The New Mutants
Written by Darkstorm5000
Disclaimer: The X-Men and related characters in their various incarnations are the property of Marvel Comics and Marvel Enterprises.
A/N: This fic is a continuation from my previous story titled A Force Unleashed.
Story 1- The New Mutants
"Mutation. It is the key to evolutio--"
No wait, that's already been done to death. Um, how about this…
The Sentinels have been defeated, thanks to the combined efforts and cooperation between SHIELD, the premiere international law enforcement organization with jurisdiction worldwide; the X-Men, a group of powerful mutants brought together by Professor Charles Xavier, who are dedicated to protecting a world that often times fears and hates them because of the very powers that they use in its defense; and the Brotherhood, another formidable team of mutants assembled by the Mutant Master of Magnetism known to the world as Magneto, a counter-force with the express purpose of ensuring that homo-superior's place in the world is absolutely guaranteed, even if that requires employing more pro-active, and often-times more hostile tactics, than their mutant counter-parts to accomplish their goal.
But now, after having been taken to and then yanked back from the brink of potential Armageddon thanks these disparate heroes, the question that they and the rest of the world were left to answer was where do they go from there?
With respect to the X-Men, following their hard-fought victory over the Sentinels they had returned back home to Professor Charles Xavier's School for the Gifted in Westchester County, New York, which also serves as their base of operations. In the weeks following the fall of the Sentinels, the school's attention had turned back towards the younger students at this institute of learning, focusing on the next generation of mutants.
In addition to concentrating on an intense academia curriculum, Professor Xavier, Scott Summers, Ororo Munroe, and Kurt Wagner had also begun to train the junior students in the complete use of their mutant powers, going beyond merely showing them how to control these abilities to prevent them from being a danger to themselves or to the general public. It was during this time that the junior students had also been promoted, and designated as the school's new junior X-Men squad.
For these young men and women, just the fact that they were being referred to as a junior X-Men meant so very much to them. It signified in their minds that they were one step closer to seeing the day when they would be able to use their spectacular abilities to protect the world around them, and closer to that day when they would be truly counted amongst the ranks of the X-Men.
But, such a remarkable endeavor was not met with total enthusiasm by all of the other students at the school, specifically with one member of the X-Men's senior-student squad. This was despite the fact that her opinion on these changes, which she was currently vocalizing at this very moment, was not lacking in emotion, intensity, and most definitely not in volume…
"Professor Xavier is-a-jerk!" Said the young lady, who was now displaying why she had earned the unofficial title and nickname from her peers of 'The Most Dangerous Mouth in the Mansion'. She was also making her feelings on the subject of a brand new junior X-Men squad being established at the school quite clear from within the metallic underground corridors, which had been built beneath the venerable and spacious estate on Greymalkin Lane. She also proved that no matter the time and place, there are just some things that will always remain a constant.
"Geez Kitty, why don't cha, like, calm down with alla your teen-queen drama before ya go and pop a blood vessel or somethin'?" Jubilation Lee, who went by the shorter and simpler nickname/codename of Jubilee smirked, as she slowly spoke to her teammate in a very laid back tone. Jubilee was sitting on a cold steel bench in the ladies' locker room located in the underground section of the school, putting on the boots that went with her customized black and yellow-trimmed leather X-Men uniform.
"I will not calm down, and I meant what I said!" Kitty Pryde angrily replied, as the girl also known as Shadowcat sat on a bench that was adjacent to Jubilee's. While she loudly expressed her vehement displeasure, Kitty also continued to put the finishing touches on her black and pink-trimmed leather uniform, strapping up her black leather boots and reaching for the black matching gloves that sat right next to her on the bench.
"The way you're yellin', you'd think the Professor had went and demoted you back down to the junior squad. All he did was put us in charge of helping to train them with their powers in the Danger Room. Anyways, this teaching assistant thing might not be sooo bad after all." Jubilee replied, as she stood up from her bench and put on an accessorizing yellow-trimmed black leather coat that went with her uniform.
"Yeah, and I, LIKE, might just wake up tomorrow LIKE talking like you do, 'kay?" Kitty sarcastically replied from her bench, hardly convinced that any good could come of their new responsibilities, "So, what are we now, glorified baby-sitters?"
"Hey, it beats being in class with our heads buried in a book." Jubilee tried to point out.
"Says you." Kitty snidely responded, as the girl with chestnut-brown hair also stood up, now fully dressed in her uniform.
"Well, I guess to a total bookworm like you, that was a bad example. But still, I like figured you'd jump at the chance to finally train with some kids closer to you in age." The almost seventeen-year old Jubilee replied.
"Personally, I think it's an awful idea. I mean, let's be honest. How long do you think it'll be before Professor Xavier sees me training with them, and decides it'd be a good idea to bump me back down to the B-team, with 'B' standing for baby?" Kitty wondered aloud.
Although she was just weeks away from her fifteenth birthday, and even though she had more than proven herself during the fight against the Sentinels, Kitty was still afraid of Professor Xavier not seeing her as an equal amongst her senior-squad teammates.
