(Two days ago)
In her office at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, Westchester New York, the school headmistress Emma Frost a.k.a. the White Queen thanks her prized student, Julian “Hellion” Keller, for stopping by. Emma informs Julian that the X-Men have been called away on important business, so she will not be able to attend Prize-Giving tomorrow. Julian looks away from Emma, and protests, reminding her that they are going to win the big prize, and as she is their advisor, she has to be there.
Danielle “Dani” Moonstar, advisor to the New Mutants and former New Mutant herself, stands at the podium on Prize-Giving day. Dani tells everyone that it has been a big year for everyone, and as the students are all aware, a new field day program was put in place that allowed for squads of students to compete against each other. Dani announces that she would like to award the trophy to the squad that performed the best, adding that it should come as no surprise to anyone who followed the standings.
(Two days ago)
Emma tells Julian that she is very proud of them all, before asking him to be honest in that it hasn’t been the smoothest year for the Hellions. ‘Smooth? My team works like a machine!’ boasts Julian. Emma admits that they do and that their tactical skills are quite impressive, but reminds him that the squad itself has had a few bumps along the way.
Despite her own squad not being the winners, Danielle smiles as she asks the Xavier Institute students to join her in congratulating this years winners in the field day events…the Hellions! Dani does a roll call for the Hellions, introducing them to any students that may be unaware of who they are, while Julian holds the trophy high up in the air.
(Two days ago)
Emma points out to Julian that his team has alienated all the other squads as well as almost getting the school into legal trouble. Julian tells Emma that if she wanted all the squads to get along then she shouldn’t have put them in a position where they have to compete with one another. Emma tells Julian that there are ways to accomplish their goals, ways to succeed without putting others down, adding that she wants him to be better than that. Julian mutters that he will try.
Delivering his winning speech to all the students at the Institute, Hellion declares ‘Hey, losers! You can try to take this back next year, but it’s never gonna happen. You may as well inscribe “Hellions” on this trophy permanently“.
(Two days ago)
Julian frowns, but the White Queen puts a hand on one of his shoulders, telling him that he has great potential, pointing out that she wouldn’t have allowed him the name “Hellion” otherwise. Emma then admits that she has no doubt Julian could become an X-Man one day, before telling him that he cannot keep getting in himself into trouble, doing whatever he thinks he needs to do to succeed.
Emma reminds Julian that people who have power and use it to do and get whatever they want are labeled villains, adding that she was on once, before telling him that she doesn’t want that life for him. As Julian turns to leave the office, Emma informs him that she wants him to use the Summer to reflect on this, but Julian replies that there is no time for reflection as he has his squad coming to his family’s house in California, adding that they have big plans for the Summer.
Emma replies that regardless, she is glad they will all be together, as perhaps they can all learn a valuable lesson. Julian mutters that he understands Emma is not going to be at Prize Giving, and he has received his lecture, so can he go now? ‘Things need to change, Julian’ states Emma. ‘Right, Miss Frost. I’m on it. Trouble = bad’. exclaims Julian.
Julian and the rest of the Hellions are surrounded by security guards at the airport. ‘Stop right there! We don’t want any trouble!’ announces one of the security personnel. Most of the Hellions hold their hands up as another of the security guards tells them to stand down, as there is no way a boy made of rock and a girl made of metal are getting on this place!
Julian comes to his team’s defense and informs the guards that they have tickets and identification, so they have a right to get on the plane like everyone else. The “boy made of rock” Santo “Rockslide” Vaccarro tells the officer to bet his butt that he is getting on this plane. The “girl made of metal” Cessily Kincaid a.k.a. the current bearer of the codename “Mercury” whispers that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.
Pessimist member of the Hellions, Kevin “Wither” Ford, mumbles ‘Here we go again’ before asking Julian why he doesn’t get it, that mutants like them have no rights. The most reasonable of the Hellions, Afghani refugee Sooraya “Dust” Qadir suggests that they should cooperate. Hellion’s lackey Brian Cruz a.k.a. Tag asks Julian what his call is, as he will play it either way. Julian reminds his teammates that they have a Summer vacation waiting, so they need to get on the plane! ‘Right!’ shouts Rockslide as one of his hand detaches from his body and is fired across the lobby, knocking one of the guards aside.
