Stan Lee created the original X-Men, assorted other people created the newer characters, I'm sure Marvel holds most of the rights and 21st Century Fox fits in there somewhere too. Someone who's not me (but may be Joss Whedon) owns Buffy. Not mine, at any rate.Summary:
After one of her students is abducted by a vampire, Headmistress Frost decides to call in a specialist to help handle the matter.Joe's Note:
This is set after the clusterfuck that is X-Men: The Last Stand
; even though I'd much prefer shoving my head up an elephant's ass to watching that movie again, it does provide me with a convenient starting point for this story. The things I do for you people. I've made a few changes, though, to the powers of minor mutants and the fate of one character. It shouldn't be too hard to pick up on.
Emma Frost winced in pain at the volume of the telepathic shout and held up her hand to stop Hank McCoy's report about the latest increase in student injuries due to Logan's Danger Room simulations. Judging by the looks on the faces of the rest of the staff, though, she wasn't the only one who was going to be nursing a headache in the near future. 'Yes, girls? And please, remember your training. Watch your volume, and do not project to the world at large.'
The eerily synchronous voices of four girls came back to her: her prize pupils, Celeste, Ivette, Phoebe, and Sophie Cuckoo. A telepathic hive mind, they lived their lives with a closeness that even the closest of normal siblings could never match. A closeness that bordered on disturbing for most of the student body… they ate together, showered together, slept together, exercised together, practiced playing the piano together… their every moment mentally conjoined because their connected brains thought together. 'Sorry, Headmistress. But Esme is gone.'
Make that almost everything together. Emma reached up to rub her temples as she sighed. Lately, Esme had taken Emma's lessons about psychic shielding to heart and found a way to start prying herself out of the group mind to operate as an individual for short periods of time. Which wouldn't have been so bad, if the solitary Esme wasn't a complete pain in the ass. She'd already snuck off the grounds twice, returning once with bright pink streaks dyed into her blonde hair and three piercings and a tattoo from her second adventure. 'Esme snuck out again? Were you able to pick up any surface thoughts about where she might be headed?' 'No, she didn't leave. Well, if she did, it wasn't under her own power.'
Wait, what? 'We were patrolling the grounds like Professor Logan taught us too. Equally spaced, so we can maximize our coverage along the fences. All of a sudden, Esme was surprised… and then terrified… and then gone. We can't feel her at all, Headmistress.'
Emma swore loudly before remembering where she was and wincing. "My apologies. It would appear that Esme has been taken from us."
Looks were exchanged and it was Logan (of course it would be Logan, the man had no tact) who voiced what the other professors were all thinking. "Can't take the willing, Frosty. Practically need a leash to keep that girl on the grounds, especially at night. What'd she get herself into this time?"
"Her telepathic link to the group mind has been completely severed, Logan. That's not running off, that's either being kidnapped and knocked unconscious or killed, neither of which is completely outside the realm of possibility these days. And please, try to act like a professional. Headmistress Frost, or possibly Miss Frost if you can't manage a word as large as 'headmistress'." Closing her eyes, she reached out to the Cuckoos. 'Did you get anything from Esme before she disappeared? Images?'
A vaguely affirmative feeling filtered back over the link and then Emma was staring at a face that sent her back twenty years into the past… to that fateful night Charles had found her as a lowly dancer at the Hellfire Club and convinced her to risk her life and future to join him on his quest to better the future of mutantkind. A creature who had been invisible to her senses, a creature who would have ended her newfound freedom if not for the sudden manifestation of her secondary mutation. "A vampire…"
That got another round of strange looks from her fellow teachers and Emma sighed as Logan opened his mouth again, no doubt about to offer some lovely sarcastic barb. "Vampire? Hate to break it to you, Frosty, but those pale kids who wear all black are called 'goths'. Marie hangs out with a few from Salem. Weird kids, but I don't think they'd hurt or kill Esme." Sometimes, it got tiresome to be so right so often.
"If I hear that ridiculous nickname from you one more time, Logan, you'll spend the rest of your days under the belief that you're a six-year-old girl. I'll even get my girls to baby-sit you when us adults need to go out." Emma smirked as the older man abruptly went pale. Turning to the rest of the group, she sighed before resting her hands on the table and tapping slowly. "Vampires are very real. Charles and I had an encounter with one when I was eighteen. If it wasn't for my powers, we'd both have died. The Cuckoos were able to send me an image of Esme's attacker. It's most definitely a vampire."
Remy LeBeau flicked his wrist absently and a deck of cards slid out of his sleeve and into his hand. Fanning them out, he studied the faces before doing… something that made them jump through the air to form a neat pile in the other hand and Emma was convinced required some degree of telekinetic ability. "And if you are right, cher? How do we fight the vampire? Last time I checked, we don't stock holy water or crosses downstairs."