"You're just talkin' crazy. If it wasn't for Rogue already bein' deputy boss-lady extraordinaire, the Professor just might've put you in charge of the Senior-squad, 'Kit-Cat'." Jubilee tried to reassure her.
"Well at this point, I'll just be happy if I don't have to turn in my super-secret senior badge." Kitty replied, still very self-conscious about the age difference between both her and her senior-squad teammates, and in particular with her boyfriend, one Piotr 'Peter' Rasputin.
Meanwhile, out in the steel-tiled hallway that stood in between the men's and women's locker rooms, two more of the X-Men's older members were already dressed and ready in their black leather uniforms. Right now, they were currently engaged in a conversation, which wasn't all too different from the one that Jubilee and Kitty had been having.
"I'm tellin' you Chere, puttin' me in charge of anyone, 'specially kids, is a bad idea." Remy Lebeau, the one and only Gambit said, as he stood dressed in a black and brown-trimmed leather uniform that was complete with a black trench coat, and revealed his own misgivings about this new school arrangement.
"And Ah'm tellin' you, you're gonna do just fine, 'Sugah'." Marie D'Acanto, although everyone wondered why she didn't just go ahead and legally change her name to Rogue since that's all she ever went by encouragingly replied, as she stood right in front of Remy and looked up into his almost hypnotic red-on-black eyes, while wearing her black and green-trimmed hooded uniform, "Besides, with Logan gone back to Japan to see Mariko, you're perfect to help them with their survival skills training."
"But, de Professeur don't want me t'just help them, he and 'Stormy' seem t'be set on me becomin' a full-time instructor and teacher here." Remy said to Rogue, his tone showing a rare lack of confidence in his own abilities, "Her exact words were, and I quote, 'Although you have neither de penchant for violence nor de severe disdain for aut'ority dat Logan possesses, given your background and extensive capabilities you are an ideal candidate t'fill de void left by his extended departure, and t'take over his survival skills and self-defense class'."
"Ah still don't see a problem there." Rogue told him.
"De problem is dat I don't have clue one 'bout teachin' anyone, anythin'!" Remy anxiously confessed.
"Ah think you're a lot more qualified to do it than you're givin' yourself credit for." Rogue responded, as she now came up to give Remy a very affectionate hug, slowly running her black-leather gloved hand gently down the side of his face and pushing back a few strands of his hair that had escaped the ponytail that he had tied his hair back into.
"Well, I was just 'bout to say I t'ink I need a drink t'get my nerves together, but standin' here like dis wit' you seems t'have done de trick." Remy replied, as Rogue stood pressed up close to him with her head against his chest. She could see that a bit of Remy's usually cocky swagger was now starting to return to him as a result.
"Ah'd give you a kiss for good luck, but we both know where that'd end up." Rogue smiled, as she facetiously looked up and told him.
"Yeah, wit' you showin' everyone how good your CPR skills are." Remy playfully responded, "Just tell me t'go out there and break a leg, and dat'll be good enough for me."
Then, out of the women's locker room came both Kitty and Jubilee into the fluorescently-lit underground corridor to join the couple.
"I don't know if anyone told you two, but we're not teaching sex-ed. At least not today, anyways." Jubilee very characteristically joked with the Rogue and Remy, as she took notice of the romantic embrace that they were still in.
"I wish it was, then at least I'd be able t'teach de kids somethin' I knew a lot about." Remy smirked and unabashedly responded, which drew a loud smack on his shoulder from Rogue's hand scoldingly slapping it.
"I definitely second that." Kitty remarked to the group.
"And what exactly would you know about to second him anyways, 'Girl-who-just-barely-got-up-the-courage-to-talk-to-her-now-boyfriend-only-a-month-ago'?" Jubilee asked Kitty.
"Maybe, because I know ALOT more about sex 'n stuff than you guys give me credit for." Kitty replied with a huge grin evident on her face, which drew a double-take from Rogue, Jubilee, and even Remy.
Almost as if on cue, the last two members of the X-Men's senior-student squad came out of the men's locker room and made their appearance in the corridor.
"Peter, you should come out here and hear your girlfriend braggin' about all the freaky sex positions that she claims to know about. I tell ya, I can't believe she kisses her Mom with a mouth like that." Jubilee said to him, as she continued her light-hearted teasing of Kitty and tried to embarrass the younger girl a little.
"Knowing Katya, I am almost afraid to find out." Peter Rasputin, the massively-built and appropriately code-named Colossus humorously stated, as he came out of the men's locker room on the opposite side of the hallway dressed in his sleeveless, black and red-trimmed leather uniform.
"I wasn't saying anything like that! And even if I was, there's absolutely nothing wrong with an empowered, young female having a healthy and open attitude about sex. At all." Kitty replied in a tone that conveyed an extreme amount of poise and certitude on her part, as she then came over to wrap her comparatively small arms around Peter's large torso.
"When I listen to it put that way, I could not agree more." Peter smiled, as he bent down to quickly kiss her on the lips.
"So, with that out of the way, I guess everybody's ready to head down to the Danger Room?" The last entrant into the corridor Bobby Drake, aka Iceman said, as he now stepped out of the men's locker room and into the hallway dressed in a black leather uniform trimmed in an ice-blue color.
