Introduction - A Brave New World

“Fuck your parade, Bailey Bishop. I’m not crazy-” *click*

Sam paused the video stream on this laptop and leaned back in his chair. A hundred thoughts ran through his head, so many questions and possibilities. His heart raced as he stood up and the whole studio apartment spun around him, causing him to hold onto the corner of the desk. But as he composed himself, a smile started to spread across his face. After 15 years, after the wondering and hoping. "I can't believe this, I'm-" at that moment, a loud tone rang out from his messenger bag hanging off of his road bike and his heart jumped again. He reached into his bag and pulled out his cellphone. 'Incoming Call - Mom'. "Shit." First a new Mutant announcement and now his mom wanting to talk to him? Sam knew this couldn't be a coincidence. He paused for a moment and cleared his throat before picking up the line.

"Mmm hello?" Sam tried to sound casual.

"Sam. We need to talk about that broadcast." She was cold as usual, but there was a hint of urgency in her voice.

"Uh what..broadcast?" He was trying his best to sound oblivious, but it was obvious he was aware of the situation.

"The NBC broadcast you and I both watched where the Maximoffs showed up, Sam. We need to discuss this!" She raised her voice. It was clear she was unsettled about this for some reason. There was a pause for a moment. Sharon took a second to compose herself and Sam was never able to find words to say when his Mom was upset. "I'm sorry, Samuel. This is just...this is a very volatile situation. And I can only imagine what's going on in your head. I don't want anything to happen to you and I don't want you just running out there blindly without a clue as to what this could mean. Look, I'm on a flight as we speak, I'll be landing at LaGuardia an hour or so. I'm coming over to talk, okay? Don't go anywhere. Please."

Sam stood there deciding how to respond. He's used to her being distant and a bit peeved. But she seems worried and he's never heard her ask to openly talk to him. "Okay. I'll see you soon," was all he could manage. He hung up and sat back in his desk chair. Picking up the framed picture of his parents and himself when he was 7 in Time Square, a slight smile came back to him. "What do I do, Dad?" he thought to himself.

He placed the picture back down and and re-watched the broadcast stream. *click* "The children of those done and gone heroes are grown up, or growing up. We’re here to stake a flag of peace and set a banner for those progeny." The Progeny. Sam always had an idea that there must have been at least one or two other kids out there. His Mom never spoke about the team or what was left of them, after the Exodus. So he pieced together what he could over the years, from old articles and documents he would come across. Only ever getting idea and notions, never finding any solid evidence. Now all of the sudden, these two are making headlines, running in subway tunnels, running through the streets with kites and showing themselves on national TV? Who or what else could be out there?

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Sam opened his front door once he heard the soft knocks. "I like what you've done with the space." Sharon stepped through the door and placed her briefcase down. Sam took her coat and hung in up in the closet. "Thanks. Been here since graduation, made it as comfortable as I can." Sharon smiled, "While still fitting a gym's worth of equipment in here, I see.", her eyes fixed on the workout corner of his apartment. "Yeah. Keeps me busy." He couldn't find the will to smile back. She noticed his unwillingness to talk and dropped the subject. She walked over to his desk and picked up the family picture. She teared up after a moment and placed it back down.

"Okay Sam, sit down please.", she motioned to the desk chair as she pulled a folded chair leaning against the wall. Sam reluctantly sat and waited for her to speak. "We should have...I should have spoken to you about this a long time ago. I haven't spoken to you or anyone about this since it happened. But I can't keep this bottled anymore. There's a lot I should have done differently. When we lost everyone....when we lost your father. I was there. I watched him turn into nothing. I lost the love of my life in an instant and I didn't know how to cope. I shut myself off from everything and everyone. It wasn't fair what I did. And it wasn't fair what I made you go through. I put you through hell, trained you to be ready for things that never came and stole your childhood away from you. Out of some fear that I'd lose you too if we weren't ready for whatever came next. And I never was the mother you needed. I-" she started crying uncontrollably. Sam, completely taken aback, was frozen with emotion. His mother just walked in and actually opened up to him. He wasn't sure where to even begin, but he stood and held his mother tight as he started to tear up as well.

"I love you, Mom. It's okay, I love you" His voice trembled. Sharon held him close as she tried to regain her breathing. After a few moments, they broke their embrace. They both laughed a bit as they wiped their eyes and sat back down. "Son, we will absolutely talk more about your father and everything else you may have questions on. But first we really need to talk about that news interview."

He sat forward in his seat and leaned in towards Sharon, "So who are the Maximoffs? And what exactly did they mean by 'the progeny'?" She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, "It's as she said; she is the daughter of Wanda Maximoff and he is the son of Pietro Maximoff. They decided it was best to reveal themselves to the world. It seems, much like her mother, Theodosia is able to see events coming. So I'm assuming she's trying to get ahead of some curve. Though I'm not sure a borderline press conference was the way to go about it, she made her point." Sam was wide eyed and fully attentive, hanging on every word she said. "Her 'team' she spoke of, is, I'm assuming, the other children of the old guard. Unfortunately, I have no idea who those others could be. I wasn't personally super close to a lot of the team members. And Steve didn't like to talk about the others personal lives out of respect to them. But if you and those two are around, it's a safe bet there are a whole load more out there somewhere."

"And the question is," Sam injected, "which way are they going to land when they hear this? How many are going to want to side with her? How many are going to stay hidden?" Sharon stood up and adjusted her hair, "And more importantly, how many will decide that they don't want heroes back and will go after you all for it? Ms Bishop might have been overly aggressive during the interview, but she was right about one thing- The Avengers had more than their fair share of people after them simply for wanting to help others. And I don't see any reason why it wouldn't repeat itself." She walked over to the window to look out at the intersection below. She turned back to him, "And you? Where do you land, Samuel?"

He leaned back in his chair for a moment, contemplating everything he's been told, everything he's learned over the years. He stood up and walked to the window as well. "Mom. You wanted me to be ready for whatever comes next. Isn't THIS that's what comes next? Shouldn't I DO something with myself and these..skills? Aren't I suppose to help people?" She held his face softly, "of course I want you to help people! But we have no idea if those two are really on the up and up. And we have no idea who else may have their eyes on this. I know you want to go and get more answers. But please promise me that you will let me do more research before you go near them. I don't want you walking into the lions den unprepared."

Sam sighed and grabbed his mothers hands as he looked down. "Okay. I won't go looking for them." They hugged tightly. "I'll be in town for a few days, taking care of some business but I promise, as soon as I can find out more, I will help you reach out to them. I have to go now, okay?" Sharon let go of him and retrieved her coat and briefcase. "Here, this is my office number while I'm in town, in case you can't reach me by cell. We'll talk soon." She kissed him on the cheek and let herself out. Sam let the back of his head fall against the door as he closed it and sank down to the floor.

"Great. What now?"

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