New X-Men Academy X: The Slingers

Chapter 8: Shadow Hopping; the Nightlocks pt.2

Next Morning

Back on the X-Jet

The two teens had been brought back by the two X-Men and were now currently sitting in the passenger seats. The two adults were standing before them; Scott in a serious stance while Logan's was much more laid back as he was leaning on the wall of the X-Jet with his arms crossed. So far the kids had explained that Ian was in fact a teleported… and was currently working with the wrong crowd.

But Laura wasn't too convinced by this, as she spoke on the teleported behalf, "I think he's with them because he believes he has nowhere else to go."

"There's always somewhere to belong," Scott insisted, his stern attitude never wavering, "If he's really using his powers in the usage of gangs…"

"He isn't!" Laura shouted, something that clearly was out of her character, as Zak nearly fell out of his seat from the outburst. She cleared her throat out as she explained, "I know he believes he has no choice but to be with them. It was the same when I…"

"What she's trying to say is that she's got experience when it comes to not having choices, Specks," Logan butted in, making sure Laura didn't have to dwell back to her past again. "She nearly lived out her entire childhood having others order and force her to do their choice instead of allowing her to make her own."

"So now that we found him, how do we get him out of there?" Zak asked out, snapping his fingers, with every snap causing a spark or two to go off, like a lighter.

"And next to when we do talk him out of there, what do we tell his mom and brother?" Zak asked, breaking the ice, "Hi, Miss Garnett. We found Ian, but we've got good news and bad news. The bad news is that your son's hanging around a bunch of mutant-powered gang delinquents in what appears… or smells… to be the sewers. But the good news is, he doesn't have to use the bus anymore, nor does he have to save up for a car. S'matter of fact: he's his own means of transportation."

"We'll worry about what to do later," Cyclops replied, but turned to Laura. "Do you remember anything about the place the Nightlocks had taken you to?"

"It was underground, the brick and metal were old and rusted, covered with dirt and appeared to have been abandoned for some time," Laura analyzed in great detail. "It appeared to be an abandoned subway station, judging from the appearance."

"Anything else," Logan asked further.

Zak nodded, "That, and it smelled like it could use a gallon of air freshener. Maybe twenty gallons." At that last comment, everyone just looked at him like he had just done something wrong. Each one of them giving him a glare of sorts; he wasn't fazed by it, as he shrugged, "Oh, and there was this sign up at the entrance to the place. M-I, I believe were the initials, as well as a downed monorail of sorts to where we last saw, rusting peacefully on tracks."

"Then it could be a subway terminal," Scott deduced, as he and Logan turned away from the two teenagers to talk privately, "We could start our search there."

"And where, exactly, do we start searching?" Logan butted in, "There's probably dozens of them in Chicago that're abandoned. It take a while just to sort out all the smells. On top of all that, there are probably other stations with the initials M-I. you think we've got enough time to look through all of them?"

"Maybe Laura and Zak might know something more," Scott deduced, as he turned to where the teens were. "Was there anything else you…" but stopped as they saw that their seats were empty… and that the X-Jet door was left opened. The leader of the X-Men sighed as he groaned, "Great. Now we have to find those two as well."

Logan just groaned as he rubbed his temples with a headache coming on, "This is why I don't bring children on missions."

Back in Nightlocks Haven

The other Nightlocks weren't present, but Blade was, as he was snoozing on an old ratty mattress. He was sprawled about, drooling at the side of his mouth like he was catatonic, and snoring loudly. In truth, this wasn't much of his finest moments. And it was being witnessed by his whole crew, whom were looking at him in an embarrassed study of gaze, while their leader, Radar, looked at him fed up. He kicked at the mattress, stirring his teammate a bit, as he spoke calmly but aggravated, "Get up, Blade."

The energy-weapon user grumbled in his sleep, turning to his side, "Just thirty more minutes, 'kay, Mommy."

Brickhouse sweat dropped at that, commenting, "Okay. I did not wanna hear that."

Radar threw it as he shouted, "GET UP!" and grabbed the mattress, pulling it up as he tossed Blade aside, waking him up, as he gave his attention to him, growling, "I won't ask you again."

