Attention: Generation X and their villains, as well as any other mutant mentioned in this story, is property of Marvel Comics. The character Richard Cale is named after family relations. Any other reference to anything copyrighted is a chance happening.
Cale Storyline Redux
Story 1: Changes
Chapter 1: Change
It was a brisk November morning, and Sean Cassidy, headmaster of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters was enjoying it. It was one of the rare times he enjoyed the balcony the teachers' offices had. Of course, his Irish heritage also allowed him to enjoy the cool morning, and in the wake of Onslaught, this moment of quiet was needed.
That moment ended when a sound intruded on the silence. It was his office phone. Normally, he would let Emma Frost handle it, but she might have slept in. He quickly entered his office and picked up the phone. "Hello, Sean Cassidy speaking."
He was surprised when he heard a young man's voice on the other end. "Hello, Mr. Cassidy. Am I correct in assuming that I have reached the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters?"
He could tell the speaker was nervous, but with the recent events in the world, he had good reason to be. "Aye, that is correct. May I ask why ye are calling?"
He was pleasantly surprised when the young man gave his answer. "Mr. Cassidy, I'm a mutant wondering about enrolling in the school. I feel it might be the best place for me at the moment."
In the answer, Sean had a feeling there was more to it than what was being claimed, but decided not to press on those, but finding out more about the young man. "How do you know that you are a mutant, lad?"
He was surprised at how calm the lad's voice had gotten when the question was asked. "Let me ask this. Have you ever heard about mutants that can mimic powers?"
That kind of an ability was not a surprise to Sean, especially with Everett Thomas at the school. "Aye, we have one like that here, who can mimic mutant abilities." He didn't want to go into detail at the moment, since he still didn't know the boy's name.
"I take it to the extreme. I can mimic abilities, as well as personalities of the mutant I'm near." The lad's answer took Sean by surprise. He had never heard of a mimic mimicking personalities as well, and it worried him a little bit.
Sean wanted to hear more, but he wanted to be sure he heard correctly. "Let me make sure I heard you right. You say you mimic a mutant you are near, correct."
The answer he got confirmed what he understood. "That is correct. You could say change is inevitable for me. My ability was only confirmed when after a visit with my uncle, who married into the family, visited. He had the ability to create visual images of future events. After some time with him, I started doing the same thing, as well as showing personality traits that were his." Sean waited as the person on the other end paused for a moment. "It was a very unusual experience. However, my primary reason for calling is mainly because of the Onslaught incident not so long ago."
Sean could understand that. Ever since the Onslaught incident, several anti-mutant programs had started to resurface, including the Sentinel program. He also wondered if the lad had narrowly avoided captured by one. "Tell me, lad, I know that some activities have been stepped up. How did you avoid detection by Sentinels?" He wanted to include Professor Xavier's Cerebro unit, but decided not too.
He was surprised with the answer her received. "Actually, it's because of when my power is neutral, I appear to be a typical human being. Even during a trip, I found myself, unwittingly, standing next to a Sentinel. It looked at me for a moment, and then left me be. My power was in its neutral state at the time."
Sean had to admit he was impressed by that fact. As far as he knew, there weren't any mutants who could avoid detection by the Sentinel's. It could even explain why Cerebro never picked up on the boy. However, it didn't explain why the boy wanted to join the school, except because of Onslaught. "Well, lad, usually when student join the school, they want to learn about their powers and what they can do, or they are scared about some aspects of it." He knew that was part of the reason Jubilation Lee had decided to join the school, after the whole Phalanx incident.
His suspicions were confirmed when the lad spoke again. "Exactly. I'm afraid that with my power, I may lose my personality in the process. There have been occasions where some personalities have almost overwhelmed me. However, I hate to cut this short, but I do need to get ready for my flight. My plane leaves in a while, and I do need to get to the airport."
Sean was surprised by that, since the lad seemed to assume he would be welcome, and to be honest, Sean did want the lad to come there. By the tone of his voice, Sean could tell the lad was sincere about his reasons for coming to the school. "Fair enough, lad. I'll pick you up personally at the airport, with a few of our students." Sean wanted to be sure that the lad would be safe, especially since Jonothan's arrival at the school had been a fiasco.
He almost dropped the phone when a loud shout came through the phone. "NO!." After a moment, the lad continued, "I'm sorry, sir, but I would prefer you come alone. I want the other students there to meet the real me first, one that isn't mimicking them or their powers. I'll even tell you how to identify me. I'm in my early twenties, and I will be dressed all in black. Can you give me a brief description so I can identify you."
