We open with our main character’s eyes opening in a strange lab…
“Ah, you’re awake. Welcome to Utopia” Beast says, as he fiddles with some instruments. Still groggy, our lead character stumbles about, trying to get his bearings. “Where…where is this?” Beast explains that the team carried him to their base after Wolverine knocked him out. “So…you kidnapped me?” “I’d like to think we rescued you, but if you want to be uppity about it…” “Look, I’m fine now, so just put me back on that jet and send me home. Maybe I still have time to graduate.” “…I wouldn’t be so sure.” “What do you mean?” “You’ve been unconscious for over a week.”
“WHAT?!? Did you tranquilize me? What the hell kind of experiments did you run on me?” “Try to stay calm son, you wouldn’t want another flare-up of your powers.” “My powers? What the hell are you talking about?” “Sit down.”
Our “hero” sits down as Beast explains his budding mutant abilities. He releases a pheromone that makes anyone in the area hostile towards him. For now, it seems to be triggered by his fear. If he thinks someone is about to become hostile toward him, the pheromone activates to make sure that happens. Since the ability kicked in it’s been turned on non-stop, which combined with Wolverine’s punch to the stomach, caused the guy to completely exhaust himself.
Naturally, he doesn’t take this news well. “So, if I’m afraid someone will kill me, that makes them want to kill me? That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! And it took you a WEEK to figure this out? If you know so much about it, you can fix it right! Just turn those pheromones off!”
“I’m afraid it’s not that simple. It’s part of your mutant physiology. To turn it off would require us to practically make you brain dead.” “That’s not good enough. You bastards owe me. You let this crap go unchecked, and then you uproot me from my home. It only works when I get freaked out, right? So, I just don’t get scared. Great. Take me back home and explain to my school and parents just what went wrong here.” “Sorry lad, but it’s just not safe for you to be out in the real world until you get some proper training.” The main character slams a table to the ground. “THIS IS BULL$&^@! Who do you people think you are? You can’t just keep me here!”
Beast tries to calm him down, but begins to slur his words. The kid gives pause when he notices Hank’s eyes turn a familiar red color. Beast lunges at him, but is knocked back with an optic blast.
“What Hank here was trying to tell you…we don’t know EXACTLY what triggers your power. Yes, fear is a strong factor, but any extreme emotion could activate that ability.” “Oh, god. I’m a walking time-bomb. I..I can’t live like this. My life is over.” Cyclops reaches a hand toward him. “Six months. Give us six months to train you with your powers. We’ve got friends in the education system, so we can help you there as well. After that, you’ll be free to return home, as long as you’re serious about this.” “Alright…you’ve got six months.”
After this, we begin a series of training montages. He meets up with the Young X-Men, who seem to give him a hard time at first (calling him “Decoy” because of his power). He struggles with control, even as Wolverine attempts to teach him self-defense while his power is activated. Anole tries to make friends with him, but Decoy’s frustration pushes him away.
Slowly, his training improves, even managing to take down one of the team while they’re stuck in “rage mode.” Eventually, he begins to bond with Anole, as he helps Decoy cope with the new situation he’s found himself in. Decoy begins to open up about himself at last. His parents weren’t poor, but compared to most of the other students his class, they were. Everyone else seemed to have the newest iPod, or the most stylish clothes, while he had to wait for his parents to save up for last years model as a birthday gift. He’s studying to be a lawyer so he can finally be a “somebody.”
“Really?” Anole quips. “That’s your big origin story?” Decoy admits it’s pretty selfish, but he never had anyone to look up to, or even any friends to push him forward. “Well, you’ve got us now, don’t you? You can still be the crazy awesome lawyer, but you don’t have to be alone.” “Really? You’d support me in my selfish conquest?” “Why not? Contrary to what you might think, you’re NOT a bad guy. I think you might actually deserve some happiness.” Decoy puts his arm around Anole. “Thanks, man. That really does mean a lot.”
They look into each other’s eyes a bit, and Decoy tries to fill the awkward silence. “I mean, I’m glad we-” he’s interrupted as Anole kisses him. Decoy pushes back almost immediately. “Oh, god…I’m so sorry!” Anole panics. “That was…slimy” Decoy says. “I didn’t mean to…I just-” Decoy interrupts him by sticking his tongue down his throat. They go full on makey outey for a minute, before pulling back. “Man, I did not know THAT about myself” Decoy states.
The make outs are cut short as one of the Young X-Men bursts into the room announcing that the Danger Room has been infiltrated by Donald Pierce and the Reavers. The two join the rest of the mutant youths as they stand off against the cyborg killers. The team is about to jump into action before Decoy protests. “Wait! I’ll…I’ll distract them, while you guys circle behind and take them down.” The team is against it, but Decoy assures them he can handle it. “Alright, Decoy. Time to see if all this training was worth it” he says to himself.
With the team a safe distance away, Decoy walks up to the team of Reavers alone. They mock him, saying they could easily take him apart in seconds. “Yeah. You probably will” he fires back. He activates his power, and he sees the rage take control of them. However, he notices something else. Their cybernetics clash with what their human brains tell them to do and they all instantly short circuit.
The Young X-Men come out of hiding laughing their asses off. Decoy is dumbfounded, until Rockslide picks him up and puts him on his back. “Three cheers for the new guy, who just took down the $&%#ing Reavers SINGLE-HANDED.” “Wait, we don’t actually have to do three separate cheers, do we?” one of them asks.
One week later, we see a Blackbird jet preparing for takeoff. Anole is standing in front of Decoy. “Do you really have to go?” “Yeah, I’ve got to prove that I can do this. Killer robot morons aside, I’m not really built for the whole superhero thing you guys have going here, you know?” “I think you’d make a fantastic superhero.” “Somehow, I don’t see the name ‘Decoy’ striking fear into villains hearts.” They exchange a kiss as the rest of the Young X-Men make “Woooooo!” noises in the background. Decoy flips them off, as Anole hugs him.
Decoy gets on the plane, while Anole yells “Call me!” Decoy gets into the cockpit, as Cyclops (who’s piloting) asks him “Are you sure you want to do this?” “No, but I need to do this. Besides, my parents probably think I’m dead” he says, laughing to himself. “Well, no matter what happens, know you always have a place here.” “Thanks, Mr. Summers, but it’s high time I return home.”
Next issue: The final chapter of volume one!