Chapter 1: Chapter 01
Charles Xavier sat alone inside the Cerebra chamber, not using the helmet but simply looking at what used to be Cerebro. He liked to come here and be alone with his thoughts. Especially during this day in particular.
Almost two and a half decades ago, his team of X-Men stopped Apocalypse as well as him and the other Horsemen. Today was the anniversary of that day. As just like every anniversary, Charles isolated himself to think about the things he saw inside the ancient Mutant’s mind and as the years went by, to think about things that happened, didn’t happen and, fearfully, could still happen.
While that hadn’t been their last encounter with the ancient Egyptian, it was the one that made the most impact in the world. One of the things that happened in the following years after that battle was the rise of heroes, superheroes to be more specific. The majority of them weren’t Mutants but had acquired their powers through different ways. Charles, as well as other X-Men, liked to believe they inspired them to rise and make the world a better place. However, having heroes would always bring the opposite as well.
Things that Charles never saw in Apocalypse’s mind came to pass, related to the other heroes. Conflicts that sometimes reached a world-level of threatening such as invading aliens and their wars as well as other more particular things the other heroes and the teams they formed dealt with.
As for him and his X-Men, they had their fair share of trouble throughout these years.
Charles had waited and prepared for the things he thought would come. Mutant-Human relationships had several ups and downs during these last decades, with some extreme cases they had to deal like being hunted not only from a resurrected Sentinel Project but also from humans groups, religious groups and even from government-backed groups. Those were dark times, but they overcame it. Not to mention they had also dealt with a highly advanced Sentinel from the future that after they destroyed it, it came back in another form as one of their worst enemies yet.
Good things had also happened like he had foreseen. Magneto, no, Erik had his redemption after much turmoil and many battles but in the end, he overcame his darkness. He taught at the school for some time when Charles and the rest of the X-Men weren’t around. He bonded with a lot of students yet he decided, that even after doing good things, this wasn’t for him. That’s when he moved to the nation of Genosha, a Mutant-ruled small nation off the coast of Africa. He had lived there ever since.
The only thing, the one he had feared the most and spent all these years still fearing was Jean. How he saw her lose control of her power and become… the Phoenix. At the time, he didn’t know what that meant, but eventually, he learned. A few years ago, the X-Men went into space, to help a group of aliens from the Sh’iar Empire. There, he learned about the legend of the Phoenix, a primordial force of life and death. He never told anyone, not even Jean that he had seen her become it or it possess her. He was just happy that it didn’t happen.
Also when you have time-traveling Mutants from different timelines coming to the present as well as ones from alternative realities, it makes you think how much is the future set. Things he had seen happened yet others didn’t. Things he thought would happen a certain way happened differently. He learned that the future can change, and he would keep fighting for it to change for the best.
He sighed, remembering that summer was about to end. Soon, the X-Mansion would greet its students back. Part of his dream had slowly come true. A school, slowly but surely turning into a University campus, where Mutants could feel safe and even interact with human students had come to be. Sure, most of the human students were children of SHIELD agents and non-powered heroes but it was a start nonetheless. The hardest thing would be his next step once the school semester began.
Jean woke with the rising sun on her face. She turned around on the bed and tried to reach for Scott, but he wasn’t there. She slowly opened her eyes to see that her husband really wasn’t lying there with her anymore. She gently scanned the room with her mind and noticed his presence still inside the room. She could feel him sitting in his favorite chair. He was probably watching the sunrise. A habit he got from Charles.
“Morning.” He said from the chair. He didn’t see her wake up, but he definitely felt her mental touch in his mind.
“Morning,” She said smiling as she sat up. “Why are you up so early? You know our vacation is going to end pretty soon.”
“I know,” He rose from the chair and walked over her. “You know how I like to watch the sunrise.”
She smiled at him and welcomed his kiss. She wanted to complain about her morning breath, but Scott always simply ignored her when it came to that. Both had married each other almost a decade ago. Scott had become a very muscular man who still wore his hair the same way he did back in high school. Jean had grown into the beautiful woman that everyone knew she would become and most people wouldn’t say she was a mother of two. The perks of being a superheroine.
“What are the plans for today?” Jean asked, still not wanting to get up from bed.
“Another hike would probably make the kids hate me,” Scott said with a laugh, which Jean agreed with. “I was thinking maybe let them choose. We could go to town, see what they would like to do.”
“Sounds like a good plan,” Jean nodded. “Rachel might enjoy the exercise, but I can see her getting tired of it. Plus, CC is getting tired of having no technology around here besides the only computer we keep in this room.”
“Boy just needs to learn how to live without it from time to time.” Scott stated simply.
Jean shook her head smiling. “I can say that even if he complains, he’s really happy you brought us here, you know that, don’t you?”
Scott nodded with a small smile. “It’s good to be back here.”
“I’m glad we were able to buy it back.” Jean said as she grabbed her husband’s hand.
“Me too.” Scott said quietly, looking around the room that had once belonged to his parents.
“Well,” Jean started to get up and tie her long red hair. “I think I’m going to hop in the shower.”
“Okay.” Scott gave her a small kiss on her lips and went to sit at a desk with a computer.
“Care to join me?” She asked teasingly.
“I’d love to,” Scott said not looking at her.
“But?” She asked.
He faced her and gave her an apologetic expression. “I wanted to check how things are, you know?”
“Things.” She didn’t ask because she knew what he was talking about.
Scott sighed. “I just want to check how things in the world are, you know?”
“No,” She walked over to stand right next to him and put her hands on her hips. “You want to know if there has been any invasion or battle or killing robots or dimensional openings going on.”
Scott couldn’t lie. She knew him. So, he simply nodded.
“No sir!” She grabbed his hand and made him follow her away from the computer. “We are here on vacation, OK? If the world was ending, we would have heard it by now.”
“But,” He tried to argue, but she put a finger on his lips.
“No buts,” She told him. “Just vacation. Now, come on. Let’s go before the kids wake up.”
She winked at him and he smiled broadly, as the two headed towards the bathroom.
Logan had spent most of his vacation riding around Canada on his motorcycle. Staying at the Mansion was not something he enjoyed and he always preferred to spend some alone time. Even though he wasn’t part of any X-Team anymore, he still worked there as a History teacher. The irony of it had never escaped him but he was glad to help Charles. Plus, he would probably be the only History teacher in that school, well, forever. At least, he would be able to teach the subject as one who experienced it all.
His last stop before returning to the States was to visit an old couple of friends, one that was part of his life even before he met Charles. Back before the X-Men and all the other superhero groups.
He parked his cycle in front of a very simple-looking chalet in the middle of the woods. Of course, James would prefer to live like this. He only wondered if Heather was used to it by now.
He walked up to the door and knocked, looking around the area. He could picture himself living in a place like this. Well, he had lived in a place like this once…
The door opened and a beautiful redhead woman welcomed Logan. She was at first surprised to see who was standing there, but it soon turned into happiness as she smiled and hugged him tightly. Logan returned the gesture. This wasn’t his sort of thing, but this was Heather. She was an exception.
“Logan!” She held him in front of her. “What are you doing here? You didn’t tell us you were coming!”
“I was around the neighborhood,” Logan smirked. “Thought I dropped by and see how you are doing.”
“Around the neighborhood?” Heather asked with a raised eyebrow. “Sure, well, come in, come in. James! Come look who’s here!”
Logan looked around the place. It was quite simple, very different from the last place the couple used to live but back then, they were still part of a governmental organization. This was probably their idea of retirement.
Coming down from the stairs, a man with black hair that was starting to go white had a look of surprise as he saw their guest. He walked over to Logan with his face serious. The two stared at each for a long time before laughing. They hugged and slapped each other’s back.
“Old man Logan, as I live and breathe!” James laughed looking at his old friend. “Well, I can’t really say old after all.”
Logan gave him a small smile. “Sorry, Jamie boy. We all can’t have white hair.”
James laughed as the three moved to sit down. “Not all of us are that lucky.”
“Your wife, on the other hand…” Logan teased.
“Logan,” Heather said in a reprehending tone, but she was smiling. “Still can’t keep your eyes off redheads, eh?”
Logan just laughed and shook his head. If anything, he was much better at that. Even if Jean had grown into the woman she was… he never looked at her like that. Ever. Her sister Julia on the other hand … that was a completely different story.
“So,” James said. “What brings you here, so far away from your big city and land of the free and the brave?”
“Vacation,” Logan explained. “Summer is almost over then it’s back to business.”
“As in a teacher, right?” Heather asked. “You aren’t an... X-Man anymore, are you?”
Logan sighed silently before simply shaking his head. That had been a decision he took a long time ago. The X-Men had grown, and they had changed. He would help them from time to time, but it was time for the others to take the mantle. After all, he still wanted a somewhat peaceful life, no matter how many signs told him he would never have that.
“That’s good,” James told him. “We can’t all be heroes forever.”
“I guess you two understand that huh?” He asked.
The two shared a brief glance. They did understand that.
“Unlike you, Logan, we have aged.” Heather explained.
“And Alpha Flight is doing well without us,” James said quite proudly. “As is the rest of The Flight program.”
“I take they really went ahead and expanded it then.” Logan deduced.
James nodded. “I suppose they have to thank all of your Mutant teams with an X on it for that.”
Logan laughed. “What about your suits? Are they…?”
“There is a new Guardian.” James said.
“A new Vindicator as well.” Heather completed.
Logan nodded. He wondered how they felt with other people having their old personas. That, in turn, made him think how he would feel if someone else became Wolverine. He came to the quick conclusion that only Laura was worthy of doing that.
“So,” Logan looked around. “Where’s the kid?”
“Claire?” James asked. “Probably in her room sleeping.”
“Would you like to come up and see her?” Heather asked.
“Definitely,” Logan said as they got up. “Haven’t seen her for quite a long time.”
“She is already talking.” Heather commented.
“And walking.” James added.
“The best stage, I can imagine.” Logan teased them.
“Wait until the day you have children.” Heather told him.
Logan just laughed. “You can really see me with children? As in plural?”
“What are you talking about? You are a father, Logan.” James reminded him.
“Adopted,” Logan said. James was referring to Amiko, a girl he had adopted years ago after trying to save her and her mother in Tokyo. “And she was already past this stage.”
“That doesn’t change the fact she is your daughter.” Heather stated. And she was right, after all, like him, both Heather and James loved their adopted children like their own.
He simply nodded in response. “I just can’t really see myself being a father of more kids.”
“Can you imagine that?” James wondered. “All those little Wolverines running amok.”
The three laughed at the idea as they went upstairs to see the Hudson-MacNeil daughter.
The international airport of Wakanda’s capital city wasn’t full that day but the royal family was using a private part of it in any case. King T’Challa, also known as the superhero Black Panther, walked while holding the hand of his wife, the now Queen Ororo T’Challa, formerly Ororo Munroe but still the X-Man Storm. Right by their side was their young daughter Gaea T’Challa, who was going to the United States with her mother for the first time since she had developed her Mutant powers.
Following them was the Dora Milajee; the King’s personal defense team composed of Wakanda’s best fighting females. They were there not only doing their job but also taking T’Challa’s niece T’Channa, daughter of his sister Shuri, to go with the Queen and the Princess to America to study at the Xavier Institute. She wasn’t a Mutant but she wanted to know what their University program could offer. Shuri herself wasn’t there, busy with her organization P.R.I.D.E.
Taking the same idea, the adopted children of two members of the Dora Milajee, Ayo and Aneka were also going to the Institute. Ororo was happy that they were all going in order to broaden their experiences but she couldn’t help but wonder if Udo and Ama weren’t going also to look after the Royal Family members.
“Are you sure you will be able to take care of everything by yourself?” Ororo asked her husband. Her tone was teasing but she truly worried.
T’Challa just smiled, took the hand he was holding and kissed the back of it. “Of course. You do remember I have been King of this nation for quite some time, don’t you?”
“Yes, I do.” Ororo smiled back.
“And that I did it by myself for this time as well as being part of the Avengers and the Defenders?” Now he was teasing him.
“I know, I know. I will stop. I just … miss my people whenever I have to leave.”
“I know you do,” T’Challa said. “But we both agreed you wouldn’t stop your previous life after our marriage. Actually, you were the one that insisted in the first place.”
Ororo laughed. That was true.
“And you can always come back whenever you want.” T’Challa reminded her.
That was true. Charles had given her the leadership of one of the X-Men teams and she had gladly accepted it but he had also told her that if the occasion came of Wakanda needing her, she could leave and they would take care of everything. Her husband, being the King and Black Panther, had a very similar agreement with his teams.
They all reached the boarding area. Ayo and Aneka said their goodbyes to their two children and reminded them to keep in contact. Ororo could swear she heard the two women whispering for the two to keep an eye on the Queen and the Princesses but she let it slip.
“I just don’t understand why we need to take a private airplane.” Gaea wondered, catching her cousin’s attention.
“We are royalty,” T’Channa reminded the younger girl. “We can’t really take Wakanda Airlines without causing some sort of commotion.”
“No,” Gaea shook her head. “I mean, couldn’t my mom just… fly us there?”
Ororo and T’Challa overheard the conversation and laughed alongside T’Channa, which only made Gaea look at them confused. She knew for a fact that her mom had done that before when she need to leave America and come back here. Why couldn’t they do the same thing to go there?
“As much as that would be simpler,” Ororo began to explain. “It would take a lot of me to fly all of us there.”
“And I would feel better and less worried if you all went on a plane that I know is safer.” T’Challa told his daughter.
Gaea just nodded.
Udo and Ama helped T’Channa and Gaea begin their boarding process after they said their goodbyes to the King, leaving just him and his wife.
T’Challa gave his wife a passionate kiss. <I will miss you, my queen.>
Ororo smiled at him speaking Wakandan. <I will miss you, my king.>
The two shared another kiss before Ororo prepared to board the plane.
“Call me as soon as the plane lands.” T’Challa said. His tone was serious, but Ororo could tell he was practically pleading for her to do that.
“Don’t worry, I will.” She gave him another kiss.
“Thank you.” He said with a small sigh of relief.
“Don’t worry,” She touched his face with her hand. “Nothing is wrong is going to happen. We’ll be seeing each other soon.”
The family of four entered their hotel room, shaking their umbrellas as rain poured outside. The older woman of them, the mother, was the only one who clearly didn’t have blue skin while the other three had.
“Dad,” An older girl who looked more like her father physically speaking. “I thought we were coming to England for the summer.”
Kurt Wagner laughed. His appearance hadn’t changed that much over the years. If anything, he was just a bit taller and had put on some muscles, but he still looked the same. He even had the same hair he had back in high school.
“I’m sorry, TJ,” Kurt said as gathered all the wet umbrellas. “I told you even during summer here, the weather is unpredictable.”
“It’s global warming, you know?” The younger girl said. She had a more human-looking appearance, with five fingers and no tail, but she still had the blue fur. “The weather behaving like that.”
“Or maybe Ororo decided to come here and she just forgot to tell me.” Kurt joked, but only his wife, Amanda Sefton, laughed.
Amanda and Kurt had gotten married a few years after she finished college and Kurt had returned from England once he left Excalibur, the superhero team of England, which was the reason they were all there in the first place. He missed his old friends, so he came to visit them and introduce his whole family who they still hadn’t met completely.
The couple had two daughters, TJ and Kymri Wagner. TJ, short for Talia Josephine, was the first-born and had inherited the complete physical appearance of her father. Her powers were different however as she had the power to possess the body of others. As for the other daughter, Kymri, named after a woman that had the same appearance of Kurt he had met during one of his adventures with Excalibur had inherited the magick powers of her mother’s family.
The Sefton family, as it turned out, was a family of powerful magick users, from Amanda’s mother side of the family. Amanda herself never experimented with magick, even though she knew she had the potential. Kymri had embraced them as her gift and had learned a lot about them thanks to Magik and Scarlet Witch.
“Why don’t you girls go enjoy the fact this room has two different bathrooms and take hot showers?” Amanda offered and the girls didn’t need to be told twice.
Kurt laughed as Amanda approached him with a smile. “You are happy to be here.”
“I am,” He agreed. “This was my home for a long time. It’s good to see them again.”
“How was the talk with Brian?” Amanda asked.
“We discussed the idea,” Kurt said somewhat defeated. “He still thinks he should take care of his son with the rest of the team.”
“Even if he really is a Mutant?” Amanda asked crossing her arms.
“Even if,” Kurt said, but shook his head and smiled, trying to make the situation less awkward. “Plus, no one is one hundred percent sure that Junior is a Mutant and just didn’t inherit the powers from his father.”
“Still,” Amanda really was trying to understand the side of Kurt’s old friend. “Wouldn’t that still make him a Mutant and not a Mutate?”
“I know, I know,” Kurt ran his three fingers through his blue hair. “I just want… to give him some time to figure everything out, ok?”
Amanda simply nodded. Kurt had this trait of seeing the best in everyone, even when he shouldn’t. While he didn’t talk much about Mutant and superheroes politics to her, she knew there was an agreement among almost every single team of superheroes around the world that if any of them had children and they were Mutants, they should be sent to Xavier’s for training. Even the Avengers, who had their own academy for future heroes, agreed with it. She could only hope this wouldn’t lead to something bad.
Katherine Pryde sat at a table in her home office, sorting through plenty of books. She sighed. There was so much to do before going back to the Mansion. The semester was not even going to start that soon. She kept looking at the mess before getting distracted from a knock on the door.
“Come in.” She said with her back to the door.
“Hey,” She turned around to see Lance Alvers, her husband, standing there. He looked understandingly at her desk and offered her a smile. “Busy?”
She sighed and laughed a little. “Just a bit. You know me.”
“I do.” He said as he closed the door.
Kitty sighed again, but now it was because she knew what was coming.
“Time to go, huh?” Lance said in a dry tone.
“Lance,” She sighed and felt her body getting tired. “Must… Do we really need to do this? Again? Every single semester?”
Lance turned his head and crossed his arms. “I’m sorry if it’s hard to see my wife leaving for such a long period of time.”
“And once again, I’m going to say the exact same thing I always tell you. You can come.” Kitty explained while trying to remain calm.
“And you know my answer, as I always tell you.” He told her.
They stared at each other in silence. Years passed, but some things didn’t change. Kitty was a successful woman who had grown in so many different ways. She wasn’t just a mother or a wife. She was a heroine. She was a teacher for Mutants. She was an X-Man.
Lance, on the other hand, didn’t change much. Physically, he had grown, even his hair, but his attitudes, even though most of the times he was a mature man, at other times, he was just like when he was part of the Brotherhood. Yet, he married Kitty and they still remained married until today, no matter how rocky their marriage was.
“So can we not have this discussion again?” Kitty pleaded. “I know you tried and…”
“Do you?” He asked seriously. “Do you really know that?”
She laughed a completely without humor laugh.
“I don’t?” She asked with an angry tone. “Lance, I have been with you for more than 20 years! I saw how many times you tried to change! Don’t you dare say I don’t know.”
Her husband said nothing.
“I am sorry that Freedom Force didn’t work the way you wanted to-”
He laughed just like her.
“What?” She asked seriously.
“Freedom Force? Do you truly believe it would have worked?” Lance asked.
“If you all had not been so… so…”
“Difficult.” She said it. “Lance, you all were trying to redeem yourselves but it didn’t work for all of you.”
“Wanda and Pietro managed.” He said with disdain.
“They are Avengers.” She said seriously. “They earned that.”
“And you don’t think I earn anything?” He scoffed.
“You do!” Kitty shouted. “You earned a lot of chances to do good, to be someone else, you just didn’t take them.”
“I don’t need to be someone else.” He told her.
She sighed and rubbed her forehead. She was tired of having this conversation. “You told me you wanted to change and I tried to help you.”
“By not being around?” He accused.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Kitty asked crossing her arms.
“After you finished high school, you went to college in another country.” Lance began. “Then, you went back to the X-Men. Then, you decided to work for SHIELD. Then, it was Excalibur. Then, it was the X-Men again as well as being a teacher. All of this, even after we had kids!”
“You are blaming me for doing something with my life? For being able to balance all that with motherhood?” Kitty couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
“You weren’t there for me!” Lance accused. “Why do you think Conrad…”
He stopped after seeing the hurt in his wife’s face. The subject of their older son was a difficult one for both of them.
She shook her head. “I’m sorry Lance. I’m sorry you wanted me to stop my life while you decided what you wanted to do with yours.”
“I… I just missed you,” He said. “I always miss you.”
“I do too,” She said honestly, but her tone was grave. “That doesn’t stop me from living my life.”
“Kitty,” Lance tried to find the words to say.
“We talked about this, Lance,” Kitty sighed. “More than I think we should and to be honest, I am tired of it.”
Lance looked at her in disbelief.
“I have a lot of things to do before I go back to the Mansion,” She turned away from him. “Spend some time with Meredith. She will miss you.”
“Like Conrad misses us so much he left the country?” Lance asked sarcastically. Kitty looked at him and shook her head, ignoring him and going back to her work.
Without saying anything else, Lance left the room, slamming the door.
Kitty jumped at the noise and inhaled sharply, blinking a few times. She wished things were different, she really did. The truth was that they simply weren’t.
Rogue stood for what felt like hours staring at the house in front of her. The woman, now with a longer hair tied into a tight bun still dressed completely in black and wore dark make-up. The things that were different were the fact she no longer wore gloves and she had an old and battered looking brown overcoat.
Being back here, where she grew up, was still way too surreal, even after all these years. Well, no reason to stand around and wait. She walked up the small flight of stairs and stood in front of the door. She inhaled deeply before knocking on it.
“Coming.” She heard from inside the house. A voice that even after without hearing it for a long time, she could still recognize.
A few seconds later, the door opened and Irene Adler, Rogue’s other adoptive mother or something close to that, opened the door. She looked quite older, with her hair gone completely white. She had her blacked out glasses on and her cane was in her hands. Without neither one saying anything, she smiled.
“Rogue,” She said. “It’s good to have you here. I was expecting you.”
Of course, she was. “Hello, Irene. I hope you don’t mind me stopping by.”
