Disclaimers: This story, though probably not in all chapters, will definitely have celebrities in it. I don't know what they're sexualities are, and this is not meant to imply them, either. If you are not of legal age in your area, or are not interested in this type of literature, then GO AWAY!!

The X-Men, Spiderman, Blade, the Fantastic Four, Mutant X, and all associated characters are the property of Marvel Comics.

Charmed is owned by Warner Brothers.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and all related characters created by Joss Whedon. Copyright 20th Century Fox.

The characters of Highlander are owned by 20th Century Fox.

Hercules and Xena are owned by Renaissance Pictures, I think.

Street Fighter and Final Fight are owned by Capcom. Fatal Fury and King of Fighters are owned by SNK. Tekken is owned by Namco.

You can reach me at either of my addresses: jercolap@hotmail.com, redrealityranger02@hotmail.com, or whitephoenixranger@yahoo.com. The other email address I had is too full at this time, so please send comments to the above listed addresses.

Thanks, and on with the story.

Note: Sorry, I had gotten confused with my time period with the story. Chapters 17 of Tales of a Young Mutant up to this one are actually in 2002. Sorry!


Tales of a Young Mutant

Chapter 12: Rescue Missions


As I sat thinking about the turns that my life had taken, my Dark Phoenix tendencies, and the issues between me, Jean, Logan, and Scott, I was visibly shaken when I felt a rough hand on my shoulder, then shuddered even more so when I heard a thunderclap outside.

"Easy kid, didn't mean to scare you," said Cable as I spun toward him.

"Sorry, just a little lost in thought," I admitted while trying to push aside in my mind the fact that his big hand felt damn good on my shoulder.

"Yeah, well, can you reel those thoughts in? You're giving your mother a time of this flight." I was unsure of what he meant. I looked to the front of the ship to where my mother, Ororo Munroe, aka Storm, was piloting the X-jet that we were flying to New Orleans. Her eyes were glowing, and her hair was fluttering about due to some self-caused wind current that she was generating while obviously tasking her powers to do something else.

"Mom? What's wrong?" I asked. I looked outside the window and noticed the sky, the clouds were a very violent shade of purple, due to thunderclouds intruding on the sunset. If we were caught in a thunderstorm, my mom was probably trying her best to quiet it enough for us to pass through it. It looked like it was taking her all to quiet it. If only I'd still had those same gifts, then maybe I could help her. Sadly, the ability to control the weather left me, right along with my empathy and ability to heal the injuries of others after the time that I died.

"Easy, kid, Storm can handle this mess. Just calm down," Cable said, once again resting his hand on my shoulder. On the one hand, the comment came off as an order, but I could feel the sense of calm that was emanating from him, so I nodded and complied. Wait, I shouldn't be able to feel his emotions! My telepathy had been masked completely by Jean and the Professor. Wait a second...I looked at Cable, tried to access his thoughts, but came up with nothing. The same happened when I tried to do the same with Hank, but I was instead able to sense the worry that was emanating from him. I looked up to the front and could sense the worry, self-worry that Mom was emanating. I could also sense fear coming from Jean, though she tried to mask it. I noticed as I was sensing these different emotions from the team that the storm outside began to rage more wildly.

"Oh my stars and garters! Storm, can't you--?"

"I'm trying, Hank, patience please?!" Mom replied, slightly irritated.

"Beast, calm down, you're only making it worse," replied Cable, who seemed to be emanating calm again. Wait, not just emanating, but projecting the sense of calm...he was actually doing it on purpose? Maybe due to his own gifts? But why was he trying to calm me? Wait a minute, if I had recovered my empathic powers...oh no!!

"Oh my God! This is my fault!" I realized, looking outside at the storm again. As if to prove myself right, the emotion spike caused by my "eureka" moment caused a bolt of lightning to sear the sky, with near proximity of the X-jet.

"Calm down, Joshua, it's okay," Cable said, in the same calm tone, trying to get me to calm down. I latched on to his emotion of calm and tried to "copy" that feeling, allowing his calm to wash over me. But with the other emotions coming from everyone else, I was unable to concentrate, and the frustration I was feeling because of it was causing violent winds outside the X-jet.