"You're tense, Radar," Blade commented, with an insane smirk as he stood up, "Lemme give you a hug." however, all he got was a glare from his leader, with his yellow eyes glowing from behind his sunglasses. The Asian mutant gulped as he looked away, nervously chuckling, "Or maybe not."

"Hey," Raven spoke up, getting the attention of the others, as she looked around, "Where's Dusk?"

In the Men's Room

Ian Garnett, or Dusk as he was given the name by his new friends, was currently hunched over by one of the broken mirrors at the sinks. He grasped at the sides, gripping strongly, as he was making silent grunting sounds, as if he was trying to rip the sink off the wall's bolts. His three eyes were focused hard, squinting in frustration as he was hard in focus. He had asked Blade earlier on how he did what he could do, turning his power on and off. All he got was a response saying he had it made, which was obvious he was of no help. But Raven was much more understanding, saying that it was like flicking a switch on and off inside their head. So now… all he was doing at the moment, was concentrating on flipping the switch off.

"C'mon, Ian. Focus," he told himself in a strained tone, concentrating as hard as he could. Looking at himself in the mirror, he acted like he was forcing blood to go back into his head, trying to think of a switch.

But all he seemed to think of was how he looked like back then before his powers awoken. Then, as if time was reversing, the violet gems on his body began to sink back into the black body, and the shadows that made up Dusk's current body receded back inside, as Ian Garnett was restored back to his human form.

Ian's smile couldn't have been wider, as he nearly jumped back and up for joy at this, "Yes! I did it! I'm normal again!"

"You may be normal, but do you feel like you could ever belong," Radar asked, startling the happy boy as he turned around, nearly coming face to face with him.

Ian shook his head as he as almost about to step out of the place, "Look. I appreciate you hiding me and all. But I've gotta go home. My family…"

"Will never accept you when they find out you're a mutant," Radar shot out calmly, but halting the boy in his tracks. Knowing that he had struck the nerve that needed to be hit in order for the boy to stay, he decided to push it farther. "Think about it: on the news, you saw how most of our kind gets shunned by public schools, public itself… even their own families disowned them all. Looking at their children gone homo-superior like they were monsters." He reached out and placed his hand on his shoulder, getting to look up at him eye-to-eye. "Normal people can never understand us, and they never will. But we can, Ian. We're your new family now."

Ian allowed that information to sink in unhesitant, knowing full well what the boy in front of him spoke was the truth. The dark skinned boy sighed, his face dared to scrunch in sadness and agony. Though he lowered his gaze, doing his best to hide it, as he resigned to his newest fate.

Later that Night

Deep in the tunnels that ran under the city something moved along the darkness. It came to an old hole in the wall, it had once been one of the openings for the home of homeless people or at least it had. Now the tunnels were named the Den, once the Nightlocks had moved in. from what rumors had been told by the homeless that left, it was an unused area, now that they had a new member being a teleporter. And now, it was the quickest and less-noticeable way for two members of the X-Men to sneak in without giving away their location.

Both Scott and Logan, or rather Cyclops and Wolverine, were both suited up and ready for the worse. Scott was in a full body black suit with armored pieces on his shoulders, boots, and hips, while on his chest was a yellow X that reached to his shoulders and the end of his ribs, as it was the same on his back. His hair was exposed, but his black and ruby quartz visor was in place, with the dial on the left side should he need to fire. Logan wore his newest uniform: like Scott's it was all black, but had traces of yellow on it. His biceps were exposed, with two yellow claw marks on the shoulder sleeves, and two black gloves that went to his elbows, and on the knuckles were three metal slits for his claws to get through. His boots were black with yellow claw mark straps on the sides, with his pants being yellow spandex and with two claw marks on the sides of his quads. His mask was down and hanging on the back like a hood as he didn't have need for it right now. For now, all they were trying to do was find the hideout of the Nightlocks, and get Ian Williams out of there.

"I'll say one thing about the sewers here in Illinois," Wolverine commented as he took a sniff around, and back to Scott, "They're a whole lot better smelling than the ones back in New York."

Scott sighed in calm aggravation, as he retorted, "Logan, is this really the time to compare smells?"

Logan merely shrugged to the side as he commented, "Just pointin' out the comparison, Bub."

