The "Big Mutant On Campus" Series
By David D. Amaya
Part Seven "Evil Dreams Sweet Nightmares"
Disclaimer: As always; the first step of the journey.
"Now you are going to get threatened by all three of them, Bobby. I expect them to abide by my wishes, but it is a conflicting feeling. Whatever you do, don't back down. There is a line you won't cross that we've already jumped over. But when they try something, remind them of this;"
Stewart told Bobby words the young Canadian knew would keep him safe from the harm he knows his loved ones could still inflict. "Got it, Bobby?"
"Yea. You know, for what it's worth-"
Stewart waived his hand, "Save it. I know what you're feeling, so I know what you're about to say. You just got to let this run its course, all right?"
"Okay Stewart, I'll catch you later. Just rest up. I'll call Hank and Kordel and let 'em know we're done here."
Bobby patted him on the shoulder and exited the room, leaving the young mutant alone with his thoughts.
As he left the room he found himself facing three teenage mutants.
"…We shall be departing for Marbles Champ before 1100-hours, Mrs. Parkman," Special Agent Kordel Nichols informed the First Lady from Dr. McCoy's office in the MedLab. "No formal instruction is planned for tomorrow, although the students have a Geometry test Tuesday, and there is an Economics project to submit Wednesday, among their regular subjects next week…. Kilowatt's subjects, Agent Ziegler? Young Mr. Parkman is currently working on a reading assignment, 'The Book of Three' by Lloyd Alexander…. It is the first book in the 'The Chronicles of Prydain,' Col. Fury…. Yes, like 'Lord of the Rings,' sir, just completely different….
"…Right now there is a free-study period while the staff is holding an administrative meeting, Lt. Duggan…. I am not in attendance of that meeting as I am conducting this Task Force session, Agent Ziegler…. Of course they are aware of the existence of the Task Force, Mr. President. The overview of Executive Order 84220 is still posted on the White House website, sir, along with the text of all your other non-classified Executive Orders. It is public knowledge up to the first three pages of Sections One and Two…. No, Mr. President, any discussions that require either my presence or my input would be tabled until I return.
"The purpose of this evening's meeting, Mrs. Parkman?" Oh crap! He thought. "There was an incident earlier this afternoon. No one was seriously injured and Kilowatt was not involved, nor witnessed the event…. A fellow student was involved in a training mishap with another instructor due to lack of communication and a student was slightly injured as a result…. Because, I was tasked to look into the matter, ma'am. The investigation took three hours to come to an conclusion….
"My summation, Colonel? The instructor in question overestimated the use of a student's specific gift and that allowed the incident to occur. My findings were simply to request to all the instructors that they augment an enhanced training preparation stratagem which accentuate communication with the students before training engagements. My findings were submitted as requested and I was assured my recommendations would be implemented immediately….
"No, Mr. President, I do not foresee that being an issue, you may expect your son to call at the top of the hour…. Thank you all and have a pleasant evening."
Special Agent Nichols disconnected the call to the Special Task Force and dropped his phone on Dr. McCoy's desk in disgust then rubbed his temples.
"My sincere apologies if I was eavesdropping my good friend," he then noticed Henry leaning in the doorway to his own office. "But I could not help but overhear your conversation. One that I will assume, was received in the oval-shaped office of our resident relief pitcher's father."
"Not at all, Henry," Kordel rose to greet the good doctor. "Though it was a Task Force session, all the facts are already known to everyone in attendance, including what was not in my oral report."
"With one notable exception. Am I to assume the Secret Service codename for the Academy is 'Marbles Champ,' Kordel?"
"Yes it is, Henry. It was the First Lady's recommendation. It is derived from the Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover of the same name from 1939."
"The Berkshires' most famous illustrator," Henry remarked. "Cyrus' mother was an artist, arts administrator and art historian of some renown before her husband's ascent into the national political arena. If I may ask, what is the codename for the Institute, my friend?"
"Of course you do realize the Balanced Rock landmark is in the hamlet of North Salem which is actually on the west side of town, my friend. I also noted that you did not elaborate on the training mishap."
