X-Men Evolution NEXT

Government Cheese

Logan slowly walks through the garden area trying to keep his bearings and fight the muscle fatigue. On occasion, he would feel a bit numbness run down his left leg, causing to slightly limp. And despite all of Hank's pleas and demands for him to stay in bed, Logan just blows him off. On a beautiful sunny day like this, Logan feels the need to be outside. Rubbing his thighs and taking a deep breath, Logan continues walking. In the far distance of the estate, he sees some of the younger students congregating around the open grassy area kicking a soccer ball around. Logan decides to turn away and head the other direction, afraid his current condition may upset them. As he follows one of the estates many garden breeze walks, he suddenly stops and takes sniff. He points his nose slightly upward sniffing repeatedly and mumbles to himself, "Gunpowder, gun oil, and bad cologne."

Logan glance to his left and stares into a lightly wooded garden area remarking, "How long do you intend on standing in Ororo's garden, Nick?"

From behind the trees, a taller older man steps out. Dressed in a dark blue military utility uniform and brandishing an eye patch over his left eye, the man holsters a single pistol and smiles at Logan saying, "Getting a little rusty, runt? I've been standing there for nearly ten minutes."

Logan watches as he steps lightly around the blooming flowers and says, "I'd get outta there if I were you. Ororo don't take kindly to uninvited guest steppin' on her flowers."

Nick hops over the edge of the flower bed just in front of Logan and checks underneath his boots to see if he stepped in anything. Logan inquires, "So what's SHIELD want with me this time. As you can see, I ain't in no condition to save the world."

Looking at Logan up and down, Nick replies, "Then let's hope you're in good condition to take cover when the time comes."

Logan sneers a bit and asks, "What's goin on?"

Nick says in a low tone, "TS 1.0.1 Prototype."

"Ya lost me Nick." Logan says, "The what prototype?"

"T, S," Nick adds, "as in Tri-Sentinel."

Allison aim carefully at the floating target holding her hands out in front together like a gun. Several small spherical targets slowly move about the Danger Room chamber as she keeps hers eyes on them. Ambient music lightly plays through the external speakers helping Allison harness her unique mutant gift. She takes a deep breath and sighs out slowly as her hands light up. A bright straight beam of light ignites from her finger tips like a laser as it streams toward one of the spherical targets. The beam of light misses by an inch and ricochets off the chamber wall before dissipating. Allison huffs out if frustration as she says, "I can't believe I missed!"

Up in the control center, Hank monitors her with Elizabeth peering through the reinforced window. He thumbs the intercom and remarks, "Allison, you can't expect perfect results so soon. Your ability to absorb, metabolize and redirect sound waves into light is one thing. But since you can now generate near solid light beams from your hands, you need to accept a certain amount of focus on your part. That means starting off a bit slow."

Allison glances up at the control center and replies, "It's not the focus I'm having trouble with Hank, it's the new wave stuff you're playing through the loud speakers. That stuff is great to make out with, but right now it's boring the hell out of me. Betsy, put it that red CD we brought, and turn it up."

Before Hank can add in his opinion, Elizabeth quickly changes out the CD in the players and turns the volume up. Blaring out of the loud speakers, a loud guitar solo followed by a roll of drumming echoes throughout the Danger Room. Allison cheers out as she hops in place. Sparkling light begin to dance around her in the same rhythm of the music as seems to dance. Allison then holds both her hands at waist high like a quick drawing gun slinger and fires several beams of solid light at the float spherical targets. One by one each target is nailed dead on knocking them out of the air. Allison holds up her two hands like playful hand guns and blows the tips of her fingers as though blowing out the barrel of a pistol. She then looks up at the control center grinning and says, "Now that's more like it!"

Hank looks over at Elizabeth with a baffled stare and says, "Well, I guess it was the music."

They both look into the Danger Room chamber and watch Allison pose out of victory with her hands on her waists. She grins up at them saying, "It really helps if there is a kick butt rhythm."

Elizabeth remarks, "Her attack did go with the music. Very psychedelic too."

Hank nods his head then thumbs the intercom replying to Allison, "Very impressive indeed Allison, however, I seriously doubt you'll encounter many opponents playing rock and roll music."

Allison rolls her eyes then squints them as she sticks her tongue out at Hank. Elizabeth giggles as Hank shakes his head with a smile saying, "Excellent demonstration though. At least we know there is room for improvement."

Waving her hands playfully in the air, Allison looks up at Hank in the command center and remarks, "Whatever Hank. Oh and by the way, when I'm decked out like this," gesturing to herself, "the name's Dazzler."

