The Infinity Saga

Part One:

X-Men

Chapter Eight:

Family Ties

Let's explore the families of people! It's time to pry into the fictional private lives of fictional characters! Yay!

8:22 PM

//Lightbulb: Why do I even bother talking to you anymore?

//xxAntiMatterxx: I still say you shouldn't have gone to that school. It's full of freaks.

#xxAntiMatterxx has logged off.

//Lightbulb: I hate you.

8:33 PM

#DemonSong has logged on.

#DemonSong has invited you to chat.

#You and DemonSong are now in a private chat room.

//DemonSong: You seem angry.

//Lightbulb: You could just, you know, talk to me.

//DemonSong: But then you can use voice expressions and stuff.

//Lightbulb: You're an idiot.

//DemonSong: You're just in a bad mood.

//DemonSong: Why?

//Lightbulb: None of your business.

//DemonSong: You know I'll get it out of you eventually.

//DemonSong: Just tell me now, and save us both some time and effort.

8:45 PM

//Lightbulb: Family stuff.

//DemonSong: ?

//Lightbulb: Deadbeat dad.

//DemonSong: I'm sorry.

//Lightbulb: Don't be.

//DemonSong: I think I'm supposed to be spouting some stupid stuff about anger issues and whatever, but I really can't bring myself to do it. Fear of being electrocuted.

//Lightbulb: Whatever.

//Lightbulb: Actually, thanks.

//Lightbulb: TTYL

#Lightbulb has logged off.

#DemonSong has logged off.

There was a field trip to a nearby museum the next day. Half the school was going that day, and half the next. Max and Cobalt were in the first group. Kitty, Andrew, and Damon were in the second.

The trip was uneventful for Max and Cobalt, who both reported that it was interesting (although possibly a bit boring).

"Got your lunch and stuff?"

"I'm not stupid."

"Sorry, I always assume people are. It's safer," said Damon cynically.

The bus ride wasn't too long. At the museum, the students were free to go wherever they liked inside - few were stupid enough to try anything with a telepathic teacher around.

Three silent halls of exhibits on (randomly) Mediterranean history later, Damon and Andrew were sitting on the ground talking.

"Well I think that-" began Damon, before stopping and raising his hand, a look of concentration on his face.

"Wha-" said Andrew, and was cut off by a fierce shushing out of his normally quiet friend.

Then he heard it.

A quiet ticking.

Tick tick tick tick

They stood up.

Tick tick tick tick

They began to walk away from the wall they had been sitting against.

Tick tick tickticktick

They began to run.

Ticktickticktick-

They were now sprinting full-out down the hallway when the wall exploded. Rubble from the concrete wall flew everywhere as dust clouded the hallway. A dark figure, rather than ominously standing silhouetted in the light shining vaguely through the new gap, skittered in around the edge. A second figure, however, larger and with a slightly inorganic shape, did stand in the doorway, before a bolt of lightning blasted it back out through the hole. A parting gift from Andrew as he and Damon fled out of the ravaged hall.

In the main lobby of the museum, Jean Gray collapsed to the ground, hands held to her head, as did another telepath, this one a student, in one of the galleries. Both heard what no others could - a telepathic jammer, generating white 'noise.'

Andrew and Damon fled down yet another hall, heading deeper into the museum. An alarm was blaring throughout the building, and in some galleries, those with more valuable artifacts in them, reinforced blast doors closed.

"This better not be what I think it is," growled Andrew.

"What?"

"Nothing. Let's just, oh I dunno, KEEP RUNNING"

The dark shape skittered after them unseen. Staying in the shadows, few details were revealed. Again acting against the ways of the other, the larger one simply walked down the hall, ignoring anything else - this included exhibits, anything done by either the fleeing students or the museum's security systems, and any blast doors that may have been in it's way.

"Who is it?" whispered Andrew as both of the attackers went past, not noticing the two hidden in a dark alcove.

"The smaller one stays in the shadows obsessively, I can't see anything. The bigger one looks like some kinda cyborg, or maybe Iron Man gone bad..."

