X-Men Evolution NEXT

Dilemma

Watching from the Danger Room command center, Emma sits silently as she tries to understand the session in progress below. She lightly rubs her chin and thumbs the controls focusing the monitoring cameras closer. The Danger Room chamber itself sits just as silent as the command center as Allan and Jean seem to square off only a few feet from each other. It is a peculiar sight as Allan is dropped back into a deep dramatic martial stance with his arms out stretched like wings. Jean stands squared with her arms crossed just in front of her face. Both of their eyes are closed in an almost sleeping state as they stand like statues in the middle of the room. Allan wears his shiny uniform minus the helmet as Jean sports a whole new outfit. Wearing a near completely black uniform with goldish yellow accenting armor padding on her shoulders and forearms, Jean's uniform is somewhat reminiscent of Cyclops's sporting the same 'X' emblem on both shoulders and belt buckle. And in a similar manner, she also wears an opened face and top cowl just like Allan's head piece. The expressions on their face are of complete serenity as Emma focuses their images on the monitoring screens. The strange silence seems to absorb any sound made if any. Then much to Emma' s surprise, the command center come alive with blinking beeping sounds. Switches and buttons seem to turn and press themselves activating the chamber below. With a concerned expression, Emma stares back out the observation window to see several of the chamber's automatons unfolding and bearing down on the serene like heroes. Unsure of what is happening, Emma tries to deactivate the devices, but none of the controls are responding. She tries to remain calm, then decides to focus her thoughts to Allan to warn him of the imminent attack from the Danger Room. But as Emma reaches out with her telepathic thoughts, her mind feels a sudden pull, as though she has been caught in a vortex on mental energy. Emma's physical perception surrenders as she seemingly falls in thought. Her echoing gasps and screams trails behind her as her uncontrollable descent increases in speed. But just as sudden as the pull against her mind was, she suddenly stops to find her herself standing in as empty bright white room. The pull on her mind now absent, she slowly walks forward. Sitting in the middle of the elongated room, several tables line up butted up next to each other. On each table lay what looks like different kinds of board games. A curious smile appears on Emma's face as she approaches the sight. A mixture games ranging from 'Chutes and Ladders' to 'Trivial Pursuit' sit on each table, ready for playing with the pieces set on each board. Just as she is about to touch a game piece, Allan's echoing voice calls out, "Time out, hold it, don't touch!"

Emma looks up and sees both Allan and Jean approaching her casually walking on opposite sides of the tables. Standing on Allan's side of the tables, Emma steps back asking, "What is all this?"

"Before I answer that," Allan says with a frustrated tone, "I just want to let you know, that was really stupid of you."

"I beg your pardon?" Emma replies defensively.

Gesture around her with his hands, Allan answers, "I call this place the 'White Room'. It's kind of a transitional state between the physical and the ethereal existence."

Emma looks a bit confused as she mentions, "But I saw you two in the Danger Room about to be attacked by the drones. How are your minds here? Is this place only a telepathic image? It's not real?"

Allan sighs out and rolls his eyes. He reaches over to her right arm and pinches her bare fair skinned shoulder. Emma yipes, "OUCH!" as she quickly slaps Allan on his right arm.

Flinching at her slap with a chuckle and grin, Allan says, "This place is very real, and very dangerous for you. Just be glad we saw you falling, otherwise you would have left an astral smear on the 'White Room' floor leaving your physical body in a vegetated state for ever."

Emma falls silent as Jean asks, "So, why did you risk trying to find us, Miss Frost?"

Clearing her throat, Emma says, "I was attempting to warn you both about the Danger Room."

Jean smiles and walks up to the closer table where 'Battle Ship' is set up. She looks at Emma and says, "Everything is alright Miss Frost. Um… B6."

Allan sighs out while shaking his head at Emma as he walks up to the 'Battle Ship' table. He looks at his set up and replies, "Let's see… B6. Shoot, that's a hit. You just sunk my aircraft carrier."

Jean cheers out, "Oh yah!"

With a curios grin, Allan asks, "Are you sure you can't see my pieces?" as he squats down looking at the game.

Jean chuckles out, "I swear I can't see your side."

Allan nods as they move onto the next table where 'Operation' is set up. Emma raises her eyebrows in a baffled manner and asks, "What are you two doing playing children's games in this place while your physical bodies are getting pummeled?"

Emma's question distracts Allan as he attempts to remove a plastic rib bone from the board game patient and he sets off the red nose buzzer. Jean laughs out, "Ha-ha! My go!"

Sighing out with a smile, Allan turns to Emma with an annoyed expression and states to her, "You know, I was doing alright until you showed up. And no, we are not getting pummeled."

Reaching into his back pocket, Allan pulls out a TV remote control and points it over Emma's shoulder. She quickly turns around and notices a large flat panel television off in the corner. Allan clicks the remote and the television comes alive to a sports channel. The images of Allan and Jean appear in the screen as they are dressed like TV sports anchors. Emma stares at the screen with a baffled expression, then looks back at Allan. He just shrugs his shoulders and gestures her to keep watching. Emma turns to watch the screen as the on screen version of Allan speaks out, "Welcome back to Ultimate Danger Room Championship. I'm Allan Paran."

