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If you've wondered what happens at a school for superpowered teenagers, please read on.
At the Higher Institute of Learning, a large proportion of the super powered beings in the United Federation of Planets study to learn to safely use their powers, which vary from optic blasts to telepathic abilities to superhuman strength to controlling magnetic fields, and everything in between.
With over five thousand students at the school, it is hard for the teachers to give individuals the proper attention that some deserve, so it is common for those students who have the most difficulty in controlling their powers are the ones who receive the most thorough instructions in the responsible use of their powers.
One of the best ways for the students to better control their powers is the Danger Room, a holographic simulation room, commonly referred to as a ‘Holodeck’ in the rest of the Federation, but this version is designed more in mind with mutants and other super-powered beings in mind.
For a class of twenty five students, they have been called to the Danger Room to participate in a new program which is designed to test the ability of the class to cooperate in an entirely hostile environment, with the very real possibility of encountering a possibly hostile alien species.
But for one of the students, he is, this time around, at least, forced to sit out of participating in this program, much to his obvious delight and to the disgust of the rest of the class.
“What, I’m not allowed to enjoy this?” asked David Walker, trying in vain to hide his enjoyment of his class mates discomfit at his sitting out of this, supposedly dangerous, program.
“No, you are not allowed to enjoy this, as you bloody well know. You’re bloody well supposed to be going into that bloody room, along with the rest of us,” snapped Kara Zor-El, the only non human in this particular group of students.
“Break it up, you two. Now, David, you go with Ms Grey here, while the rest of you follow me, okay?” asked Mr Summers, one of the teachers of the Institute, and a fellow mutant, as is the majority of the class.
Mr Summers, more commonly known to the students by his code-name of Cyclops, has the ability to release powerful beams of energy from his eyes, but he unfortunately does not have the ability to turn these beams off. As a result, Cyclops is forced to wear either glasses or a visor made out of the material known as red ruby quartz, which is the only material known for its ability to absorb his energy beams.
Ms Grey, on the other hand, is both a telepath and a telekinetic, able to read other peoples minds and to move objects by simply thinking it. Her telepathic abilities seem to be far more powerful than that of the Betazoid species, which is a telepathic species, but her telekinetic abilities are the more rare, with very few people, telepaths or otherwise, capable of moving objects by willpower alone. Both abilities give her an advantage in a fight, with her telepathic abilities warning her of an attack before it even occurs, as well as providing for improved communications, cutting out the need for external communications that can be jammed, eavesdropped on or drowned out by other, louder, noises, and her telekinetic abilities providing a powerful offensive or defensive tool in any situation.
But in the class itself, one of the real powerhouses is Kara, who is definitely one of the most powerful students in the entire school, considering her Kryptonian heritage. With super-strength, super-speed, invulnerability, able to fly unaided, super-hearing and a range of vision, including both heat vision and x-ray vision. Despite the fact that she is also one of the more popular and best looking of the female students, all of her powers makes all of the boys extremely wary of wooing and then dumping her, as none of them want their heads to be handed back to them on a silver platter, if they were that lucky, as had happened to a number of boys that have done the same sort of thing to Kara’s closet friends.
But as Kara and the rest of the class are being led to the Danger Room by Cyclops, while both Ms Grey and David are just settling into the Control Room, which, according to the school’s regulations, must be manned by at least one teacher during all use of the Danger Room.
What the students in the Danger Room itself don’t know, David has already tested the program that they are about to experience for the first time, which is why he is sitting out of the group run, for both he and, more importantly, the teachers are concerned that the others might become over confidant if they realised that David has already been through the program several times, once in real life and many times over in the effort to make sure that the program is entirely accurate.
When Cyclops had left the room with nothing but a warning to be careful, Ms Grey activated the program. Suddenly, it appeared that the students were transported from an empty room to a peaceful woodland, overlooking a city.
Descending into the city, the class was alert for possible danger, their anxiety rising every few minutes when they found what appeared to be a ghost town; one that the class believe is large enough for about three hundred thousand inhabitants.
