“Fine ya don’t have ta sue amigo I’ll say it.”
“Good.” The dark clothed man said, as a crowd suddenly appears on the doorstep. The author shoots a slightly murderous glance at the young Luthor, then and says loudly and clearly. “I the Texaswookie do not own any of the characters in this story folks. They belong to various people, and I’m not sure who they all belong to except that Buffy belongs to Joss Whedon. The various other characters belong to J.K Rowling, Warner brothers, MGM, and Marvel Comics and D.C comics.”
“Did I forget any?” The Texan asks as the crowd disappears.
“The Luthor lawyers will be in touch if you did.” The man says, before he jumps into his car. The rich twenty something year old, cranks the stereo levels up to near deafening and roars off. Leaving a scowling Texan behind him.
Smallville High, Kansas
Clark and Chloe were each at their own workstations, working on the Torch. While Clark had taken a new angle for the Torch, with his new monster infatuation, Chloe kept to the things that she could prove. While she would never admit it, Chloe found his new infatuation enjoyable. It was also the biggest interest in the weird her friend had ever had, since she had shown him the wall of weird. It also had the tall, dark and silent teen in her office, more often than not.
She had also seen that he was using one of those DVD rent through the mail programs, to watch nearly every monster movie there was. What was weirder though, was that he actually took notes about the various creatures. She had seen the notebook, full of various thoughts he had on the monsters. There were mentions of Frankenstein, mummies, leprechauns, werewolves and even things that she couldn’t pronounce. Whenever she attempted to question him about the research, he just blew it off as something he was doing to pass the time, but there were odder things than that happening around the Kent farm. Mr. Kent had taken to practicing with a repeating crossbow, and had also taken to keeping his shotgun loaded with some type of police buckshot that contained wood in it. And when he wasn’t practicing, she was sure that she had seen the older man going over the notes that Clark had made, with his wife. And when he wasn’t doing either of those, she had seen him messing with a folder that he kept in a small safe.
Clark looked up from his report on the minor happenings at the school; while he was doing that, he had been making a file with various things in it. There were the vampire stories, the monster stories and everything that he could think of that could possibly be needed. He had found cyber dictionaries that people had set up, which held all of the information that they might need on strengths and weaknesses. While he didn’t think he’d be fighting any mummies, there might be one around where he was planning on going. Their plans were nearly complete. They had tried to call, but all the phones seemed to be out of order, so there was no way of telling his cousin that there was help on the way. He couldn’t help but wonder what else was planning on helping this evil thing. The only dealings with evil he had, were from Lionel Luther. He looked up to see the smug grin of his best friend, Pete Ross.
“Hey man, what’s up?” his childhood friend asked. “You’ve been spending almost as much time here as Chloe. If I didn’t know any better; I would say that something was up.”
“Hey. Sorry, but I’ve been doing some personal research.”
“Right,” Chloe said teasingly from her desk. “Research that happens to include vampires and werewolves. C’mon Clark, I really don’t think that even we have to worry about those sorts of things.”
“You’re the one that says I need to have more of a hobby than Lana watching,” Clark defended. “And considering some of the things on the wall of weird… he continued, waving to the wall that held articles discussing the weird happenings that went on in their quaint little piece of the world.
“Yeah, well, all right,” Chloe conceded, raising her arms in surrender. “Look, I’m going to go and get some coffee, all right? Can you actually get all of your work done before you start working on your new hobby?”
“Sure,” Clark said, figuring that he could easily finish these reports and stuff before Chloe could get back from the Talon.
“Or, you could come with me,” Chloe said suggestively, as she tried to coerce Clark into going to one of the few cool hangouts in Smallville. The farm boy merely shot her an annoyed look which quieted her instantly.
“Look, if all you’re going to do is work, Clark, then I’m out of here too, Pete said, making a quick retreat out of the room.
“All right, see ya man,” Clark replied, waving to his friends as they both walked out the door. No doubt, both would be talking to each other about his weird fascination with monsters and magic.
Clark had been working for several minutes at super speed, and had easily managed to finish his work for the Torch. Now he was working on a file about things like bog beasts and swamp monsters. “You know that this is hardly the best of ways to work, do you not, Kal-El?” a figure in the corner questioned.
Clark was startled as he turned to see the figure that was leaning against the wall, a figure that actually knew his other name. “Who are you?” he asked. The figure had somehow managed to not only sneak up on him, but also to watch him, for who knew how long. “And where did you hear that name?”
“It is the mathematical equation that summarizes who you are,” the figure stated. “It is all very logical, if you just take the time to understand the equation.”
“Who are you?” Clark asked again, even though the deep male voice was one he was beginning to recognize. But that was impossible; it couldn’t be him, he was long gone.