"My orders come from the Director personally. I am to NEVER lie to POTUS nor utilize Aesopian language during official Task Force sessions, but when discretion requires, I should aspire to be 'economical with the truth'." He emphasized the Director's stance on his Task Force reporting. "As he paraphrased one former intelligence agency director's Senate committee testimony; 'nobody wants to embarrass a President of the United States.'"
"But I assume the impression that there are things that you shield from Anthony Parkman as the Commander-In-Chief, you feel he should know in his more important role as Cyrus' father."
Kordel sighed. "Plausible deniability may work for illicit arms deals or black operations that go south, but this is his son we are discussing, Henry! He deserves to know the X-Men where the heroes who rescued him! If it were the Avengers who risked their lives leading the rescue of the President's son, every member would have been given a Congressional Gold Medal and a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue!"
"May I remind our resident federal officer that I earned full membership to what the tabloid media have dubbed 'Earth's Mightiest Heroes' as have several other mutants who have served with pride and distinction. And, in case you have not as yet acclimatize yourself to our roster of previous teammates, Ms. Marvel resided here in the Mansion and bravely fought alongside the X-Men, and now having earned the honor of leadership of the Avengers, she, as her teammates, are always welcomed friends here."
"My sincere apologies, Henry. I did not wish any disrespect to you your teammates or any of the heroes you have fought with, but I trust you understand my frustrations. Every time I omit information on Kilowatt's day from his parents, feels like I trade a piece of my pride in lying to them."
The Beast placed a furred hand on his friend's elbow. "I know this must place you in an awkward position, not telling them the whole truth and nothing but the truth, Kordel. Though I am positive the President is pleased that Kilowatt is adjusting to the new educational situation to fulfill his brother's wish that his mutant gifts are developed in a positive manner in a politically non-hostile environment. I am all but certain Cyrus' mom and dad do not need to know that the classmate in question required passive external rewarming to combat moderate hypothermia, nor that the incident in question occurred during a combat training session with a founding member of the X-Men."
"How would you have handled the same situation, if you do not mind being put on the spot, Henry?"
"In a word, my good friend? Prudently."
"Well played, Dr. McCoy."
"Thank you, Kordel, I have been an observant bystander and unwilling participant of more than my share of tense confrontations including less-than-diplomatic parley sessions between friend and foe alike."
"It would seem that I have a lot to learn if I am to earn the honor of being a member of the X-Men."
"You have more than earned the honor, Kordel, I just sincerely hope you can survive the experience, my friend."
Suddenly the sound of a violent confrontation in the hallway called the pair to the doorframe.
Nathan McPherson walked the halls of the Institute with seething ire. He wants to make someone feel pain. He can never forget those horrible days inside that icy crypt. He remembers what happened in that wretched cave differently, but the end result was the same.
The only family each had was their kin from their mamma's twin. No fathers to show them to be real men. No mothers to teach them how to be true gentlemen. No one to give them away on their wedding day. No grandparents to their children. No aunt and uncle to stay the weekend to catch "Hockey Night In Canada'. And to add true insult to their injuries, all they had left in this plain of existence were guilt, regrets, and scars to remember them by.
He'll do anything for Stewart MacKenzie. For him no mountain was too high to scale. No ocean too vast to swim. No force too great to overcome. No task to daunting…
Save perhaps his cousin's wishes.
I'll do this his way! He's been repeating to himself several times since he reentered the mansion with Alea and Jason, all three headed to see Stewart and discuss his letter. But he better be six blocks away, cause if I get my hands on – Oomph!
He doesn't get to finish his mantra the seventh time, for Bobby Drake bumped into him as he turned the corner headed for Hank's MedLab office.
Pardonnez-moi, mon cousin. He apologized to Stewart. I can NEVER forgive him!
He grabbed Drake by the collar of his shirt and slammed him into the wall with a resounding thud. Jay wanted to help knock him around but was held back by Alea.
THIS IS BETWEEN THEM, IAKONA! Alea sent to him as she struggled to stop his advance. Despite what happens after this, they're still blood! Nathan will have to answer to Stewart! Over his shoulder she saw Dr. McCoy and Agent Nichols appear from an office, obviously drawn by the commotion. Shoving her boyfriend back the Hawaiian erected her strongest force field to envelop the trio, halting their interference, but feared her inner-strength was not enough.
