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Old 09-03-2012, 10:58 PM   #53
Byrd Man
El Hombre Pájaro
 
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: America
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Default Re: Ultimate One Universe RPG: IC Thread






Utopia
San Francisco Bay


Charles rapped softly on the door before entering through it. The room on the other side of the door belonged to Hank. Photos from the Hubble telescope, and posters of Einstein and Breaking Bad decorated the walls. There was a desk stacked with books and a chemistry set. Hanging upside down in the middle of the room was Hank, his claws dug into the ceiling. In his hands was a book Charles recognized.

"Children of the Atom: Humanity's Next Stage," Charles read the book's dust jacket upside down.

"By Charles F. Xavier," Hank said without looking down. "What does the F stand for, Professor?"

"Francis. My grandfather's name."

"Suppose it's better than Henry," Hank said, peeking from the book and flashing a small grin. "But not by much."

"And how did exactly did you find my book?"

"An eBay seller from Metropolis. I had to pay quite a sum for it. Apparently, it's out of print."

"Yes, well there's a reason for that. I wrote it back when I was at Oxford. Back before all of this," he said, motioning around him. "Was a reality."

"Don't be so hard on yourself, sir. What you lacked in experience, you more than made up for in thesis and themes."

"Would you come down from there, Hank? I'd like to talk to you."


Obliging, Hank leaped from the ceiling and flipped down in front of Charles. Standing, he nodded at his teacher and placed the book under the crook of his arm. Patting the large and furry teen on the shoulder, Charles sat on Hank's unmade bed while Hank sat at his desk.

"The others went on the ferry to the city this morning. Why didn't you go?"

"And pass up the chance to read this," Hank asked, holding up Charles' book. "While they are wasting the day shopping and playing video games, I'm reading up. Preparing myself for your future classes."

"And flattery will get you everywhere, Hank," Charles said with a smirk. "Except for this time. Why didn't you want to go?"

"Look at me," Hank said, removing his glasses. "I don't exactly fit in amongst the masses, do I?"
"The same applies for Rex, but that replicator hides his true form to the world. The same technology would easily do the same with you. Now, tell me, what's eating at you? It's more than your looks. You've been distant and quiet for a week now. So far, I have resisted the urge to read your mind. Don't make me give into that urge."

"It's just...," he started, then stopped. "I haven't felt in the mood after the events that transpired in San Diego."

"Are you still rattled by what Magneto did?"

"No," he said with a sigh. "It's what I did. More specifically, what I failed to do. As this group's second in command, you entrusted me with their safety and I couldn't keep them safe. I'm just thankful that Scott was there to step up in my place."

"Hank,"Charles said, reaching out and taking the blue mutant by the wrist. "There is no need to beat yourself up over what happened. This was our first outing, some kinks were to be expected. You didn't fail anyone. If anyone failed, it was me. I failed, and luckily Scott was there to make up for both of us. Speaking of that, what do you think of having him take over as field leader?"

"Resplendent."

"Excellent. As I said, Hank, don't beat yourself up. Your genius lies elsewhere. Men like us are better suited for a classroom. Whereas Scott seems more apt for the battlefield. If that's the reason for your self-imposed exile, there's no need for it."

"Thank you," Hank said, smiling. "But, all my pathos aside, I would rather spend an off-day reading instead of doing whatever it is they're doing."

"Well, I'm sure they're having fun."

*****



Scott jumped from the tree and hit the ground hard, rolling with his fall and popping up on to his feet. He looked over his shoulder at the shrubs and bushes around him. His heart raced and his mouth was dry from the adrenaline. He was gripping the stock of a gun tightly.

He was being hunted. Somewhere out there, someone wanted to shoot him. He stepped through the underbrush gingerly, making sure every step he took was safe. He peeked his head out the bush and saw his attacker. They had their back to him. Taking a deep breath, he pulled the gun from the bushes and prepared to aim for the target. He placed his finger on the trigger.

His attacker spun on her heels, ducking as the shot whizzed over her head. She squeezed off several shots as she fell. The shots hit home, hitting Scott in the chest and neck. He fell back into the bushes. Red paint covering his shirt and face.

"Gotcha," Jean said, leaning through the bushes to look down at him. In her right hand was her royal blue paintball gun. "And if I'm doing the math right, that means Rex and I win."

"What about Jeff?" He asked, standing up and wiping the paint from his neck.

"Oh, I took him out ten minutes into the game."

"Yeah, yeah," he said, looking down at the red paint on his shirt. "I really liked this shirt."

"I'm sure the people at Utopia can get it cleaned. If not, I can help. My dad was a house painter and my mom used to get paint stains out of his clothes all the time."

Together, Jean and Scott walked through the paintball arena towards the front. They walked slowly, chatting each other up about any and everything they could talk about. When they finally got to the front of the shooting area, Jefferson and Rex were waiting. Jefferson had yellow paint splattered on his shirt and jeans and was tapping his foot impatiently. Rex's multi-colored skin was hidden behind a hard light hologram that showed him as a normal sixteen year old with blonde hair.

"There they are," Rex said. "I guess we won?"

"See any paint on me?" Jean asked, smiling and holding her arms up.

"We ready to go?" Jefferson asked, looking at his watch. "We got about an hour before we need to be back to Utopia and I want to swing by that Italian place and get a doggie bag to take home with me."

"So, why are we holding you up? Just go and we'll meet you at the ferry."

"You know the rules," Scott said, nodding to the front of the building. "We have to stay together. Makes things easier for them."

"That's right, I forgot about our babysitters."

The four of them left the paintball place. Sitting on a bench outside the building were two men in black suits. They watched as the four teens walked up to them.

"Have fun?" One of them asked, checking his watch. "You kids got about another hour to kill."

"Before we go anywhere, Agent Duncan, can we go back to Rotelli's? I want to get some of that lasagna to take back home with me."

"Sure," Duncan said, standing and nodding to his partner.

The two agents escorted the four mutants towards a black SUV parked on the side of the street. As they approached it, though, the ground beneath them began to shake.

"Uh-oh..."

"That can't be good."

Down the block, a building face exploded outwards. Rubble and debris shot into the air and slammed into the streets. Scott jumped into the back of the SUV and pulled his visor from under the seat. He slid it on to his face and came back out just as five figures were walking down the street towards them. They each had sacks marked "National Bank" slung over their shoulders.

"What is this?" One of them snorted. He was a big man covered in hair.

"Easy, Mammoth," a shorter man at his side said. The man was thin and had what looked to be a portion of his brains showing. The man closed his eyes and a buzzing went through the heads of the four mutants and their two government handlers. "They're mutants," the man said with a grin. "Like us... except, they work with the government. Well, no matter. Mutant or human, we treat cops the same. Mammoth, Powderkeg if you would be so kind..."

Mammoth dropped the sacks on his shoulder and stepped forward at the same time as another heavy set man. The rubbed his knuckles and and popped his neck.

"Alright, kids," Mammoth said as he and Powderkeg charged. "Time to show you how we earned the nickname of Fearsome Five!"

__________________
"These are the times that try men's souls... Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
-- Thomas Paine


"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election."
-- Otto von Bismarck


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