This is a story of a girl named Shadow whose life was intertwined or was crossed by the X-Men.


I was living with my parents who kept me, my younger and older sisters secret from the world because of our mutations. Shasta, my older sister was born with the power to jump hundreds of feet high and far, run at sonic speeds, and speak many different languages just by touching someone by skin. My younger sister, Streamer, has my powers. You will figure out our powers throughout the story. The story starts with the surrounding of our house. The MRD knew of the three mutants in the house. The leader of the small group shouted at us as we looked at them through the window.

"Hand over the mutants or you will be destroyed!" he shouted.

"Never!" our parents yelled back.

Our mom led us to a small underground bunker. She told us to wait there no matter what. She went back up to our father. They refused again. The MRD threw some bombs into and near the house. Our parents rushed down to the bunker and couldn't open it.

"Kids, let us-" mom started.

BOOM! The bunker shook violently. The concrete walls collapsed on top of us. In a large mansion, a wise old man named professor Charles Xavier sensed the explosion and sent Kitty, Jean, and Scott out to retrieve any survivors. They found only me and Streamer. Shasta and our parents were nowhere to be found. Dead or alive, their bodies were nowhere in the wreckage. They took us back to the mansion and Jean took us both under her medical wing. We were able to walk after a month. I had one task on my mind, get revenge on the MRD leader. It was around midnight that I woke up. I was lying in a twin bed in Jean's room. She was on the other side of the room in her own bed. I snuck out of the room. A floor board creaked under my light steps. Jean sat up in her bed.

"Shadow?" Jean mumbled.

I froze in fear.

"It was just nothing." Jean said.

I continued my way down the hallway. She secretly followed me outside. She telepathically told the professor what was happening. He, Kurt, Scott, Storm, and Kitty joined Jean and followed me out to the MRD Head Quarters. Kurt had a sneeze coming. Jean quickly stuck her finger under his nose. The sneeze was gone. Jean took her finger away. Kurt sighed in relief. Then he sneezed. I heard it and ran inside. They followed me in.

"Why is she coming here?" Jean asked the professor.

"Remember that symbol on one of the unused bombs? It was from the MRD. They must have killed her parents." He explained.

"She is seeking revenge?" Jean asked.

"Precisely. That means that she will even go through to murder the leader. That is why we must stop her." He said, "Let's go."

They found me holding the leader by his shirt collar. He seemed pretty scared of the ten year old.

"Professor! Help me!" he pleaded.

"Quiet you!" I hissed.

"Shadow, please, we can talk about this. There is no reason for rash actions. Just let him go." The professor said carefully.

"You are wasting your breath, professor!" I snapped.

The professor telepathically told Jean and Storm to stand on my left and right and the professor, in his wheelchair, sat in front of me. The three formed the Black Triangle around me.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Sending you where you can do no more harm. I am sorry, but you led yourself to this. We will care for your sister." The professor said grimly.

They sent a strange pattern of pulses into my mind. I became transparent. The leader fell to the floor. I vanished into a dimension called Darkness. I was floating in black space. There were other people young and old floating around as well. It was a horrible place. I was scared and lonely. A man floated over to me.

"You must be new. I'm Lark." He smiled, "You're the youngest one yet."

"How do I get out of here?" I asked.

"Read this with no abbreviations, slang, or accents. You should be out of here in about six years if you practice hard enough." He said and handed me a slip of paper.

I took it from him and he floated off to bug someone else.

"No accents? My British accent is going to be a problem." I sighed, "Well, I better get started."

I tried the first time and nothing happened. I had a long way to go. I kept practicing and practicing. After six years I finally had it!

"Duisternis! Duisternis! Hoor mijn pleidooi! Vrij me van deze ellendige plaats! Ik roep het niet huis! Neem weg me! Vanaf dit en terug naar waar ik van werd verzonden! Verzend me huis!" I shouted.

That was Dutch for, Darkness! Darkness! Hear my plea! Free me of this wretched place! I do not call it home! Take me away! Away from this and back to where I was sent from! Send me home! I was turned into a Tikuikui, a leech like worm about the size of your pointer finger. I wriggled through a small hole in the emptiness of Darkness and implanted myself in a young thirteen year old girl named Misty Star. I overshadowed her. It was a nice spring evening. Misty was getting ready for bed. Her mom was downstairs watching her favorite television program. It was called THE ATTACK OF THE INNOCENT. The movie ended around ten. She went into the kitchen to get a glass of water. I took over. Misty woke up to a strange feeling. She felt like she was falling under someone's power, mine. She became me in her actions. I didn't have control of her voice yet. I got out of bed and went downstairs.

"I thought you went to bed?" she asked.

"Mom! Help me! I can't stop!" Misty cried out.

I lashed my hand at her. She ducked out of the way and ran to the phone. She searched franticly through the phonebook. A card fell out. She picked it up. She quickly picked up the phone and dialed the number on the card.

"Hello?" a man asked, "Attacking you? Yes, I can help. I'll send someone to escort her to my home. She may have to stay with me for a few days. Yes, I'm sending her now. Bye."

{Jean! Report to the garage!}

She came in. The professor handed her Scott's keys to his sweet ride, a red and white convertible mustang. She arrived at our house. My mom had me locked in the coat closet. She answered the door.

"She's in here." my mom led her to the closet.

Jean opened the door and quickly held my hands behind my back so I couldn't fight. She strapped me into the car and drove off. We arrived at the mansion. Three teens were standing on the front step. Kurt, Scott, and Bobby. I unbuckled my seatbelt. As soon as Jean opened the door...BAM! I knocked her to the ground and made a run for the road. The trio saw that Jean was having trouble and took to action. They ran over and grabbed me. They tried to take me inside. A strange energy shot from me and sent the three teens flying back. Misty's mind was overshadowed. I had complete control now.

"Get back!" I yelled.

Kurt warped in and whacked my left leg with his tail. I fell onto my back. I couldn't fight on my back. I tried to stand back up. Kurt came in again and knocked me onto my stomach. Bobby ran in. I quickly sprang to my feet. He froze the ground under my feet. I slipped and fell on the hard ice. That hurt! My shoulder hit the ground hard. I used my arm with the bad shoulder to get up. A tremendous amount of pain surged through my arm. I collapsed. I didn't know that Misty injured her shoulder in a tennis tournament five years ago. She managed to save the hit. She dove and hit the ball. Her shoulder hit the ground hard. She couldn't play tennis anymore and had to give up tennis. I tried to get up using my good arm. Bobby ran in and pulled my arm out from under me. It was the only thing supporting my upper torso. I fell forwards onto my stomach.

"How'd they find my weakness so fast?" I said under my breath.

I tried to stand again. Scott knocked me down. I got onto my hands and knees. I was hyperventilating from all the energy I was wasting to keep getting up. I had to be standing upright to be able to gather energy to recharge. I tried to stand again. Jean used her telekinetic powers to send me tumbling to the ground. I was lying on my side. I looked at them. They were worried. I tried to stand up. Jean allowed me to stand. I reached my hands to the sky and began recharging.

"I'm sorry, but I have no choice." She said in a shaky voice, "I have to shut you down."

I looked at her with wide eyes filled with fear. She had tears in her eyes. She put her hands to her head and began sending telepathic pulses to my mind. I put my hands to my head as I groaned in pain. I stumbled around as I tried to fight it. It was too strong. I fell to my knees gasping in pain. My vision was starting to blur. I was screaming in pain. I tried to fight it. I was on my hands and knees. I tried to crawl over to her. I was a foot away. I reached out my hand. It was an inch away. My vision went black and I fell to my stomach and passed out. My hand landed on her shoe. Jean stopped sending the pulses and collapsed into Scott's arms. It took a lot out of her.

"You did well, Jean. Just take it easy now." Scott said to her.

"I had no choice. She just wouldn't give in." Jean sighed.

I was taken to the professor's small MRL (Mutation Research Lab). I was placed on the table in the center of the room. I opened one eye. I saw the professor looking at files on similar cases. Misty was still under my control. I raised my hand and the professor was lifted out of his wheelchair. I flung him into a wall. {Jean! I need assistance in the MRL! Hurry!} Jean was in the room in under a minute. I sat up and watched as Jean helped the professor back into his wheelchair. Then she sent a few pulses into my mind. I put my hands to my head and groaned as the pain throbbed in my head. I tried to fight back. I was winning until the professor decided to take me down himself. He sent massive pulses. I rolled off of the table onto the floor behind the table opposite from the professor. I could still feel it. It grew steadily stronger and stronger. It was too strong. Every pulse I sent was shot back along with his. They kept getting stronger. My vision was going black. I kept fighting. I managed to send a massive pulse that shattered his and sent him crashing into the wall. His pulses stopped coming and the pain in my head ceased. I ran out of the room. Jean sent a warning to everyone in the grounds. I was near Kitty's room. She phased through the door. I ran right into her. She fell to the floor and I fell on top of her. She quickly pinned me to the floor. I telekinetically lifted her off of me. I stood up. I let myself recharge before letting her go. I ran down the hall as fast as I could. I was looking behind me as I ran.

"Going somewhere?" someone said.

I looked ahead and I came to a dead stop. It was Logan. His claws were out and ready for action. I gasped and took a few steps back.

"I don't like playing nice." he warned me and took a step closer.

"That's one thing we have in common." I smiled.

I quickly thrust my hand out towards him. I sent a force that sent him flying down the hall. I ran back the way I came. I didn't see Kitty anywhere. I continued down the hall. I ran down the stairs to the floor below. I exited the stairwell and ran down the hall. Kurt warped in front of me. I ran right into him. I was lying on top of him. I looked into his eyes. He smiled sinisterly. He was going to warp me to the professor!

"Don't you dare!" I snapped.

"Oh, I dare!" he smiled.

I couldn't let that happen! I had to get away from him! I tried to get off of him, but he had his tail wrapped around my waist and my hands in his. I couldn't get free! He warped us into the MRL. Logan and Scott grabbed me and pinned me to the table. Kitty and Jean held my legs down. I tried to break free. It was hopeless. The professor rolled up next to my head. I looked at him in pure fear. He looked at me with no joy in his eyes. He put his hands to his head.

"I'm sorry." he sighed.

"No!" I gasped.

He began sending pulses to my mind. I screamed in pain. I couldn't defend myself. It didn't take long to shut me down. Scott and Logan let go and left the room. Kurt left as well. Kitty, Jean, the professor, and I remained in the room. They began the research. They studied, took notes, and took samples like strands of hair. Morning finally came for the three hard workers. Kitty found something useful.

"Tikuikui? Sounds about right. Jean, come look at this." She clicked on the word.


A parasite that is active at night and is dormant during the day. If a Tikuikui happens to get inside a host, it will choose either the heart, the brain, or the stomach, most likely, and take control of its host at night, making the host attack other living beings. No instant cure has been found. To keep others safe from the infected, lock them in a small enclosed space until you see no aggression. The parasite will live in the host for three years minimum and fifty years maximum.

"Yeah, it's got to be the Tikuikui." Jean nodded.

"It says there's no instant cure." Kitty said.

I became Misty. Misty made a soft groan. Kitty and Jean, startled, looked at her. They got ready to fight. She sat up with her hand to her head.

"Ooh, what happened?" Misty groaned.

"To put it delicately, you attacked everybody." Jean explained.

"I didn't hurt anyone did I?" Misty asked.

"Fortunately, no." the professor said.

"Well, may I ask where I am?" Misty asked.

"Your mother sent you here. This is the Xavier Institute. This is where many mutants are taught how to control their powers." the professor said.

"I don't have any. Well, I do have telekinesis and telepathy, but I have complete control of them. So why am I here?" Misty said.

