Sleepy Hollow, New York
I erupted out of the storm-drane, I don’t know how many miles from the school, and splashed against the ground. Being water was weird. I felt totally outside of my body, every part of me was relaxed and just wanted to let this totally mellow feeling continue to wash over me. But I couldn’t relax, I had to get as far from the school as possible. I had to save my friends.
But first I had to become all fleshy again. I concentrate hard on solidifying and felt my body begin to harden, I could feel myself begin to take shape in a hunched over body. The total chilliness of being in my water form came back to me with a sudden rush. I felt myself splash to the ground again, back into a puddle. I tried again but all I could do was form my body into an outline of water before splashing back towards the ground.
I had to do this! My friends were in trouble. Stryker had them and was bringing them God knows where. Who knew what he and the government would do them? Were they going to execute them? Torture them? Experiment on them?
I concentrated harder then ever, picturing my friends’ faces. A chill went over my whole body and I felt myself solidify into a human shape and back into flesh. I was hunched over on my knees, my hands on the ground, gasping for air. I was whole again. Booyah!
Well no, not booyah. There was no booyah happening at all. Just a lot of suck.
I was sopping wet, from head to toe. My wet clothes stuck to my chest, and my hair stuck to my forehead and around the rim of my ears. I wasn’t cold though. My powers sort of prevented me from getting too cold. My body adapted.
I looked around, trying to get some idea of where I was. I didn’t exactly pick any sort of destination, I just ran or flowed or streamed as far away from Stryker as possible. Looking around, I noticed nothing familiar. There was a pizza place I’d never seen before, a GAP store I had never been in and a supermarket across the street I didn’t even know existed. I wasn’t in my town, or any of the surrounding towns that I was familiar with.
People passing by gave me curious and suspicious glances. I guess I should be pretty happy that no one had seen me get all fleshed up again. If they’re freaked with me looking like a wet (sexy) bum, they would’ve been uber freaked.
I shook my head and ignored the wandering townies of Randomville. I had to concentrate. My friends needed me. I had to find out where I was and then I needed to do something. I wasn’t sure what though. I had to think. Any minute I wasted could result in one or all of my friends dying. I couldn’t go home to Ororo’s, I knew that. But I had to get in contact with her somehow. I had to get to the Warehouse.
I ran to the end of the street, my heart beating in my chest and looked up at the street sign.
“Main Street and Park Avenue,” I muttered.
I cursed loudly under my breath and kicked the street sign. There are like a hundred main streets and park avenues! I began to pace around in a circle, my hands on my forehead, panicked.
I tried to come up with some sort of plan. Maybe if I just flew high enough and towards the North Star I’d somehow find my way back home, find something familiar that would give me a general idea of how to get to the Warehouse. But I was nervous. What if I had been followed?
That thought really had me panicking and pacing faster. That would mean they’d be hear any moment now. I had to get moving quick but I couldn’t just fly around aimlessly. But I couldn’t stand here doing nothing either.
“My phone!” I screamed loudly reaching into my wet, tight pocket.
I pulled out my cell phone and just stared at it for a moment. What if they traced my GPS?
I raised my phone, preparing to smash it towards the ground when another thought hit me.
Forge would have thought of that wouldn’t he? He would have thought other bad guys that knew our identity, could trace our phones too. So maybe he made it untraceable. But then doubt struck. if bad guys knew who we were, they’d know where we lived, so what would be the point?
I looked back at the phone. It was still working. This thing had some pimped out shell which water or energy blast couldn’t surpass.
I pressed the button to my contact list and hit the number six, which brought me immediately to the M’s. I scrolled down a few spots until I reached my contact. ‘Ororo’.
My finger moved over the send button but I stopped myself. What if they caught her too? Or what if they were watching her, waiting for me to call. What if they tapped her phone or bugged the apartment? Once I called, they might go rushing in. No I couldn’t call her. It was too risky. My friends were already in danger, I wasn’t going to put her in danger too.
I moved up the contact list and stopped at another name. ‘Megan’.
Maybe she’d know where I was and if I had Megan I could teleport anywhere; to the warehouse, to Josh’s house, to Ororo’s apartment. I had to get to Ororo. She would know what to do. She always knows what to do. And if I got there, I could teleport her right out to safety.
