————— The Common Room —————

Maxwell walked toward the door to the common room and was nearly knocked over as Julian, known to the rest of the school as Hellion, came out through it. As the arrogant young mutant walked past him he called over his shoulder “Watch where you’re going spiky”. He then stopped dead in his tracks as he came face to face with a red skinned, mutant boy with spiky protuberances coming out of him.

“I believe that’s my name” he said rather coolly to Julian.

“Whatever” shrugged Julian, as he side stepped the boy and continued on his way down the corridor.

“Boy Evan, you must be either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid to try and square off one to one with Hellion” said Maxwell to the spiky boy.

“I like to think its bravery” he quipped back with a grin on his face.

“You’re just lucky that he wasn’t in the mood for a fight” smiled Max. They opened the door and walked into the common room. Maxwell saw the Cuckoo girls sitting on the sofa across the room. Surprised they hadn’t turned around to look at them yet he walked over to them. Max had a love hate relationship with the super mind that was the Four-in-One. They had been disgusted when their mentor Scott Summers had chosen Quill to be the squadron leader of the Corsairs. They felt that their superior minds and intellect should have made them the obvious choice for the position but Scott had explained that though they often speak with one voice they bicker an awful lot as well and having more than one person as a leader was not a good idea.

They had been dismissive of that idea, preferring instead to think Max had got the position because Mr. Summers felt he needed to learn responsibility, and also to keep him out of trouble. That was fine as far as Max was concerned but it was their often disregard for his orders in the field sessions that grated him. It had frequently lost them a top position in the league tables and when Max complained to Scott he was told to try and handle it himself. That apparently was what a good leader did.

As much as he didn’t like those aspects of the girls, he couldn’t help admire some of their other ‘qualities’. They were after all four blonde bombshells. As he approached the back of the sofa he assumed that their quietness was due to the fact that they preferred to speak telepathically when on their own. He was still curious that they hadn’t looked around especially as it was him approaching. Their telepathy had often foiled many of the practical jokes he had arranged for them. He got right to the back of the sofa and thinking he had the upper hand turned to Evan and put his finger to his lips, signalling for silence while trying not to laugh himself. Taking a deep breath he let out a loud yell and grabbed two of the girls shoulders from behind the sofa. The response he got was not what he was expecting. Instead of jumping in fright as he expected one of the girls he had grabbed slowly toppled over sideways in her seat coming to rest at an awkward angle.

“What’s wrong?” came Evan’s voice from behind him. Just then the two boys fell to their knees as a terrible shockwave ran through the building. Max covered his head with his arms and waited until the shaking subsided. Getting to his feet he looked around and saw the common room was in tatters. Mindee, Celeste, Phoebe and Sophie had all been thrown across the room and Max now realised that they had been unconscious the whole time.

Quickly checking to see that Evan was Ok he ran to the girls and checked they had not been hurt in the shaking. Seeing they were fine he called over to Evan “Spike, go and see that Clarice, Herman and Callie are Ok. Then get back here, we have to get the girls to the infirmary, something’s wrong with them”.

“Got it” yelled back Evan over his shoulder as he ran out the door.

Thinking quickly Max got up and ran over to the computers set in the common room for student use. By some miracle one of them was undamaged and still working. He quickly logged on, and using some computer skills he had learned before coming to the institute, he managed to access the security camera network. Looking at the various images coming through he was gob-smacked by the destruction that had been dealt to the exterior of the estate and the surrounding grounds.

Just then he saw a pinkish-purple slash appear in the air at the centre of the room. A half second later the rest of his team-mates from the Corsairs were standing in front of him. The girl responsible for the teleportation he just witnessed ran over to the fallen girls. “Are they alright?” she asked Max.

“As far as I can tell Clarice” he replied “But I don’t know why they aren’t responding to anything”.

“They look like they are in a coma” chimed in Callie as she shyly watched Clarice check over the telepaths.

“It’s the same everywhere else” said Clarice “I was just with the Paragons when Jessica started freaking out. Then her and Psion just collapsed. They screamed and then just passed out”.

“It’s the telepaths, something is attacking the telepaths” said Max ” Blink can you go and find Mr. Summers and tell him what happened. The rest of us will get the girls to the infirmary”.

“Will do” said the pink skinned girl as she disappeared in a flash of energy.

“Ok guys pick up a blonde and let’s get going” he said trying to keep everyone’s spirits up.

“Quill do you know what all that shaking was, are we under attack? piped up Callie.

“Look don’t get worried but something bad is happening outside. I’m sure the X-Men can handle it”. he replied evasively. He did not want to unnecessarily worry his squad and for now he would just concentrate on getting the girls to the infirmary. “Now come on we have to move the Cuckoos”. Grabbing the girls they set off through the shaken corridors of the mansion.

————— Front Courtyard —————

With a flash of pink energy the Corsair known as Blink stepped out of her teleportation portal and onto the front steps of the mansion. After unsuccessfully checking for her mentor Scott Summers in his office and other usual haunts she had decided to check outside. She gasped in shock at the sight before her. Sentinels were crawling everywhere and not just large tall ones but smaller versions as well. She spotted a few of the X-Men scattered around fighting to keep them at bay. She also seen some of the students from the other squads either fighting the sentinels or just running around in panic.

She quickly located her mentor Cyclops who was standing near the Phoenix memorial statue and ported over to him. She appeared behind him as he was ordering his brother and fellow X-Man Havok to support Rogue who was fighting nearby. “Mr. Summers what’s going on?” she said behind him over the noise of explosions.

Spinning around Cyclops, leader of the X-Men, jumped at Blink’s unexpected appearance. “Clarice what are you doing here?” he began “Never mind actually you could probably give a hand out here. I know you are student and all that but this battle is getting a bit desperate”.

“But sir” she tried to interrupt but was cut off as her teacher let out a massive optic blast that destroyed two small sentinels that were flying toward them.

“Don’t worry” he shouted over to her as he ran off to engage another robot “Go and get the rest of the Corsairs, but be careful, and at the slightest nudge I want you to teleport as many as you can out of here”.

Watching as he ran off she gave up and decided that he was probably right. Hah! Who was she kidding she was thinking of Cyclops, of course he was right. She quickly sliced a few sentinels in half before teleporting to the infirmary where the others should be by now.