“When have I ever minded you coming to see me?” She moved so Rogue could enter the house. “Follow me to the kitchen please, I made us some tea.”
Rogue followed her silently, her eyes moving around the house she used to live on a long time ago. They arrived in the kitchen, where the table was already set for two. Rogue sat while Irene came with the tea. She poured some for the young woman and then for her. She sat down and smiled.
“It’s been quite some time.” Irene said.
“I know,” Rogue admitted ashamedly. “A lot happened and… I know that is not an excuse, it’s just…”
“You still don’t trust me completely,” Irene said as-a-matter-of-factly as she sipped her tea. “And you don’t know if you ever will.”
Rogue remained silent, unsure what to say.
“And I know you have been through a lot,” Irene told her. “I know about your… losses.”
Rogue looked at her brown overcoat. “You never got a chance to meet him.”
“I know he was a noble man,” Irene said making Rogue laugh a little. “At least he was, in the end.”
Rogue exhaled. “That he was.”
“I also know how you’ve grown,” Irene reached out and touched Rogue’s bare hand. “More than one way.”
“Yeah,” Rogue accepted the squeeze. “Lots have changed.”
“Mostly for the better, I hope.” Irene took another sip.
Rogue kept staring at her cup of tea, not really sure why she wasn’t even here.
“You do know that you never need to feel guilty for all that happened.” Irene said.
Rogue raised an eyebrow. “Are you reading minds now?”
“No,” Irene laughed. “I just know you.”
“Right.” Rogue nodded.
“You want to know about her.” Irene said.
Rogue’s heart started to race. That wasn’t even the reason she was here but she couldn’t ignore the curiosity she had for so long and if anyone knew about Mystique, it was Irene.
“So you do know about her?” Rogue asked.
Irene set down her cup of tea. “Raven and I will always be connected, no matter what.”
“That still doesn’t answer my question.” Rogue said, trying not to sound too harsh.
“I know it doesn’t,” Irene agreed. “Has she been giving you and your friends any trouble? Or Kurt in particular?”
“No,” Rogue shook her head. “It’s been a few years since we crossed paths. She seemed to be avoiding all of us.”
“Can you blame her?” Irene asked.
“I shouldn’t even complain about it,” Rogue admitted. “But she has done things in the past that affected not just me, but the Mutant community.”
“Do you know where she is?” Rogue asked again.
“I do,” Irene confessed. “But you shouldn’t worry about her. Not now at least.”
“Why not?” Rogue asked. “If she is planning something… Please, tell me.”
“She’s not important, Rogue,” Irene said more firmly. “Trust me.”
“If she’s not then what is?” Rogue asked. She wanted to know, but knowing Irene, she would never get a straight answer.
“You will see soon enough,” Irene finished her tea and went to the sink. “You can’t stop it, only prepare yourself. You and all your friends.”
“Something is coming.” Rogue concluded. She only hoped it wasn’t Apocalypse. Again.
“Finish your tea, dear.” Irene told her before she left the kitchen. Just like Rogue thought. No answers, just questions. She remembered why exactly she didn’t come here often.
Evan Daniels, now known simply as Spyke, looked out the window of his home, seeing the Morlock City. After a Mutant known as Mr. Sinister almost completely exterminated them and losing many of their own, their community had gladly received a new home.
Morlock City came to be thanks to state of the art technology, not only of the most brilliant minds of Earth but also from outer space. While many at first didn’t want to accept it, Spyke decided it was the best for them. He was their leader after all.
He sighed sadly at that thought. He was the leader because Callisto was gone.
She, like many others, had fallen trying to stop the massacre back when they lived in the tunnels. Spyke and many of the other survivors had fought, but they were thankful that the X-Men came to help. Especially to one Mutant named Gambit, the one who gave his life to stop all of it. A statue of him was in the main square of the City.
After all the bloodshed had ended, the opportunity to move to Morlock City came. It still existed underground, but it existed outside of the same time and space from the rest of the world. Hank once tried to explain to him but he could really understand that basically, they lived in a pocket dimension now.
It had been a difficult transition, especially with him being the new leader of the Morlocks. He was glad all of that was in the past, even if it the scar in his heart left by it would never heal.
He walked slowly through his house and paused in front of an opened door to a room. Inside, his daughter Sarah slept. The daughter Callisto and he had. The only memory he would ever have from her.
She was a teenager now, and of course, a Mutant with powers very similar to his. While she had never been outside of Morlock City, lately she had kept asking him about the outside, about the Xavier School in particular.
He knew that she wanted to go there. Part of him wanted to send her there. He knew while most thing up there hadn’t changed that much, the school had. He knew she would be in good hands. They would take care of her.
On the other hand, he didn’t want to let her go. It was selfish, yes, but he was the only thing he had here that was truly his. He was the leader of a community, yes but Sarah was his daughter. She was part of him and part of Callisto. He feared that if he let her go, she would never come back, like Caliban and Berzerker…
He closed the door and went back to his room, his mind racing with thoughts. He knew the time to make a decision was running out and he needed to reach one eventually. As much as he wanted, he couldn’t postpone it any longer.
Alex Summers walked through the busy streets of Washington D.C. with a cell phone practically attached to his ear. The once surfer now had grown into a lean and fit man. His hair wasn’t long anymore but he still retained his tan. He still dressed quite casually but one thing that stood out was a pair of black finger-less gloves he wore, even during summer. While most people would frown at someone wearing gloves during the hot season, most people didn’t know they were custom made to help him have complete control over his Mutant powers.
“Val,” He said in the cellphone. “Hey, I just got out of the HQ. You do know you could have just talked to me when I was there instead of calling me, right?”
He stopped at a red light while he kept listening to the woman on the phone. He sighed as he continued hearing her. Not the easiest person to deal with.
“Yes, I am aware that cases don’t take a break,” He said as he crossed the street, heading to his apartment. “I do believe that my team deserves a break tough. Besides, it’s only a month, what could possibly happen during 30 days?”
He wished immediately he hadn’t said that as he had to move the phone away from his ear.
“OK, OK, I understand,” He sighed as he entered the building he lived in. “Look, I know you had trouble with the Freedom Force as you always like to remind me but just like I always like to remind you, X-Factor is not like them. You know me, Val. You know my brother and the professor.”
He still had the phone glued to his ear as he waited for the elevator to come down. It was during these types of situation that he wished he had thought better about working for the government.
He entered the elevator and pushed the button to his floor. “Alright, I got it. I still get to tell them they have a couple of weeks off. It’s only fair.”
The whole ride up was listening to her keep talking and Alex controlling his urge to simply melt the phone with his hands. He walked to his door and started opening it, still on the phone. The moment he entered his apartment was when she decided she had said enough and hung up.
“Bye to you too, Val. A pleasure, as always.” Alex said sarcastically as he threw the phone on a nearby table and locked the door.
“Honey!” He almost fell to the floor when a green-haired woman jumped on him, but he was used to it. He returned her kiss gladly. “How was your day at the office?”
“Ha ha ha, very funny,” He said as she moved from him and took his hand, walking him towards the couch. “I had to talk to her all the way from there to here.”
“Valerie.” She knew whom he was talking about. Both sat on the couch and Alex sighed.
“Why do we work for her again?” He asked with his eyes closed.
“We don’t,” She explained. “We work with her. It’s different.”
“Anyone told her that yet?” Alex asked.
“Alex!” She laughed and playfully slapped his shoulder. “You know she just worries, right?”
“I worry too,” Alex opened his eyes and looked at her. “They are my team, Lorna.”
The woman, Lorna Dane, nodded and smiled. She was slightly younger than Alex was and her most noticeable trait was her long and curly natural green colored hair. A Mutant like Alex, Lorna was actually Erik Lehnsherr’s daughter, a fact that many in the Mutant community didn’t really know except for most of the X-Men teams. Unlike her half siblings Wanda and Pietro, Lorna had inherited their father’s powers although she couldn't reach the levels the former Magneto could yet.
“I’m not trying to side with her, but you know she has her reasons.” Lorna said.
Alex nodded and sighed again. “I know.”
“With everything that happened after Freedom Force… and the fact we don’t have all members in our team anymore… She just worries.” Lorna explained as she ran her hands through Alex’s hair.
“I know, I know. No need to make me feel bad, okay?” He said in defeat. “I mean, she should understand that we have needs. The team needs some time to rest. Besides, she is always expecting some kind of crisis to happen. Really, what could happen during a month?”
The sun shone brightly in the sky and Piotr basked in it. The Russian enjoyed the sun and he would take any opportunity to spend a day outside, enjoying the hot weather. For his company, however, it was not the same.
“There you go,” He offered a tall glass of an iced beverage to the man spread on a deckchair under the shadows of a tree. “This will freshen you.”
“Thank you so much!” The brown haired man said gladly as he immediately drank it.
Piotr sat next to him in another chair, but he wasn’t under a shadow. “I suppose you are not really enjoying our vacation.”
The man set his drink aside and sat up. “Petey.”
“Robert,” Piotr rolled his eyes. “You know I do not enjoy when you call me that.”
“And I don’t like when you call me Robert,” The man playfully stuck out his tongue. “You sound like me parents, you know.”
“Fine,” Piotr sighed. “Bobby.”
Bobby Drake smiled broadly. The Iceman who once was only a recruit was now part of one of the main teams of the X-Men. While he grew into a man and had matured somewhat, he never lost his sense of humor. Which made many confused how in the world he dated Piotr Rasputin in the first place. Not because they were both men but just because they were quite the opposite of each other.
Piotr Rasputin, the Colossus, was an artist at his heart, something almost no one would guess by simply looking at the large and muscular man. Those who had fought him back when he was an Acolyte of Magneto were quite surprised when they got to meet him better once the professor invited him to join the X-Men after the ordeal with Apocalypse and him making sure his family was safe from Magneto. He had a very sensitive soul and a talent for various areas of arts.
So, it came as a shock when he and Bobby started dating. Even now, almost an entire year in a relationship, after both dealing with their sexualities, their friends and teammates would tease them. In a friendly manner, of course, since Bobby had a bad history with relationships and the only other relationship Piotr ever had was with Kitty, which didn’t last long, but the two remained close friends.
“Look, Piotr,” Bobby made sure to his boyfriend’s birth name. “I love the fact you brought me to this paradisiac location, I really do.”
“Yet somehow I can feel that you are uncomfortable.” Piotr commented. He was upset, not with Bobby but with himself.
“Hey! Hey!” Bobby used one of his hands to make Piotr look into his face. “I’m here with you. Sure, the heat might be a bit too much and the idea of going back to your mother country is out of the question, but I am here with you. That is all that matters.”
Piotr blushed. Not only from Bobby’s words but also by his touch as well, which it was quite refreshing in fact. “You mean it?”
“Cross my heart and hope to die.” Bobby said with his best attempt at being serious.
“Not funny.” Piotr reprimanded him slightly.
“Sorry, sorry. But hey, I have something it might change both our moods.” Bobby winked at him.
“What would that be?” Piotr asked innocently.
Bobby grabbed both sides of his boyfriend’s face and gave him a very deep kiss. For a much larger man, Piotr always found himself in situations like this where Bobby would make him completely defenseless. After a couple of minutes, Bobby stopped the kiss and gave his boyfriend a smile as he saw a cold breath coming out the other man’s mouth.
“I would say this definitely made our moods better, didn’t it?” Bobby wiggled his eyebrows.
“Definitely.” Piotr said out of breath.
Amara entered her apartment in Brooklyn carrying a few bags of grocery. She wanted to make a special dinner tonight for her girlfriend. Amara Aquilla had changed much. While she grew, she still wasn’t exactly what one would call tall. Her hair was smaller, cut at the level of her shoulders and she had done blonde highlights. Her girlfriend’s idea, of course. She went to the kitchen and settled the things before calling out to the girl.
“Tabitha?” Amara said. “Are you home?”
“I’m here.” She could hear her voice coming from their bedroom.
After finishing putting everything in their place, Amara went to their bedroom with a smile on her face. She was so happy she could spend this downtime with her. They didn’t have that chance anymore now that Amara was back at Xavier’s and Tabitha… wasn’t. She opened the door, ready to tell Tabitha about the dinner when she saw the mess the room was in. There were several clothes scattered around but that was far from the worse thing. There was a big bag open on the bed and what was already inside didn’t belong to both of them.
“Going out?” Amara asked bitterly as she crossed her arms.
Tabitha emerged from the closet. Still the same young woman with great make-up and a blonde hair done in a crazy style with piercings and jewels scattered around her body. She looked at Amara with a guilty face. She threw a piece of clothing inside the bag, before approaching.
“Querida,” Tabitha began to say, but Amara took steps back.
“Don’t start, Tabitha,” She knew very well why she was calling her that. “What the hell is going on?
Tabitha sighed and ran a hand through her face. “Look, I know we had all those plans, you know, planned out and everything and I was so looking forward to them!”
“Skip the small talk,” Amara said angrily. “You know I hate that.”
“Right,” Tabitha lowered her head for a second. “I’m so sorry.”
“For what?” Amara almost yelled. “I have no clue what is going on!”
“Well, you see-”
“Are you breaking up with me?” Amara’s tone changed completely to a quite sad one.
“No!” Tabitha hugged Amara as tightly as she could, even if she felt the other girl didn’t want to. “That is so not what this is about. I swear to you!”
“Then what is it?” Amara demanded. “This morning you said nothing about… this!”
Tabitha closed her eyes and sighed. “I know. That is why I am apologizing.”
“Will you stop apologizing and get to the point?” Amara asked angrily.
“Cable called.” Tabitha said simply.
Amara gave a very dry laugh. “Right. Mr. ‘homem do futuro’ calls and you drop everything. Typical.”
Amara started to walk away from the bedroom, but Tabitha ran and stopped in front of her. “Querida, I know this is awful, but… it’s my job!”
“Your job?” Amara looked at her with a tilted head. “Last time I checked, you didn’t get paid for doing what you do.”
“You know what I mean.” Tabitha said.
“What you mean is that your guerilla team of Mutants is ready for another mission and your boss called you and told you to drop everything and go with him.”
Tabitha remained silent for a few minutes. “It’s not that simple…”
“It is that simple.” Amara said shortly. “It’s how it is with X-Force, isn’t it… Boom-Boom?”
Tabitha looked at her girlfriend with pleading eyes. “Please, try to understand.”
“Understand that you would rather work for someone like Cable than helping out at the Mansion?” Amara questioned her.
“Not this again, please.” Tabitha turned her back walked a few feet away from Amara.
Amara sighed. “I don’t like him and what his… what the X-Force does.”
“You don’t like the way we do things.” Tabitha specified.
“I’m just supposed to like it, is that it?” Amara asked.
“No,” Tabitha shook her head. “You are supposed to understand. Just like I’m supposed to understand that you rather stay with the Professor and the others.”
The two girls stared at each other for a long time. Amara was definitely pissed while Tabitha really wanted things to not be like that. She tried to speak but Amara just shook her head.
“Go.” Amara said.
“What?” Tabitha’s eyes grow a bit. “What do you mean-”
“Your duty calls,” Amara explained. “I’m going to make myself dinner. Tell me if you want some or you are too much in a hurry to go to your ship.”
Tabitha watched Amara go into the kitchen, feeling a pang in her heart. She wanted to stay, more than anything in the world but… They needed her. Being with the X-Force would make her feel better. She could always fix things with Amara later. She knew that. She needed to believe that.
The restaurant wasn’t too crowded, except for the table that had seven people sitting at it. They were all young and quite diverse. They all seemed to be enjoying themselves, laughing, drinking and eating.
“I just wish Amara was here.” Danielle Moonstar commented. The Cheyenne girl who once the X-Men rescued had grown and become the leader of a backup team of X-Men who was also responsible for teaching Mutant students who wanted to fight the good fight.
“You know she is just enjoying time with Tabitha, Danny.” Sam Guthrie explained. Cannonball, the Mutant young man from Kentucky had grown into Danielle’s co-leader of their New X-Men team.
“Well, I say Tabitha should be here as well.” Ray Crisp commented as he sipped his drink. Berzerker was still a lean man with the same haircut that defined him back in high school.
“Are you going to say the same thing about Bobby, Jamie, and Beto?” Rahne Sinclair asked. Wolfsbane, the Scottish woman had grown into quite a beautiful woman, but still a quite shy one when she wasn’t around her friends.
“Why shouldn’t he?” Jubilation Lee asked. Jubilee, as she preferred everyone to call her, had her hair shorter, but still wore her iconic yellow jackets. “We were all a team, you know?”
“Does that mean we shouldn’t be here?” Illyana Rasputin asked. Magik, the younger sister of Colossus had joined their team years ago. She had a knack for speaking her mind, which the rest of them didn’t mind anymore.
“She didn’t mean that,” Danielle said. “She just saying we miss the rest of our team.”
“We couldn’t bring Warlock.” Douglas Ramsey pointed out. Cypher was a blonde man with the power of knowing every language in the world, which landed him the position of Linguistics teacher at Xavier’s, but he was quite innocent for someone his age.
“We couldn’t bring him because, well, he’s an alien robot, Doug,” Xi’an Coy Mahn explained. Karma was a Mutant from Vietnam who also had joined the team later on. She functioned as the balance between her team members. “Even if this is NY, there are limits.”
Everyone at the table laughed while Doug looked contemplative. “I guess you are right. He also hates wearing some kind image shifter so he can go out.”
“And an overcoat and hat really wouldn't work.” Ray commented with a laugh.
“You guys really do miss them.” Illyana said, this time more empathically.
“Yeah,” Sam agreed. “Bobby always wanted to be an actual X-Man, so no surprise that he ended up becoming one.”
“Jamie took a long time to find himself,” Jubilee reminded them. “First he worked with X-Factor until he decided to open his investigation office.”
“Not to mention the time everyone thought he had gone evil when in reality it was just one of his copies.” Ray remembered making everyone at the table wince.
“Beto and Tabitha are where I think they have the freedom they always wanted,” Danielle said, which made the original New Mutants look at her. “Being part of X-Force lets them run wild. We all know Cable’s rules are very different from the Professor’s.”
“Cable has rules?” Rahne asked half-serious, half-joking.
They all laughed.
“Well, they are missed, of course,” Xi’an said. “But we’ve been doing pretty well, right? We are an official X-Men team, after all.”
Everyone nodded in agreement. Danielle rose a glass, which everyone followed.
“To us,” Danielle said proudly. “No matter what comes to pass, the New X-Men stand!”
“Cheers!” Everyone toasted their glasses.
Hank was working alone at his lab, enjoying the silence as much as he could. Classes would return eventually, so his peace was something he needed to relish as much as he could. He loved teaching the next generation of Mutants, just like he did when taught at Bayville High, but he wasn’t the same age anymore. One of the reasons he wasn’t an active X-Man anymore. Plus, he was a father of three. That took a lot of a man.
A knock from the door caught his attention. “Yes?”
“Hank,” He recognized the male voice. “It’s me.”
“Come in, Warren.” The door opened to reveal the previously named Mutant Angel.
Now, he went by Archangel. A decision Hank had helped him with after he became a victim of not only of rogue Morlocks but also a returning Apocalypse. He had lost his natural feathered wings, now replaced by metal ones made of an unknown alloy and his skin was dark blue. He also had lost all of his blond hair. The adjustment had been… difficult but after years, he was comfortable being who he was.
“Isolating yourself while you can?” Warren asked jokingly as he took a seat, making sure his wings didn’t bump into anything in the lab.
Hank laughed. “You know me. Always trying to save the world.”
“As if you already didn’t.” Warren said seriously.
He was right. Years ago, an enemy from the future nonetheless, came to the past and crossed paths with the X-Men. After the countless battles, he left a farewell gift before he was defeated: The Legacy Virus. He had made it especially to target Mutants and kill them. Many had fallen because of it during many dark years, until the day that Hank McCoy saved all of them with the cure. A fellow Mutant friend had to sacrifice themselves for the cure to become airborne, but the virus was no longer something Mutants needed to fear and that was all thanks to Hank.
“What are you working on?” Warren asked changing the subject he knew Hank wasn’t comfortable talking about.
“I am actually studying those isolated cases of Secondary Mutation we have been hearing about.” Hank explained.
Warren nodded. He had heard about some Mutants acquiring new powers years after their Mutation came to be. He even heard Emma Frost, someone very known among the X-Men, had gone through it.
“Anything interesting yet?” Warren asked with a small hint of hope.
Hank sighed and turned to face his friend. “Warren. I know what you think a Secondary Mutation could do to you but from what I can tell, it’s just…”
“Another power.” Warren concluded. He knew that. Deep down, but he knew.
“And some sort of cure is out of the question.” Warren confirmed. They had talked about this before but still.
“Warren,” Hank said seriously. “You know what it could happen to you. Actually, you don’t. Just take me for instance.”
Archangel nodded. This was yet another conversation they didn’t really like to have.
“Any word from Betsy?” Hank asked out of the blue, actually taking Warren by surprise.
“Hum, well,” Warren cleared his throat. “Last time I heard, she was working at Frost International.”
“Frost International?” Hank asked confused. “As in the one owned by Emma Frost?”
“That is the one.” Warren confirmed.
“Well,” Hank scratched his chin. “I supposed people can change.”
“Sean had told us she changed.” Warren reminded the other Mutant. After all, Sean Cassidy had worked with Emma Frost for a few years in another Mutant school.
“That was before,” Hank sighed before continuing. “You know.”
“Right.” Warren knew what he was talking about. “Betsy is safe. She is a big girl and she can take care of herself.”
“I have no doubts about that.” Hank said.
“What about you?” Warren’s tone changed.
“What about me?” Hank noticed the change and he didn’t like it.
“How are things with Cecilia?” Warren asked. He imagined working with an ex-wife wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, even for someone like Hank.
“She’s well,” Hank answered simply. “She is coming back with the kids in a couple of days.”
“Right,” Warren nodded. “Well, what about … Maria?”
“Maria?” Hank asked surprised
“Yeah, I thought you two had a … thing.” Warren smiled at Hank’s obvious embarrassment.