Hank smiles and replies, "Yes, of course. Um, that will all for the day, thank you."

He lumbers out of the control center raising his eyebrows. Just the door closes behind him, Allison calls out to Elizabeth, "Yo Betsy! So, did you get anything from his head?"

Elizabeth chuckles replying, "If you're asking if I read his mind, the answer is yes."

"And, what did you hear?" Allison inquires.

"Well," Elizabeth adds, "he is genuinely concerned for both our well beings. He sees potential in both of us. But I think our uniforms make him nervous."

Allison smiles wide and cheers out as she spins around, "YES! I knew it! Girl, we got this X-men thing wired! I know we'll make the cut for the new team."

Elizabeth gives her a concerned grin and replies, "I don't know, Allison. I do not believe he was the one we needed to impress."

"Let me guess," Allison remarks, "its Allan."

Shrugging her shoulders, Elizabeth replies, "Well, Mr. McCoy did say it was Allan's suggestion to create a back up team."

Allison grins and says, "Then it's time we improvise. Let's just hope I still got what it takes to get his attention."

Speeding down the road in Scott's red convertible, Rogue takes quick glance in the rear view mirror checking behind her. She steps on the clutch and pushes the sports car into high gear increasing her cruising speed as she heads to the Xavier Institute grounds. Rogue smiles as she glances back again muttering to herself, "Allan should stick to motorcycles."

Just ahead of her, she spots the main estate front gates. Rogue smiles in a cocky manner as she sighs out, "Ya can't win everything, Allan."

Just then, smashing and roaring out of the neighboring trees on the side of the road, Allan's blue jeep plows through the brush as it appears to be descending from a jump. Small trees and bushes are crushed as his jeep bounces and rolls onto the street just ahead of Rogue. With quick reflexes, Rogue slams on the brakes and clutch as she brings Scott's car to a dead screeching slide. Allan's jeep brakes hard and fast in front of the main gate just as Rogue slides up behind him, stopping only inches from his rear reinforced bumper. Rogue sneers as she locks the emergency brake then stands up in the drivers eat yelling out, "Are ya freakin' insane, Allan! What the hell do ya think yer doin'?"

Allan grips his steering wheel laughing with his eyes shut. He applies his emergency brake and turns around in his driver's seat looking back at Rogue saying, "Winning! Gotta problem with that?"

Stepping out of the car, Rogue storms up to Allan and replies, "Yeah, Ah coulda wrecked Scott's car. Why'd you do that, do ya know how crazy that looked?"

Allan steps out of his jeep and remarks, "Hey you started this little race. What makes you think I stood any chance of out running Scott's Shelby Cobra roadster in my heavy duty jeep? After you lost me coming out of town, I decided to take a detour."

"So you plowed through the woods!" Rogue darts out.

Allan innocently smiles and says, "Not really, I found an old deer trail or something like that, and kind of felt my way through. It worked."

Rogue's glare slowly softens as she begins to crack a slight smile. She looks over at the path Allan's jeep made in the woods and says, "That was probably the stupidest thing Ah had ever seen. Not to mention, crazy. All to win a little race."

Allan chuckles and remarks, "Yeah I know, just thought it would be fun. And it was."

Punching Allan on the arm, Rogue smiles adds, "You can be such a 'guy' sometimes."

Rogue walks up to the main access panel next to the gate and places her thumb on the clear panel. A light scans her thumb print as the panel beeps a clear access sound and slowly swings open inward. Allan hops into his jeep and revs it up as Rogue does the same in Scott's sports car. They both pull into the estate driveway and park just outside the garage doors. Allan walks over to Rogue swinging his keys around his left finger grinning at her. She steps out of the red roadster and remarks with a smirk, "So now you think you're hot stuff for beatin' me in race?"

Allan pockets his keys and replies, "What? No, I didn't say anything."

Rogue playfully smiles and continues, "Because this is the only contest you've beatin' me in. Ah haven't lost a fight or game to you yet."

Nodding his head with a smirk on his face Allan says, "You know, you're right. May be I should do something about that."

Rogue steps up to Allan and walks her fingers up his chest saying, "Just say when."

"One hour, the grassy clearing behind the pool, a friendly sparring match. No Danger Room, no powers, no holds barred." Allan says, "Just you, me, and the grass. Skill on skill, toe to toe."

"You're on, tough guy. See ya in one hour. Don't be late." as she lightly rubs her finger under his chin smiling and walking to the house.

