before any of the X-Men could come reach the gym Logan and Deadpool were fighting each other with great ferocity. Deadpool had put his guns away and was instead attacking Logan with his twin swords, but when Logan saw an opportunity he thrust his claws deep into Deadpool’s chest.
“Oh God what have you done Logan you’ve killed me that’s what you’ve done,” groaned Deadpool. He then took a step back as he laughed and his chest began to heal over. “Whatdyaknow I’m cured.”
“What the hell?” replied Logan with a confused look on his face.
Deadpool then threw his swords up into the air directly above him. He then pulled out his guns and fired at Logan several times. He then put his guns away and caught the falling swords. By now Logan was riddled with bullets and down momentarily. The injuries would have killed any normal man but to Logan it would only be a matter of time before he was up on his feet again.
“Jobsagooden,” said Deadpool. He then put grabbed the fingers of Bobby and Logan with his one hand and with the other his activated the device once again and he disappeared into thin air.
Seconds later Cyclops and Forge arrived to the gym but they couldn’t see anything. There was some evidence of a fight but gym was empty. Xavier in his sitting room was scanning the mansion but he couldn’t pick up anything of the missing X-Men. Without Cerebro he couldn’t expand his search any further. It was still being reconstructed by Forge and still a long way from completion.
“What the hell happened?” asked Cyclops as he continued to look around. “Where are Logan and Bobby.”
“Gone,” replied Forge. He walked over to some burn marks on the ground. The burn mark however wasn’t from the gun fire. He squatted down to the mark and rubbed it with his right index and middle finger. “From the looks of it they’ve been teleported.”
“Teleported? Nightcrawler could teleport, maybe it’s another mutant that has similar abilities.”
“Maybe but Nightcrawler never left burn marks when he teleported. This looks more technology based than natural ability.”
“Is that even possible? You tried to make a teleporter and that didn’t work out. Are you telling me that someone’s achieved something you couldn’t?”
“Not only that it seems to be a miniaturised version. The one I attempted required two pods, one to enter and one to teleport to. That couldn’t happen here however, whoever did this has access to technology until now I haven’t even conceived.”
Several minutes later what was left of the X-Men had regrouped in Xavier’s sitting room. Xavier himself was sitting in his wheelchair by the fire. What he was fearing seemed to be coming to life, his beloved X-Men seemed to be taken by an unknown and unpredictable force. This mysterious enemy had attacked the mansion without provocation or warning. Worse yet he had not received any word from Jean or Kitty and he feared that they had also been taken.
“My X-Men I fear we have a new enemy,” said Xavier. “Roughly fifteen minutes ago Logan and Robert were kidnapped off mansion grounds by an unknown enemy. To top everything off I have attempted to contact Jean in New York with no luck. With both our telepathic abilities we should still be able to contact each other. I am left to assume that they too have been taken hostage.”
“This is getting ridiculous,” replied Cyclops with some anger in his voice. “How long will it be until we’re all kidnapped? We have to rescue them before they’re hurt or worse. If they do anything to Jean I swear I will not be held responsible for my actions.” He couldn’t bear the thought of losing her. She was his soul mate and to him life wasn’t worth living if she was taken from him.
“Scott please remain calm,” said Hank. “I don’t think things are quite straight forward here. If they wanted to outright kill them they would have done it there and then. The chances of this being a ransom are extremely slim, there is no one really related to the X-Men who have a lot of money. Except maybe Charles but I find that very unlikely. There is a purpose to the kidnapping but I fear that if we don’t act soon we might never see our friends again.”
“I’ve taken steps into tracking down our mysterious kidnapper,” added Forge. He then looked into a handheld device. I think I can pinpoint the energy used by the teleporter our friend used. Most likely with a small size teleport device I doubt that they could have travelled long distances.”
More to come very soon.