“Maria is a lovely lady,” Hank began. “Unfortunately, her work with Cable doesn’t leave much space for socializing.”
“Ah, to be part of X-Force.” Warren joked.
“Also, Cable isn’t the most, how should I put it, likeable person around here.” Hank said in a mild tone.
Warren chuckled. Hank was being too nice. “No, he definitely isn’t. I still think he wants to kill me.”
“Don’t joke about that, Warren,” Hank looked at him seriously. “For all his issues, he’s well aware you are your own person now.”
“Right.” Warren said. He was his own person. Death no longer.
The two remained some time in silence, enjoying each other’s companies before Warren smiled and decided to tease his friend some more.
“Hey, Hank?” Warren asked in an innocent tone.
“Yes?” Hank was so caught up in his work he didn’t notice the tone he should be more than aware was fake.
“How are things with Abigail Brand?” Warren asked already unable to hold his laughter.
Hank simply groaned.
“You blue dog.”
The girl once known only as X-23 walked through the cemetery, trusting her memory to find what she was looking for. The clone of Logan hadn’t changed at all. Since she had been a part of Hydra’s project as a teenager, she still looked like a teenager. Her bones couldn’t grow because of the Adamantium. She didn’t mind it at all, really. She won many battles because her adversaries underestimated her because of how she looked.
She stopped in her tracks as she finally reached her destination. Two tombstones, one by the side of the other. She kneeled and split the flowers she carried equally and set them in front to the stones.
After escaping and faking her death, she spent a long time on the run, trying to find a place, a purpose, as well as herself. After some years, she came to New York City where she met the first two people she truly called friends, the one who had given her the name she used to this day: Laura. The two girls now buried right in front of her.
She had to see them suffer and die. She buried their bodies by herself. She couldn’t save them. She would never forgive herself for that.
She avenged them though. Killed their killer in the most brutal and agonizing manner possible.
Which was why she never became an X-Man. Logan understood but the others…
Back then, she felt like she was losing a chance of having another family, but eventually she realized she wouldn’t want people who judged her actions to be her family. People who simply didn’t understand them.
Logan would always be there for her. That was enough for her.
Now she was part of the X-Force. Not a family and definitely not the X-Men but they were her team. Once again, that was enough for her.
Charles sat alone at the meeting room. He had summoned some of his faculty members sooner than he would usually do it. Summer wasn’t over yet but he needed some of them there. He needed to tell them his decision.
After Scott and Jean arrived first, slowly all the ones Charles requested to see arrived. Logan, Ororo, Kitty, Bobby, Piotr, Kurt, Rogue, Warren, Hank, Leyu, and Danielle all eventually arrived and sat at the table. They exchanged a few words among themselves before turning to the professor, wondering why he wanted to see them now.
“Welcome all,” He said breaking the silence. “It’s good to see you all.”
They all answered and he smiled.
“I imagine you are all wondering why I invited you all here before the actual beginning of the semester.”
They all nodded.
“Well,” he adjusted himself on his chair. “There is a very important matter I have to discuss with all of you.”
They all exchanged worried glances.
“What is it?” Scott asked.
“It’s about me.” Charles began to explain.
“Please don’t tell us you are dying.” Bobby said.
“Robert!” Piotr reprimanded his boyfriend.
“I am not dying.” He said which made some of them sigh in relief.
“Are you… sick?” Kurt tried.
“No,” Charles shook his head. “It’s nothing like that, it is just that…”
Everyone held their breath as they waited for the professor to continue
“I’m old.” He said simply.
“Come on, Chuck,” Logan said with a hint of a smile. “Some here are way older than you.”
Charles smiled. “But you can tell that I am old, whether you want or not to admit it, it is the truth.
“Charles…” Ororo began but Charles raised a hand to stop her.
“It’s the truth, and you all know it.” Xavier said honestly.
Everyone seemed to want to say something, but they all remained silent.
“We all have been through so much together in these past two decades,” Xavier wheeled himself away from the table to look through the window. “We fought humans who hated us, who hunted us, who killed us. We fought Mutant brothers and sisters. Machines from the present and the future. A virus that almost wiped all of us from the Earth. A massacre of all our people. But…”
He turned to face them with a smile. “Here we all stand. Together and alive. Still fighting.”
They all smiled in return.
“I couldn’t ask for more than you all gave me,” Xavier said. “While my true dream is far from being fulfilled, what I see here, today, in our home, is a great part of it being realized, day after day, and I have to thank all of you.”
“We are thankful you too,” Rogue said. “Professor.”
Charles smiled at her calling him that and moved back to the table. “Since age is becoming an issue for me, I decided to retire.”
They began to speak all at once.
“Before you all start complaining, well, more,” Charles interrupted them. “I have already chosen my successor.”
“You have?” Hank asked.
All eyes immediately turned to Scott.
“Successors, actually.” He corrected himself.
“Successors?” Danielle repeated.
“Scott and Jean,” Charles looked at them. “You two have been one of my oldest students here and have never left, not even when the most terrible things happened. I want you to take care of the school now. I want you two to be the Headmaster and the Headmistress of our school.”
Both Scott and Jean had their mouths agape. They looked at each other, most likely having a psychic conversation for a short while before nodding to each other and turning back to the professor.
“We accept.” Jean said with a smile
“It will be an honor.” Scott declared proudly.
Everyone remained silent for a brief moment before starting to cheer and congratulate the two. Charles couldn’t be happier for them. This new semester, this new future… it would be a good one.
Papers and files flew above a table, moving in different directions, as Jean sat on a chair and used her telekinesis to try organizing all of them. She focused her best, not letting her mind wander. Semester wasn’t going to start yet but now that she had new responsibilities, it meant she had to find new ways to focus in order to do her job.
She heard the door of the bathroom open but she didn’t distract herself.
“And you say I’m the workaholic.” Scott commented as he used a towel to dry his hair. He was dressed and had his glasses on.
“You are,” Jean replied. “I guess you just rubbed it on me.”
Scott smiled and put the towel over his shoulder. He walked behind Jean and put his hands on her shoulders, slowly starting to massage them.
“You know when I say you don’t need to worry about it something is clearly wrong, right?” Scott asked his wife.
She sighed, still using her powers to organize her things. “I know. What really makes me think that something is wrong is how you are reacting to all of this.”
“What do you mean?” He asked as he kept massaging her shoulders.
Jean lowered everything on the table and turned her head to look at her husband. “How can you be so calm?”
Scott shrugged a shoulder. “I guess you rubbed it on me too.”
“Scott.” Her tone was serious.
“I suppose… it just hasn't really hit me yet,” Scott said seriously as well. “We have been here for almost our whole lives. Learning, fighting, teaching, and now…”
“We are going to be mentoring.” Jean complemented for him.
“If you think about it, it’s not so different from what we already do,” Scott said as he sat next to her. “We are parents and we lead a team. Now, it’s going to be more people that we have to take care of.”
“Or ‘boss around’ like Bobby said,” Jean joked. “You are seriously not worried about it? Being a parent or the leader of an X-Men team are different things than being responsible for an entire student body, Scott. And it’s not just the kids that will be counting on us. Everyone else will be too.”
“I know that,” Scott’s tone didn’t change. “I know the consequences and the tribulations. I know them all. I just… can’t let them take over my mind.”
Jean smiled and gave him a kiss. “A true leader until the end.”
Scott smiled back. “Someone has to bear the burden. Besides, it’s not like the professor won’t be around.”
Somewhere in the endless vastness of space, far from most planets and lifeforms, a small sanctuary stood on a small planetoid. It was old, most likely as old as the Universe itself. A place like this would be one to never have anything or anyone on it, yet a man walked around it. The man looked human, but he clearly was not from Earth nor a human, not by a stretch. He was dressed completely in white, particularly a suit with a tie and a pair of shoes. He had a pale complexion with black hair and dark colored eyes. He looked at the skies, completely pitch black except for the strange light the place he stood produced.
“Kept me waiting long enough.” He said as he turned around to face a humanoid figure inside a space suit that allowed them to survive being in the planetoid. Not far behind, the man could see a small spaceship that belonged to the arriving figure.
“You decided on probably the hardest place to find in the entire Universe.” The figure said with a male voice, sounding both exhausted and angry.
“You wanted to meet me,” The man in white said simply, not annoyed by the other male’s tone. “I just chose the place. Where is your sense of adventure?”
The male in the spacesuit remained silent. He seemed to be recovering to continue talking. The man in white simply waited, watching the other with his hands in his pockets. He wasn’t in a hurry. He had all the time, after all.
“The negotiation,” The male in the spacesuit began. “It is almost complete. You just need to give confirmation that-”
“I need to give confirmation?” The man in white asked while laughing. “Do you, or even them, know who I am?”
The male in the spacesuit said nothing. He knew of course.
“I only accepted this ‘deal’ because I thought it would make things far more interesting for me,” The man in white explained. “Whatever results my experiment reaches, they will come back just to face another challenge.”
“So you accept it?” The man in the spacesuit asked carefully. “You won’t take them and the planet will be theirs to take?”
The man in white still seemed to consider it, which made the other male somewhat nervous. He walked around the sanctuary contemplating the pros and cons of the deal he was offered. He sighed, turning with a sharp smile that made the other male feel things he never wanted to feel again. “Of course. I accept.”
The male in the spacesuit simply nodded. “I will contact them immediately then. And you…”
“Me what?” The man in white asked curiously.
“Your move.” The male in the spacesuit clearly wanted to say more, know more, but he held his tongue.
The man in white laughed loudly. “Of course, of course! They need to know, don’t they, so they know when to go. Well, tell them it will be soon. Very soon.”
“How soon?” The male in the spacesuit asked, trying his best not to sound too exigent.
“Soon.” The man in white said simply with a completely different tone of voice. One that made the other male fear for his very existence.
The man in the spacesuit nodded again. He stood there for a few moments before walking away towards his spaceship.
“You know,” The man in white called out. “For a once king, you surely lost your known courage. What a pity to see how the mighty fall like that. At least, you will have a chance for your revenge.”
The male in the spacesuit stopped for moment, but said nothing and kept walking, eventually teleporting inside his spaceship and piloting it away from the planetoid and the man in white.
“This is will be most interesting.” The man in white commented to himself before walking away as well and vanishing from sight.
Charles sat on his bed, reading a book by the light of his lamp. After the very hectic day, he deserved some relaxing. Now that Scott and Jean were the new Headmaster and Headmistress, there were a lot of things that needed to be readjusted but Charles knew everything would turn out alright. There was still time before the semester truly began.
After reading for some time, his sight began to tire. He closed his book with a bookmark and set it on top of his nightstand. He was about to turn off his lamp he felt a presence, a very… familiar presence. He turned to face the opposite window and from the outside, there he was, floating with his cape blowing in the wind as well his hair that had no helmet covering it. No matter how long it had been, it still was a sight that surprised Charles.
“Hello Erik.” Charles greeted him. With his voice, not his mind. He knew the other man could hear him.
“Hello Charles,” Erik said through the window. “Would you mind if I come in?”
“It is a bit late.” Charles commented, but not angrily. It was simply an observation.
“I will be brief.” Erik promised. Charles could tell.
“Of course.” Charles said as he adjusted himself on the bed. Erik opened the windows with his powers. The magnetic sound filled the room, one that anyone in this mansion would recognize. He glided through the room until he landed by Charles’ bed.
“It’s been quite some time.” Erik commented as he looked at Charles’ eyes.
“Since the last time I went to Genosha.” Charles remembered as he also looked at Erik.
The man, who was supposed to be impossibly old, still looked the same he did when he came back into Charles’ life all those years ago as Magneto. One of the side effects of the countless experiments he had done to his own body throughout the years. He was old, yet sometimes it seemed that he stopped again beyond that.
“How are you, Charles?” Erik finally asked after the two stopped looking at each other silently. Both were used to doing this whenever they saw each other after long periods of time without meeting.
“Erik,” Charles gave him a look. “You didn’t come all the way from the coast of Africa just to ask me how I am.”
“I wouldn’t?” Erik asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Not when you can simply call me, you do know that.” Charles tried to reason, which was impossible with the other man.
“You never stopped calling me that.” The other Mutant said out of sudden.
“Calling you what? Erik?” Charles asked confused. “It’s your birth name. After everything you went through, you don’t need to be Magnus Maximoff anymore. Now, I know you are stalling, old friend.”
“I talked to Tommy,” Erik explained. “He called me. He’s back here, correct?”
Charles nodded. Of course, Tommy would call his grandfather. He was the closest one to him. Also, everyone gossiped that he was Erik’s informant. Charles didn’t like gossip but he couldn’t ignore the facts. Tommy alongside his twin Billy had already returned to school by now, even before the semester started.
“I can only imagine what you two talked about.” Charles said with a hint of smugness.
“That simply does not suit you, Charles,” Erik comment with a very small smirk. “Not in your age.”
“Flattered,” Charles retorted. “Some of us, even Mutants, have to age normally, you know.”
“Only because you want to.” Erik said in a very low tone.
Charles chose to ignore it. He didn’t want to have that conversation. Again.
“He told me about your decision,” Erik spoke again. “That you are retiring and that you gave your position to the Grey-Summers.”
Charles really wouldn’t want to think too much on how Thomas knew that already since no formal announcement had happened yet. However, it explained why Erik was here right now.
“Yes, I did.” Charles confirmed.
Erik remained silent.
“Came to berate me?” Charles asked, somewhat between teasing and confusion.
“No,” Erik answered honestly. Another thing that Charles could tell. “I came to congratulate you. You should have done this a long time ago, Charles.”
“Erik, please, don’t start…” Charles rubbed his forehead. How could the man be like this?
“You know I am right, Charles, whether you want to admit it or not,” Erik pressed. “Now, at least, you did what is right.”
Charles sighed and actually gave the other man a small smile. “Then you came here to congratulate me.”
Erik actually nodded, surprising Charles a bit.
“I also came here to give you a proposition.” Erik said.
“A preposition?” Charles asked curiously. From Erik? How long had it been since he received one from his old friend?
Erik nodded and sat at the end of Charles’ bed, making the gesture carry more importance. He looked at Charles and he stared back.
“Come to Genosha,” Erik said. “Come to Genosha, with me.”
Erik extended his hand to Charles to emphasize that what he was saying was the truth.
“Erik… I…” Charles was at a loss of words. He kept looking at the extended hand.
“You have done your part, Charles, more than anyone. You know that, deep inside you.” Erik said with a quite calm tone.
Charles still couldn’t reply.
“Now it is time for you to move on. Come to Genosha with me. Live the rest of your life there, surrounded by our people. Leave the rest of your dream for your children to achieve. You watched them grow and you trained them all these years. You know they are ready. It is time to let them continue the path you started. Charles, it is time to let go. You did your part.”
Charles felt like he had lost his voice. He looked at Erik’s eyes, knowing the other man was completely honest. He then turned his attention to the extended hand in front of him. Was Erik right? Had he done everything he could and now it was time to move on?
He looked at his own hands, then at Erik’s and finally at his old friends’ eyes again.
A decision that would change his and all of the others' lives. He needed to make it.
Chapter 2: Chapter 02
Finally, the second chapter. This months later but I hope PurusCor will appreciate it as well as the other readers.
Also, a very important announcement: the first chapter had an update, meaning that there were changes made to it to fit with the rest of the story. Go check it out!
Once again, hope everyone enjoys this chapter.
Jean and Scott woke before the sun was up and descended to lowest levels of the X-Mansion’s underground to meet up with Professor Xavier, as he had requested the night before. After walking by the War Room and the Danger Room, they found their mentor in front of what looked like a normal wall, waiting for them. His face had a small hint of a smile but both could tell he was going to tell them something serious. Well, he even hadn’t given any idea of why he wanted to meet them so early and here, of all places.
“Good morning, Scott,” Xavier nodded. “Good morning, Jean. I am sorry I woke you up so early but this is of most importance.”
“What is it, Professor?” Scott asked worriedly.
“There is nothing to worry about, Scott,” Xavier said but he followed it by a sigh. “As longs as you two keep it under control, of course.”
“Keep what in control?” Jean asked with the same tone of her husband.
“Come with me,” He turned around and pressed a hidden pad on the wall that opened an elevator neither of them had ever seen. “Now that you are the Headmaster and Headmistress, there some… secrets of this school you need to know.”
“Secrets?” Both Jean and Scott asked at same time, completely confused. They had bad experiences with Charles hiding secrets in the past.
Charles simply nodded and entered the elevator, waiting for his oldest students to follow him. The couple exchanged a quick look with each other and joined him in the elevator. From what they could tell, it was moving down, way down than they thought it could. It felt like they were going deeper and deeper under the Mansion as well deeper underground and they had no idea it was possible there was a place under all this way down they were going.
After a quite long ride, they exited in a very spacious area that had almost no details with only white painted walls. The Professor was silent as Jean and Scott followed him. Eventually, they reached a wall with a single blue hole in it. Charles approached and a light read his retina, allowing the door to open.
The inside was completely different from the outside. Technology of all sorts around the walls and every other single place. Before the younger two had time to look at it, they saw someone coming to them. The person, or rather, the being, actually surprised Scott and Jean. It was Danger.
Danger was the physical manifestation of an old version of the Danger Room that acquired sentiency and attacked the Mutants. After some fights and a lot of effort, ‘she’ apparently held no vendettas against them anymore and even joined Beast’s X-Club. Being part of the X-Club though, it meant almost nobody saw her. Danger had made sure she was harmless. Everyone else interpreted that she was on their side, far from being harmless. Warlock had confirmed to them she was on their side once, still…
“Professor X,” Danger said with her cybernetic female voice and looked at the other two. “Cyclops. Marvel Lady. Welcome.”
“Thanks,” Jean was the only one able to find her voice. “Hum, what exactly is this place?”
Charles and Danger exchanged a brief look before the Professor sighed. “What I am about to show might shake you two but you must hear my explanations for it.”
“Okay…” Scott didn’t really liking where this was going.
“Are we… the only ones who know about this that you are about to show us?” Jean asked.
Charles sighed and shook his head lightly. “Danger of course knows it but Logan and Hank as well.”
“Just the two of them?” Scott asked confused. “What about Ororo, or Sean, or John, or…”
“Just those two.” Charles’ tone was final.
“And now you two.” Danger concluded.
“Are you two ready?” Charles asked solemnly.
The two kept staring at Charles but they were clearly having a psychic conversation. After a while, both nodded.
“Then come with us.” Danger instructed as she walked in front of them all, making Jean and Scott thinking together what could it be.
Morning had come and everyone was still organizing their rooms after arriving for Charles’ late night announcement. They had spent the night in their rooms but it was time to put everything in order so they could accommodate themselves.
Kurt shared a room with Amanda, who saw no problem living at the Mansion during the semester. TJ and Kymri shared a room in the Dormitory area of the school. While the girls were organizing their things, Amanda had left to visit her parents since she was back in Bayville.
“How was England?” He heard Rogue ask from the doorframe she was leaning against.
“Nice to see the old gang,” Kurt said with a smile. “Didn’t get much time to enjoy the city though. Also, they are expanding their roster. Apparently, the UK is not that safe anymore.”
“Thinking about leaving us?” Rogue teased.
“No!” Kurt shook his head laughing. “I loved my time in Excalibur and I love them but my time with them is over. You guys are here, so…”
Kurt noticed something was bother her so he approached her. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” She answered with a smirk. “Why do you think something is wrong?”
Kurt didn’t want to roll his eyes but he raised an eyebrow at her. “Rogue, it’s me.”
Rogue stared at him for a few moments before sighing and going to sit at the edge of his bed.
“Is it…” Kurt sat next to her, not sure if he should bring it up. “Is it about Remy?”
Rogue smiled briefly before shaking her head. “No, it isn’t”
He noticed her hands fumbling with the aforementioned late Mutant’s overcoat. “What is it then?”
“Promise you won’t tell anyone?” Rogue asked seriously.
“Ugh!” Kurt sighed in frustration. “I absolutely hate it when people ask me that… but since it’s you.”
“I went to see Irene during the summer.” Rogue said,
Kurt blinked a few times and took a second to register. “Hum… okay…”
“You are judging me.” Rogue said with a hint of a joke.
“No!” Kurt shook his head. “No, do not think like that for a second. I am not judging you at all. It’s just… how long has it been since you last saw her?”
“Way too long,” Rogue admitted. “Probably only after the last time when Mys-hum-you know who gave us trouble.”
Kurt gave her a short nod.
After some silence, he finally asked. “Does she know anything about her?”
“Nothing she wanted to share with me.” Rogue answered.
“Typical,” Kurt mumbled. “And how is she?”
“Good,” Rogue said. “She is doing fine, or she knows how to put on a good act.”
“Well, it is Destiny we are talking about.” Kurt reminded her.
Rogue simply nodded
“Did she say anything else?” Kurt asked honestly just out of curiosity.
Rogue took a minute before replying with a no. She had said something was coming, but… Irene was vague, as always, and she didn’t want to worry anyone before it was necessary or even if it was necessary. Trying to take action before knowing what actually was going to happen had let them to make some really awful decisions.
Danielle Moonstar was organizing some things in her room when she heard someone knocking on the door. Who could it be? Xi’an wouldn’t knock. She opened and was surprised to see Amara standing there.
“Amara?” She looked at the Brazilian girl whose eyes were puffy. “What are you doing here? Is everything alright?”
“Gotta a spare room for me?” Amara asked with the voice of someone who had cried a lot the night before.
“Of course!” She hugged the girl and guided her in. “I’m not going to ask because I already know what is wrong.”
Amara sat on her friend’s bed and sighed. “Tabitha is just so… ugh!”
Danielle sat next to her and ran her hand on her friend’s back. “X-Force?”
“What else?” Amara shook her head.
“This is your home, Amara,” Danielle reminded her. “We’ll talk to Scott and Jean to fit you here.”
“Thanks,” Amara sighed. “Dani, you know I don’t like to ask about your personal life but do you have these problems with Xi’an?”
