Disclaimer: NM and GenX members belong to Marvel Comics, Dawn belongs to me.
Author's Note: All right, the rest of the NMs should be making an appearance soon, which should be fun--and oh yeah, Skin *will* wake up--eventually. :) In the meantime, enjoy what I've got here--I doubt what I've got in store will be expected by anyone.
:Will somebody *please* tell me wot's goin' on?!: the young psionic exclaimed, hand pressed against his forehead. :This is a bloody madhouse! Who are all you people?!:
"Danielle, I'm waiting," Magnus said, ignoring the boy. "Have you an explanation for this?"
"Well, sir, we found these kids in the kitchen," Dani began, shifting her weight nervously. "They were all unconscious--then, anyway--so I called Tom and Sharon. We brought them here to try and figure out what was wrong with them, but they just... well, started to wake up."
"So I see," Magnus said dryly. "And why did no one inform me?"
"Well, we couldn't find ya, sir," Sam put in. "Ya were out takin' your mornin' walk, so we sorta had ta wing it."
"Hmm." Magnus seemed to be contemplating something. "Have you gotten anything out of them yet?"
"Not really," Dani replied, glancing over her shoulders. "Sharon thinks they might all have amnesia. Those two--" she indicated Everett and Dawn, still huddled in the corner, "seem to know each other. Well, I'm guessing, anyway. The girl, Dawn, attacked us psionically when she woke up--"
"She was just confused," Everett put in unexpectedly, glancing up at the New Mutants. "She'll--be all right now, I think."
"And who, pray tell, are you?" Magnus asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I'm Everett," he said, looking vaguely puzzled. "I... I'm not really sure what my last name is. I don't seem to know Dawn's, either. This is... I don't know. It's like my head is in a fog..."
Magnus quirked his lips, but said nothing for a moment. "Sounds like psionic intervention," he said at last. "It seems possible someone *could* have placed blocks around you memories..."
"Then couldn't the girl take 'em off?" Sam suggested. "I mean, we don't have a psi since the Professor and Rachel left--'cept maybe Dani, and she ain't used ta that kinda work."
Dawn peered over Everett's shoulders, looking more than a little frazzled. "I... I don't think I can," she said haltingly. She sniffed a little and rubbed her forehead. "My head's so muddled I... I don't think I'm going to be able to do anything for a while. So hard to just... separate my thoughts from others... it hurts..."
Everett patted her head a little, and she lowered her head back onto his shoulder, brow creased with strain. "I don't know what's wrong with her," he said in a low voice, looking worried. "I mean, it's not like I'd remember--or at least, I don't think I would--but this doesn't seem right."
At Magnus's glance, Sharon shook her head. "She doesn't even *register* on the equipment, Magnus," she replied. "It's like--she isn't even there. And that boy," she jerked her thumb towards the slightly irked Englishman, "is, according to this, dead. No pulse, no breathing, not many internal organs left to speak of. I honestly can't figure out why he's even able to talk to us, let alone move!"
The boy threw his hands up into the air. :Yer all insane, yer won't answer questions, and now yer talkin' like I ain't even here. I'm leavin'.: He got up from the cot and staggered for a moment, then moved towards the door. With a gesture, Magnus suddenly caused the young man to freeze in his tracks, stunning him visibly.
"I'm sorry, but I cannot allow you to leave until we get this sorted out," Magnus said as the boy glared at him with angry brown eyes. "Really, you have an astonishing amount of metal in that outfit. It's really no trouble at all to hold you--do you wish to take a seat, or do I hold you here all day?" He loosened his magnetic grip, and the boy (grudgingly) returned to the cot.
Sharon tightened her jaw. "Are we quite finished with this display of machismo?" she asked angrily. Magnus look surprised, and the English boy had the grace to seem chagrined. "Good. Then can we all settle down and get back to business?"
"Please," Dani heard Everett mutter, wearing a small half-smile as he looked at Sharon gratefully.
Huh. I could get to like this kid very easily...
"All right," Sharon said in a no-nonsense tone, "you four were found in the school's kitchen, all unconscious. First thing's first." She turned to the psion. "What's your name?" she asked.
:Jonothon,: he replied after a moment.
:I... don't know.: He sounded confused.
Sharon nodded her head slightly. "Do you know his?" she inquired, indicating the still sleeping boy in the corner.
Jonothon took on the expression of one trying to concentrate. :Angelo... I *think*.:
The nurse pursed her lips and took a seat on an old stool, thinking. "So. You apparently know each other, but you don't know much else. That indicates that whoever was behind this wanted you to know that much at least. Any theories, Magneto?"
The Master of Magnetism pondered this for a moment. "None to speak of," he replied at last. "I know of no one who could have done this, nor fathom the motive for this intrusion. The only one I can think of who might have had the skills and the resources to produce such an elaborate ruse is the White Queen, though I can't imagine *why* she would attempt something like this. In fact, I would be inclined to believe that, had she heard of four new mutants appearing, she would have done her best to take them for herself, not force them upon us."
"Ya're right," Sam agreed, taking a seat on a nearby cot. "This ain't Ms. Frost's style. She'd want ta add these guys ta the Hellions if she had anythin' ta say about it."
"Who is this "Ms. Frost"?" Everett put in.
"Telepath, high level," came Dawn's muffled voice. "Works in some outfit called the Hellfire Club. Sometimes enemy, currently ally. I can hear her in my head--wondering who we are, where we came from..."