The two continued to make their way through the passage, unaware that a pair of new eyes, above them was watching their every move. And as the eyes moved to watch their movement, the figure opened his mouth, which split down their lower jaw, making them appear to be mandibles of sorts. And as the mouth opened,

Not Far

Carefully making their way down the stairwell, leading to the Nightlocks' home, were Zak and Laura, with Laura leading the way. Before Cyclops and Wolverine had left, Scott had ordered the two stowaway teens, well one stowaway, to stay on the X-Jet until they got Ian back. However, Zak was a bit on the impatient side and was about to get away, before Laura stopped him from leaving like that. Luckily, he had a backup plan and had convinced Laura to join up with him. Not that in the sense that once they found him, she could convince him to come with them, which she had zero experience in convincing someone to do what she wanted peacefully. Instead, he'd bring her along to make sure he didn't do anything stupid, and in the process, he did the same for her. That way they'd both get out of the situation in one piece.

As they made their way down the stairs with ease, Zak commented, as he nearly gagged, "I was right: this place does need a gallon of air freshener." He then looked to Laura, and asked casually, "I'm amazed that you haven't passed out from the smell. Given that you've got a more sensitive nose and a stronger sense of smell."

Laura stopped for a moment, and hunched over, silently gagging as she covered her mouth. Zak cocked an eyebrow and half-smirked as he awkwardly chuckled, "Guess you can get sick sometimes."

"This smell… is… barely tolerable," Laura commented wealky, doing her best to restore her steely composure, "It's any wonder how those Nightlocks stand to being in such a place."

It was then that Zak sighed as they both continued downward, "Because there's nowhere else for them. No family, no friends, no place where they feel they could fit in."

"It sounds like you have experience in such a thing," Laura asked.

"I do," Zak commented.

Laura looked to him and then back in front of her to keep on going. But as they continued to go down the stairs undetected, she could only guess what he had gone through. Despite his scoundrel attitude and self-charming personality, he had gone through nearly a childhood of training, isolation, as well as torture from possible handlers. It was only after his escape, his only refuge were places like this. No one would ever suspect of him to hide in places such dark and forgotten. So in a way, Zak was perhaps one of out of the two of them that understood why the Nightlocks were hiding down here in the first pace. And why Ian was hiding as well.

Once they reached the bottom of the stairwell, they crouched behind a corner to survey the area. Sure enough, it was where they were taken and where Radar was trying to recruit them into his little 'family'. And sure enough, their family was snoozing soundly in various areas, as the former Weapon X subjects were sneaking in, using their training to their advantage. Once Laura snuck behind a pillar, and Zak behind a worn out couch, they spotted the target: Ian. He was currently sitting up, curled up with his forehead resting on his arms, which were resting on his knees.

Ian was half awake and half asleep at the moment, sitting in misery at his situation, until he heard light footsteps coming towards him. Sighing, knowing full well it could have been Blade to tease him in his crazy attitude, he groaned, "Blade I'm not in the mood for your jokes or gags at this point."

"What about a proposal for a new home transfer," Zak asked, startling the new mutant.

Ian looked up, and saw both the new mutants he had ported for Radar to 'recruit', and was startled to see them. Fully awake and bug eyed, the startled black teen nearly got up as he gasped, "You two? But I thought… How did… ?"

"I tracked you by scent," Laura answered, tapping her nose, as Williams was just confused by this.

Zak knelt down next to Ian as he smirked, "Heightened senses. And no, she's not a werewolf." He then thumbed towards the exit, nodding, "Now come on, we're getting you home."

Ian nearly got up, but remembered what Radar had told him. Realizing the truth, he slunked back down, earning a few stares of confusion to the two X-students, as he stuttered a reply, and shamefully looking away from the two, "I… I can't. Radar was right: no one could ever accept me, and I can't go back to my family. Not the way I am now."

"You don't belong here, Ian," Zak insisted, being serious in this discussion, "You say you're staying here, but I can read it all plain on your face. You don't wanna stay down here, and I know you miss your family. If anything, we could take you to a school that you can learn to control your powers. Like we're learning how to." Seeing him not flinch at this, he then concluded, "And what about your family? You're just gonna leave them without even saying at least goodbye, let alone why you left? Your mom misses you, probably your brother too."

