Title: My Brother's Keeper
Author: Alyx Alexandre
Date: October 2001
Rating: PG-13 for cuss words
Type: POV, Movie verse/comic verse
Summary: A man witnesses 'the Solution' for the first
time and asks an age-old question.
Feedback: Uh huh, uh huh! I like it! alyx68@...
Archive: Padder's Messy Room
website. Everyone else please ask. My name, email
address & website link must remain attached.
Answer to Rimmete's (Khaki's) opening line challenge,
"The night was moist."
Many thanks and deep appreciation to my betas:
Checkpoint Tango, Dekarbrie, Kitty & Kelsey. This fic
would not have been complete without your help!
Author's note: The bunny bit while I was watching
X-Men, the Movie for the umpteenth time. The crowd's
reaction to Senator Kelly intrigued me. After all,
those people are *us* - regular folk. As a non-mutant,
how would you *really* react to the idea of mutants
living among you?
~ ~ Indicates character thoughts
My Brother's Keeper
by Alyx Alexandre alyx68@...
The night was moist. The humid summer air was slightly
more tolerable in the late evening but it was still
muggy. The moon was full and a few stars were out.
Normally busy, Eleventh Street was now quiet. Even the
winos seemed to have turned in for the night.
"Excuse me sir, can you help me out?"
~Mierda, spoke too soon.~
"Sure." I fished some coins out of my pocket and
dropped them in his cupped hand. I would have given
him more but I was flat broke - living in Washington,
D.C. isn't cheap.
"Thanks!" He flashed a quick grin then walked down the
I took a few steps to move away from the beggar's
lingering, rancid smell and sighed. ~Los pobres
estar�n siempre con nosotros~ and no matter what we do
or how much we give the problem will never be solved.
I was waiting at the Metro for my bus to arrive. I
wished I had somewhere else to be just then - enjoying
dinner with friends or out dancing with someone
special. On the other hand, I just wanted to go home
to my studio apartment, grab a Corona and take a long
soak in the tub.
I looked at my watch. It was almost 12:00 PM. ~So late
already?~ I chuckled to myself, remembering that not
too long ago midnight was just the start of the
evening for me. Now here I was leaving work late -
again. How quickly things change.
~Carmelo, you're getting old, man!~
Then all of a sudden it happened, what I'd heard about
but until now had never seen. And, of all places, it
went down right in front of me.
At first I thought it was a comet. The orange and
silver tail blazed brightly but the sleek, shiny mass
leading the tail was too well-defined to be a chunk of
space debris. Instead of continuing its path across
the sky it curved and swooped down, landing with a
VOOMP! in the middle of the street, narrowly missing a
passing car. ~*This* is what we wanted?~ My heart was
thumping hard in my chest and I made the sign of the
cross. I felt like I had just stepped into the
Its eyes were black slits of all-seeing emptiness. The
humanoid form mocked those it was created to protect
while it hunted its prey. A mechanical voice boomed
from between metal 'teeth', "Citizens, do not panic. I
am performing my civic duty according to the
democratic laws of this country. I am here to
protect." That voice put the fear of God in me and for
a second I wondered, was that thing talking to *me*? A
bottle flew out of the darkness and shattered
defiantly against the purple metal, but it made no
It rose and hovered twenty feet above the pavement
then glided silently down the street, headed straight
for the man I had given the coins to. He was about a
block away from where I stood but now he was running,
looking over his shoulder and screaming.
In one graceful motion, a massive paw reached down and
scooped him up. The man was still screaming as he was
carried away into the night sky.
The entire incident lasted no more than 20 seconds.
I watched until the silver and orange ball of fire
disappeared from view. Someone was sobbing. Another
cursed, "What the fuck was that?" While others
applauded, "Caught another one! Yeah!" Never in my
life have I felt so empty and helpless. That man's
screams will haunt me until the day I die.
~Am I my brother's keeper?~ It's a question older than
the Bible and it's the question of the day for all of
us now. It demands an answer that most people are
uncomfortable dealing with and are unwilling to give.
The silent majority is content to let the pol�ticos
lead the way, giving voice to their opinions only on
When we are confronted with a serious issue we tend to
either make fun of it or attempt to discredit both the
question and questioner. Am I my brother's keeper?
It's been mocked into a manageable clich� like, 'Can't
we all just get along?' It's been turned into a joke.
Trivialized. Dismissed. Next topic.
But there is no dismissing what just happened here.
What will happen to that man? Why didn't anyone do
something to stop it? I'm one to talk - I'm standing
here like an idiot with my mouth hanging open.
Over the years I've had endless debates with my
friends about The Mutant Problem. Yeah, just like that
in capital letters - The Mutant Problem. Usually, I
could give a fart about such things. 'Live and let
live, just don't fuck with me' is the way I handle my
business. But no matter what side of the issue you're
on, you have to admit that what some mutants are
capable of is scary and threatening.
Some mutants have the ability to become invisible,
some have body parts that turn into lethal weapons,
others have superhuman strength - actions straight out
of a comic book but this is some serious shit. Mutants
need to be controlled and monitored somehow. Better
yet, placed in quarantine on an island somewhere far
away where they could all live together in mutie
paradise. But in my heart I question it still - is
*this* the way to do it? Can a solution be found where
we can all get along?
