Written by Darkstorm5000
Disclaimer: X-Men Evolution, the X-Men, and other related characters in their various incarnations are the property of Marvel Entertainment Group and Film Roman Productions, are used without permission and not for profit.
Chapter 1- You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!
Over a year had passed since the ancient mutant known as En Sabah Nur had made both his presence, and the awesome power that he possessed, known to the world. And in that time, even those who had remained skeptically doubtful about the existence of mutants, in spite of prior evidence pointing towards the contrary, had been left with little choice in the waking aftermath but to fully acknowledge the fact that mutants did indeed walk among them. But, if that weren't disconcerting enough for them, they also had to concede that with these super-powered beings lay the potential to tip the balance of control of the entire planet in either direction, whether it be in favor of humans or for mutants.
This was also an extremely sobering realization for the majority of the world's governments and ruling bodies. And one, which certainly didn't sit particularly well with those individuals who exerted tremendous sway, and wielded exceptional influence amongst those powers-that-be, particularly within the United States' private and public sectors.
Meanwhile the X-Men, the mutant defense force that had been formed by Professor Charles Xavier to promote hopes of a peaceful co-existence between the whole of humanity, had themselves repeatedly risked their all to protect a populace that often feared and hated them for what they were. It was through their efforts, combined with some timely assistance provided by the Brotherhood, which ultimately thwarted the rise of Apocalypse. But, their actions hadn't automatically converted those possessed of a dissenting opinion towards them, and towards mutants as a whole, overnight.
In fact, quite the contrary.
The immediate and knee-jerk response by those self-appointed individuals in power, who had charged themselves with safeguarding humanity from this mutant-menace, was to fall back on a trusted mainstay. A foe, which the X-Men thought they had put to rest permanently, only to later witness this reinstitution of the--
"So far I only see one, so let's consider ourselves lucky, for now. I want everybody to get into battlefield formation, and wait for my signal."
These were the words spoken by Alex Summers, the mutant code-named Havok, as he stood atop the roof of a ten-story apartment building in downtown Manhattan on this clear and sunny spring afternoon, dressed in his black and gray uniform with power-balancing gauntlets clasped onto both of his hands and forearms. Havok was speaking to his X-Men teammates' through the black and red 'X' badge-like comm-devices, which they all wore on various areas of their uniforms', while they watched as this towering Sentinel robot slowly made its approach towards them on this now deserted city-street. It was an unusual sight to behold, both because of this gargantuan maroon and blue construct lumbering towards them, and because of this being an empty street in busy New York City in the middle of the day.
But, to see Alex in a situation like this was also something of a surprise, since he had initially turned down a previous invitation from Professor Xavier to join his X-Men, in lieu of his desire to pursue a hopefully lucrative surfing career. But, after helping in the joint efforts of the X-Men and Brotherhood to stop Apocalypse, he could no longer bury his head in the sand and pretend not to see what was going on in the world around him.
Following a transfer from his home in Hawaii to Bayville and to the Xavier Institute, it wasn't too long afterwards that Alex displayed an impressive leadership aptitude. Which Professor Xavier noticed, and it helped Alex to earn a position as the squad's new deputy-captain and to take over the reins from his older brother Scott, the now graduated X-Man known also as Cyclops.
"Well guys, I think I'll volunteer to introduce myself first, and get up in this turkey's chest while I'm at it!" Ray Crisp, the electrifying mutant also known as Berserker suddenly said, as he used his powers to do exactly as he had stated.
Dressed in a dark-silver, black, and red-trimmed uniform, Berserker rushed over and quickly shot a heavily-charged lightning bolt out of both if his hands, as he stood down on the street-level with the Sentinel. His powerful discharge landed dead center in the chest of the Sentinel, which was now standing right above him.
And then, it was on.
The Sentinel immediately retaliated, opening said chest and torso up to reveal a circular shaped pulse tri-cannon within, which it unleashed with destructive results. A spray of ionically-charged stun blasts rained down upon them, scattering Berserker and his fellow X-Men for cover on various sections of this emptied street.
"Since it looks like Trask didn't waste any time after getting sprung from prison picking up where he left off at, I think we should do the same." Havok now said next through his communicator, "Cannonball, Magma, Sunspot, you guys're up next."
