Strange Alliances

Salem Center, Westchester County, Several weeks ago

Danielle Moonstar tapped lightly on the door to the study. She was expected, but she didn't want to interrupt any important business, nonetheless.

"Come in, Dani."

As Dani entered the study, she still couldn't quite get used to the sight of Scott Summers, leader of the X-Men, setting behind Professor Xavier's desk. The sight was...off, for lack of a better description. It wasn't as though she felt he didn't deserve it. He was the first X-Man and all, but to Dani, it just felt wrong for anyone other than the Professor to be sitting there. She put that out of her mind, and got down to business.

"You wanted to see me, Mr. Summers?"

"Please, call me Scott," He said, "I'll get right to the point, Dani. Recently, I was contacted by an old associate of the Professor's named Donald Parvenue. He informed me that he was creating a superhuman team to...ahem... fight for human/mutant co-existence and he wanted to know if I had any suggestions for recruits."

"How on earth did he know to call here?"

"Mr. Parvenue is...was a confident of the professor's. According to the professor's files, Mr. Parvenue secretly contributed millions to the M.U.S.E.*, though he never took much of an active part in it. I guess he called us looking for a little repayment."

(Mutant Underground Support Engine. An under ground rail road for mutants set up by Professor X)

"That's all swell, but I hope you didn't volunteer me without consulting me first." Dani said with a raised eyebrow.

"Of course not. But I did tell him that I told him I would get back to him."

"So what does this have to do with me?"

"When he asked me for suggestions, he implied that he wanted someone with...'credibility'."

"You mean someone whom the media hasn't yet had the chance to label an outlaw, like most of X-Force and X-Men."

"Correct. I think that you're the perfect candidate, given your work as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D and the fact that you really haven't been seen with the X-Men in public."

"That doesn't answer my question, what does this have to do with me? I'm sure there are plenty of other mutants out there to chose from."

"Given the...delicate state of human/mutant relations, I don't think it would be a wise idea for us to have some loose cannons out there pretending to represent humans and mutants whom we know nothing about."

"And you want me to spy on them?" Dani asked, somewhat surprised.

"No, no nothing of the sort, Dani. I simply don't want to be caught flat footed. What I would simply like you to do is meet Parvenue and evaluate his team. Whether you join or not is up to you. But I would like to know what to expect when his team debuts."

Dani took a moment to take it all in. A team of human and mutant heroes seemed like a good idea, but did these heroes know what reaction to expect from the media and authorities? Unlikely. And the idea that it could be a trap wasn't far from Dani's mind. But all in all, the idea did hold some promise.

"Call Mr. Parvenue back, Scott. Tell him I'll meet with him." Dani said, " And tell him I'll be bringing a friend."

Dani turned to leave, but stopped for a moment.

"Scott? One more question."

"Yes?"

"Just out of curiosity, what does Mr. Parvenue plan to call his little pet team? X-Factor, X-Statics, X-Squad, X-Corps, what?"

"The team's called Force Works."

***

Several miles above Metro City, an island city on the east coast, Present Day

"Dani, I simply dinnae understand why yuir wearing that hateful costume." Rahne Sinclair, also known as the mutant heroine, Wolfsbane muttered.

"Because I need something to protect my identity." Dani replied as she checked the autopilot on the mini jet. The hateful costume in question was Dani's yellow and blue costume which Dani had worn while she was working undercover in the M.L.F*. The same costume which Dani had worn when she attacked Muir Island. Rahne wasn't one who held grudges and had long since forgiven her for the attack, but costumes fell below her radar. "I don't have a lot of spandex in my closet, nor the desire to make anything new either."

(Dani attacked Muir Island while undercover with the M.L.F in Excalibur 104- 105)

Dani started to lower the mini jet below the clouds, double-checking the coordinates for where they were supposed to meet Mr. Parvenue along with the rest of the members of his proposed team.

"We should see the place anytime...sonofa..." Dani muttered as she saw where she was to meet Parvenue. It was a round; twenty story building, located in the middle of Metro City. The top of the building was a large green house with a pool in the middle, and on the sides of the building, the twenty- foot letters spelling 'Force Works' was clearly seen. "Un. Believable."

"What's wrong wit it?"

"The thing's right out in the open! That's like begging for an attack!"

Dani lowered the mini jet, looking for a place to land. But before she could find a suitable landing zone, a blue female figure, looking like an odd cross between a roman gladiator and the little mermaid, left the building and flew to meet the mini jet. Dani tensed for a moment, expecting someone to come out and greet them but ready for an attack all the same. The blue woman motioned for Dani to follow her, and led them to the hangar.

