Through The Eyes Of The Chameleon
By Indigo (indigo@...
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the rights of Marvel should be inferred; nor is any
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I stand, in a scratchy grey suit.
My back is ramrod straight. My chest rises and falls in
slow, regular, measured breaths. My hair is coiffed neatly
in a style that costs most $75.
On the dais, a redheaded woman speaks. Her name is Jean
Grey. There is an eloquence about her. A fierceness. A
passion as fiery as her hair.
In front of me, sitting so smugly in his little chair, is
Senator Robert Kelly. He baits her. He stands, and drums
the audience from polite listening silence to the unruly
mutter and applause of a mob with one simple handful of
words: "Three words: Are. Mutants. Dangerous."
Good question, Senator.
Then again, an equally good question is: "What danger do
humans pose to mutants?"
Behind my facade, I stifle a chuckle. Its sound is lost in
the thunderous applause as people rise to shout their
support of Kelly's obscenity...his Mutant Registration Act.
On the dais, Jean Grey looks frustrated. Faintly angry.
And strangely, full of pity for Kelly.
Don't worry, Jean.
You won't have to pity him long.
On the helicopter, I listen, and Kelly tries to sway
someone to his way of thinking.
"No, I don't see the difference. Some of these children
Weapons. Right. A little girl in Illinois who can walk
through walls? People who can read minds? No, Senator.
Don't think of the good they might do. Don't think of the
people they could help. Just think of your fear. Think of
your prejudice. Soon you'll have time to regret them.
He finishes his call, and tosses me the celphone. He looks
away, speaking of Jean and how he'd lock all mutants away
if he could.
I slough away the skin of the human Henry Peter Gyrich,
letting my true self reform on the seat before him. I wait
for him to turn back and savor the delicious shock and
terror on his face. His eyes traverse my body thrice, and
inwardly I smile. Despite his revulsion at the blue-
skinned mutant before him, and the shock of realizing that
his eyes saw Gyrich here a moment ago, he cannot help but
notice I am in every other way a woman. Disgusting.
"People like you are the reason I was afraid to go to
school as a child." My voice is a sibilant hiss, but he
can hear the anger through the seductive tones.
He tries to scream for the pilot, but I'm faster.
Three swift kicks and I turn, taking my seat beside Toad in
the co-pilot's chair of the helicopter.
Magneto's island isn't far now.
Magneto will be so pleased.
Our island is rocky and isolated -- an environment worthy
of us. Magneto. Me. Toad. Sabretooth. And Kelly's fear
is simply delicious. I stand in the doorway as Magneto
pulls the helpless Senator down the hall. After a moment,
I follow. I cannot bear to be away from him for long. His
protection, his love have made me the woman I am.
"What have you done with Gyrich?"
"Mr. Gyrich has been dead for some time," I hear Magneto
reply as I step to curl lovingly around him. "But I've had
Mystique here keep you company. She takes so many shapes."
Phase one of the plan has been completed now -- although
Kelly has escaped. Magneto knows now that his plan works.
His machine works. I salved his aching hands after his
trial run. I soothed his brow after the brute Sabretooth
allowed Kelly to escape.
And now, I stalk the grounds of the mansion. This School
for Gifted Youngsters. Jean lives here and works here.
With Xavier. Magneto harbors a wistful sort of respect for
the man. They once were friends, but now they stand on
opposing sides of a battle line. Charles is a deluded
If people could learn not to hate and fear what they do not
understand, perhaps there would be a chance for the naive
dream. But it has never been so, and it never will.
But now -- phase two of the plan must be completed. Today
I wear the form of a teenaged boy -- one with whom Rogue
seems to be quite taken.
I drop to the bench and immediately begin talking with
Rogue. The poor child -- she's finally felt safe and at
home amongst these people. But I must drive her away from
here. Magneto could come here and take her by force, but
what remains of friendship for this Xavier in his heart
forbids him from beginning a conflagration -- razing this
stupid sanctuary to the ground. "The Professor is furious.
I don't know what he'll do to you."
