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Location: Xavier Mansion
1407 Greymalkin Lane, Salem Centre, NY, 10274

There was an emergency meeting to be held in the War Room. The X-men grudgingly gave up their relaxation time, " to listen to our great and wise leader lecture us on the fine art of relaxation, without burning the Mansion down," as it was so put by Archangel.

Of course, Warren had not known the true reason that Cyclops had called the meeting. But still, Rogue found the remark amusing, and the two of them entered the War Room, along with Storm, to face the grave faces of their teammates.

Rogue was slightly disconcerted to see the usually mischievous Iceman and Gambit so serious. However, she did not allow it to bother her, and attempt the ease the atmosphere with her trademark charm.

" Well, looks like ya'll've been waitin' here for some time. But why the gloomy faces?"

Wolverine from across the table growled at her.

" 'Cept for ol' grouch-man over there; he's always got that look."

Cyclops looked at her, and though she could not see his eyes through the visor he wore, there was something about the way he was looking at her that made her understand that her well-meaning banter, no matter how well-meant, was not welcome here.

She sat down. Storm took the place next to Cyclops, as was her right as second-in-command. Archangel chose the seat next to Wolverine. He did not like company. And neither did Logan. They suited each other well, but they never believed it when told.

Cyclops looked round the table, the red crystal of his visor glinting in the bright lighting. Not everyone's here yet...

He ticked the names off in his mind.

Beast, Bobby, Storm, Rogue, Gambit, Wolverine, Warren... Oh.

" Has anyone seen..."

The door to the War Room slid open, and a young girl of seventeen rushed in, looking flustered and embarrassed. Her yellow coat looked like it had been put on in a hurry, and her shoelaces had not been tied properly.

" ... Jubilee." He ended his sentence as a reprimand, rather than as a question.

Jubilee blushed and tried to come up with an excuse. " I... uh... was kinda like... sleeping... and I didn't hear the buzz..."

Cyclops sighed. Teenagers nowadays... He heard a soft chuckle in his mind. Jean...

Jean Grey swivelled round to face him. " Don't worry Scott. I'm sure Jubilee will not be late again..." *... after all, she's been trying since her very first day here.*

Her wry humour came close to making him smile. But the gravity of the situation was such that he could not.

" All right, Jubilee. Just try not to be late anymore..." she nodded and ducked under the table to tie her shoelaces. " At any rate, the situation today is serious. I don't know how many of you saw the news today..." Some faces looked blank.

They will know soon enough...


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