"Welcome to 'The Work Place'. My name's Kymaera. My friends call me Namorita, or Nita, if you like." The young woman said as Dani and Rahne stepped out of the jet.

"It's a pleasure to meet you Kymaera," Dani said, trying to sound business like, "I'm Moon...Mirage and this is my friend, Wolfsbane."

"It's actually our pleasure to have you here." A new voice said. Dani turned, and saw two people standing at the entrance of the hangar. One was a tall, heavyset man, whom Dani guessed to be in his late fifties, wearing a fine Italian business suit. Standing next him was a red headed young woman in her early twenties, with light gray skin.

"Your proposal piqued my curiosity Mr. Parvenue. Show me what you got." Dani said bluntly.

"Of course. If you'll follow me, I'll introduce you to the other members of Force Works."

They left the hangar and entered the hall; Dani noted how business-like the entire floor was. As they walked down the hall, Dani watched Parvenue as closely as she could without being obvious. His body language was calm, reserved. Dani had read up on him, and knew he was an honest businessman and an associate of Professor Xavier. But that was about all she really knew about him. Something about him almost seemed hidden. It didn't help any that Dani had no idea why he was putting together this team.

"I'm sure you're wondering why I'm putting this team together." Parvenue said abruptly, "Force Work is a tribute to my beloved wife."

Dani glanced towards the red headed young woman that was hanging towards the back. The woman simply rolled her eyes.

"No, not Ms. Sawyer," Parvenue chuckled, "Ms. Sawyer is my personal assistant. I'm proud to say that I've only had sex with two women in my entire life."

Wolfsbane blushed at that comment, and he continued.

"Recently, my wife of twenty seven years passed away. Cancer of the stomach."

"You have my condolences, Mr. Pavenue, but what does this have to do with your proposal?"

"Because on her death bed, my sweet Bethany, confessed to me that she was a mutant. She never told me before because she was afraid that I might leave her. What kind of world is it that a woman can't even entrust her husband with the knowledge she is a mutant?" He snarled.

"I'm verra sorry f'r yuir loss, Mr. Parvenue, but what does Force Works have tae do wit' makin' the world safer f'r mutants?" Wolfsbane asked.

"Because people will never believe humans and mutants can work together until the fact is forced in their face. And that's where Force Works comes in."

"Think of it as a gay-straight alliance for superheroes." Kymaera interjected.

As Kymaera said that, Parvenue reached into his pocket and pressed a special button on his cell phone.

"It's a great idea, but how does your proposed team differ from any other, honestly? The Avengers, for instance have..."

"Chosen to stay out of any and all politics."

"The X-Men..."

"Are composed almost entirely of mutants and are considered outlaws by the public and government."

"Excalibur and X-Force..."

"Are run by the United Nations. I don't think they would tolerate their own employees pointing out their own short comings."

"You have an answer for everything, don't you?"

"You don't last long in the world of business if you don't. Anything else?"

"One more thing. Working with the X-Men and X-Force, I've come to expect a certain level of...professionalism from my teammates. I don't want to be working with rookies."

"And you will have it. Allow me to show you to the other members of Force Works." Parvenue said as they reached their destination, an assembly room where several other heroes were gathered. Of them, Dani immediately recognized Speedball and Nova from the New Warriors. The three men she didn't recognize couldn't be more different from one another. One was dressed in black leather, wearing a belt Dani knew was concealing weapons of some kind, an axe and sword on his back and wearing a baseball cap backwards. Next to him was a young blond male, was wearing a yellow and blue costume, with large metal, bird like wings protruding out of his back. Lastly, next to him was a young asian male, wearing a red and blue flight suit wearing what looked like a red metal backpack.

"Hey, are these the new recruits? About time the babe to hunk ratio evened out!"

"Try to show some maturity to our guests, Superball." Parvenue sighed.

"Speedball. If I've told ya' once I've told you a million times." Speedball replied.

"Why don't you all introduce yourself?"

A young man, dressed in mostly black leather stepped forward "Name's Adam X, I mean Adam Sol. I'm called X-Treme. Welcome to the team."

"We're nae members yet." Wolfsbane politely corrected.

-X-Treme? Why does that sound familiar?- Dani asked herself as another member introduced himself.

"Well, we hope you change your mind about that." The man with wings replied. "My name's Robert Gregs. I'm called Arsenal."