“I am Jor-El of Krypton, your father, Kal-El Last Son of Krypton.” The figure stepped out into the light, and Clark swallowed as he saw what looked like a broader shouldered version of himself. The figure had to be about twenty or thirty years older than he was, though he was unsure exactly how Kryptons aged, since he was still learning himself. Because of the wall Jor-El was still slightly leaning against, it was hard to guess the exact height, but he guessed a little taller than himself. The outfit was odd as well; he was wearing what looked like a wetsuit, with a green cape or poncho that came down to his ankles. He also had white ball like things on the edge of his arms and legs; they almost looked like they were coral, the way they all ran together.
“Am I supposed to be impressed?” Clark asked, crossing his arms in skepticism at the figure. “My father’s name is Jonathan Kent. Besides, Jor-El is dead.”
“Good, you are showing the beginning of Kryptonian understanding, and the need for proof, before you begin to believe.”
“I don’t want, or need, anything from you,” Clark said, his fists balled up in anger. “After all, why should I have to listen to some hypocritical person like you?”
“You refer to my own foolishly spent time on this planet.”
Jor-El looked at the boy. “Tell me, Kal-El. Do you think I enjoyed having to run from lesser beings, such as those that reside on this planet?”
“I don’t know what it is that lets you get your jollies, but I do know that you are going down if you don’t start answering questions instead of…”
“Instead of what? Giving you more questions?” The figure shook his head in amusement and disgust. “Your inferior earth teachings show through at this time. Perhaps you should have been sent to Raan. Had I wanted you so savage like, I would have sent you to Thangar.” The sound of approaching footsteps startled them both, though Clark was sure he saw a smug grin on Jor-El’s face. “We will be in touch Kal-El, Last Son of Krypton. Just beware the words of people who claim greatness.” With those words of warning, he was gone.
Clark shook his head as the figure was gone, and looked up as Chloe and Pete walked back in from their coffee break; they had even brought him a cup. The two were laughing about something or other as they walked in. “Hey, Clark, you all right?” Pete asked concerned as he saw the way Clark was looking around the room in confusion.
“Yeah, Clark, you look like you just saw a ghost,” Chloe teased. “Is that what all of your research is really about? You think that you’ve found another ghost?” Clark merely glared at her.
“Lana saw a clone of her childhood best friend that could move at super speed. She didn’t see a ghost.”
“All right, sorry,” Chloe said, rolling her eyes as Clark reacted the way he did whenever Lana was mentioned, despite the fact that she had told him in no uncertain terms that she wanted nothing more to do with him.
“Look, I have to go,” Clark said. “Thanks for the coffee and all, but I just thought of something I have to do today. Pete, you think you can give me a ride out to the farm?” He asked his friend.
“Um yeah, sure, no problem,” Pete replied as Clark shrugged into his jean jacket.
“You ok, man?” Pete asked once they were in the car, and away from their nosy, put everything down in print, friend.
“Yeah, great,” Clark answered. “I just need to talk with my parents about something that I found.”
“This have anything to do with your unique heritage?”
“No, someone else’s heritage, so I really can’t tell you.” Clark hoped that Pete would let the matter drop.
“So, what? You found another alien that lives on earth?”
“Well something like that. It just isn’t my place to tell this person’s secret. But it is connected to the research that I’ve been doing lately.”
“All right, sorry,” Pete said as they pulled in to the farm. “Thanks for at least telling me that all of the monster research isn’t just some new weird hobby of yours.”
“What? You don’t want to meet a creature from some type of hell dimension?” They grinned at each other before Clark got out.
After adjusting his backpack, and doing a quick check around them, he ran as fast as he could to his house. Pete just grinned as he watched the blur that was his best friend, disappearing down the long driveway. “Must be so fun to do that,” he muttered to himself before starting his car up and heading to his own home, where he had a few chores of his own to take care of.
“Mom! Dad!” Clark called out as he entered the kitchen of the house.
“Clark, good to see you,” Jonathan said smiling. “It’s good you’re here, we were just talking about the small trip we were planning.” Jonathan took a quick pull from a glass of water. “The harvest will be finished next week, and I’ve arranged for a split with the Edwards. If they’ll come and tend the land, and give us a ten percent cut of everything they grow, and a thirty percent cut on what the cows and chickens bring in, we might be able to scrape through the holidays.”
“Great, so is everything good here?”
“Yeah, everything’s fine. Why? Did something happen?” Jonathan asked, concerned for his son.
“I think I may have just seen Jor-El at the Torch.”
“What?” Martha asked, startled by this piece of information. “Are you ok, sweetie? “
“Yeah, mom, it was just weird. He gave me a whole lot of questions to ask myself, and almost no answers.”