The airport security guards start shooting at the Hellions, but Julian puts up a telekinetic shield which they bullets cannot penetrate. He asks Mercury to disarm the officers, and Cessily does, by using her liquid mercury body to extend her hands and grab the guns of two of the officers. Wither tells Julian that he will not use his powers to kill anyone, to which Hellion replies that he wouldn’t ask him to, and tells Brian to keep Wither safe.
‘Hold still, Kevin. Tag, you’re it!’ exclaims Brian as he touches Kevin’s sweater, resulting in several of the airport guards running away from them. ‘Must get away!’ ‘Must run away!’ Angrily, Kevin turns to Brian and mutters that he gets enough of people running away from him because of his death touch, and asks Brian not to do that again, pointing out that he could have tagged himself and they would have just run away.
Tag doesn’t respond, and Julian quickly changes the subject by asking where Sooraya is. The security guards gather themselves around a corner, and the commander tells his officers to stop, as whatever that kid did to them is wearing off. He begins to explain that they need to regroup, when suddenly, a dust storm appears out of nowhere right in front of them, and Sooraya can be seen inside it, she asks the guards to please not shoot, as there must be some way to resolve this.
As Sooraya lets her dust storm fade away, Julian and the others come up behind her, and Julian reminds Sooraya that he is in charge of this squad and points out he didn’t send her out to chase the officers down, as she could have gotten herself hurt. Sooraya informs Julian that she did not chase the security guards down to fight, and reveals that that they are now willing to talk and suggests that the Hellions should be also. ‘Fine, lets talk’ declares Julian.
Shortly, the six Hellions are in the airport security guards office, where the commander tells the kids that they are in a lot of trouble, asking them if they know how much damage they could have done or how many passengers they could have hurt. Julian points out that the did no damage and harmed none of the other passengers, before excusing himself to make a phone call.
The officer asks the Hellions how he is supposed to put them on a plane. Motioning to Mercury, he points out that there isn’t a metal detector in the world she could get through. ‘I just want to go to California - I’ll go as luggage’ pleads Cessily, but Rockslide tells her that she shouldn’t have to go as luggage.
Wither speaks up and tells the officer that they have heard this all before, that they are dangerous and can’t be trusted with their powers, before backs up Cessily, reminding the officer again that they are just trying to go on vacation. The security officer asks how he is supposed to tell the passengers that they will have to fly with a group of dangerous mutants.
Julian smirks as he finishes his phone call, informing the officer that he has just talked to his parents lawyer and that he should be expecting a call any minute. The officer tells Hellion that talking to a lawyer is not going to change his mind, but Julian points out that he didn’t say his parents lawyer was going to call him. On cue, the phone rings, and another of the security personnel answer it, informing the commander that it is for him - the Department of Homeland Security.
‘I can’t believe you can’t get a meal on a plane anymore!’ complains Hellion as the plane the Hellions are on soars towards California. Turning to the stewardess, Julian asks if he can at least have another bag of pretzels. Sitting in front of Hellion and Tag are Mercury and Dust. Cessily asks Dust if she has ever been to California before, to which Dust simply replies ‘No’. Cessily reveals that she has been once before and went to Disneyland and everything - back when she was a kid before her body transformed into metal.
Cessily explains that her parents never quite know how to deal with her like this, and when she goes home, she stays inside a lot so her parents wont have to answer any questions, before adding that she thinks her parents are relieved that she is not coming home for a few weeks, not to mention that this gives her a chance to spend some time with Kevin.
Dust asks Mercury if she really likes him, and Cessily replies that she does, before asking Sooraya if her parents are cool with her taking off for Los Angeles. Glancing out the window, Dust replies that she doesn’t know, and reveals that she was kidnapped from her home in Afghanistan several years ago, then sold into slavery, and although she has tried to track her mother down, since the war, it has been difficult. ‘…oh…’ utters a surprised Mercury.
Across the aisle, Santo brags to Wither that they totally taught the security guards a lesson, to which Kevin replies that there wasn’t much he could do. ‘You got power, Kev. Maybe not as much as me, but…’ exclaims Rockslide until Kevin interrupts, pointing out that Santo can use his powers, while he wont use his because when he did has Dad died. Santo apologizes, ‘Course you won’t use it,’ he remarks, before telling Kevin that he is still one of them.
