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 story picks up after my previous fic The New Mutants.
Part 1- The Great Escape
At Xavier's School for the Gifted located in Salem Center, New York, tonight wasn't all too different than most other school nights, especially for Bobby Drake. While most of the of the teachers and the older senior-level students had departed a couple of days ago for Japan, doing so in great anticipation of attending the wedding of Logan and Mariko Yashida, Bobby had volunteered to stay behind and help Professor Xavier in training the school's younger, junior-level students. And when the Professor was unexpectedly called away this evening on an urgent personal matter, it was Bobby whom he entrusted the school, leaving him in charge there.
Sitting in the mansion's spacious and very accommodating living room, television time was being split between Monday night football and pro-wrestling as Bobby, Samuel Guthrie, James Proudstar, Roberto Da Costa, Jamie Madrox, and Danielle Moonstar, the only girl in the house who seemed to be the least bit interested in either program, all watched and flipped between the two shows on the large-screen TV in there.
And as debate continued amongst some of them as to if, or when, current World Champion John Cena would lose his title to the up-and-comer Carlito, their discussion was interrupted when the phone rang. James was the one who got up to answer it, going over to a small table that sat behind the living room's sofa.
"Hello, Xavier's Schoo...Who? Oh, let me get him." James said, as he spoke to an automated operator on the line, pressing a button on the phone's cordless receiver while walking over and handing the phone to Bobby, "Um, it's for you."
As Bobby now stood up from his seat in the living room and held the cordless phone up to his ear, the other individuals in the room paused their debate and quieted down significantly. They then heard a number of somewhat interesting responses from Bobby, as he spoke into the receiver.
"Yes, I'll accept the charges."
(A brief pause, as Bobby pushed a button on the phone, and then stood listening intently to the caller on the other end)
"Yeah. No, of course I don't mind, I was just sitting here watching…"
(Another brief pause, as the small group gathered in the living room saw Bobby further listening to this mystery caller)
"You have to calm down, so you can tell me what's got you so…"
(A slightly longer pause this time, as the voice on the other side of the line sounded frantic, almost on the verge of tears)
"So you just took off? Tell me where you're at, and I'll come meet you."
(Even longer pause this time, as James, Sam, Jamie, Roberto, and Dani became very curious when they saw Bobby making mental notes of an address now being given to him)
"I'm pretty sure I know where that's….okay, I'll see you in about an hour or so."
(A small beep was heard from the phone, as Bobby now held the receiver down in front of him after disconnecting the call)
"Something's come up. I need to head into the city, and while I'm gone Sam and Dani are in charge, so I want everyone to listen to them." Bobby said in a very serious voice, as he pointed at sixteen year-old Sam and fifteen year-old Dani, who were two of the oldest and presumably the most responsible amongst the junior students at the school, "I shouldn't be gone too long."
"Hope you enjoy the booty-call." Jamie teasingly remarked to Bobby, who was already over at the living room's doorway.
Bobby simply turned back round and rolled his eyes slightly in response to Jamie's comment, before heading upstairs and preparing to leave.
"…Okay, I'll see you in a little while."
As she stood in front of a payphone located on this New York City sidewalk, Angelica Jones wiped the freshly-formed tears from her eyes and thought to herself that it was funny just how much a person's life can change in an instant. At least it would've been funny to her, if the truths that had been revealed to her hadn't been so devastating.
On this day, Angelica had learned that the Headmistress of the Massachusetts Academy Emma Frost, who was her teacher and the woman whom Angelica had come to hold in extremely high regard, was nowhere near the person that she thought she was. Worse yet, Angelica had also learned that the Massachusetts Academy itself was not what she had believed it to be either.
Angelica now turned and went inside to Marcello's Pizzeria, a restaurant in the Midtown neighborhood that stood right next to the payphone that she had just been using. As Angelica sat down in one of the table booths inside she went ahead and ordered a diet soda for herself, since she knew she'd have quite a bit of time on her hands in waiting for Bobby's arrival. The main reason that she had called him was because she felt that he might be one of the few people in the world that could possibly understand what she was going through.
And with ample opportunity to sit back and reflect on everything that had happened today, Angelica thought about how she was going to try and explain such a seemingly unreal tale to Bobby…
(Flashback to earlier in the day, back at the exclusive Massachusetts Academy located in Snow Valley, Massachusetts)
The majestic backdrop that the surrounding Berkshire Mountains provided for the campus of the Massachusetts Academy was awe-inspiring, to say the least, especially now with their peak tops displaying the faintest hints of the season's first snowfall.
But for fifteen year-old Angelica Jones, it didn't really matter what the weather was like. She was always in the mood to head outside and travel across the school's expansive well-kept landscape to its horse stables, which Headmistress Emma Frost maintained out at the campus' edge. Angelica couldn't wait to get out there to see Butter Rum, who was her favorite horse and one of the few friends that she felt she actually had at the school. Together, Angelica and Butter Rum would go out on lengthy riding excursions through the surrounding grassy pastures, an activity that Angelica looked forward to more than anything else every day, even to the point of often staying out at the stables beyond the time allotted to her by her Headmistress for such extracurricular pursuits.