“Clark, I’m not trying to put a damper on you seeing Jor-El, but are you sure it wasn’t, say, the First?” Jonathan questioned, keeping his feelings about the man they were talking about to himself the best he could.
“It’s possible,” Clark admitted.
“But if it already knows were coming…” Martha started, worried about what it might try to do to her family.
“Then Clark will just have to be ready to leave next week. I’ll be done with the harvest by then, and we can get on with the trip that we were planning.” Jonathan replied.
The other two seemed to agree with the modified plan, their family needed them and they had to get ready. “Martha, call the school and let them know that Clark will be out for the foreseeable future, because we have to go out of state due to a family emergency.”
“Have we forgotten anything?” Martha asked as she looked over the list they had made.
“Lex?” Clark said. “You know the minute I don’t show up for school, that he’s going to be over here to check out what’s going on.”
“Good point. Tell him we’re going to visit some family.” Clark nodded, glad that there was at least an essence of truth to that, and that he wouldn’t have to worry about dragging his friends into his problems this time. No, this time he was getting pulled into someone else’s problems.
Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado
Col. Jack O’Neill looked annoyed as he and his team walked into the office of General Hammond. “What do you mean, we’re not going to be able to go with Finn and his team?” He practically yelled when he saw Hammond sitting behind his desk.
“Just what I said, Jack. You aren’t even supposed to know what it is Finn and his people do. Just like he’s not supposed to know where to find the SGC. Therefore, you aren’t allowed to go with him.”
“Look, sir, I think that I have a right to go. Besides, they’re all regular army. Can you imagine what kind of mess they’d make this time around?”
“Listen, Jack, I think that you should be brought in on this as well, but the general who oversees this sort of thing is…”
“Wrong,” a new voice interrupted as a man entered the office. “I’m glad you have such a high respect of your teams abilities, General Hammond.”
“Sir,” Hammond said,” saluting the man in front of him.
“At ease, Hammond,” the man commanded.“Colonel O’Neill I’m…”
“The Secretary of Defense,” Jack interrupted, easily identifying the man.
“Yes, well, it seems that the general who was originally in charge of this shindig was seen on multiple occasions having conversations with himself, so we decided to observe him. And while he seems perfectly normal in every other way, we don’t want someone who is taking orders from his old C.O. running this campaign.”
“His old C.O.?
“Yes, a man the general had a large amount of respect for, when the man was alive.” The Secretary of Defense shook his head. “It’s a shame really, when you get right down to it. A man like that should have been able to deal with this.”
“Yeah, well, that didn’t happen now did it,” Jack said from his spot.
“No, it didn’t,” the Secretary replied, frowning at this admittance. “So, we’ll just have to try something different. Here are your orders, Colonel.” Jack took the file that was offered to him. “If you don’t mind. I’ll give you a brief idea what those say. Hammond and your team can hear, or we can go to another room if you want.”
“It’s all right, I trust the general with this. And they’re my team; where I go, they go,” he said as he snapped the folder shut.
“Good. Basically, those are your orders to put together a combined team which will be under the joint command of yourself and Commander Finn.”
“Is that the gentleman who Jack told us about?” Daniel asked, curious despite his usual tendency to stay out of the command structure.
“No, but you’re close. Riley Finn is second in command, while his wife is in command of their team.”
“How does that work exactly?” Jack asked, his eye darting over to Carter for a moment, curious to the answer.
“Well, after certain things happened between people, we found it was just easier, especially when they started sleeping together,” the man answered. “Of course, if you tell anyone that I said that, I will deny it.”
“Oh yeah, sure, of course,” Daniel said, blushing at this new piece of information. He adjusted his glasses so he wouldn’t be able to see the pointed looks that he knew he was receiving from the others.
“So, I’ll be working with a Commander Samantha Finn?”
“Yes. Do you think you can handle a joint command Colonel?”
“Yeah, sure, no problem,” he replied, waving away any concerns the man might have. “Although, I would like to know who you had to shoot, for them to give me this command.”
“No one, actually,” the man answered, looking Jack in the eyes. “It seems that a lot of the nice people driving desks are hoping that you’ll go crazy next. They can then order a napalm assault, putting a star in their crown, for dealing with a dangerous problem, and make some new friends by arranging for you to be gone.”
“Some people just know how to be nice, don’t they?” The Colonel said commented dryly as he tossed a ball into the air.
“Yes,” the man said as he continued with the briefing. “Once you actually get on location, you will take orders from your niece, who is one of the best guerilla fighters around.” Jack merely snorted at this, and Carter raised her eyebrows skeptically. “What?” The SecDef asked, grinning at them. “You don’t believe me? Well then, you go and fight in a hostile area for six and a half years and hold the tide with minimum support. Oh yeah, and you have to start at the age of sixteen. And just for fun, say at twenty, you save an entire military installation.”