The shock and betrayal in her eyes is painful. Delicious.
Sad. "I think it'd be easier on your own."
Once I am certain the girl will be gone, I move into the
next phase of my plan.
I drop to one knee and morph from the boy, Bobby, to Xavier
himself. My change is so complete, so refined, that even
his vaunted Cerebro computer cannot differentiate between
us. The womb of the computer opens to me -- and I step
The chemical in the canister will incapacitate Xavier when
next he tries to use it. Erik knows this Xavier will try
to find the girl once he realizes she's gone. In brighter
days, Magneto tells me, they worked together -- to build
this machine. This Cerebro, that finds mutants.
I would rather he die. What a sad existence he must have,
knowing the world feels about our kind as it does...but
still, futilely trying to change it. It would be a mercy
to kill him rather than let him go on leading these
children into believing the world will one day accept them.
It won't. It hasn't.
It never will.
I stand, in a blue uniform, relaxed, as my hands pilot the
boat toward Liberty Island. My love stands behind me,
trying in his way to assuage his guilt. I think it's his
scant moments of naivete that draw me to him so.
The girl, Rogue, is terrified -- she lies chained to The
Machine and asks if Erik will kill her.
"Yes," Erik answers her honestly. He goes on to tell her
that this she will die because there is no land of
tolerance. He continues, explaining that her life is the
price paid to make mutants of the world leaders -- so that
it will be in their best interests to think more slowly and
carefully before they begin registering mutants.
I doubt it will work, but it is a noble attempt and no one
will be more surprised than I if he tries. As for Magneto
himself? I have seen the numbers tattooed on his arm. I
know why the idea of registering mutants is so very
abhorrent to him. But it is not something that is spoken
of. It is merely something that is acknowledged and left
Xavier's finest -- the ones he calls his X-Men -- are on
the island. Sabretooth is with Magneto, as his only
defense once the girl has absorbed his powers.
I stand, in the shape and raiment of the Statue of Liberty,
waiting for a moment to strike.
The fight with Logan is both exhilerating and terrifying.
He moves like a thing possessed, wild and primal. But I
can't entirely match him for that. My claws are not metal
as his, and I scream in pain as he slices through them.
He finds me.
He has the senses of the beast whose name he carries.
I fight. I slither like my bones are flexible as silken
cord. I strike without mercy. I cannot permit him close
enough to Magneto and Rogue to stop the plan from its final
But he heals. He recovers. Far faster than I have any
Despite my soul screaming for the fight to continue, I know
fleeing him and returning to strike him down unexpectedly
is my only choice.
I take the shape of the black woman -- the one they call
"Come on," I whisper urgently to Logan. "We have to
"There's a problem," Logan whispers softly.
Before I have a chance to say anything, I feel an icy-
burning pain inside my abdomen. The cool metal of his
claws slides out of my flesh and my powers fail. I lose
Storm's shape, begin to take Logan's, and fall -- myself.
I'm too weak to go on.
I can only lie here and hope for the best -- that I don't
bleed to death.
I'm sorry, Magneto. I tried.
I failed you when you needed me most.
I must have faded from consciousness. I see light. Am I
No. It fades and is gone.
In the distance, I hear sirens. The authorities.
Too weak to rise and run. Magneto? He must still be
above. Toad and Sabretooth are nowhere to be found.
I cannot stand, so I do the only thing I can do...I change.
"This one's still alive!" I hear someone shout, and smile
inwardly behind closed eyelids.
"I have made a grave mistake, and I hope that I may be
Kelly is dead, and I have taken his place. Let them try to
pass that stupid law. I am in a position to fight now.
"This plastic prison won't hold me forever. The war
*is* coming," Magneto warns Xavier across a chessboard
of plastic. "And I intend to fight it."
Xavier shows the first sign of fire in spirit that I have
ever seen. "And I will always *be* there...old friend."
I wheel Xavier out the umbilical connecting Magneto's
plastic cell to the rest of the facility.
No, my love. This plastic prison won't hold you forever.
Or very long at all.