X-Book 1: New Allies New Enemies - Chapter 19 - Interlude 2
Summary: (See Book 1: Prologue)
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with characters from the Marvel
universe or any previously published work.
In a quaint and well-kept cobblestone building off High Street, near
Magdalen College, Quintin Travers sat in a tall leather chair in his
dimly lit office, reading the morning paper by a large multi-paned
window. The early morning light streamed past the open curtains,
throwing long shadows over the top of a massive cherry-wood desk.
The walls were lined with bookcases, each shelf filled with
innumerable volumes, ranging from recent publications on philosophy
and sciences to ancient texts dealing with religion and mythology.
A colorful tapestry depicting ancient Rome hung above a large
fireplace, the mantle of dark, polished stone covered by a variety
of antiques and one quietly ticking clock.
Travers picked up a small cup from the desk and sipped at the strong
coffee as his eyes scanned the newsprint. The articles were of
local interest, nothing that would have been of dramatic consequence
to the rest of the world, but Travers had lived in the area for
nearly forty years, and still liked to keep up on the local gossip.
He had not been born in England, but had adapted to his life there
easily, the land and people being more of his temperament than a
bustling American city. Now, as he was approaching the age of
sixty, he better appreciated these private, relaxing moments in the
face of his regular daily responsibilities
most of which stood in
stark contrast to this momentary façade of tranquility.
A light knock on the office door stirred him from his thoughts. He
smiled warmly as a gray-haired woman in a long simple dress pushed
the door open and glanced inside. The smile was genuine, but the
warmth did not touch his eyes.
"Good morning, Mr. Travers," she asked, "Am I
"Of course not, Sharon," he replied, "Please come
have you just arrived?"
"Yes, sir," she said with a polite nod, "I just wanted to
bring you your messages from last night before I began my own work
for the day. Seems like it was a quiet night, only two phone calls
and one courier letter
"Ah, thank you," Travers said, and then added with a wry
grin, "Let's hope this trend continues
maybe I can put in
for an early retirement."
"The day you retire, sir," Sharon replied smartly before she
left the room, "Is the day I dance The Dutch's Waltz in
Travers laughed at the old woman's dry wit. She had passed him
several slips of paper, all marked URGENT. Each brief, typed letter
had been delivered via fax from a late working student who manned
the main phones at the Council's offices after dark. The job
itself was quite dull (unless there was a crisis) but most of those
training with the Council jumped at the chance, as the position also
had developed a rather prestigious, if not infamous, reputation.
The night was the most perilous time for Council members, in any
part of the world, due to their special and strange fields of
study. And, while they did not typically interfere with their
subjects, there was still a danger in the simple act of Watching,
especially when those being watched did not approve.
Quintin Travers had been a Watcher of paranormal activity around the
globe for over half a century, his studies initiated at a very young
age, following the tradition of his family. Over the decades, he
had earned the distinction of being a Council leader and it was now
his duty to monitor all their concerns, from overseeing their most
ancient laws to addressing any new issues with Council Houses on six
In his half century of service, only one major issue had a lasting
effect on Council policy, and that was the mutant phenomenon. Since
the discovery of the mutant gene, the decision on how to address the
existence of mutants within the Council's laws had been a matter
Mutants defied all previous classifications of beings, since they
were not truly paranormal in nature yet often times possessed gifts
of incredible power beyond scientific explanation. They were not
demons or sorcerers or any kind of creature that gained their powers
through aberrant means. Mutants were essentially human beings whose
bodies had adapted to genetic changes caused by the extra part of
Therefore, the Council had reached a stalemate. Their legacy
demanded they monitor any dark and evil forces and train those
gifted with paranormal powers how to protect the unsuspecting
populace of the world from destruction. But did their duty also
apply to mutants, who were not a paranormal phenomenon, but a
natural evolutionary branch of humanity?
To Travers, the debate was dead, a non-issue that had existed in a
limbo of indecision for decades, which he had thankfully been able
to ignore for most of his time as a Council leader. The dangers
that may or may not be presented by mutants had been secondary
compared to the threat of unnatural creatures arising in the most
western states of America, a problem that was currently well managed
by a particular Watcher and his ward.
However, as Travers read the last note that had been received this
morning from the Council's main offices, he knew he may finally
have to confront the mutant issue head on. He planned to address it
to one mutant in particular, a colleague from the past, who had
built his own sanctuary for those with strange gifts.
To Q.T., Oxford, England
217 has been identified by Xavier. We believe they have arrived in
Council advisement has been requested by Watcher in Arizona. Shall
we dispatch a team to New York? Please reply immediately as
probability of discovery is high. We await your instructions.
-- N.H., Buffalo, New York, USA
Travers sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose thoughtfully. This
had been something he had been dreading for twenty years.
" he said, and tapped his fingers on the desk
After a moment, he pushed a call button on his phone, and gave one
of the Council assistants orders to prepare for his immediate
departure to the United States. He also gave them a short message
to send to both Buffalo and Arizona.
To N.H. and M.D.
Council team dispatched from England.
Await further instructions.
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