"Yeah, can't wait." Kitty told him, now in her most unenthusiastic tone.
"I am certainly looking forward to this opportunity. The fact that the Professor trusts us with such a great responsibility, I think it is good, yes?" Peter commented to the group, which managed to lift Kitty's spirits significantly when she heard how much he wanted to participate in Professor Xavier's student mentoring program.
"Well gang, let's get goin'." Rogue now told the group, as the senior-squad's deputy leader was the first to turn and head down the corridor towards the Danger Room.
"Come on, you don't want to be late on your first day of teaching, do you?" Bobby remarked to Remy, as he came over and firmly slapped Remy on the back when he noticed that the Cajun X-Man was still standing in place, while everyone else had already begun to journey down the hallway.
"Nah, wouldn't want t'do dat, now would we?" Remy softly muttered to himself, as he made his way towards the Danger Room well behind the rest of the group, "Where a bus at t'come by and hit you when you really need one?"
Down in the Danger Room, which was the name for the X-Men's highly-advanced training room that they used to hone their various mutant powers, the recently promoted junior X-Men were the first to enter the facility ahead of their senior counter-parts. They were dressed in uniforms that were almost identical to the X-Men's, except that they were all made with dark blue leather and were trimmed in silver to denote their junior status, but still gave each of the students a sense that they were a part of the team.
The junior and senior X-Men's uniforms were all made from a radical new material, a type of breathable leather that kept the wearer both cool in the summer months and warmer in the brisk months of winter. This was in addition to the fact that, thanks to a research agreement between the school's former interim headmaster Dr. Henry McCoy and his fellow colleague and good friend in the field of science, the Fantastic Four's Dr. Reed Richards, their uniforms' material had now been fused with unstable molecules to make them far more durable and better able to adapt to the wearer's specific mutant powers.
As they came in, each member of the junior-squad entering was:
Samuel Guthrie, code-named Cannonball, co-leader of the junior-squad and the heart and soul of his team. This son of a Kentucky coal-miner possesses the ability to generate and release bio-thermic energy from his body, which creates an impenetrable blast-field that surrounds and protects both him and anyone else in very close proximity to him from virtually any form of physical harm or injury. This tremendous energy discharge also allows Cannonball to propel himself through the air and fly, most often with mixed results.
Danielle Moonstar, code-named Mirage, a young Colorado-native raised in the region's beautiful and pristine mountains. Danielle was gifted, or some might say cursed, with the mutant ability to produce three-dimensional projections out of the minds of others around her. These holographic images are most often derived from the greatest fears of the person's mind that Danielle is in telepathic contact with, although she has been learning and practicing how to project a host of other virtual images as well.
Dani is also the other co-leader of the junior-squad, but whereas Sam may be the heart of the team able to bestow his strong sense of conviction into their collective efforts, Dani is the brains, the consummate tactician always able to remain cool and level-headed despite the difficulty of any obstacles placed before them. Recently, Dani has also gained the new mutant ability to communicate telepathically with certain animals, which has come in very handy thanks to the arrival of one of the newest students to the school.
Rahne Sinclair, code-named Wolfsbane, a recent arrival to Xavier's School for the Gifted following an attack on the Muir Island research complex where she had been living by the Sentinels. The Sentinels were sent there under the orders of the late Dr. Stephen Lang, who was the previous director of the United States government's secret program established to study the phenomenon of super-powered humans, known simply as Project: Wideawake. The Sentinels came to the island for the express purpose of abducting Rahne's adoptive mother, Dr. Moira MacTaggert.
After an intense and exhaustive battle between the robots and a small number of X-Men on the island, the Sentinels finally managed to spirit off with Dr. MacTaggert. This caused Rahne to become so distraught by this turn of events that she used her mutant power to meta-morph into the form of an actual wolf, complete with all of her animal counterpart's speed, strength, and acute senses, and then refused to change back. Since coming to the school, the exceedingly shy and very devout Rahne has finally managed to open up and become close to several of the students there, most notably and expectedly with Dani Moonstar due to their unique ability to communicate with one another while Rahne is in her lupine form.
Roberto Da Costa, code-named Sunspot, whose mutant ability to absorb solar energy in its most direct form gives him an as yet fully tapped level of superhuman strength. While the bi-racial son of a wealthy Brazilian businessman and American-born archaeologist mother possesses an over-abundance of confidence in his mutant powers, his strength is directly tied to his exposure to sunlight. Roberto can store a significant amount of solar energy in his body, but once his reserves are depleted, he must once again expose himself to the sun's rays to recharge himself.
Theresa Cassidy, code-named Siryn, who is the Irish-born daughter of the X-Men's friend and often-time ally Sean Cassidy, also known as Banshee. Theresa's mutant power gives her the ability to create intense sonic vibrations with her vocal chords, which are often manifested with a loud, high-pitched shrieking sound. Siryn also has the ability to create sonic waves around her body, which allow her to levitate up into the air. While she is able to fly very short distances with ease, the first time that she ever used her powers to fly for a significant amount of time was during the Battle of Muir Island between the X-Men and the Sentinels. She was able to cross a moderate-sized body of water from the main land of Scotland over to the island, all while carrying Rahne Sinclair in tow with her. But, Theresa wasn't yet prepared at that point to use her powers in such an extensive manner, and it left her vocal chords severely damaged for a few weeks afterwards.