Carter and Jack looked shocked. Sure they had read the reports, but they figured it must have been slightly overblown. But for some reason, the man in front of them believed it all. “If she’s really so great, how come she hasn’t been recruited?” Jack asked crossly.
“The military betrayed her, as you should know if you had read those files on your niece, Colonel, giving her trust issues with us.”
“She has had help from various people along the way,” the man admitted. “But usually, she either comes up with the plan herself, or modifies already impressive plans, so that they’ll actually work. Then there’s the fact that it’s her turf you’re walking into. And despite all of those notes that everyone has been studying, they don’t even take in half of what she has been forced to do on a daily basis. No, it’s her sandbox. We’re just lucky she lets us play in it.”
“All right,” Jack said, annoyed that he would be placing his life, and the lives of his people,” in the hands of some girl, who would probably have to be coached through it all. It didn’t mean that he didn’t want to go, but it made things trickier. “I want SG-1, 2, 5, 6 and 9. That’ll give me a group of twenty. All Finn has to do is field a team of twenty, and we’ll be ready to start training.”
“That’s a lot of man power there,” the SecDef said, “Unfortunately, it also sounds about the same as what Commander Finn wanted.”
“Good,” Jack replied . “Now comes the tough arguments.” The man waved him on. “I want us to be able to bring the type of gear that we use on our missions.”
“In other words, you want to be able to use the energy weapons that you have ,” the SecDef man countered, a sick look coming onto his face.
“Well, sir, it would make sense. These things are supposed to be extremely fast, strong, and durable; they also have very few vulnerabilities. Being able to use energy weapons might help a lot. We may be able use staff weapons to cause their bodies to increase their burn rate, or multiple shots with a zat weapon might cause the body to disintegrate, like a normal persons would.”
“She has a point,” Jack said, agreeing with the argument that Carter had just thrown in. It was a good one, of course they didn’t expect less than that from the Major. “Just give me the go ahead, and I will mow those things down right now.”
“After a bit of group training, Colonel,” the Secretary of Defense said in a way that brooked no argument. “That way, we can have a group ready to move out that knows how to use the toys that they’ve been given. Besides, your people will need to learn how to properly stake a vampire, and some basic knowledge on how to use the medieval weapons that are used in these kinds of fights. Now, some people, like Mr. Teal’c, the man nodded to the Jaffa respectfully, “already know how to use these weapons, and are familiar in several advanced forms of combat. Even better, the styles he uses aren’t from Earth, so it’s likely that no one will have seen his fighting style before, and that will give him an added advantage. On the other hand, a lot of the vampires and demons are known for either fighting with a animal like ferocity, or like some kind of cartoon super beings.”
“Great,” Jack said, still surprised at how easily he had gotten what he wanted, despite the weird chain of command they had given to him. “Is there anything else you’d like to add, sir?”
“Not at the moment. Though you can expect for the rest of your new team to begin filtering in tomorrow.”
“General, you are allowed to use those people as either SGC teams, or internal security. It’s your choice if you want to, though, since I don’t think you’re just going to let your SG teams get away without having any work to do.”
“That’s good to hear, sir,” Hammond said, smiling as he shook hands with the man, before he left.
Once the man was gone, Jack looked at the folder in shock as he realized just how serious the military was taking the threat that his family had warned them about. “You know, I wish we could make people realize what we do is just as important. I mean, how many times have we had to disobey orders, just so we could save the world?”
“Yeah, but Jack, they kind of listen to you now,” Daniel replied, trying to put forward a peace offering to his friend’s way of thinking, without getting blown up at.
“That they do, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c said, bowing his head in agreement.
“Yeah, that’s great, Daniel, but…”
“But, Buffy, has only ever asked for our help once,” a new voice interrupted as Riley Finn and a blonde woman entered. The woman looked O’Neill up and down a few times. “And as I recall, it was for help fixing something of ours that had broken, and was no longer needed. Don’t start,” the woman warned as she glared at Riley, who looked like he disagreed with that train of thought.
“And you are?” Jack asked as he leaned against the desk. “Cause I really don’t remember introducing ourselves yet.”
“You’re right, the attitude must be genetic,” she said. Riley merely chuckled as the woman turned back to the lead SGC Team.
“May I presume that you’re Commander Finn?” Hammond asked, hoping to divert any kind of superiority contest. He inwardly knew that once both groups were made aware of what it was the other did, they would both be trying to one up the other group, by making their missions seem tougher, until they had experienced what it was that the others did. He didn’t mind it really, so long as it didn’t result in damage to his people or base, and that it was done as far away from his office as possible. Perhaps, even on a whole different planet he mused.