As Angelica now hastily made her way back towards her dorm along one of the wide brick-tiled pathways across the Academy's enormous campus, having once again stayed out riding with Butter Rum longer than she was supposed to, Angelica ended up unexpectedly running into another party outside at this late afternoon hour right by Conrad Hall. Conrad Hall served as the residency dorm to the school's senior-level students, and like most of the buildings on campus, it had been originally constructed more than a century ago with numerous renovations having taken place to it since.
"It's almost five o'clock 'Wall-flower', shouldn't you already be in bed by now or somethin'?" Lance Alvers, self-appointed school smart-ass tauntingly said to Angelica, as they had now crossed paths on the walkway outside between Conrad Hall and the campus dining hall.
"No, but if you must know, I was out riding at the stables and I just got through." Angelica resentfully replied to Lance's remark, as she came up to him wearing a dark-brown riding helmet, a coral cotton-knit sweater, khaki riding-pants and brown leather riding boots.
"Well, thanks for tellin' me somethin' I didn't really care about." Lance insultingly told Angelica, as he was holding a large and rather noticeable paper sack in his hand.
"What've you got in there?" Angelica now curiously asked the boy before her, who had brown hair that ran halfway down to his shoulder and was wearing his customary denim cut-off vest, a black t-shirt underneath, black leather gloves with the finger holes cut-out of them, and a pair of faded denim blue-jeans that were accessorized with a pair of black boots.
"Just some shit I raided from the vending machines in the dining hall." Lance told Angelica, as he opened up the bag in his hand, and held it down low enough for her to see the plethora of junkfood within.
"I figured you guys would have that stuff in your dorm already?" Angelica said to him, as she took her riding helmet off and let her long, flowing red hair fall down across shoulders and down her back.
"We do, but we have to beat someone who's got a real appetite to it, else it's all over." Lance said to Angelica, making a vague reference to one of the school's older and very hefty residents, Frederick J. Dukes.
Although to Angelica and most everyone else around campus he was simply known as Roderick Docks the school's maintenance man, which was the assumed name and undercover guise that he had been living under since his arrival at the Massachusetts Academy a few months ago.
"It must be kinda cool to live in a separate dorm from everyone else. I mean, it's almost like you guys are living on your own." Angelica said, as she and Lance were, for once, having something that almost resembled a normal conversation. Which was a rare occurrence for them, since Lance usually only spoke to Angelica when he was hurling insults her way.
"You could be livin' up in there with us too. That is, if you really wanted to." Lance now cryptically implied to Angelica, as he pointed over at Conrad Hall close by.
"I doubt it. You have to be promoted to the senior-squad first, and Miss Frost doesn't think I'm ready yet." Angelica said to him, referring to the exemplary status given to those students whom the school's Headmistress felt had mastered and now excelled in the use of their various mutant abilities, a group that currently consisted of Lance Alvers, John Allerdyce, Tabitha Smith, Manuel de la Rocha, Joanna Cargill, and Jennifer Stavros.
"Actually, 'Frosty' already thinks you're ready." Lance told Angelica, as he now held the large paper sack down by his side.
"How do you know?" Angelica asked him, her riding helmet now securely in her grasp down in front of her, as the sun was about to begin its descent out on the horizon.
"I'm not supposed to tell you but…" Lance said, as he paused and a mischievous smile spread across his face, "Well, just c'mon in and I'll show you."
With that, Lance motioned for Angelica to follow him into the senior student's residence. After closing the front door behind them and then going over to drop off the bag that contained numerous chips, sodas, and candy bars on the kitchen's table, Lance took Angelica down a lengthy hallway that led from the residence's foyer area, the two of them eventually stopping at the end of the hallway where there was a wall with a large framed picture hanging there.
"You wanted to show me this painting?" Angelica, who appeared to be a bit puzzled, now questioned Lance as they stood there staring at the portrait.
"No, dumbass. It's what's behind the painting." Lance responded, as he went up to the painting and pushed it over towards his left.
The painting easily slid over across the wall stained in a cherry-wood color, revealing a small square button hidden behind it. After Lance pressed it, an entire section of the wall rolled open in front of them, further revealing an elevator within.
"I didn't know there was a trick wall in here?" Angelica commented, as she raised an eyebrow and was very surprised by what she had just seen.
"There're a lot of things you don't know about this place." Lance looked over at Angelica and laughingly replied, as the two of them stepped into the elevator and Lance hit a button within that started the elevator car moving downward.
Upon reaching their sub-level destination, the elevator doors opened up in front of Lance and Angelica to now grant them access to another secret corridor beneath the senior student's residence. Which like a number of other things at the Massachusetts Academy, its existence having been intentionally withheld from Angelica and the rest of her junior-level classmates by Emma Frost.
Now walking down a fluorescent-lit passageway constructed mainly of steel and concrete, Angelica and Lance soon came to a halt once they reached a large metal door that stood at the end of the corridor. Lance then went over to the security pad right next to the steel door and punched in a special access code, which caused the metal door to then open up and reveal a mysteriously dark room before them.
"What's…in here?" Angelica apprehensively turned and asked Lance right next to her, as he proceeded on inside and activated a light switch within.
"It's where we keep our Brotherhood gear." Lance said, as he smiled and turned back around to her, matter-of-factly revealing one of the school's carefully guarded secrets to her.
"Where you keep your what!" Angelica loudly inquired, as she certainly had not been expecting him to tell her that.
