Wilbur was sitting in “Getting to Know Yourself”, a new requirement for first year Xavier school attendees and he was trying not to fall asleep. Their professor (although she said she felt weird with the students call her that) was Ms. Guthrie, a beautiful Southern belle if there ever was one. Ms. Guthrie’s pleasant manner and charm was the only thing keep his attention. She was trying to tell the class to not be afraid to put yourselves out there by introducing yourself to someone you don’t know. Wilbur didn’t see that happening. Sure, Wisp was pretty cool, but he hadn’t exactly initiated their contact; and ever since that surprise kiss, he’d seen no signs of a romantic relationship budding between them; in fact, she was like one of his guy friends back home, belching, slapping his stomach, even poking fun at the forbidden kiss. He couldn’t make heads or tails of what she was at.
Just as Wilbur felt his eyelids drooping once more, something caught his eye in the back of the room. With a few of the professors leaving, some classes were being combined; so today, they were in Professor Xavier’s study for a quick session. It was covered wall to wall in bookshelves, and each one lined with thick hardback tomes. It was in between two of said books, a head was sitting; looked like maybe marble; Wilbur wasn’t sure, but it’s eyes were lighting up red. It was the strangest thing. Someone else noticed it because they spoke up in the middle of class, something Wilbur wasn’t quite prepared to do.
“Ms. Guthrie, William Shakespeare’s eyes are glowing,” the student blurted out. A few students laughed until they saw what Ms. Guthrie saw; which in fact were red blinks going off in it’s eyes. She walked over to it and held it upside down.
“No batteries; I wonder what that’s supposed to mean?” she said, in her infatuating Southern drawl.
Scott Summers was hanging on for dear life as the Blackbird’s anti-gravity thrusters kicked on when the ship was hit with what he now assumed was a magnetic burst from the Master of Magnetism himself. His team had fallen into the icy depths of the water below but not before Bobby’s arm had been severed completely in half by a scrap of metal launched into his arm when the plane burst. He’d seen Pete go down as well; fully encased in metal but not Kitty; he was assuming Pete had caught her somehow. He looked for signs of life below him but nothing so far; nothing but Magneto himself. He was rising from the water in a electromagnetic bubble; an often used defensive device he employed to guard himself from attacks from all directions. He was peering at Scott, who was getting a better grasp now on the seat above him; he wasn’t sure if he should pull himself up; Magneto may think he’s taking an offensive posture, and he’d be right. He looked back again at his long time enemy and he didn’t seem himself; just like the day Alex died. His eyes were darker, his face a scowl and his hair looked thinner, and grayer than normal. He decided to try the diplomatic approach.
“Why Erik? What have you to gain from this attack?” Scott was on the ready.
“You pathetic excuses for mutants have plagued this planet long enough; all you ever do is hamper my mission for the world dominance of mutantkind.”
“Dominance? When did your doctrine change? You’ve always wanted superiority over humans, yes, but never to rule them as animals or slaves. What’s different now?” As he saw Eriks’ mouth open, he leaped up into the seat, turning his body clockwise to face his foe and let out a blast of concussive energy from his eyes. It caught Magneto off guard and knocked him back a few feet; honestly, Scott was surprised. Normally, he would have anticipated a strike like that, especially with his bubble around him. Something was off.
“Wretched mutant!” He screamed. Jean was in Scott’s head now.
“Scott! Are you alright? The Professor’s alarm went off in the school,” she said, worried.
“Not right now,” he responded back.
Magneto had shot out at him with a pulse ray and it caught Cyclops square in the face. He could feel his visor tightening against his face. It’s framework was metal.
“Die, you scum! Die for what you’ve done to me!” Magneto’s face was turning, twitching, forming into something monstrous.
“What…..Are you….Talking about?” he got out, as the pain seared into his face. He started releasing an blast but the angle was off and didn’t seem to be firing. He couldn’t get his mind to aim.
“Jean, please, help me, guide my instincts,” he thought.
“Okay, promise me this is for the good of the team,” she said
“It’s for the good of the world,” He responded. Magneto was crushing Scott’s face with the visor, he tried to pry it off with his hands but no luck; he kept pushing himself, willing himself to blast through the visor and he could feel the pressure mounting against his face. He felt like he was going to pass out. All of a sudden, someone came from the water below. It was Bobby, one human arm, one mangled ice-covered appendage. He was forming his hand into a sharp dagger of ice and slit into Magneto’s back when he got near his altitude. Scott assumed it was a Fastball special courtesy of Pete below. Bobby screamed in anger as Magneto turned his attention and blasted Bobby with a force wave but it was enough time to concentrate with all his might and push the visor off. He felt it ripping against the sides of his face, blood running down, but felt it pop, taking huge chunks of flesh from his cheeks. But, when it did, Scott’s power was uncontrollable; an optic blast erupted from his eyes like a volcano exploding; a red rainbow of energy shot across the sky and blasted Magneto directly in the chest shooting him from their viewpoint, like a missile taking off through the sky.
