Categories > Cartoons > X-Men: Evolution > Sinister Soldiers

Recruitment

by slickboy444 0 Reviews

The Evo world is forever turned upside down when a man named Dr. Nathanial Essex begins a project known as Shadow Cell from which the lives of Scott, Jean, Vincent, Wanda, and X23 are changed forev...

Category: X-Men: Evolution - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Romance, Sci-fi - Characters: Avalanche, Berzerker, Blob, Boom Boom, Cannonball, Colossus, Cyclops, Gambit, Iceman, Jean, Magma, Magneto, Mr. Sinister, Multiple, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Professor Xavier, Quicksilver, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, Shadowcat, Storm, Sunspot, Toad - Warnings: [?] [V] [X] - Published: 2005/09/05 - Updated: 2005/09/05 - 8311 words

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Sinister Soldiers
Chapter 3: Recruitment


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The three men stood up as the head of the orphanage approached them with a casual stride, unaware of just who was standing before him. He looked to be a man of middle age with a noticeable amount of gray hair and a look of someone who had been doing this job for some time now. The Colonel, the General, and Dr. Essex all stood respectfully before the middle aged man, knowing that they would have to make a rather ambiguous perception of themselves for the sake of this project's secrecy.

"Greetings sir," said Dr. Essex in a friendly tone, "Thank you for meeting us on such short notice. I know things must be busy in a place like this, so allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dr. Nathanial Essex."

"It's a pleasure to meet you doctor," said the middle aged man as she shook the doctors hand, "I'm Taylor Prescott and I've been the head of this orphanage for some 15 years now. One of the social workers said you wanted to see me about something very important."

"Indeed I do Mr. Prescott," said Dr. Essex in his well cultured, well educated tone, "You see, my associates and I are here to inquire about a certain resident of your orphanage."

"Yes, of course," said Prescott, keeping a casual demeanor, for he was always eager to get some sort of help for the near endless flow of kids that flooded this overcrowded facility, "Which one of our children are you referring to?"

The General then handed Dr. Essex the folder with all the information that they had been going over concerning this young boy that held so much importance to them and their project. The doctor proceeded to open the file and show the record of the young boy to an unsuspecting Taylor Prescott.

"A young ten year old boy," he answered as he showed him a small photo, "I am aware that he has been a part of your orphanage here for the past year now after a rather unpleasant stay at a foster home. His name is Scott Summers."

Immediately, Prescott's expression fell and his face paled at the mention of that name. This most certainly did not go unnoticed by the two officers or the doctor, who didn't seem to flinch in the slightest as the old man's reaction.

"Scott Summers?" he repeated as if there was a certain level of unpleasantness associated with that name, "You're here for Scott Summers? Are you sure it isn't somebody else?"

"But of course Mr. Prescott," affirmed Dr. Essex, not skipping a beat, "Believe me, I wouldn't inquire if I wasn't absolutely certain. Why? Is there a problem?"

"Well, I mean you gentlemen no disrespect..." said the old man as he looked rather distastefully at the file, "But I don't think you want that boy."

"And why is that?" asked Dr. Essex, still not sounding at all concerned much to Prescott's surprise.

"Doctor...That boy is a hopeless cause," said Taylor Prescott in a serious tone, "I have been at this orphanage for years and I've seen some rather tragic figures in my life...But Scott Summers is in a league all his own. I've spent over a year trying to help him, but my hands are completely tied with this place. We're low on funding, much of the staff isn't as qualified as I would like them to be, and there are just too many kids and too few of us. I've had several social workers try to do what they could for him...But he is just such a damaged young boy that I don't think there's much hope for him."

"Which is exactly why we're here Mr. Prescott," said Dr. Essex, which sparked Prescott's intrigue, "I am aware of the boy's plight. I know of the tragic plane crash that killed his family and left him comatose for three long months."

"And are you also aware that because of that accident, he's yielded brain damage that causes him constant headaches?" added Prescott, wanting to make sure that these men knew all the facts concerning the young boy they were dealing with, "And are you also aware of his last foster home led him to endure a great deal of child abuse that has left him only further scared both physically and emotionally? He's been through numerous child psychology programs and even they agree that he's a lost cause."

"All the more reason listen to what I have to say," quipped Dr. Essex, undeterred by any of Prescott's words, "Trust me Mr. Prescott, I know of the child's predicament and of the tragic circumstances of his situation. But I'm here because I think I can help the young lad."

"Help him?" said Taylor Prescott with a curious, yet intrigued look on his face, "How do you plan to help a kid like him?"

