Fear. Hatred. Prejudice. For over a decade the X-Men have waged an enduring struggle to see their mentor's dream of peaceful coexistence come to fruition. And yet, despite how they have persevered over the many hurdles thrown at them, they have come no closer to accomplishing their goals then when they first started. With all the heartache, loss, and death. Is such a dream still worth fighting for?
X-Men Vol. 2 #177 "The Promise of Change"
On 1407 Graymalkin Lane, in Salem Center lies a mansion that was devoted to the teaching of a dream based on coexistence between mutants and humanity. This dream came from a rather powerful mutant whose telepathic presence made him the one of the most powerful mutants on earth. But since the M-Day event that dream came to an abrupt end as many mutants lost their powers and the team of mutant outlaws known as the X-Men found themselves charged with protecting the only mutants left in their school. As the sun rose higher into the sky a lone figure walked toward the mansion with a resolute decision on her mind. Her name is Jubilation Lee and after years of soul searching and the frightening M-Day event that left her feeling vurnable for the first time in her life she has decided to come to the only home she has ever known. At the door she found Logan waiting for her with a beer in his hand and a smile on his face.
"You know you shouldn't be drinking Wolvie," said Jubilee letting a smile form on her face.
"Good ta see you again kid. The place hasn't been the same without ya," said Logan as he crushed the beer can and tossed it aside.
"I see you still have no regard for the rules and I imagine Cyke's going to kick your butt for littering."
"Things have changed kiddo. Of course, the boy scout is just annoyin' as ever."
"I'll have to see for myself."
"Well c'mon inside, but be careful with Emma. She is determined to throw out any norms that step into the mansion."
"I can handle her," Jubilee said as she pointed at a tree and it detonated into a explosion of colorful light.
Logan's mouth opened wide as Jubilee walked past him.
Crimson flashes of light cut a swath through the darkness destroying concealed targets and confirming the improvement of the X-Man known as Cyclops aim. He let loose two more blasts that pulverized four inch thick plates of steel and moved onto the obstacle course where he pushed himself to nail each one of the targets that were spread out amongst the dangerous traps. Using his incredible telemetry skills and spatial awareness he bobbed and weaved between dangers letting his force blasts fly with precision right through the heart of the remaining targets and as the holograms faded and the room returned to normal. He pulled his cowl back and wiped the sweat from his brow.
"Quite the work out you put yourself through," said Betsy.
"Well, I have to be sharper if we are going to protect the remaining students."
"It's a shame about the other students."
"Nothing we can do about it, Betsy."
"Didn't say we could. I just wish we could. Having been dead I can relate to what it feels like to lose apart of yourself."
"How's your recovery going? Emma was telling me that the mental block that was keeping telepaths from reading your mind has changed and you've exhibited most of your previous powers."
"It's going well I suppose. It's like exercising a muscle that hasn't been used in a long time."
"Good. We could use you on the team."
"What do you mean?" said Betsy.
"I'm disassembling the other team X-teams and forming a core X-team that will consist of myself, you, Logan, Piotr, and two others that I have yet to decide. The rest will remain as staff for the institute and protect the remaining students."
"You are expecting the worst aren't you?"
"Yes. I think we are coming ever closer to war and with the Professor gone the fate of mutant-kind rests on my shoulders."
"Well, don't let your ego get out of hand Scott. We already have plenty of jerks on this team as is," said Betsy before she turned on her heel and walked away.
"Very funny Betsy," said Scott as he clenched his fists.
Scott, darling we need you in Henry's lab immediately.
I'm on my way Emma.
"Truth speaks for the weak," said Magneto as he floated above decrypted island formerly known as Genshoa. "But often it bares the soul of the matter.
"Speaking to yourself lord Magneto," said Exodus.
"Yes, I suppose I am."
"Isn't odd that our paths cross again and that your powers returned at a impromptu moment."
"I think fate has something to do with it Exodus. You had strayed far from the path, but I find the fact that you are willing to return to my company bold."
"Yes and I have paid for it. I tried many of times to enact your vision my lord and I failed each time. I cannot express enough my gratitude for this second chance."
"Second chances are something I rarely afford those who follow me, Exodus. You have already tainted my mission with your lunacy--"
"--But my lord," Exodus began.
"SILENCE!" said Magneto. "I am not finished. I have need of those whose loyalty is unquestionable. You -- despite your misguided attempts to continue my crusade have served faithfully and loyally. For that I will let you live and resume your place as my subordinate. But if you betray me I will make sure that you feel the full wrath of my power!"
"I understand -- my lord Magneto," said Exodus as he bowed his head.