"Jean! Use your powers to mask the emotions of you and the others," Cable said.

Jean nodded and her brow furrowed in concentration, and I could see a roseate aura around her head as she used her telepathy. Soon, I could no longer sense the emotions from herself, Storm, or Beast, and sensed only the calm emanating from Cable. I latched onto his calming powers and soon was able to force myself to meditate with him and be calm. The effect was that within a couple minutes, the storm that I'd created had decreased to a clear sky.

"Oh my God! I am so sorry, I didn't even know I had elemental powers back," I said.

"It's okay, just try your best to remain calm," Mom said, looking back and smiling. "You remember how to control your abilities?"

"I don't know. I think so," I replied, then, looking outside the window, I concentrated on making rain clouds, recalling without delay the processes involved, and within a few seconds I was able to develop rain clouds. With a little more concentration, I was able to cause some small lightning bolts, and a little thunder. After this, I concentrated on reversing the minute rain shower, and within seconds, the sky turned back to normal.

"Fascinating. It must be, without a shadow of a doubt, that the return of your Phoenix Force powers has caused the return of your empathy and control over the elements."

"Yeah, that Phoenix Force is turning into a real advantage," I replied sarcastically, while thinking mentally over the fact that I had gone into the Dark Phoenix phase twice in the past couple weeks.

"Seriously, after we finish our business here, you need to get Professor Xavier to check you out. While there may still be time to help," said Jean. I looked up at her, almost ready to reply with a snide comment, but her face showed genuine concern.

"What do you mean, while there's still time to help?" I asked her.

"Before you do things like destroy planets," replied Jean solemnly.

"Jean, you can't hold yourself responsible for what the Phoenix Force clone did," Storm said, while patting her shoulder.

"Can't I? That incident with the Dark Phoenix is just an example of how powerful I could be. It was only by constantly limiting my telekinesis and slowly using it more and more that I was even able to control it. Thankfully, that now seems to be a burden I no longer have to worry about," Jean replied.

"Oh look, we're arriving at our destination," Hank said, thankfully changing the subject. Of course, it was only too little too late. I had already begun to think about what Jean said. I mean, when the Phoenix Force cloned her, and soon after went insane, it absorbed a sun simply to gain power, wiping out a whole solar system by the resulting black hole. Billions of people died. Who was to say that I wouldn't be just as powerful, or worse, even more powerful than she was?

I hurriedly pushed these thoughts aside, though, as we landed the X-jet. We had a job to do. First we were rescuing my brother and his boyfriend, then Tessa.

"Jean, is there anyway that you can get a lock on Remy?" Storm asked.

"I'll try," Phoenix replied, placing her hands to her head, and concentrating. Within seconds, she said, "I've found him, about a couple miles away from here. I couldn't keep a lock on him for very long, though, because his emotional state was flaring. I think something may have happened."

"Oh my God! Have they hurt Kevin?" I asked.

"I wasn't able to determine that. Don't worry, Josh. It shouldn't be too far if we were to fly."

"How are we going to do that without being detected?"

"Simple," she replied with a grin, before using her telepathy again. Whatever she was doing, it took a good bit of concentration and energy because this time her forehead began to glow with a golden aura. "There, the illusion is set. Now everyone who sees us will assume that we are doves, so flight won't be a problem." This said, Cable grabbed Jean around her waist, and they were surrounded in another pale golden aura as Cable used his telekinesis to fly himself and Jean, and Storm flew herself on a self-generated wind. I carried Beast with my telekinesis, and the 5 of us flew to where Kevin and Gambit were being held.

We followed Jean's direction to land in front of what looked on the outside to be a large abandoned old mansion. We walked up to the door, expecting to have to break in, but the large double doors hung wide open. Loud crashing noises and what sounded like explosions could be heard from within.

"Sounds like a brawl," noted Cable.

"And weren't asked to R.S.V.P.?" quipped Beast as he hopped inside.

"I've always found crashing to be more fun," I said as we all entered after Beast. The crashing sounds were getting louder and louder. Ahead of us was a large, elaborate marble staircase (the house looked much more magnificent on the inside than outside). Coming down that staircase was a group of about four mutants, but as they descended, they saw us and were shocked. Which means they were probably headed to another disturbance. Remy and Kevin must have been causing a stir.