By the time Hank had found Magneto’s body, it was literally changing in front of his eyes. His skin was lightening, his complexion darkening, his eyes looking more alive and joyful than he’d ever known. Hank, once discovering the virus that had infected Erik, among others, , put out a call for the 7 names they found DNA evidence of. Now, seeing Erik, whose frame began shriveling up in front of him knew that the aftereffects of this living virus were enough. He had on a long telescopic lens attached to a pair of binoculars with a light attached. He could see molecules with this invention of his on and intended to find the monstrous organism responsible. He knew it as soon as he saw it; Erik’s mouth opened ever so slightly and from within, floating through the atmosphere came a darkly flesh-colored speck. Hank snagged it with a long pair of pincers he’d modified for just such an occasion. He quickly sealed it in a test tube with a secure lid and held it up to the lens.
“Remarkable,” he noted.
When they got Erik back to the lab on Xavier Grounds, he went into yet another coma; this one was a physical one. Not only had Scot’s massive optic blast punctured a lung but it seems the after effects of this organism expelling itself was having a serious toll on his health.
the Professor rolled into the lab. He stared at Erik and sighed.
“So much rage, he was the perfect weapon for this creature to extol destruction with. Hank, remember to get word out of the after effects this tick has on it’s hosts. If any of it’s other victims are found, they should be brought in for testing.
At that moment…..
In the frozen wildlands of Alaska, a lone figure trudged through the snow and ice , seemingly on a mission. He was following his nose. He came upon a camp, with 2 igloos and a fire roasting fresh fish below. A lot of commotion came from the smaller igloo; he smelled him right away. The figure leaped down from a high ridge to a snow bank below, then twice more and came to be standing in the camp. Several inhabitants stood up , spooked, and held up fishing spears. He held up his hands to say he comes in peace.
“I just want the ugly one,” he growled. They stood aside as an older man came from the igloo. He motioned inside.
The figure stepped inside to get a look at a huge, beastly looking man sprawled out on a bed of seal fur.
“You’re time’s come, punk,” and the man took down his hood to reveal a strange haircut, two ends sticking up like devil’s horns with a full beard around his face.
The monstrous man looked up and blinked his eyes,” I could smell you coming, runt. Give it your best shot,” it spoke.
The man’s hands immediately jutted out 4 steel claws on each hand; the villages inside the igloo ran for their lives.
7 months later….
“Well, Scott, I’m off. I don’t think my services are required here any more.” Kurt Wagner (codename: Nightcrawler) said. He still had tremendous rage in his heart for what Magneto had done to his friend, and mutants alike.
“I know you don’t agree with the decisions made after Alex’s death, but rest assured, they were the right ones.” Scott said the words but didn’t know how truthful the meaning behind them were.
“I don’t agree at all with leaving that….virus here in the mansion. Another decision I would rather not be associated with. It seems like Bobby will be alright though?”
“Yes, Hank and Jean have put him back together, mostly thanks to him preserving the arm with in his own way. It’s going to b e along road to recovery and even then, it’s not a 100% sure his arm will be functioning. Where will you go?”
“actually, Pete and Kitty have agreed to join me on something; a mutant baby harvester has been discovered in San Francisco; it’s something that shouldn’t be happening and for obvious reasons, they’re invested in the outcome.” Kurt and Scott looked over at the happy couple, Pete, beaming and Kitty, with a protruding stomach and a red glow about her. She was only a few months from delivery.
“Well, take care of them. Like you, they’re one of us and we have to look out for our own,” Scott said, as just then Lorna Dane (codename: Polaris), widow of Alex Summers, walked by to say goodbye to Kitty and Pete.
“How is she doing, before I leave?” Kurt asked.
“Jean says she’s stabilizing, getting things back in order. It hurt her deeply, with all her attachments to both parties. But she’s strong, stronger than we know.”
Later that evening….
Lorna Dane wanders the sub-basement hallways alone, as she’s done since her beloved Alex had passed. She walks with her thoughts of timing, of powers, of why things had to be that came to pass. She passes by a door marked “Dangerous: Live Viruses! Only Classified Medical Personnel Allowed”. She had been feeling more and more anger lately, hate even sometimes. For her own friends, Alex’s own friends. The time was almost at hand.