“Yes, sir,” she answered, saluting briskly.
“Good.Can you give us an idea of how you want to go about the training? I know you want us up to your standards, and I want you up to ours.”
“Trust me, I think the stuff we use will be a surprise,” the Commander replied.
“As will be the things that we will train you with,” Teal’c said as if he was answering a challenge.
“Who, or should I say what, are you?”
“All that will be explained to you later,” the Jaffa answered. Jack couldn’t help but smirk.
“Well, let’s get started on basic numbers, shall we?” Jack suggested as he led them out of the general’s office. Once they were outside, Graham and another guy were there ready to follow their superior officers. Nodding for them to fall in, Jack led them all toward one of the conference rooms that over looked the Stargate. Once they were all situated, they started the meeting with briefings of their individual missions.
“So, while we deal with all of the things from beneath the earth, you deal with all the stuff that’s above it,” Graham said, simplifying everything they had told each other. He was still staring at the Stargate in amazement and wonder.
“You realize that was an answer worthy of Xander, right?” Riley commented from where he was contemplating everything that they knew of their fields of knowledge. “These Goa’ulds, they sound like a cross between vampires and some of the demons that we’ve run across. They’re a little like some of the warlocks and mages as well, with all their little toys that they seem to have.”
“And your various monsters sound like some of the beings that we’ve either heard about, or had dealings with, ”Carter replied, answering the unasked question, if there was a disturbing similarity between the duties the two different units worked in.
“Well, unless there’s something new to go on, I would say that the Ancients and these Powers that Be are either the same entities, or some type of off shoots of each other. It could even be that they are ascended beings that change things here and there,” Daniel added as he looked over the notes he had taken during the meeting. He had been slightly disturbed by the similarities between their two missions. He also wondered, if he was really working for the right group. Sure his skills were highly valued at the SGC, but he couldn’t help but wonder.
Riley looked at his watch and frowned slightly. “Does anyone else think it’s bad that we just spent three hours here, explaining the basics of what it is that we do?” Jack immediately raised his hand, followed by Graham.
“You’re right. We need some food, and then we need to start a planning session so we can figure out how exactly we can combine the skills of our two groups. Then we can take on the big bad First thingamajig
“Do you really think taking me on is going to be that easy?” A figure spoke, out of the shadows.
“Forrest,” Riley and Graham said at the same time, swallowing as they saw the man, or what remained of the man, that they used to work with. It was harder on Riley to see this figure, which had, for a while, haunted his dreams. Forrest had been his best friend and partner for a large part of his time in Sunnydale. Riley remembered that even though he had been injured beyond belief, after going into withdrawal from Walsh’s drugs, Forrest had still threatened Buffy with a half dozen machine gun toting soldiers, to see to it that he got the medical treatment that he needed, because he was one of theirs. Of course, that was before Adam had gotten a hold of him.
“Hey Riley,” the combination of human, demon and machine said. He looked up and down at the group that was crowded around the conference table. “And this must be the beautiful Sam, he stated, turning to the commander. “Sorry I wasn’t able to come to the wedding.”He looked back at Riley, leering at him. “I see you still got a thing for the blondes though, man. I thought after the whole Slayer thing that you would have learned.”
“Leave him out of this, Riley growled as he stood glaring at the figure. “Besides, shouldn’t you be in Sunneyhell, terrorizing the Scoobies?”
“I suppose so,” the figure said, shrugging as he stuffed his hands into his pants. “But I just thought that I should come and tell you not to get in my way either, Riley,” Forrest continued, showing a faint trace of the Forrest the two men once knew. “Is that understood, Agent Finn?” It asked as it morphed from his monstrous looking friend into Professor Maggie Walsh.
The two former Initiative operatives tensed even more at seeing the old head of their project now addressing them. “Walsh,” they hissed. The others cast worried looks as they saw the two men become almost rigid in a combination of fear and anger.
“You are a lot weaker now, Agent Finn,” Professor Walsh said, ignoring the others in the room and focusing completely on Riley. “When I had you under my wing, you were able to fight the vampires with ease. Now,” she said sadly, “look at you, Riley. A mere shadow of what I made you.”
“Actually, I think I’m more of a person than ever, now that I have my body doing exactly what it should. And that’s without the help of all your chips and drugs, as well,” Riley shot back.
“If that’s what you want to believe, fine. I shall have no trouble showing you how weak you truly are, Agent Finn.” Then Walsh turned and looked at the others assembled in the room. “Yes” It said, looking at SG-1. “You will be fun to play with.”
“Sorry, I prefer my girls to look a bit younger,” Jack mocked. “Of course, you could always turn into that girl from Sin City, the one that went by Goldie.”