Danielle laughed. “You should ask her if she has problems with me. I’m the troublesome one, remember?”
Amara smiled slightly. “I think… I think need some time.”
Danielle looked at her. “From Tabitha?”
“From the team,” Amara looked apologetically at her leader. “I’m sorry, Dani. I know we wanted so much for the New X-Men thing to work out, but I’m just not…”
“Hey,” Danielle said soothingly. “You take your time. Once again, I’ll talk to Scott. And the team is your family. They’ll understand and support you.”
“Even Magik?” Amara kidded.
“Even her,” Danielle hugged Amara. “We just have to convince her not to drop Tabitha in a portal.”
Both girls shared a laugh.
Meredith Pryde-Alvers finished packing all her stuff in her room while her mother helped her out. She looked at the other two still empty beds and sighed. Back home, she didn’t need to share a room.
“Hey,” Kitty said. “I know what you are thinking.”
“Puh-lease, mom,” Meredith shook her head with an innocent smile. “You are no way a telepath.”
“I don’t need to be a telepath when it comes to you, missy,” Kitty crossed her arms but her expression was warm. “I’m your mother, remember?”
Meredith grunted. She hated when her mother played, well, the mom card.
“You will promise you will get along with your roommates, Meredith,” Kitty said seriously. “I don’t want to hear any more complaints like before, okay?”
“Fine,” Meredith sighed. “I’m not that horrible, you know?”
“Love, I’m not saying that!” Kitty quickly hugged her daughter. “I know you are a great girl!”
“Mom,” Meredith patted her mom on the back. “I was just joking.”
“Oh.” Kitty said simply.
“And, yes, I know I might have had some… disagreements with my past roommates but those are in the past. I’m practically like a woman now and stuff.”
Kitty laughed. Sure she was.
“Knock knock,” Both turned to see Kurt standing by the open door with a smile. “Just wanted to welcome the Pryde girls.”
“Kurt!” Kitty ran and hugged him tightly. Kurt did the same. They stayed there for a while before separating with smiles on their faces.
“Hey, Meredith,” Kurt said as he received a quicker hug from her.
“Hi, uncle Kurt,” Meredith said with a smile and a hint of excitement in her voice. “You went to England with the girls, right?”
Kurt nodded. “I sure did. Everyone says hi, Kitty. They all miss you.”
Kitty smiled. She missed Excalibur.
“Hum,” Meredith eyed her mother a little worriedly. “Did you get to see… I mean, was there like a chance, a small one to, I don’t know. See, hum, well… Conrad?”
Kurt glanced at Kitty and offered a small smile. “I actually did saw him.”
“You did?” Both asked.
“Yes,” Kurt turned first to Kitty. “He’s a grown man, Kitty. He’s taking care of himself. In every way.”
Kitty simply nodded.
“As for you,” Kurt turned to Meredith and gave her a letter. “He sent you this.”
“Really?” Meredith couldn’t hide her happiness. Kitty couldn’t blame. It had been a long time since her daughter saw her brother. The girl looked at the two adults, clutching the letter to her chest. “You guys totally have to catch up, so… I’m leaving you. See ya!”
Kurt laughed and turned to see Kitty looking at her daughter go with a somewhat disappointed face. “I’m sorry, Kitty.”
“For what?” She asked honestly.
“No letter from your own son?” Kurt said. “That must feel…”
“Like Conrad,” Kitty sighed. “You know things with him were so difficult, and there was all the things with all I was doing and with Lance. I just…”
“Hey, hey, hey!” Kurt put his both hands on her shoulders. “We are talking here about Katherine Anne Pryde. I can’t think of a better example of a woman that balanced all that and being a mother better than you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Not even your kid, okay?”
“Thanks, Kurt,” She smiled and hugged him again. “So, how is he? Or did he asked you not talk about him?”
“No, he didn’t ask me that,” Kurt said. “He wrote a letter to Meredith because he thought it was the best way for him to talk to her. He didn’t really know how to reach out to you.”
“Oh,” Kitty said surprised. “Just…me?”
“He didn’t say anything about Lance.” Kurt said sympathetically.
Kitty simply sighed. “So, how is he?”
“Well,” Kurt had a small smile. “I don’t know how good you are going to think that is but he joined Excalibur.
Kitty’s mouth hung open. “He-he is with Excalibur? As a member of it?”
Kurt nodded. “The team has been needing to expand. Frankly, who better than the kid of a former member who was the same powers as his mother?”
“Conrad doesn’t have the same powers as I do.” Kitty said. He actually had the power to generate a field of energy around him that allowed him to become incorporeal. He could also cover other people and things with this field, including electronics and not damaging them, unlike Kitty’s power.
“True,” Kurt admitted. “He also didn’t exactly picked his codename just like yours.”
“His codename?” Kitty asked curiously.
“Shadowkitten,” Kurt said. “That’s his codename.”
Kitty couldn’t believe it. “Are you… are you serious?”
“Completely,” Kurt nodded. “Brian told me that when he asked him to pick one, he said that one immediately. I think it’s his way to… you know, deal.”
Kitty was almost in tears. For anyone else, it could be a silly reason, but for her? That meant the world.
“He’s changing, Kitty,” Kurt told her. “He is getting all the help he needs. In every area. It’s just a question of time and he will be either coming here or calling you.”
“You think so?” She sounded so hopeful.
“I’m sure of it.” Kurt said.
She engulfed her friend into another tight hug. “Thank you for telling me this, Kurt. You don’t know how much it means to me.”
“Also, I think I found someone who wants to see you.” Kurt said happily and whistled.
Kitty almost did cry when the purple dragon flew into the room and immediately landed on her shoulder, rubbing Kitty’s cheek and producing a satisfied noise. Kitty closed her eyes and enjoyed it.
“Lockheed!” Kitty finally looked at the dragon as it started flying in front of her. “I missed you so much!”
The dragon made another noise, which clearly meant he also missed her.
“I still don’t get it how you understand it, hum, him?” Kurt said a little confused.
“Lockheed doesn’t have a gender, Kurt,” Kitty explained. “It’s part of their species.”
“Gotcha.” Kurt nodded and smiled at the two clearly happy to see each other.
“Oh!” Kitty said clapping her hands together. “Meredith is here too. I should go find her then the three of us can hang out.”
Lockheed made a noise of agreement and flew away, after the Pryde offspring.
“Also, I think Scott wants to talk to you.” Kurt said as the two also began to leave the room.
“Me?” Kitty asked.
“I think he probably wants you to be his ‘Scott and Jean’ to their ‘Professor’.” Kurt laughed.
Kitty laughed as well. “Shouldn’t he want you? You are best friends.”
“Please,” Kurt rolled his eyes. “Scott knows me.”
Kitty smirked but decided to not say anything.
“Hey Kitty. Since you apparently understand Lockheed, do you think you got a secondary mutation that allows you to understand alien languages? Because not even Cypher has ever said anything about it and, well, we all need some help with Doop.”
Hank entered the lab his X-Club used as a ‘base’ that morning to see the entire team there already working on something in their respective tables. Even Danger was there too.
“Good morning.” He greeted all of them.
They all responded in their own way. Hank went to his own table and checked some things. He wanted the X-Club to focus on finding out more about secondary mutations but they each had their own projects.
“By the way,” He said. “Scott wants all of us at the dining room for lunch. That includes you too, Armando.”
Armando Muñoz, also known as Darwin, a Mutant known for being not sociable just grunted in response.
“When is Cecilia coming back?” Dr. James Bradley asked.
“A couple of days.” Hank answered.
“It will be better to resume our research once the whole team is together, don’t you agree?” Dr. Yuriko Takiguchi asked all of them.
They all seemed to agree.
“Majority rules then.” Hank sighed quietly.
“You really okay with it, Hank?” Dr. Madison Jeffries asked.
“I am.” He nodded.
“Hank,” Dr. Kavita Rao approached his table and handed him a file. “I analyzed it as you asked me too.”
“And?” He asked hopefully. It was another thing they were working on but only the X-Club knew. They were trying to find a way to revert the process Warren Worthington had suffered and turn him back to his old self.
She shook her head negatively. “I’m sorry, Hank. Nothing new.”
“I see.” He studied the file. No changes.
She patted his hand and went back to her desk. Hank sighed. He knew very well even if all of their minds working together that a result might not be found. He wouldn’t give up on his friend. When his ex-wife returned, there would be one more brain to work on it.
Bobby and Piotr had almost finished setting up their room that they now shared. While the Russian still had some personal issues with sharing a room, let alone a bed with the other Mutant, Bobby always made sure he felt comfortable.
“Happy to be back to a more pleasant weather?” Piotr asked with a hint of teasing.
Bobby knew the game his boyfriend was trying to play. “Well, Bayville has been my home for a long time, so it doesn’t matter how the weather is, I’m just happy I’m back here.”
Piotr nodded and turned away from him to finish putting some clothes in a dresser when he felt Bobby’s arms hug him from behind, the other Mutant pressing his lips softly against the back of the bigger Mutant’s neck.
“Also,” Bobby said with no irony. “I’m happy to be anywhere, no matter the weather, as long as I am with you.”
That made Piotr’s heart almost bust out of his chest. He really wasn’t used to Bobby’s demonstrations of affection, even after all this time. He turned around gave him a simple, but sweet kiss, making Bobby smile foolishly.
“Bobby…” He began but he felt he couldn’t say the words he wanted.
“What is it?” Bobby asked curiously.
Before Piotr could muster the courage to say anything, a knock from the door interrupted them. The Russian Mutant seemed a bit disappointed but went to answer it anyway. Behind the door was Kitty.
“Hey guys!” She said with a smile. “I just wanted to let you know that lunch is almost ready and Jean and Scott want everybody there.”
“Another announcement?” Bobby asked.
Kitty shrugged. “Probably.”
“Thank you, Katya,” Piotr said before immediately clearing his throat as loudly as he could before glancing quite worriedly at Bobby. “I mean, Kitty.”
Kitty gave him a sympathetic smile. “It’s okay, Piotr. Really. Unless Mr. Popsicle has a problem with it.”
Bobby smiled at her sarcastic tone as he approached the two closely and put one of his arms around Piotr’s waist. “Not my fault you left this Russian monument, Kit Kat.”
Both laughed while Piotr just watched their quite common interaction without knowing what to say.
“How’s Meredith?” Bobby asked
“Good, good,” Kitty said with a sigh. “She just, well, she misses her dad and brother, you know.”
“Right,” Bobby nodded. “Any word from Conrad?”
Kitty sighed again but had a small smile in her face. “I talked to Kurt and he said he’s doing fine. Part of Excalibur now and all that.”
“Following momma’s footsteps.” Bobby winked.
Kitty’s smile grew a bit. “I think so. Kurt told me he’s using the codename Shadowkitten.”
Bobby laughed but it was an ‘I’m-so-happy-for-you’ laugh. “That’s simply awesome, Kitty!”
“I know, I know,” Kitty said smiling. “I’m glad he seems to be dealing with his issues with me and Lance.”
The two male Mutants nodded.
“How is Lance?” Piotr asked.
Kitty’s smile disappeared. She took a second before answering. “Not so different. You, well, you know him.”
“Right.” Bobby said.
“I assume he didn’t want to come this year again?” Piotr asked tentatively.
Kitty shook her head with a clearly fake smile. “No. You know him. Avalanche until the end.”
Bobby and Piotr looked at each other worriedly because of Kitty’s begrudging tone.
“Is he going to stay in New York while you are here?” Bobby asked.
“No,” Kitty answered simply. “The day I had everything packed to come here, he also had a suitcase. Said he was going to Australia and spend some time there.”
“Australia?” Bobby asked curiously.
“St. John,” Piotr answered knowingly. He continued when he saw his boyfriend’s confused look. “Pyro. That’s where he lives.”
“Oh,” Bobby said, surprised. “I didn’t know Lance and him were buddies.”
“Only one left, really,” Kitty said. “With Pietro and Wanda as Avengers now, Todd living in Genosha and after what happened to Fred and the Legacy Virus… Mr. ‘Fire-is-pretty’ is his last… buddy.”
“You are okay with that?” Piotr asked. He knew that out of all the former Freedom Force’s members, Pyro was the most… unstable.
Kitty shrugged her shoulders, looking quite… defeated. “There are a lot of things I’m not okay with when it comes to Lance.”
“Kitty…” Bobby tried to begin but she was already backing away from the room.
“Don’t be late for lunch.” She said simply with a smile and left.
Bobby looked at her go with a devastated face, which he shared with Piotr.
“Poor Kitty,” Bobby said sadly. “She deserves a better man than that douche.”
“I have to agree with you on that.” Piotr said with a sad face.
“What is it?” Bobby asked.
“Well,” Piotr sighed. “I was one of those, hum, douches, as you say, to her.”
“No, no you weren’t” Bobby hugged his boyfriend tightly. “You tried and you were honest with her. Besides, she’s okay with it.
“What about you?” Piotr asked seriously. “Are you okay with me having been with Kitty?”
Bobby rolled his eyes in a comical fashion and snickered. “Of course I am, you silly!”
Piotr remained silent.
“Hey,” Bobby said a bit more serious. “I don’t mind you were with a woman. You know that. I have been with women too, remember?”
“What if it was more than one?” Piotr asked.
“Another…” Bobby was confused but then he snapped his finger. “Oh! That woman from the Savage Land? Piotr, come on, that was nothing, right?”
Bobby turned around, not seeing Piotr very serious face as he whispered to himself. “Yes… nothing…”
Ororo helped her daughter settle in at her old room in the mansion. Gaea loved the plants and the windows everywhere since it reminded her of home. Ororo had made sure her daughter would stay with her, since she was younger than most students were and her powers had developed not too long ago.
Her niece T’Channa alongside Ama and Udo had opted to stay at the Dormitories in order to mingle better. Ama insisted to be T’Channa’s roommate, even if the princess said there wasn’t need for that. She should know better to try discussing with the daughter of two of the Dora Milajee. Udo’s room was even close to theirs. She didn’t exactly minded them looking out for them, as long as they didn’t forget they were students, not bodyguards.
She guided her princess through the corridors towards the dining room when she noticed in one of the rooms they were passing by open with Logan, Shiro, Hank, Sean and John all inside, sitting and talking. She smiled to herself.
“Gaea?” She crouched a bit down to talk to her daughter. “Would you mind going ahead and meeting with your cousin? Mom needs to talk to some old friends.”
“Mom, I,” Gaea sounded like she didn’t want to interrupt her mother’s time with her friends, but she seemed a bit worried. “I don’t really know how to walk around here.”
“Oh,” That was true. Ororo was trying to think of something when she saw a young redhead girl walking down one of the corridors in front of them. “Oh! Rachel! Would you mind coming here?”
Rachel Summers-Grey was the oldest daughter of Scott and Jean. She had inherited her mother’s red hair as well as her green eyes with freckles that covered her face. She was quite tall and had a genuinely friendly smile on her face as she approached the two.
“Hi, aunt Ororo,” She said happily. “Hello, Gaea. You’ve grown.”
Gaea simply smiled in response while Ororo stood up. “Rachel, I was wondering if you could take Gaea to the dining room for me. T’Channa must already be there with Ama and Udo. I have to talk to the old men over there.”
Rachel glimpsed at the room and chuckled. “No problem. Come on, Gaea. I can show you some shortcuts from here to there. The X-Mansion isn’t the maze people will tell you it is.”
“Bye mom!” Gaea waved as she left with Rachel, already chatting with the older girl.
Ororo smiled and turned to the opened door, inviting herself in. “A little early for your only boy’s club thing, isn’t it?” She asked teasingly, making the men in the room laugh. She sat in one of the chairs along the others.
“Just a bunch of old timers enjoying some quiet time before the school is crawling with youths.” Sean Cassidy, the Mutant known as Banshee, said with a smile.
“Youths?” Logan laughed and the remarked. “Now you sound older than me!”
“You have been a teacher before, Sean,” Shiro Yoshida, also known as Sunfire, stated. He was one of the older Mutants that most of the people in this room and in the rest of the school would never believe would come back, stay and even become a teacher. Apparently, some people did change after all. “I thought you enjoyed teaching?”
“You are the one to talk, Mr. Antisocial,” Sean shook his head. “I loved teaching, don’t get me wrong but it’s just now this has so many students, so many young Mutants as our responsibilities that…”
“Sean,” John Proudstar, the Thunderbird, said seriously. “This isn’t what you went through before. You know that. We are all here now.”
Sean gave him a brief smile as the other Mutant patted him on the back.
“And some of your former students are here too,” Hank reminded him. “You know they would do anything for you.”
Everyone remained silent in respect of Sean’s past and what he had gone through.
“So, Hank,” Ororo decided to break the ice. “How come you are here with us? Shouldn’t you be with your X-Club?”
Hank laughed. “I’ve already talked to them today and Armando can take care of everything that is they are already working on. He is way less sociable than I am, whether you all believe it or not.”
“Is that even possible?” John asked with the slightest hint of a joke.
“Did Proudstar just made a joke?” Logan asked with a ridiculously serious tone.
Everyone laughed again.
“What about you, Ororo?” Shiro asked. “Being a queen, the leader of an X-Team and a teacher. None of us here does all of this.”
“Well,” Sean pointed out. “None of us are queens after all.”
They laughed again.
“This place is in my heart,” Ororo explained. “Wakanda is part of my heart as well and it will always be. I believe that I can make more of a difference here though. Besides, I trust my husband to take care of everything.”
“That’s what you get for marrying Black Panther.” Sean winked.
“I think Ms. Queen of Wakanda here deserves a round of applause,” Logan declared from his armchair. He admired her a great deal and wasn’t ashamed to acknowledge that. “For the incredible woman that she is, of course, but also because she’s the only one out of our timers that still as active as ever.”
Everyone laughed, agreed and clapped.
Some of the Mutants were already at the dining room. The students all gathered around another table while the older ones sat at the large dinner table. Among the ones sitting, there were Calvin Rankin, a Mutant in his 20s with tanned skin and blond hair known as Mimic. By his side was his best friend, the Mutant known as Morph.
Similar to the X-Men’s enemy Mystique, Morph could shapeshift their body into anything, but unlike Raven Darkhölme, Morph never identified with one specific gender. Morph’s appearance most of the times was of a non-binary person covered in chalk white skin, no hair as well as no traits that would identify the Mutant as male or female. Which was why Morph never said their birth name. Everyone one called them Morph and no one saw a problem with that. Morph would from time to time, take the form of a specific gender, like now, when they were sitting next to their best friend with a male form.
“I can’t believe you still haven’t asked her out yet,” Morph said in his male form. “Is it because there is an age difference? You do know nobody cares about this anymore, right? You are both legal!”
Calvin chose to ignore Morph for the time being. He had this conversation before with his friend and teammate. The woman the Mutant had his eyes on was Clarice Ferguson, Blink from the long dismantled team Generation X.
“Hey!” Morph snapped his fingers. “Why don’t I do it for you? You know, change my form to look like you?”
Calvin actually laughed. “Like the hundreds of times you suggested this to me already and I said ‘hell no!’?”
Morph gave him a defeated smile. “I’m just trying to help you, buddy.”
“I know that, Morph,” Calvin said. “I’m just not so comfortable with your ideas.”
“Was it because I also suggested taking Blink’s appearance that one time we were drunk?” Morph asked smirking.
Calvin elbowed him playfully. “Yes! And the other times you did take her appearance to see how I would react to her coming on to me!”
“Once again, I was just trying to help you.” Morph reminded him.
“I wonder what your lady would think of that.” Calvin said with a menacing tone.
“Leyu?” Morph asked and laughed. “Come on, you know her! Besides, the drunk story was before she and I became a couple.”
“Before you found out she liked girls.” Calvin reminded him.
“Well, I still think it wasn’t that obvious,” Morph said. “But even so, that problem is solved. I took the form she fell in love with.”
“You are lucky, you know?” Calvin said honestly. “Being able to become who your partner wants.”
“Hey,” Morph put a hand on his friend’s shoulder. “It’s all about love. Plus, I’m gender fluid. Men, women, or any other gender, those are all me.”
“Like I said, lucky.” Calvin patted his friend’s hand on his shoulder. “Especially for finding someone who accepts you.”
“I know.” Morph said with a big smile.
The two remained in silent before Morph turned to Calvin with a mischievous smile.
“So,” Morph said. “Back to Blink.”
Calvin groaned and Morph couldn’t contain his laugh.
Lunchtime had arrived and most of the residents of the X-Mansion were now in the dining room, with a few exceptions. The X-Men teams were at the biggest table, with the children and students sitting in a smaller table and other Mutant residents, like Hank’s X-Club and the spouses that weren’t active members or teachers, sat at a medium-sized. Everyone seemed happy and enjoying their time together.
“Where are Tandy and Tyrone?” Petra asked. She was a blonde female Mutant was of the Extraordinary X-Men team lead by Leyu Yoshida, the Mutant Sunpyre and younger sister of Shiro Yoshida. Much like Rogue, almost no one knew much about her, her backstory or even her real name. All they knew she was an X-Men, through and through.
“They said they already had a lunch scheduled with some friends in Manhattan.” Leyu explained. Unlike her brother, Leyu was a cheerful, friendly and warm woman. Anyone could tell she was approachable just by the way she wore her hair in two ponytails all the time.
Petra simply nodded. She could very well understand if her teammates wanted to have their own private time.
“What about Japeth?” Joanna Cargill asked looking around the table. The black woman also known as, Frenzy, was, a long time ago, part of the second generation of the group called the Acolytes and had fought the X-Men before reforming thanks to the help of none other than Magneto.
“You know he’s not sociable,” Leyu reminded her. “If he wants to eat alone, he’s big enough to make his own decisions.”
Piotr, also a member of the Extraordinary X-Men, thought about how every member of his team knew how to work when they were on the filed but when it came to spending time together, they weren’t exactly the best. He couldn’t say anything really, although it made him wonder how someone like Leyu was their leader. Either she was the leader because of her skills on the fields or she also had some skeletons deep in her closet. Colossus preferred to believe she achieved her status because of her abilities.
