The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, Room 317, Psychic Self-Defence

Substitute Instructor: Elizabeth Braddock a.k.a Psylocke


Betsy Braddock concentrated as her head was bathed in the pink-purple glow of the butterfly aura that appeared whenever she made use of her mutant power of telepathy. Focusing on the task at hand, she pressed her mind against those of her students.

Both stayed perfectly still as Betsy probed their defences for any sign of weakness. Of course staying still wasn’t difficult for the living brain known as Martha Johannson, encased as she was within a glass dome attached to a gravity sled. It gave her a degree of movement when she wasn’t so intently concentrated on keeping her teacher out of her mind.

By Martha’s side stood Quentin Quire, the self professed “Kid Omega”.  Betsy regarded him quizzically as she noticed that he was smirking. What did he have to be so smug about? Then she felt it. Quire was attempting to barge through her own psychic defences. Once she thought about it Betsy realised that she really shouldn’t have been surprised. Quire always looked for any opportunity to undermine any of the school’s teachers or rebel against their authority. But there were disadvantages to skipping classes and not doing one’s homework. If Quire had studied up on her, he would have learned of her immunity when it came to straight up telepathic attacks such as his.

Once upon a time, when her brother Jamie had brought her back from the dead she had been immune to any form of telepathy. This ability had waned somewhat since her resurrection, especially after Jamie’s death but it still granted her a degree of protection and Betsy knew that Quire wasn’t a fan of subtlety. His smile faded as he bounced off Betsy’s barrier.

Betsy seized the opportunity and wormed her way into the little twat’s brain, simultaneously activating all of Quire’s pain receptors. He shrieked and fell to the ground as he was overwhelmed by sheer agony. Betsy couldn’t help but smile. She knew that it was wrong but her frustrations had been getting the worst of her ever since she had come to the Jean Grey School.

Many of the others seemed to take to teaching far more naturally than she did. They never seemed to resort to taking their problems out on the students. Well perhaps with the exceptions of Logan and Rachel, the latter of whom took a sadistic glee in exposing the student body’s deepest darkest secrets.

She felt out of place. Being a teacher just wasn’t in her nature, she knew that. She had always wanted to be a warrior, capable of defending those she loved and when Spiral transferred her mind into the body of the asian ninja Kwannon that was exactly what she became. She needed to be out there doing something, not stuck in Westchester having to deal with Quire.

Finally, she released her control over Quire’s nervous system. He continued to writhe on the floor for a minute or two for dramatic effect. When Quire finally made an attempt to rise to his feet, Martha psychically jabbed him causing him to fall down again.

“Class dismissed,” Betsy said as she made for the stairs that lead out of the psi-shielded classroom. She was glad to see that she wasn’t the only one who was sick at the sight of Quentin Quire.

“Betsy,” Rachel broadcasted to her from the Cerebra Chamber, where she had been stationed ever since the Cuckoos had manipulated events to bring Emma Frost to the school. “Logan just asked me to tell you that he needs to see you in his office right away.”

She thanked Rachel and began to make her way to Logan’s office. She wondered what this was about. He couldn’t know what had just happened could he? Would Betsy truly care?  If it wasn’t for the fact that the school was providing her with a roof over her head she probably would have left by now.

She had been away for a while and Betsy reminded herself that it hadn’t worked out well. That was the reason she was here. If that hadn’t worked out and this wasn’t either what was she going to go?

She turned the door knob and let herself in. Logan was there of course and to Betsy’s surprise as was Rogue. Intrigued, Betsy sat down in one of the chairs opposite Logan.

“How do you feel about leaving the school?” Logan asked her.

Betsy jumped to what seemed like the only possible conclusion and as much as she wouldn’t mind leaving, being fired would hurt. It was one thing, after all, for her to acknowledge that teaching wasn’t for her. It was another thing entirely to be fired.

“You’re firing me?” she shrieked furious. “Is this about Quire?”

“What?” Logan exclaimed. “No! What did you do to Quire?”

“Forget about that Logan,” Rogue said as she attempted to diffuse the situation. “He didn’t mean permanently Betsy. Ah’m putting together a team to take on the Brood and we were wondering if you’d want to be a part of it.”

Betsy felt her cheeks flush. Well Logan would certainly know about Quire now. He would never be able to write him off as a lost cause and despite her feelings Betsy couldn’t allow herself to write him off either. They had both seen where those thoughts led.

“I know you’ve had trouble acclimatising to the school,” Logan explained. “I figured this would be good for you.”

“I see,” Betsy said as she mulled things over.

“I’ll get ready.” she said, betraying no emotion as she left the room.

“She didn’t seem over the moon about it, Logan.” Rogue said apprehensively as Betsy began to close the door. “Not that ah blame her.”

“Don’t let her fool you.” Logan said. “She’s been itching for a fight ever since she got here.”

Betsy smiled. Logan knew her too well. She sensed however that that the meeting next door wasn’t going half as well as her own had.