I pressed send. The phone rang twice before a panic Megan answered.
“Oh my God!” She screamed, “Where are you guys?! They called a code black at school! Why isn’t Cassie con-”
“Teleport!” I screamed into the phone.
The next second, there was a strange static sound and the phone went dead.
“Megan,” I said, my voice etched with fear.
I looked to my phone and saw that we had disconnected completely. I moaned and put my phone to my forehead.
“OH MY GOD BECKY! LOOK AT HER BUTT!”
I jumped as my phone vibrated and started to play its ringtone. I looked at the caller ID and almost fainted in relief.
“Megan!” I answered.
“What’s going on!?” She cried, “Why did you have me teleport?”
“I’m on Main Street in Park Ave, there’s a Gap on this street and a Starbucks right across me!”
“What?” She asked, her voice tense, “Main Street and Park Ave? Our town doesn’t have a Park Avenue.”
“I’m not in our town!” I said as I began to pace around again, running a shaky hand through my wet hair, “There’s a Starbucks on the corner!”
“There’s a Starbucks on every corner!” She screamed.
“Umm there is a place called Momma’s Pizzeria,” I said looking down the street, “It’s next to a Gap. Uh,” I looked to the store I was closest too, “There is some ladies clothing store. It’s French or something. Maybe Spanish, or Italian. I don’t know the differences! It’s Al-“
“Oh!” She screamed, “Oh my God! Aldo’s! There’s probably like only one Aldos that isn’t at a mall in the whole county! And it’s by a pizza place and a computer repair shop right!”
I looked to the store next to Aldo’s and sure enough there was a sign, which said “Computer Repair”
“Yes!” I jumped into the air.
“My mom took my brother and I there on Christmas,” she said in a breathless excitement, “He got all this new stuff on his computer and I got the cutest pair of boots-”
“I don’t care, teleport!”
The connection went down and in a puff of white smoke Megan appeared about ten feet from me. Her face white and her eyes red and puffy.
“Cory!” she ran over to me and hugged me tightly.
I hugged her back, “To Ororo’s now!”
I felt a tug over my body before my face was blocked with white smoke. When it cleared I released Megan, turning on my heels.
But my voice got caught in my throat and my face fell. Furniture was turned over, there were scorched marks on the wall, potted plants were knocked to the ground and Ororo’s white couch was stained with blood. The television was broken, the door off its hinges. They broke into her home! My home!
“Ororo!” I cried out as I moved forward.
I felt Megan’s hand grab and the next thing I knew I felt a tug and was blinded by a cloud of smoke.
“No!” I released myself from her grip as we reappeared on Main Street and Park Ave again. “Take me back!”
She ran towards me and hugged me again. There was another tug and another cloud of smoke.
We were in the middle of a street now. Right in the middle. There was honking from all over and tons of moving cars. We weren’t in a street at all. We were on the highway.
A car barreled to us as I felt a tug and was blinded by smoke yet again.
We were in a dimly lit room which smelled like crap. Megan broke away from me and placed her hand on a sink. We were in a bathroom! A rest stop bathroom from the look of it. Sleazy…
The walls were made of cheap plaster and there two mirrors hung on the wall over the sink. I looked my reflection, the lights in the room flickering. My face was still glistening with water, my green eyes were wide and almost lifeless. I was shaking but not from the cold, I couldn’t get cold. So then why was I shaking?
“I guess here is good. I don’t think we should go to the Warehouse, too risky” Megan said softly, “You have to tell me what’s going on? Who took Ororo? Where are the others?”
But I wasn’t listening. Somehow I had fallen to my knees. Water was streaming down my cheeks, but as it edged it’s way into my mouth I realized that the water was actually tears. My breathing was heavy and quick, and Megan voice sounded miles away.
“I’m alone,” I said to myself, “They have Ororo…They have Josh…Cassie..,,Lily.” My hands went to the side of my head and I hunched over, hugging my arms to my head, “I cant do this! I can’t do this by myself. I’m alone.” I wasn’t the smart one, I wasn’t the good one, and I wasn’t the strong one, and I wasn’t the one anyone could rely on. I was the goof, the idiot, the screw up.
My friends needed me but I needed my friends and I needed Ororo. I couldn’t do anything without them.
“I’m alone…they’re gone.”
