Six Years Ago
Its the same every day: Ten steps from the door to the stairs, five stairs then turn left, repeat five times to get to the third floor, turn left again, walk past the first door, sneak past the second door, walk past the third door and then enter his room. For Scott Summers, its like clockwork, ever since he lost his ability to see, or at least, see safely. Once in his room, he throws his cane against the wall, no longer worried about it, and tends to sit down and read. Something he has been studying long and hard to be able to do again, braille being a difficult language to learn, especially for a person who started learning it at age eleven. He has always been a persistent person, and now two years later he is already reading at his grade level again, though predictably slower than before. Today, however, he just gets to the left at the top of the stairs when he runs into someone larger than him, and falls backwards, thankfully not down the stairs he just came up.
“Scott!? Are you ok?” Dylan's voice fills his ears and a strong hand pulls him off the ground. Dylan is three years older than Scott at sixteen and one of the oldest of the kids living there. He is also one of the two people who treats him with any sort of respect.
“Yeah, sorry about that.” Scott says, already knowing how Dylan will respond.
“I'm the one who should be sorry. Its not like you can see where you're going.” Scott smiles at him and is about to leave when Dylan continues. “Oh, so are you looking forward to your meeting this afternoon?”
Scott has no idea what Dylan is talking about. “Meeting?” He asks.
“Yeah, apparently someone is looking to adopt you.” A female voice pops in. Darcy, the other person on Scott's good list. “According to Fran they asked for you in specific.”
Needless to say, Scott is surprised. Not only is Scott beyond the expected age of adoption, but he is also blind. Well... effectively blind, and being blind is far preferable to the alternative. The last thing is, how did anyone ask for him in specific? He hadn't had any visitors in over a year, and who else but a visitor would have any idea who he was? His family was dead and his previous foster parents were... well, no one talks about what happened to them. But it is very clear that they wouldn't be back to get him, nor would they give anyone a positive opinion of him, quite the opposite he should think. “You're not just pulling my leg right?” Scott responds, irked at the thought.
Dylan's large but gentle hand falls to his shoulder, “Would we do that to you?”
Scott sighs, “No... Anyone else here? Maybe... But you?”
Darcy laughs, “Yep, so go to your room and get presentable already!”
Scott smiles then, and does just that. Being adopted... it's something he has all but given up on. He still doesn't know what to think though. He is dangerous, more so than anyone could possibly know. Still, he isn't about to sabotage his only ticket out of here. Since its not as if he is any less dangerous here than anywhere else.
Its a few hours later and Scott finds himself sitting in the lounge with Ms. Appleby, the director of the group home. Across from hims is theoretically the person who wants to adopt him. But all he knows about him is that he is male and apparently is in a wheelchair. Is that why he is willing to adopt him? One cripple adopts another? Ms. Appleby is telling the man about him and she is clearly attempting to derail the adoption.
“Scott is well... Scott's condition is potentially dangerous to himself and others Mr. Xavier. I caution you before you make any hasty decisions regarding this boy.” Its rather obvious to Scott that he won't get a chance to say anything, the man is clearly going to leave immediately. So he is surprised when that doesn't happen.
Charles Xavier, to his Credit, has something different to say regarding the young man in front of him. He hasn't come all this way to be turned away by a cantankerous old lady after all. And more to the point, he is entirely aware of the potential dangers. One could even say the potential dangers are what brought him here in the first place. “On the contrary, my dear. It is precisely Scott's blindness that interests me. Everything I know about him shows me he has a special gift. You said he could see fine until an incident two years ago correct?”
“Yes...” She responds hesitantly.
“And that he has learned braille and how to navigate around the neighborhood, school and the group home almost perfectly on his own in a mere two years time?”
“Then he is exactly the sort of young man I am looking for.” Xavier pauses for a moment and Scott imagines he turns to face him. “Scott, I am intending to start an institute for the gifted and I can see little better place to start then with you. You are smart, capable and have little to lose. So if you want, we can be out of here by the end of the day?”