"And I'm Jean Grey," the on screen version of Jean adds, "if you're just joining us, we are in the final half of this most extreme showdown. And the carnage is intense."

On screen Allan enters, "True dat, Jean. Both players are putting in more than a hundred and ten percent. Let's go there live to our in field reporters, Rogue and Scott Summers."

The images switches to a somewhat live feed look showing Allan in his Vanguard uniform executing a mixture of twists and turns battling through the mechanical horde. Just then Rogue's image appears also dressed like a sports commentator. She wears a head set microphone and speaks out, "As ya'll can see, both competitors are really tearin' up the Danger Room. Just behind me, Allan shredded what looked like six legged spider robot. What do ya got on your end Scott?"

The scene switches again showing Jean in her new uniform fending off several floating drones using her telekinesis. Then in a flash of bright light, they melt in a halo of angelic fire. Suddenly, Scott's image appears and says in an exciting tone, "What I got is power and style over here, Rogue. With her new pyrokenetic powers developing, Jean is becoming one hell of a contender."

The scene switches back to the Allan and Jean sports anchors. Allan remarks, "There you have it folks, a show of power and skill. We'll keep you updated …"

The TV clicks off as Allan thumbs the remote. Emma blinks her eyes and turns back to Allan and Jean by the gaming tables. She inquires, "So, if you two are really in the Danger Room, winning. What does all this mean?" as she gestures to the 'White Room'.

Allan replies as he and Jean stare at a Chinese checker board, "I'm showing Jean what we cosmic super guys call, strategic existence. Moments in time is just a matter of perception to us. A split second thought can be turned into weeks of careful planning. I guess you can call it the ultimate meaning of 'body and mind'."

"And what are Rogue and Scott doing here?" Emma asks with a grin.

Jean giggles and says, "They're just having fun. Scott and I share a telepathic both much like Allan and Rogue. This is kind of a neat way of hanging out."

Allan looks at his watch and remarks, "Whoops, time is almost up."

He looks over at Emma and adds, "You're gonna get kind of a head rush when you come to. I'd lean forward to avoid falling if I were you."

Emma shakes her head in confusion as she replies, "What?"

As before, she suddenly feels her essence being pulled, but this time backwards. The sudden rush of mental energy flows by her at what seems like the speed of light. Emma's perception is abruptly brought back into the Danger Room command center. But the mental force in which her mind reconnects with her body knocks her back as she flops onto her butt to the cold floor. She grunts out and blinks realizing she is back in her body. She takes a deep breath and lets it out heavily, feeling the head rush she was warned about. A digital voice speaks out in the command room, "Sequence complete, resetting chamber."

Emma stands back up and looks out the observation window. Below she sees Allan in his uniform share high fives with Jean, Scott and Rogue among the smoldering ruins of the Danger Room attack drones. Emma looks at her watch and realizes only a minute had passed. She slightly smiles as she watches the four casually walk out of the chamber. Emma sighs and quietly mutters out, "You are a fool Sebastian."

Catching her by surprise, Remy asks, "Who's Sebastian, chere?"

Emma quickly turns around to face him and sees him leaned up against a console with a smile on his face. "Or you just talkin' to yo'self?" he inquires.

She holds her composure and gently replies, "Yes, I was. Now if you'll excuse me."

She starts to walk by him as he casually adds, "Gotta learn ta lie better'n dat, Miss Frost."

Emma's expression turns cold as she leaves the command center keeping her back to him as the elevator door shuts. Remy grins to himself and mutters softly, "Game on."

Walking to the neighboring labs near the Danger Room, Allan, Rogue, Jean and Scott start winding down. Allan speaks out, "Great session everyone. I felt everybody's concentration, very strong."

Jean and Scott smile at each other as Allan adds, "Jean, work on your sculptures and paintings some more. Keep being creative, it's a great tension reliever."

The group of four split into two as Scott and Jean head up while Rogue and Allan head towards one of the chambers Hank and Forge claimed as their lab. Walking through the lab entrance, the couple stop and stare at an array of wires and consoles strewn about the room. In the center of the room a single circular panel sits floor connected to all consoles by several sized wires. Both hank and Forge turn and look at the couple with hopeful grins and welcome them in. Hank says as he sniffs, "Just in time, Allan. Forge and I just finished the modifications to the scanning device. This should give us better information about your unique physiology."

Allan glances all around the room along with Rogue and remarks, "So, all this… is just to scan… me."

Forge chuckles and mentions, "Yup, we just wanted to make sure we are thorough with the scans. Seeing that you are pretty much impervious to any harm, I took the liberty to add in a bit of latest in radiology scanning technology too. That'll hopefully enable us to scan through your super dense structure. This baby will be able to scan you like no other scanner can. You'll be bombarded with ultrasounds, infrared, ultraviolet, the works. You'll know more about yourself than you ever had after this."

Allan slowly glances at Rogue with a disturbed grin. Looking back at hank and Forge, he asks, "Um… ok, so this won't hurt?"

Hank smiles while rubbing his nose and says, "Of course not."

Rogue gently holds Allan's hand and urges him, "Babe, just cooperate, you promised."

Nodding silently, Allan smiles at her saying, "I know."

