Kitty closed her eyes in relief at the familiar sound, turning to see Kurt Wagner at her side.
"Oh," Kurt murmured as he saw the injured figure on the ground. "She looks quite hurt. Any idea how she got here?"
"No," Jean said. "We saw a flash of light and came in to see what it was. That's when we found her."
Kurt nodded. "I'll take her back to the infirmary right away. The Professor said he'd have Hank waiting."
Kitty bit her lip, squeezing the girl's hand slightly, though she knew it was pointless. "Jean and I'll be right there."
Kurt nodded. "The Professor is calling a meeting. He wants everyone there to discuss what might have happened." With that, he scooped the young woman into his arms and teleported away.
Kitty stood and starting to walk back toward the mansion, Jean close behind her.
"Are you okay?"
Kitty glanced back to see Jean looking at her with a concerned expression on her face.
Kitty shrugged. "I'm just worried about that girl. I'm trying to think about what might have happened to her."
"She could be a teleporter," Jean suggested. "Maybe she was running away from something. Thought she'd find safety here."
Kitty nodded. "We should be on alert, I guess. Make sure no one's coming after her." She sighed. "I just hope she's okay. Those bruises..." she trailed off.
Jean put a hand on her friend's shoulder. "She's in good hands, Kitty. Hank will get her all fixed up. She might even be awake and talking when we get to the infirmary."
Jean was wrong about the girl regaining consciousness, but Hank was hovering over her, carefully attaching her to various monitors.
Kurt and Professor Xavier were also there, apprehension written on their faces.
"How's the patient?" Jean asked.
"She seems to be stable so far," Hank said as he eyed the monitors. "The break in her leg is bad, and looks to be the result of a fall. But I believe some of the bruising, especially that on her face, is from something else. The results of a fight maybe, but it'd have to have been a recent one. She also has large scars on her stomach. They look to be knife wounds."
Kitty's frown deepened. "Sounds like she's had some hard times."
"Indeed it does," Hank said with a nod. "Professor?"
All eyes turned to Xavier as he closed his eyes and began to concentrate. After a few moments he began to speak.
“Her mind is quite jumbled. There was definitely some kind of fight. No, several fights.” He fell silent for a moment, his breathing slow and steady as his eyes moved rapidly beneath their lids. “There’s something different about this girl. Something not quite human.”
“A mutant?” Jean asked.
The Professor opened his eyes and shook his head. “No, Jean. She’s no mutant. I’m not sure what she is.”
“Can’t you dig deeper, Professor?” Jean asked.
“I could, but I’m not sure that I should. She’s not a threat to us. I can tell that much.” He paused, then smiled slightly. “Besides, it seems she might be able to tell us herself. She’s waking up.”
Hank moved toward her, readjusting the attachment on one of the electrodes, eyes flicking back and forth between his patient and the monitor.
Slowly, the girl’s eyes fluttered open. She opened her mouth, attempting to speak, and then closed it, licking her dry, cracked lips before trying again.
“Where am I? And why is everybody blue?”
The X-Men exchanged glasses, but before anyone could speak, their patient spoke again.
“Okay, so technically only two of you are blue, but that still seems like a statistical anomaly.” She went to prop herself up on her elbows, winced, and lay back down. “Also, why do I feel like I got dropped off a building?”
Professor Xavier wheeled closer to the exam table. “I’m Charles Xavier. You had some sort of accident. You’re currently in the infirmary of my school. Two of my staff found you unconscious on school grounds. We were actually hoping that you
could tell us
“You have a school for demons?”
Jean cleared her throat. “Demons? No. This a school for mutants.”
“Mutants? I don’t understand.’
“You haven’t heard of Mutants?” Xavier asked, a concerned look on his face.
The girl wrinkled her nose. “Well, of course I’ve heard of mutants. I mean, snakes with two heads, or like, as an insult for somebody you think is gross or whatever. But I’m thinking that’s not what the red-headed lady meant when she said ‘School for Mutants.’”
“Mutants are carriers of the X-gene,” Hank explained. “It can result in any number of powers from shape-shifting to mind-control. It can also lead to things like this.” At that last sentence he gestured at himself and at Kurt.
“And this is something that I should know about?”
“Ja,” Kurt said with a nod. “Of course. We aren’t exactly secret. Everyone knows about mutants. The X-Men. We may not be as popular as the Avengers, but everyone still knows who we are.”