With the cue given, Amara Aquilla, the volcanic-inducing Magma used her powers to first change her entire body into her fire-form, right before sending a seismically-induced rift down the middle of the street. A breach was now created in the paved-asphalt, which came to an intentional stop directly underneath the Sentinel, as a surging stream of hot lava suddenly erupted and burgeoned forth. The molten rock shot straight up and washed over the Sentinel completely, scorching the galvanized steel and durable polymer materials that its exterior hull had been constructed from.
The Sentinel struggled to regain its bearings, as it used an onboard foam-coolant apparatus to douse the flames and quell the heat that was seeping into its internal circuitry. Meanwhile, Samuel Guthrie and Roberto da Costa, the rocket-powered Cannonball and the solar-charged Sunspot respectively, now prepared to jump into action next to do their parts in helping to keep this giant robot off-kilter.
"All right buddy, are ya ready?" Cannonball asked Sunspot, as the two young men stood a few yards from one another on the street's sidewalk, after having just watched Magma do her thing.
"Of course!" Sunspot smiled and replied as this teen, whose body was now crackling and currently aglow with the yellow and black solar energies that he absorbed directly from the sun itself, now clasped both of his hands together with his palms facing up and then held them down slightly right in front of himself, "One fastball special coming up!"
"Then, here goes!" Cannonball now announced, as he pulled the brown pilot's goggles, which went with his navy and orange-trimmed outfit, down out of his blonde hair past his forehead and securely fastened them across his face.
Then, he took off sprinting towards Sunspot.
Stepping up with one foot into Sunspot's grasp, Cannonball was immediately thrusted upward and catapulted high up into the air, courtesy of his teammate's augmented super-strength. Now in mid-flight and drawing ever closer with tremendous velocity towards this Sentinel, whose internal threat matrix had yet to notice him since he wasn't using his mutant powers, Cannonball waited until the very last minute possible before igniting his kinetic blast-field. He then propelled himself through the air with the speed of a supersonic jet-plane, literally turning himself into a human missile, which was his intent all along.
As Cannonball forcefully slammed into the center of the Sentinel's chest, hitting it right where Berserker had already landed a good shot of his own, the Sentinel was knocked off-balance and stumbled backwards as a result of the violent impact, falling back into another nearby multi-story building. But despite being on the ropes, the Sentinel remained true to its programming and continued its attack against this group of mutants that it was currently engaged with.
To that end Wolfsbane, who was currently in her full lupine-form, and Multiple, who had just created a small army of identical dupes that were all dressed in dark-green and sage-trimmed uniforms like him, managed to keep the Sentinel's focus occupied. Wolfsbane and Multiple provided the Sentinel with numerous targets to zero in on, as the two of them continued to move to and from on the street and draw the robots repeated laser and energy fire.
"Get ready Iceman." Havok said next into his comm-device before turning towards Lorna Dane, the both visually and literally magnetizing, green-haired X-Man codenamed Polaris, whom was standing right beside him, "It's our turn now."
While Multiple and Wolfsbane were keeping the Sentinel busy down below, Polaris used her power that allowed her to manipulate magnetic fields to transport Havok and herself down onto the street, where they were supposed to be met by Iceman. The plan was for this trio to jump in and finish this fight together by delivering a death-blow to their mechanized foe, hoping to do so before the Sentinel could recover and generate a counter-response to their current stratagem.
But, before Havok and Polaris had the opportunity to touch down onto the street from the roof of the building above, Iceman decided to go ahead and take advantage of the Sentinel's currently debilitated state.
"Bobby, what are you doing! Stick to the plan!" Havok shouted through his comm, as he and Polaris watched Iceman use his ice-slide to hastily rush over towards the Sentinel, which was still stuck in the side of the building behind it.
"I'm gonna get to him before he has the chance to get back up on his feet. Once I ice over that cannon in its chest, it'll be out of commission for good!" Bobby Drake, this frostily-disposed teen in body but certainly not in demeanor who also went by Iceman, replied through his comm.
Iceman was now prepared to charge the Sentinel head-on by himself, not wanting their over-sized opponent to get the opportunity to commence with a fresh, new offensive. And Iceman did as he said once he was there, using his ability to generate frigid temperatures from his own body to freeze-up the Sentinel's circular tri-cannon within its torso, which was indeed the Sentinel's main weapon.