"Look at me; I'm a freak," Ian shot out, looking at both Zak and Laura with a hinted anger in his tone, until he looked away in shame, "And where I am right now, I'm not even sure I'll stay looking like this. I mean, I was barely able to switch it off; who knows when I won't be able to and be stuck like that panther-looking demon thing forever. My mom and bro, Conroy don't need to deal with that."

It was then that Laura spoke her say in this, firmly looking at him, as she pulled him to look at her and Zak, "Just becase this Radar says that, doesn't mean you have to believe him. To your mother and brother, you'll always be Ian Williams." Seeing his attention, she allowed her softer side to appear, as she pleaded him, "Don't do this to them. Your mother thought you left because of her…"

But suddenly, she was grabbed from behind by Brickhouse, who held her in a crushing bear hug. "You picked the wrong place to sneak in, Tiny," Brickhouse growled under her breath, as Laura was struggling to get free, let alone to breathe.

Zak shot up to his feet, as his eyes were ablaze, with tightened fists lighting up with flame. But two blue energy schimitars to his neck halted his advance, as Blade chuckled, "Nah-ah-ah! For once in my life, I'd love to watch ol' Brickhouse do her thang. The thing when she squeezes the life outta someone, just before she splits them in two horizontally."

"You're a sick fellah," Zak commented, powering down as he sighed, "I bet a psychiatrist had a field day analyzing you once."

"I'm pretty sure they did," Radar spoke up, walking in with Raven behind her, dragging something.

Or rather… somebody.

Being nearly cocooned in her wings, were Cyclops and Wolverine, both unconscious but stirring awake at the moment. Both Zak and Laura looked terrified at this, but tehn had their attentions turned to Radar, as Raven through the two down on the ground. "I would've expected a rescue mission from these two," he sighed, rather disappointed by this, and then to the two, "But not you guys."

"You're a horrible person, Radar," Laura shot out.

"I'm a realist, Laura," Radar replied, but then looked serious, "Like I said, up there they call us monsters, freaks, atrocities. I'm offering sanctuary from all that." He then asked the two, "So what about you two? Did you take my proposal to thought? Are you both in… or out?"

Brickhouse and Blade threw both of them on the ground, almost close to Radar's feet. As they got up, they looked to Radar, each with a defiant look in their eyes, and Zak shot out, pointing to Laura, "She might talk as much, but I speak for the both of us as our answer is this: it's you whose out. Out of your freakin' mind!"

"Wrong answer," the Nightlock leader replied, as his jaw split down and moved like mandibles.

His throat looked appeared to be some sort of organic bio-stereo amplifier. And then, he screamed, sending out humongous shockwaves, sending the two flying across the room, smashing them into the wall. The sound waves became more intense the more Radar screamed his shockwaves at the two, smashing them further into the wall. The two mutants could barely hold conscious any longer, util finally, their eyes rolled to the back of their heads, as they passed out.

With the sound waves doing the trick, Radar stopped, as the two teens fell to the floor, unconscious and out cold. Ian, who was looking horror as he stood up, nearly rushed at Radar, until Brickhouse got in his way, blockading him. "What the hell?" Ian shouted, pointing to all four of them, "Are you nuts? Those two are mutants! Like us!"

"They made their decision to stand against us," the leader replied, as his jaw returned to normal.

Ian then pointed at the two downed X-Men, "And you attacked two of the X-Men! There's more of them, and as soon as they find out about it, they'll send the others to save them!"

"Then we'll beat them all, just the five of us," Radar defended, as Blade dragged Zak and Laura, throwing them to Cyclops and Wolverine, as Radar pointed out, "We have the advantage down here; we know this place better than anyone. And we've got you, Dusk. You can port us anywhere anytime; even if they've got telepaths, they won't see you coming in time."

As Ian calmed down a bit, Raven, who was a bit weary at the moment, looked to the four knocked out mutants, and asked timidly, "So, um… what are we gonna do with them?"

Radar smirked evilly, as Ian felt an icky feeling in the pit of his stomach, as he answered, "Take a wild guess."

