Welcome to the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, located in Snow Valley, Massachusetts. According to all the pamphlets and paperwork, it’s one of the most prestigious private schools there is. Not just in New England but, like, the whole country. Used to be the school catered exclusively to a very specific student body namely mutants, kids born with, y’know, that little something extra. Mutants like Chamber, M, Synch, and Husk. But that’s all changed since the beginning of the new semester. Now, our cozy little school is open to just about anyone – providing their parents can cough up a serious chunk of change. It’s okay with our headmasters, Seam Cassidy and Emma Frost, so I guess it’s okay with me. After all, it’s not like I’m stuck here for the rest of my life. I mean, I was in the X-Men and one day they’re going to be my ticket out of this place.
My name’s Jubilation Lee, otherwise known as Jubilee. I’m basically a human fireworks display. I can throw off sprays of bright, hot light – blind people or blow junk up. The guy with the funny haircut sitting at the computer is Wolverine. There was a time when I was running around with him, playing Robin to his Batman. These days he’s still with the X-Men while I’m… here.
As Logan continues to look at the computer screen, Cassidy asks him if he’s certain those particular security files are what Charles has him runnin’ tests on. He can assure him, everything’s runnin’ top-notch. Logan tells Banshee to cut the paranoia. If Xavier wants this stuff tested, he’s sure it’s for a good reason. They’ve been through a lot lately and the man just wants to make certain they’re all takin’ the proper precautions to keep each other safe. Besides he’s known him since his days with Interpol so don’t tell him he trusts the flamin’ White Queen over him.
Banshee informs him that he knows it’s nothing like that. He’s just mindin’ his own shop. Charles shoulda called is all he’s sayin’. Logan tells him not to get him started on all the things Charley should be doin’. The two of them haven’t completely seen eye to eye lately. Whatever the case, it looks like everything checks out there, so he’ll get out of his hair.
He then asks Jubes if she would like to take a walk. Upon hearing the question, Jubilee asks him is he kidding, she’d love to. Putting her arm around Logan, they begin to walk out. As they do, Jubilee thinks to herself that she and Wolverine are old friends. She knew him long before she hooked up with Generation X (they being the jealous twerps giving her the collective evil eye as they walk past). True story: she saved his life the first time they met. ‘Course, Wolvie’s done her a few favors since then, as well. Not the least of which is making her appear tres cool in the eyes of her peers. At least, that’s the theory.
Just then, Generation X attacks Logan at the order of Synch. Angelo Espinosa, aka Skin, attacks first. He has about six feet of extra flesh that he can control. He can stretch it out and wrap it around people. Not that it does him any good when Logan ducks his assault. Chamber’s face is a gaping hole that crackles psionic energy when he’s not covering it up. Energy he can unleash in powerful, hard-to-control bursts. M is Little Miss Perfect. She’s got super-strength, telepathy, can fly and is danged near invulnerable. She’s also got a big fat superiority complex and rubs Jubilee the wrong way. Synch can mimic any mutant’s power in his immediate vicinity, thanks to his mutagenic aura. Basically, anything a nearby mutant can do, he can do better.
When Synch leaps at Logan, Logan easily knocks him to the ground and he lands on his face. As he does, Synch remarks that nothing happened. Logan tells him that’s ‘cause he didn’t give him the chance to make anything happen. Jubilee thinks to herself that something happened all right though, he got his tail kicked.
At that moment, Emma Frost, the White Queen and headmaster and former muckety-muck of the oh-so-secret Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, walks in and tells them all that is enough and asks what in heaven’s name is the meaning of this. She then yells at Wolverine and tells him that she expects this kind of behavior from the children but him…
Before she can continue her tirade, Synch speaks up and tells Ms. Frost that it wasn’t Wolverine’s fault, he started it. While Jubilee listens to Everett rattling off some lame excuse about wanting to test the team in a kind of makeshift danger room session against the toughest X-Man there is, she figures from the way he looks at her as Wolvie and she take off, she’s pretty sure there was more to it than that. As the couple start to make their way down the hall they run into Gateway, aka trouble!
Before long, the duo is transported. Immediately, Logan Wolverine calls Gateway a pint-sized pinhead and asks what’s the big idea o’ dumpin’ them in the middle o’ the flamin’ Swiss Alps. Jubilee remarks that it’s not like it’s gonna make him feel any better but Gateway usually has a reason for teleporting them places. ‘Course telling them what they are would be, like, a huge help. But he does seem to have a knack for knowing where trouble is. Besides, if it wasn’t for Gateway, she and him wouldn’t have met in the first place. Wolverine tells her yeah, whatever, but he still likes to know where he’s headed before he travels. Jubilee responds that there’s got to be something significant about this place. She just hopes they can figure out what it is before she freezes to death, she’s a California girl remember. Wolverine tells her that next time, remind the Aborigine runt t’ include a jacket when he sends her packin’. He then recommends that they head up to the chalet. If nothing else, that’ll get her out of the cold.