Before the mutants could react, I quickly grabbed them up with my telekinesis and slammed them into walls, hard enough to knock them unconscious. However, it only worked for two of them. One of the mutants, a female, clung to the wall, almost like she was a spider. Upon closer examination, however, I could see electricity sparking all over her. She must be an electric elemental, and was using that ability to generate enough static electricity with the wall so that she would cling to it without slamming into it. The other of the mutants, a male, formed some sort of a blue forcefield around himself, causing him to simply bounce off of the wall and come to a landing. Though the two seemed unprepared at first, they were more than ready now.

"Phoenix, Beast, and Cable, take care of them, and then join us in the main hall. Psyche, with me," Storm ordered. Everyone nodded in understanding and we split off, with me and Storm heading down a hall to the left to enter what must have been the main living area in the mansion.

The room was pretty large, and lavishly decorated, though those decorations were mostly in shambles due to the large fight taking place. In the center of the brawl was Gambit and Kevin, fighting off a mob of what must have been about thirty mutant thieves attacking them. I don't know how they were able to escape, but they were holding themselves up pretty well. A quick survey of the room showed that many of the elaborate decorations and furnishing were destroyed, likely due to the thirty or so unconscious Guild members having being tossed into them. A further look at Remy and Kevin showed that they were getting pretty tired due to all that fighting, and the glowing object around Gambit's neck I recognized to be a power-inhibiting collar. One of the mutants in the remaining crowd began to blast some sort of energy beam at the two, which Kevin just barely was able to defend against with a shield composed of his shadow energies. But the way the shield was flickering suggested that he was near his limit.

A look at my mom's eyes at that moment would have been enough to freeze a normal human's blood. She rose into the air in the expansive room on a self-caused wind, shouting out, "Those that harm our allies will suffer the wrath of the X-men!!" As soon as she said this, she hurled a lightning bolt at the plasma-blasting mutant, knocking him a few feet into the air before he landed on his face, unconscious.

The other mutants looked in her direction and, with a look between them, a general nod was passed between them as half stayed to fight Kevin and the other half went after Mom. Considering that I could see Kevin growing weary, and looking to Remy, he not only looked weary, but was stuck in a power-inhibiting collar, I decided to aid them. I used my telekinesis to fly above the heads of them, then landed between them and Remy and Kevin. I then formed a forcefield around us. When enough of the thieves began to get in close to attack (apparently all the rest of the thieves had some sort of non-energy ability), I expanded the forcefield, hitting half of my opponents hard, especially a couple super-speedy mutants who wound up slamming full force into what must have felt like to them a TK brick wall.

Then something even more interesting began to happen. I noticed the remaining mutants being lifted into the air by telekinesis...but it wasn't mine. I looked next to me, where Kevin stood, his hand extended. His brow furrowed in concentration. I followed his gaze and saw the men and women he was levitating being pulled rapidly toward the forcefield. I helped him out as he began to thrust the men repeatedly at the force field by repeatedly contracting and expanding my force field, and within minutes our entire group of enemies was unconscious.

I looked over to Mom to see how she was faring. She apparently didn't need our help at all, as she had her group of adversaries wrapped in a whirlwind. Storm then abruptly released her miniature tornado, flinging her enemies into the walls.

"Thanks for the assist," said Kevin.

"Hey, what are brothers for?" I replied smiling.

"Where's Donna?" asked Storm, looking for Remy's ex.

"She ran off when we escaped. Had to go an' rest after Kevin got done wit' `er," replied Remy.

"What did you do?" I asked Kevin, arms crossed.

"The bitch pissed me off. I only hit her with a low-strength death blast," he replied innocently. "I didn't kill her, I just hit her with enough of a feeling of death that she tremble in fear and run away. I didn't expect her to call out the whole of her pack, though."

"We're gonna have to work on you and your people skills," I replied, while with a pull of my TK I destroyed Remy's inhibitor. As I did this, the rest of the team entered.

