X-Book 1: New Allies New Enemies - Chapter 3 - Searching
Summary: (See Prologue of Book 1)
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with characters from the Marvel
universe or any previously published work.
Bobby Drake sat in one of the many rooms beneath Xavier's
mansion, typing quickly on the keyboard in front of him. On one
large computer screen, a seemingly endless row of names scrolled
downward as Bobby uploaded the latest information Cerebro had
gathered into the mansion's main network.
His eyes were focused on the screen, occasionally glancing at
his fingers as he typed. In his concentration, his brow furrowed
slightly, though not in a frown. His face was young and confident,
but like many others in the mansion, he carried a quiet shadow of
maturity far beyond his years.
As the names of newly identified mutants flashed across the
screen, Bobby monitored each entry to ensure that the proper data
was being added. Names were matched with addresses, birth dates,
nationality, as well as probable aspects of their mutations and the
possible risk factor of each mutant's particular gifts.
There were mutants from every age group, every social class and
every country. Their gifts ranged from simple mental and physical
abilities, such as enhanced photographic memories or keen senses, to
the most extreme mutations of the body and mind. It was this latter
group whom the Professor was most interested in.
Bobby sighed and stretched, without looking away from the
screen. The volume of names and information may have been
intimidating for some, but Bobby actually found comfort in his
task. A reassurance that there were others, outside of Xavier's
school, who understood the same struggles he had faced in his
and with his family.
After Alkalai Lake, there had been a sudden increase in the
number of mutants reported around the world. The event had baffled
so-called `experts' on the `mutant phenomenon' and
forced most people to reevaluate the existence of mutants in their
However, that had not made the lives of mutants easier by any
means. If anything, the element of the world's population who
were hostile to mutants had become more violent in recent months.
For this reason (and other more personal ones), the Professor
had decided to monitor the mutant population with more scrutiny.
Through their new database system, which Storm and Cyclops were
still perfecting, they could more easily identify individuals who
may be in danger...or who were dangerous themselves. Their mission,
of course, was always to protect and educate any mutants who could
not hide who they were from the world.
However, Bobby knew the Professor had another reason for
locating and identifying dangerous mutants quickly. Xavier's
school was not the only `mutant organization' interested in
extremely powerful individuals.
For months, the X-Men (of which Bobby was now an active member)
had been trying to gather information on the whereabouts of one
particular mutant `activist,' a gentleman named Erik
Lensherr, known to the X-Men as Magneto.
Unfortunately, Magneto had always been the one person the
Professor was not able to sense through Cerebro, and that made
tracking the actions of him and his followers effectively almost
There had not been many sightings of the members of the
Brotherhood of Mutants since they fled Alkalai Lake. Only one event
had occurred, and that was the dramatic "death" of Senator
Robert Kelly about a month after Magneto escaped. The
boarded his private helicopter after a rousing speech for mutant
rights, waving to cameras and voters alike, looking forward to a
bright future. Then, tragically, the helicopter had exploded and
crashed over the Atlantic Ocean. The Coast Guard reported no
survivors, and no bodies were ever found.
The source of the fire that destroyed the helicopter was never
determined, though Bobby had a fairly good idea who was
responsible. When he had questioned the Professor, he confirmed
that he had sensed several familiar minds around the crash site,
and Pyro, who Bobby had known as John
Privately, Bobby and Rogue had spoken together a few times
about Pyro, but the conversation always felt like they were
discussing someone who had died instead of simply flown away. Their
friend had suddenly become their enemy, and neither them were ready
to think of what might happen when they see him again.
Bobby was startled from his thoughts when the doors to the lab
opened behind him. He turned his chair slightly to glance at the
Scott Summers entered the lab quickly, marching more than
walking, and headed over to where Bobby was sitting. His expression
was fairly neutral, though obviously focused on his present task.
He gave Bobby a quick grin and, despite the ruby quartz glasses
covering Scott's eyes, Bobby could tell it seemed strained.
Scott, out of all the X-Men, had changed the most over the past
eight months. For obvious reasons, he had been the one most
dramatically affected by the events at Alkalai Lake and his time of
mourning had been frequently disrupted by his own duties and
responsibilities, to his students and the X-Men.
However, that had not necessarily been a bad thing. To Bobby,
it seemed that those duties and responsibilities actually helped
Scott cope with Jean's loss. While Scott was obviously weathered
by months of sorrow, he was able to focus his grief and anger into a
driving force for his work with his students.
There was a quiet dignity about him that demanded respect, even
if you did not want to give it, which is why he worked so
effectively with mutant adolescents. No matter how aloof or rigid
he seemed, his students (and the other X-Men) knew he would be
someone to lead you through the most difficult of times, despite any
amount of pain he may be feeling himself.
Unfortunately, the part of him that held any youthful innocence
had been numbed, and the added demands he put on himself, he also
expected from his team.
Scott placed one hand one the console of the large computer and
stared at the screen intently. Bobby gave him a grin in return, and
waited for the question he knew was about to be asked.
"How's it been running?" Scott asked, right on cue.
"Pretty good now," Bobby replied, trying to sound
cheerful, "The fields we were losing in the information database
are loading without any problems. And the uploading from Cerebro
seems a lot quicker
Scott nodded thoughtfully as Bobby spoke, and then asked,
"How much faster has it been running?"
Bobby shrugged, "Um, at least three times as fast as before.
This grouping is almost finished and it's only been an hour. Last
time it took all morning
"Good," Scott said firmly, "Let me know if there are
"Will do," Bobby answered with a grin, "Do you think
we'll be heading out to see anybody on this list soon?"
Scott frowned, "That'll be for the Professor to decide.
Although there are several people listed I want him to consider.
Keep track of any mutant with higher than average readings, ok?"
"No problem," Bobby said, and then thought, Might be a
longer list than he thinks.
"Don't forget about the training session after
lunch," Scott said, "Storm's planning to show the Danger
Room to Dr.
McCoy and a few of the other new arrivals. It'll be good to have
someone with experience around to demonstrate how the Room works."
Bobby glanced over at Scott doubtfully, "I've only been
in there a few times. Are you sure you or Storm wouldn't be
Scott grinned, "This is still a training session for you,
Iceman. Don't start thinking you're going to get the day off
every time a tour comes through."
Bobby laughed. At least Cyclops still had a little sense of
humor while he was acting like an X-Men drill sergeant.
"Gotcha," he replied, "I'll be there."
Scott nodded curtly, but with a grin, and headed out into the
Bobby sighed, disappointed that he would not be having a free
afternoon, but anxious to have training in the Danger Room again.
While he power was well under control, it was fun to push his limits
and see exactly what he could do in a battle situation. Not that he
hoped to use them in real life any time soon