Siryn's sonic-scream capabilities are almost identical to her father's, but Siryn has yet to fully master the intricacies of this power to the degree that her father has achieved. One such example is in her ability to vary and control the pitch, direction, and strength of her sonic-scream. So, at least for the time being, her teachers and classmates prefer that Siryn limit the use of her powers to training in the Danger Room to avoid having to once again repair numerous windows in the mansion, just as they had to do following Colonel William Stryker's takeover of the school the year before.
James Proudstar, code-named Warpath, the younger brother of John Proudstar, who himself as a teen left their reservation at Camp Verde, Arizona to become one of Professor Xavier's first students, and to become an initial member of his X-Men as the super-powered Thunderbird. Like his brother, James is gifted with super-human strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes, all in addition to having a very impressive and muscularly-built physique on his six-foot, four inch frame at the astounding age of only fourteen years. It is also assumed that James, like his brother, will only continue to grow as he nears adulthood and may very well surpass John's adult height of six feet, eleven inches tall, and his weight which is currently in excess of three hundred-fifty pounds. If this turns out to be the case, Warpath may one day be able to realistically give the armored Russian known as Colossus a good run for his money in the strength department.
Amara Aquilla, code-named Magma, the daughter of Lucius Antonius Aquilla, who is a respected Senator and goodwill ambassador to the world from the culturally rich and technologically innovative South American nation of Nova Roma. Amara's mutant ability allows her to convert her body into pure fire, along with being able to manipulate and control the Earth's tectonic plates to create miniature volcanoes in the immediate area around her. So frightening and destructive was her newfound power when it first emerged that Amara fled in fear into the dense jungle areas outside of Nova Roma. She only agreed to return from her self-imposed exile when the X-Men came to her aid, offering to bring her back to Westchester with them to learn how to better control these strange new abilities.
Julio Esteban 'J.E.' Richter, code-named Rictor, this Mexican-born teen was gifted with the power to create powerful seismic vibrations from his body that can make the immediate area around him appear as though it is in the middle of an earthquake. But, his powers don't seem to be tied directly to the Earth in the way that Magma's powers do, and seem to work in a fashion very similar to those of the Brotherhood member known as Avalanche. In addition to possessing a vibrant mutant power, Rictor also has a personality to match and is unafraid to say whatever may be on his mind. He also has a love for music, which is fortunate since the school has recently acquired the exclusive teaching services of musician extraordinaire, Alison Blaire.
Jones Davidson, code-named Circuit, the youngest member of the junior-squad who has the mutant power that allows him to psionically affect and control electrical and electronic devices around him. It is a power that he has generally only used on appliances around the mansion, such as changing the channels on the television or starting the microwave in the kitchen by simply blinking his eyes. But, since working with Professor Xavier and the rest of the faculty, this Ohio-native has been improving on learning new and more creative ways in which to employ his ability.
Jamie Madrox, code-named Multiple Kid who, just as his name states, is able to create multiple duplicate versions of himself, which he refers to as his 'dupes'. Jamie's power works when a strong enough force is applied against his body, such as clapping his hands, falling, or being hit, to cause him to split into two identical entities.
This farm-boy from the state of Kansas has been known to create up to six duplicates at once, but has yet to test the upper-limits of his powers beyond this point yet. Although Jamie's duplicates function with independent and separate thought, each one is connected to him and to each other through a form of psionic linkage. A born practical joker, Jamie loves to use his duplicates at any chance that he can to fake out his classmates, teachers, or anyone else nearby that he feels he is able to get a good laugh from, at their own expense of course.
"Ah wonder where the others are?" Sam was the first to say, as he and the rest of the junior X-Men entered the currently empty Danger Room in their blue and silver uniforms.
"Maybe they all decided to skip, and take today off?" Jamie commented, as he came into the Danger Room also.
"Your instructors for today will be along in just a moment. While you wait, you may go ahead and begin your calisthenics and other preparatory exercises for today's workout." Professor X said to the group through a speakerphone from the Danger Room's control booth above, where he, Cyclops, Storm, and Nightcrawler would be observing today's training session.
And in that short moment's time, Gambit, Rogue, Colossus, Jubilee, Iceman, and Shadowcat had finally arrived in the Danger Room.
"Alright guys, y'all know the routine." Rogue, the deputy-leader of the X-Men said to everyone in the Danger Room, but was speaking mainly for the benefit of the junior squad, "Since this is our first day being your teaching assistants, we're gonna stick with the same basic drills you've been running with Mr. Summers, Ms. Munroe, and Mr. Wagner for the last few weeks. But, stay on your toes because we're gonna pick up the pace a little and start throwin' in some new and unexpected aspects as we go along. It won't be anything too difficult, but it'll start gettin' you guys in the proper mindset for when you start runnin' full Danger Room scenarios down the line."
With that they all split up, with each senior X-Man taking one or two junior X-Men with them to begin the day's work out. From up above, Nightcrawler sat in front of the control booth's computer controls and converted the Danger Room into a gymnasium setting with various types of gymnastics equipment, such as a pommel horse, parallel bars, and high rings, along with other training apparatus geared to some of the junior X-Men's more specific needs.
