(Flashback, takes place during Generation X #70)
‘See that, dear sister? You can hurt, after all!’ Adrienne Frost exclaims to Emma Frost a.k.a. the White Queen, her sister. ‘You sick twisted witch…. Right. That’s it!’ Emma replies as she reaches behind her back and under her jacket - where she pulls out a pistol. ‘I’m finished with you!’ Emma declares, aiming the pistol at Adrienne, she fires - and the bullet strikes her psychotic sister in the chest, knocking her backwards. Emma wipes the blood splatter from her own face, and crouches beside her unmoving sister, ‘You’re wrong, “dear sister”!’ she tells her. ‘I don’t hurt. I never hurt!’ Emma tells her, kissing her, before remarking that is why she survives, and why everything that was Adrienne’s will now belong to her. ‘I will prosper…and you will die!’ Emma boasts as she fires a bullet into Adrienne’s head.
Emma wakes from her dream in the middle of the night and sits up in her bed. Her expression of shock turns to a smile as she lies back down ‘Oh my…Adrienne…’ Emma whispers smugly.
Morning arrives over the Massachusetts Academy in Snow Valley, home to the teenage mutant heroes known as Generation X. Jubilation Lee - better known simply as “Jubilee” - walks past Angelo “Skin” Epsinosa and as she pours her cereal into a bowl asks him to pass him the milk - but as Jubilee turn to him, she sees that Skin is drinking the milk straight from the carton. ‘HEY! Other people might wanna drink that, you know!’ Jubilee exclaims. Skin ignores her and continues to swallow the milk, before letting out a loud burp. ‘All yours, babe’ Skin tells Jubilee as he passes her the milk carton. ‘Um, Angelo?’ Jubilee calls out as she tips the carton up and discovers it is empty.
‘Hey!’ Jubilee calls out as Angelo walks away from her, grinning. Jubilee throws some plasma fireworks at him, causing him to drop what he is carrying. ‘What the hell is your problem?’ Skin calls out. ‘My problem? God, you can be such a nasty person some times!’ Jubilee exclaims as she throws the empty milk carton at him. Skin spins around and extends large spikes from his form, growling at Jubilee. ‘Gross!’ Jubilee exclaims as Skin tells her that she has a smart mouth and that maybe it is time someone shut it for her. ‘Ooh, nice line, Angelo. You come up with that one all by your lonesome?’ Jubilee asks sarcastically.
Sean “Banshee” Cassidy enters the kitchen and tells the kids that whatever they are up to, to knock it odd, as he is not in the mood right now. ‘Is there coffee made?’ he snaps. Jubilee and Skin stop fighting and look at the mentor, clearly not himself. ‘Morning, Sean’ Angelo remarks, before Jubilee informs him that Emma made coffee earlier. ‘Right’ Sean mumbles as he picks up the coffee pot. Jubilee and Skin just look at each other, puzzled, and watch as Sean adds some alcohol to his coffee, before walking out of the room, ignoring them. ‘Did you smell that?’ Jubilee asks. ‘Smell what? The beer stink, or the three-day B.O.?’ Angelo replies, before pointing out that Sean has been down ever since Moira died, only he looks really bad now. Jubilee replies that she knows people mourn in different ways, but that drinking non-stop just isn’t healthy.
Shortly, Jubilee, Skin, Monet St Croix and Jonothan “Chamber” Starsmore have joined Paige “Husk” Guthrie, and are reading some memos which she has handed out. ‘As you can see from the brief’s I prepared, we have a problem here!’ Paige points out. ‘Trees, Paige? You want us to save trees?’ Skin asks. But Husk replies that it isn’t just trees, and explains that last month a group of young environmentalists set up camp in the forest preserve because it has long been rumored that the preserve is to lose its federally protected status and to be cleared for some oil concern or other to start drilling. Husk tells her teammates that two weeks ago, Washington lifted the ban and gave the go-ahead to drill. ‘So yeah, it is trees, but it’s the people here as well. I think their cause is a valid one, and they could use our help if and when they come under attack!’ Paige adds.
Chamber asks his ex-girlfriend if this is really worthy of their attention, to which Husk replies that it possibly is, explaining that in recent situations like this, the environmentalists tend to get knocked around quite a bit. Paige adds that the oil companies have started to bring in their own security and according to the reports, are getting pretty nasty. The glamorous Monet asks if Emma and Sean will authorize this, to which Paige replies that she hopes so, but points out she is opening this up to debate and vote now to see what they all think before troubling Sean and Emma.