Forge stands up with an excited expression while rubbing his hands together and says, "Awesome! Let's fire this baby up. Just step onto the circular panel and relax, Allan."

Sighing out, Allan steps carefully into the center of the room and onto the high-tech circular panel. The four feet in diameter panel lights up as he step lightly and turns around to face everybody. The panels beneath Allan's boots are sectioned into grids and shine in a bright white and yellowish light. Allan watches as Hank scurries about the lab double checking wires and connections while Forge steps behind a console and starts tapping buttons and controls. Rogue takes a few steps back while watching a nervous Allan grin, trying to relax. Hank turns to Forge and signals, "Everything is secured."

Forge slips on a pair of slick sun glasses with a smile and says to Allan, "Try to keep still, buddy."

Rogue's eyes slowly glance around as the growing sounds of generators hum throughout the room. The blinking lights from near by consoles begin to flash brightly. Forge then remarks, "Here we go." as he flicks a switch on his console.

Much to Allan's surprise, the outer ring of the circular panel he stands on rises up and slowly begins to float upward. A some what translucent beam of green light radiates within the floating ring as it slowly floats up around Allan's entire body giving the impression the light is tracing his body. Then in a humming manner, the ring slowly floats down, tracing the beam of light down his body. Several monitors record the scans creating a composite of Allan's body contours and rendering them into three dimensional grids. Each grid slowly begins to down load a multitude of information. The ring settles back into its locking position on the circular panel as the light beneath Allan's boots switch off. Forge smiles and says in a light tone, "All done."

Allan raises his eyebrows and asks, "Really?"

Hank chuckles while he rubs his nose, "What were you expecting Allan?"

"I don't know," Allan remarks with a plain expression, "I guess I was expect something a little more dramatic may be."

Laughing lightly, Hank pats him on the shoulder and says, "You have too much of an imagination, my young friend. Now, let us compile the information we gathered, and we will let you know of our findings."

Allan smiles at Hank and nods. Taking Allan's hand, Rogue also smiles and says, "Now that wasn't so bad, now was it?"

Hank chuckles again as he smiles watching the young couple walk out of the lab. He then turns to Forge while sniffing to clear his nose and sees the young man marveling at the generators. Forge looks at Hank with amazement in his eyes as he says, "Man, it took everything the generators had for that one scan. They're barely functioning."

Walking out of the elevators and into the carpeted halls of the upper ground level, Allan and Rogue come out giggling. Rogue remarks, "You looked so nervous."

Shrugging his shoulder with a smile, Allan replies, "I was afraid that thing would explode or something. I hate the feeling of being inside explosions. It's like spilling fresh hot coffee in your lap."

Rogue laughs as they casually walk through the halls. With quick though, Allan transmutes his uniform top into a formfitting white t-shirt. They walk by a few of the other students who all seem to be caught up in their own activities. But Rogue starts to notice certain stares from the girls as they pass. Then the silence breaks as Tabitha struts by them and says, "Lookin' good Allan."

Allan keeps facing forward as he and Rogue walk with a slight grin on his face. Rogue glances behind them and sees the girls making it obvious they are checking him out. She quickly turns her face forward with a slightly annoyed expression on her face. They both start walking up the stairs when Allan spots Alex, Evan and Kurt hanging out in the front living area. They each acknowledge him with either a wave or a nod as Allan does the same. Suddenly looking up the stairs as they walk up, Allison starts her way down. Rogue notices her and gives her a silent mean glare. Allison returns her glare but then grins at Allan playfully. As she passes them, Allison holds up a small bottle of bubbles and pull out the plastic ring. She gently blows into the ring sprinkling a cloud of shiny bubble at Allan's face. He squints his eyes trying to ignore her as the soapy orbs gently pop against his face. The much to his surprise, Allan feels a pinch on his left butt cheek. He yipes out, "Whoa." and reaches back to grab his butt.

Rogue quickly turns to look at Allan's hand on his butt, then glares at Allison. Her face turns from annoyed to angered as she yells out, "Ah told ya to stop that, Allison!"

Glancing back at Rogue with sarcastic expression, Allison simply says, "Hey, sorry, my hand slipped."

"Yah, right!" Rogue darts out, "Wanna see MY hand slip, skank!" as she raises her left fist.

Allan quickly grabs Rogue around her waist and leaps up the rest of the stairs with her in his arms. Despite Allan's hold, Rogue struggles like an angry cat with her arms and legs kicking out. Allan glares down at Allison, then with a sudden rush of wind, he and Rogue dart up the hallway in a blurring speed. He streaks by several more students dodging them with ease and leaving trailing gust of wind as he carries Rogue into his room then slams the door shut. Allison shrugs her shoulders and continues strutting down the stairs. She notices Alex, Evan and Kurt watching her from the ground floor with slight grins. She smirks at them saying, "Not my fault if she can't handle a little friendly competition."

The three boys watch as she struts out of their sight. Kurt looks plainly with his eyebrows raised asking, "Vhat vas that about?"

"You got me, dude. That was like watching one of those cheesy shows on the WB." Evan remarks.

Shaking his head slowly, Alex asks with a wide eyed grin, "Man, how does Allan do it!"