"You must be starving!" Kitty smiled and changed the subject, "Let's go see if Speedy will make us some breakfast."

"Yeah." Misty nodded, "That sounds good."

They left the professor alone so he could do some more research on the Tikuikui. The trio went down to the kitchen and had breakfast. As soon as the girls entered the room, Kurt, warped right in front of Misty. She jumped back in surprise.

"Kurt! You know you're not supposed to do that to new people!" Jean snapped at him.

"Sorry, I'm Kurt Wagner. What's your name?" he asked.

"Misty Star." Misty answered, "I think I can find my way around."

Jean and Kitty nodded and left Misty with Kurt. He invited Misty to hang out with him for a while. She agreed. The duo played a few harmless pranks on some of the instructors and students. It was finally time go to bed. She bunked with Kitty. I woke up at ten pm. The Tikuikui was active. I had full control. I snuck out of the room. Kitty wasn't asleep. She pulled out a small communicator. The entire team was keeping an eye on me.

"She's active." Kitty reported.

I was half way down the hall when I heard footsteps coming my way. I stood ready to fight whoever it was. It was Jean. She quickly put her hands to her head and sent intense pulses into my mind. Storm blocked my escape. She sent intense pulses into my mind with Jean's. I tried to fight back. It was too much, but I held my ground. I couldn't stand it any longer. I was slowly brought down to my knees. I was screaming in pain. I collapsed onto my side. I was knocked out. They took me to the MRL. I was placed on the table. An hour of research passed. I sat up.

"Oh man! Did I do it again?" I asked.

"I don't get it? Shouldn't it still be active?" Jean asked.

"Should what still be active?" I asked.

"You have a Tikuikui inside you." the professor explained.

"Tikuwhat?" I asked.

He brought a picture of it up on his screen.

"Nasty." I exclaimed.

Jean went downstairs and came back with a glass of water. I took it and drank it. They escorted me to bed. A teen named Ruby Star entered the building. Jean sensed her presence and went down to the lobby to greet her.

"Hi, I heard that-Ouch!" she rubbed her nose where her sinuses were.

"You alright?" Jean asked.

"Yeah, might be my allergies. So, I heard that my sister was having trouble with her powers. Is she here?" Ruby asked.

Jean took her up to Kitty's room. Ruby entered the room.

"MISTY!" Ruby ran over to me and hugged me.

Ruby suddenly felt an intense pain in her head. The Tikuikui took over her. We were both under the control of two Tikuikui. We looked at each other. Then we faced Kitty. She gasped when she saw our sinister smiles.

"Uh oh." she said.

We both moved as one as we telekinetically forced her into the wall. She phased through it into Scott's room.

"Augh!" he exclaimed.

Don't worry he was fully dressed. He was just surprised.

"Do you people ever knock anymore?" he asked.

" Tikuikui!" she said, still frightened from the double attack.

We were already running down the hall. Jean, Storm, and the professor trapped us. We put our hands to our heads and chanted a strange spell together.

"Together, as one, we combine our power. TIKUIKUIS UNITE!" we shouted.

A sphere of light formed around us. When it vanished, only one person was standing there where we were standing before. It was a teenage girl with long black hair. She wore black clothes that were tight. She had a black eye mask that covered her forehead and eyes. She had glowing red eyes. Ruby and I had combined and I was in control. I sent out a massive pulse that rendered the three unconscious. I ran down the hall. Scott, Logan, Kitty, Bobby, and Rogue were standing there waiting for me. Kitty phased through the floor and phased up behind me. Kurt warped next to her. Scott lowered his sunglasses a little to release a red beam. It hit me in my chest.

"Augh!" I fell onto my back.

Kitty helped me up. Then she pushed me into Rogue by accident. We touched skin to skin. We both felt pain as she absorbed all of Misty, Ruby, and my abilities, personalities, disadvantages, and advantages. She pushed me away from her. She was still in pain. Then as everyone was just staring at her, I took to action. I went up to her, frantically trying to figure out what was happening to her.

"Will somebody tell me what's happening!" I snapped.

Then Rogue vanished with a puff of icy blue smoke. Kitty ran over to where she once stood.

"She...She's gone!" Kitty was scared.

"Hey! Hey!" I shouted for attention.

Everyone looked at me.

"I'd recognize that smoke anywhere. She is perfectly fine. She was sent to Darkness. I had a good friend there. He'll tell her how to get back. It'll take quite a while. No one stays in Darkness forever. Well, that is unless you want to stay." I said.

They saw that the situation was over and circled around me.

"Get behind me!" a female voice shouted.

Everyone did as she asked. I looked to see who it was. She was a blond haired woman with an icy blue outfit that had a long matching cape. It was Emma Frost. She put her hands to her head and sent a pattern of pulses. Some were strong and some were massive. I couldn't find a pulse to match and overpower hers. I screamed in pain. She brought me down in ten seconds.

"She's all yours." she smiled and went back to her room.

I woke up in the MRL. The table had been removed. I was floating in a large tube filled with stabilizing liquid. I had an oxygen mask on. I saw Jean, Frost, and Kitty helping the professor put together the separation unit. He switched it on. I screamed in pain. The glass began to crack. Liquid began to seep through. Then the whole tube shattered. Ruby and Misty's bodies fell to the floor. Ruby ran over to her sister's body.

"Misty?" she shook her shoulder.

I was in the third body. I was standing on the platform of the broken tube. Misty was still inside me, the girl with the black suit and long black hair. I jumped down and stood up.

"Shadow!" the professor said in disgust, "I should have known!"

"What happened to Misty?" Ruby ran over to me, "Tell me what happened you big jerk!"

I pushed her out of the way and grabbed Misty's empty body. I pressed it against my chest. It went in. I gasped. Then I smiled sinisterly at her.

"The little girl you knew is no more. She was my way back from that awful place you sent me, professor." I glared at him, "Shadow has returned! All I have left to do is find the last ingredient. I know just where to find it. Then I will be able to bring horror to this world once more. You have been spared time by the sun."

The sun rose and shined into the room. I became Misty again. The body stayed the same.

"I'm not even going to ask." Misty sighed, "Ruby? What are you doing here?"

"Trying to find out what is going on." She answered.

The two girls hung out the entire day. When night fell, the team was on high alert. The instructors were guarding each floor with help from some of the students. There were eight people guarding on each floor. I took over and snuck out of the room. I bumped into one of the students. It was Tildie. She morphed into a red wolf hybrid. She got ready to attack. I just smiled and sent a massive pulse to her mind. She yelped and passed out. Her yelp attracted two more people. It was Logan and Cody. Cody was a telepath. He wasn't as strong as Jean, but I still had to be careful. Logan pinned me to the floor. He nodded at Cody. He started sending pulses. I screamed in pain. He was weak. I gasped and passed out. Logan carried me down the hall. I wasn't unconscious. I am a lot smarter than you think. Cody's pulses did hurt a little, but the whole groaning and screaming in pain thing was just my professional acting skills hard at work. In fact, Cody's pulses felt like the sting of a paper cut. I quickly swung my leg into the side of Logan's head. He flinched and I fell to the floor. I quickly stood up and ran past him. I ran down the stairs to the floor below. Jean was waiting for me. I was ready for her. She sent some strong pulses into my mind. I matched their frequency and shattered them with mine. It was time for payback! I sent stronger pulses. I managed to knock her out. Three students blocked my escape. It was Greggor, Stacey, and Kyle. Greggor's powers are: teleportation, telekinesis, and telepathy. Stacey's powers are: Telepathy, shape shifter, and fire. Kyle's powers are: fire, water, earth. The first attack was Kyle's. He shot a few fireballs. I bent backwards and narrowly avoided the attack. I bent back up too early. The last fireball singed my arm. My body flashed green. I smiled at him. He was angry that his attack was a lousy shot.

"Pay attention, kid, this is how you throw real fireballs!" I said.

I held out my arm with my fingers spread apart and my palm facing them. I shot multiple perfect fireballs at them. They hit the floor in front of their feet. Stacey ran away scared out of her wits. Greggor and Kyle stood their ground. I sent a few pulses. Greggor shielded Kyle with his pulses. His pulses rattled my mind slightly.

"You call that a pulse?" I scoffed.

I sent a massive pulse into their minds. They both passed out at the same time. I walked down the stairs to the basement.

"It's like a maze down here." I looked around.

I pulled out my navigator. It wasn't working. I sighed and put it away. I checked my watch. I had one hour until sunrise.

"If I don't run into any trouble, I should have enough time to get it and get to the roof." I said to myself.

I was about to continue, when I heard a large group of people coming down the stairs. I hid in one of the rooms. I could hear Storm's voice.

"All of you take position in a crossway." she said, "I'll take the most important position."

They went to their posts. This was going to be a problem. I waited for Storm to leave. The most important position? Oh man! She knows what I need! If I find her, I'll find what I need. I walked down the hall. A bolt of electricity shot past my head. I looked to see who had great accuracy. It was a six year old girl. She looked exactly like me, only a lot younger. She was adorable.

"Who are you?" I asked.

"I am Shadow Melody. I'm what you were. You used to be full of joy and peace. Now, look at you. You've changed. These people don't want to see you filled with hatred and fear. They are trying to help you. Just trust them." she said.

I sent pulses into her mind. It didn't have any effect. I reached my hand out. It went through her. She faded.

"Just trust them." she said faintly.

"Great, I'm hallucinating." I groaned.

I continued down the hall. I battled many students. I finally turned a corner. I put my hands to my head in pain. Storm already started the battle when I was fifty feet away. I was ready for her tricky multiple frequency pulses. I just had to figure out the pattern and repeat it backwards and add three massive pulses at the end. She sent a pattern.



"Augh!" she was sent crashing into the wall.

I ran to the door and went in. There it was. The Shadow Diamond. It was sitting on a pedestal in the center of the poorly lit room. I took it off the pedestal. The room lit up revealing the entire X-Men team. Jean, Scott, Logan, Kurt, Kitty, Hank, Charles, Bobby, Storm, Rogue, Spyke, Frost, Aqua, Ongie, and Ruby stepped out of the shadows. I created a force field around me and ran up to the first floor. Kurt warped inside the force field. He swept his foot into my leg. I fell on top of the gem. The force field faded. Kurt flipped me over onto my back.

"The Shadow Diamond! It's gone!" he exclaimed.

"It is inside me." I smiled, "I am complete."

I put my hand to my chest and pulled out Misty's body. I threw her to the floor. The X-Men came up. Ruby ran over to her sister.

"What happened?" Misty groaned as she sat up.

"I have no reason to be here now. I bid you farewell." I said.

I made myself transparent. No one could touch me physically. I turned and walked down the hall. Jean sent a telepathic pulse to my mind. I stumbled a little and kept walking. Misty flinched. Charles sent one. I was knocked onto my stomach. Misty fell forwards onto her stomach from her sitting position. I stood up and kept going.

"Impossible! She should have taken massive damage! That is impossible to just get up and walk away!" The professor was amazed.

Misty realized what she had to do.

"I was her portal here. I will be her portal back." Misty said bravely.

"But you'll be destroyed!" the professor said.

"Don't do it!" Ruby said and grabbed my hand.

"I know." Misty smiled at her, "I have to do it. There is no other way to stop her. I know what I'm doing."

"I'm going too!" Ruby smiled back.

"No, I must do this alone." she said and pulled her hand free.

She followed me up to the roof. Misty and I were on the roof. Ruby came up to watch. I had my back to her. My hands reached for the sky. Dark clouds with red lightning formed above the mansion.

"This ends here!" Misty shouted at me.

"Ooh! You sound so confident. How cute." I smiled without turning around.