Magneto turned his back
to Exodus radiating greater power than ever before and he slowly
lowered himself back to Genshoa where his will constructed a new
fortress from the barest amount of metal scrap and elements of
metal in the air.
Words could not describe what was going through Henry Phillip McCoy's mind as one of his former teammates had told them that she had lost her powers only to regain them hours later. Not only that, but the other students had exhibited signs of their powers returning. These series of strange events gave the brilliantly bounding Beast hope for the future of mutant-kind.
"Do you see this?" said Hank to his comrades as he showed a D.N.A scan of Jubilee's blood sample. "According to my tests our bodies ability to metabolize outside sources of energy to produce the excess bio-energy needed for our mutant powers hasn't been stripped away from our brethren."
"In English Henry. For the stupid people," said Emma.
Jubilee and Kitty stuck out their tongue at Emma and she turned her head.
"Oh yes. When I originally did my tests I left it to my computers to take snap shots of the D.N.A. chains of all of my patients who lost their powers and after a long string of tests the results kept coming out different than my original tests. So what I did was compare these results to the original tests and that is when I came to the hypothesis that some of the depowered mutants D.N.A. is in a state of flux while others are perfectly stable."
"So tell me again what that means?" said Bobby. "I didn't get it the second time either."
"He basically said we won't be becoming extinct," said Emma. "Peon."
"Ice queen," said Bobby.
Hank rolled his eyes. "I wouldn't go that far. If my hypothesis is correct and the results from the students including Jubilee and the ones who have yet to regain their powers are accurate -- there is a wide difference in the rate of recovery."
"Meaning?" said Logan.
"That it could be a full generation perhaps longer before our kind fully recovers from this horrific ordeal," said Hank.
Scott lowered his head.
Piotr stood in the background and thought of how bad he used to think his life was, but now he realized how worse it had become. Kitty walked over to him and they consoled each other.
Jubilee stood up from the chair she was sitting and threw her hands out to the side. "So what are we going to do?"
"What do you mean?" said Emma.
"What she means Emma is what are we going to do about the vurnable state of our kind," said Betsy. "We all know lots of our enemies will see this as a time to strike while mutant-kind is most vurnable.
"I don't think it will be mostly our humans enemies. If Jubilee regained her powers and so did Lorna and the other kids then we have to imagine some of our worst enemies have regained their lost powers as well," said Scott.
"We need ta organize fast then Summers. Both sides won't wait until we're ready to deal with'em," said Logan.
"I can't believe things are becoming worse then my future," Bishop said to Ororo.
"I know how you feel. I had never thought things could get worse either Bishop."
This is just like my future all over again. What am I to do.
Why are you intruding on my thoughts Emma!?
Because we can't have you slipping when we all have to be at our strongest.
You're right even though you're a horrible bitch.
Takes one to know one
Enough ladies concentrate on the conversation at hand.
Emma smiled and Rachel glared at her.
Samuel Guthrie looked at his sister Paige then his brother Jay and lowered his head.
"I think we all need to think about the circumstances of what we are facing," said Sam.
"We ain't got time for that Sam. We already failed in preventing this disaster by letting Wanda live and now we are havin' ta pay for it," said Logan.
"Enough," said Scott. "I've made my decision on what we are going to do. I'm cutting us down to one core team which will consist of me, Logan, Piotr, Betsy, --"
"--And me," said Jubilee.
"Me too," Kitty said.
"You'll need me," said Bishop.
"Fine. You three
will make up the last of my team to spare any arguments. As for
the rest of you the institute will need protection should our
enemies come after us in this delicate stage. Our goal is simple
people. We have to protect the future and the only way we can do
that is find a way to make sure our kind has one."
"You heard him.
Let's get to work. We have an institute to run," said Emma.
"Emma, I trust you
can run things while I'm on mission with team?" said Scott.
"Of course, Scott, darling. I will put my best foot forward."
"She will have help
with that," said Rachel. "Because we know how poor of a
job she did with her last students."
"Why you insufferable--," Emma said .
"--Stop Rachel -
Emma. This is no time for fighting. You both need to let your
grudges go and work together. We have a lot of work to do. Now if
you'll excuse me I have to go check the student schedules and
make sure that everything has been readjusted for our diminished
After Scott walked away Emma and Rachel exchanged heated glances and walked off in separate directions.
A dark silhouette stood over the grave of Jean Grey. On the tombstone a small pyre burned brightly as a beacon to guide Jean to whatever peace she may find, but suddenly and without warning that fire is snuffed out by a cold wind. A wind that carried the sound of deep maniacal laughter.
Next Issue: There Goes Yesterday