X-Book 1: New Allies New Enemies - Chapter 13 - Flying Blind
Summary: (See Book 1: Prologue)
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with characters from the Marvel
universe or any previously published work.
As the X-Jet lifted off the ground, Mary looked down out of one
small window and felt another sob catching in her throat. She
caught it and choked down hard on her sorrow. She was homesick
already, watching Nana wave from the front step, but she would not
cry in front of these people again.
From the earth, which was quickly pulling away from them, Mary could
see Nana smiling through streaming tears. The look of pride in the
old woman's eyes was the only thing that kept Mary from forcing
these people to land their jet right now and leaving her where she
belonged. Of course, Nana would not have allowed that. She would
have grabbed Mary by the arm and walked her to New York, if
that's what it took to get her there. There was no arguing with
Nana when she knew she was right.
And she's always right, Mary thought with a sad grin.
The jet moved quickly upward, and Mary gripped the arms of her chair
anxiously. This was the first time she had ever flown, and the
thought of hurtling through the air was a little intimidating, no
matter how impressive the small jet was.
As they climbed in altitude, Mary felt like her stomach was now
roommates with her esophagus and she breathed slowly to calm herself
Xavier sensed the girl's discomfort and glanced over at her
sympathetically. She looked very pale, causing her large dark eyes
to stand out significantly on her face. To the Professor, she
looked as anxious about the flight as she was about leaving home.
"Don't worry..." Xavier began, "The trip is much
smoother once we
Mary nodded and swallowed, though the look on her face was
doubtful. Xavier noticed how unhappily she was looking down out the
window and tried to reassure her.
"The flight won't be long," he said, and then added with
a smile, "We fly a little faster than what is normally allowed to
Mary glanced sideways at the Professor and nodded again, not yet
trusting herself to speak without her throat closing. Silently, she
focused her mind and breathed deeply. She was not going to sit here
like a mime the entire way to New York. After a moment, she spoke.
"Can I..." she began and inhaled before continuing, "Can
I call my grandmother when we get there? She just wanted to know we
got there safe.
"Of course," Xavier said, "Your room will have its own
phone, which you are free to use at any time. Many of the children
come from quite a distance away and a few like to call home
everyday. Luckily, we have very understanding long-distance
Mary grinned, "Yeah, I guess so. What about holidays or if I
needed to come back right away?"
"You are always free to return home at any time," Xavier
said, "If you wished to leave tomorrow, it could be arranged as
easily if you had wanted to leave six months from now."
Mary nodded slowly and Xavier smiled sympathetically.
"I understand this must be difficult for you," he said,
"I'm sorry your decision had to be so sudden..."
"It wasn't," Mary said sharply, "I told you...I
probably knew you were coming before you did."
She gave the Professor a quick apologetic glance.
"It's just that...I haven't seen anything past this point
yet. My visions always end just when I decide to go with you all.
I guess I'm just used to always knowing what coming...this is the
first time I'm flying blind."
Xavier looked at her for a moment before responding. He was
beginning to understand her apprehension more clearly.
"Flying blind..." he repeated softly, "Perhaps...but not
Mary turned to face the Professor and held his gaze firmly. His
simple words struck a chord in her, and the doubt she felt about her
decision faded a little.
When she first learned through her vision that Charles Xavier would
be joining the others to find her, a part of her had been afraid to
meet the man she felt may have caused the attacks on the world eight
months before. She had not been prepared to meet someone with that
However, Xavier did not strike her now as having any violence or
malicious intentions in him. She suddenly felt a new doubt, about
whether the "Charles" the vision spoke of was Charles Xavier.
could a man so intent on helping others cause so much pain?
"Thank you," Mary finally said, "It's good to know
out there who can..."
Mary paused and inhaled sharply as the jet shimmied from air
turbulence. Her stomach did a cartwheel and she closed her eyes. A
wave of nausea passed over her. Her visions may make her sick and
give her headaches...but even they were way better than this.
The jet dipped again and Mary's eyes shot open.
"Excuse me..." she mumbled as she stumbled out of her seat
towards the back of the craft.
Second door to the left, Xavier sent her telepathically, cutting off
the connection as the small bathroom door slammed shut.
Inside the general store, owned and operated by a "Mr.
Duchak" for over twenty years, the faint roar of a passing
was heard again by the proprietor.
Duchak stood on the front steps of the store and looked up into the
sky, his aged hands rubbing at the knots in his lower back. He had
lived in this town in Arizona for a long time, but he knew his place
in this dusty land was about to be reassessed.
He stamped out the butt of his cigarette and walked back into his
small entrepreneurial placement.
Not much had changed in the two decades he had been assigned this
post, the walls and windows, cracked floors and two slowly revolving
ceiling fans, the shelves and counter, all looked as they did when
Duchak first arrived (aside from being a bit more weathered).
However, he did not look on this place with any kind of nostalgia or
fondness. To him, it was a prison, and he hoped his sentence was
about to end. They had assigned him to watch the girl, inform them
of any changes or events in her life that might be significant.
So far, he had filed only one report. Ten years earlier...to which
he received only one response. Await further instructions.
None had ever come, and now he was about to make his second report
in twenty years. He hoped it would also be the last.
Duchak walked slowly into the back room, though it was no longer the
movement of an old storeowner. It was the march he had been trained
to walk, proud and straight, with a quiet gleam of hope in his eyes.
From his old fashion roll top desk, Duchak withdrew a large high-
band communications radio. It was dusty and outdated, but still
looked very out of place in the aging general store. He twisted the
dial to the correct frequency and heard the buzz of background noise
fade away. He pushed in the large button that read "SEND"
and smiled callously as he spoke.
"Position Nineteen to Base," he said in a voice few in town
would have recognized, "Target 217 has been identified by C.X.
Assumed destination, New York. Please report and advise. Over."