Not mine, don't sue. I am weak and pathetic with no money to speak of. Of course, if you want to hire me for my writing skills, then I'll have POWER and I'll be rich… well… I'll have money at least. Also, this is the last of what I had worked on previously. I have no idea where I was going with it, but I should be able to find my muse well enough, I gave myself enough plot threads!

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Generation X – Chapter 3

"Thanks Hank, we could really use your help. Bye!" Hanging up the phone, Jean turned to her fiancée, face grim. "Hank will be here within a couple of hours. Betsy won't be here till the morning. That's the earliest flight they can catch."

"They?"

"Yes, Warren is coming as well. And you will get along with him, at least until Rogue is better. Considering the situation, that poor girl doesn't need any more stress."

"All right, but if he starts anything first…"

"No Scott, nothing! Got it!"

A sheepish grin crosses Scott's face. "Yes, ma'am!" The grin doesn't last though. "So, do you think they'll be able to help?

"I hope so. I don't know what else I can do right now."

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Hours later, Jean still hadn't found anything that could help. Rogue lay on the table, still unconscious. Just as she was about to call the Professor, he entered the medical lab, followed by Dr. Hank McCoy. At that, she breathed a sigh of relief. Hank was one of the most accomplished individuals she had ever met, with degrees in medicine, physics, and chemistry. Despite the fact he was obviously a mutant, weighing 400 pounds with blue fur being a dead giveaway, he was one of the most influential people in the world when it came to matters of science. His opinion was one of the most sought after, and the fact that he had been one of the Professor's first students, and a good friend, had helped the school get so much of the funding and prestige it did. Her and Hank, with the Professor, should be able to get to the bottom of this. They would find a solution in no time. "Hey, Hank. Sorry to call you away from your conference in Boston," she said with a slight grin. The situation was too much for anything more than that.

"Hello Jean. I got your notes and test results while on the plane. I must say, they were most unusual. Have you been able to isolate how her powers work yet?"

Down to business right away I guess. "Not yet, but we're still waiting on the DNA analysis. Medical science may have come far in the years since mapping the genome, but it still takes a quite a while to fully analyze an individual's DNA code. I don't expect the results for a couple more days." With that, Jean got up to get Hank some gloves. His were stored in the back of the storage locker, and were designed specifically for him. After all, when your hands are twice normal size with a couple inches of blue fur on the backs of them, normal gloves just don't cut it. Jean wondered how Hank could operate with hands like that, but he was so dexterous, the size of his hands never became an issue. Pulling them out, she handed them to Hank, who promptly put them on, and turned to his patient.

"So, in essence, she's a touch telepath, but more?"

Jean put her gloves on as well, and went to the other side of the bed. "That's right. But, instead of just reading a person, she absorbs them, their memories, their personalities, even a mutant's powers. We first saw it her first night with us. Logan, the man who had helped her, had woken… badly, and she had to touch Logan to borrow his healing abilities. The effect was temporary. Again, her powers were exploited by Magneto atop the Statue. I don't know how much that affected her, because shortly after, to save her life, Logan touched her again. It seems, the longer the contact, the more is absorbed, and the longer the duration of the absorption. Logan was laid up for days the second time, and there were a couple of times I thought we would lose him. In this case, by reports from Kitty, Ms. Danvers was in contact with Rogue for over a minute. Nothing could be done to save her. Rogue initially didn't show any signs of having absorbed a new personality, but later, a completely new personality took control."

"It was as if Rogue had switched places with someone in an instant," the Professor added. "One minute she was having a conversation, and the next, it seemed someone else was there. I'm still having trouble reading her, it's like the two personalities are warring for control."

Jean stepped back in at that point. "Rogue also still has possession of Ms. Danver's powers. The invulnerability in particular is interfering with our ability to treat her." To prove her point, Jean picked up a needle and attempted, yet again, to draw a blood sample. The needle pushed down the skin, but failed to break the skin.

"Interesting."

"I don't think we will be able to help her with this physically," the Professor jumping back in. "That's why I asked Jean to call Betsy in from London."

Hank protested immediately. "You can't be thinking of doing what I think you're planning. You know how dangerous it is to go that deep into the psyche of a person, you risk the life of the patient, your life, and the life of any who take part in this. I can't…"

"Hank, it's the only chance this young woman has! It will be fine. Jean will serve as an anchor for myself and Betsy, while you make sure our physical bodies survive."

"Just because it's her only chance doesn't mean I have to like it, but we'll do it your way."

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"What do you want to do?"

"I'm going to find out where the hell that thing came from, and I want your help!" Kitty stated determinedly!

The rest of the group just looked at her in shock. Finally, Jubilee spoke up. "Fine, but how do you expect us to get out of here. The mansion is on alert!"

Kitty just smiled. "Ms. Monroe is still in New York, and the others are all helping Rogue. The only one who could catch us would be Mr. Summers, and all we need to do is set up a distraction. I don't care what it takes, I want to find out who sent that bloody thing, and take them DOWN!"

"All right, all right, we're with you. So what do we do?"

"I've already arranged for some of the younger kids to set up a ruckus in about five minutes. We just head right for the garage and bail as quick as we can before Mr. Summers can nail us."

At this,Remy spoke up. "You do know, chere, this is crazy?"

"Remy, no one has even asked where that thing came from. I intend to find out! I wanna… damn, they're early, let's go!" Noises echoed down from the third floor, where Xavier Institute's youngest students roomed. Poking her head through the door, Kitty looked left and saw Scott climb the steps to the third floor at a frantic pace. Everything was going as planned! She popped her head back in. "All clear, let's go!"