Misty sent a massive pulse. I put my hands to my head in pain. She sent more pulses.

"Augh! How? How is this possible?" I was getting nervous now.

She had an effect on me. The pulses kept getting stronger and stronger. Misty could feel my pain because we were still connected telepathically. We fell to our knees. Ruby ran in and started helping Misty.

"I thought I told you to stay out of this." Misty said painfully.

"I couldn't let my sister go down alone." she smiled painfully.

We screamed as we were slowly vaporized.

"You're the best sister anyone could ever ask for." Ruby smiled.

We were finally gone. A red stone, blue stone, and a white stone fell to the roof. The X-Men came onto the roof. Jean picked up Ruby and Misty's stones. Storm picked up mine. They took them to the MRBL(Mutation Research Big Lab). Jean, Storm, Kitty, and Charles were in the room. They built a revival machine. Jean placed our stones in the tubes. Charles made a short prayer and pulled the switch. Blue electricity licked the surface of the three stones. The stones glowed bright white. They took human form. The light faded and we were standing in the tubes. Jean opened Misty and Ruby's tubes. They stepped out. The connection between Misty and me was broken.

"Kitty, Jean, Storm, go get these girls something to eat." the professor said.

When the girls left, he opened my tube. I stepped out. He rolled over to me. He was smiling at me in a way that bothered me.

"What?" I snapped.

"I find it interesting how you strive to your goal." he said, "You stopped at nothing. Even when the odds were against you, you dared to complete your mission."

"What's so interesting about that?" I asked.

"Why not use that for good instead of evil?" he asked.

"Why should I?" I asked.

"It will be a great experience and you won't be so lonely." he said, "Life will be so much easier for you."

I looked at him. The evil metal case around my heart shattered. For the first time in my life, I smiled, not with evil, but with heartfelt joy.

"Alright." I nodded.

We went down to the kitchen where Kitty, Jean, Storm, Ruby, and Misty were eating. They looked up at me with unfriendly glares.

"It's alright, she is with us now." the professor smiled.

They nodded and I sat down next to Ruby and Misty. We quickly became good friends. The next day the professor came into Kitty's room where the four of us were having a good laugh. We stopped and looked at him.

"Is there something wrong?" Kitty asked.

He answered us by sending pulses to my head. I put my hands to my head as I screamed in pain.

"Professor?" Misty shouted in surprise.

I finally passed out and fell off the bed and onto the floor. The professor telekinetically carried me to the MRL. He gently lowered me onto the table. Upstairs, Kitty ran to Jean and Storm's room. She phased through the door. Jean and Storm looked at her.

"Kitty? What's going on?" Jean asked.

"It's the professor! He just barged into my room and took Shadow!" Kitty said franticly.

"That doesn't sound like the professor at all." Jean said.

"Exactly!" Kitty said.

Storm put her hand to her head and tried to locate the professor.

"He has her in the MRL. I can't access his thoughts." Storm said.

"You don't think..." Kitty started.

"He's going to send her back!" Jean exclaimed.

Jean and Storm sprang to their feet.

"We would need every telepath on the grounds to stop him." Storm said.

"Then we'll get every telepath! Let's go!" Kitty said.

The three girls went to each room. They managed to round up twenty-two students. Frost decided to help as well. They went down to the MRL. Frost went in first. I was already in a tube, screaming in pain.

"Stop!" Frost shouted.

The professor ignored her and continued with his plan. She began sending pulses. She signaled for two girls to come in. They started helping her. More and more students came in. Soon, every telepath, including Misty and Ruby, were in the room. The pain in my head ceased. I was a human shaped glow. I looked at them helplessly. The professor fought back.

"We're one short!" Jean groaned.

I heard those words. Could I still use my powers even when I'm half way to Darkness? I had to try. I put my hands to my head and sent massive pulses. The professor was slowly brought down. He went limp in his wheelchair. Everyone fell to their knees in exhaustion. Jean and Storm went to work and reversed the process. The white glow faded and I was back. Jean opened the tube. I fell into her arms, shaking in fear with tears in my eyes.

"Shhhh. It's all over now." Jean held my head to her chest.

"Come look at this!" Kitty shouted.

Everyone, except the professor, stared down at a purple and yellow worm that was wriggling about next to the professor's wheelchair. Then it eroded away as dust. The dust vanished into the air. No one knew that it still had a faint effect on the professor. The students left. Jean, Storm, Ruby, Misty, the professor, and I stayed in the room. Jean gently shook the professor's shoulder.

"Huh?" He asked.

"You almost sent Shadow away!" Ruby snapped.

"Yeah, what's up with that?" Misty asked.

"You said I could stay!" I snapped.

"I was wrong. You have to go back." he said.

"Run, Shadow! Run!" Misty shouted.

I nodded and ran out of the room. The professor sent a telepathic mind control message to some of the students and instructors. I ran down the hall. Three girls blocked my path. They were triplets and are impossible to beat when they're together. I tried to go transparent. I couldn't. Was I losing my powers? I sure hope not! I turned around. I was trapped by a pair of twins. I was trapped. I felt something grab my ankles. I was pulled through the floor and into the hallway below. It was Kitty. She grabbed my hand and we ran down the hall. We were stopped by a small girl. She had long white hair.

"Run!" Kitty screamed.

As soon as we turned around, the little girl let out a loud, long, horrid scream that sent us tumbling head over heels down the hall.

"We need to find Kurt and get you out of here!" Kitty said.

"Where is he?" I asked.

The little girl was coming. We phased to the hallway below.

"Ouch! Hey! Easy on the tail! I don't know where she is!"

"That sounded like Kurt!" Kitty exclaimed, "Come on!"

We followed his voice. We found him being strangled by a little girl. It was Cookie. She was only five years old. Kurt was thirteen. How embarrassing! Kitty smiled and pulled out her pocket camera. She took a photo of Cookie strangling Kurt. Cookie pulled his tail and caused him to warp. We were so close to getting away. Our chance warped away.

"Oh well, we have to keep moving." Kitty sighed.

"How many floors do we have left?" I asked.

"Ten." Kitty answered.

We ran down the hall and met Jean at the stairwell.

"I'll take her from here. You go find out what that thing did to the professor." Jean said.

Kitty nodded and phased through the floor.

"Come on!" Jean said.

We ran down the stairs. Logan was waiting for us.

"Turn back!" Jean shouted.

We went back up the stairs. We were trapped on the stairs by that little girl.

"Remember when you went transparent?" Jean asked.

"Yeah?" I nodded.

"Can you do it again?" she asked.

"I can't." I said.

"What?" she gasped.

"I'm losing my powers." I admitted.

"How?" she asked.

"That's what I'd like to know!" I said.

"Great!" Jean groaned.

"I think I can still absorb powers. I have to get hit by them to absorb them though." I said.

"Oh." she sighed.

"I'll take the brat. You take him." I said.

We faced our opponents.

"Did you just call me a BRAT!" She screamed.

I took the blow and bumped Jean into Logan. My body flashed green. It worked! I took a deep breath and screamed. I sent the little girl flying out into the hallway. I looked at Jean. She was trying to escape Logan's grip on her.

"Go!" she yelled, "I'll be fine! Just go!"

"But!" I started.

"GO!" Jean snapped.

I nodded and ran up into the hallway and ran down the hall past the girl. Logan was soon hot on my tail. He was right behind me. He was not happy.

"In here!" someone whispered and pulled me into a closet.

It was Splitter who had the power of making copies of himself. He could only make up to ten copies at once. We waited until Logan passed and stayed in hiding, even though he was long gone.

"What is going on? Why is the mansion in such a flurry?" he asked.

"There is something wrong with the professor. He is trying to send me back to that awful place called Darkness. He has everyone against me. I have a few allies. They are trying to get me out of the mansion." I explained.

"So, you're the bad guy?" he asked, "Well, in your case, bad girl."

"No way! I have changed my ways. Jean was the last ally I was with. She isn't under the professor's spell. Can you help me get out of the institute?" I asked.

"Alright." he said.

He peeked out of the closet and saw that the coast was clear. We left the closet and went down the hall.

"Ouch! Let me go! Stop it! That hurts!" Kurt shouted from further down the hall.

We ran towards him, but Cookie pulled his tail and he warped.

"Someone has bad Karma."

We turned around and came face to face with Scott. We got into defensive positions.

"Whoa! Hey, ally! Ally!" he said, I'll take it from here. It will be easy."

"Bye." I said to Splitter.

"Double protection is always better." Splitter said.

"True. Let's go!" Scott said.

The three of us ran down the hall. We got to the third floor from the eighth with little trouble. The real trouble started. We ran into a group of six girls.

"Seize the girl!" Rose pointed at me.

Sadie warped Katie and Tia behind us. We were trapped. I guess we had no choice, but to fight. Scott was pulled through the floor. Then it was Splitter's turn. I was finally pulled through. It was Kitty.

"You seem to know when we're in danger." I said.

"No time for chit chat! Let's go!" Kitty said.

We ran down the hall. Jean was waiting at the end.

"Kitty!" Jean snapped, "I thought I told you to look into the professor's behavior!"

"I did!" Kitty said.

"And?" Jean asked.

"I couldn't find anything." Kitty sighed, "I tried! I really did! Honest!"

"It doesn't matter if you found it, just as long as you tried your best." Jean smiled.

"We have one more floor to go. It will be the most guarded. So, the sooner we get out, the better." Kitty said.

We knew it would be risky. But, with Kitty on our side we can phase through our attackers and their attacks.

"Kitty, how long can you phase?" I asked.

"Not long. At least not long enough to get us through." she admitted.

"Wait! I can still absorb! Kitty phase your hand through me." I said.

She did what I asked and then she pulled her hand out. I flashed a green light. I managed to phase my hand through her. Now we could take turns phasing through the mess.

"I think I know what you're getting at. I'm ready when you are." Kitty smiled.

"Let's go." I whispered, "Everyone hold hands."

We grabbed hands and went through the floor. There were three people in front of us. They turned around. It was the little girl, and the twin boys.

"Phase!" I shouted.

Kitty phased us through the trio. We, still in phase, ran down the hall as they tried to stop us with their attacks. We made it past three groups before it was my turn.

"Shadow, I'm getting tired. It's your turn." Kitty said.

"Right." I said and began my turn. We came face to face with a new opponent. Her name was Rahne. She morphed into a red and yellow wolf. She leaped into the air. She tackled me to the floor. How? Oh no! My powers! I forgot that I was losing them! This was a bad time to lose Absorb! Rahne snapped her massive jaws at me. I held her head away from my face. She tried to bite, but she couldn't reach. Slobber dripped from her mouth in long silvery strands. Her eyes glowed red with rage. Her breath was too horrible for words. My eyes were burning. I blinked and tears rolled down my cheeks, not from fear. She growled in determination.

"Guys! Help!" I shouted.

They were busy fighting off other opponents. I kicked Rahne off of me. I quickly stood up. She charged at me. I jumped out of the way. She tried again. I tried to move, but she was too quick. She had me pinned to the floor again. Scott was fighting with a foe that had a pole. Scott launched a beam from his eyes and sent the foe into the wall. He dropped his pole. I grabbed it and Rahne launched her mighty jaws for my face. I quickly held the pole in the way. She bit down on the pole. I pushed the pole outwards sending her flying backwards. I stood up and stood ready for her attack. She came at me. My fear took over and I dropped the pole and ran. She chased me down the hall. I bumped into a student. It was Aqua. She first appeared in X-Men Encounter. She saw Rahne coming at full speed, jaws wide open. She opened the little canteen on her belt. She bent some water out and splashed some on Rahne. She stopped and shook the water off of her fur. She morphed back to her human form.