Dr. Essex just smiled back with a rather strange grin that conveyed a message of assurance and confidence. He stood with a powerful, commanding poise that gave off the aura of great knowledge and sophistication. It was a demeanor that anybody would have stopped to take note of and Taylor Prescott most certainly acknowledged that.

"That Mr. Prescott...Is a little complicated to explain," said Essex, using ambiguous terms to hide his true ambition, "You see...My associates and I believe we may have the resources to give young Scott the care he needs. We know that he is...Special in many ways."

"You mean you know about..." began Prescott, but he was soon cut off in mid sentence by Dr. Essex as the two officers took an ominous step forward.

"Don't speak Mr. Prescott...It would be better if you not try to explain something that you don't understand," said Dr. Essex, "Yes I know...And we can help him. We can give him something that he cannot obtain from anybody else. And honestly...Do you have the resources necessary to care for him? And do you really think that anybody is going to want to adopt a traumatized, brain damaged boy like him?"

Taylor Prescott looked back at the papers in the folder and sighed, knowing all too well the truth in the doctor's words. Many times, when prospective parents came into his orphanage, they wanted a child that wasn't complicated with issues they were not equipped to handle. He knew that children with brain damage and emotional issues were not exactly the first choice of any couple when they wanted to adopt which was why he always considered Scott to be such a lost cause. Whenever prospective parents saw him during the rare times he came out of his room, they were always quick to look away, for they had no desire to look after someone who seemed so strange and damaged.

In addition, he truly wasn't equipped to handle a kid like him at the moment. He had heard strange things from the other children, mainly those who had to share a room with him. He was told how he frequently had nightmares, groaned in pain when his headaches became too great, and even heard somewhat stranger stories of seeing his eyes glowing at night and finding holes in the wall or ceiling in the morning. He truly didn't know what to make of Scott Summers and he didn't have the time or resources to handle him. However, this only made him more willing to hear out the doctor's offer.

"So are you saying that you actually want to adopt this child?" asked Prescott, using the simplest possible terms.

"In a manner of speaking...Yes," answered Dr. Essex, even though there was a bit more to it than he was letting on.

"Well...If you want him, then by all means, you can have him," said Prescott, knowing many of the social workers would be glad to hear the news, "But I must remind you, the boy is very damaged. He barely ever talks and he's extremely reclusive."

"Let us worry about that Mr. Prescott," said Dr. Essex, his confidence not waning in the slightest, "But if it helps put your fears to rest...I would very much like to speak to the young boy privately. There are a few things I need to talk to him about and all I need for him to do is listen."

"I don't see a problem with that," said Prescott, "Come...I'll take you to him. And besides, it will give me some time to get the necessary paperwork."

"My associates will handle that," assured Dr. Essex, "Just leave the boy to me."

With a silent gesture, the doctor signaled the officers, who had remained completely silent throughout the conversation and for good reason at that, to do what they had to. Being that Scott Summers was not going to exist as a part of Shadow Cell, certain things had to be done that only high ranking officials like them had the capacity to do. The military in particular always had a way of making certain things, including people, disappear and this incident would be no exception.

However, Nathanial Essex did not concern himself with this issue as Taylor Prescott led him down the corridors to the dormitories where the children slept. The rooms were small and they were usually shared among five children, but most of them were out doing activities at the moment, so Scott was probably alone in his room sitting on his bed like he usually was. As soon as he was at the door, he told Prescott and the officers to leave them and take care of what they had to with the logistics while he handled the hard part.

Upon opening the white, rickety door, Dr. Essex was greeted with the tragic sight that was Scott Summers. As Prescott has suspected, Scott was simply lying alone on one of the five beds simply staring into space as he so often did. He was a rather thin, almost famished looking young boy. He had on old dirty clothing that looked as though it hadn't been washed in a while, but it didn't seem to bother him all that much as the doctor focused more heavily on solemn demeanor of the child.

There was a great deal of pain in his eyes...A pain that told a many stories and yielded many experiences that few children ever had to go through. He had once been a regular, happy child full of life and energy...But that part of him was shattered by the onset of great tragedy and enormous hardships. For three years, he had faced nothing but pain and suffering...Stuck in a world of loneliness and isolation. There were many things about him that few could ever understand, but Dr. Essex kept a friendly, kind presence to his demeanor as he slowly approached the damaged young boy.

"Scott?" he said in a kind, calm tone, "Scott Summers?"

The young boy looked up at the doctor with his pained eyes, showing a sense of anxiety and uncertainty at this complete stranger. However, Dr. Essex just smiled at him as he sat next to him on the small, rickety bed.