Angelica then took a few steps into the equipment room behind Lance and saw a number of distinctively designed and colored uniforms hanging up all around the room in there. Some of the uniforms were accompanied by additional accessories and weapons, which had been tailored to the wearer's specific needs. One example would be a dark, reddish-orange colored leather uniform trimmed in black hanging in there, which had orange-tinted goggles and a backpack flamethrower hanging with it, for instance.
"C'mon, don't tell me you're surprised. Didn't you ever wonder why we spend so much time runnin' simulations over in the Combat Room? The whole reason Frosty's been trainin' us so hard is to make sure we're the most powerful group of mutants on Earth, so we can help Magneto keep mutants everywhere from gettin' wiped out by humans that want to see us all dead." Lance further revealed to Angelica, who at first was having a very difficult time processing what he was telling her, "And when you get promoted to the senior-squad, that means you officially become a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants."
Suddenly, it was all beginning to make complete sense to Angelica, and she became slightly wobbly on her feet as if a thick fog that had been clouding her thoughts was now being lifted. Angelica was now able to very vividly remember something, something that happened on one specific day a few months ago.
It was the day when she had first seen the school's new maintenance man Mr. Docks, and couldn't shake the feeling that she had seen this very, VERY large man somewhere before, but didn't quite know when or where. When she had approached her Headmistress about her suspicions, Miss Frost simply told Angelica that it was just her over-active imagination playing tricks on her, and ordered her to forget about it and to never bring this particular subject up again. And Angelica did just as her Headmistress instructed, as she completely dropped the subject and didn't bother to give it a second thought.
At least until now.
"OHMYGOD, I remember where I saw Mr. Docks!" Angelica loudly said to Lance, as memories that had been carefully tucked away were now inexplicably coming back to her, "I saw him on TV. He's that Blob-guy that broke out of prison!"
"You catch on reeaaall quick there, Firestar." Lance told Angelica, as he had gone over to one of the corners in the equipment room, now on a search for something in particular through the various uniforms hanging towards the back of the room, "Who do you think helped him bust outta the pen in the first place?"
As Lance continued to quickly sift through the various uniforms, he came across one outfit consisting of a black cloak that was hanging over a tight brown and white-trimmed leather uniform, which had a tag attached to its sleeve that simply read 'Tarot', while another red and blue leather outfit with a pair of gray-tinted goggles had a tag on it that was marked 'Jetstream'. After looking through a few more uniforms hanging on the far wall of the room, Lance finally happened upon the one that he had been looking for.
"Here." Lance said, as he took the outfit hanging in front of him off of its hook and tossed it over to Angelica.
"What's this?" Angelica asked Lance, as she caught the outfit and visually inspected it, seeing that it was a red-leather jacket with matching pants that had thin, yellow swirling flame designs running down the sleeves of the jacket, and up and down the sides of its pants-leg.
"Look at the tag, it's your Brotherhood uniform." Lance told her, as Angelica looked over at him and back down at the decoratively colored uniform again, now seeing that the tag attached to the sleeve indeed said 'Firestar' on it, "Way I overheard Frosty and Magneto talkin' one time, they plan on you becomin' our squad's number one hit-girl. They said somethin' about your powers bein' able to let you carry out assassinations undetected, and that you could use 'em to burn people up from the inside out, or somethin' freaky like that."
"What? No way am I gonna go around using my powers to kill people like that!" Angelica adamantly protested, after hearing Lance's somewhat 'exaggerated' version of the conversation that he had overheard between Magneto and Miss Frost, which had been about the many possible ways that Angelica and her junior-classmates' powers could be utilized, if circumstances demanded it.
"I don't think anyone's givin' you much of a choice about it. Especially, with the way Frosty can read and control people's minds." Lance said to Angelica, as he continued to egg things on and started to laugh yet again.
A now visibly upset Angelica looked for a moment at the red and yellow-trimmed outfit in her hands, before she forcefully threw it down onto the cold and hard concrete floor. Angelica then turned around and took off running out of the equipment room, heading back down the corridor that she and Lance had just journeyed down a few minutes ago.
Sprinting into the elevator and slamming her hand against the 'up' button inside of it to close its doors, the elevator soon shuttled Angelica back up to the first floor of Conrad Hall. There, she burst out of the secret passageway and ran right into John Allerdyce in the first-floor hallway, who was as surprised to see Angelica in the senior residence as she was startled to see him right there at that moment.
"What's up Angelica?" John inquisitively asked her, as he was trying to figure out just how Angelica had gotten into area that was supposed to be off-limits to her and the other junior students at the school.
But, Angelica didn't bother to respond to John. Instead, she struggled to catch her breath and just looked at John with a teary-eyed and pained expression, as Angelica now knew the truth about him and the rest of the senior-squad. Angelica just continued on right past him crying, and ran out through the residence hall's front door.
Just then as John watched Angelica make her exit, he heard the elevator's gears whirring behind the wall in front of him, and in a few brief moments he saw Lance step out it laughing his head off.
"You wanna tell me what the hell's goin' on around here?" John inquired of Lance, as he spoke to him in a very serious and demanding tone.
"Nothin', except havin' a little fun with Wall-flower. Guess she wasn't quite as ready as I thought she was?" Lance said, as he had actually gotten a thorough amount of enjoyment at seeing Angelica's distraught reaction to learning what Miss Frost and the older students at the school had been up to.
But, as Lance looked over towards the front door, which was still standing wide-open, John suddenly and roughly grabbed him by the collars of his denim vest and pulled Lance over towards him.
