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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16


Written by NicoPony
Last updated: 05/06/2007 06:22:13 PM

Chapter 3

Hank McCoy removed his bifocals and rubbed his eyes with the pads of his forefinger and thumb. The numbers on the readout before him scrolled past, a display of invariably descending numbers that eventually petered out into a long line of zeros.

Somewhat, Hank thought with a chill, resembling the flat line on a heart monitor of someone who has just died on the operating table.

When Hank McCoy first joined the X-Men, he held firmly to the belief that mutants were the next step in human evolution: Homo sapiens superior. Given the current state of events, Hank would be hard pressed to find evidence to prove that hypothesis. The numbers on the screen didn’t lie. There was little hope for the success, let alone survival, for the mutant race. Perhaps mutants were the next step in human evolution, but instead of progressing as the natural order of things, had instead been undone by their own hands.

Hank was interrupted from his reverie when the pneumatic hiss behind him indicated the lab door had opened. As he replaced his eye-glasses, he turned in his office chair to see Bobby Drake standing in the doorway. The younger man was holding his cell phone and looking at it as if it he’d never seen it before.

“Greetings, Robert,” Hank said. “You know, you’re not going to get very good reception down here.”

“No,” Bobby said somewhat distractedly before snapping his cell closed and looking up at Hank. “No, I just received a call from Mr. Gibson, Dallas Gibson’s grandfather. Do you remember him? He was one of our former students.”

“Hm, the blond, stood about yea high...” Hank raised his hand about a foot over his head. “Wasn’t he one of Emma’s?”

“Yeah, that’s him.”

“What did Mr. Gibson want?” Hank asked.

“Well,” Bobby began. “He told me Dallas has disappeared.”

“He has?” Hank straightened hopefully. “Does that mean his powers have returned?”

“No. What I mean to say is that Dallas went to a friend’s house three days ago and never made it home. His grandfather was wondering if Dallas might have come here. I told him I haven’t seen the kid, but we’d keep an eye out.”

“Does Mr. Gibson suspect Dallas ran away?”

“Well, that’s what the police suspect when he filed the missing persons report.”

“I take it Mr. Gibson thinks differently?”

“He doesn’t think Dallas had any reason to run away. But they’ve questioned the neighbors, and no one has seen anything unusual. No strange people or cars.”

“Hm, well. I’m sure this is not to be taken lightly, after many of the de-powered students found themselves targets of that serial murderer.”*

“You suggest we call the other former students, then?” Bobby asked. “We don’t want to panic anyone if it turns out this kid is just a runaway.”

“Hm...perhaps if we had an ulterior motive for calling?” Hank paused for a moment, his hand on his chin. He eyed the readout screen again.


Hank glanced up at Bobby. “You know, my friend, I just had a sudden brain storm. It never occurred to me until now, but I may be able to make some derivations from studying the de-powered mutants post-M-Day, and compare the changes made to their genetic structure. Now that I think on it, Annie would’ve kept their DNA samples in the infirmary. I could use those for comparison. Is the x-factor gene sequence simply gone, or has it been nullified...?”

“Before you go off on a tangent, Hank, you wouldn’t happen to have the class roster on hand?”

Hank spun his chair and trundled over to his desk. He then jiggled open a clutter-filled drawer. “I believe I saw it in here not that long ago...” he said as he rummaged. Eventually, he pulled out a large, spiral bound book. “Here we go.” He flipped it open to the center and with a jerk of his hairy blue arms, tore the book in two along the spine. He wheeled himself over to where Robert stood and proffered one half of the book.

“Here you are, Robert. Would you like to start with the ’M’s’?”

(*See: The Ghoul. That’s Generation M.)


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