"Hello...You're looking well today," he said casually, making sure he sounded friendly and non-threatening to the boy, "I guess those headaches of yours must come and go."

This comment triggered a slight reaction in the boy as a look of curiosity came over him. It looked like he was trying to say something in response, but he stayed quiet, not knowing who this man was or how he had known such things about him.

"Don't worry Scott...You don't have to speak," assured Dr. Essex, sensing the conflict within the troubled child, "I don't want you to speak if you're not comfortable with it. I know about your past...I know about your life. I know what happened to your family and I know about all the hardships you suffered."

A slight tear formed in the boy's eyes as he was reminded of the sad story that was his life. Dr. Essex moved in closer to him, hoping to offer what comfort he could in order to gain this troubled young lad's trust. If he was going to do what he had to with this very ambitious project, he would have to have this kid trust him...For that would definitely make things easier in the long run with what he had in mind.

"You're a very brave young man Scott..." said Dr. Essex, moving on as he continued to interact with young Scott Summers in a way that would be vital if he was to hear him out with the offer had to present him, "I don't think there are many children who would be able to jump out of a plane into the cold air, leaving their family behind without any choice in the matter. I don't think there are many children who would be able to survive in the way you have in the face of abuse from horrible, corrupt people who seek to use children to further themselves and no one else. And I don't think there are many children who can fire energy blasts from their eyes while contending with the headaches that they must bring."

That last comment definitely caught Scott's attention as he looked back up at the older man with intrigue. He never talked about the strange sensations he often got in his eyes during times of great stress. They had been becoming more frequent and they had been growing for some time now, but he never told anybody...Not one soul. Yet this mysterious man knew...He knew so much about him and what he had been through. He knew about his family and his strange abilities that he had never been able to make sense of. For so long now, he had been trying to lock himself away in his own world of isolation...Afraid of ever talking to people about who or what he was and where he had come from. Yet this man still knew...And as he looked back at him, it was as if he was looking at the man who had the answers to the burning questions that had been plaguing him for so long now.

"Who...Who are you?" he asked in a weak voice.

Dr. Essex just smiled back down at him, feeling as though he was already accomplishing something by getting him to talk.

"My name is Dr. Nathanial Essex," he said, conveying a feeling of understanding and hope for the boy who had been declared as completely hopeless by everybody else, "I'm here to help you Scott. I'm here with an offer...One that very few people will ever have a chance to partake in and one that can greatly change your life."

Dr. Essex watched as he now had the boy's full attention. His eyes were now brimming with a mixture of anxiety and hope, not knowing what it was that this man was about to offer. But from the looks of it, Dr. Essex was being dead serious about everything he was saying.

"This world is full of tragedy and injustice Scott...A fact which I know you understand better than most people out there," began the doctor, going with a more indirect approach before letting him know the gist of what he was offering them, "There are a lot of bad people out there...Criminals, terrorists, murderers...So many people that threaten the innocent who want nothing to do with such pain and suffering. Entire groups of people all throughout the world seek nothing more than destruction upon the innocent masses that they hate only because they are a part of a group they deem to be an enemy. They are driven by greed, hatred, and bloodlust and there are just too many of them out there...Bringing pain and suffering upon those that don't deserve it."

Dr. Essex watched as a look of understanding and intrigue fell upon the young boys face, hinting that he was striking a chord within him...Which was definitely a good sign in Dr. Essex's mind because he was not done yet.

"I know you have bore the blunt end of such tragedy and injustice in your short life Scott," said Dr. Essex with a certain level of compassion in his tone that seemed to lure Scott in all the more as he listened attentively, "You most certainly didn't deserve to have your family taken away from you...You must certainly didn't deserve to endure so much abuse. But despite your suffering...You have a gift...One which few others have."

"My eyes..." he said, quickly piecing together what the doctor was referring to.

Dr. Essex just looked down and flashed him an approving smile, happy to see that this boy was looking to be everything he had hoped.

"Smart boy..." he said with a slight laugh, "And yes...Believe it or not, those eyes of yours are a gift. But it's not just the eyes itself that you must think of as being the mysterious gift that you don't yet understand...It is what lies beyond those eyes that harkens down to the very essence of what makes you who you are. It is a part of you...A gift of great power and potential that can bring forth so much possibility."

Scott's gaze turned more solemn as he looked away from the older man.

"It's a curse..." he said in a sad tone, "It...It hurts and it so much pain."