Shortly, Emma, dressed in a pink mini skirt and matching jacket, and Sean, with dark glasses to cover his eyes, enter the room. ‘What have you got this time, Paige? And make it fast. I’ve got a conference call in five minutes’ Emma exclaims. Jubilee announces that Paige wants them to go help environmental protesters up north as some oil company is going to clear the forest and start drilling. Husk begins to tell the White Queen that she discovered in similar situations like this - before Emma interrupts: ‘You want me to authorize and fund a mission to go hug trees with hippies up north?’ she asks, not impressed. ‘Jeez. Trees’ Sean mumbles as he lurches from the room.
‘But, Emma -’ Paige begins to protest, but Emma interrupts once again, exclaiming that she is not at all convinced this is a valid mission, before revealing that, more to the point, the oil company in question is one that she has invested heavily in. ‘Letting you interfere with their drilling plans would be shooting myself in the foot financially. I stand to make a lot of money off this new project of theirs’. Emma declares. ‘You gotta be kidding me, Emma. What about the -’ Paige replies, before Emma interrupts yet again, telling Paige that this is how she pays for thing, with investments just like this. ‘You think about that the next time you hand in one of your “purchase orders”!’ she tells Husk, before turning to the whole team and telling them that the mission is not approved, before excusing herself and leaving the room.
Monet remarks that was not entirely unexpected, to which Jubilee asks Paige if she really expected this mission to be green-lighted. ‘I…I don’t know. Well, yes, I guess I did. I don’t know what to say!’ a taken-aback Paige tells her friends. ‘Better luck next time, then. It’s not the end of the world’ Chamber remarks as he and the others leave. Husk looks to her monitor and wonders why she is the only one who thinks this is worthwhile.
Meanwhile, in her office, Emma sits at her desk, while Sean sits in a chair across from her, remarking that he doesn’t know, and that he has been no use to anyone around here recently. ‘So that’s your solution?’ Emma asks him, telling him that it seems like the coward’s way out, and not like him at all. ‘Yeah, well…’ Sean mutters in reply, before Monet barges into the room, calling out to Emma, she sees Banshee and remarks that she didn’t know she was busy. Banshee doesn’t look at Monet, while Emma tells her that it is okay, before telepathically remarking ‘Something’s the matter. What is it?’. Monet telepathically informs Emma that there is a man in the waiting room for her, and she thinks he is a cop or a detective.
Emma asks Monet if the man said what he wanted, while Sean frowns, knowing that they are speaking to each other with the telepathy, he mutters ‘Christ, you two…’ before taking a swig from his flask. Monet informs Emma that the cop is here to investigate the disappearance of Adrienne Frost. ‘Oh, hello…’ Emma mumbles, before asking Sean if they can talk later on. ‘Yeah, yeah’ Sean mutters as he gets up to leave, on the way telling Monet that she has picked up a nasty habit there: ‘Talking in front of people like that. It’s rude, not to mention a wee bit unethical’. Monet pouts as she replies ‘Rude? Rude like drinking like a fish and treating the rest of us horribly? Is that what you mean, Mister Cassidy?’. Sean looks nervous, before continuing out of the room.
Monet watches Sean leave, before asking Emma what this is all about with Adrienne. ‘Nothing. She won’t be bothering us any more. It’s taken care of’ Emma replies. ‘Yeah, that’s what you keep saying, but you won’t tell us how. Or why. And now there are cops coming by asking about her’ Monet replies. Emma frowns and tells Monet to keep out of this. ‘I’ll take care of it!’ she snaps as she storms out of her office.
Moments later, Emma arrives in the waiting room and introduces herself to the man, before asking if she can help him. The man shakes Emma’s hand before introducing himself as Detective Jensen, and explains that he wanted to ask her a couple of questions about her sister, Adrienne. ‘Oh?’ Emma asks, pretending to be surprised. The Detective informs Emma that they have not located Adrienne yet, so the missing persons report she filed is still open, but that they do have some information she might be interested in hearing. The Detective reveals that, according to Adrienne’s recent financial activity, she, or someone with her bank account codes, has been withdrawing rather large amounts of currency.
Monet stands silently in the doorway, out of Emma’s line of view as the Detective remarks ‘Now, I thought that maybe you, since you’re her sister, might have an idea -’ he doesn’t get to finish his sentence though, as Emma waves a hand in front of his face and snaps ‘Oh shut up. I don’t have time for this!’. The Detective then falls face-forward into the glass coffee table, cracking it. ‘Pathetic’ Emma declares as she stands up, while Monet looks on in horror. Emma suddenly sees her powerful student though, and frowns very distastefully at her. Monet gasps, before running away.