He thought for a moment, and realized which features would be best for the lad to identify him on sight. "Well, I have reddish hair, with a slight goatee, and I'll be wearing me Celtics jacket. Is that enough to go by?"
He was relieved when the lad answered. "Yes. I'll be arriving at Logan Airport. I shall see you in a few hours." After that, he heard the lad hang up.
Once Sean hung up the phone, he realized something very important. The lad had never told him his name. Deep down, he knew he should have asked, but he was so taken back by the call, he forgot. He then had an idea. If the lad had contacted the school, it was possible he had contacted the X-Men prior to the call. He quickly picked up the phone, and dialed Scott Summers.
II. Sean (again)
Sean quickly made his way over to Emma's on-campus quarters as if there was no time left in the world. It wasn't the case, but it felt close to it. Ever since receiving the call from the mysterious new student, he had made a few more call. The first was to Scott Summers of the X-Men, to find out if this mysterious student had called them. The honest fact was that the boy hadn't, and even when he spoke with Jean as well, she stated she couldn't detect the mysterious mutant. It was as if at the current moment, the mutant didn't exist, which matched with his described abilities.
The second phone call was to find out the proposed arrival time for the flight the lad was taking to get to Logan. If the lad had made good time getting to the airport, that meant his arrival time would be mid-afternoon, and that meant very little time to prepare for a new student.
Just as he reached the door, he was somewhat surprised as Emma opened the door, with a wry smile on her face. "Is there something wrong, Sean?" Deep down, he wasn't entirely sure is she read his mind, or picked up on his sense of concern over the first phone call. However, shortly after the arrival of Penance, he warned her about messing with his mind.
Sean caught his breath before answering. "Nothing bad, but something very surprising. A short while ago, I received a call from a lad about Jono's age. He had stated that he was a mutant, and wishes to join the school."
He wasn't surprised when an amused smile crossed Emma's face. "And this surprises you. Most likely the X-Men contacted him, and referred him to us."
Sean had thought the same thing, but his phone call with Scott had told him otherwise, and he was sure it would surprise Emma. "I had called Scott, and he was surprised by it as well. The lad obviously never called them. Even Jean couldn't detect him, as if the lad wasn't a mutant at all."
From the look on Emma's face, Sean could tell she was surprised by that fact. "Very strange indeed. I take it you agreed to let the boy enroll."
Sean gave Emma a look that he was sure she could tell that that was an understatement. "If he is a mutant, he is free to enroll. It's odd though, that he can dodge all forms of mutant detection. He even told me about how he stood in close proximity of a Sentinel, and wasn't threatened. What kind of power hides itself when it's not active?"
He watched as Emma thought about it for a moment. "That is a very odd ability, or is it just something he thinks is happening?"
Before she could go down that path, Sean cut her off, and was glad too. They didn't need any doubt right now, especially if the lad's powers were as he claimed. "The lad said to me that 'Change is inevitable', especially for him. He even told me about an incident involving an uncle that married into his family. He mimicked not only the man's power, but personality as well."
Instantly, Sean saw a look of worry cross Emma's face. "Sean, I hope he plans to use those powers for good, or learns more control over them. Can you imagine what would happen if someone like Apocalypse gets a hold of him?"
The idea ran through his mind that it wasn't funny, especially with the fear the lad told him about. Then, another, more frightening scenario ran through his head. "Never mind Apocalypse, what about Emplate? That could be much worse." He really didn't need to voice it, since he could see Emma was thinking about the idea as well.
Soon, he noticed Emma's eyes react at the idea of this new mutant's powers in Emplate's grip. "Emplate could impose his will on the poor boy, and then there would be two of them, which would quickly double, and so on." It was a terrible thought, especially with how devious and well thought out Emplate's plans were. "Do you know when he is arriving at Logan Airport?"
He nodded. "Aye, the airport said that the flight is due in this afternoon. I plan to wait there by myself. It was the lad who requested that. I do have reservations about that, but I'm going to honor that request." He sighed, briefly remembering the fiasco that happened last time.
He noticed that Emma was obviously recalling how those events had played out. "Then let's hope this mutant has better luck at avoiding Emplate than Jonothan had. Now, I'm sure there are a few things to get ready. It is short notice, but we need to get a room ready for him, and let the others know about his arrival. I'll contact them, and get them all to the assembly room."