Once they reach the chalet, Wolverine kicks the door open, shattering it into a million pieces. Inside, Jubilee says to him that she guesses that knocking was out of the question and wonders aloud how they are supposed to keep warm without a door. Whipping around, Wolverine yells at her and tells her not to start with him. Relax and just follow his lead. There’s somethin’ not right there, who in blazes would have a house in the middle of nowhere. He then calms down a bit and informs her that he’s just tryin’ to look out for her. He doesn’t want her gettin’ hurt on his account. It’s just the X-Men have been through some tough times recently.
Jubilee tells him sure but wonders to herself what that was about. She can’t remember the last time Wolvie took that kind of tone with her. She means, that she sort of understands why he’d be on edge. He and the X-Men have had to sit by and watch as Magneto, their worst enemy, gained control of his own country. But jeez, he doesn’t need to take it out on her. The big problem with Wolvie is that he’s too strong-willed (read: macho) to even talk about that stuff. Even trying to bring it up is like, a major waste of time. He’s hardly said a word to her about what happened on that Prison World he was hauled off to and, from what she’s heard, it really messed him up when that place was choked down by Galactus.
Just then, Wolverine calls out to Jubilee and shows her a picture of a young lady in a military uniform. He then tells her that he thinks this place belongs to Cable. Upon hearing that, Jubilee says get out, he means Cable as in Scott and Jean, time-traveling, X-Force, Cable? As Wolverine begins to tell her that’s the one, he stops in his tracks and asks Jubilee if she hears that. A moment later, flying robots appear and begin to announce “intruder alert, intruder alert!” Popping his claws, Wolverine tells Jubilee to stay back as he’s better equipped t’ handle these suckers.
Before he can act, one of the robots proceeds to shoot Wolverine in the chest. Brushing it off, Wolverine attacks the robot and slashes it with his claws. As it does, the robot calls out “Warren, initiate counter-measure 5X 200.” Jubilee then shoots the robot and tells it to keep its counter-measures to themselves, she’s got moves of her own. Just then, one of the robots shoots her with a blast that knocks her through the wall. Wolverine calls out to her and takes out the robot that shot Jubilee with a chair.
When she picks herself up off the floor, Jubilee calls out to Wolverine. Finishing off the last of the flying robots, Wolverine walks into the room where Jubilee has been knocked into. Once he enters, Jubilee sees all the color wash out of his face. He’s been all over the galaxy, fought thousands of different menaces from one side of the universe to the next but even he’s not prepared for this. Before him stands the mostly robotic form of Donald Pierce. The former partner of the headmistress at Jubilee’s school, Emma Frost, together with a few others, they helped form the nucleus of the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle. Jubilee thinks he was the “White Castle” or something. He’s the one she saved the Wolvester from way back when. In any case, the guy is bad news.
As Pierce continues to be fixed and modified by his robotic “children,” he tells Wolverine that it’s so good of him to recognize him, especially given his current state of undress. He adds what a pleasure it is to finally have company after so many long weeks with only his faithful vassals to entertain him. Wolverine then asks Pierce if he cares to explain why he’s set up shop in Cable’s digs. Pierce replies, “Explain... Why not?” He thinks that he’ll appreciate the irony of it all.
He found his way there after being left for dead by his former associate, Sebastian Shaw, in the wake of a battle with Cable himself. Shaw and he were partners in a plan to exploit the power of Apocalypse to their own ends but, when Cable’s interference caused their plans to go awry, Shaw abandoned him. The success of their venture would have ensured his reinstatement into the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle. Now, following a drop from several hundred feet, his most fervent desire was merely to survive. After crawling in search of safety for many long torturous days, salvation presented itself to him in the most unlikely of forms – a sky cycle abandoned by Cable prior to their final encounter there in the Alps.
It was while affecting his escape from the desolate confines of the mountains that he spied this dwelling. It was there that that he found not just a haven from the elements, but a wealth of information and technology more than capable of repairing his damaged form. That it was one of Cable’s hidden safe houses made the turn of events even more delicious. Obviously, the first order of business was to retool his cyber sentries to follow his orders. With their help, he uncovered secrets undreamed of. Who would have known, for example, that the rich database of information stored in Cable’s computers could lead him directly to a small, hidden cache of adamantium! One of these days, before he finally kills him, he’ll have to thank Cable for all he’s inadvertently done for him. He then tells Wolverine that in the meantime, it’s a pity he no longer possesses his much-vaunted adamantium claws. He would have so enjoyed pitting his own adamantium-laced form against them as the first test of his newly acquired prowess.