Monet quickly arrives in the Generation X living area, and exclaims ‘Oh, thank God you are all here! You won’t believe what just -’ she begins, but Jubilee tells her to shut up, as Iron Chef is on. ‘Yeah, it’s the one with the mussels’ Jono remarks. ‘Yum, mussels’ Jubilee smiles, before Angelo asks the others if they remember that cook that had last year who would make the dish with the noodles, when Monet stands in front of the television, telling everyone to hush and listen to her. Everyone goes silent, enabling Monet to inform them that a cop just stopped by to see Emma. ‘A cop?’ Skin asks. Monet explains that the cop was asking about Adrienne and something about money, when Emma suddenly mind wiped him.
Monet tells her teammates that she thinks Emma really hurt him, and that she has never seen her do that before. ‘He just sort of collapsed!’ she exclaims. Skin tells Monet to come off it, and asks why Emma would do that. ‘And why would the cops be asking Emma about Adrienne’s money?’ Paige wonders. Monet reveals that she has her suspicions, and remarks that she wonders whether Emma told them the whole truth about what went down between her and Adrienne. Skin replies that he thinks Monet is being a little paranoid. Monet replies that she doesn’t know what to think anymore, and tells her teammates that from the way it looked, Emma may have killed the detective. ‘And the look on Emma’s face when she noticed me watching scared the Hell out of me!’ Monet adds.
Later, Chamber is in his room, reading a letter, he is suddenly interrupted by Jubilee, who kicks his door open and shouts ‘Jonothan Starsmore! I hear your kung fu is most strong!’. Chamber asks Jubilee if she ever knocks, and tries to hide his letter. But the ever observant Jubilee exclaims ‘Hey! I recognize that! That letterhead is from Xavier’s!’. Chamber tells Jubilee to shut up, to which Jubilee replies ‘Relax, Jono’ and asks him what the problem is. ‘So someone at Xavier’s sent you a letter. Big deal. Logan writes me sometimes’. Jubilee sits on Chamber’s bed and asks him who the letter is from. Jono replies that it is actually from Charles Xavier himself, to which Jubilee exclaims ‘Shut up! Xavier wrote to you?’, before asking him to let her read it, and snatching it off him.
Jubilee keeps Chamber at bay as she reads the letter. ‘Wow!’ Jubilee remarks. ‘Wow. Jono. I don’t believe this!’ Jubilee exclaims before jumping up and down on Jono’s bed exclaiming ‘Hell, yeah! Jono’s gonna be an X-Man! Jono’s gonna be an X-Man! This is so cool!’. Jubilee sees Chamber turn away from her and asks him what is wrong. ‘You should be thrilled! I know I would be. What an honor!’ Jubilee exclaims. Jono closes his eyes, and Jubilee realizes something is wrong, so she asks him if he doesn’t want to go. ‘Yes, I do’ Jono replies. ‘Then what’s the problem?’ Jubilee asks.
‘You know, I did my time with the X-Men, and for the longest time I wanted to rejoin. I wanted it so bad. But now I know that even though I want other stuff now, being an X-Man is one of the coolest things ever!’. Jubilee tells Jono that if he is feeling like he isn’t ready, like he cannot handle it or something, or guilty that they picked him and not Paige or Monet, then not to. ‘Xavier’s a smart guy. He picked you for a reason. So stop being a baby and just accept already, or I’ll kick your butt, you hear?’ Jubilee exclaims. Jono looks out the corner of his eye as he tells Jubilee that he already accepted and was waiting for the right time to tell everyone. ‘WHAT?’ Jubilee asks, standing up, she makes kung-fu actions at Chamber, ‘You horrible tease!’ Jubilee exclaims as she lunges at him playfully.
Later, night has fallen across the Massachusetts Academy, the five Gen X kids are gathered together, and Jubilee exclaims ‘Isn’t that cool? Jono is off to the Mansion!’. Paige frowns, while Jubilee jokes that it looks like Jono will finally have to wear a real uniform. ‘And watch out for all the groupies, Jono. They hang out by the front gate and wait for young x-hunks like you to walk by!’ Jubilee jokes. Paige just “hmfps”. Monet realizes Paige is unhappy and tells her to relax. ‘We all knew you wanted to be an X-Man from the womb onwards. But at least try to be happy for Jonothan here’ Monet tells her. Paige replies ‘No, it’s not that, Monet’, before asking her teammates what they are even doing here. ‘We’ve been here for years, but are we any closer to graduating? Is there even a graduation?’ she asks. ‘Or are we just here propping up the status quo indefinitely?’