"Why do they call you that?"

"Because I literally have an arsenal of powers. Super strength, agility, flight, steel skill, optic blasts, and a healing factor and bone claws."

"Mirage, Wolfsbane, it's been some time, hasn't it?" The young Asian man said as he stepped forward to introduce himself.

"I'm sorry, have we met?"

"I'm Takeshi Matsuya. But you would remember me as Taki."

They both gave him blank stares.

"Wiz Kid, remember? Demon invasion, New York. The kid in the wheel chair? How could you forget that night?" Wiz Kid asked, somewhat dumbfounded.

"I think I remember you, now. But how are you...?"

Wiz Kid tapped on his knees, producing a metal sound.

"Specially designed braces."

As Nova and Speedball formally introduced themselves, no one noticed Parvenue answer his cell phone until he spoke two words that every hero in the room had long associated with trouble.

"Oh dear," He said, and the entire room went silent. There wasn't a person in the room that didn't catch the seriousness or the fear in his tone of voice, "Yes, thank you."

"What's the matter?" Nita asked.

"A group of anti-mutant terrorists have taken a group of children hostage at the museum of Natural History. I can only guess they are doing this to get national attention" He replied somberly.

"What are their demands?"

"As incredible as it sounds, they want even harsher restrictions on mutant rights. They want all mutants to be sterilized and imprisoned within ghettoes. They have threatened to kill one hostage every hour if their demands aren't met." He explained.

" I think we should handle this. Kicking in the heads of bigots is what we were brought together to do, after all." Nova said, "Are you two in?" He asked, looking towards Mirage and Wolfsbane.

"We're in, for now." Dani replied, "But can we get in without being noticed?"

"There is a part of the museum that is currently being remodeled. Ms. Sawyer can take you there."

"It would be my pleasure, sir." She replied dryly. Before Mirage had a chance to ask exactly how Ms. Sawyer would get them into the museum unnoticed, she motioned with her hands, and the heroes saw the world melt away, depositing them exactly where they wanted to be. Before anyone could thank her for the ride, she was gone.

***

"Is all this drama really necessary?" Ms. Sawyer asked as she returned to Parvenue.

"Absolutely. I doubt Ms. Moonstar would join Force Works without some kind of outside influence. According to my sources inside Shield, Ms. Moonstar is one of the best choices to lead Force Works. She's professional, seasoned and intelligent. That she brought Wolfsbane, a former member of X- Factor was quite fortunate as well."

"For the record, sir, the hold you have on Force Works is tedious at best. The strip ends you've given them wouldn't certainly won't guarantee their loyality and X-Treme, who owes you the greatest debt, would turn on you in an instant if he learned the truth! You're playing with fire, sir."

"As I have done all my life, Ms. Sawyer. Force Works, one way or another, will make the world better for mutants and humans, so no one else will know the fear my wife did." He replied in a cold, matter of fact tone. He glanced at his watch, "At any rate, that's a matter for another day. I'm due in England in five minutes to."

Ms. Sawyer sighed and activated her powers. She knew how stubborn Parvenue was. She would never be able to convince Mr. Parvenue of the fact that Force Works would be more trouble than it was worth. Which meant she had to do something about Force Works herself.

***

"I'll give us some privacy so we can plan our next move." Dani said. She concentrated, and created an illusion of invisibility around Force Works.

"Okay, here's what we do..."

"Wait a minute," Speedball interrupted, "Who made you leader?"

"Do you have a leader?" Dani asked.

"Umm...we hadn't gotten to that part yet." Nova replied.

"Well, I've got a plan, if there are no objections." Dani said smugly.

"Sure, I guess."

"Good. Wolfsbane, what are we up against?"

Wolfsbane shifted into her change form. She concentrated for a moment, and reached out with her enhanced senses, "I would guess we're up against six armed men, wit' light body armor and automatic weapons from the smell o' it. They're in the main lobby."

"I could deal with them myself, if you want, Mirage." X-Treme suggested.

"You sure?"

"I took down X-Force by myself*. I'm quite sure."

(In X-Force Annual 2)

"Okay, here's how we'll go about it. If we all go charging in at once, we'll most likely get someone killed. So, Nova, Arsenal, Kymaera, Wiz Kid, you got one minute to find an exit..."

"And set up a parameter so they can't escape, or receive any reinforcements." Wiz Kid finished as he morphed his backpack into a rocket pack "Excellent plan."