The First ignored the sarcasm as it turned back to Riley. “Just remember, Agent Finn: from beneath you, it devours.”
“I take it that was the First thingy?” Jack asked after the presence was gone, as far as they could tell, anyway.
“Indeed,” Teal’c stated, staring at where the entity had been standing before them only moments ago.
Xavier’s School for the Gifted, Westchester, New York
Alex Summers looked at the large imposing gates that guarded the school his brother taught at. He smiled and waved to the taxi driver, before turning to the bell at the side of the gate. He was about to press it, when the gates began to open on their own. “The Professor,” the man said, smirking lightly as he grabbed his duffel bag, slung it over his shoulder, and began to walk up the lane that led to his home away from home. The small smile died on his lips as he thought of the other person that could have done that. Jean had been good for Scottie, and now she was gone. The telepath/telekinetic mutant had also been a close friend of his, as well.
He walked up the drive until he was standing in front of the mansion. The place seemed to have expanded since he had last been here, he noted. He saw all the kids around the place, some with obvious mutations, like the kid with the bird like wings, or the girl with the wolf like appearances. Others weren’t as obvious, like the Asian girl in, of all things, a bright yellow jacket, and the blonde guy wearing some type of aviators hat. They were all here, though, to learn how to better to use their powers in a world that feared them for what they were. Alex shook his head sadly at the way the kids eyed him suspiciously. Those people of Stryker’s had scared the crap out of these kids, and they were still jumpy a few months later. The fact that, to a lot of people, he was probably an unknown face meant that they would probably all watch him like little hawks. Maybe he should have brought Jamie. At the very least, Jamie could have entertained the kids while he and Scott talked about what it was they needed to do for their family; though he had an idea what needed to be done, thanks to some of the sources he had.
“Alex,” Scott greeted his younger brother. The two young men wrapped each other in backbreaking hugs. “It’s good to see you,bro,” he said as he released Alex.
“Hey, it’s good to see you, too.”
“Use the nickname, I make you run the danger room,” Scott threatened his brother before the two entered the school.
“Aw, what’s the matter, Too Cool?” a man mocked as he stepped out of the shadows that looked to small to hide a child, much less this stocky man with the weird animal like hairdo standing beside them now. “Is the little brother too much for you to handle? Maybe he needs a good bit of discipline to behave.
“Logan,” Scott warned, scowling at the other man.
Alex was too busy chuckling at the nickname, and at the thought that this man could take him. “You mean, she actually used your nickname in this mystery letter of yours?”
“Yes, she also used yours.”
“So what? You make it sound like I’ve got something to be ashamed of,” Alex replied, his grin slipping as he watched the man in front of him. He was still suspicious of him. Sure, he had heard good things about him from Xavier, Jean, and a reluctant Scott, but for all he knew, this small psycho lead the Weapon X people right to the school. And it would take a lot of apologizing to get him to turn his back on the walking can opener with attitude, even if he did seem to know just what buttons to push to get under his brother’s skin.
“Alex, I’m glad you could make it,” Xavier greeted as he came into the room. “ I hope you don’t think me rude, but time is of the essence. So naturally, we have very little of it at the moment. If you’ll follow me, I’ll take you to the briefing room.”
The two Summers men nodded, and responded with a joint, “Yes, sir,” knowing that they could catch up with each other later.
“Logan, would you gather the junior team in the Danger Room, and have them try again with the mission scenario? I believe that Kurt can help you, if you need it.”
“Yeah, sure, whatever, Chuck,” Logan answered. Alex stiffened slightly at the casual way that this person addressed the Professor, in his own home even. The Professor didn’t reprimand him, but he did roll his eyes at the man as Logan fished a toothpick out of his pocket and placed it in his mouth. Scott grimaced at the image Logan presented. “Give it a rest, bub,” Logan said, not even turning to look at Scott. “It could be one of my cigars.” Scott nodded reluctantly as they entered the elevator.
After they had all exited the hidden elevator, Logan met a group of kids who looked both eager and annoyed to see the man, while Alex followed Xavier and his brother off to one of the meeting rooms. Alex set his bag down and turned to the Professor. “What is with that guy? He acts like he owns the place, and walks over anyone that objects to him.”
“That is merely Logan’s way of dealing with people,” Xavier answered . “Although, he may have given you the brush off due to the fact that you are Scott’s little brother.”
“So they don’t get along very well?” Alex asked. “Why am I not surprised? That guy appears to be the exact opposite of Scottie here.” He couldn’t help but compare his ramrod straight brother, to the slouching figure they had left in the hall with those kids.