Tossing Rogue gently onto his bed, Allan locks his bedroom door then turns to face her. Rogue quickly sits up on the bed readying herself to hop off, but Allan steps up to her saying, "Calm down."

Her face angered, Rogue ignores Allan's demand and tries to hop by him. In a calm manner Allan reaches up and catches her around her waist again in mid air and tosses her backwards back onto his bed. Rogue bounces but sits up quickly. This time Allan drops his face to her level looking into her eyes and says again, "Calm… down."

"Calm down nothin'!" Rogue yells out, "Did ya see what she did!"

"Not really," Allan replies, "but I sure as hell felt it. Now calm down!"

Rogue glares at Allan stating, "She can't just go 'round pinchin' my boyfriend's butt like that. And she doin' it now egg me on."

Allan sighs out as he looks at Rogue and mentions, "As long as I've known her, Allison has always been a bit of a flirt. That's just the way she is."

"You always defend her," Rogue remarks in a frustrated tone, "that really ticks me off."

"I'm not defending her." Allan says in his defense, "Would you please calm down?"

Rubbing his face with both hands, Allan takes a deep breath and says, "Look, may be I should talk to her or something. Because I thought she and I settled things between us, and we were cool."

Rogue sighs out and stares at him plainly as she remarks, "That's probably what she wants, Allan. For you to go and talk with her, alone, in her room. And it's not just Allison, some of the other girls were checkin' you out, and makin' it obvious too."

Allan sits by Rogue on the bed and gently rubs her right arm saying, "Look, you really need to calm. The last thing I want is for you to go out there and drain one of them into as coma. Let's not blow things out of proportion."

Taking a deep breath and shutting his eye for a moment, Allan tells Rogue, "Alright, I say you and I stick it out in here for the rest of the evening. At least until things calm down out there. I'll order us a pizza, and have Kurt teleport it to us when it arrives. May be they will get the message. What do you think?"

Rogue smiles at him and replies, "Ah don't mind that at all. 'Cause Ah got everythin' Ah want in here."

Allan chuckles as he picks up the phone and starts dialing.

Sitting up in one of the many plush couches in the main living area, Scott skims through his homework notes as he prepares for his colleges classes the next day. Not so much as studying, his primary concern is to just review the subjects that were covered during his last class sessions. And with the constant in and out of chattering traffic coming from his fellow institute housemates, he doesn't believe he would be able to study correctly even if it were necessary. Scott shuffle his notes into one pile to avoid have them occupy too much space and continues to engross himself with his school notes. His few moments of personal time are interrupted as a group of the girls scurry in with their giggles and whispers. A sight he has gotten use to seeing, but it annoys him none the less, and he adjusts his posture as to try not to pay too much attention to what they are doing. But as Scott tries to absorb what ever information he has written, his concentration is constantly distracted by abrupt laughter and over the shoulder whispers. Finally he decides enough is enough as he gathers all his papers and books and leaves the living area. Scott glances back into the living area with a frustrated expression, then turns to head up to his room. Walking past him down the stairs, Remy quickly shuffles down the steps in full gear. He slips on his trench coat as Scott asks, "What's the rush Remy? Where are you heading?"

Remy hops to the bottom of the steps and looks up at Scott with a grin replying, "Just a lil' me time, that's all. De less ya know 'bout, de better off we all be. Trust Gambit."

With that said, Gambit darts out the front door and out of Scott's sight. The muffled sound of a motorcycle screeches out of the drive soon after as Scott just shakes his head walking up the stairs. Before heading to his room, Scott decides to stop by Jean's room to ask her a question. As he approaches her door, he notices bright flashes of light from beneath her door. Scotts knocks and calls out, "Uh… Jean? Are you busy, do you have minute?"

The door opens by itself and Scott sees Jean standing in the middle of her room staring at a large metal sculpture. Scott walks in and says, "I didn't want to bother you, I just… wow." as he marvels at the metal statue.

Jean quickly speaks up, "Don't touch it yet, Scott. It's still hot. I've been using my telekinesis and my new pyrokenetic abilities to mold it. But what do you think?"

Walking around the piece, Scott nods and remarks, "Well… it is very unique."

At first glance, the carefully bent metal shards resemble a, explosion of some sort. But taking a closer look, Scott realizes it is some kind of flower blooming. The metal had been shaped into smooth like petals with a single hand sized human figure protruding from the center of the bloom. The entire sculpture stands nearly five feet tall and about three and half feet wide. Scott can still feel the heat coming off the crafted metal as she walks around it slowly. Smiling and nodding again, he asks her, "So, where did get the scrap metal to make this?"

Jean wipes her hands with a cloth replying, "Just random parts and junk I found lying around."

" I have to admit it, Jean, your new powers are awesome." Scott mentions with a grin, "I mean, here I was, about to ask you if I could borrow your notes from our English literature class. And here you are, wow." gesturing to her sculpture.

He then glances off to his right noticing a white sheet covering something in the corner of Jean's room. He picks one end of the sheet asking, "What's under here?"

Jean quickly slaps the sheet end away from his hand as she quickly says, "That one is not finished yet."

Scott quickly steps back remarking, "Sorry about that."

"No, I'm sorry Scott." Jean adds, "I get a little self conscious about unfinished pieces."