Opening the door quietly, not chancing anyone hearing them, the eldest students of the Xavier school headed down to the garage. Once down on the main floor, they moved at a breakneck pace, grabbing what they would need. Kitty grabbed her laptop, while the others grabbed supplies, and various other things. It only took a couple of minutes, but it seemed like an eternity to the youths trying so desperately to stay quiet, while grabbing all they needed. When everything they needed was on hand, and a few things probably not, they gathered in the garage.

"Jubes, pass me the keys to the van."

"Ahhh… Kitty… the keys are gone!"

"Gone? What do you mean gone? Where could they be?"

"Looking for these?"

Standing in the doorway was Scott Summers.

All the students stared in stunned silence. Jubilee, as usual, was the first to respond. "Aww damn, we're busted!"

Scott slowly walked into the room, looking at all the students. Finally settling his gaze on Kitty, he asked, "So where do you think your all going?"

Kitty had to take a moment to work up the courage to speak. Finally, she said, "Well, Mr. Summers, we were just… I mean…"

"You were going to check and see if you could find any evidence as to where that machine came from, weren't you?"

A chorus of quiet yes sirs issued from the students.

"Well, you're not going!"

"But… but…"

"Not without me, anyways. We better hurry, or there might not be anything left to find"

A smile creased the faces of every single one of them. Quickly, they all piled into the van, and headed out.

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It had started to rain lightly by the time Scott pulled the van up to the movie theatre parking lot. Everything was quiet in this part of town, at least it was at 2 in the morning. Scott pulled a fair distance away from where the thing had struck, and killed the engine.

"OK, guys, the police have already removed everything they could find, and taken it back to the station. The Professor has already secured us a chance to investigate it. Kitty and Bobby will be coming with me. I may need your help decrypting any files that are still active. The rest of you, scour the area, find anything that may give us a clue as to where this thing came from. Don't discount anything! Got it?"

"Sir, yes Sir Cyclops Sir!" barked Jubilee, who tried desperately to keep a straight face. This caused some quiet laughter in the back, not enough to destroy the seriousness of the situation, but enough to break the immediate tension. They started piling out of the van, and set about snagging everything they could find.

Scott pulled out and headed to the police station. "Kitty, Bobby, we'll have the more difficult job. The Professor has some connection in the local force, but we'll still need to present a cover story. It should hold up. If you need to address me, I'll be Agent Matthews, of the FBI. You can use your real names, or make something up. You'll be trainees getting some field experience so you won't be looked at too intensely."

"But Sir, how are we going to be able to pass ourselves off as FBI?" Bobby asked, trying desperately to straighten his shirt.

"I've used this cover before, and the identity has been placed in the FBI database. I'm not officially an agent, but every check they run should make them think I am."

Now it was Kitty's turn to ask, "How'd you manage to pull that off. I thought the FBI database was impregnable?"

"It is, but, like I said, the Professor has lots of friends!"

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"I can't believe we got stuck out here in the rain, trying to find friggin scraps, while Kitty and Bobby get to stay warm and dry down at the copshop!" Jubilee was getting so sick of tired of digging through garbage heaps; you never notice how much garbage is on the streets until you have to look through it all. You'd think people had never heard of a garbage can. "Johnny, you find anything yet?"

"I think I did! At least, it doesn't look like it belongs on a car. It's also got some kind of serial number on it… I can't quite make it out."

"Well, let's get it to the others, maybe they've found something by now."

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"Hey Sean, I'm glad you're here!"

"Ah heard what happened and figured ah should be the one to meet ya here. We don't want any problems, now do we?"

"Thanks Sean. Even in a matter of importance like this, I hate lying. I take it the thing is in the garage?"

"Where else were they gonna put the bloody thing, laddie? The blasted thing is 20 feet long!"

Kitty and Bobby trailed behind, sharing confused looks at each other. As if sensing their confusion, Scott started to explain. "Sean is a friend of ours from a ways back. He used to be a cop in Dublin when the Professor asked him to help us here. He's been a member of the Salem Center police force for about six years."

"So, you know we're all mutants?"

Sean laughed lightly before he could answer Bobby's question. "Laddie, ah'm a mutant too, ya know! Ah just didn't need the trainin' Scotty, O, and Jeanie did. And as ah doubt ah could help a lick as a teacher, ah offered to help the best way ah could, by joining the police force here and help keep the school a secret as best ah can! Ah, here we go."

Opening the door to the garage, and flicking the light switch, both students and teacher looked in awe at the behemoth before them. Even inactive, the thing looked deadly. Painted a metallic black, no doubt to assist in stealth, it presented an imposing figure. It looked to have the strength to crush an individual on the basis of sheer power alone. Then the missiles it projected from its arms, added to the feeling of lethality it projected. Kitty and Bobby couldn't help but pause before approaching the thing that had already claimed on life tonight, and possibly a second, if the Professor could not help Rogue.

Scott approached the thing and, opening the briefcase the two students hadn't even noticed, pulled out a laptop computer, and set about running connectors to the thing's head. Kitty snapped out of her daze, and set about helping. "OK, Kitty, I need you to try and interface with this thing, just to retrieve what you can of its core program. Bobby, she might need your help in interpreting some of the data. Sean and I are going to try and find any clues as to its origin physically. Maybe its creator was nice enough to put the company logo on it somewhere. Let's get to work!"

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Author's Notes - Will they be able to find who's responsible? What is this procedure that could risk all their lives? Stay tuned!

I'd like to thank the following for their reviews;

mattb3671 – Yeah, I remember I was planning on playing off a lot of different relationship angles after the first arch of the story. Hope I can still pull it off!

Audny - Glad you are enjoying!