Julian turns to Tag and informs him that his parents will be in the Caribbean for a month, adding that it is no big deal, as they go away all the time and they will have the house to themselves. Tag replies that it is outstanding, before asking Julian if his parents really do know someone at Homeland Security. Julian replies that his parents know lots of people, that they are super-connected, adding that none of it is inherited.
Hellion reveals that his parents fought their way up from the working class - a total rags to riches story - and now they are corporate bigwig billionaires. ‘Then why are we flying coach?’ asks Brian, holding up a bag of Cheapos pretzels.
Later, the Hellions arrive in Los Angeles, and are escorted through the airport by a security guard. Julian tells the officer that he doesn’t need to follow them, as they are leaving. The officer just replies that he has got his orders. ‘Fine’ mutters Julian before telling his teammates that he is sure there is a car waiting for them and that they will soon be on their way. But outside, Julian is stumped - no car. He exclaims that he doesn’t understand, as his parents always arrange a car to pick him up - even when they are out of town. ‘Right. Cab then?’ mutters Tag.
Later still, a taxi drops the six Hellions off at the Keller Mansion, ‘Whoa! This place is awesome!’ declares a awestruck Santo. ‘Welcome to Paradise, boys and girls!’ boasts Julian. Entering the mansion, Julian calls out ‘Thomas! I’m home!’ Wither asks Julian who Thomas is, and Julian explains that Thomas is their butler, adding that he hopes his Mom and Dad didn’t give him the month off. Mercury tells Julian that it is no big deal, as she is sure they can manage without a butler.
Suddenly, Julian sees his father standing on the landing and is confused, telling his father that he thought he was on vacation. ‘Clearly. I see you’ve invited some…friends’ states Mr. Keller, before rhetorically asking Julian if he called their lawyer, invoking their connections. ‘But, Dad…’ Julian begins to protests, until his father asks confirms that it was to get he and his friends off the hook for fighting with airport security. ‘What were you thinking?’
Julian’s father tells his son to come with him, as he and Julian’s mother need to talk with him. Julian protests that he wants to get his friends set up - ‘NOW!’ is his father’s reply. Sooraya suggests to her teammates that it might be best if they leave, but Rockslide declares that she must be kidding, as he wants to check out the swimming pool!
In the dinning room, Julian sits slumped at the table as his father tells him that he dragged their names through the mud today. Julian exclaims that he has already tried telling him that they wouldn’t let he and his friends go on the plane. ‘Always making trouble’ mutters Mr. Keller before pointing out that Julian’s brother, James, is off in New York managing their business, before asking Julian what it is he is doing. ‘I’m sixteen. I can’t work in the business, I have to go to school!’ Julian points out.
‘Yes. A very special school,’ mutters Mr. Keller, while Julian protests that he has to go there as he needs to master his powers. ‘So you can create scenes at the airport?’ asks Julian’s father, before telling Julian that he has no sense of discretion and that he is very fortunate his mutation is easily hidden, that he can pass as human. ‘I shouldn’t have to!’ declares Julian. Julian’s father suggests to him that he could use his power only when he needs to, that he could keep it hidden, before pointing out that he doesn’t think, that he has no sense of the bigger picture.
Julian’s mother explains to her son that what his father is trying to say is that they fear he does not have his brother’s sensibility. ‘I’m not James, Mom’ mutters Julian. Mrs. Keller understands that, and tells Julian that he will walk his own path, before standing by her husband and informing Julian that they have worked too hard for everything they have - they cannot risk that. Julian asks his parents what it is they are saying, and his father reveals that they have reworked their will, informing Julian that his brother will now be inheriting the family business and the family money.
‘You can’t do that!’ Julian yells, before turning to his mother for support. Mrs. Keller tells Julian that it is not the end of the world, that they are still his family and his is still welcome here, as are his friends, but that they need to protect their assets.
Shortly, Dust watches from behind a shrub as the Kellers go to their limousine. Julian’s mother exclaims that she cannot wait to be on that beach, as her nerves are so frayed. ‘Soon, dear,’ her husband says.
At the swimming pool, Rockslide yells ‘Cannonball!’ as his leaps into the water, creating a huge splash. Dust cautiously approaches her teammates as Brian complains that they are wet. ‘Yeah, like they don’t have towels in this place’ jokes Santo. Dust informs her teammates that it appears Julian’s parents are leaving, when suddenly there is a loud crash. Cessily suggests that they go and check on Julian.
