Following rumors circulating the internet concerning the forced removal of students from schools across America, Generation X determines that something is terribly wrong, and prepares to engage the outside world….
Jubilee…Monet…Skin…Husk…Chamber - they are the future of mutant kind - they are Generation X! And right now, decked out in their new costumes, they stand in the ruins of one of the Massachusetts Academy buildings.
Later, inside the Academy’s main building, the five teenage heroes, along with their mentors - Sean “Banshee” Cassidy and Emma “White Queen” Frost are sitting in one of the living rooms, watching a report on the internet. ‘It’s a pattern of abductions’ Paige “Husk” Guthrie tells her friends, explaining that the abducted kids aren’t bad kids, aren’t breaking the law or anything, it is just that society is really paranoid these days. ‘It’s a bad time to be a kid’ she points out. ‘Just because they wear black and listen to supposedly “dangerous” music and video games and movies and stuff, they are considered criminals’.
Turning to Sean and Emma, Paige asks them if they remember those few cases that made it on the news - kids being arrested and held in custody, and declares that it is still going on, but that it is quieter now, the kids aren’t being held in the jails and it is not making the papers. ‘No one seems to know exactly where they have been taken, but I have an idea’ Paige remarks, announcing that a couple of journalists have gotten snippets of information on something called the “House of Corrections”.
Husk declares that the Police aren’t talking and the FBI is issuing denials right and left. ‘Something stinks here, seriously!’ she exclaims, before motioning to the computer and pointing out that another kid has disappeared just this morning. ‘His friend reported it. Sounds just like the other abductions!’ Paige exclaims, before turning to Sean and informing him that she has already talked to Emma and the others, and they voted on it. ‘We wanna look into this’ she tells him. ‘Yeh think this is that important, then?’ Banshee replies.
‘Staying in here and being trained to survive in the outside world isn’t enough anymore. This is something we should be involved in!’ Paige replies with certainty. Angelo “Skin” Espinosa declares that they have all been in places where they’ve seen this kind of stuff happen, and it sucks. ‘We don’t have to sit for it!’. Banshee tells the kids that they are not even close to being ready for this. ‘I say no. Yeh have a responsibility here’ he announces. ‘That’s old thinking, Sean, old attitudes. If we’ve a responsibility, then it’s out there’ Jonathan “Chamber” Starsmore exclaims. ‘Yeah, what he said!’ Jubilation Lee, better known as “Jubilee” exclaims, backing her teammate up. ‘My goodness, Jubilee, was than a hint of an adult decision I detected just now?’ the White Queen asks, before telling her charges that they can have the jet. ‘If you ask Sean nicely I’m sure he would be more than happy to fly it for you’ Emma announces, adding that she can have a chauffeured vehicle awaiting them at any airport they name. Banshee just grumbles.
Meanwhile, in an unspecified desert, a black van speeds across the sandy terrain under the cloak of darkness. Inside the van, Jonathan Somers lies strapped to a table, a large wire clamped to his stomach, with some fluid being dripped into - or out of - him. Eventually, the van pulls up at a large complex surrounded by a high wall. It passes through the gates as one of the large odd-looking men unclamps the cable, before he and his colleague drag Jonathan from the van and into the building. ‘Owww!’ Jonathan mutters. ‘Stop struggling, you little worm’ one of the guards tells him. ‘Where are you -’ Jonathan begins to ask, but is interrupted by the second guard who tells him to shut up.
Jonathan puts his arms to his face when a blinding light is shone upon him, and small lasers begin to scan him. Jonathan is led into another area, where cells line a dirty chamber, in rows of three stacked on top of each other. Arms reach out from behind the bars, while Jonathan tries to comprehend what is happening. Suddenly, one of the bulky grey-skinned sees a strange light in one of the cells. ‘Mutie!’ he shouts at the boy in the cell, using some kind of energy to try and break the lock open. One of the guards radios ‘M Block to central, we have a mutant attempting to escape. Request you deploy immediately’.
Suddenly, a hulking cyborg being drops from a panel in the ceiling - its robotic form resembles that of the mythical centaur creatures, with a humanoid torso - that of a decayed young woman. Numerous arm contraptions don the cyborg, with the name “Emma:0052” etched on the front. ‘No, please! I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…’ the escaping mutant pleads when he sees the hulking cyborg approach his cell, and unlock it from the outside. ‘I’ll be good…I promise!’ the young mutant exclaims. The cyborg extends huge pincer-like arms, and grabs the boy by his head, locking him in the pincers…before clamping down. Jonathan Somers witnesses all of this, his mouth drops in terror, before the guards pull him along.
Elsewhere, ‘Check it out! School-girls!’ shouts Skin as he looks out the window of the red car that he and his teammates are in, driven by a chauffeur. Angelo presses himself against the window, and Jubilee tells him to stay stuck there, as they won’t be long. A forlorn Skin turns to his teammate and asks what she means by “won’t be long”. ‘Don’t you see the schoolgirls? This is my big chance!’ he exclaims. Jubilee replies that she sees them, and tells Skin that he can stay put and watch. ‘You got a nice window-fogging thing going there. You wouldn’t want to spoil it or anything’ Jubilee jokes.