"Augh! Why am I sopping wet?" she wailed as she wrung water out of her brown hair.

"WATER! That's it!" I exclaimed, "Can you use telepathy?"

"Yeah." Aqua nodded.

"See if you can get everyone to go to the Danger Room. I have an idea." I said.

"Right!" she nodded.

I ran down the hall. I managed to get past many foes. I made it to the control room. Sparky was fixing some things for the control panels.

"Sparky!" I shouted.

"Doh!" he banged his head on the underside of the control panel he was working on, "What the heck was that for?"

"Oh, sorry, can you set off the fire sprinklers from here for the danger room?" I asked.

"Yeah, why?" He asked.

"No time to explain! Just set them off when I say so!" I said.

We watched as every enslaved student and instructor entered the danger room. Aqua closed the doors and waved her arms signaling for the sprinklers.

"NOW!" I screamed.

Sparky pulled the switch and the sprinklers sprayed water on everybody. Wait! Where was the professor? He wasn't in the room. We could hear people asking questions.

"Why am I soaking wet?"

"How'd I get here?"

"What happened?"

"What in the world?"

"Why does this keep happening to me?"

"What is going on?"

"How'd I get here?"

"Where am I?"

Sparky turned them off. I ran down to meet Aqua.

"We didn't get the professor." I said.

"I know, we have to find him." She said.

We let everyone out and went into the hall. She put her hands to her head. She was trying to locate the professor.

"There she is!" a man armed with a blaster said.

"Apparently he's on Cerebro." Aqua said.

"Cerebro?" I asked as we backed up slowly.

"Supercomputer. Lets you contact anyone using your mind." Aqua explained.

"He contacted the MRD?" I asked.

She nodded, "Run!"

We made a run for it.

"Let the blue haired girl go, get the black haired girl." one said.

One shot a few balls of energy. I tripped. I quickly stood up and kept running.

"Stun her!" one shouted.

The man stopped shooting and changed his ammo. He shot a stun beam. I fell to the floor unconscious. I woke up in a cell that was poorly lit. I sat up and looked around. I noticed my cell mate. He was a tall thin teen with red hair and red shorts and a red shirt, pants, and shoes.

"Melody?" he asked.

"Huh?" I looked at him.

He looked very familiar.

"It is you! Oh, I missed you so much!" He came over to me to give me a hug.

"Whoa! Hey! Back off!" I pushed him back.

"What's wrong with you, Streamer? Don't you recognize me?" he asked.

"No, who are you?" I asked.

"You don't remember your friend from two houses down?" he asked.

"Huh?" I still had no clue.

"Streamer Melody? That's your name, isn't it?" he asked.

"No, I'm Shadow Melody." I answered.

"Oh, sorry." he sighed, "Well, I'm Red Streak."

"Just call me Shadow." I smiled.

"Well, Shadow, how'd you get in here?" Red asked.

"Betrayal." I sighed.

"De Ja Vu." he said.

"Huh?" I looked at him.

"De Ja Vu. I was betrayed too." he explained.

"Oh." I sighed.

We both looked at the door as it was opened. A teen was locked in. he had a silver outfit. He had gray hair. It was Quicksilver, my enemy when I was evil. He was evil too, we are just rivals. He sat next to Red.

"Quicksilver." I gritted my teeth.

"Shadow." He gritted his teeth.

I was about to ask how he ended up in here when the door opened again. A teenage girl was locked in. She had a T-shirt that said "CHILL". She sat in the back of the cell under the window.

"What's your name?" I asked.

"Winter, Winter Frost." she said.

"Frost? Do you know Emma Frost?" I asked.

"She's my mom. It doesn't matter now, she's dead. I watched the MRD take her down in her fight to save me." she burst into tears.

"No, she's not dead! I met her yesterday." I said.

"She's not dead?" she asked.

I shook my head. She squealed with joy.

"What's your power?" I asked.

"Teleportation. I can't do it indoors though." Winter said.

The door opened. A ten year old boy was locked in. He had a brown T-shirt that said "Stinky" in big black letters.

"Hi! I'm Stinky!" he smiled.

Quicksilver buried his face in his arms and groaned.

"What?" I asked.

He was standing at the electric barred door of the cell. Wait! Wasn't he sitting with his head in his arms a second ago? Yes, he can run at the speed of sound.

"Guard. Please switch me out of this cell!" he begged the guard standing outside the cell.

"Quiet!" the guard snapped without looking at him.

"Please! I can't be in the same cell as him!" he begged again.

"Silence yourself!" the guard glared at him.

He gave up and sat next to me across from Stinky.

"I'm Quicksilver." he said without looking at Winter.

He read her mind. I never knew he was a telepath.

"Yes, I'm a telepath." he sighed.

Winter wondered what other cool powers he had.

"I can run at the speed of sound." he answered.

"That's fast." Red said, "I can become invisible and fly, well, okay, I can levitate one foot off the ground."

"What can you do, Stinky?" I asked.

"No!" Quicksilver snapped.

"I can stink up huge areas like this." he grunted a little.

He let out a horrid smell through his skin.

"Augh!" I groaned.

"Nasty!" Red wailed.

"Hey! I can't breathe out here! Quit contaminating the air!" the guard outside the cell coughed hard.

The stench faded after a while.

"Wait! That's it!" I exclaimed.

"Alright! Here's the plan. First we..." I started.

What! I can't spoil the effect of suspense! Everyone agreed. Stinky started groaning.

"Guard! Something's wrong with Stinky! I think he's got bad indigestion!" I said in a frantic voice.

"Alright, what's the fuss?" He grumbled.

He unlocked the cell.

"Now!" I shouted.

We held our breath.

Stinky grunted and groaned loudly. He stunk up the cell in less than two seconds. The guard passed out from being overwhelmed by the smell. The stench faded. We gasped for breath after holding it so long.

"Whew! Good work Stinky! Now let's get out of here!" I said, "Quicksilver! You're up!"

"I'm on it!" he said.

In ten seconds, he knocked out all of the guards on our level and we left our cell. I recognized a few people in one of the cells. They were friends from before the MRD blew up my house.

"Shadow!" they cried out in joy.

"Wait! Where's Juarez?" I asked.

They hung their heads low in sorrow.

"We tried our best to protect her." Darwin sighed.

"She died while we were being captured by the MRD." Blaster sighed.

"Oh, well, come on. We're leaving this dump." I said.

We went to the stairs. I told everyone that I lost my powers. They knew I was counting on them to protect me no matter what. We went down to the first floor. We found all of the guards unconscious. Quicksilver only took out the second floor guards. Misty, Aqua, Ongie, Ruby, and Jean were waiting for us. They were exhausted. We went outside and Winter warped us to the mansion. The professor was waiting on the front step.

"I am so sorry for what I put you through, Shadow." he apologized, "Turns out that there was a Tikuikui still around and it possessed me."

"What you put me through, it gave me experience. I had to figure out how to handle each new situation. I needed all of this. Thank you." I said.

"You needed this?" he was confused, "Never mind that. Who are these fine people?"

"This is Kuzon." I pointed to the youngest boy.

He had short black hair. He had a head band with a flame design on it. He wore red and yellow clothes.

"This is Winter-" I started.

"Frost. I know your mother, Emma Frost." the professor smiled.

"This is Stinky." I said.

"Want to know why I'm called that?" Stinky asked.

"NO!" Quicksilver and I shouted at the same time.

We looked at each other and blushed. Maybe I was too competitive back then. Maybe he's not such a bad guy?

"Fine, no need to yell." he was surprised.

"This is Red. Uh, where'd you go?" I looked around.

"I'm right here!" he said.

"Where?" I asked.

"Here." he said and reappeared right in front of me.

"Wah!" I jumped back in surprise.

Everyone laughed.

"Very funny." I smiled, "Now, this is Rythmi."

She had a neon pink western hat. She had neon green jeans. She had on a pair of neon blue boots. She had a neon red neckerchief around her neck. She spoke in a very strong western accent.

"People usually call me the Western Rhythm. Jist call me West." she said.

"Oh, sorry, this is West." I said.

West tipped her hat.

"This is Darwin." I smiled.

He was wearing all black and yellow.

"Finally, we have Lee." I said.

He wore all black. He looked at the ground as he shifted from foot to foot.

"He's very shy. He doesn't talk much." I added.

"Why don't we talk about your adventure over a nice hot meal. I'm sure you're all starving." Jean suggested.

"Yeah!" we cheered.

"Quicksilver? Don't you have to get back to the Brotherhood?" Jean asked.

"Nah, I dumped them. I'd like to crash here for a while." he said.

"Well, alright, but don't cause any trouble!" Jean warned him.

In three seconds he was in the dining hall.

"You head in. Professor, we need to talk." I said.

Everyone, except me and the professor, went in.

"Yes, what do you wish to talk about?" the professor asked.

"I lost my powers." I said.

"How?" he asked.

"I don't know. Am I able to get them back?" I asked.

"I'm not sure. We can try." he said.

We went to the MRL. We did some research on my problem. I found a potion.

"Professor! Come look at this!" I exclaimed.

We looked at the ingredients.

One Dragon Scale

Two Deep Sea Shark Teeth

Ten Hondew Berries

Three Red Conch

Twelve Pieces Of Pyrite

Seven Grains of Diamond

Hot Spring Water from the Diamond Oasis

"Wow!" I exclaimed, "Where are we supposed to find all this?"

"I'll print it out." he said and took over on the computer.

When he printed them out and handed them to me, he looked up where each item was found and I wrote them next to the ingredients.

"You can't do this alone." He said.

"Yes, I know." I said.

"You must take five people with you." He said.

I nodded and went to the main lobby. Everyone was seated at a large table.

"I can't wait to hear the story!" Kuzon said.

I thought for a moment. I decided to tell the story first. I sat down at the table. When the food was on the table and everyone was seated, I began.

"I had to find a host. I found Misty." I pointed at her.

"Shadow, may I offer a suggestion?" The professor asked.

"Yeah?" I looked at him.

"I can make it into a movie. I can project it out of my mind and onto a wall." the professor suggested.

"Hey! That's a great idea!" I said.

He put one hand to his head and one hand on mine. He absorbed my adventure in both Misty and my view. When he finished, he faced a large wall. He put his hands to his head and projected a fifty by fifty motion picture onto the huge wall. When we got to the part where I completely overshadowed Misty, Scott came in.

"What's going on?" Scott interrupted.

The professor paused the movie. Everyone looked at him.

"SSSHHHHH!" we all snapped.

"Sorry, sorry." Scott said and sat down in an empty chair at the table.

The professor continued the movie. When we got to the part where everyone was knocking me down, I heard some students snicker. I was knocked down again. The same people snickered again, a little louder this time. I tried again to stand up. Bobby froze the ground under my feet. I slipped and fell on the hard ice. Everyone made a small laugh. I stood up carefully on the slippery ice. Then Jean telepathically knocked me out. A teen came in. She had deep blue hair and beautiful icy blue eyes. She came in at the part where I ran into Kurt when he warped in front of me. He fell on his back and I fell on top of him. I looked into his face. He made a sinister smile. He was going to warp me to the professor! Some of the people at the table gasped. I tried to get off of him, but he had his long whip like tail wrapped around my waist. He grabbed my wrists. I couldn't get away. He warped me into the MRL. My target was in the basement. They knew I would make another move. They had the building heavily guarded. I fought many foes. I finally reached the basement stairs. I went in. Storm brought a huge group of students to stand in every crossway in the basement. She had the most important post of all, my target. If I found her, I'd find what I needed. I battled many brave students who stood in my way. I ran into a young girl. She was me. Only, she was me when I was twelve years old. I tried to hit her with my telepathic pulses. It had no effect.