However, it wasn’t just the lack of people that’s making the class feel uneasy, but also the fact that many of the buildings that they are passing on the outskirts of the city show rather extensive damage to their exteriors, and a number of buildings further near the city centre show some signs of damage to their exteriors, and Kara’s x-ray vision shows utter devastation to the interiors of many of the buildings within easy range of her x-ray capabilities.
After spending almost three hours combing the city streets and local airspace for their supposed opponents, the class eventually decide to enter one of the buildings in order to find their supposed enemies.
Travelling through the building, the class quickly ruled out that anything alive remains in the building, apart from themselves, but evidence, in the form of a series of holes formed by a very acidic substance, has formed an obvious route that began on the buildings thirteenth floor to the buildings sewer system.
Kara, Victor Samuels, Christine Sanchez and Lucas Bishop were the ones that decided to explore the city’s sewer systems, but the others all followed, none really wanting to underground, but none wanting to stay aboveground without their heavy hitters in Kara and Victor, with many in the class beginning to really wonder why David, another of the classes power houses, as well as a ‘cyberpath’, with his mind so similar to that of a computer that he is often referred to as a ‘living computer’ making him capable of storing and process large amounts of data, isn’t in the program with them and if there is yet some sort of twist in the program that they haven’t yet discovered.
Once the last of the class lowered him or her self into the underground tunnel, they followed, as best as they could, the tracks that became gradually even harder to follow, eventually resulting in both Kara and Lucas being the only ones able to follow the trail, the former through her incredibly keen sense of sight and the latter through his keen sense of smell, which provided him with far more detail than he ever needed to know about a city’s sewer system.
When they came round a turn in the sewer tunnel, they were all caught by surprise when the earth beneath them suddenly gave way beneath them, sending then hurtling downwards.
Reacting quickly, Kara grabbed the two students who happened to be closest to her, and Christine used her telekinetic abilities to slow herself and many of her fellow classmates. And while wings aren’t that much use underground, the student known as Henry Samuels, brother of Victor, began to manoeuver his way through the floor that is following them down, catching Kate Granger from midair as he was going.
But when they all reached the ground again, they were all surprised at what awaited them. A force of nearly three hundred reptilian creatures, each standing nearly three metres tall, faced the twenty four students and suddenly attacked.
Caught off guard, most of the students disappeared in transporter beams, signifying to those able to pay attention to such things that they had, under the rules of the Danger Room, had been either killed or mortally wounded. Fairly quickly, the only members of the class who remained are Christine, Kara, Victor, Lucas and Henry. With Victor possessing super strength, super speed, invulnerability, freezing vision and a literal fiery breath, he proved to be more than able to hold his own against the reptilian creatures.
Henry, on the other hand, is built for flying at high altitudes in planetary atmospheres, but he is providing distractions to the alien creatures at vital times, many times coming very close to being killed. Lucas, on the other hand, is on the ground, receiving serious injuries from the aliens, which have been revealed to have acidic blood once one has been injured or killed. Thankfully for him, Lucas’ mutant abilities, apart from enhanced senses, include regenerative capabilities, otherwise known as a healing factor that can heal injuries in a matter of minutes, and his fingernails extend to over a foot in length, razor sharp and deadly to anything within his reach. Christine is using her telekinetic abilities to shield herself from attack and to counterattack against the reptilian creatures, as well as using her telepathic abilities to enable the group to communicate with each other.
Between the four of them, and Henry in the air above them, they are proving to be a match for the alien creatures, at least until reinforcements arrived for the aliens. With a fresh wave of four hundred aliens, Lucas was quickly overwhelmed by sheer numbers, and an alien leapt onto Henry’s back while he was distracted by what was happening to Lucas.
Meanwhile, the remaining three, Christine, Kara and Victor are finding it difficult to keep the aliens back, as they are attacking in such overwhelming numbers, and are forced to use their telekinetic abilities, heat vision and fiery breath, respectively, to give themselves a few moments of respite, which they used by rising into the air at enough velocity to send themselves flying upwards through the hole that they’d fallen through and straight through the roof of the sewer that they’d been wading through in ankle high sewage for several minutes before all of the action began.