We cannot be barbaric. The world is watching us to see
what we do with "our" mutants so that they can follow
suit. We did the humane thing by establishing an
island nation where they can live normal lives among
their own kind without fear of violence. They can have
anything they want - but they must stay there. Many
mutants pushed the idea of separatism too, some out of
fear - others out of hatred. Taxes were raised across
the board to pay for the project and the nation went
along with it.
Of course, there were those who argued that the
doctrine of separate-but-equal had never worked and
that it wouldn't work now. I beg to differ. This is
not about ignorant, man-made notions of racial
supremacy. This is much more fundamental - surpassing
race, religion or nationality. This goes straight to
the heart of human survival as a species: How do you
"control" someone who is strong enough to lift a
building off of its foundation?
An answer please? Hello?
A several years ago I worked as an intern on Capitol
Hill. Dressed from head to toe in clothing from the
GAP and J. Crew, I fit right in along with the rest of
the herd. I stuffed envelopes, made photocopies,
answered the phones and ran errands - very thrilling.
It wasn't the kind of work I expected to be doing but
I knew that 'Capitol Hill Intern to Senator Manny
DeLugo of California' would look fantastic on my
I was excited to be living and working in the Nation's
Capital rubbing shoulders with the power brokers and
influence peddlers. Mi familia was *so* proud of me.
First college, now this! Not many people get the
opportunity to be a Capitol Hill intern. With no
strings to pull or friends in high places, it was hard
work and prayers to La Virgen Maria that got me there.
I thought I was da shit! Ay, to be young & dumb!
My first Senate hearing was a turning point for me.
Usually, I avoided hearings like the plague. I've seen
them on C-SPAN and they looked as exciting as watching
water boil. But that week the subject was the Mutant
Registration Act. This wasn't the first time that it
was debated on the Hill but it was the first time
since I had begun my internship, so I stopped licking
envelopes for awhile to attend. What a spectacle!
Experts from every field of study, for and against the
issue, presented their 'facts' mixed with personal
opinion. Also present, of course, was the news media
from every part of the globe. It was a total zoo!
One person stood out - at least for me anyway. That
chick was something else: long red hair, cute red
suit, red lipstick and red spike-heels. Muy bonita.
She tried to fight the good fight but say what you
want about Senator Kelly, he's a master politician. He
never met a crowd that he couldn't work like a
two-dollar 'ho in a titty bar. La rubia lost before
she even started. He had the crowd on its feet and in
his pocket in 10 seconds flat. The man waxed the floor
Can you say Senator Kelly for President?
Anyway, that wasn't the thing that got me. It was what
happened when the crowd started getting into it. Yeah,
they were eating Kelly's propaganda with a spoon but
he wasn't saying anything that wasn't already on their
minds. They loved him. He was their man and they
cheered him on. She had no answers for his questions
and everyone knew it. His grandstanding annoyed her
and she got mad. She did something that few people
noticed but I was one of those that did. She asked the
Senator to see the folder he was waving about over his
head, a folder that incidentally I helped put
Senator DeLugo is a firm ally of Kelly's and they
worked closely together on the Mutant bill. Their
interns gathered news stories about mutant activity
from around the world. Supporters contacted us by mail
or visited the Senate building to give us information.
The folder that Kelly had in his hand was pretty thin,
She reached out towards the Senator and the folder
*flew* out of his hand. She quickly pulled back and
the folder dropped to the floor. He turned and watched
her with a smirk on his face. It was then that I knew
Senator Kelly is un tiburon blanco swimming in these
political waters but he is a gentleman - at least
publicly. He did not throw the folder at that woman.
She *pulled* it towards herself, jerked it right out
of his hands. Isn't that some shit? It's like that
movie 'Carrie' where that chica moved things with her
mind when she got pissed. I saw that movie on cable -
did you see it? That bitch was crazy. But that was a
movie - *this* is real life.
I don't want to think for a moment about what that
woman was capable of. I don't care that she's a doctor
or how normal she looks. Senator Kelly was right.
Mutants *are* dangerous. Who cares if they were born
that way and can't help how they turned out? It
obviously doesn't stop them from using their mutation
to their advantage regardless of how it affects
The nation breathed a sigh of relief when Trask
presented the Sentinels as 'The Solution.' That's how
bad mutants scare the crap out of people. We were
willing to freely trade on our civil liberties to get
mutants out of our face. Now here we are, living in
the most democratic nation in the history of the
planet, with two-ton robots flying through the sky,
plucking people off the streets and taking them away
to God knows where. Suppose they make a mistake?
Look, I know people who are mutants - I don't live
under a rock. As far as I know they've never hurt
anyone and have no 'powers' to speak of. Most of them
just look funny and that's about it. How are they
Then again, I've heard it said more than once:
Mutants are tricky.
Mutants hide their true abilities.
Mutants want to kill all humans.
Mutants want to rule the world.
Then again, what about that guy I gave my pocket
change to? If he's so dangerous why is he living on
the streets as a beggar? Filthy. Smelly. Useless.
The whole thing makes no sense. I'm not sure about
Ay, Dios mio. My head hurts. Where's my bus? I need to
Spanish to English translations:
Mierda - Shit
Los pobres estar�n siempre con nosotros - The poor
will always be with us
Pol�ticos - Politicians
Mi familia - My family
La Virgen Maria - The Virgin Mary
Muy bonita - Very pretty
La rubia - The redhead
Un tiburon blanco - Great white shark
Chica - Girl
Ay, Dios mio - Oh my God
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