"That was me." Jean said.

The professor paused the video.

"I tried to explain the situation to you with a mirage of you when you were younger." she said.

"That was you?" I asked.

She nodded.

"Mirages couldn't attack. How did it shoot a bolt of electricity?" I asked.

"That was me!" Dan said.

"Oh." I said and nodded to the professor to continue.

I created a force field around me and ran. Kurt warped inside my shield. He swept his foot into mine and I tripped. The force field vanished. Kurt flipped me over. The gem was gone. It was inside me. It still is. It stabilizes my ability to live in this world. I pulled Misty's body out of me and tossed it to the floor and ran up to the roof. I stood with my arms reaching to the sky where dark clouds with red lightning were forming. Misty came onto the roof. 'This ends here!' she shouted. I thought it was cute how she thought she could stop me. I was wrong. She sent pulses into my head. I felt them. She could feel them too. She stood her ground. I stood mine. Ruby came up and joined in. They fought to the point where we slowly began being vaporized. We fell to the roof as stones.

"Oh no!" some of the audience gasped.

After the professor asked me to join the team and I agreed after a little persuasion and I was no longer under the spell of day and night and the next night, chaos began again when the professor came into Kitty's room where Misty, Ruby, Kitty, and I were having a good laugh. The movie was interrupted by a loud roar. The professor, startled, stopped projecting the movie.

"Who was that?" he asked.

No one had an answer. The professor telepathically tried to figure out what it was, but he couldn't.

"It came from outside!" I said.

We went outside to the practice field. There were two dragons dueling each other. They were flying all over the field. They would roar insults at each other every now and then when they got close to each other. They noticed us and landed in front of us. They morphed into humans. One was a boy and the other was a girl.

"Uh, how long were you standing there?" the boy asked.

"The whole time." I said.

He blushed.

"Well, I'm Jet and this is my sister, Jay." He said.

"I like your powers!" I said.

"Yeah, I love it too. I can pick on my sister in the extremes." he whispered to me.

"I heard that!" Jay snapped.

She spat a few sparks at his foot. He jumped out of the way.

"What?" Jet whined.

"Watch your mouth!" Jay snapped.

He shook his head. Then we felt the ground shake under our feet. We looked around. It was the Brotherhood. The shakes were from Blob's heavy footsteps. Quicksilver dashed over to them.

"What are you doing here?" he hissed in a whisper.

"We want you to come back!" Toad begged.

"After what you did? Forget it!" Quicksilver said and turned his back to the team.

"But-" Toad started.

"You want trouble? I'll give you trouble!" He pointed at us.

"We need you! Please come back." Mystique said.

Quicksilver looked at her.

"I'm sorry, but I have a home." he said, "My home is here."

Mystique nodded. She understood.

"Come on, boys, let him go." she sighed.

The Brotherhood left sadly empty handed. The last thing of the Brotherhood Quicksilver saw was a tear sliding down Mystique's face. Quicksilver felt bad for her, but his decision was final.

"I want to hear the rest of the story!" Kuzon said.

"Sorry, but I have to go somewhere." I said.

The young students groaned.

"Professor? Who should I take with me?" I asked.

"You must choose your teammates." He said.

"Attention please!" I said.

Everyone looked at me, wondering what I had to say.

"I have lost my powers. To get them back, I have to go to many places. I can't do it alone. I need five people." I said.

Many students were waving their arms and screaming, Pick Me! Pick Me! I looked at my list.

"Jet, I need a scale from you." I said.

Jet went dragon and I felt for a loose scale. I took one. He changed back to a human. Shark teeth?

"I need someone who can breathe underwater and brave enough to attack a deep sea shark." I said.

Sammie stepped forward.

"I'm just a kid, but I'm tougher than you think." he said.

"You're in." I said, "I need someone who knows a lot about berries."

A girl stepped forward. She was eighteen years old.

"I need someone who can bend rock." I said.

Jean stepped forward.

"I need someone who can swim in lava." I said.

Ongie stepped forward.

"I'm coming too!" Ruby ran over and stood next to me.

"So am I!" Misty ran over to me.

"Me too!" Ongie shouted.

"Us too!" Jet and Jay said.

"I'm tagging along whether you like it or not!" Aqua said.

"Alright!" I smiled, "We leave tomorrow morning!"

My new team cheered. My team and I spent the rest of the day planning for the trip. We slept in the same room. The boys stayed in the room next door. The next morning we ate a huge breakfast. We grabbed our things and went outside.

"Wait!" Kurt said, "I can get you there faster."

We held hands and we were warped to a boat dock. I walked up to a large man.

"Are you the boat keeper?" I asked.

"You looking for a boat?" he asked.

"Yeah. We need it." I said.

"That'll be fifty dollars." he said.

"Oh, we forgot the money!" Ruby said.

"No money, no boat!" he said.

Kurt warped back to the mansion. He warped back to the dock. He had thirty dollars.

"Here, is this enough?" Kurt asked.

"I said fifty!" he said.

"This is all we have. I swear I will bring you twenty as soon as I can." I said.

He looked at us.

"Well, only if you promise to bring the twenty. You can have this boat." he led us to a small boat that looked like it could sink any second.

We stepped in and left the dock. I looked at a thermal radar screen. There was a huge cluster of large fish. We stopped just outside the cluster. Sammie jumped in. thirty minutes later, Sammie climbed back in with six teeth.

"I didn't have to fight them. They just gave me them. All I said was six teeth." Sammie said.

"Two down, five to go!" I said, "Next stop, uh, Devin?"

"Yeah?" she looked at me.

"Do you know where to find Hondew-" I started.

She nodded. We went back to the dock.

"Don't forget to pay me twenty!" the boat keeper yelled.

"We won't!" I said, "Devin? Where do you find Hondew berries?"

"Not here! It's much too moist. We need to find Emerald Forest." Devin answered.

"I know where that is!" Kurt said, "I'll warp us there."

One second we were on a dock, and the next, we were in a forest. Devin led us to two bushes with yellow and black fruit. One had fruit with horizontal black lines and the other had vertical lines. She grabbed ten of each.

"We only need ten." I pointed out.

"I can't remember which is which." she admitted.

"Next is..." I looked at the list, "Three red conch spikes."

We warped to Myrtle Beach which was twenty miles south of the mansion. Sammie dove into the sea. He came back with a bag full of red conch spikes.

"Next we have to find..." I looked at the list, "Twelve pieces of pyrite."

We warped to the Appalachian Mountains, which were ten miles south of Myrtle beach.

"Pyrite is most likely found near the top where snow forms." Jean said, "Let's check up there."

We agreed. I turned to Kurt.

"Kurt-" I started.

He warped ahead of us. He was going to make us walk and climb up. He can be so rude at times. Twenty minutes into the hike, Kurt spoke to us through our communicators.

"I'm trapped! I can't warp! A boulder fell on my tail!" Kurt reported.

"Don't talk so loud. You might cause an avalanche." Jean warned him.

"Sorry." he said, "It really hurts."

"Just hang in there, we're coming." Jean said, "Let's go."

We ran up the path. We spotted Kurt on a ledge. He was way up there. There was no way to get to him. Not even Jean's telekinesis could hold someone steady in that nasty wind. Kurt was stuck and if he was stuck, we were stuck. Jean tried to contact the professor. She got no response.

"I can't reach the professor, we can't get to Kurt, and we can't get home. What else could go-" Jean said.

"Don't jinx it!" Devin warned her, but she was too late.

Storm clouds rolled in and lightning flashed followed by the clash of thunder. We felt the mountains tremble under the wrath of the thunder.

"You just had to say it! You just had to!" I snapped.

We found a small cave not too far from Kurt's ledge. I saw a shadow form on the cave floor from a flash of lightning.

"Professor?" I looked at the entrance.

No one was there. I sighed and we waited and waited as the storm went on and on. I wondered how Kurt was doing. He was worried that he was going to get hit. He didn't see us anywhere.

"Yikes!" he cried when a bolt hit the side of the mountain just thirty feet away from him. A fire broke out, but it was quickly extinguished by the heavy rain.

"They better be figuring out how to get me out of this predicament." Kurt sighed.

Back in the cave, we were trying to figure out how to get help to Kurt. Right now, the odds of success seemed to dwindle and fade into the dark. When hope was almost out of reach, a little light brightened in my head. Why did I bring these people? Kurt is transportation, Ongie can swim in lava, Jean can- Egad! She can dig through rock using telekinesis! She came along to dig out pyrite and bits of diamond! If she came along to do that, surely she can tunnel to Kurt's ledge. I looked outside. it was pitch black. You couldn't even see the tip of your nose! I decided to tell Kurt to hang in there until the sun came up. I went outside in the freezing rain.

"KURT!" I screamed over the howling wind.

"YOU HAVE A PLAN?" He screamed back.


"I'LL TRY!" He screamed.

I went back into the cave. No one could sleep with Kurt and home on their minds. The night seemed to never end. Back at the mansion, the professor noticed that he hadn't heard from us for quite a while. He was getting worried. He sat down at Cerebro. He put the helmet on and began his telepathic search for my team. He found nothing. Now he was really worried. He tried the communication system. He only heard static.

"Something must have happened to them! I must find out what!" he grunted to himself.

He looked outside. The storm we were in was extended over seven states. It was a hurricane at level eight. At least it felt like it. Morning finally came. The storm was still raging, but not as strong as last night. It was time to put my plan to action.

"Alright! Listen up! I know how to get to Kurt!" I shouted.

Everyone looked at me in anticipation.

"The reason I brought you along, Jean. What is that reason?" I asked.

"To dig out some diamond and pyrite. What point does that make?" she said.

"Think hard about that." I said.

"I can dig through rock! I can dig to Kurt!" she gasped.

"You figured it out. Do you want to go through with it?" I asked.

"Yes. Let's go!" Jean said.

We went out under Kurt's ledge. He was still asleep. How could he sleep in a time like this? Jean began digging her way through the solid rock. We followed her up. We finally reached the ledge. Jean tried to telekinetically lift the giant rock off of Kurt's tail. She couldn't lift it even an inch.

"It's no good! I can't lift it!" she said.

"You can't, but together we can!" I said.

We helped her lift it. With one hand, I pulled Kurt out by his tail. Then we set the boulder down. I gently shook Kurt's shoulder. He sat up.

"Kurt. You are free." I said.

He gasped in excitement. He warped all over the mountain. He warped to the very top where unstable snow was resting.

"I'M FREE!" he screamed.

His voice echoed through the mountains. We heard a loud rumbling sound.

"Shadow, please tell me that was your stomach." Jean said nervously.

"Avalanche!" I pointed towards the top of the mountain.

I was right. Tons of snow was coming at us at full speed. We didn't run for we had no chance of out running it. I closed my eyes and braced for impact. We were tossed around in the mixture of dirt and snow. We finally stopped. We were buried deep in the snow. We couldn't move. We couldn't reach our communicators. We were trapped!

(Wait! Maybe the professor can hear my thoughts!) I thought to myself, (Here goes nothing. PROFESSOR!)

Back at the mansion, the professor tried Cerebro again.

(PROFESSOR!) he heard my shout and nearly fell out of his wheelchair in surprise.

(Shadow? Shadow, is that you?) he asked.

(Yes! Boy am I glad to hear your voice, or in this case, thought.) I sighed.

(What is going on? Why did you scream my name?) he asked.

(We're trapped in the remains of an avalanche Kurt caused. It's getting pretty cold out here.)

(Where are the others?) he asked.

(I don't know where anyone is.) I admitted.

(Well, help is on its way.) he said.