Kevin began tentatively backing away, but Remy caught hold of him, holding him still. "S'okay, chere, they're friends."

"Kevin, allow me to introduce you to Beast, Cable, Phoenix, and Storm."

"Nice to meet you," he replied, realizing he was among friends, and after having the chance to look over each of the uniforms. I know his eyes were really roaming, considering Kevin was bisexual, so all of my teammates looked appealing. Then, he took more interest in mom.

"Storm? As in your mother?" Kevin said.

"The one and only," I replied.

"Wow, she's every bit as beautiful as you said. I'm...glad you found her," he said. I could definitely tell he was sad, considering now I had my parents, and his parents, my adoptive ones, were dead.

"Oh, Kev," I said, pulling him into a hug. He hugged me back tightly, then pulled away.

"I'll be okay," he said. I know I must have been giving him a disbelieving look, because he added, "No really, I'll be fine. I still got you. Besides, we still got a job to do. Rescuing Tessa, remember?" he said.

"Right," I replied. "Um, we still have a problem. What are you going to do about a uniform and codename? If you're coming with us, you have to have them." I took in his street clothes as well as...Remy's tux? This was the first time I realized that Remy was dressed in a tux, like the fallen thieves around us. "Why the hell are you and everyone else here aside from Kevin wearing tuxes, Remy?" I asked.

"I'll explain later," Remy replied. "Please tell me you brought an extra uniform for me?"

"I have one of your old ones," Beast replied, pulling the uniform he had brought for Remy out of his bag. Remy took it, thanked Hank, and left to another room to go and change.

"Now for you," I said to Kevin.

As if to reply, Kevin turned into mist for a few seconds, then turned back to his normal form, clad in an all black version of the uniform in spandex, with an X on the chest outlined in silver, as well as X's on the fists of the gloves and a silver X-shaped buckle. It also had a black hood, the shadow emitted from it hiding his eyes from view.

"It matches everyone elses," I replied. Though it looked a little ominous, it definitely fit and looked quite slimming. "What is your code-name?"

"Reaper," he replied after thinking it over a moment.

"Reaper? Sound like a Brotherhood name," mused Remy as he re-entered. He was wearing his trademark trench coat, with a blue-black sort of spandex body suit, metallic boots with red knee-caps, fingerless gloves, and a sort of headdress that let his hair out over the top and through a ponytail in the back.

"Yeah, but it fits. My main ability is death, though I can't die. Well, at least not permanently," he replied.

"Well, there is that exception," I reminded him.

"Yeah, yeah," he said, waving at me dismissively. "So, how do we find Tessa?"

"That's actually a very good question," replied Storm. "We definitely can't count on a telepathic scan."

"Right. Lady Mastermind will have masked their minds, and, while I'm confident that I can easily infiltrate her defenses and detect them, it will be impossible to do so undetected," said Phoenix.

"Hmm...maybe we won't have to trace them at all. I think we know someone who knows where Tessa is being kept," I said, pulling out my phone.

"Did you come with a team?" Cole asked when he answered the phone.

"I'm fine thanks for asking, how are you doing?" I replied sarcastically.

"I'm marvelous, now did you come with a team?" he replied, beating me in sarcasm.

"Yeah, I did. Do you know where the Hellfire Club is holding their operations?" I asked.

Cole responded that he did, and gave me the address and directions to a mansion deep in the French Quarter and instructions to meet him there. He had been surveying the surroundings, and so far there were no signs at least that Tessa was harmed.

"Okay, we'll be there shortly," I replied, then hung, and then relayed the information to the others.

"Well, you two know the area," Mom said to me and Kevin, or Reaper as I should refer to him since we are in the field.

"Okay. Phoenix, can you mask us again with your powers?" I asked.

"Actually, that'll be much harder to do," she admitted. "While I can do it with most of you guys..."

"...you can't do it for me because I'm resistant to all psionic abilities, right?" asked Reaper.

"Correct," Phoenix admitted.

"That's cool. I know of the place you guys are speaking of. Mom...Mom used to really like that house, she used to drive near it just to look at it," Kevin said, albeit a little saddened. I was saddened as well, both for him, but also because I remembered what he was talking about, no wonder the address seemed familiar. Mom loved that large brick mansion, with its strikingly red bricks, perfectly green bushes and shrubbery, sparkling blue pools...