"What'd you do to her?" John now shouted at Lance, as he got very much up in his face.
"Don't get your panties wrinkled, I was just givin' teacher's pet a grand tour of the equipment room downstairs." Lance replied, as he now forcefully pushed John back away from him.
"Dammit Lance, tell me you didn't. Please, tell me you didn't." John said, as he sighed, took a deep breath and took a few steps backwards, while fully absorbing what Lance was now telling him, "You idiot! I can't believe you took one of the juniors' downstairs without permission."
"I don't know why you're so worried, they're all gonna find out about the Brotherhood sooner or later anyways." Lance pointed out, as he relaxed and leaned up against the wall, which had now slid closed back into place right behind them.
"Maybe, but Frost is gonna completely flip out when she finds out about this." John replied, as he hated to think what his Headmistress' reaction would be when she learned that one of her strictest orders to them had been disobeyed so blatantly.
John knew the tremendous amount of suffering that his Headmistress could inflict on someone with her potent mutant powers of telepathy, if she so wished. John had seen such a demonstration first-hand, as he had been present on one day in particular when one of the school's guardsmen, who had been assigned to the Massachusetts Academy from the Hellfire Club, dared to question Miss Frost and wound up on the receiving end of one of her excruciatingly painful psionic energy-bolts for his troubles.
Now, as John ordered Lance to come with him to the Headmistress' private residence on the campus grounds of the Massachusetts Academy, he wondered what their punishment would be once they told her about this?
In the meantime, Angelica had bolted out of Conrad Hall and continued on unabated clear across campus, traveling the entire distance over to the main residency dorm at Pitman Hall in no time. After rushing upstairs to her room on the dorm's second floor, Angelica collapsed in an emotional heap on her bed, unsure of what she should do next?
"I can't believe Miss Frost's been lying to me all this time. And even worse, I think she really did do something to me with her mental powers, because I keep on gettin' these weird flashbacks ever since I was down in the senior's dorm." Angelica thought to herself, as she was lying on her side and curled up on top of her bed.
Angelica was still feeling deeply hurt, angry, and betrayed over being deceived by her Headmistress. And, she had also begun to suspect that Miss Frost had done the unthinkable, by using her formidable telepathic powers to somehow manipulate her thoughts, perceptions, and specific memories, which Angelica believed was the cause of these unusual flashbacks that were now triggering within her mind.
Then it hit her.
"Wait, since Miss Frost's already used her powers to read my mind and mess with my thoughts already, what if she decides to use her powers to force me to do all of those horrible things like Lance was telling me?" Angelica thought to herself, as this frightening realization caused a cold and unsettling feeling to wash over her.
Then Angelica really began to freak out, and all she wanted to do now was to get as far away from all of this as possible. Angelica felt that she had to go somewhere where she could try and sort through all of the conflicting emotions swirling around inside of her regarding her Headmistress, her classmates, and her school, and the fact that they were all in league with Magneto, whom she and the rest of the world had read and heard about extensively following his failed terrorist attack on Liberty Island, and then his violent escape from the Triskelion detention facility last year.
Normally, Angelica would head out to the stables so that she could brush Butter Rum and talk to him, as she usually did whenever she needed someone to talk to. But instead, Angelica reached down underneath her bed and pulled out a small book bag. Hurriedly, Angelica changed out of her riding attire and into a violet-red colored long-sleeved blouse, a pair of jeans, and a pair of plain white sneakers before going around her bedroom to pack a few articles of clothing and other essential items, placing them into her bag. Then, Angelica grabbed her rose-colored windbreaker jacket and slipped back downstairs to the first floor of Pitman Hall, quietly going back outside through the front door.
Ignoring her Headmistress' known wishes against her students' displaying their mutant powers in public without getting her permission first, Angelica mentally summoned and activated her own impressive mutant abilities. She proceeded to envelope herself in a field of microwave energy, and with that tremendous and raw power now surrounding her, Angelica easily took flight high up into the air. Flying with near jet-propulsion speed, in a matter of just a few seconds Firestar was soon far away from the grounds of the Massachusetts Academy.
Going in a southward direction, Angelica flew high up above a major highway, leaving the house of secrets back in Snow Valley. Now, Angelica was heading for another house down in New Jersey.
Now, she was heading home.
"YOU DID WHAT!"
As those words that she had just screamed out continued to reverberate around the living room of her classically-designed Queen Anne home on campus for some time afterwards, it still couldn't convey the level of infuriation that Emma Grace Frost was currently feeling upon learning from her students John Allerdyce and Lance Alvers about what had transpired with Angelica Jones earlier in the day below the senior student's dormitory.
"I'm real sorry about what happened, and as the senior-squad's leader, I take full responsibility for it." John said, as the Brotherhood's deputy-leader stood and spoke to an extremely angry Headmistress Frost, who was still seated on a leather sofa in the room right in front of them.
Emma had been busy reviewing some important business documents, which now lay scattered across the coffee table in front of her, all before John and Lance had shown up to explain what had happened to her.
"I don't want to hear another word!" Emma loudly replied to John's apology in an obviously irritated tone, as she now stood up from the sofa.
Emma had her platinum-blonde hair tied back into a simple ponytail, and she was dressed in a very casual outfit that included an almond-colored pullover sweater. With her strikingly beautiful features and gracefully-fluid movements, Emma looked as though she could have just as easily have been modeling the fall ensemble that she had on. Now up on her feet, Emma proceeded to close her eyes, looking as though she were concentrating very intensely, before she spoke to Lance and John once again.