While the other teams talked amongst themselves, some members of Storm’s team, the Astonishing X-Men, were catching up after spending some months apart.
“So how was Australia?” Ororo asked the sibling Davis and Heather Cameron.
“Oh, you know, it’s lovely to be back down under!” Davis said with a very bright smile to his leader. Everyone knew he had this huge and hopeless crush on her.
“We are actually think of maybe going, well, you know,” His sister, Heather, began and her teammates started to give her curious looks. “If we get the chance and the resources, maybe we are going to, hum, well … space next vacation.”
“Space?” Neal Shaara, known as Agni, of their team asked surprised. “Here I am, thinking about going back to India again and visit my family and you are thinking about going to space!”
“Why?” Suzanne Chan asked. Sway, as she was also known, was a Chinese Mutant who had quite recently joined the X-Men family so she didn’t know that much about everyone.
“Well,” Heather began explaining. “My brother and I are actually distant descendants of an alien race called the Shi’ar. We’ve met them a few times and their empress, hum, I mean, Majestrix Lilandra, told us if we ever wanted to meet their culture and Empire better, we should contact them.”
“You say that like calling a race of aliens that live countless lightyears away from here is easy.” Neal said amused.
“The Shi’ar?” Suzanne asked. “Aren’t they the ones, who, hum, evolved from… birds and have those pointy hairs and marks around their eyes?”
Davis and Heather shared a laugh before nodding.
“Guess we didn’t get those traits.” Davis winked.
“Like I said, we are distant descendants.” Heather said.
Suzanne nodded, quite impressed with what she had just learned.
Before everyone started eating dessert or leaving, Scott got up and called everyone’s attention. All eyes turned to him and Jean raised from her seat as well to give her husband support.
“I would like to talk to you all before we end lunch,” Scott explained. He turned to students’ table. “If you all don’t mind finishing up and eating dessert at the cafeteria, I would really appreciate it. Plus, you can all talk with no worries if any of the adults here are going to hear.”
Some of the students laughed and got their things and plate and left the dining room. The remaining members, residents and active X-Men members turned to their new Headmaster and Headmistress.
“You are quitting already?” Bobby asked jokingly, which earned an elbow from his boyfriend.
“No.” Scott gestured negatively with his hands. “Nothing like that.”
“Well, first,” Jean spoke. “We want to explain why the Professor isn’t here.”
Most of them had wondered why Charles wasn’t having lunch with them.
“He left this morning,” Scott explained. “He said he had some business to attend outside of New York but he would be back soon.”
“Soon?” Hank asked. “He didn’t specify when?”
“You know how the Professor can be.” Jean offered with a shrug.
“We are all in the same page that he isn’t, you know,” Kurt began and everyone’s attention turned to him. “Off his, hum, head?”
“You mean like crazy?” Rogue asked with a laugh.
“When he said he was old, he didn’t mean it like that.” Scott defended.
“That’s not what I meant,” Kurt said. “I mean, we are sure he isn’t, like, possessed or evil or anything, right?”
“He would need to be that for him to give us our new positions?” Jean asked with an raised eyebrow.
“No!” Kurt shook his head vehemently. “I didn’t mean it like…look… ugh! Okay, what I meant is that we had this problem before.”
Everyone at the table went silent for a moment.
“He’s not under the influence of the Shadow King, Kurt.” Ororo said seriously.
“Or Cassandra Nova,” Jean added. “Trust me.”
“The Professor is just fine,” Scott said, wanting to move on from that topic. “He just needed to go away. That is all.”
Everyone seemed to accept it.
“So, what is that you want to talk to us about, boss?” Logan asked with a smirk. The older man never lost an opportunity to tease Scott now that he was older.
The corner’s of Scott raised a bit but he remained serious. “As we all know, the semester is right around the corner.”
“I know most of you are already teachers here in the Institute,” Scott said. “And we even have some outside help for the small college and university level classes we have been giving.”
“I feel a ‘but’ coming.” Rogue guessed.
“But,” Jean was the one who said it. “We think with all the new students applying to study here… we went over everything, and we think just us won’t be enough. What we had the last semesters won’t cut it for this one.”
A brief silence filled the room before someone cleared their throat.
“How many more students are we talking about?” Sean asked. The sheer number of students at Xavier Institute had always surprised him. Sure, there were a lot of students back at the Massachusetts Academy but… never as much as he saw here.
Jean and Scott shared a quick glance before both let out a sigh. Jean grabbed a few papers and ran her eyes over it quickly before turning to everyone. “The number of students of the last few semesters was quite unchangeable.”
“Yet this year…” Scott began to say but stopped, still not believing.
“How much?” Ororo asked already prepared for what was coming.
“We have an amount close to 280 students enrolled in the Xavier Institute right now.” Jean said with a slightly shake in her voice.
Once again, silence.
“Hum,” Danielle, the leader of the New X-Men, broke the silence. “How… How many of them are Mutants?”
“More than half,” Jean explained. “Probably 90% of them.”
Everyone was really surprised.
“Wow,” Bobby exclaimed. “I didn’t know there that many Mutants in the USA… or in New York.”
“It’s not just here,” Scott explained. “We will be receiving students from all over the world. And I mean, from all over it. While the exact number isn’t final and we are still talking to some parents, we still believe the total will be more than 200, close to 300, most likely.”
“Well,” Sam patted Douglas’ back. “Good thing we’ve got Doug here. He can helps us communicate with all of them.”
Douglas smiled to everyone but it was quite clear that he understood the magnitude of the situation.
“And the rest of the students are all humans?” Illyana asked.
Scott and Jean nodded. Illyana seemed to ponder that.
“Most of them are, as we all know, children from associates. We still haven’t reached out enough beyond that. We believe we’ll be able to though.” Jean said.
“That isn’t surprising,” She said. Everyone looked at her. “You are all not surprised or shocked, are you?”
“Why should we be?” Kitty asked. “That is what we want for this school.”
“They hate us.” Illyana said as-a-matter-of-factly.
<Sister!> Piotr yelled at her in their native language. <How many times have we discussed about the way you speak?>
Illyana simply shrugged a shoulder. “I’m just being honest.”
Everybody at the table was staring at her.
“OK, OK,” She raised her hands. “I am aware there are humans out there that don’t hate us. There are ones that help us, support us and even work here with us. Now, how many would you say that out of these are humans who are not related to other heroes or organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D., as Jean has just said?”
A brief silence began but Scott broke it quickly. “I understand your point, Illyana, I do. However, our job still remains the same. You are aware of that, aren’t you?”
She nodded simply.
“Good,” Scott said. “While she is right that most of the humans here have connections with heroes and with hero-related organization, we also have human professors helping us with our wish to turn the X-Mansion into a University. They have said many times they plan to send their children here.”
“Eventually.” Jean reminded him. She didn’t want for his speech to not have any impact but she wanted it to be honest.
He sighed. “That might be true, but we are taking one step at a time. We all know how long it took for this place to accept more than a dozen teenage Mutants, let alone teach them here. Look at us now.”
“Hey, do you think that’s why Chuck gave up?” Logan asked with a kidding tone, probably wanting to relax everyone.
Which seemed to work since it made some of them laugh.
“So what is the plan?” Kurt asked.
“We have two more pressing matters at this point.” Scott said seriously.
“Money and staff.” Jean finished for him.
“Money,” Sam sighed. “Always complicated.”
“Are we sure we don’t know any Mutant that has, you know, the power to make money appear?” Jubilee asked completely serious.
“I doubt it.” Many of them responded in different tones.
“We do have a solution for staff situation, though…” Jean said in a careful tone.
“You are talking about them, aren’t you?” John Proudstar asked.
She simply nodded.
“Well,” Bobby looked around the table. “It’s not like we didn’t use their help before.”
“Some of us.” Xi’an reminded him seriously.
They were talking about a couple of Mutants with a very specific combination of powers. One of them was able to create a type of interdimensional bubble where time didn’t pass and the other one was able to pass a specific quantity of knowledge from a specific subject to another living being. That was how many but not all members of the X-Teams had become teachers in their areas. The two together could help them bend a bit of reality so they could get their diplomas on their areas. Not all of them really liked that idea, like Xi’an as an actual professor for example. Yet, back when the school began to grow, there were simply no teachers to teach Mutants.
“Are we sure we still need them?” Sean asked. He was another one who was not very comfortable using their help. “Things changed. We sure can find other teachers that are qualified to teach here.”
“You are saying the ones that went through their process are not ‘qualified’?” Bobby asked with a raised eyebrow. He had been one of those who went through the said process.
“That is not what I said,” Sean answered quickly. “All I am saying is that give a chance to other human teachers. We are already using human professors for that anyway.”
“And some of us are actually training to become professors too, you know!” Ray said angrily, thinking that he and the others who went through the process were somehow cheaters or unworthy.
“OK!” Scott yelled and everyone quieted down. “It’s not like I’m not considering hiring human teachers, Sean, but it is not as simple as we would like it to be. Yes, things changed but how many resumes have you seen be dropped off here for a position?”
Sean didn’t answer the question.
“I am going to hold interviews in these next few days,” Scott said. “For both humans and Mutants.”
“And if it doesn’t work?” Amara asked. She too was a teacher thanks to the process.
Scott sighed. “With any luck, we’ll be able to find at least some. If not… we have no other choice.”
Some nodded while others avoided their gazes.
“If it comes to that,” Scott explained. “I will need volunteers. Now that Jean and I won’t be able to be full-time teachers anymore, we will also need people to replace us. Also, expanding our curriculum will be good for the school.”
Most of them now agreed.
“I can imagine how some of you feel about doing this,” Jean spoke. “But it is the world we live in... We can’t always ask the superheroes who have Doctor’s degrees to come here and teach for us. One day, we are going to consider going through the process again to acquire higher degrees so we can really turn this into a University. I want you all to think about that. Humans will come, yes, one day. Unfortunately, we all know how fast they can turn on us and the only ones left for us to trust is our kind. Sometimes, not even them.”
The silence now was grim.
“For now, we need to focus on expanding the staff for pre-superior education.” Scott reminded everyone trying to calm them even if a little bit.
“What about the money issue?” Warren asked. “I know Worthington Industries isn’t really…”
“Warren,” Hank stopped him. “It’s not your fault.”
“We are going to find a way,” Jean said surely. “We always do.”
Some were convinced while others were still clearly in doubt.
“OK, I think we’ve talked enough,” Scott said snapping some of them back to reality. “We all have a lot to do and … well, think, so.”
“Besides,” Jean spoke. “Now that we are all here, the children of our ‘associates’ will definitely be coming back. We all know that happens every semester.”
“The Maximoff twins are already here,” Scott reminded all of them. “So… I don’t think we have anything more to discuss for now. Think of what we discussed here. Everyone. It’s important for our future.”
Everyone said their goodbyes while Jean and Scott stayed behind. Both looked at each other with worried faces. The road ahead was going to be a rocky one, and now, they were on their own with the Professor taking some time off and not being around. Talk about perfect timing.
The children of the X-Men and the very few other students sat at one single table at the cafeteria talking among themselves.
“How are you enjoying here?” Rachel Grey-Summers asked to the Wakandans.
“Weather is quite different, I must say.” T’Channa said with a smile.
“So,” Kinross Cassidy, the son of Sean Cassidy and the late Dr. Moira, asked T’Channa with a flirting tone. “You are a princess.”
She raised an eyebrow, amused while Ama and Udo looked at him as if they were ready to jump him. The other students giggled and rolled their eyes, already used to Kinross.
“Gaea is the Princess of Wakanda, actually.” T’Channa pointed to her younger cousin who shyly waved at him.
“I’m really curious to ask about Wakanda,” Rocky Crawley-Jeffries, son of Madison Jeffries and Lillian Crawley-Jeffries, said. “I know you have this incredible and advanced technology!”
Udo and Ama exchanged looks before the female spoke. “We indeed do. Our country prospers thanks to our technology.”
“T’Channa’s mother, Princess Shuri, is an outstanding inventor.” Udo said.
“I, unfortunately, didn’t inherit that.” T’Channa laughed.
“I suppose I can’t really ask you, right?” Rocky said with a slightly disappointed tone. “I know it’s a very hush-hush subject to share info.”
They nodded, making the boy sigh.
“I’m sorry,” T’Channa said. “It’s tradition. I could talk to my mother about one day you visiting her workshop.”
Rocky’s eyes sparkled. “Really?”
“You are your father’s son, huh?” Shongo Lee said. He was a Chinese young adult and adopted son of Jubilee.
“Let the boy have his fun, Fangs,” TJ Wagner elbowed him. “He’s probably already familiar with all the technology from around here.”
“Why aren’t you at the Future Foundation then?” Tommy Maximoff asked. One of the twins of Wanda Maximoff and the android Vision.
“Mutant, remember?” Rocky said. “I could ask you the same why you aren’t at the Avengers Academy.”
Everyone laughed while Tommy rolled his eyes.
“That’s what you get,” Billy Maximoff, his twin brother, said. “Besides, the Academy isn’t like here. It’s not a school. It’s for training.”
“Yeah,” Tommy said with a sly smile. “My brother’s love goes there.”
“Tommy!” Billy pushed his brother while everyone shared another laugh.
“If you don’t mind me asking,” Kymri Wagner turned to the bickering twins. “Why are you two here already? Semester hasn’t started.”
“The superheroes haven’t even begun to drop off their kids.” Meredith Pryde-Alvers commented. At her shoulder, Lockheed was munching on something she gave him to eat.
“Mom and Dad are taking some time off,” Billy explained. “That’s why we are here so early.”
“They are taking care of our new baby brother, Tyler,” Tommy said and turned to his twin. “See, they do like me better. They gave him a name with a ‘T’. Ha!”
Billy just rolled his eyes.
“You guys have a new brother?” Christopher Charles Grey-Summers, or CC, the younger son of Scott and Jean asked surprised and looked directly at Billy. “You didn’t tell me this.”
Billy gave him an apologetic smile. “Sorry CC. Just been busy with everything. Having a baby around the house while you also have Tommy there is just a lot.”
“Hey!” Tommy pushed his brother. “You say it like you were busy helping out instead of going out to suck face with your boyfriend!”
The two started arguing while the others let them be. The Wakandans seemed taken back.
“Don’t mind them,” Rachel said. “They are always like that.”
“I noticed how many of the X-Men have children,” Udo commented. “I did not know the Mutant families were so big.”
“Yeah, but none of them beats mine.” Lucy Starsmore-Guthrie said laughing. She was the only daughter of Jonothan Starsmore, Chamber, and Paige Guthrie, Husk.
“What do you mean?” Ama asked curiously.
“These are all my aunts and uncles,” She pointed to the group of blondes and brunettes with one redhead who were all sitting at the end of the table together. “The Guthrie clan.”
All eight of them waved.
“You are all Mutants?” T’Channa asked surprised.
“Not all of us,” Elizabeth, who seemed to be the oldest female of them, said. “Jay, Jeb and Melody are. Joelle, Lewis, Cissie, Lois and I aren’t.”
The three she had mentioned waved and nodded. The one redhead was the one who was clearly a Mutant, with a pair of red-feathered wings sprouting from his back.
“My mom and my uncle are also Mutants,” Lucy explained. “Uncle Sam is Cannonball from the New X-Men and my mom used to be Husk when she was part of Generation X. Now she’s just a teacher here like my dad. And there is also my cousins Josiah and Nina, they’re my uncle Sam’s kids but right now they are on vacation with their mom.”
“You get used to all the Guthries.” Kinross winked at T’Channa.
“You all go to school here then?” T’Channa asked ignoring Kinross.
They all nodded.
“Some of us take University classes and other high school ones.” Elizabeth explained.
“We also all live here.” Jeb, one of the Mutant Guthries, said.
“We used to live in Kentucky at our family’s farm before…” Melody, the only Mutant girl of them trailed off while her eyes lingered on her sister Joelle, who turned her face away.
“They burned it down.” Jay, the one with wings, said seriously.
“They?” T’Channa asked.
“Humanity’s Last Stand,” Joelle, the one who wasn’t facing anyone, said. “They were a group of fanatic humans who didn’t like Mutants.”
An uncomfortable silence settled in the conversation. Not only the Guthries seemed uncomfortable to talk about that but the others too.
“It’s all in the past now,” Elizabeth said putting a reassuring hand on Joelle’s shoulder. “We are all happy here.”
“That’s what you get being family with the X-Men,” TJ said trying to lighten up the mood. “A bunch of things you would never believe happened.”
“Like fighting a living island.” Rachel said.
“Or robots from the future.” CC added.
“Being on a reality TV show in another dimension.” Kinross commented.
“Going to a forest with dinosaurs in the middle of Antarctica.” Shongo laughed.
All the X-Men kids started listing things their parents had done in the past two decades, making the Wakandans truly understand TJ’s words: they would never believe all those things had really happened.
Later that night, Scott entered his room and saw Jean already getting ready to go to bed. She smiled at him as he dropped his robe on a chair and revealed his naked torso with only a boxer covering the rest of his body.
“Kids okay?’ Jean asked. Scott had gone to make sure Rachel and CC had settled back fine.
Scott nodded. “They said they’re going to enjoy having their rooms by themselves for now before the other students come and they have to share.”
Jean snickered a little before her face turned serious, which Scott noticed immediately.
“Hey,” He approached her and touched her face. “What’s wrong?”
“Just thinking about today’s lunch,” Jean said. “It’s clear that not everyone is comfortable with the idea of how we can expand our teaching staff.”
Scott nodded and sighed. “We already expected that.”
“True,” Jean sighed as well. “And now that the Professor is not here…”
“Hey,” Scott held her in his arms. “We can do this. The two of us. We can’t keep depending on the Professor.”
She smiled and gave him a quick kiss on the lips. “You are right.”
“No more worries for the time being, okay?’ Scott pleaded.
“Okay.” Jean agreed.
Both finished their before-bed-rituals and finally lied down. Even with the lights off, they kept talking, something they used to do.
“Tomorrow is going to be one of those days.” Jean reminded him.
“I know,” Scott sighed. “I expect most of the Avengers’ kids to be coming by starting tomorrow.”
“What about the other kids?” Jean wondered.
“I think they are coming only once the semester starts,” Scott said. “Hopefully.”
“Give us more time to prepare everything.” Jean said.
“Yes,” Scott said. “Which reminds me. I will start the interviews tomorrow.”
“Already?” Jean asked somewhat surprised. “That was quite quick.”
“I received an e-mail from a man called Kuan-Yin Shen,” Scott explained. “He’s a Mutant, and he’s been looking for a job for quite some time. He heard about Mutant children coming here from other places of the world so he sent me the e-mail.”
“Is he a teacher or a professor?” She asked.
“A trained teacher, actually,” He answered. “Trained in various areas, including teaching special needs kids and social skills.”
“I can see those coming in handy.” Jean said honestly.
“Me too,” Scott said. “Hopefully, we get more like him.”
“Since you brought this up.” Jean began.
“What?” He asked.
“I’m going to the city tomorrow,” Jean said. “I’m going to an interview with a potential new financial supporter.”
“I can say that’s quite early as well,” He joked. “Who is it?”
Jean didn’t answer.
“Jean,” Scott said carefully. “Who are going in an interview with?”
“It’s not anyone that hate us,” She said quickly. “But it isn’t with one of the millionaire alter-egos of superheroes we know.”
“Then who?” He pressed.
“Emma Frost.” She said after a beat.
Scott remained silent, processing what his wife had just said. “Emma… Emma Frost… as in…”
“As in the former Headmistress of the Massachusetts Academy.”
“As in the woman who killed her sister, and some people in this very mansion hate?”
“Scott…” She tried to continue but he kept going.
“As in the White Queen of the Hellfire Club?” Scott asked with tone that made sure Jean understood this idea was crazy.
“Former White Queen,” Jean reminded him. “She reformed, remember? And don’t start with her being a former villain. We’ve given chances to reformed people before. You know that very well.”
“I know that,” Scott said defensively. “But, Jean… why her?”
“She’s a Mutant, Scott,” Jean explained. “She is one of us. She’s been through a lot and she knows how important a school for Mutants is.”
“I thought she was living in Genosha.” Scott said.
“She was, for quite some time after the… incident,” Jean said. “She came back to New York a few years ago and took over her family’s business.”
“Her family’s business?” Scott asked then it dawned on him. “Frost International. That’s hers?”
“Yes,” Jean nodded. “She’s the CEO now.”
“Oh…” Scott couldn’t quite believe it. “She accepted to see you?”
“Yes,” Jean confirmed. “I talked to a lot of people but she said she would see me.”
“She knows who you are.” Scott said with a serious tone.
“Of course she does,” Jean said. “You don’t need to worry, Scott. I’ll be okay.”
“You do know if she says yes we are going to be connected with her.” Scott said.
“I know that,” She said knowing what he meant by that. “And we deal with what that means when the times comes, OK?”
Scott nodded and gave her a kiss. “Guess we have to sleep. We both have a long day tomorrow.”
“Yes,” She said as she rest her head on her pillow looking at the ceiling before closing her eyes. “Yes, we do.”
Like clockwork, right after breakfast, a huge black SUV pulled up to the entrance of the school. On its side was the insignia of the Avengers. Scott and Jean were already there to receive the kids like they did even when they weren’t the Headmistress and Headmaster.
Out of the driver’s side, came out a beautiful redhead woman. Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, still looked like a model in her early 20s. No one would believe she had been for a long time let alone that she had eight kids. Most of them were adopted, sure, but she had had her own.
Together with her, six more passengers came out, which surprised Scott and Jean. They were expecting more of the Avengers’ kids to come, not just Natasha’s and Hank and Jan’s. They walked up to the two.
“Scott, Jean,” Natasha greeted. “I came bearing you gifts.”
She motioned to the six teenagers and young adults who just smiled and waved.
“They are always welcome.” Jean said and motioned for them to go in while she and Scott talked to Natasha.
“Where are the others?” Scott asked.