‘Jono found his way out, and good for him. But I can’t help but wonder how long I’ll have to wait here to get my letter from Xavier. If I ever do’ Paige exclaims. Skin folds his arms and asks if they will have to stay here and watch the freak-show that is Emma and Sean deteriorating, to which Jubilee remarks that she thought Skin was best buds with Banshee now. Skin replies that he thinks Sean is cool as Hell, but that he is turning into a drunk. ‘Makes me sick just looking at him stumbling and mumbling around downstairs’. Monet adds that Emma is ‘Seriously turning psycho’ and tells her teammates to trust her when she says that the tiny glimpses she gets into that warped skull of Emma’s is enough to make her skin crawl.
Skin remarks that he knows Moira died and everything, and that Sean has to deal with that, ‘But look at it like this: Is this the guy you want training you? How is he gonna prepare us for life when he can’t even wake up before noon?’ Angelo asks. Everyone goes silent, until Paige declares that it does seem rather hypocritical, and that if everything Monet suspects is true, then they have a sadistic, murdering psychopath and a middle-aged drunk ex-spook molding their futures. ‘No thanks’, she adds. Chamber asks his teammates what they are all going to do, and everyone looks at each other in silence, before Jubilee exclaims ‘Whatever. I’m leaving. I’m going back to LA for a while. I gotta figure out what I wanna do with my life!’
Chamber asks Jubilee if she is serious, to which Jubilee replies that all she knows is what she doesn’t want - and that is to stay here. Jubilee remarks that Angelo is right, this whole “Academy” thing has run it’s course. ‘I’ve learned all I can. Time to move on’. Husk announces that she is going to take off, too. This surprises Chamber, while Jubilee grins and exclaims ‘Right on!’. Husk reveals that she is heading up north to help the protestors. She exclaims that she doesn’t want to be an X-Man, but she still wants to help people and do what is right, adding that she feels strongly about this. ‘Very admirable, Paige. But while you are off hugging trees and getting shot at, I’ll be heading home. I’m sick of this hick town’ Monet announces. ‘Figures’ Jubilee smirks, before asking Angelo what he is going to do.
Angelo replies that he doesn’t know, and asks Jubilee if she would mind if he tagged along back to LA with her. ‘I suppose not, if you behave yourself’ Jubilee tells him, to which Skin explains that he needs to visit the hood and sort out his life, just like she does. A wide-eyed Chamber tells everyone that he cannot believe they are all just leaving like this, to which Husk replies that she thinks it is pretty cool in a way, and that they all decided at the same time, so it feels right to her. Jubilee agrees, before Skin tells everyone that they may have a problem. Monet replies that Angelo is right. ‘How do we tell Emma and Sean I’m sorry, but we don’t want you teaching us anymore? And by the way, we’re all leaving?’. Everyone looks at each other in silence, before Jubilee remarks ‘That’s a good question’.
Soon, Skin enters Sean’s office, where Sean is sitting at his desk, files and papers strewn across it, not to mention a bottle of alcohol. ‘Up rather late, aren’t ye?’ Sean asks. Angelo replies that he couldn’t sleep, and asks Sean if he has a minute. Sean tells Angelo to have a seat, barely looking at him, before asking him what is bothering him. Nervously, Angelo explains that they had a meeting and came to a decision about something. ‘Yeah? What’s that?’ Sean asks. Angelo is hesitant, so his teammates step into the office from the corridor, and Paige informs Banshee that they all want to leave.
Jubilee tells Sean not to take it personally, but that she thinks it is time they all moved on, and started their own lives. Banshee doesn’t look at them, he just hangs his head. ‘Um, Sean…?’ Skin asks. Banshee tells Generation X that, for a while now, he has felt that he was not doing them much of a service here, as a teacher, and he actually feels bad about that. ‘Sean…’ Husk begins, but Banshee tells her to let him finish. He remarks that he has had a couple of setbacks and knows he probably should be handling it better than he is, but to be honest, he cannot seem to. ‘I think we are all on the same page here. I’m planning on taking a holiday and going back to Ireland to sort myself out. So I suppose this is good timing’ Sean announces.
Smiling, Banshee gets up and walks over to his students, telling them that he wishes them all the best of luck and that he will help out in any way he can. A group hug follows as Sean tells the young heroes that they are all like his own children to him and that he wishes he could have done better by them. Moments later, Chamber asks Sean if he would mind telling Emma about this. ‘We would, but, well…she’s kinda scary recently…’
Early next morning, Monet, Jubilee, Husk, Chamber and Skin are gathered out front of he Massachusetts Academy, where a cab has pulled up. ‘I hate last minute packing’ someone remarks, while someone else points out that, according to Sean, Emma did not take the news very well, and he suggested they leave ASAP. ‘So she isn’t even going to say goodbye?’ Husk asks, looking back at the Academy. Monet remarks that she has a feeling they are better off slipping away like this than having a confrontation with Emma. Skin agrees. ‘So I guess this is it, huh?’ Jubilee asks. ‘Guess so’ Paige adds. Angelo remarks that this is pretty weird, and that it is not like he thought he would be with them forever or anything, but he never imagined himself saying goodbye to any of them.