With that, they left. Mirage turned to Speedball,

"Speedball, can you extend your force field around others?"

"Yeah, piece of cake."

"Good. Here's what we're going to do. I'll get us close to these wack jobs. When I say go, I want you to get to the hostages and protect them with your field so they don't get hit in the cross fire while X-Treme deals with them."

Speedball nodded in agreement, and the heroes headed towards the lobby, concealed by Mirage's powers. Once they reached the lobby, they saw that Rahne had indeed been correct. Six armed men were standing around a group of terrified children, with a few odd adults, who were huddled together in the center of the lobby. As Dani took this all in, she couldn't help but think how wrong this situation felt. It had been her experience that the terrorists would be wasting their breath trying to justify themselves to their hostages, but they weren't doing that. They were simply standing around, as though they were waiting for something. Dani silently motioned for Speedball and X-Treme to move in.

Once Mirage signaled to move, X-Treme charged forward with incredible speed. With three blades in each hand, he leapt into the air and spun, releasingone blade at each terrorist, striking them before they had even realized they were under attack and drawing a small amount of blood.

"Burn!"

With that word, X-Treme activated his mutant ability to ignite the electrolytes in a person's blood after it was oxygenated. The six terrorists slumped to the ground, unconscious.

"Well, that was anti-climatic." Speedball commented. By the time he reached the hostages, the situation was over. Wolfsbane whacked him upside the head.

"It's nae over yet," She chastised, "We need tae get the wee bairns oot!"

"'Bairns? What the heck are 'bairns'?" Speedball asked mockingly.

"Wolfsbane, you and Speedball get the kids out of here and tell the cops that the situation is clear. Me and X-Treme will keep an eye on things here."

As Speedball and Wolfsbane escorted the hostages out, Mirage glanced at the weapons the terrorists were holding, and noticed something odd. The safeties on the weapons were on. For reasons she couldn't explain, Mirage walked over to one terrorist and took the magazine out of his Uzi.

"That's odd."

"What's that?" X-Treme asked.

Mirage flicked a bullet at him that she had taken out of the clip.

"They were using rubber bullets and had the safeties on." She replied, " Why would they do that?"

"These guys are an anti-mutant group, right? Maybe they didn't want to hurt any humans?"

"Maybe..."

***

"Everythin' all right!" Wolfsbane shouted as she emerged from the museum, carrying one child who was too scared to walk out under her own power. The crowd of police and bystanders that had gathered outside let out a collective sigh of relief. Several officers came forward to take the children to their anxious parents.

"I'll take her off your hands, beautiful."

Wolfsbane turned to the police officer that had spoken to her and saw a handsome, young blond man with shining blues and an incredible similarity to

"Doug?" She gasped.

"Umm, yeah. My name's Doug. Doug Mathews." He replied as he gently took the child from Wolfsbane's arms, "How did you know?"

"Umm, well, yuir so handsome, I mean, yuir eyes, I mean lucky guess!" She stammered quickly, blushing.

"Good guess. You're pretty easy on the eyes yourself." Doug replied as he took the child away.

-Why is muh heart beating so fast?-Wolfsbane asked herself.

***

When Nova agreed to take the north end of the museum, he truly didn't expect anything to happen. But he kept his eyes peeled. And he was rather startled when he saw a man wearing a purple turban and blue spandex, carrying on odd shaped bow slyly stepping out on the fire exit. Nova activated the comm. unit in his helmet,

"Wiz Kid, quick question. Metro City doesn't have any local heroes, right?"

"Correct. Outside of Force Works, Metro City is devoid of any superhumans with good, moral character. Why do you ask?"

"Because someone in spandex is sneaking out one of the back exits. I'm going to check it out." Nova explained. He started to descend, but in a flash of light, the man was gone.

"What the hell?" Nova looked quickly looked around, using his enhanced vision to look for where the man had disappeared. He saw him on the horizon(from Nova's perspective, anyway), being held aloft by a woman dressed in rather skimpy cloths. Nova pressed the comm. unit on his helmet again.

"Hey Wiz Kid, that guy I asked about? He's flown the coup with some Hawaiian girl, but I'm right on their butts. You guys saddle up and follow my signal."

"Understood. Be careful."

"Aren't I always?"

"From the little I know of you, no."

"Damn straight. That's what makes me me. See you in a little." ***

"What the hell were you thinking? You could have gotten someone killed!"