“Well, they are coming, don’t you worry,” Natasha teased. “Steve and Bucky are picking up some of the Thunderbolts and they are coming together today. The others, well, the parents wanted to spend some more quality time with them. Bruce and Betty took RJ on a vacation together with Amadeus. Thor’s kids are in Asgard still. Tony is still trying to connect the best he can with Nathaniel. Pietro and Crystal… I just don’t go there with their problems and the rest is just waiting for the semester to start.”
Both Mutants nodded.
“And your kids?” Jean asked.
“Nikita and Luka are my only ones who go here and I have work, so,” She shrugged. “Their siblings have their own things going on and I know better than let my children alone at my house.”
“I heard Anastasiy is training at the Avenger’s Academy.” Scott commented.
Natasha sighed. “He is. Wants to take my job, apparently and become the first male Black Widow.”
“You must be so proud,” Jean teased. “Still can’t convince Maks to come study with us?”
“I’m sorry Jean,” Natasha said. “The boy has a thick head. He’s a Mutant but I still want him to make his own decisions. He’s not a minor, so I can’t force him. At least he’s not going to Genosha.”
“I see that Hank and Jan decided to send their kids early.” Scott said.
“Those two,” Natasha shook her head. “While everyone else took pity on you two being new at taking care of the Institute, Hank and Jan are… well, Hank and Jan.”
“It’s not a problem,” Jean said. “Really.”
“Speaking of which,” Natasha smiled at both. “I don’t know if I should congratulate you two on your new job or wish you luck.”
Scott and Jean laughed.
“How about both?” Scott offered.
“Both is good.” Jean smiled.
“Very brave, the two of you,” Natasha said sincerely and glanced at her watch. “Well, I have to go. Like I said, Captain is dropping by later. Good luck you two and if any of the kids give you trouble, call Stark.”
The two Mutants laughed and waved goodbye as Natasha left.
A couple of hours later, just as Natasha said, Captain America himself came to the Institute. Together with him were his life partner Bucky Barnes, their two adopted kids, Peggy and Howard, and Melissa Gold and Abe Jenkins, Songbird and MACH-X from the Thunderbolts, with their two kids and another blonde young girl they hadn’t met before.
They all were already inside the mansion, welcomed by Scott and Jean together with Sean Cassidy, who had worked with the Thunderbolts in the past.
“I must say,” Steve Rogers said. “Xavier couldn’t have picked better to take over the Institute.”
“Thank you, Captain.” Scott said really flattered. He was, after all, Captain America.
“Please,” Steve laughed. “Call me Steve. I’m the Captain just on the field.”
“Yeah, please,” Bucky teased. “You don’t want him to blush.”
Steve gave his husband a look that only made Bucky laugh.
“How about you two?” Sean asked Melissa and Abe. “How are things?”
“They are good,” Abe nodded. “We have more support now that Mr. Barnes-Rogers works with us.”
Bucky punched him lightly but made sure to his metal arm to do it.
“Did Adam and Marlene come already?” Melissa asked.
“No,” Jean said. “They haven’t yet.”
Melissa nodded and turned to her two kids. “Once she comes, call me okay?”
“You got it, mom,” Mimi Gold, her oldest daughter with the late Genis-Vell, said.
Marlene Brashear was the daughter of Adam Brashear, the Blue Marvel, and a clone of Melissa made by Zemo as one of his schemes to destroy the woman. The clone had since passed away but Melissa always made sure to try connecting with the girl since she was her clone’s daugher.
“And who is this adorable girl?” Jean asked looking at the blonde girl who came with them.
“Estelle Sofen,” She introduced herself quite politely. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“She’s Karla’s daughter.” Abe explained.
“I didn’t know she had a daughter.” Sean said surprised.
Melissa and Abe exchanged smiles but said nothing. The four helped the kids settle in and left, offering any assistance if needed. Scott was still star-stricken like a small boy after shaking hands with Steve Rogers when he left. Jean just laughed at her husband’s admiration for Captain America.
Couple of hours later, Scott and Jean stood in the lobby together with Ororo. She had received a call from Reed Richards who told her he and the rest of the Fantastic Four were coming to drop off their kids since they also had some sort of emergency to attend. Since the group had a quite large number of kids, Reed said he would teleport to Institute, so now the three waited for them appear.
After some time waiting, a bubble of energy manifested in the middle of the lobby. The three Mutants took a few steps back. The bubble disappeared and gladly left no scorch marks to reveal the Fantastic Four and their six kids together with another man and a teenager.
“Reed, Susan,” Ororo hugged both. “It’s good to see you.”
“It’s good to see you too, Ororo,” Sue Richards smiled. “Scott, Jean, thank you so much for letting the kids stay here earlier.”
“It’s fine, Sue,” Jean reassured her. “Other kids are here. Plus, Franklin’s roommates are all here.”
The older son of the Richards couple blinked in surprise. “Billy is here too?”
Scott nodded. “He came with Tommy. He’s probably in your guys’ room with CC right now.”
“I’ll go meet with them then,” He turned and hugged his parents and uncles goodbye. “Be careful, okay?”
“Always, son.” Reed smiled and he left.
Ben Grimm, the Thing, was crouched down talking to his four adopted kids, telling them usual father stuff before they left. He watched them go with a smile.
“You really adopted four kids?” Ororo asked amused.
“Seemed fit, didn’t it?” He laughed.
“One is enough for me.” Johnny Storm, the Human Torch commented jokingly while ruffling his son hair.
“Very amusing, father.” Torus Storm said. The boy looked human except for his pointy ears and natural green hair. His mother and Johnny’s ex-wife was a Skrull named Lyja.
“Don’t torture him, Johnny.” The other man that came with them said gently.
“I’m sorry,” Scott talked to him. “I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Scott Summers.”
“I know,” The man smiled. “We have met.”
Scott looked at them better. He did reminded him of someone but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
“…Peter?” Jean asked.
Johnny laughed as well as the man. “Almost, Jean.”
“I’m Ben Reilly,” He introduced himself. “We’ve met when I’m Scarlet Spider?”
“Oh!” Scott and Jean said at the same time.
“You do resemble Peter Parker quite a lot,” Ororo commented. “Almost if you were his twin.”
“Well,” Ben smiled and ran a hand through his hair. “You could say that. I’m his clone.”
The three Mutants looked at each other surprised.
“I dye my hair and wear contacts,” He motioned to his face. “Try to look a bit different than Peter.”
“It’s good to meet you, Ben,” Jean said moving on from the clone topic. “And this is your kid?”
“Yes!” He said happily bringing the teenager closer. “Riley Tuney. We’ve… hum, only recently met.”
“Hello.” Riley said quietly.
“Mutant?” Scott asked curiously. Peter Parker’s both kids were so he imagined Ben’s would most likely be one too.
“Yes,” Ben nodded. “I figured it would be nice for Riley to meet other Mutant kids, right Riley?”
Riley nodded shyly but also excitedly.
“Hey Torus,” Johnny turned to his son. “Show Riley around, okay?”
Torus nodded and hugged his family goodbye before taking Riley to meet the Institute.
“Has Peter been here?” Ben asked.
“Not yet,” Jean said. “Bobby told me he called him saying he would bring his kids today but he hasn’t shown up yet.”
“Always late that one,” Johnny said and smiled at Ben. “At least you didn’t get that from him.”
Ben just shook his head.
Ororo acknowledged the last kid they brought. “Valeria, how are you?”
“I’m quite well.” The girl said with a smile.
“Would you mind me taking her to meet my daughter?” Ororo asked Reed and Sue.
“Not at all!” Sue said. “Once we have some free time, we’ll come to meet her as well.”
Valeria said goodbye and followed Ororo.
“Thanks again you two,” Reed said. “And congratulations. I’m certain you will do a good job.”
“Thanks, Reed.” Scott said.
They said their goodbyes and teleported out. Scott turned to Jean still a bit surprised.
“Peter Parker has a clone.” He said.
“Not something you would really advertise, Scott,” Jean said. “It’s probably a very delicate subject.”
“I suppose,” He nodded. “Why did he come with the Fantastic Four though?”
Jean shook her head. “You are kind of oblivious, do you know that?”
“What?” Scott asked honestly.
“He’s with Johnny.” Jean explained.
“With Johnny?” Scott didn’t seem to get it. “What do you-oh.”
Jean laughed. Now her husband got it.
Lunch had passed and the Scott and Jean had gone treat other matters when Bobby Drake received Peter Parker with his two kids. Peter smiled sheepishly at his old friend as he entered the mansion.
“Guess Scott and Jean aren’t around?” Peter asked.
“Jean isn’t and Scott is busy,” Bobby explained. “Hey Mayday. Hey Benji. When is your father going to change, huh?”
Both kids laughed and gave their dad sorry looks. Mayday Parker-Watson was the oldest one and the daughter of Peter with Mary Jane Watson while Benji Parker-Stacy’s mother was Gwen Stacy.
“No need to berate me in front of my kids, Drake,” Peter complained. “You two have everything, right? Your mothers would kill me if I brought you here and forgot something.”
“You are safe, dad,” Mayday said kissing him on the cheek. “I’m gonna find my friends.”
“Me too.” Benji hugged his father and left with his half-sister.
“Don’t forget our dinner later this weekend!” Peter called out and sighed. “They grow up so fast.”
“Peter Parker, father of two,” Bobby laughed. “Who would have guessed?”
“I am a great father, thank you very much,” Peter said with a huff. “Who’s cooler to have as a dad than Spider-Man?”
“I’m not gonna answer that,” Bobby laughed. “You doing fine for a single father, I suppose.”
“Ouch,” Peter laughed back. “Do you have to throw it in my face just because you found someone?”
“What can I say?” Bobby shrugged. “Hard to resist my charms.”
“Please,” Peter rolled his eyes. “I did! For years!”
“Get off your high horse, Parker!” Bobby shoved him kiddingly. “Like I ever had thing for you!”
“You so did it, snowman!” Peter wiggled his eyebrows. “And aren’t you dating a guy who has my name but in Russian?”
“Stuff it, webhead!” Bobby laughed and Peter joined him.
“It’s good seeing you, Bobby,” Peter said. “You happy?”
“I am,” Bobby smiled. “Are you?”
Peter looked at the direction where his kids had gone. “You betcha.”
“You should date, though,” Bobby said with no hint of joke. “It’s good for the soul.”
“I suppose.” Peter shrugged.
“Come on, Pete,” Bobby smiled. “You an attractive man. It shouldn’t be too hard for you.”
“So you do find me attractive huh?” Peter teased.
“Ben is hotter,” Bobby teased back. “Blonde hair and deep brown eyes. Also, he’s buffer than you.”
“You and your buff guys,” Peter laughed shaking his head. “I have to get going.”
“Is he really going out with Johnny Storm?” Bobby asked as he walked with Peter.
Peter sighed. “You heard about it, then?”
“So he’s bi?” Bobby asked. “Huh. Wait, wouldn’t that make you bi as well?”
“I’m so not going to discuss that with you, Bobby.” Peter said.
“If you do, you know you can, right?” Bobby said honestly. “We’re friends.”
“I know that,” Peter smiled. “We should go out.”
Bobby raised an eyebrow.
“Not like that!” Peter punched him in the arm. “I don’t want Colossus crushing me. We should hang. Call Angelica. It will be like old times.”
“I would love that,” Bobby said and hugged Peter. “Take care, Parker.”
“You two, Drake,” Peter smiled and saw a motorcycle coming. “Seems I’m not the only one that’s late. I’ll talk to you, Bobby.”
“Bye Peter.” Bobby waved goodbye and waited to see who was arriving. Two young adults hopped of the bike and once they removed their helmets, Bobby recognized them.
“Danielle, Jackson,” He said as he welcomed the two. “What are you guys doing here?”
“We go here, remember Mr. Drake?” Danielle Cage, the daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, said.
“I know that,” Bobby shook his head. “We are you guys’ folks?”
“Busy as usual,” Jackson Murdock-Natchios said. “We decided to come early rather than wait for them to find some time for us.”
The son of Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios sounded a bit hurt.
“And where’s Iron Fist’s kid?” Bobby imagined all the children of the Heroes for Hire would be together.
“Junior went to Kumbaya to study there like Uncle Danny.” Danielle explained as she got their things from behind the bike.
“It’s K’un-Lun, Danielle.” Jackson corrected her.
“Whatever.” She handed him his luggage and walked inside the mansion. Bobby helped Jackson with his things as both walked behind the much stronger girl.
Scott walked through the corridors of the mansion, heading to his office when he heard someone calling him. He turned around to see Sally Blevins walking up to him. He smiled at her. The Mutant formerly known as Skids who had been a part of a very short-lived street living group of Mutant called X-Terminators before going to the Massachusetts Academy. She now just worked as a sort of assistant to the school.
“What can I do for you, Sally?” He asked.
“There is a man here saying he has a meeting with you,” She said. “He’s here about a teaching position?”
Scott nodded. “Right, Mr. Shen. I was expecting him.”
“He’s waiting at the lobby,” She motioned behind her. “Should I send him to your office?”
“That would be great, Sally, thank you.” Scott smiled and Sally went back to the lobby.
Few minutes later, Scott was already sitting behind his desk when the door opened and Mr. Shen walked in. It took Scott a few seconds. The man had a very intricate helmet on. His resume had mentioned he had physical mutation but nothing about the helmet. He quickly got up and offered the man a smile, not wanting to stare.
“Mr. Shen,” He offered his hand, which the the other man shook it. “I’m Scott Summers.”
“You can call me Xorn, Mr. Summers,” The man said as both sat. His voice had a slight accent to it and a metallic tone. Scott tilted his head a bit. “Mutant name.”
“Right,” Scott nodded. Mutants did that, not only the ones that had alter egos. “Xorn or Mr. Xorn?”
“Just Xorn is fine,” He said. “Mister sounds very formal, hum, Mr. Summers.”
Scott chuckled. “You can call me Scott.”
“Scott,” Xorn said. “Thank you for meeting with me. I’ve admired this Institute since I’ve come to this country.”
“You are from China, correct?” Scott asked looking at the man’s resume. “Says here you live in District X right now.”
Xorn nodded. “Not many places would welcome someone like me.”
Scott noticed him indicating to his helmet. “May I ask why you wear the helmet, Xorn? If that doesn’t offend you, of course.”
“Oh, not at all,” Xorn shook his head. “As I mentioned on my resume, I have a physical mutation. The helmet is to keep the small star in my head under control.”
Scott blinked behind his glasses. “Huh… I’m sorry…star?”
Xorn made a sound that Scott assumed was a laugh. “I get that reaction a lot, don’t worry.”
“You have a star in your head?” Scott asked in disbelief.
“Yes,” Xorn nodded. “It manifested inside my brain when I was a teenager. The helmet helps it from, well, having a star for a head.”
“I see,” Scott couldn’t hide his astonishment. “Does it…hum, hurt?”
“No,” Xorn answered. “Not really. I, if you excuse me, assume you also have some sort of physical mutation on your eyes? I don’t mean to sound invasive.”
“It’s not a problem,” Scott waved a hand. “My mutation is physical too. We have that in common. I can’t really not use my glasses. They control my concussive blasts that are always being emitted from my eyes.”
“I guess we do have things in common,” Xorn agreed. “And may I ask you if it hurts?”
“The headaches when I was younger did,” Scott explained. “But I manage everything just fine now.”
Xorn nodded. “That’s good.”
“Well,” Scott cleared his throat. “Let’s talk about your resume then?”
“Of course, of course.” Xorn sounded eager.
“You have experience teaching,” Scott read. “Especially children with special needs.”
“Yes,” Xorn confirmed. “I help out where I can. Never officially taught in a proper school, to be honest with you, Scott.”
“That’s not a problem,” Scott told him. “Most of us never have.”
“Well, your school is very well known,” Xorn commented. “I think any Mutant who wants to teach would be honored to teach here.”
“I hope I’m not sounding too pushy,” Xorn said with a laugh. “Or desperate.”
Scott laughed. He could tell the man was nervous. “There is no need to worry, Xorn. I’m not about to deny a Mutant with credentials a job at my school.”
Xorn regarded Scott in silence for a minute. “You… you are serious?”
“I wanted to meet you first, of course,” Scott explained. “Sadly, the Institute gets almost not resumes at all. Some Mutants have preferred to move to Genosha in the last few years.”
“We can’t really blame them, can we?” Xorn asked. Both remembered well the Mutant hunts from the past.
“We cannot,” Scott sighed. “Have you never considered going there?”
“To Genosha?” Xorn asked. “I have, in the past. I believe every Mutant has at one point… I’m just not very comfortable with, hum, Lehnsherr’s political views.”
So he was familiar with Magneto. Then again, who wasn’t?
“Another thing you and I have in common,” Scott said with a smile. “Mag-hum, Erik Lehnsherr is… a complex man, to say the least.”
“I believe you.” Xorn nodded.
“Well, then,” Scott got up, wanting desperately to move on from talking about the man in question. “Would you like a tour of your new workplace?”
Xorn eagerly nodded and followed Scott out of the office.
Jean walked over to the large Frost International building located in Manhattan. She was dressed very formerly with her hair tied up. She wanted to make the best impression possible. Emma and she didn’t really know each other besides the brief encounters they had in the past and from the days the X-Men had to deal with the Hellfire Club… She knew it was best not to bring up those times.
She entered the building and went straight to the front desk. She smiled at the woman sitting behind the counter who smiled back politely.
“How can I help you?” She asked.
“I have a meeting with Miss Frost.” Jean said.
The woman looked at her with doubtful look. Jean thought she probably didn’t look like the usual people Emma Frost had meetings with. “She is expecting you, I believe?”
“Yes,” Jean nodded. “I’m Jean Grey-Summers, I talked to-”
“Jean?” A British accented voice called out.
Jean turned in the direction of the voice to see a familiar face walking towards her. “Betsy?”
The Japanese woman was dressed in a dark violet outfit that cover all of her body, leaving only her face and purple hair exposed. She smiled to Jean and extended a gloved hand to the redhead. “What a surprise seeing you here. Emma didn’t tell me you were coming to see her.”
Jean shook her hand smiling back but confused to see the other woman there. “Yes, I’m here to talk to her… Hum, I’m really sorry but what are you doing here?”
Betsy smirked. “I work here, Jean. Directly with Emma, actually.”
Jean just stared still taken by surprise. The other woman told the receptionist she would take Miss Grey-Summers to their boss. She motioned for the redhead woman to follow her.
“I’m surprised Warren hasn’t said anything.” Betsy commented as the two walked to the elevators.
“Oh,” Jean tried to smile. “Warren isn’t very social anymore. “
Betsy looked a bit worried. “He is still with you, isn’t he?”
“Yes,” Jean nodded. “He lives in the mansion and is part of an X-Men team. He’s just… secluded.”
She nodded. “I can imagine, after what he went through. It’s hard to deal with it.”
Jean agreed silently. Betsy would know what it felt like. She too had experienced a great deal of physical trauma. Not like Warren who had been a subject of Apocalypse’s experiment but the woman in question wasn’t even in her own body. An encounter with Sabertooth a few years back that almost killed her also had made enough of an impact on her that she didn’t associate herself with the X-Men anymore nor with any other Mutant or superhero group. Jean figured that was why she dressed the way she did, as the scars she carried weren’t only psychological.
“How long have you worked here?” Jean asked in attempt to break the awkward silence.
“Couple of years,” Betsy answered. She guided Jean to an elevator. Once inside, she pushed a button that would take them to Emma’s office. “Emma was looking for Mutants to work close with her.”
“It’s a surprise, really,” Jean admitted. “I didn’t know you knew her so closely.”
Betsy smiled. “All of us know each other at a degree, Jean.”
Jean had to agree with that.
“Besides, I’m thankful that she gave me the opportunity to lead a more normal life. I have the requirements she wanted for someone to work with her. I’m happy she chose me.”
“I’m glad to know you are doing well then.” Jean said honestly. Betsy deserved it.
“Thank you, Jean,” Betsy said. “What about you? Still a teacher and an X-Man?”
“A life I can’t leave,” Jean admitted. “But it’s one I am happy with.”
Betsy looked at her thoughtfully. “No plans for retirement?”
Jean shook her head. “Not really.”
Betsy nodded. “A brave woman, just like I remember.”
“Thank you,” Jean said. “You are too, Betsy. You know that.”
Before the other woman could say anything, the elevator stopped and its doors opened. Betsy took Jean through a corridor decorated with expensive art and furniture. She knocked twice on a large white door before opening. The room inside was spacious and just as decorated as the outside. Sat behind a large table was Emma Frost, an adult woman with platinum blonde hair. She smiled at the two and kept talking on the phone in what Jean recognized as French. She finished the call, hung up the phone and got up.
“Thank you, Betsy,” She smiled honestly warmly to the woman and turned her eyes to Jean. “Hello, Mrs. Grey-Summers.”
“Miss Frost,” Jean shook hands with the woman who was completely dressed in white. “Thanks for agreeing to meet with me.”
“It’s a pleasure,” Emma said. She eyed Betsy and nodded. “Betsy, if you could, please.”
Betsy nodded and turned to Jean. “It was really great seeing you Jean. Really.”
Jean smiled. She missed Betsy. “It really was, Betsy. Come by the mansion one day? Everyone will be happy to see you.”
Betsy gave her a small smile. “We’ll see. Bye.”
Jean said bye and watched her leave the room. She turned her attention to Emma, who walked back to the table in front of a very large glass window overlooking the city.
“What can I do for you today, Mrs. Grey-Summers?” Emma asked with a teasing tone that surprised Jean somewhat.
“Well,” Jean opened the briefcase she was carrying and took a few documents from it. “I wanted to discuss a possible financial agreement with your company, Miss Frost.”
“Please,” She motioned for Jean to sit in a very expensive-looking chair in front of her. “Call me Emma.”
“OK, hum, Emma,” Jean sat and gently put the papers on top of the table. “You can call me Jean, by the way.”
“Good,” Emma smiled and just glanced at the papers without actually taking them. “You have a quite big surname. Although, I must congratulate you that you didn’t give up your maiden name.”
