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6141FIC: A Perhaps Hand (Returning Spring 2/10)

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  • Mo
    Feb 18, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      A Perhaps Hand (Returning Spring 2/10)

      From: ProfX@...
      To: Ealeeds@...
      Subject: Mutant Protection Plan goes live!

      It�s a small start, I know. Just one participant this
      time, although we expect to be able to resettle up to
      a couple of families at a time when we hit our stride.
      Most often I think they will be families, but I�m
      sending you a single individual this first time. Her
      name�s Angela Jenkins and she is the first mutant we
      will be attempting to resettle in a new location and
      with a new identity.

      Starting small gives us a chance to all settle into
      the project and gives us time to clarify our roles.
      We have several potential MPP participants staying
      with us here in Westchester, so we�ll be able to
      expand fairly quickly, if all goes well with this
      initial resettlement. Of course, with our Vermont
      contingent consisting of two representatives each from
      Alpha Flight and the X-Men all ensconced in my house
      in Peru, a couple of FBI agents visiting part-time,
      and you as our psychiatric consultant, it may feel a
      little bit like overkill to Ms. Jenkins. I�m sure you
      will all be careful not to overwhelm her.

      You�ll meet Ms. Jenkins tomorrow, Ethan, when my
      people bring her to your office. They traveled with
      her to Vermont yesterday and are helping her to get
      acclimated to her new surroundings. Her actual
      training in her new identity will not begin until
      later this week. We�re giving her a little time to
      just assimilate all that�s happened, as well as a
      chance to get accustomed to the Vermont weather. Ms.
      Jenkins has lived in the South all her life.

      She�s 28 years old, single, and had been living until
      two years ago in Newport News, Virginia. Her gift is
      precognition. As you know, it�s a difficult gift for
      many to handle. Precogs often have difficulty
      distinguishing dreams or random thoughts from true
      visions of the future. Ms. Jenkins, however, does not
      seem to have that problem. Her predictions have
      always been accurate and she always seems to know her
      visions for what they are. Her form of the
      precognitive gift appears only to work for
      catastrophic events or serious danger, so she has not
      used her gift to acquire wealth, as have some precogs
      we�ve encountered.

      Ms. Jenkins�s gift was helpful in her work as a
      paramedic. Her colleagues always knew they could
      count on her to assess whether a site was dangerous to
      enter or not. She managed to use her gift in her work
      for a long time without anyone suspecting that she was
      a mutant. I think she was generally viewed as someone
      particularly observant and adept at assessing danger.
      Unfortunately, she made the mistake of disclosing to a
      trusted coworker how she really managed to make those
      predictions. Paramedic teams work very closely under
      stressful conditions, and often form strong collegial
      bonds that can feel more intense than the average
      working relationships. I�ve seen that kind of thing
      happen with my X-Men as well, for similar reasons.
      Usually it�s a very positive part of working in a
      close team, but it can lead to misjudgments, to
      trusting a colleague unwisely.

      Ms. Jenkins was relieved when her colleague responded
      positively to her disclosure, and he promised to keep
      the information to himself. He didn�t keep that
      promise, however. Word traveled among her coworkers
      and then into the general community. She was subject
      to stares and name-calling over a period of months,
      but hoped it would just blow over and the community
      would accept a mutant in their midst. Then her home
      was attacked by anti-mutant thugs. Luckily her gift
      warned her of impending disaster there, and she didn�t
      come home that night. Attempts to get law enforcement
      involved made clear that she could not safely remain
      in Newport News or environs. She did try moving � to
      Washington, DC � but her mutant status has become
      known again and we are convinced that she will need a
      new identity as well as a new home this time.

      Accompanying Ms. Jenkins to Vermont are Scott Summers
      (code name �Cyclops�), whom you now know (after years
      of hearing me talk about him) and Kurt Wagner (code
      name �Nightcrawler�), a recent addition to the X-Men
      team. Two representatives from our affiliate team in
      Canada, Alpha Flight, will meet them in Peru:
      Jean-Paul �Northstar� Beaubier and Walter �Sasquatch�
      Langkowski. Ms. Jenkins will be resettling in Canada,
      in London, Ontario. Unlike my X-Men team, Alpha
      Flight is an agency of the federal government in
      Canada, and their representatives are working both
      with Canadian government agencies and the FBI to
      coordinate all international paperwork and procedures.
      Martin Kline and Alan Green will be the FBI contacts.
      I�m not sure that you will need to have direct
      contact with anyone but Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Ms.
      Jenkins, but perhaps you should meet the others.

