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Fic: My Brother's Keeper PG-13

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  • Alyx Alexandre
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 30, 2001
      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
      http://www.ravenswing.com/~boots/xmen.html and List
      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
      Twilight Zone.

      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
      Election day.

      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
      with her.

      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
      for sure.

      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
      anything anymore.

      Ay, Dios mio. My head hurts. Where's my bus? I need to
      go home.


      Your thoughts?


      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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