Jean laughed a bit uncomfortably. That was a strange compliment. “Thank you.”
“So,” She had a smile on her face but it was completely different from the one she gave Betsy. “Jean. Why come to me? I thought if the Xavier Institute had money issues, they would go to Stark or Rand to handle it.”
“Well,” Jean adjusted herself in the chair. “The school has business with them but we have had an increase in students this semester and our other backers have also had some new developments.”
Emma simply nodded and laughed a little. “I suppose not even Stark is that rich to maintain so many Avenger teams and still help the only Mutant school in the world, can he?”
Jean didn’t know how to respond that. “Mr. Stark has always been helpful to our cause.”
Emma made a sound. “I suppose. They all like to say they are our allies, after all.”
Jean understood from where the other woman was coming. The other superheroes supported the Mutants but they didn’t have to deal with much ostracizing like they had. Still, she sounded dismissive of Stark.
“And now they have they own Avengers junior academy,” Emma said. “That can’t be cheap.”
“I suppose it isn’t.” Jean said wondering how Emma knew so much.
“So you decided to come to make a deal with another Mutant,” Emma said smiling. “Although, I’m quite curious why you are here and not Professor Xavier.”
“Right,” Jean cleared her throat. “The Professor stepped down from being the Headmaster of the Institute. My husband and I are taking care of it now.”
Emma reacted honestly surprised. “Well, what do you know? I suppose I don’t know everything after all.”
Jean gave her a questioning look.
“Oh, never mind me,” She waved a hand. “I’m just surprised. Xavier was a pioneer in Mutant teaching, after all.”
“He is,” Jean said. “He still in the Institute. He just decided it was time to take it easier.”
“I see,” Emma said. “Does he know you are here?”
“Xavier,” Emma looked straight into her eyes. “Does he know you are trying to make a deal with me, of all people?”
“No,” Jean didn’t look away. “He doesn’t. The Institute is my responsibility now. Well, my husband’s and mine. Besides, I don’t see the issue of talking to you. You are a Mutant, after all. Who better to make a deal with?”
“You are an interesting woman, Jean,” Emma leaned back in her chair. “I didn’t remember you like that.”
“Look,” Jean sighed. Maybe she should have listened to Scott. “Emma, I know there have been some… issues in the past…”
“Does Sean work for you?” Emma interrupted Jean.
“Hum,” Jean blinked. “Ye-yes, he works at the Institute. He has for some years already.”
“I figured after the whole X-Corps thing didn’t work and his wife passed away,” Emma said. “Sean has always been a teacher at heart.”
“I agree.” Jean said simply. She didn’t want go too much into details about what Emma was bringing up.
“I assume he doesn’t know you are here either,” Emma said. “Neither do the others.”
The others. Generation X’s survivors. “Is it going to be an issue?”
Emma looked at her in silence for a moment. She sighed and got up. She walked with her back to Jean, looking at the city through the window. Jean just watched her.
“You don’t want your staff mistrusting you, Jean,” Emma said seriously.
“They won’t,” Jean said confidently. “They know how important this is. I imagine you also know that.”
Emma smirked and turned back. “I do, of course. Teaching Mutants is something I truly believe to be important.”
“Then you will have a look at my proposal?” Jen asked eyeing the still untouched papers on the table.
“I don’t need to look at your proposal, Jean,” Emma said. “You can pitch me whatever it is you intend to do with the Institute. I know it will be for the best.”
“But?” Jean asked.
“Your staff will not be comfortable having connections with me,” She said simply. “You are aware of that.”
“Is that the problem?” Jean asked. “You won’t help because of what happened?”
“I never said I won’t help,” Emma said. “I’m just wondering if you know the risks.”
“I understand them,” Jean said. “It’s not the first time we ask for help to people we… disagree with.”
Emma laughed. “I wouldn’t use that word to describe what they feel about me, Jean.”
“Emma,” Jean said somewhat impatiently. “I don’t think-”
“I am wasting your time, aren’t I?” Emma asked honestly.
Jean shook her head. “That’s not what I meant.”
“I will help the Institute, Jean,” Emma said simply. “I simply cannot turn my back to the future of my people.”
Jean was stunned. She blinked a few times and eyed the papers and Emma. “I… well, I’m glad, I mean, thank you, Emma.”
Emma smiled, this time more gently. “I have a condition.”
Of course she did. “And what is it?”
Emma noticed the cautious tone of the question. “I don’t intend to ask for a teaching position at your school, Jean. That part of my life is… in the past.”
Jean said nothing.
“You are familiar with Weapon Plus.” Emma’s tone changed completely.
“Hum,” Jean did not expect that. “Yes, I am. Of course.”
Emma nodded. “You know what they have done to our kind.”
Jean nodded. “I do.”
Emma went silent, looking at the door as if she was waiting for someone. Jean turned to look at the door as well. She didn’t really know what was going on.
“They have made me their lab experiment as well.” Emma said coldly.
Jean didn’t know that. “I-”
The door opened. Five teenage girls walked in. Jean’s eyes bulged. The five looked identical. Not only that, they also resembled Emma a great deal. The five moved like one, stopped close to the blonde woman, and turned their eyes to Jean.
“Jean,” Emma motioned to the five. “These are my daughters.”
Jean held the surprise noise inside her mouth. “Your… daughters?”
“I find no better way to define them,” Emma said. “As I said, I was victim of Weapon Plus. They took advantage when I was in coma a few years ago.”
Jean got up, looking at the girls. “They are your…”
Emma turned and looked at Jean, waiting for her to finish the sentence but the other woman held her tongue. “Not that simple. I suppose it isn’t that simple with X-23 either.”
“Laura,” Jean automatically corrected her. “Her name is Laura.”
“Laura? Pretty name,” Emma commented. “The same way I believe Logan would consider Laura his daughter, I do the same with the girls.”
Jean seemed to understand and Logan did consider Laura to be the closest thing he had to an actual daughter besides Amiko.
“They took a sample of my eggs and experimented with them,” Emma explained. “When I was made aware of what they did, I stopped them and rescued the girls.”
“You did it alone?” Jean asked somewhat surprised. She had not doubts of Emma’s abilities but still.
Emma eyed her. “I can handle myself, Jean.”
“I can see that.” Jean said.
“In any case,” She walked behind the five girls. “They grew up in a laboratory. They have been working through what they went through, right girls?”
“Yes, mother.” All five said in unison.
“How,” Jean was still awed. “How long have you been with them?”
“Almost a year.” Emma said somewhat sadly. Jean imagined she wanted to have found them before that.
“What are your names?” Jean asked the five girls.
They had answered one at a time but they all had the same voice.
“I didn’t choose their names,” Emma said with a smile. “I let them do it for themselves. Give them some agency to their selves.”
Jean simply nodded. The girls looked so much alike. They were even dressed the in the same outfits with shades of white and blue.
“My condition is for them to study at the Institute,” Emma declared. “I need for them to learn how to socialize better.”
“I see.” Jean said. She was already imagining the reactions of having the five Frost girls in the school.
“And I want you to train with them as well, Jean.” Emma added.
“Me?” Jean asked surprised.
“You are a telepath, correct?” Emma asked already knowing the answer.
Jean nodded, understanding. “You are one too.”
“I am,” Emma agreed. “But I can’t dedicate as much time as I would like to teach them how to control their powers. I was very glad when I heard about the Institute wanting to meet with me. What better chance for my girls and I?”
Of course. Emma was a telepath. The girls would be too.
“Will it be an issue?” Emma asked seriously.
“What? No, not at all!” Jean assured her. “Both my kids have telepathic powers as well. I’ve been teaching them how to control their powers their whole lives. I believe I’m quite trained to teach the girls.”
“Splendid,” Emma smiled. “What do you say, girls?”
“Thank you, Mrs. Grey-Summers.” All five said.
Jean smiled at them. One more challenge for her now.
“I still have to prepare them,” Emma said. “Your semester hasn’t started so they will be going only when it does.”
Jean nodded. That would give her more time to prepare, well, everything.
“Will you make arrangements for all five to share the same room?” Emma asked. “I would prefer for them to stay together for now.”
“No problem,” Jean said with a nod. “I will make sure they will be as comfortable as possible at the Institute.”
“Let’s talk numbers, then?”
Scott checked his phone for any messages from his wife but nothing yet. He really hoped everything would be okay with her and Emma Frost. He had a hard time letting go of the fact she was once White Queen of the Hellfire Club, to be honest. He worked on changing that, after all, people changed. Yet, the past didn’t disappear.
He sighed and sat at the chair of his office. He shouldn’t really overthink too much. Jean knew how to handle herself and they did need the money. If only other Mutants were rich like Frost.
Wanting to relax his mind, he dialed his brother’s number. Maybe the two could go out to have a drink. Alex was always up for that and Scott needed it.
He heard the line ringing a few times before his brother picked it up. “Scott?”
“Hey, Alex,” Scott said. “How are you?”
“Busy,” Alex sighed. “I was supposed to be on a short vacation but I’m actually just waiting for Cooper to arrive here at the HQ.”
“Always working you to the ground, huh?” Scott joked. He knew Valerie. She could be tough.
“I would add some colorful commentary about her but Lorna is right here and she would find it distasteful, wouldn’t you hun?” Alex said.
Scott could hear his brother’s girlfriend saying something. “I take then you are not free to take your older brother out.”
“Oh,” Alex sounded surprised. “You are actually calling me to hang out?”
Scott rolled his eyes. “Don’t be dramatic, Alex. We hang out every chance we get.”
“We do,” Alex agreed. “But that usually involves me having to go there to the Institute and drag you out.”
Scott huffed but didn’t deny it. “I have news and I thought we could grab a beer or something.”
“Big news?” Alex asked interested.
“Quite big,” Scott admitted. “I can wait when you have time though.”
“Is everything okay?” Alex’s tone changed to a more worried one.
“Nothing to worry about it, really.” Scott reassured him.
“If you say so,” Alex said more relieved. Scott heard some other voices through the phone. “Listen bro, I gotta go. Boss is here.”
“Tell Lorna I said hi,” Scott said. “We’ll talk later.”
“We will. Take care, Cyclops.” Alex said teasingly.
“Have fun, Havok.” Scott laughed and hung up. He sighed a little disappointed he couldn’t go out with Alex. Maybe Kurt would want to do something.
Logan walked the streets of District X. It was night and he headed to a bar. The neighborhood located in New York City was one of the very few places outside of Genosha where the population was completely of Mutants. Throughout the years, it had grown from a simple ghetto to the place it was today. The days of needing the defense of the X-Men were long gone. Now, they defended themselves from whoever or whatever tried to destroy their homes or their lifestyles.
The Power Plant was one of the most popular bars in the area. Too crowded sometimes for his taste but it was an advantage. So many people, paying attention to everyone that was quite impossible. So, it was a good choice.
He entered it and found it as crowed as he expected. He gave a short wave to the owner Lefty who was behind the counter and making a sign the other man recognized. He walked over deeper into the bar. He spotted a few people gathered and playing pool so he knew they were there. He passed by them without saying not even when they all stopped to watch him.
He sat at the table in front of them who had only one person sitting.
“Hello, Cable.” Logan greeted the man.
The man in question was huge. Big and well-muscled, more than most bodybuilders. Besides his completely gray hair, two other things were very noticeable. His … eye glowed and his … arm had some sort of bio-mechanic metal covering all of it. He raised his beer glass and gave Logan a grunt. The other man accepted his hello.
“Figured you would be here. Thanks Lefty,” Logan nodded as his beer arrived. He looked at the people playing pool. “Never took you for the one that takes your team on a night out.”
“Big mission,” Cable explained with a very raspy voice. “Just giving them some time to relax before going back to our lives.”
“Who would know you had a heart?” Logan asked as a joke. “I thought it was made of metal too.”
“What do you want, Wolverine?” Cable asked. That was how he treated everyone. He never called them by their names. In turn, nobody knew his real name.
“I actually came to find a better spot to drink but I spotted X-Force here, so I figured, why the hell not?” Logan shrugged and took a long sip of his beer.
“Business?” Cable asked, wanting to go straight to the point.
“None for you,” Logan said. “How is she?”
Cable sighed loudly and finished his drink in one gulp. “How do you think? She’s not a kid, Wolverine.”
“Yeah,” A female voice agreed with him. Logan turned to see Laura standing there with her smirk. “She’s just looks like one forever.”
“Laura,” Logan was genuinely surprised to see her there. “What are you doing in a bar?”
She rolled her eyes and sat between him and Cable. “It’s a bitch to get in here looking like this.”
“Laura…” Logan began.
“I am here with my team,” She explained. “I don’t drink, even though I am of age. Just don’t look like it.”
“It’s good to see you,” Logan said honestly. “It’s been quite some time.”
Laura nodded in agreement. “Yes, it has. I had my missions and you were out of the country.”
“You should be proud of her, Wolverine,” Cable said with an honesty he hardly had when he complimented people and almost never did that. “X-23 is an excellent fighter.”
“Her name is Laura!” Logan almost got up but Laura held his arm. He hated when people called her that. She had a name now. She wasn’t a…. Weapon anymore.
“Logan, it’s fine,” She told him. “It’s my codename.”
“What?” Logan asked in disbelief. “You chose that for your codename?”
“It’s mine now,” She seriously. “I made it mine. It’s not theirs. Even that I took away from them.”
He could understand her logic. He just hated it.
“Lady Wolverine would be so much cuter, don’t you think? Oh, maybe Wolverine Girl would be nice too?” Another male voice said as some practically fell from the ceiling and sat at their table. “Although, X-23 is totally a kickass name. So not the 90s badass kind of name, which is way better.”
“Wilson.” Logan greeted the man dressed in a red uniform and mask with black and white ‘eyes’.
“Wolvie!” Deadpool hugged him but Logan pushed him away. “I missed you, my ruggedly handsome Hugh Jackman-wannabe!”
“Deadpool.” Cable just said in a tone that the other man in red must knew what it meant.
“Just greeting an old friend, geez,” Deadpool’s attention was completely on Logan. “So, you came to a bar to check on your daughter? Can we count how many ways that is sort of fucked up?”
“Wade!” Laura snapped.
“What?” Deapool asked innocently. “I know you’re like his clone but as a chick, but come on, Logan here totes consider you one of his kids.”
“One of my kids?” Logan asked confused.
“You even took his name as your last name.” Deadpool said.
Logan looked at Laura questioningly. He did not know that.
Laura sighed at Deadpool, shaking her head and turned to Logan. “I needed a full name and I figured… why not?”
Logan kept staring.
“You mind?” She asked. She tried to sound like she didn’t care if he did or not but Logan could tell that she actually did.
“No,” Logan finished his drink. “Amiko did the same thing, sorta.”
Laura simply nodded, internally glad.
“Hey,” Deapool began speaking. Again. “A little blue tweeter told me your guys’ Hogwarts already started receiving the brats from the supes.”
Logan couldn’t even begin to wonder how he knew that. “Yeah, some already arrived today.”
“Was Spidey there?” The tone shifted to a… sugary one.
“Spider-Man?” Logan asked. “Yeah, he dropped his two kids off.”
“Sooo…” Deadpool circled a finger on the table. “They are just his kids right? He isn’t married to the redhead from Mona Lisa Smile or the blonde from Birdman, is he?”
“How the hell am I supposed to know about his personal life?” Logan asked tired of Deadpool’s antics.
“Oh, come on!” Deadpool joined his hands, begging. “Give the guy here a light in the dark!”
“Why do you want to know if he’s single?” Laura asked.
“Because my partner here isn’t accepting any of my proposals,” Deadpool pointed to Cable with his thumb. “He only sleeps with Domino.”
“Deadpool.” His tone was now venomous.
“And Shatterstar and Rictor keep refusing my offers for a threesome!” Deadpool complained.
“Wade!” Laura pushed him to stop. She couldn’t believe what he was saying.
“And Vanessa is fun and all,” He explained. “But she is in her Copycat phase now, so getting a hold of her is impossible. Although, if I could, I could ask her to look like Spidey or Cap or Black Widow or Cable or one those Vision robots or…”
“Deadpool!” Cable snapped. “That is enough.”
“Fine, fine, fine!” He raised his hand in defeat. “Blame a guy for trying to get some action around here.”
Logan just shook his head. He turned to Laura. “Are you really fine?”
“Yes.” She said simply.
“Good.” He got up without saying goodbye. This was simply how it worked with them.
“If you meet Spidey!” Deadpool called out. “Tell him to hit me up. I’m on Facebook!”
Logan just ignored him. He went to the counter to pay. As he waited, someone approached him. He recognized the girl.
“Boom-Boom,” Logan greeted. “Or is it Boomer now? Meltdown or Time Bomb?”
“Geez, Logan!” She laughed. “You don’t want to sound like Cable, do you?”
Logan smirked. “How are you, Tabitha?”
“Good, good,” She said clearly lying. “Listen, hum, is Amara, is she…”
“She’s back at the Institute,” Logan nodded. “Just as a teacher. New X-Men keep trying to get her to join but she’s done with it, at least for now she seems to be.”
“I see.” She seemed a little more relieved.
“More than I can say for you.” Logan eyed the X-Force.
She looked back and laughed a little. “Some girls can’t quit it.”
“Yeah, I know,” He glanced at Laura. He patted Tabitha on the shoulder before walking away. “Take care, kid.”
“Logan,” She tried to make him wait. “Tell her… well, tell her…”
“Give her space,” Logan said as he opened the door of the bar. “You know she knows and that she heard it all from you.”
He closed the door and Tabitha sighed. As much as she didn’t want to admit it, he was right. She had heard all excuses already. Before she could think too much about it, she grabbed a drink from the bar and went back to her team.
Charles looked outside the window of the bedroom that oversaw a part of the capital of Genosha. The view was magnificent, of course. How had this place changed. The architecture of the city looked so futuristic that I reminded him lightly of Wakanda, even if he had been in Ororo’s palace just once.
“It’s a beautiful view, is it not?” A voice from behind him asked.
“Yes it is,” Charles answered and accepted the cup that Erik brought him. “I must say, it feels like I haven’t been here longer than I have. All looks quite different.”
“The nation is thriving,” Erik said proudly. “Thousands of our kind working together to make this our paradise.”
Charles sipped on the cup. Ah, tea one could only find here. Erik was trying even with the smallest things to make him consider staying.
“It sure does look like one,” Charles said and turned his head to see Erik standing next to him and looking at the view as well. “You are doing a good job, old friend.”
Erik smirked but didn’t look at Charles. “It still surprises me when you compliment me, Charles. Especially when it comes to my decisions regarding Genosha.”
“Let’s not enter in that discussion,” Charles pleaded. They already had it countless times. Genosha was for Mutants only. Erik would never change his mind. The man might have changed some of his views but to allow humans in his nation? Charles sadly doubted it. “You brought me here for something else. Correct?”
Erik nodded and finally turned to him. “I could just say I brought you here because I believe you should be here.”
“Are you kidnapping me?” Charles asked smirking as well. “Again?”
“Old habits die hard, don’t the say?” Erik smiled.
“You are a good man at breaking habits.” Charles commented.
“Thank you,” Erik seemed genuinely flattered. “I know better than kidnap the Professor X. I wouldn’t want all X-Men invading.”
Charles chuckled. He couldn’t say they wouldn’t do that. They would probably bring X-Factor and X-Force with them if Erik did something like that.
“Why did you bring me here then?” Charles asked. “I do love being here again but you told me there was a reason you wanted me to come.”
“There is,” Erik said. He seemed thoughtful. “I need to show you.”
“Show me?” Charles asked.
“Come with me.” Erik said.
Before Charles could answer, his chair was already moving and the familiar metal-moving sound filled his ears. Charles wanted to protest that he could move by himself but this wasn’t the first time Erik did that. He was now wondering what was that Erik had to show him.
It was all white as the stars started to shine and the vast skies of space bloomed. Galaxies, Nebulas, and all other sorts of beauties from the Cosmos were there. Jean found herself walking, at least if felt like walking, through it, looking around it. She should feel cold since she had no clothes on but she felt strangely warm. She just wanted to know what kind of bird was singing…
She kept walking towards an object in front of her. It was blue and it had the shape like an egg from where she could see it. As she got closer, the blue seemed to turn into several colors, like a light show of what the Universe looked like. The bird kept singing but she thought she had heard the noise of bugs…
She kept walking towards the object, now clearly it was the Universe project on it. Or, was it inside it? She noticed the egg shape started to change as she stepped closer. The bird tried to sing more but the sounds of the bugs became more prominent and louder…
She turns away from the object, trying to see if she can see the sources of the sounds. Instead, she sees the space around her slowly changing. Patches of blinding white began to appear around it, like paint thrown in a painted wall. Out of the corners of her eyes, she saw shadows moving. Whenever she tried to look directly at one, they were gone.
She got a glimpse of some. Extremely tall figures with glowing symbols on their faces. Even bigger figures with different shapes and forms. A figure that looked vaguely humanoid with a strange format on its head and what she could sworn was a broken sparkling surfboard on its hand. The bird cried and the bugs became louder…
The white began to consume everything. She turned back to object to see a shadow standing in front of it. It was humanoid with what seemed like a triangle on its head… The bird cries’ pierce through the never stopping noise of the bugs. She tried to touch the shadow but it dissolved, revealing what was the egg was now clearly the planet Earth. Everything around her now is white. She stepped up to her planet, her hands hovering over it.
She could no longer hear the bird, only the bugs. She tried to touch the planet but the white began to consume it entirely, leaving only a very small opening. It had the shape of an X…
She was about to reach inside the X when the noise of the bugs became unbearable. She closed her eyes and covered her ears. The noise still came. She could hear it. Growing and growing… no… it was… it was inside her. She could her the bugs inside herself!
She opened her eyes and mouth to scream.
A bird cry, louder than anything, echoed through all around her as everything felt hot like fire and her vision became blurred in red and gold. The cry continued without stopping…
“Jean!” She heard her name. “Wake up! Jean, wake up!”
She found herself lying on her bed, back at the Institute with Scott standing over her, shaking and holding her by his arms. His expressions was utter fear. She heard faint noises of wood cranking around her.
