Class had only been in session for a couple days at Xavier's. Labor Day had come and gone. There were more students on campus than in previous semesters. The buzz from first day jitters had settled down. Routines were starting to be picked up. It was currently the small span of time between the end of classes for the day and the beginning of after-school activities.

A mile from the main house, a very determined man wearing purple and dark blue was setting up. He took note of various things like the range to the target, wind direction, wind velocity, air density, elevation, and the Coriolis effect. As well as the effect the window he was going to shoot through would have on his very special bullet. He peered through his scope. This would be an extremely tricky shot, but the entire operation was waiting on him to start it. He needed to take out the biggest problem on that campus. The new construction getting into his way didn't help matters.

He eventually lined up a clear shot and waited. He caught a flash of red in the window. The target must have been sitting at her desk. The sniper grinned slightly to himself. He took in a breath, let it half out, and then squeezed the trigger.
The one-of-a-kind bullet made of non-magnetic material blasted out of the barrel of the sniper rifle. His aim was dead on. He quickly tapped the signal to have the first ones launch their attack.

The walls along Graymalkin Lane were breached explosively in multiple places. Most near security nodes to delay the time the security system roused. Men and women in black tabards with white crosses poured through the openings. They ran toward the buildings and any visible muties on the grounds. They all had been itching for some action since the debacle at Veridian Dynamics. Being underground for this long made the need for mutie blood strong among the Purifiers.
It had been a long journey, but finally, she was here. She wasn't tired, exactly, she wasn't sure she could get tired now, at least not in the same way as before. But, she was mentally weary and glad to have reached her destination.

She passed through the metal gates protecting the entrance and paused to admire the random and colorful pattern that appeared on the monitor embedded into one of the posts. She stuck an intangible finger through the screen and dragged it around, watching the pixels swirl and follow. It was pretty. Much prettier than the considerably lower tech ATM she was playing with... when was that? It was so easy to lose track of time, now. That ATM had bleeped and blooped and spat out a snowstorm of twenty dollar bills. Pity she couldn't use them now, or even touch them, but it was fun to watch the crowd of people scrambling for them.

She drifted away. The monitor flickered and flashed, then displayed a rebooting sequence. She moved further in to the mansion grounds, invisible and intangible. There were people here. Maybe she could make one of them see her.
With the opening of the school post-Labor Day fast approaching, it was time to open the dorms to the student populations. This was being done so most of the interior of the mansion (above the subbasements) could be remodeled and re-utilized for more academic means.

It was bright and early on that late August morning the headmaster of Xavier's had the students and staff gather for announcements. Things had to change at how parts of Xavier's were ran. Gone were the days of it being a home first and school second.

Rachel went to the front of the gathered crowd and used her telepathy to augment her voice so everyone could hear her.

"Good morning, everyone. Today, we officially open the two dorms to student living." She used one hand to gesture to the two large buildings behind the mansion and opposite each other across the width. "The students will spend the day moving out today from the mansion into the boys' and girls' dorms. Some of the roommate assignments have been updated and adjusted as needed. The assignments have been posted in both your current dorms and your new one. If you don't have a roommate at this moment, do not think you've lucked out. We have students returning and new ones enrolling after Labor Day."

She took a breath. "With this move to the dorms, comes a change in how this school proceeds. Under my predecessor, the school had more leeway and could be like a home before an educational institution. Now, with the watchful eyes hoping we fail, we have to move how we do things into a more proper school setting. With that in mind, more rules have been instituted to get us in line with those terms of existence."

She took a small breath. "The cafeteria kitchen is now off-limits to students. Only those with prior permission and reason to be there will be allowed in. It is up to Ms. Blaire's and my discretion on whom that is. Food in the cafeteria will be supplied on a 24 hour basis, but do not expect hot food once the kitchen has been closed down for the night. The cafeteria will start serving hot food at 6 AM and will close down the hot food portion at 8 PM.

"The horses in the stables are not to be fed junk food under any circumstances. Ms. Moonstar informs me the next person who slips them one of those deep fried fruit pies will be cleaning out the stalls with a bucket, a sponge, and no powers. And I agree with her.

"The Shi'ar mainframe in this school needs to have its resources used responsibly. Mr. Ramsey will disable your access to the internet if he catches anyone trying to host things like Warcraft sessions on it."