Smiling and chuckling, Scott looks around her room noticing the several painted canvases leaning up against her walls. Jean hands him a notebook saying, "Here are my English notes if you need them."

"Thanks," Scott says as they lightly kiss, "I'll bring them back ASAP."

Jean smiles as she watches Scott casually exit her room. Her smile slowly turns to an expression of concern turning her gaze to the white covering sheet in the corner of her room. Jean slowly pulls the sheet off the corner piece revealing an ominous sculpture. Her face becomes stern and cold as she gazes upon her hand crafted art piece of the creature Nung as it appeared the night it attacked. A textured sculpture resembling the cement, metal and glass it was made of hovering among the sharp metal barrier that nearly killed Scott and the others. Jean takes a deep breath and swallows, quickly covering the sculpture again with the sheet.

Bringing his motorcycle to silent halt in a nearby alleyway, Gambit lets down the kick stand and shuts off the engine. He sits back on the seat of his bike in the shadow of the tall building watching calmly as Emma gracefully struts her way from the neighboring parking deck to the prestigious office building across the street. Gambit grins and nods silently as he watches the doorman to the front entrance greet her while opening the door. She acknowledges the gesture in her usual cold manner entering the building. Checking his watch, Gambit marks the time and rubs his arms shivering a bit from the cold weather. Stepping off his parked motorcycle, Gambit quickly darts across the street unseen by the doorman. Sliding to the side of the office building, Gambit checks for entry points. The sun is still barely up, illuminating the evening sky, to create enough shadows for him to conceal his approach. With quick steps he makes his way to way to the back cargo freight doors. How ever, he realizes they are now locked down for the day and he sighs out in frustration. Look up the side of the building, Gambit starts looking for alternative ways to get in. The shivering weather begins to wear on him as he continuously rubs his upper arms to keep warm. Then a familiar scruffy voice speak to him from behind, "Aw, feelin' cold kid?"

Gambit quickly spins around to see Sabertooth diving towards him yelling out, "The let me warm ya up some!"

At the last second, Gambit dives off to the side tucking into a quick roll and hops back onto his feet. He reaches into his trench coat pulling out his switch like quarter staff, bearing it ready for combat. Sabertooth lands like a predator like cat glaring at the Cajun grunting out, "Nice moves, kid. I guess livin' with the brat pack is keepin' you sharp."

Dropping back into a defensive stance, Gambit returns Sabertooth's glare and remarks, "Wish I could say it be good ta see ya, Creed. But it ain't. What's yo beef dis time?"

Stepping into an offensive stance, Sabertooth grunts out loudly, "Payback!"

In a loud roar, he lunges toward Gambit's position with his clawed hands out stretched for a kill. Gambit shuffles back spinning his staff left to right, then brings firmly in front to block Sabertooth's relentless assaults. The sound of whistling swings and sharp ricochets echo into the alleyway as Gambit defends against the animalistic attacks. Gambit takes a quick chance to gain the upper hand as he flips out one of his playing card from his trench coat sleeve and energizes it. Ducking one of Sabertooth's wild clawed swings, he lightly tosses the glowing card just above their heads. The card seems to float in mid air as it spins like a small windmill. The card trick confuses Sabertooth enough for him to take a quick glance at the glowing object. As with all object energized by Gambit's power, it detonates brightly forcing Sabertooth to shut his eyes tightly in a loud roar like yell. The distraction is what Gambit needs as he thrusts forward with his staff pushing the metal rod horizontally into the large beastly man's throat. Gambit's counter attack sends Sabertooth staggering backwards holding his throat. Pressing the advantage, Gambit swings his staff in a circular assault pounding Sabertooth's head and face repeatedly, strike after strike. In an effortless spin, Gambit twists gripping his staff firmly with both hands and lands a solid strike across Sabertooth's temple. The blow sends the large man spinning vertically in the air then slumping back down like a pile of bricks to the pavement. Breathing heavily from his attack, Gambit raises his staff to strike the downed psychopath one more time, but is caught by surprise as Sabertooth spins and swings his left clawed hand out striking the Cajun across his right abdomen. Gambit staggers back yelling out in pain as he drops his hands on his wounds. Small hints of blood drip through his uniform and trench coat. Flinching from the pain, Gambit quickly looks up to see Sabertooth leaping to him once more. In last ditch maneuver, Gambit draws back and darts his staff forward poking the other end under Sabertooth's chin. With all his strength, Gambit hooks Sabertooth with the end of his staff and swings him arching over his head into a nearby open dumpster. The large wild man slams hard into mixture of papers, card board and rotten food. Gambit quickly leaps onto the dumpster and thrusts his staff down at Sabertooth's forehead forcing the man to stay down. Gambit then kneels down placing his hands on the metal plating of the dumpster and looks down at the dazed Sabertooth. "I'll tell Wolverine you said 'hi', mon ami." as he energizes the entire dumpers around him.

