6141FIC: A Perhaps Hand (Returning Spring 2/10)
- Feb 18, 2005A Perhaps Hand (Returning Spring 2/10)
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
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
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
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?
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
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.
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