An Hour Later

As their vision was clearing up as they were regaining consciousness, the four residents of the Xavier Institute were waking up, they realized where they were hanging from. All four of them were chained up, hanging upside down, but that wasn't the worst of it. What was really worse, was what they were hanging above from. Standing on one end of the tunnel, the five Nightlocks were watching the four with mixed feelings; Raven and Dusk both being uneasy about it, while Brickhouse, Blade, and Radar seemed content with what was gonna happen. There, running from one end of a sewage tunnel, was a river of toxic waste, bubbling and sizzling, as they saw a can being kicked in by Blade. Once it hit the water, it sizzled and melted before them. None of them could guess that this was a time of panic.

"Oh great," Zak sighed, being sarcastic, "I was hoping my life would end in a vat of corrosive waste."

"You guys should have agreed to join us," Radar pointed out, crossing his arms as he sighed, "But you guys became a major disappointment. All that power, and no wills to use them against the cavemen above us. What a waste."

"Glad to know you think that," Zak shot out.

Radar looked to Blade, who morphed his right arm into a harpoon gun, taking aim of the chian holding the X-Men up. But before he fired at it, Radar stopped him from doing so, "Wait, Blade. Hold on." He then turned his gaze towards Ian, as he smirked, "Let the New Guy do it."

Ian was nearly taken aback by that, almost horrified by that suggesting. Even as Logan shouted, "Do you always let the new guy do your dirty work, Bub?"

"I think of it as his initiation," Radar commented, and looked back to Ian, "C'mon, Dusk. Show me you've got what it takes to be one of us."

"Ian! Don't do this," Cyclops replied. "He doesn't care about what you're going through! He's just using you!"

"Dusk, do it now before they threaten our very existence with their foolish false promise of equality between humans and mutants," Radar pushed on.

"He's the fool, Ian," Laura shouted. "You have a choice, Ian. You don't have to follow his way of thinking!"

"Yes, you do, Dusk," Radar warned, his jaw splitting to nearly shriek at Ian should he betray them all.

"Don't listen to him, Ian," Zak shouted. "Think about your life! Think about your family!"

Ian stood there, sweating as the several choices were nearly splitting his head open. On one hand, he could stay in the sewers with the Nightlocks, never feeling accepted back to his home, living like a thief skulking around in the sewers like an outsider. Or he could go with these people, who risked coming down here, heavily outnumbered and outmatched by these guys. But then again, what if what these X-Men were telling the truth? About helping him? And about his family?

"DO IT!" Radar shouted, getting fed up with all the distractions.

Ian shut his eyes tightly, as he was trying to come up with an answer. Finally, his eyes opened, as he looked at the two X-Men and teens now, with shadows forming over his body, as he was now transformed into his Stealth Beast Mode. "Past time I did the right thing," Ian, or Dusk, had replied.

He lifted his right hand above the four, creating a black hole on the chain, slicing it in half. The chain cut as the four were sent flying down into the toxic waste. But before they hit the sludge water, Ian hindleg ran towards them, shooting up both his hands, as another Black hole gate opened in front of him, and under the four mutants. Both fell into the holes as they closed up, leaving four Nightlocks stunned by this action, and a rather steaming up Nightlock leader.

Back in the Nightlocks' lair, a big Black Hole portal opened up on the ceiling, allowing the five mutants to go crashing on the floor in a heap. Ian got up as Logan shot his claws out, slicing through the metal chains, as they looked at Ian, who nodded, "I'll side with you guys. Besides… I don't hurt people like they do."

Freed from the chains and getting up, Logan grunted, "Good enough." it was then they heard running footsteps marching down the stairs. Both Cyclops and Logan got into battle positions as Wolverine growled, "They wanna go, then let's…"

"No, wait," Ian pleaded, stopping the two, "They have the advantage down here."

"He's right, we gotta get out of here," Zak agreed, looking around for a way out. It was then that he spotted the subway car still on the tracks, and the tracks not even blocked or buried at all. He smirked, "And that's our way out of here."

Not wanting to argue with the kids, Cyclops nodded, "Agreed. Come on!"

All five then bolted, with a grumpy Logan following after them, as they all hopped on board the downed car. Once inside, Scott ran for the controls, trying to see if he could turn it on somehow, but to no avail. He looked to the others as he stated the obvious, "There's no power or fuel available. We can't move."

"Yes we can," Zak pointed out as he ran to the end of the car. He opened the door as he stood on the back railway, as he took a stance to hold himself steady on ground. He then balled up his fists, bringing them upward, as he looked behind to the others, "Hang on!"