The Xavier Institute of Higher Learning in Los Angeles California
I closed my eyes and waited for the Sentinels lasers to cut through Will and I. I held him tightly, his unconscious body pinning me to the floor. He tackled me when the explosion happened. I wasn’t even sure if he was alive. Tonya wasn’t. The explosion, which had torn apart half the mansion, had killed her. I couldn’t get the image of her lifeless eyes out of my head or of Ben, her brother, holding her, crying. Did it matter though? I would be joining her soon enough.
I could hear the force of the beams and I could almost feel it’s heat but for whatever reason it still hadn’t struck through me yet. Slowly I opened my eyes.
The beam of red energy hovered feet above me, burrowing into an invisible barrier. I could see the air begin to ripple around the beam with fiery, orange waves of energy. The fiery energy solidified around the beam, which retracted at incredibly speed. Only, I soon realized, it wasn’t retracting itself. The beam had been redirected back to the Sentinel, striking it through its eyes and causing its head to explode. The Sentinel began to fall backwards and out of view. It crashed with such force that the floor shook.
“Quickly, get up!” I heard a familiar voice echo inside my head.
I pushed Will off with a moan. For a moment I laid on the ground, my mind racing before getting my knees and looking to my savior.
Jean stood in the center of the entrance, amidst all the debris. Her bright red hair was flowing behind her along with the fringes of her red night gown. Her eyes were glowing with the organish yellow energy that had surrounded the Sentinels beam.
She turned from me as three men with guns in commando outfits came through the giant now collapsed wall of the common area. With the wall gone, I could see the grounds. Helicopters filled the air, some leaving, others coming, the latter of which dropping off more commandos. Further in the distance, coming through the trees were more Sentinels.
The three men readied their guns but Jean gave them a simple wave and all three men were thrown with such force, that I could hear their bones crack before they even left the ground.
I looked down to Will. He was so still.
“Will,” I shook him, “Will…wake up! Will!”
I began to sob as I continued to shake him, forgetting exactly the steps I should take to make sure he’s alive for a moment. I put my ears close to his mouth and felt his hot breath against my ear. I sobbed and put my hands on the side of his face, feeling how warm and full of life he was.
“They’re coming,” Jean’s voice echoed inside my head, sounding colder than usual, “We need to stop them! I won’t let them hurt my students!”
I looked back to Jean, who was moving towards the center of the room, facing the grounds through the crumbled walls. The commandos were moving across the grounds, some heading right in our directions others veering towards the right, where the explosion hadn’t hit.
“Get up!” Jean screamed and I felt myself forced to my feet, “We have to save them! There will be no more deaths!”
I turned my head and my eyes fell on Ben, who continued to cradle his sister’s lifeless body. His blue eyes were about as lifeless as his sisters.
About twenty men had moved in from the grounds, while at least a dozen had came in through the entrance from the foyer. We were surrounded on both sides, yet Jean still did nothing.
I stood there, frozen in fear and uncertainty.
The men aimed their guns at Jean and I. I moved closer to Jean, who still stood there, perfectly still, her eyes glowing with power. I heard the guns click and looked to Jean, who continued to stare straight ahead.
My eyes fell back upon Tonya; my friend, Ben’s sister, Tucker’s sister.
“That one is the telepath!” screamed one of the men, “Throw the tele-scrambler and fire!”
One of the men stepped forward with a metal ball in hand. He threw it in the air, the same time as the gunmen fired.
Jean put her hand up and every single bullet, along with the tele-scrambler, froze in mid-air, before exploding into nothingness. Jean pushed the air in front of her and the whole room shook. The twenty men were lifted off their feet, and flew backwards with such speed and force; it would have been a miracle if any of them survived.
I looked back to Tonya…
I knew what I had to do too. I wouldn’t end like Ben, holding my dead sister in my arms. I had to fight, I had to find Elizabeth.
First time in months, I activated my powers. It was almost orgasmic, the way the sensation of my power came over me. My body became completely encased in translucent pure energy, energy that made me feel so good, so safe and so powerful. But I had to remain in control of those emotions, as it was the only way to contain control of my power.
I turned to face the men at the entrance of the common room and moved forward and fired a large blast of energy, as Jean turned to the men. The men were lifted off their feet like the gravity in the room ceased to exist. My blast was large enough to hit three of the men, breaking them from Jean’s holding and sending them crashing to the ground. I put out both arms and fired two more blasts, hitting the remaining commandos.