Skin begins to argue with her, but Jubilee - sitting next to him in the back with Chamber and Husk, while Monet sits up front with the chauffeur - tells Skin that he is grey and floppy, and Chamber has no lower jaw. ‘How can I put this? You look like mutants, guys. We don’t. Therefore, we go, you stay!’ Jubes exclaims. ‘Thanks Jubilee’ Chamber mutters. ‘By the way, you suck!’ Skin adds.
Walking across the school grounds, Monet motions to the nearby students and tells Husk and Jubilee that she wonders whether they should ask them some questions, as some of them are the same age as the missing boy, and if they get lucky, one of them might be a classmate. Paige agrees and tells Monet ‘That’s probably a good idea’. Jubilee replies that they can count her out. ‘I don’t have a clue about how to talk to normal kids my age!’ she exclaims. ‘You too?’ Monet asks, surprised. ‘Me too. Jubilation Lee: ex-mall rat valley girl, now the millennium’s poster child for accidental alienation’ Jubilee replies, before walking away from Monet and Husk. ‘Angelo’s right. I do suck’ she mutters.
Soon, the girls arrive at an entrance to the school building, and Jubilee remarks that she feels like a spy, or something. “It’s quiet. A little too quiet if you ask me…” she jokes. Rounding an office, Jubes holds her hands up like a pistol and exclaims “Stand back, babes, let me handle this” before entering the office and shouting ‘FREEZE, suckahs!’. The office is empty though, ‘Probably all in the teacher’s lounge doing shots now that the little monsters are going home’ Jubilee mumbles.
Paige motions to a computer and a filing cabinet and asks Monet to check the paper while she logs on to the computer. ‘Fine’ Monet mutters before walking calmly over to the filing cabinet, and using her super speed to zoom through the files, she instantly finds the right one - ‘Here. Jonathan Somers’ Monet announces causally. ‘No way! That rocked!’ Jubilee exclaims. ‘Yep, this is it’ Paige remarks as she begins to flip through the file. ‘Taken into custody, etc. etc….his files have been duped out to a “correctional facility” server address, private database, no other info. His school record has been closed out. This is it. Smoking gun’ Paige exclaims. ‘Yeah, but what “correctional facility”?’ Jubilee mutters.
Later, back in the car, Paige holds up some sort of computer equipment, and Chamber asks her what she has found. Paige replies that it is a private intranet file, but it is behind a firewall with some serious encryption. ‘English, Paige…’ Skin mumbles. Husk explains that it is a place full of lots and lots of files, and is really well secured. ‘I don’t have the skills for this’ she admits, adding that they need someone like Kitty to break the code. ‘The only things Kitty Pryde breaks are diets and lawn furniture’ Jubilee snaps about her “rival”.
Paige tells her friends that she is attempting something else, and smiles suddenly, declaring that she doesn’t believe it. ‘Sometimes you can fire a basic inquiry at a web server and it’ll spit back the host’s location. It doesn’t recognize the question as anything other than routine’ Paige remarks, before telling her friends that it is a private, internal database. ‘Anyone who is supposed to be looking at it obviously already knows where this “House of Corrections” is. And now, so do we!’ Paige declares.
‘Airport!’ Jubilee shouts, leaning over at the chauffeur. ‘Yes ma’am’ the driver replies, while Jubilee continues to rest her arms on the seats in front, looking at the driver. ‘Your phone number!’ she tells the chauffeur. ‘Yes, ma’am’ the chauffeur replies. ‘Jubilee!’ an annoyed Monet shouts.
Back in the desert, Jonathan Somers sits on a bench in a corridor, with the two bulky men watching over him. He looks at one of them with eyes that plead for help - but the guard just stares back, emotionless. ‘Enter!’ a voice suddenly shouts from the room at the end of the hallway. ‘You heard. Move!’ the voice shouts, as one of the guards opens the door and pushes Jonathan into the room.
Jonathan passes a wall lined with heads of animals, a bird and even a snake - but what shocks him most is a human torso, arms and head stuck up to the wall. ‘That one always attracts attention’ a voice from within the darkened room remarks. ‘1976, it was. He tried to assassinate me. Good shot, too. CIA issue exploding rifle shell. They call them “heartstoppers”’. The man in the shadows adds that he took the shot was a ramped-up British Enfield enforcer turn-bolt rifle. ’Pegged me at just over two miles’ he reveals, before boasting that he doesn’t die easily.
Stepping into some light, he sits down at his desk and introduces himself as Warden Coffin. ’And we are not going to be friends’ he tells Jonathan. ’This is the House of Correction. This House of Correction, Johnny, is America’s dirty secret. I have been custodian of this secret for many, many years. I have run many places like the House of Correction for America’ Coffin reveals to Jonathan. Coffin frowns when he adds that America is tired of being called a “bad mother”.
Jonathan just stares at Coffin, confused and rubbing his arm, while Coffin puts his hand on a human skull which sits on his desk. ‘She does the best she can for her family. Tries so hard to raise her kids right…and then they turn out like you, Johnny!’ Coffin declares, holding the skull up and looking at it, he exclaims that the House of Correction is America’s salvation. ‘And yours’ he tells Johnny. ‘We take over in here, in the shadows, because no one out there wants to deal with the truth…America is afraid of its children!’….