Nodding, Emma continued to click her fingernails against the table. Hmm. She really needed to get a manicure soon. It'd been what, two weeks? "I do know that I can't track them telepathically. It's how they got the drop on Charles and I. Hank… can you go take a sniff around where we lost Esme? See if they leave a scent? You and Logan might be able to track them that way." Hank nodded before closing his laptop and rising from the table, his massive blue form looking quite out of place in stately mansion that housed Xavier's Academy for Gifted Youngsters. "Ororo, the police around here seem to like you well enough. Can you take Remy for a little extra persuasive power and let them know that we might have had a hate crime kidnapping? Omit the vampire part, but I want them to know we'll be out and about looking in the coming days."
"Right away. Although we still need to discuss how many students are raiding my private greenhouses to leave you gifts, Emma." Ororo gave her a small smile before rising and leaving, Remy close behind.
That just left her and Logan. "How come she gets away with 'Emma'? And I still can't figure out how the hell you ended up in charge here. Who the hell died and named you queen?"
"Charles." That shut Logan up quite effectively. Emma rose from her seat and slid her white MacBook into her matching white messenger bag before closing it. "Although queen… I like that. Maybe I'll finally take a name like Charles always wanted me to. What do you think of… White Queen? Yes, that sounds perfect. Oh, and Ororo can use my first name because she's a friend. You, Logan, are not. Now you can join Hank in sniffing out vampires, you can go sulk in the garage and drink beers while you tinker with your bike, or you can go cut up holographic robots in the Danger Room. Quite frankly, I don't care what you do as long as you're out of my hair. I have more important things to attend to."
Grunting, Logan wandered off. Emma knew where she'd find him, though: slamming back beers in an attempt to outpace his healing factor while making yet another wooden carving of Jean Grey in the woodworking classroom. Jean Grey. Emma's lip curled as she thought back to the bizarre little redhead she'd met twenty years ago, back when she still traveled at Charles's side. She'd know the girl was going to be a problem from the first time they met, and she and Charles had argued extensively on the topic. Among others, but Jean racked right up there with the future role of mutants in mainstream society. In the end, she'd been proven right and her ex-husband had found himself disintegrated because he just wouldn't heed her warnings.
He'd never changed his will, though, and so now Emma had his students, his staff, his school, and the perfect base for founding the Academy of Tomorrow she'd been planning. Now if only she could get everyone to stop comparing her to the last female telepath to walk the halls of the school… because she generally came up lacking in their minds. Superpowers, a scintillating wit, and the best body money could buy… and she still rated below a corpse. How lovely. 'Headmistress? What's going on? Do you know who that man is?'
Ah yes, she knew she'd forgotten something. It took Emma a moment to divide up the tasks among the available girls, but she soon had a working plan to best utilize them. 'Not yet, girls. Ivette, I want you with me down in Cerebra immediately. Sophie, rendezvous with Betsy and Professor McCoy in the foyer. Take them out to where you felt Esme disappear. Phoebe, Celeste, I want you two down in the living room. Project an image of all five of you sitting on the couch watching television. I'm not sure how many heard your psychic shout, but we don't need to worry your peers yet.'
Three voices chorused a single reply. 'Yes, Headmistress.'
Sophie was the sole voice of dissent. 'Can I trade with someone? Betsy doesn't like any of us, and for some reason she really doesn't like me. I think it's because I recommended she stop dying her hair purple, back before we knew it was her natural color…'
Groaning, Emma pinched the bridge of her nose. 'Betsy.' 'What do you want, Headmistress? And if this involves anything X-Men related, you can kiss my ass.'
Ah yes, the trademark rebelliousness that came with dealing with Betsy Braddock. Why the X-Men had decided to bring the former Brotherhood member back with them, Emma would never know. 'I'm just here because my old school wouldn't let me back after I stabbed that jock in the thigh for grabbing my breast.' 'Yes, and who wouldn't want a student who can project a glowing pink energy blade out of her hand to stab students with?'
Emma nodded to Ivette as the blonde girl came to a stop in front of her, and the pair entered the elevator that would take them down into the subbasement levels of the school. 'Esme has been kidnapped. Meet Sophie and Professor McCoy in the foyer immediately. I want you to guard Sophie while they investigate the location.'
That one earned her a snort. 'Yeah, I got a two word answer for you. The first one starts with an F and the second word is 'you'. Can you guess what I'm thinking?'
Emma barely resisted the urge to lobotomize the girl. There were enough teenage girls running around the school… it wouldn't be that hard to piece together a new mind for Betsy that would be far more agreeable. 'You're thinking that you're going to help because if you do, I'll give you an A on the upcoming end-of-semester Applied Telekinetics test?' 'Wow, you read my mind. Fine, but if your Mini-Me pisses me off, I'm going to give her a practical lesson in Applied Telekinetics.'
Sigh. Teenagers. Why had she signed on for this?
The elevator door slid open and Emma stepped out, making a beeline for the recently upgraded and renamed Cerebra. Ah yes. A ready made mutant school to twist to suit her whims, a fat stock portfolio that had increased her net worth by nearly a third, a machine to help her locate and recruit the most powerful mutants in the world, and the knowledge that somewhere up there, Charles was looking down on her and swearing up a blue streak.
Life was good.