“We can talk about this over dinner, or after you get settled in,” Scott said, though it sounded more like an order. “Let me show you what we’ve got so far.” Scott tossed the letter that he had received on the table; he then began briefing his brother on the job that was coming up.
“So, this is either a bunch of mutants trying to kill each other, or there’s a actually a lot of magic being used.” Alex looked at his brother, wondering if this was all just a big joke their cousin might be running, to scare them into coming to check on her.
“In the short run, yes, that is exactly what we’re facing,” the Professor said as he placed a teacup down. “Though I am optimistic about the whole magic part.”
“Well, it sounds like a good idea then. And if someone wants our cousin, they’re going to have to go through us,” Alex stated grimly.
The other Summers man nodded in agreement. This First being, would find out how bad things got when you messed with their family. “The others should be almost done with their training session. I’m sure that you wouldn’t mind watching for a moment.” Alex nodded, he knew what Scott and Storm could do, but he didn’t really have an idea of what the others could do. This would be a great time to find out. The Professor led them down the hallway and into another room that was used to observe the room below them. Logan was currently sitting in one of the chairs in front of the computer banks, while the kids that he had seen were fighting weird creatures.
“Guess little brother has heard everything then?” Logan asked, not even bothering turning to look at the three men as they entered.
“Yes, he has,” Xavier replied as he rolled beside Logan. “How goes the training?”
“Well, since we’re mainly having to use things from monster movies, not too bad,” Logan admitted grudgingly. “Rogue has gotten better with those stakes we gave them. Colossus has just been punching things again; he really needs to go up against someone who’s stronger than he is, or he’ll never really learn how to really fight. The Popsicle has been showing some improvement, making those darts of his, and has actually managed a couple of those ice beams that you told him about last week.”
“The kid’s showing a preference for the ninja sword. Fortunately, the elf has some sword training, so I can help the others while he does that,” the short man replied as he gestured down to where the group was each fighting a different creature. Colossus was fighting three versions of what looked like Frankenstein; Rogue was busy trying to take down a pair of holograms that looked like they were supposed to be Dracula and one of his minions. Iceman was fighting with a vampire and Swamp Thing, while Kitty was fighting against Nightcrawler. Kitty was holding a ninja sword, while Kurt was holding a dueling sword. “They’re both good,” Logan said, watching Kitty duck under a swing and come up with a nasty gut punch. Nightcrawler back flipped onto the wall, eyeing Kitty carefully as she continued her attack.
“That is one dangerous girl,” Alex said. “When did you start teaching that kind of fighting, Professor?”
“Logan taught her when he had to assist her with something, while her father was on a business trip in Japan.”
“And what did you have to help the kid do?” Alex asked, looking at the man, wondering what someone like this could do to help one of the Xavier kids, when he wasn’t trying to bash their head in.
“That’s between me and her, bub,” Wolverine growled, in a way that was obvious for a person to be quiet.
Alex decided to ignore the not so subtle warning. “But surely, something that she needed help with \would have been better addressed by the Professor, or Ororo,” Alex insisted. “I understand that Ororo is particularly close to Kitty.”
“Don’t bother, Alex,” Scott said. “You’re just repeating all of my arguments “
“Kit can talk to whomever she pleases, but she won’t be pressured inta it.” Logan said; he then nodded back to the monitors that were showing the fighters. “John would have been great for this kind of thing.”
“Pyro,” Scott explained to his slightly confused brother. “He’s the Australian kid that Magneto recruited from us during the whole Weapon X fiasco.”
“The one who decided to take on all of those cops?” Alex asked, his face darkening as he looked at Logan, as if that ordeal might have been his fault.
“Yeah,” Scott nodded. “Drake’s parents still aren’t talking to him, despite the fact that it wasn’t even his fault.” Scott frowned as he recalled what he could about the current relationship between the Drake family and Bobby. The young mutant was only talking to the Professor, Rogue, and Wolverine about it. The Professor had told Scott he would involve him, if he thought it was necessary, but for the moment, the young teen just needed time to adjust. “The father appears to be coming around a bit, but there’s still the mother and younger brother to deal with. The younger brother especially.”
“Gentlemen, I believe we are getting slightly off track,” Xavier said sternly. “Alex, how about a trial run in the room? More a chance to get in some target practice and show what you’ve got, than a training session.”
“Sure, no problem,” Alex replied, heading for the stairway that led into the next room.
“All right, you all did good. Colossus still needs to work on his technique and stop trying to bulldoze everything. Iceman, you still need to work on that aim of yours. If Colossus hadn’t been armored, you’d have skewered him earlier. Rogue, you need to pay more attention to your aim as well, you had to stake that last one twice before it would stay down. Shadowcat, you need to not be so reckless with your attacks, and Nightcrawler; I want you to actually go at her, not at half throttle, you got me? That means less showing off and more actual fighting.” The German nodded at the slight rebuke. “Good, now then, everyone into the control room. We want to see how the last member of our team stands up to target practice.”