"No Scott...It is not a curse," said Dr. Essex in full confidence as he drew Scott's attention once more, "It is a gift...An ability that you have been blessed with. You are what men like me call...A mutant. You see...Written in the code that makes you who you are, known as DNA, lies something that we call the X-gene. That one gene makes you a mutant...One who is born into this world with a gift that has the building blocks for the evolution of a species wrought with so much pain and suffering. And you are not alone...There are many out there like you...Many with powers and abilities that greatly vary, yet are equally as important."

"So I'm...A mutant?" he said, not knowing how to react or how to feel about such a revelation.

"Yes...And one of great potential," said Dr. Essex with a hint of excitement in his tone, "You see...The complications and pain that you feel from your powers now is because that the X-gene that gives such abilities to you is incomplete. There is so much that your essence can do and it is that one little gene that is the key. Because of this, you cannot control it and it brings you pain as it continues to grow and evolve through such great imbalance. However...You do not have to suffer this fate that many others are doomed to endure as a result of their abilities...You do not have to live with the complications of having a part of yourself being incomplete, causing you great discomfort and pain. And that...Is why I sit before you now Scott...Because I can help you with your abilities...I can help you use them to their full potential."

Help...Something Scott had been begging for after so much suffering and confusion...Now here he was, sitting next to a man who was offering him something he never thought he would ever have again...Help. There were so many things in the young boy's life that brought him pain...His family, his childhood, and his mysterious abilities that he now knew was a part of him that he could not escape. Yet here was a seemingly sincere man...Offering him hope in his otherwise bleak life.

"How...How can you help me?" he asked, his voice sounding so desperate and anxious.

Dr. Essex moved in closer to the boy and placed a comforting hand on his weary shoulder, giving off the feeling that he was being serious and did not wish to hurt him. He was a damaged boy, but he was not devoid of hope and his future was full of so many possibilities. And for Dr. Essex...He needed this boy in ways that he could never begin to understand.

"I belong to an organization headed by the military," he began, knowing this was probably the most pivotal point for both him and Scott, "We are a group of people who seek to train soldiers out of individuals like yourself. You see...All the injustice and conflict that I told you about earlier is so far reaching in today's world that even this wonderful country that we both live in does not have the kind of resources to protect it from those who would do harm to it. The enemies out there that seek to threaten the innocent and cause pain and suffering are numerous, crafty, and very difficult to fight...Yet there's no telling just how much death and destruction they are willing to cause against this country and this world. Greed, hatred, bloodshed...It threatens to consume the planet from the shadows and spread throughout the world like a disease...However, I along with my organization seek to stand true and fight it. And I want you to be a part of it...I want you to be one of the soldiers who is going to stand and fight against the forces of hatred and greed. With the power that you have been blessed with and the resources at my disposal...You could help prevent countless people out there from getting caught in the crossfire of such violence and tragedy...You could help prevent families from being killed no different the one that was taken away from you...And you could help prevent millions of children not unlike yourself from losing their mommies and daddies to conflicts that they don't want a part of and stop others from feeling the pain that has hurt you so much."

Dr. Essex watched at the expression on the young boy's face grew into a mixture of awe and uncertainty. He was just so damaged and wrought with pain from the tragedy that was his life...Yet there still remained a subtle hint of strength beneath all that suffering that Dr. Essex could see and he was determined to use it by any means necessary. This boy was the key for him...He was the first step towards so many more ambitious goals, but the only way he was going to accomplish them in the most efficient manner is if he got this boy to come along of his own free will...For it would make things much easier in the long run.

"I know it sounds almost too fantastic to be real," continued Dr. Essex, going in for what he hoped would be the final push, "But I can assure you that there are no lies in anything that I have said. Come with me...And I will take your abilities to a whole other level and you'll never have to contend with sudden outbursts or pounding headaches ever again. In addition, you'll be using the gifts that you have been blessed with to fight against those who do harm to others and safeguard this wonderful country from tragedy the likes of which you have suffered so much in your short life."

Young Scott Summers then looked away, feeling the stress of being faced with such a huge decision, but Dr. Essex calmly placed a hand on his shoulder, assuring him that this was real and this was an opportunity that he could not ignore.

"Scott...Your father was once a soldier who fought for this country as well," said Dr. Essex, drawing the young boy's attention once more, "He fought to defend the innocent masses from forces that still threaten us today. He was proud, noble, and honorable...And both he and your mother died so that you could live. Don't you want to make their sacrifice mean something? Don't you want to truly do something with the gift you have been given? Don't you want to make your parents proud?"