Colossus went over with Sunspot to a foamed circular mat now laid out on the Danger Room's floor to work with him on the finer points of Judo and other self-defense techniques, as did Rogue, who took Warpath over to another mat to work on his hand-to-hand combat skills.
Iceman took Magma and Rictor over to another area of the Danger Room to run a target-practice drill designed to help the pair work on focusing their fire and seismic blasts with better accuracy. Meanwhile, Gambit took Siryn and Cannonball to work with them on improving their airborne skills by having them fly through an aerial obstacle course set up in the immense underground facility.
Since Jubilee had been an accomplished gymnast at a very early age, she took Mirage and Circuit to work with them on some of the gymnastics equipment in the Danger Room, while Shadowcat went with Multiple Kid and Wolfsbane to play a game of tag, as she used her phasing powers to avoid the pair while they tried to use their own mutant powers to tag her and make her 'it'.
"What you must remember Roberto is that while raw strength may be an unquestionable advantage to have in a fight, against a skilled opponent who has been trained to compensate for such a handicap, proper technique will be the deciding factor in who is victorious." Colossus said to Sunspot, as he had armored himself up by converting his entire body into living organic steel, while Sunspot used his solar-powers to supercharge his body, giving himself a tremendous boost in strength. But, a side effect of Sunspot utilizing his mutant powers was that his entire body and appearance took on a solid-black coloration, and surrounded him with an aura of crackling yellow energy.
Colossus then began to demonstrate some of the principles taught to him by Cyclops, one of the X-Men's leaders, as he and Sunspot took a grappling stance together.
"I want you to try to move me." Colossus told Sunspot, as Sunspot stood directly beside Colossus and gripped his armored body tightly.
"Droga! It…is impossible. You are too heavy, my strength is not enough to move you." Sunspot replied, as he strained and tried with all of his might to make Colossus budge, but soon realized that it was a futile effort.
Then, Colossus had Sunspot change positions with him, with Sunspot now standing behind him and grasping his steel body from a lower position on his torso.
"Now, try again." Colossus instructed the younger student in his Russian-accented voice. Sunspot now found it much easier to move Colossus and flipped him over his head, causing Colossus to contort himself in mid-air and land on his feet with a thundering thud, which caused a small vibration to go through the entire Danger Room as a result.
"I don't understand. I was able to move you with only one-quarter of the effort that time." Sunspot stated.
"It is called leverage Tovarisch, one of the core principles of physics. With proper leverage and perfect timing, a smaller opponent can quite possibly make a size disadvantage against him appear almost negligible." Colossus explained to Sunspot.
"And who said that we'll never use what we have learned in school in our everyday lives?" Sunspot joked, as the two soon went back to working on their grappling and Judo techniques.
At the same time, Rogue and Warpath were working on principles of self-defense as well.
"All right, you ready?" Rogue said, as she stood right in front of Warpath on another mat in the underground training facility, which as a whole was as big or bigger than most outdoor sports arenas.
"Um, maybe I should be working out with Peter instead?" Warpath apprehensively said to Rogue.
"You don't have to worry about my absorption powers. Even though you have the sleeves cutoff from your outfit, you're still wearing your leather gloves and my entire body is completely covered in my uniform." Rogue reassuringly said to Warpath, "So, as long as you don't try to kiss or head-butt me, you'll be fine."
But, despite Rogue's attempts to alleviate Warpath's concerns with a bit of humor, he still seemed to be uneasy with his training partner assignment.
"Yeah, I know all of that. It's just…that…" Warpath said as he fumbled out the words.
Then, it finally hit Rogue as to why he was acting so tense around her.
"James, is the reason you don't want to train with me because, 'gasp', Ah'm a girl?" Rogue smirked, as she delivered her scathing remark to Warpath.
"Yes. Wait, I mean no! It's just…it's just that I don't want to accidentally hurt you." Warpath honestly replied to her inquiry.
"Well, you don't have to worry any about hurtin' this gal. To hurt me you first have to hit me, and trust me when Ah say that's easier said than done." Rogue asserted, "Now, just pretend that Ah'm one of the guys, and hit me with your best shot."
"Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you." Warpath remarked, as he immediately launched full-force into the most powerful right hook that he could muster. But, to Warpath's surprise, by the time his huge fist had reached its target, Rogue was nowhere in sight.
Thanks to the hours on top of hours of training that Rogue had endured over the last year with the X-Men's Wolverine, she now had extensive knowledge on a multitude of varying martial arts disciplines and other fighting schools of thought, which was now on display in living color for the Native-American teen. As Warpath continued swinging punch after punch at Rogue, she easily dodged each one of his blows. After a couple of minutes of avoiding Warpath's potentially devastating haymakers, Rogue quickly and unexpectedly grabbed ahold of Warpath by one of his massive arms, jumping up into the air and flipping backwards around him. She used her own body's weight in conjunction with Warpath's immense size and their combined momentum to violently wrench him down to the ground, pinning the younger but much larger student to the foam circular mat that they were training on.