He telepathically called for Scott, Storm, Kitty, and Quicksilver to report to the map room. He pointed out our exact location in the mountains. Then the team flew the hover jet to the coordinates. They landed at the base of the mountain so they wouldn't start a second avalanche. They began the long hike up the steep slope. Quicksilver was already standing above us and was already digging fast. When the rest of the rescue team arrived, he had already found Jean, but she was unconscious. He zipped her down to the warm interior of the jet. Then he sped back up the slope. Scott and Storm were digging Aqua out. Quicksilver dug Ongie, Misty, and Sammie out and carried them one by one down to the jet. He came back up. Scott handed Aqua to him. She was taken to the jet. Quicksilver dug Devin and Grace out and took them to the jet. He noticed some of them were waking up, so he went to the jet's small kitchen and made hot chocolate for them. Then he zipped back up and dug up Kurt and took him to the jet. Then he went back up and helped search for me. They couldn't find me anywhere. The professor spoke to Scott in his mind from the mansion.

(Scott, I'm only sensing nine active minds besides you and the rescue team. Where's Shadow?) he asked.

(We're looking as carefully and hard as we can!) Scott said.

I wasn't in the snow. While we were tumbling in the avalanche, I was sucked down through a hole in the ground. I was sucked into the cave that we had spent the night trying to find a way to get to Kurt's ledge. I was unconscious. I was lying right next to our undisturbed bag of potion ingredients. I was awake in my mind. I sent a pulse out of the small hole and into Scott's head.

(Scott? Are you alright?) the professor asked.

(Yeah, I just felt something throb in my head for a second.) He said, (I'm fine now.)

(You don't suppose that was Shadow calling you?) he asked.

(I don't know.) he said.

(Scott! Help me! I know exactly where you're standing. Face the top of the mountain and take thirty steps. Then take ten to the left.) I said.

He did as I had asked. The others watched him as he went counting to himself. He took one more step and vanished into the hole. The team ran over to where he had vanished. Scott slid down the hole and landed on me. He quickly climbed off and stood up.

"Scott?" Kitty asked from above, "You alright?"

"Yeah." he called up to them, "Go see if Kurt's awake!"

Quicksilver sped to the jet.

"Kurt?" he said.

Kurt was sitting between Ongie and Ruby. He was one happy camper. Sitting between two cute girls was the best thing that could happen in his perspective. He looked up from his drink.

"Scott's trapped. Do you have enough strength to get him out?" he asked.

Kurt warped next to him with a big grin of determination on his face.

"You bet your speed I do!" He smiled.

"Oh, good!" Quicksilver sighed in relief.

Kurt warped up to the hole. Quicksilver met him a second later.

"He's down there." Kitty pointed at the hole.

Kurt warped underground. He warped next to Scott who had me close in his arms to keep me warm.

"Jean's not going to be happy about that." Kurt smiled.

"No, she's not, because she's not going to know about it! Got that!" Scott knew Kurt thought he was cuddling me.

(I already know.) Jean tapped into Kurt and Scott's minds.

"Man! I hate telepathy!" Scott scoffed.

(Don't worry. I'm not mad. You just had to keep her warm. I can't get mad over that.) Jean said.

Scott put me on his back and grabbed one of Kurt's three fingered hands. Then Kurt warped us out of the cave. He warped us next to Kitty. Quicksilver took me from Scott and put me on his back. Then he zipped me down to the jet. He thought for a moment. He sped back up and brought each member of the rescue team to the jet. Then they took us back to the mansion. I was still out.

"We all passed out around the same time, right? So, why is she still out?" Misty asked when both teams and the professor came into the MRL.

Scott placed me on the table. Everyone, except the professor stood against the wall. The professor was at the head of the table where my head was. He held his hands at the sides of my head. His palms were in line with my ears. His hands did not touch my head. He closed his eyes. Before he began, he telepathically told everyone to be completely silent. He needed all the concentration he could get. Everyone sat down because they knew they could not stand still for a long time. The professor took a deep breath and began. I could hear him.

(Shadow, can you hear me?) he asked.

(Help me! I'm being dragged back to that dreadful place!) I screamed.

(Jean, assistance! Please!) the professor said franticly.

Jean ran over to help. She hovered her hands above my face.

(Storm!) he said.

She came over and held Jean's wrist in one hand and the professor's in her other hand. Pain shot through the three telepaths. They were suddenly repulsed against the wall. Aqua and Ongie jumped out of Jean's way. Kurt warped and Kitty dove out of the professor's way. Misty and Ruby dove out of Storm's way. A Sphere of icy blue light enveloped me and the table.

"What's happening?" Misty's voice cracked in fear.

"I don't know." the professor was frightened as well.

Misty and Ruby gasped when my body rose into the air and began to fade.

"What's happening to her?" Misty asked.

"She is not stable in our world anymore. She is returning to Darkness." he figured it out, "That's why she lost her powers."

"NO! I WON'T LET HER!" Misty shouted.

She ran over to the icy blue sphere around me. She tried to reach her hand through. Pain shot through her, but she didn't care. She kept going. She managed to get one hand through the barrier. She grabbed my arm.


(I CAN'T!) I screamed in Misty's mind.


I opened my eyes and looked into her eyes. She believed in me. She meant it. I had to believe. Pain surged through me. I groaned in pain. The pain ceased and the icy blue sphere faded. My body stopped fading and reappeared. I fell to the table. Misty let go of my arm and stepped back in surprise. I sat up and looked at her. Then I coughed up water from the melted snow of the avalanche. Aqua, the waterbender, ran over to me and clenched her fist causing the water in my lungs to turn into steam and rise out of my mouth. I could breathe easily now.

"You did it!" I smiled, "You brought me back! I couldn't ask for a better friend."

"Aw heck, it was nothing." Misty smiled, "I just did what I had to do."

"You did it because you cared." I smiled.

"How'd you know what I was thinking?" Misty asked.

"I don't know." I shrugged.

Jean telepathically scanned my entire body.

"Everything is completely stable! She has all of her powers back!" she reported.

"It's a miracle!" Ruby cried.

"Let's celebrate!" Ongie suggested.

"Great idea, sis!" Aqua agreed.

Before the party, I went down to the basement and placed the potion ingredient sack on the pedestal that the Shadow Diamond once occupied. Suddenly, the diamond floated out of my chest and tried to settle back in its resting place. I moved the bag and it settled into place. I placed the little sack at the base of the pedestal. I looked at the smoky gem and smiled.

"What a crazy person I was before. Now, I know I am on the right path, the path to a good future." I said to myself.

Misty poked her head in, "Shadow, the party can't start without you."

I followed her up and we joined in to help the others in setting up the decorations for the wild party. When everything was ready, we partied the night away. Morning came and we had breakfast. We went into the lobby to chat.

"I still can't get over the fact that you saved me! I used you to come back. You knew that, but you saved me anyway!" I smiled at Misty.

"I told you I did what I had to do." she smiled.

We nearly fell out of our seats when the front door slammed open. We looked in the direction of the door. A girl who looked just like me, she had black hair just a little shorter than mine, her clothes were black, and she looked very pale. She looked like a ghost. She was gasping for breath.

"Streamer!" I exclaimed.

"You know her?" Kurt asked.

"Know her? She's my good sister!" I said, "I was evil and she was heroic."

She passed out and collapsed to the floor. I sprang out of my seat and ran over to her.

"Streamer?" I shook her shoulder.

She didn't respond. I was scared.

"Quick, get the professor in here!" I shouted.

"Why?" Grace asked.

"Just do it!" I shouted at them.

Grace flinched at my sudden outburst. Misty ran out of the room. She came back with the professor. We took her to the MRL. Fortunately, her unconsciousness wasn't too serious like mine were. We only had to wait around thirty minutes. She opened her eyes and looked at me. I went over to her.

"Shadow." she said weakly.

"What happened?" I asked.

"Co...Cobra." she said faintly.

"He's back?" I asked.

"He's looking for you. He wants you dead." she said.

"This is bad!" I gasped.

"He's waiting for you outside." She gasped.

"YOU LED HIM TO ME!" I exclaimed.

"I'm sorry..." she mumbled.

Those were her last words as her head sunk into the pillow. It took me a few seconds to realize that my sister had died. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I couldn't believe it.

"Streamer?" I shook her shoulder, "No, Streamer! Don't do this to me! Don't die on me now! Streamer! STREAMER!"

"She's gone." the professor sighed.

"This just got personal!" I hissed.

"Whoa! Wait! You're just going to go out there alone with no plan or friends?" Misty asked, "Well, you're not! I'm coming with you!"

"Me too!" Ruby said.

"Us as well!" Jean, Storm, Aqua, Ongie, Kitty, Kurt, and Scott said.

"You're not keeping me out!" Quicksilver said.

"You'll help me?" I asked in surprise.

"Why shouldn't we?" Misty asked.

"Let's go!" I shouted.

"Wait!" the professor shouted.

We looked at him.

"I have an idea." he said, "Here's what we'll do."

Outside, Cobra was getting impatient. I came out.

"It'ssss about time you came out!" he hissed, "Let'sssss get thissss over with!"

He came at me full speed. I stepped to the side and he passed with a loud hiss of annoyance. He tried again. I dodged him yet again. He was getting furious. It was time for phase two. He came at me. I led him through the mansion. Storm and Jean were ready for phase two. They stood across the hall facing each other with Kitty in the middle. She was dressed like me. She had a holographic inducer ring. I tagged her hand and hid behind Jean so Cobra would only see the fake Shadow. He ran right towards her. She phased through the floor. Then Jean and Storm sent massive pulses into his head. While groaning in pain he stomped his massive foot on the floor and fell to the floor below. Kitty knew he would do that so she had to lure him to the third phase.

"Hey! Your mother's a worm!" she insulted him.

"What did you jusssst ssssay?" His scaly skin turned a fiery red, "Nobody makesssss fun of my mother and livesssss!"

He chased her down the hall. It was the entire team's turn to enrage and confuse him even further. The more confused he was, the better the chance the professor had at shutting him down. Kitty led him into a large room filled with instructors and students with holographic inducer rings. There were at least a hundred Shadows in the room. I was in the room as well. I was in the dead center.

"Which one of you issss the real Ssshadow?" he roared.

"I am!" everyone shouted.

"There'ssss only one Sssshadow!" he shouted, "Who issss it?"

"I can duplicate myself!" everyone said.

He went to the middle of the room. I stepped back and out of his sight. We all circled him and gave him a twenty foot distance between us.

"Which one of you issss the real one?" he hissed.

"I am!" Kurt said.

It was a fortune that the rings disguised our voices. He started for him.

"I am!" Kitty shouted from behind him.

He turned around and started for her.

"I am!" Jean said.

He started for her. The plan was working. It was time. All of the telepaths moved to the front and the professor began sending pulses. Then the two students on his sides joined in and the two students next to them joined in. Soon, every telepath was sending pulses into his mind. I stepped into the circle. He was on his hands and knees. He looked up at me.

"I am the true Shadow. I'm sorry, you led yourself to this fate." I stepped back and gave the final blow.

He passed out and collapsed to the floor. Then Jean, Storm, and the professor telekinetically took him down to the basement where he was preserved in a large tube. He will never grow old, feel hungry, or feel anything. It'll be like he just exists. I felt sorry for him, but he had it coming. Everyone took their rings off and handed them to their instructors and left. Ruby, Kurt, Misty, Scott, Quicksilver, Aqua, Ongie, Kitty, and I remained in the large room.

"What should we do now?" Misty asked.

"Huh?" I asked.

"Well, now that this whole mess is behind us, shouldn't we, like, party or something?" Kitty asked.

