Tormenting Jean, Killer Robots, and Other Bad Ideas
L. Burke

"Dave, come in."  With a wide smile, Jean Grey met her study date at the door of Xavier's School for Gifted Children.  "You don't know how much I appreciate you coming over to help me study for my math test."

"No problem Jean, I'm happy I can help."  Dave said, smiling back as he stepped through the door.  "So, this is Xavier's School -- interesting."

Jean took his coat.  "It can be.  I figured we could study in the library."  Dave nodded as followed her down the hall into the library.

Bobby Drake was currently in the library, too, thinking and plotting.  He owed Hank, and it was going to be the prank of a lifetime.  He'd just finished a session with Professor Xavier, who'd explained that the reoccurring dream that Bobby had been having was "a classic fear of abandonment," and not what Hank had told him it symbolized.  Now that he actually thought about it, how many ways could you interpret a dream of getting launched into space alone?  Hank had told him it symbolized his wanting to explore new frontiers, and the rocket ship had represented a certain part of the male anatomy.  He'd then suggested that maybe Bobby should go talk to Jean, because she could introduce him to some nice guys, and then his dream would go away.

It had taken Bobby three weeks to get the guts up to go to the Professor and talk to him about the dream.  The professor then explained that the dream represented Bobby's fear of being abandoned, then had continued that he was probably having it now because he'd recently discovered he was a mutant, and he was still unsure how this discovery would affect his relationship with his family.  It was quite a common and normal fear.

Oh, yeah -- Hank was going to pay.  Bobby hadn't figured out how he was going to get Hank back yet, but it had to be good.  Bobby swore to himself that after this experience, he was going to listen to Scott's advice and never listen to another word that Hank McCoy said.  He was still stewing about how he was going to make Hank suffer when Jean walked in with her date.

"Come on, Dave, we can study in here."  That's when she noticed Bobby, "I'm sure Bobby is just leaving -- right, Bobby?"   Jean was making a motion with her head towards the door, "You could go track down Slim and see if he needs some help working on the equipment."

Bobby rolled his eyes, "Slim's not here, Harry called and asked if he would mind filling in for one of his waitresses.  She's sick, and Harry knows that if he's in, Scott will always take the work.  In fact.  I'm waiting for him to get home.  I need his help with something."

"But you can wait for him somewhere else, right?" Jean interrupted edging the words with a threat.

Bobby rolled his eyes again and started to get up.  "Jeez, I'm leaving okay?  No need to get violent."

He met Warren in the hallway and told him to stay out of the library because Jean and her date were in there.  Warren nodded and then got "that" look on his face and headed straight for the library, and Bobby wondered if Jean would end up killing Warren by the end of the evening.  As he was walking through the halls aimlessly, he happened to see IT in one of the classrooms -- the object of his revenge.

It was Hank's medical dummy.  Hank had specially designed it as a dummy a surgeon could use.  The outside had been created from unstable material, so it actually simulated cutting through real skin, and the dummy even gushed fake blood if the student cut into an artery or vein.  In fact, Hank had designed it to look like a real human being, though Bobby personally thought the dummy looked more like a  corpse than a living patient.  That's when inspiration struck.  This was going to be great.

When Warren walked into the library, he found Jean and her date leaning over a math book together.  Warren did a quick assessment of 'Dave' -- brown hair, tall, fairly cute.  And Warren decided Dave had to go, he just wasn't going to do, at all.  The quicker Dave was out of the picture, the better.

Smiling sweetly as he walked in, he headed to the far side of the room, whispering, "Pretend I'm not even here."  He sat directly across the room from Dave, behind Jean's back and just stared at him.  Every few minutes, Dave would look up at Warren, frown, then go back to reading his book.  Jean would turn to glare at Warren, who'd smile sweetly back and shrug, then pretend to go back to reading his book, as if he had no clue what was bothering Dave.

This continued for ten long minutes until Jean turned around to demand, "Don't you have somewhere else to go?"

Warren gave her a thoughtful, innocent expression and said, "No."

Jean had murder in her eyes.

Meanwhile in the basement lab of their resident mad scientist.  Hank McCoy was working on his latest project -- creating a new drone for the danger room.  He had taken the Shop-Vac out of the hanger and done some tinkering, and was quite pleased with the results.  He thought this might be the next step up for he and his teammates from swinging projectiles.  If his calculations were correct, this new robot of his could prove to be quite the challenge.

Plugging the robot in to the main power supply to charge its batteries, he threw a switch and waited.  After a few moments, the robot bagan showing signs of life.  Hank couldn't help himself has he threw his head back and shouted.  "It's alive, I tell you it's alive."  His robot just lit up and droned, "Targeting."

