The Massachusetts Academy, Snow Valley, late one night. A crow soars across the moonlight and rests on a leaf-less tree outside a window that looks into a corridor, where, inside, standing outside one of the doors, a somewhat nervous young man stands with a bouquet of flowers. He stares at a note, which reads:
Be here at 10pm, sexy. Rm. 304.
The young man looks at the note hesitantly, before knocking on the door. It opens, and Adrienne Frost is standing there in a pink nightgown, not done up completely, revealing lacy underwear. ‘WHOA!’ the dude exclaims, wide-eyed, before handing Adrienne the flowers. ‘Hi. I, uh, got you these’ he exclaims. ‘Sweet, and not without a certain charm. But hardly necessary, in this case’ Adrienne replies, before pulling the young man into her room, and slamming the door behind him.
Meanwhile, in the room of the glamorous Monet St. Croix, who sits at a small table with her teammate Paige “Husk” Guthrie, while the mysterious Penance sits on Monet’s bed, ripping up some paper. Jubilation Lee a.k.a. Jubilee stands at the door with their headmaster and mentor, Sean “Banshee” Cassidy, who is explaining the alarm system to her. ‘Whenever ye enter or leave, ye just punch the code into the pad, like so, Sean explains. ‘Whoa, you lost me there, Mister Cassidy. Can you show me again?’ Jubilee asks, smirking. Sean rolls his eyes, and tells Jubilee to pay attention. ‘Ye just punch in -’ he begins to say, before frowning, then banging his head softly against the wall. ‘Aye, nice one, that’ he remarks, while all four girls stare at him, smiling at Jubilee’s little joke.
Sean explains that the alarm is biometric in design, so if anyone other than any of them approaches, the alarm will be tripped, and he will come straight away. The scantily-clad Monet gets to her feet and runs her hands through her long hair, ‘Oh, I guess we’d better call and warn the male dancers we hired’ she remarks. ‘Very funny, Monet’ Sean replies, before telling the girls that he will be on his way unless they care to mock him a little more. Husk assures Sean that they do appreciate this, explaining that she thinks they are all just nervous about what has been happening. Sean smiles and tells Paige that he understands. ‘Just don’t let things get to ye too much’ he tells her, assuring everyone that he and Emma will have all this sorted out soon enough. ‘In the meantime, sleep well’ he tells them as he leaves.
Husk sets the alarm, and the girls go silent, only broken by, as usual, Jubilee, who exclaims ‘This sucks!’. ‘Tell me about it. I just acquired three new roommates!’ Monet exclaims. Jubilee begins to cry, ‘At least you still have a room, M. Mine’s just a blackened hole in the wall!’ Jubilee reminds everyone. Jubilee declares that all her stuff is gone - everything she owned. ‘All my clothes, my CDs…I, uh…my old pictures were in there you know. My parents -’, Jubilee cuts herself off, and the room goes silent again.
Meanwhile, in Chamber’s room, Angelo “Skin” Espinosa and Everett “Synch” Thomas are playing on a game console. ‘Aw, man!’ Skin exclaims. ‘Ha!’ Synch laughs as they battle each other in a fighting-type game. ‘I told ya. No one beats me at this!’ Synch boasts, exclaiming that he has the “drunken monkey combo”. ‘Watch this!’ he shouts. ‘What? Ah, no!’ Skin complains, throwing the controller to the floor.
Lying on his bed, Jonothan “Chamber” Starsmore asks Skin if he hates those guys who were giving him trouble the other day. ‘Do I hate them?’ Angelo replies, exclaiming that he doesn’t know. ‘Not the guys who started with me…but maybe the losers that torched Jubes’ room’ he admits. Chamber remarks that he gets sick of always having to hide, always living in fear of being “discovered”. ‘And then realize I wouldn’t feel that way if all these “normals” weren’t about’ Chamber remarks.
Everett admits that the guys from the lunchroom were jerks, but that you cannot blame all the students for that. ‘I can imagine the idea of mutants is scary to the other students. I mean, we do have all these powers’ Everett points out, telling his friends that they should try to understand how the other students might fear them. ‘Besides, they can’t all be bad people’ he adds. Chambers replies that he knows that is true, but that sometimes it just doesn’t feel that way.
In the office of Emma “White Queen” Frost, Emma and Sean sit across from each other, the office lit only by a dim lamp. Emma remarks ‘She’s behind this, Sean. I know it’, and tells him that the phone is ringing off the hook from parents convinced that she is “harboring mutants” here at the Academy. ‘Added to the other incidents, and the fact that this all started just before she arrived…it doesn’t take a genius, Sean’ Emma points out. Looking at his drink, Sean tells Emma that he tends to agree, and asks ‘But why would she do that? If she is using the fact that the kids are here as blackmail against us, why would she just go on and leak the info anyway?’