"It's just as I feared, Angelica is nowhere to be found on the campus' grounds."
Emma then opened her eyes and took a deeply pensive breath, as her piercing blue eyes shot a stern and very penetrating glance at both boys standing on the other side of the coffee table in front of her. Then, Emma turned and walked over to one of the walls in the living room, which had been constructed using expensively vintage hardwood.
"You two. Follow me." Emma now telepathically demanded of Lance and John, as she had gone over to the wall and activated a secret switch-panel, which opened a small section of the wall to reveal a secret passageway behind it. Somewhat reluctantly, both Lance and John did do what was requested of them and went in behind Emma, although they were both a little more than anxious about what awaited them within.
Once inside, the trio went down a very modern-looking staircase complete with bright fluorescent lighting on the ceiling above, also on the steel-tiled walls beside them that steadily descended downward, and lights that even shone up through the thin metal grates of each one of the steps underfoot. Upon reaching the bottom of the staircase they arrived in a corridor, which immediately looked very familiar to John.
It wasn't because this corridor had the same look as most of the other secret sub-level areas at the Massachusetts Academy, areas which served to create a virtual labyrinth beneath the school. It was because John quickly realized that, except for it being shorter and having a few minor scale and design variations, this area looked almost exactly like the sub-level corridor that he had seen beneath Xavier's School for the Gifted when he was a student back in Westchester. More specifically, this area looked just like the entryway that led to Professor Xavier's Cerebro machine below his school, which he, Bobby, and Rogue had snuck down to get a quick peak at from its exterior one day, at a time when the Professor and most of the other teachers happened to be away from the school.
As John and Lance continued to trail a few steps behind Emma, they all stopped when they came to two large steel doors that stood at the end of the corridor. There, after a brief verification process by its security system to identify the Headmistress of the school, the doors opened up and granted them access into a large, spherical-shaped chamber within. The chamber appeared to have been constructed entirely from an advanced metallic-material, and it had a long, thin platform aisle that jutted out almost all of the way out from the entrance into the room's center.
"This is some relaxation room you built for yourself down here." Lance humorously commented, as he and John came into this Cerebro-chamber behind Emma, which had been built far below her private residence, and which neither student was previously aware even existed.
"I don't recall granting you permission to talk!" Emma angrily shouted in response to Lance, as she was still upset at the both of them.
Emma went to the end of the platform and sat down in front of the Cerebro machine's control-panel there. After removing her glasses, Emma reached up to put on the device's interface helmet, all while the huge entrance doors to the chamber now closed behind them.
As the Cerebro machine began to flash to life, John and Lance just looked at one another when millions of astral projections, which represented every sentient mind on the planet, unexpectedly started blowing past and all around them. In the meantime, now that Emma was telepathically linked into her Cerebro, she began her psi-scan for Firestar's location in earnest, using the device to try and lock onto the young mutant's very unique thought-patterns.
In less than a minute, the astral projections all around John and Lance abruptly disappeared, and Emma stood back up from her seat in front of Cerebro's controls at the end of the platform.
"Firestar is currently flying towards New York City. Since you have helped to create this little situation, then I will give you the opportunity to correct it. You two will be the ones responsible for bringing her back, and you can even take that worthless-lump Dukes along to help assist you." Emma said, as she had turned back around from the Cerebro control panel and was looking at both John and Lance.
"New York's a huge place, how are we gonna find one person in a city full of millions?" Lance queried his Headmistress, after receiving the mandate from her.
"Take this." Emma now said, as she turned around to pick up a small electronic device from the large control panel behind her.
"What's that?" John now asked her, as Emma walked back towards them with something in her hand that looked like a PDA or PSP to them.
"It's a portable Cerebro device, which is currently attuned to Firestar's unique mutant bio-signature." Emma replied, as she handed the device over to John.
Emma Frost possessed a very acute and advanced understanding of computers and other electronic components, which had helped her to build her company Frost Technotics into one of the chief innovators in its field. Emma's skill and expertise had also allowed her to replicate, and then fully reconstruct this completely-functional Cerebro machine, which now stood underneath her school. And it had made it possible for her to build a smaller, portable version of the mutant locating device, which she was now handing to one of her students.
As they were preparing to head out of the chamber, John and Lance paused and then turned back around to ask their teacher one more question.
"What if Firestar decides to put up a fight when we do find her?" Lance now asked his Headmistress.
"I believe your combined abilities sufficient to allow the three of you to easily subdue one junior-level student, should she attempt to use her own powers and resist." Emma replied, as she had basically granted them permission to use their mutant powers against Firestar, if need be.
"Even if we do bring her back, what's to guarantee that she won't just run away again?" John inquired, as he glanced down briefly at the portable Cerebro in his grasp, which was beeping with a tracking dot triangulating Angelica's current position.
"Trust me, when I've finished with Firestar she will unequivocally understand where she belongs. And any further thoughts of running away from this school will never cross her mind again!" Emma emphatically replied, as she once again began to yell at John and Lance, with an expression relaying that she meant every word that she had said and displayed a level of rage rarely seen from her, "Now, quit standing here wasting time with me, and go find her. And for both of your sakes, you'd better not fail me!"