‘Well, let me be the first then. I’ve a train to catch’ Chamber points out, before opening his arms for another group hug. Chamber picks up his duffel bag and walks towards the cab, telling everyone to take care and to come and visit him. Suddenly, a teary-eyed Husk shouts ‘Jono. Wait!’ and runs toward her former boyfriend. ‘Oh, dear Lord. There she goes’ Monet snaps as Husk wraps her arms around Chamber, telling her not to forget about her. ‘Never in a million years’ Chamber replies, hugging Husk. Paige tells Jono that this is so abrupt and that they never really talked about the two of them, never really figured out where things stand between them both. ‘And now you gotta leave’ Paige adds. Chamber gets into the cab as he informs Husk that he wrote her a letter and put it in her bag. ‘Read it when you get a quiet moment, okay? It explains a lot’ Chamber tells Husk that she means too much to him for this to be goodbye, and promises her that they will talk again soon, before his cab drives off, and Paige watches him go.
‘Awww. Come here, sweetie!’ Jubilee calls out to Paige, giving her a hug. Monet turns to Skin and tells him that she has no idea what to say to him. ‘Me either’ Angelo replies. Monet pouts, before they both burst into laughter and hug each other. ‘Take care, you little street hoodlum’ Monet tells him. ‘Hasta la vista, you stuck-up witch’ Angelo replies. Monet placs a kiss on Husk’s cheek, telling her that she is a strong person. ‘I have no doubt you will succeed in whatever it is you do with you life’ Monet adds, before placing a kiss on Jubilee’s cheek and telling her ‘I hope one day you learn how to dress properly. Only then will I consider my time here well spent’. Jubilee just pokes her tongue out. They watch as Monet walks towards a limousine which has pulled up. Carrying her suitcases, Monet shouts ‘Call me sometime, kiddies!’
‘Did she give any of us her number?’ Skin asks. ‘Nope’ Jubilee replies. ‘How totally typical of her’ Husk remarks, before asking Jubilee and Skin if they are really driving across the country together. ‘Yep’ Jubilee replies, remarking that Angelo has specific instructions not to do anything nasty of perverted, or she will dump him at the nearest truck-stop. ‘Yeah. Very funny’ Skin replies, before handing Paige a set of keys to the other car. ‘Be careful, okay?’ he tells her. ‘You bet!’ Husk replies, before the three hug, as Paige wishes them luck and tells them that she hopes they both find what they are looking for. ‘You too, Paige’ Angelo adds, before smacking his forehead and muttering ‘Oh no, not again!’ as Husk and Jubilee begin crying again.
All this while, the White Queen has been watching her now-former pupils through the shutters in her darkened office. Emma sits down at her desk and sips a glass of red wine, ignoring her mobile phone, which is sitting on her desk ringing. After a few moments, Emma picks it up: ‘Emma Frost speaking. Yes, hello. I was waiting for your call’. Emma informs her caller that they have all left and that Sean is nearly gone also. ‘Yes I do agree that we should meet and talk’ she remarks. ‘Now? Really, next week would be so much more convenient’ she tells her caller, before pausing as she listens to her caller. ‘Yes, yes, I see. That’s fine, then. Whatever you think is best’ she replies, before asking ‘The front lawn?’
Getting up from her desk, Emma looks out the window again and sees a helicopter land on the front lawn. Two men wearing black uniforms with red “X’s” on their chest jump from the chopper, and Emma tells her caller that she sees them. ‘Yes, I’m leaving now. Right. See you soon, Professor!’. Emma hangs up the phone and takes a brief glimpse around her office, and storming out the front door. She ignores the somewhat taken-aback pilots as she strides past them and gets into the chopper. A look of concern falls over her as the White Queen is flown away.
Back inside, Banshee walks through the now empty Massachusetts Academy, looking in a few rooms, he closes the main doors behind him when he leaves. ‘Well, Sean, old boy…they all grew up into fine adults. Yeh should be proud, yeh did all right in the end. Now let’s see yeh home, then’ Banshee tells himself as he walks to his jeep, the sun setting over the Massachusetts Academy….