But, certainly not its sole, nor even its most dangerous one.
With the damage done that Magma had done to its main internal processing components now repaired, the Sentinel had been given just enough time to get itself completely back online. And even though its central cannon was now frozen and currently of no use, the Sentinel adjusted both its tactics and approach to its mutant foes. Without warning a huge, long-barreled 33 mm gatling-gun emerged from out of its left arm, as the Sentinel's internal threat matrix reassessed its directive priorities. It now realized that it was facing multiple, dangerous mutant targets, which necessitated and authorized it to use more lethal means in dealing with them.
The Sentinel's first order of business now was to sweepingly spray round-after-round from its heavy-caliber gatling-gun at Iceman, shattering his ice-slide out from underneath him and dropping the icy-mutant down onto the steel hood of a car that had been parked on the street below. Next, a launching bay rose up out of the Sentinel's right shoulder, revealing a small missile battery that it then fired at the remaining mutants all on the street. Luckily, Polaris was able to use her electromagnetic powers and full concentration to magnetically redirect the missiles back at the Sentinel, who was forced to counter by using the gatling-gun in its arm to take out its own offensive measures.
But, stopping these dozen or so missiles had left Polaris extremely taxed and exhausted, as she quickly passed out from the strain of her feat. Instead of sticking with their plan, which called for him to finish off the Sentinel with a powerful, cosmic-energy blast, Havok immediately rushed over to grab hold of an unconscious Polaris securely into his arms, before she fell down onto the hard concrete.
The Sentinel however remained unrelenting, as it continued its maneuvers and used another device in its right arm to shoot out a green, gel-like substance at the X-Men on the ground below it. It first turned this restraining measure on Havok and Polaris, whose powers it had deemed to pose the greatest threat, enveloping them in this substance that quickly hardened into porous crystal to capture them both. Next, the Sentinel used its gatling-gun to scatter and confuse the other X-Men all over the street with another volley, as it then used its right-arm cannon that fired the restrictive gel to target and capture Magma, Berserker, Cannonball, and Sunspot, followed by Iceman, Wolfsbane, and finally Multiple.
With the X-Men beaten, the Sentinel paused to reload its gatling-gun and the onboard missile launchers that had now appeared on both of its shoulders, as it prepared to follow its Prime Directives in regards to mutants who were deemed exceptionally dangerous. By using lethal force to--
These were the words loudly spoken through a loudspeaker, just as the Sentinel was about to finish off its quarry. Words, which came from Professor Charles Xavier himself, who had been observing his X-Men along with the junior-level students' from a protected and window-encased control booth above.
As this street environment in New York City began to fade away, the scenery was quickly replaced by the cold, metallic domed-chamber that was the Danger Room, the underground training area that his X-Men used to run through their various exercises and preparation situations, such as the one they had just been engaged in with this Sentinel. And, one which they had just failed miserably, as the green crystal-like substance also disappeared, releasing the X-Men from their confinements.
"Bobby, what the hell was that!" Were the first words that Havok shouted out, after he and his fellow X-Men were freed, "You were supposed to wait for me and Lorna to get down there and then back us up on my signal, not pull some hot-dog stunt like that!"
"And you'd know all about hot-doggin' it, wouldn't you?" Bobby replied in an equally annoyed tone, "All I was doing was trying to make up for the fact that your whole, stupid plan sucked to begin with. And if you hadn't been so busy drooling over Lorna and setting things up just to impress your girlfriend, by making yourself look like some kinda big-shot instead of the team-newbie, you would've figured that out and come up with a battle-plan that might've actually worked!"
"Alex is not my boyfriend." Lorna sighed and coolly said to everyone in general, but more so to Bobby in particular, as she now stood there in the Danger Room dressed in her lavender and black X-uniform, also feeling fairly irritated herself thanks to this entire situation.
"Could'a fooled me, especially with how he gets all hostile when any other guy gets within five feet of you." Bobby sharply replied to Lorna, which seemed to only aggravate Alex even further.
"No, the only thing that's got me hostile are teammates who're reckless and can't even follow a simple order!" Alex yelled, as he took a few steps over towards Bobby.
"You gotta be kidding me! We all know the only reason you're squad leader is because the Professor, for some reason, thinks you're the second coming of big-brother." Bobby shouted, and did so in a very insulting tone.
