+++++this is an old story (split into 6 parts) featuring some of my favorite characters to write about: comic book characters!  This is an original story featuring Marvel’s X-Men.  Even if you don’t know the characters, read the story and let me know what you think!+++++++++

1.1 Aftermath

Setting:  The X-Mansion (home of the X-Men, in West Chester , New York, upstate)

A calm breeze blows through, leaves collect on the looming front lawn.  Inside, Lorna Dane (codename: Polaris) sits uncomfortably in a cushioned chair.  Seated across from her is Dr. Jean Grey (codename: well, Jean Grey).  Dr. Grey can senses Lorna’s pain and confusion.  She’s doing all she can to stop her from having a complete mental breakdown.  Lorna’s strangely colored green hair covers her face completely, masking the flood of tears falling for the better part of an hour.

“Please, continue when you’re ready.  We have all the time in the world,” states Jean.

A barely audible voice murmurs from underneath the messy tangle of green locks.  “That’s what scares me the most.  All the time I have.  All the time without him.  All the things we planned, just gone.  Do you know what that’s like? Oh, I’m sorry.”

Lorna had forgotten Jean had already been dead once before.  It was Jean’s Phoenix persona that had brought her back from the grave; a cosmic entity lurking within her own consciousness, buried until it was needed. Nowadays, Jean lived without that part of her psyche and may be better off without it.  Professor X (owner of the X-Mansion and guide for all who resided there) had helped eliminate all traces of it from Jeans’ mind.  Jean rarely even saw combat action as a result.  She had grown fond of getting to the know the younger students as school counselor to Xavier’s Gifted School of Youngsters (what the building was known of to the outside world) and in some cases, like now, in the wake of this awful tragedy, getting to know her fellow teammates.  She was well aware of Lorna’s past tribulations, regarding her father and her husband, Alex.  In fact, she was nearly Jean’s sister because Alex was her husband Scott’s brother.  Lorna’s face, usually glowing and bright, could now be described as dark and hidden.

Jean let her mind wander around the mansion, drifting into her friends minds , as was her mutant gift to read minds.  She felt Scott’s first; she always did for ever since they met, they had formed a psychic connection that had never been broken.  It kept them in constant contact with each other and aware of the other’s thoughts, which can sometimes be hell on a marriage.  He was thinking of Alex.  He was writing his eulogy.  Scott was struggling with how to close it.  He felt Jean’s presence in his mind and passed his thoughts on to her as if she were right in front of him.

“He was always better at sports than me.  He made 1st Squad in middle school.  He was the star pitcher of the high school baseball team.  But, he never rubbed it in.  He seemed better at everything, everything except chess.  I remember the first time we played, I handed it to him in less than 10 moves.  He was shocked.  He couldn’t believe it.  Then, I remembered how cool he was when he beat me at something.  Then, despite that, I rubbed it in his face!  He kept playing me and I kept beating him but he never got mad.  He had a lot of patience with me, but not much else.”

Jean felt him go silent in her head, then focused back on his speech.

Kitty Pryde (codename: Shadowcat) and Peter Rasputin (codename: Colossus) were in the kitchen.  Kitty had just finished making Pete a sandwich so big, it would make a double-decker hide its face in shame.  Jean could sense Kitty’s happiness,mostly bottled up inside.  She could also senses Pete’s appetite. Kittys’ mind wandered back to the battle, where her life was in danger like countless other times.

The parking lot of the Hoover Dam would generally be full and brimming with people but today it was a vacant lot, full of destruction.  The X-Men’s greatest enemy (Magneto) had reformed his Brotherhood of like-minded mutants and they were at the Dam to pull the wall apart, stopping an anti-mutant protest that had been planned for weeks.  There was no one else but the X-Men to stop him.

Kitty saw the ground in front of her splitting like a sheet of paper in two.  She saw a man wearing gray armbands that were glowing, adorned in silver armor, off in the distance.  It was one of Magneto’s allies, Avalanche, a man with the power to control the seismic vibrations underground.  She phased herself out (her mutant ability) and walked through the gravel lot like it wasn’t even there to avoid the quake and not fall into the chasm the split road was creating. She moved out about 30 yards but was not careful when she become whole again and a chunk of errant stone struck her in the back, knocking her to the edge of the widening gully in the pavement.  She heard Pete’s distant scream.

“Katya!” (his nickname for Kitty)

She tried to return his call with her own, but she couldn’t muster the strength in her voice.  She looked up to see a glowing bubble of energy surrounding Erik Lensherr (codename: Magneto )as he glided across the sky, like a god.  They had fought with him and against him on so many occasions but she had never seen the Master of Magnetism this angry.  They still hadn’t gotten a word out of him, nor could find the crux of the reason of this attack.  Even the Professor wasn’t able to probe Magneto’s mind for the answer.  He could only feel hate and violence stemming from his brain activity.

Ororo Monroe (codename: Storm)  was also soaring through the sky, darkened by the powers Storm possessed: total and complete control of the weather.  Magneto pulled down a light pole which toppled atop Storm.  She fell far and hit the ground solid.  Storms on-again, off-again boyfriend Forge (machinist extraordinaire) quickly came to check on her.  But, LEnsherr wasn’t done yet.  He ripped the top off a nearby Cadillac Escalade and sent it hurling towards the disoriented pair, pinning them against a wall with it like a metal fly trap.  Magneto bent the hood around them like he was wrapping a gift, enclosing them inside the twisted structure.

Kitty tried to come to he senses and focus on phasing out of her predicament but her head was so jumbled.   She could feel a steam of warm liquid on the back of her head; she pressed her hand there and saw blood on her soft hands.  Magneto was bouncing his steel contraption around like a ball and Kitty could hear Ororo’s screams of terror.  Her deep-seated fear of enclosed spaces was well-known and Magneto was prey ing upon it.   Kitty tried to shake the cobwebs and stood up to assist her friends but when she dies, she was face to face with the deadly Master of Magnetism.  He stared down at her with a cold steely gaze.  He flicked his wrist and Kitty saw the metal ball flying towards her and she knew it was over.

She only saw a shadow. She wasn’t sure if she was dead or not.  No, she could still see.  Same eradicated parking lot.  She’d heard someone scream “No!”  She assumed it had ceom from her own terror but it had been Peter.  And the shadow in front of her was Petrel holding the massive metal ball that had just been magneto’s plaything.  Pete had caught it seconds before it crushed her.  If that didn’t say I love you she didn’t know what did.

Pete took the last bite of his sandwich and could feel KiItty’s eyes on him.  He looked up to meet her beautiful and harmonious brown eyes.

“Ah, Katya, I believe the expression is, you have found the way to my heart…with the food, I mean.”

Kitty laughed for the first time since she had to watch her teammates die

Jean tried to sense Logan (codename: Wolverine) but couldn’t find his presence.  No surprise there; Logan is a loner.  Lorna tried to keep it together but was doing a horrible job as Jean focused back in on her.  Jean knelt down beside her and held her tightly, hoping it was some consolation to the love of her life being gone.


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