"If you boys need to sit this one out, speak now," said Cable.

"No," I replied. "You guys need us to get there."

"Besides," added Reaper, "If someone is using the house that my mom loved for evil purposes, they're ruining one of my favorite memories of her. I won't stand for that."

"Good. Now the only issue is getting us all there," said Beast.

"I can handle that," replied Reaper. "Everyone stand close to me."

"Oh God, can we not do it that way?" Remy pleaded.

"Um, it would be best to arrive sooner than later," Jean said. I was wondering what they were going on about. I knew that Kevin could turn himself into mist and probably he could do the same for others, transporting people from place to place in that fashion.

"We need to go save Tessa. However it works, we need to go," I said, getting closer to my brother. Mom and the others all reluctantly joined us.

"This should be strange, turning into mist," I said.

"Yeah. Mist," replied Kevin. "Um, brace yourself."

Before I could ask him what he was talking about, a pool of blackness spread out under us, then slowly we sunk into the pool. Within seconds, we were within feet of the mansion where the Hellfire Club had apparently taken up base. I looked around, and noticed that everyone else but me and Kevin had been a little winded from the teleport.

"You didn't feel anything from that?" asked Kevin.

"No. Was I supposed to?" I replied. After a time, when they had all caught our breath, I called Cole again. This time I didn't get an answer.

"Oh no! I hope he didn't try and do something! To go in ahead of us!" I said when I didn't get a reply.

"What are we supposed to do?" asked Reaper.

"We could try going in through the front?" asked Cable, pulling out a large handgun from a holster.

"We don't even know what we are up against," reminded Beast.

"What do you think, Storm?" asked Cable. Which I believed to be a good idea, considering we are her team after all.

"Beast, do you have one of our trackers?" she asked.

"Several," he replied, handing her one.

"We split up," she replied. "Charge was likely to have a tracer on him, same as the rest of us. Beast, Firebird, Cable through the back. Gambit will accompany myself and Phoenix from the front. We need to go in now, post haste, so that if our comrades are still alive we can save them."

"What about me?" asked Reaper.

"Reaper, you will remain here out front," she replied.

"What? You can't be serious?!"

"I'm dead serious," Mom replied, in a tone that meant there was no room for argument.

"Okay," Reaper replied, relenting. Then Storm passed him what I recognized to be a communicator badge.

"If any thing happens...if you notice anything strange, sounds of a fight, and we don't come back in the next half hour, you press this button (indicating the button in the center of the crosshairs of the X) and call for help from Professor Xavier, and wait on the reinforcements. This is important."

Kevin looked surprised, but understood. The situation reminded me of our rescue of Logan, when Bobby was upset at first for being put on guard duty of the Blackbird. I then began hoping that, unlike that time when Bobby was seriously needed to defend the Blackbird, that Kevin wouldn't be needed to get reinforcements. Once that was said, we headed to our positions.

As I telekinetically hovered myself and Beast toward the back of the mansion and Cable did the same for himself, Mom, Phoenix, and Gambit rushed forward to go through the front. I unlocked telekinetically the back door and rushed in, following behind Cable and Beast, who was directing Cable while looking at the tracker device, while I was constantly checking behind me to make sure that we weren't being followed.

When we exited the back foyer, it went into a large open common room, lit only by the fireplace. It was a room probably used for high class parties, and I noticed that the furniture here was very lavish, making the lair of the Thieves' Guild look like trailer trash in comparison. All of the furniture, the shelves, mantles, fireplace, everything was trimmed in gold. Everything in here looked like it was worth tons of money. Seconds later, we were joined by Storm and the others, who looked just as confused as we must have been to wind up in the same place. As we looked around, we heard a gasp of surprise. I turned to Jean, as did everyone else, to see her staring up at the ceiling. We all followed her gaze, and froze as well.

Suspended from the ceiling were chains that criss-crossed together with miniature light fixtures to make a chandelier, looking like a rose bush Only Cole Alexander Thomas, once known as Zeus, now known as Charge, was hanging tangled in the chandelier, and judging by the blood dripping down, some of those "thorns" were imbedded in his body.