Just as they’d reached an altitude of approximately three kilometres from ground level, the world around them shimmered and disappeared, transforming itself back into the plain surfaces of the Danger Room itself.
When all of the students were patched up and had a chance to freshen up, the entire class, including David, met in the room that is used for debriefing after sessions in the Danger Room.
Once the two teachers, Ms Grey and Mr Summers, were in the room and seated themselves at the head of the class, only then did utter mayhem break loose.
“What the bloody hell do the two of you think you’re doing???? Trying to get us killed????” bellowed Victor, extremely angry. “After all, we lost all but three of the group that went in, and the only reason that we didn’t lose him,” here he stopped and pointed a finger at David, “was because he wasn’t even in there like the rest of us!!!!”
“And despite that, I think that you did very well for your first time, all of you. I really mean that, guys,” said David, making it very obvious that he meant every word of what he had just said.
“W-www-what!?! What do you mean by THAT?????” yelled Victor, halfway in between astonishment and incredibility at what David just said, particularly at halting his rant interrupted before it had even had a chance at having started properly.
“I saw the entire thing from the Control Room. And in saying that, I feel that I should tell you all, now, that I met those creatures that you saw and that had killed all but two of you, in real life. Not only did I survive the real thing, I managed to help eradicate all of those that were on the planet that was represented in the Danger Room simulation, Alvinus IV,” explained David.
“Alvinus IV? Where have I heard that name before?” asked Christine in curiosity.
“Alvinus IV was in the news not all that long ago, with reports that its entire population had been wiped out, all by one that is,” said Cyclops, breaking into the conversation before it could get any further. “Now, I know that it was rather unfair that you went in utterly unprepared, but what I want you to do tonight is to read all of the information that we have on these creatures, which is rather a lot, and report what your thoughts are on both the information and on your actions today in the Danger Room, a recording of which will also be made available as well. Any questions? Yes? What is it, Victor?”
“What was the purpose of sending us in without any information at all, sir? What was the purpose in that?” asked Victor.
“The purpose behind that was to see how you all reacted to the unknown, both as individuals and as a group. Which is also the reason that David was not allowed to go in with you today, seeing as he has had previous experience with the creatures, and was one of the key designers of that program that you were all just in. Anything else? Oh, one more thing. None of you are to discuss this program with anyone that has not already taken it. Everyone understand? Good. You all have your assignments, dismissed!”
With that, both Cyclops and Ms Grey departed the debriefing room, leaving the students to file out alone or in small groups. One of those small groups are Victor, Christine, Kara, David and Henry, with the two brothers and Christine hammering David with question after question about his experiences with the alien creatures, each remembering of Cyclops’ last words and keeping an eye out for any fellow students that weren’t part of their Danger Room excursion.
Eventually, Kara and Christine had to break away from the boys and headed for the girls dormitories, and theirs in particular, as each student shares one dormitory between two of them, and Kara and Christine are roommates as well as classmates. Out the three boys that they were talking to, Henry and Victor are roommates while David is lucky enough to have his own room, despite it still being set up for two inhabitants. The reason that the students are placed by twos rather than have twenty or so students in a single dormitory was to minimise any possible damage that can result from the energies released in a fight between multiple super powered beings. Of course, all of the students are not supposed to use their powers outside of a classroom setting, but arguments, particularly heated ones, can quickly lead into full blown fights if the people involved aren’t careful.
The next day, the class reassembled itself in the same debriefing room that they were in the day before, but this time they have a lot more information on what they had faced the day before than this time the day before.
However, half an hour into the meeting about what they’ve learned in the simulation the day before, the schools red alert went off. As the school is in reality a space station, purely to distance the school from any possible public safety issues, the school is also heavily armed in order to protect its inhabitants from all but the most powerful attacks, as this attack appears to be.