The look on Scott's face turned to one of greater intensity as he remembered those fateful moments three years ago when his mother and father fought to save his life. Since then, he had faced things no other ten year old should ever have to face. He had been famished, abused, and improvised...Yet here was a man who was giving him an opportunity to do something with his seemingly cursed life. He offered relief, hope, and a chance to make a difference just as his father had. Growing up, he always looked up to his father and now he had a chance to make him, his mother, and his little brother proud by making a difference in the world. It was an opportunity almost too great to pass up and young Scott Summers was now faced with a truly life changing decision.

"But...I cannot make you do anything that you don't want to do," said Dr. Essex, showing what compassion he could in his voice, "This is your decision Scott...And once it is made, it cannot be unmade. If you come with me, you will be a part of something very grand and it will forever change the way you fit into this world. You will be something that goes far beyond anything a normal human being could contemplate. You will be a soldier...A shadow...And a force for America and for freedom. The choice is yours Scott...And all I am is the messenger. So choose now...But choose wisely, for there may not be another opportunity like this."

Scott took a moment to think about it, but the more he considered it the more he thought about all the suffering and pain he had been through in his life. All he had ever known was loss and sorrow...And all it ever did was make him feel weak, worthless, and unworthy of life. But here was the chance to become strong...To regain some of the things that had been taken away from him. He wanted so badly to forget his pain...Yet he had come to learn despite his youth that one could not forget pain...They can only learn to cope with it. And with strength comes chances...And with chances come change. For many years now Scott had to contend with having practically nothing to live for except the memories of his parents and the dreams that got him through each lonely day. Now...He was given a chance to change and a chance to become strong. And in the end, the decision was clear to him as he looked back up at Dr. Nathanial Essex with a new look of determination in his eyes.

"I'll go with you..." he said, his weak voice still full of uncertainty, yet wrought with a new sense of strength.

A wide smile spread across the doctor's face, for it had gone just as he had hoped. This young boy that held so much potential had made the choice he had hoped that he would make. He was one of the most vital parts to the very elaborate goals that he had been aspiring towards for so long...And now he was in...He was a part of it. For Dr. Essex, it was a key victory...And he hoped that it would set the stage for further success as everything he had been working for was starting to come to pass through the eyes of a young boy.

"I'm glad to hear that decision Scott," said Dr. Essex as he stood up from the bed and extended his hand towards that of the young boy that had just made such a life-changing decision, "Now come with me...There is much to do."

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Upon completing the negotiations with Taylor Prescott, who seemed all too eager to watch Scott Summers leave, the doctor and the two officers left the orphanage and returned to their shadowy convoy. Scott stayed very close to Dr. Essex, for he now trusted him the most and remained scared at where his choices would lead him. Thankfully, the doctor lent him his comfort and assurance that all would be well and he was in good hands. GURSO soldiers still surrounded them and they were still ready at a moments notice to blow the young boy away if his mutant powers got out of hand, but they kept their distance as the doctor felt a great new sense of optimism after having successfully obtained his first specimen for Shadow Cell.

While there was only so much he could tell the boy, at the moment he had all the knowledge he needed to know. Because Shadow Cell was so secretive, the paperwork that the Colonel and the General handled in the orphanage was done in such a way that would work to erase the very existence of Scott Summers from the public. He would be a shadow now...A soldier and a ghost in every sense of the word. Yet this was only the beginning, for there was so much more at hand and Scott wasn't going to be the only one who would become a part of this most ambitious of projects.

"Well this certainly went well, wouldn't you agree gentlemen?" commented Dr. Essex in a rather jovial tone.

"Indeed...But we've still got plenty of work to do before we can call anything a success, Doctor," said the Colonel, ever the realist.

"You're right about that Colonel...Which is why we shall waste no time in getting our next little recruit," said Dr. Essex as he looked back over at young Scott Summers.

"You mean the girl?" said the General, who still had her file in hand.

"But of course, General," said Dr. Essex with a grin, "And don't worry...I've already arranged the details. Next stop...Hartford hospital for the mentally ill."

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After about a two and a half hour drive, the convoy of dark, unmarked cars pulled up in front of a large, rather shady looking building. This time, they were at an insane asylum...Although the words up front stated that it was a hospital. But Dr. Essex knew better and so did the rest of his associates. Hospital was a word that simply lightened the impact of its presence and the kind of people that stayed here were not the kind of people that most people would want in a regular hospital anyhow.

"Damn...And I thought the orphanage was eerie," said the Colonel as he, Dr. Essex, and the General stepped out again.

"It's an insane asylum Colonel," said the General in rather mundane tone, "Of course it's eerie. The people inside help make it that way."