That’s when Hank realized that he'd forgotten to program any safeties in to his robot.  Oh, no, was the only thought that came to Hank's mind as, once again, the robot droned, "Targeting."

"So, Dave, are you planning on taking lessons on how to disregard ethics in law school?  Or are you going into the program with a total lack of them already?" Warren asked Dave sweetly and Jean groaned to herself, imagining how she was going to kill Warren when Dave left.  She pictured cutting off Warren's air telekinetically when another idea came in to her head.

Smiling equally sweetly at Dave, she told him she'd be right back, sent, I'm going to kill you, to Warren telepathically, and walked out of the library.

She headed straight to the gym and picked up a bo staff she'd been working with lately.  She'd lure Warren out of the library and beat the stuffing out of him.  Slim had taught her a few moves, and she was going to show every one of them to Warren -- and enjoy it.  Bird-boy was going to become a pillow when she was done with him.

As she headed back towards the library with the bo staff, the lights suddenly went out.  "Hank," she grumbled, "what have you done now?"

"I can't wait to see the expression on Hank's face when he gets a load of this."  And Bobby Drake smirked to himself as he set the last spring that would launch the dummy.  "Hank is never going to see this one coming."

Bobby had just finished the last touches on his trap when the lights suddenly went out.  "Hank," he grumbled, "what have you done now?"

Scott Summers had been having a very good night.  Harry's hadn't been busy, but the people he'd served had been generous tippers and Harry had even let him go home early.  Professor Xavier was going to be out late tonight, so that meant no early morning danger room practice.  Yes, it was turning out to be a good night.

That was, until he made it home.  There were no lights on, and there seemed to be no sign of life in the house.  Scott decided to approach carefully and enter by an alternative route -- just in case there was trouble.  Scott quickly blended in to the dark and heading towards the house muttering.  "Hank what have you done now?"

Jean had almost made it back to the library when she saw a tall figure before her in the dark.  Determining that it wasn't Hank or Bobby because the shadow was too tall, she took a stance and swung the staff with all her might.  As she swung, she shouted, "I warned you, bird-boy, and now you're going to pay."

She was rewarded with a loud 'thump' as her staff connected with Warren's middle.  As Warren doubled over, she brought her staff around for another pass and hit him on the side of the head.  But she realized it wasn't Warren when a pair of glasses bounced off her staff, sailed across the hallway and hit the wall with a 'thunk.' Right then, the emergency power kicked on and she saw Scott lying and groaning at her feet, clutching the side of his head.  Cursing under her breath, she swore that next time, she'd do a quick mental scan before swinging in the dark.  But Scott wasn't supposed to be home yet; Harry's didn't close for another half-hour.

"Oh, shit -- Scott, I'm so sorry.  Don't open your eyes."   Jean scrambled to retrieve his glasses from where they'd landed across the hall, and handing the glasses to him, she continued, "I'm so sorry.  I thought you were Warren."

Scott shook his head, trying to clear it, and put his hand to the side of his head where he thought he might need stitches.  "Obviously," he said dryly as he staggered to his feet.  "Planning on kicking a certain part of Warren's anatomy, Red?"

Jean nodded, and caught him as he staggered.  "Something like that.  Come on; lets go get a towel for your head, and see if Hank or Warren can drive us to the emergency room to get you checked out.  I think you might need stitches." 

Jean helped Scott stagger to the first floor bathroom.  He'd just turned the doorknob when Bobby jumped up from where he was hiding and shouted, "Scott don't go in there."  But the warning came too late, as the door swung in and the dummy attacked.  It hit Scott hard, sent him sprawling onto the floor, the dummy landing atop him.  Scott reacted by blowing the damned dummy in to bits, and red, fake blood rained down all over Scott, Jean, Bobby, and the downstairs living room.

"Professor Xavier isn't going to be happy about this," Bobby said sheepishly as he wiped some of the blood off his face.  Jean took in the damage to the now blood splattered living room, and nodded.  It looked as if several people had met a very gory end there, as red coated the room from floor to ceiling.  The dummy's head, which had landed in the middle of the coffee table, just added to the whole effect.

"And this started out as such a good night," Scott stated softly as he tried to wipe his glasses clean.  But as he was coated head to toe in the fake blood, all he managed to do was smear his glasses worse.  He tried, without success, to spit some of the red substance out of his mouth.  "I'm truly starting to understand what may have motivated Carrie to try to kill every one of her classmates."

Right then Hank came bolting up the basement stairs and quickly slammed the door behind him.  "Good evening, my fine compatriots," he said a little too cheerfully.  "Scott do you remember discussing the thought of maybe creating a robot for us to engage with in the Danger Room?"