Wolverine proceeds to tell Pierce that he’s nuts and that he always has been and always will be and that he doesn’t need adamantium to deal with a lowlife like him. Pierce says let’s find out then, shall they. He then orders one of the flying robots, “Scott,” to kill the girl while he teaches the abhorrent little beast about real power. Taking out “Scott,” Jubilee tells Pierce what-ever. He may be ugly but near as she can tell, he’s a B-player at best. Leaping at Pierce, Wolverine adds that that means he’ll be sellin’ popsicles ta the devil before he schools him at anything.
As Wolverine jumps at him, Pierce replies by turning his right fist into a blade and smacking him in the face. Wolverine responds by proceeding to kick him in the chest, knocking him into some machinery. When he does, Jubilee calls out to him to be careful not to mess up any of the equipment. They don’t know what he’s got rigged up there. Ripping an electrical cord out of the wall, Wolverine tells her that he ain’t got time to worry about that now, no time at all. With that, he jams the live electrical cord into that knocks Pierce across the room and through a wall. Stalking him, Wolverine goes over to Pierce and asks him if he’s had enough. When Pierce goes to get up, Wolverine kicks him in the face and tells him “down boy.”
At that moment, Pierce goes to grab Wolverine’s ankle. Seeing that, Wolverine tells him that’s just pathetic and to let go off his ankle. Just then, Pierce tosses Wolverine threw the roof of the chateau and into the snow outside. Pierce follows and tells Wolverine that was very nice, very nice indeed. Once upon a time, he might have defeated him with a move like that but with so much of his cybernetic form now enhanced by adamantium and the technology he’s gleaned from copiously perusing Cable’s files. He’s invincible!
From behind him, a voice tells Pierce “that, you sad twisted fool, remains to be seen.” Turning around, Pierce sees another cyborg who introduces himself as Khyber aboard a flying mechanical scooter. Flanked by his menacing robotic minions, he congratulates Donald Pierce on rebuilding himself. His hardware has done right by him, it is very impressive. Only, he must admit to being a tad upset that he didn’t bother to ask first. He doesn’t know why he’s mixing it up with this craggy old fossil, but it will have to wait. Khyber then tells his minions to leave him be and lay waste to this place. He is going to deal with this thief himself. Running his scooter into Pierce, Khyber tells him to prepare to die!
Picking himself up out of the snow, Wolverine thinks to himself that if the new guy wants a piece o’ Pierce, he can have it. It’s no skin off his nose. Looking over at the chateau being attacked by Khyber’s minions, Wolverine recalls that Jubilee is still in the house and that he needs to get back there before they finish torching the place. As Khyber continues to pound on Pierce unmercifully, Wolverine jumps on his scooter, hopes it still works as it was brought down pretty hard. Still, it’s probably his best bet for gettin’ back ta the place in a hurry.
When he starts getting closer to the chateau, he notices that a couple o’ laughin’ boy’s goons wanna throw down – no problem. With that, he depresses a button and blasts them out of the sky. Just then, Wolverine leaps off the scooter and jumps through the skylight calling out Jubilee’s name. Inside the house, Jubilee tells Wolverine that she didn’t know what happened to him. Grabbing her by the arm, Wolverine tells her that he knew he could count on her ta take care o’ herself.
Once they make it outside, Jubilee thinks to herself that Wolvie couldn’t have timed it more perfectly. No sooner than they got out the door, the ground began to rumble and shake. But Cable’s hideout going ka-boom was the least of their worries. A little further away, Pierce calls out no! All of his plans, his workshop, it won’t end like this! Khyber simply tells him that he has no options. With that, the chateau comes crashing down in a heap of destruction.
Carrying Jubilee out of the wreckage, Wolverine sees Pierce’s disengaged arm lying in a snowdrift. When he notices it, he is knocked to the ground rudely by Khyber. Holding a beaten Pierce, Khyber tells the old man, Wolverine, that he’ll take the arm. You never know when it might come in handy. Picking himself up, Wolverine tells him that, as far as he knows, he doesn’t have any issues with him and that he can take Pierce’s arm and mount it over his fireplace f’r all he cares. He just wants ta get the girl out o’ there alive. Khyber tells him not to worry. Once he’s done with the cyborg, he’ll be out of his way. He then tells Logan to be forewarned, they will definitely have to settle up some other time. With that, he bids farewell and disappears. As Khyber leaves, Wolverine wonders what he said meant.
A little bit later on, Wolverine and Jubilee sit down next to each other in the snow. Jubilee mentions to him that she hopes Gateway comes and gets them soon. She can hardly feel her toes. She then asks him if he had any idea what that was all about. He wouldn’t have brought them there without a reason. Was it just to stop Pierce, or did it have something to do with that Khyber guy. Wolverine tells her not a clue, not a flamin’ clue. Thinking to herself, Jubilee thinks to herself that she can take a hint. He doesn’t want to talk about it, they won’t talk about it. Some days he’s just like that and, clearly this is one of those days.