Thirty ships that are obviously built for war are hammering the station from all sides, with the schools defenders quickly realising that the attackers are attempting to capture the school, not destroy it, as many of the shots fired at the station are obviously meant to neutralise the stations power generators, rather than to cause the stations destruction.
However, the attacking vessels were caught by surprise when twelve vessels dropped to sublight velocities and began to aid the station by firing upon the attacking vessels. The lead vessel signalled the station, identifying themselves as allies of the school, and then going further to say that the fleet commander is David Walkers father.
The twelve ships, each one a Venator-class Star Destroyer, released swarms of fighter craft, which were responsible for harassing the enemy vessels, while the Star Destroyers arranged themselves so as to absorb some of the punishment that the station was receiving.
But it was too late. Nearly thirty two hundred enemy troops managed to beam themselves onto the station, with every attempt to capture key parts of the station and render it more conductive to boarding by the attacking fleet, which revealed themselves to be sentient machines, under the command of the gigantic war computer, Skynet, which is located some three hundred and twenty light years outside of Federation space, or at least, it is according to what little David’s father have found out about the machines in the past three years.
However, they have picked the wrong station to board, as the students and the teachers moved to defend their home from the machines that they’ve encountered, despite the teachers best efforts to protect the students from any harm.
One such group of machines has encountered the class that contains David, Christine, Kara and Victor, four of the most powerful students on the station, as well as their teachers, Cyclops and Ms Grey.
David quickly transformed into what he calls his ‘combat’ form, calling it the ‘Hulk’, something that he, and anyone paying enough attention to such trivialities, quickly discovered was more than enough to combat these mechanical invaders. Combined with the capabilities of the two teachers and Christine, Kara and Victor, the rest of the class remained behind and were awed at the power that is within their five protectors.
With Ms Grey and Christine providing the main line of defence for the group, this leaves David, Kara and Victor able to advance deep into the section of the corridor that is currently occupied by the machines in order to eliminate as many of them as they can, leaving Cyclops, Christine and Ms Grey to stand side by side to one another, in front of the rest of the class, with the former providing cover fire with his optic blasts and both Christine and Jean Grey, standing on either side of Cyclops, are using their telekinetic abilities to protect themselves as well as others in the class, with both of them also using her telepathic abilities to ensure proper communication between the five defenders.
The machines, however, caught all of them off guard, having quickly proved that they are able to withstand a flurry of strikes that would fell almost anything else, for all of the machines seem to be protected by personal shielding.
Reacting quickly to the fact that they seem to be out matched despite the fact that they outnumber the five defenders by ten to one odds, thirty of the machines piled themselves on top of David, attempting to simply overwhelm him with sheer weight and numbers. However, what they were not expecting was that David would simply display a great surge of pure strength that sent the thirty machines flying back, many of them with broken limbs and sparking circuits that weren’t designed to deal with such hardship.
However, another of the students finally decided to join the battle, and with Katie Swanson and her magnetic abilities joining the fray, the machines attacking the group were quickly defeated, allowing the group to head for the main common room for the school, which was where all of the students were to meet to discuss something of importance to the school, and that they were running late for.
Five minutes later, the group arrived at a landing that overlooks the only room in the station that is large enough to hold five thousand people, only to find that they were under a brutal assault that has left many of the students wounded to varying degrees, but those that are wounded are protected by forcefields that are erected by those who are capable of doing so.
While those under the forcefields are protected from harm, those of the school’s population that are on the outside of the forcefields are engaged in brutal combat with the mechanical invaders. Thankfully for all those that get seriously injured, the people in the school’s control room have initiated the Danger Room transporter system, but this time extended it to cover the entire school, modifying the program to send the transportees straight to the various sickbays all over the school.
The class immediately leapt into action, with the students with powers similar to Cyclops’ began to target the invaders with long distance shots, but with the personal shielding on many of the machines; it required sustained fire to breach the shields. But David leapt from the landing, quickly landing in a one of the largest clusters of the mechanical invaders.
