Generation X: First Contact part 3

Disclaimer: Everyone except Dawn and Glenn belong to Marvel. I'm not making any money off of this story (much as I wish otherwise; I think it would be great to do this stuff for a living) and I don't even have permission to write this anyway so it doesn't really matter, does it?

Author's Note: I'm baaaaaack! Anyhow, Generation X finally shows up in this chapter, which means I can start having some real fun. As for M fans, well, you'll find out in about four chapters. In case you're wondering (yeah, I know you're not, but I'll say it anyway) yes, I HAVE written almost all of this story, the only reason I haven't sent it all at once is because I typed it on an old Apple (MY computer) so I have to print it out and re-type it on our IBM and I STILL can't remember how to convert and e-mail it by myself so I can only do it when Dad is home. *sigh* When will I ever learn?

Generation X

"Dawn? Dawn, wake up."

"Rmmmmurrmmff... go away! Let me sleep..." I buried my head under the pillow and pushed his hand off of my shoulder.

"Dawn, come on! Gimme a break, gel! At least tell me where we are..!" "Mmmmrrrmmufff... whu? GLENN?!" I bolted upright and almost sprained my back in the process. "Mr. Cassidy said you'd be out for at least another day!" "Well, he was wrong," Glenn shrugged.

"But, your leg! It was broken--!"

"Really?" He flexed said extremity. "Doesn't feel like it. Course, I do heal pretty fast. But anyway, where are we?"

"The infirmary at Xavier's." I glanced at the wall clock, which glowed faintly. "Oh for God's sake, Glenn, it's two a.m.! Couldn't it wait till eight?" Geez, a guy flies for six hours straight--with a PASSENGER to boot--and still gets up earlier then you despite a broken arm and leg. "Well, I'm actually kind of hungry and--"

Like I knew where the kitchen was! "Just look in the knapsack, okay? Now can I please go back to sleep?"

"Oh I suppose."

For a guy who was four years older then I am he sure could act immature sometimes. I had rolled over and was attempting to go back to sleep when I heard wrapper crinklings and crunching noises.

Oh, lovely, he'd found the chips. I'd never get back to sleep now; Glenn ate like a wild boar. I finally decided to try the sleep trick again. Hey, it worked once, and you stick with what you've got. By the time I'd counted to ten I was asleep. My last conscious thought was that I would be a great cure for insomnia.

By the time I woke up again it was morning. Not only that, but Glenn was asleep again. I stretched to find, to my delight, that I was no longer in constant pain when I moved.

"Good morning, Dawn," came a voice from the other side of the room. I turned around to see an attractive Algerian girl entering the room bearing a tray of food.

"And you are?" I asked a little more bluntly then I would have liked. But then, I'm not much of a morning person.

"Monet St. Croix," she replied. She had a snobbish quality about her, but I had a feeling she used her ego to cover up deep emotional scars. How I knew this I had no idea, it was just a feeling I had.

"Would you like some breakfast?" Monet asked.

"Yes please," I said, regaining a few manners. I took the tray from her and said, "How many other students are here, anyway?"

"Nine," she replied. "Ten if you count Penance."


"You'll meet her soon enough, I suspect," she told me. She looked at Glenn and said, "Your friend heals quite quickly. Very impressive, I must say." "How did you know about--"

Before I could finish she smiled enigmatically and left the room. I could tell that my stay here was going to be exceptionally strange already. I ate the meal, which was toast, fruit, and cereal with milk. Pretty good, actually.

Monet appeared a bit later with another tray, which she deposited next to Glenn's bed. "I understand he needs a lot of food to speed the regeneration process," she commented and left again.

Where the heck had she learned so much about us, anyway? Just then Glenn woke up. "Morning, Dawn," he said, grinning a little at the apparent redundancy of the statement. He looked at the tray. "This for me?"

"Yep. Eat up."

He ate, and he ate like a pig. I swear, I expected him to choke at a moment's notice (especially when he swallowed half an apple without stopping to chew.) When he finally finished his breakfast (eating in five minutes what had taken me twenty) Sean came in.

"Uh, you know this guy?" asked Glenn.

"Uh-huh. He's all right." I turned to the headmaster and said, "Good morning Mr. Cassidy." "Mornin', lass." He glanced at Glenn and did a double take. Funny how many of these we were getting lately. "Ye're awake?" he said incredulously.

"Well, yes. Why, is something wrong?" Glenn was so cute when he was confused. "No, but the charts indicated that..."

"I'd be out for a while? I never pay much attention to that kind of stuff anyway. Sides, I heal a lot faster then most people."

"Hmm," Sean murmured to himself. "A healing factor. That would explain it." "Pardon?"

"Nothing. Just talkin' to meself. Are ye well enough to stand?" For an answer Glenn got to his feet and did an absurd little dance. Then he tripped and fell on his face. By then I was laughing so hard I think only dogs could have heard it. Yeah, yeah, I know it wasn't very nice, but it WAS pretty funny. I could still sense Glenn's annoyance when he picked himself off of the floor and brushed off his clothes.

"Are ye Glenn Keaton?" Sean asked when I'd stopped laughing.