With that Pyro and Avalanche turned back and tore out of the Cerebro chamber to prepare for their departure, leaving a somewhat satisfied Emma Frost in there. Emma couldn't help but smile a little, as she marveled at just how valuable a tool fear can be, especially when being employed to motivate others.
Bobby Drake was making fairly good time, as he drove into New York City this night in one of the cars from the school, a sporty Dodge SRT4. Bobby easily navigated the congested traffic once inside of the city's limits, as he gradually made his way towards Midtown and to the rendezvous point that he and Angelica had agreed upon earlier when she had called him.
Having had to park more than a block away from the small, family-owned pizzeria where Angelica said that she'd meet him, Bobby now walked up the sidewalk of the street on this crisp fall night and soon saw the restaurant's flashing neon-sign not too far up ahead. Upon entering Marcello's Pizzeria, Bobby scanned the two rows of table-booths within the restaurant, which were separated by a thin aisle in between them, and almost immediately his eyes locked onto a very familiar looking red-head sitting towards the back of the establishment.
Bobby couldn't help but stop in his tracks for a moment when he looked at Angelica, when he really looked at her sitting there, and for the first time realized just how beautiful this curvaceously-built girl truly was. Angelica was seated in a booth all by herself and appeared to be lost in deep her train of thought, as she introspectively stared out of one of the windows right next to her.
"This seat taken?" Bobby remarked to Angelica, as he came up to the table and broke her attention away from the window, having managed to approach her without her even noticing his entrance into the pizzeria.
"Nope, reserved all for you." Angelica replied, as she looked up and flashed Bobby a very cheery smile, looking nothing like the frantically upset girl that he had expected to find here following their previous conversation on the phone.
As Bobby sat down in the booth with her, Angelica now took notice of the varsity bomber jacket that he had on, which was in a medium blue/dark blue color combination, and how those colors seemed to accentuate his engaging ice-blue eyes.
"You sounded pretty worked up earlier on the phone. But, I guess you'd have to be, to run away from school and head all the way back here?" Bobby now said, as he jumped right to the subject of why he had driven down there to meet Angelica, who didn't seem the type to just take off like this.
Unless, there was a good reason.
"You'd be worked up too, if you found out what I did." Angelica replied, as she put her left hand over onto the small bag sitting on the bench seated next to her.
"Like what?" Bobby asked her.
Angelica now sat there and prepared herself to tell Bobby the unbelievable things that she had learned back at her school, and for some reason which Angelica couldn't fully explain yet, she felt very comfortable in talking to Bobby and that she could probably talk to him about almost anything.
"I found out Miss Frost's been using me and lying to me. Her school and some of the students there are actually part of the Brotherhood of Mutants, that terrorist group they talk about on TV, and she plans on making me join them to become some kinda mutant-terrorist too." Angelica told Bobby, which was why she had run away from her school and had was originally heading back home to West Morris, New Jersey, when she made a hasty detour in New York City when she figured that her home would be the first place that Miss Frost would come looking for her.
"You're…just now finding that out?" Bobby questioned her, as he sat back into his seat a little.
"It's not like it was on the brochure when I was recruited for the Massachusetts Academy. Plus, I think Miss Frost did something to my mi…wait a minute, you sure don't sound surprised by any of this?" Angelica now questioned Bobby, as she had been expecting a thoroughly shocked reaction from him, but noticed that he looked puzzled more than anything.
"Well, I hadn't brought it up before because I thought you knew, and I just assumed you were fine with the things going on there. But, I found out about the Brotherhood being at your school not too long after me, Kitty, and the Professor visited the Massachusetts Academy a few months ago." Bobby revealed to her, as he had assumed that all of the students at the Massachusetts Academy, like all of the students at Xavier's, knew what was going on behind the scenes at their respective schools.
"How on Earth could you think that I'd be fine with something like that!" Angelica now asked Bobby in a very resentful tone, as she once again became emotional and her voice rose in volume rather significantly. And as a result of her heightened emotional state, Angelica's mutant powers unconsciously activated, causing her body to emit a small amount of microwave energy, which made steam suddenly begin to rise off of the soda currently right next to her hand on top of the table, "Tell me, how did you find out exactly!"
"I hate to break it to you like this, but we knew because some of the students at our school, me included, are a part of--" Bobby was saying, when without warning he was abruptly interrupted.
It wasn't an interruption brought about by a waitress or someone else coming up to speak to him and Angelica, rather it was thanks to the sensation of the ground trembling beneath them. It felt as if they were experiencing the preliminary vibrations of an earthquake, despite the fact that this was New York state and not California.
"Oh no…OH NO!" Angelica now shouted, as she felt the tremors as well, "C'mon Bobby, we can finish talking later, but right now we need to get out of here."
Angelica forcefully jerked Bobby up from the table by his hand and they, along with the other frightened patrons in the pizzeria made a mad dash for the exit. Once outside, they came face-to-face with the cause of the mini-earthquake, as that person was standing in front of the pizzeria alongside two other distinctive individuals close to him, having just left his own very unique calling card.
"You were right about us gettin' suited up when Cerebro detected that other mutant around here, since it looks like losers really do like to travel in pairs." Avalanche now said and smiled, as he stood on the roof of a Grand Marquis parked on the street close to the restaurant.
"Miss Frost sent us to come get you." Pyro said, as he was standing in the middle of the street in front of the restaurant, now decked out in his reddish-orange and black-trimmed Brotherhood uniform.