Mirage rubbed her head in frustration as Commissioner Stone berated her for Force Works actions. Although she barely knew the man, she suspected that he was using her as a vent to relieve some of the stress he had been under, and she was right. Stone, until recently, had been a member of Code: Blue. That was until he accepted a lucrative offer to become the commissioner of Metro City. As the 'new guy on the block', Stone felt that he had to make it clear who was running the show. And that was hard to do when super heroes were throwing their weight around.

"What if you made a mistake? There isn't any room for error in this business!" He continued.

"If you want to go into what ifs, we could be here all day, Stone. We're professionals, and we got the job done, so back off!" Mirage snapped.

"Sorry to break up this lovely discussion, but we have a problem." Kymaera interrupted. The rest of Force Works was gathered behind her, clearly waiting for something. She quickly explained the situation to Mirage.

"We'll need to check it out." Mirage sighed. She had hoped for some quite time to think this entire ordeal out, but she suspected she wouldn't get it.

"Not us." X-Treme said.

"Excuse me?" Mirage asked

"If you and Wolfsbane coming with us, you're coming as full members. We don't know what we're getting into, and we all need to know where everyone stands." X-Treme explained.

*They seem nice enough* Wolfsbane commented over their shared psi-link.

"Fine, we're in for the duration, then. Do you guys have a plane or some mode of transportation?"

X-Treme pointed up, and a ship suddenly appeared. It's sharp was similar to that of a stealth bomber, but it was silver and the cockpit was much larger than that of a stealth bomber.

"Welcome to the Stealth Wing. It's start of the art, complements of Mr. Parvenue." X-Treme said as he took the controls.

"X-Treme, a question?"

"Yeah, Mirage?"

"I remember hearing about you from my friends in X-Force. They mentioned that you had amnesia."

"Had. Past tense being the operative subject here. Why do you ask?"

Mirage wrinkled her nose "I like to know where everyone stands."

***

An old Oil refinery on the edge of the Black Sea

The fallen god known as Marduk watched the his fellow gods in exile Papahanau-Moku(commonly referred to as Papa for obvious reasons) and Aqhat return from their mission, he felt the closest thing to happiness beat in his heart for the first time in a thousand years.

"I trust you have the necklace?"

"Of course. Once we place it on her, she will be our puppet." Aqhat answered. He produced a beetle shaped scarab from his belt.

"With our magics, she is already our puppet," Papa interjected as they walked into the bowels of the refinery "Why bother with this trinket?"

"Insurance." Marduk replied. The three heard a sonic boom, just before the alarms started screaming, and the three fallen gods rushed towards the security monitors. Marduk's face went pale when he saw the screen.

"It's some blasted superhero!"

"Why would he be here?"

"Why else? He must have followed us!"

"Insurance indeed." Papa muttered.

"We can defeat one super hero." Marduk growled. The second he finished his sentence, another sonic boom was heard, and the stealth wing came into view.

"We have to get out of here!" Aqhat pleaded, "We are to far from the Genesis Well! If we are defeated..."

"Then we will be nothing." Papa finished.

"We can still reclaim her at a later time." Marduk said, hoping to relieve his fellows' concerns, "I made sure of that."

***

"What's the situation, Nova?" Mirage asked as she stepped out of the Stealth Wing.

"That guy I was following ducked inside and hasn't come out yet. The place is otherwise clear."

"Not to be a spoil sport here," Speedball said, "But do we have any proof that this guy has committed a crime of any kind, other than one hell of a disappearing act?"

"We're just making sure everything is on the level, toothpick," Nova said, "Besides, with the per diem we're getting, we have to do something!"

Suddenly, the building that Aqhat disappeared into exploded, and at the epic center stood a young woman dressed in a white and blue suit, red cape, a headband with wings and wielding a golden mallet. She was also wearing a necklace

"Still think Nova's suspicion is unfounded?" Wiz Kid asked Speedball as a visor came out of his backpack and over his eyes. "Let's see what we have hear..."

"Alpha level power readings, source unknown. Eighty points of comparison with the hero/Avenger Thor." His pack explained. Wiz Kid tapped on his visor, glancing at the mysterious young woman, "She doesn't look that much like Thor, hammer aside."

"Is she dangerous?" Kymaera asked.

"I... am...Tarene," The young woman declared, "And you are to be destroyed, by the will of the Everlasting."

And with that, she threw his golden mallet at Force Works, who quickly shattered. The hammer easily destroyed a tower behind Force Works before returning to Tarene's hand.

"I'd wager yes." Speedball said.