The utterly confused look on the girl’s face didn’t go unnoticed. Then it seemed to clear as she closed her eyes and softly banged the back of her head against the exam table.
“Stupid, stupid, portals,” she muttered.
“What was that?” Xavier asked.
The girl opened her eyes and struggled to sit up, swinging her legs off the edge of the table.
“I’m Dawn Summers. I don’t know what happened to me, but this? This is not my universe.”
Xavier leaned forward slightly, resting his chin in his hands. “Do you remember how you got here, Miss Summers?”
Dawn rubbed her forehead. “Um...sort of, I guess. Some of it’s a little blurry, but it’s becoming clearer. But, uh, no offense or anything, but could I maybe get some introduction first. Kinda like to know who I’m talking to here.”
Xavier watched Dawn carefully as introductions were made. She didn’t seem nearly as freaked out as one would expect given the situation. And she didn’t seem bothered by Hank and Kurt’s appearances, despite apparently coming from a world without mutants. Walking up in an infirmary surrounded by strangers would be enough to rattle most people, and considering the other factors outright fear wouldn’t have been out of place. But this girl seemed calm, if cautious. She was also, Xavier realized, very intently taking in her surroundings, perhaps looking for a possible escape route if one became necessary.
“Okay,” Dawn began after getting everyone’s names. “You guys didn’t seem all that shocked when I said this wasn’t my world. So I’m guessing that along with all these mutations and powers your also familiar with alternate worlds? At least in theory?”
At Hank’s affirmative she continued. “So, there was this fight.” She paused for a moment, wondering how much she should say. One the one hand, she didn’t know these people, on the other, they weren’t from her universe and apparently had some experience with other freaky stuff, so maybe they’d know about the paranormal as well. They had also patched her up pretty well. Even if they did turn out to be bad guys, she couldn’t figure the harm in telling them the truth, at least when it came to how she had gotten here.
“There was a fight,” she repeated. “With some demons.” She noticed the group exchanging glances but plunged ahead. “Anyway, we interrupted them in some sort of ritual or something. The next thing I know there’s some big circle of light. I got shoved and I think...yeah...I must have fallen though it. Or into it I guess. The next thing I know I’m waking up here with you all hovering over me.”
She looked at the hopefully. “So, you guys know any mutants with portal opening abilities?”
Xavier and Hank looked at each other.
“There are some people who might be able to help,” Hank mused. “I’m assuming this portal was magical in nature?” When Dawn nodded he continued, “Wanda might be able to do something.”
“Or there’s Dr. Strange,” Kitty offered.
“There are technological options as well, aren’t there?” Jean asked.
Hank shook his head. “I’m certain there are people who could to another world, whether it be though magic or machine, but they both have the same difficulty.“
Xavier finished the thought, “Getting the right universe?”
“Exactly,” Hank said with a sigh.
Xavier couldn’t help but notice that Dawn was starting to look decidedly more worried. “We’ll do our best to help you, Miss Summers. I won’t make any promises, but we’ll get in touch with some people and see what we can do. And Dr. McCoy here was quite a few tricks up his sleeve. In the meantime, you’re welcome to stay here at the mansion.” He turned to Hank. “Is there any need for her to stay in the infirmary?”
“I might need to run some more tests later,” Hank said. “Blood tests, brain waves...anything and everything that might make it easier to figure out how to get her home. But for now, she’s free to go.”
“Kitty, why don’t you get Dawn settled in?” Xavier suggested. “There are some empty rooms on the fifth floor, I believe. And I’m sure there are students she could borrow some clothes from. In the meantime, the rest of us will start reaching out, see what it might involve to try to get you home.”
As Hank detached the electrodes that he had been using to monitor her, Dawn got shakily to her feet. “Thank you for your help, Professor Xavier. Thanks, all of you.”
“Come on,” Kitty said, “We’ll find you a room and some clean clothes. Then if you’re up for it, I’ll give you the dime-tour.”
“Tour sounds good,” Dawn said with a smile. “But a shower and some clean clothes sound even better.”
Kitty nodded. “Sure thing.” She looked over Dawn. “You’re a bit taller than me, but some of my stuff might fit you.” she said as they walked out of the infirmary. “If not, we could probably try Rogue.”
“Rogue?” Dawn asked.
Kitty smiled. “Oh, yeah, sorry. Some people around here prefer to go by their codenames. Don’t worry. You’ll get use to it. Now come on, let’s find you a room.”