Chapter 4: The (Washington) D.C. Brawl
Jason Gabriel Summers (Emerald) was pacing back and forth around the Blackbird. He was having second thoughts about going to Washington D.C. He didn't want to be responsible for whatever happened to his younger friends. Tanisha Harriet Jones (Independence) came over to Jason's side, noticing his discomfort.
"Will you just relax?" She told him.
"How can I relax when we're about to commit suicide?"
"You worry too much. Think of it as one of our training sessions in the Danger Room."
"This is nothing like the Danger Room."
Lara Nairobi Worthington (Celestial) couldn't help but overhear the conversation.
"Weren't our parents fighting these types of battles at our age?" She asked.
"That was different," Emerald said.
"How is that any different?"
When Emerald couldn't come up with a straight answer, Independence walked up to the pilot seat where Seth Rajiv Dass (Network) and Alec Theodore Jameson (Hyrise) were piloting the ship. Very proficiently too.
"Network, what's our ETA to D.C.?" Independence asked.
"Approximately 15 minutes," Network replied.
"What are we going to do when we get there?" Hyrise asked.
"We're going to the hearing and look out for the Brotherhood," Independence replied.
"In our uniforms?" Lilac asked.
"No, We'll be stealth about it."
Capitol Hill-Washington D.C.
The graying man looked up from his speech to see his trusted aid, Henry Gyrich standing at the edge of the doorway.
"Congress is almost ready for you," He told him.
"Is it a packed house?"
Henry nodded. "Filled with protestors, supporters and reporters."
Senator Robert Kelly gathered his notes and proceeded make his way to the Capitol Hill. "It's high time that we show the world how dangerous superhumans can be," He said. "We've been living in chaos for far too long."
The two men exited their house. What they didn't know was that Luna Maximoff was spying on them. The young speedster raced her way back to her friends on the other side.
"They're on their way to Capitol Hill," She informed. "The hearing is about to begin."
"So we're just going to just storm the Senate?" Becca asked.
"Of course not," Luna smiled. "We're going to knock first. Courtesy of Whirlwind."
Micah Alvers (Whirlwind) was grinning ear to ear.
Capitol Hill was swarmed with protesters and supporters of the Superhuman Registration Act. The Senate wasn't all that calm either. Becca LeBeau (Ace) was standing in the middle of the protestors waiting for her signal. She hoped, if Tanisha was smart, that she would recognize her signal back at the subway.
"You're not backing down on this, are you LeBeau?" Luna asked, suddenly behind her.
Becca smirked. "Not a chance. I've been waiting a long time for this."
"Good, we need our Ace in the hole.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the protest, Independence and Emerald were scoping the scene in search for any Brotherhood. Independence had an idea that they would attack from behind.
"I have a feeling that the Brotherhood is going to perform a sneak attack," she told Emerald.
"Are you sure about that?" Emerald asked. "They aren't that smart to pull a move like that."
"But with Luna and Micah running the show, anything is possible." Independence took out her communicator. "Nightshadow, you and your team go incognito in Capitol Hill. The Brotherhood may be attacking from within."
What about from outside?
"We got outside covered."
Independence and Emerald's team consisted of Celestial, Torch, Sparkle and Steel who're outside. Nightshadow and Plasma's team had Hyrise, Scrabble, Network and Lilac and they were incognito on the inside.
The Senate hearing was about to begin and everyone took their seats. Nightshadow and Plasma stayed in the back as not to be seen. They saw Scrabble and Hyrise sitting down in the audience, Network and Lilac two rows behind them.
"Do you see any of them?" Plasma whispered.
Nightshadow scanned the room. "I see Vera, Primal and Twitch," he replied. "The rest must be outside."
The Speaker of the House began to speak. "Welcome everyone, to the Senate Hearing," he announced. "First, I would like to inform everybody that this is a civil hearing despite the commotion that's going on outside. We're here to discuss the Superhuman Registration Act, weather or not it should be law. We'll be hearing from Senator Robert Kelly first."
Robert Kelly confidently walked up to the podium. "My fellow Americans, we are faced with national and global crisis," he began. "These superhumans, mutants and bang-babies, are a menace to society. Yet they live among us. We must find a way to put them on a tight leash. The Superhuman Registration Act will keep track of all superhumans."
There was an applause and cries of protests echoing at the same time. Outside Capitol Hill, Luna gave Whirlwind a short nod. Whirlwind raised his hands up and all of a sudden, the earth began to move. Thousands of people began to tremble with fear and confusion. Independence and Emerald looked at each other. The gauntlet was thrown.
Inside the Senate, everybody looked around in terror when the earthquake occurred. Senator Kelly looked frazzled but he eventually found his words again.
"People, calm down. It's just a minor tremor. It's nothing to be afraid of."
"YOU SHOULD BE AFRAID, SENATOR!"