He nodded, and turned for the door. "I'll make sure he has a room that is separate from the others. I'm sure he'll appreciate it. Let the students know we will talk with them in an hour." He then left Emma's on-campus quarters, pondering what changes were now coming towards the school.
The auditorium at the school was not used that often, however it was used for special announcements that was related to the school. As the students all filed in, the only one that seemed overly upset was Jubilation Lee. With all her time with the X-Men prior to coming to this school, she understood most of what was coming. She expressed her own grief as she flopped into a seat. "This is just great. Why is it just as we get settled into a routine, something happens to change things." She was still getting over the events that the Onslaught incident had caused, and the increase in the anti-mutant sentiment. Change affected everything, and she knew it wasn't something that could be ignored.
There was one thing she did wish she could change faster, and that was Monet's attitude as her African born classmate said, "Jubilee, please stop acting so juvenile." She had been getting along with Monet in past months, but every once in a while, her classmate felt the need to show off she was superior.
She turned to face her, and looked. Sure enough, she noticed the Monet St. Croix had her 'superior' look on her face. Jubilee hated that smug look, but she was going to take the high road and not mention Monet's family, even though everyone was aware of it. In fact, she felt it was better to refer to one of her past adventures. "Listen, Monet, when I was with the X-Men…"
She was interrupt when a British accent said, "Enough with the sermon, Jubilee." Jubilee glanced over at her older classmate, Jonothan Evans Starsmore, who had only half a face due to his powers manifesting, and sighed. It wasn't the first time someone stopped her when she used those word.
She sat back, and crossed her arms in front of her. "Okay, I get the picture. It's not like it's my entire life." She sat back and sighed again. It was the truth that her life was more than the X-Men, but some of the most important events happened when she was in the X-Men.
Almost after she had sighed, she heard Everett Thomas, an African-American classmate, who she had feelings for, say, "Don't lie like that, Jubes." She gave him a slight smile. Ever since the occurrence with Emplate some time back, they had gotten a bit closer. The side trip up to Emma's place in Canada even helped that a bit, and might have been pleasant if not for the incident with Toad.
Jubilee brought her attention back to the present when she noticed both Sean and Emma entering the hall. It had been Emma who had summoned them all here, except for one person, whom she was sure they knew was missing when Sean turned to Emma and said, "Looks like they are all here, except for Penance."
She saw Emma nod. "Indeed. I am still having problems contacting her." She then saw her teacher look right at her. "Jubilee, would you be able to find Penance when we are done here, and tell her about what is happening."
Jubilee nodded, since she viewed Penance like a little sister. She really did care for the sharp, silent mutant, in a sisterly way. "Not a problem, Emma. By the way, what is all this about?"
She glanced over when Angelo Espinoza, her gray skinned classmate, spoke up. "Si, what is going on that you had to summon us all here?" She noticed how relaxed he still appeared to be, even though he had the headphones to his walkman around his neck. She could tell he didn't want a repeat of the last time he left the headphones in, and Sean used his power to get them off.
She watched as Sean looked at them all, and spoke. "I received a call today from a lad who would like to join the school, and while this is a little short notice, he is arriving today."
Jubilee realized that the short-notice news had upset everyone, as a murmur filled the hall. It had quickly died down, however, when the most laid back of all of them, Mondo, simply said, "I take it that this boy is a mutant like us." While she was sure Mondo was stating the obvious, his relaxed tone was enough to calm everything down. She had to admire that he took the changes as they came. She knew he said once that it was his philosophy in life.
She then tensed up a bit when her teacher responded to the statement. "Aye, that he is Mondo, however, the lad said his ability is very unusual. As he put it, he can fully mimic a mutant, power and personality. Almost like a carbon copy of the mutant he's next to."
She let a smile cross her face as she imagine some of the things he could do. "That would be totally happening. He could take on my powers, and with Ev, we could have a cool fireworks show." For a brief moment, she noticed a smile on Everett's face.
It was that moment that Monet had to ruin the moment, as she sarcastically said, "He wants to learn to control his powers so he doesn't threaten people, not do the opposite."
She was about to say something, but Emma beat her to the punch. "There is that, and that he also fears his ability. Besides, can you imagine the consequences if your brother might get a hold of him."
She almost wanted to laugh as Monet's eyes got wide as the realization hit her. If the idea weren't such a huge threat, the look on Monet's face would be funny. She then calmly said, while Monet was speechless, "I hope we can get him hear before Emplate even finds out. I'm still wondering how he knew Jonothan was coming here." A slight murmur again went through the room.