"Wiz Kid, Arsenal, I got a plan, but I need you to hold this 'Tarene' off for a few seconds!"

The rest of the team quickly huddled around Mirage, not wasting a second, " Whoever this person is, she's being controlled by that necklace she's wearing. I don't think she'll part with it willingly, so here's the plan..."

"You can count on us!" Arsenal said as he took to the air. He unleashed an optic blast at Tarene's feet, knocking her off balance. He then transformed his body into living steel and swooped down, smashing into her. Tarene was barely budged, and smacked Arsenal a dozen yards away. Wiz kid picked up the assault where Arsenal left off; morphing his backpack around his hands and creating powerful laser cannons. He unleashed a barrage of energy at Tarene, but she barely noticed.

"Feel free to fall at anytime!" Wiz Kid said nervously. Tarene ignored him and started to walk towards him, intent on tearing his head off his shoulders. So caught up in the battle, no one in Force Works noticed Papa fly away with Aqhat and Marduk.

"Now!" Mirage shouted.

Tarene turned to see Wolfsbane running towards her, carrying Speedball over her head. At the same time, Nova and Kymaera were taking to the air.

"I don't like this plan!" Speedball shouted. Wolfsbane ignored him and threw him at Tarene with all her superhuman strength. Tarene ducked under Speedball at the last second and raised her mallet to throw at Wolfsbane. But before she could do that, her legs flew out from under her. Speedball had ricocheted, and hit her in her knees at incredible speed, knocking her on her butt. Nova and Kymaera followed thru, diving from the sky and hitting Tarene with the world's most powerful pile driver. The two lovers continued to batter her with all their strength, but after a few seconds, Tarene threw them off.

"You have sown the wind, and you will reap the whirl wind!" Tarene snarled, "I'll ground your bones to dust!"

Mirage noticed that her rage didn't seem to be part of her mind control, but genuinely Tarene's. Tarene wiped some blood off her mouth and started to advance on the team. But her threat was quickly ended in one word.

***

"You were correct, Mirage. That necklace was controlling her. It emitted alpha waves that suppressed her mind." Wiz Kid said as he examined the beetle necklace they removed from Tarene. "How did you know?"

"It didn't fit with the rest of her out fit." Mirage smirked. She turned to Nova, Wolfsbane and Speedball, whom she ordered to search the area.

"We got squat, chief." Speedball reported.

-They're already calling me chief- Mirage sighed to herself.

"So what do we do with her?" Kymaera asked, pointing towards the unconscious Tarene. She had restraints on her arms and legs, designed by Wiz Kid. "We need to figure something out before she wakes up."

"Not to worry, those restraints will hold her until we can determine what exactly can be done with her."

Tarene moaned, and with ridiculous ease, ripped thru the restraints and rubbed her head.

"Damnit! Form on me!" Mirage ordered. Mirage readied her psychic arrows, X- Treme took his axe on one hand and three throwing blades in his other, Wiz Kid formed laser guns around his hands and Arsenal unsheathed his bone claws.

"On three..." Mirage ordered. Tarene was still rubbing her head, seemingly oblivious to Force Work's threat.

"Wait!" Wolfsbane jumped between her teammates and Tarene, "We don' know if she's a threat! Give me a chance t' talk tae her!"

"Rahne..."

"Trust me Dani." Wolfsbane said as she turned to Tarene. She shifted to her human form and carefully approached the girl, who looked terribly confused, "'ello, muh name's Rahne Sinclair, what's yuir name?"

Mirage tensed as Rahne approached the young woman. Rahne was Dani's soul mate, and she was walking towards a powerhouse in her most vulnerable state.

"I...am Tarene." She replied hesitantly.

"Do ye remember how ye got 'ere?"

"No."

"Do you remember who your parents are?" Arsenal asked, "Or maybe where you live?"

"I...don't remember anything." She replied.

"O great, another 'so mysterious I don't even know myself' type." Speedball said under his breath

"Are you warriors?" Tarene asked.

"Umm yes. Would... ye like t' join us?" Wolfsbane offered.

*Rahne, what are you doing! She can't join the team!* Dani shouted over their psi-link.

*She's a bloody powerhouse! What else ken we do wit' her?* Rahne demanded. Dani didn't respond, but she knew Rahne was right. This 'Tarene' was a loose cannon, and it wasn't like they could hand her over to social services. Whether they liked it or not, Tarene was their problem now.

"Who do you fight for?"

"Everyone." Arsenal answered.