Everyone turned around at Vera Chantelle's voice. She was smiling sinisterly as Twitch was holding a proximity bomb.
"Because we're not going anywhere!" Twitch added.
Nightshadow could sense the bomb coming toward the Senator using his Spectrum power.
"Hyrise! Knock it away from Senator Kelly!" he commanded.
Hyrise got up from his seat and used his gravitokinesis to throw the bomb out of Capitol Hill and into the sky. Primal looked at Hyrise in a feral way and she raised her hands. As she did, tall stalks of plants sprouted out from the ground. Soon more feral plant stalks were sprouting out from the ground. Everyone was running away with terror. Senator Kelly held his ground despite the fact that Secret Service was trying to usher him off. From outside, Emerald, Independence, Torch, Sparkle, Steel and Celestial saw monster plants sprouting from Capitol Hill.
"What the bloody hell is that?!" Torch exclaimed.
"Primal," Sparkle exclaimed. "She has a way of manipulating the Earth."
"Just like me." Whirlwind snickered.
The X-Men turned around to see Whirlwind along with Luna Maximoff and Ace. Independence studied her tactical moves. It was five against three but she had to consider crowd control. Plus Nightshadow had two defensive players on his team. Steel, Celestial, Torch were good for crowd control and defense.
"Steel, Celestial, Torch, get on crowd control," Independence commanded. "I want the civilians out of here."
Celestial took to the skies while Steel and Torch held to the ground. The civilians didn't care that their rescuers were superhumans. They just wanted to get out of there.
"Oh, how sweet," Luna cooed. "Miss Tanisha is becoming a leader."
"You're not about to hurt Senator Kelly, Maximoff." Independence said. "Not while we're here."
"Well, hurting you will just have to suffice."
Luna emitted cosmic energy at Independence, who absorbed it. She, in turn, emitted red, white and blue electricity at Luna. Whirlwind created another earthquake to shake Sparkle but she used her telekinesis to move the earthquake to Whirlwind. Ace and Emerald had a standoff of their own.
"It's not too late for you to surrender, Becky." Emerald challenged.
Ace smirked. "Not on your life, Jason."
Emerald's eyes narrowed as he lunged toward Ace. Ace took out two marbles and threw them at Emerald. When they exploded, it sent Emerald flying into the air and he landed on the ground, unconscious. Torch saw the whole thing and started to come at Ace with a fire sword and shield.
"Well, well, well," Ace whistled. "Ain't we got a fine Green Lantern here."
Ace threw ten marbles at Torch, who blocked them with his fire shield. Torch then emitted fire daggers at Ace and sent her running. Back in Capitol Hill, Senator Kelly watched as six superhumans were battling each other.
"This is exactly what I was afraid of, Henry." He told Gyrich. "It's turning to an all out war."
The politicians were startled by a puff of turquoise smoke.
"Senator Kelly, we have to get you out of here." Nightshadow commanded.
"I'm not going anywhere with you freaks!" Senator Kelly spat.
"Sorry, not an option."
Nightshadow teleported the Senator and his aid out of harm's way and put them where the civilians were. The people were startled to see Nightshadow but the blue mutant just smiled, waved and teleported back to the fight.
Primal was busy fighting Hyrise and Scrabble while Vera Chantelle took on Plasma. Network and Lilac were busy getting the civilians out of the way when they were blocked by Twitch. Rather, Twitch's car. He sped the vehicle to run over Lilac when Network got in front of her and hit the car with his left arm. The car smashed in a million pieces. Lilac looked at Network in shock.
"That was my favorite car!" Twitch growled.
"Oh boo-freaking-hoo!" Network sneered.
Then Twitch snapped his fingers and everything exploded around him. He then manipulated his explosions to aim at Network and Lilac. Network, for his part shielded them from the blasts by using a Nano-shield. He used his sonar-gun to send Twitch flying. Primal was hurling more plant stalks at Hyrise and he was busy trying to fight them off with his gravity powers. He was soon caught off-guard by Vera Chantelle.
"Quicksand!" Vera chanted.
Soon, the ground around Hyrise started to sink. He felt his legs going down the sinkhole that was made by Vera.
"Scrabble!" He called out. "Scrabble, help me!"
Scrabble saw Hyrise sinking and decided to end her fight with Primal by absorbing her powers. Crippled and weakened, Primal slumped to the ground unconscious. Using Primal's powers over nature, Scrabble lowered the tree stalks back to the ground. She grabbed one of the remaining stalks on the ground and lowered it to Hyrise, who was sinking rapidly. He was waist deep in the quicksand.
"Alec, grab on the stalk!" Scrabble barked.
Hyrise grabbed on the stalk and Lena tried to pull with all of her might.
Vera, grab Twitch and Primal. Luna Maximoff communicated telepathically. We're getting out of here.
Vera nodded and she picked up Primal off of the ground. "Disappear!" she chanted.