"Eerie or not gentlemen, our next recruit lies within these walls," said Dr. Essex, sounding more excited than the rest of them about the whole situation for reasons only he knew, "So let us not waste any more time."

Once again, the Colonel waved down the presence of the GURSO soldiers, knowing full well their presence in an insane asylum would be far from pleasant. However, as they got out, young Scott Summers still clung to the doctor's side...Not wanting to be left alone. The Colonel and the General looked rather distastefully at this action, thinking that this was no place for an already traumatized young boy.

"Essex...Tell the kid to stay in the car," said the Colonel in rather exasperated tone, for he was not used to dealing with children.

The doctor looked back down at the young boy, who still had a level of fear and anxiety hanging strong in his eyes. He smiled back down at him, glad to see that he was becoming so trusting of him. Knowing he best not do anything to hinder that trust, he turned back towards his two associates.

"It's okay...I don't think he'll be a problem," assured the doctor, "Will you Scott?"

The young boy shook his head, leaving both the General and the Colonel still greatly annoyed, but they didn't have the energy or the desire to fight with the ever insistent doctor.

"Fine...Let's just get this over with," said the Colonel, "I haven't even been inside this place and already I want to leave."

The three men and the young boy then proceeded make their way into large, eerie facility and began going through the process of getting into the most secured lockups for the most unruly patients. The girl they were here to see was not one that triggered a very happy reaction among the staff. The mere mention of the name Jean Grey seemed to universally trigger a bout of distaste among those who knew her. However, that didn't seem to dissuade Dr. Essex in the slightest. If anything, it made him optimistic because it showed that they were all eager to get rid of her.

After going through various paperwork and talking to numerous officials, the three men and the young boy were finally allowed to pass through the most secured section of the asylum. Overall, the place looked fairly run down and was in major need of improvements...Definitely a pretty depressing place for a little girl to have spent the last three years of her brief life. Some of the staff had already told them that she had been drugged for the most part during her stay when 'strange things' happened to those who were unfortunate enough to have to deal with her. Dr. Essex had a pretty good idea of what they were talking about, but kept quiet for the most part as he simply went along with the procedures.

For Scott Summers, it was a dark and scary place to be in...Yet he stayed silent and didn't make any comments. He didn't quite know why they were here, but he chose not to ask too many questions. All he knew is that it had something to do with a girl named Jean Grey...A name he had not heard before, but from the way the doctor spoke of it, he was certain that it was important. He stayed close to Dr. Essex like an obedient little puppy, but the deeper he got into the secure areas, the greater his curiosity became.

Finally, Scott and the three elder men were before a rather large, reinforced door looking into a white padded room. There was a nurse with them and several guards were close by, armed with drugs to sedate the girl if necessary. They had to wait a brief moment while the head doctor came to meet with them, but the longer they stayed, the more eager they were to get out.

"Hello gentlemen," said a man in a doctor's uniform as he approached the three men and the boy, "I'm Doctor Samson."

"Ah yes...Doctor Samson," said Dr. Essex as he shook the man's hand, "Always good to meet a fellow doctor. I am Doctor Nathanial Essex."

"Pleased to meet you," said Samson casually, "So what brings you here today? I must say I was a bit shocked when I learned that someone wanted to see this unusual case."

"Yes, well...Unusual or not, Ms. Grey is of great interest to me and my associates here," explained Dr. Essex as the two officers chose to let him do the talking with this, "Now, we are aware from her file here that she is currently suffering from a rather long list of ailments that include post traumatic stress, hyper anxiety, and hearing voices. Am I correct so far?"

"Yes doctor, one hundred percent," said Samson, "But I'm afraid that this troublesome young child goes far beyond anything we've ever dealt with before. Much of the staff that has been unfortunate enough to have to deal with her has quit time and time again. They report seeing strange things and we have had some rather unusual injuries as a result of it. It's gotten to the point where we've had to drug and sedate the young girl regularly."

"She sounds like quite a handful," said Dr. Essex, suppression an amused grin for he knew that the doctors here couldn't possibly have any idea of the power possessed by young Jean Grey.

"That would be quite an understatement, Doctor," said Samson in an exasperated tone, "This hospital has already faced severe cuts in the past few years and we honestly aren't equipped to handle something like this."

"Which brings us to why we are here..." said Dr. Essex with a friendly smile, "You see doctor...I believe that my associates and I can help you with your little dilemma."