His fists then lit on fire, and then he shot them forward, as they roared out with tremendous fire, acting like jet engines. The blast gave the car mobilization, as it was propelled forward, going slow as it moved on the car with no problems. Then finally, it started to speed up as the car was starting to go deep into the tunnel.

The Nightlocks reached the edge of the tracks, as they all saw the car disappearing at jet speed. Radar snarled as he shouted, "Nightlocks! Get them!"

Blade transformed his right hand into a hook, and shot it forward as it stretched into a cable. Brickhouse grabbed on to him, as the two were pulled along with the track, like they were riding on skis. Raven flew overhead, grabbing Radar's hands as they took off after the other two.

Deep in the Tunnel

The car was going fast along the rails, carrying the five mutants as they were making their escape. The flaming jets that Zak was firing up propelled the car forward, but not powerful enough to push it or run it off the rails. For the others, they were holding on for dear life in order to make sure they didn't get thrown off the tracks. Cyclops did his best to steer with such a tremendous force pushing them all. It was all now a race to get back to the surface.

"SO!" Ian shouted as he reverted back to human form, "WHERE ARE WE GOING?"

"ANYWHERE BUT HERE, BUB!" Logan shouted above the speed they were going.

Zak did his best to keep up the speed he was shooting out of his flames and making sure he didn't go overboard. He was in such hard concentration, that he didn't notice two blurs going over his head. While inside, they heard the straining of metal being pulled apart, as they all looked above them. They saw Brickhouse and Blade as they both hopped down, with Brickhouse at the ready, and Blade creating two energy blades from his hands, preparing for battle as they charged at the X-Men.

Logan and Laura, both shot their claws out, and charged at the two. Laura went for Brickhouse as Logan charged at Blade, as the four went on an all-out brawl. Laura attempted to claw and try to disable the female muscle, but she was much more durable, as her adamantium claws couldn't penetrate her vein-covered body. Laura slashed at her double, and then brought up a roundhouse kick, bringing out her foot claw, attempting to slash at her face,. But then Brickhouse grabbed her ankle, hanging her upside down. Then, she applied pressure to Laura's ankle, as she cried out in agony.

Brickhouse huffed in disgust, "You're so weak. You don't have what it takes to be one of us."

Laura, even though she was in pain, yelled out, "Whoever said I wanted to be one of you!" and then brought up her other foot claw, kicking Brickhouse in the face as her glasses were shattered and slashed.

Brickhouse's grip was gone as Laura broke free, sheathing her claws back in. As the powerhouse mutant stumbled, Laura charged forward, delivering a barrage of punches to her. Even though she couldn't damage her, she was pushing her towards the side door. Finally, she kicked her to it, as it dented with Brickhouse gaining her sight back. Once that was done, she saw the X-Man, Cyclops, charging up his visor, and shot at her a crimson beam. It hit her directly, causing the door to smash open and sent her flying out behind.

Logan was blocking Blade's slashes as his arms were getting cut up as Blade taunted, "He slices, dices, and purees his victims to ribbons! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Logan grunted as he snarled, "Kid, you picked the wrong beast to mess with!"

He then slashed at the blades, shattering them as the young Nightlock looked in horrified surprise. The X-Man sheathed his right claws out, as he delivered a punch to Blade's right side of his face, nearly taking his head off as he produced a shield to block the Adamantium claws. Logan slashed at the shield, making claw marks in them, but didn't notice what Blade was up to next, as he formed a shotgun barrel. He fired a shot into Logan's side through a hole in the shield. The mutant staggered a bit, as his healing factor was closing up the hole as fast as it could.

But Blade formed a pair of springs on his feet, and a scythe in his hands, as he smirked, "Time to celebrate the Day of the Dead! AHAHAHAHA! OFF WITH HIS HEAD!" and sprung up at Wolverine to slice him in half.

Ian saw the attack and shot out, "My turn." He brought his hands out, creating a portal in front of Logan, but only allowing Blade to go through as it closed back up.

Outside in front of Zak, who was a bit confused, a portal opened as Blade was thorwn out, rolling on the tracks. As he stopped, he sat up, chuckling dizzily, "Wild…" and then fell back down, knocked out cold as the car disappeared into the darkness.