Before the X-Men knew it, she, Twitch and Primal were gone. Outside of Capitol Hill, Ace, Whirlwind and Luna Maximoff were also gone.
Scrabble was still trying to get Hyrise out of the quicksand but this time she had help from Network and Nightshadow. After a few tugs and pulls, they finally got Hyrise out of the quicksand. As soon as they did that, the quicksand immediately turned into solid ground.
"Wow," Lilac awed.
"Yep. That's Vera Chantelle for you," Network remarked.
Nightshadow, Plasma, Hyrise, Lilac, Network and Scrabble finally went outside to meet Independence, Torch, Sparkle, Emerald, Celestial, and Steel. Torch and Steel had Emerald hoisted up their shoulders.
"They disappeared," Celestial informed.
Independence nodded. "Curtsey of Vera Chantelle."
"You Freaks! You ruined everything!" Senator Kelly shouted.
"Ruined everything? We saved your life!" Independence argued.
"You're abominations, you deserved to be arrested and thrown in jail. And I will make sure…"
Senator Kelly never finished his thought because he found himself staring at a kinetically charged playing card. Ace of Spades to be specific.
"I would rethink the next words that comes out yo' mouth, món amí," Remy LeBeau warned.
"Gambit!" Scott Summers aka Cyclops called out. "Let him go!"
Gambit turned around and saw Cyclops coming toward him and the kids, along with Rogue, X-23, Emma Frost, Iceman and Wolverine.
"Remy," Rogue pleaded. "Do as he says, Sugah."
Gambit thought about for a brief second before discharging his bomb and letting the frightened senator go. Stumbling, Senator Kelly got his bearings and he and Gyrich ran for their limo.
"This isn't over, X-Men!" He threatened. "Not by a long shot."
Cyclops watched as the rest of the civilians were murmuring, pointing fingers and taking pictures. This was the exact thing he was afraid of.
"Scott, I can explain…" Independence began.
Cyclops held a hand up for her to stop talking. "Get in the Blackbird. We'll talk about this when we get home."
The Brotherhood Boarding House
"I don't see what we accomplished," Becca argued. "The X-Men won."
"But they're on Senator Kelly's bad side," Luna smiled. "Soon the whole world will be against them."
"I don't see how that's likely," Naya said, placing an icepack on her head. "The people seemed to be on their side."
"Well, we just have to make sure that they won't be," Luna decided. "And we'll have to recruit some new blood along the way."
Scott Summers paced back and forth in the living room, the adults were on one end, kids on the other. No one dared said a word about what happened. There was so much tension in the air; you can cut it with a knife. Dmitri Marx was the first to break the deadly silence.
"Well, that was one hell of a night," he remarked. "Who's up for some pizza?"
"Marx, shut up." Laura admonished. Dmitri sat down and said nothing else.
"What. Were. You. Thinking?!" Scott began. "Have you learned nothing from five years ago? Don't you see the gravesites out there?"
"We do, we're well aware of what went on five years ago." Tanisha said.
"Uh, some of us aren't." Lyle imputed.
Scott was about to explain when Remy cut him off.
"Whatever the case, Scottie, them kids did a just deed, no?" He said. "They averted a catastrophe and saved the Senator."
"Who still hates us, if I may add." Emma pointed out.
"Scott, we don't want to sit on the sidelines anymore," Jason said. "We want to be X-Men. Give us that chance."
"Yeah, we're well aware of the risks." Tanisha agreed.
The rest of the kids nodded in agreement.
Scott looked at Lyle. "What do you think, Lyle?"
"I think I want to beat the Brotherhood's arses again," Lyle smiled.
Logan snickered. "I like that attitude."
"Lilac, what about you dear?" Emma asked.
Lilac was silent for a moment. Then she whispered something in Seth's ear. Seth chuckled before relaying the message.
"She asked when do we start training?"
The kids laughed and nodded in agreement. Scott contemplated his situation. He wanted so much to protect his kids. But, then again, they weren't kids anymore. If they wanted to be X-Men, who's he to stop him?
"All right," he decided. "You want to be X-Men, you're X-Men."
"Yeah! All right!" The kids cheered.
"Starting next week. This week, you're all grounded. No after school activities or anything, go straight here and do homework and chores. That includes you, Lyle and Lilac. Welcome to the family."
The kids groaned their protest as they trudged to their rooms. Scott shook his head and looked at his colleagues.
"Well, it could've been worse." Logan said.
"Yeah, they would've become Acolytes or something." Laura agreed.
"Speaking of which, when did you come back Remy?" Bobby asked
"Oh, just now." Remy replied. "I was riding through Maryland when I heard about this Washington D.C. brawl on the news. Made a detour."
"Well, we miss you Remy." Anna said.
"Speak for yourself," Logan muttered.
"Good thing you're here, Remy," Scott said. "Now that the kids want to be X-Men, we need all the help we can get."