The Massachusetts Academy, home to the young mutant heroes known as Generation X, as well as several hundred human students, some of whom are growing rather suspicious as to the possibility of mutants among them. One such mutant, Everett “Synch” Thomas, is getting ready for another day at the Academy, adjusting his tie, he looks at a photograph of his friends and teammates on his desk, in particular, Monet St. Croix. Grinning, Everett is about to leave his dorm room, when suddenly, the door is pushed open, and in step three bullies, one of whom shoves Everett to the ground.
‘Whoa! What gives, guys?’ Everett asks. ‘What’s your name?’ one of the bullies asks him. ‘Uh, Everett’ Everett replies, confused. ‘Well, Everett, we wanna have a word with you’ the second bully announces as he and the third grab him. ‘What do you want?!’ Everett demands. The first bully closes the door, ‘You’re friends with the gray kid and the other one who wears the thing across his face, right?’ the first bully asks. ‘You know who we mean. The freaks!’ the second bully exclaims. ‘No! I mean, yeah, I hand out with them…sometimes. Enough to know they aren’t freaks!’ Everett replies.
The second bully declares that Everett is lying, and boasts that he has seen them together all the time. ‘With that Chinese girl too, and Monet St. Croix. He knows what they are!’ the second bully exclaims. ‘Oh yeah? You wanna try that again, Everett?’ the first bully asks, to which Everett asks ‘What do you want with them, anyway?’ The first bully reveals that word going around the school is that they are all mutants. ‘Anything you wanna tell us about that?’ he asks. ‘Mutants? C’mon, guys -’ Everett begins, before the first bully slams his hand against the wall, close to where Everett is backed up against, declaring that if they are mutants, and if Everett is lying to him, ‘I swear to God I will -’ he begins to say, until he is interrupted by a knock at the door.
‘Everett? Are you in there? It’s Monet…’ the glamorous and powerful young woman announces. ‘Quiet!’ whispers the first bully, while the second bully puts his hand over Everett’s mouth so he cannot speak. In an instant though, Monet shoves the door open, ‘Hey! What do you think you’re doing?’ she demands. ‘We’re doing nothing. C’mon, guys, lets’ jet’ the second bully declares, leading the way out of Everett’s dorm room. ‘See ya soon, Everett. You too, beautiful’ the third bully declares, grinning as he walks past Monet. ‘Pig’ Monet snaps back, giving him a side-ways look. When the bullies have gone, Monet asks Everett if he is okay, to which Everett asks ‘Monet, what’s going on around here?’
Elsewhere inside the Academy, Sean “Banshee” Cassidy, co-headmaster of the school, marches down a corridor towards the office of his co-headmistress, Emma “White Queen” Frost. ‘Emma, there ye are! We need to talk!’ Sean exclaims as he finds Emma, behind her desk. Sean reveals that he has just spoken to Everett. ‘And the poor lad…’ he begins, until Emma interrupts, ‘Sean, before you say anything further…we have company’, motioning to a chair across the other side of the room. Sean is shocked, while the company stands up - ‘Sean! So nice to see you again! You look great!’ exclaims Adrienne Frost.
‘YOU!’ Sean shouts, marching over to her and suggesting that unless she is looking to be throttled, she backs off right now. ‘Sean…’ Emma begins, while the glamorous Adrienne tells him that he is hardly being polite. ‘Polite? Ye want to talk about polite? The last time ye graced us with yehr presence, ye very nearly murdered the children. Tell me this, then: how would ye have me act?’. ‘Oh. That’ Adrienne replies casually as she walks over to a window and gazes out. ‘Call that a dry run’ she exclaims, smirking.
Sean pauses, before turning to Emma and asking her what Adrienne is doing here. ‘It appears my dear sister is looking for a place to hide out’ Emma explains. ‘What? Why?’ Sean asks, surprised. Adrienne announces that she has been in a bit of trouble with the London chapter of the Hellfire Club, and that she thought it best she leave the country. ‘She ripped them off for millions’ Emma tells Sean. ‘Well, that’s hardly surprising now, is it?’ Sean remarks, folding his arms across his heaving chest, before narrowing his eyes and explaining that there is one thing he doesn’t understand: ‘Why in God’s name would we let ye stay here?’ he asks Adrienne, before pointing at her and asking why are they even talking to her. ‘What’s stopping me from taking ye out right now?’ he asks.
‘Shall I or would you like to tell him?’ Adrienne smirks. Emma just sighs, before revealing to Sean that Adrienne has apparently prepared documentation and evidence regarding the existence of mutants at this school, and that the school is, in fact, a training ground for mutant children. ‘She has people sitting on the information now, but if anything were to happen to her, it would be released to the press’ Emma reveals. Adrienne grins at Sean, who goes wide-eyed, and replies ‘Ah, I see. Well, there we are, then. All very impressive, Adrienne, in a spy movie sort of way, but I’m not sure I buy it’.