"That's me," he declared.

Sean nodded. "Just checkin' out yuir stories. What c'n ye do besides fly?"

"Enhanced strength, speed, vision, the usual. Plus what you call a healing factor."

Sean frowned a bit. "The file says ye're nineteen, though."

"Technically, yeah," Glenn agreed, frowning. Ha! I knew he was lying about being seventeen. "But I don't seem t' get much older n this. Why, zat a probl'm?" I could tell he was uncomfortable with the subject because he let his accent slip.

"No, not really," Sean replied, unruffled. "Just curious is all. And ye're Dawn Embers, thirteen?"


Sean looked at me in a way that made me feel uncomfortable. "Would ye like t' call yuir parents? Let them know ye're all right?"

I thought for a moment. By now my parent surely knew I was missing, and I really didn't want to make them panic if I could help it. Of course, if I called them they'd ask where I was, and that would lead to a lot of awkward questions on how and why I was there. "I take it yuir parents dinna know ye're a mutant," Sean noted.

"Yeah," I agreed. "And if that wasn't enough, my dad was one of the founders of the FOH. If he finds out who and what you guys are he's going to be all over us like white on rice." Besides, what could I say? 'Hey Dad, guess what I found out? I'm a mutant, and I just used my powers to escape from a school that wanted to use me as a lab rat, and I'm staying at a school for mutants with my best friend, who also happens to be a mutant'? Yeah right. I figured he'd either do one of two things: a) disown me, or b) have a heart attack. The man may have had his problems, but I didn't want him to blow an artery on my account.

"Uh, can I sleep on it?" I asked.

"Certainly. Glenn, do ye have anyone ye need t' contact?"

"Not that I can think of."

"Well then, if ye're well enough I suppose ye c'n meet the rest o' the students. They're trainin' right now, but ye c'n meet them in half an hour. Does that sound good t' ye?" We nodded in unison and Sean left the room.

Half an hour later Sean guided us out to the Rec Cottage. Actually it was bigger then most cottages, but it wasn't quite a building so I guess it qualified. Seven teenagers were lounging in various spots in the room when we arrived.

The first to greet us was a young African American boy. He smiled brightly and I immediately liked him. Of course, the fact that my powers were reporting everyone's emotions and personalities helped, but I think I would have liked him anyway.

"Hello," he said, extending a hand. "I'm Everett Thomas."

"Dawn Embers," I said as I accepted his hand. "And this is Glenn Keaton." Everett smiled. "Make yourselves at home. We don't have classes for the rest of the day, so we can show you guys around if you would like."

"Hi," a blond girl said. I recognized her as the one who had found us when we fell though the trees the other day. "I'm Paige Guthrie and this is Angelo Espanosa." She indicated a boy with grey skin, who happened to be sprawled across a couch listening to his headphones. "Angelo?" she said. He didn't answer. Paige pulled off one of his earphones and let it go, snapping it against the side of his head.

"Hey!" Angelo exclaimed. "What'd you do that for?!"

"If you were paying more attention to the world around you you'd know," Paige informed him, frowning. "Now say hello to Glenn and Dawn."

"Buenos dias," Angelo said, and went back to lip synching lyrics. Paige rolled her eyes in exasperation as a tall boy with dark skin approached us. "'Allo," he said in a slight, implacable accent. "I'm Mondo. It is a pleasure to meet you." I could tell he was one of those people that could always see the silver lining, even when the plane is crashing. Even so, he seemed nice enough. I extended my hand for him to shake and he promptly grabbed me and gave me a bear hug that nearly suffocated me. I must have been noticeably uncomfortable, because Everett said, "Um, Mondo? Maybe you should let her go now."

"Hmm? Oh, sorry." He released me and I sucked in a load of fresh air. "S'okay," I managed to gasp. Glenn was laughing and I gave him the mental equivalent of a punch in the nose. His expression was akin to somebody's who had just been slapped in the face with a fish. I grinned to myself as a Chinese girl in a bright yellow trench coat approached me. "Hi," she said. "I'm Jubilee. By the way, thanks for gettin' us outta our classes today, we were due for a test in Economics."

"Yeah, well, it was the least we could do after dropping in unannounced," I shrugged, feigning modesty. "Isn't that right, Glenn?"

"Uh, yeah," he agreed. He wasn't exactly what you'd call a people person. "And these are Artie and Leech," Everett finished as he ushered two small children up to me, one pink and one green.

"Hi," I said, kneeling down to put myself face to face with them. "Leech and Artie say hi," the green one said. I figured he was Leech, so the other one must be Artie. "You stay for a while?" This comment was accompanied by a hologram of a question mark, which startle me slightly. Well, it WAS a school for mutants after all. "Yeah, probably," I replied. A hologram of a house with an X through it appeared. "Artie wonder if you have no home," Leech interpreted.

"Well, I do, but I'm not sure if I can go back."

The two seemed to accept that and didn't ask any more questions. Monet paid no attention to us whatsoever, probably because we'd already met. However, I noticed she had a glazed look in her eyes, and it worried me.