"That's a great idea!" I agreed, "But, my sister."

Jean, Storm, and the professor came back.

"Shadow?" I looked at the professor.

Something behind him caught my eye. A girl was standing behind him. She had white hair, her clothes were white.

"STREAMER!" I ran over to her and gave her a big hug.

I looked at the professor. He knew I was stunned to see her alive and well.

"Turns out, she had a spark of life that saved her. We found her wandering around the basement." he said.

"Hey, professor, can we throw a party?" Kitty asked.

"That sounds like a wonderful idea." he agreed.

"Hey, Kurt?" I asked.

"Yeah?" he looked at me.

"Can you take this to the boat keeper?" I held out a twenty dollar bill.

He took it and warped. He warped outside the boat rental. The man was sanding one of his newly built boats.

"Excuse me, sir?" Kurt said.

The man turned around.

"Hey! I remember you! You were part of that group who owes me money!" he said.

"Yeah, we would have paid you back sooner, but we had a little chaos lately. So, Shadow kept her promise and told me to give you this." Kurt held out the twenty.

"That girl really is something special. Tell her I said thanks!" he smiled and Kurt warped back to the mansion.

"Did he accept it?" I asked.

Kurt nodded. With that, we ended the chaos with a wild party that lasted the entire night. We went to sleep around five in the morning. I didn't sleep though. I had something on my mind. My big sister, Shasta, was nowhere to be found. I didn't know if she was dead or alive. All I knew was that I had to find her. I decided to head out tonight. Everyone was asleep. Speedy was preparing a big breakfast for the twentieth anniversary of the Xavier Institute with many strange fruit like the Pikoia berry or the Wakika melon. He was always a good chef. I went down to the kitchen where Streamer was talking to Speedy as he worked.

"Streamer? What are you doing up?" I asked.

"Couldn't sleep." She yawned.

"I'll have my meal to go." I said.

"Oh? Where are you going this early?" Speedy asked.

"Out." I said.

"Out where?" Streamer asked.

"Who's leaving?" Toni asked when he came from the back of the kitchen carrying a bowl of Pukitu berry pudding.

"Shadow is." Speedy said, "And she's not leaving until she spills the can of Fujiki berries."

I knocked over the can of Fujiki berries.

"Very funny. Now, where are you going?" Speedy asked as he cleaned up the mess.

"Fine! I'm going to look for Shasta!" I said.

"Shasta?" Streamer asked, "Who is Shasta?"

"Shasta is our big sister. I'm not sure if she's alive or not. I want to find her." I said.

Blue came in.

"Hey, Shadow. You know Shasta? We're best buds! I hung out with her yesterday." she said.

"Yesterday? You mean, she's alive?" I asked.

"Yeah, is there a problem?" she asked.

"Well, six years ago, our house was destroyed and our parents were dead. Shasta was nowhere to be found." I said.

"Oh. We live together in a small shack up in the mountains." she said, "I'll take you to him. We'll have to get past Zuko first."

"Take me to her at once! Don't keep me waiting!" I insisted.

"I'm coming too!" Streamer said.

"So, it's Blue, Streamer, and me. Alright! Let's go!" I said.

We headed out with Blue leading the way. We came to the base of the mountain range.

"It's a long way. Are you up to the journey?" Blue asked.

"Yeah." I smiled.

"You bet!" Streamer said.

"Let's go!" Blue said and led us to a secret path that only Blue and Zuko, and Shasta knew about.

It looked like the path was rarely used. Tree branches and shrubs covered parts of the path and made it hard for passage.

Blue accidentally let a branch fly back and hit Streamer in the face. This branch had Kopichi berries on it. Some got in her mouth.

"Yum!" she licked her lips, "Kopichi berries! My favorite!"

"The forest gets very dense, so keep up." she said.

After two hours, we came to a small shack. It was in poor condition. A boy was sitting outside the door. He looked at us and stood up. He didn't look too happy. Blue quickly went over to him.

"I know I wasn't supposed to tell anyone about our hideout. They are friends of Shasta." she explained.

"We're actually her sisters!" I corrected him.

"They came to see her." she said.

"Fine, but she just left." Zuko said.

"Where did she go?" I asked.

"She didn't say. I don't know when she'll be back." Zuko said.

"We can wait here. We can wait for him to return." Streamer said.

"It could be days." Zuko said.

"I can wait." I said.

"You don't have to wait long."

We looked to see who it was. I was surprised to find Shasta standing next to me.

"I forgot my Sparks." she went into the shack and came out with a small sack.

"Shasta, do you remember us?" I asked.

"I know Blue and Zuko, but I've never seen you two." she admitted.

"We're your sisters. You know, before the tragedy?" I said, "We were together then, and now we're together again."

"Still don't know you. I have to go." she said.

"We're coming too." Streamer said.

"Fine, you can tell me about yourselves on the way." she said.

"Oh, Speedy made this. It's my breakfast; I was hoping to split it between the three of us." I handed her a portion and Streamer a portion.

We ate our late breakfast and set off with Shasta leading the way. Along the way, I thought to myself. Why does Shasta need Sparks? That's MRD equipment. The Sparks are what the MRD use to catch difficult mutants.

"Shasta, what are the Sparks for?" I asked.

Shasta seemed a little nervous and avoided my question.

"See that boulder, it looks like a turtle." she said.

"Yeah, it does!" Streamer said.

"You didn't answer my question." I said.

"This is as far as we can go together. I must continue alone." Shasta said.

We let her go. I kept a good distance as I followed her. She went into a small village of about twenty huts. She took out some Sparks and kicked a door down. I could hear what she shouted.

"Hand over the mutants!" she said.

She went in and came out with two stone figures. They were the mutants. She turned them to stone! I finally realized what was going on. Shasta was working for the MRD! She went to each hut and ended with twenty-six figures of innocent people. A large aircraft came and took them away. Shasta was coming back. I ran back and waited with Streamer. I whispered what I had seen and threatened her to keep her mouth shut about it. Shasta came up to us.

"Ready to go back?" she asked.

"Why don't we head to my place?" I asked.

"Sure." she nodded.

We went to the mansion. I searched for the professor. Jean seemed a little spooked. I went over to her.

"Is everything alright?" I asked.

"The professor is gone! I went to give him some water when he was in bed. I gave him the water and turned my back. I wanted to ask him something and when I turned around, he was gone!" Jean explained.

"I wanted to talk to him. Can you get a fix on his location?" I asked.

"I tried." She said.

"And?" I asked.

"No luck." She sighed.

"Oh, well I guess I'll tell you then. I must talk to you alone with Streamer." I led her to my room.

Streamer was in there. I had her view my experience. Jean was in tears.

"Those poor people!" Jean cried.

"They are all mutants." I pointed out.

"That's right!" Shasta came in.

"Run!" Jean shouted.

"Give me the professor!" she yelled.

Streamer followed us to the danger room where the professor was the whole time.

"Shasta, she wants you!" Jean said, "You need to stop her!"

"Don't worry, we'll stop her!" Scott said.

Shasta barged in and charged for me and the professor.

Jean telekinetically lifted Shasta away from us. Shasta whipped up a spell.

"De telepathie weert af!" she shouted.

Jean fell to her knees and lost control. Shasta dropped to her feet and continued toward us. She sent a pulse spell.

"Mening Bongu!" she shouted.

A pulse roared in both our minds.

I tried to send a pulse into her mind. No good! Of course!

"Remove Shasta's helmet! It's blocking our pulses!" I shouted.

Blue rammed into her and knocked her into a wall. Kurt saw his chance and warped in on her back. He undid one of the six latches. She grabbed his tail and threw him into a wall and rammed Blue into a wall for payback. Scott sent a beam from his eyes and hit a latch. The force of the beam sent Shasta flying into a wall. Storm whipped up a funnel around Shasta and undid the remaining latches. I telekinetically removed her helmet. Shasta knew she had to act fast and get me and the professor. The professor looked at me and I looked at him. We nodded at each other and sent pulses at maximum power into Shasta's mind. Shasta charged towards us. The pulses knocked her out. She collapsed to the floor. I knelt next to her. I noticed a small red insignia on the back of her neck. M.M.

"What do you make of this, professor?" I asked.

"M.M. I've heard it somewhere before." Jean said.

"I think if I write it down, I can look it up." She wrote it down on a slip of paper and left the room.

The others left me, Streamer, unconscious Shasta, and the professor alone. Shasta sat up.

"What's going on? What time is it?" she asked.

She looked at the clock.

"I'm gonna be late!" She ran towards the exit, but Streamer and I stopped her.

"Heading off to capture more mutants?" I asked.

"What do you mean?" she was nervous.

How'd she find out? She wondered. She took a few steps back.

"I don't know what you're talking about. Just let me go!" she said.

"Tell us about what Shadow is talking about." The professor said.

"I don't know what you're talking about! Just leave me alone!" she cried.

Rogue came out of nowhere and touched Shasta skin to skin. Shasta collapsed to the floor and instantly stood back up.

"Shasta has been taking mutants from the Haruba Village up in the mountains. She has no idea who her master is." She said.

While we were discussing what to do, Shasta managed to sneak out of the room.

"Shasta! She's gone!" Streamer exclaimed.

"Find her!" the professor shouted.

We ran out of the room. I saw her running down the hall. I chased after her. She tripped on someone's hand that stuck out of the floor. Kitty phased up through the floor.

"Did I do that?" she asked.

"Thanks." I pinned Shasta to the floor.

"Get off me!" Shasta wailed.

"Not until you give me some answers!" I said.

"What do you want to know?" she asked.

"Who are you working for?" I asked.

"I told you! I don't know! I would tell you if I knew! I swear!" she said.

"Verdwijn!" she said and 'vanished.'

"I always hated that vanishing spell." I sighed.

She reappeared inside my room where Streamer was.

"Sorry!" Shasta apologized.

"It's okay, sis. Why don't you stay with me and Shadow?" she smiled.

"Sure!" she smiled back, "First I must make room."

She threw a Spark at her. Streamer turned to stone. I came in and gasped in horror.

"Shasta!" I exclaimed.

"Shadow?" she exclaimed.

She ran for the window. I blocked her.

"Look, this is for your institute's protection. I must do this. I'm sorry." She grabbed Streamer, "Afwijking aan voorstap!"

I grabbed her arm and we were warped to the front step of the institute. I snatched Streamer from her and ran back inside when the same flying machine came and took Shasta away.

I removed the Spark and Streamer was back.

"Thanks Shadow. That was too close!" Streamer said.

The next morning we were down at breakfast talking about our sister.

"So, what are you going to do about Shasta?" Streamer asked.

"There's nothing I can do. At least not right now. I guess if she shows up here again I'll do something." I said.

"Oh, I understand." Streamer said.

Streamer put her hand to her head in pain. I stood up and went to her side of the table.

"Sis? Are you okay?" I asked.

She raised her hand and telekinetically sent me flying onto another table. I slid across all of the food on the table and fell on my back on the floor at the end of the table. The students nearby crowded around me to see if I was alright. Kitty helped me up. They looked in Streamer's direction, but she was already gone. She was running down the hall. She passed the professor. He turned around and watched as she turned a corner and disappeared. She was up in our room sitting on her bed.

"What's happening to me?" she sniveled.

Pain surged through her head again. She groaned in tears. Someone knocked on the door.

"Streamer? Are you alright in there?" the professor asked, "Streamer?"

He came in and found her lying on the floor out cold. She woke up with a gasp that startled the professor. She was lying on her bed.

"What…what happened?" she asked.

"I found you lying on the floor." He said, "Is everything alright?"

"I don't know." She shook her head.