Roommate Assignments )
It was one of those days where Kayla couldn't really stand to be indoors, especially after all the dishes had been done from lunch. Hana had more or less ordered her to go outside before she started bouncing off the walls and wrecked something. So she'd taken the hint and gone outside, but not before shooting a text to Topher. 

"Football or frisbee. Your choice. Love, Kaykay." 

Kayla had a bit of a rep for hanging out in a largely female-dominated group. She had a bit of a Trio thing going with Bobbi and Rose, and naturally, she spent a lot of time with Brianna. Every night as a matter of fact. But sometimes, she kind of needed to hang out with a guy. She'd been an unabashed daddy's girl when she was a kid, and had grown up with four brothers (and two sisters). Topher was someone she not only liked, but frankly admired. She thought he'd go far as a leader one day. 

And he was just a really nice, down-to-earth guy. 

So hopefully he'd get his butt out there because she wanted to toss around, well, something with him. But mostly just hang out, really. 
Ilya stood in the lobby of the mansion, attempting not to panic. While his SHIELD handler worked out the final paperwork, she'd benignly told him to stay there. The thing of it was, though, he was pretty sure that an entire apartment complex from home could fit in here. He tried not to fidget as it continued to hit home just how far away from, well, home that he was. The world seemed suddenly much too big, leaving him motionless as he tried to figure out what to do. He looked at his bags and wondered if he should take them up to his room... except he had no idea where his room was. And despite SHIELD having taught him fluent English, the Russian was loathe to call out for help and say something stupid and grammatically incorrect. He didn't want to look like an idiot right after he'd walked through the door.

So the fifteen year old stood there, glancing around awkwardly, silent as a mouse.
Since he had arrived at Xavier’s, Richard had found everyone to be very friendly and the classes to be significantly easier than what he had dealt with at home, but he still had to work extra hard to make sure that he knew the things that he was studying. Alas, this had taken away from his leisure time to do some relaxing things that he used to do every now and again, but today was a special day as he found himself with a few minutes to spare to cozy up on the couch in the lounge with a good book.

Sitting there, he became completely entranced by the story to the point that he could see himself as the main character going through the tale, which left him unaware of anyone that may or may not have come into the room since he had started reading. Every so often, he would say a few lines out loud, but would quickly quiet down shortly after.

“I want to be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren,” he muttered as the words reminded him of his goal.
 It was a beautiful August afternoon. Almost disgustingly gorgeous, actually. The humidity had finally fallen to an acceptable level and it was showing up as a very lovely 80 Fahrenheit (27 Celsius to Kayla, it would always be 27 Celsius). It was beautiful and safe ... it'd probably be awhile before Kayla felt like going camping again. Nobody had been hurt too badly, but it'd still been an awful mess, and Rose hadn't really been the same after it. 

It was perfect weather for a dip in the lake. Not too hot, not too cold, no real wind. And it was also an absolutely perfect opportunity to take her new swimsuit on a trial run. 

Kayla had always loved water, since she was a little kid. She remembered her father always joking that she should have been born a dolphin or something. She'd never have made a swim team in any significant way, but swimming had come naturally to her- but even more so, just the feeling of being in cool water, floating, treading water, even just standing in it. 

If other people joined her, that was awesome, but she didn't mind being alone either. Like a complete goon, she started running down the pier and jumped into the water.

Life’s funny sometimes, Topher Summers thought to himself as he sat underneath the tree where he’d first met Jeremiah Bennet. His laptop was open on his lap, and he was playing a simulation game where you created people and controlled their lives. I mean, in the funny-cruel way, not the funny ha-ha way. Here I am, able to take away anyone’s pain - anyone’s negative emotional energy -and make them feel better, but I can’t do that for myself. He watched as simulation Jerry leaned over the kitchen counter to give simulation Chris a plate of lobster thermidor, which he’d thought was appropriate breakfast food for whatever reason. Topher clicked on Chris and chose the option that would have Chris make out with Jerry.

Ugh. Bad feels... )
" This is going to be a blast!" Dolemeck thought to himself as he followed the other students towards the lake. The campus was still under-going construction, and while they could have just thrown a pool party... the lake seemed like the better option for a bunch of rowdy teenagers. "It's such a perfect day for this sort of thing! I am so glad the headmistress approved of this party!