It stopped when Sean spoke up again, "Agreed. I'll be leaving in a little while to go fetch 'im from the airport. He had asked that only I come to get him, given the nature of his ability. He wants everyone to keep their distance for a bit, since distance is what triggers his powers. It will also allow all of ye to meet the real him." She then noticed he turned his attention to Angelo and Everett. "And no tricks from you two."
She almost laughed out loud when the two responded in unison. "Who us? We're perfect angels."
She could barely contain the laugh when Paige spoke up. "Give it up, you two. The tails and pitchforks give ya away." She had to laugh then. Paige had been the victim of a few of their jokes, especially when they shut off he hot water in the showers. That one had woken her up a few times, since Paige's shriek had woken the whole dorm.
Jubilee then said the same fact that Sean had mentioned. "Remember, guys, he can mimic your abilities and personalities." She laughed again as the two realized the implication. The two practical jokesters could become the victims of their own jokes.
As the laughter died down, she heard Paige ask a very good question. "Ah was just wondering, does his powers include mimicking memories as well?" Jubilee glanced in Paige's direction for a moment, and wondered. Not to long ago, she thought Paige and Jonothan were becoming an item. However, just after Thanksgiving, the two seemed to be acting strange, as if something had happened.
As Sean responded, she could see it wasn't an answer Paige wanted to hear. "We aren't entirely sure on that one, lass. As far as we know, it might be, and it might not be."
If he could also mimic the memories and such, the image of the new student mimicking one of Monet's spaced out moments entered her head, and she blurted her thought out. "Great, he might mimic Monet and space out until his ability wears out."
She shrank down in her seat as Sean reprimanded her. "That's enough, lass. We are hoping that extreme is not a possibility. Just remember that each one of us has our own flaws and vices. If he can mimic those flaws and vices, his fear of losing his identity is justified." After hearing those words, Jubilee started to think about the Phalanx, the alien creature that had captured the early members of Generation X, apparently in an attempt to stop them before they could learn to use their powers. If it had not been for the sacrifice of Clarice Ferguson, Angelo, Paige and Monet would not be at the school today.
She stopped thinking about that when Sean then said, "Right now, I want all of ye to help get things together. There are various tasks I want you all to handle, including preparing a room for the lad, and showing him around the grounds. I am also reminding you that you need to keep a safe distance from him for the first day. Now, I'm sure you all know what needs to be done, so let's get to it." With that, she saw her teacher dismiss everyone.
As they all dispersed, Jubilee started to think about all the place Penance might be. Even after all her time at the school, the girl was still scared. Most times, that would mean she would be in the one place she knew Penance would call home. However, before she could get up to head there, Jonothan had approached her. "Do you want me to talk to her about the new student?"
She shook her head, and started to head to the door, noticing the Jonothan was keeping up with her. "I can handle the task, Jono. The only trick will be finding her before our new classmate arrives, otherwise, she'll find him."
She was almost startled when Jonothan gave her a puzzled look. "You honestly think she's going to get close by a new classmate? I honestly think she'll be watching from a distance."
She nodded in agreement, but told him her reasoning. "She'll come to check him out first. She can be very discrete, and cautious. However, she's also wary, and I'm sure if he is a threat, she'll be ready to stop him. I can only imagine she's thinking like that due to her time as Emplate's victim."
She watched as he nodded. "You're right, I know it took some time, but for a few months, I was the only one who could talk with her. She did warm up to you though."
Jubilee smiled at those words. "We did some miracle work there. Well, I better go find her. I have a feeling I know where she is. By the way, what are you going to do when he arrives?"
She watched as he glanced in the direction of the med center. "I get to show him the medical center, just in case he takes on my powers." Jubilee understood what he referred to. Everyone knew the damage Jonothan's powers had caused when they manifested. She then thought of where she was sure to find Penance, and asked, "Who's going to show him the Grotto?"
She noticed a slight forlorn look on her classmate's face when he answered. "Paige is doing that." Hearing that made her wonder about the events of Thanksgiving, and why the two had appeared so distant as of late. However, she felt it was best not to pry at the moment. Right now, she had a task to do, and that involved searching through the 'Danger Grotto', where they trained, and also where Penance liked to call home.
If you are familiar with my Cale Storyline, what this is going to be is a rewrite, and hopefully, an improvement to the story. I had been thinking about doing this for a while, but only recently got to it. If you wish to compare it to the original, and help me out by spotting something, send me a line at my e-mail. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy this rewrite as I work on it.
End of chapter.