Back on the car, the others were taking a breather from the battle, glad to know that they got out of it. But it was short lived, as a humongous blast of sound pushed them to the ground. The three were pinned to the ground, as Scott saw and got off the controls, as he aimed for the roof, knowing full well the target was up there. But suddenly, a second blast wave was shot through, knocking him into the controls. Hopping out from the hole in the roof, in front of the knocked out mutants, was Radar, with his mandibles clicking, and lifting up both his hands, which now had slits revealing booming bio-amplifier stereo mouths.

"You didn't think my mouth was the only boom box that could shoot out sounds, did you?" he asked, and then shot another sound wave, sending the three into Scott, as the sounds became more intensified. "It didn't have to be this way, Ian," Radar shook his head, "We could have used you with the Nightlocks. Including you and Wildfire, Laura. We could make this town ours with all us working together. So why attack your own kind?"

Laura snarled, "I'm not like you! I may have killed people, but I didn't enjoy it!"

"And I don't enjoy hurting people like you do," Ian shot out, as he looked to the others, "I'd rather be with them than stick around with you!"

Radar snarled, as he shrieked even louder, as he shouted, "You're all a major disappointment! For that, I'm sending you all on a one-way ticket to oblivion!"

Mustering enough strength as he could, Scott reached for his control, and shot out a crimson beam at Radar's throat. Gagging and choking, Radar clutched his throat, coughing out from lack of air. With that done, Zak who could only watch, stopped what he did, and then turned around at Radar, shouting, "Get off right now!" and then he snapped his fingers.


An explosion shot out from under Radar's feet, sending him flying out the car's ceiling, with him screaming out loud. He fell behind the still moving car, skidding on the ground as he disappeared into the darkened tunnels. Zak looked behind at his accomplishment, and then looked to the others as they got back up. Then, he pointed to where Radar disappeared, and merely said two words, "No ticket!"

This caused Scott, Logan, and even Ian to groan aloud from that stupid joke. While Laura just looked confused at this as she asked, "What? This car's been offline for years. Why would that mutant need a ticket?"

The Next Morning

Williams Residence

Mrs. Williams, who was at the front door tearfully happy, was hugging an equally tearful Ian, as well as his younger brother, Conroy. Once escaped from the tunnels, they went back to the home, and explained the whole truth to Mrs. Willaims. Instead of rejecting him, she didn't care if he was a mutant, he was still his son, and he loved him no matter what. She was just overjoyed that he didn't leave because of the fight. His little brother, Conroy, actually thought it was cool that his brother was like a super hero, let alone going to a school that was run by superheroes. Mrs. Williams thought it was for the best, seeing as how going to the school in their hometown would have been like going into a hornet's nest. And so, at that moment, Ian was saying his goodbyes to them, and taking with him a duffel bag and backpack as they hugged each other, and Ian walked with the four mutants standing outside, with the X-Jet parked not too far away.

As he joined up with them, Ian asked, "So anything I need to know when I'm there?"

"Only that you'll be bunking with another student," Logan pointed out, but then half-smirked, "And later on, I'll be teaching a class on Survival Training."

Ian gulped at that, paling at that kind of training with this kidn of guy. But then he felt a reassuring hand on his shoulder, turning towards Laura, who replied, "It's not as bad as you think."

"I hope not," Ian gulped.

They all boarded on the X-Jet, as Ian gave one last wave goodbye to his mother and brother. The last ones to enter were Zak and Scott, as Zak went up first. But then suddenly, he was stopped by Scott, as he placed a hand on his shoulder, and spoke up, "Zak. Even though you stowed away on this little mission, I just wanted to say… you did a pretty good job down there," Scott congratulated both Zak, nodding to him. The redheaded pyrokinetic smiled at that little praise from the headmaster of the Institute. But he sternly mentioned, "But that still doesn't get you out of detention, Walker." And walked past him as he stepped aboard the ship.

Zak sighed in annoyance as his shoulders slouched, groaning, "Should've known better that you don't get a free lunch."

Next Chapter: Cat-Girl-Do; Wounds Open from the Past

Sorry for the late update folks, but I've been stumped on this. Not knowing where to take this story. And also sorry for no profile on Ian Williams. That'll come in the next chapter.