"You leave my family out of this Drake, or I swear I'll--" Alex now said, as he curled one of his hands up into a fist.
It was a confrontation that had been slowly building between the two, since Alex had come to stay at the Institute permanently. But, the tension between them had escalated even further, after Alex had been named as the team's new captain shortly thereafter.
"Or you'll what, surfer-boy?" Bobby interrupted and now dared Alex, as he also got into an aggressive stance and the two looked as though they were about to come to blows.
But, just as some of their teammates' were about to jump in and separate the two…
"Or, you both will settle down this instant!" Professor Xavier angrily interjected himself, as the huge blast doors to the Danger Room had just slid open to allow him access to wheel inside.
Which caught everyone in there slightly off-guard, as it was a rarity for the X-Men to ever hear Professor Xavier raise his voice in such a manner.
"Professor, he started it. You saw him out there and how he was acting." Alex now turned and said to Professor X.
"What I did see, was the fact that all of you failed in achieving your training objective, which is disappointing considering that you should have easily beaten today's exercise. Had this been a real-life situation, and not in a simulated environment, none of us would even be having this conversation right now. Rather, I would now be in my study looking up the names and phone numbers of your parents', so that I could inform them that all of you had been killed fighting this Sentinel." Professor Xavier now calmly said to the entire team, doing so in a tenor that unapologetically brought home this sobering fact to his X-Men. He wanted his statement to illustrate to them just how crucial he considered these exercises to be, which he had them constantly running down here in the Danger Room.
Then, Professor X turned his attention towards Alex, and to Bobby specifically.
"And, I would think you two especially to be of a mind to set a better example for those younger students watching you." Professor Xavier continued, as he sat there dressed in an outfit consisting of a black blazer and slacks, which he wore with a white turtleneck sweater underneath, and now motioned up towards the control booth above, "I have made Alex this squad's deputy-leader. And as such, you need to respect the fact that he is in charge of this team during mission exercises, Robert."
"So, what you're saying is I should just mindlessly march along with his orders, even though I know they're all wrong?" Bobby now shook his head and questioningly responded to his Headmaster.
"Of course not. But, what I do expect of you is to use appropriate judgment, and to know when it is the proper time and place to air any grievances you may have with team-protocol or with any battle strategies. And, not to senselessly endanger your teammates' safety, their very lives', whether it's during a training session or in the middle of a mission." Professor Xavier sat in his wheelchair and looked up at Bobby to scoldingly reply to his inquiry.
"Whatever, I can see exactly where this is going!" Bobby shouted, as he felt that this was an argument that he wasn't going to win, and was now furious over everything that had happened, "I'm outta here!"
Bobby then walked right past Professor Xavier and out of the Danger Room, leaving him and his teammates' behind without saying another word. But, what Bobby had failed to realize was that someone winning or losing this debate wasn't the point that the Professor had been trying to make to him in the first place.
Much later that evening, enough time should have passed by then that those tempers, which had flared down in the Danger Room during the team's after-school training session, would have been sufficiently cooled off by now.
Well, for the most part anyways.
Angelica Jones, herself being one of the newest additions to the Xavier Institute, was just now beginning to get a handle on the fact that she was a mutant, after having discovered that new reality in a most dramatic fashion very recently. Having had to move from her home in New Jersey to not only a new school and to new classmates' here in Bayville, but also having to adjust to this entirely new life as an apparent X-Man-in-training, Angelica thought that she was coping and dealing with these changes fairly maturely, all things considered.
But, as she walked from the library down one of the mansion's seemingly infinite set of hallway corridors, following a number of footsteps behind her fellow junior-squad teammates' Everett Thomas and Paige Guthrie, Angelica soon passed by one of the windows where something outside, actually where someone outside, managed to catch her attention from just out of the corner of her eye. A someone out there, who was having a bit more difficulty at the moment in dealing with his frustrations in a mature manner.
As Angelica went to a nearby doorway to exit from the mansion and come out into its beautiful and carefully maintained garden, she saw that Bobby was out there still wearing his ice and dark-blue X-uniform. Angelica also observed that Bobby had obviously been very busy, seeing as he had been out here in the garden ever since he had stormed out of the Danger Room earlier in the afternoon.
