Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men: Evolution
Chapter One: Acolytes Will Happen
"Are you sure this is the right place?" Remy asked.
"Of course," Magneto said levitating next to him. The Acolytes were hiding in the backyard of a nice suburban house. "Mastermind used MADNESS three times to confirm that a mutant signature was coming from this location."
"If you say so," Remy shrugged peering through a small set of binoculars. "I still don't see anyone."
"Maybe the mutant left in the car that pulled out when we got here," Pyro suggested.
"Perhaps, but I doubt it was one of that elderly couple," Magneto considered the possibility. "Mastermind?"
"I am still detecting one person left in the house," Mastermind focused his powers. "Though I am unable to determine if the individual present is a mutant."
"Very well," Magneto decided. "We will enter the house presuming the remaining person is the mutant. If not we will neutralize the person and wait for the mutant to come back."
"Great," Sabertooth growled.
"Gambit, disable any security systems you can find," Magneto ordered. "Sabertooth, Mastermind, locate the individual. Colossus, you keep an eye on Pyro and make sure he doesn't do anything foolish."
"Like what?" Piotr asked.
"Like set the place on fire and burn us all to a crisp!" Magneto snapped.
"Great, I always get the hard job," Piotr sighed armoring up.
The Acolytes quickly snuck across the backyard and carefully approached the back door. Remy easily picked the locks and bypassed the burglar alarm. "All done." He silently opened the door. "Come on in."
"Huh, kind of a funny place," Pyro glanced at the contrast of antique and high tech items decorating the house. "Ooo, candles!"
"Do not even think about it," Piotr quickly moved to block Pyro's access to them.
"Nobody up here," Sabertooth growled panning his head from side to side. "Sounds like the target is mucking around in the basement."
FIZZZ! FIZZZ! FIZZZ!
"No, you think?" Mastermind gave him a look as a gaggle of loud noises echoed up from a stairway.
Sabertooth glared at Mastermind as the Acolytes made their way down into a large, brightly lit basement. Rows of electronic equipment lined the walls along with shelves full of strange devices and spare parts. A figure hunched over one of several lab tables while working, completely oblivious to the silent presence of the six mutants.
Magneto motioned the Acolytes to slightly fan out and surround the figure before announcing himself. "Greetings."
The figure was too engrossed in work to acknowledge him. Magneto frowned and tried again. "Greetings!" The figure continued to ignore him.
"HEY YOU! LISTEN UP!" Sabertooth roared.
"Whoa, what?" The figure spun around to reveal a young, dark haired man with tan skin. "Hey, who are you? How did you get in here?"
"Way to be subtle, Victor," Magneto muttered before addressing the figure. "Greetings. I am Magneto. And I am like you. Someone born with special gifts. A mutant."
"You're a mutant too?" The figure blinked at him. "Hey, I think I've seen you before. Didn't a giant, flaming robot fall on you or something?"
"Or something, yes," Magneto hissed in annoyance.
"Face it Mags, you're never gonna be able to disassociate yourself from that," Remy chuckled.
"Silence Gambit!" Magneto snapped.
"Whoa!" The figure gasped noticing the other Acolytes. "Who are you guys?"
"Mutants," Sabertooth growled intimidating. "Who are you?"
"Uh, the name's Forge," The figure studied the Acolytes for a moment. "So you're all mutants? Trippy!"
"Trippy?" Piotr repeated.
"Yeah," Forge nodded. "You know, like far out. Hip. Groovy."
"Uh," Piotr looked very confused.
"Never mind," Forge waved. "So, are you guys with Xavier?"
"Not quite," Magneto stated. "Xavier is a dreamer and idealist when it comes to mutants. I am a realist and take a more...pragmatic approach."
"Okay," Forge shrugged. "So, what. Is this like some kind of recruiting gig?"
"Exactly," Magneto spread his hands wide. "I offer you the chance to join us and work toward building the future to help achieve mutant kind's destiny!"
"Mmmm, no thanks," Forge declined. "I'm not really much of a joiner. Besides, I'm already working on a ton of projects that will help build the future right here!"
"And what a valuable collection of projects they are too," Remy ran his hands over an impressive array of small tools and gizmos. "Say, are these real diamonds?"
"Yep," Forge confirmed. "I cut them myself and use 'em for grinding, customized semiconductors and drill bits."
"You don't say," Remy grinned. "Sweet!"
"Ooo, what's this thingy do?" Pyro picked a sleek backpack-like device off a shelf. It had a slightly bluish tint along with a chest-mounted control panel with several buttons and screens built flush to its surface.
"Hey, be careful with that!" Forge warned. "That's my time machine!"
"A time machine?" Piotr repeated studying the device. "Interesting. So what time is it?"