Eventually, Dolemeck made it down to the lack, using his powers to carry a basket that held some suntan lotion and a town. He had been here before with Bobbi, but never close to the dock or the boathouse. Some of the kids were already in the water, splashing about, and swimming. It was paradise.
There were few things that Topher Summers found more relaxing than sitting out behind the Xavier Institute, armed with a glass of blackberry iced tea, a plate loaded with chicken wings, and his guitar. He and his band hadn't really played much since the Xavier Institute had been outed as a school for mutants. While his bandmates hadn't cared, he doubted that the citizens of Salem Center would care much to listen to the Starjammers once they found out that the lead singer and guitarist was a mutant.

Ergo, lately, Topher had made himself content with just strumming to himself when he wasn't working on building up his psychic and empathic defenses or helping out at the mutant shelter.

It was nice and everything, but Topher was also craving a little bit of excitement. He couldn't help it, that was in his blood. And he didn't necessarily mean the musical sort of excitement either. He wanted to do something, but since the disaster with the education department...well, Topher had been on something of a tight leash.

Sighing, he set his guitar down, took a drink of his iced tea, and then floated up into the air, closing his eyes and letting the warmth of the sun wash over him.

It was one of those restless days where he wanted something more. What that might have been, he wasn't sure.
Mrs. Mary MacNeilly's report to the New York State Education Department was far from glowing. Her report caused a lot more concern and shock than normal process usually allowed. They did their research on previous inspections just to see how long this mutant school problem had been going on. Despite their research showing there had never been an issue as large as what was put before them, they had to take action on what Mrs. MacNeilly had reported.

The NYSED informed the superintendent in the district Xavier's was located in of the issue. They also got in touch with Westchester County's office about Xavier's certificate of occupancy due to the structural damage Mrs. MacNeilly had witnessed happening to the school building. With the report of mutants on the grounds the state and county governments got their information squared away before sending representatives to the school with protection from law enforcement. Child Protective Services got into the loop after being informed of a young girl living at the school surrounded by mutants who quite possibly could not control their powers.

As the media got wind of what was coming to a quiet yet secretive school in upstate New York, TV stations sent crews out. Some of the government representatives were glad to talk vaguely about what was happening at the school live. With the cameras aimed to put the people going into the school on film, a TV reporter stepped into the frame.

"This is Samantha Boulevard here not far from the town of Salem Center in Westchester County. Government officials from the New York State Education Department are here delivering a notice of probation for the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. The school came under scrutiny recently during an inspection by a certified educational inspector. My sources have told me that this school poses as a private institution for education but has been revealed to be habitat for mutants."
Rachel Grey-Ramsey pulled into Xavier's fast enough to almost clip the sides of her car on the opening gates. She didn't bother parking in the garage, abandoning her vehicle somewhere on the drive way before the house.

The Professor himself was coming back from his conference. They need to do an assessment of what went wrong and how they were going to react to it.

So far, Rachel was reacting by telekinetically flying over the front lawn while helping her cousin keep Animus under wraps.
Mrs. Mary MacNeilly had made the hour trip out to a private school in Westchester county. She was the person assigned from the State Education Department's Office of Nonpublic School Services to perform a surprise inspection of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. It had been some time since an in-person inspection of this learning facility had been conducted. It had fallen to Mrs. MacNeilly to go and assess how the school fit the understaffed Office of Accountability's educational parameters.

She drove her midsized sedan up to the gates. She announced herself on the intercomm as "Mary MacNeilly from the New York State Education Department for a compliance inspection."

She drummed her fingers on the steering wheel as she waited for some administrator to allow her on the grounds.
"God, this is messed up," Topher mused to himself as he sat under his favourite tree early one afternoon, perusing casefiles of old X-Men adventures.

Currently, he was reading up on the one where his dad had an affair with his uncle Scott's ex-wife, Madelyne Pryor. It was...mind-boggling. He furrowed his brow and switched to the next screen, choosing instead to read about his grandfather's adventures as a Starjammer.

Well, he was about to start reading when his phone started ringing. Curious, Topher pulled it out of his pocket and grinned when he saw Jeremiah's name, number, and photo on the screen.