      I should probably warn you that Nightcrawler�s
      appearance is very distinctive. I know with your
      extensive experience with mutants this won�t present a
      problem to you, but you might wish to speak to your
      receptionist about him in advance. Perhaps you can
      have her arrange a private place for Scott and Kurt to
      wait to see you, rather than in a more public waiting
      room. Other than in your office, I don�t think this
      will be an issue. Kurt will spend most of his time at
      my house in Peru and he should be able to travel
      unnoticed to your office, given that it�s not unusual
      to be very covered up during March in Vermont.

      We anticipate that Ms. Jenkins will spend about a
      month in Vermont, learning all about her new identity
      and home and undergoing some key changes to her
      appearance. As we discussed, I think it will be
      helpful for her to meet with you frequently during
      that time. My layman�s view � informed, however, by
      telepathically acquired information � is that she is
      in great need of your assistance. I�m concerned that
      Ms. Jenkins seems unable or unwilling to hide her gift
      effectively, and I worry that she will have trouble
      settling into her new identity. I had explored with
      her the possibility of joining the X-Men rather than
      living in hiding, but she�s quite adamant about
      wanting to live what she calls a normal life. I�m
      concerned that she not only seems traumatized by the
      violence she has endured but also appears not to be
      wholly reconciled to her gift, or to being a mutant.
      I�d appreciate any insights you have on how we can
      make the transition easier for her, as well as your
      thoughts on whether longer term therapy is advisable,
      once she�s settled in Canada. I�m assured by my
      contacts at Alpha Flight that a trustworthy therapist
      can be found for Ms. Jenkins in her new home. If she
      does continue in therapy there, I would ask that you
      consult with the new therapist.

      Thanks again for participating in this important


      From: Ealeeds@...
      To: Profx@...
      Subject: Reply to: Mutant Protection Plan goes live!

      Hello, Charles. Thank you for the background
      information on Ms. Jenkins. It was helpful to know
      something about her before we met. We�ve had three
      sessions this week, and will continue to meet
      regularly as long as she is in Peru. She has waived
      doctor-patient confidentiality in order for me to tell
      you how she is progressing, and in my professional
      judgment she has given informed consent for this
      purpose. I trust to your discretion, but for the
      record I am saying now that it is essential that what
      I tell you of our sessions go no further.

      I am writing complete case notes, which you may review
      at some point if you think that would be helpful.
      Here, I will just give you the highlights.

      Angela Jenkins is an attractive and well-spoken young
      woman. Tall and graceful, with red hair and very pale
      skin, she appears younger than her 28 years and has a
      delicate and almost fragile appearance. She is in
      fact very strong physically and my medical examination
      found her in excellent health.

      Ms. Jenkins does indeed seem to be, as you suggested,
      insufficiently reconciled to her gift, and to the fact
      of being a mutant. She has on more than one occasion
      revealed her mutant status unwisely and
      inappropriately, after resolving not to do so. She is
      quite sure that she wants to pass as normal, and
      rejects any options where she would live in a manner
      or a place where she could be open about being a
      mutant. Yet she also seems incapable of the kind of
      discretion required to hide in plain sight, so to

      I think she will need longer term therapy for a number
      of reasons and I will help her to find an appropriate
      therapist in her new home, when she is ready to move.
      One goal she herself has identified is to try to
      understand better why she has sabotaged herself in
      this manner. She would like to understand this so as
      to figure out how to avoid it happening again. I
      think that�s very important for her emotional and
      physical safety. Also, from a practical point of
      view, if all the effort that your people and the
      governments of two nations are putting into her
      resettlement is not to be undone, she will need to get
      a handle on this.

      My initial impression is that some of Ms. Jenkins�s
      ambivalence is of the same character as that you and I
      have often discussed. Mutants often have very mixed
      feelings about their gifts. They enjoy having unusual
      talents and can profit from them in many ways, both
      psychic and practical. Yet they are also intensely
      aware of how reviled their class is in our society and
      have a difficult time applying a label to themselves
      they�ve previously only heard derisively. Ms. Jenkins
      told me that the first time she said aloud, �I am a
      mutant� she felt like she was standing at the edge of
      an abyss, with no choice but to step forward and fall
      into it.

      It was a vivid way of describing emotions you and I
      both have heard expressed many times. Since most
      mutants grow to mid-teens or later before they come
      into their powers, they have internalized society�s
      anti-mutantism rather thoroughly by the time their
      gifts initially manifest. They are then faced with
      the rather daunting task of assimilating into their
      sense of self the almost archetypical otherness they
      associate with being a mutant.

      For Angela Jenkins, though, there is another factor
      contributing to her ambivalence about her mutation,
      beyond the need to integrate her mutant status into
      her sense of self. Her gift itself is an ambiguous
      one. It�s very useful to her and has helped her to
      get out of dangerous situations on many occasions. On
      the other hand, it�s a frightening ability to know
      about catastrophic events in advance, and she has
      often known of great disasters she has no ability to
      prevent, leaving her with a feeling of helplessness.
      Ms. Jenkins has a sense of constant apprehension of
      calamity about her. I think working on ways to become
      more comfortable with the nature of her gift could be
      another goal of therapy.