Bobby had been out here using his ice-powers to create a frozen baseball bat in his right hand, which he then used to take swings at ice-baseballs, also of his creation, aiming them at an ice-statue that had been erected in the garden's central area. The statue itself bore a striking resemblance to Alex Summers and was a very unflattering ice-sculpture effigy that Bobby had fashioned of him, one which depicted the younger Summers' brother standing there in his uniform with his index-finger stuck up his nose. But, the result from all of Bobby's afternoon activities was that most of the garden was now covered in snow, ice, and a melting slush that was a mixture composed of the two.
"…what I oughta do is take this 'n go back inside, and slap surfer-boy upside his fat-head with it!" Bobby muttered to himself, as he stood there with the large ice-bat hanging down by his side in his hand. Bobby now stared up at the statue, which had small pockmarks all over it where his ice-baseballs had hit it, most notably on its face and on other, more unmentionable, regions.
"Um, that's probably not such a good idea." A new, and unexpected voice, now came up and said to Bobby from behind.
"Huh?" Bobby asked aloud, as he turned around to see this redheaded-teen walking towards him, whom he instantly recognized as that new girl Angelica.
And who, unlike him, had changed out of her uniform and was now dressed in a pink and white-striped blouse that had the sleeves rolled-up, along with a pair of loose fitting jeans.
"I don't think the Professor'll appreciate you taking that bat inside, and committing random acts of violence inside of his home with it." Angelica jokingly remarked to Bobby, as she continued slowly sauntering over towards him.
"Oh, you can believe there won't be anything random about it, I know exactly who I'm gonna go in and use it on!" Bobby replied, his tone revealing that he was still very steamed over what had happened between him and Alex earlier in the afternoon.
Which was something unexpected, given that Bobby most of the time usually displayed a humorous and fairly laid-back, devil-may-care attitude. Plus the fact that if anyone should be able to cool off quickly, it would be an individual who could easily freeze objects without giving it a second thought.
"Still, you're already in enough hot-water, which probably wouldn't good for a guy like you anyways." Angelica playfully ribbed him, referring to the noticeable mutant attributes that had been bestowed upon him, "And if he sees it, I really don't think Professor Xavier's gonna appreciate you redecorating his garden like this, by turning it into a winter-wonderland in the middle of spring without his permission."
Angelica then closed her eyes and mentally prepared herself to use her own mutant powers, which had earned her the codename of Firestar thanks to the microwave energies that her own body naturally produced and manipulated. And even though she was still had a ways to go in learning to control this tremendous power that coursed through and around her, which gave her an almost aural appearance when she consciously activated them, Firestar was at least now proficient enough with her mutant abilities to use them fairly effectively at their lowest levels.
"What're you doing?" Bobby now asked Angelica, as he had finally managed to calm himself down and was somewhat curious about this girl, who had come outside to interrupt his private venting session.
"Just my specialty." Angelica replied, as she turned back towards him with a huge, giggly smile across her face, "I guess you could say I kinda have a knack for ruining ice-sculptures. But, at least this time it's on purpose."
Angelica then turned back around and continued to use her powers to melt the statue and the surrounding ice that covered the garden's tall bushes, flowers, and other assorted foliage, along with the icy sludge that was on the ground. She proceeded to slowly thaw out the entire garden as though she were offering nature itself a gentle, helping hand in undoing Bobby's handiwork out here.
"You don't have to do that." Bobby now said, as the ice-bat in his hand was also slowly starting to melt as a result of the heat that Angelica was throwing off, and he decided to set it down on the ground and let it finish its conversion back into its liquid state.
"I know. It's just that I didn't want to see you get into anymore trouble, especially after the way you already flipped out in front of the Professor down in the Danger Room today." Angelica replied, as the ground and concrete was becoming greatly saturated from the water that was now freely flowing down around their feet.
"You'd flip out too, if you were me. I mean, Alex didn't even want to be an X-Man, and here I had to literally beg the Professor just to let me go on some of those missions with the old team." Bobby began to explain, revealing some of the reasons behind his frustrations, which he had been bottling up inside and was now talking about for the first time with anyone, "But, all he has to do is pull a total 180, waltz in here and…bamm! Professor Xavier puts another Summers' in charge and has him running the show."
"You mean instead of you?" Angelica rather bluntly stated to Bobby, as she continued focusing on her task at hand.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Bobby now inquired of her.