The others nodded and gave small smiles of greetings to Alex, as they passed by him. The younger Summers eyed the girls and Nightcrawler suspiciously, but shared a joke and friendly backslap with Peter. Logan rolled his eyes at Scott, but waited and watched to see how the other man preformed. He watched the guy as a small while dot appeared on the center of his chest. The targets came out and began heading toward the man. The guy’s hands erupted into a kind of white light, with just the slightest hint of yellow, as a beam erupted from his hands and caught the targets. Logan watched the monitors as they identified the power signature, and began running analyses on the burst of energy. More probes took the place of the disabled pair and he fired again, this time after letting them buzz him. Logan grunted slightly at the theatrics the guy was pulling as he blasted this pair as well. “According to this, his powers may have had a two percent increase since he was last here,” He commented, unimpressed by the power levels.
“Logan, I want you to try and be nice,” the Professor admonished. “I don’t know why you and Alex rub each other the wrong way, but I would like to hope that it is just jet lag, and that once he has had a chance to rest, he will regret treating you and the girls wrongly.”
“He better be on his knees when he apologizes to the girls, Chuck,” Logan said as his girls watched the man blow away drone after drone with curious expressions.
“Well, we don’t call him Havoc for no reason,” Scott said, watching his brother work his powers. The white ball on his chest glowed brighter, the more energy he put into the practice.
After about fifteen minutes more of practice, Alex was on his way to one of the guest rooms, his annoyed brother following him. “All right, Alex, spill. What the hell is your problem?” Scott angrily questioned his younger brother. “You’ve managed to treat half my team like crap, and now they’re angry enough to shoot you in the back without a second thought.”
“Sure they wouldn’t have done that before?” Alex asked.
“And what’s that supposed to mean?” Scott said, bristling.
“I mean, that ever since you came across the Skunk and her backwoodsman, you’ve been having trouble. Those two attract trouble worse than anybody I’ve ever heard about. You ought to cut them loose before you lose anybody else.”
“They’ve both more than earned their places on the team, Alex,” Scott said darkly. “If it wasn’t for them, every one of the people here would probably be dead. So, I want you to try and be polite. Besides, we have a whole lot to work on and we need to be united to do this.” He handed his brother a computer disk. “This has all of the relevant information that we have. You did bring your laptop, didn’t you?
“Of course. I’ll study it tonight,” Alex promised his brother. Scott nodded, and left.
“He’s gone,” Alex called out to the air.
“So I see,” a voice said as a red head stepped out of the shadows. “I see they didn’t let you look at the originals either.”
“How can they be so foolish? It’s obvious that that small, crazy guy doesn’t belong, and he’s corrupting a lot of the others. At this rate, I’d say that the two boys, McCoy, Ororo, Scott, (add comma) and the Profosser, are the only ones worth being X-Men.”
“Then we’ll just have to do what we can to keep them safe,” Jean said, leaning against the dresser. “Are you sure about the boys, though? They are dating the girls, and emotions make people do stupid things.”
“I’ll handle that problem when it comes up. They’re both too good to lose; let’s see if we can save them first. Besides,” he added with a cocky smile, “not everyone is as emotionally dense as Scott.”
“It’s your call,” Jean said. “I just hope that we can save them. I’m worried about all of them. Hopefully, someday, I’ll even be able to talk to Scott again, but for now I’m stuck with you.” She smiled, but the smile didn’t reach her eyes, though Alex was oblivious to the hatred that was shining in them instead. “Remember, the idea is to keep them here as long as possible so the dangerous monsters don’t try to kill anyone else off.”
“I’ll do my best, Jeanie,” he promised his dead sister-in-law.“And you’re sure Buff can hold her own for a while?”
“I told you, I’m checking in on her from time to time,” Jean said, slightly annoyed at the thought that she wasn’t watching the girl.
“All right,” he replied before going to find some food.
The First smirked at the idiot mutant; he was almost as gullible as the stupid, bleached vampire. It had overplayed its hand with the alien, counting on his inner fear of his father, rather than on attacking his guilt, like it had done with Angelus. Although, the soldiers had been fun to intimidate, and were now far from where they should be in training methods; they would likely forget to inform their people of certain parts. Besides, a whisper here,a whisper there, and there would be enough red tape slowing them down, to make breathing difficult for them. “I do believe I have some other people to see before this week is over,” It said, a small cackle coming from the beautiful face of the dead X-Woman before it silently disappeared from that part of the world, to reappear elsewhere.