"Sucre bleu!" shouted Gambit.

"You like our handiwork?" asked a male voice from the shadows. Suddenly the lights were turned on, and before anyone could make any movements, all six of us were slammed into the walls by a super-strong invisible force, which I surmised had to have been telekinesis. Any harder and our bones may have been crushed, if not from the sheer force of the telekinesis, but from being slammed into the wall so hard.

I tried to get up, simultaneously looking about at my teammates. Phoenix was unconscious, and so was Mom, they must have fallen from the impact. Gambit and Beast tried to shake of the effect, but were both slammed again into a wall. Cable made it all the way upright, and I saw the beginning of a tk-shield being formed around him. Before he could even complete it, however, he began shrieking in pain, clutching his head. Someone had been able to penetrate his mind first, and within a few moments, despite his attempts to fight it, Cable fell to the floor unconscious. I tried to become coherent and stand, but when I looked up, a man was standing over my head. In my current mental state, I couldn't tell who it was, but it didn't matter. A fist, a very heavy one at that, connected with my face and knocked me out.

I woke up I don't know how much longer later, with a massive headache. I looked around and noticed that I seemed to be suspended. I looked around me, and I realized why. I was hanging, suspended from the ceiling, by shackles on my arms, which hung from the ceiling by chains. As I looked around the room, I noticed that everyone else was, too, Phoenix, Storm, Beast, Gambit, and Cable, and Charge as well, though he had several wounds that still were dripping blood, some on his legs, one on his side, one on his chest, and some on his arms. None near vital organs, but at the same time, they looked bad enough that he could bleed to death if he didn't get medical attention soon. I noticed I was the first to awaken. I struggled to get free, trying to break the chains that were holding me.

"It's no use," said the same male voice from earlier, and I turned to the owner of the voice. It was a fairly tall man, with dark hair, slicked with gel and combed back, tied into a ponytail, with bushy sideburns and a widow's peak. He wore a white old-fashioned shirt with ruffles on the breast, and a very old-fashioned style tuxedo, with a black jacket, complimented with matching vest, slacks, and shoes, with high stocking-type socks that came up the calf stopping near the knee. This I knew of course was typical Victorian dress for the male members of the Hellfire Club. The man, though very handsome, I also recognized from the Cerebro Files as one of the most dangerous members of the Hellfire Club, Sebastian Shaw, the Black King, whose mutant power was the ability to absorb most any attack and turn it into brute strength.

Sitting beside him, shackled to a wooden arm chair was who I recognized as Tessa, the ex-aid of Shaw, who had been the other person spying on the Hellfire Club. She was dressed in the more traditional female apparel of the Hellfire Club, a black corset that was strapped down the center by criss-crossing string, revealing cleavage, as well as black bikini bottoms, and black boots that went all the way up her thighs. Her hair, which had been done up in an old-fashioned bun, now hung halfway out of place, which was likely due to a roughing up by her captors. A flickering light around her neck brought to attention her power inhibiting collar.

Standing next to Shaw was a woman with short blonde hair and blue eyes, who was dressed in a white corset and bikini and boots, with a long white cape. I surmised she must have been Lady Mastermind, or Regan Wyngarde, whom I was told about by Kevin. Judging by her dress, I also guessed that she must have taken over as White Queen following Emma's departure.

"It's no use," Shaw repeated, "you're not going to get free. You powers are inhibited by that collar around your neck, and those chains are so strong that not even your slayer strength will be able to break those bonds."

My eyes narrowed at hearing this. "How do you know about that?" I asked.

"How else?" asked a very chilling voice, one that dripped with dread, and half sounded like nails on a chalkboard. It was a very familiar voice, one that made my blood boil with anger, while simultaneously it made me cringe in fear. "Hello, Fabled One," he said, and I turned in his direction.

"Sinister," I responded, my tightly clenched jaw making it sound muttered.

"Mr. Sinister is soon to be the head of the New Orleans branch of the Hellfire Club," said Shaw.

"How the fuck is this possible?" I asked, very obviously pissed off.