Gambit quickly leaps off the dumpster using his metal staff to pole vault into some nearby brush. Sabertooth struggles to get to his feet but to no avail as the dumpster explodes in a bright yellowish like ball of energy. Smoke and debris fill the back cargo area as the dumpster disintegrates from the explosion. The sounds of burning trash and dropping metal from the explosion fill the air as well as the odor of burnt flesh and hair. In a loud thump, Sabertooth's burnt body tumbles to the ground and lay limp, smoking and simmering. Gambit slides away from the burning scene and takes cover in the shadow of another nearby alcove. He braces his wound trying to prevent it from bleeding any more at the same time flinching at the pain. He looks out towards the cargo area checking for Sabertooth but instead sees several strangely dressed men surrounding the burnt and smoking man. The men are all dressed in the same blue uniform like outfits, each one with their faces covered with a flesh colored face mask and all toting hand guns. Gambit ducks further for cover as he continues to watch in silence. The uniformed men step away from Sabertooth's smoking body making way for a dark haired woman to approach. Her black cloak billows from the light breeze revealing her all black outfit reminiscent of Emma's all white outfit. Gambit listens as he hears her say with a grin, "Well, this is quite a surprise, Mr. Creed. Just not your year is it? Perhaps we can change that. Now, let's find your sparring partner."

She signals the men to spread out to search as three of them drag Sabertooth's unconscious burnt body inside. Gambit quickly and silently stays in the shadows as he hides from the search party.

Compiling the data from their scans, both Hank and Forge carefully look over all and any detail that catches their eye. Taking a breath, Forge inquires, "So you say Allan is from a parallel world? Do you think there are others like him?"

Hank keeps his eyes on his monitor trying to interpret the information presented to him and replies, "Well I'm sure there are beings of similar nature, but I doubt there is another being exactly like him. Given the aspect of his duties as the Vanguard, he is supposed to be unique."

Forge then chuckles as he stares at his monitor with baffled grin. He remarks, "Hmm, that was weird."

Hank turns to look and asks, "What was weird?"

Sitting back while still glancing at his screen, Forge says, "I was trying to go over Allan's epidermal scans to see the full density of his molecular structure. But the information shows the scanning beam was deflected back several times before being able to get one complete contact. I thought maybe it was because of the density of his epidermis, but then I realized the scanning beam wasn't able to make contact. Fortunately, the scan was able to complete, but I was curious why it wouldn't in the first place. So I reran the results of the full spectral analysis in closer detail, and I found this." as he points to his screen.

Hank glances over to the screen and looks at Forge's findings. The screen shows a digital schematic of a human male with different grid points indicating s specified scanning area. Around the outlined contour of the body shape, a faint but distinguishable haze appears. Hank stares at the screen closer and mentions, "That's odd, it's not physically visible, yet the scans picked it up."

"Barely." Forge adds, "I double checked the spectral analysis, it's some kind of protein."

Hanks eyes widen with his eyebrows raising as he responds, "Ok, that is weird."

Both sprawled across the bed Allan and Rogue lay next to two nearly empty boxes of pizza. They face one another as they have an unfair arm wrestling match. Allan holds up his right arm with his elbow resting on the bed while Rogue tugs and pulls, trying to bring his arm down. She smiles and giggles at the same time grunting as she grips Allan's right arm with both hands. His arm doesn't budge slightly and Allan chuckles at the sight of Rogue now resorting to using her shoulder. She tries throwing all her weight into her tugging, but Allan just picks up another slice of pizza and casually bites into it as he holds his right arm up. Finally, Rogue gives up catching her breath saying, "Alright, now Ah know Ah got ya to budge just a little."

Allan grins while he chews and muffles out, "Nope."

Rogue gives Allan a smiling glare as she remarks, "Ah know you're strong, but everything's gotta give a little."

Swallowing his bite of pizza, Allan lets out a slight burp with a smile and replies, "Not me."

Rogue picks up slice of pizza and starts taking big bites. She swallows and grins at Allan saying, "Oh you just think you're all kinds of tough, huh?"

Allan grabs a napkin and wipes his grinning mouth as Rogue quickly devours her slice and jumps onto his back straddling him while he is lying on his stomach. "Well, Ah know there's another way Ah can get ya to budge." she whispers into his right.

Glancing back at her, Allan smiles and replies, "I bet you do, pizza breath."

They silently lock lips kissing one another. Rogue massages Allan's shoulders as she embraces him from behind. But their moment of intimacy is cut short with the sudden shudder and deep rumbling sound of distant explosion. The noise slightly shakes the room as Allan and Rogue both look up. "Was that… an explosion?" she inquires.

Dropping his face into the plush ness of his bed, Allan remarks in a frustrated tone, "God I hope not."

Rushing through the mansion halls, Rogue and Allan glance around for any sign of external danger. But instead pass a handful of the other students poking their heads out their doors to see what the noise was also. They approach the opening stair case and start to hear angry tones of bickering arguments coming from the front living area. Looking down into the living area, Allan notices several of the fine furniture destroyed and burnt. The rug looks ripped up and burnt as well with scorch marks on both ends of the walls. A crowd of students look gathered around Tabitha and Jubilee who seem to be squared off against each other. Allan gives Rogue a baffled look, then quickly leaps down to the gathered mass yelling out, "What the hell is going on here!"

Tabitha and Jubilee both step back just as the other students try to slip away. Allan glare at all of them saying, "No one leaves, and some one better have a good explanation."