Running inside the mansion, Tag calls out to Julian, asking him if he is okay. ‘Fine. Why do you ask?’ responds Julian, standing in the middle of a ransacked room. Cessily tells him that they heard a crash, before asking what happened. Julian turns to the computer in the room as he declares that he needs to find a lawyer, revealing to his teammates that his parents have disinherited him. Kevin asks if it is because of them, but Julian declares that it is because of nothing, before muttering that they think they can just cut him off, well he is going to fight.
Julian tells his teammates that they have to help him, they have to find something they can use. ‘Like what? Something illegal?’ asks Brian, before pointing out that Julian said his parents earned their money. ‘Yeah, right’ mutters Kevin, exclaiming that no one gets that rich that quick, and tells his team that they are going to go through everything, before asking ‘Why are you guys so wet?’
Shortly, the Hellions are pouring through various folders and files, Tag asks Julian if his parents spent ten thousand dollars on his twelfth birthday. ‘You don’t know parties in L.A. - it’s hard to compete’ replies Hellion as he searches along a blank wall for something, mumbling that he knows it is here somewhere. Cessily finds a file that says eighteen months before Julian’s twelfth birthday they only made thirty thousand dollars for the year, and asks how they can go from that to ten thousand dollar parties.
Searching some files on the computer, Wither informs everyone that Julian’s parents company went international a few months after the party, remarking that it is a quick turn around. Julian smiles as he discovers what he was looking for - his parents’ safe! It opens, and Julian pulls from it some documents. ‘The “Kingmaker”? You gotta be kidding me. What were my parents mixed up with?’ he asks.
Soon, Julian has set up six candles in a circle and stands over them. Sooraya tells him that she is not sure this is a wise idea, but Julian exclaims that he doesn’t know if this scroll is a joke, or if his parents have serious secrets, but either way, wants to find out. Sooraya points out that he could be disturbing dangerous forces, but Julian assures Dust that if this Kingmaker was dangerous then his parents wouldn’t have had the stones to deal with him.
Cessily informs Hellion that she has found the sage and thyme, and Wither has the matches. Julian asks where Brian and Santo are, as Sooraya tries to talk him out of it, but is interrupted by the arrival of Tag and Rockslide who have brought chips and sodas. Dust approaches Cessily and asks her to explain to Julian - but Cessily interrupts Dust before she can tell her what to explain. Mercury tells Sooraya to relax, which is what vacation is for. She points out that Julian doesn’t seem upset anymore and if doing some silly spell takes his mind off his parents, where is the harm?
Kevin agrees with Cessily, and asks Sooraya if she has ever heard of a spell that involves candles, spices and a phone. ‘How real could this thing be?’ Julian, Tag and Santo take their places around the circle and tell the others that they are ready. Kevin and Mercury sit down, but Dust remains standing, until Julian tells her that it will be fine.
Julian explains to everyone that they have to light a candle, place the sage in a circle around the candle and sprinkle the thyme into the flame. Sooraya remarks that she is still unsure, as Julian picks up the phone and dials the number that was listed on the scroll. Placing the phone back on the ground, a voice states ‘You have attempted to contact the Kingmaker. Please speak your name’. ‘Julian Keller’ ‘Brian Cruz’ ‘Santo Vaccarro’ ‘Cessily Kincaid’ ‘Kevin Ford’ and finally a reluctant Dust: ‘…Sooraya…Qadir…’. There is silence. ‘Now what?’ asks Tag.
The next morning: The guys are in the kitchen having breakfast, and someone remarks ‘That was totally lame’. Julian agrees, declaring that he should have known his parents weren’t cool enough to be mixed up in magic. Julian smiles when Cessily and Sooraya enter. Julian greets them and asks Sooraya if she slept well, reminding her that he told her nothing bad would happen. Dust thanks Julian and replies that she slept well. Cessily asks Julian if he is feeling any better, when the doorbell rings.
Hellion tells Mercury that his parents will come around, that they always do, before exclaiming that he is going to take everyone out today and show them L.A. as his parents left some cash behind. Julian opens the door, ‘Mr Keller? Julian Keller?’ ‘Yeah, can I help you?’ asks Julian. ‘You called. I am the Kingmaker’. Julian and the other Hellions stand wide-eyed as a well-dressed man enters the mansion, informing them that they are each granted on wish - whatever their heart’s desire. ‘So choose now, the clock is ticking…’.