Scott just narrowed his eyes at him from where he was sitting on the floor, and demanded, "What did you do?"

Hank looked a bit sheepish as he leaned more of his weight against the basement door.  "I created a prototype for us to show Professor Xavier.  Unfortunately, I was so caught up in my own brilliance, I forgot to add safeties.  The robot has, uh, gone a little out of control."  That's when Hank noticed the blood-splattered living room and the dummy head on the coffee table, "What the hell did you three do to my dummy?"

Before anyone could answer, something crashed against the door down to the basement, and Hank jumped clear as the door got blasted off its hinges.  There floated Hank's robot.

It looked like a vamped up Shop-Vac, Wearing one of Scott's visors.  Scott shot Hank a glare.  "What the hell did we do to your dummy?  What the hell did you do to my spare visor?"

"Well," Hank said as he ducked behind the couch, "I needed something to make it look spiffy." 

Scott, Jean, and Bobby ducked for cover as the robot tried to blast them, droning, "Targeting".  Warren came running in from the direction of the library, to see what all the commotion was about, "What's going on in here?"   He blinked at the robot.  "Is that the shop-vac from the hanger?"   The robot just tried to blast him in answer to his question and he jumped for cover.

Scott's voice rang out, "Jean, hold the robot still.  Bobby freezes it.  Warren and Hank distract it.  I'm going to blast it."

"Got it."  was the group response that came from four different spots from the room.  They moved in for action.  The plan went off with just two hitches.  The first was that, as Scott blew the robot apart, a burning part landed on the couch and set it on fire.  The second one was that, when Scott got clear to shoot, the robot managed to blast him at the same time.  He slipped on a pool of fake blood trying to get his footing and ended up falling down the basement stairs, landing with a 'thunk' and not moving. 

The four of them stood at the top of the stairs, looking at Scott, trying to figure out what to do.  Dave came out of the library right then, calling "Jean are you all right?"

He stopped dead to stare in shock at what looked like a blood-spattered room, and Jean and Bobby coated in what looked like blood.  Robot parts all over, and the couch on fire in the middle of the room.  He walked over to the top of the stairs where the four of them were looking down at Scott, lying on the basement landing and not moving.  Scott also looked to be covered in blood.  Dave then looked up at the four of them in horror.  Warren didn't even try to catch him as his eyes rolled back and he hit the floor in a dead faint.

"Let me get this straight," Professor Charles Xavier said calmly as he tried to keep his temper under control and pinned his four students with his glare.  "I get called by the hospital, saying they had to admit Scott for observation.  He has a concussion and a dislocated shoulder, six stitches on the side of his head, and five on his back.  That was, of course, after the police showed up to investigate a reported ritual murder in my basement.  Reported by Jean's date, no less.  The police took in the sight of what appeared to be my living room covered in blood, the burned up remains of my couch, and what seemed like a Shop Vac blown up all over the room.  I don't think I'm missing anything.  I hope all of you know how much trouble you're in."

"Yes, sir."  came the response from the four students standing in the emergency room waiting area. 

"Good."  Xavier snapped.  "I expect all of you to help Scott take notes in class because he won't be able to use his arm for several weeks.  You are all also grounded until further notice.  Am I understood?"

"Yes, professor," said the four of them.

"Sir, can I go see him?" Jean asked quietly.

Xavier nodded.  "See if he needs anything before we leave."

"Hey how are you feeling?" Jean asked quietly as she walked into Scott's hospital room.  He glanced in her direction.

"I feel fuzzy, but can't feel anything else," he grumbled.

"Be thankful.  I understand you're going to feel that shoulder in the morning.  Professor Xavier wanted to know if you needed anything before we left?"   Scott just shook his head slowly.  "I lost my math tutor tonight."  Jean sighed.  "I don't think Dave is coming back, considering he was the one who reported us to the police.  You wouldn't know anyone who might be interested in tutoring me in math would you?"

Scott just gave her a considering look.  "I might be interested -- why?"

Jean smiled at him.  "Does that mean we're still friends?  Even after I brained you with the bo staff?"   Scott nodded yes.  "Good I was hoping you might say that."  she leaned over and kissed him gently on the lips.

He blinked at her.  "If someone walked in right now, they might think we're more than just friends."

Jean shot a coy look over her shoulder as she walked out "So?  What's a little kiss between friends?  Besides Slim, you’re drugged.  You won't remember anything tomorrow anyway.  Now shut up and go to sleep, before I have to hit you with my stick again.  Understand?"   Scott nodded at her.  "Good.   Then I'll go pluck bird-boy, and see you in the morning."

Scott shook his head as she walked out of his hospital room.  He'd never understand that girl.

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