While Dr. Essex proceeded to work his people skills on Samson, young Scott Summers remained distracted from what they were saying and focused solely on the door leading into the room that housed a very dazed, very distraught little redhead girl. Scott wanted to see her, for he was curious to know what it was that made this young girl so strange to the adults around him. In addition, he had never actually met anybody else who was...Gifted in the way he was. The door remained locked, yet there was still a small window that the young boy could not see through because he was too short. Never the less, he remained curious as to who was behind this door and why she was of such great interest to Dr. Essex. The more he thought about her, the more curious he became...As if there was something so much more driving him to see someone that was like him and possibly understood him.

Then, as Dr. Essex was still talking to Doctor Samson, one of the nurses stepped forward and interrupted the chattering men in the middle of their discussion.

"Doctor...It's time to give the girl her meds," said the female nurse who was holding a small array of what looked like cups of pills and a hypodermic needle filled with a clear liquid.

"Oh boy..." said Samson as he looked at his watch, "You're right nurse. Her last dose has probably almost worn off by now. Gentlemen...Do you think we can hold off this discussion while we take care of business?"

The doctor then proceeded to use his keycard to open the heavily reinforced door leading into the room that housed young Jean Grey. However, before he could step in, Dr. Essex stopped him before he could.

"Wait doctor...Are you sure that's really necessary?" said Dr. Essex, who in truth didn't want to deal with waiting for the chemicals in her system to wear off while they went through the processes necessary to prepare her and Scott for Shadow Cell's protocols.

"Believe me doctor...It's very necessary," said Samson as he looked back with a serious expression at the three other men, "If we don't give this girl her meds, she becomes unruly and has a tendency to get hysterical. We've tried treating her by other means, but this is the only way to keep her docile."

"But you said it yourself doctor...You don't exactly have the resources to perform the truly necessary means to help her," argued Dr. Essex, "And if you just let us handle the logistics, then maybe we could find a better way."

"I'm quite certain you can, but as long as she's here we need to operate under protocol," said Samson who was beginning to get a little impatient.

"Please doctor...Just hear me out and consider what I am offering to you and your staff here," said Dr. Essex as he once again prevented Samson from taking another step into the room.

While the two men continued to argue, the door remained opened and young Scott Summers was able to squeeze through unnoticed as his curiosity got the better of him and he entered the white padded room. He took several steps in, feeling rather confined as a shiver went up and down his spine as he looked around at the ominously lit room. It was far from a happy place to be...Yet despite this, there was a single occupant to this cold room, huddled in the corner and bound in a straight jacket. Immediately, Scott Summer's felt a twinge of intrigue as he took a step closer to get a better look.

The little 10 year old girl known as Jean Grey had been in this room for some time now. However, it had gotten to the point where she didn't exactly know how long she had been in this cold, scary place. All the incessant pain from the voices she heard in her head...All the nightmares about seeing and feeling her family die right before her eyes...It just left a pain within her that festered to the point where everything outside her mind became almost meaningless and time itself seem to devolve into a passing blur. In addition, she had been constantly drugged since her worsening mental state caused her to become unruly and strange manifestations led them to take extreme measures to keep her under control. And because of this...She was now pretty much always bound and drugged...Left with nothing but streams of confusing thoughts bombarding her head and the deep rooted pain of being so alone after having lost her family to such great tragedy.

For Scott Summers...The sight of this sad, traumatized redheaded girl that looked no older than him struck an emotional chord with him as he slowly made his way over to her. He wasn't sure why, but he found himself strangely drawn to her...For he had never seen anybody like this before. He heard gentle sobs coming from her...Sobs that sounded rather familiar to him, for they seemed to tell a truly tragic tale not unlike the one that exemplified his own life. Yet as he drew closer, his presence was finally noticed by the dazed young girl as she slowly turned towards him...Giving him a full view of her face as she looked back at him with a pair of beautiful, tear stained green eyes. And as soon as Scott saw her, only one thing ran through his young mind.

'Wow...'

It was a thought that Jean had heard, yet unlike the many other thoughts she had been forced to hear...This one sounded warm, kind, and almost comforting in a sense. The pained look of her eyes met the pained look of his as their gazes suddenly met...Locked in a single moment in time. Jean could feel his presence...But it did not scare her as did the others who constantly came in and out of her tight, confined room. She could only look back at him as their eyes remained locked on one another...As if some invisible force was drawing them closer together. Then, Scott began to slowly kneel down toward her and began to slowly extend his hand.