"Ah'd say Ah made my point, don't you?" Rogue said to Warpath, as she laid on her side on the floor right behind Warpath with her hands, arms and legs wrapped tightly around both of his muscular arms, pinning them back behind him in what looked to be a wrestling submission hold.
"Uggnnhh…I'm not really in a position to disagree with you right now." Warpath semi-sarcastically replied, as Rogue went ahead and released him from the extremely confining hold that she had him in, and helped the junior X-Man back up to his feet.
"Well, now that we've gotten all of your hesitations about practicin' with lil' ole me outta your system, let's get to work and Ah'll show you how you can improve on your hand-to-hand technique." Rogue offered, as she looked up at Warpath while he retied his medium-length, jet-black hair back into the ponytail that he had it in before Rogue had knocked him down to the Danger Room floor.
"Okay, sure." A now more receptive Warpath replied, as Rogue now began her instruction in earnest by first showing Warpath how to get into a proper initial fighting stance.
Close by in the Danger Room, Jubilee was personally demonstrating to both Circuit and Mirage how to run and make a proper dismount from the pommel horse in there.
"Wow, Dani! You're really pickin' this stuff up like a pro." Jubilee complimented Mirage, commenting on her ability to almost instantaneously pick up what Jubilee had just shown them on the various pieces of gym equipment.
"Growing up in the mountains, my parents and Grandfather taught me in the ways of the Cheyenne. I spent a lot of my time hiking and learning to hunt in the wilderness, so I'm used to physical activity. Getting on these uneven bars are just like when I would climb the huge trees back home, so I could survey the area and landscape around me." Mirage replied, as she stood with Jubilee and Circuit with her long, black hair tied with light-blue ribbon into two long pigtails on each side of her head.
"Lucky you. I just wish it came that easily to me." Circuit interjected, as he commented on the difficulties that he was having with the various drills, since athletics weren't really his strongest-suit.
"Don't worry, you'll have this down in no time. And that's a Jubilee-guarantee." Jubilee said reassuringly to him.
At that same moment over in a separate part of the Danger Room, another student was also having difficulties of her own with this day's training session.
"I just can't do it!" Magma exclaimed, as the brownish-blonde haired student was having little success with the accuracy drill that Iceman was instructing her and Rictor in. While Rictor had been dead-on from the outset with hitting the moving targets placed before them, Amara had missed every single one thus far, "I give up, I'll never be able to shoot a fire-ball straight."
"Not if you have an attitude like that, you won't." Iceman replied, as something then came to mind, "Wait, I know. Assume your fire-form, and see if that helps your aim any."
"Um, I don't think that's a very good idea. The last time I did that, I nearly destroyed a whole neighborhood back home in Nova Roma." Magma reminded him, in a voice that was remarkably proper in its tone, if not just as nervous, "I just don't have enough control over my powers yet."
"You'll get it eventually. That's the reason why you're here, why we're all here, to learn and to improve." Iceman told her, "I tell you what, I think part of your problem is that you just need to relax. I want you to close your eyes, and take in a few deep breaths."
"Okay." Magma said, as she then did as Iceman had requested of her.
"Now, imagine yourself in full control of your powers. You're not feeling any anxieties at all because using them has become so easy that it's now second-nature to you." Iceman continued telling her.
As Magma continued to project these images into her mind, a small smile then appeared across her face. Then, Bobby spoke to her again.
"Go ahead and open your eyes, I want you to take a look at yourself." Bobby told Magma.
Magma opened her eyes as he had instructed, and to her astonishment, she saw that her entire body was now consumed by pure flame. She had achieved her conversion into fire-form, and had done so without causing any major damage to the Danger Room around her.
"I did it, I really did it!" Magma excitedly said, as she began jumping up and down.
"Just keep your mind relaxed like I told you, and I want you to take another shot at the targets." Iceman said, as he clicked a button on a small remote in his right hand, which activated the moving bulls-eye markers about 30 yards in front of them. Magma did just as Iceman asked her, concentrating her body's fire energy and shooting one fire-ball after another at the targets, hitting each one right in its center.
"Damn, Bobby! You some kinda miracle-worker or somethin'?" Rictor now asked Iceman, as the reddish-brown haired Latino referred to the way that he had so effectively helped Magma with this particular drill, one which she had been having trouble with for the last few weeks.
"Not by a long shot. All I did was have Amara use some of the same relaxation techniques that I've learned in my therapy sessions, that's all." Iceman replied, as they watched Magma continue with the targeting session, and saw her now growing more and more confident in her abilities with each passing second.
Also in another section of the Danger Room, which had been cordoned off like the others with thin, violet light-beams serving as boundary markers, Shadowcat, Multiple Kid, and Wolfsbane continued playing their game of cat and mous…er, cat and wolf, as the two junior X-Men tried to make good on the objective of their training session, which stated that they simply had to physically touch Shadowcat. It was a task, however, that had quickly proved to be far more difficult than would appear at first glance.
"Me and my dupes are gonna get you, you can't keep this up forever." Multiple Kid told Shadowcat, as he and six duplicate versions of himself ran over and converged on her.