Emma asks Banshee if that risk is acceptable. ‘I’m not sure the children’s safety is worth it’ she tells him, whispering in his ear that she hasn’t forgotten what happened last time Adrienne was here either, but the pleasure she would get in seeing her sister dead is not worth sacrificing the school or the children. Sean stares out the window, then replies ‘Aye, I’m afraid I have to agree’. Adrienne grins, and exclaims that she knew they would see it her way. ‘Is my old suite still available?’ she asks.
Outside in the snow, Jubilation Lee a.k.a. Jubilee trudges along, ‘Four chapters by tomorrow. What, we’re not allowed to have a life at age sixteen?’ she complains, when suddenly, someone shouts ‘MUTANT!’. Jubilee spins around, only to have a snowball thrown in her face, knocking her to the ground. ‘What the…?’ Jubilee asks, rubbing her head and looking over at three students who frown at her from where one of them threw the snowball. ‘Who said that?’ Jubilee calls out, looking around as more students gather around. She quickly picks up her school bag and rushes away.
The White Queen gazes out of her office window, witnessing what just happened, she goes over to her desk, puts her cup of coffee down and enters the security pin on a locked box, before taking out a gun. ‘Visiting with old friends, I see’ Banshee remarks as he enters her office, before telling Emma that the children are all waiting. ‘Fine. Let’s go’ Emma replies, before Sean asks her if he can have a world with her about the gun. ‘No’ Emma replies as she puts it down the back of her skirt.
Soon, in Banshee’s office, Synch, Monet and Jubilee are present along with their Generation X teammates Jono “Chamber” Starsmore, Paige “Husk” Guthrie, and Angelo “Skin” Espinosa. Also present are the Academy’s wards, Artie Maddicks, the Morlock known as Leech, and the mysterious Penance. ‘Right then’ Sean begins, telling everyone that they have all heard about the incident in the lunchroom the other day, and about what has happened to Everett this morning. Monet frowns, while Jubilee looks at Everett, who has his head slumped in his hands, and Penance plays with a button on Artie’s cap.
‘Let us not forget Jubes getting nailed in the head with an ice ball!’ Skin exclaims. ‘Shut up! This is really serious!’ Jubilee tells Skin. Sean declares that Jubilee is right. ‘Even a hint of a rumor can get out of control. That’s why ye all must listen to me right now, very carefully’. Sean announces that the situation here is becoming extremely volatile. ‘Three incidents of anti-mutant aggression in as many days. Something is terribly wrong’. Turning to Emma, Sean declares that the two of them think they need to limit the exposure of Generation X to the rest of the student population until they can sort this out. ‘So starting tomorrow, ye aren’t to attend classes. In fact, I think it’s best that ye just stay put in your rooms’ Sean remarks.
Jubilee throws her arms in the air: ‘WHAT?!’ she shouts. ‘I mean, I like the “no classes” part, but -’ she begins, until Skin interrupts: ‘You’re grounding us? Bullies are giving us a hard time, so you’re grounding us?’ he asks. While Penance chases an insect, Paige asks Banshee if this is necessary. ‘I mean, we’ve handled bigger threats before, no problem!’ she points out. Sean agrees that they have, and assures them that this is not a comment on their talents, or a punishment of any kind. ‘It goes far deeper than that’. Emma then announces that Adrienne is back, much to the horror of the students. Emma reveals that she thinks Adrienne is responsible for what has been happening to everyone.
Soon, Jubilee, Husk, Chamber and Skin make their way down a corridor, with Jubilee exclaiming that this is so freaky, having Adrienne staying with us. ‘It’s spooky knowing she’s sleeping right upstairs. I hope I don’t run into her or anything in the middle of the night!’ Jubilee exclaims. Chamber tells Jubilee to try not to think about it too much, and assure her that Sean and Emma know what they are doing. Skin remarks that he wonders how much money Adrienne ripped off, and where she has stashed it.
Rounding a corner, Paige asks the others if they smell something. ‘I think it’s smoke!’ Skin exclaims. The quartet run in the direction of the smoke, and Skin exclaims that something is definitely burning. Rounding another corner, they come to the fire: ‘NO!’ screams Jubilee, as fire pours out of her room, and the corridor wall has things like Freak, Die Mutie and Mutant Scum spray-painted on it. Jubilee begins to cry and races towards her flaming room. ‘Jubilee, no! Get back!’ Chamber calls out as he grabs her. ‘My room!’ screams Jubilee as she watches it go up in flames….