I looked back out onto the ground and saw that three Sentinels were close, practically right over the school. Without thinking, I took to the air.
I set my sights on the Sentinel closest to the school, picking up speed as my body began to brighten. The Sentinel turned its gigantic head towards me. I curled my hands into a fist and felt the sensation of my power grow as I began to shine brighter than ever before. I was less than fifteen feet from the Sentinel’s face. The Sentinels eyes lit up. With as much speed and energy as I could, I practically flung myself towards the center of the Sentinel’s eyes.
I went straight through the Sentinel at a speed I never thought I could reach. I quickly flew out of the Sentinel’s way as it flew backwards, taking a helicopter with it in a nasty chain of events, which resulted in both the helicopter and the Sentinel crashing down on commandos.
For a moment I floated in mid-air, breathing heavily, looking down at the destruction I caused. The hole I left in the Sentinel sparked with electricity and the men that were under it were most likely dead. They weren’t the first men’s death I was responsible for.
Shaking my head, I clenched my fist and began to reassess my surroundings. It was then I noticed the large presence behind me.
I turned quickly to see a Sentinel standing right over me. Its eyes flashed red and it’s chest yellow. It was moments away from firing at me. I froze.
A large red blast of energy hit the Sentinel on the side of its head. The head exploded into what seemed like millions of pieces.
I looked down at Cyclops, who from his wheelchair was constantly blasting away at Sentinels.
I looked around, they’re head to be at least half a dozen more.
My body began to spark with energy as a sense of urgency shot through me. We were wasting time. I had to save my sister.
I hit a soldier under the chin with an open palm. He stumbled back and I grabbed him by the shoulder, throwing him nto a nearby soldier.
Nearby Jubilee blasted away two men with a blast of colorful plasma energy.
Two more soldiers came running through the whole in the wall, guns out. I whipped my hand at them and a beam of hardened yellow energy whipped the air. The beam smacked both of them in the chest, sending them flying off their feet.
The grunts of soldiers filled the air as, four other soldiers were disarmed and attacked by what looked like a blur. Tucker finally stopped running as he flipped a soldier over his shoulder.
An eerie silence filled the classroom, where just moments ago, I was sitting having a normal day, contemplating the fact that in just a week I would be graduating. One moment I was thinking about how come Fall I’d be in Stanford, on my way to becoming a lawyer, I was thinking about how the future looked bright and how excited I was for everything, not just for me but for everyone and then it happened. We were attack from all sides and I did the one thing I had been taught to do since I became a student at Xavier’s; fight.
I took in my surroundings. Fallen soldiers scattered the floor, along with dead or unconscious students. Only Tucker, Jubilee and I were left standing as almost every other student had run. Others had either been taken or for the unlucky few, real bullets.
I could hear the sound of gunfire return in the distant.
“We have to get out of here,” I said, “But we have to find Kaylee and the others first.”
“And we need to make sure all the younger students are through the tunnels,” Jubilee said stepping over a fallen soldier. She had a large, bloody gash on her forehead.
“The staff would have made sure that was the first thing they did,” Tucker reassured her.
“Right,” Jubilee replied, her voice cracking.
We moved quickly through the school, which looked more like a warzone. Walls were collapsed, rooms blackened with debris and soldiers bodies scattered the floor. I noticed a severe lack of students and I honestly wasn’t too sure if that was a bad thing or a good thing.
Around me I could hear faint screams, the firing of both guns and mutant powers. I just kept running, looking straight ahead. Everything around me seem so surreal. It was like I was living a nightmare. Despite the fact that I was running at a normal speed, my body felt heavy, my legs weak and it almost felt like I was running in slow motion. The faint sounds rung in my ear and I could hear the wind blow through the decrypt halls. I just wanted to find the others and get out of here. I just wanted to go home.
Tucker’s scream made me stop short. I was in the center of the common room, which seemed to be the center of a direct hit. Students bodies were scattered across the room, some were missing arms and legs yet all of them had the same vacant open eyed look of death.
Ben cradled the lifeless Tonya not far from where I stood. Tears and blood streaked his handsome face. He was whimpering and shaking, hugging his dead twin, his cheek against her forehead.