Allan casually walks inside through the front and heads to the stairs. Charles speaks out to him, "Allan, I would like for you to meet someone."

Allan turns to Charles as he stops and notices he and Logan approaching with another man next to them. He looks the other man slightly up and down as Charles continues, "This is Colonel Nick Fury."

Allan grins and asks, "Let me guess, military special ops commander, right?"

Nick chuckles and replies, "Close, try Director of Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate."

Thinking for a moment, then smiling, Allan remarks, "SHIELD, that's clever. Is there a SWORD?"

"That's classified." Nick replies with a grin.

Allan chuckles and says, "That's funny. Well, it was nice to meet you Colonel." as he playfully salute and starts to walk away.

Nick tells him, "We need to talk son."

Logan speaks up, "Its' important kid, trust me."

Shaking his head, Allan sighs out, "Figures."

Emma and Sean watch through the sliding glass window as Mystique paces back and forth on the balcony in silence. Sitting back on the couch crossing her legs, Emma takes a sip of wine, then asks, "So what will happen now?"

Sean leans back rubbing his forehead replying, "Don't know, this mission may be scrubbed."

"What about the deals we made with her?" Emma inquires.

"She's held up her end, Emma." Sean adds, "She's located my family, they're in Federal protection. And the FBI should be receiving substantial evidence that will clear your name of those fabricated murder charges."

"That's it then?" Emma asks, "Why don't you leave?"

Sean sighs out as he looks down, "Because no matter what, I'll still be a criminal to my wife and daughter. When I realized that, I realized I have no where else to go after this."

"Bloody hell," Emma remarks, "the Hellfire Society framed me for murder, trying to destroy me through legal means. But now that my name will be cleared of those charges, they will try other means of coming after me. I am no safer than I was before. It seems we are both stuck." as she takes another sip of her wine.

Sean look over at Mystique as she continues pacing out on the balcony and says, "I don't trust that woman, but she did come through, and I can respect what she's trying to do."

Emma stands up placing her wine glass on the coffee table and says, "Well, not that I tire of our little heart to heart discussions, Sean, but I'm not the type to cry on one's shoulder. I am going to check on Irene."

Sean rolls his eyes and shakes his head as she crosses the large living room. Emma steps lightly down the hall towards one of the many large rooms in the in the plush condo and slowly peeks in. Her eyes widen as she completely opens the door all the way, then quickly darts back up the hall. Sean looks up to see Emma sprinting back across the living room up to the balcony entrance. She frantically taps the sliding glass door with a concerned expression. Mystique casually slides open the door asking, "What is it, Emma?"

In a concerned tone, Emma replies, "Irene is gone."

Sean stands up with a confused stare as Mystique darts out, "What!"

Emma continues, "That's not all, so is Juggernaut's protective helmet."

Mystique shakes her head saying, "She couldn't have, she wouldn't…" as she looks into the corner of the room and notices Irene's blind mobility cane leaning against the wall.

Sean speaks up, "She can't get very far, the lady is blind. Besides what would she doing with Juggernaut's helmet, she doesn't even know where I stashed him."

"Let's not take that risk." Mystique remarks, "Sean, takes us to the warehouse where you hid him."

Charles sits back in his wheel chair as Nick Fury slowly walks about his office speaking. Allan and Logan sift through large envelopes of photographs, mostly of Allan and his recent exploits. Nick says, "As you can see, Allan, we've had you under surveillance for quite some time. Two years actually, quite amazing how someone like yourself can just come out of nowhere. There are no records of your existence prior to the three years when you started playing in clubs. You're an enigma kid, as far as our record say, you don't really exist."

Allan stares at him with a content look as Nick continues, "But I'm not here to solve your mystery. Besides, I'm sure you have the power to prevent from doing that. I'm here because you made an enemy, a powerful one. And I have a feeling he's coming for you."

Logan mentions, "If you talkin' about Magneto, we already know."

Nick adds, "What you don't know is that Magneto has stolen a weapon from one of our high priority storage facilities."

"Yeah, yeah," Logan says, "so he stole a Sentinel, big deal."

Allan asks, "What's a Sentinel?"

"A weapon, a robot," Nick replies, "designed by a man named Bolivar Trask. It was designed to protect humans from the supposed mutant threat. At least that's what he called it."

Logan mentions, "The thing is tough, kid. Big and durable with lots of guns. Now one of those is in the hands of Magneto."

"What Magneto has is a special prototype, the Tri-Sentinel." Nick adds, "During the stand off with Apocalypse, I ordered Trask to design a unit that could stand toe to toe with a target that powerful. The project was mothballed after Apocalypse's defeat and stored away to be scrapped later. It was never completed."