Emma replies that is a good question, and tells Sean that she suspects her sister may not be here to hide from the Hellfire Club after all. Emma reveals that she tried poking around the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club to see if she could verify Adrienne’s story, but came up with nothing. ‘I have to consider the possibility that she might be here to finish what she started the last time’ Emma tells Sean, who asks if they should call in help, like the X-Men. Emma pours herself another drink and replies that she doesn’t think that is a good idea, reminding Sean that her sister is unstable enough as it is. ‘I wouldn’t want to provoke her’ she adds. ‘She wants me to hurt, Sean. And we already know she isn’t against killing the kids to accomplish that’ Emma declares, a worried expression on her usually expressionless face.
Elsewhere, Monet and Paige walk towards each other, down a long corridor. ‘Paige’ Monet remarks. ‘How did it go?’ Paige asks, before dropping to the floor to tie up one of her shoelaces. ‘Unsettling. All people are thinking and talking about it who is, or may be, a mutant’ Monet replies, wearing a stylish long red coat. Monet remarks that based purely on appearances, of course, it seems that anyone who does not look like they belong on Dawson’s Creek is automatically a “mutant freak”. Monet asks Paige if she found anything out, to which Husk replies ‘Pretty much the same thing. I did hear Angelo’s name mentioned a few times though’.
Suddenly, a chair is thrown out into the corridor, narrowly missing slamming into the girls. Monet and Husk peer into the room the chair was thrown from - the cafeteria. ‘Oh, good Lord!’ Monet exclaims, while Paige declares that she is getting Sean, as they see a couple of bullies beating up the student from the situation the other day. He receives a punch in the face, before being thrown into some trays of food on a table. One of the bullies is about to punch the student in the face, only to be stopped in his tracks when he finds he cannot move his arm forward - Monet has grabbed him!
Monet, incredibly strong anyway, tosses the bully across the cafeteria with ease, while dozens of other students look on. ‘What’s wrong with you people?’ Monet asks the bully, before holding him up against a wall. ‘Is there something written somewhere that says you are better than everyone else?’ Monet asks him, before telling him that, from where she is standing, he is one of the worst people she knows. ‘What is this constant need to ridicule and hurt people who don’t fit into your idea of “normal”?’ Monet asks as blood trickles down the bully’s head. ‘Well? Answer me!’ Monet shouts when he doesn’t respond.
Suddenly, Husk returns with Banshee, who tells Monet to let the lad down, while more students look on. ‘Monet, what were you thinking?’ Paige asks Monet, who replies that she doesn’t know. ‘I just snapped’ she claims.
Later, in the library, Synch is studying at a table, when suddenly, ‘Hey, handsome!’ Monet calls out. Having changed her outfit, Monet tells Synch that she just got his note. Everett tells Monet that he is glad she could make it, and that she looks really good. ‘So do you’ Monet replies, before leaning over the table and kissing Synch on the lips. They kiss for some time, until they realize someone is watching them, and open their eyes, to find the elderly librarian standing with her arms folded across her chest, and looking rather unimpressed. ‘I close up in five minutes’ she tells them. Monet smiles and turns to Everett, asking him if he wants to go find somewhere they can be alone.
Jubilee sits alone in Monet’s room, starring out at the darkened Academy grounds.
Go home mutant freaks is spray painted on a wall somewhere inside the Academy.
Outside, more ravens gather on the tree outside the corridor to room 304, which, suddenly opens, and the young man sneaks out of room 304, getting dressed in the corridor as he skulks away.
In her office, Emma tells Sean that the doctors are not sure if the boy will make it through the night, as he received massive internal bleeding as well as several broken ribs. Worried, Emma asks Sean how this could have happened. ‘What are we doing wrong? How did it get to this point?’ she asks, admitting that the whole situation feels totally beyond her control. Banshee tells Emma that he worries that they are not training the children properly. ‘The world is a dangerous place, Emma, and can be just as much a threat as Emplate or Mondo or what-have-ye’.
Sean suggests to the White Queen that perhaps it is time the re-evaluated their methods. ‘Perhaps’ Emma replies as she gazes out a large window, and informs Sean that she got a phone call from Ambassador St. Croix earlier, who told her that Artie, Leech and Penance arrived safely in Morocco. ‘He agrees it’s a good idea to get them out of harm’s way for a while’ Emma tells Banshee, who replies ‘Good’, before he too notices something outside, and joins Emma at the window. ‘What the -?’ he begins.
Outside, the crows suddenly scatter from their tree, while several cars pull up in the oval driveway at the front of the Academy. ‘Hate’ Emma whispers. ‘What did ye say?’ Sean asks, to which Emma replies that is what she senses from the people outside. ‘Hate and fear!’