Tonya’s once bright blue eyes looked pale. She had this surprised look on her face that sent chills down my spine. The fatal gaping hole in her side was leaking blood and what looked like intestines.
I turned in place and fell to my knees, throwing up.
“No…” I repeated Tucker say breathlessly.
Shaking and feeling even more weak kneed than before, I stood back up.
Tucker moved over to his brother and fell to his knees.
“She’s okay…” He said softly, putting a hand on his brother’s shoulder. Ben didn’t answer. I looked to Jubilee, who was sobbing quietly. “She’s okay right?” He shook Ben once but Ben continued to ignore him. “Right?” He shook him again.
Jubilee and I looked at each other, neither of us knew what to do, or what to say.
“Tucker…” I said softly moving forward.
“Answer me!” He screamed, “Come on!” He began to cry as he shook his brother harder, faster. “Please!!” He shook his brother again, his body becoming a momentary blur as he lost control of his powers. Ben was jolted back and forth violently.
“Tucker!” I screamed.
Tucker let go of his brother and let out a scream of anguish as he covered his head with his arms and huddle towards the ground. I covered my mouth as I too began to cry quietly as Ben’s eyes finally traveled towards his brother. They were vacate and blood shot, and he didn’t say anything.
I looked away unable to see the scene in front of me anymore, but what was around me wasn’t any better. I was surrounded by death. Familiar faces, all of whom I could name.
Suddenly I couldn’t breathe as I began to sob. This couldn’t be real. This just couldn’t be happening.
I tried to find a spot in the room where I didn’t have to look at a corpse, but I couldn’t. Everyone was gone…
And then my eyes fell on Will, who was sprawled out on the floor, his eyes closed.
A cold chill swept over me.
“Oh God,” I ran towards him, moving onto my knees, “Will..” I said touching the side of his neck to feel for a pulse.
A moment passed and I felt nothing, just hot flesh but then a beat, a pulse. I sighed in relief.
“Will!” I screamed trying to wake him up.
“Ugh…” his lips parted as his eyes began to flicker.
“Where’s my sister!?” I said through a sob.
“Ugh…” he said again as he tried to lift his hand.
“Where is she!?” I screamed.
“Kaylee…” he muttered.
I grabbed him by the shoulders, “I need to find her. I need too-” But I couldn’t finish. I was sobbing to hard.
Where was she? Was she okay? I thought the worst. I couldn’t help it. With so many dead around me…with Tonya gone, I couldn’t sake this horrible feeling I had.
I moved away from Will, sitting on the ground. I couldn’t stop crying, my hands were shaking and I felt like I was going to be sick again.
Through the tears I saw Will’s eyes open as he began to stir some more. Jubilee moved to his side and asked him something, but I couldn’t hear. I had to stop crying, I had to get in control of myself but I couldn’t. If my sister was….if she was….
I quickly got to my feet
Kaylee stood in the center of the room, her body made of translucent energy. As she moved towards me, the energy began seeping away. By the time I ran into her, hugging her tightly, she was back her human form. I could hardly stand I was so relieved.
I cried into her shoulder as she gave me a tight hug, putting her hand on the back of my head.
“We have to get going,” said Jean as she descended down into the room. “Scott is leading the last of the students through the escape tunnels.”
I broke from Kaylee and nodded. Jubilee helped Will to his feet and the two move towards Kaylee and I.
“Ben…..Tucker…” Jean said as she moved towards them. I felt Kaylee grasp my hand. “We have to go.” Neither of the brothers replied. “Please…” Jean said softly. She put a hand on Tucker’s shoulder.
“….I…” Tucker removed his arms from his face and looked to Jean, his face blotchy. He nodded and slowly got up. “I…” he said again but shook his head.
“Ben…” Jean said next, “We need to leave. We only have moments before more of those men arrive.” Ben looked to her for a moment, his expression vacant. “Ben,” Jean put a hand on the top of his head, brushing back his hair, “We have to go…” Again Ben just ignore her. “Ben we have too-”
“Enough!” Tucker screamed as he moved towards his brother in a quick blur. I heard a loud thump and the next thing I knew Tucker had Tonya cradled in his arms and Ben was on the floor, unconscious.
“Let’s go,” Tucker said softly as a tear moved down his cheek.