"Monet?" I said. "Monet, are you okay?" She didn't even blink. I waved a hand in front of her face, but she didn't move. "Does she usually do this?" I asked.

"Oh, not again!" Jubilee exclaimed. "She does this all the time, and for no apparent reason, too. I'll go get Banshee." She retreated to the main part of the building.

"Banshee'?" Glenn said.

"Mr. Cassidy," Paige amended. "It's his code name."


Only one person hadn't introduced himself yet. He was standing by a window, staring out into the tree line. He had on a leather jacket and jeans, pretty standard for teenagers. "Hi," I said tentatively.

:Hello,: he sent back. Then he jumped, surprised. He turned around and I could see his eyes had gone wide. In fact, so had mine the minute our minds had touched. "YOU?" I whispered. "YOU were the one who helped me?"

:It looks like it,: he sent. I could feel his disbelief leaking through my shields. I mean, what are the chances of meeting the same telepath who helped you control your powers for the first time at the same school?

I had no idea what to say, so I hugged him instead. I could feel his shock when I did, not to mention a certain degree of heat emanating from his bandaged face and chest. To my credit I managed to ignore it.

When I let go he looked not unlike Glenn had when I'd punched him in the nose. :Uhhh...: he stuttered telepathically. I could tell he would have been blushing if his face hadn't been covered.

"THAT was for saving my sanity," I smiled. "What's your name?"

:Jonothon Starsmore,: he told me automatically, still more then a little stunned.

"Thank you, Jonothon." I looked around the room. Everyone was grinning, save Paige and Glenn. "What?" I asked innocently. I sensed a lot of jealousy coming from Paige and Glenn. Especially Paige. I realized I'd just inadvertently put my foot in it. I decided this was not the time or the place to make enemies out of people I most likely then not would be seeing everyday from now on, so I decided to explain to Paige before she ripped my head off. :Paige, read my proverbial lips,: I sent. :I was just thanking him for helping me control my powers.:

:So YOU say,: she thought darkly.

:Listen to me, please. When my powers surfaced I was on the verge of insanity, and Jonothon helped me block out the voices and emotions I was receiving. I owe him a lot, and that was the best way I was able to thank him. Please understand what I'm saying, Paige, I really don't want any trouble here.:

Paige sighed. :I guess I understand what you're talking about. Just don't do it again, okay?: :Promise,: I told her. "So," I said aloud. "What'll we do now?"

"Why don't ye show them the Bio-Sphere?" Sean suggested as he entered the room, led by Jubilee.

"Good idea, sir," Everett agreed. "Come on. We'll show you. Right guys?"

No answer.

"All right, I'LL show you." Everett led us out of the Rec Cottage and across the quad until we came to a large dome. He punched a code into a panel and the door slid open.

"Wow," I heard Glenn say. It WAS pretty impressive, and it looked even bigger on the inside then on the outside. It was like a jungle inside of a bubble; there was even a pleasant little stream running through it. All in all I figured it would be a nice place to relax. "Do you like it?" Everett asked with a smile.

"Do you have to ask?" I smiled back. "It's wonderful!"

"Glad you approve," Everett said. "This is where we go to train our powers. It also serves as a home for Artie, Leech, and Penance."

Penance again. Who was she? "Who's Penance?" I asked. There was a rustle in the bushes and I sensed something... different from that direction. "There she is now," Everett commented. "Let's see if she'll come out." I sensed very few recognizable emotions from the girl called Penance. What I DID recognize was caution and curiosity. Apparently the curiosity won, because she came out of the bush to examine us more closely. I don't think I've ever seen a more unique person then Penance. She was dark red and had bright blue eyes and pointed hair and sharp fingers. She looked at us carefully, as if trying to memorize even the most minute detail.

"Hello Yvette," I said. She looked at me with surprise and interest.

"'Yvette'?" Everett repeated, frowning.

"That's her name, isn't it?" Penance nodded. I could tell she didn't speak English, but she got the essence of what I said. Probably because I pathed it to her on a sub-conscious level or something equally trivial.

"How'd you know that?" Everett asked, immediately wary. I could sense suspicion, but I couldn't figure out why.

"I'm a telepath," I told him simply. "I gleaned it from her mind. That and the fact she from Yugoslavia and fourteen. Why? Is there something wrong?"

"No," Everett said, shaking his head. "Just curious." His smile returned. "Wait'll Jubilee hears this! She's been trying to get Pena- er, Yvette to open up for weeks and you got through to her in the first try!" He turned to leave. "Uh, did you want to go now? This is pretty much all there is to the Bio-Sphere."

"Sure," I said. I patted Penance on the shoulder, carefully avoiding her sharp hair and hands. She smiled in return and disappeared into the underbrush once more. We left the Bio-Sphere in search of Sean and the others. After all, it was almost lunch time and we still didn't have any room assignments.

TEASER: Yep, it's another next chapter blurb. In chapter four Dawn goes one-on-one against the whole of Generation X in the Bio-Sphere and a bizzare new twist to her powers manifest. (Boy, is Sean ever surprised!) Remember, comments and constructive criticism are welcome, just e-mail me. Ta ta.

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