"What I mean, is you thought you should've been made squad leader instead of Alex?" Angelica clarified for Bobby, as she had picked up an the under-running sense of jealousy emanating from him, "That's why you're really mad at Alex, because the Professor picked him over you?"
"No, I didn't even want to be captain." Bobby responded, although her assertion immediately began to sink in on him, if only just a little, "But, if I did, I could probably do a better job than him. I mean, we were the ones left here sticking it out when things got really tough, after the rest of the world found out about us being mutants, while he was living it up on a sunny beach somewhere. It's just not fair to any of us!"
"Hate to break it to you, but Professor Xavier didn't pick Alex over you because of whoever his brother is." Angelica unabashedly told Bobby, despite the fact that she'd actually yet to meet Alex's brother and had only heard through second-hand rumors about him and his, now almost legendary, exploits with the other graduate X-Men.
"Really? Well, why don't you go ahead and inform me then?" Bobby sarcastically invited her to continue.
"It's because no one really takes you seriously, usually not most of the time anyways. All people ever expect from you is for you to pull some kinda dumb prank or practical joke, like going in and freezing over the shower in the boys' locker room." Angelica said, referring to one of the recurring activities, besides garden decorator, that she'd repeatedly seen Bobby engaging in during her time at the school thus far.
"So, you think you've got me completely figured out in just, what, the whole month you've been living here?" Bobby skeptically questioned Angelica, his tone now relaying a bit of resentment towards her regarding what she had just said about him.
"I didn't say it to be mean or anything, I was only trying to be honest with you." Angelica told Bobby, as she had just finished melting all of the ice that he had created in the garden, and now proceeded to take a few steps towards him, "But, since I am being honest with you, I guess I should tell you something else."
"What, that my breath totally reeks, on top of the fact you think I'm some kinda slacker, goof-off loser?" Bobby snidely asked of her, as he folded his arms over in front of himself.
"No, but it is about all that stuff I just told you." Angelica replied, as she powered herself down and the glowing microwave aura that had surrounded her body now dissipated.
"Yeah?" Bobby said, waiting for her to say something else that pointed out another one of his flaws or inadequacies.
"Well, I do think it's mostly true. But, what I didn't say is I also think you maybe could be just as good of a leader as Alex. Or maybe even his brother, if you wanted to and really, really, worked hard at it." Angelica explained to him.
"You're not just saying that, so I won't run off to my room crying over getting my feelings stomped on by the new girl, are you?" Bobby finally smiled and said to her, as his sense of humor was showing flashing signs of now making a rapid recovery.
"Like I said, I've been honest with you so far, so why would I start lying to you now?" Angelica said to him, as she came even closer to Bobby and was now standing just a couple of feet away from him in the middle of the garden, "I mean, I've been watching you pretty closely, and I meant every single word I said."
"Sooo, you've been watching me closely, huh?" Bobby now slowly articulated, as a smirk came to his face after hearing Angelica's last statement.
"Yeah, well I…um…" Was all that Angelica managed to stumble and get out, as she began to blush profusely and her entire face turned red once she realized what Bobby was getting at, after he heard her slip of the tongue regarding the apparent interest that she had taken in him.
Finding herself in a strange and awkwardly uneasy situation like this with a guy, and an older one at that, for the first time in her life, Angelica simply flashed Bobby a quick and brief glance before she quickly spun back around and left the garden. Angelica hurried back inside to the mansion, and to the sanctuary of her bedroom upstairs, now feeling slightly embarrassed at having accidentally revealed her slowly budding and secret crush to the very object of her growing affections.
Meanwhile Bobby remained outside, as the sun was just now beginning its descent into the partially-cloudy horizon behind him. And like Angelica, he too felt a strange and new sensation within him. It was the kind of feeling that one experiences upon the realization that another person actually believes in you, and in the potential of your talents, even though you currently may not.
It was also in knowing that this other person thinks that you are capable of achieving things, which you had previously never even considered to be possible. And while it may not necessarily have anything to do with even possessing a desire to lead anyone, it could still promote a tremendous sense of inspiration as a result of this awareness that, maybe, you really could accomplish something of great significance in your life.
Or that she could, at the very least, motivate him to want to try…
Next chapter: Wolverine. Sunfire. Boys' Night Out!