"We'll see." Shadowcat smiled, as she did a back flip that went into a full frontal somersault to avoid Multiple Kid's duplicates, and then stopped to watch as three of them ran into each other in the confusion. But, Shadowcat was immediately reminded that she couldn't remain a spectator for too long, as Wolfsbane had now transformed herself into a large brown wolf, and used her sturdy lupine legs to launch herself into the air and came sailing right towards Shadowcat.
Shadowcat continued to successfully avoid the pair by utilizing her agile and almost cat-like reflexes, which she had honed to an exceptional degree over the last year in this very Danger Room. Shadowcat then also employed her mutant ability to phase through solid objects against Wolfsbane and Multiple Kid's dupes, by phasing down through the floor and then back up each time that the pair thought that they had finally cornered her.
But true to Multiple Kid's word, the exhaustion of having to combat the overwhelming odds that he and his one-man army posed, in addition to dealing with the gracefully swift animal-prowess of Wolfbane in her full wolf form, was indeed starting to take a toll physically on Shadowcat. It was in that moment that something occurred to Multiple Kid, and he suddenly got an idea. While he commanded his dupes through their psi-link to continue their pursuit of Shadowcat and keep her occupied, he went over to inform Wolfsbane of his brilliant new strategy.
After their very brief conference, Multiple Kid then went back over to join his dupes, while Wolfsbane now stood back and watched them, waiting for the perfect moment to put their new plan to action. And it wasn't very long before the opportunity would present itself.
A while back, Multiple Kid had remembered overhearing one of the older kids casually talking about Shadowcat's power, and about how she had to hold her breath when she used it to phase through solid objects. So, he and his dupes continued to slowly corral an unawares Shadowcat into his and Wolfsbane's trap. Then, Wolfsbane saw her opening and leapt at Shadowcat, catching her off-guard in between phases just as she was coming back up through the floor, and had made herself tangible again for a short time to take a breath.
Was the sound heard, as Wolfsbane had finally managed to tackle Shadowcat, and wrestled her face down onto the Danger Room's floor.
"Aww man, you guys got me." A somewhat disappointed Shadowcat said, as she rolled over onto her back to see Wolfsbane still standing over her in her full wolf form, "But, that was just beginner's luck anyways."
With those words, Wolfsbane decided to force a confession out of Shadowcat about her's and Multiple Kid's abilities, using her own special method.
"Hahahahaha! Okay, Okay, you guys beat me fair and square!" Shadowcat laughed loudly, as she had been giggling from the tickling sensations of Wolfsbane licking her face, and now finally admitted what the two had accomplished today, "So, how about the best two out of three?"
After hearing the request for a rematch, Wolfsbane then stepped aside to let Shadowcat stand up, and soon she, Multiple Kid, and Shadowcat were back at their game of tag once again.
Simultaneously, over on the opposite side of the Danger Room from Rogue was her own lothario in leather, Gambit, who now was slowly beginning to settle into his role of reluctant instructor.
"Siryn, Cannonball, I want you two t'keep flyin' through de obstacle course just like Stormy been showin' you." Gambit instructed the two junior X-Men from the floor of the Danger Room, as the pair was now circling far up above him.
Siryn and Cannonball continued to do as Gambit requested, using each of their unique mutant powers to navigate their way through the aerial obstacle course. It was the very same type of course that Angel and Storm had used during their days as students at the school to hone their own flight capabilities, and that Nightcrawler had now incorporated into his own personal acrobatic training sessions, by using a high-bar and his teleportation powers to fly through the series of very large rings suspended in the air up above in the Danger Room.
"Betcha I can beat ye t'the finish line this time!" Siryn said, as she challenged Cannonball while they were flying together through the aerial course that went around the whole of the Danger Room.
"You're on!" Cannonball immediately replied, as he was still able to hear Siryn, all in spite of the roar of his kinetic blast-field and of the high-pitched sonic scream that she was employing to fly.
It was also a challenge that even Gambit was able to hear from the ground below them, as he watched the two students begin racing with one another at a ridiculously rapid rate overhead.
"No, don't be doin' dat just yet! You two gotta get de hang of flyin' at a normal speed first, before you try t'see who de fastest is." Gambit called up to them from the ground, but to no avail as they continued their impromptu race.
"Merde, tell me dis ain't happenin'!"
Gambit's worst fears about him being a teacher were seemingly come true before his very eyes, almost as if what he had said to the new love in his life out in hallway minutes before were some sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Gambit watched helplessly from the ground, as the young man with short-blonde hair flying high above him accidentally veered off path, and then slammed into the red-haired young lady flying right next to him. While Cannonball's blast-field would insure the fact that he would walk away from a tumble down at that height in one piece, Siryn didn't have that same guarantee. So, acting on pure instinct, Gambit reacted and did the first thing that came to mind. He sprinted faster than he had ever run before, hoping that he would prevent a tragedy from occurring this day.
"Gotta time dis just right." Gambit said to himself, as he continued running as fast as his nimble legs would take him, tracking the path of Siryn's descent to the ground the entire time. Gambit then reached his hand directly behind him and pulled out his reinforced metallic fighting staff. With the push of a single button, the staff extended and Gambit then planted it on the steel floor, using it to catapult himself as high up into the air as he could.