"No, not that kind of time machine," Forge corrected. "I mean a real time machine. You know, like H.G. Wells and all that jazz?"
"What?" Remy blinked at him. "You mean that is a real, working time machine?"
"Well technically," Forge shrugged. "It's kinda glitchy and I'm still working on getting a lot of the bugs out of it."
"Impossible," Magneto declared. "Time travel is a myth. It would require a near infinite amount of energy to even begin to create a hole in four-dimensional space-time, much less send somebody through it. No power source on Earth creates enough energy for that!"
"Until now," Forge boasted proudly and indicated the device. "This baby runs on a nuclear fusion/zero point energy hybrid utilizing a cheap and plentiful fatty-alkali compound for fuel." He grabbed a small carton off a nearby workbench and opened it.
"Soap?" Remy blinked at the contents. "You're telling us that thing runs on soap?"
"Yep," Forge grinned.
"Oh come on!" Sabertooth scoffed. "How could a skinny runt like you manage to create a soap-powered time machine?"
"That's my power," Forge told them. "I can create and invent any kind of machine I can imagine. I have a natural affinity for determining how mechanical devices work. Plus I am a bit of a super-genius."
"Not to mention modest," Remy quipped.
"Wait a second," Pyro nearly dropped the device and studied Forge for a minute. "Dark hair...tan skin...ability to invent things...HOOLY DOOLEY IT'S HIM!" He pointed to Remy in triumph. "See! I told you we'd end up meeting him someday!"
"Huh?" Remy blinked. "What the heck are you talking about?"
"Yay! I always knew it would happen!" Pyro handed the device off to Piotr and eagerly ran up to Forge. "Tell us, is your name Tao?"
"Uh...excuse me?" Forge blinked in confusion.
"Your name! Your non-mutant name!" Pyro was practically bouncing up and down. "Is it Tao? Is your non-mutant name Tao? Huh? Is it? Is it? Is it?"
"Well actually, my real name is..." Forge began.
"Enough!" Magneto shouted cutting him off. "Pyro, cease you idiotic babbling at once! And you!" He loomed over Forge menacingly. "I have offered you the chance to join the fight for mutant superiority. Refusing my offer would be very unfortunate!"
"I'd listen to him if I were you," Sabertooth growled showing his claws. "Just saying."
"Oh yeah? Well here's a saying for you. Never mess with an inventor!" Forge formed his arm into a large hand cannon and pointed it straight at Magneto. Magneto casually used his powers to redirect the cannon to point directly at Forge's head. "Um, on second thought..."
"Now," Magneto watched Forge revert the cannon back to his arm and released his hold on it. "You will come with us and work as I direct you, or the elderly couple that left here earlier will become the permanently departed. Understood?"
"Uh," Forge gulped. "Well, when you put it like that..."
"Will you please stop poking at that thing?" Piotr looked nervously at Pyro who had managed to take back the backpack-like device.
"But I wanna push the buttons," Pyro whined as he fiddled with the machine. "They're so nice and buttony."
"Give me that!" Remy walked over and moved to take the device away.
"But I haven't finished pushing all the buttons yet!" Pyro protested and tried to keep it out of reach.
"Well you've succeeded in pushing mine!" Remy snapped. "Now put it down!"
"No!" Pyro yelped.
"Please! Stop this!" Piotr attempted to break them up.
"Oh for crying out loud!" Sabertooth growled and angrily joined the struggle. "You idiots knock it off or I'll knock off your..."
"Um, what was that?" Pyro blinked as the four mutants paused from fighting.
"Uh oh," Piotr gulped as the device began to hum ominously. "This does not sound good."
"Quick, get rid of it...AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!" Remy yelped as all the Acolytes except for Magneto suddenly seemed to glow before vanishing with a loud pop.
"Okay," Magneto blinked for a moment. "What just happened to my subordinates?"
"Well, they obviously managed to activate my time machine and have traveled through time," Forge picked himself up having taken cover behind a far lab table.
"What?" Magneto gasped in shock. "You mean that thing was real?"
"Well yeah," Forge nodded. "I said it was, didn't I?"
"O-kay," Magneto struggled to accept the situation. "So how do you bring them back?"
"Uh, about that," Forge laughed nervously. "I can't."
"WHAT?!" Magneto shouted.
"You see the only way for them to return is to use the machine," Forge explained quickly. "And the system used to set the destination time and coordinates is one of the bugs that I haven't quite managed to fix yet."
"I see," Magneto turned to stare at him.
"Look, I'm really sorry about them getting lost and all," Forge gulped and shank from Magneto's gaze. "You're going to kill me for inventing that time machine, aren't you?"
"I might," Magneto tilted his head in thought. "Right after I decide whether or not you have managed to do me a favor."