Tabitha folds her arms rolling her eyes as Jubilee sneers at her then looks away. Allan notices the silent bickering and ask, "Ok, what was that? Why are you two fighting?"

The gathering of students look at each other trying to come up with something to say. Allan sighs out saying, "Some one better say something. Or will telepathically rip the truth out of your heads." as he looks at both Amara and Jubilee.

Tabitha gestures at Jubilee and states in a mean tone, "It was her fault."

Jubilee quickly turns her glare at Tabitha and yells out, "I'm not taking the blame! It was your freakin' idea!"

Allan raises his hands gesturing them to stay apart as he asks out loud, "Whoa, what blame, what freakin' idea!"

Suddenly Logan struts in a huff asking, "Hey what's all the ruckus! And why is Allan's jeep parked outside the gates with the hood up?"

With his eyes widening at Logan's question, Allan slowly turns to look at both Tabitha and Jubilee. The two girl's angered expression turns into innocent stares as Allan asks in a calm manner, "You took my jeep… for a joy ride?"

Tabitha slightly smiles saying, "It's not what you think, Allan. We trying to do you a favor. You know, get her cleaned and fill up the tank."

Jubilee share her slightly smile as she nods. Allan expression almost softens but then grows baffled as he asks them both, "You cleaned it, and filled it up? With what? Not gasoline."

Jubilee answers innocently, "Well, yah, unleaded."

Allan's face turns to a look of some what dread. Rogue approaches smirking at both Tabitha and Jubilee remarking, "Uh oh."

Taking a deep breath, Allan asks, "You put, crude, unleaded gasoline in that engine?"

Both Tabitha and Jubilee nod. Allan brushes his hands through his jet black hair and mutters out in a low tone gritting his teeth, "It runs… on water. You pumped a polluted fossil fuel through the distilled filter and flooded the engine."

The other students around them fall silent. Some conceal tight lipped smiles as they stare at Tabitha and Jubilee. Logan smirks at Allan and says, "May be you should keep track of your own stuff, Allan."

Turning to look at Logan, Allan asks, "What does that mean? I wasn't my fault they stole."

Jubilee then speaks out to Tabitha in a wining tone, "You see, I told you he'd think we stole it! Now he hates me!"

"Whoa, I don't hate anybody." Allan quickly says.

Tabitha rolls her eyes again remarking, "Well, you should, Allan. She was the one pumped the gas at the station."

"It was your idea!" Jubilee screams out loudly.

Allan states, "Hey, there's no need to scream here."

Logan steps up saying, "See the problems you start? Just can't stay out of trouble, can ya kid?"

"Wait a minute Logan," Allan states in his defense, "I didn't start this."

Jubilee step up next to Allan and says, "You're right, Allan. Tabitha started it."

"And I'll finish it if you don't shut up!" Tabitha arts out as she powers up her mutant ability to generate energized glowing bombs.

Allan yells out, "Shut up both of you! Now back off!"

Jubilee cries out at Tabitha, "Look, now he's mad! And it's your fault!"

Jubilee's hand glow powering up as she fires a stream of whistle and popping fireworks at Tabitha. Retaliating, Tabitha throws a large glowing energized bomb at Jubilee. Allan's eyes widen as he thrust ahead between their attacks at blurring speeds. He catches Tabitha's glowing basketball sizes orb at the same time blocking Jubilee's fireworks stream with his back. Despite his cosmically dense body, he still feels the slight sting from the beam as it broads sides at the center of his back. He then down at Tabitha's glowing bomb with a wide eye concerned expression as it detonates in his hands. The students each take cover from the attacks as the living area is now filled with smoke. Standing very still with his hands smoke in front of him, Allan breathes out a little smoke with his eyes still wide open and his teeth gritting. His shirt barely hangs off of his indestructible physique as dust and oily grim looks smudged throughout his hair and parts of his now exposed skin. Light smoke and steam slowly flow off of his hair and tattered shirt. Allan lightly coughs mutters out, "Ow…"

Without warning, Logan grabs Allan by what ever is left of his now burnt and tattered shirt and grunts with angered expression, "You're more trouble than you're worth kid!"

Allan just stares with confusion as beam of solid light slams hard into Logan stomach, forcing him to let go of Allan's shirt and knocking him against the wall unconscious. Allison steps up blowing out her finger like a gunslinger stating, "Hands off the merchandise, scruffy. He's worth more than you."

With a bewildered expression on his smoke smudged face, Allan watches as Allison wraps her arms around his head and passionately kisses him in front of everybody. She asks him, "Are you alright honey?"

Allan expression stays confused as Tabitha, Jubilee, Elizabeth and Amara all approach expressing concern for Allan's well being after the assaults. They all try to check and caress him, then start to argue about who's fault it is as well as who deserves him more. Appalled at the sight, Rogue shoves her way through the confusion and starts pushing the girls away from Allan, who just stands with a wide eyed baffled expression. Standing back watching this chaos unfold, Kurt, Sam, Alex, Lance and Fred look surprised and confused. They just stare at the scene and at each other, unsure of what to think. Rogue finally shoves Allison away rather hard stating out loud, "You better back off, blondie! Or Ah swear, Ah'll drain 'till yer next life!"