Charles remarks, "But now Magneto has it, so anything is possible."

"And you think Magneto is going to use it to come after me, is that right Colonel?" Allan asks.

"You've proven yourself to be tough, kid." Nick says, "It's a safe bet he lookin' to have you under his boot."

Allan mentions, "But he's going a little extreme with this, isn't he?"

"I agree Allan," Charles says, "Magneto does not seem to be acting rationally."

Nick steps up and remarks, "Rational or not, the man has a weapon of mass destruction. This has now become a SHIELD problem. Professor, with your permission, I'd like to place a SHIELD guard detail here on your campus, to ensure the safety of your students."

"Of course, Colonel," Charles replies, "but if Magneto attacks us using this Tri-Sentinel, I doubt a handful of special agents will be substantial enough to defend us."

Nick adds, "I don't plan on letting Magneto take one step onto your estate, sir. My intelligence division has located his spherical fortress. SHIELD assault forces are moving into place for a surgical strike. The guard detail is just a precaution."

Allan speaks up, "And what am I suppose to do while you're leading your 'G.I. Joe' forces, Magneto is after me. May be I should leave the school to ensure their safety too."

Nick points at Allan saying, "You stay put. I don't want a repeat of the fight you had with the Juggernaut."

Allan innocently smiles and asks, "You saw that huh?"

Nick adjusts his uniform and mentions, "Not to worry gentlemen, my agents are professionals. They will be out of sight and out of your way while they are here. They will not disrupt any of your campus activities unless absolutely necessary."

Charles, Logan, and Allan glance at each other then look up at Nick, who nods and grins at them saying, "We should have the situation under control fairly soon, and you can all go back to your normal lives."

"Normal," Allan mentions and sarcastically replies, "that's really funny, Colonel."

Nick pats Allan on his shoulder as he walks out of Charles's office. Looking at Charles, Allan asks, "Professor, wouldn't it be better if I left? I could be putting every body here in danger."

"For now, Allan, just cooperate with Colonel Fury's request." Charles replies.

Logan adds, "Nick's a good guy, Allan. He knows his stuff, been at it for a while."

Across town on the out skirts on the main industrial park, several large abandoned warehouses sit in silence. Very large vacant lots with old condemned storage building are all the stands. A testimony of the once thriving area that now exists for those leading questionable lives. One particular warehouse, despite it's rough, rusting exterior, seems to ring with activity inside. The sound of running water and loud foot steps echo through out the empty corridors. Looking into a hanging mirror, Juggernaut checks his swollen eye. He shifts about adjusting his image in the mirror to avoid the long crack that runs down the center. The swelling has gone down since his fight with Allan thanks to his remarkable endurance. Juggernaut rubs his jaw at the same time rotating his left shoulder as he looks around the interior of the warehouse which is now a make shift safe house provided by Mystique. Several couches and end tables adorn the open floor with a small lamp on each table lighting the immediate space. Juggernaut limps back to one of the many couches and flops back nearly collapsing the old plush seat with his weight. Sitting up he rubs his leg, having pulled a muscle in the battle. He lightly grunts out as he massages his leg, then his attention is sudden caught by the sound of a voice saying, "Mr. Marko."

Juggernaut quickly gets to his feet replying, "Never heard of him."

He turns around hearing light footsteps echo behind him. Standing in the shadows of the empty warehouse a small female figure stares at him with intense white glowing eyes. Juggernaut takes a defensive stance saying, "Who are you? What do you want?"

"Who I am is not as important as what I offer." the female figure says in an echoing tone.

The voice sounds like mixture of both a man and woman's voice, and it confuses Juggernaut as he replies, "What do you offer, what ever you are?"

From out of the shadow where the female figure stands, his dome like helmet slides up to his feet. He reaches down and picks it up saying, "You know, once I put this on, nothing can stop me."

"What I offer, is not your bulky helmet, but completion to your personal quest." the female says.

"And what do you get out of it?" Juggernaut asks.

Stepping out of the shadows, the female figure approaches Juggernaut. He takes a step back as Irene comes out of the shadows slowly, her glowing eyes dissipating revealing tears run down her cheeks. She stares at him with a blank look with her glazed over eyes and says, "What I seek, is irrelevant. Complete your quest for vengeance, and you'll bring balance to order and chaos."

Juggernaut slides on his helmet and twists it into place locking it firmly over his head. He states, "So all you get is a little piece of mind, works for me lady."

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