“Scott?” She questioned weakly.
“Oh, Jean!” He hugged her tightly. He could still feel his body shaking. “I didn’t know what was going on! You seemed fine but I could feel your mind in my sleep and when I woke up, the entire house was shaking!”
“The house…” Jean looked around. “I was doing it?”
“I thought something wrong was happening, like…” Scott didn’t continue, shaking his head. “What happened? Was it a nightmare?”
“I…” She was about to respond when she looked at one of the windows of their room. A bird stood outside of it, a red and gold bird. She blinked and it flew away.
Scott turned to see what she was looking at. “What is it? Jean, please, you are scaring me, what happened?”
“I…” Jean scrunched her face. “I can’t remember.”
“What?” Scott asked worriedly.
“I can’t remember what happened.” She said with complete honesty.
Lilandra Neramani, the Majestrix of the Shi’ar Empire, sat on her beds in her private chambers, thinking as always. No word on her brother yet. That worried her to an impossible extreme. The man being able to escape and run away… Sometimes, she wondered if the decision to not execute him had been the right one. Too late to think about that now.
Then there was her sister… another matter completely. Family.
She allowed herself a single thought of Charles for a second.
There more important issues at hand. Not only related to her siblings but… she could not believe it there was even a worry about it in the first place, which was why she demanded it to be kept secret.
They were extinct. All of them. Their race wiped out of existence. She knew it. She saw it.
Yet these apparent sightings…
Impossible. It should be impossible. None of them could have survived. None!
Even if, deep in her heart, the fear of ‘her’ surviving was a real one… She refused to believe it.
She silently pleaded to the Cosmos to not prove her wrong.
Sat at a hovering chair in the middle of an infinite white space, the Man in White moved pictures in front of him as if he was making a collage of them. He hummed to himself as he looked through the pictures of the many heroes of the third planet of that system. How interesting were they. All the pictures stood side by side, forming the shape of a circle, almost as to represent the planet they were from. The Man looked at them with smile and turned to his right.
Another collage of pictures hovered, now taking a more shapeless form. The one depicted on them were other interesting subjects from outer space. Whoever the Man could find that would be perfect to join the others, made the list. That one interested him a bit more because of the vast variety of species you could find among them instead of just Earth dwellers.
Then he turned his attention to his left, where yet another collage hung in the hair. This one, however, had no hovering or moving pictures as it seemed to be complete already. All the photos were together in the format of an X. The Man smiled at his own attempt of he assumed was humor to put the ones he couldn’t bring in the shape that defined them so much.
He glanced back at the other two groups that soon would be joining him after the first preparation finished but turned his attention to the one in the X-shaped collage. They intrigued him quite so, probably because he wouldn’t be seeing them going through the experience. He wondered how well they would do when the time came for them to face what ‘they’ had in store for them.
Chapter 3: The goodbye to this story and the end of it
Greetings to all the readers who took their time to read this story.
Some time ago, I put up a chapter explaining that this story was going on an indefinite hiatus, just like all my other stories, but this one, in particular, I was going to cancel and put up a chapter explaining what were my plans for the rest of it. If I’m not mistaken, the very next day, I took down the chapter and decided to leave the story only on hiatus since I had thought about it and considered finishing it for me, instead of finishing it for the person I wrote it for. However, as some time passed, I realized that I while I do love this story and what I imagined and created for it, its origins are always going to be connected to the person I first wrote it for as a gift. While I truly wanted to go pass this feeling and finish it, I realized that I simply couldn’t. It really breaks my heart but this story is truly and, definitely, canceled.
Even though this story was a gift to someone whom I no longer have any sort of connections to, I know other people enjoyed it and read it. I want first to apologize to you people for abandoning the story. The truth is that I wanted to finish it. I had everything planned out for the 12 chapters of the story. I had plans for possible sequels, possible spin-offs. I just… can’t go on with it anymore. I am having a very hard time not being able to write, which is messing me up a lot, and this story in particular… continuing it would make matters worse. For that, I truly apologize.
Nevertheless, I also want to thank all the people who read it, who left a review, who left a kudo. It brings so much joy that my story meant something, even if little, to you all.
In that regards, I decided to do what I previously said I would do: I am going to describe my plans for the rest of this story and, also, tell you some of my ideas for possible sequels/spin-offs.
Once again, thank you all.
Here we go then.
The Brood would be the main villains of the story, which would be the reason of the title of the story since they are a homage to the Xenomorphs from the Alien’s franchise. In the story, it would be clear that fights with them had happened before and that they were gone, extinct, but in fact, a different breed of them was able to escape. They would be the ones who the X-Men and the Mutants would fight. They would be slightly different from the comics, being smarter and having more types to them, once again, a homage to different types of Xenomorphs from the Alien Extended Universe, including ones where they would successfully impregnate and take over a Mutant, creating a far more powerful Brood. They would have made a deal with D’Ken in order to for him to make a deal with the Man in White in order to get rid of all heroes from the Universe, leaving only the Mutants around for them and the Shi’ar for D’Ken, with the exception of the Royal Guard, who would also disappear.
The Man in White, would, I guess to not many readers’ surprise, revealed to be The Beyonder, who would just have arrived in the Universe of this story and became fascinated and obsessed with the happenings of it, especially the so-called fights of “good vs. evil”. He would want to have an experiment/game with all of them, but after negotiations with D’Ken and the Brood, he left the Shi’ar and Mutants alone, as well the human students of Xavier’s, even ones with no Mutant powers, but with magick, like Agatha Harkness’s grandson. The reason would be that D’Ken wanted his revenge against all of Xavier’s, even the humans there.
The story would have 12 chapters divided into 4 arcs. The first two’s plan was to introduce the characters and develop them better and their relationships while hinting at the disappearances going around the Universe. The third arc would deal more with the disappearances becoming more prominent and leaving only Mutants on the world as well all the students from Xavier’s and it would end with the Brood arriving on Earth with the Acanti, leading the last arc where the fight against them would happen.
During the last arc, the Brood’s first move would be to isolate Genosha, District X and any other agglomerate of Mutants so they could deal with the X-Men first. Their first attack at the Mansion would destroy it, leaving some Mutants hurt, others taken and very few dead. After the attack, the Mutants would go to Morlock City where they would decide to fight and take the Mutant students who would want to and form teams of six with one of the X-Men leading them, yet another homage to the brief Academy X days from the comics.
The first two chapters of the last would make the characters believe that the Big Bad is, in fact, a Brood Queen. However, this would be a trap, making the real mastermind behind all of it was a Brood Empress, who was using the Queen as a trap and distraction, in order to kidnap the most powerful Mutants from the X-Men and their students for herself. They would include Jean, her two kids CC and Rachel, Billy Kaplan, Franklin Richards and a, at that moment of the story, comatose Wanda Maximoff.
Before the complete invasion and the disappearance of the superheroes, Jean Grey, Susan Storm, and Greer Grant would organize a Field Day in order to make the students from Xavier’s, the Future Foundation and the Avengers Academy interact and create good relations among all of them. The Field Day would happen, reuniting almost if not all the heroes at Central Park to see their kids. However, this would be the day that the Beyonder would capture all the rest of the people from Earth to go to his Battleworld.
Following this event, the end of the story would go in its final phase with the X-Men fighting off the Brood, who would have invaded several important locations of the Marvel Universe. During these fights, some Mutants would die, probably one of each of the X-Men team as well as some of the students. They would be either killed or turned into a Brood.
The final fight would take place aboard the Empress’ ship where Jean would wake up, see the powerful Mutants the alien had brought there, and try to confront her. The Empress would tell her that by bringing them there, she would become the most powerful Brood in existence by consuming them and their powers. The Empress would reveal also that after having all the Mutant powers from Earth, she would go after the Celestial Egg underneath the planet, an artifact left by the Celestials eons ago, believed to be what made Mutation on Earth possible. With the infinite power of the Egg, the Empress would become a Goddess and would go on to face and conquer the Cosmic Entities of the Universe and rule all of it with her Brood.
A death that would happen during this moment would be Jean’s as she would prove to be extremely powerful and be able to take on the Empress and freeing the other Mutants. Fearing her powers, the Empress would impale her in the stomach, which would horrible since in the previous chapter, she would reveal that she was pregnant with twins. The chapter, in particular, would end with Jean dying.
The last chapter would have most of the X-Men led teams with the help of other X-Teams fighting off and winning against the Brood and the Queen, only to see a horde of more Brood coming from the Empress’ ship, basically dooming them. At the ship, the students try to fight off the Empress but to no avail. CC and Rachel lament the loss of their mother and using their powers, are able to bring Scott to the ship. There, he sees his wife dead and falls to his knees, believing that they have lost. As the entire Earth is about to become part of the Brood, Jean comes back to life, now showing the complete scope of powers she would have developed throughout the story, but now she is the Phoenix, a force that even the Empress knows and is scared of. The Empress tries to fight her but is easily stopped. Jean/The Phoenix use their power to exterminate her as well as every single Brood on Earth, ending the invasion.
After this fight, there would be a prologue of sorts that I will explain ahead.
Now, I would like to talk about some more trivial things that would happen in the story:
During the attack of the Beyonder on the Field Day, he would unleash a psychic attack that would put all psychic Mutants out, except for Emma Frost, who would be there with Bessy Braddock visiting her daughters by assuming her diamond form. Emma would eventually help the X-Men with Cerebra to discover that no Mutants disappeared, only other powered people and superheroes.
References of previous conflicts of not only the X-Men but of other heroes and Earth suffered during the 24 years would appear, but very quickly during conversations. Some examples would be: The X-Men would have fought Apocalypse more than once again before Cable apparently killed him after he capture twelve specific Mutants. The rise and fall of the Legacy Virus and how it made the Mutant Community change. The Morlock Massacre that lead to Gambit’s death. The X-Men going to space and meeting the Shi’ar and helping Lilandra fight her brother in order to save the M’Kraan Crystal. The trip to the Mojoworld. The rise and fall of both the Muir Island and the X-Corps. How Genosha became a slave country to being led by Erik. The events referent to Days of Future Past. Some severe hunts against Mutants would have happened like the resurrection of the Sentinels different times, the Fall of the Mutants, and Operation Tolerance Zero as well the Mutants having to deal with Stryker, who would be his religious persona from the comics. Other conflicts would include: The arrival of Galactus. The Armor Wars. A brief resurface of HYDRA. The Kree-Skrull war coming to Earth. The Clone Saga. The Infinity events and conflicts with Thanos as well Magus and the Goddess. The several attempts of Ultron to take over the world. Ragnarok happening and the Asgardians now living on Earth. And the Avengers fights against foes such Kang, the Masters of Evil, and others. A big difference would in this universe is that certain events didn’t happen, for example: The Dark Phoenix Saga, The war between Mutants and Inhumans, Secret Invasion, Civil War, Planet Hulk and World War Hulk.
After al heroes disappeared, a group of Mutants with magick powers together with some students with magickal powers would try to perform a ritual to find out what happened to them. This would lead to the Beyonder sending Wanda in a mystical coma so she wouldn’t find out about his schemes. He would even recognize how powerful she is and that he would like to see her demonstrate her powers more.
While Wanda and Vision in this story had Billy and Tommy and raised them since they were born with the Maximoff surname and even had a third child, Tyler, based from House of M, Vin and Viv Vision would exist in this story. However, they would be the children of a “brother” of Vision, one of the many attempts of Ultron trying to get his revenge against Vision and the Avengers, but yet another failed one. This “brother” would call himself Visionary and would have the white appearance that Vision had in the comics for a time. He would create a family for him, which would include Vin and Viv. Also, Vin would not die in this story.
Black Bolt and Medusa of the Inhumans would send their son to Xavier’s a sign that they want to create bonds. But, in reality, they only did that to save their child who would be a Mutant Inhuman, something believed impossible and most likely an abomination in their society since the child was already born with the power to manipulate the Terrigen in any shape or form at their will.
While hinting that Logan had only adopted Amiko and that Laura considered him his father, Wolverine would actually have dozens of children. During one chapter, he would meet an older version of himself, based on Old Man Logan, who had found these children and took care of them in order to save them from an apparently resurrected Weapon X. This would serve as a possible thread to continue in a sequel of the story. One interesting thing is that one of this kids would be one who Logan had with Jean’s older sister, who would be called Rose. Also, Daken would appear, but not part of this group and even would fight his father at one point.
Speaking of children, what Magneto wanted to show Charles in Genosha were a group of 10 sets of twins. These twins were actually from Joseph, a younger clone of Erik made by a Mutant with a grudge against Magneto called Astra. She would have made him have 11 sets of twins with women who would give birth only to Mutant twins, something Erik would believe was a cruel joke on Wanda and Pietro. Erik would have saved ten of them, but one would have gotten away. Later, he would discover that Joseph had another set of twins unknown to Astra who were raised by their mother. The idea would be that all of them would go to Xavier’s and eventually fight the set of twins who Astra raised to fight.
During their time with the Shi’ar, Charles and Lilandra would have had a child called Xavi, based on the character from X-Men: The End, but unlike that interpretation, he would be good. Also, like his father, he would end up being romantically interested in one of Joseph’s male sons. Also, since the Shi’ar wouldn’t be taken by the Beyonder, Lilandra would send Xavi to Earth together with Aaliyah Bishop, the daughter of Bishop and Lilandra’s sister, and Kubark, son of the Gladiator, with his bodyguard Warbird. Lilandra herself wouldn’t go as she would be kidnapped by D’Ken.
During the initial chapters, Clarice Fergunson/Blink, would disappear. While Mimic would leave the Mansion to find her, she would later return as the leader of an Exiles team who came to that Earth to save Jean from dying. However, because they were too late, the Tallus disappeared and the team was left on Earth. Among the team would be: Miguel O’Hara, the Spider-Man from 2099. Zarda, the Power Princess. A version of Gambit called Remy Picard who would reveal to have been made by his Mister Sinister using the DNA of the Summers brothers. A version of Red Sonja. Different versions of Tyler Dayspring, here called Askani’son, and Hope Summers, here called Esperança Dayspirng/Askani’daughter, the kids of an alternate Cable. James “Jimmy” Hudson Jr., Kid Wolverine from a version of the Ultimate Universe. Nate Grey, the X-Man, from a version of Age of Apocalypse. A version of Peggy Carter who took the super soldier serum. Jonathan Clay, the Rawhide Kid. And, Marco Diaz, Eclipse, from a version of the Universe of the TV show The Gifted.
A few chapters would be dedicated to showing heroes and others dropping their children at Xavier’s. One of the examples would be a version of Phil Coulson who would be married to a version of Nick Fury Jr. who would have a daughter named Skye, based on the character from Agents of Shield
Speaking of the children:
Most of the Mutants’ kids were introduced in the first chapters but there would be other ones:
Both Theresa and Monet would have children with Jamie. None of them would actually know if he fathered them or it was one of his copies who did it.
Natasha would have adopted eight children, some of them being Mutants, some not.
Tony would have a son, Nathaniel, who would be a nod to Nathaniel Richards, Iron Lad and Tony’s previous connection to Kang. There would be a hint of this Nathaniel also having some sort of connection to Kang.
In this story, Pepper married Happy and they had children, with Happy already having one who was a Mutant and them adopting two other ones.
Jessica Carpenter, the Arachne, would have a son, Arno, who would be in fact a child she had with Tony that he didn’t know about.
Clint and Bobbi would have adopted Kate Bishop, making her Kate Bishop Barton-Morse. She would use the name MockingHawk as her codename in battle.
There was an idea of Tony having more children with his past love interests, something I would relate with these kids using different Iron Man armors since in this story, Tony would be retired and the Iron Man active in one of the Avengers teams would actually be controlled by the J.A.R.V.I.S. AI.
A version based on the movie of Big Hero 6 would exist, but the Beyonder would take them. Tadashi, who in this version doesn’t die, discover his a Mutant after surviving a fire, making his power immunity to fire. He would join the X-Men to fight the Brood.
Xavier’s would have 213 Mutant students in the beginning of the story with 23 human students, with this numbers growing as the story would progress, adding students from the Jean Grey Institute and the New Xavier School from the comics.
Among the students, all members of the X-Statix would be students, including the ones who died as the failed X-Force. After the final fight, there would be the idea of them wanting to leave to do their own thing, which could include being part of a reality show of Mutant fighters.
During one chapter, X-Force would rescue a group of pre-teen Mutants from a facility near the border of Mexico and bring them to Xavier’s. They would be based on the young Mutants from the movie Logan, and among them would Gabby, Laura’s little “sister”. During this, Laura would give Logan information that could lead him to discover his other actual children.
While not the focus of the story, I would show glimpses of what would be happening in the Battleworld. It would be during these that I would try to give focus to the Thunderbolts, since the person I wrote this for wanted more focus on them.
The person also wanted more focus on Songbird, their favorite character. This lead to the confusion of having the actual Melissa having two OC children while one who had appeared in the comics, a daughter possibly with Blue Marvel, would appear as the daughter of a clone of Melissa and Blue Marvel.
After the most important people of SHIELD also disappeared, the group of agents from the TV show Agents of Shield would appear, but with no Ward, of course. The main character played there by Chloe Bennett, would be a new one, Margarida Wong, a genius hacker, since Skye would be Coulson and Fury Jr.’s daughter and Quake would be her own character.
While Lilandra would become D’Ken’s prisoner, a man with red powers that would remind her of Cyclops would save her. The young man would be revealed as Gabriel Summers, a child who Deborah Summers was pregnant with when she was taken by the Shi’Ar. Unlike the comics, Gabriel/Vulcan would be a good guy. Also, since the subject is the lost Summers brother, Adam-X would be also revealed to be the child of D’Ken and Deborah.
While Mr. Sinister wouldn’t appear in the story, his presence would be felt. His obsession with the Summers and Grey bloodlines would still exist. During one of X-Factor’s mission, they would find one of Sinister’s lair. There, Alex would find evidence on how Sinister had always been involved in his family, including the fact he had taken an older child of the Summers couple who was before Scott and had been stillborn.
Another one of his machinations would be the interpretation of Madelyne Pryor in this story. She would exist as a cousin of Jean Grey, who would be in fact a clone made by Sinister in order to get her to one day seduce Scott. Not much would be revealed by her, except that she would still be around and had come on to Scott times before.
While the Illuminati is an idea that I simply despise from the comics, there would be an actually good version of them in the story called the Defenders. They members would consist of: Dr. Stephen Strange would have retired the Sorcerer Supreme title. Namor. Thane, son of Thanos. King T’Challa of Wakanda. Norrin Radd, a retired on Earth Silver Surfer. King Black Bolt of the Inhumans; Connor O’Reilly, a character from the Heroes Reborn universe who would be good. Lastly, the Mutant Gateway.
While there would be no Illuminati, Hulk would have gone to Sakaar, but because of Ross’ machinations. However, he would find peace there once he would be able to bring peace to the planet. Also, at one point, the Hulk and Bruce Banner permanently split, being able to exist apart from each other. Banner would return to Earth, married Betty Ross, have a child and still help the Avengers but not actively. As for Hulk, he would only come back to Earth to bring his son to be part of the Avengers Academy.
While not appearing in the story and being mentioned of already being dead, Cable would reveal that Stryfe was not his clone but actually his twin brother. This would lead to the question if the twins Jean was pregnant with were them, but it would turn out that Jean had twin girls, leaving the origins and the strange connection Cable felt with Scott and Jean unknown.
A number of characters would already be dead before the beginning of the story such as Rick Jones, Aunt May, Rita DeMara, Eric O’Grady, Joseph, Gambit, Shard Bishop, Blob as well as some others.
The heroes would all return to Central Park, while the villains would go to different places. They would help the Mutants fight off against the more powerful Mutant-turned-Brood who barely survived the Phoenix’s attack.
Many other things would be present in the story, such as the Avengers grew and split themselves into different groups with having a Prime one with most of the founders part of it which would show a retired Thor as well, now king of Asguard and having his daughter with Jane as the new Thor. The members of Future Foundation and Avengers Academy being also members of other schools for heroes introduced for that Contest of Champions in the comics, like the students from a school in Wakanda, the Braddock Academy, one in Asia as well. Also, after the end of the fight, the vision of the world towards Mutants would change, with Professor Xavier even hinting at wanting to run for president.
A sort of prologue would happen with Jean in the Cerebrum, a newer version of the destroyed Cerebra, where she would meet the Beyonder. She would know he was the one who took away the heroes. He tells her some plot points that would lead to a sequel such as: a possible new Secret Wars, either with only Mutants or including the Mutants with the heroes. New anti-Mutant groups raising even if the world is seeing their kind in a new light. A possible genocide to the Mutant kind, making him warn her to keep an eye on Genosha and District X. A possible infection that would make the Mutants target like they never were before. A possible crisis with the Infinity Stones yet again. However, he would imply two situations that are more dangerous. One: On old friend of them coming back in a new form (Who in this case would Evan Sabhnur, the reincarnation of Apocalypse) and possibly wanting to relieve his old days, and two: Her, as she should prepare since she died and came back, and as he can feel, completely different.
Other plot points for a possible sequel would have been: The mysterious location that Xavier shows Jean and Scott was actually a prison of their most dangerous enemies and once the Mansion was destroyed, the would be let free. There would be mentions of two new Hellfire Clubs, one in New York, the other one in England. And, of course, the Dark Phoenix Saga.
That is it.
I know I didn’t mention hundreds of more ideas I have for this story, but as I explained: This story is canceled. I won’t say is dead to me, like the person I wrote to, but the connections are unfortunately impossible to ignore. If you have any, and I mean any questions about the story that I didn’t put here, things you want to know, ask away. I will be more than happy to answer them.
A warning though: I will be orphaning this story in the beginning of next semester, so if you want any questions answered, you guys have until the very beginning of August.
Once again, I can’t express how glad I am that people liked this story. And, once again, I apologize for leaving it. Hope you enjoyed the ride and hopefully, one day, I will return to X-Men Evolution universe that I love so much.
- The BobcatHews