O mighty, sacred Lono-makua, God of Peace and Prosperity! She silently prayed. Bless me the strength needed to hold my 'ohana holo'oko'a to its debt of honor. Stay the hands of my brothers and - I can't believe I'm saying this!- Keep that lôlô hüpõ in one piece. For now!
"If I were to lose Stewart, NOTHING AND NOBODY would stand in my way to get to the son of a bitch responsible!" He was face to face with the X-Man. "You almost kill the last shred of family I have and I'm supposed to be satisfied with thirty-seven days! I don't care that he wants to give you a pass! Give me one good reason I shouldn't fuck you up right here and now! ANSWER ME MOTHER FUCKER!"
Bobby, to his credit made no move to defend himself nor utilize his mutant powers. He simply repeated Stewart's words;
"I don't have one," he wearily stated. "But if anyone gets the first shot. It deserves to be Stewart."
"DAMN YOU, DRAKE!" Nathan grunted through his teeth, then threw Drake to the floor. "Thirty-seven days! Now walk away while you still have that ability!"
Bobby picked himself up off the ground. Alea dissipated her force field and he continued to walk passed everyone and headed to the turbolift, Hank followed with him. Nathan pounded the wall with his fist in dissatisfaction, his head he buried in the crook of his elbow in frustration. Alea wrapped her brother in her arms and hugged him tightly from behind. "He's not worth it kaikunane," she assures him. "Your cousin chose to be the better man, follow his good example, Nakanaela. That means trusting his decision."
"But I'm so fuckin' angry," he grunted back. "I can kill a goddamn tank!"
Jason then approached them and hooked Nathan's neck and also whispered sage advice to the Alaskan; "I know just what you're thinking, carnal. If you guys can cheat me into comin' here, we can convince Sno-cone to let us hog-tie Drake and dunk 'em in a tub filled with antifreeze!"
Despite their differing tactics, Nathan knew they both spoke from their heart's for him and his cousin. He wheeled around to face the pair and enveloped them both in a group bear hug. After several moments calming down, the trio noted Agent Nichols still standing in the doorway.
Jason broke the silence. "Decided to take the easy way out, One-Time!?"
"As it was a preconceived notion the end result would be disappointing to many this day, Mr. Delano," He replied. "The only 'easy' decision about this whole affair was the conclusion was to be based upon truthful statements of facts."
"I don't care about what everyone else here feels is disappointing," Nathan fired back with tears of rage still in his eyes. "Drake hurt MY cousin! That's what we care about! What about his health, his mental state, his-"
What about his decision, Mr. McPherson?" Nichols offered up. "He decided on, what I now believe, was an exceptional decision, which he thought was a fair proportional response, not the most popular nor the one he expected the three of you, the most important people in his life, would have preferred. And I must add he was correct. The three of you obviously care enough about him to openly seek reprisal, but my question to you all is this;
"Do you love him enough to abide by his decision?"
"How did they respond to that one, Lariat?"
"Nathan put a sizeable dent in the wall before they continued to the Recovery Room. Stewart's faith in his family is apparent."
"I am positive the words Bobby used to fend off Nathan were not his own. After that confrontation was defused, I left the MedLab to inform Kilowatt to telephone Castle. That is when I was confronted about this, again."
"Please do not get ahead of the story, Mr. Block!"
"Nice matador technique, Secret Agent, dude!" Jubilee stomped her heels and snapped her fingers like a Flamenco dancer. "Like, OLÉ!"
"What Kitty?" She remarked with mock surprise. "Fearless Leader wouldn't delegate bustin' Popsicle. Irish wouldn't subcontract a punishment session to anyone else, and Frosty DAMN sure wouldn't let anyone else have the satisfaction of crushing him under any other than her leather high heel! Then, there's the new guy." Kordel gave her a look of disappointment.
"You're right, Jubecita," Angelo whispered. "That look reminds me of Sean after a math test."
"The Professor mentioned you'd come to a fair decision, Agent Nichols," Kitty began. "But many believe you passed the buck to Stewart."
"'Passed the buck,' Miss. Pride?" Kordel repeated, noting that Jubilee, Angelo and Rogue all nodded. "Kurt gave me Mr. MacKenzie's response to the group in residence. His decision called for Bobby to be confined to the Mansion for the next five weeks. A decision that was not only overtly fair to Drake, but a most difficult decision considering his family is far from pleased with the pronouncement of sentence!"