"I had help from a very familiar looking friend," he replied.

"I definitely wouldn't term it as friendship, Sinister," replied a female voice. It was very weird, it sounded familiar, though just augmented a little, like it was the sarcasm, the tone, and a little rougher. It halfway sounded like...

I looked to the doorway, and my eyes bugged out when I saw her. Dad had told me the story not long ago of how Cable had been born by Cyclops and a clone of Jean, but it had been everyone's assumption after their last battle with her that Madelyne Pryor was indeed dead. But it was obvious enough that she was alive as she walked in, wearing a short black corset that stopped midway down her abs, with black bikini bottoms, black leather thigh-high boots, and black opera-length gloves, with a black cape gracing her shoulders.

"Ah, Madelyn, how fares my Black Queen?" asked Shaw, walking up to Madelyn, and kissing her gloved hand.

"Well, darling," she replied. "And how fare our guests?"

"Pissed the fuck off," I replied.

"Ahh, this is the Fabled One you spoke of, Sinister?" she asked, walking toward me, cupping my cheek. I pulled my face free of her hand, but she pulled it back to stare at her.

"It took me a hell of a long time to reassemble him, and that was with help. I wasn't bring him back his other abilities, aside from shape changing thanks to you. You're damn good. There was a time that I would've wanted to do the same thing to him. But circumstances change. He would be the perfect person to head a new branch of the Hellfire Club," she said to explain Sinister's presence. She then continued, tauntingly, "I wonder what sorts of demons haunt you? I'd love to find out, love to probe that mind. Then again, I wonder what desires this mind holds? Tell me, do you find me desirable?" she taunted.

"Sorry lady, but you're barking up the wrong tree," I replied.

"Oh, a homosexual. Interesting. Though I've been known to turn a couple in my heyday. Still, the demons that must haunt you. The death of a family. Especially by your own handó"

"Shut up!" I shouted, cutting her off.

"It must be dreadful," she continued, ignoring me. "It would be a thrill to make you relive it all againó"

"Get the hell away from him!" I heard another female shout. I looked up to notice that Jean had awakened and it was she who had shouted at Madelyn.

"Aww, Jeannie. Poor wittle Jeannie. I'm playing with your pwotege's mind, and der's noting you can do about it," she said in a taunting baby-like voice.

"He has been through enough," Jean said.

"He has, has he? Are you taking up for him?" Madelyn asked. She was quiet for a few moments, and I could see a green aura build around her head. This aura also appeared around Jean's head. I could see Jean struggling, trying to keep Madelyn from reading her mind.

"Leave her alone, you fake ass clone!" I shouted. At this she instantly stopped, turned to look at me, and her eyes glowed red temporarily, as if on fire, as a green blast of telekinesis hit me, so hard that it forced the restraints holding me to break the chains holding me, slamming me into the wall.

"Maddie! You stop this now! You will not harm my son!" I heard from Mom's furious mouth. I could see now that the others were all awake now.

"Stormy, you don't tell me what to do anymore. And your son deserves it for insulting me."

"And you deserve this!" I said, jumping, spinning, and kicking the bitch in the back, sending her flying into a wall with my slayer strength that hadn't been inhibited by the collar.

"Joshua! Run!" shouted Mom. I nodded and ran toward the doorway. I ducked under blasts from stun rifles being fired by both Sinister and Lady Mastermind, and did a hands-free backflip to get to the door. I was prepared to run for it, when someone who blocked my immediate path punched me in my chest so hard that I flew backward into a wall. It couldn't have been Shaw, he was still standing with the others, and his power was to reapply kinetic force fed to him as strength, not speed.

I tried to stand, but I couldn't, I was about to go unconscious again. I looked up and to my horror saw...me!! Or at least me, but slightly younger and a little less muscular. He had blue eyes, but black wavy hair, tied back in a ponytail, and wore a black tux similar to that of Shaw.

"Joshua Munroe, meet #387," said Sinister. "The first ever successful clone of you."

So, what'd ya'll think? Send all comments to me at one of my addresses, jercolap@hotmail.com, redrealityranger02@hotmail.com, or whitephoenixranger@yahoo.com. Later guys!!