Times had been tough on Forge, the mutant with the gift to build any machine. Ever since the mess on Genosha, he had been tossed around from one prison cell to another. Nobody really knew what to do with him. On one hand, he helped a madman create a machine that nearly destroyed the world. On the other it was his own foresight that helped defeat Magneto. Some wanted him imprisoned for the rest of his days. Others wanted him executed because his gifts were just too much of a threat. Either way, his creative genius was going to be restrained. It seemed all but necessary in a world that wasn’t ready for his machines.
After rotting in a prison cell at NORAD for a while, he came across a new opportunity. White Cell, a private military company that often employed mutants, pulled a few strings to get him out. The only catch was he was going to have to work for a special research facility called Muir Island. They didn’t tell him too much about what he would be tasked with, only that he would have a chance to put his talents to good use. At this point, anything was a step up.
He arrived on the Muir Island landing platform via transport chopper, courtesy of White Cell. He was still in shackles and being carefully watched by John Proudstar. But so long as he was a prisoner, he had to call him Thunderbird. Since he was a former X-men, he had little sympathy for him after helping Magneto.
“We’re here. Get up,” ordered the Native American mutant sternly.
“Seriously, is it so much to ask for a simple please?” groaned Forge, “I get that shit enough back at NORAD.”
“After helping a man like Magneto, you deserve every bit of it,” said John as he shoved him to the rear of the plane.
“In case you forgot, I did help stop him.”
“You wouldn’t have had to if you hadn’t gone along with him in the first place. It would have spared the world a whole lot of anguish and one of my partners wouldn’t be in a coma.”
Forge shifted, muttering some curses under his breath as John led him out the rear entrance. As soon as the hatch was opened, they encountered the dreary Irish weather. It was pouring rain and very windy. But aside from the conditions, the facility before him looked pretty advanced.
“You should feel lucky,” said Thunderbird, “If it were up to me you would stay locked in the darkest cell in Guantanamo Bay, but you still have something to offer the world you almost destroyed. As it just so happens, a few friends of mine have the right leverage.”
“These friends of yours sound generous,” grinned Forge.
“Don’t mistake it for a charity. One of them happens to be an old partner and trust me, he’s not doing this out of the goodness of his heart. He’ll be keeping a close eye on you and so will I. You got yourself a big break, Forge. Don’t blow it.”
“Thank you for the encouragement. No wonder you went so far in the Marines,” said Forge dryly.
Thunderbird ignored his remark and shoved him forward into the rain. A few other White Cell guards followed them, keeping their weapons pointed right at Forge in case he made a break for it. If he knew what was good for him, he would get comfortable here because this was going to be his home for the foreseeable future.
Just outside the landing zone, two figures were waiting. It was Moria MacTaggart and Sean Cassidy. As soon as John Proudstar saw Sean, he nodded and saluted. Sean smiled and saluted back. As old partners, they were still bound by their roles.
“Good to see you again, Banshee,” John greeted.
“Ye too, Thunderbird,” replied Sean, “But I’m not in White Cell anymore. Just call me Sean.”
“I’m more tempted to call you crazy for brokering a deal like this. How you got the higher ups to let Forge work for Muir Island is beyond me,” retorted the Native American mutant as he roughly shoved Forge towards them.
“Ow! Easy there! You’re the super strong one! Not me!” groaned Forge.
“Sorry about that, lad. John tends to hold a grudge longer than most people,” said Sean as he undid his shackles, “It’s a good thing the leaders at White Cell are more forgiving. They just needed a few reminders of all my years of service to them and they made it happen.”
“That still doesn’t make him any less deserving of a prison cell,” muttered John.
“Ever consider giving therapy a shot, Proudstar?” groaned Forge.
“Watch it, Forge! Get used to my attitude because you’ll still be dealing with me! Sean and Moria here may have you in their custody, but there’s no way the big wigs back in the states will let someone like you go unsupervised. That means I’ll be checking in regularly to make sure you’re not constructing another doomsday weapon.”
“I’m sure you’ll be looking forward to it,” groaned Forge.
John Proudstar’s gaze narrowed as Sean shooed away the rest of the White Cell guards. He made it clear he was not letting him off the hook. Forge may be a brilliant inventor, but he was no fighter. He had no desire to test his luck with these people.
Thankfully, Sean and Moria looked a little more welcoming. Moria even held her umbrella over his head so that the pouring rain would stop soaking him. They started leading him inside, ready to show him where he would be putting his inventive skills to good use.
“I be honored to have ye here, Forge. I think ye will find Muir Island to be the perfect place for an inventive mind like yours.”
“Compared to prison, anything would be a step up. Making a cell phone out of a bar of soap just gets old after a while,” said Forge, “So what exactly will I be working on? I’m guessing you don’t call in these kinds of favors just to upgrade your laptop.”
“Oh we have quite a challenge for ye, lad,” said Sean, “And ye be coming in at the right time because we’re all pretty stumped.”
“Sounds right up my ally,” grinned the mutant inventor, “So what’s the problem?”
“Not what…who,” said Moria with a slightly saddened look, “It’s my son, Kevin. He’s a mutant with very dangerous powers.”
“Ah, I see. Issues with control, I’m guessing?”