      I quite enjoyed seeing Scott Summers again, and
      meeting Mr. Wagner. I met with both of them to
      discuss the next phases of the MPP project, and they
      have been taking turns accompanying Ms. Jenkins to her
      sessions here. I understand that Mr. Wagner is
      staying on, while Scott returns to his teaching and
      Field Leader responsibilities. I have not yet met the
      Alpha Flight and FBI representatives, but was given to
      understand that I will shortly.

      Scott and I had dinner last night, before he returned
      to Westchester. He�s both charming and intelligent,
      as you�ve always described. I�m impressed by his
      dedication and commitment to his work and to the
      project. We also had an enjoyable time discussing
      literature. His enthusiasm for the earlier
      Shakespearean sonnets rivals mine. I hope he�ll find
      his way back here soon as I very much enjoy his
      company. He does you proud, Charles.

      Oh, Charles � one thing I meant to ask you. Angela
      Jenkins is quite frightened of staying in your home in
      Peru. She feels it is not adequately fortified and
      that there is no safe hiding place there. It�s
      something we can work on in therapy, and will. But to
      work with her effectively, I need to know if this is
      purely an irrational fear or if it has some basis in
      fact. Given the current use of the home, it does seem
      advisable to have some method for secreting your
      refugees in the house. I understand it was once a
      stop on the Underground Railroad. Is there somewhere
      that would make a good Panic Room there? Ms.
      Jenkins�s fears are an issue for therapy, but this
      particular concern may also be one that ought to be
      addressed in a more concrete way. What do you think?



      From: ProfX@...
      To: Ealeeds@...
      Subject: Reply to: Mutant Protection Plan goes

      Thank you, Ethan, for your helpful and informative
      report. And thank you again for participating in this
      project. We couldn�t do it without you.

      I found your insights into Ms. Jenkins�s character
      most illuminating. I think you are right that her
      insecurities and fears around her mutation are partly
      the usual ones we see and partly related to her
      specific mutation. My impression is that she sees
      herself as somewhat of a harbinger of doom, and that
      makes her emotional life an unsettling one.

      As I mentioned, I had talked to her extensively about
      staying in Westchester and joining the X-Men. She
      considered it but ultimately rejected the offer.
      Quite telling, though, was her choice of codename if
      she did stay. Ms. Jenkins told me that she would want
      to be known as Cassandra.

      I�m glad you enjoyed your dinner with Scott. He
      speaks very highly of you, as well. It�s very
      gratifying that two people for whom I have such warm
      feelings enjoy each other�s company. Scott is quite
      pleased with how the project is progressing and would
      have been happy to stay in Peru longer, but he is
      needed here. I�m sure he�ll be back there soon, for
      short trips.

      I understand that Angela Jenkins�s fears are in part
      related to her trauma and emotional problems, but I�m
      glad you passed on her concern about a hiding place in
      the Vermont house. There really is not an effective
      one at this point, although as you say it was once a
      stop on the Underground Railroad. I think we ought
      to have a place more suitable to concealing someone in
      the twenty-first century than in the nineteenth. It�s
      really something I should have thought of myself, but
      it hadn�t occurred to me. The house has been used for
      field trips and vacations, primarily, and doesn�t have
      any of the fortifications we have here.

      We did build a tunnel between the Blackbird�s landing
      spot and the attached garage, so that our participants
      can enter the house secretly. It�s possible that the
      tunnel itself could be fortified and turned into a
      panic room, of sorts. I�m not sure.

      In any event, it is a good idea to take a fresh look
      at security in Peru. I�ll be sending another of my
      X-Men up to do just that. His name is Logan, code
      name Wolverine. Logan, like Kurt Wagner, is a fairly
      new addition to our team. He has extensive knowledge
      of design and construction and should be able to
      assess security and come up with suggestions for
      location of a panic room and any other necessary
      fortification. He�ll arrive there later this week.

      Ethan, I�m assuming you have not heard our unsettling
      news from Scott or you would have mentioned it. Jean
      is back, or so it seems. A woman who claims to be her
      arrived about a month ago. She has a harrowing story
      of surviving the flood and being kept imprisoned by
      captors she never saw. The story is detailed and
      credible, her appearance is changed only as one would
      expect under the circumstances. Most of the team and
      students seem convinced that Jean Grey is back. Yet I
      am not. And I can�t really say why. I believe that
      this woman is an imposter. I don�t know how to prove
      that, or what to do about it. I don�t know why she is
      here or what she has planned. I think it will be a
      very good thing if we have a fortified place to
      retreat to, should it be necessary. At any time, but
      particularly when we do not know the intentions of
      this woman who looks so much like Jean.

      Best wishes,


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