Jean's tired, bound body had no way of doing anything about it...Yet she didn't even struggle against it as she so often did with the doctors. With this boy, she could sense waves of pain, loneliness, and anguish coming from him...But instead of simply absorbing the harsh feelings from such emotions...She actually took a bit of comfort in it. As Scott kept extending his hand towards her...It finally made contact with the clammy skin of her face. Jean felt a strange tinge of warmth, for it was the first time in a long while since somebody had touched her without it being harsh or commanding. This time...It felt warm and comforting as the young boy slowly traced his soft hand down the contours of her face. To him, there was only one word he had to describe it...Beautiful.

"Are you...Jean Grey?" asked young Scott Summers in a soft tone.

Jean didn't respond much at first, still uncertain whether or not this was just some dream or hallucination, but the more she felt his touch, the more she felt that this was real. Finding herself unable to speak, she merely nodded in response, a slight tear falling from her eye, almost as if reminding herself of who she was only reminded her of the pain she had suffered in her short life. Scott gently wiped the small tear away with his hand and then did something he had not done in three years...He smiled.

"Don't worry...Everything will be okay," he said to her, not quite knowing why, but saying it none the less.

Even with all the uncertainty he still felt...The young boy, in the presence of this mysterious, enchanting young girl, had spoken through his faith in that things were finally going to get better in the tragic story that was life. Even though he truly didn't know what was going to happen...He still managed to lend his comfort to this scared, traumatized young girl...Lost in a world not at all different from the one Scott had been lost in. He could see it in her eyes...Mainly because he was no stranger to that look as well. And because he was now seeing someone else with that lost, empty look that spoke of untold pain...It actually made him feel as though he wasn't alone for the first time in a very long while.

For Jean Grey...These simple, comforting words had a soothing effect on her seemingly perpetual state of anxiety. For so long now, nobody had been there to offer her any comfort with her pain or her sorrow...Yet here was somebody who she didn't know, telling her that her world was not a hopeless mass of pain. Was this a dream? Was he an angel? She didn't want this to be just another figment of her mind...She wanted this to be real. And thanks to the gentle feeling of his touch, she knew she had the assurance deep down that this was no illusion of the mind...This was real.

As young Scott Summers and Jean Grey remained lost in a moment, the three adults were still arguing with the doctor, who finally seemed to be capitulating to the demands of the ever persuasive Dr. Essex. In the end, he convinced him that neither he nor this hospital had the capability to help this young girl and he could safely take her off his hands and give her the help she needed. While the bureaucratic logistics would be best left to the General and the Colonel, Dr. Essex managed to gain the personal confidence of Dr. Samson, who finally called off giving Jean the usual drugs they forced upon her on a daily basis. Now, all that was left was for the officers to do their part and work to make Jean Grey disappear...Making her an official part of Shadow Cell.

"Well Dr. Samson, I'm glad we have reached an agreement," said Dr. Essex as he shook the hand of doctor before him.

"Yes, so do I Dr. Essex," said Samson with a smile, "I'm sure the staff will be glad to hear the news."

"Indeed...Just leave her to us now and we'll take care of everything," assured Dr. Essex, keeping his words as ambiguous as possible.

Just then, as the three men thought themselves to be done with the hard part, the Colonel noticed Scott's absence from Dr. Essex's side.

"Hey! Where's the kid?" said the Colonel, causing both the General and Dr. Samson to look around.

However, for Nathanial Essex, his attention shifted towards the open door, leading into the room where young Jean Grey was being kept. He peered inside while his associates frantically looked around the immediate area and what he saw, brought a slow, ominous grin on his face. A feeling of great contentment fell upon him as he watched the young boy interact with the young girl...Both looking strangely drawn to one another. It was going perfect...Even better than he had anticipated. This was something he had hoped to see, but didn't exactly expect it to happen so suddenly. Yet despite this, the big, almost sinister grin on his face did not wane as he inwardly laughed to himself at the great progress he had made in the span of a single day.

'It's happening...Everything is starting to fall into place. It's all happening better than I ever could have planned. Now...The true process begins...And my little specimens are in for a very sinister future.'

************************************************

AN: There you have it folks. Dr. Nathanial Essex, better known as Mr. Sinister, has recruited Scott Summers and Jean Grey well before Professor Xavier. Now, they are his recruits...And things with them will never be the same. This universe has just taken a very fateful turn and there are plenty more that lie ahead. Now, Dr. Essex has what he needs to create Shadow Cell. Stay tuned to see just where this new development will lead with the critical chapters up ahead! Until then, please don't forget to review! Send them to me at my email address or post them on the fanfiction website! Either way is fine as long as you give feedback! Thanks a lot for reading everybody and I wish you all the best!

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