Hellfire Academy

The Hellfire Academy no longer exists. This is why.

The Hellfire Academy

The Hellfire Academy had been around for years and, in many ways, was responsible for how the Xavier Institute became what it is now. They would have loved people to believe that it was financially backed by the Hellfire Club but the truth is that the founders, and source of all the funds that kept the very privileged and secluded school going, are still unknown. However, more than one business fueled and funded by suspected Hydra contacts had donated to the cause.

The official purpose of the academy was simple: protect mutants. The school wanted to give them the opportunity and access to tools and education they would not have had otherwise. They would get support in a world that wants to treat them as things and would cast them out. In practice, they found mutants with power and potential, sold them a story of a world that feared and rejected them, and offered them a refuge where they would be celebrated and able to achieve their full potential among their own kind.

The HFA taught their students that humans would always fear them because they fear being left behind in evolution and that mutants were the way of the future: nature's way of evolving. They instilled in their charges the pride of revolutionaries and 'evolutionaries' and that by becoming stronger and better than they were the day before, they coul make life better for people. Their people. The students were taught to survive, rise, and rule. Survival of the fittest was the recurring anthem.

For all the support the instructors professed for their students, the truth was that the students wee kept under a constant state of stress so they could "learn to endure". They said it was because the real world doesn't take days off and injustice to mutants never rests. There was a more sinister reason for this and that was to create the fractures that needed to be fixed. Charles Xavier, in the process of creating a refuge for mutants in with the purpose of helping them find harmony within themselves and society, watched as the secluded Academy took young mutants and formed them into tiny, militant, junior villains filled with hate and intolerance for humans.

The Hellfire Academy was creating the very catalyst the Registration Act professed to protect society from, giving validation to the world's growing concerns, which in turn fueled the purpose and desire for retaliation of the HFA student body. The whole situation was a giant, deliberately planned, powder keg and Professor Xavier could see that the children were being used in a war as puppets and pawns, set up to fail so their contempt and purpose would build.

In 2014 the Sentinels tried to quash the Hellfire Academy on one of their projects (goal unknown). In the battle, the Sentinels did a lot of damage to the outlying infrastructure and several civilians were hurt, injured or killed along with a few students. This event helped push the UN to overturn the practice of robotized law enforcement in any UN state due to the lack of discretion and restraint and on violating basic civil rights. While a step forward, the Hellfire Academy regarded it as one small step in a much larger war they were going to win.

Seeing that the harm this was causing the students and to the peaceful relations between mutants, humans, and other powered persons, Professor Xavier searched for an opportunity to bring the rival school down. During a mission to stop an anti-powers protest, a large portion of the HFA senior class that responded, were gassed and captured. The Hellfire Academy didn't put much effort into their recovery but the X-Men did. The students were found in a medical facility where they were being experimented on and their DNA was being sampled and altered. The X-Men saved those they could but many were beyond help. Those still alive were brought back to the school and helped to recover.

It was the belief of the Professor that these young people could be saved, not just physically but ethically. While it was not well received by his own students after what many from the rival Academy had done, the Professor did what he could. For some, it was too late. One fell into a coma and remains so to this day. Others were turned over to SHIELD or to the Federal government, their indoctrination by the HFA having too firm a hold on them. A couple though regretted what they had done and agreed to help, giving the X-Men what information they could. In late 2016, the X-Men struck the Academy, forcing the instructors that were not captured to flee and seizing enough documents to make any attempt to rebuild impossible.

Many questions still remain unanswered. Who was funding this? Will they rise again? Can those that betrayed their team ever be trusted? Is the threat of the Academy and its students still looming out there? They want rights for Mutants at any cost so it is unlikely this has really changed. Until then the X-Men stay vigilant for those who pose a threat to their kind and still try to reach out and protect their own.

Maybe someday a peace can be forged. Until then the long road of working towards it remains.

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