Allison steps back into a defensive stance replying, "You try it, big country!" as her hands begin to glow.

Scott and Jean rush into the scene but are stopped in their tracks from the echoing sound of Allan's voice as yells out, "THAT'S ENOUGH!"

Everyone in ear shot flinches at his godly sounding tone. Allan wipes his face partially cleaning off the smudge and take a deep breath. With high toned voice he asks out, "Has everyone gone insane!" as he looks around with surprised expression.

Alex raises his hand and innocently replies for the guys, "Uh…we haven't"

Allan stares at him with a plain expression as Hank's voice then speaks up, "Oh dear, it seems the situation has gotten worse after all."

They turn to look at Hank and see him completely covered in what looks like an air tight hazmat suit. Allan confused expression returns as he inquires, "Hank? That you?"

Scott walks up to Allan looking at his posture with concern and asks, "So… what's up Allan?"

Speaking from behind the filtered mask, Hank adds, "Um, Scott, if you would, please make sure this place is cleaned up. And you and Jean try to keep the peace. I'll be back up here shortly to let you know what is happening."

Allan mentions, "Oh yah, Logan is knocked out, lying under the plant stand. Just make sure, when he come to, that I didn't do it."

Hank says, "Allan, it's important you come with me, please." as he gestures Allan to follow him.

In a baffled calm manner, Allan steps over the debris in the living area, wiping his hands on the butt area of his jeans and follows Hank to the elevator. Rogue scampers to follow them, but Hank tells her, "You must remain up here, Rogue. At least for now."

She watches as Allan and Hank turn the corner into toward the elevator. Scott speaks up, "Alright, let's clean this place up."

Tabitha tries to speak up in defense, but is cut off by Scott, "I don't care whose fault it was. We'll deal with that later. Right now, we'll all be grounded if the Professor sees the house like this."

Still a bit shocked at the situation that had just unfolded moment ago, Allan remains silent riding the elevator down with Hank. He keeps glancing over at Hank's air filtered biohazard like outfit, but remains quiet. As the doors open, Allan follows Hank back into the lab where Forge awaits. "Well, we have good news and some so n' so bad news." he says with cheerful tone.

"I'll cut to the chase," Allan remarks, "what's the bad news."

Hank steps up to the monitor and points out, "You remember how I was worried about the long term effects about the stress level build up I was afraid you were storing?"

Allan nods as Hank adds, "It seems, those worries have come to pass."

With a baffled expression, Allan simply asks, "Huh?"

Forge steps in saying, "What Hanks is trying to say, Allan, is that what's happening to you is due to a multitude of things that were building up. Let me recap for a moment. I was told when you first arrived, you held back your powers considerably, then you nearly burns out your body in a huge battle, and now it seems you're over working your self at the same time holding back your powers again."

Allan raises his hand to explain, "First of all, I hold back my power to keep everyone safe. Just to let you know, I'm a beacon for other cosmic wierdos out there. Second, those were tough battles, not huge. Third, I feel fine."

Hank speaks up, " Allan, your burn out was the closest your body was to dying. And now with the stress levels building up again, your body is reacting instinctively out of survival."

Allan shakes his head, "Hold it hold it, let me ask one question first. Hank, why are you wearing a hazmat suit?"

Smiling with a nod, Hank says, "We were coming to that actually. Despite your seemingly unlimited power, your body is still human. At which, when you body was at it's near end, it adapted for survival, naturally."

"So, how did it adapt, exactly." Allan asks with a plain tone.

Forge brings up the monitor and says, "It's kind of funny actually. Since your body is already super charged to protect you, it adapted in another manner, procreation."

A confused expression washes over his face again as Allan simply asks, "Huh?"

Hank adds, "Your body is releasing pheromones, Allan. Strong, cosmically charge pheromones. Harmless if breathed in, not toxic at all. But to the opposite sex, well, let's just say, it's irresistible."

Allan tries to speak, but falls silent. He then points up gesturing up stairs with a baffled expression and asks, "So that explains everyone's behavior? I'm driving people nuts?"

"Actually," Hank continues, "not everyone. We found it effects only women, and those with predator like senses and instincts."

Nodding, Allan mentions, "Ok, that explains Logan's mean streak around me lately. That doesn't explain the suit, Hank."

Hank chuckles and says, "Well if you'll notice, my nose doesn't inch and is not stuffed up. I have an allergic reaction to your pheromones. Funny that I didn't catch on earlier."

"So, you're allergic to me?" Allan asks.

Hank nods with a smile. Forge chuckles, "Wow, it must have been wild to have all those girls chase after you."

Allan sighs out, "To be honest, this would have came in handy back in college. But what can I do? I can't live like this."

Hank's expression becomes concerned as he places his covered hand on Allan's shoulder saying, "Until we get a handle on this, you have to be isolated from the rest of the group. Forge and I have adapted the Danger Room for containment. I'm afraid you'll have to stay there until we can figure something out."

Allan sits back on a nearby chair, then leans forward rubbing his face with both hands as he nods in agreement. Hank sighs out, "We'll have your things brought down, to make you as comfortable as possible."

Forge mentions with smile, "Things could've been worse, Allan."

Returning his smile, Allan nods, replying, "Story of my life."


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