"Well, Ah believe everyone thinks y'all let the youngin make his decision so ya wouldn't look like a bad guy."
The shocked look the Secret Service agent displayed reminded her of Hank after Jubilee poured Nair in his bottle of Head & Shoulders. "Am I to take that statement to mean if I were to have personally imposed that same thirty-seven day confinement, Rogue, you and the rest of the X-Men who have a negative opinion of that conclusion, would have accepted without another word?"
"Well, homes, you didn't come up with a month's worth of Shithouse Patrol," Angelo observed. "Or was that what you already decided on?"
"If I were not so confident in Mr. MacKenzie's ability to be the better man, Mr. Espinosa, I would have chosen a far different punishment for Bobby's actions."
"Like what, Sugha?"
When he told them his original plan for Drake, the looks on their faces reminded Kordel of Aunt Rose when she saw Gary Erwin sitting in his grandfather's favorite chair all those years ago.
"You're fuckin' shitin' me!" Jubilee blurted out. "You'd let Popsicle thaw out for that long!"
"I agree with Jubes, that seems an excessive decision for-"
"An accident, Miss. Pride?"
"I was about to say, a mistake in judgment."
"I concur with that statement, Katharine. By diverting such an important decision to Stewart was a colossal mistake in judgment!"
Turning his head to the doorway, the White Queen had entered the library. The two Generation X students quickly recognized the look of dissatisfaction. Sean, Moira, and Betsy entered the room hot on her heels.
"Vámonos de aquí." Angelo whispered to Jubilee. "This ain't gonna end well."
"Lass, lad," Sean addressed them in a rescue attempt. "Would you two please join me in the…"
"Ms. Frost," Kordel interrupted the student's escape. "I know you have some animosity towards me. But I am not entirely sure why you do. If you care to talk about why you feel so threatened by me, would you be so kind as to explain what have I personally done to your person or fortune that will explain your acrimony towards me? You never know, Emma, conceivably, there has been a misunderstanding we can resolve. So what is it? It is because I am not a mutant? Is it because I am a federal law enforcement officer? Or are you still upset over the erroneousness trading halt the Nikkei issued has sent Frost International's stock price down eight points in after-hours trading?"
Jubilee snickered. The White Queen threw her such a scathing look, Psylocke flung a shield up around the girl's mind. Before she could launch into a new tirade though, she noticed from her peripheral vision one of the individuals in the room that lacked mutant abilities, reached inside his jacket for the briefest of moments, Emma knew without her telepathy he was contemplating the brandishing of his firearm. Outraged that either would imply that she might attack her own student, Emma fixed the Secret Service agent with a piercing stare. Dr. MacTaggart stepped up from where she had been watching in the doorway.
"Emma, are you this willing to be right at all cost?" She implored the Academy headmistress. "Even at the risk of reopening fresh hostilities that are even now only just on the threshold of calm?"
"When I pronounce punishment, Moira, I have the courage to dole it out personally instead of wiggling out of the responsibility like a worm! What I would like to know from you, Agent Nichols, is this the way the Secret Service intends to protect the son of the President as well!? Delegating the assignment to the stronger willed!? For I have yet witnessed any actions worthy of neither trust nor confidence!"
"To the contrary, Ms. Frost. My trust in Mr. MacKenzie's decision making skills are evident by the lenient punitive assignment he announced to Mr. Drake. A mature decision worthy of the respect of his peers and the adult members of the X-Men, because the decision specifically was intended to upset the only three with vested interest in the outcome, who alone have reason to be displeased with the sentence. That is because they know what happens on the thirty-seventh day. I am confident he did not take the fragile ego of a certain mutant with an affinity for white into consideration!"
This time, Jubilee was not the only one who not only snickered, but laughed uncontrollably.
"Now I told you ayer por la tarde that he's tougher than the big bad Lobo, but I'd never think my new hero would be jura, bro!"
Everett stopped laughing just long enough to ask; "What did she do to him, Ange?"
"That's the fucked up part, homeboy."
End of Part ten
©David D. Amaya 2012