"Well, just take it easy for now. Let me know if this happens again." He left the room.

She could hear the professor talking to me outside our room.

"I would let her be alone for a while. Something is going on with her. Just don't talk to her about it." He said.

"Yes, professor. I was just worried." I said.

The two left. Streamer stared up at the ceiling for a while. Her stomach growled. I came in with her favorite meal that Speedy always makes special just for her.

"I just thought since you've been up here all day, you might get hungry, so here, enjoy." I said and set the dinner on the nightstand next to her bed.

"Thanks sis. I'll eat it later. I'm sorry about what happened at breakfast." she said.

"I must have startled you. It was probably my fault." I admitted.

"Let's just say it was nobody's fault." she smiled.

"Sure!" I laughed, "We'll go with that."

"Now give my regards to Speedy for me." she said.

"Sure thing." I smiled and left the room.

She ate her dinner and went to sleep. I came in and saw that she was asleep. I quietly got ready for bed. Then I carefully covered her with a blanket. She opened one eye and saw me in my bed asleep and smiled. She shifted into a more comfortable position.

"Shadow?" she whispered.

"Yeah?" I looked at her.

"Do you think Shasta will ever come back?" she asked.

"Well, I'm not sure. Remember when she put you under the influence of a Spark?" I asked.

"Yeah?" she was curious about what I would say next.

"Well, while you were, uh, Sparked, she told me something I understood and almost shed a tear. She said that her mysterious master promised her that if she cooperated with him and did what she was told, no matter how cruel the task was, he would leave the institute alone. I saw that she was trying her best to hold back a tear. I knew instantly that she loved this place and wanted to live here like you and me. She had a soulful connection with this building. She would protect it with all her willpower. She couldn't let her master or anyone else destroy such a magnificent place. She was being held against her will. She is like a bird born without wings, a bird with no song. The best way to put it is that she is not bitter, evil, or merciless, she is a caged bird trained to sing songs of evil and destruction to protect the things she loves with all her heart." I said.

"So, you're saying that she is being forced to do her masters bidding? Her freedom was crushed, destroyed, burned, and is beyond repair?" Streamer asked.

"Oh, let me tell you. I have hope. Since I first saw her do something wretched and sickening, I saw that she had hesitation. I knew instantly that she was forced to do this. I have high hopes of bringing her master down to their knees. I will set poor Shasta free. I a lot of stress in her. At the stroke of midnight something scary happened. I, still asleep, rose into the air. Wind swirled around me. Streamer gasped in horror. She ran for the door and found the doorknob was bent and wouldn't open. She was trapped. She banged on the door and screamed for help.

"Help! Somebody! Help us! Please!" she was in tears.

The walls blew out. Streamer was sent flying into the hall. She slammed into the wall and was out. Jean and Storm came running to the scene. Jean took me to her room down the hall and laid me on her bed. She went back and stood next to Storm.

"What do we do?" Storm asked.

"I'll go get the professor." Jean went to get him.

"Shadow!" Streamer managed to cry.

"Shadow isn't here right now. This is Storm. Try to control it. I know you can!" Storm said.

"Shadow! Help me! Shadow! Shadow!" she continued to call my name.

Jean and the professor came in.

"I can't get through to her." Storm explained.

"Streamer, this is the professor. I know Shadow isn't here, but try to focus on me. Try to stay calm. Just try to control it. I believe in you!" he said.

"Shadow! Where are you? Please! I need you!" she cried, "I can't stop it! Shadow! Please! Answer me! I need you!"

In Jean's room I could hear her desperate cries for me. I woke up and stood up. My legs gave way with intense pain. I collapsed to the floor. My left leg was broken. I crawled out into the hall.

"Jean! Help me! Get me to my sister!" I shouted.

"Shadow? Is that you?" Streamer wondered, "Where are you?"

"Quick! Get Shadow over here!" the professor ordered.

Jean and Storm carried me over to the door. I looked at her in horror.

"Sttreamer! It's me, Shadow! Focus on me! I'm here! Don't give up!" I shouted.

"Shadow! I'll try!" she said.

I fought the force that kept me away from Streamer and grabbed her hand.

"I know you can fight it." I said, "You like being bossed around?"

"No I don't! I will not be bossed around!"She overcame the force and dropped to the bed.

She looked up at me with a weak smile.

"I knew you could do it!" I smiled.

Streamer passed out from exhaustion.

"Let's leave her alone so she can rest." The professor said, "Why don't we have Speedy whip something up."

We left Streamer and went downstairs.

"Hey, Jean, what do you think triggered her?" I asked.

"I have no idea." She shook her head.

"Well, whatever happened, it's over now." I said, "And that's a good thing."

"So, Shadow, do you think this drew you two even closer to each other?" Jean asked.

"It sure did and while I was talking to Streamer, an image passed through from her mind to mine. It was our parents. They're alive and doing well. They were calling to us. I got their location. As soon as Streamer wakes up, the two of us will go out and find them at night." I said.

"May I come with you?" Jean asked.

"I think it's best that we remain a small group of two." I said.

"Oh, alright. Whatever you say stands." Jean sighed.

"I'm not trying to be mean. It's just for the best advantage." I said.

"Oh, you're fine." Jean smiled weakly.

Streamer came down with a note in her hand. She handed it to me.

"Do you remember anything?" I asked her and opened the note.

"It's pretty much a blank and I'm glad too." She smiled.

"I wouldn't want to remember it either." I laughed.

I looked at the note. It was from Shasta!



I know that I have freedom. I have freed myself from my master. I am near the cove. Hurry before it is too late. He has the area on high alert in search for me. I have fled from my master. I want to join the institute. Do not mistake me for evil intentions. Please come to pick me up. To make things interesting, I met our parents and we are all in hiding. This is not a trap! I swear and bet my life on it! I would rather die than betray you intentionally.


A chilling sensation ran up and down my spine. She has our parents! I almost squealed with excitement. I did drop the note though. I picked it back up.

"Is everything alright?" Streamer asked.

"No, everything is not alright." I said and was about to add onto that when Streamer jumped in.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"I meant to finish my sentence. Everything is wonderful! Listen to this! To make things interesting, I met our parents and we are all in hiding. This is not a trap. I swear and bet my life on it. I would rather die than betray you intentionally. Based on the last words in the note, she is not lying to us. She is with our parents. We must go out and bring them back here. So, prof-" I looked around, but the professor had left.

"You two go on ahead. I'll tell the professor for you." Jean smiled.

"Thanks. I owe you one." I said and Streamer and I left to get ready.

We headed for the door.

"Wait!" Jean handed me a red jacket with a hood. I tied it around my waist.

"It's ninety-two degrees outside. Why do I have to take a jacket?" I asked.

"I'm sure you'll find a use for it." She smiled.

We headed out the door. It was a long walk. The sun was shining brightly down on us. The jacket around my waist was making me sweat.

"Hey, Streamer, did you bring any sunscreen?" I asked.

"No, sorry." She said.

"Oh well." I sighed and we continued.

We saw ten girls dressed in black and yellow coming our way. They looked at us and spoke to each other. I couldn't make out what they said. They nodded and came towards us.

"U komt met ons, Shasta!" She said, "Tijd om u terug naar Horzel te nemen."

I stared at them blankly. I could not understand a single thing she said.

"I do not understand. Do you speak English?" I asked.

She turned on her communicator.

"Sorry, Shasta. I keep forgetting to turn on my communicator. You are coming with us, Shasta. Time to take you back to Horzel. That was what I said earlier. Now will you submit?"

"I'm not Shasta! My name is Sarah." I lied.

I made up that name and hoped that she would buy it. I lied so that they would see us as innocent bystanders.

"Sarah who?" she asked.

"Sarah Ranka. I lied.

"Oh, sorry. You look a lot like Shasta Melody. By the way, report to me if you find her. Bring her to me." She said.

"Alright." I said, "Is she dangerous?"

"Oh yes! We must capture her and take her back to Hornet. He is…a…she is her father. He sent us, a team of highly skilled fighters to bring her to him for a little memory and personality modification." She lied.

"I hope you find her." I said with a forced smile.

Then she looked at Streamer.

"You two must be twins." She said, "Am I right?"

"Yeah." I said, "Her name is Jade Ranka."

Streamer made a humble bow and shook her hand.

"Nice to meet you." She said with her sweet little smile that can make even the meanest smile.

They let us go and we continued to the cove. I could hear sobs coming from one of the caves. We followed the sobs until we found our parents and Shasta.

"Streamer! Shadow! You're both alright! We're a family once again!" our parents ran over to us and gave us hugs and kisses.

Their sobs of sadness became sobs of joy.

"I want to show you where Streamer and I have been living since the incident." I said, "Shasta, here, wear this jacket. Keep your hair tucked inside. Put the mouth cover over your nose and mouth. This could keep you under low profile until we get there."

Shasta did as I asked and put on the red jacket. We went to the entrance of the cave. Standing there at the exit were the same girls dressed in black and yellow that we met earlier. Turns out, they had followed us. We were trapped.

"Please, we don't want any trouble." I said and stood between my family and them.

"We know who you and Jade really are. You are Shadow and Streamer Melody. I believe these are your parents. Now, get out of the way and we will take her." She said.

I sent a telepathic message into Shasta's mind. She began breathing hard. She coughed as harshly as she could. Her coughing was not muffled by the mouth cover. It sounded pretty convincing.

"Shasta!" Mom exclaimed.

Shasta collapsed into Streamer's arms.

"Shasta!" I turned around and looked at her with the most convincing shock on my face, "Shasta? Are you alright?"

"Augh!" Shasta cried as if pain was going through her.

I turned to face the team.

"Listen to me, please. Shasta is sick. I know one person who might be able to help her. Just let us take her to him. When she is better, you can take her." I said carefully.

"Shadow!" my parents and Streamer exclaimed.

They saw the spark in my eyes. They knew I had a plan.

"Shadow! How could you do this to us? How could you do this to Shasta?" dad exclaimed.

"Please! She could die! She wouldn't be much use to you if she were dead." I said.

"Very well, but no tricks." She said.

"Yes, no tricks, I swear." I said.

They followed us back to the mansion. I told them to wait at the door. I went to find the professor. When I found him, I told him everything. I also told him my plan. He agreed and we went downstairs.

"Greetings." The professor smiled.

"Can you heal her so that we can get her back home?" the leader asked.

He looked at Shasta, limp in Streamer's arms.

"I'm not sure. It may take a while." The professor said, "Streamer, bring her with you. The rest of you wait in the lobby."

Streamer carried Shasta as she followed him out of the room. We sat in the lobby.

"You really think he can heal her?" my mom asked.

"I'm sure of it." I smiled.

Back in the MRL, while the professor was supposedly working on Shasta's illness, he had Streamer send certain people into the lobby. Meanwhile, in the lobby, Jean, Storm, and Frost came in and sat in empty chairs. They had books. I had mom and dad move to the part of the lobby where no one was seated. Now, I just hope that the professor could help Shasta. Jean rested her head in one hand as she was reading her book and secretly sent intense pulses into the youngest of the ten girls. She collapsed out of her seat unconscious. Then Storm knocked out another. The leader was confused. One by one Jean, Storm, and Frost secretly knocked out the leader's teammates. The leader was left.

"What has happened to my comrades?" she asked.

"I can't let you or your leader, Horzel take my sister. I tricked you." I smiled.

Streamer, Shasta, and the professor came in.

"This isn't over! Horzel will destroy you for this loss!" She dashed out the door and was gone.

When the others came to, they ran out the door as well. We celebrated our victory and the reunion of the Melody family. I realized that our old home had been destroyed, so the professor let us stay as a family in the mansion. We were together once again.