"You can *sense* the White Queen's thoughts?!" Tom exclaimed from the far side of the room, eyebrows jumping up to meet his hairline. "She's all the way in Massachusetts!"
"It's not hard," the reply came as Dawn didn't even bother to lift her head. "She's a 'path too--it's a lot easier to hear her, especially because she's... felt our presence here. She's going to call soon too, probably..."
Magnus raised an eyebrow. "Interesting," he said quietly. "This young woman can "hear" the thoughts of even an experienced telepath such as Emma Frost..."
"Yeah, and could you please keep it down over there?" Dawn asked, sounding pained. "I think... I'm finally getting my shields back up... but it's hard with people all but screaming in my head."
Magnus shot her a dark look. "Young lady, if you presume I am--"
"I'm *not*... presuming anything," Dawn interrupted. "I am... *stating* that you're all giving me a headache. My head hurts... I am in *pain*... and I cannot concentrate *here*. May I please move?"
"Of course," Sharon said, bustling in before Magnus could interject. "Dani, would you please show Dawn to a more secluded place? We'll handle things here."
Danielle smiled to herself. Sharon: 1, Magneto: 0, she thought as she nodded and Everett helped his friend off the cot. Dawn staggered for a moment, but seemed to regain her balance after a moment. Dani led her out of the room, wondering where she could take the stranger that would be far enough away from the bulk of the school's population that she could concentrate.
Hmm, somewhere on the school grounds... the pasture, of course! That would work out fine, *I* think...
"Follow me," Dani said as she left the others to their debate. Dawn followed dutifully, rubbing her temples with one hand.
"Is he... *always* like that?" she inquired once they were safely out of earshot.
"Who? Magneto?" Dani grinned, only slightly surprised at the girl's question. "Well... he can be a little over-protective, but he's not a bad guy. A little anal sometimes, but no, he's not usually so... grouchy. I think he's just irked because he didn't sense when you four arrived."
The girl snorted ruefully. "Wish *I* knew how we got here," she said as Dani held the door open for her. "This place is so noisy... and I feel horrible. If I had known my shields were going to collapse I'd've picked somewhere quieter... like Antarctica."
"Do you *know* what powers you've got?" Dani inquired, interested. "We figured out you're a psi..."
"So did I," the girl said with a weak smile. "But truthfully, I only knew what was happening because I saw it in *your* minds. You thought about this man--"Professor Xavier," I think--and I kind of latched on to your thoughts on him." She sighed with relief as they rounded the corner to the stables. "Oh, this feels *much* better," she said gratefully. "I think I've got a bit more control of myself now, thanks."
"Welcome," Dani nodded. "But I vote we stay out here--Magneto's probably just getting warmed up in there, and I don't want to walk in on whatever he's started up. You guys caught him off guard, and he *hates* when that happens."
Dawn gave the older girl a wry grin. "Well, *I* hate when I wake up in strange places with no memory," she shrugged. "I think we're pretty much even in that respect."
Dani sniggered, smiling freely now. "You know, Dawn, you're not so bad when you're not in agony," she joked.
"I should hope not," Dawn replied, wrinkling her nose. She glanced at the stables and raised an eyebrow. "Do you keep horses here?" she asked with interest.
"Well, sort of," Dani answered, "but he's not really a horse... oh, there he is now!" Dani put her fingers in her mouth and whistled shrilly, looking, not out to the pasture, but into the clouds.
"What--" Dawn began, but then caught sight of the focus of Dani's attention. Her eyes went wide, and all she was able to produce was a soft "Ohhhhh..."
Brightwind, Danielle's winged stallion, alighted on the ground immediately before his mistress in a flash of silver hide and glistening feathers, snorting playfully. Dani smiled at him and dug around in her pocket for a treat, then came out with a carrot. She had planned to visit Brightwind--briefly--after breakfast, so had snitched something from her private stash of goodies for him. Brightwind snuffled the carrot for a moment, then took it gently from her outstretched hand and began to chomp on it noisily.
"Where... where did you..." Dawn stammered, eyes filled, not with fear, but with stark wonder and admiration. Dani buried her face in the stallion's mane as he swallowed his treat and blew in her hair with his hot breath.
"One of the up-sides of being a Valkyrie," she answered, feeling a little smug at the other's amazement. "We went to the home of the Norse gods, Asgard, once. I found him--or he found me--and he followed us home."
"Can I--touch him?" Dawn asked tentatively.
"I don't see why not," Dani agreed after a moment of consideration. "But let him get your scent, first."
Dawn nodded, and reached out her hand, palm up. Brightwind sniffed her hand briefly, then actually *nuzzled* the girl--an uncommon occurrence for the stallion to do to anyone besides Dani or her spirit-friend, Rahne, let alone a stranger.
As Brightwind's muzzle touched the girl's hand, Dani experienced what could be best described as a low-level electric shock. From the expression on Dawn's face, she had felt something similar, for she suddenly took on an expression of such surprise it was almost comical. Brightwind, Dani noted, didn't seem in the least affected.
"That was... odd," Dawn said at last when Brightwind pulled his nose away and began to graze. She rubbed her hand, looking bemused, and glanced at Dani. "Does that--happen often?"
"Not that I know of," Dani told her, shaking her head. She looked straight into Brightwind's guiless blue eyes and wondered what, exactly, that horse of her's had just done.