With amazing adroitness, accuracy and timing, Gambit succeeded in grabbing onto an unconscious Siryn moments before she plummeted into the solid, unforgiving floor of the Danger Room. With Siryn now firm within his grasp, both she and Gambit tumbled hard across the steel floor, rolling over and over and over, with Gambit shielding and protecting her as best he could. When they finally came to a stop, both Gambit and Siryn lay on the floor close together, as Rogue, Colossus and the other senior-students came over to ensure that they were okay, while everyone else in the Danger Room stopped their training sessions to observe what was going on.
"Demoiselle, say, you alright?" Gambit asked Siryn, as the freckle-faced young girl still lay unconscious across the top of him.
Gambit still had his arms protectively clutched around Siryn and they were also wrapped up in the leather cape that was a part of her uniform, which was similar to the cape on Storm's uniform and served the same purpose of giving Siryn additional maneuverability while she was flying in the air.
"I think so. I just feel…like I've been hit by a truck or somethin' is all." Siryn finally muttered, as she slightly lifted her head to look at Gambit and started to come around.
"Well, I know de feelin'." Gambit told her with a slight smile, referring to the fact that he had used his own body to protect both himself and her from the impact of their landing. Meanwhile, Cannonball came down with a rough, but still satisfactory landing not too far away from them.
Up above in the Danger Room's control booth, Nightcrawler, Professor Xavier, Storm, and Cyclops all commented on what they had just witnessed down below.
"I would say that to be a good indicator the time for today's training session has just expired, and has come to a screeching halt." Kurt Wagner joked slightly in his German-accented voice, as he sat at the Danger Room's controls in the observation booth above and began shutting down the various training programs that had been running in there.
"We're just fortunate that today's session is not all that met an unexpected end today." Professor Xavier remarked, referring to the close call caused by Siryn and Cannonball's mid-air collision, "We're only fortunate that Gambit's quick thinking on his first day of student-teaching prevented Siryn from receiving a far more serious injury than just a slightly-bruised body, or heavily-bruised ego."
"Samuel and Theresa know better than to behave in such a manner. We've repeatedly stressed to all of the children that the Danger Room is no place for that kind of horseplay." Ororo said in an exasperated tone, as she stood at the observation window and watched Rogue and Kitty put their first aid training into use by checking Remy and Theresa over, making sure that they weren't seriously injured from their fall.
"Well, it's a point that I'm going to reinforce, after I have a nice long talk with both Sam and Terry, and issue each of them the demerits that they've definitely earned today." Scott added, as he also stood at the large window in between where Ororo was, and where Professor Xavier was sitting in his wheelchair.
"In spite of the near disaster, how do you think today's exercise went, Herr Professor?" Kurt now turned in his seat to ask Professor Xavier.
"Ultimately, I believe that it will benefit both the junior and senior students equally in the long run. If my years of experience in the field of education have revealed anything to me, it is that learning is a two-way street. In my case, I often feel that in many ways my students have given me just as much, if not more, knowledge than I have attempted to impart upon them." Professor Xavier replied, as he, Ororo, Scott, and Kurt could see both Remy and Theresa were now able to stand up under their own volition, and then watched as the students and the student-teacher began to slowly file out of the Danger Room.
Next Chapter: A look over at the Massachusetts Academy for some Alternative School action…
A/N: Special thanks to everyone that reviewed the last chapters of A Force Unleashed-
Lucas'sgirl- Sorry about missing your ch. 12 review, I guess FFNet was behind in posting and I didn't see it until after I had put up ch. 13. But, I appreciate the review you gave, and I'm glad that you liked the fight scene and the Pyro/Iceman stuff. Lockheed was a wild card that I wasn't sure how readers would react to, but it seems like everyone likes his inclusion, so you can expect to see more of him in the future too. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this first chapter and what's in store next.
El Varon- Glad you liked the nods to the rest of the Marvel Movie-verse, even if some of the characters mentioned don't have a movie out yet. I'm like you, I'd love to see them mention one another also. But, I think that since some of the rights are owned by different movie studios, legally they may not be able to do so in many cases. As far as Storm, the only real problem I've had with her dialogue is how to find middle ground between her canon version, while incorporating what they've done with her movie-counterpart, which is something I've also had to work on with some of the other characters too.
Episodic- I see that you beat me in the update race. And, I hope that you enjoyed the first story in what I think will prove to be a very up and down roller-coaster ride in this fic, one which may have a few twists and turns that you just might not be expecting at all.
Independent Fire- I'm glad I'm able to keep you so interested in everything, and I'll try REAL hard not to disappoint.
Moon Comix- Glad you liked the previous story, and I hope you like this one too.
TheDreamerLady- Well, hopefully this update was able to lift your (and Lanco's) spirits after the end of A Force Unleashed.
ME- Yeah, with the chapters titled Alternative School, that's just a designation that I put on chapters that focus on the students at the Massachussetts Academy. Alternative School part 1 was actually published as part of another fic I started prior to A Force Unleashed, titled A Force to be Reckoned With, and was originally posted as chapter 14.
Digital Tempest- I'm just glad you liked everything.