Scott is speechless, he wasn't sure what to expect, but he wasn't expecting this. As he thought, he hasn't been given the chance to speak, but only because apparently he hasn't needed to. Despite Appleby's warnings, it appears this Xavier person wants him. And for an institute for the gifted no less. Scott realizes he isn't stupid, but he never considered himself gifted, and still doesn't. Unless Charles Xavier knows the truth behind his blindness, but that should hardly be considered a gift. More like a curse.
The rest of the day is spent getting Scott's stuff together. As Scott is leaving Dylan stops him, “Hey Scott, good going.” He then whispers into his ears, “Be careful, I don't want to hear about how you blew a guy in a wheelchair's head off okay?” Scott nods, taking the obvious joke more seriously than Dylan intends it to be taken. He then takes ahold of Xavier's wheelchair and lets it pull him out to the car, or van as it turns out to be.
Once he is seated in the front seat of the van and his seatbelt is securely fashioned, Xavier says, “Scott, I would like you to meet Ororo Munroe, also known as Storm. She is one of the future adult supervisors of the Institute, once she is done with her schooling.”
A deep and strong but motherly sounding female voice speaks, “Hello Scott, you are the first of what we hope are many others.” As she says this the van starts to move, “But let us dispense with the pleasantries. Now that we are on the road and in private we can speak of why we really wanted you.”
Xavier speaks up, “Indeed, while I was forced to beat around the bush in front of the people at the orphanage, I must speak frankly with you. I know about your eyes, or at least, I have a general idea of what they do.” Scott stiffens at this, “They emit some sort of concussive force that is quite destructive if my sources are correct.” Scott isn't really surprised, but hearing it spoken about so frankly still makes him nervous. “Well... are they?” Xavier asks. Scott isn't sure how to respond.
“Scott, perhaps it would be better if we were frank with you about our own abilities first.” Ororo speaks up. Scott is suddenly intrigued, their own abilities? What could they mean by that? “The reason I am called Storm is because I can manipulate the weather. A bit unbelievable I know, but is it any less believable than what you can do with your eyes?”
Scott thinks about it for a moment, “No... I guess it’s not...”
Xavier speaks next, or so Scott seems to sense, <I can speak directly into your mind. As well as move items around with my thoughts. I have other abilities as well, but those are the ones I use most often. It may not seem like it to you, but if you could see me you would realize that I am not speaking to you, but instead contacting your mind directly at this very moment.>
Scott isn't sure how to respond, “Um... isn't this a bit sudden? Wouldn't you expect someone to freak out or something?” He asks, more curiously than anything.
Xavier laughs, “And that is why I can feel safe being this direct and open with you. If you were another person I would certainly approach the topic more diplomatically, but I could tell from the beginning that you would be able to cope with what I have to say. After all, you did consent to having your own eyes sewn shut in order to block the... lets call them 'optic blasts' your eyes emit.”
Scott sighs, “Right. So your saying you're like me? But... that doesn't make much sense. Though we all seem to have powers, they seem completely unrelated to each other.”
Ororo responds this time, “But they are related Scott. While the way it manifests is different for each of us, our powers stem from the same thing: our genetics. Each of us, and by us I mean people like us, has a specific gene we call the X-factor gene. We refer to ourselves as mutants.”
Scott thinks for a moment, “...So I am one of these mutants?”
Xavier responds, “Yes, and that is enough for now. There is no need to overload you with information immediately. There will be time for this later. Right now, how would you like something to eat?”
Scott smiles at this. He is somewhat hungry, “Sure, so what are we going to get?”
Xavier laughs, “Well, what do you want? There is a French restaurant that I am quite fond of not to far from us.”
Scott gulps, “That sounds expensive...”
Xavier laughs again, making Scott slightly more nervous but Ororo's response relaxes him, “Really now Scott, I think your adoption is a special enough occasion and we are both happy to treat you.”
Scott smiles widely, “Then, can I get some wine?”
Xavier and Ororo chuckle at this, “Unfortunately, you're a bit young for wine. But I assure you there will be plenty of opportunities for that later as well as I hope the arrangement we have made will be a long and happy one.” Xavier says.
Scott's smile turns into a grin at the thought, maybe just maybe things are starting to look up for him? He tries not to think about the rest of the things in his life: His lost family, his deadly vision, the loss of his only friends and think only about the good stuff. He has finally been adopted, and so far at least, he really likes the people who have done so.