Following close behind David are Lucas, Kara, Victor, Henry, Christine and Katie, with Kara, Victor and Henry using their flight capabilities to do what David did at far safer velocities and Christine used her telekinetic abilities to lower herself and the other two to the ground. The machines noted that this group of students are among the most powerful of all the people on the station and began to focus their attentions of these seven students, thus allowing several others the time that they need to gather their wits and to go on the offensive.
Henry, in particular, is proving to be a difficult person to hit for the machines, what with him using his experience at flying in confined spaces to the utmost in avoiding being hit, all the while firing back at the machines, scoring hits more often than not, having picked up a couple weapons in his first encounter with the invaders. Also, David attacked any that proved to be a little too accurate with their targeting at Henry, providing him with several respites and allowing him several opportunities to counter-attack.
Lucas, while not possessing the brute force of the others, or even the weaponry as Henry does, is using his speed and agility to disable or disorient the machines, allowing the others to put them out of commission.
David, Kara and Victor are using their strength to overpower their opponents, relying on their invulnerability for protection against harm, with Christine and Katie are using their telekinetic and magnetic abilities, respectively, to both attack and defend themselves. Lucas, on the other hand, has his healing factor to heal whatever injuries he sustains, providing a welcome distraction for the others whenever they start to become overwhelmed by sheer numbers, thanks to the fact that he has been deemed a lower priority target by the machines than many of the station’s other inhabitants, a major blow to his pride.
It took several hours, but it was finally confirmed that the station was intruder free, leaving everyone to focus on the damages to the station, the injuries to both staff and students and what would seem to be the single question on most peoples minds, why did these machines attack the school?
When David’s father promised to look into it, and after he had assured the station’s staff and the schools senior teachers that he had been following several leads that had led him to believe that the school would come under attack, but wasn’t sure enough about the leads to inform the school, let alone enough information to prove or disprove it, life at the school was soon back to normal. Normal, that is, except for the treating of the injured and the repairs to the school.
The entire incident was mostly forgotten by the students within months, shortly after the last of the damage was repaired and the last of the injured people fully recovered. Soon after that, five classes worth of students and teachers left on a field trip to an archaeological dig on the planet Septimus III for a series of practical lessons in history.
While many of the students find that this sort of thing boring, many even saying so, the rest the students merely find it less than interesting, or as something better to do than remaining in the school all of the time. All, that is, with the sole exception of David, who is driving many of his friends, and even the teachers, to distraction with his enthusiasm, as his interest in linguistics and archaeology, among other subjects, have always been encouraged by his parents. In fact, the only thing that is dimming his enthusiasm for this excursion is that it was for a similar reason that he and his mother ended up on the planet Alvinus IV, the site of his mother’s death.
But once on the planet, David impressed many of his teachers and the archaeologists by his depth of knowledge, easily translating several of the scripts that were giving the linguists trouble for months on end. David soon became an important resource for the archaeologists and linguists, with David relying on Kara’s x-ray capabilities to probe the ruins for anything that the sensors may have missed, or to confirmed things that the sensors have stated.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, the planet, and the archaeological site in particular, came under attack from an ancient evil that was Hirudegarn, a powerful foe that could only be defeated by sealing him within a special chamber of the catacombs of a temple ten thousand years before.
Hirudegarn soon proved to be so powerful that he easily defeated the entire group of students and teachers from the Institute of Higher Learning in short order, leaving the only ones who can continue the fight in David, Kara and Victor, the others being either unconscious, to badly injured to continue the fight or realising that they wouldn’t be able to affect the outcome of the fight at all.
The three friends are working together as a fluid unit, but Hirudegarn proves to be their superior, evading their attacks with ease, but when David notices that whenever Hirudegarn attacks anything, he becomes vulnerable to attack, David takes quick advantage of this fact when Hirudegarn next attacks.
Verifying this fact, the three friends attempt to utilise the only weakness in their opponent, to no discernable effect at all. It wasn’t until Christine, almost immediately upon awakening and assessing what was going on around her, began to utilise her telepathic abilities to interfere with Hirudegarn’s mental processes the first time she saw him being hit by David that they began to see a noticeable effect of their attacks on their massive opponent.