"Let's hope it's that first one. I don't know if anyone here could take on Iron Man."

The shadows rippled, and then Andrew yelped as the smaller of the invaders appeared, grabbed him, and started to drag him backwards. It wasn't teleportation - he was appearing out of a shadow, it looked as if he was leaning into it from somewhere else. Damon grabbed Andrew to stop the figure from vanishing with him. Almost generically, he started to slip, pulled backwards by the shadow-walker, who had more strength than his size would suggest.

"Hang on/Help is on it's way" {1} sang Damon. This didn't have quite the intended effect - he found himself bound to Andrew, but was rapidly dragged through the shadows with him.

Darkness

Void

Nothingness

Silence

And then they fell out of the shadows again. The shadows rippled oddly, then settled. Andrew, Damon, and the shadow-walker were frozen, but the cyborg was not. He quickly put cuffs on Andrew, grabbed him and his partner, blasted a way out, and then jumped from the second floor of the museum and then out.

At the bottom, he fled towards what must have been a getaway vehicle - it was the only large armored vehicle around.

Thunk.

The cyborg stopped, turned, looked at his feet. There was a pencil on the ground. He looked up - then roared in pain when another hit him in the eye. It was a generic red robotic eye, but was not very strong - the pencil embedded itself inside it. The cyborg dropped his charges, pulled the pencil out of his eye, and charged towards Max, who was glaring at him, pencils in a random orbit over a raised hand.

"Practice makes perfect. I practiced this trick a lot."

Three more pencils shot towards the cyborg. Two shattered - one on his chestplate, the other on a knee - but the third stabbed into his left ankle. A servo screamed, and the 'borg collapsed.

"You have a lot of metal on you. Don't bother trying to get up," cooly said Max, not ten feet away from where the cyborg had been halted. He was angry, but Max wasn't one for outbursts - he was more the cold rage kind of person.

At his feet, his shadow boiled. Then he dropped through, before being caught by Cobalt.

Max waved a hand from behind him towards the shadow walker, and was rewarded when one of the pencils left behind flew, hitting his target with the eraser end hard enough to put him out for the count. Cobalt pulled him back out of the shadows, which apparently wouldn't close with someone in transit. Lightning crawled over the parts of him that had been in the shadows, then faded.

They both paused for a moment. Then Cobalt shoved Max down as he leapt up, and then apparently stopped in midair. There was a sound, somewhat like 'fwooosh' or possibly 'fwooom' and a jet of flame cut in between them.

Cobalt dropped on the cyborg's chest plate. Surprisingly, it crumpled, as if something heavier had been dropped on it.

Max stood up after the jet of flame had stopped. Using both hands, he managed to lift the armored vehicle. Quickly, he spun. Seeing the rapidly approaching truck, Cobalt jumped, landed atop the vehicle, and jumped again, landing lightly ten feet away. Unceremoniously, Max dropped it on the cyborg.

Minutes later, soldier with S.H.I.E.L.D. emblazoned on his armor dropped from a helicopter. Putting what looked like a steel version of an Egyptian ceremonial necklace (which is to say it was very large) on the shadow-walker, and something that looked like a mix of a tripod and a harpoon on the cyborg, he then spoke into his radio. Both devices lit up, and an indicator went from red to yellow to green. A larger helicopter moved in and didn't quite land on the museum's parking lot. More soldiers rushed out, carried the two attackers into the helicopter, and left with the transport copter.

"What was that about? It kinda looks like they were after you, Andrew. I mean, the guy trying to kidnap you was also a really good hint towards that."

"My dad. He hates mutants. He thinks I shouldn't be here. He probably hired these idiots to bring me back to him."

"That... Royally sucks."

"Ya think? I don't really want to talk about it." Andrew walked back into the museum, scowling.

"He'll open up about it eventually."

"You seem unusually optimistic."

"Oh, sorry. 'We'll all die eventually.' Happy?"

"Not really, no."

"Close enough."

{1} Little River Band - Help Is On It's Way

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