Avalanche, who was currently standing on top of a parked car close to Pyro with his muscular arms folded over in front him, was wearing his own black and red-trimmed leather outfit, complete with a silver helmet that had two small eyeholes in it, while the helmet managed to mask most of his face. Meanwhile, Pyro was standing in the middle of this usually busy Manhattan street, which would have normally resulted in him being hit by a passing car, but there was little chance of that happening at the moment.
Both ends of the street were completely blocked off, courtesy of Avalanche's seismic tidal wave that had rolled through it. His devastating mutant power had managed to rip up much of the street's pavement and surrounding sidewalks, had busted a few fire-hydrants, wound up splitting and exposing a couple of the street's underground water manes and power cables, and had even overturned a few parked cars on the street as well.
"Just c'mon and make things easy on yourself." The Blob said to Angelica, as he also stood on the street dressed in a black tank-top with a yellow stripe running across it, along with a pair of black loose-fitting shorts that stopped just above his knees.
"I'm not going back Mr. Dukes, so I can become some kinda criminal like you!" Angelica ardently and vehemently responded, as she recognized the school's maintenance man sans his disguise. She and Bobby were standing on the sidewalk right outside of the restaurant, while most of the other patrons and bystanders attempted to vacate the immediate vicinity.
"Aggnnnnh, wrong answer." Avalanche now said to Angelica.
"Plus, I don't remember us givin' you a choice in the matter, 'Sweet-cheeks'." The massively rotund mutant who went by the accurately descriptive moniker of The Blob remarked to her as well, pulling a toothpick out of his mouth as he stood on the street right next to the parked car that Avalanche was atop of.
"Well, she does have a choice, and she just decided she's not going anywhere with you." Bobby now reiterated for her.
"Hold up, Ice-Prick. We don't come down to Westchester tellin' you dorks how to handle things there. So you'd better back your ass up, before you get it seriously kicked by me for stickin' your nose in Brotherhood business!" Avalanche now said, as he jumped down from the roof of the Grand Marquis and positioned himself on top of its hood.
"I'm not afraid of you, Avalanche. And she's made her decision, end of discussion." Bobby staunchly replied, as he showed that Avalanche's boisterous scare-tactics had little to no effect on him.
"Naw, it's just the beginnin', kid. And it looks like you're wantin' us to do this the hard way then." Blob said, as a smile came to his face and he flicked his toothpick off to the side.
"You've got that right, and you'll have to go through me first." Bobby replied, as he went and put his right-arm back behind his body and nudged Angelica over until she was standing directly behind him.
"That's fine with me." Avalanche replied, as an even larger smirk came to his face, which was the only part of his features that could be seen thanks to his helmet, "I've been wantin' an excuse to bomb on your ass like… well, like an Avalanche, and it'll make up for me not takin' you apart back at the Hellfire Club."
Those individuals still brave enough to be out on the street with these super-powered individuals now felt a second, and this time a sizable tremor, which made the ground start to quiver and set off any car alarms that weren't already blaring in the nighttime air. Now, Avalanche was readying himself, as he prepared to launch another one of his powerful seismic energy-blasts right in Bobby and Angelica's direction.
"Hold up, 'lanche." Pyro now said, as he came over and halted his teammates attack. Pyro then pulled his orange-tinted goggles off, placing them up above his face before taking a few steps towards Bobby and Angelica, "Look bro, I didn't come here to fight you. So, I think you'd better back up before someone ends up gettin' hurt."
"I don't want to fight you either. But, there're times when you've just gotta stand up for what you believe is right." Bobby replied, as he and John now stood and looked at one another for what felt like an eternity to them.
Even though Iceman and Pyro had teamed up recently as allies, when the combined efforts of SHIELD, the X-Men, and Magneto's new Brotherhood had worked together to defeat Mastermold and its army of Sentinels, both Bobby and John had known in the back of their minds that the day might come when they would no longer be united under a common cause, and might have to face one another in battle. They also knew full well that the conflicting ideals, which had divided Professor Xavier and Magneto in their younger days, might also end up testing their friendship up to and beyond the breaking point, just as it had done in each of their mentors' case.
"Yeah, I guess you're right. Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do." John replied, as he pulled his goggles back down on his face, before turning and walking away from the individual who had been one of his closest, if not his best-friend.
But, after taking no more than two or three steps, Pyro swiftly spun back around and used the flamethrowers attached to each of his wrists to shoot a single stream of fire towards Bobby, engulfing the sidewalk and part of the pizzeria that stood behind them in flames.
Pyro's violent response displayed the unfortunate realization that it seemed the day, which both young men had been dreading, was now upon them.
But thankfully, Bobby's quick reflexes allowed him to react fast enough to throw up an ice barricade, which shielded both him and Angelica from Pyro's flame burst. Still, it wasn't enough to prevent Marcello's Pizzeria, which had been a family-owned business that had stood in this neighborhood for decades, from catching on fire behind them.
"It's about time Johnny!" Avalanche gleefully cackled, as he now jumped down from the car's hood onto the street and walked over to Pyro, "Let's go beat this loser down. And when we get through wailin' on him, maybe he'll learn to mind his own business from now on."
"Angelica, get out of here as far from here as you can. I'll try and buy you some time." Bobby said to her, as he used his ice-powers to repel the flame and intense heat surrounding them as a result of Pyro's attack.