"Thank god you called," Topher said, answering immediately. "I was reading up on family history. I have to remember that if I'm ever going to do that again, I need an industrial-sized vat of brain bleach with me." Pause. "But enough about that. What's up?"
One could learn a lot about the future from the past. That was what Topher was learning by observing the students at the Xavier Institute, watching new relationships echo old ones, noting how old family feuds still existed but took on new and bizarre forms, and seeing how people with similar powers eventually developed similar personalities. For example, the relationship that was developing between his cousin Rachel and Brooke Wyngarde amused and worried him, considering the history between the Wyngardes and the Greys. Plus there was the fact that Brooke tended to expel negative energy the way that most people expelled carbon dioxide. (Except for the ironically, ridiculously conveniently named Willow Woods. She'd actually developed some sort of plant-affinity and took in carbon dioxide and expelled oxygen. Handy to have around if you were ever trapped in a dark, dank room, he figured.) He'd actually spent a day shadowing Brooke, sucking in her energy before he realized that if he spent too much time with her, before soon, he would be knocked out and Animus would be set free.

Given his family's history... )

He could do this. He could grow into being a strong, capable, dependable leader. He could learn from the past and bring the X-Men into a brighter future, if they already weren't by the time he was old enough and ready enough to lead. After all, he was learning from the past, and that was one of the best things anyone could do, right?
The Blackbird was about fifteen minutes out from Cape Citadel. Supposedly, Topher's boyfriend was going to meet the rest of them there.

Rose, meanwhile, was working up a fight plan in her head. It mostly involved slicing.

"So... we got a nutjub who thinks she's the second comin' of Magneto, somebody encoachin' on Little Miss Hellfire's trademarks, and a bunch of other flamin' nuts. What's the game plan, Summers?"
Cape Citadel, Florida, was home to a portion of the United States' nuclear arsenal.  As such, it was one of the most heavily guarded military bases in the country.  Decades ago, it had been attacked by Magneto, the sight of the first public demonstration of so-called "evil mutants" and the first time the X-Men had gone into action publicly.  It had been a day when history had changed.  

History, it seemed, was about to repeat itself.

She carried her followers in a sphere of magnetic energy, her cloak billowing around her as she set them down, blowing away the fences around the base with a single wave of her hand.

Guards rushed them, but were blown back by her powers, even as the others--Mercury and the Red Witch, Heavyweight, Lady Mastermind, and Frogg, conducted their own assaults.

"Here me, humans," Magneta, Mistress of Magnetism, heir to Magneto's mutant throne, declared.  "I have come to claim your weapons for my own.  Are we not the Children of the Atom?  Then the weapons of the Atomic Age belong to mutants!"
“Alright, Animus. It’s just you and me,” Christopher Philip Summers said to his evil psionic demon twin-thing. (He really wasn’t sure how to describe it – just that it tended to explode out of his body whenever he had overloaded on negative energy and hadn’t released any of it.)

The shadowy blue-black figure leered back at Christopher, its stark white teeth bright against the bruised colouring of its lips.

Topher narrowed his eyes. He took up a fighting stance that he’d learned from Wolverine, and shifted his weight to the balls of his feet, making it easier for him to move in case Animus tried to do anything bad. Which he already had, considering all of the unconscious bodies of his teammates around him.

Animus rushed him. Topher moved to intercept the psionic being, suck in all of that negative energy back into himself. He outstretched his hands and...everything went black.

Topher blinked and looked up at the ceiling. The lights flickered once, and then twice, and then he heard an odd whirring sound. “Great,” he said to no one but himself. “The Danger Room’s on the fritz.” This, normally, would be a bad thing, but technically, Topher wasn't supposed to be down here, unsupervised. He'd used his father's passcodes to access the Danger Room while everyone else was at lunch.

Topher turned around and walked towards the exit doors, which had slid open on their own. As soon as he was outside of the Danger Room, he ripped off his hoodie and walked up the steps towards the control room, his sneakers padding softly on the ground. He was no tech genius, but maybe he could call someone to help him figure out what was going on.

Or, y’know, not.

One of the consoles was smoking. Topher groaned. Not only was he most definitely in trouble now, but it looked like he was going to have to do expend his energy the old-fashioned way. With a punching bag.

He turned on his heel to go towards the gym, grumbling to himself. As he stepped into the elevator to take him onto another level of the lower levels of the compound, he caught his reflection in one of the mirrors that lined the walls. A sad, grumbly face stared back at him. His eyes widened for a moment before he forced a smile onto his face. No sadness, no negativity for him. That way led to trouble. That way possibly led to Animus. He didn’t want that.

The doors gently swooshed open and Topher stepped out onto the next level of the underground compound. Eight steps to the left and he was in the gym, ready to take some energy out on a punching bag.


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The Next Generation of Marvel Heroes

Current Game Date

June, 2013


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