But, Angelica just stood there in shock for a moment, as she had never seen Bobby use his mutant powers before. Then she watched, and was even more amazed, when Bobby began to cover his entire body in ice, and literally become an 'Iceman' before her very eyes. Iceman then further used his powers to create a slide underneath him, which was also made entirely out of ice, and which carried him over to where the three members of the Brotherhood were laying in wait for him.
While Iceman was perhaps one of the most skilled amongst the X-Men's senior-level students in mastery and control over his powers, the fact of the matter was that he was about to go up against three individuals, all of whom were just as equally skilled in the use of their own mutant abilities as he was, and it seemed to be a situation that very few would have come out victorious in all on their own.
As Iceman used his ice-slide to quickly navigate around and through Avalanche, Pyro, and Blob by weaving circles above and around them, doing so in an attempt to draw their attention away from Angelica long enough for her to make a hasty escape, Avalanche quickly caught on to this tactic. Avalanche astutely waited until Iceman was ascending up above them, before unleashing a well-timed seismic blast to shatter Iceman's ice-slide right from underneath him. This caused Iceman to fall from a height of about ten to twenty feet above them, although he was able to break his fall by quickly thinking and creating an ice-pole underneath him, using it to slide down to the street pavement below like a fireman.
But not to be outdone, the advanced targeting system built into Pyro's goggles now locked onto Iceman, and he proceeded to use a number of concentrated fire-bursts from his flamethrowers to simultaneously melt Iceman's ice-pole at its bottom, while also landing a direct hit against Iceman himself and knocking him down hard to the cracked street pavement below.
"That was easy." Avalanche confidently said, as he, Pyro, and Blob victoriously walked over to a now unconscious Iceman lying on the ground, whose ice-covered body had managed to provide a modicum of protection from the intense heat of the Pyro's flames, which had just struck him down.
"And this'll be even easier." Blob now said, as he used his inordinate strength to pick up a lamppost in his bulbous fingers, which had been knocked down to the street by Avalanche's earlier earthquake vibrations, and carried it over with him as he looked at his two young partners with a mocking smile, "Crushed-ice, anyone?"
As the Blob raised the light-pole up above his head and prepared to put Iceman down permanently, Angelica watched all of this taking place from the sidewalk close by. She was stunned by what she had just seen occur, and Angelica felt entirely helpless to do anything to put a stop to it.
Then, almost miraculously, all three members of the Brotherhood were unexpectedly stopped right in their tracks, although it certainly wasn't by their choice.
"Huh…WHAT IS THIS SHIT!" Avalanche started shouting, as he felt the sudden and strange sensation of himself being tied up and restrained.
Avalanche struggled to break free from these thin, web-like restraints being skillfully wrapped around his upper torso, but it was to no avail. Avalanche then looked over to see that his two cohorts' were also being wrapped up in the same sticky and stringy substance that he was.
"Hey, watch the mouth pal, else I'll have to take you somewhere and wash it out with soap."
Everyone still out on the street heard this statement, as a voice now spoke to them from over on top of one of the buildings on the street, just as another small stream of this webbing substance rapidly shot down to cover Avalanche's 'colorful' mouth, effectively gagging him for the time being at least.
"Well, I'll be hog-tied. Looks like we got ourselves a real, bona fide celebrity that dun gone and showed up here with us." Blob said, having been forced to drop the lamppost after being tied up there on the street.
Now, he and everyone else on the street looked up above, as a lone figure dressed in a red and blue spandex outfit seemingly leapt the entire length across street from the top of the first building and landed over on the wall of another right in front of them, before announcing his presence in his own trademark fashion.
"Awww, you're makin' me blush with all the flattery you're throwing at me, not that you'd be able to tell it. But, it's just your friendly, neighborhood Spiderman here at your service, and to help even up these lop-sided odds too." Was his response, as Pyro, Avalanche, Blob, Angelica and the other remaining bystanders looked up to see the one and only Spiderman crawling down the wall of the small antique shop next to the pizzeria, stopping halfway to sort of sit leaning back up against the side of the building in a semi-crouching position, as he peered at all of them through eyes concealed by his red and black spider mask.
While the familiar tingling sensation, which from experience told Spiderman that this was going to be another one of those nights of him going up against yet another super-powered foe, or foes in this particular case, what he didn't realize was that this confrontation was actually the culmination of a tragedy of sorts, as a friendship was about to be irreparably redefined forever.
Next Chapter: An epic showdown, with the Brotherhood squaring off against Spiderman and his Amazing new Friends…
A/N: Special thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter of the New Mutants-
Doza- Glad I could evoke some Timbuk-3 flashbacks in you, and I'm really happy that you're looking forward to the upcoming stories. I have a number of different ideas involving possible appearances by various Marvel characters in future fics, but I'm not entirely concrete on which ones and how just yet. But, the X-23 idea is a nice one, so I might just take that one under consideration…
Independent Fire- Glad you liked the fairly suggestive tone of the last chapter of the New Mutants, what with Emma trying to get closer to Scott, and Roulette and Lance getting a whole lot more than just closer. And as you can see in this fic, you'll be getting a nice, healthy dose of Bobby and Angelica, and just how cute they can be when they're together.
Of course, when they're not fighting for their lives.
TheDreamerLady- It's cool, I just hope you're feeling better now.